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soon mar all. But what, if book-proof concur with painting and carving, may we not then, without fear of marring all, give credit to painters and carvers? Your · Bellarmine is of opinion, that there can be no error in substance, as long as, besides book-proof, there be monuments of stone, or of brass, for the proof of any ancient report. And, if he speak the words of truth, the truth is with us; for, besides monuments of stone, we have the testimonies of many writers.
Pap. But not so many as you brag of, I believe; and, besides, those you have are but paltry writers.
Prot. That shall be seen by a more particular view of them : Wherefore, first, what say you to Charanza, the last of them whom I namned, who was a divinity-reader among you, and, afterwards ", Archbishop of Toledo in Spain? Was he a paltry writer? or, Hath he not this story, in your opinion?
Pap. I think he hath it not. For + Florimondus names Charanza among them, who disproved the story of Pope Joan, before he himself fell to disprove it.
Prot. Doth he so? Doubtless then, he belyes Charanza; for this is all that • Charanza writes of that argument: Johannes viii, Papa 105 sub Petro, sedit An. 2. mens. 1. dies 4. De hoc ferunt, quod malis artibus pontificatum adeptus est, quoniam, cum esset fæmina, sexum mentitus est; 8postea a servo compressa, doloribus circumventa, mortua est. Which, in English, is thus: John the Eighth, the one hundred and fifth Pope from St. Peter, sat two years, one month, and four days. They report of this person, that he got the papacy by evil means, because he feigned himself to be a man, whereas, in truth, he was a woman; who, being afterwards begot with child by one of her servants, fell in travel and died thereon; and this is not disproving of it, is it trow you?
Pap. No verily, if he say no more of it; but perhaps he saith more, and you
conceal it from me. Prop. Not a word, I warrant you, in way of disproving it: Wherefore let us go on, and observe who, and what manner of men, the rest are, who bear witness with us in this case. What say you to Krantius? Hath he not this story? or, Is he but a paltry writer?
Pap. Krantius is commended by © Pontanus, for a famous historiographer. And, seeing he wrote before Luther's days, there is no reason, as ? Bellarmine notes upon another occasion, that he should be suspected to write any thing for love or hatred. But hath he this story?
Prot. Yea; 8 for these are his own words : ‘Johannes Anglicus, ex Moguntia mulier, mentita sexum, quum acutissimo ingenio & promptissima lingua doctissimè loqueretur, adeo in se convertit omnium animos, ut pontificatum adipisceretur, uno famulo sexum ejus cognoscente, a quo compressa prægnans efficitur;, & fertur peperisse apud Colosseum, An. 2. necdum expleto, in partu moritur: Which, in
1 Lib. II. de Rom. Pont. Cap. xi.
2 Si hujus commenti authores spectes, nihil illis vilius. Florim. cap. xxxi, nu. i.
3 Possevinus Apparat. sacro, verbo, Barth. Charanza. 4 Cap. xxxi, num. vi.
5 In Sum. Conc. p. 370. Edit. Paris. 1561. 6 Chronograph. lib. ii.
.7 Krantius, homo Germanus, & qui ante Lutheranus contentiones scripsit. proinde nec odio nec amore ducebatur lib. ii, de Effectu Sacram. cap. ix. 8 Metrop. ib. ii. edit. Colon. 1574, & Francofurt. 1590. VOL. IV.
cffect, sounds thus: John English, a woman of Mentz, dissembled her sex, and being of a quick wit and glib tongue, and one that could speak very scholar-like, sbe so won the hearts of all men, that she got the papacy, no man knowing any other, but that she was a man, save one of her servants, who afterwards got her with child. They say she was delivered near the Colosses, before she had sitten full two years. Thus Krantius.
Pap. And hath Mantuan the same, whom you cited next before Krantius?
