« ElőzőTovább »
proportion between the two religions has not results of researches recently made in Gervaried. Enforced during a wholo century, many by French diplomatists, by order of two Louis XIV.'8 cruel laws, further aggravated ministers of foreign afairs, MM. Drouyn de by the decree of 1724, proved powerless against Lhuys and Lahitte. Most of the foreign the religious convictions they were intended documents, many of the French ones, were to annihilate.'
unpublished, and entirely unknown to the An examination of Mr. Weiss' book can- world. The persecuting government of Louis not better be commenced than by the quota- XIV. feared the effect that might be produced tion of its last few lines — the closing sen- upon the less bigoted sections of the Roman tences of an eloquent chapter, whose publica- Catholics, by a disclosure of the shameful tion preceded that of the work itself.* “ By injustice and cruel oppression to which their writing," he says,
“the history of these mar- Protestant fellow-countrymen were subjected. tyrs of their faith, we believe that, besides Perhaps, also, a feeling of shame - inadeperforming a pious duty, we have filled up a quate to tem per fanatical ardor, but sufficientvoid in our national history. The annals of ly powerful to bring a blush for such barbarFrance were not to remain forever closed to ity – induced that and succeeding governthe destinies — often glorious, always honor- ments to conceal, as much as possible, the able — of the scattered refugees. We have amount of misery, and the grievous detriment studied the vicissitudes of their various for- to France, originally occasioned by the intoltunes, sought out the traces of their suffer- erant spirit of Louis XIV. and his couns rs. ings and triumphs, displayed and proved their The satisfaction with which a large portion salutary influence in the most diverse coun- of the nation beheld the Huguenots once more tries ; and, if it has not been granted to us driven to the wall, and trodden under foot, to erect to them a durable monument, we at might have been materially, lessened, and least shall have contributed to rescue froin even converted into indignation and alarm, oblivion great and noble recollections, that had it been known that the refugees were deserve to live in the memory of man, and of taking with them far more than their numerwhich France herself has reason to be proud.” ical proportion of the pith and vigor, virtue Without wasting iu eulogium space which and valor, of France. will be better occupied by an analysis of a Iew historians would have had resolution portion of Mr. Weiss' interesting book, we will to confine themselves to their exact theme so briely say that he deserves credit no less for strictly as Mr. Weiss has done. Many would what he has abstained from than for what he assuredly have given a volume or two to that has performed. In treating so copious a sub- preliminary and accessory branch of the subject, the temptation to prolixity was great ; ject, which he has admirally compressed into it has been magnanimously resisted. Mr. bis First Book, of one hundred and twenty Weiss has borne steadily in mind that he had pages. Even those persons best versed in the undertaken to write a history, not of French history of the French Protestants during the Protestantism, but of those French Protest- eighty-seven years that elapsed between the ants whom persecution drove from their na- promulgation of the .Edict of Nantes and its tive land to enrich other countries by their revocation, will read with fresh and lively toil and talents, and, in many instances, val. interest this succinct narrative. Mr. Weiss iantly to defend the land of their adoption possesses, in an eminent degree, the talent of against the armies of the nation that had re- compression, combined with a satisfactory jected them. Profoundly versed in history, lucidity of style and arrangement - attribuhimself a zealous Protestant, Mr. Weiss has table, we presume, partly to great painstaking devoted many years of labor and research to and revision, and partly to his vocation of the production of these two volumes. He has historical professor, which has habitunted visited the countries where the refugees him to convey instruction in the clearest and founded colonies - in some of which, al- most intelligible manner. He commences by though a century and a half has since elapsed, dividing that terın of eighty-seven years into French is still the spoken tongue. England, three principal periods. During the firstIlolland, Germany, Switzerland, have in turn estending from the publication of the celereceived him, and in all he has culled volumi- brated edict which closed, in 1598, the bloody nous and important materials for his work. civil wars of the sixteenth century, to the The archives of his own country have swollen capture of La Rochelle in 1629 – the Prothe mass of matter, further augmented by the testants imprudently meddled in the troubles
that distracted the regency of Mary de Medicis * This concluding chapter appeared, under the and the early years of Louis XIII.'s majority. title of “A General Appreciation of the Conse, Deprived, successively, of all the towns alquences of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in the twelfth number of a French Protestant peri
lotted then as places of refuge and security, odical, “ Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire du and of their political organization, they ceased Protestantisme Français,” published at Paris in to form a recognized body in the state. The April of the present year.
