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Title: Charles the Bold - Last Duke of Burgundy, 1433-1477
Author: Putnam, Ruth
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Charles the Bold - Last Duke of Burgundy, 1433-1477" ***

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[Illustration: CHARLES THE BOLD OF BURGUNDY (1433-1477) (FROM MS.
BETWEEN 1518-1531]







       *       *       *       *       *



The Knickerbocker Press


       *       *       *       *       *




The Knickerbocker Press, New York

       *       *       *       *       *


The admission of Charles, Duke of Burgundy into the series of Heroes
of the Nations, is justified by his relation to events rather than by
his national or his heroic qualities. _"Il n'avait pas assez de sens
ni de malice pour conduire ses entreprises,"_ is one phrase of Philip
de Commines in regard to the master he had once served. Render _sens_
by _genius_ and _malice_ by _diplomacy_ and the words are not far
wrong. Yet in spite of the failure to obtain either a kingly or an
imperial crown, the story of those same unaccomplished enterprises
contains the germs of much that has happened later in the borderlands
of France and Germany where the projected "middle kingdom" might have
been erected. A sketch of the duke's character with its traits of
ambition and shortcomings may therefore be placed, not unfitly, among
the pen portraits of individuals who have attempted to change the map
of Europe.

The materials for an exhaustive study of the times, and of the
participants in the scenes thereof, are almost overwhelming
in quantity. Into this narrative, I have woven the words of
contemporaries when these related what they saw and thought, or at
least what they said they saw or thought, about events passing within
their sight or their ken. The veracity attained is only that of a
mosaic of bits, each with its morsel of truth. And the rim in which
these bits are set is too slender to contain all the illumination
necessary. The narrative is, of necessity, partial and fragmentary,
for a complete story would require a series of biographies presented
in parallel columns. My own preliminary chapter to this book--a
mere explanation of the presence of the dukes of Burgundy in the
Netherlands--grew into an account of a sovereign whom they deposed and
was published under the title of _A Mediæval Princess._

John Foster Kirk gave 1713 pages to his record of Charles the Bold,
Duke of Burgundy. Forty years have elapsed since that publication
appeared and a mass of interesting material pertinent to the subject
has been given out to the public, while separate phases of it have
been minutely discussed by competent critics, so that at every point
there is new temptation for the biographer to expand the theme where
the scope of his work demands brevity.

In using the later fruit of historical investigation, it is delightful
for an American to find that scholars of all nations do justice to
Mr. Kirk's accuracy and industry even when they may differ from his
conclusions. It has been my privilege to be permitted free access to
this scholar's collection of books, and I would here express my deep
gratitude to the Kirk family for their generosity and courtesy towards

After some preliminary reading at Brussels and Paris and in England,
the work for this volume has been completed in America, where the
opportunity of securing the latest results of research and criticism
is constantly increasing, although these results are still lodged
under many roofs. I have had many reasons to thank the librarians of
New York, Boston, and Washington, and also those of Harvard, Columbia,
and Cornell universities for courtesies and for serviceable aid; and
just as many reasons to regret the meagreness of what can be put
between two covers as the gleanings from so rich a harvest.

One word further in explanation of the use of _Bold_. The adjective
has been retained simply because it has been so long identified with
Charles in English usage. I should have preferred the word _Rash_ as
a better equivalent for the contemporary term, applied to the duke in
his lifetime,--_le téméraire_.



       *       *       *       *       *


*  *  *


























*  *  *

CHARLES THE BOLD, DUKE OF BURGUNDY          _Frontispiece_
From MS. statute book of the Order of the Golden
Fleece at Vienna. The artist is unknown. Date
of the codex is between 1518 and 1565. This
portrait is possibly redrawn from that attributed
to Roger van der Weyden. That, however,
shows a much stronger face.

From a reproduction of a miniature in MS. at Brussels.

From a contemporary miniature reproduced in
Petit's _Hist. de Bourgogne_.

From a reproduction of part of a miniature in a
beautiful MS. copy in Brussels Library of Jacques
de Guise's _Annales_. The author is depicted
presenting his book to the duke, who is attended
by his son and his courtiers. The miniature is
attributed by turns to Roger van der Weyden, to
Guillaume Wijelant or Vrelant, and to Hans

From Petit's _Hist. de Bourgogne_.


From reproduction of a miniature in Barante, _Les
ducs de Bourgogne_,


From an engraving by A. Boilly after a drawing by
G. Boilly.

From a drawing in a MS. at Arras.

From a contemporary miniature reproduced in

From a contemporary miniature reproduced in

After Hans Memling, Dresden Gallery.

From reproduction of a miniature in MS. at


From sketch in MS. at Arras reproduced in
_Mémoires couronnés de l'acad. royale de Belgique,_

From a contemporary miniature reproduced in
Barante, _Les ducs de Bourgogne_.

From Toutey, _Charles le téméraire_.



From engraving by G. Robert in Comines-Lenglet.

After design by C. Laplante.

Idealised by P. P. Rubens, Vienna Gallery. (By
permission of J. J. Löwy, Vienna.)


From Petit's _Hist. de Bourgogne_,

(These characters in Maximilian's poem of _Theuerdank_
represent Charles and Mary of Burgundy.)
From a reproduction of a wood engraving by
Schäufelein in edition of 1517.

Used by kind permission of Miss Sophia Kirk and
J. B. Lippincott Company.

After a design by Matthey reproduced in

Used by kind permission of Miss Sophia Kirk and
the J. B. Lippincott Company.

From contemporary miniature reproduced in

From Barante, _Let ducs de Bourgogne_.

Church of Notre Dame, Bruges


       *       *       *       *       *




On St. Andrew's Eve, in the year 1433, the good people of Dijon were
abroad, eager to catch what glimpses they might of certain stately
functions to be formally celebrated by the Duke of Burgundy. The mere
presence of the sovereign in the capital of his duchy was in itself
a gala event from its rarity. Various cities of the dominions
agglomerated under his sway claimed his attentions successively. His
residence was now here and now there, without long tarrying anywhere.
His coming was usually very welcome. In times of peaceful submission
to his behest, the city of his sojourn reaped many advantages besides
the amusement of seeing her streets alive beyond their wont. In the
outlay for the necessities and the luxuries of the peripatetic ducal
court, the expenditures were lavish, and in the temporary commercial
activity enjoyed by the merchants, the fact that the burghers' own
contributions to this luxury were heavy, passed into temporary

This autumn visit of Philip the Good to Dijon was more significant
than usual. It had lasted several weeks, and among its notable
occasions was an assembly of the Knights of the Golden Fleece for the
third anniversary of their Order. On this November 30th, Burgundy was
to witness for the first time the pompous ceremonials inaugurated at
Bruges in January, 1430. Three years had sufficed to render the new
institution almost as well known as its senior English rival, the
Order of the Garter, which it was destined to outshine for a brief
period at least. Its foundation had formed part of the elaborate
festivities accompanying the celebration of the marriage of Philip,
Duke of Burgundy, to Isabella of Portugal. As a signal honour to his
bride, Philip published his intention of creating a new order of
knighthood which would evince "his great and perfect love for the
noble state of chivalry."

Rumour, indeed, told various tales about the duke's real motives. It
was whispered that a certain lady of Bruges, whom he had distinguished
by his attentions, was ridiculed for her red hair by a few merry
courtiers, whereupon Philip declared that her tresses should be
immortally honoured in the golden emblem of a new society.[2] But that
may be set down as gossip. Philip's own assertion, when he instituted
the Order of the Golden Fleece, was that he intended to create a

    "for the reverence of God and the sustenance of our Christian
    faith, and to honour and enhance the noble order of chivalry, and
    also for three reasons hereafter declared; first, to honour the
    ancient knights ...; second, to the end that these present.... may
    exercise the deeds of chivalry and constantly improve; third, that
    all gentlemen marking the honour paid to the knights will exert
    themselves to attain the dignity." [2]

The special homage to the new duchess was expressed in the device

  _Aultre n'aray
   Dame Isabeau tant que vivray[4]_

This pledge of absolute fidelity to Dame Isabella was, indeed, utterly
disregarded by the bridegroom, but in outward and formal honour to her
he never failed.

The new institution was, from the beginning, pre-eminently significant
of the duke's magnificent state existence, wherein his Portuguese
consort proved herself an efficient and able helpmeet. Again and again
during a period of thirty years, rich in diplomatic parleying, did
Isabella act as confidential ambassador for her husband, and many were
the negotiations conducted by her to his satisfaction.[5]

But it must be noted that whatever lay at the exact root of Philip's
motives when he conceived the plan of his Order, the actual result of
his foundation was not affected. He failed, indeed, to bring back into
the world the ancient system of knighthood in its ideal purity and
strength. Rather did he make a notable contribution to its decadence
and speed its parting. What was brought into existence was a house
of peers for the head of the Burgundian family, a body of faithful
satellites who did not hamper their chief overmuch with the criticism
permitted by the rules of their society, while their own glory added
shining rays to the brilliant centre of the Burgundian court.

Twenty-five, inclusive of the duke, was the original number appointed
to form the chosen circle of knights. This was speedily increased to
thirty-one, and a duty to be performed in the session of 1433, was
the election of new members to fill vacancies and to round out the
allotted tale.


In their manner of accomplishing the appointed task, the new
chevaliers had, from the outset, evinced a readiness to cast their
votes to the satisfaction of their chief, even if his pleasure
directly conflicted with the regulations they had sworn to obey. No
candidate was to be eligible whose birth was not legitimate,[6] a
regulation quite ignored when the duke proposed the names of his sons
Cornelius and Anthony. For his obedient knights did not refuse to open
their ranks to these great bastards of Burgundy, who carried a bar
sinister proudly on their escutcheon. So, too, others of Philip's many
illegitimate descendants were not rejected when their father proposed
their names.

Again, it was plainly stipulated that the new member should have
proven himself a knight of renown. Yet, in this session of 1433, one
of the candidates proposed for election, though nominally a knight,
had assuredly had no time to show his mettle. The dignity was his only
because his spurs had been thrown right royally into his cradle before
his tiny hands had sufficient baby strength to grasp a rattle, and
before he was even old enough to use the pleasant gold to cut his
teeth upon.[7]

Among the eight elected at Dijon in 1433, was Charles of Burgundy,
Count of Charolais, son of the sovereign duke, born at Dijon on the
previous St. Martin's Eve, November 10th.[8]

    "The new chevaliers, with the exception of the Count of
    Virnenbourg who was absent, took the accustomed oath at the hands
    of the sovereign in a room of his palace."

So runs the record. Jean le Févre, Seigneur de St. Remy, present on
the occasion in his capacity of king-at-arms of the Order, is a trifle
more communicative.[9] According to him, all the gentlemen were very
joyous at their election as they received their collars and made their
vows as stated. He excepted no member in the phrase about the joy
displayed, though, as a matter of inference, the pleasure experienced
by the Count of Charolais may be reckoned as somewhat problematical.

The heir of Burgundy had attained the ripe age of just twenty days
when thus officially listed among the chevaliers present at the
festival. Born on November 10th of this same year, 1433,[10] he had
been knighted on the very day of his baptism, when Charles, Count of
Nevers, and the Seigneur of Croy were his sponsors. The former gave
his name to the infant while the latter's name was destined to be
identified with many unpleasant incidents in the career of the future
man. This brief span of life is sufficient reason for the further item
in the archives of the Golden Fleece:

    "As to the Count of Charolais, he was carried into the same room.
    There the sovereign, his father, and the duchess, his mother, took
    the oath on his behalf. Afterwards the duke put the collars upon
    all." [11]

Thus was emphasised at birth the parental conviction that Charles of
Burgundy was of different metal than the rest of the world. The great
duke of the Occident made a distinct epoch in the history of chivalry
when he conferred its dignities upon a speechless, unconscious infant.
The theory that knighthood was a personal acquisition had been
maintained up to this period, the Children of France[12] alone being
excepted from the rule, though in his _Lay de Vaillance_ Eustache
Deschamps complains that the degree of knighthood is actually
conferred on those who are only ten or twelve years old, and who do
not know what to do with the honour.[13] That plaint was written not
later than the first years of the fifteenth century, and the poet's
prediction that ruin of the institution was imminent when affected by
such disorders seemed justified if, in 1433, even the years of the
eligible age had shrunk to days. Philip himself had not received the
accolade until he was twenty-five.

How his predecessor in Holland, Count William VI., had acquitted
himself valiantly the moment that he was dubbed knight is told by
Froissart, and the tales of other accolades of the period are too well
known to need reference.

It is said that the baby cavalier was nourished by his own mother.
Having lost her first two infants, Isabella was solicitous for the
welfare of this third child, who also proved her last. He was,
moreover, Philip's sole legal heir, as Michelle of France and Bonne of
Artois, his first wives, had left no offspring. The care and devotion
expended on the boy were repaid. Charles became a sturdy child who
developed into youthful vigour. In person, he strangely resembled
his mother and her Portuguese ancestors, rather than the English
Lancastrians, from whom she was equally descended.

His dark hair and his features were very different from the fair type
of his paternal ancestors, the vigorous branch of the Valois family.
Possibly other characteristics suggesting his Portuguese origin were
intensified by close association with his mother, who supervised the
education directed by the Seigneur d' Auxy. They often lived at The
Hague, where Isabella acted as chief and official adviser to the
duke's stadtholder in the administration. [14]

Charles was a diligent pupil, if we may believe his contemporaries,
surprisingly so, considering his early taste for all martial pursuits
and his intense interest in military operations.

At two years of age he received his first lesson in horsemanship, on
a wooden steed constructed for his especial use by Jean Rampart, a
saddler of Brussels.

His biographers repeat from each other statements of his proficiency
in Latin. This must be balanced by noting that the only texts which
he could have read were probably not classic. In the inventory of the
various Burgundian libraries of the period, there are not six Greek
and Latin classical texts all told, and excepting Sallust, not a
single Roman historian in the original.[15] There was a translation
of Livy by the Prior of St. Eloi and late abridgments of Sallust,
Suetonius, Lucan, and Cæsar,[16] with a French version of Valerius
Maximus, but nothing of Tacitus. Doubtless these versions and a volume
called _Les faits des Romains_ were used as text-books to teach the
young count about the world's conquerors. The last mentioned book
shows what travesties of Roman history were gravely read in the
fifteenth century.

There are stories[17] that the bit of history most enjoyed by the
pupil was the narrative of Alexander. Books about that hero were easy
to come by long before the invention of printing, though Alexander
would have had difficulty in recognising his identity under the
strange mediæval motley in which his namesake wandered over the land.
No single man, with the possible exception of Charlemagne, was so
much written about or played so brilliantly the part of a hero to
the Middle Ages and after.[18] The simplicity and universality of his
success were of a type to appeal to the boy Charles, himself built on
simple lines. The fact, too, that Alexander was the son of a Philip
stimulated his imagination and instilled in his breast hopes of
conquering, not the whole world perhaps, but a good slice of territory
which should enable him to hold his own between the emperor and the
French king. Tales of definite schemes of early ambition are often
fabricated in the later life of a conqueror, but in this case they may
be believed, as all threads of testimony lead to the same conclusion.

The air breathed by the boy when he first became conscious of his
own individuality was certainly heavy with the aroma of satisfied
ambition. The period of his childhood was a time when his father stood
at the very zenith of his power. In 1435, was signed the Treaty of
Arras, the death-blow to the long coalition existing between Burgundy
and England to the continual detriment of France. Philip was
reconciled with great solemnity to the king, responsible in his
dauphin days for the murder of the late Duke of Burgundy. After
ostentatiously parading his filial resentment sixteen long years,
Philip forgave Charles VII. his share in the death of John the
Fearless, on the bridge at Montereau, and swore to lend his support to
keep the French monarch on the throne whither the efforts of Joan of
Arc had carried him from Bourges, the forlorn court of his exile.

England's pretensions were repudiated. To be sure, the recent
coronation of Henry VI. at Paris was not immediately forgotten, but
while the Duke of Bedford had actually administered the government as
regent, in behalf of his infant nephew, it was a mere shadow of his
office that passed to his successor. Bedford's death, in 1435, was
almost coincident with the compact at Arras when the English Henry's
realms across the Channel shrank to Normandy and the outlying
fortresses of Picardy and Maine. Later events on English soil were to
prove how little fitted was the son of Henry V. for sovereignty of any

Out of the negotiations at Arras, Philip of Burgundy rose triumphant
with a seal set upon his personal importance.[19] His recognition of
Charles VII. as lawful sovereign of France, and his reconciliation did
not pass without signal gain to himself.

The king declared his own hands unstained by the blood of John of
Burgundy, agreed to punish all those designated by Philip as actually
responsible for that treacherous murder, and pledged himself to erect
a cross on the bridge at Montereau, the scene of the crime. Further,
he relinquished various revenues in Burgundy, hitherto retained by the
crown from the moment when the junior branch of the Valois had been
invested with the duchy (1364); and he ceded the counties of Boulogne,
Artois, and all the seigniories belonging to the French sovereign on
both banks of the Somme. To this last cession, however, was appended
the condition that the towns included in this clause could be redeemed
at the king's pleasure, for the sum of four hundred thousand gold
crowns. Further, Charles exempted Philip from acts of homage to
himself, promised to demand no _aides_ from the duke's subjects
in case of war, and to assist his cousin if he were attacked from
England. Lastly, he renounced an alliance lately contracted with the
emperor to Philip's disadvantage.[20]

One clause in the treaty crowned the royal submissiveness towards the
powerful vassal. It provided that in case of Charles's failure to
observe all the stipulated conditions, his own subjects would be
justified in taking arms against him at the duke's orders. A similar
clause occurs in certain treaties between an earlier French king and
his Flemish vassals, but always to the advantage of the suzerain, not
to that of the lesser lords.

The duke was left in a position infinitely superior to that of the
king, whose realm was terribly exhausted by the long contest with
England, a contest wherein one nation alone had felt the invader's
foot. French prosperity had been nibbled off like green foliage before
a swarm of locusts, and the whole north-eastern portion of France
was in a sorry state of desolation by 1435. On the other hand, the
territories covered by Burgundy as an overlord had greatly increased
during the sixteen years that Philip had worn the title. An
aggregation of duchies, counties, and lordships formed his domain,
loosely hung together by reason of their several titles being vested
in one person--titles which the bearer had inherited or assumed under
various pretexts.

Flanders and Artois, together with the duchy and county of Burgundy,
came to him from his father, John the Fearless, in 1419. In 1421, he
bought Namur. In 1430, he declared himself heir to his cousins in
Brabant and Limbourg when Duke Anthony's second son followed his
equally childless brother into a premature grave, and the claims were
made good in spite of all opposition. Holland, Zealand, and Hainaut
became his through the unwilling abdication of his other cousin,
Jacqueline, in 1433. To save the life of her husband, Frank van
Borselen, the last representative of the Bavarian House then
formally resigned her titles, which she had already divested of all
significance five years previously, when Philip of Burgundy had become
her _ruward_, to relieve a "poor feminine person" of a weight of
responsibility too heavy for her shoulders.[21]

Divers items in the accounts show what Philip expended in having
the titles of Holland, Zealand, and Hainaut added to his other
designations. Also there were various places where his predecessor's
name had to be effaced to make room for his. (Laborde, i., 345).]

Antwerp and Mechlin were included in Brabant. Luxemburg was a later
acquisition obtained through Elizabeth of Görlitz.

There were very shady bits in the chapters about Philip's entry into
many of his possessions, but it is interesting to note how cleverly
the best colour is given to his actions by Olivier de la Marche and
other writers who enjoyed Burgundian patronage. Very gentle are the
adjectives employed, and a nice cloak of legality is thrown over the
naked facts as they are ushered into history. Contemporary criticism
did occasionally make itself heard, especially from the emperor, who
declared that the Netherland provinces must come to him as a lapsed
imperial fief. For a time Philip denied that any links existed between
his domain and the empire, but in 1449 he finally found it convenient
to discuss the question with Frederic III. at Besançon; still he never
came to the point of paying homage.

All these territories made a goodly realm for a mere duke. But
they were individual entities centred around one head with little

Philip thought that the one thing needed to bring his possessions into
a national life, as coherent as that of France, was a unity of legal
existence among the dissimilar parts, and the effort to attain this
unity was the one thought dominating the career of his successor,
whose pompous introduction to life naturally inspired him with a high
idea of his own rank, and led him to dream of greater dignities for
himself and his successor than a bundle of titles,--a splendid, vain,
fatal dream as it proved.

As a final cement to the new friendship between Burgundy and France,
it was also agreed at Arras that the heir of the former should wed a
daughter of Charles VII. When the Count of Charolais was five years
old, the Seigneur of Crèvecoeur,[22] "a wise and prudent gentleman"
was despatched to the French court on divers missions, among which
was the business of negotiating the projected alliance. A very joyous
reception was accorded the envoy by the king and the queen, and his
proposal was accepted in behalf of the second daughter, Catherine,
easily substituted for an older sister, deceased between the first and
second stages of negotiation.

A year later, a formal betrothal took place at St Omer, whither
the young bride was conducted, most honourably accompanied by the
archbishops of Rheims and of Narbonne, by the counts of Vendôme,
Tonnerre, and Dunois, the young son of the Duke of Bourbon, named the
Lord of Beaujeu, and various other distinguished nobles, besides a
train of noble dames and demoiselles in special attendance on the
princess, and an escort of three hundred horse.

At the various cities where the party made halt they were graciously
received, and all honour was paid to the ten-year-old Daughter of
France. At Cambray, she was met by the duke's envoys and as she
travelled on towards her destination, all the towns of Philip's
obedience contributed their quota of welcome.

At St. Omer, the duke was awaiting her coming. When her approach was
announced he rode out in person to greet her, attended by a brilliant


Within the city, "melodious festivals" were ready to burst into tune;
the betrothal was confirmed amid joyousness and the ceremony was
followed by tourneys and jousts, all at the expense of the duke.

What a series of pompous betrothals between infant parties the
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries can show! Poor little puppets, in
whose persons national interests were supposed to be centred, were
made to lisp out their roles in international dramas whose final acts
rarely were consistent with the promise of the prologue.

Catherine did not live to become Duchess of Burgundy nor to temper the
duel between her husband and her brother Louis. The remainder of
her short existence was passed under the care of Duchess Isabella,
sometimes in one city of the Netherlands, sometimes in another.

La Marche[23] records one return of Philip to Brussels when his
arrival was greeted by Charles of Burgundy, honourably accompanied
by children of high birth about his age or less, some only eleven or
twelve years old. There were with him Jehan de la Trémoille, Philip
de Croy, Philip de Crèvecoeur, Philip de Wavrin, and many others. All
were mounted on little horses harnessed like that of their governor, a
very honest and wise gentleman, named Messire Jehan, Seigneur et Ber
d'Auxy. This gentleman was a fine man, well known, of good lineage,
ready of speech and able to discuss matters of honour and of state.

He was both hunter and falconer, skilled in all exercise and sport.

    "Never [asserts La Marche] have I met a gentleman better adapted
    to supervise the education of a young prince than he.... Among his
    pupils were also Anthony, Bastard of Burgundy,[24] son of Philip,
    and the Marquis Hugues de Rottelin. These lads were older than the
    first mentioned."

La Marche dilates on the pleasure the duke felt in this youthful band
of horse, and then tells how, within Brussels,

    "he was received by the magistrates and conducted to his palace,
    where the Duchess of Burgundy awaited him holding by the hand
    Madame Catherine of France, Countess of Charolais. She was about
    twelve and seemed a lady grown, for she was good and wise, and
    well conditioned for her age."

At various state functions the Count and Countess of Charolais
appeared together in public, and witnessed certain of the gorgeous
and costly entertainments which were almost the daily food of the gay
Burgundian court. One of these occasions was calculated to make a deep
impression on the boy and to arouse his pride at the spectacle of a
proud city wooing his father's favour, in deep humiliation.

In 1436, an insurrection had occurred in Bruges, when the animosity of
the burghers had caused the duchess to flee from their midst, holding
her little son in her arms, alarmed for his personal safety. Philip
suppressed the revolt, but, in his anger at its insolence, declared
that never again would he set foot within the gates unless in company
with his superior.



Among the many negotiations wherein Isabella played a prominent part
as her husband's representative, were those concerning the liberation
of the Duke of Orleans, who had remained in England, a prisoner, after
the battle of Agincourt in 1415. The last advice given by Henry V.
to his brothers was that they should make this captivity perpetual.
Therefore, whenever overtures were made for his redemption, a strong
party, headed by Humphrey of Gloucester, rejected them vehemently.

In 1440, however, there was a turn in the tide of sentiment. Possibly
the low state of the English exchequer made the duke's ransom more
attractive than his person. At any rate, 120,000 golden crowns were
accepted as his equivalent, and the exile of twenty-five years
returned to France, having pledged himself never to bear arms against

Isabella of Burgundy was at Calais to welcome him, and to escort him
to St. Omer, where high revels were held in his honour and in that of
his alliance with Marie of Cleves, Philip's niece.

The week intervening between the betrothal and the nuptials was
passed in a succession of banquets and tourneys, gorgeous in their
elaboration. Moreover, St. Andrew's Day chancing to fall just then,
the new Burgundian Order was convened and the Duke of Orleans was
elected a Knight of the Golden Fleece, while in his turn he presented
his cousin with the collar of his own Order of the Porcupine. Lord
Cornwallis and other English gentlemen who had accompanied Orleans
across the Channel participated in these gaieties, nor were they among
the least favoured guests, adds Barante.

Amity was triumphant, and there was a general feeling abroad that the
returned exile was henceforth to be the ruling power in France. People
began to look to him to act as the go-between in their behalf, to be
their mediator with Charles VII., still little known at his best. Many
towns turned towards him in hopes of finding a friend, and among them
was Bruges. But it was not royal favours that Bruges sought. Her
burghers felt great inconvenience from the breach with their sovereign
duke. Anxious to be reinstated in his grace, they seized the
opportunity of reminding Philip of his assertion, and they besought
him to enter their gates in company with the Duke of Orleans, a
prince of the blood, closer to the French sovereign than the Duke of

After some demur, Philip consented to grant their petition. Possibly
he was not loth to be persuaded. The deputies hastened back to Bruges
to rejoice their fellow-citizens with the news, and to prepare a
reception for their appeased sovereign, calculated to make him content
with the late rebels.

Before the grand cortège, composed of the two dukes, their consorts,
and the dignitaries who had assisted in the feasts of marriage and of
chivalry, reached the gates of Bruges, the citizens were ready with a
touching spectacle of humility and repentance.[25]

A league from the gates, the magistrates and burghers stood in the
road awaiting the travellers from St. Omer. All were barefooted and
bareheaded. Under the December sky they waited the approach of the
stately procession. When the duke arrived, they all fell upon their
knees and implored him to forgive the late troubles and to reinstate
their city in his favour. Philip did not answer immediately--delay was
always a feature of these episodes. Thereupon, the Duke of Orleans,
both duchesses, and all the gentlemen joined their entreaties to the
citizens' prayers. Again a pause, and then, as if generously yielding
to pressure, Philip bade the burghers put on their shoes and their
hats while he accepted at their hands the keys of all the gates. Then
the long procession moved on towards Bruges. At the gate were the
clergy, followed by the monks, nuns, and beguins of the various
convents and foundations, bearing crosses, banners, reliquaries, and
many precious ecclesiastical treasures. There, too, were the gilds
and merchants, on horseback, with magnificent accoutrements freshly
burnished to do honour to the welcome they offered their forgiving

Throughout Bruges, at convenient places, platforms and stages
were erected, whereon were enacted dramatic performances, given
continuously, to provide amusement for the collected crowds. Sometimes
the presentation carried significance beyond mere entertainment. Here
a maid, garbed as a wood nymph, appeared leading a swan which wore the
collar of the Golden Fleece and a porcupine. This last beast was to
symbolise the Orleans device, _Near and Far_, as the creature was
supposed to project his spines to a distance.

One enthusiastic citizen covered his whole house with gold and the
roof with silver leaves to betoken his satisfaction. Indeed, if we
may believe the chroniclers, never in the memory of man had any city
incurred so much expense to honour its lord. The duke permitted his
heart to be touched by these proofs of devotion, and on the very
evening of his arrival he evinced that his confidence was restored by
sending the civic keys and a gracious message to the magistrates. At
the news of this condescension the cries of "_Noël_" re-echoed afresh
through the illuminated streets.

Charles was not present at this entry, which took place on Saturday,
December 11th, but Philip was so much entertained with the performance
that he sent for his son, and on the following Saturday he and the
Countess of Charolais came from Ghent to join the party. The Duke of
Orleans and many nobles rode out of the city to meet the young couple,
who were formally escorted to the palace by magistrates and citizens
in a body. On the Sunday there were repetitions of some of the plays
and every attention was offered by the Bruges burghers to their young
guests. When Orleans departed with his bride on Tuesday, December
14th, what wonder that the lady wept in sorrow at leaving these gay
Burgundian doings!

While Charles did not actually witness the humiliation of the
citizens, the seven-year-old boy would, undoubtedly, have heard and
known sufficient of the cause of the festivals to be fully aware that
the citizens who had dared defy his father were glad to buy back his
smiles at any cost to their pride and purse. He would have known, too,
that merchants from Venice, Genoa, Florence, and elsewhere joined the
Bruges burghers in the welcome to the mollified overlord. It was a
spectacle of the relations between a city and the ducal father not to
be easily forgotten by the son.

[Footnote 1: The indefatigable Gachard has published an itinerary of
Philip the Good, so far as he could make it. _(Collection des voyages
des souverains des Pays Bas_, i., 71.) Unfortunately, owing to
the destruction of papers, only a few years are complete. Between
1428-1441, there is nothing. But the itinerary for 1441 and for other
years shows how often the duke changed his residences. Sometimes he
is accompanied by Madame de Bourgogne, sometimes by M. and Madame de

[Footnote 2: It was also said that the woollen manufactures of
Flanders were denoted by the emblem of the golden fleece.]

[Footnote 3: Reiffenberg, _Histoire de l'Ordre de la Toison d'Or,_ p.

[Footnote 4: _ Hist. de I'Ordre,_ etc., p. i.]

[Footnote 5: All the Burgundian embassies were not as patent to
the public as were Isabella's. An item like the following from the
accounts of 1448-49 whets the reader's curiosity:

"To Jehan Lanternier, barber and varlet of the chamber, for delivering
to a certain person for certain causes and for secret matters of which
Monseigneur does not wish further declaration to be made, 53 pounds 17

(Laborde _Les Ducs de Bourgogne_, etc., "Preuves," i. xiii.)]

[Footnote 6: "Vingt-quatre chevaliers gentilshommes de nom et d'armes
et sans reproches nés et procrées en léal mariage" _(see_ description
of the first list).--_Hist. de l'Ordre,_ p. xxi.]

[Footnote 7: Jacquemin Dauxonne, a merchant of Lombardy living at
Dijon, received twenty-two francs and a half for a rich cloth of black
silk draped about the baptismal font. Why mourning was used on this
joyful occasion does not appear. (Laborde, i., 321.)]

[Footnote 8: Summary of a register containing the acts of the Order of
the Golden Fleece quoted in _Histoire de l'Ordre,_ pp. 12, 13.]

[Footnote 9: St. Remy, _Chronique_, ii., 284. St. Remy is usually
called _Toison d'Or._]

[Footnote 10: His full name was Charles Martin. One tower alone
remains of the palace where he was born.]

[Footnote 11: _Hist, de l'Ordre,_ p. 13.]

[Footnote 12: Selden _(Titles of Honor_, p. 457), however, says he
knows not by what authority this statement is made and that he knows
nothing of it. Seven is the earliest age mentioned by Gautier for
receiving knighthood.]

[Footnote 13: Deschamps, _OEuvres Complètes_, ii., 214.]

[Footnote 14: The ancient quarrel between the old Holland parties of
Hooks and Cods continually blazed out anew. On one notable occasion,
to show her impartiality, the duchess appeared in public accompanied
by the stadtholder, Lelaing, a partisan of the Hooks, and by Frank van
Borselen, himself a Cod, the widower of Jacqueline, the late Countess
of Holland.]

[Footnote 15: Barante, _Histoire des Dues de Bourgogne_, vi., 2, note
by Reiffenberg.]

[Footnote 16: See _Catalogue des manuscrits des Ducs de Bourgogne,_
"Résumé historique," i., lxxix.]

[Footnote 17: Barante, vi., 2, note.]

[Footnote 18: Loomis, _Medieval Hellenism_.]

[Footnote 19: Pirenne, _Histoire de Belgique_, ii., 231.]

[Footnote 20: It was in June, 1434, that this alliance had been made.
Sigismund claimed that Philip had no right in Brabant, Holland,
Zealand, and Hainaut, which in his opinion were lapsed fiefs, of the

[Footnote 21: Putnam, _A Medieval Princess_.

[Footnote 22: Monstrelet, _La Chronique_, v., 344.]

[Footnote 23: La Marche, _Mémoires_, ii., 50.]

[Footnote 24: Reiffenberg, _Essai sur les enfants naturels de Philippe
de Bourgogne._]

[Footnote 25: Meyer, _Commentarii sive Annales rerum Flandricarum, _
p. 296.]




The heir of Burgundy was still in very tender years when he began to
take official part in public affairs, sometimes associated with one
parent, sometimes with the other.

There was a practical advantage in bringing the boy to the fore by
which the duke was glad to profit. With his own manifold interests, it
was impossible for him to be present in his various capitals as often
as was demanded by the usage of the diverse individual seigniories. It
was politic, therefore, to magnify the representative capacity of his
son and of his consort in order to obtain the grants and _aides_ which
certain of his subjects declared could be given only when requested
orally by their sovereign lord. Thus, in 1444, it was Count Charles
and the duchess who appeared in Holland to ask an _aide_.[1] In the
following year, Charles accompanied his father when Philip made one
of his rare visits--there were only three between 1428 and 1466--to
Holland and Zealand.

[Illustration: A CASTLE IN BURGUNDY]

Olivier de la Marche was among the attendants on this occasion, and he
describes with great detail how rejoiced were the inhabitants to have
their absentee count in their land.[2] Many matters could only be
set aright by his authority. Among the complaints brought to him at
Middelburg were accusations against a certain knight of high birth,
Jehan de Dombourc. Philip ordered that the man be arrested at once and
brought before him for trial. This was easier said than done. Warned
of his danger, Dombourc, with four or five comrades, took refuge in
the clock tower of the church of the Cordeliers, a sanctuary that
could not be taken by storm.[2] He was provided with a good store of
food, this audacious criminal, and prepared to stand a siege. There he
remained three days, because, for the honour of the Church, they could
not fire upon him.

"And I remember [adds La Marche] seeing a nun come out and call to
Jehan Dombourc, her brother, advising him to perish defending himself
rather than to dishonour their lineage by falling into the hands of
the executioner. Nevertheless, finally he was forced to surrender to
his prince, and he was beheaded in the market-place at Middelburg,
but, at the plea of his sister, the said nun, his body was delivered
to her to be buried in consecrated ground."

In this same visit Philip presided over the Zealand estates and the
young count sat by his side, not as an idle spectator, but because
usage required the presence of the heir as well as that of the Count
of Zealand.

When Charles was twelve he was present at an assembly of the Order of
the Golden Fleece held in Ghent. It was the first occasion of the kind
witnessed by La Marche, and very minute is his description of the
lavish magnificence of the affair, undoubtedly intended to awe the
citizens into complying with the requests of their Count of Flanders.

Charles played a prominent part in all the functions, and assisted in
the election of his tutor, Seigneur et Ber d'Auxy. Another candidate
of that year was Frank van Borselen, Count of Ostrevant, widower of
Jacqueline, late Countess of Holland.

In 1446, the little Countess of Charolais died at Brussels.
"Honourably as befitted a king's daughter" was she buried at Ste.

    "Tireless in their devotion were the duke and duchess in her last
    illness, and Charles VII. despatched two skilled doctors to her
    aid but all efforts were vain.

    "Much bemourned was the princess for she was virtuous. God have
    pity on her soul"

piously ejaculates La Marche.

A little item[5] in the accounts suggests that a pleasant friendship
had existed between the two young people:

    "To Jehan de la Court, harper of Mme. the Countess of Charolais,
    for a harp which she had bought from him and given to Ms. the
    Count of Charolais for him to play and take his amusement, xii

It is easy to surmise that music was not, however, the young count's
favourite amusement. In Philip's court, tournaments were still held
and afforded a fascinating entertainment for a lad whose bent was
undoubtedly towards a military career.

One valiant actor in these tourneys where were revived the ancient
traditions of knighthood, was Jacques de Lalaing, a chevalier with all
the characteristics of times past, fighting for fame in the present.
In his youth, this aspirant for reputation swore a vow to meet thirty
knights in combat before he attained his thirtieth year. Dominated by
a desire to fulfil his vow, Lalaing haunted the court of Burgundy,
because the Netherlands were on the highroad between England and many
points in Germany, Italy, and the East, and there he had the best
chance of falling in with all the prowess that might be abroad. For
stay-at-home prowess he cared naught. A delightful personage is
Messire Jacques and a brave rôle does he play in the series of jousts,
sporting gaily on the pages of the various Burgundian chroniclers,
who recorded in their old age what they had seen in their youth. One
description, however, of these encounters reads much like another and
they need not be repeated.

During his childhood Charles was a spectator only on the days of mimic
battle. In his seventeenth year he was permitted to enter the lists
as a regular combatant, a permission shared by his fellow pupils all
eager to flesh their maiden spears. The duke arranged that his son
should have a preliminary tilt a few days before the public affair in
order to test his ability. All the courtiers--and apparently ladies
were not excluded from the discussion on the matter--agreed that no
better knight could be found for this purpose than Jacques de Lalaing,
who, on his part, was highly honoured by being selected to gauge the
untried capabilities of the prince.[7]

In the park at Brussels with the duke and duchess as onlookers, the
preliminary encounter took place. At the very first attack, Charles
struck Messire Jacques on the shield and shattered his lance into many
pieces. The duke was displeased because he thought that the knight
had not exerted his full strength and was favouring his son. He
accordingly sent word to Jacques that he must play in earnest and not
hold his force in leash. Fresh lances were brought; again did
the count withstand the attack so sturdily that both lances were
shattered. This time the boy's mother was the dissatisfied one,
thinking that the knight was too hard with his junior, but the duke
only laughed.

    "Thus differed the parents. The one desired him to prove his
    manhood, the other was preoccupied with his safety. With these
    two courses the trial ended amid rounds of applause for the

The actual tourney was held on the market-place in Brussels before a
distinguished assembly. Count Charles was escorted into the arena by
his cousin, the Count d'Estampes, and other nobles. Seigneur d'Auxy,
his tutor, stood near to watch the maiden efforts of the prince and
his mates. He had reason to be proud of Charles, both for his bearing
and his skill. He gave and received excellent thrusts, broke more
than ten lances, and did his duty so valiantly that in the evening he
received the prize from two princesses, and "Montjoye" was cried
by the heralds in his honour. From that time forth, the count was
considered a puissant and rude jouster and gained great renown.

    "And that is the reason why I commence my memoirs about him and
    his deeds[9] [continues La Marche, on concluding his description
    of the tournament], and I do not speak from hearsay and rumour.
    As one who has been brought up with him from his youth in his
    father's service and in his own, I will touch upon his education,
    his morals, his character, and his habits from the moment when I
    first saw him as appears above in my memoirs.

    "As to his character, I will commence at the worst features. He
    was hot, active, and impetuous: as a child he was very eager to
    have his own way. Nevertheless, he had so much understanding and
    good sense that he resisted his inclinations and in his youth no
    one could be found sweeter or more courteous than he. He did not
    take the name of God or the saints in vain, and held God in great
    fear and reverence. He learned well and had a retentive memory. He
    was fond of reading and of hearing read the stories of Lancelot
    and Gawain, but to both he preferred the sea and boats. Falconry,
    too, he loved and he hunted whenever he had leave. In archery he
    early excelled his comrades and was good at other sports. Thus was
    the count educated, trained, and taught, and thus did he devote
    himself to good and excellent exercise."

That the report of the lavishness and extravagance of the Burgundian
court was no idle rumour, exaggerated by frequent repetitions, is
attested to by every bit of contemporary evidence. Enthusiastic and
loyal chroniclers dwell on the magnificence, and the arid details of
bills paid show what it cost to attain the vaunted perfection, while
the protests from taxpayers prove that this splendour did not grow
like the lilies of the field.


Philip's treasury had many separate compartments. There were many
quarters to which he could turn for his needed supplies, but there
were times when his exchequer ran very threateningly low, and his
financial stress led him to be very conciliatory towards the burghers
with full purses.

In 1445, Ghent had been honoured by the celebration of the feast of
the Order of the Golden Fleece within her gates. Two years later,
Philip appeared in person at a meeting of the _collace_, or municipal
assembly, and delivered a harangue to the Ghentish magistrates and
burghers, flattering them, moreover, by using their vernacular. The
tenor of this speech was as follows[10]:

    "My good and faithful friends, you know how I have been brought
    up among you from my infancy. That is why I have always loved you
    more than the inhabitants of all my other cities, and I have
    proved this by acceding to all your requests. I believe then that
    I am justified in hoping that you will not abandon me to-day when
    I have need of your support. Doubtless you are not ignorant of the
    condition of my father's treasury at the period of his death. The
    majority of his possessions had been sold. His jewels were
    in pawn. Nevertheless, the demands of a legitimate vengeance
    compelled me to undertake a long and bloody war, during which the
    defence of my fortresses and of my cities, and the pay of my
    army have necessitated outlays so large that it is impossible to
    estimate them. You know, too, that at the very moment when the war
    on France was at its height, I was obliged, in order to assure the
    protection of my country of Flanders, to take arms against the
    English in Hainaut, in Zealand, and in Friesland, a proceeding
    costing me more than 10,000 _saluts d'or,_ which I raised with
    difficulty. Was I not equally obliged to proceed against Liege, in
    behalf of my countship of Namur, which sprang from the bosom of
    Flanders? It is not necessary to add to all these outlays those
    which I assume daily for the cause of the Christians in Jerusalem,
    and the maintenance of the Holy Sepulchre.

    "It is true, however, that, yielding to the persuasions of the
    pope and the Council, I have now consented to put an end to the
    evils multiplied by war by forgetting my father's death, and by
    reconciling myself with the king. Since the conclusion of this
    treaty, I considered that while I had succeeded in preserving
    to my subjects during the war the advantages of industry and of
    peace, they had submitted to heavy burdens in taxes and in
    voluntary contributions, and that it was my duty to re-establish
    order and justice in the administration. But everything went on as
    though the war had not ceased. All my frontiers have been menaced,
    and I found myself obliged to make good my rights in Luxemburg, so
    useful to the defence of my other lands, especially of Brabant and

    "In this way, my expenses continued to increase; all my resources
    are now exhausted, and the saddest part of it all is that the good
    cities and communes of Flanders and especially the country folk
    are at the very end of their sacrifices. With grief I see many of
    my subjects unable to pay their taxes, and obliged to emigrate.
    Nevertheless, my receipts are so scanty that I have little
    advantage from them. Nor do I reap more from my hereditary lands,
    for all are equally impoverished.

    "A way must be found to ease the poor people, and at the same time
    to protect Flanders from insult, Flanders for whose sake I would
    risk my own person, although to arrive at this end, important
    measures have become imperative."

After this affectionate preamble, Philip finally states that, in order
to raise the requisite revenues, no method seemed to him so good and
so simple as a tax on salt, three sous on every measure for a term of
twelve years. He promised to dispense with all other subsidies and to
make his son swear to demand nothing further as long as the _gabelle_
was imposed.

    "Know [he added in conclusion] that even if you consent to it I
    will renounce it if others prove of a different opinion, for I do
    not desire that the communes of Flanders be more heavily weighted
    than any other portion of my territory."

The duke might have spared his trouble and his elaborate
condescension. The answer to his conciliatory request was a flat
refusal to consider the matter at all. Salt was a vital necessity to
Flemish fisheries, and its cost could not be increased to the least
degree without serious inconvenience. The Flemings were wroth at his
imitating the worst custom of his French kinsmen.

Philip departed from Ghent in great dudgeon. After a time he was
persuaded that the indisposition of the town to meet his reasonable
wishes was not due to the citizens at large, but to the machinations
of a few unruly agitators among the magistrates. In 1449, therefore,
he took a high-handed course of trying to direct the issue of the
regular municipal elections, so as to ensure the choice of magistrates
on whose obedience he could rely. The appearance of Burgundian troops
in Ghent, before the election of mid-August, aroused the wrath of the
community, who thought that their most cherished franchises were in

This was the beginning of a bitter struggle between Ghent and Philip.
The duke found it no light matter to coerce the independent burghers
into remembering that they were simply part of the Burgundian state.
"_Tantæ molis erat liberam gentem in servitutem adigere_!" ejaculates
Meyer in the midst of his chronicle of the details of fourteen months
of active hostilities.[11] Matters were long in coming to an outbreak.
Various points had been contended over, when Philip had endeavoured
to change the seat of the great council, or to take divers measures
tending to concentrate certain judicial or legislative functions for
his own convenience, but in a manner prejudicial to the autonomy of
Ghent. His centripetal policy was disliked, but when his policy went
further, and he attempted to control purely civic offices, dislike
grew into resentment and the Ghenters rose in open revolt.

For a time, their opposition passed in Philip's estimation as mere
insignificant unruliness. By 1452, however, the date of the tourney
above described, it became evident that a vital issue was at stake.
The Estates of Flanders endeavoured to mediate between overlord and
town, but without success. Owing to Philip's interference in the
elections, the results were declared void, and when a new election was
appointed, the Burgundians accused the city of hastily augmenting its
number of legal voters by over-facile naturalisation laws. The gilds,
too, evinced a readiness to be very lenient in their scrutiny of
candidates for admission to their cherished privileges, preferring,
for the nonce, numbers to quality. Occupancy of furnished rooms was
declared sufficient for enfranchisement, and there were cases where
mere guests of a bourgeois were hastily recorded on the lists as
full-fledged citizens.

By these means the popular party waxed very strong numerically. The
sheriffs found themselves quite unequal to holding the rampant spirit
of democracy in check. The regular government was overthrown, and the
demagogues succeeded in electing three captains _(hooftmans)_
invested with arbitrary power for the time being. The decrees of
the ex-sheriffs were suspended, and a mass of very radical measures
promulgated and joyfully confirmed by the populace, assembled on the
Friday market. It was to be the judgment of the town meeting that
ruled, not deputed authority. One ordinance stipulated that at the
sound of the bell every burgher must hasten to the market-place, to
lend his voice to the deliberations.

For a time various negotiations went on between Philip and envoys from
Ghent. The latter took a high hand and insinuated in unmistakable
terms that if the duke refused an accommodation with them, they would
appeal to their suzerain, the King of France. No act of rebellion,
overt or covert, exasperated Philip more than this suggestion. Charles
VII. was only too ready to ignore those clauses in the treaty of
Arras, releasing the duke from homage, and virtually acknowledging his
complete independence in his French territories. The king accepted
missives from his late vassal's city, without reprimanding the writers
for their presumption in signing themselves "Seigneurs of Ghent."[12]
His action, however, was confined to mild attempts at mediation.

It was plain to the duke that his other towns would follow Ghent's
resistance to his authority if there were hopes of her success.
Therefore he threw aside all other interests for the time being, and
exerted himself to levy a body of troops to crush Flemish pretensions.
His counsellors advised him to sound the temper of other citizens and
to ascertain whether their sympathies were with Ghent. Answers of
feeble loyalty came back to him from the majority of the other towns.
Undoubtedly they highly approved Ghent's efforts. They, too, could
not afford to pay taxes fraught with danger to their commerce, nor to
relinquish one jot of privileges dearly bought at successive crises
throughout a long period of years. The only doubt in their minds was
as to the ultimate success of the burghers to stem the course of
Burgundian usurpation. Therefore, they first hedged, and then
consented to aid the duke. This course was pursued by the Hollanders
and the Zealanders, all alike short-sighted.

The Ghenters succeeded in possessing themselves of the castle of
Poucque by force, and of the village of Gaveren by stratagem, taking
advantage in the latter case of the castellan's absence at church.

When every part of his dominions had been canvassed for troops, and
Philip was prepared for his first active campaign against Ghent, he
was anxious to leave his heir under the protection of the duchess,
conscious that the imminent contest would be bitter and deadly. A
pretence was made that the young count's accoutrements were not ready,
and that, therefore, he would have to remain in Brussels.

    "But he whose ambitions waxed, hastened the completion of his
    accoutrements, and swore by St. George, the greatest oath he ever
    used, that he would rather go in his shirt than not accompany his
    father to punish his impudent rebel subjects."[13]

The approaching hostilities were watched by foreign merchants in dread
of commercial disaster.

    "On May 18th, the _nations_[14] of the merchants of Bruges
    departed thence to go to Ghent to try to make peace between that
    city and the Duke of Burgundy, and there were _nations_ of Spain,
    Aragon, Portugal, and Scotland, besides the Venetians, Milanese,
    Genoese, and Luccans."[15]

But the men of Ghent were beyond the point where commercial arguments
could stem their course. The very day that this company arrived in the
city, the burghers sallied forth six or seven thousand strong, fully
equipped for offensive warfare.

Both the actual engagements and guerilla skirmishes that raged over
a minute stretch of territory were characterised by an extraordinary
ferocity. Around Oudenarde, which town Philip was determined to
relieve, men were beheaded like sheep.

In the first regular engagement in which Charles took part, he showed
a brave front and learned the duties of a prince by rewarding others
with the honour of knighthood. Among those slain in the course of the
war, were Cornelius, Bastard of Burgundy, and the gallant Jacques
de Lalaing. Philip grieved deeply over the death of the former, his
favourite among his natural sons, and buried him with all honours in
the Church of Ste-Gudule in Brussels. The title by which he was known,
hardly a proud one it would seem, passed to his brother Anthony.
Lalaing, too, was greatly mourned, thus prematurely cut down in his
thirty-third year.

There was so much fear lest the duke's sole legitimate heir might also
perish in these conflicts where there was no mercy, that Charles was
persuaded to go to visit his mother in the hope that she would keep
him by her side. She made a feast in his honour, but, to the surprise
of all, the duchess, who had wished to protect her son from the mild
perils of a tourney, now encouraged him with brave words to return
to fight in all earnest for his inheritance.[16] He himself was very
indignant at the efforts to treat him as a child.

The first truce and negotiations for peace, initiated in the summer of
1452, were broken off because the conditions were unbearable to the
Ghenters. Another year of warfare followed before the decisive battle
of Gaveren, in July, 1453, forced them sadly to succumb. There was
no other course open to them. Not only were they defeated but their
numbers were decimated.[17] With full allowance for exaggeration, it
is certain that the loss was very heavy. Terms scornfully rejected at
an earlier date were, in 1453, accepted with every humiliating detail.
More, the defeated rebels were bidden to be grateful that their kind
sovereign had imposed nothing further to the conditions. As to abating
the severity of the articles, he declared that he would not change an
_a_ for a _b_.[18]

The chief provisions were as follows: The deans of the gilds were
deprived of participation in the election of sheriffs. The privileges
of the naturalisation laws were considerably abridged. No sentence of
banishment could be pronounced without the intervention of the duke's
bailiff, whose authorisation, too, was required before the publication
of edicts, ordinances, etc. The sheriffs were forbidden to place their
names at the head of letters to the officers of the duke. The banners
were to be delivered to the duke and placed under five locks, whose
several keys should be deposited with as many different people,
without whose consensus the banners could not be brought forth to lead
the burghers to sedition. One gate was to be closed every Thursday in
memory of the day when the citizens had marched through it to attack
their liege lord, and another was to be barred up in perpetuity or
at the pleasure of their sovereign. To reimburse the duke for his
enforced outlay, a heavy indemnity was to be paid by the city.

July 30th was the date appointed for the final act of submission, the
_amende honorable_ of the unfortunate city. The scene was very similar
to that played at Bruges in 1440. Two thousand citizens headed by the
sheriffs, councillors, and captains of the burgher guard met the
duke and his suite a league without the walls of Ghent. Bareheaded,
barefooted, and divested of all their robes of office and of dignity,
clad only in shirts and small clothes, these magistrates confessed
that they had wronged their loving lord by unruly rebellion, and
begged his pardon most humbly.

The duke spent the night of July 29th at Gaveren, prepared to march
out in the morning with his whole army in handsome array. Philip was
magnificently apparelled, but he rode the same horse which he had used
on the day of battle, with the various wounds received on that day
ostentatiously plastered over to make a dramatic show of what the
injured sovereign had suffered at the hands of his disloyal subjects.

The civic procession was headed by the Abbot of St. Bavon and the
Prior of the Carthusians. The burghers who followed the half-clad
officials were fully dressed but they, too, were barefoot and
ungirdled. All prostrated themselves in the dust and cried, "Mercy on
the town of Ghent." While they were thus prostrate, the town spokesman
of the council made an elaborate speech in French, assuring the
duke that if, out of his benign grace. he would take his loving and
repentant subjects again into his favour, they would never again give
him cause for reproach.

    "At the conclusion of this harangue, the duke and the Count of
    Charolais, there present, pardoned the petitioners for their evil
    deeds. The men of Ghent re-entered their town more happy and
    rejoiced than can be expressed, and the duke departed for Lille,
    having disbanded his army, that every one might return to their
    several homes." [19]

The joy experienced by the conquered, here described by La Marche, as
he looked back at the event from the calm retirement of his old age,
was not visible to all eye-witnesses. The progress of this war was
watched eagerly from other parts of Philip's dominion. His army was
full of men from both the Burgundies, who sent frequent reports to
their own homes. Some passages from one of these reports by an unknown
war correspondent run as follows:

    "As to news from here, Monday after St. Magdalen's Day,
    Monseigneur the duke got the better of the Ghenters near Gaveren
    between ten and eleven o'clock. They attacked him near his
    quarters.... The duke risked his own person in advance of his
    company in the very worst of the slaughter, which lasted from the
    said place up to Ghent, a distance of about two leagues. The slain
    number three or four thousand, more or less, and those drowned in
    the river of Quaux about two hundred.... This Tuesday, the date of
    writing, the army departs from their quarters to advance on Ghent
    to demand the conditions lately offered them, and the bearer of
    this letter will tell you what is the result. M. the duke and
    his army marched up to Ghent and I have seen the bearing of the
    citizens. They are very bitter and despondent. M. the marshall has
    been parleying. I hear that matters have been settled. I hear that
    the Ghenters' loss is thirteen to fourteen thousand men. I
    cannot write more for I have no time owing to the haste of the

This was written July 23d. There is another despatch of July 31st,
giving the last news, which was "very joyous." The public apology had
just been enacted--

    "and afterwards, in token of being conquered and as a confession
    that my said seigneur was victorious, those of Ghent have
    delivered up all their banners to the number of eighty. And on
    this day my said lord has created seven or eight knights and
    heralds in honour of his triumph, which is inestimable."[20]

The duke's victory was certainly "inestimable" in its value to him,
yet, in spite of the rigour enforced on this defeated people, they
were not as crushed as they might have been had they submitted in
1445. Philip was clever enough to be more lenient than appeared at
first. Ancient privileges were confirmed in a special compact, and the
duke swore to maintain all former concessions in their entirety except
in the points above specified. Liberty of person was guaranteed, and
it was expressly stipulated that if the bailiff refused to sustain the
sheriffs in their exercise of justice, or tried to arrogate to himself
more than his due authority, he should forfeit his office. Lastly, and
more important than all, the duke made no attempt to revive the demand
for the _gabelle_--salt was left free and untaxed. As a matter of
fact, too, the duke was not exigeant in the fulfilment of every item
of the treaty and, two years later, he increased certain privileges.
He had cut the lion's claws but he had no desire to pit his strength
again with Flemish communes. He had taught the audacious rebels a
lesson and that sufficed him.[21]

[Footnote 1: Blok, _Eene Hollandsche stad onder de Bourg.
Oostenrijksche Heerschappij,_ p. 84.]

[Footnote 2: La Marche, ii., 79, etc.]

[Footnote 3: See also _Chronijcke van Nederlant,_ p. 76, and
_Vlaamsche Kronijk,_ p. 203. Ed. C. Piot.]

[Footnote 4: D'Escouchy, _Chronique_, i., 110.]

[Footnote 5: The items of the funeral expenses can be found in
Laborde, i., 380. There were 600 masses at two sous apiece.]

[Footnote 6: In that same year, 1440, in which this gift is recorded,
there is another item showing how Charles took his amusement not only
on the harp but in planning some of the elaborate surprises regularly
introduced between courses in the banquets. "To Barthelmy the painter,
for making the cover of a pasty for the Count of Charolais to present
to Monseigneur on the night of St. Martin in the previous year, v
francs" (Laborde, i., 381).]

[Footnote 7: La Marche, ii., 214.]

[Footnote 8: Gachard puts this tournament in Lent, 1452. Charles's
outfit cost 360 livres.]

[Footnote 9: La Marche, i., ch. 21.]

[Footnote 10: Kervyn, _Histoire de Flandre_, iv. Kervyn quotes from
the _Dagboek des gentsche collatie_, M. Schayes.]

[Footnote 11: Meyer, xvi., 303.]

[Footnote 12: They were charged with using this phrase. Gachard says
that they placed at the top of their letter their titles of
sheriffs and deans, as princes and lords take the title of their
seignories.--(La Marche, ii., 221. _See also_ d'Escouchy, ii., 25.)]

[Footnote 13: La Marche, ii., 230.]

[Footnote 14: Associations of merchants in foreign cities.]

[Footnote 15: Chastellain, _OEuvres_, ii., 221.]

[Footnote 16: La Marche, ii., 312. Chastellain, ii., 278. See also
_Chronique d'Adrian de Budt_, p. 242, etc.]

[Footnote 17: Meyer, p. 313. La Marche, ii., 313. Lavisse, _Histoire
de France_, accepts 13,000 as the number slain. Chastellain (ii., 375)
puts the number at 22-30,000, including those drowned by the duke's
order. Du Clercq lets a certain sympathy for the rebellious people
escape his pen. Chastellain and La Marche treat the antagonism to
taxes as unreasonable.]

[Footnote 18: Chastellain, ii., 387.]

[Footnote 19: La Marche, ii., 331. The Chastellain MS. is lacking for
this event.]

[Footnote 20: _Revue des sociétés savantes des départements_, 7me.
série, 6, p. 209.

These two reports were enclosed with brief notes dated July 31 and
August 8, 1453, from the ducal attorney at Amont to the magistrates
of Baume. The former was one of the highest officials in the
Franche-Comté. The reporter might have been one of his secretaries.
The two notes with their unsigned enclosures were discovered (1881)in
the archives of the town of Baume-les-Dames.]

[Footnote 21: Kervyn, _Histoire de Flandre_, iv., 494.]




After the fatigues of this contest with Ghent, followed a period of
relaxation for the Burgundian nobles at Lille, where a notable
round of gay festivities was enjoyed by the court. Adolph of Cleves
inaugurated the series with an entertainment where, among other
things, he delighted his friends by a representation of the tale of
the miraculous swan,[1] famous in the annals of his house for bringing
the opportune knight down the Rhine to wed the forlorn heiress.

When his satisfied guests took their leave, Adolph placed a chaplet on
the head of one of the gentlemen, thus designating him to devise a new
amusement for the company; and under the invitation lurked a tacit
challenge to make the coming occasion more brilliant than the first.
Again and again was this process repeated. Entertainment followed
entertainment, all a mixture of repasts and vaudeville shows in whose
preparation the successive hosts vied with each other to attain

The hard times, the stress of ready money, so eloquently painted when
the merchants were implored to take pity on their poverty-stricken
lord, were cast into utter oblivion. It was harvest tide for skilled
craftsmen and artisans. Any one blessed with a clever or fantastic
idea easily found a market for the product of his brain. He could see
his poetic or quaint conception presented to an applauding public with
a wealth of paraphernalia that a modern stage manager would not
scorn. How much the nobles spent can only be inferred from the ducal
accounts, which are eloquent with information about the creators of
all this mimic pomp. About six sous a day was the wage earned by a
painter, while the plumbers received eight. These latter were called
upon to coax pliable lead into all sorts of shapes, often more
grotesque than graceful.

One fête followed another from the early autumn of 1453 to February,
1454, when "The Feast of the Pheasant," as the ducal entertainment was
called, crowned the series with an elaborate magnificence that has
never been surpassed.

Undoubtedly Philip possessed a genius for dramatic effect and it is
more than possible that he instigated the progressive banquets for the
express purpose of leading up to the occasion with which he intended
to dazzle Europe.[2]


For the duke's thoughts were now turned from civic revolts to a great
international movement which he hoped to see set in motion. Almost
coincident with the capitulation of Ghent to Philip's will had been
the capitulation of Constantinople to the Turks. The event long
dreaded by pope and Christendom had happened at last (May 29, 1453).
Again and again was the necessity for a united opposition to the
inroads of the dangerous infidels urged by Rome. On the eve of St.
Martin, 1453, a legate arrived in Lille bringing an official letter
from the pope, setting forth the dire stress of the Christian Church,
and imploring the mightiest duke of the Occident to be her saviour,
and to assume the leadership of a crusade in her behalf against the
encroaching Turk.[2]

Philip was ready to give heed to the prayer. Whatever the exact
sequence of his plans in relation to the court revels, the result was
that his own banquet was utilised as a proper occasion for blazoning
forth to the world with a flourish of trumpets his august intention of
dislodging the invader from the ancient capital of the Eastern empire.

The superintendence of the arrangements for this all-eclipsing fête
was entrusted, as La Marche relates,

    "to Messire Jehan, Seigneur de Lannoy, Knight of the Golden
    Fleece, and a skilful ingenious gentleman, and to one Squire Jehan
    Boudault, a notable and discreet man. And the duke honoured me so
    far that he desired me to be consulted. Several councils were held
    for the matter to which the chancellor and the first chamberlain
    were invited. The latter had just returned from the war in
    Luxemburg already described.

    "These council meetings were very important and very private, and
    after discussion it was decided what ceremonies and mysteries were
    to be presented. The duke desired that I should personate the
    character of Holy Church of which he wished to make use at this

As in many half amateur affairs the preparations took more time than
was expected. At the first date set, all was not in readiness and the
performance was postponed until February 17th. This entailed serious
loss upon the provision merchants and they received compensation for
the spoiled birds and other perishable edibles.[4]

The gala-day opened with a tournament at which Adolph of Cleves again
sported as Knight of the Swan to the applause of the onlookers. After
the jousting, the guests adjourned to the banqueting hall, where fancy
had indeed, run riot, to make ready for their admiring eyes and their
sagacious palates. _Entremets_ is the term applied to the elaborate
set pieces and side-shows provided to entertain the feasters between
courses, and these were on an unprecedented scale.

Three tables stood prepared respectively for the duke and his suite,
for the Count of Charolais, his cousins, and their comrades, and for
the knights and ladies. The first table was decorated with marvellous
constructions, among which was a cruciform church whose mimic clock
tower was capacious enough to hold a whole chorus of singers. The
enormous pie in which twenty-eight musicians were discovered when the
crust was cut may have been the original of that pasty whose opening
revealed four-and-twenty blackbirds in a similar plight. Wild animals
wandered gravely at a machinist's will through deep forests, but in
the midst of the counterfeit brutes there was at least one live lion,
for Gilles le Cat[5] received twenty shillings from the duke for the
chain and locks he made to hold the savage beast fast "on the day of
the said banquet."

Again there was an anchored ship, manned with a full crew and rigged
completely. "I hardly think," observes La Marche, "that the greatest
ship in the world has a greater number of ropes and sails."

Before the guests seated themselves they wandered around the hall
and inspected the decorations one by one. Nor was their admiration
exhausted when they turned to the discussion of the toothsome dainties
provided for their delectation.

During the progress of the banquet, the story of Jason was enacted.
Time there certainly was for the play. La Marche estimated forty-eight
dishes to every course, though he qualifies his statement by the
admission that his memory might be inexact. These dishes were wheeled
over the tables in little chariots before each person in turn.

"Such were the mundane marvels that graced the fête," is the
conclusion of La Marche's[6] exhaustive enumeration of the
masterpieces from artists' workshops and ducal kitchen.

    "I will leave them now to record a pity moving _entremets_ which
    seemed to be more special than the others. Through the portal
    whence the previous actors had made their entrance, came a giant
    larger without artifice than any I had ever seen, clad in a long
    green silk robe, a turban on his head like a Saracen in Granada.
    His left hand held a great, old-fashioned two-bladed axe, his
    right hand led an elephant covered with silk. On its back was a
    castle wherein sat a lady looking like a nun, wearing a mantle of
    black cloth and a white head-dress like a recluse.[7]

    "Once within the hall and in sight of the noble company, like one
    who had work before her, she said to the giant, her conductor:

      "'Giant, prithee let me stay
        For I spy a noble throng
        To whom I wish to speak.'

     "At these words her guide conducted his charge before the ducal
    table and there she made a piteous appeal to all assembled to come
    to rescue her, Holy Church, fallen into the hands of unbelieving
    miscreants. As soon as she ceased speaking a body of officers
    entered the hall, Toison d'Or, king-at-arms, bringing up the rear.
    This last carried a live pheasant ornamented with a rich collar of
    gold studded with jewels. Toison d'Or was followed by two maidens,
    Mademoiselle Yolande, bastard daughter of the duke, and Isabelle
    of Neufchâtel, escorted by two gentlemen of the Order. They all
    proceeded to the host. After greetings, Toison d'Or then said:

    "'High and puissant prince and my redoubtable lord, here are
    ladies who recommend themselves very humbly to you because it is,
    and has been, the custom at great feasts and noble assemblies to
    present to the lords and nobles a peacock or some other noble bird
    whereon useful and valid vows may be made. I am sent hither with
    these two demoiselles to present to you this noble pheasant,
    praying you to remember them.'

    "When these words were said, Monseigneur the duke, who knew for
    what purpose he had given the banquet, looked at the personified
    Church, and then, as though in pity for her stress, drew from his
    bosom a document containing his vow to succour Christianity, as
    will appear later. The Church manifested her joy, and seeing that
    my said seigneur had given his vow to Toison d'Or, she again burst
    forth forth into rhyme:

      "'God be praised and highly served
        By thee, my son, the foremost peer in France.
        Thy sumptuous bearing have I close observed
        Until it seemed thou wert reserved
        To bring me my deliverance.
        Near and far I seek alliance
        And pray to God to grant thee grace
        To work His pleasure in thy place.

      "'0 every prince and noble, man and knight,
        Ye see your master pledged to worthy deed.
        Abandon ease, abjure delight,
        Lift up your hand, each in his right,
        Offer God the savings from thy greed.
        I take my leave, imploring each, indeed,
        To risk his life for Christian gain,
        To serve his God and 'suage my pain.'

    "At this the giant led off the elephant and departed by the same
    way in which he had entered.

    "When I had seen this _entremets_, that is, the Church and a
    castle on the back of such a strange beast, I pondered as to
    whether I could understand what it meant and could not make it out
    otherwise except that she had brought this beast, rare among us,
    in sign that she toiled and laboured in great adversity in the
    region of Constantinople, whose trials we know, and the castle in
    which she was signified Faith. Moreover, because this lady was
    conducted by this mighty giant, armed, I inferred that she wished
    to denote her dread of the Turkish arms which had chased her away
    and sought her destruction.

    "As soon as this play was played out, the noble gentlemen, moved
    by pity and compassion, hastened to make vows, each in his own

    The vow of the Count of Charolais was as follows: "I swear to God
    my creator, and to His glorious mother, to the ladies and to the
    pheasant, that, if my very redoubtable lord and father embark on
    this holy journey, and if it be his pleasure that I accompany him,
    I will go and will serve him as well as I can and know how to do."

Other vows were less simple: all kinds of fantastic conditions being
appended according to individual fancy. One gentleman decided never to
go to bed on a Saturday until his pledge were accomplished. Another
that he would eat nothing on Fridays that had ever lived until he
had had an opportunity of meeting the enemy hand to hand, and of
attacking, at peril of his life, the banner of the Grand Turk.

Philip Pot vowed never to sit at table on a Tuesday and to wear no
protection on his right arm. This last the duke refused to permit.
Hugues de Longueval vowed that when he had once turned his face to the
East he would abstain from wine until he had plunged his sword in an
infidel's blood, and that he would devote two years to the crusade
even if he had to remain all alone, provided Constantinople were not
recovered. Louis de Chevelast swore that no covering should protect
his head until he had come to within four leagues of the infidels,
and that he would fight a Turk on foot with nothing on his arm but a
glove. There was the same emulation in the vows as in the banquets and
many of the self-imposed penalties were as bizarre as the side-shows.

There were so many chevaliers eager to bind themselves to the
enterprise that the prolonged ceremony threatened to become tedious.
The duke, therefore, declared that the morrow would be equally valid
as the day.[8]

The Count of St. Pol was the only knight present who made his going
dependent on the consent of the King of France, a condition very
displeasing to his liege lord of Burgundy.]

    "To abridge my tale [continues La Marche], the banquet was
    finished and the cloth removed and every one began to walk
    around the room. To me it seemed like a dream, for, of all the
    decorations, soon nothing remained but the crystal fountain.
    When there was no further spectacle to distract me, then my
    understanding began to work and various considerations touching
    this business came into my mind. First, I pondered upon the
    outrageous excess and great expense incurred in a brief space by
    these banquets, for this fashion of progressive entertainments,
    with the hosts designated by chaplets, had lasted a long time. All
    had tried to outshine their predecessors, and all, especially my
    said lord, had spent so much that I considered the whole thing
    outrageous and without any justification for the expense, except
    as regarded the _entremets_ of the Church and the vows. Even that
    seemed to me too lightly treated for an important enterprise.

    "Meditating thus I found myself by chance near a gentleman,
    councillor and chamberlain, who was in my lord's confidence and
    with whom I had some acquaintance. To him I imparted my thoughts
    in the course of a friendly chat and his comment was as follows:

    "'My friend, I know positively that these chaplet entertainments
    would never have occurred except by the secret desire of the duke
    to lead up to this very banquet where he hoped to achieve a holy
    purpose and to resist the enemies of our faith. It is three years
    now since the distress of our Church was presented to the Knights
    of the Golden Fleece at Mons. My lord there dedicated his person
    and his wealth to her service. Since then occurred the rebellion
    of Ghent, which entailed upon him a loss of time and money. Thanks
    be to God, he has attained there a good and honourable peace, as
    every one knows. Now it has chanced that, during this very period,
    the Turks have encroached on Christianity still further in their
    capture of Constantinople. The need of succour is very pressing
    and all that you have witnessed to-day is proof that the good duke
    is intent on the weal of Christendom.'"

During the progress of this conversation, a new company was ushered
into the hall, preceded by musicians. Here came _Grâce Dieu_, clad
as a nun followed by twelve knights dressed in grey and black velvet
ornamented with jewels. Not alone did they come. Each gentleman
escorted a dame wearing a coat of satin cramoisy over a fur-edged
round skirt _à la Portuguaise. Grâce Dieu_ declared in rhyme that God
had heard the pious resolution of Duke Philip of Burgundy. He had
forthwith sent her with her twelve attendants to promise him a happy
termination to his enterprise. Her ladies, Faith, Charity, Justice,
Reason, Prudence, and their sisters, were then presented to him.
_Grâce Dieu_ departs alone and no sooner has she disappeared than
Philip's new attributes begin to dance to add to the good cheer. Among
the knights was Charles and one of his half-brothers; among the ladies
was Margaret, Bastard of Burgundy, and the others were all of high
birth. Not until two o'clock did the revels finally cease.

It must be noted that La Marche's reflections upon the extravagance of
the entertainment occur also in Escouchy's memoirs. Probably both
drew their moralising from another author. It is stated by several
reputable chroniclers that Olivier de la Marche himself represented
the Church. That he merely wrote her lines is far more probable.
Female performers certainly appeared freely in these as in other
masques, and there was no reason for putting a handsome youth in this
rôle of the captive Church. In mentioning the plans that La Marche
claims to have heard discussed in the council meeting, he says plainly
that he was to play the rôle of Holy Church, but as he makes no
further allusion to the fact, it may be dismissed as one of his
careless statements.

This pompous announcement of big plans was the prelude to nothing! Yet
it was by no means a farce when enacted. Philip fully intended to
make this crusade the crowning event of his life, and his proceedings
immediately after the great fête were all to further that end. To
obtain allies abroad, to raise money at home, and to ensure a peaceful
succession for his son in case of his own death in the East--such were
the cares demanding the duke's attention.

The twenty-year-old Count of Charolais was entrusted with the regency
for the term of his father's sojourn abroad in quest of allies, and
he hastened to Holland to assume the reins of government, but he was
speedily recalled to Lille to submit once more to paternal authority
before being left to his own devices and to maternal bias.

