conducted by then were far from being as remarkable for honour and justice as was that which we have just described. We may instance the trial of a poor boy of fourteen, the son of a miller of Saint-Christol who had been broken the wheel just a month before. For a moment the judges hesitated to condemn so young a boy to death, but a witness presented himself who testified that the little fellow was employed by the fanatics to strangle Catholic children. Although no one believed the evidence, yet it was seized-on as a pretext: the unfortunate boy was condemned to death, and hanged without mercy an hour later. A great many people from the parishes devastated by M. de Julien had taken refuge in Aussilargues, in the parish of St. Andre. Driven by hunger and misery, they went beyond the prescribed limits in search of means of subsistence. Planque hearing of this, in his burning zeal for the Catholic faith resolved not to leave such a crime unpunished. He despatched a detachment of soldiers to arrest the culprits: the task was easy, for they were all once more inside the barrier and in their beds. They were seized, brought to St. Andre's Church and shut in; then, without trial of any kind,--they were taken, five at a time, and massacred: some were shot and some cut down with sword or axe; all were killed without exception--old and young women and children. One of the latter, who had received three shots was still able to raise his head and cry, "Where is father? Why doesn't he come and take me away." Four men and a young girl who had taken refuge in the town of Lasalle, one of the places granted to the houseless villagers as an asylum, asked and received formal permission from the captain of the Soissonais regiment, by name Laplace, to go home on important private business, on condition that they returned the same night. They promised, and in the intention of keeping this promise they all met on their way back at a small farmhouse. Just as they reached it a terrible storm came on. The men were for continuing their way in spite of the weather, but the young girl besought them to wait till daylight, as she did not dare to venture out in the dark during such a storm, and would die of fright if left alone at the farm. The men, ashamed to desert their companion, who was related to one of them, yielded to her entreaties and remained, hoping that the storm would be a sufficient excuse for the delay. As soon as it was light, the five resumed their journey. But the news of their crime had reached the ears of Laplace before they got back. They were arrested, and all their excuses were of no avail. Laplace ordered the men to be taken outside the town and shot. The young girl was condemned to be hanged; and the sentence was to be carried out that very day, but some nuns who had been sent for to prepare her for death, having vainly begged Laplace to show mercy, entreated the girl to declare that she would soon become a mother. She indignantly refused to save her life at the cost of her good name, so the nuns took the lie on themselves and made the necessary declaration before the captain, begging him if he had no pity for the mother to spare the child at least, by granting a reprieve till it should be born. The captain was/not for a moment deceived, but he sent for a midwife and ordered her to examine the young girl. At the end of half an hour she declared that the assertion of the nuns was true. "Very well," said the captain: "let them both be kept in prison for three months; if by the end of that time the truth of this assertion is not self-evident, both shall be hanged." When this decision was made known to the poor woman, she was overcome by fear, and asked to see the, captain again, to whom she confessed that, led away by the entreaties of the nuns, she had told a lie. Upon this, the woman was sentenced to be publicly whipped, and the young girl hanged on a gibbet round which were placed the corpses of the four men of whose death she was the cause. As may easily be supposed, the "Cadets of the Cross" vied with both Catholics and Protestants in the work of destruction. One of their bands devoted itself to destroying everything belonging to the new converts from Beaucaire to Nimes. They killed a woman and two children at Campuget, an old man of eighty at a farm near Bouillargues, several persons at Cicure, a young girl at Caissargues, a gardener at Nimes, and many other persons, besides carrying off all the flocks, furniture, and other property they could lay hands on, and burning down the farmhouses of Clairan, Loubes, Marine, Carlot, Campoget Miraman, La Bergerie, and Larnac--all near St. Gilies and Manduel. "They stopped travellers on the highways," says Louvreloeil, "and by way of finding out whether they were Catholic or not, made them say in Latin the Lord's Prayer, the Ave Maria, the Symbol of the Faith, and the General Confession, and those who were unable to do this were put to the sword. In Dions nine corpses were found supposed to have been killed by their hands, and when the body of a