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Of tho late
ACCIDENT IN THE NEW EXCHANGE,
Written by the most noble and illustrious Lord, Don PANTALEON Sa,
London, printed in the year, 1653. Quarto, containing fourteen pages.
so unsuitable to my condition; whilst few vouchsafe me their commiseration, all deem me worthy of reproof. Truly, I do acquiesce in this, to me, harsh tenor of English justice, and obey it without resistance, to this unversal and undeserved hatred towards me and ours. Notwithstanding, because I am conscious of my own intentions herein, I cannot but grieve to see the whole envy and malice of this affair pursue only my part, not having given, neither the first nor the second time, any occasion for it, without permitting, that we, remote strangers from our native country, enjoy any pity at all. Much I am afflicted, that few cherish my cause, most withstand it, and, as it were, none interpose themselves, to ascribe this unhappy accident, as really it ought, to chance, rather than to malice; to the ignorance of some particulars, than to the pertinacy of all; to the reciprocal hurly-burly, than to the pretended violence of one only side.
'This I only say, to that end, that I may lay open the business, and intentions herein, so to be made apparent to the most beloved gentry and people of England, that all may more easily compassionate my person and condition, and restore me and ours again their love and favour, which truly, in these circumstances, I equally value with my life.
It no wise can be conceived how deeply I am struck, when I reflect that I am come to that point, that neither 1, in my proper cause, nor others can be heard for me, many imagining their aim and honour to withstand me as much as is possible; yea, and that those, that assist me herein, therefore are deemed principals in the act.
Whence to you all, who read this, I leave it to be judged, what an unspeakable grief I must needs inwardly feel, when I hear such strange speeches against me every where in this city, and that, only for my sake, my country-men all and nation displease them. Truly, if it were at first as it is now bruited, I might justly seem a madman towards my brother, most uncivil to all the English gentry, and ungrateful to all this city, wherein I
have so long been, and so well known. But these forerunning discourses, at first, discredit themselves by their variety, and, afterwards, totally become groundless.
1. Should I, as it is said, oppress the English, or withstand them from whom my brother, sent hither particularly by my King, demands peace and amity, and under whose protection we all are Should I commit
, by such a levity, everlastingly by me to be repented, that I should not also seem to intend what my brother, with so much pains, hitherto endeavoured to effect? I would not have been so great an enemy to myself, both in the opinion of my brother, and in the esteem of my King, in whose hands it lies to dispose of my whole life, honour, and fortune; which, since it is so, I confide none will exaggerate my cause, or accuse me beyond reason.
2. Should I hate the English gentry? Alas, I am a gentleman mye. self; and, indeed, I much ever desired to deserve their love and esteem. I never would have dreamed such a folly, unless I had first forgot my own birth, in which, so far I am from doing wrong, that I endeavoured to shew myself, as I was able, a true follower of my brother, whom I still perceived and noted heartily desirous to oblige all gentlemen, by whatsoever manner of civility and kindness he could afford them.
3. Should I, lastly, on set purpose, bring I know not what arms to besiege the Exchange? I witness heaven, and beg pardon first of all this common-wealth, to which I totally submit myself, then again of my dear brother, if either of them harbour such an opinion of my deportments. Nay, if by chance I had indiscreetly offended in this kind, it might have been ascribed to my unexperienced youth, and pardonable; and every indifferent judge will find me to have only sought to defend myself and honour, and not in the least to offend others. And I swear to heaven, I knew nothing of what is spoke of powder, which was found in a hackney-coach.
Some will object, Why would I go and meet the threats I might have before heard of? First, I believed no such threats, which, I conjectured, could not proceed hut from a very few; especially, when I reflected on the great civilities and kindnesses which, for this year and more, had been betwist the English and Portugal gentry, and that all differences might be decided by some other handsome mean, and not by the like threats. Again, how could I imagine any hinderance to go to so publick a place, which I see open to all nations, even to the basest sort of people? If I had been forbidden any private house, by its owner, or, by a decree of parliament, from any publick place, I had kept home, and not stirred, to manifest, with joy and promptness, my obedience therein to this common-wealth. And thus I feared none, nor suspected, in the least, that any would assault me, when they saw me unarmed; neither did I think, that a publick place could defend nie, when my brother's house is patent to all. Notwithstanding, being danger of life and honour must be provided against, I would not go totally unprepared, in case any where I should be offended.
