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tlie Protestants in my province . I t&ve too much respect for your Majesty not to believe the letter is counterfeited ; but if ( what God forbid ) the 4 > rder is truh vours , I have too much respect for our Majestv to obe ^ it /' The ¦ tales- (* eneral of France have been often mentioned during the late eventful years . On their being
convened by t . enry III . Voltaire thus describes them . " These States resern hie the Parliament of Great Britain , in their convocation , but are very different from it in their operations . As they are very seldom called , they have no rules to guide them ; they are
generally made up of men who never having been in any regular meeting , know not how to behave themselves , and ' tis rather a confusion than an assembly . " P . 23 .
Speaking of the assassinations of the Guises , he says that " such a vengeance" should have " been perpetrated with the formalities of the law , % which are the natural instruments of the justice of kings , or the natural veil to their
iniquity / ' P . 25 . On Henry ' s besieging Par is in 1500 , we are presented with the folio wing ^ mssages , blending the ludicrous with the horrible . " The friars and the monks
made a show , which , as ridiculous as it was in itself , was yet of great use to animate the people . They made a kind of military muster , marching in tank ana tiles , wearing rusty armour over thejr coats , having at their head tke figure of the virgin Mary , wielding swords in their hands , and crying they
were all ready to fight and to die in the defence of the Faith So that the citizens , who saw their Confessors in arms , thought really that , they fought the cause of God . . " However , scarcity occasioned soon an universal famine . That prodigious
tfwaltitude of citizens had no other suppart but the sermons of their priests , and the fictitious miracles of friars , who , by the way , had all things in plenty in their Convents , while all the town was reduced to starve . The miserable Parisi n $ , lulled at first by the hopes of being soon relieved , were singing ballads in the streets , and lampeons against Henry , a fact not to be related with probability of any other Ration , but suitable enough to the genius of the French , even in so desolate a condition . That short-lived wretched mirth was stopped quickly
by the most serious and the most ire * expressible misery . Thirty thousand men died of hunger in a months time . The poor starved citizens tried to make a sort of bread with the bones of the dead , which being bruised and boiled were reduced to a kind of jelly . But such an unnatural food afforded them
no other kind of benefit than to kill them the sooner * It is recorded and confirmed by all the testimonies that can be credible , that a woman killed and fed on her own child , ' P , 38 . Sully passes " slightly over the horrors of this siege / ' declining to "
enlarge on so dreadful a subject . " Pere fixe , writing in 1662 , is very short , yet , he says . " the famine was so great that the people eat even the herbs
that grew in the ditches ; dogs , cats , and hides of leather were food ; and some have reported , that the Lansquenets , or foot-soldiers , fed upon such children as they could entrap . " 2 d . Ed . 1692 , p . 124 .
Voltaire records how " Henry ' s good nature prevailed over his interest , " " that the besiegers fed the besieged , " for " he suffered his soldiers to sell privately all sorts of provisions to fclje town , " Thus time was afforded ft > the Prince of Parma , with an army of Spaniards from the Low
Countries , to raise the siege . At length Henry resolved to turn Roman-Catholic—Paris opened its gates to him , and what his valour and magnanimity could never bring about , was easily obtained by going to Mass , and by receiving absolution from the Pope . " P . 35 .
In the works of Voltaire this History is condensed , with the omission oi most of the passages I have quoted , into a few pages , entitled , Histoire Ahref / ee des Evenemevis , fye . The Essay on Epic Poetry . shall employ th € next number . VERMICULUS .
40 Gleanings . —Shakespeare ' s Maebctfu
gleanings ; ok , selections anc * reflections made in a couust of general reading . No . CCIII . Shakespeare ' s Macbeth .
Act 1 . Scene v . JLady Macbeth , after reading her Lord ' s letter , in Conning her of his interview with the Weird Sisters , who had salutecL , htni with ,, Hail , King that ^ shalt 4 «/—says ,
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1815, page 40, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1756/page/40/