Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Massacres of the South by Alexandre Dumas, Pere

Part 4 out of 5

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.6 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

their fellowship in Christ.

Half-way to the Esplanade a friend of the condemned man, who happened
to be in the street, met the procession, and fearing that he could
not support the sight, he took refuge in a shop. When Boeton was
opposite the door, he stopped the cart and asked permission of the
provost to speak to his friend. The request being granted, he called
him out, and as he approached, bathed in tears, Boeton said, "Why do
you run away from me? Is it because you see me covered with the
tokens of Jesus Christ? Why do you weep because He has graciously
called me to Himself, and all unworthy though I be, permits me to
seal my faith with my blood?" Then, as the friend threw himself into
Boeton's arms and some signs of sympathetic emotion appeared among
the crowd; the procession was abruptly ordered to move on; but though
the leave-taking was thus roughly broken short, no murmur passed the
lips of Boeton.

In turning out of the first street, the scaffold came in sight; the
condemned man raised his hands towards heaven, and exclaimed in a
cheerful voice, while a smile lit up his face, "Courage, my soul! I
see thy place of triumph, whence, released from earthly bonds, thou
shah take flight to heaven."

When he got to the foot of the scaffold, it was found he could not
mount without assistance; for his limbs, crushed in the terrible
"boot," could no longer sustain his weight. While they were
preparing to carry him up, he exhorted and comforted the Protestants,
who were all weeping round him. When he reached the platform he laid
himself of his own accord on the cross; but hearing from the
executioner that he must first be undressed, he raised himself again
with a smile, so that the executioner's assistant could remove his
doublet and small-clothes. As he wore no stockings, his legs being
bandaged the man also unwound these bandages, and rolled up Boeton's
shirts-sleeves to the elbow, and then ordered him to lay himself
again on the cross. Boeton did so with unbroken calm. All his limbs
were then bound to the beams with cords at every joint; this
accomplished, the assistant retired, and the executioner came
forward. He held in his hand a square bar of iron, an inch and a
half thick, three feet long, and rounded at one end so as to form a

When Boeton saw it he began singing a psalm, but almost immediately
the melody was interrupted by a cry: the executioner had broken a
bone of Boeton's right leg; but the singing was at once resumed, and
continued without interruption till each limb had been broken in two
places. Then the executioner unbound the formless but still living
body from the cross, and while from its lips issued words of faith in
God he laid it on the wheel, bending it back on the legs in such a
manner that the heels and head met; and never once during the
completion of this atrocious performance did the voice of the
sufferer cease to sound forth the praises of the Lord.

No execution till then had ever produced such an effect on the crowd,
so that Abbe Massilla, who was present, seeing the general emotion,
hastened to call M. de Baville's attention to the fact that, far from
Boeton's death inspiring the Protestants with terror, they were only
encouraged to hold out, as was proved by their tears, and the praises
they lavished on the dying man.

M. de Baville, recognising the truth of this observation, ordered
that Boeton should be put out of misery. This order being conveyed
to the executioner, he approached the wheel to break in Boeton's
chest with one last blow; but an archer standing on the scaffold
threw himself before the sufferer, saying that the Huguenot had not
yet suffered half enough. At this, Boeton, who had heard the
dreadful dispute going on beside him, interrupted his prayers for an
instant, and raising his head, which hung down over the edge of the
wheel, said, "Friend, you think I suffer, and in truth I do; but He
for whom I suffer is beside me and gives me strength to bear
everything joyfully." Just then M. de Baville's order was repeated,
and the archer, no longer daring to interfere, allowed the
executioner to approach. Then Boeton, seeing his last moment had
come, said, "My dear friends, may my death be an example to you, to
incite you to preserve the gospel pure; bear faithful testimony that
I died in the religion of Christ and His holy apostles." Hardly had
these words passed his lips, than the death-blow was given and his
chest crushed; a few inarticulate sounds, apparently prayers, were
heard; the head fell back, the martyrdom was ended.

This execution ended the war in Languedoc. A few imprudent preachers
still delivered belated sermons, to which the rebels listened
trembling with fear, and for which the preachers paid on the wheel or
gibbet. There were disturbances in Vivarais, aroused by Daniel
Billard, during which a few Catholics were found murdered on the
highway; there were a few fights, as for instance at Sainte-Pierre-
Ville, where the Camisards, faithful to the old traditions which had
come to them from Cavalier, Catinat, and Ravenal, fought one to
twenty, but they were all without importance; they were only the last
quiverings of the dying civil strife, the last shudderings of the
earth when the eruption of the volcano is over.

Even Cavalier understood that the end had come, for he left Holland
for England. There Queen Anne distinguished him by a cordial
welcome; she invited him to enter her service, an offer which he
accepted, and he was placed in command of a regiment of refugees; so
that he actually received in England the grade of colonel, which he
had been offered in France. At the battle of Almanza the regiment
commanded by Cavalier found itself opposed by a French regiment. The
old enemies recognised each other, and with a howl of rage, without
waiting for the word of command or executing any military evolutions,
they hurled themselves at each other with such fury that, if we may
believe the Duke of Berwick, who was present, they almost annihilated
each other in the conflict. Cavalier, however, survived the
slaughter, in which he had performed his part with energy; and for
his courage was made general and governor of the island of Jersey.
He died at Chelsea in May 1740, aged sixty years. "I must confess,"
says Malesherbes, "that this soldier, who without training became a
great general by means of his natural gifts; this Camisard, who dared
in the face of fierce troopers to punish a crime similar to those by
which the troopers existed; this rude peasant, who, admitted into the
best society; adopted its manners and gained its esteem and love;
this man, who though accustomed to an adventurous life, and who might
justly have been puffed up by success, had yet enough philosophy to
lead for thirty-five years a tranquil private existence, appears to
me to be one of the rarest characters to be met with in the pages of


At length Louis XIV, bowed beneath the weight of a reign of sixty
years, was summoned in his turn to appear before God, from whom, as
some said, he looked for reward, and others for pardon. But Nimes,
that city with the heart of fire, was quiet; like the wounded who
have lost the best part of their blood, she thought only, with the
egotism of a convalescent, of being left in peace to regain the
strength which had become exhausted through the terrible wounds which
Montrevel and the Duke of Berwick had dealt her. For sixty years
petty ambition had taken the place of sublime self-sacrifice, and
disputes about etiquette succeeded mortal combats. Then the
philosophic era dawned, and the sarcasms of the encyclopedists
withered the monarchical intolerance of Louis XIV and Charles IX.
Thereupon the Protestants resumed their preaching, baptized their
children and buried their dead, commerce flourished once more, and
the two religions lived side by side, one concealing under a peaceful
exterior the memory of its martyrs, the other the memory of its
triumphs. Such was the mood on which the blood-red orb of the sun of
'89 rose. The Protestants greeted it with cries of joy, and indeed
the promised liberty gave them back their country, their civil
rights, and the status of French citizens.

Nevertheless, whatever were the hopes of one party or the fears of
the other, nothing had as yet occurred to disturb the prevailing
tranquillity, when, on the 19th and 20th of July, 1789, a body of
troops was formed in the capital of La Gard which was to bear the
name of the Nimes Militia: the resolution which authorised this act
was passed by the citizens of the three orders sitting in the hall of
the palace.

It was as follows:--

"Article 10. The Nimes Legion shall consist of a colonel, a
lieutenant-colonel, a major, a lieutenant-major, an adjutant,
twenty-four captains, twenty-four lieutenants, seventy-two sergeants,
seventy-two corporals, and eleven hundred and fifty-two privates--in
all, thirteen hundred and forty-nine men, forming eighty companies.

"Article 11. The place of general assembly shall be, the Esplanade.

"Article 12. The eighty companies shall be attached to the four
quarters of the town mentioned below--viz., place de l'Hotel-de-
Ville, place de la Maison-Carree, place Saint-Jean, and place du

"Article 13. The companies as they are formed by the permanent
council shall each choose its own captain, lieutenant, sergeants and
corporals, and from the date of his nomination the captain shall have
a seat on the permanent council."

The Nimes Militia was deliberately formed upon certain lines which
brought Catholics and Protestants closely together as allies, with
weapons in their hands; but they stood over a mine which was bound to
explode some day, as the slightest friction between the two parties
would produce a spark.

This state of concealed enmity lasted for nearly a year, being
augmented by political antipathies; for the Protestants almost to man
were Republicans, and the Catholics Royalists.

In the interval--that is to say, towards January, 1790--a Catholic
called Francois Froment was entrusted by the Marquis de Foucault with
the task of raising, organising, and commanding a Royalist party in
the South. This we learn from one of his own letters to the marquis,
which was printed in Paris in 1817. He describes his mode of action
in the following words:--

It is not difficult to understand that being faithful to my religion
and my king, and shocked at the seditious ideas which were
disseminated on all sides, I should try to inspire others with the
same spirit with which I myself was animated, so, during the year
1789, I published several articles in which I exposed the dangers
which threatened altar and throne. Struck with the justice of my
criticisms, my countrymen displayed the most zealous ardor in their
efforts to restore to the king the full exercise of all his rights.
Being anxious to take advantage of this favourable state of feeling,
and thinking that it would be dangerous to hold communication with
the ministers of Louis XVI, who were watched by the conspirators, I
went secretly to Turin to solicit the approbation and support of the
French princes there. At a consultation which was held just after my
arrival, I showed them that if they would arm not only the partisans
of the throne, but those of the altar, and advance the interests of
religion while advancing the interests of royalty, it would be easy
to save both.

"My plan had for sole object to bind a party together, and give it as
far as I was able breadth and stability.

"As the revolutionists placed their chief dependence on force, I felt
that they could only be met by force; for then as now I was convinced
of this great truth, that one strong passion can only be overcome by
another stronger, and that therefore republican fanaticism could only
be driven out by religious zeal.

"The princes being convinced of the correctness of my reasoning and
the efficacy of my remedies, promised me the arms and supplies
necessary to stem the tide of faction, and the Comte d'Artois gave me
letters of recommendation to the chief nobles in Upper Languedoc,
that I might concert measures with them; for the nobles in that part
of the country had assembled at Toulouse to deliberate on the best
way of inducing the other Orders to unite in restoring to the
Catholic religion its useful influence, to the laws their power, and
to the king his liberty and authority.

