Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way. — Pascal

Story of Liberty - Charles Coffin




The Queen Who Burned Heretics

On the 1st of October, 1553, Mary Tudor, daughter of Henry VIII. and Katherine of Aragon, is crowned Queen of England. There is a grand procession, and Mary rides in a gilded coach drawn by six horses. She is thirty-seven years old, small in stature, thin and pale. Her eyes are bright and sparkling, but she has a voice deep and resonant like a loan's. She wears a blue-velvet dress trimmed with ermine, and a richly embroidered mantle ornamented with pearls. A golden fillet encircles her brow, set with diamonds and precious stones, and so heavy that she has to support her head with her hand.

Mary is very religious. She counts her beads, and repeats her Pater-nosters and Ave-Marias regularly, and never fails to attend mass.

In the procession is her half-sister Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn's daughter. She is twenty years old, the picture of health.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
THE BEHEADING BLOCK.


There have been stirring times in England since midsummer. Mary's half-brother Edward, Jane Seymour's son, died on the 6th of July. He had been king six years. He had no children to succeed him. Then came the question as to who was entitled to the crown. Henry made a will, and declared that after Edward, Mary was to have it; and after Mary, Elizabeth; and after Elizabeth, the descendants of his sister Mary—the Mary whom he compelled to marry the old Louis XII. of France, but who, as soon as Louis died, married Charles Brandon.

Mary and Charles have a granddaughter—Jane Grey—a lovely girl, seventeen years old, and just married. Edward wished the crown to go to her, and the day after Edward died, the council proclaimed Jane Grey queen. She was in the country, and when word came to her that Edward was dead, and that she was to be queen, she burst into tears. She did not desire to wear the crown, and to be burdened with all the cares and responsibilities of State.

Not so with Mary. She wished to be queen. She sent word to the council that the crown belonged to her. There was a great party that wished her to be queen, and she was proclaimed in August. Her party has succeeded, and she wears the crown. There is eating and drinking and great rejoicing by all good Catholics, for Mary is a devoted friend of the Church. Some of her councillors are hard-hearted, revengeful men. They suffered under Henry, were obliged to keep quiet while Edward was king, but now they are in power, and will make their power felt.

The news of what is going on in England reaches Charles V., who is in the Netherlands. He has been negotiating a marriage for his son Philip with the daughter of the ling of Portugal; but here is a chance to make a better bargain. He will bring about a match between Philip and the woman to whom he himself was once betrothed, and whom he agreed to marry when she was twelve years of age, but saw fit to break the agreement. Mary is thirty-seven, and Philip twenty-seven.

Charles sends Count Egmont to England to make a proposal. Mary accepts the offer, but many of the English people do not like the match. "No foreigner for us!" they shout, and Sir Thomas Wyatt heads a party and raises an insurrection; but Mary's troops soon suppress it, and Wyatt and many of the men who joined him are executed. Jane Grey's husband is one. Jane looks out of her prison in the Tower, and sees his headless body in a cart. The executioner then comes for her. She walks to the scaffold with a firm step, and ascends the stairs as lightly as if going to her chamber to a night's repose. There are no tears on her cheek nor is there any trembling of her eyelids. She reads a prayer, and then ties a handkerchief over her eyes.

"What shall I do?" she asks of the executioner.

"Kneel by the block."

"Where is it?"

She feels for it, lays her head upon it, to receive the fatal stroke.

"Lord, into thy hands I commit my spirit."

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
TRAITOR'S GATE.


The axe falls, and the head of the brave girl drops from the body. What has she done to merit such a fate? Nothing. A great political party has used her to advance its own interests; that is all. Perhaps Mary breathes easier when she hears that her cousin is dead, and perhaps not, for on this same "Black Monday," as people call it, from eighty to one hundred men are hanged—some in St. Paul's church-yard, some on London Bridge, some at Charing Cross, others at Westminster. The next week she hangs forty-eight more; and a few days later, twenty-two common men, besides several officers.

Now comes the arrest of her sister Elizabeth, who is in the country, sick. She is brought to London, and taken to the Tower in a boat, entering it through the dark and gloomy Traitor's Gate. Mary is determined that Elizabeth's head shall roll upon the pavement in the Tower yard; but Archbishop Gardiner and Bishop Bonner, and other men among Mary's councillors, much as they wish it, see that it will not do to cut off the head of one on whom the people have already set their affections, and who has had nothing whatever to do with the insurrection.

