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proportion between the two religions has not | results of researches recently made in Gervaried. Enforced during a whole century, many by French diplomatists, by order of two Louis XIV.'s cruel laws, further aggravated ministers of foreign affairs, MM. Drouyn de by the decree of 1724, proved powerless against the religious convictions they were intended to annihilate.'
Lhuys and Lahitte. Most of the foreign documents, many of the French ones, were unpublished, and entirely unknown to the An examination of Mr.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 temper 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 counsellors. 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 from 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 in eulogium space which and valor, of France. will be better occupied by an analysis of a Few historians would have had resolution portion of Mr. Weiss' interesting book, we will to confine themselves to their exact theme so briefly 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 admirably compressed into it has been magnanimously resisted. Mr. his 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 habituated 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 term of eighty-seven years into French is still the spoken tongue. England, three principal periods. During the firstHolland, Germany, Switzerland, have in turn extending 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. The archives of his own country have swollen the mass of matter, further augmented by the
*This concluding chapter appeared, under the title of "A General Appreciation of the Conse. quences of the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes," in the twelfth number of a French Protestant periodical, "Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire du Protestantisme Français," published at Paris in April of the present year.
civil wars of the sixteenth century, to the capture of La Rochelle in 1629-the Protestants imprudently meddled in the troubles that distracted the regency of Mary de Medicis and the early years of Louis XIII.'s majority. Deprived, successively, of all the towns allotted them as places of refuge and security, and of their political organization, they ceased to form a recognized body in the state. The second period extends from the capture of,
La Rochelle to the commencement, in 1662, ral brethren for their proficiency in agriculof Louis XIV.'s 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 most ceived, for the most part, in a spirit hostile influential chiefs withdrew themselves. 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 strife, they enriched her by their industry. It had been wise and Christian-like to abstain from molesting good subjects, who asked but liberty to pray to God in the way their conscience dictated. Such liberty was not long vouchsafed to them. Between 1662 and 1685, they were excluded from all public employments, attacked in their civil and religious rights, and, finally, by the revocation, compelled to change their religion, or fly their country.
tirely in their hands. This was the case in Guienne, where nearly all the trade in wine was transacted by them; in the two governments of Brouage and Alençon, where a dozen Protestant families monopolized the trade in salt and wine, amounting annually to twelve or fifteen hundred thousand livres. At Sancerre, the intendant (M. de Seraucourt) admitted that they were superior to the Catholics in numbers, wealth, and consideration. 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/ 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, a cruel sources of which none could deprive them persecutor of the Protestants, wrote as follows: upon their industry, perseverance, and inge-"If the merchants of Nismes are still bad 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 with rich harvests; the parts of Lan-ing, all the new converts are more at their guedoc occupied by them became 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 Norman 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 them." Our repiously compared to the manna wherewith stricted space prevents us from 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 of 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 manplain enanielled with Howers, and intersected ufactories of cloth at Rheims, Abbeville, by numerous springs, which preserved the Elboouf, Louviers, Rouen, Sedan, and nufreshness of its verdure in summer'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 serge and other light fabrics. Every peasyielded quantities of corn, and exquisite ant had his loom, and worked at it in the oil and wine, In the diocese of Nismes, the intervals of agricultural occupation. The valley of Vaunage was renowned for the rich-manufactures of silk stuffs and stockings, of ness 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 skilful wine-growers restored that country previously to the emigration, the English and to its former state of prosperity.' In the Dutch annually purchased very large quanti towns, the Protestants were not less remark- ties. In Touraine they were tanners, and able for their manufacturing and commercial their leather was celebrated throughout France. intelligence and success, thun 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 nobles 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 important articles of consumption produced, almost exclusively, by that industrious people, whose reputation stood as high for commercial probity as for activity and intelligence. The reasons for their general superiority over their Catholic fellow-citizens are concisely and forcibly given by Mr. Weiss. A mere handful amongst jealous and suspicious millions, austere morality and integrity were their sole safeguard against calumny, and against the severity of the laws levelled especially at them. Their very enemies were compelled to admit that they were frugal, laborious, lovers of truth and of their religion, conscientious in their conduct, constant in their fear and reverence of God. Placed at disadvantage by the state on account of their creed, their stimulus to exertion was strong, since it was only by superior industry and intelligence that they could place themselves on a level with their more favored Catholie fellow-subjects. "They were further aided by the principles of their religion, unceasingly tending to instruct and enlighten them, by conducting them to faith only through the gate of investigation. Thence their superior enlightenment, which necessarily extended itself to all their actions, and rendered their minds more capable of seizing every idea whose application could contribute to their welfare." Most of the Protestants, when young, visited Protestant countries, French Switzerland, Holland, and England, and thence brought back valuable knowledge and enlarged
One more circumstance is to be noted; the Protestants' working year contained 310 days, only the Sundays and solemn festivals being given to rest; the Catholics, on the other hand, gave barely 260 days to laborthe rest were holidays. Hence a clear gain of one-sixth to Protestant industry.
