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returned with their old prejudices, and the lower orders of the people began to threaten the Protestants, who conceived on their part that there was a strong tendency to go back to the old regime. They were not much alarmed by the circumstance of the charter issued by Louis, declaring the Catholic the established religion of France, because the other guards which it afforded appeared sufficient to protect their rights: they could not forget also that the king had just returned from a residence in a land of Protestants, where he must have witnessed the effects of religious toleration; and they looked forward to a season of tranquillity and enjoyment. But circumstances soon compelled them to change their ideas. They were insulted by the populace on the ground of their religion; songs were sung publicly in the streets of Nismes, in which they were threatened with the renewal of the horrors of St. Bartholomew; gibbets were drawn on their doors. In this situation of things, Buonaparte suddenly made his appearance in France, in the month of March 1815. It was a trying occurrence for the Protestants at Nismes: but uniting with the established authorities, they declared their determination to support the government. He had in his possession the original declaration to this effect made at Nismes on the 13th of March last year, and which was signed by the principal Protestants, the five Catholic clergy, and three Protestant ministers of the town. The list of Protestants who signed it was greater in proportion to their respective numbers than that of the Catholics. It contained an expression of the warmest attachment to the government of the king, and called upon the people of the depart ment for their support. Soon after this the Duke d'Angouleme fixed his head-quarters at Nismes, and here it was alleged that the Protestants did not join the Duke with much alacrity. They were in truth deterred from so acting by the previous alarm which had been excited among them, and perhaps it was not surprising that they did not zealously join the Duke's army. Some of them, however, offered their sons to join him. On the 3d of April the authority of Buonaparte was declared in the town of Nismes: the few soldiers in the garrison there were called out, and shouted

Vive l'Empereur. It had been represented, that during the second reign of Buonaparte, acts of the greatest violence were committed by the Protestants; and that when Nismes again became a royal town on the 17th of July, the atrocities which ensued were merely retaliative. The fact was, however, that no acts of violence were committed during this interval-no persons were insultedno houses attacked-none were killed, at least in the town of Nismes, though it was said that some stragglers of the Duke d'Angouleme's army were murdered by the peasants. Upon the 15th July many of the royal volunteers, as they were called, returned to Nismes; numbers of armed men flocked in from the country, and required the garrison which held it in Buonaparte's name to surrender. This garrison, consisting of about 200 men, consented to lay down their arms; but they were all of them, with the exception of a few who contrived to make their escape, massacred as they came out of their barracks. For some successive days the whole of the Protestants of Nismes were exposed to outrages of every kind; their houses were plundered or pulled down, the rich were laid under contributions, the looms of the poor manufacturers were destroyed, women were stripped and scourged in the streets; no less than 30 females were subjected to this atrocity, one of whom was far advanced in preg nancy. He would repeat what he had stated on a former occasion, that 200 persons were murdered in cold blood, besides 2,000 individuals who were persécuted in their persons and property. One man, a Mr. Lafond, far advanced in life, these wretches threw from the balustrades of his own staircase, and, on still discovering some signs of life, they cut him to pieces with their sabres. The seven sons of a Mr. Leblanc, and the five sons of a Mr. Chivar, were murdered. A wretch of the name of Trestaillon was the chief leader in these atrocities. This man, hearing that Chivar, the father, was confined to his bed, came to his house, and asked the wife to let him see her husband, affecting to feel for him; but immediately on being introduced, he shot the old man dead with

a pistol. This monster in human shape had been taken twice into custody, but he had never yet been

punished by the French government. had been committed, the perpetrators (Hear!). He had boasted of the of which concealed themselves in murders he had committed. One of darkness. These, he said, had prothe first acts after the 17th of July, foundly wounded his heart; but he the period when Nismes reverted ascribed them all to unknown agiunder the royal government, was to tators, who in this way abused their disarm the urban guard, which it was love for their king. What were we declared should exclusively consist of to think of a government which asCatholics : and he should have to cribed these murders to misguided state an order of the new authorities, demonstrations of loyalty? They are that all persons should be disarmed then reminded that such crimes could who could not belong to the national not be justified, because crimes of the guard, which was equivalent to de- same kind had been committed during claring, that their intended victims an usurpation blasted by heaven, and should be disarmed, in order to their detested by man. But what was the execution. In one place these infu- fact? The national guard which was riated persons dug up the body of a at the disposal of the mayor,

