« 上一頁繼續 »
with which they were accompanied were calculated to excite the deepest horror. At the dead hour of midnight the prisoner was taken from his cell, and put into a gondola, or Venetian boat, attended only, beside the sailors, by a single priest, to act as confessor. He was rowed out into the sea, beyond the two castles, where another boat was in waiting: a plank was then laid across the two gondolas, upon which the prisoner, having his body chained, and a heavy stone affixed to his feet, was placed ; and, on a signal given, the gondolas retiring from one another, he was precipitated into the deep.'-—p. 233,
The persecution throughout Italy was, of course, co-extensive with the heresy ; but here we feel almost compelled to pause, for in these days it is not gentlemanlike to talk about martyrs. “The prices of their ashes,' says Fuller, in his own inimitable language,
rise and fall in Smithfield market. However,' (he justly adds,) their real worth flotes not with people's phancies, no more than a rock in the sea rises and falls with the tide; St. Paul is still St. Paul, though the Lycaonians now would sacrifice to him, and presently afterward sacrifice him.' We shall, therefore, venture to draw the attention of our readers to a few individuals of that numerous and noble army,' which laid down their lives for the religious liberties of Italy and for the truth.
Faventino Fannio, (we abridge the narrative of Dr. M‘Crie,) a native of Faenza, within the States of the Church, having received the knowledge of the truth, by reading the Bible and other religious books, in his native language, imparted it to his neighbours, and was soon thrown into prison. Over-persuaded by his friends, he recanted, and regained his liberty, at the price of his peace of mind. He now determined to atone for his weakness, by spreading amongst his countrymen the reformed faith, with more zeal than before. He travelled through the province of Romagna, and wherever he had made a few converts, he left it to them to make others, and again went on his way rejoicing. At last, he was seized, and sent in chains to Ferrara :
* To the lamentations of his wife and sister, who came to see him in prison, he replied, “ Let it suffice you, that for your sakes I once denied my Saviour. Had I then had the knowledge which, by the grace of God, I have acquired since my fall, I would not have yielded to your entreaties. Go home in peace.” His imprisonment, which lasted two years, was to the furtherance of the Gospel, so that his bonds in Christ were manifest in all the place.'
He was visited by the princess Lavinia della Rovere, by Olympia Morata, and other persons of distinction. At length admittance was refused to strangers : he then applied himself successfully to the instruction and conversion of his fellow-prisoners,
some of whom were people of rank, confined for offences against the state. He was now condemned to solitary confinement, and his prison and keeper were frequently changed by the priests, who were afraid of the interest he excited in those about him. - But the day of his release drew on
• In the year 1550, Julius III., rejecting every intercession made for his life, ordered him to be executed. He was accordingly brought to the stake at an early hour in the morning, to prevent the people from witnessing the scene; and, being first strangled, was committed to the flames.'—p. 276.
Aonio Paleario was one of the best scholars of his day: he was successively a professor at Lucca and Milan. From the latter place, he was meditating a removal to Bologna, when, in the year 1566, he was caught, like many others, in that storm of persecution which followed the elevation of Pius V. to the popedom.
· Being seized by Frate Angelo da Cremona, the inquisitor, and conveyed to Rome, he was committed to close confinement in the Torre Nona. His book on the Benefit of Christ's death, (of which it may be remarked, that 40,000 copies were sold in six years,) his Commendations of Ochino, his Defence of himself before the senators of Sienna, and the suspicions which he had incurred during his residence at that place and at Lucca, were all revived against him. After the whole had been collected and sifted, the charge at last resolved itself into the four following articles :That he denied purgatory; disapproved of burying the dead in churches, preferring the ancient Roman method of sepulture without the walls of cities ; ridiculed the monastic life ; and appeared to ascribe justification solely to confidence in the mercy of God forgiving our sins through Jesus Christ. For holding these opinions he was condemned, after an imprisonment of three years, to be suspended on a gibbet, and his body to be given to the flames; and the sentence was executed on the third of July, 1570, in the seventieth year of his age'-it being fit that 'so obstinate a son of Belial (such is the humane reflection of a Roman catholic church historian) should be delivered to the fire, that, after suffering its momentary pains here, he might be bound in everlasting flames hereafter.' (p. 300.) What if we should say of him, on the other hand, as a church historian of our own says of Ridley, that, ' like Elijah, he was but going up to heaven in a chariot of fire
Bartolomeo Bartoccio was the son of a wealthy citizen of Castel, in the duchy of Spoletto. A companion in arms at the siege of Sienna first cominunicated to him the tenets of the reformers. He soon became an object of distrust to his bishop, and escaped to Venice; but when he had ascertained that all hope of return to his native place was gone, he retired to Geneva,
married, and became a manufacturer of silk. In the year 1567, the concerns of his trade took him to Genoa. He had as sumed a name, but having confided his own to a merchant, he was betrayed by him, and delivered to the inquisition.
• The magistrates of Geneva and Berne sent to demand his liberation from the Genoese republic, but hefore their envoy arrived, the prisoner had been sent to Rome, at the request of the pope. After suffering an imprisonment of nearly two years, he was sentenced to be burned alive. The courage which Bartocci had all along displayed did not forsake him in the trying hour. He walked to the place of execution with a firm step and unaltered countenance, and the cry“ Vittoria, Vittoria !” was distinctly heard from him after he was wrapped in the flames.'-p. 305.
