List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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At that date Nimes, setting an example to the other cities of the
League, deepened her moats, blew up her suburbs, and added to the
height of her ramparts.  Night and day the work of perfecting the
means of defence went on; the guard at every gate was doubled, and
knowing how often a city had been taken by surprise, not a hole
through which a Papist could creep was left in the fortifications.
In dread of what the future might bring, Nimes even committed
sacrilege against the past, and partly demolished the Temple of Diana
and mutilated the amphitheatre--of which one gigantic stone was
sufficient to form a section of the wall.  During one truce the crops
were sown, during another they were garnered in, and so things went
on while the reign of the Mignons lasted.  At length the prince
raised up by God, whom the Huguenots had waited for so long,
appeared; Henri IV ascended the, throne.

But once seated, Henri found himself in the same difficulty as had
confronted Octavius fifteen centuries earlier, and which confronted
Louis Philippe three centuries later--that is to say, having been
raised to sovereign power by a party which was not in the majority,
he soon found himself obliged to separate from this party and to
abjure his religious beliefs, as others have abjured or will yet
abjure their political beliefs; consequently, just as Octavius had
his Antony, and Louis Philippe was to have his Lafayette, Henri IV
was to have his Biron.  When monarchs are in this position they can
no longer have a will of their own or personal likes and dislikes;
they submit to the force of circumstances, and feel compelled to rely
on the masses; no sooner are they freed from the ban under which they
laboured than they are obliged to bring others under it.

However, before having recourse to extreme measures, Henri IV with
soldierly frankness gathered round him all those who had been his
comrades of old in war and in religion; he spread out before them a
map of France, and showed them that hardly a tenth of the immense
number of its inhabitants were Protestants, and that even that tenth
was shut up in the mountains; some in Dauphine, which had been won
for them by their three principal leaders, Baron des Adrets, Captain
Montbrun, and Lesdiguieres; others in the Cevennes, which had become
Protestant through their great preachers, Maurice Secenat and
Guillaume Moget; and the rest in the mountains of Navarre, whence he
himself had come.  He recalled to them further that whenever they
ventured out of their mountains they had been beaten in every battle,
at Jarnac, at Moncontour, and at Dreux.  He concluded by explaining
how impossible it was for him, such being the case, to entrust the
guidance of the State to their party; but he offered them instead
three things, viz., his purse to supply their present needs, the
Edict of Nantes to assure their future safety, and fortresses to
defend themselves should this edict one day be revoked, for with
profound insight the grandfather divined the grandson: Henri IV
feared Louis XIV.

The Protestants took what they were offered, but of course like all
who accept benefits they went away filled with discontent because
they had not been given more.

Although the Protestants ever afterwards looked on Henri IV as a
renegade, his reign nevertheless was their golden age, and while it
lasted Nines was quiet; for, strange to say, the Protestants took no
revenge for St. Bartholomew, contenting themselves with debarring the
Catholics from the open exercise of their religion, but leaving them
free to use all its rites and ceremonies in private.  They even
permitted the procession of the Host through the streets in case of
illness, provided it took place at night.  Of course death would not
always wait for darkness, and the Host was sometimes carried to the
dying during the day, not without danger to the priest, who, however,
never let himself be deterred thereby from the performance of his
duty; indeed, it is of the essence of religious devotion to be
inflexible; and few soldiers, however brave, have equalled the
martyrs in courage.

During this time, taking advantage of the truce to hostilities and
the impartial protection meted out to all without distinction by the
Constable Damville, the Carmelites and Capuchins, the Jesuits and
monks of all orders and colours, began by degrees to return to Nines;
without any display, it is true, rather in a surreptitious manner,
preferring darkness to daylight; but however this may be, in the
course of three or four years they had all regained foothold in the
town; only now they were in the position in which the Protestants had
been formerly, they were without churches, as their enemies were in
possession of all the places of worship.  It also happened that a
Jesuit high in authority, named Pere Coston, preached with such
success that the Protestants, not wishing to be beaten, but desirous
of giving word for word, summoned to their aid the Rev. Jeremie
Ferrier, of Alais, who at the moment was regarded as the most
eloquent preacher they had.  Needless to say, Alais was situated in
the mountains, that inexhaustible source of Huguenot eloquence.  At
once the controversial spirit was aroused; it did not as yet amount
to war, but still less could it be called peace: people were no
longer assassinated, but they were anathematised; the body was safe,
but the soul was consigned to damnation: the days as they passed were
used by both sides to keep their hand in, in readiness for the moment
when the massacres should again begin.


