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Persecutions Of The French Protestants In The South Of France During The Years 1814 And 1820

The persecution in this protestant part of France continued with very
little intermission from the revocation of the edict of Nantes, by Louis
XIV. till a very short period previous to the commencement of the late
French revolution. In the year 1785, M. Rebaut St. Etienne and the
celebrated M. de la Fayette were among the first persons who interested
themselves with the court of Louis XVI., in removing the scourge of
persecution from this injured people, the inhabitants of the south of

Such was the opposition on the part of the catholics and the courtiers,
that it was not till the end of the year 1790, that the protestants were
freed from their alarms. Previously to this, the catholics at Nismes in
particular, had taken up arms; Nismes then presented a frightful
spectacle; armed men ran through the city, fired from the corners of the
streets, and attacked all they met with swords and forks. A man named
Astuc was wounded and thrown into the aqueduct; Baudon fell under the
repeated strokes of bayonets and sabres, and his body was also thrown
into the water; Boucher, a young man only 17 years of age, was shot as
he was looking out of his window; three electors wounded, one
dangerously; another elector wounded, only escaped death by repeatedly
declaring he was a catholic; a third received four sabre wounds, and was
taken home dreadfully mangled. The citizens that fled were arrested by
the catholics upon the roads, and obliged to give proofs of their
religion before their lives were granted. M. and Madame Vogue, were at
their country house, which the zealots broke open, where they massacred
both, and destroyed their dwelling. M. Blacher, a protestant seventy
years of age, was cut to pieces with a sickle; young Pyerre, carrying
some food to his brother, was asked, "Catholic or protestant?"
"Protestant," being the reply, a monster fired at the lad, and he fell.
One of the murderer's companions said, "you might as well have killed a
lamb." "I have sworn," replied he, "to kill four protestants for my
share, and this will count for one." However, as these atrocities
provoked the troops to unite in defence of the people, a terrible
vengeance was retaliated upon the catholic party that had used arms,
which with other circumstances, especially the toleration exercised by
Napoleon Buonaparte, kept them down completely till the year 1814, when
the unexpected return of the ancient government rallied them all once
more round the old banners.

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