The tragic death of Urban Grandier shows how dangerous it was in the days of superstition to incur the displeasure of powerful men, and how easily the charge of necromancy could be used for the purpose of "removing" an obnoxious person. Grandier was cur of the Church of St. Peter at Loudun and canon of the Church of the Holy Cross. He was a pleasant companion, agreeable in conversation, and much admired by the fair sex. Indeed he wrote a book, Contra Caelibatum Clericorum, in which he strongly advocated the marriage of the clergy, and showed that he was not himself indifferent to the charms of the ladies. In an evil hour he wrote a little book entitled La cordonnire de Loudun, in which he attacked Richelieu, and aroused the undying hatred of the great Cardinal. Richelieu was at that time in the zenith of his power, and when offended he was not very scrupulous as to the means he employed to carry out his vengeance, as the fate of our author abundantly testifies.
In the town of Loudun was a famous convent of Ursuline nuns, and Grandier solicited the office of director of the nunnery, but happily he was prevented by circumstances from undertaking that duty. A short time afterwards the nuns were attacked with a curious and contagious frenzy, imagining themselves tormented by evil spirits, of whom the chief was Asmodeus. [Footnote: This was the demon mentioned in Tobit iii. 8, 17, who attacked Sarah, the daughter of Raguel, and killed her seven husbands. Rabbinical writers consider him as the chief of evil spirits, and recount his marvellous deeds. He is regarded as the fire of impure love.] They pretended that they were possessed by the demon, and accused the unhappy Grandier of casting the spells of witchcraft upon them. He indignantly refuted the calumny, and appealed to the Archbishop of Bordeaux, Charles de Sourdis. This wise prelate succeeded in calming the troubled minds of the nuns, and settled the affair.
In the meantime the vengeful eye of Richelieu was watching for an opportunity. He sent his emissary, Councillor Laubardemont, to Loudun, who renewed the accusation against Grandier. The amiable cleric, who had led a pious and regular life, was declared guilty of adultery, sacrilege, magic, witchcraft, demoniacal possession, and condemned to be burned alive after receiving an application of the torture. In the market-place of Loudun in 1643 this terrible sentence was carried into execution, and together with his book, Contra Caelibatum Clericorum, poor Grandier was committed to the flames. When he ascended his funeral pile, a fly was observed to buzz around his head. A monk who was standing near declared that, as Beelzebub was the god of flies, the devil was present with Grandier in his dying hour and wished to bear away his soul to the infernal regions. An account of this strange and tragic history was published by Aubin in his Histoire des diables de Loudun, ou cruels effets de la vengeance de Richelieu (Amsterdam, 1693).
Our own country has produced a noted alchemist and astrologer, Dr. Dee, whose fame extended to many lands. He was a very learned man and prolific writer, and obtained the office of warden of the collegiate church of Manchester through the favour of Queen Elizabeth, who was a firm believer in his astrological powers. His age was the age of witchcraft, and in no county was the belief in the magic power of the "evil eye" more prevalent than in Lancashire. Dr. Dee, however, disclaimed all dealings with "the black art" in his petition to the great "Solomon of the North," James I., which was couched in these words: "It has been affirmed that your majesty's suppliant was the conjurer belonging to the most honourable privy council of your majesty's predecessor, of famous memory, Queen Elizabeth; and that he is, or hath been, a caller or invocater of devils, or damned spirits; these slanders, which have tended to his utter undoing, can no longer be endured; and if on trial he is found guilty of the offence imputed to him, he offers himself willingly to the punishment of death; yea, either to be stoned to death, or to be buried quick, or to be burned unmercifully." In spite of his assertions to the contrary, the learned doctor must have had an intimate acquaintance with "the black art," and was the companion and friend of Edward Kelly, a notorious necromancer, who for his follies had his ears cut off at Lancaster. This Kelly used to exhume and consult the dead; in the darkness of night he and his companions entered churchyards, dug up the bodies of men recently buried, and caused them to utter predictions concerning the fate of the living. Dr. Dee's friendship with Kelly was certainly suspicious. On the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, he foretold the future by consulting the stars. When a waxen image of the queen was found in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields, which was a sure sign that some one was endeavouring to cast spells upon her majesty, Dr. Dee pretended that he was able to defeat the designs of such evil-disposed persons, and prevent his royal mistress feeling any of the pains which might be inflicted on her effigy. In addition his books, of which there were many, witness against him. These were collected by Casaubon, who published in London in 1659 a rsum of the learned doctor's works.
Manchester was made too hot, even for the alchemist, through the opposition of his clerical brethren, and he was compelled to resign his office of warden of the college. Then, accompanied by Kelly, he wandered abroad, and was received as an honoured guest at the courts of many sovereigns. The Emperor Rodolphe, Stephen, King of Poland, and other royal personages welcomed the renowned astrologers, who could read the stars, had discovered the elixir of life, which rendered men immortal, the philosopher's stone in the form of a powder which changed the bottom of a warming-pan into pure silver, simply by warming it at the fire, and made the precious metals so plentiful that children played at quoits with golden rings. No wonder they were so welcome! They were acquainted with the Rosicrucian philosophy, could hold correspondence with the spirits of the elements, imprison a spirit in a mirror, ring, or stone, and compel it to answer questions. Dr. Dee's mirror, which worked such wonders, and was found in his study at his death in 1608, is now in the British Museum. In spite of all these marvels, the favour which the great man for a time enjoyed was fleet and transient. He fell into poverty and died in great misery, his downfall being brought about partly by his works but mainly by his practices.
Associated with Lancashire demonology is the name of John Darrell, a cleric, afterwards preacher at St. Mary's, Nottingham, who published a narrative of the strange and grievous vexation of the devil of seven persons in Lancashire. This remarkable case occurred at Clayworth in the parish of Leigh, in the family of one Nicholas Starkie, whose house was turned into a perfect bedlam. It is vain to follow the account of the vagaries of the possessed, the howlings and barkings, the scratchings of holes for the familiars to get to them, the charms and magic circles of the impostor and exorcist Hartley, and the godly ministrations of the accomplished author, who with two other preachers overcame the evil spirits.
Unfortunately for him, Harsnett, Bishop of Chichester, and afterwards Archbishop of York, doubted the marvellous powers of the pious author, Dr. Darrell, and had the audacity to suggest that he made a trade of casting out devils, and even went so far as to declare that Darrell and the possessed had arranged the matter between them, and that Darrell had instructed them how they were to act in order to appear possessed. The author was subsequently condemned as an impostor by the Queen's commissioners, deposed from his ministry, and condemned to a long term of imprisonment with further punishment to follow. The base conduct and pretences of Darrell and others obliged the clergy to enact the following canon (No. 73): "That no minister or ministers, without license and direction of the bishop, under his hand and seal obtained, attempt, upon any pretence whatsoever, either of possession or obsession, by fasting and prayer, to cast 'out any devil or devils, under pain of the imputation of imposture, or cozenage, and deposition from the ministry." This penalty at the present day not many of the clergy are in danger of incurring.
SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY.
Bishop Virgil—Roger Bacon—Galileo—Jordano Bruno—Thomas Campanella—De Lisle de Sales—Denis Diderot—Balthazar Bekker—Isaac de la Peyrre—Abb de Marolles—Lucilio Vanini—Jean Rousseau.
Science in its infancy found many powerful opponents, who, not understanding the nature of the newly-born babe, strove to strangle it. But the infant grew into a healthy child in spite of its cruel stepmother, and cried so loudly and talked so strangely that the world was forced to listen to its utterances. These were regarded with distrust and aversion by the theologians of the day, for they were supposed to be in opposition to Revelation, and contrary to the received opinions of all learned and pious people. Therefore Science met with very severe treatment; its followers were persecuted with relentless vehemence, and "blasphemous fables" and "dangerous deceits" were the only epithets which could characterise its doctrines.
The controversy between Religion and Science still rages, in spite of the declaration of Professor Huxley that in his opinion the conflict between the two is entirely factitious. But theologians are wiser now than they were in the days of Galileo; they are waiting to see what the scientists can prove, and then, when the various hypotheses are shown to be true, it will be time enough to reconcile the verities of the Faith with the facts of Science.
To those who believed that the earth was flat it was somewhat startling to be told that there were antipodes. This elementary truth of cosmology Bishop Virgil of Salzbourg was courageous enough to assert as early as A.D. 764. He wrote a book in which he stated that men of another race, not sprung from Adam, lived in the world beneath our feet. This work aroused the anger of Pope Zacharias II, who wrote to the King of Bavaria that Virgil should be expelled from the temple of God and the Church, and deprived of God and the Church, and deprived of his office, unless he confessed his perverse errors. In spite of the censure and sentence of excommunication pronounced upon him, Bishop Virgil was canonised by Pope Gregory XI.; thus, in spite of his misfortunes brought about by his book, his memory was revered and honoured by the Western Church.
If the account of his imprisonment be true (of which there is no contemporary evidence) our own celebrated English philosopher, Roger Bacon, is one of the earliest scientific authors whose works proved fatal to them. In 1267 he sent his book, Opus Majus, together with his Opus Minus, an abridgement of his former work, to Pope Clement IV. After the death of that Pope Bacon was cited by the General of the Franciscan order, to which he belonged, to appear before his judges at Paris, where he was condemned to imprisonment. He is said to have languished in the dungeon fourteen years, and, worn out by his sufferings, to have died in his beloved Oxford during the year of his release, 1292. The charge of magic was freely brought against him. His great work, which has been termed "the Encyclopaedia and the Novum Organum of the thirteenth century," discloses an unfettered mind and judgment far in advance of the spirit of the age in which he lived. In addition to this he wrote Compendium Philosophiae, De mirabili Potestate artis et naturae, Specula mathematica, Speculum alchemicum, and other works.
