The Legend of Ulenspiegel by Charles de Coster Book I Chapter 34

At this time the inquisitors and theologians for the second time made representation to the Emperor Charles:

That the Church was going to ruin; that its authority was contemned; that if he had won so many glorious victories, he owed it to the prayers of Catholicism, which upheld the imperial power on its high throne.

A Spanish Archbishop asked him to have six thousand heads cut off or the same number of bodies burned, in order to root the malignant Lutheran heresy out of the Low Countries. His Sacred Majesty deemed this insufficient.

And so, everywhere the terrified Ulenspiegel went he saw nothing but heads on stakes, girls thrust into sacks and cast alive into the river; men stretched naked on the wheel and beaten with great blows of iron bars, women laid in shallow graves, with earth over them, and the executioner dancing on their breast to break it in. But the confessors of all, men and women, that had first repented, were richer by twelve sols a time.

He saw at Louvain the executioners burn thirty Lutherans at once, and light the pile with gunpowder. At Limburg he saw a family, men and women, daughters and sons-in-law, walk to the scaffold singing psalms. The man, who was old, cried out while he was a-burning.

And Ulenspiegel, full of fear and grief, journeyed on over the poor earth.