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[1481-1523]
25
The Years of Preparation

circumstance that his parents lived in the town of Friedburg and were able to give their son more than the ordinary education of his day, it might be plausibly conjectured that they had risen to the artisan or small-merchant class. Yet, as there are not a few instances in the sixteenth century of sons of poor peasants obtaining a university education, little confidence can be placed in any such inference. That the family was of no importance may be more certainly inferred from the fact that no record of it remains, and that no trace of it is to be found to-day. It may perhaps be still further inferred that, as Hübmaier never visited his parents after he came of age, and never refers to them in his writings, they had died during the years of his education. In his case, however, silence means nothing, for he says singularly little about himself, only in two or three instances, hereafter to be cited, referring to anything in his past life, and then for apologetic reasons.

Everything in the character and life of Hübmaier goes to show that he received a careful religious training in his tender years. From the first he seems to have been inclined to piety and the service