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attached themselves to it from interested Huguenots with dislike and suspicion. motives, - both the ambitious nobles who The presumption was, naturally, always sought support in political contentions against the Protestant.
, against the Protestant. The Edict of and that restless and unruly class whom Nantes was not, as a prominent jurist contemporaries styled atheists and Epi- explained, to be construed gracieusement, cureans,' leaders in insubordination and but strictly according to the letter, since iconoclastic exploits. Yet if the lower Protestantism was only tolerated out of populace was not now strongly Protes- the goodness of the king's heart. Louis tant, the Protestant nobles and gentry XIV. had scarcely assumed control of were still considerable in numbers and the government before matters changed in influence. Many a church was com- much for the worse. The perpetual nagposed almost exclusively of the best fami- ging and injustice which the Protestants lies of the region. . . . But in the large suffered at all times began to take a more towns and cities the strength of the pre- serious form. The Revocation of the tended Reformed religion' lay in the Edict of Nantes was not an abrupt or great middle classes. Trade, foreign and isolated act, but the culmination of a domestic, banking, manufactures, came process of repression which, it was asmore and more to fall into the hands of serted, had been so successful as to renthe Huguenots. Excluded, as time passed der the edict no longer necessary. on, from hope of preferment in the va- The Huguenots had always been carerious departments of the royal service, fully limited as to their places of worthey pressed into those callings in which ship. Upon one pretense or another, the men of all creeds meet substantially as interdiction or demolition of nearly six equals. Later in the century, a Venetian hundred of their “ temples a
” was sancambassador, Girolamo Venier, in a re- tioned between 1660 and 1684. The port to his government, asserted that at worshipers were forced to resort to the the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes churches which still remained, even if the Huguenot merchants transacted two these were at great distance from their thirds of the business of the country. homes, and in spite of the insecurity of This was, doubtless, a gross exaggeration the roads.
the roads. We are told that it was not even then.
However this may be, there rare to see ten or twelve thousand at were many places where, as at Dieppe, a single service. Besides the constant the Roman Catholic merchants were few unfair interpretation of the edict (and in number and of little wealth as com- there are secret orders preserved, adpared with their Protestant townsmen.” dressed to the judges, requiring them to When the proverb “Rich as a Hugue- withhold justice in the case of the Pronot” became current Professor Baird testants), two decrees preceding the final professes himself unable to say. It is revocation may be taken as sufficiently curious to note, in view of this esti- characteristic of the tendencies. The mate of the Venetian ambassador, that first, a subtly conceived bit of legislation, a marked jealousy of Protestant politi- related to Protestants who, in the hope cal leaders has shown itself in France of having a share in the sums distributed under the Third Republic.
to the newly converted or for other reaThe truce could not endure for long. sons, had embraced Catholicism only to The periodic assemblies of the Church relapse soon after into heresy. Such inof France offered opportunities for abus- stable sons of the Church seem not to ing the Protestants, and for the formu- have been negligible factors in the sitlation of appeals to the king urging the uation. It was therefore decreed in suppression of heresy. Both the gov- 1679 that after the names of such aposernment and the courts regarded the tates had been once announced to the
ministers and consistories of the Protes- girl, Anne, 'four years old and weakly.' tant churches, should any such persons be • Take Anne if she is in condition.' admitted to divine worship, the consis- Pierre Thifaine and his wife have three tory of the church in question was to be children : Ivan, a boy of three ; Louise, suppressed, and the minister deprived a girl of eight; and Marie, a girl of five.
; of the right to officiate. It was obvious- • Take Louise and Marie.' ... With ly open to any ill-disposed individual, by regard to the little family of the widow entering a large assembly where he could Anne Ardesoif, consisting of four chil.
