Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/148

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Books Condemned to be Burnt.

peace of the kingdom, to bring the King into the greatest hatred and contempt, and for printing and publishing, by force of arms, a scandalous libel against the King and the Prayer-Book. Of course it was extravagantly absurd, but these indictments were the legal forms under which the luckless Dissenters experienced sufferings that were to them the sternest realities. Delaune was, in consequence, fined a sum he could not possibly pay; his books (for he also wrote The Image of the Beast, wherein he showed, in three parallel columns, the far greater resemblance of the Catholic rites to those of Pagan Rome than to those of the New Testament) were condemned to be burnt; and his judges, humane enough to let him off the pillory in consideration of his education, sent him back to Newgate notwithstanding it. There, in that noisome atmosphere and in that foul company, he was obliged to shelter his wife and two small children; and there, after fifteen months, he died, having first seen all he loved on earth pine and die before him. And he was only one of eight thousand other Protestant Dissenters who died in prison during the merry, miserable reign of Charles II.! Of a truth. Dissent has something to forgive the Church; for