second period extends from the capture of,
La Rochelle to the commencement, in 1662, |ral brethren for their proficiency in agriculof Louis XIV.'8 persecutions. During that ture. By irrefragable documents —despatches time the Protestants were a mere religious and memorials from government officials, conparty, from which, little by little, its inost ceived, for the most part, in a spirit hostile influential chiess withdrew thenuselves. They to the Huguenots - Mr. Weiss shows that in had laid aside their arms; instead of impover- many districts and cities commerce was enishing France by strise, they enriched her by tirely in their hands. This was the case in their industry. It had been wise and Chris- Guicone, where nearly all the trade in wine tian-like to abstain from molesting good sub- was transacted by them; in the two governjects, who asked but liberty to pray to God in ments of Brouage and Alençon, where a dozen the way their conscience dictated. Such Protestant families monopolized the trade in liberty was not long vouchsafed to them. salt and wine, amounting annually to twelve Between 1662 and 1685, they were excluded or fifteen hundred thousand livres. At Sanfrom all public employments, attacked in their cerre, the intendant (M. de Seraucourt) adcivil and religious rights, and, finally, by the mitted that they were superior to the Cathorevocation, compelled to change their religion, lics in numbers, wealth, and consideration. or iy their country.
At Rouen, at Caen, at Metz, nearly the whole Passing over the historian's rapid sketch of the trade was carried on by them. The of the events of the first period, the reader's governor of the last-named town recommended attention is infallibly arrested by his novel the ministers of Louis XIV. to show them and striking picture of the state of the French |“ particular attention, much gentleness and 1 Protestants during the thirty years of repose patience,” inasmuch, he said, as •
they have that followed the siege of La Rochelle, and all trade in their hands.” Little attention preceded the persecutions. Repulsed from was paid to the judicious recommendation. court, gradually excluded from office of every As long as fourteen years after the Revocation, kind, they fell back upon those natural re- Baville, the intendant of Languedoc, il cruel sources of which none could deprive them – persecutor of the Protestants, wrote as follow's : upon their industry, perseverance, and inge- 5. If the merchants of Nismes are still had nuity. “ The vast plains they possessed in Catholics, at least they have not ceased to be Béarn, and in the western provinces, were very good traders.
Generally speakcovered wi rich harvests ; parts of Lan- ing, all the new converts are more at their guedoc occupied by them becaine the most ease, more laborious and industrious, than the fertile and the best cultivated often in spite old Catholics of the province.” Bordeaux, of poverty of soil
. Thanks to their indefati, La Rochelle, and the Noroian ports, were ingable toil, that province, so long devastated debted to members of the reformed church by civil wars, rose from its ruins. In the for great increase of trade. • The English mountainous diocese of Alais, which includes and Dutch had more confidence in them than the Lower Cevennes, the chestnut-tree sup- in the Catholic merchants, and were more plied the inhabitants with food, which they willing to correspond with thom.”. Our repiously compared to the inanna where with stricted space prevents us froin giving much God nourished the Israelites in the desert. of the curious statistical information supplied The Aigoal and the Esperou, the two loftiest by Mr. Weiss. The Protestants were the mountains that chain, were covered with first to adopt in France the system (already forests and pastures, where their flocks grazed. prevailing in England and Holland) of On the Esperou was particularly remarked a the division of labor. The thriving man. plain enanielled with Ilowers, and intersected ufactories of cloth_at Rheims, Abbeville, by pumerous springs, which preserved the Elboouf, Louviers, Rouen, Sedan, and nufreshness of its verdure in suminer's greatest merous other places, owed their establishheat. The inhabitants called it the Hort- ment and progress to Protestant families. Dieu, or Garden of God. The part of the Vi. The Protestants of the Gévaudan, a district varais known as the Mountain produced corn of Languedoc, annually sent to foreign parts a in such great abundance that it far exceeded value of from two to three millions of livres the consumption. The diocese of Uzès also of sergo and other light fabrics. Every peasyielded quantities of corn, and exquisito ant had his looin, and worked at it in the oil and wine,
