The History of the Bohemian Persecution/Chapter 3

CHAP. III.

The Martyrdome of Wenceslaus, Podivinius, and others.

1.  BUt Wenceslaus was evilly requited for his pitty to his impious mother, for she desiring to subject all Bohemia to Boleslaus, who imitated her superstition and manners; began to defame Wenceslaus, and to stir up hatred against him as if he were unfit to execute the offices of a Prince, which ought to bee performed, not by sacred things and ceremonies; but by arms and fighting; at length when she perceived that he was confirmed, and his name began to be glorious, she did not only agitate wicked counsels concerning the taking of him away, but whispered them to his Brother.

2. There happened an occasion suitable to her desire Bolislaus the infant being born, to whose Baptisme she honourably invites Wenceslaus to come to Bolislavia; he going thither, was entertained by his mother and brother with kind imbracements & kisses, & with a delicate feast, which was held til late of the night, Wenceslaus when he suspected all things for a resting place, went to the Church, and there decreed to spend the night in sighs and praiers.

3. Whilest he was thus busied, his brother Bolislaus invades him, being excited by his more vigilant mother, to that wickednesse: at first he lost his blow; in regard his sword by a sudden amazement, fell out of his hand, but those who were hired as coadjuters in this wickednesse, inflamed him with new rage and fury, so he repeats his stroak and easily kills his disarmed brother who patiently receives his wound. This was done in the year 929, the 28 of September, which was afterward consecrated to the memory of St. Wenceslaus.

4. Bolislaus when he had thus attained the Government by his boldnesse and impiety, threatned prisonment and death to all Christians and Clergy, who did not depart from Bohemia, his mother added that the slain should not be buried, but left as food for dogges and birds; this edict terrified many, and caused their flight, many were seized upon and tormented divers ways to death, amongst the chief Podivinius who was of the Bed-chamber of Wenceslaus, that was most dear and intimate with him, was hanged.

5. But when the revenging eye of God, could not longer bear the deaths, and Martyrdomes, the Banishment and crosses of his own, he declared a dreadfult example of his wrath upon Drahomira; for on that place where the Ministers bones lay unburied, the earth opened of it self and devoured Drahomira alive, with the Chariot and those that were carried in it, which place is now to be seen before the Castle of Prague.

6. And those were punished from heayvn, who drew their swords and were helpers in that massacre, some of them losing their reason in their rage, & madnesse, cast themselvs headlong from high places, others destroyed themselves with the same swords wherewith they had murthered the innocent; furthermore, that part of the Church neer which Wenceslaus was killed; could never be washed from that bloud wherewith it was then sprinkled, as an eternal witnes of that villany; these various prodigies did so affright Bolislaus, that he dealt more mildly with the Christians.

7. And though sar came upon him to revenge his Fratricide and Tyranny,and so straightly besieged Bolislaus, that hee was compelled to recall the banished Christians, to restore the Churches, to expiate all his former wickednesse, and to promise that his children should be instructed in Christianity, Religion did flourish better, Heathenisme vanishing (though not quite extinct) when godly Bolislaus his ſon succeeded him.