In Furthest Ind

The Narrative of Mr Edward Carlyon of Ellswether, in the County of Northampton, and late of the Honourable East India Company’s Service, Gentleman; and comprising his most marvellous Escape from the Hands of the Inquisition (falsely called Holy) at Goa, and his Journey to the Court of the Great Mogul, likewise the true Relation of his Dealings with the Lord Marquis of Tourvel, and with Madam Heliodora his Daughter (concerning which grievous Calumnies have of late been forged by certain unfriendly Persons), together with divers curious Observations on the Manners of the Indians, and on the Situation of his Majesty’s Subjects at present resident among them. Wrote by his own hand in the year of grace 1697.

To Him That Reads

I, Edward Carl yon of Ellswether, Esquire, being of sound mind and body (for the which I thank God), do take up my pen on this fourth day of November, sixteen hundred and ninety-seven, to record the history of my life, being moved thereto by divers considerations.

Imprimis. I would desire to protect my children from such tribulation as hath been brought lately upon myself and my dear wife, through the evil offices of an enemy, from which we were hardly delivered by the great kindness of my honoured and esteemed friend, Mr Robert Martin, lately Accountant of Surat in East India.

Item. I would do all that lies in my power to lighten the griefs of an illustrious lady, whose trials, no less than the fortitude with which she hath endured them, would seem to a man of honour to have earned her exemption from cowardly attempts.

Item. During my sojourn in the Indies, I met several marvellous adventures, and had the felicity to enjoy the discourse of many ingenious persons, the recounting whereof may serve both for the instructing and the diverting those that shall come after me. By the advice, therefore, of my aforesaid friend, Mr Robert Martin, I am resolved, God helping me, on composing, from such notes and letters as I have preserved, a book of my life.

Chapter I

Of My Descent and Parentage, and of My Sending to the Indies

It will be convenient for me, before relating my history, to give some account of my birth and parentage, and this I will proceed to do. Our branch of the family of Carlyon, though not of the most illustrious, is at least respectable in its antiquity, having been settled at Ellswether (which at one time belonged to a branch of the noble family of De Lovetot) for the space of four hundred years, ever since the esquire Simon Carlyon wedded Dame Elianora, daughter and heiress to Sir Walter de Lovetot. My honoured father was the fourth and youngest son of Roger Carlyon, Esquire, and Margery Colepepper his wife. Being but a younger son, he quitted his home early, and adventured himself in the wars in foreign parts, together with his cousin, my Lord Brandon. Under the banner of this nobleman my father showed great valour and skill in arms, both in Bohemia and also in the Palatinate, so that his assistance was much sought after by many princes and captains of those parts. But on hearing of the troubles in England, my father accompanied his kinsman to Oxford, to the intent to place their swords at the disposition of his majesty. It was when on this visit that my father first saw my mother, that was then Mrs Margaret Brodie, daughter to Sir Nicholas Brodie of Binnington in the county of Durham, and Anne Delamere his wife. In her youth my mother was bred up with a young lady of quality, Mrs Hyacinth Penfold, that was sister’s daughter to my lord Duke of London, and dwelt at his grace’s castle of Belfort in this county. Now when my lady duchess (that was as truly honest a lady in her opinions as ever lived, though his grace her husband was but a trimmer) came to pay her devoirs to the king and queen at Oxford, she carried with her the two young gentlewomen aforesaid, and they were to her as her own daughters.

My Lord Brandon, then, was presented to Mrs Penfold as a match she should do well to accept, though he was well advanced in years, and little beautified by the chances of war, and my father cast his eyes upon the gentlewoman that bare this lady company. And Mrs Brodie, hearing of his feats of arms in the wars of Germany, and finding his person not disagreeable to her, was not loath to look kindly upon her servant.1 He then, discovering in her not only great beauty of countenance, but also a sweet civility of manner and marvellous parts of mind, did ask her hand of my lady duchess. Who did grant him, with many kind words, the boon he craved; and my father and mother were wedded at the same time and place with my lord and Mrs Penfold, and lived together for over seven years thereafter in the enjoyment of a rare peace and felicity, though troubled on all sides by the evil chances of the time. This same year was memorable for that my father was knighted on the field of battle by the hand of his sacred majesty himself, after a certain skirmish near to the city of Bristow,2 since that he did, by his skill in war, save the king’s forces when near to their destruction. ’Twas at Oxford that I was born, in the year 1646, in a mean lodging in a certain poor street of that town, since my mother was afraid to show herself in any more convenient dwelling, and my father durst only visit her secretly by night for fear of capture, my Lord-General Fairfax having but just then took the city.

Shortly after this, also, by the deaths of my uncles, his three brothers (whereof the eldest was slain with my grandfather in that lamentable defeat of my Lord Astley at Stow-on-the-Wold, and the second, having been taken at Leicester the year before, died in prison, and the third was foully murdered in a tumult raised against him in the streets of Northampton), my father found himself possessed of Ellswether—that is to say, of the old house only, whereof all the lands were sold or mortgaged for his majesty’s service. And he, taking up his abode there with my mother and myself, fought still for the king, until that day when the rebels consummated their iniquity by that deed whereof no age hath ever seen the like for its enormity, when he left fighting, being assured that God must shortly punish the whole nation of England with utter destruction. Two years thereafter, notwithstanding, he joined himself to the cause of his majesty King Charles II., and at Worcester Fight was grievously wounded, and lay for many days in danger of his life in a certain mean house of that city. Being there found by the rebels, he was thrown into a dungeon, but after a while, by the good offices of my lord Duke of London, was released, and suffered to return home, being now incapable of fighting more, for that his left leg had been shot off by a ball from a great gun, and his right arm disabled by a pistol-shot, at Worcester Fight.

In the year 1653 there come sad news to Ellswether. My Lord Brandon, heading a rising for the young king in the North, was taken and beheaded; and my lady his wife, who had wearied herself in vain to obtain his pardon, died after giving birth to a daughter. Their son and heir had died in his infancy, and the barony must needs descend to a distant cousin of my lord’s, that was a boon companion of the king in France and Flanders. My lord’s estates and property was all confiscated, and for the poor babe was nothing left, save that she might have my lady’s gowns and suchlike. My lady had committed her babe to the charge of the gentlewoman that bare her company, desiring that she should be brought to Ellswether, and bred up by my mother. Wherefore this gentlewoman, Mrs Sophronia Skipwith by name, took with her the babe, together with my lady’s gowns and jewels, and the great portraits of her and my lord which he had had painted for her on their wedding, and divers tomes of French and English romances, and started on her journey. Coming to Ellswether, she found there sore lamentation, for that my dear mother had departed this life two days before. And Sir Harry, my father, finding himself with my Lady Brandon’s babe to keep, and discerning Mrs Skipwith to be a gentlewoman of most discreet conversation and a sobriety suiting her years (which were thirty-five at the least, and rather over than under), did offer her to remain as governess to the babe, the rather as the aforesaid Mrs Skipwith was an orphan and a distant kinswoman of my lady’s. Now if you look to hear that Mrs Skipwith made use of Sir Harry’s kindness to creep into his good graces, and thus marry him thereafter, you shall be disappointed, for she behaved herself throughout her life with a rare discreetness and wisdom, and hath left behind her a memory full of praise.

My good father, then, adopted for his own the little Mrs Dorothy Brandon (whose kinsman, even after the happy Restoration of his majesty King Charles II., when he gat back his lands, never troubled himself to inquire after her, lest for very shame he must settle on her a portion out of the estates of my lord her father), my father, I say, adopted her, intending in due time to marry her to me his son, and we grew up together as brother and sister, but in that prospect. Now at the Restoration, as I have said, there was many received back their confiscated lands, but my father, who (with his brothers) had sold and mortgaged all for the king’s service, gat nothing, since he had done it all willingly. There remained to us, then, only the manor of Ellswether itself, whereon was a heavy mortgage, that was fallen into the hands of Mr Sternhold, the attorney that my grandfather had been wont to employ. And again, if you look to hear in this place that Mr Sternhold proved himself a cruel or an unrighteous creditor, you will again receive a disappointment, for sure there was never no man that served better either the father or the absent son. But if this great burden of the mortgage was to be removed, it was needful for me to make my fortune, and this in no unspeedy way. And if you shall be surprised that my father allowed me, his only son, to undertake such a distant and dangerous manner of life as that I have followed, I would have you remember that Sir Harry, as was but natural in a gentleman of his family and breeding, cared more for the honour and name of the house than for him that might one day bear it, and that he sent me forth in quest of wealth for to redeem the estates, as any father in Rome might have sent forth his son in quest of warlike honour. After this explanation, which I trust shall resolve any matters that might otherwise seem to you obscure or contradictory, I will proceed to my tale.

Since I have spoke to you of my father’s poverty, you will readily perceive that he could not send me to any great school, nor was he likely, in the dark days that then shadowed this poor realm of ours, to commit me to the tuition of the schismatical minister that had usurped the room of the vicar of our parish, wherefore he was constrained to send me by the day to the grammar-school of Puckle Acton, which town lieth in the vicinage of Ellswether. Here, in common with the sons of many gentlemen of the country round, I gained a slight acquaintance with Greek and Latin, and (for which my life hath made me far more grateful) such a knowledge of the art of fence, of boxing and shooting, as hath often stood me in sood stead. When I was not at the school, the time did often hang heavy for me, for the gentlemen’s sons of whom I have spoken durst not admit me to their company more than rarely, for fear of the suspicions of our tyrants, that were wont to scent a conjuration or conspiracy whensoever any number of Malignants (for so they called us) was met together. The company of the boys of the town I neither sought nor would my father have permitted me so to do, and I came thus, almost of necessity, to use and enjoy that of my little cousin Dorothy Brandon, in all my holidays and times of rest. ’Twas with her I learned from Mrs Skipwith to read French, and we loved to pore together over the pages of the ‘Grand Cyrus,’ that magazine of brave thoughts and witty conceits, of the ‘ Cleopâtre ‘ and of the ‘Clélie.’ Of English books we had no great store, but in Sir Philip Sidney his ‘Arcadia’ and in Mr Lyly’s ‘Euphues’ we found a rare delight. Add to this, that my little cousin taught herself Latin in order to the reading it with me, and (her youth remembered) was no mean scholar in the Greek, and you shall see that we had no lack of fantastic and heroical reading for to divert ourselves withal.

Nor was this all our diversion, for we had, beside, our especial romance, or rather romancical drama, since we never writ our incidents, but, if I may so speak, lived them. In this piece my cousin was called Polyxandra, a wood-nymph vowed to Dian’s service, and I Cleombrocles, her faithful knight. The action of the plot was mighty tragical, and full of moving scenes and incidents, for we were beset not alone by the horrid monster Anthropophage, whose castle I have ofttimes besieged, and whose self (as presented by Bevis our house-dog) I often slew, but also by Sophronysius, the tyrannic governor of Mycene, whose part, unknown to herself, was played by Mrs Skipwith. This tyrant was wont to carry off the amiable Polyxandra whensoever as our romance was most alluring; and many fearful vows have I breathed against her, the poor victim weeping meanwhile over her task of presenting in needlework the history of Sisera and Jael. My father performed the part of the Deus ex machinâ, stepping in to grant Polyxandra an holiday when all my intercessions failed; but even he could do little against a certain terrible enchanter, named Virgilius Tully, to whom the renowned Cleombrocles was bound by a solemn vow, that he should attend upon him daily in his cave, and there serve him. Yet was not all our life spent in wars, for to us the meadows and woods around Ellswether were those of Arcady and Thessalia, and we wandered through them engaged in heroic discourse, carried on in extreme picked and delicate language, and garnished with many euphuisms and other pretty conceits, such as I now hear the learned ladies of France do mightily affect. Oh! the vows of never-dying devotion these woods have echoed, the coy answers of the nymph, and the renewed passion of Cleombrocles, interrupted by the approach of the fell Sophronysius!

After the joyful and happy Restoration of his majesty King Charles II., I was able to meet with my fellows without molestation, and also to join with them in many noble sports; but so great was the ruin and poverty brought upon us by the dominion of the rebels (though now happily past), that of the common usages and hospitalities of the country was there next to none among us. ’Twas but rarely that my little cousin and I visited upon any, and ’twas fewer still that came to the Hall, save now and then an ancient cavalier that had known my father in the days of his youth. Yet ’twas one of these ancient gentlemen, as I believe, that must have stirred Sir Harry’s mind to see that I, his only son, was growing up in idleness, and thus embarked him, if I may so speak, on that long voyage of treaties and negotiations, whereof I was only made aware when all was complete.

Two or three times in the year, it was our custom (my little cousin’s and mine) to go to Ruckle Acton and take supper with good Mr Sternhold, the attorney. There was never there for us any lack of welcome on the part of Mrs Sternhold or himself; and their two comely daughters, Mrs Diony and Mrs Sisley, were wont to make much of me, and to show great kindness to my little cousin. It did much please them that we, being so young, were deemed troth-plight; and they did delight to set us side by side, and to cry out how pretty a couple we made, and then to incite me to show myself a courteous servant to that my little lady. But always after this was Dorothy wont to behave herself so coy and disdainful as ’tis impossible to conceive, and would try me with as many grievous slights as did ever the coldest and cruellest maid in the romances, so as I would threaten to go away into some foreign kingdom, and seek my fortune, far from my untender love, as did the knights of whom we read so often. And this also did mightily divert the two young damsels and their mother. ’Twas on my eighteenth birthday, at the close of the year 1664, that that occurred which enabled me, though without any knowledge of mine beforehand, to perform this frequent threat—nay, rather compelled me so to do. We had been supping at Mr Sternhold’s house, Dorothy and I, and as we returned she did most steadfastly refuse to take my hand through the woods, because, said she, I had had the misfortune to turn my back on her during the evening. And we wrangling and quarrelling over this mighty matter, the dispute lasted until we were come to the Hall, where I spake after my usual fashion, but Dorothy tossed her saucy head, and must needs say that I talked much of going to foreign parts, but should never go there. Then upon this scornful humour of hers brake in the voice of my father, that was sitting in his great chair in the study, with many papers upon the table before him.

“Son Edward,” says he, “I would fain speak with you.”

“At your pleasure, sir,” says I. “When shall I attend upon you?”

“Now,” says my father; “so soon as little Doll here be gone to bed.”

Dorothy kissed my father, though with a pout, made me a curtsey, and ran away, I shutting the door after her.

“You are now arrived at your eighteenth year, Ned?” says my father.

“Yes, sir,” says I. “I was born in the year that my Lord Fairfax took Oxford city, as I have heard you say.”

“True,” saith Sir Harry, “and you are come to this age without being bred to any trade or calling. Not that ’tis your fault, lad, but mine. ’Tis no news to you, my son, that we abide here truly only on sufferance of Sternhold, and that ’tis all I can do to keep up the house as we live at present. Wherefore you won’t be surprised when I say that I can neither send you to the university, even had you displayed any leaning thereto, nor yet maintain you while you seek a place in his Majesty’s service in foreign parts.”

“Indeed, no, sir,” says I.

“There remains, then,” said my father, “the life of a soldier; but now that the wars of Germany are ended, that an’t any longer a road to wealth by the means of large spoils and larger ransoms, and moreover, you are too old, for I hold that a lad should be bred to that calling from fourteen years, or fifteen at the most. Also there are now no such masters in the art of war as those I had the honour to observe in my young days, nor any such noble theatre as that wherein I observed ’em. And with regard to his majesty’s navy, I fear there is but little glory to be won there nowadays. The rebels were good sailors, even I will say that for ’em. And beside these, which we need not consider, there is two other places offer ’emselves to your choice, for I am willing you should choose which you will accept. Being lately reminded of your age and stature (and sure ’tis well I was reminded on’t, for I had clean forgot it), I writ to my lord Duke of London, son to my Lady Brandon’s uncle that did deal with me so kindly after Worcester Fight, and asked him to use his good offices with his majesty to gain for you some place or preferment. And to this my lord duke hath replied, with many civil words touching my care of little Doll there, his kinswoman, that places be now so few, and they that seek ’em so many, that he knows none for which he might make interest with his majesty on your behalf. Yet out of his remembrance of his parents’ ancient love for our house, his grace is good enough to offer you his nomination to the post of writer3 in the India Company’s service, which if I accept on’t for you, his majesty hath been graciously pleased to command that the bond of £500, which must be entered into for your good behaviour, shall be pledged from his privy purse. Had it been but five hundred pence instead of pounds, I had never been able to pay ’em, and this, no doubt, in his singular great kindness, his majesty hath guessed. And with regard to this offer, I can say naught but good on’t. As for wealth, this is one of the straightest roads to’t, for though the wage be but £10 by the year for five years, and after that a convenient increase, yet are there many places of trust to be obtained, and, as I hear, many chances of trading on your own account, so that many gentlemen of that service are become by this means very rich. ’Tis true that you must needs leave your country for a term of years, but that is no more than I did myself, and many other noblemen and gentlemen that fought in that long war.”

“And the other place, sir?” said I, when my father left speaking.

“The other place, Ned,” said Sir Harry, “an’t such as I could desire for a Carlyon of Ellswether. Mr Sternhold is so good as to say that he will find you work as his clerk, and although you should at the first receive nothing by way of wage, yet afterwards, I make no doubt, you may rise to wealth. The lawyers have gained much by the troubles of these days, and stand to gain much more. Still, what say you?”

I need scarce say to you that I had not to think for long. When the choice lay between the Indies and Mr Sternhold’s clerkship (the which, as I well knew, should never have been proffered by him had not my father asked it), you won’t wonder that I sprang joyfully at my lord duke his offer. Which also did hugely please my father, he saying that he was glad to find he had a son that would show himself no laggard in seeking to repair the fortunes of his house. And before aught else in the next morning, my father writ to the aforesaid nobleman to signify his grateful acceptance of his singular kindness, I myself also writing to express my duty to his grace and my desire to comport myself suitably in that place he destined for me. And this letter wrote, and set in readiness for my Lord Harmarthwaite’s messenger, that was, by the especial kindness of his lordship, to carry it to London, and there deliver it into his grace’s hands, I found time to consider what great change in my manner of life one day had brought. For but yesterday was I a masterless man (saving, of course, the authority of that my good father), too old for school, and yet without a calling, but to-day I was pledged to the Hon. East India Company, the which was now my master. And notwithstanding the joy that was in my heart, that I should at last have good hope of freeing my father’s estates, in process of time, from the burdens that oppressed them, there come upon me some natural sorrow that I must part from my good father, and from Dorothy, that quarrelled with me and loved me as she had been indeed my sister.

Standing on the staircase in some disquiet, and thinking thus with myself, there came running to me on a sudden my said little cousin Dorothy herself, dressed up mighty fine in a laced waistcoat4 and petticoat of white satin, with cherry-coloured knots, and cried laughing to me, all our quarrels forgot—

“Why so sad and solemn, Cousin Ned? Do you see my new gown? How doth it please you?”

“Why so fine, little lady, rather let me ask?” says I, bowing low, lest she should again reproach me of lack of courtesy.

“Mrs Skipwith hath ripped a gown of my mother’s, and made this for me,” says she. “Come with me to the picture-room, Cousin Ned. I would have you tell me whether I am like my mother.”

So we two to the oaken gallery, where Dorothy held me by the hand, and we stood before the portraits of my Lord and Lady Brandon, he in his harness,5 with a battlefield behind him, and she in her wedding-gown.

“Help me with this chair, Ned,” quoth my little cousin, and I dragged the great chair for her between the two portraits, when she climbed up on it, and stood thus between them.

“Tell me, Cousin Ned, am I like her?” she cries.

Truly there was a marvellous likeness, they both wearing white satin and lace, though there was pearls in my Lady Brandon’s dark hair in the stead of the cherry-coloured ribbons; nor did I find in her countenance that intrepidity and firmness that was displayed in my little cousin’s, and which she hath, I take it, from that gallant cavalier my lord her father.

“Well, Cousin Ned?” cries Dorothy, tired of standing.

O matrre pulchrâ filia pulchrior,” quoth I, with a low bow.

“Speak to me in good English,” cries she, pouting.

“’Tis but to say (as you very well know) that my lady your mother was fair, but you are fairer, little Doll.”

“Nay,” cries she, “I won’t be called that. Sure I an’t Miss Doll any more. Sir Harry saith I am to be called Mrs Dorothy always, for I am nearly eleven. Oh, Cousin Ned, is it true that you are going to the Indies?”

“Ay, sweet Doll,” says I; “to furthest Ind, and to the kingdoms of Cathay, perhaps.”

“You are ever teasing me,” she saith. “I would I had a fan here, that I might give you a tap therewith, Master Ned. But I will have one some day. When you come back from your voyages and adventures, I shall be a court lady, like my Lady Penelope Harrington, so”—and she held up her hand like a fan, and made great eyes over the edge on’t at me.

“God forbid!” cried I, in a grievous heat.

“And why, prithee?” she asked, somewhat angered. “My mother was a court lady, so why not I?”

“That was in better days,” says I, much disquieted by her speech, yet little caring to tell her what I meant; “but now times are changed. I can’t tell you much, little Doll, but this I will say, that rather than know you such as my Lady Penelope is now become, I would see you in your grave.”

“Then I won’t be like her,” says Dorothy, putting her hand in mine, “for when you have wrought all your great deeds you are coming back to marry me, Ned, an’t you?”

“Ay,” said I, “so that I find you a gentle and comely maiden, caring for my father, and seeking no court gaieties. I would not, with my goodwill, wed a court lady.”

“As you will,” says she. “And you will bring me back a parrot, Cousin Ned, and a pearl chain for to wear on Sundays, and an escrotore6 of Indian work wherein to keep my jewels?”

“Ay so,” quoth I; “and when I go to London, as this next month, I will send you a fan and a cherry-coloured girdle for to hold it withal, as fine as any in the county, if you will give me one of your knots whereby to choose it.”

“Nay,” says she, “not for that only, but to keep for yourself. Sure after this goodness of yours, I must make you some return on’t. See here,” and she unfastened with great gravity her breast-knot, kissed it, and gave it to me, “now are you my knight, Cousin Ned, and you must enter upon all your adventures for my honour, as did Ambixules for Mizalinza, in the book7 wherein Mrs Diony read to us last night. And I have made for you, beside, a badge in gum-work, for to carry with you and wear on Royal Oak Day, and you must needs keep ’em both for ever for my sake.”

“So be it, little cousin. But is my departure naught to you?” says I, somewhat grieved. “You have no farewell for me, Doll?”

“Come back with your shield, or else upon it,” quoth she slowly, and, as it seemed, with difficulty.

“Truly a Spartan message!” I cried. “Is there naught beside, little Doll?”

“I shall miss you,” she said, and climbed down from the chair, walking to the window away from me. And I, looking after her, saw that her face was pale and her shoulders heaving, the while she held her head as high as ever, and clenched her hand for to keep back the tears. And with this I was ashamed.

“Dorothy, my little cousin,” says I, going after her and taking her by the hand, “I beg your pardon. Trust me, I did not mean to hurt you.”

“Why—why,” cries Dorothy, turning round upon me in anger, and then on a sudden falling into a passion of weeping and tears, and hiding her face in my sleeve--“why will you make me cry, Cousin Ned, when I have been essaying to send you forth with all composure of mind, as a lady should her knight? ’Tis all spoilt now.”

“Not so,” says I, admiring the child’s insistence in her romancical dreams. “I am going forth as your knight, my Lady Doll, to forge my weapons, and with ’em to fight the great and cruel giant Poverty, and to release my noble father, whom he holds in his toils. You also the giant keeps in durance, but not so strong but you are allowed to help and solace the other captive, and to send words of cheer to your knight. Here is a noble tale, indeed!”

“True knight for true lady?” asks she.

“There is our motto,” says I. “Now are we indeed well provided with all that a romance could lack, little cousin.”

“I would I were going too,” says she, looking up at me with her eyes yet shining with tears; “I would fain be your page, Cousin Ned, like the ladies in the romances, for you will see all the marvels, the tigers and the wild men of the woods, and the elephants, and the Great Mogul himself, and I must stay here. But be sure, if you fall, that I shall don armour and avenge you, as did Parthenia for Argalus in the ‘Arcadia?’”

“But that, we may hope, shall not be needful,” said I. “Come into the garden with me now, Doll, and we will slay Anthropophage once more before I depart,” and we left speaking, and went down into the garden, holding each other by the hand.

Now this relation of all those things that preceded my setting out in search of fortune I have set down at length, to the end that all may see how falsely ’tis said that I went to East India in pursuance of my own way and against my father’s will, and also that I was already tired of the match my said father had prepared for me, and desired to rid myself of my cousin Dorothy. Such is the malice of my enemies, that they don’t scruple to say even this, whereas I have showed to you that my father did wellnigh force me to set out, and that I departed in the full intention to return and fulfil my contract with my cousin. And this relation I do hereby declare to be true of all things therein contained.

Chapter II

Of My Tarrying in London and of My Sailing in the Good Ship Boscobel, and Also of My Making an Enemy in Mr Vane Spender

’Twas in the month of January 1663-64,8 that I rid away from Ellswether, mounted on my father’s war-horse Gustavus, with our servant Miles behind me, on a beast taken from the plough, and bade farewell to my home for more than twenty long years. And looking back for to view the Hall once more, I did see my cousin Dorothy waving her handkercher, and heard her cry to me, “True knight for true lady, Cousin Ned!” which words of hers did much move me, so that I rid in silence for some time. But passing Mr Sternhold his house, there come out that good attorney himself, and would ride with me some miles of my way, parting from me at the last with much sorrow, and asking my acceptance of a book of wise counsels (said he) for young gentlemen that were going to foreign parts, called ‘The Merchant’s Avizo,’ which I received with much thanks, and have often found cause to be grateful for the same. And Mr Sternhold leaving us, we journeyed on without remark nor disaster, and in process of time came to London town. Here the first night I lay at an inn (whose name I have now forgot), and in the morning I did send Miles for to acquaint my lord duke of my being arrived, and to inquire when it should be convenient for me to wait upon his grace, and testify my gratefulness for his kindness. But in less than an hour Miles came back, not alone, but with him my lord duke’s chaplain, Dr Ruthven, in his grace’s coach, for to carry me to Belfort Place (which leadeth off from the Strand), there to abide while as I should be in town. So I with the chaplain in the coach, Miles following with the beasts, to his grace’s mansion, where I lay so long as I remained in London, eating with the family,9 and once or twice at my lord duke’s own table, where his grace showed himself mighty condescending towards me, and asked of my father’s health, and likewise of that of Mrs Dorothy Brandon, his grace’s kinswoman.

“I had thought,” said he, “of having the young damsel here, for to breed her up with my own little girls; but there was some that showed me divers difficulties in the way.”

Methought, as I looked upon the visage of her grace the duchess, that I saw who she was that had showed the difficulties, and truly Dr Ruthven informed me thereafter that I was right.

“Well,” says my lord duke, more cheerfully, “there is plenty of time yet. Perchance, should Mrs Dorothy wed suitably with her quality, we may be able to provide her a marriage portion.”

But looking again upon the duchess, I foresaw that she would have her say concerning this also, and indeed we have heard no more of the marriage portion up to this present time of my writing.

Now in other matters also was my lord duke very gracious to me, in especial in carrying me into his privy cabinet, where he was wont to make experiment into the secrets of Nature, and did discourse to me mighty ingeniously concerning humours and transmutations and efficient and material causes and radical heat and the like, all which I do now much regret that I set them not down at the time; but having once let slip, the years between have blotted out the clear recollection thereof. And at other times I was under the particular charge of Dr Ruthven, that had known my mother, having been in the service of my late lady duchess before that his grace the now duke had attained to his title, and entreated me most gently for her sake. ’Twas with him I paid a visit to that place of much resort, the New Exchange, where I must needs buy for Dorothy her fan and her girdle, and truly I had not believed that there could be so many fans in the world, and Dr Ruthven and I were sorely troubled to choose one among ’em all. ’Twas also with Dr Ruthven that I presented myself in Leadenhall Street, at the house of the Honourable Company I should serve from thenceforth, and having testified my thanks to the gentlemen of the Committee for their acceptance of me, was enrolled on their books. Here, while I was waiting in an outer room while Dr Ruthven visited upon one of his friends, that was a clerk or factor in the house, I fell in with a young gentleman, by name Mr Vane Spender, who wished to put a quarrel upon me, and all because my nomination had been received before his own. By this means I gained I know not what immunity or privilege, but ’twas such as made Mr Spender conceive himself deeply injured at my hands. But I, foreseeing that if we should be cameradoes (as the soldiers say) in the Indies, we were well to endeavour ourselves to live in peace, did address myself to speak him fair, so that his anger cooled before we parted. And here again you shall see how false it is to say that on my first falling in with Mr Spender, I incited him to wrath by the arrogancy and haughtiness of my behaviour, since I did my best to conduct myself handsomely towards him.

Some two or three days after this meeting was the 30th of January, being the day set apart for ever for the remembrance and deploring of that dreadful, bloody, and tremendous crime, the murder of our late sovereign lord, King Charles the Martyr, which was then but lately appointed as a fast-day by authority for the continual reprobating of the same. So in the morning to his grace’s chapel, where was preached a most moving sermon by Dr Ruthven, such as was like to teach us all the horror and wickedness of rebelling against the Lord’s anointed. And after dinner, it not being fit to go to see shows on such a day, I was left idle, and chose to walk abroad in my mourning habit, meditating in myself upon the observance of this day at home. For there it had been my duty in the afternoon to read aloud to my father the later chapters of that most truthful and pathetic book, the ‘Eikon Basilike,’ until Dorothy and Mrs Skipwith was moved to tears, and Sir Harry would look lovingly at his sword and armour on the wall. Walking thus, I heard on a sudden my name called, and looking up, saw Mr Vane Spender at the window of a tavern, bidding me come in and drink with him. And I, answering that I had no list to drink that day, did walk on, but in a moment come Mr Spender running after me, and cries—

“Nay, Mr Carlyon, sure you must come. Here is his lordship desires to speak with you.”

Then I, being fain, as I have said, to keep well with Mr Spender, and being moreover curious to know who his lordship should be, that desired to speak with me, made answer that I would sit a while in their company willingly, but would not drink. So he, and I after him, to an upper room of the tavern, where was Mr Spender’s elder brother, Mr Hampden Spender, and with him a gentleman in a very rich habit, as little mourning as could well be worn that day by any loyal person.

“Come, sir,” says Mr Hampden Spender, “call for what you will.”

“I thank you, sir,” says I, “ but with your permission I won’t drink. Your brother hath fetched me in to pleasure his lordship yonder, which I’m desirous to do so far as my power allow.”

“Oh, come,” saith he again, “even though your grandmother be dead, Mr Carlyon, there’s none here will carry home tales of your drinking in a tavern on her funeral day.”

“Sir,” said I, “’tis because this is a fast-day appointed that I don’t drink, and if it wan’t, I trust I should be little like to forget what happened thereon.”

“You are putting an affront upon me, sir,” cries Mr H. Spender, mighty fierce. “Pray, are you too nice to drink with us? Do you know in whose company you are, sir?”

“Sir,” says I, “you are seeking to put a quarrel upon me, as I call his lordship to witness. If you desire me to settle this matter by force of arms, I am ready to pleasure you, if his lordship will certify me that I am right in so doing.”

I saw Mr Spender’s countenance change at this, as I had looked it should, since, as I discovered afterwards from Dr Ruthven, his father had been but an attorney, who, meddling with great business in the troubles of the last reign, had gained for himself a high place and some esteem among the rebels. This son of his, Mr Hampden Spender, attained to a seat in the Commons’ House of that Parliament which was jestingly called the Rump, and had showed himself exceeding eager in the matter of the conferring upon my lord Duke of Albemarle of power to treat with the king on behalf of his Commons. Now that his majesty was happily returned, Mr H. Spender was in good favour with him, and was wont to take occasion by this favour to aspire higher than his original10 might seem to us loyal gentlemen to warrant.

“Come, Spender, let the lad be,” says my lord, not ill-humouredly, on our reaching this pass. “’Twas you brought him here; why should you press him to drink? You han’t no cause to pick a quarrel, even if Mr Carlyon thought fit to fight you.”

“I bow to your lordship,” says Mr Spender, and gulps down his wine with an angry face.

“Pray, sir,” says his lordship, turning to me, “tell me whether I ben’t speaking to the son of Sir Harry Carlyon of Ellswether?”

“You are, my lord,” says I.

“And pray, sir,” says he, “an’t it true that Sir Harry hath in his family a young gentlewoman that is some kin to my late Lord Brandon, that was ‘headed ten years since?”

“You are right, my lord; he hath,” said I, much marvelling who this might be that spake thus acquaintedly of Dorothy.

“And I trust, Mr Carlyon, that this Mrs Dolly or Mrs Molly, or whatever her name be, is a young damsel of good conditions, and shows herself dutiful towards her kind guardian?”

“I’m glad to be able to assure your lordship that Mrs Brandon gives every satisfaction to those set over her,” says I. “But give me leave, my lord, to ask who you may be that are so well acquainted with a young gentlewoman’s family that you don’t scruple to mention her name in a place of public resort? If you be one of Mrs Brandon’s kin, permit me to say that after so many years of neglect you choose a strange time and place for to show an interest in her welfare, and one that justifies me to inquire your designs.”

Thus far I, in grievous fear lest while I was away in the Indies my little cousin should be took away from my father at Ellswether, and delivered unto some of her noble kin for to bring up.

“Tut, tut, Sir Spitfire!” saith my lord, but not unkindly; “go tilt with windmills. As for my name, I don’t doubt Mr Spender will be pleased to tell it you when I am gone. But you need have no fear that I mean to claim little Mrs Brandon from Sir Harry. What should I do with a modest, well-brought-up young damsel? ’Twould be worse than Daniel in the den of lions. No, that an’t what I meant.”

“The lady among the rabble rout of Comus, perhaps, my lord,” I said, as he hesitated; and he gave a great laugh, and vowed that I was as much a Puritan as Mr Milton himself, and with that arose, and took up his sword and beaver to depart, saying that the king should require his attendance in an hour’s time.

“’Tis the usual way,” says Mr Hampden Spender, when his lordship was departed. “My Lord Brandon drinks, and I pay.”

“Pray, sir,” says I, is that my Lord Brandon?” and went to the window and looked after him. This was the first and last time that I beheld that nobleman, my cousin Dorothy’s kinsman, who was slain not long thereafter in a duel, and the barony became extinct, the estates thereof passing to the Crown.

“Ay, sir, indeed is’t,” saith Mr Vane Spender. “Pray who else should be so kind and condescending, and recognise so abundantly the services that my brother hath the honour to render him? Why, my brother is his right hand in all he doth. At present he is his attorney in his case of ——”

“Oh, hush, my dear brother!” quoth Mr Hampden Spender; “the word hath an ugly sound. Prythee, name it not in the ears of our dear young friend here. Sure, I’ll never have it said of us that we corrupted youth.”

“Sir,” said I, “I vow I don’t understand you. Do you wish to pick a quarrel again?”

“No, sir,” saith Mr Spender, standing up mighty grand, but somewhat fuddled with the wine he had drank. “We wish no quarrels with persons too nice to drink with us, and too proud for our company, nor no conversation with ’em neither.”

“Then, sir,” says I, “you’ll allow me to bid you good day, if you please,” and so left the place before they could stop me. But to this day I have never found myself able to determine whether these gentlemen, the Messieurs Spender, were in reality desirous to put a quarrel upon me, and having compelled me to fight first one and then t’other of ’em, thus to rid themselves of me, or whether ’twas but the natural heat of their temper that moved them to provoke me to a dispute—a heat that hath led to many grievous troubles between us since that time.

Now some days after this, my lord duke would carry me with him in his coach to White Hall, there to wait upon the king, that I might thank his majesty for his singular great kindness towards me. And on our arriving, his majesty being in his Cabinet Council, we walked up and down, and his grace did point out to me many ladies and gentlemen of whom I had often heard speak, yea, and presented me to such as had known my honoured parents in their youth, who treated me with great gentleness, and wished me a short service and a great fortune. And presently, the Council being up, his majesty come out, and my lord duke did present me to him, who graciously allowed me to kiss his hand. And thereafter was his majesty pleased to jest with me, saying that he had heard by a sure hand that I was as much of a Puritan as any rebel among ’em. And this to my much heat and grief, for I perceived that the report of my adventure in the tavern (small though it were), had gone ahead of me, so that I made bold to say to the king that no man but he should have said such words to me, for that my father had shed his blood for his majesty’s father, and that I asked nothing better than to have occasion given me to do the like for himself, and so took it hard to be likened to a rebel. Whereat his majesty laughed prodigiously, and was good enough to say to me that I was a proper fellow, and he had liever I were staying in England than going forth to the Indies, for the realm had need of more such. And speaking thus, and saying that he hoped I should ever keep strictly the fast-day of the blessed King Charles the Martyr, and draw sword in defence of the ladies when their names was lightly used, his majesty left us, and my lord duke advised me to be proud and thankful for his condescension. Which indeed I was, only feeling sorrowful that so kindly a king should have so scant respect shown him, for verily among his courtiers was none that accorded him any reverence, but all elbowing and cursing one another as well in his presence as without it. And from such disorder and looseness as I saw in the Court, good Lord deliver us!

Now despite the good counsel of his grace and of Dr Ruthven, that reproach did still rankle in me, that I should be called a Puritan, and in order to the showing it untrue, I must needs go to the play. And this notwithstanding that the aforesaid Dr Ruthven did much advise me to the contrary, saying that I might well prove my loyalty to Church and King in many other and more reputable ways, but finding me set upon the thing, he desisted at last, considering that my wilfulness should bring its own punishment. And this indeed it did, for going with one of his grace’s gentlemen to the playhouse, we saw presented a comedy newly translated out of the French; but so debased was the sentiment, so indecent and unseemly the action of the piece, so vile the painting and so immodest the clothes of the women that played in’t (sure this in itself is a new thing, and of revolting newness), that I was fain to leave the place before even the first act was gone through. But this my companion would by no means suffer, so that I turned my eyes from the stage to the company present, but found little comfort there. For indeed, to see the gentlemen laughing hugely at the wickedness and profaneness of the piece, and the ladies feigning to cover their faces with their fans, as though it were to hide their blushes (but truly there was but little need of this), when the action was beyond ordinary unseemly, and yet peeping through holes cut in these same fans, for to view the stage still, was monstrous shameful. And in fine, when the play was finished, and I had refused my companion’s proffer to carry me with him behind the scene and present me to the lady that played the chief part (whose name is, alas! too well known in this kingdom), I returned unto Belfort Place, well determined never again to go to the play. And this resolve, so made, I have kept.

And after this, the spring now coming on, Dr Ruthven and I made a part of several parties of pleasure that were given by divers gentlemen and gentlewomen of the doctor’s acquaintance, for to visit his majesty’s palaces at Greenwich and Hampton, the docks at Deptford, and other places. In all which I found myself well entertained, and did gain, I hope, some knowledge that hath served me well since; but the time was now drawing near when I must needs start for the Indies. I then receiving one day a command to present myself on board of the Hon. Company’s ship Boscobel, lying in the Thames, for to embark for the factory at Surat, did make haste to bid farewell to their graces the duke and duchess, thanking them humbly for their singular kindness, and likewise to that curious scholar and good friend to me, Dr Ruthven. Miles, also, I despatched back to Ellswether with the horses, and such letters and gifts for my father and Dorothy, as well as for Mrs Skipwith and the others of the family, as I had gat together, and then gathered up my trunks, and took boat to Graves-End. At the which place, as I had been advertised by the Committee, I found the ship, whose master (his name Captain Freeman) received me with much civility, desiring me to choose my cabin and my seat at table where I might desire. For (says he to me), there’s another young gentleman bound for Surat with us, but he an’t yet appeared, and ’tis first come, first served, aboard of the Boscobel. Not to appear to slight his goodness, I complied with this desire of his, and did choose my place next to my kind captain’s own, which pleased him mightily, and me no less, for he was a person of very curious discourse, and one that had gone through infinite wanderings and perils.

And of these he was nothing loath to tell me, while as we lay a-waiting in the river, for ’twas yet two full days before my fellow-traveller come on board, so that the master swore we should lose our convoy by this delay, and that he would tarry no longer—nay, not for the President of the Indies himself. In these two days I was much entertained in visiting all parts of the vessel, which was a fine new ship of the Company’s own, and in learning from my good friend Captain Freeman many of the duties of a supercargo. Moreover, this good man did several times carry me with him in the ship’s boat, for to wait upon divers merchants with whom he had to do, and did so divert me with histories of his travels, that I vow this delay was no sorrow for me, but rather a pleasure. But at last, when Captain Freeman had but just now said that he would up anchor with the morning tide, and wait no longer, my fellow-traveller arrived on board in a monstrous rage, and cursing very loudly the waterman that brought him off, and had lost (says he) one of his trunks. Methought I knew my gentleman’s voice at once, and when I went on deck to assure myself of the matter, sure enough ’twas my old acquaintance, Mr Vane Spender. Who, seeing me, greeted me with an oath, and desired me bid the master to have the waterman soundly cudgelled by the seamen, which on Captain Freeman refusing, he was excessive vexed. And coming to us into the cabin, when this affair was settled, he took umbrage again to find me in the highest seat next to the captain, declaring that he was second cousin to the Secretary of the Indies at Surat, and must needs sit highest. Which I, for peace’ sake, was willing to suffer, but Captain Freeman would not hear on’t, and I kept that chiefest place. And herein also you shall see that I went not about to provoke Mr Spender, but contrariwise, did all in my power to pleasure him.

So then the next day we left Graves-End, and in the Downs did fall in with the East India fleet, which was ten in number, whereof six ships, ours being one, carried letters of mart11 for protection against enemies. In our company was no king’s ships, for these use to meet only the homeward-bound fleet at Sancta Helena, for the better protecting of their incomparable rich cargoes; but we did believe ourselves secure from any foe that was like to come against us. And in this confidence were we well justified so long as we sailed in company the one with the other, but when alone and separated, we were like to have fallen an easy prey, as you shall hear. But of the exact history of this matter I am not well informed, and for this reason. For while we were yet in the Channel, Mr Spender was seized with that grievous disease of seasickness, whereof none knows the misery that han’t felt it, and did lie groaning in his cot, a-cursing at me if I did so much as speak to him. Seeing which, I left him to himself, and did continue to enjoy the ingenious discourse of Captain Freeman, the which did much divert me. But when, leaving behind the Narrow Seas, we were entered that great bay which is called from the Spanish province of Vizcaya, or by our seamen, Biskay, the complexion of things changed, so that Mr Spender arose and played the jolly sailor, whereas I was obliged to yield myself to the dreadful malady. And this made it the more irksome to me, that Mr Spender must needs come continually and make a mock at me, casting in my teeth all manner of nasty jests such as the seamen use to provoke one another withal, and deriding me in my misery, who could not frame so much as to answer, much less to punish him, until our good captain found him one day at his tricks, and threatened him with divers pains and penalties, in case he should annoy me again. And thereafter was I left in peace, though I was like to wish to die, so long as the master told me the ship was flying along with a fair wind, and making a fine course.

Yet, had I but known it, I had ought to have been thankful for that rough progress of ours, but of this I never thought until it was stopped. For one day methought I heard a prodigious great noise on deck, running and trampling and setting of sails and the like, and much loud talk and swearing. And in a moment in come Mr Spender with a pale face, telling me that we had outrun our consorts in the night, and were now chased by a Sallee rover, so that we were all like to be taken and made slaves to the Moors. Now upon this, though it seem to you a thing incredible, yet truly the disease, the which had heretofore weighed me down, and made me to long for death, left me on a sudden, so that I leaped up and dressed myself, and seizing my sword, ran upon deck, Mr Spender following after with his pistols. And upon deck I found the seamen busied in making ready the two cannons that our ship carried, and Captain Freeman a-serving out cutlasses and fusees.12 Then looking behind, I saw the rover that chased us, the which was a long vessel of a monstrous outlandish build, mighty low in the water, and moving with a most marvellous swiftness. And asking our captain whether we were like to escape, “Mr Carlyon,” says he, “we have left our course and are now running for Tangier. If we can come at it, maybe a king’s ship or two will put out to our aid and drive off the black devils; but if not, I see no help but we shall end our days in Barbary.”

Now this catching the ear of a young boy, that was on board for to serve Captain Freeman in his cabin, he falls a-blubbering because the master said we must all end our days in Barbary, and this being heard by the seamen, they were taken with a mighty trembling and despair, so as to leave handling the ropes and charging their pieces, and stand gazing upon the rover. So that Captain Freeman, Mr Spender, and I were fain to go among them with our drawn swords, and so force them to return to their duty, which when they did we quickly made way upon the rover. And upon this the pirates tried to knock away our masts with a shot, but they was too far removed from us, and did but lose ground in the trying, while as the Boscobel flew on towards the coast, which we could now clearly discern. And now our captain caused the ship’s cannons to be fired again and again, and that not so much with the intent to hit the enemy, for of this, indeed, there was but little hope, but that those in the harbour, hearing the noise, might perceive our plight, and make haste to come to our help.

Now, as we learned thereafter, it chanced, in the great goodness of God, that there was at this time lying in the port the Royal Charles and the Navarre, king’s ships, whose captains, hearing the noise of cannons and perceiving its cause, made haste to put to sea and come to our help. We then, beholding these two great ships sailing towards us, gave thanks to God for His mercy, and left firing at the rover, the which was, indeed, no longer needful, since he, perceiving our reinforcement of strength, did incontinent turn himself about and seek to escape. But for all his subtlety and swiftness, our two ships were better than he, and sailing in such a manner as to cut him off from the port that he aimed at (I would I might describe this action in seamanlike terms, but this lies not within my power), had the mastery over him, and succeeded to bring him in and all his crew as captives. Who, in due course, were set a-working in chains upon the ramparts of the town of Tangier, a singular and worthy instance of God’s confounding the designs of the wicked, in bestowing upon them that very doom they thought to have prepared for us. And this all have acknowledged, to whom I have told this history, though many of them were (I fear) careless persons, and little like at ordinary times to observe and admire the Providence of God.

But ’tis not alone on the account of this marvellous escape and deliverance of ours that I shall always be mindful of this town of Tangier, but for an evil chance that was like to have befell me there. For we casting anchor in the port for to await our consorts, that were all to take in water at this place, the master of the Boscobel did grant to his seamen leave to go on shore, which leave we passengers also enjoyed. And I going in a boat of the place with Mr Spender, he met upon the landing-stage a gentleman of his friends among the officers of his majesty’s troops there quartered, and tarried to drink with him. But I, desiring to see somewhat of the city, went on apace, and found it a mighty pretty town, standing on a fair bay, and surrounded by fortifications of a tolerable strength, and that seemed apt to resist a siege. But the streets of the place are extreme narrow and dirty, so that one can scarce pass through them, from the great multitude of camels, asses, and other beasts that dispute passage with him. And the people of the city are so lazy and ragged as I had never before beheld, and the crowds of beggars beyond belief.

Passing at last through all this nastiness, I came to the ramparts on the land side of the place, whence was a fair prospect of desert and remote hills, such as I then saw for the first time. And here I sat me down for to examine and admire that I saw, and did watch the soldiers at their exercises close under the city walls with much diversion, in especial the Moorish part of them, whose riding and sword-play was very pretty. Now, as I sat there, there come up Mr Spender, none the better for the wine that he had of a rascally fellow, half Spaniard and half Moor, that kept a tavern under pretence of an inn. And you must know that ’twas now the 29th day of May, Royal Oak Day as we call it, so long had I tarried in London before the ship sailed. In remembrance, then, of the most miraculous happy escape, as on that day, of his majesty King Charles the Second, I was arrayed in a brave habit, with my cousin Dorothy’s badge on the forefront thereof, for to testify to all men that loyalty whereof our house is proud. And Mr Spender, coming up, did assail me suddenly with many evil words, miscalling me a penniless knave and a beggarly Malignant and many other such ill names. Nay, moreover, he gathered up dirt and cast it at me, and did even spit upon my Royal Oak badge, insulting me and it the while with such revilings as I won’t write down. And I, who was, despite my good advice given to my little cousin, and my temperate behaviour in London, but a youth, and hot-headed at that, was so wrought upon with his reproaches as to draw my hanger and run upon him with intent to slay him. And though now I am covered with shame to have desired to take away a fellow-creature’s life on such a cause, yet then I was ready to have killed him on the spot. And he, drawing his sword also, was prepared to fight, and I make no doubt but there should have been blood shed between us, had not Captain Freeman on a sudden come up with another shipmaster of his acquaintance, and thrown himself upon us.

“How, lads! young gentlemen!” cries he, mighty angry, “swords out? What’s this? You would pink one another, for all the world like a couple of Portugals or two Italian bravos in a play? And for what? For a few bad words? Fight it out with your fists, like honest Englishmen. Here’s Captain Branter and I will see fair.”

’Twas well indeed that they was there, for as I put up my sword, Mr Spender, mad with passion and the wine he had drank, flew upon me with his drawn blade, and I had much ado to defend myself. But Captain Branter pulling him off, I was able to make ready, and we did set to in good earnest. But, thanks to my fights with young rebels at school, it was not long before I made him admit himself mastered, and caused him take back all his naughty words. And Captain Freeman then enjoining upon us to shake hands and have it over, the which was done but with a poor grace on either side, we returned to the ship, so ending this affair.

Chapter III

Of My Arriving at Surat, and of the Posture of Affairs There

The other vessels coming in that same evening, we left Tangier the next day, and continued in company our voyage along the Africk coast. And although we caught sight not once nor twice of the galleys of those pirates that infest these waters, yet they dared not attempt us, seeing our force, and we had opportunity to admire the strange things that met our view. For in these climates there is many things are not as they are with us, as the sea and the weather and the length of day, and the very stars themselves, not to speak of the poor heathens that boarded us more than once, more especially off the colony of the Gamboa.13 And on crossing of the Line, moreover we were made initiate in those mysteries which, as I suppose, are a relic of antique superstition, but which the seamen do hug mightily; yea, even the wisest among ’em. In all these matters, then, was there much to instruct us, and our good master and his mate were always willing to tell us whatever we desired. But as we drew further to the south, and neared again the temperate climates, and in especial as we passed that cape called by the Portugals Bon Esperanzo14 where the Dutch have a few forts, we were assailed by such storms as we were like to have left our bones in the South Seas. Also the continual tossing and rolling of the ship did bring on again, both in Mr Spender and myself, such an access of that dread malady whereof we had dreamed ourselves cured, as we could do little else but lie and groan, desiring that death which seemed at once too close to us and too far away. But when we had left well behind us that evil and dangerous Cape, and were entered the Indian Ocean, the which we found, in our traversing it, prodigious still and pleasant, we revived, and did begin to look forward with great anticipation to our arriving in East India.

Now during this part of our voyage the nights were extreme clear and mild, so that I was wont to stay long upon the deck with Captain Freeman, who, as he smoked his pipe, would tell me many strange tales. For one thing, he told me of the mermaids in the Eastern Seas, whereof he himself had seen one, sitting on a rock and combing her long hair, and likewise of the dolphins and other monsters of the deep. Likewise he told me of the wild men of the woods, whereof (said he) he had seen many in the great islands, but all at a distance, and also of the anthropophagi or man-eaters, of which he had never seen none, but had heard of them from the most respectable persons. Of tigers, also, and crocodiles, and great serpents, he told me much, especially with regard to the empire of Birma and the eastern islands. And passing to the islands of Japan, he spoke much of the Japanners, that are a marvellous polite15 people, and mighty inquisitive concerning strangers, but so cruel and barbarous as could never be imagined. Two emperors they have, whereof one may never be seen by the vulgar, and as many princes, lords and grandees, as they could furnish forth even Spain with ’em. But into their country may none travel, neither merchant nor Jesuit missionary, nor even visit their ports, excepting only the Dutch, and these must needs, when they come thither, abide on one small island, whither their merchandises are brought them for to load their ships withal. And if I should tell you all that Captain Freeman told me concerning the manners and aspect of the inhabitants of the great city Cangoxima,16 methinks you should set him down as a worse liar than Seignior Ferdinando Mendez Pinto himself, the which should be grievously unjust, seeing that he had visited these parts and this city as a lad in a ship of Holland, wherefore I will say naught on’t. Of China and the Chineses, likewise, our good master spake much, but this also I will not put down, lest I should have confused therewith other matters I learned later from divers shipmasters at Surat. But this I may say, that all this talk of mine with Captain Freeman was wont to end in one way—viz., that when the captain was through with his pipe and his tale, clapping me on the shoulder, “Master Ned” (he would say), “when you list to make a venture, come and sail with me to the eastwards, and I will put you in the way of such markets and bargains as none but the Company’s captains knows on.”

Now truly this prospect was in no way displeasant to me, but I little dreamed that I should ever make a voyage eastwards (though never such a short one) with Captain Freeman. And having now sailed northwards for a great while, and passed, at an inconvenient distance, that fair island called Ceilon,17 the which I had a great desire to see, we come near to our port. And to me, who had thought Surat to be on the sea-shore, ’twas a most monstrous surprise to find that we must needs cast anchor in Swally18 Road, and from thence find means to get ourselves conveyed to the town, the which stands at some small distance up the river Taptee. But this delay was by no means displeasing to us, for there was many strange things and persons to be seen, such as we admired mightily.

And we reaching the shore in the master’s boat, and paying the tax of half a rupee that was demanded from each passenger, found there Mr Spender’s cousin, the Secretary, that was come to fetch him in an hackery, which is an Indian coach drawn by two white oxen. But since Mr Spender made no offer to present me to Mr Secretary, and I cared little to force myself upon this gentleman’s notice, I was left desolate, defending my trunks against a rout of swarthy rascals, both Moors and Gentues,19 that fought with one another, and would have carried off my baggage before my eyes, had I so suffered it. But at last Captain Freeman, coming on shore and finding me contending with these fellows at great odds, from my having no knowledge of the Indostan tongue, and much incommoded with the great heat of the sun, was very wroth against Mr Spender, and made haste to call to my help a gentleman that was walking to the landing-place, bearing a great white umbrello over his head for to shield him from the sun. And by great good fortune, who should this gentleman be but Mr Martin, one of the Company’s senior factors, to whom I had a letter wrote from Dr Ruthven? He received me with great kindness, and made haste to hire certain of the troublesome rogues for to carry my trunks to his hackery, and bade me take my place therein, and so carried me to the city, after bidding farewell to my good friend Captain Freeman. Dr Ruthven had assured me that I should be much pleased with Mr Martin, and in truth, in that short space of our journey together I did discover him to be a person of most varied and ingenious learning, and so full of proverbs and wise sayings as I had never imagined could be. Coming, then, to the gate of Surat, we must needs pass through the Custom-house, where the customers20 are so strict that they must perforce search in all my pockets as well as my trunks and mails. And this done, we went on into the city, Mr Martin displaying to me divers strange sights, until we come to the Factory, which is a large and fair house, builded after the Moorish fashion, and well defended by great walls.

And being arrived, Mr Martin was so good as to say that if I would, he would make interest for me to be under him in the business, and to lie in the chamber next to him of nights. And of this offer when I had gratefully accepted, I had my trunks brought to the place he shewed me, and was assigned a Gentue servant for to wait upon me, and was carried by Mr Martin to view the whole of the Factory. Which Factory is, as I have said, a great house, given to the English many years since by the king of Guzeratta, but whereto they have added go-downs21 and storehouses, built on hired land. And the house itself is built after the Indian mode, of two storeys, and the upper and lower rooms opening on two long galleries, the floors being of the best cement, and near half a yard thick, all this for the sake of coolness. The walls are part of stone and part of timber, whereof the last is adorned with tolerable carvings, after their heathenish fashion. There is a neat oratory, or chapel, where divine service is held twice in the day, and on Sundays three times, and a convenient dining-room, open on all sides, but shaded at the top, wherein all the Company’s servants do eat together, being placed according to their degree in the service. The President’s rooms are very finely furnished, in part after the Oriental style, and Mr Secretary’s are likewise decent and comely enough, close to which was Mr Spender’s chamber. And we happening upon the President about this time, Mr Martin did present me to his honour, and ask his leave to keep me under him, which his honour was pleased to grant. And on that same evening, Mr Martin carried me to the garden belonging to the English, which is situated without the town, and should have been very fair and pleasant but for the doings whereof I will tell you. For as Mr Martin and I rid to the garden, he discovered to me all the trials and troubles wherefrom this poor town and Factory had lately suffered, which I will set down, that so you may perceive in what an evil case was his majesty’s poor subjects in Surat at this time.

Now first you must know that near the whole of East India (and now, for aught I know, the entire country) is subject to the Moors, that are akin to the Scythian Tartars, and come from the north, and the chiefest nation of these Moors is called the Moguls. And the ruler of these Moguls is a mighty emperor, that hath his court in the great cities of Agra and Dhilly,22 and reigns there with such magnificence as no sovereign of Europe can equal, far less surpass. And the emperor when I came to Surat, and that is still (in 1697) reigning, was the great Auren Zeeb,23 said by the Moors to be so wise and just as no prince hath been since Solomon, and by the Gentues the most cruel and tyrannical ruler that did ever oppress a nation for its sins. Now of these Gentues, the most warlike and bravest tribe is that called the Morattys,24 dwelling in a province named, so far as I can spell it, Moruchtraw.25 And of this province the boundaries are uncertain, but it lies in great part in the kingdom of Guzeratta. The Morattys are said by some to be a most bloodthirsty and treacherous people, but ’twould ill become me to indorse this opinion without more strict inquiry, since it hath pleased God by their means to give me great deliverance, and this not once only, as I shall shew hereafter in its place.

Now these Morattys had at this time a great king, or chief, by name Seva Gi,26 son to a famous captain of the king of Visiapour’s,27 called Shaw Gi, surnamed the Bounceloe,28 from the caste or family whereto he belonged, and his mother was descended from the ancient kings of that country. He, rising up against the king of Visiapour, defeated and murdered by treachery Abdul Caun29 his general, and had thereafter great success, taking many considerable places, even fortified towns, so that at one time he was master both of Duccan and also of Conchon,30 which is the rugged country lying between the mountains and the sea. But neither he nor any leader of the Morattys hath ever been able to retain his hold on the plain country, but hath always been forced to seek refuge again in the hills, which, indeed, is the native land of the Moratty, where he is most at home. Now with such craft and subtilty did this Seva Gi go to work, that he was able for some years to maintain his peace with the Mogul emperor, while all the while warring with him that should have been his ally—viz., the king of Visiapour. It may well be that the mighty Auren Zeeb felt no grief to see two powerful princes destroying the one the other, and he did observe the fighting with no small diversion, calling the said Seva Gi his Mountain-rat, because he must needs retreat always to the hills. Now with regard to the town of Surat, I must premise that there is set over it on the behalf of the Great Mogul a governor, whose government is a byword among all the Europe merchants for its injustice. But whatever may be this person’s iniquities, he is, at the least, faithful to his master, and spurned all the offers made him from Seva Gi, that he should take his part. Wherefore Seva Gi made a road31 into the place, and took and plundered the town, holding it for six days, and taking from it a prodigious booty. But the English, being retired into their Factory, and using that for a citadel, did show so fierce a front, and upon occasion defend themselves so bravely, as Seva Gi was forced to leave ’em in peace. But their fair garden, lying, as I have said, outside of the city, was overrun and ruined, and was not yet recovered when I first saw it, all this happening but shortly before my coming.

“But pray, sir,” says I to Mr Martin, “how can you have any comfort of life, knowing that you are all the time placed between an unjust governor and a murderous robber?”

Beggers should be no chusers, sir,” quoth Mr Martin. “Sure we are in better case here than under the eye of the Inquisition at Goa, or even than quarrelling with my Lord Malbery32 and the king’s officers at Bombaim.”33

“At the least you are your own masters here, sir,” says I.

“Not so fast, if you please, sir,” says he. “Not many months ago were we held under grievous oppression by the Dutch, that would have us acknowledge ’em to be lords of the Eastern Seas. Not being contented with the most injurious conduct towards ourselves, they must needs hoist their ancient34 above our St George’s cross, as though we were surrendered to ’em. And not a warship had we for to defend us against their injuries. Had they but had Old Noll to deal withal, he should have punished ’em first and made ’em ask pardon after.”

“I trust, sir, that you an’t regretting the most fortunate death of that rebel?” said I. Mr Martin looked upon me jestingly.

He that hath an ill name is half-hanged, an’t he?” said he. “Old Noll was a rebel, sir, but the Dutch feared him as the very devil.”

While thus discoursing, we walked to and fro in the garden, wherein had stood divers choultries, or summerhouses, very pleasant to take the air within, but now heaps of ruins, together with grottoes of many fantastical forms, and fountains, whereof the sound and the coolness was mighty agreeable. But the wildness of the place surprised me (though now I know that the Indian gardeners do not affect neatness and symmetry of arrangement, as do ours), nor had the ruins been cleared away, but the flowers were springing and growing up around them. And of the flowers themselves was nothing extraordinary, but only mallows and stocks and jessamines and suchlike common things, for so cursed with idleness are the lower sort here, that they won’t take the trouble even to grow roses. Nevertheless, this garden is a mighty pretty and pleasant place, and were it only better dressed and kept, might be a very paradise.

And we returning to the Factory, Mr Martin pointed out to me the English burying-ground, wherein are many monuments of extreme elegance, and likewise the Dutch Factory, where were many stout mynheers, that showed us, on our passing them, no more courtesy than they need. Likewise Mr Martin bade me note the devastation wrought in the city by that freebooter Seva Gi, so that the great walls were in part broken down, and many fine mansions laid in ruins, and the houses of the poorer sort almost all destroyed, though being but of mud and stubble, they were fast beginning to build ’em up again. And moreover, Mr Martin told me of one John Smith, who, being captured by Seva Gi’s ruffians before he could escape into the Factory, was carried before their prince himself, and heard him give orders for the beheading of divers, both Moors and Gentues, that would not declare where their treasures was hid. Upon this J. Smith fell into a great fear and trembling, but God did graciously incline towards him the heart of the king, so that on the advice of one of the chief Brachmines,35 his ministers, he let him go, and I myself have both seen and talked with him many times.

We were now returned into the town, and this being the hour at which all do take the air, we met with most of the Company’s servants then in Surat, some riding on fine Arabian horses (these brought, as Mr Martin informed me, by sea from Juddah),36 but the most part borne in palenkeens, which is a kind of coach without wheels, and carried on men’s shoulders, the which seemed to me a very womanish manner of going abroad, but I now know that the heat do make it very agreeable. Passing the Mint, which is an extreme handsome piece of building, we come to the cloth-bazar, which is like one of our markets, but held all the year round. And in the High Street, which I had looked to see a noble and stately place, I found only mean houses, with the shops like peddlars’ stalls with us. And coming back to the Factory, we made ready for supper, where I saw all the gentlemen that served the Company at this place. And mighty strange it seemed to me, that all were dressed in white, for to avoid the heat of the sun, though keeping the English fashion. Now at the supper itself was all the meats served on plate of China,37 that, as they say, cracks when any poison touches it, which is, without doubt, providentially ordained for the sake of the dwellers in this land, where poisoning is so common. And besides this magnificence, behind each man’s seat there stood an Indian servant with a great fan of peacocks’ feathers, which was waved about for to cool the air. And such ceremony was observed in the bringing in and removing the many dishes as I had never thought could be anywhere, short of a king’s palace. But with all this state, the gentlemen showed themselves very affable towards me, and Mr Martin presenting me to one or two, we had much pleasant and witty discourse. And so at last to bed, being well tired by all that I had seen and done that day, but found it prodigious hard to sleep, through being plagued by those villainous insects called muskeetoes, the which abound in these parts.

