Imagens das páginas

lation. This singular but sagacious idea pleased Villars, who had himself resolved on a mild and pacific

policy. By the representations of Villars and D’Aigalliers, Bâville and General Lalande, whom Montrevel had left in the province, were brought to co-operate in the attempt to put an end to the insurrection

by pacific measures. The king himself had likewise been induced to permit the experiment. As we have seen, the time was exceedingly favourable for making it, the Camisards being disheartened and disorganised. It was thought advisable to begin with Cavalier, for whom the Catholics had conceived a general admiration, and who was believed much more likely to yield to fair offers than Roland. Accordingly, a conference was procured between the young Camisard chief and General Lalande, in which the former was sounded as to the conditions on which he would consent to lay down arms. This led to a meeting between Cavalier and Villars himself at Nismes. Villars received the young Camisard with great respect, and a long conversation ensued. Cavalier drew up his demands in the form of a petition to the king;

the articles of which, with the answers of Villars, in the name of the king, were as follows :“The very

humble request of the reformed population of Languedoc to the king :

“ Article 1. That it please the king to grant us liberty of conscience in the whole province, and to hold religious assemblies in all situations which shall be judged suitable, out of fortified places and walled towns. (Granted, on condition that they build no churches.)

"Art. 2. That áll Protestants detained in the prisons or the galleys for the cause of religion, having been placed there since the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, shall be set at liberty within the space of six weeks from this date. (Granted.)

“ Art. 3. That it be permitted to all those who have quitted the kingdom for the cause of religion, to return freely and in safety; and that they be re-established in their property and privileges. (Granted, on condition that they take the oath of fidelity to the king.)

“Art. 4. That the parliament of Languedoc be re-established on its ancient footing, and with all its privileges. (The king will consider the matter.).

“ Art. 5. That the province be exempted from capitation during ten years. (Refused.)

“Art. 6. Ìhat the towns of Montpellier, Perpignan, Cette, and Aiguemortes, be given us as towns of security. (Refused.)

“ Art. 7. That the inhabitants of the Cevennes, whose houses have been burned or destroyed in the course of the war, be exempt from taxes during seven years. (Granted.)

“Art. 8. That it please his majesty to permit Cavalier to choose two thousand men, as well from his present troop, as from those who shall be liberated from the prisons or galleys, to form a




ONSDE regiment of dragoons for the service of his majesty; which shall proceed to Portugal, and receive his majesty's immediate orders. (Granted. If all the Camisards lay down their arms, the king will permit them to live quietly in the free exercise of their religion.)”

This treaty was signed at Nismes on the 17th of May 1704; by Villars on the part of the king, and by Cavalier on the part of the Camisards. Both perhaps exceeded their commissions in signing the treaty, Cavalier, in doing so, was compromising Roland and the other Camisard chiefs; and although Villars acted “in virtue of full powers committed to him by the king,' he did not communicate the precise nature of his intercourse with the Camisards to the court at Versailles.

Roland and most of the Camisards treated Cavalier as a traitor. Powerful aš he had been when leading his countrymen to battle, his influence was not sufficient to prevent them from refusing their submission, and persevering in their resistance.

to his faithful to the promise he had made to Villars, he held. But, engagement abandoned his native mountains with those of his companions who still adhered to him, and proceeding to Paris, at the .

( was still only in his twentieth year), shrugged his shoulders; and Cavalier met with so doubtful a reception, that he took the first opportunity to withdraw, and save himself in Piedmont the monarch thus showing himself an indifferent judge of men, as he had previously done when rejecting with contempt the. offered services of Prince Eugene of Savoy. Cavalier had a spirit of no ordinary stamp. From Piedmont he retired into Holland, and from thence to England, where he was received into the British service. He became a general officer and governor of Jersey; which post he filled with a well-earned reputation for bravery and talent, as well as prudence and discretion. He died at Chelsea in 1740.

Subsequent to the retirement of Cavalier, the war in the Cevennes was carried on by the Camisards under the direction of Roland, of Ravenet, and others of his former associates. Roland fell in the cause on the 13th of August 1704, and Ravenet was obliged, with many others of his company, to save himself in Switzerland. By the time that Villars quitted Languedoc in December 1704, his measures--partly severe, partly pacific-shad succeeded so far, that the Camisard insurrection was considered at an end.

It was not, however, till the death of Louis in 1715 that the persecution of Protestantism in Languedoc closed. Indeed, properly considered, a history of the persecutions of the Protestants in France should reach to the year 1787---within a year of the French Revolution. The narrative of these persecutions, however, would form a distinct story.

[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

HOEMAKERS have in all ages been a somewhat remarkable class of men. Meditative and energetic, as it would appear, from the nature of their profession,

they have at various times distinguished themselves as patriots, men of letters, and generally useful members

of society. Numerous anecdotes are related of individuals who have thus imparted a glory to the gentle craft,” as

shoemaking has been called since the days of the illustrious Crispin. In a small and interesting work entitled “ Crispin Anecdotes," we find the following case in illustration.

