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Joan Cavalièr, cap dels camisards
Pagina d'ajuda sus l'omonimia Pels articles omonims, vejatz Joan Cavalièr (omonimia).

Joan Cavalièr (28 de novembre de 1681 - 17 de mai de 1740) foguèt un famós cap dels camisards, nascut al Mas Rós, un masatge de la comuna de Ribauta prèp d'Andusa, en Lengadòc.

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Lo sieu paire, un pagés illetrat protestant, foguèt secutat per tal de se convertir el e sa familha al catolicisme roman. Malgrat aquela menaça sa maire li balhèt secretament la fe protestanta. Dins sa joventut foguèt pastre, e cap a sa vintena annada aprenguèt a far lo fornièr. Amenaçat de perseguidas per encausa de sas opinions religiosas se n'anèt a Genèva, ont demorèt tot l'an 1701. Tornèt puèi en Cevenas a la velha de la revòuta dels camisards, aprèp lo murtre de l'abat de Chaila al Pònt de Montverd dins la nuèch del 24 de julhet de 1702. Qualques meses pus tard ne venguèt lo menaire. Mostrèt que possedissiá un engèni de la guèrra extraordinari, e lo marescal Villars li faguèt lo compliment de dire qu'èra tant coratjós dins l'ataca coma èra prudent dins la retirada, e que de per sa coneissença extraordinària del país mostrava dins la direccion de sas tropas un biais digne dels oficièrs mai qualificats. Durant dos ans, faguèt fracassar las ofensivas del comte Victor Maurice de Broglie e lo marescal Montrevel, generals de Loís XIV, e mantenguèt una guèrra terribla de resisténcia.

Organizèt las fòrças dels camisards e mantenguèt la pus sevèra disciplina. Coma orator trapèt son inspiracion dels profètas d'Israèl, e enaucèt l'estrambòrd de sos rudes montanhòls a un nivèl tant fòrt qu'èran prèsts a morir amb el e per la libertat de consciéncia. Cada batalha aumentava la terror del seu nom. Lo jorn de Nadal de 1702 tenguèt una assemblada religiosa a las pòrtas d'Alès, e metèt en fugida la milicia locala venguda l'arestar. A Vanhas, lo 10 de febrièr de 1703, encontrèt las tropas reialas, mas, batut al seu torn, foguèt obligat de cercar lo salut dins la fugida. Tornèt , e foguèt tornarmai desfach a la Torre de Bilhòt (lo 30 d'abril), mas un còp de mai se reviscolèt en recrutar de tropas nòvas per remplaçar las perdas.

Amb una tièra longa de successes, Cavalièr ganhèt una solida reputacion e obtenguèt la fisança del pòble. Foguèt sens efèctes que de mesuras pus duras foguèron presas contra los camisards. Cavalièr portèt coratjosament la guèrra fins a la plana lengadociana, faguèt de represalhas terriblas, e mai amenacèt Nimes. Lo 16 d'abril de 1704 encontrèt lo marescal Montrevel se meteis al pont de Nages, amb 1000 òmes contra 5000, e, e mai que batut aprèp un combat desesperat, faguèt una retirada amb succès amb los dos terces de sos òmes. Foguèt a aqueste moment que lo marescal Villars, volguèt metre fin a aquestas luchas terriblas, en dobrir de negociacions, e Cavalièr foguèt convidat a venir discutir al Pont d'Avne pròche Alès l'11 de mai de 1704, e lo 16 de mai se sometèt a Nimes. Aquestas negociacions, amb lo monarca mai fièr d'Euròpa, las menèt, non pas coma un rebèl, mas coma lo cap d'una armada que s'èra batuda onorablament. Loís XIV li balhèt lo grad de coronèl, que Villars li presentèt personalament, e una pension de 1200 livres. Al meteis temps autorizèt la formacion d'un regiment Camisard per servir en Espanha jos son comandament.

Abans de daissar Cevena pel darrièr còp, venguèt a Alès e a Ribaute, followed by an immense concourse of people. But Cavalier had not been able to obtain liberty of conscience, and his Camisards almost to a man broke forth in wrath against him, reproaching him for what they described as his treacherous desertion. Lo 21 de junh de 1704, with a hundred Camisards who were still faithful to him, he departed from Nîmes and came to Neu-Brisach (Alsàcia), where he was to be quartered. From Dijon he went on to París, where Louis XIV gave him audience and heard his explanation of the revolt of the Cévennes. Returning to Dijon, fearing to be imprisoned in the fortress of Neu-Brisach, he escaped with his troop near Montbéliard and took refuge at Lausanne.

But he was too much of a soldier to abandon the career of arms. He offered his services to the duke of Savoy, and with his Camisards made war in the Val d'Aosta. After the peace he crossed to England, where he formed a regiment of refugees which took part in the Spanish expedition under the earl of Peterborough and Sir Cloudesley Shovell in May 1705. At the Batalha d'Almansa the Camisards found themselves opposed to a French regiment, and without firing the two bodies rushed one upon the other. Cavalier wrote later (July 10, 1707): "The only consolation that remains to me is that the regiment I had the honour to command never looked back, but sold its life dearly on the field of battle. I fought as long as a man stood beside me and until numbers overpowered me, losing also an immense quantity of blood from a dozen wounds which I received." Marshal Berwick never spoke of this tragic event without visible emotion.

On his return to England a small pension was given him and he settled at Dublin, where he published Memoirs of the Wars of the Cévennes under Col. Cavalier, written in French and translated into English with a dedication to Lord Carteret (1726). Though Cavalier received, no doubt, assistance in the publication of the Memoirs, it is none the less true that he provided the materials, and that his work is the most valuable source for the history of his life. He was made a general on 27 d'octobre de 1735, and on lo 25 de mai, 1738 was appointed Lòctenent Governador de Jersei. Writing in the following year (26 d'agost de 1739) he says: "I am overworked and weary; I am going to take the waters in England so as to be in a fit condition for the war against the Spaniards if they reject counsels of prudence." He was promoted to the rank of major-general on July 2, 1739, and died in the following year. In the parochial register of St Luke's, Chelsea, there is an entry: Burial A.D. 1740, May 18, Brigadier John Cavalier.

There is a story which represents him as the fortunate rival of Voltaire for the hand of Olympe, daughter of Madame Dunoyer, author of the Lettres galantes. During his stay in England he married the daughter of Captain de Ponthieu and Marguerite de la Ròcha Focaud, refugees living at Portarlington. Malesherbes, the courageous defender of Loís XVI, bears the following eloquent testimony to this young hero of the Cévennes: "I confess," he says, "that this warrior, who, without ever having served, found himself by the mere gift of nature a great general, this Camisard who was bold to punish a crime in the presence of a fierce troop which maintained itself by little crimes--this coarse peasant who, when admitted at twenty years of age into the society of cultivated people, caught their manners and won their love and esteem, this man who, though accustomed to a stormy life, and having just cause to be proud of his success, had yet enough philosophy in him by nature to enjoy for thirty-five years a tranquil private life--appears to me to be one of the rarest characters to be found in history."

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Nòtas e referénciasModificar

  • (en) Aqueste article es parcialament o en totalitat eissit d’una traduccion de l’article de Wikipèdia en anglés intitolat « Jean Cavalier ».
  • For a more detailed account see François Puaux, Vie de Jean Cavalier (1868); David CA Agnew, Protestant Exiles from France, ii. 54-66 (Lond., 1871); Charvey, Jean Cavalier: nouveaux documents inédits (1884). Eugène Sue popularized the name of the Camisard chief in Jean Cavalier ou les fanatiques des Cévennes (1840).