But the blackest page in the annals of these hard-hearted times will be found in the history of that colony of Waldenses which we have already said had emigrated to Calabria. Here had they been dwelling for some generations, prosperous, and in peace. By the sixteenth century, they had increased to four thousand, and were possessed of two towns on the coast, Santo Xisto and La Guardia. Constant intercourse with their catholic neighbours, and a long separation from their kindred in the Alps, had corrupted their primitive simplicity, and though they still retained a form of worship of their own, they did not scruple to frequent mass. The report of a new doctrine abroad, resembling that of their forefathers, had reached their ears; they sought to become acquainted with it, and, convinced that they had been wrong in their conformity with the Roman catholic ritual, they applied to their brethren in the valleys of Pragela, and to the ministers of Geneva, for teachers, who should give them a better knowledge of these things. The circumstance was not long a secret at Rome, and two monks, Valerio Malvicino and Alfonso Urbino (’tis a pity to defraud them of their fame,) were sent to reduce them to obedience. They did their work like genuine sons of St. Dominic. In ancient times, heathen inquisitors required suspected Christians to cast a handful of incense upon an altar, and in default of this, they condemned them to the flames. These inquisitors of the holy office substituted attendance at mass as their test of orthodoxy. The people of Santo Xisto refused to comply, and fled to the woods. Those of La Guardia, deluded into a belief that their brethren had already subnitted, reluctantly acquiesced, only to reproach themselves with what they had done, when the truth was known. Two companies of foot soldiers were now sent in quest of the fugitives, but these latter were not to be intimidated by cries of · Amazzi, Amazzi !' and, taking their post on a hill, they came to a parley with the
captain. They entreated him to have pity on their wives and children: they said that they and their fathers had for ages dwelt in the country, and had given just cause of offence to no man; that they were ready to go by sea or land wherever their superiors might direct; that they would not take with them more than was needful for their support by the way, and would engage never to return; that they would cheerfully abandon their houses and substance, provided they could retain unmolested their principles and faith. To this address, as well as to the hope expressed at the same time, that they might not be driven to a desperate defence, the officer turned a deaf ear. His men were ordered to advance, and most of them fell by the swords of the Vaudois. The monks now wrote to Naples for assistance, which was sent, and all the cruelties which could be exercised by the combined ingenuity of pitiless banditti, (for such were literally the troops now employed,) and yet more pitiless inquisitors, were put in force against this devoted race. Of the last scene of their sufferings, a record is preserved in a letter to Ascanio Caraccioli, from his servant, an eye-witness of the facts he relates, and a Roman catholic. It is given by Dr. M‘Crie, as follows :
Most Illustrious Sir-Having written you from time to time what has been done here in the affair of heresy, I have now to inform you of the dreadful justice which began to be executed on these Lutherans early this morning, being the eleventh of June; and, to tell you the truth, I can compare it to nothing but the slaughter of so many sheep. They were all shut up in one house, as in a sheep-fold: the executioner went, and bringing out one of them, covered his face with a napkin or benda, as we call it, and causing him to kneel down, cut his throat with a knife. Then, taking off the bloody napkin, he went and brought out another, whom he put to death after the same manner. In this way, the whole number, amounting to eighty-eight, were butchered. I leave you to figure to yourself the lamentable spectacle, for I scarcely can refrain from tears while I write; nor was there any person, who, after witnessing the execution of one, could stand to look on a second. The meekness and patience with which they went to martyrdom and death was incredible. Some of them at their death professed themselves of the same faith with us, but the greater part died in their cursed obstinacy. All the old men met their death with cheerfulness, but the young exhibited symptoms of fear.
• According to orders, waggons were already come to carry away the dead bodies, which are appointed to be quartered and hung up on the public roads, from one end of Calabria to the other. Unless his holiness and the viceroy of Naples command the marquess de Bruccianici, the governor of this province, to stay his hand, and leave off, he will go on to put others to the torture, and multiply the executions until he has destroyed the whole. Even to-day, a decree has passed,
that a hundred grown-up women shall be put to the question, and afterwards executed.
• The heretics taken in Calabria amount to sixteen hundred, all of whom are condemned; but only eighty-eight have as yet been put to death. This people came originally from the valley of Angrogna, near Savoy, and in Calabria are called “ Ultra-Montani.” Four other places in the kingdom of Naples are inhabited by the same race, but I do not know that they behave ill, for they are a simple unlettered people, entirely occupied with the spade and plough, and, I am told, show themselves sufficiently religious at the hour of death.'—p. 263.
Lest the reader,' continues Dr. M‘Crie, should be inclined to doubt the truth of such horrid atrocities, the following summary account of them, by a Neapolitan historian of that age, may be added.'
After giving some account of the Calabrian heretics, he says
• Some had their throats cut, others were sawn through the middle, aud others thrown from the top of a high cliff; all were cruelly but deservedly put to death. It was strange to hear of their obstinacy; for while the father saw the son put to death, and the son his father, they not only gave no symptoms of grief, but said, joyfully, that they would be angels of God: so much had the devil, to whom they had given themselves up as a prey, deceived them.'
Dr. M‘Crie thus winds up this miserable narrative :
• By the time that the persecutors were glutted with blood, it was not difficult to dispose of the prisoners who remained. The men were sent to the Spanish gallies; the women and children were sold for slaves ; and, with the exception of a few who renounced their faith, the whole colony was exterminated. “ Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth,” may the race of the Waldenses
say, Many a time have they afflicted me from my youth; my blood, the violence done to me and to my flesh be upon” Rome!'-p. 266.
Who can read these piteous details without saying Amen to the closing prayer of that collect in verse (as it has been well called), of our great poet, writ on a similar massacre of the original stock?
• O Lord, their martyred blood and ashes sow
Early may fly the Babylonian woe!' The protestants who survived were, for the most part, scattered abroad. Those who lived near the borders sought an asylum in Switzerland and France, and some travelled even as far as Flanders and England. They introduced into the countries which received them many of the arts peculiar to their own : silk manufactories, mills, and dying-houses, were built under their instruc