Imatges de pÓgina

limbs of others with blows of sticks. Many had their lips burned with hot irons, and others were thrown into damp dungeons, with threats that they should be left there to rot." These atrocities brought about, as may be imagined, a vast number of conversions. Suspended for a while, in consequence of the moral effect of a bill passed by the English parliament, granting extraordinary privileges to French refugees, the dragonnades recommenced in 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 upon the unhappy Huguenots, were those called the Veillées. The soldiers mounted regular guards, relieving each other as if on sentry, for the sole purpose of depriving their victims of repose. They forced them to stand upright, and to keep their eyes open. Benoît, a writer of that day, details the revolting insults and cruel sufferings to which both men and women were subjected. Human nature could not endure such torments, and Foucault was able to report the conversion of the whole of Béarn. "I certainly believe," wrote Madame de Maintenon, "that those conversions are not all sincere. But God employs all manner of means to bring heretics back to him; the children at least will be Catholics, though their fathers be hypocrites." The "manner of means" referred to by this saintly prude and ex-Calvinist, are thus described by Benoît, as applied to persons of her own sex. The soldiers offered to the women indignities which decency will not suffer me to describe. The officers were no better than the soldiers. They spat in the women's faces; they made them lie down in their presence upon hot embers; they forced them to put their heads into ovens, whose vapour 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.

Similar scenes were enacted in every province where Protestants dwelt. Louis XIV. daily received the joyful

intelligence of thousands of conversions. In September and October 1685, he was informed that six large and important towns, noted strongholds of the reformed religion, had definitively abjured their errors. The court then believed that Protestantism was annihilated in France, and the king, sharing in the general illusion, no longer hesitated to strike the last blow. On the 22d October he signed, at Fontainebleau, the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Its merciful provisions may be summed up in few words: "The Protestant temples were all to be demolished, and the worship forbidden in private houses, under pain of confiscation. Ministers who refused to be converted were to quit the kingdom within a fortnight, or to be sent to the galleys. Protestant schools were to be closed; children were to be baptised by priests, and brought up in the religion of Rome. Four months were granted to refugees to return to France and abjure; that term expired, their property would be confiscated. Under pain of galleys and confiscation, Protestants were forbidden to quit the 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 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 province, 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 rigour, 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.


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Weiss's History of the French Protestant Refugees. Some of the more influential amongst suffer. Persons brought up in every them, held especially dangerous, were luxury, pregnant women, old men, ordered to quit the kingdom within invalids and children, vied with each two days. Upon the other hand, the other in constancy and fortitude, to utmost pains were taken to prevent escape from their persecutors.” Forthe emigration of laymen. Marshal tunately for the refugees, the guards, Schomberg and the Marquis de Ru- both at the sea and land frontiers, vigny were the only persons permitted were often accessible to bribes or to to leave the country. The king sent compassion, and helped the escape of for Admiral Duquesne, one of the many. It is impossible to ascertain creators of the French navy, and the exact number of Protestants who urged him to change his religion. · succeeded in quitting France; but The old hero, then eighty years of Mr Weiss believes himself near the age, pointed to his white hair. “For truth when he estimates that from a sixty years, sire,” he said, have I quarter of a million to three hundred rendered unto Casar that which I owe thousand—between a fourth and threeto Cæsar; suffer me still to render tenths of the entire Protestant popuunto God that which I owe to God." lation, left the country in the last He was suffered to end his days in fifteen years of the seventeenth cenFrance, unmolested for his religion. tury. He takes pains to exhibit the

The enactments against emigration grounds upon which he has established were all in vain to prevent it. In this calculation, and quotes various vain were the coasts guarded, the reports and official documents; but high-roads patrolled, and the peasants we may here content ourselves with armed and made to watch day and mentioning the result, readily acceptnight for fugitives. Hundreds were ing it, on the strength of his habitual captured, and sent, chained in gangs, impartiality and conscientious reto the galleys; but thousands escaped. search, as approximatively correct. “They set out disguised as pilgrims, The reports of provincial governors couriers, sportsmen with their guns afford him exact data with respect to upon their shoulders, peasants driving the damage done to the manufactures cattle, porters bearing packages, in and prosperity of France by this great footmen's liveries and in soldiers' uni- Protestant exodus.