When, upon the death of Mazarin, Louis XIV. grasped the reins of power, the Protestant religion was not only tolerated, but authorized and permitted throughout the kingdom of France. The Huguenot political faction was destroyed; the French nobility, a few years before so warlike and turbulent, had abandoned their provincial strongholds to bask in court favor; the plebeians were contented and happy because peace and public order were maintained; the triumph of the crown was complete. For a while the king's policy was to maintain the Protestants in the privileges granted them by his predecessors, but to show them no further favor, and to exclude them from all benefits and advantages in his own individual gift. He hoped that they would gradually go over to Rome, in
neither just nor impartial, was at least prudent and moderate. His first notable act of aggression against his patient, peaceable, and valuable Protestant subjects, was the demolition, in the district of Gex, of twentytwo of their churches, under the pretence that the Edict of Nantes did not apply to that bailiwick, which had been annexed to the kingdom since its promulgation. Another decree granted to the Catholics of Gex a term of three years for payment of their debts. This was an immoral lure held out to the Protestants, who, by changing their religion, would partake of the advantage. Then came an order in council, forbidding Protestants to bury their dead save at daybreak or nightfall. In 1663, newly-converted Protestants were dispensed from payment of their debts to their former co-religionists. The effects of this iniquitous dispensation upon the various trades in which the Protestants were largely engaged, need hardly be indicated. Old and barbarous laws against converts who relapsed into the reformed religion were revived and put in force. The bodies of persons who had abjured Protestantism, and who, upon their death-beds, refused the sacraments of Rome, were drawn upon hurdles amidst the outrages of the populace. This law was applied to persons of quality; amongst others to a demoiselle de Montalembert, whose corpse was dragged naked through the streets of Angoulême. In 1665, priests were authorized to present themselves, in company with the magistrate of the place, at the bedside of dying Protestants, to exhort them to conversion; and if they appeared disposed to it, the work was to be proceeded with in spite of the family. It may be imagined what gentle and conscientious use Catholic priests would make of this scandalous permission. A dying man, agonized and speechless, made, or was said to have made, a sign with his head, hand, or eyes, indicating adherence to the Church of Rome. There upon his body was interred in the Catholic cemetery, and his children were hurried to mass Catholics by virtue of their father's pretended abjuration.
Such was the beginning of the persecution. Thenceforward no month passed without some fresh act of rigor Temples were shut up or demolished; the number of Protestant schools was limited; the education of Protestant children was restricted to reading, writing, and ciphering. French Protestants were forbidden to leave the country; and those already in foreign parts were ordered to return. The physicians of Rouen were for
their heads into ovens, whose vapor was hot enough to suffocate them. All their study was to devise torments which should be painful without being mortal." Such was the pastime of the chivalrous warriors of the most Christian and magnanimous of French kings.
