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Title: Books Fatal to Their Authors

Author: P. H. Ditchfield

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By P. H. Ditchfield

To The Memory Of John Walter, Esq., M.A., J.P.,
Of Bearwood, Berks,
This Volume Is Respectfully And Affectionately Dedicated.



To record the woes of authors and to discourse de libris fatalibus seems deliberately to court the displeasure of that fickle mistress who presides over the destinies of writers and their works. Fortune awaits the aspiring scribe with many wiles, and oft treats him sorely. If she enrich any, it is but to make them subject of her sport. If she raise others, it is but to pleasure herself with their ruins. What she adorned but yesterday is to-day her pastime, and if we now permit her to adorn and crown us, we must to-morrow suffer her to crush and tear us to pieces. To-day her sovereign power is limited: she can but let loose a host of angry critics upon us; she can but scoff at us, take away our literary reputation, and turn away the eyes of a public as fickle as herself from our pages. Surely that were hard enough! Can Fortune pluck a more galling dart from her quiver, and dip the point in more envenomed bitterness? Yes, those whose hard lot is here recorded have suffered more terrible wounds than these. They have lost liberty, and even life, on account of their works. The cherished offspring of their brains have, like unnatural children, turned against their parents, causing them to be put to death.

Fools many of them—nay, it is surprising how many of this illustrious family have peopled the world, and they can boast of many authors' names which figure on their genealogical tree—men who might have lived happy, contented, and useful lives were it not for their insane cacoethes scribendi. And hereby they show their folly. If only they had been content to write plain and ordinary commonplaces which every one believed, and which caused every honest fellow who had a grain of sense in his head to exclaim, "How true that is!" all would have been well. But they must needs write something original, something different from other men's thoughts; and immediately the censors and critics began to spy out heresy, or laxity of morals, and the fools were dealt with according to their folly. There used to be special houses of correction in those days, mad-houses built upon an approved system, for the special treatment of cases of this kind; mediaeval dungeons, an occasional application of the rack, and other gentle instruments of torture of an inventive age, were wonderfully efficacious in curing a man of his folly. Nor was there any special limit to the time during which the treatment lasted. And in case of a dangerous fit of folly, there were always a few faggots ready, or a sharpened axe, to put a finishing stroke to other and more gentle remedies.

One species of folly was especially effective in procuring the attention of the critics of the day, and that was satirical writing. They could not tolerate that style—no, not for a moment; and many an author has had his cap and bells, aye, and the lining too, severed from the rest of his motley, simply because he would go and play with Satyrs instead of keeping company with plain and simple folk.

Far separated from the crowd of fools, save only in their fate, were those who amid the mists of error saw the light of Truth, and strove to tell men of her graces and perfections. The vulgar crowd heeded not the message, and despised the messengers. They could see no difference between the philosopher's robe and the fool's motley, the Saint's glory and Satan's hoof. But with eager eyes and beating hearts the toilers after Truth worked on.

  "How many with sad faith have sought her?
  How many with crossed hands have sighed for her?
  How many with brave hearts fought for her,
    At life's dear peril wrought for her,
    So loved her that they died for her,
    Tasting the raptured fleetness
    Of her Divine completeness?"

In honour of these scholars of an elder age, little understood by their fellows, who caused them to suffer for the sake of the Truth they loved, we doff our caps, whether they jingle or not, as you please; and if thou thinkest, good reader, that 'twere folly to lose a life for such a cause, the bells will match the rest of thy garb. The learning, too, of the censors and critics was often indeed remarkable. They condemned a recondite treatise on Trigonometry, because they imagined it contained heretical opinions concerning the doctrine of the Trinity; and another work which was devoted to the study of Insects was prohibited, because they concluded that it was a secret attack upon the Jesuits. Well might poor Galileo exclaim, "And are these then my judges?" Stossius, who wrote a goodly book with the title "Concordia rationis et fidei," which was duly honoured by being burnt at Berlin, thus addresses his slaughtered offspring, and speculates on the reason of its condemnation: "Ad librum a ministerio damnatum.

"Q. Parve liber, quid enim peccasti, dente sinistro. Quod te discerptum
turba sacrata velit?  R. Invisum dixi verum, propter quod et olim,
     Vel dominum letho turba sacrata dedit."

But think not, O Book-lover, that I am about to record all the race of fools who have made themselves uncomfortable through their insane love of writing, nor count all the books which have become instruments of accusation against their authors. That library would be a large one which contained all such volumes. I may only write to thee of some of them now, and if thou shouldest require more, some other time I may tell thee of them. Perhaps in a corner of thy book-shelves thou wilt collect a store of Fatal Books, many of which are rare and hard to find. Know, too, that I have derived some of the titles of works herein recorded from a singular and rare work of M. John Christianus Klotz, published in Latin at Leipsic, in the year 1751. To these I have added many others. The Biographical Dictionary of Bayle is a mine from which I have often quarried, and discovered there many rare treasures. Our own learned literary historian, Mr. Isaac Disraeli, has recorded the woes of many of our English writers in his book entitled "The Calamities of Authors" and also in his "Curiosities of Literature." From these works I have derived some information. There is a work by Menkenius, "Analecta de Calamitate Literatorum"; another by Pierius Valerianus, "De Infelicitate Literatorum"; another by Spizelius, "Infelix Literatus"; and last but not least Peignot's "Dictionnaire Critique, Littéraire et Bibliographique, des Livres condamnés au Feu" which will furnish thee with further information concerning the woes of authors, if thine appetite be not already sated.

And if there be any of Folly's crowd who read this book—of those, I mean, who work and toil by light of midnight lamp, weaving from their brains page upon page of lore and learning, wearing their lives out, all for the sake of an ungrateful public, which cares little for their labour and scarcely stops to thank the toiler for his pains—if there be any of you who read these pages, it will be as pleasant to you to feel safe and free from the stern critics' modes of former days, as it is to watch the storms and tempests of the sea from the secure retreat of your study chair.

And if at any time a cross-grained reviewer should treat thy cherished book with scorn, and presume to ridicule thy sentiment and scoff at thy style (which Heaven forfend!), console thyself that thou livest in peaceable and enlightened times, and needest fear that no greater evil can befall thee on account of thy folly in writing than the lash of his satire and the bitterness of his caustic pen. After the manner of thy race thou wilt tempt Fortune again. May'st thou proceed and prosper! Vale.

I desire to express my many thanks to the Rev. Arthur Carr, M.A., late Fellow of Oriel College, Oxford, for his kind assistance in revising the proofs of this work. It was my intention to dedicate this book to Mr. John Walter, but alas! his death has deprived it of that distinction. It is only possible now to inscribe to the memory of him whom England mourns the results of some literary labour in which he was pleased to take a kindly interest.

P. H. D.

November, 1894.

















Michael Molinos—Bartholomew Carranza—Jerome Wecchiettus—Samuel
Clarke—Francis David—Antonio de Dominis—Noël Bède—William
Tyndale—Arias Montanus—John Huss—Antonio Bruccioli—Enzinas—Louis
Le Maistre—Caspar Peucer—Grotius—Vorstius—Pasquier Quesnel—Le
Courayer—Savonarola—Michael Servetus—Sebastian Edzardt—William of
Quirinus Kuhlmann—John Tennhart—Jeremiah Felbinger—Simon
Morin—Liszinski—John Toland—Thomas Woolston—John Biddle—Johann
Lyser—Bernardino Ochino—Samuel Friedrich Willenberg.
Henry Cornelius Agrippa—Joseph Francis Borri—Urban Grandier—Dr.
Dee—Edward Kelly—John Darrell.
Bishop Virgil—Roger Bacon—Galileo—Jordano Bruno—Thomas
Campanella—De Lisle de Sales—Denis Diderot—Balthazar Bekker—Isaac de
la Peyrère—Abbé de Marolles—Lucilio Vanini—Jean Rousseau.
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
Génébrard—Joseph Audra—Beaumelle—John Mariana—John B. Primi—John
Christopher Rüdiger—Rudbeck—François Haudicquer—François de
Rosières—Anthony Urseus.
John Fisher—Reginald Pole—"Martin
—Cowell—Leighton—John Stubbs—Peter Wentworth—R. Doleman—J. Hales—
Reboul—William Prynne—Burton—Bastwick—John Selden—John Tutchin—
Delaune—Samuel Johnson—Algernon Sidney—Edmund Richer—John de
Falkemberg—Jean Lenoir—Simon Linguet—Abbé Caveirac—Darigrand—Pietro
Sarpi—Jerome Maggi—Theodore Reinking.
Roger Rabutin de Bussy—M. Dassy—Trajan Boccalini—Pierre
Billard—Pietro Aretino—Felix Hemmerlin—John Giovanni
Cinelli—Nicholas Francus—Lorenzo Valla—Ferrante Pallavicino—François
Gacon—Daniel Defoe—Du Rosoi—Caspar Scioppius.
Adrian Beverland—Cecco d'Ascoli—George Buchanan—Nicodemus
Frischlin—Clement Marot—Gaspar Weiser—John
Williams—Deforges—Théophile—Hélot—Matteo Palmieri—La Grange—Pierre
Petit—Voltaire—Montgomery—Keats—Joseph Ritson.
Sir John Yorke and Catholic Plays—Abraham Cowley—Antoine
Danchet—Claude Crébillon—Nogaret—François de Salignac Fénélon.
The Printers of Nicholas de Lyra and Caesar Baronius—John Fust—Richard
Grafton—Jacob van Liesvelt—John Lufftius—Robert Stephens
(Estienne)—Henry Stephens—Simon Ockley—Floyer Sydenham—Edmund
Castell—Page—John Lilburne—Etienne Dolet—John Morin—Christian
Wechel—Andrew Wechel—Jacques Froullé—Godonesche—William Anderton.
Leland—Strutt—Cotgrave—Henry Wharton—Robert Heron—Collins—William
Cole—Homeric victims—Joshua Barnes—An example of unrequited



Michael Molinos—Bartholomew Carranza—Jerome Wecchiettus—Samuel Clarke—Francis David—Antonio de Dominis—Noël Bède—William Tyndale—Arias Montanus—John Huss—Antonio Bruccioli—Enzinas—Louis Le Maistre—Gaspar Peucer—Grotius—Vorstius—Pasquier Quesnel—Le Courayer—Savonarola—Michael Servetus—Sebastian Edzardt—William of Ockham—Abélard.

Since the knowledge of Truth is the sovereign good of human nature, it is natural that in every age she should have many seekers, and those who ventured in quest of her in the dark days of ignorance and superstition amidst the mists and tempests of the sixteenth century often ran counter to the opinions of dominant parties, and fell into the hands of foes who knew no pity. Inasmuch as Theology and Religion are the highest of all studies—the aroma scientiarum—they have attracted the most powerful minds and the subtlest intellects to their elucidation; no other subjects have excited men's minds and aroused their passions as these have done; on account of their unspeakable importance, no other subjects have kindled such heat and strife, or proved themselves more fatal to many of the authors who wrote concerning them. In an evil hour persecutions were resorted to to force consciences, Roman Catholics burning and torturing Protestants, and the latter retaliating and using the same weapons; surely this was, as Bacon wrote, "to bring down the Holy Ghost, instead of the likeness of a dove, in the shape of a vulture or raven; and to set, out of the bark of a Christian Church, a flag of a bark of pirates and assassins."

The historian then will not be surprised to find that by far the larger number of Fatal Books deal with these subjects of Theology and Religion, and many of them belong to the stormy period of the Reformation. They met with severe critics in the merciless Inquisition, and sad was the fate of a luckless author who found himself opposed to the opinions of that dread tribunal. There was no appeal from its decisions, and if a taint of heresy, or of what it was pleased to call heresy, was detected in any book, the doom of its author was sealed, and the ingenuity of the age was well-nigh exhausted in devising methods for administering the largest amount of torture before death ended his woes.

 Tantum religio potuit suadere malorum.

Liberty of conscience was a thing unknown in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; and while we prize that liberty as a priceless possession, we can but admire the constancy and courage of those who lived in less happy days. We are not concerned now in condemning or defending their opinions or their beliefs, but we may at least praise their boldness and mourn their fate.

The first author we record whose works proved fatal to him was Michael Molinos, a Spanish theologian born in 1627, a pious and devout man who resided at Rome and acted as confessor. He published in 1675 The Spiritual Manual, which was translated from Italian into Latin, and together with a treatise on The Daily Communion was printed with this title: A Spiritual Manual, releasing the soul and leading it along the interior way to the acquiring the perfection of contemplation and the rich treasure of internal peace. In the preface Molinos writes: "Mystical theology is not a science of the imagination, but of feelings; we do not understand it by study, but we receive it from heaven. Therefore in this little work I have received far greater assistance from the infinite goodness of God, who has deigned to inspire me, than from the thoughts which the reading of books has suggested to me." The object of the work is to teach that the pious mind must possess quietude in order to attain to any spiritual progress, and that for this purpose it must be abstracted from visible objects and thus rendered susceptible of heavenly influence. This work received the approval of the Archbishop of the kingdom of Calabria, and many other theologians of the Church. It won for its author the favour of Cardinal Estraeus and also of Pope Innocent XI. It was examined by the Inquisition at the instigation of the Jesuits, and passed that trying ordeal unscathed. But the book raised up many powerful adversaries against its author, who did not scruple to charge Molinos with Judaism, Mohammedanism, and many other "isms," but without any avail, until at length they approached the confessor of the King of Naples, and obtained an order addressed to Cardinal Estraeus for the further examination of the book. The Cardinal preferred the favour of the king to his private friendship. Molinos was tried in 1685, and two years later was conducted in his priestly robes to the temple of Minerva, where he was bound, and holding in his hand a wax taper was compelled to renounce sixty-eight articles which the Inquisition decreed were deduced from his book. He was afterwards doomed to perpetual imprisonment. On his way to the prison he encountered one of his opponents and exclaimed, "Farewell, my father; we shall meet again on the day of judgment, and then it will be manifest on which side, on yours or mine, the Truth shall stand." For eleven long years Molinos languished in the dungeons of the Inquisition, where he died in 1696. His work was translated into French and appeared in a Recueil de pièces sur le Quiétisme, published in Amsterdam 1688. Molinos has been considered the leader and founder of the Quietism of the seventeenth century. The monks of Mount Athos in the fourteenth, the Molinosists, Madame Guyon, Fénélon, and others in the seventeenth century, all belonged to that contemplative company of Christians who thought that the highest state of perfection consisted in the repose and complete inaction of the soul, that life ought to be one of entire passive contemplation, and that good works and active industry were only fitting for those who were toiling in a lower sphere and had not attained to the higher regions of spiritual mysticism. Thus the '[Greek: Aesuchastai]' on Mount Athos contemplated their nose or their navel, and called the effect of their meditations "the divine light," and Molinos pined in his dungeon, and left his works to be castigated by the renowned Bossuet. The pious, devout, and learned Spanish divine was worthy of a better fate, and perhaps a little more quietism and a little less restlessness would not be amiss in our busy nineteenth century.

The noblest prey ever captured by those keen hunters, the Inquisitors, was Bartholomew Carranza, Archbishop of Toledo, in 1558, one of the richest and most powerful prelates in Christendom. He enjoyed the favour of his sovereign Philip II. of Spain, whom he accompanied to England, and helped to burn our English Protestants. Unfortunately in an evil hour he turned to authorship, and published a catechism under this title: Commentarios sobre el Catequismo Cristiano divididos en quatro partes las quales contienen fodo loque professamor en el sancto baptismo, como se vera en la plana seguiente dirigidos al serenissimo Roy de España (Antwerp). On account of this work he was accused of Lutheranism, and his capture arranged by his enemies. At midnight, after the Archbishop had retired to rest, a knock was heard at the door of the chamber. "Who calls?" asked the attendant friar. "Open to the Holy Office," was the answer. Immediately the door flew open, for none dared resist that terrible summons, and Ramirez, the Inquisitor-General of Toledo, entered. The Archbishop raised himself in his bed, and demanded the reason of the intrusion. An order for his arrest was produced, and he was speedily conveyed to the dungeons of the Inquisition at Valladolid. For seven long years he lingered there, and was then summoned to Rome in 1566 by Pius V. and imprisoned for six years in the Castle of St. Angelo. The successor of Pope Pius V., Gregory XIII., at length pronounced him guilty of false doctrine. His catechism was condemned; he was compelled to abjure sixteen propositions, and besides other penances he was confined for five years in a monastery. Broken down by his eighteen years' imprisonment and by the hardships he had undergone, he died sixteen days after his cruel sentence had been pronounced. [Footnote: Cf. The Church of Spain, by Canon Meyrick. (National Churches Series.)] On his deathbed he solemnly declared that he had never seriously offended with regard to the Faith. The people were very indignant against his persecutors, and on the day of his funeral all the shops were closed as on a great festival. His body was honoured as that of a saint. His captors doubtless regretted his death, inasmuch as the Pope is said to have received a thousand gold pieces each month for sparing his life, and Philip appropriated the revenues of his see for his own charitable purposes, which happened at that time to be suppression of heresy in the Netherlands by the usual means of rack and fire and burying alive helpless victims.

A very fatal book was one entitled Opus de anno primitivo ab exordia mundi, ad annum Julianum accommodato, et de sacrorum temporum ratione. Augustae-Vindelicorum, 1621, in folio magno. It is a work of Jerome Wecchiettus, a Florentine doctor of theology. The Inquisition attacked and condemned the book to the flames, and its author to perpetual imprisonment. Being absent from Rome he was comparatively safe, but surprised the whole world by voluntarily submitting himself to his persecutors, and surrendering himself to prison. This extraordinary humility disarmed his foes, but it did not soften much the hearts of the Inquisitors, who permitted him to end his days in the cell. The causes of the condemnation of the work are not very evident. One idea is that in his work the author pretended to prove that Christ did not eat the passover during the last year of His life; and another states that he did not sufficiently honour the memory of Louis of Bavaria, and thus aroused the anger of the strong supporters of that ancient house.

The first English author whose woes we record is Samuel Clarke, who was born at Norwich in 1675, and was for some time chaplain to the bishop of that see. He was very intimate with the scientific men of his time, and especially with Newton. In 1704 he published his Boyle Lectures, A Treatise on the Being and Attributes of God, and on Natural and Revealed Religion, which found its way into other lands, a translation being published in Amsterdam in 1721. Our author became chaplain to Queen Anne and Rector of St. James's. He was a profoundly learned and devout student, and obtained a European renown as a true Christian philosopher. In controversy he encountered foemen worthy of his steel, such as Spinosa, Hobbes, Dodwell, Collins, Leibnitz, and others. But in 1712 he published The Scriptural Doctrine of the Trinity, which was declared to be opposed to the Christian belief and tainted with Arianism. The attention of Parliament was called to the book; the arguments were disputed by Edward Wells, John Edwards, and William Sommer; and Clarke was deprived of his offices. The charge of heterodoxy was certainly never proved against him; he did good service in trying to stem the flood of rationalism prevalent in his time, and his work was carried on by Bishop Butler. His correspondence with Leibnitz on Time, Space, Necessity, and Liberty was published in 1717, and his editions of Caesar and Homer were no mean contributions to the study of classical literature.

In the sixteenth century there lived in Hungary one Francis David, a man learned in the arts and languages, but his inconstancy and fickleness of mind led him into diverse errors, and brought about his destruction. He left the Church, and first embraced Calvinism; then he fled into the camp of the Semi-Judaising party, publishing a book De Christo non invocando, which was answered by Faustus Socinus, the founder of Socinianism. The Prince of Transylvania, Christopher Bathori, condemned David as an impious innovator and preacher of strange doctrines, and cast him into prison, where he died in 1579. There is extant a letter of David to the Churches of Poland concerning the millennium of Christ.

Our next author was a victim to the same inconstancy of mind which proved so fatal to Francis David, but sordid reasons and the love of gain without doubt influenced his conduct and produced his fickleness of faith. Antonio de Dominis, Archbishop of Spalatro, was a shining light of the Roman Church at the end of the sixteenth century. He was born in 1566, and educated by the Jesuits. He was learned in history and in science, and was the first to discover the cause of the rainbow, his explanation being adopted and perfected by Descartes. The Jesuits obtained for him the Professorship of Mathematics at Padua, and of Logic and Rhetoric at Brescia. After his ordination he became a popular preacher and was consecrated Bishop of Segni, and afterwards Archbishop of Spalatro in Dalmatia. He took a leading part in the controversy between the Republic of Venice and the Pope, and after the reconciliation between the two parties was obliged by the Pope to pay an annual pension of five hundred crowns out of the revenues of his see to the Bishop of Segni. This highly incensed the avaricious prelate, who immediately began to look out for himself a more lucrative piece of preferment. He applied to Sir Dudley Carleton, the English Ambassador at Venice, to know whether he would be received into the Church of England, as the abuses and corruptions of the Church of Rome prevented him from remaining any longer in her communion.

