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and not a mountain-pasture; and he was still holding forth on this point, when suddenly a noise like thunder was heard from the regions above.
The flippant youth instantly changed his note, affected rapture at the magnificence of the sound, and tried to silence the guide, who was calling to him and his companion from a small distance behind them, saying, “ Fly! fly! quick! quick to the grove !" first speaking in French, and then in English.
“Ah! ah !” exclaimed Octavius, “ so the boor knows English; but what is he driving at now?” Before Frederic could answer, the guide had caught him by the arm, and was forcing him towards the grove, crying at the same time to Octavius to follow.
Frederic had a feeling founded on common sense and prudent humility, that a guide to the mountain should know more of the phenomena of mountains than the very best-read visitor; he did not therefore resist when dragged along, but rather gave wings to the speed, though without the least idea of what was next to
On the contrary, Octavius was perfectly heedless of the calls of the guide, till that which he had taken for thunder was rolling just above him, and then he became aware, when too late, that it was an avalanche, of fearful magnitude, which had produced the sound and the alarm.
It was well for the young man that this avalanche was not of that kind, which, rolling in its course obtains such consistency, as to have power to crush all objects in its way. It was rather a slip of snow though of magnitude sufficient to overwhelm and bury a cottage ; slipping in mass it filled the air with its frozen particles, advancing with a noise heard for miles, till it met the pine wood which had power to break the mass, though it was higher than the highest trees; small parts of it rolled between the boles, but the larger portion slid down the hill on each side the grove: and when Frederic was able to look about him after the shock and the blinding effects of the frozen powder which had filled the wood, he could not see his companion any where. He, however, observed the guide rushing forward down the slope, with the long piked staff, which he had brought from the hotel, balanced in his hand. Octavius had been assailed by one of the sliding masses, thrown off his feet, and carried down the mountain, till he was providentially stopped by a cluster of brakes, before he had been precipitated into the foaming torrent below. He was insensible however, before Frederic had come up to him, his face lying forward on the snow. He assisted Haldermann to turn him and to raise his head, whilst the guide attempted to put a little brandy into his mouth from an ever-ready flask which he produced, but the liquor was returned. Frederic exclaimed in agony, “ He is dead! My poor friend is dead !" and he thought of the light jest upon that subject which had passed at Thun.
“Not so,” replied the guide in English, “he will be restored, if the God, of whom he spoke so lightly, has purposes of mercy for him. The life is in him, but we must bear him to the hotel.” and this they did, being assisted in their course by two peasants who had seen the accident from the distance.
These persons, together with the guide, being accustomed to accidents of the kind, knew how to manage with the poor young man, and though he was severely bruised and battered, and his face miserably scratched and torn, he was out of danger of death in a few hours, though unable for some days to rise from his bed.
Frederic then thanked his God for what had before been a cause of discontent with him, namely, that he had fallen in with his old school-fellow as a companion to Grindelwald; and so kind and attentive was he to him whilst he was confined to his bed, and so impressed was the light youth, through the divine blessing, with a sense of the gre danger he had incurred by his self-sufficiency, that from that time he was never heard to boast of his cleverness and superior knowledge, or to use the words “fools” and “fellows” to persons because they might not perchance have been educated precisely in the way he had been.
But the most blessed token about him was, that never from that day, did one light word proceed from his lips respecting the Sovereign Ruler of the earth, nor one sneering expression against such persons as felt and desired to manifest their dependance on that omnipotent Being. May this little history be blessed to all its young readers, and may such of them as are disposed to self-confidence be admonished, that there are many slips to which they are liable which may prove far more irretrievable than a headlong descent down the sides of a snow-crowned mountain,
M. M. S.
REVIVALS OF PROTESTANTISM IN FRANCE.
[Extracted from the Ninth Report of the “ Société Evangélique de France,"
made by M. De Pressensé, Treasurer of the Society, on the 20th of April, 1842.]
YESTERDAY it was precisely 253 years since Henry IV., king of Navarre, made a solemn procession into the town of Saumur, and took the first step to the throne of France, in contracting an alliance with Henry III., who at that time wielded the sceptre. Long before this circumstance the Reformation had made great progress in this town, and the protestant religion was embraced by many of its inhabitants. The number of protestants had increased to such a degree by the year 1572, that Puy Gaillard, lieutenant of the king, being desirous of destroying them, took advantage of the example given at Paris, by the massacres of Saint Bartholomew; and on the 26th of August thus wrote to Count de Montsoreau, governor of the province :
“ I would not fail to inform you, how on Sunday morning the king made a very great execution upon the Huguenots. His majesty's pleasure is, that they shall be treated in the same manner wherever they are found. And if you are at all desirous of doing an agreeable service to his majesty, and to Monsieur (the king's brother) you must go to Saumur, with as many of your friends as possible, and put to death the chief of the said Huguenots you may find there. Having executed this at the said Saumur, I pray you go to Angers to assist the castellain to do the same there. You need not wait for any other commandment from the king and my lord, because they rely upon what I now write to you. You must use all dispatch in this business, and lose as little time as possible. I am extremely sorry that I cannot be present to assist you in putting these orders into execution.”
