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  • HISTORY OF THE ANCIENT CHRISTIANS -
    HISTORY OF THE VAUDOIS - BOOK 1


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    HISTORY OF THE VAUDOIS INHABITING THE VALLEYS OF THE ALPS, BROUGHT DOWN FROM THE PRIMITIVE, TO THE PRESENT TIMES.

    CHAPTER - 1

    The Introduction, showing the true Original of the Vaudois, the purity of their Religion, and their Ecclesiastical Government and Manners.

    AS to the general idea of those two great witnesses to the truth of Christianity, the Vaudois and Albigeois; Mr. Perrin in his work has already given us a general view of the afflicted state of both those sister churches in the middle ages, and of their several dispersions through all the parts of Europe. My endeavors in the remaining parts of this history shall be spent in an account of their original, their religion, their government and manners, and their terrible conflicts and sufferings, so as to show them to have endured under the second beast, the Roman antichrist, ten persecutions, as to some of them not less great than the other ten, which the primitive Christians before them had undergone under the first beast, the pagan powers.

    CHAPTER - 2

    The Original of the Vaudois.

    ONE cannot read the history of the Vaudois, without admiring the wonders God Almighty has done from time to time for their preservation and deliverance. Which are so great and so many, that we should not easily believe them, if they were not attested by eyewitnesses of indubitable credit.

    They are called Vaudois, not that they descended of Peter Valdo of Lyons, but because they are original inhabitants of the valleys. For the word Vaudois or Valdenses comes from the word val, which signifies a valley.

    So the protestants of Bohemia were at first called Picards, because they came out of Picardy, the place of their ancient habitation. The Taborites were likewise so called from the city of Tabor, the place of their ordinary residence; and the Albigenses were so called, because they inhabited the city of Albi, which was full of protestants, against whom his crusade, impiously called a “holy war,” the pope declared to destroy them. From the Vaudois of Piedmont are descended the Vaudois of Provence, where some of them took up their habitation, and sowed their doctrine, and from Provence they spread themselves into Languedoc, where they made a wonderful progress.

    This shows that the Vaudois of Piedmont, did not derive themselves from Peter Waldo; for after Valdo or Waldo was driven out of Lyons by the archbishop, according to the order he received from the pope, he did not retire into Piedmont, but into Flanders, where he sowed the doctrine of the gospel, which spread itself into Picardy, which joins to Flanders. These poor people being persecuted by the king of France, retired into Bohemia, and for that reason were called Picards, because they came out of Picardy.

    D’Aubigne in his Universal History says, that those of the remnant of Waldo, who fled into Picardy, did so increase and multiply, that to root them out, or at least to weaken them, Philip Augustus, king of France, destroyed three hundred gentlemen’s houses.

    It is proved by authentic records and acts, that the Vaudois of Piedmont, had protested against the errors of the church of Rome seventy years before Waldo appeared in the world. For Waldo did not begin to preach against the Roman court till the year 1175, but the Vaudois in their own language, produce divers acts and monuments of affairs relating to the reformation done in the year 1100, and others in the year 1120, seventy or seventy-five years before Waldo. These acts were saved from the flames in that lamentable massacre, committed upon these poor people, in the year 1655, and the originals were put into the hands of Mr. Moreland, the English ambassador, and after sent to be kept in the university of Cambridge. Copies of them are in the general history of the churches of the Vaudois, written by J. Leger, minister of the Valleys; and it is not to be doubted, but that the Vaudois of Piedmont, had more ancient acts and records of their doctrine, which were buried in the ruins of their churches, by their enemies. In this book we shall only speak of the Vaudois of Piedmont. 1

    CHAPTER - 3

    Religion of the Vaudois of Piedmont.

    THE Vaudois, or the inhabitants of the valleys of Piedmont, received the doctrine of the gospel, in the times of the apostles, either from the apostles themselves, or by those who immediately succeeded them.

    Paul being carried prisoner to Rome, in the reign of Nero, sojourned there two years, during which space he had the liberty to go round the city, from house to house, dragging a chain after him,which was the badge of a criminal prisoner; and in the capital city, mistress of the world, he preached the gospel of Christ, and laid the foundation of a flourishing church; to which he wrote from Corinth, after his departure, that excellent Epistle of Paul to the Romans. During his imprisonment, he wrote many other learned Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians: his fame and doctrine sounded high in the court of the emperor, as is clear from the Epistle that he then wrote from Rome to the Philipplans, where he says, Philippians 1:12 and 13, that what happened to him there proved the great advancement of the gospel, so that his bonds in Christ were become famous through all the Praetorium, which (as every body knows) was the court of the emperor, and all other places of Rome.

    This great apostle having gained many disciples in this famous city, God made them instruments of planting the Christian religion in Italy, and in Piedmont, which is a part of Italy. For the history of the church tells us, that those whom God had illuminated with his holy doctrine, burnt with a desire of imparting the saving grace, of which they participated, to others, If it be true also that Paul performed his voyage into Spain, as be designed, Romans 15:24, he took Rome in his way; and it is not to be doubted, but that if he went by land he passed through Piedmont, for it is in the direct way from Rome to Spain. And if he went by sea, it was necessary, that in going from Corinth to Spain, he should pass by Italy; but he was at Corinth when he wrote that he had a desire to go into Spain. If he had passed through Piedmont, as in all appearance he did, it is certain he preached there, for he preached wherever he came.

    Since the valleys of Piedmont were enlightened with the bright rays of the gospel, the inhabitants of these countries have conserved the purity of the Christian religion without any mixture of human traditions; they never had any images or altars in their churches; they never invoked angels or saints, never believed a purgatory; they never acknowledged other mediator than Jesus Christ, nor other merit than that of his death: they never owned the doctrine of the mass, of auricular confession, of abstinence from certain sorts of meat, of the celibacy of priests, of the doctrine of transubstantiation; but always held the holy Scriptures to be the perpetual rule of faith, and would never receive or believe any thing but what they taught; and their doctrine was always the same it is now. This is proved clearly from the acts that were preserved from the flames that reduced their churches and houses into ashes; among the which, there is one written in their vulgar tongue, in the year 1100, called the Noble Lesson, because it gives the rules of holy living and good works, besides a Catechism of the same year, where, in question and answer, are taught the principal mysteries of the Christian religion, according to the word of God, without any mixture of traditions; besides an explication of the Lord’s prayer, in the year 1120, and an explication of the apostles’ creed, with several passages of the holy Scripture explaining every article; to which is joined an explication of the ten commandments in short; also a little book entitled, A Treatise of Antichrist.

    Those three acts were made in the year 1120, and the last of these treatises shows that all those are antichrists that teach doctrines contrary to the word of God. They confute the doctrines of prayers for the dead, purgatory, auricular confession, abstinence from flesh, and reject all traditions that are not in the word of God, and are not conformable to it.

    When these acts were made the Christian doctrine was not corrupted every where, for there were then many persons in France, Germany, and England, who wrote against the errors which were by Rome and her doctors introduced into the church. If the purity of Christian religion had not been conserved in these valleys of Piedmont, from the time of the apostles, till the beginning of the eleventh age, in which these acts were made, how had it been possible for them to have made so many famous acts, in which the purity of the Christian religion is so clearly taught? if they had before received the errors of Rome, by whom, and when were these errors purged out of the churches of Piedmont? Who was the reformer? Where are the acts that speak of this reformation, that they may be produced? If there be none, then there was never any reform, and by a clear consequence the Christian religion has remained from the time that the Vaudois received it, such as is contained in those acts, till the time that the acts were made.

    About two hundred years before the acts were made, lived Claudius of Turin, bishop of that city and the valleys, who wrote sharply against the errors of the church of Rome. This bishop condemned the invocation of saints, the worshipping of images, of relics, and the cross: he maintained the doctrine of St. Augustine concerning grace, and by consequence he rejected the merit of good works; he taught that the salvation of mankind doth wholly depend upon the merits and death of Christ; he condemned likewise pilgrimages made to Rome, which the monks brought into request.

    His whole diocese, according to the writings of a learned man, 1 followed exactly his doctrine, the sheep lovingly following the shepherd. The doctrine of transubstantiation was not in his time received in France, except in some few bishoprics; the greatest stream of writers opposed it; they received the communion under both kinds; they did not adore the sacrament; they read the holy Scriptures, and taught them to their children; they made no direct prayers to saints, as they have done since; they attributed all to the grace and mercy of God.

    The Christian religion being pure in Piedmont at this time, as it appears, by the writings of Claudius of Turin; there is no doubt to be made of its conserving itself so till the twelfth century, in which those acts, of which we have spoken, were made. So we cannot learn from any historian that those valleys were either before or after the time of this great bishop reformed; and we see clearly by indubitable acts, that two hundred years after, the same religion was in its purity, without the alloy of human traditions and ceremonies; and the greatest enemies of the Vaudois, for all their boasting, are not able to show the contrary.

    But above all, the purity of their religion appeared by that excellent profession of their faith made the year 1120, more than fifty years before Waldo of Lyons. 2 It is now five hundred and seventy years since this confession of faith was made by the churches of Piedmont, at which time all other churches were corrupted, by the mixture of human doctrine and pagan ceremonies; the world at that time being overspread with an Egyptian darkness, and so the authors of both religions agree, in calling that age, the dark age.

    This confession of faith being drawn from the writings of the holy apostles, and in every respect conformable to their doctrine, it follows, by a necessary consequence, that the religion of the Vaudois is the true and pure religion of the apostles, and that they have always kept it pure from the first receiving of it till the beginning of the twelfth century, and from thence till these times, since they now profess the same faith, and teach the same doctrine that was contained in that famous confession. All other churches, both of the east and west, being infected with divers heresies, Satan, to hinder the advancement of the reign of Jesus Christ, has from time to time stirred up false teachers, who have sown their cursed seed in the field of our Lord, and by their false doctrine, varnished over with a seeming piety, have corrupted the doctrine of the gospel: this is what our Savior foretold, saying to his disciples, that false Christs and false prophets would arise, and would do signs and wonders to deceive, if it were possible, the very elect; etc. St. Peter (2 Ep. chap. 2:1, 2, 3.) prophesied the same thing, there have been false prophets among the people, as likewise there will be among you false teachers, who shall privately introduce sects of perdition, and shall deny the Lord who hath redeemed them, bringing upon them sudden perdition, and many shall follow them, whereby the ways of truth shall be blasphemed: but O the wonderful works of God! who has conserved by his wise Providence, the purity of his religion in the valleys of Piedmont, from the time of the apostles, to our time, by a singular effect of his goodness towards these poor people of the valleys, and has hindered Satan’s false doctors and teachers from sowing the cockle of their poisonous doctrine in the mystical field of his church. Notwithstanding all their crafty endeavors, God, in spite of the devil and all his works, has kept among these mountains and deserts the bright light of his gospel, and has never suffered the candle to be extinguished. The great wonders that God has done from time to time, to keep his bright lamp always shining clear to these happy countries, makes it evident, that this is the place which God has prepared to keep and defend his church in, against the furious attacks of the infernal dragon, who gave his power and throne to the beast, to make war against the saints, and to vanquish them. For this is the true desert, whither the woman (Revelation 12:6.) clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, crowned with twelve stars, made her retreat, where God has prepared her a place, where she might be nourished one thousand two hundred and sixty prophetical days, which make one thousand two hundred and sixty years; where God Almighty has kept her safe against all the storms raised by Satan without any effect, till the year 1656, the term of the prophecy of the eleventh chapter of the Revelations was accomplished; and it was then that the beast which rose out of the deeps, vanquished them and killed them. In another place we shall speak of these two witnesses, where we shall show when it was that these poor people were driven out of their country, and when and how it was, that they were re-established by the Duke of Savoy, their sovereign prince.

    The Vaudois, in the second article of their faith, hold the holy Scripture for the rule of faith, and teach that nothing is to be believed as an article of faith, that they do not prove by clear proofs of Scripture; and so in the tenth and eleventh articles they reject all human traditions as abominations, acknowledge only two sacraments, viz. baptism and the eucharist. In the thirteenth article they give us a scantling of their doctrine, where they say thus: the sacraments, according to St. Augustine, de Civitate Dei, is an invisible grace represented by a visible thing; and they say there is a great deal of difference between the sign and the thing signified. The first sacrament is called baptism, viz. a washing or sprinkling of water, which must be administered in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

    In the Book of Antichrist, written in 1120, it is also said those things which are not necessary in the administration of baptism, are exorcisms, insufflations; the sign of the cross upon the head and breast of the infant, salt which is put in the child’s mouth, spittle into the ears and nose, the chrismatical unction upon the head, and all such like things consecrated by the bishops: they likewise teach that it is unnecessary to put a lighted torch in the child’s hand, or after baptism to put on it a white, garment, or to have god-fathers and god-mothers. All these things done in the administration of the sacraments, they say, are not of the substance of baptism, and by consequence unnecessary.

    Furthermore, they say of the supper of our Lord, in the same book of antichrist; as baptism, which is taken visibly, and visibly administered, is as it were, an enrolling one in the company of the faithful, and obliges them to follow Jesus Christ, and observe his commandments, and to live up to the rules of the gospel; so likewise the holy supper and the holy communion of our Savior, the breaking the bread, and the giving of thanks, is a visible communion performed by the members of Jesus Christ. For those that take and break the same bread, are one body, and members one of another, planted in him, to whom they protest, and promise to persevere in his service even to the end, without leaving the faith of the gospel, or the union that they have all promised to God, and through and by Jesus Christ.

    In the same book of antichrist, the eating of the sacramental bread is the eating of the body of Christ in figure only, “as often as ye do this, do it in remembrance of me:” for if it were not a spiritual eating, Christ would be obliged to be eaten continually; and he in truth eats Christ, who believes in him; and Christ says, that to eat him is to dwell in him.

    From whence it follows, that the Vaudois did not believe transubstantiation, nor the oral and corporal eating of the body of Christ; but that the signs in the supper of our Lord remained the same in substance as before they were applied to this holy use; and that, as often as they received these visible signs by their mouth, they received, by faith, the virtue and efficacy of the body of Jesus Christ, broken, upon the cross, signified by the breaking of bread; and of his blood that was split, signified and represented by the pouring of the wine into the cup: and that by this action, thay celebrated the memory of the death of Christ, and obeyed his commandment, “do this in remembrance of me:” words that St. Paul explains in this manner, “as often as you shall eat of this bread, and drink of this cup, you declare and commemorate the death of the Lord till he come.”

    If the Vaudois have conserved the purity of the Christian religion, from the time of the apostles till the beginning of the twelfth century, 3 we have made appear by their confession of faith made at the beginning of that time: they have not kept it less pure from that time till our days, as we shall prove by another confession of faith, which they made in the year 1655; after the massacre, which all christendom has heard spoken of with horror and detestation, and of which we shall speak hereafter.

    A SHORT CONFESSION OF THE FAITH OF THE CHURCHES OF PIEDMONT, PUBLISHED WITH THEIR. MANIFESTO, AFTER THE DREADFUL MASSACRES IN THE YEAR 1655.

    Article I. We believe first, that there is but one only God, who is a spiritual essence, eternal, infinite, all mercy, all wisdom, all justice; in a Word, every way perfect; and that in his infinite and pure essence there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

    II. That this God has manifested himself to men, by his glorious works, as well by his creation, as his continual Providence, and by his word revealed at first by his oracles in divers manners; afterwards reduced by writing into books, which we call the holy Scriptures.

    III. That these holy Scriptures ought to be received, as we receive them, for divine and canonical, viz. for the rule of our faith, and the directions of our life, as they are contained in the books of the Old and New Testament: and that in the Old Testament there are only the following books to be received as of divine revelation, and which God only approved of and committed to the church of the Jews, viz. the five Books of Moses, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, the 1st and 2d of Samuel, the 1st and 2d of Kings, the 1st and 2d of Chronicles, the 1st of Esdras, Nehemiah, Esther, Job, the Psalms, the Proverbs of Solomon, Ecclesiastes, the Song of Songs, the four greater prophets, and the twelve lesser. The books of the New Testament are, the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans, two Epistles to the Corinthians, one to the Galatians, one to the Ephesians, one to the Philippians, one to the Colossians, two to the Thessalonians, 1st to Timothy, 2d to Timothy, one to Titus, one to Philemon, one to the Hebrews, one of St. James, one of St. Peter, three of St. John, one of St. Jude, the Apocalypse, or the Revelation of St. John.

    IV. That we acknowledge the divinity of these sacred books, not only by the testimony of the church, but principally by the eternal and indubitable truth of the doctrine contained in them, and for the excellent and divine majesty of them, and by the operation of the Holy Ghost, which makes us receive with reverence the testimony which the church gives of them, which opens our eyes to discover the rays of celestial light which shone in these sacred books, which rectifies our understanding to discern and rightly taste the divine things contained in them.

    V. That God has made all things of nothing by his free will, and by the infinite power of his word.

    VI. That he guides and governs all things by his Providence, ordering all things that happen to the world, without being the author or cause of evil that the creatures do; so that he is wholly without blame, and evil can in no manner be imputed to him.

    VII. That the angels having been created pure and holy, some of them fell into sin, and irreparable perdition, but others persevered by an effect of the divine goodness, which assisted them, and confirmed them in grace.

    VIII. That man who was created pure, holy, and after the image of God, by his own fault deprived himself of this happy state, giving his assent to the subtle and pernicious discourse of the devil.

    IX. That man has lost by his transgression the justice and holiness he received, incurring the indignation of God, death and captivity under the power of him who hath the empire of death, viz. the devil, to that degree, that his free-will is become a servant and slave of sin; that so by nature all men, as well Jews as Gentiles, are children of wrath, dead in their sins, and by consequence incapable of having any good motion towards their salvation, nor to frame a good thought without grace, all their imaginations and thoughts being always evil.

    X. That all the posterity of Adam were made guilty by his disobedience, infected with the same corruption, and fallen into the same calamity, even young children from the womb of their mother; which is termed original sin.

    XI. That God withdrew out of this corruption and condemnation the persons that he has chosen by his mercy, in Jesus Christ his Son, leaving others by an irreproachable justice of his liberty.

    XII. That Jesus Christ being ordained of God, in his eternal decree, to be the only Savior, and the only head of his body, which is his church, he has redeemed it with his own blood, in fullness of time, and communicates to it all his benefits and favors by the gospel.

    XIII. That there are two natures in Jesus, the divine and human, truly in one person, without confusion, without division, without separation, without change, each nature keeping its distinct property; and that Jesus Christ is true God and man.

    XIV. That God has so loved the world, that he has given his only Son to save us by his most perfect obedience, particularly by that he suffered the cursed death of the cross, and by the victories he gained over the devil, sin and death.

    XV. That Jesus Christ having made an entire expiation of our sins, by a most perfect sacrifice of himself upon the cross, it neither can, nor ought to be reiterated, upon any pretense whatsoever.

    XVI. That Jesus Christ having fully reconciled us to God, by his blood shed upon the cross; it is by this merit only, and not by our works, that we are absolved and justified before him.

    XVII. That we have a union with Jesus Christ, and communion of his benefits by faith, which are promised us by his holy gospel.

    XVIII. That this faith comes from the gracious and efficacious operations of the Holy Ghost, which illuminates our souls, and enables them to rely upon the mercy of God, to be applied by the merits of Jesus Christ.

    XIX. That Jesus Christ is our only and true mediator, not only as to redemption, but also as to intercession; and that by his merits and mediation we have access to the Father, to invoke him with a holy confidence of being heard, without need of having recourse to any other intercessor than him.

    XX. That as God doth promise regeneration in Jesus Christ, those that are united to him by a lively faith, should apply themselves with all their heart to do good works.

    XXI. That good works are so necessary to the faithful, that they cannot come to the kingdom of heaven, without doing them. So that we must walk in the ways of justice and righteousness, fly all vices, and exercise ourselves in all Christian virtues, using fasting, and all other means that may conduce to so holy an end.

    XXII. That though we cannot merit any thing by our good works, our Savior will notwithstanding recompense them with eternal life, by a merciful continuation of his grace, and in virtue of an immovable constancy of his grace and promises.

    XXIII. That those who possess eternal life for their faith and good works, must be considered as saints, and glorified and praised for their virtues; imitated in all their excellent actions: but not adored or invocated, for no address of prayer must be made to any but God alone, through Jesus Christ.

    XXIV. That God has gathered together a church in this world, for the salvation of mankind, but she has but one head and foundation, which is Jesus Christ.

    XXV. That this church is the company of the faithful, who being elected by God, before the foundation of the world, and called by a holy vocation, are united together to follow the word of God, believing that which he teaches, and living in his fear.

    XXVI. That this church cannot fail, or be quite destroyed, but that it will always remain.

    XXVII. That every body must be a member of that church, and keep in her communion.

    XXVIII. That God doth not only instruct us by his word, but that besides he has instituted sacraments to be joined to his word, as the means to unite us to Christ, and to communicate to us his benefits, and that there are but two common to all the members of the church under the New Testament, viz. baptism and the supper of our Lord.

    XXIX. That he has instituted the sacrament of baptism for a testimony of our adoption; and that we are washed from our sins in the blood of Jesus Christ, and renewed in sanctity of life.

    XXX. That he has instituted that of the Eucharist, or of his holy supper, for the nourishment of our souls, to the end, that by a true and lively faith, by the incomprehensive virtue of the Holy Ghost, eating effectively his flesh, and drinking his blood, and uniting us most inseparably to Christ, in him, and by him, we may have eternal life.

    XXXI. That it is necessary that the church have pastors, well instructed and of good life, instituted by them that have the right to do it, as well to preach the word of God, as to administer the sacraments, and watch over the flock of Christ, following the rules of a good and holy discipline conjointly with the elders and deacons, according to the practice of the ancient church.

    XXXII. That God has established kings and magistrates for the government of his people, and they ought to be subject and obedient to them in virtue of the said order, not only for anger, but for conscience, in all things that are conformable to the word of God, who is the King of kings and Lord of lords.

