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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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tyranny and cruelty of M. de Baville which forced us to have recourse
to arms; and if history takes exception to anything connected with
the great monarch for whose pardon I sue to-day, it will be, I hope,
not that he had foes like me, but friends like him."

M. de Baville grew pale with anger; for whether Cavalier knew to whom
he was speaking or not, his words had the effect of a violent blow
full in his face; but before he could reply M. de Villars interposed.

"Your business is only with me, sir," he said; "attend to me alone,
I beg: I speak in the name of the king; and the king, of his
clemency, wishes to spare his subjects by treating them with
tenderness."

Cavalier opened his mouth to reply, but the intendant cut him short.

"I should hope that that suffices," he said contemptuously: "as
pardon is more than you could have hoped for, I suppose you are not
going to insist on the other conditions you laid down?"

"But it is precisely those other conditions," said Cavalier,
addressing himself to M. de Villars, and not seeming to see that
anyone else was present, "for which we have fought.  If I were alone,
sir, I should give myself up, bound hand and foot, with entire
confidence in your good faith, demanding no assurances and exacting
no conditions; but I stand here to defend the interests of my
brethren and friends who trust me; and what is more, things have gone
so far that we must either die weapon in hand, or obtain our rights."

The intendant was about to speak, but the marechal stopped him with
such an imperative gesture that he stepped back as if to show that he
washed his hands of the whole matter.

"What are those rights?  Are they those which M. Lalande has
transmitted to me by word of mouth?"

"Yes, sir."

"It would be well to commit them to writing."

"I have done so, monseigneur, and sent a copy to M. d'Aygaliers."

"I have not seen it, sir; make me another copy and place it in my
hands, I beg."

"I shall go and set about it directly, monseigneur," stepping back as
if about to withdraw.

"One moment!" said the marechal, detaining him by a smile.  "Is it
true that you are willing to enter the king's army?"

"I am more than willing, I desire it with all my heart," exclaimed
Cavalier, with the frank enthusiasm natural to his age, "but I cannot
do so till our just demands are granted."

"But if they were granted--?"

"Then, sir," replied Cavalier, "the king has never had more loyal
subjects than we shall be."

"Well, have a little patience and everything will be arranged, I
hope."

"May God grant it!" said Cavalier.  "He is my witness that we desire
peace beyond everything."  And he took another step backwards.

"You will not go too far away, I hope," said the marechal.

"We shall remain wherever your excellency may appoint," said
Cavalier.

Very well," continued M. de Villars; "halt at Calvisson, and try all
you can to induce the other leaders to follow your example."

"I shall do my best, monseigneur; but while we await His Majesty's
reply shall we be allowed to fulfil our religious duties unimpeded?"

"Yes, I shall give orders that you are to have full liberty in that
respect."

"Thanks, monseigneur."

Cavalier bowed once more, and was about to go; but M. de Villars
accompanied him and Lalande, who had now joined them, and who stood
with his hand on Cavalier's shoulder, a few steps farther.  Catinat
seeing that the conference was at an end, entered the garden with his
men.  Thereupon M. de Villars took leave, saying distinctly, "Adieu,
Seigneur Cavalier," and withdrew, leaving the young chief surrounded
by a dozen persons all wanting to speak to him at once.  For half an
hour he was detained by questions, to all of which he replied
pleasantly.  On one finger was an emerald taken from a naval officer
named Didier, whom he had killed with his own hand in the action at
Devois de Martignargues; he kept time by a superb watch which had
belonged to M. d'Acqueville, the second in command of the marines;
and he offered his questioners from time to time perfumed snuff from
a magnificent snuffbox, which he had found in the holsters when he
took possession of M. de La Jonquiere's horse.  He told everyone who
wished to listen that he had never intended to revolt against the
king; and that he was now ready to shed the last drop of his blood in
his service; that he had several times offered to surrender on
condition that liberty of conscience was granted to those of the new
faith, but that M. de Montrevel had always rejected his offers, so
that he had been obliged to remain under arms, in order to deliver
those who were in prison, and to gain permission for those who were
free to worship God in their own way.

