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proceeded to La Coste, the lord of which place having passed his word to the townsmen for their safety, provided they carried their arms into the castle, and broke down their walls in four places; the credulous people did as they were commanded, notwithstanding which, on the the arrival of Oppede, the suburbs being burnt and the town taken, all that were found left in the place were murdered to a man. The women who, to avoid the first fury of the soldiers, had retired into a garden near the castle, were deflowered, and, after the rage of lust was extinguished, handled in so cruel a manner, that most of those who were with child, and even the virgins, died either of grief, or by hunger and torments. The men, who sheltered themselves at Mus, being at length discovered, underwent the same fate with the others : the remainder of them, wandering here and there among the woods and solitary mountains, led a wretched life, deprived both of wives and children; some few escaped, partly to Geneva, and partly to the Swiss cantons. In all there are twentytwo villages reckoned, which were punished with the last severity by Oppede; by whose authority judges were again selected, to make enquiry after the heretics; and these condemned the rest of those poor wretches either to the gallies, or to the payment of excessive fines. Some, indeed, were absolved; and among these the tenants of Cental, who solemnly abjured their error. When these things were done, Oppede and the committee of judges, being terrified by their consciences, and justly apprehending that one time or other their heads might be endangered by those practices, deputed the president De la Fons to the king, to load the slaughtered and harassed people with the most execrable crimes, and to make it appear, that, considering the heinousness of their offence, they had been very gently treated. He accordingly, on the 18th day of August, by the suggestions (as it is thought)
of the Cardinal De Tournon, obtained an instrument from the king, wherein he seemed to approve the punishment which was taken of those guilty persons; of which however he afterwards repented. Many writers have reported, that, among the last commands which he gave to his son Henry, he added this expressly, that he should make inqnisition into the injuries done in that cause by the parliament of Aix to the Provençals : and, even before he died, he caused John Romano a monk to be apprehended, and commanded the parliament of Aix to punish him; for he, in the examination of heretics, invented a new kind of torture, ordering the tortured parties to put on boots full of boiling tallow, and after laughing at them, and clapping on a pair of spurs, he would ask them, whether they were not finely equipt for a journey. But this man, being well informed of the decree of the parliament, fled to Avignon ; where, though secured, as he imagined, from men, he did not escape the divine vengeance, being robbed of all his effects by his servants, and reduced to extreme poverty, whilst his body was so overrun with filthy boils, that he wished for death, which yet he did not obtain until very late, and after the most horrible torments.
Upon the death, therefore, of Francis, when the Cardinal De Tournon and the Count De Grignan, who had long flourished in the king's favour, were violently hated by those who were placed about the new king; the Merindolians and Waldenses, who knew of their disgrace, gathering together their remains into a body, formed a complaint of the injustice and cruelty of the parliament of Aix, and, out of spite to them, easily obtained to have their cause heard over again. The Duke of Guise was their principal encourager, who procured for himself the county of Grignan under the title of a gift or sale from Lewis des Emars, to exempt him from danger. For though all things had been acted in the count's absence,
as we mentioned, yet because they were said to be done by Oppede his lieutenant, and by his order, he also himself was brought into a share of peril. The matter was first debated in the great council, as it is called : afterwards when Oppede, De la Fons, De Tributiis, Badet, and Guerin, being called upon to answer, they defended themselves by the plea of a sentence past, against the execution whereof the royal advocate had not appealed; at length, by a new arret of the 17th day of March, the king took the cause into his own cognizance. And because the question concerned the force and authority of the supreme court of Aix, he committed the hearing both of the matter itself, and of the appeals, to the grand chamber of the parliament of Paris; where the cause was publicly managed, with great contention, and before a large concourse of people, for fifty days, by James Aubry on the part of the Merindolians, Peter Robert for the parliament of Aix, and Denys de Ryants for the king's advocate. When, upon the mention of so many horrid facts, of which the defendants were accused, the minds of all men were in the utmost attention and expectation of the issue, they were entirely disappointed of their hopes, Guerin alone, who happened to be destitute of friends at court, , suffering the punishment of death. Oppede, who with De Grignan escaped by the intercession of the Duke of Guise, was restored to his former post, together with his colleagues: but, in a little time, being grievously afflicted with pains in the bowels, he breathed out his sanguinary soul in the midst of the most cruel torments, and paid the deserved penalty, which his judges had not exacted, late indeed, but, therefore so much the heavier,
Thuani Historiu sui temporis, lib. VI.
Such is the relation of this dreadful scene of cruelty, oppression, and carnage-detailed not by the poor persecuted Waldenses themselves, but by a Catholic historian whose impartiality and rigid adherence to truth has never been questioned except by his own party.
A view of the conduct of the court of Rome, and the opera
tion of its favourite instrument, the Inquisition, about the middle of the sixteenth century, including details of the horrid cruelties exercised towards the friends of reform, particularly in Spain and the Netherlands. A. D. 1550 -1570.
HAVING devoted a former section to the purpose of tracing the rise, spirit, operation, and progress of that infernal instrument of cruelty, known by the name of the inquisition; that we may not wholly lose sight of the influence of this engine of spiritual despotism, we shall, for a moment, suspend the immediate narrative of the Waldenses in France and Piedmont, in order that we may take a cursory view of the state of affairs, in reference to religion, in Spain and the Netherlands, at the period at which we. are now arrived, namely, about, twenty years after the Reformation by Luther.
It is scarcely necessary for me to state, that, in the succession of kings by whom Spain had been governed for about the space of three hundred years, the popes of Rome had generally found a race of obsequious princes, seldom reluctant to yield their concurrence with any measures that might be proposed for the destruction of VOL. II.
heretics. But it was now the misfortune of that country to possess a monarch whose zeal for the extirpation of heretical pravity, surpassed even that of popes and cardinals. This monarch was Philip II. son of the Emperor Charles V. and of Isabella, daughter of Immanuel the great, King of Portugal. He was born on the 27th of May, 1527, and educated in Spain, under ecclesiastics noted for their bigotry, wbich may account for several of those features in his character that afterwards appeared so prominently in his conduct. He was the most powerful monarch of the age; for, besides the government of Spain, he possessed the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily; the duchy of Milan, Franche Compté, and the Netherlands, or, as they were then generally termed, the Low Countries.
These provinces, which, on account of their situation, are called the Netherlands, had been long governed by their respective princes, under the titles of dukes, marquisses, or counts; and under the administration of the princes of the house of Burgundy, they had fourished in trade, commerce, and manufactures, beyond any other European state. No city, in those days, except Venice, possessed such extensive commerce as Antwerp. It was the great mart of all the northern nations. Bruges was little inferior; and in the city of Ghent there were many thousand artificers employed in the woollen manufacture, long before the art was known to the English, from whom the wool was purchased by the industrious Flemings.
In consequence of the constant intercourse which subsisted between Germany and the Netherlands, we may naturally suppose that the doctrines of the Reformers would be early propagated from the foriner to the latter country; and, accordingly, in the month of May, 1521, even before the days of Philip, his father, the Emperor Charles V. had published an edict, in which all the pe