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escape in a series of very ominous gugout mercy, churches were being destroyed, gles from underneath the clothes. The and vast crowds of unhappy people were poor fellow was outside in an instant cry- trying to escape to England, in which ing, “ Anither warning, Meg! rin, rin, the only a limited number were successful — house is fa’ing.” But Meg "kenn'd what the famous French refugees who brought was what fu' brawly," and made for the to our shores a knowledge of divers inbed in time to save only the last dregs of dustrial arts which have incalculably enher intended potation."
riched the country. Most of the actors in the sad story The Rev. James Fontaine, as he deshave passed away, and now rest beneath ignates himself in a work recently pubthe same green sod which covers the re- lished from an original autobiography,* mains of John Brown. With the last gen-I got away with considerable difficulty, in eration, too, has died out much of the he- company with a young lady who was to reditary superstition. For a railway now be his wife, and two or three friends, runs through the coal-field. Strangers The party, after hanging about the French come and settle in the district. An in- coast in a boat, near the isle of Oleron, creasing Irish element appears in the were humanely taken on board an Engpopulation, and thus the old manners and lish merchant-vessel which, after beating customs are rapidly becoming mere tra- against contrary winds for eleven days, ditions in the place. Even grandsons reached Appledore, a small town near and great-grandsons of the old women the mouth of the Taw, in Devonshire. who " kept the country-side in fear,” af- Having paid passage-money for the party, fect to hold lightly the powers and doings the youthful preacher had only twenty gold of their progenitors, though there are still pistoles left, besides six silver spoons, a a few who, while seemingly half-ashamed silver watch, and a diamond ring worth to claim supernatural power for their ten or twelve pistoles. “grannies," gravely assert that the latter At Barnstaple, to which they made had means of finding things out, and, their way, the forlorn refugees were though bed-ridden, of getting their wish-treated with much kindness, of which és fulfilled, which to say the least were they stood greatly in need, for, owing to very inexplicable. ARCH. GEIKIE. a shortness of provisions on board ship,
they were almost famished, and ravenously ate the bread that was set before them. Now begin Fontaine's adven
tures, from which he seems to have been From Chambers' Journal.
of an eager, speculative character — STORY OF A FRENCH REFUGEE.
changeful, versatile, and equally ready for The persecution of the Huguenots in preaching, teaching, manufacturing, or France in the reign of Louis XIV., both keeping a shop. Not, perhaps, that before and after the revocation of the there was anything singular in these aptEdict of Nantes (1685), is matter of his-itudes, for the French generally, under tory, and a very sorrowful matter it is ; pressure of misfortune have an amazing for it may be said to have led to that faculty in turning their hand to whatever series of national disasters, which is yet falls in the way. The first thing that surapparently far from being concluded. prised our hero was the comparative Among the sufferers from the persecu- cheapness of biscuits. On getting two tion was a young man, James Fontaine, large ones for a penny, he instantly conthe descendant of a family of rank, whose ceived the notion of buying grain, and father, in consideration of altered for- exporting it on speculation to France, tunes, dropped the aristocratic De la, and where it was at the time very dear. The assumed the plain surname of Fontaine. chief difficulty lay in the want of capital ; For two or three generations, the Fon- but, at all events, there were the twenty taines had been Protestant pastors in the pistoles, the six silver spoons, and the south-west of France, and James was silver watch ; and his intended wife posdestined to follow the same calling, sessed a gold neck-chain, a pearl neckthough, what was a little awkward, he lace, an emerald, and a diamond worth limped in his gait, from having been let five pistoles ; all which wealth he was accidentally fall by his nurse when an in-prepared to risk on the enterprise. Havfant. Born in 1658, he was still a youth, and had just begun as a preacher, when,
# Memoirs of a Huguenot Family; translated from the persecution being at its height, dra- the Original Autobiography of Rcv. 7..mes Fontains. goons were plundering and killing with-| New York: Putnam and Sons. 1872.
