Act 4. Scene 3.
O Torment! The pangs of Death cannot be more grievous: and my pangs are notoriously more grievous to me than the pangs of Death, because mine are continual. The whole Fabrick of my body is so stifned and benum'd with cold, so bruis'd and sor'd with the hard∣nesse of the rocky ground, that I cannot use a limb without excessive pain, and shaking of the whole frame. They have detain'd me here in the Bastille the space of fifteen Weeks, without Bed, Cover∣ing, Cap, Wastcoate, Shirt, or other Linnen, (the French, my Executioners, rob'd me of all,) without Chair, Stoole, Table, Fire, Candle, Water, Knife, Spoone; without any succour for the ne∣cessities of nature, further than the floor of this close and dark Dungeon or Cave where I lye: and by a little peeping-hole I have discover'd a Sentinel continually standing with his Musket, to receive me, if I should appear in the least part of me. Dare these blessed-nam'd Benedictines e∣ver professe, that they are flesh and blood? the wild Indian man-eaters are not more barbarous; nor the bruite beasts of the wildernesse more savage. Can it now be denyed from the conse∣quents of this cruelty, that their lives in their Monasteries are absolutely disso∣lute, when they endeavour by such un∣hew'd and Scythian means to forestall the discovery of them. It is likely they will pull to themselves in the covering of their nakednesse other pretences, that as Ti∣berius the Emperor abused the vestals, they may first render me dishonourable, and then miserable: But here, two things obtain no small surplussage of confirma∣tion; two things which walk it and stalk it as open truths in England, though con∣tradiction be much obstreperous: The first, The people of this Gang, this sharp∣pointed fang, are most horribly Cruel: The second, Rome cannot stand without the prop of a Lye. I never hammered a∣ny thing against them, but Truth: a Goldsmith is a Smith, but a Gold-smith. I wonder not now, that they are so de∣bauched in their Monasteries, and that their old Monks talke of the evils they committed in their youths, with such high merriment and complacence: for cruel∣ty supposeth many great sins, hath ma∣ny foul enormities that forerun it. They now act upon the very Life-blood of me. Nothing more puts me upon the rack, than that I suffer all this from the imme∣diate hand of a walking Pedlars Pack, a Periwig'd people; a Nation of Anticks; a people terrible to none but to one ano∣ther, Page 39 as fearing amongst themselves Mor∣bum Gallicum, the French Pox; exube∣rant in their outward and croutching Spaniel Complements, but wretchedly destitute of all truly-gentile and solid ci∣vility; A barbarous extract of Gauls, Huns, Goths, Vandals, Longobards; Men that have alwayes their Master the Devil in their mouths; quick to strike and kill, but slow to do it nobly. Let them go as they are, the Indian Birds or Butterflies of men. May the noble Casti∣lian, and brave Englishman in a fit time revenge my wrongs upon them. Rejectus à Servis puerulus, in Matris redit & ru∣it amplexus: The Child roughly treated by the Servants whom he fondly loved, returns and runs into the imbraces of his dear Mother. O dear England! I have been so long watching and waking, that neither my fancy nor eyes perform faith∣full service to my understanding. It seems to me, that I see strange things, Pig∣mies, Giants, strange Birds, Beasts, Fishes, Serpents, Monsters. All extra∣ordinary stories that I have read or heard of, shew themselves to me, besides por∣tents and prodigies. I hear whatsoever my fancy delivers to be said. I dream that I sleep, sometimes bedded in Snow, sometimes in the Waters, in the Field sometimes, where I am pelted with hail. They will not allow me pen, inke, pa∣per, or light: yet I have made and re∣corded in my memory a Latin Epistle, which I will commend to paper, and perhaps devote to the Presse, if ever good Heaven indulge freedom to me. In this Epistle there is a Latin Hymn: My fancy sings it oftentimes to me. I wish for sym∣metry-sake, and because it contains my sad story, that some propitious and un∣seen mouth might sing it, reprive and act the part of my fancy, whilest I intend a lit∣tle to slumbering.
Monsieur Englishman, you are free from the Dungeon, and have the li∣berty of the Common Prison.
I most humbly thank you, Mon∣sieur: you are a good Angel. Pray be a little charitable, and help me to rise: O, gently, gently: for charity sake, gent∣ly. O my poor leggs, they refuse to sup∣port my body. I can scarce enforce my arms to the least duty. There is a Con∣juration of Aches through my whole body.
Signior Englishman, I am glad you are dismis'd and rescued from your Dungeon. Prisoners love here, as being in câdem navi, in the same ship. I am a stranger as you are, a noble Italian; and therefore, more particularly sympa∣thiz'd with you. I am commonly call'd Don Lewis.