The treatment which Galileo received at the hands of the ecclesiastics of his day is well known. This father of experimental philosophy was born at Pisa in 1564, and at the age of twenty-four years, through the favour of the Medicis, was elected Professor of Mathematics at the University of the same town. Resigning his chair in 1592, he became professor at Padua, and then at Florence. He startled the world by the publication of his first book, Sidereus Nuntius, in which he disclosed his important astronomical discoveries, amongst others the satellites of Jupiter and the spots on the sun. This directed the attention of the Inquisition to his labours, but in 1632 he published his immortal work Dialogo sopra i due Massimi Sistemi del monda, Tolemaico et Copernicano (Florence), which was the cause of his undoing. In this book he defended the opinion of Copernicus concerning the motion of the earth round the sun, which was supposed by the theologians of the day to be an opinion opposed to the teaching of Holy Scripture and subversive of all truth. The work was brought before the Inquisition at Rome, and condemned by the order of Pope Urban VIII. Galileo was commanded to renounce his theory, but this he refused to do, and was cast into prison. "Are these then my judges?" he exclaimed when he was returning from the presence of the Inquisitors, whose ignorance astonished him. There he remained for five long years; until at length, wearied by his confinement, the squalor of the prison, and by his increasing years, he consented to recant his "heresy," and regained his liberty. The old man lost his sight at seventy-four years of age, and died four years later in 1642. In addition to the work which caused him so great misfortunes he published Discorso e Demonstr. interna alle due nuove Scienze, Delia Scienza Meccanica (1649), Tractato della Sfera (1655); and the telescope, the isochronism of the vibrations of the pendulum, the hydrostatic balance, the thermometer, were all invented by this great leader of astronomical and scientific discoverers. Many other discoveries might have been added to these, had not his widow submitted the sage's MSS. to her confessor, who ruthlessly destroyed all that he considered unfit for publication. Possibly he was not the best judge of such matters!
Italy also produced another unhappy philosophic writer, Jordano Bruno, who lived about the same time as Galileo, and was born at Nole in 1550, being fourteen years his senior. At an early age he acquired a great love of study and a thirst for knowledge. The Renaissance and the revival of learning had opened wide the gates of knowledge, and there were many eager faces crowding around the doors, many longing to enter the fair Paradise and explore the far-extending vistas which met their gaze. It was an age of anxious and eager inquiry; the torpor of the last centuries had passed away; and a new world of discovery, with spring-like freshness, dawned upon the sight. Jordano Bruno was one of these zealous students of the sixteenth century. We see him first in a Dominican convent, but the old- world scholasticism had no charms for him. The narrow groove of the cloister was irksome to his freedom-loving soul. He cast off his monkish garb, and wandered through Europe as a knight-errant of philosophy, multum ille et terris jactatus et alto, teaching letters. In 1580 we find him at Geneva conferring with Calvin and Beza, but Calvinism did not commend itself to his philosophic mind. Thence he journeyed to Paris, where in 1582 he produced one of his more important works, De umbris idearum. Soon afterwards he came to London, where he became the intimate friend of Sir Philip Sidney. Here he wrote the work which proved fatal to him, entitled Spaccio della bestia triomphante (The expulsion of the triumphing beast) (London, 1584). [Footnote: The full title of the work is: Spaccio della bestia triomphante da giove, effetuato dal conseglo, revelato da Mercurio, recitato da sofia, udito da saulino, registrato dal nolano, divisa in tre dialogi, subdivisi in tre parti. In Parigi, 1584, in-8.] This was an allegory in which he combated superstition and satirised the errors of Rome. But in this work Bruno fell into grievous errors and dangerous atheistic deceits. He scoffed at the worship of God, declared that the books of the sacred canon were merely dreams, that Moses worked his wonders by magical art, and blasphemed the Saviour. Bruno furnished another example of those whose faith, having been at one time forced to accept dogmas bred of superstition, has been weakened and altogether destroyed when they have perceived the falseness and fallibility of that which before they deemed infallible.
But in spite of these errors Bruno's learning was remarkable. He had an extensive knowledge of all sciences. From England he went to Germany, and lectured at Wittenberg, Prague, and Frankfort. His philosophy resembled that of Spinosa. He taught that God is the substance and life of all things, and that the universe is an immense animal, of which God is the soul.
At length he had the imprudence to return to Italy, and became a teacher at Padua. At Venice he was arrested by order of the Inquisition in 1595, and conducted to Rome, where, after an imprisonment of two years, in order that he might be punished as gently as possible without the shedding of blood, he was sentenced to be burned alive. With a courage worthy of a philosopher, he exclaimed to his merciless judges, "You pronounce sentence upon me with greater fear than I receive it." Bruno's other great works were Della causa, principio e uno (1584), De infinito universo et mundis (1584), De monade numero et figura (Francfort, 1591).
The Inquisition at Rome at this period was particularly active in its endeavours to reform errant philosophers, and Bruno was by no means the only victim who felt its power. Thomas Campanella, born in Calabria, in Italy, A.D. 1568, conceived the design of reforming philosophy about the same time as our more celebrated Bacon. This was a task too great for his strength, nor did he receive much encouragement from the existing powers. He attacked scholasticism with much vigour, and censured the philosophy of Aristotle, the admired of the schoolmen. He wrote a work entitled Philosophia sensibus demonstrata, in which he defended the ideas of Telesio, who explained the laws of nature as founded upon two principles, the heat of the sun and the coldness of the earth. He declared that all our knowledge was derived from sensation, and that all parts of the earth were endowed with feeling. Campanella also wrote Prodromus philosophiae instaurandae (1617); Philosophia rationalis, embracing grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, poetry, and history; Universalis Philosophatus, a treatise on metaphysics; Civitas solis, a description of a kind of Utopia, after the fashion of Plato's Republic. But the fatal book which caused his woes was his Atheismus triumphatus. On account of this work he was cast into prison, and endured so much misery that we can scarcely bear to think of his tortures and sufferings. For twenty-five years he endured all the squalor and horrors of a mediaeval dungeon; through thirty-five hours he was "questioned" with such exceeding cruelty that all his veins and arteries were so drawn and stretched by the rack that the blood could not flow. Yet he bore all this terrible agony with a brave spirit, and did not utter a cry. Various causes have been assigned for the severity of this torture inflicted on poor Campanella. Some attribute it to the malice of the scholastic philosophers, whom he had offended by his works. Others say that he was engaged in some treasonable conspiracy to betray the kingdom of Naples to the Spaniards; but it is probable that his Atheismus triumphatus was the chief cause of his woes. Sorbire has thus passed judgment upon this fatal book: "Though nothing is dearer to me than time, the loss of which grieves me sorely, I confess that I have lost both oil and labour in reading the empty book of an empty monk, Thomas Campanella. It is a farrago of vanities, has no order, many obscurities, and perpetual barbarisms. One thing I have learned in wandering through this book, that I will never read another book of this author, even if I could spare the time."
Authorities differ with regard to the ultimate fate of this author. Some say that he was killed in prison in 1599; others declare that he was released and fled to France, where he enjoyed a pension granted to him by Richelieu. However, during his incarceration he continued his studies, and wrote a work concerning the Spanish monarchy which was translated from Italian into German and Latin. In spite of his learning he made many enemies by his arrogance; and his restless and ambitious spirit carried him into enterprises which were outside the proper sphere of his philosophy. In this he followed the example of many other luckless authors, to whom the advice of the homely proverb would have been valuable which states that "a shoemaker should stick to his last."
The book entitled De la Philosophie de la Nature, ou Trait de morale pour l'espce humaine, tir de la philosophie et fond sur la nature (Paris, Saillant et Nyon, 1769, 6 vols., in-12), has a curious history. It inflicted punishment not only on its author, De Lisle de Sales, but also on two learned censors of books who approved its contents, the Abb Chrtien and M. Lebas, the bookseller Saillant, and two of its printers. De Lisle was sent to prison, but the severity of the punishment aroused popular indignation, and his journey to gaol resembled a triumph. All the learned *men of Paris visited the imprisoned philosopher. All the sentences were reversed by the Parliament of Paris in 1777. This book has often been reproduced and translated in other languages. De Lisle was exposed to the persecutions of the Reign of Terror, and another work of his, entitled Eponine, caused him a second term of imprisonment, from which he was released when the terrible reign of anarchy, lasting eighteen months, ended.
The industrious philosopher Denis Diderot wrote Lettres sur les Aveugles l'usage de ceux qui voient (1749, in-12). There were "those who saw" and were not blind to its defects, and proceeded to incarcerate Diderot in the Castle of Vincennes, where he remained six months, and where he perceived that this little correction was necessary to cure him of his philosophical folly. He was a very prolific writer, and subsequently with D'Alembert edited the first French Encyclopaedia (1751-1772, 17 vols.). This was supposed to contain statements antagonistic to the Government and to Religion, and its authors and booksellers and their assistants were all sent to the Bastille. Chambers' Cyclopaedia had existed in England some years before a similar work was attempted in France, and the idea was first started by an Englishman, John Mills. This man was ingeniously defrauded of the work, which owed its conception and execution entirely to him. Perhaps on the whole he might have been congratulated, as he escaped the Bastille, to which the appropriators of his work were consigned.
An author who dares to combat the popular superstitious beliefs current in his time often suffers in consequence of his courage, as Balthazar Bekker discovered to his cost. This writer was born in West Friezland in 1634, and died at Amsterdam in 1698. He was a pastor of the Reformed Church of Holland, and resided during the greater part of his life at Amsterdam, where he produced his earlier work Recherches sur les Comtes (1683), in which he combated the popular belief in the malign influence of comets. This work was followed a few years later by his more famous book De Betoverde Weereld, or The Enchanted World, [Footnote: Le Monde enchant, ou Examen des sentimens touchant les esprits, traduit du flamand en franais (Amsterdam, 1694, 4 vols., in-l2). One Benjamin Binet wrote a refutation, entitled Trait historique des Dieux et des Dmons du paganisme, avec des remarques sur le systme de Balthazar Bekker (Delft, 1696, in-l2).] in which he refuted the vulgar notions with regard to demoniacal possession. This work created a great excitement amongst the Hollanders, and in two months no less than four thousand copies were sold. But, unfortunately for the author, it aroused the indignation of the theologians of the Reformed Church, who condemned it, deprived Bekker of his office, and expelled him from their communion. Bekker died shortly after his sentence had been pronounced. A great variety of opinions have been expressed concerning this book. Bekker was a follower of Descartes, and this was sufficient to condemn him in the eyes of many of the theologians of the day. The Jansenists of Port-Royal and the divines of the old National Church of Holland were vehement opponents of Cartesianism; consequently we find M.S. de Vries of Utrecht declaring that this fatal book caused more evil in the space of two months than all the priests could prevent in twenty years. Another writer states that it is an illustrious work, and full of wisdom and learning. When Bekker was deposed from his office, his adversaries caused a medal to be struck representing the devil clad in a priestly robe, riding on an ass, and carrying a trophy in his right hand; which was intended to signify that Bekker had been overcome in his attempt to disprove demoniacal possession, and that the devil had conquered in the assembly of divines who pronounced sentence on Bekker's book. The author was supposed to resemble Satan in the ugliness of his appearance. Another coin was struck in honour of our author: on one side is shown the figure of Bekker clad in his priestly robe; and on the other is seen Hercules with his club, with this inscription, Opus virtutis veritatisque triumphat. Bekker also wrote a catechism, entitled La Nourriture des Parfaits (1670), which so offended the authorities of the Reformed Church that its use was publicly prohibited by the sound of bells.