    XXXIII. That we must receive the creed of the apostles, the Lord’s prayer, the ten commandments, as fundamental parts of our belief, and of our devotions.

    We can likewise make it appear, even by evidence drawn out of the books of the adversaries of the Vaudois, that their doctrine is the same as is represented in this confession, and that it has always been so: those that have a mind to see those testimonies, may find them in the general history, by Leger.

    The Vaudois having conserved from father to son, the purity of the doctrine of the apostles, from the time they received it, down to our days, and made a constant profession publicly of this celestial doctrine, they are by consequence the true successors of the apostles.

    CHAPTER - 4

    Of the Ecclesiastical Government of the Churches of the Vaudois of Piedmont, and the manners of the Vaudois.

    BUT if they have succeeded the apostles, as to their doctrine, they likewise succeeded them as to the order and government of the church. In the primitive church, Acts 20, the apostles established for the government of it, elders, Ephesians 4:11, and deacons, as we may learn, as well from the Acts of the Apostles as from their Epistles, Titus 1:5,6. The pastors are likewise called bishops and elders. 1 Timothy 3. They are called pastors, because they are to feed the flock of Christ, which are his sheep, with the good word of God; they are called bishops, which signifies inspectors or watchers, because they are to watch and take care of the flock which is committed to their charge; they are called elders, because they ought to be sage and prudent, and edify those that are committed to them by their good life and conduct; and so there were two sorts of elders in the primitive church, the one labored in the government of the church only, and the other, besides the care they had of the affairs of the church, took also pains in preaching and explaining the word, 1 Timothy 5:17. The deacons had the care of the poor, and pastors, elders, and deacons altogether had the government of the church. This is the discipline that the churches of Piedmont have always kept, for in their ancient manuscripts it is said, the churches there have always had pastors, elders and deacons to govern them, as they had till the year 1686, when they were dispersed.

    The pastors employed themselves to instruct and exhort the people to live well and holily; and the pastors, elders and deacons altogether watched over their flock, to banish all: vice and scandal It was requisite that the governors of the church should be of a good life and holy conversation, to edify others by their good example. There were schools kept to train up youth in piety: there was likewise a particular school to instruct those that aspired to the ministry, where was taught divinity. They made the young scholars learn by heart all the chapters of the gospels according to St. Matthew, and St. John, and all the canonical epistles, and a good part of the writings of Solomon, David, and the prophets. There came to this school young men out of Bohemia, and other places where the people of God dwelt and retained the profession of the ancient verity, to be instructed in the ministry.

    The Vaudois were not only pure, as to their doctrine, but likewise as to their manners; even their adversaries witness the same. Reynerus Sacco, who was one of the first inquisitors, employed by Rome against those of the valleys, speaks thus of them in his relation which he made of them to the court of Rome.

    After he had told that court that the sect of the Vaudois was the eldest that had ever been, beginning in the time of the apostles, or at least of Sylvester; he adds touching their manners, that whereas all other sects did strike the hearers with horror of their many blasphemies against God, that this of the valleys made great demonstration of piety, for they live justly in the face of the world: and in chapter 7 of his book, he says the Vaudois are chaste. The president Du Thou, commonly called Thuanus, in chapter 27, of his history, not only relates from their confession that the Vaudois observe the ten commandments of the law, which gives the rule of living holily and piously; that they give no entertainment to any sort of vices in their assemblies, that they hate and detest all sorts of unlawful oaths, perjuries, wicked imprecations, quarrels, seditions, debauches, drunkenness, whoring, inchantments, sacrileges, theft, usury, witchcraft, and the like; but gives afterwards of his own accord that noble character of them, in words that deserve to be written in letters of gold. And Claudius de Seissel, Archbishop of Turin, in the book he wrote against the Vaudois, in the year 1500, confesses in formal terms, that as to their life and manners, they live in the world without reproach, observing with all their power the commandments of God. We could allege many other authorities given by the bitterest enemies of the Vaudois, of their good life and conversation.

    CHAPTER - 5

    Of the great calm the Vaudois Churches enjoyed for many ages, and of the first Persecution which succeeded it, by way of Inquisition, from the year 1198, to the year 1400.

    WE cannot find in the ecclesiastical histories that the Vaudois, or Christians of the valleys of Piedmont, were persecuted under the reigns of Nero, Domitian, or any other of the pagan emperors, who so cruelly persecuted the Christians; it is therefore probable, that during these cruel persecutions, many faithful Christians retired into these valleys to escape persecution, and to save themselves from the bloody hands of those cruel butchers. As we saw in France, during the last persecution, that many of the reformed religion fled into the woods and mountains, and hid themselves in caverns and rocks, to save themselves from the hands of the cruel and pitiless dragoons, and to avoid, by their flight, the danger of renouncing their religion: so the church, which is represented by the woman, is at the same time, Revelation 12:described flying into the wilderness from the fury of the dragon. And is there a more dreadful wilderness than the mountains of the Alps, which are covered with snow eight or nine months of the year, amongst which are these valleys? It is said, that in the desert the woman had a place prepared of God for her, where she might be nourished one thousand two hundred and sixty days; and the valleys, have they not been the place which God has prepared to keep his church safe in, since the true church has always been conserved here from the time of the apostles, even to our days, without any interruption or want of succession? so that while the whole world ran after the beast, only the inhabitants of these valleys followed Jesus Christ, and walked according to the truth of the gospel. This was the true land of Goshen, which only was enlightened with celestial light, whilst the new Egypt was all covered with the thick and palpable darkness of ignorance and error; and accordingly they had for their arms a torch lighted surrounded with thick darkness, with this inscription, Lux lucet in Tenebris.

    Thus far from Boyer, and it is thought a very just remark; but whereas he next tells us that these churches of the valleys have enjoyed a continual peace, and perfect repose, from the beginning of the first age that the papal empire began to erect its throne, till towards the end of the fifteenth age, viz. till the year 1487, that Pope Innocent the VIII. made, as they call it, a holy war upon them, to destroy them; I must crave leave to put in my exceptions, so as to date their first formal persecution some centuries higher, that is, from about the year 1198; from which time till 1440, they suffered very grievously by papal bulls and anathemas, and the executions by virtue of them, from the inquisitors commissioned and employed by the popes to harass and exterminate them, of which the reader has already had some account in Perrin’s first book, in the first and second chapters.

    To which I shall here add a more ample account from Leger’s General history of the Vaudois, book 2:chapter 2. And surely the series of sufferings they underwent from papal inquisitions may very well be taken into the number of their persecutions, since as Leger observes, if he should undertake to give a full and particular account of all the persecutions which the people of the valleys have suffered until the end of the thirteenth, or the beginning of the fourteenth century, we should find them nothing but a continual execution. Indeed this being so signal a method of persecution, so very vexatious, tyrannical, and cruel, and running on concurrently with the others of crusades and massacres; I presume it may be of use to give a larger account thereof, which the reader may by pleased to have as it is described by that excellent historian.

    It is true, says Leger, that the little flocks of Jesus Christ, in the valleys of Piedmont, and the neighboring ones; by reason of the small communication which they have with the rest of the world, because of the remoteness of their habitations, dwelling in the valleys among the Alps, and upon the tops of the mountains, and for other reasons, have had some respite for the space of several hundred years, and have also enjoyed some tranquillity after the almost general dispersion of the Vaudois of Lyons, and other parts and places of France; or at least that they have not for some time been harassed with persecution, unless it were some few particular persons, who, travelling far from their habitations, did from time to time fall into the hands of the inquisitors. But so soon as the second Apocalyptical beast had sufficiently strengthened his seat of iniquity, and had fully fortified himself in the power of the first beast, which it was to usurp, according to the prophecy of St. John; and so soon as it went about to compel the people “to drink the cup of its whoredom,” these good Nathaniels, who could never be induced to do it, did not for that reason fail to become the objects of its hatred, and to be at length exposed to the fury of the dragon, who came forth out of the pit of destruction. Yet still did they not fall immediately to fire and sword, and massacres; for as the beast mentioned in the Revelations hath the voice of the dragon, it hath likewise the horns of the lamb; his emissaries, although devouring wolves, were nevertheless first to appear in sheep’s clothing, according to the prediction of Jesus Christ in the gospel, to endeavor by mildness, flattery, and fair promises, to ensnare the souls of the simple. But this method not meeting with success, the aforesaid beast, as it hath the voice of the dragon, it was in the next place, to send forth the thunders of its vatican before it did proceed to further violence, and employ its utmost might and power, to exterminate and destroy them; its excommunications and anathemas being notwithstanding commonly accompanied with terrible decrees, bulls, patents, orders, and arrogant injunctions, as well as pathetical exhortations addressed to the kings, princes, and potentates of the earth, to oblige them to make use of all manner of means and artifices to drive those poor faithful either into apostacy, or else into such a terrible condition, that there should remain no hopes for them, but the extremity of despair.

    Moreover, they caused them to be cast out from the society of the rest of mankind, depriving them of all commerce; proclaiming and crying them down every where, not only as persons altogether unworthy of the least office or dignity, but also of all manner of negotiation; nay, which is more, riot worthy to be buried among Christians; they also confiscated their goods, demolished their houses, cut down their trees, and as much as in them lay, ravished and robbed them of their dear children. For as it was by such excommunications, orders, and decrees, that Alexander III. ruined and dispersed the poor Vaudois of Lyons about the year 1180; it was thought fit, by the prudence of the council de propaganda fide et extirpandis haereticis, to try a second time, whether the same remedies, or rather the same poison, would have power enough upon their brethren, before they dyed the earth with blood of those innocents; not failing to intermix them with a great many instructions full of falsehood and cruelty, to the end, that those poor faithful might never find any security in the world without casting themselves into the bosom of the church of Rome; indeed we find a great many commands and injunctions, as rude and unmannerly as they were arrogant and urgent, which the sovereign pontiff laid even upon kings, princes, and potentates, and all sorts of magistrates, to give exact information of all the Vaudois that were found in their kingdoms, principalities, lands, and jurisdictions, to deliver them up into the hands of the inquisitors; even so far as to give express orders for that purpose every where to shut the cities, to the end, that not one of them might escape, assigning the third part of their goods to those who should give notice of the place of their habitation, and condemning to unheard of penalties all sorts of persons, of what quality or condition whatsoever, who should undertake to afford them in any manner, either directly or indirectly, counsel, aid, or refuge, or even who knowing the place of their retreat, should not give speedy notice of it, that those who out of an appetite of gain, and desire to enjoy and possess their spoils could not be induced to make themselves the instruments of their ruin, might at least be moved thereto by the apprehension of punishment. But at length, when these expedients were looked upon to be too mild and moderate, or at least did not expedite and hasten on the total execution of these undertakings; since this sort of persecution seemed only to encourage them the more, so that they did increase in the midst of torments and sufferings, as saffron does under hail, visibly multiplying, as if the ashes of those who were thus martyred, with the design to strike a terror into the minds of others, had been the divine seed which sprang up, and yielded increase a hundred fold.

    Their pastors on the other hand never ceasing to instruct, comfort, and encourage them, and to preach with their usual zeal, that the pope was antichrist, the host an idol, purgatory a fable, as Reynerus the inquisitor doth still charge them in the book which hath been often already quoted.

    Pope Innocent, the successor of Celestin, about the year 1198, resolved to take a more sure and expeditious course for their utter ruin and extirpation, root and branch, by ordaining inquisitors, on whom he conferred an entire, absolute, nay and sovereign authority; 1. To try them. 2. To deliver them up to the secular power, and cause them to be put to death without mercy: a damnable expedient, by which within a little time they filled christendom with horrid and lamentable spectacles of unheard of, and more than barbarous cruelty. And because the power of these inquisitors was so general, as we learn by the bulls with which they were fortified, as well as by their practices; and because also they were in such credit and esteem with the people, as to be able to gather them together by the sound of a bell, when, and as often as they pleased; and which is much more strange, they could proceed even against the bishops, who they thought had let slip the last opportunity of apprehending and putting any of those pretended heretics to death, and because they had power to imprison them themselves, and punish them at their discretion, there was not any extremity to which they did not proceed, no one daring to make the least opposition or resistance against them.

    All manner of accusations were valid against these poor people, a murderer, a common strumpet, and every infamous person, was a witness more than sufficient to take away the goods and life of a poor Vaudois, without even (a horrid thing) so much as holding it necessary to confront the witnesses, nor to form the inquests, nor make examinations: nay, it was enough if a stranger had given in a bill, though it were not signed at all, or at least in an unknown and unintelligible manner. — If any one of the Vaudois had some small matter of goods and possession, there needed no more to convict him of heresy, and his goods never failed to be the means of his death, since they became the prize and reward of the accuser. No advocate durst undertake the defense of their cause, nor notary receive any act in their favor, lest he should render himself suspected of heresy, and be himself condemned as a heretic. He who was once entangled in the snares of this inquisition, was certain never to get out of it again; or if he was set at liberty, it was only quickly to be seized anew by those who having played with him as a cat does with a mouse, did at length crush his bones, and make him his prey. And as if it had been too little to take away their life; we can still produce several of the sentences which these bloody inquisitors pronounced even against the carcasses and the bones of the poor Vaudois already rotten, having caused several of them to be disinterred twenty-five and thirty years after their death, and burnt them in public places, only to have some color and pretense to confiscate their goods, which their children (in such case) though become papists, did not dare to possess any longer, to avoid the suspicion of heresy.

    And to keep the people in greater fear and terror, it was the custom of these good fathers to lead some of these poor captives in triumph in all the processions which they made, compelling some to whip themselves, and others to wear red garments with great crosses, taking the name of Benedictines converted, that it might be believed by this means, that they were convinced in their consciences of the heresy of which they had been accused, and did acknowledge that they were justly chastised for the faults which they had committed; and others again were obliged to walk in their shirts barefoot and bareheaded, with a rope about their neck and boughs in their hands. In this miserable condition were all sorts of persons, of what rank or quality soever, forced to show themselves, to the great astonishment of the spectators. They still were not permitted to enter into the churches whilst the service was saying; and which is no less cruel, several of them were condemned to go on pilgrimage to the holy land; which journey they were to make at their own expense and charges, and this precisely within the time which was prescribed them; during which, the inquisitors themselves, the priests, and other good brethren, villanously abused their wives; of which, several instances might be produced. Besides all these practices, the inquisitors had also secret instructions, and exact formularies of the stratagems which they were to make use of in all their proceedings, as may be seen in the rules and maxims taken from the archbishopric of Ambrun, 1 which the divine Providence hath put into our hands, which show in what manner the children of darkness did first forge the instruments of the ruin of the poor Vaudois, before they went about the execution of their pernicious design.

    Such were the rules and instructions which those children of hell had to follow, and which they have put in practice ever since the eleventh century, especially until the year 1228, during which time, they apprehended so great a number of Vaudois in divers places of Europe, especially in Dauphiny, Provence, and Languedoc, that the archbishops of Aries and Narbonne, who met at Avignon in the same year 1228, moved with compassion towards those poor miserable objects, told the inquisitors, that it was impossible for them to provide stone and mortar to build prisons enough to contain so great a number of captives, insomuch that they desired them to desist from seizing any more, till such times as they had acquainted the pope with it, and learned his holiness’ pleasure in this matter.

    But if I should undertake, says Leger, to give a full and particular account of all the persecutions which this people of the valleys have suffered by the aforesaid method, ever since the eleventh, until the end of the thirteenth century, I should be led into a needless prolixity, since we find therein nothing but a continual execution of it; besides, says he, the public have already an account of it by Monsieur Vignaus, an ancient barb, or minister of the valley of Lucerne, in his Memoirs of the Vaudois, by the Sieur Peter Gilles, in the fourth chapter of his Ecclesiastical History; and by the Sieur Paul Perrin, in book 2 of his History of the Vaudois, chapter 3.

    CHAPTER - 6

    Of the Second Persecution of the Vaudois by sudden and surprising Massacres, from the year 1400, till 1487, in order to exterminate them.

    THE first persecution of the Vaudois was, as you have now been told, by papal anathemas and bulls, and by the vexatious harassings and cruel executions of the inquisitors. The next method wherein they were attacked was, by the sudden irruptions and surprises of their bigoted neighbors, stirred up by the bloody inquisitors, whereby they endeavored all at once to destroy them. For those holy fathers of the inquisition finding it too tedious a way, could it be effectual, to extinguish those heretics, as they called them, by single persecutions, at length wrought up the laity also of their church, to an utter hatred of, and to have a bitter zeal against these holy men; so that about the year 1400, finding themselves in a condition to bring on a massacre, they thought fit to try their strength this way. And hereby they caused a dreadful desolation in the valley of Pragela, the poor people of this valley being assaulted unawares by their evil neighbors, the papists of the valleys of Oulz, Susa, Sesane, etc., just in the season of Lent, in the year aforesaid, and this after so furious and cruel a manner, that these poor creatures were forced to fly with a lamentable precipitation, carrying their aged and sick persons, and young children upon their backs, and to betake themselves to a high neighboring mountain, which hath ever since been called Albergan, from the Italian word ablergo, which signifies retreat or refuge, because this poor people retired thither at that time.

    But this terrible and amazing flight could not be performed with so much diligence, but that these assassins and murderers seized upon a great number of these poor and faithful people, made a cruel slaughter and butchery of them; besides, that they carried several of them away prisoners; and again those poor souls of them that made their escape, being overtaken by the night upon the mountains, and in the midst of the snow, now wandering up and down in a miserable condition, tormented with hunger and cold, several had their hands and feet frozen, and some were found dead and stiff in the snow. Amongst others, fifty poor little infants were found frozen, some in their cradles, and others in the arms of their mothers, who were dead as well as they. This is not to be passed over, but must needs be reckoned in the number of their persecutions. The inhabitants of the valleys looking upon it as the most violent of those which their fathers related to them.

    From that time forward the archbishop and the inquisitors of Turin, have never ceased to employ all their craft and power against the poor Vaudois of the other valleys of Piedmont, bordering upon that of Pragela aforesaid, and belonging to the same diocese: they induced some of those who fell into their hands, and had too great a value for their lives, to promise to change their religion to save them; but these new converts having not long continued in their apostacy, because of the remorse and continual trouble of their conscience; for fear of miserably falling a second time into the paws of those lions, fled some of them into Provence, and others into Calabria, which no sooner came to the ears of John Campesio, Archbishop of Turin, and of Andre de Aqua pendente, but they published most severe bulls, dated November 28th, 1475, both against them, and against all those of their faith. In pursuance of which, several of then were seized and cruelly martyred almost in all the cities and burroughs of Piedmont, insomuch that Jordan Tertian, a barb, or excellent pastor, was burnt alive at Suse, Hypolite Rousser at Turin, where Hugo Campo de Fenestrelles was also martyred, who was fastened alive to a stake, and in that condition had his belly ripped open, and his entrails plucked out.

    CHAPTER - 7

    The Third Persecution of the Vaudois, of Piedmont, in way of Crusades, made against them by Innocent VIII. in the year 1487, and their condition from that time till the year 1535.

    ALITTLE while after, the pope seeing that these particular persecutions, had not all the success that he expected from them; and whereas he had promised to himself, that if a cruel and severe punishment were inflicted upon a good number of these Vaudois, it would strike such terror into the minds of all the others, that they would easily be brought to renounce their pretended heresy; but on the contrary, finding they were so far from that, that they did always testify a greater constancy, he resolved to proceed to more general violence.

    To this purpose he made Albertus de Capitaneis, Archdeacon of Cremona, his legate and commissary general in this enterprise, and did amply furnish him with bulls and patents, 1 addressed to all the dukes, princes, and potentates, in whose jurisdiction there were found any Vaudois; exhorting and expressly enjoining them to assist the aforesaid legate with all the necessary forces to exterminate as many of the Vaudois, as should be found within their territories.

    This papal commissary assisted with the forces of the French king, the Duke of Savoy, and all the neighboring princes and potentates, which he was pleased to command, did after a strange manner harass and persecute the poor Vaudois in divers places; but especially in the valley of Piedmont, as a place which was in a special manner recommended to him, it lying in Italy, and the nearest to Rome. He went against them with an army composed of eighteen thousand men, besides an incredible multitude of volunteers out of Piedmont, being induced thereunto by the pope’s promise of a full and entire indulgence and remission of their sins; as also from the hopes they should have the pillage of these valleys, and the confiscated goods of those who should be dispossessed.

    This army was divided into several squadrons, with a design to surprise them with more success and facility in several places at once; and accordingly he attacked them therewith in divers places unawares, and that with an enraged and bitter fury. But though the Vaudois were few in number in respect of their enemies, and by no means experienced in warlike affairs, yet they sustained with invincible firmness, the dangerous efforts of their enraged adversaries; so that they were, contrary to all hopes and human likelihood, almost miraculously dispersed and almost entirely defeated; the divine Providence having shown itself in the succor and defense of his poor, who faithful, invoked his aid, by striking a panic fear into the breasts of their persecutors. The broken remains of their army, which stayed on the frontiers, durst attack them no more amongst the rocks, but contented themselves almost a whole year, to make excursions upon them; and this they did sometimes on one side, and sometimes on another, to the great damage and detriment of these poor Vandois, who by this means were perplexed with continual alarms, and hindered from cultivating their lands, from which they drew subsistence for themselves and their families, being forced to do it frequently with their arms in their hand. Howsoever, this cruel and bloody army was at length reduced to such a condition, that it could not any longer do them much mischief; so that Philip VII. Duke of Savoy, and Prince of Piedmont, then reigning, was obliged to put an end to so pernicious and fatal a war to his subjects, and so little honorable to himself. And God also did so mollify his heart towards this poor people, that as a testimony of his regret, for having been obliged to undertake it against them, he openly declared, and often repeated it, that he had none so good, so faithful, and so obedient subjects as these Vaudois, and that he,would not for the time to come, suffer them to be so cruelly used and treated by force of arms. And as to what had passed, he ordered pro forma, that twelve of them should come to Pignerol, where at that time he kept his court, to ask his pardon for having presumed to take up arms against his servants; which they did; and his highness having very kindly and humanely received them, did at the same time grant to them a general act of grace, for all that had been transacted during the war, acknowledging withal, that he had received very wrong information, as to what relates both to their persons and religion. He likewise desired to see some Of their children, to satisfy himself of the truth of what he had been persuaded to believe, that they were extremely monstrous, having but one eye in the middle of their forehead; four rows of teeth, all hairy, and several other such like things. The deputies of the Vaudois sent immediately to Angrogne for a dozen of their children, attended with their own mothers; this prince having beheld them with admiration, as finding them well shaped, and of a very agreeable physiognomy, taking delight also in hearing their pretty jargon, could not but express his great displeasure at the imprudence of the impostors, who had presumed to impose upon him the belief of such notorious lies and falsehoods.