King James I. heartily approved of his proposal, and gave him a most honourable reception, both in the Universities and at Court. All the English bishops agreed to contribute towards his maintenance. Fuller says: "It is incredible what flocking of people there was to behold this old archbishop now a new convert; prelates and peers presented him with gifts of high valuation." Other writers of the period describe him as "old and corpulent," but of a "comely presence"; irascible and pretentious, gifted with an unlimited assurance and plenty of ready wit in writing and speaking; of a "jeering temper," and of a most grasping avarice. He was ridiculed on the stage in Middleton's play, The Game of Chess, as the "Fat Bishop." "He was well named De Dominis in the plural," says Crakanthorp, "for he could serve two masters, or twenty, if they paid him wages."

Our author now proceeded to finish his great work, which he published in 1617 in three large folios—De Republicâ Ecclesiasticâ, of which the original still exists among the Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library at Oxford. "He exclaims," says Fuller, "'in reading, meditation, and writing, I am almost pined away,' but his fat cheeks did confute his false tongue in that expression." In this book he shows that the authority of the Bishop of Rome can easily be disproved from Holy Scripture, that it receives no support from the judgment of history and antiquity, that the early bishops of that see had no precedence over other bishops, nor were in the least able to control those of other countries. He declares that the inequality in power amongst the Apostles is a human invention, not founded on the Gospels; that in the Holy Eucharist the priest does not offer the sacrifice of Christ, but only the commemoration of that sacrifice; that the Church has no coercive power, that John Huss was wrongfully condemned at the Council of Constance; that the Holy Spirit was promised to the whole Church, and not only to bishops and priests; that the papacy is a fiction invented by men; and he states many other propositions which must have been somewhat distasteful to the Pope and his followers.

James rewarded De Dominis by conferring on him the Mastership of the Savoy and the Deanery of Windsor, and he further increased his wealth by presenting himself to the rich living of West Ilsley, in Berkshire.

In an unfortunate moment he insulted Count Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador, who determined to be revenged, and persuaded the Pope to send the most flattering offers if he would return to his former faith. Pope Gregory XV., a relative of De Dominis, had just ascended the Papal throne. The bait took. De Dominis, discontented with the non multum supra quadringentas libras annuas which he received in England, and pining after the duodecim millia Coronatorum promised by the Pope, resolved to leave our shores. James was indignant. Bishop Hall tried to dissuade him from his purpose. "Tell me, by the Immortal God, what it is that can snatch you from us so suddenly, after a delay of so many years, and drive you to Rome? Has our race appeared to you inhospitable, or have we shown favour to your virtues less than you hoped? You cannot plead that this is the cause of your departure, upon whom a most kind sovereign has bestowed such ample gifts and conferred such rich offices." The Archbishop was questioned by the Bishops of London and Durham, by order of the king, with regard to his intentions, and commanded to leave the country within twenty days. He was known to have amassed a large sum of money during his sojourn in England, and his trunks were seized, and found to contain over £1,600. De Dominis fled to Brussels, and there wrote his Consilium Reditûs, giving his reasons for rejoining the Roman Church, and expecting daily his promised reward—a cardinal's hat and a rich bishopric. His hopes were doomed to be disappointed. For a short time he received a pension from Gregory XV., but this was discontinued by Urban VIII., and our author became dissatisfied and imprudently talked of again changing his faith. He was heard to exclaim at supper on one occasion, "That no Catholic had answered his book, De Republicâ Ecclesiasticâ, but that he himself was able to deal with them." The Inquisition seized him, and he was conveyed to the Castle of St. Angelo, where he soon died, as some writers assert, by poison. His body and his books were burned by the executioner, and the ashes thrown into the Tiber. Dr. Fitzgerald, Rector of the English College at Rome, thus describes him: "He was a malcontent knave when he fled from us, a railing knave when he lived with you, and a motley particoloured knave now he is come again." He had undoubtedly great learning and skill in controversy, [Footnote: His opinion with regard to the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan over suffragan bishops was referred to in the recent trial of the Bishop of Lincoln.] but avarice was his master, and he was rewarded according to his deserts. [Footnote: Cf. article by the Rev. C. W. Penny in the Journal of the Berks Archaeological Society, on Antonio de Dominis.]

The lonely fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel saw the end of a bitter controversialist, Noël Bède, who died there in 1587. He wrote Natalis Bedoe, doctoris Theol. Parisiensis annotationum in Erasmi paraphrases Novi Testamenti, et Jacobi Fabri Stapulensis commentarios in Evangelistas, Paulique Epistolas, Libri III., Parisiis, 1526, in-fol. This work abounds in vehement criticisms and violent declamations. Erasmus did not fail to reply to his calumniator, and detected no less than eighty-one falsehoods, two hundred and six calumnies, and forty-seven blasphemies. Bède continued to denounce Erasmus as a heretic, and in a sermon before the court reproached the king for not punishing such unbelievers with sufficient rigour. The author was twice banished, and finally was compelled to make a public retractation in the Church of Notre Dame, for having spoken against the king and the truth, and to be exiled to Mont-Saint-Michel.

Translators of the Bible fared not well at the hands of those who were unwilling that the Scriptures should be studied in the vulgar tongue by the lay-folk, and foremost among that brave band of self-sacrificing scholars stands William Tyndale. His life is well known, and needs no recapitulation; but it may be noted that his books, rather than his work of translating the Scriptures, brought about his destruction. His important work called The Practice of Prelates, which was mainly directed against the corruptions of the hierarchy, unfortunately contained a vehement condemnation of the divorce of Catherine of Arragon by Henry VIII. This deeply offended the monarch at the very time that negotiations were in progress for the return of Tyndale to his native shores from Antwerp, and he declared that he was "very joyous to have his realm destitute of such a person." The Practice of Prelates was partly written in answer to the Dialogue of Sir Thomas More, who was commissioned to combat the "pernicious and heretical" works of the "impious enemies of the Church." Tyndale wrote also a bitter Answer to the Dialogue, and this drew forth from More his abusive and scurrilous Confutation, which did little credit to the writer or to the cause for which he contended Tyndale's longest controversial work, entitled The Obedience of a Christian Man, and how Christian Rulers ought to govern, although it stirred up much hostility against its author, very favourably impressed King Henry, who delighted in it, and declared that "the book was for him and for all kings to read." The story of the burning of the translation of the New Testament at St. Paul's Cross by Bishop Tunstall, of the same bishop's purchase of a "heap of the books" for the same charitable purpose, thereby furnishing Tyndale with means for providing another edition and for printing his translation of the Pentateuch, all this is a thrice-told tale. Nor need we record the account of the conspiracy which sealed his doom. For sixteen months he was imprisoned in the Castle of Vilvoord, and we find him petitioning for some warm clothing and "for a candle in the evening, for it is wearisome to sit alone in the dark," and above all for his Hebrew Bible, Grammar, and Dictionary, that he might spend his time in that study. After a long dreary mockery of a trial on October 16th, 1536, he was chained to a stake with faggots piled around him. "As he stood firmly among the wood, with the executioner ready to strangle him, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and cried with a fervent zeal and loud voice, 'Lord, open the King of England's eyes!' and then, yielding himself to the executioner, he was strangled, and his body immediately consumed." That same year, by the King's command, the first edition of the Bible was published in London. If Tyndale had confined himself to the great work of translating the Scriptures, and had abandoned controversy and his Practice of Prelates, his fate might have been different; but, as Mr. Froude says, "he was a man whose history has been lost in his work, and whose epitaph is the Reformation."

Another translator, whose fate was not so tragic, was the learned Arias Montanus, a Spaniard, who produced at the command of King Philip II. the famous Polyglot Bible printed at Antwerp in nine tomes. He possessed a wonderful knowledge of several languages, and devoted immense labour to his great work. But in spite of the royal approval of his work his book met with much opposition on the part of the extreme Roman party, who accused him to the Pope and made many false charges against him. The Pope was enraged against Montanus, and he was obliged to go to Rome to plead his cause. He at length obtained pardon from the Pope, and escaped the "chariots of fire" which bore the souls of so many martyred saints to heaven. It is a curious irony of fate that Montanus, who was one of the chief compilers of the Index Expurgatorius, should live to see his own work placed on the condemned list.

The story of the martyrdom of John Huss is well known, and need not be here related, but perhaps the books which caused his death are not so frequently studied or their titles remembered. His most important work was his De Ecclesiâ, in which he maintained the rigid doctrine of predestination, denied to the Pope the title of Head of the Church, declaring that the Pope is the vicar of St. Peter, if he walk in his steps; but if he give in to covetousness, he is the vicar of Judas Iscariot. He reprobates the flattery which was commonly used towards the Pope, and denounces the luxury and other corruptions of the cardinals. Besides this treatise we have many others—Adv. Indulgentias, De Erectione Crucis, etc. He wrote in Latin, Bohemian, and German, and recently his Bohemian writings have been edited by K. J. Erben, Prague (1865). His plain speaking aroused the fury of his adversaries, and he knew his danger. On one occasion he made a strange challenge, offering to maintain his opinions in disputation, and consenting to be burnt if his conclusions were proved to be wrong, on condition that his opponents should submit to the same fate in case of defeat. But as they would only sacrifice one out of the company of his foes, he declared that the conditions were unequal, and the challenge was abandoned. When at last he was granted a safe conduct by the Emperor Sigismund, and trusted himself to the Council of Constance, his fate was sealed. Even in his noisome prison his pen (when he could procure one) was not idle, and Huss composed during his confinement several tracts on religious subjects. At length his degradation was completed; a tall paper cap painted with hideous figures of devils was placed upon his head, and a bishop said to him, "We commit thy body to the secular arm, and thy soul to the devil." "And I," replied the martyr, "commit it to my most merciful Lord, Jesus Christ." When on his way to execution he saw his Fatal Books being burnt amidst an excited crowd, he smiled and remarked on the folly of people burning what they could not read.

Another translator of the Bible was Antonio Bruccioli, who published in Venice, in 1546, the following edition of the Holy Scriptures: Biblia en lengua toscana, cioë, i tutti i santi libri del vecchio y Novo Testamento, in lengua toscana, dalla hebraica verita, e fonte greco, con commento da Antonio Bruccioli. Although a Roman Catholic, he favoured Protestant views, and did not show much love for either the monks or priests. His bold comments attracted the attention of the Inquisition, who condemned his work and placed it on the Index. The author was condemned to death by hanging, but happily for him powerful friends interceded, and his punishment was modified to a two years' banishment. He died in 1555, when Protestant burnings were in vogue in England.

Enzinas, the author of a Spanish translation of the New Testament entitled El Nuevo Testamento de N. Redemptor y Salvador J. C. traduzido en lengua castellana (En Amberes, 1543, in-8), dedicated his work to Charles V. But it caused him to be imprisoned fifteen months. Happily he discovered a means of escape from his dungeon, and retired to safe quarters at Geneva. In France he adopted the nom-de-plume of Dryander, and his History of the Netherlands and of Religion in Spain forms part of the Protestant martyrology published in Germany. The author's brother, John Dryander, was burnt at Rome in 1545.

The Jansenist Louis Le Maistre, better known under the name of de Sacy, was imprisoned in the Bastille on account of his opinions and also for his French translation of the New Testament, published at Mons, in 1667, and entitled Le Nouveau Testament de N.S.J.C., traduit en français selon l'édition Vulgate, avec les différences du grec (2 vols., in-12). This famous work, known by the name of the New Testament of Mons, has been condemned by many popes, bishops, and other authorities. Louis Le Maistre was assisted in the work by his brother, and the translation was improved by Arnaud and Nicole. Pope Clement IX. described the work as "rash, pernicious, different from the Vulgate, and containing many stumbling-blocks for the unlearned." When confined in the Bastille, Le Maistre and his friend Nicolas Fontaine wrote Les Figures de la Bible, which work is usually attributed to the latter author. According to the Jesuits, the Port-Royalists are represented under the figure of David, their antagonists as Saul. Louis XIV. appears as Rehoboam, Jezebel, Ahasuerus, and Darius. But these fanciful interpretations are probably due to the imagination of the critics.

The fate of Gaspar Peucer enforces the truth of the old adage that "a shoemaker ought to stick to his last," and shows that those men court adversity who meddle with matters outside their profession. Peucer was a doctor of medicine of the academy of Würtemberg, and wrote several works on astronomy, medicine, and history. He was a friend of Melanchthon, and became imbued with Calvinistic notions, which he manifested in his publication of the works of the Reformer. On account of this he was imprisoned eleven years. By the favour of the Elector he was at length released, and wrote a History of his Captivity (Zurich, 1605). A curious work, entitled A Treatise on Divination, was published by Peucer at Würtemberg, written in Latin, in 1552. He ranks among the most learned men of Germany of the sixteenth century.

There were many Fatal Books in Holland during the famous controversy between the Arminians and the Gomarists, which ended in the famous Synod of Dort, and for vehemence, bigotry, and intolerance is as remarkable as any which can be found in ecclesiastical history. The learned historian Grotius was imprisoned, but he wrote no book which caused his misfortune. Indeed his books were instrumental in his escape, which was effected by means of his large box containing books brought into the prison by his wife. When removed from the prison it contained, not the books, but the author. Vorstius, the successor of Arminius as Professor of Theology at Leyden, was not so happy. His book, Tractatus de Deo, seu de naturâ et attributis Dei (Steinfurti, 1610, in-4), aroused the vengeance of the Gomarists, and brought about the loss of his professorship and his banishment from Holland; but any injustice might have been expected from that extraordinary Synod, where theology was mystified, religion disgraced, and Christianity outraged. [Footnote: Cf. Church in the Netherlands, by P.H. Ditchfield, chap. xvii.]

Few books have created such a sensation in the world or aroused so prolonged a controversy as Les Réflexions Morales of Pasquier Quesnel, published in 1671. The full title of the work is Le Nouveau Testament en Français, avec des réflexions morales sur chaque verset (Paris, 1671, i vol., in-12), pour les quatre Evangiles seulement. Praslard was the publisher. In 1693 and 1694 appeared another edition, containing his réflexions morales, not only on the Gospels, but also on the Acts and the Epistles. Many subsequent editions have appeared. Not only France, but the whole of the Western Church was agitated by it, and its far-reaching effects have hardly yet passed away. It caused its author a long period of incarceration; it became a weapon in the hands of the Jesuits to hurl at the Jansenists, and the Papal Bull pronounced against it was the cause of the separation of a large body of the faithful from the communion of the Roman Church. Its author was born at Paris in 1634, and was educated in the congregation of the Oratory. Appointed director of its school in Paris, he wrote Pensées Chrétiennes sur les quatre Evangiles, which was the germ of his later work. In 1684 he fled to Brussels, because he felt himself unable to sign a formulary decreed by the Oratorians on account of its acceptance of some of the principles of Descartes to which Arnauld and the famous writers of the school of Port-Royal always offered vehement opposition.

A second edition of Réflexions Morales appeared in 1694 with the approval of De Noailles, then Bishop of Châlons, afterwards Archbishop of Paris. But a few years later, by the intrigues of the Jesuits, and by the order of Philip V., Quesnel was imprisoned at Mechlin. In 1703 he escaped and retired to Amsterdam, where he died in 1719. But the history of the book did not close with the author's death. It was condemned by Pope Clement XI. in 1708 as infected with Jansenism. Four years later an assembly of five cardinals and eleven theologians sat in judgment upon it; their deliberations lasted eighteen months, and the result of their labours was the famous Bull Unigenitus, which condemned one hundred and one propositions taken from the writings of Quesnel.

The unreasonableness and injustice of this condemnation may be understood from the following extracts:—

Proposition 50.—"It is in vain that we cry to God, My Father, if it is not the Spirit of love that cries."

This is described as "pernicious in practice, and offensive to pious ears."

Proposition 54.—"It is love alone that speaks to God; it is love alone that God hears."

This, according to the cardinals, "is scandalous, temerarious, impious, and erroneous."

The acceptance of the Bull was a great stumbling-block to many churchmen. Louis XIV. forced it upon the French bishops, who were entertained at a sumptuous banquet given by the Archbishop of Strasbourg and by a large majority decided against the Quesnelites. It is unnecessary to follow the history of this controversy further. France was long agitated by it, and the Church of Holland was and is excommunicate from Rome mainly on account of its refusal to accept the Bull Unigenitus, which was called forth by and so unjustly condemned Quesnel's famous book.

In connection with the history of this Bull we may mention the work of one of its most vehement opponents, Pierre François le Courayer, of the order of the canons regular of St. Augustine, who wrote a book of great interest to English churchmen, entitled Dissertation sur la validité des Ordinations Anglicanes (Bruxelles, 1723, 2 vols., in-12). This book was condemned and its author excommunicated. He retired to the shelter of the Church whose right of succession he so ably defended, and died in London in 1776.

Few authors have received greater honour for their works, or endured severer calamities on account of them, than the famous Florentine preacher Savonarola. Endowed with a marvellous eloquence, imbued with a spirit of enthusiastic patriotism and intense devotion, he inveighed against the vices of the age, the worldliness of the clergy, the selfish ease of the wealthy while the poor were crying for bread in want and sickness. The good citizens of Florence believed that he was an angel from heaven, that he had miraculous powers, could speak with God and foretell the future; and while the women of Florence cast their jewels and finery into the flames of the "bonfire of vanities," the men, inspired by the preacher's dreams of freedom, were preparing to throw off the yoke of the Medicis and proclaim a grand Florentine Republic. The revolution was accomplished, and for three years Savonarola was practically the ruler of the new state. His works were: Commentatiuncula de Mahumetanorum secta; Triumphus crucis, sive de fidei Christianae veritate in four books (1497), de Simplicitate vitae Christianae in five books, and Compendium Revelationis (1495), and many volumes of his discourses, some of which are the rarest treasures of incunabula.

[Footnote: At Venice in the library of Leo S. Olschki I have met with some of these volumes, the rarest of which is entitled:—


  Da Ferrara facie lanno del. 1496
  negiorni delle feste, finito che
  hebbe la quaresima: & prima
  riposatosi circa uno mese
  ricomincio eldi di Scõ
  Michele Adi. viii di
  Maggio. MCCCC

The text commences "CREDITE IN Dño Deo uestro & securi eritis." In the cell of Savonarola at the Monastery of St. Mark is preserved a MS. volume of the famous preacher. The writing is very small, and must have taxed the skill of the printers in deciphering it.]

The austerity of his teaching excited some hostility against him, especially on the part of the monks who did not belong to his order—that of the Dominicans. He had poured such bitter invective both in his books and in his sermons upon the vices of the Popes and the Cardinals, that they too formed a powerful party in league against him. In addition the friends of the Medicis resented the overthrow of their power, and the populace, ever fickle in their affections, required fresh wonders and signs to keep them faithful to their leader. The opportunity of his enemies came when Charles VIII. of France retired from Florence. They accused Savonarola of all kinds of wickedness. He was cast into prison, tortured, and condemned to death as a heretic. In what his heresy consisted it were hard to discover. It was true that when his poor, shattered, sensitive frame was being torn and rent by the cruel engines of torture, he assented to many things which his persecutors strove to wring from him. The real cause of his destruction was not so much the charges of heresy which were brought against his books and sermons, as the fact that he was a person inconvenient to Pope Alexander VI. On the 23rd of May, 1498, he met his doom in the great piazza at Florence where in happier days he had held the multitude spell-bound by his burning eloquence. There sentence was passed upon him. Stripped of his black Dominican robe and long white tunic, he was bound to a gibbet, strangled by a halter, and his dead body consumed by fire, his ashes being thrown into the river Arno. Such was the miserable end of the great Florentine preacher, whose strange and complex character has been so often discussed, and whose remarkable career has furnished a theme for poets and romance-writers, and forms the basis of one of the most powerful novels of modern times.

