Inspired by the Free Library of Philadelphia's Wonderfish collection>>
Translation of Work:
A big Wonderfish (Ein grosser Wunderfisch)ca. 1820 - ca. 1840
A big wonder fish which was caught with effort near Geneva, the beautiful city. The same had a man’s countenance and on his head a crown with crosses; on his body a sword, two war flags, a cannon, and three rifles as well as three skulls. As this drawing shows in detail the same was three ells high and also five ells long, as can be seen in the following hymn with more. Such a miraculous sign on the 12th of February A.D. 1740.
In this fish’s name I now begin; you people all together, who stand by me quietly, hear: this great miracle happened this year on water and on land. This is certainly true. First I will describe Geneva, the beautiful city, where on the 12th of February a fish was caught by man in the sea. It was felt it for five whole days; it was caught with great effort. Three ells high, it was, and also five ells long. Everyone wondered who looked at it. The fish had a true human head. Everyone was amazed who viewed the fish. He has feet like the swans, on the head a crown, a sword, two war flags, as can be seen. Three skulls with it, there are seen down there. What can be the meaning? Who knows the fish’s miracle? Many people came together to view the fish. On the sea there came a wonderful man, who was adorned on his body exactly like a fish with big and wide scales. He carried a simple sword. The man said to the people [continued on reverse]
Look at the sword rightly. It signifies the world and refers to a sharp conflict. Kink and sponsors called themselves strongly to the field. Each must risk himself just like a brave hero. Love has disappeared entirely. No one stands by the other. Many sell their brothers for money, mothers and fathers, as well. O woe to the evil world. How will you fare in this short time, nothing but war and quarrel will you hear of. It will be consumed in laments that the best friends will beat each other and become arch enemies. When everyone is against the other and everything is stirred up, then peace will make an end. God’s son, Jesus Christ, will strike therein with his sword. The spoil of pestilence will do great harm in many lands and borders. Amen.