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Title: Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete
Author: Various
Language: English
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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 "Court Memoirs of France Series — Complete" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.


By Various


Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois       [see also #3841]
Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz           [see also #3846]
Memoirs of Madame de Montespan        [see also #3854]
Memoirs Louis XIV, by Duch d'Orleans  [see also #3859]
Memoirs of Louis XIV, by Saint-Simon  [see also #3875]
Memoirs Louis XV./XVI, by Hausset     [see also #3883]
Memoirs Marie Antoinette, by Campan   [see also #3891]
Memoirs of Court of St. Cloud         [see also #3899]
Memoirs of Count Grammont             [see also #5416]



Written by Herself

Being Historic Memoirs of the Courts of France and Navarre


Marguerite de Valois--Etching by Mercier

Bussi d' Amboise--Painting in the Versailles Gallery

Duc de Guise--Painting in the Versailles Gallery

Catherine de' Medici--Original Etching by Mercier

Henri VI. and La Fosseuse--Painting by A. P. E. Morton

A Scene at Henri's Court--Original Photogravure


The first volume of the Court Memoir Series will, it is confidently
anticipated, prove to be of great interest. These Letters first appeared
in French, in 1628, just thirteen years after the death of their witty
and beautiful authoress, who, whether as the wife for many years of the
great Henri of France, or on account of her own charms and
accomplishments, has always been the subject of romantic interest.

The letters contain many particulars of her life, together with many
anecdotes hitherto unknown or forgotten, told with a saucy vivacity which
is charming, and an air vividly recalling the sprightly, arch demeanour,
and black, sparkling eyes of the fair Queen of Navarre. She died in
1615, aged sixty-three.

These letters contain the secret history of the Court of France during
the seventeen eventful years 1565-82.

The events of the seventeen years referred to are of surpassing interest,
including, as they do, the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, the formation of
the League, the Peace of Sens, and an account of the religious struggles
which agitated that period. They, besides, afford an instructive insight
into royal life at the close of the sixteenth century, the modes of
travelling then in vogue, the manners and customs of the time, and a
picturesque account of the city of Liege and its sovereign bishop.

As has been already stated, these Memoirs first appeared in French in
1628. They were, thirty years later, printed in London in English, and
were again there translated and published in 1813.


The Memoirs, of which a new translation is now presented to the public,
are the undoubted composition of the celebrated princess whose name they
bear, the contemporary of our Queen Elizabeth; of equal abilities with
her, but of far unequal fortunes. Both Elizabeth and Marguerite had been
bred in the school of adversity; both profited by it, but Elizabeth had
the fullest opportunity of displaying her acquirements in it. Queen
Elizabeth met with trials and difficulties in the early part of her life,
and closed a long and successful reign in the happy possession of the
good-will and love of her subjects. Queen Marguerite, during her whole
life, experienced little else besides mortification and disappointment;
she was suspected and hated by both Protestants and Catholics, with the
latter of whom, though, she invariably joined in communion, yet was she
not in the least inclined to persecute or injure the former. Elizabeth
amused herself with a number of suitors, but never submitted to the yoke
of matrimony. Marguerite, in compliance with the injunctions of the
Queen her mother, and King Charles her brother, married Henri, King of
Navarre, afterwards Henri IV. of France, for whom she had no inclination;
and this union being followed by a mutual indifference and dislike, she
readily consented to dissolve it; soon after which event she saw a
princess, more fruitful but less prudent, share the throne of her
ancestors, of whom she was the only representative. Elizabeth was
polluted with the blood of her cousin, the Queen of Scots, widow of
Marguerite's eldest brother. Marguerite saved many Huguenots from the
massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, and, according to Brantome, the life
of the King, her husband, whose name was on the list of the proscribed.
To close this parallel, Elizabeth began early to govern a kingdom, which
she ruled through the course of her long life with severity, yet
gloriously, and with success. Marguerite, after the death of the Queen
her mother and her brothers, though sole heiress of the House of Valois,
was, by the Salic law, excluded from all pretensions to the Crown of
France; and though for the greater part of her life shut up in a castle,
surrounded by rocks and mountains, she has not escaped the shafts of

The Translator has added some notes, which give an account of such places
as are mentioned in the Memoirs, taken from the itineraries of the time,
but principally from the "Geographie Universelle" of Vosgien; in which
regard is had to the new division of France into departments, as well as
to the ancient one of principalities, archbishoprics, bishoprics,
generalities, chatellenies, balliages, duchies, seigniories, etc.

In the composition of her Memoirs, Marguerite has evidently adopted the
epistolary form, though the work came out of the French editor's hand
divided into three (as they are styled) books; these three books, or
letters, the Translator has taken the liberty of subdividing into
twenty-one, and, at the head of each of them, he has placed a short table
of the contents. This is the only liberty he has taken with the original
Memoirs, the translation itself being as near as the present improved
state of our language could be brought to approach the unpolished
strength and masculine vigour of the French of the age of Henri IV.

This translation is styled a new one, because, after the Translator had
made some progress in it, he found these Memoirs had already been made
English, and printed, in London, in the year 1656, thirty years after the
first edition of the French original. This translation has the following
title: "The grand Cabinet Counsels unlocked; or, the most faithful
Transaction of Court Affairs, and Growth and Continuance of the Civil
Wars in France, during the Reigns of Charles the last, Henry III., and
Henry IV., commonly called the Great. Most excellently written, in the
French Tongue, by Margaret de Valois, Sister to the two first Kings, and
Wife of the last. Faithfully translated by Robert Codrington, Master of
Arts;" and again as "Memorials of Court Affairs," etc., London, 1658.

The Memoirs of Queen Marguerite contained the secret history of the Court
of France during the space of seventeen years, from 1565 to 1582, and
they end seven years before Henri III., her brother, fell by the hands of
Clement, the monk; consequently, they take in no part of the reign of
Henri IV. (as Mr. Codrington has asserted in his title-page), though
they relate many particulars of the early part of his life.

Marguerite's Memoirs include likewise the history nearly of the first
half of her own life, or until she had reached the twenty-ninth year of
her age; and as she died in 1616, at the age of sixty-three years, there
remain thirty-four years of her life, of which little is known. In 1598,
when she was forty-five years old, her marriage with Henri was dissolved
by mutual consent,--she declaring that she had no other wish than to give
him content, and preserve the peace of the kingdom; making it her
request, according to Brantome, that the King would favour her with his
protection, which, as her letter expresses, she hoped to enjoy during the
rest of her life. Sully says she stipulated only for an establishment
and the payment of her debts, which were granted. After Henri, in 1610,
had fallen a victim to the furious fanaticism of the monk Ravaillac, she
lived to see the kingdom brought into the greatest confusion by the bad
government of the Queen Regent, Marie de Medici, who suffered herself to
be directed by an Italian woman she had brought over with her, named
Leonora Galligai. This woman marrying a Florentine, called Concini,
afterwards made a marshal of France, they jointly ruled the kingdom, and
became so unpopular that the marshal was assassinated, and the wife, who
had been qualified with the title of Marquise d'Ancre, burnt for a witch.
This happened about the time of Marguerite's decease.

It has just before been mentioned how little has been handed down to
these times respecting Queen Marguerite's history. The latter part of
her life, there is reason to believe, was wholly passed at a considerable
distance from Court, in her retirement (so it is called, though it
appears to have been rather her prison) at the castle of Usson. This
castle, rendered famous by her long residence in it, has been demolished
since the year 1634. It was built on a mountain, near a little town of
the same name, in that part of France called Auvergne, which now
constitutes part of the present Departments of the Upper Loire and
Puy-de-Dome, from a river and mountain so named. These Memoirs appear to
have been composed in this retreat. Marguerite amused herself likewise,
in this solitude, in composing verses, and there are specimens still
remaining of her poetry. These compositions she often set to music, and
sang them herself, accompanying her voice with the lute, on which she
played to perfection. Great part of her time was spent in the perusal of
the Bible and books of piety, together with the works of the best authors
she could procure. Brantome assures us that Marguerite spoke the Latin
tongue with purity and elegance; and it appears, from her Memoirs, that
she had read Plutarch with attention.

Marguerite has been said to have given in to the gallantries to which the
Court of France was, during her time, but too much addicted; but, though
the Translator is obliged to notice it, he is far from being inclined to
give any credit to a romance entitled, "Le Divorce Satyrique; ou, les
Amours de la Reyne Marguerite de Valois," which is written in the person
of her husband, and bears on the title-page these initials: D. R. H. Q.
M.; that is to say, "du Roi Henri Quatre, Mari." This work professes to
give a relation of Marguerite's conduct during her residence at the
castle of Usson; but it contains so many gross absurdities and
indecencies that it is undeserving of attention, and appears to have been
written by some bitter enemy, who has assumed the character of her
husband to traduce her memory.

["Le Divorce Satyrique" is said to have been written by Louise Marguerite
de Lorraine, Princesse de Conti, who is likewise the reputed author of
"The Amours of Henri IV.," disguised under the name of Alcander. She was
the daughter of the Due de Guise, assassinated at Blois in 1588, and was
born the year her father died. She married Francois, Prince de Conti,
and was considered one of the most ingenious and accomplished persons
belonging to the French Court in the age of Louis XIII. She was left a
widow in 1614, and died in 1631.]

M. Pierre de Bourdeille, Seigneur de Brantome, better known by the name
of Brantome, wrote the Memoirs of his own times. He was brought up in
the Court of France, and lived in it during the reigns of Marguerite's
father and brothers, dying at the advanced age of eighty or eighty-four
years, but in what year is not certainly known. He has given anecdotes--

[The author of the "Tablettes de France," and "Anecdotes des Rois de
France," thinks that Marguerite alludes to Brantome's "Anecdotes" in the
beginning of her first letter, where she says: "I should commend your
work much more were I myself not so much praised in it." (According to
the original: "Je louerois davantage votre oeuvre, si elle ne me louoit
tant.") If so, these letters were addressed to Brantome, and not to the
Baron de la Chataigneraie, as mentioned in the Preface to the French
edition. In Letter I. mention is made of Madame de Dampierre, whom
Marguerite styles the aunt of the person the letter is addressed to. She
was dame d'honneur, or lady of the bedchamber, to the Queen of Henri
III., and Brantome, speaking of her, calls her his aunt. Indeed, it is
not a matter of any consequence to whom these Memoirs were addressed; it
is, however, remarkable that Louis XIV. used the same words to Boileau,
after hearing him read his celebrated epistle upon the famous Passage of
the Rhine; and yet Louis was no reader, and is not supposed to have
adopted them from these Memoirs. The thought is, in reality, fine, but
might easily suggest itself to any other. "Cela est beau," said the
monarch, "et je vous louerois davantage, si vous m'aviez moins loue."
(The poetry is excellent, and I should praise you more had you praised me

of the life of Marguerite, written during her before-mentioned retreat,
when she was, as he says ("fille unique maintenant restee, de la noble
maison de France"), the only survivor of her illustrious house. Brantome
praises her excellent beauty in a long string of laboured hyperboles.
Ronsard, the Court poet, has done the same in a poem of considerable
length, wherein he has exhausted all his wit and fancy. From what they
have said, we may collect that Marguerite was graceful in her person and
figure, and remarkably happy in her choice of dress and ornaments to set
herself off to the most advantage; that her height was above the middle
size, her shape easy, with that due proportion of plumpness which gives
an appearance of majesty and comeliness. Her eyes were full, black, and
sparkling; she had bright, chestnut-coloured hair, and a complexion fresh
and blooming. Her skin was delicately white, and her neck admirably well
formed; and this so generally admired beauty, the fashion of dress, in
her time, admitted of being fully displayed.

Such was Queen Marguerite as she is portrayed, with the greatest
luxuriance of colouring, by these authors. To her personal charms were
added readiness of wit, ease and gracefulness of speech, and great
affability and courtesy of manners. This description of Queen Marguerite
cannot be dismissed without observing, if only for the sake of keeping
the fashion of the present times with her sex in countenance, that,
though she had hair, as has been already described, becoming her, and
sufficiently ornamental in itself, yet she occasionally called in the aid
of wigs. Brantome's words are: "l'artifice de perruques bien gentiment

[Ladies in the days of Ovid wore periwigs. That poet says to Corinna:

"Nunc tibi captivos mittet Germania crines;
Culta triumphatae munere gentis eris."

(Wigs shall from captive Germany be sent;
'Tis with such spoils your head you ornament.)

These, we may conclude, were flaxen, that being the prevailing coloured
hair of the Germans at this day. The Translator has met with a further
account of Marguerite's head-dress, which describes her as wearing a
velvet bonnet ornamented with pearls and diamonds, and surmounted with a
plume of feathers.]

I shall conclude this Preface with a letter from Marguerite to Brantome;
the first, he says, he received from her during her adversity ('son
adversite' are his words),--being, as he expresses it, so ambitious
('presomptueux') as to have sent to inquire concerning her health, as she
was the daughter and sister of the Kings, his masters. ("D'avoir envoye
scavoir de ses nouvelles, mais quoy elle estoit fille et soeur de mes

The letter here follows: "From the attention and regard you have shown me
(which to me appears less strange than it is agreeable), I find you still
preserve that attachment you have ever had to my family, in a
recollection of these poor remains which have escaped its wreck. Such as
I am, you will find me always ready to do you service, since I am so
happy as to discover that my fortune has not been able to blot out my
name from the memory of my oldest friends, of which number you are one. I
have heard that, like me, you have chosen a life of retirement, which I
esteem those happy who can enjoy, as God, out of His great mercy, has
enabled me to do for these last five years; having placed me, during
these times of trouble, in an ark of safety, out of the reach, God be
thanked, of storms. If, in my present situation, I am able to serve my
friends, and you more especially, I shall be found entirely disposed to
it, and with the greatest good-will."

There is such an air of dignified majesty in the foregoing letter, and,
at the same time, such a spirit of genuine piety and resignation, that it
cannot but give an exalted idea of Marguerite's character, who appears
superior to ill-fortune and great even in her distress. If, as I doubt
not, the reader thinks the same, I shall not need to make an apology for
concluding this Preface with it.

The following Latin verses, or call them, if you please, epigram, are of
the composition of Barclay, or Barclaius, author of "Argenis," etc.


     Dear native land! and you, proud castles! say
     (Where grandsire,[1] father,[2] and three brothers[3] lay,
     Who each, in turn, the crown imperial wore),
     Me will you own, your daughter whom you bore?
     Me, once your greatest boast and chiefest pride,
     By Bourbon and Lorraine,[4] when sought a bride;
     Now widowed wife,[5] a queen without a throne,
     Midst rocks and mountains [6] wander I alone.
     Nor yet hath Fortune vented all her spite,
     But sets one up,[7] who now enjoys my right,
     Points to the boy,[8] who henceforth claims the throne
     And crown, a son of mine should call his own.
     But ah, alas! for me 'tis now too late [9]
     To strive 'gainst Fortune and contend with Fate;
     Of those I slighted, can I beg relief [10]
     No; let me die the victim of my grief.
     And can I then be justly said to live?
     Dead in estate, do I then yet survive?
     Last of the name, I carry to the grave
     All the remains the House of Valois have.

1. Francois I.
2. Henri II.
3. Francois II., Charles IX., and Henri III.
4. Henri, King of Navarre, and Henri, Duc de Guise.
5. Alluding to her divorce from Henri IV..
6. The castle of Usson
7. Marie de' Medici, whom Henri married after his divorce from
8. Louis XIII., the son of Henri and his queen, Marie de' Medici.
9. Alluding to the differences betwixt Marguerite and Henri, her
10. This is said with allusion to the supposition that she was rather
  inclined to favour the suit of the Due de Guise and reject Henri for a



Introduction.--Anecdotes of Marguerite's Infancy.--Endeavours Used to
Convert Her to the New Religion.--She Is Confirmed in Catholicism.--The
Court on a Progress.--A Grand Festivity Suddenly Interrupted.--The
Confusion in Consequence.


Message from the Duc d'Anjou, Afterwards Henri III., to King Charles His
Brother and the Queen-mother.--Her Fondness for Her Children.--Their
Interview.--Anjou's Eloquent Harangue.--The Queen-mother's Character.
Discourse of the Duc d'Anjou with Marguerite.--She Discovers Her Own
Importance.--Engages to Serve Her Brother Anjou.--Is in High Favour with
the Queenmother.


Le Guast.--His Character.--Anjou Affects to Be Jealous of the
Guises.--Dissuades the Queen-mother from Reposing Confidence in
Marguerite.--She Loses the Favour of the Queen-mother and Falls
Sick.--Anjou's Hypocrisy.--He Introduces De Guise into Marguerite's Sick
Chamber.--Marguerite Demanded in Marriage by the King of Portugal.--Made
Uneasy on That Account.--Contrives to Relieve Herself.--The Match with
Portugal Broken off.


Death of the Queen of Navarre--Marguerite's Marriage with Her Son, the
King of Navarre, Afterwards Henri IV. of France.--The Preparations for
That Solemnisation Described.--The Circumstances Which Led to the
Massacre of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's Day.


The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.


Henri, Duc d'Anjou, Elected King of Poland, Leaves France.--Huguenot
Plots to Withdraw the Duc d'Alencon and the King of Navarre from
Court.--Discovered and Defeated by Marguerite's Vigilance.--She Draws Up
an Eloquent Defence, Which Her Husband Delivers before a Committee from
the Court of Parliament.--Alencon and Her Husband, under a Close Arrest,
Regain Their Liberty by the Death of Charles IX.


Accession of Henri III.--A Journey to Lyons.--Marguerite's Faith in
Supernatural Intelligence.


What Happened at Lyons.


Fresh Intrigues.--Marriage of Henri III.--Bussi Arrives at Court and
Narrowly Escapes Assassination.


Bussi Is Sent from Court.--Marguerite's Husband Attacked with a Fit of
Epilepsy.--Her Great Care of Him.--Torigni Dismissed from Marguerite's
Service.--The King of Navarre and the Duc d'Alencon Secretly Leave the


Queen Marguerite under Arrest.--Attempt on Torigni's Life.--Her Fortunate


The Peace of Sens betwixt Henri III. and the Huguenots.


The League.--War Declared against the Huguenots.--Queen Marguerite Sets
out for Spa.


Description of Queen Marguerite's Equipage.--Her Journey to Liege
Described.--She Enters with Success upon Her Mission.--Striking Instance
of Maternal Duty and Affection in a Great Lady.--Disasters near the Close
of the Journey.


The City of Liege Described.--Affecting Story of Mademoiselle de
Tournon.--Fatal Effects of Suppressed Anguish of Mind.


Queen Marguerite, on Her Return from Liege, Is in Danger of Being Made a
Prisoner.--She Arrives, after Some Narrow Escapes, at La Fere.


Good Effects of Queen Marguerite's Negotiations in Flanders.--She Obtains
Leave to Go to the King of Navarre Her Husband, but Her Journey Is
Delayed.--Court Intrigues and Plots.--The Duc d'Alencon Again Put under


The Brothers Reconciled.--Alencon Restored to His Liberty.


The Duc d'Alencon Makes His Escape from Court.--Queen Marguerite's
Fidelity Put to a Severe Trial.


Queen Marguerite Permitted to Go to the King Her Husband.--Is Accompanied
by the Queenmother.--Marguerite Insulted by Her Husband's Secretary.--She
Harbours Jealousy.--Her Attention to the King Her Husband during an
Indisposition.--Their Reconciliation.--The War Breaks Out
Afresh.--Affront Received from Marechal de Biron.


Situation of Affairs in Flanders.--Peace Brought About by Duc d'Alencon's
Negotiation.--Marechal de Biron Apologises for Firing on Nerac.--Henri
Desperately in Love with Fosseuse.--Queen Marguerite Discovers Fosseuse
to Be Pregnant, Which She Denies.--Fosseuse in Labour. Marguerite's
Generous Behaviour to Her.--Marguerite's Return to Paris.





Introduction.--Anecdotes of Marguerite's Infancy.--Endeavours Used to
Convert Her to the New Religion.--She Is Confirmed in Catholicism.--The
Court on a Progress.--A Grand Festivity Suddenly Interrupted.--The
Confusion in Consequence.

I should commend your work much more were I myself less praised in it;
but I am unwilling to do so, lest my praises should seem rather the
effect of self-love than to be founded on reason and justice. I am
fearful that, like Themistocles, I should appear to admire their
eloquence the most who are most forward to praise me. It is the usual
frailty of our sex to be fond of flattery. I blame this in other women,
and should wish not to be chargeable with it myself. Yet I confess that
I take a pride in being painted by the hand of so able a master, however
flattering the likeness may be. If I ever were possessed of the graces
you have assigned to me, trouble and vexation render them no longer
visible, and have even effaced them from my own recollection. So that I
view myself in your Memoirs, and say, with old Madame de Rendan, who, not
having consulted her glass since her husband's death, on seeing her own
face in the mirror of another lady, exclaimed, "Who is this?" Whatever
my friends tell me when they see me now, I am inclined to think proceeds
from the partiality of their affection. I am sure that you yourself,
when you consider more impartially what you have said, will be induced to
believe, according to these lines of Du Bellay:

"C'est chercher Rome en Rome, Et rien de Rome en Rome ne trouver."