Montsoreau went accordingly to Saumur, and stabbed the lieutenant-general; and the people, instigated by his example and his addresses, rushed in a body to the houses of the protestants, and massacred them. The streets of the city ran blood when Montsoreau departed to commence the same scene at Angers.
On arriving there, he went first of all to the house of the
minister Larivière. Upon entering, he met the wife of this pastor, and, uniting to the cruelty of a cowardly assassin, the gallantry of a courtier, he saluted her and embraced her respectfully, inquiring if her husband were at home. The lady, deceived by his perfidious courtesy, conducted him into the garden, and pointed out her husband, who was walking there, absorbed in his meditations. Montsoreau approached Larivière, embraced him, and said, “Do you know, my friend, what brings me here?” “No,” replied the other. “I have an order to kill you on the spot !” He then drew a poignard, and after shewing him the order, allowed him an instant to engage in prayer, and then laid him dead at his feet. He killed, or caused to be killed, many other protestants at Angers; imprisoned others in the chateau, and when they refused to abjure their faith, they were thrown from the esplanade into the river Maine.
But still these cruel persecutions did not completely destroy the protestants in this part of France. When Henry III. had given, in exchange, the town of Saumur to the king of Navarre; and when the latter became sometime afterwards king of France, their circumstances were greatly improved.
In 1593, Henry IV. came to Saumur, and frequented the protestant church (which existed at that time near the Porte du Bourg), to hear the famous preacher Jean Despina. He came there especially to see one of their most energetic defenders, and most devoted friends, Du Plessis Mornay, who had been appointed governor of the province. It is well known what signal services this illustrious man rendered to Henry IV., with a disinterestedness which enabled him to say without fear of contradiction, “ that during the twenty years which he had passed in directing the king's business, he had not been able to put a single slate upon his own house." But that which most exalts his memory, is the true and sincere piety which procured for him the respect and esteem, even of those who were opposed to his religious convictions, insomuch that one of them, Péréfixe, has said in his history, “that no one could lay any thing to Mornay's charge, except that he was a protestant.”
From the date of the residence of Du Plessis Mornay at Saumur, this town rose into an importance which it had not hitherto enjoyed; a great number of protestant families established themselves there, and caused its population to exceed 25,000 in. habitants.
The celebrated academy founded by Mornay, attracted the most distinguished protestant professors, and a multitude of young men of France, and from foreign countries; so that Saumur was regarded as a focus of light, which illuminated all protestant Europe. The adversaries of this academy, alarmed at the progress of Calvinism, called upon the two new orders of Franciscans, which had just been instituted in Italy, to oppose it by their sermons.
In 1611, the deputies of the reformed churches of France united themselves at Saumur, (at which meetings Du Plessis Mornay presided,) and occupied themselves for four months in discussing the interests of their churches. Ten
afterwards this illustrious man died in exile, in consequence of the efforts of his enemies. They did not wait for the revocation of the edict of Nantes to forbid the exercise of the reformed religion at Sau. mur; by force of intrigues they succeeded in closing the academy and the churches in this city. The reason assigned for these measures was, that the academy founded by Du Plessis Mornay had not been authorised by letters patent, and that as the public exercise of religion had been established only for him, the cause having ceased, the effect should cease also !
From this time, the protestants at Saumur, alarmed by these attacks of the authorities, waited in anxiety to know their fate; when, at the close of October, 1685, the edict of the Revocation came upon them like a thunderbolt.
Obliged to renounce their faith, or to go into banishment, almost every one chose the latter alternative, and carried into foreign countries their industry, and the remains of their fortunes. Thus Saumur lost more than two-thirds of its inhabitants, among whom were those most distinguished by merit, birth, and opulence.
But the designs of the wicked, even at the time when they appear to have had their full accomplishment, and when a long course of years seems to have confirmed the fatal consequences, can never succeed in opposition to the merciful providence of our God. And is it not very remarkable that on nearly the same day of the month in which a protestant prince took possession