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THE BOOK OF ADVENTURE
STORY OF A HUGUENOT GALLEY-SLAVE.
I was born at Bergerac, a small what has happened to me since town in the province of Perigord, my sorrowful separation from in the year 1684. My parents my parents, whom I left endurwere in trade. By the grace ing the most cruel persecution. of God they had always main Before detailing the story of tained, even unto death, the my flight from my dear country, doctrines of the true reformed it is necessary to speak of what religion; their conduct was such occasioned it, and kindled the as never to draw down any re most inhuman persecution in proach upon these doctrines. my native province. During They brought up their children the war which was terminated in the fear of God, continually by the Peace of Ryswick, the instructing them in the princi- Jesuits and priests had not been ples of true religion, and in able to indulge in the pleasure aversion to the errors of Popery. of dragooning the reformed in
I will not weary my reader by France, because the king had relating the events of my child all his troops upon the frontiers hood up to the year 1700, when of his kingdom ; but no sooner persecution tore me from the was peace concluded, than they bosom of my family, forced me wished to indemnify themselves to fly from my country, and to for the repose they had been expose myself, notwithstanding obliged to give us during the my tender age, to the perils of a These pitiless and invejourney of two hundred leagues, terate persecutors then made which I made in order to seek their rage felt in all the provinces a refuge in the United Provinces of France, wherever there were of the Netherlands. I shall only any of the reformed faith. I relate briefly, and in simple truth, shall confine myself to detailing
some of the best authenticated success, and to terminate his facts which took place in Peri- enterprise in a manner worthy gord.
of the motives and counsels In the year 1699, the Duke which had caused him thus to de la Force, who proved that he act, he celebrated public rejoicby no means shared the senti- ings in the village of La Force, ments of his illustrious ancestors where his castle was situated, with regard to the reformed re- and made a bonfire of a magniligion, at the instigation of the ficent library, composed of the Jesuits, requested permission to pious books of the reformed go to his estates in Perigord, in religion, which his ancestors order, as he expressed it, to had carefully collected. The convert the Huguenots. In town of Bergerac this time was doing this he flattered the views exempt from persecution, as and principles of the court too well as several other towns in well not to obtain such an hon- the neighbourhood; but this ourable and worthy employment. repose was only a calm, which So he set out from Paris, accom was to be followed by the most panied by four Jesuits, a few terrible tempest. guards, and his servants. Ar The Duke de la Force, proud rived at his castle of La Force, of the fine conversions which about a league distant from he had made, went to give an Bergerac, he began, in order to account of them to the court. give an idea of the gentleness We can easily judge whether he of his mission and the spirit of and his Jesuits exaggerated the his counsellors, to exercise un-effect which their mission had heard of cruelties against those produced. However that might of his vassals who belonged to the be, in the year 1700, to con. reformed faith, carrying off daily, vert, by means of a pitiless peasants of every age and of dragoonade, the Huguenots in both sexes, and making them the royal towns of that prosuffer in his presence, and with vince, he came then to Berout any form of trial, the most gerac, where he took up his frightful tortures, - continued residence, accompanied by the upon some till they died,—to same four Jesuits, and by a recompel them to abjure their giment of dragoons, whose cruel religion upon the spot, without mission-for they were allowed any reason but his own will. full licence among the townsThen, by means as diabolical, people-made a great many he obliged all these poor more converts than the exhortawretches to take the most fear- tions of the Jesuits. There were ful oaths to remain inviolably no conceivable cruelties which attached to the Roman religion. these booted and spurred misTo testify the joy and satisfac-sionaries did not exercise to tion which he felt at his happy oblige the poor citizens to go