Several hours passed away. The multitude, which had waited long and began to feel hunger and thirst, lost patience; a deluge of rain suddenly fell upon the city, and descended in torrents from the roofs of the houses; all present were drenched. The piles were so wet that they could no longer be lighted; and the crowd, disappointed of a miracle so impatiently looked for, separated, with the notion of having been unworthily trifled with. Savonarola lost all his credit; he was henceforth rather looked on as an impostor.
Next day his convent was besieged by the Arabbiati, eager to profit by the inconstancy of the multitude; he was arrested with his two friends, Domenico Buonvicino and Silvestro Marruffi, and led to prison. The Piagnoni, his partisans, were exposed to every outrage from the populace; two of them were killed, their rivals and old enemies exciting the general ferment for their destruction. Even in the seigniory the majority was against them, and yielded to the pressing demands of the Pope. The three imprisoned monks were subjected to a criminal prosecution.
Alexander VI despatched judges from Rome with orders to condemn the accused to death. Conformably with the laws of the Church, the trial opened with the torture. Savonarola was too weak and nervous to support it; he vowed in his agony all that was imputed to him, and, with his two disciples, was condemned to death. The three monks were burned alive, May 23, 1498, in the same square where, six weeks before, a pile had been raised to prepare them a triumph.
Newfoundland prides herself on being the oldest colony of the English crown. By virtue of John Cabot’s discovery, in A.D. 1497, she also claims the honor of being the first portion of the New-World continent to be discovered and made known by Europeans. This was fourteen months before Columbus, on his third expedition, beheld the American mainland.
At the close of the fifteenth century, the impelling motive of discovery among the Old-World nations, and their adventurous mariners, was the hope of finding a short western passage to the riches of the East Indies. This was the chief lure of the period, added to the ambition of Old-World monarchs to extend their territorial possessions and bring them within the embrace of their individual flags. Henry VII of England aided the Cabots, father and son, to fit out two expeditions from Bristol to explore the coasts of the New World and extend the search for hitherto unknown countries. The result of these enterprises was the discovery of Newfoundland and Labrador as well as other lands, and England’s claim to the possession of the greater portion of the North American continent.