Page images
PDF
EPUB

was wholly carpeted with it. This apartment, the front of which was entirely open, so that it corresponded precisely to the diwan in Turkish houses, was hung with fine cloth, containing the Imperial arms, in white, on a ground of violet. On the right hand was a row of arm-chairs, sufficient in number for the Commodore and his staff, while on the opposite side sat the prince who had been appointed to receive the President's letter, with another official of similar rank. Their names were given by the interpreter as

“ TODA IDZU-NOKAMI," Toda, prince of Idzu, and " IDO IWAMI-NO-KAMI," Ido, prince of Iwami. The prince of Idzu was a man of about fifty, with mild, regular features, an ample brow, and an intelligent, reflective expression. He was dressed with great richness, in heavy robes of silken tissue, wrought into elaborate ornaments with gold and silver thread. The Prince of Iwami was at least fifteen years older, and dressed with nearly equal splendor. His face was wrinkled with age, and exhibited neither the intelligence nor the benignity of his associate. They both rose and bowed gravely as the Commodore entered, but immediately resumed their seats, and remained as silent and passive as statues during the interview.

At the head of the room was a large scarlet-lacquered box, with brazen feet, beside which Yezaimon and the interpreter, Tatsonoske, knelt. The latter then asked whether the letters were ready to be delivered, stating that the prince was ready to receive them. The boxes were brought in, opened, so that the writing and the heavy golden seals were displayed, and placed upon the scarlet chest. The prince of Iwami then handed to the interpreter, who gave it to the Commodore, an official receipt, in Japanese, and at the same time the interpreter added a Dutch translation. The Commodore remarked that he would sail in a few days for Loo-Choo and Canton, and if the Japanese Government wished to send any dispatches to those places he would be happy to take them. Without making any direct reply, the interpreter asked : “ When will you come again ?" The Commodore answered, “ As I suppose it will take some time to deliberate upon the letter of the President, I shall not wait now, but will return in a few months to receive the answer.” He also spoke of the revolution in China, and the interpreter asked the cause of it, without translating the communication to the prince. He then inquired when the ships would return again, to which the Commodore replied that they would probably be there in April or May.

“ All four of them ?” he asked. “ All of them,” answered the Commodore," and probably more. This is but a portion of the squadron." No further conversation took place. The letters having been formally delivered and received, the Commodore took his leave, while the two princes, who had fulfilled to the letter their instructions not to speak, rose and remained standing until he had retired from their presence.”

The result of the expedition is matter of history. A treaty of commerce was finally concluded between the American and

SEPT., 1957,

L

Japanese, in which two ports in Japan, and one in Loo-Choo, were opened for American vessels. The Russians, however, following the example set by the American expedition, have since secured, in name at least, far more extensive privileges. After the first visit of the squadron to Japan, our author returned to China, and thence sailed for New York, there to add to his contributions to literature, one of the most pleasant and readable books of travels, descriptive of these distant portions of the eastern world.

A Amsterdam,

ART. IV.- Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa.

1719.

WHI

HILE the main duty of the Reviewer is to observe passing

events, and to subject to impartial criticism the doings and the writings of his cotemporaries, we know no good reason why he should abstain from an occasional retrospective glance; why he should not, without usurping the province of the historian, attempt to derive from the history of the past some of the lessons that it is fitted to afford for the guidance of the present, and, more important still, the hopes that it may hold out as regards the future. In accordance with this view of the nature of our functions, we purpose now to indulge in a little antiquarian research, and to lay before our readers a picture of the Inquisition of Goa, as it was at the end of the seventeenth century. The subject is one of great interest in itself, when viewed merely with the eyes of enlightened curiosity, as presenting a very peculiar aspect of that many-sided object, the human heart and mind; but doubly interesting to us in India, as exhibiting a particular phase of that problem, on whose evolution we are all looking with so intense anxiety, as to the influence of European example and European institutions on the native races of this land. We have no intention to record the history of the Inquisition, but merely to present a sketch of its action ; and with this view we take as our guide the little volume whose title we have placed at the head of our article.

It is a small volume of 202 pages, 18mo. Its author was a M. Dellon, a Frenchman, who came to India about 1670, and settled at Daman, as a Medical practitioner. Having rendered himself obnoxious to one or two men of influence, he was accused before the Sacred Office of holding and expressing heretical sentiments. After two years' confinement at Goa, and repeated appearances before the august tribunal of the Inquisition, he at last regained his liberty; and although he had been required to take a solemn oath, that he should not disclose the secrets of his prison-house, he published the volume before us some years after his return to France. It is satisfactory to find that his sufferings had not so far broken his spirit as to render him incapable of that language of compliment and persiflage, which is so characteristic of a Frenchman. He commences his dedication to a Mademoiselle Du Cambout de Coislin, in the following strain: “It would be unreasonable in me to complain

of the rigours of the Inquisition, and of the ill-treatment that "I have experienced at the hands of its ministers, since by supplying the materials for this work, they have procured for me the advantage of dedicating it to you !!”