, easily escape notice, to deprive a whole dren, whose ages unfortunately run from community of its services by simply as- four to twelve years, all are to be serting, under oath, that he had, since taken.'” The dragonnades themselves
, his conversion to Catholicism, been pre- can hardly be ranked with this measure sent at a Protestant service. This ap- as a source of domestic misery. pears to have been exactly the way in The fact that the Revocation of the which the law worked, and it excellently Edict of Nantes was but part and parcel illustrates what the Huguenots suffered of the public policy pursued in France from the application of laws which seem during the preceding quarter of a cenat first thought neither harsh nor unjust. tury serves in a measure to explain the
A better known and much more shock- favorable attitude of liberal - minded ing antecedent of the revocation was the Catholics towards the measure. Madecree of 1681, authorizing children to dame de Sévigné wrote to her cousin : renounce Protestantism and embrace Ro- ** You have doubtless seen the edict by man Catholicism upon reaching the age which the king revoked the Edict of of seven.
This meant that if a child Nantes. Nothing is so beautiful as all could be induced, by the offer of a toy or that it contains, and never has any king a bonbon, to say, for example, the words done, none will ever do, anything more “Ave Maria,” it was sufficient to indicate memorable.” Mademoiselle de Scudéry in the sight of the law a hopeful subject declares the king's act to be “ a Chrisfor conversion, if not an actual convert. tian and royal work.” The king was apThe child was not permitted to retract plauded by the French Academy, which its words, and could be abducted from found a spokesman in the mild-mannered its parents and placed in one of the in- La Fontaine. This attitude towards stitutions designed for this class of youth- what seems to us so notoriously gross ful converts. This miserable business is and ill advised a breach of good faith is best understood from a document of pa- nevertheless perfectly explicable. It was thetic simplicity, a list of the Huguenots due to a fatal misapprehension as to the of Alençon, drawn up by order of the success of the king's persevering efforts government, upon which a later, doubt- to convert bis Protestant subjects. The less clerical hand has jotted down the statement was so often made as finally sentence for each family, indicating the to be generally believed, that only an children who were to be taken from their insignificant and seditious remnant surparents and placed in Catholic institu- vived of the once influential body of tions. This Professor Baird reproduces Protestants. It seemed justifiable now as follows : “ Thus Martha Boullay, a to proclaim that the longed-for unity in widow living in the Grande Rue, has belief was
established in three children: Jean aged six years, France, after a century and a half of disAnne Marie aged five, and Joseph aged cord. The better heretics had seen the six months. “Take Jean and Anne Ma- error of their ways, and the opprobrious rie.' A man of more importance, Jean le Edict of Nantes, which in the eyes of Conte, and his wife have but one little the nation at large was a recognition of
the most hateful of national weaknesses, self-restraint, of religious vagary and religious schism, was joyfully done away heroic martyrdom, this insurrection furwith, as no longer necessary. This view nishes an instance of the difficulty gove was carefully inculcated by the Church. ernments have always had in coping The Protestant religion, it was claimed, with such intensive revolts. It shows no longer had the support of an intel- clearly, moreover, what a change Proteslectual and powerful element of French tant influence had undergone in France society, but was now despised, abased, since the wars of religion when a Protesand henceforth reduced to seeing it- tant gentleman bid fair to gain such an self abandoned by all rational persons.” ascendency over the mind of the king These results, the clergy asserted, had himself as to arouse the blind jealousy been accomplished “without violence, of the queen mother. without arms," nor so much by the force Professor Baird's chapters upon the of the king's edicts as by his “exempla- Desert and the final recognition of the ry piety.” The Archbishop of Rouen rights of Protestantism by the edict of congratulated Louis upon first gaining toleration issued in 1787 form a valuthe hearts of the heretics, and suggested able account of a neglected phase in the that perhaps they might never have re- history of the eighteenth century. The turned to the bosom of the Church in laws relating to the Protestants were any other way than “ by the path strewn codified in the royal declaration of 1824. with flowers,” opened to them by the It was not new legislation, but a repeking. This was doubtless very general- tition of the old with a view to more ly believed ; and in spite of the anxiety complete execution. It thus furnishes a which the emigration of the Huguenots means of reviewing the legal status of caused the more thoughtful men con- the French Protestant. “On only one nected with the administration, the re- point,” Professor Baird observes, “ did a vocation must have appealed to most feeling of shame compel a slight alleviFrenchmen as it did to Madame de ation. While reënacting the pains against Sévigné, as nothing less than lu plus · the person and memory of those who grande et la plus belle chose qui ait died as relapsed persons, the infliction été imaginée et exécutée. This view was upon the corpses of Huguenots of that supported by the absence of any attempt inhuman treatment which had raised the upon the part of the Huguenots to resort indignation of civilized Europe was purto arms before the circumscribed if per posely omitted. ... But no more mercy sistent revolt of the Camisards in 1702. was shown than heretofore to the living. Yet Saint-Simon, in one of his bits of Death remained the penalty for the Hupenetrating comment, views the matter guenot preacher. Indeed, the clause was in much the light in which the modern added that this penalty should not herehistorian leads us to see it.