For the ducal pair disagreed seriously on the subject of their son's
second marriage. Isabella wished that a bride should be sought in
England, and this wish was apparently echoed by Charles himself. The
important topic was discussed with more or less freedom among the
young courtiers, until the drift of the conversations, whose burden
was wholly adverse to his own fixed purpose, came to Philip's ears,
together with the information that one of his own children was among
those who incited the count to independent desires about his future
wife. Very stern was the duke in his reprimand to the two young men.
He acknowledged that force of circumstances had once led him into
friendly bonds with the foes of his own France, but never had he been
"English at heart." Charles must accept his father's decision on pain
of disinheritance. "As for this bastard," Philip added, turning to the
other son, destitute of status in the eyes of the law, "if I find that
he counsels you to oppose my will, I will have him tied up in a sack
and thrown into the sea."[9]

The bride selected for the heir was Isabella of Bourbon, daughter
of the duke's sister, and the betrothal was hastily made. Even the
approval of the bride's parents was dispensed with. This passed the
more easily as the young lady herself was conveniently present in the
Burgundian court under the guardianship of her aunt, the duchess,
who had superintended her education. A papal dispensation was more
necessary than paternal consent, but that, too, was waived as far as
the betrothal was concerned. To that extent was Philip obeyed. Then
Charles returned to Holland and his father proceeded to Germany to
obtain imperial co-operation in his Eastern enterprise.

The duke's departure from Lille was made very privately at five
o'clock in the morning. He was off before his courtiers were aware of
his last preparations. That was a surprise, but not the only one in
store for those left behind. In order to save every penny for his
journey, Philip ordered radical retrenchment in his household
expenses. The luxurious repasts served to his retainers were abolished
and all alike found themselves forced to restrict their appetites to
the dainties they could purchase with the table allowance accorded
them. "The court's leg is broken," said Michel, the rhetorician.[10]

In his own outlay there was no stinting; the duke's progress was
pompous and stately as was his wont. As he traversed Switzerland,
Berne, Zurich, and Constance asked and obtained permission to show
their friendship with ceremonious receptions. Loud were the cries of
"_Vive Bourgogne_." Equally hospitable were the German cities. Game,
wine, fodder, were offered for the traveller's use at every stage, as
he and his suite rode to the imperial diet.

At Ratisbon, disappointment greeted him. The emperor whom he had come
so far to see in person failed to appear. Unwilling to accede to the
plan of co-operation, afraid to give an open refusal, Frederic
simply avoided hearing the request. Essentially lazy, he shrank from
committing himself to a difficult enterprise, nor was his ambition
tempted by possible glory. It had cost no pang to refuse the crown
of Bohemia and Hungary. But even had he been personally ambitious
he might still have been slow to lend his adherence to the duke's
project, in the not unnatural dread lest the flashing renown of the
greatest duke of the Occident might throw a poor emperor as ally
into the shade. The very warmth of Philip's reception in Germany had
chilled Frederic. From a retreat in Austria, he sent his secretary,
Æneas Sylvius, to represent him at Ratisbon, a substitution far from
pleasing to the visitor.

There were other defections, too, from the diet. None of those present
was in a position to aid Philip in furthering his schemes. The matter
was brought forward and laid on the table to be discussed at the next
diet, appointed to meet in November at Frankfort. But Philip would
not wait for that. Germany did not agree with him. He was not well.
Rumours there were of various kinds about his reasons for returning
home. They do not seem to require much explanation, however. He had
not been met half way in Germany and was highly displeased at the
failure. Declining all further entertainment proffered by the cities,
he travelled back to Besançon by way of Stuttgart and Basel. In the
early autumn he was at Dijon.

During this summer, negotiations about Charles's marriage had
continued. The Duke of Bourbon was inclined to chaffer about the dowry
demanded by Philip. One of the estates asked for was Chinon, and it
was urged that it, a male fief, was not capable of alienation. Philip
was not inclined to accept this reason as final and the negotiations
hung fire, much to the distress of the Duchess of Bourbon, who feared
a breach between her husband and brother. Naïve are the phrases in one
of her letters as quoted by Chastellain[11]:


    "I have heard all Boudault's message from you ... To be brief,
    Monseigneur is content and ready to accede the points that you
    demand. It seems to me that you ought to give him easy terms and
    that you ought to put aside any grudge you may cherish against
    him. Monseigneur, since I consider the thing as done, I beg you to
    celebrate the nuptials as soon as possible although not without me
    as you have promised me."[12]

The king, too, was interested in the matter, and wrote as follows to
Duke Philip:


    "Some time ago my cousin of Bourbon informed me of the
    negotiations for the marriage of my cousin of Charolais, your son,
    to my cousin Isabella of Bourbon, his daughter, which marriage
    has been deferred, as he writes me, because he does not wish to
    alienate to his daughter the seignory of Château-Chinon. It is not
    possible for him to do this on account of the marriage agreement
    of our daughter Jeanne and my cousin of Clermont, his son, wherein
    it was stipulated that Château-Chinon should go to them and their
    heirs. Moreover, it cannot descend in the female line, and in
    default of heirs male it must return to the crown as a true
    appanage of France.

    "Lest, peradventure, you may doubt the truth of this, and imagine
    that the point is urged by our cousin of Bourbon simply as an
    excuse for not ceding the estate, we assure you that it is true,
    and was considered in arranging the alliance of our daughter so
    that it is beyond the power of our cousin of Bourbon to make any
    alienation or transfer of the territory at the marriage of his
    daughter. We never would have permitted the marriage of our
    daughter without this express settlement. With this consideration
    it seems to me that you ought not to block the marriage in
    question, especially as my cousin says he is offering you an
    equivalent. He cannot do more as we have charged our councillor,
    the bailiff of Berry, to explain to you in full. So pray do not
    postpone the marriage for the above cause or for any cause, if
    by the permission of the Church and of our Holy Father it can be
    lawfully completed.

    "Given at Romorantin, Oct. 17.



As the marriage was an event of importance, and the circumstances
are simple historic facts, it is strange that there should be any
uncertainty regarding the details of its solemnisation. But there is a
certain vagueness about the narratives. One version is so amusing that
it deserves a slight consideration.[14] The chronicler relates how
Charles VII. felt some uneasiness at the delay in the negotiations.
Conscious of the sentiments of the Duchess of Burgundy, he feared
lest her well-known sympathies for England might prevail in the final

When Philip had returned to Dijon, the bailiff of Berry came as the
king's special envoy to discuss some aspects of the subject with him.
The mission was gladly undertaken as the messenger had never seen
Philip nor his court and he was pleased at the chance of meeting a
personage whose fame rang through Europe. Very graciously was he
received by the duke, who read the king's letters attentively and
replied to the envoy's messages in general terms of courteous
recognition, without making his own intention manifest. The bailiff
waited for an answer, finding, in the meanwhile, that his days passed
very agreeably.

As a matter of fact, before his arrival at Dijon Philip Pot had set
out for the Netherlands, bearing the duke's orders to his son to
celebrate his nuptials without further delay. The duke did not intend
to be influenced by any one. It was his will that his son should
accept the bride selected and that was all sufficient. The reason why
the duke detained the king's messenger was that he "awaited news from
Messire Philip de Pot, whom he had sent in all speed to his son to
hasten the wedding."[15] The said gentleman found the count at Lille
with the duchess, his mother, and he was so diligent in the discharge
of his mission that he made all the arrangements himself and saw the
wedding rites solemnised immediately. The bridegroom did not even know
of the plan until the night preceding the important day. Then Philip
Pot rode back to Dijon.

When the duke was assured that the alliance was irrevocably sealed
he was quite ready to answer the king's messenger, whom he at once
invited to an audience. In a casual fashion Philip remarked:

"Now bailiff, the king sent you hither about a matter which I am
humbly grateful for his interest in. You know my opinion. I had no
desire to dissemble. Here is a gentleman fresh from Flanders; ask him
his news and note his reply."

"What tidings, Monsieur, do you bring us?

Prithee impart it" said the bailiff to the chevalier. And the
gentleman, laughing, replied: "By my faith, Monsieur bailiff, the
greatest news that I know is that Monseigneur de Charolais is

"Married! to whom?"

"To whom?" responded the chevalier, "why, to his first cousin,
Monseigneur's niece."

Merry was the duke over the Frenchman's blank amazement. Again the
latter had to be reassured of the truth of the statement. Philip Pot
told him that it was so true that the wedded pair had spent the night
together according to their lawful right.

The bailiff did not know which way to turn. "So he acted out his
two rôles. Returning thanks to the duke in the king's name with all
formality, he then joined in the general laugh over the unsuspected
trick. He was a man of the world and knew how to take advantage of
sense and of folly."

It was on the morrow of this hasty tying of the wedding knot that the
Countess of Charolais sent a messenger to announce the fact to her
parents. They seem to have been perfectly satisfied, made no further
objection to any point, and the mooted territory of Chinon made part
of the dower in spite of the reasons urged against it.

As to the bailiff, when he made his adieux at Dijon, Philip presented
him with a round dozen stirrup cups, each worth three silver marks,
and he went home a surprised and delighted man.

    "About this time [says Alienor de Poictiers] Monsieur de Charolais
    married Mademoiselle de Bourbon and he married her on the eve of
    All Saints[16] at Lille, and there was no festival because Duke
    Philip was then in Germany. Eight days after the nuptials the
    duchess gave a splendid banquet where were all the ladies of
    Lille, but they were seated all together, as is usually done at
    an ordinary banquet, without mesdames holding state as would have
    been proper for such an occasion."

It is evident from all the stories that Charles protested against his
father's orders as much as he dared and then obeyed simply because he
could not help himself.

Yet, strange to say, the unwilling bridegroom proved a faithful
husband in a court where marital fidelity was a rare trait.

Philip's plans for the international union against the Turk were less
easily completed than those for the union of his son and his niece. In
November, the diet met at Frankfort; the expedition was discussed and
some resolutions were passed, but nothing further was achieved.

Charles VII. would not even promise co-operation on paper. He had
gradually extended his own domain in French-speaking territory and had
dislodged the English from every stronghold except Guisnes and Calais.
Under him France was regaining her prestige. Charles had much to lose,
therefore, in joining the undertaking urged by Philip and he was
wholly unwilling to risk it. From him Philip obtained only expressions
of general interest in the repulse of the Turks, and more definite
suggestions of the dangers that would menace Western Europe if all her
natural defenders carried their arms and their fortunes to the East.

When the anniversary of the great fête came round not a vow was yet

[Footnote 1: A performance repeated in our modern Lohengrin.]

[Footnote 2: The chroniclers are not at one on this point.]

[Footnote 3: DuClercq, _Mémoires_, ii., 159.]

[Footnote 4: This banquet at Lille was the subject of several
descriptions by spectators or at least contemporary authors.

The Royal Library at the Hague possesses a manuscript copied from an
older one which contains the order of proceedings together with the
text of all vows. There is a minute description in Mathieu d'Escouchy,
who claims to have been present, and in a manuscript coming from
Baluze, whose anonymous author might also have been an eye-witness. Of
the various versions, that of La Marche seems to be the most original.
One record shows that "a clerk living at Dijon, called Dion du Cret,
received, in 1455, a sum of five francs and a half for having, at the
order of the accountants, copied and written in parchment the history
of the banquet of my said seigneur, held at Lille, February 17, 1453,
containing fifty-six leaves of parchment" (La Marche, ii., 340 note).
It is possible that all the authors refreshed their memory with this
account, which seems to have been merely a copy.]

[Footnote 5: Laborde, i., 127.]

[Footnote 6: II., 361.]

[Footnote 7: The text says in the Burgundian or recluse fashion.
_Béguine_ is probably the right reading.]

[Footnote 8: Mathieu d'Escouchy (ii., 222) gives all the vows as
though made then, and differs in many unessential points from La
Marche's account.

[Footnote 9: Du Clerq, ii., 203.]

[Footnote 10:'"Michel dit que le gigot de la cour était rompu."--La
Marche, i., ch. xiv.]

[Footnote 11: Chastellain, iii., 20, note.]

[Footnote 12: "Toute fois que ce ne soit pas sans moy."]

[Footnote 13: The original, signed, is in the _Archives de la
Côte-d'Or,_ B. 200. _See_ Du Fresne de Beaucourt, _Histoire de Charles
VII_., v. 470.]

[Footnote 14: Chastellain, iii., 23, etc.]

[Footnote 15: Chastellain, iii., 24]

[Footnote 16: The chroniclers differ as to this date. Chastellain
(iii., 25) says the first Sunday in Lent. D'Escouchy (ii., 270, ch.
cxxii) the night of St. Martin. Alienor de Poictiers, Hallowe'en _(Les
Honneurs de la Cour_, p. 187). The last was one of Isabella's ladies
in waiting.]




The duke's journey failed in accomplishing its object, but it proved
an important factor in the development of the character of Charles of
Burgundy. The opportunity to administer the government in his father's
absence changed him from a youth to a man, and the manner of man he
was, was plain to see.

His character was built on singularly simple lines. Vigorous of
body, intense of purpose, inclined to melancholy, he was profoundly
convinced of his own importance as heir to the greatest duke in
Christendom, as future successor to an uncrowned potentate, who could
afford to treat lightly the authority of both king and emperor whose
nominal vassal he was.

The Ghent episode, too, undoubtedly had an immense effect in enhancing
the count's belief in his father's power, in causing him to forget
that the communes of Flanders did not owe their existence to their
overlord. As yet, Charles of Burgundy had not met a single check to
his self-esteem, to his family pride. As a governor, he probably
exercised his brief authority with the rigour of one new to the helm.

    "And the Count of Charolais bore himself so well and so virtuously
    in the task, that nothing deteriorated under his hand, and when
    the good duke returned from his journey, he found his lands as
    intact as before."

Such, is La Marche's testimony.[1] Intact undoubtedly, but possibly
the satisfaction was not quite perfect. Du Clercq[2] declares that
Count Charles acquitted himself honourably of his charge and made
himself respected as a magistrate. Above all, he insisted that justice
should be dealt out to all alike. The only danger in his methods was
that he acted on impulse without sufficiently informing himself of the
matter in hand, or hearing both sides of a controversy. As a result,
his decisions were not always impartial and the father was preferred
to the strenuous and impetuous son. "Not that Philip was often
inclined to recognise other law than his own will, but he was more
tranquil, more gentle than his son, and more guided by reason," adds
a later author.[2] There was an evident dread as to what might be the
outcome of the count's untrained, youthful ardour.

The duke's chief measures after his return in February, 1455, seemed
hardly calculated to arouse any great personal devotion to himself or
a profound trust that his first consideration was for the advantage of
his Netherland subjects. His thoughts were still turned to the East,
and his main interest in the individual countships was as sources of
supply for his Holy War. Considerable sums flowed into his exchequer
that were never used for their destined purpose, but the duke cannot
be justly accused of actual bad faith in amassing them. His intention
to make the Eastern campaign remained firm for some years.


In another matter, his despotic exercise of personal authority, far
without the pale of his jurisdiction inherited or acquired, shows no
shadow of excuse.

In the bishropic of Utrecht the ecclesiastical head was also lay
lord. Here the counts of Holland possessed no voice. They were near
neighbours, that was all. Philip ardently desired to be more in this
tiny independent state in the midst of territories acknowledging his

In 1455, the see of Utrecht became vacant and Philip was most anxious
to have it filled by his son David, whom he had already made Bishop of
Thérouanne by somewhat questionable methods. The Duke of Guelders
also had a neighbourly interest in Utrecht and he, too, had a pet
candidate, Stephen of Bavaria, whose election he urged. The chapter
resolutely ignored the wishes of both dukes and the canons were almost
unanimous in their choice of Gijsbrecht of Brederode.[4]

A very few votes were cast for Stephen of Bavaria, but not a single
one for David of Burgundy.

Brederode was already archdeacon of the cathedral and an eminently
worthy choice, both for his attainments and for his character. He was
proclaimed in the cathedral, installed in the palace, and confirmed,
as regarded his temporal power, by the emperor.

Philip, however, refused to accept the returns, although not a single
suffrage had been cast by the qualified electors for his son. He
despatched the Bishop of Arras to Rome to petition the new pope,
Calixtus III., to refuse to ratify the late election and to confer
the see upon David, out of hand. Philip's tender conscience found
Gijsbrecht ineligible to an episcopal office because he had
participated in the war against Ghent, certainly a weak plea in an age
of militant bishops!

The pope was afraid to offend the one man in Europe upon whose
immediate aid he counted in the Turkish campaign. He accepted the gift
of four thousand ducats offered by Gijsbrecht's envoys, the customary
gift in asking papal confirmation for a bishop-elect, but secretly
he delivered to Philip's ambassador letters patent creating David of
Burgundy Bishop of Utrecht.[5]

The Burgundian La Marche states euphemistically that David was elected
to the see, and the Deventer people would not obey him, therefore
Philip had to levy an army and come in person to support the new
bishop.[6] Du Clercq puts a different colour on the story and
d'Escouchy[7] implies that the whole trouble arose from party strife
which had to be quelled in the interests of law and order.

Apart from any question of insult to the Utrechters by imposing upon
them a spiritual director of acknowledged base birth, the right of
choice lay with them and the emperor had confirmed their choice as far
as the lay office was concerned. While the issue was undecided, the
Estates of Utrecht appointed Gijsbrecht guardian and defender of the
see to assure him a legal status pending the papal ratification. The
people were prepared to support their candidate with arms, a game that
Philip did not refuse, and the force of thirty thousand men with which
he invaded the bishopric proved the stronger argument of the two and
able to carry David of Burgundy to the episcopal throne, upon which he
was seated in his father's presence, October 16, 1455.

Some of Philip's allies reaped certain advantages from the situation.
Alkmaar and Kennemerland redeemed certain forfeited privileges by
means of their contributions to the duke's army. The city of Utrecht
preferred a compromise to the risk of war. The bishop-elect,
Gijsbrecht, consented to withdraw his claim, being permitted to retain
the humbler office of provost of Utrecht and an annuity of four
thousand guilders out of the episcopal revenues.

Deventer was the only place which was obstinate enough to persist in
her rebellion and Philip was engaged in bringing her citizens to terms
by a siege when news was brought to him that a visitor had arrived at
Brussels under circumstances which imperatively demanded his personal

In the twenty years that had elapsed since the Treaty of Arras, there
had been great changes in France in the character both of the realm
and of the ruler. Little by little the latter had proved himself to
be a very different person from the inert king of Bourges.[8] Old at
twenty, Charles VII. seemed young and vigorous at forty. Bad advisers
were replaced by others better chosen and his administration gradually
became effective. Fortune favoured him in depriving England of the
Duke of Bedford (1435), the one man who might have maintained English
prestige abroad and peace at home during the youth of Henry VI. It was
at a time of civil dissensions in England, that Charles VII. succeeded
in assuming the offensive on the Continent and in wresting Normandy
and Guienne from the late invader.

But this territorial advantage was not all. Distinct progress had been
made towards a national existence in France. The establishment of
the nucleus of a regular army was an immense aid in curbing the
depredations of the "_écorcheurs_," the devastating, marauding
bands which had harassed the provinces. There was new activity in
agriculture and industry and commerce.[9] The revival of letters and
art, never completely stifled, proved the real vitality of France in
spite of the depression of the Hundred Years' War. Royal justice was
reorganised, public finance was better administered. By 1456, misery
had not, indeed, disappeared, but it was less dominant.

The years of growing union between king and his kingdom were, however,
years of discord between Charles and his son. The dauphin Louis had
not enjoyed the pampered, petted life of his Burgundian cousin. Very
poor and forlorn was his father at the time of the birth of his heir
(1423).[10] There was nothing in the treasury to pay the chaplain who
baptised the child or the woman who nourished him. The latter received
no pension as was usual but a modest gratuity of fifteen pounds.
The first allowance settled on the heir to his unconsecrated royal
father's uncertain fortunes was ten crowns a month. Every feature of
his infancy was a marked contrast to the early life of the Count of

From his seventeenth year Louis was in active opposition to the
king, heading organised rebellion against him in the war called
the _Praguerie_. Finally, Charles VII. entrusted to his charge the
administration of Dauphiné, thus practically banishing him honourably
from the court where he was, evidently, a disturbing element. The only
restrictions placed upon him in his provincial government were such
as were necessary to preserve the ultimate authority of the crown. To
these restrictions, however, Louis paid not the slightest heed. He
assumed all the airs of an independent sovereign. He made wars and
treaties with his neighbours and at last proceeded to arrange his own

At this time Louis was already a widower, having been married at the
age of thirteen to Margaret of Scotland, who led a mournful existence
at the French court, where she felt herself a desolate alien. Her
death at the age of twenty was possibly due to slander. "Fie upon
life," she said on her deathbed, when urged to rouse herself to resist
the languor into which she was sinking. "Talk to me no more of it."

Her husband cared less for her life than did Margaret herself. He took
no interest in the inquiry set on foot to ascertain the truth of the
charges against the princess, and was more than ready to turn to a new
alliance. At the date of his widowerhood he was in Dauphiné and his
own choice for a wife was Charlotte, daughter of the Duke of Savoy.
After negotiations in his own behalf he informed his father of his
matrimonial project. It did not meet the views of Charles VII., who
ordered his son to abandon the idea immediately.

A messenger was despatched post haste to Chambéry to stop the
dauphin's nuptials.[11] The duke evaded an interview and the envoy was
forced to deliver his letter to the chancellor of Savoy. On the morrow
of his arrival, he was taken to church, where the wedding ceremony was
performed (March 10, 1451), but his seat was in such a remote place
that he could barely catch a glimpse of the bridal procession, though
he saw that Louis was clad in crimson velvet trimmed with ermine. Two
days later the envoy carried a pleasant letter to the king, expressing
regrets on the part of the Duke of Savoy that the alliance was made
before the paternal prohibition arrived.

Nine years were spent by Louis in Dauphiné. He introduced many
administrative and judicial reforms, excellent in themselves but not
popular. There were various protests and when he dared to impose taxes
without the consent of the Estates, an appeal was made to the king
begging him to check his son in his illegal assumptions. Charles
summoned his son to his presence. Instead of obeying this order in
person, Louis sent envoys who were dismissed by his father with a curt
response: "Let my son return to his duty and he shall be treated as a
son. As to his fears, security to his person is pledged by my word,
which my foes have never refused to accept."[12]

Louis showed himself less compliant than his father's foes. As Charles
approached Dauphiné, and made his preparations to enforce obedience,
Louis appealed to the mediation of the pope, of the Duke of Burgundy,
and of the King of Castile, beside sending offerings to all the chief
shrines in Christendom, imploring aid against parental wrath. Then
his thoughts took a less peaceful turn. He called the nobles of his
principality to arms and bade the fortified towns prepare for siege,
while he loftily declared that he would not trouble his father to seek
him. He would meet him at Lyons.

Meanwhile, the Count of Dammartin was directed by the king to take
military possession of Dauphiné and to put the dauphin under arrest.
As he was _en route_ to fulfil these orders, the count heard that
a day had been set by Louis for a great hunt. That an excellent
opportunity might be afforded for securing his quarry in the course
of the chase, was the immediate thought of the king's lieutenant. So
there might have been had not the wily hunter received timely warning
of the project for making _him_ the game.

At the hour appointed for the meet, the dauphin's suite rode to the
rendezvous, but the prince turned his horse in the opposite direction
and galloped away at full speed, attended by a few trusty followers.
He hardly stopped even to take breath until he was out of his father's
domain, and made no pause until he reached St. Claude, a small town
in the Franche-Comté, where he threw himself on the kindness of the
Prince of Orange.

How gossip about this strange departure of the French heir fluttered
here and there! Du Clercq[13] tells the story with some variation from
the above outline, laying more stress on the popular appeal to the
king for relief from Louis's transgressions as governor of Dauphiné,
and enlarging on the accusation that Louis was responsible for the
death of _La belle Agnès_, "the first lady of the land possessing the
king's perfect love." He adds that the dauphin was further displeased
because the niece of this same Agnes, the Demoiselle de Villeclerc,
was kept at court after her aunt's death. Wherever the king went he
was followed by this lady, accompanied by a train of beauties. It was
this conduct of his father that had forced the son to absent himself
from court life for twelve years and more, during which time he
received no allowance as was his rightful due, and thus he had been
obliged to make his own requisitions from his seigniory.

There were other reports that the king was quite ready to accord his
son his full state; others, again, that Charles drove Louis into exile
from mere dislike and intended to make his second son his heir and
successor. At this point Du Clercq's manuscript is broken off abruptly
and the remainder of his conjectures are lost to posterity. Where the
text begins again, the author dismisses all this contradictory hearsay
and says in his own character as veracious chronicler, "I concern
myself only with what actually occurred. The dauphin gave a feast
in the forest and then departed secretly to avoid being arrested by

This flight was the not unnatural termination of a long series of
misunderstandings between a father whose private conduct was not above
criticism, and a son, clever, unscrupulous, destitute of respect for
any person or thing except for the superstitious side of his religion.

Charles VII. was a curious instance of a man whose mental development
occurred during the later years of his life. When his son was under
his personal influence his character was not one to instil filial
deference, and Louis certainly cherished neither respect nor affection
for the father whose inert years he remembered vividly.

Whether, indeed, the dauphin had any part in Agnes Sorel's death which
gave him especial reason to dread the king's anger, is uncertain, but
of his action there is no doubt. To St. Claude he travelled as rapidly
as his steed could go, and from that spot on Burgundian soil he
despatched the following exemplary letter to his father:


    "To your good grace I recommend myself as humbly as I can. Be
    pleased to know, my very redoubtable lord, that because, as you
    know, my uncle of Burgundy intends shortly to go on a crusade
    against the Turk in defence of the Catholic Faith and because my
    desire is to go, your good pleasure permitting, considering that
    our Holy Father the Pope bade me so to do, and that I am standard
    bearer of the Church, and that I took the oath by your command, I
    am now on my way to join my uncle to learn his plans so that I can
    take steps for the defence of the Catholic Faith.

    "Also, I wish to implore him to find means of reinstating me in
    your good grace, which is something that I desire most in the
    world. My very redoubtable lord, I pray God to give you good life
    and long.

    "Written at St. Claude the last day of August.

    "Your very humble and obedient son,


This letter hardly succeeded in carrying conviction to the king.
He characterised the projected expedition to Turkey as a farce, a
pretence, and a frivolous excuse.[15] Probably, too, he did not
contradict his courtiers when they declared that the project had
been in the wind a long time, and that the Duke of Burgundy would
be prouder than ever to have the heir to France dependent on his

The epistle despatched, Louis continued his journey under the escort
of the Seigneur de Blaumont, Marshal of Burgundy, at the head of
thirty horse. Their pace was rapid to elude the pursuit of Tristan
l'Hermite. The prince needed no spurs to make him flee. Even if his
father did not intend to have him drowned in a sack his immediate
liberty was certainly in jeopardy. "In truth this thing was a
marvellous business. The Prince of Orange and the Marshal of Burgundy
were the two men whom the dauphin hated more than any one else,
but necessity, which knows no law, overcame the distaste of the

Louvain was the next place where Louis felt safe enough to rest. Here
he wrote to the Duke of Burgundy to announce his arrival within his
territory. The letter found Philip in camp before Deventer. It is
evident that he was entirely taken by surprise, and was prepared to be
very cautious in his correspondence with the French king. He assured
him that he was willing to receive and honour Louis as his suzerain's
heir, but he implored that suzerain not to blame him, the duke, for
that heir's flight to his protection.

His envoy, Perrenet, was charged with many reassuring messages in
addition to the epistle. Before he reached the French court, his
news was no novelty. Rumour had preceded him. The messenger was very
eloquent in his assurances to the king that Philip was wholly innocent
in the affair and a good peer and true. Perrenet

    "stayed at the French court until Epiphany and I do not know what
    they discussed, but during that time news came that the king had
    garrisoned Compiègne, Lyons, and places where his lands touched
    the duke's territories. When the envoy returned to the duke, he
    published a manifesto ordering all who could bear arms to be in

Philip sent messages of welcome to Louis with apologies for his
own inevitable absence, and the visitor was profuse in his return
assurances to his uncle that he understood the delay and would not
disturb his business for the world. "I have leisure enough to wait and
it does not weary me. I am safe in a pleasant land and in a fine town
which I have long wished to see." He showed his courtesy when the
Count d'Étampes, Philip's nephew-in-law, presented his suite, by
pronouncing each individual name and assuring its bearer that he had
heard about him.[18]

The count was commissioned to conduct the dauphin to Brussels and we
have the story of an eye-witness of his reception by the ladies of the
ducal family:

    "I saw the King of France, father of the present King Charles,
    chased away by his father Charles for some difference of which
    they say that the fair Agnes was the cause, and on account of
    which he took refuge with Duke Philip, for he had no means of

    "The said King Louis, being dauphin, came to Brussels accompanied
    by about ten cavaliers and by the Marshal of Burgundy. At this
    time Duke Philip was at Utrecht in war and there was no one to
    receive the visitor but Madame the Duchess Isabella and Madame
    de Charolais, her daughter-in-law, pregnant with Madame Mary of
    Burgundy, since then Duchess of Austria.

    "Monsieur the dauphin arrived at Brussels, where were the ladies,
    at eight o'clock in the evening, about St. Martin's Day.[20] When
    the ladies heard that he was in the city they hastened down to the
    courtyard to await him. As soon as he saw them he dismounted and
    saluted Madame the Duchess and Mme. de Charolais and Mme. de
    Ravestein. All kneeled and then he kissed the other ladies of the

Alienor goes on to describe how a whole quarter of an hour was
consumed by a friendly altercation between Isabella and her guest as
to the exact way in which they should enter the door, the dauphin
resolute in his refusal to take precedence and Isabella equally
resolute not even to walk by the side of the future king. "Monsieur,
it seems to me you desire to make me a laughing stock, for you wish
me to do what befits me not." To this the dauphin replied that it was
incumbent upon him to pay honour for there was none in the realm of
France so poor as he, and that he would not have known whither to flee
if not to his uncle Philip and to her.

Louis prevailed in his argument, and hostess and guest finally
proceeded hand in hand to the chamber prepared for the latter and
Isabella then took leave on bended knee.

When the duke returned to Brussels this contention as to the proper
etiquette was renewed. Isabella tried to retain the dauphin in his own
apartment so that the duke should greet him there as befitted their
relative rank. She was greatly chagrined, therefore, when Louis
rushed down to the courtyard on hearing the signs of arrival. This
punctilious hostess actually held the prince back by his coat to
prevent his advancing towards the duke.

Throughout the visit the minor points of etiquette were observed with
the utmost care. Both duchess and countess refrained from employing
their train-bearers when they entered the dauphin's presence. When he
insisted that his hostess should walk by his side, she managed her own
train if possible. If she accepted any aid from her gentlemen she was
very careful to keep her hand upon the dress, so that technically she
was still her own train-bearer. Then, too, when the duchess ate in the
dauphin's presence, there was no cover to her dish and nothing was
tasted in her behalf.

The Duke of Burgundy had to supply Louis with every requisite, but he,
too, never forgot for a moment that this dependent visitor was future
monarch of France. Without doors as within, every minor detail of
etiquette was observed. The duke never so far forgot himself in the
ardour of the chase as to permit his horse's head to advance beyond
the tail of the prince's steed.

In February, 1457, on St. Valentine's Eve, Mary of Burgundy was born.
Our observant court lady describes in detail the ceremonial observed
in the chamber of the Countess of Charolais and at the baptism.
Brussels rang with joyful bells and blazed with torches, four hundred
supplied by the city ahd two hundred by the young father. Each torch
weighed four or five pounds.

The Count of Charolais was his own messenger to announce the birth of
his daughter to the dauphin and to ask him to stand god-father. Joyful
was Louis to accept the invitation and to bestow his mother's name on
the baby-girl. Ste. Gudule was so far from the palace that the Church
of the Caudenberg was selected for the ceremony and richly adorned
with Holland linen, velvet, and cloth of gold. The duchess carried her
grandchild to the font,--a font draped with cramoisy velvet.

    "Monsieur the dauphin stood on the right and I heard it said that
    there was no one on the left because there was none his equal. On
    that day, the duchess wore a round skirt _à la Portuguaise_, edged
    with fur. There was no train of cloth nor of silk, so I cannot
    state who carried it,"

sagely remarks Alienor with incontrovertible logic.

Later events made later chroniclers less enthusiastic about the honour
paid to Mademoiselle[21] Mary by the dauphin. In a manuscript of La
Marche's _Mémoires_ at The Hague, the words "Lord! what a god-father!"
appear in the margin of the page describing the baptism.[22] But in
these early days of his five years' sojourn, Louis seems to have been
a pleasant person and to have posed as the ruined poor relation,
entirely free from pride at his high birth and delighted to repay
hospitality by his general complaisance.

Charles VII. received all the reports with somewhat cynical amusement.
He had no great trust in his son. "Louis is fickle and changeable and
I do not doubt that he will return here before long. I am not at all
pleased with those who influence him," are his words as quoted by


Undoubtedly, though, the king was much surprised at his son's action.
He had rather expected him to take refuge somewhere but he never
thought that the Duke of Burgundy would be his protector--a strange
choice to his mind. "My cousin of Burgundy nourishes a fox who will
eat his chickens" is reported as another comment of this impartial
father.[24] Like many a phrase, possibly the fruit of later harvests,
this is an excellent epitome of the situation.

[Footnote 1: I.,ch. xxxi.]

[Footnote 2:II.,204.]

[Footnote 3: Barante, vi.,50.]

[Footnote 4: Some of the canons wrote their reasons after their
recorded vote: "Because Duke Philip had made the candidate member
of his council of Holland, Zealand, and Friesland, in which office
Gijsbrecht had acquitted himself well." "Because all the Sticht nobles
were his relations," etc.--(Wagenaar, _Vaderlandsche Historie,_ iv.,

[Footnote 5: Du Clercq, ii., 210.]

[Footnote 6: _Mémoires_, i., ch. xxxiii.]

[Footnote 7: II., 315.]

[Footnote 8: See Lavisse, iv^{ii}., 317.]

[Footnote 9: For the effects of operations on a large scale see
_Jacques Coeur and Charles VII_., by Pierre Clémart.]

[Footnote 10: _Duclos_, "Hist. de Louis XI.," _OEuvres Complètes_ v.,

[Footnote 11: Duclos, iii., 78.]

[Footnote 12: See Lavisse, iv^{ii}., 292.]

[Footnote 13: II.,223.]

[Footnote 14: _Lettres de Louis XI_., i., 77.

According to the editor, Vaesen, the original of this letter shows
that _September 2nd_ was written first and erased.]

[Footnote 15: Chastellain, iii., 185.]

[Footnote 16: Du Clercq, ii., 228.]

[Footnote 17: Chastellain iii., 197.]

[Footnote 18: See _Séjour de Louis XI. aux Pays-Bas;_ Reiffenberg:
Nouveaux mem. de l'Acad. Royale, 1829.]

[Footnote 19: Alienor de Poictiers, _Les Honneurs de la Cour_, ii.,
208. It was early in October.]

[Footnote 20: This date, November 11th, does not agree with the

[Footnote 21: "At that time they did not say Madame, for Monsieur was
not the son of a sovereign."--La Marche, ii., 410, note.]

[Footnote 22: La Marche, ii., 410: "Dieu quel parrain!"]

[Footnote 23: II., 343.]

[Footnote 24: Chastellain, iii., 185; Lavisse iv^{ii}., 299.]




The picture of the Burgundian court rejoicing in happy unison over the
advent of an heiress to carry on the Burgundian traditions, with the
dauphin participating in the family joy, shows the tranquil side of
the first months of the long visit. Before Mary's birth, however, an
incident had occurred, betraying the fact that the dauphin and Charles
VII. were not the only father and son between whom relations were
strained, and that a moment had arrived when the attitude of the Count
of Charolais to the duke was no longer characterised by unquestioning
filial obedience.

Charles was on his way to Nuremberg[1] to fulfil a mission with
certain German princes when the dauphin alighted in Brabant, like "a
bird of ill omen," as he designated himself on one occasion. The count
did not return to Brussels until January 12, 1457. Thus he took no
part in the hearty welcome accorded to the visitor. It is more than
possible that the heir of Burgundy was not wholly pleased with the
state of affairs placidly existing by mid-winter.

Instead of resuming the first position which he had enjoyed during his
brief regency, or the honoured second that had been his after Philip
came back, Charles was now relegated to a third place. Further,
without having been consulted as to the policy, he found that he
was forced into following his father's lead in treating a penniless
refugee like an invited guest, whose visit was an honour and a joy. It
is more than probable that Charles was already feeling somewhat hurt
at the duke's warmth towards Louis when a serious breach occurred
between father and son about another matter.

It chanced that a chamberlain's post fell vacant in his own household,
and the count assumed that the appointment of a successor was
something that lay wholly within his jurisdiction. When the duke
interfered in a peremptory fashion and insisted that the appointment
should be made at his instance, the son refused to accept his
authority, especially as his father's nominee was Philip de Croy, one
of a family already over-dominant in the Burgundian court. At least,
that was Charles's opinion. Therefore, when he obeyed his father's
commands to bring his _ordonnance_, or household list, to the duke's
oratory, he unhesitatingly carried the document which contained the
name of Antoine Raulin, Sire d'Émeries, in place of Philip de Croy.

The duke was very angry at this apparent contempt for his expressed
wishes. Indignantly he threw the lists into the fire with the words,
"Now look to your _ordonnances_ for you will need new ones[2]."

There was evidently a succession of violent scenes in which the
duchess tried to stand between her husband and son. But Philip was
beside himself with wrath and refused to listen to a word from her or
from the dauphin, who also endeavoured to mediate[2].

Finally, the irate duke lost all control of himself, ordered a horse,
and rode out alone into the forest of Soignies. When he became calmer
it was dark and he found himself far from the beaten tracks, in the
midst of underbrush through which he could not ride. He dismounted and
wandered on foot for hours in the January night until smoke guided him
to a charcoal burner, who conducted him to the more friendly shelter
of a forester's hut. In the morning he made his way to Genappe.

Meantime, in the palace, consternation reigned. Search parties seeking
their sovereign were out all night. No one, however, was in such a
state of dismay as the dauphin, who declared that he would be counted
at fault when family dissensions followed so soon on his arrival.
Delighted he was, therefore, to act as mediator between father and
son after the duke was in a sufficiently pacified state to listen to
reason. Charles betook himself to Dendermonde for a time until the
duke was ready to see him[4]. His young wife made the most of her
expectations to soften her father-in-law's resentment, and between
her entreaties and those of the guest, proud to show his tact and his
gratitude, the quarrel was at last smoothed over.

There was one marked difference between this family dispute and the
breach between the French king and the dauphin. In the latter case no
feeling was involved. In the former, the son was really deeply wounded
by what he deemed lack of parental affection for his interests. At the
same time he was shocked by the bitter words and was, for the moment,
so filled with contrition that he was eager to make any concession
agreeable to the duke. He dismissed two of his servants[5], suspected
by his father of fomenting trouble between them, and he showed himself
in general very willing to placate paternal displeasure.

Reconciliation between duke and duchess was more difficult. Isabella
resented Philip's reproaches for her sympathy with Charles. She said
she had stepped between the two men because she had feared lest the
duke might injure his son in his wrath[6]. This was in answer to the
Marshal of Burgundy when he was telling her of Philip's displeasure.
She concluded her dignified defence with an expression of her utter
loneliness. Stranger in a strange land she had no one belonging to her
but her son.

She was certainly present at the baptism of her grandchild, but
shortly afterwards she retired to a convent of the Grey Sisters,
founded by herself, and rarely returned to the world or took part in
its ceremonies during the remainder of her life.

The quarrel, too, left its scar upon Charles. It is not probable that
he had much personal liking for the guest upon whom his father heaped
courtesies and solicitous care. On one occasion, when the two young
men were hunting they were separated by chance. When Charles returned
alone to the palace, the duke was full of reproaches at his son's
careless desertion of the guest in his charge. Again the court was
organised into search parties and there was no rest until the dauphin
was discovered some leagues from Brussels[7]. Here, also, it is an
easy presumption that the Count of Charolais was a trifle sulky over
his father's preoccupation in regard to the prince.

The transient character of the dauphin's sojourn in his cousin's
domains soon changed. In the summer of 1457, when news came that
Dauphiné had submitted to Charles VII., when the successive embassies
despatched by Philip to the king had all proved fruitless in their
conciliatory efforts, Philip proceeded to make more permanent
arrangements for the fugitive's comfort.

    "Now, Monseigneur, since the king has been pleased to deprive you
    of Dauphiné ... you are to-day lord and prince without land. But,
    nevertheless, you shall not be without a country, for all that I
    have is yours and I place it within your hand without reserving
    aught except my life and that of my wife. Pray take heart. If God
    does not abandon me I will never abandon you[8]."

The duke made good his words by giving his guest the estate of
Genappe, of which Louis took possession at the end of July. Then as a
further step to make things pleasant for the exile, Philip sent for
Charlotte of Savoy who had remained under her father's care ever since
the formal marriage in 1451. She was now eighteen.

It was an agreeable spot, this estate at Genappe. Louis's favourite
amusement of the chase was easy of access. "The court is at present
at Louvain," wrote a courtier[9] on July 1st, "and Monseigneur the
Dauphin likes it very much, for there is good hunting and falconry and
a great number of rabbits within and without the city." With killing
of every kind at his service, what greater solace could a homeless
prince expect?

From Louvain to Genappe is no great distance, and the sum of 1200
livres, furnished by Philip for the dauphin's journey to his new
abode, seemed a large provision. The pension then settled on him was
36,000 livres, and when the dauphiness arrived 1000 livres a month
were provided for her private purse[10].

Pleasant was existence in this château. There was no dearth of company
to throng around the prince in exile, and the dauphin allowed no
prejudice of mere likes and dislikes, no consideration of duty towards
his host to hamper him in making useful friends. A word here and
a word there, aptly thrown in at a time when Philip's anger had
exasperated, when Charles had failed to conciliate, were very potent
in intimating to many a Burgundian servant that there might come a
time when a new king across the border might better appreciate their
real value than their present or future sovereign.

Hunting was a favourite amusement, but the dauphin did not confine his
invitations to sportsmen. The easy accessibility of the little court
attracted men of science and of letters as well as others capable of
making the time pass agreeably. When there was nothing else on foot,
it is said that the company amused themselves by telling stories,
each in turn, and out of their tales grew the collection of the _Cent
Nouvelles Nouvelles_[11], named in imitation of Boccaccio's _Cento

The first printed edition of this collection was issued in Paris, in
1486, by Antoine Verard, who thus admonishes the gentle reader: "Note
that whenever _Monseigneur_ is referred to, Monseigneur the Dauphin
must be understood, who has since succeeded to the crown and is King
Louis. Then he was in the land of the Duke of Burgundy." Another
editor asserts that _Monseigneur_ is evidently the Duke of Burgundy
and not Louis, and later authorities decide that Anthony de la Sale
wrote the whole collection in imitation of Boccaccio, and that the
names of the narrators were as imaginative or rather as editorial as
the rest of the volume.

If this be true, it maybe inferred that the author would have given an
appearance of verisimilitude to his fiction by mentioning the actual
habitués of the dauphin's court. The name of the Count of Charolais
does not appear at all. The duke tells three or more stories according
to the interpretation given to _Monseigneur_. With three exceptions
the tales are very coarse, nor does their wit atone for their
licentiousness. Possibly Charles held himself aloof from the kind of
talk they suggest. All reports make him rigid in standards of morality
not observed by his fellows. That he had little to do with the court
is certain, whatever his reason.

Louis did not confine himself to the estate assigned him. There were
various court visits to the Flemish towns where he was afforded
excellent opportunities for seeing the wealth of the burghers and
their status in the world of commerce.

Ghent was very anxious to have the duke bring his guest within her
gates and give her an opportunity of displaying her regret for the
past unpleasantness. "In his goodness," Philip at last yielded to
their entreaties to make them a visit himself, but he decided not to
take the prince or the count with him.[12] He was either afraid for
their safety or else he did not care to bring a future French king
into relation with citizens who might find it convenient to remember
his suzerainty in order to ignore the wishes of their sovereign

Eastertide, 1458, was finally appointed for this state visit of
reconciliation. The duke took the precaution to send scouts ahead to
ascertain that the late rebels were sincere in their contrition, and
that there was no danger of anarchist agitations. The report was
brought back that all was calm and that joyful preparations were
making to show appreciation of Philip's kindness.

On April 22d, the duke slept at l'Écluse, and on the 23d he was gaily
escorted into the city by knights and gentlemen summoned from Holland,
Hainaut, and Flanders, "but neither clerks nor priests were in his
train." As a further assurance to him of their peaceful intention,
the citizens actually lifted the city gates off their hinges so as to
leave open exits.

Once within the walls, the duke found the whole community, who had
shown intelligent and sturdy determination not to endure arbitrary
tyranny, ready to weave themselves into a frenzy of biblical and
classical parable whose one purpose was to prove how evil had been
their ways. A pompous procession sang _Te Deum_ as the duke rode in,
and the first "mystery" that met his eyes within the gates was a
wonderful representation of Abraham sacrificing Isaac, while the
legend "All that the Lord commanded we will do," was meant not to
refer to the Hebrew's fidelity to Jehovah, but to the Ghenters'
perfect submission to Philip. A young girl stood ready to greet him
with the words of Solomon, "I have found one my soul loves."[14]

All the legends were in Latin. _Inveni quem diligit anima mea._]

Farther on there were various emblems all designed to compare
Philip now to Cæsar, now to Pompey, now to Nebuchadnezzar. The most
humiliating spectacle was that of a man dressed in a lion's skin,
thus personifying the Lion of Flanders, leading Philip's horse by the
bridle. "_Vive Bourgogne_ is now our cry," was symbolised in every
vehicle which the rhetoricians could invent.

Not altogether explicable is this extreme self-abnegation. Civic
prosperity must have returned in four years or there would have been
no money for the outlay. Apparently, Philip's countenance was worth
more to them than their pride.

The birth and death of two children at Genappe gave the duke new
reasons for showering ostentatious favours on his guest, and furnished
the dauphin with suitable occasion for addressing his own father, who
answered him in kind.

The following is one of the fair-phrased epistles[l5]:

  _The King to the Dauphin_, 1459.

    "We have received the letters that you wrote us making mention
    that on July 27 our dear and much loved daughter, the dauphiness,
    was delivered of a fine boy, for which we have been and are very
    joyous, and it seems to me that the more God our Creator grants
    you favour, by so much the more you ought to praise and thank
    Him and refrain from angering Him, and in all things fulfil His

    "Given at Compiègne, Aug.7th.


During these five years, Charles was more or less aloof from the
courts of his father and of their guest. He spent part of the time in
Holland and part at Le Quesnoy with his young wife. The Count of St.
Pol was one of his intimate friends, and a friend who managed to
make many insinuations about the duke's treatment of his son and
infatuation about the Croys whom Charles hated with increasing

There is a story that Charles went from Le Quesnoy to his father's
court to demand a formal audience from the duke in order to lodge his
protest against the Croys. Evidently relations were strained when such
a degree of ceremony was needed between father and son.

Gerard Ourré was commissioned to set forth the count's grievances, and
he was in the midst of his carefully prepared statement when the duke
interrupted him with the curt observation: "Have a care to say nothing
but the truth and understand, it will be necessary to prove every
assertion." The orator was discomfited, stammered on for a few
moments, and then excused himself from completing his harangue.
There were only a few nobles present and all were surprised at this
embarrassment, as Gerard passed for a clever man. Then, seeing that
his deputy was too much frightened to proceed, Charles took up the
thread of his discourse. In a firm voice he continued the list of
accusations against the Croys, only to be cut short in his turn.
Peremptory was the duke in his command to his son to be silent and
never again to refer to the subject. Then, turning to Croy, Philip
added "see to it that my son is satisfied with you," and withdrew from
the audience chamber.

Croy addressed Charles and endeavoured to be conciliatory. "When you
have repaired the ill you have wrought I will remember the good you
have done," was the count's only reply. He took leave of his father
with an outward show of love and respect and returned to his wife at
Le Quesnoy, escorted, indeed, by Croy out of the gates of Brussels,
but with no better understanding between them.

St. Pol found good ground to work on. He inflamed the count's
discontent and his distrust of the duke's favourite until Charles
despatched him to Bourges on a confidential mission to ascertain what
Charles VII. would do for the heir of Burgundy should he decide to
take refuge in the French court.[16]

At the first interview "I was not present," states the unknown
reporter, but on succeeding occasions this man heard for himself that
the king was ready to show hospitality to the Count of Charolais who
"has no ill intentions against his father. All he wants to do is to
separate him from the people who govern him badly."

The conferences were held in the lodgings of Odet d'Aydie. Among those
present was Dammartin and the matter was discussed in its various
aspects. Jehan Bureau and the anonymous witness were charged with
drawing up a report of the discussion. When this was presented to the
king it did not seem to him good. He doubted the good faith of the
count's message. He had been assured that it was all a fiction
especially designed by the Sieur de Burgundy.

Certain general promises were made in spite of this royal distrust,
quite natural under the circumstances. If he decided to espouse the
cause of Henry VI., the Count of Charolais should be given a command.
It was evident that the count was by no means ready to go to all
lengths, for St. Pol states in one of his conferences with the "late
king" that Charles of Burgundy had assured him that for two realms
such as his he would not do a deed of villainy.

Nothing came of this talk. It would have been a singular state of
affairs had the heirs of France and Burgundy thus changed places in
their fathers' courts. Spying and counterspying there were between
the courts to a great extent and rumours in number. A certain Italian
writes to the Duke of Milan as follows, on March 23, 1461, after he
had been at Genappe and at Brussels:[17]

    "M. de Croy has given me clearly to understand that the
    reconciliation of the dauphin with the King of France would not be
    with the approval of the Duke of Burgundy. Nevertheless the prince
    laments that since he received the dauphin into his states,
    and treated him as his future sovereign, he has incurred the
    implacable hatred of the king added to his ancient grievances. On
    the other hand, the affairs of England, on whose issue depends war
    or peace for the duke, being still in suspense, it did not seem to
    him honest to make advances to the king at this moment.

    "M. de Croy thinks that the dauphin does not seem to have carried
    into this affair the circumspection and reflection befitting a
    prince of his quality. He has maintained towards the duke the
    most complete silence on the affair of Genoa, and the proposition
    concerning Italy. Croy does not think there is anything in it,
    but if the thing were so it ought not to be secret. He does not
    believe that peace will be made between the dauphin and his
    father, and mentioned that his brother was on the embassy from
    duke to king, in order, I suppose, to probe the matter to the

    "The dauphin it seems has been out of humour with the Duke of
    Burgundy on account of the luke-warmness shown for his interests
    by the ambassador sent by this prince to the Duke of Savoy.

    "The silent agreement which reigns between the dauphin and Monsg.
    de Charolais is one of the causes which has chilled this great
    love between the dauphin and the duke which existed at the

    "Moreover, the dauphin having spent largely, especially in
    almsgiving without considering his purse finds himself very hard
    pressed. He has only two thousand ducats a month from the Duke of
    Burgundy and that seems to force him into peace with the king. The
    duke expects nothing during the king's lifetime.

    "Everything makes me want to wait here for the arrival of news
    from England. It is expected daily, good or bad the last play must
    be made. The duke fears a descent on Calais, and for this reason
    is going to a town called St. Omer. Under pretext of celebrating
    there the fête of the Toison d'Or he has ordered all his escort to
    be armed."


For a long time before his final illness the death of Charles VII. was
anticipated. When it came it was a dolorous end.[18] At Genappe, the
dauphin had been making his preparations for the wished-for event in
many ways, all in exact opposition to his father's policy. In Italy
and in Spain he sided with the opponents of Charles VII. In England,
his sympathies were all for the House of York because his father was
favourable to Henry of Lancaster and Margaret of Anjou. He learned
with satisfaction of the success of Edward IV., and was more than
willing to see him invade France. With certain princes of Germany he
entertained relations shrouded in mystery, while his father's own
agents disclosed secrets to him from time to time.

In his exile he kept reminding official bodies at Paris that he was
heir to the throne. As dauphin he claimed the right to give orders to
the _parlement_ at Grenoble. There is no actual proof that he had a
hand in the conspiracies which troubled the last year of his father's
reign, but it is certain that he managed to win to himself a party
within the royal circle.

Certain councillors, fearful of their own fate, did not hesitate to
suggest that Louis should be disinherited and his brother Charles put
in his stead, but this Charles VII. would not accept. He kept hoping
for Louis's submission. The latter, however, had no idea of this. He
was sure that his father would not live to grow old. A trouble in his
leg threatened to be cancerous. In July, there was a growth in his
mouth. He died July 22nd, convinced that his son had poisoned him.

After July 17th constant bulletins from the king's bedside came to
Louis. Genappe was too far and the anxious son moved to Avesnes
in order to receive his messages more speedily. Our chronicler
Chastellain[19] begins his story of Louis's accession as follows:

    "Since I am not English but French, I who am neither Spanish nor
    Italian but French, I have written of two Frenchmen, the one king,
    the other duke. I have written of their works and their quarrels
    and of the favour and glories which God has given them in their

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Kings die, reigns vanish but virtue alone and meritorious works
    serve man on his bier and gain him eternal glory. O you Frenchmen,
    see the cause and the end in my labours!"

The guest who had displayed so much humility and thankfulness when he
arrived, who had deprecated honours to his high birth and desired to
offer all the courtesies, departed from the residence so generously
given him for five years in a very cavalier manner.

    "Now the king left the duke's territories without having taken
    leave nor said adieu to the Countess of Charolais,[20] although he
    was in her neighbourhood, and he left behind him the queen, his
    wife. The said queen had neither hackneys nor vehicles with which
    to follow her husband. Therefore, the king ordered her to borrow
    the hackneys of the countess and chariots, too. Heartily did the
    countess accede to this request in spite of the fact that the
    thing seemed to her rather strange that a noble king, and one who
    had received so much honour and service from the House of Burgundy
    and had promised to recognise it when the hour came, should thus
    depart thence without saying a word. However, in spite of all, the
    countess would gladly have given the queen the hackneys as a gift
    if they had been asked, and she sent them to her by one of her
    equerries named Corneille de la Barre, together with chariots and
    waggons. And thus the queen left the country just as her husband
    had done without saying a word either to the duke or the countess,
    and Corneille went with her on foot to bring back the hackneys
    when the queen had arrived at the place of her desire."

Philip had difficulty in persuading his quondam guest to show outward
respect to his father's memory. The duke clad himself and his suite
in deep mourning before setting out to join Louis at Avesnes, whither
representatives from the University of Paris and from all parts of the
realm had flocked to greet their new sovereign.

It was a great concourse that marched from Avesnes as escort to the
uncrowned king. Philip was magnificent in his appointments as he
entered Rheims, and behind him came his son,

    "the Count of Charolais who, equally with his noble company of
    knights and squires, attracted hearts and eyes in admiration of
    his rich array wherein cloth of gold and jewelry, velvet and
    embroidery were lavishly displayed. And the count had ten pages
    and twenty-six archers, and this whole company numbered three
    hundred horse."[21]

This was a Thursday after dinner. Louis had waited at St. Thierry. On
the actual day of the coronation, preliminaries absorbed so much time
that the long cavalcade did not enter Rheims until seven o'clock. The
king passed his night in a very pious and prayerful manner, taking no
repose until 5 A.M. While his suite were occupied at their toilets he
slipped off alone to church.

Finally all was ready for the grand ceremony. Very magnificent were
the duke's robes and ermine when, as chief among the peers, he
escorted his late guest to be consecrated king, and very devout and
simple was Louis. After the consecration, the king and his friends
listened to an address from the Bishop of Tournay, in which he
described in Latin the dauphin's sojourn in the Netherlands.

The Duke of Burgundy was the hero of the occasion. He felt that all
future power was in his hands and that Louis XI. could never do enough
to repay him for his wonderful hospitality. And for a time Louis was
quite ready to foster this belief. When they entered Paris, the peer
so far outshone the sovereign that there was general astonishment.[22]
Moreover, whatever the latter did have was a gift. The very plate used
on the royal table was a ducal present.[23]

Louis took great pains to preserve an attitude of grateful humility.
When he met the _parlement_ of Paris, he asked the duke's advice about
its reformation. It was to Philip that all the petitioners flocked.
But Louis was conscious, too, that there would be a morrow in
Burgundy, and he took care to be friendly with the count even while he
was flattering the duke. For this purpose he found Guillaume de Biche
a very useful go-between.[24] This was one of the retainers dismissed
in 1457 by Charles at his father's request. He had then passed into
Louis's service. This man quickly insinuated himself into the king's
graces, was admitted to his chamber at all hours, and walked arm in
arm with the returned exile through Paris.

The Burgundian exile had learned the mysteries of the city well in
his four years' residence. Louis found him an amusing companion and
skilfully managed to flatter the count by his favour towards the man
whom he had liked.

For six weeks Philip remained in the capital and astonished the
Parisians with the fêtes he offered. Equally astonished were they
with their new monarch. Louis was thirty-eight and not attractive in
person. His eyes were piercing but his visage was made plain by a
disproportionate nose. His legs were thin and misshapen, his gait
uncertain. He dressed very simply, wearing an old pilgrim's hat,
ornamented by a leaden saint. As he rode into Abbeville in company
with Philip, the simple folk who had never seen the king were greatly
amazed at his appearance and said quite loud, "Benedicite! Is that a
king of France, the greatest king in the world? All together his horse
and dress are not worth twenty francs."[25]

From the beginning of his reign, Louis XI. never lived very long in
any one place. He did not like the Louvre as a dwelling and had
the palace of the Tournelles arranged for him. Touraine became by
preference his residence, where he lived alternately at Amboise and
in his new château at Plessis-lès-Tours. But his sojourns were always
brief. He wanted to know everything, and he wandered everywhere to
see France and to seek knowledge. His letters, his accounts, the
chroniclers, the despatches of the Italian ambassador, show him on a
perpetual journey.

He would set out at break of day with five or six intimates dressed in
grey cloth like pilgrims; archers and baggage followed at a distance.
He would forbid any one to follow him, and often ordered the gates of
the city he had left to be closed, or a bridge to be broken behind
him. Ambassadors ordered to see him without fail, sometimes had to
cross France to obtain an interview, at least if their object was
something in which he was not much interested. Then he would often
grant them an audience in some miserable little peasant hut.

In the cities where he stopped he would lodge with a burgomaster or
some functionary. To avoid harangues and receptions he would often
arrive unannounced through a little alley. If forced to accept an
_entrée_ he stipulated that it should not be marked with magnificence.
There never was a prince who so disliked ceremonies, balls, banquets,
and tourneys. At his court young people were bored to death. He never
ordered festivals except for some visitor; his pleasures were those
of a simple private gentleman. He liked to dine out of his palace.
Cagnola relates with surprise that he had seen the king dine after
mass in a tavern on the market-place at Tours. He invited small nobles
and bourgeois to dine with him. He was intimate, too, with bourgeois
women, and indulged in gross pleasantries, speaking to and of women
without reserve, sparing neither sister, mother, nor queen.

Yet it was a sombre court. "Farewell dames, citizens, demoiselles,
feasts, dances, jousts, and tournaments; farewell fair and gracious
maids, mundane pleasures, joys, and games," says Martial d'Auvergne.
Pompous magnificence may have reminded Louis unpleasantly of his visit
to Burgundy.

[Footnote 1: He had departed with Adolph de la Marck on November
19th.--_Archives du Nord_. See Du Fresne de Beaucourt, vi., 113. No
mention of this seems to appear elsewhere.]

[Footnote 2: Chastellain (iii., 233) says that he heard the story from
the clerk of the chapel, sole witness of this family quarrel. The duke
was so angry that it was hideous to see him.]

[Footnote 3: La Marche, ii., 418; Du Clercq, ii., 237; Chastellain,
iii., 230, etc. In the last the narrative is more elaborate. The
author dwells much on the danger to the young countess in her delicate
state of health.]

[Footnote 4: "Thus there was much coming and going: and it was ordered
by Monseigneur le Dauphin that Monseigneur de Ravestein and the
king-at-arms of the Toison d'Or should go to Dendermonde to learn the
wishes of the Count of Charolais and his intentions, of which I am
entitled to speak for I was despatched several times to Brussels in
behalf of my said Seigneur of Charolais, to ask the advice of the
Chancellor Raulin as to the best method of conducting the present
affair"--(La Marche, ii., 419.)]

[Footnote 5: La Marche, ii., 420. One of these, Guillaume Biche, went
to France and La Marche says that he himself often went to him to
obtain valuable information.]

[Footnote 6: La Marche, ii., 418.]

[Footnote 7: Du Clercq, ii., 239.]

[Footnote 8: Chastellain, iii., 308.]

[Footnote 9: Du Fresne de Beaucourt, vi., 123. Thierry de Vébry to the
Count de Vaudemart.]

[Footnote 10: Du Fresne de Beaucourt, vi., 123.]

[Footnote 11: _Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles_, ed. A.J.V. Le Roux. The
stories are, as a rule, only retold tales.]

[Footnote 12: "The spectacle was not witnessed by Count Charolais
nor by Louis the Dauphin, nor by the Lord of Croy, whom for certain
reasons he was unwilling to take with him." (Meyer, P.322.)]

[Footnote 13: Kervyn, _Hist. de Flandre_, v., 23. At this time Philip
was ignoring a peremptory summons to appear before the Parliament of

[Footnote 14: Meyer, p. 321.

[Footnote 15: Du Fresne de Beaucourt, vi., 267.]

[Footnote 16: Report of an eye-witness. (Duclos, v., 195.)]

[Footnote 17: Du Fresne de Beaucourt. vi., 326.]

[Footnote 18: Lavisse, iv^{ii}, 321.]

[Footnote 19: IV., 21.]

[Footnote 20: Chastellain, iv., 45.]

[Footnote 21: Chastellain was not present, but he says of Philip's
suite (iv., 47): "From what I have been told and what I have seen in
writing, it was a wonderful thing and its like had never been seen in
this kingdom."]

[Footnote 22: "And I, myself, assert this for I was there and saw all
the nobles" (Chastellain, iv., 52).]

[Footnote 23: When return presents were distributed to the nobles
Philip received a lion, Charles a pelican.]

[Footnote 24: Chastellain, iv., 115.]

[Footnote 25: Lavisse, iv^{ii}, 325.]




The era of good feeling between Louis XI. and his Burgundian kinsmen
was of short duration, and no wonder. The rich rewards confidently
expected as fitting recompense for five years' kindness more than
cousinly, towards a penniless refugee were not forthcoming.

The king was lavish in fine words, and not chary in certain
ostentatious recognition towards his late host, but the fairly
munificent pension, together with the charge of Normandy settled upon
the Count of Charolais, proved only a periodical reminder of promises
as regularly unfulfilled on each recurring quarter day, while the post
of confidential adviser to the inexperienced monarch, which Philip had
intended to occupy, remained empty.

Louis put perfect trust in no one but turned now to one counsellor,
now to another, and used such fragments of advice as pleased his whim
and paid no further heed to the giver.

Not long after Louis's coronation there occurred that change in
Philip's bodily constitution that comes to all active men sooner or
later. His health began to give way, his energies relaxed, and matters
that had been of paramount importance throughout his career were
allowed to slip into the background of his desires. In the famous
treaty of 1435, no article was rated at greater importance than that
which placed the towns on the Somme in Philip's hands, subject to a
redemption of two hundred thousand gold crowns. Whether Charles VII.
had actually pledged himself that the mortgage should hold at least
during Philip's life does not seem assured, but that any sum would be
insufficient to induce the duke to release them unless his intellect
were somewhat deadened, is clear.

In 1462, when he recovered from a sharp attack, possibly the result
of his indulgence in the pleasures of the table during the prolonged
festivities at Paris, he did not regain his previous vigour. This was
the time, by the way, when opportunity was afforded his courtiers to
prove that devotion to their seigneur outweighed personal vanity. When
his head was shaved by order of the court physician, more than five
hundred nobles sacrificed their own locks so that their becoming curls
might not remind their chief of his own bald head. The sacrifice was
not always voluntary, adds an informant.[1] Philip forced compliance
with this new fashion upon all who seemed reluctant to be
unnecessarily shorn of what beauty was theirs by nature's gift. This
servility may have consoled Philip for the deprivation of his hair. In
his depressed condition any solace was acceptable.

It was just when the duke was in this enfeebled state that Louis,
through the mediation of the Croys, pushed forward his proposition to
redeem the towns and Philip agreed, possibly relying upon the chance
that it would be no easy matter for the French king to wring the
required sum from his impoverished land. Philip's assent was, however,
promptly clinched by a cash payment of half the amount[2]; the
remainder followed.

Amiens, Abbeville, and the other towns, valuable bulwarks for the
Netherland provinces, fine nurseries for the human material requisite
for Burgundian armies, rich tax payers as they were, all tumbled into
the outstretched hands of the duke's wily rival.

The transaction was hurried through and completed before a rumour of
its progress came to the ear of the interested heir. Charles was in
Holland sulking and indignant. He had expected good results from his
tender devotion during his father's acute illness, a devotion shared
by Isabella of Portugal who hastened to her husband's bedside from her
convent seclusion when Philip was in need of her ministrations. But,
in his convalescence, Philip renewed his friendship for the Croys
whom Charles continued to distrust with bitterness that varied in its
intensity, but which never vanished from his consciousness. The young
man felt misjudged, misused, and ever suspicious that personal danger
to himself lurked in the air of his father's court.

The various rumours of plots against his life may not all have been
baseless. At last, one of own cousins, the Count of Nevers, was
accused of having recourse to diabolic means of doing away with the
duke's legitimate heir.[2] Three little waxen images were found in his
house, and it was alleged that he practised various magic arts withal
in order to win the favour of the duke and of the French king, and
still worse to cause Charles to waste away with a mysterious sickness.
The accusations were sufficient to make Nevers resign all his offices
in his kinsman's court and retire, post-haste, to France. Had he been
wholly innocent he would have demanded trial at the hands of his peers
of the Golden Fleece as behooved one of the order. But he withdrew
undefended, and left his tattered reputation fluttering raggedly in
the breeze of gossip.

Charles stayed in Holland aloof from the ducal court until a fresh
incident drove him thither to give vent to his indignation. Only three
days had Philip de Commines been page to Duke Philip, then resident at
Lille, when an embassy headed by Morvilliers, Chancellor of France,
was given audience in the presence of the Burgundian court, including
the Count of Charolais. The future historian,[4] then nineteen years
old, was keenly alive to all that passed on that November fifth, 1464.
Morvilliers used very bitter terms in his assertion that Charles had
illegally stopped a little French ship of war and arrested a certain
bastard of Rubempré on the false charge that his errand in Holland,
where the incident occurred, was to seize and carry off Charles
himself. Moreover, one knight of Burgundy, Sir Olivier de La Marche
had caused this tale to be bruited everywhere,

    "especially at Bruges whither strangers of all nations resort.
    This had hurt Louis deeply, and he now demanded through his
    chancellor that Duke Philip should send this same Sir Olivier de
    La Marche prisoner to Paris, there to be punished as the case
    required. Whereupon, Duke Philip answered that the said Sir
    Olivier was steward of his house, born in the County of Burgundy
    and in no respect subject to the Crown of France."

Philip added that if his servant had wrought ill to the king's honour
he, the duke, would see to his punishment. As to the bastard of
Rubempré, true it was that he had been apprehended in Holland,[5] but
there was adequate ground for his arrest as his behaviour had been
strange, at least so thought the Count of Charolais. Philip added that
if his son were suspicious

    "he took it not of him for he was never so, but of his mother
    who had been the most jealous lady that ever lived. But
    notwithstanding" [quoth he] "that myself never were supicious, yet
    if I had been in my son's place at the same time that this bastard
    of Rubempré haunted those coasts I would surely have caused him to
    be apprehended as my son did."

In conclusion, Philip promised to deliver up Rubempré to the king were
his innocence satisfactorily proven.

Morvilliers then resumed his discourse, enlarging upon the treacherous
designs of Francis, Duke of Brittany, with whom Charles had lately
sworn brotherhood at the very moment when he was the honoured guest
of King Louis at Tours. During this discussion the Count of Charolais
became very restive. Finally he could no longer endure Morvilliers's
indirect slurs, and

    "made offer eftsoon to answer, being marvellously out of patience
    to hear such reproachful speeches used of his friend and
    confederate. But Morvilliers cut him off, saying: 'My Lord of
    Charolais, I am not come of ambassage to you, but to my Lord your
    father.' The said earl besought his father divers times to give
    him leave to answer, who in the end said unto him: 'I have
    answered for thee as methinketh the father should answer for the
    son, notwithstanding if thou have so great desire to speak bethink
    thyself to-day and to-morrow speak and spare not.'"

Then Morvilliers to his former speech added that he could not imagine
what had moved the earl to enter into the league with the Duke of
Brittany unless it were because of a pension the king had once given
him together with the government of Normandy and afterwards taken from

In regard to Rubempré, Commines adds to his story Charles's own
statement given on the morrow:

"Notwithstanding, I think nothing was ever proved against him, though
I confess the presumption to have been great. Five years after I
myself saw him delivered out of prison." This from Commines. La Marche
is less detailed in his record[6] of the Rubempré incident:

    "The bastard was put in prison and the Count of Charolais sent me
    to Hesdin to the duke to inform him of the arrest and its cause.
    The good duke heard my report kindly like a wise prince. In truth
    he at once suspected that the craft of the King of France lurked
    at the bottom of the affair. Shortly afterwards the duke left
    Hesdin and returned to his own land, which did not please the King
    of France who despatched thither a great embassy with the Count
    d'Eu at the head. Demands were made that I should be delivered to
    him to be punished as he would, because he claimed that I had been
    the cause of the arrest of the bastard of Rubempré and also of the
    duke's departure from Hesdin without saying adieu to the King of
    France, but the good duke, moderate in all his actions, replied
    that I was his subject and his servitor, and that if the king or
    any one else had a grievance against me he would investigate it.
    The matter was finally smoothed over [adds La Marche], and Louis
    evinced a readiness to conciliate his offended cousin."

In spite of La Marche, the matter proved to be one not easily disposed
of by soft phrases flung into the breach. Charles obeyed his father
and prepared in advance his defence to the chancellor. When he had
finished his own statement about Rubempré, he proceeded to the point
of his friendship with the Duke of Brittany, declaring that it was
right and proper and that if King Louis knew what was to the advantage
of the French sovereign, he would be glad to see his nobles welded
together as a bulwark to his throne. As to his pension, he had never
received but one quarter, nine thousand francs. He had made no suit
for the remainder nor for the government of Normandy. So long as he
enjoyed the favour and good will of his father he had no need to crave
favour of any man.

"I think verily had it not been for the reverence he bore to his said
father who was there present" continues the observant page, "and to
whom he addressed his speech that he would have used much bitterer
terms. In the end, Duke Philip very wisely and humbly besought the
king not lightly to conceive an evil opinion of him or his son but to
continue his favour towards them. Then the banquet was brought in and
the ambassadors took their leave. As they passed out Charles stood
apart from his father and said to the archbishop of Narbonne, who
brought up the rear of the little company:

"'Recommend me very humbly to the good grace of the king. Tell him he
has had me scolded here by the chancellor but that he shall repent it
before a year is past.'" His message was duly delivered and to this
incident Commines attributes momentous results.

Exasperated at the nonchalant manner in which Louis's ambassadors
treated him, indignant at the injury to his heritage by the redemption
of the towns on the Somme, and further, already alienated from his
royal cousin through the long series of petty occasions where the
different natures of the two young men clashed, in this year 1464,
Charles was certainly more than ready to enter into an open contest
with the French monarch. It was not long before the opportunity came
for him to do so with a certain éclat.

In the early years of his own freedom, before he learned wisdom, Louis
XI. had planted many seeds of enmity which brought forth a plentiful
crop, and the fruit was an open conspiracy among the nobles of the

One of the causes of loosening feudal ties was the gradual growth of
the body of standing troops instituted in 1439 by Charles VII. These,
in the regular pay of the crown, gave the king a guarantee of support
without the aid of his nobles. By the date of Louis's accession,
certain ducal houses besides that of Burgundy had grown very
independent within their own boundaries: Orleans, Anjou, Bourbon, not
to speak of Brittany.[7] Now the efforts to curtail the prerogatives
of these petty sovereigns, begun by Charles VII., were steady and
persistent in the new reign. They had no longer the power of coining
money, of levying troops, or of imposing taxes, while the judicial
authority of the crown had been extended little by little over France.
Then their privileges were further attacked by Louis's restrictions of
the chase.

It was the accumulation of these invasions of local authority, added
to a real disbelief in the king's ability, that led to a formation of
a league among the nobles, designed to check the centralisation policy
of the monarch, a League of Public Weal to form a bulwark against the
tyrannical encroachments of their liege lord.

Not to follow the steps of the growth of this coalition, it is
sufficient for the thread of this narrative to say that it comprised
all the great French nobles, the princes of the blood as well as
others. Men whom Louis had flattered as well as those whom he had
slighted alike fell from his standards, distrustful of his ability to
withstand organised opposition, and they threw in their lot with the
protestors so as not to miss their share of the spoil.