Not only were the Inquisitors and the Cardinals guilty of intolerance and the stern rigour of persecution, but the Reformers themselves, when they had the power, refrained not from torturing and burning those who did not accept their own particular belief. This they did not merely out of a spirit of revenge conceived against those who had formerly condemned their fathers and brethren to the stake, but sometimes we see instances of Reformers slaughtering Reformers, because the victims did not hold quite the same tenets as those who were in power. Poor Michael Servetus shared as hard a fate at the hands of Calvin, as ever "heretic" did at the hands of the Catholics; and this fate was entirely caused by his writings. This author was born in Spain, at Villaneuva in Arragon, in 1509. At an early age he went to Africa to learn Arabic, and on his return settled in France, studying law at Toulouse, and medicine at Lyons and Paris.

But the principles of the Reformed religion attracted him; he studied the Scriptures in their original languages, and the writings of the fathers and schoolmen. Unhappily his perverse and self-reliant spirit led him into grievous errors with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity. In vain the gentle Reformer Oecolampadius at Basle reasoned with him. He must needs disseminate his opinions in a book entitled De Trinitatis Erroribus, which has handed the name of Servetus down to posterity as the author of errors opposed to the tenets of the Christian Faith. Bucer declared that he deserved the most shameful death on account of the ideas set forth in this work. In his next work, Dialogues on the Trinity and A Treatise on the Kingdom of Christ, Servetus somewhat modified his views, and declared that his former reasonings were merely "those of a boy speaking to boys"; but he blamed rather the arrangement of his book, than retracted the opinions he had expressed.

He also annotated Pagnini's Latin version of the Sacred Scriptures, entitled Biblia sacra latina ex hebraeo, per Sanctum Pagninum, cum praefatione et scholiis Michaelis Villanovani (Michel Servet). Lugduni, a Porta, 1542, in-folio. This edition was vigorously suppressed on account of the notes of Servetus.

After sojourning some time in Italy, he returned to France in 1534, and settled at Lyons, where he published a new and highly esteemed edition of the Geography of Ptolemy, inscribing himself as Michael Villanovanus, from the name of his birthplace. His former works had been published under the name of Reves, formed by the transposition of the letters of his family name. In Paris he studied medicine, and began to set forth novel opinions which led him into conflict with other members of the faculty. In one of his treatises he is said to have suggested the theory of the circulation of the blood. In 1540 he went to Vienne and published anonymously his well-known work De Restitutione Christianismi. This book, when its authorship became known, brought upon him the charge of heresy, and he was cast into prison. Powerful friends enabled him to escape, and his enemies were obliged to content themselves with burning his effigy and several copies of his books in the market-place at Vienne. Servetus determined to fly to Naples, but was obliged to pass through Geneva, where at the instigation of the great Reformer Calvin he was seized and cast into prison. It is unnecessary to follow the course of Servetus' ill-fated history, the bitter hostility of Calvin, the delays, the trials and colloquies. At length he was condemned, and the religious world shuddered at the thought of seeing the pile lighted by a champion of the Reformation and religious freedom. Loud and awful shrieks were heard in the prison when the tidings of his sentence were conveyed to Servetus. Soon the fatal staff was broken over his head as a sign of his condemnation, and on the Champel Hill, outside the gates of Geneva, the last tragic scene took place. With his brow adorned with a crown of straw sprinkled with brimstone, his Fatal Books at his side, chained to a low seat, and surrounded by piles of blazing faggots, the newness and moisture of which added greatly to his torture, in piteous agony Servetus breathed his last, a sad spectacle of crime wrought in religion's name, a fearful example of how great woes an author may bring upon himself by his arrogance and self-sufficiency. The errors of Servetus were deplorable, but the vindictive cruelty of his foes creates sympathy for the victim of their rage, and Calvin's memory is ever stained by his base conduct to his former friend.

The name of Sebastian Edzardt is not so well known. He was educated at Würtemberg, and when Frederick I. of Prussia conceived the desire of uniting the various reformed bodies with the Lutherans, he published a work De causis et natura unionis, and a treatise Ad Calvanianorum Pelagianisinum. In this book he charged the Calvinists with the Pelagian heresy—a charge which they were accustomed to bring against the Lutherans. It was written partly against a book of John Winckler, Arcanum Regium de conciliandis religionibus subditorum diffidentibus, published in 1703 in support of the King's designs. In the same year he published Impietas cohortis fanatica, expropriis Speneri, Rechenbergii, Petersenii, Thomasii, Arnoldi, Schutzii, Boehmeri, aliorumque fanaticorum scriptis, plusquam apodictis argumentis, ostensa. Hamburgi, Koenig, 1703, in-4. This work was suppressed by order of the senate of Hamburg. Frederick was enraged at Edzardt's opposition to his plans, ordered his first book to be burnt, and forbade any one to reply to it. Nor was our author more successful in his other work, Kurtzer Entwurff der Einigkeit der Evangelisch-Lutherischen und Reformirten im Grunde des Glaubens: von dieser Vereinigung eigentlicher Natur und Beschaffenheit, wherein he treated of various systems of theology. This too was publicly burnt, but of the fate of its author I have no further particulars.

The last of the great schoolmen, William of Ockham, called the "Invincible Doctor," suffered imprisonment and exile on account of his works. He was born at Ockham in Surrey in 1280, and, after studying at Oxford, went to the University of Paris. He lived in stirring times, and took a prominent part in the great controversies which agitated the fourteenth century. Pope John XXII. ruled at Avignon, a shameless truckster in ecclesiastical merchandise, a violent oppressor of his subjects, yet obliged by force of circumstances to be a mere subject of the King of France. The Emperor Ludwig IV. ruled in Germany in spite of the excommunication pronounced against him by the Pope. Many voices were raised in support of Louis denouncing the assumptions of the occupant of the Papal See. Marcilius of Padua wrote his famous Defensor Pacis against Papal pretensions, and our author, William of Ockham, issued his still more famous Defence of Poverty, which startled the whole of Christendom by its vigorous onslaught on the vices of the Papacy and the assumptions of Pope John. The latter ordered two bishops to examine the work, and the "Invincible Doctor" was cast into prison at Avignon. He would certainly have been slain, had he not contrived to effect his escape, and taken refuge at the court of the German emperor, to whom he addressed the words, "Tu me defendas gladio, ego te defendam calamo." There he lived and wrote, condemned by the Pope, disowned by his order, the Franciscans, threatened daily with sentences of heresy, deprivation, and imprisonment; but for them he cared not, and fearlessly pursued his course, becoming the acknowledged leader of the reforming tendencies of the age, and preparing the material for that blaze of light which astonished the world in the sixteenth century. His works have never been collected, and are very scarce, being preserved with great care in some of the chief libraries of Europe. The scholastic philosophy of the fourteenth century, the disputes between the Nominalists and the Realists, in which he took the part of the former, the principle that "entities are not to be multiplied except by necessity," or the "hypostatic existence of abstractions," have ceased to create any very keen interest in the minds of readers. But how bitterly the war of words was waged in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries! And it was not only a war of words; one who witnessed the contests wrote that "when the contending parties had exhausted their stock of verbal abuse, they often came to blows; and it was not uncommon in their quarrels about universals, to see the combatants engaged not only with their fists, but with clubs and swords, so that many have been wounded and some killed." These controversies have passed away, upon which, says John of Salisbury, more time had been wasted than the Caesars had employed in making themselves masters of the world; and it is unnecessary here to revive them. Ockham's principal works are: Quaestiones et decisiones in quatuor libros sententiarum cum centilogio theologico (Lyons, 1495), [Footnote: I have met with a copy of this work amongst the incunabula in the possession of M. Olschki, of Venice. The printer's name is John Trechsel, who is described as vir hujus artis solertissimus.] Summa logicae (Paris, 1483), Quodlibeta (Paris, 1487), Super potestate summi pontifia (1496). He died at Munich in 1343.

The Introductio ad Theologiam of the famous Abélard, another schoolman, was fatal to him. Abélard's name is more generally known on account of the golden haze of romance which surrounded him and the fair Heloise; and their loving letters have been often read and mourned over by thousands who have never heard of his theological writings. At one time the famous Canon of Notre Dame at Paris had an enthusiastic following; thousands flocked to his lectures from every country; his popularity was enormous. He combated the abuses of the age and the degeneracy of some of the clergy, and astonished and enraged many by the boldness of his speech and the novelty of his opinions. His views with regard to the doctrine of the Trinity expressed in his Introductio (Traité de la Trinité) were made the subject of a charge against him, and certainly they cannot be easily distinguished from Sabellianism. The qualities or attributes of the Godhead, power, wisdom, goodness, were stated to be the three Persons. The Son of God was not incarnate to deliver us, but only to instruct us by His discourses and example. Jesus Christ, God and Man, is not one of the Persons in the Trinity, and a man is not properly called God. He did not descend into hell. Such were some of the errors with which Abélard was reproached. Whether they were actually contained in his writings, it is not so evident. We have only fragments of Abélard's writings to judge from, which have been collected by M. Cousin—Ouvrages inédits d'Abélard—and therefore cannot speak with certain knowledge of his opinions. At least they were judged to be blasphemous and heretical by the Council of Soissons, when he was condemned to commit his books to the flames and to retire to the Convent of St. Denys. Some years later, when he had recovered from the horrible mutilation to which he had been subjected by the uncle of Heloise, and his mind had acquired its usual strength, we find him at Paris, again attracting crowds by his brilliant lectures, and pouring forth books, and alas! another fatal one, Sic et Non, [Footnote: Petri Abelardi Sic et Non (Marburgi, Sumptibus Librariae; Academy Elwertianae, 1851). The best edition of Abélard's letters is P. Abaelardi et Heloisae conjugis ejus Epistolae, ab erroribus purgatae et cum codd. MSS. collatae cura Richardi Rawlinson, Londini, 1718, in-8. There is also an edition published in Paris in 1616, 4to, Petri Abelardi et Heloisae conjugis ejus, opera cum praefatione apologetica Franc. Antboësii, et Censura doctorum parisiensium; ex editione Andreae Quercetani (André Duchesne).] which asked one hundred and fifty-eight questions on all kinds of subjects. The famous champion of orthodoxy, St. Bernard, examined the book, and at the Council of Sens in 1140 obtained a verdict against its author. He said that poor Abélard was an infernal dragon who persecuted the Church, that Arius, Pelagius, and Nestorius were not more dangerous, as Abélard united all these monsters in his own person, and that he was a persecutor of the faith and the precursor of Antichrist. These words of the celebrated Abbot of Clairvaux are more creditable to his zeal than to his charity. Abélard's disciple Arnold of Brescia attended him at the Council, and shared in the condemnations which St. Bernard so freely bestowed. Arnold's stormy and eventful life as a religious and political reformer was ended at Rome in 1155, where he was strangled and burnt by order of the Emperor Frederick, his ashes being cast into the Tiber lest they should be venerated as relics by his followers. St. Bernard described him as a man having the head of a dove and the tail of a scorpion. Abélard was condemned to perpetual silence, and found a last refuge in the monastery of Cluny. Side by side in the graveyard of the Paraclete Convent the bodies of Abélard and Heloise lie, whose earthly lives, though lighted by love and cheered by religion, were clouded with overmuch sorrow, and await the time when all theological questions will be solved and doubts and difficulties raised by earthly mists and human frailties will be swept away, and we shall "know even as also we are known."


Quirinus Kuhlmann—John Tennhart—Jeremiah Felbinger—Simon Morin—Liszinski—John Toland—Thomas Woolston—John Biddle—Johann Lyser—Bernardino Ochino—Samuel Friedrich Willenberg.

The nympholepts of old were curious and unhappy beings who, while carelessly strolling amidst sylvan shades, caught a hasty glimpse of some spirit of the woods, and were doomed ever afterwards to spend their lives in fruitlessly searching after it. The race of Fanatics are somewhat akin to these restless seekers. There is a wildness and excessive extravagance in their notions and actions which separates them from the calm followers of Truth, and leads them into strange courses and curious beliefs. How far the sacred fire of enthusiasm may be separated from the fierce heat of fanaticism we need not now inquire, nor whether a spark of the latter has not shone brilliantly in many a noble soul and produced brave deeds and acts of piety and self-sacrifice. Those whose fate is here recorded were far removed from such noble characters; their fanaticism was akin to madness, and many of them were fitter for an asylum rather than a gaol, which was usually their destination.

Foremost among them was Quirinus Kulmanus (Kuhlmann), who has been called the Prince of Fanatics, and wandered through many lands making many disciples. He was born at Breslau in Silesia in 1651, and at an early age saw strange visions, at one time the devils in hell, at another the Beatific Glory of God. His native country did not appreciate him, and he left it to wander on from university to university, publishing his ravings. At Leyden he met with the works of Boehme, another fanatic, who wrote a strange book, entitled Aurora, which was suppressed by the magistrates. The reading of this author was like casting oil into the fire. Poor Kuhlmann became wilder still in his strange fanaticism, and joined himself to a pretended prophet, John Rothe, whom the authorities at Amsterdam incarcerated, in order that he might be able to foretell with greater certainty than he had done other things when and after what manner he should be released. Kuhlmann then wrote a book, entitled Prodromus Quinquennii Mirabilis, and published at Leyden in 1674, in which he set forth his peculiar views. He stated that in that same year the Fifth Monarchy or the Christian Kingdom was about to commence, that he himself would bring forth a son from his own wife, that this son by many miracles would found the kingdom, and that he himself was the Son of God. On account of these mad ravings he was exiled by the Chief of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, and expelled with infamy from the University of Leyden. But his strange mission did not cease. He wandered for some time in France and England, where he printed at his own expense several small books in 1681 and 1682, amongst others one piece addressed to Mahomet IV., De Conversione Turcarum. The following passage occurs in this fantastic production: "You saw, some months ago, O great Eastern Leader, a comet of unusual magnitude, a true prognostic of the Kingdom of the Jesuelites, that is, of the restoration of all people to the one-three God. O well is thee, that thou hast turned thy mind before God, and by proclaiming a general fast throughout thy empire, hast begun to fulfil the words of the Lord to the prophet Drabicius." He declares that if the Christians refuse to perform his will in destroying the kingdom of Antichrist, the Turks and Tartars shall do it, to the disgrace of the Christians, which will be a horror to angels and to men.

He then proceeded to Turkey on his mission, and presented himself to the Sultan. Although ignorant of the language of the country, he persuaded himself that he could speak in any tongue; but when they led him into the presence of the Sultan he waited in vain for the burning words of eloquence to flow. The Turks dealt with him according to his folly, and bestowed on him a sound thrashing. Thence he proceeded to Russia, and when he was about to marry a second wife, his former spouse being left in England, the Patriarch of the Russian Church condemned him to be burnt at Moscow in 1689. A follower of Kuhlmann's, named Nordermann, who also wrote a book on the Second Advent of Christ, shared his fate. Kuhlmann also wrote a volume of verses, entitled The Berlin and Amsterdam "Kuhl-festival" at the Gathering of Lutherans and Calvinists, which sufficiently attests his insanity. The following is a specimen of the lucidity of his works: "The more I continued my doctrines, the more opposition I received, so that also the higher world of light with which I am illuminated, in their light I was enlightened, or shadowed, when I proceeded, and in their light lit I up brighter lights."

A fitting companion to Kuhlmann was John Tennhart, a barber of Nuremberg, born in 1662, who used to speak continually of the visions, dreams, and colloquies which he had with God, and boasted that the office of a scribe was entrusted to him by the Divine Will. He endeavoured to persuade all men that the words he wrote were verily and indeed the words of God. The world was not disposed to interfere with the poor barber who imagined himself inspired, but in an evil hour he published a book against the priests, entitled Worte Gottes, oder Tractätlein an den so genannten geistlichen Stand, which caused its author great calamities. He was cast into prison by order of the senate of the Nuremberg State. On his release he again published his former work, with others which he also believed to be inspired, and again in 1714 was imprisoned at Nuremberg. His incarceration did not, however, last long, and Tennhart died while he was journeying from the city which so little appreciated his ravings to find in Cassel a more secure resting-place.

Amongst the fanatics of the seventeenth century may be classed Jeremiah Felbinger, a native of Brega, a town in the Prussian State of Silesia, who was an early advocate of the heresy of the Unitarians. For some years he was a soldier, and then became a schoolmaster. He wrote Prodromus demonstrationis, published in 1654, in which he attempted to prove his Unitarian ideas. Shortly before this, in 1653, he wrote Demonstrationes Christianae, and finally his Epistola ad Christianos, published at Amsterdam in 1672. His strange views and perverted opinions first caused his dismissal from the army, and his works upon the Unitarian doctrines necessitated his removal from the office of teacher. He then journeyed to Helmstadt, but there the wanderer found no rest; for when he tried to circulate his obnoxious books, he was ordered to leave the city before sunset. Finally he settled in Amsterdam, the home of free-thinkers, where men were allowed a large amount of religious liberty; there printers produced without let or hindrance books which were condemned elsewhere and could only be printed in secret presses and obscure corners of cities governed by more orthodox rulers. Here Felbinger passed the rest of his miserable life in great poverty, earning a scanty pittance by instructing youths and correcting typographical errors. He died in 1689, aged seventy-three years.

The seventeenth century was fruitful in fanatics, and not the least mad was Simon Morin, who was burnt at Paris in 1663. His fatal book was his Pensées de Simon Morin (Paris, 1647, in-8), which contains a curious mixture of visions and nonsense, including the principal errors of the Quietists and adding many of his own. Amongst other mad ravings, he declared that there would be very shortly a general reformation of the Church, and that all nations should be converted to the true faith, and that this reformation was to be accomplished by the Second Advent of our Lord in His state of glory, incorporated in Morin himself; and that for the execution of the things to which he was destined, he was to be attended by a great number of perfect souls, and such as participated in the glorious state of Jesus Christ, whom he therefore called the champions of God. He was condemned by the Parliament of Paris, and after having done penance, dressed in his shirt, with a rope round his neck and a torch in his hand, before the entrance of Notre Dame, he was burnt with his book and writings, his ashes being subsequently cast into the air. Morin had several followers who shared his fantastic views, and these poor "champions of God" were condemned to witness the execution of their leader, to be publicly whipped and branded with the mark of fleur-de-lys, and to spend the rest of their lives as galley-slaves.

Poland witnessed the burning of Cazimir Liszinski in 1689, whose ashes were placed in a cannon and shot into the air. This Polish gentleman was accused of atheism by the Bishop of Potsdam. His condemnation was based upon certain atheistical manuscripts found in his possession, containing several novel doctrines, such as "God is not the creator of man; but man is the creator of a God gathered together from nothing." His writings contain many other extravagant notions of the same kind.

A few years later the religious world of both England and Ireland was excited and disturbed by the famous book of John Toland, a sceptical Irishman, entitled Christianity not Mysterious (London, 1696). Its author was born in Londonderry in 1670, and was endowed with much natural ability, but this did not avail to avert the calamities which pursue indiscreet and reckless writers. He wrote his book at the early age of twenty-five years, for the purpose of defending Holy Scripture from the attacks of infidels and atheists; he essayed to prove that there was nothing in religion contrary to sound reason, and to show that the mysteries of religion were not opposed to reason. But his work aroused much opposition both in England and Ireland, as there were many statements in the book which were capable of a rationalistic interpretation. A second edition was published in London with an apology by Toland in 1702. In Dublin he raised against himself a storm of opposition, not only on account of his book, but also by his vain and foolish manner of propagating his views. He began openly to deride Christianity, to scoff at the clergy, to despise the worship of God, and so passed his life that whoever associated with him was judged to be an impious and infamous person. He proposed to form a society which he called Socratia; the hymns to be sung by the members were the Odes of Horace, and the prayers were blasphemous productions, composed by Toland, in derision of those used in the Roman Church. The Council of Religion of the Irish House of Parliament condemned his book to be burnt, and some of the members wished to imprison its author, who after enduring many privations wisely sought safety in flight. A host of writers arrayed themselves in opposition to Toland and refuted his book, amongst whom were John Norris, Stillingfleet, Payne, Beverley, Clarke, Leibnitz, and others. Toland wrote also The Life of Milton (London, 1698), which was directed against the authenticity of the New Testament; The Nazarene, or Christianity, Judaic, Pagan, and Mahometan (1718); and Pantheisticon (1720). The outcry raised by the orthodox party against the "poor gentleman" who had "to beg for half-crowns," and "ran into debt for his wigs, clothes, and lodging," together with his own vanity and conceit, changed him from being a somewhat free-thinking Christian into an infidel and atheist or Pantheist. He died in extreme poverty at Putney in 1722.