"On my return to Languedoc, I went from town to town in order to meet
those gentlemen to whom the Comte d'Artois had written, among whom
were many of the most influential Royalists and some members of the
States of Parliament. Having decided on a general plan, and agreed
on a method of carrying on secret correspondence with each other, I
went to Nimes to wait for the assistance which I had been promised
from Turin, but which I never received. While waiting, I devoted
myself to awakening and sustaining the zeal of the inhabitants, who
at my suggestion, on the 20th April, passed a resolution, which was
signed by 5,000 inhabitants."

This resolution, which was at once a religious and political
manifesto, was drafted by Viala, M. Froment's secretary, and it lay
for signature in his office. Many of the Catholics signed it without
even reading it, for there was a short paragraph prefixed to the
document which contained all the information they seemed to desire.

"GENTLEMEN,--The aspirations of a great number of our Catholic and
patriotic fellow-citizens are expressed in the resolution which we
have the honour of laying before you. They felt that under present
circumstances such a resolution was necessary, and they feel
convinced that if you give it your support, as they do not doubt you
will, knowing your patriotism, your religious zeal, and your love for
our august sovereign, it will conduce to the happiness of France, the
maintenance of the true religion, and the rightful authority of the

"We are, gentlemen, with respect, your very humble and obedient
servants, the President and Commissioners of the Catholic Assembly of


"FROMENT, Commissioner LAPIERRE, President
FOLACHER, " LEVELUT, Commissioner

At the same time a number of pamphlets, entitled Pierre Roman to the
Catholics of Nines, were distributed to the people in the streets,
containing among other attacks on the Protestants the following

"If the door to high positions and civil and military honours were
closed to the Protestants, and a powerful tribunal established at
Nimes to see that this rule were strictly kept, you would soon see
Protestantism disappear.

"The Protestants demand to share all the privileges which you enjoy,
but if you grant them this, their one thought will then be to
dispossess you entirely, and they will soon succeed.

"Like ungrateful vipers, who in a torpid state were harmless, they
will when warmed by your benefits turn and kill you.

"They are your born enemies: your fathers only escaped as by a
miracle from their blood-stained hands. Have you not often heard of
the cruelties practised on them? It was a slight thing when the
Protestants inflicted death alone, unaccompanied by the most horrible
tortures. Such as they were such they are."

It may easily be imagined that such attacks soon embittered minds
already disposed to find new causes for the old hatred, and besides
the Catholics did not long confine themselves to resolutions and
pamphlets. Froment, who had already got himself appointed
Receiver-General of the Chapter and captain of one of the Catholic
companies, insisted on being present at the installation of the Town
Council, and brought his company with him armed with pitchforks, in
spite of the express prohibition of the colonel of the legion. These
forks were terrible weapons, and had been fabricated in a particular
form for the Catholics of Nimes, Uzes, and Alais. But Froment and
his company paid no attention to the prohibition, and this
disobedience made a great impression on the Protestants, who began to
divine the hostility of their adversaries, and it is very possible
that if the new Town Council had not shut their eyes to this act of
insubordination, civil war might have burst forth in Nimes that very

The next day, at roll-call, a sergeant of another company, one
Allien, a cooper by trade, taunted one of the men with having carried
a pitchfork the day before, in disobedience to orders. He replied
that the mayor had permitted him to carry it; Allien not believing
this, proposed to some of the men to go with him to the mayor's and
ask if it were true. When they saw M. Marguerite, he said that he
had permitted nothing of the kind, and sent the delinquent to prison.
Half an hour later, however, he gave orders for his release.

As soon as he was free he set off to find his comrades, and told them
what had occurred: they, considering that an insult to one was an
insult to the whole company, determined on having satisfaction at
once, so about eleven o'clock P.M. they went to the cooper's house,
carrying with them a gallows and ropes ready greased. But quietly as
they approached, Allien heard them, for his door being bolted from
within had to be forced. Looking out of the window, he saw a great
crowd, and as he suspected that his life was in danger, he got out of
a back window into the yard and so escaped. The militia being thus
disappointed, wreaked their vengeance on some passing Protestants,
whose unlucky stars had led them that way; these they knocked about,
and even stabbed one of them three times with a knife.

On the 22nd April, 1790, the royalists--that is to say, the
Catholics--assumed the white cockade, although it was no longer the
national emblem, and on the 1st May some of the militia who had
planted a maypole at the mayor's door were invited to lunch with him.
On the 2nd, the company which was on guard at the mayor's official
residence shouted several times during the day, "Long live the king!
Up with the Cross and down with the black throats!" (This was the
name which they had given to the Calvinists.) "Three cheers for the
white cockade! Before we are done, it will be red with the blood of
the Protestants!" However, on the 5th of May they ceased to wear it,
replacing it by a scarlet tuft, which in their patois they called the
red pouf, which was immediately adopted as the Catholic emblem.

Each day as it passed brought forth fresh brawls and provocations:
libels were invented by the Capuchins, and spread abroad by three of
their number. Meetings were held every day, and at last became so
numerous that the town authorities called in the aid of the
militia-dragoons to disperse them. Now these gatherings consisted
chiefly of those tillers of the soil who are called cebets, from a
Provencal word cebe, which means "onion," and they could easily be
recognised as Catholics by their red pouf, which they wore both in
and out of uniform. On the other hand, the dragoons were all

However, these latter were so very gentle in their admonitions, that
although the two parties found themselves, so to speak, constantly
face to face and armed, for several days the meetings were dispersed
without bloodshed. But this was exactly what the cebets did not
want, so they began to insult the dragoons and turn them into
ridicule. Consequently, one morning they gathered together in great
numbers, mounted on asses, and with drawn swords began to patrol the

At the same time, the lower classes, who were nearly all Catholics,
joined the burlesque patrols in complaining loudly of the dragoons,
some saying that their horses had trampled on their children, and
others that they had frightened their wives.

The Protestants contradicted them, both parties grew angry, swords
were half drawn, when the municipal authorities came on the scene,
and instead of apprehending the ringleaders, forbade the dragoons to
patrol the town any more, ordering them in future to do nothing more
than send twenty men every day to mount guard at the episcopal palace
and to undertake no other duty except at the express request of the
Town Council. Although it was expected that the dragoons would
revolt against such a humiliation, they submitted, which was a great
disappointment to the cebets, who had been longing for a chance to
indulge in new outrages. For all that, the Catholics did not
consider themselves beaten; they felt sure of being able to find some
other way of driving their quarry to bay.

Sunday, the 13th of June, arrived. This day had been selected by the
Catholics for a great demonstration. Towards ten o'clock in the
morning, some companies wearing the red tuft, under pretext of going
to mass, marched through the city armed and uttering threats. The
few dragoons, on the other hand, who were on guard at the palace, had
not even a sentinel posted, and had only five muskets in the guard-
house. At two o'clock P.M. there was a meeting held in the Jacobin
church, consisting almost exclusively of militia wearing the red
tuft. The mayor pronounced a panegyric on those who wore it, and was
followed by Pierre Froment, who explained his mission in much the
same words as those quoted above. He then ordered a cask of wine to
be broached and distributed among the cebets, and told them to walk
about the streets in threes, and to disarm all the dragoons whom they
might meet away from their post. About six o'clock in the evening a
red-tuft volunteer presented himself at the gate of the palace, and
ordered the porter to sweep the courtyard, saying that the volunteers
were going to get up a ball for the dragoons. After this piece of
bravado he went away, and in a few moments a note arrived, couched in
the following terms:

"The bishop's porter is warned to let no dragoon on horse or on foot
enter or leave the palace this evening, on pain of death.

"13th June 1790."

This note being brought to the lieutenant, he came out, and reminded
the volunteer that nobody but the town authorities could give orders
to the servants at the palace. The volunteer gave an insolent
answer, the lieutenant advised him to go away quietly, threatening if
he did not to put him out by force. This altercation attracted a
great many of the red-tufts from outside, while the dragoons, hearing
the noise, came down into the yard; the quarrel became more lively,
stones were thrown, the call to arms was heard, and in a few moments
about forty cebets, who were prowling around in the neighbourhood of
the palace, rushed into the yard carrying guns and swords. The
lieutenant, who had only about a dozen dragoons at his back, ordered
the bugle to sound, to recall those who had gone out; the volunteers
threw themselves upon the bugler, dragged his instrument from his
hands, and broke it to pieces. Then several shots were fired by the
militia, the dragoons returned them, and a regular battle began. The
lieutenant soon saw that this was no mere street row, but a
deliberate rising planned beforehand, and realising that very serious
consequences were likely to ensue, he sent a dragoon to the town hall
by a back way to give notice to the authorities.

M. de Saint-Pons, major of the Nimes legion, hearing some noise
outside, opened his window, and found the whole city in a tumult:
people were running in every direction, and shouting as they ran that
the dragoons were being killed at the palace. The major rushed out
into the streets at once, gathered together a dozen to fifteen
patriotic citizens without weapons, and hurried to the town hall:
There he found two officials of the town, and begged them to go at
once to the place de l'Eveche, escorted by the first company, which
was on guard at the town hall. They agreed, and set off. On the way
several shots were fired at them, but no one was hit. When they
arrived at the square, the cebets fired a volley at them with the
same negative result. Up the three principal streets which led to
the palace numerous red-tufts were hurrying; the first company took
possession of the ends of the streets, and being fired at returned
the fire, repulsing the assailants and clearing the square, with the
loss of one of their men, while several of the retreating cebets were

While this struggle was going on at the palace, the spirit of murder
broke loose in the town.

At the gate of the Madeleine, M. de Jalabert's house was broken into
by the red-tufts; the unfortunate old man came out to meet them and
asked what they wanted. "Your life and the lives of all the other
dogs of Protestants!" was the reply. Whereupon he was seized and
dragged through the streets, fifteen insurgents hacking at him with
their swords.

At last he managed to escape from their hands, but died two days
later of his wounds.

Another old man named Astruc, who was bowed beneath the weight of
seventy-two years and whose white hair covered his shoulders, was met
as he was on his way to the gate of Carmes. Being recognised as a
Protestant, he received five wounds from some of the famous
pitchforks belonging to the company of Froment. He fell, but the
assassins picked him up, and throwing him into the moat, amused
themselves by flinging stones at him, till one of them, with more
humanity than his fellows, put a bullet through his head.

