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‘Yours is a strange upstart religion,’ said the Bishop.

Roberts told him it was older than his by several hundred years. At this claim of antiquity the prelate was greatly amused, and told Roberts that if he would make out his case, he should speed the better for it.

‘Let me ask thee,’ said Roberts, ‘where thy religion was in Oliver's days, when thy Common-Prayer Book was as little regarded as an old almanac, and your priests, with a few honest exceptions, turned with the tide, and if Oliver had put mass in their mouths would have conformed to it for the sake of their bellies.’

‘What would you have us do?’ asked the Bishop. ‘Would you have had Oliver cut our throats?’

‘No,’ said Roberts; ‘but what sort of religion was that which you were afraid to venture your throats for?’

The Bishop interrupted him to say, that in Oliver's days he had never owned any other religion than his own, although he did not dare to openly maintain it as he then did.

‘Well,’ continued Roberts, ‘if thou didst not think thy religion worth venturing thy throat for then, I desire thee to consider that it is not worth the cutting of other men's throats now for not conforming to it.’

‘You are right,’ responded the frank Bishop. ‘I hope we shall have a care how we cut men's throats.’

The following colloquy throws some light on the

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