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Froude's Essays in Literature and History

Hilaire Belloc

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .With what efficacy such believers in the immortality of the soul were likely to recommend either their faith or their God; rather, how terribly all the devotion and all the earnestness with which the poor priests who followed in the wake of the conquerors laboured to recommend it were shamed and paralyzed, they themselves too bitterly lament. It was idle to send out governor after governor with orders to stay such practices. They had but to arrive on the scenes to become infected with the same fever, or if any remnant of Castilian honour, or any faintest echoes of the faith which they professed, still flickered in a few of the best and noblest, they could but look on with folded hands in ineffectual mourning; they could do nothing without soldiers, and the soldiers were the worst offenders. Hispaniola became a mere desert; the gold was in the mines, and there were no poor slaves left remaining to extract it. One means which the Spaniards dared to employ to supply the vacancy, brought a. . . Read More