We are not going to examine the casuistry by which our author justifies his breach of the enforced oath ; nor yet to revise his estimate of the profit and loss in his account current with the Inquisitors, in which, as we have just seen, he acknowledges himself their debtor to a large balance, inasmuch as the evils he bore at their hands were more than counterbalanced by the pleasure of dedicating his book to the young lady aforenamed. What alone we have to do with, is the fidelity of our author's narrative; and on this point we have very strong corroborative testimony furnished us by Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches.

When Dr. Buchanan visited Goa, he became the guest of one Josephus à Doloribus, " one of the Inquisitors of the Holy Office, • the second member of that august tribunal in rank, but the ' first and most active agent in the business of the departiment.” To him Dr. Buchanan shewed Dellon's book, and received his admission of the general accuracy of its statements. As this is a matter of the last importance, it will be well to extract the passage at length:

"I had thought for some days, of putting Dellon's book into the Inquisitor's hands; for if I could get him to advert to the facts stated in that book, I should be able to learn, by comparison, the exact state of the Inquisition at the present time. In the evening he came in, as usual, to pass an hour in my apartment. After some conversation I took the pen in my hand to write a few notes in my Journal: and, as if to amuse him, while I was writing, I took up Dellon's book, which was lying with some others on the table, and handing it across to him, asked him whether he had ever seen it. It was in the French Language, which he understood well. * Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa, pronounced he, with a slow articulate voice. He had never seen it before, and began to read with eagerness. He had not proceeded far, before he betrayed evident symptoms of uneasiness. He turned hastily to the middle of the book, and then to the end, and then ran over the table of contents at the beginning, as if to ascertain the full extent of the evil. He then composed himself to read, while I continued to write. He turned over the pages with rapidity, and when he came to a certain place, he exclaimed, in the broad Italian accent, “Mendacium, Mendacium.' I requested he would mark those passages which were untrue, and we should discuss them afterwards, for that I had other books on the subject. 'Other books,' said he, and he looked with an enquiring eye on those on the table. He continued reading till it was time to retire to rest, and then begged to take the book with him.'

“ After breakfast we resumed the subject of the Inquisition. The Inquisitor admitted that Dellon's descriptions of the dungeons, of the torture, of the mode of trial, and of the Auto da Fè were, in

to us.

general, just; but he said the writer judged untruly of the motives of the Inquisitors, and very uncharitably of the character of the Holy Church; and I admitted that, under the pressure of his peculiar suffering, this might possibly be the case. The Inquisitor was now anxious to know to what extent Dellon's book had been circulated in Europe. I told him that Picart had published to the world extracts from it, in his celebrated work called "Religious Ceremonies, together with plates of the system of torture and burnings at the Auto da Fè. I added that it was now generally believed in Europe, that these enormities no longer existed, and that the Inquisition itself had been totally suppressed; but that I was concerned to find that this was not the case. He now began a grave narration to shew that the Inquisition had undergone a change in some respects, and that its terrors were mitigated.”

The Inquisitor thus admitted the truthfulness of Dellon's statements as regards facts; and this is all that is of any concern

It is only as a relater of facts that we are going to make any use of him. As Reviewers, it is our part to form our judgment independently as to the motives by which the parties may have been actuated. We now proceed to give a brief abstract of M. Dellon's narrative.

He left France as an adventurer, and landed at Daman. Here he seems to have established himself as a physician, and, according to his own account, to have been the means of effecting several extraordinary cures. Having formed a friendship, which he declares was of the most innocent kind, with a lady, of whom the Governor of Daman and a priest, the Secretary of the Holy Office, were both enamoured, these men out of jealousy resolved on his destruction ; and although he assures us that he was conscientiously a strict Romanist, yet his French ideas were so much laser than those prevalent in that locality, that they found no difficulty in making up an accusation against him. He mentions five instances in which he had thus laid himself open to attack.

The first was in a conversation with a priest, in which he seems to have expressed some doubts as to the efficacy of a particular form of baptism. The second was in refusing to kiss the pictures on the lids of alms-boxes, when presented to him by the begging-friars and others; the third instance was in stating that while the images of saints ought to be honored, only that of Jesus Christ ought to be worshipped, and that even in this latter case, the adoration should not be referred to the image, but to the Saviour represented by the imagem and the fourth was in denouncing the folly of one who spoke of the necessity of covering over a crucifix before the perpetration of sin. What, (said I) do you think that we can

« PreviousContinue »