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great aversion to them, who regarded the doctrine of such intercessions as a dangerous error?
The queen, his mother, was made regent of the kingdom, and cardinal Mazarine, became her favourite. The duke of Orleans was weak, timid, and profligate. The prince of Condé, was supposed to be avaricious, and determined, if possible, to enrich himself and family. He was fond of controversy, and fatigued the reformed, by endless disputations. He was accused of extravagant dissimulation, and of attempting to be popular, by the meanest arts and actions. His eldest son, the duke d'Enguin, was head strong, insulting, and rash; and the great success, which attended some of his military pursuits, gave him such a high opinion of himself, and filled him with so much contempt for his inferiors, that he became, almost to every body, insupportable. The rest of the court, with very few exceptions, were deeply tinged, with vanity or vice.
"The clergy were extremely corrupt under the ministry of cardinal Richlieu: yet he printed, in a splendid manner, a folio with this title, INSTRUCTION DU CHRESTIEN; which contains, an exposition of the apostles crced, the ten commandments, and the Lord's prayer: a copy of which, is now in my possession. Cardinal Mazarine, despised the clergy, and had too much occasion to be disgusted with many of their venal and vicious proceedings.
From such a court, and clergy, what could be expected by the reformed? They, however, were of very different characters; and too many of them, might be called, the pretended reformed, without being much reproached, by that sarcastic appellation.
The queen mother, talked loudly of revoking the edicts, made in favour of the protestants, but, by a declaration, in July 1643, she confirmed them, much in the same manner as they had been confirmed, after the death of Henry the fourth. But this declaration, was rather given to amuse the world, and to pacify the allies of the truly reformed, than intended to be of any benefit to the protestants in France.
For three years, by almost every sort of unfair treatment that could be practised, the catholics kept their favourite point, the ruin of the protestants in view, and made a considerable progress in that abominable business; but, in 1647, the civil wars commenced in Paris, and checked their iniquitous proceedings.
In 1654, Lewis the fourteenth, on political motives, formed an alliance with Cromwell, notwithstanding Oliver was, in his way, very zealous for the reformation. This alliance was of some service to the protestants in France; but, upon the whole, it was more to their dishonour, than to their advantage: for Cromwell encouraged them
to resist the authority of Lewis, by promising them his assistance; and by striking a medal, which had on one side of it, his head and name, and on the other, these words: AND NOW YE KING'S HAVE UNDERSTANDING. : When usurpers are successful, their insolence is commonly unbounded.
One of the most remarkable events in the next year, was the massacre of protestants, that dwelt in the vallies of Piedmont, subject to the duke of Savoy; but of them, and their sufferings, I have already taken some notice, and have not now room for enlargement :.'.
Soon after this, a book was written to show, that the terms PERPETUAL and IRREVOCABLE, as applied to the edict of Nantes, had been misunderstood; and that, in reality, that edict was only intended to continue in force during the pleasure of Henry the fourth, and such of his successors as might not find it necessary, or expedient, to reyoke that decree..Written laws, however excellent, can only be executed by living judges; and when they happen to be corrupt, edicts, the most express and plain, afford the oppressed no relief,
The death of cardinal Mazarine, by whom Lewis had hitherto been chiefly guided, and of whom he began to be weary, took place in March
1661. It is said, that the cardinal, on his death · þed, betrayed some stings of conscience, though outwardly, he affected courage. : There did not
appear appear to be a single person in the kingdom, who; regretted his departure, except the king; and his regret was but in appearance; for this prince had already learned to dissemble.. ... ...
The king now took the management of his af fairs into his own hand, and immediately formed a resolution to destroy the protestants. · He tried to weaken them, by buying off their great men, and he had but too much success. Some indeed, were superior to this state trick; and, it was a noble answer which the marquis de Bougy gave, when he was offered a marshal's staff, and any government he might make choice of, provided he would turn papist. Could I be prevailed on, said he, to be: tray my God, for a marshal of France's staff, I might betray my king for a thing of much less consequence; but I will do neither of them, but rejoice to find, that my services are acceptable, and that the religion which I profess, is the only obstacle to my reward.'
Claude and du Bosc, had eminent opportunities to manifest 'their zeal, intelligence, and integrity, by pleading the cause of the protestants, when in a very critical situation. Clayde, was much admired for his answer to a book, published by the Jansenists, on what they called, the perpetuity of the faith of the catholic church, in regard to the real presence; and du Boşc, was equally admired for his speech to the king.
This was in the year 1668. The king would have him speak standing, and approach near him, so as to be heard distinctly. The speech of du Bosc, was grave and solid, and as copious as such kind of addresses admit. When he first began, the king seemed inattentive; but, by degrees, his attention was fixed with surprise and pleasure. His majesty had expected a very different harangue, full of false rhetorick; but the real eloquence, and manly address of du Bosc, he admired; and the more so, because he had not conceived that such abilities and behaviour, were to be found in a protestant minister. . His majesty spoke in strong terms of this speech; and du Bosc, of course, was highly applauded at court.
· Barren and unfruitful praise, is no uncommon merchandise at court; and such praise, seems to be all that du Bosc was able to procure: neither the safety of his church in Normandy, nor of his preson any where in France, could be obtained in the subsequent persecutions.
After many attempts to form an union between catholics and protestants, on different principles and pretences, and by means as various and unsound, preparations for revoking the edict of Nantes, became more and more apparent. Yet, at the same time that protestants were treated with the greatest contempt and rigour, mahometans were permitted to the public exercise of their religion at