Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/542

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the first few sheets of the Christianismi Restitutio. By a subsequent mail he sent by the same man about twenty letters, which he had received from time to time from Servetus. On this the latter was arrested, and conveyed to prison on the pretense of being required to see some sick prisoner. He was immediately examined closely as to his early history and the meaning of some of his writings. Taken by surprise, as he was, he appears to have prevaricated, and tried to hide his identity with the author of De Trinitatis Erroribus, by pretending that in his letters with Calvin he had personated Servetus merely for the purpose of discussion. Facts looked very black against him, but he probably had very powerful friends, and it may have been with the connivance of some of them that two days afterward he made his escape from prison. The whole plot was soon ferreted out by Matthew Ory, the Inquisitor; the books were seized, and Servetus was condemned "in a pecuniary mulct of a thousand livres, to be paid to the King of Dauphiny"; and the sentence went on, "as soon as he shall be taken he shall be drawn in a dung-cart, with his books, on the market-day and hour, from the gate of the Royal Palace, through the streets and accustomed places, to the common hall of the present city, and from thence to the place called Charneve, and there he shall be burnt alive, with a slow fire, until his body shall be reduced to ashes. In the mean time the present sentence shall be executed in effigy, with which the said books shall be burnt."

This sentence was duly carried out on June 17, 1553, the effigy and five bales of books being burned to ashes.

Of such action as Calvin's in thus betraying what had been communicated to him in the confidence of a letter, into the hands of a professed enemy of both, Erasmus expresses himself as follows: "You are not ignorant how abhorrent, I do not say from virtue, but entirely from all humanity, it is to betray the secrets of friendship; forasmuch as we detest even those who, after a breach of friendship, shall divulge what was said in confidence before; nor can those of a generous disposition suffer themselves to betray that which they know, from the confidence of ancient friendship, will expose one to the resentment of his greatest enemies."

Having escaped from Vienne, Servetus probably remained in hiding first at Lyons. But the discovery of the whole matter, and his subsequent condemnation, made it imperative that he should get out of France. Many Spaniards were settled at Naples, and thither he now seems to have determined to push his way. For some reason or other, probably because he expected more leniency from Reformers than from Catholics, he preferred to go through Switzerland rather than Piedmont. He reached Geneva, and