En 03a Burg Laws

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    Ott 2023

    3. Laws and Rights

    3a. Burg Laws

    [015] These are the laws for the burgs:

    1. When a burg is built somewhere, its Lamp must be kindled from the original flame at Texland, and that may only be done by the Folksmother.

    2. Every Folksmother shall choose her own maidens, as shall the maids who serve as mothers at the other burgs.

    3. The Folksmother at Texland may choose her successor. But should she die without having done so, the election shall take place at a general assembly where all communities deliberate together.

    4. The Folksmother at Texland may have twenty-one maidens and seven spindle girls, so that there might always be seven to attend the Lamp day and night. The maids who serve as mothers at the other burgs shall have just as many.

    5. If a maiden wishes to wed, she must announce it to her burg mother and immediately return to the people before she pollutes the light with her unchaste breath.

    6. To the Folksmother and each burgmaid, twenty-one burg lords shall be assigned: seven old sages, seven old warriors, and seven old sea campaigners. [016]

    7. Of these, three out of every seven shall retire each year, and they shall not be succeeded by relatives nearer than the fourth degree.

    8. Each burg may have three hundred young defenders.

    9. For this service, they must learn Frya’s Tex and the laws. From the sages, they must learn wisdom; from the old warriors, the art of war; and from the sea kings, the skills required to undertake distant voyages.

    10. Every year, one hundred of these defenders shall return home. But if any are no longer able to stand or walk, they may remain at the burg for the rest of their lives.

    11. At the selection of the defenders, none from the burg shall have a vote; neither reeves nor other chiefs, but only the common folk.

    12. The Folksmother at Texland shall be given three times seven solid messengers with three times twelve speedy horses. The other burgmaids shall each have three messengers with seven horses.

    13. Every burg shall also have fifty husbandmen chosen by the folk, but for that task only those who are not able and sturdy enough for defense or seafaring may be put forward. [017]

    14. Every burg must be self-sufficient and sustained by its surrounding farmland and by the share it earns from the market.

    15. If someone is chosen to serve at a burg and refuses, he can never become burg lord, and thus will have no right to vote. If he is already burg lord, he shall lose the honor.

    16. If someone seeks counsel from the mother or from a burgmaid, he must present himself to the scribe, who will bring him to the burg master. He must also go to the ‘leatsa’ — that is the healer — who must determine whether he is possessed of evil passions. If he is judged sound, he must lay aside his arms and seven defenders will bring him to the mother.

    17. If the affair concerns only one territory, at least three envoys must come. If it regards the whole of Fryasland, twenty-one additional witnesses must be present. This is so in order that no suspicion may arise, nor tricks be played.

    18. Upon all matters, the Folksmother must have the say and ensure that her children — that is Frya’s folk — retain as equal a share in the wealth as possible. This is her highest duty, and it is the duty of us all to help her in performing it. [018]

    19. If she is called upon to decide any judicial question between a reeve and the community, and she finds merit in both sides, she must decide in favor of the community so that peace enters in and since it is better that one man should suffer injustice than many.

    20. If someone comes for counsel and the mother knows what advice to give, she must do so without hesitation. If she does not at once know the answer to his question, she may let him wait seven days. If she then still does not know, he must leave and he may not protest, since receiving no counsel is better than receiving bad counsel.

    21. If a mother has given bad advice out of ill will, she must be killed or driven from the land, stark naked and empty-handed.

    22. If her burg lords are accomplices, the same must be done with them.

    23. If her guilt is doubtful or is only suspected, it must be considered and debated; if needs be, for twenty-one weeks. If only half the votes are against her, she must be declared not guilty. If two-thirds are against her, the case shall be delayed one full year. If the votes are then the same, she may be declared guilty, but not killed. [019]

    24. If there are some among the one-third who are so convinced of her innocence that they wish to follow her, they may do so with all their floatable and portable goods, and no one shall despise them for it; for the majority may just as well be mistaken as the minority.

    Sandbach 1876

    [p.25 cont.] These are the Laws Established for the Government of the Citadels.

    1. Whenever a citadel is built, the lamp belonging to it must be lighted at the original lamp in Texland, and that can only be done by the mother.

    2. Every mother shall appoint her own maidens. She may even choose those who are mothers in other towns.

    3. The mother of Texland may appoint her own successor, but should she die without having done so, the election shall take place at a general assembly of the whole nation.

    4. The mother of Texland may have twenty-one maidens and seven assistants, so that there may always be seven to attend the lamp day and night. She may have the same number of maidens who are mothers in other towns.

    5. If a maiden wishes to marry, she must announce it to the mother, and immediately resign her office, before her passion shall have polluted the light.

    6. For the service of the mother and of each of the Burgtmaidens there shall be appointed twenty-one townsmen—seven civilians of mature years, seven warriors of mature years, and seven seamen of mature years. [p.27]

    7. Out of the seven three shall retire every year, and shall not be replaced by members of their own family nearer than the fourth degree.

    8. Each may have three hundred young townsmen as defenders.

    9. For this service they must study Frya's Tex and the laws. From the sages they must learn wisdom, from the warriors the art of war, and from the sea-kings the skill required for distant voyages.

    10. Every year one hundred of the defenders shall return to their homes, and those that may have been wounded shall remain in the citadels.

    11. At the election of the defenders no burgher or Grevetman, or other person of distinction, shall vote, but only the people.

    12. The mother at Texland shall have three times seven active messengers, and three times twelve speedy horses. In the other citadels each maiden shall have three messengers and seven horses.

    13. Every citadel shall have fifty agriculturists chosen by the people, but only those may be chosen who are not strong enough to go to war or to go to sea.

    14. Every citadel must provide for its own sustenance, and must maintain its own defences, and look after its share of the general contributions.

    15. If a man is chosen to fill any office and refuses to serve, he can never become a burgher, nor have any vote. And if he is already a burgher, he shall cease to be so.

    16. If any man wishes to consult the mother or a Burgtmaid, he must apply to the secretary, who will take him to the Burgtmaster. He will then be examined by a surgeon to see if he is in good health. If he is passed, [p.29] he shall lay aside his arms, and seven warriors shall present him to the mother.

    17. If the affair concerns only one district, he must bring forward not less than three witnesses; but if it affects the whole of Friesland, he must have twenty-one additional witnesses, in order to guard against any deceptions.

    18. Under all circumstances the mother must take care that her children, that is, Frya's people, shall remain as temperate as possible. This is her most important duty, and it is the duty of all of us to help her in performing it.

    19. If she is called upon to decide any judicial question between a Grevetman and the community, she must incline towards the side of the community in order to maintain peace, and because it is better that one man should suffer than many.

    20. If any one comes to the mother for advice, and she is prepared to give it, she must do it immediately. If she does not know what to advise, he must remain waiting seven days; and if she then is unable to advise, he must go away without complaining, for it is better to have no advice at all than bad advice.

    21. If a mother shall have given bad advice out of illwill, she must be killed or driven out of the land, deprived of everything.

    22. If her Burgtheeren are accomplices, they are to be treated in a similar manner.

    23. If her guilt is doubtful or only suspected, it must be considered and debated, if necessary, for twenty-one weeks. If half the votes are against her, she must be declared innocent. If two-thirds are against her, she must wait a whole year. If the votes are then the same, she must be considered guilty, but may not be put to death. [p.31]

    24. If any of the one-third who have voted for her wish to go away with her, they may depart with all their live and dead stock, and shall not be the less considered, since the majority maybe wrong as well as the minority.


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