The science of ethnology has also had its victims, and one Isaac de la Peyrre suffered for its sake. His fatal book was one entitled Praeadamitae, sive exercitatio super versibus xii., xiii., xiv., capitis v., epistolae divi Pauli ad romanos. Quibus inducuntur primi homines ante Adamum conditi (1655, in-12), in which he advocated a theory that the earth had been peopled by a race which existed before Adam. The author was born at Bordeaux in 1592, and served with the Prince of Cond; but, in spite of his protector, he was imprisoned at Brussels, and his book was burnt at Paris, in 1655. This work had a salutary effect on the indefatigable translator Abb de Marolles, who with extraordinary energy, but with little skill, was in the habit of translating the classical works, and almost anything that he could lay his hands upon. He published no less than seventy volumes, and at last turned his attention to the sacred Scriptures, translating them with notes. In the latter he inserted extracts and reflections from the above-mentioned book by Peyrre, which caused a sudden cessation of his labours. By the authority of the Pope the printing of his works was suddenly stopped, but probably the loss which the world incurred was not very great. Peyrre seems to have foretold the fate of his book and his own escape in the following line:—
Parve, nec invideo, sine me, liber, ibis in ignem.
Lucilio Vanini, born in 1585, was an Italian philosopher, learned in medicine, astronomy, theology, and philosophy, who, after the fashion of the scholars of the age, roamed from country to country, like the knight- errants of the days of chivalry, seeking for glory and honours, not by the sword, but by learning. This Vanini was a somewhat vain and ridiculous person. Not content with his Christian name Lucilio, he assumed the grandiloquent and high-sounding cognomen of Julius Caesar, wishing to attach to himself some of the glory of the illustrious founder of the Roman empire. As the proud Roman declared Veni, Vidi, Vici, so would he carry on the same victorious career, subduing all rival philosophers by the power of his eloquence and learning. He visited Naples, wandered through France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and England, and finally stationed himself in France, first at Lyons, and then in a convent at Toulouse. At Lyons he produced his famous and fatal book, Amphitheatrum aeternae providentiae divino-magicum Christiano-Physicum, nec non Astrologo-Catholicum (Lugduni, 1616). It was published with the royal assent, but afterwards brought upon its author the charge of Atheism. He concealed the poison most carefully; for apparently he defended the belief in the Divine Providence and in the immortality of the soul, but with consummate skill and subtilty he taught that which he pretended to refute, and led his readers to see the force of the arguments against the Faith of which he posed as a champion. By a weak and feeble defence, by foolish arguments and ridiculous reasoning, he secretly exposed the whole Christian religion to ridicule. But if any doubts were left whether this was done designedly or unintentionally, they were dispelled by his second work, De admirandis naturae reginae deaeque mortalium arcanis (Paris, 1616), which, published in the form of sixty dialogues, contained many profane statements. In this work also he adopted his previous plan of pretending to demolish the arguments against the Faith, while he secretly sought to establish them. He says that he had wandered through Europe fighting against the Atheists wherever he met with them. He describes his disputations with them, carefully recording all their arguments; he concludes each dialogue by saying that he reduced the Atheists to silence, but with strange modesty he does not inform his readers what reasonings he used, and practically leaves the carefully drawn up atheistical arguments unanswered. The Inquisition did not approve of this subtle method of teaching Atheism, and ordered him to be confined in prison, and then to be burned alive. This sentence was carried out at Toulouse in 1619, in spite of his protestations of innocence, and the arguments which he brought forward before his judges to prove the existence of God. Some have tried to free Vanini from the charge of Atheism, but there is abundant evidence of his guilt apart from his books. The tender mercies of the Inquisition were cruel, and could not allow so notable a victim to escape their vengeance. Whether to burn a man is the surest way to convert him, is a question open to argument. Vanini disguised his insidious teaching carefully, but it required a thick veil to deceive the eyes of Inquisitors, who were wonderfully clever in spying out heresy, and sometimes thought they had discovered it even when it was not there. Vanini and many other authors would have been wiser if they had not committed their ideas to writing, and contented themselves with words only. Litera scripta manet; and disguise it, twist it, explain it, as you will, there it stands, a witness for your acquittal or your condemnation. This thought stays the course of the most restless pen, though the racks and fires of the Inquisition no longer threaten the incautious scribe.
We must not omit a French philosopher who died just before the outbreak of the First French Revolution, Jean Jacques Rousseau. It is well known that his work Emile, ou de l'Education, par J.J. Rousseau, Citoyen de Genve ( Amsterdam, 1762, 4 vols., in-12), obliged him to fly from France and Switzerland, in both of which countries he was adjudged to prison. For many years he passed a wandering, anxious life, ever imagining that his best friends wished to betray him. Of his virtues and failings as an author, or of the vast influence he exercised over the minds of his countrymen, it is needless to write. This has already been done by many authors in many works.
Antonius Palearius—Caesar Baronius—John Michael Bruto—Isaac Berruyer— Louis Elias Dupin—Noel Alexandre—Peter Giannone—Joseph Sanfelicius (Eusebius Philopater)—Arlotto—Bonfadio—De Thou—Gilbert Gnbrard— Joseph Audra—Beaumelle—John Mariana—John B. Primi—John Christopher Rdiger—Rudbeck—Franois Haudicquer—Franois de Rosires—Anthony Urseus.
Braver far than the heroes of Horace was he who first dared to attack the terrible Inquisition, and voluntarily to incur the wrath of that dread tribunal. Such did Antonius Palearius, who was styled Inquisitionis Detractator, and in consequence was either beheaded (as some say) in 1570, or hanged, strangled, and burnt at Rome in 1566. This author was Professor of Greek and Latin at Sienna and Milan, where he was arrested by order of Pope Pius V. and conducted to Rome. He stated the truth very plainly when he said that the Inquisition was a dagger pointed at the throats of literary men. As an instance of the foolishness of the method of discovering the guilt of the accused, we may observe that Palearius was adjudged a heretic because he preferred to sign his name Aonius, instead of Antonius, his accuser alleging that he abhorred the sign of the cross in the letter T, and therefore abridged his name. By such absurd arguments were men doomed to death.
The Annales Ecclesiastici of Caesar Baronius, published in twelve folio volumes at Rome (1588-93), is a stupendous work, which testifies to the marvellous industry and varied learning of its author, although it contains several chronological errors, and perverts history in order to establish the claims of the Papacy to temporal power. The author of this work was born of noble family at Sora, in the kingdom of Naples, A.D. 1538, and was a pupil of St. Philip de Neri, the founder of the Congregation of the Oratory, whom he succeeded as General of that order. In 1596 Pope Clement VIII. chose him as his confessor, made him a cardinal and librarian of the Vatican. On the death of Clement, Baronius was nominated for election to the Papal throne, and was on the point of attaining that high dignity when the crown was snatched from him by reason of his immortal work. In Tome IX. our author had written a long history of the monarchy of Sicily, and endeavoured to prove that the island rightfully belonged to the Pope, and not to the King of Spain, who was then its ruler. This so enraged Philip III. of Spain that he published an edict forbidding the tome to be bought or read by any of his subjects. Two booksellers who were rash enough to have some copies of the book on their shelves were condemned to row in the galleys. When the election for the Papal throne took place, thirty-three cardinals voted for Baronius, and he would have been made Pope had not the Spanish ambassador, by order of the King, who was practically master of Italy at that time, excluded the author of the Annals from the election. This disappointment and his ill- health, brought on by hard study, terminated his life, and he died A.D. 1607. The Annales Ecclesiastici occupied Baronius thirty years, and contain the history of the Church from the earliest times to A.D. 1198. Various editions were printed at Venice, Cologne, Antwerp, Metz, Amsterdam, and Lucca. It was continued by Rainaldi and Laderchi, and the whole work was published in forty-two volumes at Lucca 1738-57. It is a monument of the industry and patience of its authors.
Another luckless Italian historian flourished in the sixteenth century, John Michael Bruto, who was born A.D. 1515, and was the author of a very illustrious work, Historia Florentina (Lyons, 1562). The full title of the work is: Joh. Michaelis Bruti Historiae Florentinae, Libri VIII., priores ad obitum Laurentii de Medicis (Lugduni, 1561, in-4). He wrote with considerable elegance, judgment, and force, contradicting the assertions of the historian Paolo Giovio, who was a strong partisan of the Medicis, and displaying much animosity towards them.
This book aroused the ire of the powerful family of the Medicis, and was suppressed by public authority. Bruto encouraged the brave citizens of Florence to preserve inviolate the liberties of their republic, and to withstand all the attempts of the Medicis to deprive them of their rights. On account of its prohibition the work is very rare, for the chiefs of the Florentines took care to buy all the copies which they could procure. In order to avoid the snares which the Medicis and other powerful Italian factions knew so well how to weave around those who were obnoxious to them—an assassin's dagger or a poisoned cup was not then difficult to procure—Bruto was compelled to seek safety in flight, and wandered through various European countries, enduring great poverty and privations. His exile continued until his death, which took place in Transylvania, A.D. 1593.
