Le Manifeste des Bourdelois.
The Manifest of the Bordelais Containing the true narrative of what happened in the City of Bourdeaux on the 13th and 14th past.
Those who would like to judge soundly the conduct of the Bourdelois since they joined with the domestic enemies of France will find that they have not only given proof of a singular valor, but moreover they have this quality more strongly than all other Frenchmen, that they have stood up more zealously for the public good, have made greater effort to break the chains, and seem to have undertaken to give to all the Kingdom the liberty that we have lost for many Centuries.
The City of Bourdeaux . . . had always had been treated as free. The Romans not only freed it when it was under their domination, they left it yet as on of their colonies, the honor of entering into their society, and they left there some very illustrious markes who still find themselves today in the relics of a Palace and a Temple, of the grandeur of their Empire. That city having under the domination of the French Monarchy since its first Establishment receives a similar treatment, and after having been under the English, not being able to suffer such an overproud domination, having called the French it would return to is first Masters in the reign of Charles VII, named “the Victorious.” It fully enjoyed its immunities and privileges until the Reign of Francis I, who wanted to establish a levée du sol pour livre, but the inhabitants having taken the Governor of Trompette Castle and they killed him and dragged him through the streets. This obliged the King to send there Constable de Montmorency, who presented himself with an army of 30,000 men, which obliged the inhabitants to surrender . . . , and not stopping all the evil treatment that they had received, the levée du sol pour livre could continue there. So as to not be troublesome, they stayed silent for all that happened in Guyenne since our last troubles, the narrative of what has happened in Bourdeaux for the last month goes like the start of some tall tale. Since some people believed that some Mazarins started the rumor, that the party which is against them wants to shake off the yoke of the Royalty, in order to make it odious to those you are for the Monarchy. But since some persons of faith have assured that the assembly called the Ormée has prevailed upon the Parlement and the Princes’ party, that most of the Counsellors as well as the Prince of Conti and the two Princesses have abandoned Bourdeaux, no on dismisses any more doubt that they have raised the standard of liberty, and that they intend to establish a Republic.
The 13th last they made this Ordinance. On advice received by the Company of the Ormée concerning a certain Stopping of meetings in that City, injurious and unreasonable, in order to prevent and destroy the good designs of the said assembly. We order that [anyone who publishes the Parlement’s Edict will be held as an accomplice]. Making arguments for the Parlement on pain of death, using the same procedures for those who oppose the said assembly, [and require all Bourgeois of the City to join together], on pain of being declared a traitor to their Country, and as such banished in perpetuity for the said City, and their goods confiscated. Signed The Ormée with many signatures. The said ordinance was Sealed by the great Seal of red wax, in which is represented an Ormée full of burning hearts surrounded by two Laurel Trees, on which there is a Pigeon in the form of the Holy Spirit, and above is written vox populi vox dei, and there is another motto, estate prudentes sicut serpentes & simplices sicuit columbae.
That Ordinance did not keep the Parlement from publishing the Stop Order on the 13th of the said month, the Jurats of the said City, having sent their Officers and Archers to lend a strong hand to those Parlementaires who published it, but all those Archers were poorly treated by them who took up their Arms, ripped up the Stop Order, and threatened to leave if Parlement did not give them the Register in order to erase the Order. What diligence the Prince of Conti had brought did little to soothe the disorder, nevertheless the Orméeists persisted in their resolution. Vice being something other than disorder, it is impossible to attach to it constancy. The beginning of all virtue, said Demosthenes, is consultation and deliberation, the end and perfection, firm resolution. The vulgar, who find themselves irresolute, and changeable, are never capable of a praiseworthy enterprise.
Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus.
Virtue, nevertheless, was once common in Sparta, all the Lacedemonians were courageous, and we can say that there is nothing which expands so easily in a commune as Military valor. I sustain that the restoraion of the French State can only be made by the People. The grandees and the Magistrates are accomplices and supporters of Tyranny; if the People employ other Captains than those who who are among them in order to deliver themselves, they will only be prolonging their hardships and making themselves worse.
The Athenians wanted to take back the authority that they had given to the Areopage because the Senators had greater care for their own profit than the people’s, who resolved themselves to chose among their own of lesser authority in order to govern them, and the one so settled says to the People that those that are set in their place could not advance their affairs, since they had discharged the knowledge of governing, someone answered that they had left an easy instruction and that one only needed to do the opposite of what they had done.
After the assembly of the Ormée had maintained that ordinance by force of Arms, it made other good rules which showed vulgarity, and valor and prudence all together. They formed and established a Democratic Government. They chose some officers from the better sort, of which some are for the militia, others for the police, and with Armes and Justice together can so procure the restoration of France, they joined together at the same time that they created some Generals, Colonels, Captains, and soldiers. They ordained some judges who should render Justice with full equity; All cases are seen within twenty-four hours without writing or chicanerie, without a lawyer or prosecutor, having considered that every man who has a case settles too well has the better Lawyer or prosecutor of the Court.
As well that in the best policed States, like the Swiss’ and the Turks,’ that way of administering justice is observed, our French method has more in common with procedure between merchants, which by special privilege settles all their differences in little time without Lawyers or Prosecutors, having for judges not Doctors in law, but good men who are well-versed in the trade and merchandise. That Bourdelais Policy will be soon approved by all France, and since their arms are so just and their dessign so generous, I do not doubt at all that their laurels will extend across the whole Kingdom, or at least they will grow where people do not want Mazarins.