Three electors--M. Massador from near Beaucaire, M. Vialla from the
canton of Lasalle, and M. Puech of the same place were attacked by
red-tufts on their way home, and all three seriously wounded. The
captain who had been in command of the detachment on guard at the
Electoral Assembly was returning to his quarters, accompanied by a
sergeant and three volunteers of his own company, when they were
stopped on the Petit-Cours by Froment, commonly called Damblay, who,
pressing the barrel of a pistol to the captain's breast, said,
"Stand, you rascal, and give up your arms." At the same time the
red-tufts, seizing the captain from behind by the hair, pulled him
down. Froment fired his pistol, but missed. As he fell the captain
drew his sword, but it was torn from his hands, and he received a cut
from Froment's sword. Upon this the captain made a great effort, and
getting one of his arms free, drew a pistol from his pocket, drove
back his assassins, fired at Froment, and missed him. One of the men
by his side was wounded and disarmed.

A patrol of the regiment of Guienne, attached to which was M. Boudon,
a dragoon officer, was passing the Calquieres. M. Boudon was
attacked by a band of red-tufts and his casque and his musket carried
off. Several shots were fired at him, but none of them hit him; the
patrol surrounded him to save him, but as he had received two bayonet
wounds, he desired revenge, and, breaking through his protectors,
darted forward to regain possession of his musket, and was killed in
a moment. One of his fingers was cut off to get at a diamond ring
which he wore, his pockets were rifled of his purse and watch, and
his body was thrown into the moat.

Meantime the place-des-Recollets, the Cours, the place-des-Carmes,
the Grand-Rue, and rue de Notre Dame-de-l'Esplanade were filled with
men armed with guns, pitchforks, and swords. They had all come from
Froment's house, which overlooked that part of Nimes called Les
Calquieres, and the entrance to which was on the ramparts near the
Dominican Towers. The three leaders of the insurrection--Froment.
Folacher, and Descombiez--took possession of these towers, which
formed a part of the old castle; from this position the Catholics
could sweep the entire quay of Les Calquieres and the steps of the
Salle de Spectacle with their guns, and if it should turn out that
the insurrection they had excited did not attain the dimensions they
expected nor gain such enthusiastic adherents, it would be quite
feasible for them to defend themselves in such a position until
relief came.

These arrangements were either the result of long meditation or were
the inspiration of some clever strategist. The fact is that
everything leads one to believe that it was a plan which had been
formed with great care, for the rapidity with which all the
approaches to the fortress were lined with a double row of militiamen
all wearing the red tuft, the care which was taken to place the most
eager next the barracks in which the park of artillery was stationed,
and lastly, the manner in which the approach to the citadel was
barred by an entire company (this being the only place where the
patriots could procure arms), combine to prove that this plan was the
result of much forethought; for, while it appeared to be only
defensive, it enabled the insurrectionists to attack without much
danger; it caused others to believe that they had been first
attacked. It was successfully carried out before the citizens were
armed, and until then only a part of the foot guard and the twelve
dragoons at the palace had offered any resistance to the

The red flag round which, in case of civil war, all good citizens
were expected to gather, and which was kept at the town hall, and
which should have been brought out at the first shot, was now loudly
called for. The Abbe de Belmont, a canon, vicar-general, and
municipal official, was persuaded, almost forced, to become
standard-bearer, as being the most likely on account of his
ecclesiastical position to awe rebels who had taken up arms in the
name of religion. The abbe himself gives the following account of
the manner in which he fulfilled this mandate:

"About seven o'clock in the evening I was engaged with MM. Porthier
and Ferrand in auditing accounts, when we heard a noise in the court,
and going out on the lobby, we saw several dragoons coming upstairs,
amongst whom was M. Paris. They told us that fighting was going on
in the place de-l'Eveche, because some one or other had brought a
note to the porter ordering him to admit no more dragoons to the
palace on pain of death. At this point I interrupted their story by
asking why the gates had not been closed and the bearer of the letter
arrested, but they replied to me that it had not been possible;
thereupon MM. Ferrand and Ponthier put on their scarfs and went out.

"A few instants later several dragoons, amongst whom I recognised
none but MM. Lezan du Pontet, Paris junior, and Boudon, accompanied
by a great number of the militia, entered, demanding that the red
flag should be brought out. They tried to open the door of the
council hall, and finding it locked, they called upon me for the key.
I asked that one of the attendants should be sent for, but they were
all out; then I went to the hall-porter to see if he knew where the
key was. He said M. Berding had taken it. Meanwhile, just as the
volunteers were about to force an entrance, someone ran up with the
key. The door was opened, and the red flag seized and forced into my
hands. I was then dragged down into the courtyard, and from thence
to the square.

"It was all in vain to tell them that they ought first to get
authority, and to represent to them that I was no suitable
standard-bearer on account of my profession; but they would not
listen to any objection, saying that my life depended upon my
obedience, and that my profession would overawe the disturbers of the
public peace. So I went on, followed by a detachment of the Guienne
regiment, part of the first company of the legion, and several
dragoons; a young man with fixed bayonet kept always at my side.
Rage was depicted on the faces of all those who accompanied me, and
they indulged in oaths and threats, to which I paid no attention.

"In passing through the rue des Greffes they complained that I did not
carry the red flag high enough nor unfurl it fully. When we got to
the guardhouse at the Crown Gate, the guard turned out, and the
officer was commanded to follow us with his men. He replied that he
could not do that without a written order from a member of the Town
Council. Thereupon those around me told me I must write such an
order, but I asked for a pen and ink; everybody was furious because I
had none with me. So offensive were the remarks indulged in by the
volunteers and some soldiers of the Guienne regiment, and so
threatening their gestures, that I grew alarmed. I was hustled and
even received several blows; but at length M. de Boudon brought me
paper and a pen, and I wrote:--'I require the troops to assist us to
maintain order by force if necessary.' Upon this, the officer
consented to accompany us. We had hardly taken half a dozen steps
when they all began to ask what had become of the order I had just
written, for it could not be found. They surrounded me, saying that
I had not written it at all, and I was on the point of being trampled
underfoot, when a militiaman found it all crumpled up in his pocket.
The threats grew louder, and once more it was because I did not carry
the flag high enough, everyone insisting that I was quite tall enough
to display it to better advantage.

"However, at this point the militiamen with the red tufts made their
appearance, a few armed with muskets but the greater number with
swords; shots were exchanged, and the soldiers of the line and the
National Guard arranged themselves in battle order, in a kind of
recess, and desired me to go forward alone, which I refused to do,
because I should have been between two fires.

"Upon this, curses, threats, and blows reached their height. I was
dragged out before the troops and struck with the butt ends of their
muskets and the flat of their swords until I advanced. One blow that
I received between the shoulders filled my mouth with blood.

"All this time those of the opposite party were coming nearer, and
those with whom I was continued to yell at me to go on. I went on
until I met them. I besought them to retire, even throwing myself at
their feet. But all persuasion was in vain; they swept me along with
them, making me enter by the Carmelite Gate, where they took the flag
from me and allowed me to enter the house of a woman whose name I
have never known. I was spitting such a quantity of blood that she
took pity on me and brought me everything she could think of as
likely to do me good, and as soon as I was a little revived I asked
to be shown the way to M. Ponthier's."

While Abbe de Belmont was carrying the red flag the militia forced
the Town Councillors to proclaim martial law. This had just been
done when word was brought that the first red flag had been carried
off, so M. Ferrand de Missol got out another, and, followed by a
considerable escort, took the same road as his colleague, Abbe de
Belmont. When he arrived at the Calquieres, the red-tufts, who still
adorned the ramparts and towers, began to fire upon the procession,
and one of the militia was disabled; the escort retreated, but M.
Ferrand advanced alone to the Carmelite Gate, like M. de Belmont, and
like him, he too, was taken prisoner.

He was brought to the tower, where he found Froment in a fury,
declaring that the Council had not kept its promise, having sent no
relief, and having delayed to give up the citadel to him.

The escort, however, had only retreated in order to seek help; they
rushed tumultuously to the barracks, and finding the regiment of
Guienne drawn up in marching order in command of Lieutenant-Colonel
Bonne, they asked him to follow them, but he refused without a
written order from a Town Councillor. Upon this an old corporal
shouted, "Brave soldiers of Guienne! the country is in danger, let us
not delay to do our duty." "Yes, yes," cried the soldiers; "let us
march" The lieutenant colonel no longer daring to resist, gave the
word of command, and they set off for the Esplanade.

As they came near the rampart with drums beating, the firing ceased,
but as night was coming on the new-comers did not dare to risk
attacking, and moreover the silence of the guns led them to think
that the rebels had given up their enterprise. Having remained an
hour in the square, the troops returned to their quarters, and the
patriots went to pass the night in an inclosure on the Montpellier

It almost seemed as if the Catholics were beginning to recognise the
futility of their plot; for although they had appealed to fanaticism,
forced the Town Council to do their will, scattered gold lavishly and
made wine flow, out of eighteen companies only three had joined them.
"Fifteen companies," said M. Alquier in his report to the National
Assembly, "although they had adopted the red tuft, took no part in
the struggle, and did not add to the number of crimes committed
either on that day or during the days that followed. But although
the Catholics gained few partisans among their fellow-citizens, they
felt certain that people from the country would rally to their aid;
but about ten o'clock in the evening the rebel ringleaders, seeing
that no help arrived from that quarter either, resolved to apply a
stimulus to those without. Consequently, Froment wrote the following
letter to M. de Bonzols, under-commandant of the province of
Languedoc, who was living at Lunel:

"SIR, Up to the present all my demands, that the Catholic companies
should be put under arms, have been of no avail. In spite of the
order that you gave at my request, the officials of the municipality
were of opinion that it would be more prudent to delay the
distribution of the muskets until after the meeting of the Electoral
Assembly. This day the Protestant dragoons have attacked and killed
several of our unarmed Catholics, and you may imagine the confusion
and alarm that prevail in the town. As a good citizen and a true
patriot, I entreat you to send an order to the regiment of royal
dragoons to repair at once to Nimes to restore tranquillity and put
down all who break the peace. The Town Council does not meet, none
of them dares to leave his house; and if you receive no requisition
from them just now, it is because they go in terror of their lives
and fear to appear openly. Two red flags have been carried about the
streets, and municipal officers without guards have been obliged to
take refuge in patriotic houses. Although I am only a private
citizen, I take the liberty of asking for aid from you, knowing that
the Protestants have sent to La Vannage and La Gardonninque to ask
you for reinforcements, and the arrival of fanatics from these
districts would expose all good patriots to slaughter. Knowing as I
do of your kindness and justice, I have full trust that my prayer
will receive your favourable attention.

