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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.


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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
That in winter the corn was growing yet,
'Twas a piteous sight to see all around
The corn lie rotting on the ground.

+ Hodie Bingen.

Every day the starving poor

They crowded around Bishop Hatto's door,
For he had a plentiful last-year's store,
And all the neighbourhood could tell
His granaries were furnished well.

At last Bishop Hatto appointed a day
To quiet the poor without delay,
He bade them to his great Barn repair

And they should have food for the winter there.

Rejoiced the tidings good to hear

The poor folks flocked from far and near,
The great Barn was full as it could hold
Of women and children, and young and old.

Then when he saw it could hold no more
Bishop Hatto he made fast the door,
And whilst for mercy on Christ they call
He set fire to the Barn and burnt them all.

I'faith 'tis an excellent bonfire! quoth he,
And the country is greatly obliged to me,
For ridding it in these times forlorn
Of Rats that only consume the corn.

So then to his palace returned he,
And he sate down to supper merrily,

And he slept that night like an innocent man,
But Bishop Hatto never slept again.

In the morning as he entered the hall
Where his picture hung against the wall,
A sweat like death all over him came,
For the Rats had eaten it out of the frame.

As he look'd there came a man from his farm,
He had a countenance white with alarm,
My Lord, I opened your granaries this morn
And the Rats had eaten all your corn.

Another came running presently,

And he was pale as pale could be,
Fly! my Lord Bishop, fly! quoth he,
Ten thousand Rats are coming this way-
The Lord forgive you for yesterday!

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-
But soon a scream made him arise,

He started, and saw two eyes of flame
On his pillow from whence the screaming came.

He listen'd and look'd ;-it was only the Cat;
But the Bishop he grew more fearful for that,
For she sate screaming, mad with fear
At the Army of Rats that were drawing near.

For they have swum over the river so deep,
And they have climb'd the shores so steep,
And now by thousands up they crawl
To the holes and the windows in the wall.

Down on his knees the Bishop fell,

And faster and faster his beads did he tell,
As louder and louder drawing near

The saw of their teeth without he could hear.

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