('Tis to seek Rome, in Rome to go, And Rome herself at Rome not know.)

But as we read with pleasure the history of the Siege of Troy, the
magnificence of Athens, and other splendid cities, which once flourished,
but are now so entirely destroyed that scarcely the spot whereon they
stood can be traced, so you please yourself with describing these
excellences of beauty which are no more, and which will be discoverable
only in your writings.

If you had taken upon you to contrast Nature and Fortune, you could not
have chosen a happier theme upon which to descant, for both have made a
trial of their strength on the subject of your Memoirs. What Nature did,
you had the evidence of your own eyes to vouch for, but what was done by
Fortune, you know only from hearsay; and hearsay, I need not tell you, is
liable to be influenced by ignorance or malice, and, therefore, is not to
be depended on. You will for that reason, I make no doubt, be pleased to
receive these Memoirs from the hand which is most interested in the truth
of them.

I have been induced to undertake writing my Memoirs the more from five or
six observations which I have had occasion to make upon your work, as you
appear to have been misinformed respecting certain particulars. For
example, in that part where mention is made of Pau, and of my journey in
France; likewise where you speak of the late Marechal de Biron, of Agen,
and of the sally of the Marquis de Camillac from that place.

These Memoirs might merit the honourable name of history from the truths
contained in them, as I shall prefer truth to embellishment. In fact, to
embellish my story I have neither leisure nor ability; I shall,
therefore, do no more than give a simple narration of events. They are
the labours of my evenings, and will come to you an unformed mass, to
receive its shape from your hands, or as a chaos on which you have
already thrown light. Mine is a history most assuredly worthy to come
from a man of honour, one who is a true Frenchman, born of illustrious
parents, brought up in the Court of the Kings my father and brothers,
allied in blood and friendship to the most virtuous and accomplished
women of our times, of which society I have had the good fortune to be
the bond of union.

I shall begin these Memoirs in the reign of Charles IX., and set out with
the first remarkable event of my life which fell within my remembrance.
Herein I follow the example of geographical writers, who, having
described the places within their knowledge, tell you that all beyond
them are sandy deserts, countries without inhabitants, or seas never
navigated. Thus I might say that all prior to the commencement of these
Memoirs was the barrenness of my infancy, when we can only be said to
vegetate like plants, or live, like brutes, according to instinct, and
not as human creatures, guided by reason. To those who had the direction
of my earliest years I leave the task of relating the transactions of my
infancy, if they find them as worthy of being recorded as the infantine
exploits of Themistocles and Alexander,--the one exposing himself to be
trampled on by the horses of a charioteer, who would not stop them when
requested to do so, and the other refusing to run a race unless kings
were to enter the contest against him. Amongst such memorable things
might be related the answer I made the King my father, a short time
before the fatal accident which deprived France of peace, and our family
of its chief glory. I was then about four or five years of age, when the
King, placing me on his knee, entered familiarly into chat with me. There
were, in the same room, playing and diverting themselves, the Prince de
Joinville, since the great and unfortunate Duc de Guise, and the Marquis
de Beaupreau, son of the Prince de la Roche-sur-Yon, who died in his
fourteenth year, and by whose death his country lost a youth of most
promising talents. Amongst other discourse, the King asked which of the
two Princes that were before me I liked best. I replied, "The Marquis."
The King said, "Why so? He is not the handsomest." The Prince de
Joinville was fair, with light-coloured hair, and the Marquis de
Beaupreau brown, with dark hair. I answered, "Because he is the best
behaved; whilst the Prince is always making mischief, and will be master
over everybody."

This was a presage of what we have seen happen since, when the whole
Court was infected with heresy, about the time of the Conference of
Poissy. It was with great difficulty that I resisted and preserved
myself from a change of religion at that time. Many ladies and lords
belonging to Court strove to convert me to Huguenotism. The Duc d'Anjou,
since King Henri III. of France, then in his infancy, had been prevailed
on to change his religion, and he often snatched my "Hours" out of my
hand, and flung them into the fire, giving me Psalm Books and books of
Huguenot prayers, insisting on my using them. I took the first
opportunity to give them up to my governess, Madame de Curton, whom God,
out of his mercy to me, caused to continue steadfast in the Catholic
religion. She frequently took me to that pious, good man, the Cardinal
de Tournon, who gave me good advice, and strengthened me in a
perseverance in my religion, furnishing me with books and chaplets of
beads in the room of those my brother Anjou took from me and burnt.

Many of my brother's most intimate friends had resolved on my ruin, and
rated me severely upon my refusal to change, saying it proceeded from a
childish obstinacy; that if I had the least understanding, and would
listen, like other discreet persons, to the sermons that were preached, I
should abjure my uncharitable bigotry; but I was, said they, as foolish
as my governess. My brother Anjou added threats, and said the Queen my
mother would give orders that I should be whipped. But this he said of
his own head, for the Queen my mother did not, at that time, know of the
errors he had embraced. As soon as it came to her knowledge, she took
him to task, and severely reprimanded his governors, insisting upon their
correcting him, and instructing him in the holy and ancient religion of
his forefathers, from which she herself never swerved. When he used
those menaces, as I have before related, I was a child seven or eight
years old, and at that tender age would reply to him, "Well, get me
whipped if you can; I will suffer whipping, and even death, rather than
be damned."

I could furnish you with many other replies of the like kind, which gave
proof of the early ripeness of my judgment and my courage; but I shall
not trouble myself with such researches, choosing rather to begin these
Memoirs at the time when I resided constantly with the Queen my mother.

Immediately after the Conference of Poissy, the civil wars commenced, and
my brother Alencon and myself, on account of our youth, were sent to
Amboise, whither all the ladies of the country repaired to us.

With them came your aunt, Madame de Dampierre, who entered into a firm
friendship with me, which was never interrupted until her death broke it
off. There was likewise your cousin, the Duchesse de Rais, who had the
good fortune to hear there of the death of her brute of a husband, killed
at the battle of Dreux. The husband I mean was the first she had, named
M. d'Annebaut, who was unworthy to have for a wife so accomplished and
charming a woman as your cousin. She and I were not then so intimate
friends as we have become since, and shall ever remain. The reason was
that, though older than I, she was yet young, and young girls seldom take
much notice of children, whereas your aunt was of an age when women
admire their innocence and engaging simplicity.

I remained at Amboise until the Queen my mother was ready to set out on
her grand progress, at which time she sent for me to come to her Court,
which I did not quit afterwards.

Of this progress I will not undertake to give you a description, being
still so young that, though the whole is within my recollection, yet the
particular passages of it appear to me but as a dream, and are now lost.
I leave this task to others, of riper years, as you were yourself. You
can well remember the magnificence that was displayed everywhere,
particularly at the baptism of my nephew, the Duc de Lorraine, at
Bar-le-Duc; at the meeting of M. and Madame de Savoy, in the city of
Lyons; the interview at Bayonne betwixt my sister, the Queen of Spain,
the Queen my mother, and King Charles my brother. In your account of
this interview you would not forget to make mention of the noble
entertainment given by the Queen my mother, on an island, with the grand
dances, and the form of the salon, which seemed appropriated by nature
for such a purpose, it being a large meadow in the middle of the island,
in the shape of an oval, surrounded on every aide by tall spreading
trees. In this meadow the Queen my mother had disposed a circle of
niches, each of them large enough to contain a table of twelve covers.
At one end a platform was raised, ascended by four steps formed of turf.
Here their Majesties were seated at a table under a lofty canopy. The
tables were all served by troops of shepherdesses dressed in cloth of
gold and satin, after the fashion of the different provinces of France.
These shepherdesses, during the passage of the superb boats from Bayonne
to the island, were placed in separate bands, in a meadow on each side of
the causeway, raised with turf; and whilst their Majesties and the
company were passing through the great salon, they danced. On their
passage by water, the barges were followed by other boats, having on
board vocal and instrumental musicians, habited like Nereids, singing and
playing the whole time. After landing, the shepherdesses I have
mentioned before received the company in separate troops, with songs and
dances, after the fashion and accompanied by the music of the provinces
they represented,--the Poitevins playing on bagpipes; the Provencales on
the viol and cymbal; the Burgundians and Champagners on the hautboy, bass
viol, and tambourine; in like manner the Bretons and other
provincialists. After the collation was served and the feast at an end,
a large troop of musicians, habited like satyrs, was seen to come out of
the opening of a rock, well lighted up, whilst nymphs were descending
from the top in rich habits, who, as they came down, formed into a grand
dance, when, lo! fortune no longer favouring this brilliant festival, a
sudden storm of rain came on, and all were glad to get off in the boats
and make for town as fast as they could. The confusion in consequence of
this precipitate retreat afforded as much matter to laugh at the next day
as the splendour of the entertainment had excited admiration. In short,
the festivity of this day was not, forgotten, on one account or the
other, amidst the variety of the like nature which succeeded it in the
course of this progress.


Message from the Duc d'Anjou, Afterwards Henri III., to King Charles His
Brother and the Queen-mother.--Her Fondness for Her Children.--Their
Interview.--Anjou's Eloquent Harangue.--The Queen-mother's Character.
Discourse of the Duc d'Anjou with Marguerite.--She Discovers Her Own
Importance.--Engages to Serve Her Brother Anjou.--Is in High Favour with
the Queenmother.

At the time my magnanimous brother Charles reigned over France, and some
few years after our return from the grand progress mentioned in my last
letter, the Huguenots having renewed the war, a gentleman, despatched
from my brother Anjou (afterwards Henri III. of France), came to Paris to
inform the King and the Queen my mother that the Huguenot army was
reduced to such an extremity that he hoped in a few days to force them to
give him battle. He added his earnest wish for the honour of seeing them
at Tours before that happened, so that, in case Fortune, envying him the
glory he had already achieved at so early an age, should, on the so much
looked-for day, after the good service he had done his religion and his
King, crown the victory with his death, he might not have cause to regret
leaving this world without the satisfaction of receiving their
approbation of his conduct from their own mouths, a satisfaction which
would be more valuable, in his opinion, than the trophies he had gained
by his two former victories.

I leave to your own imagination to suggest to you the impression which
such a message from a dearly beloved son made on the mind of a mother who
doted on all her children, and was always ready to sacrifice her own
repose, nay, even her life, for their happiness.

She resolved immediately to set off and take the King with her. She had,
besides myself, her usual small company of female attendants, together
with Mesdames de Rais and de Sauves. She flew on the wings of maternal
affection, and reached Tours in three days and a half. A journey from
Paris, made with such precipitation, was not unattended with accidents
and some inconveniences, of a nature to occasion much mirth and laughter.
The poor Cardinal de Bourbon, who never quitted her, and whose temper of
mind, strength of body, and habits of life were ill suited to encounter
privations and hardships, suffered greatly from this rapid journey.

We found my brother Anjou at Plessis-les-Tours, with the principal
officers of his army, who were the flower of the princes and nobles of
France. In their presence he delivered a harangue to the King, giving a
detail of his conduct in the execution of his charge, beginning from the
time he left the Court. His discourse was framed with so much eloquence,
and spoken so gracefully, that it was admired by all present. It
appeared matter of astonishment that a youth of sixteen should reason
with all the gravity and powers of an orator of ripe years. The
comeliness of his person, which at all times pleads powerfully in favour
of a speaker, was in him set off by the laurels obtained in two
victories. In short, it was difficult to say which most contributed to
make him the admiration of all his hearers.

It is equally as impossible for me to describe in words the feelings of
my mother on this occasion, who loved him above all her children, as it
was for the painter to represent on canvas the grief of Iphigenia's
father. Such an overflow of joy would have been discoverable in the
looks and actions of any other woman, but she had her passions so much
under the control of prudence and discretion that there was nothing to be
perceived in her countenance, or gathered from her words, of what she
felt inwardly in her mind. She was, indeed, a perfect mistress of
herself, and regulated her discourse and her actions by the rules of
wisdom and sound policy, showing that a person of discretion does upon
all occasions only what is proper to be done. She did not amuse herself
on this occasion with listening to the praises which issued from every
mouth, and sanction them with her own approbation; but, selecting the
chief points in the speech relative to the future conduct of the war, she
laid them before the Princes and great lords, to be deliberated upon, in
order to settle a plan of operations.

To arrange such a plan a delay of some days was requisite. During this
interval, the Queen my mother walking in the park with some of the
Princes, my brother Anjou begged me to take a turn or two with him in a
retired walk. He then addressed me in the following words: "Dear sister,
the nearness of blood, as well as our having been brought up together,
naturally, as they ought, attach us to each other. You must already have
discovered the partiality I have had for you above my brothers, and I
think that I have perceived the same in you for me. We have been
hitherto led to this by nature, without deriving any other advantage from
it than the sole pleasure of conversing together. So far might be well
enough for our childhood, but now we are no longer children. You know
the high situation in which, by the favour of God and our good mother the
Queen, I am here placed. You may be assured that, as you are the person
in the world whom I love and esteem the most, you will always be a
partaker of my advancement. I know you are not wanting in wit and
discretion, and I am sensible you have it in your power to do me service
with the Queen our mother, and preserve me in my present employments. It
is a great point obtained for me, always to stand well in her favour. I
am fearful that my absence may be prejudicial to that purpose, and I must
necessarily be at a distance from Court. Whilst I am away, the King my
brother is with her, and has it in his power to insinuate himself into
her good graces. This I fear, in the end, may be of disservice to me.
The King my brother is growing older every day. He does not want for
courage, and, though he now diverts himself with hunting, he may grow
ambitious, and choose rather to chase men than beasts; in such a case I
must resign to him my commission as his lieutenant. This would prove the
greatest mortification that could happen to me, and I would even prefer
death to it. Under such an apprehension I have considered of the means
of prevention, and see none so feasible as having a confidential person
about the Queen my mother, who shall always be ready to espouse and
support my cause. I know no one so proper for that purpose as yourself,
who will be, I doubt not, as attentive to my interest as I should be
myself. You have wit, discretion, and fidelity, which are all that are
wanting, provided you will be so kind as to undertake such a good office.
In that case I shall have only to beg of you not to neglect attending her
morning and evening, to be the first with her and the last to leave her.
This will induce her to repose a confidence and open her mind to you.

"To make her the more ready to do this, I shall take every opportunity,
to commend your good sense and understanding, and to tell her that I
shall take it kind in her to leave off treating you as a child, which, I
shall say, will contribute to her own comfort and satisfaction. I am
well convinced that she will listen to my advice. Do you speak to her
with the same confidence as you do to me, and be assured that she will
approve of it. It will conduce to your own happiness to obtain her
favour. You may do yourself service whilst you are labouring for my
interest; and you may rest satisfied that, after God, I shall think I owe
all the good fortune which may befall me to yourself."

This was entirely a new kind of language to me. I had hitherto thought
of nothing but amusements, of dancing, hunting, and the like diversions;
nay, I had never yet discovered any inclination of setting myself off to
advantage by dress, and exciting an admiration of my person and figure. I
had no ambition of any kind, and had been so strictly brought up under
the Queen my mother that I scarcely durst speak before her; and if she
chanced to turn her eyes towards me I trembled, for fear that I had done
something to displease her. At the conclusion of my brother's harangue,
I was half inclined to reply to him in the words of Moses, when he was
spoken to from the burning bush: "Who am I, that I should go unto
Pharaoh? Send, I pray thee, by the hand of him whom thou wilt send."

However, his words inspired me with resolution and powers I did not think
myself possessed of before. I had naturally a degree of courage, and, as
soon as I recovered from my astonishment, I found I was quite an altered
person. His address pleased me, and wrought in me a confidence in
myself; and I found I was become of more consequence than I had ever
conceived I had been. Accordingly, I replied to him thus: "Brother, if
God grant me the power of speaking to the Queen our mother as I have the
will to do, nothing can be wanting for your service, and you may expect
to derive all the good you hope from it, and from my solicitude and
attention for your interest. With respect to my undertaking such a
matter for you, you will soon perceive that I shall sacrifice all the
pleasures in this world to my watchfulness for your service. You may
perfectly rely on me, as there is no one that honours or regards you more
than I do. Be well assured that I shall act for you with the Queen my
mother as zealously as you would for yourself."

These sentiments were more strongly impressed upon my mind than the words
I made use of were capable of conveying an idea of. This will appear
more fully in my following letters.

As soon as we were returned from walking, the Queen my mother retired
with me into her closet, and addressed the following words to me: "Your
brother has been relating the conversation you have had together; he
considers you no longer as a child, neither shall I. It will be a great
comfort to me to converse with you as I would with your brother. For the
future you will freely speak your mind, and have no apprehensions of
taking too great a liberty, for it is what I wish." These words gave me
a pleasure then which I am now unable to express. I felt a satisfaction
and a joy which nothing before had ever caused me to feel. I now
considered the pastimes of my childhood as vain amusements. I shunned
the society of my former companions of the same age. I disliked dancing
and hunting, which I thought beneath my attention. I strictly complied
with her agreeable injunction, and never missed being with her at her
rising in the morning and going to rest at night. She did me the honour,
sometimes, to hold me in conversation for two and three hours at a time.
God was so gracious with me that I gave her great satisfaction; and she
thought she could not sufficiently praise me to those ladies who were
about her. I spoke of my brother's affairs to her, and he was constantly
apprised by me of her sentiments and opinion; so that he had every reason
to suppose I was firmly attached to his interest.


Le Guast.--His Character.--Anjou Affects to Be Jealous of the
Guises.--Dissuades the Queen-mother from Reposing Confidence in
Marguerite.--She Loses the Favour of the Queen-mother and Falls
Sick.--Anjou's Hypocrisy.--He Introduces De Guise into Marguerite's Sick
Chamber.--Marguerite Demanded in Marriage by the King of Portugal.--Made
Uneasy on That Account.--Contrives to Relieve Herself.--The Match with
Portugal Broken off.

I continued to pass my time with the Queen my mother, greatly to my
satisfaction, until after the battle of Moncontour. By the same despatch
that brought the news of this victory to the Court, my brother, who was
ever desirous to be near the Queen my mother, wrote her word that he was
about to lay siege to St. Jean d'Angely, and that it would be necessary
that the King should be present whilst it was going on.

She, more anxious to see him than he could be to have her near him,
hastened to set out on the journey, taking me with her, and her customary
train of attendants. I likewise experienced great joy upon the occasion,
having no suspicion that any mischief awaited me. I was still young and
without experience, and I thought the happiness I enjoyed was always to
continue; but the malice of Fortune prepared for me at this interview a
reverse that I little expected, after the fidelity with which I had
discharged the trust my brother had reposed in me.

Soon after our last meeting, it seems, my brother Anjou had taken Le
Guast to be near his person, who had ingratiated himself so far into his
favour and confidence that he saw only with his eyes, and spoke but as he
dictated. This evil-disposed man, whose whole life was one continued
scene of wickedness, had perverted his mind and filled it with maxims of
the most atrocious nature. He advised him to have no regard but for his
own interest; neither to love nor put trust in any one; and not to
promote the views or advantage of either brother or sister. These and
other maxims of the like nature, drawn from tho school of Machiavelli, he
was continually suggesting to him. He had so frequently inculcated them
that they were strongly impressed on his mind, insomuch that, upon our
arrival, when, after the first compliments, my mother began to open in my
praise and express the attachment I had discovered for him, this was his
reply, which he delivered with the utmost coldness:

"He was well pleased," he said, "to have succeeded in the request he had
made to me; but that prudence directed us not to continue to make use of
the same expedients, for what was profitable at one time might not be so
at another." She asked him why he made that observation. This question
afforded the opportunity he wished for, of relating a story he had
fabricated, purposely to ruin me with her.

He began with observing to her that I was grown very handsome, and that
M. de Guise wished to marry me; that his uncles, too, were very desirous
of such a match; and, if I should entertain a like passion for him, there
would be danger of my discovering to him all she said to me; that she
well knew the ambition of that house, and how ready they were, on all
occasions, to circumvent ours. It would, therefore, be proper that she
should not, for the future, communicate any matter of State to me, but,
by degrees, withdraw her confidence.

I discovered the evil effects proceeding from this pernicious advice on
the very same evening. I remarked an unwillingness on her part to speak
to me before my brother; and, as soon as she entered into discourse with
him, she commanded me to go to bed. This command she repeated two or
three times. I quitted her closet, and left them together in
conversation; but, as soon as he was gone, I returned and entreated her
to let me know if I had been so unhappy as to have done anything, through
ignorance, which had given her offence. She was at first inclined to
dissemble with me; but at length she said to me thus: "Daughter, your
brother is prudent and cautious; you ought not to be displeased with him
for what he does, and you must believe what I shall tell you is right and
proper." She then related the conversation she had with my brother, as I
have just written it; and she then ordered me never to speak to her in my
brother's presence.

