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my hands lucken, and sticking fast to the palms of both hands by reason of the shrunk sinewes, I was unable to lift mine arms to stirre my fingers: much less to avoid the filthy vermin: neither could my legs and feet performe it, being impotent in all. Yet I acknowledge the poore infidell, some few times, and when opportunity served, would steale the keyes from Areta, and about midnight would enter my room, with sticks and burning oyle, and sweeping them together in heapes, would burne the greatest part, to my great release; or doubtlesse I had beene miserable eat up, and devoured by them.
“ And now some eight dayes before Candlemasse, the slave informed me, that an English seminary priest, born in London, and belonging to the Bishops Colledge of Malaga; and a Scotish Cowper named Alexander Ley, borne in Dunbar, and there married, were in translating all my bookes and observations out of English, in the Spanish tongue, bringing every other dayes numbers of wrot papers to the governour, and for their paines had thirty duccats allowed, and that they were saying, I was an arch-hereticke to the pope, and the Virgin Mary.
“ Having re-dounded him concealed thanks, I was assured of their bloody inquisition, preparing my selfe in God, with faith, and patience, to receive and gain-stand it; for my spiritual resolution was surely founded; being sightless of company, and humane faces, I had intirely the light of my soule celebrate to God Almighty.
." And hereupon the second day after Candlemas, the governour, the inquisitor, a canonicall priest, entered my dungeon accompained with two Jesuites, one of which was predicator, and superior of the Tiatinean colledg of Malaga : where being chaire set, candle lighted, and door locked; the inquisitor, after diverse frivolous questions, demanded me if I was a Roman Catholik, and acknowledged the pope's supremacy. To whom I answered, I was neither the one, or did the other. And what power (said I, have you to challenge me of my religion, since it is a chiefe article, of the former concluded peace, that one of our Kings subjects should be troubled by your inquisition; but as you have murdred me for alledged treason, so you meane to martyr me for religion.
“ And you governour, as you have tortured and hunger-starved this helpelesse body, consumed wtth cold and vermine to the last of my life; the Almighty God who revealeth the secrets of all things (although I be never relieved) will certainely discover it to my countrey and to the world. And is this the best of your good deeds you repay to our mercifull king, who then being onely king of Scotland, in the time of your just over-throw of eighty-eight, gave secourse to thousands of your ship-wracked people for many moneths; and in the end caused transport them safely to their desired ports. Leaving to the worlds memory an eternall stampe of Christian bounty, mercy, and royal charitie : and your acquittance to him, is an imputation of treachery to his fleete, detaining and mis-regarding his letters and seales, and now imposing to a tormented innocent, your lawlesse inquisition. ..“ To which the governour answered, all that was true, but it was done more through feare than love, and therefore deserved the lesser thankes ; but (intrim) wee will follow the uttermost of our ends. And the Jesuite predicator to confirme his words, said, there was no faith to bee kept with heretikes, which directly, or indirectly, is the sublime policy of conquerors, which our mighty and innumerable nation evermore taketh notice of and observeth.
“ Then the inquisitor arising, expressed himselfe thus; Behold the powerfull majesty of Gods mother, commander of her Sonne, equall to the Father, wife of the Holy Ghost, Queene of Heaven, protector of angels, and sole gubernatrix of the earth, &c. How thou being first taken as a spye, accused for trechery, and innocently tortured (as we acknowledge we were better informed lately from Madrile of the English intention) yet it was her power, her Divine power, which brought these judgments upon thee, in that thou hast wrote calumniously against her blessed miracles of Loretta; and against his holinesse, the great agent and Christs vicar on earth: therefore thou hast justly falne into our hands by her speciall appointment; thy books and papers are miraculously translated by her speciall providence with my owne countreymen: wherefore thou maist clearely see, the impenetrable mysteries of our glorious lady in punishing her offenders : and for a humble satisfaction, repent thee of thy wickednesse, and be converted to the holy mother church. And after many such like exhortations of all the foure, the inquisitor assigned mee eight daies for my conversion : saying, that he and the Tiatines would twice a day visite mee in that time, intreating me to bee advised againe the next morning, of these doubts and difficulties that withstood my conscience.
