Imágenes de páginas

minister the sacramentes or sacramentals, or other thinges in English, contrarie to the ordre of this realme."--f. 63.

Part of the Declaration is ;

"These terrible termagants of antichrist, such as is this beastli & vnlearned bastard Bonner, wil suffer in the churches of England, no service to be done, neither yet the necessary sacraments of Baptisme and the Lordes Supper, to be ministred in English,” &c.f. 64. b.

The xix Article. "Item, whether they or any of them, in theyr suffrages, collectes, and prayers, doeth vse to praye for the Kinge and Quenes maieste by the names of King Philipp and Quene Marye according to a letter and commaundement therin lawfully gyuen nowe of late vnto them by their ordinary.”—f. 66.

The Declaration. “See I pray you, how arrogaunt this porkishe papist is here. So like is he in condicions to his father of Rome, as the yong wolfe is like to the olde. Here must his underwolfes, or curates as he calleth them, have suffrages,” &c.-Ibid.

In the course of the xx Article, the Bishop enquired,

“Whether anye person have refused or contempned to .... be confessed and receiue at the priestes hand the benefite of absolucion, according to the laudable custom of this realme.”—f. 70.

On this Bale says, “ Thus have we of the Scriptures, that the benefyte of remyssion, commeth immediatlye from God and hys Christ, but no mention have we of the hand of a papyst. I would wonder at it, that thys Bonner a greate doctoure of both lawes, sometime a kinges Embassadour, and now a bishop, should appeare by his owne wrytinges, so beastly a bussarde, and a fole so blockishly ignoraunt. But that I finde it also wrytten that the wisedome of this worlde, is a stark folishnesse afore God." -- f. 75.

Then, after admitting that “Gods lawe is to be sought at the mouth of the priest,” he goes on to say ;

"But that we should fetch absolucion at his baudy handes, it is yet the mooste doltish doggerel that ever I hard. That diuinity myght have come from Jane bold the Queenes foole among all her cuppes. But what doctrine bryngeth Bonner to the establishment of this howsel, confession, & absolucion? The laudable custome of this realme. That is the Bible which he hath studied, nexte vnto the beere potte.”—f. 75. b.

In the course of his “ Declaration" of the xxiv Article, Bale has this passage ;

"In their idle doynges they are men spiritual. Though they have halfe a score of sonnes and doughters abrode, if it be out of marryage, there is no chastitye broken. The holy order of priesthode standeth still undefyled, for the character thereof is undeleble, and the hot yron marke unremoueable. Take glorious Gardiner, blowe bolle Bonner, tottering Tunstal, wagtaile Weston, and carted Chicken, and all the other fine Rochet men of Englande. For all the notable whoredomes which they have don they are styll holye pastours, and horrible [sic. I suppose facetiously for honourable] spiritual men.”—f. 90. b.

The xxiv Article begins ;

“Item, whether the person or vicar doth repair and maintain his chauncel and mansion house in sufficient reparation,” &c.

In the course of his “ Declaration," Bale says, with reference to this ;

“Well, these chauncels muste now be repayred, master · Bonner saith, that their may ones again leade al to the • deuil with their blind latin patterings and wawlings. • Wheras one crieth like a pig,”—but the rest of this ribaldry may be found in Strype, who says parenthetically, and almost pathetically, “(I use the words of John Bale, who would call a spade a spade.)" Poor dear Bale, that way of his sometimes made his best friends more than half ashamed of him, but he would do it, and even Strype, who considered him “an author of high esteem," was constrained to acknowledge that “he is sometimes blamed, and blameworthy indeed, for his rude and plain language ?." But to proceed—in the course of his declaration of Article xxvi, after having stated that the tonsure was brought into the church by Pope Martin, Bale goes on to say ;

"It is not than much to be marueled, if this other monster Bonner after the last preaching of Christes gospell hath brought it into the Englishe churche agayn, with other supersticions more. For that wylde brockishe bore in breakynge vppe Gods vyneyarde there, Psal. 79. hadde rather haue that swyll and drosse of Antichrist, than the most precyous delycates of the holye scriptures,” &c. f. 99. b.

On part of Article xxix,

"To quarell at this presente, this beastly fole parauenture would bring in the professed preastbode of his sodamitycall maister. But I wyll that he knowe it, that the pedlarge preasthode of that popet, shall in perfection be never lyke that holy presthode, which all we so many as beleue & are baptysed haue in Christ Jesu, as S. Peter declareth, 1 Pet. ii, and also Š. John in his Reuelation . i. and . v." -f. 112. b.

? Mem. III. i. 177, 178.


And on the same Article ;

"The actes of so noble a prince as King Edwarde was this shamlesse bastarde, more vile in those doyngs than any kytchen slaue, contemptuouslye calleth inuocations (read innouations] meaninge newe lawes or alterations of the worst sort."-f. 113.

Again, in the same Article ;

"Such reuerence had King Dauid to the function and offyce of a kinge, for that it was an authority geuen of God, that he wold lay no violent handes vppon Saule, being his mortall epnemye, and not Goddes frende nether at that tyme .i. Regum. xxiii. And yet this fylthy swineheard abasheth not obprobriously to reuile his naturall king, to inuert his most godly actes at his pleasure and also mooste arrogantly to boast of it. And what is thy idolatrous mas and lowsye Latine seruice, thou sosbelly swilbol, but the very draf of Antichrist and dregges of the deuil ?"-f. 113. b.