Prot. Yea, Mantuan, who is commended by 'Trithemius for a grcat divine, an excellent philosopher, and a famous poet, the only man in all Italy in his time : Mantuan, at whom the people pointed, as he went in the streets, and said, This is he; which was wont to he held a matter of extraordinary credit. Mantuan, of whom Picus Mirandula, Pontanus, Beroaldus, Baronius, Possevin, and divers others?, give honourable testimony. This Mantuan hath this story; for, falling to describe hell, and what manner of persons were in hell:
• Hic, * saith he, pendebat adhuc sexum mentita virilem
Femina, cui triplici Phrygiam diademate mitram • Extollebat apex, & Pontificalis adulter.
Which in effect sounds thus much: Here hanged the woman who went like a man, and came to the popedom. And here hanged he, that committed adultery with her.
Pap. You say right; for I remember now that Florimondus confesseth the tale is in Mantuan. But Mantuan deserves no credit in this; for he writes worse of her than ever any did before him; and feigns®, very ridiculously, that her horsekeeper, who got her with child, and she were both hanged together.
Prot. Mantuan talks of no horsekeeper of her's, but in general of one, who committed adultery with her; nor of any hanging, save of their hanging in hell, which is likely enough to be true. Your Florimondus can lay his finger upon nothing, but he grimes it. He can comment upon no man's words, but he wrests them. There is not a word in Mantuan more, concerning her, than that which is comprehended in the three verses cited.
Pap. At better leisure, I will examine your words more narrowly. Prot. Is not this plain?
Pap. What is there in the Epistle of the Universities of Oxford, Paris, and Prague, which makes for you?
Prot. In that Epistle set out by Huldericus Hutten, Anno 1520, we read thus : “ Joh. successor Leonis IV, cæpit circa An. Dom. 854, & sedit an. 2. & mens. 5. fæmina fuit, & in papatu impregnata.' John, who succeeded Leo IV, was chosen Pope about the year 854. She was a woman, and got with child in her papacy. Is not this plain? Pap. Yes, but what find you in Ravisius Textor?
1 De Script. Ecclesiasticis, verbo, Baptista Mantuanus.
2 Philip. Beroaldus, Hieron. Carmelita, ad initium Tom. ii. Operum Mantuani.
3 Possevin, in Apparat. sacro, tom. i. verbo, Baptista. 4 Tom. iii. lib. iii. Alpho fol. 44. ed Francof. 1573. 5 Cap. 22. num. 3.
6 Stabuli pontificii præfectum cum illa, laqueo in colluin inserto suspensum, commentatur Florim. ibid. & cap. 23. num.6.
Scitum est ex Chronicis, & á majoribus scriptum (saith" Ravisius Textor) Johannem Anglicum ab Ephebis sexum virilem simulasse, & tandem fato nescio quo, aut fortuna certè volente, ad Pontificatum pervenisse, in quo annos circiter duos sederit, post Leonem IV, neque prius innotuerit facti veritas, quám, á quodam ex domesticis impregnata, tandem emiserit partum. That is, It is a thing well known by the Chronicles, and written by our ancestors, that John English, from her youth up, carried herself as though she had been a man, and at length, by I know not what 'destiny, certainly by very great luck, she became Pope, and sat about two years, after Leo the Fourth, and nobody knew her cousenage, till she was with child by one of her menial servants, and delivered thereof.
Pap. What find you in Fulgosus ?
Prot. Marry I find in 2 Fulgosus, ' who was a noble and learned man, and sometimes Duke of Genoa, that John the Eighth was found out to be a woman.
Pap. And what in Laziardus ? Prot. “Johannes Anglicus in Cathedra Petri sedit Annis duobus, Mensibus septem, Diebus quatuor, saith o Laziardus. Hic, ut fertur, Fæmina fuit, &c.' That is, John English sat in St. Peter's chair two years, seven months, and four days. This, as the report goeth, was a woman, &c.
Pap. And who was the next you cited before this ? Prot. Hartmanuus Schedel, a doctor of physick, yet not ignorant of holy scriptures, a very witty and well spoken man, as - Trithemius witnesseth.
