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A deputation of Huguenot pastors and elders, who waited upon the Duc de Noailles in informed him that there were then 1, Protestant families in France.
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Longfellow\’s Works — poems — prose — Dante. Boswell\’s Life Of Johnson. Byron\’s Poetical Works. The Scene wherein Thyestes eats his own Children, is to be performed by the famous Mr Psalmanazar 1 , lately arrived from Formosa ; The whole Supper being set to Kettle-drums.
Accommodations are provided, and Persons admitted in their masquing Habits. Any Person may agree by the Great, and be kept in Repair by the Year. The Doctor draws Teeth without pulling off your Mask. James\’s Coffee-house, either by miscalling the Servants, or requiring such things from them as are not properly within their respective Provinces; this is to give Notice, that Kidney, Keeper of the Book-Debts of the outlying Customers, and Observer of those who go off without paying, having resigned that Employment, is succeeded by John Sowton; to whose Place of Enterer of Messages and first Coffee-Grinder, William Bird is promoted; and Samuel Burdock comes as Shooe-Cleaner in the Room of the said Bird.
They are not only instructed to pronounce Words distinctly, and in a proper Tone and Accent, but to speak the Language with great Purity and Volubility of Tongue, together with all the fashionable Phrases and Compliments now in use either at Tea-Tables or visiting Days.
Those that have good Voices may be taught to sing the newest Opera-Airs, and, if requir\’d, to speak either Italian or French, paying something extraordinary above the common Rates.
They whose Friends are not able to pay the full Prices may be taken as Half-boarders. She teaches such as are design\’d for the Diversion of the Publick, and to act in enchanted Woods on the Theatres, by the Great.
As she has often observ\’d with much Concern how indecent an Education is usually given these innocent Creatures, which in some Measure is owing to their being plac\’d in Rooms next the Street, where, to the great Offence of chaste and tender Ears, they learn Ribaldry, obscene Songs, and immodest Expressions from Passengers and idle People, and also to cry Fish and Card-matches, with other useless Parts of Learning to Birds who have rich Friends, she has fitted up proper and neat Apartments for them in the back Part of her said House; where she suffers none to approach them but her self, and a Servant Maid who is deaf and dumb, and whom she provided on purpose to prepare their Food and cleanse their Cages; having found by long Experience how hard a thing it is for those to keep Silence who have the Use of Speech, and the Dangers her Scholars are expos\’d to by the strong Impressions that are made by harsh Sounds and vulgar Dialects.
In short, if they are Birds of any Parts or Capacity, she will undertake to render them so accomplish\’d in the Compass of a Twelve-month, that they shall be fit Conversation for such Ladies as love to chuse their Friends and Companions out of this Species.
Powell, as sometimes raising himself Applause from the ill Taste of an Audience; I must do him the Justice to own, that he is excellently formed for a Tragoedian, and, when he pleases, deserves the Admiration of the best Judges; as I doubt not but he will in the Conquest of Mexico, which is acted for his own Benefit To-morrow Night.
She is also well-skilled in the Drapery-part, and puts on Hoods and mixes Ribbons so as to suit the Colours of the Face with great Art and Success. This Day is publish\’d An Essay on Criticism. Printed for W. Osborn, in Gray\’s Inn near the Walks; T. Now that Protestantism had been put down, and the officers of Louis announced from all parts of the kingdom that the Huguenots were becoming converted by thousands, there was nothing but a clear course before the Jesuits in France.
For their religion was now the favoured religion of the State. It is true there were the Jansenists—declared to be heretical by the Popes, and distinguished for their opposition to the doctrines and moral teaching of the Jesuits—who were suffering from a persecution which then drove some of the members of Port Royal into exile, and eventually destroyed them. But even the Jansenists approved the persecution of the Protestants. The great Arnault, their most illustrious interpreter, though in exile in the Low Countries, declared that though the means which Louis XIV.
But Protestantism being declared destroyed, and Jansenism being in disgrace, there was virtually no legal religion in France but one—that of the Roman Catholic Church.
Atheism, it is true, was tolerated, but then Atheism was not a religion. The Atheists did not, like the Protestants, set up rival churches, or appoint rival ministers, and seek to draw people to their assemblies. The Atheists, though they tacitly approved the religion of the King, had no opposition p. Hence it followed that the Court and the clergy had far more toleration for Atheism than for either Protestantism or Jansenism. It is authentically related that Louis XIV.
At the time of the Revocation, when the King and the Catholic Church were resolved to tolerate no religion other than itself, the Church had never seemed so powerful in France. It had a strong hold upon the minds of the people. Yet the uncontrolled and enormously increased power conferred upon the French Church at that time, most probably proved its greatest calamity.
Less than a hundred years after the Revocation, the Church had lost its influence over the people, and was despised. Not one of the clergy we have named, powerful orators though they were, ever ventured to call in question the cruelties with which the King sought to compel the Protestants to embrace the dogmas of their Church. There were no doubt many Catholics who deplored the force practised on the p. Some of them considered it an impious sacrilege to compel the Protestants to take the Catholic sacrament—to force them to accept the host, which Catholics believed to be the veritable body of Christ, but which the Huguenots could only accept as bread, over which some function had been performed by the priests, in whose miraculous power of conversion they did not believe.
The Duc de Saint-Simon, also a Jansenist, took the same view, which he embodied in his \”Memoirs;\” but these were kept secret by his family, and were not published for nearly a century after his death. Thus the Catholic Church remained triumphant. The Revocation was apparently approved by all, excepting the Huguenots.
