LUSSAN, Le Sieur Raveneau de.
This French filibuster was a man of much better birth and education than the usual buccaneer. Also, he was the author of a most entertaining book recording his adventures and exploits as a buccaneer, called "Journal du Voyage fait a la Mer de sud avec les Flibustiers de l'Amerique en 1684."
Pressure from his creditors drove de Lussan into buccaneering, as being a rapid method of gaining enough money to satisfy them and to enable him to return to the fashionable life he loved so well in Paris. De Lussan was, according to his own account, a man of the highest principles, and very religious. He never allowed his crew to molest priests, nuns, or churches. After taking a Spanish town, the fighting being over, he would lead his crew of pirates to attend Mass in the church, and when this was[Pg 201] done—and not until then—would he allow the plundering and looting to begin.
De Lussan was surprised and grieved to find that his Spanish prisoners had a most exaggerated idea of the brutality of the buccaneers, and on one occasion when he was conducting a fair young Spanish lady, a prisoner, to a place of safety, he was overwhelmed when he discovered that the reason of her terror was that she believed she was shortly to be eaten by him and his crew. To remedy this erroneous impression, it was the custom of the French commander to gather together all his prisoners into the church or the plaza, and there to give them a lecture on the true life and character of the buccaneers.
The student who wishes to learn more about the adventures of de Lussan can do so in his book. There he will read, amongst other interesting events, particulars about the filibuster's surprising and romantic affair with the beautiful and wealthy Spanish widow who fell so violently in love with him.
It happened on one occasion that Raveneau and his crew, having taken a town on the West Coast of South America after a somewhat bloody battle, had, as usual, attended Mass in the Cathedral, before setting out to plunder the place.
Entering one of the chief houses in the town, de Lussan discovered the widow of the late town treasurer dissolved in tears, upon which the tender buccaneer hastened, with profound apologies, discreetly to withdraw, but calling again next day to offer his sympathy he found the widow had forgotten all about the late treasurer, for she had fallen violently in love with her gallant, handsome, and fashionably dressed visitor.
After various adventures, de Lussan arrived safely back in Paris with ample means in his possession not only to satisfy his creditors, but also to enable him to live there as a gentleman of fortune and fashion.
Giving Particulars of the Lives & Deaths
of the Pirates & Buccaneers