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Buchanan's Discourses and Christian Researches in Asia. Description of the Inquisition at Goa, of the White and Black Jews in India, and of the Armenian Christians.*

IN the course of his travels through different parts of the East, the author had an opportunity of witnessing the degrading effects produced by the papal corruptions. On one occasion he beheld the tower of Juggernaut employed to celebrate a Christian festival. While the author reviewed these corruptions, he was always referred to the Inquisition at Goa, as the fountain head. This determined him, if possible, to visit Goa before he left India. He had learnt, from every quarter, that this tribunal was still in operation, though restricted as to the publicity of its proceedings; and that its power extended to the extreme boundary of Hindostan.

"That, in the present civilized state of Christian nations in Europe, an inquisition should exist at all under their authority, appeared strange; but that a papal tribunal of this character should exist under the implied toleration and countenance of the British government; that Christians, being subjects of the British empire, and inhabiting the British territories, should be amenable to its power and jurisdiction, was a statement which seemed to be scarcely credible; but, if true, a fact which demanded the most public and solemn representation." p. 240.

Dr. Buchanan accordingly adopted the resolution of visiting Goa, and, after overcoming difficulties which would have deterred any man less bold than himself, we find him lodged in the convent of the Augustinians, in that city, under the especial protection of Josephus a Doloribus, one of the Inquisitors. The whole of Dr. Buchanan's journal, while he remained at Goa, would prove, in the highest degree, interesting to our readers; but our limits oblige us to be content with a single extract. We are persuaded that no one who reads it will object to its length.

"Goa, Augustinian Convent, 27th Jan. 1807.

"On the second morning after my arrival, I was surprised by my host, the inquisitor, coming into my apartment, clothed in black robes from head to foot; for the usual dress of his order is white. He said he was going to sit on the tribunal of the holy office. "I presume, father, your august office does not occupy much of your time."

* Former notice of Dr. Buchanan's Researches, &c. are to be found in the 6th vol, of the Select Reviews,-page 297 and 396.

"Yes," answered he, " much. I sit on the tribunal three or four days every week."

"I had thought, for some days, of putting Dellon's book into the inquisitor's hands; for if I could get him to advert to the facts stated in that book, I should be able to learn, by comparison, the exact state of the inquisition at the present time. In the evening he came in, as usual, to pass an hour in my apartment. After some conversation I took the pen in my hand to write a few notes in my journal; and as if to amuse him, while I was writing, I took up Dellon's book, which was lying with some others on the table, and handing it across to him, asked him whether he had ever seen it. It was in the French language, which he understood well. "Relation de l'Inquisition de Goa," pronounced he, with a slow, articulate voice. He had never seen it before, and began to read it with eagerness. He had not proceeded far, before he betrayed evident symptoms of uneasiness. He turned hastily to the middle of the book, and then to the end, and then ran over the table of contents at the beginning, as if to ascertain the full extent of the evil. He then composed himself to read, while I continued to write. He turned over the pages with rapidity, and when he came to a certain place, he exclaimed in the broad Italian accent, "Mendacium, Mendacium." I requested he would mark those passages which were untrue, and we should discuss them afterwards, for that I had other books on the subject. "Other books," said he, and he looked with an inquiring eye on those on the table. He continued reading till it was time to retire to rest, and then begged to take the book with him.

"It was on this night that a circumstance happened which caused my first alarm at Goa My servants slept every night at my chamber door, in the long gallery, which is common to all the apartments, and not far distant from the servants of the convent. About midnight I was waked by loud shrieks and expressions of terror, from some person in the gallery. In the first moment of surprise I concluded it must be the Alguazils of the holy office, seizing my servants to carry them to the inquisition. But, on going out, I saw my own servants standing at the door, and the person who had caused the alarm (a boy of about fourteen) at a little distance, surrounded by some of the priests, who had come out of their cells on hearing the noise. The boy said he had seen a spectre, and it was a considerable time before the agitations of his body and voice subsided.-Next morning, at breakfast, the inquisitor apologized for the disturbance, and said the boy's alarm proceeded from a " phantasma animi," a phantasm of the imagination.