Pap. Oh! Schedel, I confess, reports this. But he reports it so coldly, so fearfully, so faintly, that a man may well see he doubted of it. For he confesseth, that he knew not whether it was so or no; and therefore fathers it upon one Martin, I know not whom. Prot. Fie, that you should say so.
Doth he not use the very words without change, which Platina useth in relating the same, whereof we shall have occasion to speak 'ere we part? And against which you can take no exceptions. And doth he not (to imprint the matter deeper into the reader's memory) set her picture down with a child in her arms?
Pap. Yes indeed I cannot deny that. But, to be plain with you, I care not what he saith of it. For, as Florimondus noteth, he was one of the stinking brood of the Hussites, and lived in Nurenberg, what time Nurenburg was infected with Husse's heresy. And therefore, no marvel, if, to curry favour with them, he touched by the way the supposed popedom of Joan the woman.
1 In Officina Tit. Mulieres virilem habitum mentitæ, 2 De Dict. Factisque memorabi. libus, lib. viii. cap. 3. Tit. de Fæminis quæ doctrina excel,
3 So saith Allen, cap. 5. of his Defence of the Seminaries; and Possevin. Apparat, sacr. verbo, Baptista Fulgosus. 4 Epitom. Histor, universalis, cap. 3.
5 Lib. de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis. 6 In Chron, Ætatum Mundi Ætate 6.
7 Schedel. de hac Johanna Verba facit, sed ita jejune, ita exiliter, ita incerte, ut de ea re dubitasse videatur. Florim. lib. cit. cap. 4. Num. 3. 8 Loco citato.
9 Ex impura Hussitarum Familia, &c.
Prot. See how you lavish. This Hartmannus Schedel, born in Nurenberg, was student in Padua, where he was created doctor of physick by the great Mathiolus. And he was so far from Husse's mind, that in the same ? book he hath one whole chapter intituled, De Hæresi Hussitarum, & ejus Origine. That is, Of Husse's Heresy, and of the Original thereof. Wherein he follows Æneas Silvius step by step •, who speaks spitefully and bitterly against Husse and all bis followers. It seems Florimondus, of whom you learned this, is one of some stinking brood of lyars.
Pap. Well, who is next?
Prot. Jacobus Bergomensis, a man well seen in scripture, and an excellent humanist, witty, eloquent, of good conversation, and a most famous historiographer, as Trithemius reports of him. This Jacobus , Bergomensis, I say, writes thus of this point: 5 • Johannes vii. Papa, Natione Anglicus, post Leonem Pontificem Pontifex factus, sedit Ann. 2. mens. 5. Hunc tradunt fuisse fæminam, quæ adolescens admodum, ex Anglia, Athenas cum quodam doctissimo Amasio suo profecta, ibidem, bonarum artium præceptores audiendo, tantum profecit, ut., Romam veniens paucos admodum etiam in sacris literis haberet pares. Ea quippe legendo, disputando, docendo, orando, tantam benevolentiam & gratiam sibi comparavit, ut, mortuo Leone prædicto Pontifice, in ejusdem locum, ut multi affirmant, omnium consensu Pontifex crearetur: Verùm postea, à familiari compressa, gravidatur, & Papa. existens peperit. Nam ex Vaticano, ad Lateranensem Basilicam aliquando ad Litanias profecta, inter Colosseum & S. Clementem, præter spem doloribus circumventa, sine obstetrice. aliqua publicè peperit, &, eo loci mortua ibidem, sine ullo honore cum fætu misera sepulta est. Ad cujus detestandum spurcitiem, & nominis continuandum memoriam, in hodiernum usque summi Pontificis rogationem cum populo & clero sacram agentes, cum locum partus, medio ejus in itinere positum, abominentur, co omisso, declinant ad diverticula vicosque; & sic, loco detestabili postergato, reintsantes iter perficiunt quod cæperunt.
