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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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deputies wrote at once to M. de Villars to beg him to send them M.
d'Aygaliers, and to M. d'Aygaliers to request him to come.

Both consented to do as they were asked, and M. d'Aygaliers arrived
at Durfort on the 3rd of June 1704.

The deputies having first thanked him for the trouble which he had
taken to serve the common cause during the past year, resolved to
divide their assembly into two parts, one of which, was to remain
permanently sitting, while the other went to seek Roland and Ravanel
to try and obtain a cessation of hostilities.  The deputies charged
with this task were ordered to make it quite clear to the two chiefs
that if they did not accept the proposals made by M. de Villars, the
Protestants in general would take up arms and hunt them down, and
would cease to supply them with the means of subsistence.

On hearing this, Roland made reply that the deputies were to go back
at once to those who sent them, and threatened, should they ever show
him their faces again, to fire on them.

This answer put an end to the assembly, the deputies dispersed, and
d'Aygaliers returned to the Marechal de Villars to make his report.

Hardly had he done this when a letter from Roland arrived, in which
the Camisard chief asked M. de Villars to grant him an interview,
such as he had granted to Cavalier.  This letter was addressed to
d'Aygaliers, who immediately communicated its contents to the
marechal, from whom he received orders to set out at once to find
Roland and to spare no pains to bring him round.

D'Aygaliers, who was always indefatigable when working for his
country, started the same day, and went to a mountain about
three-quarters of a league from Anduze, where Roland awaited him.
After a conference of two hours, it was agreed that hostages should
be exchanged and negotiations entered upon.

Consequently, M. de Villars on his side sent Roland M. de Montrevel,
an officer commanding a battalion of marines, and M. de la
Maison-Blanche, captain of the Froulay regiment; while Roland in
return sent M. de Villars four of his principal officers with the
title of plenipotentiaries.

Unskilled in diplomacy as these envoys were, and laughable as they
appeared to contemporary historians, they received nevertheless the
marechal's consent to the following conditions:

1.  That Cavalier and Roland should each be placed in charge of a
regiment serving abroad, and that each of them should be allowed a
minister.

2.  That all the prisoners should be released and the exiles
recalled.

3.  That the Protestants should be permitted to leave the kingdom,
taking their effects with them.

4.  That those Camisards who desired to remain might do so, on giving
up their arms.

5.  That those who were abroad might return.

6.  That no one should be molested on account of his religion
provided everyone remained quietly at home.

7.  That indemnities should be borne by the whole province, and not
exacted specially from the Protestants.

8.  That a general amnesty should be granted to all without reserve.

These articles were laid before Roland and Ravanel by d'Aygaliers.
Cavalier, who from the day he went back to Nimes had remained in the
governor's suite, asked leave to return with the baron, and was
permitted to do so.  D'Aygaliers and he set out together in
consequence for Anduze, and met Roland and Ravanel about a quarter of
a league from the town, waiting to know the result of the
negotiations.  They were accompanied by MM. de Montbel and de
Maison-Blanche, the Catholic hostages.

As soon as Cavalier and Roland met they burst out into recriminations
and reproaches, but through the efforts of d'Aygaliers they soon
became more friendly, and even embraced on parting.

But Ravanel was made of harder stuff: as soon as he caught sight of
Cavalier he called him "traitor," saying that for his part he would
never surrender till the Edict of Nantes was re-enacted; then, having
warned them that the governor's promises were not to be trusted, and
having predicted that a day would come when they would regret their
too great confidence in him, he left the conference and rejoined his
troops, which, with those of Roland, were drawn up on a mountain
about three-quarters of a league distant.

The negotiators did not, however, despair.  Ravanel had gone away,
but Roland had debated with them at some length, so they determined
to speak to "the brethren"--that is, to the troops under Roland and
Ravanel, whose headquarters at the moment were at Leuzies, in order
that they might know exactly what articles had been agreed on between
Roland's envoys and the marechal.  Those who made up their minds to
take this step were, Cavalier, Roland, Moise, Saint-Paul, Laforet,
Maille, and d'Aygaliers.  We take the following account of what
happened in consequence of this decision from d'Aygaliers' Memoirs:

"We had no sooner determined on this plan, than, anxious to carry it
out, we set off.  We followed a narrow mountain path on the face of
the cliff which rose up to our right; to our left flowed the Gardon.