A fitting companion to Toland was Thomas Woolston, who lived about the same time; he was born at Northampton in 1669, and died at London in 1733. He was a free-thinker, and a man of many attainments, whose works became widely known and furnished weapons for the use of Voltaire and other atheistical writers. In 1705 he wrote a book entitled The Old Apology, in which he endeavoured to show that in the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures the literal meaning ought to be abandoned, and that the events recorded therein were merely allegories. In his book Free Gifts to the Clergy he denounced all who favoured the literal interpretation as apostates and ministers of Antichrist. Finally, in his Discourses on the Miracles (1726) he denied entirely the authenticity of miracles, and stated that they were merely stories and allegories. He thought that the literal account of the miracles is improbable and untrustworthy, that they were parables and prophetical recitations. These and many other such-like doctrines are found in his works. Woolston held at that time the post of tutor at Sidney Sussex College at Cambridge; but on account of his works he was expelled from the College and cast into prison. According to one account of his life, he died in prison in 1731. Another record states that he was released on paying a fine of £100 after enduring one year's incarceration, and that he bore his troubles bravely, passing an honest life and enduring reproaches with an equal mind. Not a few able theologians set themselves the task of refuting the errors of Woolston, amongst whom were John Ray, Stebbins, Bishop of St. Davids, and Sherlock, whose book was translated into French. A Life of Woolston has been written anonymously by some one who somewhat favoured his views and supported his tenets. He may certainly be classed among the leaders of Free Thought in the eighteenth century.

John Biddle was a vehement advocate of Socinian and Unitarian opinions, attacking the belief in the Trinity and in the Divinity of our Lord. The Holy Spirit was accounted by him as the first of the angels. His fatal book was entitled The Faith of one God, who is only the Father, and of one Mediator between God and man, who is only the man Christ Jesus; and of one Holy Spirit, the gift, and sent of God, asserted and defended in several tracts contained in this volume (London, 1691, in-4). This work was publicly burnt and its author imprisoned. Biddle was born at Wotton-under-Edge in 1615; he went to Oxford, and became a teacher at a grammar-school at Gloucester. He underwent several terms of imprisonment on account of the opinions expressed in his writings, and died in gaol in 1662.

Amongst the fanatics whose works were fatal to them must be enrolled the famous advocates of polygamy, Johann Lyser, Bernardino Ochino, and Samuel Friedrich Willenberg. Lyser was born at Leipsic in 1631, and although he ever remained a bachelor and abhorred womankind, nevertheless tried to demonstrate that not only was polygamy lawful, but that it was a blessed estate commanded by God. He first brought out a dialogue written in the vernacular entitled Sinceri Wahrenbergs kurzes Gespraech von der Polygamie; and this little work was followed by a second book, Das Koenigliche Marck aller Laender (Freyburg, 1676, in-4). Then he produced another work, entitled Theophili Aletaei discursus politicus de Polygamia. A second edition of this work followed, which bore the title Polygamia triumphatrix, id est, discursus politicus de Polygamia, auctore Theoph. Aletoeo, cum notis Athanasii Vincentii, omnibus Anti-polygamis, ubique locorum, terrarum, insularum, pagorum, urbium modeste et pie opposita (Londini Scanorum, 1682, in-4). On account of the strange views expressed in this work he was deprived of his office of Inspector, and was obliged to seek protection from a powerful Count, by whose advice it is said that Lyser first undertook the advocacy of polygamy. On the death of his friend Lyser was compelled frequently to change his abode, and wandered through most of the provinces of Germany. He was imprisoned by the Count of Hanover, and then expelled. In Denmark his book was burned by the public executioner. At another place he was imprisoned and beaten and his books burned. At length, travelling from Italy to Holland, he endured every kind of calamity, and after all his misfortunes he died miserably in a garret at Amsterdam, in 1684. It is curious that Lyser, who never married nor desired wedlock, should have advocated polygamy; but it is said that he was led on by a desire for providing for the public safety by increasing the population of the country, though probably the love of notoriety, which has added many authors' names to the category of fools, contributed much to his madness.

Infected with the same notions was Bernardino Ochino, a Franciscan, and afterwards a Capuchin, whose dialogue De Polygamiâ was fatal to him. Although he was an old man, the authorities at Basle ordered him to leave the city in the depth of a severe winter. He wandered into Poland, but through the opposition of the Papal Nuncio, Commendone, he was again obliged to fly. He had to mourn over the death of two sons and a daughter, who died of the plague in Poland, and finally Ochino ended his woes in Moravia. Such was the miserable fate of Ochino, who was at one time the most famous preacher in the whole of Italy. He had a wonderful eloquence, which seized upon the minds of his hearers and carried them whither he would. No church was large enough to contain the multitudes which flocked to hear him. Ochino was a skilled linguist, and, after leaving the Roman Church, he wrote a book against the Papacy in English, which was printed in London, and also a sermon on predestination. He visited England in company with Peter Martyr, but on the death of Edward VI., on account of the changes introduced in Mary's reign these two doctors again crossed the seas, and retired to a safer retreat. His brilliant career was entirely ruined by his fatal frenzy and foolish fanaticism for polygamy.

The third of this strange triumvirate was Samuel Friedrich Willenberg, a doctor of law of the famous University of Cracow, who wrote a book De finibus polygamiae licitae and aroused the hatred of the Poles. In 1715, by command of the High Court of the King of Poland, his book was condemned to be burnt, and its author nearly shared the same fate. He escaped, however, this terrible penalty, and was fined one hundred thousand gold pieces.

With these unhappy advocates of a system which violates the sacredness of marriage, we must close our list of fanatics whose works have proved fatal to them. Many of them deserve our pity rather than our scorn; for they suffered from that species of insanity which, according to Holmes, is often the logic of an accurate mind overtasked. At any rate, they furnish an example of that

  "Faith, fanatic faith, which, wedded fast
  To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last."


Henry Cornelius Agrippa—Joseph Francis Borri—Urban Grandier—Dr. Dee—Edward Kelly—John Darrell.

Superstition is a deformed monster who dies hard; and like Loki of the Sagas when the snake dropped poison on his forehead, his writhings shook the world and caused earthquakes. Now its power is well-nigh dead. "Superstition! that horrible incubus which dwelt in darkness, shunning the light, with all its racks and poison-chalices, and foul sleeping-draughts, is passing away without return." [Footnote: Carlyle.] But society was once leavened with it. Alchemy, astrology, and magic were a fashionable cult, and so long as its professors pleased their patrons, proclaimed "smooth things and prophesied deceits," all went well with them; but it is an easy thing to offend fickle-minded folk, and when the philosopher's stone and the secret of perpetual youth after much research were not producible, the cry of "impostor" was readily raised, and the trade of magic had its uncertainties, as well as its charms.

Our first author who suffered as an astrologer, though it is extremely doubtful whether he was ever guilty of the charges brought against him, was Henry Cornelius Agrippa, who was born at Cologne in 1486, a man of noble birth and learned in Medicine, Law, and Theology. His supposed devotion to necromancy and his adventurous career have made his story a favourite one for romance-writers. We find him in early life fighting in the Italian war under the Emperor Maximilian, whose private secretary he was. The honour of knighthood conferred upon him did not satisfy his ambition, and he betook himself to the fields of learning. At the request of Margaret of Austria, he wrote a treatise on the Excellence of Wisdom, which he had not the courage to publish, fearing to arouse the hostility of the theologians of the day, as his views were strongly opposed to the scholasticism of the monks. He lived the roving life of a mediaeval scholar, now in London illustrating the Epistles of St. Paul, now at Cologne or Pavia or Turin lecturing on Divinity, and at another time at Metz, where he resided some time and took part in the government of the city. There, in 1521, he was bereaved of his beautiful and noble wife. There too we read of his charitable act of saving from death a poor woman who was accused of witchcraft. Then he became involved in controversy, combating the idea that St. Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin, had three husbands, and in consequence of the hostility raised by his opinions he was compelled to leave the city. The people used to avoid him, as if he carried about with him some dread infection, and fled from him whenever he appeared in the streets. At length we see him established at Lyons as physician to the Queen Mother, the Princess Louise of Savoy, and enjoying a pension from Francis I. This lady seems to have been of a superstitious turn of mind, and requested the learned Agrippa, whose fame for astrology had doubtless reached her, to consult the stars concerning the destinies of France. This Agrippa refused, and complained of being employed in such follies. His refusal aroused the ire of the Queen; her courtiers eagerly took up the cry, and "conjurer," "necromancer," etc., were the complimentary terms which were freely applied to the former favourite. Agrippa fled to the court of Margaret of Austria, the governor of the Netherlands under Charles V., and was appointed the Emperor's historiographer. He wrote a history of the reign of that monarch, and during the life of Margaret he continued his prosperous career, and at her death he delivered an eloquent funeral oration.

But troubles were in store for the illustrious author. In 1530 he published a work, De Incertitudine et Vanitate Scientiarum et Artium, atque Excellentiâ Verbi Dei Dedamatio (Antwerp). His severe satire upon scholasticism and its professors roused the anger of those whom with scathing words he castigated. The Professors of the University of Louvain declared that they detected forty-three errors in the book; and Agrippa was forced to defend himself against their attacks in a little book published at Leyden, entitled Apologia pro defencione Declamationis de Vanitate Scientiarum contra Theologistes Lovanienses. In spite of such powerful friends as the Papal Legate, Cardinal Campeggio, and Cardinal de la Marck, Prince Bishop of Liège, Agrippa was vilified by his opponents, and imprisoned at Brussels in 1531. The fury against his book continued to rage, and its author declares in his Epistles: "When I brought out my book for the purpose of exciting sluggish minds to the study of sound learning, and to provide some new arguments for these monks to discuss in their assemblies, they repaid this kindness by rousing common hostility against me; and now by suggestions, from their pulpits, in public meetings, before mixed multitudes, with great clamourings they declaim against me; they rage with passion, and there is no impiety, no heresy, no disgrace which they do not charge me with, with wonderful gesticulations—namely, with clapping of fingers, with hands outstretched and then suddenly drawn back, with gnashing of teeth, by raging, by spitting, by scratching their heads, by gnawing their nails, by stamping with their feet, they rage like madmen, and omit no kind of lunatic behaviour by means of which they may arouse the hatred and anger of both prince and people against me."

The book was examined by the Inquisition and placed by the Council of Trent on the list of prohibited works, amongst the heretical books of the first class. Erasmus, however, spoke very highly of it, and declared it to be "the work of a man of sparkling intellect, of varied reading and good memory, who always blames bad things, and praises the good." Schelhorn declares that the book is remarkable for the brilliant learning displayed in it, and for the very weighty testimony which it bears against the errors and faults of the time.

Our author was released from his prison at Brussels, and wrote another book, De occulta Philosophia (3 vols., Antwerp, 1533), which enabled his enemies to bring against him the charge of magic. Stories were told of the money which Agrippa paid at inns turning into pieces of horn and shell, and of the mysterious dog which ate and slept with him, which was indeed a demon in disguise and vanished at his death. They declared he had a wonderful wand, and a mirror which reflected the images of persons absent or dead.

The reputed wizard at length returned to France, where he was imprisoned on a charge of speaking evil of the Queen Mother, who had evidently not forgotten his refusal to consult the stars for her benefit. He was, however, soon released, and after his strange wandering life our author ended his labours in a hospital at Grenoble, where he died in 1535. In addition to the works we have mentioned, he wrote De Nobilitate et Proecellentia Faeminei Sexus (Antwerp, 1529), in order to flatter his patroness Margaret of Austria, and an early work, De Triplici Ratione Cognoscendi Deum (1515). The monkish epigram, unjust though it be, is perhaps worth recording:—

"Among the gods there is Momus who reviles all men; among the heroes there is Hercules who slays monsters; among the demons there is Pluto, the king of Erebus, who is in a rage with all the shades; among the philosophers there is Democritus who laughs at all things, Heraclitus who bewails all things, Pyrrhon who is ignorant of all things, Aristotle who thinks that he knows all things, Diogenes who despises all things. But this Agrippa spares none, despises all things, knows all things, is ignorant of all things, bewails all things, laughs at all things, rages against all things, reviles all things, being himself a philosopher, a demon, a hero, a god, everything."

The impostor Joseph Francis Borri was a very different character. He was a famous chemist and charlatan, born at Milan in 1627, and educated by the Jesuits at Rome, being a student of medicine and chemistry. He lived a wild and depraved life, and was compelled to retire into a seminary. Then he suddenly changed his conduct, and pretended to be inspired by God, advocating in a book which he published certain strange notions with regard to the existence of the Trinity, and expressing certain ridiculous opinions, such as that the mother of God was a certain goddess, that the Holy Spirit became incarnate in the womb of Anna, and that not only Christ but the Virgin also are adored and contained in the Holy Eucharist. In spite of the folly of his teaching he attracted many followers, and also the attention of the Inquisition. Perceiving his danger, he fled to Milan, and thence to a more safe retreat in Amsterdam and Hamburg. In his absence the Inquisition examined his book and passed its dread sentence upon its author, declaring that "Borri ought to be punished as a heretic for his errors, that he had incurred both the 'general' and 'particular' censures, that he was deprived of all honour and prerogative in the Church, of whose mercy he had proved himself unworthy, that he was expelled from her communion, and that his effigy should be handed over to the Cardinal Legate for the execution of the punishment he had deserved." All his heretical writings were condemned to the flames, and all his goods confiscated. On the 3rd of January, 1661, Borri's effigy and his books were burned by the public executioner, and Borri declared that he never felt so cold, when he knew that he was being burned by proxy. He then fled to a more secure asylum in Denmark. He imposed upon Frederick III., saying that he had found the philosopher's stone. After the death of this credulous monarch Borri journeyed to Vienna, where he was delivered up to the representative of the Pope, and cast into prison. He was then sent to Rome, and condemned to perpetual imprisonment in the Castle of St. Angelo, where he died in 1685. His principal work was entitled La Chiave del gabineito del cavagliere G. F. Borri (The key of the cabinet of Borri). Certainly the Church showed him no mercy, but perhaps his hard fate was not entirely undeserved.

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 curé 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 cordonnière 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 résumé 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.


Bishop Virgil—Roger Bacon—Galileo—Jordano Bruno—Thomas Campanella—De Lisle de Sales—Denis Diderot—Balthazar Bekker—Isaac de la Peyrère—Abbé 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. Sorbière 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 Traité de morale pour l'espèce humaine, tiré de la philosophie et fondé 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 Abbé Chrétien 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 à 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 Comètes (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 enchanté, ou Examen des sentimens touchant les esprits, traduit du flamand en français (Amsterdam, 1694, 4 vols., in-l2). One Benjamin Binet wrote a refutation, entitled Traité historique des Dieux et des Démons du paganisme, avec des remarques sur le système 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 Peyrère 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 Condé; 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 Abbé 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 Peyrère, 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. Peyrère 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 Genève (à 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 Génébrard—Joseph Audra—Beaumelle—John Mariana—John B. Primi—John Christopher Rüdiger—Rudbeck—François Haudicquer—François de Rosières—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 Bibliothèque Universelle des auteurs ecclésiastiques. 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 Châtelleraut. 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 Châtelleraut 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 ecclésiastiques (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 excès dont se rendirent coupables les Habitans de Padoue dans la guerre qu'ils eurent avec ceux de Vicence, par Arlotto, notaire à 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 protégé 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 Génébrard, 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 Ecclésiastiques qui ont assisté au service divin avec Henri de Valois après 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 Abrégé d'Histoire générale, par l'Abbé 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 Mémoires 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 Pensées, published at Copenhagen in 1751. In his Mémoires 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 Rüdiger, 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). Rüdiger 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 Rüdiger 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 Rüdiger 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 Généralités d'Amiens, de Soissons, des pays reconquis, et partie de l'Election de Beauvais, le tout justifié conformément aux Jugemens rendus en faveur de la Province. Par François 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. François de Rosières, 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 Rosières 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.


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— Burton—Bastwick—John Selden—John Tutchin—Delaune—Samuel Johnson— Algernon Sidney—Edmund Richer—John de Falkemberg—Jean Lenoir—Simon Linguet—Abbé 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 Séez, 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 Requêtes et de Factums. The titles of some of his treatises will show how obnoxious they were to the ruling powers—e.g., Hérésie de la domination épiscopale que l'on établit en France, Protestation contre les assemblées du clergé 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 Jésuites (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 Abbé Caveirac, who wrote Appel à la Raison des Ecrits et Libelles publiés contre les Jésuites, 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 Relevé de quelques-unes des malversations dont se rendent journellement les Fermiers-Généraux, 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 générale. 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—François 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 Vallière. 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 à l'autre va.
      Alléluia," 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 mémoires 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.

The Italian satirist Trajan Boccalini, born at Loretto in 1556, was also one upon whom Court favour shone. He was surrounded by a host of friends and admirers, and was appointed Governor of the States of the Church. He was one of the wittiest and most versatile of authors, and would have risen to positions of greater dignity, if only his pen had been a little less active and his satire less severe. He wrote a book entitled Ragguagli di Parnasso (1612), which was most successful. In this work he represents Apollo as judge of Parnassus, who cites before him kings, authors, warriors, statesmen, and other mighty personages, minutely examines their faults and crimes, and passes judgment upon them. Inasmuch as these people whom Apollo condemned were his contemporaries, it may be imagined that the book created no small stir, and aroused the wrath of the victims of his satire. Boccalini was compelled to leave Rome and seek safety in Venice. He also wrote a bitter satire upon the Spanish misrule in Italy, entitled Pietra del paragone politico (1615). In this book he showed that the power of the King of Spain in Italy was not so great as men imagined, and that it would be easy to remove the Spanish yoke from their necks. In Venice he imagined himself safe; but his powerful foes hired assassins to "remove" the obnoxious author. He was seized one day by four strong men, cast upon a couch, and beaten to death with bags filled with sand. The elegance of his style, his witticisms and fine Satire, have earned for Boccalini the title of the Italian Lucian.

To scoff at the powerful Jesuits was not always a safe pastime, as Pierre Billard discovered, who, on account of his work entitled La Bête à sept têtes, was sent to the Bastille, and subsequently to the prisons of Saint-Lazare and Saint-Victor. The Society objected to be compared to the Seven-headed Beast, and were powerful enough to ruin their bold assailant, who died at Charenton in 1726.

Another Italian satirist, Pietro Aretino, acquired great fame, but not of a creditable kind. Born at Arezzo in 1492, he followed the trade of a bookbinder; but not confining his labour to the external adornment of books, he acquired some knowledge of letters. He began his career by writing a satirical sonnet against indulgences, and was compelled to fly from his native place and wander through Italy. At Rome he found a temporary resting-place, where he was employed by Popes Leo X. and Clement VII. Then he wrote sixteen gross sonnets on the sixteen obscene pictures of Giulio Romano [Footnote: These were published under the title of La corona de i cazzi, cioë, sonetti lussuriosi del Pietro Aretino. Stamp. senza Luogo ne anno, in-16. The engravings in this edition, the work of Marc Antonio of Bolgna, were no less scandalous than the sonnets, and the engraver was ordered to be arrested by Pope Clement VII., and only escaped punishment by flight.], which were so intolerable that he was again forced to fly and seek an asylum at Milan under the protection of the "black band" led by the famous Captain Giovanni de Medici. On the death of this leader he repaired to Venice, where he lived by his pen. He began a series of satires on princes and leading men, and earned the title of flagellum principum. Aretino adopted the iniquitous plan of demanding gifts from those he proposed to attack, in order that by these bribes they might appease the libeller and avert his onslaught. Others employed him to libel their enemies. Thus the satirist throve and waxed rich and prosperous. His book entitled Capricium was a rude and obscene collection of satires on great men. His prolific pen poured forth Dialogues, Sonnets, Comedies, and mingled with a mass of discreditable and licentious works we find several books on morality and theology. These he wrote, not from any sense of piety and devotion, but simply for gain, while his immoral life was a strange contrast to his teaching. He published a Paraphrase on the seven Penitential Psalms (Venice, 1534), and a work entitled De humanitate sive incarnatione Christi (Venice, 1535), calling himself Aretino the divine, and by favour of Pope Julius III. he nearly obtained a Cardinal's hat. Concerning his Paraphrase a French poet wrote:—

  "Si ce livre unit le destin
  De David et de l'Arétin,
  Dans leur merveilleuse science,
  Lecteur n'en sois pas empêché
  Qui paraphrase le péché
  Paraphrase la pénitence."

Utterly venal and unscrupulous, we find him at one time enjoying the patronage of Francis I. of France, and then abusing that monarch and basking in the favour of the Emperor Charles V., who paid him more lavishly. His death took place at Venice in 1557. Some say that he, the flagellum of princes, was beaten to death by command of the princes of Italy; others narrate that he who laughed at others all his life died through laughter. His risible faculties being on one occasion so violently excited by certain obscene jests, he fell from his seat, and struck his head with such violence against the ground that he died.

