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Ultimate Resolution Of The Protestants At Nismes








With respect to the conduct of the protestants, these highly outraged
citizens, pushed to extremities by their persecutors, felt at length
that they had only to choose the manner in which they were to perish.
They unanimously determined that they would die fighting in their own
defence. This firm attitude apprised their butchers that they could no
longer murder with impunity. Every thing was immediately changed. Those,
who for four years had filled others with terror, now felt it in their
turn. They trembled at the force which men, so long resigned, found in
despair, and their alarm was heightened when they heard that the
inhabitants of the Cavennes, persuaded of the danger of their brethren,
were marching to their assistance. But, without waiting for these
reinforcements, the protestants appeared at night in the same order and
armed in the same manner as their enemies. The others paraded the
Boulevards, with their usual noise and fury, but the protestants
remained silent and firm in the posts they had chosen. Three days these
dangerous and ominous meetings continued; but the effusion of blood was
prevented by the efforts of some worthy citizens distinguished by their
rank and fortune. By sharing the dangers of the protestant population,
they obtained the pardon of an enemy who now trembled while he menaced.

But though the protestants were modest in their demands, only asking
present safety, and security for the future, they did not obtain above
half of their requests. The dissolution of the National Guard at Nismes
was owing to the prudence and firmness of M. Laine. The re-organization
of the Cour Royale was effected by M. Pasquier, then Keeper of the
Seals; and these measures certainly ensured them a present safety but no
more. M. Madier de Montgau, the generous champion of the protestants at
Nismes, was officially summoned before the Court of Cassation at Paris,
over which M. de Serre, Keeper of the Seals, presided, to answer for an
alleged impropriety of conduct as a magistrate, in making those public
appeals to the Chamber which saved the protestants, and increased the
difficulties of renewing those persecutions of which he complained. The
French attorney general demanded the erasure of his name from the list
of magistrates, but this the court refused. Unfortunately since the law
of elections in France has been changed, two of the bitterest enemies of
the protestants had been chosen Deputies at Nismes. The future,
therefore, is not without its dangers, and the condition of the
persecuted may fluctuate with the slightest political alteration; but
which, it is to be hoped, may be prevented from any acts that may again
disgrace the catholic religion, by the powerful expression of the public
mind, actuated with better principles, or by the interference of the
protestant influence in this or other countries. Happily, since the year
1820, no fresh complaints have issued from the south of France on the
score of religion.





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