    Wherefore he did not only confirm their privileges and immunities to these poor Vaudois, but also graciously promised them that he would so order it, that they should not be molested for the future; and this without doubt was the sincere resolution of this prince at that time, though at length the importunity of the inquisitors, together with their pious frauds, again obtained his permission to seize several of them with the assistance of the secular power; for the inquisitors established by the pope, being frustrated in their expectation of prevailing against the Vaudois by an open war, took other measures to destroy them. For when they went out of their country, making use of the secular power, they seized them, and put them in prison, and then kept some of them till they perished, and others they condemned to death.

    They did also by their insinuations stir up Margaret de Foix, lady of the marquisate of Saluces, cruelly to persecute the poor faithful of Pravilleim, until they were forced to forsake their houses, goods, and all things, and to fly for safety into the valley of Lucerne, robbed of every thing but their souls; where for the space of five whole years they did not cease to supplicate their most serene prince the Duke of Savoy, that he would permit them to return in peace to their dear country, and that the usurpers of their goods might be obliged to restore them; but all this without any effect, by reason of the great resistance of the pope, the clergy, and especially of the inquisition. At last seeing all prayers, all supplications and submissions served to no purpose, and being reduced to the last extremity of despair, they resolved at length to take up arms, and repossess themselves of their goods by force; and this with so much the more confidence, because it was not by any order of their sovereign lady, that they had been so cruelly driven from them. In short, they fell so suddenly and unawares upon the usurpers of their houses with such success, and that attended with so particular a blessing from heaven, that they drove them all out; and struck such a fear into them, that for a hundred years after this exploit those of Salutes continued to enjoy both their country and liberty of conscience.

    Hitherto Leger supplies us with the history of the persecuted Vaudois in this period; by which it appears with what malice the antichrist of Rome acted against them, by inciting their own and the neighboring powers to massacre them, by surprising them with sudden irruptions of armed forces sent to exterminate them, when they could work up the zeal of such princes against them; and when they found these princes and their forces tired with slaughter, by the vigilancy of the inquisitors continually laying snares to destroy them. But one Of the most beautiful parts of their story within this and the beginning of the next period, remains to be related from the foregoing history, that of Perrin, book 2 wherein is to be seen, that notwithstanding all that their enemies could do by massacres and inquisitions to destroy these magnanimous heroes in the cause of God, or to discourage or suppress them; they resolved more openly to profess their faith, both pastors and people, without regard to any persecutions which might happen to befall them on that account; to which purpose they sent deputies into Germany, to make report of their faith to Oecolampadius and Bucer, heads of the reformation; who finding the soundness of the same, and their firmness in the profession thereof, did much encourage them, not only to persist therein, but to cause it to be preached in the ears, and to the knowledge of every one, leaving the event of things to God, to dispose whatsoever it might please him should befall them in promoting his glory, and advancing his kingdom. Upon this they drew up their confession in form as may be seen in Perrin, and making open profession of it, and thereupon the popish superstitions vanishing, as darkness before the light, the priests became enraged anew against them, and stirred another persecution against them; the account of which follows.

    CHAPTER - 8

    Fourth Persecution of the Vaudois of Piedmont, under Charles I. Duke of Savoy, and Francis I. King of France, by way of Massacre, and of other their Sufferings between the years 1535, and 1559.

    IN the year 1534, Charles Duke of Savoy, and prince of Piedmont, was so importuned by the archbishop and inquisitor of Turin, to permit his subjects of the religion of the Vaudois, to be delivered over to the secular power, that he deputed the noble Pataleon Bressour, lord of the community of Rocheplatte, for the execution of this fatal design.

    This gentleman, who had no less zeal for the catholic faith, than credit and courage to promote it, and withal, being extremely desirous to show himself worthy of the trust and confidence, which had been placed in him; did not fail to watch his opportunity in the year 1535, to march unawares into the valleys, attended with five hundred men, chosen out of all the troops of the duke, and fit for the execution; and when the Vaudois thought themselves secure, having not the least suspicion of their enemies’ intention, he suddenly attacked them, surprising, killing, and massacreing all that came in his way, without sparing age or sex, which caused a great consternation in these valleys. Nevertheless, these poor people resuming their innate courage, did in the night following rally themselves so well, that the next morning, when he thought to continue his butchery all along the valley of Lucerne, some blocked up his way on the rear, whilst others charged him so briskly and courageously on the front and flank, that several of those assassins fell on the carriages, and others were very glad to save their lives by leaving both their spoil and prisoners behind them.

    When his highness saw that the skin of one of those Vaudois, was purchased at the expense of fifteen or twenty of his good catholic subjects, he thought not fit to persecute them with force of arms, but resolved rather to proceed to ruin and destroy them by more secret and covert ways, as the most fatal means. After this manner, several by degrees fell into those fatal snares, and became the prey of robbers, who, after they had extorted large sums of money from them under pretense of their ransom, never failed afterwards to put them to death, and with exquisite torments too. But all these torments could not move them from a constant profession of the truth to their last gasp, although they were sure to be despatched by their executioners, and to have their sufferings moreover heightened to the utmost extremity.

    Witness Catalan Girard of St. John, in the valley of Lucerne, who being condemned to be burnt at Reul, a city in Piedmont, when he stood upon the pile, had the courage to desire two stones, and as it is reported by his own executioners, holding them in his hands, he loudly uttered these following expressions: — “ You wretched persecutors do think entirely to extirpate and destroy our poor churches by this means, but know that it will be as impossible for you to obtain your ends, as it is for me to chew and digest these stones.” And indeed, notwithstanding such long and rude persecutions, both general and particular, the church of Piedmont, and in the neighboring valleys, and other places which had received the same doctrine, did so multiply and increase at that time, that George Morel in his memoirs, 1530, doth affirm that there were then above 800,000 persons of the Vaudois religion.

    Some here end their account of the fourth persecution of these people Under the Duke of Savoy, and make the following one, under the French king, a distinct one; and this it is presumed because under two distinct powers. But here, besides that they are contiguous, without giving any breathing to the persecuted; it may be usefully observed, that such are the maxims of the Romish court, (and we feel the force of the same maxims to this day) that however the princes of their religion come to be at war one with another in pursuit of their ambition, and upon reasons of state, the Romish clergy being one body, and having the consciences of all equally under their conduct, they often, too often, so direct princes, at the greatest variance as to other matters, so as to make them heartily to join in the persecution of the truth, and in promoting the interest of that church. And therefore since the inquisitors did influence both those princes, at war one with another, the Duke of Savoy and the French king, to persecute religion, so that where the one left off the other began, I shall join the account of the sufferings of the poor Vaudois under both, so as to make it but one continued persecution and massacre.

    To proceed then, the Duke of Savoy being dispossessed of his dominions by Francis I.; he and Pope Paul III. in the year 1536, instigated the parliament of Turin, to proceed against these Vaudois as against pernicious heretics. In pursuance of which, this parliament caused them great vexations, imitating in that the other parliaments of France, so that they were constrained to have recourse to the king himself, by a most humble petition, hoping to obtain some favor from this their new lord and master, and so much the more, because it is the custom among princes to pretend to a great kindness and tenderness for their new subjects, to engage them the more in their service.

    But notwithstanding all this, their condition became worse, because the king commanded them to live in obedience to the Romish laws, telling them, that if they should refuse to pay obedience to this his order, he would not fail to have them punished as obstinate and contumacious heretics; adding withal, “that he did not cause them to be burnt in France to support them among the Alps.”

    The parliament of Turin being still more encouraged by this his severe answer, commanded these poor people of the valleys instantly to send away all their barbes and ministers, and in their room to receive such priests as should be sent them to celebrate the mass there; to which the poor Vaudois replied, that it was impossible for them to obey orders which were so contrary to the word of God; that they were willing to render to Caesar that which was Caesar’s, as they had always done; but that they would not upon that account fail to render to God the things which were God’s; and that in such a case they were resolved, according to the example of the holy apostles, to obey God rather than men, and to adhere to his holy word, rather than to the tradition of the popes.

    But the king having at the same time several irons in the fire, the parliament did not think it convenient to enter upon an open war against them in such a juncture, contenting themselves with giving orders to the judges and magistrates, vigorously to assist the monks and the inquisitors, and to burn as many of those wretched Vaudois as they were able to apprehend. Hereupon several of the faithful were miserably butchered and put to death by this means, all suffering and dying with a wonderful constancy. Most admirable and surprising was that of Bartholomew Hector especially, who was publicly burnt at Turin, in the castle yard, in the year 1555, who by his edifying death drew a flood of tears from a multitude, even of popish spectators, and extorted out of the mouths of others, great murmurings and bitter invectives against the cruelty of the inquisitors and monks.

    Nevertheless, the parliament of Turin sent into the valleys the president of St. Julian, with the collateral de ecclesia, to push forward the persecution against the Vaudois. To this purpose they brought to the borough of Perouse an edict from the king, where they caused it to be published; which was to this effect, that all the inhabitants of that valley upon pain of death, should resolve within three days to go to mass, Which being done, they went next to the city of Pignerol, where they summoned a great number of those poor people to appear before them. Those who obeyed, of whom we might give a list, and write the history, were it not too tedious, met with very ill treatment, and against those who refused to appear, they thundered out the sentence of death and confiscation of their goods. But I cannot omit the notable success of the judicious proceedings of a certain poor laborer: these commissioners having ordered him to bring a little infant of his to have it rebaptized, he instantly desired them to permit him to address himself in prayer to God before he answered them; and after he had made an end of his prayer, he addressed himself to the president with a steady resolution, and told him; “My lord, I am well contented to let you rebaptize my child, but it is upon condition, that you would be pleased, by a writing signed by your own hand, to discharge me before God of the sin which you shall cause me to commit, taking it upon your posterity, to answer for it one day before God, and to suffer in your body and soul, the punishment which you shall have caused me to deserve.” The president being astonished at the wonderful boldness and assurance with which this peasant pronounced these words, made him this faint and cold reply, “I have sins enough of my own to answer for, without taking upon myself the burden of thine; get thee immediately out of my sight.” Thus was this poor man dismissed and sent away, and was never more disturbed afterwards. This president and his collateral seeing that notwithstanding the publication of the king’s orders, and the fulmination of all their sentences, they could not shake the constancy of those poor people; who on the one hand testifying their inviolable obedience and fidelity to the king’s service, on the other protested that they were ready to obey his commands in changing their religion, provided they could show them by the word of God, that they were in an error.

    They thought it expedient to try if they could draw them to their party by the eloquent harangues and sermons of some able monks, whom they sent for into the valleys for that purpose.

    Those monks being come, the aforesaid commissioners went with them to Angrogne, whither they arrived just at sermon time, with a design to get up into the pulpit, so soon as the minister was come down; but since they could neither there nor elsewhere, ever find any one that would give them the hearing, they together with the president and collateral returned to Turin. During the long abode which they made in the valleys, where they had dived into all things, they discovered so great a union, and firm resolution among all the people, that they very earnestly represented to the parliament, the great danger of driving those Vaudois to the last extremity of despair; concluding that it was necessary to leave that affair to the king himself, who alone was able to exterminate and destroy that race of people; and that they must send to his majesty all the information requisite and necessary to that purpose, leaving the care of so difficult and dangerous an undertaking to his wisdom and prudence. But as it often happens, that courts do make but a very slow progress in affairs of such importance, it was a full year before the Vaudois received any further alarm. But then the same president returned into Angrogne with new orders from his majesty, inflicting the penalty of death and confiscation of goods upon every one who should refuse to go to mass. But he was answered as before, that it was better to obey God than men; beseeching him by the compassion of God, “that since they were constant in their fidelity and obedience to the king, and unblameable in their life and conversation; and since as to matters of religion, they all adored the same Savior Jesus Christ, had the same law, the same baptism, and the same hope as his majesty, and the said president; and since both Jews and Turks, professed blasphemers, and sworn enemies to Christianity, were tolerated in Piedmont, they might be suffered to live in the enjoyment of their religion, which they affirmed to be the same as was taught by Jesus Christ, and the holy apostles, professing that they were ready to renounce it, if by the holy Scriptures they could convince them to the contrary.”

    This answer so enraged the parliament of Turin against them, that without further delay, they imprisoned all those who, according to the diversity of their employments, and little dreaming of any mischief, were found scattered about in divers parts and places of Piedmont, and in the valleys: among which number was unhappily found the excellent Monsieur Jeffery Veraille, minister of Angrogne, who in the year 1557, was publicly burnt in the castle yard of Turin, loudly singing forth the praises of God in the midst of the flames, to his last gasp. He was the son of one Jeffery Veraille of the city of Busque in Piedmont, who in the year 1488, had been a leader of the butcherly troops, who being gathered together in a formidable body fell upon these poor Vaudois of the valleys. His eldest son was made a monk in the year 1520, and was at length, in conjunction with the famous Bernardo Ochino of Siene, the founder of the order of Capuchins, and ten other associates, appointed a grand missioner against the Vaudois, as being a person who was endowed with a rare and admirable eloquence, from which they promised to themselves wonders; but the more he labored to convert these pretended heretics, the more was he touched with reasons to the contrary, until at length he gave glory to God, and like another Paul, preached that faith, which he had once persecuted, until at length he sealed it with his blood.

    Moreover, it is worthy to be recorded here, that Nicholas Sartoris, a native of Quyer in Piedmont, and student in divinity at Geneva, (where he was maintained by the charity of the lords of the republic of Berne, who as well as their good allies of Zuric and Basle still continue to allot pensions for some scholars designed for the holy ministry, for the service of the churches belonging to the valleys.) He, I say, being desirous to visit his dear native country, and going thither by the valley of Aust, was there seized, and apprehended upon suspicion of heresy; and being examined about his birth, his studies and design, ingenuously confessed the whole.

    The canton of Berne, whose pupil he was, being informed of his apprehension, and not doubting of the issue, in vain made great intercessions for his deliverance; I say in vain, for so soon as they saw that they could not entice him by promises, terrify him by threats, nor any ways move him by the rack, they caused him publicly to be burnt alive in the episcopal city of the said valley, the 4th of May, 1557. 1

    CHAPTER - 9

    The Fifth Persecution of the Vaudois of Piedmont by War and Massacres, from the year 1559, and of their sufferings till 1580.

    PERSECUTION began now to thicken upon the poor Vaudois apace, so that no sooner was one massacreing war ended against them, but another was begun; besides that the blood-hounds of the inquisition never ceased hunting them out in order to destroy them. Nor was it by themselves alone, they were content to act their violences against them; but incessantly they stirred up the princes, whom they had at their beck, to devour them. Accordingly no sooner had Emanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy, and successor of Charles, recovered his estates by the general peace, in the year 1559, but he was spurred on by the monks and regulars of Pignerol to condemn the Vaudois to be burnt; and to have their goods confiscated, and given for a recompense to the instruments of their ruin.

    These poor people seeing themselves upon the brink of ruin and desolation, after their recourse to him, who has the hearts of kings in his hands, by their prayers, fastings, and humiliations, went and cast themselves at the feet of the Duke of Savoy, their prince, and presented a humble petition to him, tending to this, that he would let them live and enjoy a free exercise of religion, and presented another giving an account of their religion; they presented another of the same tenor to the dutchess his wife, who had a great share in the knowledge of the truth, and who always had a great tenderness for them; but it was all to no purpose, the pope and the King of Spain, to whom the Duke of Savoy was extremely obliged, because they had contributed their utmost endeavors to re-establish him in his dominions, soliciting this prince very pressingly to destroy the Vaudois; who, contrary to his own interests, was easily persuaded at the desire of the monks, who continually solicited him to make war upon them.

    While in the interim they endeavored to sweeten their prince, and by their humble requests to turn off the storm which threatened them; the soldiers of the neighboring towns surprised the borough of St. German, by the assistance of the darkness of the night. The protestants of this place, in so dangerous a conjuncture, thought of nothing but saving their persons. The greatest part in their shirts ran to the neighboring mountains, except twenty-five, who being in the houses that were farthest off, were by consequence the farthest from this retreat. These seeing they had not time to fly, cast themselves upon their knees, and making a short but ardent prayer to God in sight of their enemies, went to attack them with that courage and resolution, that they put them all to flight, a great many were killed upon the spot, and God striking the rest with fear, a great many, through their hasty flight, fell into the river of Cluson, and there miserably perished.

    The Duke of Savoy, assisted by the Pope, Spain, and France, raised a powerful army against the Vaudois, and made the Count de la Trinita general of it, who seeing this people weakened and shaken with so many furious shocks of wars and persecutions, did not doubt of bringing his designs speedily to an end, and to extirpate the Vaudois root and branch.

    He had recourse to politics and stratagems, before he would make use ofopen force; in short, he sent for the ministers and guides of the churches, he exhorted them to lay down their arms, and to bring them to him. On the one side, he represented them the dangers they were ready to be precipitated into, if they did not submit themselves to the will of their prince, seeing the great forces which he had to compel them, which it was impossible for them to withstand: that the Pope, the King of Spain, the King of France, had engaged the duke in this war, and lent him their troops. that the general peace being made, they would employ all their forces to destroy them, if they would not submit and obey. On the other hand, he made them specious and advantageous propositions; giving them hopes, that if they would submit to the will of their prince, they should enjoy peace, and live in liberty with all their ancient rights and privileges.

    Many were shaken and frightened by the treacherous discourse of this lord, who seeing them divided, some being willing to submit, to save their lives and fortunes, to the will of their prince, others being of a different sentiment, because of the dangerous consequences they foresaw this submission might draw after it. In this dubious estate of their affairs, he took his opportunity, he laid ambushes for them in several places, and having surprised them in small parties, he made a cruel butchery without any resistance, exercising all sorts of cruelties against these innocent lambs, who were betrayed by trusting to his sugared words.

    This barbarous treachery cast these people into an inexpressible consternation; but three hundred of those that escaped from the massacre, being assembled together by the favor of the night, and being strengthened by little and little by their brethren, who were diffident of the count’s promises, and had saved themselves in the mountains; with this little troop of the Vaudois, God did such wonders, which almost seem incredible, if we had not seen what their successors have done in the wars of the years 1655 and 1664, and in their last war, when seven or eight hundred of the Vaudois crossed all Savoy, which was then all in arms; and forced several passes kept by the regular troops of France and Savoy, and in spite of their enemies entered into their own country, and there have endured fifteen or sixteen bloody fights, which fully persuades us that God is with this people, and fought for them, and with them; without whose wonderful help it was impossible they should have performed such extraordinary exploits.

    The day after this treachery, the Count de la Trinita employed his army from morning till night, in ransacking all the places of the valley of Lucerne. of which he had made himself master; after which he marched with seven or eight thousand selected men as high as Angrogne; towards the place called the Meadow of the Tower, where the greatest part of the families of these poor Vaudois were retired, as to the strongest sanctuary or asylum they could find in all the valley of Lucerne. He attacked them in this place by three several ways, and gave them no time of respite for four days; one assault was no sooner repulsed, but he gave another with fresh troops, without gaining any advantage. In these assaults he lost two colonels, eight captains, and seven or eight hundred soldiers.

    The fifth day being absolutely bent to carry the post, he made use of Spanish troops which were fresh, and as yet had never been engaged: the Spanish soldiers seeing that they advanced nothing, and that they fell like hail, mutinied against their officers, who were obstinate to continue the attack. The Vaudois having observed the confusion that their enemies were in, fell upon them with so much courage and bravery, that they put the whole army to the rout, which was struck with so great a fear, that many of them threw themselves off the rocks into the river of Angrogne, and were drowned in its whirlpools. Moreover, they pursued their enemies the space of two leagues, and killed a great number of them.

    To show that France aided the Duke of Savoy in the war he had begun against the Vaudois, D’Aubigni reports in his general history, that this prince having desired the King of France to lend him Monsieur de Maugiron, with ten companies of foot, and Monsieur de la Motte Condren, with other troops, all composed of picked and expert soldiers, he says it was granted him, and that the troops were joined to the army of Count de la Trinita: but the Vaudois in sight of this army re-enforced with troops from France, confiding in the aid of heaven, went to force the fortress of the borough of Villar, in the middle of the valley of Lucerne, that the duke a little while before had built to cut his pass from the enemy.

    The Count de la Trinita being strengthened by the troops from France, and some fresh ones sent by the duke, attempted several times to attack them; but in every one of them they were repulsed with considerable loss; sometimes they lost nine hundred men, when the Vandois lost not above fifteen. The army of the duke being extremely weakened, what by continual losses, what by desertion of soldiers, who seeing they got nothing but blows in this war, deserted in great numbers; the duke, solicited by the dutchess, who, as we said, had knowledge of the truth, and had a great deal of tenderness for the Vaudois, gave them peace with the free exercise of their religion, by his letters patent, dated at Caver, the 15th of June, 1561. By virtue of which also their goods were restored to them, the prisoners released, and those that were condemned to the galleys for their religion were set at liberty, and they were re-established in all their rights and privileges.

    In the year 1565, four years after this edict was published, at the earnest desire of the pope, a new order was proclaimed through all the valleys, that all the subjects of the Duke of Savoy, who within ten days after all the publication of the order did not declare before some of their magistrates, that they would go to mass, should within two months depart out of the estates of the said duke; and at the same time the magistrates received an express order, to make an exact list of all those who would not obey the said order, and send it immediately to his highness.