These words were like so many daggers plunged into my breast. In my
disgrace, I experienced as much grief as I had before joy on being
received into her favour and confidence. I did not omit to say
everything to convince her of my entire ignorance of what my brother had
told her. I said it was a matter I had never heard mentioned before; and
that, had I known it, I should certainly have made her immediately
acquainted with it. All I said was to no purpose; my brother's words had
made the first impression; they were constantly present in her mind, and
outweighed probability and truth. When I discovered this, I told her
that I felt less uneasiness at being deprived of my happiness than I did
joy when I had acquired it; for my brother had taken it from me, as he
had given it. He had given it without reason; he had taken it away
without cause. He had praised me for discretion and prudence when I did
not merit it, and he suspected my fidelity on grounds wholly imaginary
and fictitious. I concluded with assuring her that I should never forget
my brother's behaviour on this occasion.

Hereupon she flew into a passion and commanded me not to make the least
show of resentment at his behaviour. From that hour she gradually
withdrew her favour from me. Her son became the god of her idolatry, at
the shrine of whose will she sacrificed everything.

The grief which I inwardly felt was very great and overpowered all my
faculties, until it wrought so far on my constitution as to contribute to
my receiving the infection which then prevailed in the army. A few days
after I fell sick of a raging fever, attended with purple spots, a malady
which carried off numbers, and, amongst the rest, the two principal
physicians belonging to the King and Queen, Chappelain and Castelan.
Indeed, few got over the disorder after being attacked with it.

In this extremity the Queen my mother, who partly guessed the cause of my
illness, omitted nothing that might serve to remove it; and, without fear
of consequences, visited me frequently. Her goodness contributed much to
my recovery; but my brother's hypocrisy was sufficient to destroy all the
benefit I received from her attention, after having been guilty of so
treacherous a proceeding. After he had proved so ungrateful to me, he
came and sat at the foot of my bed from morning to night, and appeared as
anxiously attentive as if we had been the most perfect friends. My mouth
was shut up by the command I had received from the Queen our mother, so
that I only answered his dissembled concern with sighs, like Burrus in
the presence of Nero, when he was dying by the poison administered by the
hands of that tyrant. The sighs, however, which I vented in my brother's
presence, might convince him that I attributed my sickness rather to his
ill offices than to the prevailing contagion.

God had mercy on me, and supported me through this dangerous illness.
After I had kept my bed a fortnight, the army changed its quarters, and I
was conveyed away with it in a litter. At the end of each day's march, I
found King Charles at the door of my quarters, ready, with the rest of
the good gentlemen belonging to the Court, to carry my litter up to my
bedside. In this manner I came to Angers from St. Jean d'Angely, sick in
body, but more sick in mind. Here, to my misfortune, M. de Guise and his
uncles had arrived before me. This was a circumstance which gave my good
brother great pleasure, as it afforded a colourable appearance to his
story. I soon discovered the advantage my brother would make of it to
increase my already too great mortification; for he came daily to see me,
and as constantly brought M. de Guise into my chamber with him. He
pretended the sincerest regard for De Guise, and, to make him believe it,
would take frequent opportunities of embracing him, crying out at the
same time, "would to God you were my brother!" This he often put in
practice before me, which M. de Guise seemed not to comprehend; but I,
who knew his malicious designs, lost all patience, yet did not dare to
reproach him with his hypocrisy.

As soon as I was recovered, a treaty was set on foot for a marriage
betwixt the King of Portugal and me, an ambassador having been sent for
that purpose. The Queen my mother commanded me to prepare to give the
ambassador an audience; which I did accordingly. My brother had made her
believe that I was averse to this marriage; accordingly, she took me to
task upon it, and questioned me on the subject, expecting she should find
some cause to be angry with me. I told her my will had always been
guided by her own, and that whatever she thought right for me to do, I
should do it. She answered me, angrily, according as she had been
wrought upon, that I did not speak the sentiments of my heart, for she
well knew that the Cardinal de Lorraine had persuaded me into a promise
of having his nephew. I begged her to forward this match with the King
of Portugal, and I would convince her of my obedience to her commands.
Every day some new matter was reported to incense her against me. All
these were machinations worked up by the mind of Le Guast. In short, I
was constantly receiving some fresh mortification, so that I hardly
passed a day in quiet. On one side, the King of Spain was using his
utmost endeavours to break off the match with Portugal, and M. de Guise,
continuing at Court, furnished grounds for persecuting me on the other.
Still, not a single person of the Guises ever mentioned a word to me on
the subject; and it was well known that, for more than a twelvemonth, M.
de Guise had been paying his addresses to the Princesse de Porcian; but
the slow progress made in bringing this match to a conclusion was said to
be owing to his designs upon me.

As soon as I made this discovery I resolved to write to my sister, Madame
de Lorraine, who had a great influence in the House of Porcian, begging
her to use her endeavours to withdraw M. de Guise from Court, and make
him conclude his match with the Princess, laying open to her the plot
which had been concerted to ruin the Guises and me. She readily saw
through it, came immediately to Court, and concluded the match, which
delivered me from the aspersions cast on my character, and convinced the
Queen my mother that what I had told her was the real truth. This at the
same time stopped the mouths of my enemies and gave me some repose.

At length the King of Spain, unwilling that the King of Portugal should
marry out of his family, broke off the treaty which had been entered upon
for my marriage with him.


Death of the Queen of Navarre--Marguerite's Marriage with Her Son, the
King of Navarre, Afterwards Henri IV. of France.--The Preparations for
That Solemnisation Described.--The Circumstances Which Led to the
Massacre of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's Day.

Some short time after this a marriage was projected betwixt the Prince of
Navarre, now our renowned King Henri IV., and me.

The Queen my mother, as she sat at table, discoursed for a long time upon
the subject with M. de Meru, the House of Montmorency having first
proposed the match. After the Queen had risen from table, he told me she
had commanded him to mention it to me. I replied that it was quite
unnecessary, as I had no will but her own; however, I should wish she
would be pleased to remember that I was a Catholic, and that I should
dislike to marry any one of a contrary persuasion.

Soon after this the Queen sent for me to attend her in her closet. She
there informed me that the Montmorencys had proposed this match to her,
and that she was desirous to learn my sentiments upon it.

I answered that my choice was governed by her pleasure, and that I only
begged her not to forget that I was a good Catholic.

This treaty was in negotiation for some time after this conversation, and
was not finally settled until the arrival of the Queen of Navarre, his
mother, at Court, where she died soon after.

Whilst the Queen of Navarre lay on her death-bed, a circumstance happened
of so whimsical a nature that, though not of consequence to merit a place
in the history, it may very well deserve to be related by me to you.
Madame de Nevers, whose oddities you well know, attended the Cardinal de
Bourbon, Madame de Guise, the Princesse de Conde, her sisters, and myself
to the late Queen of Navarre's apartments, whither we all went to pay
those last duties which her rank and our nearness of blood demanded of
us. We found the Queen in bed with her curtains undrawn, the chamber not
disposed with the pomp and ceremonies of our religion, but after the
simple manner of the Huguenots; that is to say, there were no priests, no
cross, nor any holy water. We kept ourselves at some distance from the
bed, but Madame de Nevers, whom you know the Queen hated more than any
woman besides, and which she had shown both in speech and by
actions,--Madame de Nevers, I say, approached the bedside, and, to the
great astonishment of all present, who well knew the enmity subsisting
betwixt them, took the Queen's hand, with many low curtseys, and kissed
it; after which, making another curtsey to the very ground, she retired
and rejoined us.

A few months after the Queen's death, the Prince of Navarre, or rather,
as he was then styled, the King, came to Paris in deep mourning, attended
by eight hundred gentlemen, all in mourning habits. He was received with
every honour by King Charles and the whole Court, and, in a few days
after his arrival, our marriage was solemnised with all possible
magnificence; the King of Navarre and his retinue putting off their
mourning and dressing themselves in the most costly manner. The whole
Court, too, was richly attired; all which you can better conceive than I
am able to express. For my own part, I was set out in a most royal
manner; I wore a crown on my head with the 'coet', or regal close gown of
ermine, and I blazed in diamonds. My blue-coloured robe had a train to
it of four ells in length, which was supported by three princesses. A
platform had been raised, some height from the ground, which led from the
Bishop's palace to the Church of Notre-Dame. It was hung with cloth of
gold; and below it stood the people in throngs to view the procession,
stifling with heat. We were received at the church door by the Cardinal
de Bourbon, who officiated for that day, and pronounced the nuptial
benediction. After this we proceeded on the same platform to the tribune
which separates the nave from the choir, where was a double staircase,
one leading into the choir, the other through the nave to the church
door. The King of Navarre passed by the latter and went out of church.

But fortune, which is ever changing, did not fail soon to disturb the
felicity of this union. This was occasioned by the wound received by the
Admiral, which had wrought the Huguenots up to a degree of desperation.
The Queen my mother was reproached on that account in such terms by the
elder Pardaillan and some other principal Huguenots, that she began to
apprehend some evil design. M. de Guise and my brother the King of
Poland, since Henri III. of France, gave it as their advice to be
beforehand with the Huguenots. King Charles was of a contrary opinion.
He had a great esteem for M. de La Rochefoucauld, Teligny, La Noue, and
some other leading men of the same religion; and, as I have since heard
him say, it was with the greatest difficulty he could be prevailed upon
to give his consent, and not before he had been made to understand that
his own life aid the safety of his kingdom depended upon it.

The King having learned that Maurevel had made an attempt upon the
Admiral's life, by firing a pistol at him through a window,--in which
attempt he failed, having wounded the Admiral only in the shoulder,--and
supposing that Maurevel had done this at the instance of M. de Guise, to
revenge the death of his father, whom the Admiral had caused to be killed
in the same manner by Poltrot, he was so much incensed against M. de
Guise that he declared with an oath that he would make an example of him;
and, indeed, the King would have put M. de Guise under an arrest, if he
had not kept out of his sight the whole day. The Queen my mother used
every argument to convince King Charles that what had been done was for
the good of the State; and this because, as I observed before, the King
had so great a regard for the Admiral, La Noue, and Teligny, on account
of their bravery, being himself a prince of a gallant and noble spirit,
and esteeming others in whom he found a similar disposition. Moreover,
these designing men had insinuated themselves into the King's favour by
proposing an expedition to Flanders, with a view of extending his
dominions and aggrandising his power, knew would secure to themselves an
influence over his royal and generous mind.

Upon this occasion, the Queen my mother represented to the King that the
attempt of M. de Guise upon the Admiral's life was excusable in a son
who, being denied justice, had no other means of avenging his father's
death. Moreover, the Admiral, she said, had deprived her by
assassination, during his minority and her regency, of a faithful servant
in the person of Charri, commander of the King's body-guard, which
rendered him deserving of the like treatment.

Notwithstanding that the Queen my mother spoke thus to the King,
discovering by her expressions and in her looks all the grief which she
inwardly felt on the recollection of the loss of persons who had been
useful to her; yet, so much was King Charles inclined to save those who,
as he thought, would one day be serviceable to him, that he still
persisted in his determination to punish M. de Guise, for whom he ordered
strict search to be made.

At length Pardaillan, disclosing by his menaces, during the supper of the
Queen my mother, the evil intentions of the Huguenots, she plainly
perceived that things were brought to so near a crisis, that, unless
steps were taken that very night to prevent it, the King and herself were
in danger of being assassinated. She, therefore, came to the resolution
of declaring to King Charles his real situation. For this purpose she
thought of the Marechal de Rais as the most proper person to break the
matter to the King, the Marshal being greatly in his favour and

Accordingly, the Marshal went to the King in his closet, between the
hours of nine and ten, and told him he was come as a faithful servant to
discharge his duty, and lay before him the danger in which he stood, if
he persisted in his resolution of punishing M. de Guise, as he ought now
to be informed that the attempt made upon the Admiral's life was not set
on foot by him alone, but that his (the King's) brother the King of
Poland, and the Queen his mother, had their shares in it; that he must be
sensible how much the Queen lamented Charri's assassination, for which
she had great reason, having very few servants about her upon whom she
could rely, and as it happened during the King's minority,--at the time,
moreover, when France was divided between the Catholics and the
Huguenots, M. de Guise being at the head of the former, and the Prince de
Conde of the latter, both alike striving to deprive him of his crown;
that through Providence, both his crown and kingdom had been preserved by
the prudence and good conduct of the Queen Regent, who in this extremity
found herself powerfully aided by the said Charri, for which reason she
had vowed to avenge his death; that, as to the Admiral, he must be ever
considered as dangerous to the State, and whatever show he might make of
affection for his Majesty's person, and zeal for his service in Flanders,
they must be considered as mere pretences, which he used to cover his
real design of reducing the kingdom to a state of confusion.

The Marshal concluded with observing that the original intention had been
to make away with the Admiral only, as the most obnoxious man in the
kingdom; but Maurevel having been so unfortunate as to fail in his
attempt, and the Huguenots becoming desperate enough to resolve to take
up arms, with design to attack, not only M. de Guise, but the Queen his
mother, and his brother the King of Poland, supposing them, as well as
his Majesty, to have commanded Maurevel to make his attempt, he saw
nothing but cause of alarm for his Majesty's safety,--as well on the part
of the Catholics, if he persisted in his resolution to punish M. de
Guise, as of the Huguenots, for the reasons which he had just laid before


The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day.

King Charles, a prince of great prudence, always paying a particular
deference to his mother, and being much attached to the Catholic
religion, now convinced of the intentions of the Huguenots, adopted a
sudden resolution of following his mother's counsel, and putting himself
under the safeguard of the Catholics. It was not, however, without
extreme regret that he found he had it not in his power to save Teligny,
La Noue, and M. de La Rochefoucauld.

He went to the apartments of the Queen his mother, and sending for M. de
Guise and all the Princes and Catholic officers, the "Massacre of St.
Bartholomew" was that night resolved upon.

Immediately every hand was at work; chains were drawn across the streets,
the alarm-bells were sounded, and every man repaired to his post,
according to the orders he had received, whether it was to attack the
Admiral's quarters, or those of the other Huguenots. M. de Guise
hastened to the Admiral's, and Besme, a gentleman in the service of the
former, a German by birth, forced into his chamber, and having slain him
with a dagger, threw his body out of a window to his master.

I was perfectly ignorant of what was going forward. I observed every one
to be in motion: the Huguenots, driven to despair by the attack upon the
Admiral's life, and the Guises, fearing they should not have justice done
them, whispering all they met in the ear.

The Huguenots were suspicious of me because I was a Catholic, and the
Catholics because I was married to the King of Navarre, who was a
Huguenot. This being the case, no one spoke a syllable of the matter to

At night, when I went into the bedchamber of the Queen my mother, I
placed myself on a coffer, next my sister Lorraine, who, I could not but
remark, appeared greatly cast down. The Queen my mother was in
conversation with some one, but, as soon as she espied me, she bade me go
to bed. As I was taking leave, my sister seized me by the hand and
stopped me, at the same time shedding a flood of tears: "For the love of
God," cried she, "do not stir out of this chamber!" I was greatly
alarmed at this exclamation; perceiving which, the Queen my mother called
my sister to her, and chid her very severely. My sister replied it was
sending me away to be sacrificed; for, if any discovery should be made, I
should be the first victim of their revenge. The Queen my mother made
answer that, if it pleased God, I should receive no hurt, but it was
necessary I should go, to prevent the suspicion that might arise from my

I perceived there was something on foot which I was not to know, but what
it was I could not make out from anything they said.

The Queen again bade me go to bed in a peremptory tone. My sister wished
me a good night, her tears flowing apace, but she did not dare to say a
word more; and I left the bedchamber more dead than alive.

As soon as I reached my own closet, I threw myself upon my knees and
prayed to God to take me into his protection and save me; but from whom
or what, I was ignorant. Hereupon the King my husband, who was already
in bed, sent for me. I went to him, and found the bed surrounded by
thirty or forty Huguenots, who were entirely unknown to me; for I had
been then but a very short time married. Their whole discourse, during
the night, was upon what had happened to the Admiral, and they all came
to a resolution of the next day demanding justice of the King against M.
de Guise; and, if it was refused, to take it themselves.

For my part, I was unable to sleep a wink the whole night, for thinking
of my sister's tears and distress, which had greatly alarmed me, although
I had not the least knowledge of the real cause. As soon as day broke,
the King my husband said he would rise and play at tennis until King
Charles was risen, when he would go to him immediately and demand
justice. He left the bedchamber, and all his gentlemen followed.

As soon as I beheld it was broad day, I apprehended all the danger my
sister had spoken of was over; and being inclined to sleep, I bade my
nurse make the door fast, and I applied myself to take some repose. In
about an hour I was awakened by a violent noise at the door, made with
both hands and feet, and a voice calling out, "Navarre! Navarre!" My
nurse, supposing the King my husband to be at the door, hastened to open
it, when a gentleman, named M. de Teian, ran in, and threw himself
immediately upon my bed. He had received a wound in his arm from a
sword, and another by a pike, and was then pursued by four archers, who
followed him into the bedchamber. Perceiving these last, I jumped out of
bed, and the poor gentleman after me, holding me fast by the waist. I
did not then know him; neither was I sure that he came to do me no harm,
or whether the archers were in pursuit of him or me. In this situation I
screamed aloud, and he cried out likewise, for our fright was mutual. At
length, by God's providence, M. de Nangay, captain of the guard, came
into the bed-chamber, and, seeing me thus surrounded, though he could not
help pitying me, he was scarcely able to refrain from laughter. However,
he reprimanded the archers very severely for their indiscretion, and
drove them out of the chamber. At my request he granted the poor
gentleman his life, and I had him put to bed in my closet, caused his
wounds to be dressed, and did not suffer him to quit my apartment until
he was perfectly cured. I changed my shift, because it was stained with
the blood of this man, and, whilst I was doing so, De Nangay gave me an
account of the transactions of the foregoing night, assuring me that the
King my husband was safe, and actually at that moment in the King's
bedchamber. He made me muffle myself up in a cloak, and conducted me to
the apartment of my sister, Madame de Lorraine, whither I arrived more
than half dead. As we passed through the antechamber, all the doors of
which were wide open, a gentleman of the name of Bourse, pursued by
archers, was run through the body with a pike, and fell dead at my feet.
As if I had been killed by the same stroke, I fell, and was caught by M.
de Nangay before I reached the ground. As soon as I recovered from this
fainting-fit, I went into my sister's bedchamber, and was immediately
followed by M. de Mioflano, first gentleman to the King my husband, and
Armagnac, his first valet de chambre, who both came to beg me to save
their lives. I went and threw myself on my knees before the King and the
Queen my mother, and obtained the lives of both of them.

Five or six days afterwards, those who were engaged in this plot,
considering that it was incomplete whilst the King my husband and the
Prince de Conde remained alive, as their design was not only to dispose
of the Huguenots, but of the Princes of the blood likewise; and knowing
that no attempt could be made on my husband whilst I continued to be his
wife, devised a scheme which they suggested to the Queen my mother for
divorcing me from him. Accordingly, one holiday, when I waited upon her
to chapel, she charged me to declare to her, upon my oath, whether I
believed my husband to be like other men. "Because," said she, "if he is
not, I can easily procure you a divorce from him." I begged her to
believe that I was not sufficiently competent to answer such a question,
and could only reply, as the Roman lady did to her husband, when he chid
her for not informing him of his stinking breath, that, never having
approached any other man near enough to know a difference, she thought
all men had been alike in that respect. "But," said I, "Madame, since
you have put the question to me, I can only declare I am content to
remain as I am;" and this I said because I suspected the design of
separating me from my husband was in order to work some mischief against


Henri, Duc d'Anjou, Elected King of Poland, Leaves France.--Huguenot
Plots to Withdraw the Duc d'Alencon and the King of Navarre from
Court.--Discovered and Defeated by Marguerite's Vigilance.--She Draws Up
an Eloquent Defence, Which Her Husband Delivers before a Committee from
the Court of Parliament.--Alencon and Her Husband, under a Close Arrest,
Regain Their Liberty by the Death of Charles IX.

We accompanied the King of Poland as far as Beaumont. For some months
before he quitted France, he had used every endeavour to efface from my
mind the ill offices he had so ungratefully done me. He solicited to
obtain the same place in my esteem which he held during our infancy; and,
on taking leave of me, made me confirm it by oaths and promises. His
departure from France, and King Charles's sickness, which happened just
about the same time, excited the spirit of the two factions into which
the kingdom was divided, to form a variety of plots. The Huguenots, on
the death of the Admiral, had obtained from the King my husband, and my
brother Alencon, a written obligation to avenge it. Before St.
Bartholomew's Day, they had gained my brother over to their party, by the
hope of securing Flanders for him. They now persuaded my husband and him
to leave the King and Queen on their return, and pass into Champagne,
there to join some troops which were in waiting to receive them.