"After breakfast we resumed the subject of the inquisition. The inquisitor admitted that Dellon's description of the dungeons, of the torture, of the mode of trial, and of the Auto da Fè were, in general, just but he said the writer judged untruly of the motives of the inquisitors, and very uncharitably of the character of the holy church; and I admitted that, under the pressure of his peculiar suffering, this might possibly be the case. The inquisitor was now anxious to know to what extent Dellon's book had been circulated in Europe. I told

him that Picart had published to the world extracts from it, in his celebrated work called "Religious Ceremonies;" together with plates of the system of torture and burnings at the Auto da Fè. I added that * it was now generally believed in Europe that these enormities no longer existed, and that the inquisition itself had been totally suppressed; but that I was concerned to find that this was not the case. He now began a grave narration to show, that the inquisition had undergone a change in some respects, and that its terrors were mitigated.

"I had already discovered, from written or printed documents, that the inquisition at Goa was suppressed by royal edict, in the year 1775, and established again in 1779. The Franciscan Father before mentioned, witnessed the annual Auto da Fè, from 1770, to 1775. "It was the humanity, and tender mercy of a good king," said the old father, "which abolished the inquisition." But immediately on his death, the power of the priests acquired the ascendant, under the queen dowager, and the tribunal was re-established, after a bloodless interval of five years. It has continued in operation ever since. It was restored in 1779, subject to certain restrictions, the chief of which are the two following, "That a greater number of witnesses should be required to convict a criminal than were before necessary;" and, "That the Auto da Fè should not be held publicly as before; but that the sentences of the tribunal should be executed privately, within the walls of the inquisition."


"In this particular the constitution of the new inquisition is more reprehensible than that of the old one; for as the old father expressed it, Nunc sigillum non revelat inquisitio.'-Formerly the friends of those unfortunate persons who were thrown into its prison, had the melancholy satisfaction of seeing them once a year walking in the procession of the Auto da Fé; or if they were condemned to die, they witnessed their death, and mourned for the dead. But now they have no means of learning for years whether they be dead or alive. The policy of this new code of concealment appears to be this, to preserve the power of the inquisition, and at the same time to lesson a public odium of its proceedings, in the presence of British dominion and civilization. I asked the father his opinion concerning the nature and frequency of the punishments within the walls. He said he possessed no certain means of giving a satisfactory answer; that every thing transacted there was declared to be sacrum et secretum.' But this he knew to be true, that there were constantly captives in the dungeons: that some of them are liberated after long confinement, but that they never speak afterwards of what passed within the place. He added that, of all the persons he had known, who had been liberated, he never knew one who did not carry about with him what might be called,

the mark of the inquisition :' that is to say, who did not show, in the solemnity of his countenance, or in his peculiar demeanor, or his terror of the priests, that he had been in that dreadful place.

"The chief argument of the inquisitor to prove the melioration of the inquisition was the superior humanity of the inquisitors. I remarked that I did not doubt the humanity of the existing officers; but what availed humanity in an inquisitor? he must pronounce sentence

according to the laws of the tribunal, which are notorious enough; and a relapsed Heretic must be burned in the flames, or confined for life in a dungeon, whether the inquisitor be hun ane or not. But if, said I, you would satisfy my mind completely on this subject, 'show me the inquisition.' He said it was not permitted to any person to see the inquisition. I observed that mine might be considered as a peculiar case, that the character of the inquisition, and the expediency of its longer continuance had been called in question; that I had myself written on the civilization of India, and might possibly publish something more upon that subject, and that it could not be expected that I should pass over the inquisition without notice, knowing what I did of its proceedings; at the same time I should not wish to state a single fact without his authority, or at least his admission of its truth. I added that he himself had been pleased to communicate with me very fully on the subject, and that in all our discussions we had both been actuated, L hoped, by a good purpose. The countenance of the inquisitor evidently altered on receiving this intimation, nor did it ever after wholly regain its wanted frankness and placidity. After some hesitation, however, he said, he would take me with him to the inquisition the next day. I was a good deal surprised at this acquiescence of the inquisitor, but I did not know what was in his mind.