The Jesuit Isaac Joseph Berruyer was condemned by the Parliament of Paris in 1756 to be deposed from his office and to publicly retract his opinions expressed in his Histoire du Peuple de Dieu. The first part, consisting of seven volumes, 4to, appeared in Paris in 1728, the second in 1755, and the third in 1758. The work was censured by two Popes, Benedict XIV. and Clement XIII., as well as by the Sorbonne and the Parliament of Paris. Berruyer seems to have had few admirers. He delighted to revel in the details of the loves of the patriarchs, the unbridled passion of Potiphar's wife, the costume of Judith, her intercourse with Holophernes, and other subjects, the accounts of which his prurient fancy did not improve. His imaginative productions caused him many troubles. The Jesuits disavowed the work, and, as we have said, its author was deposed from his office.
The French ecclesiastical historian Louis Elias Dupin, born in 1657 and descended from a noble family in Normandy, was the author of the illustrious work La Bibliothque Universelle des auteurs ecclsiastiques. Dupin was a learned doctor of the Sorbonne, and professor of the College of France; and he devoted most of his life to his immense work, which is a proof of his marvellous energy and industry. He gives an account of the lives of the writers, a catalogue of their works, with the dates when they were issued, and a criticism of their style and of the doctrines set forth therein. But the learned historian involved himself in controversy with the advocates of Papal supremacy by publishing a book, De Antiqua Ecclesiae disciplina, in which he defended with much zeal the liberty of the Gallican Church. He lived at the time when that Church was much agitated by the assumptions of Pope Clement XI., aided by the worthless Louis XIV., and by the resistance of the brave-hearted Jansenists to the famous Bull Unigenitus. For three years France was torn by these disputes. A large number of the bishops were opposed to the enforcing of this bull, and the first theological school in Europe, the Sorbonne, joined with them in resisting the tyranny of the Pope and the machinations of Madame de Maintenon.
Dupin took an active part with the other theologians of his school in opposing this Unigenitus, and wrote his book De Antiqua Ecclesiae disciplina in order to defend the Gallican Church from the tyranny of the Bishop of Rome. In this work he carefully distinguishes the universal Catholic Church from the Roman Church, and shows that the power of the Papacy was not founded on any warrant of Holy Scripture, nor on the judgments of the Fathers. He allows that the power of keys was given to St. Peter, but not to one man individually, but to the whole Church represented by him. The authority of the Pope extends not beyond certain fixed boundaries, and the temporal and civil power claimed by the Papacy is not conjoined to the spiritual power, and ought to be separated from it. This plain speaking did not commend itself to the occupier of the Papal throne, nor to his tool Louis XIV., who deprived Dupin of his professorship and banished him to Chtelleraut. Dupin's last years were occupied with a correspondence with Archbishop Wake of Canterbury, who was endeavouring to devise a plan for the reunion of the Churches of France and England. Unhappily the supporters of the National Church of France were overpowered by the Ultramontane party; otherwise it might have been possible to carry out this project dear to the hearts of all who long for the unity of Christendom. Dupin died A.D. 1719.
A companion in misfortune was Noel Alexandre, a French ecclesiastical historian who lived at the same period and shared Dupin's views with regard to the supremacy of the Pope. His work is entitled Natalis Alexandri Historia Ecclesiastica Veteris et Novi Testamenti, cum Dissertationibus historico-chronologicis et criticis (Parisiis, Dezallier, 1669, seu 1714, 8 tom en 7 vol. in-fol.). The results of his researches were not very favourable to the Court of Rome. The Inquisition examined and condemned the work. Its author was excommunicated by Innocent XI. in 1684. This sentence was subsequently removed, as we find our author Provincial of the Dominican Order in 1706; but having subscribed his name to the celebrated Cas de Conscience, together with forty other doctors of the Sorbonne, he was banished to Chtelleraut and deprived of his pension. He died in 1724.
Italian historians seem to have fared ill, and our next author, Peter Giannone, was no exception to the rule. He was born in 1676, and resided some time at Naples, following the profession of a lawyer. There he published in 1723 four volumes of his illustrious work entitled Dell' Historia civile del Regno di Napoli, dopo l'origine sino ad re Carlo VI., da Messer P. Giannone (Napoli, Nicolo Naro, 1723, in-4), which, on account of certain strictures upon the temporal authority of the Pope, involved him in many troubles.
This remarkable work occupied the writer twenty years, and contains the result of much study and research, exposing with great boldness the usurpations of the Pope and his cardinals, and other ecclesiastical enormities, and revealing many obscure points with regard to the constitution, laws, and customs of the kingdom of Naples. He was aware of the great dangers which would threaten him, if he dared to publish this immortal work; but he bravely faced the cruel fate which awaited him, and verified the prophetic utterance of a friend, "You have placed on your head a crown of thorns, and of very sharp ones."
This book created many difficulties between the King of Naples and the occupant of the Papal See, and its author was excommunicated and compelled to leave Naples, while his work was placed on the index of prohibited books. Giannone then led a wandering life for some time, and at length imagined that he had found a safe asylum at Venice. But his powerful enemies contrived that he should be expelled from the territory of the Venetian republic. Milan, Padua, Modena afforded him only temporary resting-places, and at last he betook himself to Geneva. There he began to write Vol. V. of his history. He was accosted one day by a certain nobleman, who professed great admiration of his writings, and was much interested in all that Giannone told him. His new friend invited him to dinner at a farmstead which was situated not far from Geneva, but just within the borders of the kingdom of Savoy. Fearing no treachery, Giannone accepted the invitation of his new friend, but the repast was not concluded before he was arrested by order of the King of Sardinia, conveyed to a prison, and then transferred to Rome. The fates of the poor captives in St. Angelo were very similar. In spite of a useless retractation of his "errors," he was never released, and died in prison in 1758. His history was translated into French, and published in four volumes in 1742 at the Hague. Giannone's work has furnished with weapons many of the adversaries of Papal dominion, and one Vernet collected all the passages in this book, so fatal to its author, which were hostile to the Pope, and many of his scathing criticisms and denunciations of abuses, and published the extracts under the title Anecdotes ecclsiastiques (The Hague, 1738).
The work of Giannone on the civil history of the kingdom of Naples excited Joseph Sanfelicius, of the order of the Jesuits, to reply to the arguments of the former relating to the temporal power of the Pope. This man, assuming the name of Eusebius Philopater, wrote in A.D. 1728 a fatal book upon the civil history of the kingdom of Naples, in which he attacked Giannone with the utmost vehemence, and heaped upon him every kind of disgraceful accusation and calumny. This work was first published secretly, and then sold openly by two booksellers, by whom it was disseminated into every part of Italy. It fell into the hands of the Regent, who summoned his council and inquired what action should be taken with regard to it. With one voice they decided against the book; its sale was prohibited, and its author banished.
A book entitled Histoire de la tyrannie et des excs dont se rendirent coupables les Habitans de Padoue dans la guerre qu'ils eurent avec ceux de Vicence, par Arlotto, notaire Vicence, carries us back to the stormy period of the fourteenth century, when Italy was distracted by war, the great republics ever striving for the supremacy. Arlotto wrote an account of the cruelties of the people of Padua when they conquered Vicenza, who, in revenge, banished the author, confiscated his goods, and pronounced sentence of death on any one who presumed to read his work. Happily Vicenza succeeded in throwing off the yoke of Padua, and Arlotto recovered his possessions. This book was so severely suppressed that its author searched in vain for a copy in order that he might republish it, and only the title of his work is known.
Genoa too has its literary martyrs, amongst whom was Jacopo Bonfadio, a professor of philosophy at that city in 1545. He wrote Annales Genuendis, ab anno 1528 recuperatae libertatis usque ad annum 1550, libri quinque (Papiae, 1585, in-4). His truthful records aroused the animosity of the powerful Genoese families. The Dorias and the Adornos, the Spinolas and Fieschi, were not inclined to treat tenderly so daring a scribe, who presumed to censure their misdeeds. They proceeded to accuse the author of a crime which merited the punishment of death by burning. His friends procured for him the special favour that he should be beheaded before his body was burnt. The execution took place in 1561. The annals have been translated into Italian by Paschetti, and a new Latin edition was published at Brescia in 1747.
Books have sometimes been fatal, not only to authors, but to their posterity also; so it happened to the famous French historian De Thou, who wrote a valuable history of his own times (1553—1601), Historia sui temporis. [Footnote: The title of the edition of 1604 is Jacobi Augusti Thuani in suprema regni Gallici curia praesidis insulati, historiarum sui temporis (Parisiis Sonnius, Patisson, Drouart, in-fol.).] This great work was written in Latin in one hundred and thirty-eight books, and afterwards translated into French and published in sixteen volumes. The important offices which De Thou held, his intimate acquaintance with the purposes of the King and the intrigues of the French Court, the special embassies on which he was engaged, as well as his judicial mind and historical aptitude, his love of truth, his tolerance and respect for justice, his keen penetration and critical faculty, render his memoirs extremely valuable. In 1572 he accompanied the Italian ambassador to Italy; then he was engaged on a special mission to the Netherlands; for twenty-four years he was a member of the Parliament of Paris. Henry III. employed him on various missions to Germany, Italy, and to different provinces of his own country, and on the accession of Henry IV. he followed the fortunes of that monarch, and was one of the signatories of the Edict of Nantes. But his writings created enemies, and amongst them the most formidable was the mighty Richelieu, who disliked him because our author had not praised one of the ancestors of the powerful minister, and had been guilty of the unpardonable offence of not bestowing sufficient honour upon Richelieu himself. Such a slight was not to be forgiven, and when De Thou applied for the post of President of the Parliament of Paris from Louis XIII., the favourite took care that the post should be given to some one else, although it had been promised to our author by the late monarch. This disappointment and the continued opposition of Richelieu killed De Thou, who died in 1617. But the revenge of the minister was unsated. Frederick Augustus de Thou, the son of the historian, and formerly a protg of Richelieu, was condemned to death and executed. Enraged by the treatment which his father had received from the minister, he had turned against his former patron, and some imprudent letters to the Countess of Chevreuse, which fell into Richelieu's hands, caused the undying animosity of the minister, and furnished a pretext for the punishment of his former friend, and the completion of his vengeance upon the author of Historia sui temporis. Casaubon declares that this history is the greatest work of its kind which had been published since the Annals of Livy. Chancellor Hardwicke is said to have been so fond of it as to have resigned his office and seals on purpose to read it. The book contains some matter which was written by Camden, and destined for his Elizabeth, but erased by order of the royal censor. Sir Robert Filmer, Camden's friend, states that the English historian sent all that he was not suffered to print to his correspondent Thuanus, who printed it all faithfully in his annals without altering a word.
