List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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electoral body; they were armed and followed by a great number of
adherents.  However, as the negotiators desired peace before all
things, they proposed that the three chiefs should surrender and
place themselves in the hands of the Electoral Assembly.  This offer
being refused, the electoral commissioners withdrew, and the rebels
retired behind their fortifications.  About five o'clock in the
evening, just as the negotiations were broken off, M. Aubry, an
artillery captain who had been sent with two hundred men to the depot
of field artillery in the country, returned with six pieces of
ordnance, determined to make a breach in the tower occupied by the
conspirators, and from which they were firing in safety at the
soldiers, who had no cover.  At six o'clock, the guns being mounted,
their thunder began, first drowning the noise of the musketry and
then silencing it altogether; for the cannon balls did their work
quickly, and before long the tower threatened to fall.  Thereupon the
electoral commissioners ordered the firing to cease for a moment, in
the hope that now the danger had become so imminent the leaders would
accept the conditions which they had refused one hour before; and not
desiring to drive them to desperation, the commissioners advanced
again down College Street, preceded by a bugler, and the captains
were once more summoned to a parley.  Froment and Descombiez came out
to meet them, and seeing the condition of the tower, they agreed to
lay down their arms and send them for the palace, while they
themselves would proceed to the Electoral Assembly and place
themselves under its protection.  These proposals being accepted, the
commissioners waved their hats as a sign that the treaty was

At that instant three shots were fired from the ramparts, and cries
of "Treachery! treachery!" were heard on every side.  The Catholic
chiefs returned to the tower, while the Protestants, believing that
the commissioners were being assassinated, reopened the cannonade;
but finding that it took too long to complete the breach, ladders
were brought, the walls scaled, and the towers carried by assault.
Some of the Catholics were killed, the others gained Froment's house,
where, encouraged by him, they tried to organise a resistance; but
the assailants, despite the oncoming darkness, attacked the place
with such fury that doors and windows were shattered in an instant.
Froment and his brother Pierre tried to escape by a narrow staircase
which led to the roof, but before they reached it Pierre was wounded
in the hip and fell; but Froment reached the roof, and sprang upon an
adjacent housetop, and climbing from roof to roof, reached the
college, and getting into it by a garret window, took refuge in a
large room which was always unoccupied at night, being used during
the day as a study.

Froment remained hidden there until eleven o'clock.  It being then
completely dark, he got out of the window, crossed the city, gained
the open country, and walking all night, concealed himself during the
day in the house of a Catholic.  The next night he set off again, and
reached the coast, where he embarked on board a vessel for Italy, in
order to report to those who had sent him the disastrous result of
his enterprise.

For three whole days the carnage lasted.  The Protestants losing all
control over themselves, carried on the work of death not only
without pity but with refined cruelty.  More than five hundred
Catholics lost their lives before the 17th, when peace was restored.

For a long time recriminations went on between Catholics and
Protestants, each party trying to fix on the other the responsibility
for those dreadful three days; but at last Franqois Froment put an
end to all doubt on the subject, by publishing a work from which are
set forth many of the details just laid before our readers, as well
as the reward he met with when he reached Turin.  At a meeting of the
French nobles in exile, a resolution was passed in favour of
M. Pierre Froment and his children, inhabitants of Nimes.

We give a literal reproduction of this historic document:

"We the undersigned, French nobles, being convinced that our Order
was instituted that it might become the prize of valour and the
encouragement of virtue, do declare that the Chevalier de Guer having
given us proof of the devotion to their king and the love of their
country which have been displayed by M. Pierre Froment, receiver of
the clergy, and his three sons, Mathieu Froment citizen, Jacques
Froment canon, Francois Froment advocate, inhabitants of Nimes, we
shall henceforward regard them and their descendants as nobles and
worthy to enjoy all the distinctions which belong to the true
nobility.  Brave citizens, who perform such distinguished actions as
fighting for the restoration of the monarchy, ought to be considered
as the equals of those French chevaliers whose ancestors helped to
found it.  Furthermore, we do declare that as soon as circumstances
permit we shall join together to petition His Majesty to grant to
this family, so illustrious through its virtue, all the honours and
prerogatives which belong to those born noble.

