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Murder Of General La Garde

At length a check was put to these excesses by the report of the murder
of Count La Garde, who, receiving an account of this tumult, mounted his
horse, and entered one of the streets, to disperse a crowd. A villain
seized his bridle; another presented the muzzle of a pistol close to his
body, and exclaimed, "Wretch, you make me retire!" He immediately fired.
The murderer was Louis Boissin, a serjeant in the national guard; but,
though known to every one, no person endeavoured to arrest him, and he
effected his escape. As soon as the general found himself wounded, he
gave orders to the gendarmerie to protect the protestants, and set off
on a gallop to his hotel; but fainted immediately on his arrival. On
recovering, he prevented the surgeon from searching his wound till he
had written a letter to the government, that, in case of his death, it
might be known from what quarter the blow came, and that none might dare
to accuse the protestants of this crime. The probable death of this
general produced a small degree of relaxation on the part of their
enemies, and some calm; but the mass of the people had been indulged in
licentiousness too long to be restrained even by the murder of the
representative of their king. In the evening they again repaired to the
temple, and with hatchets broke open the door; the dismal noise of their
blows carried terror into the bosom of the protestant families sitting
in their houses in tears. The contents of the poor's box, and the
clothes prepared for distribution, were stolen; the minister's robes
rent in pieces; the books torn up or carried away; the closets were
ransacked, but the rooms which contained the archives of the church, and
the synods, was providentially secured; and had it not been for the
numerous patrols on foot, the whole would have become the prey of the
flames, and the edifice itself a heap of ruins. In the mean while, the
fanatics openly ascribed the murder of the general to his own
self-devotion, and said "that it was the will of God." Three thousand
francs were offered for the apprehension of Boissin; but it was well
known that the protestants dared not arrest him, and that the fanatics
would not. During these transactions, the systems of forced conversions
to catholicism was making regular and fearful progress.

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