On the tomb of our next author stands the epitaph Urna capit cineres, nomen non orbe tenetur. This writer was Gilbert Gnbrard, a French author of considerable learning, who maintained that the bishops should be elected by the clergy and people and not nominated by the king. His book, written at Avignon, is entitled De sacrarum electionum jure et necessitate ad Ecclesiae Gallicanae, redintegrationem, auctore G. Genebrardo (Parisiis, Nivellius, 1593, in-8). The Parliament of Aix ordered the book to be burned, and its author banished from the kingdom and to suffer death if he attempted to return. He survived his sentence only one year, and died in the Burgundian monastery of Semur. He loved to declaim against princes and great men, and obscured his literary glory by his bitter invectives. One of his works is entitled Excommunication des Ecclsiastiques qui ont assist au service divin avec Henri de Valois aprs l'assassinat du Cardinal de Guise (1589, in-8). Certainly the judgment of posterity has not fulfilled the proud boast of his epitaph.
Joseph Audra, Professor of History at the College of Toulouse, composed a work for the benefit of his pupils entitled Abrg d'Histoire gnrale, par l'Abb Audra (Toulouse, 1770), which was condemned, and deprived Audra of his professorship, and also of his life. He died from the chagrin and disappointment which his misfortunes caused.
The author of Mmoires et Lettres de Madame de Maintenon (Amsterdam, 1755, 15 vols., in-12) found his subject a dangerous one, inasmuch as it conducted him to the Bastille, a very excellent reformatory for audacious scribes. Laurence Anglivielle de la Beaumelle, born in 1727, had previously visited that same house of correction on account of his political views expressed in Mes Penses, published at Copenhagen in 1751. In his Mmoires he attributed to the mistress-queen of Louis XIV. sayings which she never uttered, and his style lacks the dignity and decency of true historical writings. Voltaire advised that La Beaumelle should be fettered together with a band of other literary opponents and sent to the galleys.
Among Spanish historians the name of John Mariana is illustrious. He was born at Talavera in 1537, and, in spite of certain misfortunes which befell him on account of his works, lived to the age of eighty-seven years. He was of the order of the Jesuits, studied at Rome and Paris, and then retired to the house of the Jesuits at Toledo, where he devoted himself to his writings. His most important work was his Historiae de rebus Hispaniae libri xxx., published at Toledo 1592-95. But the work which brought him into trouble was one entitled De Mutatione Monetae, which exposed the frauds of the ministers of the King of Spain with regard to the adulteration of the public money, and censured the negligence and laziness of Philip III., declaring that Spain had incurred great loss by the depreciation in the value of the current coin of the realm. This book aroused the indignation of the King, who ordered Mariana to be cast into prison. The Spanish historian certainly deserved this fate, not on account of the book which brought this punishment upon him, but on account of another work, entitled De Rege ac Regis institutione Libri iii. ad Philippum III., Hispaniae regem catholicum. Toleti, apud Petrum Rodericum, 1599, in-4. In this book Mariana propounded the hateful doctrine, generally ascribed to the Jesuits, that a king who was a tyrant and a heretic ought to be slain either by open violence or by secret plots. It is said that the reading of this book caused Ravaillac to commit his crime of assassinating Henry IV. of France, and that in consequence of this the book was burned at Paris in 1610 by order of the Parliament.
The historian of the Dutch war of 1672 endured much distress by reason of his truthfulness. This was John Baptist Primi, Count of Saint-Majole. His book was first published in Italian, and entitled Historia della guerra d'Olanda nell' anno 1672 (In Parigi, 1682), and in the same year a French translation was issued. The author alludes to the discreditable Treaty of Dover, whereby Charles II., the Sovereign of England, became a pensioner of France, and basely agreed to desert his Dutch allies, whom he had promised to aid with all his resources. The exposure of this base business was not pleasing to the royal ears. Lord Preston, the English ambassador, applied to the Court for the censure of the author, who was immediately sent to the Bastille. His book was very vigorously suppressed, so that few copies exist of either the Italian or French versions.
Amongst historians we include one writer of biography, John Christopher Rdiger, who, under the name of Clarmundus, wrote a book De Vitis Clarissimorum in re Litteraria Vivorum. He discoursed pleasantly upon the fates of authors and their works, but unhappily incurred the displeasure of the powerful German family of Carpzov, which produced many learned theologians, lawyers, and philologists. The chief of this family was one Samuel Benedict Carpzov, who lived at Wittenberg, wrote several dissertations, and was accounted the Chrysostom of his age (1565-1624). Rdiger in Part IX. of his work wrote the biography of this learned man, suppressing his good qualities and ascribing to him many bad ones, and did scant justice to the memory of so able a theologian. This so enraged the sons and other relations of the great man that they accused Rdiger of slander before the ecclesiastical court, and the luckless author was ordered to be beaten with rods, and to withdraw all the calumnies he had uttered against the renowned Carpzov. On account of his books Rdiger was imprisoned at Dresden, where he died.
Haudicquer, the unfortunate compiler of genealogies, was doomed to the galleys on account of the complaints of certain noble families who felt themselves aggrieved by his writings. His work was entitled La Nobiliaire de Picardie, contenant les Gnralits d'Amiens, de Soissons, des pays reconquis, et partie de l'Election de Beauvais, le tout justifi conformment aux Jugemens rendus en faveur de la Province. Par Franois Haudicquer de Blancourt (Paris, 1693, in-4). Bearing ill-will to several illustrious families, he took the opportunity of vilifying and dishonouring them in his work by many false statements and patents, which so enraged them that they accomplished the destruction of the calumniating compiler. The book, in spite of his untrustworthiness, is sought after by curious book-lovers, as the copies of it are extremely rare, and few perfect.
It is usually hazardous to endeavour to alter one's facts in order to support historical theories. This M. Franois de Rosires, Archdeacon of Toul, discovered, who endeavoured to show in his history of Lorraine that the crown of France rightly belonged to that house. His book is entitled Stemmatum Lotharingiae et Barri ducum, Tomi VII., ab Antenore Trojano, ad Caroli III., ducis tempora, etc. (Parisiis, 1580, in-folio). The heroes of the Trojan war had a vast number of descendants all over Western Europe, if early genealogies are to be credited. But De Rosires altered and transposed many ancient charters and royal patents, in order to support his theory with regard to the sovereignty of the House of Lorraine. His false documents were proved to have been forged by the author. The anger of the French was aroused. He was compelled to sue for pardon before Henry III.; his book was proscribed and burnt; but for the protection of the House of Guise, he would have shared the fate of his book, and was condemned to imprisonment in the Bastille.
The learned Swedish historian Rudbeck may perhaps be included in our list of ill-fated authors, although his death was not brought about by the machinations of his foes. He wrote a great work on the origin, antiquities, and history of Sweden, but soon after its completion he witnessed the destruction of his book in the great fire of Upsal in 1702. The disappointment caused by the loss of his work was so great that he died the same year.
Rudbeck is not the only author who so loved his work that he died broken- hearted when deprived of his treasure. A great scholar of the fifteenth century, one Anthony Urseus, who lived at Forli, had just finished a great work, when unhappily he left a lighted lamp in his study during his absence. The fatal flame soon enveloped his books and papers, and the poor author on his return went mad, beating his head against the door of his palace, and raving blasphemous words. In vain his friends tried to comfort him, and the poor man wandered away into the woods, his mind utterly distraught by the enormity of his loss.
Few authors have the bravery, the energy, and amazing perseverance of Carlyle, who, when his French Revolution had been burned by the thoughtlessness of his friend's servant, could calmly return to fight his battle over again, and reproduce the MS. of that immortal work of which hard fate had cruelly deprived him.
POLITICS AND STATESMANSHIP.
John Fisher—Reginald Pole—"Martin Marprelate"—Udal—Penry—Hacket— Coppinger—Arthington—Cartwright—Cowell—Leighton—John Stubbs—Peter Wentworth—R. Doleman—J. Hales—Reboul—William Prynne—BurtonBastwick —John Selden—John Tutchin—Delaune—Samuel Johnson—Algernon Sidney— Edmund Richer—John de Falkemberg—Jean Lenoir—Simon Linguet—Abb Caveirac—Darigrand—Pietro Sarpi—Jerome Maggi—Theodore Reinking.
The thorny subject of Politics has had many victims, and not a few English authors who have dealt in State-craft have suffered on account of their works. The stormy period of the Reformation, with its ebbs and flows, its action and reaction, was not a very safe time for writers of pronounced views. The way to the block was worn hard by the feet of many pilgrims, and the fires of Smithfield shed a lurid glare over this melancholy page of English history.
