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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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of bread.

The same day a convocation was held on the site of the old
meeting-house which had been destroyed by the Catholics.  It was a
very numerous assembly, to which crowds of people came from all
parts; but on the following days it was still more numerous; for, as
the news spread, people ran with great eagerness to hear the
preaching of the word of which they had been so long deprived.
D'Aygaliers tells us in his Memoirs that--"No one could help being
touched to see a whole people just escaped from fire and sword,
coming together in multitudes to mingle their tears and sighs.  So
famished were they for the manna divine, that they were like people
coming out of a besieged city, after a long and cruel famine, to whom
peace has brought food in abundance, and who, first devouring it with
their eyes, then throw themselves on it, devouring it bodily--meat,
bread, and fruit--as it comes to hand.  So it was with the
unfortunate inhabitants of La Vannage, and even of places more
distant still.  They saw their brethren assembling in the meadows and
at the gates of Calvisson, gathering in crowds and pressing round
anyone who started singing a psalm, until at last four or five
thousand persons, singing, weeping, and praying, were gathered
together, and remained there all day, supplicating God with a
devotion that went to every heart and made a deep impression.  All
night the same things went on; nothing was to be heard but preaching,
singing, praying, and prophesying."

But if it was a time of joy for the Protestants, it was a time of
humiliation for the Catholics.  "Certainly," says a contemporary
historian, "it was a very surprising thing, and quite a novelty, to
see in a province like Languedoc, where so many troops were
quartered, such a large number of villains--all murderers,
incendiaries, and guilty of sacrilege--gathered together in one place
by permission of those in command of the troops; tolerated in their
eccentricities, fed at the public expense, flattered by everyone, and
courteously, received by people sent specially to meet them."

One of those who was most indignant at this state of things was M. de
Baville.  He was so eager to put an end to it that he went to see the
governor, and told him the scandal was becoming too great in his
opinion: the assemblies ought to be put an end to by allowing the
troops to fall upon them and disperse them; but the governor thought
quite otherwise, and told Baville that to act according to his advice
would be to set fire to the province again and to scatter for ever
people whom they had got together with such difficulty.  In any case,
he reminded Baville that what he objected to would be over in a few
days.  His opinion was that de Baville might stifle the expression of
his dissatisfaction for a little, to bring about a great good.  "More
than that," added the marechal, "the impatience of the priests is
most ridiculous.  Besides your remonstrances, of which I hope I have
now heard the last, I have received numberless letters full of such
complaints that it would seem as if the prayers of the Camisards not
only grated on the ears of the clergy but flayed them alive.  I
should like above everything to find out the writers of these
letters, in order to have them flogged; but they have taken good care
to put no signatures.  I regard it as a very great impertinence for
those who caused these disturbances to grumble and express their
disapproval at my efforts to bring them to an end."  After this
speech, M, de Baville saw there was nothing for him to do but to let
things take their course.

The course that they took turned Cavalier's head more and more; for
thanks to the injunctions of M. de Villars, all the orders that
Cavalier gave were obeyed as if they had been issued by the governor
himself.  He had a court like a prince, lieutenants like a general,
and secretaries like a statesman.  It was the duty of one secretary
to give leave of absence to those Camisards who had business to
attend to or who desired to visit their relations.  The following is
a copy of the form used for these passports:

"We, the undersigned, secretary to Brother Cavalier, generalissimo of
the Huguenots, permit by this order given by him to absent himself on
business for three days.
                                   "(Signed) DUPONT.
"Calvisson, this----"

And these safe-conducts were as much respected as if they had been
signed "Marechal de Villars."

On the 22nd M. de Saint-Pierre arrived from the court, bringing the
reply of the king to the proposals which Cavalier had submitted to
M. de Lalande.  What this reply was did not transpire; probably it
was not in harmony with the pacific intentions of the marechal.  At
last, on the 25th, the answer to the demands which Cavalier had made
to M. de Villars himself arrived. The original paper written by the
Camisard chief himself had been sent to Louis XIV, and he returned it
with notes in his own writing; thus these two hands, to one of which
belonged the shepherd's crook and to the other the sceptre, had
rested on the same sheet of paper.  The following is the text of the
agreement as given by Cavalier in his Memoirs:

               LANGUEDOC TO THE KING

"1. That it may please the king to grant us liberty of conscience
throughout the province, and to permit us to hold religious meetings
in every suitable place, except fortified places and walled cities.