M. de Miossans, a Catholic gentleman, having received an intimation of
this design, considered it so prejudicial to the interests of the King
his master, that he communicated it to me with the intention of
frustrating a plot of so much danger to themselves, and to the State. I
went immediately to the King and the Queen my mother, and informed them
that. I had a matter of the utmost importance to lay before them; but
that I could not declare it unless they would be pleased to promise me
that no harm should ensue from it to such as I should name to them, and
that they would put a stop to what was going forward without publishing
their knowledge of it. Having obtained my request, I told them that my
brother Alencon and the King my husband had an intention, on the very
next day, of joining some Huguenot troops, which expected them, in order
to fulfil the engagement they had made upon the Admiral's death; and for
this their intention, I begged they might be excused, and that they might
be prevented from going away without any discovery being made that their
designs had been found out. All this was granted me, and measures were
so prudently taken to stay them, that they had not the least suspicion
that their intended evasion was known. Soon after, we arrived at St.
Germain, where we stayed some time, on account of the King's
indisposition. All this while my brother Alencon used every means he
could devise to ingratiate himself with me, until at last I promised him
my friendship, as I had before done to my brother the King of Poland. As
he had been brought up at a distance from Court, we had hitherto known
very little of each other, and kept ourselves at a distance. Now that he
had made the first advances, in so respectful and affectionate a manner,
I resolved to receive him into a firm friendship, and to interest myself
in whatever concerned him, without prejudice, however, to the interests
of my good brother King Charles, whom I loved more than any one besides,
and who continued to entertain a great regard for me, of which he gave me
proofs as long as he lived.

Meanwhile King Charles was daily growing worse, and the Huguenots
constantly forming new plots. They were very desirous to get my brother
the Duc d'Alencon and the King my husband away from Court. I got
intelligence, from time to time, of their designs; and, providentially,
the Queen my mother defeated their intentions when a day had been fixed
on for the arrival of the Huguenot troops at St. Germain.

To avoid this visit, we set off the night before for Paris, two hours
after midnight, putting King Charles in a litter, and the Queen my mother
taking my brother and the King my husband with her in her own carriage.

They did not experience on this occasion such mild treatment as they had
hitherto done, for the King going to the Wood of Vincennes, they were not
permitted to set foot out of the palace. This misunderstanding was so
far from being mitigated by time, that the mistrust and discontent were
continually increasing, owing to the insinuations and bad advice offered
to the King by those who wished the ruin and downfall of our house. To
such a height had these jealousies risen that the Marechaux de
Montmorency and de Cosse were put under a close arrest, and La Mole and
the Comte de Donas executed. Matters were now arrived at such a pitch
that commissioners were appointed from the Court of Parliament to hear
and determine upon the case of my brother and the King my husband.

My husband, having no counsellor to assist him, desired me to draw up his
defence in such a manner that he might not implicate any person, and, at
the same time, clear my brother and himself from any criminality of
conduct. With God's help I accomplished this task to his great
satisfaction, and to the surprise of the commissioners, who did not
expect to find them so well prepared to justify themselves.

As it was apprehended, after the death of La Mole and the Comte de Donas,
that their lives were likewise in danger, I had resolved to save them at
the hazard of my own ruin with the King, whose favour I entirely enjoyed
at that time. I was suffered to pass to and from them in my coach, with
my women, who were not even required by the guard to unmask, nor was my
coach ever searched. This being the case, I had intended to convey away
one of them disguised in a female habit. But the difficulty lay in
settling betwixt themselves which should remain behind in prison, they
being closely watched by their guards, and the escape of one bringing the
other's life into hazard. Thus they could never agree upon the point,
each of them wishing to be the person I should deliver from confinement.

But Providence put a period to their imprisonment by a means which proved
very unfortunate for me. This was no other than the death of King
Charles, who was the only stay and support of my life,--a brother from
whose hands I never received anything but good; who, during the
persecution I underwent at Angers, through my brother Anjou, assisted me
with all his advice and credit. In a word, when I lost King Charles, I
lost everything.


Accession of Henri III.--A Journey to Lyons.--Marguerite's Faith in
Supernatural Intelligence.

After this fatal event, which was as unfortunate for France as for me, we
went to Lyons to give the meeting to the King of Poland, now Henri III.
of France. The new King was as much governed by Le Guast as ever, and
had left this intriguing, mischievous man behind in France to keep his
party together. Through this man's insinuations he had conceived the
most confirmed jealousy of my brother Alencon. He suspected that I was
the bond that connected the King my husband and my brother, and that, to
dissolve their union, it would be necessary to create a coolness between
me and my husband, and to work up a quarrel of rivalship betwixt them
both by means of Madame de Sauves, whom they both visited. This
abominable plot, which proved the source of so much disquietude and
unhappiness, as well to my brother as myself, was as artfully conducted
as it was wickedly designed.

Many have held that God has great personages more immediately under his
protection, and that minds of superior excellence have bestowed on them a
good genius, or secret intelligencer, to apprise them of good, or warn
them against evil. Of this number I might reckon the Queen my mother,
who has had frequent intimations of the kind; particularly the very night
before the tournament which proved so fatal to the King my father, she
dreamed that she saw him wounded in the eye, as it really happened; upon
which she awoke, and begged him not to run a course that day, but content
himself with looking on. Fate prevented the nation from enjoying so much
happiness as it would have done had he followed her advice. Whenever she
lost a child, she beheld a bright flame shining before her, and would
immediately cry out, "God save my children!" well knowing it was the
harbinger of the death of some one of them, which melancholy news was
sure to be confirmed very shortly after. During her very dangerous
illness at Metz, where she caught a pestilential fever, either from the
coal fires, or by visiting some of the nunneries which had been infected,
and from which she was restored to health and to the kingdom through the
great skill and experience of that modern Asculapius, M. de Castilian,
her physician--I say, during that illness, her bed being surrounded by my
brother King Charles, my brother and sister Lorraine, several members of
the Council, besides many ladies and princesses, not choosing to quit
her, though without hopes of her life, she was heard to cry out, as if
she saw the battle of Jarnac: "There! see how they flee! My son, follow
them to victory! Ah, my son falls! O my God, save him! See there! the
Prince de Conde is dead!" All who were present looked upon these words
as proceeding from her delirium, as she knew that my brother Anjou was on
the point of giving battle, and thought no more of it. On the night
following, M. de Losses brought the news of the battle; and, it being
supposed that she would be pleased to hear of it, she was awakened, at
which she appeared to be angry, saying: "Did I not know it yesterday?" It
was then that those about her recollected what I have now related, and
concluded that it was no delirium, but one of those revelations made by
God to great and illustrious persons. Ancient history furnishes many
examples of the like kind amongst the pagans, as the apparition of Brutus
and many others, which I shall not mention, it not being my intention to
illustrate these Memoirs with such narratives, but only to relate the
truth, and that with as much expedition as I am able, that you may be the
sooner in possession of my story.

I am far from supposing that I am worthy of these divine admonitions;
nevertheless, I should accuse myself of ingratitude towards my God for
the benefits I have received, which I esteem myself obliged to
acknowledge whilst I live; and I further believe myself bound to bear
testimony of his goodness and power, and the mercies he hath shown me, so
that I can declare no extraordinary accident ever befell me, whether
fortunate or otherwise, but I received some warning of it, either by
dream or in some other way, so that I may say with the poet

"De mon bien, on mon mal, Mon esprit m'est oracle."

(Whate'er of good or ill befell, My mind was oracle to tell.)

And of this I had a convincing proof on the arrival of the King of
Poland, when the Queen my mother went to meet him. Amidst the embraces
and compliments of welcome in that warm season, crowded as we were
together and stifling with heat, I found a universal shivering come over
me, which was plainly perceived by those near me. It was with difficulty
I could conceal what I felt when the King, having saluted the Queen my
mother, came forward to salute me. This secret intimation of what was to
happen thereafter made a strong impression on my mind at the moment, and
I thought of it shortly after, when I discovered that the King had
conceived a hatred of me through the malicious suggestions of Le Guast,
who had made him believe, since the King's death, that I espoused my
brother Alencon's party during his absence, and cemented a friendship
betwixt the King my husband and him.


What Happened at Lyons.

An opportunity was diligently sought by my enemies to effect their design
of bringing about a misunderstanding betwixt my brother Alencon, the King
my husband, and me, by creating a jealousy of me in my husband, and in my
brother and husband, on account of their mutual love for Madame de

One afternoon, the Queen my mother having retired to her closet to finish
some despatches which were likely to detain her there for some time,
Madame de Nevers, your kinswoman, Madame de Rais, another of your
relations, Bourdeille, and Surgeres asked me whether I would not wish to
see a little of the city. Whereupon Mademoiselle de Montigny, the niece
of Madame Usez, observing to us that the Abbey of St. Pierre was a
beautiful convent, we all resolved to visit it. She then begged to go
with us, as she said she had an aunt in that convent, and as it was not
easy to gain admission into it, except in the company of persons of
distinction. Accordingly, she went with us; and there being six of us,
the carriage was crowded. Over and above those I have mentioned, there
was Madame de Curton, the lady of my bedchamber, who always attended me.
Liancourt, first esquire to the King, and Camille placed themselves on
the steps of Torigni's carriage, supporting themselves as well as they
were able, making themselves merry on the occasion, and saying they would
go and see the handsome nuns, too. I look upon it as ordered by Divine
Providence that I should have Mademoiselle de Montigny with me, who was
not well acquainted with any lady of the company, and that the two
gentlemen just mentioned, who were in the confidence of King Henri,
should likewise be of the party, as they were able to clear me of the
calumny intended to be fixed upon me.

Whilst we were viewing the convent, my carriage waited for us in the
square. In the square many gentlemen belonging to the Court had their
lodgings. My carriage was easily to be distinguished, as it was gilt and
lined with yellow velvet trimmed with silver. We had not come out of the
convent when the King passed through the square on his way to see Quelus,
who was then sick. He had with him the King my husband, D'O------ , and
the fat fellow Ruff.

The King, observing no one in my carriage, turned to my husband and said:
"There is your wife's coach, and that is the house where Bide lodges.
Bide is sick, and I will engage my word she is gone upon a visit to him.
Go," said he to Ruff, "and see whether she is not there." In saying
this, the King addressed himself to a proper tool for his malicious
purpose, for this fellow Ruffs was entirely devoted to Le Guast. I need
not tell you he did not find me there; however, knowing the King's
intention, he, to favour it, said loud enough for the King my husband to
hear him: "The birds have been there, but they are now flown." This
furnished sufficient matter for conversation until they reached home.

Upon this occasion, the King my husband displayed all the good sense and
generosity of temper for which he is remarkable. He saw through the
design, and he despised the maliciousness of it. The King my brother was
anxious to see the Queen my mother before me, to whom he imparted the
pretended discovery, and she, whether to please a son on whom she doted,
or whether she really gave credit to the story, had related it to some
ladies with much seeming anger.

Soon afterwards I returned with the ladies who had accompanied me to St.
Pierre's, entirely ignorant of what had happened. I found the King my
husband in our apartments, who began to laugh on seeing me, and said: "Go
immediately to the Queen your mother, but I promise you you will not
return very well pleased." I asked him the reason, and what had
happened. He answered: "I shall tell you nothing; but be assured of
this, that I do not give the least credit to the story, which I plainly
perceive to be fabricated in order to stir up a difference betwixt us
two, and break off the friendly intercourse between your brother and me."

Finding I could get no further information on the subject from him, I
went to the apartment of the Queen my mother. I met M. de Guise in the
antechamber, who was not displeased at the prospect of a dissension in
our family, hoping that he might make some advantage of it. He addressed
me in these words: "I waited here expecting to see you, in order to
inform you that some ill office has been done you with the Queen." He
then told me the story he had learned of D'O------ , who, being intimate
with your kinswoman, had informed M. de Guise of it, that he might
apprise us.

I went into the Queen's bedchamber, but did not find my mother there.
However, I saw Madame de Nemours, the rest of the princesses, and other
ladies, who all exclaimed on seeing me: "Good God! the Queen your mother
is in such a rage; we would advise you, for the present, to keep out of
her sight."

"Yes," said I, "so I would, had I been guilty of what the King has
reported; but I assure you all I am entirely innocent, and must therefore
speak with her and clear myself."

I then went into her closet, which was separated from the bedchamber by a
slight partition only, so that our whole conversation could be distinctly
heard. She no sooner set eyes upon me than she flew into a great
passion, and said everything that the fury of her resentment suggested. I
related to her the whole truth, and begged to refer her to the company
which attended me, to the number of ten or twelve persons, desiring her
not to rely on the testimony of those more immediately about me, but
examine Mademoiselle Montigny, who did not belong to me, and Liancourt
and Camille, who were the King's servants.

She would not hear a word I had to offer, but continued to rate me in a
furious manner; whether it was through fear, or affection for her son, or
whether she believed the story in earnest, I know not. When I observed
to her that I understood the King had done me this ill office in her
opinion, her anger was redoubled, and she endeavoured to make me believe
that she had been informed of the circumstance by one of her own valets
de chambre, who had himself seen me at the place. Perceiving that I gave
no credit to this account of the matter, she became more and more
incensed against me.

All that was said was perfectly heard by those in the next room. At
length I left her closet, much chagrined; and returning to my own
apartments, I found the King my husband there, who said to me:

"Well, was it not as I told you?"

He, seeing me under great concern, desired me not to grieve about it,
adding that "Liancourt and Camille would attend the King that night in
his bedchamber, and relate the affair as it really was; and to-morrow,"
continued he, "the Queen your mother will receive you in a very different

"But, monsieur," I replied, "I have received too gross an affront in
public to forgive those who were the occasion of it; but that is nothing
when compared with the malicious intention of causing so heavy a
misfortune to befall me as to create a variance betwixt you and me."

"But," said he, "God be thanked, they have failed in it."

"For that," answered I, "I am the more beholden to God and your amiable
disposition. However," continued I, "we may derive this good from it,
that it ought to be a warning to us to put ourselves upon our guard
against the King's stratagems to bring about a disunion betwixt you and
my brother, by causing a rupture betwixt you and me."

Whilst I was saying this, my brother entered the apartment, and I made
them renew their protestations of friendship. But what oaths or promises
can prevail against love! This will appear more fully in the sequel of
my story.

An Italian banker, who had concerns with my brother, came to him the next
morning, and invited him, the King my husband, myself, the princesses,
and other ladies, to partake of an entertainment in a garden belonging to
him. Having made it a constant rule, before and after I married, as long
as I remained in the Court of the Queen my mother, to go to no place
without her permission, I waited on her, at her return from mass, and
asked leave to be present at this banquet. She refused to give any
leave, and said she did not care where I went. I leave you to judge, who
know my temper, whether I was not greatly mortified at this rebuff.

Whilst we were enjoying this entertainment, the King, having spoken with
Liancourt, Camille, and Mademoiselle Montigny, was apprised of the
mistake which the malice or misapprehension of Ruff had led him into.
Accordingly, he went to the Queen my mother and related the whole truth,
entreating her to remove any ill impressions that might remain with me,
as he perceived that I was not deficient in point of understanding, and
feared that I might be induced to engage in some plan of revenge.

When I returned from the banquet before mentioned, I found that what the
King my husband had foretold was come to pass; for the Queen my mother
sent for me into her back closet, which was adjoining the King's, and
told me that she was now acquainted with the truth, and found I had not
deceived her with a false story. She had discovered, she said, that
there was not the least foundation for the report her valet de chambre
had made, and should dismiss him from her service as a bad man. As she
perceived by my looks that I saw through this disguise, she said
everything she could think of to persuade me to a belief that the King
had not mentioned it to her. She continued her arguments, and I still
appeared incredulous. At length the King entered the closet, and made
many apologies, declaring he had been imposed on, and assuring me of his
most cordial friendship and esteem; and thus matters were set to rights


Fresh Intrigues.--Marriage of Henri III.--Bussi Arrives at Court and
Narrowly Escapes Assassination.

After staying some time at Lyons, we went to Avignon. Le Guast, not
daring to hazard any fresh imposture, and finding that my conduct
afforded no ground for jealousy on the part of my husband, plainly
perceived that he could not, by that means, bring about a
misunderstanding betwixt my brother and the King my husband. He
therefore resolved to try what he could effect through Madame de Sauves.
In order to do this, he obtained such an influence over her that she
acted entirely as he directed; insomuch that, by his artful instructions,
the passion which these young men had conceived, hitherto wavering and
cold, as is generally the case at their time of life, became of a sudden
so violent that ambition and every obligation of duty were at once
absorbed by their attentions to this woman.

This occasioned such a jealousy betwixt them that, though her favours
were divided with M. de Guise, Le Guast, De Souvray, and others, any one
of whom she preferred to the brothers-in-law, such was the infatuation of
these last, that each considered the other as his only rival.

To carry on De Guast's sinister designs, this woman persuaded the King my
husband that I was jealous of her, and on that account it was that I
joined with my brother. As we are ready to give ear and credit to those
we love, he believed all she said. From this time he became distant and
reserved towards me, shunning my presence as much as possible; whereas,
before, he was open and communicative to me as to a sister, well knowing
that I yielded to his pleasure in all things, and was far from harbouring
jealousy of any kind.

What I had dreaded, I now perceived had come to pass. This was the loss
of his favour and good opinion; to preserve which I had studied to gain
his confidence by a ready compliance with his wishes, well knowing that
mistrust is the sure forerunner of hatred.

I now turned my mind to an endeavour to wean my brother's affection from
Madame de Sauves, in order to counterplot Le Guast in his design to bring
about a division, and thereby to effect our ruin. I used every means
with my brother to divert his passion; but the fascination was too
strong, and my pains proved ineffectual. In anything else, my brother
would have suffered himself to be ruled by me; but the charms of this
Circe, aided by that sorcerer, Le Guast, were too powerful to be
dissolved by my advice. So far was he from profiting by my counsel that
he was weak enough to communicate it to her. So blind are lovers!

Her vengeance was excited by this communication, and she now entered more
fully into the designs of Le Guast. In consequence, she used all her art
to, make the King my husband conceive an aversion for me; insomuch that
he scarcely ever spoke with me. He left her late at night, and, to
prevent our meeting in the morning, she directed him to come to her at
the Queen's levee, which she duly attended; after which he passed the
rest of the day with her. My brother likewise followed her with the
greatest assiduity, and she had the artifice to make each of them think
that he alone had any place in her esteem. Thus was a jealousy kept up
betwixt them, and, in consequence, disunion and mutual ruin.

We made a considerable stay at Avignon, whence we proceeded through
Burgundy and Champagne to Rheims, where the King's marriage was
celebrated. From Rheims we came to Paris, things going on in their usual
train, and Le Guast prosecuting his designs, with all the success he
could wish. At Paris my brother was joined by Bussi, whom he received
with all the favour which his bravery merited. He was inseparable from
my brother, in consequence of which I frequently saw him, for my brother
and I were always together, his household being equally at my devotion as
if it were my own. Your aunt, remarking this harmony betwixt us, has
often told me that it called to her recollection the times of my uncle,
M. d'Orleans, and my aunt, Madame de Savoie.

Le Guast thought this a favourable circumstance to complete his design.
Accordingly, he suggested to Madame de Sauves to make my husband believe
that it was on account of Bussi that I frequented my brother's apartments
so constantly.

The King my husband, being fully informed of all my proceedings from
persons in his service who attended me everywhere, could not be induced
to lend an ear to this story. Le Guast, finding himself foiled in this
quarter, applied to the King, who was well inclined to listen to the
tale, on account of his dislike to my brother and me, whose friendship
for each other was unpleasing to him.

Besides this, he was incensed against Bussi, who, being formerly attached
to him, had now devoted himself wholly to my brother,--an acquisition
which, on account of the celebrity of Bussi's fame for parts and valour,
redounded greatly to my brother's honour, whilst it increased the malice
and envy of his enemies.

The King, thus worked upon by Le Guast, mentioned it to the Queen my
mother, thinking it would have the same effect on her as the tale which
was trumped up at Lyons. But she, seeing through the whole design,
showed him the improbability of the story, adding that he must have some
wicked people about him, who could put such notions in his head,
observing that I was very unfortunate to have fallen upon such evil
times. "In my younger days," said she, "we were allowed to converse
freely with all the gentlemen who belonged to the King our father, the
Dauphin, and M. d'Orleans, your uncles. It was common for them to
assemble in the bedchamber of Madame Marguerite, your aunt, as well as in
mine, and nothing was thought of it. Neither ought it to appear strange
that Bussi sees my daughter in the presence of her husband's servants.
They are not shut up together. Bussi is a person of quality, and holds
the first place in your brother's family. What grounds are there for
such a calumny? At Lyons you caused me to offer her an affront, which I
fear she will never forget."

The King was astonished to hear his mother talk in this manner, and
interrupted her with saying:

"Madame, I only relate what I have heard."

"But who is it," answered she, "that tells you all this? I fear no one
that intends you any good, but rather one that wishes to create divisions
amongst you all."

As soon as the King had left her she told me all that had passed, and
said: "You are unfortunate to live in these times." Then calling your
aunt, Madame de Dampierre, they entered into a discourse concerning the
pleasures and innocent freedoms of the times they had seen, when scandal
and malevolence were unknown at Court.

Le Guast, finding this plot miscarry, was not long in contriving another.
He addressed himself for this purpose to certain gentlemen who attended
the King my husband. These had been formerly the friends of Bussi, but,
envying the glory he had obtained, were now become his enemies. Under
the mask of zeal for their master, they disguised the envy, which they
harboured in their breasts. They entered into a design of assassinating
Bussi as he left my brother to go to his own lodgings, which was
generally at a late hour. They knew that he was always accompanied home
by fifteen or sixteen gentlemen, belonging to my brother, and that,
notwithstanding he wore no sword, having been lately wounded in the right
arm, his presence was sufficient to inspire the rest with courage.