One of the earliest victims was John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, a prelate renowned for his learning, his pious life, and for the royal favour which he enjoyed both from Henry VII. and Henry VIII. The Margaret Professorship at Cambridge and the Colleges of St. John's and Christ's owe their origin to Fisher, who induced Margaret, the Countess of Richmond and mother of Henry VII., to found them. Fisher became Chancellor of the University, and acted as tutor to Henry VIII. High dignities and royal favours were bestowed upon the man whom kings delighted to honour. But Bishop Fisher was no time-serving prelate nor respecter of persons, and did not hesitate to declare his convictions, whatever consequences might result. When the much-married monarch wearied of his first wife, the ill- fated Catherine, and desired to wed Anne Boleyn, the bishops were consulted, and Fisher alone declared that in his opinion the divorce would be unlawful. He wrote a fatal book against the divorce, and thus roused the hatred of the headstrong monarch. He was cast into prison on account of his refusing the oath with regard to the succession, and his supposed connection with the treason of Elizabeth Barton, whose mad ravings caused many troubles; he was deprived, not only of his revenues, but also of his clothes, in spite of his extreme age and the severity of a hard winter, and for twelve long dreary months languished in the Tower. The Pope added to the resentment which Henry bore to his old tutor by making him a Cardinal; and the Red Hat sealed his doom. "The Pope may send him a hat," said the ferocious monarch; "but, Mother of God, he shall wear it on his shoulders, for I will leave him never a head to set it on." He was charged with having "falsely, maliciously, and traitorously wished, willed, and desired, and by craft imagined, invented, practised, and attempted, to deprive the King of the dignity, title, and name of his royal estate, that is, of his title and name of supreme head of the Church of England, in the Tower, on the seventh day of May last, when, contrary to his allegiance, he said and pronounced in the presence of different true subjects, falsely, maliciously, and traitorously, these words: the King oure soveraign lord is not supreme hedd yn erthe of the Cherche of Englande." These words, drawn from him by Rich, were found sufficient to effect the King's pleasure.
The aged prelate was pronounced guilty, and beheaded on July 22nd, 1535. On his way to the scaffold he exclaimed, "Feet, do your duty; you have only a short journey," and then, singing the Te Deum laudamus, he placed his head upon the block, and the executioner's axe fell. Although Bishop Fisher was condemned for denying the King's supremacy, he incurred the wrath of Henry by his book against the divorce, and that practically sealed his fate. His head was placed on a spike on London Bridge as a warning to others who might be rash enough to incur the displeasure of the ruthless King.
Another fatal book which belongs to this period is Pro unitate ecclesiae ad Henricum VIII., written by Reginald Pole in the secure retreat of Padua, in which the author compares Henry to Nebuchadnezzar, and prays the Emperor of Germany to direct his arms against so heretical a Christian, rather than against the Turks. Secure in his retreat at the Papal Court, Pole did not himself suffer on account of his book, but the vengeance of Henry fell heavily upon his relations in England, in whose veins ran the royal blood of the Plantagenets who had swayed the English sceptre through so many generations. Sir Geoffrey Pole, a brother of the cardinal, was seized; this arrest was followed by that of Lord Montague, another brother, and the Countess of Salisbury, their mother, who was the daughter of the Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV. They were accused of having devised to maintain, promote, and advance one Reginald Pole, late Dean of Exeter, the King's enemy beyond seas, and to deprive the King of his royal state and dignity. Sir Geoffrey Pole contrived to escape the vengeance of Henry by betraying his companions, but the rest were executed. For some time Pole's mother was kept a prisoner in the Tower, as a hostage for her son's conduct. She was more than seventy years of age, and after two years' imprisonment was condemned to be beheaded. When ordered to lay her head upon the block she replied, "No, my head never committed treason; if you will have it, you must take it as you can." She was held down by force, and died exclaiming, "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for righteousness' sake." Henry endeavoured to tempt the cardinal to England, but "in vain was the net spread in sight of any bird." In his absence he was condemned for treason. The King of France and the Emperor were asked to deliver him up to justice. Spies and emissaries of Henry were sent to watch him, and he believed that ruffians were hired to assassinate him. But he survived all these perils, being employed by the Pope on various missions and passing his leisure in literary labours. He presided at the Council of Trent, and lived to return to England during the reign of Mary, became Archbishop of Canterbury, and strived to appease the sanguinary rage of that dreadful persecution which is a lasting disgrace to humanity and to the unhappy Queen, its chief instigator.
The rise of the Puritan faction and all the troubles of the Rebellion caused many woes to reckless authors. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth the Puritan party opened a vehement attack upon the Episcopalians, and published books reviling the whole body, as well as the individual members. The most noted of these works were put forth under the fictitious name of Martin Marprelate. They were base, scurrilous productions, very coarse, breathing forth terrible hate against "bouncing priests and bishops." Here is an example: A Dialogue wherein is laid open the tyrannical dealing of L. Bishopps against God's children. It is full of scandalous stories of the prelates, who lived irreproachable lives, and were quite innocent of the gross charges which "Martin Senior" and "Martin Junior" brought against them. The Bishop of Lincoln, named Cooper, was a favourite object of attack, and the pamphleteers were always striving to make "the Cooper's hoops to flye off and his tubs to leake out." In the Pistle to the Terrible Priests they tell us of "a parson, well-known, who, being in the pulpit, and hearing his dog cry, he out with the text, 'Why, how now, hoe! can you not let my dog alone there? Come, Springe! come, Springe!' and whistled the dog to the pulpit." Martin Marprelate was treated by some according to his folly, and was scoffed in many pamphlets by the wits of the age in language similar to that which he was so fond of using. Thus we have Pasquill of England to Martin Junior, in a countercuffe given to Martin Junior; A sound boxe on the eare for the father and sonnes, Huffe, Ruffe, and Snuffe, the three tame ruffians of the Church, who take pepper in their nose because they cannot marre Prelates grating; and similar publications.
Archbishop Whitgift proceeded against these authors with much severity. In 1589 a proclamation was issued against them; several were taken and punished. Udal and Penry, who were the chief authors of these outrageous works, were executed. Hacket, Coppinger, and Arthington, who seem to have been a trio of insane libellers, and Greenwood and Barrow, whose seditious books and pamphlets were leading the way to all the horrors of anarchy introduced by the Anabaptists into Germany and the Netherlands, all felt the vengeance of the Star Chamber, and were severely punished for their revilings. The innocent often suffer with the guilty, and Cartwright was imprisoned for eighteen months, although he denied all connection with the "Marprelate" books, and declared that he had never written or published anything which could be offensive to her Majesty or detrimental to the state.
The Solomon of the North and the Parliament of England dealt hard justice to the Interpreter (1607), which nearly caused its author's death. He published also Institutiones Juris Anglicani ad seriem Institutionum imperialium (Cambridge, 1605, 8vo), which involved him in a charge of wishing to confound the English with the Roman law. Dr. Cowell, in the former work, sounded the battle-cry which was heard a few years later on many a field when the strength of the Crown and Parliament met in deadly combat. He contended for the absolute monarchy of the King of England. His writings are especially valuable as illustrating our national customs. The author says: "My true end is the advancement of knowledge, and therefore I have published this poor work, not only to impart the good thereof to those young ones who want it, but also to draw from the learned the supply of my defects.... What a man saith well is not however to be rejected because he hath many errors; reprehend who will, in God's name, that is with sweetness and without reproach. So shall he reap hearty thanks at my hands, and thus more soundly help in a few months, than I, by tossing and tumbling my books at home, could possibly have done in many years." The Attorney-General, Sir Edward Coke, was the determined foe of the unhappy doctor, endeavouring to ridicule him by calling him Dr. Cowheel; then, telling the King that the book limited the supreme power of the royal prerogative; and when that failed, he accused our author to the Parliament of the opposite charge of betraying the liberties of the people. At length Cowell was condemned by the House to imprisonment; James issued a proclamation against the book, but saved its author from the hangman. However, Fuller states that Dr. Cowell's death, which occurred soon after the condemnation of his book, was hastened by the troubles in which it involved him.
A Scottish divine, Dr. Leighton, the father of the illustrious Archbishop, incurred the vengeance of the Star Chamber in 1630 on account of his treatise entitled Syon's Plea against Prelacy (1628), and received the following punishment: "To be committed to the Fleet Prison for life, and to pay a fine of ten thousand pounds to the king's use; to be degraded from the ministry; to be brought to the pillory at Westminster, while the court was sitting, and be whipped, and after the whipping to have one of his ears cut, one side of his nose slit, and be branded in the face with the letters S.S., signifying Sower of Sedition: after a few days to be carried to the pillory in Cheapside on a market-day, and be there likewise whipped, and have the other ear cut off, and the other side of his nose slit, and then to be shut up in prison for the remainder of his life, unless his Majesty be graciously pleased to enlarge him." A sentence quite sufficiently severe to deter any rash scribe from venturing upon authorship! Maiming an author, cutting off his hands, or ears, or nose, seems to have been a favourite method of criticism in the sixteenth century. One John Stubbs had his right hand cut off for protesting against the proposed marriage of Queen Elizabeth with the Duke of Anjou, which bold act he committed in his work entitled Discoverie of a Gaping Gulf whereinto England is like to be swallowed by another French marriage, if the Lord forbid not the banes by letting her Majestie see the sin and punishment thereof (1579). Hallam states that the book was far from being a libel on the Virgin Queen, but that it was written with great affection. However, it was pronounced to be "a fardell of false reports, suggestions, and manifest lies." Its author and Page, the bookseller, were brought into the open market at Westminster, and their right hands were cut off with a butcher's knife and mallet. With amazing loyalty, Stubbs took off his cap with his left hand and shouted, "Long live Queen Elizabeth!"
The autocratic Queen had a ready method of dealing with obnoxious authors, as poor Peter Wentworth discovered, who wrote A Pithy Exhortation to Her Majesty for establishing her Successor to the Crown, and for his pains was committed to the Tower, where he pined and died. This work advocated the claims of James VI. of Scotland, and was written in answer to a pamphlet entitled A Conference about the Next Succession to the Crown of England, published by R. Doleman (1594). The Jesuit R. Parsons, Cardinal Allen, and Sir Francis Englefield were the authors, who advocated the claims of Lord Hertford's second son, or the children of the Countess of Derby, or the Infanta of Spain. The authors were safe beyond seas, but the printer was hung, drawn, and quartered.
John Hales wrote A Declaration of Succession of the Crown of England, in support of Lord Hertford's children by Lady Catherine Grey, and was sent to the Tower.