had never joung man, and burnt it, together exerted themselves during all these with the house of his father. In short, days to prevent the perpetration of the every kind of atrocity was committed. murders. It mighi be worth menHe was speaking now of persons who, tioning, that M. Trinquelaque, a lawwere murdered in cold blood, and not yer, who was chosen one of the deputaken with arms in their hands. It ties to the legislature, and lately apwas proper here to inquire what steps pointed secretary general to the mi. were taken by the French govern- nister of justice, was the person who, ment to prevent these excesses. The after the first restoration, proposed that king, had appointed the Marquis a silver image should be dedicated to d'Arbaud Joucques prefect of the de- the Virgin, in the event of the preg. partment of the Gård. He arrived nancy of the Duchess d'Angouleme. on the 30th of July, and issued a pro- It was also worthy of remark, that on clamation for the purpose of protect- the 24th of August, another military ing the Protestants from the fury of force entered Nismes, , exclusive of their persecutors. In consequence of the national guard, when tranquillity this he was ill-treated on his appear- was restored, and continued as long ance at the theatre. They insisted as they remained. The national that Trestaillon should be released, guard was marched into the mountains which was accordingly done. This of the Cevennes, where the people prefect was still continued ; and un- had remained in perfect tranquilliiy, der such circumstances could any man though they were now treated by the say, in the language of the Duke of national guard as in a state of rebelWellington, that the French govern- lion. The Austrian troops that were ment had done every thing to protect soon after sent into the Cevennes, in its Protestant subjects ? The distur- order to disarm the inhabitants, de bances at Nismes still continued. clared, on the contrary, they had never The 21st of August was the important scen a people more peaceably disposed. day fixed for the election of deputies They quitted the country on the 25th to the legislature. He read from the of October, and the same system of official journal of the Gard, the pro- murder was recommenced, Besides clamation of Devallon, the mayor of the infamous Trestaillon, there was Nismes, on the eve of the feast of St. another notorious murderer, of the Louis, recommending to the people name of Quatretaillon. Trestaillon to abstain from the employment of had been sent away from that part of squibs and crackers, and reminding the country, but punished he had them that the least disturbance would never been. In fact, not one of the throw great responsibility on the persons concerned in these numerous magistrates. What was the amount of atrocities had been brought to punishforce which this mayor, then, had at ment; they still roamed about at his disposal? It was twenty-four com- large, though well known to most of panies of national guards and three of the inhabitants of Nismes. He had cavalry. There was ar other procla- to notice another proclamation of the mation issued on the 30th of August, prefect, in which he spoke of an in which he states, that many murders indignation, too natural ‘not to be

order. It seemed to him, that the House would act very unwisely, if they should allow the Honourable and Learned Gentleman to proceed with these details. He had been admitted into the Chamber of Deputies by courtesy, as an English gentleman on his travels; and he had no right to make use of what he then heard for the purpose of grounding an inquiry in the English House of Commons. It would be a great breach of confidence in the Honourable and Learned Gentleman, [a laugh,] and was derogatory to the high character and dignity of the House. [Repeated laughter and loud calls to Sir Samuel Romilly to proceed.]

excusable, having burst on the heads of the disaffected; but, illegal as it was, he adds, it was not stained by plunder, and popular indignation had not been disgraced by robbery. The Honourable Gentleman then proceeded to advert to the opening of the Protestant churches at Nismes, on the 12th of November, when General Legarde was severely wounded. Many of the congregation were besides wounded and maltreated. On the 1st of September, 1815, another proclamation was issued, which still used the language of persuasion to murderers. He made no doubt that the Noble Lord was much better acquainted than himself with all these facts; but the House would take into its consideration the extreme difficulty of procuring authentic information. There had been no difficulty, indeed, in publishing any thing against the Protestants; the conductors of the journals were permitted, nay, they were even courted, to publish statements against those persons; but the police would not suffer a single paragraph to be inserted with regard to their sufferings. He was himself present in the Chamber of Deputies, when a discussion took place on the personal liberty of the subject; and because one of the representatives, Monsieur d'Argenson, stated, that there had been persecutions in the South of France, a great part of the assembly rose in a most tumultuous manner, and in the coarsest terms insisted that he should be called to order. He (Sir Samuel Romilly) then saw a gentleman in his place who was present in the French Chamber on that occasion, and he appealed to that Honourable Member to corroborate this statement. The President yielded to the cry of the House, and Monsieur d'Argenson was called to order. It was notorious, however, that only six days before he made that speech, the blood of the Protestants was flowing down the streets of Nismes, and it was only a fortnight before that the king's general was wounded; and yet he was called to order for stating that there had been a persecution in the South. [Hear, hear!] When General Legarde was wounded at Nismes, the king published a proclamation on the subject; and

