Imágenes de páginas

also, had a fire, and dressed my meate. The Greekes visited mee oftentimes, and intreated me, above all things, I should not enter within the bounds of their sanctuary, because I was not of their religion; but, in regard of the longsome and cold nights, was inforced every night to creepe in the midst of the sanctuary to keepe myselfe warme, which sanctuary was nothing but an altar hemb’d in with a partition wall, about my height, dividing the little roome from the body of the chappell.”

After encountering various difficulties, he arrives at Constantinople, and receives one of those welcomes with which he is so familiar.

“ But (by your leave) I had a hard welcome in my landing, forbidding farewell to the Turkes, who had kindly used me three dayes, in our passage from the Castles, the master of the boate saying adio Christiano. There were foure French Runnagates standing on the Cay; who, hearing these words, fell desperatly upon me, blaspheming the name of Jesus, and throwing me to the ground, beate me most cruelly; and if it had not beene for my friendly Turkes, who leaped out of their boat and relieved mee, I had, doubtlesse, there perished. The infidels standing by, said to mee, behold what a Saviour thou hast, when these that were Christians, now turned Mahometans, cannot abide, nor regard the name of God; having left them, with many a shrewd blow, they had left mee. I entered a Greek lodging, where I was kindly received, and much eased of my blows, because they caused to oint them with divers oiles, and refreshed mee also with their best entertainment, gratis, because I had suffered so much for Christ's sake, and would receive no recompence againe. The day following, I went to salute, and doe my duty to the right worshipfull Sir Thomas Glover, then lord ambassadour for our late gracious sovereigne king James, of blessed memory, who most generously and courteously entertained mee three moneths in his house, to whose kindnesses I was infinitely obliged: as hereafter in my following discourse of the fourth part of this history, shall be more particularly avouched; for, certainly, I never met with a more compleat gentleman in all my travels, nor one in whom true worth did more illustrate vertue.”

Leaving Constantinople, after various wanderings, of which a particular narrative is recorded, we find him in Syria. This is one of his adventures in Palestine.

“We hired a Christian guide, named Ioab, and agreed with him to take us to Lidda, which was two dayes journey. But before we advanced to our passage, Toab had sent a privie messenger before us, to warne about three hundred Arabs (who had their abode on the south side of Mount Carmell,) to meete him at such a place as he had appointed; giving them to know, wee were rich and well provided with chickens and sultans of gold, and piasters of silver, and that he should render us into their hands for such a recompence and consi

deration, as their savage judgement should thinke fit; according to the spoyles and booties they should obtaine, together with the miserable murder and losse of our lives. This being done, and unknown to us, we marched along, travelling faster then our ordinary pace, some on horse, and some on foot, for my pilgrimage was ever pedestrial ; which our guide suspecting that by our celerity wee should goe beyond the place appointed for his treacherous plot, began to crosse us grievously; leading us up and downe amongst pools and holes, whither he listed, where many of our camels and asses were lost, and could not be recovered, because wee all began to suspect and feare ; which was the cause that the owners durst not stay to relieve their perished beasts.

“In the end, the captaine and Ianizaries, intreated him earnestly to bring us in the right way; but the more they requested, the more obdurate was his heart, replying, he was mistaken, and could not finde it till day light; upon the which words, the company was stayed; and in the meanwhile, there came a Turke, one of our souldiers, unto the captain, saying ; hee saw the guide, before our departure from Nazareth, send a Moore before him, for what respect hee knew not, being long at private conference. Whereupon, they straight bound him with ropes, on a horseback, threatning him with death, to cause him confesse the truth.

“ In the midst of this tumult, I having got sight of the northstarre, (which seem'd exceeding low to me,) considered thereby, that the villaine had led us more to the southward then to the westward, which was our way to Jerusalem. Whereupon I intreated the caravan to turne our faces northward, otherwise we should be cut off, and that suddenly : for although (said I,) it may peradventure be that we are three or foure miles short of the place intended for our massacre, yet they missing us, will, like ravening wolves, hunt here and there; wherefore, if wee incline to the north, (God willing,) we shall prevent their bloody designes. To the which advice, being duely pondered, they yielded; and so I became their guide, in that darke night, till morning; for none of them knew that starre, neither the nature of it. At last, this desperate wretch, considering that either by our vanquishing, or the enemies victory, hee could not escape, sith his treason was revealed, began to beg pardon of the caravan, saying, that if he could have any surety of his life, he would sufficiently inform us how to eschew the iminent dangers, for we were all in extream perill of our lives ; and not so much courage nor comfort left us, as the very smallest hope of any relief.

