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Regent and her son till five months afterwards; and then, not voluntarily, but by compulsion. In the interval, the Queenmother had united herself closely with the Prince of Condé and the Admiral; the edict of January 1562, in favour of the Calvinists, had been passed by her influence, and that of the Chancellor de l'Hopital; the massacre of Vassi had been perpetrated, and the Prince of Condé driven from Paris by the triumvirate. In this posture of affairs, the King of Navarre and Duke of Guise repaired with an armed force to Fontainebleau, where the young King was residing with his mother, and insisted on taking him to Paris. The Queen entreated and remonstrated, but in vain. She was told the King's presence was necessary at Paris; but for her, if the air of Fontainebleau agreed with her, she might stay where she was. Before yielding to this violence, she despatched repeated couriers to the Prince of Condé, urging him to hasten to her assistance, and have pity on her son, who was a prisoner in the hands of his subjects, l'asseurant qu'il seroit avoué de tout ce qu'il • feroit.' The Prince of Condé not arriving in time, the King was dragged to Paris, temoignant par ses larmes que c'etoit (contre son gré. *
So manifest was his repugnance to this forcible abduction, that the son of Marshal Tavannes acknowledges in his Memoirs, that his father, ' voyant les corps de leurs Majestez entre « les mains des uns, et leurs esprits avec les autres, etoit en « doute quel party sa Majesté etant majeur approuveroit, de la " reine sa mere et des Huguenots, ou du roi de Navarre, Mes• sieurs de Guise et Connetable de Montmorency, qui l'avoient 5 mené par force à Paris : ' And so contradictory were the orders, which he continued for some time after to receive from the Queen-mother on the one side, and from the Duke of Guise on the other, with respect to the treatment of the Hugonots in his government, that he sent a gentleman to Court to request their Majesties would speak their mind freely, without disguise or dissimulation, and let him know frankly what they would have him do, promising unlimited obedience to their commands, and professing his readiness to support whichever party they preferred. + When we find a man like Tavannes, afterwards so determined and furious a partisan of the Catholics, wavering and indifferent at that period, it shows on how slender a basis the established religion stood, and how easily it might have been subverted, if the King and his mother had fallen into the hands of the Prince of Condé, instead of being carried away prisoners to Paris by the opposite faction.
To the daring violence of the Duke of Guise, the Catholics were therefore indebted for their possession of the King and of his mother, and for their subsequent adherence to the Catholic cause. But, though in the hands of the Catholics, it was some time before the Queen-mother was reconciled to a party which had treated her with so little ceremony, and shown so little regard to her wishes. Towards the end of the following summer, letters from her to the Dutchess of Savoy were intercepted by Tavannes, * which disclosed her secret inclination to favour the Hugonots at their expense. It was not till the death of the Duke of Guise that she espoused in earnest their cause.
Dr Lingard treats the massacre of Vassi with unbecoming levity. He calls it an affray, in which about sixty men were • slain by the followers of the Duke of Guise.'t He forgets, that besides sixty slain, there were above two hundred wounded; that many of the sufferers were women and children ; that the Catholics were armed men; the Protestants unarmed, and employed at their devotions. We agree with De Thou, that on the part of the Duke of Guise the affair was accidental. His exclamation after the massacre, that with his sword he would cut in two the Edict of Toleration, was uttered in a passion, and must not be construed into an approbation of what had passed. But if we acquit that gallant Prince of the premeditated slaughter of an unarmed and defenceless congregation, we see no reason to believe, that the affray, as Dr Lingard calls it, was provoked by the religionists them • selves;' nor will he find sufficient ground for that assertion in the work of La Popelinière, to which he refers his readers. That author leaves the matter in doubt. De Thou makes the Catholics the aggressors. The excuse of Brantome, even if it were true, is ridiculous. It might have been uncivil in the Hugonots not to stop their psalm-singing while the Duke was hearing mass; but it was no reason for his lacqueys and pages to insult them, nor for his men-at-arms and harquebuziers to break into their barn, fire at their minister in the midst of his sermon, and murder and mangle all they could find. I
To this affray Dr Lingard informs us, the French reform• ed writers generally ascribe the war' that followed; he might have added, and the Catholic writers too. Even Tavannes admits, that the Hugonots had reason to complain of having been
Tavannes, 253. + Thuan, ii. 161-Davila, i. 87-Brantome-Castelnau, i, 81, 760.
| Lingard, vii. 417-La Papelinière, ii. 67.