The King was flattered by the perpetual conversions reported to be going on throughout the country—five thousand persons in one place, ten thousand in another, who had abjured and taken the communion—at once, and sometimes \”instantly. He believed himself to have renewed the days of the preaching of the Apostles, and attributed to himself all the honour.
The Bishops wrote panegyrics of him; the Jesuits made the pulpits resound with his praises He swallowed their poison in deep draughts. He had therefore the fullest opportunity of observing the results of the policy he had pursued. He died in the hands of the Jesuits, his body covered with relics of the true cross. Madame de Maintenon, the \”famous and fatal witch,\” as Saint-Simon called her, abandoned him at last; and the King died, lamented by no one.
He had banished, or destroyed, during-his reign, about a million of his subjects, and those who remained did not respect him. Many regarded him as a self-conceited tyrant, who sought to save his own soul by inflicting penance on the backs of others. He loaded his kingdom with debt, and overwhelmed his people with taxes. He destroyed the industry of France, which had been mainly supported by the Huguenots.
Towards the end of his life he became generally hated; and while his heart was conveyed to the Grand Jesuits, his body, which was buried at St. Denis, was hurried to the grave accompanied by the execrations of the people.
Yet the Church remained faithful to him to the last. The great Massillon preached his funeral sermon; though the message was draped in the livery of the Court. Specious reasons of State! In vain did you oppose to Louis the timid views of human wisdom, the body of the monarchy enfeebled by the flight of so many citizens, the course of trade slackened, either by the deprivation of their industry, or by the furtive removal of their wealth!
Dangers fortify his zeal. The work of God fears not man. He believes even p. The profane temples are destroyed, the pulpits of seduction are cast down. The prophets of falsehood are torn from their flocks. At the first blow dealt to it by Louis, heresy falls, disappears, and is reduced either to hide itself in the obscurity whence it issued, or to cross the seas, and to bear with it into foreign lands its false gods, its bitterness, and its rage.
Whatever may have been the temper which the Huguenots displayed when they were driven from France by persecution, they certainly carried with them something far more valuable than rage. They carried with them their virtue, piety, industry, and valour, which proved the source of wealth, spirit, freedom, and character, in all those countries—Holland, Prussia, England, and America—in which these noble exiles took refuge.
We shall next see whether the Huguenots had any occasion for entertaining the \”rage\” which the great Massillon attributed to them. The Revocation struck with civil death the entire Protestant population of France. All the liberty of conscience which they had enjoyed under the Edict of Nantes, was swept away by the act of the King. They were deprived of every right and privilege; their social life was destroyed; their callings were proscribed; their property was liable to be confiscated at any moment; and they were subjected to mean, detestable, and outrageous cruelties.
The only resource which remained to the latter was that of flying from their native country; and an immense number of persons took the opportunity of escaping from France. The Edict of Revocation proclaimed that the Huguenot subjects of France must thenceforward be of \”the King\’s religion;\” and the order was promulgated throughout the kingdom. The Prime Minister, Louvois, wrote to the provincial governors, \”His Majesty desires that the severest rigour shall be shown to those who will not conform to His Religion, and those who seek the foolish glory of wishing to be the last, must be pushed to the utmost extremity.
They were also forbidden, under the penalty of being sent to the galleys for life, to worship privately in their own homes. If they were overheard singing their favourite psalms, they were liable to fine, imprisonment, or the galleys.
They were compelled to hang out flags from their houses on the days of Catholic processions; but they were forbidden, under a heavy penalty, to look out of their windows when the Corpus Domini was borne along the streets. The Huguenots were rigidly forbidden to instruct their children in their own faith. They were commanded to send them to the priest to be baptized and brought up in the Roman Catholic faith, under the penalty of five hundred livres fine in each case.
The boys were educated in Jesuit schools, the girls in nunneries, the parents being compelled to pay the required expenses; and where the parents were too poor to pay, the children were at once transferred to the general hospitals.
A decree of the King, published in December, , ordered that every child of five years and upwards was to be taken possession of by the authorities, and removed from its Protestant parents. This decree often proved a sentence of death, not only to the child, but to its parents. The whole of the Protestant temples throughout France were subject to demolition.
The expelled pastors were compelled to evacuate the country within fifteen days. If, in the meantime, they were found performing their functions, they were liable to be sent to the galleys for life. If they undertook to marry Protestants, the marriages were declared illegal, and the children bastards. If, after the expiry of the p. Protestants could neither be born, nor live, nor die, without state and priestly interference.
Protestant sages-femmes were not permitted to exercise their functions; Protestant doctors were prohibited from practising; Protestant surgeons and apothecaries were suppressed; Protestant advocates, notaries, and lawyers were interdicted; Protestants could not teach, and all their schools, public and private, were put down.
Protestants were no longer employed by the Government in affairs of finance, as collectors of taxes, or even as labourers on the public roads, or in any other office.
Even Protestant grocers were forbidden to exercise their calling. There must be no Protestant librarians, booksellers, or printers. There was, indeed, a general raid upon Protestant literature all over France. All Bibles, Testaments, and books of religious instruction, were collected and publicly burnt. There were bonfires in almost every town.
At Metz, it occupied a whole day to burn the Protestant books which had been seized, handed over to the clergy, and condemned to be destroyed. Protestants were even forbidden to hire out horses, and Protestant grooms were forbidden to give riding lessons.
