162. THE WALDENSIANS OF PIEDMONT
The history of the persecutions and wars against the people called Waldenses or Waldois, in the valleys of Angrogne, Lucerne, St. Martin, Perouse, and others, in the country of Piedmont, from A.D. 1555, to A.D. 1561.
The martyrs of the valley of Angrogne, the martyrs of the valley of Lucerne, the martyrs of St. Martin, the martyrs of Perouse, and others. Persecuted by the parliament of Turin; the president of St. Julian; Jacomel, a monk and inquisitor; Monsieur de la Trinity; the gentlemen of the valleys; Charles Truchet, Boniface Truchet; the collateral of Corbis; the collateral de Ecclesia; the duke of Savoy; monks of Pignerol; and by many others more, enemies of God, and ministers of Satan.
Illustration -- Pignerol
We proceed now further in the persecution of these Waldois, or Waldenses: you have heard hitherto, first how they, dividing themselves into divers countries, some fled to Provence and to Toulouse, of whom sufficient hath been said. Some went to Piedmont, and the valley of Angrogne, of whom it followeth now to treat, God willing.
Thus these good men, by long persecution, being driven from place to place, were grievously in all places afflicted, but yet could never be utterly destroyed, nor yet compelled to yield to the superstitious and false religion of the Church of Rome: but ever abstained from their corruption and idolatry, as much as was possible, and gave themselves to the word of God, as a rule both truly to serve him, and to direct their lives accordingly.
They had many books of the Old and New Testament translated into their language. Their ministers instructed them secretly, to avoid the fury of their enemies which could not abide the light; albeit they did not instruct them with such purity as was requisite. They lived in great simplicity, and with the sweat of their brows. They were quiet and peaceable among their neighbours, abstaining from blasphemy, and from profaning of the name of God by oaths, and such other impiety; from lewd games, dancing, filthy songs, and other vices and dissolute life, and conformed their life wholly to the rule of God's word. Their principal care was always, that God might be rightly served, and his word truly preached; insomuch that in our time, when it pleased God to set forth the light of his gospel more clearly, they never spared any thing to establish the true and pure ministry of the word of God and his sacraments. Which was the cause that Satan with his ministers did so persecute them of late more cruelly than ever he did before, as manifestly appeareth by the bloody and horrible persecutions which have been, not only in Provence, against those of Merindol and Cabriers, also against them of Prague and Calabria, (as the histories afore written do sufficiently declare,) but also against them in the country of Piedmont, remaining in the valley of Angrogne, and of Lucerne, and also in the valley of St. Martin and Perouse, in the said country of Piedmont. Which people of a long time were persecuted by the papists, and especially within these few years they have been vexed in such sort, and so diversely, that it seemeth almost incredible: and yet hath God always miraculously delivered them, as hereafter shall ensue.
Albeit the people of Angrogne had before this time certain to preach the word of God, and minister the sacraments unto them privately; yet in the year of our Lord 1555, in the beginning of the month of August, the gospel was openly preached in Angrogne. The ministers and the people intended at first to keep themselves still as secret as they might; but there was such concourse of people from all parts, that they were compelled to preach openly abroad. For this cause they built them a church in the midst of Angrogne, where assemblies were made, and sermons preached. It happened about that time, that one John Martin, of Briqueras, a mile from Angrogne, which vaunted every where that he would slit the minister's nose of Angrogne, was assaulted by a wolf which bit off his nose, so that he died thereof mad. This was commonly known to all the towns thereabout.
At this season the French king held these aforesaid valleys, and they were under the jurisdiction of the parliament of Turin. In the end of the December following, news was brought, that it was ordained by the said parliament, that certain horsemen and footmen should be sent to spoil and destroy Angrogne. Whereupon some which pretended great friendship to this people, counselled them not to go forward with their enterprise, but to forbear for a while, and to wait for better opportunity. But they, notwithstanding, calling upon God, determined with one accord constantly to persist in their religion, and in hope and silence to abide the good pleasure of God: so that this enterprise against Angrogne was soon dashed. The same time they began also openly to preach in Lucerne.
In the month of March, A.D. 1556, the ministers of the valley of St. Martin preached openly. At that time certain gentlemen of the valley of St. Martin took a good man named Bartholomew, a bookbinder, prisoner, as he passed by the said valley, the which was sent by and by to Turin; and there, with a marvellous constancy, after he had made a good confession of his faith, he suffered death; insomuch that divers of the parliament were astonished and appalled at his constancy. Yet they of the said parliament, being sore incensed against the Waldois, sent one, named the president of St. Julian, associating unto him one called De Ecclesia and others, for to hinder their enterprise. These coming first to the valley of Perouse, where as yet no preachers were, but they were accustomed to resort to the sermons of Angrogne, very much troubled and feared the poor people there.
From thence they went to the valley of St. Martin, and remained there a good while, tormenting the poor people, and threatening their utter ruin and destruction. After that they came to Lucerne, troubling and vexing the people there in like manner. From thence they went to Angrogne, accompanied by many gentlemen, and a great rabble of priests of the said country: but by the way, the president inquired for one dwelling at St. Jean, near to Angrogne, and examined him, whether he had not baptized his child at Angrogne, and wherefore he had so done? The poor simple man answered, that he had baptized his child at Angrogne, because baptism was there administered according to the institution of Christ. Then the president, in a great rage, commanded him in the king's name to baptize his child again, or else he should be burnt. The poor man desired the president that he might be suffered to make his prayer to God, before he should make answer thereunto: which after he had done in the hall, before all the company there present, he required the president that he would write, and sign the same with his own hand, that he would discharge him before God, of the danger of that offence, if he should baptize his child again, and that he would take the peril upon him and his. The president, hearing this, was so confounded, that he spake not one word a good while after. Then said he, in a great fury, "Away, thou villain! out of my sight;" and after that he was never called any more.
After they were come to Angrogne, the president, having visited the two temples, caused a monk to preach in the one, the people being there assembled; who pretended nothing else, but only to exhort them to return to the obedience of the see of Rome. The monk, with the president, and all his retinue, kneeled down twice, and called upon the Virgin Mary; but the ministers and all the people stood still, and would not kneel, making no sign or token of reverence. As soon as the monk had ended his sermon, the people requested instantly, that their minister might also be suffered to preach, affirming that the said monk had spoken many things which were not according to the word of God: but the president would not grant their request. After that, the said president admonished them, in the name of the king and the parliament of Turin, that they should return to the obedience of the pope, upon pain of loss of goods and life, and utter destruction of their town. And withal he recited unto them the piteous discomfiture of their brethren and friends, which had been done before in Merindol and Cabriers, and other places in the country of Provence. The ministers and the people answered, that they were determined to live according to the word of God, and that they would obey the king and all their superiors in all things, so that God were not thereby displeased and furthermore, if it were showed unto them by the word of God, that they erred in any point of religion, they were ready to receive correction, and to be reformed. This talk endured about six hours together, even until night. In the end, the president said there should be a disputation appointed for those matters, whereunto the people gladly agreed; but, after that, there was no more mention made thereof.
Here he remained fourteen days, daily practising new devices to vex and torment them with new proclamations, now calling to him the syndics and head officers, now severally, and now altogether, that so, for fear, he might make them to relent: causing also assemblies to be made in every parish by such as he appointed, thinking thereby to divide the people. Notwithstanding, he nothing prevailed with all that he could do; but still they continued constant: insomuch that they, with one accord, presented a brief confession of their faith, with an answer to certain interrogatories made by the president, in which they confessed as followeth
"That the religion wherein both they and their elders had been long instructed and brought up, was the same which is contained both in the Old and New Testament, which is also briefly comprised in the twelve articles of the Christian belief.
"Also, that they acknowledged the sacraments instituted by Christ, whereby he distributeth abundantly his graces and great benefits, his heavenly riches and treasures, to all those which receive the same with a true and lively faith.
"Furthermore, that they received the creeds of the four general councils; that is to say, of Nice, Constantinople, Ephesus, and Chalcedon; and also the creed of Athanasius, wherein the mystery of the Christian faith and religion is plainly and largely set out.
"Item, The ten commandments expressed in Exodus xx., and Deuteronomy v., in which the rule of a godly and holy life, and also the true service which God requireth of us, is briefly comprised: and therefore, following this article, they suffered not by any means, said they, any gross iniquities to reign among them; as unlawful swearing, perjury, blasphemy, cursing, slandering, dissension, deceit, wrong dealing, usury, gluttony, drunkenness, whoredom, theft, murder, sorcery, witchcraft, or such like; but wholly endeavoured themselves to live in the fear of God, and according to his holy will.
"Moreover they acknowledged the superior powers, as princes and magistrates, to be ordained of God; and that whosoever resisteth the same, resisteth the ordinance of God; and therefore humbly submitted themselves to their superiors with all obedience, so that they commanded nothing against God.
"Finally, they protested, that they would in no point be stubborn, but if that their forefathers or they had erred in any one jot concerning the true religion, the same being proved by the word of God, they would willingly yield and be reformed."
The interrogatories were concerning the mass, auricular confession, baptism, marriage, and burials, according to the institution of the Church of Rome.
"To the first they answered, that they received the Lord's supper, as it was by him instituted, and celebrated by his apostles; but as touching the mass, except the same might be proved by the word of God, they would not receive it.
"To the second, touching auricular confession, they said, that for their part they confessed themselves daily unto God, acknowledging themselves before him to be miserable sinners, desiring of him pardon and forgiveness of their sins, as Christ instructed his, in the prayer which he taught them; Lord! forgive us our sins. And as St. John saith; If we confess our sins to God, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And according to that which God himself saith by his prophet; O Israel! if thou return, return unto me. And again, O Israel! it is I, it is I which forgiveth thee thy sins. So that, seeing they ought to return to God alone, and it is he only who forgiveth sins, therefore they were bound to confess themselves to God only, and to no other. Also it appeareth, that David, in his Psalms, and the prophets, and other faithful servants of God, have confessed themselves both generally and particularly unto God alone: yet, if the contrary might be proved by the word of God, they would (said they) with all humbleness receive the same.
"Thirdly, As touching baptism, they acknowledged and received that holy institution of Christ, and administered the same with all simplicity, as he ordained it in his holy gospel, without any changing, adding, or diminishing in any point; and that all this they did in their mother tongue, according to the rule of St. Paul, who willeth that in the church every thing be done in the mother tongue, for the edification of our neighbour: but as for their conjurations, oiling, and salting, except the same might be proved by the sacred Scripture, they would not receive them.
"Fourthly, As touching burials they answered, that they knew there is a difference between the bodies of the true Christians and the infidels, forasmuch as the first are the members of Jesus Christ, temples of the Holy Ghost, and partakers of the glorious resurrection of the dead; and therefore they accustomed to follow their dead to the grave reverently, with a sufficient company, and exhortation out of the word of God; as well to comfort the parents and friends of the dead, as also to admonish all men diligently to prepare themselves to die. But as for the using of candles or lights, prayers for the dead, and ringing of bells, except the same might he proved to be necessary by the word of God, and that God is not offended therewith, they would not receive them.
"Fifthly, As touching obedience to men's traditions, they received and allowed all those ordinances which (as St. Paul saith) serve for order, decency, and reverence of the ministry. But as for other ceremonies which have been brought into the church of God, either as a part of his divine service, either to merit remission of sins, or else to bind men's consciences, because they are repugnant to the word of God, they could by no means receive them.
"And whereas the commissioners affirmed the said traditions to have been ordained by councils: first they answered, that the greatest part of them were not ordained by councils: secondly, that councils were not to be preferred above the word of God, which saith, If any man, yea, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you otherwise than that which hath been received of the Lord Jesus, let him be accursed. And therefore (said they) if councils have ordained any thing dissenting from the word of God, they would not receive it.
"Finally they said, that the councils had made divers notable decrees concerning the election of bishops and ministers of the church; concerning ecclesiastical discipline, as well of the clergy as of the people; also concerning the distribution of the goods and possessions of the church; and further, that all pastors who were either whoremongers, drunkards, or offensive in any case, should be put from their office. Moreover, that whosoever should be present at the mass of a priest which was a whoremonger, should be excommunicated: and many other such things, which were not in any point observed. And that they omitted to speak of many other things which were ordained by divers councils, very superstitious, and contrary to the holy commandments of God, as they would be ready to prove (said they) if they should have occasion and opportunity thereunto.
"Wherefore they required the commissioners, that a disputation might be had (as by the said president was pretended) publicly, and in their presence; and then, if it might be proved by the word of God, that they erred either in doctrine, or in conversation and manner of living, they were content with all humbleness to be corrected and reformed, as they had before said: beseeching them to consider also that their religion had been observed and kept from their ancestors, until their time, many hundred years together: and yet, for their parts, being convicted by the infallible word of God, they would not obstinately stand to the defence thereof: saying moreover, that they, together with the said lords deputies, confessed all one God, one Saviour, one Holy Ghost, one law, one baptism, one hope in heaven; and in sum, they affirmed that their faith and religion were firmly founded and grounded upon the pure word of God: wherefore it is said, that blessed are they which hear the same, and keep it.
"To be short, seeing it is permitted to the Turks, Saracens, and Jews, (which are mortal enemies to our Saviour Christ,) to dwell peaceably in the fairest cities of Christendom; by good reason they should be suffered to live in the desolate mountains and valleys, having their whole religion founded upon the holy gospel, and worshipping the Lord Jesus; and therefore they most humbly besought them to have pity and compassion upon them, and to suffer them to live quietly in their deserts; protesting that they and theirs would Iive in all fear and reverence of God, with all due subjection and obedience to their lord and prince, and to his lieutenants and officers."
The president, and the rest of the commissioners, perceiving that they laboured in vain, returned to Turin with the notes of their proceedings; the which immediately were sent unto the king's court, and there the matter remained one year before there was any answer made thereunto. During that time the Waldois lived in great quietness, as God of his infinite goodness is wont to give some comfort and refreshing to his poor servants, after long troubles and afflictions. The number of the faithful so augmented, that throughout the valleys God's word was purely preached, and his sacraments duly administered, and no mass was sung in Angrogne, nor in divers other places. The year after, the president of St. Julian, with his associates, returned to Pignerol, and sent for thither the chief rulers of Angrogne, and of the valley of Lucerne, that is, for six of Angrogne, and for two of every parish besides, and showed unto them, how that the last year they had presented their Confession, the which, by a decree made by the parliament of Turin, was sent to the king's court, and there diligently examined by learned men, and condemned as heretical. Therefore the king willed and commanded them to return to the obedience of the Church of Rome, upon pain of loss both of goods and life: enjoining them, moreover, to give him a direct answer within three days.
From thence he went to Lucerne, and caused the householders, with great threatenings, to assemble-themselves before certain by him appointed: but they, with one assent, persisted in their former Confession; and lest they should seem stubborn in the defence of any erroneous doctrine, they desired that their Confession might be sent to all the universities of Christendom, and if the same in any part by the word of God were disproved, it should be immediately amended: but contrariwise, if that were not done, then they to be no more disquieted.
The president, not contented with this, the next morning sent for six out of Angrogne, by him named, and for two out of every other parish, the which he and the gentlemen of the country threatened very sore, and warned twelve of the chief of Angrogne, and certain of the other parishes, to appear personally at the parliament of Turin, and to bring before the judges of the said parliament their ministers and schoolmasters, thinking, if they were once banished the country, that then their enterprise might soon be brought to an end. To this it was answered, that they could not, nor ought to obey such a commandment.
