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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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way through Lyons, the provost of merchants, hearing of his return,
had him arrested, and sent word to the king, who ordered him to be
taken to the chateau de Loches.  After a year's imprisonment,
d'Aygaliers, who had just entered on his thirty-fifth year, resolved
to try and escape, preferring to die in the attempt rather than
remain a prisoner for life.  He succeeded in getting possession of a
file with which he removed one of the bars of his window, and by
means of knotting his sheets together, he got down, taking the
loosened bar with him to serve, in case of need, as a weapon.  A
sentinel who was near cried, "Who goes there?" but d'Aygaliers
stunned him with his bar.  The cry, however, had given the alarm: a
second sentinel saw a man flying, fired at him, and killed him on the
spot.

Such was the reward of the devoted patriotism of Baron d'Aygaliers!

Meantime Roland's troops had increased greatly in number, having been
joined by the main body of those who had once been commanded by
Cavalier, so that he had, about eight hundred men at his disposal.
Some distance away, another chief, named Joanny, had four hundred;
Larose, to whom Castanet had transferred his command, found himself
at the head of three hundred; Boizeau de Rochegude was followed by
one hundred, Saltet de Soustel by two hundred, Louis Coste by fifty,
and Catinat by forty, so that, in spite of the victory of Montrevel
and the negotiations of M. de Villars, the Camisards still formed an
effective force of eighteen hundred and ninety men, not to speak of
many single troopers who owned no commander but acted each for
himself, and were none the less mischievous for that.  All these
troops, except these latter, obeyed Roland, who since the defection
of Cavalier had been recognised as generalissimo of the forces.
M. de Villars thought if he could separate Roland from his troops as
he had separated Cavalier, his plans would be more easy to carry out.

So he made use of every means within his reach to gain over Roland,
and as soon as one plan failed he tried another.  At one moment he
was almost sure of obtaining his object by the help of a certain
Jourdan de Mianet, a great friend of his, who offered his services as
an intermediary, but who failed like all the others, receiving from
Roland a positive refusal, so that it became evident that resort must
be had to other means than those of persuasion.  A sum of 100 Louis
had already been set on Roland's head: this sum was now doubled.

Three days afterwards, a young man from Uzes, by name Malarte, in
whom Roland had every confidence, wrote to M. de Paratte that the
Camisard general intended to pass the night of the 14th of August at
the chateau Castelnau.

De Paratte immediately made his dispositions, and ordered
Lacoste-Badie, at the head of two companies of dragoons, and all the
officers at Uzes who were well mounted, to hold themselves in
readiness to start on an expedition at eight o'clock in the evening,
but not revealing its object to them till the time came.  At eight
o'clock, having been told what they had to do, they set off at such a
pace that they came in sight of the chateau within an hour, and were
obliged to halt and conceal themselves, lest they should appear too
soon, before Roland had retired for the night.  But they need not
have been afraid; the Camisard chief, who was accustomed to rely on
all his men as on himself, had gone to bed without any suspicion,
having full confidence in the vigilance of one of his officers, named
Grimaud, who had stationed himself as sentinel on the roof of the
chateau.  Led by Malarte, Lacoste-Badie and his dragoons took a
narrow covered way, which led them to the foot of the walls, so that
when Grimaud saw them it was already too late, the chateau being
surrounded on all sides.  Firing off his gun, he cried, "To arms!"
Roland, roused by the cry and the shot, leaped out of bed, and taking
his clothes in one hand and his sword in the other, ran out of his
room.  At the door he met Grimaud, who, instead of thinking of his
own safety, had come to watch over that of his chief.  They both ran
to the stables to get horses, but three of their men--Marchand,
Bourdalie, and Bayos--had been before them and had seized on the best
ones, and riding them bare-backed had dashed through the front gates
before the dragoons could stop them.  The horses that were left were
so wretched that Roland felt there was no chance of out-distancing
the dragoons by their help, so he resolved to fly on foot, thus
avoiding the open roads and being able to take refuge in every ravine
and every bush as cover.  He therefore hastened with Grimaud and four
other officers who had gathered round him towards a small back gate
which opened on the fields, but as there was, besides the troops
which entered the chateau, a ring of dragoons round it, they fell at
once into the hands of some men who had been placed in ambush.
Seeing himself surrounded, Roland let fall the clothes which he had
not yet had time to put on, placed his back against a tree, drew his
sword, and challenged the boldest, whether officer or private, to
approach.  His features expressed such resolution, that when he thus,
alone and half naked, defied them all, there was a moment's
hesitation, during which no one ventured to take a forward step; but
this pause was broken by the report of a gun: the arm which Roland
had stretched out against his adversaries fell to his side, the sword
with which he had threatened them escaped from his hand, his knees
gave way, so that his body, which was only supported by the tree
against which he leaned, after remaining an instant erect, gradually
sank to the ground.  Collecting all his strength, Roland raised his
two hands to Heaven, as if to call down the vengeance of God upon his
murderers, then, without having uttered a single word, he fell
forward dead, shot through the heart.  The name of the dragoon who
killed him was Soubeyrand.