Protestant domestics were forbidden to hire themselves as servants, and Protestant mistresses were forbidden to hire them under heavy penalties. If they engaged Protestant servants, they were liable to be sent to the galleys for life. They were even prevented employing \”new converts. Artisans were forbidden to work without certificates that their religion was Catholic. Protestant apprenticeships p. Protestant washerwomen were excluded from their washing-places on the river.
In fact, there was scarcely a degradation that could be invented, or an insult that could be perpetrated, that was not practised upon those poor Huguenots who refused to be of \”the King\’s religion. Even when Protestants were about to take refuge in death, their troubles were not over.
The priests had the power of forcing their way into the dying man\’s house, where they presented themselves at his bedside, and offered him conversion and the viaticum.
If the dying man refused these, he was liable to be seized after death, dragged from the house, pulled along the streets naked, and buried in a ditch, or thrown upon a dunghill. For several years before the Revocation, while the persecutions of the Huguenots had been increasing, many had realised their means, and fled abroad into Switzerland, Germany, Holland, and England.
But after the Revocation, emigration from France was strictly forbidden, under penalty of confiscation of the whole goods and property of the emigrant. Any person found attempting to leave the country, was liable to the seizure of all that belonged to him, and to perpetual imprisonment at the galleys; one half the amount realised by the sale of the property being paid to the informers, who thus became the most active agents of the Government.
The Act also ordered that all landed proprietors who had left France before the p. Amongst those of the King\’s subjects who were the most ready to obey his orders were some of the old Huguenot noble families, such as the members of the houses of Bouillon, Coligny, Rohan, Tremouille, Sully, and La Force. These great vassals, whom a turbulent feudalism had probably in the first instance induced to embrace Protestantism, were now found ready to change their profession of religion in servile obedience to the monarch.
The lesser nobility were more faithful and consistent. Many of them abandoned their estates and fled across the frontier, rather than live a daily lie to God by forswearing the religion of their conscience.
Others of this class, on whom religion sat more lightly, as the only means of saving their property from confiscation, pretended to be converted to Roman Catholicism; though, we shall find, that these \”new converts,\” as they were called, were treated with as much suspicion on the one side as they were regarded with contempt on the other. There were also the Huguenot manufacturers, merchants, and employers of labour, of whom a large number closed their workshops and factories, sold off their goods, converted everything into cash, at whatever sacrifice, and fled across the frontier into Switzerland—either settling there, or passing through it on their way to Germany, Holland, or England.
It was necessary to stop this emigration, which was rapidly diminishing the population, and steadily impoverishing the country. It was indeed a terrible thing for Frenchmen, to tear themselves away from their country—Frenchmen, who have always clung so p. Yet, in a multitude of cases, they were compelled to tear themselves by the roots out of the France they so loved. Yet it was so very easy for them to remain.
The King merely required them to be \”converted. Many of them were terrified, and conformed accordingly. Next day, another notice was issued to the Huguenot bourgeois, requiring them to assemble on the following day for the purpose of publicly making a declaration of their conversion.
The result of those measures was to make hypocrites rather than believers, and they took effect upon the weakest and least-principled persons. The strongest, most independent, and high-minded of the Huguenots, who would not be hypocrites, resolved passively to resist them, and if they could not be allowed to exercise freedom of conscience in their own country, they determined to seek it elsewhere.
Hence the large increase in the emigration from all parts of France immediately after the Act of Revocation had been proclaimed. They went in various forms and guises—sometimes in bodies of armed men, at other times in solitary parties, travelling at night and sleeping in the woods by day. They went as beggars, travelling merchants, sellers of beads and chaplets, gipsies, soldiers, shepherds, women with their faces dyed and sometimes dressed in men\’s clothes, and in all manner of disguises.
To prevent this extensive emigration, more violent measures were adopted. Every road out of France was posted with guards. The towns, highways, bridges, and ferries, were all watched; and heavy rewards were promised to those who would stop and bring back the fugitives. Many were taken, loaded with irons, and dispatched by the most public roads through France—as a sight to be seen by other Protestants—to the galleys at Marseilles, Brest, and other ports. As they went along they were subject to every sort of indignity in the towns and villages through which they passed.
They were hooted, stoned, spit upon, and loaded with insult. Many others went by sea, in French as well as in foreign ships. Though the sailors of France were prohibited the exercise of the reformed religion, under the penalty of fines, corporal punishment, and seizure of the vessels where the worship was allowed, yet many of the emigrants contrived to get away by the help of French ship captains, masters of sloops, fishing-boats, and coast pilots—who most probably sympathized with the views of those who wished to fly their country rather than become hypocrites and forswear their religion.
A large number of emigrants, who went p. There were also many English ships that appeared off the coast to take the flying Huguenots away by night. They also escaped in foreign ships taking in their cargoes in the western harbours. They got cooped up in casks or wine barraques, with holes for breathing places; others contrived to get surreptitiously into the hold, and stowed themselves away among the goods.
When it became known to the Government that many Protestants were escaping in this way, provision was made to meet the case; and a Royal Order was issued that, before any ship was allowed to set sail for a foreign port, the hold should be fumigated with deadly gas, so that any hidden Huguenot who could not otherwise be detected, might thus be suffocated! In the meantime, however, numerous efforts were being made to convert the Huguenots.
