During the French revolution, the inhabitants of a village in Dauphiné had determined on sacrificing their lord to their revenge, and were only dissuaded from it by the eloquence of the curé, who thus addressed them:
“My friends,” said he, “the day of vengeance is arrived; the individual who has so long tyrannized over you must now suffer his merited punishment. As the care of this flock has been entrusted to me, it behoves me to watch over their best interests, nor will I forsake their righteous cause. Suffer me only to be your leader, and swear to me that in all circumstances you will follow my example.”
All the villagers swore they would.
“And,” he continues, “you will further solemnly promise to enter into any engagement which I may now make, and to remain faithful to this your oath.”
All the villagers exclaimed, “We do.”
“Well then,” he said, solemnly taking the oath, “I swear to forgive our lord.”
Unexpected as this was, the villagers kept their word and forgave him.