The Count of Charolais, as already mentioned, was in a mood when
his ears were eagerly open to overtures from Louis's critics. The
redemption of the towns on the Somme he was unable to prevent, but the
affair left him very sore. Shortly after its completion, the count
did, indeed, succeed in depriving the Croys of their ascendency over
the Duke of Burgundy, but when that long desired victory was attained,
the towns had one and all accepted their transfer and were under
French sovereignty. When the count joined the league, the hope of
ultimate restoration was undoubtedly prominent among the motives for
his own course of action, though his intimacy with the chief leader of
the revolt, the Duke of Brittany, might easily have led to the same

Towards Francis of Brittany, Louis XI. had been especially wanting in
tact during the first months of his reign. The king treated him as a
vassal of France, while the duke held that he and his forbears owed
simple homage to the crown, not dependence. Therefore, in order to
resist being subordinated, the Duke of Brittany resolved not to leave
his estates except in a suitable manner. His messages to the king
were sent in all ceremony, he rendered proper homage, declared his
readiness to serve him as a kinsman and as a vassal for certain
territories, but demanded freedom to exercise his hereditary rights
and to enjoy his hereditary dignities.[8]

"Rude and strange" were the terms employed by the king in response to
these statements, and then he proceeded to encroach still farther on
the duke's seigniorial rights by attempts to dispose of the hands of
Breton heiresses in unequal marriages, and to arrogate to himself
other rights--all sufficient provocation to justify Francis of
Brittany in becoming one of the chiefs in the league. Very delightful
is Chastellain's colloquy with himself[9] as to the difficulty of
maintaining perfect impartiality in discussing the cause of this
Franco-Burgundian war, but unfortunately the result of his patient
efforts is lost.

Olivier de La Marche and Philip de Commines, however, were both
present in the Burgundian army and their stories are preserved. La
Marche had reason to remember the first actual engagement between the
royal and invading forces at Montl'héry, "because on that day I was
made knight." He does not say, as does Commines, that this battle was
against the king's desire. Louis had hoped to avoid any use of arms
and to coerce his rebellious nobles into quiescence by other methods.
Not that they characterised themselves as rebellious, far from it.
Clear and definite was their statement that in their obligation

    "to give order to the estate, the police and the government of the
    kingdom, the princes of the blood as chief supports of the crown,
    by whose advice and not by that of others, the business of the
    king and of the state ought to be directed, are ready to risk
    their persons and their property, and in this laudable endeavour
    all virtuous citizens ought to aid."[10]

Thus wrote Charles to the citizens of Amiens, and the words were
typical of similar appeals made in every quarter of the realm by the
various feudal chiefs to their respective subjects. In truth this war,
ostentatiously called that of the Public Weal, was but a struggle on
the part of the great nobles for local sovereignty. The weal demanded
was home rule for the feudal chiefs. The War of Public Weal was a
fierce protest against monarchical authority, against concentration. A
king indeed, but a king in leading strings was the ideal of the peers.

Thus matters stood in June, 1465. Louis almost alone, deserted by his
brother the Duke of Berry, and his nobles banded together in apparent
unity, hedged in by their pompous and self-righteous assertions that
all their thoughts were for the poor oppressed people whose burdens
needed lightening. Of all the great vassals, Gaston de Foix was the
single one loyal to the king.

The part of the great duke fell entirely to the share of the Count of
Charolais. A small force was levied for him within the Netherlands,
and he started for Paris where he hoped to meet contingents from the
two Burgundies and his brother peers of France with their own troops.
His men were good individually but they had not been trained to act as
one, and there was no coherence between the different companies.

July, 1465, found Charles at St. Denis, the appointed rendezvous. He
was first in the field. While he awaited his allies, his little army
became restive at the situation in which they found themselves, fifty
leagues from Burgundian territory with no stronghold as their base. It
was urged again and again upon the count that his first consideration
ought to be his men's safety. His allies had failed him. He should
retreat. "I have crossed the Oise and the Marne and I will cross the
Seine if I have but a single page to follow me," was the leader's firm
reply to these demands.

The leaguers were slow to keep their pledges, and Charles decided that
it was his mission to prevent Louis from entering his capital, to
which he was advancing with great rapidity from the south. To carry
out this purpose Charles disregarded all protests, crossed the Seine
at St. Cloud, and made his way to the little village of Longjumeau,
whither he was preceded by the Count of St. Pol, commanding one
division of the Burgundian army. Montl'héry was a village still
farther to the south, and here it was that La Marche and other
gentlemen were knighted. This ceremony was evidently part of the
count's endeavour to encourage his followers--all unwilling to risk an
engagement before the arrival of the allies.

To the king it was of infinite advantage that no delay should occur.
Nevertheless, it was Charles who opened active hostilities on July
15th, with soldiers who had not broken their fast that day. Armed
since early dawn, wearied by a forced march with a July sun beating
down upon their heads, their movements hampered by standing wheat and
rye, the men were at a tremendous disadvantage when they were led to
the attack. It was a hot assault. No quarter was given, many fled.
At length, Louis found himself abandoned by all save his body-guard.
Pressed against the hill that bounded the grain fields, the king at
last retreated up its slope into a castle on its summit.

Charles rode impetuously after the retreating royalists. Separated
from his men, he fell among the royal guard at the gate of the castle.
There was a vehement assault resisted as vehemently by his meagre
escort. Several fell and Charles himself received a sword wound on his
neck where his armour had slipped. Recognised by the French, he might
have been taken or slain in his resistance, when the Bastard of
Burgundy rode in and rescued him. Very desperate seemed the count's
condition. When night fell, no one knew where lay the advantage. The
fugitives spread rumours that the king was dead and that Charles was
in possession, others carried the reverse statements as they rode
headlong to the nearest safety. It was a rout on both sides with no
credit to either leader. But in the darkness of the night, the king
managed to slip out of his retreat and march quietly towards the
greater security of Paris.

It was a very shadowy victory that Charles proudly claimed. All
through the night of July 15th, the Burgundians were discussing
whether to flee or to risk further fighting against the odds all
recognised. Daybreak found the council in session when a peasant
brought tidings that the foe had departed. The fires in sight only
covered their retreat. To be sure that same foe had taken Burgundian
baggage with them to Paris. But what of that? The Burgundians held the
battlefield and they made the best of it.

On July 16th, Louis supped with the military governor of Paris and
"moved the company, nobles and ladies, to sympathetic tears by his
touching description of the perils he had met and escaped." Charles,
meanwhile, effected a junction with his belated allies, Francis of
Brittany and Charles of France, the Duke of Berry, at Étampes. Thither
too, came the dukes of Bourbon and of Lorraine, but none of these
leaguers could claim any share in the battle of Montl'héry.

[Illustration: BATTLE OF MONTL'HÉRY, JULY 16, 1465 (COMINES, ED.

While these peers perfected their plans to force their chief into
redressing the wrongs of the poor people, the king was showing a very
pleasant side of his character to the Parisian citizens. In response
to a petition that he should take advice on the conduct of his
administration, he declared his perfect willingness to add to his
council six burgesses, six members of _parlement_, and the same number
from the university. Besides this concession, he relieved the weight
of the imposts and hastened to restore certain financial franchises to
the Church, to the university, and to various individuals. Three weeks
were consumed in establishing friendly relations in this all important
city, and then the king departed for Normandy to levy troops and to
collect provisions for a siege.[11] There was need for this last for
the allies had moved up to the immediate vicinity of Paris.

Before the king's return to his capital on August 28th, a formidable
array was encamped at Charenton and its neighbourhood. More
formidable, however, they were in numbers than in strength. Like all
confederated bodies there was inherent weakness, for there was no
leader whom all would be willing to obey. The Duke of Berry, heir
presumptive to the throne, was the only one among the peers whose
birth might have commanded the needful authority, but he had not
sufficient personal character to assert his position. So the
confederates remained a loose aggregation of small armies. The longer
they remained in camp the weaker they grew, the more disintegrated.
A pitched battle might have been a great advantage to these gallant
defenders of the Public Weal of France and that was the last desire of
their antagonist.

Many skirmishes took place between the Parisians and the leaguers, but
no engagement. Once, indeed, there were hurried preparations on the
part of the Burgundians to repulse an attack, of whose imminence they
were warned by a page before break of day, one misty morning. Yes,
there was no doubt. The pickets could see the erect spears and furled
banners of the enemy all ready to advance upon the unwary camp. Quick
were the preparations. There were no laggards. The Duke of Calabria
was more quickly armed than even the Count of Charolais. He came to a
spot where a number of Burgundians, the count's own household stood,
by the standard. Among them was Commines[l2] and he heard the duke
say: "We now have our desire, for the king is issued forth with his
whole force and marches towards us as our scouts report. Wherefore let
us determine to play the men. So soon as they be out of the town we
will enter and measure with the long ell." By these words he meant
that the soldiers would speedily have a chance to use their pikes as
yard sticks to measure out their share of the booty. False prophet
was the duke that time! When the daylight grew stronger, the upright
spears and furled banners of the advancing foe proved to be a mass of
thistles looming large in the magnifying morning mist! The princes
took their disappointment philosophically, enjoyed early mass, and
then had their breakfast.

The young Commines is surprised that Paris and her environs were rich
enough to feed so many men. Gradually the aspect of affairs changed.
Negotiating back and forth became more frequent. The disintegration of
the allies became more and more evident. Louis XI. bided his time and
then took the extraordinary resolution to go in person to the camp at
Charenton to visit his cousin of Burgundy. With a very few attendants,
practically unguarded, he went down the Seine. His coming had been
heralded and the Count of Charolais stood ready to receive him, with
the Count of St. Pol at his side. "Brother, do you pledge me safety?"
(for the count's first wife was sister of Louis) to which the count
responded: "Yes, as one brother to another."[13]

Nothing could have been more genial than was the king. He assured
Charles that he loved a man who kept his word beyond anything.

Veracity was his passion. Charles had kept the promise he had sent by
the archbishop of Narbonne, and now he knew in very truth that he was
a gentleman and true to the blood of France. Further, he disavowed the
insolence of his chancellor towards Charles, and repeated that his
cousin had been justified in resenting it. "You have kept your promise
and that long before the day."[14]

Then in a friendly promenade, Louis gave an opportunity to Charles and
St. Pol to state, informally, the terms on which they would withdraw
from their hostile footing, and count the weal restored to the
oppressed public whose sorrows had moved them to a confederation.

Distasteful as was every item to Louis, he accepted the requisition of
those who felt that they were in a position to dictate, and after a
little more parleying at later dates, the treaty of Conflans was duly
arranged. It was none too soon for the allies. They could hardly have
held together many days longer in the midst of the jealousies rife in
their camps.

The king paused at nothing. To his brother he gave Normandy, to
Charles of Burgundy the towns on the Somme with guarantee of
possession for his lifetime, while the Count of St. Pol was made
Constable of France.


Boulogne and Guienne, too, were ceded to Charles, lesser places and
pensions to the other confederates. The contest ended with complete
victory for the allies who were left with the proud consciousness
that they had set a definite limit to royal pretensions, at least, on

After the treaty was signed, the king showed no resentment at his
defeat but urged his cousin to amuse himself a while in Paris before
returning home. Charles was rash, but he had not the temerity to trust
himself so far. Pleading a promise to his father to enter no city gate
until on paternal soil, he declined the invitation and soon returned
to the Netherlands, where his own household had suffered change.
During his absence, the Countess of Charolais had died and been buried
at Antwerp. Charles is repeatedly lauded for his perfect faithfulness
to his wife, but her death seems to have made singularly little ripple
on the surface of his life. The chroniclers touch on the event very
casually, laying more stress on the opportunity it gave Louis XI.
to offer his daughter Anne as her successor, than on the event

[Footnote 1: La Marche, ii., 227. Peter von Hagenbach was the
chamberlain to enforce this.]

[Footnote 2: The receipt for this half payment was signed October
8, 1462. (Comines, _Mémoires_, Lenglet du Fresnoy edition, ii.,

[Footnote 3: Du Clercq, iii., 236; Comines-Lenglet, ii., 393.]

[Footnote 4: Commines, _Mêmoires_ I., ch. i. In the above passages
Dannett's translation is followed for the racy English.]

[Footnote 5: Commines says at The Hague; Meyer makes it Gorcum.]

[Footnote 6: III., 3.]

[Footnote 7: Lavisse iv^{ii}., 336.]

[Footnote 8: Chastellain, v., i, etc.]

[Footnote 9: V., II.]

[Footnote 10: Letter of the Count of Charolais to the citizens of
Amiens. (_Collection de Documents inédits sur l'histoire de France_.)
"Mélanges," ii., 317. In this collection taken from MS. in the Bibl.
Nat. there are many letters private and public about these events.]

[Footnote 11: Since its recovery from the English, there had been no
duke in Normandy. It was thus the one province open to the king.]

[Footnote 12: I., ch. xi. His vivacious story of the siege should be
read in detail.]

[Footnote 13: I., ch. xii.]

[Footnote 14: Commines, I., ch. xii.]

[Footnote 15: La Marche, iii., p. 27.]




"When we have finished here we shall make a fine beginning against
those villains the Liegeois." Thus wrote the count's secretary on
October 18th.[1] Charles had no desire to rest on the laurels won
before Paris. To another city he now turned his attention, to Liege
which owed nothing whatsoever to Burgundy.

Before the days when the buried treasures of the soil filled the
air with smoke, the valley where Liege lies was a lovely spot.[2]
Tradition tells how, in the sixth century, Monulphe, Bishop of
Tongres, as he made a progress through his diocese was attracted by
the beauties of the site where a few hovels then clustered near the
Meuse. After looking down from the heights to the river's banks for
a brief space, the bishop turned to his followers and said, as if
uttering a prophecy:

"Here is a place created by God for the salvation of many faithful
souls. One day a prosperous city shall flourish here. Here I will
build a chapel." Dedicated to Cosmo and Damian, the promised chapel
became a shrine which attracted many pilgrims who returned to their
various homes with glowing tales of the beautiful and fertile valley.
Little by little others came who did not leave, and by the seventh
century when Bishop Lambert sat in the see of Tongres, Liege was a
small town.

An active and loving shepherd was this Lambert. He gave himself no
rest but travelled continually from one church to another in his
diocese to look after the needs of his flock. He was a fearless
prelate, too, and his words of well-deserved rebuke to the Frankish
Pepin for a lawless deed excited the wrath of a certain noble,
accessory to the act. Trouble ensued and Lambert was slain as he knelt
before the altar in Monulphe's chapel at Liege. Absorbed in prayer
the pious man did not hear the servants' calls, "Holy Lambert, Holy
Lambert come to our aid," words that later became a war-cry when the
bishop was exalted into the patron saint of the town.

Not until the thirteenth century, however, when the episcopal see was
finally established at Liege, was Lambert's successor virtual lay
overlord of the region as well as Bishop of Liege. Monulphe's little
chapel had given way to a mighty church dedicated to the canonised
Bishop Lambert. The ecclesiastical state became almost autonomous, the
episcopal authority being restricted without the walls only by the
distant emperor and still more distant pope. Within the walls, the
same authority had by no means a perfectly free hand. There were
certain features in the constitution of Liege which differentiated it
from its sister towns in the Netherlands.

Municipal affairs were conducted in a singularly democratic manner.
There was no distinction between the greater and lesser gilds, and,
within these organisations, the franchise was given to the most
ignorant apprentice had he only fulfilled the simple condition of
attaining his fifteenth year. Moreover, the naturalisation laws were
very easy. Newcomers were speedily transformed into citizens and
enjoyed eligibility to office as well as the franchise. The tenure of
office being for one year only, there was opportunity for frequent
participation in public affairs, an opportunity not neglected by the

The bishop was, of course, not one of the civic officers chosen by
this liberal franchise. He was elected by the chapter of St. Lambert,
subject to papal and imperial ratification for the two spheres of his
jurisdiction. But in the exercise of his function there were many
restrictions to his free administration, which papal and imperial
sanction together were unable to remove.

A bishop-prince of Liege could make no change in the laws without the
consent of the estates, and he could administer justice only by means
of the regular tribunals. Every edict had to be countersigned. When
there was an issue between overlord and people, the question was
submitted to the _schepens_ or superior judges who, before they gave
their opinion, consulted the various charters which had been granted
from time to time, and which were not allowed to become dead letters.
A permanent committee of the three orders supervised the executive and
the administration of the laws. These "twenty-two" received an appeal
from the meanest citizen, and the Liege proverb "In his own home the
poor man is king," was very near the possible truth.

Yet the wheels of government were by no means perfect in their
running. Many were the conflicts between the different members of the
state, and broils, with the character of civil war in miniature, were
of frequent occurrence. The submergence of the aristocratic element,
the nobles, destroyed a natural balance of power between the
bishop-prince and the people. The commons exerted power beyond their
intelligence. Annual elections, party contests headed by rival
demagogues kept the capital, and, to a lesser extent, the smaller
towns of the little state in continuous commotion[4].

The ecclesiastical origin of the community was evident at all points
of daily life. The cathedral of St. Lambert was the pride of the city.
Its chapter, consisting of sixty canons, took the place held by the
aristocratic element in the other towns.

In the cathedral, the holy standard of St. Lambert was suspended. At
the outbreak of war this was taken down and carried to the door by the
clergy in solemn procession. There it was unfurled and delivered to
the commander of the civic militia mounted on a snow-white steed. When
he received the precious charge he swore to defend it with his life.

One object of popular veneration was this standard, another was the
_perron_, an emblem of the civic organisation. This was a pillar of
gilded bronze, its top representing a pineapple surmounted by a cross.
This stood on a pedestal in the centre of the square where was the
_violet_ or city hall. In front of the perron were proclaimed all the
ordinances issued by the magistrates, or the decrees adopted by the
people in general assembly. On these occasions the tocsin was rung,
the deans of the gilds would hasten out with their banners and plant
them near the perron as rallying points for the various gild members
who poured out from forge, work-shop, and factory until the square was

There were two powerful weapons whereby the bishop-prince might
enforce his will in opposition to that of his subjects did the latter
become too obstreperous. He could suspend the court of the _schepens_,
and he could pronounce an interdict of the Church which caused the
cessation of all priestly functions. When this interdict was in
action, civil suits between burghers could be adjudged by the
municipal magistrates, but no criminals could be arrested or tried.
The elementary principles of an organised society were thrown into
confusion. Still worse confusion resulted from the bishop's last
resort as prince of the Church. An interdict caused the church bells
to be silent, the church doors to be closed. The celebration of the
rites of baptism, of marriage, of burial ceased.[5] The fear of such
cessation was potent in its restraint, unless the populace were too
far enraged to be moved by any consideration.

While the Burgundian dukes extended their sway over one portion of
Netherland territory after another, this little dominion maintained
its complete independence of them. The fact that its princes were
elective protected it from lapsing through heritage to the duke who
had been so neatly proven heir to his divers childless kinsfolk. It
was a rich little vineyard without his pale.

They were clever people those Liegeois. Their Walloon language is
a species of French with many peculiarities showing Frankish
admixture.[6] The race was probably a mixed one too, but its acquired
characteristics made a very different person from a Hollander, a
Frisian, or a Fleming, though there was a certain resemblance to the

In 1465, not yet exploited were the wonderful resources of coal and
minerals which now glow above and below the furnace fires until, from
a distance, Liege looks like a very Inferno. But the people were
industrious and energetic in their crafts. It was a country of skilled
workmen. The city of Liege is accredited with one hundred thousand
inhabitants at this epoch, and the numbers reported slain in
the various battles in which the town was involved run into the

In 1456, Philip of Burgundy, encouraged by his success in the diocese
of Utrecht, obtained a certain ascendency over the affairs of Liege by
interfering in the election of a bishop. There was no natural vacancy
at the moment. John of Heinsberg was the incumbent, a very pleasant
prelate with conciliatory ways. He loved amusement and gay society,
pleasures more easily obtainable in Philip's court than in his own,
and his agreeable host found means of persuading him to resign all the
cares of his see. Then the enterprising duke proceeded to place his
own nephew, Louis of Bourbon, upon the vacant episcopal throne.

This nephew was an eighteen-year-old student at the University of
Louvain, destitute of a single qualification for the office proposed.
Nevertheless, all difficulties, technical and general were ignored,
and a papal dispensation enabled the candidate even to dispense with
the formality of taking orders. Attired in scarlet with a feathered
Burgundian cap on his head, Louis made his entry into his future
capital and was duly enthroned as bishop-prince in spite of his
manifest unfitness for the place.

Nor did he prove a pleasant surprise to his people, better than the
promise of his youth, as some reckless princes have done. On the
contrary, ignorant, sensuous, extortionate, he was soon at drawn
swords with his subjects. After a time he withdrew to Huy where he
indulged in gross pleasures while he attempted to check the rebellious
citizens of his capital by trying some of the measures of coercion
used by his predecessors as a last resort.

Liege was lashed into a state of fury. Matters dragged on for a long
time. The people appealed to Cologne, to the papal legate, to the
pope, and to the "pope better informed," but no redress was given.
Philip continued to protect the bishop, and none dared put themselves
in opposition to him. Finally, the people turned to Louis XI. for aid.
Their appeal was heard and the king's agent arrived in the city
just as one of the bishop's interdicts was about to be enforced,
an interdict, too, endorsed by a papal bull, threatening the usual
anathema if the provisions were not obeyed.

It was the moment for a demagogue and one appeared in the person of
Raes de la Rivière, lord of Heers. On July 5, 1465, there was to be
unbroken silence in all sacred edifices. Heers and his followers
proclaimed that every priest who refused to chant should be thrown
into the river. Mass was said under those unpeaceful and unspiritual
conditions, and the presence of the French envoys gave new heart to
the bishop's opponents. A treaty was signed between the Liegeois
and Louis; wherein mutual pledges were made that no peace should be
concluded with Burgundy in which both parties were not included. It
was a solemn pledge but it did not hamper Louis when he signed the
treaty of Conflans whose articles contained not a single reference to
the Liegeois.

Meanwhile, it chanced that the first report of the battle of
Montl'héry reaching Liege gave the victory to Louis, a report that
spurred on the Liegeois to carry their acts of open hostility to their
neighbour, still farther afield. The other towns of the Church state
were infected by an anti-Burgundian sentiment. In Dinant this feeling
was high, and there was, moreover, a manifestation of special
animosity against the Count of Charolais. A rabble marched out of the
city to the walls of Bouvignes, a town of Namur, loyal to Burgundy,
carrying a stuffed figure with a cow-bell round its neck. Certain
well-known emblems of Burgundy on a tattered mantle showed that this
represented Charles of Burgundy. With rude words the crowd declared
that they were going to hang the effigy as his master, the King of
France, had already hanged Count Charles in reality. Further, they
said that he was no count at all, but the son of their old bishop,
Heinsberg. They went so far as to suspend the effigy on a gallows and
then riddled it with arrows and left it dangling like a scarecrow in
sight of the citizens of Bouvignes.[8]

The actual contents of the treaty made at Conflans did not reach Liege
until messages from Louis had assured them that he had been mindful of
their interests in making his own terms, assurances, however, coupled
with advice to make peace with their good friend the duke. But there
speedily came later information that the only mention of Liege in the
new treaty was an apology that Louis had ever made friends in that

The rebels lost heart at once. Without the king, they had no
confidence in their own efforts. Envoys were despatched to Philip who
refused to answer their humble requests for pardon until his son could
decide what punishment the principality deserved. Nor was much delay
to be anticipated before an answer would be forthcoming. Charles
hastened to Liege direct from Paris, not pausing even to greet his
father. By the third week of January, he was encamped between St.
Trond and Tongres, where a fresh deputation from Liege found him.
These envoys, between eighty and a hundred, were well armed chiefly
because they feared attacks from their anti-peace fellow-citizens.[9]

They found Charles flushed by his recent achievement of bringing King
Louis to his way of thinking. His army, too, was a stronger body than
when it left the Netherlands. The troops were more skilled from
their experience and elated at what they counted their success; more
capable, too, of acting as one body under the guidance of a resolute
leader, now inclined to despise councils with free discussion. The
count's quick temper had gained him weight but it had made him feared.
The slightest breach of discipline brought a thunder-cloud on his
face. If we may believe one authority,[10] he himself was often so
lacking in discipline that he would strike an officer with a baton,
and once at least, he killed a soldier with his own hand.

His audience with the envoys resulted in a treaty, of which certain
articles were so harsh that the messengers were insulted when the
report was made in Liege. Only eleven out of thirty-two gilds voted to
accept all the articles. A certain noble on pleasant terms with the
count offered to carry the unpopular document back to him to ask for a
modification of the harsh terms.

By this time the weather was severe. Charles's troops were in need of
repose, and it seemed prudent to avoid hostility if possible. Charles
revoked the objectionable clauses in consideration of an increase of
the war indemnity. With this change the treaty was accepted, and a
Piteous Peace it was indeed for the proud folk of Liege. Instead
of owing allegiance to emperor and to pope alone as free imperial
citizens, they agreed to recognise the Burgundian dukes as hereditary
protectors of Liege.

When it was desired, Burgundian troops could march freely across the
territory. Burgundian coins were declared valid at Burgundian values.
No Liege fortresses were to menace Burgundian marches, and unqualified
obedience was pledged to the new overlords. The same terms were
conceded to all the rebel towns alike except to Dinant. The story of
the personal insult to himself and his mother had reached the count's
ears and he was not inclined to ignore the circumstance. His further
action was, however, deferred.

January 24, 1466, is the final date of the treaty[11] and, after its
conclusion, Charles ordered a review of his forces, a review that
almost culminated in a pitched battle between army and citizens of St.
Trond, and then on January 31st, the count returned to Brussels where
there was a great display of Burgundian etiquette before the duke
embraced his victorious son.

Piteous as was the peace for Liege and the province at large, still
more piteous was the lot of Dinant which alone was excluded from the
participation in the treaty. Her fate remained uncertain for months.
Other affairs occupied the Count of Charolais until late in the summer
of 1466. Time had quickly proven that Louis, well freed from the
allies pressing up to the gates of Paris, was in very different temper
from Louis ill at ease under their strenuous demands. Not only had
he withdrawn his promises in regard to the duchy conferred on his
brother, but he had begun taking other measures, ostensibly to prepare
against a possible English invasion, which alarmed his cousin of
Burgundy for the undisturbed possession of his recently recovered
towns on the Somme.

Excited by the rumours of Louis's purposes, Charles despatched the
following letter from Namur:[12]


    "I recommend myself very humbly to your good grace and beg to
    inform you, Monseigneur, that recently I have been advised of
    something very surprising to me, Moreover, I am now put beyond
    doubt considering the source of my information. It is with much
    regret that I communicate it to you when I remember all the good
    words you have given to me this year, orally and in writing.
    Monseigneur, it is evident that there has been some agreement
    between your people and the English, and that the matter has been
    so well worked that you have consented, as I have heard, to yield
    them the land of Caux, Rouen, and the connecting villages, and to
    aid them in withholding Abbeville and the county of Ponthieu, and
    further, to cement with them certain alliances against me and my
    country in making them large offers greatly to my prejudice and,
    in order to complete the whole, they are to come to Dieppe.

    "Monseigneur, you may dispose of your own as you wish: but,
    Monseigneur, in regard to what concerns me, it seems to me that
    you would do better to leave my property in my hand than to be the
    instrument of putting it into the hands of the English or of any
    foreign nation. For this reason I entreat you, Monseigneur, that
    if such overtures or greater ones have been opened by your people
    that you will not commit yourself to them in any manner but will
    insist on their cessation, and that you will do this in a way that
    I may always have cause to remain your very humble servant as I
    desire to do with all my heart. Above all, write to me your good
    pleasure, and I implore you, Monseigneur, if there be any service
    that I can render you, I am the one who would wish to employ all
    that God has given me [to do it]. Written at Namur, August 16th.

    "Your very humble and obedient subject,


Then the count proceeded to Dinant to inflict the punishment that the
culprits had, to his mind, too long escaped.

Commines calls this a strong and rich town, superior even to
Liege.[13] A comparison of the two sites shows, however, that this
statement could hardly have been true at any time. Dinant lies in a
narrow space between the Meuse and high land. A lofty rock at one
end of the town dominating the river is crowned by a fortress most
picturesque in appearance. It is difficult to estimate how many
inhabitants there actually were in the place in 1466, but there is
no doubt as to their energy and character. As mentioned before, the
artisans had acquired a high degree of skill in their specialty, and
their brass work was renowned far and wide. Pots and pans and other
utensils were known as _Dinanderies_.

The traffic in them was so important that Dinant had had her own
commercial relations with England for a long period. Her merchants
enjoyed the same privileges in London as the members of the Hanseatic
League, and an English company was held in high respect at Dinant.[14]
The brass-founders' gild ranked at Dinant as the drapers at Louvain,
and the weavers at Ghent. As a "great gild they formed a middle class
between the lower gilds and the _bourgeois_," the merchants and richer
folk.[15] In municipal matters each of these three classes had a
separate vote.

As it happened, Dinant had not been very ready to open hostilities
against the House of Burgundy though she was equally critical of Louis
of Bourbon in his episcopal misrule. It was undoubtedly her rivalry
with Bouvignes of Namur that brought her into the strife. That
neighbour had taunted her rival to exasperation, and the fact that
it was safe under the Duke of Burgundy and backed by him as Count of
Namur, had brought a Burgundian element into the local contest.

The incidents of the insult to Charles and the aspersion on his
mother's reputation undoubtedly were due to an irresponsible rabble
rather than to any action that could properly be attributed to the
leading men. Further, it really seems probable that the weight
attached to the insulting act never occurred to the respectable
burghers until they heard of it from others, so insignificant were the
participants in it.

As soon as it was realised that serious consequences might result
from reckless folly, the authorities were quite ready to separate
themselves from the event, and to arrest the culprits as common
malefactors. Once, indeed, the prisoners were temporarily rescued by
their friends, and it seemed to Burgundian sympathisers a suspicious
circumstance that this happened just at a moment when there was
renewed hope for help from Louis XI. When convinced that such hopes
were vain, the magistrates became seriously alarmed and ready to go
to any lengths to avert Burgundian vengeance. Finally the following
letter was despatched to the Duke of Burgundy:[16]

    "The poor, humble and obedient servants and subjects of the most
    reverend father in God, Louis of Bourbon, Bishop of Liege; and
    your petty neighbours and borderers, the burgomaster's council and
    folk of Dinant, humbly declare that it has come to their knowledge
    that the wrath of your grace has been aroused against the town on
    account of certain ill words spoken by some of the inhabitants
    thereof, in contempt of your honourable person. The city is as
    displeased about these words as it is possible to be, and far from
    wishing to excuse the culprits has arrested as many as could be
    found and now holds them in durance awaiting any punishment your
    _grace_ may decree. As heartily and as lovingly as possible do
    your petitioners beseech your grace to permit your anger to be
    appeased, holding the people of Dinant exonerated, and resting
    satisfied with the punishment of the guilty, inasmuch as the
    people are bitterly grieved on account of the insults and have, as
    before stated, arrested the culprits."

With further apologies for any failure of duty towards the Duke of
Burgundy, the petitioners humbly begged to be granted the same terms
that Liege and the other towns had received. March 31st is the date
of this humble document. Months of doubt followed before the terrible
experience of August proved the futility of their pleas, to which the
ducal family refused to listen, so deep was their sense of personal
aggrievement. Long as it was since the duchess had taken part in
public affairs, she, too, had a word to say here. And she, too, was
implacable against the town where any citizen had dared accuse her of
infidelity to her husband and to the Church whose interests were more
to her than anything in the world except her son.[17]

The petition was as unheeded as were all the representations of the
would-be mediators. Again Dinant turned in desperation to Louis XI.
and with assurances that after God his royal majesty was their only
hope, besought him from mere charity and pity to persuade his cousin
of Burgundy to forgive them. Apparently Louis took no notice of this
appeal. Dinant's last hope was that her fellow-communes of Liege would
refuse to ratify the treaty unless she, too, were included. The sole
concession, obtained by their envoys to Charles in the winter, had
been a short truce afterwards extended to May, 1466.

During that summer the critical position of the little town was well
known. Some sympathisers offered aid but it was aid that there was
possible danger in accepting. Many of the outlaws from Liege, who had
been expressly excluded from the terms of the peace, had joined the
ranks of a certain free lance company called "The Companions of the
Green Tent," as their only shelter was the interlaced branches of the
forest. To Dinant came this band to aid in her defence.[18] At one
time it seemed as though a peaceful accommodation might be reached but
it fell through. Not yet were the citizens ready to surrender their
charters--"Franchises,--to the rescue," was a frequent cry and no
treaty was made.

Philip, long inactive, resolved to assist at the reduction of this
place in person. Too feeble to ride, he was carried to the Meuse in a
litter, and arrived at Namur on August 14th. Then attended by a small
escort only, he proceeded to Bouvignes, a splendid vantage point
whence he could command a view of the scene of his son's intended
operations. As the crisis became imminent there were a few further
efforts to effect a reconciliation. When these failed, the town
prepared to meet the worst.[19] Stories gravely related by Du
Clercq[20] represent the people of Dinant goaded to actual fury of

By August 7th, the Burgundian troops made their appearance, winding
down to the river. Conspicuous among the standards--and nobles from
all Philip's dominions were in evidence--was the banner of the Count
of Charolais, displaying St. George slaying the dragon.

On Tuesday, August 19th, Dinant was invested and the siege began.
Within the walls the most turbulent element had gained complete
control of affairs. All thought of prudence was thrown to the winds.
From the walls they hurled words at the foe:

"Is your old doll of a duke tired of life that you have brought him
here to perish?[21] Your Count Charlotel is a green sprout. Bid him
go fight the King of France at Montl'hêry. If he waits for the noble
Louis or the Liegeois he will have to take to his heels," etc.

It was a heavy siege and the town was riddled with cannon-balls but
there was no assault. By the sixth day the magistrates determined
to send their keys to the Count of Charolais and beg for mercy. The
captain of the great gild of coppersmiths, Jean de Guérin, tried to
encourage the faint-hearted to protest openly against this procedure.
Seizing the city colours he declared: "I will trust to no humane
sentiment. I am ready to carry this flag to the breach and to live or
die with you. If you surrender, I will quit the town before the foe
enter it." It was too late, the capitulation was made.

When the keys were brought to Charles he remembered that he was not
yet duke and ordered them presented to his father in his stead, and to
his half-brother Anthony was entrusted the task of formally accepting
the surrender.

It was late in the evening when the Bastard of Burgundy marched in. At
first he held the incoming troops well under control, but the stores
of wine were easy to reach, and by the morning there were wild scenes
of disorder. When Charles arrived, however, on the morrow, Tuesday,
just a week after the beginning of the siege, lawlessness was checked
with a strong hand. Any ill treatment of women was peculiarly
repugnant to him, and he did not hesitate to execute the sternest
justice upon offenders.[22]


His entry into the fallen town was made with all the wonted Burgundian
pomp. Nothing in the proceedings occurred in a headlong or passionate
manner. A council of war was held and the proceedings decided upon.
The cruelty that was exercised was used in deliberate punishment,
not in savage lawlessness. The personal insults to his mother and to
himself rankled in the count's mind. As one author remarks[23] with
undoubted reason, it is not likely that any of those responsible for
the insult were among those punished. After the siege, "pitiable it
was to see, for the innocent suffered and the guilty escaped."

Certain rich citizens bought their lives with large sums, others _were
sold as slaves,_[24] or were hanged or beheaded, or were thrown into
the Meuse.[25] In the monasteries, life was conceded to the inmates
but that was all. All their property was confiscated. The Count of St.
Pol, now Constable of France, tried to intercede for the citizens with
Philip who remained at Bouvignes, but to no result. It might have been
chance or it might have been intentional that at last flames completed
the work of destruction. The abode of Adolph of Cleves, at the corner
of Nôtre Dame, was found to be on fire at about one o'clock in the
morning of Thursday, August 28th.

That Charles was responsible for this conflagration Du Clercq thinks
is incredible.[26] He would certainly have saved all ecclesiastical
property which was almost completely consumed. Indeed, Charles gave
orders to extinguish the flames as soon as they were discovered, but
every one was so occupied with saving his own portion of booty that
nothing was accomplished and the town-hall caught fire and the church
of Nôtre Dame. From the latter some ornaments and treasures were saved
and the bones of Ste. Perpète, with other holy relics, were rescued by
Charles himself at risk to his own life.

    "It was never known how the fire originated. Some say it was
    due to a defective flue. To my mind," [concludes the pious
    historian],[27] "it was the Divine Will that Dinant should be
    destroyed on account of the pride and ill deeds of the people. I
    trust to God who knows all. The duke's people alone lost more than
    a hundred thousand crowns' value."

_Cy fust Dinant_, "Dinant was," is the sum of his description, four
days after the conflagration.[28]

On September 1st, Philip, who had remained at Bouvignes while all this
passed under the direction of Charles, took boat and sailed down to
Namur. It was almost a triumph,--that trip that proved one of the last
ever made by the proud duke--and the procession on the river and the
entry into Namur were closed by a humble embassy from Liege in regard
to certain points of their peace.

Du Clercq gravely relates, by the way, that the Count of St. Pol's men
had had no part in the plunder of Dinant. This was hard on the
poor fellows. Therefore, Philip turned over to their mercies, as a
compensation for this deprivation, the little town of Tuin, which had
been rebellious and then submitted. Tuin accepted its fate, submitted
to St. Pol, and then compounded the right of pillage for a round sum
of money. Moreover, they promised to lay low their gates and their
walls and those of St. Trond. In this way, it is said that the
constable made ten thousand Rhenish florins. Still both he and his men
felt ill-compensated for the loss of the booty of Dinant.

Charles continued a kind of harassing warfare on the various towns of
Liege territory. The people of Liege themselves seem to have varied
in their humour towards Charles, sometimes being very humble in their
petitions for peace and again very insolent. As a rule, this conduct
seems to be traceable to their hope of Louis's support. On September
7th, there was one pitched battle where victory decided the final
terms of the general peace, and after various skirmishes and
submissions, Charles disbanded his troops for the winter and joined
his father at Brussels.

[Footnote 1: _Doc. inédits sur l'hist. de France_. "Mélanges," ii.,

[Footnote 2: Polain, _Récits historiques sur l'ancien pays de Liège_,
I, etc.]

[Footnote 3: See Kirk, _Charles the Bold_, i., 329.]

[Footnote 4: Jacques de Hemricourt suggested four chief points of
difficulty in Liege government:

1. The size of the council--two hundred, where twenty would do.

2. The equal voice granted to all gilds without regard to size, when
all were assembled by the council to vote on a matter.

3. Extension of franchise to youths of fifteen.

4. Facile naturalisation laws. (_See_ Kirk, i., 325.)]

[Footnote 5: In many cases when the interdict was imposed, it is
probable that it was only partially operative.]

[Footnote 6: See Victor Hugo, _Le Rhin_, i. The Walloon dialect varies
greatly between the towns. Here are a few words of the "Prodigal Son"
as they are written in Liege, Huy, and Lille:

LIEGE. Jésus lizi d'ha co: In homme aveut deux fis. Li pus jone dérit
à s'père: père dinnez-m'con qui m'dent riv' ni di vosse bin; et l'père
lezi partagea s'bin.

HUY. Jésus l'zi d'ha co: Eun homme avut deux fis. Li peus jone dérit a
s'père etc.

LILLE. Jesus leu dit incore: un homme avot deux garchens. L'pus jeune
dit à sin père-mon père donez me ch que j'dor recouvre d'vo bien; et
l'père leu-z-a doné a chacun leu parchen.

See also _Doc. inédits concernant l'hist. de la Belgique_, ii., 238,
for comment on Scott's treatment of the language.]

[Footnote 7: The numbers are probably exaggerated. To-day it contains
about two hundred thousand.]

[Footnote 8: Du Clercq, iv., 203.]

[Footnote 9: Du Clercq, iv., 249.]

[Footnote 10: Du Clercq, iv., 239-262.]

[Footnote 11: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., ii., 285, 322. For letters and
negotiations anterior to this peace see p. 197 _et seq_.]

[Footnote 12: Duclos, v., 236.]

[Footnote 13: Book ii., ch. i. To-day there are only about eight
thousand inhabitants.]

[Footnote 14: In addition to Commines and Du Clercq _see also_ Kirk,
i., 385, for quotations from Borgnet and others.]

[Footnote 15: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., i., 213, _et passim_.]

[Footnote 16: Gachard, _Doc. inéd.,_ ii., 350.]

[Footnote 17: Est falme commune que tres haute princesse la ducesse
de Bourgogne, à cause desdictes injures at conclut telle hayne sur
cestedite ville de Dinant qu'elle a juré comme on dist que s'il li
devoit couster tout son vaellant, fera ruynner cestedite ville en
mettant toutes personnes à l'espée. (Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., ii.,

[Footnote 18: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., ii., 337, _et passim_.]

[Footnote 19: Du Clercq, iv., 273.]

[Footnote 20: He says messengers were put to death without regard to
their sacred office, even a little child being torn limb from limb.
Priests were thrown into the river for refusing to say mass, and the
situation was strained to the last degree.]

[Footnote 21: _Qui a mandé ce vieil monnart vostre duc_, etc.]

[Footnote 22: Du Clercq, iv., 278.]

[Footnote 23: De Ram, _Documents relatifs aux troubles du pays de
Liége,_ "Henricus de Merica," p. 159.]

[Footnote 24: Vel vendebantur in servos. See De Ram _et passim_ for

[Footnote 25: It seems to be well attested that the prisoners were
tied together and drowned.]

[Footnote 26: Du Clercq, iv., 280.]

[Footnote 27: _Ibid._, 281.]

[Footnote 28: In 1472, a new church was erected "on the spot formerly
called Dinant" and after that, little by little, the town came to
life. (Gachard, _Analectes Belgiques_, 318, etc.).]




The Good Duke's journey to Bouvignes where he witnessed the manner in
which his authority was vindicated was his last effort. In the early
summer following, on Friday, June 10th, Philip, then at Bruges, was
taken ill and died on the following Monday, June 13th, between nine
and ten in the evening.[1] Charles was summoned on the Sunday, and it
seemed as though his horse's hoofs hardly struck the pavement as he
rode, so swift was his course on the way to Bruges.

When he reached the house where his father lay dying, he was told that
speech had already ceased, but that there was still life. The count
threw himself on his knees by the bedside, weeping in all tenderness,
and implored a paternal benediction and pardon for all wherein he had
offended his father. Near the duke stood his confessor who begged the
dying man to make a sign if he could still understand what was said
to him. On this admonition and in reply to his son's prayers, Philip
turned his eyes to Charles, looked at him and pressed the hand which
was laid upon his own, but further token was beyond his strength. The
count stayed by his side until he breathed his last.

Thus ended the life of a man who had been a striking figure in Europe
for forty years. His most fervent dream, indeed, had never been
fulfilled. All his pompous vows to wrest the Holy Land from the
invading Turks had proved vain. Many years had passed since he had
had military success of any kind, and even in his earlier life his
successes had been owing to diplomacy and to a happy conjunction
of circumstances rather than to skilful generalship. He possessed
pre-eminently the power of personality.

When Duke John of Burgundy fell on the bridge at Montereau and Philip
came into his heritage, Henry V. of England was in the full flush of
his prosperity, standing triumphant over England and France, and in a
position to make good his claim with three stalwart brothers to back
him. All these young men had died prematurely. Their only descendant
was Henry VI., and that meagre and wretched representative of the
ambitious Henry V. had had no spark of the character of his father and
uncles. The one vigorous element in his life was his wife, Margaret
of Anjou, who diligently exerted herself to keep her husband on his
throne. In vain were her efforts. By 1467, Edward of York was on that
throne. Gone, too, was Charles VII., whose father's acts had clouded
his early, whose son darkened his latter years.

Out of his group of contemporaries, Duke Philip alone had marched
steadily to every desired goal. His epitaph gave a fairly accurate
list of his achievements in doggerel verses:

  "John was born of Philip, child of good King John.
  To that John, I, Philip, was born his eldest son.
  Flanders, Artois, and Burgundy his will bequeathed to me
  Therein to follow him and rule them legally.
  With Holland, Zealand, Hainaut, my own realm greater grew.
  Luxemburg, Brabant, Namur soon were added too.
  The Liegeois and the German my lawful rights defied,
  By force of right and arms they have been pacified.
  At one single time against me were maintained
  French, English, German forces,--nothing have they gained.
  Against King Charles the Seventh, I warred in great array.
  From me he begged a peace and king was from that day!
  The mighty conflicts that I fought in all are numbered seven.
  Not once was I defeated. To God the praise be given.
  Time and time again Liege and Ghent revolted,
  But I put them down. I would not be insulted.
  In Barrois and Lorraine, King René warred upon me.
  Of Sicily erst king, captivity soon won he.
  Louis, son of Charles, depressed and refugee,
  From me received his crown. Five years my guest was he.
  Edward, Duke of York, fled, wretched, to my land;
  That now he's England's king is due my aid and hand.
  To defend the Church, which is the House Divine,
  The Golden Fleece was founded, that great order mine.
  Christian faith to succour in vigour and in strength,
  My galleys sailed the sea in all its dreary length.
  In later days I planned and most sincerely meant
  To take the field myself, but Death did that prevent.
  When Eugene the Pope by the council was disdained,
  Through my control alone as Pope was he retained.
  In 1467, Time my goal has set.
  When I am seventy-one, I pay Dame Nature's debt.
  With father and grandfather, I now lie buried here.
  As in life I ever was their equal and their peer.
  Good Jesu was my guide in every word and deed,
  Beseech him every one that Heaven be my meed!"

The territories thus named, that passed to the new duke, covered
a goodly space of earth. Had Philip not slacked his ambition at a
critical time, undoubtedly he could have left a royal rather than a
ducal crown to his son. He did not so will it, and, moreover, in a
way he had receded from his independence as he had accepted feudal
obligations towards Louis XI. which he never had towards Charles VII.

Lured by the hope of becoming prime adviser of the French king, he had
emphasised his position as first peer of France. Thus it was as Duke
of Burgundy _par excellence_ that Philip died, as the typical peer
whose luxury and magnificence far surpassed the state possible to his
acknowledged liege. To his son was bequeathed the task of attempting
to turn that ducal state into state royal, and of establishing a realm
which should hold the balance of power between France and Germany.

There was no doubt in Charles's mind as to which was the greater, the
cleverer, the more powerful of the two, Louis the king and Charles the
duke. Had not the former been a beggarly suppliant at his father's
gates, as dauphin? As king, had he not been forced to yield at the
gates of his own capital to every demand made by Charles, standing as
the conscientious representative of the public welfare of France?

Had not Louis befriended the contumelious neighbour of Charles, only
to learn that his Burgundian cousin could and would deal summarily
with all protests against his authority among the lesser folk on
Netherland territory?

The Croys made an attempt to gain the new duke's friendship, as
appears from this letter to Duke Charles:

    "Our very excellent lord, we have heard that it has pleased Our
    Lord to take to Himself and to withdraw from the world the good
    Duke Philip, our beloved lord and father, prince of glorious
    memory, august duke, most Christian champion of the faith, patron
    and pattern of the virtues and honours of Christianity, and the
    dread of infidel lands. By his valorous deeds, he has won an
    immortal name among living men, and deserves to our mind to find
    grace before the merciful bounty of God whom we implore to pardon
    his faults.

    "Alas! our most doughty seigneur, thus dolorous death shows what
    is to be expected by all mortals. How many lands, how many nobles,
    how many peoples, how many treasures, and how many powers would
    have been ready to prevent what has come to pass, and how many
    prayers would have risen to God could He have prevented this

    "Death is inevitable, and the death of the good is the end of all
    evils and the beginning of all benefits, but still your loss
    and ours cannot pass without affliction. Nevertheless, our most
    puissant lord, when we consider that we are not left orphans, and
    that you, his only son, remain to fill his place, this is a cause
    for comfort.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "We implore you to be pleased to count us your loyal subjects
    and very humble servitors and to permit us to go to you, to thus
    declare ourselves, etc.

    "A. DE CROY, "J. DE CROY."

At the time of the duke's death, Olivier de La Marche was in England,
whither he had accompanied the Bastard of Burgundy on a mission to
King Edward.[2] Right royally had the latter received the embassy.

    "Clad in purple, the garter on his leg and a great baton in his
    hand, he seemed, indeed, a personage worthy of being king, for he
    was a fine prince with a grand manner. A count held the sword
    in front of him, and around his throne were from twenty to
    twenty-five old councillors, white-haired and looking like
    senators gathered together to advise their master."

Thus appeared Edward on the occasion of a tourney given in honour
of the embassy which La Marche proceeds to describe in detail. The
Bastard of Burgundy, wearing the Burgundian coat-of-arms with a bar
sinister, made a fine record for himself.

After the tournament he invited the ladies to a Sunday dinner,

    "especially the Queen and her sisters and made great preparations
    therefor and then we departed, Thomas de Loreille, Bailiff of
    Caux, and I to go to Brittany to accomplish our embassy. We
    arrived at Pleume and were obliged to await wind and boats to
    go into Brittany. While there, came the news that the Duke of
    Burgundy was dead. You may believe how great was the bastard's
    mourning when he heard of his father's death, and how the nobility
    who were with him mourned too. Their pleasures were melted into
    tears and lamentations for he died like a prince in all valour.

    "In his life he accomplished two things to the full. One was he
    died as the richest prince of his time, for he left four hundred
    thousand crowns of gold cash, seventy-two thousand marks of silver
    plate, without counting rich tapestries, rings, gold dishes
    garnished with precious stones, a large and well equipped library,
    and rich furniture. For the second, he died as the most liberal
    duke of his time. He married his nieces at his own expense; he
    bore the whole cost of great wars several times. At his own
    expense, he refitted the church and chapel at Jerusalem. He gave
    ten thousand crowns to build the tower of Burgundy at Rhodes; ...
    No one went from him who was not well recompensed. The state
    he maintained was almost royal. For five years he supported
    Monseigneur the Dauphin, and was a prince so renowned that all the
    world spoke well of him."

The Bastard of Burgundy took leave of the English court and hastened
to Bruges to join his brother, the Count of Charolais, who received
him warmly. "Henceforth," explains Olivier, "when I mention the said
count I will call him the Duke of Burgundy as is reasonable."

Solemnly was the prince's body carried into the church of St. Donat
in Bruges, there to repose until it could be taken to Burgundy to be
buried at Dijon with his ancestors. La Marche dismisses the funeral
with a brief phrase as he was not himself present at Bruges, being
busied in Brittany. There was a memorial service there, the finest
he ever saw. The arms of Burgundy were inserted in the chapel
decorations, not merely pinned on,[2] a fact that impressed the
chronicler. No nobles, not even those from Flanders, were permitted to
put on mourning. The Duke of Brittany declared that none but him was
worthy of the honour for so high a prince.

    "So he alone wore mourning. At the end of the service I went to
    thank him for the reverence he had shown the House of Burgundy,
    and he responded that he had only done his duty. Then I finished
    my business as quickly as I could and crossed the sea again and
    returned to my new master."

In his treatise on the eminent deeds of the Duke of Burgundy,[4]
Chastellain recounts, more at length than La Marche, all that his
great master had accomplished. Then he proceeds to describe the duke
as he knew him.

    He was medium in height, rather slight but straight as a rush,
    strong in hip and in arm, his figure well-knit. His neck was
    admirably proportioned to his body, his hand and foot were
    slender, he had more bone than flesh, but his veins were
    full-blooded. Like all his ancestors, his face was long, as was
    his nose, his forehead high. His complexion was brunette, his hair
    brownish, soft, and straight, his beard and eye-brows the same
    colour, but the former curly, the latter were bushy and inclined
    to stand up like horns when he was angry. His mouth was
    well-proportioned, his lips full and high-coloured; his eyes were
    grey, sometimes arrogant but usually amiable in expression.
    His personality corresponded perfectly to his appearance. His
    countenance showed his character, and his character was a witness
    to the truth of his physiognomy. Nothing was contradictory,
    perfect was the harmony between the inner and the outer man,
    between the nobility of thought and the simple dignity,
    well-poised and graceful. Among the great ones of this earth, he
    was like a star in heaven. Every line proclaimed "I am a prince
    and a man unique."

    It was for his bearing rather than his beauty that he commanded
    universal admiration. In a stable he would have looked like an
    image in a temple. In a hall he was the decoration. Whereever his
    body was, there, too, was his spirit, ready for the demands of the
    hour. He was singularly joyous and nicely tempered in speech with
    so much personal magnetism that he could mollify any enemy if he
    could only meet him face to face. His dress was always rich and
    appropriate. He was skilful in horsemanship, in archery, and in
    tennis, but his chief amusement was the chase. He liked to linger
    at the table and demanded good serving but was really moderate in
    his tastes, as often he neglected pheasant for a bit of Mayence
    ham or salted beef. Oaths and abuse were never heard from him. To
    all alike his speech was courteous even when there was nothing to
    be gained.

    "Never, I assert, did falsehood pass his lips, his mouth was equal
    to his seal and his spoken word to his written. Loyal as fine gold
    and whole as an egg." Chastellain repeats himself somewhat in
    the profusion of his eulogy, but such are the main points of his
    characterisation. Then he proceeds to some qualifications:

    "In order to avoid the charge of flattery, I acknowledge that he
    had faults. None is perfect except God. Often he was very careless
    in administration, and he neglected questions of justice, of
    finance, and of commerce in a way that may redound to the injury
    of his house. The excuse urged is that it was his deputies who
    were at fault. The answer to that is that he trusted too much to
    deputies and should not be excused for his confidence. A ruler
    ought to understand his business himself.

    "Also he had the vices of the flesh. He pleased his heart at the
    desire of his eyes. At the desire of his heart he multiplied his
    pleasures. His wishes were easy to attain. What he wanted was
    offered freely. He neglected the virtuous and holy lady his wife,
    a Christian saint, chaste and charitable. For this I offer no
    excuse. To God I leave the cause.

    "Another fault was that he was not wise in his treatment of his
    nobles. Especially in his old age he often preferred the less
    worthy, the less capable advisers. The answer to this charge is
    that, as his health failed, whoever was by his side obtained
    ascendency over him and succeeded in keeping the others at a
    distance. Ergo, theirs is the malice and the excuse is to the
    princely invalid. In his solitude even valets used their power, as
    is not wonderful.

    "He went late to mass and often out of hours. Sometimes he had
    it celebrated at two o'clock or even three, and in so doing he
    exceeded all Christian observance. For this there is no excuse
    that I dare allege. I leave it to the judgment of God. He had,
    indeed, obtained dispensation from the pope for causes which he
    explained, _and he only_ is responsible. God alone can judge about

    "It would be a dreadful shame if his soul suffered for this
    neglect in lifetime. Earth would not suffice to deplore, nor the
    nature of man to lament the perdition of such a soul and of such a
    prince. Hell is not worthy of him nor good enough to lodge him. 0
    God, who rescued Trajan from Hades for a single virtuous act, do
    not suffer this man to descend therein!"

Having thus tried his best to give a vivid description of the father's
personality, while acknowledging that he is not sure of the fate of
his soul, the chronicler decides that it would be an excellent moment
to paint the son, too, for all time, in view of his mortality. "I will
use the past tense so that my words may be good for always."

Duke Charles was shorter and stouter than Duke Philip, but well
formed, strong in arm and thigh. His shoulders were rather thick-set
and a trifle stooping, but his body was well adapted to activity.
The contour of his face was rounder than that of his father, his
complexion brunette. His eyes were black and laughing, angelically
clear. When he was sunk in thought it seemed as though his father
looked out of them. Like his father's mouth was his, full and red. His
nose was pronounced, his beard brown, and his hair black. His forehead
was fine, his neck white and well set, though always bent as he
walked. He certainly was not as straight as Philip, but nevertheless
he was a fine prince with a fair outer man.

When he began to speak he often found difficulty in expressing
himself, but once started his speech became fluent, even eloquent.
His voice was fine and clear, but he could not sing, although he had
studied the technique and was fond of music. In conversation he was
more logical than his father, but very tenacious of his own opinion
and vehement in its expression, although, at the bottom, he was just
to all men.

In council he was keen, subtle, and ready. He listened to others'
arguments judicially and gave them due weight before his own concluded
the discussion. He was attentive to his own business to a fault, for
he was rather more industrious than became a prince. Economical of his
own time, he demanded conscience of his subordinates and worked them
very hard. He was fond of his servants and fairly affable, though
occasionally sharp in his words. His memory was long and his anger
dangerous. As a rule, good sense swayed him, but being naturally
impetuous there was often a struggle between impulse and reason.

He was a God-fearing prince, was devoted to the Virgin Mary, rigid in
his fasts, lavish in charity. He was determined to avoid death and
to hold on to his own, tooth and nail, and was his father's peer in
valour. Like his father, he dressed richly; unlike him, he cared more
for silver than for jewels. He lived more chastely than is usual to
princes and was always master of himself. He drank little wine, though
he liked it, because he found that it engendered fever in him. His
only beverage was water just coloured with wine. He was inclined to no
indulgence or wantonness. "At the hour in which I write his taste for
hard labour is excessive, but in other respects his good sense has
dominated him, at least thus far. It is to be hoped that as his reign
grows older he will curb his over-strenuous industry."

As to the duke's sympathies, Chastellain regrets that circumstances
have turned him towards England. Naturally he belonged to the French,
and it was a pity that the machinations of the king, "whose crooked
ways are well known to God, have forced him into self-defence. Yet on
his forehead he wears the fleur-de-lys."

Chastellain acknowledges that Charles is accused of avarice, but
defends him on the ground that he has been driven into collecting
a large army. "A penny in the chest is worth three in the purse of
another." "To take precautions in advance is a way to save honour and
property," prudently adds the historian, who evidently flourishes
his maxims to strengthen his own appreciation of the duke's economy,
which, quite as evidently, is not pleasing to him. "I have seen him
the very opposite of miserly, open-handed and liberal, rejoicing in
largesse. When he came into his seigniory his nature did not change."
It was simply the exigencies of his critical position that forced him
to restrain his natural propensities and thus to gain the undeserved
reputation for parsimony.

It was also said that he was a very hard taskmaster, but as a matter
of fact he demanded nothing of his soldiers that he was not ready to
undertake himself. Like a true duke, he was his own commander, drew up
his own troops himself in battle array, and then passed from one end
of the line to the other, encouraging the men individually with cheery
words, promising them glory and profit, and pledging himself to share
their dangers. In victory he was restrained and showed more mercy than

After expatiating on the points where Charles was like his
father--conventional princely qualities --Chastellain adds: "In some
respects they differed. The one was cold and the other boiling with
ardour; the one slow and prone to delay, the other strenuous in his
promptness; the elder negligent of his own concerns, the younger
diligent and alert. They differed in the amount of time consumed at
meals and in the number of guests whom they entertained. They differed
more or less in their voluptuousness and in their expenditures and in
the way in which they took solace and amusement." But in all other
respects, "in life they marched side by side as equals and if it
please God He will be their conductor in glory everlasting" is the
final assurance of their eulogist.

Yet, lavish as the Burgundian poet is in his adjectives about his
patron, there is considerable discrimination between his summaries of
the two dukes. It is very evident that from his accession Charles
was less of a favourite than his father. While endeavouring to be
as complimentary as possible, distrust of his capacities creeps out
between the lines. Chastellain died in 1475, and thus never saw
Charles's final disaster. But the violence of his character had
inspired lack of confidence in his power of achievement, a violence
that made people dislike him as Philip with all his faults was never

[Footnote 1: Du Clercq, iv., 302 _et seq_. Erasmus was born in this
year, 1467.]

[Footnote 2: II., 49.]

[Footnote 3: "Non par armes attachées à espingles."]

[Footnote 4: _Oeuvres_, vii., 213.]




After the dauphin was crowned at Rheims, he was monarch over all his
domains. Charles of Burgundy, on the other hand, had a series of
ceremonies to perform before he was properly invested with the various
titles worn by his father. Each duchy, countship, seigniory had to be
taken in turn. Ghent was the first capital visited. Then he had
to exchange pledges of fidelity with his Flemish subjects before
receiving recognition as Count of Flanders.

According to the custom of his predecessors, Charles stayed at the
little village of Swynaerde, near Ghent, the night before he made his
"joyous entry" into that city. It had chanced that the day selected by
Charles for the event was St. Lievin's Day and a favourite holiday of
the workers of Ghent. The saint's bones, enclosed conveniently in a
portable shrine, rested in the cathedral church, whence they were
carried once a year by the fifty-two gilds in solemn procession to
the little village of Houthem, where the blessed saint had suffered
martyrdom in the seventh century. All day and all night the saint's
devotees, the Fools of St. Lievin, as they were called, remained at
this spot. Merry did the festival become as the hours wore on, for
good cheer was carried thither as well as the sacred shrine.

Now the magistrates were a little apprehensive about the rival claims
of the new count of Flanders and the old saint of Ghent. They knew
that they could not cut short the time-honoured celebration for the
sake of the sovereign's inauguration, so they decided to prolong the
former, and directed that the saint should leave town on Saturday and
not return until Monday. This left Sunday free for the young count's
entry. It probably seemed a very convenient conjunction of events to
the city fathers, because the more turbulent portion of the citizens
was sure to follow the saint.

Accordingly, Charles made a very quiet and dignified entrance,[1]
having paused at the gates to listen to the fair words of Master
Mathys de Groothuse as he extolled the virtues of the late Count of
Flanders, and requested God to receive the present one, when he, too,
was forced to leave earth, as graciously as Ghent was receiving him
that day. All passed well; oaths of fealty were duly taken and given
at the church of St. John the Baptist. Charles himself pulled the
bell rope according to the ancient Flemish custom, and the Count of
Flanders was in possession. This all took place in the morning of June
28th. At the close of the ceremonies Charles withdrew to his hotel and
the magistrates to their dwellings.

The devotees of St. Lievin prolonged their holiday until Monday
afternoon. It was five o'clock[2] when the revellers returned to
Ghent. Many of the saint's followers were, by that time, more or less
under the influence of the contents of the casks which had formed part
of the outward-bound burden. The protracted holiday-making had its
natural sequence. There was, however, too much method in the next
proceedings for it to be attributed wholly to emotional inebriety.

The procession passed through the city gate and entered a narrow
street near the corn market, where stood a little house used as
headquarters for the collection of the _cueillotte_, a tax on every
article brought into the city for sale, and one particularly obnoxious
to the people. Suddenly a cry was raised and echoed from rank to rank
of St. Lievin's escort, "Down with the _cueillotte_."

Then with the ingenious humour of a Celtic crowd, quick to take a
fantastic advantage of a situation, a second cry was heard: "St.
Lievin must go through the house. Lievin is a saint who never turns
aside from his route."

Delightful thought, followed by speedy action. Axes were produced and
wielded to good effect.

Down came the miniature customs-house in a flash. Little pieces of
the ruin were elevated on sticks and carried by some of the rabble as
standards with the cry "I have it--I have it." As they marched
the procession was constantly augmented and the cries become more
decidedly revolutionary: "Kill, kill these craven spoilers of God and
of the world.[2] Where are they? Let us seek them out and slay them in
their houses, those who have flourished at our pitiable expense."

This was rank rebellion. Even under cover of St. Lievin's mantle,
resistance to regularly instituted customs could hardly be described
by any other name. Excited by their own temerity, the crowd now surged
on to the great market-place in front of the Hôtel de Ville, where the
Friday market is held, instead of returning the saint promptly to his
safe abiding-place as was meet.

There the lawless deeds--lawless to the duke's mind certainly--became
more audacious. Counterparts of the very banners whose prohibition
had been part of the sentence in 1453 were unfurled,[4] and their
possession alone proved insurrectionary premeditation on the part of
the gild leaders. Ghent was in open revolt, and the young duke in
their midst felt it was an open insult to him as sovereign count.

His messenger failed to return from the market-place. His master
became impatient and followed him to the scene of action with a small
escort. As they drew near, the crowd thickened and hedged them in. The
nobles became alarmed and urged the duke to return, but cries from
the crowd promised safety to his person. To the steps of the Hôtel de
Ville rode the duke, his face dark, menacing with suppressed wrath.[5]

As he dismounted, he turned towards a man whom he thought he saw
egging on a disturbance and struck him with his riding whip, saying,
"I know you." The man was quick enough to realise the value of the
duke's violence at that moment and cried, "Strike again," but the
Seigneur Groothuse, who had already tried to check Charles's anger and
to curb the popular turbulence, exclaimed, "For the love of God do
not strike again!" The wiser burgher at once understood the unstable
temper of the mob, which had been fairly civil to the duke up to this
moment. There were ugly murmurs to be heard that the blow would cost
him dear.

    "Indeed," says the courtly Chastellain, "the mischief was so
    imminent that God alone averted it, and there was not an archer
    or noble or man so full of assurance that he did not tremble with
    fear, nor one who would not have preferred to be in India for his
    own safety. Especially were they in terror for their young prince,
    who, they thought, was exposed to a dolorous death."

It was Groothuse alone who averted disaster:

    "Do you not see that your life and ours hang on a silken thread?
    Do you think you can coerce a rabble like this by threats and hard
    words--a rabble who at this moment do not value you more than the
    least of us? They are beside themselves, they have neither reason
    nor understanding.[6]... If you are ready to die, I am not, except
    in spite of myself. You must try quite a different method--appease
    them by sweetness and save your house and your life.

    "What could you do alone? How the gods would laugh! Your courage
    is out of place here unless it enables you to calm yourself and
    give an example to those poor sheep, wretched misled people whom
    you must soothe. Go down in God's name. [They were within the town
    hall.] Show yourself and you will make an impression by your good
    sense and all will go well."

To this eminently sound advice the young duke yielded. He appeared on
a balcony or on the upper steps of the town hall and stood ready to
harangue his unruly and turbulent subjects. A moment sufficed to still
the turmoil and the silence showed a readiness to hear him speak.

Charles was not perfectly at ease in Flemish, but he was wise enough
to use that tongue. One trait of the Ghenters was respect for the
person of their overlord. When that overlord showed any disposition to
meet them half-way the response was usually immediate. So it was now.
The crowd which had been attending to St. Lievin, and not to the
duke's joyous entry, suddenly remembered that his welcome had been
strangely ignored. Their grumblings changed to greetings. "Take heart,
Monseigneur. Have no fear. For you we will live and die and none shall
be so audacious as to harm you. If there be evil fellows with no bump
of reverence, endure it for the moment. Later you shall be avenged. No
time now for fear."

This sounded better. Charles was sufficiently appeased to address the
crowd as "My children," and to assure them that if they would but meet
him in peaceful conference, their grievances should be redressed.
"Welcome, welcome! we are indeed your children and recognise your

Then Groothuse followed with a longer speech than was possible either
to Charles's Flemish or to his mood. This address was equally
well received, and matters were in train for the appointment of a
conference between popular representatives and the new Count of
Flanders, when suddenly a tall, rude fellow climbed up to the balcony
from the square. Using an iron gauntlet as a gavel to strike on
the wall, he commanded attention and turned gravely to address the
audience as though he were on the accredited list of speakers:

"My brothers, down there assembled to set your complaints before your
prince, your first wish--is it not?--is to punish the ill governors of
this town and those who have defrauded you and him alike."

"Yes, yes," was the quick answer of the fickle crowd.--"You desire the
suppression of the _cueillotte_, do you not?"--"Yes, yes."--"You
want all your gates opened again, your banners restored, and your
privileges reinforced as of yore?"--"Yes, yes." The self-appointed
envoy turned calmly to Charles and said:

"Monseigneur, this is what the citizens have come together to ask you.
This is your task. I have said it in their behalf, and, as you hear,
they make my words their own."

Noteworthy is Chastellain's pious and horrified ejaculation over the
extraordinary insolence of this big villain, who thus audaciously
associated himself with his betters: "O glorious Majesty of God,
think of such an outrageous and intolerable piece of villainy being
committed before the eyes of a prince! For a low man to venture to
come and stand side by side with such a gentleman as our seigneur, and
to proffer words inimical to his authority--words the poorest noble in
the world would hardly have endured! And yet it was necessary for this
noble prince to endure and to tolerate it for the moment, and needful
that he should let pass as a pleasantry what was enough to kill him
with grief."

Groothuse's answer to the man was mild. Evidently he did not think it
was a safe moment to exasperate the mob: "'My friend, there was no
necessity of your intruding up here, a place reserved for the prince
and his nobles. From below, you could have been heard and Monseigneur
could have answered you as well there as here. He requires no advocate
to make him content his people. You are a strange master. Get down. Go
down below and keep to your mates. Monseigneur will do right by every

"Off went the rascal and I do not know what became of him. The duke
and his nobles were simply struck dumb by the scamp's outrage and his
impudent daring."

The sober report[7] is less detailed and elaborate, but the thread is
the same. Monseigneur, having returned to his hotel, sent Monseigneur
de la Groothuse, Jean Petitpas, and Richard Utenhove back to the
market to invite the people to put their grievances in writing. A
draft was made and carried to the duke. After he had examined it and
discussed it with his council, he sent Monseigneur de la Groothuse
back to the market-place to tell the people that he wanted to sleep
on the proposition and would give his answer at an early hour on the
morrow. All through the night the people remained in arms on the
market-place. At about eight o'clock on June 30th Groothuse returned,
thanked the people in the count's name for having kept such good
watch, and was answered by cries of "_À bas la cueillotte_."

Then he assured them that all was pardoned and that they should obtain
what they had asked in the draft. Only he requested them to appoint a
committee of six to present their demands to Monseigneur and then to
go home. This they did. St. Lievin was restored to the church and his
followers betook themselves to the gates specified in the treaty of
Gaveren. These they broke down, and also destroyed another house where
was a tax collector's office.

"The report of these events carried to Monseigneur did not have a good
effect upon his spirit. On the morrow Monseigneur quitted the city."
The members of the corporation with the two deans and the popular
committee of six having obtained audience before his departure,
Groothuse acted as spokesman: "We implore you in all humility to
pardon us for the insult you have suffered, and to sign the paper
presented. The bad have had more authority than the good, which could
not be prevented, but we know truly that if the draft is not signed
they will kill us."

It is evident in all this story that the municipal authorities were
frightened to death and that Charles allowed himself to be restrained
to an extraordinary extent considering the undoubted provocation. His
reasons for conciliatory measures were two, and literally were his
ducats and his daughter. He had with him all the portable treasure and
ready money that his father had had at Bruges, a large treasure
and one on which he counted for his immediate military
operations--operations very important to the position as a European
power which he ardently desired to attain.

Still more important was the fact that his young daughter, Mary, now
eleven years old, was living in Ghent, to a certain degree the ward of
the city. If the unruly majority should realise their strength what
easier for them than to seize the treasure and hold the daughter as
hostage, until her father had acceded to every demand, and until
democracy was triumphant not only in Ghent but in the neighbouring

Charles simply did not dare attempt further coercion of the democratic
spirit until he was beyond the walls. It is evident that he was
completely taken by surprise at Ghent's attitude towards him, as the
city had always professed great personal attachment to him. But there
was a difference between being heir and sovereign. The agreement was
signed, with a mental reservation on the part of the Duke of Burgundy.
He only intended to keep his pledge until he could see his way clear
to make terms better to his liking.

On Tuesday, June 30th, Charles left Ghent, taking his daughter and his
treasure away, but a safe shelter for both was not easy to find.
The duke's anticipations of the effect of Ghent's actions upon her
neighbours were quickly proved to be no idle fears. There were revolts
of more or less importance at Mechlin, at Antwerp, at Brussels, and
other places. Moreover, there was serious discussion in the estates
assembled at Louvain as to whether Charles should be acknowledged as
Duke of Brabant, or whether the claims of his cousin, the Count of
Nevers, should be considered as heir to Philip's predecessor, for the
late duke's title had never been considered perfect.

Louis XI. seized the opportunity to urge the pretensions of the
latter, and there were many reasons to recommend him, in the
estimation of the Brabanters, who saw advantage in having a sovereign
exclusively their own, instead of one with the widespread geographical
interests of the Burgundian family. The final decision was, however,
for Charles; a notice of the resolution of the deputies was sent to
him at Mechlin, and he made his formal "entry" into Louvain, where he
received homage from the nobles, the good cities, and the university.

The various insurgent manifestations were promptly quelled one after
another, but, with a nature that neither forgot nor forgave, the duke
was strongly impressed by them as personal insults. He blamed Ghent
for their occurrence and deeply resented every one. Throughout
Philip's whole career he remembered the localised tenure of his titles
and the fact that they were not perfectly incontestable. For his own
advantage he often found a conciliatory attitude the best policy.
Charles considered all his rights heaven-born. Questioning his
authority was rank rebellion. That he had accepted advice in regard
to Ghent, and had been ruled by expediency for the nonce, did not
mitigate his intense bitterness.

In another town that gave him serious trouble at this time, nothing
led him to curb the severity of his measures. Though only a
"protector," not an overlord, when he suppressed a rebellion in Liege
he rigorously exacted the most complete and humiliating penalties. The
city charters were abrogated, all privileges were forfeited. As
an unprotected village must Liege stand henceforth, walls and
fortifications rased to the ground.

    "The perron on the market-place of the said town shall be taken
    down, and then Monseigneur the duke shall treat it according to
    his pleasure. The city may not remake the said perron, nor replace
    another like it in the market-place or elsewhere in the city. Nor
    shall the said perron appear in the coat-of-arms of Liege."[8]

This was a terrible indignity for the city and a clear proof of their
fear of their bishop's friend.

The episode impressed the citizens of Ghent with the duke's power, and
made the more timorous anxious to erase the event of 1467 from his
mind. The peace party finally prevailed in their arguments, but the
scene of abnegation and self-humiliation crowning their apology was
not enacted until eighteen months after the events apologised for,
when the new duke had still further proven his metal.

[Footnote 1: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., i., 210, etc.]

[Footnote 2: Some authorities make this five A.M., but the _Rapport_
is probably correct.]

[Footnote 3: Chastellain, v., 260 _et passim_.]

[Footnote 4: So say some historians. But it seems probable that the
drapery of St. Lievin's shrine was hastily used as a flag.]

