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941 [917]

K. Henry. 8. The history of Merindol and Cabriers.

all right and reason, yea to all sense of humanitie: also contrary to the solemne othe, which al such as are receiued to office in Courtes of Parlament, are accustomed to make, þt is to say, to Iudge iustly and vprightly, accordyng to the law of God, and the iust ordinaunces & lawes of the realme, so that God therby might be honoured, and euery mans right regarded, without respecte of persons.

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Some of þe Aduocates or lawyers, defendyng þe sayd Arrest to be iust & right, said: þt in case of Lutheranisme, þe iudges are not bound to obserue either right or reason, law either ordinance, & that the iudges can not faile or do amisse, what soeuer iudgement they do giue, so þt it tend to the ruine & extirpatiō of all such as are suspected to be Lutherās. MarginaliaEuen so the Phariseis proceeded against Christ the sonne of God.

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To this the other lawyers and learned men aunswered, that vpon their saynges it would insue, that the Iudges should now altogether folow the same maner and forme, in procedyng agaynst þe Christians accused to be Lutheranes, whiche the Gospell witnesseth that the Priestes, Scribes, and Phariseis followed, in pursuing, and persecuting, and finally condemnyng our Lord Iesus Christ.

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By these & such other like talks 

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For the story of the Bishop's banquet ('splendissimum convivium') and the subsequent clerical meeting in Avignon, reported in Crespin [1560], fol 91A-B; Crespin/Benoit, 1, pp. 385-6 and also in Pantaleon, fols 114-5. Those in attendance included Barthélemi Chassené, premier president of the Parlement, the Archbishop (not bishop, as stated by Foxe) of Aix-en-Provence, the Archbishop of Arles ('Aries' - Jean IX de Ferrier), Jacques Reynaud, sieur d'Aillens ('L. of Alenc'), the seigneur de Beaujeu ('Beauieu') and the sieur de Senas, conseiller au Parlement.

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þe sayd arrest was published throughout the countrey, and there was no assemble or bankyt where it was not disputed or talked of: & namely, within. xij. dayes after the Arrest was geuen out, MarginaliaThe bishops bancket. there was a great banket in the towne of Aix, at the which banket was present maister Barthelmewe Chassance, President, and many other Councellers and other noble personages and men of authoritie. There was also the Archbyshop of Arles and the Byshop of Aix, with diuers ladyes and gentelwomen, amongest whom was one whiche was commonly reported to be the Byshop of Aix his concubine. They were scarse well set at the table, but she began thus to talke, My Lord President, will you not execute thee Arrest, which is geuen out of late, agaynst the Lutherans of Merindoll? MarginaliaThere is no crueltie to the crueltie of an harlot. The President aunswered nothyng, faining that be heard her not. Then a certeine gentleman asked of her what Arrest that was. She recited it in maner and forme, as it was geuen out, forgettyng nothyng, as if shee had a long tyme, studied to commit the same vnto memorye: Wherunto they which were at the banket gaue diligēt eare without any word speakyng, vntill she had ended her tale.

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MarginaliaThe Lord of Alenc a good man. Then the lord of Alenc, a man fearing God, and of great vnderstanding, sayd vnto her: Gentlewomā, you haue learned this tale, either of some that would haue it so, or els it is geuen out by some Parlamēt of women. Then þe Lord of Senas an auncient counsailor, sayd vnto him, no, no, my L. of Alenc, it is no tale which you haue heard this gentlewoman tell: for it is an Arrest geuen out by a whole Senate, and you ought not thus to speake except you would call the court of Prouince, a Parliament of women. Then þe Lord of Alenc began to excuse himselfe, with protestation that he would not speake any thyng to blemish the authority of that soueraigne court, notwithstanding he could not beleue all that which the sayd gentlewoman had told, that is to say, that all the inhabitantes of Merindoll were condemned to die by the Arrest of the said court of parliament of Prouince and specially the women and little children and infants: and the towne to be rased, for the fault of x. or xij. persons which did not appeare before the said court at the day appoynted. MarginaliaThe Lord Beauieu. And the Lord Beauieu also aunswered, that he beleued not the sayd court to haue geuen out any such Arrest, for that (said he) were a thyng most vnreasonable, and such as the very Turkes and the most tyrannes of the worlde woulde iudge to be a thing most detestable: and said further, that he had knowen a long tyme many of Merindoll, which semed vnto him to be men of great honesty: and my lord Presidēt (sayd he) can certifie vs well what is done in this matter, for we ought not to geue credite vnto womens tales. Then the gentlewoman which had rehearsed the Arrest, stayed not to heare the Presidents answer, but sodenly lookyng vpon the bishop of Aix, said: I should greatly haue marueiled, if there had bene none in all this company which would defēd these wicked men, and lifting her eyes to heauen in a great womanly chafe and fume, sayd: MarginaliaA Catholicke wishe of a priestes harlot. would to God that all the Lutherans which are in Prouince, yea and in all Fraunce, had hornes growyng on their foreheds, then we should see a goodly many of hornes. To whom the lord Beauieu sodenly aunswered, saying, would to God that all priestes harlots should chatter like Pies. Then said the gentlewoman: ha my Lord Beauieu, you ought not so to speak against our holy mother the church, for there was neuer dog that barked against þe crucifixe but þt he waxed mad. Wherat þe bishop of Aix laughed, & clapping the gentlewoman on þe shoulder, said by my holy orders, my minion, wel said, I cunne you thāke. She hath talked well vnto you, my lord Beauieu remēber wel the lesson þt she hath geuen you. Here the lord Beauieu being wholy moued with anger, said, I care neyther for her schole nor youres, for it would be long before a man should learne of either of you both, any honesty or honor: For if I should say þt the most part of the bishops & priests are abominable adulterers, blind Idolaters, deceiuers, theues, seducers, I should not speake against þe holy church, but against a heape and flocke of wolues, dogs and filthy swine, and in speaking these things, I would thinke a man not to be mad at all, except he be mad for speaking of the truth.