Coming therefore to the Exchange, as I was wont to do, on the twenty-first of November, 1653, so to gain and increase love and acquaintance with the English gentlemen, I walked with a certain Eng.
lishman, new arrived from Portugal, who assured me of the civilities he enjoyed among my country-men there. As we two thus hand in hand discoursed, behold, on a sudden, an English gentleman obtrudes himself betwixt us with great violence; I regarded not this, until I heard that party and my companion at variance. At this, though I understood little, yet I very much resented it; because I earnestly wished nothing of scandal attempted where I might have any thing to do. This was my mind then, as they will easily believe, who behold me with an impartial eye. But what? Out of hand the gentleman casteth at me most contumelious words, repeating them twice or thrice in the French tongue, against me alone, who had not offended him; calling me Jean Foutre, Brugher, and Coquin. I pray, what flesh alive, in these conjunctures, could have contained himself from taking a just revenge? Let any speak, whether he could have patiently took the like injurious words from me? If not, why should it be my charge and only blame, not to have been then so patient as to hold my hands without repelling him, making at me in so scurvy a manner? It is true, I then rushed upon him; yet, naked as I was, without either sword, or any weapon that could do him the harm he, in that mutiny, received. Here quickly a world of English crouded about me, by whom I was unkindly, yea, harshly abused, and, by naked swords drawn against my life, compelled to withdraw myself thence as I could, especially perceiving none there so favourable as would either speak or stand in my behalf.
Upon this, I was not a little afflicted, and tenderly felt what was acted against me, a gentleman, a stranger, and innocent, if I had been rightly understood; against whom, none, in my own country, durst have attempted so much; if not for the honour of my deportment, at least for the respect and duty of my birth. I say no more, but leave it to your commiseration to reflect how deeply I resented this. I know you are well instructed all in those wholsome counsels of Holy Writ, and therefore, with greater confidence, I now, and ever, did cast myself into your arms, fearing nothing, Levit. xix, ver. 33. And if a stranger sojourn with thee in your land, ye shall not vex him, Exod. xxii. ver. 21. Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him, for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Exod. xxiii. ver. 9. Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger, for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. I am sorry that the gentleman, the cause of all this, should have been wounded; and, if any of my followers did it, I am the more sorry, although it were done in my defence. But, I call God to witness, I had not so much as a pin in my hand then, by which I could in the least harm him.
With these unhandsome injuries I thought to have rested, hoping the party, that had affronted me, would have been sensible of what he had done, and so I would have deemed myself sufficiently satisfied. But what? There were several who abused divers Portugal gentlemen, then casually walking, with blows and words. Nay, the gentleman, of whose wound was complained so much, assisted by many others, meeting a Portugal gentleman, ignorant of what had passed, rushed upon
him, and, with a blow in the face, wanted but a little to put out one
of his eyes.
I was, and am, sure all this did proceed but from some few ill affected persons, and therefore, the day following, I esteemed it superfluous to look to iyself more than usually.
I slighted those, who then publickly bragged, that no Portuguese should then dare to return and expatiate there again. For I should have much admired, if, from the plurality of this nation, so dear to us all, such hard speeches and prohibitions had proceeded, especially remembering how all English, and particularly gentlemen, are, and have always been loved, and honoured in my country, where Portugal against Portugal would have boldly and laudably stood for any stranger in such a rencounter, according to that polyanthea, Verbo hospitalitatis redeo: Do no harm, nor affront a guest and stranger; do not so much as indanger his safery, &c.
Upon these considerations, I came the next night to the Exchange, but with a far other intent than I am accused of. I, myselt, brought no arms at all, nor any of those that then entered with me; so great was my confidence in the affection I hoped from the greatest part of wbomsoever I should find there, sought for always, and deserved by my brother and myself. This I did on purpose, persuading myself, with sweet and civil language, and with my unarmed habit of both mind and body, to appease and moderate those that, by chance, might be there unsatisfied, by reason of the mistake happening the night before. I call God to witness, who searcheth the secrets of hearts, and I appeal also to all the English gentlemen there to argue me, if hitherto I Ainch from the truth.
