Page:History of Freedom.djvu/145

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IV

THE MASSACRE OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW 1

THE way in which Coligny and his adherents met their death has been handed down by a crowd of trust\vorthy witnesses, and few things in history are known in more exact detail. But the origin and motives of the tragedy, and the manner of its reception by the opinion of Christian Europe, are still subject to controversy. Some of the evidence has been difficult of access, part is lost, and much has been deliberately destroyed. No letters written from Paris at the time have been found in the Austrian archives. In the correspondence of thirteen agents of the House of Este at the Court of Rome, every paper relating to the event has disappeared. All the documents of I 572, both from Rome and Paris, are wanting in the archives of Venice. In the Registers of many French towns the leaves which contained the records of August and September in that year have been torn out. The first reports sent to England by Walsing- ham and by the French Government have not been recovered. Three accounts printed at Rome, when the facts were new, speedily became so rare that they have been forgotten. The Bull of Gregory XIII. was not admitted into the official collections; and the reply to Muretus has escaped notice until now. The letters of Charles IX. to Rome, with the important exception of that \vhich he wrote on the 24th of August, have been dispersed and lost. The letters of Gregory X I I I. to France have never been seen by persons willing to make 1 Nortlt British Review. Oct, 186 9. fOI