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Then the Archbyshop in a great fury aunswered, my Lord Beauieu, you speake very euill, and you must geue accoumpt when tyme and place serueth, of this your talke, which you haue here vttered agaynst the Churche men. I would, sayd the Lord Beauieu, that it were to do euen this present day, and I would bynd myselfe to proue more abuses and naughtynes in Priestes then I haue yet spoken. Then sayd the President Chassanee, my Lord Beauieu, let vs leaue of this talke and lyue as our fathers haue done and maynteine their honour. Then sayd he in great anger, I am no Priestes sonne to mainteine their wickednes and abuse. And afterward he sayd, I am well cōtent to honour all true pastours of the Church, & wil not blame thē which shew good example in their doctrine and lyuing: but I demaunde of you my Lord of Arles, and you my Lord of Aix when as our Lord Iesu Christ called the Priestes deceiuyng hypocrites, blynd seducers, robbers and theeues, dyd he them any outrage or wrong? and they aunswred no, for the most part of them were such men. MarginaliaThe popes churchmē worse then the olde Pharisies. Then sayd the Lord Beauieu euen so is it with the Byshops & Priestes which I haue spoken of, for they are such kinde of men, or rather worse: and I so abhorre their filthy and abhominable lyfe, that I dare not speake the one halfe of that which I know, and therfore in speakyng the truth, to coole the babling of a harlot, I do them no iniury.

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Then monsieur de Senas an auncient counsailor, sayd, let vs leaue of this contentious talke, for we are here assembled and come together to make good chere. And afterward he sayd, monsieur de Beauieu, for the loue and amitie which I beare vnto you, I wil aduertise you of iij. things, which if you will do, you shall finde great ease therin.

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The first is, that you neither by word nor deede, ayde or assist those which you heare to be Lutherans.

Secondly, that you do not entermedle, openly to reproue ladies and gentlewomen for their pastime and pleasures.

Thirdly, that you do neuer speake against the lyfe and liuyng of Marginalia* Churchemen be they neuer so euill must not be spoken agaynst. * Priestes, how wicked so euer it be, accordyng to this saying: Do not touch myne annoynted. Marginalia1. Par. 16.

To whom monsieur Beauieu aunswered, as touching þe first point, I know no Lutherans, neither what is ment by this word Lutheranisme, except you do call thē Lutherans, which professe the doctrine of the Gospel. Neither yet will I euer allow any Arrest which shall be geuen out to death against men whose cause hath not bene heard, especially, against women and yong infantes: and I am assured that there is no Court of parliament in all Fraunce which will approue or allow any such Arrest. And where as you say that I should not meddle to reproue ladies or gentlewomen, if I knew any kinswoman of myne, which would abandone her selfe vnto a priest or clerke, yea albeit he were a cardinall or bishop, MarginaliaHow Priestes harlots should be handled. I would not do her so much honour, as to rebuke her therfore, but at the least I would cutte of her nose. And as touchyng priestes, as I am contented not to meddle with theyr busines, so lykewise I will not that they meddle with mine hereafter, or come from henceforth within my house: For as many as I shall finde or take there, I wyll set their crownes so nere their shoulders, that they shal nede no more to weare any hoodes about their neckes. The lyke also sayd the President Chassance.

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Then the bishop of Aix hys sweete hart, which had begon the quarell, sayd, I shal not be in quiet, except I speake yet one worde more vnto monsieur Beauieu. Do you think sayd she vnto hym, that all the Cardinals, Bishops. Abbots, Priestes, and all those holy religious men which goe oftentymes to gentlemens houses, and haunte the Castels and palaces of Princes and noblemen, that they goe thither to commit wickednesse? MarginaliaWell spoken, & lyke an harlot. Also you must not thinke euill of all those Ladies & gentlewemen, that goe to bishops houses of deuotion, and for to reuele those whome they knowe to be Lutherans, as it was commaunded in the Pulpitte vpon payne of excommunication: If so bee you will mayntayne those wordes, I wil not cease to accuse you of crime, and also of treason both to GOD and to man: for here be those in this company which shall make you geue an accomt thereof. She had not so soone ended her talke, but Monsieur Beauieu sayd vnto her, auaunte O Herodias, thou filthy and impudent harlot: MarginaliaAs Herodias wrought the death of Iohn Baptist, so thys strumpet seeketh the death of the Merindolians: two strumpets well compared together. is it thy part to open thy mouth to talke in this company? Doest thou wel vnderstēd and know what treason to God and man meaneth? Is it not sufficient for thee to be as thou art, but thou must sollicite other to shed innocent bloude? Wyth these wordes the Gentlewoman was somewhat amased. All men thought

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