    The protestant princes of Germany were extremely sensible of this new vexation, and made by their letters a great complaint to the duke, of the bad treatment of the Vaudois, to the prejudice, and contrary to the tenor of his letters patent, and desired him to remedy it for the future, that they might enjoy the benefit of his generous grant. The prince palatine sent one of his principal counsellors in an embassy to procure peace to those poor people. Margerite also of France, wife of the duke, who was a pious and virtuous princess, and who was very tender of the Vaudois, sweetened as much as she could the anger of her husband, who by false reports of the enemies of the gospel, was much irritated against them.

    The day of St. Bartholomew, in the year 1572, there being made a most cruel massacre of the protestants at Paris, and in several other places of the kingdom of France; Castrocare, governor of the valleys, threatened to do as much to the Vaudois of Piedmont; but whether it was, that the Duke of Savoy did not approve of the cruel butchery that was made of the protestants of France, or whether at the earnest solicitations of his dutchess, who, as much as possible, with her natural sweetness, gained and wrought upon him to show mercy and clemency to the Vaudois; he put forth a manifesto, and declared to all his subjects of the valleys, who for fear of the governor were fled, that they might return without any fear or danger to their own habitations. He gave them likewise an order, that they might receive their brethren of France, assuring them that they might live very securely there, and he kept his word; for even to his death, which happened the 13th of August, 1580, they were not molested, but enjoyed a quiet repose. Indeed, in that dutchess, they always had a most safe port and haven, where the poor protestants ever found a sure safeguard and protection, in the midst of the greatest and most dangerous storms and tempests.

    But soon after the fatal death of this virtuous princess, which happened on the 10th day of October, in the year 1574; the popish party like lions let loose, violently fell upon these poor sheep, and took all occasions and opportunities to devour and destroy them; which they had certainly effected, had not divine Providence intervened, and raised up other great persons of the religion, who interposed and stood in the gap, and did both by their pathetic remonstrances and earnest entreaties and supplications, persuade his highness to put a stop to, and suppress that fury: upon which they again enjoyed a truce, which lasted for four years, namely, until the death of the said Prince Emanuel Philibert, which happened upon the 13th day of August, 1580.

    CHAPTER - 10

    The Sixth Persecution of the Vaudois, partly by the Massacreing Wars of their Princes, as in the Marquisate of Saluzzo: but chiefly by the vexation of the Inquisition, from the year 1580 to the year 1650.

    IN this long period of seventy years it may be seen, that the Vaudois enjoyed a long respite, if we consider them only as more than usually free from the ravages of war; but if we view their sufferings under the Inquisition, we shall find them never free from either open violence, or secret mischiefs.

    I shall give an account of these their sufferings of both sorts, referring the reader for some particulars, because I would be as little guilty of repetition as may be to Mr. Perrin. But as to the persecution of the inhabitants of Saluzzes, I shall give it at large out of Leger, their story being very remarkable and edifying.

    Prince Emanuel Philibert dying in August 1580; immediately after his death Charles Emanuel, his son, invaded the marquisate of Saluces, and Monsieur de l’Esdiguiers in the name of the king, and by way of retaliation:, seized upon the valleys of Piedmont, after which he retired for some time to Grenoble. Immediately after his departure, it was rumored and reported abroad, that his highness had resolved to take this occasion to extirpate all the protestant churches of the valleys, under a pretense, that they had taken an oath of fidelity to the King of France. This was a pretense which seemed very plausible to those who did not consider that they had been forced to do so by the powerful arms of that great conqueror, against whom their prince could afford them no assistance; and that having sent their deputies to him, when they found themselves ready to fall a victim to the arms of France, and to be very shortly obliged to take that oath, if he did not find out some way or means to relieve and defend them, he returned this answer, “agree as well as you can for yourselves, only preserve me your heart.” But the thing being proposed in the council of Savoy, it pleased God so to dispose the hearts of the majority of those who were to give in their votes upon this occasion, that they utterly disliked and rejected that proposition, and gave such powerful and unanswerable reasons to the contrary, that they at length carried the cause: some time after this, the duke retook the fort of Mirebout, which is situated towards the hill of the cross, and doth entirely divide the passage of France on that side on which the valley of Lucerne lies, and determined to go thither in person. The protestants of this valley did not fail to take this opportunity to meet him at Villaro, on purpose to assure him of their inviolable fidelity and allegiance, and to beg the continuance of his favor and protection; which they did in the presence of a great many of his courtiers of prime rank and nobility; before whom he made them the following answer: “Be but faithful to me, and I shall be sure to be a good prince, nay, a father unto you; and as to the liberty of your conscience, and the exercise of your religion, I shall be so far from innovating any thing in those liberties in which you have lived unto this present, that if any offer to molest you, have but recourse to me, and I shall effectually relieve and protect you” I do really believe that that prince then spoke the real sentiments of his soul; and not merely to flatter and deceive those poor people with vain hopes and expectations, which might only serve to disengage them the more easily from France. But be that as it will, these solemn promises, made after so seemingly cordial and obliging a manner afforded those poor people very much comfort and satisfaction. Nevertheless their mortal and irreconcilable enemies, who would have thought themselves guilty of an unpardonable sin, if they had suffered them to enjoy a perfect and entire peace and tranquillity (and who imagined that they did not merit at the hands of God when they persecuted them) did not only delay to put new irons in the fire, and to contrive new stratagems whereby to effect their utter destruction, never more suffering them from thenceforward, till the year 1603, to enjoy the least truce or relaxation; and never ceasing to torment them, sometimes in one place and manner, and sometimes in another; more especially by forcing the heads of their country into banishment, by confiscating their goods, by inquisition, etc. until the year 1602, at which time all the masters of the families in the valley of Lucerne, both natives and strangers, who professed the protestant religion, received a general summons to make their personal appearance before the Seigneur Compte Charles de Lucerna the governor Ponte, and Archbishop Broglia: which when they did, they were at first most powerfully exhorted, entreated, and conjured by all the charming and alluring persuasions in the world, to go to mass; and particularly by giving them great assurances, that if they would please their prince in this matter, they should enjoy, both them and their posterity, much greater privileges and advantages than the rest of his subjects, and should be always esteemed and looked upon his hearty friends: but because they refused to go to mass, they were instantly commanded utterly and speedily to forsake their houses, goods, and country, without hopes of ever returning thither any more: such terrible and surprising menaces as these, did shake the constancy of some, who at that juncture promised to go to mass, although at length, by the grace of God, they imitated Peter, no less in his repentance than they did in his fall.

    From Lucerne, where this compte, archbishop, and governor had met with such a courageous repulse, they removed to Bubbiana, where they found all the protestants in general so stiff and constant in their religion, that they could not move the least of them a hair’s breadth, neither in that city, nor in the whole commonality throughout.

    Upon this, they resolved to summons the chief of them to make their personal appearance before his highness at Turin, supposing that his presence, together with a word or two from his mouth, would have more effect upon their minds, than all their promises and threatenings. The persons who were thus summoned, were Mr. Valentine and Matthew Boules his brother, with one Pietro Moresc, and Samuel Fcic, whom they resolved to bring in separately and singly before his highness; the first was Mr. Valentine, to whom the duke spake as follow: “That his desire being to see all his subjects profess the same religion with him, and knowing also how much the said Valentine was able to contribute thereunto, because of his great reputation amongst those of his party, he had sent for him to exhort him to embrace the catholic and apostolic Roman religion, which he (who was his prince) did profess, and afterwards to induce his protestant neighbors by his exhortation and example to do the same; and in so doing, besides the spiritual profit he should reap thereby, he should also receive such rewards, that he should know and perceive he had done his prince no small or inconsiderable service.”

    To all which Mr. Valentine replied: “That he did entreat his highness to assure himself, that, next to the service of God, he desired nothing more than to obey and please his highness, in whose service he would willingly employ and venture his person and his goods, according to his duty, whenever there should be any occasion. But as for his religion, which he knew to be true, and established by the word of God himself, he could not renounce it without disobeying God, and wounding his conscience in such a manner, that he could never enjoy any comfort in his soul afterwards. And therefore he humbly desired his highness to be satisfied with such things as he could do with a safe conscience, and so leave him in the liberty of his religion, which ha valued more than his life.”

    Whereupon the prince replied: “That he also was careful for his own soul, and that he was likewise persuaded, that his religion was likewise the true religion, otherwise he would neither follow it, nor induce any other to embrace the same.”

    And after a further discourse concerning this matter, he concluded with these words. “M’Haureste veramente fatto gran piacere di dar luogo alle mie remo-stranze; magia che perniente non vi volete acconsentire, je non voglio violentare la coscierza d’alcuno;” that is, you may be certain, that you would very much please and satisfy me by yielding to my remonstrances; but since nothing in the whole world can prevail upon you to comply therewith, I will offer no violence to your conscience.

    Thus did he suffer him to return in peace; but the just and equitable proceedings towards him, was the cause why it was thought good not to bring the others before him, much less would they suffer them to have any discourse with the said Mr. Valentine, or his brother Boulle, to inform themselves of the success of his appearance: instead of that, they devised to put in practice a cursed pious fraud, which did not fail of success. So soon as the said Boulle was departed, they strongly persuaded the rest that he was turned a Roman catholic, and that after his example, all the Vaudois of the city or borough of Bubbiana, had promised to go to mass: great illuminations were made in token of joy for the same, and there were not wanting spreaders of stories, and false reports for that purpose, who did so successfully instil the belief of it into Maresco, Bolla, and Faber, that they revolted indeed; in consequence of which all those of the religion belonging to the said place, who refused to do the like were cruelly expelled and driven into banishment.

    During all the remaining part of the reign of that Duke Charles Emanuel, there was not a year passed over their heads, but the monks both openly and secretly devised an infinite number of subtle and hellish stratagems, and put in practice strange acts of cruelty and violence. In the execution of which they were upheld and supported by the gentlemen and magistrates of the places, to harass and afflict those poor Vaudois, of which we may see an account in the history by Gilles. And notwithstanding that both the Duke and Prince Vittorio Amedeo, his son, had for some time afforded them great hopes, and confirmed them in the same, even by solemn promises which he sometimes made to the deputies of the valleys, thereby to assure them of his protection, and that he would maintain them in the enjoyment of their ancient rights and privileges; notwithstanding this, I say, the pope, his clergy, and the inquisition did so order the matter, that they always hindered those poor people from enjoying the effect of those princes’ clemency and goodness. If at any time they had recourse to their prince to obtain the liberty of those whom the inquisitors or bishops had cast into the dungeons, his answer was; “that was a business with which he had nothing to do to intermeddle:” of which we find such an authentic proof in the year 1603, in the decree of 29.liv.art. 5., that it is impossible after that to make any further doubt of the truth of it. His highness being then petitioned by the valleys to set some persons at liberty who were imprisoned, for having a second time embraced that religion, which the violence of persecution, and their own frailty, had at first caused them to renounce and abjure; he makes them this answer, “none coso ch’ aspette a S.A.” That is, it is a business that doth not belong to his highness. And art. 7. where we find the valleys entreating for the deliverance of poor Copin, who was imprisoned by the Bishop of Ast; the answer is, that his highness will write to the Bishop of Ast about it. But poor Copin was notwithstanding that most cruelly martyred. This considered, one cannot observe how miraculously the Lord did keep and preserve those tender lambs, and innocent doves, in the midst of so many wolves and ravenous birds of prey, without most devoutly and religiously adoring the wise and admirable Providence of our God; as indeed we shall find more especial reason so to do, if we read the history of the massacres carried on in the year 1655.

    But before proceeding to that, I must give the reader a short description of the marquisate of Saluces, adjoining to the valleys, whose churches have ever made one and the same body with those; and of the notable persecutions which they suffered. And indeed they were no sooner made subject to the government of Savoy, when they were given by Henry the Great, of glorious memory, to Charles Emanuel, in exchange for la Bresse, and the county of Gex, in the year 1595, but they were forced to feed upon the bread of affliction, and to drink gall and vinegar. It is true, they had been often molested and disturbed, when they were under the jurisdiction of the kings of France, until the year 1588, but never after so constant and cruel a manner: so that they found, by fatal experience, that if under the former of those governments they had been whipped with scourges, under the second they were lashed with scorpions, and bruised with bars of iron.

    The marquisate of Saluces lies on the south side of the valleys of Piedmont, containing in it several fair and great cities, boroughs, and villages, extremely fertile in all sorts of fruits. Its more northern, and consequently coldest valley, is that of Po, so called, because it is traversed by that famous river called Po, [which is the Eridanus cornatus of which Virgil speaks] taking its rise and source from mount Visole, which separates the valley of Lucerne from that of Po on the north side.

    In this valley of Po among others were those ancient churches of the Waldenses, namely, Pravillelm, Biolets, and Bietome, who have there always and constantly preserved and retained the apostolical religion in its truth and purity. The profession of the same truth was likewise received, and constantly entertained in several other places, there being hardly any, I will not say cities only, but even boroughs and villages, which were without those Vaudois, but several, where there was not so much as one papist.

    Among all those churches, that of Dronier was always the most considerable and flourishing, the which in the year 1561, being as yet under the government of France, and understanding that the public exercise of the reformed religion was by virtue of an edict of January, tolerated throughout the whole kingdom, did by their friends obtain letters of the king’s council to Sieur Louis of Birague, governor of that country, in the absence of the Duke of Nevers, whereby he was ordered to grant to the petitioners a convenient place for the public exercise of their religion. But soon after the importunity and malice of their enemies was so great, that they found out the means to have those letters revoked; which forced them to send as deputy into France, Sieur Francis Galattee, one of their ministers, together with some others, to obtain, if possible, their ancient rights and privileges. But this journey being made in the time of the first troubles of France, although they were backed with the intercession of several great persons, they could never obtain any thing else, but fair promises, which put all the churches of that marquisate into a great consternation. Under which they found mighty supports, consolations, and encouragements, by several letters sent to them from their brethren of the churches of France, but especially those of Lyons, Grenoble, and Nismes, which did not a little serve to strengthen and confirm them in the constant profession of the truth, which they had hitherto so gloriously defended; so that God gave them the grace to stand firm and immoveable, notwithstanding all the subtlety and rage of their enemies, who had so far prevailed by their impostures as to obtain the revocation of the ancient privileges of those churches, so that they did not desist from the usage of them, as much as possibly they could, although they durst not in several places, preach openly in the public assemblies.

    Moreover, for the greater security of their ministers in the places that were more dangerous, they never exposed but one of them at a time, who visited several towns, boroughs, and villages, and performed their offices and exercises with as much secrecy as possibly they could; whilst those who dwelt in those places did from time to time go to Pravillelm, a very private place, and remote from all the papists, where they might without danger hear the word preached, and partake of the holy sacraments. In that place also it was, that they held their congregation or synod on the 2d day of June, in the year 1577. They held a second on the 24th day of October at Dronier, in the palace of the Lord of Montauraux, who favored and sided with them.

    The aforesaid Sieur Galatte was pastor to the faithful of Saluces, Savillam, Carmagnole, Levaldis, and Villefalet; Monsieur Second Masseran, of those of Verzol, Alpease, and Castilloles; Monsieur Francois Truchi, pastor of the church of Dronier; Andre Lancianois, of those of Saint Damian, Palliar, and Cartignan; Peter Gelido of Aceil; Sieur Jaques Hoard, of St. Michel Pras and Chanues; Sieur Francis SouIf, of Pravillelm; Mr. Bertrand Jordan, of Biolets and Bietone; and N. N. pastor of the churches of Demont and Festcone.

    Now the gospel at this time made very considerable progress at Verzol, and in almost all the remarkable towns in the marquisate and other neighbouring places. The church of Aceil, the highest of the upmost Val de Mairi, was extraordinarily peopled, as well as that of Pravillelm, and enjoyed more liberty than the others, by reason of its remote situation.

    Nevertheless, its enemies perceiving the great progress that it made, and that the protestant religion for the most part daily increased and spread itself in those places, did not fail to redouble their efforts and diligence, not only to prevent its further progress and advancement, but also to dissipate, dis. perse, divide, confound, in a word, to banish and ruin those who made profession of it; and to this purpose they made use, I. Of several famous Nicodemites, the chief of which was one Baronius, who made his abode at Val Grana, and was a great temporizer, who suited himself according to the several changes and vicissitudes of the times.

    Whenever the church enjoyed but the least calm or serenity he never failed to write with much freedom, zeal, and fervency, against the abuses of the church of Rome: but in the time of persecution, he sided with both parties, was neither cold nor hot, dissembled with the papists, and employed all his eloquence to persuade those of the reformed religion, that they might with a safe conscience dissemble and play the hypocrite, and pretend to be good Roman catholics, when it was thereby to save their goods and lives.

    Now as this was a man not only of knowledge, but also of great authority, who in the opinion of the world passed for a good man, and withal being very eloquent, he did not fail to be unhappily followed by several persons of note and distinction: and among the rest, by a certain lord of Valgrane, and Cervingale, called Maximilian de Salutes, who at length suffered this Baronius to use his name, to give the greater weight and authority to his writings against the ministers, reproaching and reviling them because they would not consent in the least to his dissimulation. By this pernicious proceeding of theirs, they drove several pastors and several churches into very great difficulties and extremities, and quite overthrew a neighboring church, namely, that of Carail.

    This lord was a man of some learning, and one that was very well acquainted with the truth, but he could not resolve to take up the cross of Christ and follow him, and therefore he was easily inclined to play the hypocrite, as Baronius did, and condemn those who openly opposed the papists.

    The Sieur Gelido, minister of Aceil, vigorously confuted all the writings of these pretended Nicodemites; as likewise did the Sieur Truchi, minister of the church of Dronier, and several other ministers of the neighboring churches, plainly and clearly proving both by the holy Scriptures, and by the practice of the primitive church, that all such hypocritical dissimulations and prevarications were an abomination to God, and very scandalous and pernicious to his true disciples.

    The other instruments which the arch-enemy to the salvation of men made use of to hinder the progress of the gospel, were the Roman catholics themselves, and their fiery proselytes and devotees, who would with all their hearts have done by this poor people (if God had not limited their power) as their brethren in iniquity had done by their neighbors in the dominions of the Duke of Savoy, that is, banish, imprison, and put to death, and confiscate all their goods; if the king had not by an express edict, granted and confirmed to his subjects of the marquisate of Salutes, the liberty of living peaceably in their habitations, promising not to disturb and molest them for their said religion; yet after such a manner, that he suffered them to meet in small private assemblies, where the pastors instructed, comforted, and encouraged those poor people, baptized their children, and administered the holy supper.

    Nevertheless, those subtle enemies contrived how to rob them of this only comfort and satisfaction, continually laboring to deprive them of all their ministers in general; imagining, that if they could but once find out any means to extirpate them, those poor people remaining destitute of instruction and comfort would be the more easily conquered and made their prey. To this purpose they got by surprise an edict of the 19th of October, in the year 1567, in the name of the Duke of Nevers, lieutenant general of the king on this side the mountains; by which it was enjoined to all those of the religion inhabiting, or otherwise residing within his jurisdiction, that were not the king’s natural subjects, to depart, together with their families, within three days after the publication of the said edict, and never to return thither again either to inhabit, pass, or abide, without a passport, upon pain of death and confiscation of their goods.

    And because the greatest number of the said good ministers were natives of the valleys of Lucerne, Angrogne, and other neighboring places, which then were under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Savoy, they were all constrained by that edict either to leave the marquisate, or expose themselves to the penalties therein specified, or else endeavor to obtain a passport (which they did several times unsuccessfully attempt to do) upon which they were in such straits and perplexities as no one can imagine. Those good pastors thought themselves bound in conscience not to desert and abandon their flock in such a manner: and not being able to comfort them with their presence, without exposing both them and themselves to inevitable ruin and destruction, it gave them great trouble and dissatisfaction. Nevertheless, all things considered, they endeavored to persist in the execution of their charge, notwithstanding that two of them, namely, the Sieur Francois Truchi, a native of Sental in Piedmont, and the Sieur Francois Soul; a native of Cuni, were immediately seized and cast into prison at Salutres, where they were confined for the space of four years, four months, and some days, the poor people not being able to procure their deliverance, notwithstanding their continual solicitations to that purpose, which those poor churches perceiving, they were resolved at last to send their supplications to the king by Monsieur Galatee, one of their ministers, and another to accompany him, who set out from the marquisate on the 27th day of June, in the year 1571, and went directly to Rochel, to beg the intercession of the Queen of Navarre, who was there at that time, and also of several other princes and great lords; some of which were so transported with zeal, that they themselves would undertake to introduce Monsieur Galatee into the presence of the king, and be the solicitors of his good cause. After a long negotiation, they at length obtained patents from the king, signed by himself and his secretaries Neuville and Laumeny, dated the 14th of October, 1571, by which it was granted that the poor prisoners should be set at liberty: but the chancellor Rene de Birago, who was brother in law to the governor of the marquisate, made so many scruples and difficulties to sign if, that the said deputies were forced to wait several months before they could obtain it; the chancellor always alleging, that he must of necessity first speak with the king, who was then in Britagne, before he could confirm the said patents by applying his seal thereto; so that although the admiral de Coligny employed his utmost diligence and endeavors to have them despatched, yet was it impossible to do any thing therein. The king being at length returned, and the chancellor having spoke with him, he was by express orders from his majesty obliged to sign the said patents, and send them speedily to Birage, who by this means was forced to set those poor prisoners at liberty.

    A little time after the Sieur Galatee arrived at the valleys, being overjoyed not only for the deliverance and enlargement of the prisoners, which he had obtained, but also for the great hopes that he had conceived of a future and lasting peace, founded upon the smooth words and kind treatment which he had received from his majesty: to which the marriage, that he was to make between his own sister and the King of Navarre, who was a professor of the reformed religion, did not.give a little shadow and color.