In the diocese of Nismes, the intervals of agricultural ocoupation. The valley of Vaunage was renowned for the rich inanufactures of silk stuffs and stockings, of dess of its vegetation. The Protestants, who hardware, gold and silver lace, and notably possessed within its limits more than sixty of paper, were chiefly in Protestant hands. temples, called it Little Canaan. In Berri, In Brittany they made sail-cloth, of which, the skillul wine-growors restored that country previously to thé omigration, the English and to its former stite of prosperity.” In the Dutch annually purchased very large quanti, towns, tho Protestants were not less remark- ties. In Touraino they were tanners, and able for their manufacturing and coinmercial their leather was celebrated throughout France. intelligence and success, thuo were their ru- They had four hundred tanneries in that
province. The silk and velvet manufactures | order to share the good things bestowed upon of Tours and Lyons, so renowned in the mid- Catholics -a motive which had already indle of the seventeenth century, owed their duced most of the Protestant nubles to abjure success and prosperity mainly to the Protes- their religion. The king, however, did not tants. We abstain from enuinerating a num- long adhere to a system which, although ber of other iinportant articles of consumption neither just nor impartial, was at least produced, alunost exclusively, by that indus- prudent and moderate. His first notable act trious people, whose reputation stood as high of aggression against his patient, peaceable, for cominercial probity as for activity and in- and valuable Protestant subjects, was the telligence. The reasons for their general demolition, in the district of Gex, of twentysuperiority over their Catholic fellow-citizens two of their churches, under the pretence that are concisely and forcibly given by Mr. Weiss. the Edict of Nantes did not apply to that A mere handful amongst jealous and suspi- bailiwick, which had been annexed to the cious millions, austere morality and integrity kingdom since its pronulgation. Another were their sole safeguard against caluwny, decree granted to the Catholics of Gex a term and against the severity of the laws levelled of three years for payment of their debts. especially at them. Their very enemies were This was an iminoral lure held out to the coin pelled to admit that they were frugal, Protestants, who, by changing their religion, laborious, lovers of truth and of their religion, would partake of the advantage. Then came conscientious in their conduct, constant in an order in council, forbidding Protestants to their fear and reverence of God. Placed at bury their dead save at daybreak or nightfull. disadvantage by the state on account of their In '1663, newly-converted Protestants were creed, their stipulus to exertion was strong, dispensed froin payment of their debts to their since it was only by superior industry and former co-religionists. The effects of this intelligence that they could place themselves iniquitous dispensation upon the various on a level with their more fuvored Catholie trades in which the Protestants were fellow-subjects. “They were further aided largely engaged, need hardly be indicated. by the principles of their religion, unceasing-Old and barbarous laws against converts who lý tending to instruct and enlighten them, by relapsed into the reformed religion were conducting them to fuith only through the revived and put in force. The bodies of pergate of investigation. Thenco their rior sons who had abjured Protestantism, and enlightenment, which necessarily extended who, upon their death-beds, refused the itself to all their actions, and rendered their sacraments of Rome, were drawn upun hurminds more capable of seizing every idea dles amidst the outrages of the populace. whose application could contribute to their This law was applied to persons of quality : welfare.' Most of the Protestants, when amongst others to a demoiselle de Montyoung, visited Protestant countries, French alembert, whose corpse was dragged naked Switzerland, Holland, and Cogland, and thence through the streets of Angoulême. In 1665, brought back valuable knowledge and enlarged priests were authorized to present themselves, ideas. One more circumstance is to be noted ; | in company with the magistrate of the place, the Protestants' working year contained 310 at the bedside of dying Protestants, to exhort duys, only the Sundays and solemn festivals them to conversion; and if the v appeared disbeing given to rest; the Catholics, on the posed to it, the work was to be proceeded other hand, gave barely 260 days to labor. with in spite of the family. It may be the rest were holidays. Hence a clear gain imagined what gentle and conscientious uso of one-sisth to Protestant industry.