A little while after proclamation was made in every place, that no man should receive any preacher coming from Geneva, but only such as were appointed by the archbishop of Turin, and others his officers, upon pain of confiscation of their goods, and loss of their lives; and that every one should observe the ceremonies, rites, and religion, used in the Church of Rome. Furthermore, that if any of the aforesaid preachers of Geneva came into those quarters, they should immediately be apprehended, and by no means their abode there by any one to be concealed, upon the pain aforesaid. And furthermore, the names of those which should disclose any one of them should be kept secret; and also, for their accusation, they should have the third part of the goods confiscated, with a full pardon, if that the said accusers were any of those which privily did keep or maintain the said ministers; and that they, and all others which would return to their mother the church, might freely and safely come and recant before the said commissioners.
At the same season the princes of Germany, and certain of the Switzers, sent unto the French king, desiring him to have pity on the aforesaid churches; and from that time, until three years after, the people of the aforesaid valleys were not molested by any of the king's officers, but yet they were sore vexed by the monks of Pignerol, and the gentlemen of the valley of St. Martin.
About that time a minister of Angrogne, named Geffrey Varialla, born in Piedmont, a virtuous and learned man, and fearing God, went to visit certain churches in those quarters where he was born, and coming homeward, was taken at Berga, and from thence led to Turin, where, after he had made a good confession of his faith, to the confirmation of many, and to the terror of his adversaries, he most constantly suffered.
A few days after, a minister of the valley of Lucerne, returning to Geneva, was taken prisoner at Susa, and soon after sent to Turin, and with an invincible constancy made his confession before those of the parliament, and in the end was condemned to be burnt. The hangman, at the time of execution, feigned himself to be sick, and so conveyed himself away; and so likewise another served them, being appointed by the aforesaid court to execute the poor minister. It is credibly reported that the hangman who executed certain Germans a little before, would by no means do this execution: whereupon the minister was sent to prison again, where, after long and painful endurance, seeing the prison door open, he escaped, and returned to his cure.
Now four years being past, in such manner as we have hitherto touched in this story, in the year following, which was A.D. 1559, there was a peace concluded between the French king and the king of Spain; whereupon the country of Piedmont (certain towns excepted) was restored to the duke of Savoy, under whose regiment the aforesaid churches, and all other faithful people in Piedmont, continued in great quietness, and were not molested; and the duke himself was content to suffer them to live in their religion, knowing that he had no subjects more faithful and obedient than they were. But Satan, hating all quietness, by his ministers stirred the duke against the said churches of Piedmont, his own natural subjects. For the pope and the cardinals, seeing the good inclination of the duke towards this people, incensed him to do that, which otherwise he would not. The pope's legate also, which then followed the court, and other that favoured the Church of Rome, laboured by all means to persuade the duke that he ought to banish the said Waldois, which maintained not the pope's religion; alleging, that he could not suffer such a people to dwell within his dominion, without prejudice and dishonour to the apostolic see; also that they were a rebellious people against the holy ordinances and decrees of their holy mother the church; and briefly, that he might no longer suffer the said people, being so disobedient and stubborn against the holy father, if he would indeed show himself a loving and obedient son.
Such devilish instigations were the cause of these horrible and furious persecutions, wherewith this poor people of the valleys, and the country of Piedmont, was so long vexed. And because they foresaw the great calamities which they were like to suffer, to find some remedy for the same, (if it were possible,) all the said churches of Piedmont, with one common consent, wrote to the duke, declaring in effect, that the only cause why they were so hated, and for the which he was by their enemies so sore incensed against them, was their religion, which was no new or light opinion, but that wherein they and their ancestors had long continued, being wholly grounded upon the infallible word of God, contained in the Old and New Testament. Notwithstanding, if it might be proved, by the same word, that they held any false or erroneous doctrine, they would submit themselves to be reformed with all obedience.
But it is not certain whether this advertisement was delivered unto the duke or no; for it was said that he would not hear of that religion. But, howsoever it was, in the month of March following, there was a great persecution raised against the poor Christians which were at Carignano; amongst whom there were certain godly persons taken, and burnt within four days after; that is to say, one named Mathurine, and his wife, and John de Carignano, dwelling in the valley of Lucerne, taken prisoner as he went to the market at Pignerol. The woman died with great constancy. The good man, John de Carignano, had been in prison divers times before for religion, and was always delivered by God's singular grace and providence. But seeing himself taken this last time, incontinent he said, he knew that God had now called him. Both by the way be went, and in prison, and also at his death, he showed an invincible constancy and marvellous virtue, as well by the pure confession which he made touching the doctrine of salvation, as also in suffering with patience the horrible torments which he endured, both in prison, and also at his death. Many at that time fled away: others, being afraid of that great cruelty, and fearing also man more than God, looking rather to the earth than to heaven, consented to return to the obedience of the Church of Rome.
Within a few days after, these churches of the said Waldois, that is to say, Le Laughi, Meronne, Meane, and Susa, were wonderfully assaulted. To recite all the outrage, cruelty, and villany that was there committed, it were too long: for brevity's sake we will recite only certain of the principal and best known. The churches of Meane and Susa suffered great affliction. Their minister was taken amongst others. Many fled away, and their houses and goods were ransacked and spoiled. The minister was a good and faithful servant of God, and endued with excellent gifts and graces, who, in the end, was put to most shameful and cruel death. The great patience which he showed in the midst of the fire, greatly astonished the adversaries. Likewise the churches of Laughi and Meronne were marvellously tormented and afflicted; for some were taken and sent to the galleys, other some consented and yielded to the adversaries, and a great number of them fled away. It is certainly known, that those who yielded to the adversaries, were more cruelly handled than the others which continued constant in the truth; whereby God declareth how greatly he detesteth all such as play the apostate, and shrink from the truth.
But for the better understanding of the beginning of this horrible persecution against the Waldois, here note, that first of all proclamations were made in every place, that none should resort to the sermons of the Lutherans, but should live after the custom of the Church of Rome; upon pain of forfeiture of their goods, and to be condemned to the galleys for ever, or lose their lives. Three of the most cruel persons that could be found, were appointed to execute this commission. The first was one Thomas Jacomel, a monk, and inquisitor of the Romish faith; a man worthy for such an office, for he was an apostate, and had renounced the known truth, and persecuted mortally and maliciously the poor Christians, against his own conscience, and of set purpose, as his books do sufficiently witness. He was also a whoremonger, and given over to all other villanies and filthy living; in the grossest vices he surpassed all his fellows. Briefly, he was nothing else but a mis-shapened monster both against God and nature. Moreover, he so afflicted and tormented the poor captives of the said Waldois, by spoiling, robbery, and extortion, that he deserved not only to be hanged, but to be broken upon the wheel a hundred times, and to suffer as many cruel deaths, if it were possible; so great, so many, and so horrible, were the crimes that he had committed.
The second was the collateral Corbis, who, in the examination of the prisoners, was very rigorous and cruel; for he only demanded of them whether they would go to the mass, or be burnt within three days? and in very deed executed his sayings. But it is certainly reported, that he, seeing the constancy and hearing the confession of the poor martyrs, feeling remorse, and being tormented in conscience, protested that he would never meddle any more.
The third was the provost de la Justice, a cruel and crafty wretch, accustomed to apprehend the poor Christians either by night, or early in the morning, or in the highway going to the market, and was commonly lodged in the valley of Lucerne, or thereabouts. Thus the poor people were always as the silly sheep in the wolf's jaws, or as the sheep which are led unto the slaughter-house.
At that season one named Charles de Comptes, of the valley of Lucerne, and one of the lords of Angrogne, wrote to the said commissioners, to use some lenity towards them of the valley of Lucerne; by reason whereof they were a while more gently treated than the rest. At that season the monks of Pignerol, and their associates, tormented grievously the churches near about them. They took the poor Christians as they passed by the way, and kept them prisoners within their abbey; and having assembled a company of ruffians, they sent them to spoil those of the said churches, and to take prisoners men, women, and children; and some they so tormented, that they were compelled to swear to return to the mass; some also they sent to the galleys, and others they burnt cruelly. They which escaped were afterwards so sick, that they seemed to have been poisoned. The same year there were two great earthquakes in Piedmont, and also many great tempests and horrible thunders.
The gentlemen of the valley of St. Martin treated their tenants very cruelly, threatening them, and commanding them to return unto the mass; also spoiling them of their goods, imprisoning them, and vexing them by all the means they could. But above all the others there were two especially, that is to say, Charles Truchet, and Boniface his brother, who, on the second of April, before day, with a company of ruffians, spoiled a village of their own subjects, named Riuclaret; which as soon as the inhabitants of the said village perceived, they fled into the mountain covered with snow, naked and without victuals, and there remained until the third night after. In the morning, certain of his retinue took a minister of the said valley prisoner, which was come out of Calabria, and was going to visit the poor people of Riuclaret, and led him prisoner to the abbey, where, soon after, he was burnt, with one other of the valley of St. Martin.
The third night after, they of Pragela, having pity upon the poor people of Riuclaret, sent about four hundred to discomfit the company of the Truchets, and to restore those who were fled to their houses. They were furiously assaulted by the shot of their enemies, who, notwithstanding, in the end were put to flight, and but one of the four hundred hurt.
About the year before, the said Truchet, being accompanied with a company of ruffians, arrested prisoner the minister of Riuclaret as he was at his sermon. But the people were so moved by his outrageous dealing, and especially the women, that they had almost strangled the said Truchet; and the rest of them were so canvassed that they had no list to come there again any more. By reason whereof he so vexed them by processes, that they were compelled to agree with him, and to pay him sixteen hundred crowns.
Soon after, the lords of the said valley took another minister of the same valley, as he was going to preach in a parish a mile from his house; but the people perceiving that, speedily pursued him and took him. The enemies, seeing that they were not able to lead him away, wounded him so sore, that they left him for dead; whereupon, they so persecuted the poor people, that they were almost destroyed.
Here is not to be forgotten, that the same night, in which the company of Truchet was discomfited was so stormy and terrible, and the gentlemen of that country were so terrified, that they thought they should have been all destroyed; wherefore they used more gentleness towards the people than before, except Charles Truchet and his brother, the which went to the duke, and made grievous complaints against the Waldois, not only for that which was done and past, but also persuaded the duke, that they went about to build three fortresses in the mountains, and also intended to maintain certain garrisons of strangers, charging them further with divers other crimes, of the which they were in no point guilty. The duke, being moved by these false surmises, gave in charge to the said accusers, that the fortress of the valley of St. Martin, which about twenty years before was razed by the Frenchmen, should be built again, and that therein should be placed a perpetual garrison, and that the people should make so plain and wide the rugged ways, that horsemen might easily pass: with divers such other things. And all this to be done at the costs and charges of those that would not submit themselves to the obedience of the Roman church.
This commission being sealed, the gentlemen caused the fortress to be built again, and put there in a garrison, and proclaimed the commission. The poor people being thereat amazed, withstood the commissioners, and sent certain to the duke; and immediately after the commissoners returned to the duke's court, being at Nice, to inflame his anger more against them. But God soon prevented this mischief; for the Truchets, being at Nice, went to sea with divers noblemen, and immediately they were taken prisoners by the Turks, put into the galleys, sore beaten with ropes, and so cruelly handled, that it was commonly reported that they were dead: and long time after, denying their nobility, they were sent home, having paid four hundred crowns for their ransom. Some say, that the duke himself was almost taken; but it is sure that he fell sick soon after. In the month of April nextfollowing, the lord of Ranconis was present at a sermon, in a place near unto Angrogne. The sermon being ended, he talked with the ministers; and having discoursed as well of the duke's sickness, as also of his clemency and gentleness, he declared to them, that the persecution proceeded not of him, and that he meant not that the commission should have been so rigorously executed. After that he demanded of them, what way they thought best to appease the duke's wrath. They answered, that the people ought not to be moved to seek by any means how to please and appease the duke which might displease God; but the best way they knew, was the same wherewith the ancient servants of God used to appease the pagan princes and emperors, in the time of the great persecutions of the church; that is to say, to give out and present unto them in writing the confession of their faith, and defence of the religion which they professed; trusting that, forasmuch as the fury of divers profane and ethnic emperors and princes hath been heretofore appeased by such means, the duke, being endued with such singular virtues as they said he was, would also be pacified by the like means. And for that cause the poor people had before sent a supplication, with a confession of their faith, unto the duke, but they were not certain whether he had received it or no; wherefore they desired him to present the same unto the said duke himself: whereunto he agreed, and promised so to do. Hereupon they sent three supplications, one to the duke, the second to the duchess, and the third to the duke's council; wherein they briefly declared what their religion was, and the points thereof, which they and their ancestors had of a long time observed, being wholly,grounded upon the pure word of God; and if by the same . word it should be proved that they were in error, they would not be obstinate, but gladly be reformed, and embrace the truth. After this the persecution seemed to be somewhat assuaged for a little while.
In the end of June next following, the lord of Ranconis and the lord of Trinity, came to Angrogne, there to qualify (as they said) the sore persecution, and caused the chief rulers and ministers to assemble together, propounding divers points of religion concerning doctrine, the calling of ministers, the mass, and obedience towards princes and rulers: and, furthermore, declared unto them, that their confession was sent unto Rome by the duke, and daily they looked for an answer. To all these points the ministers answered. After this they demanded of the chief rulers, whether if the duke would cause mass to be sung in their parishes, they would withstand the same or no? They answered simply, that they would not. Then they demanded of them, whether if the duke would appoint them preachers, they would receive them? They answered, that if they preached the word of God purely, they would hear them. Thirdly, Whether they were content that in the mean time their ministers should cease? and if they that should be sent preached not the word of God sincerely, then their ministers to preach again: if they would agree to this, they were promised that the persecution should cease, and that the prisoners should be restored again. To this question, after they had conferred with the people, they answered, that they could by no means suffer that their ministers should forbear preaching.
The two lords, not contented with this answer, commanded in the duke's name, that all the ministers who were strangers, should, out of hand, be banished the country; saying, that the duke would not suffer them to dwell within his dominion, for that they were his enemies: demanding also, whether they would foster and maintain the prince's enemies within his own land, against his own decree and express commandment? To this, answer was made by the chief rulers, that they could by no means banish them, unless they were before convicted of some heresy or other crime: for their part they had always found them to be men of pure and sound doctrine, and also of godly life and conversation.
Illustration -- The Minister of St. Germain Taken by Night
This done, immediately proclamations were made, and the persecution began on every side to be more furious than it was before. Amongst others, the monks of Pignerol at that time were most cruel; for they sent out a company of hired ruffians, which daily spoiled and ransacked houses, and all that they could lay hands on; and took men, women, and children, and led them captives to the abbey, where they were most spitefully afflicted and tormented. At the same time they sent also a band of the said ruffians by night to the house of the minister of St. Germain, in the valley of Perouse; being led thither by a traitor that knew the house, and had used to haunt thither secretly, who knocking at the door, the minister, knowing his voice, came forth immediately, and perceiving himself to be betrayed, fled: but he was soon taken and sore wounded, and yet, notwithstanding, they pricked him behind with their halberds to make him hasten his pace. At that time also many they slew, many they hurt, and many also they brought to the abbey, and there kept them in prison, and cruelly handled them. The good minister endured sore imprisonment, and after that a most terrible kind of death, with a wonderful constancy; for they roasted him by a small fire; and when half his body was burnt, he confessed and called upon the Lord Jesus with a loud voice.
The inquisitor Jacomel, with his monks, and the collateral Corbis amongst others, showed one practice of most barbarous cruelty against this poor man; who, when he should be burnt, caused two poor women of St. Germain (whom they kept in prison) to carry faggots to the fire, and to speak these words unto their pastor: "Take this, thou wicked heretic! in recompense of thy naughty doctrine, which thou hast taught us." To whom the good minister answered; "Ah, good women! I have taught you well, but you have learned ill." To be brief, they so afflicted and tormented those poor people of St. Germain, and the places thereabout, that after they were spoiled of their goods and driven from their houses, they were compelled to flee into the mountain to save their lives. So great was the spoil of these poor people, that many which before had been men of much wealth, and with their riches had ministered great succour and comfort to others, were now brought to such misery, that they were compelled to crave succour and relief of others.
