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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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in the suite of a Protestant gentleman; he arrived one night at
Anduze, and immediately directed his steps to the house of Isabeau.

He was just about to knock, although it was one o'clock in the
morning, when the door was opened from within, and a handsome young
man came out, who took tender leave of a woman on the threshold.  The
handsome young man was the Marquis de Florac; the woman was Isabeau.
The promised wife of the peasant had become the mistress of the
noble.

Our hero was not the man to suffer such an outrage quietly.  He
walked straight up to the marquis and stood right in his way.  The
marquis tried to push him aside with his elbow, but Jean Cavalier,
letting fall the cloak in which he was wrapped, drew his sword.  The
marquis was brave, and did not stop to inquire if he who attacked him
was his equal or not.  Sword answered sword, the blades crossed, and
at the end of a few instants the marquis fell, Jean's sword piercing
his chest.

Cavalier felt sure that he was dead, for he lay at his feet
motionless. He knew he had no time to lose, for he had no mercy to
hope for.  He replaced his bloody sword in the scabbard, and made for
the open country; from the open country he hurried into the
mountains, and at break of day he was in safety.

The fugitive remained the whole day in an isolated farmhouse whose
inmates offered him hospitality.  As he very soon felt that he was in
the house of a co-religionist, he confided to his host the
circumstances in which he found himself, and asked where he could
meet with an organised band in which he could enrol himself in order
to fight for the propagation of the Reformed religion.  The farmer
mentioned Generac as being a place in which he would probably find a
hundred or so of the brethren gathered together.  Cavalier set out
the same evening for this village, and arrived in the middle of the
Camisards at the very moment when they had just caught sight of M. de
Broglie and his troops in the distance.  The Calvinists happening to
have no leader, Cavalier with governing faculty which some men
possess by nature, placed himself at their head and took those
measures for the reception of the royal forces of which we have seen
the result, so that after the victory to which his head and arm had
contributed so much he was confirmed in the title which he had
arrogated to himself, by acclamation.

Such was the famous Jean Cavalier when the Royalists first learned of
his existence, through the repulse of their bravest troops and the
death of their most intrepid captain.

The news of this victory soon spread through the Cevennes, and fresh
conflagrations lit up the mountains in sign of joy.  The beacons were
formed of the chateau de la Bastide, the residence of the Marquis de
Chambonnas, the church of Samson, and the village of Grouppieres,
where of eighty houses only seven were left standing.

Thereupon M. de Julien wrote to the king, explaining the serious turn
things had taken, and telling him that it was no longer a few
fanatics wandering through the mountains and flying at the sight of a
dragoon whom they had to put down, but organised companies well led
and officered, which if united would form an army twelve to fifteen
hundred strong.  The king replied by sending M. le Comte de Montrevel
to Nimes.  He was the son of the Marechal de Montrevel, chevalier of
the Order of the Holy Spirit, major-general, lieutenant of the king
in Bresse and Charolais, and captain of a hundred men-at-arms.

In their struggle against shepherds, keepers, and peasants, M. de
Brogue, M. de Julien, and M. de Baville were thus joined together
with the head of the house of Beaune, which had already at this epoch
produced two cardinals, three archbishops, two bishops, a viceroy of
Naples, several marshals of France, and many governors of Savoy,
Dauphine, and Bresse.

He was followed by twenty pieces of ordnance, five thousand bullets,
four thousand muskets, and fifty thousand pounds of powder, all of
which was carried down the river Rhone, while six hundred of the
skilful mountain marksmen called 'miquelets' from Roussillon came
down into Languedoc.

M. de Montrevel was the bearer of terrible orders.  Louis XIV was
determined, no matter what it cost, to root out heresy, and set about
this work as if his eternal salvation depended on it.  As soon as M.
de Baville had read these orders, he published the following
proclamation:

"The king having been informed that certain people without religion
bearing arms have been guilty of violence, burning down churches and
killing priests, His Majesty hereby commands all his subjects to hunt
these people down, and that those who are taken with arms in their
hands or found amongst their bands, be punished with death without
any trial whatever, that their houses be razed to the ground and
their goods confiscated, and that all buildings in which assemblies
of these people have been held, be demolished.  The king further
forbids fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and other relations of
the fanatics, or of other rebels, to give them refuge, food, stores,
ammunition, or other assistance of any kind, under any pretext
whatever, either directly or indirectly, on pain of being reputed
accessory to the rebellion, and he commands the Sieur de Baville and
whatever officers he may choose to prosecute such and pronounce
sentence of death on them.  Furthermore, His Majesty commands that
all the inhabitants of Languedoc who may be absent at the date of the
issue of this proclamation, return home within a week, unless their
absence be caused by legitimate business, in which case they shall
declare the same to the commandant, the Sieur de Montrevel, or to the
intendant, the Sieur de Baville, and also to the mayors and consuls
of the places where they may be, receiving from the latter
certificates that there is a sufficient reason for their delay, which
certificates they shall forward to the above-mentioned commandant or
intendant.  And His Majesty furthermore commands the said commandant
and intendant to admit no foreigner or inhabitant of any other
province into Languedoc for commercial purposes or for any other
reason whatsoever, unless provided with certificates from the
commandants or intendants of the provinces whence they come, or from
the judges of the royal courts in the places whence they come, or
from the nearest place containing such courts.  Foreigners must be
provided with passports from the ambassadors or ministers of the king
accredited to the countries to which they belong, or from the
commandants or intendants of the provinces, or from the judges of the
royal courts of the places in which they may be at the date of this
proclamation.  Furthermore, it is His Majesty's will that those who
are found in the, aforesaid province of Languedoc without such
certificates be regarded as fanatics and rebels, and that they be
prosecuted as such, and punished with death, and that they be brought
for this purpose before the aforesaid Sieur de Baville or the
officers whom he may choose.

"(Signed)
"(Countersigned)

"LOUIS PHILIPPEAU

"Given at Versailles the 25th day, of the month of February 1703."


M. de Montrevel obeyed this proclamation to the letter.  For
instance, one day--the 1st of April 1703--as he was seated at dinner
it was reported to him that about one hundred and fifty Reformers
were assembled in a mill at Carmes, outside Nimes, singing psalms.
Although he was told at the same time that the gathering was composed
entirely of old people and children, he was none the less furious,
and rising from the table, gave orders that the call to horse should
be sounded.  Putting himself at the head of his dragoons, he advanced
on the mill, and before the Huguenots knew that they were about to be
attacked they were surrounded on every side. It was no combat which
ensued, for the Huguenots were incapable of resistance, it was simply
a massacre; a certain number of the dragoons entered the mill sword
in hand, stabbing all whom they could reach, whilst the rest of the
force stationed outside before the windows received those who jumped
out on the points of their swords.  But soon this butchery tired the
butchers, and to get over the business more quickly, the marshal, who
was anxious to return to his dinner, gave orders that the mill should
be set on fire.  This being done, the dragoons, the marshal still at
their head, no longer exerted themselves so violently, but were
satisfied with pushing back into the flames the few unfortunates who,
scorched and burnt, rushed out, begging only for a less cruel death.

Only one victim escaped.  A beautiful young girl of sixteen was saved
by the marshal's valet: both were taken and condemned to death; the
young girl was hanged, and the valet was on the point of being
executed when some Sisters of Mercy from the town threw themselves at
the marshal's feet end begged for his life: after long supplication,
he granted their prayer, but he banished the valet not only from his
service, but from Nimes.

The very same evening at supper word was brought to the marshal that
another gathering had been discovered in a garden near the still
smoking mill.  The indefatigable marshal again rose from table, and
taking with him his faithful dragoons, surrounded the garden, and
caught and shot on the spot all those who were assembled in it.  The
next day it turned out that he had made a mistake: those whom he had
shot were Catholics who had gathered together to rejoice over the
execution of the Calvinists.  It is true that they had assured the
marshal that they were Catholics, but he had refused to listen to
them.  Let us, however, hasten to assure the reader that this mistake
caused no further annoyance to the marshal, except that he received a
paternal remonstrance from the Bishop of Nimes, begging him in future
not to confound the sheep with the wolves.

In requital of these bloody deeds, Cavalier took the chateau of
Serras, occupied the town of Sauve, formed a company of horse, and
advancing to Nimes, took forcible possession of sufficient ammunition

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