Then the next day I began to learn how the Company’s business was carried on. But instead of the English going into the public markets for to buy, as I had thought, I found that they made use of Gentue merchants, called banyans,38 that act as brokers, and after buying up their wares from the Indians, bring them to the Factory. These men are of a smiling and agreeable countenance and extreme respectful in their manners, wearing white linen raiment of a strange and womanish fashion. And although the Indostans generally are very square in all their dealings, and prodigious exact to make good all their engagements, yet these banyans are extreme cunning, and do contrive to gain for themselves so much from their transactions with their countrymen on the Company’s behalf, as they are counted among the most considerable persons of the place. And I not knowing their tongue, my duty was only to write at Mr Martin’s dictation, and do my best to improve myself. And when work was over, Mr Martin was again good enough to take me riding with him in his hackery, and to inform me on many matters. And I expressing my surprise that where so many gentlemen, and some of them of a good age, was gathered together, there should be none married, so far as appeared, Mr Martin saith—

“The proverb, sir, tells us, He is happie that is wed, and without trouble, but he that weds here is like to have trouble. For what gentlewoman of good family and fortune should choose to leave all she might have in England, and adventure herself in the Indies? ’Tis true that the Company desires its servants to be settled in life, and sends out women for ’em to marry, but you may guess what manner of creatures they would be, that would come out on such a chance; and moreover they are also sickly and soon die, whether from the evil nature of the climate, or from too much drinking of strong waters. Wherefore certain of the gentlemen here have wedded Indian or Portuguese wenches, and keep ’em shut up after the fashion of the country, never eating with ’em, and seeing ’em but when none else is by. But of such matches as these is great trouble arisen, in especial regarding the children that spring from ’em, when the mothers be Papists. It seems to me, therefore, that they are wisest that determine while in the Indies to devote themselves to their work alone, and postpone all such delights until the time of their return.”

“As I shall,” said I.

“What, you have made up your mind so soon, Mr Carlyon?” says he. “You an’t yet wedded, surely?”

“I am troth-plight, sir,” says I, and told him that which you know already—viz., my engagement with my little cousin Dorothy. When I had ended my tale, Mr Martin smiled upon me.

All shall be well, and Jacke shall have Gill,” quoth he. “I honour your resolution, sir, and shall take it extreme unkind in you if I ben’t asked to the wedding, always supposing that I am in England then.”

“That wise saw of yours is mighty comforting, sir,” says I.

“Say you so?” says he. “Then what do you think of this one, sir, Age and wedlocke lames man and beast?”

I saw that he was jesting with me, but ’twas impossible for me to take offence, so kindly and sweet-tempered a person was he, and that friendship which was begun upon my landing at Surat hath continued ever since, to my much advantage. For although the Company hath made, and doth still make, many rules and advices for the better governing of the younger among its servants, yet rules are not always kept, and more than once hath Mr Martin brought me out of some trouble into which I was fallen, either through the natural heat of youth, or through the ill offices of Mr Spender.

For our life at Surat, there was in it always an admirable good order. We all ate in company, saving only the snack taken on rising for to comfort the stomach. Many of the gentlemen for this lunch39 drank burnt wine, made hot with cinnamons and other spice, but I always followed Mr Martin’s advice, who told me that so much wine-drinking was like to breed fevers and other disorders. For himself, he was wont to drink thé40 (the which is now well known in England, but then only to those in our factories in the Indies), and I did likewise, seeing that this herb doth much benefit the health both of the mind and the body by the operation of a certain temperate heat that is particular41 to’t, and hath been observed by many curious travellers.

This life of ours in company, where so many persons of divers humours and originals were gathered together, made it necessary that all our behaviour should be civil and respectful, and this towards our chief and the chaplain in especial. The gentleman that occupied this last place was commonly a person of excellent parts and wise discourse, while his pay was higher than that even of the senior factors, and his precedence was fixed next after the Members of Council,—a station contrasting happily with the treatment accorded in these days to many parsons in England.

On Fridays was there an assembly held by Mr President, whereto the chief merchants of the other factories was used to come, and whereat much sack was drunk, and also palepuntz42 a drink compounded by the factors out of acquavitæ43 rosewater, sugar, and the juice of lemons, and one that has, I believe, been brought by some of them into England. But at the shipping-time was there small opportunity for such gaieties, for all day long was the banyans coming in with their accounts, and below in the courtyard the packers and warehouse-keepers must needs be looked after, and the merchants seen and spoken with that had brought musters44 of their goods. More than once, also, I had the advantage to go with Mr Martin a journey among the towns and villages of the vicinage, when he must oversee the weavers of cotton fabrics, buying up the yarn from the spinners and intrusting it to the said weavers, that so they might have wherewith to occupy themselves during the rains. Nor was I idle when ’twas neither shipping-time nor occasion for a journey, for, learning from Mr Martin that the Company did furnish a master for to teach to the writers the tongues of the country, and did promise also an annuity unto such as learnt them well, but that few ever gained this, I applied myself to this study, so that I gat a fair knowledge both of the Persian and the Indostan45 languages, and received the promised annuity. And this to my no small contentment, although his honour the President, being worked upon by Mr Secretary, was ill-pleased that he must give it to me and not to Mr Spender, that would never learn nothing that he could by any means avoid.

Now in these first years that I spent in Surat was many great things happening, both at home and also in the Indies. The first whereof I won’t recount, as knowing and hearing little of them; but of the latter I may mention that that famous Moratty prince, Seva Gi, of whom I have before spoke, being attempted46 by the whole power of the emperor Auren Zeeb, submitted himself and made his peace, and was kindly received and his demands granted, so as he dared even adventure himself in the city of Dhilly itself, on a visit to that great prince. But here he quickly discovered himself to have been entrapped, for the Mountain-rat was not accustomed to the ways of courts, and did quarrel grievously with the emperor’s ministers. Having thus offended Auren Zeeb, he found he was almost a prisoner, and must needs bend his wits to the getting safely out of the place. And this he did by a stratagem so cool and so ingenious as caused all that heard on’t to admire, and one that I myself did imitate thereafter, as you shall in due time hear. For having sent away his soldiers, and feigning himself to be sick, he had himself and also Samba Gi,47 his son, conveyed out of the town in great baskets, such as the Moors use to send fruits and succades48 in as gifts to their mosqueys. And thus reaching a place of safety, he returned to Moruchtraw, and fought against the Great Mogul with good success during almost all the remaining part of his life. And of the consequences of these wars you will see that I myself participated, but not yet.

Now during all this time I was not content to enjoy only my wage as a writer and the annuity I had earned, but engaged myself also in ventures to the Eastern Seas, whereby my wealth was much increased.49 But of my venture for cloves to the Manillas, or of my sending of Europe goods in a caphalay50 (which is a pack-train) bound for the city of Dhilly, you won’t care to hear, and ’twould be tedious to tell. But I may say to you that these ventures prospered marvellously, so that when I had been four years in East India, I had been able to put by moneys sufficient to pay the further bond of £500 demanded from factors, when I should have been five years a writer and so have reached my promotion, and something also to adventure once more in trading. And all this I did regard as a step towards the fulfilment of that work which my father had set before me, and towards my marriage with Dorothy, and in my letters sent home I writ with great delight of this happy hope. Happy is it for us poor mortals that we can’t read the future, for at this very time, when all looked so bright before me, I was about to part with all I had gained, yea, with all that I had ever had, and barely to escape with life itself.

Chapter IV

Of My Sending to Goa by My Employers, and of Those Things That Befell Me There

Now this is the manner in which these untoward matters befell, of the which I spake only on my last page. For I was called one day into the Council, which is the highest in the Indies, and found there his honour the President, together with Mr Accountant, that is next in place to him, the Warehouse-keeper, the Purser Marine, the Secretary, and divers of the senior merchants of the Factory, that have the honour to be members of the board. And I, much fearing that I was to be chidden for some failure in my duty, did answer to the summons with little joy, standing before their honours like some poor rascal of a poacher awaiting his sentence from the bench of justices, but my friend Mr Martin, being among the merchants present, did cheer me with a look, so as I was made happy again. Then saith Mr Accountant—

“Mr Carlyon, you have now been near five years in the Company’s service at this place, and we learn from Mr Martin, who is set over you, that you have a fair knowledge of the East Indian tongues, and have always deserved to be well spoken of, as a zealous and careful servant of the Committee.”

I bowed in answer to these compliments, and he continued—

“Do you know anything of the Portuguese, Mr Carlyon?”

“No, sir,” says I; “I han’t never had occasion to learn it.”

“It may be that that occasion is even now arriving,” says he. “The Company, learning that its interests have at divers times suffered grievous hurt through its servants not understanding the tongue of the Portugals, hath decided to have instructed therein certain of its writers, gentlemen well-learned in the Indian tongues. At present you are the only gentleman at this place of whom this is said, and the Committee are therefore pleased to direct that you shall proceed at their charges to the city of Goa, in the Portuguese Indies, there to study the Portuguese tongue. The time you spend there under the Committee’s direction will count as a part of your service as writer, and you will receive a genteel present from the Company when you have given proof of your diligence.”

“I thank your honours and the Committee, sir,” said I, “for this goodness, which I will do my best to deserve.”

“You will provide yourself, Mr Carlyon,” says Mr Accountant, “with clothes befitting a young gentleman of quality, and the Company will furnish you with letters of commendation to the most considerable persons in Goa. Mr Martin will be good enough to instruct you with respect to the carriage and manners it will be becoming to you to assume. You won’t of course deny your connection with the Factory here, but it need not be insisted upon in general company. And if”—here Mr Accountant leaned forward, and looked me very steadfastly in the face—“if you find that ’tis true, as is alleged, that the Portugals are contriving plots for the damaging the Company’s trade in the Eastern Seas, you will make known the same to us, by means as secret and as speedy as you can devise.”

“Sir,” said I, “I’ll do my best to be watchful for their honours’ interests.” For I perceived that the Council was no little touched by the rumours that had of late reached us concerning the designs of the Portugals, and that ’twas my business to discover these, that so they might best be thwarted. And after this Mr Secretary, that had spoke not at all hitherto, being grieved that he could not prevail with his honour the President to send Mr Spender to Goa beside me, gave me my further instructions, and so I was dismissed. And Mr Martin and I walking back to our chambers, he saith to me:—

This chanceth in an houre that hapneth not in seven yeares, Ned, and sure ’tis a happy chance for you. With prudence and tolerable good luck, your fortune is now assured. I don’t doubt but you’ll soon be made agent in some small factory when you are returned from your studying, and so have occasion to use your Portuguese. But with your leave, lad, I will give you some counsel, lest you fall into trouble at Goa.”

“Sir,” says I, “I hope that I shall always gratefully receive and follow any counsels you may be good enough to give me.”

“Listen, then,” says he; “and first you must always be mindful not to infringe the punctilio51 of the Portugals, for so fantastical and strange is’t as passeth belief. You must never look hard at a lady, as she sits in her balcony, or rides in her coach, if you don’t desire to be stabbed that night. And regarding the religion of Goa, you must needs be mighty circumspect. You have seen those poor idolaters, the Papists here, walking through the city with their processions, and kneeling down in the mire when the Host is a-passing? Here this happeneth but from time to time, but at Goa you see little else. And in all the Portugals’ towns ’tis the law and custom that every one meeting a procession of the Church shall uncover to’t, and also kneel, or at the least bow low, until it be passed by. Now some Englishmen, conceiving that saw to be true, When at Rome, do as Rome does, do make it their custom to uncover and kneel, as ’tis ordained, but to me, this compliance savours somewhat of cowardice, and won’t, as I believe, commend itself to you. Wherefore, if you’ll be guided by me, I would have you go into some shop near at hand, or turn down another street whensoever you see a procession coming, or hear the little bell rung that signifies the approach of the Host, if you don’t wish to be stabbed where you stand. And above all, my dear Ned, let me entreat you never to enter into any controversy with any person in Goa, be he Portugal or Indian, upon any question of religion. He will seek to lead you on until you have uttered something that is to his mind heretical, and then he’ll denounce you to the Inquisition. And once there, Ned, ’twere far better had you been stabbed in the street by some bravo among the common people, for the few that are escaped thence are come forth crippled and helpless, and the many that han’t never escaped have died by the torture or the fire. Happie is he that can beware by other men’s harmes.”

“I thank you, sir,” says I, “and will try to remember that which you have ofttimes told me—viz., A close mouth catches no flys.”

“Good lad!” says he, “and may I see you return safe in six months or thereabouts, as full of the Portuguese as a banyan is full of deceits. But let me counsel you to take with you such weapons as you may chance to have, and to sleep with ’em under your pillow of nights; for Goa is the most shameless ill-governed town that ever called itself Christian.”

Much other good counsel did my esteemed friend give me during the short space of time that we yet spent together, for it took no long delay to prepare me for my journey. ’Twas thus that I found myself, in the early part of the year 1668-69, at the age of twenty-two years, equipped as a gentleman of good degree for to set out on my travels, having letters with me to several respectable gentlemen at Goa, a tolerable supply of money, and suitable weapons for my defence. Likewise I had with me my servant Loll Duss,52 a most excellent good fellow, that had served me from my first arriving in Surat, and might put to shame many of our English lacqueys. ’Tis the custom in East India for persons of any consideration to carry about with them a great following of servants (though the cost of this is not so great as with us, these men being habited in white calicut, and eating only rice and a little fish); but I had no list to waste either the Company’s substance or my own upon such display as this. Nevertheless, so confident did I feel in my situation, and so sure that my fortune was now to be made, that I writ to my father and to Dorothy that they should not wonder though they heard no more touching me for a long time, for that I might be chief Vizier to the Great Mogul when next they heard speak of me. To Mr Martin’s care I intrusted the diary I had kept, and such things as I must leave behind me, he promising also to keep for my return any letters that might be brought for me by ship from England. This good friend bare me company down to the landing-place, and as his wont was, bade me farewell with a proverb—

“Ned, suffer me to advise you once more, Speake faire, and thinke what you will. Even if by chance your argument should convince a Papist, it won’t profit either of you, since you will find yourself in the Inquisition, and he must needs show an extraordinary great soundness and devotion to save his life, and bring the faggots for to burn you.”

Thus we bade one another farewell, and I departed on my journey in the Company’s baloon, which is a boat of sixteen oars, very pleasant and commodious for to travel by. On our way we tarried only at the factory of Bombaim, and arrived in good time at the mouth of the Goa river. This place is well defended, for there are here four forts and a block-house, and so arranged as that no ship may pass but under their guns. And going on up the river we passed the great Agoada53 which brings water to the city, and the strong fortress of Marmagoun. The champaign country on either side of the river is mighty pleasant of aspect, and situate in it is many fine garden-houses54 of the Viceroy and the hidolgoos55 with stately churches and palaces. The river here is full of islands, which do much hinder the passage of vessels, and not far below the city it is crossed by a bridge of thirty-six arches, joined to a long causey.56 The city itself is ten miles from the river-mouth,57 and stands on seven hills, being defended by good walls and gates. The prospect in approaching the place is an extreme fine one to behold, and the buildings of the city as rich and fair as any I have ever seen. Methought, as I come near to this accursed place, whereof I can now scarce think without a shudder, that here was no ill town to tarry in for six months, not knowing that I should not leave it for three years, and should (I fear) gladly have seen it destroyed, like Sodom or Gomorrha, long before that time.

I had been recommended by my employers to a decent lodging, where such Englishmen as visited Goa on their occasions was wont to tarry, and here I took up my billet, together with my servant Loll Duss. The keeper of the lodging was a certain woman, widow to one of the Company’s captains now deceased, speaking English very well, though country-born, and no bigot, although one of those Papists of whom Mr Martin had warned me. She gave me a fair chamber, looking into a court well set with trees, and with a fountain running therein, and good entertainment also, so that I found myself well provided for. And I asking her to advise me of a good teacher, from whom I might learn the Portuguese, she named to me her own son, that had made one or two voyages in his father’s ship, and could speak English also. And I, that had feared I must needs have some Jesuit padree to my teacher, whereby, as Mr Martin foresaw, I had been very like to be led into controversy, accepted of her offer with great contentment, and had the boy fetched, that I might see him. He, being a smart fellow enough, professed himself quite ready to serve me for a decent weekly wage, and I was thus well attended, having always with me my secretary (as he called himself), beside my servant Loll Duss.

And now, conceiving that I might well begin with the highest, I did send by the hand of Loll Duss that letter of commendation I had to Dom Lewis de Bustamante, a gentleman in very high place, and nephew to his highness the Viceroy. And this Dom Lewis lost little time before he came to visit me, and entreated me most courteously, and must needs carry me with him to make my compliments to his highness his uncle, for whom I had brought a genteel present—viz., several pots of extraordinary fine succades or sweetmeats, newly arrived from Europe. And the Viceroy I found to be a proper man, and most courteous of manner, and indeed, among all those I have known have I never seen none so kind and so greatly given to hospitality as were these Portugals. For his highness was graciously pleased to give me as a token of his favour a ring, with a very fair diamond set therein, worth some thousand pagodoes58 which he took from his own finger for to put it upon mine. How I lost this ring, you will hear in due time, but I have often desired to know whether it returned into his highness’s coffers or no. Dom Lewis, likewise, showed me great kindness, and had fain had me lie at his house, and was so urgent with me that I had much ado to refuse him; but pleading the importance of my occasions, and my occupation with the Portuguese tongue, they left me where I was.

Now after this time this was the manner of my life at Goa, and if it seem to you too light and idle, you must remember that I was but young, and that I conceived I was doing best my employers’ business in mingling much with the Portugals. For on rising in the morning, I went with my hostess’s son (that was called Peter) to take the air by the river, and perhaps to view some church or other great building, and thereafter I spent some time in the study of the Portuguese. But for some two or three hours about mid-day was every one wont to repose themselves indoors, for fear of the heat, and I was fain to do the like. Then in the afternoon would come Dom Lewis or some one of his friends for to carry me with him to some assembly or party of pleasure, and the evening passed agreeably enough, with music and dancing, and suchlike diversions.

Now you will wonder how in all this time I escaped the Inquisition, without (as some have falsely said) I conformed myself to their customs for fear. But the manner of my safety was this. I followed out the counsel given me by Mr Martin, and avoided all processions and church shows. I had much desired to have seen an High Mass in the great church of the Dominicans or Black Friars, the which is all gilded within, and in the sacristan59 treasures of untold value, but I refrained, and forced myself only to visit it one morning with Peter. Likewise, I was very firm to refrain from argument, and indeed my companions, that were for the most part young gentlemen of good blood and breeding, did never attempt to force it upon me. And with regard to the punctilio of the Portugals, I saw much reason to marvel thereat, seeing that they will walk abroad in the streets bareheaded under umbrelloes, for to avoid the necessity of uncovering the one to the other; but I was so happy as never to infringe it. And of adventures among the ladies had I none, seeing that they are kept very recluse, and I had neither inclination nor opportunity to make close acquaintance with ’em. But it is necessary to state this, since it hath been alleged otherwise concerning me. Thus all went well, until one day Dom Lewis came earlier than usual to visit upon me, and carried me with him to his house, that was very fine and splendid, for to see his cousin newly arrived from the Moxambique.

And this cousin of his (that was also nephew to the Viceroy) I found a pretty boy enough, Dom Francis de Lessa by name. (Now this name, Francis, is very common in Goa, after their great saint, Franciscus Xeverius,60 that lies buried in the fair church of Bon Jesu.) And this young gentleman, Dom Francis, had been bred up in one of their colleges by the Jesuits, or Paulistins,61 as they call them here, from their monastery of St Paul’s; and with him was his governor,62 that the Viceroy, with the advice of the padrees, had appointed over him. This was a Paulistin called Father Sebastian, a person of a most gentle and courteous aspect, and so well versed in all matters of polite learning that to talk with him was a pleasure. Yet, to my misfortune, there awoke in me, while in his company, as it were a certain fervour and heat of opposition, so that I did find myself perpetually at an issue with him, to my no small concern, be the matter of our discourse what it might. Now on this day it seemed good to us to walk through the city and show to Dom Francis what was worthy to be seen therein, and so the time passed pleasantly away. But in returning from Old Goa, a part of the town that is now decayed, but wherein many respectable persons do dwell agreeably enough, we stopped on a bridge for to look at the boats on the river, and I chanced to say that ’twas a pity the Portugals should waste so much time a-racing one another on the water in baloons to the spoiling of their business.

Then says Father Sebastian in French—

“You English are a stirring and industrious nation, sir. Sure we can’t never hope to equal you in this.”

“It seems to me, sir,” says I, “with all respect to you, that in the present posture of affairs, your governors are much to blame in that they allow so many of your men to stay idle in monasteries, instead of arming ’em and setting ’em to drill or to work. Why, ’tis said you have more Europe men in the convents here than in all your garrisons, and King Seva Gi and his Morattys at your very gates.”

“But pray, sir,” saith he, very meekly, “could these persons be better employed than in beseeching God to favour the arms of their country, and His saints to keep the enemy at a distance?”

“Indeed, sir,” says I, “speaking with all deference to you, I must say that all these Black, White, or Gray Friars do the country no good, nor the Church no credit. Were his highness to order ’em all on to the walls for to be taught how to handle a fusee or a pike, ’twould provide for the place a handsome garrison, and rid the town of a lazy set of rascals.” I was about to continue, growing warm in the subject, the which had much exercised me since my coming to Goa, when Dom Lewis pressed my arm, and I followed his eyes to a certain island in the river, where was a great void place with high posts set up therein, and seats of stone at one side thereof. I had seen this place before, and Peter also had pointed me to it, but it seemed to me that I had never yet truly understood what was done there. ’Twas the burning-place of the Inquisition. I stopped suddenly in my speech, but Dom Lewis said somewhat touching the time of day, and we passed on.

Now as we come into the town, there was had betwixt us some discussion as to which way we should return to the Viceroy’s palace, and on the advice of Father Sebastian we made choice of a certain street that leads past the cathedral. And we walking and talking merrily, come presently to the square lying before this, which is as large as any in England, and of a neat and plain aspect. Now we being entered the square, I saw coming towards us the procession of some saint, I have forgot which, but they were carrying the Host under a state,63 with clericos walking bareheaded on either hand, and boys scattering incense and ringing bells. There was also one or two images or statuas, with banners and suchlike borne aloft, and many nuns and ladies of the city walking after. And as the procession come near, the people all made haste to kneel down in the dust, the men uncovering, until it should be passed. And I, according to my custom, did seek to turn aside, but we were in the open square, and there was no shop nor side-street at hand. Then there come to my mind that sight which Dom Lewis had but now showed to me—viz., the burning-place by the river, and I won’t conceal from you that for a moment my knees trembled and the devil tempted me very sorely to take off my hat and bow myself before those images and that Host which was carried there. But I thank God that I was kept from this base and cowardly conformity, and was strengthened to stand still while as the procession came near. Father Sebastian and Dom Francis went down on their knees mighty devoutly, and Dom Lewis bowed almost to the ground, saying to me—

“Bow, Dom Edward; ’tis the custom here.”

But I still stood up, and the procession passed by, the priests and women all looking black upon me that durst insult their idols. And when the people was rose up again from their knees, they come round about us, hustling us and crying out that we was atheists and heretics, and making ready for to stone us. But Dom Lewis crying out to them very earnestly that I was a stranger that knew not their ways in that place, and that they were all three good Christians, as might be seen, they were content to let us pass, though with many ill words. Thus we walked on to the palace, Father Sebastian going meekly with his eyes cast down and his hands folded, and Dom Lewis with a dark and gloomy air, while Dom Francis his cousin looked upon me askance, avoiding me as a man might one that had the plague. I, indeed, was far from being at ease with myself, and to add to my distemper, it seemed that even in the palace I could not be free from peril, for we reaching the building and standing on the great steps in the forefront thereof for to take the air, there come up an ancient man, an Indian, of a lean and shabby aspect, and he carried with him a little cabinet, so to speak, with curtains before it of some old torn stuff. And Father Sebastian asking what strange beast he had therein, the fellow replied by bringing the cabinet up to us upon the steps, and showing us inside on’t divers little images of the Virgin and the saints. And his design was that we should kiss these, and withal give him some small piece of money, as the custom is here. And Father Sebastian motioning him to approach me first, being the guest of Dom Lewis, I had in my hand half a ducket,64 the which I purposed to give him, seeing the man to be old and poor, but I refused to kiss the images that he carried, whereat he departed much displeased, though the other gentlemen were willing to pleasure him.

And now, Dom Lewis seeming to be ill at ease, we went into the palace, and presently his highness entered to us, and the evening passed as usual. But shortly before the company departed, while as they was serving jacolatt65 Father Sebastian entered again into discourse with me, and desired to hear many things concerning England. He held many strange notions touching our country, such as I should conceive a Frenchman might entertain, but so universally learned are these Jesuits that I can’t so much as guess of what nation he was. And at last he advanced this proposition—viz., that the English are a people altogether destitute of all loyalty and reverence, and entirely given up to lawlessness and irreligion. And this saying I did combat with all my skill, bringing forward to the contrary thereof the loyalty wherewith the Cavaliers fought for his late majesty, and the reverence they testified toward the poor clergy in their extremity.

“But, sir,” saith Father Sebastian, “sure you’ll pardon me if I say aught displeasing to you in my ignorance, but I had believed that ’twas accounted in England a merit to show no reverence to such things as other men venerate. And this belief of mine was confirmed, sir, in me by your own behaviour to-day.”

“I hope, sir,” says I, “that I am always ready to show due respect wheresoever my conscience may allow on’t, but I can’t find it in me to bow down to a piece of bread.”

I saw Dom Francis turn pale and walk away, at a signal from his governor, and Dom Lewis called my notice to a rare piece of carving in ivory that had but just been sent to his highness from the king of Visiapour, and told me that it was worth at the least ten thousand duckets. And while admiring this, I noted a badge or medal in gold that he bore on his left arm, and whereof I had often desired to ask him, and I inquired concerning its device, and his reason for the wearing it. But it seemed to me that Father Sebastian looked at him for a moment, and in the stead of answering, he put my question aside, and spake of some other matter. Then the father turned again to me—

“I ask your pardon, sir, but I don’t follow your meaning as I could wish. May I beg of you to favour me at more length with the opinions held by the English (and by yourself as an Englishman), on this subject—viz., the respect paid to images of the holy saints?”

Now I would not have you think of me more highly than I deserve, and so I will confess to you that ’twas my fantasy at this time that I had a mighty pretty turn for argument, and could set out my meaning as neatly as any man. But on this especial evening I declare most solemnly that I had no list whatever to argue, but only to set forth and explain unto this civil and fair-spoken priest that which he desired to know. But ’twas not to be looked for that I, matched against such an extraordinary keen antagonist, could confine myself to a cold setting forth of facts, and I found quickly that I was becoming engaged in a smart controversy, Dom Lewis and divers gentlemen of his acquaintance standing by to listen, though uttering no comment on all that passed. The matter was ended at last by his highness giving the signal to retire, and Father Sebastian saying that we must surely resume our debate on the morrow, I bade him good night, and so departed. But Dom Lewis coming with me into the hall while I buckled on my sword, and two peunes66 (which is Gentue boys or servants), sought out and brought to me my hat and cloak, I heard him mutter in his throat when he bade me farewell certain words. And of these the sense never reached me until I had returned to my lodging, and was ready to go to bed, though their sound seemed well known to me, but then I knew them to be, Quem Deus vult perdere, prius dementat.

But, as I said, I did not perceive at first the meaning of these words, and I went home after my usual fashion, with one of the Viceroy’s servants bearing a lantern before me, and found Loll Duss looking for me in no small alarm, since it was already late, and he had feared lest some ill was befallen me. For, as Mr Martin had warned me, in the streets of Goa is no safety for any whose occasions oblige them to be abroad after dark, for what with the Coffrees67 or negroes, that are given no food by their masters, and the soldiers, whose pay is always withheld from ’em, so that both must needs brawl and rob for to keep themselves alive, the place is full of murders and assaults every night. Nay, so bold do these robbers become, that ’tis their custom even to break into houses, and strip the inhabitants of their moneys and other goods, and kill those that resist them, wherefore every prudent person is wont to sleep with pistols at his bed’s head and sword by his side. And after this manner had I laid myself down on this same night, with Loll Duss a-sleeping on the threshold of my chamber, and was fallen asleep in great contentment, expecting no harm nor fearing none, that peril from the unruly brawlers alone excepted.

But on a sudden I was awaked by an extraordinary great knocking at the gate without, and heard Peter run to ask who might be there. At the first I thought it to be a band of those thieving soldiers of whom I spake just now, but by the answer that was then returned to him I knew what it was that should befall me, for a voice cried—

“The Holy Inquisition. Open quickly!”

“Loll Buss,” says I to my servant, that had rushed into my chamber in affright, “these men are come for to take me.”

“Shall we resist ’em, master?” quoth he, snatching up my sword from its sheath, and making as though he would defend the door.

I looked around, the while I could hear Peter fumbling to unfasten the bolts of the gate. Perchance (says I), if we can drive them away for a moment we may escape. But at once I perceived that ’twas impossible. My chamber opened on the one side into the inner court, from which was no exit but over the roof, and on the other into a passage leading to the gate. There was no way of escape. But upon this a thought seized me.

“No, Loll Duss,” says I, “we can’t resist. They are come for to seek me, and must needs take me. But I dare be bound they han’t no warrant for to hale you along with me, though they will take you if they find you. Hide yourself, and save these papers of mine, and carry ’em with you to Surat, to Mr Martin.”

And thus speaking I snatched up from my writing-book the letter I had but just wrote to Mr Martin, and with it such notes as I had made touching the designs of the Portugals in the Eastern Seas, and thrust them into his hands. My pistols also I gave him, and such money as come to my hand, and bade him be gone. And he disappeared and was gone before I might so much as turn round, hiding himself in some hole so secure as that they never found him.

Now all these things happened in far less time than I must take for to tell you of ’em, and Loll Duss was safely departed when at length the gate was opened, and the officers come along the passage to my chamber. I met them at the door, and would have asked their business, as one hugely curious concerning their visit, but at the sight of him that led them my tongue refused his office, for he was my friend, Dom Lewis de Bustamante. And he summoning and claiming me as the prisoner of the Holy Inquisition, showed me a warrant, signed and sealed, and upon this the rest of the officers entered the chamber, and set seals on all that was therein. Now the seal that was upon the warrant bare the device of a dove carrying in her mouth a branch of olive, and these words in Latin, Justitia et Misericordia. Then I, looking upon the medal that Dom Lewis bare upon his sleeve, did see wrought therein this self-same figure and motto, the which stirred up in me a great heat and indignation, that a brave man should suffer his friends carelessly to endanger themselves in his presence, and never tell them that his honour demanded that he should denounce and seize ’em. As for the rest of the officers, they was as evil-looking a crew of rascals as I ever saw, all clad in great gowns of black stuff, with hoods for to shade their faces, but of their nature I saw little, for they said nothing, leaving it all to Dom Lewis, that was most assuredly their master.

And this nobleman asking of me whether I were ready to come with ’em, I requested leave to finish dressing of myself properly, which was granted, and likewise to pack and take with me my trunk, or at least some clothes in a bag, but this he refused, saying that the Holy Office should look to my goods, and I should have ’em again. Then having dressed myself, I went with them to the gate, where they had a coach in waiting, and put me into it, and themselves followed, my hostess weeping and crying in the door that no such shame had ever come upon her house before, and so departed.

Chapter V

Of the Events that Befell Me on My Arrest, and in the Holy House at Goa

Now while we were in the coach I did make inquiry of Dom Lewis whether they were a-carrying me to the Santa Casa (or Holy House, as the palace of the Inquisition is wont to be called, as though in mockery), but he refused to answer me, saying that I should discover where I was when I reached the journey’s end. And I therefore waiting patiently, we presently alighted, and after some ceremonies gone through before an officer, and the placing of irons on my feet, I was taken along a certain passage, and thrust into an extreme noisome and stinking place, wherein was already confined some thirty or forty persons. And these, I found, were common murderers and thieves of the town; for they rose upon me with one consent, and did take from me such money and other small matters as I had in my pockets, I not caring to resist them overmuch, as knowing that I should have no peace until they were well satisfied that they had left me nothing. And asking where I was, one advised me that the place was the Aljuvar, or prison belonging to the Ordinary, that is, the Archbishop of Goa, for that some law or custom hindered their carrying me at once to the Holy House.

In this foul and filthy hole I was left for two nights and a day, suffering great discomfort, and this not only in my mind, from the company I was in, but in body also, inasmuch as the floor was so covered with all nastiness that I durst not lay myself down, but was fain to abide standing, or at most leaning against the wall, which indeed scarce pleased me better than the floor, for that space of time. This chamber of the Aljuvar was situate below the level of the ground, and hollowed out of the rock, holding but one small opening to the light, through the which scarce a single ray could manage to pass. In the midst of the floor was a well or chasm, from the which, as from the lowest pit, there ascended evil and mephitical vapours, that were at times insupportable. I can scarce find it in me to cast up against the prisoners their robbing me of my money, and the eagerness they showed in this thievish work, since the Ordinary provided no food for ’em, and they must have starved had it not been for the charity of certain worthy persons, that brought broken victuals for to be given them. I myself had been like to have fared ill but for the kindness of the boy Peter, who brought me a basketful of such food as he could compass, the overplus whereof I did divide among my fellows. During the second night of my imprisonment I slept scarce a wink, being so sore troubled with the vermins that abounded in the place, and the stench from the well. Yet was not this discomfort wholly to be held a misfortune, since it hindered me from dwelling overmuch on the hard and unkind behaviour of Dom Lewis, which otherwise had sorely exercised me.

Despite this saving clause, nevertheless, ’twas with a joy that I had little expected ever to feel in the like posture of affairs that I heard myself summoned by the turnkey to come to the door, in order to my being transferred to the keeping of the Inquisition. At my request, time was granted me to make some small changes in my apparel and the like, and after this, the same persons as before met me on the threshold, and carried me in the coach to the Holy House, which is situate on that side of the great square that stands opposite to the cathedral, and is of a lofty and solemn aspect, being entered by three great doorways, whereof the midmost leadeth into the great hall, where I was taken. And here my conductors delivered me over into the hands of others that were there, and the irons that were upon my legs were knocked off. And this occupying some time, I had leisure to consider how little, when I, as had once been my custom, had read with my cousin Dorothy on the Sunday evenings in Mr Foxe his ‘Booke of Martirs,’ sitting in the summertime in the garden-arbour, and on the settle beside the great hall-fire in the winter, how little, I say, we had thought that I myself should ever come as a prisoner into the hands of that very Inquisition, of the devilish cruelties whereof we trembled only to read.

But these musings could not last long, for when they had released me from my irons, the officers into whose charge I had been given led me into a chamber opening from the hall, that is called, as I heard thereafter, the Board of the Holy Office. This chamber is hung round about with very fair tapestry, wrought in stripes of blue and citron colour, and at one end on’t a great crucifix in projecting work, that reached almost to the ceiling. There was a raised place in the midst, whereon stood a long table with great chairs set all around it, and at the end by the crucifix a folding-stool for the secretary. Opposite to this was set another fold-stool for the prisoner (that was I), and in the chairs around the table sat my lords the Inquisidors68 and their officers. And of these Inquisidors, that are persons of a mighty severe aspect, and very reverend of bearing, the chief is a secular priest, and the second a religious of the Order of the Dominicans, and vested in their particular apparel, which is a white vesture set with a crotchet69 in black, and this under a black gown or cowl. And I, after bowing myself with all imaginable respect unto their lordships, did sit down, as they bade me, upon the stool set for me, having on my right hand the Grand Inquisidor, who, beginning to speak, said to me somewhat in a tongue that I took to be the Italian, but which I understood not, and did shake my head for to signify the same. They asked of me next, whether I could speak the Portuguese, and on my answering in that tongue, with some halting, that I understood it but passably, and spake it as yet hardly at all, they demanded to know whether I would have an interpreter. And I accepting of the same with gratitude, they sent a messenger, who presently returned, bringing with him a Jesuit priest, clothed, as their manner is, in a long black gown, with a collar and rings, and a high round cap flat at the top, and this person did take his stand beside my lord the Grand Inquisidor, for to interpret to me what he should say.

At the command, then, of his lordship, this Paulistin asked of me, in outlandish enough English, concerning my name and state of life, both which I gave him, and then concerning the cause of my arrest, to which I made answer that to the best of my belief ’twas my not complying with the superstitious custom of the place—viz., in my refusing to bow to the procession that went past, carrying the Host with it. And upon this, with great solemnity, the interpreter adjured me to make a full confession of all the matters whereof I was accused, for that then the Holy Office should exercise its right of mercy, and release me speedily, with great advantage gained to my soul. He bade me also search and see whether my conscience warned me of no other crimes, for the which I might worthily be brought to trial and punished, but I made answer that I knew not what they might account crimes, but that so far as I remembered I could not charge myself with any that need come under their lordships’ notice. Furthermore, I declared to them that I was a subject of the King of England, and desired to be assisted by some consul or other officer of his majesty’s, and also threatened them with our fleet should they illuse me or refuse me justice; but upon this they did dismiss me hastily, and bade the interpreter see me duly lodged.

I was taken then to a certain gallery, the priest and the secretary going with me, and there was brought thither my two trunks, and these the alcaide, as they call the chief turnkey, set himself to open and search, the secretary being at his side and noting down what was found therein. And while this was doing, the priest that had acted interpreter turned to me with a jolly laugh.

“These men speak no English,” says he, “and I have many things to ask of ye that I’d fain know, so with your pleasure we’ll discourse awhile. May I ask whether ye would be son to Sir Harry Carlyon, that once led the king’s forces in the West Country?”

“Seignior,” says I, greatly surprised, yet willing to be civil to this agreeable person, “Sir Harry Carlyon is my father.”

“Well met, then!” said he, “though I’d be glad to have had it in a better place. Your good father did me a kindness once, and sure I’ll not forget it. I hope Sir Harry is in good health, sir?”

“He was well when he writ to me last,” says I. “But pray, seignior, pardon my boldness in asking where you gat acquainted with my father. Was it in the wars of Germany?”

“Nay, ’twas in the wars of England,” says he. “The history on’t I’ll tell you another time, but advertise me now how matters are going under King Charles II., in Ireland especially.”

I perceived then that this person’s outlandish talk was all after the manner of the Irish, and after I had told him something of that which he desired to know, I learned that his name was Thigue O’Leary, but that in religion he was called Padree Deodoro, which in our tongue is Father Theodorus. Also he was good enough to testify great goodwill towards me, and to say that he hoped he should see me from time to time, for which (says he cheerfully) there will be opportunity enough before ye leave this place.

“For I see,” says he to me, “that ye are a lively youth, and mighty nimble with your tongue too. Sure I nearly laughed outright to hear ye calling down wrath on their lordships just now. And the cunning of ye! How did ye know that there was a poor Irishman here, dying for a man to talk to, when ye pretended not to understand the Inquisidor’s Latin?”

“I han’t heard any Latin, sir,” said I. “His lordship spoke to me in the Italian, as I believed.”

“Italian!” cried Father Theodorus, winking upon me with his eye, “sure ’twas mighty ancient Italian; like this, wan’t it?” and he pronounced some words, so that I saw that what I had taken for Italian was but Latin, spoken in their barbarous and Papistical fashion, as I had before heard it from Dom Lewis. But the Padree continued to believe that I had spoken falsely, and had denied my knowledge with the intent to gain some advantage.

“But pray, sir,” says I, seeing that he would not believe me, “tell me how long I must stay in this place?”

“Until ye die or convert,” says he, mighty drily.

“Alack, then, I am undone!” I cried; “but how will they use me?”

“That also depends on yourself,” says he.

“Unhappy wretch that I am!” I said; “what shall become of me?”

“Sure I don’t know,” says Father Theodorus; “but for your own sake, I trust ye will convert. But that ye will determine for yourself. My business is but to talk to ye. As I said, ’tis sorry I am to see your father’s son in this place, but I’m glad to have an Englishman for to talk with. I can’t let ye out, indeed, but I can talk to ye, and maybe convert ye, and even if I can’t do that, I might do worse than try. Sure ye have yet some things to be thankful for.”

Such was the strange and laughable humour of the man, that I could scarce avoid a smile even then to hear him. He took such infinite delight in a jest, as I have never seen equalled, and had a droll fashion of playing the philosopher with regard to untoward chances, that brought some diversion and even consolation therein. But he could not now treat me with any more of his philosophy, for the officers, having finished the searching of my boxes, came now for to search me also. And so well was this searching done, that they took from me even such little matters as the thieves in the prison had left me, among them his highness the Viceroy’s ring, the which I had contrived to hide, and gave back to me only my handkercher, which was but a coarse one, and not laced. Seeing that they had placed aside my books, which, in truth, were not many, but very dear and precious to me, I entreated that they would suffer me to keep them; but the secretary, through Father Theodorus, told me that no books was allowed in the Holy House. My comb even they also took away from me, saying I should have no need on’t, which indeed was true, since they brought a barber at once for to cut off my hair. Now this was very thick and long, so that I was extreme loath to lose it, nor has it ever grown since as it should do.

“Sure, ’tis a Roundhead ye are become in your old age, my boy,” said Father Theodorus; but so grieved was I that I could not bring up a smile for his untimely jest. And thus cropped like unto a Puritan or a madman, they led me to my cell. And this was situate on the higher floor of one of the squares of buildings into the which this place is divided; for on each floor are seven or eight cells, opening on a gallery, and each cell is some ten foot square. And here they left me, desiring that I might find myself altogether comfortable there, and the two doors (whereof more hereafter) were locked.

Now until I had been left by myself in this wise, I had scarce considered in my mind that I was truly a prisoner of the Inquisition. The civility of the officers, the reverend presence of the Lords Inquisidors, the decency with which the audience was conducted, the pleasantry of Father Theodorus, all conspired to make me feel that I was but in some piece of trouble a little greater than ordinary, wherefrom I must speedily be released through the representations of my friends. And even now, remembering that I had seen naught of the savage cruelty I had looked for, I considered that perhaps this antique tribunal was changing with the times, and becoming more merciful, wherefore I had been subjected to no manner of torture. How was I doomed in after-days to be undeceived in regard to this matter! and truly, when I had been for some time locked into my cell, my old fears returned thick upon me. It seemed to me at first impossible that it should be I, Edward Carlyon, that found myself in such a situation, and that it was in truth an evil dream, wherefrom I should presently awake and discover myself in bed at my lodging, or at least in that stinking cave of the Aljuvar. But when I was risen up, and had walked from end to end of the chamber, and looked upon and touched all that was therein, I knew that ’twas no dream, but a dreadful truth that could bring to me (as I thought) only death or dishonour. And remembering the tales I had heard and read concerning the devilish doings of the Inquisition, I prayed to God that I might be enabled to make choice of the first rather than of the last.

Now when I had remained for some time plunged in these gloomy contemplations, the alcaide brought in my dinner, the which, since I had tasted naught that day, did mightily refresh me, so that when I had eaten I was minded to see all that was in my power. And first I applied myself to look at the chamber itself, which is still as clear imprinted on my mind as if I saw it now, as well it may be, since there was granted me so long time for to study the aspect on’t. The cell was, as I have said already, some ten feet square, and at one end the floor was raised, so as to be a platform for sleeping on, whereon was spread a mat, and a checked counterpane for me to wrap myself withal. And for all other furnishing was there only divers earthen vessels, some finer and some coarser, for to hold water for washing, drinking, and the like, and a brush wherewith to sweep the chamber. Beside these was there the lesser of my two trunks, with certain clothes in it and no more. The roof was vaulted with stone, and it and the walls washed white. Such light as there was came through a little window covered with a grating, so high that even standing on my trunk I could never reach it. The place was closed by two doors, whereof the inner had in it a window, whereby the turnkey might put in my food, but the outer was made all over of iron, and was very strong. And this is all that was to be remarked in my cell, without it were the joints in the stones of the walls and floor, which I may well know by heart, seeing that I abode in that cell for three years. Now, if this had been told me beforehand I had assuredly fainted in my courage, for it seemed to me then, and will always so seem, that those three years was the slowest that ever passed on earth.

It was not at the first that weariness pressed so heavily upon me, for I determined within myself to use my time profitably, and so lay it out to the best advantage. Wherefore I did set apart certain hours of each day for the recalling my past life, considering in especial how I might have ordered it better than I had, and deploring my occasional levities of speech or conduct. Likewise to the best of my power I called up such things as I had read touching the Popish controversy, and endeavoured to set in order in my mind such arguments on behalf of our Reformed Faith as are deemed most certain among us. And in order that I might not suffer altogether from the loss of my books, in case some fortunate chance should ever afford me enlargement, I gave some time to repeating over those passages which I knew by heart, whether of the Bible or of other good books, or of such poetry as had come in my way of late years. And lest I should suffer in my employment as a merchant, of every day I devoted also a part to the making and casting up of accounts, bills of lading, invoices and the like, such as it might fall to my lot to draw out again should I ever win release. And to all this employment of my mind I conceive it to be due that I was able to pass through these years with health and clearness of brain, in spite of the many cruel torments from the which I suffered, as you shall hear.

Now when I had been some five months in this place (I meanwhile marking the time by scratching with a broken potsherd a line upon the wall for each day), and hearing nothing nor receiving no summons from their lordships the Inquisidors, the alcaide told me that I must now petition for a trial. And I, being by no means desirous to bring upon myself those severities whereof I had read, yet neither wishing to be left to live out my appointed course of life in this manner, did ask that I might be visited by Father Theodorus. Now this good man I had already seen twice since the day I had entered the place, since once in every two months one of the Inquisidors, together with their lordships’ secretary, is wont to go round to all the cells, asking the prisoners whether there is aught whereof they would make complaint, and with these come Father Theodorus as interpreter. But on my sending to seek him he came again, and entering my cell with the alcaide (for no officer of the Inquisition may ever speak with a prisoner alone), he asked me with great eagerness whether I was willing to convert. And I replying that I had no such thought, he testified extreme pity and sadness, but advised me that I should put their lordships in mind of my case through him.

“Not that ’tis forgot,” says he, “for the articles of accusation are drawn up, and the witnesses have been duly examined; but their lordships were willing to grant ye a convenient space wherein to consider and repent of your deeds if ye so desired it.”

“But pray, sir,” says I, “who were the witnesses? For it hath always been told me that seven were required.”

“Why,” says he, “the chief is Dom Lewis de Bustamante, that brought ye hither. Then there is Father Sebastian, a Paulistin like myself, several gentlemen that heard ye speak blasphemies in his highness’s palace, and divers persons of the lower sort, convicts and soldiers and the like, that witnessed your carriage and heard your words on the bridge and in the square of the cathedral.”

“Truly,” said I, “ you seem hard put to’t for witnesses, and yet, since you have so many, methinks Dom Lewis had done well to have made shift to resign his duty as one of ’em, which can scarce be pleasing to a gentleman of his quality.”

“Ye poor ignorant heretic!” cries Father Theodorus, “’tis his duty, and therefore his delight. Sure ’twas he accused ye.”

Mine own familiar friend!” says I.

“What would ye have?” says the father. “He could do no otherwise; for if he had not done’t, sure he’d have been denounced himself by the priest. ’Tis the law that he that conceals heresy is himself a heretic, and earns the like punishment. And Dom Lewis, being an officer of this holy tribunal, must not set an example of failing in his duty.”

Now upon this I fear that I forgot myself, and uttered many things that should not have been said concerning both the Holy Office and its ministers, such as were little like to better my situation, since even Father Theodorus put his hands before his ears and besought me to cease, saying he could not stay to hear such blasphemies. And I, being loath to displease and fray away this good friend, did force myself to cease, and begged of him to take such steps as he saw best for the bringing my case before their lordships. And he departing, I felt all at once an extraordinary great grief that I should of myself have broke in upon my safe, though quiet life, and called myself a fool for my pains, and would have had him return if it had been possible.

But ’twas now too late for this, and some three days thereafter the alcaide advertised me that I was summoned to my second audience of the Inquisidors, and bade me dress myself very neat for to come before their lordships. He carried me with him then to the same chamber as before, and when we were arrived at the door on’t, knocked three times. At the third time a bell was runs from within, and the door opened by an officer, when their lordships were discovered sitting around their table as before, with the clerk ready at hand, and Father Theodorus also, bearing as solemn and devout an aspect as if he had never passed a word with me in private in his life. The Grand Inquisidor, by his means, then ordered me to kneel down and take upon a certain book the oath which they should administer to me. And this book was, in so far as I could judge, a Missale or office-book of the Roman Church. I then kneeling, they required of me to swear that I would conceal all the secrets of the Holy Office, and speak the truth. To whom I made answer that, knowing none of their secrets, it was not reasonable to suppose I could reveal ’em; but that to the second part I would swear willingly, though I needed no swearing to ensure the truth from me. Whereupon they administered the oath, and bade me again be seated.

And now they desired to know the names of all my kin, even so far as my grandparents, which were all wrote down with much ceremony, and then asked whether I had been baptised, which when I had answered, one of the officers thrust before me a crucifix, and demanded of me to take an oath of my confession of faith. This was so sudden and so little expected that I was for the moment taken aback, so that I saw Father Theodorus look glad and happy, as thinking that I was about to profess myself a Papist; but I thank God that strengthened me and enabled me to declare that I had been born and brought up a Protestant of the Reformed Church of England, in which, if it so pleased Him, I hoped also to die. And upon this the chief Inquisidor addressed me, Father Theodorus interpreting, and said that I must now be proceeded against for an heretic, and so remanded me to my cell, adjuring me to tax my memory and thus make a good confession when I next came before the Board of the Holy Office.

Now on returning to my cell, I experienced a great gladness and uplifting of heart, for that God had graciously given me power to witness a true confession, so that I was constrained to lift up my voice in praise to Him, singing one of David’s psalms, until the alcaide came with small patience to my door, and roughly told me that if I did not cease my singing, I should receive two hundred lashes. But although they might stop my mouth, yet could not they hinder me from making melody in my heart, so that I can truly say, that had the summons to the torture-chamber come that night, I had gone to the rack, yea, even to the stake itself, with as great constancy and as firm a heart as any of those blessed martyrs of whom we read. In this happy posture of mind I remained for some days, being so enwrapt in holy joy and confidence that I hailed every step in the passage as perchance that of one who might be sent to summon me to glorify God in the torment, and leaped up to meet the turnkey on his entrance.

But the summons did not come, and I returned by degrees unto my old ways, yet with a mind not so settled and a humour more melancholic than before. For there come to me in the night visions of the old house at Ellswether, and my father sitting in his great chair in the hall, and on the threshold little Dorothy watching for tidings of me, and wondering and grieving because none came. And the devil was not sparing of evil suggestions—viz., that I should purchase lasting ease and freedom by a seeming compliance, such as need not bind me in the future, and must needs be far better than to die unknown a shameful death, while those at home should never guess what had befell me. Night after night was I tormented with these evil dreams, engendered in great part, as I have no doubt, by the closeness of the place and the extreme desire I had to go abroad in the air, which not happening, I lacked at last even strength to perform the tasks I had set myself in the daytime. And when, after some three or four months, the Inquisidors summoned me again before them, so broken and weary was I that it had given me little pain to have gone straight to death instead.

And at the beginning of this third audit was there the same ceremony observed as before, but more persons was present, notably one that had the appearance of a proctor or advocate. And I being seated as heretofore, and after some questions asked of no importance, they showed me a great paper covered thick with writing and garnished with divers seals, and told me that there was therein contained the charges made against me, which I must now answer according to my oath. And upon this the secretary did read out one by one the accusations, to the number of two-and-twenty in all, and to these I did my best to answer, though no time was given me for the considering what I should say. And so trivial and foolish were some of these charges that I can’t now so much as remember them, but I will down set the chief of those that I recollect.

First, there was several accusations charging me with insulting the Host that was carried in the procession, with insulting the images of the saints by refusing to kiss them, and with insulting the Holy Church by saying that her monks might be better employed than in praying in their monasteries. To these, after some small changes made in the words, I confessed. And after these come another set of charges that wrought in me no small astonishment. For it seemed that my chance words said to the boy Peter in my walks with him, or to Dom Lewis and other young gentlemen, or merely remarked, and addressed to no one at all, had been twisted and turned to mean disrespect to the objects they worship. And this although no such disrespect had been intended nor thought on, for I always conceived it only due to civility to make no attempt upon the religion of the persons with whom I discoursed, without they should try to meddle with mine. And after this the Inquisidors accused me of coming to Goa with malicious and criminal designs of subverting the Viceroy and the authority of his majesty the king of Portingale,70 and of overturning the Church, supporting their charges by reports gleaned from Portuguese merchants and sea-captains, and scraps they had pieced together from my books and papers. And these two classes of charges I steadfastly denied. But the last of all was that I was found to be an obdurate and contumacious heretic, that refused to mend my ways for all their gentleness and the opportunities they gave me, and this I must needs confess to be true.

This business then being finished, the Grand Inquisidor demanded of me whether I desired a counsellor for to plead my cause, and I answering that I did so desire, they pointed out to me a person that held, they said, that office, and was the one I had thought to be a lawyer. But I demanding when I should be permitted to consult with him upon my defence, they told me that this was not permitted. I looked then that this gentleman should essay some sort of defence out of his own wisdom, but he made no motion to speak, and Father Theodorus, the Lord Inquisidor commanding him, said, “Lawyers an’t allowed to speak before the Board of the Holy Office.” Then I, perceiving that their semblance of justice was but a blind and a pretence, did commend my soul to God, and told their lordships that I had no more to add unto what I had already said, and that if that didn’t satisfy them, then I was in their hands, and they must even do what they would with me. Then says the Grand Inquisidor, with a very evil and menacing air—

“You won’t confess? Remember that we have here means to force confession. Go, and think upon this, and God bring you to a better mind.”

Then the alcaide brought me back to my cell, where, seeing that I had no more any hope of enlargement, and that they purposed evil against me, I gave myself up for some time to an extreme grief and sadness. And this being observed, they sent to seek Father Theodor us, as thinking, no doubt, that fear was bringing me to yield, and this civil person and good Christian (although a Papist) made haste to visit me. And truly (though I hope it an’t in any spirit of boasting that I say it), had I been in any way inclined to turn, his words must have won me. For it seemed that the Portugals, having some slight inkling of the true reason for my errand to Goa, did credit me with much greater authority and insight than I possessed, and would have it that I was sent to concert plots for the revolting of the country by a league of the English with Seva Gi the Moratty king. Thus it appeared to them that if I would convert and join myself to them, they would become acquainted of all the plans and designs of the Company with respect to the Indies, and so be able to thwart ’em all.

And in this thought they made to me, through Father Theodorus, many flattering offers (too flattering, indeed, ever to be performed, had I been fool enough to be allured by them). For they were willing, said he, to settle upon me a pension, and upon my heirs after me, and to marry me to a kinswoman of the Viceroy’s (who was commended to me as extraordinary handsome and a great fortune, and had, so said Father Theodorus, caught sight of me from a balcony when I was at large, and become enamoured of me), and so to transport me safely to the Brasils, where a genteel estate and a convenient provision of slaves should be appointed me. And on the other side, says Father Theodorus, while as with the tears standing in his eyes he besought me to convert, there was the rack and other more fearful torments, and a miserable death at the burning-place. So moving were his pleadings that the alcaide himself joined in them, and entreated me with much earnestness not to throw away soul and body alike. But through God’s grace I was enabled to stand firm and refuse them, and so they left me, warning me that I should afterwards desire to have followed their advice.

Chapter VI

Of the Secret, Dreadful, and Bloody Doings of the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition

Now you may look to hear that after this firm refusal to convert I should find myself most happy and strong in my mind, and await with patience and constancy the tortures that were to come. But so weak and feeble is our poor human nature, and mine in especial, that I was troubled night and day with dreams of the rack, so that at the last I could neither sleep nor eat. And doubtless, to those watching my situation, it seemed a hopeful thing to behold how weak and timid I was grown, and one night they haled me from my bed to the chamber where the Board sat. And here they did demand of me once more whether I would recant my heresies and confess the crimes wherewith I was charged. And I answering that any crimes I had committed I had already confessed, and did most willingly repent for ’em, but that I could neither confess nor repent for those whereof I was not guilty, they declared me an obstinate heretic, and commanded me to be carried to the torture-chamber.

This place, which was reached by divers galleries and damp passages, was long and low, so far as I might see (for all the light was but two candles), and the walls lined all over with a kind of quilting or tapestry. And here was six men, of a very hideous and ferocious aspect, beside those that had entered with me, to whom orders was given that they should prepare the torture, I in the meantime leaning myself against the wall, being too faint from fasting and terror to stand upright. And when their devilish machine was ready, I found myself seized by these men, who stripped off my clothes and laid me upon a stand raised above the floor, fastening me down with a collar of iron about my neck, and an iron ring round each foot. Then the Inquisidor, that was come hither with us, demanded of me once more whether I would confess and convert, which again I refused.

And thereupon the tormentors did wind two ropes around each of my arms and legs, and, on a signal given from the Inquisidor, drew them all tight at once. This caused me an intolerable anguish, and the blood gushed forth under all the ropes, these being very small and cutting even to the bone. Though I bit my lip through, I could not restrain myself from groaning, and at last the ropes were loosed. Then they asked of me again whether I would convert, but I still refused, though fearing greatly that I must yield if the ropes should be again drawn tight, so incredible was the pain. Wherefore I cried out aloud to God that He would keep me firm in truth and integrity, and not permit me to be forced either to renounce my faith, or to confess what I had never done, and so I resigned myself again to the tormentors. Now it may seem to you a strange piece of weakness, and one whereof an Englishman had reason to be ashamed, though ’twas to me a great and unlooked for mercy, that as soon as the ropes were pulled tight again I fainted away, from the pain and constriction thus caused, and so felt no more of their cruelties. And at last, the chirurgion71 that was there certifying that I could bear no more and live, they unloosed me and carried me back to my cell, bleeding in many places from those wounds, whereof I shall carry the scars to my dying day.

’Tis the custom of the Inquisition, when those that come under their hands refuse to confess at the first application of the torture, to tend them carefully and recover them so far as may be, in order that they may entreat them even worse in the future, and this not a second time only, but also a third, if they can endure so long. ’Twas in accordance with this their custom, then, that I was conveyed again to my chamber, my wounds bound up, and such meat and drink ordered to be provided for me as I should desire. And this though there is truly no cause to complain touching the ordinary food, the while is most wholesome in its kind, being good bread, fish or fruit, and on Sundays and holy-days also a sausage, and abundant in quantity as well.

And because their lordships saw that I was dull and heavy of heart, they did send Father Theodor us to talk with me and comfort me, hoping also that he would bring me to convert, through his kindness working upon my weakness. And during some weeks his visits did indeed much cheer me; but the end thereof was not such as my lords looked for, though I can’t tell whether ’tis altogether to be charged to the good father’s account. Now on the last day of his coming that I can recollect at that time, I had but just lighted upon that in my cell which awoke in me great curiosity, so that I pleased myself with divers speculations concerning it. For while I lay upon my mat, scarce able to move through weakness, and my eyes wandering over the bare walls, there appeared to me on a stone close to the floor a certain writing, that had never caught my sight before. It cost me infinite pains to drag myself to that spot, and yet more to read the writing, which I could not do but only at noonday. Then looking at it closely, I saw that it was scratched with a nail or some such sorry tool, in the Portuguese. But between my disease and my small knowledge of that tongue, ’twas some time before I could understand it. Englished, it ran thus, so far as I can recollect:—

“I, Emmanuel da Lesminha, a New Christian, was brought hither on the 13th day of May 1659, being accused as a relapsed Jew. On St James’s day of this year, 1663, I shall be brought out, to the galleys or to the flames, God alone knows which. God of my fathers, defend my innocence.”

The former part of this inscription was drawn deeply, with much care and pains, as if the unhappy man had laboured long upon it, but the second piece was scratched as though in haste, and was barely to be read. I wondered much concerning this prisoner, whether the galleys or the fire had been his fate, and purposed in my own mind to engrave a like record of myself, when my strength should allow and a convenient tool offer. Then come in Father Theodor us with the alcaide, and I asked of him the name of the person that had lain in this cell before I had it. I was surprised to see that he observed me somewhat curiously before answering.

“Why?” says he, “have ye seen aught? The man that had this chamber before ye was a fetiscero.72 a sorcerer, that is, a negro from Angola. I would not be telling ye how many good Christians in the city he had bewitched before the Holy Office gat hold of him. Sure he could make the rest of the cofferies do anything he wanted for fear of their lives, and even when he was brought here he never ceased his evil deeds. They tortured him until all the chirurgions declared him a living marvel, but ’twas the devil likely looked after his own. They could not kill him that way, and he’d not confess neither, though three ordinary men should have died under it. They burned him at last, and to several respectable persons in the crowd it was granted to behold his evil spirit rising from the flames in the form of a parti-coloured crow, and forsaking its earthly abode. By reason of this miracle, his death was much spoken about, and the more that three months later, to the very day, my lord the then Grand Inquisidor died suddenly, and ’twas remembered that the fetiscero, in passing to his burning, had bade his lordship meet him that day three months. And at this evident proof that the Evil One desired to oppress all good Christians in Goa, and had obtained a measure of power over ’em, there was great processions took place, with litanies and intercessions of the saints, for to move ’em to protect the city, and the Holy Office renewed its activity in hunting out and destroying all fetisceros. And one of these was taken, that had been friend to that arch-sorcerer that was now dead, and this man confessed under the torture that his friend had been wont to visit upon him at his house while he seemed to be lying in this cell, and that they had by this means plotted much devilish work together. Then the alcaide remembered how that fetiscero had been wont to sit crouched in that corner opposite to ye there, sometimes neither moving nor speaking for days, but wrapped in a trance as if dead, save that his body was not cold,—and we could not doubt but the devil had given him power to leave the Holy House, though his body remained here. ’Tis said the spirits of such wicked persons are wont to haunt the spots they have affected in life, and that was why I thought that ye’d maybe seen him when ye asked me who had this cell before ye.”

I moved somewhat uneasily, not over-pleased with this history, which Father Theodorus seeing, he went on eagerly, for all the world like a child with a ghost tale.

“Ay, and sure I’d forgot to tell ye that after the burning of this fetiscero, a fever brake out in this part of the Holy House, and though it carried off many, both guards and prisoners, could not be stopped. Then their lordships, remembering the dreadful power of that wretched man, caused the whole house, and especially this chamber, to be searched. And in this very cell, under that very mat ye are lying upon, just where your head is now, they found (’tis the truth I’m telling ye), his fetizo, his charms, his magic, don’t ye know?”

“And what was this like?” I asked him.

“Well,” says Father Theodoras, “to our eyes ’twas but a bundle of fish-bones and stones of fruits, with threads out of the mats, and feathers of birds, and divers other such common things; but there could be no doubt but that the devil had invested it with magical power, for so soon as it was removed, the fever ceased to spread.”

“And what was done with the fetizo?” said I.

“Sure I’ll tell ye,” says he. “His grace the lord Archbishop yonder ordained a special ceremony in the square before the cathedral, for to exorcise the evil spirit, and thereafter they did burn the fetizo with much solemnity. And as it burned it did send forth an extraordinary nasty stinking smell, showing to all that ’twas the devil’s own handiwork. And all the negroes that were present and saw it cried out that ’twas a mighty great fetizo.”

“But who lay in this cell before the fetiscero?” says I, trying to shake off the remembrance of the tale, though I won’t deny that I had been right glad had the fetiscero been lodged in any other cell than this of mine.

“Some poor wretch of a New Christian, as we call those Jews and Moors that adopt our holy faith,” says he. “They accused him of consorting with others of the like sort, and truly, since all his kin were like himself, and no others will company with ’em, he could not well avoid it, but ’twas said that they did practise among ’emselves Jewish ceremonies. He was in the Holy House for four years, and then was delivered over to the secular power,—ye know what that signifies. ’Twas said that the galleys should have been punishment enough, but he had been one of the richest persons in Goa, and his wealth was all come to the Holy Office. So ye see they could not let him go.”

I had heard before of the heavy trials of these New Christians, but I had never thought they should come so near to me as this. I would fain have asked Father Theodorus more concerning ’em, but he could not leave his tale of the fetiscero, and told me many more tales touching him, each one more horrid than the last, so that I was much disturbed and troubled in my mind, the more by reason of my sickness, which he seeing, made haste to say—

“’Tis well for ye that this fellow is dead now, and can’t return hither for to continue his evil deeds. If he had been a fetiscero of the common sort, they’d not have burnt him. The powder-mills should have been punishment enough. Ye have seen those convicted of practising magic working there, I wouldn’t wonder?”

“Those that bear gowns of yellow stuff, with a red cross before and behind?” asked I.

“They do so. But ye see, he was too great a person for that. The Holy Office must needs put him to death, and he is dead now, so he needn’t trouble ye.”

