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678 [622]

Actes and Monumentes of the Church.

there was a voyce harde in the churche, of one that cried fyer fyer, in the streate. Whiche voice beyng heard of the vttermoste auditours, it went strayght from one to an other vntyll it came to the eares of the doctors, and at the last to the preacher him self. Who as sone as they heard the matter, being amased with sodeyne feare, marueyled at it and began to looke vp into the toppe of the churche and to beholde the walles. The residewe seyng them loke vp, looked vp also. Then began they in the middest of the audience to crie out with a loude voyce fyer fyer. Where sayth one? where sayth another? is it in the churche sayeth one? The mention of this worde churche was scarsly pronoūced, when as in one moment there was a common crie amongest them, the churche is on fyre, the church is set on fyer by heretikes &c. And albeit no man dyd se any fyer at all, yet forsomuche as all men cryed out so, euery mā thought it true that he harde. Then there was suche feare, concourse, and tumulte of people, through the whole churche, that it can not bee declared in wordes as it was in dede. The occasion of this exclamation came by a chymney that was on fyer in the towne, wherin the fier hauyng taken holde of the soote and drye matter burned out at the toppe of the chymney, & so caused the neyghbours to make an outcrie. Suche is the order and maner amongest thenglyshemen 

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This interesting passage, comparing methods of dealing with fire alarms in England and Germany (to the detriment of the former) first appears in the Rerum (p. 140) and was directly translated from that into the 1563 edition. It was dropped thereafter as Foxe no longer expected a large non-English audience for his martyrology.

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, much dyuerse and cōtrary to that whiche is vsed amongest the Germaynes. For whensoeuer any fyer happeneth in Germany, by and by the belles rynging in the steples, styrre vp the people to helpe. Who immediatly are all ready in armour, some go vnto the walles, other some beset the wayes, and the resydewe are appointed to quenche the fyer. The labour is diuersly deuided amongest them, for whylest some fetche water in lether buckettes other some cast on the water, some clyme the houses, and some with hokes pull them down. Some agayne attende and kepe watche without rydyng about the fyeldes, so that by this meanes there neither lacketh helpe within neither sauegarde without. But the lyke is not vsed here in Englande, for when anye suche thynge happeneth, there is no publyck sygne or token geuen: but the outcrye of the neyghbours dooth styrre vp all the other to helpe. There is no puplybue or ciuyll order in doing of thynges, neyther any dyuision of laboure, but euery man runnyng hedlong together catcheth whatsoeuer commeth nexte to hande to quenche the fyer.

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And nowe to returne where as we lefte. It came to passe that by meanes of the outcry of fyer that was hard in the streat, they which were in the churche, thought the churche hadd bene on fyer. Moreouer the occasion of the he-retyke whiche was there to take penance, dyd greatly augment the suspition thereof, insomuche that all men thought that the other heretikes hadde conspyred their death. After this through theyr tumulte and runnyng to and froo, the duste was so raysed that it shewed as it hadde bene the smooke of fyer. Which thing together with the outcry of the people, made all menne so afrayde, that leauing the sermon they began altogether to runne awaye. But here the multitude letted them selues. For whylest they ranne all hedlong vnto the gate, and all men stroue to get out, they thrust one another in suche sorte, that they whiche were without coulde not gett into the churche agayne, neyther they that were within, coulde gett out by any meanes. So one gate beyng stopped, they ranne to another litle wycket on the North syde, towardes the Colledge called Brasen nose. But there agayne was the lyke or greater thronge, so the people clustryng or throngyng together, it put many in daunger and brought many vnto their ende, by brusing of their bones and sydes. There was yet another gate towardes the West, whiche albeit it was shutt and seldome opened: yet now ranne they to it with suche force, that a great staple of Iron (whiche is incredible to be spoken) beyng pulled out by the force of mennes handes: the gate notwithstandyng coulde not be opened, for the prease or multitude of people.

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At the laste when they were there also paste all hope to gett out, then they were all greatly amased and ranne vp and downe crying oute that the heretykes had conspyred their death. The more they ranne about and cryed out, the more smooke and duste rose in the Churche, euen as though all thynges now hadde bene on a flammyng fyer. I thynke there was neuer suche a rude tumulte heard of before rysen vpon nothing, or so great feare in so great securitie, and no peryll at all, so that if anye Democritus 

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Democritus (born c. 460 BC) was an ancient philosopher who was known as the 'laughing philosopher' because he held that a cheerful disposition should be cultivated by the wise. For reasons that are less clear, Heraclitus (fl. 500 BC) came to be associated with melancholy and pessimism.

syttyng in the topp of the church, and seyng al thynges in sauetie as they were, hadde looked downe vpon the multitude, and beholden so great a nomber, some howlynge and wepynge, runnynge vp and downe and playing the madde men, now hether, nowe thether, as being tossed to and fro with waues or tempestes, tremblyng and quakyng, and also frettyng without any manifest cause: specially if he hadde seene those great maysters the doctours, laden with so many badges or cognisaunces of wysdome, so foolyshly and ridiculously seekyng holes and corners to hyde them selues in, gaspyng breathyng and sweatyng, and euen for very horror almoste besyde them selues, I thynke he woulde haue satisfyed hym selfe with this one laughter, for all hys lyfe tyme.

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