Books Fatal to Their Authors
P. H. Ditchfield

Part 2 out of 3

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 Geneve_
(_a 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 Genebrard--
Joseph Audra--Beaumelle--John Mariana--John B. Primi--John Christopher
Ruediger--Rudbeck--Francois Haudicquer--Francois de Rosieres--Anthony

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

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 Bibliotheque Universelle des auteurs
ecclesiastiques_. 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 Chatelleraut. 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 Chatelleraut 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 ecclesiastiques_
(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 exces dont se rendirent
coupables les Habitans de Padoue dans la guerre qu'ils eurent avec ceux de
Vicence, par Arlotto, notaire a 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 _protege_ 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 Genebrard, 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
Ecclesiastiques qui ont assiste au service divin avec Henri de Valois
apres 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 _Abrege d'Histoire generale,
par l'Abbe 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 _Memoires 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 Pensees_, published at Copenhagen in
1751. In his _Memoires_ 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
Ruediger, 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).
Ruediger 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 Ruediger 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 Ruediger 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 Generalites d'Amiens, de Soissons, des pays
reconquis, et partie de l'Election de Beauvais, le tout justifie
conformement aux Jugemens rendus en faveur de la Province. Par Francois
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

It is usually hazardous to endeavour to alter one's facts in order to
support historical theories. This M. Francois de Rosieres, 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 Rosieres 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--Abbe
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

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 L5,000, and to be kept in perpetual imprisonment. A few
years later, on account of his _News from Ipswich_, he was again fined
L5,000, 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

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 L5,000 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

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 Seez, 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 Requetes et de Factums_. The titles
of some of his treatises will show how obnoxious they were to the ruling
powers--e.g., _Heresie de la domination episcopale que l'on etablit en
France, Protestation contre les assemblees du clerge 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 Jesuites_ (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 Abbe
Caveirac, who wrote _Appel a la Raison des Ecrits et Libelles publies
contre les Jesuites, 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
Releve de quelques-unes des malversations dont se rendent journellement
les Fermiers-Generaux, 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 generale_. 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

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--Francois 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 Valliere. 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 a l'autre va.
Alleluia," 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 memoires 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 Bete a sept
tetes_, 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, cioe, 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'Aretin,
Dans leur merveilleuse science,
Lecteur n'en sois pas empeche
Qui paraphrase le peche
Paraphrase la penitence."

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 Zuerich 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 Beguines. The town of Zuerich 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.

Francois Gacon, a French poet and satirist of the eighteenth century,
suffered imprisonment on account of his poems, entitled _Le Poete 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 beaute, quand elle avance en age,
A ses amans inspire du degout;
Mais, pour le vin, il a cet avantage,
Plus il vieillit, plus il flatte le gout."

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 cafes
as if with the magic of a bomb. The Cafe 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 cafe. This so enraged the company that they
deserted the unfortunate cafe, 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

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--Theophile--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 philogice elucubratum, a 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 cavenda 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, cioe, 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 Francois 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 Wuertemberg
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 Wuertemberg 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 naive 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 Alencon'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
Pretendant d'Angleterre, en 1749_. It commences with the following

"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, Abbe 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 Abbe 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.

Theophile was condemned to be burned at Paris on account of his book _Le
Parnasse des Poetes 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 Theophile, who was asked
by a foolish person whether all poets were fools:--

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

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 Helot's
_L'Escole des Filles, par dialogues_ (Paris, 1672, in-12). Helot 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
Helot, 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 Helot 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 Generale_, 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

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 Perigord, avec notes historiques, critiques, et litteraires_. 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 a peine les paupieres,
Que, tel qu'il se montre aujourd'hui,
Il fut indigne des barrieres
Qu'il vit entre le trone et lui.
Dans ses detestables idees
De l'art des Circes, des Medees,
Il fit ses uniques plaisirs;
Il crut cette voie infernale
Digne de remplir l'intervalle
Qui s'opposait a ses desirs."

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 _Epitre a 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---- celeste, chansons et
autres Poesies 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 Poesies_. 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



Sir John Yorke and Catholic Plays--Abraham Cowley--Antoine Danchet--Claude
Crebillon--Nogaret--Francois de Salignac Fenelon.

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 _Hesione_, 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, Heraclides_, and _Nitetis_, 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 Crebillon (Claude Prosper Jolyot) was confined in the Bastille
on account of his satirical romance _Tanzai et Neadarne_ (1734, 2 vols.,
in-12). His father, Prosper Crebillon, 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 _elite_ 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 _Memoires de
Bachaumont_ conducted the author to the Bastille.

Few are ignorant of that most charming, graceful, and immortal work
_Telemache_. 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. Francois de Salignac de la Mothe
Fenelon, born in the castle of his ancestors at Fenelon 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, Fenelon 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. Fenelon
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, _Telemache_ 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 Prothesilas, King James in Idomenee,
and Louis himself in Sesostris. This aroused that monarch's indignation.
Fenelon 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 _Demonstration de l'existence de Dieu,
Refutation du Systeme de Malebranche_, and several other works.

The Jansenist Abbe Barral, in his _Dictionnaire Historique, Litteraire, et
Critique, des Hommes Celebres_, 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 Fenelon 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 Fenelon 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 Froulle--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.


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