“But if his soul was able to leave his body in life, why can’t it wander at its will now, sir?” I asked him, “or maybe be conjured up by his fellows, for to assist ’em in their unlawful arts?” This I said more to perceive what he would say than because I believed that such a thing should be likely to happen, though indeed many of our wisest and most ingenious philosophers concur in ascribing extraordinary powers (conferred, of course, by the author of evil), to the practisers of witchcraft. My friend’s countenance took an air of trouble, and then cleared on a sudden.

“Sure, I’ll exorcise the evil spirit for ye, my lad,” and with that he walked to and fro in the chamber, and muttered his barbarous Latin hocus-pocus in all the four corners thereof, and then approached me, and would have made I know not what superstitious ceremonies over me, but that I besought him that he would not force upon me idolatrous rites when I was too feeble to resist him. And upon this he ceased his mummery, and departed with the alcaide, that had been bowing and muttering mighty devoutly in concert with him.

Now when they were departed, there come upon me so great terror and fear as I had willingly given all I possessed in the world for to have them back. The sun was about setting, and through the narrow grating of the cell there come strange shadows into all the corners, and there was in the air that great stillness which I have ofttimes noted at the approach of night. Not the tinkle of a single church-bell from the city disturbed the quiet, and in the Holy House itself was nothing to be heard. It seemed to me that there was some other person in the chamber beside myself, and I lay upon my mat looking fearfully into the growing blackness. And thus by degrees there seemed to shape itself to me (for my mind was mightily wrought upon by that tale of Father Theodoras’), the person of that fetiscero, sitting in that corner where he had been wont, as they had told me. And indeed I can’t even now determine whether that I saw were in reality the man’s evil spirit permitted to return to earth, though truly, considering that I have since beheld more than once the same phantom when I have been seized with an access of the nightmare, I am inclined to set it down as a delusion of my sick brain. Nevertheless, at that time, as it seemed to me, I saw him as plain as I had seen the Father and the alcaide but now. He was a great negro man, very broad of his shoulders, and he sat with his back turned towards me, and his chin upon his knees, his hands being clasped in front of his feet. I could see, as I lay staring upon him, that his body was all over seamed and scarred with the marks of many tortures, and there was a pair of heavy irons upon his feet.

So long he sat still there, and I watching him, not able to take my eyes from off him, lest he should move and approach me, that at the last I began to hope that he was in one of those trances whereof they had told me, and would remain thus until the alcaide might chance to look in, and having beheld him, should take him away. But even as I thought thus, he seemed to move, and his hands began to grope about as though in search for something that they did not find. Then I knew that he was seeking his fetizo, and my very blood ran coldly for to think that he had last left it hid under that same mat whereon I lay. I beheld him feeling about in the two corners at that end of the chamber where he was, and then he turned himself, and, still crouching, came towards me on his hands and knees. Now he could not lift up himself, both by reason of his fetters and of those torments that he had endured, so that his going seemed liker that of some savage beast of prey than a man, and as he came, I saw his evil eyes glitter, as though lit up by fire from within. He came very slow, creeping along the floor an inch at a time, but he came always nearer, while as I lay griping the coverlet with my fingers, and could not so much as stir to move away from him. I never doubted but he was there, yet even then it seemed strange to me that his irons made no sound upon the stone floor, but doubtless (thought I) the devil had helped him to be rid of the noise. Thus he continued to come on, slow and steadily, until he gat up on the platform where I was, and began feeling about on the mat. I could not discover that he had seen me, but I durst not remove my gaze from those dreadful eyes of his, that seemed to burn into my very marrow. He came crawling on, and when he reached the spot where I was laid, stretched out his skinny hand, and caught me by the throat. I felt him kneel upon my breast, I saw the fire that flashed from his eyes, I felt his burning breath upon my countenance, and then my voice returned to me, and with all my strength I shouted aloud for help.

As Father Theodorus told me later, my cries, echoing along the galleries, startled the alcaide, and brought him, hot-foot, to my cell, where he found me lying in a raging fever. Finding that he could not prevail upon me to cease my cries, nor hinder my engaging in fancied struggles with that ghostly assailant of mine, he bade fetch a stout blackamoor that was slave to one of the officers of the House and spake no English, who should tarry beside me and restrain me so far as he might. Which this poor fellow did, but though he could understand naught of what I said, yet my gestures and my manifest terror did inspire him with so much fear as made him recollect the evil reputation of the fetiscero that had last lain in this cell, and conceiving that his devilish influence still lingered there, he tried in vain to escape, and being securely locked in, was found near dead with fright in the morning.

Now after this, seeing that one of the common fevers of the place had seized upon me, being augmented by my trouble of mind and the pain of those wounds I had from the torture, they had in a pundit, that is, an Indian physician, for to endeavour to cure me. And I have since heard it said, that the science of these physicians is extreme ill-considered and like to be injurious, for they are wont to cure fevers by means of divers coolers, which, say our physicians in England, is mighty hurtful to the patient. I can’t tell whether they succeed in restoring many to health by such means, but all Europe persons in the Indies are forced to trust to them, saving in those two or three places where one or other of the trading companies hath provided a chirurgion of its own. And thus I can testify, for the credit of that most reverend pundit that tended me, that though he brought me to death’s very door by his blooding and his drugs, yet I am here alive this day, and who shall say that I should be so but for his medicines? Yet he let me blood so freely that, even after the fever had left me, ’twas many months before I could creep from end to end of my cell, and indeed, one night, the bandages being in some way loosened, I had like to have died from loss of blood, had it not been for Father Theodorus, that came for to recommend me a confessor, and found me needing a chirurgion. ’Tis well for me that this good man straightway forgat the confessor, and set himself to fasten my bandages again most deftly, he having some slight skill in the medical art, else had I never lived to write this book. But as for that matter of the confessor, this was not the first time, nor the last, that they pestered me by reason on’t, thinking me near my end, and desiring to have me die in their religion, so that they would come to me of mornings, when I was half dead after a restless night filled with evil visions, and beseech me to reconcile myself with the Church.

Now as I left the fever behind, these visions did not quit me. I suppose that I was still light-headed, by reason of the blood-letting, for I was continually tormented with the most frightful dreams, wherein the two fetisceros, and that poor New Christian of whom I knew only by hearsay, were mingled with their lordships the Inquisidors and the gentlemen of my acquaintance in Goa, and these again with the banyans of Surat and the Company’s servants there, and even with my father and my little cousin Dorothy, in the strangest and most fantastical drolleries, the which were no drolleries to me, but troubled me mightily. For being haunted by these phantasms night and day, and seeing them continually whirling and seething before me in uncouth dances and routs, and mocking me with extravagant gestures, like so many antics,73 I became, as it were, distraught, so that in my frenzy I was at the pains to end my life by striking my head against the wall beside me. In this wicked design, as you may well perceive, I did not succeed, but only stunned myself, and was so found by the alcaide and my physician the pundit. And when these had revived me, I poured forth to them so much of my troubles and of the horrors that oppressed me as my Portuguese would convey, and they, perceiving that I was in danger of going mad by reason of my solitude, came to me the next day for to tell me that it had pleased their lordships to grant me a companion in my cell.

This companion was brought to me before long, and his presence proved a prodigious great cheer and solace to me, although we never spake one to the other save on our most needful occasions. And this because I had in my mind that common report which says that the Inquisidors do often send to a prisoner as companion one that may worm himself into his confidence and discover his secret matters with the intent to betray them to his hurt, though now, remembering this person’s silence towards me, I do believe that he feared me on the same grounds. Yet was I glad to behold a face that was not a jailer’s, and so long as this man was in the cell, my visions troubled me but little. I don’t know by what crimes he had brought himself under the power of the Holy Office, though Father Theodorus said he believed ’twas that he had espoused two wives at the same time; but though he had espoused a dozen, he did me a good turn in that he banished my dreams for me. When we had broken our fast of a morning, he was wont to lie on his mat, and I on mine, sleeping or meditating, but rarely speaking. So easy are we to accustom ourselves even to the drollest situations, that I found myself altogether solitary when I was deprived of my silent companion. The alcaide and another officer fetched him away one night, and I never saw him thereafter, nor heard nothing of his fate.

Nevertheless I had not too much time granted me, wherein to fall again under the power of my delusions, for about three weeks after taking away my companion, they came for me also. And I, remembering that he was never returned, considered that now at last death must be at hand, and called upon God to keep me steadfast, and so went with them, although my weakness was such that they must needs support me all the way. And being set once more before their lordships, they took occasion to remind me that much time had been granted to me, and likewise many incentives to repentance, and demanded whether I would now make a full confession, to all of which I returned the same answers as before. Then they had me away again to the torture-room, but God moved the heart of the chirurgion that stood by, so that he went up quickly to their lordships, and whispered them that I could bear no more, but should die under the first application of the torment, and at that they remanded me to my dungeon. But as I was departing, the Grand Inquisidor says suddenly—

“Take heed what you do, for except you confess, the next time you are brought here will be the signal for your death.”

But as I have told you, I was prepared for death already, so that this threat did not move me, and I tarried during a long space very calmly and contentedly in my cell. I considered that God was about accustoming my mind to the approach of death, and for this I was extreme thankful. I seemed to myself to look back on all my past life before coming into this place as though it had been another man’s, so that I felt that ’twas not I that had started out from Ellswether, sworn to redeem the estates and espouse Dorothy, but another. ’Twas not that I had forgot those at home, but ’twas as though I looked upon them from some great distance, yea, as though I were already dead, and watching ’em from heaven. It did not even trouble me what should come to them when I was dead, for I seemed to myself to have no more to do with the cares and concerns of earth. I would not say that this posture of mind was to be commended or admired, as is that holy uplifting of the spirit whereof we read in the histories of the last hours of martyrs; for indeed I think it was but that dead calmness born of certainty arriving after long suspense, yet neither was it to be despised. Now at last, while in this mood, there breaks in upon me Father Theodor us, that seemed to be as cheerfully disposed as ever.

“’Tis my last visit to ye, my lad,” says he. “Without ye are willing to satisfy their lordships, that is. And sure I’ll put it to ye quite fair, if ye are minded to convert, tell me, and I’ll convert ye quicker than any one else, but if ye an’t so, I’ll not trouble ye. ’Tis the confidence I have in ye makes me assured that ye wouldn’t give the pleasure of converting ye to one of the fat Franciscans in the town there, when poor old Father Theodorus has been visiting ye and watching over your soul for so long.”

“Sir,” said I, “I will certainly promise you that, should I ever desire to convert, you shall direct the operation.”

“Ye have satisfied me,” says he, “and sure that’s why I’m come to ye now, though I told their lordships that ye were obstinately fixed in your wicked heresies, but I’d bring ye to convert if any one could. Have ye considered the matter, my lad? There’s only death before ye if ye don’t convert before the next audit, for if ye convert after they’ve sentenced ye, ’tis only strangling instead of burning. Can ye endure it, think ye? Ye are but young yet.”

“Sir,” said I, “I seem to myself to have lived a lifetime within these walls, not to speak of the years that passed before I come hither. God has granted me now such contentment with my lot, that I am ready to die if He so wills it.”

“Alas!” says Father Theodorus, looking upon me strangely, “I could almost find it in my heart to wish that I might be like ye when my time comes. I have lived much longer than ye have, and sure I’m as fond of this life as ever, though this is a thing no Paulistin ought say. But concerning your friends, my lad? ’Tis sad I am to think of your father’s son cut off like this.”

“Pray, sir,” says I, “tell me how you knew my father. I have never heard that tale from you yet.”

“Why, ’tis soon told,” says he. “After one of those skirmishes in the West Country, wherein the king’s forces carried off the victory, I crept out at night on the field, seeking for a comrade that had been left for dead, hoping to be yet in time to administer the last sacraments to him. Having found him, I discovered that ’twas no question of the last rites as yet, seeing that he was not in the article of death, but only badly wounded with a sword-cut. I was about doing what I might for him and the other wounded near at hand, when I found myself seized monstrous roughly by several soldiers, that declared I was plundering the dead. Finding an enemy thus employed, as they supposed, they had surely slain me without mercy, but that your father chanced then to come up. And he, after hearing what I had to say, and inquiring concerning the truth of the same from those wounded I had succoured, bade ’em let me go, and so dismissed me with a caution, for the king’s forces, being hard put to’t to find food for ’emselves, desired no prisoners. And ’tis thus that I owe my life to Sir Harry Carlyon.”

“But pray, sir, how were you on the side of the rebels?” asked I. “Sure they was all mighty precise Puritans?”

“And why not I?” asks he. “Do ye think I could not sing psalms through my nose, nor shout The sword of the Lord and of Gideon! with the best of ’em? ’Twas for the Church’s sake, my lad. There was many of us did it, some even among the Ironsides ’emselves. We had received our orders, and how should it signifiy to us on whose side we fought?”

I was silent, turning over in my mind this strange matter. For I wondered much how that arch-rebel, Cromwell, should have taken it if any had told him that there was Popish priests (and they Jesuits), in his army, and what should have been the fate of the said priests had they been discovered. Which Father Theodorus seeing, he laughed his jolly laugh—

“Ye don’t know all the stratagems of Rome yet, Ned, nor ye won’t if ye live to be an hundred. Ough! sure I wan’t intending to say that, knowing what’s before ye as I do. I’ll try and see ye once more, my lad, even if ’tis only on the morning of the Aucto. I can’t save ye, ye see that, but I’m prodigious sorry for ye. Ah, Seignior alcaide, how much I shall miss the long disputes I have had with this gentleman for the good of his soul! Sure, I think that ye yourself can’t fail to have been edified by all that has been said, though ye couldn’t understand a word on’t.”

I believe that the alcaide must have seen the wink that Father Theodorus (even with his eyes full of tears) directed towards me while he said these words, for he took him out somewhat suddenly, and himself departed after him, reminding me that I was now enjoying the last opportunity of repentance that the clemency of the Lords Inquisidors could furnish me, since they must needs soon make an example of me, for the sake of others. But having heard these words more than once before, I did pay but slight heed to ’em, and so let him go.

Now some few evenings after this, I was brought suddenly from my bed before the Board of the Holy Office, being barely allowed time for to dress myself, and here I was for the last time asked whether I would make a good confession, and submit myself to their lordships’ direction, conforming myself to the doctrines of the Church and believing them in my soul, or no. And I answering after my former manner, the Grand Inquisidor, with a mighty solemn air, pronounced upon me the sentence, which ran that as a contumacious and incorrigible heretic I should be taken to the Church of St Francis, and there delivered over to the secular arm, for to be dealt with according to justice.

Chapter VII

Of My Amazing and Miraculous Escape from Most Imminent Death.

Now after this last audit, I waited day and night with great expectation for the Aucto de Fie,74 as the Portugals call that chief holy-day of theirs wherein they set at large for ever the prisoners of the Inquisition, the words meaning Act of Faith. I slept but little of nights at this time, for there come ringing down the galleries the shrieks of those under the hands of the tormentors, so that I would lie awake and pray for those poor souls to whom God had awarded that further agony he had spared to me. For I knew from much that I had heard and read before coming to this place that ’twas customary to condemn obstinate heretics, before burning them, to undergo many and severe tortures, and this out of pure spite and devilish malice, as one might say, since recantation would now do them no good. From these I was only exempted lest I should die under ’em, and not live to the Aucto.

Thus waiting, and thus disturbed by these mournful sounds, the days seemed to me to pass mighty slowly, and I was fain to occupy myself in casting up my calendar on the wall, though I had lost many days therein during my sickness; but by making allowance for this, I made out that I had spent over three years in the Holy House. I gave much time also to finishing my inscription in the wall, on which I had bestowed extraordinary pains, being careful to write it not alone in English, but also in the best Portuguese I could frame, setting forth the day wherein I had entered the House, and likewise that I should leave it for the flames of the burning-place on St James’s day 1672. And on the day that I finished the carving of this record, the which was performed with a certain nail that I had by chance picked up, when as a carpenter was a-mending the lock on my door, I sat looking upon it long, until the daylight ceased, and the alcaide brought in my supper. Now this was the day whereon he was wont to ask for and carry away such clothes as I might desire to have washed, and I looked for him to do this as usual. But he spake not of the matter, and when I did put him in mind thereof, made answer in a surly enough fashion, that he would see to’t on the morrow. Methought I knew then what should happen; nevertheless, that I might be sure, I asked of him—

“What day is this, Seignior alcaide?”

“The Vigil of St James,” says he, and I knew that I was right.

This also I observed on this same evening, that after the chiming of vespers from the cathedral near at hand, the bells began to ring again, as though for matins, as I had never heard them before at this hour, but why this should be done I don’t know. Nevertheless, despite these warnings, so dulled was my senses become through my long imprisonment, that I laid myself down and slept as usual, but at midnight I was rudely awaked by the alcaide and divers other persons coming in with lights. They brought also a suit of clothes, the which they laid down, and bid me put it on, and be ready when they should come for me. And they departing, I did put on the habit they had brought me, which was of black stuff adorned with stripes or lines of white, long to my ankles and my wrists. I had no shoes nor stockings, as never having worn ’em, but during my audiences of their lordships, while I was in the Holy House, and my hat I had never seen since the day that I was took thither. Thus I made myself ready so far as I might, and so waited until the alcaide and his company returned, which was in the space of about two hours.

The alcaide bid me come with ’em, and so carried me to the great gallery, wherein was some hundred and fifty or two hundred men standing, all being apparelled as I was. But I was not allowed to join myself to these, for they brought me to a chamber shut off from the end of the gallery, wherein there was but some fifteen or twenty prisoners, and as many religious persons. And looking across the open space to the opposite gallery as I entered, I saw that there was there some sixty women, that were guarded after the same manner by priests. I could well judge that the persons in the smaller chamber with me were those sentenced to the flames, while in the long galleries were those destined only to the galleys, to whipping and branding, and to such other slighter torments as the Inquisition keeps for those guilty only of small offences. There was a few lamps set here and there for to light the place, and presently there come along two men that delivered to each of us a long taper of yellow wax, but these were not yet kindled. And now there come up to me two priests, Jesuits or Paulistins, that addressed me very gently and affectionately, calling me “Dear brother,” and besought me to convert, and so save my soul. And when I refused, and entreated of them that they would leave me in peace, they would not consent to do this, but came about me like bees, and so pestered me that I had much ado to keep my temper with ’em. For it seemed to me that I had much whereon to meditate, namely, all my friends, notably those in Surat, beside my dear father and my little cousin in England, but these gentlemen would not allow me so much as a minute free for to think upon them. And at last I told them that I would never convert; but that in case I should ever desire to do so, I had given a solemn promise to send for one especial confessor, and therefore could not pleasure them, whereat they left me alone for a little while.

Now after some long time there come into the gallery several persons bearing a great pile of garments, whereof they did distribute to every prisoner. And I saw that the habits given to those outside the chamber were those yellow gowns, with a red cross before and behind upon them, that I had seen the fetisceros wear that wrought at the powder-mills, and that they call sambenitos. But coming into our chamber among us, they brought forth another kind of gown, that was fashioned of a grey stuff, and was painted with firebrands, flames, and devils, and on each man’s gown his own portrait, depicted with great taste, and very natural, but all encompassed with flames, and this habit they call a samarra. And my samarra I admired a long while before putting it on, which one of the priests seeing, he took occasion to rebuke me for my delay, saying—

“Ah, miserable heretic, think, as you contemplate this feeble picture, that within a very few hours your soul will be tormented in real flames, whose power you can’t conceive, and among devils to which these are nothing in hideousness and ferocity.”

To which I answered him in a prodigious heat—

“Sir, I han’t neither asked nor desired your interference. I was but contemplating the curious work of your artists, though I could have wished that they testified more charity towards those that differ from ’em; but now I see from whom they learn their unkind imaginations.”

“You are sharp and impudent with your tongue, young man,” said he, “and in a sorry state to await death,” and with that he passed on, forgetting that ’twas not my fault that I could not prepare myself for death quietly, as I had wished, but theirs, who disturbed me so soon as I had collected my thoughts. And now they did give to us caps called carochas, of a yellow colour and shaped like unto a loaf of sugar, and painted like the gowns with fire and devils, and after this they bade us sit down on the floor and wait in silence. Yet even here and at this moment there was still some kindness to be found, for the alcaide, that had always appeared to me but a surly fellow, came to the chamber where I was, bringing a provision of bread, together with raisins of the sun and figs, the which he did divide unto me and to as many of the rest as he could reach. And having eaten this, we remained sitting silent until the dawn, which happens in these climates about five o’clock in the morning.

Now as the dawn appeared, the great bell of the cathedral in the square, opposite to the Holy House, begun to toll, and there was a mighty great stir and bustle at the further end of the gallery. Then the names were called out of the prisoners there, and they passed out one by one where we might no longer see them. And after this we in the chamber apart were summoned, and came, one after the other, to the door of the gallery, where were set the Lord Inquisidor and his secretary, reading to each man his sentence as he passed. In the hall beyond there was standing many gentlemen of Goa in their richest array, having offered themselves to act as common constables or tipstaves and guard the prisoners on their way to their execution. Here an officer of the House did bind my hands with a cord, and calling on one of the gentlemen aforesaid, delivered to him the end thereof for to hold, and bade him lead me on. And I looking at this gentleman, could not be sure that I had ever seen him before, and finding that he was to be called my godfather for the time, I thought he should by rights have some acquaintance with his godson, and so asked him whether I had ever met with him in the company of Dom Lewis, that was once my friend. But he started and drew away from me, making no answer, though signifying with his hand that I must not presume to address myself to him, and I recognised him as a nobleman that I had seen more than once at his highness the Viceroy’s court. But since he would not have me speak with him, this availed me nothing.

We were now come into the great square, where they were forming the procession, and I had as much opportunity as I desired for noting the changes three years had made. And yet I cared not to look at the cathedral, nor at the rich mansions that bordered the other two sides of the square, but only at the sky and the trees, whereof I had seen none for so long a time. The place was very full of people, for the Archbishop is at extraordinary pains to make the festival known beforehand even in the remotest parishes of the province, so that countless numbers of the lower sort do journey to the city from all parts for to behold the sight. The balconies all round were decked with flags and carpets, and crowded full with ladies, habited in stuffs of many colours, very rich and fine, and wearing an extraordinary great quantity of diamonds and other jewels, their cavalieros75 standing behind their chairs. So new and strange to me after my long silence and loneliness was the noise and turmoil of the press, that I was fain to shrink back into the door-way of the Holy House until I was called for with my godfather to take my place in the procession. And this was ordered as follows. First come the Dominicans, in their garb of black and white, bearing with them their great banner, the which has a portrait of Saint Dominic their founder, holding in his two hands a sword and a branch of olive, and the words underneath, Justitia et Misericordia. Then come the prisoners, each one led by his godfather (that is, as I have said, a gentleman of some one of the first families of Goa), the least guilty being placed first, and the rear brought up by those condemned to the flames, among whom was I. Behind come their lordships the Inquisidors, and the lesser officers of the Holy House. And these being all marshalled in their order, the procession set forth, the religious in the front chanting slowly that Latin hymn beginning Vexilla Regis prodeunt76 passing through all the chief streets of the city. I have said that I was barefooted, as was also the other prisoners, and we found that the streets was paved with a kind of small, sharp flints, the which caused us a prodigious pain and annoyance, while everywhere the people of the lower sort, that thronged the ways, laughed and jeered at us as we limped over the stones with our bleeding feet.

We come at last to the great church of St Francis, where was a monstrous noise and tumult from the arriving of so many great persons, for his highness the Viceroy and the Provost of the Jesuits were but entering the church when we arrived. And here we had the chance to observe the truth of that which is so often said—viz., that in Goa the Inquisition is greater than the Viceroy himself. For his highness rid up on a great horse with rich trappings and furniture, and the Jesuit Provost came with great solemnity in his sedan-chair, with eight clericos on foot and bareheaded on either side; but the Grand Inquisidor rid in his coach, which is as fine as any I have ever seen, and whose use is allowed to him alone in the city. Some long time passed while all these grandees entered the church and were disposed therein according to their several degrees, we all the while standing without in the great and grievous heat of the sun. But at last we were brought into the place, that was hung with black, mighty solemn, and on the high altar six great silver candlesticks with tapers of white wax. On either side was there a throne set, that on the right hand of the altar for the Grand Inquisidor, and that on the left for his highness the Viceroy. Nearer the door was another altar, lesser than the first one, and benches set all down the church for the prisoners. As I have said, those adjudged the least guilty were in the front of the procession, so as they sat nearest to the altar, while before us, the last, being condemned to the flames, there was carried a great crucifix, with the face turned away.

Now when we were all set down upon our benches, there went up into the pulpit the prior of the White or Austin Friars,77 and preached a sermon, whereof the part that I heard concerned chiefly the wicked and enormous deeds of us prisoners, and the mercy and placability of the Holy Inquisition. But I may freely confess that I paid to this discourse no such attention as I should, nor was I able so to compose my mind as to meditate on those eternal matters most suitable to my situation, but only the most foolish and impertinent subjects would come in my head. Such as, Whether the samarras and carochas should be burned with us, or no? and Whether the Inquisition was wont to furnish for those gentlemen that served them for sheriff’s officers the unguents whose perfume they dispersed around them, and the snuff and succades whereof they brought out boxes for to comfort them during the sermon?

In such trifling thoughts, and in gaping and staring about me, the time passed away, and the sermon being over, there come into the pulpit, one after the other, two persons to whom it pertained to read out the accusations brought against the prisoners, and the punishments that were adjudged to ’em. Last of all, as in the order of place, come those destined to the flames, whose processes when he had read, the officer went on to repeat that notorious and hypocritical saying—viz., that since the Inquisition dared not show mercy to these persons on the account of their impenitence, and found itself indispensably obliged to punish them according to the rigour of the law, it delivered them over to the secular arm and justice, whom it earnestly entreated to use clemency and mercy towards these miserable wretches, and that if there should be imposed upon them the penalty of death, it might at the least be carried out without effusion of blood. And as the name of each unfortunate was read (all having their name and crime wrote upon their samarras), he was led up to the lower altar, and there the alcaide of the Holy House held him while as the rest was said. And all having been gone through, the alcaide struck him a light blow on the breast, whereupon the tipstaff of the lay court seized and led him away. And this they call delivering him to the secular power, since the Inquisition has no authority to take life. And I saw that some of the condemned, that were said to have refused to confess their crimes, but yet to have submitted themselves humbly to the Inquisition, and acknowledged the doctrine of Holy Church, had their sentences changed from burning to branding and the galleys, whereupon their godfathers did testify extreme delight, embracing them and making them very many compliments. But with me there was neither embracing nor compliments, and my godfather led me away sullenly enough.

Thus we went again through the streets, passing always fresh crowds of people, until we come to that same bridge where I had stood with Father Sebastian and Dom Lewis and his cousin on that day wherein I was arrested. So then we reached the burning-place, and the Viceroy and his court was set in their stone seats, and the Grand Inquisidor in his tribune, and the people of the poorer sort pressing everywhere around. And in the midst was the stakes set up, one for each person of those condemned to be burned, and piled about ’em was faggots of wood and furzes. Then before they attempted anything against any of us, there was many ceremonies necessary to be performed, such as his highness’ rehearsing afresh his oath of office, and the like, while as the priests were most zealously exhorting us to recant and confess before it should be too late. Then they demanded of us in turn in what religion we wished to die, and to those that declared they died Catholics, it was granted that they should be strangled before they were burnt. But I declared myself to die as I had lived, a Protestant, and so prepared myself for that last and greatest torment.

But on a sudden, as I stood there, waiting to be led and fastened to my stake, I observed a stir in the crowd, and certain men on the outskirts thereof crying something with loud voices. Then all the people swayed and eddied hither and thither, and some cried one thing, and some another, and then the crowd began to melt away, like a heap of sand when the waves reach it, and the voice of their crying came to us where we stood, and sent the hands of all the nobles and gentlemen to their swords, and set all the common sort shrieking and treading down one another, in their desire to flee. For they were crying—

“Seva Gi! Seva Gi! the Morattys are coming!” in all their outlandish tongues.

Then, when all around that were not fled were turning their eyes across the river, for to discover the original of this tumult, I felt myself suddenly severed from those unfortunates among whom I stood, and surrounded altogether by a company of men, that wore the slops78 and doublets of our English sailors. And before I had time to think what this might mean, they had cut the cord that bound my hands, and torn off from me that shameful dress, the samarra and carocha, and flung it over the gentleman of Goa that had the ill-luck to be called my godfather, and elbowed and nudged him out of their way. Then he that seemed the chief among them wrapped me in a cloak, for to hide the strange striped habit that I still wore, and said in a hoarse whisper in my ear—

“Stoop, Master Ned; stoop, and we will hide you among us. You are too tall.”

This I did, though still in an extreme confusion of mind, and the troop of sailors gathered round me, and, keeping close together, pushed through the crowd, swaggering mightily, and using their fists not a little, and reviling the Portugals in good round English for not making a way for them. Thus we passed through the crowd, that was now thronging every street and bridge that led from the burning-place, and pouring into the city itself. Prisoners and tipstaves and nobles and officers and godfathers were all pressed and thwacked together, and all ran and cried to take refuge in the fortress, and to shut the gates on the Morattys. Now all this seemed very greatly to divert the honest fellows that had me in charge, so that I heard them laughing and jesting among themselves as if the whole matter were but a play. But when at last we got clear of the bridges and causeys, and come to the place where a ship’s boat was moored with two men left in her, they stopped for a moment, and mounted upon a great pile of timber that lay hard by for to see better. Then as they became quiet, looking and hearkening, there seemed to be borne to me upon the air the sound of fighting, and a great cry, as of rage or victory, that was in no Christian tongue, but had the sound of—

Hoor! Hoot! Mohawdio!79 and this we heard again and again.

Then he that seemed the chief of the seamen swore a great oath, and came down from the wood-pile with a pale face, for, “On my life” (says he), “the Morattys are really there.”

“And why not there, sir?” says I. “Sure that is what the people have been crying all the time.”

“Ay,” says he, “but they wan’t there until now. We raised a false alarm for to get your honour away safely.”

“Then how came the Morattys?” I asked, with much amazement.

“Nay, that you must ask of their father the devil, for I can’t tell,” says he.

But I preferred to ascribe this marvel rather to the direction of Almighty God, who, knowing, as I have no doubt, that the confusion raised by a false alarm should not suffice for to convey me away to a place of safety, used the designs of the Morattys to bring ’em to that spot at the very time they were needed.

The sailors would willingly have stayed long watching the fight, but their leader called them away, and we rowed down the river in the boat, I being laid in the bottom and covered with a sail. So at last we come to a ship, and when we went on board of her, I seemed to myself to have seen her before, but so confused was I in my intellectuals that I could neither recollect when nor how. Then the master carried me into his cabin, and poured out for me a dram of cordial water, and hade me drink it, and thereafter slapped me on the back and demanded of me whether I had forgot my old friends. But I could only gaze upon him bewildered, and answer nothing.

“Alack, poor lad!” cried he; “have the devilish wretches robbed you of your wits? Sure this is a sorry sight. Poor lad! poor lad!” and the great tears rolled down his face for very pity.

“Sir,” says I, “I entreat your pardon; but though your countenance seem familiar to me, yet I can’t recall your name.”

“Tom Freeman is my name,” says he, “skipper of the Boscobel, the tightest craft as ever left Graves-End. You sailed with me to the Indies, Master Ned, for all you have forgot me now, and you were used to talk of some day coming with me to the furthest East.”

But by this time I had recollected my old friend Captain Freeman, and was embracing him most heartily, and crying shame on my dulled and blind eyes, that had not known him at first. And so glad was he to find that I had not, as he feared, been bereft by cruel usage of my senses, that he forgave me willingly my seeming callousness. Then he bade me sit down and tell him all that had befell me since the day I left Surat, though first he asked my pardon while he went on deck and bade the seamen keep good watch, and let no vessel nor boat approach without alarming him. So I told my story as shortly as I might, and then inquired of him concerning the happy chance that brought him to the burning-place, since I had not thought him one to go to look on willingly or for sport at an Aucto de Fie. And when I asked him this, he brake out in a great laugh.

“Why,” said he, “we heard from one of those Inquisition dogs ‘emselves what was to be done—dragged it out of him, indeed, for he had no choice.”

“Pray tell me how you compassed this, captain,” says I.

“Well,” says he, “we were in one of the taverns near the river last night, the mate and I, and two or three of the crew, and there was drinking there with us three or four Portugals, merchants’ clerks with whom we had traded, and the like. We had ended all our business, and right glad we were to think that the morrow should see us leave this pestiferous place. Two of the men was mighty lively in their cups, and must needs brag concerning the greatness and power of England, little heeding that they were shaming her by their drunken ways. The other guests turned to look at ’em after a while, and presently a Jesuit priest, that was set at a table near at hand to us, spake out prodigious wrathfully in English. ‘Ye may boast of your country, gentlemen,’ says he, ‘but sure all her power can’t save the Englishman that’s to be burnt by the Inquisition to-morrow.’ Now at this we were very much moved, and cried out that the thing should be stopped, and we would see to’t. ‘Ough!’ says the priest, after the Irish manner, ‘’tis not nowadays that the English cannons will be heard at the gates of Goa, if such a thing be done.’ ‘By heaven!’ says I, ‘but they shall, if we can’t hinder this shameful deed.’ And with that we got the priest up in a corner, and threatening him with our hangers and fists, demanded that he should satisfy us whether that he said was true. And he held out stoutly against us for some time (the innkeeper meanwhile dancing about behind us like one possessed, and imploring of us not to bring disgrace and ruin upon his house by attacking a priest there), and I was much afraid lest some one should think to send and call the watch. But at last, seeing that all the other guests were fled, our men being prodigious ready with their blows, our friend vouchsafed to tell us that this Englishman came out of Surat, and that he should be burned at the third stake on the right-hand side of the line; ‘and as for his name’ (says he), ‘’tis wrote plain and large upon his samarra, the which ye would call a gown or cope. And more than this’ (quoth he), ‘I’ll not tell ye though ye keep me here until doomsday.’ And at that some with me wished to rend his gown, and chase him down the street with their swords; but I believed that he had told us that which we needed to know, and hade ’em leave him to me. So then I had him out of his corner, and bade him make the best of his way home, warning him, moreover, that if he should ever declare what he had told us, the Inquisition would have him. And at this he smiled in my face, with a mighty agreeable smile, and says he, ‘Ye know a prodigious deal concerning the Inquisition, though not so much as your friend that’s to be burnt to-morrow knows by this time. My blessing upon ye, my son.’ And with that he lift up his hand, and muttered some Latin hocus-pocus, and departed, the men making no attempt for to stop him, since they believed he had been muttering evil spells against us.”

“’Twas surely Father Theodorus!” I cried.

“Who is he?” asked Captain Freeman.

“An Irish priest that showed me much kindness, for my father’s sake, as he saith,” said I.

“Then if he showed you kindness, Master Ned, I would counsel you, for the good man’s own sake (for good he must be, though a Papist), tell no one of his good deeds, or he will surely suffer as you should have done.”

“I will take good heed thereto,” says I. “But prythee tell me, captain, how goes it with all at Surat? How fares good Mr Martin and Mr Spender, and all other my friends in the Factory? and did my servant Loll Duss ever return from this place with the message I gave him?”

“Mr Martin is well,” says he, “and looks to be made Accountant shortly, when Mr Accountant Cuthell, that now is, shall return to England with his fortune made. Mr Spender is well advanced in the service, though not by his own fault (for there an’t no diligence nor prudence in him), but by the indirect procuring of Mr Secretary his cousin. And of the other gentlemen I can’t speak without you ask me of ‘em particularly, for I have clean forgot which on ’em you know, and which are strange to you.”

“But what do they say touching me?” asked I; “and have they ever heard what befell me?”

“Why truly,” says he, “that Gentue servant of yours, Loll Duss, carried the news of your seizure to Mr Martin, who hath made divers efforts to get news of you since that time, but in vain. Then at last it got abroad that you had converted, and were gone to the Brasils in one of the Portugal plate-carracks, for to end your days there, and it was advised, upon this being rumoured, that word on’t should be sent to the Committee, and that your friends should be told that you were as good as dead. But because Mr Martin and one or two more held out very stoutly against such a treatment of you, they must needs be content with taking your name off the books of the Factory, and by this means stopping your pay, and in this, I believe, they was justified by ancient custom. Yet Mr Martin demanded that his protest should be entered in writing against their so doing, and this was punctually performed, he still believing that you would return. And ’tis thus the matter stands at this present. Mr Secretary and his cousin Mr Spender are prodigious bitter against you, and have moved his honour the President and the Council to their acts of harshness; but Mr Martin is confident in your honesty, and will by no means suffer it to be impugned in his presence.

“Then my course now,” says I, “ must be to return to Surat and declare all my ill fortune.”

“Not so fast,” says he, “for we are but just sailed from Surat, and I must take the Boscobel to the Factory at Bengali before she can drop anchor again in Swally. You must needs come with me, Master Ned, and see those parts, for I can’t turn back, and there an’t no other way for you to journey safely to Surat. I don’t doubt but we shall speak some one of the Company’s ships on our way, and then we may put you aboard of her; but if not, then you shall go with me to Bengali, and if the factor there send me on a further voyage, perhaps even to Syam and the Eastern Islands.”

“But,” said I, “should I not hire for myself a baloon, and so leave this place and go to Surat?”

“You an’t yet out of Goa river, Master Ned,” quoth he, “and as I think, will undergo not the least of your perils in the leaving on’t. You could not take your journey in a boat, as you purpose, without awaking suspicion, and this should land you again in the clutches of the Inquisition. Come and sail with me, and go back only in an English ship.”

“So be it,” said I.

Chapter VIII

Of My Second Voyage in the Boscobel, and of the Ending Thereof.

Now we talking in this wise, there come on board of us the skipper of a Dutch ship that lay near at hand, and told Captain Freeman that the Morattys were beat off for the present, but that the town was in an uproar for the escape of one of the prisoners sentenced to be burnt by the Inquisition, and that a search should be made for this person throughout the city, and also among the shipping lying in the river. And the captain returning to the cabin, and telling this news to me, we consulted together what we should do. And first the captain sent his mate on shore, bearing a message to the captain of the guard of that part of the city nearest us, offering to land some of his crew for to aid in defending the wall against the Morattys, but the mate was bid also to watch and see whether the search was yet begun, and how far it was come. And he returning presently told us that the captain of the guard had sworn at him for an impudent rascal, vowing that his majesty the King of Portingale and the Brasils had soldiers enough for to defend his cities without seeking the aid of English braggarts, but with regard to the matter nearest our minds, the mate had seen naught of any search, and believed that it should not begin until the morrow. And this being confirmed by one of the crew of a country ship that came to buy bread from us, I lay in the cabin that night, and slept there peacefully.

Now in the morning, while we still lay at anchor in the river, an Englishman on board of a Venice ship that was departing, calls out to us that they had been searched already, and that the captain of the port’s boat was visiting every ship in turn, and commanding all on board to be mustered on deck. Then were Captain Freeman and I in some affright, for he desired neither to perjure himself by denying my presence on board, nor yet to yield me up to my enemies, so that he begged of me to resort to a disguise that he would show me.

“For,” says he, “my apprentice is dead since leaving Surat, so that his name is still on the ship’s books, and you must needs take his place.”

And telling this to the seamen, they did lend very willingly certain of their clothes, so that I was dressed in a sailor’s shirt and slops, the which Captain Freeman was at the pains to pad and stuff out with rags and suchlike, that I might not, said he, look so nearly like a scare-the-crows. And because my close-cropped hair should have betrayed me in a moment, he brought out a great periwig that he was wont to wear to church when on shore, and hacked and jagged with his knife at the curls thereof until it was as untidy and ragged as a ship-boy’s hair was like to be, and so put it on my head. And I dare to say that the good man has that periwig yet, laid up among his chiefest treasures, and shows it with great pride to his grandchildren for the memorial of a marvellous deliverance. And next, because my hands was white and soft from so long idleness, he bid me dip them in the tar-bucket, and with tar and other such things besmeared my face and neck. Then he bade me call myself by the name of Samuel Needham of Deptford (this was the dead apprentice), and so sent me to the galley to wash the dishes for the cook.

Now almost before all this was done, we saw the Dutch ship boarded that lay next us, and her crew mustered and questioned, but finding nothing on board of her, they came on to us. And mounting the side, I trembled greatly when I saw them, for beside the captain of the port, in all his armour and feathers, there was there the alcaide of the Inquisition and one of his fellows, wearing those ghostly black gowns and hoods I have before mentioned. Now when these stood on the deck, and we were called to muster before them, my heart failed me, so that I stood looking upon them from the shelter of the galley, a dish-clout in my hand, and unable to move through fear. Then our good captain, seeing me thus astounded, did send a seaman for to fetch me forth, and finding me still gazing upon the visitors, gave me a blow on the head that sent me reeling, and bade me leave staring at the gentlemen, and go back to my work when I had answered to my name. And at this the Portugals laughed mightily, and counselled him to get a better apprentice, and so read out the names of the men, that all answered in their turn, and allowed us to depart. And after this great escape I thanked God, and wondered what could now hurt me, since I was delivered from so pressing danger. Truly (says I to myself), if I have the like good fortune in my adventures in the time to come, not Ferdinando Mendez Pinto himself will near match my traveller’s tales.

And all being now ready, we weighed our anchor, and the Boscobel stood down the river. Now when we come abreast of the fort that is called Marmagoun, and again of those four forts that guard the mouth of the river, my heart was in my mouth for fear, for (thought I), what if they have discovered our trick, and should be preparing to sink us with their cannons? But by good fortune, no such evil hap befell us, though I saw the captain look pale and fearful so long as we were under the guns of the forts. But when we were once gat past ’em, and steering for the south upon a favouring breeze, his countenance waxed cheerful once more, and he whistled lustily while he tramped to and fro upon the deck. Then coming to me, who was gazing with a joy and gratitude I had little thought ever to have the chance to feel, upon the disappearing of the stately towers and marble palaces of that most wicked and cruel city, he bade me lay aside that disguise I wore, and dress myself more seemly in such clothes as he should lend me. And this I did the more gladly that the seaman’s clothes I wore were not at all to my liking neither for appearance nor yet for comfort. And having put on a spare suit of the good skipper’s, I walked up and down upon the deck with him, and as we walked I asked of him whether he had heard aught touching my father since my starting for Goa, or no.

“Why,” says he in answer, “I ha’ heard something, but not much. For Mr Martin told me, one day when as he and I was speaking together concerning you, that he had wrote to Sir Harry Carlyon telling him of the misfortune that had overtook his son, and reminding him that ’twas possible he might never see you more, but there come such an answer as surprised him.”

“And pray, what was that?” says I.

“Why, sir, ’twas to say that the good gentleman knew that his son was engaged as he had bid him, and doing his best to fulfil the plan he had set before him, and that he should therefore come to no harm, nor would Sir Harry believe the same of him until he had spoke with one that had seen it.”

“Methinks there an’t many fathers that would speak thus,” said I, “and even with them, how seldom should their confidence in God be thus signally justified!”

“Ay,” says Captain Freeman, “’twas a narrow escape, Master Ned, and not even your good father’s trust in the integrity of your cause should maybe have availed to uphold him had he known how little was between you and death.”

“Tell me,” says I, “how you compassed my deliverance, for I know nothing but that ’twas done by means of the warning of Father Theodorus.”

“Why,” says he, “having heard him speak, we come back to the ship in great grief and heaviness, for no man could think to devise any plan for the saving you, save that the boatswain, that was over deep in his liquor, would fain have had us storm the Holy House and release all the prisoners there, and not you only. But the rest, of their own selves, saw that this was beyond our powers, and could only lead to our destruction as well as yours. Then as we went down to the ship, there fell in with us an Englishman, that is brother to my mate, and clerk to a trader in Goa, one that hath journeyed through all the Portuguese Indies, and seen many marvellous things. And chiefly he spake to us touching the Morattys, how prodigious fierce they are, and how warlike, and that the Portugals and their Indians here do fear ’em as the very devil, so that ’tis said the shadow of one Moratty will put to flight three Portugals. Likewise he told us that one of their captains was took prisoner a month ago and brought into Goa, and that their king, Seva Gi, as they call him, had sworn that he would take the Viceroy himself and hold him to ransom if so be as this his servant wan’t given up to him unharmed. And he said moreover that the Indians was saying that they had seen the spies of the Morattys creeping round about the city o’ nights more than once of late, but no credence was given to ’em, these Indians being timid and fearful in their minds. Now all this gave to us much food for thought, and so back to the ship, where we spent full half the night in making out our plan. And in the morning, having consented together upon what we should do, we left only some three or four men with the ship, and went upon our appointed ways. For I, with all the stoutest of the seamen, went to the burning-place, and there set ourselves in array, or as I might say, in ambush, close to that stake the priest had told us was yours, and waited there until the procession was arrived. But the mate, with four or five of the seamen, went and hired certain lads and men of the baser sort, such as would stick at nothing that was to earn ’em money, and ask no questions withal. And going outside the city with these, and waiting until the time was come for the burning, he bid ’em do even as he did, and rushed from the plantations into the road, crying, ‘Seva Gi! Seva Gi and the Morattys!’ Which when the multitude heard, that was come in for to see the sight, they were seized with fear, and rushed the other way into the town, crying out that the Morattys were coming. And thus, what with the men the mate had with him, and those he hired, and the crowd all crying out at once, the alarm was well spread, and you know how that in the panic terror and confusion we brought you away.”

“But what of the Morattys?” I asked.

“Ah, that I can’t tell,” says he. “I can scarce believe now that the devil raised ’em up, for to punish us for our false news, but that was the thought in my mind, seeing ’em at first. Howsoever it be, they took back their captain, that, as I heard from the skipper of the Dutch ship, was prisoned only in a block-house by the river, and I don’t know whether they have the more reason to thank us, or we them, for their coming. Yet ’tis now my belief that those tales of the Indians concerning spies and suchlike were true, and that the Morattys was hid in the plantations (it being a feast-day, and no work done), with the intent to fall upon the city that night, but that our men’s coming and crying disturbed ’em and made ’em see they were as well make what they might from the tumult. But I tell you, Master Ned, when I found they was truly there, you might have knocked me down with a feather, so astonished was I to behold ’em.”

“’Twas a mighty strange escape,” says I.

“Ay,” says he, “and a doubly lucky one, since it gives me your company, sir, on my voyage. And this I may say, that you need not to grieve over the interruption to your sojourning in Goa, for I can speak the Portuguese as well as most men, and you should by rights have learned something on’t during these three years, so that we will speak it together, if you so desire it. And moreover, sir, in so far as I have any skill, whether in matters touching cargoes and merchandises, or in things pertaining to the sea and the winds and the sailing of a ship, ’tis all at your service, and I shall account it an honour to impart to you of the same. And so long as it shall please you to abide on board of my ship, so long shall it please me if you will mess with me and share the cabin, and there must be no word said of passage-money, for the favour of your company answers that.”

I could not make a fitting answer to an offer made with so much delicacy and kindness, but I grasped my good friend by the hand, assuring him that I counted myself only too highly favoured, that I should enjoy the happiness of a voyage with him, and begged of him to teach me whatsoever he knew. And this pleasing him, as I was well assured it should (for I never met a seaman yet that did not love to teach others out of his own skill and experience), we agreed that I should be considered as supercargo, and I was thus entered on the ship’s books, instead of in the name of Samuel Needham of Deptford. And ’twas thus that I embarked upon a voyage that bid fair to be one of the happiest times of my life, but yet led me into grievous sorrow and peril, by the will of God, and as I cannot but think, by the hard disposition of man as well. But that you may understand my meaning in saying this, I must needs explain myself.

For there was on board of the Boscobel a seaman named Darrell, an ancient person, and one that had travelled in many seas and was much looked up to by Captain Freeman and the rest. And this man I was wont to hear arguing and exhorting his fellows with great diligence, but what he said to ’em I never troubled myself to learn, thinking that he was but declaring to them the perils and dangers through which he had passed in his many voyages. But one day, coming near where Darrell was discoursing to the rest, I saw that he had a great Bible upon his knee, and listening, heard him as it were preaching. Now this in itself stirred my mind, but when I heard his words, I began to be very wrathful. For the fellow was speaking most boldly and naughtily against his majesty the king and all his court, and declaring that such a sink of iniquity had ought to be swept away from off the face of the earth, and that before God should destroy the whole nation by reason on’t. And this I could by no means stomach, that a mean person of this sort should set up himself as a judge over the king and the nobility, and stepping before him, I bade him speak to his fellows of their own sins, but to leave his majesty’s alone.

“Ay so,” saith he, regarding me sternly, “that is what you and your like are alway wont to say, Master Carlyon. Prophesy unto us smooth things, say naught, though vice sit in high places, and Popery go unrebuked, yea, encouraged. But shall we say naught? shall we hold our peace? Han’t this keeping silence brought upon us already two of the Lord’s sore judgments, namely, the sword of the Dutch and the pestilence? and shall the other two on ’em be long delayed? Nay, sir, for so long as life be in me will I be among those that sigh and that cry for the abominations that are done in the land, until the Lord come to our help and drive out from before us that evil family once more and for ever.”

“Do you dare speak thus of your king’s house?” asked I.

“I do, sir, even of that wicked and bloody house of Stewart,80 that is drunk with the blood of the saints and of the martyrs of Jesus. ’Twas an evil day when it returned among us, and God send that it may soon leave us again.”

“Are you so bold as to desire another rebellion?” I cried.

“Is rebellion worse than all that passes in England now?” asked he.

“But sure it an’t any concernment of yours,” says I. “You are here, and may stay away until there be a king to your mind.”

“Whence shall he come?” cried the old man. “One there was, even in this wicked family, in whom some good thing was found towards the God of Israel, and he was took away from the evil to come. Who is there beside?”

“But who is he of whom you speak?” I asked him.

“The men of this world called him Henry, Duke of Gloucester, but to us he was the young Josias, raised up for to destroy the idols of his fathers and the tombs of their false priests. But the Lord intended the overthrow of the house of Stewart, and left to it only those that to the wickedness of their fathers would add yet more.”

“Man,” says I, “you are prodigious bold to speak thus impudently of the royal house. I thank God that I and mine have never ceased to uphold his majesty’s cause, and will do so still. But ’tis you and your like that have brought God’s judgments upon Britain by that shameful deed of slaying the Lord’s anointed, that blessed martyr the late king.”

“Nay,” said he, “I had no hand in the well-merited death of that bloody and deceitful man, for I was far away from England at that time,—and even had I been at home, I don’t know that I had dared to counsel the taking of his life.”

“But ’tis to that point that your opinions lead you,” said I.

“Maybe,” says he, “but men should lead their opinions, not be led by ‘em. And had I been then in England, and not aboard the good ship Covenant (Captain Godly-Fear Johnson, master), a-sailing the seas with that fleet whereof Colonel Blake took the command not long thereafter——”

“How?” says I, “did you sail with Blake?” For in very truth I had heard much concerning this famous admiral and obstinate rebel, and was minded to hear more. But this old man Darrell was not inclined to further my desires.

“Ay,” says he, “I sailed with Blake, sure enough; and look you, Master Carlyon, there was a ship and a ship’s company for you! Worship publicly conducted mornings and evenings, and all day of a Sabbath any man that felt himself moved thereto might open the Scriptures and exhort the rest. There was some difference betwixt free spiritual exercise of this sort, and the skipper here, reading on the Sabbath-day from the Prayer-book and the Homily against Rebellion!” This he said with a prodigious scorn.

“Nay,” said I, “doubtless he considered the homily as more profitable to you than the exercise you would prefer.”

But at this the old man waxed very wroth, and rose up and left me, saying that I was no better than a scoffer, and that Captain Freeman was yet in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity, and that ’twas not for him to judge what were profitable or not.

“What preacher of sedition have you on board here, captain?” says I, when I saw my friend next. “I looked not to find pestilent sectaries aboard the Boscobel.”

“’Tis old Substitution Darrell you would say,” said he. “A marvellous gift of exhortation he hath, and would sit up all the night arguing, so long as his fellows would hear him, and longer. But he is our best hand, and so staunch in his duty and punctual in the performing on’t as no one would ever believe. I have been near him in a storm, when all thought our last hour was come, but he was as cheerful as you may see him now. ’Twas one of his conditions of service that I should suffer him to expound the Scriptures to the rest of the crew, so long as he and they desired, and the Company’s occasions took no damage thereby, and I have heard him discourse so movingly concerning the love of God as that I was fain to depart so as he might not see me weep.”

“But sure you an’t at one with him in his opinions?” I asked.

“Nay,” says the skipper. “Darrell has told me once and again that I am in Babylon, by the which, as I take it, he signifieth the Church of England, and bids me come out therefrom, saying that God hath sent to me by his means for to warn me concerning my danger. And I seem to him to be a wilful sinner, thus contemning this saving grace. But yet, when I was once took sick with that evil disease of the plague of Egypt, Darrell stayed beside me for to tend me when all others fled from the very sight of me; yea, he also read to me divers most comfortable promises from his Bible, and in very deed saved my life. Yet he hath his strange points, for he holds to certain of the doctrines of that outlandish sect of the Fifth Monarchy Men, that will have it we are all Jews.”

“Doubtless he is mad concerning one or two points,” says I. “In fine, captain, I had rather that you had him always of your company than I.”

And so we, laughing, to dinner. But I was not yet done with this old man Darrell. For we were beset, as it chanced, on this voyage of ours, with many odious calms and contrary and baffling winds, so that we were sore impeded in our going. Then on the occasion of one of these calms the old man addressed himself to me once more.

“I fear lest I failed in my duty to you, sir, the t’other day,” says he, “for ’twas in my heart to declare to you divers inconsistencies in your walk and conversation,81 and I refrained myself from so doing.”

“You were better do it now, then,” said I, somewhat angry that he asked no pardon for his presuming, and yet diverted by his words. He looked upon me sadly enough.

“Sir,” said he, “when you come on board I looked upon you as one whom the Lord had rid of great danger and peril that you might show forth His glory. But since we have left Goa I have observed in you a levity and a hardness of heart that hath given me much concernment. You have showed no signs of grace, and have displayed much sympathy with the wicked and a culpable laxity with regard to the Papistry and lewdness that abound in our unhappy country. I fear, young sir, that there is a grievous fall before you. The pride of your heart hath maybe kept you firm when your Protestant faith was threatened with force, but the devil can work with promises and allurements as well as with threatenings. If you be so minded, I am willing to show you more particularly wherein I think you err, to your profiting in the future.”

Now I won’t deny that I was much nettled by the boldness of his words, neither anticipating in my youth and vainglory that fall whereof he spake, nor yet foreseeing that in my later life I should confess that both in his rebukes and his prophecies this old man was wiser than I thought him, but still I made shift to answer him peaceably.

“My good man,” says I, “I have thanked God daily for my deliverance, and prayed of Him to keep me staunch in the future. What more I can do I don’t see, having an eye to the difference between your age and mine, which would make it strange were I in all things like unto you.”

“Nay,” says he, “I have known many young persons that showed forth in their lives the fruits of grace in a soberness of walk and a meekness of carriage that edified all about ’em. But of these you an’t one, and rejecting the counsel I offer you, will go your way to your own destruction.”

And with that he departed, and I, as you may well suppose, sought not his company overmuch thereafter. But it so chanced that time and the course of events placed it in his power to hurt me, though I don’t say, nor yet believe, that this was with his intention. For we were now passing into the Sea of Bengali, and having been so greatly delayed by the wind’s being contrary to us, were arriving at what they call in these seas the hurracan season, that is, the time when these tempestuous winds do most commonly use to blow. And although during some time we met with no hurracan, yet were we assailed and buffeted by divers fierce gales, that did much damage to the upper works of the ship, and served still further to delay us in our voyage. And on the account of these things I did condole with the captain, I myself also finding the delay irksome to me, but thought nothing in especial touching the gales until I heard one day the old seaman Darrell, that sat with his Bible on his knees, say to his fellows—

“It may be that aboard this ship also we have a Jonah among us,” and it seemed to me that he cast a look my way. Now I am ashamed to tell that at first I could not recall what Jonah should have to do with our present plight, but anon the old man himself come up to me, saying—

“Have you considered these gales that meet us so often of late, Master Carlyon?”

“I have,” said I, “since indeed they keep me back when I desire to reach Bengali, but what of that?”

“I don’t know,” says he, “what your past life may have been, but I counsel you to try yourself and see whether you have left any sins unrepented or unamended, for whose sake God is even now punishing this ship and all that are in her.”

“And if so,” said I, “am I to throw myself overboard?”

“Nay,” says he, “that must be settled by the decision of all of us, together with your own conscience.”

“But prythee tell me,” says I, “why you should single me out to be the cause of your misfortunes?”

“What but misfortune has befell us ever since our taking you on board? “asked he. “I dare not say that it wan’t the Lord’s will you should be released from the hands of the Inquisition, but if He did so intend it He is trying the faith of His servants very sorely.”

“I think you will scarce suffer for a deed of mercy,” said I. “I have done many sinful acts, as I must sorrowfully confess, but I can’t charge myself with any such unrepented crime as you speak of, nor do I perceive why you should all fasten upon me to be your Jonah, and no other person in the ship.”

But in spite of this discourse I had with him, the old man held very firm to his opinion, and the gales continuing, the other seamen began to believe him, so that I saw them casting black looks at me several times. The captain also, as I perceived, was sad and anxious of countenance, and I saw that he had his pistols ready charged in his cabin. ’Twas not until long time afterwards that I learned that the crew had demanded of him to set me on shore in some convenient place, for to live or die as I might, that their ill-fortune might thus be reversed, and that he refusing, they were wellnigh ready to fall upon him. But at last there come a favouring breeze, and for two days we sailed northward with good speed. But on the evening of the second day was there a mighty strange sunset, all of a fiery and copperish red, and as we looked upon it, there sailed between us and it, from the side where the land lay, a whole fleet of great ships, whereat we marvelled greatly.

“That,” says Captain Freeman, “must needs be the Dutch fleet that is besieging the Frenchmen in St Thomas,82 for there an’t no other that I have heard on in these waters. But why are they putting out to sea? Sure they, coming from the shore, must see signs of an hurracan that we can’t perceive.”

“But are there Frenchmen in these seas?” says I.

“Ay so,” says he, “and at Surat too, where indeed their Factory is better stocked with mounseers than with cash. But what troubles me now is the putting forth of these Hollanders. I dare be bound we shall have an hurracan upon us before the night be over.”

And away he went to take counsel with the mate for the better preparing of the ship, whose head was quickly turned out to sea and away from the land, and divers changes made in the ordering of her spars and rigging, such as after this long lapse of time I won’t try to recount, lest I awaken laughter by my ignorance. But this I observed—viz., that every man looked upon me with scowls and hatred, regarding me as the cause of this new misfortune, and my friend the captain perceived this also, for he bade me fasten myself with cords to a part of the bulwarks close beside him, and remain with him through all that might chance to happen.

Now by this time the wind was whistling and moaning most pitifully in our rigging, and the light of the moon and stars was waxed pale and sickly. Looking from the deck towards the west, in which quarter the land lay, we could see as it were a great wall of blackness resting there, that then began to move, and advanced towards us. The air was prodigious hot, as though it came from the mouth of a furnace, so that until I had asked Captain Freeman, it seemed to me that the ship herself must needs be on fire. Then almost before our crew could furl all the sails, there come down upon us a great and mighty wind, so fierce that the ship only missed being turned over thereby; and this wind howling and roaring, there come also great flashes of lightning, now in one place, now in another, faster than a man could count, and brighter also than he could behold without shading of his eyes, but no thunder. The sea also wrought mightily, the waves being very great, and black channels of waters between, most tremendous to behold. And moreover the direction of the wind did so chop and change as we might almost believe we were carried round in a circle. And this continuing, and the waves rising higher and higher, Captain Freeman gave command that the masts should be cut away, the ship now rolling very much, and their heaviness imperilling her.

Now one of the masts, as it fell, brake away a part of the bulwarks close by where I was, so that I untied myself and fastened the cords again to a certain great spar that was held fast on the deck by a rope that belonged to it. And by this time the storm was so terrible that men had given up all hope, and I saw, by the flash of the lightning, old Darrell praying and calling upon God, though I might not hear aught that he said, from the noise of the waves and the wind. But in the light of the same flash I saw another seaman that shook his fist against me, and shouted certain words that I could not hear. Then I saw a greater wave than any before coming upon us, and I shut my eyes and gripped fast hold of my spar. Though the tumult all around was so great, yet I heard the sound of that great hill of water bursting over the ship, and then I felt myself swept away, with the spar to which I was tied, into the sea. But whether the rope that held the spar was broke by the prodigious force of the water, or cut by that seaman that shouted at me, I have never been able certainly to discover.

Chapter IX

Of My Finding the New France in the Indies

Now concerning the length of that time which passed while I was in the water, and all that happened to me therein, I know little on’t, for after but a short buffeting with the waves, I lost my senses, and knew no more until I found myself floating, upheld by that spar whereunto I was still tied, on a tranquil enough sea, in broad daylight. And the sun now shining very brightly, I was much incommoded with the heat, and sought to shelter myself beneath a projecting shelf or flap of wood that belonged to the spar, so that I might see where I was. Then shading my eyes with my hand, I saw that all around me was there naught but sea, save that on one side I could discern afar off that which might be the sail of some small boat. This seemed to me a prodigious piece of good fortune, so that I did unfasten myself from the rope, and clambered up, as well as I might, for I found myself prodigious weak and bruised all over, to the highest part of the spar, and there waved my handkercher and shouted.

Then while I watched and prayed in a frenzy, the boat came on its way and approached closer to me; but when it was come near, and they on board catched sight of me, they halted for awhile, and sailed round me, as though to make sure of my conditions, and then came on slowly, making a prodigious display of such weapons as they had, and all for fear lest I might be disposed to fight with ’em. But I holding up my hands empty, for to make it evident to them that I was unarmed, they came up close, and dragged me from my spar into their vessel, that was but a poor skiff or fishing-boat, with three men aboard on’t. But when they saw me clearly, they drew back from me and talked in whispers, then seized their arms, and made as though they would kill me. And upon this I cried out to them in Persian and Guzeratty and also in Portuguese that I was an Englishman and a shipwrecked traveller, and that they should show me pity and bring me to some one of our factories, where they should be suitably rewarded for their care. But ’twas all in vain, for the tongues of these parts of the Indies are altogether different from those of Surat, and the men came against me threatening me, and I thought that among their words I could make out that they spake of Hollanders. Now I was much exercised to know whether these men served the Dutch, and believed that I was their enemy, or whether they were hostile to ’em, and considered me a Dutchman. The utmost that I could do was to assure them by signs that I desired peace, and cast myself on their mercy, and at the last they bid me in gestures place myself in the stern of the boat and abide there quiet. Then, towing the spar behind, they made sail for the land, which I could now see, though at some miles’ distance.

Sailing then towards the coast, we come presently in sight of a great city that stood upon the shore, with a fair harbour wherein lay two or three ships. I could see that this place was well defended with great walls fitted for the working of cannons, and there was also a high fort that commanded the harbour. There was several spires, as of churches, to be seen above the walls, and some distance away from the town behind stood a great hill, with a church or temple upon the summit thereof. The walls and houses of the city, such parts at least as I could see of them, glistered and shone in the sunlight as though they had been built of marble, so that the whole place had an air of great elegance and dignity.

