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Har. Well contrived ; a fair way
way made, upon this accusation, to put them all to torture.
2 Dutch. By his confession, all of them shall die, even to their general, Towerson.
Har. He stands convicted of another crime, for which he is to suffer.
Fisc. This does well to help it though: For Towerson is here a person publicly employed from England, and if he should appeal, as sure he will, you have no power to judge him in Amboyna.
Van Her. But in regard of the late league and union betwixtthenations, how can this be answered?
1 Dutch. To torture subjects to so great a king, a pain never heard of in their happy land, will sound but ill in Europe.
Fisc. Their English laws in England have their force; and we have ours, different from theirs at home. It is enough, they either shall confess, or we will falsify their hands to make them. Then, for the apology, let me alone; I have it writ already to a tittle, of what they shall subscribe; this I will publish, and make our most unheard of cruelties to seem most just and legal.
Har. Then, in the name of him, who put it first into thy head to form this damned false plot, proceed we to the execution of it! And to begin; first seize we their effects, rifle their chests, their boxes, writings, books, and take of them a seeming inventory ; but all to our own use.--I shall grow young with thought of this, and losemy son's remembrance !
Fisc. Will you not please to call the prisoners in ? At least inquire what torments have extorted.
Har. Go thou and bring us word. [Exit FISCAL.] Boy, give me some tobacco, and a stoup of wine, boy.
Boy. I shall, sir.
Har. And a tub to leak in, boy ; when was this table without a leaking vessel ?
Van Her. That's an omission.
i Dutch. A great omission. 'Tis a member of the table, I take it so.
Har. Never any thing of moment was done at our council-table without a leaking tub, at least in my time; great affairs require great consultations, great consultations require great drinking, and great drinking a great leaking vessel.
Van Her. I am even drunk with joy already, to see our godly business in this forwardness.
Enter FISCAL. Har. Where are the prisoners ? Fisc. At the door.
Har. Bring them in ; I'll try if we can face them down by impudence, and make them to confess.
Enter BEAMONT and Collins, guarded. You are not ignorant of our business with you : the cries of your accomplices have already reached your ears; and your own consciences, above a thousand summons, a thousand tortures, instruct you what to do. No farther juggling, nothing but plain sincerity and truth to be delivered now; a free confession will first atone for all your sins above, and may do much below to gain your pardons. Let me exhort you, therefore, be
you merciful, first to yourselves, and make acknowledgment of your conspiracy.
Beam. What conspiracy ?
Fisc. Why la you, that the devil should go masked, with such a seeming honest face! I warrant you know of no such thing?
Har. Were not you, Mr Beamont, and you, Collins, both accessary to the horrid plot, for the surprisal of this fort and island ?
Beam. As I shall reconcile my sins to heaven, in my last article of life, I am innocent.
Col. And so am I.
Fisc. Here are impudent rogues ! now after confession of two Japanese, these English starts dare ask what plot it is!
Har. Not to inform your knowledge, but that law may have its course in every circumstance, Fiscal, sum up their accusation to them.
Fisc. You stand accused, that new-year's day last past, there met at Captain Towerson's house, you present, and many others of your factory : There, against law and justice, and all ties of friendship, and of partnership betwixt us, you did conspire to seize upon the fort, to murder this our worthy governor; and, by the help of your plantations near, of Jacatra, Banda, and Loho, to keep it for yourselves.
Beam. What proofs have you of this?
Fisc. The confession of two Japanese, hired by you to attempt it.
Beam. I hear they have been forced by torture to it.
Har. It matters not which way the truth comes out; take heed, for their example is before you.
Beam. Ye have no right, ye dare not torture us; we owe you no subjection.
Fisc. That, sir, must be disputed at the Hague ; in the meantime we are in possession here.
2 Dutch. And we can make ourselves be obeyed.
Van Her. In few words, gentlemen, confess. There is a beverage ready for you else, which you will not like to swallow.
Col. How is this?
an oiled cloth put underneath your chins, then water poured above; which either you must drink, or must not breathe.
1 Dutch. That is one way, we have others.
Har. Yes, we have two elements at your service, fire, as well as water; certain things called matches to be tied to your finger-ends, which are as sovereign as nutmegs to quicken your short memories.
Beam. You are inhuman, to make your cruelty your pastime: nature made me a man, and not a whale, to swallow down a flood.
Har. You will grow a corpulent gentleman like me; I shall love you the better for it; now you are but a spare rib.
Fisc. These things are only offered to your choice; you may avoid your tortures, and confess.
Col. Kill us first; for that we know is your design at last, and 'tis more mercy now.
Beam. Be kind, and execute us while we bear the shapes of men, ere fire and water have destroyed our figures ; let me go whole out of the world, I care not, and find my body when I rise again, so as I need not be ashamed of it.
Har. 'Tis well you are merry ; will you yet confess?
Beam. We will shame your cruelty ; if we deserve our tortures, 'tis first for freeing such an infamous nation, that ought to have been slaves, and then for trusting them as partners, who had cast off the yoke of their lawful sovereign.
Har. Away, I'll hear no more.-Now who comes the next?
[Exeunt the English with a Guard. Fisc. Towerson's page, a ship-boy, and a woman. Har. Call them in. [Exit a Messenger.
Van Her. We shall have easy work with them.
Fisc. Not so easy as you imagine, they have endured the beverage already; all masters of their pain, no one confessing.
Har. The devil's in these English! those brave boys would prove stout topers if they lived. Enter Page, a Boy,and a Woman,led as from torture. Come hither, ye perverse imps ; they say you have endured the water torment, we will try whát fire will do with you :-You, sirrah, confess; were not you knowing of Towerson's plot, against this fort and island ?
Page. I have told your hangman no, twelve times within this hour, when I was at the last gasp ; and that is a time, I think, when a man should not dissemble.
Har. A man! mark you that now, you English boys have learnt a trick of late, of growing men betimes; and doing men's work, too, before you come to twenty.
Van Her. Sirrah, I will try if you are a salamander, and can live in the fire.
Page. Sure you think my father got me of some Dutch woman, and that I am but of a half-strain courage; but you shall find that I am all over English, as well in fire as water.
Boy. Well, of all religions, I do not like your Dutch.
Fisc. No ? and why, young stripling ?
Boy. Because your penance comes before confession.
Har. Do you mock us, sirrah? To the fire with him!
Boy. Do so; all you shall get by it is this; before I answered no; now I'll be sullen and will talk
Har. Best cutting off these little rogues betime;