Royal Decree In Favour Of The Persecuted

At length the decree of Louis XVIII., which annulled all the

extraordinary powers conferred either by the king, the princes, or

subordinate agents, was received at Nismes, and the laws were now to be

administered by the regular organs, and a new prefect arrived to carry

them into effect; but in spite of proclamations, the work of

destruction, stopped for a moment, was not abandoned, but soon renewed

with fresh vigour a
d effect. On the 30th of July, Jacques Combe, the

father of a family, was killed by some of the national guards of Rusau,

and the crime was so public, that the commander of the party restored to

the family the pocket-book and papers of the deceased. On the following

day tumultuous crowds roamed about the city and suburbs, threatening the

wretched peasants; and on the 1st of August they butchered them without

opposition. About noon on the same day, six armed men, headed by

Truphemy, the butcher, surrounded the house of Monot, a carpenter; two

of the party, who were smiths, had been at work in the house the day

before, and had seen a protestant who had taken refuge there, M.

Bourillon, who had been a lieutenant in the army, and had retired on a

pension. He was a man of an excellent character, peaceable and harmless,

and had never served the emperor Napoleon. Truphemy not knowing him, he

was pointed out partaking of a frugal breakfast with the family.

Truphemy ordered him to go along with him, adding, "Your friend,

Saussine, is already in the other world." Truphemy placed him in the

middle of his troop, and artfully ordered him to cry Vive l'Empereur:

he refused, adding, he had never served the emperor. In vain did the

women and children of the house intercede for his life, and praise his

amiable and virtuous qualities. He was marched to the Esplanade and

shot, first by Truphemy and then by the others. Several persons

attracted by the firing, approached, but were threatened with a similar

fate. After some time the wretches departed, shouting Vive le Roi.

Some women met them, and one of them appeared affected, said one, "I

have killed seven to-day, for my share and if you say a word, you shall

be the eighth." Pierre Courbet, a stocking weaver, was torn from his

loom by an armed band, and shot at his own door. His eldest daughter was

knocked down with the butt end of a musket; and a poignard was held at

the breast of his wife while the mob plundered her apartments. Paul

Heraut, a silk weaver, was literally cut in pieces, in the presence of a

large crowd, and amidst the unavailing cries and tears of his wife and

four young children. The murderers only abandoned the corpse to return

to Heraut's house and secure every thing valuable. The number of murders

on this day could not be ascertained. One person saw six bodies at the

Cours Neuf, and nine were carried to the hospital.

If murder some time after, became less frequent for a few days, pillage

and forced contributions were actively enforced. M. Salle d'Hombro, at

several visits was robbed of 7000 francs; and on one occasion, when he

pleaded the sacrifices he had made, "Look," said a bandit, pointing to

his pipe, "this will set fire to your house; and this," brandishing his

sword, "will finish you." No reply could be made to these arguments. M.

Feline, a silk manufacturer, was robbed of 32,000 francs in gold, 3000

francs in silver, and several bales of silk.

The small shopkeepers were continually exposed to visits and demands of

provisions, drapery, or whatever they sold; and the same hands that set

fire to the houses of the rich, and tore up the vines of the cultivator,

broke the looms of the weaver, and stole the tools of the artizan.

Desolation reigned in the sanctuary and in the city. The armed bands,

instead of being reduced, were increased; the fugitives, instead of

returning received constant accessions, and their friends who sheltered

them were deemed rebellious. Those protestants who remained, were

deprived of all their civil and religious rights, and even the advocates

and huissiers entered into a resolution to exclude all of "the pretended

reformed religion" from their bodies. Those who were employed in

selling tobacco were deprived of their licenses. The protestant deacons

who had the charge of the poor were all scattered. Of five pastors only

two remained; one of these was obliged to change his residence, and

could only venture to administer the consolations of religion, or

perform the functions of his ministry, under cover of the night.

Not content with these modes of torment, calumnious and inflamatory

publications charged the protestants with raising the proscribed

standard in the communes, and invoking the fallen Napoleon; and, of

course, as unworthy the protection of the laws and the favour of the


Hundreds after this were dragged to prison without even so much as a

written order; and though an official newspaper, bearing the title of

the Journal du Gard, was set up for five months, while it was

influenced by the prefect, the mayor, and other functionaries, the word

charter was never once used in it. One of the first numbers, on the

contrary, represented the suffering protestants as "Crocodiles only

weeping from rage and regret that they had no more victims to devour; as

persons who had surpassed Danton, Marat, and Robespierre, in doing

mischief: and as having prostituted their daughters to the garrison to

gain it over to Napoleon." An extract from this article, stamped with

the crown and the arms of the Bourbons, was hawked about the streets,

and the vender was adorned with the medal of the police.