Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/51

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Sixteenth Century Book-Fires.

sive from this time forward to the atrocious penalties afterwards associated with the presence of Laud in the Star Chamber. All our histories tell of John Stubbs, of Lincoln's Inn, who, when his right hand had been cut off for a literary work, with his left hand waved his hat from his head and cried, "Long live the Queen!" The punishment was out of all proportion to the offence. Men had a right to feel anxious when Elizabeth seemed on the point of marrying the Catholic Duke of Anjou. They remembered the days of Mary, and feared, with reason, the return of Catholicism. Stubbs gave expression to this fear in a work entitled the Discoverie of a Gaping Gulf whereinto England is like to be swallowed by another French marriage if the Lord forbid not the banes by letting her Majestie see the sin and punishment thereof (1579). Page, the disperser of the book, suffered the same penalty as its author.

The book made a great stir and was widely circulated, much to the vexation of the Queen. On September 27th appeared a very long proclamation calling it "a lewd, seditious book . . . bolstered up with manifest lies, &c.," and commanding it, wherever found, "to be destroyed ( = burnt) in open sight of some