The town of Zürich was startled in the fifteenth century by finding itself the object of the keen satire of one of its canons, Felix Hemmerlin, who wrote a book entitled Clarissimi viri jurumque Doctoris Felicis Malleoli Hemmerlini variae oblectationis Opuscula et Tractatus (Basileae, 1494, folio). The clergy, both regular and secular, were also subjected to his criticism. The book is divided into two parts; the first is a dialogue de Nobilitate et Rusticitate, and the second is a treatise against the mendicant friars, monks, Beghards, and Béguines. The town of Zürich was very indignant at this bold attack, and deprived the poor author of his benefices and of his liberty.

Italian air seems to have favoured satire, but Italian susceptibility was somewhat fatal to the satirists. Giovanni Cinelli, born in 1625, taught medicine at Florence and was illustrious for his literary productions. He allied himself with Antonio Magliabecchi, who afforded him opportunities of research in the library of the Grand Duke. He began the great work entitled Bibliotheca volans, the fourth section of which brought grievous trouble upon its author. It was all caused by an unfortunate note which attacked the doctor of the Grand Duke. This doctor was highly indignant, and reported Cinelli to the Tribunal. The book was publicly burnt by the hangman, and Cinelli was confined in prison ninety-*three days and then driven into exile. His misfortunes roused his anger, and he published at his retreat at Venice a bitter satire on men of all ranks entitled Giusticazione di Giovanni Cinelli (1683), exciting much hostility against him. He died at the age of seventy years in the Castle of San Lorenzo, A.D. 1705, and his Bibliotheca volans was continued and completed by Sancassani under the fictitious name of Philoponis.

Nicholas Francus, an Italian poet of the sixteenth century, was a graceful writer and very skilled in the Latin, Greek, and Etruscan languages, but incurred a grievous fate on account of his severe satire on Pope Pius IV. The stern persecutor of Carranza, the powerful Archbishop of Toledo, was not a person to be attacked with impunity. The cause of the poet's resentment against the Pope was the prohibition of a certain work, entitled Priapeia, which Francus had commenced, describing the feasts of Priapus. Pius IV. refused to allow the poet to complete his book, and ordered that which he had already written to be burned. This was too much for the equanimity of the poet, whose eye was with fine frenzy rolling, and he began to assail the Pope with all manner of abuse. For some time the punishment for his rash writing was postponed, on account of the protection of a powerful Cardinal; but on the death of Pius IV. Francus sharpened his pen afresh, and sorely wounded the memory of his deceased foe. In one of his satires the words of St. John's Gospel, verbum caro factum est, were inserted; and the charge of profanity was brought against him. At length Pius V. condemned him to death. Some historians narrate that the poor poet was hung on a beam attached to the famous statue of the Gladiator in front of the Palace of the Orsini, called the Pasquin, to which the deriders and enemies of the Pope were accustomed to affix their epigrams and pamphlets. These were called Pasquinades, from the curious method adopted for their publication. Others declare that he suffered punishment in a funereal chamber draped with black; while another authority declares that the poet, the victim of his own satires, was hung on a fork-shaped gibbet, not on account of his abuse of Pius IV., but through the hatred of Pius V., which some personal quarrel had excited. This conjecture is, however, probably false.

Francus was a true poet, endowed with a vivid imagination and with a delicate and subtle wit. He scorned the coarse invective in which the satirists of his day used to delight. He had many enemies on account of his plain-spoken words and keen criticisms. The problem which perplexed the Patriarch Job—the happiness of prosperous vice, the misery of persecuted virtue—tormented his mind and called forth his embittered words. He inveighed against the reprobates and fools, the crowds of monsignors who were as vain of their effeminacy as the Scipios of their deeds of valour; he combated abuses, and with indignant pen heaped scorn upon the fashionable vices of the age. The Pope and his Cardinals, stung by his shafts of satire, cruelly avenged themselves upon the unhappy poet, and, as we have said, doomed him to death in the year 1569. His Dialogues were printed in Venice by Zuliani in 1593, under the title Dialoghi piacevolissimi di Nicolo Franco da Benevento; and there is a French translation, made by Gabriel Chapins, published at Lyons in 1579, entitled Dix plaisans Dialogues du sieur Nicolo Franco.

Lorenzo Valla, born at Rome in 1406, was one of the greatest scholars of his age, and contributed more than any other man to the revival of the love of Latin literature in the fifteenth century. His works are voluminous. He translated into Latin Herodotus (Paris, 1510), Thucydides (Lyons, 1543), The Iliad (Venice, 1502), Fables of Aesop (Venice, 1519); and wrote Elegantiae Sermonis Latini, a history of Ferdinand Aragon (Paris, 1521), and many other works, which are the monuments of his learning and industry. But Valla raised against him many enemies by the severity of his satire on almost all the learned men of his time. He spared no one, and least of all the clerics, who sought his destruction. A friend advised him that, unless he was weary of life, he ought to avoid heaping his satirical abuse on the Roman priests and bishops. He published a work on the pretended Donation of Constantine to the Papal See, and for this and other writings pronounced heretical by the Inquisition he was cast into prison, and would have suffered death by fire had not his powerful friend Alphonso V., King of Aragon, rescued him from the merciless Holy Office. Valla was compelled publicly to renounce his heretical opinions, and then, within the walls of a monastery, his hands having been bound, he was beaten with rods. It is unnecessary to follow the fortunes of Valla further. He was engaged in a long controversy with the learned men of his time, especially with the facetious Poggio, whose wit was keener though his language was not so forcible. Erasmus in his Second Epistle defends Valla in his attacks upon the clergy, and asks, "Did he speak falsely, because he spoke the truth too severely?" Valla died at Naples in 1465. The following epigram testifies to the correctness of his Latinity and the severity of his criticisms:—

  Nunc postquam manes defunctus Valla petivit,
    Non audet Pluto verba latina loqui.
  Jupiter hunc coeli dignatus honore fuisset,
    Censorem lingua sed timet esse suae.

Raphael Maffei, surnamed Volaterranus, the compiler of the Commentarii urbani (1506), a huge encyclopaedia published in thirty-eight books, composed the following witty stanza on the death of Valla:—

  Tandem Valla silet solitus qui parcere nulli est
  Si quaeris quid agat? nunc quoque mordet humum.

Our list of Italian satirists closes with Ferrante Pallavicino, a witty Canon, born at Plaisance in 1618, who ventured to write satirical poems on the famous nepotist, Pope Urban VIII., and all his family, the Barberini. Some of his poems were entitled Il corriero sualigiato, Il divortio celeste, La baccinata, which were published in a collection of his complete works at Venice in 1655. His selected works were published at Geneva in 1660. He made a playful allusion to the Barberini on the title-page of his work, where there appeared a crucifix surrounded by burning thorns and bees, with the verse of the Psalmist Circumdederunt me sicut apes, et exarserunt sicut ignis in spinis, alluding to the bees which that family bear on their arms. Pallavicino lived in safety for some time at Venice, braving the anger of his enemies. Unfortunately he wished to retire to France, and during his journey passed through the territory of the Pope. He was accompanied by a Frenchman, one Charles Morfu, who pretended great friendship for him, admired his works, and scoffed at the Barberini with jests as keen as the Canon's own satires. But the Frenchman betrayed him to his foes, and poor Pallavicino paid the penalty of his rashness by a cruel death in the Papal Palace at Avignon at the early age of twenty-nine years. His strictures on Urban and his family were well deserved. The Pope heaped riches and favours on his relations. He made three of his nephews cardinals, and the fourth was appointed General of the Papal troops. So odious did the family make themselves by their exactions that on the death of Urban they were forced to leave Rome and take refuge in France. Pallavicino had certainly fitting subjects for his satirical verses.

François Gacon, a French poet and satirist of the eighteenth century, suffered imprisonment on account of his poems, entitled Le Poëte sans fard, ou Discours satyriques sur toutes sortes de sujets (Paris, 2 vols., in-12). His satire was very biting and not a little scurrilous, and was famous for the quantity rather than the quality of his poetical effusions. We give the following example of his skill, in which he discourses upon the different effects which age produces on wine and women:—

  "Une beauté, quand elle avance en âge,
  A ses amans inspire du dégoût;
  Mais, pour le vin, il a cet avantage,
  Plus il vieillit, plus il flatte le goût."

The literary world of Paris in 1708 was very much disturbed by certain satirical verses which seemed to come from an unknown hand and empty cafés as if with the magic of a bomb. The Café de la Laurent was the famous resort of the writers of the time, where Rousseau and Lamothe reigned as chiefs of the literary Parnassus amid a throng of poets, politicians, and wits. Some malcontent poet thought fit to disturb the harmony of this brilliant company by publishing some very satirical couplets directed against the frequenters of the café. This so enraged the company that they deserted the unfortunate café, and selected another for their rendezvous. But other verses, still more severe, followed them. Jean Baptist Rousseau was suspected as their author; he denied the supposition and accused Saurin; but Rousseau was found to be guilty and was banished from the kingdom for ever, as the author and distributer of "certain impure and satirical verses."

Amongst satirical writers who have suffered hard fates we must mention the illustrious author of Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe. A strong partisan of the Nonconformist cause during the controversial struggle between Church and Dissent in the reign of Queen Anne, he published a pamphlet entitled The Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702), in which he ironically advised their entire extermination. This pleased certain of the Church Party who had not learned the duty of charity towards the opinions of others, nor the advantages of Religious Liberty. Nor were they singular in this respect, as the Dissenting Party had plainly shown when the power was in their hands. Happily wiser counsels prevail now. When Defoe's jest was discovered, and his opponents found that the book was "writ sarcastic," they caused the unhappy author to be severely punished. Parliament condemned his book to the flames, and its author to the pillory and to prison. On his release he wrote other political pamphlets, which involved him in new troubles; and, disgusted with politics, he turned his versatile talents to other literary work, and produced his immortal book Robinson Crusoe, which has been translated into all languages, and is known and read by every one.

Young's Night Thoughts might not be considered a suitable form of poem for parody, but this M. Durosoi, or Du Rosoi, accomplished in his Les Jours d'Ariste (1770), and was sent to the Bastille for his pains. The cause of his condemnation was that he had published this work without permission, and also perhaps on account of certain political allusions contained in his second work, Le Nouvel Ami des Hommes, published in the same year. But a worse fate awaited Du Rosoi on account of his writings. In the dangerous years of 1791 and 1792 he edited La Gazette de Paris, which procured greater celebrity for him, and brought about his death. When the fatal tenth of August came, the Editor was not to be found in Paris. However, ultimately he was secured and condemned to death by the tribunal extraordinary appointed by the Legislative Assembly to judge the enemies of the new government. He died with great bravery at the hands of the revolutionary assassins, after telling his judges that as a friend of the King he was accounted worthy to die on that day, the Feast of Saint Louis.

All the venom of satirical writers seems to have been collected by that strange author Gaspar Scioppius, who had such a singular lust for powerful invective that he cared not whom he attacked, and made himself abhorred by all. This Attila of authors was born in Germany in 1576, went to Rome, abjured Protestantism, and was raised to high honours by Pope Clement VIII. In return for these favours he wrote several treatises in support of the Papal claims, amongst others Ecclesiasticus, which was directed against James I. of England. Concerning this book Casaubon wrote in his Epistle CLV.: "Know concerning Scioppius that some of his works have been burned not only here at London by the command of our most wise King, but also at Paris by the hand of the hangsman. I have written a letter, which I will send to you, if I am able, against that beast." He poured the vials of his wrath upon the Jesuits, declaring in his Relatio ad reges et principes de stratagematibus Societatis Jesu (1635) that there was no truth to be found in Italy, and that this was owing entirely to the Jesuits, who "keep back the truth in injustice, who, rejecting the cup of Christ, drink the cup of devils full of all abominations." This roused their wrath, and by their designs our author was imprisoned at Venice. There he would have been slain, if he had not enjoyed the protection of a powerful Venetian. He boasted that his writings had had such an effect on two of his literary opponents, Casaubon and Scaliger, as to cause them to die from vexation and disappointment. He made himself so many powerful enemies that towards the end of his life he knew not where to find a secure retreat. This "public pest of letters and society," as the Jesuits delighted to call him, died at Padua in 1649 hated by all, both Catholics and Protestants. He wrote one hundred and four works, of which the most admired is his Elementa philosophiae moralis stoicae (Mayence, 1606).


Adrian Beverland—Cecco d'Ascoli—George Buchanan—Nicodemus Frischlin—Clement Marot—Caspar Weiser—John Williams—Deforges—Théophile—Helot—Matteo Palmieri—La Grange—Pierre Petit—Voltaire—Montgomery—Keats—Joseph Ritson.

The haunters of Parnassus and the wearers of the laurel crown have usually been loved by their fellows, save only when satire has mingled with their song and filled their victims' minds with thoughts of vengeance. In the last chapter we have noticed some examples of satirical writers who have clothed their libellous thoughts in verse, and suffered in consequence. But the woes of poets, caused by those who listened to their song, have not been numerous. Shakespeare classes together "the lunatic, the lover, and the poet" as being "of imagination all compact"; and perchance the poet has shared with the madman the reverence which in some countries is bestowed on the latter.

However, all have not so escaped the destinies of fate. Some think that Ovid incurred the wrath of Augustus Caesar through his verses on the art of loving, and was on that account driven into exile, which he mourned so melodiously and complained of so querulously. In a period less remote we find Adrian Beverland wandering away from the true realm of poetry and taking up his abode in the pesthouse of immorality. He was born at Middlebourg in 1653, and studied letters at the University of Leyden. He began his career by publishing indecent poems. He wrote a very iniquitous book, De Peccato originali, in which he gave a very base explanation of the sin of our first parents; and although considerable licence was allowed to authors in the Netherlands at that time, nevertheless the magistrates and professors of Leyden condemned the book to be burned and its author to banishment. The full title of the work is Hadriani Beverlandi peccatum originale philogicé elucubratum, à Themidis alumno. Eleutheropoli, in horto Hesperidum, typis Adami, Evae, Terrae filii (1678, in-8). He seems to have followed Henri Cornelius Agrippa in his idea that the sin of our first parents arose from sexual desire. Leonard Ryssenius refuted the work in his Justa detestatio libelli sceleratissimi Hadriani Beverlandi, de Peccato originali (1680). He would doubtless have incurred a harder fate on account of another immoral work, entitled De prostibulis veterum, if one of his relations had not charitably committed it to the flames. Before the sentence of banishment had been pronounced he wrote an apology, professed penitence, and was allowed to remain at Utrecht, where he composed several pamphlets. Being exiled on account of the indecency of his writings, he came to England, where he affected decorum, and his friend and countryman Isaac Vossius, who enjoyed the patronage of Charles II. and was Canon of Windsor, obtained for him a pension charged upon some ecclesiastical fund. Never were ecclesiastical funds applied to a baser use; for although Beverland wrote another book [Footnote: De fornicatione cavendâ admonitio (Londini, Bateman, 1697, in-8).] with the apparent intention of warning against vice, the argument seemed to inculcate the lusts which he condemned. Having become insane he died, in extreme poverty, in 1712. He imagined that he was pursued by a hundred men who had sworn to kill him.

An early poet who suffered death on account of his writings was Cecco d'Ascoli, Professor of Astrology at the famous University of Bologna in 1322. His poems have been collected and published under the title Opere Poetiche del' illustro poeta Cecco d'Ascoli, cioë, l'acerba. In Venetia, per Philippum Petri et Socios, anno 1478, in-4. The printer of this work, Philippus Condam Petri (Philippo de Piero Veneto) is one of the earliest and most famous of Venetian printers, and produced several of the incunabula which we now prize so highly. The absurdities of Cecco contained in his poems merited for their author a place in a lunatic asylum, rather than on a funeral pile. He was, however, burnt alive at Bologna in 1327. He believed in the influence of evil spirits, who, under certain constellations, had power over the affairs of men; that our Saviour, Jesus Christ, was born under a certain constellation which obliged Him to poverty; whereas Antichrist would come into the world under a certain planet which would make him enormously wealthy. He continued to proclaim these amazing delusions at Bologna, and was condemned by the Inquisition. The poet escaped punishment by submission and repentance. But two years later he announced to the Duke of Calabria, who asked him to cast the horoscope of his wife and daughter, that they would betake themselves to an infamous course of life. This prophecy was too much for the Duke. Cecco was again summoned to appear before the Inquisitors, who condemned him to the stake. At his execution a large crowd assembled to see whether his familiar genii would arrest the progress of the flames. The poet's real name was François de Stabili, Cecco being a diminutive form of Francesco. There are many editions of his work. The "lunatic" and the "poet" were certainly in his case not far removed.

A very different man was the illustrious author and historian of Scotland, George Buchanan, who was born in 1506. After studying in Paris, he returned to Scotland, and became tutor of the Earl of Murray, the natural son of James V. The Franciscan monks were not very popular at this period, and at the suggestion of the King Buchanan wrote a satirical poem entitled Silva Franciscanorum, in which he censured the degenerate followers of St. Francis, and harassed them in many ways. This poem so enraged the monks that they seized him and imprisoned him in one of their monasteries. One night, while his guards slept, he contrived to escape by a window, and underwent great perils. He published two other severe satirical poems on the Franciscans, entitled Fratres Fraterrimi and Franciscanus. It is scarcely necessary to follow his fortunes further, as Buchanan's history is well known. After teaching at Paris, Bordeaux, and at Coimbre in Portugal, he returned to Scotland, and was entrusted by Mary, Queen of Scots, with the education of her son. Buchanan then embraced Protestantism, opposed the Queen in the troubles which followed, and received from Parliament the charge of the future Solomon of the North, James VI. of Scotland and I. of England. He devoted his later life to historical studies, and produced his famous History of Scotland in twelve books, De Maria Regina ejusque conspiratione, in which he attacked the reputation of the Queen, and De jure regni apud Scotos, a book remarkable for the liberalism of the ideas which were therein expressed. His royal pupil did not treat Buchanan's History with due respect; he caused it to be proclaimed at the Merkat Cross, and ordered every one to bring his copy "to be perused and purged of the offensive and extraordinary matters." In the reign of Charles II. the University of Oxford ordered Buchanan's De jure regni, together with certain other works, to be publicly burnt on account of certain obnoxious propositions deducible from them; such as "Wicked kings and tyrants ought to be put to death." He published a paraphrase of the Psalms of David in verse, which has been much praised. The Jesuits were not very friendly critics of our author, for they asserted that Buchanan showed in his life little of the piety of David, and stated that during thirty years he did not deliver a single sermon, even on Sundays. "But who is ignorant," observes M. Klotz, "of the lust of these men for calumny?"

Another poet had occasion to adopt the same mode of escape which Buchanan successfully accomplished, but with less happy results. This was Nicodemus Frischlin, a German poet and philosopher, born in the duchy of Würtemberg in 1547. At an early age he showed great talents; honours clustered thickly on his brow. At the age of twenty years he was made Professor of Belles-Lettres at Tubingen; he received from the Emperor Rudolph the poetic crown with the title of chevalier, and was made Count Palatin as a reward for his three panegyrics composed in honour of the emperors of the House of Austria. Certainly Fortune smiled upon her favourite, but Envy raised up many enemies, who were eager to find occasion against the successful poet. He afforded them a pretext in his work De laudibus vitae rusticae, which, in spite of its innocent title, grievously offended the nobles, who were already embittered against him on account of his arrogance and turbulence, and his keen and unsparing satire. So bitter was their hostility that the poet was compelled to leave Tubingen, and became a wandering philosopher, sometimes teaching in schools, always pouring forth poems, elegies, satires, tragedies, comedies, and epics. Being eager to publish some of his works and not having sufficient means, he applied to the Duke of Würtemberg for a subsidy, at the same time furiously attacking his old opponents. This so exasperated the chief men of the Court, that they persuaded the Duke to recall Frischlin; but instead of finding a welcome from his old patron, he was cast into prison, in order that he might unlearn his presumption, and acquire the useful knowledge that modesty is the chief ornament of a learned man. But Frischlin did not agree with another poet's assertion:—

  "Stone walls do not a prison make,
   Nor iron bars a cage."