Passing then the mouth of the harbour, where was posted as watchman on a high stage an Indian that cried something to the men in whose boat I was, and was answered by them in return, we approached the city as the sun began to sink behind the hill. Then I saw that there was a ship’s barge coming towards us, very handsomely appointed, and rowed by Indians bearing a livery of white. In the stern on’t was fixed an ancient,83 wherein were golden lilies on a field of white, and there was also a state84 set up, under the which three persons sat. Now when the barge was come near to us, I saw that these was two ladies, very richly dressed, and a gentleman of a grave and haughty presence. And the men of the fishing-boat bowing themselves very humbly, after the manner of the Indians, I perceived that here must be some very great persons, and standing up where I was I bowed low. The gentleman then returned my salute mighty civilly, and spake unto the boatmen in their own tongue. And they answering him with great submission and respect, he stood up in his barge (so that I could see him to be of a high stature and of good proportions, and dressed very stately in black, after the Spanish fashion), and spake to me in French, asking me whether it were true that I was an Hollander. To which I replied No, but an English gentleman in the service of the India Company, that was shipwrecked and rendered desolate by sad misfortune. Then this gentleman testified great concern, saying that the English was good friends of theirs, and having asked me divers questions, invited me into his own boat with him, and hade one of his train see that the fishermen were rewarded for the saving me. And I sitting down among the gentlemen of his following, he asked of me certain questions concerning my life and my adventures hitherto, the ladies also listening with great kindness. But for all I was so occupied in answering in my best French to his honour’s inquiries, I could not help observing that one of these ladies was young and one old, and that she that was the younger was of a most beautiful countenance and a very majestic presence, and likewise that though both of them was habited like unto our own dames, yet upon their heads they did bear veils or mantles of lace, after the manner of the women of Spain. Now as we drew near to the marble steps at the end of the harbour, his honour said to me in the most affable manner—

“Sir, we will trouble you no further to-night. You are weary and need repose, but to-morrow we shall be enchanted if you will honour us with your company at supper, and relate your adventures in full. “Mons. de Marigny” (addressing himself to one of his gentlemen), “to your care I commend this unfortunate gentleman. You will confer upon me a favour in allowing him to share your lodging, and I entreat you to see that he has every alleviation of his distresses that our poor town and fleet may be able to furnish. Sir, I have the honour to wish you a very good night, with agreeable dreams and sweet rest from your sorrows.”

Now in very truth I wan’t sorry to accept these kind offers of rest and lodging, for I was so dog-tired that I could scarce keep open my eyes; but I am glad that I was still sufficiently awake to thank his honour most humbly for all his kindness before I retired with that gentleman to whom he had commended me. This Mr Marigny (his Christian name Claudius) was a very gay and pleasant young gentleman, and did discourse most agreeably the while he led me to his lodging, not showing himself in the least angered to have so scurvy-looking a fellow thus suddenly thrust upon him, but spake to me of many matters whereof I knew naught, so that at the last I was constrained to ask his pardon and request that he would be so good as unfold to me everything on the morrow. And this, laughing mightily, he did promise to do, and so brought me to his lodging, where he called for food. And so tired was I, that while this was a-preparing, I fell asleep, with my head on my arms on the table, and Mr Marigny had much ado to wake me and advise me to take some broth. Then he brought me into his own chamber, and bade me repose myself upon his bed, which was made very elegant, after the Indian manner, and this command once given, I lacked no forcing to make me obey it.

Now the next day I did not awake until noon, and found myself then still so weary that I had gladly gone to sleep again, but a Gentue servant that was in the chamber came and invited me by signs to rise, offering me a very fine brocado nightgown85 of Mr Marigny’s for to put on, since my own coat and doublet were nowhere to be seen. And wearing this gown, together with the night-cap that had been lent to me the night before, I went into the parlour, where was Mr Marigny drinking jacolet. He seeing me, came and bid me welcome with much kindness, and commanded the servant to bring in the portion of victuals that had been set aside for me, and so sat down for to talk with me the while I did eat.

“I see,” says he, “that you have questions without number for to ask me, though where you have spent the last few years, so as not to be aware of all that has happened in ’em, I can’t tell.”

“Alas, sir!” says I, “they were passed in the dungeons of the Inquisition, whereto little news penetrates. But pray tell me who is the noble gentleman that entreated me so civilly yesterday?”

“That,” says he, “is my lord Marquis of Tourvel, his most Christian majesty’s viceroy in the Indies.”86

“The King of France’s viceroy?” said I, in great astonishment.

“Even so,” says he.

“And the gentlewomen with him are his lady and his daughter, as I suppose?” said I, trying to digest that which he told me.

“Nay,” said he, “Mad. de Tourvel is dead these many years. The younger lady is my lord’s daughter, Mademoiselle de Tourvel, and the other is Mad. de Chesnac, her cousin, who is her governess, waiting-gentlewoman, what you will.”

“And hath his lordship any other children here?” asked I.

“Nay, he han’t none else at all. Mademoiselle Heliodore is the only one, and she hath abode so long unmarried that ’tis said she intends to devote herself altogether to my lord her father. But that——”

Here the Gentue servant entered the chamber, and brought in with him a young black page-boy, bearing a packet in his hand, the which he did deliver to me. In the packet was there a purse of cut velvet, very handsome, with twenty louis d’or therein, and with it a billet wrote in French very elegantly, saying that I had doubtless found myself incommoded by the loss of all my clothes and other necessaries, and that ’twould afford an infinite pleasure to Mademoiselle de Tourvel if I would permit her to supply my most pressing needs. Mr Marigny, seeing the purse and knowing the lad that brought it, made a sign to me to accept that which was sent me, and was good enough to furnish me with paper and ink, wherewith I writ that I did most gratefully accept the kindness of Mademoiselle de Tourvel, and looked forward with impatience to doing myself the honour of signifying my thanks in person to her ladyship that evening. And this letter wrote, and the servant and the page departed, Mr Marigny looked jestingly at me.

“O happy youth! “ says he, “have you already won the favour of the peerless Heliodore, when no other can gain from her anything but coldness?”

“Methinks, sir,” says I, “you are unjust to the lady that has just dealt so kindly by me, to suspect her of such designs.”

“Sir,” says Mr Marigny, quickly, “I spake but in jest. I pray you to believe that I an’t altogether a fool. I honour and esteem Mademoiselle de Tourvel as if she were my own sister, and so do all here, but we know better than to expect her to look kindly on any of us.”

He seemed as if he might have said more, but stayed himself suddenly, and asked me whether I would choose to see the town. This set me a-laughing.

“’Tis prodigious strange,” says I, “but here have I been for a night and a day in this place without so much as knowing the name on’t.”

“This is the city of St Thomas, in the country of Gulconda,”87 says he, “and hath its name from the blessed martyr St Thomas the apostle, who was murdered in this place by the pagans. There are here divers memorials of his life and death, and notably his sepulchre, that standeth on that great hill behind the town, where you may discern a fair chapel builded in his honour. And if we have good luck to-day, I will show you likewise a sign of the divine judgment upon the murderers of the blessed saint. For the Indians here, being descended from those that with their feet did stamp St Thomas to death, are all born with the right leg prodigiously swollen, and this deformity continues, and even increases, throughout their lives. Finding ’emselves thus marked with the token of heaven’s displeasure, these persons resolved long since to amend their lives, and becoming converted to the faith, are called by the name of him they slew—viz., the Christians of St Thomas—but do still bear about with ’em the mark of their fathers’ crime.”

“I thank you, sir, for this curious tale,” said I. “And what (if I may ask) do you and your fellows in this place?”

“Why,” says he, “my lord marquis holds it for his majesty against all the forces of the King of Gulconda by land and the fleet of the insolent Hollanders by sea.”

“Pray,” says I, “tell me how you come hither, sir. Three years ago I had looked for a viceroy from Muscovy in these seas as soon as for one from France.”

“That will I tell you when I carry you to see the walls,” says he. “But first, if you will give me leave, I will seek some clothes for you, and what is still lacking we will get when we go abroad. Your own clothes have been looked to by my servant, but I fear they will scarce be fit for you to wear to-day.”

And this I found to be true, for the plain suit of dark blue that Captain Freeman had lent me (and which was always something small, I being taller than he) was all shrunk up with the sea-water and so spoiled as I could never wear it again, wherefore Mr Marigny did lend me a coat of light cloth, laced with gold at all the seams very neat, and a beaver with a great plume. Thus bravely attired, I walked abroad with him, and he showed to me this great city, which was built first by the Portugal, but taken from them by the Moors, and has seven churches and seven great gates, and all its walls built of marble. We saw many shops, like unto those of Surat for the meanness of their appearance, and there laid out a part of Madam Heliodora’s gift on such things as I stood most in need of. Divers other matters in the way of clothes we ordered to be made (for these Indians are extreme skilful in copying any pattern you may give ’em), and desired the tailors to make all speed in sending them home. And after this we went and sat upon the walls, looking out to sea, and there, Mr Marigny’s’ servant holding a great umbrello over us the while, we discoursed touching this adventure of the Frenchmen that had brought them to St Thomas and kept them defending it.

“I pray you tell me first, sir,” says I, “whether this fleet of yours be despatched by the King of France, or by some private persons?”

“Truly,” says he, “the ships belong to our India Company, but they are sent forth with the approval and encouragement of the king and of the Lord Colbert, his minister.”

“And how long is’t since they were sent forth?” said I.

“Seven years ago they started,” says he, “in 1666. The first intention was to colonise the isle called Madegascar, where we have had settlements during many years, but finding this inexpedient, they that had the ruling of the business judged it well to proceed to the true Indies, and factories was set up at Surat and Mechlapatan.”88

“I had not looked,” says I, “to find a French factory at Surat on my return thither. And pray, sir, an’t you greatly troubled there, as we, by Seva Gi and the Morattys?”

“Nay,” says he, “we are well agreed with ’em, having been enabled to win their favour through one or two happy accidents. And with the emperor at Dhilly likewise do we stand very well, having obtained from him a pharmaund89(which is to say a charter), granting us divers immunities of traffic.”

“But sure,” says I, “with so peaceful and happy a beginning, you han’t needed your cannons and munitions of war?”

“Ah,” says Mr Marigny, “though we have found no trouble arise with the Indosthans90 ’emselves, yet we have had much from the Dutch, that are as great haters of our adventures in these seas as they are of those of your own English Company. For we attempting to make a settlement upon the island of Ceilon, they did drive us off from Galle Point, yet we went on to Trincomalai, where we effected a landing, and did grievously discomfit the Hollanders. But they coming upon us with a great fleet before we had time for to victual the place, we were forced to forsake it for want of food, and so sailed up the coast of Coromandel, until we came to this city of St Thomas. And here demanding provisions from the Moors, they refused us with many ill words, whereupon our captain, filled with a noble rage, gave battle to ’em, and took the place, losing only five men.”

“His lordship must be both brave and discreet, sir,” said I.

“Both these he is, sir, indeed,” says Mr Marigny, “but so hurt and hampered in all his doings by the jealousy of those appointed to the command with him as no man ever yet was. As you have seen, he is a person of a very majestic carriage, and very high in his ways, and by this has done much to offend the other leaders. One of these, that was named Director-General of our trade in the Indies, hath been summoned to France to answer for himself, his majesty having doubtless heard tell of his injurious deeds.”

“And pray, sir,” said I, “tell me how his lordship and all of your company have fared since you took this place.”

“Why,” says he, “after driving out the Moors, we brake up the most of our ships, reserving only two or three of those that were soundest, and brought on shore their ordnance, wherewith we have armed these walls, as you see. Then there come against us the armies of the King of Gulconda, whose captain we had dispossessed, and for some time pressed us very close, so that we had little rest, either by day or by night. But at length, finding that we were not to be took unawares, they withdrew ‘emselves a little, and do now keep up a continual watch and blockade upon us, with sometimes an open attempt, and this to our great weariness. Nevertheless, my lord appointed an ambassage unto ’em, that had near succeeded in coming to an accommodation with their king, but was baulked by the evil offices of the Dutch, that had sent ambassadors likewise, and gained his ear, so preventing him from acceding to us. Nor was these Hollanders contented with this, but must needs come with their great fleet and besiege us in our harbour here, though as yet they have gained little reward for their trouble, for we have been well able to make ’em keep their distance.”

“But how can you maintain the place without victuals,” asked I, “since these were come to an end even at Trincomalai?”

“We have been greatly helped,” says he, “by the chief of the English Factory at Maderas,91 who has been so good as to bestow upon us aid of that sort more than once.”

“Why,” says I, “are you near to Maderas at this place?”

“Not far off,” said he. “’Tis some few miles to the north, that is all.”

“Then I shan’t be forced to trespass on your kindness so long as I had feared, sir,” said I. “Methought I must needs stay here until an English ship should chance to enter the harbour, or maybe a caphalay start for one of the Company’s posts.”

“You are mighty eager to leave us, sir,” says he. “At the least, I am assured that his lordship will never let you depart under fifteen days, and methinks he will desire you to tarry with us longer. It an’t so often that we see here one from Europe that we need hasten his departure when he comes.”

“You are very good, sir,” says I, “and sure I’m most grateful to his lordship,” and indeed I could not but admire the hospitableness wherewith these French gentlemen shared their scanty stores.

“We ourselves, sir,” says Mr Marigny, “are too much indebted to the English factories to be able to treat any Englishman ill. But it is now growing late, and we will, if you please, return to my lodging, that we may prepare for his lordship’s supper-party.”

To this I agreed without any ado, and the more as I was all eagerness to behold again the beautiful countenance of that lady who had carried herself so kindly towards me, and leaving the walls, we returned to Mr Marigny’s lodging. This I now perceived to be situate in one of the great houses of the place, its outward aspect mean enough, but its furnishings genteel and handsome after the Indian fashion, since it had belonged to a chief man among the Moors, and was now appointed to the use of some three or four of the younger gentlemen among my lord marquis his officers. Here we found set out a cold collation, to which, when we were sat down, we did excellent justice, and then made shift to dress ourselves fitly for appearing in my lord’s presence. And because I had no clothes meet for such an entertainment, and the suit which I had ordered of a Gentue tailor of the town not being likely to be finished for some days, Mr Marigny did lend me a tunic of his own, that was of a light blue damask, guarded with silver lace, very pretty, and had in a soldier of his troop, that was also a barber, for to trim my hair. And being now ready, we were carried in palankeens to the palace, which is a great piece of building, used formerly by the Moorish governor of the King of Gulconda, and so large as all the six hundred Frenchmen in St Thomas might have found lodging therein easily. But my lord, for his punctilio’s sake, whereof he was prodigious jealous, had reserved it altogether for himself, his family and his guard, and everything was arranged very orderly, and with as great pomp and ceremony as at any court of Europe.

And this you may perceive, on my telling you that at the great gate we were met by the steward of my lord’s household, called the maistre d’hostel, and our names and dignities being noted by him, passed on through many courts and galleries, where were many servants, all habited very seemly in my lord’s livery, and all bowing, and so came at last to the great saloon, where his lordship received his guests. And in this chamber, that was hung with silk and tapestry, and the floor and pillars garnished with rich marbles, and all lighted with great candles of white wax, was there at one end a dais or raised part, whereon was set an honourable seat, like unto a throne, with a state above it, for my lord marquis, likewise an armed chair for Madam Heliodora his daughter, and another chair, as stately, but without arms, for the gentlewoman that bare her company. And behind these chairs was there a crowd of servants waving their great fans for to keep the air cool, and on either side of the dais the officers and merchant venturers that were come with my lord upon this business. And his lordship, standing before his throne (whereon was broidered very cunningly in needlework the arms of France), did receive me most graciously, and give me his hand, which I shook with great respect, but since then I have entertained misgivings thereabout, so that I can’t satisfy myself that his lordship did not intend me to kiss it.

And having paid our duty to my lord marquis, we passed on beyond the throne, and here sat Madam Heliodora, wearing a gown of flowered China silk, made in the French fashion (then new), called a sacque, and a collar of great pearls about her neck. Her hair was worn low, as the mode then was, and dressed in curls over the forehead and at the sides. Next to her was Mad. de Chesnac, in a gown of very rich brocado, the colour black with silver threads, and her hair powdered under a high cap. Likewise both these gentlewomen carried fans of wrought ivory, the carving so rich and delicate as I had never seen, and the lace in their ruffles, tuckers, and handkerchers was the finest imaginable. Now when Mr Marigny had presented me with all due form to Madam Heliodora, she showed herself very gracious to me, giving me her hand to kiss, and inquired of me extreme kindly whether I were refreshed from the fatigues of my shipwreck. And I replying in the best French I might frame, ventured also to thank her ladyship for her great kindness in anticipating my necessities, but which she bid me not mention, saying that she took shame to herself that she had need to be put in mind of my situation by some chance word of my lord her father, before she thought upon my wants. And this she said so humbly, but yet with so noble an air and tone, that I could but listen to her stupidly, and wonder at her beauty and the excellence of her good breeding. Mad. de Chesnac also, to whom my lady did me the honour to present me, carried herself very civilly towards me, and made me many pretty compliments, the which I was at much pains to return, though I can’t but fear that I stumbled sadly in my French.

And all the guests being now arrived, my lord marquis asked of me to be good enough to divert them with the relation of my adventures, but Madam Heliodora, observing that I still seemed weary, bade a servant bring a tabouret and set it for me before the dais. And upon this my lord sat down upon his throne, and desired of all the company to be seated likewise, which was done according to their degrees, and indeed it was pretty to see the art with which each person took his own place, the better sort upon chairs, and the rest upon the long seat that ran round the saloon. And I being set in the midst upon my folding-stool, my lord requested of me to begin, and thereupon I told them in little that which I have already told you, saving that of course I made no mention of my private matters. And when I had done, all present testified much sympathy with me, for the French love the Inquisition no more than we do, nor hath it ever been allowed in their country of late years, and there was more than one there that could tell sad tales of that which had happened to friends or kin that had brought themselves under the power thereof in Portingale, Spain, or the Indies.

Now after my history was done went we to supper, that was set out in another chamber with great magnificence, and such ceremony was in the going thither as I never saw, my lord going first, leading Madam Heliodora his daughter, and after him his next in command with Mad. de Chesnac, and after them the rest of us according to our degrees. And at the supper, being the newest arrived of those there, it was granted me to sit beside Madam Heliodora, to my no small contentment, for I found my eyes and thoughts fixed continually upon this lady, so prodigiously was I constrained to admire both her countenance and her wit. And at different times she was so obliging as to honour me with her special attention, asking me concerning my home, and my father and Dorothy, with so much kindness, and yet with so great gravity withal, that I could no more have answered her falsely (even if I had had any mind thereto), nor sought evasion in my replies, than if an angel from heaven had been speaking with me. And she, receiving my answers, did speak with me concerning those my friends in England as gently and as wisely as if she had been a queen and I her subject, or she my sister and I her young brother. It seems likely to me now, that my three years in prison had made me look to be much younger than in reality I was, imparting to my complexion a certain delicacy and youthfulness, and this, though my face, when I saw it in the glass, had to me the appearance of that of an old man. Likewise my hair helped to this effect, not being yet grown again, but hanging in my neck like a schoolboy’s, so that I heard the Frenchmen all speak of me as Ce jeune Anglois, and sometimes (though I was bigger than any of ’em, saving his lordship and one other), Ce petit Anglois. But to-night I cared for none of their contempts, being altogether wrapped up in the talk of Madam Heliodora.

Now after supper, the guests being in the course of departing, his lordship carried me apart for a moment to speak with him in his private closet, and I observed how tall and seemly a person he was, and how stately in his velvet coat, with a great gold chain about his neck, and a medal hanging therefrom. He addressed himself to me mighty civilly, saying that my relation had entertained him prodigiously, and desiring that I would prolong my stay at St Thomas so long as it suited with my occasions. He promised me, moreover, to ask the chief of our English Factory at Maderas to send him sure word whenever an English ship bound for Surat or Bombaim should arrive there, that so I might take passage in her, and that thus I need be under no fear of missing any chance of returning to my place. This being so, I did accept of his lordship’s offer with many thanks, and so bid him good night, and returned home with Mr Marigny. This gentleman was full of pleasant wit touching the events of the evening, and talked on thus until bedtime, I answering him scarce a word, for I could think only of Madam Heliodora, and repeat in my mind those things that she had said to me.

And now that I am come to speak of a part of my life that displays the most intolerable presumption and foolishness in me, I desire (while humbly affirming that no man perceives clearer than I the folly of my doings) to disarm your censure in some degree by putting you in remembrance that I was extreme unused to ladies’ company, never having so much as seen a woman’s face for over three years. Even in the days of my favour at Goa, I saw but little of the ladies, as I have before said, they being kept so recluse, and at Surat there was only some few Dutchwomen and those unhappy English of whom Mr Martin had spoken to me, with whom I had consorted as little as might be. And so you must needs go back to Ellswether, and to the days when my cousin Dorothy and I played together in the fields, to find a time when I was in daily intercourse with any person not of my own sex. And although this plea can’t pardon my folly, yet it may be it can mitigate it.

Now it seems to me that before I proceed further I ought to set down in writing a character of Madam Heliodora as she appeared at this time, for the sake of those that don’t enjoy the felicity of her acquaintance, or that have known her only in the time of change and adversity. This lady, Madam Frances Mary Louise (I don’t know how to render this last name in English, for it an’t used among us, though very common in France) Anne Amanda Heliodora, daughter and only child to his lordship the most noble Gasper Deodatus, Marquis of Tourvel, and Madam Mary Margaret of Cheverenches, his wife, was born in the early part of the year 1645-46, and though thus no longer in the first bloom of her youth, preserved such an admirable beauty as might well make envious many younger dames. In stature, she was above the common height of women, but so just and excellent a proportion was observable in every several part of her frame as made her figure to seem absolutely perfect. Her eyes were brown, large and melting, her hair of a most lovely brown, tending to black, her skin of a marble whiteness not often seen by us in England. I might go on to write down every feature and describe its beauties, for all were beautiful; but when all is said, ’twas not so much the beauty of the several parts as the sweet and beautiful spirit of the lady herself that shone through and illuminated them with a double loveliness. There was in all her motions so exquisite a grace as drew your eyes to her irresistibly, so that did she but lift a glass from the table you were forced to look at her and admire, yet not so much for the beauty of her hand and arm (though these were the finest imaginable) as for the elegance of the action itself. Her constitution92 was extreme devout, and a little inclined to sadness, yet in time of need she could display so indomitable a courage as I have never seen equalled. Of her kindness and goodness it would ill become me, who have profited so much by ’em, to say naught, and yet to describe them fitly were equally difficult, so that I can only say that both were excessive. At this time she was something wont, as Mad. de Chesnac complained, to affect a certain singularity and strangeness in her dress and carriage, choosing to dress herself in sad colours when she so could, and to resign herself to overmuch musing. But this, as it seems to me, is fully accounted for when all is known touching her, which won’t be yet for you, even as it wan’t for me.

Now in conclusion of this piece of description and vindication (being a description of Madam Heliodora, and a vindication, in so far as may be, of myself), I will add only this, that whereas those enemies that have left nothing undone to blacken even the most innocent actions of my life, have made foul charges against me, I do most solemnly declare that I never erred against that dear lady otherwise than by folly and presumption, and that those who speak to the contrary wrong not me only, but her also, whose virtues and misfortunes alone should protect her against calumny, let alone that desire for truth which should refrain from assailing her spotless name.

Chapter X

Of the Confidence Reposed in Me by My Lord, and of the Pitfall wherein I Fell

Now the next morning I came, as I had been bidden, to speak with my lord marquis in his privy closet, and was received of him very courteously, and asked to wait while he made an end of his matters. And this done, I looked that he should have laid some command upon me, but he turned himself about in his chair, and began to talk with me familiarly.

“Pray, Mr Carlyon,” says he, “what do you think of my situation here? No doubt it seems to you that I have all that I could wish for, with six hundred stout fellows to do my bidding, and this fair town and palace for to dwell in.”

So greatly was I astonished by the suddenness of this question, that ’twas all I could do to answer with some hesitation that his lordship had indeed seemed to me to be highly favoured in his lot.

“So I thought,” said he, “but you must learn, sir, that power and high place are naught when there are around enemies that grudge ’em to you. And chiefly this is true of the Hollanders, that are jealous of our footing here, and would not willingly allow us even this poor little town from which to trade. But also it is true of those that are set in command under me in the conduct of this adventure, that are for ever plotting and striving to ruin me, and may yet succeed in this. They know that their power is great. Already more than one of our captains, that had proved his fidelity to me, has been summoned to France upon a sealed letter,93 to linger out the remainder of his life in prison, and I know that the base wretches among whom my lot is cast would willingly see the same done by me. Tell me, sir, what you would consider the duty of a person of honour in such a case, whether to obey his majesty’s order, or to resist, if resistance were possible?”

“Truly, my lord,” says I, “my impulse would be to escape, if this could be done without loss of credit, though I conceive it should be most honourable to abide and receive the blow.”

“Ah!” cried he, with sudden passion, rising from his seat and walking to and fro in the chamber, “would that I had always at my side a man that I could trust! He should be related to me, if that were possible, either by blood or by marriage” (here he cast a look at my face, yet suddenly and hastily, not as doing it with intention), “and ’twould be all as well if he wan’t a Frenchman. He should be next to me in all things, and I would always seek his counsel, feeling assured that such a man was the immediate gift of heaven. What do you say, Mr Carlyon? Are you acquainted with any such person? You will think upon the matter, and if there come to your mind one that may seem to you worthy of my trust and of such a high place, you will give me to know of him.”

“Most gladly, my lord,” said I, though somewhat slowly, for he was regarding me strangely, as I thought. He remained silent for some time, his chin on his hand, and then spake again.

“Mr Carlyon, I am about to repose a great trust in you. You must perceive that I entertain the highest confidence in your honour and discretion before I should so far outrage the customs of my great nation as to prefer you to the charge I now propose to you. You have heard that a Dutch fleet has lain of late before our walls, and left us only in that hurracan that preceded your coming hither?”

“Yes, my lord,” says I. “Mr Marigny hath told me on’t.”

“Now that our harbour is once more free,” saith his lordship, “it is in my mind to go out with the ships that are left us, and voyage along the coast, seeking whether there be any place more propitious than this for us poor exiles. On such a voyage as this there may well be both hardship and danger, and I don’t desire that my daughter shall accompany me. She must remain here, but I am interested to leave with her a protector in whom I can repose confidence. Will you be so good as accept this office?”

“My lord,” says I, struck with amazement, “you do me a very great honour, but sure your own officers will take it very ill in me to pretend to such a post.”

“I am indifferent to that,” says he, “and you will do well to be so too. As to my officers, moreover, the most of ’em will go with me, leaving only enough to hold the place. These are generally very young, and might venture to presume upon the favour granted ’em, and as for Laborde, the commandant of the fort, to whom I should naturally have intrusted this office, he thought fit, some time ago (I am speaking to you freely and in confidence, sir), to pretend to my daughter’s hand. Mademoiselle de Tourvel rejected his vows, with my approbation, but you can well perceive, sir, how unpleasant ’twould be to her sensibilities to be brought into close relation with him.”

I made answer that I was fully sensible on’t, but at the same time, I felt myself overwhelmed by this great honour and place of trust that was thrust upon me. And truly, I can’t even now refrain from wondering at the hardihood wherewith his lordship placed me in a situation in which, had I been only half so great a villain as my enemies declare me, I might have acted even as they feign that I did. Yet I did not in the smallest degree desire to retreat from the honour that was offered me, for the blood leaped in my veins at the very thought that my arm might defend Madam Heliodora, and I became aware that I almost longed for a bloody assault to be made upon the town, that so I might die in ensuring her safety. And I am sure that my face spake for me, and conveyed what my stammering tongue could not utter, for his lordship laughed pleasantly, saying—

“It is well. You accept of the trust—an’t it so? I had read in your face, that not here should my confidence be betrayed. Are you skilled in reading the nature of men from their faces, Mr Carlyon?”

“I fear not, my lord,” says I, and indeed, I had never thought of such a thing.

“You will do well to cultivate the art,” says he. “’Tis one of those matters wherein he that is born a statesman hath the advantage over those that are only late become so. But now listen, if you please, to the cautions I must needs lay upon you.”

And thereupon he gave me much counsel as to the manner in which I had best carry myself towards the guard and towards the officers of the garrison, and the precaution that ought to be observed against any attempt from without, or treason from within. And having ended all his admonitions, which I was sedulous to preserve, either in my mind or on my tablets, he dismissed me, and I returning to the lodging, found there Mr Marigny, who with his servant was busy packing his clothes and other matters, for to go on board of the ships with my lord. And telling him of his lordship’s condescension, and of the honour that he purposed putting upon me, he straightway fell a-laughing, and for all that I could do, would say naught but—

“My lord is an ingenious person.”

“Truly,” said I, “I must needs believe now what I had never divined—namely, that he is also a most trustful and simple person. How otherwise could he have advanced one that was an absolute stranger to him unto such a place of trust—a trust that I would give my life sooner than betray?”

“That is it which my lord has divined,” says he. “He reads faces, and constitutions also, and ’twould seem that he has judged you as you judge your own self. He is one of those that do never fear to take a great risk when they are bent on a great purpose.”

“But what purpose hath his lordship in this?” I asked.

“Ah, that I can’t tell,” said he. “I don’t pretend to read my lord’s face, still less his purposes.”

And with that our talk upon this question ceased, and we spake only of indifferent matters until the time came that the trumpet sounded for to summon those that were to start upon this adventure, and my lord embarked at the water-gate with his following of officers, the common men and servants being already on board. Then the three ships (two being only country-built), which was all that the French now possessed at this place, made sail and stood out of the harbour, and I came to the moving my stuff, such as it was, from Mr Marigny’s lodging to that part of the palace where a chamber had been prepared me. And here was everything already set in order with great care, and divers servants appointed for to attend upon me, so that I went through the day, though solitary, in great state, such as men might use for a captive prince. But towards evening there come Madam Heliodora’s blackamoor page, praying the honour of my company to supper with the ladies, and there was I mightily entertained, her ladyship and Mad. de Chesnac conversing with me most agreeably touching those things that I had seen in divers countries, and recounting also to me their own experiences. And before I departed, the keys of the place was brought in with great respect by Colonel Laborde, and delivered to Madam Heliodora for safe keeping, and I went round the walls with him, and marked that all was quiet, and the sentinels all posted, before I returned to my lodging. And so to bed, wondering much over the events of the day, and experiencing a prodigious gratitude for the happy chance that permitted me to spend some time daily in the sweet company of that beautiful and gracious lady.

And this same happy posture of affairs continued for more than ten days, I remaining most friendly with Colonel Laborde, but never suffering him to override me in my duty with regard to the palace. And on every evening I enjoyed the extraordinary felicity of beholding Madam Heliodora and of hearing her discourse, so that I comforted myself the whole day long with considering that at night I should see her again, and gain from her that instruction and wisdom wherein she was so much better provided than I.

Now on one of these evenings it was that Mad. de Chesnac, tiring of our talk, bade Madam Heliodora take her theorba94 and sing to us some little song. And this she did, not once only, but thrice, and with a voice and manner that was divine. And perceiving me listening to her with great admiration, she gave the theorba on a sudden to me, and begged of me to let them hear some of the songs of my country. Now my singing had used in former days to be much commended, both at Surat and at Goa, but I felt myself greatly discomposed by this command, and cast about with earnest care for the songs that I should sing. And first I sang that famous ode of Sir Henry Wotton, Knt., upon the late Queen of Bohemia, but so entirely was I occupied by the present, and not by the past, that where he had wrote Philomel, I sang Heliodore, which the ladies perceiving, they did tax me with it, and make very merry. And they considering that ’twas done for the sake of a civil artifice, and commanding that I should spoil no more of my songs for the purpose of a compliment, I did sing Mr Herrick’s beauteous song entitled To Anthea, who may command him anything. And over this Mad. de Chesnac did laugh mightily, after I had explained the words (she speaking no English, and Madam Heliodora only an indifferent amount); but my lady withdrew herself into the shade of a curtain, and seemed prodigious thoughtful, I wondering whether she discerned in my voice that ’twas to her I sang in especial. And Mad. de Chesnac demanding another song that should be more grave and profitable, I made choice of that sweet piece of the brave Colonel Lovelace’s, To Lucasta, on going beyond the seas. Now this, thought I, must tell my lady how I feel towards her, though I ben’t (at present) going beyond the seas; but to my great dismay, after I had finished, my lady rose from her place and passed quickly from the chamber, and I saw that there was tears on her face. Greatly terrified and ashamed, I looked to Mad. de Chesnac, who essayed immediately to comfort me.

“Pray don’t alarm yourself, my young friend. The sensibilities of mademoiselle are very acute, and that pathetical song of yours hath moved her to tears. But she will return immediately.”

And in truth, before many minutes was over, Madam Heliodora did return, and having offered a genteel apology for her absence, took her usual place, but blushed when she discovered me regarding her, and for the rest of the evening her eyes seemed to meet mine with a certain entreaty. And this caused me to be prodigiously tumbled up and down in my mind, so that on returning to my lodging I sat long in the gallery looking over the sea, thinking what this should mean that had passed, in the stead of going to bed. Now it may seem to you strange, but so it was, that never until this night had I entertained the expectation of seeking from this lady, whom I had so suddenly and so entirely loved, any return of my affection. But now, pondering over her words and actions, I could not resist the notion that they had spoke of love, and though for this I called myself a fool and a coxcomb, and demanded to know what there was in me to draw a lady’s fancy, and especially of such a lady, so beautiful and witty, and used to the manners of the politest of courts, yet I could not rid myself of the thought. And arriving at this conclusion, my heart leaped, and the blood coursed through my veins with so much joy, that I could scarce refrain from throwing my hat into the air, and calling out Glory be to God! after the manner of certain of the Puritan fanatics at home. But by great good fortune there come just then into my mind that look I had seen in my lady’s eyes, as if to entreat me not to betray her secret, and I resolved that I would die ere I would cause any sorrow to my sweet mistress. But nevertheless it was happy for me that the next day fell on a Sunday, so that I found no opportunity to try my lady’s feelings towards me by the singing of more songs.

It being Sunday, there was offices95 in the churches of the town, and in that nearest the palace Mass was sung by the French priest that had accompanied his lordship hither. This was an ancient and kindly person, and forbore to press me to attend Mass when I had told him of my different faith, so that I could not but felicitate myself upon the difference that lay between the French and the Portugals in such matters. But, as all the world now knows, all the French priests are not so gentle as good Father Simon. Now as I wandered on the ramparts, desiring much some Bible or Book of Common Prayer, wherewith I might have edified my mind, there come towards me Madam Heliodora, with her little page carrying a book fastened with a silver chain, as if meant to hang from a lady’s girdle. I looked to see whether she yet remembered what had passed the night before, but her face was calm again, and she met my eye with her usual noble modesty.

“I have brought you a little book, sir,” said she, “knowing that you have here no office-book of your Church wherewith to assist your devotions. ’Tis a Hugonot book, and belonged to my grandmother, that favoured that party. For this reason I can but lend it you, since it is very precious to me; but I entreat that you will retain it so long as we have the pleasure of your company here.”

And thus speaking, she took the book from the child and gave it to me, I bowing low, and thanking her ladyship for her great kindness in so thinking upon me. And when she was departed, I did look into the book, and found it to contain the Psalter, rendered into French verse by one Mons. Clement Marot. On the first page was wrote in a woman’s hand, the ink now all faded, Charlotte Anne de Tourvel, born de Galampré, and on the margents of the leaves was there notes writ by the same hand in many places. All through the time of Mass I studied in the little book with great diligence, sitting in a shaded alcove on the wall of the palace, and listening to the tinkling of the little bells from the churches. But when I had finished, I put the book in my pocket, and set to communing with myself touching Madam Heliodora. And considering in my mind the space that I had known this lady, it seemed to me a thing incredible, as doubtless it will to you, that I had seen her for the first time little more than a week before, and that all my love was grown up in that span of time. And upon this I fell to asking myself whether it were possible that I had interpreted her actions wrongly, but remembered that all the poets and romancers were agreed that tears and blushes and deep agitation was a sign of love, and ’twas these very things that had first turned my thoughts that way. And so great was the joy that these considerations brought me, upon my now trying the dreams of the night by the wisdom of the day, that I could scarce contain myself, so that I must needs set to and walk all round the walls while the day was yet hot (a piece of extravagance that might justly have brought me a stroke of the sun), and so, being tired out, back to the palace to rest.

And the next evening I supped with the ladies as before, but we had no singing, for Madam Heliodora was silent and very thoughtful, and sat by herself in the window without speaking. But I, remembering a certain proverb of Mr Martin’s, that ran, Many kisse the child for the nurse’s sake, did resolve to follow the counsel given therein, though turning it contrariwise, and so paid my court to Madam Heliodora through her cousin Mad. de Chesnac. This lady was of so merry and sportive a humour that she could not endure dulness nor melancholy about her, and engaged me speedily in a war of words touching the differences betwixt our two nations. And upon my making confession that I had always believed the ladies of France to be of a light and frivolous constitution, until I had the happiness to become acquainted with Madam Heliodora and herself, and so prove them to be both discreet and at the same time gracious, she did laugh mightily, and would have had my lady hear this fine jest. But seeing her still sit pensive at the window, she inclined her head toward me and saith very low—

“You must not take mademoiselle as a fair pattern of the ladies of France, sir. She is more than half a Hugonot by nature, and they are wellnigh as much English as yourself. ’Tis from her grandmother she hath it, my lord marquis his mother.”

“But sure my lord an’t inclined to Hugonotry?” said I.

“Nay, he was took while very young out of his mother’s charge, and his father had him bred up at a Jesuit college. Then he came under the notice of my lord the old cardinal,96 who interested him in these Indian adventures, and after his patron’s death he lived in Paris in the manner of other persons of his rank until his patrimony was gone, and his majesty was induced to use his experience in Eastern matters by naming him viceroy.”

And after this did Mad. de Chesnac tell me much more touching my lord marquis, which it would be tedious to set down, and also concerning my lady his wife, and then touching herself, how that she, being a young kinswoman of my lady of Tourvel, had espoused an elderly gentleman of my lord marquis his following, that so she might continue near her patroness.

“My husband was slain in a brawl,” says she, “before I had been wed a month, and I continued with my cousin, and since her death, with mademoiselle her daughter. Now you perceive, sir, how it is that in my old age I follow this young lady all over the world.”

“Ah, madam,” cried I, “would that I were in your place!”

“What a fine compliment!” cries she, mightily diverted. “My cousin, you must hear this—I insist on’t,” and she repeated what I had said.

“Mr Carlyon can’t know what a troublesome and whimsical creature I am, since he says that,” says Madam Heliodora, coming back into the saloon, and leaving me blushing and ashamed that she should hear my hasty words.

For several nights thereafter we did spend the time before supper in singing and talking, and it seemed to me that my love was prospering, so that my heart grew more and more light, for I observed that Madam Heliodora was wont to fall into long fits of musing, reddening and paling again when she was disturbed, and this again, say our authors, is a sure sign of love. And I reading it so, was wont to feel as though treading upon air the while I made my rounds with Colonel Laborde, singing meantime in a low voice snatches of the songs that had been sung. He looked at me often, and smiled as though knowing what was in my mind, and I don’t doubt he could have told me something had he so desired it. I can’t determine now whether he was willing that another should suffer as he had done, or whether he judged that I should resent his speaking to me on such a topic (as was, indeed, most probable); but he did but shrug his great shoulders (he was a sturdy fellow from that part of France which they call Bretaigne or Little Britain), and said naught, and I likewise.

But it came to pass that about this time was a period put to this simple and harmless-seeming enjoyment of mine by adverse causes from without, no other than the King of Gulconda’s suddenly bringing up his soldiers again from their camps for to attempt the city. It seemed most likely that he had learned the absence of my lord marquis (doubtless from some of the Moors left in the place, that we always suspected of bringing intelligence to their friends without the walls, though we could never catch ’em in the act), and desired to compass our destruction before he could return. And the Moors attempting to carry the walls by an escalade, we beat them off, and turned our minds to consider how we should best maintain a lengthened defence. My business lay with the palace, and on the strengthening thereof I did bestow endless care, instructing the ladies and their attendants, with the whole guard, that upon any alarm of the enemy’s having gained a footing on the wall, they should run into the tower overlooking the water-gate, wherein I stored up both arms and powder and shot, and also a sufficient quantity of victuals. And this, my own especial duty, having been seen to, I was very ready to seek other work, and willingly offered myself as Madam Heliodora’s messenger, for to visit the guards on the walls at the several towers, and bring back to her the latest news of the defence. And the enemy came against us next with much greater judgment than before, dividing his forces and attempting many points at once, whereby we were hard put to it to maintain the walls with our small numbers. There was some very pretty fighting done (wherein I won’t deny that I did take my part, though ’twould be unprofitable to set down all the particulars thereof), and we were able to rid ourselves of our foe for the present, they retiring some distance off.

Now, would you not expect that, this happy event being attained, all in the place should have united together with one mind to strengthen the walls and prepare against a fresh assault? But it wan’t so, for there was among the French officers certain timorous and politic persons that, like the children of Israel concerning Moses, said of my lord marquis that since he was now absent for near three weeks without returning, doubtless he and his ships were taken by the Dutch, and that ’twere best to come to terms with the King of Gulconda while we might. I verily believe that the chief concernment for these gentlemen was that they might spite and injure my lord, in thus giving up his city in his absence; but they did not venture to say this openly, but spake of having gentlewomen in their company, and that for their sake they must seek to make peace. But sure such men as these could know naught of the stuff whereof that intrepid lady, of whom they principally spake, was made, for she, on hearing of their murmurs and the propositions they put forward, turned pale with anger, and called a council to assemble immediately.

Now to this council I was admitted only by favour, and by my lady’s command, as one appointed by my lord her father to a weighty post; but truly ’twas a brave sight to see all these officers assemble, in their laced clothes and great perukes, and Madam Heliodora, mighty fine in black satin and very rich white lace, sitting at the head of the table like a queen. ’Tis my belief that these gentlemen conceived that they had been summoned together for to deliberate upon articles of accommodation with the enemy, and sure they must have been prodigiously amazed when Madam Heliodora arose and spake without one of ’em saying a word. Speaking with an elegance of language and a nobility of tone I have never known equalled, she said that she had been appointed to the oversight of the city by the marquis her father, and that she would continue to hold it for his lordship and for the king. Certain persons (she said) had dared to think and talk of surrender—let them know that she, Heliodora de Tourvel, would die among the falling ruins of the town before she would suffer the word to be so much as mentioned in her hearing. If any one should venture to advocate an accommodation, let him stand out, and he should be arrested and imprisoned to await the marquis’s return, when his lordship would know how to deal with him. If they had anything further to say, let them say it; but if not, then in God’s name let ’em go back to the walls and maintain their posts against the Moors. And they, having listened stupefied, being took by surprise as much as was I by the fiery courage of the lady, did depart in silence. But shortly after comes Colonel Laborde again into the chamber, and saith, after his stiff fashion—

“Madam, I have the honour to report that the look-out men declare that they see three ships approaching the harbour, pursued by a fleet, and that they suggest that his lordship is returning.”

“Thank God!” cried Madam Heliodora, turning very white, and trembled as though she would have fallen, but recovered herself, and gave me her hand to lead her back to her own apartments, which I did, being filled with extraordinary admiration for her bravery.

Now the report of the look-out men was so far just in that the three ships they had discerned proved to be my lord’s, and that he reached the harbour safely and cast anchor in deep water under the walls of the fort, the pursuing fleet, which was of course that of the Dutch, following him in, but casting anchor nearer to the entrance. But when we looked for my lord to land, he would not by no means do this, foreseeing that the Dutch, now that they were waxed so bold, might find a means to destroy his ships if he left ’em, and desiring to strike a blow that might rid him of his enemies for a time. And so night fell, both the Dutch ships and my lord’s hanging out lanterns where they faced each other, for to prevent an attack by boats. Now in the middle of the night (as we heard afterwards from my lord), he loosed his own great ship, which lay outmost of the three, from her moorings, with the greatest expedition and secrecy imaginable, transferring her light on board of a catameran (which is a kind of skeleton-boat used by the Indians of this coast for landing where there is much surf), which he moored where the ship had lain, so that she seemed to those in the Dutch fleet to be still there. Then, because he knew the harbour well, and had on board an Indian that was esteemed the skilfullest pilot of those parts, he sailed round by the outer part of the harbour, where the Dutch durst not anchor, for fear of sand-banks, and so came upon them from the outside, and attacked them very furiously.

Now we within the city were awakened by the noise of this battle, thinking at first that the Dutch was assaulting the place with bombs, and very soon all that were not on guard at other points of the walls gathered at the watergate for to behold the fighting. ’Twas a prodigious dark night, the which had favoured my lord’s stratagem, and all our enlightenment was by the flashes from the guns of the ships on both sides. Now this Dutch fleet, though near all the several ships was greater and heavier than my lord’s one, was thrown into such great confusion by this sudden attack as made them think that their enemy was a reinforcement of new ships from Europe, since they saw (as they believed) my lord’s three ships lying still idle inside of ’em, and being unable in the darkness to distinguish that their assailant was only one, they slipped their cables for to run out of the harbour, running foul of one another and doing much damage in their haste. And all this, in so far as we could discern the course of events, we on the walls watched with great contentment, and I in especial, being nothing loath to see defeated (though it were at the hand of a Frenchman), those rascally Hollanders from whom we in Britain had suffered so much. And with so much bravery and judgment did my lord handle his ship, as that he was able to perform that which he had desired—viz., to drive away the Dutch fleet while all was still dark, so that they should not discover the truth. Then when the fleet was departed, sorely battered and discomfited, he brought his own ship back to her station, and landed at the water-gate with great pomp. And here he was met by all the garrison with acclamations, and the loudest among ‘em was two or three Europe women of the lower sort, that were come first of all in the ships, and had urged on their husbands to demand the surrender of the town in his lordship’s absence. And so to bed again, much wearied, after due greeting given to his lordship.

Chapter XI

Of My Casting Out from My Fool’s Paradise

Now on that next day also, which was but just a-dawning when my lord landed, was I desired to sup at the palace, that so his lordship might hear from my mouth the true history of all that had passed in his absence. And my report having been given, and my lord engaged with Colonel Laborde, I ventured to approach the side of Madam Heliodora, and seek to engage her in discourse. But I was somewhat amazed to find that it did not please her to talk of the dangers of the siege, now happily escaped, nor yet of my lord her father’s victory, but only of my own life and my early friends, and this did sorely vex me, for, as I must confess, at this time I loved not over and above to speak of Ellswether and my father, and of Dorothy not at all. Wherefore, so soon as I saw the chance on’t, I changed the topic, and hit on that of dancing, moved thereto by some recollection of my little cousin’s dancing in our childhood, and did beseech Madam Heliodora to do me the kindness of explaining the diversities that there are between French and English dancing. And this she was good enough to do very particularly, so that I was altogether carried away, as they say, and presently made so bold as to say that I should be perfectly happy could I enjoy the honour of standing up in a dance with her ladyship. When I had said this, I was alarmed at my own presumption, but my lady only laughed.

“I fear you will be constrained to tarry until you can find some younger partner, sir,” saith she. “As for me, I am too old to dance.”

“Your pardon, madam,” says I, quickly, “but sure you are pleased to jest. I make so bold as to think that we should be an excellent good match. I myself am twenty-six years old, as your ladyship hath perhaps forgot.”

“Twenty-six!” saith my lady, looking upon me with some trouble in her eyes, “I had not imagined you could be older than twenty-two or three. But I am twenty-eight, Mr Carlyon, almost an old woman. I han’t danced for years, and I don’t desire to do’t again.”

“Madam,” says I, “suffer me to say that the passing years, so envious to some ladies, do but add to you the gifts they snatch from others.”

I was not a little proud of this compliment, but Madam Heliodora still gazed upon me sadly, and said naught. Then there come to us my lord, Colonel Laborde being now departed, and demanded to know the matter of our serious discourse. Then I, willing to avoid that topic of age, which had in some way grieved my lady, made answer that her ladyship and I spake concerning dancing. And upon this my lord, inquiring whether I could dance, sat down in his great chair, saying—

“I have a mind to see you dance, sir, if it ben’t displeasing to you. My daughter, will you have the kindness to grant Mr Carlyon your support in a gavot?”

“Sir,” says Madam Heliodora, hastily, “I entreat you to pardon me, and you also, Mr Carlyon, and to excuse me from this dance, without you particularly desire it.”

“I do especially desire it, my daughter,” says he.

“Give me your theorba, and I will play for you, if my fingers han’t altogether lost their cunning. Do you take your stand there, if you please, Mr Carlyon.”

I did as he bade me, and he playing a most dainty tune, Madam Heliodora rose from her seat, and stood facing me. And with so much dignity and grace did she dance, as that I was ashamed to have put myself forward to stand up with her. But so sad and serious was her face the while, that it might have fitted a funeral, and having gone through the measure in silence, she returned still silent to her place. And I being unable to win her to resume her usual cheerfulness, although my lord was very sprightly, and did make me many fine compliments, I did take my leave early, and returned to my lodging, marvelling much at the change in my lady’s conditions towards me. And yet, even then (so foolish is youth!), my own hopes flattered me into believing that my lady was tired, and would fain have rested herself and talked with me quietly, and that my twice gainsaying of her wishes, first in refusing the topics she did choose, and then in unmannerly pestering her to dance, had caused her to show herself thus grieved and displeased.

Now the next morning, when I was about going abroad with Mr Marigny, for to see the late camping-ground of the King of Gulconda’s army, for they were now, since the return of my lord, gone back to their former posts at some distance, we met with his lordship, who was about embarking in his barge for to row round the harbour and see what damage might have been done by the shots of the Dutch. He bade me come with him, and leave Mr Marigny find some other companion, and so I did, being sensible of the honour showed me, to be alone with my lord, save only for his Indian rowers, that spake no tongue of Europe. I wondered much whether my lord desired to speak with me that he carried me thus with him, but he said nothing of any moment until we were out in the harbour, and well beyond the reach of prying persons. Then he looked upon me in that way he had, that seemed to see everything without any striving thereto, and “Mr Carlyon,” says he, “I am infinitely obliged to you for your care of my daughter in my absence.”

“My lord,” says I, “such little service as I could render to her ladyship was in itself a pleasure.”

“Perhaps,” said my lord, “you might be content to render that pleasure a lasting one, sir, by taking service with our Company in the stead of your own?”

“My lord,” says I, mighty astonished, “I han’t never yet thought of taking such a step.”

There came a look of some impatience upon my lord’s face on his hearing this, and I remembered his words said to me in his closet, before he started on his late adventure, and wondered whether they were meant to move me to this step. But I saying no more, he went on—

“I must needs be surprised, sir (though I should not be so, knowing your mild and forgiving constitution), to hear that you purpose to pass over the unkind treatment you have received at the hands of the President at Surat, and invite him to take you again into the service. Have you forgot that you lie under a suspicion of undeserved disgrace, and that your name is already removed from your Company’s books? Pray, why should you not join yourself to us, and engage your excellent parts and conditions in a service where they will be deservedly prized?”

To this I made little answer, being so much confused in my mind as to what I should say, wherefore his lordship continued.

“You have already seen, sir, how the Dutch are put to flight, and the Moors forced to keep at a distance from our walls. When help reaches us from France, as sure it must before many months are over, we shall destroy our enemies with a great blow. And that accomplished, I don’t purpose to waste my life in trading, as do you English, but to lay the foundations of a great empire for his majesty. For traffic, as I fear, I have small talent, but heaven hath granted me some little skill in statecraft, and here there is provided a field the most advantageous for such powers, in the dissensions and jealousies of the Mogul emperor and his princes. If heaven continue to vouchsafe me the aid it has afforded hitherto, I look to make myself a power by an alliance with the King of Gulconda, helping him to conquer the kings lying around him. This should easily be accomplished during the present absence of the Dutch, and I shall write myself down a fool if on their return they don’t find the whole coast closed to ’em. And this assured, I would first use a portion of my reinforcements to strengthen our factories at Surat and Mechlapatan, and taking the rest with me, would then proceed to visit the court of Seva Gi, for to confirm our league with him. This being done, I would use my efforts to reconcile him with the King of Gulconda, I myself acting both as the means and the bond of this alliance, and see you there! I have power across the whole of Duccan, and far into the Mogul’s dominions to the north. The emperor must reckon with me then, and I think that even Auren Zeeb himself would pause before attempting war against such a confederacy. Then I have the situation in my hands. How does this plan strike you, sir?”

“It seems a very bold and splendid scheme, my lord,” said I.

“Yet to accomplish it,” says my lord, “I must needs secure myself from the jealous interference of those in France, that consider they know more of Indian matters than I, who am in the Indies. As you may have perceived, sir, some of my officers are badly affected towards me, and seek every pretext to write calumnies against me to the minister. I can say truly that I don’t fear their machinations so long as I am acquainted with ’em beforehand, and yet it an’t consistent with my quality, nor vyith the high dignity that his majesty hath conferred upon me, to mingle with these persons and find out their intentions for myself. I need some person in my following that will be one of ’em and yet a faithful friend to me. Once “ (and he looked at me) “I thought that I had found such an one, but now I fear that fortune was but deluding me once more. Is such a situation as this beneath your expectations and your hopes, Mr Carlyon?”

“Indeed, my lord, ’tis so high above ’em that I can’t at present think on’t calmly,” said I.

“You would gain,” says he, “experience and wisdom, and much honour withal. Wealth likewise, but I won’t injure you by supposing that that could move you. And there are other rewards, greater, such as one names not in words, but which await the trusted helper,” here he looked me again full in the face, so that my eyes fell before his. “Come, sir,” saith he, mighty encouraging, “can you hesitate? You gain so much in joining yourself to us, and lose so little, merely a king that can’t provide a place for you, though your father spent all he had in his service, and a desk and many years of weary work in the Surat Factory.”

“Ay, my lord,” says I, “and much beside.”

“Pooh, pooh!” says my lord sharply, “you are too nice and too calculating, sir. What is there that renders your services at Surat so valuable that they would be missed should you accept of my offer?”

“My lord,” says I, “the meanest Englishman hath three things to consider—viz., his honour, his soul, and his body—whereof the last is precious to his friends, the second to God, and the first to himself. Under your lordship’s leave, I believe that I should put in jeopardy all three of these, did I accept of your most obliging offer, and I must therefore ask humbly to be allowed to decline it.”

“Now, by my faith,” cried his lordship, “will you talk of your body in the same breath with your honour, sir? You do yourself wrong, Mr Carlyon, by these barbarous notions. Come, think over my proposition. I will give you fifteen days for’t. Until then we will say nothing, but I hope to find you then less blind to your own advantage. You must perceive how highly I esteem you, by my daughter’s admitting you so continually to her saloon. Is it possible that after a sojourn of some weeks at St Thomas, you can look forward to return with contentment to your life at Surat? There is, as I understand, no ladies there whose company you may enjoy as you have done that of my family.”

“Indeed, my lord,” said I, imagining to myself the pain I should feel on quitting the vicinage of Madam Heliodora, and shuddering at the very thought, “‘twould be a new expulsion from Paradise.”

“So I had divined,” says he, “and therefore counselled you to remain with us. When you have duly considered of the matter, I have little fear but you will follow my advice. But take counsel with your pillow, ponder for a fortnight what I have said to you, and then we will speak again upon this topic.”

Now by this time we were returned to the landing-place, and my lord signifying that he desired me still to attend him, I did accompany him to the palace, and being there dismissed by his lordship, took occasion to go to the chamber where I had lain during his absence, for to seek one of my lace-bands97 that I had left there. And finding it, I was about returning to my lodging at Mr Marigny’s, when I come again upon his lordship, looking over a part of the palace which wan’t then used, being too large for his family, but so complete and so shut off as to be almost a separate palace in itself. And my lord seeing me, would have me go over these buildings with him, and showed himself most gracious towards me, and was pleased to tell me his plans for the ornamenting and furnishing this place when it should be needed. And when all was seen and done, and I departing, he saith on a sudden—

“When my daughter marries she will dwell here beside me, and so shall I have her almost in my own house still.”

Now this word of his lordship’s filled me with thought, and sent me home very busy. For you will smile to hear that until now I had never so much as dreamed of espousing Madam Heliodora, although I knew and had assured myself that I loved her. It had seemed to me a sufficiency of bliss to behold her every day, as I now did, and to enjoy her sweet company and wise discourse. Nay, now that the thought was presented to my mind, it seemed to me a kind of sacrilege to imagine that so divine a creature was to be wooed and wedded like any other woman, since she seemed to be set far above all such common ways, like the fabled goddess Minerva of the ancients, or our own Qu. Elizabeth, of glorious memory. And by reason of this new thought I went about all day heavy and, as it were, guilty in my own esteem. But this did not continue long, for growing used to the notion, I reasoned with myself that since her ladyship refused not to condescend to the joys and sorrows of common mortals, why should she not espouse me as soon as any other? And though this argument filled me at first with a great trembling and fear, by reason of my own presumption, yet I soon accustomed myself thereto, and even dwelt upon it with great delight. And in this frame of mind I abode for several days, seeing Madam Heliodora as before, only in the evening, when I found myself so timid and bashful as scarce to be able to utter a word in her ladyship’s presence, and on leaving did always curse myself for my folly in daring to suppose that she could ever deign to smile upon me. And as though I wan’t enough troubled already, a chance word of my lady’s brought back to my mind that which in this sweet madness I had clean forgot, yea, and had been fain to forget longer—viz., that I was betrothed already to my little cousin Dorothy Brandon, and that both she and my father would look for me to fulfil my contract with her.

Now this for some time filled me with such heaviness that I knew not what to do, finding myself as it were stranded between inclination on the one hand and honour on the other. And being thus situated, I did as men are wont to do in such a case, that is to say, I stood wavering between the two difficulties. For I could not altogether resolve to adopt my lord’s offer and enter the French service, cutting myself off entirely from my own country, and designing never to see my father’s face again, lest he should reproach me, and yet I could not make up my mind to retire immediately to Maderas and return to my duty. And while in this pother, that ingenious sophistry, wherewith the devil is wont to bewilder our minds in such cases of temptation, came to the aid of my own inclination. For (so said the tempter to me), your cousin is yet very young, and may reasonably look for a far better settlement than you can offer her. Moreover, she hath not seen you for many years, and her childish fancy for you can’t fail by now to have faded away, while as for any more enduring affection for you that might replace it, how can it have sprung up in your absence? Nay, how do you know that she han’t already fallen in with some gentleman to whom her wishes might incline, were it not for her engagement with you? An’t this more probable, and will you force her to sacrifice her love and herself to a contract made by your father when you were both infants?

Thus spake the voice of my own desires, and so prone are we to erect our unruly fancies into virtues, that I waxed exceeding hot and wrathful when I considered the case of the luckless damsel thus bound unwillingly to me, and felt that ’twould be to wrong her grievously did I lack the courage to break the chain that held us. Nor was this all, for it seemed to me that I had also in my keeping the happiness of Madam Heliodora, which I must certainly ruin if I should leave her for to carry out my contract with Dorothy. And thus did I, poor foolish coxcomb! labour to excuse myself and bring salve to my conscience, weighing and judging these matters in my mind as though the lives of all around me had hung upon my nod, and they themselves should be fortunate or miserable according as my high will and pleasure should decree. Never once did I consider that in all this I was wronging not only my poor cousin, whose faithful heart had never turned from me to any other, but also that noble lady, who, if she had loved me even as I hoped, would nevertheless have sacrificed herself and me, without relenting, to the duty that bound me.

Reasoning with myself then in this wise, I did put off from day to day the deciding concerning my lord marquis his offer, considering always that I would make up my mind to-morrow, until it so happened that my resolve was fixed without my intending it by a certain word of my lord’s. For coming one day into his lordship’s closet, whither he had sent for me to attend upon him, I found with him Father Simon, his chaplain. And they being busied in discourse, when first I tapped upon the door they did not heed me, and I heard Father Simon say—

“Hath your lordship considered that by your schemes you may be endangering the happiness of my lady your daughter?”

To whom his lordship answered coolly enough—

“My daughter is able to take good care of herself and her happiness, father, I thank you,” and I then knocking the second time, he bid me enter. But I was much exercised in my mind concerning that I had heard, wondering whether his lordship was so secure of Madam Heliodora’s indifferency towards me that he believed he might safely lure me on by hopes of winning her, such as she would refuse to see realised. But (thought I), if this be my lord’s mind, I know more touching the matter than he, for all his reading of faces, for he, it is evident, han’t observed those delicious tokens of tears and blushes and the like, that have revealed to me my lady’s heart. And thus I was now moved also with the desire to approve myself wiser in reading thoughts than my lord, with all his statecraft, and this, coming with all those other considerations I have mentioned, brought me to decide that at the end of the fortnight, which was now near at hand, I would accept of my lord’s offer.

Looking back now on that time, I can’t conceive how my presumption and folly should ever have blinded me to such a degree; but so secure and confident was I, that I writ after this a letter to my father, hinting not obscurely at my hopes and expectations, and yet not in so many words breaking off my contract with Dorothy, but leaving her rather to judge by implication that it was at an end. And this letter, which they could not, as I knew, misinterpret, I sent by a messenger that my lord was about despatching to Maderas, whence it might be sent to England. And having thus, as I conceived, eased my conscience by declaring my intentions of that I was about to do, I waited, in much excitement and perturbation of mind, for the fortnight to end. And though this space of time seemed prodigiously slow in passing, yet it came to an end at last, and on its final night I went to bed so oppressed with the thoughts of my coming glory and happiness as that I could scarce compose myself to sleep.

Now on this night it was that there come to me a most strange dream or apparition, the particulars whereof (lest any should gainsay ’em), I did set down in writing at the time, and do now record for the examination and explication of wiser men than I. For as I tossed and tumbled upon my bed, in a state betwixt sleeping and waking, I saw in the chamber my little cousin Dorothy, grown into a tall and goodly woman, and wearing a white wrapping-gown and a cap guarded with bone lace, her countenance bearing an air of extreme concern. At whose appearing I did experience at the first a feeling of much comfort, but was immediately seized with a fit of great trembling, remembering the treachery and dishonour that I had meditated against her. And she did stretch forth both her hands to me, as one entreating, but spake no word. To whom I, repenting of my shameful intention, did call with a lamentable voice, saying—

“Help me, good cousin, if indeed it be you, for I am in a grievous strait.”

And she, with an air of great seriousness, cried sharply unto me—

“Be true, Cousin Ned; oh, be true!” and forthwith vanished.

Then I, awaking fully, turned the matter over in my mind, and did consider much with myself, wondering at the Providence that had thus sent the shape of my cousin Dorothy to warn me, when I was on the point of forsaking my duty and choosing the path of dishonour. Nevertheless, my inclination still dragged me towards the accepting my lord’s offer, and I was prodigious sad and unhappy in the morning, so that even Mr Marigny observed my heaviness as we sat at breakfast, and asked of me whether the beautiful Heliodora had showed herself cruel towards me last night. Now at this, added to my former passion, I was seized with such a transport of rage as that I could have killed Mr Marigny for this question, but he, perceiving my disorder with astonishment, made haste to apologise very handsomely, and so the matter dropped.

After breakfast there come a messenger from my lord, bidding me attend him in his closet, and I went thither with a heavy heart. And you may well conceive that it wan’t by any means easy to me, being already so confused and unhappy in my mind, to explain to my lord that my duty to my employers and to my father would not allow me to accept his proposition. Of the matter concerning Dorothy I said naught, for my lord had not once spoke plainly touching my regard for Madam Heliodora, but only hinted thereat, and I was well content that her name should not be mentioned between us. But I could scarce succeed in persuading my lord, who had judged me certain to accept of his offer, and the more I bungled in my reasonings, the more he involved me in fresh tricks of speech, with such artful putting of questions and imputing of motives, as brought me nearly to despair, so that I resigned one by one all my reasons, yet still clung feebly to my resolve, which his lordship perceiving was displeased.

“I have counselled you for your good, sir,” saith he at last, in some heat, “but you show yourself mighty slow to profit by my advice. Let us see whether a few minutes’ discourse with the ladies will work more effect.”

And without more ado he led me to the door of Madam Heliodora’s withdrawing-room, where he left me, signifying that he should look for my return in an hour, and desiring for me a better mind. Now this was for me the worst prospect of all, that in saving my honour (though now almost too late), and in keeping faith with my masters I must attack and maybe wreck my lady’s happiness. Likewise I feared that even yet, not knowing what was on foot, she might by her sweet discourse and her incomparable graciousness break down my resolution, so that it was in much turmoil of spirit that I did enter that enchanted chamber of hers, as Tancred might have approached the bower of Armida. It being yet so early, the ladies were both only breaking their fast, my lady’s blackamoor page waiting upon them with jacolatt and a sorbet98 which is a cooling drink made by the Moors from divers fruits and herbs, very comforting in these climates. My lady was fully dressed, though without powder or ornaments, but Mad. de Chesnac was still in her wrapping-gown of painted calicut,99 with her hair drawn up under a morning cap.