The death of Henri IV led to new conflicts, in which although at
first success was on the side of the Protestants it by degrees went
over to the Catholics; for with the accession of Louis XIII Richelieu
had taken possession of the throne: beside the king sat the cardinal;
under the purple mantle gleamed the red robe.  It was at this crisis
that Henri de Rohan rose to eminence in the South.  He was one of the
most illustrious representatives of that great race which, allied as
it was to the royal houses of Scotland, France, Savoy, and Lorraine;
had taken as their device, "Be king I cannot, prince I will not,
Rohan I am."

Henri de Rohan was at this time about forty years of age, in the
prime of life.  In his youth, in order to perfect his education, he
had visited England, Scotland, and Italy.  In England Elizabeth had
called him her knight; in Scotland James VI had asked him to stand
godfather to his son, afterwards Charles I; in Italy he had been so
deep in the confidence of the leaders of men, and so thoroughly
initiated into the politics of the principal cities, that it was
commonly said that, after Machiavel, he was the greatest authority in
these matters.  He had returned to France in the lifetime of
Henry IV, and had married the daughter of Sully, and after Henri's
death had commanded the Swiss and the Grison regiments--at the siege
of Juliers.  This was the man whom the king was so imprudent as to
offend by refusing him the reversion of the office of governor of
Poitou, which was then held by Sully, his father-in-law.  In order to
revenge himself for the neglect he met with at court, as he states in
his Memoires with military ingenuousness, he espoused the cause of
Conde with all his heart, being also drawn in this direction by his
liking for Conde's brother and his consequent desire to help those of
Conde's religion.

>From this day on street disturbances and angry disputes assumed
another aspect: they took in a larger area and were not so readily
appeased.  It was no longer an isolated band of insurgents which
roused a city, but rather a conflagration which spread over the whole
South, and a general uprising which was almost a civil war.

This state of things lasted for seven or eight years, and during this
time Rohan, abandoned by Chatillon and La Force, who received as the
reward of their defection the field marshal's baton, pressed by
Conde, his old friend, and by Montmorency, his consistent rival,
performed prodigies of courage and miracles of strategy.  At last,
without soldiers, without ammunition, without money, he still
appeared to Richelieu to be so redoubtable that all the conditions of
surrender he demanded were granted.  The maintenance of the Edict of
Nantes was guaranteed, all the places of worship were to be restored
to the Reformers, and a general amnesty granted to himself and his
partisans.  Furthermore, he obtained what was an unheard-of thing
until then, an indemnity of 300,000 livres for his expenses during
the rebellion; of which sum he allotted 240,000 livres to his
co-religionists--that is to say, more than three-quarters of the
entire amount--and kept, for the purpose of restoring his various
chateaux and setting his domestic establishment, which had been
destroyed during the war, again on foot, only 60,000 livres.  This
treaty was signed on July 27th, 1629.

The Duc de Richelieu, to whom no sacrifice was too great in order to
attain his ends, had at last reached the goal, but the peace cost him
nearly 40,000,000 livres; on the other hand, Saintonge, Poitou, and
Languedoc had submitted, and the chiefs of the houses of La
Tremouille, Conde, Bouillon, Rohan, and Soubise had came to terms
with him; organised armed opposition had disappeared, and the lofty
manner of viewing matters natural to the cardinal duke prevented him
from noticing private enmity.  He therefore left Nimes free to manage
her local affairs as she pleased, and very soon the old order, or
rather disorder, reigned once more within her walls.  At last
Richelieu died, and Louis XIII soon followed him, and the long
minority of his successor, with its embarrassments, left to Catholics
and Protestants in the South more complete liberty than ever to carry
on the great duel which down to our own days has never ceased.

But from this period, each flux and reflux bears more and more the
peculiar character of the party which for the moment is triumphant;
when the Protestants get the upper hand, their vengeance is marked by

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