In order, therefore, to make sure work, they resolved on attacking him
with two or three hundred men, thinking that night would throw a veil
over the disgrace of such an assassination.

Le Guast, who commanded a regiment of guards, furnished the requisite
number of men, whom he disposed in five or six divisions, in the street
through which he was to pass. Their orders were to put out the torches
and flambeaux, and then to fire their pieces, after which they were to
charge his company, observing particularly to attack one who had his
right arm slung in a scarf.

Fortunately they escaped the intended massacre, and, fighting their way
through, reached Bussi's lodgings, one gentleman only being killed, who
was particularly attached to M. de Bussi, and who was probably mistaken
for him, as he had his arm likewise slung in a scarf.

An Italian gentleman, who belonged to my brother, left them at the
beginning of the attack, and came running back to the Louvre. As soon as
he reached my brother's chamber door, he cried out aloud:

"Busai is assassinated!" My brother was going out, but I, hearing the
cry of assassination, left my chamber, by good fortune not being
undressed, and stopped my brother. I then sent for the Queen my mother
to come with all haste in order to prevent him from going out, as he was
resolved to do, regardless of what might happen. It was with difficulty
we could stay him, though the Queen my mother represented the hazard he
ran from the darkness of the night, and his ignorance of the nature of
the attack, which might have been purposely designed by Le Guast to take
away his life. Her entreaties and persuasions would have been of little
avail if she had not used her authority to order all the doors to be
barred, and taken the resolution of remaining where she was until she had
learned what had really happened.

Bussi, whom God had thus miraculously preserved, with that presence of
mind which he was so remarkable for in time of battle and the most
imminent danger, considering within himself when he reached home the
anxiety of his master's mind should he have received any false report,
and fearing he might expose himself to hazard upon the first alarm being
given (which certainly would have been the case, if my mother had not
interfered and prevented it), immediately despatched one of his people to
let him know every circumstance.

The next day Busai showed himself at the Louvre without the least dread
of enemies, as if what had happened had been merely the attack of a
tournament. My brother exhibited much pleasure at the sight of Busai,
but expressed great resentment at such a daring attempt to deprive him of
so brave and valuable a servant, a man whom Le Guast durst not attack in
any other way than by a base assassination.


Bussi Is Sent from Court.--Marguerite's Husband Attacked with a Fit of
Epilepsy.--Her Great Care of Him.--Torigni Dismissed from Marguerite's
Service.--The King of Navarre and the Duc d'Alencon Secretly Leave the

The Queen my mother, a woman endowed with the greatest prudence and
foresight of any one I ever knew, apprehensive of evil consequences from
this affair, and fearing a dissension betwixt her two sons, advised my
brother to fall upon some pretence for sending Bussi away from Court. In
this advice I joined her, and, through our united counsel and request, my
brother was prevailed upon to give his consent. I had every reason to
suppose that Le Guast would take advantage of the reencounter to foment
the coolness which already existed betwixt my brother and the King my
husband into an open rupture. Bussi, who implicitly followed my
brother's directions in everything, departed with a company of the
bravest noblemen that were about the latter's person.

Bussi was now removed from the machinations of Le Guast, who likewise
failed in accomplishing a design he had long projected,--to disunite the
King my husband and me.

One night my husband was attacked with a fit, and continued insensible
for the space of an hour,--occasioned, I supposed, by his excesses with
women, for I never knew anything of the kind to happen to him before.
However, as it was my duty so to do, I attended him with so much care and
assiduity that, when he recovered, he spoke of it to every one, declaring
that, if I had not perceived his indisposition and called for the help of
my women, he should not have survived the fit.

From this time he treated me with more kindness, and the cordiality
betwixt my brother and him was again revived, as if I had been the point
of union at which they were to meet, or the cement that joined them

Le Guast was now at his wit's end for some fresh contrivance to breed
disunion in the Court.

He had lately persuaded the King to remove from about the person of the
Queen-consort a princess of the greatest virtue and most amiable
qualities, a female attendant of the name of Changi, for whom the Queen
entertained a particular esteem, as having been brought up with her.
Being successful in this measure, he now thought of making the King my
husband send away Torigni, whom I greatly regarded.

The argument he used with the King was, that young princesses ought to
have no favourites about them.

The King, yielding to this man's persuasions, spoke of it to my husband,
who observed that it would be a matter that would greatly distress me;
that if I had an esteem for Torigni it was not without cause, as she had
been brought up with the Queen of Spain and me from our infancy; that,
moreover, Torigni was a young lady of good understanding, and had been of
great use to him during his confinement at Vincennes; that it would be
the greatest ingratitude in him to overlook services of such a nature,
and that he remembered well when his Majesty had expressed the same

Thus did he defend himself against the performance of so ungrateful an
action. However, the King listened only to the arguments of Le Guast,
and told my husband that he should have no more love for him if he did
not remove Torigni from about me the very next morning.

He was forced to comply, greatly contrary to his will, and, as he has
since declared to me, with much regret. Joining entreaties to commands,
he laid his injunctions on me accordingly.

How displeasing this separation was I plainly discovered by the many
tears I shed on receiving his orders. It was in vain to represent to him
the injury done to my character by the sudden removal of one who had been
with me from my earliest years, and was so greatly, in my esteem and
confidence; he could not give an ear to my reasons, being firmly bound by
the promise he had made to the King.

Accordingly, Torigni left me that very day, and went to the house of a
relation, M. Chastelas. I was so greatly offended with this fresh
indignity, after so many of the kind formerly received, that I could not
help yielding to resentment; and my grief and concern getting the upper
hand of my prudence, I exhibited a great coolness and indifference
towards my husband. Le Guast and Madame de Sauves were successful in
creating a like indifference on his part, which, coinciding with mine,
separated us altogether, and we neither spoke to each other nor slept in
the same bed.

A few days after this, some faithful servants about the person of the
King my husband remarked to him the plot which had been concerted with so
much artifice to lead him to his ruin, by creating a division, first
betwixt him and my brother, and next betwixt him and me, thereby
separating him from those in whom only he could hope for his principal
support. They observed to him that already matters were brought to such
a pass that the King showed little regard for him, and even appeared to
despise him.

They afterwards addressed themselves to my brother, whose situation was
not in the least mended since the departure of Bussi, Le Guast causing
fresh indignities to be offered him daily. They represented to him that
the King my husband and he were both circumstanced alike, and equally in
disgrace, as Le Guast had everything under his direction; so that both of
them were under the necessity of soliciting, through him, any favours
which they might want of the King, and which, when demanded, were
constantly refused them with great contempt. Moreover, it was become
dangerous to offer them service, as it was inevitable ruin for any one to
do so.

"Since, then," said they, "your dissensions appear to be so likely to
prove fatal to both, it would be advisable in you both to unite and come
to a determination of leaving the Court; and, after collecting together
your friends and servants, to require from the King an establishment
suitable to your ranks." They observed to my brother that he had never
yet been put in possession of his appanage, and received for his
subsistence only some certain allowances, which were not regularly paid
him, as they passed through the hands of Le Guast, and were at his
disposal, to be discharged or kept back, as he judged proper. They
concluded with observing that, with regard to the King my husband, the
government of Guyenne was taken out of his hands; neither was he
permitted to visit that or any other of his dominions.

It was hereupon resolved to pursue the counsel now given, and that the
King my husband and my brother should immediately withdraw themselves
from Court. My brother made me acquainted with this resolution,
observing to me, as my husband and he were now friends again, that I
ought to forget all that had passed; that my husband had declared to him
that he was sorry things had so happened, that we had been outwitted by
our enemies, but that he was resolved, from henceforward, to show me
every attention and give me every proof of his love and esteem, and he
concluded with begging me to make my husband every show of affection, and
to be watchful for their interest during their absence.

It was concerted betwixt them that my brother should depart first, making
off in a carriage in the best manner he could; that, in a few days
afterwards, the King my husband should follow, under pretence of going on
a hunting party. They both expressed their concern that they could not
take me with them, assuring me that I had no occasion to have any
apprehensions, as it would soon appear that they had no design to disturb
the peace of the kingdom, but merely to ensure the safety of their own
persons, and to settle their establishments. In short, it might well be
supposed that, in their present situation, they had danger to themselves
from such reason to apprehend as had evil designs against their family.

Accordingly, as soon as it was dusk, and before the King's supper-time,
my brother changed his cloak, and concealing the lower part of his face
to his nose in it, left the palace, attended by a servant who was little
known, and went on foot to the gate of St. Honore, where he found Simier
waiting for him in a coach, borrowed of a lady for the purpose.

My brother threw himself into it, and went to a house about a quarter of
a league out of Paris, where horses were stationed ready; and at the
distance of about a league farther, he joined a party of two or three
hundred horsemen of his servants, who were awaiting his coming. My
brother was not missed till nine o'clock, when the King and the Queen my
mother asked me the reason he did not come to sup with them as usual, and
if I knew of his being indisposed. I told them I had not seen him since
noon. Thereupon they sent to his apartments. Word was brought back that
he was not there. Orders were then given to inquire at the apartments of
the ladies whom he was accustomed to visit. He was nowhere to be found.
There was now a general alarm. The King flew into a great passion, and
began to threaten me. He then sent for all the Princes and the great
officers of the Court; and giving orders for a pursuit to be made, and to
bring him back, dead or alive, cried out:

"He is gone to make war against me; but I will show him what it is to
contend with a king of my power."

Many of the Princes and officers of State remonstrated against these
orders, which they observed ought to be well weighed. They said that, as
their duty directed, they were willing to venture their lives in the
King's service; but to act against his brother they were certain would
not be pleasing to the King himself; that they were well convinced his
brother would undertake nothing that should give his Majesty displeasure,
or be productive of danger to the realm; that perhaps his leaving the
Court was owing to some disgust, which it would be more advisable to send
and inquire into. Others, on the contrary, were for putting the King's
orders into execution; but, whatever expedition they could use, it was
day before they set off; and as it was then too late to overtake my
brother, they returned, being only equipped for the pursuit.

I was in tears the whole night of my brother's departure, and the next
day was seized with a violent cold, which was succeeded by a fever that
confined me to my bed.

Meanwhile my husband was preparing for his departure, which took up all
the time he could spare from his visits to Madame de Sauves; so that he
did not think of me. He returned as usual at two or three in the
morning, and, as we had separate beds, I seldom heard him; and in the
morning, before I was awake, he went to my mother's levee, where he met
Madame de Sauves, as usual.

This being the case, he quite forgot his promise to my brother of
speaking to me; and when he went, away, it was without taking leave of

The King did not show my husband more favour after my brother's evasion,
but continued to behave with his former coolness. This the more
confirmed him in the resolution of leaving the Court, so that in a few
days, under the pretence of hunting, he went away.


Queen Marguerite under Arrest.--Attempt on Torigni's Life.--Her Fortunate

The King, supposing that I was a principal instrument in aiding the
Princes in their desertion, was greatly incensed against me, and his rage
became at length so violent that, had not the Queen my mother moderated
it, I am inclined to think my life had been in danger. Giving way to her
counsel, he became more calm, but insisted upon a guard being placed over
me, that I might not follow the King my husband, neither have
communication with any one, so as to give the Princes intelligence of
what was going on at Court. The Queen my mother gave her consent to this
measure, as being the least violent, and was well pleased to find his
anger cooled in so great a degree. She, however, requested that she
might be permitted to discourse with me, in order to reconcile me to a
submission to treatment of so different a kind from what I had hitherto
known. At the same time she advised the King to consider that these
troubles might not be lasting; that everything in the world bore a double
aspect; that what now appeared to him horrible and alarming, might, upon
a second view, assume a more pleasing and tranquil look; that, as things
changed, so should measures change with them; that there might come a
time when he might have occasion for my services; that, as prudence
counselled us not to repose too much confidence in our friends, lest they
should one day become our enemies, so was it advisable to conduct
ourselves in such a manner to our enemies as if we had hopes they should
hereafter become our friends. By such prudent remonstrances did the
Queen my mother restrain the King from proceeding to extremities with me,
as he would otherwise possibly have done.

Le Guast now endeavoured to divert his fury to another object, in order
to wound me in a most sensitive part. He prevailed on the King to adopt
a design for seizing Torigni, at the house of her cousin Chastelas, and,
under pretence of bringing her before the King, to drown her in a river
which they were to cross. The party sent upon this errand was admitted
by Chastelas, not suspecting any evil design, without the least
difficulty, into his house. As soon as they had gained admission they
proceeded to execute the cruel business they were sent upon, by fastening
Torigni with cords and locking her up in a chamber, whilst their horses
were baiting. Meantime, according to the French custom, they crammed
themselves, like gluttons, with the best eatables the house afforded.

Chastelas, who was a man of discretion, was not displeased to gain time
at the expense of some part of his substance, considering that the
suspension of a sentence is a prolongation of life, and that during this
respite the King's heart might relent, and he might countermand his
former orders. With these considerations he was induced to submit,
though it was in his power to have called for assistance to repel this
violence. But God, who hath constantly regarded my afflictions and
afforded me protection against the malicious designs of my enemies, was
pleased to order poor Torigni to be delivered by means which I could
never have devised had I been acquainted with the plot, of which I was
totally ignorant. Several of the domestics, male as well as female, had
left the house in a fright, fearing the insolence and rude treatment of
this troop of soldiers, who behaved as riotously as if they were in a
house given up to pillage. Some of these, at the distance of a quarter
of a league from the house, by God's providence, fell in with Ferte and
Avantigni, at the head of their troops, in number about two hundred
horse, on their march to join my brother. Ferte, remarking a labourer,
whom he knew to belong to Chastelas, apparently in great distress,
inquired of him what was the matter, and whether he had been ill-used by
any of the soldiery. The man related to him all he knew, and in what
state he had left his master's house. Hereupon Ferte and Avantigni
resolved, out of regard to me, to effect Torigni's deliverance, returning
thanks to God for having afforded them so favourable an opportunity of
testifying the respect they had always entertained towards me.

Accordingly, they proceeded to the house with all expedition, and arrived
just at the moment these soldiers were setting Torigni on horseback, for
the purpose of conveying her to the river wherein they had orders to
plunge her. Galloping into the courtyard, sword in hand, they cried out:
"Assassins, if you dare to offer that lady the least injury, you are dead
men!" So saying, they attacked them and drove them to flight, leaving
their prisoner behind, nearly as dead with joy as she was before with
fear and apprehension. After returning thanks to God and her deliverers
for so opportune and unexpected a rescue, she and her cousin Chastelas
set off in a carriage, under the escort of their rescuers, and joined my
brother, who, since he could not have me with him, was happy to have one
so dear to me about him. She remained under my brother's protection as
long as any danger was apprehended, and was treated with as much respect
as if she had been with me.

Whilst the King was giving directions for this notable expedition, for
the purpose of sacrificing Torigni to his vengeance, the Queen my mother,
who had not received the least intimation of it, came to my apartment as
I was dressing to go abroad, in order to observe how I should be received
after what had passed at Court, having still some alarms on account of my
husband and brother. I had hitherto confined myself to my chamber, not
having perfectly recovered my health, and, in reality, being all the time
as much indisposed in mind as in body.

My mother, perceiving my intention, addressed me in these words: "My
child, you are giving yourself unnecessary trouble in dressing to go
abroad. Do not be alarmed at what I am going to tell you. Your own good
sense will dictate to you that you ought not to be surprised if the King
resents the conduct of your brother and husband, and as he knows the love
and friendship that exist between you three, should suppose that you were
privy to their design of leaving the Court. He has, for this reason,
resolved to detain you in it, as a hostage for them. He is sensible how
much you are beloved by your husband, and thinks he can hold no pledge
that is more dear to him. On this account it is that the King has
ordered his guards to be placed, with directions not to suffer you to
leave your apartments. He has done this with the advice of his
counsellors, by whom it was suggested that, if you had your free liberty,
you might be induced to advise your brother and husband of their
deliberations. I beg you will not be offended with these measures,
which, if it so please God, may not be of long continuance. I beg,
moreover, you will not be displeased with me if I do not pay you frequent
visits, as I should be unwilling to create any suspicions in the King's
mind. However, you may rest assured that I shall prevent any further
steps from being taken that may prove disagreeable to you, and that I
shall use my utmost endeavours to bring about a reconciliation betwixt
your brothers."

I represented to her, in reply, the great indignity that was offered to
me by putting me under arrest; that it was true my brother had all along
communicated to me the just cause he had to be dissatisfied, but that,
with respect to the King my husband, from the time Torigni was taken from
me we had not spoken to each other; neither had he visited me during my
indisposition, nor did he even take leave of me when he left Court.
"This," says she, "is nothing at all; it is merely a trifling difference
betwixt man and wife, which a few sweet words, conveyed in a letter, will
set to rights. When, by such means, he has regained your affections, he
has only to write to you to come to him, and you will set off at the very
first opportunity. Now, this is what the King my son wishes to prevent."


The Peace of Sens betwixt Henri III. and the Huguenots.

The Queen my mother left me, saying these words. For my part, I remained
a close prisoner, without a visit from a single person, none of my most
intimate friends daring to come near me, through the apprehension that
such a step might prove injurious to their interests. Thus it is ever in
Courts. Adversity is solitary, while prosperity dwells in a crowd; the
object of persecution being sure to be shunned by his nearest friends and
dearest connections. The brave Grillon was the only one who ventured to
visit me, at the hazard of incurring disgrace. He came five or six times
to see me, and my guards were so much astonished at his resolution, and
awed by his presence, that not a single Cerberus of them all would
venture to refuse him entrance to my apartments.

Meanwhile, the King my husband reached the States under his government.
Being joined there by his friends and dependents, they all represented to
him the indignity offered to me by his quitting the Court without taking
leave of me. They observed to him that I was a princess of good
understanding, and that it would be for his interest to regain my esteem;
that, when matters were put on their former footing, he might derive to
himself great advantage from my presence at Court. Now that he was at a
distance from his Circe, Madame de Sauves, he could listen to good
advice. Absence having abated the force of her charms, his eyes were
opened; he discovered the plots and machinations of our enemies, and
clearly perceived that a rupture could not but tend to the ruin of us

Accordingly, he wrote me a very affectionate letter, wherein he entreated
me to forget all that had passed betwixt us, assuring me that from
thenceforth he would ever love me, and would give me every demonstration
that he did so, desiring me to inform him of what was going on at Court,
and how it fared with me and my brother. My brother was in Champagne and
the King my husband in Gascony, and there had been no communication
betwixt them, though they were on terms of friendship.

I received this letter during my imprisonment, and it gave me great
comfort under that situation. Although my guards had strict orders not
to permit me to set pen to paper, yet, as necessity is said to be the
mother of invention, I found means to write many letters to him. Some few
days after I had been put under arrest, my brother had intelligence of
it, which chagrined him so much that, had not the love of his country
prevailed with him, the effects of his resentment would have been shown
in a cruel civil war, to which purpose he had a sufficient force entirely
at his devotion. He was, however, withheld by his patriotism, and
contented himself with writing to the Queen my mother, informing her
that, if I was thus treated, he should be driven upon some desperate
measure. She, fearing the consequence of an open rupture, and dreading
lest, if blows were once struck, she should be deprived of the power of
bringing about a reconciliation betwixt the brothers, represented the
consequences to the King, and found him well disposed to lend an ear to
her reasons, as his anger was now cooled by the apprehensions of being
attacked in Gascony, Dauphiny, Languedoc, and Poitou, with all the
strength of the Huguenots under the King my husband. Besides the many
strong places held by the Huguenots, my brother had an army with him in
Champagne, composed chiefly of nobility, the bravest and best in France.
The King found, since my brother's departure, that he could not, either
by threats or rewards, induce a single person among the princes and great
lords to act against him, so much did every one fear to intermeddle in
this quarrel, which they considered as of a family nature; and after
having maturely reflected on his situation, he acquiesced in my mother's
opinion, and begged her to fall upon some means of reconciliation. She
thereupon proposed going to my brother and taking me with her. To the
measure of taking me, the King had an objection, as he considered me as
the hostage for my husband and brother. She then agreed to leave me
behind, and set off without my knowledge of the matter. At their
interview, my brother represented to the Queen my mother that he could
not but be greatly dissatisfied with the King after the many
mortifications he had received at Court; that the cruelty and injustice
of confining me hurt him equally as if done to himself; observing,
moreover, that, as if my arrest were not a sufficient mortification, poor
Torigni must be made to suffer; and concluding with the declaration of
his firm resolution not to listen to any terms of peace until I was
restored to my liberty, and reparation made me for the indignity I had
sustained. The Queen my mother being unable to obtain any other answer,
returned to Court and acquainted the King with my brother's
determination. Her advice was to go back again with me, for going
without me, she said, would answer very little purpose; and if I went
with her in disgust, it would do more harm than good. Besides, there was
reason to fear, in that case, I should insist upon going to my husband.
"In short," says she, "my daughter's guard must be removed, and she must
be satisfied in the best way we can."

