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beyond the control of regular government." Here, murder and robbery had been committed in time of peace, under the mask of religion, upon the distant and unprotected, with such circumstances of deep atrocity, that the perpetrators could only be regarded as bucaniers and pirates, the enemies of the human race, and out of the pale of the common rights of peace and war. De Gourgues was therefore justified in considering himself as the champion of no party or private cause, but as one sent forth by Providence, the chosen minister of its just and terrible wrath.
This punishment, moreover, severe as it was, was also justifiable on the ground of signal and necessary example. Such was then the infrequency of commercial and maritime intercourse, and such the utter inability of most of the civilized nations of Europe to protect their distant colonies, that there was not a single European settlement on the coast or islands of America or Asia, which was not exposed to the same unrestrained piracy and butchery; and their sufferings would have been passed over unheeded, perhaps unknown, by the rulers of the mother country.
But this rigorous act of vindictive justice, thus illustrated by the chivalrous enterprise which
carried it into execution, rung throughout Europe, and struck a salutary terror into all the savage and bigotted adventurers who were then crowding to the new world in pursuit of fame or fortune.
De Gourgues had now fulfilled his vow: the stern purpose to which he had devoted himself was achieved, and he re-embarked for France. Here he was menaced with new dangers. The Spaniards had heard of the result of his expedition before he reached Europe, and a squadron of nineteen galleys was sent to intercept him. They fell in with him off Rochelle, where he first made land, and pursued him to Bourdeaux. But he arrived in safety with his whole squadron.
The enthusiastic admiration with which he was received at Bourdeaux by all classes, sects, and parties, and the advice of his friend the brave Blaise de Montluc, under whom he had served in Italy, induced him to present himself at court. There he was again met by the wrath of Spain. He found that Philip had offered a reward for his head, and that the Spanish minister had made a formal demand on the French government to deliver him up. Catharine de Medicis, then at the height of her power, and the princes of the house of Lorraine, loudly demanded his punish
ment. Although the universal feeling of the nation, and of the army was with him, he was obliged to fly from Paris to Rouen, where, by the friendship of the President de Marigny, he lay concealed for a long time. He was also harassed by debts, which he had contracted in fitting out his expedition; from them too he was relieved by the friendship of the same generous magistrate.
Whilst he was thus in retirement, Elizabeth of England, touched by his misfortunes, and admiring his character, sent him an offer of employment and high rank in her service. He was on the point of accepting it; but the French court could no longer withstand the clamours and remonstrances of the whole nation, and the general voice of Europe. The king publicly received De Gourgues into favour, and he declined the offer of Queen Elizabeth.
Soon after this, Don Antonio de Crato, the heir and claimant of the Portuguese throne, and the favourite of that nation, attracted by his military reputation, invited him to take command of the fleet which had been fitted out to assist in liberating Portugal from its subjection to Philip of Spain. This expedition accorded in all respects with his character and wishes, and De Gourgues gladly accepted the appointment: but
on his way to join the Portuguese chief he fell sick at Tours, where, after a short illness, he died in 1583. This avenger of Protestant blood, died as he had lived, in the faith of the Roman Catholic church. He was buried in one of the churches of Tours, where a monument was erected to his memory.
Some years ago, in the course of a ramble along the banks of the “murmuring Loire,” I spent a week at the beautiful city of Tours, and searched throughout its stately cathedral and other old churches for this monument. It was in vain. The monument had doubtless been destroyed, with hundreds of others, during that indiscriminate rage of the revolution, which has left the ancient edifices of France so bare of all memorials of history and chivalry.
Gallant spirit! Thou shalt have a far nobler monument.
The scene of thy achievements is now a portion of the territory of our republic. The story of thy exploits is embodied in our history. To that story will American genius hereafter turn for the theme or the decorations of high romance or heroic song; or if, haply, at any time the sanctity of our flag or the rights of our