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The Articles of the Union of the Ormée in the City of Bordeaux (1652)


We the Bourgeois, . . . and inhabitants of the City of Bordeaux, recognizing the great favors and particular assistance that we have received from God during the troubles which are not yet over, having resolved to thank God with all our power, and in order to obtain the continuance of his benedictions to try to love better our neighbor, and particularly those who will be of the same resolution, which we are going to declare in each of the following Articles, and invite all Christians to do likewise, or better if God inspires them so.

FIRSTLY. We promise obedience to the King, service to our Governor, and fidelity to the good and advantage of our Country, for the Privileges and Franchises of which we will always be ready to risk our lives and goods: and in particular to support that in Bourgeois quality we have a deliberative voice and not only consultative in the general Assemblies of City Hall, and to make accountable those who manages the last audiences.

As well we promise to love each other as if our brothers, and to protect reciprocally one another, and to procure a peace and concord between ourselves and Jesus Christ; in order to reach that, if it happens that there is a difference between us, we promise to grant arbiters to ourselves or to permit the Company to chose them, and to acquiesce to their decision, and following their counsel each will take to them the necesssary assurances, so that such agreements are firm and irrevocable.

That if someone of our Company is vexed by a trial or otherwise, we will protect him with all . . . and reasonable; and if he obeyed one will loan him money without interest for a few years, taking assurances of ths sums given to him to help him free himself.

When someone of the Company will become sick, his closest neighbors will exhort him to provide rather for his conscience, and after to order his affairs, in order to leave his heirs the greater peace and concord possible; and where he will happen to die, his widow and orphans will be protected and defended as if he were living.

If by accident someone of the Company should become poor, one will find him some honest job to help him, and if that does not help him, one will assist in necessary things without discovering [ie telling anyone] the inconviences of his family, except to those who will be charged by the company to oversee such a case.

That strangers who will come into Bordeaux and would like to join the Company will be admitted and treated the same as other associates.

As to the case (which does not please God) that someone comes to lead a scandalous and incorrigible life, or resistant to the observation of the agreed Articles, he will banished with indignity from that society, and reputed a traitor to his honor and to the good public.

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