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Interference Of The British Government








To the credit of England, the reports of these cruel persecutions
carried on against our protestant brethren in France, produced such a
sensation on the part of the government as determined them to interfere;
and now the persecutors of the protestants made this spontaneous act of
humanity and religion the pretext for charging the sufferers with a
treasonable correspondence with England; but in this state of their
proceedings, to their great dismay, a letter appeared, sent some time
before to England by the duke of Wellington, stating "that much
information existed on the events of the south."

The ministers of the three denominations in London, anxious not to be
misled, requested one of their brethren to visit the scenes of
persecution, and examine with impartiality the nature and extent of the
evils they were desirous to relieve. The Rev. Clement Perot undertook
this difficult task, and fulfilled their wishes with a zeal, prudence,
and devotedness, above all praise. His return furnished abundant and
incontestible proof of a shameful persecution, materials for an appeal
to the British Parliament, and a printed report which was circulated
through the continent, and which first conveyed correct information to
the inhabitants of France.

Foreign interference was now found eminently useful; and the
declarations of tolerance which it elicited from the French government,
as well as the more cautious march of the catholic persecutors, operated
as decisive and involuntary acknowledgments of the importance of that
interference, which some persons at first censured and despised but
though the stern voice of public opinion in England and elsewhere
produced a reluctant suspension of massacre and pillage, the murderers
and plunderers were still left unpunished, and even caressed and
rewarded for their crimes; and whilst protestants in France suffered the
most cruel and degrading pains and penalties for alleged trifling
crimes, catholics, covered with blood, and guilty of numerous and
horrid murders, were acquitted.

Perhaps the virtuous indignation expressed by some of the more
enlightened catholics against these abominable proceedings, had no small
share in restraining them. Many innocent protestants had been condemned
to the galleys and otherwise punished, for supposed crimes, upon the
oaths of wretches the most unprincipled and abandoned. M. Madier de
Montgau, judge of the cour royale of Nismes, and president of the
cour d'assizes of the Gard and Vaucluse, upon one occasion felt
himself compelled to break up the court, rather than take the deposition
of that notorious and sanguinary monster Truphemy: "In a hall," says he,
"of the Palace of Justice, opposite that in which I sat, several
unfortunate persons persecuted by the faction were upon trial, every
deposition tending to their crimination was applauded with the cries of
'Vive le Roi.' Three times the explosion of this atrocious joy became
so terrible, that it was necessary to send for reinforcements from the
barracks, and two hundred soldiers were often unable to restrain the
people. On a sudden the shouts and cries of 'Vive le Roi' redoubled: a
man arrives, caressed, applauded, borne in triumph--it is the horrible
Truphemy; he approaches the tribunal--he comes to depose against the
prisoners--he is admitted as a witness--he raises his hand to take the
oath! Seized with horror at the sight, I rush from my seat, and enter
the hall of council; my colleagues follow me; in vain they persuade me
to resume my seat; 'No!' exclaimed I, 'I will not consent to see that
wretch admitted to give evidence in a court of justice in the city which
he has filled with murders; in the palace, on the steps of which he has
murdered the unfortunate Bourillon. I cannot admit that he should kill
his victims by his testimonies no more than by his poignards. He an
accuser! he a witness! No, never will I consent to see this monster
rise, in the presence of magistrates, to take a sacrilegious oath, his
hand still reeking with blood.' These words were repeated out of doors;
the witness trembled; the factious also trembled; the factious who
guided the tongue of Truphemy as they had directed his arm, who dictated
calumny after they had taught him murder. These words penetrated the
dungeons of the condemned, and inspired hope; they gave another
courageous advocate the resolution to espouse the cause of the
persecuted; he carried the prayers of innocence and misery to the foot
of the throne; there he asked if the evidence of a Truphemy was not
sufficient to annul a sentence. The king granted a full and free
pardon."





Next: Perjury In The Case Of General Gilly &c

Previous: Murder Of General La Garde



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