For myself, I stood not at all in awe of those threats which I was informed of; but some of our domesticks followed me of their own accord, apprehending some danger in my behalf, so to assist me, if need were, but only in a deiensive way, wheresoever it were requisite. It is true, all are prone to love and respect me, to whom I will not give any thanks upon this occasion, but only resent, and grieve, that they should follow me in so great a number, whose duty, I assure them, shall be less acceptable, because it was not expected; for, I do protest, I dreamed not of half so many, as that night came after me. Although, among these, some had too many arms, as I said before, yet would not attempt any thing, if I should enjoy quietly the liberty of my accustomed walk. I I confide, nothing can be laid to their charge, as done otherwise than 1 relate; yet, if any thing were untowardly and foolishly committed by any one of them, I beseech it may not be, or seem, my fault, who was seriously ignorant of it; and I would rigorously punish them, if my brother but granted me leave; nay, I would importune his excellency, and my king also, with bowed knees, for such a power, so excessive is my sorrow for this most unhappy accident, in which, I hear, we have displeased so many of this city, and singularly of the Exchange-merchants, who have asserted many things, wholly unknown to me, against me and ours.
It is hard to take away the first impressions so deeply grounded, yet I humbly beg of them all, that, without any partial love or aversion
each one would say no more than his conscience dictates, and he assuredly knows. I doubt not, this I demand, for none can but pity us, seeing we are so small a company, so remote from our country, and to that condition brought, that most are prone to censure and condemn us by the very name of Portuguese; especially, because the total envy of all this business, by most, is only ascribed to us.
Let none, I pray, be so much our enemy, as to exaggerate our crime above truth, but let all favour us for our former affection, rather than hate us for this present event.
For you, noble English gentlemen, pardon me, if I were so touched with too quick a spur of honour, that nothing could retard me from coming to the second, yet by me unexpected broil. I never imagined what so unluckily fell out, but put a greater confidence in the civil character I framed of cach one (nor was I deceived in most) of a more kind and gallant disposiuon, than to give an origin or provocation to all this which presseth me alone. You know, and experience, how ardent the thought of glory is in generous souls; whence, I grant, that I do not contemu my life, but I far more value my honour. Although, I protest, if I could have foreseen what befel, for all those threats, I had not come to the Exchange, but would have waved my honour, a little blemished by the indiscreet counsels and threats of some tew : I would not, 1 say, have ventured so, before I had made my way, by my civi. lity to you all, and procured a better understanding reciprocally betwixt both parties. But, believe me, I did not think it my duty cither to fear or fly, or to be reconciled to any that justly would meet me there upon any unhandsome terms; for, indeed, I was conscious that I bad peradventure received, but given no offence to any, that would aright reflect and understand me.
Let here that English gentleman speak, if he will honour and befriend me so far in these my straits, for he must needs call to mind, how I then carried myself. He first expostulated quietly with me for what befel the night before; to whom I replied, in all meekness and civility, that I was ready, if need were, to satisfy him, and all the English gentry, as was fit for me to do, and them to demand. This also I added and desired, that none should so mistake me, as to esteem it any injury, contempt, or quarrel, to them at all; for, indeed, the Portugal gentry can neither presume, nor wish, to contest with the English, from whom they seek and desire a firm and stable peace and union.
While thus things were carried, behold, all the Exchangemen, with great noise, shut up their shops, which I will not interpret to any ill intention against my person; for both I in French, as I could, and divers English gentlemen, cried out aloud, What is the business? What needs all this? To what purpose so great a change? Nevertheless, no Portuguese did hitherto endeavour any hostility at all, until such time as a pistol was discharged, upon the very ascent of the lower walk to the higher. Here began the unhappy mutiny, wherein so much ill followed, which I grieve as much as any Englishman whatever. Une happy man! whose shot that was, a most rash action, and cause of all this; whether English or Portuguese, if taken, he deserves no light punishment. I am sorry, from the bottom of my heart, that my peo