Of the Provinces of the Country of Florida.
INto these Countries there went two seve∣ral Tyrants at several times, from the year 1510. or eleven, that they might perpetrate the same abominable actions as the rest had done; that by the blood and destruction of the people, they might obtaine Offices and dignities which they were no way wor∣thy of. But at length they were taken a∣way by an evil death, the houses also which they had built them (this I witnesse of all the three) at the cost of humane blood perish'd with them, the memory of them va∣nishing from the face of the Earth, as if they had never been. They left these Countries very much troubled and confused, having incurr'd no small infamy by reason of the Page 105 Crimes which they committed, though they were not many: for God cut them off at the beginning, leaving the revenge of those evils, which I know, and have seen done in the Indies, to be poured forth upon this place. Of the fourth Tyrant that came well instructed lately in the yeare 1538. we have had no news these three yeares. This we are sure of, that at the beginning he carried himselfe very cruelly; and if he be alive, most assuredly he hath destroy'd an infinite number of people; for he among all those who have done most mischeife in ruining both Provinces and Kingdoms, is famous for his Savage fury; wherefore I am apt to believe that God hath put the same end to his life, as to the others.
Three or four years after these things happened which I have related, the other Tyrant that went along with him who there ended his dayes, departed out of that Country; whose cruelties and rapines while the chiefe Captaine liv'd, and after his death were so many, as we since under∣stood, that what we said before, may still stand for an Axiom, that the further they went, the more exorbitant was their fury and iniquity. But because it is so irksome to me to rehearse these Execrable and bloo∣dy acts not of men but of beasts, I will no longer dwell upon them, but go to those things which followed after.
Page 106They found a numerous people, wise and well moralliz'd, over whom they ex∣ercis'd their wonted tyrannies, seeking to strike an awe and dread into them, with the anguish and the burdens wherewith they oppressed them. And if they fainted by the way, they would not take the pains to open the fetters, but came to the fain∣ting person, and cut off his head or his hands, and so left them. Once entring into a certaine Village, they were with great joy and exultation received by the Spaniards, who gave them provision till they were satisfied, allowing them also six hundred Indians to carry their burdens, and to look to their horses. But the Spa∣niards being departed, a certain Captain, of Kin to the chiefe Tyrant, returned to spoile them that mistrusted nothing; who there slew the King of the Province with his Lance, and committed many o∣ther cruelties. In another Village, whose Inhabitants seem'd to be more vigilant, by reason of the horrid iniquities which, as they heard, the Spaniards were wont to commit, they put all to the sword, young and old, little and great, Lord and subject, sparing none that came in their way.
The chief Tyrant, with a nose and lips down to his beard, having call'd together a great number of Indians, reported to Page 107 have been about two hundred, caused them all to have their members lopt off, lea∣ving them in this sad and painful condi∣tion, the blood streaming forth, to be wit∣ness•s of the mercy of these persons baptiz'd in the Catholike Faith.
Now let us judge of the love which such kinde of men beare toward Christianity, or after what manner they beleeve in God, whom they boast to be good and just, and whose Law is without blemish. Most per∣nicious have been the evils committed by these wicked men, the sons of perdition. At length this wretched Captaine dyed without any repentance▪ neither can we doubt but that he now lies fetter'd in the shades of Hell, unlesse God of his infinite mercy and goodnesse, not according to his deserts, have taken compassion on him.