On the 20th of July, 1554, a fleet of Spanish ships—one hundred and fifty or more—sails into the harbor of Southampton. Philip of Spain has come to be married, with a great train of Spanish noblemen, and six thousand troops. The, English noblemen meet him at Southampton. Philip is accompanied by a gray-bearded man, sixty years of age, who has done a deal of fighting for Charles V.—the Duke of Alva, who has a hard countenance and a harder heart. His eyes have a cruel look. We shall see him again.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
PHILIP.


Mary is at Winchester impatiently waiting for Philip. He sets out on Monday morning, in a driving rain-storm, on horseback, and splashes through the mud, reaching Winchester at sunset. He goes at once to the cathedral, and listens to a Te Deum. In the evening he goes to the bishop's palace, where Mary, with a company of ladies, is waiting. She never has seen her future husband. He enters the hall, and she beholds a small man with spindle-legs, small body, a broad forehead, blue eyes, large month, heavy underlie, and protruding jaw. He has a deep sepulchral voice; but Mary could sing the bass quite as well as he, for she has a tremendous voice. He is proud and haughty, and cares nothing for men except to use them; but on this occasion he kisses his wife that is to be, and not only her, but all her ladies. He has already been once married —in 1544, to Maria of Portugal, when he was only sixteen. The next year a son was born to him. One day, soon after the birth of the babe, there was a grand spectacle in front of the royal palace at Valladolid—the burning of a lot of heretics by the men who ask questions—and Maria's nurses left her alone, that they might see the men and women roasted to death; and while they were gone Maria helped herself to so much watermelon that she sickened and died the next day.

The marriage between Mary and Philip is consummated, and the wedded pair enter London beneath triumphal arches and amidst the blazing of bonfires, the roaring of cannon, and ringing of bells.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
WINCHESTER.


Mary is firmly seated on her throne. She is married to the son of the mightiest monarch in the world. She has put out of the way her political enemies; and now she will begin with heretics. Her father Henry, through his guilty passion for Anne Boleyn, severed England from the Church; she will bring it back again. Men shall no longer think for themselves, but shall be in subjection to the Pope. There shall be no more reading of the Bible. The thousands of married ministers shall be turned out o their pulpits. Heresy shall be crushed out. In 1547, all acts punishing heretics were repealed; but now Parliament restores them.

On St. Andrew's Day, Nov. 30, 1554, a high mass is sung in Westminster Abbey. Philip, the Duke of Alva, and another great don from Spain (Ray Gomez), with six hundred Spanish grandees, the Knights of the Garter the English nobles, the archbishop and bishops whom Mary has appointed in place of those appointed by Henry and Edward, whom she has turned out, are there, dressed in gorgeous apparel. After mass, they have dinner; and then there is another gathering in Westminster Hall. On a platform, in three golden chairs, are seated Mary, Philip, and Cardinal Pole, the Pope's ambassador. Above them is a canopy of gold. The bishop sits near by. The Hall is the place where the Commons meet, and the members are in their places.

Stephen Gardiner, Lord Chancellor, in his big wig, bows to Mary and Philip, kneels, and presents a petition to the Pope's legate, requesting his forgiveness for all that has been done against his authority in the past, and praying that the nation may be taken back again into—the bosom of the Church.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
A GRANDEE.


Cardinal Pole rises to reply for the Pope. Mary and Philip and all the rest fall on their knees, and receive the absolution which the Pope gives through the cardinal.

"Amen! Amen!"

The voices of the assembled multitude echo amidst the oaken rafters. The organ peals; the choir sing a Te Deum. Tears of joy roll down the cheeks of the queen. Her heart's desires are gratified. The nation is once more in the fold of the Church. She has been the one to lead it back. Some persons in the assembly, in their ecstasy and joy, throw themselves into the arms of their friends.

"We are reconciled to God. Blessed day for England," they say.

Cardinal Pole, sitting in his chamber at midnight, writes to the Pope: "What great things may the Church, our mother, the bride of Christ, fancy for herself! O piety! O ancient faith! this is the seed the Lord hath blessed!"

The letter reaches Rome, and the Pope embraces the messenger, falls on his knees, says a Pater-noster, gives orders to ring all the bells in Rome, to fire the cannon of the Castle of St. Angelo, light bonfires to give indulgences and pardons to all who want them.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
ST. MARY OVERY, SOUTHWARK.


