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 y
ur 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.