ing been taken into the house of “a, himself and the young lady, and stated charitable gentleman, a Mr. Downe, at that, on communicating with her, he Barnstaple,” he induced him to charter a would abide by her decision. The same vessel, and risk some money. The spec- evening, he went to the house where she ulation was entered on. It proved so lodged, and executed the commission successful as to encourage a second ship with which he was charged. The answer ment; but this was disappointing. A was such as might have been expected. third venture was tried ; in this case the There was a mutual overflow of tears. A orders being to bring a return cargo of steady resolution was formed to abide by salt. The captain employed, when quit- each other. Poverty and its possible conting France, took on board a large num- sequences, with affection, was preferred ber of wealthy refugees. These he plun- to worldly wealth and all its allurements. dered of all their valuables, ran the vessel The trial had its uses. To the distress ashore on the coast of Spain, where it of Downe and his sister, M. Fontaine went to wreck, and the salt returned to married the young lady, and with stout the sea whence it came. Worse than all, hearts the two began the world on noththe unfortunate passengers were barbar-ing. ously drowned. The captain having To the lodging to which the happy pair espied a lady who was buoyed up by adjourned, numerous presents poured in means of a thick-quilted petticoat, plunged from friendly refugees in the neighbourher under the water with a boat-hook, hood; but living on gifts of this kind and held her down till life was extinct. could not last. Teaching was first reWith their ill-gotten wealth, the captain sorted to, and afterwards the keeping of and crew went to Cadiz, purchased a ves- a small shop in Bridgewater was tried sel, and took to privateering. The re- with no great success. Some friends sult as regards Fontaine can be imagined. suggested an application to the managers Watch, silver spoons, gold chain, and so of a charitable fund which had been on, had all to be disposed of, “and some- raised in London for the benefit of thing still remained unpaid.”
French refugees exiled by the revocation Now poorer than ever, the young of the Edict of Nantes. The account of French refugee was exposed to a new the effort to benefit by this fund is sometemptation. Mr. Downe had a sister, what painful. Fontaine found that sucpossessing certain “ charms of mind and cour was hopeless for any one who did disposition,” but “short, thin, sallow, and not attach himself to the Church of Eng. marked with the small-pox;” such disad- | land, and to this, in a resolute way which vantages, however, being, as some might reminds us of the Scotch Covenanters, he think, outweighed by a dowry of three had an insuperable objection. A few thousand pounds. Carrying with her Presbyterians who heard of his distress this handsome fortune, she formed the kindly gave some seasonable aid ; after wish to become Madame Fontaine, and which he removed to Taunton, where he persuaded her brother to open the matri-set up in the triple capacity of preacher, monial negotiations. He was not unwil-teacher, and shopkeeper. He had longling to do so, for it would afford him an ings to speculate as an export merchant, opportunity of doing a little in the matri- but was restrained by sorrowful recollecmonial line on his own account; in a tions of former misadventures. In the word, he had fallen in love with the struggle which ensued, his young wife young French lady, Fontaine's fiancée, l behaved admirably. She stood behind and to take her out of the way would | the counter, and helped materially to cartend greatly to arrange matters agreea-i ry on the concern. bly. It was a very nicely conceived plot, While so doing his best in the battle and required delicate management. With of life at Taunton, a fresh industrial openthe best French he could muster, Downe ing occurred. He was waited on by two one day proceeded to business. After a Frenchmen with sanguine notions about little hesitation and clearing his throat, the woollen manufacture; they wanted he told his guest that his sister wished to him to lay out money on worstud, yarn, marry him, and if he would agree to it, and dyes, while they would furnish the he would remove the difficulty by taking requisite mechanism to make the affair the young lady who had been brought profitable. The project was irresistible. from France. The proposition was tempt. Fontaine risked twenty pounds, which he ing, but did not in the least discompose borrowed “from a Mrs. White, a widow, M. Fontaine. He produced a written who dealt in tobacco at Bridgewater." promise of mutual attachment between Out of this trading speculation he came out better than there were reasons for an- / industry ought to have commanded their ticipating. The manufacture proved prof-admiration, and they hatefully conspired itable, and the borrowed money was re- to ruin him. In the present day, one paid. But the partners disagreed, and reads of their proceedings with amazeFontaine was glad to get rid of them, ment. They lodged a complaint with the and carry on business on his own ac mayor and aldermen, accusing him of count.