"FROMENT, Captain of Company No. 39

"June 13, 1790, 11 o'c. p.m."

Unfortunately for the Catholic party, Dupre and Lieutaud, to whom
this letter was entrusted for delivery, and for whom passports were
made out as being employed on business connected with the king and
the State, were arrested at Vehaud, and their despatches laid before
the Electoral Assembly. Many other letters of the same kind were
also intercepted, and the red-tufts went about the town saying that
the Catholics of Nimes were being massacred.

The priest of Courbessac, among others, was shown a letter saying
that a Capuchin monk had been murdered, and that the Catholics were
in need of help. The agents who brought this letter to him wanted
him to put his name to it that they might show it everywhere, but
were met by a positive refusal.

At Bouillargues and Manduel the tocsin was sounded: the two villages
joined forces, and with weapons in their hands marched along the road
from Beaucaire to Nimes. At the bridge of Quart the villagers of
Redressan and Marguerite joined them. Thus reinforced, they were
able to bar the way to all who passed and subject them to
examination; if a man could show he was a Catholic, he was allowed to
proceed, but the Protestants were murdered then and there. We may
remind our readers that the "Cadets de la Croix" pursued the same
method in 1704.

Meantime Descombiez, Froment, and Folacher remained masters of the
ramparts and the tower, and when very early one morning their forces
were augmented by the insurgents from the villages (about two hundred
men), they took advantage of their strength to force a way into the
house of a certain Therond, from which it was easy to effect an
entrance to the Jacobin monastery, and from there to the tower
adjoining, so that their line now extended from the gate at the
bridge of Calquieres to that at the end of College Street. From
daylight to dusk all the patriots who came within range were fired at
whether they were armed or not.

On the 14th June, at four o'clock in the morning, that part of the
legion which was against the Catholics gathered together in the
square of the Esplanade, where they were joined by the patriots from
the adjacent towns and villages, who came in in small parties till
they formed quite an army. At five A.M. M. de St. Pons, knowing that
the windows of the Capuchin monastery commanded the position taken up
by the patriots, went there with a company and searched the house
thoroughly, and also the Amphitheatre, but found nothing suspicious
in either.

Immediately after, news was heard of the massacres that had taken
place during the night.

The country-house belonging to M. and Mme. Noguies had been broken
into, the furniture destroyed, the owners killed in their beds, and
an old man of seventy who lived with them cut to pieces with a

A young fellow of fifteen, named Payre, in passing near the guard
placed at the Pont des files, had been asked by a red-tuft if he were
Catholic or Protestant. On his replying he was Protestant, he was
shot dead on the spot. "That was like killing a lamb," said a
comrade to the murderer. "Pooh!" said he, "I have taken a vow to
kill four Protestants, and he may pass for one."

M. Maigre, an old man of eighty-two, head of one of the most
respected families in the neighbourhood, tried to escape from his
house along with his son, his daughter-in-law, two grandchildren, and
two servants; but the carriage was stopped, and while the rebels were
murdering him and his son, the mother and her two children succeeded
in escaping to an inn, whither the assassins pursued them,
Fortunately, however, the two fugitives having a start, reached the
inn a few minutes before their pursuers, and the innkeeper had enough
presence of mind to conceal them and open the garden gate by which he
said they had escaped. The Catholics, believing him, scattered over
the country to look for them, and during their absence the mother and
children were rescued by the mounted patrol.

The exasperation of the Protestants rose higher and higher as reports
of these murders came in one by one, till at last the desire for
vengeance could no longer be repressed, and they were clamorously
insisting on being led against the ramparts and the towers, when
without warning a heavy fusillade began from the windows and the
clock tower of the Capuchin monastery. M. Massin, a municipal
officer, was killed on the spot, a sapper fatally wounded, and
twenty-five of the National Guard wounded more or less severely. The
Protestants immediately rushed towards the monastery in a disorderly
mass; but the superior, instead of ordering the gates to be opened,
appeared at a window above the entrance, and addressing the
assailants as the vilest of the vile, asked them what they wanted at
the monastery. "We want to destroy it, we want to pull it down till
not one stone rests upon another," they replied. Upon this, the
reverend father ordered the alarm bells to be rung, and from the
mouths of bronze issued the call for help; but before it could
arrive, the door was burst in with hatchets, and five Capuchins and
several of the militia who wore the red tuft were killed, while all
the other occupants of the monastery ran away, taking refuge in the
house of a Protestant called Paulhan. During this attack the church
was respected; a man from Sornmieres, however, stole a pyx which he
found in the sacristy, but as soon as his comrades perceived this he
was arrested and sent to prison.

In the monastery itself, however, the doors were broken in, the
furniture smashed, the library and the dispensary wrecked. The
sacristy itself was not spared, its presses being broken into, its
chests destroyed, and two monstrances broken; but nothing further was
touched. The storehouses and the small cloth-factory connected with
the monastery remained intact, like the church.

But still the towers held out, and it was round them that the real
fighting took place, the resistance offered from within being all the
more obstinate that the besieged expected relief from moment to
moment, not knowing that their letters had been intercepted by the
enemy. On every side the rattling of shot was heard, from the
Esplanade, from the windows, from the roofs; but very little effect
was produced by the Protestants, for Descombiez had told his men to
put their caps with the red tufts on the top of the wall, to attract
the bullets, while they fired from the side. Meantime the
conspirators, in order to get a better command of the besiegers,
reopened a passage which had been long walled up between the tower
Du Poids and the tower of the Dominicans. Descombiez, accompanied by
thirty men, came to the door of the monastery nearest the
fortifications and demanded the key of another door which led to that
part of the ramparts which was opposite the place des Carmes, where
the National Guards were stationed. In spite of the remonstrances of
the monks, who saw that it would expose them to great danger, the
doors were opened, and Froment hastened to occupy every post of
vantage, and the battle began in that quarter, too, becoming fiercer
as the conspirators remarked that every minute brought the
Protestants reinforcements from Gardonninque and La Vaunage. The
firing began at ten o'clock in the morning, and at four o'clock in
the afternoon it was going on with unabated fury.

At four o'clock, however, a servant carrying a flag of truce
appeared; he brought a letter from Descombiez, Fremont, and Folacher,
who styled themselves "Captains commanding the towers of the Castle."
It was couched in the following words:--

"To the Commandant of the troops of the line, with the request that
the contents be communicated to the militia stationed in the

"SIR,--We have just been informed that you are anxious for peace. We
also desire it, and have never done anything to break it. If those
who have caused the frightful confusion which at present prevails in
the city are willing to bring it to an end, we offer to forget the
past and to live with them as brothers.

"We remain, with all the frankness and loyalty of patriots and
Frenchmen, your humble servants,

"The Captains of the Legion of Nimes, in command of the towers of the

"FROMENT, DESCOMBIEZ, FOLACHER NIMES, the 14th June 1790, 4.00 P.M."

On the receipt of this letter, the city herald was sent to the towers
to offer the rebels terms of capitulation. The three "captains in
command" came out to discuss the terms with the commissioners of the
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
at first had issued from full hearts in a universal chorus grew to be
nothing but an expression of party hatred, so that on the 21st
February, 1815, M. Daunant the mayor, by a decree, prohibited the
public from using it, as it had become a means of exciting sedition.
Party feeling had reached this height at Nimes when, on the 4th
March, the news of the landing of Napoleon arrived.

Deep as was the impression produced, the city remained calm, but
somewhat sullen; in any case, the report wanted confirmation.
Napoleon, who knew of the sympathy that the mountaineers felt for
him, went at once into the Alps, and his eagle did not as yet take so
high a flight that it could be seen hovering above Mount Geneve.

On the 12th, the Duc d'Angouleme arrived: two proclamations calling
the citizens to arms signalised his presence. The citizens answered
the call with true Southern ardour: an army was formed; but although
Protestants and Catholics presented themselves for enrollment with
equal alacrity, the Protestants were excluded, the Catholics denying
the right of defending their legitimate sovereign to any but

This species of selection apparently went on without the knowledge of
the Duc d'Angouleme. During his stay in Nimes he received
Protestants and Catholics with equal cordiality, and they set at his
table side by side. It happened once, on a Friday, at dinner, that a
Protestant general took fish and a Catholic general helped himself to
fowl. The duke being amused, drew attention to this anomaly,
whereupon the Catholic general replied, "Better more chicken and less
treason." This attack was so direct, that although the Protestant
general felt that as far as he was concerned it had no point, he rose
from table and left the room. It was the brave General Gilly who was
treated in this cruel manner.

Meanwhile the news became more disastrous every day: Napoleon was
moving about with the rapidity of his eagles. On the 24th March it
was reported in Nimes that Louis XVIII had left Paris on the 19th and
that Napoleon had entered on the 20th. This report was traced to its
source, and it was found that it had been spread abroad by M. Vincent
de Saint-Laurent, a councillor of the Prefecture and one of the most
respected men in Nimes. He was summoned at once before the
authorities and asked whence he had this information; he replied,
"From a letter received from M. Bragueres," producing the letter.
But convincing as was this proof, it availed him nothing: he was
escorted from brigade to brigade till he reached the Chateau d'If.
The Protestants sided with M. Vincent de Saint-Laurent, the Catholics
took the part of the authorities who were persecuting him, and thus
the two factions which had been so long quiescent found themselves
once more face to face, and their dormant hatred awoke to new life.
For the moment, however, there was no explosion, although the city
was at fever heat, and everyone felt that a crisis was at hand.