shepherd who had been in the service of the Sieur de Roussiere, a former minister, was found hanging to a tree, no one doubted who were the murderers. At last they went so far that one of their bands meeting the Abbe de Saint Gilles on the road, ordered him to deliver up to them one of his servants, a new convert, in order to put him to death. It was in vain that the abbe remonstrated with them, telling them it was a shame to put such an affront on a man of his birth and rank; they persisted none the less in their determination, till at last the abbe threw his arms round his servant and presented his own body to the blows directed at the other." The author of The Troubles in the Cevennes relates something surpassing all this which took place at Montelus on the 22nd February "There were a few Protestants in the place," he says, "but they were far outnumbered by the Catholics; these being roused by a Capuchin from Bergerac, formed themselves into a body of 'Cadets of the Cross,' and hastened to serve their apprenticeship to the work of assassination at the cost of their countrymen. They therefore entered the house of one Jean Bernoin, cut off his ears and further mutilated him, and then bled him to death like a pig. On coming out of this house they met Jacques Clas, and shot him in the abdomen, so that his intestines obtruded; pushing them back, he reached his house in a terrible condition, to the great alarm of his wife, who was near her confinement, and her children, who hastened to the help of husband and father. But the murderers appeared on the threshold, and, unmoved by the cries and tears of the unfortunate wife and the poor little children, they finished the wounded man, and as the wife made an effort to prevent them, they murdered her also, treating her dead body, when they discovered her condition, in a manner too revolting for description; while a neighbour, called Marie Silliot, who tried to rescue the children, was shot dead; but in her case they did not pursue their vengeance any further. They then went into the open country and meeting Pierre and Jean Bernard, uncle and nephew, one aged forty-five and the other ten, seized on them both, and putting a pistol into the hands of the child, forced him to shoot his uncle. In the meantime the boy's father had come up, and him they tried to constrain to shoot his son; but finding that no threats had any effect, they ended by killing both, one by the sword, the other by the bayonet. "The reason why they put an end to father and son so quickly was that they had noticed three young girls of Bagnols going towards a grove of mulberry trees, where they were raising silk-worms. The men followed them, and as it was broad daylight and the girls were therefore not afraid, they soon came up with them. Having first violated them, they hung them by the feet to a tree, and put them to death in a horrible manner." All this took place in the reign of Louis the Great, and for the greater glory of the Catholic religion. History has preserved the names of the five wretches who perpetrated these crimes: they were Pierre Vigneau, Antoine Rey, Jean d'Hugon, Guillaume, and Gontanille. CHAPTER III Such crimes, of which we have only described a few, inspired horror in the breasts of those who were neither maddened by fanaticism nor devoured by the desire of vengeance. One of these, a Protestant, Baron d'Aygaliers, without stopping to consider what means he had at his command or what measures were the best to take to accomplish his object, resolved to devote his life to the pacification of the Cevennes. The first thing to be considered was, that if the Camisards were ever entirely destroyed by means of Catholic troops directed by de Baville, de Julien, and de Montrevel, the Protestants, and especially the Protestant nobles who had never borne arms, would be regarded as cowards, who had been prevented by fear of death or persecution from openly taking the part of the Huguenots: He was therefore convinced that the only course to pursue was to get, his co-religionists to put an end to the struggle themselves, as the one way of pleasing His Majesty and of showing him how groundless were the suspicions aroused in the minds of men by the Catholic clergy. This plan presented, especially to Baron d'Aygaliers, two apparently insurmountable difficulties, for it could only be carried out by inducing the king to relax his rigorous measures and by inducing the Camisards to submit. Now the baron had no connection with the court, and was not personally acquainted with a single Huguenot chief. The first thing necessary to enable the baron to begin his efforts was a passport for Paris, and he felt sure that as he was a Protestant neither M. de Baville nor M. de Montrevel would give him one. A lucky accident, however, relieved his embarrassment and strengthened his resolution, for he thought he saw in this accident the hand of Providence.
db3nf.com screen-capture.net floresca.net simonova.net flora-source.com flora-source.com sourcecentral.com sourcecentral.com geocities.com