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Queen had been so zealous for its suppression, the active part taken by Elizabeth in support of the French Huguenots, the shelter afforded by her to the persecuted Flemings, and the secret aid which she gave to the discontented nobles of the Low Countries, fanned the resentment which had been smouldering in his breast ever since the cautious rejection of his hand by Elizabeth. As a devoted son of the Papacy, he must have long cherished a hope to regain his lost dominion in England, and while satisfying his desire for revenge, to bring back the heretical kingdom to the bosom of Holy Mother Church. Year by year the religion and independence of our country became more endangered, and it was not until the crushing defeat of the great Armada that the nation had rest from its fears.
The task undertaken by Baron Kervyn has been to gather from every source documents throwing any light upon this important period of our history. They have been selected from the archives of Belgium, England, Spain, Naples, Vienna, in fact all the great collections of records of Europe have been ransacked for contributions to these volumes. In most cases the papers have been printed at length, and prefaced to each one is a concise abstract of its chief points. In a few instances, where the document was found to be of only secondary importance, an abstract only is given. To each volume is prefixed a well-written introduction from the pen of the learned editor. One great advantage of such a publication is, that it is possible to form independently for one's self a fair conception of the characters of the chief personages of that age so prolific in great men. Reading the very words of Cecil, Alva, Philip, or Orange, in letters, which in so many cases were intended to be seen by the receipient alone, enables one to form some idea of the manner of man who wrote them, and to learn the exact circumstances which dictated a particular course of action, without our views being warped by the prejudiced statements of a partisan historian. But the despatches of less known persons are also included in this important collection; and speaking of those sent home by the numerous English agents resident in the Low Countries Baron Kervyn remarks, that there was no secret which they did not penetrate, and no fact worthy of attention which was not instantly made known in London.
Though not compiled with the view of affording any special account of the progress of the reformation in either England or the Low Countries, the work necessarily contains many
documents of the highest value to the student of the history of Protestantism. Several of the papers relate to the refugees from the Flemish ports who found shelter here, but no lists of names are given. It must be remembered that these exiles were not all natives of the Low Countries or subjects of Philip, for the Netherlands were then as now, the highway to this country from a large part of Central Europe. This is illustrated by a letter which we find Philip writing on the 7th. of July, 1559, to the Councillor, Charles Quarré ordering him to repair to Flushing, where a number of Spaniard I talians, and Germans were waiting for a fair wind beforessetting sail for England. If he found that matters of religion were the cause of their leaving the King's dominions, he was commanded to arrest the Spaniards and Italians, while with regard to the Germans, he was simply to prevent their embarkation.
The last volume published, comes down to the autumn of the eventful year 1567. One of the last documents in it, is a petition from the refugees, who had been permitted to settle at Southampton, to the Earl of Pembroke and Secretary Cecil, respecting the manufacture of cloth which they intended to establish in the town.
There is no index to the volumes, but this will no doubt appear after the issue of the final part of this most important work, which should find a place on the shelves of every public ibrary.
The Court of France in the Sixteenth Century. By Catherine Charlotte, Lady Jackson. Two volumesRichard Bentley and Son, London, 1886.
Those who desire a popular account of the Court life of France during the momentous period of the rise of the Huguenots, cannot do better than read Lady Jackson's last work. The book opens with the funeral of Anne of Brittany, the beloved Queen of Louis XII., "the Father of the People," in the year 1514, and closes with the death of Henry II., in 1559. Though, as its title indicates, it is a history of the manners and customs of the Court, it abounds with incidental references to the progress of Protestantism in France. Indeed, it would be impossible to give any account of the various factions striving for power there at this time, without alluding to the Reformers, whose doctrines were, a few years later, to be made the pretext for involving the country in a ruinous civil war.
These allusions, however, are subordinate to the main purpose of the work, the interest of which, to the members of this Society, lies chiefly in the fact, that the men and women who figure in its pages were contemporaries of Calvin and Luther, and witnessed the beginning of the Reformation in France. The principal aim of the author is to show how the ladies and gentlemen of the Court dressed, what they ate and drank, how they were housed, and how they amused themselves. In addition to this, a great deal of information of a general kind is scattered up and down its pages, such as the origin of the cap of Liberty, the introduction of black as the colour for Court mourning, the meaning of the phrase "Courtoisie de Metz," and the date of the first stamping of the sovereign's head on the obverse of French coins. There is necessarily much said in it about the royal amours, and it is curious to note the different parts played by the Duchess d'Etampes and her successor, Diana of Poitiers during the rise of the new doctrines. While the influence of the former with Francis I., was often exerted to secure some mitigation of the severity of the persecutions, the latter was as eager as any of the Guises for the extirpation of heresy, her zeal being greatly stimulated by the fact, that she received one half of the property of condemned Protestants.
