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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