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Ils sont assez mal logez, et les surprendrons aisément. J'ay des hommes en mes vaisseaux qui cognoissent tres-bien le païs, et pouvons y allez en seureté. Voicy, chers compagnons, un subject de relever nos courages, faites paroistre que vous avez autant de bonne volonté à executer ce bon dessein, que vous avez d'affection à me suivre : ne serez vous pas contents de remporter les lauriers triomphans de la despouille de vos ennemis ?"
"Companions, and faithful friends of my fortunes, you are not ignorant how highly I value brave men like yourselves.-Your courage you have sufficiently proved by your noble resolution to accompany me in all the dangers which we shall have to encounter, as they successively present themselves-my regard for you I have shown by the care I have taken for the safety of your lives. I desire not to embark you in any enterprise which may result in dishonorable failure it would be in me a far too great and blameable temerity to hazard your safety in any design so difficult of accomplishment, which, however, I do not consider this one to be; seeing that I have employed in it a good part of my own fortune, and that of my friends, in equipping these vessels, and putting to sea, myself being the sole undertaker of the voyage. But all this does not give me so much cause for regret, as I have reason to rejoice, seeing you all resolved upon another enterprise, which will redound to your glory-namely to avenge the insult suffered by our nation from the Spaniards, who have inflicted an incurable wound upon France, by their infamous treatment, and the barbarous and unheard of cruelties they have exercised upon our countrymen. The description of these wrongs has caused me to shed tears of pity; and inspires me now with such deter
mination, that I am resolved with the assistance of God and your aid, to take a just revenge for this felonious outrage on the part of the Spaniards-those base and cowardly men, who unhappily destroyed our friends by surprise, whom with arms in their hands they dared not to have looked in the face. The enemy is poorly lodged, and may be easily surprised. I have on board persons who know the country well, and we can reach it in safety. Here, my dear companions, here is a subject to rouse our courage! Let me see that you have as good will to perform this noble design, as you had affection to follow my person! Will you not rejoice to bear away triumphant laurels, bought by the spoil and ruin of our enemies ?"
This enthusiastic speech produced its full effect. Each soldier shouted assent to the generous proposal; and was ready to reply with Euryalus,
Est hic, est animus lucis contemptor; et istum
Like thine, this bosom glows with martial flame,
On such low terms, the prize is cheaply bought.
Having thus obtained the full co-operation of his gallant band, De Gourgues steered for the coast of Florida; and passed some time in reconnoitering the position of the Spaniards, and in acquiring from the Indians full particulars of their strength and resources. These were, indeed, sufficiently formidable, amounting to four hundred fighting men, provided with every munition of war. No way discouraged by this superiority of numbers and of position, De Gourgues made a furious attack upon the two forts, on the day before the Sunday, called Quasimodo, in April, 1568,
intending to capture them by escalade. The Spaniards offered a very gallant resistance; but the fury and impetuosity of the French, stimulated by national antipathy, by the particular nature of the revenge which they contemplated, and fired by the valor and personal example of their heroic chief, soon surmounted all opposition. "Nostre genereux Chevalier de Gourgues," says Champlain exultingly, "le coutelas à la main, leur enflamme le courage, et comme un lion à la teste des siens gaigne le dessus du rampart, repousse les Espagnols, se fait voye parmi eux :"-" our brave Chevalier de Gourgues, sword in hand, inflames their courage, and like a lion at the head of his troop, mounts the rampart, overthrows the Spaniards, and cuts his way through them." The fate of the Spaniards was sealed-many were killed in the forts-the rest taken, or put to death by the Indians. De Gourgues, thus crowned with victory, and having fully succeeded in an enterprise which to him seemed so truly glorious, brought all the prisoners to the spot where the French had been massacred, and where the inscription of Menendez yet remained. After reproaching his fallen enemies with their cruelty and perfidy, he caused them to be hung from the same trees, affixing this writing in the place of the former. "JE N'AY PAS FAIT PENDRE CEUX-CI COMME ESPAGNOLS, MAIS COMME TRAITRES, VOLEURS, ET MEURTRIERS :" "I hang these persons not as being Spaniards, but as traitors, robbers and murderers."
De Gourgues, on developing his real design and destination to Florida, which he did in the first instance to his chosen friends, had pathetically complained that ever since he had heard of the Spanish outrage at La Caroline, he had been unable, however
wearied with toil, to obtain his usual rest by night —that his imagination was ever occupied by the semblance of his countrymen hanging from the trees of Florida-that his ears were startled with piercing cries for vengeance ;-and that sleep, "nature's soft nurse," would never visit him again,
No more would weigh his eyelids down,
until he had won her offices by a full and exquisite revenge on the Spaniards! The accomplishment of his cherished purpose must have been a high and vivifying relief to an ardent spirit like De Gourgues. He now declared with exulting delight, that sleep, that "balm of hurt minds," had once more deigned to visit his couch; and that his rest was now sweet, like that of a man delivered from a burthen of misery too great to bear!
Having accomplished this remarkable expedition, and inflicted, in a spirit accordant with that of the times, a terrible retribution on the Spaniards, De Gourgues sailed from the coast of Florida on the 3d May; and arrived in France on the 6th June, where he was received by the people with every token of joy and approbation. In consequence, however, of the demand of the King of Spain for redress, he was compelled to absent himself for some time, until the anger of the Court permitted him to reappear. The narrative of this expedition was long preserved in the family of De Gourgues.
Champlain, in whose Voyages this romantic story is to be found, seems to have been a passionate admirer of the conduct of De Gourgues, and thus enthusiastically concludes his account of the expedition "Ainsi ce genereux Chevalier repara l'honneur de
la nation Françoise, que les Espagnols avoient offensée ce qu'autrement eust éte un regret à jamais pour la France, s'il n'eust vengé l'affront receu de la nation Espagnolle. Entreprise genereuse d'un gentilhomme, qui l'exécuta à ses propres cousts et despens, seulement pour l'honneur, sans autre espérance: ce qui lui a réussi glorieusement, et ceste gloire est plus a priser que tous les tresors du monde :" "Thus did this brave Knight repair the honor of the French nation, insulted by the Spaniards; which otherwise had been an everlasting subject of regret to France, if he had not avenged the affront received from the Spanish people. A generous enterprise, undertaken by a gentleman, and executed at his own cost, for honor's sake alone, without any other expectation; and one which resulted in obtaining for him a glory far more valuable than all the treasures of the world.'
ABORTIVE VOYAGE OF LA ROCHE.
It has been stated that the Norman, Basque and Breton fishermen continued their occupation on the great Bank, and along the shores of Newfoundland. By degrees, they established a sort of barter with the natives; and the traffic in furs soon became an object, which the love of novelty, the facility of the trade, and its profitable nature soon rendered of greater interest than the precarious life of a fisherman. Many of the masters of the fishing vessels became fur dealers; and carried home skins of great rarity and value.
At length, after half a century of civil discord, France having recovered her former peace and prosperity under the auspices of Henry IV., the greatest of her Kings, the taste for colonial adventure