[Footnote 5: Chastellain, v., ch. 7, etc.]

[Footnote 6: These are Chastellain's words to be sure, but the sober
_Rapport_ is similar in purport.]

[Footnote 7: Gachard, _Doc. inéd._, i., 212. ]

[Footnote 8: Gachard. _Doc. inéd_., ii., 462, "_Instrument notarié_."]




For many months before Philip's death there had been negotiations
concerning Charles's marriage with Margaret of York. Always feeling a
closer bond with his mother than with his father, Charles's sympathy
had ever been towards the Lancastrian party in England, the family to
whom Isabella of Portugal was closely related. Only the necessity for
making a strong alliance against Louis XI. turned him to seek a bride
from the House of York. It was on this business that La Marche and
the great Bastard were engaged when Philip's death interrupted the
discussion, which Charles did not immediately resume on his own

Pending the final decision in regard to this important indication of
his international policy, the duke busied himself with the adjustment
of his court, there being many points in which he did not intend to
follow his father's usage.[1] Philip's lavishness, without too close
a query as to the disposition of every penny, was naturally very
agreeable to his courtiers. There was a liberal air about his
households. It was easy to come and go, and it was pleasant to have
the handling of money and the giving of orders--orders which were
fulfilled and richly paid without haggling. Charles had other notions.
He was willing to pay, but he wanted to be sure of an adequate
return. How he started in on his administration with reform ideas is
delightfully told by Chastellain.[2]

One of his first measures when he was finally established at Brussels
was to secure more speedy execution of justice. He appointed a new
provost, "a dangerous varlet of low estate, but excellently fitted to
carry out perilous work." Then he determined to settle petty civil
suits himself, as there were many which had dragged on for a long
time. In order to do this and to receive complaints from poor people,
he arranged to give audience three times a week, Monday, Wednesday,
and Friday, after dinner. On these occasions he required the
attendance of all his nobles, seated before him on benches, each
according to his rank. Excuses were not pleasantly accepted, so that
few places were empty. Charles himself was elevated on a high throne
covered with cloth of gold, whence he pompously pronounced judgments
and heard and answered petitions, a process that sometimes lasted two
or three hours and was exceedingly tiresome to the onlookers.

    "In outer appearance it seemed a magnificent course of action and
    very praiseworthy. But in my time I have never heard of nor seen
    like action taken by prince or king, nor any proceedings in the
    least similar.

    "When the duke went through the city from place to place and from
    church to church, it was wonderful how much state and order was
    maintained and what a grand escort he had. Never a knight so old
    or so young who dared absent himself and never a squire was bold
    enough to squeeze himself into the knights' places."

At the levee, the same rigid ceremony was observed. Every one had
to wait his turn in his proper room--the squires in the first, the
knights in the second, and so on. All left the palace together to go
to mass. As soon as the offering was made all the nobles were free
to dine, but they were obliged to report themselves to the duke
immediately after his repast. Any failure caused the forfeiture of the
fee for the day. It was all very orderly and very dull.

Thus Charles of Burgundy felt that he was law-giver, paternal guide,
philosopher, and friend to his people. From time to time he delivered
harangues to his court, veritable sermons. He obtained hearing, but
certainly did not win popularity. The adulatory phrases used as mere
conventionalities seemed to have actually turned his head. And those
stock phrases were very grandiloquent. There is no doubt that such
comparisons were used as Chastellain puts into the mouths of the first
deputation from Ghent to ask pardon for the sins committed at the
dolorous unjoyous entry into the Flemish capital.[2]

    "My very excellent seigneur, when you who hold double place, place
    of God and place of man, and have in yourself the double nature
    by office and commission in divine estate, and as your noble
    discretion knows and is cognisant, like God the Father, Creator,
    of all offences committed against you, and who may be appeased
    by tears and by weeping as He permits Himself to be softened by
    contrition, entreaties, etc., and resumes His natural benignity by
    forgetting things past [etc.].... Alas, what kindness did He use
    toward Adam, His first offender, upon whom through his son Seth He
    poured the oil of pity in five thousand future years, and then to
    Cain the first born of mother He postponed vengeance for his crime
    for ten generations etc. What did he do in Abraham's time, when He
    sent word to Lot that if there were ten righteous men in Sodom and
    Gomorrah He would remit the judgment on the two cities? In Ghent,"

In the chancellor's answer to this plea, the duke's consent to grant
forgiveness to Ghent is again compared to God's own mercy. The divine
attributes were referred to again and again, not only on the pages
of contemporaneous chroniclers who may be accused of desiring ducal
patronage, but also in sober state papers.

There was one antidote to this homage universally offered to Charles
wherever there was no rebellion against him. One of the rules of the
Order of the Golden Fleece was that all alike should be subject to
criticism by their fellows. In May, 1468, at Bruges, Charles held an
assembly of the Order, the first over which he had presided. It was a
fitting opportunity for the knights to express their sentiments. When
it came to his turn to be reviewed, Charles listened quietly to the
representations that his conduct fell short of the ideals of chivalry
because he was too economical, too industrious, too strenuous, and not
sufficiently cognisant of the merits of his faithful subjects of high

In these plaints, respectful as they are, there is perhaps a note of
regret for the lavish and amusing good cheer of the late duke's times.
Charles was undoubtedly husbanding his resources at this period. The
vision of wide dominions was already in his dreams, and he was prudent
enough to begin his preparations. And prudence is not a popular
quality. Still his courtiers were not quite bereft of the gorgeous and
spectacular entertainments to which the "good duke" had accustomed
them. Soon after the assembly of the Order, the alliance between Duke
Charles and Margaret of York was celebrated at Bruges. Our Burgundian
Chastellain is not pleased with this marriage. That Charles inclined
towards England at all was due to the French king, whom both he and
his father had found untrustworthy. Again, had there been any other
eligible _partie_ in England Charles would never have allied himself
with King Edward when all his sympathies were with the blood of
Lancaster. But when King Louis forsook his cousin Margaret of Anjou,
whose woes should have commanded pity, simply for the purpose of
undermining the Duke of Burgundy, the latter felt it wise to make
Edward his friend.

    "That it was sore against his inclination he confessed to one who
    later revealed it to me, but he decided that it was better to
    injure another rather than be down-trodden and injured himself.[6]

    "For a long time there had been little love lost between him and
    the king. The monarch feared the pride and haughtiness of his
    subject, and the subject feared the strength and profound subtilty
    of the king who wanted, he thought, to get him under the whip. And
    all this, alas, was the result of that cursed War of Public Weal
    cooked up by the French against their own king. When Charles was
    deeply involved in it he was deserted by the others and the whole
    weight of the burden fell on his shoulders, so that he alone was
    blamed by the king, and he alone was forced to look to his own
    safety and comfort. It is a pity when such things occur in a realm
    and among kinsfolk."



Louis was busied with his own affairs in Touraine when news came to
him that the marriage was to take place immediately. "If he mourned,
it is not marvellous when I myself mourn it for the future result. But
the king used all kinds of machinations to break off the alliance....
God suffered two young proud princes to try their strength each at
his will, often in ways that would have been incompatible in common

The fullest account of the wedding is given by La Marche, an
eyewitness of the event[7]:

    "Gilles du Mas, maître d'hôtel du Duc de Bretagne--to you I
    recommend myself. I have collected here roughly according to my
    stupid understanding what I saw of the said festival, to send it
    to you, beseeching you as earnestly as I can to advise me of the
    noble states and high deeds in your quarter ... as becomes two
    friends of one rank and calling in two fraternal, allied and
    friendly houses.

    "My lady and her company arrived at l'Écluse on a Saturday, June
    25th, and on the morrow Madame the Duchess of Burgundy, mother
    of the duke, Mlle. of Burgundy and various other ladies and
    demoiselles visited Madame Margaret[8] and only

stayed till dinner. The duchess was greatly pleased with her
prospective daughter-in-law and could not say enough of her character
and her virtues. There remained with Dame Margaret, on the part of
the duchess, the Charnys, Messire Jehan de Rubempré and various other
ladies and gentlemen to act the hosts to the strange ladies and
gentlemen who had crossed from England with the bride. The Count and
Countess de Charny met Madame as she disembarked and never budged from
her side until she had arrived at Bruges.

"The day after the duchess's visit, Monseigneur of Burgundy made his
way to l'Écluse with a small escort and entered the chateau at the
rear. After supper, accompanied only by six or seven knights of the
Order, he went very secretly to the hôtel of Dame Margaret, who had
been warned of his intention, and was attended by the most important
members of her suite, such as the Seigneur d'Escalles, the king's

    "At his arrival when they saw each other the greetings were very
    ceremonious and then the two sat down on one bench and chatted
    comfortably together for some time. After some conversation, the
    Bishop of Salisbury, according to a prearranged plan of his own,
    kneeled before the two and made complimentary speeches. He was
    followed by M. de Charny, who spoke as follows:

    "'Monseigneur, you have found what you desired and since God has
    brought this noble lady to port in safety and to your desire, it
    seems to me that you should not depart without proving the
    affection  you bear her, and that you ought to be betrothed now
    at this moment and give her your troth.'

    "Monseigneur answered that it did not depend upon him. Then the
    bishop spoke to Margaret and asked her what she thought. She
    answered that it was just for this and nothing else that the king
    of England had sent her over and she was quite ready to fulfil
    the king's command. Whereupon the bishop took their hands and
    betrothed them. Then Monseigneur departed and returned on the
    morrow to Bruges.

    "Dame Margaret remained at l'Écluse until the following Saturday
    and was again visited by Monseigneur. On Saturday the boats were
    richly decorated to conduct my lady to Damme, where she was
    received very honourably according to the capacity of that little
    town. On the morrow, the 3rd of July, Monseigneur the duke set out
    with a small escort between four and five o'clock in the morning,
    and went to Damme, where he found Madame quite ready to receive
    him as all had been prearranged, and Monseigneur wedded her as was
    suitable, and the nuptial benediction was duly pronounced by the
    Bishop of Salisbury. After the mass, Charles returned to his hotel
    at Bruges, and you may believe that during the progress of the
    other ceremonies he slept as if he were to be on watch on the
    following night.

    "Immediately after, Adolph of Cleves, John of Luxemburg, John of
    Nassau, and others returned to Damme and paid their homage to the
    new duchess, and then my lady entered a horse litter, beautifully
    draped with cloth of gold. She was clad in white cloth of gold made
    like a wedding garment as was proper. On her hair rested a crown
    and her other jewels were appropriate and sumptuous. Her English
    ladies followed her on thirteen hackneys, two close by her litter
    and the others behind. Five chariots followed the thirteen
    hackneys, the Duchess of Norfolk, the most beautiful woman in
    England, being in the first. In this array Madame proceeded to
    Bruges and entered at the gate called Ste. Croix."

There were too many names to be enumerated, but La Marche cannot
forbear mentioning a noble Zealander, Adrian of Borselen, Seigneur of
Breda, who had six horses covered with cloth of gold, jewelry, and

    "I mention him for two reasons [he explains[9]]: first, that he
    was the most brilliant in the procession, and the second is that
    by the will of God he died on the Wednesday from a trouble in his
    leg, which was a pity and much regretted by the nobility.

    "The procession from Ste. Croix to the palace was magnificent,
    with all the dignitaries in their order. So costly were the
    dresses of the ducal household that Charles expended more than
    forty thousand francs for cloth of silk and of wool alone.

    "Prominent in this stately procession were the nations or foreign
    merchants in this order: Venetians, Florentines--at the head of
    the latter marched Thomas Portinari, banker and councillor of
    the duke at the same time that he was chief of their nation and
    therefore dressed in their garb; Spaniards; Genoese--these latter
    showed a mystery, a beautiful girl on horseback guarded by
    St. George from the dragon.--Then came the Osterlings, 108 on
    horseback, followed by six pages, all clad in violet.

    "Gay, too, was Bruges and the streets were all decorated with
    cloth  of gold and silk and tapestries. As to the theatrical
    representations I can remember at least ten. There were Adam and
    Eve, Cleopatra married to King Alexander, and various others.

    "The reception at the palace was very formal. The dowager duchess
    herself received her daughter-in-law from the litter and escorted
    her by the hand to her chamber, and for the present we will leave
    the ladies and the knighthood and turn to the arrangement of the

    "In regard to the service, Mme. the new duchess was served
    _d'eschançon et d'escuyer tranchant et de pannetier_. All English,
    all knights and gentlemen of great houses, and the chief steward
    cried 'Knights to table,' and then they went to the buffet to get
    the food, and around the buffet marched all the relations of
    Monseigneur, all the knights of the Order and of great houses. And
    for that day Mme. the duchess the mother declined to be served _à
    couvert_ but left the honour to her daughter-in-law as was right.

    "After dinner the ladies retired to their rooms for a little rest
    and there were some changes of dress. Then they all mounted their
    chariots and hackneys and issued forth on the streets in great
    triumph and wonderful were the jousts of the Tree of Gold. Several
    days of festivity followed when the usual pantomimes and shows were
    in evidence.

    "Tuesday, the tenth and last day of the fête, the grand _salle_ was
    arranged in the same state as on the wedding day itself, except the
    grand buffet which stood in the middle of the hall. This banquet,
    too, was a grand affair and concluded the festivities.

    On the morrow, Wednesday, July 15th, Monseigneur departed for
    Holland on a pressing piece of business, and he took leave of the
    Duchess of Norfolk and the other lords and ladies of quality and
    gave them gifts each according to his rank. Thus ends the story
    of this noble festival, and for the present I know nothing worth
    writing you except that I am yours."

To this may be added the letter of one of the Paston family who was in
Margaret's train.[10]

    "John Paston the younger to Margaret Paston:

    "To my ryght reverend and worchepfull Modyr Margaret Paston
    dwelling at Caster, be thys delyveryed in hast.

    "Ryth reverend & worchepfull Modyr, I recommend me on to you as
    humbylly as I can thynk, desyryng most hertly to her of your
    welfare & hertsese whyche I pray God send you as hastyly as my
    hert can thynk. Ples yt you to wete that at the makyng of thys
    byll my brodyr & I & all our felawshep wer in good helle, blyssyd
    be God.

    "As for the gydyn her in thys countre it is as worchepfull as all
    the world can devyse it, & ther wer never Englyshe men had so good
    cher owt of Inglong that ever I herd of.

    "As for tydyngs her but if it be of the fest I can non send yow;
    savyng my Lady Margaret was maryed on Sonday last past at a town
    that is called Dame IIj myle owt of Brugge at v of the clok in the
    morning; & sche was browt the same day to Bruggys to hyr dener;
    & ther sche was receyvyd as worchepfully as all the world cowd
    devyse as with presession with ladys and lordys best beseyn of eny
    pepell that ever I sye or herd of. Many pagentys were pleyed in
    hyr way to Brugys to hyr welcoming, the best that ever I sye.
    And the same Sonday my Lord the Bastard took upon hym to answere
    xxiiij knyts & gentylmen within viij dayis at jostys of pese &
    when that they wer answered, they xxiiij & hymselve shold torney
    with other xxv the next day after, whyche is on Monday next
    comyng; & they that have jostyd with hym into thys day have been
    as rychly beseyn, & hymselfe also, as clothe of gold & sylk &
    sylvyr & goldsmith's werk might mak hem; for of syche ger & gold
    & perle & stonys they of the dukys coort neyther gentylmen nor
    gentylwomen they want non; for with owt that they have it by
    wyshys, by my trowthe, I herd nevyr of so gret plente as ther is.

           *       *       *       *       *

    And as for the Dwkys coort, as of lords & ladys & gentylwomen
    knyts, sqwyers & gentylmen I hert never of non lyek to it
    save King Artourys cort. And by my trowthe I have no wyt nor
    remembrance to wryte to you half the worchep that is her; but that
    lakyth as it comyth to mynd I shall tell you when I come home
    whyche I trust to God shal not be long to; for we depart owt of
    Brygge homward on Twysday next comyng & all folk that cam with my
    lady of Burgoyn out of Ingland, except syche as shall abyd her
    styll with hyr whyche I wot well shall be but fewe.

    "We depart the sooner for the Dwk hathe word that the Frenshe king
    is purposyd to mak wer upon hym hastyly & that he is with in IIIj
    or v dayis jorney of Brugys & the Dwk rydeth on Twysday next
    comyng forward to met with hym. God geve hym good sped & all hys;
    for by my trowthe they are the goodlyest felawshep that ever I cam
    among & best can behave themselves & most like gentlemen.

    "Other tydyngs have we non her; but that the Duke of Somerset &
    all hys band departyd well beseyn out of Brugys a day befor that
    my Lady the Duchess cam thedyr & they sey her that he is to Queen
    Margaret that was & shal no more come her agen nor be holpyn by
    the Duke. No more; but I beseche you of your blessyng as lowly as
    I can, wyche I beseche you forget not to geve me everday onys.
    And, Modyr, I beseche you that ye wol be good mastras to my lytyll
    man & to se that he go to scole.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Wreten at Bruggys the Friday next after Seynt Thomas.

    "Your sone & humbyll servaunt,


[Footnote 1: Chastellain, v., 570.]

[Footnote 2: V., 576.]

[Footnote 3: This deputation was composed of representatives from "all
the city in its entirety in three chief members--the bourgeois and
nobles, the fifty-two _métiers_, and the weavers who possess twelve
different places in the city entirely for themselves and in their
control." The formal apology was made later. (Chastellain, v., 291.)]

[Footnote 4: _Ibid_ 306. By letters patent given on July 28, 1467,
Duke Charles pardoned the Ghenters and confirmed the privileges which
he had conceded to them, but he exacted that a deputation from the
three members [_Trois membres_] of the city should come to Brussels to
beg pardon on their knees, bareheaded, ungirded, for all the disorder
of St. Lievin. This act of submission took place probably not until
January, 1469, though August 8, 1468, is also mentioned as the date.]

[Footnote 5: _Hist, de l'Ordre_, etc., p. 511.]

[Footnote 6: Chastellain, V., 342.]

[Footnote 7: III., 101. Evidently this was composed for a separate
work and then incorporated into the memoirs.]

[Footnote 8: There is a beautiful portrait of her in MS. 9275 in the
Bibliothèque de Burgogne. _See_ also Wavrin, _Anchiennes Croniques
d'Engleterre_, ii., 368.]

[Footnote 9: III., 108.]

[Footnote 10: _The Paston Letters_, ii., 317.]




    "My brother, I beseech you in the name of our affection and of
    our alliance, come to my aid, come as speedily as you can, come
    without delay. Written by the own hand of your brother.


Such were the concluding sentences of a fervent appeal from the
Duke of Brittany that followed Charles into Holland, whither he had
hastened after the completion of the nuptial festivities.

The titular Duke of Normandy found that his royal brother was in no
wise inclined to fulfil the solemn pledges made at Conflans. His ally,
Francis, Duke of Brittany, was plunged into terror lest the king
should invade his duchy and punish him for his share in the
proceedings that had led up to that compact.

It is in this year that Louis XI. begins to show his real astuteness.
Very clever are his methods of freeing himself from the distasteful
obligations assumed towards his brother. They had been easy to make
when a hostile army was encamped at the gates of Paris. Then Normandy
weighed lightly when balanced by the desire to separate the allies.
That separation accomplished, the point of view changed. Relinquish
Normandy, restored by the hand of heaven to its natural liege lord
after its long retention by the English kings? Louis's intention
gradually became plain and he proved that he was no longer in the
isolated position in which the War for Public Weal had found him. He
had won to himself many adherents, while the general tone towards
Charles of Burgundy had changed.[1]

In April, 1468, the States-General of France assembled at Tours in
response to royal writs issued in the preceding February.[2] The
chancellor, Jouvençal, opened the session with a tedious, long-winded
harangue calculated to weary rather than to illuminate the assembly.
Then the king took the floor and delivered a telling speech. With
trenchant and well chosen phrases he set forth the reasons why
Normandy ought to be an intrinsic part of the French realm. The
advantages of centralisation, the weakness of decentralisation, were
skilfully drawn. The matter was one affecting the kingdom as a whole,
in perpetuity; it was not for the temporal interests of the present
incumbent of regal authority, who had only part therein for the brief
space of his mortal journey. Louis's words are pathetic indeed, as
he calls himself a sojourner in France, _en voyage_ through life,
as though the fact itself of his likeness to the rest of ephemeral
mankind was novel to his audience. He reiterated the statement that
the interests involved were theirs, not his.

It was a goodly body which listened to Louis. The greatest feudal
lords, indeed, were not present, but many of the lesser nobility were,
while sixty-four towns sent, all told, about 128 deputies. These
hearers gave willing attention to the thesis that it was a burning
shame for the French people to pay heavy taxes simply to restrain the
insolent peers from rebelling against their sovereign--those noble
scions of the royal stock whose bounden duty it was to protect the
state and the head of the royal house.

What was the reason for their selfish insubordination? The root of the
evil lay in the past, when extensive territories had been carelessly
alienated, and their petty over-lords permitted to acquire too much
independence of the crown, so that the monarchy was threatened with
disruption. There was more to the same purpose and then the deputies
deliberated on the answer to make to this speech from the throne. It
was an answer to Louis's mind, an answer that showed the value of
suggestion. Charles the Wise had thought that an estate yielding an
income of twelve thousand livres was all-sufficient for a prince of
the blood. Louis XI. was more generous. He was ready to allow his
brother Charles a pension of sixty thousand livres. But as to the
government of Normandy--why! no king, either from fraternal affection
or from fear of war, was justified in committing that province to
other hands than his own.

The States-General dissolved in perfect accord with the monarch, and a
definite order was left in the king's hands, declaring that it was
the judgment of the towns represented that concentration of power was
necessary for the common welfare of France. Public opinion declared
that national weakness would be inevitable if the feudatories were
unbridled in their centrifugal tendencies. Above all, Normandy must be
retained by the king. On no consideration should Louis leave it to his

Before the dissolution of the assembly there was some discussion as to
the probable attitude of the great nobles in regard to this platform
of centralisation. Very timid were the comments on Charles of
Burgundy. Would he not perhaps be an excellent mediator between the
lesser dukes and the king? Would it not be better to suspend action
until his opinion was known, etc? But at large there was less reserve.
The statements were emphatic. Naught but mischief had ever come to
France from Burgundy. The present duke's father and grandfather had
wrought all the ill that lay in their power. As for Charles, his
illimitable greed was notorious. Let him rest content with his
paternal heritage. Ghent and Bruges were his. Did he want Paris too?
Let the king recover the towns on the Somme. Rightfully they were
French. Louis made no scruple in pleading the invalidity of the treaty
of Conflans, because it had been wrested from him by undue influence.
And this royal sentiment was repeated here and there with growing
conviction of its justice.

While Charles was occupied with the preparation for his wedding, Louis
was engaged in levying troops and mobilising his forces, and these
preparations continued throughout the summer of 1468. Naturally, news
of this zeal directed against the dukes of Normandy and of Brittany
followed the traveller in Holland.

Charles was in high dudgeon and wrote at once to the king, reminding
him that these seigneurs were his allies, and demanding that nothing
should be wrought to their detriment. Conscious that his remonstrance
might be futile, and urged on by appeals from the dukes, Charles
hastened to cut short his stay in Holland so that he might move nearer
to the scene of Louis's activities. His purpose in going to the north
had been twofold--to receive homage as Count of Holland and Zealand,
and to use his new dignity to obtain large sums of money for which he
saw immediate need if he were to hold Louis to the terms wrested from

In early July, Charles had crossed from Sluis in Flanders to
Middelburg, and thence made his progress through the cities of
Zealand, receiving homage as he went. Next he passed to The Hague,
where the nobles and civic deputies of Holland met him and gave
him their oaths of fealty on July 21st. Fifty-six towns[4] were
represented and there were also deputies from eight bailiwicks and the
islands of Texel and Wieringen. "It is noteworthy," comments a Dutch
historian, "that the people's oath was given first. The older custom
was that the count should give the first pledge while the people
followed suit."

As soon as he was thus legally invested with sovereign power, Charles
demanded a large _aide_ from Holland and Zealand--480,000 crowns of
fifteen stivers for himself; 32,000 crowns as pin money for his new
consort; 16,000 crowns as donations for various servants, and 4800
crowns towards his travelling expenses. The total sum was 532,800
crowns. The share of Holland and West Friesland was 372,800 crowns,
and of Zealand 16,000 crowns, to be paid within seven and a half
years. In Holland, Haarlem paid the heaviest quota, 3549 crowns, and
Schiedam the smallest, 350 crowns, while Dordrecht and the South
Holland villages were assessed at 39,200 crowns, and the remainder was
divided among the other cities and villages.

There was considerable opposition to the assessments. In many cases
the new imposts upon provisions pressed very heavily on the poor
villagers. Having obtained promise of the grant, however, Charles left
all further details in its regard to the local officials and returned
to Brussels at the beginning of August to make his own preparation.
For, by that time, Louis's intentions of evading the treaty of
Conflans were plain, though there still fluttered a thin veil of
friendship between the cousins. Gathering what forces he could
mobilise, ordering them to meet him later, Charles moved westward and
took up his quarters at Peronne on the river Somme.

Louis had been bold in his utterance to the States-General as to his
perfect right to ignore the treaty of Conflans, to dispossess his
brother, and to bring the great feudatories to terms. In the summer
of 1468 he made advances towards accomplishing the last-named
desideratum. Brittany was invaded by royal troops, but his victory was
diplomatic rather than military, as Duke Francis peaceably consented
to renounce his close alliances with Burgundy and England, nominally
at least. Further, he agreed to urge Charles of France to submit his
claims to Normandy to the arbitration of Nicholas of Calabria and the
Constable St. Pol.[5]

Charles of Burgundy remained to be settled with on some different
basis. And in regard to him Louis XI. took a resolve which terrified
his friends and caused the world to wonder as to his sanity. All
previous attempts at mediation having failed--St. Pol was among the
many who tried--the king determined to be his own messenger to parley
with his Burgundian cousin. It is curious how small was his measure
of personal pride. He had been negligent of his personal safety at
Conflans, but even then Charles had better reason to respect and
protect him than in 1468, after Louis had manoeuvred for three years
in every direction to harass and undermine the young duke's power,
and when, too, the latter was aware of half of the machinations and
suspicious of more.

Yet Louis's famous visit to Peronne was no sudden hare-brained
enterprise. There is much evidence that he nursed the project for many
weeks without giving any intimation of his intentions. Nor was the
situation as strange as it appears, looking backward.

Charles had doubtless made all preparations to combat Louis if need
were, and had chosen Peronne for his headquarters with the express
purpose of being able to watch France, and, at the same time, he had
published abroad that his military preparations were solely for
the purpose of keeping his obligations to his allies. Now these
obligations were momentarily removed by the action of those same
allies. Francis of Brittany had entered into amicable relations with
his sovereign, young Charles of France had accepted arbitration to
settle the fraternal relations of the royal brothers, while the
correspondence between Louis and Liege, was still unknown to the Duke
of Burgundy. For the moment, the latter, therefore, had no definite
quarrel with the French king. But he was not in the least anxious for
an interview with him. Charles was as far as ever from understanding
his cousin. Even without definite knowledge of Louis's efforts to
make friends in the Netherlands, Charles suspected enough to turn his
youthful distrust of the man's character into mature conviction that
friendship between them was impossible. But he could not refuse the
royal overtures. His letter of safe-conduct to his self-invited
visitor bears the date of October 8th, and runs as follows:[6]


    "I commend myself to your good graces. Sire, if it be your
    desire to come to this city of Peronne in order that we may talk
    together, I swear and I promise you by my faith and on my honour
    that you may come, remain and return in safety to Chauny or Noyon,
    according to your pleasure and as often as it shall please you,
    freely and openly without any hindrance offered either to you or
    to any of your people by me or by any other for any cause that now
    exists or _that may hereafter arise_."

Guillaume de Biche acted as confidential messenger between duke and
king. He it was whom Charles had dismissed from his own service in
1456 at his father's instance. From that time on the man had been in
Louis's household, deep in his secrets it was said, and certainly
admitted to his privacy to an extraordinary degree. This letter was
written by Charles in the presence of Biche, through whose hand it
passed directly to the king.

By October, Louis was at Ham, prepared to move as soon as the
safe-conduct arrived. No time was lost after its receipt. On Sunday,
October 9th, the king started out, accompanied by the Bishop of
Avranches, his confessor, by the Duke of Bourbon, Cardinal Balue,
St. Pol, a few more nobles, and about eighty archers of the Scottish
guard. As he rode towards Peronne, Philip of Crèvecoeur, with two
hundred lances, met him on the way to act as his escort to the
presence of the duke, who awaited his guest on the banks of a stream a
short distance out of Peronne.

St. Pol was the first of the royal party to meet the duke as herald of
Louis's approach. Then Charles rode forward to greet the traveller. As
he came within sight of his cousin, he bowed low to his saddle and was
about to dismount when Louis, his head bared, prevented his action.
Fervent were the kisses pressed by the kingly lips upon the duke's
cheeks, while Louis's arm rested lovingly about the latter's neck.
Then he turned graciously to the by-standing nobles and greeted them
by name. But his cousinly affection was not yet satisfied. Again he
embraced Charles and held him half as long as before in his arms. How
pleasant he was and how full of confidence towards this trusted cousin
of his!

The cavalcade fell into line again, with the two princes in the
middle, and made a stately entry into Peronne at a little after
mid-day.[7] The chief building then and the natural place to lodge
a royal visitor was the castle. But it was in sorry repair, ill
furnished, and affording less comfort than a neighbouring house
belonging to a city official. Here rooms had been prepared for the
king and a few of his suite, the others being quartered through the
town. At the door Charles took his leave and Louis entered alone with
Cardinal Balue and the attendants he had chosen to keep near him.
These latter were nearly all of inferior birth, and were treated
by their master with a familiarity very astonishing to the stately

Louis entered the room assigned for his use, walked to the window,
and looked out into the street. The sight that met his view was most
disquieting. A party of cavaliers were on the point of entering the
castle. They were gentlemen just arrived from Burgundy with their
lances, in response to a summons issued long before the present visit
was anticipated. As he looked down on the troops, Louis recognised
several men who had no cause to love him or to cherish his memory.
There was, for instance, the queen's brother Philip de Bresse[8] who
had led a party against Louis's own sister Yolande of Savoy. At a
time of parley this Philip had trusted the sincerity of his
brother-in-law's profession and had visited him to obtain his
mediation. The king had violated both the specified safe-conduct and
ambassadorial equity alike, and had thrown De Bresse into the citadel
of Loches, where he suffered a long confinement before he succeeded in
making his escape. He was a Burgundian in sympathy as well as in race.
But with him on that October day Louis noticed various Frenchmen who
had fallen under royal displeasure from one cause or another and had
saved their liberty by flight, renouncing their allegiance to him
for ever. Four there were in all who wore the cross of St. Andrew.
Approaching Peronne as they had from the south, these new-comers had
ridden in at the southern gates without intimation of this royal
visitation extraordinary until they were almost face to face with
guest and host. Their arrival was "a half of a quarter of an hour
later than that of the king."

When Philip de Bresse and his friends learned what was going on, they
hastened to the duke's chambers "to give him reverence." Monseigneur
de Bresse was the spokesman in begging the duke that the three above
named should be assured of their security notwithstanding the king's
presence at Peronne,--of security such as he had pledged them in
Burgundy and promised for the hour when they should arrive at his
court. On their part they were ready to serve him towards all and
against all. Which petition the duke granted orally. "The force
conducted by the Marshal of Burgundy was encamped without the gates,
and the said marshal spoke no ill of the king, nor did the others I
have mentioned."[9]

It was, however, a situation in which apprehension was not confined
to the men of lower station. To Louis, looking down from his window,
there seemed dire menace in the mere presence of these persons who had
heavy grievances against him, and the unfortified private house seemed
slight protection against their possible vengeance. Here, Charles
might disavow injury to him as something happening quite without his
knowledge. On ducal soil the safest place was assuredly under shelter
patently ducal. There, there would be no doubt of responsibility did
misfortune happen.

Straightway the king sent a messenger to Charles asking for quarters
within the castle. The request was granted and the uneasy guest passed
through the massive portals between a double line of Burgundian
men-at-arms. It was no cheerful, pleasant, palatial dwelling-place
this little old castle of Peronne. So thick were the walls that vain
had been all assaults against it.[10] Designed for a fortress rather
than a residence, it had been repeatedly used as a prison, and the air
of the whole was tainted by the dungeons under its walls, dungeons
which had seen many unwilling lodgers. Five centuries earlier than
this date, Charles the Simple had languished to death in one of the

This change of arrangement, or rather the disquieting reason for the
change, undoubtedly clouded the peacefulness of the occasion. Yet
outward calm was preserved. Commines asserts that the two princes
directed their people to behave amicably to each other and that the
commands were scrupulously obeyed. For two or three days the desired
conferences took place between Charles and Louis. The king's wishes
were perfectly plain. He wanted Charles to forsake all other alliances
and to pledge himself to support his feudal chief, first and foremost,
from all attacks of his enemies. The Duke of Brittany had submitted
to his liege. If the Duke of Burgundy would only accept terms equally
satisfactory in their way, the pernicious alliance between the two
would vanish, to the weal of French unity.

[Illustration: PHILIP DE COMMINES.]

Apparently the first discussion was heard by none except the Cardinal
Balue and Guillaume de Biche. Charles was willing to pledge allegiance
and to promise aid to his feudal chief, but under limitations that
weakened the value of his words. Nothing could induce him to renounce
alliance with other princes for mutual aid, did they need it. There
was a second interview on the following day. Charles held tenaciously
to his position. Then there came a sudden alteration in the situation,
a strange dramatic shifting of the duke's point of view.

The city of Liege had submitted perforce to the behests of her
imperious neighbour, but the citizens had never ceased to hope that
his unwelcome "protection" might be dispensed with; that, by the aid
of French troops, they might eventually wrest themselves free from
the Burgundian incubus. In spite of all promises to Charles, secret
negotiations between the anti-Burgundian party and Louis XI. had never
ceased. The latter never refused to admit the importunate embassies to
his presence. He was glad to keep in touch with the city even in
its ruined condition. He sent envoys as well as received them, and
Commines states definitely that, in making his plan to visit Peronne,
the fact of a confidential commission recently despatched to Liege had
wholly slipped the king's mind.

In that town the duke's lieutenant, Humbercourt, had been left to
supervise the humiliating changes ordered. And the work of demolition
was the only industry. Other ordinary business was at a standstill.
For a period there was a sullen silence in the streets and the church
bells were at rest. In April, a special legate from the pope arrived
to see whether ecclesiastical affairs could not be put on a better

It was about the same time that the States-General were meeting
at Tours that, under the direction of this legate, Onofrio de
Santa-Croce, the cathedral was purified with holy water, and Louis of
Bourbon celebrated his very first mass, though he had been seated on
the episcopal throne for twelve years. Then Onofrio tried to mediate
between the city and the Duke of Burgundy. To Bruges he went to
see Charles, and obtained permission to draft a project for the
re-establishment of the civic government, to be submitted to the duke
for approval.

If Onofrio thought he had reformed the bishop by forcing him into
performing his priestly rites he soon learned his mistake. That
ecclesiastic speedily disgusted his flock by his ill-timed
festivities, and then forsook the city and sailed away to Maestricht
in a gaily painted barge, with gay companions to pass the summer in
frivolous amusements suited to his dissolute tastes. Such was the
state of affairs when the report of Louis's extensive military
preparations encouraged the Liegeois to hope that he was to take the
field openly against the duke.

About the beginning of September, troops of forlorn and desperate
exiles began to return to the city. They came, to be sure, with shouts
of _Vive le Roi!_ but, as a matter of fact, they seemed willing to
make any accommodation for the sake of being permitted to remain.
"Better any fate at home than to live like wild beasts with the
recollection that we had once been men."

To make a long story short, Onofrio again endeavoured to rouse the
bishop to a sense of his duty. Again he tried to make terms for the
exiles and to re-establish a tenable condition. It was useless. Louis
of Bourbon refused to approach nearer to Liege than Tongres, and
declined to meet the advances of his despairing subjects. It was just
at this moment that fresh emissaries arrived from Louis, despatched,
as already stated, _before_ Charles had consented to prolong the

Excited by their presence the Liegeois once more roused themselves to
action. A force of two thousand was gathered at Liege, and advanced by
night upon Tongres--also without walls--surrounded the house where lay
their bishop, and forced him to return to Liege. Violence there was
and loss of life, but, as a matter of fact, the mob respected the
person of their bishop and of Humbercourt the chief Burgundian
official. This event happened on October 9th, the very day that Louis
rode recklessly into Peronne.

On Wednesday, October 11th, the news of the fray reached Peronne,
but news greatly exaggerated by rumour. Bishop, papal legate, and
Burgundian lieutenant all had been ruthlessly murdered in the very
presence of Louis's own envoys, who had aided and abetted the hideous
crime! To follow the story of an eyewitness:[11]

    "Some said that everyone was dead, others asserted the contrary,
    for such advertisments are never reported after one sort. At
    length others came who had seen certain canons slain and supposed
    the bishop[12] to be of the number, as well as the said seigneur
    de Humbercourt and all the rest. Further, they said that they had
    seen the king's ambassadors in the attacking company and mentioned
    them by name. All this was repeated to the duke, who forthwith
    believed it and fell into an extreme fury, saying that the king
    had come thither to abuse him, and gave commands to shut the gates
    of the castle and of the town, alleging a poor enough excuse,
    namely, that he did this on account of the disappearance of a
    little casket containing some good rings and money.

    "The king finding himself confined in the castle, a small one at
    that, and having seen a force of archers standing before the gate,
    was terrified for his person--the more so that he was lodged in
    the neighbourhood of a tower where a certain Count de Vermandois
    had caused the death of one of his predecessors as king of
    France.[13] At that time, I was still with the duke and served him
    as chamberlain, and had free access to his chamber when I
    would, for such was the usage in this household.

    "The said duke, as soon as he saw the gates closed, ordered all to
    leave his presence and said to a few of us that stayed with him
    that the king had come on purpose to betray him, and that he
    himself had tried to avoid his coming with all his strength, and
    that the meeting had been against his taste. Then he proceeded to
    recount the news from Liege, how the king had pulled all the wires
    through his ambassadors, and how his people had been slain. He was
    fearfully excited against the king. I veritably believe that if
    at that hour he had found those to whom he could appeal ready to
    sympathise with him and to advise him to work the king some
    mischief, he would have done so, at the least he would have
    imprisoned him in the great tower.

    "None were present when the words fell from the duke but myself
    and two grooms of the chamber, one of whom was named Charles de
    Visen, a native of Dijon, an honest fellow, in good credit with
    his master. We aggravated nothing, but sought to appease the duke
    as much as in us lay. Soon he tried the same phrases on others,
    and a report of them ran through the city and penetrated to the
    very apartment of the king, who was greatly terrified, as was
    everyone, because of the danger that they saw imminent, and
    because of the great difficulty in soothing a quarrel when it
    has commenced between such great princes. Assuredly they were
    blameworthy in failing to notify their absent servants of this
    projected meeting. Great inconveniences were bound to arise from
    this negligence."

Such is Commines's narrative. Eyewitness though he was, it must be
remembered that when he wrote the account of this famous interview it
was long after the event, and when his point of view was necessarily
coloured by his service with Louis. Delightful, however, are the
historian's own reflections that he intersperses with his plain
narrative. To his mind the only period when it is safe for princes to
meet is

    "in their youth when their minds are bent on pleasure. Then they
    may amuse themselves together. But after they are come to man's
    estate and are desirous each of over-reaching the other, such
    interviews do but increase their mutual hatred, even if they incur
    no personal peril (which is well-nigh impossible). Far wiser is
    it for them to adjust their differences through sage and good
    servants as I have said at length elsewhere in these memoirs."

Then our chronicler proceeds to give numerous instances of disastrous
royal interviews before returning to his subject and to Peronne:

    "I was moved [he adds again at the beginning of his new chapter]
    to tell the princes my opinion of such meetings.[14] Thus the
    gates were closed and guarded and two or three days passed by.
    However, the Duke of Burgundy would not see the king, nor had
    Louis's servants entry to the castle except a few, and those only
    through the wicket. Nor did the duke see any of his people who had
    influence over him.

    "The first day there was consternation throughout the city. By the
    second day the duke was a little calmed down. He held a council
    meeting all day and the greater part of the night. The king
    appealed to every one who could possibly aid him. He was lavish in
    his promises and ordered fifteen thousand crowns to be given where
    it might count, but the officer in charge of the disbursement of
    this sum acquitted himself ill and retained a part, as the king
    learned later.

    "The king was especially afraid of his former servants who had
    come with the army from Burgundy, as I mentioned above, men who
    were now in the service of the Duke of Normandy.

    "Diverse were the opinions in the above-mentioned council-meeting.
    Some held that the safe-conduct accorded to the king protected
    him, seeing that he fairly observed the peace as it had been
    stated in writing. Others rudely urged his capture without further
    ceremony, while others again advised sending for his brother, the
    Duke of Normandy, and concluding with him a peace to the advantage
    of all the princes of France. They who gave this advice thought
    that in case it was adopted, the king should be restrained of his
    liberty. Further, it was against all precedent to free so great a
    seigneur when he had committed so grave an offence.

    "This last argument so nearly prevailed that I saw a man booted
    and spurred ready to depart with a packet of letters addressed to
    Monseigneur of Normandy, being in Brittany, and stayed only for
    the Duke of Burgundy's letter. However, this came to naught. The
    king made overtures to leave as hostages the Duke of Bourbon, the
    cardinal, his brother, and the constable with a dozen others while
    he should be permitted to return to Compiegne after peace was
    concluded. He promised that the Liegeois should repair their
    mischief or he would declare himself their foe. The appointed
    hostages were profuse in their offers to immolate themselves, at
    least they were in public. I do not know whether they would have
    said the same things in private. I rather suspect not. And in
    truth, I believe that those who were left would never have

    "On the third night after the arrival of the news, the duke never
    undressed, but lay down two or three times on his bed, and
    then rose and walked up and down. Such was his way when he was
    troubled. I lay that night in his chamber and talked with him from
    time to time. In the morning his fury was greater than ever, his
    tone very menacing, and he seemed ready to go to any extreme.

    "However, he finally brought himself to say that if the king would
    swear the peace and would accompany him to Liege to help avenge
    Monsgn. of Liege, his own kinsman, he would be satisfied. Then
    he suddenly betook himself to the king's chamber and expressed
    himself to that effect. The king had a friend[15] who warned him,
    assuring him that he should suffer no ill if he would concede
    these two points. Did he do otherwise he ran grave risk, graver
    than he would ever incur again."

    When the duke entered the royal presence his voice trembled, so
    agitated was he and on the verge of breaking into a passion. He
    assumed a reverential attitude, but rough were mien and word as he
    demanded whether the king would keep the treaty of peace as it had
    been drafted, and whether he was ready to swear to it. "Yes" was
    the king's response. In truth, nothing had been added to the
    agreement made before Paris, or at least little as far as the Duke
    of Burgundy was concerned. As regarded the Duke of Normandy, it
    was stipulated that if he would renounce that province he should
    have Champagne and Brie besides other neighbouring territories for
    his share.

    Then the duke asked if the king would accompany him to avenge the
    outrage committed upon his cousin the bishop.

    "To which demand the king gave assent as soon as the peace was
    sworn. He was quite satisfied to go to Liege and with a small or
    large escort, just as the duke preferred. This answer pleased
    the duke immensely. In was brought the treaty, out of the king's
    coffer was taken the piece of the true cross, the very one carried
    by Saint Charlemagne, called the Cross of Victory, and thereupon
    the two swore the peace.

    "This was now October 14th. In a minute the bells pealed out their
    joy throughout Peronne and all men were glad. It hath pleased the
    king since to attribute the credit of this pacification to me."

There was undoubtedly an immense sense of relief in Peronne when this
degree of accommodation was reached. The duke was unwilling, however,
to have too much rejoicing in his domains until he had ascertained for
himself the state of Liege. Among the letters despatched from Peronne
this October 14th, was the following to the magistrates of Ypres:[16]

    "Dear and well beloved friends, considering that we have to-day
    made peace and convention with Monseigneur the king, and that for
    this reason you might be inclined to let off fire-works and make
    other manifestations of joy, we hasten to advise you that ... our
    pleasure is you shall not permit fireworks or assemblies in our
    town of Ypres on account of the said peace until we have subdued
    the people of Liege, and avenged the said outrage [described
    above]. This with God's aid we intend to do. We are on the point
    of departure with all our forces for Liege. Beloved, may our Lord
    protect you.

    "Written in our castle of Peronne, October 14, 1468."

A certain G. Ruple conveyed his own impressions to the magistrates of
Ypres, possibly managing to slip them under the same cover.[17]

    "To-day, at about 10 o'clock, peace was concluded between the king
    and Monseigneur, and also between the king and the Duke of Berry.
    Here, bells are ringing and the _Te Deum_ is sung. It is generally
    believed that Monseigneur will depart to-morrow. God deserves
    thanks for the result, for I assure you that last night the
    outlook was not clear."[18]

The king wrote as follows to his confidential lieutenant:

    "PERONNE, October 14th.

    "Monseigneur the grand master, you are already informed how there
    has been discussion in my council and that of my brother-in-law of
    Burgundy, as to the best manner of adjusting certain differences
    between him and me. It went so far that in order to arrive at a
    conclusion I came to this town of Peronne. Here we have busied
    ourselves with the requisitions passing between us, so that to-day
    we have, thanks to our Lord, in the presence of all the nobles
    of the blood, prelates and other great and notable personages in
    great numbers, both from my suite and from his, sworn peace
    solemnly on the true cross, and promised to aid, defend and
    succour each other for ever. Also on the same cross we have
    ratified the treaty of Arras with its corrections and other points
    which seemed productive of peace and amity.

    "Immediately after this the Duke of Burgundy ordered thanksgivings
    in the churches of his lands, and in this town he has already had
    great solemnity. And because my brother of Burgundy has heard that
    the Liegeois have taken prisoner my cousin the bishop of Liege,
    whom he is determined to deliver as quickly as possible, he has
    besought me as a favour to him, and also because the bishop is my
    kinsman whom I ought to aid, to accompany him to Liege, not far
    from here. This I have agreed to, and have chosen as my escort
    a portion of the troops under monseigneur the constable, in the
    hopes of a speedy return by the aid of God.

    "And because it is for my weal and that of my subjects I write to
    you at once, because _I am sure_ you will be pleased, and that
    you will order like solemnities. Moreover, monseigneur the grand
    master, as I lately wrote to you, pray as quickly as possible
    disband my _arriere ban_ together with the free lances, and
    do every possible thing for the mass of poor folks; appoint
    well-to-do men as leaders in every bailiwick and district. Above
    all, see to it that they do not indulge in any new and startling
    conduct. That done, if you wish to come to Bohan, to be nearer
    me, I would be glad, so as to be able to provide for any further
    action that may arise. Written at Peronne October 14th.

    "Loys MEURIN.

    "To our dear and beloved cousin the Count of Dammartin, grand
    master of France."[19]

Dammartin thought that this letter was phrased for the purpose of
passing Charles's censorship. He took the liberty of disregarding his
master's orders; the troops were not disbanded, and he held himself
in readiness to go to fetch the errant monarch if he did not return
speedily from the enemy's country. His letter to the king and the
unwritten additions delivered by his confidential messengers terrified
his liege lest too much zeal on his behalf in France might work him
ill in Liege. A week later Louis writes again:

    NAMUR, Oct. 22nd.


    "I have received your letter by Sire du Bouchage. _Be assured that
    I make this journey to Liege under no constraint, and that I never
    took any journey with such good heart as I do this._ Since God and
    Our Lady have given me grace to be friends with Monseigneur of
    Burgundy, be sure that never shall our rabble over there take arms
    against me. Monseigneur the grand master, my friend, you have
    proved that you love me, and you have done me the greatest service
    that you can, and there is another service that you can do. The
    people of Monseigneur of Burgundy think that I mean to deceive
    them, and people there [in France] think that I am a prisoner.
    Distrust between the two would be my ruin.

    "Monseigneur, as to the quarters of your men, you know what we
    planned, you and I, touching the action of Armagnac. It seems
    to me that you ought to send your people straight ahead in that
    direction and I will furnish you four or five captains as soon as
    I am out of this, and you can make what choice you will. M. the
    grand master, my friend, come, I beg you, to Laon and await me
    there. Send me a messenger the minute you arrive and I will let
    you have frequent news. Be assured that as soon as the Liegeois
    are subdued, on the morrow I will depart, for Monsg. of Burgundy
    is resolved to urge me to go as soon as he has finished his work
    at Liege, and he desires my return more than I do. Francois Dunois
    will tell you what good cheer we are making. Adieu, monseigneur,

    "Writ at Namur, Oct. 22nd.


    "To our dear and beloved cousin the Count of Dammartin, grand
    master of France."[20]

Letters of the same date to Rochefoucauld and others also declare that
Louis goes most gladly with his dear brother of Burgundy and that the
affair will not require much time. To Cardinal Balue he writes only a
few words, telling him that the messenger will be more communicative.

Between Peronne and Namur did the party turn aside to visit the
young Duchess of Burgundy, either at Hesdin or at Aire? Such is the
conjecture of a learned Belgian editor, and he carries his surmise
further in suggesting that in this brief sojourn was performed
Chastellain's mystery of "The Peace of Peronne."[21] Perhaps these
verses, if put in the mouths of Louis and Charles, may have pleased
the princely spectators of the dramatic poem. Mutual admiration was
the key-note of these flowery speeches while the other _dramatis
personæ_ expressed unstinted admiration for the wonderful deed
accomplished by these two pure souls who have sworn peace when they
might have brought dire war on their innocent subjects.

    "Never did David, nor Ogier, nor Roland, that proud knight,
    nor the great Charlemagne, nor the proud Duke of Mayence, nor
    Mongleive, the heir, from whom issued noble fruit, nor King
    Arthur, nor Oliver, nor Rossillon, nor Charbonnier in their dozens
    of victories approach or touch with hand or foot the work I treat

           *       *       *       *       *

    [The king speaks.]

    "Charles, be assured that Louis will be the re-establisher and
    provider of all that touches your honour and peace between you
    and him. That he will ever be appreciator of you and avenger, a
    nourisher of joy and love in repairing all that my predecessor

    [The duke speaks.]

    "And Charles, who loves his honour as much as his soul, wishes
    nothing better than to serve you and this realm and to extol
    your house. For I know that is the reason why I have glory and
    reputation. Then if it please God and Our Lady, my body will keep
    from blame."

One stanza, indeed, uttered by Louis strikes a note of doubt:
"Charles, so many debates may occur, so many incidents and accidents
in our various actions, that a rupture may be dreaded."

Vehemently did the duke repudiate the bare possibility of a new breach
between him and his liege. The whole is a pæan at a love feast. If the
two together heard their counterfeits express such perfect fidelity,
how Louis XI. must have laughed to himself behind his mask of forced
courtesy! Charles, on the other hand, was quite capable of taking it
all seriously, wholly unconscious that he had not cut the lion's claws
for once and all.

[Footnote 1: _See_ Lavisse iv^{ii}.,356.]

[Footnote 2: The letters of convocation bear the date February 26,
1467, o.s. Tournay elected four deputies. By April 30th, they had
returned home, and on May 2d they made a report. The items of
expenditure are very exact. So hard had they ridden that a fine horse
costing eleven crowns was used up and was sold for four crowns. M. Van
der Broeck, archivist of Tournay, extracted various items from the
register of the Council. _See_ Kervyn's note. Chastellain, v., 387.]

[Footnote 3: _See_ Lavisse iv^[ii]., 356.]

[Footnote 4: Dordrecht was not among them. Her deputies held that
it was illegal for them to go to The Hague. Some time later Charles
received the oaths at Dordrecht. (Wagenaar, _Vaderlandsche Hist._,
iv., 101.]

[Footnote 5: Treaty of Ancenis, September 10, 1468. _See_ Lavisse,
iv^[ii].] One of the results of the War of Public Weal was that St.
Pol was appointed constable of France.]

[Footnote 6: The original is in the Mss. de Baluze, Paris, Bibl. Nat.;
Lenglet, iii., 19.]

[Footnote 7: Commines and a letter to the magistrates of Ypres are the
basis of this narrative. (Gachard, _Doc. inéd._, i., 196.) There
is, however, a mass of additional material both contemporaneous and
commentating. _See also_ Michelet, Lavisse, Kirk, etc. Chastellain's
MS. is lost.]

[Footnote 8: _See_ Lavisse, iv^[ii]., 397.]

[Footnote 9: Ludwig v. Diesbach, (_See_ Kirk, i., 559.) The author
was a page in Louis's train, who afterwards played a part in Swiss

[Footnote 10: It was never captured until Wellington took it in 1814.]

[Footnote 11: Commines, ii., ch. vii.]

[Footnote 12: The bishop did indeed meet his death at the hands of the
mob, but it was many years later.]

[Footnote 13: _Le roi ... se voyait logé, rasibus d'une grosse tour ou
un Comte de Vermandois fit mourir un sien prédécesseur Roy de France_.
(Commines, ii., ch. vii.)]

[Footnote 14: _Memoires_, ii., ch. ix.]

[Footnote 15: Undoubtedly Commines wishes it to be inferred that this
was he. The main narrative followed here is Commines, whose memoirs
remain, as Ste.-Beuve says, the definitive history of the times. There
are the errors inevitable to any contemporary statement. Meyer, to be
sure, says, apropos of an incident incorrectly reported, _Falsus in
hoc ut in pluribus historicus_. Kervyn de Lettenhove three centuries
later is also severe. _See_, too, "L'autorité historique de Ph. de
Commynes," Mandrot, _Rev. Hist_., 73.]

[Footnote 16: Gachard, _Doc. inéd._, i., 199.]

[Footnote 17: _Ibid._, 200.]

[Footnote 18: _Waer ic certiffiere dat het dezen nacht niet wel claer
ghestaen heeft._]

[Footnote 19: _Lettres de Louis XI_, iii., 289. The king apparently
never resented the part played by Dammartin when he was dauphin. His
letters to him are very intimate.]

[Footnote 20: _Lettres_, iii., 295. (Toussaint is probably Toustain.)]

[Footnote 21: Kervyn ed., _Oeuvres de Chastellain_, vii., xviii. _See_
poem, _ibid._, 423. The MS. in the Laurentian Library at Florence
bears this line: "Here follows a mystery made because of the said
peace of good intention in the thought that it would be observed by
the parties." Hesdin is, however, a long way out of the route between
Peronne and Namur, where the party was on October 14th. It would
hardly seem possible for journey and visit in so brief a time.]




It was in the midst of heavy rains that the journey was made to Namur
and then on to the environs of Liege. Grim was the weather, befitting,
in all probability, Charles's own mood. The king's escort was confined
to very few besides the Scottish guard, but a body of three hundred
troopers was permitted to follow him at a distance, while the faithful
Dammartin across the border kept himself closely informed of every
incident connected with the march that his scouts could gather, and
in readiness to fall upon Burgundian possessions at a word of alarm,
while he restrained his ardour for the moment in obedience to Louis's
anxious command.

By the fourth week of October the Franco-Burgundian party were settled
close to Liege in straggling camps, separated from each other by hills
and uneven ground. Long was the discussion in council meeting as to
the best mode of procedure. Liege was absolutely helpless in the face
of this coalition. Wide breaches made her walls useless. Moats she had
never possessed, for digging was well-nigh impossible on her rocky
site covered by mud and slime from the overflow of the Meuse. On
account of this evident weakness, the king advised dismissing half the
army as needless, advice that was not only rejected immediately but
which excited Charles's doubts of the king's good faith. Over a week
passed and feeble Liege continued obstinate, while each division of
the army manoeuvred to be first in the assault for the sake of the
plunder. But advance was very difficult, for the soldiers were
impeded in their movements by the slime. Wild were some of the night
skirmishes over the uneven, slippery ground and amidst the little
sheltering hills.

On one occasion, "a great many were hurt and among the rest the Prince
of Orange (whom I had forgotten to name before), who behaved that day
like a courageous gentleman, for he never moved foot off the place he
first possessed.

The duke, too, did not lack in courage but he failed sometimes
in order giving, and to say the truth, he behaved himself not so
advisedly as many wished because of the king's presence."[1]

There is no doubt that Charles entertained increasingly sinister
suspicions of his guest. He thought the king might either try to enter
the city ahead of him and manage to placate his ancient allies by a
specious explanation, or else he might succeed in effecting his escape
without fulfilling his compact. At last Charles appointed Sunday,
October 30th, for an assault. On the 29th, his own quarters were in
a little suburb of mean, low houses, with rough ground and vineyards
separating his camp from the city. Between his house and that of the
king, both humble dwellings, was an old granary, occupied by a picked
Burgundian force of three hundred men under special injunctions to
keep close watch over the royal guest and see that he played no sudden
trick. To further this purpose of espionage, they had made a breach in
the walls with heavy blows of their picks.

The men were wearied with all their marching and skirmishing, and in
order to have them in fighting trim on the morrow, Charles had ordered
all alike to turn in and refresh themselves. The exhausted troops
gladly obeyed this injunction. Charles was disarmed and sleeping, so,
too, were Philip de Commines and the few attendants that lay within
the narrow ducal chamber. Only a dozen pickets mounted guard in the
room over Charles's little apartment, and kept their tired eyes open
by playing at dice.

On that Saturday night when Charles was thus prudently gathering
strength for the final tussle, the people of Liege also indulged in
repose, counting on Sunday being a day of rest, that is, the major
part of the burgher folk did within city limits. But another plan was
on foot among some of the inhabitants of an outlying region. An attack
on the Burgundian camp was planned by a band from Franchimont, a wild
and wooded district, south of the episcopal see. The natives there had
all the characteristics of mountaineers, although the heights of their
rugged country reached only modest altitudes.[2]

These invaders were fortunate in obtaining as guides the owners of
the very houses requisitioned for the lodgings of the two princes.
Straight to their goal they progressed through paths quite unknown to
the foe, and therefore unwatched. The highlanders made a mistake
in not rushing headlong to the royal lodgings, where in the first
confusion they might have accomplished their design upon the lives of
Louis and of Charles or at least have taken the two prisoners. But a
pause at a French nobleman's tent created a disturbance which roused
the archers in the granary. The latter sallied out, to meet with a
fierce counter-attack. In order to confuse them the mountaineers
echoed the Burgundian cries, _Vive Bourgogne, vive le roy et tuez,
tuez_, and they were not always immediately identified by their harsh
Liege accent.

The highlanders were far outnumbered by the Burgundians, and it was
only by dint of their desperate courage and by reason of the pitchy
darkness and of the locality with its unknown roughness that the
former inflicted the damage that they did.

Commines and his fellows helped the duke into his cuirass, and stood
by his person, while the king's bodyguard of Scottish archers "proved
themselves good fellows, who never budged from their master's feet and
shot arrow upon arrow out into the darkness, wounding more Burgundians
than Liegeois." The first to fall was Charles's own host, the guide of
the marauders to his own cottage door. There were many more victims
and no mercy. It was, indeed, an encounter characterised by the
passions of war and the conditions of a mere burglarious attack on
private houses.

Quaking with fear was the king. He thought that if the duke should now
fail to make a complete conquest of Liege, his own fate would hang in
the balance. At a hasty council meeting held that night, Charles
was very doubtful as to the expediency of carrying out his proposed
assault upon the city. Very distrustful of each other were the allies,
a fact that caused Philip de Commines to comment,[3] "scarcely fifteen
days had elapsed since these two had sworn a definitive peace and
solemnly promised to support each other loyally. But confidence could
not enter in any way."

Charles gave Louis permission to retire to Namur and wait until the
duke had reduced the recalcitrant burghers once for all. Louis thought
it wiser to keep close to Charles's own person until they parted
company for ever, and the morrow found him in the duke's company as he
marched on to Liege.

    "My opinion is, [says Commines], that he would have been wise to
    depart that night. He could have done it for he had a hundred
    archers of his guard, various gentlemen of his household, and,
    near at hand, three hundred men-at-arms. Doubtless he was stayed
    by considerations of honour. He did not wish to be accused of

Olivier de la Marche, also present as the princely pair entered Liege,
heard the king say: "March on, my brother, for you are the luckiest
prince alive." As they entered the gates, Louis shouted lustily,
"_Vive Bourgogne_," to the infinite dismay of his former friends, the
burghers of Liege.

The remainder of the history of that dire Sunday morning differs from
that of other assaults only in harrowing details, and the extremity of
the pitilessness and ferocity manifested by the conquerors. Charles
had previously spared churches, and protected the helpless. Above
all he had severely punished all ill treatment of respectable women.
Little trace of this former restraint was to be seen on this occasion.
The inhabitants were destroyed and banished by dozens. Those who fled
from their homes leaving their untasted breakfasts to be eaten by the
intruding soldiers, those who were scattered through the numerous
churches, those who attempted to defend the breaches in the walls--all
alike were treated without mercy.

The Cathedral of St. Lambert, Charles did endeavour to protect. "The
duke himself went thither, and one man I saw him kill with his own
hand, whereupon all the company departed and that particular church
was not pillaged, but at the end the men who had taken refuge there
were captured as well as the wealth of the church."




At about midday Charles joined Louis at the episcopal palace, where
the latter had found apartments better suited to his rank than the
rude huts that had sheltered him for the past few days. The king was
in good spirits and enjoyed his dinner in spite of the unsavoury
scenes that were still in progress about him. He manifested great joy
in the successful assault, and was lavish in his praises of the duke's
courage, taking care that his admiring phrases should be promptly
reported to his cousin.[4] His one great preoccupation, however, was
to return to his own realm.

After dinner the duke and he made good cheer together. "If the king
had praised his works behind his back, still more loud was he in
his open admiration. And the duke was pleased." No telling sign of
friendship for Charles had Louis spared that day, so terrified was he
lest some testimony from his ancient protégés might prove his ruin.
"Let the word be Burgundy," he had cried to his followers when the
attack began. "_Tuez, tuez, vive Bourgogne_."

There is another contemporaneous historian who somewhat apologetically
relates the following incident of this interview.[5] In this friendly
Sabbath day chat, Charles asked Louis how he ought to treat Liege when
his soldiers had finished their work. No trace of kindliness towards
his old friends was there in the king's answer.

"Once my father had a high tree near his house, inhabited by crows
who had built their nests thereon and disturbed his repose by their
chatter. He had the nests removed but the crows returned and built
anew. Several times was this repeated. Then he had the tree cut down
at the roots. After that my father slept quietly."

Four or five days passed before Louis dared press the question of his
return home. The following note written in Italian, dated on the day
of the assault, is significant of his state of mind:


    "Monseigneur the Prince:

    "To-day my brother of Burgundy and I entered in great multitude
    and with force into this city of Liege, and because I have great
    desire to return, I advise you that on next Tuesday morning I will
    depart hence, and I will not cease riding without making any stops
    until I reach there.[6] I pray you to let me know what is to be

    "Writ at Liege, October 30th.


    "DE LA LOERE."

Punctilious was Louis in his assurances to his host that if he could
be of any further aid he hoped his cousin would command him. If there
were, indeed, nothing, he thought his best plan would be to go to
Paris and have the late treaty duly recorded and published to insure
its validity. Charles grumbled a little, but finally agreed to speed
his parting guest after the treaty had been again read aloud to the
king so that he might dissent from any one of its articles or ever
after hold his peace.

Quite ready was Louis to re-confirm everything sworn to at Peronne.
Just as he was departing he put one more query: "'If perchance my
brother now in Brittany should be dissatisfied with the share I accord
him out of love to you, what do you want me to do?' The duke answered
abruptly and without thought: 'If he does not wish to take it, but
if you content him otherwise, I will trust to you two.' From this
question and answer arose great things as you shall hear later. So
the king departed at his pleasure, and Mons. de Cordes and d'Émeries,
Grand Bailiff of Hainaut escorted him out of ducal territory."[7]

    "O wonderful and memorable crime of this king of the French
    [declares a contemporaneous Liege sympathiser.][8] Scarcely
    anything so bad can be found in ancient annals or in modern
    history. What could be more stupid or more perfidious, or a better
    instance of infamy than for a king who had incited a people to
    arms against the Burgundians to act thus for the sake of his own
    safety? Not once but many times had he pledged them his faith,
    offering them defence and assistance against the same Burgundians.
    And now when they are overwhelmed and confounded by this
    Burgundian duke, this king actually co-operates with their foe, to
    their damage, wears that foe's insignia and dares to hide himself
    behind those emblems, and assist to destroy those to whom he
    himself had furnished aid and subsidies with pledges of good
    faith! I am ashamed to commit this to writing, and to hand it down
    to posterity, knowing that it will seem incredible to many. But
    it is so notorious throughout France and is confirmed by so many
    adequate witnesses who have seen and heard these things that no
    room is left for doubt of their veracity except to one desiring to
    ignore the truth."[9]

November 2d is the date of Louis's departure. It needs no stretch
of the imagination to believe the words of his little Swiss page,
Diesbach, when he says that on reaching French soil Louis dismounted
and kissed the ground in a paroxysm of joy that he was his own man
again.[10] Devoutly, too, he gave thanks to God for helping him in his
need. Still this joy was concealed under euphemistic phrases in his
correspondence. On November 5th, he wrote again to the Duke of Milan
from Beaumont:

    "We went in person with the duke against the Liegeois, on account
    of their rebellion and offence, and the city being reduced by
    force to the power of the duke, we have left him in some part of
    Liege as we were anxious to return to our kingdom of France."

In January, 1469, Guillaume Toustain, the brother of the faithful
secretary Aloysius Toustain, who had written several of Louis's
letters from Liege, goes to Pavia to finish his studies, and Louis
writes to the Duke of Milan asking him to assure his protégé a
pleasant reception in the university.

The ratification of the treaty took place duly at Paris on Saturday,
November 19th, and the king also sternly forbade the circulation of
any "paintings, rondels, ballads, songs, or defamatory pamphlets"
about Charles.[11] The same informant tells us that loquacious birds
were put under a ban.

    "And on the same day in behalf of the king, and by virtue of his
    commission addressed to a young man of Paris named Henry Perdriel,
    all the magpies, jays, and _chouettes_, caged or otherwise, were
    taken in charge, and a record was made of all the places where the
    said birds were taken and also all that they knew how to say, like
    _larron, paillart_, etc., _va hors, va! Perrette donnes moi à
    boire_, and various other phrases that they had been taught."

Abbé le Grand thinks that "Perrette" was meant for Peronne instead of
a mistress of Louis of that name. But this conjecture seems the only
basis for the very deep-rooted tradition that _Peronne_ was a word
Louis could not bear to have uttered.

"In the way of justice there is nothing going on here, [wrote one
Anthony de Loisey from Liege to the president of Burgundy], except
every day they hang and draw such Liegeois as are found or have been
taken prisoners and have no money to ransom themselves. The city is
well plundered, nothing remains but rubbish. For example I have not
been able to find a sheet of paper fit for writing to you, but with
all my pains could get nothing but some leaves from an old book."[12]

Charles decided that nothing should be left standing except churches
and ecclesiastical buildings. On November 9th, before the final fires
were lit, he departed from the wretched town and went down the left
bank of the Meuse to an abbey on the river, where he paused for the
night. Four leagues distant from the city was this place, and from it
were plainly visible the flames of the burning buildings on that grim
St. Hubert's Day--a day when Liege had been wont to give vent to

"From all the dangers that had encompassed him, Charles escaped with
his life, simply because his hour had not yet struck, and because
he was God's chosen instrument to punish the sinning city," is the
verdict of one chronicler who does not spare his fellow-Liegeois for
their follies while he profoundly pities their fate.[13]

Out of the many contemporaneous accounts a portion of a private letter
from the duke's cup-bearer to his sister is added:[14]

    "Very dear sister, with a very good heart I recommend myself to
    you and to all my good friends, men and women in our parts, not
    forgetting my _beaux-pères,_ Martin Stephen and Dan Gauthier. Pray
    know that, thanks to God, I and all my people are safe and sound.
    As to my horses, one was wounded and another is sick in the hands
    of the marshals at Namur, and the others are thin enough and have
    no grain to eat except hay. The weather, has, indeed, been enough
    to strike a chill to the hearts of men and horses. Since we left
    Burgundy there have not been three fine days in succession and we
    are in a worse state than wolves.

    "You already know how we passed through Lorraine and Ratellois
    without troubling about Salesart or other French captains, nor the
    other Lorrainers either, although they were under orders to
    attack us, and were no more afraid of us than we of them. As we
    approached the territory of Hainaut, M. the duke sent Messire
    Pierre de Harquantbault[15] to us to show us what road to take.
    He told us that the duke had made a treaty with the king, who had
    visited him, news that filled us with astonishment....

    After skirmishing for several days we reached the faubourgs of
    Liege and remained there three of four days under arms, with no
    sleep and little food, and our horses standing in the rain with no
    shelter but the trees. While we were thus lodged, the king and
    the duke with a fair escort arrived and took up their quarters in
    certain houses near the faubourg. [... Constant firing was
    interchanged for several days. Sallies were essayed and men were

    "Finally a direct attack was made on the king and Monseigneur
    and there were more of their people than ours and that night
    Monseigneur was in great danger. The following Sunday at 9 A.M. we
    began the assault in three separate quarters. It was a fine thing
    to see the men-at-arms march on the walls of the said city, some
    climbing and others scaling them with ladders. The standards
    of monseigneur the marshal and monsgn. de Renty who had been
    stationed together in the faubourgs, were the first within the
    said city which contained at that moment sixteen to eighteen
    thousand combatants, who were surprised when they saw their walls

    "In a moment we entered crying 'Burgundy' and 'city gained.' Ever
    so many of their people were slain and drowned in their flight. We
    flew to reach the market-place and the church of St. Lambert where
    a number of prisoners were taken and thrown into the water. Our
    ensign stood in the midst of the fray on the market-place, in the
    hopes that they would rally for a combat but they rallied only
    to flee. While we held our position on the square several were
    created knights.... All the churches--more than four hundred--were
    pillaged and plundered. It is rumoured that they will be burnt
    together with the rest of the city. Piteous it is to see what ill
    is wrought.... [The king] stayed in the city with Monseigneur two
    or three days. Then he departed, it is said for Brussels to await
    my said lord. It is a great thing to have seen the puissance of my
    master, _which is great enough to defeat an emperor_. I believe
    the Burgundians will shortly return to Burgundy.

    "I paid my respects to my said lord, who received me very well. At
    present I am listed[16] among those whose term is almost expired
    and I am ready to follow him wherever he wishes until my service
    is out, which will be soon. I would have written before had I had
    any one to send it by. Pray write me about yourself by the first
    comer. Praying our Lord, beloved sister, to keep you. Written in
    Liege, November 8, 1468.


This sober letter and other accounts by reliable witnesses agree as to
the terrible havoc wrought in the city by the assault on October 30th
and by determined and systematic measures of destruction, both during
Charles's ten days' sojourn for the express purpose of completing the
punishment and after his departure. Yet the result assuredly fell
short of the intention. The destruction was not complete as was that
of Dinant. Vitality remained, apart from the ecclesiastical nucleus
intentionally preserved by the duke.

Having watched the tongues of flame lap the unfortunate city, Charles
turned with his army towards Franchimont, that rugged hill country
which had proved a nest of hardy and persistent antagonists to
Burgundian pretensions. Jehan de Mazilles is in close attendance and
gives further details of the pitiless fashion in which Charles carried
out his purpose of leaving no seed of resistance to germinate. Four
nights and three days they sojourned in a certain little village while
there was a hard frost and where, without unarming, they "slept under
the trees and drank water." Meantime a small party was despatched
by the duke to attack the stronghold of Franchimont. The despairing
Liegeois who had taken refuge there abandoned it, and it was taken by
assault. A few more days and the duke was assured that Liege and her
people were shorn of their strength. When the remnant of survivors
began to creep back to the city and tried to recover what was left
of their property, many were the questions to be settled. Lawsuits
succeeded to turmoils and lingered on for years.

In the lordly manner of conquerors Charles, too, demanded
reimbursement for his trouble in bending these free citizens to
his illegal will. The reinstated bishop wanted his rents and legal
perquisites, all difficult to collect, and many were the ponderous
documents that passed on the subject. How justly pained sounds
Charles's remonstrance on the default of payment of taxes to his
friend, the city's lord!

"Therefore [he writes,] in consideration of these things, taking into
account the terror of our departure to Brussels last January, we
decide, my brother and I, that the payment of both _gabelle_ and poll
tax must be forced, and that we cannot permit the retarding of such
taxes under any colour or pretence. At the request of our brother and
cousin we order the inhabitants of the said territories to pay both
_gabelle_ and poll tax, all that is due from the time it was imposed
and for the time to come, under penalty of the confiscation of their
goods and their persons."

It was the old story of bricks without straw--taxes and rents for
property ruthlessly destroyed were so easy. To this extent of tyranny
had Duke Philip never gone, and undoubtedly the treatment of Liege was
a step towards Charles's final disaster. So much hatred was excited
against him that his adherents fell off one by one when his luck began
to fail him.

No omen of misfortune was to be seen at this time, however. That month
of November saw him master absolute wherever he was and he used his
power autocratically. At Huy, he had a number of prisoners executed.
At Louvain, at Brussels, he gave fresh examples of his relentlessness
as an overlord.

[Footnote 1: Commines, ii., ch. xi. It was not far from the place
where another Prince of Orange tried to cross the Meuse exactly a
hundred years later.]