after be regarded as comminatory; that Professor Baird devotes over two hun- is, a penalty that might be inflicted or dred pages to the episode of the Cami- not at the discretion of the judges. The sards. He can scarcely hope to hold the minister or preacher that fell into their interest of the average reader in so de- hands must be sent to the gallows.” The tailed a treatment of this local revolt. baptisms and marriages performed by The reader cannot be severely repre- Protestant ministers “in the desert,” as hended if he finds more to the point the secret conventicles were picturesquethe account Mr. Stevenson has given us ly called, had of course no validity in the of this matter in recounting his travels eyes of the law, and evidence based upon with patient Modestine. In no way un- such ceremonies served only to convict exampled as a medley of fanaticism and the one urging it of unlawful attendance VOL. LXXVII. - NO. 461.
at forbidden assemblies.
The legal re- tellectual frailty, so in historical writing gistration of births and marriages was even nowadays we often find little more inextricably confused with the most sa- grasp of the facts and little more historicred rites of the Catholic Church, and the cal insight than in the Annals of LaureProtestant who refused to conform knew sheim or the Chronicles of Monstrelet. that his marriage was but concubinage There are indications that those who in the eye of the law, and his children write history feel the necessity of a bastards with no rights of inheritance. change. Whether the new history be The last execution of a Protestant preach- institutional, economic, or genetic, it is er took place in 1762. In November, at least pretty well assured that the 1787, the civil status of non-Catholics was public will no longer patiently pass the at last recognized.
winter evenings in its chimney corner, Professor Baird's work indicates upon taking up volume after volume of the cvery page scholarly erudition and un- once classical narrative histories of the tiring industry. He has utilized much past. Bancroft and Thiers are still sold, new, or at least comparatively unknown but it may be doubted if they are often material, although he has very properly read. Every writer must needs be an imavailed himself of the guidance of the pressionist in a measure. He must have careful Huguenot historian, Benoist, who an aim and calculate his effects. Much completed a voluminous history of the in Prescott's works is as out of date as revocation of the edict shortly after Hans Memling's Seven Joys of Mary. that event. While in no way bigoted, Too much attention to the petals of the Professor Baird writes from a distinct- daisies and the embroidered facings of ly Protestant standpoint. He takes no the tunics has frustrated the artist's aim. pains to explain why the French govern. Perhaps the details of ceremonial conment pursued so perverted a policy. He nected with the abdication of Charles V. exhibits none of the scientific sympathy or the individual deeds of the valorous with the oppressor which is after all es- Camisards do but blur rather than clarisential to the best historical work. fy our historical conceptions. And then
With all their stalwart virtues, the there are the grievous omissions, - esreader will surely agree that the volumes sentials orowded out by non-essentials. are sadly long. Our author fails conspicu- A legend still passes current that the ously to stimulate his readers. And yet, Renaissance began with the fall of Conwith the mass of seductive reading bid- stantinople; for who can learn anything ding for its attention, the public becomes of Petrarch and his rôle in our histomore impatient every day, and less in- ries? Endless illustrations could be given clined to supply by an honest effort to of common misapprehensions of no less be interested what the historian has magnitude. There are, as every student failed to furnish by a vivacious and phi- knows, undreamed-of possibilities in writlosophical handling of his subject. It is ing European history. From this standgenerally supposed that with the Floren- point Professor Baird's book is lamentine historians, Machiavelli, Guicciardini, tably deficient. His style is, moreover, and the rest, the old form of chronicles unfortunately wanting in those qualities was replaced by more intelligent treat- which make the mere story a joy. It ments of the past. Doubtless this is, in is therefore to be regretted that he did a way, very true, but as in the matter of not content himself with an account in a superstition and intolerance, in forecast single volume, which would have sufing the weather by the tilt of the moon, ficed amply to give both the student and if not our fortunes by the stars, we can the general reader all that was of real trace plenty of survivals of mediæval in- importance.