Catholic priests would make of this scandalous When, upon the death of Mazarin, Louis permission. A dying man, agonized and XIV. grasped the reins of power, the Protes- speechless, made, or was said to have made, tant religion was not only tolerated, but a sign with his head, hand, or eyes, indicating :authorized and permitted throughout the adherence to the Church of Roine. Therekingdom of France. The Huguenot political upon his body was interred in the Catholic faction was destroyed ; the French nobility, a cemetery, and his children were hurried to few years before sú warlike and turbulent, had mass Catholics by virtue of their father's abandoned their provincial strongholds to pretended abjuration. bask in court favor ; the plebeians were con- Such was the beginning of the persecution. tented and happy because peace and public Thenceforward no month passed without order were maintained; the triumph of the some fresh act of rigor: Temples were shut crown was complete. For a while the king's up or demolished; the number of Protestant policy was to maintain the Protestants in the schools was limited ; the education of Proto privileges granted them by his predecessors, estant children was restricted to reading, but to show them no further favor, and to writing, and ciphering. French Protestants exclude them from all benefits and advantages were forbidden to leave the country, and in his own individual gift. He hoped that those already in foreign parts were ordered to they would gradually go over to Rome, in return. The physicians of Rouen were for
bidden to adınit into their corporation more upon the unhappy Huguenots, were thoso than two persons of the reformed religion. called the Veillées. The soldiers mounted Slackened å little during the war with HLO!- regular guards, relieving each other as if on land, these odious persecutions resumed their sentry, for the sole purpose of depriving their vigor after the peace of Nimeguen. On the victims of repose. They forced them to stand most absurd pretexts, the temples, in a oum- upright, and to keep their eyes open. Benoît, ver of those large towns where the population a writer of that day, details the revolting inwas chiefly Protestant, were pulled down. sults and cruel sufferings to which both men And, by an edict of the 17th of June, 1031, and women were subjected. Huipan nature children of seven years of age were authorized could not endure such torments, and Foucault to abjure their parents' fuith and einbrace the was able to report the conversion of the whole Catholic religion! It was opening a fine of Béarn. * I certainly believe,' wrote field to the unscrupulous, proselytizing emis- Madame de Maintenon, “ that those conversaries of Rome. * It now sufficed that an sions are not all sincere. But God cmploys eorious person, an enerny, a debtor, declared all manner of means to bring beretics back to before a tribunal that a child wished to become him; the children at least will be Catholics, a Catholic, had inanifested an intention of though their fathers be hypocrites.” The entering a church, had joined in a prayer, or manner of means” referred to by this saintly inade the sign of the cross, or kissed an image prude and ex-Calvinist are thus described by of the Virgin, for the child in question to be Benoît, as applied to persons of her own sex. taken from his parents, who were compelled • The soldiers offered to the women indignito make him an allowance proportioned to ties which decency will not suffer me to detheir supposed ability. But such estimates scribe. The officers were no better than the were necessarily arbitrary, and it often hap- soldiers. They spat in the women's faces ; pened that the loss of his child entailed upon they made then lie down in their presence the unfortunate father that of all his prop- upon hot einbers; they forced them to put erty." instances of the abominable system then enough to suffocate them. All their study adopted. Whilet Culbert lived, his voice was was to devise torments which should be painever uplifted in the king's council against the ful without being mortal.” Such was the maltreatment and oppression of men whom he pastiine of the chivalrous warriors of the held to be peaceable, industrious, and useful most Christian and magnanimous of French citizens. After his death, Louvois, anxious to kings. please the king, went far beyond anything that Similar scenes were enacted in every prorhad yet been done. He instituted what were ince where Protestants dwelt. Louis XIV. called the dragonnades. Troops, principally daily received the joyful intelligence of thoudragoons, were sent into the provinces and sands of conversions. In September and quurtered in Protestant houses, where they October, 1685, he was informed that six large were encouraged to every kind of excess short and important towns, noted strongholds of of rape and nurder. " In many villages (of the reformed religion, had definitively abjured Puitou) the priests followed them in the streets, their errors. The court then believed that crying out : Courage, gentlemen ; it is the Protestantisin was annihilated in France, and king's intention that these dogs of Huguenots the king, sharing in the general illusion, no should be pillaged and sacked.' The soldiers longer hesitated to strike the last blow. On entered the houses sword in hand, crying the 220 October he signed, at Fontainebleau, • Kill! kill !' to frighten women and children. the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Its
They eusployed threats, outrages, merciful provisions may be summed up in few and even tortures, to compel then to conver- words : “ The Protestant temples were all sion ; burning the feet and hands of some at to be demolished, and the worship forbidden 2 slow fire, breaking the ribs and limbs of in private houses, under pain of confiscation. others with blows of sticks. Many bad their Ministers who refused to be converted were lips burned with hot irons, and others were to quit the kingdom within a fortnight, or to thrown into damp dungeons, with threuts be sent to the galleys. Protestant schools that they should be left there to rot.” These were to be closed ; children were to be bapatrocities brought about, as may be imagined, tized by priests, and brought up in the religa vast number of conversions. Suspended for ion of Rome. Four months were granted to a while, in consequence of the moral effect refugees to return to France and abjure ; that of a bill passed by the English Parliament, terin expired, their property would be congranting extraordinary privileges to French fiscated." Under pain of galleys and confiscarefugees, the dragonnades recommenced in tion, Protestants were forbidden to quit the 1684 this time in Béarn, where the sul- kingdom and carry their fortunes abroad, diery, incited by the fanatic intendant Fou- They were to remain, until it should please God cault, committed even greater excesses than to enlighten them.” We have seen the gentle in Poitou. Amongst other tortures inflicted means by which the divino spirit was aided
in such cases.