being a monopolist in trade, an underFrom this period, all was sunshine. seller. Woollen manufacturers, tin-plate On Sundays he preached, at certain times workers, dealers in brandy, raisins, stockthrough the week he taught French, while, lings, and chamois leather for breeches, as a principal reliance, he carried on a denounced him as interfering unduly with system of manufacture ; besides which, their profits. A summons to appear beMadame, a pattern wife, was busy as a fore the civic dignitaries was of course bee, keeping the shop, with two boys to granted. The description of the trial is help her. M. Fontaine did not think it about the best thing in the book, but it is the least derogatory to be an administra- too long for our pages. Fontaine defendtor of ghostly counsel and at the same ed himself by a few simple explanations. time work with all his might. St. Paul He was bred a scholar and a gentleman. was his model, and he cared nothing for Religious persecution had driven him professional etiquette. We cannot re- away from his native country. He folfrain from quoting the account he gives lowed a line of honest industry in order of the industrial arrangements of the es- to support himself and family, and irusted tablishment.
he was doing nothing wrong in dealing in “I manufactured stuffs in the upper a variety of articles for the public accompart of the house, which my wife sold modation. This sort of argument would at a profit in the lower part. I went to have had no effect on the court, but for Bristol and Exeter once a quarter, to lay the good sense of the Recorder, who repin a fresh stock of groceries, and pay off resented that unless his accusers were the old debt. I procured direct from prepared to raise a fund and settle an Holland linens of various qualities, gal- annuity on the poor Frenchman, he must loons, thread, needles, and tin and copper be allowed to earn his bread for the sake ware, manufactured there by French ref- of himself and family. All were abashed ugees. These articles cost me much less at the decision. “Go,” said he to Fonthan if I had bought them in England. taine ; “ we return you thanks for your I was supplied with beaver hats from Ex-industry. God bless you and your laeter, where they were made by French- bour." The triumph over narrow considmen, who furnished them to no one in erations was complete. Taunton but myself. I sold French Dismissed from the bar there was still brandy, pure and unadulterated, whereas on the part of the magistrates a malicious the Englishmen generally played tricks disposition to molest the refugee, for with theirs. I drew custom by selling which the political condition of the counMalaga and Alicant raisins at the price try offered an opportunity. The Prince retail that I paid for them by whole- of Orange had just landed. The Revosale. I sold needles on the same terms. lution was complete, and there was on all Every one knew the value of these arti- hands a search for Jacobites and Jesuits. Cles, and the sale of them did not amount | It was easy getting up a cry that M. Fonto any great sum. One would say to taine was a Jesuit in disguise. He preanother : “You can buy beautiful raisins tended to preach the gospel, and to gain brom the Frenchman at such a price ; '| friends by selling articles at cost-price. and then they would come to see for He was a downright Jesuit, and ought to themselves, buy some raisins, and prob- be hanged. Ominous murmurs of this by ten or twelve shillings worth of other kind gave the Frenchman some uneasi
cles, upon which we made a profit, so ness. He had a profound respect for the
found our account in selling cheap English, but on landing in Devonshire at raisins."
