This volume covers A.D. 1661-1715.
in his world. The Protestants of France had for wellnigh a century held their faith unmolested, safeguarded by that Edict of Nantes, which had been granted by Henry IV, a Catholic at least in name, and confirmed by Cardinal Richelieu, a Catholic by profession. Persuasive measures had indeed been frequently employed to win the deserters back to the ancient Church; but now under Louis's direction, a harsher course was attempted. The celebrated "dragonades" quartered a wild and licentious soldiery in Protestant localities, in the homes of Protestant house-owners, with special orders to make themselves offensive to their hosts. Under this grim discouragement Protestantism seemed dying out of France, and at last, in 1685, Louis, encouraged by success, took the final step and revoked the Edict of Nantes, commanding all his subjects to accept Catholicism, while at the same time forbidding any to leave the country. Huguenots who attempted flight were seized; many were slain. Externally at least, the reformed religio