'Granted, on condition that no churches be built.

"2. That all those in prison or at the galleys who have been sent
there since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, because of their
religion, be set at liberty within six weeks from the date of this


"3. That all those who have left the kingdom because of their
religion be allowed to return in freedom and safety, and that their
goods and privileges be restored to them.

'Granted on condition that they take the oath of fidelity to the

"4. That the Parliament of Languedoc be reestablished on its ancient
footing, and with all its former privileges.

'The king reserves decision on this point.

"5.  That the province of Languedoc be exempted from the poll tax for
ten years, this to apply, to Catholics and Protestants alike, both
sides having equally suffered.


"6.  That the cities of Perpignan, Montpellier, Cette, and
Aiguemortes be assigned us as cities of refuge.


"7.  That the inhabitants of the Cevennes whose houses were burnt or
otherwise destroyed during the war be exempt from taxes for seven


"8.  That it may please His Majesty to permit Cavalier to choose 2000
men, both from among his own troops and from among those who may be
delivered from the prisons and galleys, to form a regiment of
dragoons for the service of His Majesty, and that this regiment when
formed may at once be ordered to serve His Majesty in Portugal.

'Granted: and on condition that all the Huguenots everywhere lay down
their arms, the king will permit them to live quietly in the free
exercise of their religion.'"

"I had been a week at Calvisson," says Cavalier in his Memoirs, "when
I received a letter from M. le Marechal de Villars ordering me to
repair to Nimes, as he wished to see me, the answer to my demands.
having arrived.  I obeyed at once, and was very much displeased to
find that several of my demands, and in particular the one relating
to the cities of refuge, had been refused; but M. le marechal assured
me that the king's word was better than twenty cities of refuge, and
that after all the trouble we had given him we should regard it as
showing great clemency on his part that he had granted us the greater
part of what we had asked.  This reasoning was not entirely
convincing, but as there was no more time for deliberation, and as I
was as anxious for peace as the king himself, I decided to accept
gracefully what was offered."

All the further advantage that Cavalier could obtain from M. de
Villars was that the treaty should bear the date of the day on which
it had been drawn up; in this manner the prisoners who were to be set
at liberty in six weeks gained one week.

M. de Villars wrote at the bottom of the treaty, which was signed the
same day by him and M. de Baville on the part of the king, and by
Cavalier and Daniel Billard on the part of the Protestants, the
following ratification:

"In virtue of the plenary powers which we have received from the
king, we have granted to the Reformers of Languedoc the articles
above made known.



"Given at Nimes, the 17th of May 1704"

These two signatures, all unworthy as they were to stand beside their
own, gave such great delight to MM. de Villars and de Baville, that
they at once sent off fresh orders to Calvisson that the wants of the
Camisards should be abundantly supplied until the articles of the
treaty were executed--that is to say, until the prisoners and the
galley slaves were set at liberty, which, according to article 2 of
the treaty, would be within the next six weeks.  As to Cavalier, the
marechal gave him on the spot a commission as colonel, with a pension
of 1200 livres attached, and the power of nominating the subordinate
officers in his regiment, and at the same time he handed him a
captain's commission for his young brother.

Cavalier drew up the muster-roll of the regiment the same day, and
gave it to the marechal.  It was to consist of seven hundred and
twelve men, forming fifteen companies, with sixteen captains, sixteen
lieutenants, a sergeant-major, and a surgeon-major.

While all this was happening, Roland, taking advantage of the
suspension of hostilities, was riding up and down the province as if
he were viceroy of the Cevennes, and wherever he appeared he had a
magnificent reception.  Like Cavalier, he gave leave of absence and
furnished escorts, and held himself haughtily, sure that he too would
soon be negotiating treaties on terms of equality with marshals of

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