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Page:Man Who Laughs (Estes and Lauriat 1869) v1.djvu/241

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LORD CLANCHARLIE.

said "No," was finally despatched. "I hanged him four times," said Kirke, complacently. The renewal of executions is a sure sign of power in the executive authority. Lady Lisle, who, though she had sent her son to fight against Monmouth, had concealed two rebels in her house, was executed; another rebel, having been honourable enough to declare that an anabaptist female had given him shelter, was pardoned, and the woman was burned alive. Kirke, on another occasion, gave a town to understand that he knew its principles to be republican, by hanging nineteen burgesses.

These reprisals were certainly legitimate, for it must be remembered that under Cromwell they cut off the noses and ears of the stone saints in the churches. James II., who had had the good sense to choose Jefferies and Kirke, was a prince imbued with true religion; he practised mortification in the ugliness of his mistresses; he listened to le Père la Colombière, a preacher almost as unctuous as le Père Cheminais, but with more fire, who had the glory of being, during the first part of his life, the counsellor of James II., and during the latter part the ideal of Marie Alacoque. It was probably due to this strong religious nourishment that later on James II. was enabled to bear exile with dignity, and to exhibit, in his retirement at Saint Germain, the spectacle of a king rising superior to adversity, calmly touching for king's evil, and conversing with Jesuits.

It will be readily understood that such a king would trouble himself to a considerable extent about such a rebel as Lord Linnæus Clancharlie. Hereditary peerages have a certain hold on the future, and it was evident that if any precautions were necessary with regard to that lord, James II. was not the man to hesitate.