James I., by his craft and guile, accomplished several notable and surprising matters, and nothing more remarkable than actually to persuade the Pope to punish an Italian writer, named Reboul, for publishing an apology for the English Roman Catholics who refused to take the oath of allegiance required by the English monarch in 1606, after the discovery of the gunpowder plot. This certainly was a singular and remarkable performance, and must have required much tact and diplomacy. It is conjectured that the artful King so flattered the Pope as to induce him to protect the English sovereign from the attacks of his foes. Reboul's production was very virulent, exhorting all Catholics to go constantly to England to excite a rising against the King, and to strangle the tyrant with their hands. The Pope ordered the furious writer to be hanged, and an account of his execution, written by a Venetian senator, is found among Casaubon's collection of letters.
The most famous victim of the Star Chamber was William Prynne, whose work Histriomastix, or the Player's Scourge, directed against the sinfulness of play-acting, masques, and revels, aroused the indignation of the Court. This volume of more than a thousand closely printed quarto pages contains almost all that was ever written against plays and players; not even the Queen was spared, who specially delighted in such pastimes, and occasionally took part in the performances at Court.
Prynne was ejected from his profession, condemned to stand in the pillory at Westminster and Cheapside, to lose both his ears, one in each place, to pay a fine of 5,000, and to be kept in perpetual imprisonment. A few years later, on account of his News from Ipswich, he was again fined 5,000, deprived of the rest of his ears, which a merciful executioner had partially spared, branded on both cheeks with S.L. (Schismatical Libeller), and condemned to imprisonment for life in Carnarvon Castle. He was subsequently removed to the Castle of Mont Orgueil, in Jersey, where he received kind treatment from his jailor, Sir Philip de Carteret. Prynne was conducted in triumph to London after the victory of the Parliamentarian party, and became a member of the Commons. His pen was ever active, and he left behind him forty volumes of his works, a grand monument of literary activity.
Associated with Prynne was Burton, the author of two sermons For God and King, who wrote against Laud and his party, and endeavoured to uphold the authority of Charles, upon which he imagined the bishops were encroaching. Burton suffered the same punishment as Prynne; and Bastwick, a physician, incurred a like sentence on account of his Letany, and another work entitled Apologeticus ad Praesules Anglicanos, which were written while the author was a prisoner in the Gatehouse of Westminster, and contained a severe attack upon the Laudian party, the High Commission, and the Church of England. He had previously been imprisoned and fined 1,000 pounds for his former works Elenchus Papisticae Religionis and Flagellum Pontificis.
During this period of severe literary criticism lived John Selden, an author of much industry and varied learning. He was a just, upright, and fearless man, who spoke his mind, upheld what he deemed to be right in the conduct of either King or Parliament, and was one of the best characters in that strange drama of the Great Rebellion. He was the friend and companion of Littleton, the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and together they studied the Records, and were expert in the Books of Law, being the greatest antiquaries in the profession. Selden had a great affection for Charles; but the latter was exceedingly enraged because Selden in an able speech in the House of Commons declared the unlawfulness of the Commission of Array, for calling out the Militia in the King's name, founded upon an ancient Act of Parliament in the reign of Henry IV., which Selden said had been repealed. When Lord Falkland wrote a friendly letter to remonstrate with him, he replied courteously and frankly, recapitulating his arguments, and expressing himself equally opposed to the ordinance of the Parliamentarians, who wished to summon the Militia without the authority of the King. With equal impartiality and vigour Selden declared the illegality of this measure, and expected that the Commons would have rejected it, but he found that "they who suffered themselves to be entirely governed by his Reason when those conclusions resulted from it which contributed to their own designs, would not be at all guided by it, or submit to it, when it persuaded that which contradicted and would disappoint those designs." [Footnote: Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 667.] His work De Decimis, in which he tried to prove that the giving of tithes was not ordered by any Divine command, excited much contention, and aroused the animosity of the clergy. In consequence of this in 1621 he was imprisoned, and remained in custody for five years. On the dissolution of Parliament in 1629, being obnoxious to the royal party, he was sent to the Tower, and then confined in a house of correction for pirates. But as a compensation for his injuries in 1647 he received 5,000 from the public purse and became a member of the Long Parliament. He was by no means a strong partisan of the Puritan party, and when asked by Cromwell to reply to the published works in favour of the martyred King he refused. He lived until 1654 and wrote several works, amongst which are Mare clausum, which was opposed to the Mare liberum of the learned Dutch historian Grotius, Commentaries on the Arundel Marbles (1629), and Researches into the History of the Legislation of the Hebrews.
John Tutchin, afterwards editor of the Observator, was punished by the merciless Jeffreys in his Bloody Assize for writing seditious verses, and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment and to be flogged every year through a town in Dorsetshire. The court was filled with indignation at this cruel sentence, and Tutchin prayed rather to be hanged at once. This privilege was refused, but as the poor prisoner, a mere youth, was taken ill with smallpox, his sentence was remitted. Tutchin became one of the most pertinacious and vehement enemies of the House of Stuart.
Delaune's Plea for the Nonconformists was very fatal to its author, and landed him in Newgate, where the poor man died. Some account of this book and its author is given in a previous volume of the Book-Lover's Library (Books Condemned to be Burnt), and the writer founds upon it an attack upon the Church of England, whereas the Church had about as much to do with the persecution of poor Delaune as the writer of Condemned Books! There are other conclusions and statements also propounded by the writer of that book, which to one less intolerant than himself would appear entirely unwarrantable. But this is not the place for controversy.
A book entitled Julian the Apostate was very fatal to that turbulent divine Samuel Johnson, who in the reign of Charles II. made himself famous for his advocacy of the cause of civil liberty and "no popery." He lived in very turbulent times, when the question of the rights of the Duke of York, an avowed Roman Catholic, to the English throne was vehemently disputed, and allied himself with the party headed by the Earl of Essex and Lord William Russell. He preached with great force against the advocates of popery, and (in his own words) threw away his liberty with both hands, and with his eyes open, for his country's service. Then he wrote his book in reply to a sermon by Dr. Hickes, who was in favour of passive obedience, and compared the future King to the Roman Emperor surnamed the Apostate. This made a great sensation, which was not lessened by the report that he had indited a pamphlet entitled Julian's Arts to undermine and extirpate Christianity. Johnson was subsequently condemned to a fine of one hundred marks, and imprisoned. On his release his efforts did not flag. He wrote An Humble and Hearty Address to all the Protestants in the Present Army at the time when the Stuart monarch had assembled a large number of troops at Hounslow Heath in order to overawe London. This was the cause of further misfortunes; he was condemned to stand in the pillory, to pay another five hundred marks, to be degraded from the ministry, and publicly whipped from Newgate to Tyburn. When the Revolution came he expected a bishopric as the reward of his sufferings; but he was scarcely the man for the episcopal bench. He refused the Deanery of Durham, and had to content himself with a pension and a gift of 1,000.
All men mourn the fate of Algernon Sidney, who perished on account of his political opinions; and his Discourse on the Government, a manuscript which was discovered by the authorities at his house, furnished his enemies with a good pretext. A corrupt jury, presided over by the notorious Jeffreys, soon condemned poor headstrong Sidney to death. He was beheaded in 1683. His early life, his hatred of all in authority, whether Charles I. or Cromwell, his revolutionary instincts, are well known. A few extracts from his fatal MS. will show the author's ideas:—"The supreme authority of kings is that of the laws, and the people are in a state of dependence upon the laws." "Liberty is the mother of virtues, and slavery the mother of vices." "All free peoples have the right to assemble whenever and wherever they please." "A general rising of a nation does not deserve the name of a revolt. It is the people for whom and by whom the Sovereign is established, who have the sole power of judging whether he does, or does not, fulfil his duties." In the days of "the Divine Right of Kings" such sentiments could easily be charged with treason.
Political authors in other lands have often shared the fate of our own countrymen, and foremost among these was Edmund Richer, a learned doctor of the Sorbonne, Grand Master of the College of Cardinal Le Moine, and Syndic of the University of Paris. He ranks among unfortunate authors on account of his work entitled De Ecclesiastica et Politica, potestate (1611), which aroused the anger of the Pope and his Cardinals, and involved him in many difficulties. This remarkable work, extracted chiefly from the writings of Gerson, was directed against the universal temporal power of the Pope, advocated the liberties of the Gallican Church, and furnished Protestant theologians with weapons in order to defend themselves against the champions of the Ultramontane party. He argues that ecclesiastical authority belongs essentially to the whole Church. The Pope and the bishops are its ministers, and form the executive power instituted by God. The Pope is the ministerial head of the Church; our Lord Jesus Christ is the Absolute Chief and Supreme Pastor. The Pope has no power of making canons; that authority belongs to the universal Church, and to general councils. Richer was seized by certain emissaries of a Catholic leader as he entered the college of the Cardinal, and carried off to prison, from which he was ultimately released on the intercession of his friends and of the University. But Richer's troubles did not end when he regained his freedom. Having been invited to supper by Father Joseph, a Capuchin monk, he went to the house, not suspecting any evil intentions on the part of his host. But when he entered the room where the feast was prepared he found a large company of his enemies. The door was closed behind him, daggers were drawn by the assembled guests, and they demanded from him an immediate retractation of all the opinions he had advanced in his work. The drawn daggers were arguments which our unhappy author was unable to resist. As a reward for all his labour and hard study he was obliged to live as an exile, as he mournfully complained, in the midst of a kingdom whose laws he strenuously obeyed, nor dared to set foot in the college of which he had been so great an ornament. In his latter days Richer's studies were his only comfort. His mind was not fretted by any ambition, but he died in the year 1633, overcome by his grief on account of his unjust fate, and fearful of the powerful enemies his book had raised. The age of Richelieu was not a very safe period for any one who had unhappily excited the displeasure of powerful foes.
A strange work of a wild fanatic, John de Falkemberg, entitled Diatribe contre Ladislas, Roi de Pologne, was produced at the beginning of the fifteenth century, and condemned by the Council of Constance in 1414. Falkemberg addressed himself to all kings, princes, prelates, and all Christian people, promising them eternal life, if they would unite for the purpose of exterminating the Poles and slaying their king. The author was condemned to imprisonment at Constance on account of his insane book. As there were no asylums for lunatics in those days, perhaps that was the wisest course his judges could adopt.
