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117 [117]

Actes and Monumentes of the Churche.


The chiefe good thing, they compt their harme,
Perhaps he shakes hys rod.
16 VVhat rebell askte the President,
Is he, I heare so loude?
Vnto our youth an instrument,
They say, and lovv they bovvde.
17 Go bryng the caytif forth he bids,
And make no long delay:
Let hym be set the boyes amids,
They do as he doth say.
18 Let him be geuen vnto them all,
And let them haue their vvyll:
To do to hym vvhat spite they shall,
So that they vvill him kyll.
19 Euen as they list let them hym fray,
And hym deride so long:
Till vvearinesse prouokes their play,
No lenger to prolong.
20 Let them (I say) then vncontrold,
both pricke and scotch his skin:
To bathe their handes let them be bold,
In the vhote bloud of hym.
21 The scholers hereat make great game,
It pleaseth them full vvell:
That they may kill and quench the flame,
They thought to them a hell.
22 They binde his handes behynd his backe,
And naked they him strippe:
In bodkyn vvise at hym they nacke,
They laugh to see hym skippe.
23 The priuy hate that eche one hath,
In hart it novv appeares:
They poure it forth in galley vvrath,
they vvreake them of their teares.
24 Some cast great stones, some other breake,
theyr tables on his face:
Lo here thy Latine and thy Greeke,
(Oh barren boyes of grace.)
25 The bloud runnes dovvne his cheekes, and doth
Imbrue the boxen leames:
VVhere notes by them vvere made (though loth)
and vvell proponed theames.
26 Some vvhet, some sharpe, their pensels poyntes,
that serude to vvrite vvithall:
Some other gage his flesh and ioyntes,
as vvith a poynted nall.
27 Sometymes they pricke, sometyme they rent,
this vvorthy Martirs flesh:
And thus by turnes they do torment,
this confessour a fresh.
28 Novv, all vvith one consent on hym,
their bloudy handes they lay:
To see the bloud from limme to limme,
Drop dovvne, they make a play.
29 More painefull vvas the pricking pange,
Of children, oft and thicke:
Then of the bigger boyes that stange,
and neare the hart did sticke.
30 For by the feeble strokes of th'one,
Death vvas denied his vvyll:
Of smart that made him vvo begon,
he had the better skill.
31 The deeper strokes the great ones gaue,
and nearer toucht the quicke:
The vvelcomer he thought the same,
VVhom longyng death made sicke.
32 God make you strong he saith, I pray,
God geue you might at vvill:
And vvhat you vvant in yeares I say,
Let cruelty fulfill.
33 But vvhilest the hangman breatheth still,
and me vvith you do match:
That vveakely vvorke, yet vvant no vvill,
My lyfe for to dispatch.
34 My griefes vvaxe great, vvhat gronest thou novv?
Sayd some of them agayne?
In schoole, aduised vvell art thou?
VVhom there thou putst to payne?
35 Behold, vve pay and novv make good,
as many thousand stripes:
As vvhen vvith vvepyng eyes vve stoode,
In daunger of thy grypes.
36 Art thou novv angry at thy band,
that alvvayes cryed vvrite, vvrite:
And neuer vvouldst that our right hand,
Should rest in quiet plyte?
37 VVe had forgot our playing tymes,
Thou churle deniedst vs of:
VVe novv but pricke and poynt our lynes,
and thus they grinne and scof.
38 Correct good sir, our vievved verse,
If ought amisse there bee:
Novv vse thy povver, and them rehearse,
that haue not marked thee.
39 Christ pitiyng this groning man,
VVith tormentes torne and tyerd:
Commaundes hys hart to breake euen than,
and lyfe that vvas but hyerd:
40 He yeldes agayne to hym that gaue,
and thus he makes exchaunge:
Immortall, for mortall to haue,
That in such payne did raunge.
41 This is sayth he, that this picture,
Thou so beholdst, oh Gest:
Of Cassianus Martyr pure,
Doth preach. I do protest.
42 If thou Prudence ought haue in store,
In pietie to deale:
In hope of iust revvard therefore,
Novv shevv thy louing zeale.
43 I could not but consent, I vveepe,
Hys tombe I do embrace:
Home I returne, and after sleepe,
This pitifull preface
44 I vvrite as a memoriall,
For euer to indure:
Of Cassianus scholemaister,
all others to allure.
45 To constancy vnder the crosse,
of their profession:
Accomptyng gayne vvhat euer losse,
for Christ they take vpon.

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No less admirable and wonderfull was the constancy also of women and maydens, who in the same persecution gaue their bodies to the torments, & their liues for the testimony of Christ, with no lesse boldnesse of spirit, thē did the men themselues aboue specified, to whom how muche more inferiour they were in bodely strength, so much more worthy of prayse they be, for their constant standyng. Of whom some examples here we mynde (Christ willing) to inferre, suche as in our stories and Chronicles seeme most notable, first beginning with Eulalia, whose story we haue taken out of the foresayd Prudentius as followeth.

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MarginaliaEulalia Martyr.
Ex Aurel. Prudentio. lib. peristephanon.
In the West parte of Spaine called Portingall, is a citie great and populus, named Emerita, wherin dwelt and was brought vp a virgine borne of noble parentage, whose name was Eulalia: whiche Emerita although for the apte situatiō therof, was both rich and famous, yet more adourned and famous was the renowne therof, by the Martyrdome, bloud, and sepulture of this blessed virgine Eulalia. Twelue yeares of age was she and not much aboue, when she refused great and honourable offers in mariage, as one not skilful of, nor yet delightyng in courtly daliaunce, neyther yet takyng pleasure in purple and gorgeous aparell, or els in precious balmes, or costly ornamentes and iuels: MarginaliaThe chaste and continēt behauiour of Eulalia. But, forsakyng and despising all these and such lyke pompeous allurementes, then shewed she her selfe most busie in preparyng her iourney to her hoped inheritaunce, and heauenly patronage. Which Eulalia as she was modest & discrete in behauour, sage and sober in conditions, so was she also wittie and sharpe in aunswering her enemies. But whē the furious rage of persecution inforced her to ioyne her self amongst Gods children in the houshold of fayth, and when the Christians were commaunded to offer incense and sacrifice to deuils or dead gods: MarginaliaEulalia geueth the onset, denying to sacrifice to deuills. Then began the blessed spirit of Eulalia to kindle, and beyng of a prompt and redy wit thought forthwith (as a couragious captaine) to geue a charge vppon this so great, and disordred a battaile: and so she, sillie woman, pouring out the bowels of her innocent hart before God, more prouoketh therby the force and rage of her enemies against her. MarginaliaEulalia kept secret by her parentes. But the godly care of her parentes, fearing least the willyng mynde of the Damsell, so redy to die for Christes cause, might make her gilty of her owne death, hid her and kept her close at their house in the countrey, being a great way out of the citie. She yet misliking that quiet lyfe, as also detesting, to make such delay: softly stealeth out of the dores (no man knowyng thereof) in the night: and in great hast leauyng the common way, openeth the hedge gappes, and with wery feete (God knoweth) passeth through the thornie and briery places, accom-

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