"We depute the Marquis de Meran, Comte d'Espinchal, the Marquis
d'Escars, Vicomte de Pons, Chevalier de Guer, and the Marquis de la
Feronniere to go to Mgr. le Comte d'Artois, Mgr. le Duc d'Angouleme,
Mgr. le Duc de Berry, Mgr. le Prince de Conde, Mgr. le Due de
Bourbon, and Mgr. le Duc d'Enghien, to beg them to put themselves at
our head when we request His Majesty to grant to MM. Froment all the
distinctions and advantages reserved for the true nobility.

"At TURIN, 12th September 1790."

The nobility of Languedoc learned of the honours conferred on their
countryman, M. Froment, and addressed the following letter to him:

"LORCH, July 7, 1792

"MONSIEUR, The nobles of Languedoc hasten to confirm the resolution
adopted in your favour by the nobles assembled at Turin.  They
appreciate the zeal and the courage which have distinguished your
conduct and that of your family; they have therefore instructed us to
assure you of the pleasure with which they will welcome you among
those nobles who are under the orders of Marshal de Castries, and
that you are at liberty to repair to Lorch to assume your proper rank
in one of the companies.

"We have the honour to be, monsieur, your humble and obedient




The Protestants, as we have said, hailed the golden dawn of the
revolution with delight; then came the Terror, which struck at all
without distinction of creed.  A hundred and thirty-eight heads fell
on the scaffold, condemned by the revolutionary tribunal of the Gard.
Ninety-one of those executed were Catholic, and forty-seven
Protestants, so that it looked as if the executioners in their desire
for impartiality had taken a census of the population.

Then came the Consulate: the Protestants being mostly tradesmen and
manufacturers, were therefore richer than the Catholics, and had more
to lose; they seemed to see more chance of stability in this form of
government than in those preceding it, and it was evident that it had
a more powerful genius at its head, so they rallied round it with
confidence and sincerity.  The Empire followed, with its inclination
to absolutism, its Continental system, and its increased taxation;
and the Protestants drew back somewhat, for it was towards them who
had hoped so much from him that Napoleon in not keeping the promises
of Bonaparte was most perjured.

The first Restoration, therefore, was greeted at Nimes with a
universal shout of joy; and a superficial-observer might have thought
that all trace of the old religious leaven had disappeared.  In fact,
for seventeen years the two faiths had lived side by side in perfect
peace and mutual good-will; for seventeen years men met either for
business or for social purposes without inquiring about each other's
religion, so that Nimes on the surface might have been held up as an
example of union and fraternity.

When Monsieur arrived at Nimes, his guard of honour was drawn from
the city guard, which still retained its organisation of 1812, being
composed of citizens without distinction of creed.  Six decorations
were conferred on it--three on Catholics, and three on Protestants.
At the same time, M. Daunant, M. Olivier Desmonts, and M. de Seine,
the first the mayor, the second the president of the Consistory, and
the third a member of the Prefecture, all three belonging to the
Reformed religion, received the same favour.

Such impartiality on the part of Monsieur almost betrayed a
preference, and this offended the Catholics.  They muttered to one
another that in the past there had been a time when the fathers of
those who had just been decorated by the hand of the prince had
fought against his faithful adherents.  Hardly had Monsieur left the
town, therefore, than it became apparent that perfect harmony no
longer existed.

The Catholics had a favorite cafe, which during the whole time the
Empire lasted was also frequented by Protestants without a single
dispute caused by the difference of religion ever arising.  But from
this time forth the Catholics began to hold themselves aloof from the
Protestants; the latter perceiving this, gave up the cafe by degrees
to the Catholics, being determined to keep the peace whatever it
might cost, and went to a cafe which had been just opened under the
sign of the "Isle of Elba."  The name was enough to cause them to be
regarded as Bonapartists, and as to Bonapartists the cry "Long live
the king!" was supposed to be offensive, they were saluted at every
turn with these words, pronounced in a tone which became every day
more menacing.  At first they gave back the same cry, "Long live the
king!" but then they were called cowards who expressed with their
lips a sentiment which did not come from their hearts.  Feeling that
this accusation had some truth in it, they were silent, but then they
were accused of hating the royal family, till at length the cry which

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