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high, and not without reason. The regime was stern and

time:2023-12-06 16:04:15 author:map read:129次

As they had first landed, they had suffered the first transports of the bassa's passion, who was a violent, tyrannical man, and would have killed his own brother for the least advantage--a temper which made him fly into the utmost rage at seeing us poor, tattered, and almost naked; he treated us with the most opprobrious language, and threatened to cut off our heads. We comforted ourselves in this condition, hoping that all our sufferings would end in shedding our blood for the name of Jesus Christ. We knew that the bassa had often made a public declaration before our arrival that he should die contented if he could have the pleasure of killing us all with his own hand. This violent resolution was not lasting; his zeal gave way to his avarice, and he could not think of losing so large a sum as he knew he might expect for our ransom: he therefore sent us word that it was in our choice either to die, or to pay him thirty thousand crowns, and demanded to know our determination.

high, and not without reason. The regime was stern and

We knew that his ardent thirst of our blood was now cold, that time and calm reflection and the advice of his friends had all conspired to bring him to a milder temper, and therefore willingly began to treat with him. I told the messenger, being deputed by the rest to manage the affair, that he could not but observe the wretched condition we were in, that we had neither money nor revenues, that what little we had was already taken from us, and that therefore all we could promise was to set a collection on foot, not much doubting but that our brethren would afford us such assistance as might enable us to make him a handsome present according to custom.

high, and not without reason. The regime was stern and

This answer was not at all agreeable to the bassa, who returned an answer that he would be satisfied with twenty thousand crowns, provided we paid them on the spot, or gave him good securities for the payment. To this we could only repeat what we had said before: he then proposed to abate five thousand of his last demand, assuring us that unless we came to some agreement, there was no torment so cruel but we should suffer it, and talked of nothing but impaling and flaying us alive; the terror of these threatenings was much increased by his domestics, who told us of many of his cruelties. This is certain, that some time before, he had used some poor pagan merchants in that manner, and had caused the executioner to begin to flay them, when some Brahmin, touched with compassion, generously contributed the sum demanded for their ransom. We had no reason to hope for so much kindness, and, having nothing of our own, could promise no certain sum.

high, and not without reason. The regime was stern and

At length some of his favourites whom he most confided in, knowing his cruelty and our inability to pay what he demanded, and apprehending that, if he should put us to the death he threatened, they should soon see the fleets of Portugal in the Red Sea, laying their towns in ashes to revenge it, endeavoured to soften his passion and preserve our lives, offering to advance the sum we should agree for, without any other security than our words. By this assistance, after many interviews with the bassa's agents, we agreed to pay four thousand three hundred crowns, which were accepted on condition that they should be paid down, and we should go on board within two hours: but, changing his resolution on a sudden, he sent us word by his treasurer that two of the most considerable among us should stay behind for security, while the rest went to procure the money they promised. They kept the patriarch and two more fathers, one of which was above fourscore years old, in whose place I chose to remain prisoner, and represented to the bassa that, being worn out with age, he perhaps might die in his hands, which would lose the part of the ransom which was due on his account; that therefore it would be better to choose a younger in his place, offering to stay myself with him, that the good old man might be set at liberty.

The bassa agreed to another Jesuit, and it pleased Heaven that the lot fell upon Father Francis Marquez. I imagined that I might with the same ease get the patriarch out of his hand, but no sooner had I begun to speak but the anger flashed in his eyes, and his look was sufficient to make me stop and despair of success. We parted immediately, leaving the patriarch and two fathers in prison, whom we embraced with tears, and went to take up our lodging on board the vessel.

Their treatment on board the vessel. Their reception at Diou. The author applies to the viceroy for assistance, but without success; he is sent to solicit in Europe.

Our condition here was not much better than that of the illustrious captives whom we left behind. We were in an Arabian ship, with a crew of pilgrims of Mecca, with whom it was a point of religion to insult us. We were lodged upon the deck, exposed to all the injuries of the weather, nor was there the meanest workman or sailor who did not either kick or strike us. When we went first on board, I perceived a humour in my finger, which I neglected at first, till it spread over my hand and swelled up my arm, afflicting me with the most horrid torture. There was neither surgeon nor medicines to be had, nor could I procure anything to ease my pain but a little oil, with which I anointed my arm, and in time found some relief. The weather was very bad, and the wind almost always against us, and, to increase our perplexity, the whole crew, though Moors, were in the greatest apprehension of meeting any of those vessels which the Turks maintain in the strait of Babelmandel; the ground of their fear was that the captain had neglected the last year to touch at Moca, though he had promised. Thus we were in danger of falling into a captivity perhaps more severe than that we had just escaped from. While we were wholly engaged with these apprehensions, we discovered a Turkish ship and galley were come upon us. It was almost calm--at least, there was not wind enough to give us any prospect of escaping--so that when the galley came up to us, we thought ourselves lost without remedy, and had probably fallen into their hands had not a breeze sprung up just in the instant of danger, which carried us down the channel between the mainland and the isle of Babelmandel. I have already said that this passage is difficult and dangerous, which, nevertheless, we passed in the night, without knowing what course we held, and were transported at finding ourselves next morning out of the Red Sea and half a league from Babelmandel. The currents are here so violent that they carried us against our will to Cape Guardafui, where we sent our boats ashore for fresh water, which we began to be in great want of. The captain refused to give us any when we desired some, and treated us with great insolence, till, coming near the land, I spoke to him in a tone more lofty and resolute than I had ever done, and gave him to understand that when he touched at Diou he might have occasion for our interest. This had some effect upon him, and procured us a greater degree of civility than we had met with before.

At length after forty days' sailing we landed at Diou, where we were met by the whole city, it being reported that the patriarch was one of our number; for there was not a gentleman who was not impatient to have the pleasure of beholding that good man, now made famous by his labours and sufferings. It is not in my power to represent the different passions they were affected with at seeing us pale, meagre, without clothes--in a word, almost naked and almost dead with fatigue and ill-usage. They could not behold us in that miserable condition without reflecting on the hardships we had undergone, and our brethren then underwent, in Suaquem and Abyssinia. Amidst their thanks to God for our deliverance, they could not help lamenting the condition of the patriarch and the other missionaries who were in chains, or, at least, in the hands of professed enemies to our holy religion. All this did not hinder them from testifying in the most obliging manner their joy for our deliverance, and paying such honours as surprised the Moors, and made them repent in a moment of the ill-treatment they had shown us on board. One who had discovered somewhat more humanity than the rest thought himself sufficiently honoured when I took him by the hand and presented him to the chief officer of the custom house, who promised to do all the favours that were in his power.


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