[Footnote 2: The story of the "men of Franchimont" is questioned.
Commines is the only authority for it.]

[Footnote 3: II., ch. xiii.]

[Footnote 4: Commines, ii., ch. xiii.]

[Footnote 5: Oudenbosch, _Veterum scriptorum, etc. Amplissima
Collectio_, ed. E. Martene, iv. Rerum Leodiensim. Opus Adriani de
Veteri Busco, p. 1343. The writer acknowledges that the story is

[Footnote 6: "_Non cessero di cavalchare senza fare demoia alcuna.
Lettres,iii_., 300.]

[Footnote 7: Commines, ii., ch. xiv.]

[Footnote 8: "_O proeclarum et memorabile facinus hujus regis

[Footnote 9: Basin, _Histoire des règnes de Charles VII. et de Louis
XI_., Quicherat ed., ii., 204. This also appears in _Excerpta ex
Amelgardi. De gestis Ludovici XI_., cap. xxiii. Martene's _Amplissima
Collectio,_ iv., 740 _et seq_.]

[Footnote 10: Quoted in Kirk, i., 606, note.]

[Footnote 11: Jean de Roye, _Chronique Scandaleuse_, ed. Mandrot, i.,

[Footnote 12: Comines-Lenglet, iii., 83.]

[Footnote 13: Johannes de Los, _Chronicon_, p. 60. _Quia hora nendum
venerat._ De Ram, "Troubles du pays de Liége."]

[Footnote 14: Commynes-Dupont, _Preuves_, iii., 242. Letter of Jehan
de Mazilles to his sister.]

[Footnote 15: Hagenbach, later Governor of Alsace.]

[Footnote 16: _Conte aux escros_. This word strictly applies to the
prisoners on a jailer's list--evidently used in jest.]




This successful expedition against Liege carried Charles of Burgundy
to the very crest of his prosperity. His self-esteem was moreover
gratified by the regard shown to him at home and abroad. A man who
could force a royal neighbour into playing the pitiful rôle enacted by
Louis XI. at Peronne was assuredly a man to be respected if not loved.
And messages of admiration and respect couched in various terms
were despatched from many quarters to the duke as soon as he was at
Brussels to receive them.

Ghent had long since made apologies for the sorry reception accorded
to their incoming Count of Flanders in 1467, but Charles had postponed
the formal _amende_ until a convenient moment of leisure. January 15,
1469, was finally appointed for this ceremony and the occasion was
utilised to show the duke's grandeur, the city's humiliation, to as
many people as possible who might spread the report far and wide.

It was a Sunday. Out in the courtyard of the palace the snow was thick
on the ground where a group of Ghent burghers cooled their heels for
an hour and a half, awaiting a summons to the ducal presence. There,
too, where every one could see those emblems of the artisans'
corporate strength, fluttered fifty-two banners unfurled before the
deans of the Ghentish _métiers_.[1]

Within, the great hall of the palace showed a splendid setting for a
brilliant assembly. The most famous Burgundian tapestries hung on the
walls. Episodes from the careers of Alexander, of Hannibal, and of
other notable ancients formed the background for the duke and his
nobles, knights of the Golden Fleece, in festal array. As spectators,
too, there were all the envoys and ambassadors then present in
Brussels from "France, England, Hungary, Bohemia, Naples, Aragon,
Sicily, Cyprus, Norway, Poland, Denmark, Russia, Livornia, Prussia,
Austria, Milan, Lombardy, and other places."

Charles himself was installed grandly on a kind of throne, and to his
feet Olivier de la Marche conducted the civic procession of penitents.
Before this pompous gathering, after a statement of the city's sin and
sorrow, the precious charter called the Grand Privilege of Ghent
was solemnly read aloud, and then cut up into little pieces with a
pen-knife. Next followed a recitation of the penalties imposed upon,
and accepted by, the citizens (closing of the gates, etc)., and then
the paternal Count of Flanders, duly mollified, pronounced the fault
forgiven with the benediction, "By virtue of this submission and by
keeping your promises and being good children, you shall enjoy our
grace and we will be a good prince." "May our Saviour Jesus Christ
confirm and preserve this peace to the end of this century," is the
pious ejaculation with which the _Relation_ closes.

Among the witnesses of the above scene, when the independent citizens
of Ghent meekly posed as the duke's children, were envoys from George
Podiebrad, ex-king of Bohemia. Lately deposed by the pope, he was
seeking some favourable ally who might help him to recover his realm.
He had conceived a plan for a coalition between Bohemia, Poland,
Austria, and Hungary to present a solid rampart against the Turks,
and strong enough to dictate to emperor and pope. He was ready for
intrigue with any power and had approached Louis XI. and Matthias
Corvinus, King of Hungary, before turning to Charles of Burgundy.[2]

Meantime, the Emperor Frederic tried to knit links with this same
Matthias by suggesting that he might be the next emperor, assuring
him that he could count on the support of the electors of Mayence, of
Trèves, and of Saxony. He himself was world-weary and was anxious to
exchange his imperial cares for the repose of the Church could he
only find a safe guardian for his son, Maximilian, and a desirable
successor for himself. Would not Matthias consider the two offices?

Potent arguments like these induced Matthias not only to turn his back
on Podiebrad, but to accept that deposed monarch's crown which the
Bohemian nobles offered him May 3, 1469. Then he proceeded to ally
himself with Frederic, elector palatine, and with the elector of
Bavaria. This was the moment when the ex-king of Bohemia made renewed
offers of friendly alliance to Charles of Burgundy. In his name the
Sire de Stein brought the draft of a treaty of amity to Charles which
contained the provision that Podiebrad should support the election
of Charles as King of the Romans, in consideration of the sum of two
hundred thousand florins (Rhenish).[2]

This modest sum was to secure not only Podiebrad's own vote but his
"influence" with the Archbishop of Mayence, the Elector of Saxony
and the Margrave of Brandenburg.[4] While Podiebrad thus dangled
the ultimate hopes of the imperial crown before the duke's eyes, he
over-estimated his credulity. As a matter of fact the royal exile had
no "influence" at all with the first named elector, and the last, too,
showed no disposition whatsoever to serve his unstable policy. Both
were content to advise Emperor Frederic. The sole result of the empty
overtures was to increase Charles's own sense of importance.

Another negotiation which sought him unasked had, however, a material
influence on the course of events, and must be touched on in some
detail. Sigismund of Austria--first duke then archduke,--Count of
Tyrol, cousin of the Emperor Frederic, was a member of the House of
Habsburg. In 1449, he had married Eleanor of Scotland, and became
brother-in-law of Louis during the term of the dauphin's first
marriage. An indolent, extravagant prince, he was greatly dominated
by his courtiers. His heritage as Count of Tyrol included certain
territories lying far from his capital, Innsbruck. Certain portions
of Upper Alsace, lands on both sides of the Rhine, Thurgau, Argau in
Switzerland, Breisgau, and some other seigniories in the Black Forest
were under his sway.

These particular domains were so remote from Innsbruck that the
authority of the hereditary overlord had long been eluded. The nobles
pillaged the land near their castles very much at their own sweet
will. The harassed burghers appealed to the Alsatian Décapole,[5] and
again to the free Swiss cantons for protection, and sometimes obtained
more than they wanted.

Mulhouse was seriously affected by these lawless depredations. To her,
Berne promised aid in a twenty-five years' alliance signed in 1466,
and at Berne's insistance the cowardly nobles restrained their
license. But when the city attempted to extend its authority Sigismund
interfered. Having no army, however, he could not recover Waldshut,
which the Swiss claimed a right to annex, except by offering ten
thousand florins for the town's ransom. Poor in cash as he was in men,
he had, however, no means to pay this ransom and begged aid in every
direction. Moreover, he feared further aggressions from the cantons,
which were growing more daring. What man in Europe was better able to
teach them a lesson than Charles, the destroyer of Liege, the stern
curber of undue liberty in Flanders? Was he not the very person to
tame insolent Swiss cowherds?

In the course of the year 1468, Sigismund made known to Charles his
desire for a bargain, intimating that in case of the duke's refusal,
he would carry his wares to Louis XI. At that moment, Charles was
busied with Liege and showed no interest in Sigismund's proposition.
The latter tried to see Louis XI. personally in accordance with his
imperial cousin's advice that an interview might be more effective
than a letter.

It did not prove a propitious time, however; Louis was deeply engaged
with Burgundy and he was not disposed to take any steps that might
estrange the Swiss--and any espousal of Sigismund's interests might
alienate them. He did not even permit an opening to be made, but
stopped Sigismund's approach to him by a message that he would not for
a moment entertain a suggestion inimical to those dear friends of his
in the cantons--a sentiment that quickly found its way to Switzerland.

Thus stayed in his effort to win Louis's ear, Sigismund decided that
he would make another essay towards a Burgundian alliance, this time
face to face with the duke. On to Flanders he journeyed and found
Charles in the midst of the ostentatious magnificence already
described. Ordinary affairs of life were conducted with a splendour
hardly attained by the emperor in the most pompous functions of his
court. Sigismund was absolutely dazzled by the evidence of easy
prosperity. The fact that a maiden was the duke's sole heiress led
the Austrian to conceive the not unnatural idea that this attractive
Burgundian wealth might be turned into the impoverished imperial
coffers by a marriage between Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian, the
emperor's son.


The visitor not only thought of this possibility, but he immediately
broached it to Charles. The bait was swallowed. As to the main
proposition which Sigismund had come expressly to make, that, too,
was not rejected. The duke perceived that the transfer of the Rhenish
lands to his jurisdiction might militate to his advantage. A passage
would be opened towards the south for his troops without the need of
demanding permission from any reluctant neighbour. The risk of trouble
with the Swiss did not affect him when weighing the advantages of
Sigismund's proffer, a proffer which he finally decided to accept.
Probably he found his guest a pleasant party to a bargain, for not
only did he broach the tempting alliance between Mary and Maximilian,
but he, too, seems to have hinted that the title of "King of the
Romans" might be added to the long list of appellations already signed
by Charles.[6] As Sigismund was richer in kin, if not in coin, than
the feeble Podiebrad, Charles gave serious heed to the suggestion
which fell incidentally from his guest's lips, in the course of the
long conversations held at Bruges.

Certain precautions were taken to protect Charles from being dragged
into Swiss complications against his will, and then in May, 1469,
the treaty of St. Omer was signed,[7] wherein the Duke of Burgundy
accorded his protection to Sigismund of Austria and received from him
all his seigniorial rights within certain specified territories.

The most important part of this cession comprised Upper Alsace and
the county of Ferrette, but there were also many other fragments of
territory and rights of seigniory involved, besides lordship over
various Rhenish cities, such as Rheinfelden, Saeckingen, Lauffenburg,
Waldshut and Brisac. This last named town commanded the route
eastward, as Waldshut that to the southeast, and Thann the highway
through the Vosges region.

Fifty thousand florins was the price for the property and the claims
transferred from Sigismund to Charles. Ten thousand were to be paid at
once, in order to ransom Waldshut from the Swiss. The remainder was
due on September 24th. On his part, Sigismund specifically recognised
the duke's right to redeem all domains nominally his but mortgaged for
the time being, certain estates or seignorial rights having been thus
alienated for 150 years.

This territorial transfer was not a sale. It was a mortgage, but a
mortgage with possession to the mortgagee and further restricted by
the provision that there could be no redemption unless the mortgager
could repay at Besançon the whole loan plus all the outlay made by the
mortgagee up to that date. Instalment payments were expressly ruled
out. The entire sum intact was made obligatory. Therefore the danger
of speedy redemption did not disquiet Charles. He knew the man he had
to deal with. Sigismund's lack of foresight and his prodigality were
notorious. There was faint chance that he could ever command the
amount in question. Accordingly, Charles was fairly justified in
counting the mortgaged territory as annexed to Burgundy in perpetuity.

Sigismund pocketed his florins eagerly. Nothing could have been more
welcome to him. But this relief from the pressure of his pecuniary
embarrassment did not inspire him with love for the man who held his
lost lands. His sentiments towards Charles were very similar to those
of an heir towards a usurer who has helped him in a temporary strait
by mulcting him of his natural rights.

As for the emperor, when this transfer of territory was an
accomplished fact, he began to take fright at the consequences. He did
not like this intrusion of a powerful French peer into the imperial
circle.[8] At the same time he was ready to make him share
responsibility in any further difficulties that might arise between
Sigismund and the Swiss.

The least skilful of prophets could have foreseen difficulties for
Charles on his own account, both foreign and domestic. His own
relations with the Swiss had always been friendly enough, but he had
never before been so near a neighbour, while, within the Rhine lands,
it was an open question whether the bartered inhabitants were to
enjoy or regret their new tie with Burgundy. The importance of their
sentiments was a matter of as supreme indifference to Charles as was
danger from the Confederation. Neither conciliation nor diplomacy
was in his thoughts. He had no conception of the intricacies of the
situation. He counted the landgraviate as definitely his by the treaty
of St. Omer as Brabant by heritage or Liege by conquest.

The need of a kindly policy towards the little valley towns--a policy
that might have won their allegiance--never occurred to him. They were
his property and Peter von Hagenbach was, in course of time, made
lieutenant-governor in his behalf.

Apart from all personal considerations of enmity and amity of natives
and neighbours, the territory of Upper Alsace and the county of
Ferrette, delivered from needy Austria to rich Burgundy, like a coat
pawned by a poor student, was held under very complex and singular
conditions.[9] The status of the bargain between Sigismund and Charles
was in point of fact something between pawn and sale, according to the
point of view. Sigismund fully intended to redeem it, while Charles
did not admit that possibility as remotely contingent. Nor was that
the only peculiarity. The itemised list of the ceded territories as
given in the treaty was far from telling the facts of the possessions
passing to Sigismund's proxy.

In the first place the Austrian seigniories were not compact. They
were scattered here and there in the midst of lands ruled by others,
as the Bishop of Strasburg, the Abbé of St. Blaise in the Black
Forest, the count Palatine, the citizens of Basel and of Mulhouse, and

The existent variety in the extent and nature of Austrian title was
extraordinary. Nearly every possible combination of dismembered
prerogative and actual tenure had resulted from the long series of
ducal compositions. In some localities a toll or a quit-rent was the
sole cession, and again a toll or a prerogative was almost the only
residue remaining to the ostensible overlord, while all his former
property or transferable birthright privileges were lodged in
various hands on divers tenures. There were cases in which the
mortgagee--noble, burgher, or municipal corporation--had taken the
exact place of the Austrian duke and in so doing had become the vassal
of his debtor, stripped of all vested interest but his sovereignty.
For in these bargains wherein elements of the Roman contract and
feudal customs were curiously blended, two classes of rights had been
invariably reserved by the ducal mortgagers:

  (1) Monopolies, regal in nature, such as assured free circulation on
the highways, the old Roman roads, all jurisdiction of passports and
travellers' protection.

  (2) The suzerainty. This comprised the power to confer fiefs, of
requisition of military service, of requesting _aids_ and admission to
strongholds, cities, or castles, _le droit de forteresse jurable et

In these regards the compact between Charles and Sigismund differed
from all previous covenants not only in degree, but in kind. The Duke
of Burgundy entered into the _sovereign_ as well as into the mangled,
maimed, and curtailed proprietary rights of the hereditary over-lord.

In his assumption of this involved and doubtful property, Charles laid
heavy responsibilities on his shoulders. The actual price of fifty
thousand gold florins paid to Sigismund was a mere fraction of the
pecuniary obligations incurred, while the weight of care was difficult
to gauge. He succeeded to princes weak, frivolous, prodigal, whose
misrule had long been a curse to the land. The incursions of
the Swiss, the repeated descents of the Rhine nobles from their
crag-lodged strongholds to pillage and destroy, terrified merchants
and plunged peaceful labourers into misery.

Through hatred of the absentee Austrians, the neighbouring cities
repeatedly became the accomplices of these brigands, affording them
asylums for refitting and free passage when they were laden with
evident booty.

In all departments of finance and administration disorder prevailed.
The chief officials, castellans and councillors, enjoyed high salaries
for neglected duties. The castles were in wretched repair and there
were insufficient troops to guard the roads. There was no dependence
upon the receipts nominally to be expected. In the sub-mortgaged
lands, the lords simply levied what they could, without the slightest
responsibility for the order of the domain; they did not hesitate to
charge their suzerain for repairs never made, confident that no one
would verify their declaration.

In the territories of the immediate domain, the Austrian dukes and
their officials had no notion of the rigid system maintained in
Burgundy. Only here and there can little memoranda be found and these
are confused and obscure. There is a dearth of accurate records like
those voluminous registers of outlays kept by Burgundian receivers,
registers so rich in detail that they are more valuable for the
historian than any chronicle.

Exact appraisal of the resources of these _pays de par de là_ was very
difficult. Between 1469 and 1473 there were three efforts to obtain
reliable information by means of as many successive commissions
despatched to the Rhine valley by the Duke of Burgundy.

Envoys drew up minutes of their observations in addition to their
official reports and all were preserved in the archives. As these were
written from testimony gathered on the spot, such as the accounts of
the receivers now lost, etc., there is real value in the documents.

The first commission in behalf of Burgundy was composed of two Germans
and three Walloons. One of the former was Peter von Hagenbach, who
won no enviable reputation in the later exercise of his office as
lieutenant-governor of the annexed region, to which he was shortly
afterwards appointed. This first commission entered into formal
possession in Charles's name and instituted some desired reforms
immediately, such as policing the highways, etc.

The second commission made its visit in 1471. It consisted of Jean
Pellet, treasurer of Vesoul, and Jean Poinsot, procureur-general of

The third commission (1473) was under the auspices of Monseigneur
Coutault, master of accounts at Dijon. He carried with him the report
of his predecessors and made his additions thereto.

Charles's directions to Poinsot and Pellet (June 13, 1471) were vague
and general. They were "to see the conduct of his affairs" _(voir la
conduite de ses affaires_). The important point was to find out how
much revenue could be obtained. As the duke's plan of expansion grew
larger he had need of all his resources.

The reports were eminently discouraging. Outlay was needed
everywhere--income was small. As the chances of peculation diminished,
the castellans deserted their posts and left the castles to decay.
The Burgundian commission of 1471 found the difficulties of their
exploration increased by two items. Charles had not advanced an
allowance for their expenses and they were anxious to be back at
Vesoul by Michaelmas, the date of the change in municipal offices and
of appropriations for the year. It was in hopes of receiving advance
moneys that they delayed in starting, but the approaching election and
coming winter finally decided them to set out, pay their own expenses,
and complete the business as rapidly as they could in a fortnight.

The summary of this report of 1471 was that there was little present
prospect that Charles would be able to reimburse himself for his
necessary expenses. An undue portion of authority and of revenue was
legally lodged in alien hands. Charles was possessed of germs of
rights rather than of actual rights. The earlier creditors of Austria
held all the best mortgages with their attendant emoluments. The
immediate profits accruing to the Duke of Burgundy fell far short
of the minimum necessary to disburse to keep his government, his
strongholds, his highways in repair. Very disturbed were the good
treasurer of Vesoul and the procureur-general of Amont at this state
of affairs, and distressed at the prospect of the ampler receipts from
Burgundy being required to relieve the pressing necessities of the
poor territories _de par de là_.

To avoid this contingency, the commissioners recommended the duke
to redeem all the existing mortgages great and small. It would cost
140,000 florins, but the revenue would at once increase with the new
security which would immediately follow under firm Burgundian rule.
Sole master, Charles could then enforce obedience from nobles and
cities and better conditions would be inaugurated.

Evidently this rational advice was not taken, for it is repeated by
Coutault in 1473. Redemption of the mortgages, "if your affairs can
afford it," is the counsel given by the chamber of accounts at Dijon,
though this sage board adds that they were well aware that in the
previous month Monseigneur could not put his hands on a hundred
florins to redeem one wretched little _gagerie._ The native coffers of
the region did not suffice to settle the salaries of the officers in

Such then was the new acquisition of Charles after four years of his
administration. Peter von Hagenbach, his deputy in charge of this
unremunerative territory, is a character painted in the darkest
colours by all historians. It is more than probable that his unpopular
efforts to make bricks without straw were largely responsible for his
unenviable reputation. Ground between the upper and lower millstones
of Charles's clamours for revenues and popular clamours that the
people had nothing wherewith to pay, Hagenbach developed into a
taskmaster of the hardest and most unpitying type, who made himself
thoroughly hated by the people he was set to rule.

It must be remembered that there was no cleft in nationality or in
language between governor and governed. He was not a foreigner set
over them. He was one of them raised to a high position. There was
then no French element in Lower Alsace. It was then German pure and


[Footnote 1: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., i., 204-209. "Relation de
l'assemblée solennelle tenue à Bruxelles le 15 Jan., 1469."]

[Footnote 2: See Toutey, _Charles le Téméraire et la ligue de
Constance_, p. 7.]

[Footnote 3: See the text given in Comines-Lenglet, iii., 116. Charles
is characterised as _ducem strenuum in armis ac justitiæ præcipium

[Footnote 4: See Toutey, p. 8; also Lavisse, iv^{ii}., 371.]

[Footnote 5: Thus was named the assembly of ten Alsatian towns from
Strasburg to Basel, organised into a half independent confederation by
the Emperor Charles IV.]

[Footnote 6: Toutey, p. 11.]

[Footnote 7: See "Fontes Rerum Austriacarum" Chmel, J., _Urkunden zur
Geschichte von Osterreich_, etc., II^2, 223 _et passim_. One document,
p. 229, has _Marz_ as a misprint for _Mai_.]

[Footnote 8: Charles was, to be sure, already within that circle for
some of his Netherland provinces, but his feudal obligations there
were very shadowy.]

[Footnote 9: See Toutey, Lavisse, etc., and above all a valuable
article by L. Stouff, entitled "Les Possessions Bourguignonnes dans la
vallée du Rhin sous Charles le Téméraire," _Annales de l'Est,_ vol.
18. This article, is the result of a careful examination of the
reports made by Poinsot and Pellet, Charles's commissioners.]




In order to follow out the extension of Burgundian jurisdiction in
one direction, the course of events in the duke's life has been
anticipated a little. The thread of the story now returns to 1469,
when Charles and Sigismund separated at St. Omer both well pleased
with their bargain. Charles tarried for a time at Ghent and Bruges
and then proceeded to Zealand and Holland, where his sojourn had been
interrupted in 1468 by his alarm about French duplicity. In the glow
caused by his past achievements, his present reputation, and future
prospects, Charles of Burgundy was in a mood to prove to his subjects
his excellence as a paternal ruler. Wherever he paused on his journey
easy access was permitted to his presence and he was lavish in the
time given to receiving petitions from the humblest plaintiff. The
following gruesome incident is an illustration of the summary methods
attributed to him.[1]

Shortly before the ducal visit to Middelburg, the governor, a man
of noble birth, a knight, fell in love with a married woman who
indignantly repudiated his advances. In revenge the governor had the
husband arrested on a charge of high treason. The wife, left without a
protector, continued obdurate to the knight until the alternative of
her husband's release or his death was offered her as the reward for
accepting the governor's base suit or as the penalty of her refusal.
She chose to redeem the prisoner. Having paid the price she went to
the prison and was led to her husband truly, but he lay dead and in
his coffin!

When the Duke of Burgundy was once within the Zealand capital, this
injured woman hastened to throw herself at his feet, a petitioner
for justice. He heard her complaint and straightway summoned the
ex-governor to his presence. The accused confessed that he had been
carried away by his adoration for the woman, reminded Charles of
his long and faithful devotion to the late duke and to himself, and
offered any possible reparation for his crime. The duke ordered him to
marry his victim. The widow was horrified at the suggestion, but was
forced by her family to accept it. After the nuptial benediction, the
knight again appeared before Charles to assure him that the plaintiff
was satisfied. "She, yes," replied the duke coldly, "but not I." He
remanded the bridegroom to prison, had him shriven and executed all
within an hour. Then the bride was summoned and shown her second
husband in his coffin as she had seen her first, and on the same spot.
"It was a penalty that hit the innocent as well as the guilty, for the
plaintiff died from the double shock."

The duke, satisfied with his rigour, went on to Holland. Everywhere he
evinced himself equally uncompromising towards the nobles, amiable and
considerate towards the lower classes and humble folk. Various other
stories related about him at this epoch are difficult to accept as
authentic, for the main detail has appeared at other times under
different guises. Wandering tales seem to alight, like birds of
passage, on successive people in lands and epochs widely apart, mere
hallmarks of certain characteristics re-embodied.

The Hague was the duke's headquarters during two months, and there
also he held open court and gave audience to many embassies in the
midst of his administrative work pertaining to Holland and its nearest
neighbours. He took measures to recover what he claimed had been
usurped by Utrecht, and he initiated proceedings to make good the
title of Lord of Friesland, that will-o'-the wisp to successive Counts
of Holland and never acknowledged by the Frisians. In efforts to weld
together the various provinces the months passed, until a new turn of
foreign events began to absorb the duke's whole attention.

The details of English politics with all the reasons for revolution
and counter-revolution involved in the complicated civil disorders,
the Wars of the Roses, affected Charles's policy but they can only
be suggested in his biography. It must be remembered that the modern
impression of English stability and French fickleness in political
institutions, an impression casting reflections direct and indirect
upon literature as well as history, is based on the changes in France
from 1789 down to the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century. Quite
the reverse is the earlier tradition based on the kaleidoscopic
shifts familiar to several generations of observers in the fifteenth
century[2]; stable and firm felt the French as they heard the tidings
of the brief triumphs of belligerent factions across the Channel.

Since 1461, Henry VI. of the House of Lancaster had been a passive
prisoner, while Margaret of Anjou had exhausted herself in efforts
to win adherents at home and abroad for her captive husband and her
exiled son.[3] In 1463, she had received some aid, some encouragement
from Philip of Burgundy, although he had recognised Edward IV. as king
and although, too, his personal sympathies were Yorkish rather than

It was Charles who escorted the errant lady into Lille, but later the
duke himself entertained her munificently. The poverty-stricken exile
probably found the accompanying ducal gifts more to the immediate
purpose than the ducal feasts. Two thousand gold crowns were bestowed
upon herself, a hundred upon each of her ladies, while various
Lancastrian nobles were tided over hard times by useful sums of money.

Pleasant though the recognition was, however, the pecuniary assistance
was quite insufficient to accomplish Margaret's purpose. For nine
years Edward IV. sat on his throne and no serious efforts were made to
dislodge him. As he never forgot his mother's lineage, the sympathies
of Charles of Burgundy were with the exiles, and Queen Margaret may
have counted confidently on that sympathy proving valuable for her son
as soon as Charles himself had a free hand. But when he came into his
heritage, his marriage with Margaret of York put a definite end to
those hopes. The new duke thereby declared his acceptance of the king
whom the Earl of Warwick had seated upon the English throne. Then
came clashing of wills between that king and his too powerful
subject-adviser.[4] To punish his unruly royal protégé, Warwick turned
his attention to the Duke of Clarence, brother and heir presumptive to
Edward IV. A marriage was planned between this possible future monarch
and the earl's eldest daughter and then quickly celebrated at Calais
without the king's knowledge (July, 1469).

In the same summer occurred a rising in Yorkshire, possibly instigated
by Warwick.[5] The malcontents, sixty thousand strong, declared that
the king was giving ear to base counsellors and must be coerced into
better ways. An attempt to suppress this revolt by the royal troops
resulted in a pitched battle where Earl Rivers, the father of
Elizabeth Woodville, the young queen, was taken prisoner and beheaded.

Edward, baffled, finally turned for aid to Warwick. Over the Channel
hastened the earl and his new son-in-law, levied troops, met the king
at Olney, and--Edward found himself if not exactly a prisoner, at
least under restraint. Two sovereigns--both without power even over
their own actions,--such was the situation in England at the end of
1469, when Charles of Burgundy was self-complacently regarding Louis
XI. as a foe convinced of his own inferiority.

A menacing letter from this redoubtable ducal brother-in-law was
probably the reason why Edward IV. was set at liberty, and why a
reconciliation was patched up between him and his councillor, with
full pardon for Warwick's adherents. But it was short-lived. A fresh
outbreak in March, 1470, made another change. Warwick and Clarence
sided with the rebels, the king was victorious, and his unfaithful
friend and brother were again forced to flee under a shower of menaces
hurled after them.

    "But, and He [Clarence] or Richart Erle of Warrewyk our Rebell and
    Traytour come into oure seid Land we woll ... that ye doo Hym
    and Theym to be arrested ... He that Taketh and Bryngeth unto Us
    either of theym, he shal have for his Reward C._l_ of Land in
    Yerely Value to Hym and to his Heyres or Mil. _Lib_ in Redy money
    at his election."[6]

Such was the proclamation issued on March 22d by the king himself at

Between Edward and Charles a new link had just been forged in the
chain of friendship. The Order of the Garter is thus acknowledged by
the duke:

    "We have to-day received from our much honoured seigneur and
    brother, the king of England, his Order of the Garter together
    with the mantle and other ornaments and things appertaining to the
    said Order and have ... taken the oath according to the statutes
    of the Order.

    "Done in our city of Ghent under our Grand Seal, February 4, 1469

Now it was in consideration of needs that might arise in the near
future, following on the trail of these wide-reaching English
convulsions, that Charles felt it necessary to make preparations for
a strong military defence calculated to suit any emergency. Louis XI.
had a permanent force at his command. He had made the beginning of the
French standing army, the nucleus of one of those bodies that have
ever since urged each other on to expensive growth from opposite sides
of European frontiers. What one monarch possessed that must his near
neighbour have.

Feudal service, volunteer militia, paid mercenaries, were all alike
unstable bulwarks for a nation. Nation as yet Charles had not, but
he wanted to be betimes with his bulwarks. This was why he issued
an ordinance for the levy of a thousand lances, amounting to five
thousand combatants, to be paid with regular wages and kept ready at
call under officers of his own appointment. The ducal treasury could
not stand the whole expense. To meet the deficit, Charles asked from
his Netherland Estates an annual subsidy of 120,000 crowns for three
years. Power to impose taxes he had none. A request to each individual
province was all the requisition that he could make.

In this case, most of the provinces approached had acceded to the
demand, when the Estates of Flanders convened at Lille. Here the
Chancellor of Burgundy expounded to them the grounds of the demand,
and then the session was changed to Bruges, where they debated on the
merits of the request, urged on further by explanatory letters from
Charles. Finally, a deputation was appointed by the Estates to go over
to Ghent and present a _Remonstrance_ to their impatient sovereign

Three points were set forth. The deputies objected to this grant being
asked only from the lands _de par de ça_--the Netherlands and not from
the Burgundies. Secondly, they wished a definite assessment imposed on
each province. Thirdly, they desired a declaration that the fiefs and
arrière-fiefs already bound to furnish troops should be exempt from
share in this tax. The remonstrance was courtly in tone. Written
in French, the concluding phrases were in Latin and suggested that
nothing was more becoming a prince than clemency, especially towards
his subjects.[8]

Vigorous and emphatic was the prince's response.[9] How could Burgundy
furnish money? It is a poor land. It takes after France.[10] But its
men make a third of the army. They are the Burgundian contribution. As
to an assessment, what is the use unless the tax is surely to be paid?
Only out of malice is this idle point suggested.

    "You act as you have always done--you Flemings. Neither to my
    father nor to me have you ever been liberal. What you have
    granted--sometimes more than our request--has always been given so
    tardily as to prove the lack of good will. Your Flemish skulls
    are hard and thick and you cling to your stubborn and perverse
    opinions.... I am half of France and half of Portugal and I know
    how to meet such heads as yours, ay and _will_ do it. You have
    always either hated or despised your prince--if powerful you
    hated, if weak you despised. I prefer your hatred to your
    contempt. Not for your privileges or anything else will I permit
    myself to be trampled on--and I have the power to prevent such

    Laying stress on the extreme modesty of his demand, whose purpose
    mainly was for defence of Flanders, the duke proceeded to berate
    his visitors soundly for their presumptuous haggling, declaring
    that as to the fiefs and arrière-fiefs he would see to it that no
    double burdens were borne.

    "And when you shall have determined to accord my request,--which
    you will assuredly do (and I do not mean to burden you further
    unless I am forced to it),--send some of your deputies after me to
    Lille or St. Omer, and there, with my chancellor and my council, I
    will determine the apportionment and we will speak also of other
    matters touching my province of Flanders."

It was this vehement oratory--and this vehemence was repeated on many
occasions--that did more to alienate Charles from his hereditary
subjects than his actual demands. There is little doubt that his
period of residence in their midst brought with it hatred rather
than liking. No political error of his serves to explain the Flemish
attitude towards the duke as does his method of address, the
gratuitous contempt displayed towards burghers whose purses were
needed for his game. The _aide_ was granted, indeed, but it was levied
with sullen reluctance.

What cause Charles had to make his preparations, what were the
proceedings of the English exiles may be seen from the following
letters to his mother and to the town of Ypres. The first is probably
in answer to her questionings; the second is a specimen of the
epistles showered upon the border towns.



    "May it please you to know that in regard to what the Sgr. de
    Crèvecoeur has written you about the king's proclamations that he
    intends to maintain his treaties and promises to me, etc., and has
    no desire to sustain the Earl of Warwick, and wishes my subjects
    to be reimbursed for the damages inflicted by him and his,
    assuredly, my Lady and Mother, the contrary has been and is well
    known before the said publications and after. The Earl of Warwick
    is my foe and could not, according to the treaty existing between
    the king and me, be received in Normandy or elsewhere in the realm
    ... [complaints about the procedure have been sent to king and
    parliament and councillors, without redress, etc.] What is more,
    the Admiral of France has sent thither a spy under pretext of
    carrying a letter to Sgr. de la Groothuse, which man was charged
    to spy upon my ships and by means of a caravel named the
    _Brunette_, sent for this purpose by the admiral, to cut the
    cables to set them adrift and founder--or to capture certain ships
    with such captains, knights, and gentlemen as he could find, and
    myself, too, if they were able.

    "Furthermore, the said spy was charged to spy on my towns, etc.,
    and those of the caravel called the _Brunette_ were charged, if
    they failed in taking my ships, or in cutting their cables, to
    set fire to them--all in direct conflict with the terms of the
    treaties, and procedures that the king would never have tolerated
    had he had the slightest intention of maintaining his word ...
    [Charles does not consider Groothuse to blame at all, etc.][11]

_Letter from Charles of Burgundy to the Magistrates of Ypres, June 10,


    "It has come to your knowledge how after the Duke of Clarence and
    the Earl of Warwick were expelled from England on account of their
    sedition and their ill deeds, they have declared themselves both
    by words and deeds of aggression our enemies, and on _Vendredi
    absolut_[12] went so far as to capture by fraud ships and property
    belonging to our subjects, and have further done damage whenever
    opportunity presented itself.

    "In order to repel them we have ordered them to be attacked on
    the sea. Moreover, at the same time we were advised that the same
    Clarence and Warwick and their people, after they were routed at
    sea by the troops of my honoured lord and brother, Edward, King of
    England, retreated to the marches of Normandy and were honourably
    received at Honfleur by the Admiral of France with all which they
    had saved from the raid on our subjects after the defeat.

    "All this was direct infringement of the treaties lately made
    between Monseigneur the king and myself. Therefore, we wrote at
    once to Monsgr. the king begging him not to favour or aid the said
    Clarence and Warwick in his land of Normandy or elsewhere in his
    realm, nor to permit them to sell or distribute the property of
    our subjects, and to show his will by publishing such prohibitions
    throughout Normandy and elsewhere where need is.

    "Also we wrote to the court of parliament at Paris, and to the
    council of my said seigneur at Rouen. The answer was that the king
    meant to keep the treaty between him and us and had ordered his
    subjects in Normandy not to retain the property belonging to our
    subjects ... but we have since learned that, notwithstanding,
    this same property has been distributed and ransoms have been
    negotiated in the sight and knowledge of the Admiral of France and
    his officers.

    "Moreover, it is perfectly evident that by means of the aid
    furnished by the king to the said Clarence and Warwick, the latter
    are enabled to continue the war on our subjects and not on the
    English, it being understood that they who were banished from
    England are not strong enough to return by the force of arms but
    must do so by friendship and favour.... On account of the above
    and other depredations, we shall attack the said Warwick and
    Clarence on the sea as pirates, and all who aid them as is needful
    for the protection of our lands and subjects.

    "Written at Middelburg in Zealand, June 20, 1470."[13]

    "Tell Monsieur de Warwick that the king will assist him to recover
    England either with the help of Queen Margaret or by whatever
    other means he may propose.... Only let him communicate his
    desires in this respect as speedily as possible and the king will
    lay aside all other affairs for the purpose of accomplishing it,"

wrote the complaisant King of France in his directions to the
confidential messenger sent to discuss matters with the English

But that was not his language towards his cousin of Burgundy, whom he
assured that there should be no infringement of their treaty, and that
it was greatly to his royal displeasure that Flemish property
captured at sea in defiance of that treaty should be sold in French
market-places. There is a hot correspondence,[15] that is, it is hot
on the side of Charles, while Louis's phrases are smoothly surprised
at there being any cause for dissatisfaction. The circumstances shall
be investigated, his cousin satisfied, etc. One letter from the duke
to two of Louis's council is emphatic in its expressions of doubt as
to the good faith of these royal statements:


    "The vessels which you assure me are destined by the king for
    an attack on England have attempted nothing except against my
    subjects; but, by St. George, if some redress be not seen to, I
    will take the matter into my own hands without waiting for your
    motions, tardy and dilatory as they are."[16]

Reprisals were made accordingly, and the innocent French merchants,
coming peaceably to the fair at Antwerp, suffered confiscation of
their private property, while the duke felt fully justified in
stationing his fleet off the coast of Normandy to guard the Channel.
Philip de Commines was one of the company who went at the duke's
behest to Calais to urge the governor, Wenlock, to be faithful to King
Edward, and to give no shelter to the rebellious earl and his protégé

Louis feared an outbreak of hostilities at an inconvenient moment. He
temporised. To Warwick, he denied a personal interview, but at the
same time he sent him a confidential emissary, Sr. du Plessis, to whom
he wrote as follows:

    "Monsieur du Plessis, you know the desire I have for Warwick's
    return to England, as well because I wish to see him get the
    better of his enemies--or that at least through him the realm of
    England may be embroiled--as to avoid the questions which have
    arisen out of his sojourn here.... For you know that these Bretons
    and Burgundians have no other aim than to find a pretext for
    rupturing peace and reopening the war, which I do not wish to see
    commenced under this colour.... Wherefore I pray you take pains,
    you and others there, to induce Mons. de Warwick to depart by all
    arguments possible. Pray use the sweetest methods that you can, so
    that he shall not suspect that we are thinking of anything else
    but his personal advantage."[18]

To gain time was Louis's ardent wish at that moment. The envoys
sent by Louis to placate the duke's resentment at the incidents in
connection with the Warwick affair, and to assure him that Louis meant
well by him and his subjects, found Charles holding high state at St.
Omer. When they were admitted to audience, the duke was discovered
sitting on a lofty throne, five feet above floor level, "higher than
was the wont of king or emperor to sit." His hat remained on his head
as the representatives of his feudal overlord bowed to him and he
acknowledged their obeisance by a slight nod and a gesture permitting
them to rise.

Hugonet, a member of the ducal council, answered their address with
a prosy speech. Burgundian officials revelled in grandiloquent
phrases--which this time bored Charles, He cut short the harangue
impatiently, took the floor himself, and made a statement of the
injuries he had suffered. Louis had promised to be his friend, but he
was aiding the foe of the duke's brother. The envoys repeated their
sovereign's offers of redress. Charles declared that redress was
impossible. Pained, very pained were the French envoys to think that
a petty dispute could not be settled amicably. "The king desires to
avoid friction. He offers you friendship, peace, and redress for every
wrong. It will not be his fault if trouble ensue. Monseigneur, the
king and you have a judge who is above you both."

The insinuation that it was he who was ready to break the peace
infuriated Charles. He started to his feet, his eyes flashing with
fire. "Among us Portuguese there is a custom that when our friends
become friends to our foes we send them to the hundred thousand devils
of hell."[19] "A piece of bad taste to send by implication a king of
France to a hundred thousand devils," comments the suave Chastellain,
aghast at this impolite, emphatic, though indirect reference to Louis

Equally aghast were the Burgundian courtiers present at this occasion.
After all, they, too, were French by nature. To wreck the new-made
peace for the sake of the English alliance, which had never been
really popular among them, that seemed an act of rash unwisdom.

    "A murmur went the rounds of the ducal suite because their chief
    thus implied contempt for the name of France to which the duke
    belonged. Not going quite so far as to call himself English,
    though that was what his heart was, he boasted of his mother,
    ancient friend of England and enemy of France."

There were, indeed, times when the duke was more emphatic in asserting
his English blood. Plancher cites a scrap of writing in his own hands
which probably belonged to a letter to the magistrates and citizens of
Calais, whom he addresses, "O you my friends."[20] While reiterating
that he simply must defend his own state he adds, "By St. George who
knows me to be a better Englishman and more anxious for the weal of
England than you other English ... [you] shall recognise that I am
sprung from the blood of Lancaster," etc. His claims of kinship varied
with the circumstances.

While he was so conscious of his own greatness, present and future,
and of his own laudable intentions to do well by his subjects, it is
quite possible, too, that Charles was puzzled more or less consciously
by his failure to win popularity. For he was quite as unpopular with
his courtiers as with his subjects. The former did not like the rigid
court rules. There was no pleasure in sitting through audiences silent
and stiff "as at a sermon," and exposed to personal reprimands from
their chief if there were the slightest lapses from his standard of
conduct. They did not know on what meat the duke was feeding his
imagination, an imagination that already saw him as Cæsar. Had he
actually attained the loftier rank that he dreamed of, his premature
arrogance might have been forgotten, but his pride of glory invisible
to the world about him was undoubtedly a bar to his popularity during
the years 1470-73.

Before this pompous scene passed at St. Omer, Louis had been relieved
of anxiety in regard to the stability of his kingdom, and the dangers
of an heir like his brother who might easily be used as a tool by some
clever faction opposed to the ruling monarch. On June 10th, a son was
born to him, afterwards Charles VIII. of France. Complaisant still
were his words to his Burgundian cousin, but the moment was drawing
near when his efforts to circumvent him were no longer secret.

The embassy returned home. Possibly their report of the duke's
passionate words goaded the king into discarding his mask of
friendship. At any rate, his next steps were unequivocal in showing
which side of the fresh English quarrel he meant to espouse. Margaret
of Anjou hated the Earl of Warwick, not only because he had unseated
her husband but because he had doubted her fidelity to that husband.
Nevertheless, under Louis's persuasions, she consented to forget her
past wrongs and to stake her future hopes on fraternising with him on
a basis of common hate for Edward IV. The alliance was to be sealed
by the marriage of young Edward of Lancaster, the prince whose very
legitimacy Warwick had questioned, with the earl's younger daughter.
It was a singular union to be accepted by the parents, separated as
they had been by the wall of insults interchanged during more than a
decade of bitter enmity.

Louis brought his cousin to this step of concession. She saw her
seventeen-year-old son betrothed to the sixteen-year-old Anne Neville,
and later she herself swore reconciliation to Warwick on a piece of
the true cross in St. Mary's Church at Angers (August 4, 1470).

    "Monsieur du Plessis [wrote Louis XI. on July 25th], I have sent
    you Messire Ivon du Fou, to put the affairs of Monsieur de Warwick
    in surety, and I order him to make such arrangements that the
    people of the said M. de Warwick will suffer no necessity until he
    is there. To-day we have made the marriage of the Queen of England
    and of him, and hope to-morrow to have all in readiness to


Meanwhile, the king kept agents in all the Somme towns, insinuating
opposition to the duke, and reminding the citizens that they were
French at heart. His ambassadors passed in and out of the Burgundian
court, saying many things in secret besides those they said in public.
Plenty there were that wished for war, remarks the observant Commines.
Nobles like St. Pol and others could not maintain the same state in
peace as in war, and state they loved. In time of war four hundred
lances attended the constable, and he had a large allowance to
maintain them from which he reaped many a profitable commission
besides the fees of his office and his other emoluments. "Moreover,"
adds Commines, "the nobles were accustomed to say among themselves
that if there were no battles without, there would be quarrels within
the realm."

The matter of the grants to Charles of France had been settled to his
royal brother's liking, not to that of his Burgundian ally. Champagne
and Brie, so cheerfully promised at Peronne, were withdrawn and
Guienne substituted. When Normandy had been exchanged for Champagne
and Brie, as it was arranged at Peronne, Charles of Burgundy approved
the change as he thought it assured him an obedient friend as
neighbour.[22] The second change, Guienne instead of Champagne and
Brie, was quite a different thing.

Guienne bordered the Bay of Biscay far away from Burgundy. Naturally,
Charles was not content. Then, too, it looked as though he had lost a
useful friend as well as a neighbour, for the new Duke of Guienne was
formally reconciled to his brother and took oath that his fraternal
devotion to his monarch should never again waver.

Long before Charles was completely convinced that Louis was not going
to maintain the humble attitude assumed at Peronne and Liege, he
became very suspicious that intrigues were on foot against him. "He
hastened to Hesdin where he entered into jealousy of his servants"
says Commines. That he was assured that there were reasons for his
apprehensions appears in an epistle circulated as an open letter,[23]
to various cities, wherein he makes a detailed statement of the plots
against his life by one Jehan d'Arson and Baldwin, son of Duke Philip.

Sorry return was this from one recognised as Bastard of Burgundy and
brought up in the ducal household. Further, one Jehan de Chassa,
Charles's own chamberlain, had taken French leave of the duke's
service and made his way to the king in his castle of Amboise, where
he had been pleasantly received and promised rich reward when he had
"executed his damnable designs against our person."

Messengers sent by this Chassa to Baldwin in Charles's court at St.
Omer were arrested as suspicious, and that circumstance frightened
Baldwin and caused him to take to his heels, leaving his retinue, his
horses, and his baggage behind. He dreaded lest he might be attainted
and convicted of treason, and therefore he took shelter with the king.

    "Saved from this conspiracy by the goodness and clemency of God,
    we inform you of the events so that you may render thanks
    by public processions, solemn masses, sermons, and prayers,
    beseeching Him devoutly and from the heart that He will always
    guard and defend our person, our lands, seigniories, and subjects
    from such plots.

    "May God protect you, dear subjects. Written in our castle of
    Hesdin, December 13, 1470.


    "LE GROS."

It was not long before Charles had less reason to fear French
"subtleties." At an assembly of notables[24] convened at Tours at the
end of 1470, Louis dropped the mask of friendship worn uneasily for
just two years, and made an open brief of his grievances against the

His case was cited with a luxury of detail more or less authentic. The
interview at Peronne was a simple trap conceived by Balue and the Duke
of Burgundy. The treaties of 1465 and 1468, both obtained by undue
pressure, had not been respected by Charles, etc. The assembly was
obedient to suggestion. It was a packed house.

Even Commines shows that it is not surprising that there was
unanimity[25] in the declaration that according to God and his
conscience in all honour and justice the king was released from those
treaties, and the way was paved for an invasion into Picardy as soon
as possible.

Charles's public accusations of plots against him did not go
unanswered. Jehan de Chassa promptly issued a rejoinder:

    "As Charles, soi-disant Duke of Burgundy, has sent to divers
    places letters signed by himself and his secretary, Jehan le
    Gros, written at Hesdin, December 13th, falsely charging me with
    plotting against his life with Baldwin, Bastard of Burgundy,
    and Jehan d'Arson, I, considering that it is matter touching my
    honour, feel bound to reply.... By God and by my soul I declare
    that these charges against me made by Charles of Burgundy are
    false and disloyal lies"[26]

Baldwin, too, expressed righteous indignation at the slur on his
character, but he remained in the French court as did many others who
had formerly served Charles.

Meanwhile, the Earl of Warwick, having left his daughter in the hands
of Margaret of Anjou, openly aided by Louis, sailed back to England in
September But there had been one further change of base of which the
earl was still unconscious. His elder son-in-law had not rejoiced in
the Warwick-Lancaster alliance. It brought young Prince Edward to the
fore, and bereft the Duke of Clarence--long ready to replace Edward of
York--of any immediate prospects. Therefore he was inclined to accept
offers of a reconciliation tendered him by King Edward.

Despite his secret change of heart, Clarence sailed with Warwick and
joined with him in the proclamations scattered over England, declaring
that the exiles were returning to "set right and justice to their
places, and to reduce and redeem for ever the realm from its
thraldom." Never a mention of either Edward IV. or Henry VI. Perhaps
it was as convenient to see which way the wind blew and to put in a
name accordingly.

On landing, however, "King Henry VI." was raised as a cry. In
Nottinghamshire, where Edward lay, not a word was heard for York.
There was no conflict. Edward felt that Fate had turned against him
and off he rode to Lyme with a small following, took ship, and made
for Holland. It was stormy, pirates from the Hanseatic towns gave
chase, and glad was Edward to take shelter at Alkmaar where De la
Groothuse, Governor of Holland, welcomed him in the name of the
duke.[27] Edward was quite destitute. He had nothing with which to pay
his fare across the Channel but a gown lined with marten's fur, and as
for his train, never so poor a company was seen.

Eleven days later, Warwick was master of all England and official
business was transacted in the name of Henry VI., "limp and helpless
on his throne as a sack of wool." He was a mere shadow and pretence
and what was done in his name was done without his will or knowledge.

Charles of Burgundy did not hasten to greet his unbidden guest. He
would rather have heard that his brother-in-law were dead, but he bade
Groothuse show him every courtesy and supply him with necessaries and
five hundred crowns a month for luxuries. After a time, and perhaps
informed by weather prophets that the Lancastrian wind blowing over in
England was but a fickle breeze, he consented to forget his hereditary

    "The same day that the duke received news of the king's arrival in
    Holland, I was come from Calais to Boulogne (where the duke then
    lay) ignorant of the event and of the king's flight.[28] The duke
    was first advised that he was dead, which did not trouble him much
    for he loved the Lancaster line far better than that of York.
    Besides he had with him the Dukes of Exeter and of Somerset and
    divers others of King Henry's faction, by which means he thought
    himself assured of peace with the line of Lancaster. But he feared
    the Earl of Warwick, neither knew he how to content him that was
    to come to him, I mean King Edward, whose sister he had married
    and who was also brother-in-arms, for the king wore the Golden
    Fleece and the duke the Garter.

    "Straightway then the duke sent me back to Calais accompanied by
    a gentleman or two of this new faction of Henry, and gave me
    instructions how to deal with this new world, urging me to
    go because it was important for him to be well served in the
    matter.[29] I went as far as Tournehem, a castle near to Guisnes,
    and then dared not proceed because I found people fleeing for fear
    of the English who were devastating the country.... Never before
    had I needed a safe-conduct for the English are very honourable.
    All this seemed very strange to me for I had never seen these
    mutations in the world."

Commines was uncertain as to what he had better do and wanted
instructions. "The duke sent me a ring from his finger, bidding me go
forward with the promise that if I were taken prisoner he would redeem
me." New surprises met the envoy at Calais. None of the well-known
faces were to be seen. "Further, upon the gate of my lodgings and
the very door of my chamber were a hundred white crosses and rhymes
signifying that the King of France and Earl of Warwick were one--all
of which seemed strange to me." Well received was Commines and
entertained at dinner. It was told at table how within a quarter of an
hour after the arrival of news from England every man wore this livery
(the ragged staff of Warwick), so speedy and sudden was the change.
"This is the first time that I ever knew how little stable are these
mundane affairs."

    "In all communications that passed between them and me, I repeated
    that King Edward was dead, of which fact I said I was well
    assured, notwithstanding that I knew the contrary, adding further
    that though it were not so, yet was the league between the Duke of
    Burgundy and the king and realm of England such that this accident
    could not infringe it--whomever they would acknowledge as king him
    would we recognise.... Thus it was agreed that the league should
    remain firm and inviolate between us and the king and realm of
    England save that for Edward we named Henry."

Commines explains further that the wool trade was what made amity with
England necessary to Flanders and Holland, "which is the principal
cause that moved the merchants to labour earnestly for peace."

Charles made vague promises to his uninvited guest, declaring
ostentatiously that his blood was Lancastrian. Nevertheless he
finally consented to an interview with him of York, in spite of the
remonstrances of the Lancastrians, Somerset and Exeter. "The duke
could not tell whom to please and either party he feared to displease.
But in the end, because sharp war was upon him face to face, he
inclined to the English dukes, accepting their promises against the
Earl of Warwick, their ancient enemy." King Edward, "who was on the
spot and very ill at ease," was quieted by secret assurances that the
duke was obliged to dissimulate. "Seeing that he could not keep the
king but that he was bound to return to England and fearing for divers
considerations altogether to discontent him, Charles pretended that he
could not aid the king and forbade his subjects to enter his service."
Privately, however, he gave him fifty thousand florins of St. Andrew's
cross, and had two or three ships fitted out at Vere in Zealand, a
harbour where all nations were received. Besides this he secretly
hired fourteen well appointed "ships of the Easterlings, which
promised to serve him till he landed in England and for fifteen days
after, "great aid considering the times."

King Edward departed out of Flanders in the year 1471, when the
Duke of Burgundy went to wrest Amiens and St. Quentin back from the
king.[30] "The said duke thought now howsoever the world went in
England he could not speed amiss because he had friends on both

Edward's adventures in England proved that he had not lost his hold
there. Warwick's extraordinary brief success was but a flash in the
pan. London opened her gates and then the pitched battle at Barnet
gave a final verdict between the rival Houses which England accepted.
This battle was fought on April 14th, when the thick fog and the like
speech of the two bodies caused hopeless confusion. Many friends slew
each other unwittingly, and among the slain was the indefatigable,
energetic Warwick who had hoped to play with his royal puppets. Only
forty-four was he and worthy of a better and more statesmanlike

On that same day Margaret of Anjou and her son landed at Weymouth.
Hearing of Warwick's death, they tried to reach Wales but were
intercepted and forced to fight at Tewkesbury. Here the young prince,
too, met his death. To Edward's direct command is attributed the
murder of the unfortunate Henry VI. in the Tower, which happened at
about the same time. The desolated Margaret of Anjou lingered five
years under restraint in England before she was ransomed by King

    "Sir John Paston to Margaret Paston. Wreten at London the
    Thorysdaye in Esterne weke, 1471.

    "God hathe schewyd Hym selffe marvelouslye lyke Hym that made all
    and can undoo agayn whare Hym lyst."[32]

Charles of Burgundy could now pride himself on his foresight. His
brother of the two Orders was himself again.

    "The very day on which this fight happened [says Commines] the
    Duke of Burgundy, being before Amiens, received letters from
    the duchess his wife, that the King of England was not at all
    satisfied with him, that he had given his aid grudgingly and as if
    for very little cause he would have deserted him. To speak plainly
    there never was great friendship between them afterwards. Yet the
    Duke of Burgundy seemed to be extremely pleased at this news and
    published it everywhere."

A transaction of his own of this time, the duke did not publish. It
was a procedure perhaps justified by these wonderful "mutations in the
world" which impressed Commines as strange and terrible. The Duke of
Burgundy caused a legal document to be drawn up attesting his own
heirship to Henry VI. of England, and filed the same in the Abbey of
St. Bertin with all due formality. If there came more "mutations"
in the world whose very existence was a new experience to Philip de
Commines, Charles was ready to interpose his own plank in the new

In the archives of the House of Croy in the château of Beaumont, rests
this document, which was duly signed by Charles on November 3, 1471,
in his own hand "so that greater faith" be given to the statement
that no one was truer heir to the Lancaster House than Charles of
Burgundy.[33] Two canons attested the instrument as notaries, and the
witnesses were Hugonet, Humbercourt, and Bladet.

It was expressly stipulated that if there were any delay in the duke's
entering upon his English inheritance--which devolved to him
through his mother,--a delay caused by motives of public utility of
Christendom, and of the House of Burgundy, this should not prejudice
his rights or those of his successors. A mere deferring of assuring
the titles, etc., brought no prejudice to his rights. His delay ended
in his death and Edward IV. never had to combat this claim of the
brother-in-law who had helped him, though grudgingly, to regain his

[Footnote 1: Meyer is the earliest historian to tell this story and it
is vouched for by no existing contemporary evidence.]

[Footnote 2: From Henry VI.-Henry VII. the English throne was twice
lost and twice regained by each of the rival Houses of York and
Lancaster. Thirteen pitched battles were fought between Englishmen on
English soil. Three out of four kings died by violence. Eighty persons
connected with the blood royal were executed or assassinated.]

[Footnote 3: Ramsay, _Lancaster and York_, ii., 232 _et seq._; Oman,
_Hundred Years' War_ and _Warwick, the King-maker_, are followed here
in addition to Kirk, Lavisse, etc.]

[Footnote 4: That the king chose his wife without the earl's knowledge
or consent has been accepted as the chief cause, and again denied by
various authorities.]

[Footnote 5: See Oman's _Warwick_, p. 185.]

[Footnote 6: Rymer, _Fædera_, xi., 654; negotiations had been going on
for about a year.]

[Footnote 7: _Ibid._, 651.]

[Footnote 8: "Quia nihil est quod ita relucet in principe sicut
clemencia et maxime circa domesticos et subditos."]

[Footnote 9: Gachard, _Doc. inéd._, i., 216. The editor thinks that
the speech was preserved in the register of Ypres just as it was
delivered, untouched by chroniclers.]

[Footnote 10: _Il sent la France_.]

[Footnote 11: Middleburg, the 3d of June, 1470. "Madame's sign manual"
on the copy is dated June 6th. (Plancher, _Histoire générale et
particulière de Bourgogne_, etc., iv., cclxxi).]

[Footnote 12: Good Friday, April 20th.]

[Footnote 13: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., i., 226.]

[Footnote 14: Comines-Lenglet., "Preuves," iii., 124. Written at
Amboise, May, 12, 1470.]

[Footnote 15: Plancher, iv., cclxi., etc.]

[Footnote 16: Duke Charles to the Council of the King at Rouen, May
29th. (Plancher, iv., cclxix.)]

[Footnote 17: _Mémoires_, iii., ch. iv.]

[Footnote 18: Duclos "Preuves," v., 296.]

[Footnote 19: Chastellain, v., 453. These phrases are, to be sure,
those of our literary and imaginative chronicler, but the substance is
that of attested words from Charles. M, Petit-Dutaillis accepts it.
(Lavisse, iv^{ii}., 363.)]

[Footnote 20: _See_ Plancher, iv., cclxxxix.]

[Footnote 21: Aujourd'hui avons fait le mariage de la reine
d'Angleterre et de lui." Undoubtedly a half jocose way of stating the
alliance of the children. The following item occurs in the King's
accounts for December, 1470: "à maistre Jehan le prestre, la somme de
xxvii l. x.s.t pour vingt escus d'or à lui donnée par le roy, pour le
restituer de semblable somme que, par l'ordonnance d'icellui seigneur,
il avait baillée du sien au vicaire de Bayeux auquel icellui seigneur
en a fait don en faveur de ce qu' il estait venu espouser le prince de
Galles a la fille du Comte de Warwick." This was a betrothal, not the
actual marriage. In August, Louis was still asking for a dispensation.
(Wavrin, Dupont ed., iii., 4I, note. See also _Lettres de Louis XI_.,
iv., 131.)]

[Footnote 22: A group of smaller seigniories was also involved,
Quercy, Périgord, La Rochelle, etc. _See_ letter-patent,
(Comines-Lenglet, "Preuves," iii., 97.)]

[Footnote 23: Duclos, "Preuves" v., 302.]

[Footnote 24: Comines-Lenglet, "Preuves," iii., 68; Lavisse, iv^{ii},

[Footnote 25: _See_ Lavisse iv^{ii}, 364. He states that the king
named all the deputies that the towns were to appoint.]

[Footnote 26: Duclos, "Preuves," v., 307.]

[Footnote 27: Commines, iii., ch. v.]

[Footnote 28: Commines, iii., ch. vi.]

[Footnote 29: _See_ instructions given to him for this mission,
Wavrin-Dupont, iii., 271.]

[Footnote 30: Commines, iii., ch. vii.]

[Footnote 31: As soon as Edward and his English exiles sailed, Charles
published a proclamation forbidding his subjects to aid him.]

[Footnote 32: _Letters_, iii., 4.]

[Footnote 33: _See_ Gachard, _Études et Notices historiques concernant
l'histoire des Pays-Bas,_ ii., 343, en approuvant et emologant toutes
les choses deseurdittes et chascune d'icelles et a fin que plus grant
foy soit adjoustée à tout ce que cy desus est escript, avant signé ce
présent instrument de nostre propre main et le fait sceller de nostre
seau en signe de vérité, l'an et jour desusdit. [This in French, the
body in Latin.]





All work had ceased at Paris for three days by the king's command,
while praise was chanted to God, to the Virgin, and to all saints male
and female, for the victory won by Henry of Lancaster, in 1470, over
the base usurper Edward de la Marche. From Amboise, Louis made a
special pilgrimage to Notre Dame de Celles at Poitiers to breathe in
pious solitude his own prayers of thanksgiving for the happy event.
The battle of Tewkesbury stemmed the course of this abundant stream of
gratitude, and there were other thanksgivings.[1]

In the spring of 1471, Edward IV. was dating complacent letters from
Canterbury to his good friends at Bruges,[2] acknowledging their
valuable assistance to his brother Charles,[3] recognising his part in
restoring Britain's rightful sovereign to his throne. To his sister,
the Duchess of Burgundy, the returned exile gave substantial proof
of his gratitude in the shape of privileges in wool manufacture and

Like one of the alternating figures in a Swiss weather vane the King
of England had swung out into the open, pointing triumphantly to fair
weather over his head, while Louis was forced back into solitary
impotence. He seemed singularly isolated. His English friends were
gone, his nobles were again forming a hostile camp around Charles of
France, now Duke of Guienne, who had forgotten his late protestations
of fraternal devotion, and there were many indications that the
Anglo-Burgundian alliance might prove as serious a peril to France as
it had in times gone by but not wholly forgotten.

The two most important of the disputed towns on the Somme were,
however, in Louis's possession, and Charles of Burgundy, ready to
reduce Amiens by siege on March 10, 1471, consented to stay his
proceedings by striking a truce which was renewed in July. This
afforded a valuable respite to the king, and he busied himself in
energetic efforts to detach his brother from the group of malcontents.
Various disquieting rumours about the prince's marriage projects
caused his royal brother deep anxiety, and induced him to despatch a
special envoy to Guienne. To that envoy Louis wrote as follows[5]:


    "Guiot du Chesney[6] has brought me despatches from Monsg. de
    Guienne and Mons. de Lescun and has, further, mentioned three
    points to me: First, in behalf of Mme. de Savoy,[7] ... second, in
    regard to M. d'Ursé ... third, touching the mission of Mons. de
    Lescun to marry Monsg. of Guienne to the daughter of Monsg. de
    Foix.... The Ursé matter I will leave to you, and will agree to
    what you determine upon. On the spot you will be a better judge of
    what I ought to say and what would be advantageous to me, than I
    can here.

    "In regard to the third point, the Foix marriage, you know what a
    misfortune it would be to me. Use all your five senses to prevent
    it. I am told that my brother does not really like the idea, and
    it has occurred to me that Mons. de Lescun has brought him to
    consent in order to further the marriage of the duchess,[8] so
    that in taking the sister, the duke will be relieved of this sum,
    a condition that would please him greatly because he has nothing
    to pay it with. I would prefer to pay both it and all the
    accompanying claims and then be through with it. In effect, I beg
    you make him agree to another [bride] before you leave, and do not
    be in any hurry to come to me. If this Aragon affair[9] can be
    arranged you will place me in Paradise.

    "_Item._ I have thought that Monsg. de Foix would not approve this
    Aragon girl, because he himself has some hopes of the kingdom of
    Aragon through his wife. If Monsg. of Guienne were advised of
    this, I believe it would help along our case.

    "_Item._ It seems to me that you have a splendid opportunity to be
    very frank with my brother. For he has informed me through this
    man that the duke [of Brittany] has paid no attention to the
    representations made him in my behalf, through Corguilleray,
    and since my brother himself confides this to me, you have an
    opportunity to assure him that I thank him, and that I never
    cherish him so highly as when he tells me the truth, and that I
    now recognise that he does not desire to deceive me, since he
    does not spare the duke [of Brittany] and that, since he sees him
    opposed to me, he should return the seal that you know of and
    refuse to take his sister [Eleanor de Foix, the sister of the
    Duchess of Brittany], or to enter into any other league.

    "If he will choose a wife quite above suspicion, as long as I live
    I will harbour no misgiving of him and he shall be as puissant in
    all the realm of France as I myself, as long as I live. In short,
    Mons. du Bouchage my friend, if you can gain this point, you will
    place me in Paradise. Stay where you are until Monseigneur de
    Lescun has arrived, and a good piece afterwards, even if you have
    to play the invalid, and before you depart put our affair in
    surety if you can, I implore you. And may God, Monseigneur du
    Bouchage my friend, to whom I pray, and may Nostre Dame de Behuart
    aid your negotiations. The women[10] of Mme. de Burgundy have
    all been ill with the _mal chault,_ and it is reported that the
    daughter is seriously afflicted and bloated. Some say that she is
    already dead. I am not sure of the death but I am quite certain of
    the malady.

    "Written at Lannoy, Aug. 18th.



That the king's professed confidence in his brother did not remove all
suspicions of that young man's steadfastness from his mind is shown
by the following letter, written two days later than the above, to
Lorenzo de' Medici:

    "Dear and beloved cousin, we have learned that our brother of
    Guienne has sent to Rome to ask a dispensation from the oath he
    swore to us, of which we send you a duplicate. Since you are a
    great favourite with our Holy Father pray use your influence with
    his Holiness so that our brother may not obtain his dispensation,
    and that his messenger may not be able to do any negotiating. In
    this you will do us a singular and agreeable pleasure which we
    will recognise in the future as we have in the past on fitting

    "Written at St. Michel sur Loire, August 20th.


Louis does not seem to have taken his own doubts as to the very
existence of Mary of Burgundy very seriously. While he was infinitely
anxious to prevent her alliance with his brother, he made overtures to
betroth her to his baby son, while he reminded her father in touching
phrases that he, Louis, was Mary's loving godfather and hence exactly
the person to be her father-in-law.

The winter of 1471-72 was filled with attempts to make terms between
the king and the duke before the termination of the truce. The king
was very hopeful of attaining this good result, and sweetly trustful
of the duke's pacific and friendly intentions. He sternly refused to
listen to suggestions that Charles meant to play him false and was
very definite in his expressions of confidence. The following epistle
to his envoys at the duke's court was an excellent document to fall by
chance into Burgundian hands[11]:


    "My cousin and monseigneur the general, I received your letters
    this evening at the hostelry of Montbazon where I came because I
    have not yet dared to go to Amboise.[12] When I imparted to you
    the doubts that I had heard, it was not with the purpose of
    delaying you in completing your business but only to advise you of
    the dangers that were in the air. And to free you from all doubts
    I assure you, that if Monseigneur of Burgundy is willing to
    confirm, by writing or verbally, the terms which we arranged at
    Orleans[13], I wish you to accept it and to clinch the matter and
    I am quite determined to trust to it. As to your suspicion that
    he may wish to make the chief promises in private letters without
    putting it in a formal shape, you know that I agreed to it by a
    pronotary, and when I have once accepted a thing I never withdraw
    my decision.

    "My cousin and you monseigneur the general, see to it that
    Monseigneur of Burgundy gives you adequate assurance of the
    letters that he is to issue. When I once have the letter such as
    we agreed upon and he is bound, I do not doubt that he will keep
    faith. If my life were at stake, I am resolved to trust him. Do
    not send me any more of your suspicions for I assure you that my
    greatest worldly desire is that the matter be finished, since he
    has given verbal assurance that he wishes me well. You write that
    the pronotary told you that I was negotiating in every direction.
    By my faith, I have no ambassador but you, and by the words that
    Monseigneur of Burgundy said to you you can easily solve the
    question, for he has only offered you what he mentioned before
    when the matters were discussed. It looks to me as though they
    were not free from traitors since they have Abbé de Begars and
    Master Ythier Marchant.[14]

    "A herald of the King of England came here on his way to Monsg. of
    Burgundy, who asked for a safe conduct to send a messenger to me
    for this truce. Since your departure the council thought I ought
    not to give any pass for more than forty days except to merchants.
    If it please God and Our Lady that you may conclude your mission,
    I assure you that as long as I live I will have no embassy either
    large or small without immediately informing Monsg. of Burgundy
    and I will only answer as if through him. I assure you that until
    I hear from you whether Monsg. of Burgundy decides to conclude
    this treaty or not as we agreed together, I will make no agreement
    with any creature in the world and of that you may assure him.

    "Written at Montbazon, December 11th (1471).


At the same time Louis did not neglect friendly intercourse with the
towns he proposed to cede.

    "To the inhabitants of Amiens in behalf of the king: "Dear and
    beloved, we have heard reports at length from Amiens and we are
    well content with you.... Give credence to all my messengers say.
    We thank you heartily for all that you and your deputies have done
    in our cause."

At the Burgundian court the duke's friends thought that he would play
the part of wisdom did he keep an army within call, and refrain from
implicitly trusting the king's promises. There was, moreover, an
impression abroad that the latter was not in a position to be very

    "Once [says Commines][15] I was present when the Seigneur d'Ursé
    [envoy from the Duke of Guienne] was talking in this wise and
    urging the duke to mobilise his forces with all diligence. The
    duke called me to a window and said, 'Here is the Seigneur d'Ursé
    urging me to make my army as big as possible, and tells me that we
    would do well for the realm. Do you think that I should wage a war
    of benefit if I should lead my troops thither?' Smiling I answered
    that I thought not and he uttered these words: 'I love the welfare
    of France more than Mons. d' Ursé imagines, for instead of the one
    king that there is I would fain see six.'"

The animus of this expression is clear. It implies a wish to see the
duke's friends, the French nobles, exalted, Burgundy at the head,
until the titular monarch had no more power than half a dozen of his
peers. Yet Commines states in unequivocal terms that Charles's next
moves were to disregard his friendship for the peers, to discard their
alliance, and to sign a treaty with Louis whose terms were wholly
to his own advantage and implied complete desertion of the allied

    "This peace did the Duke of Burgundy swear and I was present[16]
    and to it swore the Seigneur de Craon and the Chancellor of
    France[17] in behalf of the king. When they departed they advised
    the duke not to disband his army but to increase it, so that the
    king their master might be the more inclined to cede promptly the
    two places mentioned above. They took with them Simon de Quingey
    to witness the king's oath and confirmation of his ambassadors'
    work. The king delayed this confirmation for several days.
    Meanwhile occurred the death of his brother, the Duke of Guienne
    ... shortly afterwards the said Simon returned, dismissed by the
    king with very meagre phrases and without any oath being taken.
    The duke felt mocked and insulted by this treatment and was very
    indignant about it."[18]

This story involves so serious a charge against Charles of Burgundy
that the fact of his setting his signature to the treaty has been
indignantly denied. Certain authorities impugn the historian's
truthfulness rather than accept the duke's betrayal of his friends. It
is true that only a few months later than this negotiation, Commines
himself forsook the duke's service for the king's, a change of base
that might well throw suspicion on his estimate of his deserted

Yet it must be remembered that he does not gloss over Louis's actions,
even though he had an admiration for the success of his political
methods, methods which Commines believed to be essential in dealing
with national affairs. In many respects he gives more credit to the
duke than to the king even while he prefers the cleverer chief. That
there is no documentary evidence of such a treaty is mere negative
evidence and of little importance.

The fact seems fairly clear that Charles of Burgundy was at a parting
of the ways, in character as in action. His natural bent was to tell
the truth and to adhere strictly to his given word. He felt that he
owed it to his own dignity. He felt, too, that he was a person to
command obedience to a promise whether pledged to him by king or
commoner. In the years 1469-1472 several severe shocks had been dealt
him. He had lost all faith in Louis, a faith that had really been
founded on the duke's own self-esteem, on a conviction that the weak
king must respect the redoubtable cousin of Burgundy.

The effect on Charles of his suspicions was to make him adopt the
tools used by his rival, or at least to attempt to do so. At the
moment of the negotiation of 1471-1472, the duke's preoccupation
was to regain the towns on the Somme. That accomplished, it is not
probable that he would have abandoned his friends, the French
peers, whom he desired to see become petty monarchs each in his own
territory. There seems no doubt that words were used with singular
disregard of their meaning. It is surprising that time was wasted in
concocting elaborate phrases that dropped into nothingness at the
slightest touch. In citing the above passage from Commines referring
to the treaty, the close of the negotiations has been anticipated.
Whether or not any draft of a treaty received the duke's signature,
the king's yearning for peace ceased abruptly when his brother's death
freed him from the dread of dangerous alliance between Charles of
France and Charles of Burgundy. As late as May 8th, he was still
uncertain as to the decree of fate and wrote as follows to the
Governor of Rousillon[19]:

    "Keep cool for the present I implore you. If the Duke of Burgundy
    declares war against me, I will set out immediately for that
    quarter [Brittany], and in a week we will finish the matter. On
    the other hand, if peace be made we shall have everything without
    a blow or without any risk of restoration. However, if you can get
    hold of anything by negotiating and manoeuvring, why do it. As
    to the artillery, it is close by you, and when it is time, and I
    shall have heard from my ambassador, you shall have it at once."