On the 22nd March two battalions of Catholic volunteers had already
been enlisted at Nimes, and had formed part of the eighteen hundred
men who were sent to Saint-Esprit. Just before their departure
fleurs-de-lys had been distributed amongst them, made of red cloth;
this change in the colour of the monarchical emblem was a threat
which the Protestants well understood.

The prince left Nimes in due course, taking with him the rest of the
royal volunteers, and leaving the Protestants practically masters of
Nimes during the absence of so many Catholics. The city, however,
continued calm, and when provocations began, strange to say they came
from the weaker party.

On the 27th March six men met in a barn; dined together, and then
agreed to make the circuit of the town. These men were Jacques
Dupont, who later acquired such terrible celebrity under the name of
Trestaillons, Truphemy the butcher, Morenet the dog shearer, Hours,
Servant, and Gilles. They got opposite the cafe "Isle of Elba," the
name of which indicated the opinion of those who frequented it. This
cafe was faced by a guard-house which was occupied by soldiers of the
67th Regiment. The six made a halt, and in the most insulting tones
raised the cry of "Long live the king!" The disturbance that ensued
was so slight that we only mention it in order to give an idea of the
tolerance of the Protestants, and to bring upon the stage the men
mentioned above, who were three months later to play such a terrible

On April 1st the mayor summoned to a meeting at his official
residence the municipal council, the members of all the variously
constituted administrative bodies in Nimes, the officers of the city
guards, the priests, the Protestant pastors, and the chief citizens.
At this meeting, M. Trinquelague, advocate of the Royal Courts, read
a powerful address, expressing the love, of the citizens for their
king and country, and exhorting them to union and peace. This
address was unanimously adopted and signed by all present, and
amongst the signatures were those of the principal Protestants of
Nimes. But this was not all: the next day it was printed and
published, and copies sent to all the communes in the department over
which the white flag still floated. And all this happened, as we
have said, on April and eleven days after Napoleon's return to

The same day word arrived that the Imperial Government had been
proclaimed at Montpellier.

The next day, April 3rd, all the officers on half-pay assembled at
the fountain to be reviewed by a general and a sub-inspector, and as
these officers were late, the order of the day issued by General
Ambert, recognising the Imperial Government, was produced and passed
along the ranks, causing such excitement that one of the officers
drew his sword and cried, "Long live the emperor!" These magic words
were re-echoed from every side, and they all hastened to the barracks
of the 63rd Regiment, which at once joined the officers. At this
juncture Marshal Pelissier arrived, and did not appear to welcome the
turn things had taken; he made an effort to restrain the enthusiasm
of the crowd, but was immediately arrested by his own soldiers. The
officers repaired in a body to the headquarters of General Briche,
commandant of the garrison, and asked for the official copy of the
order of the day. He replied that he had received none, and when
questioned as to which side he was on he refused to answer. The
officers upon this took him prisoner. Just as they had consigned him
to the barracks for confinement, a post-office official arrived
bringing a despatch from General Ambert. Learning that General
Briche was a prisoner, the messenger carried his packet to the
colonel of the 63rd Regiment, who was the next in seniority after the
general. In opening it, it was found to contain the order of the

Instantly the colonel ordered the 'gineyale' to sound: the town
guards assumed arms, the troops left the barracks and formed in line,
the National Guards in the rear of the regular troops, and when they
were all thus drawn up; the order of the day was read; it was then
snatched out of the colonel's hands, printed on large placards, and
in less time than seemed possible it was posted up in every street
and at every street corner; the tricolour replaced the white cockade,
everyone being obliged to wear the national emblem or none at all,
the city was proclaimed in a state of seige, and the military
officers formed a vigilance committee and a police force.

While the Duc d'Angouleme had been staying at Nimes, General Gilly
had applied for a command in that prince's army, but in spite of all
his efforts obtained nothing; so immediately after the dinner at
which he was insulted he had withdrawn to Avernede, his place in the
country. He was awoke in the night of the 5th-6th April by a courier
from General Ambert, who sent to offer him the command of the 2nd
Subdivision. On the 6th, General Gilly went to Nimes, and sent in
his acceptance, whereby the departments of the Gard, the Lozere, and
Ardeche passed under his authority.

Next day General Gilly received further despatches from General
Ambert, from which he learned that it was the general's intention, in
order to avoid the danger of a civil war, to separate the Duc
d'Angouleme's army from the departments which sympathised with the
royal cause; he had therefore decided to make Pont-Saint-Esprit a
military post, and had ordered the 10th Regiment of mounted
chasseurs, the 13th artillery, and a battalion of infantry to move
towards this point by forced marches. These troops were commanded by
Colonel Saint-Laurent, but General Ambert was anxious that if it
could be done without danger, General Gilly should leave Nimes,
taking with him part of the 63rd Regiment, and joining the other
forces under the command of Colonel Saint-Laurent, should assume the
chief command. As the city was quite tranquil, General Gilly did not
hesitate to obey this order: he set out from Nimes on the 7th, passed
the night at Uzes, and finding that town abandoned by the
magistrates, declared it in a state of siege, lest disturbances
should arise in the absence of authority. Having placed M. de
Bresson in command, a retired chief of battalion who was born in
Uzes, and who usually lived there, he continued his march on the
morning of the 8th.

Beyond the village of Conans, General Gilly met an orderly sent to
him by Colonel Saint-Laurent to inform him that he, the colonel, had
occupied Pont Saint-Esprit, and that the Duc d'Angouleme, finding
himself thus caught between two fires, had just sent General
d'Aultanne, chief of staff in the royal army, to him, to enter into
negotiations for a surrender. Upon this, General Gilly quickened his
advance, and on reaching Pont-Saint-Esprit found General d'Aultanne
and Colonel Saint-Laurent conferring together at the Hotel de la

As Colonel Saint-Laurent had received his instructions directly from
the commander-in-chief, several points relating to the capitulation
had already been agreed upon; of these General Gilly slightly altered
some, and approved of the others, and the same day the following
convention was signed:

"Convention concluded between General Gilly and Baron de Damas

"S.A.R. Mgr. le Duc d'Angouleme, Commander-in-Chief of the royal army
in the South, and Baron de Gilly, General of Division and
Commander-in-Chief of the first corps of the Imperial Army, being
most anxiously desirous to prevent any further effusion of French
blood, have given plenary powers to arrange the terms of a convention
to S.A.R. M. le Baron de Damas, Field-Marshal and Under-Chief of
Staff, and General de Gilly and Adjutant Lefevre, Chevalier of the
Legion of Honour, and Chief of the Staff of the first Army Corps;
who, having shown each other their respective credentials, have
agreed on the following terms:--

"Art. 1. The royal army is to be disbanded; and the National Guards
which are enrolled in it, under whatever name they may have been
levied, will return to their homes, after laying down their arms.
Safe conducts will be provided, and the general of division
commanding-in-chief guarantees that they shall never be molested for
anything they may have said or done in connection with the events
preceding the present convention.

"The officers will retain their swords; the troops of the line who
form part of this army will repair to such garrisons as may be
assigned to them.

"Art. 2. The general officers, superior staff officers and others of
all branches of the service, and the chiefs and subordinates of the
administrative departments, of whose names a list will be furnished
to the general-in-chief, will retire to their homes and there await
the orders of His Majesty the Emperor.

"Art. 3. Officers of every rank who wish to resign their commissions
are competent to do so. They will receive passports for their homes.

"Art. 4. The funds of the army and the lists of the paymaster-
general will be handed over at once to commissioners appointed for
that purpose by the commander-in-chief.

"Art. 5. The above articles apply to the corps commanded by Mgr. le
Duc d'Angouleme in person, and also to those who act separately but
under his orders, and as forming part of the royal army of the South.

"Art. 6. H.R.H. will post to Cette, where the vessels necessary for
him and his suite will be waiting to take him wherever he may desire.
Detachments of the Imperial Army will be placed at all the relays on
the road to protect His Royal Highness during the journey, and the
honours due to his rank will be everywhere paid him, if he so desire.

"Art. 7. All the officers and other persons of His Royal Highness'
suite who desire to follow him will be permitted to do so, and they
may either embark with him at once or later, should their private
affairs need time for arrangement.

"Art. 8. The present treaty will be kept secret until His Royal
Highness have quitted the limits of the empire.

"Executed in duplicate and agreed upon between the above-mentioned
plenipotentiaries the 8th day of April in the year 1815, with the
approval of the general commanding-in-chief, and signed,

"At the headquarters at Pont-Saint-Esprit on the day and year above

"(Signed) LEFEVRE
Adjutant and Chief of Staff of the
First Corps of the Imperial Army
of the South

Field-Marshal and Under-Chief of

"The present convention is approved of by the General of Division
Commanding-in-Chief the Imperial Army of the South.

"(Signed) GILLY"

After some discussion between General Gilly and General Grouchy, the
capitulation was carried into effect. On the 16th April, at eight
o'clock in the morning, the Duc d'Angouleme arrived at Cette, and
went on board the Swedish vessel Scandinavia, which, taking advantage
of a favourable wind, set sail the same day.

Early in the morning of the 9th an officer of high rank had been sent
to La Palud to issue safe-conducts to the troops, who according to
Article I of the capitulation were to return home "after laying down
their arms." But during the preceding day and night some of the
royal volunteers had evaded this article by withdrawing with their
arms and baggage. As this infraction of the terms led to serious
consequences, we propose, in order to establish the fact, to cite the
depositions of three royal volunteers who afterwards gave evidence.

"On leaving the army of the Duc d'Angouleme after the capitulation,"
says Jean Saunier, "I went with my officers and my corps to
Saint-Jean-des-Anels. From there we marched towards Uzes. In the
middle of a forest, near a village, the name of which I have
forgotten, our General M. de Vogue told us that we were all to return
to our own homes. We asked him where we should deposit the flag.
Just then Commandant Magne detached it from the staff and put it in
his pocket. We then asked the general where we should deposit our
arms; he replied, that we had better keep them, as we should probably
find use for them before long, and also to take our ammunition with
us, to ensure our safety on the road.

"From that time on we all did what we thought best: sixty-four of us
remained together, and took a guide to enable us to avoid Uzes."

