« AnteriorContinuar »
have been dealt with by their own prince, for the sake of their religion, by reason of the felness of the cruelties, we almost tremble to remember, and thought it superfluous to put you in mind of those things, which are much better known to your Lordships. We have also seen copies of the letters, which your ambassadors, promoters and witnesses of the peace, concluded at Pignerol, wrote to the duke of Savoy, and the president of his council at Turin; wherein they set forth, and make it out, that all the conditions of the said peace are broken, and were rather a snare then a security to those miserable people. Which violation continued from the conclusion of the peace to this very moment, and still growing more heavy every day then other : unless they patiently endure, unless they lay themselves down to be trampled under foot, plashed like mortar, or abjure their religion, the same calamities, the same slaughters, hang over their heads, which three years since, made such a dreadful havock of them, their wives and children ; and which, if it must be undergone once more, will certainly prove the utter extirpation of their whole race.
What shall such miserable creatures do? In whose behalf no intercession will avail, to whom no breathing time is allowed, nor any certain place of refuge. They have to do with wild beasts, or furies rather, upon whom the re
membrance of their former murders has wrought no compassion upon their countrymen, no sense of humanity, nor satiated their ravenous hunger after blood. Most certainly these things are not to be endured, if we desire the safety of our brethren the Piemontois, most ancient professors of the orthodox faith, or the welfare of our religion itself. As for ourselves, so far remote, we have not been wanting to assist 'em as far as in us lay, nor shall we cease our future aid. But you, who not only lie so near adjoining, as to behold the butcheries, and hear the outcries and shrieks of the distressed, but are also next exposed to the fury of the same enemies; consider for the sake of the immortal God, and that in time, what it behoves ye now to do : consult your prudence, your piety, and your fortitude, , what succour, what relief and safeguard you are able, and are bound to afford your neighbours and brethren, who must else undoubtedly and speedily perish. Certainly the same religion is the cause, why the same enemies seek also your perdition ; why, at the same time the last year, they meditated your ruin, by intestine broiles among yourselves. It seems to be only in your power, next under God, to prevent the extirpation of this most ancient Scien of the purer religion, in these remainders of the primitive believers; whose preservation, now reduced to the
very brink of utter ruin, if you neglect, beware that the next turn be not your own.
These admonitions, while we give ye freely, and out of brotherly love, we are not quite as yet cast down: for what lies only in our power so far distant, as we have hitherto, so shall we still employ our utmost endeavours, not only to procure the safety of our brethren upon the precipice of danger, but also to relieve their wants. May the Almighty God vouchsafe to both of us that peace and tranquillity at home, that settlement of times and affairs, that we may be able to employ all our wealth and force, all our studies and counsels in the defence of his church against the rage and fury of her enemies.
" From our Court at Whitehall, May, 1658.”
“To his Eminency Cardinal Mazarin.
“Most EMINENT LORD,
“ The late most grievous cruelties, and most bloody slaughters perpetrated upon the inhabitants of the valleys of Piemont, within the duke of Savoy's dominions, occasioned the writing of the inclosed letters to his Majesty, and these other to your Eminency. And as we make no
doubt but that such tyranny, inhumanities, so rigorously inflicted upon harmless and indigent people, are highly displeasing and offensive to the most Serene King ; so we readily persuade ourselves, that what we request from his Majesty in behalf of those unfortunate creatures, your Eminency will employ your endeavour, and your favour to obtain, as an accumulation to our intercessions. Seeing there is nothing which has acquired more good-will and affection to the French nation, among all the neighbouring professors of the reformed religion, then that liberty and those privileges, which by publick acts and Edicts are granted in that kingdom to the Protestants. And this among others was one main reason, why this republick so ardently desired the friendship and alliance of the French people. For the settling of which we are now treating with the King's embassador, and have made those progresses, that the treaty is almost brought to a conclusion. Besides that, your Eminency's singular benignity and moderation, which in the management of the most important affairs of the kingdom, you have always testified to the Protestants of France, encourages us to expect what we promise to ourselves from your prudenee and generosity; whereby you will not only lay the foundations of a stricter alliance between this republick and the kingdom of France, but
oblige us in particular to returns of all good offices of civility and kindness : and of this we desire your eminency to rest assured.
“Your Eminency's most Affectionate.”
“RICHARD, Protector of the Commonwealth of
ENGLAND, &c. To the most Serene and Potent Prince, CHARLES GUSTAVUS, king of the SWEDES, Goths, and VANDALS, &c.
“Most SERENE AND POTENT KING, OUR FRIEND
“ We have received two letters from your Majesty, the one by your Envoy, the other transmitted to us from our Resident, Philip Meadowes, whereby we not only understood your Majesties unfained grief for the death of our most Serene Father, in expressions setting forth the real thoughts of your mind, and how highly your Majesty esteemed his prowess and friendship, but also what great hopes your Majesty conceived of ourselves advanced in his
And certainly, as an accumulation of paternal honour in deeming us worthy to succeed him, nothing more noble, more illustrious, could befal us then the judgment of such a prince ;