Now, forasmuch as the said monks, with their troops of ruffians, (who were counted to be in number about three hundred,) made such spoil and havoc in all the country, that no man could there live in safety, it was demanded of the ministers, whether it was lawful to defend themselves against the insolence and furious rage of the said ruffians? The ministers answered, that it was lawful, warning them in any case, to take heed of bloodshed. This question being once solved, they of the valley of Lucerne and of Angrogne sent certain men to them of St. Germain to aid them against the supporters of these monks.
In the month of June, the harvest being then in Piedmont, divers of the Waldois were gone into the country to reap and to make provision for corn, for very little groweth upon their mountains, who were all taken prisoners at sundry times and places, not one knowing of another; but yet God so wrought, that they all escaped out of prison, as it were by a miracle: whereat the adversaries were marvellously astonished. At the same time there were certain others also, who had sustained long imprisonment, looking for nothing else but death; and yet they, after a wonderful sort, by God's merciful providence, were likewise delivered.
Illustration -- The Monks defeated by the Angrognians
In the month of July, they of Angrogne, being in a morning at harvest upon the hillside of St. Germain, perceived a company of soldiers spoiling them of St. Germain; and doubting lest they should go to Angrogne, they made an outcry. Then the people of Angrogne assembled together upon the mountain, and some ran to St. Germain over the hill, and some by the valley. They that went by the valley met with the spoilers coming from St. Germain, loaden with spoil which they had gotten, and being but fifty, set upon the others, amounting to the number of one hundred and twenty men well appointed, and gave them soon the overthrow. The passage over the bridge being stopped, the enemies were fain to take the river Cluson, where divers were sore hurt, many were drowned, and some escaped very hardly; and such a slaughter was made of them, that the river was dyed with the blood of them that were wounded and slain but none of the Angrognians were once hurt. If the said river had been as great as it was wont commonly to be, there had not one man escaped alive. The noise of the harquebusses was great, and within less than one hour's space, there were three or four hundred of the Waldois gathered together upon the river; and at the same time they had purposed to fetch away their prisoners who were in the abbey, but they would not do it without the counsel of their ministers, and so deferred the matter until the next day: but their ministers counselled them not to enterprise any such thing, but to refrain themselves, and so they did. Albeit they doubted not, but if they had gone incontinent after that discomfiture unto the abbey, they might have found all open and easily have entered; for the monks were so sore afraid, that they fled suddenly to Pignerol, to save their relics and images, which they carried thither. The rest of the country about were wonderfully afraid, and rang the bells everywhere.
The next day following, the commander of St. Anthony de Fossan came to Angrogne, accompanied with divers gentlemen, saying, that he was sent by the duke: and having assembled the chief rulers and ministers of Angrogne, and of the valley of Lucerne, after he had declared unto them the cause of his coming, he read their supplication directed to the duke, which contained their confession, demanding of them, if it were the same which they had sent to the duke? They answered, Yea. Then he entered into a disputation of the mass, in a great heat, deriving the same from the Hebrew word הםס which signified (as he supposed) consecration, and showed that this word Missa might be found in ancient writers. [Note: In the primitive Western Church, the minister, previous to celebrating the eucharist, dismissed the congregation by these words, Missa est, that is, The audience is dismissed; and from this the rite that immediately followed was called Mzssa, whence Missal and Mass. It has no connexion whatever with the Hebrew.] The ministers answered, that he ill applied the Hebrew word; and further, that they disputed not of the word Miss a, but of that which is signified by the same, which he ought first to prove by the word of God. Briefly, that he could not prove, either by the word of God, or the ancient fathers, their private mass, their sacrifice expiatory or propitiatory, their transubstantiation, their adoration, their application of the same for the quick and the dead, and such other matters which are principal parts of the said mass. The commander, having here nothing to reply, fell into a marvellous choler, railing and raging as if he had been stark mad, and told them that he was not come to dispute, but to banish their ministers, and to place others in their rooms, by the duke's commandment; which he could not, unless their ministers were first driven out of the country.
From thence he went to the abbey of Pignerol, where he and Jacomel caused a number of the poor inhabitants of Campiglon, and of Fenil, which be of the valley of Lucerne, to be taken prisoners, spoiling them of their goods, driving away their cattle, and forcing them to swear and forswear; and in the end ransomed them for great sums of money. About that time a gentleman of Campiglon agreed with those who were fled, for thirty crowns to be paid unto him out of hand, that he would warrant them from any further vexation or trouble, so that they remained quiet at home. But when he had received the money, he caused the commander of Fossan with his men to come by night to his house, and then sent for the poor men, thinking traitorously to have delivered them into the hands of their mortal enemy, following therein the decree of the council of Constance, which is, that no promise is to be kept with heretics. But God, knowing how to succour his in their necessity, prevented this danger; for one of them had intelligence of the commander's coming, and so they all fled. Thereupon they wrote to the lord of Ranconis, declaring unto him the proceedings of the commander, and that he neither would nor could show or prove any thing by the word of God, as he had promised, but threatened them with great wrongs and injuries, and would not suffer their ministers to reply, or say any thing for the defence of their cause: and therefore they desired him to signify the same to the duke's Grace, to the end that he should not be offended, if they persisted still in their religion, seeing it was not proved unto them, by any reason taken out of the Scripture, that they erred.
After this, there were many commandments and injunctions given out through all the country, to banish these poor Waldois, with the doctrine of the gospel, if it were possible, out of the mountains and valleys of Piedmont: but the poor people still desired, that, according to that which they so often before protested by word and writing, they might be suffered to serve God purely, according to the rule prescribed in his word; simply obeying their Lord and prince always, and in all things. Notwithstanding they were still vexed and tormented with all the cruelty that could be devised, as partly it is already declared; but much more you shall perceive by that which followeth.
In the end of the October next following, the rumour went that an army was levying to destroy them; and in very deed there were certain bands levied, ready to march at an hour's warning. Furthermore, those malefactors which heretofore were fled or banished for any offence or crime committed, were called home again, and pardoned of all together, so that they would take them to their weapons, and go to destroy the Waldois. The ministers and chief rulers of the valleys of Lucerne and Angrogne thereupon assembled together oftentimes, to take advice what, in such an extremity, were best to do. In the end they determined, that for certain days following there should be kept a general fast, and the Sunday after, a communion. Also that they should not defend themselves by force of arms, but that every one should withdraw himself into the high mountains, and every one to carry away such goods as he was able to bear; and if their enemies pursued them thither, then to take such advice and counsel as it pleased God to give them. This article of not defending themselves, seemed very strange to the people, being driven to such an extremity, and the cause being so just: but yet every one began to carry their goods and victuals into the mountains; and for the space of eight days all the ways were filled with comers and goers to the mountains, like unto ants in summer which provide for winter. All this did they in this great perplexity and danger, with a wonderful courage and cheerfulness, praising God, and singing psalms, and every one comforting another. Briefly, they went with such joy and alacrity, that you should not have seen any who grudged to leave their houses, and fair possessions, but were wholly determined patiently to abide the good pleasure of God, and also to die if he had so appointed.
A few days after, certain other ministers, hearing what they of Angrogne and Lucerne had concluded, wrote unto them, that this resolution seemed very strange to some, that they ought not to defend themselves against the violence of their enemies, alleging many reasons, that in such extremity and necessity it was lawful for them so to do, especially the quarrel being so just; that is, for the defence of true religion, and for the preservation of their own lives, and the lives of their wives and children; knowing that it was the pope and his ministers who were the cause of all these troubles and cruel wars, and not the duke, who was stirred up thereunto only by their instigations: wherefore they might well and with good conscience withstand such furious and outrageous violence. For the proof hereof they also alleged certain examples.
During this season the lord of Angrogne, named Charles de Comptes, of Lucerne, laboured earnestly, by all means possible, to cause them of Angrogne to condescend to the duke's pleasure, and solicited them to send away their ministers, promising that he would cause a mass to be sung at Angrogne, and that the people should not be compelled to be present thereat; hoping that by that means the duke's wrath would be appeased. The chief of Angrogne thereupon were assembled and made this answer: that if the duke would permit them to choose other ministers, they were content to send away their foreign ministers and strangers; but as touching the mass, his Highness might well cause it to be sung in their parishes, but they, for their part, could not with safe consciences be present at the same, nor yet to give their consent unto it.
On the twenty-second of October the said lord of Angrogne went from Lucerne to Mondovi, where he was then governor for the duke, and sent for the chief rulers of Angrogne at several times, declaring unto them the great perils and dangers wherewith they were environed, the army being already at hand; yet promising them, if they would submit themselves unto him, he would send immediately to stay the army. They of Angrogne answered, that they all determined to stand to that which they, two days before in their assembly, had put in writing. With this answer he seemed at that time to be content. The next day the rumour was, that they of Angrogne had submitted themselves to the duke. On the morrow which was Sunday, you should have seen nothing but weeping and mourning in Angrogne. The sermon being ended, the rulers were called before the ministers and the people, who affirmed, that they wholly cleaved unto their former writing; and they sent secretly to the notary for the copy of that which was passed in the council-house at their last assembly before the lord de Comptes, in which was comprised, that Angrogne had wholly submitted herself to the good pleasure of the duke. The people, hearing that, were sore astonished, and protested rather to die than obey the same. And thereupon it was agreed, that at that very instant, (albeit it were very late,) certain should be sent to the lord of Angrogne to signify unto him, that the determination of the council was falsified, and that it might please him the next morning to come to Angrogne, to hear the voices of the people; not only of the men, but also of the women and children. But he himself went not thither, having intelligence of the uproar, but sent thither the judge of that place. Then that which had been falsified was duly corrected; the judge laying all the blame upon the notary.
During this time the adversaries cried out through all the country of Piedmont, "To the fire with them!" "To the fire with them!" The Thursday after, Angrogne, by proclamations and writings set up in every place, was exposed to fire and sword. On Friday after, being the second of November, the army approached to the borders of the valley of Lucerne, and certain horsemen came to a place called St. Jean, a little beneath Angrogne. Then the people retired into the mountains. Certain of St. Jean, perceiving that the horsemen not only spoiled their goods, but also took their fellows prisoners, set upon them. It is not certain what number of the enemies were there slain; but suddenly they retired to Bubbiana, where their camp then was, and not one of them of St. Jean were slain or hurt. It happened at the same time, that two of the aforesaid horsemen, being sore amazed, galloped before the rest towards the army, being ready to march towards Angrogne, crying, "They come! They come!" at whose cry the whole army were so astonished, that every man fled his way, and they were all so scattered, that the captains that day were not able to bring them in order again, and yet no creature followed them.
On the Saturday, in the morning, the army mustered in the meadow-ground of St. Jean, near to Angrogne. They of Angrogne had sent certain to keep the passages, and stop the army that they should not enter, if it were possible. In the mean season the people retired to the meadow of Tour, and little thought of the coming of the army so soon, or that they would have made such a sudden assault: for they were yet carrying of victuals and other stuff, so that few of them kept the passages. Now they which kept the straits, perceiving that their enemies prepared themselves to fight, fell down upon their knees, and made their prayers unto God, that it would please him to take pity upon them, and not to look upon their sins, but to the cause which they maintained; to turn the hearts of their enemies, and so to work, that there might be no effusion of blood; and if it were his will to take them, with their wives and infants, out of this world, that be would then mercifully receive them into his kingdom. In this sort most fervent prayers were made by all those that kept the passages, with exhortation that they should altogether cry unto God, and crave his succour and assistance in this great distress. All this the lord of Trinity and the army did well perceive.
Their prayers thus ended, suddenly they perceived their enemies coming towards them through the vines, to win the top of the mountain of Angrogne. In the mean time the prior of St. Jean, and Jacomel, were within the temple of Angrogne, and communed with the rulers touching an agreement. These were sent thither by the lord of Trinity to keep the people occupied. To be short, the combat began in divers places, and endured for a long space in the passages of Angrogne. The poor Waldois, being but few in number, and some of them having but slings and cross-bows, were sore pressed with the multitude of their enemies. At length they retired to the top of the mountain, where they defended themselves until night.
When they had found a place where they might withstand their enemies still pursuing them, they turned themselves, and slew divers of them, and hurt many. When the evening came, the enemies rested, and were about to encamp themselves, there to sup and lodge all night; which thing when the Angrognians perceived, they fell to prayer, desiring God to assist and succour them, but the enemies flouted them and laughed them to scorn. Then the poor people devised to send a drum into a little valley hard by; and as they were making their prayers unto God, and the drum sounded in the valley, the lord of Trinity caused his soldiers, which were about to encamp themselves, to remove thence; which was a great advantage unto the poor people, which now were sore wearied with travail, all wet with sweating, and very thirsty; and in great peril, if God had not given them some little breathing-time. Many of the enemies that day were slain, and many hurt, of the which very few escaped; insomuch that they reported that the shot was poisoned, which this poor simple people never used to do in all these wars. Of the Angrognians that day there were but three slain, and one hurt, which afterwards was well healed again. This combat gave great courage to the Waldois, and sore astonished the adversaries. The same time the army retiring, burnt many houses, and made great spoil as they went, destroying also the wines which were in the presses.
The said lord of Trinity with his army encamped in a village beyond Tour, in the valley of Lucerne, at the foot of the hill, between Angrogne and the other towns of the valley of Lucerne, which professed the gospel. They of the said village were always sore against the Waldois, and haters of true religion, and were glad of this outrage and violence done against the professors thereof: but they had their just plague; for they were all destroyed. After this the said lord of Trinity caused the fortress to be built again, which the Frenchmen had razed, and placed there a garrison, and after sent another to the fort of Villars, which is of the valley of Lucerne; and another he sent to the fortress of Perouse, and a fourth garrison he placed in the castle of St. Martin. They of Angrogne, (seeing themselves to be now, as it were, in a sea of troubles,) after they had recommended themselves unto God by prayer, and committed their cause unto him, sent to them of Perouse, St. Martin, and of Pragela, for aid and succour; which sent them all the help they were able.
The next day following there came letters to Angrogne from the lord of Trinity, the effect whereof was this:
"That he was sorry for that which was done the day before, and that he came not thither to make war against them, but only to view if it were a place convenient to build a fort therein to serve the duke. Furthermore, that his soldiers, seeing the people assembled, as it were to defy them, upon that occasion only were stirred up to give assault, and to set upon them. Also that he was sorry that such spoil was made of their goods, and such hurt done by fire. But if they would show themselves obedient to the duke, he had good hope that all should be well, and trusted that some good agreement should be made."
The Angrognians answered:
"That they were marvellously aggrieved to be so assaulted, spoiled, and tormented, by the subjects of their liege and natural prince; and as they had oftentimes before offered themselves to be more faithful and obedient to their sovereign prince the duke, than any of all the subjects besides, so yet they still offered the same obedience. Also they most humbly besought him, not to think it strange if they, being constrained by such extreme necessity, defended themselves. Finally, as touching their religion, they affirmed, that it was the pure word of God, even as it was preached by the prophets and apostles, and the same which their predecessors had observed for certain hundred years past. Moreover, that the cause was not concerning the goods of the world, but the honour and glory of God, the salvation or destruction of the souls both of them and theirs: and therefore it were much better for them to die all together, than to forsake their religion. And yet, if it might be proved unto them by good demonstration out of the word of God, (not by force of arms, by blood and fire,) that they were in error, they would then yield themselves with all obedience; most humbly beseeching him, and all other the lords of the country of Piedmont, be their intercessors and advocates to the duke in this-behalf."
Upon Monday, being the fourth of November, the lord of Trinity sent his army to Villars, and Tailleret. The lesser company ascended towards Villars. The people, seeing their enemies approaching, after they had called upon God with fervent prayer, strongly defended themselves, and slew many: many also were hurt, and the rest fled. The other company ascended towards Tailleret. And although they of that place were but few in number, and that part of the army the greater, yet, making their prayers unto God, and commending their cause unto him, they defended themselves likewise valiantly.
