The History of the Bohemian Persecution/Chapter 12

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The History of the Bohemian Persecution  (1650)  by Johan Amos Comenius, translated by Anonymous
Chapter 12

CHAP. XII.

The Litomerician Martyrs,

PIchell the chief Magistrate of the City Litomericia a cruell and deceitfull man, having taken four and twenty of the chief Citizens (and among them his son in law) put then in the highest Tower at Michaells gate. At length having taken councell with some Captaines of Sigiſmunds, and guarded with a band of Souldiers he commanded them to bee brought out half dead with hunger and cold, and pronounces a sentence of death against them, and causing some horses to be harnessed, he sets them in carts and brings them to the bankes of Albis to drown them in the river.

2. In the meane time there is a great concourse of people, their Wives, Children, Kinsfolkes, and friends crying and mourning. The Consuls onely daughter comes, wringing her hands and throwes herself down at her fathers feet, beseeehing him to save her husbands life. But her father harder than any rock, commands her to leave weeping, telling her she knew not what she asked. [What saith he, cannot you have a worthier husband than this is] she perceiving by these words that it was impossible to perswade him, riseth. [Oh father saith she, you shall never more espouse me to any.] So beating her breast, and tearing her hair she followeth her husband, with the rest of the people.

3. When the Martyrs were brought to the bankes of Albis, they are taken down from the carts, and while the Ferries are preparing (for there was not then a bridge over Albis as there is now) they with loud voices call heaven & earth to witness their innocency, and take their last farewell of their wives, children and friends, exhorting them in constancy and zeale, and cleave rather to the word of God than mans inventions, and at last pray for their enemies, and commend their soules to God. Then being taken into the boats, and brought into the middle of the river, they are cast in with their hands and feet bound together, and are drowned. Some Officers stood upon the banks with iron forks and poles, watching that none of them might be cast on the banks and saved, and stabbing those that were rouled to the bank, although they were half dead.

4. The Consuls daughter, seeing her husband, leapt into the river, and clasping him about the middle, endeavoured to save him from drowning. But shee being not able to wade, by reason of the depth, nor hee to unlose himselfe, and having swallowed down much water she sank, and was drowned together with her husband. The next day they were taken up embracing one another, and buried both in one grave. This was done 30. day of May in the year 1421.

5. This History was shortly after engraven, in Golden letters, on the Church of All Saints, at Litomericia for an eternall memoriall, and was also to be seen in a table before St. Michaels gate: and now lately (in the year 1623. 8 of July) was raz’d out by the command of George Michna, a Commissioner for Reformation.