“Ah, Mr Carlyon,” she cried, seeing me, “you are early to-day, and you find me still in my undress. It rejoices me to see you, for this morning time is the most wearisome imaginable. Pray bid the boy remove these dishes, and let us fall to talking in a sprightly and ingenious manner, as if we were in France.”

I made shift to do as she bid me; but whether it were that my trouble of mind withheld me from discoursing ingeniously I don’t know, but Mad. de Chesnac waxed very drowsy, and presently slept altogether. Then my lady, after waiting for a moment to try whether she would awake, arose from her seat and stepped out upon the great gallery (such as is called by the Indians, and after them by the Portugals, veranda), which looketh over the sea, and is hung about with roses, mighty pretty, and signed to me to follow her, the which I did.

Ah! what a moment was that, wherein we looked out upon the marble walls of the city and the sea beyond, that was of a deep azure colour, and glistering in the sunlight. Even at this distant space of time, I have but to close my eyes to see Madam Heliodora standing there among the roses, in her rich array, with her feathered fan in her hand, while I, poor fool! leaned upon the rail beside her, ready to kiss the very blossoms that had but touched her cheek. She stood looking over the sea, then, upon a sudden turning to me, she saith—

“You seem to-day to be in some disorder, sir.”

“Truly, madam,” said I, mighty flustered by her condescension, “your ladyship judgeth aright. I am in sore disquiet by reason of a most strange dream that did visit me in the night. May I inquire whether you be one of those that attach credence to such things?”

“Assuredly,” quoth she, “for han’t the holy saints often been instructed in this manner, and likewise many unbelievers converted? Pray, sir,” and I saw an anxious shade upon her face, “be so good as tell me your dream.”

I obeyed, marvelling greatly to see the heaviness pass out of my lady’s face as I spake, until, on my reaching the end, she turned upon me, saying—

“And wan’t there some need of the warning, sir?”

“Madam!” cried I, in grievous astonishment and heat; but my lady had turned from me again, and was looking over the sea.

“Sir,” saith she, in a strange voice, “I pray you don’t take offence that I cast aside for a moment the restraints belonging to my sex and quality, and speak to you for your good. Forget for the instant that it is Heliodore de Tourvel that speaks, and think only that ’tis one that is solicitous for your best interests.”

“Madam,” says I, “I’ll endeavour myself to profit by any counsel you may be good enough to give me.”

“Sir,” saith Madam Heliodora, “you are very young, and in youth one is often carried away by one’s sensibilities. Now my father an’t young any longer, and, moreover, he is a statesman, and ’tis the wont of statesmen to make use of the sensibilities of others for to further their own plans. Tell me,” and again she turned upon me, “han’t he endeavoured, through your sensibilities, to make you false to your country and your faith?”

“Not my faith, madam!” I cried, in great indignation. “For the sake of that I have lain in the dungeons of the Inquisition, and doth your ladyship think I am like to forsake it for reward?”

“Ah, bah! that will come after,” quoth my lady, spreading forth her white hands with a gesture as of disgust; “he can afford to wait. To your country and your employers, then, sir. What say you to that?”

“Madam,” said I, growing red, “my employers have suspected me unjustly, and now they have took my name off their books, and esteem me dead.”

“And is that any reason that you should prove their suspicion not unjust?” cries she hotly. “Go back to your employers, sir, confess your fault in lingering here, and explain your action in the other matters wherein they have disapproved of your carriage towards ’em, and so set yourself right in their eyes.”

“Madam,” I stammered, “you ask a great matter;” for indeed, since I had been in her presence again, I had wavered in my intentions of departing, as my lord had foreseen I should do.

“I don’t ask it—I command it,” and she stamped her foot. “What! the reward of dishonour is then too great to be refused?”

“My lord marquis knows, madam, that no reward but the greatest could avail in this matter,” quoth I boldly, looking at her the while in a way she might not mistake.

She drew herself up mighty proudly, and for one instant there was a smile as of disdain upon her lips, the next she saith slowly—

“Alas, my poor friend! I fear that you have deceived yourself very grievously. It is now three years that I am betrothed to my father’s cousin, the Viscount Eugene de Galampré.”

“Madam!” I cried, too heavily stricken at first to say more, but presently recovering myself a little,” perchance my lord marquis hath it in his mind to break off the match.”

“Not with my consent!” she cried quickly, and I saw all my folly. I knew that the lady that I worshipped loved me not a whit, for that all her heart was given to this Frenchman. All those signs of love, which I, in my blind foolishness, had interpreted for myself, were caused by the thought of him! I bowed my head on the railing with a groan, feeling verily that now I had lost all.

“Hush, sir!” cried Madam Heliodora; “will you ruin yourself and me both? Dry these unmanly tears, and tell me, what have you ever seen in Heliodore de Tourvel that should make you think that she would consent to be used as a bribe to repay a dishonourable action?”

“Alas, madam!” I cried, “you see me humbled to the very dust at your feet. Sure death is the only remedy for misery so great as mine.”

“Rise, sir,” says she angrily, “and let me hear no more of such heathen foolishness. Are you prepared for death, you that have meditated such treason not only against your employers, but also against that unhappy lady in England, your cousin?”

I obeyed her, ashamed that I should deserve and receive such rebuke from a Papist, and at that same moment there come back to my mind that wise saying of Dr Thomas Browne, to the effect that Suicide is not so much to fear death as to be afraid of life. When to live is more terrible than death, then is it the truest valour to dare to live; but I groaned again to remember how often my cousin Dorothy and I had read those words together, and also to think how much more terrible life would now be to me than death, though surely this should not have been so, seeing I was assured of my lady’s continued happiness.

“Sir,” says Madam Heliodora, “you have yet much to live for. Humble yourself to your employers, as I have already recommended to you, and then, if your cousin be still willing to espouse you, make to her the best amends in your power for your faithlessness.”

“Madam,” I replied, “I will obey you so far as in me lies; but this thing I can’t do. The man that hath once lived in the hope (vain and foolish though it were), to be beloved by you, can never bend his thoughts towards any other. Were Mrs Dorothy Brandon possessed of every perfection under heaven, I could not bring myself to wed her—yea, though she herself besought me on her bended knees.”

Alas, what fools are we! I can now scarce bring myself to write down these shameful words, knowing, as I do, of the day wherein these my vauntings lay upon me as heavy as lead, so that they were like to drag me down into despair, and when, for one kind word from the dear lady whose love I thus slighted, I had willingly died.

“Be silent, sir!” cried Madam Heliodora in extreme heat. “Such words don’t befit either yourself or Mrs Brandon. If I know her aright from all you have told me, you are far more like to sue in vain for her favour than she for yours. You are a mean-spirited craven, sir, to speak thus to me touching one of my own sex.”

“Madam, forgive me,” I entreated. “I am sore disquieted, and I ask your pardon if my words wan’t seemly, though I must remain fixed in their spirit. What does your ladyship desire me to do?”

“You must leave this city at once, sir, which hath been, indeed, your Capua,” says my lady, in a voice of displeasure, “and do as I have recommended you. If your name should ever again come to my ears, I trust to hear of you as an honourable gentleman, and married to the excellent lady whose happiness is in your keeping.”

“Give me some slight token, madam,” I entreated, “that I may know that I an’t for ever disgraced in your sight.”

“Nay, truly!” she cried; then, checking herself, “you may chance to meet the Viscount de Galampré on your travels, sir, for he was sent from our Factory of Surat on a mission for his majesty to the emperor and the Moratty king. He is of the religion, a Hugonot, like yourself, wherefore you should agree. Convey to him my loving commendations. You understand me?”

“Madam, I will obey you,” said I, and laden with this message of kind cruelty, departed.

Chapter XII

Of a Part of My Life that Had Been Better Spent Otherwise than It Was

Now after that which I had heard from my lady, I had but one desire, and this was, to leave the place so soon as I conveniently might. With this purpose, then, I waited upon my lord, and acquainted him of my determination, wherewith he professed himself very much grieved. But perceiving from my countenance, without doubt, that Madam Heliodora had undeceived me, and released me from the tangle that he had drawn around me, and seeing also the turmoil of spirit into the which her action had thrown me, he made no further attempt to detain me at St Thomas, nor was any question made touching my sudden departing. And on my part, also, I said naught of the hopes he had given me, since now, at last, I perceived that ’twas all done in so delicate and artful a manner as he could have denied with all appearance of truth any design to turn my thoughts towards my lady his daughter. But Mr Marigny wan’t so silent, for he was very greatly astonished to learn that I was about departing that very day, following the counsel of Madam Heliodora. And this I was concerned to do in the exactest manner possible, from the shame and remorse I felt in regard of my conduct towards her, for this I repeat, as I have hereinbefore showed you, that my folly an’t in no wise to be laid to the charge of that most noble and virtuous lady (as certain base persons have falsely alleged), but solely to my own presumption, and the statecraft of my lord marquis her father.

Mr Marigny being, as I said, mighty astonished at my decision, could not forbear questioning me thereupon, and so arrived at a tolerable knowledge of the whole matter. Still, although mightily diverted to hear of my presumption and its rebuff, he was good enough to restrain his mirth in my presence, though I can’t but believe that he hinted the affair to his fellows, and especially to Colonel Laborde, for when these gentlemen came to take their leaves of me, there was in their manners a certain sourness and contemptuous pity, such as my sore heart found it hard to brook. Nevertheless, I did bid them farewell with great ceremony, and likewise my lady and Mad. de Chesnac, and so departed, my lord sending me in his own barge, with Mr Marigny bearing a letter from his lordship commending me to the agent at Fort St George in Maderas. And of his lordship I took my leave with great respect, esteeming him to be at once the stoutest soldier and the most ambitious person that I had ever met.

The Dutch fleet being still absent since my lord’s defeat on’t, our voyage, lasting but for two hours or so, passed without any event worthy of remark, nor might I even spend it in melancholical and remorseful thought, since Mr Marigny was with me, and must have continued discoursing had he been attending upon me to the scaffold. And so droll and merry was he, that I even could not forbear laughing at some of his conceits (though I would not suffer him to press me on that point of my ill-starred pretension to my lady’s hand), but so at last we reached Maderas, whither Mr Marigny had come more than once with letters from my lord marquis, and were hospitably received by the agent, when my letter of commendation had been delivered. One of the council offering Mr Marigny a lodging for the night, he returned back to St Thomas the next day, bearing divers letters and gifts for my lord from the agent, and it seemed to me that I was now done with the French, and should be like to hear no more, so long as I lived, concerning that city and its garrison. But in this, as you will afterwards perceive, I did err.

Now I, being left at Fort St George for to await the coming of some ship that might carry me to Surat, had no better to do than to walk abroad and divert myself with looking at the town. And this is a place of good force, dwelt in both by Moors and Gentues, and also by that people called Parseys, that are more industrious and successful in their business than either of ’em. The place is far better ordered, according to our notions, than Surat, the streets being straight, and kept always sweet and clean. The fort is also strong and well provided with soldiers, both Europe men and Indosthans, though without any artillery, since the merchants an’t allowed even a cannon or two for the firing a salute. But with such magnificence do the Company’s servants go here, as it quite exceeds that at Surat, and this because they are resolved in everything to show themselves to the Indians at least as great as the chief officers of the King of Gulconda, whom he sends often enough for to plague ’em. And all this I observed with some pleasure, being concerned always to note the situation of his majesty’s subjects in these parts, and the usage they meet with from the Indians.

But when once I had completed my survey of the fort and city, I found time heavy on my hands, and having naught else to do, fell into a state of great melancholy and weariness, brooding continually over my hopeless love and its ending. And although I was very sensible of my own folly in entertaining such a passion, and cursed it in my mind, yet did I, as many, I believe, are wont to do, attribute to the fancied misdeeds of others that which was my own fault, blaming not only my lord, but also Madam Heliodora, and even Mad. de Chesnac and Mr Marigny, and in especial Colonel Laborde, because, as I suppose, they had not cared to warn me and so preserve me from my foolishness. And all this did breed in me a certain heaviness and disease that was near leading me to madness, so that I did forswear all confidence in my fellow-creatures, and determined to live henceforth by myself alone, untouched by the joys and pains of other men. I am thankful to remember that even at this time I had grace enough to exempt my father from this general condemnation, and to resolve still to use all means in my power for to carry out that purpose wherein he had sent me to the Indies—viz., the releasing the Ellswether estate from its burdens, that so Sir Harry might enjoy in his old age that easiness of fortune which he deserved. But with respect to marriage with Dorothy, or return to England, I put the thoughts of these from me with a sort of sick scorn, if I may so speak. For I won’t deny that I seemed to myself to be a very virtuous and well-deserving person, that a cruel fate had led into divers misfortunes, such as he must needs rise superior to ’em, though they galled him sorely. And that I might do this, it was evident to me that I must give myself up altogether to business, lest otherwise the memory of my trouble should drive me mad.

And that I might the better do this, I begged the agent at the fort to appoint me some work until there should come some means for me to return to Surat, which he did with a very good will, so that I gained much experience in that two months I did spend at Maderas. In my leisure time, moreover, not desiring to have opportunity for thought, I applied myself to the study of the Portuguese, finding an old Portugal trader willing to instruct me therein, and so made good progress. And all this diligence pleased the agent so well (he not knowing of that secret spur that did drive me on to work continually, and yet made all my labour to seem but as fruitless toil), that he much commended me, and desired mightily to have me with him instead of at Surat. But it wan’t for me to linger at Maderas when my place was elsewhere, and because no ship touched at the place convenient for me to embark therein, I did embrace with joy the occasion offered me by the setting out of a caphalay bound for Bombaim, and headed by my friend the old Portugal trader, to return to Surat, he inviting me to bear him company.

Now in this journey we must needs pass through all the kingdom of Gulconda and also that of Visiapour, in both whereof the kings and ruling men are Moors, and mighty suspicious and jealous of all Europe men, and for this cause we adopted the Indian habit for our travels, that so we might go on our way with less remark. And all this journey, by God’s good providence, we did perform and accomplish in safety, visiting divers places of note and seeing many strange things, which it would be tedious to set down at length. And at Bombaim I bid farewell to my ancient friend the Portugal, thanking him for his kindness towards me and the many things he had taught me in his ingenious discourse, and made myself known to the President of the Council at Bombaim. And by good luck there chanced to be lying in the port just at that time the Company’s baloon from Surat, that was come for to bring an advice from the Council there, so as I was able to be sent on at once to my old factory.

And when we were come to Surat, I went on shore immediately, being still in my Moorish habit, and with great mustachios, such as the Moguls use to wear, and did seek Mr Martin in his former room. But I found there a gentleman newly arrived from England, that advised me that Mr Martin was now made Accountant, and showed himself very curious to know what I desired with him. But not choosing to gratify this inquisitive temper, I sought the Accountant’s chamber, and found there Mr Martin established in great state and some luxury. And seeing me, he took me for some Arabian or Persian visitor of quality, and speaking in Persian, desired to know how he might serve me, but I regarding him steadfastly, the truth brake into his mind, and he leaped up and seized me joyfully by the hand.

“My dear Ned,” quoth he, “the longest day hath his end, and I was ever sure I should see you again, though Mr Secretary, and that evil-conditioned cub of his, Mr Spender, hath often scoffed at my security. But without hope the heart would break, and so it had been with me, my dear lad, had I believed you truly to be turned Papist and gone to the Brasils. Wherefore I have always declared that you wan’t either dead or recanted, but were honourably and Christianly employed wherever you were, and now here you are for to confirm my words. But truly you are grown from a boy into a man since last I saw you.”

“Nay, sir,” says I, “by my own feelings I might be grown from a man into the Wandering Jew.”

“Ned,” says Mr Martin, looking me straight in the face, “you have been in trouble, and that other than the Inquisition’s. What is’t, lad? Is it wine, or women, or dice? for ’tis these three are the common curses of our young gentlemen here as in England.”

“Sir,” says I, “you have hit it, and yet not altogether, for ’tis a woman that hath brought me to this pass, and yet not as you imagine it, for I pretended to her hand in an honourable manner, and she used me better than I deserved. ’Twas my situation and hers made my pretensions dishonourable.”

“Tush!” says he; “dishonourable honour, what is this? Or do you prefer your doings to be named honourable dishonour? Riddle me no riddles, Ned. Many stumble at a straw and leap over a blocke, and I fear lest your honour have brought you perilous near to dishonour. But tell me your tale, and let me hear of your hairbreadth ’scapes and most disastrous chances, and I’ll help you in so far as my conscience will suffer me. Who is the female you speak of, and how hath she brought you into trouble?”

But this seeming to me to reflect somewhat upon Madam Heliodora, whose name and reputation I must ever hold sacred, I made haste to tell Mr Martin with some heat all my history, which he had picked up wrong from my first words, and he listened with prodigious attention, nodding and wagging his head at times, but saying little.

“Ah, Ned, Ned!” quoth he at last, “I would we had never sent you to Goa, and yet, as the proverb saith, Bought wit is best. Perhaps ’tis these very trials that are to make a man of you in time.”

“Nay, sir, when am I to be a man if not now?” asked I.

“Now? when you are still slighting your solemn engagement with your cousin, and all for the sake of a presumptuous passion that sprung up in a week?” said he. “When you are treasuring all manner of spite against this French lady and her friends for their share in your undoing, and even against that nobleman to whom she is betrothed, that never injured you, save unwittingly by the fact of his living at all? No, lad, I shan’t account you a man until you show yourself one. When you award blame to yourself instead of to these other persons, and are ready to atone, so far as may be, for your fault, then I shall esteem you a man, and worthy to win a woman’s love.”

I was silent from very shame, for Mr Martin had read my thoughts better than I myself, and they looked black enough when he uttered them aloud. He laid his hand upon my shoulder kindly—

“I spake lightly at my first seeing you, Ned, calling you a man grown. This you an’t yet, but I hope to see you one. There is much for you to learn yet, and it may be to suffer, but He runneth far, that never turneth againe.”

Thus did this good man gently admonish me, with all imaginable kindness, at a time when (God knows), I needed both counsel and admonition only too much. For, when working hours was over, and Mr Martin would fain have carried me to his own lodging, there to tarry until my own former chamber could be prepared for me, there come one from his honour the President (to whom Mr Martin had sent intelligence of my return), desiring me to consider myself as suspended from the Company’s service until such time as the Council might sit upon my case, and deliberate whether I was to be restored to my room or not. And this seemed to me but a piece of formality, though a strange one; but Mr Martin looked grave thereat, and showed himself more concerned than I had looked for. Howbeit, he found me a lodging in one of the guest-chambers for that night, and did also send back to me my old servant Loll Duss, whom he had kept all this while in his own service for his faithfulness to me. And at supper I had the honour to make the acquaintance of divers of the gentlemen that were arrived in the factory since I had left Surat, and likewise to present myself afresh to the knowledge of those that I had seen before. The President I did but salute in passing him, and likewise Mr Secretary, that sat at his honour’s table, and possessed his ear. One or two persons among those present (and notably Mr Spender), showed themselves somewhat cold towards me, but the greater part, following the lead of Mr Martin, did discourse with me very agreeably, and were mighty desirous to hear of my adventures.

Now the next day, when the Council sat, I was summoned before them for to give account of myself, and quickly perceived that ’twas well for me that I had Mr Martin for my helper, since Mr President was prodigiously evil affected towards me. I could not forbear crediting some of this ill-will of his to Mr Spender, that was present for to assist Mr Secretary, so that they two had plenty of chances to turn his honour against me, but I would not forget myself so far as to declare my belief before the Council. And indeed, now that I am come to consider the matter calmly, I can’t but perceive that there was nothing extraordinary in all this precaution, if they believed the tales they had heard touching me, for it was hinted (I don’t know by whom), that I was escaped from the Inquisition by denying my faith and betraying the Company’s secrets. On the contrary part was there at present only my bare word, and I can’t be surprised that the Council hesitated to believe so singular and monstrous a tale, the like of which had scarce ever been heard before, either in England or the Indies.

But at that time I was extreme hot and indignant that some proof of my story was demanded, beyond my own word, and I might have gone on to have grievously damaged my own cause by my intemperate words, had not my good friend Mr Martin once more come to my help. For this excellent man offered immediately to be bound for me, and to answer for my conversation and general trustworthiness until Captain Freeman should be returned from his voyage into Bengali, when he with his ship’s crew might testify to the truth of my relation. And this the Council did accept, and further allowed Mr Martin to use me in the business under his own eye, he seeing to’t that the Company took no damage. And this decided, we returned to Mr Martin’s lodging, where I threw myself in anger into a great chair.

“Sure, sir,” says I, “I’m worse off, now that my word is doubted, than even that king I have once heard you speak on, for I have lost all, and honour beside.”

“Nay,” says he, “your honour can’t be took from you, without you allow it. Do you be careful to keep it safe.”

“But how to withstand the power of slander?” I asked.

“I’ll allow,” says he, “that the accusation as to the manner of your escape comes as from an enemy, for Malice never speaks well. But for the rest, ’tis but a reasonable precaution, and I will see to’t that when Captain Freeman is returned to prove your honesty, this time shall be credited to you as a part of your service. You have in me, Ned, a friend in court, and he, saith the proverb, is worth a penny in purse. So be of good cheer, remembering that As a man is friended, so the law is ended.”

Having received this assurance, I found my heart something lighter, and I went to work with such zest as delighted Mr Martin, though he knew not, as I supposed, that ’twas chiefly done that I might have no leisure left for thought. I took much advantage from his ripe experience and long knowledge of the Eastern trade, and he was wont to tell me, laughing, that I bid fair to be as keen a merchant as himself. Having some knowledge of French, I was often sent to carry through any needful business with the gentlemen at the French Factory, whom I found very agreeable, but more of merchants and less of soldiers than those I had seen at St Thomas. I had heard from Mr Martin and others that they wan’t well liked among us, being regarded as interlopers, and also because they had assisted Sevi Gi with fusees and powder on his second coming hither in the year 1669-70, when again our poor Englishmen were shut up in the Factory, which they defended with great obstinacy, and so beat him off. And beside this also, the French suffered the Morattys to march through their factory to attack part of the town and a certain Prince of Tartary that had his lodging there, which put them in very ill odour both with the Moguls and with us, but for this they cared little, being set upon an alliance with Sevi Gi, after the design conceived by my lord Marquis of Tourvel.

Now after I had been near six months back at Surat, there come one day a message saying that the Boscobel had cast anchor in Swally Road, and an hackery was sent at once for to fetch Captain Freeman to be examined by the Council touching my matter, without any speech had betwixt us. And he, though greatly astonished to hear of my safety and return, did so stoutly declare me to have escaped from imminent peril and death at Goa, and that not by recantation, but by God’s working with him and his crew, that the Council became convinced, and sending a messenger to summon me to their presence, informed me that I was restored to my place in the Company’s service. But this wan’t all I demanded, for I should by rights, without that journey of mine to Goa on the Company’s occasions, and all that followed it, have been by now a senior factor, with the hope to become a full merchant in two years or so. And this I had often spoken of with Mr Martin, and did now again, both with him and with my other good friend, Captain Freeman, until Mr Martin declared that something must be done, and offered to undertake the matter for me. Having then in his hands all my savings, which had been much increased by his care during my absence, he demanded of the Council that I should be permitted to enter into the bond of £1000 that is required of a factor, and be placed in the same situation as I should naturally have held had all gone well, receiving also pay for all the time of my absence.

Now when Mr Martin had told me what he had asked, I cried out in amazement at this monstrous demand, but he smiling said that a man ought always to ask twice as much as he hoped to receive, for then there was some chance of his getting the half. And capping this, as was his wont, with the proverb, ’Tis good riding at two anchors, men have told; for if the one faile, the other may hold, he disarmed my opposition and maintained his point. And the Council demurring to his proposition, as he had expected, though the President, Mr Secretary not being beside him to poison his ear, did not show himself so averse from it as might have been looked for, Mr Martin did argue the matter with ’em, so that at last they came to an agreement. By this instrument I stood to receive only the pay of a writer for the past six months since my return, and none at all for the time of my absence, after my falling into the hands of the Inquisition, but I was to be made at once a senior factor, and after serving my three years in that situation, was to receive promotion in due course. In the arranging this equitable settlement Mr Martin gave himself no small pains, and was very eager about it until all was agreed, and the record thereof sent home to be approved by the Committee in London. But when this was all done, there come upon me a strange restlessness and misanthropy, so that I would fain have fled into the wilderness, to be away from all men, and yet I must needs labour continually for to keep myself from thinking. And Mr Martin, seeing this, cast about for some means to relieve me, but found none at first. But at length, perceiving that the ceremony and sociableness of the life in the Factory was very displeasing to me, he spake to Mr President in my behalf, and gat me appointed to a post in our house at Amidavat.100 Now this is a town that lies some way inland from Surat, on the road to the emperor’s great city of Agra, and a place of some importance. And sending me here, where there was but two or three white men beside myself, he trusted I should find the solitude I desired, for ’tis a strange thing in the Indies that when you are once become accustomed to the native Indosthans around you, you heed their presence little more than if they were dogs or cats.

I went, then, to Amidavat, being grateful to my good friend for his kindness, but guessing little of his sorrow on parting with me, that was like a son to him. “He must needs goe that the devill drives, Ned,” says he to me, with the water standing in his eyes, the while he bid me farewell; “and I fear lest the devil had driven you into some harm, had you abode here. At Amidavat, whither you go, there is more hard work, and less chance of evil companions, but you may come to ruin even there, if you will let the devil drive you, instead of yourself driving him away.”

Now I don’t purpose to describe particularly the three years that I did spend at Amidavat, for although, through the goodness of God, I did not come to ruin, yet I approached tolerably near thereto, falling under the assault of such temptations as everywhere await a young man when he hath some time of his own, and little hope nor fixed faith for to guide him past ’em. It seemed to me that my life was ended, or at least all the happiness on’t, before it was well begun, and that I had naught to which to look forward, and this bred in me such a coldness and deadness of spirit as made me do ill because I had no care to do well. And yet, although in these three years I did many things the recollection whereof now makes me sorry, and many also whereof I am now ashamed, it is false to say that I behaved myself unfaithfully towards my employers, or that I was at all slack as regarded business. For with respect to the first, the confidence wherewith I was afterwards honoured by the Committee is a sufficient answer, and for the second, that my own wealth grew in a surprising manner. To heap up money, that I might fulfil my father’s desire, was now my only endeavour, and ’twas to fill up the hours when I could not well be making money, that I resorted to those pursuits whereto I have alluded. And moreover, for my credit’s sake, I must say also this, that even in my most desponding and careless hours, the recollection of Madam Heliodora and her last words to me would come back into my mind, and this remembrance did hold me back from some sins that I might otherwise have committed.

Now while speaking of Madam Heliodora, I must not omit to set down a matter that did cause me much concern—viz., that about the end of the year 1674 news reached us at Amidavat that St Thomas was fallen at last into the hands of the Dutch, but with such credit to the besieged that ’twas permitted ’em to march out with all the honours of war, and to proceed whither they would. And upon this certain of them did repair to the vicinage of Gingee, in the kingdom of Visiapour, where they had obtained a grant of land from the king of the place, and did set up there a town called Phoolcherry.101 Others of them came to Surat, to their own factory there, but on enquiring of ’em concerning my lord marquis and his household, I learned that he had been summoned back to France, and was departed thither, but whether upon a sealed letter or not I can’t tell, and with him his family. And for this I was much grieved, both for the failure of so great and fair-seeming an enterprise, and also that Madam Heliodora was now so far removed from me.

Now about six months before my time at Amidavat was expired, there come to me such a piece of news as might well have caused me to repent of my evil deeds and resolve to lead a better life, but God suffered me to go on still in my ungrateful courses, that my punishment might be the more grievous when it came. For I received a great packet of letters from England, some of ’em wrote a year and a half, and others but nine months ago (the first sort having been delayed on the high seas owing to some mischance that befell the vessel carrying ’em), but the burden of them all was the same, for they brought me the news that my father was dead. And this, as you may suppose, came upon me prodigious sharp and sudden in the midst of my toiling and sparing for to gather together the moneys that my father had looked for, but the more so by reason of this—viz., that I had had no letters wrote from Ellswether since I sent that one from St Thomas, boasting of my presumptuous hopes, nor in my own letters had I been able to bring myself to explain and describe the destruction of these hopes, but had wrote of indifferent matters without so much as making mention of ’em, although I had feared that my father would be sore troubled touching me. I had intended at some time in the future, when the pain of my rejection was less poignant, to write and declare to him the whole affair, and my present situation, but this was now removed out of my power by death.

The letter earliest in time was wrote by my cousin Dorothy:—

Sir,—I had not trobl’d You wit. ys. my poore Hand, weare itt not for ye mornfull Accident yt. ’tis fitter forr mee yn. for an Other to mak knowen too You. Yr honred Father, Syr Harry Carrlion, is no moer, hauing departed out of ys. Lyfe ye 10th Daie of ys. last Moneth. Wee being wth. him continuelly had observ’d a grate Chaunge in hys Condicons of late, noting yt. hee was become strangely gentle & quiett, sighg. often too Hym Selfe in his slow Walkyng in ye Garrden on his Crotches. Allsoe since yr Letters was arriv’d, yt. weare wrote at St Thomas, it seem’d too us yt. Sirr Harry did desire to write to You, getting out oftimes Penn & Paper, & prepareg. too beginn, bot nevr. beginning. And I asking if it shd. pleas hym yt. I writ forr hym, hee saith No, for y<supt. he shd. see You before Long. And ys. Asssurc. growing vpon Him, he was wont to spend moch Tyme in yt. Arbour at ye End of ye Fir Walke, yt. lookes over ye Rode, watching agst. Your Comming. Being becom at last soe feable as he myght not leaue ye House, he satt all Day beside ye Windowe lookyng on ye Aproch, saying yt. he beleeu’d You was coming. Yn. alsoe, wn. he was seis’d wit. a Retorn of yt. old Disorder yt. had plag’d hym in his Campayns of Germany, he desir’d mee to sett open ye Dore of ye Chambre, soe yt. hee might heere You mountg. ye Staires. And I, seeing yt. he was not long for ys. Werld, did ask of hym some Message for You, for Feare least You shd. not be in Time to see hym. And hee, giuing mee his Blessing most swetely & fatherly, dyd sende ye same to You allso, bidding You (said he), bee a brave & honrable Man, & shew yr. Silf worthie. . . . Now on ye last Daie of his Lyfe, hee wander’d sore in his Mynde, spekyng as if too ye late Kynge & to Others yt. bee now dead. Bot at last, sitting upp & speaking veray loud & strong, “Nedd is com,” saith he; “I heare hym on ye Staire.” And wee, looking yt. Way yt. he pointed, sawe no One, bot returning too hym, found him falln back deade, all ye Chambre & Bedd being still hong wit. Blacke, as alwaies since yr. Moder dy’d.

For Consolaĉon, Sir, wt. can I offer You in ye Losse of soch a Part., bot too remember yt. hee departed full of ye greatest Lov & Kindness toward You, & is now, without Doubt, tho’ abst. from Us, yet happily prest. wit. yr. dere Mother & all ye Blest? You haue ye Praiers of yr. poore Cosin in ys. sadd Afflicktion.

Understand mee, Sir, to remayn yr. faithfull Servt.,

D. Brandon.

With this come two letters from my father’s attorney, Mr Sternhold, the first wrote not long after my cousin’s, and confirming her narration, adding also that they had buried my father in the church at Ellswether beside my mother, and that many persons of quality in the neighbourhood had followed in the funeral with great respect. The second was wrote eight or nine months later, and contained a full relation of the posture of my father’s affairs, and the condition of the estate. And after this come a piece that did bring the water to my eyes, for to see the sadness and perplexity that I had brought upon that my good father, although that which followed drew me back again to my former state of hardness and despondency.

As often (writ Mr Sternhold) as I was admitted of late to the Presence of your Honour’s Father, my esteem’d Patron, I perceiv’d that he was desirous to draw up some Instrument or Deede that might have a binding Effect, and by certain Words that he once let drop I saw that he wish’d to make some Provision for Mrs Brandon his Ward. Being of Opinnion (doubtless on the best Authority), that you, Sir, were minded to set aside your Contract enter’d into with that Lady, Sir Harry desir’d to secure to her some Maintenance that should not be dependent upon your Honour’s Generositie, since this should doubtless be disagreeable to her. ’Twas the Impossibility of laying any further Burthen on the Estate that convinc’d him that he could not do this, and I fear it added some Sorrow to his last dayes, tho’ I believe that he need not have troubl’d him Selfe with Regard to this yong Gentlewoman. For to you, honour’d Sir, I may say with all Discretion, that during my late mournfull Vizitts at Ellswether, I have grown more and more sensible of the Perfections of Mrs Brandon, who is now growne into such splendour of Form and such surpassing Loveliness of Countenance as to be without any Equall, and that others are affected like My selfe, and to more Purpose. Tho’ no Fortune, the young Lady hath, by Reason of her Beauty and her Witt, as many Lovers as she can well intertain. Among ’em is my young Lord Harmarthwaite him Selfe, who, with my Lady his Mother, vizited upon me the t’other Day, and sent, thro’ me, as her nearest Guardian, a most handsome Compliment to Mrs Brandon. His Lordshipp declar’d himselfe willing to espouse her without a Peny, nay, my Lady assur’d me he would wed her in her Smock if need were, and be proud at that. My Lady shew’d herself as well enclin’d to the Match as her Sonn, saying that she should be proud to receive into her Family a Lady of whose Parts and Prudence she had heard so much, whispering me allso that she would make Interest, thro’ my Lord Harrington her Bro., with his Ma’tie to revive the Barony of Brandon in Favour of my Lord and Mrs Dorothy, so leving a fine Inheritance to their Children. But this Proposition of Marriage Mrs Brandon declin’d, as she hath done all other, tho’ I felt it my Duty to counsell her to entertayn this one. Some says upon this Matter that she is aiming at my Lord Duke of London (Son to your Honour’s ancient Patron), who greatly commended both her Figure and her Dancing at the great Ball danc’d at Belfort Castle some Time since, and some that her Heart is given to a certain Gentleman at present in Forrayn Parts, that shall be nameless.

“Alack, poor little Doll!” quoth I, when I had read this, “thou art well enough, in truth, but not for him that hath loved Madam Heliodora de Tourvel. Thy English ways should show poor indeed beside her languorous grace. Make thy choice while ’tis in thy power. Thy lordly servant102 shall suit thee better than thy poor cousin.”

Thus you shall see how despitefully I used this jewel, for the which I had afterwards willingly given all I possessed, if I might thereby gain it. Such poor blind creatures are we mortals, that cast aside the diamond in our path for the glowing bubble that Fortune holds beyond our reach!

Chapter XIII

Of My Journeying to the City Of Agra; of My Coming Thither, and of the Person I Found There

Now when I had read these letters that were come to me (and that not without great sorrow and anguish, yea, and many tears also, as well for the pain I had caused to my honoured father as for his loss), I did set myself to indite an answer to them in good time, although knowing well that I could not despatch this until I myself should go down to Surat for the shipping season. And first I perceived, from a saying of Mr Sternhold in his second epistle, that he looked for me to have espoused Madam Heliodora by this time, since he asked when he and the tenants should have the honour and pleasure of bidding me welcome and my noble lady. But it seemed to me that now, still less than before, could I endure to set down particularly the history of my presumption and the issue on’t, and thus I did but remark in my answer that I was not yet wed, and did not believe that I ever should be so.

And this I said, not at all imagining that they would put upon my words the interpretation they did, for they supposed my letter wrote in the natural impatience of a lover made angry by some delay in the realising his hopes, and took it to mean that my marriage was but postponed for a season, and must take place at some time. And this wan’t all, for I took the occasion of Captain Freeman’s carrying his ship home to send by him a considerable sum of money out of my savings to Mr Sternhold, desiring him to place it out at interest in such way as he thought best for my cousin’s benefit, leaving her to believe, if so it might be, that ’twas some provision that my father had been able to make for her. But Dorothy, scenting a plot through some chance word let slip by my good friend, did, as I heard afterwards, demand to know the whole truth of the matter, and so refused altogether to touch the money (which I had designed as a portion for her, whether she married or remained a maid, that so she might not have the pain to find herself depending on me, the man that had rejected her), desiring Mr Sternhold to apply the whole sum to the partial releasing of the estate from its burdens. All which was wrote to me in due time by Mr Sternhold, he being in some trouble of spirit touching it.

Now in that I was eager to spare my cousin all the humiliation in my power, providing for her as though she had been my own sister, you may see cause to commend me, but so unalterably fixed did I deem my resolution never to wed her, that I considered it needful to impress her once again with the same, and this I did, as now seems to me, in the rudest and most churlish manner imaginable. For when I writ to Mr Sternhold my answer, having first desired him to request of my cousin, as an especial favour granted to myself, to continue dwelling in the Hall, and to retain in her service Mrs Skipwith and a sufficient quantity of servants, and had begged of him to furnish her, out of my moneys in his hands, with a convenient allowance for the maintenance of herself and the household, I ended my letter thus:—

Have the Goodness, Sir, to make my most respectfull Compliments to Mrs Brandon, and acquaint her from me of my desire—viz., that should she hereafter receive any Proposition of Marryage that may at the same time be agreeable to herself, and such as is sanction’d, Sir, by you, she shall at once intertayn and accept the same, assur’d of the Approvall and Consent of her loving Cosin and Gardien, Ed. Carlyon.

As much as to say, Warn her that Mr Carlyon is beyond her reach, and that if she can assure herself of another match, ’twill be well for her to accept of it, while she is yet young and handsome!

I don’t know what devil possessed me to write this, for sure, ’twas a cruel thing thus to wring the heart that, as I knew, had never beat for any but myself; but when I had wrote it, I considered it again, and judged it to be an extreme neat and well-turned piece, and so hugged me in my self-conceit, like a brain-sick fool as I was. It may have been (for I conceive that this should well please the devil aforesaid) that I was desirous to render my innocent cousin as miserable as myself, who was but suffering the due reward of a foolish presumption and of a stubborn and stiff-necked resistance to the wise rulings of Providence.

Now when my time at Amidavat was ended, and I went down to Surat, and opened to Mr Martin the condition of my affairs, showing him the account of the wealth that I now owned, and also of that which was still embarked in divers trading ventures, my good friend, after hearing all that I had to say, and asking me certain questions thereupon, shook his head sadly.

Vertulesse gentilitie is worse than beggerie,” says he.

“Pray, sir,” says I, “what would you have more? I am essaying to employ my savings in such ways as you’ll approve,” and I told him concerning that sum I was about sending home for to provide a portion for Dorothy; “have you anything against me in this particular?”

“Ned,” says Mr Martin, “Tread upon a woman, and she’ll turne. Ay, and He that will not when he may, when hee would he shall have nay.”

“Sir,” said I, “you deal in riddles to-night.”

“Do I so, Ned?” quoth he. “Perhaps you will read one of my riddles when you find out that a woman to whom love is owed an’t to be bought off with money, and the other when you come to desire that which you now despise. Are these still riddles to you, lad? Well, well; Young men thinke that olde be fooles, but old men do know that young men be fooles.”

“I thank you, sir,” says I, half-vexed and half-diverted with his persistence, but I was used to bear with the strangeness of his humour, and loved him far too well to take offence at him. And he, perceiving that my mind was made up upon the topic of marriage, spake no more to me thereupon, but fell to asking me whether I would choose, if I might, to visit the court of the great Mogul emperor in this next year. And I making answer that such a journey should gratify one of my dearest wishes, he told me that there was a project on foot for sending a caphalay to Agra, which is a prodigious great city situate on the river Geminy,103 and whither the princes of this house do always love to resort. Such caphalays are wont to be sent pretty frequently from Surat to several towns in the inland country, but ordinarily they are headed only by banyans or other Indosthans. With this one, on the contrary, there was to go four English merchants as ambassadors, for to bear to the emperor Auren Zeeb certain gifts on the Committee’s behalf, and obtain from him the confirmation of divers privileges granted some time since to the Factory, that his governor at Surat had neglected to recognise. Two ancient and experienced persons among the senior merchants had been appointed to the conduct of the party, and Mr Spender, now a full merchant for more than a year, was also to go, as being related to Mr Secretary, who had made interest for him with his honour the President.

“Now,” says Mr Martin, “if you desire it, Ned, I don’t doubt but I shall be able to have you named as the fourth, and ’twill be an agreeable jaunt for you. You are well enough seen 104 in both the Persian and Indosthan tongues to make yourself of use, and you have already enjoyed more experience of business than most young persons of your age, while you stand to gain more in this.”

“I’ll endeavour myself to gain all the knowledge I may, sir,” said I.

“I fear lest your life at Amidavat han’t done that for you that I wished,” said Mr Martin, somewhat sadly, “but I would fain hope that the change I look for will soon come.”

I felt myself took aback by his words respecting my life while away from Surat, and muttered something, I don’t know what, saying that I wan’t no worse than others.

“No worse!” saith he. “But I would have you better than others, Ned. A man far from his good is nigh his harme, and I fear lest it be so with you. You should be a man now, lad, in virtue of your years; but there seems to me to be much trouble before you yet.”

“But you will have me made of the party for Agra, sir?” says I, a little fearful lest he should be repenting of his offer.

“All that I can compass shall be done for you in the matter, Ned. God grant it may be for good, and not again for evil.”

Captain Freeman then coming in for to bid us farewell before going on board of his ship at Swally, we left speaking of the matter, and turned to other topics. But Mr Martin was as good as his word in speaking for me to the Council, and thereafter, in due course, all was appointed as I most desired, and I was given the vacant place in the party that was about being made up. The shipping season was now at its height, when the life in our Factory at Surat is the busiest imaginable, and I had already had much ado to see to my private matters, being forced at last to trust them almost entirely to the discretion of that good friend of mine, Captain Freeman, than whom, as I may truly say, there never was a discreeter person. He being at last departed, and with him all the other India ships, sailing in company for fear of pirates and other enemies, we were at liberty to set about our preparations, which being finished, we started on our journey.

In our company was there we four merchants, together with twelve English soldiers for the better protecting of our goods and the rich gifts we carried for the emperor, and also several banyans with their servants and followers. It was counted proper for us to travel in some state, with banners borne before us, as persons of quality in the East use to do, and with a sufficient retinue of attendants. The Europe merchants in the Indies do never journey but they carry with them their own cooks, both for the avoiding of danger from poison and for the better satisfying of their palates, and many other servants also are needful, for to look to the beasts and the merchandises and for to prepare the night lodging. Journeying by way of Brodra105 and Cambaya, both of ’em considerable towns, and so to the Company’s house at Amidavat, was all old ground to me, but when, after some days’ rest at the place last named, we passed on and came into the country of the Rashpoots,106 I found there much that was new to me. And these Rashpoots, or as some render the word, Rasboutes, are a kind of highwaymen, or Tories, such as gain their livelihood by attempting and plundering travellers, so that it behoved us all to keep good watch against ’em. And this was to us a matter of no small anxiety, so as we were almost fain to ask for a guard of soldiers from the Moorish governor of Oudyepour,107 which was a great town we come to, but refrained, fearing lest they should prove worse to us than the robbers themselves, being, like all the Mogul armies, ill paid and worse disciplined. But it so fell out, thanks to the kind care of Providence, that we were able to travel with little molestation or stoppage, having at Amidavat changed our Europe clothes for garments made after the Indian fashion, and so reached safely the great city of Agra, the goal of our journeying.

This city is a place of prodigious force, being defended on every side by a good wall of red freestone and a ditch of thirty fathoms broad. The circuit of the walls is extreme extensive, and the streets very fine and spacious, though to our eyes the common houses and shops seem mean enough, and in divers cases the upper rooms, projecting out on either side of the way, do meet overhead in the midst, making, as it were, a vaulted passage for to go through. Of public edifices there is a prodigious quantity, and these so fair and stately as ’tis said no city in Asia can surpass them, both in the fashion of their architecture (which is after the Persian style), and the conveniency of their ordering. Chief among these in our opinion on our first arriving was the eighty caravan-serawes108 or inns of the place, whereof we chose one, on the advice of them that knew the city well, and there took up our abode, finding therein such noble lodging as I had never imagined to myself. For these caravan-serawes are many of ’em of three storeys high, with fine sets of rooms for travellers, together with good vaults and cellars for their goods, and suitable stabling for their beasts, and all the chambers opening one into another with private doors and galleries for the conveniency of those that occupy ’em. To each caravan-serawe is there a keeper appointed, for the better safeguarding of the goods therein and the comfort of the travellers, and he, in return for the payment of a decent sum of money, will provide for you both forage for your beasts and victuals and firing for yourself, and all this with mighty care and respect.

We then, having settled ourselves in this place, did send word to the emperor of our being come, and ask his permission to wait upon him for the presenting our letters of commendation, and did also send to certain Armenians that did represent the Honourable Company in this city, that they might come and examine the merchandises we had brought, and carry away musters of them for to show to them that dealt with ’em. And this business being ended, we did set to work to make ourselves at home (as they say), as being likely to spend some months in the place (for if Justice be slow anywhere, sure her course is scarce swift enough to be perceivable here), and so divided among ourselves the apartments that we held, taking each two chambers, very decent and seemly, and a part of the gallery before ’em.

Now the day after our coming, a Brachmine,109 which is an Indian priest (for such are commonly used for clerks and messengers among the Moguls), brought to us the emperor’s reply to our letter, bidding us welcome very graciously, and counselling us to take certain days to refresh ourselves after our journey, and then he would admit us to an audience. And this counsel we followed, diverting ourselves with going about and examining the place, with one of the Armenians, a pretty young fellow enough, and one that spake English passably, having been bred up in the house they have at Surat, for our druggerman110 which is interpreter. For there are in Agra a prodigious number of metchids or mosqueys111 where the Moguls used to worship, and chief among ’em that wonder of the world and delight of all beholders,112 built by the late emperor Shaw Jehaun,113 the father of Auren Zeeb, for the glorification and remembering of his queen. But so strict is the watch maintained over these temples, that it cost us prodigious pains to see more than the outside only of one or two, and this with much reluctance on the part of their keepers and of those that we found worshipping therein. Likewise we visited many tombs of holy men among the Moors, that are held in great honour and veneration, and divers fine public baths, where you may be bathed and anointed in the greatest luxury imaginable for a trifling small sum.

Then lastly, when the day was come that the emperor had appointed, we took our presents that we had brought for his majesty, and being borne in palenkeens in our best array, started for to come to his court. The palace of the Great Mogul is a mighty pretty piece of building, well fortified against all attempts, and ornamented with much curious work after the Moorish fashion. Passing in at a great gate that looks towards the west, we were showed the cistery114 that is, the emperor’s place of decreeing justice, where all men, even the poorest, may demand admittance, and seek redress at his hands. And next we saw a great tower, covered all over with gold, where the emperor’s treasury is kept, and after this they brought us into a court paved with marble of divers colours, very pretty, and at the upper end thereof, under a rich portal with pillars of silver, we found the Great Mogul himself, sitting upon a platform with silver railings, and a carpet thereon fringed with gold. So bright and shining was the magnificence of this throne and of all the appointments on’t, that for a time our eyes were verily dazzled thereby; but I was able to perceive that the emperor was a man beyond middle age, very grave and reverend of countenance, and most majestical of person. His habit consorted well with his air, being a cassock of white satin, very delicately flowered, and oddly wrought with broidery of silk and gold, and a shash115 of rich woollen stuff about his middle. His turbant was of gold cloth, with a string of great pearls woven therein, and a plume set with very fine diamonds in the forefront thereof. Bound about the platform whereon he sat was all the ombrahs116 of his kingdom, and many famous soldiers and generals, all in very rich apparel.

The emperor received us with much affability, and accepting our gifts, heard what we had to say, I being interpreter, and then dismissed us very graciously, assuring us that our matters should have his attention before very long. And we returning to our lodging, found a great store of goods sent thither after us, for this is the custom of the East, but we must needs put them to the credit of the Company, whose servants we were, and not keep them ourselves. Bringing these gifts from his majesty come a Europe gentleman of his household, a Frenchman as I believe, that had studied medicine at the great school of Montpellier, and was now, after many wanderings, become the emperor’s physician—a very ingenious person, and well skilled in all manner of curious knowledge. He having been of late absent from the city, visiting one of the emperor’s sons at Dhilly, had but just heard of our arrival, and came to visit upon us with great kindness, rejoicing that he might once more find himself in the company of Christians. And he sat and talked with us until very late, delighting us mightily with the variety of his information and the extent of his travels, and departed at last, being as earnestly desired to visit upon us again as he himself was anxious to do this. So great was the esteem (and that, as I believe confidently, well-grounded) that the emperor felt for this gentleman, that he made him the depositary of all his secrets, and even sent him on divers occasions to confer with Mr Kidder, the head of our party, as to the immunities that were desired to be confirmed. And thus it arrived that the doctor became a very near friend to us all, and opened and explained to us many things that we could not understand, and made himself in general so needful to us, that we felt that day to be empty wherein he came not to pass some time at our lodging.

Now upon one of these days was it that Mr Kidder and I rid abroad upon an elephant, which beast’s paces are extreme disagreeable to them that han’t accustomed themselves thereto, so that when we came to dismounting by the means of a short ladder, I, being somewhat giddy, catched a slip, and fell to the ground. As it so chanced, I was not hurt in nowise, but only my watch, the which was sorely crushed and broken in the fall. And I was the more grieved at this, that the watch was a gift from Mr Martin, he having sent for it as far as to Swisse,117 intending it for me on my return from Goa, and keeping it by him all the time wherein he knew not whether I were alive or dead, gave it to me before my going to Amidavat, and a mighty fine piece of workmanship it was, and cost him a great sum of money. I then lamenting loudly the loss of so precious a thing from among my possessions, when as we sat the next evening under the colonnade before our lodging, our friend the physician bid me take comfort, saying that there was a Christian prisoner in the court that was either a Frenchman or a Swisser, and was most cunning in mending of clocks and in all work of that kind. And I asking where I might find this person, he promised to direct him to me, and that as soon as might be. And being thus a little comforted, I put away the watch for the night, little dreaming into what company it should bring me.

But the next day, towards noon, when I was in my own chamber, smoking that strange fashion of pipe that they call hucca,118 I was disturbed by my servant Loll Duss, who come to say that the workman sent by the gentleman physician (this is their civil and respectful way in speaking of the doctor) was arrived and waited my pleasure. Then I bade Loll Duss carry him to the gallery, being minded myself to talk there with him as he worked, and learn through what strange turns of Fortune’s wheel he was come into such a plight. Going out to him, therefore, I found him a person of a very fine stature and an air of great nobility, though poorly apparelled in a Moorish habit, his eyes dark and piercing, his hair and beard long and untrimmed. And he receiving me with a prodigious low reverence, as elegant as any I had seen in my lord marquis his court at St Thomas, I felt myself moved to return his civility, and wondered what his quality might be. Showing him then the watch, and explaining how I had broke it, he sat down and took out his tools and set to work with great skill and diligence, I sitting by and watching him.

“’Tis easy to see, sir, that you were bred to this trade,” says I to him at last in French. He left his work for a moment, and looked upon me with a smile.

“Not precisely, sir,” says he, and said no more for the time; but shortly after, as though fearing he had been churlish, he observed—

“When I was still a young boy, sir, my parents were compelled by calamity to seek refuge in Swisserland, in a town wherein near three parts of the inhabitants lived by watch-making. Being always of a lively and inquisitive constitution, I was used to go continually in and out of the houses and watch the people at their work, and so gathered some slight knowledge of their craft, which my parents remarking allowed me to be trained in’t like any ’prentice-boy of the place, thinking that I might one day be thankful for the power of working in this sort, which indeed I have now proved.”

“I had not thought that one of your trade should find much to do here,” says I.

“The emperor, as indeed all the Moguls, hath a very pretty taste in clocks and watches,” he made answer, “and owns a prodigious quantity of ‘em; but there is no man here can put ’em in order but I, and though not bred thereto, I am thankful to possess the skill for this honest toil.”

Now all this was to me somewhat of a perplexity, for though it ben’t counted wrong among us for a gentleman to engage himself in trade, especially that to the East, where no apprentisage is needed, yet it should assuredly be considered disgraceful for him to exercise such a craft as this. But on that head I kept silence, being convinced that I had a gentleman before me.

“Sir,” I said, “I perceive that your quality is above your present situation. May I ask to whom I have the honour of speaking?”

“Sir,” says he, “with all deference to you, and recognising your kind intentions in asking it, I must still withhold my name. I care little for the blows of Fortune myself, but I have friends that I desire to spare from any pain or disgrace that might be supposed to attend upon the general discovery of my present manner of life, and for their sakes I am resolved not to disclose myself.”

“I will respect your wishes, sir,” said I, much taken with his manners, and desiring the more to discover his real name and quality.

“Should you desire me to attend upon you again, sir, for any matter of this kind,” says he, holding up the watch, “you will hear of me by the name of the Ferringhee119 which the Moguls call me, meaning Frenchman, as I suppose. I am considered to be a guest at the emperor’s court, and to receive my victuals from his table; but when he is vexed or busy I am at times forgot, and must be thankful to earn my bread as I may.”

“At the least, sir,” said I, when his work wan’t far short of being finished, “you will stay and give us the honour of your company to dinner? I can answer for my chief that he will be rejoiced to bid you welcome.”

“No, sir,” says he, again smiling, “while I withhold my name from you, I won’t place myself at your table. What security have you that I an’t some mean fellow masquerading as a person of quality?”

Thus he ended his work, and restored me the watch, that was now become whole and sound once more, and so prepared to depart. Now I was in some disquiet, fearing to offend him by offering him money, and yet not desiring to send a servant to settle the matter; but he, seeing the strait I was in, named a convenient price, and received it from me with great gravity, saying only that it would provide for his wants for a week, and so departed, saluting me very civilly, but without any servility. And I, remembering thereafter his words and looks, mused long concerning him, wondering who he might be, so that when our friend the doctor arrived that evening I was eager to discover from him all that he knew. And first I desired him to tell me this gentleman’s name, if he were acquainted on’t.

“If I know it,” says he, “’tis in strict secrecy, and not to be revealed, but that I won’t tell you. Yet this I may disclose, that this unfortunate gentleman declared his name and quality to certain Hollanders that were sojourning here, asking their good offices with the emperor for his release, but they repaid his confidence only with mockery, and jeered both at him and at the friends whose honour he desires to spare. Since that time, he has vowed not to disclose himself to any but one of his own countrymen.”

“But how came he here, sir?” said I.

“Why, that I may tell you,” says he. “He was sent ambassador from some factory on the coast of Malabar to the princes of these parts, and had the ill luck to visit Seva Gi, the Moratty rebel, on his way hither. Having won his favour and obtained great countenance from him, he came on to Dhilly, where the emperor then was, but his majesty had him at once arrested and clapped in prison, accounting him a spy of Seva Gi. After some time, his imprisonment was made less rigorous, and now ’tis permitted him to go about within the city as he lists, though the emperor hath often looked black at him when news come of Seva Gi’s successes in the war. He will hearken to no entreaties to let him go, even from myself, and ’tis my continual fear lest he shall revenge himself on him in the event of any further victory of the rebel’s.”

“He appears to be a very agreeable person, and one of good parts and conditions,” says I.

“Agreeable? Yes, truly,” said the doctor, “and with an air of contentment also, despite his trials. Of his parts and conditions you may judge by this, that the emperor thought so highly thereof that he would fain have given him high preferment in his army, would he but turn renegado, but he hath always steadfastly refused this compliance. ’Tis a brave man and a patient,” and the doctor sighed heavily; “but I see no chance of his ever being released, nor can I help him to’t. It may be that you, sir,” turning to me, “will be able to bring some solace to this unhappy gentleman by the pleasure of your company and discourse. He is a Hugonot, like yourself, and you should therefore the more readily become friends.”

At this point the doctor was engaged in discourse by Mr Kidder, and I was left to ponder over the hard fortunes of this gentleman, whose appearance and carriage had already aroused in me so much interest. Now as I pondered, it seemed to me that I had heard some part of this history before, though I could not at first decide in my mind when or where this should have been. Considering silently with myself the discourse of our friendly physician, I lit on some two or three words that he had last said, which seemed to stick in my mind and would not be dislodged. He is a Hugonot, like yourself,—when had I heard this before? For some time I could not recall it, but at last, repeating them several times in my mind, there come back to me the recollection of that morning when I had stood with Madam Heliodora upon the veranda at St Thomas, and had heard from her lips those words that had made my life since that time a dreary desert. ’Twas in these very words that she had spoke to me touching that gentleman to whom she was betrothed, the person that, as Mr Martin had showed me, I had hated ever since then with a sullen hatred,—the Viscount de Galampré. Was this gentleman he? Now at first, thinking thus, I was very much tumbled up and down in my mind, finding myself unable to reconcile my hitherto antipathy to Madam Heliodora’s servant, with the kindness that now possessed me on behalf of that Ferringhee, as he called himself, and I thought long upon the matter, coming at last to no decision, save that I must hear from his own lips the truth or falsehood of this phantasy of mine.

Having thus determined, I found next day a ring that Mr Marigny had given to me on our parting at Maderas, whereof the diamond that was set therein was become loose, and sent Loll Duss to seek for him that was called the Ferringhee, and beg of him to wait upon me once more. It wan’t long before he brought him again to my chamber, but to me it seemed a prodigious length of time, so eager was I to be confirmed or contradicted in my guess. But when he was set down, and I had showed him the ring, and explained what lacked therein, I began to cast about in my mind with great uneasiness as to the manner in which I should put to him my question, seeing that once already he had refused me his name, and might deem me unmannerly and prying in asking it again. But while I hummed and hawed, and cast about for some way to begin, he spared me by speaking himself.

“I perceive that this is a French ring, sir,” says he.

“’Twas from a French gentleman I had it, sir,” says I, “on my leaving St Thomas.”

“Sir,” says he, laying aside his work and looking upon me eagerly, “you have visited St Thomas? You are acquainted with the French inhabitants there, with my lord Marquis of Tourvel, with mademoiselle his daughter, perhaps?” regarding me all the while with such an air as made me think of some poor wretch that hath been slowly starved, and sees food brought suddenly within his reach. But I was minded to try him further, and so said, as if angry—

“I have the honour of that lady’s acquaintance, sir. May I ask by what right you inquire concerning her?”

“By what right?” cries he, prodigious angry, and I had almost looked for him to strike me. “By the highest right of all, sir. Mademoiselle de Tourvel is my betrothed wife.”

“Sir,” said I, “I ask your pardon. I conceive then that you are my lord Viscount de Galampré, of whom I heard while at St Thomas.”

“The same, sir, at your service,” saith he, but quickly, as though it mattered not. “Tell me concerning ’em, I entreat you. For four years I han’t received any news of ’em. Are they still at St Thomas, or no?”

I perceived then that he had never so much as heard of the fall of that place, and took pains immediately to tell him all that I knew touching the fortunes of its garrison (though without mentioning, as you may well guess, my pretending to my lady’s hand), and answered all his questions in the best way I might, and so until dinner-time, when he rose up suddenly and would have departed, saying that he had detained me too long, but that I entreated of him to remain and dine with me, my companions being all gone to see the emperor’s fine gardens. And this he accepted of with pleasure, and indeed I never saw a man so grateful, nor so eager to hear all that I could tell him. And so at last he departed, loading me with his thanks until I was ashamed, and desiring to be my friend all my life.

Chapter XIV

Of My Leaving the City of the Great Mogul in the Company of One that Had Not Entered Therein with Me

Now because of this strange chance that was come to me—viz., to discover the Viscount de Galampré in a mean disguise in the city of Agra—I was much plunged in thought, and this of so opposite a nature, that it pulled me two ways at once. For since I had left Surat, and undertaken this journey that had brought me already so tremendous a surprise, I had been able to contemplate with, I trust, a more wholesome and sound mind, my passion for Madam Heliodora and the consequences that had followed thereon. For that which I had seen, though dimly, even when I was still pressing my suit upon her, and now perceived clearly, and blushed to perceive it--namely, my great presumption in so addressing myself to her—seemed to me to bring a perpetual sting in the remembering it, so that I wondered how I had ever had the face to look for any answer other than that I got. It had rightly served me had my lady called upon her father to chastise me for my intolerable rudeness, but in the stead thereof she had listened to me patiently, and counselled me with such kindness and gentleness as seemed to me almost angelical. More than this, she had done me the honour to tell me of her contract with Mons. de Galampré, which she might well have kept to herself, but deigned in her kindness to impart to me, and this piece of news I, in my blindness, had received worse than all that went before, and hated without cause the gentleman that it concerned.

Nay, had it not been for the extraordinary liking I conceived for this excellent person when he was still in his disguise, and his name and quality unknown to me, I had still, as I was fain to confess, remained in this uncharitable and unchristian temper. But now, having seen him and noted the fire and ardour wherewith he did thirst for news of my lady his mistress, I was seized with pity for him,—in part, I don’t doubt, because from my own example I knew well the pangs and torments of a love that seemed hopeless. I was never one to be able to go with that poet that consoles himself for the unkindness of his mistress by declaring that if she scorn him, he will scorn her scorn and turn his vows elsewhere, and I considered still that my life was blighted and that no happiness was ever to be found for me in love, but it seemed to me that ’twould ease my sad heart to bear some part in making those happy that deserved the same but wan’t like to attain thereto. And this feeling was strengthened by the viscount himself, when I had occasion to desire him next to visit me, upon some mischance that was happened to Mr Kidder’s stop-watch.120

“I am sorry to incommode you again so soon, sir,” said I.

“Sir,” says he, “the agreeableness of your discourse hath left me longing for this day since last I saw you. You did bestow upon me then new life, and yet I han’t never ceased teasing myself with questions that I should have asked of you, but had forgot. You can’t tell, sir, what it is to me to hear credible intelligence from one that hath himself seen my friends. During these four years I have taught myself to regard Mademoiselle de Tourvel almost as though she were dead, so entirely did she seem lost to me, but your coming has awakened again in me such a flood of thoughts as that I can scarce contain myself for eagerness to get some satisfaction of ’em.”

And with that he poured out such a throng of questions touching Madam Heliodora that I was moved almost to tears to perceive how he must have noted and remembered every particular of her daily life. And perceiving from my answers, as I suspect, the respect and admiration that possessed me towards this noble lady, he did open his heart to me still further, discoursing upon her many perfections in a strain of such lofty and yet tender eulogy, as I had never imagined outside the covers of a romance, so that I, listening, felt more than ever ashamed of the cursed presumption of my behaviour, since I had gone so far (though only in my own mind) as to disparage my lady for her insensibility towards me. What chance, pray, had I had, even though I had been as worthy of my lady as I was in reality unworthy, to gain a heart garrisoned with the remembrance of such a love as this? And here the viscount, seeing in my countenance how deeply I was moved, looked upon me sadly, though without any bitterness, and said—

“Ah, sir, sure you are happier than I, for you have seen her later. Was ever so much beauty and virtue enclosed before in a single form? Can you wonder that her image is impressed upon my heart, and that since I can’t behold my lady herself, I seize the occasion to discourse with one that hath both seen and spoke with her? You are free to depart, you may perhaps enjoy the felicity of beholding her once more, though you have remained insensible to her perfections, while I, to whom she is as much as all the world, must stay here a prisoner.”

And with that he left speaking, and remained for some time plunged in melancholy, while I considered his words, though not without some pain, and took counsel with myself whether I might in any way help him. And venturing to interrupt his melancholical musings by declaring respectfully my desire and readiness to assist him, he looked up with his usual cheerfulness, and answered—

“Sir, you have very much helped me already, and do continue to help me so long as you are good enough to speak to me of my lady and to let me speak with you of her. I don’t know why I should thus burden you with my sad and passionate humours, but I have feared now and again lest I should go mad through having none with whom I might speak on this topic, and in you I find always a sympathy that encourages me to continue.”

Methought that I might well have sympathy with him, since my case was even worse than his own; but this I did not say, only declaring to him that whatever I might do for his comfort should be done, and entreating him to take courage and look confidently for deliverance and enlargement. And this he did, following my counsel with a very childlike and perfect trust in God that moved me to admiration, since he strove always to accustom himself to the will of Providence, and would pass quickly from despondency to comfort, reminding himself of the many blessings he enjoyed that one in his situation could not have looked for nor expected.