the close of Monmouth's rebellion, he The success of the French refugee in observed with dismay that there was a
miscellaneous trade was galling to great deal of hanging and quartering, and native shopkeepers of Taunton. Far that ghastly heads were stuck about at I resembling Englishmen in their gen- / the entrance to towns in most unpleasant & treatment of foreigners driven by profusion. cune on our shores, they „onceived Things might not come to pass, but in
of the poor Frenchman, whose the fervour of the moment no one could
misfortune on our :
safely say there would be no excesses. I hairs sticking out in all directions. In As a beginning, soldiers were quartered the present day, a smooth surface is given on Fontaine to an extent beyond endur-to tissues by a process of singeing over ance, and the poor man could see noth- fiery hot rollers. Fontaine did not know ing but a determination to bring him to anything of this process, but he conjecruin. Taunton was a place in which he tured that singeing would effect the recould no longer do any good as a retail quired smoothness. “I recollected," he dealer, and so far he was resolved to wind says, “ that when I was at school, I had up his affairs. Being occupied during often gone to warm myself in a hatter's the day teaching French and Latin, he shop, and I used to watch the process of was obliged to steal many hours of the burning off the long hairs from the hats night to find time to make an exact with a blazing wisp of straw, so I thought inventory of all he possessed. To dis- that a similar plan might be adopted for charge his debts, he sold off his stuffs to remedying the defect in my calimanco." wholesale merchants, and the residue of He thús fell upon the very process which his effects was disposed of to a purchaser has now attained so much perfection. for four hundred pounds, which he re- How Fontaine laughed with joy when by tained as a little leaven, to begin business means of a burning wisp of straw, folin some new line when opportunity lowed by a proper degree of pressure, the offered.
calimanco came out beautiful, about as For several months his only employ- good as that of Norwich! He sold lots ment was keeping a school, by which, of it at Exeter at half-a-crown a yard, rehowever, he did not make quite enough alizing a hundred per cent. of profit after to maintain his family, now consisting of all expenses were paid. We do not know several children. Thoughtful and ingen- that there is anything finer than this as ionis, he pondered on the probability of an instance of ingenuity and perseversuccess as a manufacturer of a new kind ance in the history of British manufac. of worsted stuff, called calimanco, fortures. which Norwich had become celebrated. Soon Fontaine had fifteen looms at In a spirit of enterprise, he determined to work on his calimanco, and to all appearmake an attempt to imitate the article, ance he was on the road to fortune. He even though ignorant of the requsite me- got discouraged, however, by attempts to chanical knowledge. How distressing to withdraw his workmen, and to rival his have to record that the authorities of an manufacture. In fact, he was too suscepEnglish country town should have had tible on this score, for the world is wide the despicable meanness to oppress a man enough for everybody, and he ought to with so noble a spirit of self-reliance and have held on in his course. With charindustry! Meanly tyrannized over, Fon-acteristic unsettledness, he became weary taine was not to be baftled. “I engaged,” of the business, and contemplated emisays he, “a weaver for my experimental gration to Ireland. We let him tell what attempt, who was out of employment, and ensued in his own words. “Seeing that was apparently very docile. I made all I had now made one thousand pounds in the machinery, I put it up with my own the course of three years, I thought I hands, and spent a couple of hours every would leave the place, and try whether I day trying to instruct him. This went on could not find a French church in want for three months, altering the threads of a minister. I knew that there were and machinery for new trials about once many French Protestant refugees in Irea fortnight, and still not an inch of the land, so I went to Dublin to make inquidesired fabric was produced ; and I was ries. I was there recommended to go to paying the weaver his full wages all the Cork, and I accordingly proceeded thithtime."
er, and found there were several French The attempt to manufacture calimanco families settled there who were very dewas like to be abortive, when by good sirous to have a minister.” As a result luck a young man with some skill in the of this expedition, Fontaine removed in art was lighted upon, and employed. Af-1694 with his family to Cork, where he ter no little trouble with the imperfect set up as a French Protestant preacher; mechanism, this young craftsman suc- but the emoluments being nil, he continceeded in making several yards of stuff ued to dabble in yarns, dye-stufis, and in the day. There yet remained a serious manufacturing industry. Preaching, indrawback. The stuff produced was like deed, was his favourite pursuit, for no calimanco in substance, but not in finish; man had a more earnest desire to be useful it was rough on the surface, with great in expounding the gospel message. His
manufacture was taken up only as a means glory of England, the kindly home of opof livelihood. There is some historical pressed nationalities.
