|Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:|
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. III: Colonial Literature, 16071764
|How an Indian Bore Himself under Torture|
|By William Hubbard (1621/21704)|
[From A Narrative of the Troubles with the Indians in New-England. 1677.]
AMONGST the rest of the prisoners then taken was a young sprightly fellow, seized by the Mohegans; who desired of the English commanders that he might be delivered into their hands, that they might put him to death, more majorum; sacrifice him to their cruel Genius of Revenge, in which brutish and devilish passion they are most of all delighted. The English, though not delighted in blood, yet at this time were not unwilling to gratify their humor, lest by a denial they might disoblige their Indian friends, of whom they lately made so much use; partly also that they might have an ocular demonstration of the savage, barbarous cruelty of these Heathen. And indeed, of all the enemies that have been the subjects of the precedent discourse, this villain did most deserve to become an object of justice and severity; for he boldly told them that he had with his gun dispatched nineteen English, and that he had charged it for the twentieth; but not meeting with any of ours, and unwilling to lose a fair shot, he had let fly at a Mohegan and killed him, with which, having made up his number, he told them he was fully satisfied. But, as is usually said, justice vindictive hath iron hands, though leaden feet; this cruel monster is fallen into their power, that will repay him seven-fold. In the first place, therefore, making a great circle, they placed him in the middle, that all their eyes might at the same time be pleased with the utmost revenge upon him. They first cut one of his fingers round in the joint, at the trunk of his hand, with a sharp knife, and then broke it off, as men used to do with a slaughtered beast before they uncase him; then they cut off another and another, till they had dismembered one hand of all its digits, the blood sometimes spurting out in streams a yard from his hand, which barbarous and unheard of cruelty the English were not able to bear, it forcing tears from their eyes. Yet did not the sufferer ever relent, or show any sign of anguish; for being asked by some of his tormentors, how he liked the war? he might have replied, as the Scotch gentleman did after the loss of a battle, that being asked how he liked the match, se. with our Prince of Wales (which then was the occasion of the quarrel), made answer, he liked the match well enough, but no whit liked the manner of the wooing written by such lines of blood. But this unsensible and hard-hearted monster answered, He liked it very well, and found it as sweet as Englishmen did their sugar. In this frame he continued, till his executioners had dealt with the toes of his feet as they had done with the fingers of his hands; all the while making him dance round the circle and sing, till he had wearied both himself and them. At last they broke the bones of his legs, after which he was forced to sit down, which tis said he silently did till they had knocked out his brains. Instances of this nature should be incentive unto us to bless the Father of Lights, who hath called us out of the dark places of the earth, full of the habitations of cruelty. When the Day-spring from on high shall visit those that sit in this region of darkness, another Spirit will be poured upon them, and then the feet of them that bring the glad tidings of gospel-salvation will appear more beautiful to them than at present they seem to do. And when these mountains of prey shall become the holy mountain of the Lord, they shall neither hurt, nor destroy, nor exercise cruelty therein.