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men in the present day) was the love of liberty. Three great movements were accomplished in that city in the first half of the sixteenth century. The first was the conquest of independence; the second was the conquest of faith; the third was the conquest or renovation and organisation of the Church. Berthelier, Farel, and Calvin are the three heroes of these three epopées. These three movements were all of them essential and neces. sary. The Bishop of Geneva was also a temporal prince, as at Rome; it was difficult to carry away the crook, unless the sword was removed first. The necessity of liberty to the Gospel, and of the Gospel to liberty, is now recognised by all serious men, and the history of Geneva proclaimed the fact three hundred years ago.
The liberties enjoyed by Geneva date, with alternations of despotism, civil, military, and religious, from the most remote periods. They were at once Roman, German, and Christian in their origin. The Romans granted municipal privileges to one of the chief cities of the Allobroges. The independent spirit of the Goths was there softened and civilised by the mild influence of the Burgundians; the famous wife of Clovis, Clothilda, carried thence the spirit of Christianity among the warlike Franks.
Three different powers came alternately to threaten those ancient liberties. First came the Counts of Geneva, originally mere officers of the emperor, but who gradually became so many independent princes. These feudal chieftains took most pleasure in their castles, leaving the city to the bishops, who protected it without, and administered its affairs within, confiscating the liberty and the property of the citizens with equal indifference, till, in 1124, Aymon, Count of Genevois, ceded the city altogether to the first prince-bishop, Humbert de Grammont. The institution of prince-bishops, opposed alike to the principles of the Gospel and to the liberty of future ages, was an especial misfortune to Geneva. Antonio Gallenga, in his Catholic History of Piedmont (vol. i. p. 258), places the matter differently. He says that Gerold of Geneva, having taken part against Conrad the Salic, about 1047, the emperor, in punishment of this opposition, placed the city of Geneva altogether under the jurisdiction of the bishops.
Be this as it may, the small but united population of Geneva-it is one of their titles of glory--were the first to reject that amphibious being called a prince-bishop-corruptio optimi pessima---and the fall of the feudal-episcopal throne on Lake Leman was followed by that of others on the Rhine, in Belgium, in Bavaria, and in Austria, as, adds D’Aubigné emphatically, “ the last will be that of Rome.” “Christianity,” he also observes elsewhere, " ought to have been a power of liberty ; Rome by corrupting it made it a power of despotism. Calvin, by regenerating, rehabilitated it, and restored to it its primary functions."
The ambition of the Princes of Savoy, however, implicated the liberty and independence of Geneva even more than its counts and prince-bishops. They set the one against the other to serve their own purposes. Peter of Savoy, unele to Eleonora of Provence, Queen of England, and created Earl of Richmond by his nephew, Henry III., took possession of the castle of Geneva in 1250 by force of arms, and the power of the house was further increased under Amadeus V. D'Aubigné represents the princes of the house of Savoy as liberal in Geneva merely to suit their own purposes. The “Second Charlemagne," as Peter of Savoy was called, promised commercial franchises in order to withdraw the people from the temporal yoke of their bishops, and Amadeus V., “se fit liberal” simply because he knew that the spirit of a people is never so surely gained over as by establishing oneself as the defender of its rights. The Romanist Gallenga represents the relations of the house of Savoy with the Genevese in an entirely different light, and he asserts that the name of Savoy became associated in Geneva, as well as all over Switzerland, with the cause of freedom! It is manifest by the conduct of Amadeus VIII, that the Protestant historian places the matter in its true light. The Counts of Savoy, when dukes, applied for a Papal bull with which to appihilate those liberties which they had been obliged to tolerate because they could never vanquish them. It was in vain that the people objected that “ Rome should not put its hands upon kingdoms." Martin V., however, confiscated the city in 1418, not to the benefits of the Dukes of Savoy, but to that of the Roman Church, and he nominated Jean de Rochetaillée princebishop. This usurpation was renewed four years afterwards, and the election of their bishops taken from the people. The Hermit of Ripaille - Pope Felix V.-wrought this usurpation in favour of the house of Savoy, and according to D'Aubigné, the prince-bishops of that house, and their governors, “ were leeches that sucked Geneva to the very marrow of its bones." One of them, Jean Louis, gave over the archives of the city to the duke his father, who removed them with the privilege of fairs to Lyons. It was to these fairs, the right to which was lost in the obscurity of time, that Geneva was indebted for its prosperity. Venice was at that epoch the depôt for the commerce of the East, Cologne for that of the West, and Geneva for the centre. Merchants were now forbidden to visit the city, and Lyons was aggrandised at its expense. “ Thus," says D'Aubigné, “ the Catholic or episcopal power, which had deprived Geneva of its territory in the eleventh century, deprived it of its prosperity in the fifteenth. The shelter given to the persecuted Huguenots, and the industrial activity of Protestantism, were destined to raise it up from the prostrate condition in which it had been laid by the Roman hierarchy."
It was in vain that a reforming bishop--Antoine Champion—appeared in the latter end of the fifteenth century—the influence of the Dukes of Savoy prevailed until early in the sixteenth century-when the breath of Reformation which lighted up the people to liberty, faith, and morality, made itself felt in Geneva. Charles de Seysell, prince-bishop of the same city, who had during his lifetime supported the popular rights against the encroachments of Charles of Savoy, died in 1513, or, according to the chroniclers, was poisoned by order of the duke. The people, instigated by their eminent leader Berthelier, elected the abbot of Bonmont to the vacant see; the duke opposed to the nomination John, son of Francis of Savoy, Archbishop of Aux and Bishop of Angers, by a person of easy virtue, and who was hence historically known as the “ bâtard de Savoie.” This illegitimate scion of a noble house was to be elected to the episcopacy, upon condition of resigning the temporality to the Dukes of Savoy. Pope Leo X. was the more readily induced to accede to this arrangement, as he was at that very moment negotiating an alliance between his brother Julian, general of the Papal forces, and Philiberte, a princess of Savoy. Everything was soon satisfactorily arranged between
the Pope, the duke, and the bastard, without the slightest consideration for the feelings of the Genevese. When the Swiss deputies arrived to urge the claims of Bonmont, the ready answer they got was “ Nescio vos.” It was as final as the “non possumus” of our own times. Leo X. was not a lucky Pope. He was laying the seeds of Reformation in Wittemberg by the sale of indulgences, and he was doing the same thing in Geneva by the imposition of the “ Bastard” over the scrupulous consciences of the Genevese.
Even within Geneva itself, the popular party was equally effectively opposed by the ducal and clerical, which was for the time being in the majority. The prince-bishop elect attempted to silence Berthelier by the gift of the “Châtellenie of Peney”-the governorship of a strong castle two leagues removed from the city—while he granted a pension to the elect of the people, the Abbot of Bonmont. The Genevese, he used to say, had two marked passions, the love of liberty and the love of pleasure, and the principle he adopted was to make them forget the one in the pursuit of the other. To this effect he kept open table, and encouraged a continued succession of feasts, balls, and banquets. The Savoyards did everything in their power to assist in the general demoralisation, till the scandals of the prince-bishop and his courtiers, as also of the priests and monks, and of not a few of the laity, excited strong remonstrances on the part of the magistrates and citizens. Berthelier, in the mean time, kept gaining over new allies to the cause of Geneva versus the Dukes of Savoy, to whom the temporalities had not as yet been made formally over. One of the most distinguished of these was Francis Bonivard, prior of Saint Victor, a little state, with territory annexed, of which the prior was prince-sovereign. The uncle of Bonivard, the previous prior, had had four guns manufactured with which to besiege his neighbour the Lord of Vitry, and on his death-bed repenting of his violence, he had requested that the guns should be converted into church-bells. Berthelier, however, succeeded in preventing these last injunctions of the old prior-militant being carried out, by providing other metal for the bells. “The church,” he said, “ will be doubly served ; there will be bells at St. Victor, which is the church, and artillery in the city, which is the territory of the church.” This priory was outside the gate of St. Anthony, near the site of the present Observatory. Another was Besançon Hugues, whose whole life was devoted to the cause of independence and to resistance to the usurpations of the house of Savoy. Charles III. had his eye upon the whole three, the affair of the guns having come before his council. “I shall have my revenge,” he said. John of Savoy, as the bastard prince-bishop was now designated, seconded the duke with zeal. He began operations by taking away their judicial functions from the syndics, and casting the citizens into prison. One of these exploits nearly excited an insurrection. One of the most respected citizens-Claude Vandel-had made himself particularly obnoxious to the prince-bishop by his zeal in the cause of those who were immolated by his tyranny. He was in consequence himself seized, and led away by a subterranean passage to the episcopal dungeons. But Vandel had four sons, all occupying distinguished positions. The eldest, Robert, was a syndic; Thomas, the second, was a canon, and one of the first priests who embraced the principles of the Reformation ; Hugues, the third, was ambassador to the Swiss republic; and Peter, the fourth, was captain-general. These four brothers were not likely to allow their respected parent to be thus maltreated without an effort for his rescue. They appealed publicly to the whole body of their fellow-citizens against the outrage. The council demanded that the prisoner should be delivered up to the syndies. The prince-bishop refused, and the anger of the populace extended to all the pensionaries of the episcopacy. Berthelier, of whom the prelate had boasted “ he had put a bone in his mouth to prevent his barking,” tore up his letters patent as châtelain of Peney in the presence of the assembled council, and called upon his fellow-citizens to deliver the citizen whom the traitors had carried off. Bernard, whose three sons played an important part in the Reformation, ran to summons the people. But the prince-bishop had taken flight, and the episcopal council having judged the arrest of Vandel to be illegal, he was set at liberty.
The temptations of pleasure having failed to demoralise the haughty and intelligent citizens of Geneva, it was resolved to see what superstition might do. A monk, Thomas by name, was employed to effect iniraculous cures. But Bonivard turned him into ridicule.“ Imaginatio facit casum," he said; and he added, “He jumps from the cock to the ass like an idiot!" An attempt was also made to corrupt the youth of the city by debaucheries, in which the priests set the example. Berthelier counteracted this new means of seduction by pretending to enter into the evil practices himself, till it was said of him, “ Bonus civis, malus homo !" But he was labouring to convert a school of tyranny into one of liberty. He turned the ribaldry and the jests of bacchanalian orgies against the house of Savoy and their creature the prince-bishop.
As usual, when two parties are thus. placed in opposition, a slight incident brought about a crisis. The gouty prince-bishop was laid on a couch suffering, when he heard a noise in the street. “What is it?" he inquired. “A man going to be hung,” replied the nurse ; "if your lordship was to spare him, he would pray all the days of his life for your health.” The bishop, who had just had an extra twinge, exclaimed, “ Well, let him be set at liberty then.” But this act of mercy brought the bishop into collision with the Savoyards. Criminals about to be executed had to be handed over to the Châtelain of Gaillard in Savoy. The liberal juris-consult Levrier, who saw in this trifling incident a source of dispute between the legitimate authority of the prince-bishop and the usurpations of the house of Savoy, upheld the rights of the former. La Val d'Isére and two other deputies had been despatched from Turin to reprimand the prince-bishop. Not satisfied with this, they attempted to induce Bonivard to deliver up the person of Levrier to the ducal soldiers at the bridge upon the Arve. The learned prior having declined the service, the deputies declared they would effect his abstraction themselves. “ Will you ?” said the prior; "then I shall lay by thirty florins to pay for a mass for your souls to-morrow." Levrier and Berthelier, informed of the conspiracy for the abduction of the former, called together the men-at-arms, and the prince-bishop and the deputies had to take themselves off to Turin.
A council then assembled at this latter city to discuss by what means the liberties of the Genevese could be best crushed, and their most able citizeps put out of the way, at the very time these citizens themselves were taking steps to secure their much cherished liberties. Both sides were prepared to have recourse to arms. Berthelier was urged to action by his democratic principles, the prior, Bonivard, by his love of letters and philosophy. Meetings of citizens, among whom De Joye and the martyrs Navis and Beauchet were, after those already named, the most zealous, were held almost daily or nightly. Their password was, “ Who touches one touches the other;" and they bound themselves, if one was arrested, to liberate him by force of arms. Unfortunately, a spy of the prince-bishop's—one Carmentrant-got to be admitted to these meetings, and he afterwards declared that Berthelier had plotted against the episcopal life; and Bonivard having jocosely said of the bishop that if he caught him in his fishery (they had had some dispute as to right of fish. ing in part of the Rhône), one or the other would catch a bad fish, it was laid to his charge that he intended to drown him.
A certain Gros, or Grossi, judge of the three castles— Peney, Thiez, and Jutsy—had made himself peculiarly obnoxious to the liberals. One day (June 5, 1517) his mule came to grief. Berthelier and a few other scapegraces determined to have some fun out of the incident, and they engaged the abbot of Bonmont's fool, known as “ Little John," to precede them, drums beating, through the streets, proclaiming that the skin of " l'ane le plus gros de Geneve” was for sale. “Is not that the house of Judge Gros ?" inquired one of the bystanders. “Yes," was the reply; “and it is he who is . le gros ane."" And shouts of laughter welcomed the pon. The next day the judge demanded the arrest of those who were implicated in this buffoonery. The prince-bishop, he said, had alone the right to make proclamations, and it was high treason to usurp his privileges! Duke Charles deemed the matter of such grave importance, that he came himself to Geneva, accompanied by one of the most learned diplomatists of the day, Claude de Seyssel, to settle the question. This De Seyssel, a learned jurist, who, we are told, had translated Thucydides, Diodorus, and Xenophon, justly treated the whole affair as a joke, and those who took part in it were dismissed with a reprimand, some even with presents to win them over from the seditious. But it was secretly resolved to get rid, at the first opportunity, of Berthelier, “only to secure that big partridge,” said the prince-bishop, “ we must first of all catch some singing-bird. Put to the question, he will soon implicate others." The singing-bird was not long in being found. There was one Pécolat in the city, poor, for he had lost the use of one arm, but most joyous companion at table, and yet equally melancholy in his disposition when alone. Dining one day with the Bishop of Maurienne and the Abbot of Bonmont, both inveterate enemies of the prince-bishop, he had exclaimed: “Do not annoy yourselves so much about the bishop's acts of injustice, non videbit dies Petri !” (“He will not live as long as Saint Peter !") A common saying at the coronation of popes. This was reported to the bishop as attesting the existence of a conspiracy against his life. Shortly afterwards some fish pies, concocted of putrid fish, disagreed with some of the episcopal followers. It is even said that one of them died, which is not impossible. The fish, however, were declared to have been poisoned for the especial benefit of the princebishop, and it was resolved to arrest Pécolat as an accomplice. In order to carry this into effect, the Abbot of Bonmont, Bonivard, and other