Bonner having, in his xxxiv Article, spoken of “the seuen deadelye synnes with their ofspringe, progenye and yssue,” Bale, in the course of his “ Declaration,” says,

"I wondre therfore to fynde Bonner such a beastly fole, that he knoweth no more but .vii. deadly synnes,” &c.— Sig. T. iii. b.

The xxxvi Article is,

" Item whether stipendary prests do behaue themselves discretlye and honestlye in all poynts towardes their parson or vicar, gening an othe, and doinge according to the law and ecclesiasticali constitucions, ordinaunces, and laudable customes in that behalf.”— Sig. V. i,

I The Declaration. “ That Christ discommendeth and rebuketh in his chosen churche, Joh. x. this bussard this beast, and this bluddering papiste doth allow, preferre, and place, in his newli errected sinagoge of the Deuil. And stipendarye preast is he which serveth for lucre and bely chere, and not for anye spirituall profitte towards the christen congregacion. And such a one Christ calleth a mercenarye or carelesse hyrelinge, which in beholdinge the cruell wolfe to come vpon the flocke, yea, to scatter them and deuour theym, he regardethe it nothinge at all? Suche rybaldes and brothels hath Bonder taken into the sheepe foulde, as like to lyke, withoute all godly and christen respecte. But wyl ye knowe the cause whye? Whan he was in the marshallsea, they broughte him in chese, butter, and bacon for the fyrst course, and for the latter, pigs, gese, and fat capons. Is not that (think you) honestye, vertue and learn. inge ynough for a christen minister in the diocese of London ?". Sig. V. i. b.

Whatever opinion the reader may form from the foregoing extracts, I think he will allow that I have given him full ground for forming one, and will acquit me of having

66 Bale's pen,

made Bale an offender for a word; especially if he knows anything of the passages which I have passed over in taking specimens from this one little work. indeed," says the apologetic Strype," was sharp and foul

enough sometimes, when he had such foul subjects to deal ' with, as the cruelties and uncleannesses of many of the 'popish priests, and prelates and cloisterers.”3 But he had no such “foul subjects” to deal with in Bonner's Articles, which were quiet, temperate, business-like affairs—chiefly what might be called official matters, couched in official language. The plain fact is, that Bale's pen was foul simply because he was foul himself; and he had foul subjects to deal with because they were the subjects with which he delighted to deal; as is shown in a very marked way by his bringing into a matter like this a profusion of foul matter, such as I have not ventured to quote.

Strype has given the Articles at full length', and I think it will be hard to find in them anything to justify the “sharp and foul" attack of Bale. On the other hand, it is amusing to see how very sensitive Strype is, when a hard word had been uttered against those who are the subjects of his eulogy. In his life of Cranmer, though he condescends to reply to some of “the unjust calumnies some hot spirited papists have cast upon his memory,” yet there are others whom he considers too bad to merit that honour. "I shall pass over," he says with unmoved dignity,“the unhand

some name that Feckenham gave him, calling him Dolt. ... I shall also pass by what Bishop Boner then said of him, • viz. that he dared to say, that Cranmer would recant so • he might have his living; as though he were a man of a

prostituted conscience, and would do anything upon . worldly considerations.5 Imagine Bonner saying such a thing of Cranmer. What did Bale ever say of Bonner, that equalled that? or that was so bad as Bonner's “rude way of misnaming such as came before him," so that on one occasion he actually called a tailor pricklouse ?" 6

Perhaps enough has been said to give the reader an opportunity of judging of Bale's style, and of the spirit in which he wrote ; but still there are two points which should be stated, in order to his forming a just estimate of the matter,

3 Mem. II, i. 56.
5 Crang. ii. 659.

4 Mem. III. ii. 217.
6 Strype, Mem. III. ii. 63.

In the first place, there is to us something so revolting in the very idea of men being put to death for their belief, even if we suppose it to be heretical, that we are disposed to sympathize in the indignation of those who saw it as the real case of others, and had good reason to apprehend that it might actually be their own. But it must be remembered, that when Bale wrote this book, little that could be called persecution had taken place. Not one martyr had suffered. The mere date (if not a forgery) proves that if this fierce ribaldry was not in some degree a cause, it could not certainly be an effect, of most of those scenes of cruelty in the reign of Mary, with which Fox's Martyrology has rendered us familiar.

Again, whatever ideas of toleration we may have, Bale had none such. He did not, indeed, like to be persecuted himself, or to have his party persecuted; but as to persecution itself, and what we should think cruelty, he was not squeamish. He thought that it would have been a good thing if there had been a general slaughter of the massmongering priests, and he made no secret of his opinion. He even took the liberty to hint to his sovereign that he had been remiss on this point, and that something of the kind was still expected from him.

"Such time as our most worthy souurain Kynge Henry the .viii now lyuing after the most Godly example of Kynge Josyas visited the temples of his reame, he perseyued the Sinneful shryne of this Becket to be unto his people a moost perniciouse evell, and therefore in the word of the lord he vtterly among other destroyed it. If he had upon that and such other abhominable shrines brent those Idolatrous pryestes which were (and are yet) theyr chefe mainteiners, he had fulfilled ye godly history throughout. But ye which was not than perfourmed in hope of their amendement, may by chance lyght vppon them hereafter whan no Gentell warning will seme to be regarded. I dout not at all but his noble discretion perceyueth much more in that wicked generation of the pope's norryshing vp, which alwayes hath mainteined (and yet doth) such manifest errours, than he ever in his life yet uttered.”Life of Sir John Oldcastle, Lord Cobham, p. 53. b.

Bale was, however, disappointed as to King Henry; and all he could do was to offer the same suggestion to his son and successor, and try whether the youthful Edward might not be tutored into a Josias, who would

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »