d indispensable stability. The Church, most privileged of all corporations, turned her miracles and her terrors, both present and future, into the most powerful buttress of the fabric. The noblesse, supreme as a caste, almost divided influence with the Church. The two, hand in hand, dominated France outside the larger towns. Each village had its curé and its seigneur. The curé collected his tithes and inculcated the precepts of religion, precepts which at the close of the 18th century, preached Bourbonism as one of the essential manifestations of Providence on earth. The seigneur, generally owning the greater part of all freehold property, not only weighed as a landlord but exercised many exclusive privileges, and applied the most drastic of sanctions to the whole as the local administrator of justice. There were hundreds of devout priests and of humane seigneurs, but a proportion, conspicuous if small, were otherwise; and the system gave such an opportunity for evil doing, that opinion naturall
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