ePub 版

mid-ocean. They consumed all their provisions; and then devoured the poor wretch whom their Captain had banished. They had rescued him from starvation, only to plunge him into a more hideous fate.

Sir Walter Besant, in his "Coligny," states that the crew of the vessel cast lots, to decide which of them should be the sacrifice. But I have carefully read the original narrative of Laudonniere, (who was with Ribault) and I do not find anything about casting lots. It would seem, rather, that the fatal choice fell on Lachere, the banished man, upon the theory that, inasmuch as he had already been practically sentenced to death, and would have been dead had he not been rescued, he, and not his rescuers, was the man who should be sacrificed.

All the others reached England, having been picked up, off the British Coast by a British vessel.

In 1564, Coligny renewed his attempt to colonize Florida with Protestants. He provided three ships, which were filled with soldiers, sailors, town-workmen, and "gentlemen." For the second time, the mistake of not sending a few tillers of the soil was made.

In June of the same year, these Protestants landed on the East coast of Florida. They built "Fort Caroline" on a triangular island in Rieviere de May; (St. Johns), and proceeded to let history repeat itself. They used all of their provisions, devoured what the Indians could give or sell; and did not plant a seed!

These Frenchmen, living on a stream which literally teemed with edible fish of various kinds, were actually too proud to catch fish for

their own needs. They paid the Indians extravagant prices for fish, which they themselves could have taken from the waters, in exhaustless quantities.

Driven to desperation by their condition, they determined to return to France, in a ship given them by the famous respectable pirate, Sir John Hawkins-sometime slavetrade partner of "Good Queen Bess."

But on the very eve of their departure, the colonists were relieved by seven vessels sent by Coligny. In command, was the fearless and capable Ribault. There were 600 soldiers, and the fleet had brought an ample store of food, arms, and ammunition.

But there was a saturnine potentate, who, from the lofty eyrie of the Escorial, in Spain, watched the progress of this Protestant colonization. This was Philip II., a monarch, who, in the name of Christ, destroyed more innocent human beings than died during all the persecutions of the Roman emperors. To maintain intact the Catholic paganism, Philip exhausted the strength and undermined the future of the vastest empire that was ever held together under the same sceptre.

As to this Coligny enterprise, only one policy was to be considered: it was to be destroyed. Had not Christ, in the person of Pope Alexander VI. (poisoning Borzia, of execrable memory) made a division of the New World between Spain and Portugal? And was not Florida (all of the present Lower South) fallen to the share of Spain? And should a dog of a heretic, such as Coligny, be permitted to colonize it with other dogs of heretics? Cer

tainly not. These detestable freethinkers must be extirpated. France will not defend them, nor avenge them for two reasons:

(1) France is ruled from Rome by an Italian queen, and her Italian confidantes;

(2) France is weaker than Spain; and is rent in twain by internal dissension.

Accordingly, the Christian King, Philip II., sent forth an army of 2,600 men, under command of Menendez, to overwhelm and exterminate the Protestant colony. For what crime? Even from Philip's point of view, they were guilty of nothing more heinous than trespassing.

To compel them to leave America, would have been the extreme of just punishment, for such an offense. To slaughter them, could be excused on one ground, only, viz. it was justifiable to kill a Protestant for being one.

And that was the Roman Catholic view, as Coligny, and every other victim of St. Bartholomew's Day was soon to learn.

Menendez crossed the ocean, and landed in Florida. He was no soldier; and his management was so wretched that his expedition would have ended in disastrous failure, had not the Protestant chiefs wrangled over the plans of resist


Ribault, most unwisely, went out with his small ships to offer naval battle. A gale arose, and wrecked his vessels. He and his men lost their arms and ammunition, escaping with their bare lives.

Laudonniere, in command at Fort

Caroline, with 150 men (40 of whom were on the sick list) awaited the attack of the Spaniards.

The wet season was on, and the troops of Menendez were wading about in the swamps, trying to find their way to the fort. They were so discontented and so discouraged that an attack, by French and Indians, would have caused a collapse of the Spanish design.