In the mean season they of Villars, being imboldened by their late victory, came to assist their neighbours, and being assembled together, they courageously pursued their enemies, and put them to flight. In this pursuit it chanced (which here is not to be forgotten) that this poor people, by an ambush of their enemies which came another way, were suddenly enclosed on every side, and like to be destroyed; but yet they all escaped, and not one of them was slain, only three were hurt, which were soon cured again. On the enemy's side there were so many slain, that they were laid together by whole cart-loads. This was the reward of those which were so desirous to shed innocent blood. The same day the inhabitants of Sanson, near to Roccapiata, assembled in great numbers together, and went to a rich man's house of Roccapiata, and spoiled all that he had. Certain of Roccapiata, in number not past seventeen, understanding this, set upon them, and soon put them to flight, took away their drum, and forced them to leave their booty behind them.
After that the lord of Trinity had received the letters of the Angrognians, he sent unto them his secretary, named Christoper Gastaut, (which said himself, that he favoured the verity of the gospel,) accompanied with a gentleman of the said valley, whose charge was to cause the chief rulers to send certain to commune with the said lord of Trinity, saying, that he had good tidings to declare unto them; and moreover, that he would deliver them a safe-conduct to come and go. Whereupon they sent four unto him, whom he treated very courteously, and rehearsed unto them, how the duke, at his departure from the court, told him, that although the pope, the princes, and the cities of Italy, yea, his own council, were fully resolved, that of necessity they of the said religion should be destroyed, yet, notwithstanding, God otherwise put it in his mind, and that he had taken counsel of God what he should do in this matter; that is, that he would use them gently. Furthermore, he declared unto them, that the duchess bare them good affection, and favoured them very much, and that she had commended their cause unto the duke, persuading with him to have regard to that poor people; and that their religion was ancient and old; with many such other things. Moreover, they had (said he) great friends in the duke's court, not doubting but if they would send certain to the court with a supplication, they should obtain more than they themselves would require; and he, for his part, would employ himself in their affairs to the uttermost of his power: and so he promised that he would retire himself with his army. This he seemed to speak unfeignedly. The people, desiring but to live peaceably in their religion, and under the obedience of their prince, were content to follow his counsel.
About this season they of Angrogne perceived that a part of the army ascended the hill of Tailleret, (which is the half way between Angrogne and those of the valley of Lucerne,) and the other party had already gotten a way which led to the meadow of Tour, by the which they of Angrogne might easily have been enclosed. Therefore they sent certain immediately to keep the way, who soon after encountered with their enemies and obtained the victory, pursuing and chasing them to their camp, not without great loss of their men. The number of their enemies slain, was not known; for their custom was immediately to carry away those which were slain. Not one of Angrogne perished that day, nor yet was hurt. But it was feared that this combat would have hindered the agreement; but the lord of Trinity could well dissemble this matter, and excused that day's journey, putting the fault upon them of Tailleret, whom he charged to have slain certain of his men in the highway, and, amongst others, his barber.
On Saturday following, being the ninth of November, the said lord of Trinity sent again for them of Angrogne, to consult with them touching the agreement, using the like communication as before; and added thereunto, that in token of true obedience they should carry their armour into two of the houses of the chief rulers, not fearing but it should be safe; for it should remain in their own keeping, and, if need were, they should receive it again. Also, that he on a Sunday (which was the next day) would cause a mass to be sung within the temple of St. Laurence, in Angrogne, accompanied with a very few; and thereby the duke's wrath would be assuaged.
The next morning he went into the temple, (whereat they were sore grieved, albeit they could not withstand him,) his army marching before him; and having caused a mass to be sung, he desired to see the meadow of Tour, so much spoken of, that thereof he might make a true report unto the duke; and thither the rulers, with a great troop of his own men, went: the residue of his company remained behind, who spoiled certain houses, and seized the armour which they had delivered up before; but they found no great store, for the people had taken away the greatest part thereof. The said lord being entered into the meadow of Tour, the people began to make a commotion; whereof he, having intelligence, returned immediately. All that day he showed himself very courteous to all whom he met.
The people in this mean time perceived themselves to be in great danger, and were so moved at the sight of the army, the spoil of the soldiers, the taking away of their armour; but especially because the said lord of Trinity had viewed the meadow of Tour, foreseeing his traitorous meaning and purpose. A few days after, the said lord of Trinity sent his secretary, Gastaut, to Angrogne, to talk with them concerning the agreement, and to make a full resolution thereof; which was read in the assembly by the secretary. The sum whereof was this: that the people of Angrogne submitted themselves to render all honour and reverence to God, according to his holy word, and all due obedience to the duke their sovereign prince, to whom they should send certain men to demand pardon of him, concerning their bearing armour in their extreme necessity, and humbly to beseech him that he would suffer them to live peaceably in their religion, which was according to the word of God, not compelling them to do any thing against their conscience; as it appeareth more amply in the supplication, which, after this, the Angrognians made, and caused to be read before the secretary in the open assembly, and which here ensueth.
"To the most excellent and worthy prince, the duke of Savoy, &c., our sovereign lord and natural prince.
"Most noble and renowned prince! we have sent certain of our men unto your Highness, to give testimony of our humble, hearty, and unfeigned obedience unto the same, and with all submission desire pardon, touching the bearing of armour by certain of our people in their extreme necessity, and for all other our trespasses, for the which your sovereign Grace might conceive any offence against us.
"Secondly, To desire in most humble wise your said Highness, in the name of our Lord Jesus, that it would please the same, to suffer us to live with freedom of conscience in our religion, which also is the religion of our ancestors, observed for certain hundred years past: and we are persuaded, that it is the pure gospel of our Lord Jesus, the only verity, the word of life and salvation, which we profess. Also, that it may please your most gracious clemency not to take in ill part, if we, fearing to offend and displease God, cannot consent upon certain traditions and ordinances of the Church of Rome; and herein to have pity upon our poor souls, and the souls of our children, to the end that your Highness be not in any wise charged in the just judgment of God for the same, where all men must appear to answer for their doings.
"On our part, we protest that we will seek nothing but to be the true servants of God, to serve him according to his holy word; and also to be true and loyal subjects to your Highness, and more obedient than any other, being always ready to give our goods, our bodies, our lives, and the lives of our children, for your noble Grace, as also our religion teacheth us to do: only we desire that our souls may be left at liberty, to serve God according to his holy word.
"And we, your poor humble subjects, shall most heartily pray our God and Father for the good and long prosperity of your Highness, for the most virtuous lady your wife, and for the noble house of Savoy."
To this supplication they of St. Jean, of Roccapiata, of St. Barthelemi, and of Perouse, with those of the valley of Lucerne, did agree. For it was concluded, that the agreement made should extend to all the confederates of the same religion. Whiles they were treating of this agreement, the lord of Trinity vexed cruelly them of Tailleret, under this pretence, because they had not presented themselves to treat of this agreement. He tormented them after this sort: first he commanded that all their armour should be brought before him, and then they, on their knees, should ask him pardon, because they came not to treat of the agreement with the rest; which notwithstanding the most part of them did. Then he commanded them to attend upon him, to enrol all the names of those which would be of the aforesaid agreement.
Whereupon, the next morning, the chief of the householders went to the village named Bouvets, the place appointed thereunto, and when they had heard a sermon, and called upon God, they began to write their names. The enrolling of their names not being fully ended, word was brought that the soldiers had gotten the top of the mountain, and taken all the passages; whereof they of Tailleret were sore amazed, and ran with all speed to defend their wives and children. Some they saved; the most part, with their goods, were in their enemies' hands already. At this time, with sacking, spoiling, and burning, they did much mischief.
After this the lord of Trinity sent word to them which were fled, that if they would return, he would receive them to mercy. The poor people for the most part, trusting on his promise, returned to Bouvets, and yet the next morning the soldiers came thither to apprehend them and their ministers, and beset the place on every side. Such as were swift of foot, and could shift best, escaped, but very hardly: the rest were all hurt or taken, and yet they all escaped by a marvellous means; for it happened that there was an old man which could not run fast, to whom one of the soldiers came with a naked sword in his hand to have slain him. The old man, seeing the imminent danger, caught the soldier by the legs, overthrew him, and drew him by the heels down the hill.
The soldier cried out, "Help! help! this villain will kill me." His fellows, hearing him cry, made haste to rescue him; but in the mean time the old man escaped. The rest, seeing what the old man had done, took heart of grace, and albeit their armour and weapons were taken from them, yet with stones and slings they so beat and discomfited their enemies, that for that present time they carried no prisoners away.
The day following, the soldiers, returning to the said Tailleret, robbed, spoiled, and carried away all that they could find, and so continued three days together; which was very easy for them to do, because the poor men, fearing lest they should be charged with violating the agreement, made no resistance, but retired towards Villars.
The fourth day the said lord of Trinity, to torment the poor Taillerets yet more cruelly, sent his army again, before day, to the mountain, and into the same place, and because the people of the said village were retired toward Villars, and scattered about the borders thereof in the high mountains, the soldiers, not yet satisfied with spoiling and sacking the rest that they found in the said Tailleret, ranging about the confines thereof, ravened and made havoc on every side of whatsoever they could lay hands on, taking prisoners both men and women, which were loaden with carriage.
The poor prisoners were cruelly handled. Amongst other there was one, whose ear a soldier of Mondovis, in a raging fury, bit clean off, with these words, "I will carry," said he, "the flesh of these wicked heretics with me into my country." They of Villars also complained of the great cruelty that was showed unto them, during the time of the agreement.
The which when the lord of Trinity understood, to make a show that he was offended therewith, he came to his soldiers, which were so weary that they could scarcely go, (not with fighting, but becausethey were so heavily laden with the spoil, that they were not able to carry it,) and pretending to be in great choler, some he beat; and some things also of a small value he caused to be restored, but all the rest was kept back and carried away. The same day, two women, the mother and the daughter, were found in a cave in the mountain, wounded to death by the soldiers, and died immediately after. So likewise a blind man, a hundred years of age, which was fled into a cave with his son's daughter, being eighteen years old, who fed him, was slain by the enemies; and as they would have ill-used the maiden, she escaped from them, and fell from the top of the mountain, and died.
At that time also a great company of women of Tailleret and Villars were taken as they fled, with their goods, and brought to the camp, and sent away empty. There was at the same time a certain soldier, which promised the lord of Trinity to find out the minister of Tailleret, and to deliver him into his own hands. And to bring his purpose to pass, he never ceased until he had found him; and after that he pursued him a long time. But as he was pursuing and chasing him, certain, at unawares coming out of the mountain, rescued the poor minister, and killed the soldier with stones.
But this especially is to be noted, that during these troubles divers of the papists had sent their daughters into the mountains unto the Waldois to be kept, fearing lest they should have been ill-used by the soldiers, being wholly given over as to all cruelty and ravin, so to all villany and abomination; by whom they were before threatened to be so abused.
All this being done, the said lord of Trinity caused the head-officers and chiefest of the people to assemble together, and declared unto them, that the maintaining of the army was a great charge unto the duke, and it was meet that they should bear the one half of the charges. For this cause he demanded of them twenty thousand crowns; but, by the means of the secretary Gastaut, who was promised a hundred crowns for his wine, (that is to say, for a bribe,) four thousand of those twenty were abated, so that they granted unto him sixteen thousand, of the which sum the duke released the one half. Then the lord of Trinity pressed this poor people to deliver the eight thousand out of hand, to pay the soldiers their wages, as he said, and so to withdraw his army. The year before, corn was exceeding dear, for a sack was commonly sold for six crowns, yea, and some for eight crowns; and also they had very little corn growing upon their mountains: wherefore they were now very bare of money. But they, being in this perplexity, and desiring nothing more than to live in peace and quietness, went about to sell their cattle to pay this money: but the lord of Trinity had given out a commandment, that none should buy any cattle of the Waldois without his licence. Then licence was given out to certain to buy great store of cattle, and that for a small price: and the common bruit was, that he had part of the gain. When this money was paid, yet the army notwithstanding retired not.
After this the lord of Trinity commanded the Waldois to surrender up all their armour, to furnish the duke's forts, otherwise he threatened to send his soldiers among them, and indeed he constrained many so to do. Then he demanded, moreover, the eight thousand crowns, which the duke had remitted, and constrained them to promise the payment thereof. After that he commanded that the ministers should be sent away, until the matter were determined before the duke; otherwise he would send his soldiers to dislodge them out of hand: whereupon, with one common assent and accord, they determined that their ministers should withdraw themselves for a space, until the army were retired; which was not done without marvellous sighs, lamentation, and tears. At that season there fell such abundance of snow, that the like had not been seen of a long time before; so that the people were constrained to make a way, with great travail and pain, through the top of the mountain of St. Martin, for their ministers to pass. Now thought the lord of Trinity so to have enclosed them (he keeping the plain, and the mountains being covered so thick with snow) that by no means they should have escaped his hands. But the people caused them to pass the top of the mountain, and at their departure there flocked out of every quarter great multitudes to the village of Bobi, and came together in a secret place there, called Le Puis, not without great grief and sorrow; for they found them altogether in tears and mourning, that their ministers should be so taken from them, and they now left as lambs amongst wolves.
Illustration -- The Protestant Church at Bobi
The army was advertised that the ministers were assembled together, and incontinent a great troop of harquebussiers were at hand, which sought them even to the very top of the mountain, insomuch that if they had remained there but one hour longer, they had been all taken. From that time, for certain days after, they did nothing but range about in all places, seeking for the ministers; and there was no house, chamber, cave, nor secret corner, into the which they did not enter, under pretence to seek for the ministers. There was neither chest, nor any thing else so strong, but they brake it open, saying that the ministers were hidden therein, and by that means they took, spoiled, and carried awaywhatsoever they would.
The lord of Trinity promised oftentimes, that although it were forbidden to all the ministers to preach, yet the minister of Angrogne should be excepted; and, furthermore, sent the said minister word, that if he would demand any thing of the duke, it should be granted him: whereupon the said minister made this request, that the poor people might live peaceably in their religion. A while after, he sent for the same minister to confer with him privately upon certain points of religion. The minister went unto him, having thereto the consent of the people. The lord of Trinity propounded unto him three points: the first, concerning the supremacy of the pope; the other, concerning transubstantiation. Of the which two points the minister then immediately declared his opinion, and he seemed to agree thereunto, and required him to put the same in writing. The last (which was his whole drift) was to persuade the minister to go to the duke's court, and there he to defend the cause of the people, alleging certain reasons to persuade him so to do: whereunto the minister answered, that he was bound to God and his church, and if it seemed convenient to the ministers and people that he should go, he would be content to do the same; and thereof he promised to send him answer immediately, with the which answer he seemed to be contented.
Shortly after, the aforesaid lord, not tarrying for an answer, sent his army to the temple of St. Laurence, in Angrogne, pretending to sing a mass there, and suddenly the soldiers besieged the minister's house. The minister, being warned thereof, essayed to escape. The soldiers attempted nothing by force, but used gentle persuasions to the contrary, for there were not yet many of them. But the minister pushed on further, and the soldiers followed him half a mile, but fearing the people, durst go no further. The minister withdrew himself into the rocks upon the mountain, accompanied with five others. The army was by and by at his heels, and sought a good while in the houses and cottages on every side, cruelly handling the people whom they took, to make them confess where their minister was; spoiling their houses, taking some prisoners, and beating other some: but yet they could not learn of them where their minister was. At the length they espied him among the rocks, where they thought to have enclosed him; and so they pursued him in the rocks all covered with snow, until it was night, and could not take him. Then they returned and spoiled his house, and diligently searched out all his books and writings, and carried them to the lord of Trinity in a sack, who caused them to be all burned in his presence, supposing (as it well appeared) that the letters which he had sent to Angrogne, touching the agreement, should be with the rest burnt: for he did not the like in the other ministers' houses. That day they spoiled forty houses in Angrogne, broke their mills, and carried away all the corn and meal that they found.