attacked and slaughtered contrary to the edict of toleration. De Thou, after relating with his usual moderation this melanc, choly event, adds, " Sic prudentissimus quisque existimabat • hinc seditionis factum initium, et factiosos, tota Gallia, quasi • classico, ad arma capienda incitatos.'+ On peut regarder
ce massacre,' says a writer quoted by Dr Lingard, comme le signal des guerres civiles et des cruautés qui regnerent de
puis en France sur le fait de la religion. 'I But Dr Lingard, it seems, has detected a fact, which proves that, before the affair of Vassi, the Protestants of Languedoc had made preparations for war, and had actually risen in arms. "The. * affray,' he tells us, happened on March 1st; yet the Calvi( nists at Nismes began to arm on the 19th of February at the • sound of the drum. They were in the field, and defeated de. • Flassans on March 6th.'s For this discovery, we are referred to Menard's History of Nismes, who has preserved and recorded the fact, though not aware, as it appears, of the consequences to be drawn from it. Looking to Menard, we find in his proofs, at the page marked by Dr Lingard, the Journal of Jean Deyran, in which it is stated, that on Thursday the 19th of February, • M. de Cardet fit sonner taborin à Nismes, • pour amaşser compagnie pour aller au service du Roi en • Provence à Brignoles, du mandement du Sieur Comte de • Crussol, lieutenant du Roy general en Languedoc;' and that on Friday the 6th of March, a battle was fought at Barjou in Provence, in which Flassin and the Flassinists were defeated and dispersed. It appears then that the levy in arms at Nismes, on the 19th of February, was by a recruiting party, under a commission from the King; and that the Flassinists, whose fate Dr Lingard seems to deplore, were rebels against the Royal authority. The history of the transaction, as related by Menard, is as follows. The Count de Crussol having been sent into the south of France, with a commission to restore tranquillity in that part of the kingdom, found some refractory Catholics in Provence, under the Sieur de Flassans, who refused to lay down their arms.Provoked by their obstinacy, the Count de Crųssol marched into Provence with a body of troops to reduce them to obedience, and ordered levies to be made in Languedoc for the expedition. The Sieur de Cardet came to Nismes by his orders, and having completed his levy, he passed the Rhone, and defeated the Flassinists at Barjols. From this account it appears, that if troops were raised by beat
* Tavannes, 249.
+ Thuan. ii. 163.
of drum at Nismes before the affair of Vassi, it was under a commission from the King; and if an action was fought at Bar. jols, it was by order of his lieutenant-general. *
We are tired, and so probably are our readers, with tracing Dr Lingard through his numerous mistakes and misrepresenta . tions; and if the instances of carelessness and bad faith, which we have collected from so small a portion of his book, are insufficient to convince them that truth is neglected in his history, and that prejudice and partiality usurp its place, we despair of producing conviction. We are still of opinion, that his work shows, in general, much reading and research, and exhibits talents of no ordinary sort for historical criticism ; and that to a student of English history, who will examine for himself the statements of historians, it is a valuable work, were it for no other reason than because it questions so many received opinions. But, to ordinary readers, unacquainted with the history of their country, who believe what they read because they find it written, it is a work of the most dangerous description, which will impress their minds with false and incorrect notions of the history of their country, and of the character and conduct of their ancestors. Let them recollect, that there is no fact to be credited without examination, no impression to be received without doubt, on the mere authority of Dr Lingard's statements. ;
Before concluding this paper, we propose to make some further remarks on the St Bartholomew, which has already occupied so many of our pages.
Of this most atrocious massacre, on which de Thou has justly observed - nullum similis sævitiæ exemplum in tota an
tiquitate, evolutis gentium annalibus, reperiri'-one of the shortest and most faithful, and certainly the most eloquent description, has been given in a Discourse addressed to the Swiss Cantons, in reply to the notorious falsehoods, unwillingly advanced in justification of his Court, by Bellievre, ambassador from France.
“ In France,” says the author of this paper, “ in the month of August last, thirty thousand persons were massacred within a few days. They were not slain in open battle, but in the bosom of peace. They were not armed and arrayed for fight; but were naked and asleep, or in a suppliant posture, bent on their knees, petitioning for mercy from their assassins. They were not assembled in a body, but dispersed in their separate houses and places of residence. This was not done by order
of justice, or by course of law; but by the rage and violence of a furious populace, let loose from restraint. Among the victims were many persons confined by sickness, or impotent from age, many honourable ladies and virtuous damsels of rank and family, many women with child, many youths entering on life, and many helpless children, many holy and learned men whose avocations excluded them from the profession of arms. Thousands terrified at these massacres, which seemed to them like a sudden and unheard of visitation of Providence, have fled from their houses, abandoned their wives and children, and sought refuge in England, Germany, and Switzerland, Magnificent and powerful lords, ye and your subjects know that these things are true!”
Of the traits of individual ferocity exhibited in this bloody execution, we shall select but one example. A soldier, having the child of a Hugonot in his arms, was proceeding with it to wards the river. The infant, unaware of its danger, smiled in his face, and played with his beard. Instead of being diverted from his purpose by its caresses, the savage plunged his dagger into its body, and threw it, streaming with blood, into the Seine. Such are the dire effects of religious fanaticism, the most dangerous passion that can find entrance into the human bosom, because it veils its odious features under the mask of duty, and hardens the heart that admits it, by enlisting conscience on its side. Whoever harbours this fatal inmate, and no religious sect has been exempt from it, be he Protestant or Catholic, wants only power and provocation to imitate the horrors of the St Bartholomew. The only preservative from the invasions of this monster, is religious freedom. The multiplication of sects, if it does not change the heart of the tiger, at least opposes bars to his fury, and reduces him to grow in his den, instead of springing on his foes to devour them.
Before entering on the question to which we are about to proceed, it may be useful to remind our readers, that in August 1570, peace was concluded by the King of France with his Hugonot subjects; that soon after he made a proposal of marriage between his sister Margaret and Henry, Prince of Bearn, afterwards Henry IV. of France; that in September 1571, the Admiral de Coligny, the real leader of the Hugonot party, was prevailed on to visit the Court at Blois, where he was received with great respect, and apparent cordiality, by the King; that in July 1572, a number of Hugonot nobles and gentlemen, repaired to Paris, for the celebration of the nuptials between Margaret and the Prince of Bearn, now King of Navarre, by the death of his mother; that on the 18th of August following,