MATTHEW ARNOLD IN HIS LETTERS.
We are not to have an authoritative nold held some official position in conLife of Matthew Arnold, and it cannot nection with English schools gives place be said that we need one, after we have to a recognition of the fact that school been let into the history of his mind work was his vocation, essays and poems through his published writings, and of his avocation, so far as expenditure of his heart through his letters. The facts time and the acquisition of livelihood of his outward life are quickly summa- might be taken for a basis of discriminarized. Born Christmas Eve, 1822, the tion. Without looking too closely into eldest son of Dr. Thomas Arnold, short- the exact nature of his daily work, we ly after to become famous as a school- may with little hesitation add Arnold to master, and noteworthy as one of the re- the list of those men of letters who do ligious prophets of modern England; a their literary work more effectively beboy at Rugby, an Oxford student, and a cause of the substantial drudgery from fellow of Oriel ; private secretary to Lord which it is a partial escape ; and it would Lansdowne, then lord president of the not be an overnice inference from this Council; appointed to an inspectorship double intellectual occupation that the of schools in 1851, and married the same constant dealing with educational proyear, continuing for thirty-five years to blems inspired in Matthew Arnold much hold this government office,
this is of the gospel of culture of which he was Matthew Arnold's short story. He made an evangelist. The close contact into occasional visits to the Continent, usually which he came with the ordinary Engin connection with his official work, and lishmen and Englishwomen of his day twice visited America, where he lectured, through his regular tasks afforded him though his second visit was more espe- a very broad basis for his knowledge of cially on account of a daughter who had the mass which he wished to leaven. married an American. He died April Matthew Arnold's writings taken with 15, 1888, in his sixty-sixth year, leav- his daily work offer a pretty full explaing behind as a legacy to English liter- nation of his intellectual attitude; but ature eight volumes of essays and three the judgment which men might pass of poems, besides a number of studies in
upon him from such evidence would be educational problems, representative of incomplete without the corrective or corhis official work.
roboration of personal acquaintance, and Arnold was so much in the public eye this the two volumes of Letters partially as a poet and an essayist, and the amount give to such as had not the advantage of of his collected literary writings was so knowing the man in his lifetime. They considerable, that he easily acquired from do not contain many adequate expresthis source the reputation of an indus- sions of his opinions regarding politics, trious man of letters, although any one literature, education, or the men of his who should take the trouble to divide time, though there are offhand referhis forty working years by his dozen vol- ences to current events and persons, umes would not reckon the amount of which have some piquancy, as when, for writing unduly disproportionate. But example, he says in a letter to M. Fonwhen one comes to read these Letters, tanés : “ Have you seen a book by a certhe vague impression that Matthew Ar- tain Professor Henry Drummond, called
1 Letters of Matthew Arnold, 1848–1888. Col- SELL. In two volumes. New York: Macmil. lected and arranged by GEORGE W. E. Rus- lan & Co. 1895.