Noble Sir: I am affectionate∣ly yours. You will favour me to descend beneath your self, and acquaint me why you are detain'd here.
Precisely and nakedly, for the speaking of naked Truth: There is an Italian Bishop here in Paris, a man of sublime power, but of a leaden heart: He privately professes against the Im∣mortality of the soul; and uses, against all the Sallies of Nature, a Boy every night, (such is the vile extravagancy of our Nation.) This I spake into the open aire: And though the Truth of it is as well and throughly known to me, as that I walke and talke, yea, although they thought so worthily of me here, as to send me their Embassadour to Naples, yet they imprison'd me. The grand af∣fair of your Countrey is setled en su ser y puesto, (I doubt not but you understand Spanish;) or you had been sent to the Inquisition, and your body had made a Bone-fire there: I am a Roman born, and know the manner of it; your A∣shes should have been thrown into the River Tiber, to feed the Water-snakes. But your enemies here, were big with hopes, that the Dungeon would have murder'd you. Your own Countrey Monks were your Hangmen; we know all here.
I consider'd them as being in the condition of Angels, that Sun-beam∣like attend to the world, as helpers of others towards Heaven, and in them∣selves Page 41 are separate from it, and united with Heaven as the beams with the Sun. I fancied, that as Stars which have the least Circuit, are nearest the Pole; so men who are least perplexed with businesse, are nearest to Heaven, because we can∣not remove a thing from earth, but we must exalt it nearer to Heaven.
You have been much entang∣led in the love of them: but as businesses commonly move now, it is a putrified course of life in many parts, and respects. A corrupted Monk is like the reflexion of the great Angel-Image from a Steeple∣top in Millan, which at one stroke, limb'd it self on the Clouds in the Air, of themselves prepar'd for such an im∣pression, and only amazed and amuzed the vulgar heads, who vainly took the vain reflexion of an Image on the Clouds, for a most heavenly Saint or Angel. But when the Monks come down out of the Clouds, we know them better, because they are near to us: we never find a∣broad, men so passionate, so profane: besides that they are commonly drunken Beasts, and lazy lousie belly-gods; these their mysteries I inwardly know: in ma∣ny Monasteries they study Magical and Demoniacal Arts; they learn the Art of compounding Philters, and thereby draw Nobles to love them above their own children; they compose poisons of all sorts; they destroyed Henry the se∣venth, Emperour, with a subtle and most sacrilegious poison in a Church, and your King John in a Monastery; the Monk is the Jesuit's great Grandfather; the Monks coin false money; they falsi∣fie stones of middle rank into Pearls, and Jewels; by the transmutation of Met∣tals, they raise them into a kind of coun∣terfeit silver.
This I knew done by Father Broughton, an English Monk, at Lamb∣spring in Germany, amongst the Woods there, who, had he not been a Monk, had ended his life at Brussels on the Gal∣lows for the like forgery.
They leave the Frier many akers behind them, that was the casual author of Gunpowder: they make pow∣ders, the smell of which procures lust, and sets body and soul on fire: they mix the purest paint for women: their abun∣dance of idle time incites them as to mon∣strous evils, so to marvellous curiosities. Trithemius, a famous Abbot, shewed Maximilian the Emperour his wife, even long after her death, and Verrucam in collo ejus, the very Wart in her neck, by which the Emperour particularly knew her. I could recount a hundred of these: There was a kind of mortal punishment amongst the old Jews, badg'd with the title of Combustio anima, the burning of the soul, wherein they powred scalding Lead into the mouth of the condemned person, by the which his inwards were consumed, the shape and outward bark of his body, remaining still with due proportion. The body of the Monk is extant still, his soul is burnt forth: Tri∣themius satisfied royal curiosity, and I have complied with yours. I am a child of Rome both in birth and belief; but abuses are now grown into a wilde Forrest, and men are become as the wilde Beasts. It hath oftentimes pleaded a∣gainst me in my heart, Are there no true worshippers in all the world, but the three wickedest Nations of all the world? Time will open it self, that I may hap∣pily have place to give you the Story of Rome according to my knowledge, and the Chronicle of my own memory, from Urban the eighth, and the childehood of his Popedome, to Parturiunt montes, Page 42 nascetur ridiculus mus; the Mountains bring forth, and the ridiculous Mouse is born. I will not now disease you fur∣ther; your indisposition admonishes me.
Your servant, noble Don. The Novilships in the Monasteries, are but idle, inauspicacious, impertinent, and tri∣fling merriments, put in comparison with what I have suffered; and yet they would have delivered me up for fuel to the most implacable revenge of the Inqui∣sition. Graft a Rose-tree, then convey a grain of Musk into a cleft in the stock, and all the Roses that come of the stock, will carry Musk about them. I hope that all my after-actions will be steept in this affliction. I must withdraw.