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in acts of virtue and philanthropy. Conscious of the frailty of our nature, let us practise universal toleration, and let the Catholics, renouncing the cruel aid of persecution, endeavour to convert the Protestants by the purity of their morals, and the integrity of their lives."* By the edict of Nantes, the Protestants enjoyed the public exercise of their worship in specified places, but they were bound to obey the jurisdiction of the Court of Rome, to abstain from labour on festivals, and to pay tithes. Tt was also enacted, that the poor and sick should be permitted to enter the hospitals on the same terms as the Catholics; that the Hugonots should be eligible to all the employments of the State; and that in the Parliaments, the Chamber of Justice should be composed of an equal number of Judges of the two persuasions. Several towns were given up to the Protestants, as places of security, which they were allowed to retain for eight years.
i Had Henry attained to an advanced period of life, the excellence of his heart, and the lively interest he took in the public welfare, would have raised France to the height of prosperity.
* The .Speech of the King is given at length in Anquetil, vol. 6, p. 174.
Unlike the herd of kings who have disgraced humanity, Henry did not forget in his palace those devoted friends who had supported him in adversity. When firmly seated on the throne, he did not violate the promises he had made to the Protestant soldiers, who had secured to him his birthright; he did not pretend "that the convenient time was not arrived;" but with a virtuous magnanimity, which his descendants are fonder of praising than imitating, preserved his honor, his word, and his gratitude, even at the expence of his life. It is scarcely necessary to add, that the best of princes fell by the hand of Ravaillac, and thus added one more victim to the infuriated vengeance of orthodoxy.
In 1614, four years after the assassination of Henry, a meeting of the States General was convened, and the debate which followed, abundantly proved that the spirit of bigotry had regained its power. It was proposed by the "Tiers Etat," that a resolution should be entered into, declaring that no spiritual or temporal power had a right of altering the succession to the crown, or absolving the subject from the oath of allegiance. This was rejected by the clergy, as an audacious and blasphemous innovation. In 1629, Richlieu captured Rochelle; and thus destroyed all the benefits
which would have resulted, had the tolerating policy of Henry the Fourth, been steadily pursued.
As the succeeding reign of Louis the Fourteenth is considered as the golden age of French history, it will be desirable, before noticing the ecclesiastical errors of his go^ vernment, to point out the causes which conduced to the ascendancy which the House of Bourbon at that time acquired over the rival House of Austria. The famous thirty years war in Germany, and the unsuccessful efforts of Spain to conquer the revolted provinces of Holland, had completely exhausted the re* sources of that mighty empire, which under Charles the Fifth, threatened the liberties of the world. Gustavus, King of Sweden, who was the head of the Protestant cause, had subdued the power of Austria, and the politic Richlieu availed himself of the talents and courage of the heretical monarch, to destroy the rival of his country. In this he perfectly succeeded: the scale of Austria fell, and that of France rose; and the balance of power in Europe was changed, merely because Spain and the Empire determined to resist by force, the liberty of private judgment in matters of religious opinion. . v .
The age of Louis the Fourteenth abounded in illustrious men: statesmen, generals, orators, and poets adorned and improved this boasted aera. But the personal character of the king, though in many respects worthy of admiration, inclined to bigotry; and the intolerance of his advisers induced to sacrifice to superstition all those advantages which a liberal government would have obtained. The acceptance of the Bull Unigenitus: the condemnation of the doctrines of Jansenius: the destruction of Port Royal: the scruples which Louis entertained to levy a tax on the nobles and clergy, to save his impoverished subjects from famine: his implicit and disgraceful submission to La Chaise and Le Tellier :—are sufficient proofs of his weak and bigoted mind. But the act of his reign, which produced the most deplorable consequences to the finances and industry of France, was the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz, by which impolitic and cruel decision, he committed the very same error that Philip had done, in banishing the Morescoes from Spain, and annihilated the manufactures of his country, to gratify the caprice of the Established Church. And here it may be observed, that both in France and Spain, the most ingenious, active, and indus? trious of the nation, were found in that class who, instead of wrapping up their talents in
napkins, exercised their mental faculties, and by habits of meditation, enlightened their understandings. They thus acquired habits of thinking, and the spirit of inquiry once awakened, was not suffered to lie dormant, but incited them to push their researches into every department, and thus facilitated invention and improvements in trade and machinery. When Philip established the Inquisition in the Netherlands, vast numbers of people repaired to England, and brought with them their industry and their knowledge. So also it happened at the Revocation of the Edict of Nantz, the French refugees sought protection in this country, and still further extended the commercial and manufacturing skill of Britain.
"The people whom Louis thus violently forced out of his kingdom were, generally throughout all France, the best merchants, manufacturers, and artificers of that kingdom. There are various accounts of the total number of them: those who reckoned up all who retired from France some time before, as well as immediately upon, and also some years after that revocation, got so high as one million of men, women, and children. This possibly may be an exaggerated calculation. Others, as the supposed illustrious and royal author of the Memoirs of Brandenburgh, reckoning only