    But alas, this joy was but very short, and their fine hopes quickly blasted, for they lasted not in the valleys and the marquisate. any longer than from the month of May, in the year 1572, until the beginning of September in the same year, at which time there arrived the dismal news of the dreadful massacres that were executed at Bartholomew-tide, in which, by the blackest of all treacheries that was ever heard of, so many innocent persons of all ages, sexes, and conditions, were cruelly cut off and destroyed, which was likewise practiced in several other places of France; and their terror was the greater, because at the same time came letters from the king to the governor Birague, by which he was ordered to take care, that at the arrival of the news of what happened at Paris, those of there formed religion under his government, should make no outbreak, referring him for the rest of his will and pleasure to the instructions which he should find annexed to the said letter; the contents of which were among other things, that he was to put to death all the chief of the protestants, within the limits of his.jurisdiction, and those especially, whose names he should find in the list, that should be presented to him by the bearer.

    Birague having received this command, together with the said list or catalogue, was very much troubled, and immediately called the council together, to whom he communicated the king’s orders. Some were of opinion that they ought to be executed without delay; but the others, among whom was the archdeacon of Salusse, considering that the king not many months before, had by his express patents set at liberty the ministers who were imprisoned, and had absolutely commanded not to molest or disturb the protestants for the sake of their religion, but to afford them the same gentle and candid treatment that his Roman subjects had; and that those poor people had done nothing, since that time, which might afford the least handle and pretense for such a treatment; gathering from thence, that such surprising resolutions of his majesty were owing to some false reports that he had received. These things considered, they were of opinion, that it would be sufficient only to secure the persons who were specified in the list, and defer the execution for awhile, till such times as they had informed the king, that they were persons of honor, faithful to his majesty, living peaceably with their neighbors; and in a word, such as (excepting the matter of their religion) were altogether without reproach and blameless; and if in case his majesty were resolved to have them put to death, there would be yet time enough to execute his will and pleasure.

    This advice was approved of, and followed by Birague, in consequence of which, some of those who were mentioned in the list were apprehended, and the rest made their escape, flying whither they could. In the mean time he despatched a messenger to the king, to acquaint him with what he had done, waiting his pleasure and resolution. This message met another at Lyons, whom the king had sent to Birague, to advertise him, that in case his former order were not already put in execution, he should wholly desist from the same, and only have a special care, that those of the religion, did not make any insurrection within his government, nor attempt to recover the public exercise of their religion.

    Birague having published the new orders that he had received from his master, several of those who had fled out of the marquisate, returned and took possession of their houses and goods: for although they continued to prohibit them the public exercise of their religion, yet was it a very great comfort to obtain some security and assurance of their lives and goods; and as to the exercises of their religion they might continue to perform them in private, as before that time they were often forced to do.

    Thus you see in a summary manner the condition of the evangelical churches in the marquisate of Salutes, during the time that they continued under the jurisdiction of the kings of France; that is, until the year 1578, at which time the Duke of Savoy took possession of it. But alas, he suffered them for a very little while to enjoy some quiet and tranquillity, for he very shortly after attempted to ruin them by piecemeal, beginning first with the principal members of the church of Dronier, whom he summoned to appear before him at Turin, and upon whom he did so far prevail, by the charms of his promises, and the fear of his threatenings, as to induce some of them to promise to go to mass; by. this means making a very fatal breach in that church, which notwithstanding, did not wholly lose its courage, although its adversaries were by this success encouraged to redouble their temptations of this kind, and although it gave occasion to their prince to endeavor to shake the constancy of others by the following letter, faithfully translated from the Italian, and dated from Turin, the 27th day of March, in the year 1597.

    A LETTER OF THE DUKE OF SAVOY TO THE VAUDOIS OF THE MARQUI SATE OF SALUCES.

    Well beloved, it being our desire that all our subjects in the marquisate of Saluces should live in obedience and subjection to our holy mother the Roman catholic and apostolic church; and knowing how much our exhortations have prevailed upon others, and hoping that they will induce you to adhere to the truth; we thought upon these grounds to write you this letter, to the end, that laying aside your heretical obstinacy, you may embrace the true religion, both out of respect to God’s glory and love to yourselves; in which religion, we for our parts are resolved to live and die, hoping that you will follow our good example, which will no doubt lead you to eternal life. Only resolve with yourselves to do this, and we shall remember it. to your advantage, as the Lord de la Mente will more particularly satisfy you on our part, to whom we refer ourselves in this regard, praying the Lord to assist you by his grace. (Signed,) Charles Emanuel .

    And a little lower, Rippa.

    The churches of the marquisate having received this letter, returned an answer to the prince in a large letter in form of a request, consisting of two branches or parts.

    In the first, they returned his highness thanks, for that he had till then suffered them peaceably to enjoy their religion; and that in the same manner as he had found them in the year 1588, when he took possession of the marquisate. In the next place, they most humbly and earnestly entreated him to continue to them the said benefit, as also to grant unto them his protection, against the vexations of the clergy; forasmuch as they knew that their religion was founded upon the holy Scriptures, according to which they ordered their life and conversation, in such a manner, that none could have any just occasion to be offended at them; and considering, that the very Jews, and other enemies to the name of Christ our only Redeemer, were suffered to live in peace, in the possession of their goods, and the exercise of their religion, they had that confidence in the clemency and equity of his highness, that he would not suffer true Christians, faithful to God and their prince, and living without scandal or offense, to be treated with more rigor than such blasphemers were.

    After this answer, they were left for awhile in quiet: in the mean time, the prince undertook a voyage into France, which was followed with a war in Savoy. During these troubles, they had not much leisure to molest them.

    But the peace being concluded, and the Duke of Savoy finding himself to be absolute master of the marquisate, by means of the exchange made for La Bresse, gave himself no rest, till such times as he had completed the destruction of the poor churches of the said marquisate. To that end, instead of smooth words, flatteries, and fair promises, by which he formerly endeavored to allure them, he sent them the following edict, which he caused to be published three several times together, throughout all that country, about the end of June, 1601.

    A CRUEL EDICT.

    THAT they should every one declare to his ordinary magistrate, within fifteen days following, whether he would renounce his religion and go to mass, or no; in which case they were promised not only to be suffered to abide and remain peaceably in their houses, and the enjoyment of their goods, but also several other rights and privileges: but if on the other side, they were stubbornly resolved to persist in their religion, they were absolutely enjoined to depart out of his highness’ dominions within the space of two months after the publication of this edict, and never to return thither any more, upon pain of death, and the confiscation of all their goods.

    This surprising and unexpected edict, we may readily believe, cast those poor people into great perplexity and consternation. And this so much the more, because it was about the beginning of winter, when they saw themselves likely to be driven into so fatal a banishment and dispersion; wherefore, without losing time, they immediately despatched deputies to his highness, to endeavor to obtain, if not an entire revocation, yet at least some moderation of the said edict; of which they conceived so much the greater hopes, because several great lords did strongly persuade them, that they would obtain and compass their end; which did them a very great prejudice, because most of them trusting to this broken reed, suffered the said prefixed term of two months insensibly to expire, without setting their affairs in order, and resolving in good earnest upon their retreat: whereupon they were so much the more astonished and surprised, when but a few days before the expiration of the said term, all hopes of moderation and mercy were utterly taken away.

    But to let that pass, several there were, who prepared themselves for their departure, some leaving their goods to their friends and popish relations that they had in that country; others leaving them entirely to the discretion of their enemies, excepting some few only that they could carry away with them to supply their present necessities. But during these two months, those who were resolved to depart, in case there were no other remedy, were continually set upon by their friends and relations, who endeavored by all means possible to divert them from their intention; especially when they were constrained to present themselves before the magistrate, and give in their answer in writing, as they were obliged to do in public before several priests, monks, and great lords, who employed all their eloquence, to shake the constancy of those poor people.

    Amongst others, a certain monk of the order of Capuchins, Philip Riband by name, who some time before had practiced the same artifices against the Vaudois in the valley of Perouse, and was then employed in the marquisate, was extremely diligent, running from place to place, to make as many proselytes as he could, not omitting any subtlety or sophistry to ensnare those who by reason of the infirmity of their age, and weakness of their sex, or the want of all things, seemed the most ductile and likely to be wrought upon; causing them to be brought before the magistrate separately one after another, to the end, that the constancy of some might not serve for an encouragement to others: husbands and fathers were very hardly suffered to declare for their wives and children; and by all these means they did perplex these poor people after such a manner, that instead of showing any great courage and constancy in the midst of so many storms and tempests, it was very difficult to escape without making shipwreck of their faith; and this so much the more, when they came so far as to forbid all of them to hinder or divert one another from renouncing their religion to embrace the mass; insomuch, that it was enough to take away the life of a poor father, if any one would but depose, that he exhorted his children to constancy: nevertheless, it pleased the Lord to fortify this people with so great a resolution to continue in the profession of the truth, even unto death, that the greatest part of them did go forth without carrying any thing with them, as Providence guided them, they knew not where. Some crossed the Alps, and went into France or Geneva, and others retired into the neighboring valleys of Piedmont, where the liberty of the reformed religion was still continued, and where they did for awhile after enjoy some tranquillity, notwithstanding the edict which the clergy had extorted from the prince, which imported that they should depart his highness’ dominions.

    Now in the beginning of this persecution, the adversaries of these good people, fearing lest despair might put them upon some resolution, which might be hurtful to them, caused a report to be given out among the churches of the mountains, that although the terms of the edict were general, and without exception; nevertheless, the design of the prince therein was only to banish and dislodge all those who inhabited in the lower plain, and other great cities; but as to those who inhabited near or among the mountains, or in the villages, they might be assured of living in peace and quiet.

    This treachery was the cause why there was not at first such a union among those poor people as they could have desired; but however, the cheat being at length discovered, it occasioned a more close and firm union amongst them; which they did not long delay to make; for they quickly saw that they spared the inhabitants of the mountains, no more than they had done those of the plain, excepting only the church of Pravillelm, and the parts thereabouts, which they did not touch nor molest, insomuch, that they flattered and deceived themselves with this imagination, in which the monks and lords of the places likewise endeavored to confirm them; namely, that regard would be had to the ancientness of their possession.

    And that which very much contributed to settle them in this delusion was, that the inhabitants of those places were not summoned to make any declaration before the magistrate, as was enjoined by the edict, and which all the rest had been obliged to do; neither was any mention made to them of retiring, no more than if they had been formally excepted in the edict.

    Neither were they at all troubled or molested, until all those residing in other places, who had resolved upon a constant perseverance in the profession of their religion, had wholly quitted the province, and fled into other parts.

    But at length they were given seriously to understand, that because they had not obeyed the edict, they had incurred and made themselves obnoxious to the penalties therein specified and contained. Whereupon some among the papists themselves having very secretly advised them to take care of themselves, they besought the syndicks of the said commonalty, of which they were members, who were Roman catholics, to intercede for them, offering the reasons for which they conceived themselves not to have been comprehended in the edict, and that therefore they had only offended through ignorance. These syndicks (whether deceitful or in good earnest, God only knows) made several journeys with a design to moderate these things, but they always brought back such bad news to these poor people, and such harsh and severe orders, that they were forced suddenly to betake themselves to the mountains, leaving only their wives and children for the defense of their houses, and to the mercy of the enemy, between hope and despair, very well seeing that by taking them along with them into the mountains, they would expose them to certain death.

    Among those men, there were two hundred of them that were armed, and retired into the Chastellenie de Chauteau Dauphin: but before their departure, they gave their neighboring papists to understand, that being forced to save themselves by retreat from the unjust violence of the persecution, which they suffered merely upon the account of their religion, and not being able to take their families along with them, without exposing them to death by famine and cold, they entreated, that they might recommend them to their care, promising to return them the good or evil, that they should receive at their hands. Upon this the papists, either out of fear of those reduced to despair, whom they had not the courage to pursue into the woods, and who out of those woods might at every turn make sallies upon them; or whether it were for some other reasons and considerations, did so far prevail by their intercessions, as at length to obtain leave for them to return to their houses and goods, where they dwelt for several years after, but destitute of ministers.

    During this persecution, the Sieur Dominique Vigneaux, a minister in the valley of Lucerna, and one of the church’s most considerable pillars, adorned with several rare and excellent qualities, wrote several fine and consolatory letters, both to those poor afflicted people, to encourage them to constancy, as also to several popish lords and persons of quality, to entreat them to take pity on them, more particularly to the Lord de la Mante, who was then governor of the marquisate, with whom he had some familiarity and acquaintance.

    Thus were some relics and remains of the churches of the poor Waldenses preserved in the more mountainous parts of the marquisate until the year 1633, but without pastors, or spiritual food for their poor-souls, excepting some few ministers, who were from time to time sent to them incognito from the valley of Lucerne, who in small and very private assemblies did instruct, comfort, and encourage, as much as possible, these poor faithful, and baptized their children. Yet could not this be done every where without exposing both the minister and all his auditors to inevitable ruin; insomuch, that in the year 1633, when they completed their destruction, several of their children were baptized in the said valley of Lucerne, at and 20 years of age.

    It was on the 21st day of September, in the year 1633, that the fatal edict was published, which completed the extirpation and destruction of the churches of the marquisate of Saluces. In this edict, the prince, after having declared that the princes, ordained by God to govern the people, are bound and obliged rigorously to punish all those who depart from their holy mother the church, closing their eyes, and stubbornly persisting in their errors, as some (saith he) belonging to Paisane, Pravillelm, Biolets, Bietonets, and Croesio, in our marquisate of Salutes, have done, contrary to the order of his highness my lord and father now in glory, whereby they have incurred my anger and indignation. He further adds, that being willing to make use of his clemency, he allows them the space of two months to return into the bosom of the church, upon pain of death, and confiscation of their goods, etc. And this edict was executed with so much rigor, that ever since that time there hath remained neither root nor branch of the church of the Waldenses in all the marquisate.

    CHAPTER - 11

    The Seventh Persecution of the Vaudois, by the subtle Artifices, and diabolical Practices of the New Council de Propaganda Fide et Extirpandis Haereticis, established at Turin, 1650.

    IN the foregoing persecutions of the Vaudois, carried on whether by the massacreing wars of their princes, or by the continual executions of the inquisitors, we have Satan and his antichrist represented to us as a roaring lion. But those bloody methods not proving effectual to the extirpation of this pretended heresy, we have them next practising the subtleties of the serpent: in which methods they were equally vexatious and more pernicious than the former; besides it was this council that contrived and brought on the succeeding, and these the most tragical massacres of any that they yet endured.

    But before I proceed to declare the mischievous intrigues, for the ruin of the Vaudois, of this famous council, or congregation, as it is called, give me leave to premise something of the original and constitution thereof, particularly as it was settled in the dominions of France and Savoy. It was first constituted by Clement VIII. in the first year of his pontificate, viz. 1592. This pope seeing the protestant religion gaining ground, and the Roman power declining in most parts of Europe, and particularly, to be in great danger in France, should so warlike a prince as Henry IV., then a protestant, obtain a peaceable enjoyment of that throne, he not only excommunicated that prince, but formed a holy league, as they call it, between the kings and princes of the Roman communion, to extirpate the protestants every where, into which many of them entered. Moreover, it was then agreed at Rome, with the emperor’s approbation, that Jesuits should be settled and maintained in all the cities of the empire, by whose contrivances, the way might be prepared for persecution: thus was this satanical project laid by the antichrist of Rome, and to conduct the whole affair, a double senate, council or congregation, was there constituted, of which one is styled the congregation for the propagation of the faith, the other, the congregation of the holy league; the former to pervert, the latter to extirpate heretics. In each of these there were nine cardinals, and as many counsellors, who were to meet once every week, and were to do nothing else, but contrive the most effectual methods to root out protestantism. Thus it stood for some time, till the great jubilee in the year 1650. And then it was that the Council de Propaganda Fide et Extirpandis Haereticis, which had for a long time held its sessions at Rome, concluded to erect subordinate councils of the same name and nature, who might jointly labor with more diligence and industry, than ever, to exterminate all Christians, who refuse to submit to the pope, and whom he is pleased to call heretics. And moreover, it is to be noted, that in the subordination of councils, those of the lesser towns and cities are subject to those of the greater, and these again to the capital or metropolitan city, and these lastly, to that of Rome. And as several councils of this nature were immediately erected in the most considerable towns and cities of France, and especially in the metropolitan cities where the parliaments and the courts of justice were made up of half papists and half protestants; so if any protestant states, and ours especially, fancy themselves to have been free from such blessed inmates or familiars near their courts and councils, they must be such as have neither knowledge in former histories, nor have made their observations upon latter transactions; nor do they know the vastness of their estates here in England, to the value, as I am credibly informed, of near one hundred thousand pounds per annum. And how that out of such a fund, there are no designs, which so wise a body cannot effect, to the ruin of a protestant, and the promoting the interest of the holy church.

    But to return to the constitution of this diabolical council, for there is one subdivision of it yet to mention, the most mysterious of all others, and of such malignant influence, as to drive its venom into particular families, and into the greatest privacies. It is described by Leger, particularly with respect to France and Savoy.

    As Satan, says he, like the old ape, seems to redouble his subtlety and malice as he grows old, so they contrived in the capital cities and seats of parliament, to add to the council of men, another of women. The former was composed of the chief presidents, counsellors, lords of note, and some ecclesiastics; and the latter of the greatest and most eminent ladies, who likewise do very often stand in need of a plenary and full indulgence and remission of all their sins, which they enjoy from the very first moment that they become members of this congregation or society. These ladies divide the cities and towns amongst them into four quarters; they labor continually in works of envy and malice, to find out means to torment the poor protestants, both by wholesale and retail, seducing and perverting the simple women, servants, and children, by their flattery and fair promises, and bringing evil and mischief upon those who will neither regard nor hearken to them.

    They have their spies every where, who give them information of all the protestant families, in which there is some difference and contention, and then it is, that they take opportunity by the forelock, and do what they can to blow up the coals of dissension and division, to set the husband against the wife, and the wife against her husband, the child against its parent, etc., promising, and really giving them great advantages, if they will promise to go to mass; but if they cannot effect this at the first attack, they then endeavor, by their great promises of favor and assistance, which they secretly make to both parties, to engage them in a lawsuit against one another: and if they do but once take hold of them by this handle, they can never rid themselves of it again, till they are either ruined, or have apostatized.

    They are acquainted with the merchant, who hath met with misfortunes and losses in his business, the gentleman who hath gained away, or wasted his estate, and with all the families in general, who fall into want and poverty And as we see by the testimonies of several sorcerers and witches, then it was, when they were in despair, that the devil appeared to them, and seduced them by his fair and deceitful promises; so these ladies do never fail at such times to present themselves with their dabo tibi, to those afflicted and almost despairing persons.

    The very prisons themselves are not free from their intrusions, and even thence do they take the criminals who give themselves up to them, and comply with their desires. And because they stood in need of great sums of money to set all their engines at work, and to gratify those who sell their souls for a morsel of bread; among other methods and contrivances which they have, this is one which they publicly practiced, viz. that every one of them must duly go about their quarters twice a week, and not fail to visit all the good families, shops, taverns, gaming houses, etc., asking alms for the propagation of the holy faith, and the extirpation of heresy.

    And when any persons of note and quality came into an inn, from whom they believe they may get some money, they never fail to pay him their respects with an open purse in their hands. And it often falls out that persons of note, though protestants, do contribute as well as papists, for fear of spoiling and ruining their affairs. They commonly meet in the cities twice a week, to give an account of what they have done, and to take their measures, and consult about their future enterprises: and if it be a thing which requires the assistance of the secular power, and some acts of parliament to carry it on, they very rarely fail of obtaining whatsoever they desire, and very often procure such provisions and decrees, which very plainly show, that the zeal of their husbands can deny them nothing.

    The business of the council of men, is not to go about to make collections, nor to trouble themselves to draw over a few simple women, children, and servants, but to form greater designs, and to endeavor to put them into execution. And some of these, especially those which paved the way, to the bringing upon these innocent lambs that horrible massacre and desolation of 1655, I shall here recount. Before this council for propagation and extirpation had been thoroughly formed in 1650, the priests and monks employed by the Romish clergy had used many arts insensibly and gradually to ruin and exterminate them.

    As 1st. By raising and loading them continually with all manner of crimes, to render them odious in the eyes of the world, and especially of their princes. 2d. Not only by setting them at variance and law with one another, and promising both parties their aid and assistance, but menacing the ministers that should bring them to agreement. 3d. By proposing among them advantageous matches, and so contriving them, that the papist should bring over the protestant. 4th . By perverting those who for any scandal or delinquency were under discipline. 5th. By showing mercy to all sorts of criminals, and even sorcerers and witches; and moreover, rewarding the worst of criminals aposta-tizing to themselves, with real or sham conveyances of estates. 6th. By obliging the protestants to pay the share of taxes incumbent upon the apostates. 7th. By establishing those, the most troublesome, insidious, and dangerous of all men, the missioners of the society for the propagation in all the valleys, so as to erect monasteries, as so many citadels in the midst of them, where these hellish incendiaries might be more ready at hand to contrive the machines and instruments, whereby to ruin the faithful. 8th. By encouraging, authorizing, and rewarding villains for their false testimonies. 9th. By appointing those monks to be collectors of the taxes, who were to lay double and treble loads upon the Vaudois protestants. 10th. By not only ravishing or kidnapping their children from them; but buying the souls of the indigent for bread; and in favor of the apostates, exempting them from all taxes.

    These and the like were the artifices of the priests and monks, agents to the council at Rome, as is represented at large by Leger as above, before the congregation itself came to be fully modelled and settled in the particular kingdoms and states under the papal direction, and particularly in Savoy, as it was in 1650. But when this congregation came to be established, and the secret was found out, of incorporating and engaging into the society persons of the first quality, nay even princes themselves, with lords and ladies of the court, as well as the ecclesiastics, and this by rewarding them with prebends and preferments in the pope’s disposal, then was the total extermination of these poor people vigorously set about in methods more directly tending to their total ruin; namely, by such as ripened in a short time, to the surprising them with the most bloody and inhuman massacres which afterward follow; the most considerable of which destructive artifices, immediately preceding the horrid massacre of 1655, I shall briefly relate.