He said these things in an unembarrassed and graceful manner, hat in
hand; then passing through the crowd which had gathered outside the
garden of the Recollets, he repaired to the Hotel de la Poste for
lunch, and afterwards walked along the Esplanade to the house of one
Guy Billard, a gardener, who was his head prophet's father.  As he
thus moved about he was preceded by two Camisards with drawn swords,
who made way for him; and several ladies were presented to him who
were happy to touch his doublet.  The visit over, he once again
passed along the Esplanade, still preceded by his two Camisards, and
just as he passed the Little Convent he and those with him struck up
a psalm tune, and continued singing till they reached Saint-Cesaire,
where the hostages were.  These he at once sent back.

Five hundred persons from Nimes were awaiting him; refreshments were
offered to him, which he accepted gratefully, thanking all those who
had gathered together to meet him.  At last he went off to St.
Denoise, where he was to sup and sleep; but before going to bed he
offered up supplications in a loud voice for the king, for M. de
Villars, for M. de Lalande, and even for M. de Baville.

The next morning, Cavalier, according to promise, sent a copy of his
demands to M. de Villars, who caused it to be laid before the king,
along with a full report of all that had passed at the interview at
Nimes.  As soon as the young chief had sent off his missive, he
rejoined his troops at Tarnac, and related all that had passed to
Roland, urging him to follow his example.  That night he slept at
Sauves, having passed through Durfort at the head of his men; a
captain of dragoons named Montgros, with twenty-five soldiers,
accompanying him everywhere, by M. de Villars' orders, and seeing
that the villages through which they passed furnished him with all
that was needed.  They left Sauves on May 16th very early in the
morning, in order to get to Calvisson, which, as our readers may
remember, was the place appointed for the residence of Cavalier
during the truce.  In passing through Quissac, where they stopped for
refreshments, they were joined by Castanet who delivered a long
sermon, at which all the Protestants of the neighbourhood were
present.

The two battalions of the Charolais regiment which were quartered at
Calvisson had received orders on the evening of the 17th to march out
next morning, so as to make room for the Camisards.

On the 18th the head of the commissary department, Vincel, ordered
suitable accommodation to be provided for Cavalier and his troops;
the muster roll being in the hands of M. d'Aygaliers, it would be
sent by him or brought in the course of the day.  In the meantime,
vans were arriving filled with all sorts of provisions, followed by
droves of cattle, while a commissary and several clerks, charged with
the distribution of rations, brought up the rear.

On the 19th, Catinat, accompanied by twelve Camisards, rode into the
town, and was met at the barrier by the commandant and eighty
townspeople.  As soon as the little band came in sight the commandant
reiterated his orders that nothing should be said or done in the
town, on pain of corporal punishment, that could offend the
Camisards.

At one o'clock P. M. Baron d'Aygaliers arrived, followed in his turn
by the chief of the commissariat, Vincel, by Captain Cappon, two
other officers named Viala and Despuech, and six dragoons.  These
were the hostages Cavalier had given.

At six o'clock there was heard a great noise; and shouts of
"Cavalier!  Cavalier!" resounded on all sides.  The young Cevenol was
in sight, and the whole population hastened to meet him.  He rode at
the head of his cavalry, the infantry following, and the whole
number--about six hundred men--sang psalms in a loud voice.

When they reached the church, Cavalier drew up before it with all his
men in review order, and for some time the singing went on.  When it
stopped, a long prayer was offered up, which was most edifying to all
the bystanders; and this being over, Cavalier went to the quarters
assigned him, which were in the best house in Calvisson.  Arrived
there, he sent out for a dozen loaves that he might judge how his men
were going to be fed; not finding them white enough, he complained to
M. Vincel, whom he sent for, and who promised that in future the
bread should be of a better quality.  Having received this assurance,
Cavalier gave orders that the loaves in hand should be distributed
for that day, but probably fearing poison, he first made M. de Vincel
and his clerks taste them in his presence.  These duties
accomplished, he visited in person all the gates of the town, placed
guards and posted sentinels at all the entrances and along all the
avenues, the most advanced being three-quarters of a league from the
town.  Besides this, he placed guards in the streets, and a sentinel
at each door of the house he occupied; in addition, thirty guards
always slept outside the door of his bedroom, and these accompanied
him as an escort when he went out; not that he was afraid, for he was
not of a mistrustful character, but that he thought it politic to
give people an exalted idea of his importance.  As to his soldiers,
they were billeted on the inhabitants, and received each as daily
rations a pound of meat, a quart of wine, and two and a half pounds

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