Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

blaspheme God, and also compell all others to do the like, what cloke haue you here to permitte this wickednesse ?

“To be shorte, if she at the burninge of three hundreth Martyrs at the leste, could haue bene satisfied and vnfaynedly moned to confesse the true Christe and Messias, and repented her former rebellion in geuing contrarie commandement to all her dominions, charging them to receaue agayne the true religion and to expell all blasphemous idolatrie of the pestilent papistes : and that none shulde speake any euill agaynst Christe and his Religion (as did Nabachadnezer by the example of three persons onely, whom the fire by the power of God coulde not touche) then were she more to be borne with, and reuerenced as a Ruler (if it were lawfull for a woman to rule at all) then were there also some probabilitie in the reasons of the aduersaries of this doctrine. Otherwise as you now see, it maketh nothing at all for their purpose."Goodman,

p. 130.

[ocr errors]

6

[ocr errors]

I am not singular in viewing Knox and Goodman as the chief political guides of their party. They were so considered (and with very good reason) in their own time, not only by their own friends, but by their Romish enemies; and, to give one instance, they have been very particularly and pleasantly set forth as such in “ An Oration against the

Unlawfull Insurrections of the Protestantes of our time, 'vnder pretence to Refourme Religion I made and pro

nounced in Latin, in the Schole of Artes at Louaine, the 'xiiij of December. Anno 1565. By Peter Frarin of Andwerp, M. of Arte, and Bacheler of both lawes. And now translated into English, with the aduise of the Author.' The book has one peculiarity for which it deserves to be noticed ; and for which, I presume, it is indebted to the translator. I mean, “ The Table of this Booke set ovt not by order of Alphabete or numbre but by expresse figure, to the eye and sight of the Christian Reader, and of him also that cannot reade.” In fact it has a sort of pictorial index, each page of which contains two cuts having

1 In the prefatory epistle from "The Translatour to the Gentle Reader" we are informed that ;-"Among many other laudable customes of the noble Vniuersitie of Louaine, this one is yearely observed there, that in the moneth of December al ordinarie lessons cease for the space of one whole weeke, and in place thereof some Learned man is chosen .by common assent to be the President of certaine disputations : wherein 'be proponeth, to such as are thereto appointed, diuerse frutefull ques

tions in Diuinitie, Law, Physick, Phylosophie, Humanitie, and in all probable matters," &c. The translation was printed by John Fouler, Antwerp, 1566, 8vo; and from his signature to the letter above mentioned it would seem as if he was also the translator.

[ocr errors]

underneath them respectively references to the signature of the page of the book in which the subject which they represent is treated of, and two or more verses describing it. One of these cuts is so much to our purpose that I cannot help offering the reader a facsimile.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

E vi. ff it
No Queene in her kingdome can or ought

to syt fast
It Knokes or Goodmans bookes blowe

any true blast. Few readers will, I suppose, dispute the truth of this poetical statement; or wonder that Mr. Peter Frarin included the “Gospellers of England” among the insurgent protestants who were the subject of his oration.

“I could," he says, “declare vnto you, how the traiterouse Gospellers of England gathered a maine hoste againste their moste vertuouse ladie Queen Marie the rare treasure the peerlesse Jewell, the most perfecte paterne and Example of our daies. How they shotte arrowes and dartes againste her Courte gates, conspired her death, deuised to poison her, to kil her with a dagge at one time, with a priuie dagger at an other time, reuiled her, called her bastard, boutcher, printed seditiouse bokes againste her, wherein they railed at her like Hellhoundes, and named her traiterouse Marie, mischeuouse Marie.”—Sig. E. vi.

The reader will guess the parts of this extract which bear the marginal notes “Wiate's Rebellion” and “Knokes boke.” Indeed Mr. Peter Frarin seems to have had good information on the former of these points, and some phrases sound as if he had heard the report of the "great gun;" for instance ;

“Your purpose was, ye say, to refourme the christian faith. How then ? When you could not therein preuail, nor perswade the people, that was somewhat stubborn and stiffnecked perhaps as you judged, did you think it the best way by & by with gonne shot and bytels to beat and driue the faith into their heades ?-Sig. B. vi.