The King agreed to follow her advice, and was now, on a sudden, as eager
to reconcile matters betwixt us as she was herself. Hereupon I was sent
for, and when I came to her, she informed me that she had paved the way
for peace; that it was for the good of the State, which she was sensible
I must be as desirous to promote as my brother; that she had it now in
her power to make a peace which would be as satisfactory as my brother
could desire, and would put us entirely out of the reach of Le Guast's
machinations, or those of any one else who might have an influence over
the King's mind. She observed that, by assisting her to procure a good
understanding betwixt the King and my brother, I should relieve her from
that cruel disquietude under which she at present laboured, as, should
things come to an open rupture, she could not but be grieved, whichever
party prevailed, as they were both her sons. She therefore expressed her
hopes that I would forget the injuries I had received, and dispose myself
to concur in a peace, rather than join in any plan of revenge. She
assured me that the King was sorry for what had happened; that he had
even expressed his regret to her with tears in his eyes, and had declared
that he was ready to give me every satisfaction. I replied that I was
willing to sacrifice everything for the good of my brothers and of the
State; that I wished for nothing so much as peace, and that I would exert
myself to the utmost to bring it about.

As I uttered these words, the King came into the closet, and, with a
number of fine speeches, endeavoured to soften my resentment and to
recover my friendship, to which I made such returns as might show him I
harboured no ill-will for the injuries I had received. I was induced to
such behaviour rather out of contempt, and because it was good policy to
let the King go away satisfied with me.

Besides, I had found a secret pleasure, during my confinement, from the
perusal of good books, to which I had given myself up with a delight I
never before experienced. I consider this as an obligation I owe to
fortune, or, rather, to Divine Providence, in order to prepare me, by
such efficacious means, to bear up against the misfortunes and calamities
that awaited me. By tracing nature in the universal book which is opened
to all mankind, I was led to the knowledge of the Divine Author. Science
conducts us, step by step, through the whole range of creation, until we
arrive, at length, at God. Misfortune prompts us to summon our utmost
strength to oppose grief and recover tranquillity, until at length we
find a powerful aid in the knowledge and love of God, whilst prosperity
hurries us away until we are overwhelmed by our passions. My captivity
and its consequent solitude afforded me the double advantage of exciting
a passion for study, and an inclination for devotion, advantages I had
never experienced during the vanities and splendour of my prosperity.

As I have already observed, the King, discovering in me no signs of
discontent, informed me that the Queen my mother was going into Champagne
to have an interview with my brother, in order to bring about a peace,
and begged me to accompany her thither and to use my best endeavours to
forward his views, as he knew my brother was always well disposed to
follow my counsel; and he concluded with saying that the peace, when
accomplished, he should ever consider as being due to my good offices,
and should esteem himself obliged to me for it. I promised to exert
myself in so good a work, which I plainly perceived was both for my
brother's advantage and the benefit of the State.

The Queen my mother and I set off for Sens the next day. The conference
was agreed to be held in a gentleman's chateau, at a distance of about a
league from that place. My brother was waiting for us, accompanied by a
small body of troops and the principal Catholic noblemen and princes of
his army. Amongst these were the Duc Casimir and Colonel Poux, who had
brought him six thousand German horse, raised by the Huguenots, they
having joined my brother, as the King my husband and he acted in

The treaty was continued for several days, the conditions of peace
requiring much discussion, especially such articles of it as related to
religion. With respect to these, when at length agreed upon, they were
too much to the advantage of the Huguenots, as it appeared afterwards, to
be kept; but the Queen my mother gave in to them, in order to have a
peace, and that the German cavalry before mentioned might be disbanded.
She was, moreover, desirous to get my brother out of the hands of the
Huguenots; and he was himself as willing to leave them, being always a
very good Catholic, and joining the Huguenots only through necessity. One
condition of the peace was, that my brother should have a suitable
establishment. My brother likewise stipulated for me, that my marriage
portion should be assigned in lands, and M. de Beauvais, a commissioner
on his part, insisted much upon it. My mother, however, opposed it, and
persuaded me to join her in it, assuring me that I should obtain from the
King all I could require. Thereupon I begged I might not be included in
the articles of peace, observing that I would rather owe whatever I was
to receive to the particular favour of the King and the Queen my mother,
and should, besides, consider it as more secure when obtained by such

The peace being thus concluded and ratified on both sides, the Queen my
mother prepared to return. At this instant I received letters from the
King my husband, in which he expressed a great desire to see me, begging
me, as soon as peace was agreed on, to ask leave to go to him. I
communicated my husband's wish to the Queen my mother, and added my own
entreaties. She expressed herself greatly averse to such a measure, and
used every argument to set me against it. She observed that, when I
refused her proposal of a divorce after St. Bartholomew's Day, she gave
way to my refusal, and commended me for it, because my husband was then
converted to the Catholic religion; but now that he had abjured
Catholicism, and was turned Huguenot again, she could not give her
consent that I should go to him. When I still insisted upon going, she
burst into a flood of tears, and said, if I did not return with her, it
would prove her ruin; that the King would believe it was her doing; that
she had promised to bring me back with her; and that, when my brother
returned to Court, which would be soon, she would give her consent.

We now returned to Paris, and found the King well satisfied that we had
made a peace; though not, however, pleased with the articles concluded in
favour of the Huguenots. He therefore resolved within himself, as soon
as my brother should return to Court, to find some pretext for renewing
the war. These advantageous conditions were, indeed, only granted the
Huguenots to get my brother out of their hands, who was detained near two
months, being employed in disbanding his German horse and the rest of his


The League.--War Declared against the Huguenots.--Queen Marguerite Sets
out for Spa.

At length my brother returned to Court, accompanied by all the Catholic
nobility who had followed his fortunes. The King received him very
graciously, and showed, by his reception of him, how much he was pleased
at his return. Bussi, who returned with my brother, met likewise with a
gracious reception. Le Guast was now no more, having died under the
operation of a particular regimen ordered for him by his physician. He
had given himself up to every kind of debauchery; and his death seemed
the judgment of the Almighty on one whose body had long been perishing,
and whose soul had been made over to the prince of demons as the price of
assistance through the means of diabolical magic, which he constantly
practised. The King, though now without this instrument of his malicious
contrivances, turned his thoughts entirely upon the destruction of the
Huguenots. To effect this, he strove to engage my brother against them,
and thereby make them his enemies and that I might be considered as
another enemy, he used every means to prevent me from going to the King
my husband. Accordingly he showed every mark of attention to both of us,
and manifested an inclination to gratify all our wishes.

After some time, M. de Duras arrived at Court, sent by the King my
husband to hasten my departure. Hereupon, I pressed the King greatly to
think well of it, and give me his leave. He, to colour his refusal, told
me he could not part with me at present, as I was the chief ornament of
his Court; that he must, keep me a little longer, after which he would
accompany me himself on my way as far as Poitiers. With this answer and
assurance, he sent M. de Duras back. These excuses were purposely framed
in order to gain time until everything was prepared for declaring war
against the Huguenots, and, in consequence, against the King my husband,
as he fully designed to do.

As a pretence to break with the Huguenots, a report was spread abroad
that the Catholics were dissatisfied with the Peace of Sens, and thought
the terms of it too advantageous for the Huguenots. This rumour
succeeded, and produced all that discontent amongst the Catholics
intended by it. A league was formed: in the provinces and great cities,
which was joined by numbers of the Catholics. M. de Guise was named as
the head of all. This was well known to the King, who pretended to be
ignorant of what was going forward, though nothing else was talked of at

The States were convened to meet at Blois. Previous to the opening of
this assembly, the King called my brother to his closet, where were
present the Queen my mother and some of the King's counsellors. He
represented the great consequence the Catholic league was to his State
and authority, even though they should appoint De Guise as the head of
it; that such a measure was of the highest importance to them both,
meaning my brother and himself; that the Catholics had very just reason
to be dissatisfied with the peace, and that it behoved him, addressing
himself to my brother, rather to join the Catholics than the Huguenots,
and this from conscience as well as interest. He concluded his address
to my brother with conjuring him, as a son of France and a good Catholic,
to assist him with his aid and counsel in this critical juncture, when
his crown and the Catholic religion were both at stake. He further said
that, in order to get the start of so formidable a league, he ought to
form one himself, and become the head of it, as well to show his zeal for
religion as to prevent the Catholics from uniting under any other leader.
He then proposed to declare himself the head of a league, which should be
joined by my brother, the princes, nobles, governors, and others holding
offices under the Government. Thus was my brother reduced to the
necessity of making his Majesty a tender of his services for the support
and maintenance of the Catholic religion.

The King, having now obtained assurances of my brother's assistance in
the event of a war, which was his sole view in the league which he had
formed with so much art, assembled together the princes and chief
noblemen of his Court, and, calling for the roll of the league, signed it
first himself, next calling upon my brother to sign it, and, lastly, upon
all present.

The next day the States opened their meeting, when the King, calling upon
the Bishops of Lyons, Ambrune, Vienne, and other prelates there present,
for their advice, was told that, after the oath taken at his coronation,
no oath made to heretics could bind him, and therefore he was absolved
from his engagements with the Huguenots.

This declaration being made at the opening of the assembly, and war
declared against the Huguenots, the King abruptly dismissed from Court
the Huguenot, Genisac, who had arrived a few days before, charged by the
King my husband with a commission to hasten my departure. The King very
sharply told him that his sister had been given to a Catholic, and not to
a Huguenot; and that if the King my husband expected to have me, he must
declare himself a Catholic.

Every preparation for war was made, and nothing else talked of at Court;
and, to make my brother still more obnoxious to the Huguenots, he had the
command of an army given him. Genisac came and informed me of the rough
message he had been dismissed with. Hereupon I went directly to the
closet of the Queen my mother, where I found the King. I expressed my
resentment at being deceived by him, and at being cajoled by his promise
to accompany me from Paris to Poitiers, which, as it now appeared, was a
mere pretence. I represented that I did not marry by my own choice, but
entirely agreeable to the advice of King Charles, the Queen my mother,
and himself; that, since they had given him to me for a husband, they
ought not to hinder me from partaking of his fortunes; that I was
resolved to go to him, and that if I had not their leave, I would get
away how I could, even at the hazard of my life. The King answered:
"Sister, it is not now a time to importune me for leave. I acknowledge
that I have, as you say, hitherto prevented you from going, in order to
forbid it altogether. From the time the King of Navarre changed his
religion, and again became a Huguenot, I have been against your going to
him. What the Queen my mother and I are doing is for your good. I am
determined to carry on a war of extermination until this wretched
religion of the Huguenots, which is of so mischievous a nature, is no
more. Consider, my sister, if you, who are a Catholic, were once in
their hands, you would become a hostage for me, and prevent my design.
And who knows but they might seek their revenge upon me by taking away
your life? No, you shall not go amongst them; and if you leave us in the
manner you have now mentioned, rely upon it that you will make the Queen
your mother and me your bitterest enemies, and that we shall use every
means to make you feel the effects of our resentment; and, moreover, you
will make your husband's situation worse instead of better."

I went from this audience with much dissatisfaction, and, taking advice
of the principal persons of both sexes belonging to Court whom I esteemed
my friends, I found them all of opinion that it would be exceedingly
improper for me to remain in a Court now at open variance with the King
my husband. They recommended me not to stay at Court whilst the war
lasted, saying it would be more honourable for me to leave the kingdom
under the pretence of a pilgrimage, or a visit to some of my kindred. The
Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon was amongst those I consulted upon the
occasion, who was on the point of setting off for Spa to take the waters

My brother was likewise present at the consultation, and brought with him
Mondoucet, who had been to Flanders in quality of the King's agent,
whence he was just returned to represent to the King the discontent that
had arisen amongst the Flemings on account of infringements made by the
Spanish Government on the French laws. He stated that he was
commissioned by several nobles, and the municipalities of several towns,
to declare how much they were inclined in their hearts towards France,
and how ready they were to come under a French government. Mondoucet,
perceiving the King not inclined to listen to his representation, as
having his mind wholly occupied by the war he had entered into with the
Huguenots, whom he was resolved to punish for having joined my brother,
had ceased to move in it further to the King, and addressed himself on
the subject to my brother. My brother, with that princely spirit which
led him to undertake great achievements, readily lent an ear to
Mondoucet's proposition, and promised to engage in it, for he was born
rather to conquer than to keep what he conquered. Mondoucet's
proposition was the more pleasing to him as it was not unjust, it being,
in fact, to recover to France what had been usurped by Spain.

Mondoucet had now engaged himself in my brother's service, and was to
return to Flanders' under a pretence of accompanying the Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon in her journey to Spa; and as this agent perceived my
counsellers to be at a loss for some pretence for my leaving Court and
quitting France during the war, and that at first Savoy was proposed for
my retreat, then Lorraine, and then Our Lady of Loretto, he suggested to
my brother that I might be of great use to him in Flanders, if, under the
colour of any complaint, I should be recommended to drink the Spa waters,
and go with the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon. My brother acquiesced in
this opinion, and came up to me, saying: "Oh, Queen! you need be no
longer at a loss for a place to go to. I have observed that you have
frequently an erysipelas on your arm, and you must accompany the Princess
to Spa. You must say, your physicians had ordered those waters for the
complaint; but when they, did so, it was not the season to take them.
That season is now approaching, and you hope to have the King's leave to
go there."

My brother did not deliver all he wished to say at that time, because the
Cardinal de Bourbon was present, whom he knew to be a friend to the
Guises and to Spain. However, I saw through his real design, and that he
wished me to promote his views in Flanders.

The company approved of my brother's advice, and the Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon heard the proposal with great joy, having a great regard
for me. She promised to attend me to the Queen my mother when I should
ask her consent.

The next day I found the Queen alone, and represented to her the extreme
regret I experienced in finding that a war was inevitable betwixt the
King my husband and his Majesty, and that I must continue in a state of
separation from my husband; that, as long as the war lasted, it was
neither decent nor honourable for me to stay at Court, where I must be in
one or other, or both, of these cruel situations either that the King my
husband should believe that I continued in it out of inclination, and
think me deficient in the duty I owed him; or that his Majesty should
entertain suspicions of my giving intelligence to the King my husband.
Either of these cases, I observed, could not but prove injurious to me. I
therefore prayed her not to take it amiss if I desired to remove myself
from Court, and from becoming so unpleasantly situated; adding that my
physicians had for some time recommended me to take the Spa waters for an
erysipelas--to which I had been long subject--on my arm; the season for
taking these waters was now approaching, and that if she approved of it,
I would use the present opportunity, by which means I should be at a
distance from Court, and show my husband that, as I could not be with
him, I was unwilling to remain amongst his enemies. I further expressed
my hopes that, through her prudence, a peace might be effected in a short
time betwixt the King my husband and his Majesty, and that my husband
might be restored to the favour he formerly enjoyed; that whenever I
learned the news of so joyful an event, I would renew my solicitations to
be permitted to go to my husband. In the meantime, I should hope for her
permission to have the honour of accompanying the Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon, there present, in her journey to Spa.

She approved of what I proposed, and expressed her satisfaction that I
had taken so prudent a resolution. She observed how much she was
chagrined when she found that the King, through the evil persuasions of
the bishops, had resolved to break through the conditions of the last
peace, which she had concluded in his name. She saw already the ill
effects of this hasty proceeding, as it had removed from the King's
Council many of his ablest and best servants. This gave her, she said,
much concern, as it did likewise to think I could not remain at Court
without offending my husband, or creating jealousy and suspicion in the
King's mind. This being certainly what was likely to be the consequence
of my staying, she would advise the King to give me leave to set out on
this journey.

She was as good as her word, and the King discoursed with me on the
subject without exhibiting the smallest resentment. Indeed, he was well
pleased now that he had prevented me from going to the King my husband,
for whom he had conceived the greatest animosity.

He ordered a courier to be immediately despatched to Don John of
Austria,--who commanded for the King of Spain in Flanders,--to obtain
from him the necessary passports for a free passage in the countries
under his command, as I should be obliged to cross a part of Flanders to
reach Spa, which is in the bishopric of Liege.

All matters being thus arranged, we separated in a few days after this
interview. The short time my brother and I remained together was
employed by him in giving me instructions for the commission I had
undertaken to execute for him in Flanders. The King and the Queen my
mother set out for Poitiers, to be near the army of M. de Mayenne, then
besieging Brouage, which place being reduced, it was intended to march
into Gascony and attack the King my husband.

My brother had the command of another army, ordered to besiege Issoire
and some other towns, which he soon after took.

For my part, I set out on my journey to Flanders accompanied by the
Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, Madame de Tournon, the lady of my bedchamber,
Madame de Mouy of Picardy, Madame de Chastelaine, De Millon, Mademoiselle
d'Atric, Mademoiselle de Tournon, and seven or eight other young ladies.
My male attendants were the Cardinal de Lenoncourt, the Bishop of
Langres, and M. de Mouy, Seigneur de Picardy, at present father-in-law to
the brother of Queen Louise, called the Comte de Chalingy, with my
principal steward of the household, my chief esquires, and the other
gentlemen of my establishment.


Description of Queen Marguerite's Equipage.--Her Journey to Liege
Described.--She Enters with Success upon Her Mission.--Striking Instance
of Maternal Duty and Affection in a Great Lady.--Disasters near the Close
of the Journey.

The cavalcade that attended me excited great curiosity as it passed
through the several towns in the course of my journey, and reflected no
small degree of credit on France, as it was splendidly set out, and made
a handsome appearance. I travelled in a litter raised with pillars. The
lining of it was Spanish velvet, of a crimson colour, embroidered in
various devices with gold and different coloured silk thread.

The windows were of glass, painted in devices. The lining and windows
had, in the whole, forty devices, all different and alluding to the sun
and its effects. Each device had its motto, either in the Spanish or
Italian language. My litter was followed by two others; in the one was
the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, and in the other Madame de Tournon, my
lady of the bedchamber. After them followed ten maids of honour, on
horseback, with their governess; and, last of all, six coaches and
chariots, with the rest of the ladies and all our female attendants.

I took the road of Picardy, the towns in which province had received the
King's orders to pay me all due honours. Being arrived at Le Catelet, a
strong place, about three leagues distant from the frontier of the
Cambresis, the Bishop of Cambray (an ecclesiastical State acknowledging
the King of Spain only as a guarantee) sent a gentleman to inquire of me
at what hour I should leave the place, as he intended to meet me on the
borders of his territory.

Accordingly I found him there, attended by a number of his people, who
appeared to be true Flemings, and to have all the rusticity and
unpolished manners of their country. The Bishop was of the House of
Barlemont, one of the principal families in Flanders. All of this house
have shown themselves Spaniards at heart, and at that time were firmly
attached to Don John. The Bishop received me with great politeness and
not a little of the Spanish ceremony.

Although the city of Cambray is not so well built as some of our towns in
France, I thought it, notwithstanding, far more pleasant than many of
these, as the streets and squares are larger and better disposed. The
churches are grand and highly ornamented, which is, indeed, common to
France; but what I admired, above all, was the citadel, which is the
finest and best constructed in Christendom.

The Spaniards experienced it to be strong whilst my brother had it in his
possession. The governor of the citadel at this time was a worthy
gentleman named M. d'Ainsi, who was, in every respect, a polite and
well-accomplished man, having the carriage and behaviour of one of our
most perfect courtiers, very different from the rude incivility which
appears to be the characteristic of a Fleming.

The Bishop gave us a grand supper, and after supper a ball, to which he
had invited all the ladies of the city. As soon as the ball was opened
he withdrew, in accordance with the Spanish ceremony; but M. d'Ainsi did
the honours for him, and kept me company during the ball, conducting me
afterwards to a collation, which, considering his command at the citadel,
was, I thought, imprudent. I speak from experience, having been taught,
to my cost, and contrary to my desire, the caution and vigilance
necessary to be observed in keeping such places. As my regard for my
brother was always predominant in me, I continually had his instructions
in mind, and now thought I had a fair opportunity to open my commission
and forward his views in Flanders, this town of Cambray, and especially
the citadel, being, as it were, a key to that country. Accordingly I
employed all the talents God had given me to make M. d'Ainsi a friend to
France, and attach him to my brother's interest. Through God's
assistance I succeeded with him, and so much was M. d'Ainsi pleased with
my conversation that he came to the resolution of soliciting the Bishop,
his master, to grant him leave to accompany me as, far as Namur, where
Don John of Austria was in waiting to receive me, observing that he had a
great desire to witness so splendid an interview. This Spanish Fleming,
the Bishop, had the weakness to grant M. d'Ainsi's request, who continued
following in my train for ten or twelve days. During this time he took
every opportunity of discoursing with me, and showed that, in his heart,
he was well disposed to embrace the service of France, wishing no better
master than the Prince my brother, and declaring that he heartily
despised being under the command of his Bishop, who, though his
sovereign, was not his superior by birth, being born a private gentleman
like himself, and, in every other respect, greatly his inferior.

Leaving Cambray, I set out to sleep at Valenciennes, the chief city of a
part of Flanders called by the same name. Where this country is divided
from Cambresis (as far as which I was conducted by the Bishop of
Cambray), the Comte de Lalain, M. de Montigny his brother, and a number
of gentlemen, to the amount of two or three hundred, came to meet me.

Valenciennes is a town inferior to Cambray in point of strength, but
equal to it for the beauty of its squares, and churches,--the former
ornamented with fountains, as the latter are with curious clocks. The
ingenuity of the Germans in the construction of their clocks was a matter
of great surprise to all my attendants, few amongst whom had ever before
seen clocks exhibiting a number of moving figures, and playing a variety
of tunes in the most agreeable manner.

The Comte de Lalain, the governor of the city, invited the lords and
gentlemen of my train to a banquet, reserving himself to give an
entertainment to the ladies on our arrival at Mons, where we should find
the Countess his wife, his sister-in-law Madame d'Aurec, and other ladies
of distinction. Accordingly the Count, with his attendants, conducted us
thither the next day. He claimed a relationship with the King my
husband, and was, in reality, a person who carried great weight and
authority. He was much dissatisfied with the Spanish Government, and had
conceived a great dislike for it since the execution of Count Egmont, who
was his near kinsman.

Although he had hitherto abstained from entering into the league with the
Prince of Orange and the Huguenots, being himself a steady Catholic, yet
he had not admitted of an interview with Don John, neither would he
suffer him, nor any one in the interest of Spain, to enter upon his
territories. Don John was unwilling to give the Count any umbrage, lest
he should force him to unite the Catholic League of Flanders, called the
League of the States, to that of the Prince of Orange and the Huguenots,
well foreseeing that such a union would prove fatal to the Spanish
interest, as other governors have since experienced. With this
disposition of mind, the Comte de Lalain thought he could not give me
sufficient demonstrations of the joy he felt by my presence; and he could
not have shown more honour to his natural prince, nor displayed greater
marks of zeal and affection.

On our arrival at Mons, I was lodged in his house, and found there the
Countess his wife, and a Court consisting of eighty or a hundred ladies
of the city and country. My reception was rather that of their sovereign
lady than of a foreign princess. The Flemish ladies are naturally
lively, affable, and engaging. The Comtesse de Lalain is remarkably so,
and is, moreover, a woman of great sense and elevation of mind, in which
particular, as well as in air and countenance, she carries a striking
resemblance to the lady your cousin. We became immediately intimate, and
commenced a firm friendship at our first meeting. When the supper hour
came, we sat down to a banquet, which was succeeded by a ball; and this
rule the Count observed as long as I stayed at Mons, which was, indeed,
longer than I intended. It had been my intention to stay at Mons one
night only, but the Count's obliging lady prevailed on me to pass a whole
week there. I strove to excuse myself from so long a stay, imagining it
might be inconvenient to them; but whatever I could say availed nothing
with the Count and his lady, and I was under the necessity of remaining
with them eight days. The Countess and I were on so familiar a footing
that she stayed in my bedchamber till a late hour, and would not have
left me then had she not imposed upon herself a task very rarely
performed by persons of her rank, which, however, placed the goodness of
her disposition in the most amiable light. In fact, she gave suck to her
infant son; and one day at table, sitting next me, whose whole attention
was absorbed in the promotion of my brother's interest,--the table being
the place where, according to the custom of the country, all are familiar
and ceremony is laid aside,--she, dressed out in the richest manner and
blazing with diamonds, gave the breast to her child without rising from
her seat, the infant being brought to the table as superbly habited as
its nurse, the mother. She performed this maternal duty with so much
good humour, and with a gracefulness peculiar to herself, that this
charitable office--which would have appeared disgusting and been
considered as an affront if done by some others of equal rank--gave
pleasure to all who sat at table, and, accordingly, they signified their
approbation by their applause.

The tables being removed, the dances commenced in the same room wherein
we had supped, which was magnificent and large. The Countess and I
sitting side by side, I expressed the pleasure I received from her
conversation, and that I should place this meeting amongst the happiest
events of my life. "Indeed," said I, "I shall have cause to regret that
it ever did take place, as I shall depart hence so unwillingly, there
being so little probability, of our meeting again soon. Why did Heaven
deny, our being born in the same country!"

This was said in order to introduce my brother's business. She replied:
"This country did, indeed, formerly belong to France, and our lawyers now
plead their causes in the French language. The greater part of the
people here still retain an affection for the French nation. For my
part," added the Countess, "I have had a strong attachment to your
country ever since I have had the honour of seeing you. This country has
been long in the possession of the House of Austria, but the regard of
the people for that house has been greatly, weakened by the death of
Count Egmont, M. de Horne, M. de Montigny, and others of the same party,
some of them our near relations, and all of the best families of the
country. We entertain the utmost dislike for the Spanish Government, and
wish for nothing so much as to throw off the yoke of their tyranny; but,
as the country is divided betwixt different religions, we are at a loss
how to effect it if we could unite, we should soon drive out the
Spaniards; but this division amongst ourselves renders us weak. Would to
God the King your brother would come to a resolution of reconquering this
country, to which he has an ancient claim! We should all receive him
with open arms."

This was a frank declaration, made by the Countess without premeditation,
but it had been long agitated in the minds of the people, who considered
that it was from France they were to hope for redress from the evils with
which they were afflicted. I now found I had as favourable an opening as
I could wish for to declare my errand. I told her that the King of
France my brother was averse to engaging in foreign war, and the more so
as the Huguenots in his kingdom were too strong to admit of his sending
any large force out of it. "My brother Alencon," said I, "has sufficient
means, and might be induced to undertake it. He has equal valour,
prudence, and benevolence with the King my brother or any of his
ancestors. He has been bred to arms, and is esteemed one of the bravest
generals of these times. He has the command of the King's army against
the Huguenots, and has lately taken a well-fortified town, called
Issoire, and some other places that were in their possession. You could
not invite to your assistance a prince who has it so much in his power to
give it; being not only a neighbour, but having a kingdom like France at
his devotion, whence he may expect to derive the necessary aid and
succour. The Count your husband may be assured that if he do my brother
this good office he will not find him ungrateful, but may set what price
he pleases upon his meritorious service. My brother is of a noble and
generous disposition, and ready to requite those who do him favours. He
is, moreover, an admirer of men of honour and gallantry, and accordingly
is followed by the bravest and best men France has to boast of. I am in
hopes that a peace will soon be reestablished with the Huguenots, and
expect to find it so on my return to France. If the Count your husband
think as you do, and will permit me to speak to him on the subject, I
will engage to bring my brother over to the proposal, and, in that case,
your country in general, and your house in particular, will be well
satisfied with him. If, through your means, my brother should establish
himself here, you may depend on seeing me often, there being no brother
or sister who has a stronger affection for each other."

The Countess appeared to listen to what I said with great pleasure, and
acknowledged that she had not entered upon this discourse without design.
She observed that, having perceived I did her the honour to have some
regard for her, she had resolved within herself not to let me depart out
of the country without explaining to me the situation of it, and begging
me to procure the aid of France to relieve them from the apprehensions of
living in a state of perpetual war or of submitting to Spanish tyranny.
She thereupon entreated me to allow her to relate our present
conversation to her husband, and permit them both to confer with me on
the subject the next day. To this I readily gave my consent.

Thus we passed the evening in discourse upon the object of my mission,
and I observed that she took a singular pleasure in talking upon it in
all our succeeding conferences when I thought proper to introduce it. The
ball being ended, we went to hear vespers at the church of the
Canonesses, an order of nuns of which we have none in France. These are
young ladies who are entered in these communities at a tender age, in
order to improve their fortunes till they are of an age to be married.
They do not all sleep under the same roof, but in detached houses within
an enclosure. In each of these houses are three, four, or perhaps six
young girls, under the care of an old woman. These governesses, together
with the abbess, are of the number of such as have never been married.
These girls never wear the habit of the order but in church; and the
service there ended, they dress like others, pay visits, frequent balls,
and go where they please. They were constant visitors at the Count's
entertainments, and danced at his balls.

The Countess thought the time long until the night, when she had an
opportunity of relating to the Count the conversation she had with me,
and the opening of the business. The next morning she came to me, and
brought her husband with her. He entered into a detail of the grievances
the country laboured under, and the just reasons he had for ridding it of
the tyranny of Spain. In doing this, he said, he should not consider
himself as acting against his natural sovereign, because he well knew he
ought to look for him in the person of the King of France. He explained
to me the means whereby my brother might establish himself in Flanders,
having possession of Hainault, which extended as far as Brussels. He
said the difficulty lay in securing the Cambresis, which is situated
betwixt Hainault and Flanders. It would, therefore, be necessary to
engage M. d'Ainsi in the business. To this I replied that, as he was his
neighbour and friend, it might be better that he should open the matter
to him; and I begged he would do so. I next assured him that he might
have the most perfect reliance on the gratitude and friendship of my
brother, and be certain of receiving as large a share of power and
authority as such a service done by a person of his rank merited. Lastly,
we agreed upon an interview betwixt my brother and M. de Montigny, the
brother of the Count, which was to take place at La Fere, upon my return,
when this business should be arranged. During the time I stayed at Mons,
I said all I could to confirm the Count in this resolution, in which I
found myself seconded by the Countess.

The day of my departure was now arrived, to the great regret of the
ladies of Mons, as well as myself. The Countess expressed herself in
terms which showed she had conceived the warmest friendship for me, and
made me promise to return by way of that city. I presented the Countess
with a diamond bracelet, and to the Count I gave a riband and diamond
star of considerable value. But these presents, valuable as they were,
became more so, in their estimation, as I was the donor.

Of the ladies, none accompanied me from this place, except Madame
d'Aurec. She went with me to Namur, where I slept that night, and where
she expected to find her husband and the Duc d'Arscot, her
brother-in-law, who had been there since the peace betwixt the King of
Spain and the States of Flanders. For though they were both of the party
of the States, yet the Duc d'Arscot, being an old courtier and having
attended King Philip in Flanders and England, could not withdraw himself
from Court and the society of the great. The Comte de Lalain, with all
his nobles, conducted me two leagues beyond his government, and until he
saw Don John's company in the distance advancing to meet me. He then
took his leave of me, being unwilling to meet Don John; but M. d'Ainsi
stayed with me, as his master, the Bishop of Cambray, was in the Spanish

This gallant company having left me, I was soon after met by Don John of
Austria, preceded by a great number of running footmen, and escorted by
only twenty or thirty horsemen. He was attended by a number of noblemen,
and amongst the rest the Duc d'Arscot, M. d'Aurec, the Marquis de
Varenbon, and the younger Balencon, governor, for the King of Spain, of
the county of Burgundy. These last two, who are brothers, had ridden
post to meet me. Of Don John's household there was only Louis de Gonzago
of any rank. He called himself a relation of the Duke of Mantua; the
others were mean-looking people, and of no consideration. Don John
alighted from his horse to salute me in my litter, which was opened for
the purpose. I returned the salute after the French fashion to him, the
Duc d'Arscot, and M. d'Aurec. After an exchange of compliments, he
mounted his horse, but continued in discourse with me until we reached
the city, which was not before it grew dark, as I set off late, the
ladies of Mons keeping me as long as they could, amusing themselves with
viewing my litter, and requiring an explanation of the different mottoes
and devices. However, as the Spaniards excel in preserving good order,
Namur appeared with particular advantage, for the streets were well
lighted, every house being illuminated, so that the blaze exceeded that
of daylight.

Our supper was served to us in our respective apartments, Don John being
unwilling, after the fatigue of so long a journey, to incommode us with a
banquet. The house in which I was lodged had been newly furnished for
the purpose of receiving me. It consisted of a magnificent large salon,
with a private apartment, consisting of lodging rooms and closets,
furnished in the most costly manner, with furniture of every kind, and
hung with the richest tapestry of velvet and satin, divided into
compartments by columns of silver embroidery, with knobs of gold, all
wrought in the most superb manner. Within these compartments were
figures in antique habits, embroidered in gold and silver.

The Cardinal de Lenoncourt, a man of taste and curiosity, being one day
in these apartments with the Duc d'Arscot, who, as I have before
observed, was an ornament to Don John's Court, remarked to him that this
furniture seemed more proper for a great king than a young unmarried
prince like Don John. To which the Duc d'Arscot replied that it came to
him as a present, having been sent to him by a bashaw belonging to the
Grand Seignior, whose son she had made prisoners in a signal victory
obtained over the Turks. Don John having sent the bashaw's sons back
without ransom, the father, in return, made him a present of a large
quantity of gold, silver, and silk stuffs, which he caused to be wrought
into tapestry at Milan, where there are curious workmen in this way; and
he had the Queen's bedchamber hung with tapestry representing the battle
in which he had so gloriously defeated the Turks.

The next morning Don John conducted us to chapel, where we heard mass
celebrated after the Spanish manner, with all kinds of music, after which
we partook of a banquet prepared by Don John. He and I were seated at a
separate table, at a distance of three yards from which stood the great
one, of which the honours were done by Madame d'Aurec. At this table the
ladies and principal lords took their seats. Don John was served with
drink by Louis de Gonzago, kneeling. The tables being removed, the ball
was opened, and the dancing continued the whole afternoon. The evening
was spent in conversation betwixt Don John and me, who told me I greatly
resembled the Queen his mistress, by whom he meant the late Queen my
sister, and for whom he professed to have entertained a very high esteem.
In short, Don John manifested, by every mark of attention and politeness,
as well to me as to my attendants, the very great pleasure he had in
receiving me.

The boats which were to convey me upon the Meuse to Liege not all being
ready, I was under the necessity of staying another day. The morning was
passed as that of the day before. After dinner, we embarked on the river
in a very beautiful boat, surrounded by others having on board musicians
playing on hautboys, horns, and violins, and landed at an island where
Don John had caused a collation to be prepared in a large bower formed
with branches of ivy, in which the musicians were placed in small
recesses, playing on their instruments during the time of supper. The
tables being removed, the dances began, and lasted till it was time to
return, which I did in the same boat that conveyed me thither, and which
was that provided for my voyage.

The next morning Don John conducted me to the boat, and there took a most
polite and courteous leave, charging M. and Madame d'Aurec to see me safe
to Huy, the first town belonging to the Bishop of Liege, where I was to
sleep. As soon as Don John had gone on shore, M. d'Ainsi, who remained
in the boat, and who had the Bishop of Cambray's permission to go to
Namur only, took leave of me with many protestations of fidelity and
attachment to my brother and myself.

But Fortune, envious of my hitherto prosperous journey, gave me two omens
of the sinister events of my return.

The first was the sudden illness which attacked Mademoiselle de Tournon,
the daughter of the lady of my bedchamber, a young person, accomplished,
with every grace and virtue, and for whom I had the most perfect regard.
No sooner had the boat left the shore than this young lady was seized
with an alarming disorder, which, from the great pain attending it,
caused her to scream in the most doleful manner. The physicians
attributed the cause to spasms of the heart, which, notwithstanding the
utmost exertions of their skill, carried her off a few days after my
arrival at Liege. As the history of this young lady is remarkable, I
shall relate it in my next letter.

The other omen was what happened to us at Huy, immediately upon our
arrival there. This town is built on the declivity of a mountain, at the
foot of which runs the river Meuse. As we were about to land, there fell
a torrent of rain, which, coming down the steep sides of the mountain,
swelled the river instantly to such a degree that we had only time to
leap out of the boat and run to the top, the flood reaching the very
highest street, next to where I was to lodge. There we were forced to
put up with such accommodation as could be procured in the house, as it
was impossible to remove the smallest article of our baggage from the
boats, or even to stir out of the house we were in, the whole city being
under water. However, the town was as suddenly relieved from this
calamity as it had been afflicted with it, for, on the next morning, the
whole inundation had ceased, the waters having run off, and the river
being confined within its usual channel.

Leaving Huy, M. and Madame d'Aurec returned to Don John at Namur, and I
proceeded, in the boat, to sleep that night at Liege.


The City of Liege Described.--Affecting Story of Mademoiselle de
Tournon.--Fatal Effects of Suppressed Anguish of Mind.

The Bishop of Liege, who is the sovereign of the city and province,
received me with all the cordiality and respect that could be expected
from a personage of his dignity and great accomplishments. He was,
indeed, a nobleman endowed with singular prudence and virtue, agreeable
in his person and conversation, gracious and magnificent in his carriage
and behaviour, to which I may add that he spoke the French language

He was constantly attended by his chapter, with several of his canons,
who are all sons of dukes, counts, or great German lords. The bishopric
is itself a sovereign State, which brings in a considerable revenue, and
includes a number of fine cities. The bishop is chosen from amongst the
canons, who must be of noble descent, and resident one year. The city is
larger than Lyons, and much resembles it, having the Meuse running
through it. The houses in which the canons reside have the appearance of
noble palaces.

The streets of the city are regular and spacious, the houses of the
citizens well built, the squares large, and ornamented with curious
fountains. The churches appear as if raised entirely of marble, of which
there are considerable quarries in the neighbourhood; they are all of
them ornamented with beautiful clocks, and exhibit a variety of moving

The Bishop received me as I landed from the boat, and conducted me to his
magnificent residence, ornamented with delicious fountains and gardens,
set off with galleries, all painted, superbly gilt, and enriched with
marble, beyond description.

The spring which affords the waters of Spa being distant no more than
three or four leagues from the city of Liege, and there being only a
village, consisting of three or four small houses, on the spot, the
Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon was advised by her physicians to stay at Liege
and have the waters brought to her, which they assured her would have
equal efficacy, if taken after sunset and before sunrise, as if drunk at
the spring. I was well pleased that she resolved to follow the advice of
the doctors, as we were more comfortably lodged and had an agreeable
society; for, besides his Grace (so the bishop is styled, as a king is
addressed his Majesty, and a prince his Highness), the news of my arrival
being spread about, many lords and ladies came from Germany to visit me.
Amongst these was the Countess d'Aremberg, who had the honour to
accompany Queen Elizabeth to Mezieres, to which place she came to marry
King Charles my brother, a lady very high in the estimation of the
Empress, the Emperor, and all the princes in Christendom. With her came
her sister the Landgravine, Madame d'Aremberg her daughter, M. d'Aremberg
her son, a gallant and accomplished nobleman, the perfect image of his
father, who brought the Spanish succours to King Charles my brother, and
returned with great honour and additional reputation. This meeting, so
honourable to me, and so much to my satisfaction, was damped by the grief
and concern occasioned by the loss of Mademoiselle de Tournon, whose
story, being of a singular nature, I shall now relate to you, agreeably
to the promise I made in my last letter.

I must begin with observing to you that Madame de Tournon, at this time
lady of my bedchamber, had several daughters, the eldest of whom married
M. de Balencon, governor, for the King of Spain, in the county of
Burgundy. This daughter, upon her marriage, had solicited her mother to
admit of her taking her sister, the young lady whose story I am now about
to relate, to live with her, as she was going to a country strange to
her, and wherein she had no relations. To this her mother consented; and
the young lady, being universally admired for her modesty and graceful
accomplishments, for which she certainly deserved admiration, attracted
the notice of the Marquis de Varenbon. The Marquis, as I before
mentioned, is the brother of M. de Balencon, and was intended for the
Church; but, being violently enamoured of Mademoiselle de Tournon (whom,
as he lived in the same house, he had frequent opportunities of seeing),
he now begged his brother's permission to marry her, not having yet taken
orders. The young lady's family, to whom he had likewise communicated
his wish, readily gave their consent, but his brother refused his,
strongly advising him to change his resolution and put on the gown.

Thus were matters situated when her mother, Madame de Tournon, a virtuous
and pious lady, thinking she had cause to be offended, ordered her
daughter to leave the house of her sister, Madame de Balencon, and come
to her. The mother, a woman of a violent spirit, not considering that
her daughter was grown up and merited a mild treatment, was continually
scolding the poor young lady, so that she was for ever with tears in her
eyes. Still, there was nothing to blame in the young girl's conduct, but
such was the severity of the mother's disposition. The daughter, as you
may well suppose, wished to be from under the mother's tyrannical
government, and was accordingly delighted with the thoughts of attending
me in this journey to Flanders, hoping, as it happened, that she should
meet the Marquis de Varenbon somewhere on the road, and that, as he had
now abandoned all thoughts of the Church, he would renew his proposal of
marriage, and take her from her mother.

I have before mentioned that the Marquis de Varenbon and the younger
Balencon joined us at Namur. Young Balencon, who was far from being so
agreeable as his brother, addressed himself to the young lady, but the
Marquis, during the whole time we stayed at Namur, paid not the least
attention to her, and seemed as if he had never been acquainted with her.

The resentment, grief, and disappointment occasioned by a behaviour so
slighting and unnatural was necessarily stifled in her breast, as decorum
and her sex's pride obliged her to appear as if she disregarded it; but
when, after taking leave, all of them left the boat, the anguish of her
mind, which she had hitherto suppressed, could no longer be restrained,
and, labouring for vent, it stopped her respiration, and forced from her
those lamentable outcries which I have already spoken of. Her youth
combated for eight days with this uncommon disorder, but at the
expiration of that time she died, to the great grief of her mother, as
well as myself. I say of her mother, for, though she was so rigidly
severe over this daughter, she tenderly loved her.