Another point to be noted is. that in spite of the strenuous efforts of both Francis I. and Henry II. to root out Protestantism from their dominions, their foreign policy had, in two notable instances, the effect of directly encouraging its growth in adjoining countries. The invasion of Savoy, in 1535, by the former, enabled Geneva to recover its freedom, and it henceforth "became the capital of the reformed religion and the head"quarters of the reformers," and the alliance contracted by Henry II. with the German Lutheran Princes in 1551, was the means of putting an end to the long cherished design of the Emperor Charles V., to stamp out Protestantism in Germany.
There is unfortunately no index to the book, and the vague and somewhat sensational titles with which the pages are headed, are of but little use in furnishing a clue to its contents. Each volume contains four portraits, reproductions by photography of prints at the British Museum, one being of the Court favourite, Clement Marot, whose translations of the Psalms became so famous.
Protestants from France in their English Home. By S. W. Kershaw, F.S.A. Sampson, Low, & Company, London, 1885.
Mr. Kershaw's little book forms a most useful supplement to Dr. Smiles' popular work on the Huguenots. Without trenching on the ground traversed by the older publication it gives a brief but comprehensive outline of the history of the refugee settlements in this country dealing especially with their relations with the Established Church of England. The policy initiated by Archbishop Warham in affording protection and encouragement to the exiles who sought shelter here in the early part of the sixteenth century is shown to have been continued by his successors in the primacy, almost without interruption to the present time. A short account is also given of the principal churches of the refugees, and of their more noted pastors; while a feature of the book, which is sure to be greatly prized by the student of Huguenot genealogy, is to be found in the many references it contains to manuscript lists of the names of the exiles.
By Fire and Sword; A Story of the Huguenots. By Thomas Archer.-Cassell & Co., London, &c. [1885.] This is a novel, depicting the home life of a well-to-do Protestant family of Nîmes during the middle of the last century. Though a tale of the days of the Church in the Desert, it is not, as its title might lead one to suppose, occupied by the recital of the sanguinary horrors then so frequently to be witnessed. The aim of the author has been rather to show the numerous petty vexations to which adherents of the Reformed Church were subjected, owing to the almost total forfeiture of their civil rights. The worst features of the persecutions to which they were always liable, from the malice of an enemy or the sudden caprice of those in authority, though not forgotten, are judiciously kept in the background. Written in a calm and easy style, free from all striving after effect, the book affords a very fair picture of the state of affairs in Languedoc during the last epoch of the persecutions. In the course of the story the reader is introduced to two famous pastors of the Desert Claris and Paul Rabaut.
The Little Prophets of the Cevennes. By Richard Heath. The Contemporary Review, Jauuary, 1886. Mr. Heath gives a very fair account of that remarkable feature of the times of fierce persecution which followed the
Revocation of the Edict of Nantes-the prophesyings in the Cevennes. The "ecstasy," as it was called, generally took the form of the delivery of most eloquent and impassioned discourses by illiterate persons. and sometimes even by mere children. His explanation of the phenomenon is that the banishment of the pastors proved a crushing blow to a people accustomed to regard preaching as the most essential part of divine service, and that this following after two centuries of persecution on acconnt of religion, produced an abnormal condition of brain in which the mind constantly reverted to the cherished discourses of the exiled ministers, Asserting that "memory is continuous from generation to generation,' Mr. Heath contends that the "prophets" simply reproduced sermons which had been heard by their progenitors, and he quotes several paralled cases, well-known to students of mental physiology, in support of his theory. As the accounts of these strange occurrences were not credited by the Huguenots in London at the time, and they are still passed over by historians as not worthy of serious attention, it is curious to find that a writer, who has apparently carefully weighed all the evidence for and against them, should come to the conclusion that the stories are in the main true, and are capable of explanation.
A Protestant Stronghold in France. The Siege of the Mas d'Azil. By Philip Meadows Taylor, Ancien Maire of that Commune.-Good Words. 1885.
The Mas d'Azil is situated on the banks of the river Arize, in the Départment of the Ariège. It had belonged to Jeanne d'Albret, the mother of Henry IV., who perceiving its importance, caused the adjoining Grotto dal Encantadas to be fortified
After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the Marquis de Thémine Cardaillac, Marshal of France, was sent with an army of 15,000 men to destroy this "wasp's nest of heresy." Aided by small reinforcements under de Blanchard and Duso, and comforted by the spiritual ministrations of the Pastor Peter Ollier, the brave little garrison of 500 men contrived to baffle the attacks of this comparatively huge force until the near approach of the Duke de Rohan compelled the Marshal to raise the siege.
The article is illustrated by four engravings taken form photographs.
Album-Souvenir de la Revocation de l'Edit de Nantes. -La Société des traités religieux, 33, Rue des Saints Pères, Paris. 1885.
The little Album-Souvenir published by the Société des Traités religieux of Paris as its contribution towards the com