And this I may as well say now as afterwards—viz., that that which time led me most to admire in this gentleman was that he bare all untoward chances with a great patience, receiving them as from the hand of God, which at first did much surprise me; for my bane in life hath ever been a certain heat and rashness, such as hath carried me on without reflection to do deeds that had been better undone. And these deeds once done, ’twas natural to me to sit down in a sort of sullenness and as it were pagan resignation, as who should say, ’Tis done now, and can’t be undone. Let Fortune do her worst. ’Tis naught to me. But the viscount was wont to take the buffets of fate most calmly, as though they were but parts of a lesson that it should be well for him to learn, and to strange chances and vicissitudes he endeavoured always to fit himself, since it was God’s will for him to undergo them. And I once making him some compliment upon the firmness and constancy of his carriage, “Mr Carlyon,” says he, “you don’t know what it is to belong to an oppressed people. In France we Hugonots are thankful if it be permitted us to breathe in peace, and we are glad to seize upon any opportunity of quiet living that offers itself without dishonour. ’Tis a good school for the teaching contentment.”

And I, truly, agreed with him in this, yet must you not think that he was one of those poor and feeble spirits that seek any shelter rather than face the storm. Of his exploits as a soldier and a captain I need not speak, for all the world knows on’t, yet this I would say,—that in all the rubs and petty trials of that adventure which we did afterwards undertake together, I found him to be at once a most daring and experienced leader, and also the most cheerful and pleasant companion that ever a man had. Of his bravery at this time I will speak in its place, but so indifferent was he to all the praise and credit offered him later upon the matter, that he would put it aside with a laugh, and profess himself to dislike that topic. In a word, he proved himself to me the kindest and sprightliest of cameradoes, and this none the less that in ignorance of the cause I had for sadness, he did discourse to me continually regarding her that was the reason on’t, and look for me to declare my sympathy with him. But in all that I saw of him (and this wan’t little, since he did speedily made it his custom, without any pretext of business, to spend great part of every day discoursing with me at my lodging in the caravan-serawe) I perceived only the more clearly how much better he was fitted than I to awaken the love of Madam Heliodora, and called myself dolt and fool for my ever imagining that I could prevail against him. Also the more I felt my inferiority compared with him, the more I found myself possessed with a prodigious affection for him, and a desire to do what I might for the restoring so excellent a person to the happiness he so well deserved. And this without prejudice to my own resentiments121 towards her ladyship; for so sadly and yet so tenderly did I feel towards her now, when I saw my love to be without any disguise altogether hopeless, that it seemed to me I would fain see these two happy, and would then be willing to die. But in thinking thus I was ignorant of my own self.

And now I did begin to cudgel my brains for to discover in what manner I might effect the escape of the viscount from this city, and his safe conveying to some port whence he might take ship for France. And first I spake concerning this to our friend the physician, that had first made the viscount known to me; but to my no small surprise, as soon as ever I had opened the matter to him, he clapped his hands to his ears, and cried, as though in great fear—

“Don’t speak on’t to me, sir, I entreat you. I am in his majesty’s confidence, and can’t listen to anything that might touch his state. I don’t dare meddle in this matter of yours further than to counsel you most strongly against making any such attempt to carry our friend out of the city. ’Tis my only hope, to be able to say truly that I know naught of your plan, and did also scout most vehemently the very suggestion on’t.”

Much admiring the good man’s prudence and wisdom, I next applied myself to sound, as the seamen say, Mr Kidder, but with the same result, namely, that I was straitly forbid to involve the embassage in any such mad folly, and warned against mixing myself up therewith, our chief declaring that ’twould undo the work of years, were the Company to be suspected of lending aid to the enemies of the emperor, and in especial to the friends of Seva Gi. And upon this I found that I was thrown back upon myself, and wasted much time in trying to devise plots whereby, in our return from Agra, I might carry the viscount with us in some manner of disguise. For I feared very greatly that, even should I get him safely beyond the city gates, Mr Kidder, urged on by Mr Spender (that affected to disbelieve my friend’s history of himself, and jeered at me perpetually for consorting with jail-birds), might, on discovering the truth, give him up again to the emperor’s officers, and so render his plight worse than ever before. But God, knowing the hard task I was fain to attempt, and my small power of succeeding therein, did come to my help with a certain change and distraction of our plans that wrought for me all I desired.

For to such a pass was the negotiations with Auren Zeeb now come, that Mr Kidder was desirous to send word to Mr President at Surat, and gain his instructions upon the matter, and to this end he determined to despatch me thither. Being loath to part with me, that was wont always to play the interpreter for him, he would fain have sent Mr Spender, but that this gentleman was still too poorly acquainted with the Indosthan tongue to go on such a journey by himself, and having the Armenians to be his mediators with the emperor, he resolved at last to let me depart. But desiring to know somewhat concerning a part of the Mogul’s dominions that an’t commonly visited by persons from Europe, he bid me not return by Oudyepour, as we had come, but by way of Gualleyor and Zauncy,122 two great towns, very strongly defended, that lie to the south of Agra. And with this intent he procured for me the emperor’s pharmaund, giving me authority to travel where I would, with my servants and attendants, and with the help of this piece of writing, methought I ought to succeed in my great purpose.

And first I consented with myself to reveal my intention to none but to my servant Loll Duss, whom I knew to be faithful to me, and with him to devise my plans. Mr Kidder had begged of me not to carry with me any more of the servants of our party than I should actually need, but to hire cooleys (which is carriers), and other attendants, from town to town. And this being so, of our own Surat men I took with me only Loll Duss, together with my cook, a Moor that was named Eusoff,123 and an ancient Mogul soldier named Darah, for to look to the hired cooleys. To these two I allowed Loll Duss to open our scheme, knowing that they might be trusted, and needing their help to carry it out, but they were instructed by no means to confide the same to any of the Agra men that should accompany us. And next I told the viscount of my purpose, and of the sorry part he needs must play, and, silencing his words of surprise and gratitude, bade him come to the caravan-serawe before daylight on the morning of the day when we should start. I don’t know how he succeeded in leaving the palace at such an hour unperceived, but God did so order it that he fell in with no one, and outside the caravan-serawe Loll Duss met him and carried him quickly to the stable where I was, looking to the packing of all my equipage. Here were, beside our three selves, namely I, the viscount, and Loll Duss, only Eusoff and Darah, and our business was stowing all our necessaries for the journey in those great baskets wherein the Moguls use to carry victuals and other such things. Then in one of these we hid the viscount, and fastened down the cover on’t, though leaving him a due space to breathe, and those victuals and packets that should have been in that basket we did put into my palenkeen, which was carried with us lest I should tire of riding. And all the baskets being now filled, the cooleys come in and took ’em away, Darah going with ’em, and all passed through the gate as soon as it was opened, the sun being up. I had bid them tarry for me at a certain village some five miles on our road, where was a rest-house, wherein I was minded to pass the heat of the day, but I myself and those with me did not start yet for some hours.

And these hours I did feel to be the longest I had ever spent, such was my terror lest the viscount’s absence should be observed, or some chance lead to his discovery among my goods. I was fain to comfort myself with the remembrance of the great Seva Gi himself, who with his son escaped safely in this manner, but ’twas extreme difficult for me to show myself calm and careless until after I had bid farewell to Mr Kidder and his fellows (Mr Spender taunting me at the last with leaving my jail-bird to his jailers again, spite of all my fair words), and also to our kind friend the doctor, and to the Armenians that had been our druggermen about the city. But at the last I was able to set forth, having my banner carried before me very seemly, and I riding upon a fine horse, with my palenkeen awaiting my disposition if I so pleased, and so went through the city and out at the gate with great pomp.

Now I had had some fear lest the officers of the gate should desire to look inside the palenkeen, but even so I hoped to beguile them, since they should find therein only my stuff, though this should have frustrated my design with respect to the bearers, who I desired should believe that there was a sick man inside. But as it so chanced, we were let pass without any molestation, and travelling at a fair pace, I riding beside the palenkeen as though to cheer him that was therein, came to the rest-house before the great heat came on. And here I found the baskets and other packages all piled up on the veranda, and Darah and the cooleys awaiting my pleasure. But having had my palenkeen carried into the house, I dismissed the cooleys for to take their noontide sleep, as also those that were come with me, and with my own three men released the viscount from his wattled prison, and allowed him to walk up and down inside the house, Loll Duss keeping guard the while. But when the time was come that we should start again, we put into the basket those things that had been in the palenkeen, and the viscount lay down therein in their place, the blinds being close drawn, for ’twas of chiefest importance that the hired cooleys from Agra should not see the face of their passenger, and recognise the Ferringhee. And having made this fresh disposition of our affairs, we started again on our way with much cheerfulness.

Now in this manner we did journey on during certain days, going as fast as we might without awaking suspicion of our designs, the viscount riding always in my palenkeen, and able to walk about and refresh himself only at night and at noonday. But on arriving at the great fortress of Gualleyor, we dismissed our Agra cooleys and saw them safely on their way home again, with a liberal present and encamped ourselves in a grove of trees without the city, for I feared prodigiously being shut up with walls and bars, like rats in a trap. For this town of Gualleyor is a place of much strength, and the Moguls use to keep their prisoners of state there, so that ten times in a day, when I looked up to the great fortress that has the air of some huge lion crouching on his hill, I felt a chill in my very bones to think of being shut up there, for our friend the doctor had told us many fearful tales respecting it. Nevertheless, I went to and fro in the place, and observed it so far as I might for Mr Kidder, and bought there a horse, ready for my friend when he should be able to ride, as I said to him that sold it me. And at this place we hired cooleys for to go with us as far as to Zauncy, the viscount now, when we were gat well beyond the city, riding part of the day on horseback instead of in the palenkeen, for to seem as though he were just recovering of his illness.

At Zauncy we hired new cooleys to go with us the whole of the way as far as to Broach, which is near the sea-coast not much north of Surat, and began to hope that we were pretty well beyond the danger of pursuit. And now the viscount left using the palenkeen at all, and rid all day beside me, and a mighty agreeable fellow I found him. His looks also was now much amended, since Loll Duss had dressed his hair for him, and trimmed his beard into a neat picked124 shape, for he would not have it shaved off, since (says he) the beard is a badge of our Hugonot religion in France. We were both habited after the Moorish fashion, so as to escape remark from the people, that are prodigious fanatical in these parts, and thus disguised, we hoped to pass for Moguls from the north, in especial as both our faces were now much darkened with the sun. Thus we rid on, enjoying much goodly and profitable discourse together by day, and at night sojourning always in villages or on the outskirts of towns, but never in the caravan-serawes within their walls. This measure of precaution seemed to me quite necessary, but since we were come so far in safety, I thought little of taking any other; but in these things my friend was wiser than I, he looking at ’em with the eye of a soldier, that sees everywhere an enemy save where he knows a friend to be. I had observed that the viscount was always forward to examine narrowly every new tract of country that we reached before ever we passed through it, but this I set down to his desire for knowledge, little guessing that he was planning and rehearsing battles, surprises, ambuscadoes, retreats, and divers other such warlike notions. But this ignorance and carelessness of mine was to receive a wholesome rebuke, and my friend’s foresight a most signal justification.

“Sir,” says he, riding back to me one day when as we were coming down a steep hillside into a valley very thick with woods, “do you perceive the nature of the place through which our road now lies? Here is a spot most convenient of all for an ambuscado, and ’twill surprise me much if it ben’t made use on. With your permission, I’ll take three or four of the servants as skirmishers, and send ’em in advance on either side of the train.”

“Methinks the Moors are scarce like to look at this point with your eye, which is that of a captain, sir,” said I; “but prythee, take the servants as you desire, and do your will. There is little possibility that those we have most cause to fear are here before us, but it may be that there is Rashpoot robbers laying wait for us, conceiving that we carry with us greater riches than we do.”

“Let me entreat you to keep your servants well in line, sir,” said he, “and to suffer no loitering, for I am persuaded there is danger before us in this valley.”

With that he took as many of the servants as he desired (for beside cooleys, we had now with us some ten or a dozen Moors, hired at Zauncy for to protect us through this wild country, and furnished with bucklers of skins and their strange crooked cimiters), and bid them search the wood on either side of the road, proceeding with great circumspection, and seeking to surprise the surprisers. Now our cooleys, observing these precautions, did not, as you would expect, feel all the safer by reason of the caution of their masters, but became pale and trembled greatly, so as their knees knocked together, and I saw that they were ready to run away if the slightest mischance should occur. Wherefore I placed the Moors so as to hinder them in this intention, and bade ’em cut down the first cooley that tried to flee; and having mustered the whole train into as compact a body as I could, we entered upon the road through the valley. Now at our first entrance thereon, I noted this, that whereas in such places the birds of the forest were used to rise up and fly about on our appearing, here they were already seeming troubled and disturbed, and wheeling about among the trees as if distressed. Loll Duss come close to me on seeing this, and Master, says he, there’s men in this jungle (which is their name for a wood). And on this strange confirming of my friend’s suspicions I was at first took aback, but quickly reflecting that there wan’t no way of continuing our journey save by passing through this wood, we went on without remark.

But now, when we were about coming to a spot where the road lay very low between two high banks, there come to our ears on a sudden a noise from that on the right hand, as of a struggle and a fall, and then the firing of a pistol. Looking immediately to our arms, we halted for to await the foe, and ’twas well indeed we did so, for with a most dreadful noise there come about our ears a whole hail of matchlock-bullets, and before we might even determine whence these were, men began rushing upon us from both banks with divers weapons. It so happened that I had under my Moorish cassock my own hanger and pistols girt about my waist, beside the dagger that the Moors carry, and these stood me in good stead, for the robbers all come at me, and for a time I was in the midst of a whole rabblement of ’em, they trying to drag me from off my horse or to disable me, but not anxious, so far as I could see, to kill me. So desperate was their attempt, that for a time I thought myself lost; but succeeding in maintaining my ground against their assaults, I did withstand them until Loll Duss came to my help, my two other servants and the hired Moors being engaged upon the outskirts of the crowd, and the viscount and his skirmishers in a brisk battle on the banks above, where some of the ambushment had stayed for to resist ’em.

So close was we all packed in the narrow road, that there was no room for any battle-array nor show of military skill, for each man must needs fight hand-to-hand for his own life. And this we did without much result for some time, the cooleys baulking us grievously in our movements, and raising lamentable cries to their false gods to save ’em; but at length the viscount, having vanquished his foes upon the heights, brought his men down to our assistance, who fell upon the enemy with such hearty goodwill that such of them as was able quickly made shift to flee away by the road which we were come. And we, dreading their return with greater numbers, did only collect our own wounded to carry with us, making no attempt to secure any prisoners, and so went on again. But when we were started, up come to me and my friend my servant, Loll Duss.

“Master,” says he, “these men that we have conquered an’t Rashpoots. They are Moors, the emperor’s men, and they were sent to carry your honours back to Agra, alive or dead.”

“How do you know this, Loll Duss?” says I, in a grievous trouble of mind, for (thought I), if the news of the viscount’s evasion be gone before, sure the whole country will be raised against us.

“I have questioned one on ’em who is wounded,” said he, and returned to his place.

“What think you of this turn, sir?” says I to my friend.

“That ’tis a move of our adversary that will need some calculation for the defeating on’t,” says he, smiling, and taking his figures from the game of chess; “with your permission, sir, we will meditate our counter-move.”

And he rid on in silence, yet pondering deeply, as his face showed. And with this I was content, knowing that he was well seen in all manner of warlike shifts and devices, having been trained in the Low Countries under that most famous captain, the Mareschal Turenne, so that I could not doubt but that he would find some means for to extricate us from our perils. And indeed, before we had left the valley, he turned himself towards me with a smile.

“I don’t doubt, sir,” says he, “that you are already arrived at the same decision as I—namely, that we must avoid all the towns, where the Moguls have garrisons, and seek shelter only in the small villages, where there an’t sufficient force for to detain us, even though the bruit concerning us may have reached ’em. Nor is this all, for we must leave all thoughts of travelling with a safe-conduct in virtue of the emperor’s pharmaund, which should ruin us the rather, and instead of going on our way, and proceeding to the sea-coast, where we are looked for, must turn our steps to the south, and our minds to Seva Gi, the only man that can help us at this pinch.”

“But, sir,” I cried, “do you propose to traverse all India? Here are we in the Mogul’s dominions, and you speak quite coolly of seeking refuge in the Moratty country.”

“On this,” says he, “hangs our lives, so far as I can see. Pray, sir, if the sea-coast be closed against us, what chance have we but to outgo the emperor’s commands and reach the border before ’em? Rumours spread quickly in this country, but I dare be bound that they won’t be so quick nor so precise but we may succeed in outrunning ’em by means of forced marches. Hereon turns our fate. In the way we have pursued hitherto, they are watching against our passage, while in turning to the south we may make a certain distance before they suspect our design.”

I could not bring forward any reason sufficiently strong to weigh against this, though it irked me much to think that an Englishman must needs present himself as a suppliant at the court of this Moratty king; but I admired prodigiously the quick motions of the viscount’s mind, perceiving that Seva Gi was in truth the only man that in this strait could avail to protect us against the Moguls, and could further, by his power over the country of Conchon, bring us safely without let or hindrance to the very gates of Surat. Therefore I consented with my friend to the plan; and after consulting with Darah and Loll Duss, we turned off our road towards the south, purposing to seek out some trustworthy person that might guide us on our journey, since we knew next to nothing of the way we must take, nor even whether the Moguls were posted thickly therein or not. And herein were we in a strait, for we were resolved to avoid all towns and places where much people should be likely to be gathered.

Towards evening we arrived in a certain small village, where we found lodging, though poor and mean enough, hard by the mosch125 where the people worshipped, and here we were glad enough to rest—the viscount placing sentinels and seeing to their relief with an air of as great gravity as if in some great war of Europe. The night passed without any alarm; but in the morning, when we were about breaking our fast, Loll Duss come to us wearing a lamentable countenance, and saying that certain of our hired servants refused to go with us any further, being afraid to disoblige the emperor. They also, said Loll Duss, had discovered by the discourse of the wounded what they would be at; and having advised together in the night touching the matter, had consented126 to have no further hand in our adventure. I looked at the viscount on hearing this, as wondering how he should take it, for indeed I, as a simple merchant, did give up to him the conduct of affairs now that we were in a strait wherein he, as a soldier, was so much fitter to act than I.

“Let ’em go,” says he. “We might carry ’em on with us by force of arms, but they should be a weakness rather than a strength to us, and might destroy us at some critical point. Do you advise with ’em, sir, and dismiss ’em, as many as desire to leave us.”

Upon this I went out to the men, and found them to look both surly and rebellious, so that I saw them to be capable of much mischief if they pleased; but I was ready to disappoint them, if they desired to come to a tussle with us, and did but tell them (though I won’t say but that I did handle them pretty roughly in what I said) that we desired no cowards to company with us, nor men false to their salt, and bid ’em return from whence they came. Then the greater part of them departed, though with much muttering and some angry words; but there remained certain honest fellows that said they had ate of my salt (which is their way of saying that they were bound to me in honour), and would not go. Then with these I ordered afresh the burdens that must be carried, leaving behind such things as we could well do without, and with this diminished band we prepared to set forth.

But here we were met by a new difficulty, for the people of the village, though we had rewarded ’em richly for the lodging they had furnished us, gathered themselves together across our path, and would not suffer us to pass, declaring that we were enemies of the emperor, and that they would stop us and give us up to him. And at first I did essay to win them over by smooth words and much persuading in their own tongue, but in vain, and then gave place to the viscount. He, commanding four of our men to prepare torches, and to stand with ’em close to the nearest houses, drew up the train in array, with the carriers in the midst, and setting himself at the head, spake to the villagers, promising them that he would set their houses on fire if they did not give place immediately. And when the people, being mightily concerned for their dwellings—for these were but poor huts roofed with grass, that was dry and would burn like tinder—brake their rank and began to consult together, he gave the signal to start, and so led on with a great rush that took us well past ’em before they so much as perceived our intention.

Chapter XV

Of My Second Deliverance from Extreme Peril of Death

Now after this escape we went on pretty steadily, keeping ourselves as remote as possible from the vicinage of men, and prolonging our two marches as late as we might with safety. Towards evening we met with an encounter which at first cost us no little alarm, but which proved to be excessively to our advantage. For riding in the shade of a grove of great trees, we saw coming towards us an ancient Brachmine, very meanly apparelled. Compassionating his sorry appearance, the viscount saluted him courteously, and offered him an alms, which he accepting, turned, and looked shrewdly at my friend.

“Master,” says he, “we have met before.”

“Nay?” says the viscount, speaking lightly, though his countenance changed somewhat. “I han’t no recollection on’t. Where was it that we met, old man?”

“In the hole of the Mountain-Rat,” says the Brachmine, meaning that strong place or fortress of Seva Gi’s called Rairey.

“Is’t possible?” saith my friend. “I can’t yet call your face to mind. Stay,—is it indeed Vincaly Row127?”

“I am he,” says the old man, not without pride.

“I had not looked to find Seva Gi’s chief friend and manager alone and disguised in the Mogul’s country,” says the viscount. “Sure you can’t have forgot that jest of the courtiers which said that where Vincaly Row was found, there Seva Gi himself might be looked for not long after?”

“That jest is still true,” said the old man. “I am here, and my lord an’t far behind me.”

“What! in the Mogul’s dominions?” cried my friend.

“If he ben’t in ’em yet, he soon will be,” says the Brachmine.

“Is he marching on Dhilly?” asked my friend, his eyes flashing. “Sure here will be feats of arms such as the world hath rarely seen. I am well pleased to find myself here at such a time.”

“Nay, he goes not to Dhilly,” saith Vincaly Row. “He is here only on a private errand, the taking of his revenge on Cogia Bux,128 the governor of Tashpour.”

“I have heard of him,” said the viscount. “He led the Mogul’s army in Conchon some years since, and was highly esteemed as a person of much valour and prudence.”

“Ay,” saith the old Brachmine, “but he came once too near to Seva Gi for his safety now. The king was out on a hunting expedition, and halted for the night, with but two or three followers, at the house of a certain landowner. Hither, after midnight, come Cogia Bux with a great force, guided by a treacherous slave, and was got as far as the threshold of the king’s chamber before an alarm was raised. There was but three men with my lord, one of ’em being Madda Gi,129 his cousin, a young man of extreme promise. He sprang to the door of the chamber, crying out to Seva Gi, ‘Escape, my lord! We will keep the door.’ And thereupon the king, tying together coverlets and turlants for to make a rope, did let himself down through the lattice and escaped (the house standing on the margent of a steep), but the two soldiers and Madda Gi were slain fighting. Which, when the king heard, he was prodigiously grieved, and made haste to send a message to Cogia Bux, saying, ‘Tell Cogia Bux that when he visited upon me the door was shut’” (speaking of their manner of civilly denying oneself to a troublesome visitor), “‘but I swear on my good sword Bowanny that I will do myself the honour of returning his visit, and when I come to Tashpour the door will not be shut.’”

“And ’tis on this errand he is now come?” says my friend.

“Ay,” says the old man, “for he was minded to go against the King of Gulconda at this time, but the tears and entreaties of Seta Bye,130 the mother of young Madda Gi, declaring that her son was left to die unavenged, prevailed upon him to proceed first against Cogia Bux. As you may well perceive, all his hopes of success hang on his being speedy and secret, but in these two things my master wan’t never yet found wanting.”

“And we may hope to reach him?” asked the viscount.

“If you come on him before he make his attempt on Tashpour,” says the old Brachmine. “If you be later than that, there will be but smoking ruins for to greet you. But at present he is only some three or four days’ journey from you by this road, and little over two days’ by a rough way that I will show you.”

Then by means of drawing with his staff in the dust, he showed us the way he meant, and presently departed on his journey again, with our much thanks. And that night we encamped ourselves in a thick wood, where we lay in much discomfort for fear of the wild beasts, hearing them howling around us. And indeed, so greatly terrified was our men by the alarms of that night that they prayed of us to spend the next among human creatures. And though we did this with great fear and trembling, lest our evil fame should have spread before us, yet we found that this wan’t needed, for the whole place was already in a ferment, and that for a reason that lay in front of us, and not behind. For the Gentues were all mighty gratified and proud, as having heard of Seva Gi’s advance, while the Moors were anxious and uneasy.

All this was pleasing to us, as confirming that we had learned from Vincaly Row, and when we were safely lodged that night in the rest-house of the village, and had supped well, though not extravagantly, my friend and I discoursed much of the means whereby we might soonest place ourselves in security. For it seemed, by what the Brachmine had told us, that to reach the Moratty army by the shortest way we must needs pass through a rugged country, extreme difficult to traverse with such a train as ours, while the other way, where there was a good road enough, should occupy us still two or three days. And moreover, between us and Seva Gi there lay the strong fortress of Tashpour, whence, as we had no doubt, Cogia Bux would be looking forth for us, and our train being so large, it was little like that we should be able to slip past him. These difficulties that threatened us we discussed with great freedom, at one time even purposing to abandon all our stuff (which, though valuable, was little in comparison with life), and take the short road with only our men. But telling this to Loll Buss, who was making ready where we should lie that night, he showed himself prodigiously concerned, and entreated with much respect that we would allow him to make a certain proposition to us. Which we permitting, he begged of us to leave our train in his care, both the men and all the beasts, that he might conduct it to the camp of Seva Gi by the longer road, while we, the viscount and I, rid on without encumbrance by the short way. It went to his heart (said the honest fellow) that we should be left without the attendance suited to our quality, but by submitting to this trifling inconvenience we should be secure of regaining in the space of a few days all our goods, in the stead of being compelled to undertake the rest of our journey without ’em. And this plan of his seeming to us very good and well-considered, we gave to’t our attention, and went to bed resolved upon adopting it.

And setting out in the morning as usual, lest the villagers should perceive our divided forces, we separated from one another at some distance from the place where we had slept, our servants and cooleys taking the road to the left hand, and my friend and I that to the right. Meanwhile, I was not a little exercised in my mind as to whether we were doing the best we might, and did give Loll Duss many commands touching what he should do in respect to certain dangers, as that in case of any pursuit made of them, they must all leave their packs and escape into the woods, not rashly perilling their lives for such poor silly stuff as beds and kettles. In all this he heard me very patiently, though I am well assured he would never have suffered any such thing to be done, and so we separated from them, my friend and I riding on in the sweet morning air, the which was mighty soft and agreeable, with as little concern as if that were not to be the most weighty day of both of our lives, or at least of mine.

Through all the morning we held on at a good pace, our horses being sound and swift, and at noon or thereabouts halted for a rest of two hours, for more we dared not take, if we were to reach Seva Gi and his army by sunset. Setting out again on our journey after this time of repose, we found that we must needs progress with great circumspection, since we now beheld very clearly the great citadel of Tashpour frowning from its lofty steep before us. And here the viscount showed very evidently the value of that training he had received, for his eye told him of every ridge and every grove that might afford us concealment in our riding, and we were well abreast of the fortress before we were forced to relinquish our cover. But here that which we had hailed as our salvation became, so to speak, a destruction unto us, for we had been riding in the shadow of the edge of a certain great wood, so that even had any been watching for us from the castle they had scarce been able to perceive us against the dark trees, and now we come full upon a huge quag or morass, wherein my horse had like to have sunk before I could turn him and get him out. And looking to see where this quag might end, we found that it spread into the wood for some distance (making a dark and loathsome mire and mud, very hideous to behold), nay, we could not reach with our eyes the furthest limits on’t, so that our sole plan was to ride out upon the plain and fetch a compass about it. And this, because time pressed, and we might not search in the wood, to seek the other end on’t, we did set about immediately, though doing our best to ride leisurely, so as any perceiving us might take us only for honest countrymen bent on their occasions. But when we come out upon the plain, our beasts and we were evidently visible against the clear green colour of the rushes by the side of the quag, and before we could even circle round the end on’t, the viscount bid me look round, and I obeying saw a troop of horse coming out of a gate of the castle in pursuit of us.

Now these men were so close after us that they arrived at the side of the quag nearest to the fortress when we were still riding along the further margent thereof with all possible haste for to regain our road, so that they did let fly at us with their matchlocks, as hoping thereby to cripple and so delay us. But by God’s great mercy they hit neither my friend nor me, their bullets all falling short of us, save one only, which did strike my friend’s horse, making it halt and stagger for a moment. But he calling out to it cheerfully, for he was used always to speak to his beast as though it were indeed a rational creature that could understand him, it went on again bravely, and we two rid away at our utmost speed along our road.

“At any rate, sir,” says the viscount, laughing, “this shrewd pursuit saves us from the need of seeking cover for ourselves. Our safety now hangs on speed, and not on concealment.”

“You are right, sir,” says I, and we rid on at a brisk pace, though holding our beasts well in hand in case of any fresh danger’s threatening us in front. Looking back upon occasion to see our pursuers, we beheld them at an agreeable distance enough, for their horses wan’t so good as ours, and themselves heavier armed.

“If we can but keep up this pace, sir,” says I, “we shall hold our own well.”

“Our beasts can do more than this, sir, if need be,” says the viscount, not knowing of the misfortune that was about to befall us. For as we rid, we came suddenly upon a river, which, though not very deep in appearance, had its banks so high and steep that we must needs ride along some distance to find a place where to descend them, whereas our enemies knew the spot, and made straight for it. Happily, we reached it first, though with no time to spare, and putting our horses to the water, swam them over, mounting the other bank in safety only a moment before the pursuers reached the first one. ’Twas well for us that they had not tarried to load their matchlocks again after firing ’em off, so that they could not shoot at us, but they were so close behind us that we set our horses to their utmost speed and tasked them sorely that we might get a good start once more. So well did the good beasts obey us that we gained rapidly upon them, and had soon near resumed our former lead, though we durst not slacken our pace again as yet.

“We shall distance ’em yet, sir,” cried the viscount, casting a glance behind him, but even as he spoke, his horse began to totter and breathe heavily. My friend’s face grew pale, but he said nought to me, only cheering the beast with his voice. But I, remembering the bullet that had struck it beside the quag, saw that the gallop across the plain had pressed it too hard, and that it must soon fail, and at the same time there come into my mind a thought that did set my heart a-beating quickly. So strongly did it seize upon me, that I saw at once it must be obeyed, and yet (I am almost ashamed to write it) I felt myself hang back from following it. Sure you would think that this life of mine, that was of so little value even to myself, and still less to others, would be resigned without a pang; but ’twas not so, and in that moment I did learn the foolishness of all those idle vapourings of mine touching my blighted existence, and the ease and carelessness wherewith I would depart from it. For I found myself cling even to that precarious hope on’t which now remained, and ’twas with a prodigious effort that I made up my mind to do the thing that now presented itself to me, and so make the only amends in my power for my former presumption towards Madam Heliodora, and for the evil thoughts I had cherished against her servant. Now while these thoughts was yet in my mind, the viscount’s beast was becoming more and more feeble, so as I saw it could not long keep on its feet, and even as we were about mounting a slight ascent, it reared up and fell dead beneath him. And upon this I did dismount, as though to help him to arise from the ground.

“Come, sir,” says I, pulling him to his feet, for he was fallen partly under the beast, though mercifully not much hurt, “mount my horse. We han’t no time to lose.”

“Will he carry double?” says he, looking round as though dazed by his fall, but obeying me. “’Tis but a chance, but we may essay it.”

I helped him into the saddle, and would fain have started the horse with a blow, but he suspected my design, and turned round.

“Why don’t you mount, sir?” says he.

“The beast can’t carry both of us,” says I, starting the horse and running by his side, as though accompanying him, “and your life is of more value than mine.”

“Sir,” he cried, very angry, and striving to stop the horse, “have you forgot that I am a gentleman, and I hope, a Christian, and do you look for me to leave you to perish?”

“Sir,” says I, “I owe a great obligation to Mademoiselle de Tourvel, and do desire to acquit myself on’t. And moreover, you have her ladyship to consider, to whom you owe love and protection for the rest of your life, and I have no one that need care whether I live or die. I have often been weary of my life, and I am well pleased for’t to end in such a manner as this.”

“Am I to forsake you, my friend, the man that saved me out of my captivity and brought me back to hope?” cries he. “Never, sir! Let us mount together, if you will, and seek to escape so long as we may, and then die fighting back to back, like men.”

“No, sir,” says I, “for this I will tell you, which I had not looked ever to tell any living soul again. There has come to me in my past life an irreparable loss, so great as nothing imaginable can avail to compensate me therefor, and after this I don’t care to live longer. Mademoiselle de Tourvel will unfold my meaning to you if you ask her; but I pray you, ask no more of me.”

The viscount looked down into my face, and saw, as I fancy, my history wrote there plain, for he took away his eyes, and “May God help you, sir,” says he.

“You perceive by this, sir,” says I, “that ’tis your duty to live for her ladyship, and mine to enable you so to do. Go on and reach safety, and enjoy your happiness with Madam Heliodora, and bid her forgive me and think kindly of me. Farewell, and God be with you.”

But he would not depart thus, and stopping the horse, catched me in his arms and embraced me, after the French fashion, weeping the while, until I bid him hasten on, or he should yet be taken. And at this he went on, yet with many tears, and turning round for to bid me farewell once more, and I was left behind, panting from the running and the turmoil of my thoughts, but joyful and glad of heart for that by my sacrifice I had secured the happiness of that noble lady and her servant.

Now my constant enemies (for indeed my enemies are as constant and as curious in their arts as were ever the friends of Job) are accustomed to declare that I acted thus from I don’t know what wicked design, or else that I had good reason to suppose the means of rescue to be near at hand, which indeed I could not, unless by the aid of prophetic powers, to the which I don’t pretend. But in answer to these persons, I may confess, although it be but a sorry confession for an Englishman and one that hath seen many climates, that when I had suffered my friend to depart, and turned my eyes to behold the advance of those bloody and brutal men, that were now close upon me, ’twas with the greatest trembling that ever I felt in my life.

Then they, coming up quickly, did lay hold upon me with little gentleness and many ill words, and after binding my arms behind me, and also making me fast with a thong of leather to one of their saddles, did hale me with ’em back to the castle. And in this journey I did endure such discomforts from the heat, the dust, and the smart pace that my captors kept up, that I had no leisure to ponder over my situation, nor even to do anything but continue the march. Yet this I was glad to perceive--viz., that before we reached the castle there catched us up certain of the band that had been sent for to pursue the viscount further, and declared that they must needs let him go, for that all their chasing was of no avail. And I, understanding their Persian tongue, wondered much what new thought had seized my friend, that he should so soon have forgot his prudent design of saving his beast in case of some fresh danger, and be now riding so fast as to have distanced thus easily and thus quickly all that were following him. But such speculation as this was of little moment, and I forgot it speedily when I was carried up that steep and winding road, commanded at every point from the ramparts above, which leads into the castle of Tashpour. This is the only way whereby the fortress may be approached, for on all the other sides the rock is so high and steep as even a goat could not make shift to climb it, and the fortifications at the top, which were built by the Moguls on their first settlement of the country, are in every way worthy of the repute of that famous and warlike nation, and equal to any in Europe.

Now I being brought up into the castle, they did take me before Cogia Bux the governor, a person of so ferocious an aspect and discourse that I looked for nothing else than immediate death at his hands; but I soon perceived that he durst not hurt me, being commanded to deliver me up alive at Agra, there to be dealt with as the emperor himself might determine. And at this I was sorry, both as anticipating a more dreadful and lingering death than any they had skill to devise here, and also as finding prolonged this disagreeable space of waiting and looking for death. But for all this, I would not seem to show myself afeared before these heathens, but did talk very big, telling them that those I served would never suffer me to be badly used. But at this they did laugh mightily, telling me that none of my friends should so much as stir a finger to help me, since ’twas those of ’em that were at Agra had given the intelligence that led to my apprehension. And in this, methought, I perceived the hand of Mr Spender, but forbore to dwell upon it in my thoughts, desiring to die in peace and charity with all mankind. Then they did cast me into a very deep and noisome dungeon, reminding me rather of the Aljuvar at Goa than of my cell in the Holy House, and bid me be prepared to set out the next day for Agra. And I, being thus left to myself, and foreseeing that in travelling with profane and heathen guards around me I should have little opportunity for profitable meditation and such as suited with my case, gave my mind to consider my situation.

Now the thought of my present estate brought to me some little comfort, inasmuch as my misfortune was due to no fault of my own, and had, as I hoped, secured the happiness of two much worthier persons. But next my meditations turned upon my past life, and here I found little to console me, for it seemed that since my marvellous deliverance at Goa I had done little but go from bad to worse. And first I considered my temptation at St Thomas, and recalled with shame how easily I had been led by the nose, as we say, by my lord marquis, almost to the betraying my duty and the dishonouring myself. And after this I thought of my life at Amidavat, and of the pain I had caused to my good friend Mr Martin, and likewise his attempts to lead me into a more worthy and Christian course, and my declaration that I was no worse than others. Then that come into my mind which the strange old seaman, Substitution Darrell, had said to me aboard the Boscobel—namely, that where force had failed to rob me of my faith, other measures might succeed—and I perceived at last that this was not far removed from being true with me. I saw, also, how I had come forth from my imprisonment at Goa proud and haughty, reckoning myself one that had suffered great things for God, and counting it only just that God should recompense me by giving me in future all things to my liking, so that that word of the apostle’s might have been wrote with an eye to me, Though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Then I saw how that, applying this fancy of mine to my mad and presumptuous passion for Madam Heliodora, I had conceived myself defrauded of my due in not obtaining her, and had therefore fallen foul of all around me, both God and men, accusing the first of injustice, and regarding the last with scorn and even hatred.

By this means I had wasted, and worse than wasted (not indeed in a material, but a spiritual sense), four of the best years of my life, spending them in peevishness of spirit and in unworthy pleasures, such as might best avail to drown my persuasion of the inequality of my lot to my deserts. Now, when ’twas too late to amend, though not to repent, I perceived my fault, seeing clearly, not only that I had not been fitted for the happiness I sought, but also that it had needed four years to teach me that I had no right to seek happiness at all, but only duty. And this also I saw—viz., that in my repinings after the happiness I could not have, I had lost that which I might have had, as the company of worthy friends, the discourse of ingenious men, the delights of research and discovery, and the like, wherewith many, no better situated than I, have made their lives result not only in good to themselves and solace to their own intimates, but also in great store of elegant observations for the informing of persons in England.

And this thought, moreover, to the which I was come, did bring into my mind that occasion wherein I had most grievously failed in my duty—namely, in breaking my contract with my cousin Dorothy at the bidding of a rash and selfish presumption, and leaving her desolate and bereaved of the hope in the which she was grown up. ’Twas not the first time that this thought was come to me, but before this I had been wont to turn a deaf ear to’t, seeking to stifle it, and thus making my unworthy behaviour worse still. Now, however, I was minded to do this no longer, and as they say that amendment and restitution is the surest sign of repentance, so now I solemnly vowed to myself (though little likely ever to be able to fulfil it), that if by God’s mercy I should ever be released alive from this second captivity, I would at the expiration of the term of my service return to Dorothy, if she should still be unwedded, and marrying her, make to her the best amends in my power for my former evil carriage towards her. And having entered into this resolve, I found myself somewhat easier in my mind, though still bowed down with shame and grief for my unworthy courses, unworthy both in respect to the good teaching I had in my childhood and the honourable traditions of our house, and also with regard to God’s marvellous goodness and care for me throughout my life. Thus then I was brought to cast myself humbly upon the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and confessing my sins and entreating pardon of Him, to receive an assurance of forgiveness and grace, bringing great peace into my soul. And having thus attained that which my troubled conscience had long lacked, I laid myself down in the dungeon, and so fell asleep.

I don’t know how long I continued in this happy oblivion of my situation, but I awoke at last, hearing what seemed to me strange noises. Now you must know that this dungeon, wherein I lay, was dug deep down in the bowels of the hill whereon the fortress stood, and beside the door whereby I had entered, had intercourse with the outer world only by means of a long and narrow passage, in bigness no more than a hand’s breadth, but leading out in some way to the open air. And it seemed to me now that there come to me through this passage, or air-hole, sounds as of scrambling and of stealthy voices. And first I thought that the Moguls of the place, being determined to secure me while I was in their power, were minded to murder me secretly, and were approaching my dungeon by stealth in this intent. But while I lay with this thought in my mind, trembling and shaking all over, as is the wont of those that awake from sleep by reason of any alarm, the noises seemed to rise higher above me, and so at last to cease. But I, listening with all my ears, heard on a sudden a most dreadful cry or shriek, as of one hurled past my window (if I may call the air-hole so), from above. By this I was assured that there was some fearful work on foot, and rising up from my place, I came as near to the window as my chains would allow me, desiring to assure myself more particularly of what should be happening. But now there come to me from above a great and confused noise of shouting and the clash of arms, so that I could discern that some great battle was going forward.

But though I heard the cries and shrieks (nay, I could even discern from the sounds the moment of each advance and retreat), yet I might not discover who the parties should be, that thus met and fought, until the noises ceased somewhat and the roar of battle was become fainter. Then I heard hollowed131 lustily, as though by many throats, that battle-cry which had met my ears at the time of my rescue at Goa—namely, “Hoor! Hoor! Mohaiudio!” This sound recalled to me at once that former scene, and did cast me into a state of great confusion of mind, so that when the cry was growing less loud to my ears, as though they that used it had gathered themselves together and were marching away, I did sink down in a corner trembling and perplexed. And thereafter heard I many such confused and strange noises as never before out of my dreams, but there was no means for me to determine what was the issue of all that had happened. For I could not but suppose that Seva Gi and the Morattys, whose war-cry I had heard, had made an attempt by night on the place, and succeeded in surprising the sentinel, and so gaining a footing on the walls, but how they fared thereafter, and whether they still held their ground, or had been drove over the cliffs, I could not discover, not though the question was of the deepest moment to me. With such patience, then, as I could muster, I waited until the sun’s rays began to pierce feebly into the dungeon through the air-hole, when also I heard footsteps in the passage outside my door, and other doors opening and closing, as though a jail-delivery were taking place. More than once I heard the footsteps pass my very threshold, but they never tarried there, and at last seemed to depart, while my heart cried out to me that though others was to find enlargement, I was forgot. And this bred in me a terrible frenzy and passion, insomuch that I beat upon the wall with my hands, and called aloud unto them without, my chains not suffering me to approach the door. And this I did, never considering that my fellow-prisoners might only be led out to execution, but possessed with the fear that I was to be left behind to starve. And the sound of the footsteps having now ceased, there was a great silence, while I lay in my corner, plunged in despair. But presently I heard a voice cry very loud in French—

“Mr Carlyon, are you here? If you hear me, cry out aloud, and we will release you.”

I could not mistake the voice of my friend the viscount, and for answer I flung myself again at the wall and battered it with kicks and blows, calling out the while to my friend that if he loved me he should not leave me to perish. And at this he and the men that were with him came and burst open the door, for the key on’t could not be found, and he embraced me very tenderly, and then led me out into the passage, and up many steps to the daylight. And because I was much overcome by the sudden passing from hopelessness to hope, so that for a moment I did cling to his arm and could not stand upright, he would have me sit down, and brought me with his own hand a dram of some cordial, and carried himself so gently and kindly towards me as no woman could have been more tender. And after this he carried me into the great hall, where I had seen the governor, and here was a very stately person of middle age sitting upon a throne, to whom the Morattys were bringing all their spoils from all quarters of the place. And the viscount bowing very low, I perceived that here must be the great Seva Gi, of whom I had so often heard speak. And rising to meet us, I saw that he was of small stature, having arms very long in proportion thereto, and an air of great activity rather than strength, his countenance lively and handsome. Who welcomed me kindly enough, speaking very agreeably to my friend in the Moratty tongue, he answering in the same, which I understood not.

Then the viscount led me away, and brought me into an upper chamber of the castle, sending one of the soldiers for food and wine, and while I did eat and drink, he told me of his doings after our parting. For he said that he had made straight for the Moratty camp, as Vincaly Row had informed us on’t, and speaking in their own tongue to the soldiers that he met, desired of them to carry him at once to their prince, who, recognising him from of old, did receive him with great kindness, and promised to do all in his power for my deliverance. And this promise the king redeemed right nobly, for he called together those of his choicest soldiers that he had brought with him, men well seen in all manner of sieges and escaladoes, and led them himself to surprise Tashpour. And this they accomplished by the help of ladders of ropes, ascending in this way the cliffs deemed unsurmountable, as hath often been done before by the Morattys, and having gained a footing on the ramparts, as I had surmised, beat back the Moguls, and at length made themselves masters of the place. And my friend then seeking among the dungeons for me, had almost missed me, from my cell’s being set in an obscure angle of the passage, had it not been for his assuring himself by his calling to me that I was there.

This, then, was my second great deliverance, but to me ’twas even greater than the first, since now I was set free also from those unhappy thoughts and imaginations that had been my torment for years, and was resolved, so far as lay in my power, to pursue duty alone for the future. And that I might the better do this, I begged of the viscount to make interest with Seva Gi to give us quickly a guard to the coast, that I might bear to Surat the message I was charged withal, and return to my business there. And this the king was good enough to do, although he had at first been minded to have us both, and in especial the viscount, go with him on this campaign, and assist him with our counsel. Now this my friend had been right glad at any ordinary time to fall in with, but he was now so possessed (as well he might be) with the thought of Madam Heliodora, and the desire to hasten to her side, that he delayed not an instant to refuse the Moratty’s invitation, although in the most civil manner imaginable, so that we parted from him the best of friends. So courteously did this barbarian carry himself towards us, that while we tarried with him, he appointed a butcher for our sole service, and had him slay a goat for us every day, since the Gentues eat no flesh-meat, but he, knowing that we Europe men was accustomed thereto, would not suffer us to miss it. And on our departing, he did give us many gifts, yea, even to our servants and cooleys, for Loll Buss was arrived at the camp in safety with his train two days after us. Then sending with us a sufficient guard, that should escort us to the gates of Surat, he did bid us farewell, and went on to prosecute that war which for him ended only with his death, the same occurring some three years later than this adventure of ours.

Now we came to Surat, my friend and I, having dismissed our Morattys at a convenient distance outside the city, with thanks and a genteel present, and were received with great amazement by the gentlemen at the Factory, and this amazement was not diminished when our story was told. My good friend Mr Martin, hearing it narrated by the viscount, was fit to embrace us both in his joy and happiness, and made his comment thereon in many strange proverbs, culled from divers tongues. I delivered the message I brought to his honour the President, and as ’twas now manifestly impossible for me to return into the Mogul’s immediate dominions (though here out of danger, as being supposed to have fallen in the sack of Tashpour), another gentleman was sent to convey the answer on’t to Mr Kidder at Agra, and I was given his place in the Factory for the time. The viscount also did his best to repay our Factory for their entertainment of him by instructing divers of the Company’s servants there in the Moratty tongue, I being one of these; but so great was the prejudice wherewith the reported deeds and purposes of the French Factory had invested all their nation in our eyes (the said French Factory being at once so crowded with merchants and so poor that they were thankful to leave the viscount to us for hospitality), that I could not be sorry for my friend’s sake when a means offered for his return to France.

This was a ship of Havre-de-Grace, coming from Phoolcherry and returning home, whose master offered a passage to the viscount, and he departed in her, bidding me farewell with much sorrow, the which I also did experience for his leaving me. But although he did promise to write me concerning all his affairs, so little commerce132 was there betwixt us and the French that near three years passed before I heard from him, and then I learned that he had found on his arrival in France my lord marquis dead, and this, as they said, rather of a broken heart upon some disgrace he was fallen into with the court, such as had made him be recalled and kept him idle, than of any more exact disease. Madam Heliodora the viscount found dwelling in Paris with a lady of quality that was some kin to her, and they were wedded almost immediately upon his return, departing thereafter to his estate, which was situate on the borders of the provinces of Languedoc and Gascoign,133 and where (says he), we shall endeavour, with God’s blessing, to spend our lives in alleviating the miseries and amending the situation of such as depend upon us. And this letter my friend did close with so many and such lofty expressions of the gratitude that both he and his lady experienced towards me, that I can’t quote from ’em; yet I won’t deny but they were very pleasant to me, and that I loved to flatter myself with the belief that these two persons, whom I did so greatly esteem, thanked me for some of the happiness I now contemplated in them by means of this letter. And with this persuasion of the good fortune of both my friends I did content myself during several years that I heard naught from them, believing them to be so greatly busied with their gracious designs for their tenants that they lacked the time to write to me, and never suspecting that first of all their letters had miscarried, nor later that evil was befallen them, until I heard it from their own lips.

Now about a year after my return to Surat our ambassadors came back from Agra, their business well ended, and I, who conceived myself to have, as you may remember, a crow to pick, as we say, with Mr Spender, did demand of him his reason for denouncing me to the Mogul, and thereby imperilling both my life and my friend’s. But instead of betraying shame or confusion, such as you might expect, at my knowledge of his treason, he turned aside my question with the greatest coolness in the world, saying only that ’twas a person’s bounden duty to use any means in his power to succeed in his designs. And I then leaving him, fearing lest in my rage at his effrontery I should lay violent hands upon him, learned from others of the ambassage that the viscount’s escape was at first kept as a secret by the Moguls, but that when it came to the ears of the ambassadors, Mr Spender gained an audience of the emperor, and all for to tell him that our cooleys returned from Gualleyor had spoke of a second Europe man in my train, whose face they had never seen, and this (said Mr Spender), might well be the escaped prisoner. And the Mogul, hearing this, did take those measures to stop us wdiereof you know already, and showed himself very favourable towards Mr Spender and the rest of the ambassage.

Chapter XVI

Of My Departing from East India, and Returning to My Home and Dorothy

Now after my friend was departed I did spend seven years, more or less, in the service of the Company at Surat, serving them to the best of my ability, and enjoying at the last the dignity of warehouse-keeper, which is a place of some honour and profit. Yet I wan’t, during all this time, tied, so to speak, to my desk in the Factory, for I made three short voyages to the Further East on the Company’s occasions, sailing once to Bengali, and again to Bantam in the island of Java, and once again to the great kingdom of Syam, from all of which journeys I did bring back experience and profit for myself, as well as advantage to my employers.

Now it so happened that there was at Surat, at the time of our sailing on the third of these voyages, a certain Popish priest, a Portugal, that did take passage with us to one of the Portugals’ settlements lower down the coast, and from this gentleman, that showed himself very agreeable, and no bigot, in spite of his creed, I learned somewhat touching an old friend that I had of late years (I shame to say it) near forgot. For asking of him some question touching divers persons at Goa, though cautiously lest he should recognise me and denounce me to the Inquisition, and I should thus again come into their hands, he told me of a band of Jesuit missionaries that was sent to convert the savage people of a certain great island lying not far from Java. Of these Paulistins (says my priest), there was one that had shown himself extreme devoted, more than all the rest, and very forward in all the work that was undertook, so that when the savages turned against them and ill-treated them, as they did after the space of some six months, they did torment him in especial with great tortures, which did so work upon his frame that soon after, being rescued by a Spanish ship of war, he died in great suffering and in the odour of sanctity, and the name of this person was Theodorus. Furthermore, it was whispered among the other fathers that this Father Theodorus was wont to use himself thus hardly by reason of a certain monstrous sin that he had once committed, and this (said my priest to me in great confidence), was said to be some inadvertence or lightness of speech of his whereby some heretic had been enabled to escape the punishment due to his evil deeds, but this was gathered only from his sayings on his deathbed, and could not be confirmed. But I, as you may well guess, knew the truth of this matter, though I would not reveal it to my friendly priest, and grieved myself much to think that the good man should have conceived that this piece of kindness needed to be so hardly atoned for. But the priest never knew that he had told his tale to one so closely involved therein, and he left us at his journey’s end without remark.

This, then, was a result of one of my journeys, but I wan’t idle now when at home, even during the slack times of our business at Surat, for I laid up great store of observations touching the Indians and their ways, and also the Europe men settled among ’em, all to be employed later in a way that I shall show you. And in all this I had the help and countenance of my good friend Mr Martin, who displayed as great an alacrity to assist me regain my earliest dispositions as many men’s friends do to lead ’em into ruin, so as I must ever be grateful to him. Likewise among the other gentlemen at the Factory, with but few exceptions, I did find much kindness and friendship, and had also another friend, that was a faithful though a humble one, in my servant Loll Duss. This man, shortly before my leaving Surat, professed himself openly a convert to Christianity, and was admitted into our holy religion with the use of that form set forth of late years for the baptising of natives in our plantations, and suchlike cases. The minister of the Factory had willingly took him into his service when I departed, but such a prodigious affection had this faithful fellow conceived for me, that he must needs forsake his country and friends, and follow me in my return to my native land, whereof I will now unfold to you the particulars.

Now you must know that though I had, as in honour bound, wrestled with and conquered my passion for Madam Heliodora, that was now my friend’s wife, yet this had not wrought in me any reviving of my former affection for my cousin Dorothy. Though I still persisted in my design of marrying her, considering this to be my duty, I had not announced it in my letters to Mr Sternhold, conceiving it to be only just that she should have the chance to find a servant more to her liking, and that loved her better, if she so willed it. Yet I did read with a certain anxiety each epistle of the old lawyer, whereof he writ to me regularly one in the year, and wan’t by no means displeased to perceive therein that my cousin still remained a maid; for, strange though it may appear, yet the thought of a life at Ellswether with this beautiful and virtuous woman for my wife wan’t at all disagreeable to me, though I loved her not. ’Twas a pleasant dream to admire at times, when I had little else to do, and sat alone in my chamber, but so little did it touch my heart that I was content to work on year after year and never seek to go home, until a simple chance awaked some spark in me, and kindled it to a flame. And that you may perceive how this come about, it may be as well for me to relate the substance of a discourse that was had one evening between Mr Martin and myself.

“Ned,” says my friend, when I found him sitting in the gallery outside his chamber on my return from a ride, “have you forgot that to-morrow you must needs declare whether you will accept of the proffer of the agency at Carwar, or not?”

“I han’t forgot it, sir,” says I, “and until to-day ’twas my design to accept on’t, but (though I am almost ashamed to tell it you) I have this evening been led altogether to change my mind.”

“Come!” says he, “sure this is a sudden determination, lad. What hath led you to’t? and what do you purpose to do if you don’t accept of the agency? It an’t every day that such places go a-begging.”

“Well, sir,” says I, “I don’t doubt but you will be prodigious astonished to hear that I feel myself very strongly drawn towards home.”

“Home? England?” saith he. “Why now, Ned, you do indeed astonish me. I can’t blame you, and yet it seems strange you should desire to leave the service so young.”

“Not so monstrous young, sir,” quoth I. “I am thirty-eight years old, under your favour.”

“So you are,” says he. “’Tis twenty years and more since the day I met you upon the landing-place at Swally. But prythee, Ned, tell me, whence come this new plan?”

“Why, sir,” says I, “I am almost ashamed to tell you, as I said. But indeed I was visiting upon our friend Mr Stokes but now, and entered his house suddenly, sending no word of my approach. Coming then into the inner court, I found him at supper with his wife and children (for, as you know, he is married to a country-born woman, half Portugal and half Gentue, and hath several children by her), and they had no time, by reason of my hasty entrance, to retire, as is their custom when his friends appear. And—(but this, sir, must appear to you so strange and foolish that I ask your pardon for’t beforehand) the sight seemed to breed in me a certain longing and desire for such a home of my own, and recalled to me that I might have had such an one now had I wished it, and in fine, it did awake in me a vehement design of returning at once to England and espousing my cousin.”

“So, so!” says Mr Martin, looking upon me jestingly, “is this your mind, lad? Well, Every man knowes where his shooe wrings him, but I’ll own I han’t looked that yours should wring you here. You will wait, I presume, for the Boscobel, that is expected every day at Swally on her homeward voyage, or are your occasions so urgent that you must needs charter a country junk, and perform your journey in her?”

“Sir,” says I, “I perceive that you regard this sudden determination on my part as foolish and laughable, and indeed I can scarce see it otherwise myself. But give me leave to remind you that the purpose for the accomplishing whereof I came hither is much more than performed, for I have long since heard from my attorney that all the burdens and mortgages on my father’s estates are paid off, through the sums that I have remitted to him, and all necessary improvements effected, and now I have a genteel competence assured me from my rents as well as from the moneys I have put out to interest at home and adventured in divers cargoes, &c., here. I have no desire for prodigious wealth, and do now possess more than any of my family has done, though what I have invested here must needs continue to increase, so long as our trade subsist. Why, then, should I tarry longer in the Indies, becoming strange to my own country and growing old and crabbed, when at Ellswether I may live in modest comfort, cheered by the company of one of the best women in the world?”

“Why,” says he, “your argument of your case is mighty convincing. But I pray you remember, Ned, that He that reckons without his host, must reckon twice. What if the lady of whom you speak don’t care to wed you?”

“Oh, but that is understood, sir,” says I.

“Well, Ned,” says he, “go, and may you enjoy all the good fortune you look for. ’Tis well you can disengage yourself from the pursuit of wealth thus early, in the stead of toiling on for the mere sake of toiling, as ’tis with others, and with me amongst ’em. How shall I do without you, lad?”

“Nay, sir,” says I, “come home with me, and sure we will show the world a modern example of that friendship which they say is now passed away.”

“Nay,” said he, “not yet. I have no bride awaiting me, Ned, nor no cause for haste. In five years or so, if it please God, I may come home and pay you a visit. But Surat is as dear a place to me now as any save one, and that I trust to see once more before I die. My parents lie buried there, and one that I had hoped should be all, and more than all, to me that Mrs Brandon is to you, lad. That spot I would fain see again, but little time will be required for that, and I look still to be of some use here. Though Mr Ned Carlyon ben’t my fellow no longer, I may yet find some young writer but newly arrived hither that will bear with an old man’s infirmities and listen to his counsel. But your work lies at Ellswether, Ned, as I see now clearly, and therefore I can but bid you go home to’t immediately. Take time when Time commeth, lest Time steale away.”

Now this advice assorting so well with my inclination, I made haste to follow it, to the extent even of sending in my resignation of my place to Mr President and the Council, and calling in such moneys as I had that I did not design to leave in Mr Martin’s hands. Three days after this sudden determination of mine, the Boscobel did cast anchor in Swally Road, and up come Captain Freeman to the Factory, much moved by the prospect of having my company on his voyage home. ’Twas his last voyage also, says he, for he was growing old, and might no longer depend on his bodily strength in any strait, as he had once done, and therefore he was minded to ask a decent pension from the Company, and with his savings build him a likely house by the riverside down Deptford way, and live there with his old wife, laying down the law to the younger skippers, and shaking his head with the old ones over the new-fangled ways favoured by the officers of his majesty’s dockyard. And here, said he, must I come to visit upon him, and we would smoke a pipe together in an arbour by the water, with the smell of tar and rope all about us, and talk of our former voyages in the Eastern Seas the while we watched the king’s ships floating down with the tide. And I was well pleased to humour my old friend in this simple dream of his, so that we spake on’t many an evening on deck during our voyage. For I was able to make an end of all my occasions before the ship sailed, and therefore embarked in her, with Loll Duss my servant, and many great chests and boxes filled with precious merchandises and strange toys134 that I had lit upon in my travels.

Thus, then, did I bid farewell to that most rich and pleasant town of Surat, and to my fellow-servants of the Company there, that had showed themselves, with scarce any exception, as genteel and agreeable persons as any man need desire for his fellows. And I am right glad now that I departed from East India before this famous city lost her pre-eminence in our trade, the which was given over to that low and sultry island of Bombaim, to the great scandal of all in the Factory. But this, as I have said, happened only after I had left the place.

Now this last voyage of mine with Captain Freeman was a mighty prosperous and agreeable one, so that from the day we left Swally to that wherein we were able with our perspective glasses to discern the white cliffs of our own island, we met with little rough weather, and no calamitous accidents. And on this quietness and lack of danger our captain did much felicitate me, saying that had the pirates and the Barbary rovers, whom he feared, but known of the wealth that I brought home with me, it had gone hard with them if they had not come against us in so great force as to overpower us, when we must all have ended our days as slaves in Algier or Sallee. But this danger, like the others on our path, we passed without encountering ’em, and so arrived safely at Graves-End, and there landed, where I had embarked more than twenty years before, on the third day of October 1684.

Now in London I must needs repair to the Company’s House in Leadenhall Street, and there give some account of myself, delivering, moreover, the letters wherewith I had been charged by Mr President at Surat, and ’twas also only fitting that I should pay my respects to my lord Duke of London, the son of my own learned and virtuous patron; and when these things was done, and likewise much business of my own, with respect to that merchandise I had with me, Captain Freeman would have me visit him at his inn where he lodged, and make the acquaintance of his wife and children. But I can declare to you that I hurried through these duties with the greatest haste in the world, desiring nothing so much as to have ’em over, and so feel myself free to ride into Northamptonshire and seek my own home. For during all our voyage, that longing that had seized me at Surat did but grow stronger and stronger, so that Captain Freeman told me I was like a sailor-lad coming home to his sweetheart, with so great eagerness did I watch for favouring winds and desire the first sight of the shore. And now that I was once more in town, and saw on every side the spots where I had wandered as a lad, with my head full of glory and of Dorothy, the spirit of those past days seemed to return upon me, and I could scarce wait to complete my business before I bid Loll Duss have the horses saddled for a start betimes one morning.

I had been careful to send to Ellswether no word of my coming, for I desired to take my friends by surprise (alas! to what evil discoveries hath this same desire led many!), and now I could scarce bring myself to allow of the needful halts upon the road, nor to refrain from riding our poor beasts to death. I had brought with me only such things as was strictly necessary, that so we might travel the lighter, and had bought two good horses for myself and Loll Duss and our saddle-bags, and our journey wan’t thus a long one, though it seemed so to me. ’Twas on an evening near the end of the month of October that I reached Puckle Acton, and then found myself in such a heat and excitement from being so near my journey’s end that I could not resolve to lie there the night and ride to Ellswether in the morning as I had purposed, but leaving Loll Duss and the horses at the inn, set out to walk thither at once. Now this was a time when the town was very quiet, and the people all agog for news, and ’twas quickly reported amongst ’em that a strange gentleman with a blackamoor servant was arrived at the inn, whereupon there come together a great company of the lower sort for to talk with Loll Duss in the kitchen; but I had bid him tell them nothing, and therefore he feigned not to understand them, so that they were forced to let him alone, though they tried him even with broken English, thinking to make him conceive them easier, so that I laughed to hear them. And before I could get away from the place, come the landlord with a message from certain gentlemen that were wont to spend an hour or two of an evening in the parlour there, asking the favour of my company to drink a bottle of Porto-Porto with ’em; but this I made haste to decline, though with all due civility, saying that I had friends near that ’twas a great concernment to me to see at once. And upon this the landlord, desiring to know who these were, offered to guide me in case I knew not their dwelling; but this also I did refuse, saying to him that I knew my way well.

And thus at last I set out, but found to my surprise that there was so many changes in the town since I had seen it last that I had been well advised to accept of mine host’s offer, for I lost my way in the darkness, and could not find it again. Seeing then an ancient person coming along the street, very reverend in his bearing, and apparelled with an air of great seemliness and prosperity, with his servant carrying a lantern before him, I approached him and asked of him the way to Ellswether, the which he told me very kindly.

“My house lies on that very road, sir,” says he, “and if you’ll give yourself the pains to accompany me thus far, I can direct you from thence with more conveniency than here. Pray, may I ask whether you be charged with any letter or message for the ladies at Ellswether?”

“No letter, sir,” says I, “but a message, maybe.”

“Sir,” says he, looking into my face very hard, “your voice seems known to me, but your features I can’t recall. You will pardon me if I should know you.”

“You may well be pardoned, sir,” says I, “for twenty years’ absence is like to change men beyond recognition.”

“Twenty years?” said he. “Tom, come hither. Sir, pardon my rudeness,” and he took the lantern from the servant’s hand and held it up so as the light thereof fell upon my face. “Why, as I live, ’tis Mr Carlyon! Welcome home, sir; glad I am to be the first to greet your honour in this place.”

“Sure ’tis a happy omen, sir,” says I, “that the first person to greet me should be so tried and faithful a friend as yourself. Pray, how do Mrs Sternhold and your daughters find ’emselves? I trust they are all three in good health?”

“The best of health, sir, I thank you,” said Mr Sternhold, for he it was. “My daughter Sisley is married to Frank Packworth, that your honour was wont to fight with at the Grammar School, but is now my partner, and a very worthy man. Diony dwells still with her mother and me, and is the very light of our eyes.”

