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John Bartlett (1820–1905). Familiar Quotations, 10th ed. 1919.

9208 Martin Luther 1483-1546 John Bartlett

AUTHOR:Martin Luther (1483–1546)
QUOTATION:Tell your master that if there were as many devils at Worms as tiles on its roofs, I would enter. 1
ATTRIBUTION:Psalm. Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott (trans. by Frederic H. Hedge).
Note 1.
On the 16th of April, 1521, Luther entered the imperial city [of Worms]…. On his approach… the Elector’s chancellor entreated him, in the name of his master, not to enter a town where his death was decided. The answer which Luther returned was simply this.—Bunsen: Life of Luther.

I will go, though as many devils aim at me as there are tiles on the roofs of the houses.—Ranke: History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 533 (Mrs. Austin’s translation). [back]