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nor of being admitted to the bar as a lawyer, a3 not being able to obtain the requisite certificates of his being a catholic, resolved to lay violent hands upon himself, and gave some intimation. of his defign to one of his friends : in order to confirm himself in the resolution he had formed, he carefully collected every thing that had been written upon the subject of suicide, all. which he read with great attention ; at length, one day having lost all his money at play, he chose that as a most proper opportunity for putting his design in execution. Oke Lavaisse, a young man of nineteen years of age, the son of a lawyer in great repute at Toulouse; and who was, esteemed by every one who knew him, happened to come from Bourdeaux the evening before * ; when he went by chance to fup with the Calas family at their house, being an acquaintance of that family's, and of Mark Anthony Calas in particular. Old Calas, bis wife, Mark Anthony their eldest son, and Peter their second son, supped all together that evening; after supper was over, they retired into another room, when Mark Anthony suddenly disappeared. After fome time, young Lavaisse took his:
12 October, 1761,
Leave, and Peter Calas accompanied him down stairs; when they came to the warehoufe they faw Mark Anthony hanging in his shirt behind the door, and his coat and waistcoat folded up and laid
upon the counter ; his shirt was not in the least rumpled, nor his hair, which he had dressed that day, in any wife disordered; there was no wound upon his body, nor any other mark of violence to
We shall not here enter into all the ininute circumstances with which the lawyers have filled their briefs; nor shall we attempt to describe the grief and distraction of the unhappy parents; their cries were heard by the whole neighbourhood. Lavaisse and Peter Calas, almost beside themselves, ran, the one to fetch a surgeon, and the other an officer of justice. While they were thus employed, and old Calas and his wife in all the agonies of grief, the people of the town gathered in crouds about the house: The Toulousians are a superstitious and
After the body was carried to the town-house indeed, there was found a little scratch upon the end of the nose, and a small black and blue spot upon the breast ; but these were probably occaLoned by some carelessness in removing the corpfe.
head-strong people, and look upon every one, even their own relations, who are not of the same religion of themselves, as monsters and objects of deteftation. It was at Toulouse that a solemn thanksgiving was ordered for the death of Henry III. and that the inhabitants took an cath to murder the first person who should propofe to acknowledge that great and good prince Henry IV. for their sovereign; and this fame city still continues to folemnize, by an annual proceflion, illuminations, and bonfires, the day in which about two hundred years ago, it ordered the massacre of four thousand of its citi. zens for being heretics.
In vain has the coun. cil isfued fix arrets, prohibiting the keeping this detestable anniversary, the Touloufians still continuing to celebrate it as a high festival.
Some one among the mob, a greater enthusiast than the rest, cried out, that John Calas him. self had hanged his son ; this ery became in an instant unanimous : fome persons taking occafion to observe, that the deceased was to have made his abjuration as the next day, and that his own family and young Lavaifle had' murdered him, out of the hatred they bore to the catholic religion, no sooner was this opinion broached, than it was fully believed by
every one ; and the whole town was persuaded, that it is one of the articles of the protestant religion, for a father or mother to murder their own son, if he attempts to fhew any inclination to change his fath.
When the minds of the populace are once put into a ferment, they are not easily appeased; it was now imagined, that all the protestants of Languedoc had assembled together the preceding night, and had chosen by a plurality of voices, one of their sect for an executioner; that the choice had fallen upon Lavaiffe ; that this young man had, in less than four and twenty hours, received the news of his election, and had come from Bourdeaux to affist John Calas, his wife, and their son Peter, to murder a son, a brother, and a friend.
The sieur David, capitoul of Toulouse, instigated by those rumours, and being desirous to make himself be taken notice of, by the ready execution of his office, took a step contrary to all the established rules and ordinances, by ordering the Calas family, together with their catholic maid servant and Lavaifle, to be put in irons.
After this a monitary was published, which was as erroneous as the former step. Nay, matters were carried still farther; Mark Anthony Calas had certainly died a Calvinist, and as such, if he had laid violent hands upon himself, his body ought to have been dragged upon a hurdle; whereas it was interred with the greateft funeral pomp in the church of St. Stephen, notwithstanding the curate entered his protest against this profanation of holy ground.
There are in Languedoc four orders of penia tentiaries, the white, the blue, the grey, and the black, who wear a long capuchin or hood, having a mask of cloth falling down over the face, in which are two holes for the fight. These orders wanted the duke of Fitz-James to become one of their body, but he refused them. On the present occafion the white penitentiaires performed a folemn service for Mark Anthony Calas as for a martyr ; nor was the festival of a real martyr ever celebrated with greater pomp by any church : but then this. pomp was truly terrible. Beneath a magnificent canopy was placed a skeleton, which was made to move by springs; this skeleton was to sepresent Mark Anthony Calas, holding in one band a branch of palm, and, in the other, the