“ Then in leaving me, the Jesuite predicator making a crosse upon my crossed brest, said, My sonne, behold you deserve to be burnt quick ; but by the grace of our Lady of Loretto, whom you have blasphemed, we will both save your soule and body : Spewing forth also this fæminine Latine ; Nam mansueta et misericordiosa est Ecclesia, O Ecclesia Romana ! extra quem non est salus : They gone, and I alone all this night, was I instant with my God, imploring his grace to rectify my thoughts, illuminate my understanding, confirme my confidence, beatific my memory, to sanctifie my knowledge, to expell the servile feare of death, and to save my soule from the intangling corruption of any private ends, illusions, or mundane respects whatsoever.
- The next morning, the three Ecclesiastickes returned, and being placed with chaires and candles, the inquisitor made interrogation, of what difficulties, errours, or mis-beleefe I had : to whom ingenuously I answered I had none, neither any difficulty, errour, nor mis-beliefe ; but 'was confident in the promises of Jesus Christ, and assuredly believed his revealed will in the Gospell, professed in the Reformed Catholike church ; which being confirmed by grace, I had the infallible assurance in my soule, of the true Christian faith.
“ To these words hee answered, thou art no Christian, but an absurd hereticke, and without conversion; a member of perdition; whereupon I replyed, Rerereud sir, the nature of charity and religion,
doe not consist in opprobrious speeches ; wherefore if you would convert mee, as you say, convince mee by argument: if not, all your threatnings of fire, death, nor torments, shall make me shrink from the truth of Gods word in sacred Scriptures. Whereupon the mad inquisitor clapped mee on the face with his foote, busing mee with many raylings, and if the Jesuits had not intercepted him, hee had stabbed me with a knife; where, when dismissed, I never saw him more.”
. It appears that the governor had given him up to the Inquisition; and, as the arguments of the priests took no effect upon him, he is condemned to death.
“ But hauing satisfied his bewitching policy with a Christian constancy, they all three left me in a thundering rage; vowing I should that night have the first seal of my long sorrowes: and directing their course to the bishop and Inquisitor (for the governour had wrested the inquisition vpon mee, to free him of his former aspersion layde upon the English fleet, and my tryall therefore, converting it all to matters of religion) the inquisition, I say, sat forth with, where first I was condemned to receiue that night eleuen strangling torments in my dungeon: and then after Easter holidayes, I should be transported priuately to Grenada, and these, about midnight, to be burnt body and bones into ashes, and my ashes to be fung in the ayre: well, that same night, the scriuan, sergeants, and the young English priest entered my melancholy staunce: where the priest in the English tongue vrging me all that he could (though little it was he could doe) and vnpreuailing, I was disburdened of mine irons, vnclothed to my skin, set on my knees and held vp fast with their hands : where, instantly, setting my teeth asunder with iron cadges, they filled my belly full of water, euen gorgeing to my throate : then, with a garter, they bound fast my throat, till the white of mine eye turned vpward ; and being laid on my side, I was by two sergeants tumbled too and fro seuen times through the roome; euen till I was almost strangled: this done, they fastned a small cord about each one of my great toes, and hoysing me therewith to the roofe of a high loft (for the cords runne on two rings of iron fastned above) they cut the garter, and there I hung with my head downward, in my tormented weight, till all the gushing water dissolved: this done, I was let downe from the loft, quite senselesse, lying a long time cold dead among their hands: whereof the governour being informed, came running vp stayres, crying—is he dead? O fie, villans, goe fetch me wine, which they powred in my mouth, regayning thereby a slender sparke of breath,
“ These strangling torments ended, and I reclothed, and fast bolted againe, they left mee lying on the cold floore praysing my God, and singing of a Psalme. The next morning the pittifull Turke visiting mee with bread and water, brought me also secretly, in his shirt-sleeve, two handfulls of rasins and figges, laying 'them on the floore amongst the crawling vermine, for having no use of armes nor hands, I was constrayned by hunger and impotency of time, to licke up one with another with my tongue: this charity of figs the slave did once every weeke or fortnight, or else I had long ere then famished.”
