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People tried to curry favour by touching on his most sensitive points, that is, piety and power.

Mémoires de Saint-Simon, liste des tomes

The Huguenots were painted in the blackest colours: he was told they had a state within the state, that it had descended into unbridled licentiousness after years of public disorder, rebellion, civil war, foreign alliances, and even open resistance to the kings his predecessors.

It ruined a populous country, tore a world of families apart, set relatives against each other for gain, leaving the dispossessed to die of hunger. It forced our manufacturing trades to go abroad, enabling foreign states to flourish and thrive at the expense of ours and providing them with the wealth to build new towns. It showed the world the spectacle of a remarkable people suddenly outlawed, naked, fugitive, wandering blameless, seeking shelter far from home, sentencing noblemen, the wealthy, the aged, people often highly respected for their piety, knowledge, and virtue, people whose easy lives had made them weak and delicate, to the galleys, where they found themselves under the all too effective whip of the tribunal.

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And all because of their religion. This was the general abomination to which flattery and cruelty together gave birth. From torture to abjuration and thence to communion was often the work of under twenty-four hours, and their tormentors were both their guides and their witnesses. The numbers of those who had abjured and received communion were counted in their thousands: two thousand from one place, six thousand in another, all at once, in an instant.

The king congratulated himself on his power and his piety. He thought he was living at a time when the apostles were spreading the word, and that it was all thanks to himself. Bishops wrote panegyrics in his praise. Jesuits made their pulpits and missions resounded with it.

ISBN 13: 9782070110155

The whole of France was filled with horror and disarray, yet never has so much triumph and joy been expressed, never has so much praise been voiced. The monarch was in no doubt about the sincerity of this host of conversions: the converters took great care to convince him of it and to sanctify it in advance. He swallowed this poison in deep draughts. He thought he was greater in the sight of men than he had ever been, and that he had made better progress in atoning for his sins and for his scandalous life, and approached closer to God.

He heard nothing but praise, whilst all the time in their hearts the good true Catholics and the holy bishops wept and shuddered.

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Souvenirs de la Marquise de Créquy

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Mémoires, Duc de St Simon, partie 1.2 (1691-1701)

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