The following forms. The richest had guides, who, figures are worth the reader's attenfor sums varying from 1000 to 6000 tion: “Of the 400 tanneries which livres, helped them to cross the fron- a short time previously enriched Toutier. The poor set out alone, choosing raine, there remained but 54 in the the least practicable roads, travelling year 1698. That province's 8000 by night, and passing the day in looms, for the manufacture of silken forests and caverns, sometimes in stuffs, were reduced to 1200; its 700 barns, or hidden under hay. The silk-mills to 70; its 40,000 workmen, women resorted to similar artifices. formerly employed in the preparation They dressed themselves as servants, and fabrication of silks, to 4000. Of peasants, nurses ; they wheeled bar- its 3000 ribbon-looms, not 60 rerows; they carried hods and burthens. mained. Instead of 2400 bales of The younger ones smeared or dyed silk, it consumed but 700 or 800." their faces, to avoid attracting notice: This in one province. In others the others put on the dress of lackeys, and decline was proportionate. Floquet, followed, on foot, through the mire, the historian of Normandy, estimates a guide on horseback who passed for at 184,000 the Norman Protestants their master. The Protestants of the who took advantage of the vicinity of seaboard got away in French, English, the sea, and of their connection with and Dutch merchant vessels, whose England and Holland, to quit France. masters hid them under bales of goods For several years the Norman manuand heaps of coal, and in empty casks, factures were completely ruined. where they had only the bunghole to

" It would be erroneous to suppose breathe through. There they remainedthat Louis XIV. did not foresee these crowded one upon another, until the fatal consequences; but, doubtless, he ship sailed. Fear of discovery and of guessed not their extent, and thought the galleys gave them courage to to give to France durable repose and

prosperity at the cost of a fleeting evil. immigration of a large body of cultiA great part of the nation partook of vated Frenchmen, including military the delusion; and it may be said that, officers of rank and experience, men with the exception of Vauban, st of learning, manufacturers, artisans, Simon, and a small number of superior and trades of every kind, was an inminds (amongst which must be reck- estimable benefit. The Élector, Freoned Christina of Sweden), the nation derick William, who had been brought was the accomplice, either by its acts up at the French court of the Prince or by its silence, of the great king's of Orange, felt this, and spared no fault."

pains to attract the refugees to his Madame de Sévigné wrote to her dominions. He was a Protestant; his daughter how fine à thing was the wife was a granddaughter of Coligny; edict of revocation, compared to which French was the language spoken at no king had ever done, or ever would his court, where all the elevated posts do aught as memorable. The chancels were filled by men who had lived in lor, Le Tellier, after affixing the seal of Paris, and who habitually spoke and state to the document, declared that he wrote in French. When he came would never seal any other, and pro- to the throne in 1640, he found his Dounced those words of the canticle of country depopulated by war, agriculSimeon which, in the mouth of the ture neglected, trade and manufacaged Hebrew, referred to the coming tures destroyed. His long reign was of the Lord. Bossuet, Massillon, Flé- passed in healing the wounds inflicted chier, the great preachers of that day, on Brandenburg by the Thirty Years' exulted in their pulpits, and lauded War. He enconraged foreigners to Louis to the_skies. Rome was in settle in the country, where he grantraptures. A Te Deum was sung, and ed them lands or aided them to estaInnocent XI. sent a brief of thanks blish themselves. On the 29th Ocand praise to the French monarch. tober 1685, exactly one week after Medals were struck, statues raised ;* the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and at Versailles may still be seen a he published the Edict of Potsdam, masterpiece of Lesueur's, in which by which he offered shelter and probideous forms fly at sight of the cha- tection to the persecuted Protestants. lice. The allegory represents the de- His agents at Amsterdam and Hamfeat of Protestantism by Popery. burg, and in the various German