Maillie, Grimaud, Coutereau, Guerin, and Ressal, the five Camisard
officers, seeing their chief dead, let themselves be taken as if they
were children, without thinking of making any resistance.

The dead body of Roland was carried back in triumph to Uzes, and from
there to Nimes, where it was put upon trial as if still alive.  It
was sentenced to be dragged on hurdles and then burnt.  The execution
of this sentence was carried out with such pomp as made it impossible
for the one party to forget the punishment and for the other to
forget the martyrdom.  At the end the ashes of Roland were scattered
to the four winds of heaven.

The execution of the five officers followed close on that of their
chief's body; they were condemned to be broken on the wheel, and the
sentence was carried out on all at once.  But their death, instead of
inspiring the Calvinists with terror, gave them rather fresh courage,
for, as an eye-witness relates, the five Camisards bore their
tortures not only with fortitude, but with a light-heartedness which
surprised all present, especially those who had never seen a Camisard
executed before.

Malarte received his 200 Louis, but to-day his name is coupled with
that of Judas in the minds of his countrymen.

>From this time on fortune ceased to smile on the Camisards.  Genius
had gone with Cavalier, and, faith with Roland.  The very day of the
death of the latter, one of their stores, containing more than eighty
sacks of corn, had been taken at Toiras.  The next day, Catinat, who,
with a dozen men, was in hiding in a vineyard of La Vaunage, was
surprised by a detachment of Soissonnais; eleven of his men were
killed, the twelfth made prisoner, and he himself barely escaped with
a severe wound.  The 25th of the same month, a cavern near Sauve,
which the rebels used as a store, and which contained one hundred and
fifty sacks of fine wheat, was discovered; lastly, Chevalier de
Froulay had found a third hiding-place near Mailet.  In this, which
had been used not only as a store but as a hospital, besides a
quantity of salt beef, wine, and flour, six wounded Camisards were
found, who were instantly shot as they lay.

The only band which remained unbroken was Ravanel's, but since the
departure of Cavalier things had not gone well with his lieutenant.

In consequence of this, and also on account of the successive checks
which the other bodies of Camisard troops had met with, Ravanel
proclaimed a solemn fast, in order to intercede with God to protect
the Huguenot cause.  On Saturday, the 13th September, he led his
entire force to the wood of St. Benazet, intending to pass the whole
of the next day with them there in prayer.  But treason was rife.
Two peasants who knew of this plan gave information to M. Lenoir,
mayor of Le Vigan, and he sent word to the marechal and M. de
Saville, who were at Anduze.

Nothing could have been more welcome to the governor than this
important information: he made the most careful disposition of his
forces, hoping to destroy the rebellion at one blow.  He ordered
M. de Courten, a brigadier-colonel in command at Alais, to take a
detachment of the troops under him and patrol the banks of the Gardon
between Ners and Castagnols.  He was of opinion that if the Camisards
were attacked on the other side by a body of soldiers drawn from
Anduze, which he had stationed during the night at Dommersargues,
they would try to make good their retreat towards the river.  The
force at Dommersargues might almost be called a small army; for it
was composed of a Swiss battalion, a battalion of the Hainault
regiment, one from the Charolais regiment, and four companies of
dragoons from Fimarcon and Saint-Sernin.

Everything took place as the peasants had said: on Saturday the 13th,
the Camisards entered, as we have seen, the wood of St. Benazet, and
passed the night there.

At break of day the royals from Dommersargues began their advance.
The Camisard outposts soon perceived the movement, and warned
Ravanel, who held his little council of war.  Everyone was in favour
of instant retreat, so they retired towards Ners, intending to cross

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