« AnteriorContinua »
The reputations of remarkable men, it not unbecoming to express, by the and especially of renowned monarchs, mouth of his ambassador, for the are very variously affected by the French monarch, by any means delapse of time. A retrospective glance scended to the subjects of William through centuries shows them to us the Tbird's successors. Complacently alternately magnified or diminished. dwelling upon his triumphs, upon the For some, although a brilliant halo progress in France, during the first still surround their names, the world's part of his career, of arts and arms, esteem daily lessens; whilst the fame of literature, learning, and civilisaof others, based upon the rock, is but tion, the fond adınirers of the fourripened and confirmed by its antiquity. teenth Louis artfully avert their gaze Contemporaries are often dazzled and from his subsequent reverses, and fascinated by unprofitable glory and from the intolerable bigotry and egoshowy achievements; posterity judges tism that sullied his declining years. by results, which history is sometimes So long as he pursued the wise policy tardy to reveal. The splendour of the of the Béarnais, of Richelieu, and of earlier period of Louis the Four- Mazarin, glory and prosperity atteenth's long reign, still blinds mil- tended him: he quitted that path, lions to the errors, crimes, and dis- became a bigot and a persecutor, and asters of its latter half. In France, disgust and weariness were his porthe Grand Monarque is, to this day, tion. The blackest stain upon his the object of an irrational hero-wor- reign, the most grievous mistake ever ship. To assail his memory is there made by monarch, the most fatal of impiety; and the few Frenchmen errors, in its effects upon the future who, from research and reflection, of France, was his heartless persecuhave formed a just estimate of his tion of his Protestant subjects. Alike real merits, shrink from running coun- barbarous and impolitic, it alone sufter to the flood of public infatuation. fices to wither his laurels and cancel Foreigners may be permitted more his fame. The revenge of history, impartially to appreciate that king's often slow, is ever sure. character and actions. They are nearly a century and a half after his bound by no traditional faith in his death, facts - as yet concealed, or perfections ; nor has the "
known but to very few-are brought tion " which an English king thought to light. They tend to show that, to
Histoire des Réfugiés Protestants de France, depuis la Récocation de l'Edit de Nantes jusqu'à nos jours. Par M. Ch. Weiss, Professeur d'Histoire au Lycée Bonaparte. 2 Volumes. Paris, Charpentier ; Londres, Jeffs : 1853.
VOL. LXXIY.-NO. CCCCLIII.