The captain being distracted with feare, replied, hee would, and thereupon swore a solemne oath; so did the Ianizaries sweare by the head of Mahomet, for the like effect: Which being done, he was untied, and confessed, that if we had continued in our way he led us, we had been all put to the edge of the sword; and falling downe on his knees, cried, oft with tears, mercy, mercy, mercy.

“ All that night we went with that starre, and, against morning, wee were in the westerne confines of Phoenicia, and at the beginning of Palestine, close by the Marine, and within half a mile of Tyrus."

He traverses the Holy Land, and ultimately joins a caravan which is crossing the desart to Cairo. They encounter dreadful fatigue, and every species of privation.

"Advancing in our course, wee fell down from the hils in a long bottome of sand, above sixe miles in length: Wherein with sore wrestling against the parching sun, and could get no ground to pitch our tents to overshade us, three of our Germans, the two barons, Signior Strouse, and Signior Crushen, with one Signior Thomasio, tumbled downe from their beasts backes starke dead, being suffocated with the vigorous sunne ; for it was in May, choaked also with extream drowth, and the reflection of the burning sand; and, besides, their faire was growne miserable, and their water worse, for they had never been acquainted with the like distresse before, though it was always my vade mecum. Whereupon the caravan staied, and caused cast on their corpes againe, on their owne beasts backes, and carried them to the side of a hard hill; wee digged a hollow pit, and disroabing them of their Turkish cloathes, I did with my owne hands cast them all three, one above an other, in that same hole, and covering the corpes with moulding earth. The souldiers helped mee to role heavy stones about their grave, to the end, that the bloody iackals should not devour their corpes; and to conclude this wofull and sorrowfull accident, the other Germans alive, bestowed on mee their dead friends Turkish garments, because of my love and diligent care I ever did empty shew them; which one of their mules carried for me to Grand Cayro."

[ocr errors]

In Cairo, the remaining Germans die, and make Lithgow their heir.

“ Arriving, at last, in this little world, the great Cairo, and biding farewel to our caravan, the three Germans and I lodged with one Signior Marco Antonio, a consul there for Venice. The other four Frenchmen going to their own consul, a Marsellian born, and there stayed. Here with this Venetian for three days, the Dutchmen and I had great chear, but they farre greater, 'a daily swallowing downe of strong Cyprus wine, without mixture of water; which still I intreated them to forbear, but they would not be requested. The season being cruell hot, and their stomacks surfeited with burning wine, upon the fourth day, long ere noon, the three Dutchmen were all dead; and yet mee thought they had no sicknesse, the red of their faces staying pleasant, their eyes staring always on mine, and their tongues were perfit to the last of their breath.

“ He who dyed last, and lived longest, was William Dilerganck, who left mee all his owne golde, and what the former five had left him; delivering me the keyes of their three cloak bags, before the consul declared, by his mouth, that he left mee absolute heire, to intromet with all and whatsoever they had there. But eftsoons the treacherous consul knowing that I was a stranger to them, and by accident met together at lerusalem, and that they were gentlemen, and well provided with gold, forg'd a reason to himself, and for his owne benefit, that hee would meddle with all they left behind them, under VOL. XI. PART II.