"Having gone about a league, we came in sight of the troops, about
3000 strong; an advanced post barred our way.

"Thinking it was placed there in our honour, I was advancing
unsuspiciously, when suddenly we found our road cut off by Camisards
to right and left, who threw themselves on Roland and forced him in
among their troops.  Maille and Malplach were dragged from their
horses.  As to Cavalier, who was somewhat behind, as soon as he saw
people coming towards him with uplifted sabres and shouting Traitor!
he put spurs to his horse and went off at full gallop, followed by
some townspeople from Anduze who had come with us, and who, now that
they saw the reception we met with, were ready to die with fear.

"I was too far forward to escape: five or six muskets rested on my
breast and a pistol pressed each ear; so I made up my mind to be
bold.  I told the troopers to fire; I was willing to die in the
service of my prince, my country, and my religion, as well as for
themselves, whom I was trying to benefit by procuring them the king's
goodwill.

"These words, which I repeated several times in the midst of the
greatest uproar, gave them pause.

"They commanded me to retire, as they did not want to kill me.  I
said I should do nothing of the kind: I was going into the middle of
the troops to defend Roland against the charge of treason, or be put
to death myself, unless I could convince them that what I had
proposed to him and Cavalier was for the good of the country, of our
religion, and the brethren; and having thus expostulated at the top
of my voice against thirty voices all trying to drown mine for about
an hour, I offered to fight the man who had induced them to oppose
us.

"At this offer they pointed their muskets at me once more; but
Maille, Malplach, and some others threw themselves before me, and
although they were unarmed, had enough influence to hinder my being
insulted; I was forced, however, to retreat.

"In leaving, I warned them that they were about to bring great
misfortunes on the province, whereupon a man named Claris stepped out
from among the troops, and approaching me exclaimed, 'Go on, sir, and
God bless you!  We know that you mean well, and were the first to be
taken in.  But go on working for the good of the country, and God
will bless you.'"

D'Aygaliers returned to the marechal, who, furious at the turn things
had taken, resolved instantly to break off all negotiations and have
recourse once more to measures of severity.  However, before actually
carrying out this determination, he wrote the following letter to the
king:

"SIRE,--It is always my glory to execute faithfully your Majesty's
orders, whatever those orders may be; but I should have been able, on
many occasions since coming here, to display my zeal for your
Majesty's service in other ways if I had not had to deal with madmen
on whom no dependence could be placed.  As soon as we were ready to
attack them, they offered to submit, but a little later changed their
minds again.  Nothing could be a greater proof of madness than their
hesitation to accept a pardon of which they were unworthy, and which
was so generously offered by your Majesty.  If they do not soon make
up their minds, I shall bring them back to the paths of duty by
force, and thus restore this province to that state of peace which
has been disturbed by these fools."

The day after writing this letter to the king, Roland sent Maille to
M. de Villars to beg him to wait till Saturday and Sunday the 7th and
the 8th June were over, before resorting to severity, that being the
end of the truce.  He gave him a solemn promise that he would, in the
interval, either bring in his troops to the last man, or would
himself surrender along with a hundred and fifty followers.  The
marechal consented to wait till Saturday morning, but as soon as
Saturday arrived he gave orders to attack the Camisards, and the next
day led a considerable body of troops to Carnoulet, intending to take
the Huguenots by surprise, as word had been brought that they were
all gathered there.  They, however, received intelligence of his
plan, and evacuated the village during the night.

The village had to pay dearly for its sin of hospitality; it was
pillaged and burnt down: the miquelets even murdered two women whom
they found there, and d'Aygaliers failed to obtain any satisfaction
for this crime.  In this manner M, de Villars kept the fatal promise
he had given, and internecine war raged once more.

Furious at having missed the Camisards, de Menon having heard from
his scouts that Roland was to sleep next night at the chateau de
Prade, went to M. de Villars and asked leave to conduct an expedition
against the chief.  He was almost sure of taking Roland by surprise,
having procured a guide whose knowledge of the country was minute.
The marechal gave him carte blanche.  In the evening Menon set out
with two hundred grenadiers.  He had already put three-quarters of
the way behind him without being discovered, when an Englishman met

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