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Petition Of The Protestant Refugees

To these reproaches it is proper to oppose the petition which the
Protestant Refugees in Paris presented to Louis XVIII. in behalf of
their brethren at Nismes.

"We lay at your feet, sire, our acute sufferings. In your name our
fellow-citizens are slaughtered, and their property laid waste. Misled
peasants, in pretended obedience to your orders, had assembled at the
command of a commissioner appointed by your august nephew. Although
ready to attack us, they were received with the assurances of peace. On
the 15th of July, 1815, we learnt your majesty's entrance into Paris,
and the white flag immediately waved on our edifices. The public
tranquility had not been disturbed, when armed peasants introduced
themselves. The garrison capitulated, but were assailed on their
departure, and almost totally massacred. Our national guard was
disarmed, the city filled with strangers, and the houses of the
principal inhabitants, professing the reformed religion, were attacked
and plundered. We subjoin the list. Terror has driven from our city the
most respectable inhabitants.

"Your majesty has been deceived if there has not been placed before you
the picture of the horrors which make a desert of your good city of
Nismes. Arrests and proscriptions are continually taking place, and
difference of religious opinions is the real and only cause. The
calumniated protestants are the defenders of the throne. Your nephew has
beheld our children under his banners; our fortunes have been placed in
his hands. Attacked without reason, the protestants have not, even by a
just resistance, afforded their enemies the fatal pretext for calumny.
Save us, sire! extinguish the brand of civil war; a single act of your
will would restore to political existence a city interesting for its
population and its manufactures. Demand an account of their conduct from
the chiefs who have brought our misfortunes upon us. We place before
your eyes all the documents that have reached us. Fear paralizes the
hearts, and stifles the complaints of our fellow-citizens. Placed in a
more secure situation, we venture to raise our voice in their behalf,"
&c. &c.

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