Nicholas Marie, labourer, deposed as follows:

"On leaving the army of the Duc d'Angouleme after the capitulation, I
went with my officers and my corps to Saint-Jean-des-Anels. We
marched towards Uzes, but when we were in the middle of a forest,
near a village the name of which I have forgotten, our general, M. de
Vogue, told us that we were to go to our own homes as soon as we
liked. We saw Commandant Magne loose the flag from its staff, roll
it up and put it in his pocket. We asked the general what we were to
do with our arms; he replied that we were to keep both them and our
ammunition, as we should find them of use. Upon this, our chiefs
left us, and we all got away as best we could."

"After the capitulation of the Duc d'Angouleme I found myself,"
deposes Paul Lambert, lace-maker of Nimes, "in one of several
detachments under the orders of Commandant Magne and General Vogue.
In the middle of a forest near a village, the name of which I do not
know, M. de Vogue and the other officer, told us we might go home.
The flag was folded up, and M. Magne put it in his pocket. We asked
our chiefs what we were to do with our arms. M. de Vogue told us
that we had better keep them, as we should need them before very
long; and in any case it would be well to have them with us on the
road, lest anything should happen to us."

The three depositions are too much alike to leave room for any doubt.
The royal volunteers contravened Article I of the convention.

Being thus abandoned by their chiefs, without general and without
flag, M. de Vogue's soldiers asked no further counsel of anyone but
themselves, and, as one of them has already told us, sixty-four of
them joined together to hire a guide who was to show them how to get
by Uzes without going through it, for they were afraid of meeting
with insult there. The guide brought them as far as Montarem without
anyone opposing their passage or taking notice of their arms.

Suddenly a coachman named Bertrand, a confidential servant of Abbe
Rafin, former Grand-Vicar of Alais, and of Baroness Arnaud-Wurmeser
(for the abbe administered the estate of Aureillac in his own name
and that of the baroness), galloped into the village of
Arpaillargues, which was almost entirely Protestant and consequently
Napoleonist, announcing that the miquelets (for after one hundred and
ten years the old name given to the royal troops was revived) were on
the way from Montarem, pillaging houses, murdering magistrates,
outraging women, and then throwing them out of the windows. It is
easy to understand the effect of such a story. The people gathered
together in groups; the mayor and his assistant being absent,
Bertrand was taken before a certain Boucarut, who on receiving his
report ordered the generale to be beaten and the tocsin to be rung.
Then the consternation became general: the men seized their muskets,
the women and children stones and pitchforks, and everyone made ready
to face a danger which only existed in the imagination of Bertrand,
for there was not a shadow of foundation for the story he had told.

While the village was in this state of feverish excitement the royal
volunteers came in sight. Hardly were they seen than the cry, "There
they are! There they are!" arose on all sides, the streets were
barricaded with carts, the tocsin rang out with redoubled frenzy, and
everyone capable of carrying arms rushed to the entrance of the

The volunteers, hearing the uproar and seeing the hostile
preparations, halted, and to show that their intentions were
peaceful, put their shakos on their musket stocks and waved them
above their heads, shouting that no one need fear, for they would do
no harm to anyone. But alarmed as they were by the terrible stories
told by Bertrand, the villagers shouted back that they could not
trust to such assurances, and that if they wanted to pass through the
village they must first give up their weapons. It may easily be
imagined that men who had broken the convention in order to keep
their weapons were not likely to give them up to these villagers--in
fact, they obstinately refused to let them out of their hands, and by
doing so increased the suspicions of the people. A parley of a very
excited character took place between M. Fournier for the royal guards
and M. Boucarut, who was chosen spokesman by the villagers. From
words they came to deeds: the miquelets tried to force their way
through, some shots were fired, and two miquelets, Calvet and
Fournier, fell. The others scattered, followed by a lively
discharge, and two more miquelets were slightly wounded. Thereupon
they all took to flight through the fields on either side of the
road, pursued for a short distance by the villagers, but soon
returned to examine the two wounded men, and a report was drawn up by
Antoine Robin, advocate and magistrate of the canton of Uzes, of the
events just related.

This accident was almost the only one of its kind which happened
during the Hundred Days: the two parties remained face to face,
threatening but self-controlled. But let there be no mistake: there
was no peace; they were simply awaiting a declaration of war. When
the calm was broken, it was from Marseilles that the provocation
came. We shall efface ourselves for a time and let an eye-witness
speak, who being a Catholic cannot be suspected of partiality for the

"I was living in Marseilles at the time of Napoleon's landing, and I
was a witness of the impression which the news produced upon
everyone. There was one great cry; the enthusiasm was universal; the
National Guard wanted to join him to the last man, but Marshal
Massena did not give his consent until it was too late, for Napoleon
had already reached the mountains, and was moving with such swiftness
that it would have been impossible to overtake him. Next we heard of
his triumphal entry into Lyons, and of his arrival in Paris during
the night. Marseilles submitted like the rest of France; Prince
d'Essling was recalled to the capital, and Marshal Brune, who
commanded the 6th corps of observation, fixed his headquarters at

"With quite incomprehensible fickleness, Marseilles, whose name
during the Terror had been, as one may say, the symbol of the most
advanced opinions, had become almost entirely Royalist in 1815.
Nevertheless, its inhabitants saw without a murmur the tricolour flag
after a year's absence floating once more above the walls. No
arbitrary interference on the part of the authorities, no threats,
and no brawling between the citizens and the soldiers, troubled the
peace of old Phocea; no revolution ever took place with such
quietness and facility.

"It must, however, be said, that Marshal Brune was just the man to
accomplish such a transformation without friction; in him the
frankness and loyalty of an old soldier were combined with other
qualities more solid than brilliant. Tacitus in hand, he looked on
at modern revolutions as they passed, and only interfered when the
voice of his country called him to her defence. The conqueror of
Harlem and Bakkun had been for four years forgotten in retirement, or
rather in exile, when the same voice which sent him away recalled
him, and at the summons Cincinnatus left his plough and grasped his
weapons. Physically he was at this period a man of about fifty-five,
with a frank and open face framed by large whiskers; his head was
bald except for a little grizzled hair at the temples; he was tall
and active, and had a remarkably soldierly bearing.

"I had been brought into contact with him by a report which one of my
friends and I had drawn up on the opinions of the people of the
South, and of which he had asked to have a copy. In a long
conversation with us, he discussed the subject with the impartiality
of a man who brings an open mind to a debate, and he invited us to
come often to see him. We enjoyed ourselves so much in his society
that we got into the habit of going to his house nearly every

"On his arrival in the South an old calumny which had formerly
pursued him again made its appearance, quite rejuvenated by its long
sleep. A writer whose name I have forgotten, in describing the
Massacres of the Second of September and the death of the unfortunate
Princesse de Lamballe, had said, 'Some people thought they recognised
in the man who carried her head impaled on a pike, General Brune in
disguise,' and this accusation; which had been caught up with
eagerness under the Consulate, still followed him so relentlessly in
1815, that hardly a day passed without his receiving an anonymous
letter, threatening him with the same fate which had overtaken the
princess. One evening while we were with him such a letter arrived,
and having read it he passed it on to us. It was as follows:

"'Wretch,--We are acquainted with all your crimes, for which you will
soon receive the chastisement you well deserve. It was you who
during the revolution brought about the death of the Princesse de
Lamballe; it was you who carried her head on a pike, but your head
will be impaled on something longer. If you are so rash as to be
present at the review of the Allies it is all up with you, and your
head will be stuck on the steeple of the Accoules. Farewell,

"We advised him to trace this calumny to its source, and then to take
signal vengeance on the authors. He paused an instant to reflect,
and then lit the letter at a candle, and looking at it thoughtfully
as it turned to ashes in his hand, said,--'Vengeance! Yes, perhaps by
seeking that I could silence the authors of these slanders and
preserve the public tranquillity which they constantly imperil. But
I prefer persuasion to severity. My principle is, that it is better
to bring men's heads back to a right way of thinking than to cut them
off, and to be regarded as a weak man rather than as a bloodthirsty

"The essence of Marshal Brune's character was contained in these

"Public tranquillity was indeed twice endangered at Marseilles during
the Hundred Days, and both times in the same manner. The garrison
officers used to gather at a coffee-house in the place Necker, and
sing songs suggested by passing events. This caused an attack by the
townspeople, who broke the windows by throwing stones, some of which
struck the officers. These rushed out, crying, 'To arms!' The
townspeople were not slow to respond, but the commandant ordered the
'geneydle' to beat, sent out numerous patrols, and succeeded in
calming the excitement and restoring quietness without any

"The day of the Champ du Mai orders for a general illumination were
given, and that the tricolour flag should be displayed from the
windows. The greater number of the inhabitants paid no attention to
the desires of the authorities, and the officers being annoyed at
this neglect, indulged in reprehensible excesses, which, however,
resulted in nothing more serious than some broken windows belonging
to houses which had not illuminated, and in some of the householders
being forced to illuminate according to order.

"In Marseilles as in the rest of France, people began to despair of
the success of the royal cause, and those who represented this cause,
who were very numerous at Marseilles, gave up annoying the military
and seemed to resign themselves to their fate. Marshal Brune had
left the city to take up his post on the frontier, without any of the
dangers with which he was threatened having come across his path.