About midnight the soldiers returned with torchlight to the minister's house to seek him, and searched every corner. The next morning commandment was given to the rulers of Angrogne, that within twenty-four hours they should deliver their minister, or else Angrogne should be put to the fire and sword. The rulers answered, that they could not so do, for they knew not where he was, and the soldiers had chased him over the mountain. After certain days, when the soldiers had burned houses, spoiled the people, broken their mills, and done what mischief they could, the army retired. Notwithstanding the lord of Trinity left garrisons in the aforenamed fortresses, but all at the cost and charges of the Waldois; the which garrisons, not contented with their wages, spoiled continually. Upon a night five soldiers went with torches to a rich man's house of Angrogne, and spoiled the same. The good man of the house hardly escaped with life by the top of the house; for there were twelve pellets shot off at him, whereof one touched his face, and struck his hat from his head, without any further hurt.
Illustration -- Soldiers Raiding a House by Night
The rulers of Angrogne, which were gone to the fortress to carry thither victuals and money, were by the soldiers retained, and, in despite of them and the people, caused a mass to be sung before them, and forced them to be present at it; and because they would not kneel down to it, they were beaten almost to death. The one of them was sent again for more money; the other, with great peril of his life, leaped over the walls, and though pursued to Angrogne, escaped.
Certain days after, a certain company of soldiers came into the midst of Angrogne, as though they would have passed through, and called for meat and drink. The poor men brought that they had unto them in a close court. When they had eaten and drunken, they caused the women to leave, and then bound fourteen of those who had brought them victuals, by two and two together, and led them away. Their wives and children perceiving this, so fiercely pursued them with stones, that they were fain to let go ten of their prisoners for haste, and had much ado to save themselves. The other four they led away to the fortress, of the which two were ransomed: the other two were hanged up by the feet and the hands; and having tormented them almost to death, they released them for a great sum of money. Of these one died the next night; the other lay sick without hope of life a long time after, and his flesh fell from his hands and his feet, and thereof he became lame; and after that his fingers fell off also.
In like manner did the other garrisons treat the villages adjoining unto them.
The garrison of Tour and that of Villars, being assembled together at night, went to Tailleret, to the place called Bouvets, and breaking in at the windows and tops of the houses, breaking open the doors, sacking and spoiling all that they could lay hands on, took also fourteen prisoners, and bound them two and two together by the arms, and so led them to the fortress of Tour; but two which were escaped, whilst the soldiers were taking others, set upon them which led the prisoners, and so valiantly assaulted and beat them with stones, that they forced them to let go twelve of the prisoners, who, tumbling and rolling themselves down the mountain, having their hands bound behind their backs, and fastened two and two together by the arms, were contented rather so to die, than to be carried to the fortress; and yet in the end they escaped. The other two which were led to the fortress, were cruelly tormented, and in the end the captain strangled with his own hands one of them, who young, and but a child: the other, who was about was very threescore years of age, whose name was Odul Gemet, suffered also a strange and cruel death.
The poor Waldois were yet in great captivity and distress, but especially because they had not the preaching of God's word amongst them, as they were wont to have; [Note: Beza, Sleiden, Drelincourt, Basnage, Jurien, all concur that the Waldenses preserved the true faith, and were the remains of the primitive church] and therefore, taking to them a good courage, they determined to begin preaching again, albeit secretly, for two principal causes: the one, for fear of moving the duke, and hindering the voyage of their messengers, having yet some hope of good success; the other, that no occasion might be given to the soldiers of further trouble and outrage; for that was it which they especially desired. Also they of Angrogne were fully determined, as soon as their messengers were returned from the duke, to preach openly, what news soever they brought, were they good or evil; and furthermore, not to be contributaries to the finding of the garrison, neither yet to suffer the same to enter into Angrogne.
The messengers which were sent to the duke, being at Vercelli, were there detained six weeks, and all that while were cruelly handled by the popish doctors, and were constrained by force and violence to promise to return to the mass. Furthermore, they would have constrained them to promise the same in the behalf of the rest, but they would not. After they were presented to the duke, the secretary Gastaut took the supplication of the Waldois out of the messengers' hands, and delivered another. After they had presented themselves to the duke, and asked pardon for bearing of armour, they were constrained also to crave pardon of the pope's legate; which at the beginning they would in no case do. Now when these messengers were returned, bringing this woeful news, and the people understood that there was a new commandment given out, that they should return to the mass; also that popish preachers were appointed, and ready to come unto them, and they commanded to go to fetch them and entertain them accordingly; there was wonderful lamentation, weeping, and mourning, for this great calamity.
Hereupon, they of the valley of Lucerne and of Bobi, being assembled together, by one assent sent two ministers, with certain others of the people, to the churches of Pragela, (which be in the country of Dauphine,) to signify unto them the piteous state of the poor churches of the valleys of Piedmont, to have their counsel and advice how to prevent the great dangers at hand, if it were possible. For this cause they all fell to prayer, and after they had long called upon God, desiring his grace, and the spirit of discretion and counsel, well to consider of those weighty and urgent affairs wherewith they were oppressed; in the end it was concluded, that all the people dwelling in the said valleys and mountains of Piedmont, and those of Dauphine, should join in a league together. Whereupon they all promised, by God's grace and assistance, to maintain the pure preaching of the gospel, and the administration of holy sacraments; the one to aid and assist the other; and to render all obedience to their superiors, so far as they were commanded by the word of God. Moreover, that it should be lawful for none of the said valleys to promise or conclude any thing touching the estate of religion, without the consent of the rest of the valleys. And for more sure confirmation of the said league, certain of the ministers and elders of the churches of Dauphine were sent to the valley of Lucerne, to understand if they would give their consent hereunto, and ratify the same.
These messengers, the ministers and others of Dauphine, being arrived in the evening at the village of Bobi, and the people being there assembled, word was brought that the next day every householder should appear in the council-house, to know whether they would return to the mass or no: and they that would receive the mass, should quietly enjoy their houses; and they that would not, should be delivered to the justices, and condemned to be burned, or sent to the galleys. Wherefore the people were brought to this extremity, either to die or flee, or else to renounce God. To flee seemed to them best, if the great snow had not hindered them; wherefore seeing themselves in such distress, they most gladly consented to the league. After this they exhorted one another, saying, "Forasmuch as we shall be all called for to-morrow, to renounce and forsake our God, and revolt again to idolatry, let us now make solemn protestation, that we will utterly forsake the false religion of the pope, and that we will live and die in the maintenance and confession of God's holy word. Let us all go to-morrow into the temple, to hear the word of God, and after let us cast down to the ground all the idols and altars." To this every man agreed, saying, "Let us so do; yea, and that very same hour in which they have appointed us to be at the council-housel "
The next day after, they assembled themselves in the church of Bobi, and as soon as they came into the temple, without any further delay, they beat down the images, and cast down the altars. After the sermon they went to Villars to do the like there. By the way they encountered with a band of soldiers, who were going to spoil a village named Le Val Guichard, and to take the poor inhabitants prisoners. The soldiers, seeing them so ill appointed, mocked them, and discharged their hand-guns upon them, thinking at the first brunt to have put them to flight: but they valiantly defended themselves, and with stones chased them even to the fortress. When they came to Villars, they beat down their images and altars, and afterwards besieged the fortress, and demanded the prisoners which were there detained.
The same day, the judge of Lucerne, called Podesta, went to the council-house, to enrol the names of those who would return to the mass; but seeing what was done, he was sore afraid, and desired the people to suffer him to return quietly; which they willingly granted unto him. Divers gentlemen also of the valley came thither with the judge, to make their poor tenants to forsake God; but seeing the tumult, they were fain to flee into the castle, where they and the garrison were besieged ten days together, not without great danger of their lives. The second day of the siege, the captain of Tour went with a company of soldiers, thinking to raise the siege; but they were, by those that kept the passages, either slain or discomfited. As much was done the third day. The fourth day he returned with three bands, and with the garrison of Tour, which caused a furious combat, wherein many of the enemies were slain, and a great number hurt; and yet of those that besieged the fort, there was not one man hurt.
In the time of this siege they attempted divers means to take the said fortress, but without ordnance it was impossible so to do; wherefore they were now past all hope of winning it. Moreover, the lord of Trinity, returning with his army, was come to the valley of Lucerne, and the next day after might easily have raised the siege. Wherefore when the garrison (not knowing that the lord of Trinity was so near) desired that they might depart with bag and baggage, they granted their request. In this siege half of the soldiers were slain, and many were hurt, as well with harquebusses as with stones. During this siege, the soldiers for lack of water were constrained to make their bread with wine, which tormented their stomachs, and caused great diseases. Here is not to be forgotten, that the soldiers, who a while before did so cruelly persecute the poor ministers, seeking by all means possible to destroy them, were now fain to pray them to save their lives, and to promise them that they should have no hurt, and also to conduct them safely into a sure place: neither would they depart until they had promised them so to do; which the ministers did promise, and also perform very willingly. Then the soldiers, seeing themselves much beholden to the ministers so gently dealing with them, gave them great thanks, and promised them in recompence thereof all the pleasure that they could show them. The same night the fortress was razed.
On the second of February, the lord of Trinity encamped at Lucerne, and placed a garrison in the priory of St. Jean, a village of the Waldois between Lucerne . and Angrogne. The next day, in the morning, the said lord of Trinity sent word unto them of Angrogne, that if they would not take part with the rest, they should be gently handled. All the week before, they were solicited by him to consent to the same, but they would give no answer. The same day they of Angrogne, and the rest of the valleys, fully agreed and determined to defend their religion by force, and that the one should aid the other, and no agreement to be made by any one without the consent of the rest. About noon the lord of Trinity marched with his army by St. Jean, to enter into the borders of Angrogne by a place called La Sonneillette, where they had fought before. The people had made certain bulwarks of earth and stone not past three feet high, where they defended themselves valiantly against their enemies, who assailed them divers ways. When the enemies were so weary that they could fight no longer, they put fresh soldiers into their places; so that the combat endured until night, and all that day the army could not enter into the borders of Angrogne. Many of the enemies were slain, and a great number hurt; and but two of Angrogne slain, of whom one was slain by his own folly, because he was too greedy upon the spoil. The army, being now well beaten and tired, rested a while, to make themselves stronger for a further mischief.
The Friday following, which was the seventh of February, at the break of the day, the army marched towards Angrogne by five several places. The people of Angrogne were not yet assembled, and none there were to resist, but only a few who kept the watch; who, seeing their enemies coming upon them in so many places, and perceiving that they went about to enclose them, after they had valiantly fought for a space, recoiled by little and little to a high place called La Casse, where the combat was renewed with greater fierceness than before. But the lord of Trinity, seeing the loss of his men, and above all, that one of great credit and authority in the duke's court was wounded to death, blew a retreat, and descended to Angrogne, (the people being fled to the meadow of Tour,) and there spoiled and burnt all the wines, victuals, and the rest of the goods that he could find; so that in a short space he had burned about a thousand houses of Angrogne.
And here is not to he forgotten, that they oftentimes set fire upon the two temples of Angrogne, where the word of God was preached, but they could never burn them. So did they also to the minister's house, which notwithstanding remained whole, the houses round about being all consumed with fire. This day none of Angrogne were slain or hurt, saving only one that was hurt in his thigh.
There were in all Angrogne but two, that were enemies to the word of God, who that same day were slain by the soldiers, not in the combat, but for their riches which they had about them, as they were running away. One of them was a very covetous wretch, and had great store of gold and silver, and would spend nothing, either to help himself, or succour others, no, not his poor parents. All this was spoiled by the soldiers, with a hundred or two hundred crowns besides, which he had about him. Besides these two, there was not one of Angrogne slain that day. All the rest of the people retired to the meadow of Tour, the situation whereof we will here declare, for the better understanding of that which followeth.
Tour is a little valley upon the borders of Angrogne, environed about with mountains, two miles in length, but very narrow. On both sides, and in the midst thereof, there be about two hundred small houses and cottages; also meadows, pastures for cattle, ground for tillage, trees, and goodly fountains. On the south side and the north the mountains are so high, that no man can that way approach unto the said valley. On the other coasts a man may enter by seven or eight ways. This place is not more than two miles from Angrogne; the way thither is very narrow, and ill to pass by, because of the hills which be on both sides. There is also a river hard by, but very small; but the banks thereof be very high in many places. The people had carried thither very few victuals, partly because the way was so ill, and also through the sudden return of the army.
In the mean time, the lord of Trinity, after he had now twice assaulted Angrogne, sent certain to burn Rosa, and to discover the ways which led to the valley of Lucerne; but the soldiers were driven back four days together by those who kept the passages: whereupon he sent his whole army, whom they valiantly withstood from the morning till night. Then they of Lucerne sent new aid. During this combat, an ambushment of soldiers descended from the top of the mountain, by a place so hard to pass by, that no man would have suspected it. The poor people, seeing themselves so environed by their enemies, saved themselves, some running through the midst of their enemies, and other some into the rocks.
The enemies, being entered into Rosa, consumed all with fire and sword. The residue of the people fled by the secret way leading to the valley of Lucerne, and wandered all that night upon the mountains full of snow, loaden with their stuff, carrying their little infants in their arms, and leading the others by the hands, with great pain and travail. When they of the valley saw them, they ran unto them, praising God for their deliverance, for they thought they had been all slain. Albeit this poor people were here in such great extremity, yet they were joyful, and comforted themselves, without any lamentation or mourning, except the little poor infants which cried out for cold.
A few days after, the lord of Trinity entered into the valley of Lucerne by three several ways; that is to say, by Rosa, by the plain, and by the sides of Tailleret. They which kept the passages, at first resisted their enemies valiantly, but perceiving that they were assailed on every side, they retired to Villars, and there defended themselves awhile: but because they saw that their enemies had already passed the plain, and gotten above Villars towards Bobi, they gave over, and left Villars, and fled into the mountains. The soldiers, being entered, burned houses, and slew all that they could find. The poor people which were fled into the mountains, seeing the village on fire, praised God, and gave him thanks, who had made them worthy to suffer for his name and for his cause; and also they were glad to see the village on fire, lest their enemies should encamp there themselves. Then the soldiers, in great rage, mounted the hills on every side, pursuing the poor people in great fury; but a few of them, after they had ardently called upon God, took courage, and beat back their enemies to Villars. This done, the army retired.
Few days after, the meadow of Tour was assaulted by three several ways on the east side. The combat endured a long season, where divers of the enemies were hurt, and many slain; but none of this poor people were slain that day, only two were hurt, which were soon healed again. But to declare the conflicts, assaults, skirmishes, and alarms, which were at Angrogne and other places thereabouts, it were too long: for brevity's sake it shall be sufficient to touch the most principal, and those which are most worthy of memory.
On Saturday, which was the fourteenth day of February, the people which were in the uppermost part of the meadow of Tour, perceived that a company of soldiers had ascended up the hill to Angrogne, and were burning the rest of the houses there. They doubted that it was a policy of their enemies to draw them thither, and in the mean time to set on them behind, and so to win the meadow of Tour from them. Therefore they sent only six harquebussiers against those soldiers, who, having the higher ground, and not being espied of their enemies, discharged their guns all together; whereupon incontinent the soldiers fled, albeit no man pursued them. Whether they fled of policy, or for fear, it was not known.
