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Early in the beginning of February, 1528, a letter of the Emperor, written from Spire, reached Luzern, with complaints about this alliance; very similar ones were received from the authorities of the Austrian Government at Ensisheim and Inspruck, and still a fourth one from the captains of the Swabian League.

Every newcomer was carefully scrutinised before he was admitted within the walls, and the Rhine was guarded most rigidly. The propriety of these precautions was soon proven. Charles ordered a review at Ensisheim, the official capital of the landgraviate. Thither marched his troops from every quarter.

The deliberations in Switzerland concerning their return to Austrian domination also naturally affected the Alsatians and made them bolder in resenting Hagenbach's aggressions. Thann and Ensisheim were both firm in refusing admission to his garrisons.

The Catholic party reaped the advantage everywhere, evangelical preachers, even, where not insurrectionists, being persecuted. Little distinction, in fact, was made in most districts between an opponent of the Catholic Church from Luther's standpoint and one from Karlstadt's or Hubmayer's. Amongst seventy-one heretics arraigned before the Austrian court at Ensisheim, only one was acquitted.

The celebrated ``black stone'' suspended in the Kaaba at Mecca is one of these reputed gifts from heaven; the ``Palladium'' of ancient Troy was another; and a stone which fell near Ensisheim, in Germany, was placed in a church as an object to be religiously venerated.

Some of these, indeed, were pardoned, though their estates were confiscated, but five or six were publicly executed, and their bodies hung exposed to view on the market-place, as a hideous object-lesson of the cost of resisting Burgundian orders. One execution sufficed to render Ensisheim submissive, but Brisac proved more obstinate. The magistrates there did not resort to force.

In the spring of 1473, therefore, he resolved to lay a new tax on wine. This impost, called the "Bad Penny," was bitterly resented for two reasons. The burden was oppressive to the vintners and it was an illegal measure, as no sanction had been given by the local estates. Three towns, Thann, Ensisheim, and Brisac, declared that they were determined to refuse payment.