"Next morning, after breakfast, my host went to dress for the holy office, and soon returned in his inquisitorial robes. He said he would go half an hour before the usual time, for the purpose of showing me the inquisition. The buildings are about a quarter of a mile distant from the convent, and we proceeded thither in our manjeels. On our arrival at the place, the inquisitor said to me, as we were ascending the steps of the outer stair, that he hoped I should be satisfied with a transient view of the inquisition, and that I would retire whenever he should desire it. I took this as a good omen, and followed my conductor with tolerable confidence.

He led me first to the great hall of the inquisition. We were met at the door by a number of well dressed persons, who, I afterwards understood, were the familiars, and attendants of the holy office. They bowed very low to the inquisitor, and looked with surprise at me. The great hall is the place in which the prisoners are marshalled for the procession of the Auto da Fè. At the procession described by Dellon, in which he himself walked barefoot, clothed with the painted garment, there were upwards of one hundred and fifty prisoners. I traversed this hall for some time, with a slow step, reflecting on its former scenes, the inquisitor walking by my side in silence. I thought of the fate of the multitude of my fellow-creatures who had passed through this place, condemned by a tribunal of their fellow-sinners, their bodies devoted to the flames, and their souls to perdition. And I could not help saying to him, 'would not the holy church wish, in her mercy, to have those souls back again, that she might allow them a little further probation?' The inquisitor answered nothing, but beckoned me to go with him to a door at one end of the hall. By this

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door he conducted me to some small rooms, and thence to the spa cious apartments of the chief inquisitor. Having surveyed these, he brought me back again to the great hall; and I thought he seemed now desirous that I should depart. Now, father,' said I, 'lead me to the dungeons below; I want to see the captives.'' No,' said he, 'that cannot be.'-I now began to suspect that it had been in the mind of the inquisitor, from the beginning, to show me only a certain part of the inquisition, in the hope of satisfying my inquiries in a general way. I urged him with earnestness, but he steadily resisted, and seemed to be offended, or rather agitated, by my importunity. I intimated to him plainly, that the only way to do justice to his own assertions and arguments, regarding the present state of the inquisition, was to show me the prisons and the captives. I should then describe only what I saw; but now the subject was left in awful obscurity. Lead me down,' said I, to the inner building, and let me pass through the two hundred dungeons, ten feet square, described by your former captives. Let me count the number of your present captives, and converse with them. I want to see if there be any subjects of the British government, to whom we owe protection. I want to ask how long they have been here, how long it is since they beheld the light of the sun, and whether they ever expect to see it again. Show me the chamber of torture; and declare what modes of execution, or of punishment, are now practised within the walls of the inquisition, in lieu of the public Auto da Fè. If, after all that has passed, father, you resist this reasonable request, I shall be justified in believing, that you are afraid of exposing the real state of the inquisition in India.' To these observations the inquisitor made no reply; but seemed impatient that I should withdraw. My good father,' said I,' I am about to take my leave of you, and to thank you for your hospitable attentions,' (it had been before understood that I should take my final leave at the door of the inquisition, after having seen the interior), and I wish always to preserve on my mind a favourable sentiment of your kindness and candour. You cannot, you say, show me the captives and the dungeons; be pleased then merely to answer this question; for I shall believe your word: How many prisoners are there now below, in the cells of the inquisition?' The inquisitor replied, That is a question which I cannot answer.' On his pronouncing these words, I retired hastily towards the door, and wished him a farewell. We shook hands with as much cordiality as we could at the moment assume; and both of us, I believe, were sorry that our parting took place with a clouded





"From the inquisition I went to the place of burning, in the Campo Santo Lazaro, on the river side, where the victims were brought to the stake at the Auto da Fé. It is close to the palace, that the viceroy and his court may witness the execution; for it has ever been the policy of the inquisition to make these spiritual executions appear to be the executions of the state. An old priest accompanied nie, who pointed out the place and described the scene. As I passed over this melancholy plain, I thought on the difference between the pure and benign doctrine, which was first preached to India in the apostolic age, and

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