Ten days later he is more hopeful.[20]

    "Since my last letter to you I have had news that Monsieur de
    Guienne is dying and that there is no remedy for his case. One
    of the most confidential persons about him has advised me by a
    special messenger that he does not believe he will be alive a
    fortnight hence.... The person who gave me this information is
    the monk who repeated his Hours with M. de G[uienne.] I am much
    abashed at this and have crossed myself from head to foot.

    "Written at Moutils-lès-Tours, May 18th."

This prognostic was correct. In less than a fortnight the Duke of
Guienne lay dead, and the heavy suspicion rested upon his royal
brother of having done more than acquiesce in the decree of fate.
Whether or not there was any truth in this charge the king was
certainly not heartbroken by the loss. Indeed, the event interested
him less than the question of making the best use of the remainder of
his truce with Charles. The following letters to Dammartin and the
Duke of Milan belong to this time.

    "Thank you for the pains you have taken but pray, as speedily as
    you can, come here to draw up your ordinance for we only have
    a fortnight more of the truce. I have sent the artillery and
    soldiers to Angers. Monsg. the grand master, strengthen Odet's
    forces, do not let one man go, and see to it that the seneschal of
    Guienne enrols sufficient to fill his company. Then if there are
    more at large, form them into a body and send them to me and I
    will find them a captain and pay all those who are willing to

    "As to him,[21] make him talk on the way and learn whether he
    would like to enter into an agreement in his brother's name, and
    work it so that the duke will leave the Burgundian in the lurch at
    all points for ever, and make a good treaty, as you will know how,
    for I do not believe that the Seigneur de Lescun left here for any
    other reason than to attempt to make an arrangement of some kind.

    "Now monseigneur the grand master, you are wiser than I and will
    know how to act far better than I can instruct you, but, above
    all, I implore you come in all haste for without you we cannot
    make an ordinance.

    "Written at Xaintes, May 28th.


    "AMBOISE, June 7th.

    "Loys, by the grace of God, King of France. Beloved brother and
    cousin, we have received the letters you have written making
    mention, as you have heard, that in the truce lately concluded
    between us and the Duke of Burgundy up to April 1st next coming,
    which will be the year 1473, the Duke of Burgundy has mentioned
    you as his ally, which you do not like because you never asked the
    Duke of Burgundy to do so, and you do not know whether he made
    this statement on the advice of the Venetian ambassador who is
    with him.

    "Therefore, and because you do not mean to enter into alliance or
    understanding with the Duke of Burgundy but wish to remain
    our confederate and ally and have sworn to that effect before
    notaries, and sealed your oath with your seal ... that you are no
    ally of the Duke of Burgundy and that you renounce and repudiate
    his nomination as such ... also you may be certain that on our
    part we are determined to maintain all friendship between us and
    you ... and if we make any treaty in the future we will expressly
    include you in it and never will do otherwise."[23]

    "Monseigneur the grand master, I am advised how while the truce is
    still in being, the Duke of Burgundy has taken Nesle and slain all
    whom he found within. I must be avenged for this. I wished you to
    know so that if you can find means to do him a like injury in his
    country you will do it there and anywhere that you can without
    sparing anything. I have good hopes that God will aid in avenging
    us, considering the murders for which he is responsible within the
    church and elsewhere, and because by virtue of the terms of their
    surrender [they thought] they had saved their lives.

    "Done at Angers, June 19th.

    "P.S.--If the said place had been destroyed and rased as I ordered
    this never would have happened. Therefore, see to it that all such
    places be rased to the ground, for if this be not done the people
    will be ruined and there will be an increase of dishonour and
    damage to me."[24]

One fact stated by Louis in this letter was true. Charles of Burgundy
broke the truce when it had but two weeks to run, and thus put
himself in the wrong. The death of Guienne made him wild with anger.
Apparently he had not believed in the imminence of the danger,
although he had been constantly informed of the progress of the
prince's illness. But to his mind, it was the hand of Louis, not the
judgment of God, that ended the life of the prince.

    "On the morrow, which was about May 15, 1472, so far as I remember
    [says Commines] came letters from Simon de Quingey, the duke's
    ambassador to the king, announcing the death of the Duke of
    Guienne and that the king had recovered the majority of his
    places. Messages from various localities followed headlong one on
    the other, and every one had a different story of the death.

    "The duke being in despair at the death, at the instigation of
    other people as much concerned as himself, wrote letters full of
    bitter accusations against the king to several towns--an action
    that profited little for nothing was done about it.[25]... In this
    violent passion the duke proceeded towards Nesle in Vermandois,
    and commenced a kind of warfare such as he had never used before,
    burning and destroying wherever he passed."

It is interesting to note how smoothly Commines sails by the capital
charges against the king. He neither accepts nor denies the king's
crime, while frankly admitting that Guienne's decease was an opportune
circumstance for Louis. He apologises for mentioning any evil report
of either king or duke, but urges his duty as historian to tell the
truth without palliation.

Nesle was a little place on a tributary of the Somme which refused
the duke's summons to surrender, sent to it on June 10th. It seems
possible that there was a misunderstanding between the citizens
and the garrison which resulted in the slaughter of the Burgundian
heralds. Whereupon, the exasperated soldiers rushed headlong upon the
ill-defended burghers and wreaked a terrible vengeance on the town.

When the duke arrived on the spot, the carnage was over, but he was
unreproving as he inspected the gruesome result. Into the great church
itself he rode, and his horse's hoofs sank through the blood lying
inches deep on the floor. The desecrated building was full of
dead--men, women, and children--but the duke's only comment as he
looked about was, "Here is a fine sight. Verily I have good butchers
with me," and he crossed himself piously.

    "Those who were taken alive were hanged, except some few suffered
    to escape by the compassionate common soldiers. Quite a number had
    their hands chopped off. I dislike to mention this cruelty but I
    was on the spot and needs must give some account of it."[26]

The story of the duke's treatment of the innocent little town of Nesle
is painted in colours quite as lurid as the king's murder of his
brother. There is some ground for the denunciations of Charles,
but the gravest accusation, that the duke promised clemency to the
citizens on surrender and then basely broke his word, does not deserve
credence. He was in a state of exasperation and the horrors were
committed in passion, not in cold blood.[27]


It is delightful to note the king's virtuous indignation at his
cousin's proceedings, coupled with his regrets that he himself had not
destroyed the town.

With the terrible report of the events at Nesle flying before his
advance guard, Charles went on towards Normandy. Roye he gained
easily, and then, passing by Compiègne where "Monseigneur the grand
master" had intrenched himself, and Amiens with the good burghers whom
Louis delighted to honour, he marched on until he reached Beauvais, an
old town on the Thérain. Some of the garrison from the fallen Roye had
taken refuge there, but the place was weak in its defences, not even
having its usual garrison or cannon, as it happened.

Disappointed in his first expectation of picking the town like a
cherry, Charles sat down before it. The siege that followed won
a reputation beyond the warrant of its real importance from the
extraordinary tenacity and energy of the people in their own defence.
Every missile that the ingenuity of man or woman could imagine was
used to drive back the besiegers when the town was finally invested.

From June 27th to July 9th Charles waited, then an assault was
ordered. Charles laughed at the idea of any serious resistance. "He
asked some of his people whether they thought the citizens would wait
for the assault. It was answered yes, considering their number even if
they had nothing before them but a hedge."[28] He took this as a joke
and said, "To-morrow you will not find a person." He thought that
there would be a simple repetition of his experience at Dinant and
Liege, and that the garrison would simply succumb in terror. When the
Burgundians rushed at the walls their reception showed not only that
every point had a defender, but also that those same defenders were
provided with huge stones, pots of boiling water, burning torches--all
most unpleasant things when thrown in the faces of men trying to scale
a wall. Three hours were sufficient to prove to the assailants the
difficulty of the task. Twelve hundred were slain and maimed, and the
strength of the place was proven.

Charles was not inclined to relinquish his scheme, but the weather
came to the aid of the besieged. Heavy rains forced the troops to
change camp. More men were lost in skirmishes and mimic assaults,
losses that Charles could ill afford at the moment. Finally at the end
of three fruitless weeks, the siege was raised and the Burgundians
marched on to try to redeem their reputation in Normandy. Had Beauvais
fallen, it would have been possible to relieve the Duke of Brittany,
against whom Louis had marched with all his forces and whom he had
enveloped as in a net. This reverse was the first serious rebuff that
had happened to Charles, and it marked a turn in his fortunes.

Louis fully appreciated the enormous advantage to himself, and was not
stinting in his reward to the plucky little town. Privileges and a
reduction of taxes were bestowed on Beauvais. An annual procession
was inaugurated in which women were to have precedence as a special
recognition of their services with boiling water and other irregular
weapons, while a special gift was bestowed on one particular girl,
Jeanne Laisné, who had wrested a Burgundian standard from a soldier
just as he was about to plant it on the wall. Not only was she endowed
from the royal purse, but she and her husband and their descendants
were declared tax free for ever.[29]

_Charles to the Duke of Brittany_

    "My good brother, I recommend myself to you with good heart. I
    rather hoped to be able to march through Rouen, but the whole
    strength of the foe was on the frontier, where was the _grand
    master, of whose loyalty I have not the least doubt_, so that the
    project could not be effected. I do not know what will happen.
    Realising this, I have given subject for thought elsewhere and
    I have pitched my camp between Rouen and Neufchâtel, intending,
    however, to return speedily. If not I will exploit the war in
    another quarter more injurious to the enemy, and I will exert
    myself to keep them from your route. My Burgundians and
    Luxemburgers have done bravely in Champagne. I know, too, that you
    have done well on your part, for which I rejoice. I have burned
    the territory of Caux in a fashion so that it will not injure you,
    nor us, nor others, and I will not lay down arms without you, as
    I am certain you will not without me. I will pursue the work
    commenced by your advice at the pleasure of Our Lord, may He give
    you good and long life with a fruitful victory.

    "Written at my camp near Boscise, September 4th.

    "Your loyal brother,


The duke's course was marked by waste and devastation from the
walls of Rouen to those of Dieppe, but nothing was gained from this
desolation. By September, keen anxiety about his territories led him
to fear staying so far from his own boundaries, and he decided to
return. Through Picardy he marched eastward burning and laying waste
as before.

Hardly had he turned towards the Netherlands, when Louis marched into
Brittany against his weakest foe. There was no fighting, but Francis
found it wise to accept a truce. Odet d'Aydie, who had ridden in hot
haste to Brittany, scattering from his saddle dire accusations of
fratricide against Louis--this same Odet became silenced and took
service with the king.[31] When reconcilations were effected, most
kind to the returning ally or servant did Louis always show himself.

On November 3d, a truce was struck between Louis and Charles, which,
later, was renewed for a year. But never again did the two men come
into actual conflict with each other, though they were on the eve of
doing so in 1475.

The period of the great coalitions among the nobles was at an end.
Charles of France was dead and so, too, were others who were strong
enough to work the king ill. The Duke of Brittany showed no more
energy. When again within his own territories, Charles of Burgundy
became absorbed in other projects which he wished to perfect before he
again measured steel with Louis.

  "The Duke of Berry, he is dead,
  Brittany doth nod his head,
  Burgundy doth sulky sit,
  While Louis works with every wit."[32]

Such was the tenor of a doggerel verse sung in France, a verse that
probably never came to Charles's ears--though Louis might have
listened to it cheerfully.

Infinitely disastrous were the events of that summer to Charles of
Burgundy. Not only had he lost in allies, not only had he squandered
life and money uselessly in his reckless expedition over the north of
France, but his own retinue was diminished and weakened by the men
whom Louis had succeeded in luring from his service. The loss that
Charles suffered was not only for the time but for posterity. Among
those convinced that there was more scope for men of talent in France
than in Burgundy was that clever observer of humanity who had been at
Charles's side for eight years. In August of 1472, Philip de Commines
took French leave of his master and betook himself to Louis, who
evidently was not surprised at his advent.

The historian's own words in regard to this change of base are
laconic: "About this time I entered the king's service (and it was
the year 1472), who had received the majority of the servitors of his
brother the Duke of Guienne. And he was then at Pont de Cé."[33] This
passing from one lord to another happened on the night between the 7th
and 8th of August, when the Burgundian army lay near Eu.

The suddenness of the departure was probably due to the duke's
discovery of his servant's intentions not yet wholly ripe, and those
intentions had undoubtedly been formed at Orleans, in 1471, when
Commines made a secret journey to the king. On his way back to
Burgundy, he deposited a large sum of money at Tours. Evidently he
did not dare put this under his own name, or claim it when it was
confiscated as the property of a notorious adherent of Louis's

When the fugitive reached the French court, however, he was amply
recompensed for all his losses.[35] For, naturally, at his flight, all
his Burgundian estates were abandoned.[36] It was at six o'clock on
the morning of August 8th that the deed was signed whereby the duke
transferred to the Seigneur de Quiévrain all the rights appertaining
to Philip de Commines, "which rights together with all the property of
whatever kind have escheated to us by virtue of confiscation because
he has to-day, the date of this document, departed from our obedience
and gone as a fugitive to the party opposed to us."[37]

There are various surmises as to the cause of this precipitate
departure. Not improbable is the suggestion that Charles often
overstepped the bounds of courtesy towards his followers. Once, so
runs one story, he found the historian sleeping on his bed where he
had flung himself while awaiting his master. Charles pulled off one of
his boots "to give him more ease" and struck him in the face with it.
In derision the courtiers called Commines _tête bottée_, and their
mocking sank deep into his soul.

Contemporary writers make little of the chronicler's defection.
These crossings from the peer's to the king's camp were accepted
occurrences. But by Charles they were not accepted. There is
a vindictive look about the hour when he disposes of his late
confidant's possessions, only explicable by intense indignation not
itemised in the deed approved by the court of Mons.[38]

More loyal was that other chronicler, Olivier de la Marche, though to
him, also, came intimations that he would find a pleasant welcome at
the French court. He, too, had opportunities galore to make links with
Louis. The accounts teem with references to his secret missions
here and there, and with mention of the rewards paid, all carefully
itemised. So zealous was this messenger on his master's commissions,
that his hackneys were ruined by his fast riding and had to be sold
for petty sums. The keen eye of Louis XI. was not blind to the quality
of La Marche's services, and he thought that they, too, might be
diverted to his use.[39]

    "Monsieur du Bouchage, Guillaume de Thouars has told me that
    Messire Olivier de la Marche is willing to enter my service and
    I am afraid that there may be some deception. However, there is
    nothing that I would like better than to have the said Sieur
    de Cimay, as you know. Therefore, pray find out how the matter
    stands, and if you see that it is in good earnest work for it with
    all diligence. Whatever you pledge I will hold to. Advise me of

    "Written at Cléry, October 16th [1472].

    "To our beloved and faithful councillor and chancellor, Sire du

But La Marche was not tempted, and was rewarded for his fidelity
by high office in a duchy which, shortly after these events, was
"annexed" to his master's domain.

[Footnote 1: _Journal de Jean de Roye_, i., 258.]

[Footnote 2: Commynes-Dupont, iii., 202.]

[Footnote 3: Plancher, iv., cccvi., May 28th.]

[Footnote 4: Rymer, _Foedera_, xi., 735. _Pro Ducissa Burgundiæ super
Lana claccanda_.]

[Footnote 5: _Lettres de Louis XI._, iv., 256.]

[Footnote 6: One of Guienne's retinue who, later, passed to Louis's

[Footnote 7: Louis's sister Yolande.]

[Footnote 8: The Duke of Brittany had married the third daughter of
the Count de Foix.]

[Footnote 9: This was an allusion to a proposed marriage between
Guienne and Jeanne, reputed daughter of Henry IV. of Castile. Vaesen
cannot explain the use of Aragon. Various documents relating to this
negotiation are given. (Comines-Lenglet, iii., 156.)]

[Footnote 10: Vaesen gives _femmes_, Duclos _filles_. The king was
above all afraid that his brother might marry Mary of Burgundy.]

[Footnote 11: Lettres de Louis XI._., iv., 286.]

[Footnote 12: There was a pestilence raging at Amboise.]

[Footnote 13: At Orleans, in the last days of October and the first of
November, there was a conference wherein the king apparently promised
to restore St. Quentin and Amiens to Charles, if he would renounce his
alliance with the dukes of Brittany and Guienne and would betroth his
daughter to the dauphin.]

[Footnote 14: Ythier Marchant negotiated the proposed marriage between
Guienne and Mary of Burgundy. He had received "signed and sealed
blanks" from the two princes in order to enable him to hasten matters.
(_Lettres de Louis XI._, iv., 289.)]

[Footnote 15: III., ch. viii.]

[Footnote 16: "Cette paix jura le Due de Bourgogne et y estois

[Footnote 17: The king's envoys who had spent the winter in the
Burgundian court. _See_ letter to them in December.]

[Footnote 18: _See_ Kervyn, _Bulletin de l'Academie royale de
Belgique_, p. 256. _Also_ Kirk, ii., 160; Commynes-Mandrot, i., 234.]

[Footnote 19: Louis to the Vicomte de la Belliére, _Lettres_, etc.,
iv., 319.]

[Footnote 20: Louis to Dammartin, _Ibid_., 325. _Mars_ was written
first and then replaced by _Mai_.]

[Footnote 21: Odet d'Aydie, younger brother of the Seigneur de

[Footnote 22: _Lettres, XI_., iv., 328. Louis to Dammartin, 1472.]

[Footnote 23: _Lettres_, iv., 331. Louis to the Duke of Milan.]

[Footnote 24: _Lettres_, etc., v., 4. Louis to Dammartin. _See also_
Duclos, v., 331. There are slight discrepancies between the two texts,
but the differences do not affect the narrative.]

[Footnote 25: Odet d'Aydie, whom Louis had hoped to have converted to
his cause, was the man to spread the charge against Louis broadcast
over the land. The truth of the death is not proven. Frequent mentions
of Guienne's condition occur through the letters of the winter '71-72.
The story was that the poison, administered subtly by the king's
orders, caused the illness of both the prince and his mistress, Mme.
de Thouan. She died after two months of suffering, December 14th,
while he resisted the poison longer, though his health was completely
shattered and his months of longer life were unutterably wretched and
painful, a constant torture until death mercifully released him in
May. Accusations of poisoning are often repeated in history. In this
case, there was certainly a wide-spread belief in Louis's guilt. In
his manifestos, (Lenglet, ii., 198) Charles declares that the king's
tools in compassing his brother's death were a friar, Jourdain Favre,
and Henri de la Roche, esquire of his kitchen.

The story told by Brantôme _(OEuvres Complètes_ de Pierre de
Bourdeille, Seigneur de Brantôme, ii., 329. "Grands Capitaines
Francois." There is nothing too severe for Brantôme to say about Louis
XI.) is very detailed. A fool passed to Louis's service from that of
the dead prince. While this man was attending his new master in the
church of Notre Dame de Cléry, he heard him make this prayer to the
Virgin: "Ah! my good Lady, my little mistress, my great friend in whom
I have always put my trust, I pray thee be a suppliant to God in my
behalf, be my advocate with Him so that He may pardon me for the death
of my brother whom I had poisoned by this wicked Abbé of St. John. I
confess it to thee as to my good patron and mistress. But what was to
be done? He was a torment to my realm. Get me pardoned and I know well
what I will give thee."

Brantôme tells further that the fool, using the privilege of free
speech accorded to his class, talked about Guienne's death at dinner
in public and after that day was never seen again. On the other hand,
the young duke's will was all to his brother's favour. Louis was
made executor and legatee, "and if we have ever offended our beloved
brother," dictated the dying man, "we implore him to pardon us as we
with _débonnaire_ affection pardon him." Mandrot, editor of Commynes
(1901), i., 230, considers the whole story a malicious fabrication of
Odet d'Aydie, and other authorities refer the cause to disease. The
very date of the death varies from May 12th to May 24th.]

[Footnote 26: Commines, iii., ch. ix.]

[Footnote 27: There is a curious document in existence (see _Bulletins
de L'Hist. de France_, 1833-34) dated fifty years after the event. It
is the deposition of several old people who had been just old enough
to remember that awful experience of their youth. Fifty years of
repetition gave time for the growth of the story.]

[Footnote 28: Commines, iii., ch. x.]

[Footnote 29: Legend makes it that Jeanne Laisné, called _Fouquet_,
chopped off the hands of the standard-bearer with a hatchet. Hence
her name was changed to _La Hachette_, and she is represented with a

[Footnote 30: Barante, vii., 333.]

[Footnote 31: _See_ Lavisse, iv^{ii.}, 368.]

[Footnote 32:

  "Berri est mort,
  Bretagne dort,
  Bourgogne hongne,
  Le Roy besogne."

Le Roux de Lincy, _Chants historiques et populaires du temps de Louis

[Footnote 33: Commines also mentions here "the confessor of the Duke
of Guienne and a knight to whom is imputed the death of the Duke of
Guienne." (iii., ch. xi.)]

[Footnote 34: Kirk (ii., 156) thinks that this confiscation was only
Louis's way of prodding him up to act.]

[Footnote 35: Dupont (Commynes, iii., xxxvi). The fugitive did not
enter immediately into his new possessions. The king's gift of the
principality of Talmont, dated October, 1472, was not registered in
_Parlement_ until December 13, 1473, and in the court of records May
2, 1474. Prince of Talmont did Commines become at last, and as such he
married Helen de Chambes, January 27, 1473.]

[Footnote 36: It is strange that La Marche does not mention this

[Footnote 37: See document quoted by Gachard, _Études et Notices_,
etc. ii., 344. The original is in the Croy family archives preserved
in the château of Beaumont.]

[Footnote 38: _See also_ Comines-Lenglet, i., xcj., for discussion of
this event. He asserts that the court of Burgundy was too corrupt for
honest men to endure it.]

[Footnote 39: _See_ Stein. _Étude_, etc., _sur Olivier de la _Marche_.
(Mém. Couronnés) xlix.]

[Footnote 40: Letter of Louis XI. in Bibl. Nat.: _Ibid._, p. 179.]




The affairs of the little duchy of Guelders were among the matters
urgently demanding the attention of the Duke of Burgundy at the close
of his campaign in France. The circumstances of the long-standing
quarrel between Duke Arnold and his unscrupulous son Adolf were a
scandal throughout Europe. In 1463, a seeming reconciliation of the
parties had not only been effected but celebrated in the town of Grave
by a pleasant family festival, from whose gaieties the elder duke,
fatigued, retired at an early hour. Scarcely was he in bed, when he
was aroused rudely, and carried off half clad to a dungeon in the
castle of Buren, by the order of his son, who superintended the
abduction in person and then became duke regnant. For over six years
the old man languished in prison, actually taunted, from time to time,
it is said, by Duke Adolf himself.

Indignant remonstrances against this conduct were heard from various
quarters, and were all alike unheeded by the young duke until Charles
of Burgundy interfered and ordered him to bring his father to his
presence, and to submit the dispute to his arbitration. Charles was
too near and too powerful a neighbour to be disregarded, and his
peremptory invitation was accepted. Pending the decision, the
two dukes were forced to be guests in his court, under a strict
surveillance which amounted to an arrest.

The first suggestion made by Charles was for a compromise between
father and son. "Let Duke Arnold retain the nominal sovereignty in
Guelders, actual possession of one town, and a fair income, while
to Adolf be ceded the full power of administration." The latter was
emphatic in his refusal to consider the proposition. "Rather would I
prefer to see my father thrown into a well and to follow him thither
than to agree to such terms. He has been sovereign duke for forty-four
years; it is my turn now to reign." Arnold thought it would be a
simple feat to fight out the dispute. "I saw them both several times
in the duke's apartment and in the council chamber when they pleaded,
each his own cause. I saw the old man offer a gage of battle to his
son."[1] The senior belonged to the disappearing age of chivalry. A
trial of arms seemed to him an easy and knightly fashion of ending his
differences with his importunate heir.

No settlement was effected before the French expedition, but Charles
was not disposed to let the matter slip from his control, and when
he proceeded to Amiens, the two dukes, still under restraint, were
obliged to follow in his train. At a leisure moment Charles intended
to force them to accept his arbitration as final. Before that moment
arrived, the more agile of the two plaintiffs, Adolf, succeeded in
eluding surveillance and escaping from the camp at Wailly. He made his
way successfully to Namur disguised as a Franciscan monk. Then, at
the ferry, he gave a florin when a penny would have sufficed. The
liberality, inconsistent with his assumed rôle, aroused suspicion and
led to the detection of his rank and identity. He was stayed in his
flight and imprisoned in the castle of Namur to await a decision on
his case by his self-constituted judge. This was not pronounced until
the summer of 1473.

By that time, Charles was resolved on another course of action than
that of adjusting a family dispute in the capacity of puissant,
impartial, and friendly neighbour. Adolf's behaviour towards his
father had been extraordinarily brutal and outrageous. Public comment
had been excited to a wide degree. It was not an affair to be dealt
with lightly by Duke Charles. The young Duchess of Guelders was
Catharine of Bourbon, sister to the late Duchess of Burgundy, and
Adolf himself was chevalier of the Golden Fleece. In consideration of
these links of family and knightly brotherhood, Charles desired that
the case should be tried with all formality.


On May 3, 1473, an assembly of the Order was held at Valenciennes,[2]
and the knights were asked to pass upon the conduct of their
delinquent fellow, who was permitted to present his own brief through
an attorney, but was detained in his own person at Namur. The
innocence or guilt of his prisoner was no longer the chief point of
interest as far as the Duke of Burgundy was concerned. The latter had
made an excellent bargain on his own behalf with the moribund Duke of
Guelders, who had signed (December, 1472) a document wherein he sold
to Charles all his administrative rights in Guelders and Zutphen for
ninety-two thousand florins,[3] in consideration of Arnold's enjoying
a life interest in half of the revenue of his ancient duchy. That
clause soon lost its significance. The old man's life ceased in March,
1473, and, by virtue of the contract, Charles proposed to enter into
full possession of his estates, setting aside not only Adolf, whom he
was ready to pronounce an outlawed criminal, quite beyond the pale of
society, but that Adolf's innocent eight-year-old heir, Charles, whose
hereditary claims had also been ignored by his grandfather.

Before the knights of the Order as a final court, were rehearsed all
the circumstances of the old family quarrel and of the late commercial
transaction. Their verdict was the one desired by their chief. It was
proven to their entire satisfaction that Arnold's sale of the duchy of
Guelders and Zutphen was a legitimate proceeding, and that the deed
executed by him was a perfect and valid instrument, whereby Charles of
Burgundy was duly empowered to enjoy all the revenues of, and to exert
authority in, his new duchy at his pleasure. As to Duke Adolf, he
was condemned by this tribunal of his peers to life imprisonment as
punishment for his unfilial and unjustifiable cruelty towards Arnold,
late Duke of Guelders.

Adolf's protests were stifled by his prison bars, but the people of
Guelders were by no means disposed to accept unquestioned this deed
of transfer, made when the two parties to the conveyance were in
very unequal conditions of freedom. In order to convince them of the
justice of his pretensions, Charles levied a force almost as efficient
as his army of the preceding summer, and fell upon Guelders. A truce,
a triple compact with France and England, had recently been renewed,
so that for the moment his hands were free from complications, an
event commented upon by Sir John Paston, as follows:

    "April 16, 1473, CANTERBURY.

    "As for tydings ther was a truce taken at Brusslys about the xxvi
    day off March last, betwyn the Duke of Burgoyn and the Frense
    Kings inbassators and Master William Atclyff ffor the king heer,
    whiche is a pese be londe and be water tyll the ffyrst daye off
    Apryll nowe next comyng betweyn Fraunce and Ingeland, and also the
    Dukys londes. God holde it ffor ever."

The writer had recently been in Charles's court. Writing from Calais
in February, he says:

    "As ffor tydyngs heer ther bee but few saff that the Duke of
    Burgoyen and my Lady hys wyffe fareth well. I was with them on
    Thorysdaye last past at Gaunt."[4]

The Duke of Burgundy was not the only pretender to the vacated
sovereignty of Guelders. The Duke of Juliers was also inclined to
urge his cause, were Adolf's family to be set aside. At the sight
of Burgundian puissance, however, he was ready to be convinced, and
accepted 24,000 florins for his acquiescence in the righteousness of
the accession. Several of the cities manifested opposition to Charles,
but yielded one after another. In Nimwegen--long hostile to Duke
Arnold--there was a determined effort to support little Charles of
Guelders who, with his sister, was in that city. The child made a
pretty show on his little pony, and there were many declarations of
devotion to his cause as he was put forward to excite sympathy. For
three weeks, the town held out in his name. The resistance to the
Burgundian troops was sturdy. When the gates gave way before their
attacks the burghers defended the broken walls. Six hundred English
archers were repulsed from an assault with such sudden energy that
they left their banners sticking in the very breaches they thought
they had won, fine prizes for the triumphant citizens. But the game
was unequal, and the combatants, convinced that discretion was the
better part of valour, at last accepted the Duke of Cleves as a
mediator with their would-be sovereign.

On July 19th, a long civic procession headed by the burgomasters,
wearing neither hats nor shoes, marched to the Duke of Burgundy with a
prayer for pardon on their lips. The leaders of the opposition to his
accession were delivered over to the mercy of the victor. The garrison
were accorded their lives and a tax was imposed on the city to
indemnify the duke for his needless trouble, and Guelders was added
_de facto_ to the list of Burgundian ducal titles. In the various
state papers presently issued by the new ruler, the mention of the
circumstance of his accession to the sovereignty was simple and
straightforward, as in a certain document appointing Olivier de la
Marche to be treasurer. The patent bears the date of August 18th and
was one of the earliest issued by Charles in this new capacity.

    "As by the death of the late Messire Arnold, in his life Duke of
    Guelderland, these counties and duchy have lapsed to me, and by
    the same token the offices of the land have escheated to our
    disposition, and among others the office of master of the moneys
    of those countships ... using the rights, etc., escheated to me,
    and in consideration of the good and agreeable services already
    rendered and continually rendered by our knight, etc., Olivier de
    la Marche, having full confidence in his sense, loyalty, probity,
    and good diligence--for these causes and others we entrust the
    office of master and overseer of moneys of the land of Guelders
    to him, with all the rights, duties, and privileges thereto
    pertaining. In testimony of this we have set our seal to these
    papers. Done in our city of Nimwegen, August 18, 1473. Thus signed
    by M. le duc."

On the back of this document was written:

    "To-day, November 3, 1473, Messire Olivier de la Marche ... took
    the oath of office of master and overseer of the land and duchy of

The charge of the ducal children, Charles and Philippa, was entrusted
to the duke who, in his turn, deputed Margaret of York to supervise
their education. In a comparatively brief time agitation in behalf
of the disinherited heir ceased, and imperial ratification alone was
required to stamp the territory as a legal fraction of the Burgundian
domains. Under the circumstances the minor heirs were the emperor's
wards, and it was his express duty to look to their interests, but
Frederic III. showed no disposition to assert himself as their
champion. On the contrary, the embassy that arrived from his court on
August 14th was charged with felicitations to his dear friend, Charles
of Burgundy, for his acquisition, and with assurances that the
requisite investiture into his dignities should be given by his
imperial hand at the duke's pleasure.[6]

Communication between Frederic and Charles had been intermittently
frequent during the past three years, and one subject of their letters
was probably a reason why Charles had been willing to abandon a losing
game in France to give another bias to his thoughts. He was lured
on by the bait of certain prospects, varying in their definite form
indeed, but full of promise that he might be enabled, eventually, to
confer with Louis XI. from a better vantage ground than his position
as first peer of France. The story of these hopes now becomes the
story of Charles of Burgundy.

When Sigismund of Austria completed his mortgage, in 1469, at St.
Omer, and returned home, as already stated, he was fired with zeal to
divert some of the dazzling Burgundian wealth into the empty imperial
coffers. An alliance between Mary of Burgundy and the young Archduke
Maximilian seemed to him the most advantageous matrimonial bargain
possible for the emperor's heir. He urged it upon his cousin with
all the eloquence he possessed, and was lavish in his offers to be
mediator between him and his new friend Charles.

Frederic was impressed by Sigismund's enthusiastic exposition of the
advantages of the match, and little time elapsed before his ambassador
brought formal proposals to Charles for the alliance. The duke
received the advances complacently and returned propositions
significant of his personal ambitions. As early as May, 1470, his
instructions to certain envoys sent to the intermediary, Sigismund,
are plain. In unequivocal terms, his daughter's hand is made
contingent on his own election as King of the Romans, that shadowy
royalty which veiled the approach to the imperial throne.

    "_Item_--And in regard to the said marriage, the ambassadors shall
    inform Monseigneur of Austria that, since his departure from
    Hesdin, certain people have talked to Monseigneur about this
    marriage and mentioned that, in return, the emperor would be
    willing to grant to Monseigneur the crown and the government of
    the Kingdom of the Romans, with the stipulation that Monseigneur,
    _arrived at the empire by the good pleasure of the emperor_ or
    by his death, would, in his turn, procure the said crown of the
    Romans for his son-in-law. The result will be that the empire
    will be continued in the person of the emperor's son and his

    "_Item_--They shall tell him about a meeting between the imperial
    and ducal ambassadors, at which meeting there was some talk of
    making a kingdom out of certain lands of Monseigneur and
    joining these to an _imperial_ vicariate of all the lands and
    principalities lying along the Rhine."

In the following paragraphs of this instruction,[7] Charles directs
his envoys to make it clear to Monseigneur of Austria (Sigismund)
that the duke's interest in the plan does not spring from avarice or
ambition. He is purely actuated by a yearning to employ his time and
his strength for God's service and for the defence of the Faith, while
still in his prime.

Should the emperor refuse to approve the duke's nomination as King of
the Romans, the ambassadors are instructed to say that they are not
empowered to proceed with the marriage negotiations without first
referring to their chief. They must ask leave to return with their
report. If Sigismund should take it on himself to sound the emperor
again about his sentiments, the envoys might await the result of his
investigations. He was to be assured that while Charles was resolved
to hold back until he was fully satisfied on this point, if it were
once ceded, he would interpose no further delay in the celebration of
the nuptials. He must know, however, just what power and revenue the
emperor would attach to the proposed title. He was not willing to
accept it without emoluments. His present financial burdens were
already heavy, etc. The concluding items of the instructions had
reference to the marriage settlements.

A kingdom of his own was not the duke's dream at this stage of
Burgundo-Austrian negotiations. The title that Charles desired
primarily was King of the Romans, one empty of substantial sovereign
power, but rich with promise of the all-embracing imperial dignity.
Significant is the intimation that after this preliminary title was
conferred, its wearer would be glad to have Frederic step aside
voluntarily. A resignation would be as efficient as death in making
room for his appointed successor.

Frederic III. had, indeed, intimated occasionally that a life of
meditation would suit his tastes better than the imperial throne, but
he seems in no wise to have been tempted by the offer made by Charles
to relieve him of his onerous duties, and then to pass on the office
to his son. At any rate, the emperor rejected the opportunity to enjoy
an irresponsible ease. His answer to the duke was that he did not
exercise sufficient influence over his electors to ensure their
accepting his nominee as successor to the _imperium_.

There was, however, one honour that lay wholly within his gift. If
Charles desired higher rank, the emperor would be quite willing to
erect his territories into a realm and to create him monarch of
his own agglomerated possessions, welded into a new unity. This
proposition wounded Charles keenly. He assured Sigismund[8] (January
15, 1471) that his nomination as King of the Romans would never have
occurred to him spontaneously. He had been assured that it was a
darling project of the emperor, and he had simply been willing
to please him, etc. As to a kingdom of his own, he refused the
proposition with actual disdain.

Then various suitors for the hand of Mary of Burgundy appeared on
the scene successively. To Nicholas of Calabria, Duke of Lorraine,
grandson of old King René of Anjou, she was formally betrothed.[9]

"My cousin, since it is the pleasure of my very redoubtable seigneur
and father, I promise you that, you being alive, I will take none
other than you and I promise to take you when God permits it." So
wrote Mary with her own hand on June 13, 1472, at Mons. On December
3d, she declared all such pledges revoked as though they never had
been made, and Nicholas, too, formally renounced his pretensions to
her hand.

There were several moments when Charles of France had appeared to be
very near acceptance as Mary's husband, and several other princes
seemed eligible suitors. Doubtless her father found his daughter very
valuable as a means of attracting friendship. Doubtless, too, as
Commines says, he was not anxious to introduce any son-in-law into his
family. His fortieth year was only completed in 1473, and he was by no
means ready to range himself as an ancestor.

At successive times the negotiations between Charles and Frederic were
ruptured only to be renewed on some slightly different basis. Threaded
together they made a story fraught with interest for Louis XI., and
one that, very probably, he had an opportunity to hear. Up to August,
1472, it is a safe inference that Philip de Commines was fully
cognisant of the propositions and counter-propositions, the
understandings and misunderstandings, the private letters of, as well
as the interviews with, the accredited Austrian envoys that appeared
at one Burgundian camp after another. Probably there was nothing more]
valuable in the store of learning carried by the astute historian from
his first patron to his second than all this fund of confidential

It seems a fair surmise that Louis XI. enjoyed immensely the
delightful private view into his rival's dreams, the disappointments
and rehabilitation of his shattered visions. The relation would have
made him not only fully aware of the reasons why Charles was diverted
from his hot pursuit of the Somme towns, but thoroughly informed as to
the great obstacles lying in the path which the duke hoped to travel.
Naturally, the king was quite willing to rest assured that ruin was
inevitable. If his rival were disposed to wreck himself rashly on
German shoals, the king was equally disposed to be an acquiescent
onlooker and to spare his own powder.

On his part, Charles was wholly unconscious of the extent of his loss
of prestige within the French realm in 1472. There had been other
periods when the king had appeared triumphant over his aspiring nobles
only to be again checked by their alliance. In the radical change
undergone by the feudatories after Guienne's death and Brittany's
reconciliation, there was, however, no opening left for the Duke
of Burgundy's re-entry as a French political leader. It was this
definitive cessation of his importance that Charles failed to
recognise. Confident that his star was rising in the east he did
not note the significance of its setting in the west. Thereupon the
situation was,--Charles, believing that his plans were his own
secret, _versus_ Louis, fully advised of those plans and alert to all
incidents of the past, present, and future in a fashion impossible to
the duke in his absorbed contemplation of his own prospects, blocking
the scope of his view.

With the emperor's congratulations at the duke's accession to
Guelders, and his offers to invest him with the title, were coupled
intimations that it was an opportune moment to resume consideration of
an alliance between the Archduke Maximilian and Mary of Burgundy. The
duke accepted the new overtures, and Rudolf de Soulz and Peter
von Hagenbach proceeded to the Burgundian and Austrian courts
respectively, as confidential envoys to discuss the marriage.[10]

Charles was far more gracious to De Soulz than he had been to the
last imperial messenger, the Abbé de Casanova, who had restricted his
proposals to Mary's fortunes and ignored her father's. The duke had no
intention of permitting any conference to proceed on that line. He was
explicit as to his requisitions. De Soulz was surprised by a gift of
ten thousand florins, explained by the phrase, "because Monseigneur
recognised the love and affection borne him by the said count." That
was a simple retainer. Other benefits, offices, and estates were
conferred, to take effect on the day when Monseigneur was named King
of the Romans.

The instructions to Hagenbach were definite, covering the ground
of those previously mentioned, issued in 1470. He was, however,
especially enjoined to assure Frederic that the duke did not require
his abdication. He would be content to step into the shoes naturally
vacated by his death.

The final suggestion resulting from these parleyings was that an
interview between the two principals would be far more satisfactory
than any further interchange of messages. It was not only a propitious
time for a conference, but it was necessary. The ceremony of
investiture of the duke into his latest acquired fief made it
evidently imperative that he should visit the emperor. And to
preparations for that event, Charles turned his attention, now
absolutely confident that the outcome must be to his satisfaction. He
had as little comprehension of the character of the man with whom he
was to deal as he had of Louis XI. The choice of a place caused some
difficulty, each prince preferring a locality near his own frontier.
Metz was selected and abandoned on account of an epidemic. Finally
Trèves was appointed for the important occasion, and Frederic sent
official invitations to the princes of the empire to follow him
thither in October.


Before Charles arrived at the rendezvous, another event had occurred
that had an important bearing on his fortunes. Nicholas, Duke of
Lorraine, died (July 27th), leaving no direct heir. He had been
relinquished as a son-in-law, but the geographical position of his
duchy made the question of its sovereignty all important to Charles of
Burgundy. If it could be under his own control, how convenient for
the passage of his troops from Luxemburg to the south! The taste for
duchies like many another can grow by what it feeds upon.

Prepared to set out for his journey to Trèves, Charles hastened his
movements and proceeded to Metz with an escort so large that it had a
formidable aspect to the city fathers. Whether they feared that their
free city was too tempting a base for attack on Lorraine or not, the
magistrates yet found it expedient to keep the Burgundian thousands
without their walls. The emperor, too, was on his way to Trèves. Many
of his suite were occupying quarters in Metz. Room might be found for
Charles and his immediate retainers, indeed, but the troops must make
themselves as comfortable as possible outside the gates. So said the
burgomaster, and Charles was forced to yield and he made a splendid
entry into the town under the prescribed conditions.

His own paraphernalia had been forwarded from Antwerp, so that
there should be an abundance of plate, tapestry, etc., to grace his
temporary quarters, and the forests of Luxemburg had been scoured to
secure game for the banquets.

It was all very fine, but Charles was not in a humour to be pleased.
He was annoyed about his troops; very probably he had intended leaving
a portion at Metz, ready to be available in Lorraine if occasion
offered. He cut short his stay in the town and marched on with his
imposing escort to Trèves, whence he hoped to march out again a
greater personage than any Duke of Burgundy had ever been.[11]

[Footnote 1: Commines, iv., ch. i.]

[Footnote 2: _Hist. de l'Ordre,_ etc., p. 64. One of the places to be
filled at this session was that of Frank van Borselen, the widower
of Jacqueline, Countess of Holland. Thus the last faint trace of the
ancient family disappeared. It is expressly stated in the minutes of
the session that Adolf of Guelders was asked to nominate candidates
from his prison, but he would not do it. Striking is Charles's remark
on the nomination of the son of the King of Naples. Considering that
the Order was already decorated and honoured by four kings, very
excellent, he judged it more _à propos_ to distribute the five empty
collars within his own states. Nevertheless the infant was elected, as
was also Engelbert of Nassau.

Various members are criticised as permitted by the rules of the Order.
There was reproach for Anthony the Bastard for taking a gift of 20,000
crowns from Louis XI. Payable as it was in terms, it savoured of a
pension. Had Henry van Borselen done all he could to prevent Warwick's
landing in England? etc.

Among the minor pieces of business discussed was the disposition of
the scarlet mantles now discarded by the chevaliers. It was decided
after deliberation that they should be sold and the proceeds applied
to the purchase of tapestries for the chapel of Dijon, and the
treasurer was deputed to see about it. Perhaps it was in this
connection that the discussion turned on the wide-spread use, or
rather abuse of gold and velvet. It tended to depreciate the Order and
the state of chivalry. But the sovereign thought it best to defer this
point until his return from his proposed journey to Guelders. Lengthy,
too, were the discussions upon the exact usage in respect to wearing
the collar and insignia of the Order.]

[Footnote 3: The first sum named was three hundred thousand.]

[Footnote 4: _The Paston Letters, iii., 79._.]

[Footnote 5: See _Mémoires Couronnés_, xlix., 180.]

[Footnote 6: Toutey, p. 42; Lenglet, ii., 207. August 14th the Duke
of Burgundy crossed the Rhine and made his way to Nimwegen where the
ambassador of the emperor visited him.]

[Footnote 7: This instruction, printed by Lenglet (iii., 238) from the
Godefroy edition of Commines, has no date and has been referred to
1472. From internal evidence it seems fair to conclude that it belongs
rather to 1470. The question of the marriage comes in at the end of
the paper, the first part being devoted to Swiss affairs.]

[Footnote 8: Toutey, p. 36.]

[Footnote 9: Lenglet, iii., 192.]

[Footnote 10: Toutey, p. 44; Chmel, _Monumenta Habsburgica, I, 3._]

[Footnote 11: Toutey, p. 46.]




On Wednesday, September 28th, Emperor Frederic made his entry into the
old Roman city on the dancing Moselle. Two days later, the Duke of
Burgundy arrived and was welcomed most pompously outside of Trèves, by
his suzerain.

After the first greetings, ensued an argument about the etiquette
proper for the occasion, an argument similar to those which had
absorbed the punctilious in the Burgundian court, when the dauphin
made his famous visit to Duke Philip. For thirty minutes, the emperor
argued with his guest before feudal scruples were overcome and the
vassal was induced to ride by his chief's side into the city.

The entry was a grand sight, and crowds thronged the streets, more
curious about the duke than about the emperor. Charles was then in the
very prime of life. His personality commanded attention, but there
were some among the onlookers who found it more striking than
attractive. One bystander thought that the very splendour of his
dress, wherein cloth of gold and pearls played a part, only brought
into high relief the severity of his features. His great black eyes,
his proud and determined air failed to cast into oblivion a certain
effect of insignificance given by his square figure, broad shoulders,
excessively stout limbs, and legs rather bowed from continuous

There is, however, another word portrait of the duke as he looked in
the year 1473, whose trend is more sympathetic.[2] "His stature was
small and nervous, his complexion pale, hair dark chestnut, eyes black
and brilliant, his presence majestic but stern. He was high-spirited,
magnanimous, courageous, intrepid, and impetuous. Capable of action,
he lacked nothing but prudence to attain success."

From the two descriptions emerges a fairly clear picture of an
energetic man, somewhat undersized, and sometimes inclined to assert
his dignity in a fashion that did not quite comport with his physical
characteristics. The conviction that he was a very important personage
with greater importance awaiting him, and his total lack of a sense of
humour, combined with his inability to feel the pulse of a situation,
undoubtedly affected his bearing and made it seem more pompous.


The emperor was not an heroic figure in appearance any more than he
was in the records of his reign, distinguished for being the feeblest
as well as the longest in the annals of the empire. He was indolent,
timid, irresolute, and incapable. His features and manners were
vulgar, his intellect sluggish. Peasant-like in his petty economies,
he was shrewder at a bargain than in wielding his imperial sceptre.
At Trèves he was accompanied by his son, the Archduke Maximilian, a
fairly intelligent youth of eighteen, very ready to be fascinated by
his proposed father-in-law, who was a striking contrast to his own
languid and irresolute father, in energy and strenuous love of action.

As the two princes rode together into the city, Charles's
accoutrements attracted all eyes. The polished steel of his armour
shone like silver. Over it hung a short mantle actually embroidered
with diamonds and other precious stones to the value of two hundred
thousand gold crowns. His velvet hat, graciously held in his hand out
of compliment to the emperor, was ornamented with a diamond whose
price no man could tell. Before him walked a page carrying his helmet
studded with gems, while his magnificent black steed was heavily
weighted down with its rich caparisons.

Frederic III., very simple in his ordinary dress, had exerted himself
to appear well to his great vassal. His robe of cloth of gold
was fine, though it may have looked something like a luxurious
dressing-gown, as it was made after the Turkish fashion and bordered
with pearls. The emperor was lame in one foot, injured, so ran the
tradition, by his habit of kicking, not his servants, but innocent
doors that chanced to impede his way.

The Archduke Maximilian, gay in crimson and silver, walked by the side
of an Ottoman prince, prisoner of war, and converted to Christianity
by the pope himself. And then there was a host of nobles, great and
small. Among them were Engelbert of Nassau[3] and the representative
of the House of Orange-Châlons, whose titles were destined to be
united in one person within the next half-century.

The magnificence remained unrivalled in the history of royal
conferences. The very troopers wore habits of cloth of gold over their
steel, while their embroidered saddle-cloths were fringed with silver
bells. Surpassing all others, were the heralds-at-arms of the various
individual states which acknowledged Charles as their sovereign,
seigneur, count, or duke as the case might be. They preceded their
liege lord, clad in their distinctive armorial coats, ablaze with
colour. Before them were the trumpeters in white and blue, their very
instruments silvered, while first of all rode one hundred golden
haired boys, "an angel throng."

It was so difficult to decide as to the requisite etiquette of escort,
that the emperor and duke agreed to separate on the fairly neutral
ground of the market-place. Each proceeded with his own suite to his
lodgings, Frederic to the archbishop's palace, and Charles to
the abbey of St. Maximin, which had conferred on him, some years
previously, the honorary title of "Protector." His army was quartered
within and without the city. Two days for repose and then the first
official interview took place, which is described as follows, by an
unknown correspondent, evidently in the ducal suite:[4]

    "Yesterday, which was Sunday, Monseigneur waited upon the emperor
    and escorted him to his own lodging which is in the abbey of St.
    Maximin. My said lord was clad in ducal array except for his hat.
    The emperor wore a rich robe of cloth of gold of cramoisy, and his
    son was in a robe of green damask. As to their people, both suites
    were very brave, jewelry and cloth of gold being as common as
    satin or taffeta. Monseigneur received the emperor in a little
    chamber decorated with hangings from Holland that many recognised.

    "The emperor made the Bishop of Mayence his mouthpiece to describe
    the stress of Christianity and to urge Charles to lend his
    assistance. Having listened to this address, Monseigneur requested
    the emperor to please come into a larger place where more people
    could hear his answer. Accordingly they entered a hall decorated
    with the tapestry of Alexander, while the very ceiling was covered
    with cloth of gold. There was a dais whereon stood a double row of
    seats. Benches and steps were spread over with tapestry wrought
    with my lord's arms. Thither came the emperor and mounted the dais
    with difficulty.... Mons., the chancellor, clad in velvet over
    velvet cramoisy, first pronounced a discourse in beautiful Latin
    as a response to what had been said by the seigneur of Mayence.
    Then, showing how the affairs of my said lord were affected by
    the king, he began with an account of the king's reception by
    Monseigneur, whom God absolve [evidently the late duke], in his
    own residence, and he continued down to the present day, dilating
    upon the great benefits, services, and honour by him [Louis]
    received in the domains of Burgundy, and the extortions he had
    made since and desires to make. Never a word was forgotten, but
    all was well stated, especially the case of M. de Guienne.[5]
    Finally, Monseigneur declared that if his lands were in security,
    there was nothing he would like better than to give aid to

    "After this statement, which was marvellously honest, the emperor
    arose from the throne, wine and spices were brought, and then
    Monseigneur escorted the emperor to his quarters with grand
    display of torches. This is the outline of what happened on
    October 4th, in the said year lxxiii. And as to the future, next
    Thursday the emperor will dine where Monseigneur lodges, _et là
    fera les grants du roy_,[6] and there will be novelties. In regard
    to the fashion of the said emperor and his estate, he is a very
    fine prince and attractive, very robust, very human, and benign.
    I do not know with whom to compare his figure better than
    Monseigneur de Croy, as he was eight or ten years ago, except that
    his flesh is whiter than that of the Sr. de Croy. The emperor has
    seven or eight hundred horse as an escort, but the major part
    of the nobles present come from this locality. In regard to
    Monseigneur's departure, there is no news, and they make great
    cheer--this is all for this time."

    The German scholars in the imperial party listened most
    attentively to the style of the Netherlander's speech as well as
    to his subject-matter. "More abundant in vocabulary than elegant
    in Latinity," was their comment, a fault they considered marking
    all French Latin. The audience found time to note the style for
    the subject of the address did not interest them greatly. The
    least observant onlooker knew that the main purpose of this
    interview was not the plan of a Turkish campaign, though Frederic
    appointed a committee to discuss that, whose members, Burgundian
    and German in equal numbers, were instructed to study the Eastern
    question while emperor and duke were absorbed in other matters.[7]
    In their very first session, this committee decided that the
    chief obstacle to a Turkish expedition was the Franco-Burgundian
    quarrel. This point was also raised by Charles in his first
    conference with Frederic. No campaign was feasible until the
    European powers were ready to act in concert. Louis XI. was aiding
    and abetting the heathen by being a disturbing element which
    rendered this desired unity impossible. So Frederic appointed a
    fresh commission to discuss European peace. And this insolvable
    problem was a convenient blind for other discussions.

    On October 5th, a Burgundian fête gave new occasion for a display
    of wealth; "vulgar ostentation," sneered the less opulent German
    nobles who tried to show that their pride was not wounded by the
    sharp contrasts between imperial habits and those of a mere duke.
    On their side, the Burgundians remarked that it was a pity to
    waste good things on boors so little accustomed to elegantly
    equipped apartments that they used silken bedspreads to polish up
    their boots!

    A running commentary of international criticism, fine feasts,
    ostensible negotiations about projects that probably no one
    expected would come to pass, and an undercurrent, persistent
    and mandatory, of demands emphatically made on one side, feebly
    accepted by the other while the two principals were together, and
    petulantly disliked by the emperor as soon as he was alone again
    --such was the course of the conference.

    Frederic III. had one simple desire--to marry his son to the
    Burgundian heiress. Charles desired many things, some of which are
    clear and others obscure. The very fact that the emperor did not
    at once refuse his demands, gave him confidence that all were
    obtainable. Very probably he hoped to overawe his feudal chief
    by a display of his resources, and by showing the high esteem in
    which he was held by all nations. There at Trèves, embassies came
    to him from England, from various Italian and German states, and
    from Hungary.

    On October 15th, a treaty was signed that made the new Duke of
    Lorraine virtually a vassal to Charles, an important step towards
    Burgundian expansion. There was time and to spare for these many
    comings and goings during the eight weeks of the sojourn at
    Trèves, and the duke was not idle. That his own business hung
    fire, he thought was due to the machinations of Louis XI. He had
    no desire to prolong his visit, for he was well aware of the
    risk involved in keeping his troops in Trèves.[8] At first the
    magnificence of his equipage had amused the quiet old town, but
    little by little, in spite of the duke's strict discipline, the
    presence of idle soldiers became very onerous. Charles did not
    hesitate to hang on the nearest tree a man caught in an illicit
    act, but much lawlessness passed without his knowledge. Provisions
    became very dear; there was some danger of an epidemic due to the
    unsanitary conditions of the place, ill fitted to harbour so many
    strangers. The precautions instituted by the Roman founders in
    regard to their water supply had long since fallen into disuse.

    Weary of delays, the duke demanded a definite answer from the
    emperor as to the proposed kingdom, the matrimonial alliance, and
    his own status. Frederic appeared about to acquiesce, and then
    substituted vague promises for present assent to the demands. But
    when Charles, indignant, broke off negotiations on October 31st,
    and began to prepare for immediate departure, Frederic became
    anxious, renewed his overtures, and a new conference took place,
    in which he consented to fulfil the duke's wishes, with the
    proviso the sanction of his election should be obtained.

    Charles promised to go against the Turk in person, and to place
    a thousand men at Frederic's disposal, so soon as all points at
    issue between him and Louis XI. were settled, and provided that
    his estates were erected into a kingdom, which should also
    comprise the bishoprics of Liege, Utrecht, Toul, Verdun, and the
    duchies of Lorraine, Savoy, and Cleves. This realm was to be
    a fief of the empire like Hungary, Bohemia, and Poland, and
    transmissible by heredity in the male and female line--a necessary
    recognition of a woman's right, approved by both parties, for Mary
    of Burgundy was to marry Maximilian.

    Electoral confirmation alone was wanting, and in regard to that
    there was much voluminous correspondence and much shuffling of
    responsibility. The electors of Mayence and of Trèves were the
    only ones present to speak for themselves, and they declared
    that the matter ought to be referred to a full conclave of the
    electoral college.[9] Let the candidate for royalty await the
    decision of the next diet, appointed for November at Augsburg.

    Never loth to delay, the emperor proposed this solution to
    Charles, who replied haughtily that if his request were not
    complied with he would join Louis XI. in a league hostile to the
    empire. This was on November 6th. The Archbishop of Trèves then
    suggested that if the question could not wait for a diet, at
    least the electors should be summoned, especially the elector of
    Brandenburg, whom he knew to be influential with the emperor, and
    who was a leader in the anti-Burgundian and anti-Bohemian German
    party. This seemed fair, but the emperor suddenly put on a show of
    authority and declared, with an injured air, that he was perfectly
    free to act on his own initiative without confirmation. In the
    interests of Christianity and of the empire he would appoint
    Charles of Burgundy chief of the crusade, and he would crown him

    The organised opposition to his plan came to the duke's ears and
    made him very angry. Yet, at the same time, he had no desire
    to dispense with electoral consent. Possibly he felt that the
    imperial staff alone was too feeble to conjure his kingdom into
    permanent existence. It was finally decided that Frederic III.
    should display his power to the extent of investing Charles
    at once with the duchy of Guelders, while the more important
    investiture should be postponed.

    Very imposing was the ceremony enacted in the market-place.
    Frederic was exalted upon a high platform ascended by a flight
    of steps. Charles, clad in complete steel but bareheaded and
    unattended, rode slowly around the platform three times, "which
    they say was the custom in such solemnities of investiture," adds
    an eyewitness,[10] as though he considered the ceremony somewhat
    archaic. Then the candidate dismounted, received the mantle of the
    empire from an attendant, and slowly ascended the steps to the
    emperor's feet, while a new escutcheon, displaying the insignia of
    the freshly acquired fiefs, quartered on the Burgundian arms, was
    carried before him. Kneeling at the emperor's feet, the duke laid
    two fingers on his sword hilt and repeated the oath of fealty and
    service in low but distinct tones. Other rites followed, and then
    Charles was proclaimed Duke of Guelders.


    Thus one object of the conference was attained, and all the
    world thought it was only a question of time when the greater
    investiture would be celebrated. Charles's star was in the
    ascendant. There seemed no limit to the power he had acquired
    over his suzerain, who apparently graciously nodded assent to his
    requests, while the duke, too, withdrawing from his alliance with
    the King of Hungary, appeared very conciliatory in all doubtful
    issues. At the same time, his confidence in Frederic was by no
    means perfect.

    "The emperor is acting with perfect imperial authority and thinks
    that no one has a right to dispute it, nevertheless the duke
    yearns for the sanction of the electors and is set upon obtaining
    it."[11] The tone taken by Charles was that of humble ignorance.
    "Little instructed as I am in imperial German law, I am anxious to
    have your opinion on the legal ability of the emperor to erect a
    kingdom." On November 8th, in the evening, the electors present in
    Trèves declared that they were not exactly sure about the imperial
    authority, but they were sure that it was not their duty to
    discuss the legal attributes of imperial puissance.

    Under these circumstances what remained to hinder the attainment
    of Charles's desire? The emperor consented, and the only people
    who could have stayed his consent expressly stated that his was
    the final word, not theirs. It was easy for onlookers to conclude
    not only that the coronation was certain but that it was done.

    "Know that our lord the emperor has made the Duke of Burgundy a
    king of the lands hereafter mentioned and has assured the royal
    title to him and his heirs, male and female; all the territories
    that he holds from the empire together with Guelderland lately
    conquered, and the land of Lorraine, lately lapsed to the empire
    in fief, besides the duchy of Burgundy that formerly was held from
    the crown of France; also the bishoprics of Liege, Utrecht, Dolen,
    and others belonging to the empire, besides a few seigniories,
    also imperial fiefs. All this, royalty and principalities, he
    receives from a Roman emperor."

So wrote Albert of Brandenburg on November 13th, trusting to the
word of an envoy who had left matters in so advanced a state when he
departed from Trèves that he felt safe in concluding that achievement
had been reached.[12]

Various letters from the citizens of Berne, too, were filled with
rumours from Trèves. Most extraordinary is one of November 29th,
intended to go the rounds of the Swiss confederacy, containing _exact
details of the coronation of Charles as it had taken place five days
previously_. The boundaries of the new kingdom were specified.[13]
Venice, in hot haste to please the monarch, had instantly shown
exceptional honour to the Burgundian resident. How exact it all
sounded! Yet there was no truth in it.

The vacillating emperor was affected by the attitude of his suite, and
by their varying representations. There is no actual proof of French
interference, but French agents had been seen in the city, and might
have had private audiences with the emperor. Gradually, relations
changed between Charles and Frederic. There was a cloud, not
dissipated by a three days' fête given by the duke (November
19th-22d), evidently in farewell. Was Charles too exigeant with his
demands, too chary of his daughter? Probably.

On November 23d, instead of a definitive treaty a simple convention
was signed, postponing the coronation until February. Emperor and
regal candidate were to meet again at Besançon, Cologne, or Basel. In
the interval, Charles was to come to a satisfactory understanding with
the electors and obtain their official endorsement for the imperial

November 25th was appointed, _not_ for the regal investiture, but for
Frederic's departure. On the evening of the 24th, he gave audience to
his councillors and princes. The electors present were urged by the
Burgundians to give their own conditional approval at least, and to
consent to a reduction of the military obligations to be incurred
by Charles. It was a crisis, however, where nobody wished to pledge
anything definitely. There was an evident disposition to await some
further issue before final action.

The leave-taking between the bargain makers was expected to be as
pompous as had been the entry into Trèves. It was far into the night
of November 24th when the audience broke up. Little rest was there for
the imperial suite, for when the tardy November sun arose above the
eastern horizon, its rays met Frederic sailing down the Moselle. Not
only had no imperial adieux been uttered, but no imperial debts had
been settled. This was the news that was awaiting Charles when he
awoke. Baffled he was, but not in his hope of being a king that day.
No, only in his expectation of a stately pageant.[14] In all haste he
sent Peter von Hagenbach to ride more swiftly along the bank than the
boat could sail, so as to overtake the traveller and urge him to wait
for a few more words on divers topics. In one account it is reported
that Frederic, though annoyed at the interruption, still assented to
Hagenbach's request. No sooner was the latter away, however, than he
changed his mind and continued his course.

Rumour was busy, in regard to this strange exit of the emperor from
the scene. The general belief among contemporaries was that it was on
the eve of the intended coronation that Frederic turned his back on
the scene. Take first the words of Thomas Basin, whose statement that
he was in the very midst of the events can hardly be doubted:[15]

    "But alas how easily and instantly human desires change, and how
    fragile are the alliances and friendships of men, especially of
    princes, which are not joined and confirmed by the glue of Christ
    ... as the sacred Psalm sings, 'Put not your trust in princes
    nor in the sons of men in whom there is no safety.' Suddenly,
    forsooth, when they were thought to be harmonious in charity,
    benevolence, and friendship, when they offered each other such
    splendid entertainment, when they feasted together in regal luxury
    in all unity and friendship, when all things, as has been said,
    needed for the magnificence of such a great honour were made
    ready and prepared, so that on the third day should occur the
    celebration of that regal dignity _[fastigii],_ and the
    _[provectio]_ promotion of a new king and the erection of a new
    kingdom or the restoration and renovation of an ancient one,
    now obsolete from antiquity, were expected by all with great
    attention;--something occurred. I do not know what; hesitation or
    suspicion, fancied or justified, unexpectedly affected the emperor
    ... and embarking on his ship in the very early morning he sailed
    down the river Moselle to the Rhine. And thus was frustrated the
    hope of the duke and of all the Burgundians who believed that
    he was to be elevated to a king. In a moment this hope was
    extinguished like a candle.

    "We were present there in the city of Trèves, attached to the
    suite of neither prince, not serving or pretending to serve either
    of them. But we ascertained nothing either then or later, although
    we made many inquiries, about the cause of this sudden departure
    and we are still ignorant of the truth. When the day broke after
    the emperor's departure, and the duke was informed of the fact, he
    was also assured that the vessel in which the emperor sailed was
    opposite the monastery of St. Mary Blessed to the Martyrs. So he
    sent messengers hastily to beg the emperor to stay for a very
    brief interview with the duke, assuring him that the very least
    delay possible should occur if he did the favour. But no attention
    was paid to the signals from the shore and the course was

The bishop wrote these words some time after the event. There are
other accounts preserved, actual letters written within a few days or
weeks of November 25th, wherein is evinced similar ignorance of what
had actually passed. The following gives several suggestions of
difficulties not mentioned elsewhere. A certain Balthasar Cesner,
secretary, writes to Master Johannes Gelthauss and others in
Frankfort, from Cologne, on December 6th.[16] He was attached to
the imperial service, and possibly was one of the few attendants on
Frederic in the hasty journey from Trèves. After touching on Cologne
affairs he proceeds:

    "I must inform your excellencies how the Duke of Burgundy came
    with all pomp for his coronation as king of the kingdom of
    Burgundy and Friesland with twenty-six standards besides a
    magnificent sceptre and crown. He also wished to take his duchy
    and territories in Savoy[17] and Guelders and others in fief from
    him [the emperor] and not from the empire.[18] This and other
    extraordinary demands his imperial grace did not wish to grant,
    and on that account he has broken off the interview and gone away.
    Everything was prepared for the coronation, the chair for the
    taking.[19] It is said that he is to be crowned in Aix. It may be
    hoped not [_non speratur_]. You can understand me as well as your
    faithful servant.

    "Dear Master Hans I hope that you will not laugh at me. I can
    please my gracious lord and be worthy of praise if you will only
    trust me.

    "Despatched from Cologne on St. Nicholas Day itself.

    "To the Jurisconsult Master Johannes Gelthauss, Distinguished
    advocate, master, preceptor of the city of Frankfort."

The two kingdoms are also mentioned by Snoy:

    "Two realms, namely Burgundy and Frisia; in the second, Holland,
    Zealand, Guelders, Brabant, Limburg, Namur, Hainaut, and the
    dioceses of Liege, Cambray, and Utrecht; in the first, Burgundy,
    Luxemburg, Artois, Flanders, and three bishoprics."

The chronicler adds that this plan was discussed in secret

Again the rumour that the final straw that broke the emperor's
resolution was the duke's desire to take Savoy and Guelders from
his hand alone, is suggestive. On the duke's part, this wish might
indicate an attempt to separate a portion of territory from the empire
in a way to deceive his contemporaries into thinking that his kingdom
was an imperial fief, while, in reality, it was an independent realm,
as he or his successors could declare at a convenient moment. But this
seems at variance with his attested desire for electoral support.

It was a curious tangle and never fully unravelled. Yet, considering
the emperor's personal characteristics, his last action does not
seem inexplicable. As his visitor showed the intensity of his will,
Frederic became restive. Phlegmatic, obstinate, yet conscious of his
own weakness, personal conflicts with a nature equally obstinate and
much more vigorous were exceedingly unpleasant. The collision made him
writhe uneasily and prefer to slip out of his embarrassment as quietly
as he could.

The proposed leave-taking was to be very magnificent, and the
magnificence again was significant of Burgundian wealth. Whether the
duke would surely keep his pledge of sharing that wealth with the
archduke if the emperor went so far that he could not draw back, was a
consideration that undoubtedly may have affected Frederic. Had Mary of
Burgundy accompanied her father, had the wedding of the daughter and
investiture of the new king been planned for the same day, had the
promises been exchanged simultaneously, the leave-taking might have
passed, indeed, as a third ceremonial in all stateliness.

If Frederic doubted the surety of his bargain, it is not surprising.
It was notorious how the duke had played fast and loose with his
daughter's hand, withdrawing it from the grasp of a suitor as the
greater advantages of another alliance were presented to him, or as
the mere disadvantage of any marriage at all became unpleasantly near.
Vigorous man of forty that he was, Charles had no personal desire to
see a son-in-law, _in propria persona_, waiting for his shoes--a fact
perfectly patent to the emperor, as it was to the rest of the world.

The task of making the imperial adieux was entrusted to the imperial
chamberlain, Ulrich von Montfort, who duly presented his master's
formal excuses to the duke, on the morning of November 25th.
"Important and urgent affairs had necessitated his presence elsewhere.
The arrangement discussed between them was not broken but simply
postponed until a more convenient occasion rendered its execution
possible," etc.

The Strasburg chronicles report that Charles was in a towering rage on
receiving this communication. He clinched his fists, ground his teeth,
and kicked the furniture about the room in which he had locked himself
up.[21] But by the time these words were penned, these authors
were better informed than Charles about the ultimate result of the
emperor's intentions. The duke may have been angry, but he certainly
controlled himself sufficiently to give several audiences in the
course of the day--to envoys from Lorraine among others--and was ready
to take his own departure by evening, not doubting that the crown and
sceptre, carefully packed with the mountain of his valuable treasure,
would assuredly fulfil their destiny in the near future. Trèves was
left to its pristine repose, and Charles was the last man to realise
that in its silence were entombed for ever his chances of wearing the
prematurely prepared insignia.

[Footnote 1: This comment of the Strasburg chronicler, Trausch, is
quoted by De Bussière in his _Histoire de la Ligue contre Charles le
Téméraire_, p. 64. Kirk (ii., 222) points out that this contemporary
had a peculiar hostility towards Charles.]

[Footnote 2: Guillaume Faret or Farrel. His _Hist. de René II._ is
lost. This citation from it is found in _La Guerre de René II. contre
Charles le Hardi_, by P. Aubert Roland.]

[Footnote 3: He had been made knight of the Golden Fleece at the
May meeting. From this time on some member of the Nassau family was
prominent in Burgundian affairs.]

[Footnote 4: Gachard, _Doc. inédits_, i., 232. Letter from Trèves,
October 4, 1473.]

[Footnote 5: About this time Louis XI. made strenuous efforts to
unravel the mystery of his brother's death. (Letter to the chancellor
of Brittany, _Lettres de Louis XI_., v., 190.)]

[Footnote 6: Gachard could not explain this phrase. It might easily
refer to the desired investiture.]

[Footnote 7: Chmel, _Mon. Habs_., i., lxxvii., 50, 51: Toutey, p. 50.]

[Footnote 8: Toutey, p. 53.]

[Footnote 9: Toutey bases this statement on three letters (October
30, 31, and November 7, 1473) written by the envoys of the elector of
Brandenburg, Ludwig von Eyb and Hertnid von Stein.]

[Footnote 10: Basin, _Histoire des règnes de Charles VII. et de Louis
XI._, ii., 323. Between Nov. 6th and this ceremony there had been
new ruptures. Hugonet had gone back and forth many times between the
chiefs and "all the world had wondered."]

[Footnote 11: Albert of Brandenburg to the Duke of Saxony. (Muller,
_Reichstag Theatrum_, p. 598.]

[Footnote 12: Toutey, p. 57.]

[Footnote 13: Toutey, p. 60, note.]

[Footnote 14: In this account, differing from the current
tradition, Toutey has followed Bachmann's conclusions (_Deutsche
Reichsgeschichte,_ ii., 435).]

[Footnote 15: Basin, ii., 325.]

[Footnote 16: Preserved in the municipal archives in Frankfort (nr.
5808 or ch. lit. clausa c. sig in verso impr.). This is published by
Karl Schellhass in _Deutsche Zeitschrift für Geschichtewissenschaft,_
(1891) pp. 80-85. The language is a queer mixture of German and

[Footnote 17: Charles asked on October 23d, through his chancellor,
for investiture into Savoy. (Note by Schellhass.)]

[Footnote 18: Under this head is meant Lorraine, which he alleged had
lapsed to the emperor at the death of Nicholas of Calabria.]

[Footnote 19: This means the throne from which Charles was to step
down to receive the fief.]

[Footnote 20: "Loquitur etiam ferunt de regnis Frisiæ et Burgundiæ
sibi constituendes quæ audissimis auribus accepta visus non tam negare
imperator quam dissimulare.

"Nam et ad eam [majestatem regiam] aspirare et ditiones suas velle
in duo regna partiri visue Burgundiæ et Frisiæ: in hoc Hollandia,
Zelandia, Gelria, Brabantia, Limburgum, Namureum, Hannonia et dioceses
Leodiensis, Cameracensis et Trajectina: altero Burgundia, Luxemburgum,
Arthesia, Flandria, ecclesæque cathedrales Sadunensis, Tullensis
Verdunensis essent." (P. 1131.)

Renier Snoy was born the year of Charles's death, so that his
statement is tradition but founded on what he might have heard from

[Footnote 21: Chmel, i., 49-51; Toutey, p. 59.]




Late as it was in November, the weather was still very mild, and as
the emperor and duke travelled in opposite directions, neither the
former as he went down to Cologne, nor the latter as he passed up
the valley of the Moselle to that of the Ell, was hindered by autumn
storms. The summer of 1473 had been marked by unprecedented heat and
a prolonged drouth.[1] Forest fires raged unchecked on account of the
dearth of water and, for the same reason, the mills stood still.
The grape crops, indeed, were prodigious, but the vintage was not
profitable because the wine had a tendency to sour. Gentle rains
in September prepared the ground for an untimely fertility. Trees
blossomed and, though some fruits withered prematurely, cherries
actually ripened. Thus the Rhinelands presented a pleasant appearance
as Charles rode to Lorraine.

His first pause was at Thionville in Luxemburg, where he stayed about
a fortnight and received ambassadors from Hungary, Poland, Venice,
England, Denmark, Brittany, Ferrara, the Palatinate, and Cologne.[2]
The result of his conference with the last named was a declaration
on the duke's part which seriously affected his later career. The
condition of Cologne must be touched on as an essential part of this

The late Duke of Burgundy had attempted to pursue a line of policy in
regard to the ecclesiastical elections in the diocese of Cologne that
had succeeded in Liege and in Utrecht. In 1463, he had tried to force
the chapter to elect his candidate. They had refused to follow
his leading, but their own choice, Robert, brother of the
elector-palatine, did not prove a congenial chief, and the new prelate
turned to Philip for aid when he found his chapter disposed to
restrict both his revenues and his temporal authority. Later, in 1467,
as the audacity of his opponents increased, the archbishop appealed to
his brother, the elector, and to Charles of Burgundy. The latter
was busy in France, but he wrote a sententious letter to Cologne,
exhorting both chapter and city to be obedient to their chosen
spiritual and lay lord. This intervention was resented. The breach
widened between Robert and his people, culminating in actual
hostilities. The chapter took possession of the town of Neuss,
accepted Hermann of Hesse as their protector, and sent an embassy to
Rome to state their grievances. The elector aided his brother and the
belligerent parties grew in strength.

