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.