“I am rejoiced to hear your good news, sir,” says I. “Pray make my most respectful compliments to the gentlewomen, and assure ’em that I shall find myself impatient until I may be able to renew my acquaintance with ’em.”

“You are very good, sir,” says Mr Sternhold. “May we hope that you are now returned to abide among us as did your honoured father?”

“That is my design,” said I, “though I don’t dare hope to approach my father’s virtues. Will it be surprising to you, sir, to learn that after all my wanderings I am returned to my port of departure, determined to marry my cousin and settle down in my place here?”

“I account, sir, that the question of your honour’s marriage hangs in some slight degree upon Mrs Brandon’s inclinations?” says he, and seemed to hint at something, though what I could not tell.

“Oh, without doubt, sir,” says I, carelessly enough.

“Ah, well,” says Mr Sternhold cautiously, “I can’t pretend to answer for Mrs Brandon’s resentiments,” and with that he stopped, and I could not frame to question him further on the point, though I had fain known whether he sought only to check my too-eager assurance, as had Mr Martin, or whether he did hint obscurely at some actual and apparent rival. But now we were come to Mr Sternhold’s house, and though he would fain have borne me company to the Hall, I would not suffer it, accepting only his proffer of his servant and lantern for to light me thither. And we walking on together—viz., the servant Tom and I—I desired much to question him touching Dorothy, with the view to learn the truth regarding the matter that puzzled me, but refrained, thinking shame to encourage a serving-lad to play the spy on my cousin. Arriving then at the gate, I dismissed him with a present, and went on alone up the fir-walk, remembering how the last time I had rid down it Dorothy had stood and cried to me, saying, “True knight for true lady, Cousin Ned!” With these words of hers in my ears, I rang the bell at the great hall-door, and presently heard the bolts and bars undone within, and an ancient serving-man opened the door a small space, and looked out for to see who was there. And I seeing it to be Miles, that I had known well of old, it was in my mind to play him a trick.

“Who’s there?” says Miles, peering at me, I standing before him on the step.

“An honest traveller,” says I, “with news from East India.”

“This an’t no inn,” says he. “Why not bring your news in the daytime?”

“Because I an’t but just arrived in the town,” quoth I. “Prythee, good fellow, let me in, and give me speech of Mrs Brandon, for I am come to bring her word of an old friend.”

“From the Indies?” saith he, opening the door wider. “Why, then, give me your message, so I may take it to Mrs Dorothy, and ask her if she will please to see you.”

“Nay,” says I, “I’ll give my message to none but Mrs Brandon herself.”

“I see you are an impudent fellow,” says he. “If I may not serve you, sure you may go whistle for Mrs Brandon, for I won’t disturb her nigh upon supper-time for to come to the door on a fool’s errand.”

“You lack a master here, indeed!” said I, in some heat, but ceased suddenly, for I beheld a lady come down the great oaken staircase, who stood still on a sudden at the sound of our wrangling, and looked towards us. As she stood there, holding a great candlestick of silver in her hand, I could almost have thought her a painted portrait, framed in the doorway of the gallery behind her, so clearly could I mark her gown of flowered tabby and black satin petticoat, her dark hair curled under a high cap with lace, and even the silver buckles on her shoes. Though I could see all this so well, ’twas but for a moment that she stood thus, her face wearing a quick, eager look, then came down the stairs, and setting her candle on the table, came towards us.

“What is this, Miles?” says she. “Why do you keep this gentleman at the door?”

Gentleman do you say, madam?” says Miles, very angry, and would have grumbled on, but she cut him short and turned to me—

“Sir, I entreat of you to pardon this incivility, and to give yourself the pain to come within. You have a message for one here, I believe. May I ask whether your business lie with Mrs Skipwith or myself?”

“I count, madam,” says I, “that I have the honour of speaking with Mrs Brandon? This being so” (and she made a sign of assent), “I may tell you that I am come from the Indies, and that I have been asked to bring you news of the welfare of your cousin, Mr Edward Carlyon.”

“You are my cousin’s friend, without doubt, sir?” says she. “Pray give us the happiness of your company to supper, and let us know all your news. My friend Mrs Skipwith will rejoice to hear it as well as I.”

“Madam,” says I, “your commands is too agreeable not to be obeyed,” and thereupon I followed her into the parlour, where was an old gentlewoman sitting, dressed very seemly in black, with a white cap and handkercher.

“Madam,” says Dorothy, “this gentleman is a friend of Mr Carlyon’s, that is come from the Indies with news of him. Sir, allow me to present you to Mrs Sophronia Skipwith.”

“Sir,” says Mrs Skipwith, when I had saluted her very civilly, “any friend of Mr Carlyon can’t but be always welcome to us. Dorothy, my dear, pray bid Miles hasten with the supper.”

Being invited by Mrs Skipwith, I sat down beside her, discovering that she was grown very deaf and that her eyes were become dim, and did set myself, when Dorothy was returned, to answer their questions in the best way I might. They would fain know when I saw Mr Carlyon last, how he looked, whether he had any thought of returning soon to England, and the like, and these all wan’t troublesome to answer. But presently Mrs Skipwith saith all on a sudden—

“And pray, sir, is Mr Carlyon yet wedded?”

I would not choose to look at Dorothy, but I saw her start and catch her breath, and made haste to reply—

“Mr Carlyon hath altogether abandoned the hopes he once cherished in a certain very high quarter, madam. The lady to whose hand he pretended hath for some years past been the wife of another.”

“Ah,” says Mrs Skipwith, with an air of much contentment, “hath she jilted him, sir? No doubt ’twas the best thing could happen to him. ’Tis ever a mistake for young persons to look too high in marriage. Not that I would say”—she seemed to remember that she must needs uphold the honour of the house to a stranger—“that a French countess is over high for a Carlyon of Ellswether, but when——”

“An’t you afraid of wearying this gentleman with our family matters, dear madam?” says Dorothy quickly, as though she feared what the old gentlewoman might say next; “should we not do well to speak of things more entertaining to him? But here is Miles to tell us supper is ready. Sure we must delay for a time the rest of our discourse.”

And in truth, there stood Miles at the door, still glum enough of aspect from his late defeat, and announced supper. Then I, by no means loath to escape from the questions that I found wellnigh as disagreeable as did Dorothy, did offer my hand to Mrs Skipwith for to lead her into the dining-room, my cousin following. The chamber was still altogether as I remembered it, save that the portraits in little135 of my father and mother hung now on either side of the chimney. The table was set as I had always been wont to see it, with the state and dignity that my father had accounted essential to his quality, and covers was laid for Mrs Skipwith and Dorothy at the head and foot, and for me at the side. Noting this, I handed Mrs Skipwith to her seat, and turned to lead Dorothy to hers. She accepted of the civility, but when we reached the place, dropped my hand suddenly, and with a courtesy—

“Take your own place, Cousin Ned,” says she.

Then, as I can assure you, there was a noise indeed. Mrs Skipwith weeping and laughing both together, and crying out that ’twas a mighty pretty piece of fooling, and she had known the truth all along (which indeed she had not, nor even guessed it distantly), and Miles begging my pardon and cursing himself for his dulness, and then crying out to the other servants that the young master was come home, until they all come for to see the sight—cook and maids and the boy that helped in the garden, and all—and wept and talked and remarked upon me until I was fain to shake hands with ’em all round and to send ’em back to their kitchen, saying that I was hungry and desired my supper. But first I saluted a second time Mrs Skipwith, that did weep over me again, and call Miles to witness that when I was a young urchin newly sent to school she had prophesied that I should be just the man I was to-day. And then I came to Dorothy, that sat in her place by the table, very white and pale, and though I would fain have took and kissed her as I had been used to do, I durst not offer it, so noble and unbending was her air, but kissed instead on’t the hand she held forth to me, and felt that this was above my deserts. So then we sat down to supper, a right merry party, for Dorothy had thrown aside her ceremony and talked and laughed with the best, so that she seemed to me to be indeed again the little cousin that I had loved so long before; but in all her mirth this I noted, namely, that she would not meet my eye, and when she found me looking at her, turned away her head as though displeased. And this caused me some slight apprehension, remembering Mr Sternhold’s words; but I did quickly put it aside, being resolved to enjoy to the full this the first night of my return to my ancient home.

Now after supper we returned again to the parlour, and talked there until it was late, and the more my eye rested upon Dorothy, and the more I heard her speak, the more she seemed to me to be the same as ever, and never to have lost her former place in my heart. But when I would have showed somewhat of this in my discourse, calling her “Little cousin,” and “Sweet Doll,” I was grieved to perceive that she turned from me again, as showing that she had no liking for such familiar fashions of address. But this, says I to myself, was doubtless but the effect of our long absence and estrangement one from the other, and after that I had bid her good night, I did thank God for the prospect of happiness opening before me, not knowing that I was about to pass through some of the sorest trouble of my life. But nevertheless, this I did perceive, that whereas it had seemed to me when in East India, and even on the voyage and since I was arrived in England, easy enough to offer to Dorothy myself and my lands, though without my love, yet now this should seem to me, as to her, an outrage, and I determined with myself to wait and say naught until she should know me better.

Chapter XVII

Of My Setting to Reap the Harvest I Had Sown

Now in pursuance of this resolve of mine, I did determine to watch and study Dorothy, and so to perceive how I might best recommend myself to her favour. And with this view I did take care to spend great part of my time in company with her and Mrs Skipwith, hearing from them of all the changes that had took place since my departure, and telling them such things as they desired to know touching East India and my travels there. But since I had begun this procedure as a matter of calculation and prudence, I was surprised, when no long time had passed, to find myself hanging upon my cousin’s least word, and seizing every occasion of offering myself as her cavaliero. And perceiving this, I was startled. “Can this,” says I to myself, “be all repentance towards Dorothy for my former hard usage of her? and if it ben’t that, what is’t? Come now,” says I, “let me examine and see how I should regard her were I but to fall in with her in company as a stranger, and what resentiments I should entertain towards her.”

And this I set myself to do, but in the course on’t Dorothy did discover so many new beauties, both of person and of heart, that I was long in the doing; but setting down coldly all my observations, this is the sum of them.

She was of an excellent middle stature, neither low nor over-high, and in all her motions an easy sprightliness that compared well even with the slow grace of Madam Heliodora. Her eyes was dark, bright, and piercing, her hair not far removed from black, her complexion of the last degree of loveliness, mingling, as it did, the pleasing tints of the lily and the rose. But you could not rightly admire her features for your admiration of the mind that informed them, and rather than her face you would observe her mien of sweet contentment, such as a good conscience and a worthy life alone can furnish, though overspread with an air of chastened melancholy, which did but contribute to enhance her charms.

And this also I perceived during this time, that whereas Mrs Skipwith was never backward to ask questions of me, and likewise to pass her judgment on those things I told her, Dorothy spake little, but such words as she did say, was marked with such sense and gravity as did charm me mightily, reminding me at first of Madam Heliodora. But I soon perceived a great difference between these two ladies, yet such as wrought in no way to the disadvantage of either. For Madam Heliodora had been wont to utter her thought in its fulness, with a certain noble modesty, and yet with assurance, as knowing it was well worth our hearing, and that she had the right to say all she desired; but with Dorothy I had always the belief that she uttered only some small portion of her thought, and that there was much more behind, the which ’twould indeed enrich me to hear, could I but win upon her to give it forth. But this with all my art I could not attain unto, which did tease and allure me mightily, making me cry to myself, “Sure how happy will be that person to whom Dorothy shall open her whole heart!” and more and more did I learn to desire that it might fall to me to be that person.

But, strange though it may appear to you, the more I grew to value at their proper price my cousin’s beauties of mind and heart, the further from her I seemed to be,--nay, I was become so low and mean in my own sight, that that proposition which I had designed to make her, and which I had postponed on my first returning, lest the coldness on’t should shock her sensibilities, seemed now to me so rude and insulting as I might not dare to offend her ears therewith. For, says I to myself, how can I say calmly to such a woman as this, that I have wasted the best part of my life in a passion for that which belonged to another, and that all love is dead in my heart, and yet ask her to share with me my dignity and wealth, out of consideration for an ancient contract that I myself was the first to set aside? Sure ’twere profaneness and sacrilege to speak to a creature like this of marriage without love. Let me rather, says I, try to discover what manner of life, and shared with what person, she should esteem most to her taste, and endeavour to secure it for her, and then live out the remainder of my lonely existence happy in her happiness. But the more I reasoned thus with myself, the more I felt that that ideal or phantasm of wedded life that had presented itself to me at Surat was the only thing that could promise me earthly happiness, and that, without Dorothy were mine, this ideal could never be. And though I chid my foolish heart almost hourly, demanding on’t now how I could be so insensible as not to love a creature of such transcendent excellence, and now how could I expect to love her when love and the power thereof was dead within me, yet my resentiments were never a whit diminished in this way, but rather increased, so that I walked abroad daily in a mighty turmoil and confusion of mind, until that chanced which confirmed the fear that had been aroused in my heart by Mr Sternhold’s words on our first meeting.

For ’twas my custom at this time to ride over a certain part of my estates every day, visiting the farmers and cottagers and making myself known to ’em, and everywhere I received the greatest kindness and a prodigious warm welcome, and many also, hearing that I wan’t wedded to any gentlewoman in foreign parts, believed me to be returned with the intent to marry Dorothy, and so encouraged me thereto, heaping many blessings on her head. Now one afternoon, when I was returning from such a visit as this, I felt a desire for solitude and communing with myself, and so sent my horse back to Ellswether by Loll Duss, that rid after me, and walked on by myself. But I wan’t doomed to enjoy my solitude long, for scarce had I walked a quarter of a mile before I heard the sound of wheels in the mire, and looking back, saw a neat coach come along behind me, with a lady beckoning to me with her fan from the window on’t. And I going to see what she would have with me, found her to be my ancient acquaintance, Mrs Packworth, and with her Mrs Sternhold her mother, and not having yet seen either of these gentlewomen since my return, save only in church, they did desire of me to come into the coach with ’em, and they would carry me home, while I told them concerning myself and my travels. And this I wan’t by no means loath to do, finding my single meditations little comforting, and so entered the coach and sat opposite to them, and for a time we were very merry, the two gentlewomen asking me questions, and I answering them.

And when all their questions was done, I said to them that ’twas my turn to ask, and they consenting that this was only fair, I did begin; but no sooner had I touched, though in the most delicate way imaginable, upon Dorothy, than Mrs Sternhold looked upon me as though grieved and astonished for the hardness of my heart, and Mrs Packworth seemed all at once to become angry and contemptuous of me.

“Come, sir,” says she, “sure you need discover no interest in Mrs Brandon, for we all know that you have resigned all pretension to her.”

“Sisley, my dear daughter!” says her mother, but Mrs Packworth would not agree to withdraw from her position. “An’t it true?” she says to me.

“Madam,” says I, “perhaps you’ll allow me, speaking in confidence, to say that ’tis possible for any person to repent of his early sins and follies, and, having been duly punished for ’em, to do his best to amend ‘em.”

“I presume, sir, that Mrs Brandon’s inclinations will carry some weight in such a matter?” cries she, just as had her father.

“I think, madam,” says I, “that you can scarce deem me likely to wish to force Mrs Brandon’s inclinations? Nevertheless, ’tis allowable in me to cherish a hope that, while demanding no more favour at starting than any other person, I may be able to show my regret for my former carriage, and perhaps in due time to enlist her heart in my cause.”

“And in what kind of cause is that?” says she. “Can you dare to hope, sir, can you even wish, that Mrs Brandon should give her heart into the keeping of a person that han’t so much as a heart, though never such a poor one, to give her in return, since his own was lost in foreign parts long ago? Nay, madam,” for her mother was showing herself desirous to arrest her in her discourse, “prythee let me speak. ’Tis but just that Mr Carlyon should hear the truth. There an’t none at the Hall will tell it him, and ’tis well he should know how Mrs Dorothy’s friends regard him. Pray, sir, do you think that Mrs Brandon is your property, like your horse or your blackamoor, that having once cast her aside, you may gain her again at your conveniency?”

“Indeed, madam,” quoth I, “I am but too much sensible of my faithless and evil conduct in the past, and yet at times I entertain such confidence in Mrs Brandon’s gentle and forgiving spirit as I am almost ready to believe she will admit me to her favour again upon assurance of my sincere repentance.”

Now this indeed was that very thing whereof I was perpetually doubting nowadays, and nothing was further from my intention than to make such a boast, but yet I could not resist giving utterance thereto, being somewhat heated by Mrs Packworth’s condemnation of me. But she was a better fighter than I.

“Welladay!” she cries, “that I should live to hear a gentleman affirm coolly that he desires and expects a lady to receive him into her favour when not only he don’t offer her any love, but glories in having none to offer!”

“In truth, madam,” says I, mighty uncomfortable, “you know more of my heart than I, for it is so prodigiously tumbled up and down that no pains will enable me to read it aright.”

“Is that so, sir?” saith she. “Then pray listen to me, for I have that to tell you which shall quickly resolve your doubts as to the nature of your resentiments for Mrs Brandon. Two or three minutes back you seemed (though little as if you feared any such thing) to remember that ’twas possible Mrs Brandon might entertain other views for the disposal of her hand. Now thus much I can tell you, that there is a certain gentleman in whose cause her heart is very deeply engaged, so much so, that I am well assured she should never entertain with pleasure a proposition of marriage from any other. And I don’t say this out of malice only, for ’tis absolute truth, as my mother will assure you.”

“And this gentleman’s name?” said I, with an air of as great calmness as I could assume, though it seemed to me as if a sudden thick darkness were spread all around me.

“That I must not tell you,” says she. “Nay, mother, I’ll not have you speak, if you please. What! shall we betray Mrs Dorothy’s confidence that she hath reposed in us?”

“I can’t tell,” said I, though slowly and with difficulty, “who this person may be. Hath he visited upon my cousin since my return?”

“Not since your return, sir,” saith Mrs Pack worth mighty demurely, but with something of mystery in her air that I could not understand.

“I must needs inquire his intention,” says I, scarce knowing what I said.

“Sure, sir,” says Mrs Sternhold, “your best course were to inquire of Mrs Brandon herself. She would be little like to relish our making a common talk of her matters, but she could scarce refuse to grant you such satisfaction as you may desire touching ’em from her own lips.”

“I must needs follow your counsel, madam,” says I. “Meanwhile, may I entreat of you and Mrs Packworth to dispense here with my further attendance? I see we are arrived at the path leading to the Hall through the woods, and I would fain hasten home.”

Thus speaking, and making apologies that I understood not while I did utter ’em, I left the coach, standing uncovered until it was departed, and hearing the voices of the two gentlewomen in contention, as though Mrs Sternhold desired to tell me that which her daughter had refused me. I could not doubt but they were triumphing over me, but I cared not a whit for their triumph. Though they had done no more, they had at the least fulfilled their purpose, in showing me my own heart, and they had doubtless rejoiced to have beheld me hasten into the wood, and cast myself, in my anguish, on the ground. And this because Mrs Packworth’s discourse had revealed to me on a sudden that I had misread my resentiments, and that, so far from my heart’s being dead, it was alive, and loved Dorothy. And this seemed to me so ironical a stroke of fate that I groaned aloud, namely, that when she had been free and waiting for me I had rejected her, but that now, when her love was given to another, I was returned, and had learned to love her. Thus I could not deny that I was rightly served, and could blame no one but myself, that had behaved so foolishly both in the one case and in the other.

And this led me to perceive that ’twould be prodigious unjust in me to cause Dorothy and her servant to suffer for either the one or the other of my faults, and that ’twas my duty to give all my pains henceforth to render them happy. And this arrived at, I did rise up from the ground, somewhat ashamed of this outburst of unmanly despair, and did turn my steps towards home, revolving many things in my mind. For I determined that if Dorothy’s unknown servant should prove a convenient match for her, as I could scarce doubt but he should, I would see them safely married and resign to them Ellswether for to dwell in, and return myself with Loll Duss to East India, entreating the Company to have me appointed to Bombaim or Bengali, whither few do go by choice, these places being esteemed deadly for the English. And musing upon these plans, I could not resist comparing ’em with my joyous anticipations in returning home, and bewailing myself therefor, and so wandered on (having forgot that I had told Mrs Packworth I must needs hasten home), until the darkness began to overtake me while I was yet in the wood. And upon this I made haste to find the right path, fearing lest it should become pitch-dark, and I miss my road. Hastening on, then, in the way I had chosen, I saw in front of me the form of a woman wrapped in a hooded cloak, hurrying very fast as though in fear. I could scarce believe my eyes, but yet to me that shape wan’t to be mistook, and I come up with the woman quickly, and touched her on the arm. She turned round with a face that was white even in the twilight, but cried out with delight for to see me.

“Oh, Ned, ’tis only you!” she said, and took my hand, for all the world as though we had been children together again.

“What do you here, cousin, at this hour and alone?” said I.

“I have been to see Jobson’s wife,” says she, “and to carry her some broth.”

“Jobson the poacher?” says I.

“Ay,” says she, “but poachers’ wives have need of meat and physic as well as other men’s.”

“I don’t chide you for that, cousin,” says I, “but for your coming here alone. ’Tis commonly known that Jobson is a rude and dangerous fellow, and much given to strong liquors, and I would not have you fall in with him when he is in his cups. Sure Miles should have been with you, with a lantern and a cudgel.”

“He was ready to come,” said she, “but I preferred to be alone, and so bid him go back.”

“Would Mrs Skipwith approve of this, cousin?” I asked.

“I never asked her,” says Dorothy. “I an’t a small child, Cousin Ned, to be bid where to go, and chid for all I do.”

“No, indeed,” says I. “I can well remember, Doll, the time when Mrs Skipwith was governess to you, but now you do seem to me to govern her.”

She laughed, yet not all pleasantly. “I am well ruled, none the less,” said she.

“And it seems to me that it an’t unneeded,” says I. “See you here, cousin, if you find it irksome to be without any fellow136 save Mrs Skipwith, I will endeavour to seek out some young damsel of agreeable conditions that shall bear you company, and assist you to divert yourself; but since you are in my house, I must beg that you won’t walk abroad unless attended suitably to your quality. Sure you must perceive that this is only right.”

But Dorothy snatched her hand from mine, and walked on with her head held high, as she had done when we had last passed through this wood together.

“’Tis very courteously done in you, to remind me of my situation as a dependent in your house, cousin,” she cried, and stopped as though too angry to continue.

“Cousin,” says I, “your are unjust toward me. I desire naught save your honour and advantage,” but she would not vouchsafe neither to answer me nor speak to me, and we came home in silence. And all that evening would she scarce say a word to me, nor even look at me. And though you would think that I should rejoice in this, inasmuch as ’twould enable me the more easily to conquer my love for her, yet it wan’t so, but I must needs offer all the courtesies in my power, and follow her with my eyes, silently demanding pardon for my unwitting offending of her. But all this moved her not a whit, so that I went to bed very unhappy, but loving her more than ever.

And the next day, which was prodigious wet and stormy, Dorothy busied herself all the morning with the maids up-stairs, scrubbing and cleaning and doing other such things, and raising such a noise and dust as that she was fain at dinner-time to abide in her own chamber, saying that she was attacked with a fit of the megrims.137 And after dinner, the weather mending somewhat, I rid out after my usual fashion, with Loll Duss behind me, very unhappy by reason of the damp, and I much more unhappy, by reason of the turmoil in my mind. But coming in after dark, prodigious weary and miserable, I found an agreeable surprise to await me, for casting myself with a sigh upon the oaken settle beside the great fire in the hall, thinking no one to be near me, I did behold Dorothy sitting opposite to me in the shadow, when my eyes grew accustomed to the light.

“You han’t been abroad to-day, cousin?” said I.

“No,” said she. “Mrs Skipwith is gone to drink a dish of thea with Mrs Sternhold, and Miles is attending upon her.”

“I’ll wait upon you with pleasure, cousin, whithersoever you may desire,” says I, “and esteem it an honour if you’ll accept of my services.”

“I thank you, cousin,” says she, “but I han’t no list to walk abroad to-night.”

And with that we were silent again, I watching Dorothy curiously when the firelight revealed her face to me, and wondering whether I might now trust myself to ask her concerning her servant. But on a sudden my eyes lit upon a certain great old book in a brown binding that lay beside her on the settle, half hid by her gown, and stretching out my hand I took it up.

“Why, here is the ‘Arcadia’! “ says I, undoing the silver clasps. “Have you been diverting yourself with the pretty fancies of the gentle knight, cousin?”

“I chanced upon the old book up-stairs this morning,” says she, “and brought it hither for to recall old days withal.”

“Suffer me also to recall ’em,” says I, and opening the book, sought out that pathetical piece of the parting of Argalus and Parthenia, over the which we had so often mingled our tears when we was children, and thereafter the moving scene wherein Parthenia is slain by Amphialus, the which did draw tears from Dorothy even now. And as for me, I found it hard to read, for the remembrance of the early days was so strong upon me that I conceived a double meaning in all the words, seeing Dorothy in Parthenia when she cries to Argalus, saying, Woe is me; what shall become of me, if you thus abandon me? And in this I wan’t alone, for I perceived that my cousin was much moved by those other words of Parthenia—viz., O Life, O Death, answer for me, that my thoughts have not so much as in a dreame tasted any comfort since they were depriv’d of Argalus. “Sure,” says I to myself, “I am a worse murderer than ever was Amphialus, and should experience a greater remorse, since I have slain that sweet love and confidence that my cousin once reposed in me.” But this was when I had ended my reading, and Dorothy was wiping away her tears.

“’Tis all one as though we was children again,” she said, as though excusing herself. “We have sat here so often just as now, and you have read Argalus and Parthenia by the firelight.”

“I have wished more than once, cousin,” says I, “that we might be Polyxandra and Cleombrocles again, with all our troubles but a phantasy.”

“And so have I,” she said, and was silent, and neither she nor I spake one word for some time. Then Dorothy rose up suddenly.

“’Tis a foolish wish, cousin,” says she. “We an’t babes now, but man and woman grown, and as our lives are, so we have made ’em, and so they must be lived.”

And thus saying, she left me, I feigning still to read in the old book, but seeing none of the words in its pages. For I knew that my cousin was not wont to be thus difficult and bitter, as in these last two days, except upon occasion, and I could well conceive that this occasion arose upon the trouble in which she found herself with regard to her servant, she not knowing whether I would entertain his suit with favour or not. I being then mighty grieved to cause so much sorrow not only to myself but to her, did determine to learn from Mrs Skipwith this gentleman’s name and quality, and so invite him to visit me, when I might endeavour so to order matters as to lead to their happiness. But as it chanced, I could do no more that night, for there come from London by waggon all my heavy chests of toys and suchlike bought in the Indies, and I had much ado to stow them all away. I was minded at first to open them, but in the first that come to hand was there naught but jewellery and other furniture that I had bought with an eye to Dorothy, at that time when I so foolishly and presumptuously believed that if I did but return home and ask her, she should be ready to marry me on the instant. And these I could not now bear to see, both from the shame and the sorrow that possessed me, so that I thrust ’em back into their box, and had ’em all put out of sight at once. And after that was there only time for my one game of chess with Mrs Skipwith, and then to bed, very weary and prodigious unhappy.

And in the morning, reflecting that when a disagreeable piece of business is to be done, it were as well done sooner as later, I sought Mrs Skipwith at an hour when I knew that Dorothy was wont to be in the kitchen or the still-room overlooking the maids. And first of all I made her a compliment upon my cousin’s figure and her good breeding, saying that sure no country lady had ever such elegant manners before. But this, says I, was evidently to be traced to the excellence of her instructress in the same line. And at this Mrs Skipwith smiled and bridled, conceiving herself highly flattered, and declared that she and Mrs Sternhold had ofttimes said one to another that ’twas a thousand pities that so divine a creature should be so little seen and admired.

“Do I understand you to intend, madam,” says I, “that my cousin han’t seen no genteel company, such as her quality and her breeding alike fit her to adorn?”

“Nay, sir,” says Mrs Skipwith, “there is several gentlewomen, the ladies of persons of substance in the county, that have shown ’emselves prodigious kind to Mrs Brandon, and I have often waited upon her to their houses. ’Twas your honoured father’s desire that she should enjoy all the diversion she might properly obtain, and this in especial after that letter of your honour’s come from that French place,—some Popish name it had, but I have forgot it. But, as I was a-saying, Sir Harry says to me, on his receiving this letter, that Mrs Dorothy must needs have her chance, for ’twas indeed her right, and if she should meet with any gentleman of suitable fortune that wan’t disagreeable to her, he would not keep ’em from marrying. And sure she had her chance, if ever a young damsel did, for there wan’t a gentleman in these parts (that was unwedded, I would say) that did not seek her company, and there was very many made proposals of marriage to Sir Harry for her.”

“And pray, madam,” says I, groaning within myself to perceive how many were desirous to obtain the treasure that I had been so ready to cast away, “in the cause of which of these gentlemen was my cousin’s heart the most engaged?”

“Why, sir, for none of ’em,” quoth she very quickly, as though in astonishment; “not even my Lord Harmarthwaite nor my lord Duke of London (that are both wedded now, and very high indeed), could touch her heart. The second (as I know, for Sir Harry told me on’t, though Mrs Brandon never a word) was very urgent with her to wed him, saying that she was designed by nature to be the star of the Court, and not to be lost here in the country, but she thanked him very modestly for the honour he had wished to do her, and begged him to pardon her refusing his proposals. And touching my Lord Harmarthwaite, I think Mr Sternhold writ to you, sir, for he was very well affected towards him, and thought Mrs Brandon a fool for her pains in refusing him.”

“Then,” said I, cursing myself once again for my folly in rejecting the happiness that had once been mine for the asking, “I must ask you, madam, to make clear for me a certain matter. ’Tis told me that my cousin entertains a preference for a gentleman whose name is unknown to me. Who is this person? and where did Mrs Brandon fall in with him if not in company?”

But upon this Mrs Skipwith seemed confused and out of countenance.

“I’ll answer for’t that she han’t met with him in company,” was all I might prevail upon her to say.

“But pray, madam,” says I, “how am I to discover this gentleman if you won’t be good enough to tell me his name? Must I ask it of my cousin herself?”

“Sir,” says she, “I can’t doubt but you’ll find that your best course, for I hold no authority to give you any news of this person.”

“Pray, madam,” says I, somewhat angry, “am I to understand that my cousin hath forbid you to touch on this topic with me?”

“Truly, sir,” quoth she, “you wan’t far wrong in understanding that I am promised to tell you naught of Mrs Dorothy’s private matters.”

“But surely, madam,” said I, “the mere name of her servant——”

“And pray, sir, an’t that Mrs Dorothy’s private matter?” says she, and I could not deny it. Wherefore I found myself compelled to resort to Dorothy herself for that I did desire to know, since none of her friends would vouchsafe to tell it me, and this I did most especially dread, lest in treating of her love I should reveal my own, and thus disturb and trouble her. But since this measure could not be avoided, I resolved that it should be undertook on the morrow, and so rid abroad a long way in the afternoon, seeking to escape from myself and my own thoughts, and succeeding not at all in either design. Then in the evening, having twice begun my game of chess with Mrs Skipwith, and been routed with great loss, so that she declared I was surely losing my intellectuals, and I was fain to believe the same, I left trying to play, and sat in a corner staring at Dorothy, not knowing that I did it until I saw her turn from red to white and change countenance before me. And upon this I was mightily ashamed, and leaving the parlour, went out into the stormy night, and began walking up and down the fir-walk in the darkness by myself, hearing the branches of the trees creak in the wind overhead, and watching, though without any purpose of so doing, the dark clouds scud across the face of the moon. And thus walking, I did begin to rebuke myself very heartily.

“Come, Ned Carlyon,” says I to myself, “is this your courtesy towards this poor woman, to stare her out of countenance until she can’t so much as lift her eyes in your presence? An’t it your desire to carry yourself as a gentleman, as the person that loves Dorothy Brandon (though without any hope of winning her favour) should do? What right have you, that owe all your miseries to your own blindness, to endeavour to involve her in ’em? Be a man, and find your happiness in hers. If the contemplation of so lovely and gracious a creature enjoying all the felicity that she deserves can’t content you, you are a sorry fellow, and the more that ’tis in your own power in some measure to bring about and ensure this felicity. Be thankful, then, for that, and accept of your troubles as your rightful punishment. Remember the sweetness and cheerfulness wherewith the viscount, your friend, endured the long separation from his love—nay, the noble constancy and equanimity of Madam Heliodora herself—and model your actions upon ‘em.”

Thus then I reasoned with myself, but only arrived at remembering that the viscount and Madam Heliodora were confident each in the other’s constancy, and might look forward to a time when this should be rewarded, which I might not do. And so, little comforted, to bed, resolving to speak with Dorothy on the morrow. And in the morning, being purposed not to suffer her to escape me, I laid wait for her on the stairs, when she come down with a great posy of dry lavender in her hand, intended, as I suppose, for some use in her household economy, and begged of her to come with me into the garden. And this entreaty she granted (though not without some alarm, as it seemed to me), and tying quickly a great straw hat over her cap, she threw a scarf about her shoulders, and joined me, when we walked along the terrace-walks in the pleasure-garden. Now the night had been extreme boisterous, and the wind had torn from the trees the few fading leaves that were left them, so that they lay about our feet golden and brown and red, or fluttered feebly upon the grass lawn.

Sure this is a picture of my life,” says I, looking upon ’em; “a stormy dawn, ending in desolation, and more storms to come.”

“Nay, cousin,” says Dorothy, “you have tarried so long in the Indies that you have forgot your English weather-wisdom. By the tokens of the sky I prophesy a fair day and a calm sunset.”

“Be it so,” said I. “The omen is yours, cousin, and I am glad on’t, though the compassing your happiness may mean my further undoing.”

“You speak in riddles, cousin,” says she, looking at me with some indignation.

“I hope,” says I, “that my cousin Dorothy believes that I set her happiness above my own.”

“And I hope,” says she, “that my cousin Ned don’t think so meanly of me as to believe that I would buy my happiness at the cost of his.”

“Alas, Doll!” says I, “you would not, but it an’t any longer in your power to buy or refuse. And this very matter is’t that I would fain treat with you this morning. I had been better pleased to have settled it all to your liking without troubling you thereabout, but all your friends do show ’emselves so prodigious tender of your punctilio that they will none of ’em tell me that which ’tis needful for me to know. I ask your pardon beforehand, cousin, if I offend you in this straightforward dealing, in spite of all my precaution.”

“Pray tell me your meaning, cousin Ned,” says she, as though perplexed.

“I am told, cousin,” said I, “that there’s a certain gentleman addressing you, in whose suit your heart is deeply engaged. Pray pardon my roughness” (for she seemed to be about to say somewhat, but her face was turned away from me and I could not see it, wherefore I did continue), “but sure you must know that I desire above all things your good, and would fain see you happy with this gentleman, though it were to prove my own perpetual misery.”

“Pray, cousin,” says she, with a sound as of a sob in her voice, “an’t you a little hard towards a person that can scarce have injured you? Sure the poor man’s happiness need not inconvenience you, nor far less cause you perpetual misery.”

“Nay, Dorothy,” I cried, amazed at her misreading of me, “you are unjust towards me, and to clear myself I must needs reveal that which I had determined to keep hid. At least pity me, for though I have wronged you, yet now I am punished for’t. If I have despised you in my blindness, I have learned to love you when too late, and have been given to know my love in vain. The victory lies with you, cousin, only use it mercifully. ’Tis my desire to show myself not unworthy of loving you, and I would not prove a churl. I hope yet to see you happily wedded to your servant, and settled here at Ellswether, if this should please you, for I purpose returning again to East India.”

“Ned, my dear cousin!” she cried, turning upon me her eyes full of tears, “but why not remain here?”

“Nay,” said I, “I an’t a stone, Dorothy, and I fear lest my melancholical humour should cloud your happiness. But let that pass. You know, cousin, that though I han’t any real authority over you, yet in the eyes of the world I am your guardian, and that it rests with me to order all things with your servant. Tell me his name, then, if you please, that so I may have some commerce with him.”

“But that I can’t tell you—no, never,” says Dorothy, beginning to twist the edge of her scarf with her fingers.

“An’t this an excess of sensibility, cousin?” said I.

“But how can I?” says she, very red. “Sure you are too hard upon me, Cousin Ned. A plague on all those good people that meddle in my matters! Here’s a pretty pass they have brought me to.”

“Surely, cousin,” said I, “only his name, to give me to know who he is?”

“Ask yourself, sir,” says Dorothy, and runs away from me, leaving me as much at a loss as ever. And no further occasion did she vouchsafe me for to inquire of her, for she was among the maids all morning, and at dinner she sat with eyes cast down and blushing face, nor never looked at me once, so that after I did go out in despair.

Chapter XVIII

Of My Attaining My Desired Haven after Long Trial of Stormy Seas

Now after dinner I did set out as usual upon my ride, but I was come no further than to Puckle Acton when I found that my horse had cast a shoe. And for this there was evidently naught to be done save to chide Loll Duss for his not looking better to his duty, and to bid him carry the horse at once to the smithy and have the blacksmith look to him, while as I walked on by myself. And after walking through the town and turning back, I came by another way to Mr Sternhold’s house, and there found Mrs Diony in the garden, with a scarf thrown over her cap, overseeing the gardener that was at work sweeping up the dead leaves and broken twigs on the paths. Now Mrs Diony was ever my favourite of Mr Sternhold’s two daughters, and had been wont to show great kindness to Dorothy and myself in our childhood, so that it seemed to me that she might give me some help in my perplexity. And for this reason I wan’t sorry when she, coming to the gate for to inquire of me concerning Mrs Skipwith’s disease in her eyes, that was become an extraordinary great trouble to her of late, begged of me to come within, saying that she had scarce so much as caught sight of me since my return. Now after some discourse had betwixt us on indifferent topics, she did begin to rally me upon my mournful looks, saying that it wan’t by no means becoming to a gentleman but just come home to a fair estate and a sufficient fortune to bear such a melancholical air. And upon this I did open to her my trouble, showing her how my fair estate and my sufficient fortune was as naught to me without the woman that might have been mine had I not slighted her, and passing that over, pointed out how that all my plans for my cousin’s happiness were made of no avail by this strange conspiracy wherein all her friends were entered for to keep her servant’s name a secret.

“Ay,” says Mrs Diony, “I have heard something on’t from my sister Packworth.”

“All the world knows on’t save myself,” says I. “Pray, madam, do me the favour to tell me the gentleman’s name.”

And here I thought I must have success at last, but Mrs Diony shook her head, and looked at me with an air of pleasantry.

“I scarce think Mrs Brandon would be well pleased if I so did,” says she. “No, sir, take the advice of one that knows your cousin as well, I may say, as any, and put your question to her again. I believe I don’t err in saying that she regrets this misunderstanding as much as yourself, and I would counsel you to take her apart as soon as you can, and ask her what you desire to know, refusing to let her depart until she have given you an answer.”

“’Tis passing strange,” says I, “that all my acquaintance should combine to keep me in the dark concerning such a simple matter. But I’ll follow your counsel, madam, though I had fain evaded another privy talk with my cousin, for this perpetual pleading in favour of another person is become very irksome to me, and I care little to be forced to work so long at perfecting my own future misery.”

And with that I took my leave and departed, refusing even to drink a dish of jockolate with Mrs Diony (though she assured me it was of the best, and brought from London by Frank Packworth in his late journey thither), for I was desirous to end this matter and be done with it. But I wondered much that no one seemed fully to understand my reasonable unhappiness, yea, even Mrs Diony herself, though she essayed much to comfort me, yet I am sure that I heard her laugh as I went my way. But I was in no mood neither to turn back for to upbraid her, nor yet to seek for any other counsellor, but went on straight towards Ellswether, being minded to get over my business with Dorothy so soon as might be. And coming towards the house through the small coppice that abuts on the pleasure-garden, I saw before me my cousin Dorothy, sitting on a grotesque wooden seat there, and weeping. And seeing this, I quickened my pace, my heart smiting me for unkindness and impatience towards her in the morning, but before I came up with her (my footsteps making no sound upon the turf), she rose up from her seat, and drying her eyes with prodigious care and art, began to walk towards the house. And I overtaking her, she turned towards me with great cheerfulness (such is the strength of mind in woman), and seemed prepared to discourse very pleasantly.

“I trust, cousin, that you have passed an agreeable afternoon?” says she.

“I trust yours has been a better one, cousin,” says I.

Then we walked in silence for a time, until we come on to the terrace.

“Sure we shall have rain again to-morrow,” says Dorothy, looking at the sunset.

“Your prophecy of a fair afternoon is come true, cousin,” says I. “But now that we are again arrived upon the same theme, perhaps you’ll be so kind as to vouchsafe to resolve the mystery beneath which I am labouring. I think you must perceive, cousin, that I am anxious to assure your happiness, so far as lies in my power, but this I can’t do without you tell me your servant’s name.”

“Will you assure me, upon your word and honour, that you can’t imagine it, cousin?” says she, looking at me very hard.

“Upon my word and honour, cousin, I han’t the slightest hint on’t,” says I, and was surprised to see Dorothy laugh, though her eyes were full of tears.

“Was ever man so blind?” she said, “and was ever poor woman in so hard case? Oh, Cousin Ned, I am afraid to entrust my secret to you, you are so prodigious dull concerning it. You would have me use you pitifully, you say, but how are you using me, in forcing me through pity to disclose to you so delicate a matter? Sure you must promise me that should you afterward repent of this day’s work you’ll bear me out that ’twas undertook at your earnest entreaty, and not through any forwardness of mine. Have you thought me forward, cousin?”

“Never!” says I. “The very strictest prude is forward in comparison with you, cousin.”

“That relieves my conscience,” says she. “Now, must I needs tell it, Ned? But no,” she stopped, and I saw her lips was all trembling, “I can’t tell it abroad here. The birds might chance to hear it, or the herbs in the borders,—who knows? Come with me into the oaken gallery. Maybe I can speak there easier.”

So we two come into the gallery by the outside stair (the same whereby my grandfather had once escaped from a band of Roundhead soldiers sent for to apprehend him), and Dorothy did lead the way to the further end on’t, until we come opposite to the pictures of her parents, and the spot where we had once stood together near one-and-twenty years before. She went and stood between the portraits, needing now no chair to bring her pale face (whereon the light of the sunset did shine through the window) to a level with the painted faces on the wall behind her,—faces superior to hers neither in the beauty nor in the courage depicted therein.

“Ned,” says she, fixing her eyes upon me, “methinks I can tell you my tale easier here than elsewhere. More than twenty years ago, my servant and I met in this place, and he passed me his word to return and marry me if certain conditions that he imposed were fulfilled. I can’t tell whether they be fulfilled or no,—so far as I might, I have strove to carry ’em out, and if I han’t succeeded, prythee blame my power or my wit, and not my will. I wan’t loath to wait for my servant, even though ‘twere for many years, for I loved him, and I was often wont to steal away hither, and repeat with myself that discourse I had with him, desiring naught so much as his return and approbation. But for that, Ned, I have waited twenty years.”

“Dorothy!” I cried in an agony, “spare me this recital, though I grant you ’tis well deserved. Consider how much more I am tried in losing you, than you in failing of me,—you, moreover, that have your favoured servant to supply my place. Why torture me with the remembrance that hath already near drove me mad, instead of ending the business that brought us here? For pity’s sake, tell me this gentleman’s name.”

“Mr Edward Carlyon,” saith she, dropping her eyes and standing as though guilty before me.

“But the other gentleman, cousin?” I cried, seizing her hand.

“There never was no other,” saith she. “The whole tale was devised by my good friends, thinking to do I don’t know what good turn to me. Nay, Ned! Cousin! I do entreat you—sir! without so much as leave asked or given—”

For I had not been able to refrain from embracing her, when it come to me all at once that these ladies, whose words had so sorely perturbed me, had been pointing all the time at myself, when they signified my cousin’s preoccupation in behalf of a certain gentleman, designing at the same time to punish my faithlessness and to increase my ardour, though this, indeed, wan’t necessary. But upon Dorothy’s remonstrance I did perceive my hastiness (though I can’t say that I repented on’t), and begged her pardon very humbly, when she relenting gave to me her hand for to kiss. And thereafter my love and I stood long at that window in the gallery, where we had stood so long before, and talked of many things. And Dorothy told me that on my return she had perceived that my ancient love for her was dead, and did therefore determine to hide and conceal her own, lest I might turn to her again out of pity; but whether she would have succeeded in this design, or would later have penetrated into my true sentiments, can’t now be known, since her friends were advised to practise that strange piece of artifice which had brought us happily together at last.

Now at supper-time, going together into the parlour, we found Mrs Skipwith fallen into a grievous trouble of mind touching us, in that she had missed us both, and there was none could tell her where we were, nor did she, knowing the posture of affairs between us, once suppose us to be together, which, had she thought on’t, had set her mind to rest. And she springing up from her chair to greet us with great joy, I did lead Dorothy to her.

“Mrs Dorothy desires to present her servant to you, madam,” says I.

“Her servant!” cried the old lady, looking from the one of us to the other in no small bewilderment, “but who is he? I had understood that she loved you, sir.”

“Oh, madam, pray don’t betray my secrets,” says Dorothy in her saucy way; “han’t I leave to change my mind?”

“Madam,” says I, “I’ll hope Mrs Dorothy han’t changed her mind since she gave you that assurance, for she hath done me the honour to accept of me as her servant for the space of my whole life.”

’Twas still some little time before Mrs Skipwith might be brought to conceive the truth properly, but when she did so, she fell a-kissing us both with great delight, and did entertain us mightily at supper by the reciting both of all her hopes and fears with respect to us, and also with divers pretty tales of the courtship of my honoured father and mother, and of my Lord and Lady Brandon. And seeing what delight this manner of talk gave to the good old gentlewoman, we did indulge her in’t, but when afterwards she waxed drowsy, and nodded in her chair, I gave my hand to Dorothy, and we did creep into the hall, and sat there upon the settle by the fire, hand in hand, as if we were children again. And here in the firelight, I did make to Dorothy a full confession of all those things whereof you know already, not sparing, as I hope, myself, for indeed I had no design to do this, but declaring the honour and esteem I still cherished towards Madam Heliodora, to whom, as I told Dorothy, I must remain humbly devoted all my days. For though I did, and shall throughout my life, thank God for her refusing of my suit, and her for showing me so clearly and plainly my duty, yet her image remained enthroned in my mind like the figure of some queen or saint, the pattern and model of all good women. But this Dorothy would have it that she did not desire to see changed (though she said merrily that I must not seek to mould her upon the figure of this paragon of mine), declaring that she loved Madam Heliodora from my character of her, and that she would be well pleased to see her ladyship at some time, and hold discourse with her. And both of us being thus content, we were silent awhile, and then fell to talking of my life at St Thomas, when I found courage to put to Dorothy a question that I had lacked boldness to ask her before. And indeed, though she made shift to answer it then, and though I have always been wont to study and admire the histories of the marvellous patience and kindness of good women towards most unworthy men, yet I can never cease wondering when I ask myself that question yet.

“Tell me, sweet Doll,” says I, “how is’t that your love for me hath thus wondrously outlived these many years of sorrow and unkindness since we parted?”

“Nay, Ned,” says Dorothy, leaning her chin on her hand, and looking into the fire, “who can tell how love grows and is nourished up? Sure I had known and loved you all your life until your setting forth, and the remembrance of you, so far from becoming faint, did but grow stronger and more fond by reason of your letters and the compliments made to Sir Harry on the possession of such a son by good Mr Martin, when he took occasion to write to him. For that which I recollected not, my fancy wan’t idle, and truly I think I loved you as well, though absent, as if you had been always with me, for, possessing you, I seemed to be lifted up above the cares and hopes of the other young gentlewomen of my acquaintance. There was many of ’em handsomer and richer than I, but there was none had such a servant as I had in you. Sure you will laugh when I tell you that the confidence I reposed in you had been huge even in a romance, and could have borne any strain save the breaking of our bond by your own hand. ’Twas this confidence sustained me when we heard that you was fallen into the hands of the Inquisition, and your misfortune did but increase my love, for sure I must have loved you then, though I had never seen you in my life. Before that time, Ned, you had been to me a hero, but now a martyr and a saint. I don’t know whether I prayed most for your enlargement, or thanked God for your steadfastness, but sure the happiest time of my life was when Sir Harry received your letter sent by Captain Freeman, telling of your marvellous deliverance and escape.”

“And thereafter, Dorothy?” says I, when she ceased, having told me this not all at once, but with divers arrests and pauses.

“After that,” she said, “I enjoyed a space of the most delectable contentment that ever young damsel passed through. But what came next, I won’t tell you, for fear it make you too proud. I beg that you won’t question me touching the time that passed after that day when Sir Harry called me into the parlour, and showing me your letter wrote from St Thomas, bid me think no more of you.”

“Alas, wretch that I am!” I cried, “to have entreated so hardly such a woman as you, and such a father as I had. Sure I deserved that he should lay his curse upon me for ever.”

“Nay, Ned, my dear Ned,” says she, laying her hand upon my arm the while I covered my face and groaned in my grief. “Sir Harry never did that. True, he was grievously vexed at the way you carried it; but he softened much towards you in his latter days, and blamed himself that he had sent you, while yet young and tender, into so great temptation. Also he sent you his blessing at the last, as you know.”

“Ay,” says I, “and I can well guess through whose intercession he did so, Dorothy, my dear. But tell me,” for a sudden thought was come to me, “what that signified which you writ to me in that letter telling me of my father’s death? You said that he bid me be worthy, and there stopped. Worthy of you, Doll, and of your faithful love—wan’t that what he would say?”

“My dear Sir Harry said many kind things that I han’t set down,” says Dorothy, but I knew that I was right.

“That you could love me still, after my evil usage of you, is more than I could have supposed,” I says to her.

“I loved you, Ned,” says she, as though this were reason enough. “Not perhaps the Edward that my fancy portrayed, but still——”

“Yes,” says I, “not the hero and the saint, but the poor sinner that was fallen into temptation. Little though he deserved it, yet he moved your pity, Doll, and so in some way your love.”

“I might always pray for you,” she says slowly. “Though I strove at first to pluck this love from my heart, knowing that you should soon be the husband of another, yet my prayers have ever been yours, Ned.”

“Tell me again, Doll,” I cried, remembering on a sudden that vision or apparition of her that I had beheld at St Thomas, and that had wrought so mightily with me, even withholding me from yielding to my lord marquis his will, “have you any particular recollection of a certain night” (naming the year and the day) “when you might have had intelligence of me in a dream?”

“In a dream?” says she. “Why, Ned, I have often dreamt of you, so that would be no strange thing. But intelligence, do you say? I do indeed remember that one night, about the time whereof you speak, I had a very clear and distinct sight of you. I was about saying my prayers in my chamber, and it seemed afterwards as though I was fallen asleep as I knelt, for I had a vision of you, Ned, though I might not perceive plainly where you were, knowing only that I saw you, and that ’twas in my mind that you were threatened by great danger of dishonour. And so, looking upon you, I cried out to beg of you that you would resist the dishonour that was hanging over you, and then immediately awoke, and Mrs Skipwith, hearing me, cry out, came into my chamber and chid me for sitting up too late a-reading romances.”

And this seemed to me, though I can’t pretend to explain the matter, to be connected, without any possibility of doubt, with that vision of mine, and I wondered much, and do still, at the strange providence that did vouchsafe these visions to both of us at that very time when I stood in so great need of some such warning, showing me distinctly the very face and form of Dorothy, then far removed from me in England, and making me to hear her very words. And of this matter we spake much, admiring prodigiously the action of Providence therein, but arrived at no explication on’t more satisfactory to the scoffer than that ’twas a particular interposition of God in our favour.

And this determination come to, we talked on divers other topics, and I learnt, though only slowly and in part, something of what should have seemed to me the slow and deadly dulness of the life that Dorothy had led at Ellswether. Sure ’twas naught but a truly religious spirit and a steadfast devoting of herself to duty that could have bound down a young woman to such a course of life at that age when young persons are most wont to covet new scenes, and this in especial when they are possessed of such wit and parts as was she. And for this sad and sober life I blamed myself, as for her many other undeserved sorrows, until she was moved to rally me on the matter, and ask me what sort of wife I counted to have had in her if all her days had been gay and joyful—yea, even to ask me if I now liked her so ill that I had desired another fashion of breeding for her. And to this I could have but one answer—viz., that I liked her so well that I would not have one feature nor one condition in her altered, whereupon she laughed, and bid me be content with the present, and not seek to meddle with the past. And so with great profit and contentment we did talk until late at night.

Now meditating the next day on my good fortune, it seemed to me that there wan’t no reason why we should hold back, and not be married so soon as our banns might be asked. But opening my mind to Dorothy, she laughed at me for my haste, saying—

“I must know more of your conditions, Master Ned, before I wed you. Nay,” says she, but dropping her jesting air when she saw my face troubled, “do you look for me to give up my servant so soon? ’Tis little chance to rule that any woman hath, and I can’t agree to be choused of mine. Trust me, Ned, we shall be the happier for learning to know each other better before we wed.”

Nevertheless, she did suffer me, upon my very instant entreaty, to lay the matter before our friends, Mrs Skipwith and Mrs Sternhold, for to decide, I looking that they should have given the case at once in my favour, but instead on’t they consented to give judgment against me. And more, they showed me, with many words and great plainness of speech, that I was an absolute barbarian for carrying it so, and that Dorothy might not by any possibility be wed before the spring, she having no wedding clothes ready. And to this I replied that wedding clothes wan’t no concernment at all to me, but only Dorothy alone, and that if she would marry me at once, I would carry her to London, and there buy her whatever she might desire. But at this they cast up their hands in horror that my Lord Brandon’s daughter should be wedded without any convenient preparation, and did beseech me almost with tears to suffer all to be duly done. And upon this I bid ’em make what preparation they should consider seemly, only to have it over speedily, and demanded of them what sum of money should buy all that was needed in as short a space as was possible, for that I would pay it at once, that they might begin straightway.

But at this proposition again they did testify great dismay, assuring me that ’twas right against all decency for me to have to do with the matter, and that Dorothy’s punctilio required that she should furnish all her wedding clothes herself. And I resenting this as a thing contrary to that right of propriety138 I had acquired in her, and further objecting that she had naught wherewith to furnish ’em, they showed me that my father had been wont always to give to Mrs Skipwith for her use and Dorothy’s the money gained by the sale of small matters within their province, as honey, poultry, and the like (such as many of our gentlewomen use to have for their own spending), and that she had now by this means a considerable sum laid by, and all this was to be spent for wedding clothes. And the end of this then was, that Dorothy and Mrs Diony rid up to town in my new coach, I waiting upon ’em, and there did choose and buy such things as seemed to them to be needed. And very merry were we during that time, though ’twere too long to tell of all that we did, or of all the sights that we saw.

For we visited upon Captain Freeman, now dwelling in a neat house at Deptford, with a garden reaching as far as the river, and a flagstaff of the bigness of a ship’s mainmast, whereon he was wont to hoist up the St George’s Cross and the Company’s ancient on holidays, and he conceived a high esteem for Dorothy, and told her much touching the voyages we had sailed together. And likewise we went to see the lions in the Tower, and walked in the Park and Spring Gardens for to behold the court ladies and gallants in all their bravery, and resorted to the New Exchange and divers other places of public assembly, which pleased the two gentlewomen mightily. And meeting one day with my lord Duke of London (Dorothy’s ancient servant) and his Duchess (that was formerly my Lady Barbary139 Harrington, of the Duchess of York’s household), they bade us to an assembly at their house, where was many fine clothes and very pretty dancing, and so many persons of quality as I never saw, but among all the ladies not one that could compare with Dorothy, nor came near to do so. And moreover, my old lady Duchess (widow to my own noble patron, and she that had aforetime hindered him from doing any kindness to Dorothy, as he had purposed) was so much taken with my dear love, both with respect to her beauty and her breeding, as nothing would serve but she must come down to our wedding, though in the month of February, and this she did, diverting the country people mightily with her great coach and her London apparel and manners. And being thus honoured with the presence of so great a lady, we were married on the fourth day of the month under very happy auspices, our friends filling the church, and testifying extraordinary great kindness towards us on the occasion of that happy event, the which (and I do most heartily thank God therefore) I have never found cause once to regret, nor my wife neither, as she assures me. And this though we have passed through certain trials, whereof one (that hath been the cause of the composing this book), was most heavy and grievous, as I shall show in due time.

Chapter XIX

Of Certain Ancient Friends of Mine that Were Sufferers for Conscience’ Sake

’Twas ever a merry jest of mine with Mrs Skipwith and Mrs Sternhold that I had done well to hurry on my marriage, so as it took place when it did, for but two or three days later come the news of the death of his majesty King Charles, so that all our festivities was broke up, and had we not been already married, we had been forced in all seemliness to have put it off. But this necessity happily escaped, we did take up our abode at Ellswether with great happiness and contentment, and cared, I fear (and may God forgive us for’t), only too little for public events, considering but our own good fortune. And in this way that year—viz., 1685—passed away, the tidings of the troubles in the West Country and in France reaching us but distantly as rumours, my wife being busied with her household economy and I with the managing my estate, and each of us with the other, for in Dorothy I did continue to discern fresh excellences, such as commended her to me more and more the longer I knew her, and not the least of these in my eyes, the kindness and forbearance that she did continually maintain and increase towards me, her unworthy spouse.

Now as time went on, we did engage together in a very weighty enterprise, namely, the writing that book of mine whereby my name (if remembered at all) is now known to the world of polite letters. In so great a work as this I durst not trust my own judgment, but read to my wife all that I had wrote, and took her counsel thereupon, and so made her (says she) near as learned as myself in all that hath respect to the Indies. For it had long seemed to me that there was a prodigious lack of a book that should set forth plainly, yet in full, all that was to be known touching the East that might prove of service either to gentlemen proceeding thither or to persons interested in the matter in England. And this object I flatter myself that my work aforesaid, ‘An Inquiry into the Present State of East India,’ hath attained, for not only doth it treat at length of the manners of the Indians, whether Moors, Gentues, Parsies, or Black Jews, but it hath also a considerable account of all the Europe garrisons and factories, whether English, Dutch, French, or Portuguese, beside the Mogul Empire and the Moorish kingdoms only now destroyed, and likewise of the Moratty power. And this book we did inscribe, as was only meet, to my lord Duke of London, son to him that had done so much to embark me upon my Indian enterprise, and prefaced it with a neat dedicatory epistle in Latin, full of conceits after the classical style, which gave my wife and me a world of pains to write.

Now this book, being in due course printed, brought upon me so much notice, and so many letters from several ingenious and erudite persons (many of ’em making me very handsome compliments both upon my style and matter) as filled my wife with pride, and made my name to be known even at the court, where his majesty King James II. was pleased to commend the work very prettily. And this, as I can’t but think, determined my lord Duke of London, that was lord lieutenant of the county at that time, to place me upon the commission of the peace for Northamptonshire. And in all these matters the time did pass so quickly away that ’twas three years after our marriage before I had either leisure or desire to give more than a passing thought to my former friends that I had known in the Indies, and this only because an unlooked-for accident did restore them suddenly to my mind. And the chief of these friends were, as you may well guess, Madam Heliodora and her spouse. Yet must you not believe that we had quite forgot them, for we were wont often to wonder how they had fared in those troubles that followed the undoing of that famous Edict that made sure to the Protestants of France their liberties, called after the city of Nantes. But on making inquiries concerning ’em of such of the fugitives as we had acquaintance with, and also of those that knew more of the great number of them than we were able to attain to, we could not find any that were come out of their neighbourhood. And this being so, we were content to hope that the persecution had not reached their province, and that they remained unmolested, and so satisfied ourselves with sending such help as we could furnish to the great company of these poor people, and sought no more for news from Galampré.

But a period was put to our comfortable security one evening in the month of April 1688, when, as my wife and I was sitting in the parlour talking by the firelight, there come in Miles and says to me, “If you please, sir, Mr Duss is returned from the town, and would be glad to speak with your honour.”

“Bid him come hither,” says I, and laughed to myself, as I often did, to think of the esteem wherein Loll Duss was held by our servants and country-people, they verily conceiving him, as I believe, to be a prince in his own country, from all he told ’em touching the wearing of cotton stuffs every day and the like (though indeed calicut and muslin is as common with the Indosthans as linen and woollen with us). The villagers all called him the ’Squire’s black gentleman, though indeed he was but little blacker than themselves; and now that the maids had left off to hollow and run away if they chanced to meet him in the passages, the other servants did all take a pride in the air of distinction that he shed upon the household. These thoughts being in my mind, he came in, wearing a laced suit of my livery and a great turbant of cambric, very neat, and saluting us after the Indian fashion (which I always had him use, it having so much more noble an air than the customary bowings of our servants), awaited my pleasure.

“Well, Loll Duss,” says I, “what is’t?”

“Master,” says he, “at the inn in the town is the Ferringhee lord that come from Agra to Surat with your honour, and his lady, that are come from London in my Lady Harmarthwaite’s coach, going on a visit to her ladyship. But the Ferringhee lord was took very sick on his journey, so as they was forced to tarry at the inn, and the gentleman physician from the town hath been attending upon him, so that he is by now somewhat eased.”

“The viscount and Madam Heliodora here!” says I, and was so much astonished at the news that I could say no more, but only looked at my wife, who answered Loll Duss for me—

“Is my lord viscount very sick, Loll Duss, or will he and his lady continue their journey to-morrow?”

“The Ferringhee lord is somewhat amended, mistress,” says Loll Duss; “but I heard say at the inn that he must needs abide there some two or three days.”

“Perhaps ’twould be well for me to go see whether I can be of any service, my dear?” says I.

“Not to-night, sir,” says Dorothy. “’Twould but incommode his lordship at this hour. Pray return to the inn, Loll Duss, and inquire whether this house can furnish aught that may contribute to his lordship’s recovery, and say that Mr Carlyon and I will do ourselves the honour of waiting upon my lady viscountess in the morning, if it suit with her convenience.”

Loll Duss saluted us again, and departed, and Dorothy and I sat silent for a while. At the last she looked up suddenly.

“Ned,” says she, “should you now be happier if Madam Heliodora had—had never rejected your vows at St Thomas?”

“Why, Dorothy!” says I, “jealous?” But seeing that her eyes was full of tears, I made haste to assure her with great solemnity. “My dearest life,” says I, “I can say but this one thing, that from the first day that I returned to Ellswether until now, I have thanked God night and morning that she did so reject ’em, and thus leave me free to return to that duty which is my highest pleasure, and to the best and dearest wife that ever a man had. And this thanksgiving I look to renew to-night, and likewise every day until my life’s end.”

“My dear Ned,” says she, coming behind me and kissing me, “forgive me. ’Twas but that my foolish heart would not rest content without a fresh assurance of your love. You had not thought me so timorous, had you?” But I felt a tear drop on my forehead. Then I took her in my arms, and said to her much more than I could set down, or than ’twould be profitable so to do, until Miles brought in the candles, and my wife said that she must needs go to see that the babes were asleep, and to inquire how Mrs Skipwith found herself, she being kept to her chamber with a rheumatic fit.

Now the next morning the coach come round with great magnificence for to convey us to the inn, and my wife appeared wearing her best brocado gown—a thing that made me laugh.

“We go prodigious fine to-day, madam,” says I, handing her into the coach.

“I trust, sir,” says she, “that I know what is decent better than to go pay my respects to her ladyship in a camlet gown with muslin tuckers. Though she be in misfortune, I han’t no desire to insult over her,” and with that I must needs be content.

We were not long before we come to the inn, and the landlord welcomed us at the door, and carried us up-stairs with extraordinary great respect. The chamber whereto he brought us was of a moderate size, but cheerful enough in its aspect, and furnished very decently. Upon the settle, which was drawn up close beside the fire, lay my friend the viscount, so wasted and thin as it made my heart bleed to behold him, being worn, indeed, into the very ghost and shadow of a man. Sitting with her back towards the door was a lady in a gown of some black stuff and a high cornette cap, and she turning round, I saw it to be Madam Heliodora. At my first sight of her, her hair seemed to me to be powdered, and I wondered much that she should use so great ceremony thus early in the day; but coming into the light I saw that ’twas all turned grey, and her face was very thin. Yet in spite of this, and of the meanness of her attire, she still seemed one of the most beautiful women imaginable, and moved as queenly in that poor chamber as ever in my lord her father’s palace at St Thomas.

