Sample K10 from Glayds H. Barr, The Master of Geneva. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1961. Pp. 152-157. A part of the XML version of the Brown Corpus2,014 words 484 (24.0%) quotesK10

Used by permission of Gladys H. Barr.0010-1750

Glayds H. Barr, The Master of Geneva. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1961. Pp. 152-157.

Header auto-generated for TEI version

That summer the gambling houses were closed , despite the threats of Pierre Ameaux , a gaming-card manufacturer . Dancing was no longer permitted in the streets . The Bordel and other places of prostitution were emptied . The slit breeches had to go . Drunkenness was no longer tolerated . In defiance , a chinless reprobate , Jake Camaret , marched down the aisle in St. Peter's one Sunday morning , followed by one of the women from the Bordel , whose dress and walk plainly showed the lack of any shame . Plunking themselves down on the front bench , they turned to smirk at those around them .

John's first impulse was to denounce their blasphemy . But the thought occurred that God would want this opportunity used to tell them about Him . Calmly he opened the Bible and read of the woman at the well . He finished the worship service as if there had been no brazen attempt to dishonor God and man .

The next morning , as the clock struck nine , he appeared at the Council meeting in the Town Hall and insisted that the couple would have to be punished if the Church was to be respected .

`` I have told you before , and I tell you again '' , Monsieur Favre said rudely . `` Stick to the preaching of the Gospel '' ! !

John stiffened in anger . `` That is the answer the ungodly will always make when the Church points its fingers at their sins . I say to you that the Church will ever decry evil '' ! !

John's reply was like a declaration of war . Monsieur Favre sat down in his high-backed stall , lips compressed , eyes glinting . Ablard Corne , a short man with a rotunda of stomach , rose . Every eye was on him as he began to speak .

`` What Master Calvin says is true . How can we have a good city unless we respect morality '' ? ?

Abel Poupin , a tall man with sunken cheeks and deep-set eyes , got to his feet . `` We all know that Jake Camaret and the woman are brazenly living together . It would be well to show the populace how we deal with adulterers '' .

Philibert Berthelier , the son of the famous patriot , disagreed . `` Do not listen to that Frenchman . He is throttling the liberty my father gave his life to win '' ! !

John was quietly insistent . `` There can be no compromise when souls are in jeopardy '' .

A week later the sentence of the Council was carried out : Jake Camaret and the woman were marched naked through the streets past a mocking populace . Before them stalked the beadle , proclaiming as he went , `` Thus the Council deals with those who break its laws -- adulterers , thieves , murderers , and lewd persons . Let evildoers contemplate their ways , and let every man beware '' ! !

John's thoughts raced painfully into the past as he read the letter he had just received from his sister Mary . Charles had died two weeks before , in early November , without being reconciled to the Church . The canons , in a body , had tried to force him on his deathbed to let them give him the last rites of the Church , but he had died still proclaiming salvation by faith . Burial had taken place at night in the ground at the public crossroads under the gibbet , so that his enemies could not find his body and have it dug up and burned . The Abbot of St. Eloi , Claude De Mommor , had been a good friend , but not even he thought Charles deserved burial in hallowed ground .

John closed his eyes and saw once again the little niche in his mother's bedroom , where she had knelt to tell the good Virgin of her needs . The blue-draped Virgin was still there , but no one knelt before her now . Not even Varnessa ; ; she , too , prayed only to God . For an instant John longed for the sound of the bells of Noyon-la-Sainte , the touch of his mother's hand , the lilt of Charles's voice in the square raftered rooms , his father's bass tones rumbling to the canons , and the sight of the beloved bishop . But he had to follow the light . Unless God expected a man to believe the Holy Scriptures , why had He given them to him ? ?

The white-clad trees stood like specters in the February night . Snow buried the streets and covered the slanting rooftops , as John trudged toward St. Peter's . A carriage crunched by , its dim lights filtering through the gloom . The sharp wind slapped at him and his feet felt like ice as the snow penetrated the holes of his shoes , his only ones , now patched with folded parchment . The city had recently given him a small salary , but it was not enough to supply even necessities .

As he neared the square , a round figure muffled in a long , black cape whisked by . John recognized Ablard Corne and called out a greeting . How grateful he was to such men ! ! There were several on the Council who tried to live like Christians . Despite their efforts , the problems seemed to grow graver all the time . Quickening his steps , John entered the vast church and climbed the tower steps to the bells . Underneath the big one , in the silent moonlight , lay a dead pigeon , and on the smaller bell , the Clemence , two gray and white birds slept huddled together in the cold winter air .

John leaned upon the stone balustrade . He brushed back his black hair , shoving it under his pastor's cap to keep it from blowing in his eyes . Below the moon-splashed world rolled away to insurmountable white peaks ; ; above him the deep blue sky glittered with stars . He stood very still , his arms at his sides , staring up at the heavens , then down at the blinking lights below .

`` How long , my Lord ? ? How long ? ? I have never asked for an easy task , but I am weary of the strife '' .

