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GOD's Judgment on a BISHOP.
Here followeth the History of HATTO, Archbishop of Mentz.
It hapned in the year 914, that there was an exceeding great famine in Germany, at what time Otho surnamed the Great was Emperor, and one Hatto once Abbot of Fulda was Archbishop of Mentz, of the Bishops after Crescens and Crescentius the two and thirtieth, of the Archbishops after St. Bonifacius the thirteenth. This Hatto in the time of this great famine afore-mentioned, when he saw the poor people of the country exceedingly oppressed with famine, assembled a great company of them together into a Barne, and like a most accursed and mercilesse caitiffe burnt up those poor innocent souls, that were so far from doubting any such matter, that they rather hoped to receive some comfort and relief at his hands. The reason that moved the prelat to commit that execrable impiety, was because he thought the famine would the sooner cease, if those unprofitable beggars that consumed more bread than they were worthy to eat, were dispatched out of the world. For he said that those poor folks were like to Mice, that were good for nothing but to devour corne. But God Almighty the just avenger of the poor folks Quarrel, did not long suffer this hainous Tyranny, this most detestable fact, unpunished. For he mustered up an Army of Mice against the Archbishop, and sent them to persecute him as his furious Alastors, so that they afflicted him both day and
* Alastor, a Coryatism. Aλaswg. Dæmon acerbus qui perpetravit non oblivescenda.
night, and would not suffer him to take his rest in any place. Whereupon the Prelate thinking that he should be secure from the injury of Mice if he were in a certain tower, that standeth in the Rhine near to the towne, betook himself unto the said tower as to a safe refuge and san&uary from his enemies, and locked himself in. But the innumerable troupes of Mice chaced him continually very eagerly, and swumme unto him upon the top of the water to exesute the just judgment of God, and so at last he was most miserably devoured by those sillie creatures; who pursued him with such bitter hostility, that it is recorded they scraped and gnawed out his very name from the walls and tapistry wherein it was written, after they had so cruelly devoured his body. Wherefore the tower wherein he was eaten up by the Mice is shewn to this day, for a perpetual monument to all succeeding ages of the barbarous and inhuman tyranny of this impious Prelate, being situate in a little green Island in the midst of the Rhine near to the towne of †Bing, and is commonly called in the German Tongue, the MOWSE-TURN. Coryat's Crud. P. 571, 572.
Other Authors who record this tale say that the Bishop was eaten by Rats.
The summer and autumn had been so wet
+ Hodie Bingen.
Every day the starving poor
They crowded around Bishop Hatto's door,
At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day
And they should have food for the winter there.
Rejoiced the tidings good to hear
The poor folks flocked from far and near,
Then when he saw it could hold no more
I'faith 'tis an excellent bonfire! quoth he,
So then to his palace returned he,
And he slept that night like an innocent man,
In the morning as he entered the hall
As he look'd there came a man from his farm,
Another came running presently,
And he was pale as pale could be,
I'll go to my Tower in the Rhine, replied he, 'Tis the safest place in Germany,
The walls are high and the shores are steep And the tide is strong and the water deep.
Bishop Hatto fearfully hastened away
And he crost the Rhine without delay,
And reach'd his Tower in the Island and barr'd All the gates secure and hard.
He laid him down and closed his eyes-
He started, and saw two eyes of flame
He listen'd and look'd ;-it was only the Cat;
For they have swum over the river so deep,
Down on his knees the Bishop fell,
And faster and faster his beads did he tell,
The saw of their teeth without he could hear.