    And first, it may be reckoned as a most pernicious machine to ruin or pervert these people, the setting up of usurers in the valleys of Lucerne, Perouse, and St. Martin, under the specious name of Monte di Pieta. The fathers Capuchins, being the worthy directors of this bank, they had great magazines of corn to lend upon good security, to all those who wanted it; and several of those poor people were the more constrained to take it from their hands, because there was at that time a great scarcity. This Monte di Pieta did lend not only money to those that wanted it, but it also furnished them with all sorts of staff and merchandise, but the whole at most excessive interest.

    When the time was elapsed when those poor people were either to redeem or lose their pawns, or else to pay their obligations, (for the directors of this Monte d’ Impieta, very well knew to whom they might safely lend,) and if it happened that there were some who could not discharge their debts just at the time appointed, and desired some little delay, they found no manner of mercy, unless they would promise to go to mass; in which case they did not only forgive them their debt, but likewise offer them a great quantity of corn, and a certain sum of money besides, gratis, and an exemption from all manner of charges, imposts, and taxes for the space of five years, nay, to redouble it, and perpetuate it in favor of those who should testify the greatest zeal for the Roman catholic faith.

    Another artifice of this execrable society, was by continual innovations upon the rights of this people confirmed to them by edicts and patents, and by the strange insolencies of the monks lately granted among them, to provoke these people, or at least some particular persons of them, to make some commotion, which might afford some plausible color and pretence to solicit the prince to conclude upon the destruction and desolation Of’ all the valleys. And herein they had like to have played their game but too well, by working up the passions of an indiscreet woman, and two rash young men, to put fire to a nest of monks, who were continually at mischief; for notwithstanding all the remonstrances of these poor people, utterly disavowing the action, and requesting the offenders might be punished, nothing less would serve the Council of the Propagation, but the total destruction of the whole community. And the prince attempted it, and had succeeded, but for the courage and conduct of these brave people, and their ministers.

    This not succeeding, they bethought themselves of an abominable stratagem, to destroy them all at once, and cut their throats, by the King of France’s army, that was then in Italy, and was commanded by the Marshal de St. Grance, in the year 1653. The king having assigned for the winter quarters of his army the provinces of Delphihate, Provence, Languedoc, and Burgundy; these provinces offered to the marshal very considerable sums to exempt them from the quartering of soldiers; and he was the more contented with it, because the Dutchess of Savoy proposed to quarter a part of the army in Savoy, for a share of the money proffered.

    The bargain being struck, the marshal marched his army towards the valleys, which was the place that the dutchess had assigned for their winter quarters. In the mean time, although the Council of the Propagation knew full well of the bargain made between the dutchess and the marshal, they ordered the Capuchins, and some gentlemen of the valleys, and even some of the chief ministers of the court, to persuade the Vaudois, and make them believe that it was not the intention of the dutchess that those strangers should quarter there; and by their artificial discourse, full of malice and fraud, they stirred up the Vaudois to take up arms, and oppose the army of the king, which was already entered into the valley of Lucerne, and in a condition to force these poor people to receive them threatening nothing but fire and sword. And this had been done, if a minister of the gospel had not gone and cast himself at the feet of the marshal, and discovered to him the diabolical malice of their enemies, and desiring him to show one billet for quartering, he assured him, that as soon as the billet of the dutchess should be shown about, he was certain that all the inhabitants of the valleys would submit without the least resistance: to which proposition the marshal accorded, and at the same time sent to Turin to have the billet for quartering of soldiers, as the minister desired, and it coming in a short time, the Vaudois submitted without the least difficulty. We must consider that the army of the king was very powerful, and made up of expert troops, and that the marshal was fully resolved to gain the great sum of money that he was to draw from the aforesaid provinces, and to have his bargain to the full of the dutchess; and that the Vaudois that were in arms, had let his army enter into the valley of Lucerne, without any opposition; and that they were not prepared for a long defense, neither had entrenched themselves in their usual fastnesses, and so it is not to be doubted, but that they must have been conquered by the French, who being enraged at their boldness, and the contempt of their great army, would have put all to the sword, without distinction of sex or age; if God had not made use of the zeal and prudence of this minister to frustrate the designs and crafty contrivances of those enemies of God, and his church.

    Another wicked stratagem of the Dutchess of Savoy and her son Charles Emanuel II. for the destruction of the Vaudois of Piedmont, was by establishing the Irish there, that were driven out of their country. To understand which we must know, that in the year 1655, the Dutchess of Savoy, and her son the duke, being solicited by the court of Rome, and the Council of Propagation, to destroy the protestants of the valleys, and to establish in their places the Irish, who served the King of France in his royal army in Italy. and were driven out of their country by Cromwell; these Irish were of the number of those that had played such pranks in Ireland, against the poor protestants, in the year 1642, and the last that had laid down their arms in that kingdom, after the death of King Charles I.

    To give these valleys to the Irish, the protestants, who were the true and natural inhabitants of these valleys, were all to be extirpated, for so it was resolved in the Council of the Propagation, and after in the duke’s, which was for the greater part composed of the former.

    To effect this wicked design, they must make use of some specious presence; they could not make their pretense to be the affair of the house of the Capuchins of Villar, which some protestants, privately pushed on by their enemies the papists, had burnt to the ground; for this affair had been accommodated many years, and the accomplices severely punished.

    They took therefore another way; they obtained from the duke a commission, by Gastaldo his counsellor in his chamber of accounts, to drive out all the protestants that were in the valleys of Lucerne, Lucernette, St. John, de la Tour, de Bubbian, de Fenil, de Campligon, de Briguieras, and of St. Secundus. the commission was despatched the 13th of January, 1655, and the 25th day of the same month Gastaldo gave orders, and a strict command to all the protestants of the aforesaid places, to abandon them, and to retire with their families, within three days after the publication, into places which his royal highness did tolerate, (which are Bobi, Villar, Angrogne, Roras, and the country of the Bonnets,) under the pain of death, and confiscation of all their goods, if they found them in the aforesaid limits, if within twenty days they do not make it appear to us, that they are become Roman catholics, or that they have sold their goods to catholics.

    Those that gave this pernicious counsel to the duke, knew that the protestants were, time out of mind, established there, even before the Dukes of Savoy were princes of Piedmont: and that the predecessors of Charles Emanuel II., who had given this commission to Gastaldo, had maintained them by divers declarations and grants. But they believed that the Vaudois, who were well established in those places that they were commanded to quit, would not obey the unjust command of Gastaldo, and that so they would take their disobedience for a pretense to destroy them; or if they obeyed, and could not be destroyed or chased out of the rest of the valleys, the places they should quit, would be enough to receive the Irish, who being a people that had been long trained up in the wars, would be a bridle upon the Vandois, and put them upon an impossibility of ever recovering their former habitations.

    Although the protestants well knew the injustice of this order, and that they had sufficient reason not to obey it, nevertheless, to take away all pretence from their enemies of rendering them odious to their prince, and to make them pass for rebels; they quitted the places named by Gastaldo, and retired into those assigned in the proclamation; after which they ordered deputies to go to the duke, and cast themselves at his feet, and by a most humble petition, which they presented him, to supplicate him with a most profound respect, to revoke the orders given to Gastaldo, as being contrary to their privileges, and the grants: but their request was not answered.

    The Vaudois seeing their enemies had no compassion of these miseries, had recourse to her royal highness his mother, to whom they presented a petition full of respect and submission. This princess sent them back to the Council of the Propagation, their sworn enemies, and most cruel persecutors; and this council sent them back to the Marquis de Pianesse, who long before had received orders to go and massacre them, as the event made most evidently appear, under the following persecution.

    CHAPTER - 12

    The Eighth Persecution of the Vaudois of Piedmont by the Dutchess of Savoy, and Charles Emanuel, her Son, by way of treachery, Massacre, and War, from the year 1655 till 1662.

    AFTER such mighty preparations made by the united councils of the wisest heads, both at Rome and in the Duke of Savoy’s court, utterly to exterminate these poor distressed people; no wonder there should follow such massacres in the valleys as had never been known before, and these carried on with the addition of such treacheries, as none but the synagogue of Satan abandoned to all iniquity, could have been guilty of. Accordingly it happened so that this persecution of Vaudois, in the year 1655, will be found one of the most bloody and villanous that is to be seen in the annals of history. I shall not give it at large, as related by Moreland and Leger, because that would be to make a volume of this one period; but shall rather content myself here to give an abstract of what is by them related with greater circumstance. To proceed then:

    While the Vaudois labored by their humble supplications and submissions to sweeten the spirit of their prince, and to incline him to maintain their rights and privileges, having done nothing that could forfeit them; their enemies labored with the duke, with all their power, to destroy them.

    They raised for this purpose an army of fifteen thousand men, formed of all the troops of the duke, of four regiments of French, of one regiment of Germans, and twelve hundred of the Irish, and they were all old troops, Prince Thomas also, who then commanded the army of the king in Italy, sent to the duke, his nephew, four of the best regiments of the army, with the Irish; and the Duke of Bavaria, his brother-in-law, sent him one of his best regiments. the army was ready the 15th of April, 1655, and in a condition to execute their wicked design against these innocent people, who seeing the enemies’ army approach their valleys, began to stand upon their guard.

    In the interim, the Marquis of Pianesse, who commanded the army, amusing their deputies at Turin, till they were marched near the valleys, and ready to enter them, the 16th he departed incognito, and gave orders before his departure, to stop the deputies, till they had received advice, that he with his army was entered the valleys; which would have been executed, if a person of quality, who did not approve the perfidiousness and treachery that was made use of to destroy these poor people, had not whispered them in the ear to be gone quickly. The marquis is in the valleys; in short, he got into the valley of Lucerne the day after his departure, which was the 17th of the month of April; the 18th, the army foraged and sacked all the communities and neighborhood of St. John, and de la Tour, without any resistance. The 18th also, the army went about to force the Vaudois that were retired into the places limited, by the order of Gastaldo; these, after they had implored the aid and assistance of the God of battle, defended themselves courageously against all this great army which attacked them, in four several places; then they repulsed them vigorously, and after having killed a great number of their enemies, put them to the rout, though they were a hundred against one. This was the entrance upon this fearful tragedy, which for the more distinct apprehension of it, I shall represent under several sections, as follows.

    SECTION 1. The abominable means, that the Marquis of Pianesse made use of, to surprise the Vaudois of Piedmont, and to enter into the Valleys, and of the cruel Massacre he made of these poor innocents, after the entry, in the year 1655.

    THE Marquis of Pianesse, seeing that tie could not destroy the Vaudois by force of arms, had recourse to a most. strange and detestable piece of perfidiousness, which Satan had suggested to him: he sent a trumpeter to them, to tell them that they should send their deputies, and hear from his mouth the will and pleasure of his royal highness; that all was for their good and advantage, and that they might come with a full assurance. The Vaudois desiring nothing more than peace, were presently taken in this gin the marquis had laid for them; they sent away their deputies with the trumpeter, and were received with all demonstrations of kindness:

    Monsieur de Pianesse entertained them splendidly at dinner, made a thousand protestations of amity, and most endearing caresses, but this was all to surprise them, and betray them, as Judas did, with a kiss.

    After he had cast a mist before their eyes, by his protestations and deceitful caresses full of snares, he told them he had nothing to do but with the inhabitants of those places forbid by the order of Gastaldo, but as for other places, they had nothing to fear, if they would only, in sign of obedience and fidelity, receive and quarter for two or three days, in every one of their communities, a regiment of foot, and two troops of horse. The deputies, who believed the protestations of the marquis were sincere, and far from all treachery and perfidiousness; when they returned to those that had deputed them, they so strongly persuaded them to do what the Marquis of Pianesse had counselled them, that there were none of the communities that were not disposed to receive them, which they did without any opposition or resistance.

    The regiments of foot, and the troops of horse, which they had agreed to receive, were no sooner entered and quartered in the several communities, but they seized on all the passes, and were followed by all the rest of the army. They were desired to quarter in the towns and villages below, as being more commodious for them, being offered to be furnished with all things necessary, but they marched on as long as the day would permit, even to the highest places that were inhabited. One part of the army mounted upon the common road to Angrogne, another part upon that of Villar and Bobi, and the third part of the army possessed themselves of the Meadow of Tour, which was the strongest place of Angrogne, which sometimes served as it were for a fortress for the Vaudois, and in marching, they set fire on every place, and killed all they met in the way.

    This strange and barbarous proceeding discovered their treachery; every one fled to save their lives, and the greatest part of the men, by the favor of the night, got to the mountains, and saved. part of their families from these cruel massacres, and sliding down the other side of the mountain, they gained the valley of Perouse, a part of the King of France’s territories. This army besprinkled with the blood of the saints, found the houses of Angrogne, and the goods as well of the natural inhabitants, of those that were fled from other places, from which they had been chased by the ordinance of Gastaldo, but they found but few inhabitants, except it was of women, children, old and sick people.

    The enemies of the Vaudois having by this treachery and perfidiousness, made themselves masters of all the valleys, even of the strongest places, which would have served them as so many fortresses against their persecutors, stayed two days without exercising their rage and projected cruelty; feigning they would do nothing but refresh themselves in their quarters, in the mean time they strongly persuaded those that remained, to recall those that fled, assuring them they should have no harm done them, and there were some of them that through their too great credulity, cast themselves into the snares which they had happily escaped.

    The third day the signal being given from the hill of the town, which is called Castelas, all the innocent creatures that were found in their power were killed in the most cruel manner imaginable. They did not kill them as sheep prepared for the butchery, or as enemies vanquished, that were to be cut off without quarter; but in a manner more cruel and more barbarous.

    The infants were pulled violently from the breast of their mothers, and dashed against the rocks and walls by these most cruel barbarians, upon which their brains were plastered; or else one soldier took one of these innocents by one leg, and another by the other, and so rent them most miserably asunder, and sometimes they dashed the brains of one child against the other, and after killed their mothers.

    The sick, as well women as children, were either burnt in their houses, or cut in pieces, or tied naked with their heads between their legs, and thrown down the rocks, or tumbled down the mountains.

    The women and their daughters were violated and stuffed with pebbles, and their mouth and ears with powder, and afterwards fire was given to the train; and by these sort of diabolical mines, they were miserably blown up. Others were empaled alive, and in this dismal posture planted upon the highways, all naked, and some of them had their heads, arms, and breasts cut off, which these barbarians fricasseed and eat. Oh the brave stomachs of popish cannibals!

    As to the men which were neither old nor sick, that fell into the hands of these cruel butchers, some of them were flayed alive, others, after they had cut off the privy members, they cut off their heads, and put their members in their mouths. Some were cut all in pieces limb from limb, as you cut flesh in the shambles; and those that did signalize themselves most in this sort of cruelty were the Irish, who had been used to such sort of massacres in their own country, in 1642.

    After this great massacre of the poor Vaudois that fell into their power, the next day they went a hunting after those that had escaped them, of which a great number were wandering in the woods, and among the high mountains covered with snow,or hid in the caverns and holes of the rocks, not being able to save themselves, partly because of the great quantity of snow, and partly because of their weakness, being unable to make their escape, because the enemy had seized upon all the passes.

    This murdering army having finished the massacre of all the protestants they could find in the valleys, or that were wandering in the woods and mountains, or hid in the caverns and holes of the rocks, they set fire on all combustible things, and quickly reduced all their houses and churches into ashes. Nothing was preserved but the town and church of Villar; which is in the center of the valley of Lucerne, and some houses in the plain for quarters of the Irish, to whom the Duke of Savoy gave this country.

    The Vaudois, some of them being cruelly massacred, others made prisoners, and the rest driven out of their country, the enemies being totally possessed of the valleys, and being made masters of all, they established the Irish there, which being a far greater number than the Vaudois that had escaped out of the massacre, there was no appearance that those poor people could ever re-enter and establish themselves in their country. But God, to whom nothing is impossible, took their cause in hand, and (besides, that he touched the hearts of the protestant states and princes, to afford them charitable assistance) gave them strength and courage, fought for them, and made them with a handful obtain great and miraculous victories over their enemies; and by these signal victories, and solicitations of protestant princes, they were re-established in their lost country, and continued there till the year 1686, in despite of all the artifices of their enemies, as will appear in the sequel of this story.

    But to proceed; after the cruel massacre, of which we have spoken, there was a bloody war between the Vaudois and the murderers; the Vaudois driving them out of their country; in which one may visibly see that the God of battle fought for them, and with them, by the glorious advantages they every day got upon their enemies. The first battle they fought was at Roras, a little community consisting of twenty-five families, and which was far distant from the rest. Here Count Christopher, who was lord of the place, and a member of the Council of Propagating the Faith, being very far from preserving his vassals, as his interest and duty obliged him, violently carried on with a false zeal, did all he could to destroy them, and employed to that end force and treachery; for, contrary to the solemn parole that he had given them on the Marquis of Pianesse’s behalf, that they should be left in quiet, the same day that was designed for the cruel butchery of the Vaudois, he sent four or five hundred soldiers to Roras, to treat the inhabitants of that small place in the same manner that all the rest of the valleys were treated; and to surprise them the better, he showed them a secret way, that the soldiers might march with more expedition; which shows that there is no crime, nor wickedness, of which a blind zeal is not capable. Captain Janaval, who fled into Roras with his family, perceived afar off the enemy; he had then not with him above five or six country peasants; with this little company expecting to meet the enemy at an advantageous pass, they killed six of them upon the spot, and the other being sorely frighted, fled in great confusion, thinking the Vaudois were more in number than they were, and in flying they lost fifty-four of their companions.

    The Marquis of Pianesse, who commanded the enemy’s army, hearing of the ill success of his affairs at Roras, the better to lull them in a secure sleep, and surprise them, he sent them word, that the soldiers that went to attack them, were only rogues and vagabonds, and none of his troops, highly protesting that he knew nothing of the design, and that he would have been extremely pleased if they had cut them in pieces; notwithstanding, the day following, after he had sent these specious protestations, he detached six hundred select soldiers, who should go and set upon Roras in three several places, and exactly follow the orders he had given; Captain Janaval having discovered them with his little company, which was now composed of about eighteen men, of which twelve were armed with fusees, and pistols, and faucheons, six others with slings only and stones, divided them into three little bands, and placed them in ambuscade, in an advantageous post; and they charged so home their enemies, that they seeing themselves attacked with so much courage by those they went to surprise, they betook themselves to their heels, leaving dead upon the spot sixty of their men.

    This second bad success did not, however, make the general give over the enterprise, but as treachery and perfidiousness had success in other valleys, so he was resolved to have recourse to the same. He sent to Roras Count Christopher, who was lord of the place, to tell them, that what was done was grounded upon a false report, but being better informed by the said count, and at his entreaty, he would for the future let them live in perfect quiet, thinking thus to surprise them, by this cunning artifice and treachery of their own lord and master: for the day after he sent a detachment of nine hundred picked men to fall upon those of Roras, in several places at once; but Janavai with his seventeen peasants being got before them to the passes, when they came, fell upon them with so much courage, that he quite routed them, killing a great number in the field, and in the pursuit.

    The marquis being ready to burst with despite and rage, for this third ill success of his troops, rallied together all the forces he could conveniently, that were in the valleys, to go and cut the throats of those poor innocent lambs, in this little community; and the army consisted of about eight thousand effective men, which were at the rendezvous ordered by the general. Captain Mario, a valiant soldier, and a great murderer, led the troops that came from Bagnols, and came first with a considerable body of men, and thought himself strong enough to make himself master of Roras; and without expecting the other troops, he divided his into two parts, arid fell upon the Vaudois in the front, and the rear, but the Vaudois having gained the top of an eminence, that was above the highest troops of their enemies, so that they could not be attacked but i.n the front; from this place they made so vigorous a defense, that at last they disordered their enemies, and put them to flight, having left sixty-five of their companions dead upon the place, besides those that were wounded, drowned, and killed in the pursuit. Captain Mario in flying fell into a whirlpool, where without doubt he had been drowned, if two or three of his soldiers, that were expert in swimming, had not drawn him out. He was brought back to Lucerne in his shirt, without either hat or shoes, and was presently seized with a dreadful malady, during which he suffered horrible torments, which made him a hundred times cry out, that he felt the fire of hell in his bowels, for the houses, churches, and persons he had burnt in the valley of Lucerne. He died in these torments, and in this estate he Went to give an account of his wickedness before the sovereign Judge of the world.

    After so long a fight, and so glorious a deliverance, Janaval with his little troop being retreated to the eminence of a little hill, that they might there refresh themselves; they had no sooner begun to eat, than they saw another body of the army, which came by the way of Villar, and were climbing up the mountains to surprise them in the rear. As soon as they saw the enemy, they presently quitted their dinners, and put themselves in a posture of defense, in the most advantageous place; and he that commanded in chief the enemies, made a small detachment to take a view of the Vaudois, who came very near them, thinking they might be some of their own gang. The Vaudois discharged so home and thick upon them, that every one killed one or more, which caused so great a terror and confusion among them that remained that they fled in great disorder, and spread the terror and dread of the Vaudois so among the soldiers of that great body, that they all immediately betook themselves to their heels, believing the Vaudois were considerable in number, whereas they were but eighteen. Janaval with his little troop pursued and killed a great many of them, after which he gave thanks to God for so glorious a deliverance, as he was always accustomed to do, when he gained any victory over the enemy.

    Three days after these two battles, the Marquis of Pianesse fuming and storming, biting his nails for anger and madness at the pitiful success of all his designs; he sent an express, by a letter, to the people of Roras, by which he commanded them, on behalf of the duke, that they should all within twenty-four hours go to mass, under pain of death, seeing, their houses were reduced to ashes, and their trees cut down.

    To this letter they answered, that they had rather suffer a thousand deaths than go to mass, since it could never be clearly proved that either Christ or his apostles ever did celebrate it; that if after burning their houses, they were resolved to cut down their wood, they had a Father in heaven who would tenderly provide for them.