His miserable situation becomes known to the English in Malaga, by an accident, and he is released.
“But now to abbreviat a thousand circumstances of my lamentable sufferings, which this volume may not suffer to contain. By God's great providence, about a fortnight before Easter, anno 1621, there came a Spanish cavaliere, of Grenada, to Malaga, whom the governour, one night, invited to supper, being of old acquaintance; where, after supper, to intertaine discourse, the governour related and disclosed to the stranger, (God working thereby my discovery and deliverance,) all the proceedings and causes of my first apprehending, my confessions, torments, starvings, their mistaking of the English fleete, and, finally, the wresting of the Inquisition upon me, and their condemnatory sentence; seeming also much to lament my misfortunes, and praising my travailes and deserts.
“Now all this while, the gentleman's servant, a Flandrish Fleming, standing at his maister's back, and adhering to all the governour's relations, was astonished, to heare of a sakelesse stranger, to have indured, and to indure such damnable murther and cruelty. Whereupon, the discourse ending, and midnight past, the stranger returned to his lodging; where the Fleming having bedded his master, and himselfe also in another roome, he could not sleepe all that night, and if hee slumbered, still hee thought hee saw a man torturing, and burning in the fire ; which he confessed to Mr. Wilds when morning came.
“Well, he longed for day, and it being come, and bee cloathed, hee quietly left his lodging, inquiring for an English factor, and comming to the house of Mr. Richard Wilds, the chiefe English consull. Hee told him all what hee heard the governour tell his master, but could not tell my name; only master Richard Wilds conjectur'd it was I, because of the others report of a traveller, and of his first and former acquaintance with me there.
“Whereupon the Fleming being dismissed, be straight sent for the other English factors, Mr. Richard Busbitch, Mr. John Corney, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Stanton, Mr. Cooke, Mr. Rowley, and Mr. Wood. son; where advising them, what was best to be done for my reliefe, they sent letters away immediately with all post dilligence, to Sir Walter Aston, his maiesties ambassadour lying at Madrile. Vpon which hee, mediating with the king and counsell of Spaine, obtained a straight warrant to command the governor of Malaga, to deliuer mee ouer in the English hands; which being come, to their great dislike, I was released on Easter Satturday before midnight, and carryed uppon Hazier, the slaues backe, to Master Busbitches house, where I was carefully attended till day light.
“Meanewhile, by great fortune, there being a squader of his maiesties ships lying in the road, Sir Richard Halkins came early ashoare, accompanied with a strong trayne, and receiued mee from the mer
chants : whence I was carryed on men's armes, in a pair of blanquets, to the Vanguard, his maiesties ship. And three dayes thereafter, I was transported to a ship, bound for England, the fleets victualler, named the Good Will, of Harwich, by direction of the General, Sir Robert Maunsell: where being well placed, and charge given by Sir Richard Halkins to the ships master, William Westerdale, for his carefulnes toward the preservation of my life, which then was broght so low and miserable. The aforesaid merchants sent me from shoare, besides the ships victuals, a suite of Spanish apparell, twelue hens, with other poultry, and a barrell of wine, a basket full of egges, two roves of figges and rasins, two hundred oranges and lemmons, eight pounds of sugar, a number of excellent good bread, and two hundred realls in siluer and gold; besides two double pistolls, Sir Richard Halkins sent mee as a token of his loue.”
When Lithgow arrived at Deptford, he was carried upon a bed to Theobalds, where the King resided, and placed in the Privy Gallery, to be seen by the King. James sent him to Bath, at the royal expense, where he stayed twenty-seven weeks, and appears to have recovered his health and strength, excepting in his left arm. Various attempts were made to procure redress from Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador; and one of them was backed so forcibly by violent conduct on the part of Lithgow, that some sort of a challenge passed, and the poor pilgrim was imprisoned again in the Marshalsea, at Southwark, so whence,” he says, “ he returned with more credit, than Gondomar did with honesty to Spain.”
In the reign of Charles, Lithgow brought his case, by a bill of grievances, before the Upper House; but he never appears. to have obtained any satisfactory redress.
END OF VOL. XI.
[The Index to this Volume will appear with the next No.]