Et ad evitandos similes errores statutum fuit, ne quis de cætero in B. Petri collocaretur sede, priusquam per perforatam sedem futuri pontificis genitalia ab ultimo Diacono Cardinale attrectarentur.' That is, John the Seventh, by country English, was created Pope next after Leo, and sat two years and five months. They say his was a woman, and that she went very young out of England to Athens, with a certain great clerk, who was in love with her; and that there, by hearing of good professors, she profited so much, that, when she came to Rome, she had few like her in divinity. Whereupon, by her reading, disputing, teaching, and praying, she got herself so much favour, that, upon Leo's death, she was chosen Pope into his room (as' many men say) by common consent. But see the luck of it; a while after she was got with child by one of her acquaintance, and delivered thereof in the time of her papacy. For, going upon a time from the Vatican to St. John Lateran's in procession, between the Colosses and
1 Ego Hartmannus Schedel. Doctor Patavinus, &c. circa An. 1440. fol. 252. b.
2 Circa An, 1410. fol. 238, a. 3 Historia Bohemica, cap. 35. 4 Lib. de Ecclesiasticis Scriptoribus. 5 Supplement. Chron. Lib. xi, ad An. 351, impres. Venetiis Anu, 1486.
St. Clement's, 'ere ever she was aware, she fell in travel, and was delivered in the high street, without the help of any midwife. But she died presently, and was buried without any solemnity in the same place, with her little one by her. Now, in batred of her filthy dealing, and for continuing of the memory of so lewd a part, the popes to this day, when they go in procession, in respect of their dislike of that place of her travel, which was in the midst of her way, forsaking it, do turn into by-lanes and by streets, till they have left that on their backs; and then, returning into the same street again, they go forward with their procession. And, for avoiding of like mischief in time to come, it was decreed that none should be consecrated pope, before the youngest cardinal deacon had tried by touching, whilst the party to be consecrated sat on a close-stool, that he was a
Thus Bergomensis. Pap. Is not this he that wrote Supplementum Chronicorum, in the
year 1503 ?
Prot. No, but this is he who wrote Supplementum Chronicorum, in the year 1486, as · Trithemius witnesseth, and the book itself convinceth. Your ? Florimondus was deceived, who, seeing (perhaps) that it was printed in the year 1503, thought it was written in the year 1503.
Pap. That error is not so great, though an error. But. if it be he that I mean, I say with : Florimondus, that his reporting of it is an argument of his ignorance, and so let him go.
Prot. So you may cast off all the rest, if you be disposed, and make short work of our conference, for you may say of every one : His reporting of it is an argument of his ignorance. When - Volaterran, an historiographer of good note, shall be brought in, saying, Johannes vii. Anglicus, quem dissimulato Viri Habitu dicunt Feminam alioquin doctissimam fuisse, deprehensamque, in Via apud S. Clementem, quando peperit ; that is, John English, the seventh of that name, who (as they say) carried himself like a man, whenas, indeed, she was a notable well learned woman; and discovered so to be by her delivery of a child in the way near to St. Clements: You may reply, Volaterran's reporting of it is an argument of his ignorance.
Pap. And what if I did so ? Yet you shall know anon, that I have a better answer to him, and to the rest. But mean while go on, and tell me what Trithemius saith to the matter.
Prot. Trithemius 5 Abbot: of St. Martin's monastery in Spanheim, a reverend and an exceeding great learned man, writes 6 thus: Sancto Leone papa mortuo, eodem Anno, Johannes Anglicus successit 2 Annis, & mensibus 5, quem ferunt quidam Fæminam extitisse, & uni soli familiari cognitam, & ab eo compressam, peperisse in strata publica.. Et ob id eum nonnulli inter pontifices ponere: noluerunt, quasi indignum facinus abhorrentes. That is, In the same year that Pope Leo died, John English succeeded for two years and five months. Now some' say she was a woman, and that she was known so to be
.1 Lib. de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis.
? Lib. citato page 37.
3 Ibid, 4 Anthropologia, lib. xxii. page 503. edit. Basil An. 1559. 5 Reverendus & undecunque doctissimus Vir, Paulus Langius in Chron. Citizense ad An, 1515. 6 In Chron. Monasterii Hirsaugiensis.