The King, his ministers, the dragoons, the bishops, and clergy used all due diligence. It is the grandest and finest thing that has ever been imagined and executed.
The conversions effected by the dragoons were much more sudden than those effected by the priests. Sometimes a hundred or more persons were converted by a single troop within an hour. In this way Murillac converted thousands of persons in a week. The regiment p. De Noailles was very successful in his conversions. He converted Nismes in twenty-four hours; the day after he converted Montpellier; and he promised in a few weeks to deliver all Lower Languedoc from the leprosy of heresy. In one of his dispatches soon after the Revocation, he boasted that he had converted nobility and gentry, 54 ministers, and 25, individuals of various classes.
The quickness of the conversions effected by the dragoons is easily to be accounted for. The principal cause was the free quartering of soldiers in the houses of the Protestants. The soldiers knew what was the object for which they were thus quartered. They lived freely in all ways. They drank, swore, shouted, beat the heretics, insulted their women, and subjected them to every imaginable outrage and insult.
One of their methods of making converts was borrowed from the persecutions of the Vaudois. It consisted in forcing the feet of the intended converts into boots full of boiling grease, or they would hang them up by the feet, sometimes forgetting to cut them down until they were dead.
They would also force them to drink water perpetually, or make them sit under a slow dripping upon their heads until they died of madness. Sometimes they placed burning coals in their hands, or used an instrument of torture resembling that known in Scotland as the thumbscrews.
They were kept there without the usual allowance of straw, and almost without food. In winter they had no fire, and at night no lamp. Though ill, they had no doctors. Besides the gaoler, their only visitors were priests and monks, entreating them to make abjuration. Of course many died in prison—feeble women, and aged and infirm men. In the society of obscene criminals, with whom many were imprisoned, they prayed for speedy deliverance by death, and death often came to their help.
More agreeable, but still more insulting, methods of conversion were also attempted. Louis tried to bribe the pastors by offering them an increase of annual pay beyond their former stipends. If there were a Protestant judge or advocate, Louvois at once endeavoured to bribe him over. For instance, there was a heretical syndic of Strasbourg, to whom Louvois wrote, \”Will you be converted? I will give you 6, livres of pension. I will dismiss you. Of course many of the efforts made to convert the Huguenots proved successful.
The orders of the Prime Minister, the free quarters afforded to the dragoons, the preachings and threatenings of the clergy, all contributed to terrify the Protestants. The fear of being sent to the galleys for life—the threat of losing the whole of one\’s goods and property—the alarm of seeing one\’s household broken up, the children seized by the priests and sent to the nearest monkery or nunnery for maintenance and education—all these considerations doubtless had their effect in increasing the number of conversions.
Persecution is not easy to bear. To have all the powers and authorities employed against one\’s p. And torture, whether it be slow or sudden, is what many persons, by reason of their physical capacity, have not the power to resist.
Even the slow torment of dragoons quartered in the houses of the heretics—their noise and shoutings, their drinking and roistering, the insults and outrages they were allowed to practise—was sufficient to compel many at once to declare themselves to be converted. Indeed, pain is, of all things, one of the most terrible of converters. One of the prisoners condemned to the galleys, when he saw the tortures which the victims about him had to endure by night and by day, said that sufferings such as these were \”enough to make one conform to Buddhism or Mahommedanism as well as to Popery\”; and doubtless it was force and suffering which converted the Huguenots, far more than love of the King or love of the Pope.
By all these means—forcible, threatening, insulting, and bribing—employed for the conversion of the Huguenots, the Catholics boasted that in the space of three months they had received an accession of five hundred thousand new converts to the Church of Rome. But the \”new converts\” did not gain much by their change.
They were forced to attend mass, but remained suspected. Even the dragoons who converted them, called them dastards and deniers of their faith. They tried, if they could, to avoid confession, but confess they must.
There was the fine, confiscation of goods, and imprisonment at the priest\’s back. Places were set apart for them in the churches, where they were penned up like lepers. A person was stationed at the door with a roll of their names, to which they were obliged to answer. During the service, p. They were also required to partake of the Host, which Protestants regarded as an awful mockery of the glorious Godhead. Such is the general abomination born of flattery and cruelty.
From torture to abjuration, and from that to the communion, there were only twenty-four hours\’ distance; and the executioners were the conductors of the converts, and their witnesses. Those who in the end appeared to have become reconciled, when more at leisure did not fail, by their flight or their behaviour, to contradict their pretended conversion.
Indeed, many of the new converts, finding life in France to be all but intolerable, determined to follow the example of the Huguenots who had already fled, and took the first opportunity of disposing of their goods and leaving the country. One of the first things they did on reaching a foreign soil, was to attend a congregation p. Not many pastors abjured. A few who yielded in the first instance through terror and stupor, almost invariably returned to their ancient faith.
They were offered considerable pensions if they would conform and become Catholics. The King promised to augment their income by one-third, and if they became advocates or doctors in law, to dispense with their three years\’ study, and with the right of diploma. At length, most of the pastors had left the country. About seven hundred had gone into Switzerland, Holland, Prussia, England, and elsewhere. A few remained going about to meetings of the peasantry, at the daily risk of death; for every pastor taken was hung.
A reward of 5, livres was promised to whoever should take a pastor, or cause him to be taken. The punishment of death was also pronounced against all persons who should be discovered attending such meetings. Nevertheless, meetings of the Protestants continued to be held, with pastors or without. They were, for the most part, held at night, amidst the ruins of their pulled-down temples.