Unhappily, the French were divided; and had no plan. And the rain was so violent that the sentries, cold and bedrenched, begged to be excused from further exposure on the ramparts of the fort. The prospect for an attack from the Spaniards, in such fearful weather, was so unlikely, that the officers in charge actually excused the sentinels from duty.

At that very time, the disheartened Spaniards suddenly descried the fort, plucked up courage, thereat, and rushed to the attack. Almost no defense was made. The entire garrison were captured, and massacred-excepting some of the women, and the children under fifteen years of age and excepting Laudonniere and nineteen other


About 50 miles from the fort was the band of Ribault, the unarmed, ship-wrecked miserables, who did not know of the fall of Fort Caroline, and who were laboriously trying to get back to it through tangled underbrush and overflowed marsh. Within five miles of the fort, they were halted, by the information of the scout sent in advance, that the flag of Spain was flying over the fort.


The Roman Catholic Hierarchy: The Deadliest Menace to Our Liberties and Our Civilization

(Copyright by Thomas E. Watson, 1911.)

[For the individual Roman Catholic who finds happiness in his faith, I have no word of unkindness. Some of my best friends are devout believers in their "Holy Father." If anything contained in the series of chapters dealing with the hierarchy causes them pain, and alienates their good will, I will deplore it.

The Roman Catholic ORGANIZATION is the object of my profoundest detestation-NOT the belief of THE INDIVIDUAL.]



UPPOSE that you should make a careful, conscientious study of ancient paganism, its rites, ceremonies, and pretensions; and suppose that you should find that an accurate description of the beliefs, the customs, the vestments and the practices of paganism correspond almost exactly with those of the Roman Catholic priesthood, what would you think about it?

There is nothing new under the sun. The nursery tales that we tell our children are as old as the known records of the human race. Mother Goose enchanted the tots of Chaldea, Cinderella and her slipper are more venerable than Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The jests that circulate among the men of today, brought laughter to lips that were dust before Pericles and Aspasia loved and ruled. The futile, despairing knock at the door of the Unknown is heard as far back as literature reaches. The impenetrable mystery of the star-sown firmament arouses no profound but baffling train of thought that was not the haunting puzzle of the shepherds of Shinar.

It rings weirdly like a wail throughout the hoary Past-this eternal cry, "Give me something to

BELIEVE: I cannot KNOW anything."


And so it came to pass that men, groping in the dark, child-like, were full of fears, were tremulously timid, were terrified by every enigThe eclipse scattered armies, and ended wars. The tempest was the anger of the gods. Sickness and death were the visitations of evil spirits. To ward off misfortune, to placate invisible powers at whose mercy he lived, the poor human creature, unable to help himself, was quick to believe that some one else, more richly endowed with talent or merit, could interpose in his behalf, and rescue him from his affliction.

First, came the "Medicine Man." He was wiser than the average tribesman: he had more common sense: he used his eyes to good purpose: he experimented with herbs, roots, leaves, bark, minerals, and the fruits that grew about him. He learned how to extract an aching tooth; how to set a broken bone; how to move a torpid liver; how to bleed and blister.

In this way, the Medicine Man created for himself a position of marked superiority in the tribe. He was revered, as one who possessed

mysterious power. The ailing and suffering sought relief at his hands. What a short step it was for the Medicine Man to pretend that he was in touch with the Supernatural; and that he alone, could appease the wrath of the evil spirits. By the natural law of evolution, the doctor became the priest: the Medicine Man ministered to the soul, as he did to the body.


And it was literally so.. Among the American Indians, at the time ancestors peopled the New World, they found the Medicine Man in full blast-acting dually as physician and as priest.

Among the negroes of Africa, this has always been so; and it is so, today. Even in Cuba and Hayti, where, left to themselves, the blacks have reverted to type, the witchdoctor is an object of dread and of worship.

The Indian chief found it necessary to stand well with the Medicine Man: the African chief acts in conIcert with the Witch-doctor. Thus, in its most primitive form do we see the temporal power uniting with the spiritual, to rule the tribe. Here we have the earliest union of church and State. (There is nothing new, under the sun!)

monolyth, and in the statue on which virgins and barren women hang garlands.

Even the Etruscan tomb yields up its long-hidden secrets; and we see the Phallic cross which links the religion of these ante-Roman people to those of the far Orient.