Timothy BENNETT, a shoemaker, resided in the village of Hampton-Wick, near Richmond, in Surrey. The first passage from this village to Kingston-upon-Thames, through Bushy

Park, (a royal demesne), had been for many years shut up from the public. This honest Englishman," unwilling," as he said, “ to leave the world worse than he found it,” consulted a lawyer upon the practicability of recovering this road, and the probable \expense of a legal process. "I have seven hundred pounds," said this honest patriot," which I should be willing to bestow upon this attempt. It is all I have, and has been saved through a long course of honest industry.” The lawyer informed him that no such sum would be necessary to produce this result; and Timothy determined accordingly to proceed with vigour in the prosecution of this public claim. In the meantime Lord Halifax, ranger of Busby Park, was made acquainted with his intentions, and sent for him. “Who are you, sir," inquired his lordship, “that have the assurance to meddle in this affair?"

No. 115.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


“My name, my lord, is Timothy Bennett, shoemaker, of Hampton-Wick. I remember, an't please your lordship, when I was a young man, of seeing, while sitting at my work, the people cheerfully pass by to Kingston market; but now, my lord, they are forced to go round about, through' a hot sandy road, ready to faint beneath their burdens, and I am unwilling (it was his favourite expression) to leave the world worse than I found it.' This, my lord, I humbly represent, is the reason of my conduct.”

“ Begone; you are an impertinent fellow!" replied his lordship. However, upon more mature reflection, being convinced of the equity of the claim, and anticipating the ignominy of defeat "LORD HALIFAX, the NOBLEMAN, nonsuited by TIMOTHY BENNETT, the SHOEMAKER”—he desisted from his opposition, and opened the road, which is enjoyed, without molestation, to this day. Timothy died when an old man, in 1756.

Such a disinterested instance of public virtue is highly worthy of being recorded ; and though it may not be in the power of every one to suggest valuable improvements, or to confer lasting benefits on posterity, yet each may, like the patriotic Bennett, endeavour at least not to leave the world worse than he found it.

Few men belonging to the “gentle craft” attained a higher position by their abilities than those whose lives we now have to mention. The first on the list is James Lackington, who flourished towards the end of the last century, and has left an amusing autobiography, which we take the liberty to abridge as follows:


I was born at Wellington, in Somersetshire, on the 31st of August 1746. My father, George Lackington, was a journeyman shoemaker, who had married a maiden in humble life, named Joan Trott, the daughter of a weaver in Wellington. My grandfather, George Lackington, had been a gentleman-farmer at Langford, a village two miles from Wellington, and acquired a pretty considerable property. But my father's mother dying when my father was but about thirteen years of age, my grandfather, who had two daughters, bound my father apprentice to a Mr Hordly, a master shoemaker in Wellington, with the intention of setting him up in business at the expiry of his time. My father worked a year or two as a journeyman, and then having given displeasure by marrying, he was left to shift for himself.

was born in my grandmother Trott's poor cottage; and that good old woman carried me to church, and had me baptised. My grandfather's resentment at the marriage having worn off, he set my father up in a shop, which soon proved a failure. My father had contracted a fatal habit of tippling, and of course his business was neglected; so that, after several fruitless attempts to keep him in trade, he was, partly by a large family, but more particularly from his habitual drunkenness, reduced to his old state of a journeyman shoemaker. Yet so infatuated was he with the love of liquor, that the endearing ties of husband and father could not restrain him; by which baneful habit himself and family were involved in extreme misery. I may therefore affirm that neither myself, my brothers, nor sisters, are indebted to a father scarcely for anything that can endear his memory, or cause us to reflect on him with pleasure. But to our mother we are indebted for everything. Never did I know a woman who worked and lived so hard as she did to support eleven children; and were I to relate the particulars, they would not gain credit. I shall only observe that, for many years together, she worked nineteen or twenty hours out of every twenty-four. Whenever she was asked to drink a half-pint of ale at any shop where she had been laying out a trifling sum, she always asked leave to take it home to her husband, who was always so mean and selfish as to accept it.

Out of love to her family, she totally abstained from every kind of liquor, water excepted: her food was chiefly broth (little better than water and oatmeal), turnips, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, &c. Her children fared something better, but not much. When I reflect on the astonishing hardships and sufferings of so worthy a woman and her helpless infants, I find myself ready to curse the husband and father that could thus involve them in such a deplorable scene of misery and distress. It is dreadful to add that his habitual drunkenness shortened his days nearly one-half, and that, about twenty years since, he died unregretted by his own children. Although dropping a tear over his grave, we felt a degree of thankfulness that the cause of our poverty and misery was at length taken out of the way. While

my. father was still a careful, hard-working man, I was put two or three years to a day-school, kept by an old woman, by whom I was taught to read in the New Testament. But my career of learning was at an end, when my mother became so poor that she could not afford the sum of twopence per week for my schooling; besides, I was obliged to supply the place of a nurse to several of my brothers and sisters. The consequence of this was, that I soon forgot what I had been taught, and was exposed to mischievous habits among the loose boys of the neighbourhood. From this kind of life I was rescued by being employed by a baker to cry and sell pies through the streets. My manner of crying pies, and my activity in selling them, soon made me a favourite of all such as purchased halfpenny apple-pies and plum-puddings, so that in a few weeks an old pie merchant shut up his shop. I lived with this baker about twelve or fifteen months, in which time I sold such large quantities of pies, puddings, cakes, &c. that he often declared to his friends that I had been the means of extricating him from embarrassing circumstances which had pressed upon him.


« AnteriorContinuar »