But this exposed them to great danger, for spies were on the alert to inform upon them and have them apprehended. They were, however, often surprised, cut to pieces by the dragoons, who hung part of the prisoners on the neighbouring trees, and took the others to prison, from whence they were sent to the galleys, or hung on the nearest public gibbet.
Fulcran Rey was one of the most celebrated of the early victims. He was a native of Nismes, twenty-four years old. He had just completed his theological studies; but there were neither synods to receive him to pastoral ordination, nor temples for him to preach in. The only reward he could earn by proceeding on his mission was death, yet he determined to preach.
The first assemblies he joined were in the neighbourhood of Nismes, where his addresses were interrupted by assaults of the dragoons. The dangers to his co-religionaries were too great in the neighbourhood of this populous town; and he next went to Castres and the Vaunage; after which he accepted an invitation to proceed into the less populous districts of the Cevennes.
He felt the presentiment of death upon him in accepting the invitation; but he went, leaving behind him a letter to his father, saying that he was willing, if necessary, to give his life for the cause of truth. His apostolate was short but glorious.
He went from village to village in the Cevennes, collected the old worshippers together, prayed and preached to them, p. He remained at this work for about six weeks, when a spy who accompanied him—one whom he had regarded as sincere a Huguenot as himself—informed against him for the royal reward, and delivered him over to the dragoons. Rey was at first thrown into prison at Anduze, when, after a brief examination by the local judge, he was entrusted to thirty soldiers, to be conveyed to Alais.
There he was subjected to further examination, avowing that he had preached wherever he had found faithful people ready to hear him. At Nismes, he was told that he had broken the law, in preaching contrary to the King\’s will. Do with me what you will; I am ready to die. The priests, the judges, and other persons of influence endeavoured to induce him to change his opinions.
Promises of great favours were offered him if he would abjure; and when the intendant Baville informed him of the frightful death before him if he refused, he replied, \”My life is not of value to me, provided I gain Christ.
He was ordered to be put to the torture. He was still unshaken. Then he was delivered over to the executioner. On his way to the place of execution, two monks walked by his side to induce him to relent, and to help him to die.
I see before me the ladder which leads to heaven. The monks wished to mount the ladder with him. I have assistance enough from God to take the last step of my journey. But the authorities had arranged beforehand that this should be prevented. When he opened his mouth, a roll of military drums muffled his voice. His radiant look and gestures spoke for him. A few minutes more, and he was dead; and when the paleness of death spread over his face, it still bore the reflex of joy and peace in which he had expired.
It was thought that the public hanging of a pastor would put a stop to all further ministrations among the Huguenots. But the sight of the bodies of their brethren hung on the nearest trees, and the heads of their pastors rolling on the scaffold, did not deter them from continuing to hold religious meetings in solitary places, more especially in Languedoc, Viverais, and the provinces in the south-east of France.
Between the year , when Fulcran Rey was hanged at Beaucaire, and the year , when Claude Brousson was hanged at Montpellier, not fewer than seventeen pastors were publicly executed; namely, three at Nismes, two at St. Hippolyte and Marsillargues in the Cevennes, and twelve on the Peyrou at Montpellier—the public place on which Protestant Christians in the South of France were then principally executed. There has been some discussion lately as to the p. It has been held that the St. Bartholomew Massacre was only a political squabble, begun by the Huguenots, in which they got the worst of it.
The number of persons killed on the occasion has been reduced to a very small number. It has been doubted whether the Pope had anything to do with the medal struck at Rome, bearing the motto Ugonottorum Strages \”Massacre of the Huguenots\” , with the Pope\’s head on one side, and an angel on the other pursuing and slaying a band of flying heretics.
Whatever may be said of the massacre of St. Bartholomew, there can be no mistake about the persecutions which preceded and followed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
They were continued for more than half a century, and had the effect of driving from France about a million of the best, most vigorous, and industrious of Frenchmen. In the single province of Languedoc, not less than a hundred thousand persons according to Boulainvilliers were destroyed by premature death, one-tenth of whom perished by fire, strangulation, or the wheel.
It could not be said that Louis XIV. The proclamations, edicts and laws published against the Huguenots were known to all Frenchmen. Charles Coquerel, \”a horror of p. Will foreigners believe it, that France observed a code of laws framed in the same infernal spirit, which maintained a perpetual St.
Bartholomew\’s day in this country for about sixty years! If they cannot call us the most barbarous of people, their judgment will be well founded in pronouncing us the most inconsistent. He takes a much more patriotic view of the French people. He cannot believe them to have been wilfully guilty of the barbarities which the French Government committed upon the Huguenots.
It was the King, the priests, and the courtiers only! But he forgets that these upper barbarians were supported by the soldiers and the people everywhere. He adds, however, that if the Revocation were popular, \”it would be the most overwhelming accusation against the Church of Rome, that it had thus educated and fashioned France. To give an account in detail of the varieties of cruelty inflicted on the Huguenots, and of the agonies to which they were subjected for many years before and after the passing of the Act of Revocation, would occupy too much space, besides being tedious through the mere repetition of like horrors.
But in order to condense such an account, we think it will be more interesting if we endeavour to give a brief history of the state of France at that time, in connection with the biography of one of the most celebrated Huguenots of his period, both in his life, his piety, his trials, and his endurance—that of Claude Brousson, the advocate, the pastor, and the martyr of Languedoc.
