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

dings, 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