Sir SAMUEL ROMILLY said, he could easily remove all embarrassment from the mind of the Honourable Baronet, with respect to being guilty of any breach of confidence, as he was only stating what the French government itself had permitted to be published in all the newspapers on the following day. [Hear, hear!] He repeated, that there was no hesitation whatever on the part of that government in publishing every thing against the Protestants. The four deputies of the department of La Gard published in the Quotidienne a sort of protest against the king's proclamation, and declared that the tumult was excited only by a few old women. On the 12th of November the prefect issued a proclamation, and, in the name of the department, promised a reward of 3,000 francs to any person who should make known the name of the individual who had shot the General, and bring him before him. This man, however, had not been prosecuted or punished; nay, he had not been seized, though his name was well known to be Boisset. The proclamation of the king said, that an atrocious crime had been committed; but what followed? It called upon the magistrates to disarm all the Protestants; and why? Because, as the prefect stated, a tumult had been excited by a few old women! On the 19th of December, the mayor published a proclamation, stating, that the Protestant churches should be re-opened on the following Thursday, and an assurance was given to the people that the Protestants should have churches" built out of the city. Of the two churches of the Protestants at Nismes,

Sir GERARD NOEL rose to call the Honourable and Learned Gentleman to

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pne had been bought by themselves, that no person had been yet brought and the other was given to them by to trial. He did not intend to move the government; but, instead of these, that there should be any immediate they were to be permitted to build two address to the crown on this subject; new ones beyond the walls of the but he contended that the Protestants town at their own expense. Now, had suffered, not for seditious conduct, he would ask, what had this to do but only on the suspicion of enterwith politics?' What had this to do taining particular opinions. All that with Buonaparte? The House would he meant to ask for was, that an humsee that all this was purely religious. ble address should be presented to the On the 9th of January the king pub- Prince Regent, that he would be Jished another proclamation, stating, graciously pleased to lay before the in the first place, " that his orders had House copies or extracts of all corremet with that respect and submission spondence between his Majesty's gowhich he had a right to expect." But yerngient and the government of what was the nature of this respect France, relative to the Pro:estants in and submission i-only that the Pro: the South of France. He made this testants had been disarmed. It then motion in no spirit of hostility against declared, “that the temple of the ministers, but to give them an opporProtestants was open, and that they unity of making a statement more enjoyed all the protection of the law;" in detail, than had yet been done. and it concluded with his Majesty's He could give a long list of names of thanks to his good people of the city persons who had been murdered at of Nismes." This must be considered Nismes, but he did not consider it as a kind of general amuesty; and necessary in this stage of the business. the fact really was, that not a single Because they were Protestants, they individual had been prosecuted or were said to be Buonapartists; and the punished. The present condition of Catholics, who had been suffered to the Protestant certainly was so far in persecute them, were called Bourbona state of security, that since the ists. The Noble Lord would have an, month of December no murder or opportunity of correcting this error, cruelty had been committed; but 'he if it were one ; and he should be glad had been informed by a gentleman to hear that government had usod all who had recently arrived from the the ineans in its power to put a stop city of Nismes, and on whose veracity to these crimes. In concluding his he could place the utmost reliance, remarks, he might advert to what that the Protestants were continually had been done by our ancestors on driven away from the public walls. similar occasions : and if precedents Whenever they ventured to appear were necessary, he need only recall in such places, they were jostled by to the recollection of the House what the very persons who had murdered it had recently done for the negroes their wives, their husbands, brothers, of Africa. But surely the Protestants sisters, and dearest relations. The of the South of France had equal prisons were now filled with Protes- claims upon our generosity and betants who had been apprehended on nevolence, and we ought not to suffer the charge of sedition. In the several them to be persecuted, imprisoned, departments of France there were not and murdered, without some remonless than 19,000 Protestants in cus- strance to the government which was tody upon this pretence. Some were bound to protect them. At the very imprisoned for five years, some for ten moment when these-dreadful scenes years, and others for longer periods, were acting in Languedoc, Paris was in on the charge of having sung impro- possession of three Protestant armies, per songs. (Hear, hear!] li seemed and the king could not look out of a most extraordinary thing, that crimes the windows of his palace without so atrocious as those which he had seeing the cannon that was planted mentioned should be suffered to pass before it. He did not state this for unpunished, and that such trilling the purpose of bringing a charge offences as singing a few songs, should against his Majesty ; but if he nebe visited in this terrible manner. glected to send assistance to his ProtesIt was a strange feature of the ad- tant subjects, it was the duty of those ininistration of justice in any country; who commanded the foreign armies but that on which he most relied was, to protect and defend them. Tho

French government did nothing but give words and make professions; but it was still in our power to interpose all good offices in this case. Tumults had recently arisen in various parts of France; and if disorders should again break out, who could tell what might, be the situation of the unhappy inhabitants of Nismes? He trusted that the House would consider what a heavy responsibility was then upon them, and that, as they would answer to God and their consciences, they would not refuse protection when it was in their power to afford it. [Hear, hear!]

Lord CASTLEREAGH said, that the House must have listened with great pain to the speech of the Honourable and Learned Gentleman, as they must certainly lament to hear that persecutions for religious opinions were still practised in any part of Europe. He did not mean to make any invidious reflection, but he must take leave to say, that the Honourable and Learned Gentleman had drawn a most exaggerated and unfairly coloured picture The Honourable and Learned Gentle man had placed him in a most embarrassing and painful situation. He had addressed himself to the House as to a tribunal that had jurisdiction to inquire into all the circumstances; but if they had even the means of arriving at the truth, they had not the means of applying a remedy to the evils. He must enter his protest against the false policy of interfering with the internal situation of the affairs of other countries, more especially with respect to religious opinions. The Honourable and Learned Gentleman had dwelt with great pains upon the centuries that were gone by, as if he wished to rouse all those bad passions which, he should hope, had been long buried in oblivion. He had also adverted to the impression made on the public mind by the conduct of certain individuals; and had stated, that a sort of counte nance was given to their exertions by his Majesty's ministers. If he imagined, however, that government was disposed to encourage those persons, he was certainly incorrect; for they were satisfied, that, notwithstanding the benevolent motives by which those bodies might have been actuated, they had done more harm than good to the cause in which they interposed. He knew that it was not possible to dis

courage the efforts of individuals, but he was confident that his Majesty's government would have lost sight of their duty if they had encouraged them. It was a question of prudence to look at the cases of former interference, and every man who viewed them with an impartial eye, would consider what the spirit of toleration was working in favour of religion. There was a time, indeed, when religion was made a pretence for imposing a system of government, and then the Protestant powers were obliged to stand together: but we were now placed in a situation in which we might suffer Christianity to effect its own work. He did not say that one government could not communicate on this subject with another; but he did say, that if one government at this day would suffer a foreign state to interfere with it because it administered its laws according to its own conception, that government would be degraded in the eyes of all the world. But suppose we should be rash enough to interfere with another state on this account; if we were not listened to, what would become of our dignity? Was the Honourable and Learned Gentleman prepared to state, that he wished an appeal to arms?-[Hear, hear!] He was the more astonished at the Honourable and Learned Gentleman's proposal, when he found he' had not laid the ground for it in the general situation of the Protestants: on the contrary, he had told the House that his was not a charge of religious persecution; he had told them that the evil was local-that it was confined to the department of the Gard-that the Protestants derived their liberty from that man who owed the loss of his life and crown to his benevolence: had he been more vigorous, the world would have been spared those scenes of calamity that had since overwhelmed the whole of the civilized globe. He had commented on the acts of the French government and the proclamation of the king himself. It would be invidious for him (Lord C.) to enter into critical disquisitions on that proclamation, but he was persuaded that the king felt the most sincere desire to put down the hostile feeling against the Protestants: he had not only tolerated but indulged them, and their miseries were only the result of a local feud, such as we had but too often seen in parts of this empire, and which ́all

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