Having raged and stormed, and tried in vain to obtain release, he resolved to escape. From his prison window he let himself down by a rope made out of his bed-clothes, but unfortunately the rope broke and the poor poet fell upon the hard rocks beneath his chamber window and was injured fatally. Frischlin was considered one of the best Latin poets of post-classical times; but his genius was marred by his immoderate and bitter temper, which caused him to imagine that the gentle banter and jocular remarks of his acquaintances were insults to be repaid by angry invective and bitter sarcasm, with which his writings abound.

Clement Marot was one of the most famous of early French poets, and the creator of the school of naïve poetry in which La Fontaine afterwards so remarkably excelled. His poetical version of the Psalms was read and sung in many lands; and in spite of prohibition copies could not be printed so fast as they were eagerly bought. They were at one time as popular in the Court of Henry II. of France as they were amongst the Calvinists of Geneva and Holland. In 1521 we find him fighting in the Duke of Alençon's army, when he was wounded at the battle of Pavia. Then his verses caused their author suffering, and he was imprisoned on the charge of holding heretical opinions. His epistles in poetry written to the King contain a record of his life, his fear of imprisonment, his flight, his arrest by his enemies of the Sorbonne, his release by order of the King, and his protestations of orthodoxy. But he seems to have adopted the principles of the Reformation, and France was no safe place for him. In Geneva and Piedmont he found resting-places, and died in 1544. His translation of the Psalms into harmonious verse, which was sung both by the peasants and the learned, was the cause of his persecution by the doctors of the Sorbonne. He complains bitterly to the Lyons printer, Dolet, that many obscene and unworthy poems were ascribed to him and printed amongst his works of which he was not the author. As an example of his verse I quote the beginning of Psalm cxli.:—

  "Vers l'Eternel des oppressez le pere
  Je m'en iray, luy monstrant l'impropere
  Que l'on me faict, luy ferai ma priere
  A haulte voix, qu'il ne jette en arriere
  Mes piteux cris, car en lui seul j'espere."

It is not often that a poet loses his head for a single couplet, but this seems to have been the fate of Caspar Weiser, Professor of Lund in Sweden. At first he showed great loyalty to his country, and wrote a panegyric on the coronation of Charles XI., King of Sweden. But a short time afterwards he appears to have changed his political opinions, for when the city was captured by the Danes in 1676, Weiser met the conqueror, and greeted him with the words:—

  Perge Triumphator reliquas submittere terras,
  Sic redit ad Dominum, quod fuit ante, suum.

This verse was fatal to him. The Swedish monarch recovered his lost territory; the Danes were expelled, and the poor poet was accused of treason and beheaded.

The same hard fate befell John Williams in 1619, who was hanged, drawn, and quartered, on account of two poems, Balaam's Ass and Speculum Regis, the MSS. of which he foolishly sent secretly in a box to King James. The monarch was always fearful of assassination, and as one of the poems foretold his speedy decease, the prophet incurred the King's wrath and suffered death for his pains.

A single poem was fatal to Deforges, entitled Vers sur l'arrestation du Prétendant d'Angleterre, en 1749. It commences with the following lines:—

  "Peuple, jadis si fier, aujourd'hui si servile,
  Des princes malheureux, tu n'es donc plus l'asyle?"

He happened to be present at the Opera House in Paris when the young Pretender was arrested, and being indignant at this breach of hospitality, and believing that the honour of the nation had been compromised, he wrote these bitter verses. His punishment was severe. He was arrested and conducted to the gloomy fortress of Mont-Saint-Michel, where he remained for three long years shut up in the cage. The floor of this terrible prison, which was enveloped in perpetual darkness, was only eight square feet. The poor poet bore his sufferings patiently, and was befriended by M. de Broglie, Abbé of Saint-Michel, who obtained permission for him to leave his cage and be imprisoned in the Abbey; nor did he fail to take precautions lest the poor poet should lose his eyesight on passing from the darkness of the dungeon to the light of day. The good Abbé finally procured liberty for his captive, who became secretary to M. de Broglie's brother, and subsequently, on the death of Madame de Pompadour, commissioner of war. Terrible were the sufferings which the unhappy Deforges endured on account of his luckless poem.

Théophile was condemned to be burned at Paris on account of his book Le Parnasse des Poètes Satyriques, ou Recueil de vers piquans et gaillards de notre temps (1625, in-8), but he contrived to effect his escape. He was ultimately captured in Picardy, and put in a dungeon. He was banished from the kingdom by order of the Parliament. In his old age he found an asylum in the house of the Duke of Montmorency. The poet's real surname was Viaud. The following impromptu is attributed to Théophile, who was asked by a foolish person whether all poets were fools:—

  "Oui, je l'avoue avec vous,
  Que tous les poètes sont fous;
  Mais sachant ce que vous êtes,
  Tous les fous ne sont pas poètes."

His poems are a mere collection of impieties and obscenities, published with the greatest impudence, and well deserved their destruction. On one occasion he travelled to Holland with Balzac, and used this opportunity for bringing out an infamous charge against him, which he had most probably invented. His book, the cause of all his woes, was burnt with the poet's effigy in 1623.

Many authors have ruined themselves by writing scandalous works, offensive to the moral feelings of not very scrupulous ages. Several chapters might be written on this not very savoury subject. We may mention Hélot's L'Escole des Filles, par dialogues (Paris, 1672, in-12). Hélot was the son of a lieutenant in the King's Swiss Guard. As he succeeded in making his escape from prison, he was hung in effigy, and his books were burnt. Chauveau, the celebrated engraver, who designed a beautiful engraving for Hélot, not knowing for what purpose it was intended, also incurred great risks, but fortunately he escaped with no greater penalty than the breaking of the plate on which he had engraved the design. The printer suffered with the author. Some think that Hélot was burnt at Paris with his books.

The Muses have often lured men from other and safer delights, and tempted them to wander in dangerous paths. Matteo Palmieri was a celebrated Italian historian, born at Florence in 1405; he was a man of much learning, endowed with great powers of energy and perseverance; he was entrusted with several important embassies, and achieved fame as an historian by his vast work Chronicon Générale, in which he set himself the appalling task of writing the history of the world from the creation to his own time. The first part of this work, consisting of extracts from the writings of Eusebius and Prosper, remains unpublished. The rest first saw the light in 1475, and subsequent editions appeared at Venice in 1483, and at Basle in 1529 and 1536. He wrote also four books on the Pisan War. Would that he had confined himself to his histories! Unfortunately he wrote a poem, which was never published, entitled Citta Divina, representing the soul released from the chains of the body, and freed from earthly stain, wandering through various places, and at last resting amid the company of the blessed in heaven. Our souls are angels who in the revolt of Lucifer were unwilling to attach themselves either to God or to the rebel hosts of heaven. So, as a punishment, God made them dwell in mortal bodies in a state of probation. This work was considered tainted with the Manichaean heresy, and was condemned to the flames, and some assert that Palmieri shared the fate of his book. This, however, is doubtful.

Very fatal to himself were the odes and philippics of M. La Grange, written in 1720, and published in Paris in 1795, in-12, with the title Les Philippiques, Odes, par M. de la Grange-Chancel, Seigneur d'Antoniat en Périgord, avec notes historiques, critiques, et littéraires. In these poems he attacked with malignant fury the Duke of Orleans, Regent of France, and was obliged to fly for safety to Avignon. There he was betrayed by a false friend, who persuaded him to walk into French territory, and delivered him into the hands of a band of soldiers prepared for his capture. The poet was conducted to the Isle of Ste. Marguerite, and confined in a dungeon. The governor of the castle was enchanted by his talents and gaiety, and gave him great liberty. But Le Grange's pen was still restless. He must needs make a bitter epigram upon his kind benefactor, which so aroused the governor's ire that the poet was sent back to his dungeon cell. A piteous ode addressed to the Regent imploring pardon secured for him a less rigorous confinement. He succeeded in effecting his escape; then wandered through many lands; and at last, on the death of the Regent in 1723, ventured to return to France, where he lived many years and wrote much poetry and several plays, dying in 1758. It has never been ascertained what was the cause of his animosity to the Regent; certainly his verses glow with fiery invective and abuse. He speaks of him as un monstre farouche. The following example will perhaps be sufficient to be quoted:—

  "Il ouvrit à peine les paupières,
  Que, tel qu'il se montre aujourd'hui,
  Il fut indigné des barrières
  Qu'il vit entre le trône et lui.
  Dans ses détestables idées
  De l'art des Circés, des Médées,
  Il fit ses uniques plaisirs;
  Il crut cette voie infernale
  Digne de remplir l'intervalle
  Qui s'opposait à ses désirs."

Voltaire suffered one year's imprisonment in the Bastille on account of a satirical poem on Louis XIV., and in confinement wrote an epic poem, La Henriade. Some other storms raised by his works, such as his Lettres Philosophiques and his Epître à Uranie, he weathered by flight, or by unscrupulously denying their authorship. The rest of his works, contained in seventy volumes, do not concern our present purpose.

Our English poet James Montgomery began life as a poor shop-boy. At an early age he began to write verses, and became editor of a Sheffield newspaper. The troubles of the French Revolution then broke out, and fired the extreme Radical spirit of the poetical editor. His writings attracted the attention of the Government, and he was sent to prison, where he wrote several poems—Ode to the Evening Star, Pleasures of Imprisonment, and Verses to a Robin Redbreast.

As late as the middle of the seventeenth century a young unfortunate poet, in spite of the interest of powerful friends, was hung and burnt at Paris. This was young Pierre Petit, the author of La B—— céleste, chansons et autres Poésies libres. His productions were certainly infamous and scandalous, but that was no reason why the poet should have been hanged. Moreover the poems existed only in MS.; subsequently they were published in a Recueil de Poésies. The manner of the discovery of the poems is curious, and serves as a warning to incautious bards. Leaving his chamber one day, he opened the window, and unfortunately a strong gust of wind carried several pages of MS. which were lying on his table into the street. A priest who happened to be passing the house examined one or two of the drifting poems, and, discovering that they were impious, denounced Petit to the authorities. His rooms furnished a large supply of similar work, and, as we have said, the poet paid the penalty for his rashness at the gallows.

Although the methods of later critics are less severe than their inquisitorial predecessors, they have not been without their victims, and books maltreated by them have sometimes "done to death" their authors.

A century ago furious invective was the fashion, and the tender mercies of the reviewers were cruel. Poor Keats died of criticism, if Shelley's story be true. On the appearance of Endymion the review in Blackwood told the young poet "to go back to his gallipots," and that it was a wiser and better thing to be a starved apothecary than a starved poet. Such vulgar abuse was certainly not criticism. Shelley wrote that "the savage criticism on Keats' Endymion which appeared in the Quarterly Review produced the most violent effects on his susceptible mind; the agitation thus originated ended in the rupture of a blood-vessel in the lungs; a rapid consumption ensued, and the succeeding acknowledgments from more candid critics of the true greatness of his powers were ineffectual to heal the wound thus wantonly inflicted. It may be well said, that these wretched men know not what they do. They scatter their insults and their slanders without heed as to whether the poisonous shafts light on a heart made callous by many blows, or one like Keats', composed of more penetrable stuff." And then addressing the reviewer he says: "Miserable man! you, one of the meanest, have wantonly defaced one of the noblest specimens of the workmanship of God. Nor shall it be your excuse that, murderer as you are, you have spoken daggers, but used none."

Joseph Ritson, the antiquary, who, though not a poet, was a great writer on poetry and our early English songs and ballads, complained bitterly of the ignorant reviewers, and described himself as brought to an end in ill-health and low spirits—certain to be insulted by a base and prostitute gang of lurking assassins who stab in the dark, and whose poisoned daggers he had already experienced. Ritson himself was a fairly venomous critic, and the "Ritsonian" style has become proverbial. Nowadays authors do not usually die of criticism, not even susceptible poets. Critics can still be severe enough, but they are just and generous, and never descend to that scurrilous personal abuse of authors which inflicted such severe wounds a century ago, and sometimes caused to flow the very heart's blood of their victims.


Sir John Yorke and Catholic Plays—Abraham Cowley—Antoine Danchet—Claude Crébillon—Nogaret—François de Salignac Fénélon.

Of the misfortunes of dramatists and romance-writers I have little to record, but it would not be safe to conclude that this subject always furnished a secure field for literary activity. However, the successes of the writers of fiction and plays in our own times might console the Muse for any indignities which her followers have suffered in the past.

In our own country the early inventors of dramatic performances—Mysteries, Moralities, and Interludes—lived securely, their names being unknown. When penal laws were in force against Roman Catholics, plays inculcating their doctrines and worship were often secretly performed in the houses of Catholic gentry. The anonymous author was indeed safe, but Sir John Yorke and his lady were fined one thousand pounds apiece and imprisoned in the Tower on account of a play performed in their house at Christmas, 1614, containing "many foul passages to the vilifying of our religion and exacting of popery."

Abraham Cowley was driven into retirement by his unfortunate play Cutter of Coleman Street, which was an improved edition of his unfinished comedy entitled The Guardian, acted at Cambridge before the Court at the beginning of the Civil War. After the Restoration he produced the revised version under the name of Cutter of Coleman Street, the principal character being a merry person who bore that cognomen. Some of the aspirants to royal favour persuaded the King that the play was a satire directed against him and his Court, and the poor poet, condemned by the enemies of the Muses, calumniated and deprived of all hopes of preferment, retired in disgust to a country retreat among the hills of Surrey. The disfavour of the Court was also increased by his Ode to Brutus, wherein he had extolled the genius of his hero, and praised liberty in language too enthusiastic for the Court of Charles II. The spirit of melancholy claimed Cowley for her own. Disappointment and disgust clouded his heart; ill-health followed, and soon the poor poet breathed his last. As is not unusual, the learned and the great mourned over and praised the dead poet whom when alive they had so cruelly neglected.

Antoine Danchet was one of the most famous of French dramatic writers, although his poetry was not of a very high order and lacked energy and colour. He was born at Riom, in Auvergne, in 1671; he distinguished himself at the college of the Oratorian fathers, and soon came to Paris to become a teacher of youths and to finish his studies at the Jesuit College. At a very early age he manifested a great love of poetry, and when he used to recite the whole of Horace he was rewarded by a wealthy patron with a present of thirty louis d'ors. He bore so noble a character and had such a reputation for learning that a certain noble lady on her death-bed entrusted him with the charge of her two sons, giving him a pension of two hundred livres, on the condition that he should never leave them. Soon after her death he was ordered to write some verses for a ballet produced at Court; this led him to acquire a taste for the theatre, and he produced in 1700 an opera entitled Hésione, which met with a great success. The relations of his pupils were aroused. It was scandalous that a teacher of youths should write plays. All the arguments that superstition could suggest were used against him. He must relinquish his charge; he must refund the pension which he had received from the mistaken mother. But Danchet saw no reason why he should conform to their demands, and refused to relinquish his charge. They urged him still more vehemently, but met with the same response. They at length refused to pay him the pension, and withdrew his pupils from his care. A troublesome law-suit followed, but at length the poet emerged triumphant from the troubles in which his love of the drama had involved him. He produced also the tragedies of Cyrus, Tyndarides, Héraclides, and Nitétis, but these did not meet with the success of his earlier work. He was a devoted son to his mother, depriving himself of even the necessaries of life in order to support her. He showed himself a kind and generous friend to all, and always took a keen interest in young men. One of these brought him an elegy written to his mistress and bewailing her misfortunes. The verses began with Maison qui renfermes l'objet de mon amour. "Is not that word maison rather feeble?" observed Danchet; "would not palais, beau lieu ... be better?" "Yes," replied the poet, "but it is a maison de force, a prison!" A complete edition of his works was published after his death in 1751.

The younger Crébillon (Claude Prosper Jolyot) was confined in the Bastille on account of his satirical romance Tanzai et Néadarné (1734, 2 vols., in-12). His father, Prosper Crébillon, was a very famous French dramatic poet, and discarded the profession of the law for the sake of the Muses. Idomeneus, Atreus Electra, Rhadamistus, and the Triumvirate were some of his works. The son possessed much of his father's genius, and his wit and gaiety rendered him a pleasant companion. At one time he was a great favourite amongst the élite of Parisian society. But his satirical and licentious romances brought him into trouble, and the above-mentioned work conducted him to the Bastille, wherein so many authors have been incarcerated. He died in 1777.

The name is not known of a young man who came to Paris with a marvellous play which he felt sure would electrify the world and cover its author with glory. Unhappily, he met with a cold reception by a stern critic, who, with merciless severity, pointed out the glaring errors in his beloved work. The poor author, overcome with vexation, returned home with a broken heart, burnt his tragedy, and died of grief.

M. Nogaret is not the only author who has been unfortunate in the selection of a subject for a romance. He wrote a book entitled La Capucinade (1765), and the heroes of his story are the Capuchin monks, whom he treated somewhat severely. This work and his Mémoires de Bachaumont conducted the author to the Bastille.

Few are ignorant of that most charming, graceful, and immortal work Télémache. Not only has it been studied and admired by every Frenchman, but it has been translated into German, English, Spanish, Flemish, and Italian. But in spite of the great popularity which the work has enjoyed, perhaps few are acquainted with the troubles which this poetic drama and romance brought upon its honoured author. François de Salignac de la Mothe Fénélon, born in the castle of his ancestors at Fénélon in 1651, was a man of rare piety, virtue, and learning, who deservedly attained to the highest ecclesiastical honours, and was consecrated Archbishop of Cambray. He had previously been appointed by Louis XIV. tutor to the Dauphin, and his wit and grace made him a great favourite at the Court, and even Madame de Maintenon for a time smiled upon the noble churchman, whose face was so remarkable for its expressiveness that, according to the Court chronicler Saint Simon, "it required an effort to cease looking at him." His Fables and Dialogues of the Dead were written for his royal pupil. It is well known that the Archbishop sympathised strongly with Madame Guyon and the French mystics, that he did not approve of some of the extravagant expressions of that ardent enthusiast, but vindicated the pure mysticism in his famous work Maximes des Saints. This work involved him in controversy with Bossuet, and through the influence of Louis XIV. a bull was wrung from Pope Innocent XII. condemning the book, and declaring that twenty-three propositions extracted from it were "rash, scandalous, and offensive to pious ears, pernicious and erroneous." The Pope was very reluctant to pass this sentence of condemnation, and was induced to do so through fear of Louis, and not because he considered the book to be false. With his usual gentleness, Fénélon accepted the sentence without a word of protest; he read the brief in his own cathedral, declaring that the decision of his superiors was to him an echo of the Divine Will. Fénélon had aroused the hatred of Madame de Maintenon by opposing her marriage with the King, which took place privately in 1685, and she did not allow any opportunity to escape of injuring and persecuting the Archbishop. At this juncture, through the treachery of a servant, Télémache was published. At first it was received with high favour at Court. It inculcated the truth that virtue is the glory of princes and the happiness of nations, and while describing the adventures of the son of Ulysses its author strove to establish the true system of state-craft, and his work is imbued with a sense of beauty and refinement which renders it a most pleasurable book to read. But Madame de Maintenon was grievously offended by its success, and by the praise which even Louis bestowed upon it. She easily persuaded him that the work was a carefully executed satire directed against the ministers of the Court, and that even the King himself was not spared. Malignant tongues asserted that Madame de Montespan, the King's former mistress, might be recognised under the guise of Calypso, Mademoiselle de Fontanges in Eucharis, the Duchess of Bourgogne in Antiope, Louvois in Prothésilas, King James in Idoménée, and Louis himself in Sésostris. This aroused that monarch's indignation. Fénélon was banished from Court, and retired to Cambray, where he spent the remaining years of his life, honoured by all, and beloved by his many friends. Strangers came to listen to his words of piety and wisdom. He performed his episcopal duties with a care and diligence worthy of the earliest and purest ages of the Church, and in this quiet seclusion contented himself in doing good to his fellow-creatures, in spite of the opposition of the King, the censures of the Pope, and the vehement attacks of his controversial foes Bossuet and the Jansenists. In addition to his fatal book he wrote Démonstration de l'existence de Dieu, Réfutation du Système de Malebranche, and several other works.

The Jansenist Abbé Barral, in his Dictionnaire Historique, Littéraire, et Critique, des Hommes Célèbres, thus speaks of our author and his work: "He composed for the instruction of the Dukes of Burgundy, Anjou, and Berri several works; amongst others, the Telemachus—a singular book, which partakes at once of the character of a romance and of a poem, and which substitutes a prosaic cadence for versification. But several luscious pictures would not lead us to suspect that this book issued from the pen of a sacred minister for the education of a prince; and what we are told by a famous poet is not improbable, that Fénélon did not compose it at Court, but that it is the fruits of his retreat in his diocese. And indeed the amours of Calypso and Eucharis should not be the first lessons that a minister ought to give to his scholars; and, besides, the fine moral maxims which the author attributes to the Pagan divinities are not well placed in their mouth. Is not this rendering homage to the demons of the great truths which we receive from the Gospel, and to despoil Jesus Christ to render respectable the annihilated gods of paganism? This prelate was a wretched divine, more familiar with the light of profane authors, than with that of the fathers of the Church." The Jansenists were most worthy men, but in their opinion of their adversary Fénélon they were doubtless mistaken.


