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the darkness of a deep despair was about to take possession of our hearts, he caused a light to dawn that will arouse wonder even in France. These events are still so recent that we can say that we fear without fearing, and that we hope against all hope. We send to Father Paul le Jeune, Procurator of our Missions, the account of both our good and our ill fortunes, in order that he may present it to Your Reverence. You will see that we are in greater need than ever of your prayers, and of the assistance of all those who take an interest in our weal and woe, who fear in our fears and hope in [4] our hopes. Your Reverence will please to remember at the altar these poor people and all our Missions, and, in particular, him who is, cordially and devotedly,

My Reverend Father, Quebec, this 29th Your very humble and very

of October, I6jj. obedient servant in Our


Francois Le Mercier.



LE Pere à qui on auoit confié ces memoires, ayant efté pris par les Anglois, le dix feptiefme du mois de Decembre dernier paffé: les foldats, qui s'eftoient rendus maiftres du vaiffeau qui le portoit, le fouillerent, & le pillerent aufli bien que les autres; ils luy rauirent fa petite Chapelle, en vn mot, ils luy ofterent iufques à fon Breuiaire, n'épargnans n'y Calice, ny Meffel, ny ornemens facerdotaux, non pas mefme vne méchante couuerture, dont il fe feruoit les nuits, [6] affés froides, & affés longues. Ils ouurirent tous les paquets, deplierent tous les papiers, efperans trouuer quelques pieces dargent: mais fe voyans fruftrés de leurs efperances, ils en dechirerent vne partie, ietterent l'autre en la mer, ou bien fur le tillac du nauire, où tout le monde marchoit pefle-mefle, les vainqueurs & les vaincus, les humiliés, & les Infolens. Le pauure Pere ramaffa doucement ce qu'il pût de lettres, de papiers, & de memoires. Les vus eftoient en lambeaux, & les autres eftoient fales, comme fi on les eut retirés de la bouë. Les François les mieux veftus, furent depouillés tous nuds, pour eftre couuers de vieux haillons: ils paffoient les nuits fous le tillac, fans autre mattelas que les ordures, & les faletés caufées [5] CHAPTER FIRST.


THE Father to whom the above memoirs had

been entrusted, was taken prisoner by the

English on the seventeenth of the month of December last.3 The soldiers who had taken possession of the vessel that was bearing him searched and plundered him, as well as the rest; they robbed him of his little Chapel, and, in short, pillaged him even to his Breviary, sparing neither Chalice nor Missal, nor sacerdotal ornaments, nor even a wretched blanket which he used at night, [6] the nights being rather cold and long. They opened all the packages and unfolded all the papers, hoping to find some pieces of money; but, being disappointed in their hopes, they tore up some of the papers and threw the rest into the sea or else on the ship's deck, where all the people were walking about, pell-mell,— victors and vanquished, the humbled and the Insolent. The poor Father quietly gathered up what he could of letters, papers, and memoirs,—some of them being in tatters, and others as dirty as if they had been taken out of the mud. The best dressed of the French were stripped quite naked, and forced to cover themselves with old rags. They passed the nights under the deck, without any other mattress than the filth and dirt which was caused by a crowd par vn ramas de [7] Soldats, des Mattelots, & de Paffagers: detrempées dans les eaux de la mer, qui entroient par les fabores, & qui fe couloient entre les deux ponts, pour feruir de lits, & de couuertures, a ces pauures vaincus. Enfin le nauire fut conduit à Pleymouth en Angleterre.


C'eft icy, où nos François rencontrans quelques vaiffeaux, & quelques Capitaines leurs compatriotes, tombés dans le mefme malheur, furent faifis d'vne nouuelle douleur. A peine leur nauire fut-il entré dedans le port, qu'il fe vit inuefty de tous coftés, de batteaux, & de gondoles remplis de marchands, qui monterent auffi-toft fur le tillac, pour acheter des foldats, le pillage & le vol qu'ils venoient de commettre. Le Pere vit vendre a l'Encan fon Breuiaire, celuy qui l'acheta, ne [8] demanda point s'il eftoit a l'vfage de Rome, ou de quelque autre Diocefe, la pieté de ces bonnes gens, eft d'auoir de largent, & d'en tirer des chofes fainctes, auffi bien que des prophanes. Nos François voyoient mettre a l'enchere leurs petis meubles, & la plus part des paffagers perdirent en vn iour, ce qu'ils auoyent gagné en plufieurs années en la Nouuelle France. Quelques-vns d'entre eux difoient que la perte de ce nauire, pouuoit monter à trois cent mille liures. Ie ne fçay fi cela eft veritable, mais ie fçay bien, qu'on voyoit dans vne miferable rencontre, beaucoup de ioye, & beaucoup de trifteffe: les vns baiffoient la tefte, & les autres la leuoient auec affés de fafte, fe reiouïffans, Sicut exultant viflores captâ prœdâ, quando diuidunt fpolia. [9] Comme des victorieux, lors qu'ils partagent leur proye, & leur butin.

Il ny a lieu au monde, excepté l'Enfer, où il ne fe of [7] Soldiers, Sailors, and Passengers, and was steeped in the sea-water which came in through the port-holes, and ran along between the two decks, to serve as beds and blankets to those poor vanquished souls. At last the ship was brought to Pleymouth in England.

Here our Frenchmen, meeting with some vessels and Captains from their own country, subject to the same misfortune, were seized with a fresh grief. Scarcely had their ship entered the harbor, when it was surrounded on all sides by boats and gondolas filled with merchants, who immediately came up on deck to purchase from the soldiers the fruits of the pillage and theft just committed by them. The Father saw his Breviary sold at Auction, the purchaser not [8] asking whether it was for the use of Rome or of some other Diocese. The piety of those worthy people consists in having money, and in obtaining it from things sacred, as well as from things profane. Our Frenchmen saw their little belongings put up at auction, and the greater part of the passengers lost in one day what they spent several years in gaining in New France. Some of them said that the loss of this ship might reach as high as three hundred thousand livres. I do not know whether that is true; but I do know very well that there was seen, in pitiful conjunction, much joy and great sadness,— some hanging their heads, and others raising theirs vaingloriously and rejoicing, Sicut exultant victores captd pradd, quando dividunt spolia — [9] " like victors when they divide their plunder and booty."

There is no place in the universe, except Hell, where there are not found some good people, or some persons of a good disposition. Some Englishmen

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