Shortly after, they of the ward of the meadow of Tour, which were in the watch on the top of the mountain, (because every morning a sermon was made there, whereunto the people resorted, and they might see afar off round about them,) espied a troop of soldiers marching on that side of the hill which is between the east and the north, and soon after that, discovered another company, which marched on the north side towards the said troop. The first were ascended an hour before the other,and fought on the top of the mountain called Melese, but they were soon discomfited; and because they could not run fast by means of the deep snow, and difficulty of the ways, in fleeing they fell often down upon the ground. Whilst they that pursued them were earnest in the chase, and had taken from them their drum, behold there came certain unto them, crying out that the other troop was entered into the meadow of Tour, by means whereof they gave over the chase; or else not one of their enemies had escaped, as they which were there reported for a truth. Not one of Angrogne was slain or hurt.
The other troop, which came by the north side, took a high hill in the top of the mountain, the which seemed to be almost inaccessible, by reason of the snow and ice which was there. The chiefest of this company were Ludovic of Monteil, (which had been before master of the camp in the king's wars,) and Charles Truchet. When they were come to the top of the hill, they caused seven soldiers to go down the hill, and to view the way, and to see whether the troop might descend that way or no. These seven went down almost to the houses. They sent also others to occupy the rest of the high places which were near to the foot of the hill and the rocks. In the mean time the ministers, and the people which were in the midst of the valley of the meadow, saw all this, and were much discouraged therewith: wherefore they fell to prayer, and called upon God ardently, not without great sighs, lamentation, and tears, even until night.
The seven spies which came down to discover the ways, cried unto their Captain Truchet, "Come down! come down!" "Seignior Charles! this day Angrogne shall be taken." The others cried to them again, "Ascend! ascend, and return! or else you shall be slain every one of you!" Immediately issued out five against these spies, and took certain, and chased the rest. The first of the five who set upon them, cast two of them down upon the ground with a fork of fire. Soon after, eight of Angrogne issued out against the whole troop. Which was wonderful to see them go with such courage and boldness, to assail such a multitude, and it seemed that they should have been all destroyed and hewn in pieces. The first of the eight went a good way before the others, to discover the enemies, and carried a great staff, which they call a rancon, and is somewhat bigger than a halberd: the others followed by two and two together, with harquebusses. These eight went from rock to rock, from hill to hill, about the mountain, and chased their enemies valiantly. Then came twelve others, the which, joining with the rest, fought with a wonderful courage, and made great slaughter of their enemies. Soon after there came from the valley of Lucerne a hundred harquebussiers, with one of their ministers, according to their manner, who were wont to send out a minister withal, as well for prayer and exhortation, as to keep the people in order, that they exceeded not measure, as it came to pass that day.
At the length they saw them also coming, who returned from the discomfiture of the former troop, making a great noise, and having a drum sounding before them which they had taken from their enemies; who joined with them of the valley of Lucerne, and having made their earnest prayer unto God, immediately they came to succour the others that now were encountering valiantly with their enemies. Then the enemies, seeing such a company marching against them with such courage and boldness, after the others had once called upon God, their hearts were so taken from them, that suddenly they fled, and as soon as the others began to pray, they began also to flee; but because they could not well save themselves by running away, they turned back twice, and fought, and some in the mean time fled.
He that carried the rancon, and discovered the enemies, was but a very young and a simple man, and was esteemed to be one that could do nothing but (as they say in their language) handle la sappe, that is to say, a hatchet, and kept cattle; and yet he, with those that followed, so discomfited the enemies, that it was wonderful to behold. He brake his great rancon with laying load upon them; and after that he brake also four of their own swords in pursuing them. There was a boy of eighteen years of age, and of small stature, who alone slew the lord of Monteil, master of the camp (as is said) to the king; wherewith the enemies were marvellously astonished and discouraged. Another simple man, who, a man would have thought, durst not once have looked Charles Truchet in the face, (because he was a very big man, strong and puissant, and one of the chiefest captains of the whole army,) threw down the said Truchet with the stroke of a stone. Then a young man leaped upon him, and slew him with his own sword, which was four fingers broad, and cleft his head in pieces.
This Truchet was one of the principal authors of this war, and one of the chiefest enemies of true religion, and of the poor Waldois, that could then be found. It was said also, that he vaunted and promised before to the said lord of Trinity, that he would deliver into his hands the meadow of Tour: but God soon brought his proud brag to nought; and for his spoiling, pilling, and polling of the poorpeople, he lay spoiled and naked like a beast in the wild mountain of Angrogne. Two of the chiefest among them offered to pay a great sum of crowns for their ransom, but they could not be heard. They were pursued more than a mile, and were so discomfited, that they fled without any resistance; and if the night had not let them, they had pursued them further.
The minister, when he saw the great effusion of blood, and the enemies to flee, cried to the people, saying that it was enough, and exhorted them to give thanks unto God. They which heard him, obeyed, and fell to prayer; but they that were further off, and heard him not, chased their enemies till dark night, insomuch that if the rest had done the like, very few of their enemies had escaped. That day they spoiled their enemies of a great part of their armour and munition. So God restored in this combat, and in others, to the poor Waldois, the armour which the lord of Trinity had taken from them before. Thanks were given to God in every place; and every man cried, "Who is he that seeth not that God fighteth for us?" This victory gave great courage to the poor Waldois, and greatly astonished the enemies.
On the eighteenth of February, the lord of Trinity, not satisfied with burning and destroying the greatest part of Villars, returned to burn all the little villages round about, which pertain to the same, and especially to pursue the poor people, who were fled up into the mountains; and dividing his army into three parts, he entered by three several ways above mentioned. The two first companies joined together between Villars and Bobi, having a great company of horsemen. From thence they went to seek the people which were in the mountain of Combe, by such a way as they did not suspect, and where there were no warders to defend the place. Notwithstanding, the warders which were next, seeing their enemies ascending that way, speedily ran before them; and calling upon God for his aid and succour, they set themselves against their enemies: and albeit they were but thirty in number, yet they valiantly beat them back twice, coming out of their bulwarks, that is to say, certain houses which at that time served them for that purpose, albeit they were not made for that use. Many of the enemies were slain at those two combats, and not one of the other side. The lord of Trinity, seeing his men so fiercely driven back, sent out the greatest part of his army, which were esteemed to be fifteen hundred men. There came also about a hundred to succour the warders. The combat was very cruel and fierce. At length the poor people were assaulted so vehemently, that they were fain to forsake their bulwarks, losing two of their men. Then the enemies thought all to be theirs, and blew their trumpets, triumphing that they had put the people to flight. But the people, retiring not past a stone's cast, took courage, and crying all together to the Lord for succour, they turned themselves to the face of their enemies, and with great force and power they hurled stones at them with their slings.
After this the enemies rested themselves awhile, and by and by after they gave a furious assault; but yet they were again mightily resisted. Yet once again the enemies rested, and in the mean time the people fell to prayer, calling upon God all together, with their faces lifted up towards heaven; which frayed the enemies more than any thing else. After this, they gave yet another great assault, but God by the hands of a few drove them back. Yea, God here showed his great power, even in the little children also, who, fervently calling upon God, threw stones at their enemies, and gave courage also unto the men. So did also the women, and the vulgar sort; that is to say, those who were meet for no feats of war, remaining upon the mountain, and beholding these furious combats, kneeling upon the ground, and having their faces lifted up towards heaven, with tears and groanings they cried, "Lord, help us!" who heard their prayers.
After that these three assaults were given, there came one unto them crying, "Be of good courage God hath sent those of Angrogne to succour us." He meant, that they of Angrogne were fighting for them in another place, that is to say, towards Tailleret, where the third part of the army was. The people perceiving that they of Angrogne were come to that place to succour them, began to cry, "Blessed be God, who hath sent us succour: they of Angrogne be here to succour us! "The enemies hearing this, were astonished, and suddenly blew a retreat, and retired into the plain.
That troop that were gone towards Tailleret, divided themselves into three companies. The first marched by the side of the mountain, burning many houses, and joined with the main army. The second company, which was of seven score, marched higher, thinking to take the people at unawares; but they were by seven men strongly resisted and driven back. The third company attained the top of the mountain, thinking to enclose the people; but as God would, they of Angrogne, who came to succour them, encountered with them, and with great force put them to flight.
They of Villars, of whom mention is made before, after they had refreshed themselves with a little bread and wine, (for the most part of them had eaten nothing all that day,) chased their enemies till itwas almost night, so fiercely, that the master of the camp was fain to send to the lord of Trinity (who was at Tour) for succour, or else all would have been lost; which he did; and immediately he rode with all speed to Lucerne to save himself, hearing the alarm which was given at St. Jean by those of Angrogne, and fearing lest the way should have been stopped. The army retired with great difficulty, (notwithstanding the new aid which was sent them,) and with great loss of their men. One of their captains confessed since, that if they had been pursued any further, they had fled all that night long. Since that time they never returned again into the valley of Lucerne.
On Monday, being the seventeenth of March next following, the lord of Trinity, to be revenged on those of the meadow of Tour, assembled all the force that he could make with the gentlemen of the country; insomuch, that whereas before his army was commonly but four thousand, it was now between six and seven thousand: and secretly, in the night season, he encamped with part of his army in the midst of Angrogne, from whence the poor inhabitants were fled before. The next morning, after the sermon and prayers were ended, they perceived the other part of the army to be encamped at the foot of the mountain of Angrogne on the east side. Soon after they perceived how both parts of the army coasted the hill's side, the one towards the other, being such a multitude, so glittering in their harness, and marching in such array, that the poor people at first were astonished thereat. Notwithstanding, the assembly fell down upon their knees three or four times, crying, "Help us, O Lord!" beseeching him to have regard to the glory of his holy name, to stay the effusion of blood, if it were his good pleasure, and to turn the hearts of their enemies to the truth of his holy gospel. These two parts of the army joined together near to the bulwarks of the meadow of Tour, and gave the assault in three several places. One of the bands mounted secretly by the rocks, thinking to have enclosed the people in their bulwarks. But as soon as they that kept the bulwark below had espied them, they forsook the place, and marched straight towards them; and as they marched, they met with the aid which was sent unto them, very luckily, from the valley of Lucerne, and coming as it were from heaven; who joining together, soon discomfited their enemies with stones and harquebusses. They pursued them fiercely into the rocks, and vexed them wonderfully, because the rocks are so steep that no man can ascend or descend without great pain and difficulty. The captain of this band was named Bastian, of Vergilia, a man very expert in the affairs of war. At his going out of his lodging, he threatened that he would do great and terrible things that day. His hostess hearing that, said unto him, "Monsieur! if our religion be better than theirs, you shall have the victory; but if theirs be better than ours, you shall not prevail." Shortly after the captain was brought again into his inn, so wounded and so feeble, that he was not likely to live. Then said his hostess unto him, "Monsieur! it is now well seen, that their religion is better than ours."
There was also another band that kept the top of the hill, to assault the bulwarks from thence. The middlemost bulwark was then assaulted, in which were very few to defend the same; who, seeing the number of their enemies, retired back, leaving therein five only to defend it. There was a huge rock not far from the aforesaid bulwark, behind the same a great number of the enemies were hid; and anon there issued out two ensigns, assuring themselves to win the bulwark; but immediately one of their ensign-bearers was wounded to death, whereupon many recoiled back; the other set up his ensign upon the bulwark. They that were within, had neither halberd, nor any other long weapon, but only one pike, and the same without any iron; which one of the five took, and threw down the ensign, and manfully beat back the scalers, and threw them down to the ground. Divers of the enemies were entered into the bulwark by a door below, and slew one of the five who kept the middle part of the bulwark. The other four looked to be destroyed out of hand. Then one of the four chased away those who had entered below with stones; and the other three, leaving their hand-guns, defended themselves likewise with great stones: and perceiving the band which was on the rocks to flee, they took courage, and withstood their enemies valiantly, till their companions were returned from the chase.
In the mean time, the bulwark which was upon the side of the mountain was furiously assailed by the one half of the army. Those that were within, suffered their enemies to approach near to the bulwark, without any gunshot or other defence; whereat .the enemies much marvelled: but when they were even at hand, they fell upon them, some with throwing of stones, some with rolling down mighty stones, and some with harquebusses. There was a huge stone rolled down, which passed throughout the whole army, and slew divers. The soldiers at that time had won a little cottage near to the said bulwark, which did much hurt to the poor men; but among them one devised to roll down a great huge stone against the cottage, which so shook it, and amazed the soldiers, that they thought they had been all destroyed; and incontinent they fled, and never would enter into it again.
Illustration -- The Waldois roll a huge stone on their enemies
Then the soldiers made certain fences of wood, five feet long, three feet broad, and of the thickness of three boards; but they were so sore vexed with the shot of the harquebusses, that they were fain to lay all those fences aside. The miners also made others of earth for the soldiers. But all these policies of the enemies availed them nothing; for the slaughter was so great, that in divers places you might have seen three lying dead, one upon another. God so wrought with the poor Christians, that the shot of two harquebusses slew four men. It was said for a certainty, that the shot of a harquebuss came so near the lord of Trinity's head, that it brake a wand which he bare in his hand, and made him to retire sixscore paces backward; and seeing his soldiers in such great numbers murdered and wounded on every side, he wept bitterly. Then he retired the rest of his army. That day he thought assuredly to have entered into the meadow of Tour. Moreover, he was determined, if that day's journey had not succeeded, to encamp thereby, and the next morning very early to renew the assault. Many gentlemen and others came thither to see the discomfiture of the poor Waldois; and likewise those of the plain looked for nothing but to hear the piteous ruin and desolation of this poor people. But God disposed it otherwise, for the lord of Trinity had much ado to save himself and his; and seeing the mischiefs which they intended to do unto others, were fallen now upon their own heads, they were wonderfully astonished. They of the plain also, when they saw the number of the dead bodies and the wounded to be so great, (for from noon until the evening they ceased not to carry them away,) were likewise exceedingly dismayed. Albeit they carried not all away; for there were many that lay near to the bulwarks, whom the people covered with winding-sheets the next morning. The soldiers themselves confessed to them of Tour, that if they had pursued them, they had been all slain, they were so tired, and clean out of heart.
Many marvelled why the people did not follow the army, but especially the soldiers, seeing the great discomfiture which they had done, and that they had gotten such advantage of them already: but this was done for two causes; the one was, because they had already determined not to follow the army being once retired, to avoid the effusion of blood, meaning only to defend themselves; the other cause was, for that they were weary, and had spent all their munition: for many of them had shot off about thirty times, and none of them under twenty, spending great store both of pellets and hail shot. The rest of the army retired, crying with a loud voice, "God fighteth for them, and we do them wrong! "
The next day one of the principal captains of the army surrendered his charge to the lord of Trinity, saying unto him, that he would never fight against this people any more; and upon that he departed. It is a marvellous thing, and worthy of perpetual memory, that in that combat there were but two of the Waldois slain, and two hurt. Through the whole country of Piedmont, every man said, "God fighteth for them." One of the captains confessed, that he had been at many fierce assaults and combats, and sundry battles well fought, but yet he never saw soldiers so faint-hearted and amazed; yea, the soldiers themselves told him, they were so astonished that they could not strike. Moreover, they said, that this people never shot but they hurt or killed some of the soldiers. Some others said, that the ministers by their prayers conjured and bewitched them, that they could not fight. And indeed wonderful is it, and marvellous are the judgments of God, that notwithstanding so many combats and conflicts, so great assaults and adventures, so much and such terrible shot, continually made against this poor people, yet all in a manner came to no effect, so mightily God's holy power wrought for his people: insomuch that for all the said combats, skirmishes, and so many conflicts of all the Angrognians, there were but nine only that miscarried, and the whole number of those that were slain were but only fourteen persons. Here also is to be noted, not without great admiration, how few there were, and those also but poor silly shepherds and neat-herds, to encounter with such a mighty power of so strong and brave soldiers coming against them with weapons and armour, being so well furnished and appointed with munition, as they were in all points accordingly; and the other on the contrary side being unarmed, and unprovided of all habiliment of war, having for their defence for the most part nothing else but slings and stones, and a few harquebusses.