West, east, and north, fled the scat- states through which they might pass tered Protestants—the bigoted south on their flight from France, were offered them no refuge. To Germany directed to care for their safety and they went, to England and America, supply them with means to travel. to Switzerland and Holland, even to They acquired, by the mere act of Scandinavia. Their proceedings in settling in his dominions, all the civic each one of these countries, the suc- rights of those born there, besides cours they found, and the services various privileges and immunities conthey rendered, their influence upon fined to themselves. He offered land arts and manufactures, their ultimate to the agriculturist, facilities to the fate, the blending (in most instances) manufacturer, honours, rank, and miliof their descendants with the natives, tary employment to nobles and men are recorded by Mr Weiss in separate of the sword. His tempting proclabooks. The first of these is devoted mation was quickly disseminated in to Brandenburg (Prussia), a country France; and althongh the intendants to which, owing to its then backward of the provinces used the most rigorstate of civilisation as compared with measures to suppress it, and France, England, and Holland, the affirmed it to be a forgery, the Pro


The provost and sheriffs of Paris erected, at the Hotel de Ville, a brazen statue in honour of the king who had rooted out heresy. The bas-reliefs showed a frightful bat, whose large wings enveloped the works of Calvin and of Huss. On the statue was this inscription : Ludovico Magno, victori perpetuo, ecclesiæ ac regum dignitatis assertori. This statue, which replaced that of the young king trampling the Fronde under foot, was melted in 1792 and cast into cannon, which thundered at Valmy. Weiss, i. 121, 122.

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Weiss's History of the French Protestant Refugees. [July, testants read it and knew it to be so on through all ranks. A great numtrue, and soon a number of French ber of the Huguenots enlisted as pricolonies were formed in Brandenburg. vate soldiers. Men and officers did Frederick William's country was poor; good service, as soon as the opporhe had but two millions of subjects; tunity was afforded them. his treasury was exhausted by a ruin- “ The European war which broke ous war; and he had great difficulty out in 1689 was the bloody proof in raising the funds necessary for the that attested their attachment to establishment of the refugees, and for their adopted country. Frederick I. the support of those for whom em- took part in it, as the ally of the Employment could not at once be found. peror, against the King of France, He emptied his privy purse. “I will whom he had offended by assisting sell my plate, he one day said, the Prince of Orange to upset James “sooner than let them want.” He II. The army he assembled in Westwas repaid for his generosity and phalia was composed in great part of sound policy. The difficulty was French regiments. In the first cambut temporary.

The fugitives did paign the refugees destroyed the not all come empty-handed. He re

opinion spread against them in Gerceived their money in deposit, allow many, that they would fight but ed them interest, and applied the feebly against their former fellowcapital to the relief of the necessi- citizens. At the combat of Neuss tous. Collections were made, and the grands mousquetaires * attacked the French officers voluntarily aban- the French troops with a fury that doned a twentieth part of their pay proved a long-cherished resentment, for the relief of their suffering fellow- with which French writers have often exiles. To this fund the Duke of reproached them. On seeing them Schomberg subscribed the annual sum gallop towards the enemy with the of 2000 livres, which was paid until velocity of lightning, one of the Prushis departure for England.

sian generals exclaimed, “We shall “The Electress, Louisa Henrietta, have those knaves fighting against us and the future queen, Sophia Char- just now.' Count Dohna, who overlotte, desired to have presented to heard these offensive words, comthem the women whom the rigours of pelled the general to draw pistol, and persecution had driven from their washed out, in his blood, this insult country. With delicate attention, to the honour of the refugees.” At the court etiquette was modified in the siege of Bonn the assault was their favour, and they were admitted given by the refugee regiments, who in black dresses--their best ornament fought like fiends and took all the the voluntary indigence they had pre- exterior works. Next morning the ferred to apostasy.'

French garrison capitulated. In FlanBrandenburg received about 25,000 ders and in Italy the Franco-PrusFrench refugees. Amongst these were sians equally distinguished them600 officers, whom the Elector ad- selves, but were nearly exterminated, mitted at once into his army, forming at the bloody battle of La Marsaille, new companies and regiments to by the bayonets of Catinat's army. make room for them, and—with a Those that remained displayed their degree of favour which can hardly valour in the War of Succession, have been very pleasing to the native under the eyes of Marlborough and officers - giving them all a higher Eugene-at Blenheim and Oudengrade than that they had held in arde, at Malplaquet and Mons. Three France. Thus captains became ma- regiments, composed entirely of rejors, colonels major-generals, &c., and fugees, performed such brilliant ex

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* Two companies composed of gentlemen, formed by the advice of Marshal Schomberg, upon the model of the mousquetaires à cheval of the King of France's guard. The Elector was colonel of one company, and Count Dohna, a nobleman of Brandenburg who had lived much in France, was his second in command. The other company had Schomberg for its colonel. In the Memoirs of Erman and Réclam, the pith of whose lengthy work is given by Mr Weiss in a single chapter of Book II., is a complete list of the grands mousquetaires. Vol. ii. p. 244-260.

ploits at Malplaquet, that, when the old age, to have lived long enough to Prince-Royal of Prussia came to the celebrate with them, in 1785, the throne, he selected from them the jubilee of the revocation of the Edict principal officers with which he re- of Nantes. But the French were graorganised his army.

dually blending with the native poFrederick William I., and Frede- pulation and losing trace of their rick the Great, did not show less sym- origin. “At the present day," Mr pathy than their father and grand. Weiss informs us," the French cofather had shown with the refugees lony at Berlin is still about six thouand their descendants. Under the sand strong, and, all proportion kept, reign of the first-named sovereign, their morality is purer than that of whom George II. was wont to call the rest of the population. The num“my brother the corporal," and who ber of suicides, illegitimate births, and passed his time in drilling his troops, crimes of all kinds, is smaller. The reconnoitring gigantic grenadiers, and rigid spirit of Calvin still animates in drinking and smoking, the arts and the descendants of his expatriated sciences were little encouraged at the sectaries." The old men alone conPrassian court, although Queen So- tinue to speak the French tongue. phia Dorothea did collect around her Intermarriages, and intercourse with a number of learned and accomplished Germans, have brought about its disemigrants, some of whom were in- use amongst the younger descendants trusted with the education of ber son of the emigrants. Frederick the Great and daughter. But the refugees knew despised German literature, and a how to adapt themselves to circum- strong reaction occurred after his stances. Frederick William gave new death. The disaster of Jena, and the clothes to the whole of his army every treaty of Tilsit, made everything year, and he had laid it down as a French unpopular in Prussia-even rule to have everytbing necessary for the language. Many of the refugees their equipment manufactured in his had already translated their names own kingdom. The French refugees into German-as some of their brethfounded a number of cloth manu- ren translated theirs into English factories, whose fame soon spread when the French Revolution and subabroad—so much so, that in 1733, be- sequent war made the very name of sides the home consumption, Prussia Frenchman odious in England. The exported forty-four thousand pieces Lacroix, Laforge, Dupré, Savage, of cloth of twenty-four ells each. To bad taken the names of Kreutz, favour this manufacture, which Prus- Schmidt, Wiese, Wild. sia owed entirely to the refugees, the To English readers--perhaps to any king forbade the export of wool, thus readers--the most interesting section compelling his subjects to manufac- of Mr Weiss's work is the third book, tore it themselves. Under Frederick “ The Refugees in England.” For the Great, Prussia became more more than a century previously to the French than ever. The refugees sup- revocation of the Edict of Nantes, plied generals, privy councillors, am- this country had supported the cause bassadors; their language was sub- of the French Protestants, alternately stituted for Latin at the Berlin Aca. by peaceable negotiation and by force demy, and was near becoming the of arms. In 1562, Elizabeth signed national tongue. The French officers the Treaty of Hampton Court, by taken prisoners at the battle of Ros- which she bound herself to furnish bach were greatly struck at meet- six thousand men to the Prince of ing, in the country of their captivity, Condé-half these troops to defend with a multitude of their countrymen, Dieppe and Rouen, the other half to and at hearing their language almost garrison Havre, which was delivered generally used in all the provinces over to the English. But Harry the of the Prussian monarchy. Notwith- Eighth's daughter, that staunch and standing his scepticism, Frederick stubborn Defender of the Faith, had the Great never ceased warmly to to do with a fickle ally. The defeat sympathise with the religious, God- of Dreux and the treaty of Amboise fearing French Protestants. He threw Condé into the ranks of the deemed himself happy, he said, in his royal army, and he assisted to take

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