The Pope has given his absolution, and the nation is once more back in his fold. But how about those monasteries and abbeys which Henry tore down? How about the lands and estates that were seized and divided between the crown and the great men, and given to women who made good puddings? They mast be given up. The Pope demands it.

The Members of Parliament have been willing to fall on their knees and receive absolution, but, having obtained it, conclude to hold on to their spoils. They are willing that heresy shall be rooted out, but they will not let the Pope have authority in England. The queen shall still be head of the Church. They are good Catholics, but they will not change Henry's will, and after Mary the crown shall go to Elizabeth. Philip wants to be crowned. Charles urges it, the Pope desires it; but there are some sturdy Englishmen who say, "No foreigner for us," and Philip is obliged to smother his resentment.

The Commons, the Lords, the great men have submitted to the Pope in behalf of the nation, and now the people themselves must submit.

"If any one before Easter, 1555, does not acknowledge the authority of the Pope, he shall suffer for it," is the edict.

"Come and register your names," is the command given by the priests; and registers are provided in every parish.

There shall be no more reading the Bible, nor Prayer-books; no more liberty of conscience; no more thinking for themselves. Stephen Gardiner opens his "heresy court in St. Mary's Church, Southwark. Goodwin, Bonner, Tunstal, and three other bishops are the judge. The court is the Inquisition under another name. There are several men for whose blood they are thirsting. Mr. John Rogers is one. He is a preacher—a learned man; and when Tyndal and Coverdale were over in Antwerp translating the Bible into English, he went over and aided them, and is therefore an arch-heretic. Besides, he went to Wittenberg, and studied with that monk who, when a boy, sung for his breakfast Martin Luther. He married a German wife, and has ten children. The Pope does not allow priests to marry. He was preaching at St. Paul's when Mary cane to the throne; he could have fled: but he is an Englishman, and has done nothing contrary to his conscience. He will stay, come what, will. He has been a prisoner for many months in Newgate, with Mr. Hooper, of Gloucester.

The world does not often see a man like John Hooper. He was educated at Oxford, and was a Bachelor of Arts two years before that meeting on the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and became a monk; but after reading the Bible he left the monastery. When Henry was king, he had an interview with Stephen Gardiner, who was astonished at his learning. He had to flee to France, however; but when Edward came to the throne, he returned, and Edward made him Bishop of Gloucester. When everybody else was getting rich on the spoils of the monasteries, Bishop Hooper was making himself poor by feeding the hungry. He sat down with them at the table to let them know that he loved them. But he is a heretic; besides, he is married. For a long while Gardiner has had him in prison—confined in a room with robbers and murderers, with nothing but straw to lie upon, and an old counterpane for a covering. He and Mr. Rogers are brought before the court, and condemned to be burned.

"Shall I not be allowed to bid farewell to my wife and children'" Rogers asks.

"No," is the savage reply of Gardiner.

It is four o'clock in the morning, February 4th. The frost is on the window-panes. In the cold and gloomy prison Rogers is quietly sleeping. The jailer's wife taps him on the shoulder.

"Bishop Bonner is waiting for you."

He rises and goes out into the hall, where Bonner is waiting to degrade him from his office as a priest. That done, Rogers bids farewell to Hooper, and the sheriff leads him out. It is still dark; but the people have heard that the is to be burned, and a crowd has assembled to see him die.

"He will flinch," say his enemies.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
STREET IN LONDON IN THE TIME OF MARY.


His wife and children are waiting for him, and though Gardiner has said that he shall not see them, he kisses them, and goes on with a firm step to the stake. The executioner binds the chain around him and heaps the fagots. In the dim gray of the winter morning the people see him standing there, looking up into heaven, with a smile upon his face.

"You can have the queen's pardon if you will recant," says Sir Robert

Rochester, who has cone to report his behavior to Gardiner. But he has nothing to recant.

The fire curls around him. He bathes his hands in the flames as if it were cold water. They who look to see him beg for mercy hear nothing but prayer and praise, while those who expected he would stand firm rend the air with their shouts of joy.

Ah, Mary! out from those applauding cries shall come liberty to the human race! Go on, Gardiner, Bonner, and Tunstal, with your court of heresy; send men and Iv omen to the stake for the brief period of your power; but every fire which you this kindle shall be a beacon to light the human race in its march to freedom!

"Hooper is an obstinate, false, detestable heretic; let him be burned iii the city which he has infected with his pernicious doctrines," is the order for the burning of the aged bishop.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
BEARING FAGOTS.