On the ninth of March there was a hot skirmish at Angrogne; for three companies of soldiers went to Angrogne, to burn and spoil all that remained, and to destroy the wines which were hidden in the ground. Where, amongst themselves, they mocked and flouted the poor people, saying, "These Lutheran Waldois are valiant fellows behind their bulwarks; but if they had been in the plain field, they had been well canvassed." After this it chanced that thirty of the Waldois went and assailed these aforesaid companies in the plain field. They fought a long season, and that so near, that some of them fought hand to hand. In this conflict one of those of Angrogne, wrestled with a captain of the enemies, strong and mighty, and cast him down upon the ground. Many of the soldiers were slain, and many hurt; but of the Angrognians there was but one slain, and another hurt a little, who notwithstanding gave not over to fight manfully. Then the soldiers, seeing the loss of their men, retired suddenly.
After that, the lord of Trinity sent two gentlemen of the valley of Lucerne to them of Angrogne, to feel them if they would come to any agreement. To whom answer was given, that they would stand to their first answer. From that time he sent very often to treat of the agreement; but what his meaning was, it might well appear; for when the poor people hoped for some agreement, they were most furiously assaulted. Upon this, there was a day assigned in the valley of Lucerne, to confer touching the agreement with certain men pertaining to the lord of Ranconis, and the safe-conduct was promised and granted.
The night before the ministers and rulers of Angrogne should take their journey, they perceived a company of soldiers going up a hill by which they of Angrogne should pass, and hid them in houses on the way-side, thinking to take at unawares them of Angrogne that were sent to treat of the agreement. But they, having intelligence of this conspiracy, watched and warded. It was an easy matter, as divers thought, that night to have taken the lord of Trinity, and to have spoiled his whole camp; but they of Angrogne and Lucerne would not execute this enterprise, lest thereby they should offend God, and pass the bounds of their vocation, taking upon them no more but to defend themselves.
At that time a pitiful case happened in the meadow of Tour. The lord of Ranconis, seeming to be sorry for this war, sent into the meadow of Tour an honest man of Briqueras, named Francis of Gilles, to take advice what means were best to further the agreement; who, having consulted with the ministers and rulers, returned homeward that day according to his master's commandment, and having sent back one who conducted him, was mur dered soon after, at the foot of Angrogne, by two of Angrogne, who otherwise seemed to be honest, and of good parentage. Soon after, one of the two, who had committed this fact, entered into the meadow of Tour and was immediately apprehended and bound. He confessed the fact without any further delay. Immediately the other also was taken.
The Waldois were marvellously troubled and aggrieved with this fact, and wrote to the lord of Ranconis, declaring unto him the whole circumstance of the fact, and that they had the offenders in ward, and that if it would please him to send certain to examine the matter, they, for their part, would so execute justice in the punishment of them, that their innocency to all men should appear. The lord of Ranconis wrote unto them that they should deliver unto him the offenders, and that he would do such justice upon them as the case required. To this they of Angrogne answered, that upon three conditions they should be delivered according to his request: first, that the prisoners should be compelled to do nothing against their consciences; and as touching religion, nothing should be spoken unto them, but out of the word of God: secondly, that speedy and sharp justice should be executed upon them; and that hereafter this should be no prejudice to the liberties and privileges of the people of Angrogne: the third, that the execution of them should be upon the borders of Angrogne, for an example to all others. This being accorded with one assent, (yea, without contradiction of their parents,) they sent them prisoners, accompanied with sixty gunners, to the confines of Lucerne, and there delivered them into the hands of the lord of Ranconis This redounded to the great commendation of them of Angrogne.
After this the lord of Trinity, having left certain garrisons about Angrogne, and the valley of Lucerne, went to Perouse near to the valley of St. Martin, to succour the garrison there, being in great danger, and there remained a month. During which time, they of Angrogne, and the valley of Lucerne, lived in more quietness than before; but yet they were much afflicted, by reason of the scarcity of victuals which sore pressed them, and namely those of the meadow of Tour, for they were spoiled of their victuals. This poor people lived on milk and herbs, having very little bread: but afterwards, when they were even like to be famished, God of his goodness sent them better succour, both of corn and bread, than they had before. The enemies thought to have taken the meadow of Tour by famine; for they took away the victuals that were to be had in all places round about. Every household was suffered to have no more than should sustain them that day, and that also was very little; to the end that they should not succour this poor people.
After that, the lord of Trinity, being returned from Perouse to Lucerne, sent certain to treat of an agreement, and required to commune with some of the people. Then they began to consult and devise, by all means, how they might come to some good agreement. But on Monday, being the seventeenth of April, by break of day, he sent certain bands of Spaniards, which he had there, with the garrison of Tour, to the mountain of Tailleret, by the way which leadeth to the meadow of Tour, on the south side: they murdered men, women, and children of Tailleret, whom they found in their beds. Then they marched on along upon the mountain, towards the meadow of Tour. Anon after, the people perceived two other companies of soldiers, marching by Angrogne by two several ways, to assault the meadow of Tour. In the morning, as soon as they rose, they blew their horns, for they saw the Spaniards already entered. When they had made their prayers, every man ran to meet the enemies; some on the east side, and the others on the south. They which first resisted the Spaniards (who were already past the bulwarks) were in the beginning but twelve gunners, and a few others, whom they caused to go up to the hill, and roll down great stones. These twelve, having found a fit place for their purpose to stay the Spaniards, began to shoot off their harquebusses at them. The Spaniards, seeing themselves so sore assaulted both above and beneath, and the place so narrow and so strait, recoiled back, and retired as fast as they could by the same way by which they came. If they had tarried a little longer, they had been enclosed between the two mountains; which place was so strait, that they could not have escaped. The people chased them unto their camp, which was at Tour. As they fled, they found often some forts, where they did resist for a little while, but they were always beaten out. In this combat, God gave victory to the poor Waldois, with great slaughter of the Spaniards, where also very many of them were sore hurt and wounded.
The said lord of Trinity sent unto the Spaniards, that they should not faint and give over, but stick to it like men, and he would shortly send them succour: but they would not. Those of the valley of Lucerne, hearing of this conflict, came in the mean time to help their neighbours. Amongst others, there was one slain in that battle, for whom the lord of Trinity much lamented, saying, that he would rather have lost a whole band than that man. The other two companies which marched by Angrogne, perceiving the Spaniards to be so beaten and put to flight, and seeing also those of the meadow of Tour coming to encounter with them, retired in haste. Upon that the lord of Trinity went to Cavors, three miles from Lucerne, being in a great perplexity; and as he was about to send succour to the Spaniards, he heard the sound of a drum above Lucerne, and suspected that there was an army of the Waldois coming against him. Upon this divers of the soldiers fled away by the plain, crying that all was lost. It was certainly reported, that if the Waldois had pursued the army, as they might easily have done, the camp had that day been chased out of Lucerne. The poor people lacked no courage so to do; for albeit they had neither eaten nor drunk all the day before, and had sore travailed and fought, yet they said, that if they had but a little refreshed themselves with a morsel of bread, and a glass of wine, they durst take upon them to enter into the camp of their enemies.
Within a few days after, they of Angrogne were advertised by the lord of Trinity's letters, that he fully determined to cut down their trees and vines, and destroy their corn being on the ground; and furthermore, that two forts should be built at Angrogne. The day was assigned, and horsemen appointed, with all speed to execute this mischievous enterprise. The poor people thought that they should be assailed as sore as ever they were, and fight as hard as ever they did before. But God prevented this cruel attempt; for the night before this should be executed, the lord of Trinity received certain letters from the duke, which stayed this enterprise. They of the meadow of Tour being advertised that the lord of Trinity did now intend to send ordnance to beat down the bulwarks which were made of stones, they made a bulwark of earth, which was in compass about five hundred paces, which they might easily see from Lucerne. They of the meadow of Tour told the lord of Trinity's men, that if they brought any artillery, they should not so soon carry it away again; and shortly the ordnance was sent back again.
About this season, the chief rulers and ministers of the Waldois, requested earnestly the lord of Ranconis to present a supplication which they had made to the duchess of Savoy: for they had intelligence, that she was sore offended that her subjects were so cruelly handled. In this supplication they declared the equity of their cause, protesting all due obedience to the duke their sovereign lord, and if it might be proved by the pure word of God that they held any error, they would, with all humble submission, receive correction, and be reformed, humbly beseeching her Grace to appease the displeasure which the duke had conceived against them, by the untrue surmises of their adversaries; and if there were any thing wherein they had offended him, they most humbly craved his gracious pardon.
About this time the lord of Trinity, by sickness, was in great danger of his life. Soon after the supplication was delivered, the duchess sent an answer to the Waldois, by the said lord of Ranconis. The effect thereof was, that she had obtained of the duke's Grace all that they demanded in their supplication, upon such conditions as the said lord of Ranconis would propound unto them. But when they understood that the said conditions were very rigorous, they sent another supplication unto the duchess, wherein they humbly besought her Grace to be a mean that the said conditions and articles might be moderated; which articles here follow.
"First, That they should banish their ministers.
"Secondly, That they should receive the mass, and other ceremonies of the Romish Church.
"Thirdly, That they should pay a ransom to the soldiers for certain of their men which they had taken.
"Fourthly, That they should assemble and preach no more as they were wont to do.
"Fifthly, That the duke would make fortresses at his pleasure, in all that country: with other like things."
The supplication of the Waldois to the duchess of Savoy.
The people made humble request in this their last supplication, "that it would please the said duchess to give the duke her husband to understand, how that these conditions were strange and rigorous. And as for their parts, although they had good trial of their ministers, that they were good men and fearing God, of sound doctrine, of good life, and honest conversation; yet nevertheless they were contented so to do, if he would give leave to some of them to remain: requesting this, that it might be permitted unto them to choose some other good ministers in their places, before they departed, lest that their churches should remain without pastors.
"Concerning the mass, and other ceremonies of the Church of Rome, if the duke should cause them to be ministered in their parishes, they neither would nor could withstand the same, and for their part, they would do no injury or violence to those that should minister them, or be present thereat: notwithstanding they besought him, that they might not be constrained to be present themselves at the ministration thereof, nor to pay any thing to the maintenance of the same, or else to yield either favour or consent thereunto.
"As touching the ransom which was demanded of them for their prisoners, considering the extreme poverty that they were in, and the great calamities and damages which they had suffered, it was to them a thing impossible. Yea, if his Highness were truly informed what loss they had sustained, by burning, spoiling, and sacking of their houses and goods, without all mercy or pity, he would not only not require of them any such thing, but, as a gracious and merciful prince, he would succour and support them, that they might be able to maintain their poor families, whom they nourished (as they were bound to do) to the service of God, and of their said lord and prince: and therefore they desired that it might please him, that their poor brethren remaining in captivity and prison, and such as were sent to the galleys for the profession of their religion, might speedily be delivered and set at liberty.
"As for their assemblies and preachings, they were contented that they should be kept only amongst themselves, in their accustomed places, and in other valleys aforesaid, where any assembly of the faithful should be, which were desirous to hear the preaching of the gospel.
"Touching the fortresses, forasmuch as by those which were already made they had suffered great molestations and troubles, as well concerning their goods, as also their religion, they were assured, that if he should build up new forts, they should never be able to abide the troubles, miseries, and calamities, that would follow thereupon: and therefore they most humbly desired the said duchess to be so good and gracious unto them, as to obtain of the duke that he would accept their persons in the stead of forts; and that, seeing those places were by nature and of themselves strong and well fortified, it might please their said lord the duke to receive them into his protection and safeguard; and by the grace and assistance of God they would serve him themselves for such walls and forts, that he should not need to build any other. And because many of those which dwelt near about them had robbed and spoiled them, not only of their household goods and such other things, but also driven away their cattle, that it might please him to give them leave to recover the said goods by way of justice, and to buy again that which the soldiers had sold, and that for the same price for the which it was sold.
"Briefly, they also besought their said lord, that it might please him to be so gracious unto them, as to grant them a confirmation of all their franchises, immunities, and privileges, as well general as particular, given unto them as well by him as by his predecessors; and likewise of those, who, as well as their ancestors, had bought of their lords, and to receive them, as his most humble and obedient subjects, into his protection and safeguard.
"And because in time past, instead of good and speedy justice, all iniquity was committed by those that had the administration of justice in their valleys; and forasmuch as their purses were emptied and punished rather than the malefactors'; that it might please him to give order that such justice might be done amongst them, whereby the wicked might be punished with all severity, and the innocent defended and maintained in their right.
"Finally, forasmuch as divers of this poor people (being astonished at the coming of the army, and fearing lest they should not only be spoiled of all their goods, but also they with their wives and children be utterly destroyed) made promise, against their consciences, to live according to the traditions of the Church of Rome; they were marvellously troubled and tormented in spirit, and did nothing but languish in that distress. Wherefore they humbly besought the said duchess to take pity upon them, and to obtain that they might not be compelled to do any thing against their conscience; and moreover, that it might please the duke to permit them to live in liberty and freedom of conscience: also, that all their poor brethren, banished for the cause of religion, might return home to their houses; and that all confiscations and penalties made against them, might be abolished. And for their part, they promised to give all due reverence and honour to God and his holy word, and to be true and faithful subjects unto their lord and prince; yea, more than any other." Underneath the said supplication there was written:
"Your faithful and humble subjects, the poor afflicted of the valleys of Lucerne, Angrogne, St. Martin, and Perouse, and, generally, all the people of the Waldois, who inhabit the country of Piedmont."
After that this supplication was viewed and read of the said duchess, she so persuaded with the duke, that answer was made with these conditions, declared in these articles following:
"That there shall shortly be made letters patent by the duke's Highness, by the which it may appear that he hath forgiven and pardoned them of the valleys of Angrogne, Bobi, Villars, Valquichard, Roras, Tailleret, La Rua de Bonet, (bordering upon Tour,) St. Martin, Perouse, Roccapiata, St. Barthilimi, and all such as have aided them; of all such faults as they have committed, as well in bearing armour against his Highness, as against the lords and certain other gentlemen whom he retained and kept in his protection and safeguard.
"That it shall be lawful for them of Angrogne, Bobi, Villars, Valquichard, Roras, members of the valley of Lucerne, and for them of Rodoret, Marcele, Maneille, and Salsa, (members of the valley of St. Martin,) to have their congregations, sermons, and other ministries of their religion in places accustomed.
"That it shall be lawful for them of Villars (members of the valley of Lucerne) to have the same, but that only until the time that his Highness doth build a fort in the same place. But whilst the said fort is in building, it shall not be lawful to have their preachings and assemblies within the said precinct of the place, but it shall be lawful for them to build a place for that purpose near at hand, where they shall think good, on that side towards Bobi. Nevertheless it shall be permitted to their ministers to come within the precinct aforesaid, to visit the sick, and exercise other things necessary to their religion, so that they preach not, nor make any assembly there.
"It shall also be permitted to them of Tailleret, and La Rua de Bonet, bordering upon Tour, to have their sermons and assemblies in places accustomed, so that they enter not for that purpose into the rest of the confines of Tour.
"That it shall not be lawful for the said members of the valleys of Lucerne and St. Martin, to come to the rest of their borders, nor to any of his Highness's dominions; nor to have their preachings, assemblies, or disputations, out of their own borders, having liberty to have them therein. And if they be examined of their faith, it shall be lawful for them to answer without danger of punishment in body or goods.
"The like shall be lawful for them of the parish of Perouse, which at this present are fled because of the said religion, and were wont to have their assemblies and preachings, and other ministries according to their religion, at the place called Le Puis; so that they come not to other places and borders of the said parish.
"It shall be permitted to them of the parish of Pinachia, of the valley of Perouse, who at this present be fled because of the said religion, and were wont to go to sermons and assemblies, and other ministries of that religion, to have the like, only at the place called Le Grandoubion.
