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ed, and the knowledge of this fact might be turned to good account, if it should betide that those persons themselves should fall into “ difficulties.” Thus could a net be gradually stretched round any member of the community, a net whose cords were less visible than the threads of the gossamer, but stronger than the cable, or say stronger than even the strength of pure innocence could break through. Such, in brief, were “inquisitorial proceedings."
And such were the proceedings to which our author was subjected. We have already said that the Inquisitor, having a constitutional or professional aversion to what is in common language called “a scene,” cut short the first audience, and sent away our author, in charge of the Alcaide. Having great confidence in the goodness of his cause, he was anxious for a hearing, and, after repeated solicitations, his request was granted, and he was again brought before the Inquisitor on the 31st of January, 1674. He again threw himself on his knees, but was peremptorily ordered to be seated. He was required to take an oath that he would speak the truth, and that he would reveal nothing of what should occur. He was then asked, if he knew the cause of his arrest, and if he was willing to “ make a clean breast of it.” He related what we have already stated as to the remarks he had made, on the subject of baptism, and of images, but said nothing of what he had advanced as to the fallibility of the Inquisition, because, he assures us, he forgot all about it. He was then asked if he had no more to confess, and having replied in the negative, he was exhorted, in the name of Jesus Christ, to complete his self-accusation, “that he
might experience the goodness and mercy which are shevii 6 by this tribunal towards those who evince true repentance
of their crimes by a sincere and voluntary confession." His deposition, and the exhortation of the judge, having been taken down by the secretary, were then read over to him.
He signed them, and was led off to his cell.
At his second appearance, which took place on the 15th February, he added nothing to his former confession ; but apparently to test the sincerity of his catholicity, he was ordered to kneel down, and repeat the Pater, the Ave Maria, the Credo, the commandments of God and of the Church, and the Salve Regina, He was then exhorted as before, and remanded to his cell.
We have seen that, from the first, our author did not shew more than an average amount of pluck, » in breasting the tide of calamity; but from this time his spirit broke down completely :
"On my return from this second audience, I abandoned myself
wholly to grief, seeing that there were required of me things which seemed to me impossible, since my memory suggested nothing of what I was required to confess. I attempted then to starve myself to death. I took indeed the provisions that were brought to me, because I could not refuse them without subjecting myself to be caned by the guards, who are very careful to observe, when they get back the plates, whether the prisoners have eaten enough to maintain them. But my despair found means to deceive them. I passed whole days without eating any thing, and in order that they might not notice it, I threw into the basin a part of what had been brought me."
This fasting and mortification, however, though suicidally intended, produced, in our author's estimation, a blessed result. It led him to reflexion on his past conduct, and to prayers addressed to the blessed virgin. In answer to these prayers, as he seems to represent it, the conversation in which he had maligned the holy office, by denying their infallibility, and even asserting that they had erred in a particular instance, was brought to his recollection. And now the morning of hope once more chased the night of despair from his mind. This then was what the reverend Inquisitor meant, when he urged him to make further and fuller confessions. He had but to add this to his confessions, and be free! Bat alas, hope told a flattering tale. It was not until the 16th of March, that he was able to obtain another hearing. He told his tale, and was informed that this was not what he had been accused of. His deposition this time was not even written down; and he was once more sent to his cell. His condition now was clearly a bad one. His heart sickened, and his reason reeled under the influence of hope deferred. He did not again dare directly violate “ the canon of the Almighty 'gainst self-slaughter, yet he could not support the life which he was doomed to lead ; and so he hit upon a rather ingenious compromise. We must detail it at length :
“I feigned to be sick and to have fever. Immediately a Pandit, or native doctor, was brought, who from the throbbing of my pulse through excitement, did not doubt that it was a real fever. He ordered bleeding, which was repeated five times in as many days, and as my intention in submitting to this remedy was very different from that of the doctor, who was laboring to restore my health, while I only desired to end my sad and miserable life, as soon as the people were withdrawn, and my door was shut, I untied the bandage, and let the blood run long enough to fill a cup containing at least eighteen ounces. I repeated this process as often as I was bled ; and as I took almost no nourishment, it is not difficult to judge that I was reduced to extreme weakness.”
When the work of depletion was nearly accomplished, the jailor reported the matter to the Inquisitor, who directed that a Confessor should be brought to him. He did not dare die without confession; and therefore he consented. But he did not dare confess without revealing the course that he had been pursuing. The revelation made, the confessor gave him good counsel; and he promised, and sincerely, not any more to attempt suicide, but to take all means in his power for the recovery of his health. At the intercession too of the confessor, a little indulgence was granted him, in the shape of a fellow prisoner, wbom he calls a black, (by which term he probably means not a negro, but only a native or a black Portuguese) shut up in the same cell with him! That cell was but ten feet square; but still it is not good for man to be alone, and he enjoyed the company of his cell-mate for four months. This society restored his spirits and improved his health. He was then deprived of it, and fell back into the same state as before.
He knew that it would not avail him to feign sickness now. But he remembered that, when his effects were taken from him, he had managed to retain a few pieces of money, which he had previously sewed into a riband and tied round his leg like a garter under his stocking. Taking one of these coins, and breaking it in two, he ground one of the halves on an earthen pot, until he made it fit to do duty as a lancet. With this he tried to open the arteries of his arm. In this he could not succeed, but he opened the veins in both arms. The blood flowed copiously, and he was found weltering in a bath of it, fainted but alive.