The Printers of Nicholas de Lyra and Caesar Baronius—John Fust—Richard Grafton—Jacob van Liesvelt—John Lufftius—Robert Stephens (Estienne)—Henry Stephens—Simon Ockley—Floyer Sydenham—Edmund Castell—Page—John Lilburne—Etienne Dolet—John Morin—Christian Wechel—Andrew Wechel—Jacques Froullé—Godonesche—William Anderton.

Authors have not been the only beings who have suffered by their writings, but frequently they have involved the printers and sellers of their works in their unfortunate ruin. The risks which adventurous publishers run in our own enlightened age are not so great as those incurred a few centuries ago. Indeed Mr. Walter Besant assures us that now our publishers have no risks, not even financial! They are not required to produce the huge folios and heavy quartos which our ancestors delighted in, and poured forth with such amazing rapidity, unless there is a good subscribers' list and all the copies are taken.

The misfortunes of booksellers caused by voluminous authors might form a special subject of inquiry, and we commend it to the attentions of some other Book-lover. We should hear the groans of two eminent printers who were ruined by the amazing industry of one author, Nicholas de Lyra. He himself died long before printing was invented, in the year 1340, but he left behind him his great work, Biblia sacra cum interpretationibus et postillis, which became the source of trouble to the printers, Schweynheym and Pannartz, of Subiaco and Rome. They were persuaded or ordered by the Pope or his cardinals to print his prodigious commentary on the Bible; when a few volumes had been printed they desired most earnestly to be relieved of their burden, and petitioned the Pope to be saved from the bankruptcy which this mighty undertaking entailed. They possessed a lasting memento of this author in the shape of eleven hundred ponderous tomes, which were destined to remain upon their shelves till fire or moths or other enemies of books had done their work. These volumes began to be printed in 1471, and contain the earliest specimens of Greek type.

The printers of the works of Prynne, Barthius, Reynaud, and other voluminous writers must have had a sorry experience with their authors; but "once bitten twice shy." Hence some of these worthies found it rather difficult to publish their works, and there were no authors' agents or Societies of Authors to aid their negotiations. Indeed we are told that a printer who was saddled with a large number of unsaleable copies of a heavy piece of literary production adopted the novel expedient of bringing out several editions of the work! This he accomplished by merely adding a new title-page to his old copies, whereby he readily deceived the unwary.

Catherino, in his book entitled L'Art d'Imprimer, quotes the saying of De Fourcey, a Jesuit of Paris, that "one might make a pretty large volume of the catalogue of those who have entirely ruined their booksellers by their books."

But the booksellers and printers whose hard fate I wish principally to record are those who shared with the authors the penalties inflicted on account of their condemned books. Unhappily there have been many such whose fate has been recorded, and probably there are many more who have suffered in obscurity the terrible punishments which the stern censors of former days knew so well how to inflict.

One of the reputed discoverers of the art of printing, John Fust, is said to have been persecuted; he was accused at Paris of multiplying the Scriptures by the aid of the Devil, and was compelled to seek safety in flight.

The booksellers of the historian Caesar Baronius, [Footnote: Cf. page 97.] whose account of the Spanish rule in Sicily so enraged Philip III. of Spain, were condemned to perpetual servitude, and were forced to endure the terrible tortures inflicted on galley slaves.

The early printers of the Bible incurred great risks. Richard Grafton and Edward Whitchurch, together with Miles Coverdale, were entrusted to arrange for the printing of Thomas Mathew's translation. The work was given to the printers in Paris, as the English printers were not very highly esteemed. The book was nearly completed when the Inquisition effectually stopped the further progress of the work by seizing the sheets, and Grafton with his companions were forced to fly. Then Francis Regnault, whose brother's colophon is the admiration of all bibliophiles, undertook the printing of the New Testament, made by Miles Coverdale, which was finished at Paris in 1538. Richard Grafton and Whitchurch contrived to obtain their types from Paris, and the Bible was completed in 1539. Thus they became printers themselves, and as a reward for his labour, when the Roman Catholics again became rulers in high places, Richard Grafton was imprisoned. His printer's mark was a graft, or young tree, growing out of a tun.

The title of the Bible which was begun in Paris and finished in London is as follows:—

    The Byble in Englyshe. 1539. Folio.

    "The Byble in Englyshe, that is to saye the content of all the Holy
    Scrypture, bothe of the Olde, and Newe Testament, truly translated
    after the veryte of the Hebrue and Greke textes, by the dylygent
    studye of dyuerse excellent learned men, expert in the forsayde
    tongues. Printed by Rychard Grafton and Edward Whitchurche. Cum
    priuilegio—solum. 1539."

This Grafton was also a voluminous author, and wrote part of Hall's Chronicles, an abridgment of the Chronicles of England, and a manual of the same.

Whether by accident or intention, a printer of the Bible in the reign of Charles I. omitted the important negative in the Seventh Commandment. He was summoned to appear before the High Commission Court, and fined three thousand pounds. The story is also told of the widow of a German printer who strongly objected to the supremacy of husbands, and desired to revise the text of the passage in the Sacred Scriptures which speaks of the subjection of wives (Genesis iii. 16). The original text is "He shall be thy lord." For Herr (lord) in the German version she substituted Narr, and made the reading, "He shall be thy fool." It is said that she paid the penalty of death for this strange assertion of "woman's rights."

We must not omit the name of another martyr amongst the honourable rank of printers of the Scriptures, Jacob van Liesvelt, who was beheaded on account of his edition of the Bible, entitled Bible en langue hollandaise (Antwerpen, 1542, in-fol.).

John Lufftius, a bookseller and printer of Würtemburg, incurred many perils when he printed Luther's German edition of the Sacred Scriptures. It is said that the Pope used to write Lufftius' name on paper once every year, and cast it into the fire, uttering terrible imprecations and dire threatenings. But the thunders of Roman pontiffs did not trouble the worthy bookseller, who laughed at their threats, and exclaimed, "I perspired so freely at Rome in the flame, that I must take a larger draught, as it is necessary to extinguish that flame."

The same fatality befell Robert Stephanus, the Parisian printer. His family name was Estienne, but, according to the fashion of the time, he used the Latin form of the word. He edited and published a version of the Sacred Scriptures, showing the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin texts, and adding certain notes which were founded upon the writings of François Vatable, Abbot of Bellozane, but also contained some of the scholarly reflections of the learned bookseller. On the title-page the name of the Abbot appears first, before that of Stephanus. But considerable hostility was raised against him by this and other works on the part of the doctors of the Sorbonne. He was compelled to seek safety in flight, and found a secure resting-place in Geneva. His enemies were obliged to content themselves with burning his effigy. This troubled Stephanus quite as little as the Papal censures distressed Lufftius. At the time when his effigy was being burnt, the Parisian printer was in the snowy mountains of the Auvergne, and declared that he never felt so cold in his life.

The printers seem ever to have been on the side of the Protestants. In Germany they produced all the works of the Reformation authors with great accuracy and skill, and often at their own expense; whereas the Roman Catholics could only get their books printed at great cost, and even then the printing was done carelessly and in a slovenly manner, so as to seem the production of illiterate men. And if any printer, more conscientious than the rest, did them more justice, he was jeered at in the market-places and at the fairs of Frankfort for a Papist and a slave of the priests.

This Robert Stephanus (Estienne or Stephens, as the name is usually called) was a member of one of the most illustrious families of learned printers the world has ever seen. The founder of the family was Henry Stephens, born at Paris in 1470, and the last of the race died there in 1674. Thus for nearly two centuries did they confer the greatest advantages on literature, which they enriched quite as much by their learning as by their skill. Their biographies have frequently been written; so there is no occasion to record them. This Robert Stephens, who was exiled on account of his books, was one of the most illustrious scholars of his age. He printed, edited, and published an immense number of works in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, amongst others the Biblia Latina (1528), Latinae linguae Thesaurus (1531), Dictionarium latino-gallicum (1543), Ecclesiastica Historia Eusebii, Socrates, Theodoreti (1544), Biblia Hebraica (1544 and 1546), and many others. In the Bible of 1555 he introduced the divisions of chapter and verse, which are still used. With regard to the accuracy of his proofs we are told that he was so careful as to hang them up in some place of public resort, and to invite the corrections of the learned scholars who collected there. At Geneva his printing-press continued to pour forth a large number of learned works, and after his death, one of his sons, named Charles, carried on the business.

Another son of Robert Stephens, named Henry, was one of those scholars who have ruined themselves by their love of literature, devoting their lives and their fortunes to the production of volumes on some special branch of study in which only a few learned readers are interested. Hence, while they earn the gratitude of scholars and enrich the world of literature by their knowledge, the sale of their books is limited, and they fail to enrich themselves. The Thesaurus Linguae Graecae cost poor Henry Stephens ten years of labour and nearly all his fortune. This is a very valuable work, and has proved of immense service to subsequent generations of scholars. A second edition was published in London in 1815 in seven folio volumes, and recently another edition has appeared in Paris.

One of his works aroused the indignation of the Parisian authorities. It was entitled Introduction au Traité des Merveilles anciennes avec les modernes, ou Traité préparatif à l'Apologie pour Hérodote, par Henri Estienne (1566, in-8). This work was supposed to contain insidious attacks upon the monks and priests and Roman Catholic faith, comparing the fables of Herodotus with the teaching of Catholicism, and holding up the latter to ridicule. At any rate, the book was condemned and its author burnt in effigy. M. Peignot asserts in his Dictionnaire Critique, Littéraire, et Bibliographique that it was this Henry Stephens who uttered the bon mot with regard to his never feeling so cold as when his effigy was being burnt and he himself was in the snowy mountains of the Auvergne. Other authorities attribute the saying to his father, as we have already narrated.

Noble martyrs Literature has had, men who have sacrificed ease, comfort, and every earthly advantage for her sake, and who have shared with Henry Stephens the direst straits of poverty brought about by the ardour of their love. Such an one was a learned divine, Simon Ockley, Vicar of Swavesey in 1705, and Professor of Arabic at Cambridge in 1711, who devoted his life to Asiatic researches. This study did not prove remunerative; having been seized for debt, he was confined in Cambridge Castle, and there finished his great work, The History of the Saracens. His martyrdom was lifelong, as he died in destitution, having always (to use his own words) given the possession of wisdom the preference to that of riches. Floyer Sydenham, who died in a debtors' prison in 1788, and incurred his hard fate through devoting his life to a translation of the Dialogues of Plato, was another martyr; from whose ashes arose the Royal Literary Fund, which has prevented many struggling authors from sharing his fate. Seventeen long years of labour, besides a handsome fortune, did Edmund Castell spend on his Lexicon Heptaglotton; but a thankless and ungrateful public refused to relieve him of the copies of this learned work, which ruined his health while it dissipated his fortune. These are only a few names which might be mentioned out of the many. What a noble army of martyrs Literature could boast, if a roll-call were sounded!

Amongst our booksellers we must not omit the name of Page, who suffered with John Stubbs in the market-place at Westminster on account of the latter's work entitled The 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). Both author and publisher were condemned to the barbarous penalty of having their right hands cut off, as we have already recorded. [Footnote: Cf. page 129.]

"Sturdy John," as the people called John Lilburne of Commonwealth fame, was another purveyor of books who suffered severely at the hands of both Royalists and Roundheads. At the early age of eighteen he began the circulation of the books of Prynne and Bastwick, and for this enormity he was whipped from the Fleet to Westminster, set in the pillory, gagged, fined, and imprisoned. At a later stage in his career we find him imprisoned in the Tower by Cromwell, for his Just Reproof to Haberdashers' Hall, and fined £1,000; and his bitter attack on the Protector, entitled England's New Chains Discovered, caused him to pay another visit to the Tower and to be tried for high treason, of which he was subsequently acquitted. To assail the "powers that be" seemed ever to be the constant occupation of "Sturdy John" Lilburne. From the above example, and from many others which might be mentioned, it is quite evident that Roundheads, when they held the power, could be quite as severe critics of publications obnoxious to them as the Royalists, and troublesome authors fared little better under Puritan regime than they did under the Stuart monarchs.

Another learned French printer was Etienne Dolet, who was burned to death at Paris on account of his books in 1546. He lived and worked at Lyons, and, after the manner of the Stephens, published many of his own writings as well as those of other learned men. He applied his energies to reform the Latin style, and in addition to his theological and linguistical works cultivated the art of poetry. Bayle says that his Latin and French verses "are not amiss." In the opinion of Gruterus they are worthy of a place in the Deliciae Poetarum Gallorum; but the impassioned and scurrilous Scaliger, who hated Dolet, declares that "Dolet may be called the Muse's Canker, or Imposthume; he wildly affects to be absolute in Poetry without the least pretence to wit, and endeavours to make his own base copper pass by mixing with it Virgil's gold. A driveller, who with some scraps of Cicero has tagged together something, which he calls Orations, but which men of learning rather judge to be Latrations. Whilst he sung the fate of that great and good King Francis, his name found its own evil fate, and the Atheist suffered the punishment of the flames, which both he and his verses so richly merited. But the flames could not purify him, but were by him rather made impure. Why should I mention his Epigrams, which are but a common sink or shore of dull, cold, unmeaning trash, full of that thoughtless arrogance that braves the Almighty, and that denies His Being?" The conclusion of this scathing criticism is hardly meet for polite ears. A private wrong had made the censorious Scaliger more bitter than usual. In spite of the protection of Castellan, a learned prelate, Dolet at length suffered in the flames, but whether the charge of Atheism was well grounded has never been clearly ascertained.

Certainly the pious prayer which he uttered, when the faggots were piled around him, would seem to exonerate him from such a charge: "My God, whom I have so often offended, be merciful to me; and I beseech you, O Virgin Mother, and you, divine Stephen, to intercede with God for me a sinner." The Parliament of Paris condemned his works as containing "damnable, pernicious, and heretical doctrines." The Faculty of Theology censured very severely Dolet's translation of one of the Dialogues of Plato, entitled Axiochus, and especially the passage "Après la mort, tu ne seras rien," which Dolet rendered, "Après la mort, tu ne seras plus rien du tout." The additional words were supposed to convict Dolet of heresy. He certainly disliked the monks, as the following epigram plainly declares:—

Ad Nicolaum Fabricium Valesium De cucullatis.

  "Incurvicervicum cucullatorum habet
  Grex id subinde in ore, se esse mortuum
  Mundo: tamen edit eximie pecus, bibit
  Non pessime, stertit sepultum crapula,
  Operam veneri dat, et voluptatum assecla
  Est omnium. Idne est mortuum esse mundo?
  Aliter interpretare. Mortui sunt Hercule
  Mundo cucullati, quod inors tense sunt onus,
  Ad rem utiles nullam, nisi ad scelus et vitium."

Amongst the works published and written by Dolet may be mentioned:—

    Summaire des faits et gestes de François I., tant contre l'Empereur
    que ses sujets, et autres nations étrangères, composés d'abord en
    latin par Dolet, puis translatés en français par lui-même. Lyon,
    Etienne Dolet, 1540, in-4.

    Stephani Doleti Carminum, Libri IV. Lugduni, 1538, in-4.

    Brief Discours de la république françoyse, désirant la lecture des
    livres de l'Ecriture saincte luy estre loisable en sa langue vulgaire.
    Etienne Dolet, 1544, in-16.

    La fontaine de vie, in-16.

Several translations into French of the writings of Erasmus and Melanchthon may also be remembered, and the Geneva Bible, which was printed by Dolet.

One of the few remaining copies of Cymbalum mundi, en français, contenant quatre Dialogues poétiques, antiques, joyeux, et facétieux, par Thomas Duclevier (Bonaventure Despériers, Valet de chambre de la Reyne de Navarre) (Paris, Jehan Morin, 1537, in-8) reveals the fact that the printer, Jean Morin, was imprisoned on account of this work. Therein it is recorded that he presented the copy to the Chancellor with the request that he might be released from prison, where he had been placed on account of this work. The reasons given for its condemnation are various. Some state that the author, a friend of Clement Marot, intended to preach by the use of allegories the Reformed religion. Others say that it was directed against the manners and conduct of some members of the Court. Whether Morin's request was granted I know not, nor whether Despériers shared his imprisonment. At any rate, the author died in 1544 from an attack of frenzy.

Another famous printer at Paris in the sixteenth century was Christian Wechel, who published a large number of works. He was persecuted for publishing a book of Erasmus entitled De esu interdicto carnium, and some declare that he fell into grievous poverty, being cursed by God for printing an impious book. Thus one writer says that "in the year 1530 arose this abortive child of hell, who wrote a book against the Divine Justice in favour of infants dying without baptism, and several have wisely observed that the ruin of Christian Wechel and his labours fell out as a punishment for his presses and characters being employed in such an infamous work." However, there is reason to believe that the book was not so "impious," expressing only the pious hope that the souls of such infants might not be lost, and also that no great "curse" fell upon the printer, and that his poverty was apocryphal. At any rate, his son Andrew was a very flourishing printer; but he too was persecuted for his religious opinions, and narrowly escaped destruction in the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. He ran in great danger on that eventful night, and states that he would have been slaughtered but for the kindness of Hubert Languet, who lodged in his house. Andrew Wechel fled to Frankfort, where he continued to ply his trade in safety; and when more favourable times came re-established his presses at Paris. He had the reputation of being one of the most able printers and booksellers of his time.

The Revolutionary period in France was not a safe time for either authors or booksellers. Jacques Froullé was condemned to death in 1793 for publishing the lists of names of those who passed sentence on their King, Louis XVI., and doomed him to death. This work was entitled Liste comparative des cinq appels nominaux sur le procès et jugement de Louis XVI., avec les déclarations que les Députes ont faites à chacune des séances (Paris, Froullé, 1793, in-8). He gives the names of the deputies who voted on each of the five appeals, until at length the terrible sentence was pronounced, 310 voting for the reprieve and 380 for the execution of their monarch. The deputies were so ashamed of their work that they doomed the recorder of their infamous deed to share the punishment of their sovereign.

We have few instances of the illustrators of books sharing the misfortunes of authors and publishers, but we have met with one such example. Nicolas Godonesche made the engravings for a work by Jean Laurent Boursier, a doctor of the Sorbonne, entitled Explication abrégée des principales questions qui ont rapport aux affaires présentes (1731, in-12), and found that work fatal to him. This book was one of many published by Boursier concerning the unhappy contentions which for a long time agitated the Church of France. Godonesche, who engraved pictures for the work, was sent to the Bastille, and the author banished.

In all ages complaints are heard of the prolific writers who have been seized by the scribbling demon, and made to pour forth page after page which the public decline to read, and bring grief to the publishers. Pasquier's Letters contains the following passage, which applies perhaps quite as forcibly to the present age as to his own time: "I cannot forbear complaining at this time of the calamity of this age which has produced such a plenty of reputed or untimely authors. Any pitiful scribbler will have his first thoughts to come to light; lest, being too long shut up, they should grow musty. Good God! how apposite are these verses of Jodelle:—

  "'Et tant ceux d'aujourd'huy me fashent,
  Qui dès lors que leurs plumes laschent
  Quelque-trait soit mauvais ou bon,
  En lumière le vont produire,
  Pour souvent avec leur renom,
  Les pauvres Imprimeurs destruire.'"

This has been translated as follows:—

  "The scribbling crew would make one's vitals bleed,
   They write such trash, no mortal e'er will read;
   Yet they will publish, they must have a name;
   So Printers starve, to get their authors fame."

One would be curious to see the form of agreement between such prolific authors and their deluded publishers, and to learn by what arts, other than magical, the former ever induced the latter to undertake the publication of such fatal books.