"It shall be permitted to them of the parish of St. Germain, of the valley of Perouse, and to them of Roccapiata, who at this present are fled because of the said religion, and continue in the same, to have one only minister, who may the one day preach at St. Germain, at the place called l'Adormilleux, and the other day at Roccapiata, at the place called Vandini only.
"It shall be permitted to all them of the towns and villages of the said valleys, who at this present are fled, and continue in the said religion, notwithstanding any promise or abjuration made before this war against the said religion, to repair and return to their houses with their households, and to live according to the same, going and coming to the sermons and assemblies which shall be made by their ministers in the places above specified, so that they obey that which is above said.
"And because many of the said towns and villages dwell out of the precinct of the preaching, having need to be visited, and of other things according to their said religion, their ministers, which dwell within the precinct, shall be suffered, without prejudice, to visit and duly aid them of such ministries as shall be necessary for them, so that they make no sermons nor assemblies.
"By especial grace it shall be permitted to all them of the valley of Meane, and them of St. Barthilimi, neighbours to Roccapiata, and who are fled and continue in the said religion, peaceably to enjoy the grace and liberties granted in the next article before, so that they observe all which they before promise to observe.
"The goods already seized as forfeited, shall be restored to all the inhabitants of the said valleys, and to all that are fled and continue in the said religion, as well them of the said valleys, as to those of Roccapiata, St. Barthilimi, and of Meane; so that they be not seized for any other cause than for the said religion, and for the war present and lately passed.
"It shall be lawful for them aforesaid to recover by way of justice, of their neighbours, their movable goods and cattle, so it be not of soldiers; and that which hath been sold, they shall also recover by way of justice, so that they restore the price for which it hath been sold. Their neighbours shall have the like against them.
"All their franchises, freedoms, and privileges, as well general as particular, granted as well by his Highness's predecessors, as by himself, and obtained of other inferior lords, whereof they shall make proof by public writing, shall be confirmed unto them.
"The said valleys shall be provided for, to have good justice ministered unto them, whereby they may know they are kept in safeguard by his Highness, as well as all his other subjects.
"The inhabitants of the said valleys shall make a roll of all the names and surnames of all them of the said valleys, which are fled for religion, as well such as have abjured as others, to the end they may be restored and maintained in their goods and households, and enjoy such grace and benefits as their prince and lord hath bestowed on them.
"And inasmuch as it is known to every man, that the prince may build fortresses in his country, where it shall please him, without contradiction, nevertheless, to take all suspicion out of the minds of the aforesaid Waldois, it is declared, that if at any time hereafter his Highness shall make a fort at Villars, the inhabitants of the said place shall not be constrained to bear the charges, but only as they shall think good lovingly to aid their prince: which fort being builded, (by God's aid,) a governor and captain shall therein be appointed, who shall attempt nothing but the service of his Highness, without offence of the inhabitants, either in their goods or consciences.
"It shall be lawful for them, before the discharging of their ministers, such as it shall please his Highness to have discharged, to choose and call others in their steads; so that they choose not M. Martin de Pragela, nor change from one place to another of the said valleys any of them which be discharged.
"The mass, and other service after the usage of Rome, shall be kept in all the parishes of the said valleys, where the sermons, assemblies, and other ministries of their religion are made; but none shall be compelled to be present thereat, nor to minister aid or favour to such as shall use that service.
"All the expenses and charges borne by his Highness in this war, shall be forgiven and released to them for ever; also the eight thousand crowns wherein the inhabitants of the said valleys were behind, as part of sixteen thousand crowns which they had promised in the war passed; and his Highness will command that the writings for that cause made shall be annulled and cancelled.
"All the prisoners shall be rendered and restored, which shall be found to be in the hands of the soldiers, paying ransom reasonable, according to their goods, as they shall be seized; and those that shall be adjudged to be wrongfully taken, shall be released without ransom.
"Likewise all they of the said valleys, which for religion, and not for other causes, are detained in the galleys, shall be released without ransom.
"Finally, it shall be lawful for all them of the said valleys, them of Meane, Roccapiata, and St. Barthilimi, of what degree, estate, or condition soever they be, (except ministers,) to accompany and dwell and to be in daily conversation, with the rest of their Highness's subjects; and to tarry, go, and come in all places of his Highness's country; to sell and buy, and use all trades of merchandise, in all places in his Highness's country, (as before is said,) so that they preach not, nor make any assemblies or disputations, as we have before said: and that these which be of the limits dwell not out of of them; and they which be of the towns and villages of the said valleys, dwell not out of them, nor of their borders: and in so doing they shall not be molested by any means, and shall not be offended nor troubled in body or goods, but shall remain under the protection and safeguard of his Highness.
"Furthermore, his Highness shall set order to stay all troubles, inconveniences, secret conspiracies of wicked persons, after such sort that they shall remain quietly in their religion. For observation whereof, George Monastier, one of the elders of Angrogne; Constantion Dialestini, otherwise called Rembaldo, one of the elders of Villars; Pirrone Arduino, sent from the commonalty of Bobi; Michael Raymundet, sent from the commonalty of Tailleret, and of La Rua de Bovet, bordering upon Tour; John Malenote, sent from certain persons of St. Jean; Peter Paschall, sent from the commonalty of the valley of St. Martin; Thomas Roman of St. German, sent from the commonalty of the same place, and of all the valley of Perouse, promise for them and their commonalties severally, that the contents of these conclusions aforesaid shall be inviolately kept; and for breach thereof do submit themselves to such punishment as shall please his Highness; promising likewise to cause the chief of the families of the commonalties to allow and confirm the said promise.
"The honourable lord of Ranconis doth promise, that the Duke's highness shall confirm and allow the aforesaid conclusions to them, both generally and particularly, at the intercession and special favour of the noble lady the princess.
"In testimony hereof, the aforesaid lord of Ranconis hath confirmed these present conclusions with his own hand; and the ministers have likewise subscribed, in the name of all the said valleys; and they that can write, in the names of all their commonalties.
"At Cavor, the fifth day of June, 1561.
Philip of Savoy.
Francis Valla, minister of Villars.
Claudius Bergius, minister of Tailleret.
This accord being thus made and passed, by means of the duchess of Savoy, the poor Waldois have been in quiet until this present; and God, of his infinite goodness, have delivered them out of so many troubles and conflicts, hath set them at liberty to serve him purely, and with quietness of conscience.
Wherefore there is none at this present (except he be altogether blind or senseless) but seeth and well perceiveth, that God would make it known by experience to these poor Waldois, and all other faithful people, that all things turn to the best to them which love and fear him: for by all these afflictions which they suffered, (as is before rehearsed,) this good heavenly Father hath brought them to repentance and amendment of life; he hath effectuously taught them to have recourse to his fatherly mercy, and to embrace Jesus Christ for their only Saviour and Redeemer.
Furthermore, he hath taught them to tame the desires and lusts of the flesh, to withdraw their hearts from the world, and lift them up to heaven and to be always in a readiness to come to him, as unto their most loving and pitiful Father. To be short, he hath sent them to the school of his children, to the end they should profit in patience and hope; to make them to mourn, weep, and cry unto him. And above all, be hath made them so often to prove his succours at time of need, to see them before their eyes, to feel and touch them with their hands (as a man would say) after such sort, that they have had good occasion, and the faithful with them, never to distrust so good a Father, and so careful for the health of his children; but to assure themselves they shall never be confounded what thing soever happen.
And yet to see this more manifestly, and that every man may take profit thereof, it shall be good to understand what this poor people did, whilst they were in these combats and conflicts. As soon as they saw the army of their enemies approach, they cried all together for aid and succour to the Lord; and before they began to defend themselves, they fell to prayer, and in fighting lifted up their hearts, and sighed to the Lord. As long as the enemies were at rest, every one of these poor people on their knees called upon God. When the combat was ended, they gave him thanks for the comfort and succour which they had felt. In the mean time, the rest of the people, with their ministers, made their hearty prayer unto God, with sighs and tears, and that from the morning until the evening. When night was come, they assembled again together: they that had fought, rehearsed the wonderful aid and succour which God had sent them, and so all together rendered thanks unto him for his fatherly goodness. Always he changed their sorrow into joy. In the morning trouble and affliction appeared before them, with great terror on all sides; but by the evening they were delivered, and had great cause of rejoicing and comfort.
This poor people had two terrible enemies, war and famine, which kept them under in such sort, that a man would have thought they had been utterly lost and destroyed: but God, of his endless mercy, delivered them from such dangers, and restored them to their houses, where they remained afterwards in peace and quietness; and all they that had declared themselves to be their open enemies, were brought to confusion, as well those who sought to get their goods, as those who only desired to shed their blood; for proof whereof, the only example of two gentlemen of the valley of Lucerne shall suffice. These not only moved cruel war against their poor tenants and others, but most shamefully spoiled them, and took intolerable fines of all those that disobeyed their edicts to keep a good conscience.
Besides this, they went about to seize all their goods as forfeited, waiting to have the whole forfeiture thereof themselves. And for this cause they did not only incense the duke with false reports, and with grievous complaints and accusations against these poor Waldois, but also pursued the same so long, and with such charges, that they were fain to sell their inheritance, in hope to bring their purpose to pass, and to enjoy that goodly prey, which they thought could not escape their hands. But in the end, for their reward, they got nothing but shame and confusion.
And as for the monks and priests, who by such means thought to advance themselves, and to bring their trumpery into estimation, they have lost the little rule which they had over that people, and are confounded, and their religion brought to disdain. Thus God beateth down those who exalt themselves above measure, and maketh his adversaries to fall into the pits which they themselves have made. Let us pray unto him therefore, that it would please him likewise to stretch out his puissant arm at this day to maintain his poor church now afflicted, and to confound all the devices of Satan and his members, to the advancement of his glory and kingdom.
The conclusion of the story of Merindol and Cabriers.
And thus hast thou, Christian reader! for thy erudition and comfort, the story and doings discoursed concerning these two countries, both of Provence and also of Piedmont, the one being subject to the dominion of France, the other belonging to the duke of Savoy; in which two aforesaid regions and countries, how long the gospel of Christ hath continued, (even from the time of the first Waldenses,) the history itself declareth.
Furthermore, what injuries and wrongs have been done against them for the gospel's sake, what rigour and cruelty hath been showed of the adversary part; again, for their part, what patience in their suffering, what constancy in their doctrine, what truth in their words, and simplicity in their deeds, what obedience towards their magistrates, and faith towards God, they have used; and finally, how miraculously and mightily God hath fought for his people, and confounded the enemies, the said history may give thee full knowledge and experience.
Wherein this thou hast moreover, for thy more learning, to note and consider with thyself, besides many other memorable things in this story contained, how unwilling this people were at first, and what remorse of conscience they had for their obedience towards their magistrates, to lift up any hand or finger for their own defence. And therefore many of them being slain and cruelly murdered, as willingly offering their throats without any resistance to the cruel hands of their enemies, the rest were compelled to flee into the mountains, being spoiled of house, victual, and weapon, only to save their poor lives with fleeing (which otherwise they would not with resisting) into rocks and caves, thinking there rather to perish by famine, than to use that defence for themselves, which nature giveth to every brute beast to help itself, as it may, against violence and injury. Yet these poor Waldois, refusing all resistance, and laying down their own weapons, for obedience' sake, yea, not lifting up their own hands to defend their own heads, only used the poor shift of fleeing from their enemies, till at length the rage of those bloody persecutors, satisfied with no blood, nor contented with any reason, ceased not still most furiously to infest them, yea, to take also the mountains from them, who had taken from them their houses before; neither yet permitting them to live with the wild beasts in the desert, who could not live in their towns at home; till at length, by extreme necessity, the providence of God so working with them, they were compelled to turn their faces, and to take those weapons which the ground gave into their hands. And with these stones so marvellously the God of hosts wrought for his people, that they beat, vanquished, and overthrew their adversaries; they confounded their pride, they abated their malice, and at last stayed the intolerable rage of their persecution. So mercifully and victoriously the Lord God Omnipotent fought with his people, or rather for his people, (they but turning almost their faces to their enemies,) no otherwise than he fought in times past with Joshua against the heathen, with the Israelites against the Philistines, with the Maccabees against Antiochus and the Syrians.
This history, carrying with it a true narration of things done in the said country of Piedmont, and written as it seemeth by certain of the ministers who were at the doing thereof, with the like faith and simplicity we have collected, partly out of the Italian, and partly out of the French tongue; for in both languages it is written although; in the French tongue it is much more largely discoursed, which book most principally herein we have followed.
Now that we have finished these foreign histories, concerning such matters as have been passed in other realms and nations of Germany, Italy, Spain, France, and Savoy; consequently it remaineth, after this digression, to return and reduce our story again to our own country matters here done and passed at home, after that first we shall have added one foreign story more concerning the martyrdom of a Christian Jew, who suffered about these years in Constantinople, among the Turks, in this wise as followeth:
The story of a Christian Jew martyred by the Turks at Constantinople, A.D. 1528.
To these foreign martyrs aforesaid we will adjoin the history of a certain Jew, who, A.D. 1528, dwelling in the city of Constantinople, and there receiving the sacrament of baptism, was converted, and became a good Christian. When the Turks understood hereof, they were vehemently exasperated against him, that he, forsaking his Jewishness, should be regenerated to the faith of Christ: and fearing lest his conversion should be a detriment to their Mahometical law, they sought means how to put him to death, which in a short time after they accomplished; and, for the greater infamy to be done to the man, they cast his dead corpse into the streets, commanding that no man should be so hardy as to bury the same.
Wherein the marvellous glory and power of Christ appeared; for the dead corpse, lying so by the space of nine days in the midst of the streets, retained so its native colour, and was so fresh, without any kind of filthiness or corruption, and also not without a certain pleasant and delectable scent or odour, as if it had been lately slain, or rather not slain at all, which when the Turks beheld, they were thereat marvellously astonished; and being greatly afraid, they themselves took it up, and carried it to a place near, without the town, and buried it.
Having thus comprehended the troubles and persecutions of such godly saints, and blessed martyrs, which have suffered in other foreign nations above mentioned, here now ending with them, and beginning the eighth book, we are (God willing) to return again to our own matters, and to prosecute such acts and records, as to our own country of England do appertain; in the process whereof; among many other things, may appear the marvellous work of God's power and mercy, in suppressing and banishing out of this realm the long-usurped supremacy of the pope; also in subverting and overthrowing the houses of monks and friars, with divers other matters appertaining to the reformation of Christ's true church and religion. All which things, as they have been long wished and greatly groaned for in times past by many godly learned men, so much more ought we now to rejoice and give God thanks, seeing these days of reformation which God hath given us. If John Huss, or good Jerome of Prague, or John Wickliff before them both, or William Brute, Thorpe, Swinderby, or the Lord Cobham; if Zisca with all the company of the Bohemians; if the Earl Reimond, with all the Toulousians; if the Waldois, or the Albigenses, with infinite others, had either been in these our times now, or else had seen then this ruin of the pope, and revealing of antichrist, which the Lord now hath dispensed unto us, what joy and triumph would they have made! Wherefore now, beholding that thing which they so long time have wished for, let us not think the benefit to be small, but render therefore most humble thanks to the Lord our God, who by his mighty power, and the brightness of his word, hath revealed this great enemy of his so manifestly to the eyes of all man, who before was hid in the church so colourably, that almost few Christians could espy him. For who would ever have judged or suspected in his mind, that the bishop of Rome (commonly received, and believed, almost of all men, to be the vicar and vicegerent of Christ here in earth) to be antichrist, and the great adversary of God, whom St. Paul so expressly prophesieth of, in these latter days to be revealed by the brightness of the Lord's coming, as all men now, for the most part, may see it is come to pass? Wherefore to the Lord, and Father of lights, who revealeth all things in his due time, be praise and glory for ever. Amen.