Mr. Gardiner has made a mistake. If he wants to put a stop to heresy, he had better not send Bishop Hooper to the city where everybody loves him as children love a father, where he has fed the hungry and clothed the poor. Surrounded by guards, the rides out of London on horseback. He is old, feeble, and wasted almost to a skeleton with his long imprisonment and with sleeping on his bed of straw. He eats dinner at a tavern where a woman rails at heretics; but he is so tender, so childlike and forgiving that she too becomes a child before him, and with tears begs his forgiveness, and does what she can for him. Love is more potent than fire to subdue the human heart. A great crowd awaits his coining. For a mile outside of Gloucester gates the road is filled with people. It is evening, and the sheriff will give him one more night on earth; and the people go to their homes, wondering if their good old bishop will stand firm at the final hour.

Sir Anthony Kingston, who has often heard the bishop preach, is sent by Gardiner to see him burned. In the morning Sir Anthony enters the prison.

"Do you know me?" Sir Anthony asks.

"Oh yes, Sir Anthony; and I am glad to see you in such good health. I have come here to lay down my life for the truth."

"Would you not like to live?"

"I can live; but I never should enjoy life at the expense of my future welfare. You would not have inc blaspheme my Saviour by denying him, would you? I trust that I shall bear with fortitude all the torments which my enemies may be able to inflict."

Sir Anthony is not a hard-hearted man, and the tears stream from his eyes.

"I shall be sorry to see you die."

"It is my duty to stand for the truth."

A little blind boy who has heard the bishop preach comes to bid him farewell, and he falls on his knees at the bishop's feet.

"I am blind, but you have opened the eyes of my soul. May the good Lord be with you, and bring you into heaven!"

The good old man lays his withered hand upon the head of the boy and blesses him. A bigoted man comes in to revile him.

"You are a wicked heretic."

The man who has fed the hungry and clothed the naked makes no reply. The mayor, who has sat under the bishop's preaching, comes with the sheriff to conduct him to the stake. Gladly would the mayor give him his liberty, but then he, quite likely, would be roasted alive, if he were to do so humane an act.

"I could have had my life, but I would not take it here to lose it in the next world. Please, Mr. Sheriff, make the fire a hot one, so that it may be quickly over."

It is nine o'clock in the morning. The winter air is chill, but all of Gloucester, and the people from the surrounding country, have gathered to see their dear old friend lay down his life. He is weak and feeble from long imprisonment. He has ridden all the way from London on horseback, and he walks with a feeble step, supporting himself with a cane; but how brave of heart! He looks round upon the multitude with a smile on his face. He would like to speak to his old friends, but the sheriff will not let him. Stephen Gardiner and Bishop Bonner will have no farewell address to stir the hearts of heretics; but those lips, so eloquent once, were never so eloquent as by their silence now.

The bishop, when he arrives at the stake, throws his arms around it as if it were a friend. He kneels and prays. The sheriff holds a paper in his hand.

"Here is a pardon, if you will recant."

"A pardon if I will recant! Take it away!"

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
HADLEIGH CHURCH.


The sheriff strips him of his garments, ties bags of powder under his arms, fastens a chain around his neck, another around his waist, a third around his legs, piles the fagots, and applies the torch.

At the windows, on the house-tops, in trees, are the people. In a room over the college gates are some priests looking down to see the heretic burned. It is a damp and windy morning. The fagots are wet. The smoke smothers the martyr—the fire scorches and blisters his legs, but does not touch his body, for the wind blows the flame aside.

"More fire!"

The people hear the bishop calling from the pillar of smoke. The sheriff heaps on more fagots, and the withered hands, reaching out from the fire, draws them closer. A handful of flame leaps up and scorches his face. The hands wave to and fro.

"For God's love, good people, give me more fire!"

The minutes go by. His legs are burned to a cinder.

"More fire!" he cries.

Once more the fagots are piled, the flames leap up, and the powder explodes.

"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!"

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
ST. BOTOLPH'S CHURCH, ALDGATE.


Those who stand nearest hear the words—the last that fall upon their ears; yet still his lips are moving. Three-quarters of an hour have passed since the fagots were lighted, and still the scorched hands are beating on his breast.