    After these menaces, the marquis mustered his army together, composed often thousand men, of which eight thousand were old troops and two thousand were of the country peasants of Piedmont, which he listed in the neighboring communities. He divided his army into three bodies, of which, one had orders to attack the Vaudois on Villar side, another on the side of Bagnols, and the third on the side of Lucerne: Janaval with his little troop went before the body of the army which first presented themselves, and fought valiantly, and with incredible success, having killed many of the enemies; but when he saw the other two bodies had gained the post where several poor families were fled for refuge, and that he could not succor them, he saved himself with his seventeen country peasants, and his son of eight years of age, whom he carried upon his shoulders, and retired into the valley of Queiras, in the territories of the French king.

    The obstinacy of the enemies of the Vaudois, in their resolution of destroying the small town of Roras, after so many unsuccessful attacks, shows to all the world the violent passion that a false zeal can produce in the hearts of those who persecute the truth of the gospel. Those that are animated with a true zeal never violate their promises nor oaths made to their enemies; but those that are pushed on by a false zeal keep neither their promise nor oath, they regard nothing but satiating their malice, and contenting their brutal and blind passion. To destroy twenty-four poor families of the Vaudois, they were not content to make use of force, but they must add to it treachery and perfidiousness; they promise and swear they would let them live in quiet, as well on behalf of the duke, as of the general of the army; and the day following they command their troops to cut their throats, and not being able with five hundred men to destroy them, they sent six hundred, and afterwards nine hundred, afterwards eight thousand, and afterwards ten thousand; and that which is remarkable is, that neither the shame of being repulsed so often, nor the loss of so many hundred of their companions, made them give over their design.

    The undaunted courage with which Captain Janaval and his little company sustained the shock, and repulsed the violent attacks of his enemies, and the wonderful victories he gained, shows to the whole world, that the God of battle was on his side. For otherwise how was it possible? for in the first rencounter with seven men only, to put to flight five hundred; and in the other battles; with seventeen or eighteen men, of which six were only armed with slings and stones, to rout sometimes six hundred, then nine hundred, and after some thousands; if God had not been with them, and given them courage and strength, how could it have been done? And on the contrary side, if he had not taken courage from their enemies, and put confusion and terror in their hearts, from whence fol1owed their destruction, and most shameful flight? In short, how was it possible that Janaval and his little handful, after so many dangerous fights, should save themselves, not one of them being killed, or so much as wounded, although they were attacked in the front and in the rear by their enemies, if God had not covered them with his shield, and defended them from their enemies; so that miracles are not yet ceased.

    The enemy’s army having made themselves masters of Rotes, executed the same cruelties towards the families of this little place, as they had done towards those of the other valleys, putting all to fire and sword, without sparing age or sex: but the general was enraged, that with so puissant an army he could only triumph over women and children, and old decrepid men, neither Janaval, nor any of his company falling into his hands. The wife and daughters of Janaval were carried prisoners, they were kept alive to make him lay down his arms, threatening to burn his wife and daughters if he continued in his rebellion, for so they called his just defense.

    All the valleys and their dependencies being in the hands of their enemies; it seemed as if these poor people should for ever be exiled from their country, but God, who would preserve the light of his word, in these mountains and valleys, hastened to restore them: the massacre of the valleys was upon the 24th of April, but the taking and massacre of Roras was not till the beginning of May. Captain Janaval, after having refreshed himself at Queiras some days, mustering some of his brethren in suffering, who had made their escape, returned into the valleys with some provisions, and came and posted himself upon the mountain called Palea de Jainet, from whence with his company he departed the 22d of the same month of May, with a design to go to Lucernette, which is a village between the towns of Lucerne and Bobiane, to surprise some cattle, to live upon, and to take some prisoners, to cause them to restore his wife and daughters by way of exchange: but his enterprise had not the success he desired, for that place was full of soldiers. He returned to his post, and having understood that Captain Jayer with all those he could muster, that had escaped the massacre, and were fled into the valleys of Pierouse and Pragela, in the territories of France, had possessed himself of the valley of Lucerne, on An;rogue side; he prayed him by letters to assign him the time, and place, that he might join him, which they did the 27th of the aforesaid month of May.

    SECTION 2. Of the conjunction of Jayer and Janaval, Captains of the Vaudois; and the wonderful exploits they did in the Valleys.

    THESE two captains were no sooner joined, but they undertook the enterprise of seizing upon the town of Gersiliane, which was garrisoned by their enemies, which they found extremely well fortified. The alarm being given the enemy, which were very numerous in the neighboring places, as well horse as foot, they having notice by the ringing of the bell, run to the succor of the town, and surrounded the Vaudois, who fighting courageously, retreated from the middle of their enemies, and in their retreat, they took from a village that was near the town, six pair of oxen, and a good quantity of other cattle, and took some prisoners, with the loss of only one man.

    The 28th of May, they came very early in the morning, near the town of St. Secundus, to surprise it; and after having spent some time in prayer, according to their custom, and encouraged one another, they attacked it with so much vigor and dexterity, that they made themselves masters of it.

    The garrison, that was made up of Irish and Piedmontese, they put all to the sword; they burned the town and the churches in revenge of what had been done to their houses and temples, and having carried away seven bells, and all the cattle, they retreated: in taking this town, they killed eight hundred Irish, and six hundred and fifty Piedmontese. The Vaudois had only seven men killed, and six wounded very slightly, though the Vaudois were not above six hundred men, and their enemies were at least one thousand five hundred, well entrenched and fortified.

    The 2d of June, the Vaudois went to burn the forage and horses upon the plain of Briqueras, and retreating by the way of St. John, they were encountered by the enemy, whom they charged so briskly in three several places, that they put them to flight, leaving one hundred and fifty dead upon the spot:, besides those that were prisoners and wounded. In this rencounter there was but one of the Vaudois killed, and two wounded.

    Some days after the battle of St. John, the enemy sent a convoy to the fort of Mirebouc, conducted by three hundred men; it is situated above in the valley of Lucerne. Captain Janaval met them by chance in a straight place upon the road, he having then only eight soldiers with him; he stopped them five or six hours, and killed and wounded a great number of them, without the loss of a man.

    After these glorious exploits, Janaval having re-enforced himself, retired again to the mountain called Palea de Jaimet, and sent a message from thence to Tour and Bobi, who had revolted to escape the cruelty and barbarity of the enemy, and were retired to the town of Villar; that if within twenty-four hours they did not join him, he would treat them as apostates and traitors to their country’ they presently came with a great deal of joy, seeing some hopes of their liberty, being very penitent for their former want of courage and confidence in God.

    The captains, Jayer and Janaval being joined the second time, resolved to fall upon the town of Tour, where was the strongest garrison of the enemy; who having some intelligence of their coming, put themselves betimes in a posture of defense, and killed the first Vaudois that appeared upon the bridge before the gate of the town: in short, they made a great sally upon the assailants, who received their enemies with so much courage, that they covered the earth with their dead bodies. The battle continued till night, the Vaudois entrenched themselves upon a little eminence of a hill they had gained, from whence the enemy could not force them, though they were a far greater number, and were re-enforced with some troops that came from Lucerne to their assistance; and about the beginning of the night, the enemy retired into the town, without being able to carry off their dead, which were more than three hundred. This happy success gave so much courage to the Vaudois, that the morrow following they went and posted themselves before the gates of the town, and their enemies durst not sally out upon them.

    After the attack of Tour, the Vaudois retreated into a place of Angrogne called Verne. There in a council of war, they resolved to send four hundred and fifty men, which made up the three-fourth parts of their little army, to assault the community of Crusol, whose inhabitants had done them much mischief in the time of the massacre. At the first noise of their approach, those of Crusol retired into a great cave, which was in a neighboring mountain, and the Vaudois being not able to force them out from thence, contented themselves to take away four hundred cows and oxen, six hundred sheep and goats, and whatsoever booty they could meet with, among which they met with good store of their own goods that had been taken from them in the massacre.

    While the four hundred and fifty Vaudois were on their march for the expedition of Crusol, the Papists of St. Secundus, Lucerne, Tour, and Briqueras, burned some houses that remained in Rocheplate, and from thence they went to Angrogne, to surprise the little garrison that was left there to defend that post, under the command of the Captains Laurence and Benet. They discovered their enemies as they approached them, with design to fall upon them in several places at once. This obliged the little garrison to divide their small, number into two little bodies, of which the one presently gained the top of a mountain, and the other kept a little below upon a small hill. In conclusion, they placed seventeen men in ambuscade in an advantageous place, where the enemies were to join; and these men rushing out upon them on a sudden, and killing seven of them, so daunted the rest, that they retreated without daring to attempt any thing further.

    After his return from Crusol, Captain Jayer went to the valley of Pragelas, to sell a part of his booty, but not returning at the day appointed, Captain Janaval with three hundred men, that he had with him, undertook to force the town of Lucerne. He came before it early in the morning the 6th of June, and as soon as he came there, he turned out of its course, the channel that brought water to the town, and broke their bridge, which was but a musket-shot off the town, to hinder succours from coming in; after which he attacked it, and defeated two corps de guard: but the night before, Maroles, who was governor of it, being entered into it with a new regiment, it was not possible for him with so small a company to make himself master of it; so he contented himself with what he had done, and retreated without any loss.

    The 15th of June, being in Angrogne with three hundred men, which he commanded, he was sharply set upon by the enemies’ army, consisting of three thousand men, which was divided into four bodies, of which one was to gain the top of a hill, the other was to attack him on the right, another on the left, and the fourth in the front. The trumpet which was to give the signal to the enemies to fall all at once upon the Vaudois, having sounded a little sooner than it should have done, gave time to Captain Janaval, to post himself upon an advantageous neighboring hill, where with the assistance of God, whom he invoked, he resisted from morning, till two hours after noon, all the attacks of the enemy, and after having killed a great number of them, they took their heels, and fled in great confusion, Janaval pursuing them even below Angrogne, and killing many of them in the flight. The enemies confess, that on this occasion they lost five hundred men, and had a great many more wounded; of the Vaudois, there was but one killed, and two wounded.

    Immediately after the battle, Captain Jayer came with his little troop, which gave such courage to Janaval and his, that although they were extremely fatigued with fighting all the day, without taking any refreshment; having remarked that the enemies seemed to doubt of nothing, and only thought of dividing themselves, that every one might retire to his own quarter, they unanimously resolved to attack them, and fell upon them with so much courage, Jayer on the one side, and Janaval on the other, that they quite routed them, and killed above an hundred, among whom were three officers of note: but by a great misfortune, for the Vaudois, Captain Janaval at the end of the fight was shot with a musket bullet, which entering in at his breast, went out at his back betwixt his shoulders, which put him in such a condition, that it was thought he would have died immediately. He had notwithstanding the judgment to desire Captain Jayer to enterprise no more that night, because his soldiers could do no more, and he himself gave advice in what he thought was necessary to be done. He was carried to Pinache, and about the end of July he was perfectly cured of his wounds.

    The enemies of the Vaudois, not being able to withstand the Vaudois in the mountains, they made use of a traitor, to draw Captain Jayer down to the plain. This perfidious wretch, after the battle, of which we have spoken, came to seek out the captain, and told him, that there were no troops on Orsacy side, where he might have a considerable booty, and repay the enemies in their own coin, without danger, in burning their houses and cabins. He took with him one hundred and fifty soldiers of this little army, and set some cabins on fire near Orsacy, and took some booty, but in such places where the cavalry could have no advantage. The traitor, who led him out to slaughter; told him that a little lower there were some cabins, and good store of cattle, which would cost him nothing but taking, and persuaded him to go thither; and he no sooner came to the place where he led him, than he was surrounded with a squadron of Savoyards, which defeated him with forty soldiers that had followed him. Seeing himself betrayed, he killed the traitor with his own hand, and three captains of horse; his son also, and his soldiers sold their lives dear, but having to do with so many enemies, they were all cut in pieces, except one, who saved himself in a morass.

    The death of Captain Jayer, and the wounding of Captain Janaval, which was believed mortal, happening the same day, caused a great consternation among the Vaudois: but notwithstanding they took fresh courage, and under the conduct of Captain Laurence, and a brother of Captain Jayer, who succeeded him, under his command, they mustered upon the mountain of Vauchere, where they resolved to meet their enemies that were coming to assault them, and they fell upon them with that resolution, courage and dexterity, that they put them to flight in a very great disorder, after having left more than two hundred of their companions dead upon the place, among whom was a lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of Bavaria, and several officers of note, besides the wounded and prisoners.

    The Vaudois lost in this fight, only Captain Bertin, and a common soldier; and that which is most to be admired is, that they were but five hundred and fifty men, and their enemies six thousand, according to the report of the prisoners. And this is particularly remarkable, and full of admiration, that as soon as Captain Bertin was killed, his son and heir, out of his filial piety, having carried off the body of his father, presently placed himself at the head of his father’s company, and began his charge with these words, “Take heart, my brethren, for though my father be dead, our celestial Father can give me the same courage and conduct as by his grace, he has filled me with the same zeal.”

    The day following, the Vaudois were in continual skirmishes with their enemies at Tour and Taileret, where many of their enemies were killed and wounded, and the Vaudois had but one soldier slightly wounded.

    Their enemies knowing, that all the protestant princes would interest themselves in the affairs of the Vaudois, they re-enforced their army with new troops, to do the utmost to destroy the Vaudois, before the ambassadors of England and Holland should arrive at the court of Savoy: therefore the 11th of July, all the army of the enemies came to attack them upon the mountain of Vauchere, where the Vaudois were posted before.

    Colonel Andrion of Geneva, and John Leger, minister, were newly arrived in these valleys; and they observing the Vaudois had made their lodgments too far asunder, that they might the better make use of the shelter of some stables that were in that place, they exhorted them, for the better avoiding of surprises, to assemble altogether in one place of the mountain, where they had made some barricadoes, the better to defend themselves, but it was impossible to oblige them to it. The day following, which was the day of the attack, they sent four soldiers two hours before day, to observe the enemy, of which were two who made a halt near the church of Angrogne: they spoke Piedmontese, which was the reason that they took them to be some of their own; but a little after, they stealing away, when with great precipitation they took the way of the mountain, they shot after them, which served the Vaudois for an alarm, and at the same time, they put themselves in a posture of defense. The enemy divided themselves into four bodies, to fall upon the Vaudois in four several places, as presently after they did; the battle was sharp, and lasted about six hours, the enemy being strong refreshed themselves, and encouraged one another. They had now made themselves masters of the first barricado, and cried, victory: but the Vaudois that were retreated into the last retrenchment, after a short but ardent prayer to God, sallied out, and fell upon them with so much fury, that they obliged them to retreat, which they did without any disorder.

    Colonel Andrion would not permit a pursuit, for fear of the enemy’s horse that was below. In this fight, the enemy lost about four hundred men, among whom were many officers of note, and one hundred and eighty soldiers of the regiment of Bavaria: the Vaudois had only some few soldiers slightly wounded.

    After this battle, the enemy having lost all hopes of reaping the corn of Angrogne, as they had done of the plain, enterprised the burning of it; but the Vaudois came in so quickly upon them, that they obliged them to quit their design; for after having killed about a dozen of them, they fell upon the rest, and put them to flight, of which a number, to be the more nimble, threw away their arms to save their lives. Captain Bertin pursued them to Tour, and killed and wounded a great many of them; he killed likewise the sentinel, and four soldiers that appeared upon the ramparts of the fort, and struck the enemy with so great a terror, that they vowed afterwards, that if he had followed his blow, he might have made himself master of the place.

    Among all the battles that we have spoken of, it appeared visibly, that God had declared himself the protector and defender of the Vaudois; otherwise, how was it possible, that a handful of men, of little or no experience in war, should have been able to resist, much less to gain, so many victories over their enemies, which were expert and tried soldiers, as we have seen they have done to the 15th of July, when they fought alone, without the aid or assistance of any foreign help; and that which is considerable, they had to do with their prince, whom the emissaries of the pope had armed against them, only in hatred of their religion. Their prince was assisted by the King of France, and the Duke of Bavaria, of which the one was his brother-in-law, and the other his cousin german. The Vaudois were not the hundredth part of his subjects and estates: the prince and all his other subjects were armed against them, and notwithstanding they gained no advantage, but on the contrary, were foiled, and in most occasions most shamefully put to flight.

    The protestants of France hearing of the cruel massacre that was committed upon their brethren of Piedmont, made extraordinary prayers to God for them, and large collections to assist those that had escaped.

    Some provinces celebrated a fast for them, and that of Sevenne celebrated one by order of the synod, assembled at Sale, in the month of June, 1655.

    Upon the news that was divulged, that those that had escaped the massacre had re-entered the valley, and defended themselves there courageously; many officers and soldiers of Sevenne, and the lower Languedoc, went to the succor of their brethren, who in little companies, by several ways, got into the valleys; and so the army of the Vaudois, that had not been till the 14th or 15th of July, above six hundred men, consisted of one thousand eight hundred, the 17th or 18th of July. The Lord of Combies, of the city of Anduse in Sevenne, was of the number of those that went to succor their brethren; and because he had had considerable employ in the armies of the King of France, he was by general consent chosen general of the army. After the example of those of the lower Languedoc and Savenne, many soldiers out of the Delphinate came and joined them in the valleys.

    The army being two-thirds stronger than it was, it was resolved in a council of war, to go and force the town and fort of Tour. They departed at night, the 18th of July, for this expedition, and arrived the day following, before day, within a mile of Tour, where they halted till day break, and then Monsieur Combies sent some to view the fortifications of the fort, and those that were sent, made a report to the general, that the place was impregnable against a greater army, upon which, Monsieur Combies ordered to sound a retreat, being, apprehensive of ill success in his first design.

    But Captain Bertin, who was of a contrary opinion, would not retreat with his company, but desperately assaulted the town. He was soon followed by the rest of the Vaudois, and some two or three Frenchmen.

    This captain, who was a townsman of Tour, knew all the weak places about it, and presently broke through the wall, near the convent of Capuchins, and before the enemy took the alarm, made himself master of the borough, and of the convent, which he burnt down to the ground. And there is no doubt that if all the army of the Vaudois had followed Captain Bertin, they had taken the fort, notwithstanding the succours, that Maroles, governor of Lucerne, brought, as soon as he had news of the attempt. Monsieur Combies having seen what Captain Bertin had done, was much concerned that he had sounded a retreat.

    And here ends the war of the year 1655, which was followed by a cruel massacre that was made of the Vaudois, in the month of April, in the same year. But before we speak of peace, it is necessary that we make some reflections upon this war.

    SECTION 3. Reflections upon the War in the year 1655, and of the ensuing Peace made at Pignerol, by the Mediation of the Ambassador of France, and the Ambassadors of the Protestant Cantons.

    IT is certain that the Duke of Savoy had no better nor more faithful subjects than the Vaudois, who always followed their prince, as well in his wars abroad as at home. They never took up arms, but when he would force their consciences, and deprive them of the free exercise of their religion. This appears in this, that every time that war was made upon them, they were commanded first to renounce their religion, and go to mass, but all those that obeyed, enjoyed several privileges and immunities, without any disturbance. And all the crimes for which the Vaudois were so severely handled was, because they would not abandon their religion, which they had received from father to son, from the time of the apostles, and was in every thing conformable to their doctrine.

    Those that escaped out of the massacre, seem to have had just reason to take up arms, since the enemies had unjustly murdered the fathers and mothers of some, the wives and children of others; and the remainder, who had lost their brothers and sisters, had met with the same fate, had they fallen into the hands of these cruel butchers. So much blood unjustly spilt, cried to heaven for vengeance, and God made use of the hands of those that escaped to revenge it, as the event showed by the victories they gained over their murderers, and by the great slaughter they made of them, though they were inferior in number; and that which is more, they were driven from their own houses, goods, and country, against the laws of nature and nations, which order, that every one enjoy his own in quiet, if he has committed no crimes, that make him unworthy of it. Now these poor people had committed no crime, they were of the religion they professed, before the dukes of Savoy had any thing to do with Piedmont, and besides, it was confirmed to them by divers grants and privileges.

    If God had not been willing to re-establish them in their country, would he have given them courage to return without being recalled by their prince, after having been driven out by a cruel massacre and a puissant army?

    When Captain Janaval returned home, which was about fifteen or twenty days after he was driven from Roras, he had but about two hundred men, and they had established in the valleys one thousand two hundred Irish, all soldiers; there were besides these, three thousand men of the old troops of the Duke of Savoy, and all the inhabitants were papists, so that there were more than a hundred against one. But not. withstanding their enemies were in so great a number, and were masters of the country; yet Janaval returned, and not barely content to make excursions, he carried away a good booty from Lucernette, which was a place full of the enemy, and situate between the towns of Lucerne and Boblane, where the duke had strong garrisons. If God had not given the Vaudois courage, how would they have undertaken the enterprise of St. Secundus, where there were eight hundred Irish, and six hundred and fifty Piedmontese in garrison, strongly fortified and intrenched, and they were not above five hundred?

    How could so small a number have forced the town, if God had not been with them, and fought for them, and delivered these murderers of their brethren into their hands, to revenge the blood they had so inhumanly and without cause spilt?

    Although this war continued but three months, it was nevertheless very bloody, for the enemies of the Vaudois lost in the several rencounters and battles we have spoken of, more than four thousand men, of which the greatest part were the murderers, who were sent to God in a short time, to give an account of their barbarities and cruelties towards these poor innocents. The Vaudois, during the whole war, lost not above ninety-five men, reckoning in this number, the forty who were cruelly and treacherously killed with Captain Jayer, which we mentioned above.

    And this is very remarkable, that the enemies of the Vaudois never had any advantage over them, but by their treachery and perfidiousness, in violating the public faith and treaties; but when they were upon their guard, and fought for the maintenance of their religion, they were always victorious over their enemies; and as they maintained the celestial verity contained in the holy Scriptures, so heaven took them under its protection, and defended their cause; God covered them with his buckler wherever they went, and fought for them, giving them courage, and striking their enemies with confusion and terror; otherwise they had never gained so many victories over their enemies, who, were oftentimes more than a hundred to one.

