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ditioned that all the military should be removed from the theatre of his labors. But he himself states, that distrust, and considerations purely human, occasioned most of the conversions; and that it was to no purpose that he had caused all the apparatus of war to be removed out of sight of the terrified multitude, since the relations of violence in the other provinces filled them with alarm. It is not wonderful that to his gentle spirit such occupation was disgusting; he asked to be recalled.
PELISSON, a name not so well known as some others by the general reader, was that of one of the most bitter and effective agents of the Court in its schemes for extirpating the heresy of Protestantism. It may be questioned whether this man and Mad. de Maintenon, were not more responsible for the horrors of the "Revocation," and the atrocities which preceded it, than any other two of the whole number who were employed in smiting this blow at religion, and, as the event proved, at France. But Pelisson and Mad. de Maintenon were apostate Protestants, and we need not be surprised at their malignity towards the faith they had abandoned. The first, a lawyer of eminence, a fine scholar, and a plausible writer, is called by Bayle, “one of the greatest geniuses of the age." He felt the converting influence of court favor, renounced his religion, and not long after the period at which our story opens, viz., the temporary dismissal, followed by the subse quent restoration of Mad. de Montespan, he was employed in disbursing a large sum, extorted at the confessional from the King as the price of his sin, for the
conversion of Protestants. In this work, the apostate rejoiced: glad, no doubt, to vindicate the selfishness of his own conversion by proving that money could buy others as well as himself. As is commonly the case with interested proselytes, he also wished to establish the sincerity of his conversion by the vigor of his zeal.
He was subsequently implicated in the affairs of Fouquet; and his reputation tarnished by evidences of interestedness. He left his accounts at his death in great disorder. Although he took orders in the Church of Rome, it is doubtful whether he did not die professing the faith he had once abjured and persecuted. His talents, as we see in our story, raised him to companionship in the circle of "the Philosophers."
A more infamous apostate and persecutor is found in Mad. de Maintenon, the grandchild of Theod. Agrippa d'Aubigné, and mistress or wife of the old King, whom she made her tool; herself being the tool of others. She was the unrelenting foe of the people whom she abandoned. At first the teacher of the King's illegitimate children by Mad. de Montespan, she afterwards became his counsellor, in what relation is doubtful. Her letters tell the share she had in persuading the King to yield to the persuasions of Louvois, Le Tellier and others, and extirpate heresy. In the first instance, she blames the severity used, but subsequently bravely surmounted her scruples. That she must have been fully aware of the severity practised, is evident from the advice she gives to her spendthrift brother, to whom she sends a grant of one hundred thousand
livres, viz., to invest it in the purchase of lands in Poictou for she adds, "they will be had there for a mere nothing, on account of the flight of the Huguenots."
Such were some of the actors in that wonderful age of Louis, miscalled the Great. It is enough to prove how faithless to Christianity was the Pulpit, that it should not have raised its voice to condemn the cruelties practised in the name of religion; that, on the contrary, its talent and learning were so often subsidized to the mean purposes of King-worship. Much as may be said of the eloquence of the Pulpit of that time, the fact that it omitted to discharge some of its noblest functions, ought to deprive it of the super-abundant commendation which it has received not only from Romanists but Protestants. To this day France suffers the penalties due to the national crimes of that and the next reign, against which the ministers of God ought, at least, to have publicly protested. When we read the annals of persecution in that kingdom, we can interpret the mystery of the successive convulsions which have since agitated it. It is retribution. It is the verification of the prophetic language of John Knox, when the news of the St. Bartholomew's reached him: "Sentence has gone forth against that murderer the King of France, and the vengeance of God will never be withdrawn from his house."
THE UNCLE AND NEPHEW.-COURT NEWS AND COURT MORALS.-FASHIONABLE PREACHERS.-FENELON'S VIEWS OF BOURDALOUE.
ONE day in the beginning of the month of April, 1675, two men might have been seen walking in one of the avenues of the park of Versailles, at a short distance from the Chateau. One of them might have been about sixty-five years of age, the other twenty four. The former wore a sword, the latter an abbé's robe. Not to delay longer the mention of their names, the elder was the Marquis de Fénélon, formerly lieutenant-general in the armies of Louis XIV., and the other his nephew, a young man then unknown to fame, but to whose subsequent greatness alone, is owing the mention made in history of his ancestors, or his uncle.
The old Marquis de Fénélon was, nevertheless, a man deserving of high respect. After having acquired the esteem of the first generals of his time, by his talents and courage,* he had devoted himself entirely to the observance of the most elevated duties of religion and morals;-but, as his life had always been pure, and as his piety was not the effect of one of those conver
* The great Condé said of him, that he was "equally skilful in conversation, in battle, and in the council chamber." During the period of the greatest rage for duelling, he had dared to put himself at the head of an association, the members of which made a vow never to accept nor to send a challenge.
sion so fashionable in that day,—it was destitute of the bitterness, and of the littleness, which almost always characterized people of rank, when after a life of dissipation they returned, or fancied they returned, to God.* A widower for many years, he had had the affliction of losing a son of great promise, at the siege of Candia in 1669. From that time all his affections were divided between his daughter, (afterwards Marquise de MontmorenciLaval,) and the youngest child of the Count de Fénélon his brother. The count was still living, but he was happy to resign to such a brother some of his parental rights, and those of the head of a family.
At court, where, however, he was but rarely seen, the Marquis de Fénélon bore the reputation of a second Montausier. This is equivalent to saying that the courtiers disliked, although they were forced to esteem him.
On this particular day, however, he was at Versailles. The court had just arrived from St. Germain, where it had passed the winter. He had arrived from his estates at Périgord, where he had passed his winter, and whither he intended returning in a short time, as soon as he had completed the arrangement of some business either at Paris or Versailles. The most important thing was to see his favorite nephew.
He was, however, neither so Périgordian a nobleman, nor so stoical a philosopher, as to take no interest in the news of a court which gave tone to all Europe;-particularly, as his nephew, being attached to the chapel of the king, was in a position to give him the most accurate information.
*See, in the history of Fénélon, by the Cardinal de Bausset, book i. some letters from the marquis to his nephew. They are worthy of admiration for their gentleness and gravity, their philosophy and their faith. It was not until 1683, that Louis XIV. took up his residence for the whole year at Versailles.