"The 25th of June arrived, and the news of the successes obtained at
Fleurus and at Ligny seemed to justify the hopes of the soldiers,
when, in the middle of the day, muttered reports began to spread in
the town, the distant reverberations of the cannon of Waterloo. The
silence of the leaders, the uneasiness of the soldiers, the delight
of the Royalists, foretold the outbreak of a new struggle, the
results of which it was easy to anticipate. About four o'clock in
the afternoon, a man, who had probably got earlier information than
his fellow-townspeople, tore off his tricoloured cockade and trampled
it under foot, crying, "Long live the king!" The angry soldiers
seized him and were about to drag him to the guard-house, but the
National Guards prevented them, and their interference led to a
fight. Shouts were heard on all sides, a large ring was formed round
the soldiers, a few musket shots heard, others answered, three or
four men fell, and lay there weltering in their blood. Out of this
confused uproar the word "Waterloo" emerged distinct; and with this
unfamiliar name pronounced for the first time in the resounding voice
of history, the news of the defeat of the French army and the triumph
of the Allies spread apace. Then General Verdier, who held the chief
command in the absence of Marshal Brune, tried to harangue the
people, but his voice was drowned by the shouts of the mob who had
gathered round a coffee-house where stood a bust of the emperor,
which they insisted should be given up to them. Verdier, hoping to
calm what he took to be a simple street row, gave orders that the
bust should be brought out, and this concession, so significant on
the part of a general commanding in the emperor's name, convinced the
crowd that his cause was lost. The fury of the populace grew greater
now that they felt that they could indulge it with impunity; they ran
to the Town Hall, and tearing down and burning the tricoloured,
raised the white flag. The roll of the generale, the clang of the
tocsin were heard, the neighbouring villages poured in their
populations and increased the throng in the streets; single acts of
violence began to occur, wholesale massacres were approaching. I had
arrived in the town with my friend M____ the very beginning of the
tumult, so we had seen the dangerous agitation and excitement grow
under our eyes, but we were still ignorant of its true cause, when,
in the rue de Noailles, we met an acquaintance, who, although his
political opinions did not coincide with ours, had always shown
himself very friendly to us. 'Well,' said I, 'what news?' 'Good for
me and bad for you,' he answered; 'I advise you to go away at once.'
Surprised and somewhat alarmed at these words, we begged him to
explain. 'Listen,' said he; 'there are going to be riots in the
town; it is well known that you used to go to Brune's nearly every
evening, and that you are in consequence no favourite with your
neighbours; seek safety in the country.' I addressed some further
question to him, but, turning his back on me, he left me without
another word.

"M_____ and I were still looking at each other in stupefaction, when
the increasing uproar aroused us to a sense that if we desired to
follow the advice just given we had not a moment to lose. We hastened
to my house, which was situated in the Allees de Meilhan. My wife was
just going out, but I stopped her.

"'We are not safe here,' I said; 'we must get away into the country.'

"'But where can we go?'

"'Wherever luck takes us. Let us start.'

"She was going to put on her bonnet, but I told her to leave it
behind; for it was most important that no one should think we
suspected anything, but were merely going for a stroll. This
precaution saved us, for we learned the next day that if our
intention to fly had been suspected we should have been stopped.

"We walked at random, while behind us we heard musket shots from
every part of the town. We met a company of soldiers who were
hurrying to the relief of their comrades, but heard later that they
had not been allowed to pass the gate.

"We recollected an old officer of our acquaintance who had quitted
the service and withdrawn from the world some years before, and had
taken a place in the country near the village of Saint-Just; we
directed our course towards his house.

"'Captain,' said I to him, 'they are murdering each other in the
town, we are pursued and without asylum, so we come to you.' 'That's
right, my children,' said he; 'come in and welcome. I have never
meddled with political affairs, and no one can have anything against
me. No one will think of looking for you here.'

"The captain had friends in the town, who, one after another, reached
his house, and brought us news of all that went on during that
dreadful day. Many soldiers had been killed, and the Mamelukes had
been annihilated. A negress who had been in the service of these
unfortunates had been taken on the quay. 'Cry "Long live the king!"'
shouted the mob. 'No,' she replied. 'To Napoleon I owe my daily
bread; long live Napoleon!' A bayonet-thrust in the abdomen was the
answer. 'Villains!' said she, covering the wound with her hand to
keep back the protruding entrails. 'Long live Napoleon!' A push
sent her into the water; she sank, but rose again to the surface, and
waving her hand, she cried for the last time, 'Long live Napoleon!' a
bullet shot putting an end to her life.

"Several of the townspeople had met with shocking deaths. For
instance, M. Angles, a neighbour of mine, an old man and no
inconsiderable scholar, having unfortunately, when at the palace some
days before, given utterance before witnesses to the sentiment that
Napoleon was a great man, learned that for this crime he was about to
be arrested. Yielding to the prayers of his family, he disguised
himself, and, getting into a waggon, set off to seek safety in the
country. He was, however, recognised and brought a prisoner to the
place du Chapitre, where, after being buffeted about and insulted for
an hour by the populace, he was at last murdered.

"It may easily be imagined that although no one came to disturb us we
did not sleep much that night. The ladies rested on sofas or in
arm-chairs without undressing, while our host, M_____ and myself took
turns in guarding the door, gun in hand.

"As soon as it was light we consulted what course we should take: I
was of the opinion that we ought to try to reach Aix by unfrequented
paths; having friends there, we should be able to procure a carriage
and get to Nimes, where my family lived. But my wife did not agree
with me. 'I must go back to town for our things,' said she; 'we have
no clothes but those on our backs. Let us send to the village to ask
if Marseilles is quieter to-day than yesterday.' So we sent off a

"The news he brought back was favourable; order was completely
restored. I could not quite believe this, and still refused to let
my wife return to the town unless I accompanied her. But in that
everyone was against me: my presence would give rise to dangers which
without me had no existence. Where were the miscreants cowardly
enough to murder a woman of eighteen who belonged to no party and had
never injured anyone? As for me, my opinions were well known.
Moreover, my mother-in-law offered to accompany her daughter, and
both joined in persuading me that there was no danger. At last I was
forced to consent, but only on one condition.

"'I cannot say,' I observed, 'whether there is any foundation for the
reassuring tidings we have heard, but of one thing you may be sure:
it is now seven o'clock in the morning, you can get to Marseilles in
an hour, pack your trunks in another hour, and return in a third; let
us allow one hour more for unforeseen delays. If you are not back by
eleven o'clock, I shall believe something has happened, and take
steps accordingly.' 'Very well,' said my wife; 'if I am not back by
then, you may think me dead, and do whatever you think best.' And so
she and her mother left me.

"An hour later, quite different news came to hand. Fugitives,
seeking like ourselves safety in the country, told us that the
rioting, far from ceasing, had increased; the streets were encumbered
with corpses, and two people had been murdered with unheard-of

"An old man named Bessieres, who had led a simple and blameless life,
and whose only crime was that he had served under the Usurper,
anticipating that under existing circumstances this would be regarded
as a capital crime, made his will, which was afterwards found among
his papers. It began with the following words:

"'As it is possible that during this revolution I may meet my death,
as a partisan of Napoleon, although I have never loved him, I give
and bequeath, etc., etc.

"The day before, his brother-in-law, knowing he had private enemies,
had come to the house and spent the night trying to induce him to
flee, but all in vain. But the next morning, his house being
attacked, he yielded, and tried to escape by the back door. He was
stopped by some of the National Guard, and placed himself under their

"They took him to the Cours St. Louis, where, being hustled by the
crowd and very ineffectually defended by the Guards, he tried to
enter the Cafe Mercantier, but the door was shut in his face. Being
broken by fatigue, breathless, and covered with dust and sweat, he
threw himself on one of the benches placed against the wall, outside
the house. Here he was wounded by a musket bullet, but not killed.
At the sight of his blood shrieks of joy were heard, and then a young
man with a pistol in each hand forced his way through the throng and
killed the old man by two shots fired point blank in his face.

"Another still more atrocious murder took place in the course of the
same morning. A father and son, bound back to back, were delivered
over to the tender mercies of the mob. Stoned and beaten and covered
with each other's blood, for two long hours their death-agony
endured, and all the while those who could not get near enough to
strike were dancing round them.

"Our time passed listening to such stories; suddenly I saw a friend
running towards the house. I went to meet him. He was so pale that
I hardly dared to question him. He came from the city, and had been
at my house to see what had become of me. There was no one in it,
but across the door lay two corpses wrapped in a blood-stained sheet
which he had not dared to lift.

"At these terrible words nothing could hold me back. I set off for
Marseilles. M_____ who would not consent to let me return alone,
accompanied me. In passing through the village of Saint-Just we
encountered a crowd of armed peasants in the main street who appeared
to belong to the free companies. Although this circumstance was
rather alarming, it would have been dangerous to turn back, so we
continued our way as if we were not in the least uneasy. They
examined our bearing and our dress narrowly, and then exchanged some
sentences in a low voice, of which we only caught the word
austaniers. This was the name by which the Bonapartists were called
by the peasants, and means 'eaters of chestnuts,' this article of
food being brought from Corsica to France. However, we were not
molested in any way, for as we were going towards the city they did
not think we could be fugitives. A hundred yards beyond the village
we came up with a crowd of peasants, who were, like us, on the way to
Marseilles. It was plain to see that they had just been pillaging
some country house, for they were laden with rich stuffs, chandeliers
and jewels. It proved to be that of M. R____, inspector of reviews.
Several carried muskets. I pointed out to my companion a stain of
blood on the trousers of one of the men, who began to laugh when he
saw what we were looking at. Two hundred yards outside the city I
met a woman who had formerly been a servant in my house. She was
very much astonished to see me, and said, 'Go away at once; the
massacre is horrible, much worse than yesterday.'

"'But my wife,' I cried, 'do you know anything about her?'

"'No, sir,' she replied; 'I was going to knock at the door, but some
people asked me in a threatening manner if I could tell them where
the friend of that rascal Brine was, as they were going to take away
his appetite for bread. So take my advice,' she continued, 'and go
back to where you came from.'

"This advice was the last I could make up my mind to follow, so we
went on, but found a strong guard at the gate, and saw that it would
be impossible to get through without being recognised. At the same
time, the cries and the reports of firearms from within were coming
nearer; it would therefore have been to court certain death to
advance, so we retraced our steps. In passing again through the
village of Saint-Just we met once more our armed peasants. But this
time they burst out into threats on seeing us, shouting, 'Let us kill
them! Let us kill them!' Instead of running away, we approached
them, assuring them that we were Royalists. Our coolness was so
convincing that we got through safe and sound.

"On getting back to the captain's I threw myself on the sofa, quite
overcome by the thought that only that morning my wife had been
beside me under my protection, and that I had let her go back to the
town to a cruel and inevitable death. I felt as if my heart would
break, and nothing that our host and my friend could say gave me the
slightest comfort. I was like a madman, unconscious of everything
round me.

"M_____ went out to try to pick up some news, but in an instant we
heard him running back, and he dashed into the room, calling out

"'They are coming! There they are!'

"'Who are coming?' we asked.

"'The assassins!'

"My first feeling, I confess, was one of joy. I pounced upon a pair
of double-barrelled pistols, resolved not to let myself be
slaughtered like a sheep. Through the window I could see some men
climbing over the wall and getting down into the garden. We had just
sufficient time to escape by a back staircase which led to a door,
through which we passed, shutting it behind us. We found ourselves
on a road, at the other side of which was a vineyard. We crossed the
road and crept under the vines, which completely concealed us.

