« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND.
Note A. On page 103, we referred to the massacre in Paris, in the time of Gregory XIII. The following particulars of that horrid transaction, could not then be conveniently introduced, they are, therefore, here thrown in a note.
On the 24th of August, A. D. 1572, this storm burst upon the Protestants, the day of the massacre of Paris, which began a general slaughter of Protestants over the kingdom, in which the number taken off is computed at
The horrors of that night are not to be conceived, much less expressed. The fatal signal being given by the tolling of the bell of St. Germain, the butchery began. Coligni, the Admiral of France, was murdered in his own house, his body thrown out of his window, and treated with the vilest indignities. The murderers ravaged the whole city of Paris, and butchered, in three days, above ten thousand lords, gentlemen, presidents, counsellors, advocates, lawyers, scholars, physicians, merchants, tradesmen, and others, Mothers, maidens, and children, were all involved in the destruction, and the gates and entrances of the king's palace all besmeared with their blood. And yet, as though this had been the most heroic transaction, and would shed immortal glory over the authors of it, medals were struck at Paris in honour of it, on the face of which was the French king sitting on a throne, with this inscription, "Virtus in rebelles," “Virtue against rebels;" and on the reverse, "Pietas excitavit justitiam," (Piety hath roused justice:" and when the news of this horrible masacre reached Rome, a jubilee was granted, and the
people were commanded to go every where to church, and bless God for the success of the action: and it was decreed that the pope should march with his cardinals to the church of St. Mark, and in the most solemn manner give God thanks for so great a blessing conferred on the See of Rome, and on the Christian world. *
Note B. On the same page we referred to the persecution which followed the revocation of the Edict of Nantz. The following particulars are given in this place, for the reason above specified: The year
1685 will ever be remembered as a most fatal year to the Protestant religion. Louis XIV. had been for some years breaking the whole Protestant interest within his dominions. He was a king grossly ignorant in matters of religion, and bigoted in the extreme. Old Ruvigny, the deputy general of the churches, seeing the king bent on violent measures, told him he must beg a full hearing of him upon that subject; and he obtained one that lasted some hours. He told him what the state of France was during the wars in his father's reign; how happy France had been now for fifty years, occasioned chiefly by the quiet it was in with relation to the Protestants. He
him an account of their numbers, their industry, and their wealth, their constant readiness to advance the revenue, and that all the quiet he had with the Court of Rome, was chiefly owing to them: if they were routed out, the Court of Rome would govern as absolutely in France, as it did in Spain. He desired leave to undeceive him, if he had been induced to believe that they would all change, as soon as he engaged his authority in the matter: many would go out of the kingdom, and carry their wealth and industry into
• Memoirs of Jane, Queen of Navarre, p. 22.
other countries. In fine, he said, it would come to the shedding of much blood; many would suffer, and others would be precipitated into desperate courses; so that his reign would become a scene of blood and horror. The king, though he listened very attentively to these considerations, yet was not in the least impressed by them. He replied, that he considered himself so indispensably bound to endeavour the conversion of all his subjects, and the extirpation of heresy, that, if the doing it should require, that with one hand he should cut off the other, he would submit to that. After this, Ruvigny gave all his friends hints of what they were to look for.
“Mr. De Louvoy, seeing his master so set on the the matter,” says Bishop Burnet, “proposed to him a
" method, which he believed would shorten the work, and do it effectually: which was, to let loose some bodies of dragoons to live upon the Protestants on discretion. They were put under no restraint, but only to avoid rapes, and the killing them. This was begun in Bern. And the people were so struck with it, that seeing they were to be eat up first, and, if that prevailed not, to be cast into prison, when all was to be taken from them, till they should change; and, being required only to promise to reunite themselves to the church, they, overcome with fear, and having no time for consulting together, did universally comply. This did so animate the court, that upon it the same methods were taken in most places of Guienne, Languedoc, and Dauphine, where the greatest number of the Protestants were. A dismal consternation and feebleness ran through most of them, so that great numbers yielded. Upon which the king, now resolved to go through with what had been long projected, published an edict, [in October, 1685,] repealing the edict of Nantz, in which (though that edict was declared to be a perpetual and irrevocable law) he set forth, that it
was only intended to quiet matters by it, till more effectual ways should be taken for the conversion of heretics. He also promised in it, that, though all the public exercises of that religion were now suppressed, yet those of that persuasion who live quietly, should not be disturbed on that account, while, at the same time, not only the dragoons, but all the clergy, and the bigots of France, broke out into all the instances of rage and fury against such as did not change upon their being required in the king's name to be of his religion; for that was the style every where. .
“Men and women of all ages, who would not yield, were not only stript of all they had, but kept long from sleep, driven about from place to place, and hunted out of their retirements. The women were carried into nun. neries, in many of which they were almost starved, whipped, and barbarously treated. Some few of the bishops, and of the secular clergy, to make the matter easier to some, drew formularies importing that they were resolved to reunite themselves to the Catholic church, and that they renounced the errors of Luther and Calvin. People in such extremities are easy to put a stretched sense on any words that may give them present relief. said, what harm was it to promise to be united to the Catholic church: and the renouncing those men's errors, did not renounce the good and sound doctrine. But it was very visible, with what intent those subscriptions or promises were asked of them: so their compliance in that matter was a plain equivocation. But, how weak and faulty soever they might be in this, it must be acknowledged, here was one of the most violent persecutions that is to be found in history. In many respects it exceeded them all, both in the several inventions of cruelty, and in its long continuance. I went over a great part of France while it was in its hottest rage, from Marseilles to Mont
So it was
pelier, and from thence to Lyons, and so to Geneva. I saw and knew so many instances of their. injustice and violence, that it exceeded even what could have been well imagined; for all men set their thoughts on work to invent new methods of cruelty. In all the towns through which I passed, I heard the most dismal accounts of things possible; but chiefly at Valence, where one D’Herapine seemed to exceed even the furies of inquisitors. One in the streets could have known the new converts, as they were passing by them, by a cloudy dejection that appeared in their looks and deportment. Such as endeavoured to make their
and were seized, (for guards and secret agents were spread along the whole roads and frontiers of France,) were, if men, condemned to the gallies, and, if women, to monasteries. To complete this cruelty, orders were given that such of the new converts, as did not at their death receive the sacrament, should be denied burial, and that their bodies should be left where other dead carcases were cast out, to be devoured by wolves and dogs. This was executed in several places with the utmost barbarity; and it gave all people so much horror, that finding the ill effect of it, it was let fall. This hurt none, but struck all that saw it, even with more horror than those sufferings that were more felt. The fury that appeared on this occasion, did spread itself with a sort of contagion: for the intendants and other officers, that had been mild and gentle in the former parts of their life, seemed now to have laid aside the compassion of Christians, the breeding of gentlemen, and the common impressions of humanity. The greatest part of the clergy, the regu- . lars especially, were so transported with the zeal that their king shewed on this occasion, that their sermons were full of the most inflamed eloquence that they