The story of the establishment of the liberty of the Press in England is full of interest, and tells the history of several books which involved their authors and publishers in many difficulties. The censors of books did not always occupy an enviable post, and were the objects of many attacks. "Catalogue" Fraser lost his office for daring to license Walker's book on the Eikon Basilike, which asserted that Gauden and not Charles I. was the author. His successor Bohun was deprived of his orffice as licenser and sent to prison for allowing a pamphlet to be printed entitled King William and Queen Mary, Conquerors. The Jacobite printers suffered severely when they were caught, which was not very frequent. In obscure lanes and garrets they plied their secret trade, and deluged the land with seditious books and papers. One William Anderton was tracked to a house near St. James's Street, where he was known as a jeweller. Behind the bed in his room was discovered a door which led to a dark closet, and there were the types and a press, and heaps of Jacobite literature. Anderton was found guilty of treason, and paid the penalty of death for his crime. In 1695 the Press was emancipated from its thraldom, and the office of licenser ceased to exist. Henceforward popular judgment and the general good sense and right feeling of the community constituted the only licensing authority of the Press of England. Occasionally, when a publisher or author makes too free with the good name of an English citizen, the restraint of a prison cell is imposed upon the audacious libeller. Sometimes when a book offends against the public morals, and contains the outpourings of a voluptuous imagination, its author is condemned to lament in confinement over his indecorous pages. The world knows that Vizetelly, the publisher, was imprisoned for translating and publishing some of Zola's novels. Nana and L'Assommoir were indeed fatal books to him, as his imprisonment and the anxiety caused by the prosecution are said to have hastened his death. The right feeling and sound sense of the nation has guided the Press of this country into safe channels, and few books are fatal now on account of their unseemly contents or immoral tendencies.


Leland—Strutt—Cotgrave—Henry Wharton—Robert Heron—Collins—William Cole—Homeric victims—Joshua Barnes—An example of unrequited toil—Borgarutius—Pays.

We have still a list far too long of literary martyrs whose works have proved fatal to them, and yet whose names have not appeared in the foregoing chapters. These are they who have sacrificed their lives, their health and fortunes, for the sake of their works, and who had no sympathy with the saying of a professional hack writer, "Till fame appears to be worth more than money, I shall always prefer money to fame." For the labours of their lives they have received no compensation at all. Health, eyesight, and even life itself have been devoted to the service of mankind, who have shown themselves somewhat ungrateful recipients of their bounty.

Some of the more illustrious scholars indeed enjoy a posthumous fame,—their names are still honoured; their works are still read and studied by the learned,—but what countless multitudes are those who have sacrificed their all, and yet slumber in nameless graves, the ocean of oblivion having long since washed out the footprints they hoped to leave upon the shifting sands of Time! Of these we have no record; let us enumerate a few of the scholars of an elder age whose books proved fatal to them, and whose sorrows and early deaths were brought on by their devotion to literature.

What antiquary has not been grateful to Leland, the father of English archaeology! He possessed that ardent love for the records of the past which must inspire the heart and the pen of every true antiquary; that accurate learning and indefatigable spirit of research without which the historian, however zealous, must inevitably err; and that sturdy patriotism which led him to prefer the study of the past glories of his own to those of any other people or land. His Cygnea Cantio will live as long as the silvery Thames, whose glories he loved to sing, pursues its beauteous way through the loveliest vales of England. While his royal patron, Henry VIII., lived, all went well; after the death of that monarch his anxieties and troubles began. His pension became smaller, and at length ceased. No one seemed to appreciate his toil. He became melancholy and morose, and the effect of nightly vigils and years of toil began to tell upon his constitution. At length his mind gave way, ere yet the middle stage of life was passed; and although many other famous antiquaries have followed his steps and profited by his writings and his example, English scholars will ever mourn the sad and painful end of unhappy Leland.

Another antiquary was scarcely more fortunate. Strutt, the author of English Sports and Pastimes, whose works every student of the manners and customs of our forefathers has read and delighted in, passed his days in poverty and obscurity, and often received no recompense for the works which are now so valuable. At least he had his early wish gratified,—"I will strive to leave my name behind me in the world, if not in the splendour that some have, at least with some marks of assiduity and study which shall never be wanting in me."

Randle Cotgrave, the compiler of one of the most valuable dictionaries of early English words, lost his eyesight through laboriously studying ancient MSS. in his pursuit of knowledge. The sixteen volumes of MS. preserved in the Lambeth Library of English literature killed their author, Henry Wharton, before he reached his thirtieth year. By the indiscreet exertion of his mind, in protracted and incessant literary labours, poor Robert Heron destroyed his health, and after years of toil spent in producing volumes so numerous and so varied as to stagger one to contemplate, ended his days in Newgate. In his pathetic appeal for help to the Literary Fund, wherein he enumerates the labours of his life, he wrote, "I shudder at the thought of perishing in gaol." And yet that was the fate of Heron, a man of amazing industry and vast learning and ability, a martyr to literature.

He has unhappily many companions, whose names appear upon that mournful roll of luckless authors. There is the unfortunate poet Collins, who was driven insane by the disappointment attending his unremunerative toil, and the want of public appreciation of his verses. William Cole, the writer of fifty volumes in MS. of the Athenae Cantabrigienses, founded upon the same principle as the Athenae Oxonienses of Anthony Wood, lived to see his hopes of fame die, and yet to feel that he could not abandon his self-imposed task, as that would be death to him. Homer, too, has had some victims; and if he has suffered from translation, he has revenged himself on his translators. A learned writer, Joshua Barnes, Professor of Greek at Cambridge, devoted his whole energy to the task, and ended his days in abject poverty, disgusted with the scanty rewards his great industry and scholarship had attained. A more humble translator, a chemist of Reading, published an English version of the Iliad. The fascination of the work drew him away from his business, and caused his ruin. A clergyman died a few years ago who had devoted many years to a learned Biblical Commentary; it was the work of his life, and contained the results of much original research. After his death his effects were sold, and with them the precious MS., the result of so many hours of patient labour; this MS. realised three shillings and sixpence!

Fatal indeed have their works and love of literature proved to be to many a luckless author. No wonder that many of them have vowed, like Borgarutius, that they would write no more nor spend their life-blood for the sake of so fickle a mistress, or so thankless a public. This author was so troubled by the difficulties he encountered in printing his book on Anatomy, that he made the rash vow that he would never publish anything more; but, like many other authors, he broke his word. Poets are especially liable to this change of intention, as La Fontaine observes:—

  "O! combien l'homme est inconstant, divers,
  Foible, léger, tenant mal sa parole,
  J'avois juré, même en assez beaux vers,
  De renouncer à tout Conte frivole.
  Depuis deux jours j'ai fait cette promesse
  Puis fiez-vous à Rimeur qui répond
  D'un seul moment. Dieu ne fit la sagesse
  Pour les cerveaux qui hantent les neuf Soeurs."

In these days of omnivorous readers, the position of authors has decidedly improved. We no longer see the half-starved poets bartering their sonnets for a meal; learned scholars pining in Newgate; nor is "half the pay of a scavenger" [Footnote: A remark of Granger—vide Calamities of Authors, p. 85.] considered sufficient remuneration for recondite treatises. It has been the fashion of authors of all ages to complain bitterly of their own times. Bayle calls it an epidemical disease in the republic of letters, and poets seem especially liable to this complaint. Usually those who are most favoured by fortune bewail their fate with vehemence; while poor and unfortunate authors write cheerfully. To judge from his writings one would imagine that Balzac pined in poverty; whereas he was living in the greatest luxury, surrounded by friends who enjoyed his hospitality. Oftentimes this language of complaint is a sign of the ingratitude of authors towards their age, rather than a testimony of the ingratitude of the age towards authors. Thus did the French poet Pays abuse his fate: "I was born under a certain star, whose malignity cannot be overcome; and I am so persuaded of the power of this malevolent star, that I accuse it of all misfortunes, and I never lay the fault upon anybody." He has courted Fortune in vain. She will have nought to do with his addresses, and it would be just as foolish to afflict oneself because of an eclipse of the sun or moon, as to be grieved on account of the changes which Fortune is pleased to cause. Many other writers speak in the same fretful strain. There is now work in the vast field of literature for all who have the taste, ability, and requisite knowledge; and few authors now find their books fatal to them—except perhaps to their reputation, when they deserve the critics' censures. The writers of novels certainly have no cause to complain of the unkindness of the public and their lack of appreciation, and the vast numbers of novels which are produced every year would have certainly astonished the readers of thirty or forty years ago.

For the production of learned works which appeal only to a few scholars, modern authors have the aid of the Clarendon Press and other institutions which are subsidised by the Universities for the purpose of publishing such works. But in spite of all the advantages which modern authors enjoy, the great demand for literature of all kinds, the justice and fair dealing of publishers, the adequate remuneration which is usually received for their works, the favourable laws of copyright—in spite of all these and other advantages, the lamentable woes of authors have not yet ceased. The leaders of literature can hold their own, and prosper well; but the men who stand in the second, third, or fourth rank in the great literary army, have still cause to bewail the unkindness of the blind goddess who contrives to see sufficiently to avoid all their approaches to her.

For these brave, but often disheartened, toilers that noble institution, the Royal Literary Fund, has accomplished great things. During a period of more than a century it has carried on its beneficent work, relieving poor struggling authors when poverty and sickness have laid them low; and it has proved itself to be a "nursing mother" to the wives and children of literary martyrs who have been quite unable to provide for the wants of their distressed families. We have already alluded to the foundation of the Royal Literary Fund, which arose from the feelings of pity and regret excited by the death of Floyer Sydenham in a debtors' prison. It is unnecessary to record its history, its noble career of unobtrusive usefulness in saving from ruin and ministering consolation to those unhappy authors who have been wounded in the world's warfare, and who, but for the Literary Fund, would have been left to perish on the hard battlefield of life. Since its foundation £115,677 has been spent in 4,332 grants to distressed authors. All book-lovers will, we doubt not, seek to help forward this noble work, and will endeavour to prevent, as far as possible, any more distressing cases of literary martyrdom, which have so often stained the sad pages of our literary history.

In order to diminish the woes of authors and to help the maimed and wounded warriors in the service of Literature, we should like to rear a large Literary College, where those who have borne the burden and heat of the day may rest secure from all anxieties and worldly worries when the evening shadows of life fall around. Possibly the authorities of the Royal Literary Fund might be able to accomplish this grand enterprise. In imagination we seem to see a noble building like an Oxford College, or the Charterhouse, wherein the veterans of Literature can live and work and end their days, free from the perplexities and difficulties to which poverty and distress have so long accustomed them. There is a Library, rich with the choicest works. The Historian, the Poet, the Divine, the Scientist, can here pursue their studies, and breathe forth inspired thoughts which the res angusta domi have so long stifled. In society congenial to their tastes, far from "the madding crowd's ignoble strife," they may succeed in accomplishing their life's work, and their happiness would be the happiness of the community.

If this be but a dream, it is a pleasant one. But if all book-lovers would unite for the purpose of founding such a Literary College, it might be possible for the dream to be realised. Then the woes of future generations of authors might be effectually diminished, and Fatal Books have less unhappy victims.

  Abélard, Canon of Notre Dame.
  Agrippa, Henry Cornelius, astrologer.
  Alexandre, Noel, Church historian.
  Anderton, William, Jacobite printer.
  Aretino, Pietro, satirist.
  Arlotto of Padua, historian.
  Arnold of Brescia, disciple of Abélard.
  Arthington, pamphleteer.
  Ascoli, Cecco d', poet.
  Athos, Monks of Mount, Quietists.
  Audra, Joseph, historian.

  Bacon, Roger, philosopher.
  Balzac, pretended poverty of.
  Barnes, Joshua, translator.
  Baronius, Caesar, Church historian.
  Barrai, L'Abbé, his opinion of Fénélon.
  Barrow, pamphleteer.
  Bastwick, pamphleteer, attacked Laud.
  Bède, Noël, controversialist.
  Bekker, Balthazar, opponent of demoniacal possession.
  Berruyer, Isaac Joseph, Jesuit historian.
  Beverland, Adrian, poet.
  Biddle, John, Socinian and Unitarian.
  Billard, Pierre, satirised Jesuits.
  Boccalini, Trajan, Italian satirist.
  Bogarutius, anatomist.
  Bohun, censor.
  Bonfadio, Jacopo, Genoese historian.
  Borri, Joseph Francis, charlatan.
  Boursier, Jean Laurent, controversialist.
  Bruccioli, Antonio, translator.
  Bruno, Jordano, philosopher and atheist.
  Bruto, John Michael, Florentine historian.
  Buchanan, George, poet.
  Burton, attacked Laud.
  Bussy, Roger Rabutin de, satirist.

  Campanella, Thomas, philosopher and atheist.
  Carlyle, Thomas, an example of energy.
  Carpzov, Samuel Benedict, libelled Rüdiger.
  Carranza, Bartholomew, Archbishop of Toledo.
  Cartwright, pamphleteer.
  Castell, Edmund, polyglot.
  Caveirac, L'Abbé, Jesuit defender.
  Cinelli, John Giovanni, satirist.
  Clarke, Samuel, philosopher and theologian.
  Cole, William, author of Athenae Cantabrigienses.
  Collins, poet.
  Coppinger, pamphleteer.
  Cotgrave, Randle, lexicographer.
  Cowell, Dr., supporter of absolute monarchy.
  Cowley, Abraham, dramatist.
  Crébillon, the younger, dramatist.

  Danchet, Antoine, dramatist.
  Darigrand, author of L'Anti-Financier.
  Darrell, John, cleric and demonologist.
  Dassy, satirist.
  David, Francis, theologian.
  Dee, Dr., alchemist.
  Defoe, Daniel, satirical writer.
  Deforges, poet.
  Delaune, author of A Plea for the Nonconformists.
  Diderot, Denis, collaborateur of D'Alembert.
  Doleman, printer.
  Dolet, Etienne, printer and author.
  Dominis, Antonio de, Archbishop of Spalatro.
  Dort, Synod of, some of its proceedings.
  Dryander, nom-de-plume of Enzinas.
  Dryander, John, brother of Enzinas.
  Dupin, Louis Elias, Church historian.
  Durosoi, editor.

  Edzardt, Sebastian, theologian.
  Enzinas, Spanish translator, 23.
  Estienne, see Stephanus.

  Falkemberg, John de, fanatic.
  Felbinger, Jeremiah, Unitarian.
  Fénélon, François de la Mothe, Archbishop of Cambrai.
  Fisher, John, Bishop of Rochester, opponent of royal divorce.
  Fontaine, Nicolas, collaborateur of Le Maistre.
  Francus, Nicholas, poet.
  Fraser, "Catalogue," censor.
  Frischlin, Nicodemus, poet.
  Froullé, Jacques, bookseller.
  Fust, John, printer.

  Gacon, François, poet and satirist.
  Galileo, "father of experimental philosophy."
  Génébrard, Gilbert, controversialist.
  Giannone, Peter, Italian historian.
  Godonesche, Nicolas, engraver.
  Grafton, Richard, printer of Coverdale's Bible.
  Grandier, Urban, curé of London, opponent of celibacy of clergy.
  Greenwood, pamphleteer.
  Grotius, historian.

  Hacket, pamphleteer.
  Hales, John, pamphleteer.
  Harsnett, Bishop, the exposer of Darrell.
  Hartley, exorcist, friend of Darrell.
  Haudicquer, genealogist.
  Hélot, poet.
  Hemmerlin, Felix, satirist.
  Heron, Robert, voluminous author.
  Homeric victims.
  Huss, John, reformer and martyr, his writings.

  Johnson, Samuel, divine, author of Julian the Apostate.

  Keats, poet, Endymion cruelly reviewed.
  Kelly, Edward, necromancer, friend of Dr. Dee.
  Kuhlmann, Quirinus, "Prince of Fanatics".

  La Beaumelle, Laurence de, Memoirs of Madame de Maintenon.
  La Grange, poet.
  La Peyrère, Isaac de, ethnologist.
  Le Courayer, Pierre François Canon of St. Augustine.
  Leighton, Dr., author of Syon's Plea against Prelacy.
  Leland, archaeologist.
  Le Maistre, Louis, Jansenist and translator.
  Lenoir, Jean, Canon of Séez, political writer.
  Liesvelt, Jacob van, Dutch printer.
  Lilburne, "Honest John," bookseller and author.
  Linguet, Simon, political writer, de Lisle de Sales, philosopher.
  Liszinski Cazimir, Polish atheist.
  Literary College, ideal.
  Literary Fund, Royal.
  Lufftius, John, printer of Würtemburg.
  Lyra, Nicholas de, commentator, ruins his printers.
  Lyser, John, advocate of polygamy.

  Maffei, Raphael, his epigram on Valla.
  Maggi, Jerome, Venetian statesman.
  Maintenon, Madame de, Memoirs.
  Mariana, John, Spanish historian.
  Marolles, L'Abbé de, translator.
  Marot, Clement, poet, versifier of Psalms.
  Marprelate, Martin, nom-de-plume of various Puritan authors.
  Melanchthon, reformer, works published by Peucer.
  Molinos, Michael, Spanish theologian.
  Montague, Lord, victim of Reginald Pole's book.
  Montanus, Arius, translator of Polyglot Bible.
  Montgomery, James, poet.
  Morin, Jean, printer.
  Morin, Simon, fanatic.

  Nogaret, novelist.
  Nordemann, follower of Kuhlmann.

  Ochino, Bernardino, a Franciscan, advocate of polygamy.
  Ockham, William of, "The Invincible Doctor".
  Ockley, Simon, Vicar of Swavesey.
  Ovid, poet, exiled by Caesar.

  Page, printer of Stubbs' pamphlet.
  Palearius, Antonius, "Inquisitionis Detractator."
  Pallavicino, Ferrante, Italian satirist.
  Palmieri, Matteo, Italian historian.
  Pannartz, printer.
  Paolo, Fra, see Sarpi.
  Pasquier, his Letters quoted.
  Pasquinades, origin of term.
  Pays, French poet, quoted.
  Penry, pamphleteer.
  Petit, Pierre, poet.
  Peucer, Caspar, doctor of medicine and Calvinist.
  Pole, Sir Geoffrey, arrested by Henry VIII., escapes.
  Pole, Reginald, denounced Henry VIII.
  Primi, John Baptist, Count of St. Majole, historian.
  Prynne, William, author of Histriomastix.

  Quesnal, Pasquier, translator and theologian.

  Reboul, Italian pamphleteer.
  Reinking, Theodore, historian, condemned to eat his book.
  Richer, Edmund, political essayist.
  Ritson, Joseph, antiquary.
  Rosières, François de, Archdeacon of Toul, historian.
  Rothe, John, pretended prophet.
  Rousseau, Jean Baptiste, satirist.
  Rousseau, Jean Jacques, philosopher.
  Rudbeck, Swedish historian.
  Rudiger. John Christopher, biographer.

  Sacy, de, see Le Maistre.
  Salisbury, Countess of, victim of Pole's book.
  Sarpi, Pietro, Venetian historian.
  Savonarola, Florentine preacher.
  Scaliger, his criticism of Dolet.
  Schweynheym, printer.
  Scioppius, Caspar, satirist.
  Selden, John, author of De Decimis.
  Servetus, Michael, scientist and theologian, persecuted by Calvin.
  Sidney, Algernon, his manuscript a witness against him.
  Starkie, Nicholas, household possessed by devils, see Darrell.
  Stephanus or Stephens, Robert, Parisian printer.
  Stephens, Henry, son of above, printer.
  Strutt, author of English Sports and Pastimes.
  Stubbs, John, opponent of Elizabeth's marriage.
  Sydenham, Floyer, translator.

  Théophile, poet.
  Thou, de, French historian.
  Thou, Frederick Augustus de, son of above.
  Toland, John, freethinker.
  Tutchin, John, editor of Observator, persecuted by Jeffreys.
  Tyndale, William, translator of Bible and controversialist.

  Udal, Nicholas, part author of Marprelate pamphlets.
  Unigenitus, Papal Bull.
  Urseus, Anthony, becomes insane through loss of book.

  Valla, Lorenzo, Roman satirist.
  Vanini, Lucilio, philosopher and atheist.
  Villanovanus, nom-de-plume of Servetus.
  Virgil, Bishop of Salisbury, cosmologist.
  Vizetelly, publisher.
  Volaterranus, see Maffei.
  Voltaire, François Arouet de, satirical poem.

  Wecchiettus, Jerome, theologian.
  Wechel, Christian, Parisian printer.
  Wechel, Andrew, son of above.
  Weiser, Caspar, Swedish poet.
  Wentworth, Peter, pamphleteer.
  Wharton, Henry, died of overwork.
  Whitchurch, Edward, printer.
  Willenberg, Samuel Friedrich, advocate of polygamy.
  Williams, John, poet.
  Woolston, Thomas, freethinker.

  Yorke, Sir John, imprisoned for Roman Catholic play performed in his

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