"As we learned later, the captain's house had been denounced as a
Bonapartist nest, and the assassins had hoped to take it by surprise;
and, indeed, if they had come a little sooner we had been lost, for
before we had been five minutes in our hiding-place the murderers
rushed out on the road, looking for us in every direction, without
the slightest suspicion that we were not six yards distant. Though
they did not see us I could see them, and I held my pistols ready
cocked, quite determined to kill the first who came near. However,
in a short time they went away.

"As soon as they were out of hearing we began to consider our
situation and weigh our chances. There was no use in going back to
the captain's, for he was no longer there, having also succeeded in
getting away. If we were to wander about the country we should be
recognised as fugitives, and the fate that awaited us as such was at
that moment brought home to us, for a few yards away we suddenly
heard the shrieks of a man who was being murdered. They were the
first cries of agony I had ever heard, and for a few moments, I
confess, I was frozen with terror. But soon a violent reaction took
place within me, and I felt that it would be better to march straight
to meet peril than to await its coming, and although I knew the
danger of trying to go through Saint-Just again, I resolved to risk
it, and to get to Marseilles at all costs. So, turning to M____, I

"'You can remain here without danger until the evening, but I am
going to Marseilles at once; for I cannot endure this uncertainty any
longer. If I find Saint-Just clear, I shall come back and rejoin
you, but if not I shall get away as best I can alone.'

"Knowing the danger that we were running, and how little chance there
was that we should ever see each other again, he held out his hand to
me, but I threw myself into his arms and gave him a last embrace.

"I started at once: when I reached Saint-Just I found the freebooters
still there; so I walked up to them, trolling a melody, but one of
them seized me by the collar and two others took aim at me with their

"If ever in my life I shouted 'Long live the king!' with less
enthusiasm than the cry deserves, it was then: to assume a rollicking
air, to laugh with cool carelessness when there is nothing between
you and death but the more or less strong pressure of a highwayman's
finger on the trigger of a musket, is no easy task; but all this I
accomplished, and once more got through the village with a whole skin
indeed, but with the unalterable resolution to blow my brains out
rather than again try such an experiment.

"Having now a village behind me which I had vowed never to re-enter,
and there being no road available by which I could hope to get round
Marseilles, the only course open to me was to make my way into the
city. At that moment this was a thing of difficulty, for many small
bodies of troops, wearing the white cockade, infested the approaches.
I soon perceived that the danger of getting in was as great as ever,
so I determined to walk up and down till night, hoping the darkness
would come to my aid; but one of the patrols soon gave me to
understand that my prowling about had aroused suspicion, and ordered
me either to go on to the city, in which by all accounts there was
small chance of safety for me, or back to the village; where certain
death awaited me. A happy inspiration flashed across my mind, I
would get some refreshment, and seeing an inn near by, I went in and
ordered a mug of beer, sitting down near the window, faintly hoping
that before the necessity for a final decision arrived, someone who
knew me would pass by. After waiting half an hour, I did indeed see
an acquaintance--no other than M_____, whom I had left in the
vineyard. I beckoned him, and he joined me. He told me that, being
too impatient to await my return, he had soon made up his mind to
follow me, and by joining a band of pillagers was lucky enough to get
safely through Saint-Just. We consulted together as to what we had
better do next, and having applied to our host, found he could supply
us with a trusty messenger, who would carry the news of our
whereabouts to my brother-in-law. After an anxious wait of three
hours, we saw him coming. I was about to run out to meet him, but
M____ held me back, pointing out the danger of such a step; so we sat
still our eyes fixed on the approaching figure. But when my
brother-in-law reached the inn, I could restrain my impatience no
longer, but rushing out of the room met him on the stairs.

"'My wife?' I cried. 'Have you seen my wife?'

"'She is at my house,' was the reply, and with a cry of joy I threw
myself into his arms.

"My wife, who had been threatened, insulted, and roughly treated
because of my opinions, had indeed found safety at my

"Night was coming on. My brother-in-law, who wore the uniform of the
National Guard, which was at that moment a safeguard, took us each by
an arm, and we passed the barrier without anyone asking us who we
were. Choosing quiet streets, we reached his house unmolested; but
in fact the whole city was quiet, for the carnage was practically at
an end.

"My wife safe! this thought filled my heart with joy almost too
great to bear.

"Her adventures were the following:

"My wife and her mother had gone to our house, as agreed upon, to
pack our trunks. As they left their rooms, having accomplished their
task, they found the landlady waiting on the staircase, who at once
overwhelmed my wife with a torrent of abuse.

"The husband, who until then had known nothing of their tenant's
return, hearing the noise, came out of his room, and, seizing his
wife by the arm, pulled her in and shut the door. She, however,
rushed to the window, and just as my wife and her mother reached the
street, shouted to a free band who were on guard across the way,
'Fire! they are Bonapartists!' Fortunately the men, more merciful
than the woman, seeing two ladies quite alone, did not hinder their
passage, and as just then my brother-in-law came by, whose opinions
were well known and whose uniform was respected, he was allowed to
take them under his protection and conduct them to his house in

"A young man, employed at the Prefecture, who had called at my house
the day before, I having promised to help him in editing the Journal
des Bouches-du-Rhone, was not so lucky. His occupation and his visit
to me laid him under suspicion of possessing dangerous opinions, and
his friends urged him to fly; but it was too late. He was attacked
at the corner of the rue de Noailles, and fell wounded by a stab from
a dagger. Happily, however, he ultimately recovered.

"The whole day was passed in the commission of deeds still more
bloody than those of the day before; the sewers ran blood, and every
hundred yards a dead body was to be met. But this sight, instead of
satiating the thirst for blood of the assassins, only seemed to
awaken a general feeling of gaiety. In the evening the streets
resounded with song and roundelay, and for many a year to come that
which we looked back on as 'the day of the massacre' lived in the
memory of the Royalists as 'the day of the farce.'

"As we felt we could not live any longer in the midst of such scenes,
even though, as far as we were concerned, all danger was over, we set
out for Nimes that same evening, having been offered the use of a

"Nothing worthy of note happened on the road to Orgon, which we
reached next day; but the isolated detachments of troops which we
passed from time to time reminded us that the tranquillity was
nowhere perfect. As we neared the town we saw three men going about
arm in arm; this friendliness seemed strange to us after our recent
experiences, for one of them wore a white cockade, the second a
tricolour, and the third none at all, and yet they went about on the
most brotherly terms, each awaiting under a different banner the
outcome of events. Their wisdom impressed me much, and feeling I had
nothing to fear from such philosophers, I went up to them and
questioned them, and they explained their hopes to me with the
greatest innocence, and above all, their firm determination to belong
to what ever party got the upper hand. As we drove into Orgon we saw
at a glance that the whole town was simmering with excitement.
Everybody's face expressed anxiety. A man who, we were told, was the
mayor, was haranguing a group. As everyone was listening, with the
greatest attention, we drew near and asked them the cause of the

"'Gentlemen,' said he, 'you ought to know the news: the king is in
his capital, and we have once more hoisted the white flag, and there
has not been a single dispute to mar the tranquillity of the day; one
party has triumphed without violence, and the other has submitted
with resignation. But I have just learned that a band of vagabonds,
numbering about three hundred, have assembled on the bridge over the
Durance, and are preparing to raid our little town to-night,
intending by pillage or extortion to get at what we possess. I have
a few guns left which I am about to distribute, and each man will
watch over the safety of all.'

"Although he had not enough arms to go round, he offered to supply
us, but as I had my double-barrelled pistols I did not deprive him of
his weapons. I made the ladies go to bed, and, sitting at their
door, tried to sleep as well as I could, a pistol in each hand. But
at every instant the noise of a false alarm sounded through the town,
and when day dawned my only consolation was that no one else in Orgon
had slept any better than I.

"The next day we continued our journey to Tarascon, where new
excitements awaited us. As we got near the town we heard the tocsin
clanging and drums beating the generale. We were getting so
accustomed to the uproar that we were not very much astonished.
However, when we got in we asked what was going on, and we were told
that twelve thousand troops from Nimes had marched on Beaucaire and
laid it waste with fire and sword. I insinuated that twelve thousand
men was rather a large number for one town to furnish, but was told
that that included troops from the Gardonninque and the Cevennes.
Nimes still clung to the tricolour, but Beaucaire had hoisted the
white flag, and it was for the purpose of pulling it down and
scattering the Royalists who were assembling in numbers at Beaucaire
that Nimes had sent forth her troops on this expedition. Seeing that
Tarascon and Beaucaire are only separated by the Rhone, it struck me
as peculiar that such quiet should prevail on one bank, while such
fierce conflict was raging on the other. I did not doubt that
something had happened, but not an event of such gravity as was
reported. We therefore decided to push on to Beaucaire, and when we
got there we found the town in the most perfect order. The
expedition of twelve thousand men was reduced to one of two hundred,
which had been easily repulsed, with the result that of the
assailants one had been wounded and one made prisoner. Proud of this
success, the people of Beaucaire entrusted us with a thousand
objurgations to deliver to their inveterate enemies the citizens of

"If any journey could give a correct idea of the preparations for
civil war and the confusion which already prevailed in the South, I
should think that without contradiction it would be that which we
took that day. Along the four leagues which lie between Beaucaire
and Nimes were posted at frequent intervals detachments of troops
displaying alternately the white and the tricoloured cockade. Every
village upon our route except those just outside of Nimes had
definitely joined either one party or the other, and the soldiers,
who were stationed at equal distances along the road, were now
Royalist and now Bonapartist. Before leaving Beaucaire we had all
provided ourselves, taking example by the men we had seen at Orgon,
with two cockades, one white, and one tricoloured, and by peeping out
from carriage windows we were able to see which was worn by the
troops we were approaching in time to attach a similar one to our
hats before we got up to them, whilst we hid the other in our shoes;
then as we were passing we stuck our heads, decorated according to
circumstances, out of the windows, and shouted vigorously, 'Long live
the king!' or 'Long live the emperor!' as the case demanded. Thanks

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest