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liberals, were invited by the Count of Genevois to a grand hunt, and the bishop withdrew to his château of Thiez, whilst Pécolat was engaged to walk out with one Maule, and both were simultaneously set upon by an ambuscade, pinioned, and taken off to prison, the one being liberated, the other kept fast. The manner, however, in which the two were both made prisoners exonerated Maule from complicity in the affair in the eyes of the unfortunate Pécolat, who, on the contrary, imbibed angry sus. picions against his friend Berthelier. It was in this frame of mind that he was put to the torture. Nothing, however, could be extracted from him by this cruel and ignominious process regarding the double meaning of the “non-videbit,” or his complicity in the affair of the putrid fish, nor would he incriminate any of his fellow-citizens. It was only when pulled some four feet above the level of the ground, that sighing and drawing his voice, as it were, from the depths of his chest (Suspirans et ab imo trahens pectore vocem-Galiffe, Mat. pourl 'Histoire de Génève), he muttered, “Cursed be Berthelier, for whom I am thus made to suffer!" The next day the bishop had him suspended by a rope the whole time that he was at his dinner, and the servants passing to and fro said, “ What a fool you are to let yourself be thus tortured. What is the use of your silence ?" But at length they tied his hands behind and then lifted them above his head, and raised him thus with pulleys five or six feet above the ground. The resolution of the victim gave way before the frightful agony, and he said he would confess all, and truly; to whatsoever questions were then put to him, he answered “Yes.” This success encouraged the prince-bishop, and, on the 5th of August, he put another prisoner to the question, till the fear of being arrested and subjected to the same process spread over the whole city. The streets became deserted, and only here and there were labourers seen at their work in the fields. Many citizens left the town. Berthelier's friends urged him to do the same, but he would not stir. “ Heaven,” he said, “would take away their power from his enemies by a miracle." At last the order for his arrest having been given, he was prevailed upon to withdraw to Friburg. The singing-bird was caught, and nearly strangled; the big partridge had flown away. Great was the vexation of the prince-bishop, while the people only laughed.
Disguised in the costume of an usher of the city of Friburg, Berthelier got safe through the city gates, and his first business on arriving in Switzerland was to claim the aid of the Swiss in opposing the cruelties and usurpations of the prince-bishop, John of Savoy, and of the duke, his relative, in Geneva. He addressed himself chiefly to the corporations, and soon won over adherents to the cause. It was at this epoch that the liberals of Geneva were first designated Eidesgenossen, “the confederates;" but not being able to pronounce the German word, they called themselves Eiguenots, which the French euphonised into Huguenots. So much for D'Aubigné; but others have derived the name from Besançon Hugues, who became one of the chief leaders of the independents. The party of Savoy were, on the other hand, designated as Mamluks, because as those renegades denied Christ to follow Muhammad, so the party of Savoy renounced liberty in order to subject the citizens to a despotic authority. (Manuscripts of the sixteenth century have it Mamalus and Maumelus.)
The prince-bishop, proud of his exploit in torturing poor Pécolat, had withdrawn to Thonon. A deputation, headed by D'Orsières, a venerable citizen, was sent to conciliate him, but he had the old man arrested in his presence and cast into a dungeon. Huguenots and Mamluks alike cried out against this breach of faith. The citizens flew to arms and closed the gates. Chappuis was at this crisis sent by Charles III. to appease the Genevese, and, above all things, to endeavour to counteract the Swiss alliance. The firmness of Berthelier defeated all these projects, and Charles was obliged to try the effect of personal persuasion with the Friburgers and Bernese. "The Swiss complained of the treatment of Pécolat and the exile of Berthelier, and the duke promised amendment. D'Orsières had been set at liberty. It was agreed that Pécolat should be handed over from the episcopal authorities to the city syndics for trial. Seyssel, now Archbishop of Turin, alone persisted in declaring that a person accused of high treason should be tried at the capital of Savoy. Pécolat, in the presence of his judges, recalled the admissions exacted from him under torture, and being declared innocent, the episcopal judges, w! o constituted part of the court, insisted upon the reapplication of the question, but it was in vain, he said nothing, and the syndics persisted in their verdict, “ Non invenimus en eo causam"- we do not find him guilty. The Mamluks had recourse then to a diabolical subterfuge in order to checkmate their opponents. They declared that the once boon-companion, Pécolat, was a priest, and must be tried by his peers. To this effect, the persecuted man was once more removed to the episcopal dungeons. His obstinacy was attributed to his being possessed by a demon, one of Berthelier's familiars, and who was supposed to reside more particularly in his beard. A barber was accordingly sent for to remove the prison growth, and leaving his razor on the table for a moment, Pécolat, who was afraid that his tongue might once more prove false upon the application of the tortures which he knew were awaiting him, made an attempt to remove the frail member. Physical and moral strength, however, failed him in the attempt, and he only inflicted upon himself a wound which the episcopal officers hastened to cure. The bishop himself was, however, indifferent to this incident; he declared that he would make him write his confessions under the application of the torture.
In the mean time, Bonivard obtained from the Archbishop of Vienne, the primate of all the Gauls, a citation for the prince-bishop and the episcopal court before the metropolitan, and he got the citation served upon the prince-bishop himself. The latter paying no attention to the summons, the primate ordered him to deliver up Pécolat under penalty of excommunication. The penalty was actually put in force, the princebishop and his officers were excommunicated, the churches were closed, and the populace in revolt delivered the persecuted Pécolat from the dungeons of Peney. This at the very time that the Duke of Savoy and the prince-bishop had obtained letters from the Pope annulling the metropolitan decrees, and forbidding the liberation of the prisoner. The episcopal officers bearing the Papal decree actually met the procession on its way from the castle of Peney to the city, but the people, excited by success, paid no attention to the summons, and the poor tortured man, unable to speak or to use his limbs, was consigned to the convent of the Cordeliers of the Rive, which was held to be an inviolable asylum, and where he received those attentions which his miserable condition so imperiously demanded.
No one embraced the liberated prisoner with more ardour than Berthelier. The duke had granted him permission to return to Geneva “ in order to be tried”-a process which the prince-bishop devoutly believed would end in his decapitation. But Berthelier, relying upon the Swiss alliance, was prepared to confront the danger. Three of the syndics, Ramel, Vandel, and Hugues, were Huguenots. Berthelier presented himself before the whole body to be tried. The two other syndics, Conseil and Navis—the father of a martyred son-demanded that he should be first placed in durance and submitted to the question. Blanchet, and Andrew Navis, son of the syndic, who had participated in the affair of the ass's skin, had in the mean time been arrested at Turin. Twice were they subjected to torture, but without any results. They were then condemned to be decapitated and quartered. This accomplished, the prince-bishop had threequarters of these unfortunate young men suspended at the gates of Turin, the other quarter of each and the heads were salted, put into barrels, sealed with the arms of the count, brother to the duke, and sent over Mont Cenis. The bearers of these melancholy relics having reached the bridge over the Arve which separated the ducal territories from those of Geneva, they suspended the two heads and the arms to a walnut-tree that stood in front of the church of Notre-Dame de Grâce. This by favour of the night. The next day, the first who passed the bridge carried the news to the citizens, who hastened in crowds to the spot. “It is Navis," they exclaimed, “and Blanchet.” Their features were perfectly recognisable, and beneath was the white cross of Savoy, with an inscription to the effect that they were Genevese traitors. The whole city was filled with horror and indignation. The women wept, the men groaned in their anger. Navis, the father, who was serving the cause of the prince-bishop so well in the prosecution of Berthelier, was thunderstruck. The mother was in despair. To the Huguenots these two heads became the signal for resistance. From that time forth the duke and the prince-bishop were only looked upon as two tyrants who sought the destruction and desolation of the city.
Berthelier went about from house to house advocating union with the Swiss, whilst an embassy, composed of three zealous Mamluks, was deputed to Pignerol, where the prince-bishop was at that time, residing amidst those poor Waldenses whom he detested as much as he did the Genevese. The only answer that the deputies could obtain from the prince-bishop was, that he would esteem the citizens loyal subjects if they would aid in putting to death Berthelier, and ten or twelve others whom he named. This reply was further not to be communicated to the council, unless they bound themselves by oath to execute the orders which were given to them. So strange and so excessive an act of despotism made even the Mamluks hesitate. The meeting could not bivd itself to unknown orders, and it rose without the communication having been read. A council-general was then summoned to receive the mysterious mandate. The great bell of the cathedral rung, trumpets sounded, and the citizens buckled on their swords to assemble in the hall called La Rive. The same farce was enacted, only with threats on the part of the deputies that if they did not accept the terms indited by the prince-bishop, no man in
Geneva should be in safety of his life ; and with retorts on the part of the Genevese, that they would cast the deputies into the Rhône if they did not take back their letter. It was henceforth decided that the councilgeneral should alone decide upon all matters that concerned the liberties of Geneva.
The cruel execution and gibbeting of Navis and Blanchet, and the insolence of the sealed letter, were in the nature of acts that ruin the cause of those who commit them. If the prince-bishop had only enjoyed spiritual power he would never have attempted such, but by superadding worldly to religious domination, he lost both-a just punishment, D'Aubigné observes, for those who forget the words of our Saviour : “My reign is not of this world.” The struggle between the laity and the clergy was no new thing. In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in France, in Burgundy, and in Flanders, everywhere the prince-bishops and the feudal lords were opposed to the aspiration of the citizens for municipal privileges, or any other form of liberty and independence. Everywhere the cause of the first had triumphed, why should what had happened at Cambray, at Noyon, at Saint Quentin, at Laon, at Amiens, at Soissons, at Sens, at Reims, and at a hundred other places, not also take place at Geneva ? Because times and people were changed, and in the sixteenth century the series of defeats, the culminating point of which has not even yet been arrived at, commenced at Geneva. To use the words of D’Aubigné, borrowed again from antiquity, “ The epicurean hog, who sat upon the episcopal throne, at once cruel and unclean, trampled in the coarsest possible manner upon the most sacred rights, and prepared, without knowing it, for the glorious advent of the Re. formation in Geneva.”
Three hundred citizens had signed a petition for alliance with Switzerland, and Hugues and De la Marc were deputed to convey it to Friburg. The consideration of the alliance was also brought before the councilgeneral. Bat these Huguenots and Mamluks opposed one another with so much violence, that it was impossible to come to a decision. There was a party among the liberals themselves who were also for delay. Berthelier was joined by a new man—de la maison neuve-in urging action and decision. The town thus became divided into two parties. The Huguenots wore a cross on their doublets and a feather in their hats, like the Swiss ; the Mamluks wore a bit of holly, and pointing to it would say, as the Scotch of their thistle, “ Whosoever touches me pricks his fingers.” Street fights became common, and Savoy resolved to take still more decisive steps. The trial of Berthelier was proceeded with. On the 24th of January, 1519, a verdict of "not guilty” was pronounced. Montyon, the first syndic, a zealous Mamluk, but an honest judge, gave the sentence. It was a triumph of liberty and legality that for a moment compromised all the projects of Savoy. The duke resolved, however, not to be thus defeated. "He began by sending a deputation, who denounced the chief citizens as conspirators, and who thus excited the whole body of Huguenots against them. On the 6th of February, 1519, the alliance of Geneva with Friburg was carried at the council-general, to the further confusion of the party of Savoy. There were bonfires, shouts, processions, and banquets, throughout the ancient city. The Mamluks, irritated, began to organise themselves. They were prepared to oppose the triumph of the liberal and the Swiss party by force of arms. They urged the duke to adopt similar measures. The very city that bore the symbol of the two absolute powers on its flag—the key of the popes, and the eagle of the emperors—was proclaiming liberty in the State and liberty in the Church. All Europe began to talk about the Huguenots and the Mamluks as it had once done about the Guelfs and the Gibelins.
The duke, count, and prince-bishop regretted for a moment the excesses to which they had committed themselves. They attempted at first to annul the alliance by intriguing with the Friburgers. But the sturdy Swiss rejected the bribes of a corrupt hierarchy. They then attempted to bribe some of the chiefs of the Huguenots. The Bishop of Maurienne was employed on this disreputable service. It was at that time supposed that every man had his price. Berthelier, who was the first applied to, and who had so long been prepared to lay down his life for the cause of liberty and justice, rejected the bishop's overtures with the contempt they deserved, and the others followed the noble example thus set them.
Charles III. met, however, with greater success in Switzerland. He represented to the Diet that Friburg had acted in this matter without the consent of the cantons, and he obtained that a deputy should be sent to Geneva to exhort the people to desist from their enterprise. The Friburgers, however, held by the alliance, and their deputy arrived at Geneva at the same time as the representative of the Diet. The councilgeneral was once more summoned. The answer given to the Diet was that they were not subjects to the duke, and that they would send a deputy to the cantons to attest that they had done nothing to his prejudice. The alliance was persisted in with loud acclamations, and the deputy of Friburg assured them of the support of Berne.
The duke no longer hesitated, then, to appeal to arms. Only he wished to have it in his power to say that he had a Genevese party, and that he interfered for its sake. To this effect he addressed himself to the Chapter of St. Peter, which represented Catholic interests in the absence of the bishop. The canons who constituted this chapter were, with one exception only, not Genevese. That exception was Navis, a brother of the young man who had been tortured, decapitated, and gibbeted. There were only two liberals among them the Abbot of Bonmont, the rival of the Prince-Bishop of Savoy, and Bonivard, the learned and lettered Prior of Saint Victor. These canons of noble descent were so intoxicated with their importance that they were ready, like the well-known canons of Lyons, to claim the privilege of not being obliged to kneel at the elevation of the “bon Dieu," as the host is popularly called by the adherents of the doctrine of transubstantiation. The fat and jovial canons inclined their heads and bloated faces, one after the other, before the ducal programme. Bonivard alone raised his voice against it. He argued that the chapter had to deal with ecclesiastical and spiritual matters only, and not to concern themselves with temporalities-thus establishing a distinction long agitated, but never yet thoroughly carried out-so great is the influence of the Church in all states. When the decision of the chapter became known, the people assembled on the Place Molard, and resolved to pay a visit to the canons, who, to a man, were held in contempt for the disorderly lives that they led, and to bid them concern themselves with their own affairs, and not with those of the state ; and