Upon the same day that this hid thern under bales of goods and heaps of insane edict was registered, the demolition of coal, and in empty casks, where they had only the great temple at Charenton, built by the the bunghole to breathe through. There they celebrated architect, Jacques Debrosse, and remained, crowded one upon another, until capable of containing fourteen thousand per- the ship sailed. Fear of discovery and of the sons, was commenced. In five days no trace galleys gave them courage to suffer. Persons of the structure remained. The church at brought up in every luxury, pregnant women, Quevilly, near Rouen, was lerelled by a fa- old men, invalids and children, vied with each natic mob, headed by the intendant of the prov- other in constancy and fortitude, to escape ince, and several other high officials, axe and from their persecutors.” Fortunately for the hammer in hand. On its site was raised a refugees, the guards, both at the sea and cross, twenty feet high, adorned with the land frontiers, were often accessible to bribes royal arms. In every respect the edict of or to compassion, and helped the escape of revocation, and some severe supplementary many. It is impossible to ascertain the exact ordinances that were soon after published, number of Protestants who succeeded in quitwere enforced with the utwost rigor, and even ting France; but Mr. Weiss believes himself with bad faith. Thus were clergymen refused near the truth when he estimates that from a passports (indispensable to their departure quarter of a million to three hundred thousand from France), in order that the fortnight between a fourth and three-tenths of the granted them might elapse, and that they entire Protestant population left the counmight be cast into prison. Some of the more try in the last fifteen years of the seventeenth inluential amongst them, held especially century. He takes pains to exhibit the dangerous, were ordered to quit the kingdom grounds upon which he has established this within two days. Upon the other hand, the calculation, and quotes various reports and utmost pains were taken to prevent the emi- official documents; but we may here content gration of laymen. Marshal Schomberg and ourselves with mentioning the result, readily the Marquis de Ruvigny were the only persons accepting it, on the strength of his habitual permitted to leave the country. The king impartiality, and conscientious research, as sent for Admiral Duquesne, one of the creators approximatively correct.
The reports of proof the French navy, and urged him to change vincial governors afford bim exact data with his religion. The old hero, then eighty years respect to the damage done to the manufacof age, pointed to his white hair. “For tures and prosperity of France by this great sisty years, sire,” he said, “have I rendered Protestant esudus. The following figures are unto Cæsar that which I owe to Cæsar; suffer worth the reader's attention : "Of the 400 ine still to render unto God that which I owe tanneries, which a short time previously ento God." He was suffered to end his days in riched Touraine, there remained but 54 in France, unmolested for his religion.
the year 1698. That province's 8000 looms, The enactments against emigration were for the manufacture of silken stuffs, were all in vain to prevent it. In vain were the reduced to 1200 ; its 700 silk-mills to 70 ; coasts guarded, the high-roads patrolled, and its 40,000 workmen, forinerly employed in the peasants arıned and made to watch day the preparation and fabrication of silks, to and night for fugitives. Hundreds were cap- 4000. Of its 3000 ribbon-looms, not 60 retured, and sent, chained in gangs, to the mained. Instead of 2400 bales of silk, it galleys; but thousands escaped. They set consumed but 700 or 800.” This in one out disguised as pilgrims, couriers, sportsmen province.
In others the decline was proporwith their guns upon their shoulders, peasants tionate. Floquet, the historian of Normandriving cattle, porters bearing packages, in dy, estimates at 184,000 the Norman Protesfootinen's liveries and in soldiers' uniforms. tants who took advantago of the vicinity of the The richest had guides, who, for sums varying sea, and of their connection with England and from 1000 to 6000 livres, helped them to cross Holland, to quit France. For several years the frontier. The poor set out alone, choosing the Norman manufuctures were completely the least practicable roads, travelling by night, ruined. and passing the day in forests and caverns, " It would be erroneous to suppose that sometimes in barns, or hidden under hay. Louis XIV. did not foresee these fatal conseThe women resorted to similar artifices. They quences ; but, doubtless, he guessed not their dressed themselves as servants, peasants, estent, and thought to give to France durable nurses; they wheeled barrows; they carried repose and prosperity at the cost of a feeting hods and burthens. The younger ones smeared evil. A great part of the nation partook of or dyed their faces, to avoid attracting notice ; the delusion ; and it may be said that, with others put on the dress of lackeys, and followed, the exception of Vauban, St. Simon, and a small on foot, through the mire, a guide on horseback number of superior minds (amongst whioh must who passed for their master. The Protestants be reckoned Christina of Sweden), the nation of the seaboard got away in French, English was the accomplice, either by its acts or by and Dutch merchant vessels, whose masters its silence, of the great king's fault."