    The Duke of Savoy, seeing that neither the massacre he had made of the Vaudois, nor the war that had followed the massacre, had answered his designs, and the confederates’ expectation, was desirous of a peace, and was very willing to be solicited by the protestant princes and states to condescend to it: for it was probable, if he had continued the war three months more, he would have been obliged to ask it of those he had been so unjust to. His army was very much weakened, and that of the Vaudois was very well re-enforced. Of the one thousand two hundred Irish, which in the beginning of the war were planted there, eight hundred were cut off at St. Secundus, and the rest either perished of distempers, or in other battles that they fought afterwards. The French troops were retreated, and the lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of Bavaria, and many of his best officers, and more than two hundred common soldiers, were killed in this war; and besides all this, he had lost more than three thousand of his own troops. The army of the Vaudois, when the peace was made, consisted of one thousand eight hundred men, and increased every day. Also many famous officers and protestant soldiers out of France, joining them in this holy war: and if the Vaudois, when they were but between five and six hundred, always were victorious over their enemies, and in spite of all their opposition, had recovered all they had lost; it might reasonably be hoped, that in three months more they might have quite destroyed the enemy’s army, or at least, have driven them out of the valleys.

    The ambassadors of the protestant cantons had been a good while at Turin to assist these poor people, and offered their mediation for a lasting peace; but the duke excused himself, saying, that he had long ago referred that affair to the King of France, and that he durst not take it out of the hands of so great a king; and that which obliged the duke to speak so, was, that he knew the King of France was perfectly linked to him by interest, and that he had lent him his troops, and being the umpire between him and the Vaudois, he would decide more for his advantage, than for that of the Vaudois. Monsieur de Servient, the ambassador of the King of France in that court, was the mediator of peace, and Monsieur de Servient knowing that the ambassadors from England, and the States of Holland, were upon their journey to be employed upon that affair, and that these two states had made great collections for the Vaudois, and that the protector of England very much interested himself in the business, the better to please the zealous protestants of England, precipitated the peace, and concluded it before their arrival at Turin. There is no doubt but that if these ambassadors had arrived before the conclusion of the peace, it would have been much more advantageous to the Vaudois than it was; they would have obtained a restitution of all that had been unjustly taken from them by the order of Gastaldo, and have forced them to demolish the fort of Turin, without suffering the duke to build another. It is true, that by a private article they were promised the fort should be demolished, and in effect it was done after the peace; but it was but to build a stronger in the place where the old one was, which the predecessors of the Vaudois had caused to be pulled down; and even this was against the promise made to them, that they should not build another. The duke gave them a patent, signed at Pignerol the 9th of August, 1655, by which he pardoned the Vaudois for taking up arms against him; he established them in their goods and privileges, and in a free exercise of their religion, except in some places excepted in the patent. The ambassador of France, and the ministers of the duke, drew the patent so, to defend, as they said, the honor of his royal highness; but to defend the honor of their prince, they made innocent subjects, who had been unjustly massacred, and chased out of their country, to pass for rebels, and to be reputed criminals; and deprived them of certain places which they had enjoyed from father to son many ages, even before the dukes of Savoy were princes of Piedmont; and in which places they were confirmed by the concessions and declarations of the predecessors of his highness, and which he himself had confirmed in the year 1653.

    SECTION 4. Containing the wicked Artifices which the Enemies of the Vaudois made use of to complete the destruction of those that had escaped the Massacre and War of 1655, with the breaking of the Peace of Pignerol.

    THE Duke of Savoy and his council not being able to destroy the Vaudois, either by the massacre they had made of them, or a cruel and continual war; instead of letting them live in peace, after the treaty of Pignerol, as they had promised the ambassadors, they took more cunning and subtle ways (but no less dangerous and diabolical) to destroy the remainder of these poor distressed people.

    The first artifice their enemies made use of to destroy them, was, to set them together by the ears about the charitable collections that were made for them in foreign countries, by spreading round about a report of a great abuse pretended to be committed in the distribution of the money. To this end they made use of a Jesuit, called Longuiel, a famous impostor, who came into these valleys, and pretended he came from Languedoc, where he had, as he said, renounced the Roman religion. This wolf disguised in sheep’s clothing, had obtained the school of Villar, which is in the center of the valley of Lucerne. There he associated with him Michel Bertram of Ville Nuve in Piedmont, an ancient servant of the marquis of Pianesse, and with John Vertu of Lucerne, and John Magnen of Provence, who had been for some time in those valleys. This Jesuit and his associates, did all that was possible to gain the poor and silly people of the valleys, suggesting to them, that the charitable contributions were so considerable, that if they were distributed according to the intentions of those that had given them, every one at least would have for his share 14 or 1500 livres, and by this seditious discourse they designed to arm them one against the other, and so to destroy them by their own swords. And not content with this, they wrote to foreign countries, France, Switzerland, Ireland, and England, where their charitable collections were gathered, that the chief inhabitants had divided it among themselves, and made merry with it, and let the poor perish with hunger, giving them no part; and by these ties they designed to hinder strangers from being any more touched with the sense of their miseries.

    The second artifice of their enemies was, to build a fort at Tour, against the secret article of Pignerol, in which they placed a strong garrison. As soon as it was built, they committed all sorts of excesses and violences against the Vaudois, taking away their fruit, and the wine out of their cellars, pillaging likewise the moveables of their houses, beating and killing whom they pleased, violating their wives and daughters, committing all sorts of villanies and rogueries, without any remedy, or the least offer of redress. And to crown the misfortunes of the Vaudois, the government of the valleys was given to the Count of Bagnols, who had signalized himself so much in the massacre in the year 1655.

    The third artifice that was made use of to destroy them after the treaty of Pignerol was, to make criminal processes against the principal of them, upon false accusations, before the court of Turin, against their privileges, which were that all causes should be tried in the valleys before the ordinary Judges. If they appealed to the court of Turin, they were kept two or three years prisoners, sometimes without being heard, where they either spent all their fortunes, or died of hunger; if they did not submit, they were condemned to death, or to the galleys, and their goods were confiscated: those that were condemned for default, if they did not forsake their goods and habitations, they were seized on by the soldiers of the garrison of the citadel, and brought into the fortress, where they made them suffer a thousand ills worse than death.

    The fourth artifice that the enemies of the Vaudois made use of to destroy them was, that they hindered them from keeping schools, and likewise the free’ use of their religion in several places, permitted by the patent of Pignerol, and established time out of mind.

    The Vaudois seeing that the treaty of Pignerol was broken and violated almost in every article, had recourse to their prince and his ministers, to whom they made most humble remonstrances, reiterated several times, but finding that all was to no purpose, they addressed themselves to Monsieur de Servient, ambassador of France, who was also at Turin, and had been the mediator of the peace; they wrote likewise to the ambassador of the protestant cantons that were at that court, and most humbly begged as well the ambassador of France, as those of the Swiss, to intercede for them to his royal highness.

    But instead of doing justice to these poor oppressed people, they prepared fresh forces to root them quite out; and when they were near executing their wicked design, Seignior Rica, treasurer general of the duke, came to Pignerol, a town of the King of France, and near neighbor of the valleys, where he called before him the principal agents of all the communities of the valleys, told them, with tears in his eyes, (a true popish crocodile) that he was very sorry to see them fall into inevitable ruin, and that the only means to avoid it was, to send a large and full deputation to Turin, to his royal highness, who was resolved to put an end to their miseries; and that by the means of a humble and cordial submission, which they could, and ought to do, they would without any doubt obtain their desires.

    While the treasurer general amused with fair words, the principal agents of the valleys, at Pignerol, the generals of the army that were in the valley of Lucerne, called likewise before them all the chief conductors of the Vaudois; and told them, that if, in sign of obedience and confidence, they would but guard a convoy that was to be sent to the fort of Mirebouc, they might all return in peace to their habitations.

    The Vaudois, who desired nothing but the peace and repose of their families, did what those generals commanded, believing what they said was true, but the consequence made them sensible, that it was only to entrap and destroy them; for while one part of tide Vaudois were employed in guarding the convoy, and another in getting their families together, following the order of his royal highness, that every one should retire home, and bring back his family; and while the principal agents were amused and stayed, some at Pignerol with the treasurer, and others by the generals of the army, the troops of tire duke, commanded by the Marquises of Fleuri and Angrogne, and by the Count of Bagnols, in number more than eight hundred men, fell upon the valleys about, break of day, in four several places, with great fury, to surprise and massacre the Vaudois, as they had done in the year 1655; and that which made them hope for good success in their design, was, that they saw that these poor people were dispersed in several places, and as it were lulled asleep upon the confidence they had in the order of his royal highness, and the fair promises made them by the generals, and did not in the least suspect such a piece of treachery and perfidiousness. As on the one side they separated them one from another, and took from them their chief captains, that they might the more easily vanquish them: so on the other side, they furnished with men and ammunition the fort of Mirebouc, which was in the highest part of the valley of Lucerne, to stop their passage into the Dolphinate, and hinder them from saving themselves in the territories of France, as they did in the massacre in the year 1650 and 1655, and employed them as guards for the convoy, which was a double piece of treachery. And from these preparations issued another massacre.

    CHAPTER - 13

    The Ninth Persecution, by way of Massacre and War, made against the Vaudois of Piedmont, in the year 1662, and 1663, by Charles Emanuel, Second Duke of Savoy.

    SECTION THE Marquises of Fleuri and Angrogne, who attacked them, the one by the way of Secundus, and the other by the way of Briqueras, joined themselves together upon the top of a hill, which is between the valley of Lucerne and the valley of Perouse, from whence they might easily win the place called Bal upon the mountains of Vauchere upon the height of Angrogne, which is a most important fort, and the center as it were of three valleys, from whence one may easily descend into those of Lucerne, Perouse, and St. Martin: they came to the top of the hill about break of day, and designed to seize upon the fort of Vauchere, but they were stopped in their career by a body of about sixty men, who had posted themselves in a straight place, called the gate of Angrogne. Without this the Vaudois had been ruined; for if they had lost this place, they had been utterly undone, it being the only place that served them for a refuge, and as it were a sanctuary against the utmost efforts of their enemies.

    Those that were commanded by the Marquises of Fleuri and Angrogne, who were at least four thousand, seeing themselves stopped by the aforesaid body, posted themselves upon the top of a little eminence they had gained, and with turf made themselves an intrenchment, the height of a man, the Vaudois not being able to hinder them; and whilst some worked to fortify this post, others did their utmost to gain the straight pass kept by the sixty Vaudois.

    The other part of the army, commanded by the Count of Bagnols, consisting of an equal number, was likewise divided into two parts, of which, one took the way of Chebas, and the other the way of St. John, and another party took that of Angrogne; and the Vaudois were constrained to retreat, though they had there the greatest part of their forces. They fought nevertheless in their retreat, even to Rochemanant, which was a more advantageous post, higher up towards Angrogne; and there, under the shelter of the rocks, and some old walls, they stood their ground, and stopped the further progress of their enemy; and they being repulsed from that post, after several sharp assaults, and the loss of three hundred men, God struck them with so great fear, that they fled in great disorder, tumbling one upon another down the hills. The Vaudois pursued them to the foot of the hill, where their cavalry was, and killed a great many of them, and after having sufficiently provided, for the post, from which they had so shamefully driven their enemies, they ran to succor their brethren, who fought where the two marquises were, which they did with great success.

    The sixty Vaudois that kept the pass of Angrogne, were weary, having fought above half the day; but when they saw that their brethren came to their succor, they took fresh courage. Two of them creeping upon their bellies, being hid by a part of the rock, came so near the enemies’ retrenchments, that they killed two of their sentinels, and with their swords in their hands, fell upon their camp, who being quickly followed by all the rest, they quickly made themselves masters of it, killing and cutting to pieces all that opposed them, putting the rest to flight, who ran away in great confusion, and the two marquises were none of the hindermost in the flight. The Vaudois pursued their enemies to Briqueras, and killed a great many of them; there were more than six hundred of the enemy killed, and a great many wounded, of which, the greatest part died of their wounds: the Vaudois lost but five or six men, and had but a dozen slightly wounded. Thus did God wonderfully deliver the Vaudois, and punish the treachery of their persecutors; and as in old times, the sword of God was with that of Gideon; so in this rencounter we may truly say, that it was with Captain Janaval and his little troop; otherwise, how should five hundred men, who were extremely fatigued, having fought about half the day, have driven their enemies out of their camp, fortified to the height of a man? The Vaudois were not then above five hundred, but they had left one part of their little army to guard the place, from whence they had chased the Count of Bagnols, and they had not in all above seven hundred men. After they had beaten their enemies, they returned thanks to God for their deliverance, and the victory he had given them, and gave him all the glory.

    The Vaudois, after having defeated their enemies, went often forth in parties to seek them out in every place, where the cavalry could not incommode them, nor surprise them; and by this means, they diminished their army, there scarce being a day that a good number of Savoyards and Piedmontese did not fall into the hands of the Vaudois.

    From the 6th of July, till the 10th of the month of August, all that time, there were continual skirmishes, where always the Vaudois had the advantage over their enemies.

    The marquises of Fleuri and Angrogne, who commanded the army of the duke, recruited it with all the militia of the states of his royal highness, or with troops drawn out of garrisons; and with this great army they undertook a memorable enterprise in attacking Roras, where some Vaudois were retired. This community, as we have remarked before, was separated from the rest of the valleys, and by consequence, could not be succored before in the massacre and war of 16.55. It consisted of but twenty-five families, and the enemies, that were a hundred against one, fell upon this little place by so many ways, that at last they made themselves masters of it. They killed twenty-three Vaudois who defended it, but they lost about two hundred men; and this was the greatest loss that the Vaudois sustained in this war of 1663, and the greatest exploit of the generals of Savoy.

    After the enemy had made themselves masters of the rocks and deserts of Roras, with so considerable loss, the day after they made an excursion to St. Margarite, which is a little village of the community of Tour, consisting of twenty or twenty, five houses, which they burnt to ashes. The Vaudois being assembled together in a small number upon the mountains of Tour, as they saw the town on a flame, fell with that swiftness and resolution upon these incendiaries, that they put them to flight, and covered the ground with their dead carcasses, and killed more of them than they had burnt beams of houses. Of the Vaudois side there were none either killed or wounded; for it was remarked, that these murderers were struck with so great a fear, that they had neither hands to fight nor legs to fly.

    Towards the end of the month of August, Captain Janaval entirely defeated an ambuscade, that the enemy had laid at the place of the vines, to surprise him, but they themselves were surprised and cut in pieces.

    The Council of the Propagation of the Faith, seeing that the Marquis of Fleuri had such ill success in his designs, thought it was requisite to change the general; and so the marquis was recalled to court, and the Marquis of St. Damian was put in his place, who made a levy of a greater army than before, but with worse success. The soldiers seeing, that in this war nothing could be got but blows, the first having carried away all the booty, went only by force to this war, and where they found any resistance, they turned their backs and fled from the Vaudois; their officers being not able to stay their flight.

    SECTION The Second Peace made between Charles Emanuel and the Vaudois, by the Mediation of the Protestant Cantons, in the month of February, 1664, which continued till the year 1686, during which time the Vaudois did signal service to the Duke of Savoy.

    THE war of the year 1663, having had as ill success as that of the year 1655, the Duke of Savoy would have been glad of peace, but he durst not ask it of the Vaudois, for fear it should show his weakness, or at least he should be obliged to grant them more than he had done in his former patent, granted at Pignerol, because of the advantages they had gained over him: for this prince had drained his revenues, ruined by these wars a part of his dukedom, lost more than four thousand men, and the Vaudois but sixty. They durst go no more into the mountains to seek them, and the vaudois often descended into the plains to attack their enemies; who being struck with a panic fear, because of the many victories of the Vaudois, fled before them, like a flock of sheep before a troop of hungry enraged wolves.

    The Swiss having private notice that the duke was weary of the war, sent an honorable embassy to solicit a peace, between the Vaudois and their prince: the ambassadors came to Turin the 15th of December, 1663, and were very well received by the duke, and the whole court; which was not so in the year 1655, after the massacre, nor in the year 1686, when the duke was leagued with the King of France, for the destruction of the Vaudois, and to force them to go to mass, as he in the preceding year had forced the protestants of France. This good reception of the ambassadors, made it dear that the duke was weary of the war, and willing to make a peace. After they had an audience, they sent their secretary to the valleys, to tell the Vandois that they should send their deputies to Turin, who being arrived there, a solemn promise was made them, that during the treaty, there should be no more acts of hostility done against the Vaudois.

    The event made it apparent that this promise was only made to lull them asleep, that he might the better surprise them, while the treaty was on foot; for by an unheard of perfidiousness, even among the most barbarous nations, notwithstanding this promise, made in the presence of the ambassadors, the 21st of the same month, twelve hundred men of the lower Piedmont, were sent to re-enforce the army, under the command of the Marquis of St. Damian, and on the 25th at break of day, they attacked Tillaret, Angrogne, Rocheplate, and St. German, without giving notice that they would do any thing to the prejudice of so solemn a promise. The first and strongest attack was at Tillaret, where the Vaudois had like to have been borne down with numbers, but they of Angrogne sending them, in the nick of time, a hundred men, this seasonable succor did so encourage them, that they broke the enemies’ troops commanded by the Count of Bagnols, put them to flight, and forced them to fly for safety to the town and citadel of Tour, in great disorder. They pursued them with so much heat and vigor, that many of the Vaudois entered with them pell-meil into the town, and came out again, without the least damage, to the great astonishment of all the world, and confusion of their enemies.

    On the side of Angrogne, the enemy could not make the Vaudois give back one foot of ground, for all their furious assaults, but after having done their utmost to make them quit their post, and after having lost a great number of their men, they most shamefully fled, the Vaudois pursuing them to the plain, and killing a great number of them, and encamping afterwards near them upon the plain, where their enemies durst not molest them.

    All the harm the Vaudois suffered was on St. German’s side, which was a very advantageous post, and of great importance, by the means of which, they had till then kept clear the passage between the valleys of Lucerne, and those of Perouse and St. Martin. The enemy unfortunately surprised this place, which was not guarded, because that famine had obliged the country people, who believed there was no danger, during the treaty, to go and seek victuals for themselves and their families. They killed there a man, and two women, the rest saving themselves miraculously; they burnt likewise the greatest part of their houses, and cut down or peeled the bark off all the fruit trees.

    The Vandois had great cause of joy that day, for they happened to be dispersed in divers places, and were not upon their guard, confiding in the solemn promise made at Turin; but God not only delivered them out of the hand of their enemies, but gave them a signal victory. The enemy’s army consisted of eighteen thousand men, viz. six thousand that the Marquis of St. Damian had in his army, arid twelve thousand Piedmontese, that had newly joined him; and the Vaudois had but seven hundred men; yet on this day, the latter lost but six men, but the first, according to their own relation, lost fifteen hundred, among whom were the Count of St. Front, and de la Trinita, and many officers of note.

    The deputies of the Vaudois, who were at Turin, having received intelligence of this perfidious dealing, against a solemn promise, desired the lords ambassadors from the Swiss cantons, to present their just complaints to the duke, which they did with a great deal of heat and resentment. But that produced only a truce for twelve days, which was at several times prolonged and renewed till the lords ambassadors had ended and fully concluded a peace and agreement, contained in the patent of the 14th of February, 1664, by which the Vaudois were established in a full enjoyment of their goods, and in the exercise of their religion, in all places where it had been established by the treaty of Pignerol, in the year 1655.

    But this patent was no better executed and observed than the former, although the duke had engaged himself by his letter to the protestant cantons, the 28th of February, 1664, to observe it punctually. It is no easy matter to represent here all the tricks that the Council of the Propagation made use of to make this peace ineffectual. As to the Vaudois, it is enough to say, that it had been impossible for them to defend themselves against so many subtleties and crafty policies of their adversaries of the Propagation, if God, who holds the hearts of princes and kings in his hands, had not changed the heart of Charles Emanuel II., to favor the Vaudois. But this prince having examined the conduct of all their affairs, began at last to be sensible, that it was without any good ground that the Vaudois were made so odious; and calling to mind the great zeal they had testified on divers occasions for his service, and particularly in 1638, and 1640, when the greatest part of his estate was revolted against him, and that the Cardinal of Savoy, and Prince Thomas his uncle, had made themselves heads of the revolt, being assisted by the troops of Spain, and had seized almost all Piedmont, and even the city of Turin itself, and besieged Madam Royal his mother, in the citadel, whither she had fled to save herself; and that without the succors of Louis XIII., his uncle by the mother’s side, and the help of the Vaudois, probably he had been deprived of all his principality; calling these things to mind, he at length ceased to harass them.

    In the year 1672, the Duke of Savoy made war upon the Genoese, and the Vaudois served him with so much zeal and courage, that this prince was not content only to praise their conduct, courage, and fidelity, by a letter which he wrote to them the 5th of November the same year, but he gave them many sensible marks of his esteem and good will towards them, even to his death, which happened towards the end of the year 1678, Madam Royal, his widow, treated them likewise, not only with a great deal of sweetness and goodness, but she also engaged herself to the protestant cantons, by a letter written the 28th of January, 1679, to maintain the Vaudois in the free exercise of their religion, and in all other privileges and immunities.

    Thus we have conducted this history, extracted chiefly from Leger, excepting some chapters, which I have contented myself to have taken from the abridgment of Boyer. And in the whole preceding narrative, the reader has had an account of nine sore persecutions sustained by these Vaudois with invincible patience. There only remains the tenth and last to be related; and this also I might have given from the aforesaid abridgment.

    But the account of this last and greatest of all their persecutions, having been printed in the year 1688, at the theater at Oxford, with the imprimatur of the vice-chancellor; and the same containing a justification of their conduct, against what may be supposed imputable to them of rebellion, in this and their former defensive wars; I have chosen to give this remaining part of their history entire, as it will be found in the same account. And this like the Dioclesian persecution of the primitive church, being the unda decumana, that totally overturned them, it seems to deserve that it should be delivered with such remarkable distinction.

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