“O master ministers, it is a very harde word that ye bring vs, for ye speake gonnestones, your gospel is to hot, ye preache fire and powder, your religion is to cruel, it breedeth bloud and murder."Sig. C. v.

“Ye travailed to bring the world to your Religion by villany, railing, and dubble cannons.”—Sig. C. vij. b.

If there be any who think this strong language they will perhaps feel it difficult to answer the orator when he more dispassionately asks “ Was it meete that because they could not freely and frankly preache the worde, therefore by and by they should lay hand on the sword ?”—Sig. C iv. b.

But we must go on, for there are other witnesses beside Knox and Goodman, of whose testimony we must have specimens. Take the following extract from Bishop Ponet. A few words at the beginning of it have been given already at p. 58, and are here repeated to show the connexion of the passage and render it more intelligible.

“But before the balter stoppe thy winde, Boner, let vs knowe, what thou canst saye for her. Sayest thou, princes be not bounden by theyr othes and promisses ? Ynough. What for the rest ? let them remembre that not long agoo their neighbour Monsieur Veruin, captain of Boloigne was punished as a traitour, for that by necessitie and extremitie of force he rendred vp Boloigne to king Henry theight and did not die in the defense of it: But thou wilt saie, he did it without commaundement of his maister : and these shall doo it by commaundement of their maistres. But what if the commaundement be not laufull doest thou not saie thy self, it is not to be obeied ? Thou saiest to others, that non maie do that is not laufull for any commaundement. But thou wilt saie: it is the Quenes owne, and she maye laufully doo with her owne what she lusteth. What if it be denyed to be her owne? But thou wilt saie: she hathe the crowne by enheritaunce, and maie dispose of the realme, and enery parte of the Realme, as pleaseth her. By I answer : that albeit she haue it bi enheritaunce, yet she hathe it with an othe, lawe and condicion to kepe and mayntene it, not to departe with it or diminishe it. If she haue no more right to the Realme than her father hade, and her father as much as euer ani king of Englande: what neded he to require the consent of the Nobilitie and commons (by parliament) to geue the Crowne to his daughter or any other?

“But thou will saie, it was more than needed : for without consent of the parliament, he might doo with the Realme and euerie parte therof, what it pleased him. Take hede what thou sayest. If that be true, that king Henry might do with it without consent of the parliament: how is the Ladi mari Quene? why might not king Edwarde his sonne (a prince borne in laufull matrimonie, and right heire to the Crowne) bequeathe the Crowne wher he wolde, and as he did ? Take hede what thou doest. If the king and Quene gene thee a thousaunt perdones, yet shalt thou be founde a ranke Traitour to the Realme of Englande. For albeit the king or Quene of a realme haue the Crowne neuer [so] iustly, yet maye they not dispose of the Crowne or realme, as it pleaseth them. They haue the Crowne to minister iustice, but the Realme being a bodi of freemen and not of bondemen, he nor she can not geue or sell them as slaues and bondemen. No, they can not gene or sell awaye the holdes and fortes (as Calese and Barwike, or such like) without the consent of the Commones : for it was purchaced with their blood and moneie. Yea and thine owne popes lawes (wherby thou measurest all thinges to be laufull or not laufull) saie, that if a king or gouernour of any realme goo about to diminishe the regalities and rightes of his crowne, he ought to be deposed. Thus did Pope Honorius the thrid commaunde tharchebishop of Collossa and his suffraganes to depriue a king of Vngarie, which went about to waste, sell and geue awaye the Regalities and rightes of his crowne, onles in tyme he ceassed and called backe that he hade done. It is so plaine, thou canst not denie it.

“But I see, Boner, I haue chafed thee to muche: thi chekes blushe and swell for very angre. M. D. Cheadsei, M. D. Pendleton, M. Cosins, or som of you chaplaines, get my lorde a cup of secke, to comfort his spirites. My lorde and I agree almost like belles : we iarre somwhat but not muche, his lordship meaneth that men ought to be alwaies but not at all tymes honest. But I saie, thei must be honest alwaies and at al tymes. His lordeship wolde fayne haue a placarde or prouiso for him and his, that they might somtimes (tha is from the beginning to the ende of the weke) plaie their partes. But I saie, albeit his lordship haue such a priuilege, yet maie po honest man at any tyme doo that is not honest, iuste, and laufull, bi kaisers, kinges, Quenes no, neither his commaundement.”Ponet, Sig. E. ij.

The same writer had before laid down this doctrine in a highly characteristic passage ;

“Whan Pharao the tyranne commaunded the mydwynes of the Egipcianes, to kill all the male children that should be borne of the Israelites wyues : thinke ye, he did only commaunde them? No without doubt. Ye maye be sure, he commaunded not only vpon threatped paynes, but also promised them largely: and perchaunce as largely as those doo, that being desirous of children, procure the mydwyues to saye, they be with childe, whan their bely is puffed vp with the dropsie or molle, and hauing bleared the common peoples eies with processioning, Te deum singing, and bonfire banketting, vse all ceremonies and cryeing out, whilest an other birdes egge is layed in the nest. But these good mydwiues fearing God (the high power) who hadde commaunded them, not to kill, wold not obeye this tyranne Pharaoes commaundement, but lefte it vndone.

“Whan the Ioilye quene Iesabel commaunded, that the prophetes of God should be destroyed, that none should be lefte to speake against her idoles, but that all men should folowe her procedinges : did Abdias the chief officer to the king her husbande saye, ‘Your grace dothe very well to ridde the worlde of them for those that worship the true liuing God, cannot be but traitours to my souerayne lorde and maistre the king your husbande, and to your grace: and it is these heretikes, that bewitche and coniure you, that your grace cannot be delyuered of your childe, nor slepe quietly in your bedde: let me alone, I will finde the meanes to despeche them all, only haue your grace a good opinion of me, and thinke I am your owne?' No. Abdias (a man fearing God, and knowing this commaundement to be a wicked womans will) did cieane contrary to her commaundement, and hidde and preserued an hundred of the prophetes vnder the earthe in caues. Whan the wicked king Saul commaunded his howne householde wayters and familiar seruauntes to kill the priest Abimelech and his children for hatred to Dauid: did those his owne nerest wayting seruauntes flattre him forewarde, and saye, 'Your Maiestie shall neuer be in sauetie and quiet so long as this traitour and his prating children (that are alwayes in their sermones and bokes, meddling of the kinges maters) be suffred to lyve? we wil be your true obedient seruauntes, we will beleue as the king beleueth, we will doo as the king biddeth vs, according to our most bounden deutie of allegeaunce, we shall sone ease your highnesse of this grief: other of your graces chaplaynes be more mete for that rowme than this hipocrite traitour ?' No. they vsed no suche court crueltie, but considering God to be the supreme power, and seing Abimelech (by his answeres) and his householde to be giltles of suche mater in forme and intent as (by Doeges accusation) Saul charged him withal, they refused to kill any of them, or ones to laye violent handes vpon them, but playnly and vtterly (being yet the kinges true seruauntes and subiectes) denyed to obeye the kinges vnlaufull commaundement.- Ponet, Sig. D. iv.

With regard to Becon, I have not at present access to many of his original editions ; and it is not to our purpose to quote those which were afterwards republished with corrections. In his Supplication, however, which I have already mentioned, he is equally plain and express as to the regiment of women. Take the following extract from the long prayer of which his book consists, and forgive me for reprinting matter offensive enough in itself, but rendered tenfold more offensive by the form in which it is presented. But it must be remembered that the author was one of Archbishop Cranmer's Chaplains, and his opinion, especially as he thought fit to give it in so emphatic and solemn à manner, must not be overlooked ;-

“But alas for sorow, this most goodly & godly Impe, this moste

« AnteriorContinuar »