Claude Brousson was born at Nismes in He was designed by his parents for the profession of the law, and prosecuted his studies at the college of his native town, where he graduated as Doctor of Laws.
He commenced his professional career about the time when Louis XIV. Protestant advocates were not yet forbidden to practise, but they already laboured under many disabilities. He continued, however, for some time to exercise his profession, with much ability, at p.
He was frequently employed in defending Protestant pastors, and in contesting the measures for suppressing their congregations and levelling their churches under existing edicts, some time before the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes had been finally resolved upon. Thus, in , he was engaged in disputing the process instituted against the ministers and elders of the church at Nismes, with the view of obtaining an order for the demolition of the remaining Protestant temple of that city.
Peyrol, one of the ministers. Brousson defended the case, observing, at the conclusion of his speech, that the number of Protestants was very great at Nismes; that the ministers could not be personally acquainted with all the people, and especially with occasional visitors and strangers; that the ministers were quite unacquainted with the girl, or that she professed the Roman Catholic religion: \”facts which rendered it probable that she was sent to the temple for the purpose of furnishing an occasion for the prosecution.
Another process was instituted during the same year p. The pretext for destroying the latter was of a singular character. A Protestant pastor, M. Paulet, had been bribed into embracing the Roman Catholic religion, in reward for which he was appointed counsellor to the Presidial Court of Montpellier.
But his wife and one of his daughters refused to apostatize with him. The daughter, though only between ten and eleven years old, was sent to a convent at Teirargues, where, after enduring considerable persecution, she persisted in her steadfastness, and was released after a twelvemonth\’s confinement.
Five years later she was again seized and sent to another convent; but, continuing immovable against the entreaties and threats of the abbess and confessor, she was again set at liberty.
An apostate priest, however, who had many years before renounced the Protestant faith, and become director and confessor of the nuns at Teirargues, forged two documents; the one to show that while at the convent, Mdlle. Paulet had consented to embrace the Catholic religion, and the other containing her formal abjuration. It was alleged that her abjuration had been signified to Isaac Dubourdieu, of Montpellier, one of the most distinguished pastors of the French Church; but that, nevertheless, he had admitted her to the sacrament.
This, if true, was contrary to law; upon which the Catholic clergy laid information against the pastor and the young lady before the Parliament of Toulouse, when they obtained sentence of imprisonment against the former, and the penance of amende honorable against the latter.
The demolition of temples was the usual consequence p. The Duc de Noailles, lieutenant-general of the province, entered the city on the 16th of October, , accompanied by a strong military force; and at a sitting of the Assembly of the States which shortly followed, the question of demolishing the Protestant temple at Montpellier was brought under consideration.
Four of the Protestant pastors and several of the elders had before waited upon De Noailles to claim a respite until they should have submitted their cause to the King in Council. The request having been refused, one of the deputation protested against the illegality of the proceedings, and had the temerity to ask his excellency whether he was aware that there were eighteen hundred thousand Protestant families in France? Upon which the Duke, turning to the officer of his guard, said, \”Whilst we wait to see what will become of these eighteen hundred thousand Protestant families, will you please conduct these gentlemen to the citadel?
The great temple of Montpellier was destroyed immediately on receipt of the King\’s royal mandate. It required the destruction of the place within twenty-four hours; \”but you will give me pleasure,\” added the King, in a letter to De Noailles, \”if you accomplish it in two. It was, perhaps, scarcely necessary, after the temple had been destroyed, to make any effort to justify these high-handed proceedings. But Mdlle. Paulet, on whose pretended conversion to Catholicism the proceedings had been instituted, was now requested to admit the authenticity of the documents.
She was still p. Of course the documents were forged; but they had answered their purpose. The Protestant temple of Montpellier lay in ruins, and Isabeau de Paulet was recommitted to prison. On hearing of this incident, Brousson remarked, \”This is what is called instituting a process against persons after they have been condemned\”—a sort of \”Jedwood justice.
The repetition of these cases of persecution—the demolition of their churches, and the suppression of their worship—led the Protestants of the Cevennes, Viverais, and Dauphiny to combine for the purpose of endeavouring to stem the torrent of injustice. With this object, a meeting of twenty-eight deputies took place in the house of Brousson, at Toulouse, in the month of May, As the Assembly of the States were about to take steps to demolish the Protestant temple at Montauban and other towns in the south, and as Brousson was the well-known advocate of the persecuted, the deputies were able to meet at his house to conduct their deliberations, without exciting the jealousy of the priests and the vigilance of the police.
What the meeting of Protestant deputies recommended to their brethren was embodied in a measure, which was afterwards known as \”The Project. At the same time, Brousson drew up a petition to the Sovereign, humbly requesting him to grant permission to the Huguenots to worship God in peace after their consciences, copies of which were sent to Louvois and the other ministers of State.
On this and other petitions, Brousson observes, \”Surely all the world and posterity will be surprised, that so many respectful petitions, so many complaints of injuries, and so many solid reasons urged for their removal, produced no good result whatever in favour of the Protestants.
The members of the churches which had been interdicted, and whose temples had been demolished, were accordingly invited to assemble in private, in the neighbouring fields or woods—not in public places, nor around the ruins of their ancient temples—for the purpose of worshipping God, exciting each other to piety by prayer and singing, receiving instruction, and celebrating the Lord\’s Supper.