Some worshipped the sun: others, fire; others, gods who typified the cardinal virtues. Others, still, were so profoundly reverent of the mystic phenomena of sexual reproduction, that they paid adoration to the organs of generation. This Phallic worship was at one time practically universal. There are survivals of it in the Old Testament. It is sculptured on the ruins, and in rocktombs of the East. It is to be seen here and there, in Europe, in the

As mankind advanced in wealth, power and luxury, the palace and the temple increased in splendor. No habitation was too sumptuous and maginficent for the King: none too costly or ornate for the priest. And as the temporal power strove to augment the dominion of the dynasty, the spiritual arm stantly enhanced the privileges, the prerogatives and the revenues of its order.


Originally, the religion of the Romans had been simple and inexpensive. But Numa pretended to have been taken into the confidence and counsels of Divinity; and he managed to impose a system of his own upon his credulous, and perhaps indifferent, countrymen.

He instituted a priesthood which, as he intended, was most useful to the temporal power. He established a Pope, and a Sacred College of cardinals. There were lower priests, called augurs. There was a Nunnery of Vestal Virgins.

As the Empire extended its frontiers, absorbing one conquest after another, Roman life underwent a complete transformation. The stern brevity and simplicity of speech gave way to Oriental pomposity and hyperbole the florid verbiage of courtiers and superficial thinkers. Democracy disappeared. Class distinction, sharply drawn, separated the rich from the poor. Spartan

contempt for epicurianism was displaced by an insatiable craving for enervating luxuries. The town house and the sea-side villa must be a dream in stone. In the marblepaved court, fountains must plash. In the furnishings of the dwelling, regal ornamentation must be had. On the festal board, the rarest, costliest viands must be spread; and hours, each day, must be devoted to the pleasures of the table. In wearing apparel, a corresponding love of display must be manifest. And the Roman of old-who held the plowhandles, one day, and the helm of State, the next-had left the stage forever. His descendant scorned

every kind of manual labor, prided himself on the number, the fine appearance, and the varied accomp

lishments of his slaves.

Apace with the alteration in the manners, morals and ideals of the Roman people went the modifications of the religious system. When a priest of the sun, Eliogabalus Eastern born, Eastern reared, Eastern robed-could hold his place as Emperor of the Roman Empire, is further proof necessary to reveal the degradation of the Romans, lay and cleric?

In fact, all kinds of sects had flocked to the Imperial City. From the Euphrates came the superstitions of Babylon and Assyria: from the Nile came the triune deities of Egypt. Such a medley of mythology, of idolatry, of Phallic worship, of Zoroastrianism, of Numaism, of Baalism, of crass paganism was never seen before.

Roman philosophers looked on, and smiled: Roman priests performed their genuflexions in public and, meeting each other afterwards,

in private, smiled. But Roman rulers considered all kinds of religion useful, and used each for purposes of government.

Walter Pater, in "Marius, the Epicurean," delves to the very bottom of the question, "Why did Christianity win its way so rapidly over Paganism?" Vastly erudite, this scholarly author, either with mordaunt humor, or unconsciously, demonstrates that Roman Catholicism made itself acceptable to the pagan world, by adopting the pagan usages and sentiments and superstitions.

Hard by the path, in the Italy of today, stands the little shrine, with its wooden image, within; and the offering of the faithful, without: so stood the pagan shrine, the pagan image and the pagan offering in the Rome of Tibullus-more than a hundred years before Christ.

Just as the individual Catholic of the present time invokes the good offices of some favorite "Saint, "" so did the Roman pagans from the remotest times down to the advent of Christianity. Vatican, the lesser god who caused the babe to utter its first cry: Fabulinus, who prompted the infant's first word: Cuba, who kept him quiet in his cradle: Domiduca, who watches over the traveller and sees him safely back to his home: these were of the Household deities of the Romans. Besides, there were the godlets of the harvest, of the vintage, of the mariner, of the shepherd, etc., etc.-in fact, a mob of lesser divinities who had influence with the Omnipotent.

Under the Cæsars, Rome was called "the most religious city in the world." Every home, even the

« 上一頁繼續 »