A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07 eBook

Robert Kerr (writer)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 785 pages of information about A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 07.

As for the matter of religion, to which he adverted, it would require a separate volume, were I to set down how irreligiously they cover their greedy and ambitious pretences with that veil of pretended piety.  But sure I am, there is no kingdom or commonwealth in all Europe that they do not invade, under pretence of religion, if it be reformed.  Nay if it even be what they term catholic, they pretend a title, as if the kings of Castile were the natural heirs of all the world.  Thus between both, no kingdom is exempted from their ambition.  Where they dare not invade with their own forces, they basely entertain the traitors and vagabonds of all nations; seeking by their means, and by their runagate Jesuits, to win other parts to their dominion, by which they have ruined many noble houses and others in this land, extinguishing their lives and families.  What good, honour, or fortune, any one hath ever yet achieved through them, is yet unheard of.  If our English papists will only look to Portugal, against which they have no pretence of religion; how their nobility are imprisoned and put to death, their rich men made a prey, and all sorts of people reduced to servitude; they shall find that the obedience even of the Turk is ease and liberty, compared to the tyranny of Spain.  What have they done in Sicily, in Naples, in Milan, in the low countries?  Who hath there been spared even for religion?  It cometh to my remembrance of a certain burgher at Antwerp, whose house was entered by a company of Spanish soldiers when they sacked that city.  He besought them to spare him and his goods, being a good catholic, and therefore one of their own party and faction.  The Spaniards answered, they knew him to be of a good conscience in himself; but his money, plate, jewels, and goods, were all heretical, and therefore good prize.  So they abused and tormented the foolish Fleming, who thought that an Agnus Dei had been a sufficient safeguard against all the force of that holy and charitable nation.

Neither have they at any time, as they protest, invaded the kingdoms of Mexico and Peru and elsewhere, being only led thereto to reduce the people to Christianity, not for gold or empire:  Whereas, in the single island of Hispaniola, they have wasted and destroyed thirty hundred thousand of the natives, besides many millions else in other places of the Indies:  a poor and harmless people, created of God, and might have been won to his service, as many of them were, even almost all whom they endeavoured to persuade thereto.  The story of these their enormities, has been written at large by Bartholomew de las Casas[375], a bishop of their own nation, and has been translated into English and many other languages, under the title of The Spanish Cruelties.  Who therefore would repose trust in such a nation of ravenous strangers, and more especially in those Spaniards, who more greedily thirst after the blood of the English, for the many overthrows and dishonours they have received at our

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