Sleep was difficult these days . Indigestion plagued him . Severe headaches were frequent . Loneliness tore through him like a physical pain whenever he thought of Peter Robert , Nerien , Nicholas Cop , Martin Bucer , and even the compromising Louis Du Tillet . An occasional traveler from Italy brought news of Peter Robert , who was now distributing his Bible among the Waldensian peasants . Letters came regularly from Nerien , Nicholas , and Martin . He had Anthony and William to confide in and consult . But William continued to find a bitter joy in smashing images and tearing down symbols sacred to the Old Church . John found it difficult , but he held him in check . And Anthony was busy most of the time courting this girl and that . His easy good looks made him a favorite with the ladies .

Geneva , instead of becoming the City of God , as John had dreamed , had in the two years since he had been there , continued to be a godless place where all manner of vice flourished . Refugees poured in , signing the Confession and rules in order to remain , and then disregarding them . Dice rolled , prostitutes plied their trade , thieves stole , murderers stabbed , and the ungodly blasphemed . Catholics who were truly Christians longed for the simple penance of days gone by . Libertines recalled the heroism of the past and demanded : `` Are we going to allow the Protestant Pope , Master Calvin , to curtail our liberty ? ? Why , oh why , doesn't he stick to preaching the Gospel , instead of meddling in civic affairs , politics , economics , and social issues that are no concern of the Church '' ? ? And John's reply was always the same : `` Anything that affects souls is the concern of the Church ! ! We will have righteousness '' ! !

Tears burned behind his eyes as he prayed and meditated tonight . Unless the confusion cleared , he would not be coming here much longer . Monsieur Favre's threat would become a reality , for he continued to proclaim loudly that the city must rid itself of `` that Frenchman '' .

The slow tapping of a cane on the stone steps coming up to the tower interrupted his reverie . Faint at first , the tapping grew until it sounded loud against the wind . Eli Corault ! ! John thought . What is he doing here at this hour ? ? He started down the steps to meet the near-blind preacher , who had been one of the early Gospelers in Paris .

`` John ? ? Is that you ? ? I came to warn you of a plot '' ! !

John stood above him , his face ashen . What now ? ? Slowly , like a man grown old , he took Eli's hand and led him below to the tower study , guiding him to a chair beside the little hearth where a fire still burned .

`` Plot '' ? ? John asked tiredly .

`` Monsieur Favre just paid me a visit . I went to your rooms , and Anthony told me you were here . Two Anabaptists , Caroli and Benoit , are to challenge you and William to a debate before the Council . It is to be a trap . You know the law : if you lose the debate after accepting a challenge , you will be banished '' ! !

`` What will be the subject '' ? ?

`` You are to be accused of Arianism to confuse the religious who remain loyal '' .

Anger and fear fused in John . Ever since the fourth century a controversy had raged over the person of Christ . Those who refused to believe that He was the eternal Son of God were termed Arianists . Peter Caroli had come to Geneva , saying that he had been a bishop of the Church of Rome and had been persecuted in Paris for his Reformed faith . He asked to be appointed a preacher . But Michael Sept had unmasked him , revealing he had never been a bishop , but was an Anabaptist , afraid to state his faith , because he knew John Calvin had written a book against their belief that the soul slept after death . So John had refused to agree to his appointment as a preacher , and now Caroli sought revenge .

John sighed . `` If William agrees , we should insist on a public debate '' , he said at length .

`` There is more to the conspiracy . Bern demands that the Lord's Supper be administered here as it used to be , with unleavened bread . Furthermore , Bern decrees that we must do as we are ordered by the Council , preach only the word of God and stop meddling in politics '' ! !

`` It was always the spirit with Christ ; ; matters such as leavened or unleavened bread are inconsequential . Geneva must remain a sovereign state . We will not yield to the demands of Bern '' ! !

The firelight played over Eli's flowing white locks and rugged features . `` Monsieur Favre indicated that if I would co-operate , after you and William are banished , following the debate , I will be given a place of influence '' .

`` What was your reply to that '' ? ?

`` That I would rather be banished with two such Christians than be made the Chief Syndic '' ! !

The following morning , as John entered the Place Molard on his way to visit a sick refugee , he had a premonition of danger . Then suddenly a group of men and dogs circled him . He wanted to run , but he knew that if he did , he would be lost . He stood very still , his heart thumping wildly . On the outskirts of the rabble the Camaret brothers and Gaspard Favre shook their fists .

`` Are you going to comply with the demands of Bern '' ? ? The chinless Jake called .

`` Arianist '' ! ! A rowdy with a big blob of a nose roared . `` Heretic '' ! !

John lifted his hand for silence . `` Know this : the ministers will not yield to the demands of Bern '' . His voice shook a little .

Somebody heaved a stone . For an instant John was stunned .

When he felt the side of his head , his fingers came away covered with blood . Before he could duck , another stone struck him . And another .

`` Let him be now '' ! ! Pierre Ameaux , the gaming-card manufacturer said , his little pig eyes glaring . `` We have taught him a lesson '' .

The crowd moved back and John started dizzily down the hill . Fists pummeled him as he staggered forward . Then he slipped and went down on his hands and knees in the melting snow . At once a bevy of dogs was snapping and snarling around him . One , more horrible than the rest , lunged , growling deep in his throat , his hair bristling . With great difficulty John clambered to his feet and started to run , sweat pouring down his face .