bidden to admit into their corporation more upon the unhappy Huguenots, were those than two persons of the reformed religion. called the Veillées. The soldiers mounted Slackened a little during the war with Hol- 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 num- upright, and to keep their eyes open. Benoît, ber 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, 1681, and women were subjected. Human nature children of seven years of age were authorized could not endure such torments, and Foucault to abjure their parents' faith and embrace 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 employs envious person, an enemy, a debtor, declared all manner of means to bring heretics back to before a tribunal that a child wished to become him; the children at least will be Catholics, a Catholic, had manifested an intention of though their fathers be hypocrites." entering a church, had joined in a prayer, or "manner of means" referred to by this saintly anade 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 them lie down in their presence the unfortunate father that of all his prop- upon hot embers; they forced them to put erty." We have not room to multiply instances of the abominable system then adopted. Whilst Colbert lived, his voice was ever uplifted in the king's council against the maltreatment and oppression of men whom he held to be peaceable, industrious, and useful citizens. After his death, Louvois, anxious to please the king, went far beyond anything that Similar scenes were enacted in every provhad 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 quartered 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 murder. In many villages (of the reformed religion, had definitively abjured Poitou) the priests followed them in the streets, their errors. The court then believed that crying out: Courage, gentlemen; it is the Protestantism 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 22d October he signed, at Fontainebleau, Kill! kill!' to frighten women and children. the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Its They employed threats, outrages, merciful provisions may be summed up in few and even tortures, to compel them to conver- words: The Protestant temples were all sion; burning the feet and hands of some at to be demolished, and the worship forbidden a slow fire, breaking the ribs and limbs of in private houses, under pain of confiscation. others with blows of sticks. Many had 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 threats be sent to the galleys. Protestant schools that they should be left there to rot." These were to be closed; children were to be bupatrocities 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, term 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 soldiery, incited by the fanatic intendant Foucault, committed even greater excesses than in Poitou. Amongst other tortures inflicted
kingdom and carry their fortunes abroad. They were to remain, until it should please God to enlighten them." We have seen the gentle means by which the divine spirit was aided
hid them under bales of goods and heaps of coal, and in empty casks, where they had only the bunghole to breathe through. There they remained, crowded one upon another, until the ship sailed. Fear of discovery and of the galleys gave them courage to suffer. Persons brought up in every luxury, pregnant women, old men, invalids and children, vied with each
in such cases. Upon the same day that this insane edict was registered, the demolition of the great temple at Charenton, built by the celebrated architect, Jacques Debrosse, and capable of containing fourteen thousand persons, was commenced. In five days no trace of the structure remained. The church at Quevilly, near Rouen, was levelled by a fanatic mob, headed by the intendant of the prov-other in constancy and fortitude, to escape ince, and several other high officials, axe and hammer in hand. On its site was raised a cross, twenty feet high, adorned with the royal arms. In every respect the edict of revocation, and some severe supplementary ordinances that were soon after published, were enforced with the utmost rigor, and even with bad faith. Thus were clergymen refused passports (indispensable to their departure from France), in order that the fortnight. granted them might elapse, and that they might be cast into prison. Some of the more influential amongst them, held especially dangerous, were ordered to quit the kingdom within two days. Upon the other hand, the utmost pains were taken to prevent the emigration of laymen. Marshal Schomberg and the Marquis de Ruvigny were the only persons permitted to leave the country. The king sent for Admiral Duquesne, one of the creators of the French navy, and urged him to change his religion. The old hero, then eighty years of age, pointed to his white hair. "For sixty years, sire," he said, "have I rendered unto Cæsar that which I owe to Cæsar; suffer me still to render unto God that which I owe to God." He was suffered to end his days in France, unmolested for his religion.
from their persecutors." Fortunately for the refugees, the guards, both at the sea and land frontiers, were often accessible to bribes or to compassion, and helped the escape of many. It is impossible to ascertain the exact number of Protestants who succeeded in quitting France; but Mr. Weiss believes himself near the truth when he estimates that from a quarter of a million to three hundred thousand - between a fourth and three-tenths of the entire Protestant population-left the country in the last fifteen years of the seventeenth century. He takes pains to exhibit the grounds upon which he has established this calculation, and quotes various reports and official documents; but we may here content ourselves with mentioning the result, readily accepting it, on the strength of his habitual impartiality and conscientious research, as approximatively correct. The reports of provincial governors afford him exact data with respect to the damage done to the manufac tures and prosperity of France by this great Protestant exodus. The following figures are worth the reader's attention: "Of the 400 tanneries, which a short time previously enriched Touraine, there remained but 54 in 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, formerly employed in the peasants armed 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 Protesfootmen's liveries and in soldiers' uniforms. tants who took advantage 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 manufactures 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, extent, and thought to give to France durable nurses; they wheeled barrows; they carried repose and prosperity at the cost of a fleeting 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 which 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."