He was taken before the Inquisitor, and laid at length on the floor, being unable to stand or sit. He was ordered to be handcuffed ; and this was done at once. Strange as it may seem, and contrary to all rules for the treatment of the insane and the excited, this did not tend materially to soothe his chafed spirit. He dashed his head against the pavement, and would soon have succeeded in finding that death which he sought, had not the attendants seen the necessity of adopting gentler
He was removed into another cell, and again had a black companion given him to share it with him. This was the last attempt that he made on his life. But it was long ere he recovered sufficient strength to appear again before the court,
At length, about eighteen months after his first arrest, and therefore about July, 1675, he was brought to a fourth audience. Having declared that he could accuse himself of nothing in addition to what he had already confessed, the Promoter (or public prosecutor) of the holy office now presented himself, and at last he was regularly and formally accused. He was allow.
ed to defend himself, which he did apparently with a good deal of skill. Having occasion, in the course of his defence, to quote a passage of scripture,—“Unless a man be born of water, &c.”-he was surprised to find that the Inquisitor seemed quite unaware of the existence of such a passage. He asked where it was to be found, sent for a New Testament, and like a docile disciple of the redoubted Captain Cuttle, overhauled it, and when found, made a note of it mentally, but made no remark. He acted in the same way when our author referred to a decree of the Council of Trent. It will be remembered that we stated, as if incidentally, that no record had been taken of the proceedings of the third audience. The confession then made, therefore, did not confer any advantage on him who made it. The Promoter then moved that, inasmuch as M. Dellon, in addition to what he had confessed, had been further accused, and sufficiently convicted, of having spoken with contempt of the Inquisition and its ministers, and of having even used language of disrespect to the sovereign pontiff and against his authority, and inasmuch as the obstinacy which he had evinced, in despising so many delays and so many kind warnings that had been given him, was a clear proof that he had had very pernicious designs, and that his intention had been to teach and to foment heresy he had thereby incurred the penalty of the greater excommunication; that his goods should be confiscated, and himself delivered to the secular arm, to be punished for his crimes according to the rigour of the laws that is, to be burnt. To this demand of the prosecutor, our author replied as he best could. The strong point of his defence lay in the fact that he had actually confessed his ascription of fallibility to the Inquisition. This confession had not been recorded, and he could get no benefit from it.
After this he was brought up three or four times in the course of a month, and urged to make confession of what he had said respecting the Pope; but this he could not do. He was also urged to admit the major of the Promoter's syllogism, that his intention, in the facts that he had confessed, was to defend heresy ; but this he strenuously denied ; and certainly the sentiments that he expresses everywhere in the book before us, are far from being heretical, i. e. protestant. We find him, for example, continually lamenting that in his captivity, he was deprived of the privilege of attending mass; we find him ascribing every blink of sunshine that found its way unto his cell to the good offices of the blessed virgin; we find him lamenting that the Portuguese custom of administering baptism to infants only on the eighth day after their birth, must lead to many children dying, (without being regenerated by the holy sacrament of baptism,
and so "being deprived of the felicity of heaven for ever." Whatever these sentiments may be, they are not protestant sentiments. And M. Dellon was not aught else than a devoted Romanist.
And now our prisoner noticed an unusual activity and bustle in the Santa casa. Every morning he heard the shrieks of one and another, who were being put to the torture. The season of advent was at hand, and he remembered to have heard that that was the season when the Autos-da-fé were generally celebrated. He knew that they took place at intervals of two or three years, and he had now been in confinement nearly two years, and he did not know whether one had been celebrated the advent before his imprisonment. He knew, moreover, that the prisoners were very numerous, for he heard the opening and shutting of many cell-doors, when the rations were distributed. All these circumstances combined to raise in him a confident expectation that his trials were approaching their end, and that death or liberty would soon deliver him from the solitude of his cell. A man is not in an enviable “ frame of mind," when these two, death and liberty, are put into the same scale, and when either the one or the other is regarded as so much preferable to some third thing, that the difference between the two is regarded as insignificant, in comparison with the difference between either of them and that third. Not enviable truly.
But the first Sunday in advent came. It passed. Another week. The second Sunday came; it passed ; and hope passed with it. The Auto-da-fé must be put off for another year. Three hundred and sixty-five days must pass—ay, three hundred and sixty-six, for next year is leap-year! It is too much.
But the darkest hour is that before the dawn. The Auto-dafé was generally celebrated on the first or second Sunday in advent; but not necessarily or uniformly; and on the 11th of January, 1676, there were indications that something important was to be transacted on the morrow. On that night, M. Dellon was distracted by many thoughts, but at last, about 11 o'clock, he fell asleep. His slumbers were of short duration. They were broken by the entrance of the Alcaide and guards :
“ The Alcaide handed me a dress which he ordered me to put on, and to be ready to coine out when he should call me. He then went away, leaving a lighted lamp in my cell. I had not strength either to rise or to give him any answer, and as soon as the men left me, I was seized with so violent a fit of trembling that for more than an hour, I could not look at the dress that had been brought
At last I rose, and prostrating myself before a cross which I had painted on the wall, I committed myself to God, and left my fate in his hands. Then I put on the dress, which consisted of a