2 B

this excuse, that he would be answerable to their friends for it, at his returne to Venice. Well, I am left to bury them, and, with great difficulty, bought one grave for them all three, in a Copties chappell, where I interred them; paying to the Ægyptian Christians for that eight foot of ground, ten sultans of gold, besides sixe piasters, for carrying their corps hither, being two miles, in the city, distant from the consuls house. Whence, ere I had returned, the Venetian factor seased upon all, and shutting his gate upon my face, sent me out my own budget. Whereupon I addressed myself to the French consul, Monsieur Beauclair, who kindly received me, and having told him all the manner, how I was greatly wronged and oppressed by the other consul, he straight sent for a Jewish phisician, his familiar oracle: where, having consulted together, the next day early we went all three, and their followers, to the Beglerbeg, or governour of the city. Wee soon complained, and were as soone heard. The Venetian consul is sent for, and he cometh : where facing the judge, and pleading both our best, (for there are no lawyers in Turkie, every man speaking for himselfe,) the bassaw, with his counsell, upon sight of the keyes of their cloakbags in my hands and my narration thereupon, and (notwithstanding favouring the factor), immediately determined that I should have the two parts of their moneys, with all their Jerusalem relics, and Turkish clothes, and the Venetian to have the former third part. It is done, and irrevocable; upon which the Jewish doctor, and I, with two Janizaries, came to mine adversaries house ; where I giving the Jew the keyes, the cloak-bags were opened, and the money being told, it came just to 1424 chickeens of gold, besides certain rings and tablets. The Jew delivered me my part, which came to 942 chidkeens, the rest went to the inconscionable consul, the half of the rings and tablets. And packing up all the relicts, moneys, cloths, and cloak-bags, I hired a mule, and brought them along with me to the French factors house. Where, when come, Monsieur Beauclair, and my fellow pilgrimes, were very glad that I had sped so wel, none of us al knowing what was in the cloak-bags till they were viewed ; and giving hearty thanks to the consul, and ten pieces of gold to the Jew and Janizaries, I sup'd, and reposed till the morrow, thanking God of my good fortune. Yet was I exceeding sorrowfull for the losse of these gallant gentlemen, religiously disposed, and so affable, that for familiarity and kindnesse they were the mirrours of noble minds, and vertuous spectacles of humanity; whose deaths were to mee a hell, and whose lives had beene my paradice on earth. To whose memory and prayse I am not able to congratulate the least commendation, their heroicke dispositions, deserved at my hands."

Our limits will not permit us to make a great number of very amusing extracts, which occur in the rest of the volume, in which he continues his travels in almost every part of the habitable globe. We must now turn to the most curious part of the volume, and finish this paper by one long narrative of the most extraordinary sufferings that man ever inflicted or supported. The details are heart-rending: they excite the deepest and most painful interest, and fill us with horror at the pitch of cruelty to which human nature may be degraded by ignorance and bad government. We believe the story to be perfectly unique: many men, we fear, have been placed in similar circumstances, in countries where the Inquisition has established its baneful influence; but no other individual' has survived to publish so minute an account of his sufferings to the world. It is surprisign that this most extraordinary narrative has not been made better known. It bears every mark of truth, as does, indeed, the whole volume.

Lithgow is arrested at Malaga as a spy: he is accused of giving information to the English ships respecting the return of the Plate fleet, and imprisoned in the palace of the Governor.

." The day following, the governour entred my prison alone, intreating mee to confesse I was a spy, and hee would be my friend, and procure my pardon, neither should I lacke (intirim) any needefull thing: but I still attesting my innocency, hee wrathfully swore I should see his face no more, till grievious torments should make me doe it, and leauing mee in a rage, hee observed too well his condition.

“But withall in my audience, he commanded Areta, that none should come neare mee, except the slave, nor no food should be giuen mee, but three ounces of muosted browne bread, every second day, and a fuleto or English pint of water, neither any bed, pillow, or coverlet to be allowed mee: and close up, said he, this window in his roome, with lime and stone, stop the holes of the doore with double matts, hanging another locking to it; and to withdraw all visible and sensible comfort from him, let no tongue nor feete be heard neare him, till I have my designes accomplished : and thou Hazior, I charge thee, at thy incommings to have no conference with him, nor at thy out goings abroad to discover him to the English factors, as thou wilt answer upon thy life, and the highest torments can be devised.

“ These directions delivered, and alas, too accessary to me in the performance; my roome was made a darke-drawn dungeon, my belly the anatomy of mercilesse hunger, my comfortlesse hearing, the receptacle of sounding bells, my eyes wanting light, a loathsome languishing in dispaire, and my ground lying body, the woefull mirrour of misfortunes, every houre wishing anothers comming, every day the night, and every night the morning.

“And now being every second or third day attended with the twinckling of an eye, and my sustenance agreeable to my attendance, my body grew exceeding debile and infirme, insomuch that the governour (after his answers received from Madrile) made hast to put in execution his bloody and mercilesse purpose before Christmas holy dayes, lest the expiring of the twelfth day I should bee utterly famished, and unable to undergoe my tryall, without present perishing, yet unknowne to me, save onely in this knowledg, that I was confined to die a fearefull and unacquainted death: for it is a current

« AnteriorContinuar »