It is over. He who spread the table for the poor, whose every act was for the good of man, whose life was pure and holy, who was the impersonation of good-will to men, is nothing but a cinder now. He will preach no more heresy. So, perhaps, Stephen Gardiner and Mary and the priests, with hate in their hearts, may think; but when the sun goes down at night there are more heretics in Gloucester than in the morning.

At this same day and hour there is a similar scene in the town of Hadleigh, not far from London. Rev. Rowland Taylor, the minister who has preached there, has been in prison a year. It is two o'clock in the morning when he is brought out from his cell. The good man's family are on the watch, by St. Botolph's Church. All through the weary winter night they have stood there. They hear the tramp of feet—discern a body of men.

"Oh, mother, there they are; there is father!" cries the daughter Elizabeth.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
BRIDGE AT HADLEIGH.


"Rowland, are you there?" the wife asks. "I am here."

The sheriff is not altogether a brutal man.

"Stop a moment, and let him speak to his wife!" is his command to his men.

The minister takes his little Mary in his arms, presses her to his bosom, feels once more her hands upon his neck. He puts her down, and kneels with his family, and all repeat the Lord's Prayer. Then he kisses them.

"Farewell, dear wife; be of good comfort. God will be a father to my children."

"God bless thee, Mary dear, and make thee his servant."

"God bless thee, Elizabeth; stand strong in Christ."

Once more he presses them to his heart, feels the scalding tears drop upon his cheek in the darkness.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
ALMSHOUSES AT HADLEIGH.


The streets of the old town of Hadleigh are crowded with people, who have come to see their old pastor die. They cannot see his face, for the sheriff has covered it with a hood, with two holes in it., so that he can see without his face being seen. At a foot-bridge a poor man, with his five children, kneels before him.

"God help thee, Doctor Taylor, and succor thee, as thou host many a time helped me."

He passes the almshouse. Many times has he been into it to give things to the poor. The people are looking out of the window to see their old friend.

"Is the blind man yet alive?" Mr. Taylor asks.

"Yes."

"And the poor old blind woman?"

"Yes."

"Here is some money for them;" and the throws a glove, in which are a few coins, into the window.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
THE MARTYRS' STONE.


He reaches the stake. No longer will he wear the hood, but tears it from his face, and the people see once more the smiling and genial face of their dear old pastor. His beard is white, and he is pale from long imprisonment. He would speak to the people, but one of the sheriff's men rudely thrusts a staff into his mouth.

They pile the wood around him, and a brutal fellow hurls a stick into his face. The blood trickles down his cheeks.

"Oh, friend, what need of that?" Mr. Taylor mildly asks.

He is placed in a barrel smeared with pitch. The flames whirl above his head, and then a soldier knocks out his brains.

No more heresy, no more private opinions in Hadleigh.

William Hunter, nineteen years old, is learning to weave silk with Thomas Taylor in London. He does not go to mass, as Mary has commanded everybody to do on Easter-morning, and the priest threatens to have him up before the bishop.

"You had better go home for a little season," says his master, hoping that if William is out of the way for a little while the priest will forget all about it; and the boy goes home to Brentwood. He strolls into the church, and sees the Bible chained to the desk. Since Mary has come to the throne, only the priests are allowed to read it; but William dares to open it.

"Reading the Bible! What right have you to read it?"

It is the shout of the beadle, who opens and shuts the doors. "I read it because I like to."

The beadle runs for the priest, who comes in hot haste.

"Sirrah! who gave you leave to read the Bible?"

"I found it here, and I have read it because I wish to."

"You have no business with it."

"I intend to read it as long as I live."

"You are a heretic."

"No, I am not."

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
OLD CHAPEL AT BRENTWOOD.


The priest cannot permit any reading of the Book in his parish, and hastens to Esquire Brown, who sends for William's father.

"Your son is a heretic, I hear. Bring him to me at once, or I will put you into jail."

"Would you have me seek my son to have him burned?"

"Go and bring him."

The constable soon has hold of William, who, to give him a taste of what is before him, puts him in the stocks, where he remains twenty-four hours, and then brings him to Esquire Brown.

Is the bread turned to flesh when the priest blesses it?" asks the squire.

"I do not think it is." "You are a heretic. Recant, and I will let you go."

"If you will let me go, and leave me to my own conscience, I will keep my opinions to myself."

"Will you go to confession?"

"No, sir."

"Put him in the stocks, and feed him on bread and water."

For two days and two nights he sits there, with a crust of bread and cup of water by his side; but the brave boy will not touch them. The bishop comes to make him say that he will go to confession and mass; but William refuses to accept liberty on those terms.