Various meetings were accordingly held, in the following month of July, in the Cevennes and Viverais. At St. The dragoons were at once sent to St. Hypolite to put an end to these meetings, and to \”convert\” the Protestants. The town was almost wholly Protestant. The troops were quartered in numbers in every house; and the people soon became \”new converts. Germain, Vigan, and Ganges were as full of them as St.
Hypolite—may be inferred from the items charged upon the inhabitants of St. Hypolite alone  :—. Meetings of the persecuted were also held, under the terms of \”The Project,\” in Viverais and Dauphiny.
These meetings having been repeated for several weeks, the priests of the respective districts called upon their bishops for help to put down this heretical display. The p. On their arrival, the troops were scattered over the country, to watch and suppress any meetings that might be held.
The first took place on the 8th of August, at Chateaudouble, a manufacturing village in Drome. The assembly was surprised by a troop of dragoons; but most of the congregation contrived to escape.
Those who were taken were hung upon the nearest trees. Another meeting was held about a fortnight later at Bezaudun, which was attended by many persons from Bourdeaux, a village about half a league distant. While the meeting was at prayer, intelligence was brought that the dragoons had entered Bourdeaux, and that it was a scene of general pillage.
The Bourdeaux villagers at once set out for the protection of their families. The troopers met them, and suddenly fell upon them. A few of the villagers were armed, but the principal part defended themselves with stones. Of course they were overpowered; many were killed by the sword, and those taken prisoners were immediately hanged.
A few, who took to flight, sheltered themselves in a barn, where the soldiers found them, set fire to the place, and murdered them as they endeavoured to escape from the flames.
One young man was taken prisoner, David Chamier,  son of an advocate, and p. He was taken to the neighbouring town of Montelimar, and, after a summary trial, he was condemned to be broken to death upon the wheel. The sentence was executed before his father\’s door; but the young man bore his frightful tortures with astonishing courage.
He appointed Marshal Saint-Ruth commander of the district—a man who was a stranger to mercy, who breathed only carnage, and who, because of his ferocity, was known as \”The Scourge of the Heretics. The instructions Saint-Ruth received from Louvois were these: \”Amnesty has no longer any place for the Viverais, who continue in rebellion after having been informed of the King\’s gracious designs.
In one word, you are to cause such a desolation in that country that its example may restrain all other Huguenots, and may teach them how dangerous it is to rebel against the King. This was a work quite congenial to Saint-Ruth  —rushing p. Tracking the Protestants in this way was like \”a hunt in a great enclosure. If they were unable to fly, they met death upon their knees. Antoine Court recounts meetings in which as many as between three and four hundred persons, old men, women, and children, were shot dead on the spot.
De Cosmac, the bishop, was very active in the midst of these massacres. When he went out to convert the people, he first began by sending out Saint-Ruth with the dragoons. Afterwards he himself followed to give instructions for their \”conversion,\” partly through favours, partly by money.
The same course was followed throughout the Cevennes. It would be a simple record of cruelty to describe in detail the military proceedings there: the dispersion of meetings; the hanging of persons p.
But let us take the single instance of Homel, formerly pastor of the church at Soyon. Homel was taken prisoner, and found guilty of preaching to his flock after his temple had been destroyed. For this offence he was sentenced to be broken to death upon the wheel. To receive this punishment he was conducted to Tournon, in Viverais, where the Jesuits had a college.
He first received forty blows of the iron bar, after which he was left to languish with his bones broken, for forty hours, until he died.
During his torments, he said: \”I count myself happy that I can die in my Master\’s service. Though you witness my bones broken to shivers, yet is my soul filled with inexpressible joy. De Noailles, the governor, when referring in one of his dispatches to the heroism displayed by the tortured prisoners, said: \”These wretches go to the wheel with the firm assurance of dying martyrs, and ask no other favour than that of dying quickly.
They request pardon of the soldiers, but there is not one of them that will ask pardon of the King. To return to Claude Brousson. After his eloquent p. Brousson was repeatedly offered the office of counsellor of Parliament, equivalent to the office of judge, if he would prove an apostate; but the conscience of Brousson was not one that could be bought.
He also found that his office of defender of the doomed Huguenots could not be maintained without personal danger, whilst as events proved his defence was of no avail to them; and he resolved, with much regret, to give up his profession for a time, and retire for safety and rest to his native town of Nismes. He resided there, however, only about four months. The Protestants of Nismes had taken no part in \”The Project;\” their remaining temple was still open. But they got up a respectful petition to the King, imploring his consideration of their case.
Roman Catholics and Protestants, they said, had so many interests in common, that the ruin of the one must have the effect of ruining the other,—the flourishing manufactures of the province, which were mostly followed by the Protestants, being now rapidly proceeding to ruin. They, therefore, implored his Majesty to grant them permission to prosecute their employments unmolested on account of their religious profession; and lastly, they conjured the King, by his piety, by his paternal clemency, and by every law of equity, to grant them freedom of religious worship.
The hearts of the King, his clergy, and his ministers, were all hardened against them. A copy of the above petition was presented by two ministers of Nismes and several influential gentlemen of Lower Languedoc to the Duke de Noailles, the governor of the province. He treated the deputation with contempt, and their petition with scorn.
Writing to Louvois, the King\’s prime minister, De Noailles said: \”Astonished at the effrontery of these wretched persons, I did not hesitate to send them all prisoners to the Citadel of St.