“’Tis the ’Squire and Madam Carlyon, madam, come to wait upon your ladyship,” says the landlord that had carried us up hither, and departed, and Madam Heliodora came forward to us.

“I take this very kind in you, sir,” says she, “to remember our ancient friendship so punctually. Pray do me the honour to present me to your lady, though indeed I may almost pretend to know her already from your discourse. I have long desired the felicity of meeting with you, madam.”

My poor Dorothy was so much took aback by Madam Heliodora’s noble air and her graciousness that she could do little but curtsey in reply; but my lady kissed her on the cheek, and took her hand for to lead her to a seat.

“Won’t you present me also to Madam Carlyon, Edward, my friend?” says the viscount from his couch. “Though I can’t rise to salute her as I should, yet I would fain make shift to kiss her hand, if she’ll permit me that honour.”

“I am rejoiced to find your lordship so much recovered,” said I, when he had kissed my wife’s hand with prodigious gallantry, and she and Madam Heliodora were withdrawn a little to talk apart.

“I an’t like ever to be able for much again,” says he. “I fear I am a poor useless wreck, and yet, if there should be any fighting for the Faith, as men say there shall be, I trust I shall be permitted to take a part in’t. But how goes the world with you, Edward? Better than when we bid each other farewell at Surat, I trust?”

“I am the happiest man in the world, sir,” says I.

“Why, then, there’s two of us,” says he, “for so am I.”

“You don’t look to have overmuch that should make you say so, sir,” quoth I.

“Why,” says he, “sure I am free, and not a prisoner—in England, and not in France—in a certain ease, and not in pain—and, best of all, I have my wife with me, in the stead of only catching glimpses of her through prison-bars, and that in itself should suffice to make a joyful man out of the poorest wretch in the world.”

I could not but admire the excellent spirit of my friend in thus remaining contented in spite of all his troubles, and I had fain asked him to tell me somewhat more fully of the trials he had endured, but that I feared to move him too much, and so refrained myself to do no more than speak of current events. But chancing to cast a look now and then toward my wife and Madam Heliodora, I perceived that the discourse between ’em was begun with much ceremony, and with many Your ladyships and Dear madams, but that as it went on, they did become much more free one towards the other, so that my wife laid her hand upon her ladyship’s, and they did mingle their tears together. Nay, when we come to depart, Dorothy did throw her arms about Madam Heliodora’s neck and kiss her, which seemed something to surprise my lady, but she kissed her on both cheeks very kindly in return.

“Madam,” says the viscount, as we were departing, “I trust yet to hold some discourse with you. I fear lest your spouse han’t never gave you a true relation of our escape from the Moguls. He saved my life with the risk of his own: you know so much?”

“Yes, my lord,” says Dorothy, looking upon me with her eyes shining.

“See now,” says he, “what a fine thing it is to be admired by one’s wife! For me, I can but content myself with admiring mine, but in that there’s so much to do as needs all my skill.”

“My friend!” says Madam Heliodora, laying her hand on his shoulder.

“An’t it true?” says he, kissing her hand, which was a very pretty sight, but seeing Madam Heliodora ready to chide him, we did withdraw.

“And your ladyship will send your servant to fetch the cordial water?” says Dorothy to Madam Heliodora, on her carrying us to the head of the stairs. “’Tis of my own distilling, and should, though I say it, be of much benefit to his lordship.”

“You are too good, madam,” said my lady. “Be assured that I will send for’t with much gratitude.”

So we two to our coach, the landlord bowing us out very officiously, and as soon as we were there, my wife fell a-weeping, to my much surprise. And I asking her what ailed her, she told me ’twas for Madam Heliodora that she wept.

“She is an angel,” says Dorothy, drying her eyes, though uselessly, “and she should by rights be dwelling in a palace, with all conveniences and luxuries secured to her. But she must needs wear a sorry camlet gown, and the lace of her ruffles all mended and darned. Yes, Ned, I saw ’em, though it han’t caught your eye. And she hath suffered such a quantity of misfortunes, with my lord in prison and sick, and near all their goods confiscate! And then, her babe died in Paris, so as she can’t even weep over its grave—think of that, Ned. Think if it had been our little Hal or Bob. Poor, poor lady!”

I did my best to comfort her, though indeed my own eyes wan’t free from tears, and asked her what it was that had brought so much sorrow upon our friends. But this she could not tell me particularly, and we resolved therefore to ask a full relation from their servant that was to be sent to fetch the cordial water. And he coming when we were gat home, we had him up, and found him a very honest fellow and a Hugonot, Andrew by name, and asked him of his master’s history since I had last beheld him.

“Sir and madam,” saith he in answer, “I’ll tell your honours what I can. You must know that when that evil deed was done of revoking the Edict, there was a permission granted to the Reformed to remain unmolested until they might convert, provided only that they did not exercise their worship in public, and my lord, confiding in the king’s honour, thought well to avail himself of this delay, at any rate until the spring. My lord’s estate is situate in a very remote part of the province, and we were left in peace all the winter. In the month of March was born the young lord, the heir that my lord and lady had so long desired, and it so chanced that just at that time my lord did give shelter in the castle to one of our pastors that was fleeing from the persecutors. This he did not tell to my lady, fearing to trouble her; but he had been wiser to do’t, for she suspected certain spies among the Popish servants, and would have warned him against ’em. But he suspected naught until there come a warning from one in authority that was friendly to my lord, bidding him beware, for that a troop of dragoons was about to be despatched against him. Now when my lady learned this she was very urgent with him to start immediately for the Swiss border. And she being so instant, the coach was had round and loaded with luggage, but my lord going into the village to bid farewell to his old nurse (that was of the Religion, like ourselves), the dragoons came upon us while he was away. And my lady receiving ’em with great civility (they not caring to hurt her, who was commonly reported to be yet a strong Papist), sent a boy into the village to bid my lord take a horse thence, and ride at once to the frontier. But my lady having no time to choose her messenger, she lit upon one that was scarce better than a fool, and he finding my lord, cried out to him in a prodigious terror that the castle was in the hands of the dragoons, and that my lady was keeping ’em in talk until he should escape. But he, not knowing that the commandant of the troop was an ancient comrade of his, and the one that had sent him warning of their coming (as afterwards appeared), would not hear of leaving my lady to their mercy, but returned at once, and was took prisoner.”

“Ah, noble heart!” cried I. “But prythee continue, Andrew.”

“My lady was permitted,” said Andrew, “to bear him company as far as to Thoulouse, and she was present through his trial, engaging in his defence the best advocates that might be obtained, and instructing ’em herself in their pleadings. But ’twas of no avail, as indeed it must in any case have been, unless some chance quibble in the law had turned to my lord’s advantage, as was little like to happen, and my lady, standing in the court, heard him sentenced to the galleys for his life, his preparations to escape being made much of against him, since they had found the coach ready loaded for to carry him to the Swiss border. My lady remained very firm and steadfast through it all, but their parting was so pitiful that even the officer that saw’t was moved at the sight, and Mary the nurse, that was suffered to bring the babe for his father to see, could never speak on’t without tears. But when my lord was carried to the city of Toulon, whither they would not suffer my lady to accompany him, she did set out at once for Paris, travelling almost night and day, and there besieged the king for at least a mitigation of his sentence. So instant was she in her entreaties as at last King Lewis was moved to cry out, Remove from me this Mad. de Galampré! She wearies my sight; and one of his councillors, whether impelled by kindness, or by the remembering that parable touching the Unjust Judge, advised that my lord’s sentence should be changed into imprisonment for life in one of the king’s fortresses. And this they did, so as my lady returned from Paris with that small grace, but leaving behind her her babe, that had fell sick and died in the city.”

“Alas, poor soul!” cried Dorothy. “Sure now she was desolate indeed, to have lost this also.”

“My lady turned her steps to Toulon,” went on Andrew, “and coming thither, was granted the favour to inform my lord her own self of the change in his sentence, when it fell to me to attend her to the dock-gates, that we might see pass us the galley-slaves on their return from a voyage. I won’t shock your ears, sir and madam, with the recital of the horrors we beheld that day, when we saw file after file of grey-clad slaves pass us, with here and there among ’em one of those scarlet doublets that proclaim the wearer to be, as we call it, a felon for the faith’s sake.140 I could never have recognised my lord again, but my lady knew him the instant he came near, and thrust aside the soldiers, and threw herself upon him with tears of joy, knowing him in spite of his mean dress and his close-cropped hair, and the changes that his imprisonment had wrought. For you must know that the felons for the faith’s sake are worse entreated than any of their fellows, and their foul and heavy durance made harder than it need be, so as they die faster than the rest, but so many are the condemned that suffer for the Religion that the numbers are never too few. Then they took my lord out of that living death, where he had found the blasphemings and wickedness of the malefactors he was chained withal worse than any of the rest, but had supported it with meekness as his Master did, for his Master’s sake.”

“And sure his Master will reward him for’t!” cried Dorothy, the tears standing in her eyes.

“And before they took my lord to that fortress where he should be kept,” says Andrew, “they did tempt him with great promises to recant his faith (for the king, knowing his skill and training, desired much to confer upon him a place in his army, such as had made him rich and great at once), but he refused to listen to ’em, and even had he been otherwise minded, my lady had kept him firm. Act as your conscience bids you, sir (says she): if you can endure the sufferings that must follow, sure I can endure ‘em for you, and so upheld him until their parting with such nobleness and constancy as made the Papists ’emselves wonder. And even when he departed to his imprisonment, she would not consent to yield him up altogether, but followed him, and hired a lodging for herself in a high house, whence she might enjoy a view of a certain gallery in the prison. Here, by the kindness of the commandant of the place, my lord was allowed to walk for a few minutes in every day, and thus he and my lady exchanged signals, and had a distant sight one of the other. But they in the fortress had received orders to use my lord with great severity, to the intent that they might the more easily bring him to recant, and by reason of his late and present sufferings he soon fell sick, for his sojourn in the Indies hath caused him to be extreme sensible to cold. And through this sickness ’twas thought that he must die, so desponding was he through the not beholding my lady daily any longer. But she found means to send him a message by the hand of an ancient priest that visited the prison (a very kindly person, that was said by those that were unfriendly to him to be one of the people called Jansenists), and it was this, Live for your God and for the Faith, my friend, and also for your wife, for they all need you. And upon the receiving this, my lord took heart again, and grew better. Then all became as before until this last month, when King Lewis, finding that he had no success among those of the Reformed that he had shut up in his fortresses (these heroic confessors being chiefly persons of great birth and riches, or noted for their distinguished parts), gave ’em a general releasement, banishing ’em all from his kingdom for their lives. And among these my lady also did receive back her lord, as though indeed, as Holy Scripture saith, he had been raised to life from the dead. Then they did take ship as soon as they could come to Bourdeaux, this being a nearer way than through Roan141 and Dieppe, and came into England by way of the city of Bristow. And upon their landing there, my lady says very suddenly to my lord, Call me no mare a Catholic, for I have seen too much their works. I am henceforth as thou art, thy people mine, and thy faith my faith. And this, says my lord, was a sufficient comfort to him for all his pains, to know that my lady was at one with him in their religion.”

“You’ve told us very handsomely all your tale,” says I to Andrew, when he was ended, and dismissed the good fellow with a present, while my wife dried her tears, saying that one ought rather praise God for such confessors than weep over ’em. And indeed, the more we saw of our friends, the more we learned to admire them, and could not but wonder both at their constancy in the past and their cheerfulness in the present. I made it my custom to go down every day to the inn and pass some time with the viscount, when we were wont to discourse very agreeably touching our former life in East India, while my wife carried Madam Heliodora for an airing in the coach. But of his own past trials would my friend never tell me, seeming to look back upon ’em with such aversion as he would not name them save to thank God that delivered him out of them, though he showed himself always ready to commend the virtues of my lady his wife. But though we did endeavour very earnestly to win them to leave the inn, and to take up their abode for the present with us, they refused constantly to do this, and we saw neither of them at Ellswether, until one forenoon Madam Heliodora walked up from the town, attended only by Andrew, and signified that she was come for to ask a favour.

“Lend me, dear madam,” says she to Dorothy, “your elder child for a few hours, if you’ll be so good, for the viscount do affect the company of children to an extraordinary great degree, and ’twould lighten his hours of pain to divert himself with your little son.”

“Madam,” says Dorothy, albeit none too gladly, for she feared letting her babes out of her sight for an hour, “sure you have but to desire, and if it lie in our power, the thing shall be done. My Harry shall wait on your ladyship home.”

But, nevertheless, my wife watched her Harry (named for my honoured father) depart on Andrew’s shoulder with no small uneasiness, and could not be happy until she had him home again, bringing in his hand a great cake for his little brother. She desired much to learn how he had fared, but though she set him on the table and questioned him particularly, yet she gat nothing but to hear that the pretty lady had wept, and that in the house where she took him there was a sick gentleman that did keep comfits in a gold box in his pocket, and that had promised to make him a coach and horses out of pasteboard. But when she heard tell of Madam Heliodora’s weeping, my wife looked at me.

“Sure our Harry must be near the same age as her babe that died should be by now,” saith she, as if conscience-smitten. “Well, if Harry’s company can avail anything to comfort either of these excellent persons, he shall visit upon ’em every day.”

But Dorothy’s compassion wan’t long tasked, for shortly afterwards the viscount was found sufficiently recovered to continue his journey, and he went on with his wife to my old Lady Harmarthwaite’s dower-house in the county of Cheshire. And here, as it chanced, they were thrown among those that were busy planning to preserve the Protestant faith in these realms by changing the then king for another, and were thus led to take a very forward part in their schemes. Nay, when his majesty that now is was securely established on the English throne, though not recognised save in this kingdom, the viscount, being now somewhat restored to health, and receiving the command of one of the regiments of French exiles then forming for service in Ireland, gained by his military exploits in that country the fame that now deservedly attends his name. For both at the battle of Boyne Water, and in numberless small engagements, he did win the reputation of a most valiant and redoubted soldier, and one no less artful and seen in his dispositions and stratagems, than brave in fighting. Yet through it all was he in almost perpetual bodily anguish, so that those that saw him marvelled at his hardihood in thus despising pain, and esteemed him as Christian in his fortitude as he was skilled in the military art. Now the war being ended, he was granted a decent estate in Ireland, the confiscated property of a rebel that was fled, but not being content to retire thither and live in idleness, he carried his regiment to the Low Countries in the war that there brake out, and duly supported his majesty in those campaigns that did bring us little glory but much honour. But at the battle of Landen he was struck by a cannon-shot and entirely disabled, so as he could never again mount his horse, and Madam Heliodora, hastening to his side, brought him to England, and so, borne in a litter by short stages, to his Irish estate, where he lives still, a shining model of contentment in spite of much adversity, her ladyship likewise, after all the changes of her life, completely happy in him.

But with regard to that change in our rulers whereof I spake but a few lines back, I must (though this be no chronicle of public events, but only my own history) devote some mention to’t, for ’twas a matter of moment to me, producing, as it did, the only quarrel I have ever had with my wife, or rather difference, since it never grew to a quarrel. And the ground of this difference was no light one, since I was desirous to take sword and horse for the Prince of Orange, while as Dorothy was hot for King James.

“My dear,” says I to her, when we were speaking of the matter, “I have seen so much of Popery as I am determined never to support it here. Sure you’ll have heard from the French fugitives what should have armed you against it. Had King James followed his own religion in peace, I had never murmured, but when he shows himself desirous to thrust it upon us, we have a right to resist him.” In which I was coming much nearer to the politics of my old acquaintance Substitution Darrell than ever I had at one time thought likely, but we live and learn.

“Alas!” cried Dorothy, the tears running down her face, “that I should live to hear my husband, my dear Sir Harry’s own son, speak thus! Sure ’tis enough to disturb your father in his grave, sir. If God will, can’t He protect us Protestants without any help of ours? and if it ben’t His will to save us, let us suffer, but don’t let us sin in rebelling against the Lord’s anointed.”

“I will have no hand in bringing in Popery,” says I in a great heat.

“Let us do the right, and care naught for what may come after,” says she.

“But sure that can’t be the right which should enslave our country, and bring over again the days of Bloody Mary,” says I.

“That can’t be the right which would take part against our lawful king, and set a stranger over us,” says Dorothy.

“Dorothy,” says I, after much further talk, “if you’ll agree, I’ll consent with you to meet you half-way. I won’t offer my sword to King James, but neither will I at present raise a troop for the Prince. Yet if we see the Protestant cause in danger, sure you must even let me go. Are we to have a Bloody Assize throughout all England?”

With this she was forced to be content, and I did my best to be so too, though I had fain joined the Prince’s standard even at Tor Bay, but refrained, being persuaded that I had no right altogether to dispose of myself without my wife’s consent. But by this course I pleased no one, neither the friends that advised me I was playing the part of Meroz in Holy Writ, for not seeking the Prince so soon as he landed, nor Dorothy, that would with the best heart imaginable have packed up for to go into exile with King James. I can only hope that by as much as this middle course was distasteful to me, by so much was it right and profitable, for ’twas altogether abhorrent to me thus to remain idle when I might have borne a part in this, the second and, as it seems to me, the only justifiable revolution of this age; but, as you know, the Protestant cause was saved without my help. But through all this time I was enabled not only to abstain from all wrangling or quarrelling with my wife, knowing that no talking should ever displace that loyalty that was grown up with her growth, and had been nourished in her mind during her lonely youth, but I also strove in all things to show her an increased honour and affection, to the end she might perceive that ’twas no caprice nor unkindness, but love of right, that moved me. For indeed it did cost me much to forsake the old cause, for the which my father and my uncles had fought so long and suffered such grievous loss, and that I myself also had loved so much, and for no other reason could I have done so but for this one--viz., that the safety of the Protestant Religion must be set before the advancement of a party, or even of a royal house. And although I had this grief, namely, to abandon my old party, and not to join myself to that one which did commend itself to me, yet the cause triumphed, and there come no dissension between my wife and myself. For she, perceiving the hardness of my case, came by degrees to respect, though she might not accept, my principle of action, and our opinions did not come between us. Nay, ’tis my belief that now (though no torments should bring her to confess this) she rejoices in the victory of the Protestant cause, though her heart still yearn over the House of Stewart.

Thus, then, I have set before you (as I trust, without malice or colouring) the history of my life, not hiding those things that reflect ill upon myself, but desiring to give a true relation of all that has befell me. Sure if any man had ever cause to render most sincere and hearty thanks to Almighty God for the mercies of a whole lifetime, I have more, for my situation is far above my deserts, and in nothing have I more cause to be thankful than for the dissipation in the course of time of that midsummer madness and raging fever of love that did once consume me for Madam Heliodora, to the temporary, though all too long, obscuration of my true love for her whose faithful spouse and servant I have the happiness to be, and do purpose to remain so long as life shall last,—my dear wife, Dorothy Carlyon.

Chapter XX

A Chapter Extraordinary, Added on the Advice of the Author’s Friends, for to Declare How It Come About that This Book Was Wrote

Here then, my relation should have ended, and I had laid down my pen with joy to think that for this book, at least, there should be no further need of mending of quills and of buying fresh paper, when there come upon me those two good friends that stood by me through those troubles I am about to relate, and advised me that beside all I have done already, ’twere well also to set down a true account of the said troubles for the sake of those that shall come after me. Being taught, then, by experience, that my best hope lies in following the counsels of these two persons, I do my best to obey ’em, desiring that it may first be noted that I bear no malice against those that so lightly gave credence to reports to my discredit, for they had much excuse for’t. Nevertheless, I would warn my children to receive a lesson against the too hasty judging any person upon what they may hear said concerning him. But to my tale.

During the first six or seven years of the reign of his present majesty my wife and I lived very quiet and retired, being occupied with the bringing up our two sons, whereof the elder was nine years of age at the time of which I write. But in the year 1695, I was called suddenly to London, that I might give evidence before the Lords’ House of Parliament on the behalf of my old Company, in the matter of a petition brought against ’em by a certain person named Jameson. And in this matter, which did make some noise at the time, my evidence was considered to be of no small moment (insomuch that one of the lawyers present told me I had saved the Company, Jameson’s petition being dismissed), and in some way my name was brought to the king’s notice. His majesty, having been made acquainted also with my work, which I mentioned some while back, ‘An Inquiry into the Present State of East India,’ sent for me and talked with me very graciously, saying that I should by rights hold some office in the Company’s home establishment, having such knowledge of Eastern matters. But for this I had neither favour nor inclination, and so I told his majesty, who said that he would fain do me some pleasure his own self, and thus I did return home, expecting little from this flattering compliment. But the next year I found myself pricked for High Sheriff of the county, and perceived that ’twas this the king had signified when he spake of procuring me some advancement.

Now this honour I was by no means loath to accept, lacking, as I hope, neither the property nor the wit requisite for fulfilling the duties of the office, but I could not feel surprised that many gentlemen among my neighbours looked differently upon the matter. They were wont to regard me extreme distrustfully as a person of outlandish manners and given to innovation, likewise they did consider me to be but a lukewarm and halfhearted Whig (as was indeed the truth, saving only in the cause of the Protestant Faith), and we had also certain differences over the sentences that were wont to be passed by the bench of justices, whereof I was one, and did lean more to the side of mercy than suited with their minds. But that they would make any endeavour to hinder my accepting of the office (and that with a mighty strong show of reason on their side), I had never so much as imagined, and did remain in this secure and careless confidence until the very week when I was to be sworn to the punctual performance of my duties.

’Twas on a certain Tuesday, in the morning, that the blow fell upon me, when all the household was moved and stirred touching the great ball to be danced the next night at Buckle Acton, my lord Duke of London, the lieutenant of the county, coming over from Belfort with his duchess for to do honour to the occasion. For over two hours I had been busy in seeing that the coach and all the trappings of the horses and the men’s liveries likewise were in good order and neat, and I was preparing to ride abroad with my wife, when Loll Duss did bring me word that Sir Ambrose Spencer and Mr Waterdale desired to speak with me. And at this I was something astonished, for the first (a younger branch of the great house settled at Althorp in our county) was a very fanatical Whig, and had held little discourse with me since my remaining at home in the stead of joining King William’s army. But though amazed at his visiting at my house, I considered that he might by now be willing to be reconciled with me, and so went into the library, and found him there with his friend.

“Pray be seated, Sir Ambrose, and you, sir,” says I, when I had saluted these gentlemen, and inquired after the health of my Lady Spencer.

“Sir,” says Sir Ambrose, very stiff, “we are here on a business that can’t fail, I fear, to be disagreeable to you. May I inquire whether you be still minded to accept the honour of the shrievalty, or not?”

“So far as I am aware, sir,” says I, something angered at his air, “I am to be sworn on Friday of this week.”

“Then, sir,” saith he, “’twill be our disagreeable duty to acquaint my lord Duke, and through him his majesty, of certain facts that seem to us to unfit you, not only for this office, but even for the company of gentlemen.”

“You are prodigious flattering, sir,” says I, almost believing him mad. “Pray have you forgot what is the only answer I can offer to your words?”

“Sir,” says Mr Waterdale, bringing a paper from his pocket, “before Sir Ambrose or any other gentleman can place his sword at your service, the charges wrote here must be disproved. This paper is the copy of a letter wrote to Sir Ambrose by a gentleman that had the honour of your acquaintance in the Indies.”

“And pray, sir,” says I, in great heat, “do you pretend to condemn me on the unsupported testimony of the letter of some adventurer that hath conceived himself disobliged by me?”

“Sir,” says Mr Waterdale, “methinks you should rather thank Sir Ambrose for his present action than revile him, when you hear the full history on’t. Some two or three days past a number of gentlemen of this county was met together in Northampton upon the occasion of the horse-fair in that city. At the ordinary in the evening, your nomination to the post of High Sheriff was mentioned and discussed as a matter of common notoriety. On the first mention of your name in such a connection a certain gentleman that was the guest of Mr Willesford of Chipping Acton, and is, as I believe, a cousin of his, displayed great concern, and on being pressed, confessed that he had known you throughout your life in East India, and had been aware of many things in your character and history there that had ought to prevent your holding this office. Upon this the gentlemen that was there did advise him very earnestly to consider what he did before assailing in this manner the name of a person of your quality, to which he replied with great solemnity that he could prove all his charges, and would set ’em down in writing for to be shown to you. Then those there, having heard all he had to say, took counsel together to keep the matter a secret until you had been allowed to disprove the accusations made against you, if ’twere in your power so to do.”

“After this, sir,” says I, “you don’t need trouble yourself to mention the name of my accuser. I recognise the hand of Mr Vane Spender.”

“You have guessed well, sir,” says Sir Ambrose, “and you will now permit us, leaving this paper with you for your further consideration, to depart. We were loath to bring disgrace on the son of one so well-known and respected as Sir Harry Carlyon, and ’twas therefore agreed among us not to publish the matter abroad on your admitting the charges and excusing yourself from serving as sheriff.”

“I thank you for your delicacy and civility, sir,” says I. “And pray, what if I deny the charges and accept of the shrievalty?”

“Why, then, sir,” saith he, “we shall feel compelled to take some public notice of your conduct at the ball tomorrow night.”

“And what if by some miracle (considering the short time allowed me) I can disprove the charges?” said I.

“In that case, sir, we shall have great pleasure in acknowledging ourselves mistook,” says he, but not as though thinking it likely.

“I think, Sir Ambrose, that we have performed our office, and may now let this visit be closed,” said Mr Waterdale, and I carried ’em to the door, being mindful that, in spite of their errand, they were still my guests.

As we crossed the hall, Dorothy come down the stairs in her riding-coat and hat, ready prepared to ride abroad with me, and both the gentlemen bowed and saluted her.

“Sure, Sir Ambrose,” says she, “you an’t minded to depart so soon? And you also, Mr Waterdale; it an’t so often we see you that we can suffer you to leave us after so short a visit. Pray stay and take dinner with us, or at least eat some little lunch before you ride home.”

“Madam,” said Mr Waterdale, with a mighty uncomfortable air, as Sir Ambrose had also, “you see us here on a prodigious disagreeable business, and ’twould ill beseem us to eat in your house while engaged in’t. But permit me to assure you, madam, that whatever be the issue of this affair, only the very greatest respect and kindness will be felt by all the county for yourself.”

“I don’t perceive your meaning, sir,” says Dorothy, casting upon him a look that seemed to render him doubly uneasy. “Pray, why do you separate my name from Mr Carlyon’s? Whatever blame or unkindness be awarded him, whether by the county or by his near neighbours, sure I shall share the half on’t. I’ll wish you a very good day, sir, and you also, Sir Ambrose.”

With that she swept into the chamber we had but just left, where, when I was returned from dismissing the gentlemen, I found her reading the paper that lay on the table. Looking up with a scared face on my entering, “What’s this, sir?” says she.

“Heaven only knows,” says I, “though I fear it brings grievous trouble upon us. Let us read it together, my dearest love, for sure, as you say, it concerns us both alike.”

Dorothy spread forth the letter on the table, and smoothed it out, then sitting down she did begin to read it, and I read it likewise over her shoulder. It was sufficiently long, and I verily could not forbear to marvel, as I looked upon the closeness of the writing, that he should have wrote it who most abhorred all use of pen and ink, and who had scarce been trusted at Surat even to make out an invoice correctly; but I suppose that bitter hate, like love, do lend assistance to persons in their designs.

“Honour’d Syr” (it began)— “In Obeediance too ye Commds. you lade vpn. mee at our last Meatg., I take up my Penn (tho’ litle usd to soch Work), too lai befower yor. Honr. a full Act. of ye Dosgs. of Mr Carrlyonn in ye Indes. ’Tis doubtls. Matter of comn. Rept. in Yor County, yt. ys. Gent. tird. erly of ye Contrt. maid forr hym by his Fader wt. my Ld. Branndon’s Dghtr., & soght Occn. too escape, ys. comgin Form of ye mistakn Kindnesse of a certn. Nobleman, who, beggreiviously disseavd. in hym, innabld. himm to inter ye Servc. of ye Co. yt. I haue long hd. ye honr. to serue. ’Twas at ys. Tyme yt. I first fell inn wit. him, & likd. him letle yn., and lesse ye mower I knew of hym. Of hys injuryous Condct. toards My selfe I won’t speake, only sayg. yt. hee mayde him Self my Innemy at all Times, not scruplg. euen too attempt my Lyf on moer Occns. yn. one, especialy in ye Citty of Tangeer, wr. he did assault mee wit. soch Fury unarmd. and unprouoqd. as yt. he bad fare too sla me, bot was removd. fr. me by Force of ’em yt. was prest. Both in ye Vyage to ye Indis and at Surratt hee mayd him Self extream particular by his continuall Consortg. wit. low & blackgard Fellowes, Saylors and ye like, & proud. him Self a most pryg. & persistant Busie-Body, so yt. at last ye Councell was fayn too send him too Goa for to ridd ‘em Self on hym, not wtht. hopg., perhaps, yt.^ hee might fall into som Troble yt. shd. make an End of him. Likewise at Goa he did continue hys evill Courses, frequentg. Places of comn. Amusemt. & dog. his best too becom a Faverit wit. ye Ladys, inn wh. hee did socceade to soche a Degre as too excyt ye Jalousy of one of ye wilde yong Gallts. yt. was of hys Acquayntc., & ys. Personn, watchg. hys Chance, soone discoverd. Mr Carrlion pryg. into ye Misterys of yr. Relign. wit. Intent to mak a Sport on ’em, & so dinowned. hym too ye Inquisition, by ye wh. hee was arrested, & kept thre Yeares in Prisonn, not for hys Faith, wh. he was willg. to recant at once, bot as a Penaunce for his naughty Lyf. At ye Expiry of ys. Tym hee was discharge & mayd hys Wa on Bord of one of ye Hon. Co.’s Ships, wit. a Story of his haug. escapd. fr. a gret Burng., & ye Ship’s Maister, beg. one of ye simple Felows wt. whom hee had once ben frendly, did beleave his Tale, & tooke hym on his Voyage. Now ys. Vyage proud. one of grete Desaster, soe moche so as all on Board beleavd. they was punishd. by Heven for ye Sake of ys. one Sinner, bot weare at Leangth rileasd. by his discertg. ye Shipp wit. greate Effrontery at ye Towne cal’d St Thomass, wr. ye French yn hd. a Post. Now at ys. Place Mr Carlion did carry it soe as too gaine ye Faver of ye French Captain-Generall, desclosg. to hym all ye Seacretts of ye Co. yt. hee knewe, & instroctg. hym how hee might best use ’em for ye Injurg. their Trade. So vsefull ded he proue him Silf, yt. ye French was abt. too adopt hym into there Seruice, wn. there was discouerd. yt. he hd. intangld. him Self in a disgracefull Manner wt. ye Genrall’s Doghter (ye same is now my Lady V. countesse Gallompry). Ys. yong Lady beg. of tendir Yeares, Mr Carlyonn had persuaded hir to fly wt. hym, & they was gone some Wai before they might bee stopt. ’Tis sayd by som yt. ye Lady her Selfe was veray forward in seekg. hys Lov, & ys. I haue herd Mr Carlyon repeat not once only nor twice, hee mockg. finely at hir for hir litle Moddesty, bot of ye Truthe of ys. I can’t speake. & upon ys. Discoverie, Mr Carrlion was expel’d wit. gret Contimpt fr. yt. Place, & did jurney to Bombaim thro’ Duccan disguysd. in ye Trayn of a certaine renegadoe Portugall, wit. whom hee was verrie frendly, so reachg. Surrat. & here, beg. forcd. by certn. of hys Frends, agst. ye Will of ye Rest of ye Councell, into a Place of Troste, he joynd. him Selfe too ye Factry at Amedavat, & their livd. for thre Yeares in a most naughty & ryotous Manner, so as to bee a Scandall too ye veray Heathens ’em Selfs. Norr was ys. all, forr ’twas credibly proud. yt. hee hd. defrawded ye Co. of grete Soms of Money, besides beg. soe slacke in hys Busynesse yt. he loste ’em moch mower. & after ys., vizittg. ye Citie of Agra wt. divers or. Gents, upon an Ambassage, hee did consort yr. wit. certn. vyle & dangerous Personns, Felons & Criminalls & ye like, & fynally, ’scapg. fr. ye Towne in greate Hast for to avoyd ye Reward of his evill Deedes, hee dyd carry wit. hym one of these, a renegado Cristian, tochg. whom no Good cd. by any Means be sayde, & conveyd. hym out of ye Country, too ye grete Hurt & Dammage of ye Imperour yt. rules therein. & ys. he did, rufflg. it so brauely as yt. hee come to Blows wit. ye Mogull Souldiers sent too fetch him, bot killg. som on ’em, brogt him off, wit. ye Ayd of a Gang of Torys his Helpers, and soe had him too Surratt, to ye gret Displesure of his Ma’tie’s Subjects yr., yt. must needs intertayn ys. escapd. Fellon untill hee might returne into hys owne Country. & agayn after ys. did Mr Carlyonn shew him Self an extream bad Servt. to ye Co., tho’ he managd. his Peckulacions wit. soch Art as ye greter Part on’t wan’t dyscouerd. untill hee was departed. Bot ’twas a comn. Report, & ye Cause of greate Scandall, yt. he went soe moch wt. Moores & or. Indians, so as many averr’d hee was a seacrett Renegadoe. Bot it beg. at length discoverd. (& I am nt. ashamd. too say, yt. ’twas I discoverd. ye same, forr ye wh. Cause he is greately increast in Enmity agst mee), yt. he had applyd. large Soms of Mony too hys own Uses, & hd. forwarded to Europe much yt. hee was gat possesst of by no Right at all, ye Councell was advisd. too dismiss hym wt. Disgrace. Bot ye Frends yt. hee had disceavd. was still suffict. too influence ye Counsell, soe as all was don privily, and not made publiq. & he levg. thre Days later for England no moer was said, tho’ ’tis still perpetually found out yt. his Thefts was euen worse yn. yn. appear’d. I han’t herd no more concerng. hym for som Yeares, but beg. returnd. too England, & vizitg. upon my Cossen Willsford, I did heere by Chance yt. hee was prickt for Shirreff. Yn. beg. assurd. yt. ys. hd. not ought take Place, I did make yse. Matters publick, bot out of no Malis, bot only Lov of Right. Wit. ye highest Respect,

I haue ye Honor too be,

Sirr, Yor. Honr.‘s most obedt. Servt.,

V. Spender.”

“Ned,” says Dorothy, “this is worse than the worst I had feared. Tell me, is there, in all that this person says, that one grain of truth, whereby he might hope to establish these charges?”

“None,” says I; “at least in the charges respecting money, and in the rest such twisting and turning of things innocent or at most only foolish as makes ’em appear crimes.” And this I said without any grief or bitterness that my wife should seem to doubt me, for in truth, after reading this letter that with such devilish cunning (for indeed no other word will name it fitly), sought to turn into evil all the deeds and intentions of my life, I could scarce myself believe but that I was guilty of the shameful things attributed to me.

“If they ben’t true, sure there’s some means to disprove ’em,” says Dorothy. “Let us see what those be.”

“To my rescue at Goa,” says I, “Captain Freeman can speak, but that is but a very small part of the whole. There’s no one nearer than Surat could testify the falsehood of those charges that concern my life and conversation there, and but one man even there that hath both the power and the will to do’t.”

“And who is that?” says she.

“Mr Martin,” said I; “but, as you know, my life, he seemed to have no present design of returning when he writ to me last, and I doubt whether a letter should serve this turn.” For my good friend had not yet carried out his purpose of retiring from the service, but remained still at Surat, whence, on hearing of our marriage, he had sent my wife a collar of pearls such as for their fineness and whiteness had not their equal in the county, and later, when we writ him word that we had named our second son for him, he did despatch to us, by the hand of a sea-captain of his acquaintance, a cap of goldsmith’s work for his godson, such as the Indian babes are wont to bear.

“And a letter should need a year and a half at the least, and more like two years, for to go and come back,” says Dorothy.

“We can scarce look for our enemies to hold over their threatened action for that time,” says I.

“No,” says Dorothy bitterly; “if you should now yield up the shrievalty for peace’ sake, and write to the Indies for proofs of your innocence, Mr Spender hath gained his point, for what will it profit if in two years you can show yourself guiltless? We know how ’twill be. ‘Want there some strange tale touching ‘Squire Carlyon?’ ‘Ay, indeed. Such strange things was said as my lord duke was forced to refuse him the shrievalty. ’Tis true, one heard they was contradicted later, but such things an’t said without some truth in ’em. Oh, be sure it wan’t all for nothing.’ Whatever we do must be done at once, Ned, for sure if the gentlemen cut you at the ball, and refuse to grant you satisfaction, the mischief is done.”

“And since we can’t do nothing at once,” says I, “and, on your own showing, what is done two years hence is done too late, sure ’twere well to resign all effort, and accept the judgment of Sir Ambrose and his friends.”

“Shame on you, Mr Carlyon!” cried my wife, rising and standing in the window, and lashing her petticoat angrily with the whip she held; “sure something must be done. Will you condemn your wife and children and yourself to infamy? Prythee, play the man, and don’t show yourself a coward before the first misfortune that comes upon you.”

“But what’s to be done?” said I.

“Why, that’s for you to resolve,” says she. “Sure you, that’s seen so many climates, and passed through so many strange chances, ought be able to think of what should be done now. Go post to London if you will, and carry thence hither Captain Freeman or any other person that may be able to support your word. Spare no expense. What signifies money in such a case? If disgrace be escaped, poverty is naught.”

“Spoke like my Lord Brandon’s own daughter!” says I. “Well, Dorothy, I’ll do as you would have me (though I am well persuaded that ’twill advantage me nothing in this present matter), since I would not that you should believe that I slight your counsel. I han’t so many friends that I can afford to lose any of ’em.”

“Ned,” cries Dorothy, running back to me and casting her arms about my neck, “pry thee, don’t think me hard. I did but desire to rouse you from that despondency which is wont to seize upon you and forbid you to act. Let us at least do what we can, for sure the weakest effort is better than none at all, and when we have done our utmost, it may be heaven will send us what other help we need.”

“Sure heaven hath done much already in giving me such a wife,” says I, and kissed her, feeling that I was indeed blessed above my deserts.

“Hush!” says Dorothy on a sudden, going again to the window. “Here come our sons. There’s no need for ’em to hear of this trouble.”

Almost as she spake, the door was burst open, and our little Bob ran in.

“Oh, madam!” says he to his mother, “I had been looking for you. May I have a ride on my papa’s horse? I ran on before Hal and Mr Tilney on purpose that I might ask you.”

“We han’t gone riding this morning, my son,” says I. “But what’s that coming up the fir-walk?”

“Oh, ’tis a coach,” says Bob, “as fine as ours but not so large, and splashed all over with mud. There’s an old gentleman inside, that shook his stick at me when he saw me run, and a servant like Loll Duss riding behind.”

“Is this another messenger of disaster?” says I to Dorothy.

“Or a messenger of hope?” says she. “Do you know the gentleman, Bob?”

“No, madam, but I heard him call to Hal and bid him take a seat in the coach with Mr Tilney, since he desired to speak with him. ‘Are you the son of my old friend Ned Carlyon, my little man?’ says he, and Hal says he was.”

Dorothy and I looked one at the other, for the same thought was come in both our minds, but seemed too good to be true. But now the coach had reached the door, and there come into the parlour Mr Tilney, the boys’ governor, a very ingenious young man and one of excellent parts, that had passed through his studies at the University with infinite credit to himself, and was glad to hold this respectable place in my family until he should have some hopes of preferment in the Church offered him.

“Sir,” says he, “there’s a gentleman without that says he is a friend of your honour’s, but don’t desire to send in his name. I have bid Master Harry entertain him until I could find you.”

Still wondering whether our thought might be right, Dorothy and I went out into the hall in time to see our son Harry assisting out of the coach with great civility an ancient gentleman with a great white peruke and a heavy gold-headed cane, an Indian servant standing beside the coach-door with his master’s cloak. Seeing us, the old gentleman held out both his hands with a merry laugh.

“Ha, Ned!” says he, “here I am, and do hope you are but half so pleased to behold me as I to meet you again. Love and lordship like no fellowship, ’tis said, but methought you would find room for your old friend for a day or two. Pray, is this my fair friend Mrs Carlyon?—my friend, I say, though I never yet saw her, from my hearing so much touching her. Madam, I could well believe, but for the presence of these young gentlemen, that you were married but a year at most. And pray, where is my godson? Is he that naughty rogue I saw run on but now when his governor called him back? Fie, lad, fie! Did you never hear that He that will not be rul’d by his owne dame, must bee ruled by his step-dame? this signifying that a harder discipline must be used where a milder fails. Nay, Ned, my dear lad, I an’t Methusalem!”

This because Dorothy and I had now conveyed him into the parlour (he talking fast all the time, for to keep back the tears that were near his eyes), and were desiring him to sit and rest himself in my father’s great chair, that was never used by us, but stood ready with its cushions even as he had last left it. But my dear Mr Martin was like a father to me, and I would fain have him sit in Sir Harry’s chair. And here at last we gat him seated, when he looked round upon us with a prodigious happiness in his face.

“You will remain with us, dear sir?” says Dorothy.

“If you’ll put up with a peevish old man, madam,” says he.

“For shame, sir!” says she. “Hal, go bid Mr Martin’s coachman drive round to the stables, and tell Loll Duss and Miles who is arrived.”

“May I go with Hal, madam, and see the horses put up?” says Bob.

“See here, my little man,” says Mr Martin, “if your governor will suffer you, go to my servant Rum Cunder, and ask him to let you see a certain beast that he hath in a cage. Maybe you han’t neither of you often seen his like.”

“Oh, sir, please come at once,” says Bob in a great hurry, and departs with his brother and Mr Tilney. Mr Martin turned to my wife and me when the door was once shut—

“You were in some trouble when I arrived, Ned, and you also, my dear madam. I saw so much in your faces. If you had rather that I tarried at the inn, and not here, don’t scruple to tell me so. A friend is never knowne till a man have need, and what good is he if a man don’t dare tell him when he would fain not entertain him?”

“On the contrary, sir,” says I, “though we should at any time be ready to welcome you with delight, yet now especially are we in such a case as we had as soon see you as an angel from heaven.”

“An enemy hath but just made most shameful charges against my husband, sir,” says Dorothy, “and he is in some degree minded to submit and make no attempt to clear himself.”

“Well,” saith Mr Martin, “Every man as he loveth, as the good man said, when hee kist his cow; but in this case I would say that if these charges may be disproved, they should be so. And pray, madam, what may they be, and who is’t brings ’em?”

For answer we did lay before him Mr Spender’s letter, which Mr Martin read through very carefully, and then sat for some time considering, with his chin on his hand.

“Well, sir?” saith Dorothy at last.

“I think, madam,” says he slowly, “that you were right to suppose that I might furnish you with weapons against this person’s accusations. When must your answer be returned to the charge, Ned?”

I told him of the ball to be danced on the next evening, and of the threats of public insult there that I had received.

“Then this,” said he, “is my counsel. Send word at once to Sir Ambrose, begging him and the other gentlemen that are interested in the matter, and in especial Mr Spender himself, to meet you in a private room at the inn an hour before the dancing begin. Say that you hope to have an answer to the charges, but make no mention of me, and bid your servants not betray my arrival to any one in the town. ’Tis well I came from the t’other side of you, and so had no need to pass through Puckle Acton.”

“Then you can confute this man Spender, sir?” asks Dorothy.

“Madam,” says he, “I make no doubt but to-morrow we shall see a very pretty comedy played in the inn parlour. The False Charge, or the Accuser Unmasked, hath an agreeable sound, han’t it? They say, He that mischief hatcheth, mischief catcheth, and methinks Mr Vane Spender won’t find it otherwise.”

“You are indeed an angel, sir,” says Dorothy, and kissed him on the forehead.

“Nay,” says he, “though I could wish I were, if I should always be rewarded thus.” And so, with much laughter, to the business of writing a billet for Loll Duss to carry to Sir Ambrose his house, and this despatched, to talking of Surat and the sore changes there, and likewise the great ambition and strange doings of the Emperor Auren Zeeb in his wars in Duccan, which all was as a breath of native air to me, and filled me with great contentment to speak on’t. And thus the day passed agreeably enough, and the earlier part of the next likewise, until it was high time to prepare for the ball. And for this we dressed ourselves with prodigious care, not choosing by any lack of neatness in our apparel to give cause for them that saw us to say that we had lost confidence in the justice of our cause, and so sought to move pity by our neglected aspect. And indeed, when my wife was dressed, she looked as well as I have ever seen her, wearing a gown of very rich brocado, the colours blue and gold, and her lace prodigious fine. Likewise also she was wearing the pearls that Mr Martin had sent her on our marriage, and this piece of gentle flattery did please our old friend mightily.

Now when we were dressed, we set forth to the town my wife and Mr Martin in the coach, and I riding beside them. And coming to the cross-roads, whom should we meet but my lord duke and the two duchesses, his mother and his lady, coming from Belfort, the which was done with no small difficulty, the ways being so miry as it was hard to get the coach along ’em. And I seeing that his grace was clearly acquainted already of the particulars of my fancied dishonour (though he did greet me with all kindness), thought it well to confide to him the whole matter, and engage his help for the completer discomfiting Mr Spender. And upon this he waxed very merry, promising himself a huge enjoyment in the comedy we purposed to ourselves, and showed himself very friendly towards me. Likewise the ladies also did make much of my wife, kissing her when they met, and making her a handsome compliment on her brave attire, bidding her also come to visit upon them at Belfort, the which any gentlewoman in the county would be proud to do. And being now arrived at the inn, Dorothy did wait upon their ladyships to the chamber they had bespoke, while my lord duke engaged the help of the landlord, and so brought Mr Martin up-stairs into the room where the colloquy should be held, and placed him secretly there in a window, being hid from those in the chamber.

The other gentlemen then coming in one by one, his grace sat down at the head of the table, with Sir Ambrose and Mr Spender on either hand beside him, and so opened the business. And I, as Mr Martin had bid me, did proceed (Mr Spender having declared himself willing to answer all reasonable interrogatories) to examine him straitly upon the terms of his letter, and soon perceived, as I had expected, that he had given himself only to invent a history that should sound likely and convenient for the present season, looking forward to a period of two years or thereabouts before I could obtain my justification from East India, but had taken no thought to forge any false papers that might maintain his slander longer. And this I considered extremely prudent in him, since he might well believe that some traces of the accusations would always remain against me, as Dorothy had said, though nothing plain and clear could be alleged. But when he had finished declaring the truth of all that he had wrote, as also of all that he had now said, and all the gentlemen was beginning to look very black upon me, there was a sound in the window as of a chair’s being pushed back, and Mr Martin came out from the curtains, at sight of whom Mr Spender turned pale, and made as though he would have fled, but that Mr Waterdale bid him angrily remain.

“Gentlemen,” says I, “this is Mr Martin, lately in the Hon. East India Company’s service as Accountant at Surat, which post is, I may tell you, second only to the President himself. He hath been of my acquaintance since first I went to the Indies, and will answer any question you may be pleased to put to him.”

“But first,” says Mr Martin, “with your leave, gentlemen, I would fain put one only question to Mr Spender--namely, whether he consider it prudent for a person dismissed the Company’s service for unlawful trafficking with interlopers to bring such charges as those in this letter that I hold?”

The gentlemen present, not knowing the nature of the Company’s business, did not understand this question, saving his grace, and did ask of Mr Martin what it meant.

“The Honourable Company,” saith he, “hath the monopoly of the East India trade in its own ports, and all those infringing this monopoly are termed interlopers. Not two years ago it was discovered that there was many of these interlopers trading in the Company’s ports by virtue of permissions signed by the President of the Indies, now at Bombaim, and upon inquiry being made, it was found that these were obtained from Mr Spender in return for a genteel sum of money, he acting secretary to the President, and placing by sleight of hand these papers among those that were to be signed, without his honour’s perceiving it. Upon this Mr Spender was dismissed the Company’s service in disgrace, and I scarce think that this record do entitle him to credit from you.”

The gentlemen all looked much disturbed on hearing this, and next Mr Martin took the letter in hand, refuting each particular in turn as he came to’t, some upon the testimony of Captain Freeman and others, but most of ’em upon his own recollection. The few charges that he could not treat from his personal knowledge was so small as they mattered little beside those he was able to confute, and so great was the contrast beween his reverend aspect and the shamefaced air of Mr Spender, that none could doubt whether of the two should be believed.

“Now, sir,” says my lord duke, “what have you to say in answer to this gentleman?” looking for some further bravado from my accuser.

“I must regret that I was misinformed, your grace,” stammered he, and did push back his chair for to depart.

“You do well to leave us, sir, indeed,” says his grace coldly. “I presume, gentlemen, that there an’t no doubt in any of your minds but that Mr Carlyon hath fully vindicated his honour?”

“If you desire satisfaction from me, Mr Carlyon, I shall be happy to receive any friend of yours,” says Sir Ambrose gruffly.

“And so shall we all,” says another gentleman, Mr Spender and his cousin Mr Willesford being by this time departed.

“Nay, gentlemen,” says Mr Martin, very earnestly, “I do entreat you to entertain no thought of having recourse to that most foolish and unchristian custom of the duello. My lord duke, sure your grace must agree with me. Is it reasonable that Mr Carlyon, who hath but just vindicated his honour, should now be forced to peril his life against each of these gentlemen in turn, through no fault of his own? Sure there’s no pagans would behave so wildly.”

“You are right, sir,” says his grace, “Mr Carlyon’s honour is now established beyond a doubt, and I think he won’t deny but these gentlemen have all acted in good faith. ’Tis my express desire that you be all reconciled, and that the matter drop here. Pray give me your hand, my good cousin Carlyon.”

He grasped my hand very heartily, and after him each of the gentlemen in his turn, and Mr Martin, with great joy, last of all.

“And now,” said his grace, “I’m well assured that the gentlewomen are believing us lost, or busy hatching a conspiracy, at the very least. If you be of my mind, let us rejoin ’em, and quiet their anxieties.”

So we all to find our wives, and then to the ball-room on the ground-floor of the inn, where was dancing kept up until very late, his grace leading out my wife, and she having such a radiant air by reason of her gladness as that all others, and not I alone, saw her to be the finest woman in the room. And so at last home, thanking God very heartily for His great goodness and mercy towards us.

Now the next day Mr Martin, in talking with my wife and me, did counsel me to write in full a history of my life, setting down in order all that was befallen me, to the intent that should these slanders be revived in later years, our children should find their answer ready to their hand, and so defend not my honour only, but that of Madam Heliodora, so foully assailed by my accuser. And this I have now done, writing all my history for my children’s sake with much time and labour, and designing to lay the book away safely in the cabinet wherein my wife keeps her most precious jewels, that so our sons may not be troubled with fears of evil should no necessity arise, and yet may have help at hand when they shall find the need on’t. And in this book, lest I should in any way obscure the truth, I have striven to extenuate nothing that might appear blameable in my own nature or carriage, but in like manner as I have faithfully set down the perverse humours and youthful passions that did lead me into wrong-doing, so also have I not scrupled to bring forward those things which, in my plainer judgment, may serve in some measure to account for, though by no means to excuse, my evil deeds. Such, then, was my design in the writing this history, and though the composure on’t have cost me infinite pains, yet I don’t consider the price to be too dear, but toil well expended, if, in addition to the good mentioned above, the perusing it may avail to keep any offspring of mine from any of those pitfalls wherein I fell.


Notandum.—That I have read through this book, and do confirm all that is wrote in’t to be true, in so far as the matters therein related came under my cognisance, and for the rest, I am confident in the good faith of my friend, Mr Edward Carlyon.

And to this I set my hand and seal,

(Signed) Robt. Martin,

Of the Bathe, in the county of Somerset, gentleman.

At Ellswether, this 23d day of September 1698.



I. The Native Races of India

The early European travellers and sojourners in India designated the inhabitants generally by the name of Indians or Indosthans. Of these they recognised two main divisions, Moors and Gentues. The word Gentues, which has survived in certain parts of India to our own day in the form Gentoos, is, as Fryer tells us in his ‘New Account of East India and Persia,’ “the Portugal idiom for Gentiles“ and signifies the whole Hindu and aboriginal (or non-Aryan) population—that is to say, all the peoples of India with the exception of the Mussulmans, Parsees, and Jews. Of the Gentues, the race which came most frequently in contact with the English factories in Western India was that of the Mahrattas, Marathas, or Marhatas, under their great chief Sivaji and his successors. The Christians of St Thomas, incidentally alluded to in the text, belong to the non-Aryan races of Southern India. The other great division, the Moors, comprises all the Mahommedan invaders and their descendants, from the time of the earliest raids in the seventh century, together with the converts gained from among the Hindu and aboriginal races. This name, also, survives to the present day in the “Moormen” of Bengal and Ceylon. Until shortly before the date of our story, the results of these earlier invasions of India were apparent in the existence of the Mahommedan kingdoms of Bijapur, Golconda, Gujerat, and others, which were gradually swept away by the growing Mogul power. The name Moguls was used to distinguish from the general mass of Moors the later Persian and Afghan invaders, often of high rank in their own country, who entered India in the earlier ages as leaders of predatory bands, and at a later date with peaceful intentions, to gain power and honour in the service of the emperors of their own race at Delhi. The Parsees (spelt Parseys or Parsies), and the Black Jews of Malabar, are frequently mentioned by old writers, as also an African colony of Abyssinians not far from Surat.

II. The Spelling of Proper Names

In dealing with foreign names, the English author of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries pursued one unfailing method. In the case of European personal names, if he could find an English equivalent, he used that, and if not, he resorted to a Latin form, boldly rendering Emil by Æmilius, for instance. Sometimes he even applied this method to surnames, as the forms Thuanus and Montisquius, found for De Thou and Montesquieu in the ‘Book of Martyrs,’ will testify. As an example of a foreign Christian name replaced by its English equivalent, we need only recall that of the famous Don John of Austria. Mr Carlyon is, therefore, only following the custom of his time when he renders Sebastiaō, Francisco, and Deodoro as Sebastian, Francis, and Theodoras. In the same way Madam Heliodora’s real name was Françoise Marie Louise Anne Aimée (or Amantine) Héliodore, and her father’s Gaspard Dieudonné. With regard to names of places, the case was different. It was only occasionally that an English form could be used, as with Gascoign for Gascogne (a closer approximation than our own Gascony), and St Thomas for San Thomé. The effort of the writer seems generally to have been to make the names look as English as possible. Hence we have Dhilly for Delhi, and Geminy for Jumna. He had a marked objection to the letters b and k, and a fondness for v, x, and z. J and sh he often replaced by ch or s. Indian personal names come under the same category, for which reason I have left them to the last. Here, as with the place-names, our author’s spelling was strictly phonetic, in so far as he could make it so. Loll Duss, Cogia Bux, and Rum Cunder are recognisable as Lal Das, Khoja Baksh, and Ram Chanda; but Madda Gi is not easy to interpret as Madhoji, and the modern spelling of Vincaly I have not been able to discover. Eusoff is Yusuf. What adds to the difficulty of identifying these Eastern names is that in many cases the chronicler adopted them from a Portuguese or Dutch predecessor, who had left his own mark upon them in the shape of a previous modification of the spelling in accordance with his national taste. I have thought it better in all cases to leave the names in the text in their original form (and so also with a few misspelt English and Indian words), merely explaining in a note those about which there might be some doubt, thus retaining the quaint effect.

III. Private Trading by the Company’s Servants

In the early days of the East India Company, its relations with its employés were of a kind which seems very strange to modern ideas. Those in its service were expected to work at starvation wages, a usage which dated probably from the time when the Company (like others of its kind) was a mere association of adventurers for purposes of trade, each man investing what he could spare in the general fund, and receiving in return board and lodging and a small sum as pocket-money, until, on the termination of the adventure, the profits could be equally divided. Applied to a permanent undertaking, and to men who had no property to invest, but depended for their livelihood on what they could earn, this system was certain to break down, and the natural result was that the Company’s servants made use of the information they gained in their official capacity to engage in trade on their own account. The Company looked askance at this, but it was impossible to prevent private trading so long as a writer was forced to serve for five years for £10 a-year (about £30 of our money), and even a full merchant earned only £40 a-year. This penny-wise-and-pound-foolish policy was, nevertheless, persisted in, with the natural consequence that while the Company’s servants grew rich by means of private ventures, the Company’s own trade barely paid its expenses.

IV. Old and New Goa and Modern Goa

The Goa of our days is not that known to the visitors of the seventeenth century. The quarter which they called Old Goa has disappeared from the earth, and the splendid city of New Goa is the Old Goa of to-day. Its greatness began to decay with the decline of the Portuguese power in India, and the removal of the government to Panjim, nearer the mouth of the river, completed its ruin. Dr Claudius Buchanan, who visited it in 1808, describes it as a city of churches, but observes that there were seldom any worshippers besides the officiating priests. Since his day matters have gone steadily from bad to worse, and the population, thinned by pestilence and emigration, is now scarcely that of a small village. Churches and public buildings alike have fallen into decay, and the ruins are fast being overspread by the growth of tropical vegetation. Panjim, the “New Goa” of today, is about three miles from the mouth of the river, and enjoys the small remains of the state and commerce which once made Goa the chief city of the Indies.

V. The French at San Thomé

The seizure and occupation of San Thomé by the French after their departure from Trincomalee is a historical fact. The place, which is also called Mailapur or Meliapore (the peacock city), is now a mere suburb of Madras. Its earlier vicissitudes are detailed in the text. The French took possession of it in 1672, and after sustaining a two years’ blockade, enforced both by land and sea, marched out with the honours of war in 1674. Accounts vary somewhat as to the exact dates and other details connected with this siege. I have followed Fryer’s narrative, as being that of a contemporary. The first head of the expedition was Caron, who was drowned in a shipwreck after being summoned back to France to give an account of himself. The next leader whose name has been preserved is Francois Martin, the founder of Pondichery, but as Fryer speaks of a “viceroy,” to whom the credit of the long and skilful defence was due, I have ventured to introduce the character of the Marquis de Tourvel. In any case, the incidents (including that of the stratagem by which the Dutch fleet was temporarily driven away) are real, the persons only fictitious. The history of this little band of Frenchmen, as also their subsequent adventures at Pondichery, reads like a romance.

VI. The Historical Basis of This Story

In writing ‘In Furthest Ind,’ my object has not been so much to trace the course of any definite series of events, as to give a general idea of the fortunes and misfortunes likely to fall to the lot of an Englishman in the East during the earlier stages of what it is correct to call the Expansion of England. Hence I have left it to historians to follow the precise details of the relations which existed between the English at Surat and Bombay, Sivaji, and the government of Aurangzib, and have avoided as far as possible introducing real personages into the story. This naturally involves a fictitious element in the events in which the characters take part, although the incidents are in the main true in their origin, if not in their arrangement. Thus, the account of the dealings between Sivaji and the French is true, but the personal adventures of the Vicomte de Galampré are fictitious, and the two occasions on which Sivaji appears are not historical, although they may be paralleled many times over from his life. The history of the French at San Thomé has been fully dealt with in a preceding note. Although Mr Carlyon’s escape from the Auto da Fé is fictitious, yet many of its details are taken from an actual case. In a word, my effort has been rather to present a picture than to construct a history, selecting from the mass of available material such data as might best contribute to the result in view.

The End

  1. Suitor. 

  2. Bristol. 

  3. Afterwards called cadet. 

  4. Jacket-bodice. 

  5. Armour. 

  6. Escritoire. 

  7. Evidently Lord Broghill’s ‘Parthenissa.’ 

  8. 1664 by our reckoning. 

  9. Household. 

  10. Origin. 

  11. It is possible that this spelling may give a clue to the generally disputed origin of this word. 

  12. Muskets. 

  13. Gambia. 

  14. Properly spelt Boa Esperança, the Cape of Good Hope. 

  15. Civilised. 

  16. Kagoshima. 

  17. Ceylon. 

  18. Suwali. 

  19. See Appendix for the races of India. 

  20. Custom-house officers. 

  21. Sheds or warehouses. 

  22. Delhi. See Appendix for spelling of proper names. 

  23. Aurangzib. 

  24. Mahrattas. 

  25. Maharashtra. 

  26. Sivaji. 

  27. Now Bijapur. 

  28. Now spelt Shahji Bonsla. 

  29. Khan. 

  30. The Deccan (or Dakhan) and the Konkan. 

  31. Raid. 

  32. Marlborough; not the famous duke. 

  33. Bombay. 

  34. Ensign. 

  35. Brahmins. 

  36. Jeddah. 

  37. Porcelain. 

  38. Bunnias or baniyas

  39. This name was given to any slight or impromptu meal. 

  40. Tea. 

  41. Peculiar. 

  42. Punch. 

  43. Brandy. 

  44. Patterns. 

  45. Apparently Urdu. 

  46. Attacked. 

  47. Sambhaji. 

  48. Sweetmeats. 

  49. See Appendix on private trading by the Company’s servants. 

  50. Kafila. 

  51. Etiquette; sometimes used to mean personal dignity. 

  52. In modern spelling, Lal Das. 

  53. Aqueduct. 

  54. Country-houses. 

  55. Hidalgos. 

  56. Causeway. 

  57. See note on Goa in Appendix. 

  58. One thousand pagodas = about £400. 

  59. Probably sacristy is meant. 

  60. Better known as Francis Xavier. 

  61. Not to be confounded with the Regular Clerks of St Paul, or Barnabites, who are a distinct Order. 

  62. Tutor. 

  63. Cloth of estate, canopy. 

  64. Ducat. 

  65. Chocolate. 

  66. Properly spelt peons

  67. From the Arabic kafir, meaning infidel. 

  68. The Spanish spelling used at the time. 

  69. Crosslet, little cross. 

  70. Portugal. 

  71. Surgeon. 

  72. From the Portuguese feitiço—magic; hence our word fetich

  73. Fools,—as we should say, clowns. 

  74. Generally spelt Auto da Fé. 

  75. This word probably owes its origin to a confusion between the Italian cavaliere and the Spanish caballero

  76. Known to our hymn-books as “The royal banners forward go.” 

  77. Augustinians. This is an error on Mr Carlyon’s part. The White Friars are the Carmelites. 

  78. Very wide breeches, sometimes called petticoats. 

  79. The famous Mahratta war-cry, “Hur! Hur! Mahadeo!” 

  80. The contemporary spelling. 

  81. Conduct. 

  82. Really called San Thomé. 

  83. Ensign or standard. 

  84. Cloth of estate, canopy. 

  85. Dressing-gown. 

  86. See Appendix for the French at San Thomé. 

  87. The Mohammedan kingdom of Golconda. 

  88. Masulipatam. 

  89. Firman. 

  90. Hindus. 

  91. Madras. 

  92. Character or temperament. 

  93. Lettre de cachet

  94. Or theorbo, a kind of large lute. 

  95. Services. 

  96. Richelieu. 

  97. Apparently cravats. 

  98. Sherbet. 

  99. Printed calico. 

  100. Ahmedabad. 

  101. Now Pondichery. 

  102. Suitor. 

  103. Jumna. 

  104. Skilled. 

  105. Baroda. 

  106. Rajputs. 

  107. Udaipur. 

  108. Caravanserais. 

  109. Brahmin. 

  110. Dragoman. 

  111. Masjids or mosques. 

  112. The Taj Mahal. 

  113. Shah Jehan. 

  114. Query, cutchery? 

  115. Sash. 

  116. Nobles. 

  117. Switzerland. 

  118. Hookah or huqa. 

  119. The evolution of this word is curious: Frank, Frangi, Farangi, Ferringhee. The last form is the incorrect spelling of that preceding it. 

  120. Repeater. 

  121. Not resentments, but sentiments. Compare the French ressentiments

  122. Gwalior and Jhansi. 

  123. Yusuf. 

  124. Peaked. 

  125. Mosque. 

  126. Agreed. 

  127. Rao. 

  128. In modern spelling, Khoja Baksh. 

  129. Madhoji. 

  130. Sita Bai. 

  131. The spelling hollow for halloo is still preserved in the colloquial pronunciation. 

  132. Communication. 

  133. Gascony. 

  134. This word was then equivalent to curiosities

  135. Miniatures. 

  136. Companion. 

  137. Headache. 

  138. Proprietorship. 

  139. Barbara. 

  140. Forçat pour la foi. 

  141. Rouen.