The city of Cologne wavered for a space, undecided which cause to
espouse, and finally chose the chapter's side, signing a five years'
alliance with that body, which had officially renounced allegiance to
Robert, pending the judgment of pope and emperor on the dissension.
Such was the state of affairs when Charles entered into possession of
Guelders and manifested a disposition to interest himself in Cologne.
He informed the chapter that he was greatly displeased with their
contumely. To Cologne he said, "Be neutral," but the burghers showed
so little inclination to heed his neighbourly advice that he tried
harsher measures and permitted Cologne merchants to be molested in his

In 1473, all hostilities were suspended in the hopes of imperial
intervention.[3] While Charles was still in Guelders, Robert paid
him a visit, held long conferences with him, and probably received
promises of future aid, for he had an air of arrogance when he
returned from the interview. During the sojourn of duke and emperor at
Trèves, a papal legate, the Bishop of Fossombrone, arrived from Rome
with plenary powers to settle Cologne affairs, and his measures were
endorsed by Charles in a letter from Trèves.

For a time Frederic III. seemed inclined to refrain from interference,
then something influenced him in another direction. When he arrived
at Cologne in November, he received a warm welcome and costly gifts,
which he repaid by conferring a mass of privileges on his "good
city,"--cheap and easy benefits,--but he did not prove an efficient
arbitrator, simply postponing any decision from day to day, though he
was begged to settle all difficulties before Charles should attempt to
relieve him of the trouble.

True, Charles was detained elsewhere. But he no longer felt the need
of conciliating the emperor, and at Thionville, on December 11, 1473,
he issued a manifesto declaring that his friend Robert was entirely in
the right, his opponents in the wrong.[4] As these latter defied papal
legate and arbitrator duly authorised to settle the points of dispute,
he, Charles of Burgundy, would constitute himself defender of the
insulted archbishop. At the same time, he despatched Ètienne de Lavin
to check the encroachments of the insolent rebels. The declaration
emboldened Robert to defy the emperor's summons to meet him and the
papal legate. They both declared that they would take measures to
bring him to obedience, but Frederic did not wish to tarry longer at
Cologne. In January he took his departure, having directed Hermann of
Hesse to protect that see against all aggression.

Apparently, at that time, in spite of the manifesto, there was no
formal treaty between Charles and Robert, but there are two drafts for
such a treaty in existence,[5] wherein the former pledged himself to
force chapter, nobles, and city to submission, in consideration of the
sum of 200,000 florins, while the archbishop gave permission to his
ally to garrison all strongholds, including Cologne. Pending his
autumn sojourn in the upper Rhinelands, Charles had, therefore, plans
regarding Cologne definitely in mind.


This duchy was even more interesting to Charles than Cologne, and
there were many matters in its regard which demanded his urgent
attention in 1473. It, too, was a pleasant territory, and conveniently
adjacent to Burgundian lands. A natural means of annexation had been
considered by Charles in the proposed marriage between Nicholas, Duke
of Lorraine, and Mary of Burgundy. When that project was abandoned to
suit Charles's pleasure, he retained the friendship of his rejected
son-in-law until the latter's death in the spring of 1473. So
unexpected was this event, that there was the usual suspicion of
poisoning, and this crime, too, was charged to the account of Louis
XI., apparently without foundation. Certainly that monarch reaped
no immediate advantage from the death, for the family to whom the
succession passed was more friendly to Burgundy than to France.

The heir to the childless Nicholas was his aunt Yolande of Anjou,
daughter of old King René of Anjou, sister to the unfortunate
Margaret, late Queen of England, and widow of the Duke of Vaudemont.
The council of Lorraine lost no time in acknowledging Yolande as their
duchess. She hastened to Nancy, the capital, with her son René, aged
twenty-two, where they were received hospitably, and then Yolande
formally abdicated in favour of the young man, who was duly accepted
as Duke of Lorraine.

Now there was a large party of Burgundian sympathisers in Nancy, and
it was probably owing to their pressure that very strong links were at
once forged between Charles and the new sovereign of the duchy. The
apprehension lest the former should protect the land as he had the
heritage of his namesake, little Charles of Guelders, was expressed by
the timorous, but their counsels were overweighted, and, on October
15th, René accepted a treaty whose terms were very favourable to
Burgundy. In exchange for being "protector,"--an office that the
emperor had already been asked to change into suzerainty,--René
cemented an alliance, offensive and defensive, with Charles, giving
the latter full permission to march his forces across Lorraine.
Further, he pledged himself to appoint as officials in all important
places on the route "men bound by oath to the Duke of Burgundy." Yes,
more, these were discharged from fidelity to Renè in case he abandoned
Burgundian interests.

Yolande of Vaudemont endorsed these articles by adding her signature
to that of her son. Charles feared, however, that the provisions
might not be adhered to by the Lorrainers--so humiliating were the
terms--and exacted in addition the signatures of the chief nobles. On
November 18th, seventy-four of these gentlemen attested their
approval of an act that practically delivered their land to a
stranger,--evidence that they doubted the ability of their hereditary
chief, and preferred Burgundy to France.

There is a story that Charles tried other methods than diplomacy,
before he got the better of the young duke in this bargain, that he
actually had him stolen away from the castle of Joinville where he was
staying with his mother.[6] Louis promptly came forward and arrested a
nephew of the emperor, a student in the University of Paris, and kept
him as a hostage until the release of René. Rumour, too, asserts that
there was a treaty of Joinville, wherein René asserted his friendship
with Louis, which was intermitted by his relations with Charles, to be
resumed later. That also seems to be improbable. The formal alliance
with Louis did not come then, though the king took immediate care
to build up a party in his behalf in Lorraine, and to keep himself
informed of the progress of the new regime.

From Thionville, Charles journeyed on to Nancy, where he was welcomed
by his protégé, outside the city walls, and the two rode in together
as the duke and the emperor had entered Trèves. Charles had been so
long keeping up a show of obsequiousness which he did not feel that,
undoubtedly, he enjoyed again being the first personage.[7] He
refused, however, to accept the young man's hospitality, and spent the
two days of his sojourn in the house of a certain Malhortie, where
he felt more at ease in his conferences with Lorrainers willing to
proceed further to the disadvantage of their new sovereign.

The ally certainly became more exigeant. In various towns on the
Moselle, Épinal, Charmes, Dompaire, etc., the Lorraine soldiers were
replaced by Burgundians. This immediate and arrogant use of the rights
he had wrested from the Duke of Lorraine alienated many who had been
warm for Burgundy. René himself admired Charles as Maximilian had
done. The strong man exercised a fascination over both youths, but
the duke did not turn this admiration into real friendship,
underestimating the character of his protégé. His measures, too, were
taken without the slightest consideration for local feeling. Garrison
after garrison was installed and commanded to obey his officers alone,
while the soldiers were allowed to levy their own rations, equivalent
to raids on a friendly country. As always, the agglomeration of
mercenary companies was difficult to control. The duke did not succeed
in having those remote from his jurisdiction kept in due restraint.
Complaints began to pour into his headquarters. Public sentiment
shifted day by day. The Burgundian became the personification of a
public foe. Before Charles proceeded on his way to Alsace, René had
begun to lose his admiration and it was not long before he impatiently
awaited an opportunity to break with his too doughty protector.


During the four years that Charles had delayed in coming to look at
the result of the bargain of 1469 in the Rhine valley, his lieutenant,
Peter von Hagenbach, had given the inhabitants reason to regret
the easy-going absentee Austrian seigneurs. Much had been done,
undoubtedly, in restraining the lawlessness of the robber barons. The
roads were well policed, and safety was assured to travellers. "I
spy," was the motto blazoned on the livery of the forces led by
Hagenbach up and down the land, until he had unearthed lurking
vagabonds. It was acknowledged that gold and silver could be carried
openly from place to place, and that night journeys were as safe as
day. Still, this advantageous change had not won popularity for the
man who wrought it. Perhaps the people thought it less burdensome to
make their own little bargains with highwaymen or petty nobles,[8] a
law unto themselves, than to meet the rigorous requisitions of the
Burgundian tax collector.

It was the country that had profited most by the new administration.
The small towns had long enjoyed great independence, and had shown
ability in managing their own affairs. They wanted no interference.
Not liked by those whom he had really protected, Hagenbach was
absolutely hated by the burghers who felt his iron hand, without
acknowledging that its pressure had more good than evil in it.

Then there were the neighbours to be considered. The Swiss had hated
Sigismund and all Austrians, and had been prepared to prefer Burgundy
as a power in the Rhinelands. But Hagenbach took no pains to win their
friendship. His insolent fashion of referring to them as "fellows" or
"rascals," added to acts of aggression, unchecked if not condoned by
him, aroused bitter dislike to him in the confederated cantons,[9] and
in their allies, Berne, Mulhouse, etc. By 1473, there was a growing
sentiment in Helvetia that they would be happier if Austria had her
own again, while the uneasiness in the cities that stood alone had
greatly increased.

Within Hagenbach's immediate jurisdiction, the opposition to his
measures took a definite form long before the duke's arrival there.
The various commissioners sent by Charles to inspect the quality of
his bargain had all agreed in an urgent recommendation to the duke to
redeem, at the earliest possible moment, all the troublesome mortgages
honeycombing his authority. Hagenbach, too, was fully convinced of the
necessity for this measure, but he was not provided with sufficient
money to accomplish it.

In the spring of 1473, therefore, he resolved to lay a new tax on
wine. This impost, called the "Bad Penny," was bitterly resented for
two reasons. The burden was oppressive to the vintners and it was an
illegal measure, as no sanction had been given by the local estates.
Three towns, Thann, Ensisheim, and Brisac, declared that they were
determined to refuse payment.

Hagenbach marched a force into the Engelburg, a stronghold dominating
Thann, bombarded the town, and took it easily. Thirty citizens were
condemned to death as leaders in an iniquitous rebellion against the
just orders of their lawful governor. Some of these, indeed, were
pardoned, though their estates were confiscated, but five or six
were publicly executed, and their bodies hung exposed to view on the
market-place, as a hideous object-lesson of the cost of resisting
Burgundian orders.

One execution sufficed to render Ensisheim submissive, but Brisac
proved more obstinate. The magistrates there did not resort to force.
They declared there was no need, for they were fully protected by the
article in the treaty of St. Omer, which forbade arbitrary imposition
of any tax on the part of the suzerain. Their determined refusal made
the lieutenant consent to refer the question to the Duke of Burgundy,
and messengers were despatched to Trèves to represent the respective
grievances of governor and governed. The collection of the tax was
postponed until Charles could examine the situation.

A determined effort to bring the independent town of Mulhouse under
Burgundian sway was another act of 1473, fanning opposition to a white
heat that forged organised resistance to any extension of Burgundian
authority. For three years, Hagenbach had endeavoured to convince the
burghers of that imperial city that they would be wise to accept the
duke's protection and have their debts paid. The latter were, indeed,
oppressive, but there was fear lest "protection" might be more so, and
conference after conference failed to produce the acquiescence desired
by Hagenbach.

In 1473, that zealous servant of Burgundy declared that if the
burghers persisted in their refusal he would resort to force. Their
reply was that Mulhouse could not take such an important step without
consulting her friends, the Swiss. "Are the cantons going to help you
pay your debts?" was the sneering comment of Hagenbach. "Mulhouse is
a bad weed in a rose garden, a plant that must be extirpated. Its
submission would make a charming pleasure ground out of the Sundgau,
Alsace, and Breisgau. The duke knew no city which he would prefer to
Mulhouse for a sojourn," were his further statements.[10]

Two days were given to the town council for an answer. Hagenbach
remarked that it was useless to think that time could be gained until
the mortgaged territories should return to Austria. "Far from planning
redemption, Duke Sigismund is now preparing to cede to _Charles le
téméraire_ as much again of his domain and vassals." Still Mulhouse
was not convinced that the only course open to her was to let Charles
pay her debts and receive her homage. No answer was forthcoming in the
two days, but ready scribes had prepared many copies of Hagenbach's
letter, which were sent to all who might be interested in checking
these proposals of Burgundy.

On February 24, 1473, a Swiss diet met at Lausanne and there the
matter was weighed. Hagenbach's letter was shown to those who had
not seen it, and methods of rescuing Mulhouse from her dilemma were
carefully considered. Years ago a union had existed between the forest
cantons and the Alsatian cities. There were propositions to renew
this alliance so as to present a strong front to their Burgundian
neighbour. The cantons had enough to do with their own affairs, but
the result of the discussion was that, on March 14th, a ten-year
Alsatian confederation was formed in imitation of the Swiss.

The chief members were Basel, Colmar, Mulhouse, Schlestadt, and two
dioceses, and it is referred to as the _Basse-Union_ or the Lower
Union, the purposes being to guarantee mutually the rights of the
contracting parties, to meet for discussion on various questions, and,
specifically, to help Mulhouse pay her debts. A few days later, March
19th, there was a fresh proposition to make an alliance between
this _Basse-Union_ and the Swiss confederation. This required a
_referendum_. Each Swiss delegate received a copy of the articles to
take back to his constituents for their consideration. No bond between
the confederation and the union was, however, in existence at the time
when Charles was approaching Alsace. Various conciliatory measures
on his part had somewhat lessened immediate opposition to him, but,
nevertheless, there were frequent conferences about affairs. Diets
were almost continuous and there were strenuous efforts to raise money
to free Mulhouse from her hampering financial embarrassments.

Hagenbach had not followed up his threats of immediate war measures,
but it was known that he had obtained imperial authorisation to
assume the jurisdiction of Mulhouse, a step which her allies hoped to
forestall by settling her debts. Strasburg offered to contribute six
hundred florins, Berne and Soleure seven hundred, Basel four hundred,
while Colmar, Schlestadt, Obernai, and Kaisersberg together hoped to
raise another four hundred. A diet was called at Basel for December
11th, and Zürich and Lucerne were expected to enter into the union.
The tidings of the duke's approach were undoubtedly a stimulus to
these renewed efforts to make the league strong enough to withstand
him. The sentiment expressed by the pious Knebel, "May God protect us
from his mighty hand," voiced probably a wide-spread dread.

When Charles entered Alsace, his escort was large enough to
inspire fear, but there was no opposition to his advance, though
consultations, now at one city, now at another, were frequent. The
duke paid little heed to their deliberations, under-estimating their
importance, while he was gracious to any words of welcome offered to
him. Strasburg sent him greetings while he rested at Châtenois, and so
did Colmar. The latter town expressed her willingness to receive him
and an escort of one or two hundred, but was firm in her refusal to
admit a larger force within her walls. By this precaution, Charles was
baffled in his plot to gain possession of the town, and so passed on
his way.

On Christmas eve, the traveller made a formal entry into Brisac, where
a temporary court was established, and where audience was given to
various embassies with the customary Burgundian pomp. Meanwhile the
troops, forced to camp without the walls, were a burden to the land,
and seem to have been more odious than usual to their unwilling hosts.

The citizens of Brisac offered homage on their knees and had their
hopes raised high by their suzerain's pleasant greeting, but they
failed to obtain the hoped for assurance that the treaty of St. Omer
should be observed in all respects. Among the envoys were many who
undertook to remonstrate in a friendly fashion about the imposition
of the "Bad Penny" tax on the Alsatians, and the over-severity of
Hagenbach's administration. The cause of Mulhouse, too, was urged,
notably by Berne. The representations of these last envoys were
received most courteously. The duke rather thought that the city could
be detached from the league, and therefore gave himself some trouble
to establish friendly relations.

To Mulhouse, too, his tone was conciliatory. He wrote a pleasant
letter to the town and despatched a councillor thither, who would, he
assured them, arrange matters to their satisfaction. But an abortive
_coup d'état_ on the part of the Burgundians, which would have given
them possession of Basel, destroyed the effect of these reassuring
phrases. The burghers were warned in time, looked to their defences,
and banished from their midst every individual suspected of Burgundian
sympathies. Every newcomer was carefully scrutinised before he was
admitted within the walls, and the Rhine was guarded most rigidly. The
propriety of these precautions was soon proven.

Charles ordered a review at Ensisheim, the official capital of the
landgraviate. Thither marched his troops from every quarter. Those
from Säckingen, Lauffen, and Waldshut found their shortest route over
the bridge at Basel, and there they appeared and begged to be allowed
to cross. Their sincerity was doubted, and the least foothold on the
city's territory was sternly refused then and a week later, when the
request was renewed. The method of introducing friendly troops into a
town and then seizing it by a sudden _coup de main_ was what Charles
had been suspected of plotting for Metz, and later for Colmar, and
there seems to be no doubt that a third essay of this rather stupid
stratagem was planned, only to fail again, and this time to be
peculiarly disastrous in its reflex action.

The review took place and the strength of the Burgundian mercenaries
was duly displayed to the Alsatians, but no satisfactory assurances
were given to Brisac and the other towns that their suzerain
would restrict his measures of taxation and administration to the
stipulations of the contract of St. Omer. On the contrary, when
Charles passed on to Burgundy it was plain to all that he had _not_
restricted the powers of his lieutenant in any respect, but rather had
endorsed his general method of procedure.

One night was spent at Thann[11] and then the duke took his leave of
the annexed region whose people had hoped so much from his visit to
them. In mid-January he arrived at Besançon, his winter journeying
being wonderfully easy in the unprecedentedly mild weather.

Hagenbach lost no time in proceeding to the levying of the impost now
approved by the duke, who had at the same time expressly ordered that
the people were to be treated mildly, and that summary punishment
was to check all excesses on the part of the eight hundred Picards
employed by Hagenbach to aid the tax collector. The governor, however,
saw no further need for gentle treatment or for respect to privileges.
In Brisac, municipal elections were arbitrarily set aside, and
officers appointed by the governor. The corporation was curtailed
of power, and the burghers were forced to prepare to march against

Having accomplished his duty to his own satisfaction, Hagenbach
proceeded to give himself some relaxation. His own marriage took place
on January 24th, and he celebrated the occasion with great fêtes. It
is of this period in Hagenbach's life that the stories of gross excess
are told.[12] It seems as though, having once abandoned restraint
towards the city, his personal passions, too, were permitted to run
riot, and he spared no wife nor maid to whom he took a fancy.

As he had succeeded in impressing the "Bad Penny" on the little
independent landowners, he tried to extend it to the territory of the
Bishop of Basel. Vehement was the opposition which was reported to the
duke, who promptly ordered his lieutenant to restore the prisoners he
had taken and to cease his aggressions. Charles was not ready to
meet the Swiss, and was willing to defer an issue, but he was wholly
ignorant of the real strength of the confederation. Hagenbach then
proceeded to make a stronghold of Brisac and waited for further

[Footnote 1: De Roye, p. 105.]

[Footnote 2: He also issued administrative orders. It was at this time
that he instituted a high court of justice and a chamber of accounts
at Mechlin, both designed to serve for all the Netherland provinces.
This measure was bitterly resented by the local authorities.
(Fredericq. _Le rôle politique et social des ducs de Bourgogne_, p.

[Footnote 3: Letters are preserved in the Cologne archives. (Toutey,
p. 64.)]

[Footnote 4: Toutey, p. 66. This document is in the Cologne archives.]

[Footnote 5:_See_ Toutey, p. 66. These are printed in Lacomblet,
_Urkunden_, iv., 468, 470.]

[Footnote 6: Jean de Roye is the only contemporary to tell this story.
Both Toutey and Kirk reject it. (_See_ Toutey, p. 76; Kirk, ii.,

[Footnote 7: Toutey's suggestion.]

[Footnote 8: All sons inherited their father's title, so that there
were many landless lords.]

[Footnote 9: At this period there were eight in the confederation,
which was a loose structure in which each member preserved her

[Footnote 10: _See_ Toutey, p. 82, who quotes from the _Cartulaire de
Mulhouse_, iv., _et passim_. This last furnishes the details for these

[Footnote 11: In this account Toutey's conclusions are accepted. There
are discrepancies as to dates among the various chroniclers. The
duke's itinerary as given in Comines-Lenglet (ii., 211) does not agree
with that of Knebel and others. But the facts of the narrative are
little affected by the variations. The following is the itinerary
accepted by Toutey:

Dep. from Ensisheim                    Jan.  8
Stay at Thann                           "    9-10
Dep. from Belfort                       "   11
Besançon                                "   17
Auxonne, slept                          "   18
Dijon, a                                "   23
Dijon, d                               Feb.  19, 1474
Auxonne, slept                          "   20
Dôle                                    "  21-March 8
(Invested with the Franche Comté of Burgundy.)
Besançon                              March 12 or 15
Vesoul and Luxeuil                    March   23-28
Lorraine                                "     28
Luxemburg                              Apr.  4-June 9
Easter fêtes                            "   10
Fête of the Order of the Garter         "   23
Brussels                               June 27]

[Footnote 12: Kirk considers that they are well founded and too
indecent to repeat.]




"Who is this that cometh, this that is glorious in his apparel,
travelling in the greatness of his strength?" These words in Latin,
on scrolls fluttering from the hands of living angels, met the eyes
of Charles of Burgundy at his retarded arrival in Dijon. And the
confident duke had no wish to disclaim the subtle flattery of the
implied comparison between him and the subject of the words of the

The traveller had slept at Périgny, about a league from the capital
of Burgundy, so as to make the last stage of his journey thither in
leisurely state. Unpropitious weather on Saturday, January 22d, the
appointed day, made postponement of the ducal parade necessary, out
of consideration for the precious hangings and costly ecclesiastical
robes that were to grace the ceremonies of reception and investiture.
Fortunately, Sunday, January 23d, dawned fair, and heralds rode
through the city streets at an early hour, proclaiming the duke's
gracious intention to make his entry on that day. Immediately,
tapestries were spread and every one was alert with the last

[Illustration: A FORTIFIED CHURCH IN BURGUNDY - XVth Century]

Lavish was the display of biblical phrases, like that cited, which
were planted along the ducal way and on a succession of stagings
erected for various exhibits. On the great city square, the platform
was capacious and many actors played out divers roles. Here stood the
scroll-bearing angels on either side of a living representation of
Christ. In the background clustered three separate groups of people
representing, respectively, the three Estates. Above their heads more
inscriptions were to be read.[2] "All the nations desire to see the
face of Solomon," "Behold him desired by all races," "Master, look on
us, thy people," were among the legends.

The stately pageant, in which dignitaries, lay and ecclesiastical,
from other parts of the duke's domains participated, proceeded past
all these soothing insinuations that Charles of Burgundy resembled
Solomon in more ways than one, to the church of St. Benigne. Here
pledges of mutual fidelity were exchanged between the Burgundians and
their ruler. The Abbé of Citeaux placed the ducal ring solemnly
upon Charles's finger as a symbol, and he was invested with all the
prerogatives of his predecessors.

From the church, the train wound its way to the Ste. Chapelle, past
more stages decorated with more flowers of scriptural phrase such as
"A lion which is strongest among beasts and turneth not away for any,"
"The lion hath roared, who will not fear?" "The righteous are as bold
as a lion," etc.

Two days later, the concluding ceremonies of investiture were
performed, and followed by a banquet. Charles was arrayed in royal
robes, and his hat was in truth a crown, gorgeous with gold, pearls,
and precious stones. After a repast, prelates, nobles, and civic
deputies were convened in a room adjoining the dining-hall, where
first they listened to a speech from the chancellor. When he had
finished, the duke himself delivered an harangue wherein he expatiated
on the splendours of the ancient kingdom of Burgundy. Wrongfully
usurped by the French kings, it had been belittled into a duchy, a
measure much to be regretted by the Burgundians. Then the speaker
broke off abruptly with an ambiguous intimation "that he had in
reserve certain things that none might know but himself."[3]

What was the significance of these veiled allusions? It could not have
been the simple scheme to erect a kingdom, because that was certainly
known to many. Charles had, doubtless, an ostrich-like quality of
mind which made him oblivious to the world's vision but even he could
hardly have ignored the prevalence of the rumours regarding the
interview of Trèves, rumours flying north, east, south, and west.
Might not this suggestion of secrets yet untold have had reference to
the ripening intentions of Edward IV. and himself to divide France
between them?

When his own induction into his heritage was accomplished, Charles was
ready to pay the last earthly tribute to his parents. A cortège had
been coming slowly from Bruges bearing the bodies of Philip and
Isabella to their final resting-place in the tomb at Dijon, to which
they were at last consigned.[4]

A few weeks more Charles tarried in the city of his birth, and then
went to Dôle where he was invested with the sovereignty of the
Franche-Comté and confirmed the privileges. Thus after seven years of
possession _de facto_, he first actually completed the formalities
needful for the legal acquisition of his paternal heritage. The
expansion of that heritage had been steady for over half a century.
Every inch of territory that had come under the shadow of the family's
administration had remained there, quickly losing its ephemeral
character, so that temporary holdings were regarded in the same light
as the estates actually inherited. At least, Charles, sovereign duke,
count, overlord, mortgagee, made no distinction in the natures of his
tenures. But just as the last link was legally riveted in his own
chain of lands, he was to learn that there were other points of view.

The statement is made and repeated, that the report of the duke's
after-dinner speech at Dijon was a fresh factor in alarming the people
in Alsace and Switzerland about his intentions, and making them hasten
to shake off every tie that connected them with Charles and his
ambitious projects of territorial expansion.[5] As a matter of fact,
there had been for months constant agitation in the councils of the
Swiss Confederation and the Lower Union as to the next action.

Opposition to Sigismund had been long existent, antipathy to Austria
was so deeply rooted that the idea of restoring that suzerainty in the
Rhine valley was slow to gain adherents. Probably the arguments that
came from France were what carried conviction. It was a time when
Louis spared no expense to attain the end he desired, while he posed
as a benevolent neutral.[6] His servants worked underground. Their
open work was very cautious. It was French envoys, however, who
announced to the Swiss Diet, convened at Lucerne, that Sigismund was
quite ready to come to an understanding in regard to an alliance and
the redemption of his mortgaged lands.

That was on January 21, 1474, the very day when the mortgagee was
preparing to ride into Dijon and read the agreeable assurances of his
wisdom, strength, and puissance. Yet a month and Sigismund's envoys
were seated on the official benches at the Basel diet, ranking with
the delegates from the cantons and the emissaries from France. On
March 27th, the diet met at Constance, and for three days a debate
went on which resulted in the drafting of the _Ewige Richtung_,
the _Réglement définitif_, a document which contained a definite
resolution that the mortgaged lands were to be completely withdrawn
from Burgundy, and all financial claims settled. This resolution was
subscribed to by Sigismund and the Swiss cantons. Further, it was
decided to ignore one or two of the stipulations made at St. Omer and
to offer payment to Charles at Basel instead of Besançon.

Meantime that creditor, perfectly convinced in his own mind that
the legends of his birthplace were correct in their rating of his
character and his qualities, again crossed Lorraine and entered
Luxemburg, where he celebrated Easter. It was shortly after that
festival, on April 17th, that a letter from Sigismund was delivered to
him announcing in rather casual and off-hand terms that he was now in
a position to repay the loan of 1469, made on the security of those
Rhinelands. Therefore the Austrian would hand over at Basel 80,000
florins, 40,000 the sum received by him, 10,000 paid in his behalf to
the Swiss, and 30,000 which he understood that Charles had expended
during his temporary incumbency,[7] and he, Sigismund, would resume
the sovereignty in Alsace.

It was all very simple, at least Sigismund's wish was. The expressions
employed in the paper were, however, so ambiguous, the language so
involved, that Charles expended severe criticism on his cousin's style
before he proceeded to answer his subject-matter. To that he replied
that the bargain between him and Sigismund was none of his seeking.
The latter had implored his protection from the Swiss, had begged
relief in his financial straits. Touched by his petitions, Charles
had acceded to his prayers and the lands had enjoyed security under
Burgundian protection as they never had under Austrian. Charles had
duly acquitted himself of his obligations, he had done nothing to
forfeit his title. The conditions of redemption offered by Sigismund
were not those expressly stipulated. If a commission were sent to
Besançon, the duke would see to it that the merits of the case were
properly examined.

"If, on the contrary, you shall adhere to the purpose you have
declared, in violation of the terms of the contract and of your
princely word, we shall make resistance, trusting with God's help that
our ability in defence shall not prove inferior to what we have used
to repulse the attacks of the Swiss--those attacks from which you
sought and received our protection."

Before this letter reached its destination, the duke's deputy in the
mortgaged lands had already found his resources wholly inadequate to
maintain his master's authority. After Charles departed from Alsace,
Hagenbach's increased insolence and abandonment of all the restraint
that he had shown while awaiting the duke's visit soon became
unbearable. The deliberations in Switzerland concerning their return
to Austrian domination also naturally affected the Alsatians and made
them bolder in resenting Hagenbach's aggressions.

Thann and Ensisheim were both firm in refusing admission to his
garrisons. Brisac was in his hands already, and her fortifications
held by mercenaries, but an order to the citizens to work, one and
all, upon the defences, produced a sudden disturbance with very
serious results. It was at Eastertide, and the command to desecrate a
hallowed festival, one especially cherished in the Rhinelands, proved
the final provocation to rebellion.

There is a black story in the Strasburg chronicle, moreover, that this
misuse of Easter Day was not Hagenbach's real crime. He simply
wished to get all combatants out of the city before butchering the
inhabitants and his purpose was discovered in time. That charge does
not, however, seem substantiated by other evidence. But there is no
doubt that the citizens lashed themselves into a state of fury, fell
upon the mercenaries, and killed many of them in spite of their own
unarmed condition. Hagenbach, driven back into his lodgings, appeared
at the window and offered various concessions, being actually humbled
and intimidated by the unexpected turning of the submissive folk
against him.

But the revolutionary spirit raged beyond the reach of conciliatory
words. Some of the more intelligent burghers endeavoured to give a
show of propriety to events, by promptly re-establishing their own
ancient council, arbitrarily abolished by Hagenbach, while taking a
new oath to the Duke of Burgundy, according to the formula of 1469.
They also despatched envoys to the duke with explanations of their
proceedings, stating further that it was Hagenbach's misrule alone to
which protest was made; that they were not in revolt against Charles.
The latter answered, "Send Hagenbach to me," but the provisional
government, by the time they received this order, felt strong enough
to disregard it and to continue to act on their own initiative.

Hagenbach was cast not only into prison but into irons. All fear of
and respect for his authority was thrown to the winds, his offer of
fourteen thousand florins as ransom being sternly refused.

Deputations came from the confederation to congratulate the officials
_de facto_ and to promise aid. The next step gave the lie direct to
the message sent to Charles upholding his authority while protesting
against his lieutenant. Sigismund was urged to return to his own
without further delay for legal formalities with his creditor. He
assented. On April 30th, accordingly, the Austrian duke arrived in
Brisac and picked up the reins of authority which he had joyfully
dropped four years previously.

The rabble welcomed his coming with effusion, singing a ready parody
of an Easter hymn:[8]

  "Christ is arisen, the _landvogt_ is in prison,
  Let us all rejoice, Sigismund is our choice.
  Kyrie Eleison!
  Had he not been snared, evil had it fared,
  But now that he is ta'en, his craft is all in vain.
  Kyrie Eleison!"

Thus it was under Sigismund's auspices that the late governor was
brought to trial. Instruments of torture sent from Basel were employed
to make Hagenbach confess his crimes. But there was nothing to
confess. As a matter of fact the charges against him were for
well-known deeds the character of which depended on the point of view.
What the Alsatians declared were infringements of their rights, the
duke's deputy stoutly asserted were acts justified by the terms of the
treaty. In regard to his private career the prisoner persisted in
his statement that he was no worse than other men and that all his
so-called victims had been willing and well rewarded for their
submission to him.

On May 9th, the preliminaries were declared over and the trial began
before a tribunal whose composition is not perfectly well known,
but which certainly included delegates from the chief cities of the
landgraviate, and from Strasburg, Basel, and Berne.[9]

The trial was practically lynch law in spite of the cloak of legality
thrown over it. Charles alone was Hagenbach's principal and he alone
was responsible for his lieutenant's acts. The intrinsic incompetence
of the court was hotly urged by Jean Irma of Basel, Hagenbach's
self-appointed advocate, but his defence was rejected. Public opinion
insisted upon extreme measures, and the sentence of capital punishment
was promptly followed by execution.

Petitions from the prisoner that he might die by the sword and be
permitted to bequeath a portion of his property to the church of
St. Étienne at Brisac were granted. The remainder of his wealth was
confiscated by Sigismund, who had withdrawn to Fribourg during the
progress of the trial. Even Hagenbach's bitterest foes acknowledged
that the late governor made a dignified and Christian exit from the
life he had not graced.

Charles is said to have beaten well the messenger who brought him the
news of this trial and execution, in the very presence of Sigismund
who had not yet bought back his rights in the landgraviate, where he
had appointed Oswald von Thierstein as governor, and where he was thus
presuming to use sovereign power. This was not sufficient, however,
to make the duke change his own plans. Stephen von Hagenbach was
entrusted with the commission of punishing the Alsatians for his
brother's ignominious deposition, and he did his task grimly.
According to the Strasburg chronicler, this Hagenbach, at the north,
and his colleague, the Count of Blamont, at the south, did not have
more than six or eight thousand men apiece, but they left Hun-like
reputations behind them. Devastation, slaughter, pillage in houses and
churches, all in the name of the duke, contributed to the zeal with
which the Austrian's return was ratified by popular acclamation, and
with which the contingents sent to Alsace by the confederates were

Sigismund's letter to Charles is casual in tone and obscure in
phraseology. A statement presented somewhat later to the emperor by
the _Basse Union_ is more precise in the justification offered for the
events and in the grievances rehearsed.[10] That is, Sigismund treats
the transaction as a purely financial one, naturally completed between
him and his creditor by the offer to liquidate his debt. The plea made
by the Alsatians and their friends is, that Charles had failed to keep
his solemn engagements and that his appointed lieutenant had been
peculiarly odious and had broken the laws of God and man, and that the
mercenaries employed by him, the Burgundians, Lombardians, and their
fellows, had pitilessly ravaged the county of Ferrette, the Sundgau,
and the diocese of Basel. The charges are itemised.[11]

    "All this, well-known to the Duke of Burgundy, has neither been
    checked nor punished by him. In consequence, our gracious Seigneur
    of Austria has been obliged to restore the land and people to his
    sovereignty and that of the House of Austria, which he has done
    with God's aid to prevent the complete annihilation and total
    destruction of land and people."

Charles did not hasten to Alsace to settle matters in person, but
pursued his intention of reducing Cologne to the archbishop's control,
undoubtedly thinking that the base which would then be open to the
archbishop's protector on the lower Rhine would facilitate his
operations in the upper valleys. Meanwhile the Emperor Frederic had
emphatically declared that he alone was the Defender of the Diocese,
and that the unholy alliance between Robert and Charles was a menace
to the empire. His letters to Charles exhorted him to abandon the
enterprise and to accept mediation; those to the electors, princes,
and cities of the empire urged them to defend Cologne against Burgundy
until he himself arrived on the scene. There was a hot correspondence
between all parties concerned, from which nothing resulted. Charles
had various reasons for delay. There was trouble in other quarters of
his domain. Flanders was in a state of ferment at his requisitions
for money, and the Franche-Comté was on the point of making active
resistance to the imposition of the _gabelle_.

In view of all these complications, Charles decided to prolong his
truce with Louis XI., to May 1, 1475. That monarch was well pleased
to continue to pursue his own plans under cover of neutrality. The
determination of the anti-Burgundian coalition in Germany to keep
Charles within the limits of his own estates was a pleasant sight to
the French king, and he felt that he could afford to wait.

In June an edict was sent forth from Luxemburg, forbidding all owing
allegiance to the Duke of Burgundy to have any commercial relations
with the rebels of Cologne, or of Alsace, or with the cities of the
_Basse Union_, and declaring the duke's intention to take the field
at once, to reinstate the archbishop in his rightful see. This was a
declaration of war and was speedily followed by the duke's advance
to Maestricht, where he spent a few days in July, collecting a force
which finally amounted to about twenty thousand men.

On the 29th he sat down before Neuss, which had again emphatically
refused entry to him and his troops. Three days the duke gave himself
for the reduction of the town, but there he remained encamped for
nearly a whole year! Neuss was resolved to resist to the last
extremity, while Bonn, Andernach, and Cologne contributed their
assistance by worrying and harassing the besiegers to the best of
their ability. It was a period when Charles seemed to have only one
sure ally, and that was Edward of England, whose own plans were
forming for a mighty enterprise--no less than a new invasion of

On July 25th, the very day that Charles was on his march up to Neuss,
his envoys signed at London a treaty wherein the duke promised Edward
six thousand men to aid him to "reconquer his realm of France."
Nothing loth to dispose of his future chickens, Edward, in his turn,
pledged himself to cede to Charles and his heirs, without any lien
of vassalage, the duchy of Bar, the countships of Champagne, Nevers,
Rethel, Eu, and Guise, all the towns on the Somme, and all the estates
of the Count of St. Pol. Other territories of Charles were to be
exempt from homage. Yes, and by June 1, 1475, Edward would land in
France and set about his conquests. Nor were commercial interests
forgotten; "to the duchess his sister (to the Flemings) is accorded
permission, to take from England wool, woollen goods, brass, lead, and
to carry thither foreign merchandise."

The year when Charles was waiting before the gates of Neuss was full
of many abortive diplomatic efforts on the part of both the duke and
Louis XI, and it was the latter who managed to save something even
from broken bargains. The Swiss not only counted on his friendship,
but were constantly encouraged by his money, which emboldened them to
send a letter of open defiance to Charles: "We declare to your most
serene highness and to all of your people, in behalf of ourselves
and our friends, an honourable and an open war." To the herald who
delivered this document Charles answered: "O Berne, Berne!"[12] He
felt that he had been betrayed.

This was on October 26th. The defiance was followed by a descent of
the mountaineers upon Alsace, which Charles had not yet released
from his grasp. Stephen von Hagenbach prepared to defend Burgundian
interests at Héricourt, a good strategic position on the tiny Luzine.
Here, the Swiss were about to besiege him, when the Count of Blamont
arrived with two bodies of Italian mercenaries, aggregating more than
twelve thousand men, and attempted to draw off the besieging force.
His plan failed--the tables were turned. It was the Burgundians who
were fiercely attacked and who lost the day. Hagenbach was forced to
surrender, obtaining honourable terms, however, and Sigismund put a
garrison into Héricourt on November 16th.

This was a tremendous surprise to Charles. That cowherds could repulse
his well-trained troops was a thought as bitter as it was unexpected.
But he put aside all idea of punishing them for the moment, and
continued to "reduce Neuss to the obedience of the good archbishop,"
and Hermann of Hesse continued to aid the town in its determined

The opprobrious names applied to the would-be and baffled conqueror at
this time are curiously similar to the epithets hurled at Napoleon
a few centuries later. He was compared to Anti-Christ himself, with
demoniac attributes added, when Alexander was felt to be too mild a
comparison. There was still a terrible fear of the duke's ambition,
even though, in the face of all Europe, the Swiss had repulsed his
men, and Neuss obstinately refused to open her gates, while the world
wondered at the duke's obstinacy displayed in the wrong place. The
belief expressed several times by Commines that God troubled Charles's
understanding out of very pity for France, was a current rumour.

At the end of April an English embassy arrived at the camp, which was
kept in a marvellous state of luxury, even though disease was not
successfully curbed in the ranks. The urgent entreaty of the embassy
was that Charles should raise this useless siege, fruitless as it
promised to be, owing to the difficulty of cutting off the town's
supplies. Edward IV was almost ready to despatch his invading army.
He implored his dear brother to send him transports and to prepare to
receive him when he landed. A letter from John Paston gives a glimpse
into the situation[13]:

    "For ffor tydyngs here ther be but ffewe saffe that the assege
    lastyth stylle by the Duke off Burgoyn affoor Nuse, and the
    Emperor hath besyged also not fferr from there a castill and
    another town in lykewyse wherin the Duke's men ben. And also, the
    Frenshe Kynge, men seye, is comen right to the water off Somme
    with 4000 spers; and sum men have that he woll, at the daye off
    brekyng off trewse, or else beffoor, sette uppon the Duks contreys
    heer. When I heer moor, I shall sende yowe moor tydyngs.

    "The Kyngs imbassators, Sir Thomas Mongomere and the Master off
    the Rolls be comyng homwards ffrom Nuse; and as ffor me, I thynke
    I sholde be sek but iff I see it....

    "For it is so that to morrow I purpose to ryde in to Flaundyrs
    to purveye me off horse and herneys and percase I shall see the
    essege at Nwse er I come ageyn."

There was more reason for Charles to be heartsick at the sight than
for John Paston, and he did grow weary of the further waiting and
anxious, for his truce with Louis was drawing to a close. On May 22d,
there was a skirmish between his troops and the imperial forces,
wherein Charles claimed the victory. In reality, there was none on
either side, but the semblance was sufficient to soothe his _amour
propre_, and to convince him that an accommodation with Frederic would
not detract from his dignity.

A large fleet of Dutch flatboats had been despatched to help convey
the English army, thirsting for conquest, across the sea. Six thousand
men in the duke's pay, too, were to be ready to meet Edward IV., and
swell his escort as he marched to Rheims for his coronation. Other
matters also demanded Charles's personal attention. Months had elapsed
and Héricourt was unpunished--Berne had not been reproved.

René of Lorraine was formally admitted to the League of Constance on
April 18, 1475, and was now ready openly to abjure the "protection" he
had once accepted from Burgundy. There was a touch of old King René's
theatrical taste in his grandson's method of despatching the herald
who rode up to the duke's gorgeous tent of red velvet on May 10th. The
man was, however, so overcome at the first view of _le Téméraire_ that
he hastily delivered up his letter, and threw down the blood-stained
gauntlet, which he carried as a gage of war, without uttering a word.
Then he fell on his knees, imploring the duke's pardon.[14] Charles
was so little displeased at the signs of the impression his presence
made that, instead of being angry with the man, he gave him twelve
florins for his good news. The terms of the declaration of war carried
by the herald were as follows:

    "To thee, Charles of Burgundy, in behalf of the very high, etc.,
    Duke of Lorraine, my seigneur, I announce defiance with fire and
    blood against thee, thy countries, thy subjects, thy allies, and
    other charge further have I not."[15]

The reply was straightforward:

    "Herald, I have heard the exposition of thy charge, whereby thou
    hast given me subject for joy, and, to show you how matters are,
    thou shalt wear my robe with this gift, and shalt tell thy master
    that I will find myself briefly in his land, and my greatest fear
    is that I may not find him. In order that thou mayst not be afraid
    to return, I desire my marshal and the king-at-arms of the Toison
    d'Or to convoy thee in perfect safety, for I should be sorry if
    thou didst not make thy report to thy master as befits a good and
    loyal officer."

Thus was Charles pressed from the south and lured to the north.
Excellent reason for obeying the order of the pope's legate that duke
and emperor must lay down arms under pain of excommunication did
either belligerent refuse! The armistice accepted on May 28th was
followed by a nine months' truce signed on June 12th. It was a truce
strictly to the advantage of Frederic and Charles. The Rhine cities,
Louis XI., René of Lorraine, were alike ignored and disappointed in
the expectations they had based on Frederic.

[Footnote 1: Plancher, _Histoire générale et particulière de
Bourgogne, avec des notes et des preuves justificatives_, iv.,

[Footnote 2: Preparations for the duke's visit to Dijon had been set
on foot almost immediately after Philip's death in 1467. One Frère
Gilles had devoted many hours to searching the Scriptures for
appropriate texts to figure in the reception. Every phrase indicating
leonine strength was noted down. The good brother died before the
anticipated event came to pass but the result of his patient labour
was preserved.]

[Footnote 3: _Dit qu'il avoit en soi des choses qui n'appartenoient de
scavoir à nuls que à lui_ (Plancher, _Preuves_, iv., cccxxxiii.).]

[Footnote 4: Plancher, _Preuves_, iv., cccxxxiii. The document
describing this ceremony gives February 28th as the date, but that is
evidently an error and not accepted.]

[Footnote 5: Toutey, p. 117.]

[Footnote 6: There are many records in the_Bibl. nat._. of the sums
paid out to the Swiss at this time.]

[Footnote 7: Chmel, i., 92 et seq.]

[Footnote 8: Kirk, ii., 488.]

[Footnote 9: Toutey, p. 141.]

[Footnote 10: Text given by Toutey, _Pièces justificatives_, p. 442.]

[Footnote 11: The details are very brutal and untranslatable.]

[Footnote 12: Toutey, p. 182.]

[Footnote 13: _Paston Letters_, iii., 122.]

[Footnote 14: Toutey, p. 244.]

[Footnote 15: _Bulletin de l'acad. royale de Belgique_, 1887.]



    "Monseigneur the chancellor, I do not know what to write to you of
    the English, for thus far they have done nothing but dance at St.
    Omer and we are not sure whether the King of England has landed.
    If he has, it must be with so small a force that it makes no
    noise, nor do the prisoners captured at Abbeville know anything,
    nor do they believe that there will be any English here in XL
    days. Tell the news to Monsg. de Comminge, and recommend my
    interests to him as I have confidence in him, and in Mons. de
    Thierry and Mons. the vice-admiral."[1]

Thus wrote Louis XI in June. Two days later and he has heard of the
truce. He seizes the occasion to express to the Privy Council of Berne
his real opinion of the emperor: "So Frederic has deserted us all!"[2]
Well, it was not the first time! Thirty years previous, when Louis was
dauphin, the emperor had tried to turn the Swiss against him. Had not
God, knowing the hearts of men, inspired the brave mountaineers, Louis
would have been a victim of execrable treachery. The outcome had been
wonderful, for an eternal friendship had sprung up between him and the
Swiss which must be preserved.

Meantime, Charles has made his own definite plan of the campaign which
was to introduce Edward into Rheims for the coronation. The following
letter from him to Edward IV. bears no date, but it was evidently
written at about the time of the truce[3]:

    "Honoured seigneur and brother, I recommend myself to you. I have
    listened carefully to your declaration through the pronotary, and
    understand that you do not wish to land without my advice, for
    which I thank you. I understand that some of your counsellors
    think you had better land in Guienne, others in Normandy, others
    again at Calais. If you choose Guienne you will be far from my
    assistance but my brother of Brittany could help you. Still it
    would be a long time before we could meet before Paris. As to
    Calais, you could not get enough provisions for your people nor I
    for mine. Nor could the two forces make juncture without attack,
    and my brother of Brittany would be very far from both. To my
    mind, your best landing is Normandy, either at the mouth of the
    Seine or at La Hogue. I do not doubt that you will soon gain
    possession of cities and places, and you will be at the right hand
    of my brother of Brittany and of me. Tell me how many ships you
    want and where you wish me to send them and I will do it."

On hearing further rumours of the actual arrival of the English, Louis
hastened to Normandy to inspect the situation for himself. There he
learned that his own naval forces stationed in the Channel to ward off
the invaders had landed on the very day before his arrival, abandoning
the task.

    "When I heard that we took no action, I decided that my best plan
    would be to turn my people loose in Picardy and let them lay
    waste the country whence they [the English] expected to get their

At the same time, the rumour that was permitted to be current in
France was, that Charles of Burgundy had been utterly defeated at
Neuss, and that there was nothing whatsoever to apprehend from him.
He, meanwhile, was continuing his own preparations by strenuous
endeavours to levy more troops and to obtain fresh supplies. After
the signing of the convention with the emperor, the duke proceeded to
Bruges to meet the Estates of Flanders. The answer to his demand for
subsidies was a respectful refusal to furnish funds, on the plea that
his expansion policy was ruining his lands. Counter reproaches burst
from Charles. He accused the deputies of leaving him in the lurch and
thus causing his failure at Neuss. Neither money, nor provisions, nor
soldiers had they sent him as loyal subjects should.



    "For whom does your prince labour? Is it for himself or for you,
    for your defence? You slumber, he watches. You nestle in warmth,
    he is cold. You are snug in your houses while he is beaten by the
    wind and rain. He fasts, you gorge at your ease.... Henceforth you
    shall be nothing more than subjects under a sovereign. I am and I
    will be master, bearding those who oppose me."[5]

Then turning to the prelates he continued: "Do you obey diligently and
without poor excuses or your temporal goods shall be confiscated."
To the nobles: "Obey or you shall lose your heads and your fiefs."
Finally, he addressed the deputies of the third estate in a tone full
of bitterness: "And you, you eaters of good cities, if you do not obey
my orders literally as my chancellor will explain them to you, you
shall forfeit privileges, property, and life."

All the fervency of this adjuration failed to convince the deputies of
their duty, as conceived by the orator. They declared that they had
levied troops and would levy more, for defence, but that the four
members of Flanders were agreed that they would contribute nothing to
offensive measures. Charles must accept their decision as his sainted
father had done. The details of all the aid they had given him, 2500
men for Neuss and many other contributions, were recapitulated.
Flanders had been generous indeed. The concluding phrases of their
answer were as follows:

    "As to your last letters, requiring that within fifteen days every
    man capable of bearing arms report at Ath, these were orders
    impossible of execution, and unprofitable for you yourself. Your
    subjects are merchants, artisans, labourers, unfitted for arms.
    Strangers would quit the land. Commerce, in which your noble
    ancestors have for four hundred years maintained the land,
    commerce, most redoubtable seigneur, is irreconcilable with war."

This answer gave the true key to the situation. The Estates of
Flanders were determined to be bled no further for schemes in which
they did not sympathise. When this memorial was presented to Charles
he broke out into fresh invective about the base ingratitude of the
Flemish: "Take back your paper," were his last words. "Make your own
answer. _Talk_ as you wish, but _do_ your duty." This was on July
12th. Charles had no further time to waste in argument. He was still
convinced that the burghers would, in the end, yield to his demands.

With a small escort Charles left Bruges, and reached Calais on July
14th, where he had been preceded by the duchess, eager to greet her
brother, who had actually landed on July 4th, with the best equipped
army--about twenty-four thousand men--that had ever left the shores of
England, and the latest inventions in besieging engines.

The expedition proved a wretched failure--a miserable disappointment
to the English at home, who had been lavish in their contributions.
Charles seems to have been put out by the place of landing. His own
plan is clear from the letter quoted. He wished the two armies of
Edward and himself to sweep a large stretch of territory as they
marched toward each other. The one thing that he objected to was a
consolidation of the two forces. Incapacity to turn an unexpected or
an unwelcome situation to account was one of the duke's most
deeply ingrained characteristics. He showed no inventiveness or
resourcefulness. He held his own army at a distance from the English,
much to the invader's chagrin, who was forced to march unaided over
regions rendered inhospitable by Louis's stern orders, and outside
of cities ready to hold him at bay. "If you do not put yourself in a
state of security, it will be necessary to destroy the city, to our
regret," was the king's message to Rheims, and the most skilful of
French engineers was fully prepared to make good the words.

Open hostilities were avoided. Edward camped on the field of
Agincourt, where perhaps he dreamed of his ancestor's success, but
no fresh blaze of old English glory illumined his path. He did not
proceed to Paris, there was no coronation at Rheims, no comfortable
reception within any gates at all, for Charles was as chary as Louis
himself of giving the English a foothold, though he advised Edward to
accept an invitation from St. Pol to visit St. Quentin. This, however,
proved another disappointment. Just as Edward was ready to enter,
the gates opened to let out a troop which effectually repulsed the
advancing foreigners. The Count of St. Pol had changed his mind.

"It is a miserable existence this of ours when we take toil and
trouble enough to shorten our life, writing and saying things exactly
opposite to our thoughts," writes the keenest observer of this
elaborate network of pompous falsehoods[6] wherein every action was
entangled. Louis XI trusted no one but himself, while he played
with the trust of all, and his game was the safest. His fear of the
invaders was soon allayed. "These English are of different metal from
those whom you used to know. They keep close, they attempt nothing,"
he wrote to the veteran Dammartin.

It was, indeed, a patent fact that Edward was not a foe to be feared.
Baffled and discouraged, he readily opened his ears to his French
brother, and Louis heaped grateful recognition on every Englishman who
helped incline his sovereign to peaceful negotiations. Velvet and
coin did their work. Edward was easily led into the path of least
resistance, and an interview between the rival kings was appointed
for August 29th. Great preparations were made for their meeting on a
bridge at Picquigny, across which a grating was erected. Like Pyramus
and Thisbe, the two princes kissed each other through the barriers,
and exchanged assurances of friendship. Edward was, indeed, so easy to
convince that Louis was in absolute terror lest his English brother
would accept his invitation to show him Paris before his return. No
wonder Edward was deceived, for Louis was definite in his hospitable
offers, suggesting that he would provide a confessor willing to give
absolution for pleasant sins.

The duke was duly forewarned of this colloquy. On August 18th, he was
staying at Peronne, whence he paid a visit to the English camp. It was
ended without any intimation of Edward's change of heart towards the
French king whom he had come to depose, though his plan was then ripe.
On the 20th, Charles received a written communication with the news
which Edward had disliked broaching orally, and was officially
informed that the king had yielded to the wishes of his army, and was
considering a treaty with Louis XI., wherein Edward's dear brother of
Burgundy should receive honourable mention did he desire it.

On hearing these most unwelcome tidings, Charles set off for the
English camp in hot haste, attended by a small escort, and nursing
his wrath as he rode.[7] King Edward was rather alarmed at the duke's
aspect when the latter appeared, and asked whether he would not like a
private interview. Charles disregarded his question. "Is it true? Have
you made peace?" he demanded. Edward's attempt at smooth explanations
was blocked by a flood of invectives poured out by Charles, who
remembered himself sufficiently to speak in English so that the
bystanders might have the full benefit of his passionate reproaches.
He spared nothing, comparing the lazy, sensual, pleasure-loving
monarch, whose easeful ways were rapidly increasing his weight of
flesh, with the heroism of other English Edwards with whom he was
proud to claim kin. As to the offers to remember his interests in
the perfidious peace that perfidious Albion was about to swear
with equally perfidious France, his rejection was scornful indeed.
"Negotiate for _me_! Arbitrate for _me_! Is it I who wanted the French
crown? Leave _me_ to make my own truce. I will wait until you have
been three months over sea." Among those who witnessed the scene were
several Englishmen who sympathised with Charles--if we may believe
Commines. "The Duke of Burgundy has said the truth," declared the Duke
of Gloucester, and many agreed with him." Having given vent to his
sentiments, Charles hurried away from his disappointing ally and
reached Namur on the 22d, where he spent the night.

Edward troubled himself little about his brother-in-law's summary of
his character. He was tired of camp hardships, and both he and his men
found it very refreshing to have Amiens open her gates to them at the
order of Louis XI. Food and wine were lavished upon all alike. It
was a delightful experience for the English soldiers to see tables
groaning with good things spread in the very streets, and to be bidden
to order what they would at the taverns with no consideration for the
reckoning. They enjoyed good French fare, free of charge, until their
host intimated to King Edward that his men were very intoxicated and
that there were limits in all things. But Louis did not spare his
money or his pains until he was sure that a bloodless victory had been
won. He fully realised the importance of extravagant expenditure in
order to reach the goal he had set himself.

    "We must have the whole sum at Amiens before Friday evening,
    besides what will be wanted for private gratifications to my Lord
    Howard, and others who have had part in the arrangement.... Do not
    fail in this that there may be no pretext for a rupture of what
    has been already settled."

Though they had now no rood of land, the English returned richer than
they came, and they eased their _amour propre_ by calling the sums
that had changed hands, "tribute money."[8]

    "Ryght reverend and my most tender and kynd Moodre, I recommende
    me to youw. Pleas it yow to weete that blessyd be God, this vyage
    of the kynges is fynnysshyd for thys tyme and alle the kynges ost
    is comen to Caleys as on Mondaye last past, that is to seye the
    iiij daye of Septembre, and at thys daye many of hys host be
    passyd the see in to Ingland ageyn, and in especiall my Lorde off
    Norfolk, and my bretheryn ....I also mysselyke somewhat the heyr
    heer; for by my trowte I was in goode heele whan I come hyddre and
    all hooll and to my wetyng I hadde never a better stomake in my
    lyffe and now in viij dayes I am crasyd ageyn."[9]

Thus wrote one Englishman from Calais and doubtless many others found
the air more wholesome at home.

Charles of Burgundy was now ready to consider the affairs of Lorraine.
He advised René of his intentions, in a manifesto which reached him
on September 5th. The preamble contained a long list of the manifold
benefits conferred upon Lorraine by the House of Burgundy. Then René
was admonished to observe in every particular the terms of his own
treaty with Charles, which he, René, had signed voluntarily, or the
former would "make him know the difference between his friendship and
his enmity."

This menace was ominous to the poor Duke of Lorraine. For on September
13th, his friend Louis XI. had signed a fresh treaty with Charles
of Burgundy at Soleure, and Campobasso was marching mercenaries in
Burgundian pay towards the unfortunate duchy. In other words, the
French king abandoned the young protégé whom he had spared no pains
to alienate from Burgundian protection. It was a moment when his one
interest apparently was to settle accounts with the Count of St.
Pol, who had been equally treacherous in his dealings with England,
Burgundy, and France.[10]

Having rested during the summer, the Burgundian troops were in fine
trim when Charles marched to Nancy, taking towns on the way, and sat
down before the capital in the last week of October. From his camp he
wrote to the Duke of Milan:

    "Very dear brother, I recommend myself to you. I have just
    accepted a truce with the king for nine years to come, in the form
    and manner contained at length in the copy of the articles which
    I have given to your ambassador, resident with me . . . . And be
    sure, _fratello mio_, that nothing would have induced me to accept
    the truce, had you not been comprised therein. And, similarly, you
    must be satisfied in all the pacts between the king and myself,
    just as you were comprised in the convention lately made at Neuss.

    "For the rest, I have heard from your ambassador about the troops
    that can be furnished me, for which I am well content, praying you
    to continue to serve me in accordance with the promises of your
    ambassador. As to the coming of your brother to me [Sforza, Duc de
    Bari], I should be very glad. He has no reason now for delay as he
    can travel in Lorraine as safely as in Lombardy, as I have said
    to your ambassador. Pray the Lord to give you the desires of your

    "Written in my camp at Nancy the penultimate day of October, 1475.


Some trifling assistance was offered to René by Strasburg and other
foes to Burgundy, but it was wholly insufficient to rescue him from
his difficulties, and he was finally obliged to order the capitulation
of Nancy on November 19th. The magistrates desired to hold out, but
were forced by the populace to submit, and on November 30, 1475,
Charles of Burgundy marched triumphantly through the gate of Craffe
into the capital of Lorraine where he was received as the sovereign

This time Charles acted the role of a merciful and diplomatic
conqueror. There was no cruelty permitted, and every evidence of
conciliation was shown. The majority of the Lorrainers accepted the
new order of things without further protest. At the end of December,
Charles convened the Estates of Lorraine in the ducal palace,
addressed them as his subjects of Burgundy, promised to be a good
prince, demanded their attachment, confided his plans of expansion,
and announced his intention of making Nancy the capital of his states.
Again the duke's star rose. This acquisition seemed a sign of the
reality of his dreams. Even before the fall of Nancy, his approaching
success bore fruit, inasmuch as the emperor changed the late
convention into a firmer treaty signed on November 17th. Indeed had
Charles died at that moment, there would have been little doubt that
his dreamed-of kingdom had been simply prevented by a mere accident.

The detailed story of all that had happened in the Swiss Confederation
and the Lower Union, since their formal declaration of war against
Charles, is too complicated to relate. At the begining of 1476, the
situation was, briefly, that Sigismund held the debated mortgaged
lands, while the Swiss allies, with Berne as the most militant member
of the league, had continued to carry on offensive operations against
the duke and his allies, notably the Duchess of Savoy. The conquest
of Lorraine caused a panic, especially in the face of the fresh
agreements between the duke and the emperor and the king.

There was a short period of hesitation, marked by a truce till January
1, 1476, between Charles and the confederates, a period when the timid
among the allies urged their counsel of reconciliation at all hazards.
Charles, too, seems to have desired an accord rather than hostilities,
even though he still bore the Swiss a bitter grudge for Héricourt. It
was probably appeals from Yolande of Savoy that decided him to open a
campaign in midwinter.

    "The prince has been so busy for a week past [wrote the Milanese
    ambassador] in the reorganisation of his army according to new
    ordinances, and in the regulation of his receipts and outlays that
    he has scarcely given himself time to eat once in twenty-four
    hours. He is importuned by the Duchess of Savoy and the Count of
    Romont for aid against the Swiss who respect no treaty, and do
    not cease increasing their forces. In consequence, Duke Charles
    intends leaving Nancy in six days to go towards the Jura. He
    expects to take with him 2300 lances and 10,000 ordnance, which,
    joined to the feudal militia of Burgundy and Savoy, will swell his
    army to the number of 25,000 combatants. His operations are so
    planned that he will have more to gain than to lose."[13]

When Charles left Nancy on January 11th, he issued one of his
grandiloquent manifestoes declaring that he was acting in behalf of
all princes and seigneurs who had suffered wrong at the hands of the
Swiss, and that he was ready to punish all who had provoked his just
wrath by ravaging his province of Burgundy. It was rather a curious
act on his part, to let his chief mercenary captain go off to make a
pilgrimage just as he was on the eve of a campaign, but so he did,
granting Campobasso leave of absence to visit the shrine of St. James
at Compostella, a leave possibly utilised by the Italian to further
the understanding with Louis XI., at which he arrived later.

On across the Jura marched the Burgundian army, while the Swiss diet
came to a slow and confused decision to prepare to meet him. He did
not take the route generally expected, directly towards Berne, his
chief antagonist, but turned aside and attacked the little fortress of
Granson. The castle was not over strong. Efforts to provision it by
water failed, and, finally, on February 28th, after a brief siege, the
captain of the garrison, Hans Wyler, capitulated to the duke's German
forces, who represented to them that Charles was as generous as he was

If the Milan ambassador can be trusted, the surrender was
unconditional. Charles was soon on the spot. The four hundred and
twelve soldiers, who had succeeded in holding the Burgundian army at
bay for ten whole days, were made to march past his tent with bowed
heads. Then he ordered one and all to be hanged, reserving two to
help in the executions. Four hours were occupied in fulfilling these
pitiless orders. Panigarola arrived at the camp on the 29th,--it was
leap year, 1476,--and found this accomplished and saw the bodies
hanging on the trees, but he asserts that no word was broken.[14]
Charles was now absolutely confident of complete success. "_Bellorum
eventus dubii sunt_," remarked the prudent Milanese, however, and he
was proved right.

When the allied forces of the mountaineers finally arrived in the
duke's neighbourhood a hot pitched battle ensued. The Burgundians,
led by the duke in person, were thrown into utter confusion. The
mercenaries, terrified by the uncouth yells and battle-cries of Uri
and Unterwalden, simply lost their heads and did nothing. Charles was
pushed on as far as Jougne. It was not only a defeat, but a complete
rout. When the Swiss came in sight of the late garrison hanged to
the trees, their rage knew no bounds. In their turn they massacred,
hanged, and drowned every one in Burgundian pay whom they could lay
hands upon. The Burgundians saved their lives when they could, but
their valuable artillery and their baggage, the mass of riches that
Charles carried with him were ruthlessly sacrificed, and gathered
up contemptuously as booty by the Swiss, who cared little for the
tapestries and jewels though they prized the gold. Such was the battle
of Granson, on the 2nd of March.

The fatal mistake committed by Charles was that he despised his enemy
and underestimated his quality as well as his strength. Just before
engaging in battle, the whole Swiss army fell upon their knees in
prayer that the issue might be successful. This action deceived
Charles into thinking that they were cowardly and his opinion was
shared by his men. A contemptuous laugh broke out from the Burgundian

Olivier de la Marche ends a meagre account of Granson with the
following rather barren words[16]:

    "In short the Duke of Burgundy lost the day and was pushed back as
    far as Jougne, where he stopped, and it is meet that I tell how
    the duke's bodyguard saved themselves ... and reached Salins where
    I saw them arrive for I was not present at the battle on account
    of a malady I suffered. From Jougne the duke went to Noseret, and
    you can understand that he was very sad and melancholy at having
    lost the battle, where his rich baggage was stolen and his army

On March 21, 1476, Sir John Paston writes to Margaret Paston from

    "As ffor tydyngs heer we her ffrom alle the worlde. ... Item, the
    Duke of Burgoyne hath conqueryd Lorreyn and Queen Margreet shall
    nott nowe be lykelyhod have it; wherffer the Frenshe kynge
    cheryssheth hyr butt easelye; but afftr thys conquest off Loreyn
    the Duke toke grete corage to goo upon the londe off the Swechys
    [Swiss] to conquer them butt the berded hym att an onsett place
    and hathe dystrussyd hym and hathe slayne the most part of his
    vanwarde and wonne all hys ordynnaunce and artylrye and mor ovyr
    all stuffe thatt he hade in hys ost with hym; exceppte men and
    horse ffledde nott but they roode that nyght xx myle; and so the
    ryche saletts, heulmetts garters, nowchys[17] gelt and all is
    goone with tente pavylons and all and soo men deme hys pryde is
    abatyd. Men tolde hym that they were ffrowarde karlys butte he
    wolde nott beleve it and yitt men seye that he woll to them ageyn.
    Gode spede them bothe."

Many of the rumours that were current represented Charles as
completely prostrated by his disaster. This was only half true.
His efforts to retrieve himself were immediate but, physically, he
certainly showed the effects of this campaign. He was attacked by a
low fever, his stomach rejected food, insomnia afflicted his nights,
and dropsical swellings appeared on his legs. This condition was
attributed to his fatigues and exposure in a hard climate, and to his
habit of drinking warm barley-water in the morning. He was urged to
use a soft feather-bed instead of his hard couch, while Yolande's own
physician and one Angelo Catto watched anxiously over him. The latter
claimed the credit of saving his life. Charles was not, however, fully
recovered when he resumed his activities and held a review on May 9th.
With all his efforts exerted in every quarter likely to yield results,
the whole number of troops was but twenty thousand men. Every onlooker
felt that the duke was now trying to accomplish something quite beyond
his resources.

    "Illustrious prince [wrote the King of Hungary[18]], we cannot
    sufficiently wonder that you should have been so gravely deceived
    and that, after having once found that you were lured into loss
    and disgrace, again you let yourself be snared in a labyrinth from
    which you will either never escape, or escape only with damage and
    shame.... Without risk to himself [your foe] has precipitated you
    into an abyss and tied you where you are exposed to the loss of
    your possessions and your life.... We exhort you to pause before
    incurring heavier losses and greater dangers. If fortune smiles
    upon you in your attack on that people, you will have the whole
    empire against you. In the opposite event--which God avert--it
    will be turned into a common tale how a mighty prince was overcome
    by rustics whom there would have been no honour in conquering,
    while to be conquered by them would be an eternal disgrace."

This plain-spoken epistle failed to reach its destination until after
the prophecy had been fulfilled. Its warning would probably have been
futile had Charles read it before he marched on towards Berne, on June
8th. On the road that he chose lay the town of Morat, which had made
ready for his approach. A few days to reduce it, and then on to Berne
was his plan. His force succeeded in holding the ground and cutting
off communication with Berne for three days. On the 14th, a messenger
made his way through from the beleaguered city to Berne, and all the
allies were then urged to do their best. The result was encouraging.
"There are three times as many as at Granson, but let no one be
dismayed, with God's help we will kill them all," wrote a leader of

The encounter came on June 23d. The force was really a formidable one.
René of Lorraine was among the commanders on the side of the Swiss.
It was a tremendous fight, brief as it was savage; at two o'clock the
assault was made and within an hour Charles was repulsed. Almost all
the infantry perished. The slain is estimated variously from ten
to twenty-two thousand. Charles did not keep his vow to perish if
defeated. To his assured allies he clung closely, and none had more
reason to be faithful to him than Yolande of Savoy. After Granson he
hastened to give the duchess his own view of the disaster:

    "It has given me a singular pleasure to hear of your calmness and
    constancy of soul; for the thought of your affliction weighed more
    heavily upon me than what has befallen me ... every day diminishes
    the inconvenience and proves that the loss in men is less than we
    thought. _Such as it is it came from a mere skirmish_. The bulk
    of the armies did not engage, to my great displeasure. Had they
    fought the victory would have been mine. There has been none on
    either side. God, I trust, reserves it for you and for me ... the
    hope you have placed in me shall not be vain."

Thus he wrote on March 7th to encourage his anxious protégée.


After the second defeat it was to her that the duke turned again. In
the very early morning after the battle of Morat, Charles paused at
Morges on the Lake of Geneva, having ridden hard through the night.
There he heard mass, breakfasted, rested awhile, and then rode on,
reaching the castle of Gex at six o'clock in the evening, where
Yolande of Savoy was awaiting his coming in full knowledge of the
second disaster he had suffered.

At the foot of the staircase, attended by her ladies, Yolande was
waiting to greet her disappointed friend. Charles dismounted and
kissed each member of the family in order of precedence, the little
duke, his brother, then the duchess, her daughter, and the ladies
in waiting. Yolande had had time to move out of her own suite of
apartments and have them prepared for her guest's use, and there the
two talked together confidentially, while their attendants waited
patiently just out of earshot.

Then Charles formally escorted his hostess to her son's room,
returning to his own, showing signs of extreme fatigue. Panigarola
was absent, but another Milanese was among her suite, and he pressed
forward as the duke re-entered the apartment, offering to carry any
message to the Duke of Milan, to be cut short with, "It is well. That
is enough." Shortly afterwards, Olivier de la Marche and the Sire de
Givry, commander of the Burgundians dedicated to Yolande's service,
were summoned and had a long conference with Charles.

Yolande was, apparently, more communicative to the Milanese Appiano
than to Charles, but he saw that she was not frank with him. "She must
throw herself on the protection of France or of Milan," he wrote to
his master.[20] She was, however, clear in her own mind that she would
not accept Sforza's protection any more than that of Charles. She
absolutely refused to identify her fortunes with the latter. She was
determined to go to Geneva, but no farther. The duke remained at Gex
until the 27th, and renewed his arguments to persuade her to cross
the Jura with him. She was firm in adhering to her own plan. The
two parties set out from the castle together, their roads lying in
opposite directions, but Charles escorted his hostess about half-way
to Geneva, riding beside her carriage, and continuing his persuasions
in a low voice. At last he drew up his rein, gave her a farewell kiss,
and rode off. He was much displeased at her determination, and he
speedily resolved upon other methods of making sure of her fidelity to
him. La Marche thus relates the story:[21]

    "After the duke had been discomfited the second time by the Swiss
    before Morat, believing that he could do the thing secretly, he
    made a plan to kidnap Mme. of Savoy and her children and take them
    to Burgundy, and he ordered me, I being at Geneva, on my head to
    capture Mme. of Savoy and her children and bring them to him. In
    order to obey my prince and master I did his behest quite against
    my heart, and I took madame and her children near the gate of
    Geneva. But the Duke of Savoy was stolen away from me (for it was
    two o'clock in the night) by the means of some of our own company
    who were subjects of the Duke of Savoy, and, assuredly, they did
    no more than their duty. What I did was simply to save my life,
    for the duke, my master, was the kind that insisted on having his
    will done under penalty of losing one's head. So I took my way,
    and carried Mme. of Savoy behind me, and her two daughters
    followed and two or three of her maids, and we took the road over
    the mountain to reach St. Claude. I was well assured of the second
    son, and had him carried by a gentleman. I thought I was assured
    of the Duke of Savoy, but he was stolen from me as I said. As
    soon as we were at a distance, the people of the duchess, and
    especially the seigneur de Manton, had torches brought and took
    the duke back to Geneva, in which they had great joy. And I with
    Mme. of Savoy and the little boy (who was not the duke), crossed
    the mountain in the black night and came to a place called Mijoux,
    and thence to St. Claude.

    "You must know that the duke gave very bad cheer to the company,
    and chiefly to me. I was in danger of my life because I had not
    brought the Duke of Savoy. Then the duke went on to Salins without
    speaking to me or giving me any orders. However, I escorted Mme.
    of Savoy after him, and he ordered me to take her to the castle of
    Rochefort. Thence she was taken to Rouvre in Burgundy. After that
    I had nothing more to do with her or her affairs."

This queer story is undoubtedly true, and the tone in which La Marche
relates it indicates that he, too, was alienated by the duke's manner,
and might have been more willing to lend an ear to Louis's suggestions
than he had been five years previously.

It is not evident that he played his master false or that he was
cognisant of the recapture of the little duke, but he says himself
that he thought the attendants were absolutely justified in it.

It is after this incident that the astute Panigarola returns and joins
the duke's suite at Salins. He finds Charles a changed man, indulging
in strange fits of hilarity, expressing the wish that a couple of
thousand more of his troops had been killed, "French at heart" as they
were. He refused to see Yolande, after thus forcibly obtaining the
means of so doing, and sent her to the castle of the Sire of Rochefort
for safe-keeping. Abstemious as he had been all his life, never taking
wine without water, the strong Burgundy in which he now suddenly
indulged went to his head.