"If you will recant, I will help you on in life."

"Thank you, bishop; but I cannot, in my conscience, turn from what I believe to be truth."

"You must go to prison and be burned, if you do not recant."

"I cannot help it."

On the 27th of March, 1555, the boy goes to his death. His brother Robert walks by his side to comfort him.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
OLD BOCADO PRISON, OXFORD.


"God be with thee, my son I" says his father, bidding him farewell.

"We shall meet again, father." He kneels upon the fagots and prays. "Here is the queen's pardon if you will recant," says the sheriff. "I cannot accept life on those terms."

"Put the chains around him."

"As you are about to burn here, so shalt thou burn in hell," says a bigoted priest. The fagots kindle.

"Good-bye, William; be of good cheer."

"Good-bye, Robert. I fear neither torture nor death. Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." So he lays down his life for liberty.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
OLD MARSHALSEA.


Bishops Latimer and Ridley are very obnoxious to Mary. On the 16th of October, 1555, they are burned at Oxford.

Archbishop Cranmer loves life. In a moment of weakness he signs a paper condemning the Reformation; but he repents of the act, and is burned, March 21st, 1556. When the fire rises around him, he holds his right hand in the flames till it is burned to a crisp.

"This unworthy hand!" he exclaims, and then commits his soul to Jesus.

The Sheriff of Oxford makes out his bill to the queen:


TO BURN LATIMER AND RIDLEY.
    s. d.
For 3 loads of wood fagots   0 12 0
1 load of furze fagots   0 3 5
For the carriage of these 4 loads   0 2 0
A post   0 1 4
2 chains   0 3 4
2 staples   0 0 6
4 laborers   0 2 8
Total   1 5 9
TO BURN CRANMER.
    s. d.
For 100 wood fagots for the fire   0 6 0
For 100 and of furze   0 3 4
For the carriage of them   0 0 8
For 2 laborers   0 2 8
Total   0 2 8

Latimer, and Ridley, and Cranmer were heretics. But Mary had another reason for burning them: they had given an opinion in the question of her mother's divorce. Henry demanded their opinion, and for giving it they must be put to death.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
BURNING THE HAND.


For three years the fires blaze. It is not that Mary has any personal hatred toward the men and women whom she causes to be executed. But they will not acknowledge that the Pope is the head of the Church; they do not believe that the bread is changed into the body of Christ when the priest blesses it. They think for themselves; and that is not to be tolerated. It is heresy, to be exterminated. Mary thinks of herself as being responsible for the eternal welfare of the people. The Church of Rome demands the rooting-out of the heretics, and she must obey, or lose her own soul. Thousands are cast into prison; and the poor men and women suffer terrible hardships, lying on the cold stones of the Old Marshalsea Prison, in London, or in the Bocardo, at Oxford. Families are broken up. Orphans beg their bread from door to door, or else starve in the streets. By way of warning, some heretics are burned on the hand and liberated. Women are compelled to do penance in public, standing all day with a lighted torch in their hands, exposed to the insults of a motley rabble. No one may succor them—no one take pity. They suffer for conscience' sake. It is the protest of heroic souls in behalf of liberty. They will suffer every indignity, and give their bodies to be burned, rather than yield their convictions of right and duty. Through such sacrifice freedom comes to the human race.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
OLD PAUL'S CROSSRIOTS IN 1556.


Does such harshness exterminate heresy? On the contrary, the harsher the treatment of heretics, the more they multiply. Those who witness their heroism in death begin to think that there must be something in their cause which should command respect. The people are weary with the burnings. They begin to murmur. When the priests ascend the pulpit at St. Paul's Cross to preach, the mob hoots them down.

Philip is tired of England. He intended to be king; but Parliament will not let him be crowned. He is only a figure-head—a man of straw, with no voice in public affairs. He is tired of Mary; she is almost old enough to be his mother—pale, weak, sickly, querulous—always repeating her prayers. He is gross in all his tastes. He loves bacon-fat, and can eat a dish of it at a meal. He cannot gratify all his tastes in England; he will cross the Channel to Brussels, and visit his father. He bids Mary farewell, promising with his lips soon to return, but intending never to set foot in England again unless he can be king. We shall see him at Brussels.

[Illustration] from The Story of Liberty by Charles Coffin
THE MARTYR'S MEMORIAL, OXFORD.