Page images

fear it will prejudice my health. I will bear it like a christian, and always with the submission which I owe to the orders of my God and father, who is full of tenderness and compassion towards me. Imitate me in that, my dear and well beloved widow, and not in the many failings you have known in me. Love me always tenderly as thou hast done, but let this love, which I desire, be always regulated by divine love; that which I have for thee is never separated from it. Although I have great reason to bless myself for thee, and, although I daily pour out my soul in praises to God, for the singular favor which he has done me in joining me to a christian wife, (for thou hast contributed very much to the moderating of my suffering, by saving thyself and our dear family, from the deluge of this age,) yet, I always feared, that you did not receive with submission enough, the affliction by which it pleased God to prove us. Let us imitate Eli, and say with him, It is the Lord; let him do what seemeth him good. What reason have you to fear lest evil should befal me? Dost thou question the omnipotence of God? Oughtest thou to imagine, that God will desert me at last, after several years miraculous preservation of me, even though I should lose my life to preserve that fidelity which I owe to my Saviour? Do not think that is the way to lose it; on the contrary, it is the true way to save it: for Jesus Christ himself, says, Whosoever will save his life, shall lose it; and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it.”

« I must


. ** I must now satisfy thy curiosity. I have so many things to tell thee of that kind, that I cannot mention them without disguise, and without making use of an imaginary and borrowed name. May the Lord who favors us in so eminent and miraculous a manner, grant, if it be his pleasure, that no inconvenience may happen there upon, But I desire of thee beforehand, that thou wilt not make it a subject of affliction, but take occasion thereby to bless the Lord. The place in which I now am, served formerly, for a lodging for soldiers; but since that, they have converted it into a dungeon. They have made so much alteration in it, that there does not, at present, come in so much light, as to hinder me by day, from running myself against the walls. After I had been here three weeks, I was assaulted with so many inconveniencies, that it seemed improbable I could live in such a situation, three or four months; yet it will be five years, the eleventh of next February, that God has preserved me in this place. In the first year, God, who never sends me evils, but for my good, afflicted me with a painful defluxion, which fell in the elbow of my right arm and shoulder. I could not undress myself, but spent the night sometimes upon my bed, sometimes walking backward and forward in my usual darkness. I reflected upon the occasion of my disease, and concluded that it proceeded from the cold and moistness of the winter, and that for a remedy, I must drink my wine pure and unmixed, which I did for the following two days. At length, perceiving my pains to increase, I took the contrary course, and drank water; and finding myself well after it, I have ever since continued to drink water. The defluxion I was just now speaking of, was so bad, that I felt it almost a year. The Lord has tried me with several other inconveniencies, but he has delivered me out of them all.”

“ I forgot, my dear, to give thee a complete description of my little sanctuary. It is ten of my feet in length, and twelve in breadth. All my goods is a bed from the hospital, which was brought here about five or six months before I came to this place. I lie upon one of the hospital quilts, with a straw bed under it; and, in this respect,. I am much better than in the galley. This is the fourth winter that I have spent here almost without fire. The first winter, I had none at all. The second, they began to give me some, the twenty-eighth of January, and took it away from me before the end of February. The third winter, they gave me some about fourteen' or fifteen days. This winter, I have not yet seen any fire, and I will not ask for any at all. The major might give me some if he would, for he has money of mine; but he will not give me a doublet of it. I have sensibly felt cold, nakednesss, and hunger; but all this I thank God, is passed and gone. I have lived on five sols a day, which is the subsistence appointed for me, by the king. I was, at first, fed by an ordinary, who treated me very well for my five sols. But another, who succeeded him, that fed me for five

R 2

months, months, cut me off three sols a day in my food. The major, at length, undertook to feed me in his turn, and did so, at first, carefully; but he soon left off to do well. He opens my dungeon but once a day, and has sent me my dinner several times, at nine, ten, and eleven o'clock at night. Once, I did not receive any bread from him in the space of three days; and, at other times, but twice in twenty-four hours. Let not so many miseries afflict thee, my dear: consider, as I have done, that this diet was appointed for me, by the sovereign physician of my body and soul, to whom I have resigned myself; and I believe, he would not have appointed me this diet, had he not have . judged it necessary. It is by this means, and by the sparing manner in which I have lived all this year, that God has preserved me in life and health. Beware, therefore, of falling into regret; since you ought to bless God for his merciful conduct towards me. I have just told you, that I have suffered nakedness, I have been a year without shirts; my cloaths are more torn and ragged than those of the poorest beggars that stand at the church doors. I have gone barefoot till the fifteenth of December. I say, barefoot, for I have had stockings which have no feet, and a pair of old shoes, unsewed on both sides, and bored through the soles. An intendant, who came into this city, about three years ago, saw me in this magnificent dress; and, though he promised me much, yet he left me ten months in this condition; at the end of which, God raised me up that succour, I


had no room to expect. He put it into the heart of a charitable, pious, person to visit me: this without doubt was done, with the consent of the king's lieutenant, who is likewise a very charitable man. The friend I have mentioned, having seen me in the sorrowful condition in which I was, he would go out immediately to fetch me some of his linen; but I prevented him. At length, he interceded so well for me, that he procured me a whole galley-slaves suit, and obliged the major to buy me a pair of shoes, and a close pair of breeches, out of my own money. So that by the care of this good person, I am better clothed than I have ever yet been in all my captivity. He procured me likewise, a most notable advantage, which is, that for a year and an half, the king's lieutenant gives me every day a lamp full of oil, which affords me light for six, seven, and sometimes for eight hours. · This gives me an opportunity to read the holy scripture more than I did before. I believe, this is enough to satisfy thy curiosity."

I must further add, that I have for five or six months, been troubled with an oppression of the lungs, which almost took away my breath. I have likewise, been troubled with giddiness, and have fallen down so as to break my head. This giddiness, I impute to the want of food: but, I am now, by the grace of God, in more perfect health than I have been for forty years. I speak, my dear, sincerely, as in the presence of God. For two or three months, they have given me regularly,


« PreviousContinue »