Esprit in the Cevennes , telling them that if there had been petites maisons  enough in Languedoc I should not have sent them there. Nismes was now placed under the same ban as Vivarais, and denounced as \”insurrectionary. One of those to be apprehended was Claude Brousson. Hundreds of persons knew of his abode in the city, but notwithstanding the public proclamation which he himself heard from the window of the house where he was staying , and the reward offered for his apprehension, no one attempted to betray him.
After remaining in the city for three days, he adopted a disguised dress, passed out of the Crown Gate, and in the course of a few days found a safe retreat in Switzerland. Peyrol and Icard, two of the Protestant ministers whom the dragoons were ordered to apprehend, also escaped into Switzerland, Peyrol settling at p.
But although the ministers had escaped, all the property they had left behind them was confiscated to the Crown. Hideous effigies of them were prepared and hung on gibbets in the market-place of Nismes by the public executioner, the magistrates and dragoons attending the sham proceeding with the usual ceremony.
At Lausanne, where Claude Brousson settled for a time, he first attempted to occupy himself as a lawyer; but this he shortly gave up to devote himself to the help of the persecuted Huguenots.
But expostulation was of no use. With each succeeding year the persecution became more bitter, until at length, in , the Edict was revoked. In September of that year Brousson learnt that the Protestant church of his native city had been suppressed, and their temple given over to a society of female converters; that the wives and daughters of the Protestants who refused to abjure their faith had been seized and imprisoned in nunneries and religious seminaries; and that three hundred of their husbands and fathers were chained together and sent off in one day for confinement in the galleys at Marseilles.
The number of Huguenots resorting to Switzerland p. Brousson was from the first an energetic member of this committee. Part of their work was to visit the Protestant states of the north, and find out places to which the emigrants might be forwarded, as well as to collect subscriptions for their conveyance.
La Porte was one of the ministers of the Cevennes, who had fled before a sentence of death pronounced against him for having been concerned in \”The Project. Brousson and La Porte here met the Rev.
David Ancillon, who had been for thirty-three years pastor at Metz,  and p. The Elector suggested to Brousson that while at Berlin he should compose a summary account of the condition of the French Protestants, such as should excite the interest and evoke the help of the Protestant rulers and people of the northern States.
This was done by Brousson, and the volume was published, entitled \”Letters of the Protestants of France who have abandoned all for the cause of the Gospel, to other Protestants; with a particular Letter addressed to Protestant Kings, Electors, Rulers, and Magistrates. Brousson remained nearly five months at Berlin, after which he departed for Holland to note the progress of the emigration in that country, and there he met a large number of his countrymen.
Nearly two hundred and fifty Huguenot ministers had taken refuge in p. While in Holland, Brousson resided principally with his brother, a banished Huguenot, who had settled at Amsterdam as a merchant. Having accomplished all that he could for his Huguenot brethren in exile, Brousson returned to Lausanne, where he continued his former labours. He bethought him very much of the Protestants still remaining in France, wandering like sheep without shepherds, deprived of guidance, books, and worship—the prey of ravenous wolves,—and it occurred to him whether the Protestant pastors had done right in leaving their flocks, even though by so doing they had secured the safety of their own lives.
Accordingly, in , he wrote and published a \”Letter to the Pastors of France at present in Protestant States, concerning the Desolation of their own Churches, and their own Exile. In this letter he says:—\”If, instead of retiring before your persecutors, you had remained in the country; if you had taken refuge in forests and caverns; if you had gone from place to place, risking your lives to instruct and rally the people, until the first shock of the enemy was past; and had you even courageously exposed yourselves to martyrdom—as in fact those have done who have endeavoured to perform your duties in your absence—perhaps the examples of constancy, or zeal, or of piety you had discovered, might have animated your flocks, revived their courage, and arrested the fury of your enemies.
Brousson was not a pastor. Would he like to return to France at the daily risk of the rack and the gibbet? The Protestant ministers in exile defended themselves. Brousson was as brave as his words. He was not a pastor, but he might return to the deserted flocks, and encourage and comfort them.
He could no longer be happy in his exile at Lausanne. He heard by night the groans of the prisoners in the Tower of Constance, and the noise of the chains borne by the galley slaves at Toulon and Marseilles. He reproached himself as if it were a crime with the repose which he enjoyed. Life became insupportable to him and he fell ill.
His health was even despaired of; but one day he suddenly rose up and said to his wife, \”I must set out; I will go to console, to relieve, to strengthen my brethren, groaning under their oppressions.
His wife threw herself at his feet. He loved his wife and children, but he thought a higher duty called him away from them. When his friends told him that he would be taken prisoner and hung, he said, \”When God permits his servants to die for the Gospel, they preach louder from the grave than they did during life. He would go to the help of the oppressed with the love of a brother, the faith of an apostle, and the courage of a martyr.
Brousson knew the danger of the office he was about to undertake. There had, as we have seen, been numerous attempts made to gather the Protestant people together, and to administer consolation to them by public prayers and preaching. The persons who conducted these services were not regular pastors, but only private members of their former churches.
Some of them were very young men, and they were nearly all uneducated as regards clerical instruction. One of the most successful was Isaac Vidal, a lame young man, a mechanic of Colognac, near St. Hypolite, in the Cevennes.
His self-imposed ministrations were attended by large numbers of people. He preached for only six months and then died—a natural death, for nearly all who followed him were first tortured and then hung.
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