W. C. interest in his proceedings, for they afford a glimpse of the social changes arising from the introduction of French refugees into these islands. At Cork, M. Fontaine was at the height
From The Spectator. of his ambition. He was an admired
amited] THE LATE EMPEROR'S SUPERSTITION. preacher, and he gained from his small EVERYONE knew, by general rumour at manufactory ample support for his family. I least, that the late Emperor of the This state of things was too good to last. French, with all his longheadedness and Dissensions broke out in the congrega- power of slow, tenacious reflection, was a tion, and considering himself ill-treated, superstitious man, who profoundly bethe hitherto too confiding pastor resigned lieved that his uncle watched over his his office. Some mercantile adventures destinies and protected his career. But were now tried, but they only brought the publication this week of his will, loss and vexation. As a finishing calam- made in 1865, is much the most authentic ity, the British parliament, in its then evidence accessible to us of the depth of mistaken policy, passed an act forbidding this superstition. In it he declares posithe export of woollen manufactures from tively, “ One must think that from the Ireland, by which the luckless Fontaine height of Heaven those whom you have was adroitly ruined. What hand could loved look down upon you and protect he turn to now ? Fishing, and exporting you. It is the soul of my mighty uncle the produce to Spain, occurred to him as that has always inspired and sustained a grand idea. With this project in view, me." And again, “ As to my son, let him Fontaine removed with his family and keep as a talisman the seal which I wore the wreck of his worldly possessions to attached to my watch, and which I got Bear Haven, where he rented the farms from my mother; let him preserve with for his fishery.
care all that I have inherited from the In this new enterprise, with all his dili- Emperor my uncle, and let him be asgence, he was unsuccessful, and, to add sured that my heart and my soul remain to his misfortunes, he was pillaged and with him.” In a will so short, which cheated by neighbours in a thousand in- would not occupy forty lines of this jourdirect ways. As a climax, his house was nal, and in which only the wishes to which attacked by privateers, against whom he the Emperor attached the most signififor a time carried on a war for bare exist-cance are enumerated at all, the solemn ence. On one occasion he did the state mention of this belief in the angelic guarsome service by his courageous defence, dianship exercised on his behalf by his for which he had the good fortune to be uncle, and the injunction to his son to rewarded with a pension of five shillings keep as a talisman the seal which he hima day. There is something melancholy self had had from his mother, prove that in what follows.
these impressions were not in the EmpeBroken down in health, though not so ror's view transient fancies to which now in spirit, and relying on his pension, Fon- and then he was able to attach a certain taine removed to Dublin, rented a house half-playful importance, but that they in Stephen's Green, and there for several were deeply cherished superstitions, years carried on a school for teaching superstitions of which he was so far from French, Latin, and Greek. In 1721, he being ashamed, that he wished to give lost his wife, and the shock so greatly them all the emphasis of deliberate regisdistressed him that he gave up his school. tration in an imperial testament, - a tesAt this point, his personal narrative tament certain to be made public, and, had draws to a close, and all that follows is he died on the throne, to be made public an account of his sons, several of whom at a moment full of gravity for the career emigrated to Virginia, and founded fami- of his son. Nor can it well be that the lies which rose to distinction in the col- Emperor wished to pose before the peoony. We cannot speak of the work em- ple of France as entertaining a superstibracing an account of the family as artis- tion of this kind, if he did not really entic in construction ; but it is valuable as tertain it. It is certainly not one of the shewing us the struggles of one of those kind of beliefs which it would be the honest and ingenious foreigners who, proper imperial rôle to counterfeit ; it driven by short-sighted persecution from suggests too completely the conscious their own country, contributed to the subordination of the Emperor to his un