The hostility of the Pope to authors who did not agree with his political views has been excited by many others, amongst whom we may mention the learned Pietro Sarpi, born at Venice in 1552. He joined the order of the Servites, who paid particular veneration to the Blessed Virgin, and of that order Sarpi and a satirical writer named Doni were the most distinguished members. Sarpi adopted the name of Paul, and is better known by his title Fra Paolo. He studied history, and wrote several works in defence of the rights and liberties of the Venetian Republic against the arrogant assumptions of Pope Paul V. The Venetians were proud of their defender, and made him their consultant theologian and a member of the famous Council of Ten. But the spiritual weapons of the Pope were levied against the bold upholder of Venetian liberties, and he was excommunicated. His Histoire de l'Interdit (Venice, 1606) exasperated the Papal party. One evening in the following year, as Sarpi was returning to his monastery, he was attacked by five assassins, and, pierced with many wounds, fell dead at their feet. The authorship of this crime it was not hard to discover, as the murderers betook themselves to the house of the Papal Nuncio, and thence fled to Rome. In this book Sarpi vigorously exposed the unlawfulness and injustice of the power of excommunication claimed by the Pope, and showed he had no right or authority to proscribe others for the sake of his own advantage. Sarpi wrote also a history of the Council of Trent, published in London, 1619. His complete works were published in Naples in 1790, in twenty-four volumes.
Another Venetian statesman, Jerome Maggi, very learned in archaeology, history, mathematics, and other sciences, hastened his death by his writings. He was appointed by the Venetians a judge of the town of Famagousta, in the island of Cyprus, which was held by the powerful Republic from the year 1489 to 1571. After one of the most bloody sieges recorded in history, the Turks captured the stronghold, losing 50,000 men. Maggi was taken captive and conducted in chains to Constantinople. Unfortunately he whiled away the tedious hours of his captivity by writing two books, De equuleo and De tintinnabulis, remarkable for their learning, composed entirely without any reference to other works in the squalor of a Turkish prison. He dedicated the books to the Italian and French ambassadors to the Sublime Porte, who were much pleased with them and endeavoured to obtain the release of the captive. Their efforts unhappily brought about the fate which they were trying to avert. For when the affair became known, as Maggi was being conducted to the Italian ambassador, the captain of the prison ordered him to be brought back and immediately strangled in the prison.
The unhappy Jean Lenoir, Canon of Sez, was doomed in 1684 to a life-long servitude in the galleys, after making a public retractation of his errors in the Church of Notre-Dame, at Paris. His impetuous and impassioned eloquence is displayed in all his writings, which were collected and published under the title Recueil de Requtes et de Factums. The titles of some of his treatises will show how obnoxious they were to the ruling powers—e.g., Hrsie de la domination piscopale que l'on tablit en France, Protestation contre les assembles du clerg de 1681, etc. These were the causes of the severe persecutions of which he was the unhappy victim. He was fortunate enough to obtain a slight alleviation of his terrible punishment by writing a Complainte latine, in which he showed that the author, although black in name (le noir), was white in his virtues and his character. He was released from the galleys, and sent to prison instead, being confined at Saint Malo, Brest, and Nantes, where he died in 1692.
In times less remote, Simon Linguet, a French political writer (born in 1736), found himself immured in the Bastille on account of his works, which gave great offence to the ruling powers. His chief books were his Histoire Impartiale des Jsuites (1768, 2 vols., in-l2) and his Annales Politiques. After his release he wrote an account of his imprisonment, which created a great sensation, and aroused the popular indignation against the Bastille which was only appeased with its destruction. Linguet's Annales Politiques was subsequently published in Brussels in 1787, for which he was rewarded by the Emperor Joseph II. with a present of 1,000 ducats. Linguet's experiences in the Bastille rendered him a persona grata to the revolutionary party, in which he was an active agent; but, alas for the fickleness of the mob! he himself perished at the hands of the wretches whose madness he had inspired, and was guillotined at Paris in 1794. The pretext of his condemnation was that he had incensed by his writings the despots of Vienna and London.
The Jesuit controversy involved many authors in ruin, amongst others Abb Caveirac, who wrote Appel la Raison des Ecrits et Libelles publis contre les Jsuites, par Jean Novi de Caveirac (Bruxelles, 1762, 2 vols., in-12). This book was at once suppressed, and its author was condemned to imprisonment in 1764, and then sent to the pillory, and afterwards doomed to perpetual exile. He was accused of having written an apology for the slaughter of the Protestants on the eve of St. Bartholomew's Day, but our last mentioned author, Linguet, endeavours to clear his memory from that charge.
A friend of Linguet, Darigrand, wrote a book entitled L'Antifinancier, ou Relev de quelques-unes des malversations dont se rendent journellement les Fermiers-Gnraux, et des vexations qu'ils commettent dans les provinces (Paris, Lambert, 1764, 2 vols., in-12). It was directed against the abominable system of taxation in vogue in France, which was mainly instrumental in producing the Revolution. Darigrand was a lawyer, and had been employed in la ferme gnrale. He knew all the iniquities of that curious institution; he knew the crushing taxes which were levied, and the tender mercies of the "cellar-rats," the gnawing bailiffs, who knew no pity. Indignant and disgusted by the whole business, he wrote his vehement exposure L'Antifinancier. The government wished to close his mouth by giving him a lucrative post under the same profitable system. This our author indignantly refused; and that method of enforcing silence having failed, another more forcible one was immediately adopted. Darigrand was sent to the Bastille in January 1763. His book is a most forcible and complete exposure of that horrible system of extortion, torture, and ruination which made a reformation or a revolution inevitable.
Authors have often been compelled to eat their words, but the operation has seldom been performed literally. In the seventeenth century, owing to the disastrous part which Christian IV. of Denmark took in the Thirty Years' War, his kingdom was shorn of its ancient power and was overshadowed by the might of Sweden. One Theodore Reinking, lamenting the diminished glory of his race, wrote a book entitled Dania ad exteros de perfidia Suecorum (1644). It was not a very excellent work, neither was its author a learned or accurate historian, but it aroused the anger of the Swedes, who cast Reinking into prison. There he remained many years, when at length he was offered his freedom on the condition that he should either lose his head or eat his book. Our author preferred the latter alternative, and with admirable cleverness devoured his book when he had converted it into a sauce. For his own sake we trust his work was not a ponderous or bulky volume.
Roger Rabutin de Bussy—M. Dassy—Trajan Boccalini—Pierre Billard—Pietro Aretino—Felix Hemmerlin—John Giovanni Cinelli—Nicholas Francus—Lorenzo Valla—Ferrante Pallavicino—Franois Gacon—Daniel Defoe—Du Rosoi— Caspar Scioppius.
To "sit in the seat of the scorner" has often proved a dangerous position, as the writers of satires and lampoons have found to their cost, although their sharp weapons have often done good service in checking the onward progress of Vice and Folly. All authors have not shown the poet's wisdom who declared:—
"Satire's my weapon, but I'm too discreet To run amuck, and tilt at all I meet."
Nor have all the victims of satire the calmness and self-possession of the philosopher who said: "If evil be said of thee, and it be true, correct thyself; if it be a lie, laugh at it." It would have been well for those who indulged in this style of writing, if all the victims of their pens had been of the same mind as Frederick the Great, who said that time and experience had taught him to be a good post-horse, going through his appointed daily stage, and caring nothing for the curs that barked at him along the road.
Foremost among the writers of satire stands Count Roger Rabutin de Bussy, whose mind was jocose, his wit keen, and his sarcasm severe. He was born in 1618, and educated at a college of Jesuits, where he manifested an extraordinary avidity for letters and precocious talents. The glory of war fired his early zeal, and for sixteen years he followed the pursuit of arms. Then literature claimed him as her slave. His first book, Les amours du Palais Royal, excited the displeasure of King Louis XIV., and prepared the way for his downfall. In his Histoire amoureuse des Gaules (Paris, 1665, 1 vol., in-12) he satirised the lax manners of the French Court during the minority of the King, and had the courage to narrate the intrigue which Louis carried on with La Vallire. He spares few of the ladies of the Court, and lashes them all with his satire, amongst others Mesdames d'Olonne and de Chatillon. Unhappily for the Count, he showed the book, when it was yet in MS., to the Marchioness de Beaume, his intimate friend. But the best of friends sometimes quarrel, and unfortunately the Count and the good lady quarrelled while yet the MS. was in her possession. A grand opportunity for revenge thus presented itself. She showed to the ladies of the Court the severe verses which the Count had written; and his victims were so enraged that they carried their complaints to the King, who had already felt the weight of the author's blows in some verses beginning:—
"Que Deodatus est heureux De baiser ce bec amoureux, Qui, d'une oreille l'autre va. Allluia," etc.
This aroused the anger of the self-willed monarch, who ordered the author to be sent to the Bastille, and then to be banished from the kingdom for ever. Bussy passed sixteen years in exile, and occupied his enforced leisure by writing his memoirs, Les mmoires de Roger de Rabutin, Comte de Bussi (Paris, 1697), in which he lauded himself amazingly, and a history of the reign of Louis XIV., which abounded in base flattery of the "Great Monarch." Bussy earned the title of the French Petronius, by lashing with his satirical pen the debaucheries of Louis and his Court after the same manner in which the Roman philosopher ridiculed the depravity of Nero and his satellites. His style was always elegant, and his satire, seemingly so playful and facetious, stung his victims and cut them to the quick. This was a somewhat dangerous gift to the man who wielded the whip when the Grand Monarch felt the lash twisting around his royal person. Therefore poor Bussy was compelled to end his days in exile.
A book fatal to its author, M. Dassy, a Parisian lawyer, was one which bore the title Consultation pour le Baron et la Baronne de Bagge (Paris, 1777, in-4). It attacked M. Titon de Villotran, counsellor of the Grand Chamber, who caused its author to be arrested. The book created some excitement, and contained some severe criticisms on the magistrates and the ecclesiastical authorities as well as on the aggrieved Villotran. Parliament confirmed the order for Dassy's arrest, but he contrived to effect his escape to Holland. He was a rich man, who did much to relieve and assist the poor, while he delighted to attack and satirise the prosperous and the great.