Rumours went abroad that his mental balance was shaken. That does
not seem to have been true to the extent of insanity. He was only
infinitely chagrined but he certainly put on a brave front and
retained his self-confidence and declared

    "They are wrong if they believe me defeated. Providence has
    provided me with so many people and estates with such abundant
    resources, that many such defeats would be needed to ruin them. At
    the moment when the world imagines that I am annihilated, I will
    reopen the campaign with an army of 150,000 men."[22]

[Footnote 1: _Lettres de Louis XI_., v., 368.]

[Footnote 2: _Nos omnes relinquens, Ibid_., 371.]

[Footnote 3: Commynes-Dupont, i., 336.]

[Footnote 4: _Lettres_, v., 363. Louis to Dammartin.]

[Footnote 5: Gachard, _Doc. inéd_., i., 249.]

[Footnote 6: Commines, iv., ch. vi.]
[Footnote 7: Commines, iv., ch. viii.: Comines-Lenglet, ii., 217.]

[Footnote 8: The terms of the treaty provided for a seven years'
truce, with international free trade and mutual assistance in civil
or foreign wars of either monarch. Louis's complaisance went so far
that he did not insist on Edward's renouncing the title of King of
England and France.]

[Footnote 9: _The Paston Letters_. Sir John Paston to his mother,
Sept. 11, 1475.]

[Footnote 10: The story must be omitted here. The constable was
finally apprehended, tried, and executed at Paris.]

[Footnote 11: _Dépêches Milanaises_, i., 253. The copy only is at
Milan and there is no seal.]

[Footnote 12: Toutey, p. 380.]

[Footnote 13: _Dép. Milan_., i., 266.]

[Footnote 14: _Dép. Milan_., i., 300.]

[Footnote 15: Jomini lays the defeat to a tactical error. "Charles had
committed the fault of encamping with one wing of his army resting on
the lake, the other ill-secured at the foot of a wooded mountain.
Nothing is more dangerous for an army than to have one of its wings
resting on an unbridged stream, on a lake, or on the sea." Charles
explained to Europe that he had been surprised, and his defeat was a
mere bagatelle.]

[Footnote 16: III., 216.]

[Footnote 17: Embossed ornaments.]

[Footnote l8: _Dép. Milan._, ii., 126.]

[Footnote 19: _Dép. Milan._, ii., 335.]

[Footnote 20: _Dep. Milan_., ii., 295.]

[Footnote 21: III., 234.]

[Footnote 22: _Dep. Milan_, ii., 339.]




It was manifestly impossible for Charles to attempt to retrieve his
fortunes without having large sums of ready money at his command.
He therefore proceeded to appeal to the guardians of each and every
treasury in his various states. Flanders and Burgundy were, however,
the only quarters whence succour was in the least probable. The
Estates of the latter duchy met, deliberated, and resolved to make no
pretence nor to "yield anything contrary to the duty which every one
owes to his country."[1] A certain Sieur de Jarville, accompanied
by other true Burgundians, undertook to report the proceedings to
Charles,--a duty usually falling to the share of the presiding officer
of the ecclesiastical chamber. The message which he carried was
laconic but sturdy:

"Tell Monsieur that we are humble and brave subjects and servitors,
but as to what is asked in his behalf, it never has been done, it
cannot be done, it never will be done."

"Small people would never dare use such language," is the comment
of the Burgundian chronicler, proud of the temerity of his fellow

In the Netherlands, the individual Estates were equally emphatic in
their refusal to meet the duke's wishes. Charles, therefore, resolved
to call together a general assembly of deputies in the hope of finding
them, collectively, more amenable. Writs of summons were issued very
widely and a "States-general" was formally convened at Ghent on
Friday, April 26, 1476.[2] At the last assembly of this nature, in
1473, the duke had expressly promised, in consideration of an annual
grant of 500,000 crowns for six years then accorded to him, to refrain
from further demands, and there was a spirit of sullen resentment in
the air when this session, whose purpose was plain, was opened by
Chancellor Hugonet. He set forth three points for consideration.
Monseigneur wished his daughter Mary, "that most precious jewel," to
join him in Burgundy. A suitable escort was necessary to ensure her
safe journey and that the duke requested the States to provide.
Secondly he desired the States to endorse a levy of fresh troops to
meet his immediate requirements. Further, he requested each town to
equip a specified number of horses at its own expense; he demanded the
service of his tenants, fief and arrière-fief; and, in addition, he
required that all other men, no matter what their condition, able to
bear arms, should enlist or provide a substitute. A portion of the
troops should be set to guard the frontier, and the rest should be
sent to the duke in Burgundy.

It was a demand pure and simple for a universal call to arms, a
national levy. The duke's paternal desire to see his daughter was the
flimsiest of excuses that deceived no one for a moment.

After the chancellor's exposition there was probably adjournment for
discussion. The pensionary of Brussels, Gort Roelants, then acted as
spokesman to present the following report, as the result of their
deliberations, to the duchess-regent.

As for Mlle. of Burgundy, the deputies would ascertain the wishes
of their principals, but the second request did not call for a
referendum. The representatives were fully capable of settling the
matter at once. Considering the heavy burdens laid on the people, and
taking into account the promises made to them in 1473, that no
further demands should be made on the public purse, the three Estates
concurred in humbly petitioning Monseigneur to excuse them from
granting his request.

It was on a Sunday after dinner (April 28th) when this decision was
communicated to the duchess in her own hotel. After a private colloquy
between her and Hugonet, the chancellor told the messenger that it was
quite right for the deputies to consult their principals before the
heiress was permitted to leave the guardianship of her faithful
subjects. That was a grave matter, but surely there was no reason why
her "escort" could not be determined upon at once. In regard to the
levies, Madame was not empowered to take any excuse. It was beyond her
province. Since the opening of the assembly, fresh letters had
arrived from the duke urging the speedy execution of his previous
instructions. The chancellor then appointed a committee to meet a
committee from the States at 8 A.M. on the morrow at the convent of
the Augustines.

This was not satisfactory. Hugonet was speedily notified that the
States did not feel empowered to appoint a committee. The most they
could do was to resolve themselves into a committee of the whole. The
objection to this was that a small conference was far better suited
to free discussion. It was easy for unqualified persons to enter the
session of a large body. The States, however, were tenacious in their
opinion that their writs did not qualify them to appoint committees.
Every point must be threshed out in the presence of every deputy.
_Potestas delegata non deleganda est_.


There was further negotiation, and it was not until Monday afternoon
that Hugonet's commissioner brought a conciliatory message that if the
gentlemen were so bent on it, he would, in spite of the difficulty of
discussion in an open meeting, talk over both points with them in
full assembly. Again the States objected. They had no instructions
whatsoever in regard to Mademoiselle, and could not discuss her
movements either in public or in private session. As to levies, they
repeated in detail all previous arguments, and expressed a fervent
hope that Monseigneur would withdraw the request. It would, in the
end, be more to Monseigneur's advantage, etc. Back and forth travelled
the commissioner between States and duchess. The latter simply
reiterated her dictum that Mary must certainly set forth to visit her
father in May, with an adequate escort, in whose ranks must appear
three prelates, three or four barons, fifty knights, and notable men
from the "good towns," well armed.

The States were then resolved into a committee of the whole, for a
private deliberation, an action that probably enabled them to exclude
the embarrassing spectators. In preparation for this, the diligent
commissioner called apart one deputy from each contingent, and
expatiated on the duke's need of proof of sturdy loyalty. Seven to
eight thousand combatants, besides Mademoiselle's escort and the fiefs
and arrière-fiefs, Monseigneur could manage to make suffice for the
present, and these must be provided. These confidences were at once
reported to the assembly, which then adjourned to think over the
matter during the night.[3]

When they met again on April 30th, the chancellor was ready with a new
message from Madame: "Go home now, consult your principals, and return
on May 15th." On the motion of some deputy, this date was changed to
May 24th. Precautions were taken to prevent any binding action in the
interim. Moreover, the exact phrasing of the reports to the separate
groups of constituents was also agreed upon by the majority of the
deputies. In this, Hainaut refused to participate, as in that province
there was a reluctance to deny the obligations of the fiefs.

When the deputies reassembled a month later, Hugonet tried to weaken
the effect of their answer by a suggestion that it had better not
be considered the final decision, but a mere informal expression of
opinion. "There were so many strangers present," etc. The States
determinedly refused to be trifled with. "Madame must not be
displeased if they gave the result of their deliberations in the
presence of the whole assembly, not by way of opinion, but as a formal
and conclusive report." Their charge was restricted to this manner
of procedure. The chancellor, interrupting them, asked, since their
charge was thus restricted, whether they had also been limited in the
number of times they might drink on their way.[4] The answer was:
"Chancellor, come now, say what you wish. The answer shall be given as
it was meant to be given."


The communication was so long that its delivery took from 3 to 8
P.M. It was nothing more than a detailed apology for refusing the
sovereign's demands. Several days more were consumed in unsuccessful
efforts to cajole or browbeat the deputies into a more genial mood.
The only concessions offered were insignificant, and to their
resolution the deputies held firmly. "According to current rumour
[concludes Gort Roelants's story] the ducal council would gladly have
accepted a notable sum in lieu of the service of towns and of the
fiefholders, but the States made no such offer."

There was evidently a hope that better results might be obtained from
a new assembly,[5] but none was held and the most earnest endeavours
of the duke's wife and daughter failed to arouse enthusiasm for his
plans. Moreover, when there seemed a prospect that the Netherlands
might be attacked from France, the sympathy of even the duchess and
council for offensive operations was chilled. Not only did Margaret
fail to send her husband the extra supplies demanded, but she decided
to appropriate the three months' subsidy, the chief item of regular
ducal revenue, for protection of the Flemish frontier--an action that
made Charles very angry. Defences at home! Yes, indeed, they were
necessary, but the people must provide them. The subsidy was lawfully
his and he needed every penny of it. His army had not been destroyed.
He was simply obliged to strengthen it. Burgundy was helping him.
Flanders must do her part. They were deaf to this appeal, although a
generous message was sent saying that if he were hard pressed they
would go in person to rescue him from danger.

The story of the assembly of the Estates of the two Burgundies is
equally interesting as a picture of the clash between sovereign will
and popular unreadiness to open the carefully guarded money-boxes.[6]
The deputies convened at Salins on July 8th, in the presence of the
duke himself. The session was opened by Jean de Grey, the president
of the _parlement_ of the duchy, with a brief statement of the
sovereign's needs. Then Charles took the floor, and delivered a
tremendous harangue with a marvellous command of language. Panigarola
declared that his allusions to parallel crises in ancient times were
so apt and so fluent that it seemed as though the book of history lay
opened before him and that he read from its pages.[7] The impression
he made was plain to see.


His demands for aid to retrieve the Swiss disasters were open and
aboveboard this time. There was no such pretence put forward as the
escort of Mary. The argument was that any ruler, backed by his people
unanimous in their willingness to give their last jewel for public
purposes, must inevitably succeed in his righteous wars, etc.

His learned and able discourse was well received, according to other
reporters besides the Milanese, but there was no hearty yielding to
sentiment in the reply. Four days were consumed in deliberation before
that was ready on July 12th. They had certainly considered that the
grant of 100,000 florins annually for six years, accorded two years
previously, was their share. But in view of the duke's appeal, they
would endeavour to aid him. Let him stipulate which cities he wished
fortified and they would assume charge of the work. Two favours they
begged--that Charles should not rashly expose his person "for he was
the sole prince of his glorious House," and that he should be ready
to receive overtures of peace. "We will give life and property for
defence, but we implore you to take no offensive step." Charles did
not, perhaps, feel the distrust of his military skill and of his
judgment that these words implied.

Financial stress was not the duke's only difficulty in 1476. The
defection of his allies continued, Yolande--that former good friend of
his--was now a fervent suppliant to Louis XI., begging him to restore
her to freedom and to her son's estates. Not that her restraint was
in itself hard to bear. At Rouvre, whither she had been removed from
Rochefort, she was free to do what she wished, except to depart.
Couriers, too, were at her service apparently, who carried uninspected
letters to Milan, Geneva, Nice, Turin, and to Louis XI. Commines
says that she hesitated to take refuge with the last lest he should
promptly return her to Burgundian "protection." Yet her brother's
hatred to Charles seemed a fairly strong assurance against such
action. Louis XI. was never so genial as when hearing some ill of
Charles. "From what I have learned, I believe his Turk, his devil
in this world, the person he loathes most intensely, is the Duke of
Burgundy, with whom he can never live in amity." These words were sent
by Petrasanta to the Duke of Milan,[8] who was also turning slowly,
with some periods of hesitation, to an alliance with Louis, now
engaged in "following the hare with a cart."[9]

On his side the king declared that he had no intention of troubling
further about his obligations to the Duke of Burgundy. "He has himself
broken the truce repeatedly. I can begin a war when I please. But I
have thought it best to temporise."


In the succeeding weeks Louis plunged deeper and deeper into
negotiations with any and every one whom he could turn against
Charles. In October, Sire de Chamont, governor of Champagne, --the
territory that Edward IV. had failed to consign to the duke's
sovereignty,--made a descent on Rouvre and rescued Yolande of Savoy.
There was no attempt to stay her departure, and she was scrupulous, so
it is said, in leaving money behind to pay for the Burgundian property
carried off in her train--though it were nothing but an old crossbow.
"Welcome, Madame the Burgundian," was the fraternal salutation which
she received on her arrival at her brother's court. She replied that
she was a good French woman and quite ready to obey his majesty's

During the summer, Charles remained at La Rivière exerting every
effort to levy an army. It was no easy task, and the review held on
July 27th showed a meagre return for his exertions. But he did not
slacken his efforts. Lists were immediately drawn up showing the
vacancies in each company, and his money stress did not prevent
his offering increased pay as an extra inducement to recruits. "An
excellent means of encouragement," comments Panigarola.

The necessity for his preparations was evident. An opportune legacy
inherited by René of Lorraine enabled that dispossessed prince to work
to better advantage than he had been able to do since Charles had
convened the Estates of Lorraine at Nancy. Moreover, on the very day
of the review of the deficient Burgundian troops, a Swiss diet at
Fribourg adopted resolutions regarding, a closer alliance with
René.[11] Louis XI. ostensibly maintained his truce with Charles but
he had intimated that a French army would wait in Dauphiné ready "to
help adjust the affairs of Savoy," and, at about the same time when
Yolande was at court, he gave a gracious reception to a Swiss embassy,
so that René did not feel himself without support as he advanced to
recover his city.

The mercenaries left by Charles at Nancy were weak and indifferent--a
brief siege, and the capital of Lorraine capitulated to Duke René.
Charles was too late to prevent this mortifying loss. His forces, too,
were a mere shadow. Three to four thousand men rallied round him in
the Franche-Comté, a few hundred joined him in Burgundy, and as he
skirted the frontier of Champagne he received slight reinforcements
from Luxemburg. Then came Campobasso and his mercenary troops, and
the Count of Chimay with such Flemish fiefs as had, individually,
respected the duke's appeal. In all, the forces at Charles's
disposition amounted to about ten thousand, far fewer than those at
Neuss or at Granson.

At a diet of October 17th, the compact between René and the Swiss was
confirmed, and the former was assured of efficient aid to help him
repulse Charles in his advance into Lorraine. There was need. The city
of Toul refused admission to both dukes, but furnished provision for
Charles's troops, so that for the moment he was the better off of the
two. René then proceeded to provision Nancy and to prepare it for a
siege, while he himself proceeded to Pont-à-Mousson, and for several
days the two adversaries were only separated by the Moselle. Charles's
army was augmented daily by slight accessions from Flanders, and
England, and by fragments of the garrisons of the towns in Lorraine
that had yielded to René and the latter fell back, little by little.
Charles in his turn held Pont-à-Mousson, and proceeded along the road
to Nancy, not deterred by the Lorrainers.

It was on October 22nd, that Charles of Burgundy laid siege for the
second time to Nancy. In thus entering into active hostilities, he was
ignoring the advice of his councillors who were unanimous in begging
him to devote the winter months to refitting his army in Luxemburg or
Flanders. His position was really very dangerous. He had no base on
which to rest as he had recovered no towns except Pont-à-Mousson. But
he ignored the patent obstacles and tried assault after assault upon
Nancy--all most valiantly repulsed. Within the walls, there was an
amazing display of courage, energy, and good humour. As a matter of
fact, the duke's reputation had waned, while the fear of his cruelty
emboldened the burghers to hold out to the last ditch. Any fate would
be better than falling into his hands, was the general opinion.

Throughout Lorraine, the captains of the garrisons seized every
occasion to harry the Burgundians. Familiar with the lay of the land,
with every cross-road and by-path, they were able to lie in wait for
the foragers and to do much damage. Four hundred cavaliers, coming
up from Burgundy, were attacked by one Malhortie de Rozière, and
literally cut to pieces, while their horses changed sides with ease.
Only a few escaped to report the fate of the others to Charles. Not
long after, Malhortie, encouraged by this success, crept up to the
Burgundian camp, fell upon the sleepers, and captured a goodly number
of horses.

The troops on which Charles counted most confidently were
Campobasso's. Several attempts were made to warn him that treachery
was possible in that quarter if the commander were too much
exasperated by delays in payment, too much tried by the ill-temper of
his employer. But the duke persisted in being oblivious to what was
passing under his eyes. Thus, while awaiting the moment for his final
defection, the Italian found it possible to enter into communication
with René and to retard the operations of the siege so as to give time
for the advance of the army of relief.

The weather of this year was a marked contrast to the mild season of
1473. The winter set in early and the cold became very severe, almost
at once. Their sufferings made the burghers very impatient for the
relief of whose coming they could get no certain assurance. The
Burgundian lines were held so rigidly that the interchange of messages
between the city and her friends was rendered very difficult.[12] One
Suffren de Baschi tried to slip through to Nancy, to tell the besieged
that René was levying troops in Switzerland and would soon be with
them. Baschi fell into the duke's hands and was immediately hanged.
One story says that Campobasso was among the interceders for his life
and received a box on the ear for his pains, an insult that proved the
last straw in his allegiance to Charles. Commines, however, declares
that the Italian urged the death of the captive, fearful of the
premature betrayal of his own intended treachery.

This execution was one of those arbitrary acts condemned by public
opinion as contrary to the code of warfare. Intense indignation among
the Lorrainers and the Swiss forced René to retaliatory measures, and
he ordered the execution of all the Burgundian prisoners. One hundred
and twenty bodies hung on the gibbets, each bearing an inscription
to the effect that their death was the work of _le téméraire_. The
rancour of the proceedings became terrible. No quarter was given in
any engagements. Slaughter was the only thought on either side.

Towards the end of December, one Thierry, a draper of Mirecourt,
proved more successful than Baschi in reaching Nancy. His information,
that René's army would leave Basel on December 26th, put heart into
the beseiged and the bells rang out joyfully.

Just at this epoch, there was an attempt at mediation between the
combatants. The King of Portugal,[13] nephew of Isabella, appeared at
his cousin's camp and implored him to put an end to the carnage, and
in the name of humanity to stop a war that was horrible to all the
world. In spite of his own stress, Charles managed to give his kinsman
a splendid reception, but he waved aside his petition, and simply
invited him to join him in his campaign.

A week sufficed for the Swiss contingent to march from Basel to Nancy,
across the plains of Alsace. Meantime René had rallied about four
thousand men under Lorraine captains, and to this was added an
Alsatian force which had joined him by way of St.-Nicolas-du-Port.
They were a rude, pitiless crowd, as they soon evinced by routing
a few Burgundians out of the houses where they had hidden, and
massacring them publicly. A reconnaissance, sent out by Charles, was
easily put to flight.

On January 4th, Charles learned that fresh troops had reached St.
Nicolas. He showed assurance, arrogance, and negligence. His belief in
his star was fully restored. He actually did not take the trouble to
try once more to ascertain the exact strength of the enemy. He had
commissioned the Bishop of Forli to negotiate for him at Basel, and
refused to credit the statement that the Swiss were throwing in their
fortunes with René. He thought that "the Child," as he contemptuously
termed his adversary, had simply gone right and left to hire
mercenaries, and he rather ridiculed the idea of taking such
_canaille_ seriously, saying that it was a host unworthy of a
gentleman. Still he resolved to meet and finish them once for all.[14]

It is a fact that the Swiss reinforcements were a different and far
less efficient body than the volunteers of Granson and Morat had been.
French gold, scattered freely, had done its work in exciting the
cupidity of every man who could bear arms. There were some staunch
leaders, like Waldemar of Zurich and Rudolph de Stein, but their kind
was in the minority. Berne aided with money rather than with men, but
she was not a generous ally as she insisted on having hostages to
ensure her repayment. A venal spirit was evident in every quarter. As
the troops made their way over the Jura their behaviour showed that
the late splendid booty had affected them. Plunder was their aim. When
René reviewed these fresh arrivals from Basel, one of his attending
officers was Oswald von Thierstein, late governor of Alsace.[15]
Disgraced by Sigismund he had passed over to the Duke of Lorraine, who
appointed him marshal.

On that January 4th, a Saturday, Charles held a council meeting. The
opinion of the wisest, already given on previous occasions, was urged

    "Do not risk battle. René is poor. If there are no immediate
    engagements, his mercenaries will abandon him for lack of pay.
    Raise the siege and depart for Flanders and Luxemburg. The army
    can rest and be increased. Then at the approach of spring it will
    be easy to fall upon René deprived of his troops."

Charles was absolutely deaf to these arguments. He was determined on
facing the issue at once. Leaving a small force to sustain the siege,
he ordered the camp to be broken on the evening of the 4th and a
movement made towards St.-Nicolas. He selected a ground favourable
for the manipulation of a large body, and placed his artillery on a
plateau situated between Jarville and Neuville. It was not a good
position, being hedged in on the right and in front by woods which
could conceal the movements of a foe without impeding them. Only one
way of retreat was open--towards Metz, whose bishop was Charles's
last ally. But to reach Metz, it was necessary to cross several small
streams and deceptive marshes, half frozen as they were, besides the
river Meurthe, a serious obstacle with the garrison of Nancy on the
flank. In short, there was ample reason to dread surprise, while
in case of defeat a terrible catastrophe was more than possible.
Curiously, the precise kind of difficulties which beset the field of
Morat were repeated here--proof that Charles had not the qualities of
a general who could learn by experience.[16]

The exact force at his disposal on this occasion has been variously
estimated. Considering the ravages of the sanguinary skirmishes during
the siege, and of the cold, it is probable that the actual combatants
did not number more than ten thousand, all told. And only half of
these were of any value--two thousand men under Galeotto, and
three thousand Burgundians commanded by Charles and his immediate
lieutenants. The remainder were unreliable mercenaries and the still
more unreliable troops of Campobasso already pledged to the foe. La
Marche estimates René's force at twelve thousand and adds: "The Duke
of Burgundy was far behind, for, on my conscience, he had not two
thousand fighting men."[17]

The allies adopted a plan of battle proposed by a Lorrainer, Vautrin
Wuisse. The first manoeuvre was to divert the foe and turn him towards
the woods, and then to attack his centre, which would at the same
time be pressed at the front by the Lorraine forces, headed by René
himself. The plan succeeded in every point. Surprised that they dared
take the offensive, Charles was alert to the harsh cries of the "bull"
of Uri and the "cow" of Unterwalden, which were heard across the
woods. A sudden presentiment saddened him. Putting on his helmet, he
accidentally knocked off the lion bearing the legend _Hoc est signum
Dei_. He replaced it and plunged into the mêlée.

The onslaught was terrific. Galeotto's troops and the duke's were the
only ones to make sturdy resistance. The right wing of the army gave
way under the fierce assault of the Swiss. The cry, "_Sauve qui
pent_!" raised possibly by Campobasso's traitors, produced a terrible
rout. Three quarters of the troops were in flight, while the duke
still fought on with superhuman ferocity.

Galeotto, seeing that the day was lost, protected his own mercenaries
as best he could, while Campobasso completed the treason that he had
plotted with René, which had been partially accomplished four days
previously, and calmly took up his position on the bridge of Bouxières
on the Meurthe, to make prisoners for the sake of ransom. Then the
besieged made a sudden sortie which increased the disorder. The battle
proper was of short duration, with little bloodshed, but the pursuit
was sanguinary in the extreme, because the Burgundian army had left no
loophole open for retreat.

The Swiss pursued the fugitives hotly as far as Bouxières and
inflicted carnage right and left on the route. It was easy work. The
morasses were traps and the Burgundians, encumbered with their arms,
found it impossible to free themselves, when they once were entangled.
They fell like flies before the fury of the mountaineers. The
Lorrainers and Alsatians were more humane or more mercenary, for they
took prisoners instead of killing indiscriminately. Charles fought
desperately to the very end. There is no doubt that he plunged into
the thick of the fight and risked his life in a reckless manner,
but there is absolute uncertainty as to how he met his death. It is
generally accepted that the last person to see him alive was one
Baptista Colonna, a page in the service of a Neapolitan captain. This
lad, with an extra helmet swung over his shoulder, found himself
close to the duke. He saw him surrounded by troops, noticed his horse
stumble, was sure that the rider fell. The next moment, Colonna's
attention was diverted to himself. He was taken prisoner and knew no
more of the day's events. The figure of Charles of Burgundy disappears
from the view of man. A curtain woven of vague rumour hides the
closing scenes of his life.

At seven o'clock the victorious Duke of Lorraine rode into the rescued
city and re-entered his palace. At the gates was heaped up a ghastly
memorial of the steadfastness of the burghers in their devotion to
his cause. This was a pile of the bones of the foul animals they had
consumed when other food was exhausted, rather than capitulate to
their liege's foe. To ascertain the fate of that foe now became René's
chief anxiety, and he despatched messengers to Metz and elsewhere
to find out where Charles had taken refuge. The reports were all
negative. The first positive assurance that the duke was dead came
from young Baptista Colonna, whom Campobasso himself introduced into
René's presence on Monday evening. The page told his tale and declared
that he could point out the precise place where he had seen the Duke
of Burgundy fall. Accordingly, on Tuesday morning, January 7th, a
party went forth from Nancy to the desolate battlefield and were
guided by Colonna to the edge of a pool which he asserted confidently
was the very spot where he had seen Charles. Circumstantial evidence
went to give corroboration to his word, for the dozen or more bodies
that lay strewn along the ground in the immediate vicinity of the pool
were close friends and followers of the duke, men who would, in all
probability, have stayed faithfully by their master's person, a
volunteer bodyguard as long as they drew breath. These bodies were all
stripped naked. Harpies had already gathered what plunder they could
find, and no apparel or accoutrements were left to show the difference
in rank between noble and page. But the faces were recognisable and
they were identified as well-known nobles of the Burgundian court.
Separated from this group by a little space at the very edge of the
pool, was another naked body in still more doleful plight. The face
was disfigured beyond all semblance of what it might have been in
life. One cheek was bitten by wolves, one was imbedded in the frozen
slime. Yet there was evidence on the poor forsaken remains that
convinced the searchers that this was indeed the mortal part of the
great duke. Two wounds from a pick and a blow above the ear--inflicted
by "one named Humbert"--showed how death had been caused. The missing
teeth corresponded to those lost by Charles, there was a scar just
where he had received his wound at Montl'héry, the finger nails were
long like his, a wound on the shoulder, a fistula on the groin, and an
ingrowing nail were additional marks of identification,--six definite
proofs in all. Among those who gazed at this wretched sight, on that
January morning, were men intimately acquainted with the duke's

    "There were his physician, a Portuguese named Mathieu, and his
    valets, besides Olivier de la Marche[18] and Denys his chaplain
    who were taken thither and there was no doubt that he was dead. It
    has not yet been decided where he will be buried, and to know it
    better it [the body] has been bathed in warm water and good wine
    and cleansed. In that state it was recognisable by all who
    had previously seen and known him. The page who had given the
    information was taken to the king. Had it not been for him it
    would never have been known what had become of him considering the
    state and the place where he was found."[19]

Before the body could be freed from the ice in which it was imbedded,
implements had to be brought from Nancy. Four Lorraine nobles hastened
to the spot, when they heard the tidings, to show honour to the man
who had been their accepted lord for a brief period, and they acted
as escort as the burden was carried into the town and placed in a
suitable chamber in the home of one George Marquiez. There seems to
have been no insult offered to the fallen man, no lack of deference in
the proceedings. The very spot where the bier rested for a moment was
marked with a little black cross.

As the corpse was bathed, three wounds became evident--a deep cut
from a halberd in the head, spear thrusts through the thighs and
abdomen--proofs of the closeness of the last struggle. When all the
dignity possible had been given to the miserable human fragment and
the chamber hung with conventional mourning, René came thither clad
in black garments. Kneeling by the bier, he said: "Would to God, fair
cousin, that your misfortunes and mine had not reduced you to the
condition in which I see you."

For five days the body lay in state before the high altar of the
church of St. George, and the obsequies that followed were attended by
René and his nobles, and the coffin was honourably placed among the
ducal dead.

Yet doubt of the man's existence was not buried with the bones to
which his name was given. When the Swiss turned their way homeward,
their farewell words to René were: "If the Duke of Burgundy has
escaped and should reopen war, tell us." "If he has assured his
safety," René answered, "we will fight again when summer comes." There
was no delay, however, in the division of the spoils. The Burgundian
treasure was distributed among René's allies, and the ignorant
soldiers received articles worth many times their pay, which they, in
many cases, disposed of for an infinitesimal part of their value.

As late as January 28th, Margaret of York and Mary of Burgundy wrote
to Louis XI. from Ghent:

"We are still hoping that Monseigneur is alive in the hands of his
enemies." Other rumours continued to be current, not only for weeks
but for years. In 1482, it was gravely recounted that the vanished
duke had retired to Brucsal in Swabia, where he led an austere life,
_genus vitae horridum atque asperum_. Bets were made, too, on the
chances of his return.[20]

Louis XI. was a very pleasant person when news was brought him that he
liked to hear. Commines and Bouchage together had told him about the
defeat of Morat and had each received two hundred silver marks. It was
a Seigneur de Lude who had the good luck to bring him letters from
Craon recounting the battle of Nancy. It was "really difficult for the
king to keep his countenance so surprised was he with joy."[21] His
letter to Craon was written on January 9th and ran as follows.[22]

    "M. the Count, my friend, I have received your letter and heard
    the good news that you impart to me, for which I thank you as much
    as I can. Now is the time to use all your five natural senses to
    deliver the duchy and county of Burgundy into my hands. If the
    duke be dead, do you and the governor of Champagne take your
    troops and put yourselves within the land, and, if you love me,
    keep as good order among your men as if you were in Paris, and
    prove that I mean to treat them [the Burgundians] better than any
    one in my realm."

The "five natural senses" of the king's lieutenant were employed most
loyally to his master's service. The duchy of Burgundy returned to the
French crown. Before Easter, the Estates were convened by Louis XI,
and there was no longer any duke in Burgundy to be an over powerful
peer in France.

With the exception of Guelders the lands acquired by Charles fell
away, but the remainder as inherited by him passed under the rule of
his daughter Mary, who carried her heritage into the House of Austria,
through which it passed finally to the King of Spain.

On that fatal fifth of January, Charles of Burgundy had only just
passed middle life. He was forty-four years, one month, and twenty-six
days old, an age when a man has the right to look forward to new
achievements. Every circumstance of the dreary and premature death was
in glaring contrast to his prospects at his birth in 1433, in insolent
contradiction to his own estimation of the obligations assumed by Fate
in his behalf. In certain details of the catastrophe there are, of
course, accidents. No one could have predicted that the duke whose
chief title was a synonym for magnificence, that this cherished heir
to his House, who had been bathed in all the luxury known to his
epoch, should have thus lain in death, many hours long, unattended and
uncared-for, naked and frozen on a bed of congealed mud, with a winter
sky as canopy. The actual adversity as it overwhelmed him was too
appalling for any foresight. But the great dream of the man's life
that vanished with his vitality owed its annihilation to no mere
chance of warfare. Had it not been rudely ended by the battle of
Nancy, other means of destruction, inevitable and sure, would have
appeared. The projected erection of a solidified kingdom stretching
from the North Sea to Switzerland and possibly to the Mediterranean,
one that could hold the balance of power between France and Germany,
contained elements of disintegration, latent at its foundation. It is
clear, from a consideration of the Duke of Burgundy and his position
in the Europe of his time, that the materials which he expected to
mould into a realm were a collection of sentient units. Each separate
one was instinct with individual life, individual desires, conscious
of its own minute past, capable of directing its own contracted
future. That the hereditary title of overlord to each political unity
had lodged upon a head already dignified by a plurality of similar
titles, was a mere chance and viewed by the burghers in a wholly
different light from that in which this same overlord regarded it. The
fishers in Holland, the manufacturers in Brabant, the merchants in
Flanders, the vintners in Burgundy, cared nothing for being the wings
of an imperial idea. They wanted safe fishing grounds, unmolested
highways of commerce, vineyards free from the tramp of armies. And
with their desires fixed on these as needful, their attitude towards
the political centralisation planned by their common ruler, often
betrayed both ignorance and inconsistency. At various epochs some
degree of imperialism for the Netherland group had been quite to
popular taste. In Holland, Zealand and Hainaut, it had been conceded
that Jacqueline of Bavaria was less efficient to maintain desirable
conditions than her cousin of Burgundy, and the exchange of sovereigns
had been effected in spite of the manifest injustice involved in the
transaction. But while there was willingness to accept any advantages
that might accrue to a people from the reputation of a local overlord,
it was never forgotten for an instant that his relation to his
subjects was as their own count and strictly limited by conditions
that had long existed within each petty territory. While Charles
seemed to be on the straight road towards his goal, the people within
each body politic of his inherited states were profoundly preoccupied
with their own local concerns, and only alive to his schemes when they
feared demands upon their internal revenues for external purposes.

It does not seem probable, however, that the abstract question of the
projected kingdom was ever taken very seriously among those to be
directly affected by the proposed change. The bars interposed by his
own subjects in the duke's progress towards royalty were obstructions
to his successive steps rather than to his theory. Indeed, strenuous
opposition to details was allied to a vague and passive acceptance of
the whole. Moreover when the idea was phrased it was distinctly as
a revival, not as a novelty. The previous existence of a kingdom of
Burgundy was undoubtedly a potent factor in the degree of progress
made by Charles towards conjuring into new life a reincarnation of
that ancient realm. Yet it was a factor clothed with a shadow rather
than with the substance of truth. Geographically there was very little
in common between the dominion projected more or less definitely in
1473 and any one of the kingdoms of Burgundy as they had successively
existed. That of Charles corresponded very nearly to the ancient
kingdom of Lorraine. Franche-Comté was the only ground common to the
territories actually held by the duke and to the latest kingdom of
Burgundy. His possessions in Picardy and Alsace lay wholly beyond the
limits of either Burgundy or Lorraine. But the old name survived in
his ducal title, and it was that name that lent a semblance of reality
to this fifteenth-century dream of a middle kingdom as outlined in the
duke's mind more or less definitely or as bounded by his ambition.

In retrospect it is clear that more was requisite for the realisation
of the vision of the wished-for nation, than imperial investiture of
a crowned monarch with sovereignty over a group of lands. A modern
writer has pointed out how infinitely subtle is the vital principle
of a nation, one not even to be created by common interests. A
_Zollverein_ is no _patria_. An element of sentiment is needful, and
an element of growth.[23] The nation like the individual is the result
of what has gone before. An heroic past, great men, glory that can
command respect at home and abroad--that is the capital on which
is based a national idea. To have wrought in common, to wish to
accomplish more in the future, are essential conditions to be a
people. "The existence of a nation is a plebiscite of every day, just
as the existence of the individual is a perpetual affirmation of

Now it is evident, in summing up the salient features of this failure,
that a vital principle was not germinating in the inchoate mass.
Charles himself never attained the rank of a national hero. More than
that, with all his individual states, he never had any nation, great
or small, at his back. Personally he was a man without a country. His
father, Philip, was French, pure and simple, quite as French as his
grandfather, Philip the Hardy, the first Duke of Burgundy out of the
House of Valois, even though Philip the Good had extended his sway
to many non-French-speaking peoples and was able to use the Flemish
speech if it suited his whim. But that was as a condescension and as
something extraneous. The chief of French peers remained his proudest
title; his ability to influence French affairs, the task he liked

His son was quite different in his attitude towards France. He
minimised his degree of French blood royal. More than once he boasted
of his kinship with Portuguese, with English stock. He had certain
characteristics of an immigrant, who has abandoned family traditions
and is proudly confident that his bequest to posterity is to outshine
what he has inherited. Charles was not exactly a stupid man, but he
certainly was dazzled by his early surroundings into an overestimate
of himself, into a conceit that was a tremendous stumbling-block in
his path. He had not the kind of intelligence that would have enabled
him to take at their worth the rhetorical phrases of adulation heaped
upon him on festal occasions. Yet this same conceit, this very
self-confidence, gave him a high conception of his duties. At his
accession, he showed a sense of his responsibilities, a definite
theory of conduct which he fully intended to act upon. His very belief
in his own powers gave him an intrinsic honesty of purpose. He was
convinced that he could maintain law, order, justice in his domain,
and he fully intended to do so in a paternal way, but he left out of
consideration the rights of the people, rights older than his dynasty.
In his military career, too, at the outset, he evinced the strongest
bent towards preserving the best conditions possible amid the
brutalities of warfare. He curbed the soldiers' passions, he protected
women, and was as relentless towards miscreants in his ranks as
towards his foe. In civil matters he exerted himself to secure
impartial equity for all alike. When he gave a promise, he fully
intended to make his words good. It was only in the face of repeated
deceptions of the cleverer and more unscrupulous Louis XI. that
Charles changed for the worse. Exasperated by the knowledge that the
king's solemn pledges were given repeatedly with no intention of
fulfilment, he attempted to adopt a similar policy and was singularly
infelicitous in his imitation. His political methods degenerated into
mere barefaced lying, softened by no graces, illumined by no clever
intuition of where to draw the line. From 1472 on, the duke's word was
worth no more than the king's, and words were assuredly at a discount
just then. A perusal of the international correspondence of the period
leaves the reader marvelling why time was wasted in covering paper,
with flimsy, insincere phrases, mendacious sign-posts which gave no
true indication of the road to be travelled. There are, however,
differences in the art of dissimulation and Charles never attained a
mastery of the science.

The adjective which has attached itself to his name in English in an
inaccurate rendering of _le téméraire_ which belongs to him in French.
There were other terms too applied to Charles at different periods of
his career. He was Charles the Hardy in his early youth, Charles the
Terrible in those last months when he tried to fortify himself with
wine unsuited to his constitution, but at all times he might have been
called Charles the self-absorbed, Charles the solitary. There have
been many men more passionate, more uncontrolled, than Charles of
Burgundy, whose personal magnetism yet enabled them to win friends and
to keep them, as the duke was powerless to do. The failure to command
personal devotion, unquestioning loyalty, was one of his chief
personal misfortunes. Philip, magnificent, lavish, debonair, found
many lenient apologists for his crimes, while his son received
criticism for his faults even from the faithful among his servitors.
How a reflection of his bearing glows out from the mirror turned
casually upon him by Commines' skilful hand! Take the glimpse of Louis
XI. as he lures on St. Pol's messenger to imitate Charles. The Sire
de Créville inspired by the royal interest in his narration about an
incident at the court of Burgundy, puffs out his cheeks, stamps his
feet in a dictatorial manner, and swears by St. George as he quotes
the duke's words. Behind a screen are hidden Commines, and a
Burgundian envoy aghast at hearing his liege lord so mocked. It is
a time when St. Pol is trying to ride three horses at once and
the French king takes this method to have Charles informed of his
duplicity. "Speak louder" he says, "I grow a little deaf," and the
flattered envoy repeats his dramatic performance in a way to engrave
it on the memory of the duke's retainer.


In thus touching on the traits of his former master, Commines does not
show malice or even a dislike for the duke. He is much more severe
about Louis--only he found the latter easier to serve.

In his family life, too, Charles does not seem to have found any
companionship that affected his life. He is lauded as a faithful
husband to Isabella of Bourbon but her death seemed to make little
difference. Neither she nor Margaret of York had the actual
significance enjoyed by Isabella of Portugal as consort to Philip the
Good with his notoriously roving fancy.

Thus at home as well as abroad the last Duke of Burgundy tried to
stand alone. Perhaps his chief happiness in life was that he never
knew how insufficient for his desired task he was and how the new art
of printing, the birth of Erasmus of Rotterdam, were the really great
events of his brief decade of sovereignty. It was his good fortune
that he never knew that no splendid achievement gave significance to
his device: "I have undertaken it"--_Je lay emprins_.

[Footnote 1: _Mém. de la soc. bourg. de géog. et d' hist_. Article by
A. Cornereau, vi., 229.]

[Footnote 2: Les états de Gand en 1476. (Gachard, _Études et notices
hist,. des Pays-Bas_, i., I.)

This is a study of the report made by Gort Roelants, pensionary of
Brussels, one of the deputies to the assembly of 1476. This so-called
"States-general" was by no means a legislative assembly. When Philip
the Good convened deputies from the various states at Bruges in 1463,
it was to save himself the trouble of going to the separate capitals
to ask for _aides_. Assemblies of similar nature occurred several
times before 1477, when Mary of Burgundy granted the privilege of
self-convention and when a constitutional rôle was assured to the
body; though not used for many years (_See_ Pirenne, ii., 379.)]

[Footnote 3: _Pour y penser la nuit jusques aw lendemain_.]

[Footnote 4: _S'ils n'avaient point charge limitée quantefois ils
devaient boire en chemin_.]

[Footnote 5: Compte-rendu par Antoine Rolin, Sr. d' Aymeries, Oct. 1,
1475-Sept. 30, 1476. In the archives of Hainaut there are proofs that
another assembly was confidently expected.]

[Footnote 6: Gingins la Sarra, ii., 354.]

[Footnote 7: _Ibid_., 359. Scorende queste cose come avesse il libro
avanti, parse ad ogniuno imprimesse bene questo suo intento.]

[Footnote 8: Petrasanta to the Duke of Milan Aug. 12th. Quoted in
Kirk, iii., 487.]

[Footnote 9: An Italian phrase signifying to run down his game

[Footnote 10: Commines, v., ch. iv.]

[Footnote 11: Toutey calls the diet at Fribourg a veritable congress
of central Europe, the first of international congresses.]

[Footnote 12: Huguénin Jeune, _Hist. de la guerre de Lorraine_, p.

[Footnote 13: This monarch, Alphonse V., called the African, asking
Louis XI. for assistance against Ferdinand of Castile, was refused on
the score that Charles the Bold was menacing the safety of the French
frontier. Alphonse's prayer for peace might have been instigated by
thoughts of his own needs as well as those of humanity. (Toutey, p.

[Footnote 14: Toutey, p. 387.]

[Footnote 15: See Scott's _Anne of Geierstein_. This is the man whom
the author makes the appointed instrument of the _Vehmgericht_ to slay

[Footnote 16: Toutey, p. 388.]

[Footnote 17: _Mémoires_, iii., 239.]

[Footnote 18: It is strange that La Marche does not make more of
this scene if he were really there. His sole statement is: "The duke
remained dead on the field of battle, stretched out like the poorest
man in the world and I was taken and others." iii., 240.]

[Footnote 19: _La déconfiture de Monseigneur de Bourgogne faite par
Monseigneur de Lorraine_. Comines-Lenglet, iii., 493.

This brief account was drawn up evidently before the duke's burial was
known by the writer. It may have been written solely to please Louis
XI. Still there is a simplicity about it that holds the attention,
in spite of the fact that the story is not accepted by critical

[Footnote 20: La Marche, iii., 240.]

[Footnote 21: Comines v., ch. x.]

[Footnote 22: _Lettres_ vi., p. 111.]

[Footnote 23: Renan, _Qu'est ce qu'une nation_.]


There is an enormous mass of literature bearing upon the later years
of Philip of Burgundy and the brief career of Charles the Bold. Fairly
adequate bibliographies can be found in Pirenne and Molinier (see
list). The following list contains the full titles of the chief works
to which direct reference is made in the text but falls far short of a
complete description of the matter, contemporaneous or critical, which
has coloured the treatment of the subject.

When extracts have been taken from matter quoted by other writers the
reference is to the later books only.

_Archives curieuses de l'histoire de France_. Vol. i. (Paris, 1834.)
Contains _Le cabinet du roy Louis XI.; Discours du siège de Beauvais,
en_ 1472, etc.

BARANTE, M. DE. _Histoire des ducs de Bourgogne de la maison de
Valois. Avec des remarques par le baron de Reiffenberg._ 6th ed. 10
vols. (Brussels, 1835.)

BASIN, THOMAS, 1412-1491. _Histoire des règnes de Charles VII. et de
Louis XI._ (Latin text). Ed. J.E.J. Quicherat. 2 vols. (Paris, 1855.)

BEAUCOURT, G. DU FRESNE, MARQUIS DE. _Histoire de Charles VII_ . 6
vols. (Paris, 1890.)

BLOK, P.J. _Eene Hollandsche stad onder de Bourgondisch-Oostenrijksche
Heerschappij._ (The Hague, 1884.)

Ed. Ludovic Lalanne. (Paris, 1876.)

BUDT, ADRIAN DE. _Chronicon Flandriæ. De Smet Corpus chron. Flandr.
I_. (Brussels, 1837-65.)

BUSSIÈRE, BARON MARIE-THÉODORE DE. _Histoire de la ligue formée contre
Charles le téméraire_. (Paris, 1846.)

_Cent nouvelles nouvelles, Les_. Édition revue sur les textes
originaux, etc., par A.J.V. Le Roux de Lincy. (Paris, 1841.)

CHABEUF, H. _Deux portraits bourguignons du XV^{e} siècle_. (Dijon,
1893.) (Mémoires de la société bourguignonne de géographie et
d'histoire. Vol. ix.)

CHASTELLAIN, GEORGES, 1404-1475. _OEuvres._ (Ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove.)
8 vols. (Brussels, 1863-66.)

CHMEL, JOSEPH. _Geschichte Kaiser Friedrichs IV._ 2 vols. (Hamburg,

CHMEL, JOSEPH. _Urkunden zur Geschichte von Österreich, Steiermark,_
etc. [Monumenta Habsburgica.] 2 vols. (Vienna, 1849.)

CLÉMART, PIERRE. _Jacques Coeur et Charles VII_. (Paris, 1873.)

_Collection de documents inédits sur l'histoire de France_.
"Mélanges." (Ed. M. Champollion-Figeac.) (Paris, 1843.)

COMMINES, PHILIP DE. _The Historie of_, Englished by Thomas Dannett.
Anno 1596. With an introduction by Charles Whibley. (London, 1897.)

_Mémoires de Philippe de Comines,_ 1447-1511. Nouvelle édition par
Messieurs Godefroy, augmentée par M. l'Abbé Lenglet du Fresnoy. 4
vols. Ref. (Comines-Lenglet.) (Paris, 1747.)

This edition contains many letters, documents, etc., collected by
M. Lenglet du Fresnoy. Their accuracy has been impugned in many
instances. Those cited have been taken with a view to the later
criticism upon them.

_Mémoires de Philippe de Commynes_. Nouvelle édition publiée avec
une introduction et des notes par Bernard de Mandrot. 2 vols. Ref.
(Commynes-Mandrot.) (Paris, 1901.)

_Mémoires de Philippe de Commynes_. Nouvelle édition, revue sur les
manuscrits de la bibliotheque royale, etc., par Mlle. Dupont. 3 vols.
Ref. (Commynes-Dupont.) (Paris, 1840.)

CORNEREAU, A. _Le palais des états de Bourgogne à Dijon_. (Dijon,
1890.) (Mémoires de la soc. bourguignonne de géog. et d'hist., v.)

COURTÉPÉE, M. _Description, générale et particulière du duché de
Bourgogne_. 4 vols. (Dijon, 1847.)

DESCHAMPS, EUSTACHE. _Oeuvres complètes_. (Paris, 1878- 1904.) (Soc.
des anciens textes français.) 11 vols.

DES MAREZ, G. _L'organisation du travail à Bruxelles au XV^{e}
siècle_. (Bruxelles, 1903-04.) (Mémoires couronnés de l'acad. royale
de Belgique. Vol. lxv.-lxvi.)

DEWEZ, M. _Histoire particulière des provinces belgiques sous le
gouvernement des ducs et des comtes, pour servir de complément à
l'histoire générale_. 3 vols. (Brussels, 1834.)

DU CLERCQ, JACQUES, 1420-1501. _Mémoires_. (Ed. Baron F. de
Reiffenberg.) 4 vols. (Brussels, 1823.)

DUCLOS, CHARLES P. _(Oeuvres complètes de_. Nouvelle édition. 9 vols.
(Paris, 1820.)

ESCOUCHY, MATHIEU D'(DE COUCY). _Chronique_. (1420?-1482 +.) (Ed. G.
du Fresne de Beaucourt.) 3 vols. (Paris, 1863.) (Soc. de l'hist. de

FREDERICQ, PAUL. _Le rôle politique et social des ducs de Bourgogne_.
(Brussels, 1875.)

FREEMAN, EDWARD A. _The Historical Geography of Europe._ 2 vols. 3d
edition, edited by G. B. Berry. (London, 1903.)

GACHARD, L. P. _Analectes belgiques ou recueil de pièces inédites,_
etc. Vol. i. (Brussels, 1830.)

GACHARD, L. P., Ed. _Collection des voyages des souverains des
Pays-Bas._ 4 vols. (Brussels, 1830.)

GACHARD, L. P., Ed. _Documents inédits concernant l'histoire de la
Belgique_. 3 vols. (Brussels, 1833.)

GACHARD, L. P. _Études et notices historiques concernant l'histoire
des Pays-Bas._ 3 vols. (Brussels, 1890.)

_Gesta Episcoporum Leodiensium_. (Marténe Coll. Vol. iv.) (Paris,

ambassadeurs milanais sur les campagnes de Charles le Hardi_,
1474-1477. 2 vols. (Paris, 1858.)

GOLLUT, M. LOYS. _Les mémoires historiques de la république séquanoise
et des princes de la Franche-Comté de Bourgogne._ (Arbois, 1846.)

JEUNE, HUGUÉNIN. _Histoire de la guerre de Lorraine et du siège de
Nancy, par Charles le Téméraire, duc de Bourgogne,_ 1473-1477. (Metz,

KERVYN DE LETTENHOVE, LE BARON. [Ed. of works of Chastellain, Budt,
etc.]; see article in _Bullétin de l'académie royale de Belgique_,
1887, etc.

KERVYN DE LETTENHOVE. _Histoire de Flandre_. 5 vols. (Brussels,

KIRK, JOHN FOSTER. _History of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy_. 3
vols. (Philadelphia, 1864-1868.)

LABORDE (L.E.S.J.), COMTE DE. _Les ducs de Bourgogne: Études sur les
lettres, les arts et l'industrie pendant le XV^{e} siècle_, etc.
"Preuves." 3 vols. (Paris, 1849-52.)

LACOMBLET, TH. J. _Urkundenbuch für die Geschichte des Niederrheins._
4 vols. (Düsseldorf, 1848.)

LA MARCHE, OLIVIER DE, 1422-1502. _Mémoires._ (1435-1488.) Paris,
1883-84. (Ed. Beaune et d'Arbaumont.) 3 vols.

LAVISSE, ERNEST. _Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu'à la
révolution_. Publiée avec la collaboration de MM. Bayet, Block, Carré,
Kleinclausz, Langlois, Lemonnier, Luchaire, Mariéjol, Petit-Dutaillis,
etc. (Paris, 1893-.)

The volume covering periods of Charles VII. and Louis XI. is written
by Ch. Petit-Dutaillis, Professor at the University of Lille.
(Reference used, Lavisse, IV^{11}.) (Paris, 1902.)

LE FÉVRE, JEAN, SEIGNEUR DE ST. RÉMY. (_Toison d'or._) (1395-1463.)
_Chronique._ 2 vols. (Paris, 1876.)

LE ROUX DE LINCY, A.J.V. _Chants historiques sur les règnes de Charles
VII. et de Louis XI_.

_Lettres de Louis XI_. (Paris, 1883-.) (Eds., Joseph Vaesen, et
Étienne Charavay,

LOOMIS, LOUISE ROPES. _Medieval Hellenism_. (Columbia University,

MARTÉNE, EDMUND. _Veterum Scriptorum et Monumentorum, Historicorum,
Dogmaticorum, Moralium, Amplissium Collectio_. Vol. iv. (Paris, 1729.)

_Mémoires et documents publiés par la société d'histoire de la suisse
romande_. Vol. viii. "Mélanges." (Lausanne, 1849.)

MEYER, J. _Commentarii sive annales rerum Flandricarum_. (Antwerp,

MOLINET, JEAN. _Chronique_ (1474-1506.) (Paris, 1824-29.)

This is a continuation of Chastellain and is interesting especially
for the siege of Neuss.

MONSTRELET, ENGUERRAND DE (d. 1453). _La Chronique_. (Paris, 1861.)

MOLINIER, AUGUSTE. _Les sources de l'histoire de France des origines
aux guerres d'Italie_. Vols. iv., v., 1461-1494. (Paris, 1904.)

_Neues Archiv der Gesellschaft für ältere deutsche Geschichtskunde_.
Vol. xxv. (Leipzig, 1900.)

OMAN, CHARLES W.C. _Warwick the Kingmaker_. 1890. ONUFRIUS DE SANCTA
CROCE, Bishop of Tricaria. _Mémoire sur les affaires de Liege_ (1468).
(Ed., S. Bormans.) (Brussels, 1885.)

OUDENBOSCH. _Veterum scriptorum et monumentorum, historicorum_, etc.
_Rerum Leodiensius. Opus Adriani de vetere Buseo_, 1343. See Marténe.

PICQUÉ, CAMILLE. _Mémoire sur Philippe de Commines_. (Brussels, 1864.)
Mém. couronnés par 1'acad. royale de Belgique, vol. xvi.

PIOT, G.J.C., Ed. _Chronycke van Nederlandt_--1565. _Vlaamsche
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PIRENNE, HENRI. _Bibliographie de l'histoire de Belgique: catalogue
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Anjou, Margaret of, Queen of England
Anjou, René, King of
Anjou, Yolande of, _see_ Vaudemont
Appiano, Antoine d' (Antonius de Aplano), Milanese ambassador
Arras, Bishop of
Arras, treaty
Arson, Jehan d
Arthur, King
Artois, Bonne of, Duchess of Burgundy, _see_ Burgundy
Atclyff, William
Augsburg, Diet of
Austria, House of
Austria, Maximilian, Archduke of, _see_ Maximilian
Austria, Sigismund of (Count of Tyrol;
  mortgages lands to Charles of Burgundy;
  resumes sovereignty of mortgaged lands;
Auvergne, Marshal d'
Auxy, Jehan, Seigneur d
Avranches, Bishop of
Aydie, Odet d'


"Bad Penny," the, tax
Balue, Cardinal
Bar, duchy of
Barante, cited
Bari, Duc de (Sforza)
Barnet, battle of
Barre, Corneille de la
Baschi, Suffren de
Basel, Bishop of
Basin, Thomas, cited
Bavaria, elector of
Bavaria, Stephen of
Beaujeu, Lord of
Beaumont, château of
Beauvais, siege of
Bedford, John, Duke of, death of
Begars, Abbé de
Bellière, Vicomte de la
Berry, Bailiff of
Berry, Charles of France, Duke of (Normandy and Guienne),
  heads League of Public Weal;
  character of;
  Normandy given to;
  won over by Louis;
  Guienne given to;
  proposed marriage of;
  suspicious death of
Biche, Guillaume de
Biscay, Bay of
Black Forest
Blamont, Count of
Blaumont, Seigneur de, Marshal of Burgundy
Borselen, Adrian van, Seigneur of Breda
Borselen, Frank van (Count of Ostrevant;
  death of
Borselen, Henry van
Bouchage, Monseigneur du
Boudault, Jehan
Bourbon, Catharine of, _see_ Guelders
Bourbon, Duchess of
Bourbon, duchy of
Bourbon, Duke of
Bourbon, Isabella of (Countess of Charolais), _see_ Charolais
Bourbon, Louis of, Bishop of Liege
Brabant, Anthony, Duke of
Brabant, duchy of
Brabant, Duke of
Brandenburg, Albert, elector of
Brandenburg, Margrave of
Brantôme, Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de, cited
Brederode, Gijsbrecht of
Bresse, Philip de
Brisac (Breisach)
Brittany, Duchess of
Brittany, duchy of
Brittany, Francis, Duke of,
  joins League of Public Weal;
  ally of Charles of Burgundy;
  is reconciled to Louis XI.
Broeck, M. van der
Bureau, Jehan
Buren, castle of
Burgundy, duchy of;
  Estates of
Burgundy, Franche-Comté of
Burgundy, Anthony, Grand Bastard of
Burgundy, Baldwin, Bastard of
Burgundy, Charles the Bold, (Count of Charolais), Duke of;
  birth of;
  elected knight of the Golden Fleece;
  description of;
  ancestry of;
  imperial ambitions of;
  education of;
  weds Catherine of France;
  takes official part in public affairs;
  character of;
  first campaign of;
  entrusted with regency of Holland;
  English sympathies of;
  weds Isabella of Bourbon;
  judicial methods of;
  rejoices over birth of daughter;
  strained relations with his father;
  enmity between Louis and ;
  at coronation of Louis XI;
  fears plots against his life;
  joins League of Public Weal;
  allies of;
  letters of, to cities;
  to Louis;
  to Duchess Isabella;
  to French council;
  to Duke of Brittany;
  to Sigismund;
  to Edward IV.;
  to Duke of Milan;
  at battle of Montl'héry;
  armies of;
  dictates terms of treaty of Conflans;
  marches against Liege;
  destroys Dinant;
  underestimates character and strength of enemies;
  accedes to the dukedom;
  invested with titles;
  unpopularity of;
  punishes Ghent;
  reforms of;
  weds Margaret of York;
  ducal state of;
  demands _aides_;
  receives Louis at Peronne;
  crushes revolt of Liege;
  makes treaty of Peronne;
  proposed sons-in-law for;
  signs treaty of St. Omer;
  takes lands from Sigismund;
  relations of, with Swiss;
  invested with Order of the Garter;
  _Remonstrance_ presented to;
  embassies to;
  truces of, with Louis XI;
  besieges Beauvais;
  reverses of;
  acquires duchy of Guelders;
  negotiations between Emperor Frederic and;
  interview of, with emperor at Trèves;
  becomes "protector" of Lorraine;
  interferes in Cologne affairs;
  visits Alsace;
  troubles with Alsace;
  besieges Neuss;
  war declared against;
  makes truce with Frederic;
  defeated at Héricourt;
  besieges Nancy;
  allies desert;
  defeated at Granson;
  at Morat;
  convenes states-general;
  last battle of;
  death and burial of
Burgundy, Cornelius, Bastard of
Burgundy, David of, Bishop of Utrecht
Burgundy, Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of;
  ancestry of;
  English sympathies of;
  retires to convent;
  burial of
Burgundy, John the Fearless, Duke of;
  death of
Burgundy, Margaret, Bastard of
Burgundy, Margaret of York, Duchess of
Burgundy, Mary of (Duchess of Austria;
  godfather of;
  proposed marriages for
Burgundy, Philip the Good, Duke of, marriages of;
  institutes Order of Golden Fleece;
  children of;
  alliance of;
  signs treaty of Arras;
  territories acquired by;
  suppresses revolt in Bruges;
  wealth and magnificence of;
  crushes rebellion of Ghent;
  gives Feast of the Pheasant;
  plans crusade;
  chooses second wife for Charles;
  character of;
  interferes in affairs of Utrecht, of Liege, and of Cologne;
  hospitality of, to dauphin;
  influenced by the Croys;
  attends coronation of Louis XI;
  illnesses of;
  witnesses punishment of Dinant;
  death and burial of;
  epitaph of;
  description of;
  popularity of
Burgundy, Philip the Hardy, Duke of
Burgundy, Yolande, Bastard of


Calabria, Duke of, _see_ Lorraine
Calixtus III.
Campobasso, Antonello de, mercenary captain;
  treachery of
Castile, Henry IV., King of
Castile, Jeanne of
Cat, Gilles le
Catto, Angelo
  Bailiff of
_Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, les_
_Cento Novelle_, by Boccaccio
Cesner, Balthasar
Chambes, Helen de
Chamont, Sire de
Charles IV.
Charles (V.) the Wise, King of France
Charles VII., King of France,
  reconciliation of, with Philip of Burgundy;
  character of;
  letters of;
  refuses to join crusade;
  breach between dauphin and;
  illness and death of;
  institutes standing army
Charles VIII., King of France
Charles the Simple, King of France
Charny, Count de
Charny, Countess de
Charolais, Catherine of France, Countess of;
  death and burial of
Charolais, Count of, _see_ Charles of Burgundy
Charolais, Isabella of Bourbon, Countess of;
  death of
Chassa, Jehan de
Chastellain, cited;
  death of
Chesny, Guiot du
Chevelast, Louis de
Chimay, Count of
Citeaux, Abbé of
Clarence, Duke of
Cleves, Adolph, Duke of
Cleves, duchy of
Cleves, Marie of, Duchess of Orleans
Cods, the (party name)
Cologne, Robert, Archbishop of
Colonna, Baptista
Commines (Commynes, Comines), Philip de,
  enters service of Duke of Burgundy;
  defection of;
Conflans, treaty of
  League of
Cordes, Monsieur de
Cornwallis, Lord
Corvinus, Matthias, King of Hungary
Court, Jehan de la
Coutault, Monsieur
Craon, Seigneur de
Cret, Dion du
Crèvecoeur, Philip of
Crèvecoeur, Seigneur of
Créville, Sire de
Croy, A. de
Croy, J. de
Croy, Philip de
Croy family, the
_Cueillotte_, the (tax)


Dammartin, Count of
  letters of Louis to
Dauxonne, Jacquemin
De Bussière, cited
Décapole, Alsatian, the
De la Loere, secretary
Denys, Chaplain
Deschamps, Eustache, _Lay de Vaillance_ by
Diesbach, Ludwig von
  destruction of
Du Clercq, cited
Duclos, cited
Dunois, Count
Dunois, François
Du Plessis, Seigneur


Edward IV., King of England;
  aided by Charles of Burgundy;
  plans conquest of France;
  character of;
  makes peace with Louis XI.
Edward of Lancaster, Prince of Wales;
  death of
Émeries, Antoine Raulin, Sire d' (Aymeries)
England alliance of,
  with Burgundy;
  with France;
  French possessions of;
  commercial relations of;
  wars of the Roses in
Escalles, Seigneur d'
Escouchy, Mathieu d,'
Estampes, Count d'
Eu, Count d'
_Ewige Richtung_
Exeter, Duke of
Eyb, Ludwig von


Faret (or Farrel), Guillaume
Favre, Jourdain
Ferrette, county of
  Estates of;
  commerce of
Flanders, Count of
Foix, Count de
Foix, Eleanor de
Foix, Gaston de
Forli, Bishop of
Fossombrone, Bishop of
Fou, Ivon du
France, alliance of, with Burgundy;
  waning power of England in;
  changed conditions in;
  assembly of states-general of;
  invasion of
France, Admiral of, the
France, Catherine, Daughter of, _see_ Charolais
France, Charles of, Duke of Berry, _see_ Berry
France, Jeanne of
France, Michelle of, _see_ Burgundy
Frederic, elector palatine
Frederic III., Emperor;
  character of;
  negotiations of, with Charles of Burgundy;
  meets Charles at Trèves;
  description of;
  signs treaty with Charles
  title of Lord of
Friesland, West


Gachard, cited
Garter, Order of the
Gauthier, Dan
Gautier, cited
  battle of;
  treaty of
Gelthauss, Johannes
  rebellion of;
  submission of;
  insurrection in;
  humiliation of
Gilles, Frère
Givry, Sire de
Gloucester, Duke of
Gloucester, Humphrey, Duke of
Golden Fleece, Order of the, instituted;
  assemblies of;
  knights of
Görlitz, Elizabeth of
Granson, battle of
Grey, Jean de
Groothuse, Louis de la
Groothuse, Mathys de la
Guelders, Adolf, Duke of;
  imprisonment of
Guelders, Arnold, Duke of;
  death of
Guelders, Catharine of Bourbon, Duchess of
Guelders, Charles of
Guelders, duchy of
Guelders, Philippa of
Guérin, Jean de
Guienne, Charles of France,  Duke of, _see_ Berry
Guienne, duchy of


Hagenbach, Peter von;
  Governor of  Alsace;
  trial and execution of
Hagenbach, Stephen von
Hague, The
Hanseatic League
Heers, Raes de la Rivière, Lord of
Heinsberg, John of, Bishop of Liege
Hemricourt, Jacques de
Henry IV., of Castile
Henry V., King of England
Henry VI., King of England;
  character of;
  death of
Henry VII., King of England
Hermite, Tristan l'
Hesse, Hermann of
  title of Count of
Holland, Jacqueline of Bavaria, Countess of
Holland, South
Holland, William VI., Count of
Hooks, the (party name)
Howard, Lord
Hugonet, Chancellor
Humbercourt, Seigneur de
  King of


Irma, Jean
Isabella of Portugal, Duchess  of Burgundy, _see_ Burgundy


Jarville, Sieur de
Joan of Arc
Joinville, castle  of;
  treaty of
Juliers, Duke of
Jura, the


Kervyn de Lettenhove, Baron, cited
Knebel, Johannes R.


La Hogue
Laisné, Jeanne (Fouquet), _La Hachette_
Lalaing, Jacques de, prowess of;
  death of
La Marche, Olivier de, cited;
  loyalty and zeal  of
Lambert, Bishop of Tongres
Lancaster, House of
Lannoy, Jehan, Seigneur de
Lanternier, Jehan
La Rivière
La Rochelle
Laurentian Library, the
Lavin, Étienne de
League of Constance
League of Public Weal
Le Grand, Abbé
Le Gros, Jehan
Le Quesnoy
Lescun, Seigneur de
Liege, description of;
  government of;
  bishop-princes of;
  rebellion of;
  aided by Louis XI.;
  punishment of
Liege, bishopric of
Loisey, Anthony de
Longueval, Hugues de
Loreille, Thomas de
Lorraine, duchy of
Lorraine, Estates of
Lorraine, Duke of
Lorraine, Nicholas of Anjou,  Duke of (Calabria);
  death  of
Lorraine, René, Duke of,  accepts Burgundian protection;
  joins league  against Charles
Louis XI., King of France;
  rebels against Charles  VII.;
  marries Charlotte of Savoy;
  letters of, to Charles VII.;
    to Dammartin;
    to envoys;
    to Count de Foix;
    to Lorenzo de' Medici;
    to Duke of Milan;
    to Amiens;
    to chancellor;
  flees to Duke of Burgundy;
  generosity of Duke Philip to;
  is godfather of Mary of Burgundy;
  tastes of;
  duplicity of;
  accession of;
  ingratitude of;
  character of;
  enmity between Charles and;
  nobles in league against;
  policy of;
  signs treaty of Conflans;
  incites opposition to Charles of Burgundy;
  breaks treaties;
  makes visit to Peronne;
  signs treaty at Peronne;
  ally of the Swiss;
  makes nucleus of standing army;
  aids Earl of Warwick and Margaret of Anjou;
  birth of son of;
  makes truce with Charles;
  suspected of death of brother;
  rewards Beauvais;
  wins over Edward IV.;
  rejoices in death of Charles
  University of
Lower Union, the, _see_ Basse-Union
Lude, Seigneur de
Luxemburg, duchy of
Luxemburg, John of
Luzine River, the


Mandrot, Bernard Édouard,
  editor of Commynes' _Mémoires, Jean de Roye_, etc.,
Manton, Seigneur de
Marchant, Ythier
Marck, Adolph de la
Marne River, the
Marquiez, George
Mas, Gilles du
Maximilian, Archduke of Austria;
  proposed marriage of
Mayence, Archbishop of
Mayence, Duke of
Mazilles, Jehan de
Medici, Lorenzo de'
Meurin, secretary to Louis XI.
Meurthe River, the
Meuse River, the
Meyer, J., cited
Michel, the Rhetorician, cited
Montereau, bridge of
Montfort, Ulrich von
Montgomery, Sir Thomas  (Mongomere)
Montl'héry, battle of
Monulphe, Bishop of Tongres
Morat, battle of
Morvilliers, Chancellor
Moselle River, the


  sieges of;
  battle of
Naples, King of
Narbonne, Archbishop of
Nassau, Engelbert of
Nassau, John of
_Nations_, the
Netherlands, the;
  states-general  of
Neufchâtel, Isabelle of
Nevers, Charles, Count of
Neville, Anne
Norfolk, Duchess of
Normandy, Charles of France, Duke of, _see_ Berry
Normandy, duchy of


Oise River, the
Onofrio de Santa Croce
Orange, Prince of
Oriole, Pierre d'
Orleans, duchy of
Orleans, Duke of
Osterlings, the
Ostrevant, Count of, _see_ Borselen
Ourré, Gerard


Palatinate, the
Palatine, Count;
  the elector;
  Frederic, elector
Panigarola, Johannes Petrus,
  Milanese ambassador, cited
Paris, University of
Paston, Sir John, letters of
Paston, John, the younger
  (brother of above), letter of
Paston, Margaret
Pellet, Jean
Perdriel, Henry
Peronne, interview of Louis XI. and Charles at;
  treaty of
"Peronne, the Peace of"
Petit-Dutaillis, Ch., author of Vol. IV^{II}, Lavisse,
    _Hist. de France, see_ Lavisse.
Petrasanta, Franciscus, Milanese ambassador
Pheasant, Feast of the
Podiebrad, George, ex-king of Bohemia
Poictiers, Alienor de
Poinsot, Jean
Pont de Cé
Porcupine, Order of the
Portinari, Thomas
Portugal, Alphonse V., King of
Portugal, Isabella of, Duchess of Burgundy, _see_ Burgundy
Pot, Philip de
Poucque, castle of
Public Weal, War of, _see_ League


Quaux River, the
Quiévrain, Seigneur de
Quingey, Simon de


Rampart, Jean
Ravestein, Madame de
Ravestein, Monseigneur de
Renty, Monseigneur de
Rheims, Archbishop of
Rhine, the;
Rhinelands, the
Rivers, Earl
Roche, Henri de la
Rochefort, Sire of
Roelants, Gort
Romans, King of the
Romont, Count of
Roses, Wars of the
Rottelin, Marquise Hugues de
Rozière, Malhortie de
Rubempré, the bastard of
Rubempré, Jehan de
Ruple, G.


St. Bavon, Abbot of
Ste. Beuve, cited
St. Blaise, Abbé of
St. Claude
St. Cloud
St. Denis
St. Lievin, feast of
St. Michel-sur-Loire
St. Nicolas-du-Port
St. Omer;
  treaty of
St. Pol, Count of
  made constable of France;
  treachery of;
  execution of
St. Quentin
St. Remy, Jean le Févre, Seigneur de
St. Thierry
St. Trond
Sale, Anthony de la
Salisbury, Bishop of
Savoy, Charlotte of, marries the dauphin
Savoy, duchy of
Savoy, dukes of
Savoy, Yolande, Duchess of;
  ally of Charles the Bold;
Saxony, Duke of
Saxony, elector of
Schellhass, Karl
Scotland, Eleanor of, wife of Sigismund of Austria
Scotland, Margaret of, wife of Louis, the dauphin
Seine River, the
Sforza, Galeazzo-Maria, Duke of Milan
Sigismund, Archduke of Austria, _see_ Austria
Sigismund, Emperor
Snoy, Renier, cited
Somerset, Duke of
Somme, towns on the river,
  ceded to Duke of Burgundy;
  redemption of towns on the
Sorel, Agnes
Soulz, Rudolf de
Spain, King of
Stein, Hertnid von
Stein, Rudolph de
Stephen, Martin
Strasburg, Bishop of
Sundgau, the
Swiss, the, valour of;
  victories of;
  allies of Louis XI.
Swiss Cantons, the;
  declare war against Charles the Bold
Sylvius, Æneas


Talmont, Prince of
Tewkesbury, battle of
Texel, island of
Thérain, the
Thérouanne, Bishop of
Thierry, Monsieur de
Thierstein, Oswald von
Thouan, Mme. de
Thouars, Guillaume de
Tilhart, secretary to Louis XI.
  bishops of
Tonnerre, Count of
Tournay, Bishop of
Toustain, Aloysius (Toussaint)
Toustain, Guillaume
Toutey, E., cited
Trausch, cited
Tree of Gold, jousts of the
Trémoille, Jehan de la
Trèves, Archbishop of
Turks, the, capture Constantinople;
  proposed  crusade against


Ursé, Seigneur d'
Utenhove, Richard


Vaesen, Joseph Frederic Louis (editor of _Lettres de Louis XI_.)
Valois, House of
Vaudemont, Yolande of Anjou,  Duchess of
Vendôme, Count of
Verard, Antoine
Vermandois, Count de
Villeclerc, Demoiselle de
Virnenbourg, Count of
Visen, Charles de
Vosges, the


Waldemar of Zürich
Walloon language, the
Warwick, Earl of;
  death of
Wavrin, Philip de
Wellington, Duke of
Wenlock, governor of Calais
Wieringen, island of
Woodville, Elizabeth
Wuisse, Vautrin
Wyler, Hans




York, House of
York, Margaret of, Duchess of Burgundy, _see_ Burgundy



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software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.