The funeral of this unfortunate young lady was solemnised with all proper
ceremonies, and conducted in the most honourable manner, as she was
descended from a great family, allied to the Queen my mother. When the
day of interment arrived, four of my gentlemen were appointed bearers,
one of whom was named La Boessiere. This man had entertained a secret
passion for her, which he never durst declare on account of the
inferiority of his family and station. He was now destined to bear the
remains of her, dead, for whom he had long been dying, and was now as
near dying for her loss as he had before been for her love. The
melancholy procession was marching slowly, along, when it was met by the
Marquis de Varenbon, who had been the sole occasion of it. We had not
left Namur long when the Marquis reflected upon his cruel behaviour
towards this unhappy young lady; and his passion (wonderful to relate)
being revived by the absence of her who inspired it, though scarcely
alive while she was present, he had resolved to come and ask her of her
mother in marriage. He made no doubt, perhaps, of success, as he seldom
failed in enterprises of love; witness the great lady he has since
obtained for a wife, in opposition to the will of her family. He might,
besides, have flattered himself that he should easily have gained a
pardon from her by whom he was beloved, according to the Italian proverb,
"Che la forza d'amore non riguarda al delitto" (Lovers are not criminal
in the estimation of one another). Accordingly, the Marquis solicited
Don John to be despatched to me on some errand, and arrived, as I said
before, at the very instant the corpse of this ill-fated young lady was
being borne to the grave. He was stopped by the crowd occasioned by this
solemn procession. He contemplates it for some time. He observes a long
train of persons in mourning, and remarks the coffin to be covered with a
white pall, and that there are chaplets of flowers laid upon the coffin.
He inquires whose funeral it is. The answer he receives is, that it is
the funeral of a young lady. Unfortunately for him, this reply fails to
satisfy his curiosity. He makes up to one who led the procession, and
eagerly asks the name of the young lady they are proceeding to bury.
When, oh, fatal answer! Love, willing to avenge the victim of his
ingratitude and neglect, suggests a reply which had nearly deprived him
of life. He no sooner hears the name of Mademoiselle de Tournon
pronounced than he falls from his horse in a swoon. He is taken up for
dead, and conveyed to the nearest house, where he lies for a time
insensible; his soul, no doubt, leaving his body to obtain pardon from
her whom he had hastened to a premature grave, to return to taste the
bitterness of death a second time.

Having performed the last offices to the remains of this poor young lady,
I was unwilling to discompose the gaiety of the society assembled here on
my account by any show of grief. Accordingly, I joined the Bishop, or,
as he is called, his Grace, and his canons, in their entertainments at
different houses, and in gardens, of which the city and its neighbourhood
afforded a variety. I was every morning attended by a numerous company
to the garden, in which I drank the waters, the exercise of walking being
recommended to be used with them. As the physician who advised me to
take them was my own brother, they did not fail of their effect with me;
and for these six or seven years which are gone over my head since I
drank them, I have been free from any complaint of erysipelas on my arm.
From this garden we usually proceeded to the place where we were invited
to dinner. After dinner we were amused with a ball; from the ball we
went to some convent, where we heard vespers; from vespers to supper, and
that over, we had another ball, or music on the river.


Queen Marguerite, on Her Return from Liege, Is in Danger of Being Made a
Prisoner.--She Arrives, after Some Narrow Escapes, at La Fere.

In this manner we passed the six weeks, which is the usual time for
taking these waters, at the expiration of which the Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon was desirous to return to France; but Madame d'Aurec, who
just then returned to us from Namur, on her way to rejoin her husband in
Lorraine, brought us news of an extraordinary change of affairs in that
town and province since we had passed through it.

It appeared from this lady's account that, on the very day we left Namur,
Don John, after quitting the boat, mounted his horse under pretence of
taking the diversion of hunting, and, as he passed the gate of the castle
of Namur, expressed a desire of seeing it; that, having entered, he took
possession of it, notwithstanding he held it for the States, agreeably to
a convention. Don John, moreover, arrested the persons of the Duc
d'Arscot and M. d'Aurec, and also made Madame d'Aurec a prisoner. After
some remonstrances and entreaties, he had set her husband and
brother-in-law at liberty, but detained her as a hostage for them. In
consequence of these measures, the whole country was in arms. The
province of Namur was divided into three parties: the first whereof was
that of the States, or the Catholic party of Flanders; the second that of
the Prince of Orange and the Huguenots; the third, the Spanish party, of
which Don John was the head.

By letters which I received just at this time from my brother, through
the hands of a gentleman named Lescar, I found I was in great danger of
falling into the hands of one or other of these parties.

These letters informed me that, since my departure from Court, God had
dealt favourably with my brother, and enabled him to acquit himself of
the command of the army confided to him, greatly to the benefit of the
King's service; so that he had taken all the towns and driven the
Huguenots out of the provinces, agreeably to the design for which the
army was raised; that he had returned to the Court at Poitiers, where the
King stayed during the siege of Brouage, to be near to M. de Mayenne, in
order to afford him whatever succours he stood in need of; that, as the
Court is a Proteus, forever putting on a new face, he had found it
entirely changed, so that he had been no more considered than if he had
done the King no service whatever; and that Bussi, who had been so
graciously looked upon before and during this last war, had done great
personal service, and had lost a brother at the storming of Issoire, was
very coolly received, and even as maliciously persecuted as in the time
of Le Guast; in consequence of which either he or Bussi experienced some
indignity or other. He further mentioned that the King's favourites had
been practising with his most faithful servants, Maugiron, La Valette,
Mauldon, and Hivarrot, and several other good and trusty men, to desert
him, and enter into the King's service; and, lastly, that the King had
repented of giving me leave to go to Flanders, and that, to counteract my
brother, a plan was laid to intercept me on my return, either by the
Spaniards, for which purpose they had been told that I had treated for
delivering up the country to him, or by the Huguenots, in revenge of the
war my brother had carried on against them, after having formerly
assisted them.

This intelligence required to be well considered, as there seemed to be
an utter impossibility of avoiding both parties. I had, however, the
pleasure to think that two of the principal persons of my company stood
well with either one or another party. The Cardinal de Lenoncourt had
been thought to favour the Huguenot party, and M. Descarts, brother to
the Bishop of Lisieux, was supposed to have the Spanish interest at
heart. I communicated our difficult situation to the Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon and Madame de Tournon, who, considering that we could not
reach La Fere in less than five or six days, answered me, with tears in
their eyes, that God only had it in his power to preserve us, that I
should recommend myself to his protection, and then follow such measures
as should seem advisable. They observed that, as one of them was in a
weak state of health, and the other advanced in years, I might affect to
make short journeys on their account, and they would put up with every
inconvenience to extricate me from the danger I was in.

I next consulted with the Bishop of Liege, who most certainly acted
towards me like a father, and gave directions to the grand master of his
household to attend me with his horses as far as I should think proper.
As it was necessary that we should have a passport from the Prince of
Orange, I sent Mondoucet to him to obtain one, as he was acquainted with
the Prince and was known to favour his religion. Mondoucet did not
return, and I believe I might have waited for him until this time to no
purpose. I was advised by the Cardinal de Lenoncourt and my first
esquire, the Chevalier Salviati, who were of the same party, not to stir
without a passport; but, as I suspected a plan was laid to entrap me, I
resolved to set out the next morning.

They now saw that this pretence was insufficient to detain me;
accordingly, the Chevalier Salviati prevailed with my treasurer, who was
secretly a Huguenot, to declare he had not money enough in his hands to
discharge the expenses we had incurred at Liege, and that, in
consequence, my horses were detained. I afterwards discovered that this
was false, for, on my arrival at La Fere, I called for his accounts, and
found he had then a balance in his hands which would have enabled him to
pay, the expenses of my family for six or seven weeks. The Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon, incensed at the affront put upon me, and seeing the danger
I incurred by staying, advanced the money that was required, to their
great confusion; and I took my leave of his Grace the Bishop, presenting
him with a diamond worth three thousand crowns, and giving his domestics
gold chains and rings. Having thus taken our leave, we proceeded to Huy,
without any other passport than God's good providence.

This town, as I observed before, belongs to the Bishop of Liege, but was
now in a state of tumult and confusion, on account of the general revolt
of the Low Countries, the townsmen taking part with the Netherlanders,
notwithstanding the bishopric was a neutral State. On this account they
paid no respect to the grand master of the Bishop's household, who
accompanied us, but, knowing Don John had taken the castle of Namur in
order, as they supposed, to intercept me on my return, these brutal
people, as soon as I had got into my quarters, rang the alarm-bell, drew
up their artillery, placed chains across the streets, and kept us thus
confined and separated the whole night, giving us no opportunity to
expostulate with them on such conduct. In the morning we were suffered
to leave the town without further molestation, and the streets we passed
through were lined with armed men.

From there we proceeded to Dinant, where we intended to sleep; but,
unfortunately for us, the townspeople had on that day chosen their
burghermasters, a kind of officers like the consuls in Gascony and
France. In consequence of this election, it was a day of tumult, riot,
and debauchery; every one in the town was drunk, no magistrate was
acknowledged. In a word, all was in confusion. To render our situation
still worse, the grand master of the Bishop's household had formerly done
the town some ill office, and was considered as its enemy. The people of
the town, when in their sober senses, were inclined to favour the party
of the States, but under the influence of Bacchus they paid no regard to
any party, not even to themselves.

As soon as I had reached the suburbs, they were alarmed at the number of
my company, quitted the bottle and glass to take up their arms, and
immediately shut the gates against me. I had sent a gentleman before me,
with my harbinger and quartermasters, to beg the magistrates to admit me
to stay one night in the town, but I found my officers had been put under
an arrest. They bawled out to us from within, to tell us their
situation, but could not make themselves heard. At length I raised
myself up in my litter, and, taking off my mask, made a sign to a
townsman nearest me, of the best appearance, that I was desirous to speak
with him. As soon as he drew near me, I begged him to call out for
silence, which being with some difficulty obtained, I represented to him
who I was, and the occasion of my journey; that it was far from my
intention to do them harm; but, to prevent any suspicions of the kind, I
only begged to be admitted to go into their city with my women, and as
few others of my attendants as they thought proper, and that we might be
permitted to stay there for one night, whilst the rest of my company
remained within the suburbs.

They agreed to this proposal, and opened their gates for my admission. I
then entered the city with the principal persons of my company, and the
grand master of the Bishop's household. This reverend personage, who was
eighty years of age, and wore a beard as white as snow, which reached
down to his girdle, this venerable old man, I say, was no sooner
recognised by the drunken and armed rabble than he was accosted with the
grossest abuse, and it was with difficulty they were restrained from
laying violent hands upon him. At length I got him into my lodgings, but
the mob fired at the house, the walls of which were only of plaster. Upon
being thus attacked, I inquired for the master of the house, who,
fortunately, was within. I entreated him to speak from the window, to
some one without, to obtain permission for my being heard. I had some
difficulty to get him to venture doing so. At length, after much bawling
from the window, the burghermasters came to speak to me, but were so
drunk that they scarcely knew what they said. I explained to them that I
was entirely ignorant that the grand master of the Bishop's household was
a person to whom they had a dislike, and I begged them to consider the
consequences of giving offence to a person like me, who was a friend of
the principal lords of the States, and I assured them that the Comte de
Lalain, in particular, would be greatly displeased when he should hear
how I had been received there.

The name of the Comte de Lalain produced an instant effect, much more
than if I had mentioned all the sovereign princes I was related to. The
principal person amongst them asked me, with some hesitation and
stammering, if I was really a particular friend of the Count's.
Perceiving that to claim kindred with the Count would do me more service
than being related to all the Powers in Christendom, I answered that I
was both a friend and a relation. They then made me many apologies and
conges, stretching forth their hands in token of friendship; in short,
they now behaved with as much civility as before with rudeness.

They begged my pardon for what had happened, and promised that the good
old man, the grand master of the Bishop's household, should be no more
insulted, but be suffered to leave the city quietly, the next morning,
with me.

As soon as morning came, and while I was preparing to go to hear mass,
there arrived the King's agent to Don John, named Du Bois, a man much
attached to the Spanish interest. He informed me that he had received
orders from the King my brother to conduct me in safety on my return. He
said that he had prevailed on Don John to permit Barlemont to escort me
to Namur with a troop of cavalry, and begged me to obtain leave of the
citizens to admit Barlemont and his troop to enter the town that; they
might receive my orders.

Thus had they concerted a double plot; the one to get possession of the
town, the other of my person. I saw through the whole design, and
consulted with the Cardinal de Lenoncourt, communicating to him my
suspicions. The Cardinal was as unwilling to fall into the hands of the
Spaniards as I could be; he therefore thought it advisable to acquaint
the townspeople with the plot, and make our escape from the city by
another road, in order to avoid meeting Barlemont's troop. It was agreed
betwixt us that the Cardinal should keep Du Bois in discourse, whilst I
consulted the principal citizens in another apartment.

Accordingly, I assembled as many as I could, to whom I represented that
if they admitted Barlemont and his troop within the town, he would most
certainly take possession of it for Don John. I gave it as my advice to
make a show of defence, to declare they would not be taken by surprise,
and to offer to admit Barlemont, and no one else, within their gates.
They resolved to act according to my counsel, and offered to serve me at
the hazard of their lives. They promised to procure me a guide, who
should conduct me by a road by following which I should put the river
betwixt me and Don John's forces, whereby I should be out of his reach,
and could be lodged in houses and towns which were in the interest of the
States only.

This point being settled, I despatched them to give admission to M. de
Barlemont, who, as soon as he entered within the gates, begged hard that
his troop might come in likewise. Hereupon, the citizens flew into a
violent rage, and were near putting him to death. They told him that if
he did not order his men out of sight of the town, they would fire upon
them with their great guns. This was done with design to give me time to
leave the town before they could follow in pursuit of me. M. de
Barlemont and the agent, Du Bois, used every argument they could devise
to persuade me to go to Namur, where they said Don John waited to receive

I appeared to give way to their persuasions, and, after hearing mass and
taking a hasty dinner, I left my lodgings, escorted by two or three
hundred armed citizens, some of them engaging Barlemont and Du Bois in
conversation. We all took the way to the gate which opens to the river,
and directly opposite to that leading to Namur. Du Bois and his
colleague told me I was not going the right way, but I continued talking,
and as if I did not hear them. But when we reached the gate I hastened
into the boat, and my people after me. M. de Barlemont and the agent Du
Bois, calling out to me from the bank, told me I was doing very wrong and
acting directly contrary to the King's intention, who had directed that I
should return by way of Namur.

In spite of all their remonstrances we crossed the river with all
possible expedition, and, during the two or three crossings which were
necessary to convey over the litters and horses, the citizens, to give me
the more time to escape, were debating with Barlemont and Du Bois
concerning a number of grievances and complaints, telling them, in their
coarse language, that Don John had broken the peace and falsified his
engagements with the States; and they even rehearsed the old quarrel of
the death of Egmont, and, lastly, declared that if the troop made its
appearance before their walls again, they would fire upon it with their

I had by this means sufficient time to reach a secure distance, and was,
by the help of God and the assistance of my guide, out of all
apprehensions of danger from Barlemont and his troop.

I intended to lodge that night in a strong castle, called Fleurines,
which belonged to a gentleman of the party of the States, whom I had seen
with the Comte de Lalain. Unfortunately for me, the gentleman was
absent, and his lady only was in the castle. The courtyard being open,
we entered it, which put the lady into such a fright that she ordered the
bridge to be drawn up, and fled to the strong tower.--[In the old French
original, 'dongeon', whence we have 'duugeon'.]--Nothing we could say
would induce her to give us entrance. In the meantime, three hundred
gentlemen, whom Don John had sent off to intercept our passage, and take
possession of the castle of Fleurines; judging that I should take up my
quarters there, made their appearance upon an eminence, at the distance
of about a thousand yards. They, seeing our carriages in the courtyard,
and supposing that we ourselves had taken to the strong tower, resolved
to stay where they were that night, hoping to intercept me the next

In this cruel situation were we placed, in a courtyard surrounded by a
wall by no means strong, and shut up by a gate equally as weak and as
capable of being forced, remonstrating from time to time with the lady,
who was deaf to all our prayers and entreaties.

Through God's mercy, her husband, M. de Fleurines, himself appeared just
as night approached. We then gained instant admission, and the lady was
greatly reprimanded by her husband for her incivility and indiscreet
behaviour. This gentleman had been sent by the Comte de Lalain, with
directions to conduct me through the several towns belonging to the
States, the Count himself not being able to leave the army of the States,
of which he had the chief command, to accompany me.

This was as favourable a circumstance for me as I could wish; for, M. de
Fleurines offering to accompany me into France, the towns we had to pass
through being of the party of the States, we were everywhere quietly and
honourably received. I had only the mortification of not being able to
visit Mons, agreeably to my promise made to the Comtesse de Lalain, not
passing nearer to it than Nivelle, seven long leagues distant from it.
The Count being at Antwerp, and the war being hottest in the
neighbourhood of Mons, I thus was prevented seeing either of them on my
return. I could only write to the Countess by a servant of the gentleman
who was now my conductor. As soon as she learned I was at Nivelle, she
sent some gentlemen, natives of the part of Flanders I was in, with a
strong injunction to see me safe on the frontier of France.

I had to pass through the Cambresis, partly in favour of Spain and partly
of the States. Accordingly, I set out with these gentlemen, to lodge at
Cateau Cambresis. There they took leave of me, in order to return to
Mons, and by them I sent the Countess a gown of mine, which had been
greatly admired by her when I wore it at Mons; it was of black satin,
curiously embroidered, and cost nine hundred crowns.

When I arrived at Cateau-Cambresis, I had intelligence sent me that a
party of the Huguenot troops had a design to attack me on the frontiers
of Flanders and France. This intelligence I communicated to a few only
of my company, and prepared to set off an hour before daybreak. When I
sent for my litters and horses, I found much such a kind of delay from
the Chevalier Salviati as I had before experienced at Liege, and
suspecting it was done designedly, I left my litter behind, and mounted
on horseback, with such of my attendants as were ready to follow me. By
this means, with God's assistance, I escaped being waylaid by my enemies,
and reached Catelet at ten in the morning. From there I went to my house
at La Fere, where I intended to reside until I learned that peace was
concluded upon.

At La Fere I found a messenger in waiting from my brother, who had orders
to return with all expedition, as soon as I arrived, and inform him of
it. My brother wrote me word, by that messenger, that peace was
concluded, and the King returned to Paris; that, as to himself, his
situation was rather worse than better; that he and his people were daily
receiving some affront or other, and continual quarrels were excited
betwixt the King's favourites and Bussi and my brother's principal
attendants. This, he added, had made him impatient for my return, that
he might come and visit me.

I sent his messenger back, and, immediately after, my brother sent Bussi
and all his household to Angers, and, taking with him fifteen or twenty
attendants, he rode post to me at La Fere. It was a great satisfaction
to me to see one whom I so tenderly loved and greatly honoured, once
more. I consider it amongst the greatest felicities I ever enjoyed, and,
accordingly, it became my chief study to make his residence here
agreeable to him. He himself seemed delighted with this change of
situation, and would willingly have continued in it longer had not the
noble generosity of his mind called him forth to great achievements. The
quiet of our Court, when compared with that he had just left, affected
him so powerfully that he could not but express the satisfaction he felt
by frequently exclaiming, "Oh, Queen! how happy I am with you. My God!
your society is a paradise wherein I enjoy every delight, and I seem to
have lately escaped from hell, with all its furies and tortures!"


Good Effects of Queen Marguerite's Negotiations in Flanders.--She Obtains
Leave to Go to the King of Navarre Her Husband, but Her Journey Is
Delayed.--Court Intrigues and Plots.--The Duc d'Alencon Again Put under

We passed nearly two months together, which appeared to us only as so
many days. I gave him an account of what I had done for him in Flanders,
and the state in which I had left the business. He approved of the
interview with the Comte de Lalain's brother in order to settle the plan
of operations and exchange assurances. Accordingly, the Comte de
Montigny arrived, with four or five other leading men of the county of
Hainault. One of these was charged with a letter from M. d'Ainsi,
offering his services to my brother, and assuring him of the citadel of
Cambray. M. de Montigny delivered his brother's declaration and
engagement to give up the counties of Hainault and Artois, which included
a number of fine cities. These offers made and accepted, my brother
dismissed them with presents of gold medals, bearing his and my effigies,
and every assurance of his future favour; and they returned to prepare
everything for his coming. In the meanwhile my brother considered on the
necessary measures to be used for raising a sufficient force, for which
purpose he returned to the King, to prevail with him to assist him in
this enterprise.

As I was anxious to go to Gascony, I made ready for the journey, and set
off for Paris, my brother meeting me at the distance of one day's

At St. Denis I was met by the King, the Queen my mother, Queen Louise,
and the whole Court. It was at St. Denis that I was to stop and dine,
and there it was that I had the honour of the meeting I have just

I was received very graciously, and most sumptuously entertained. I was
made to recount the particulars of my triumphant journey to Liege, and
perilous return. The magnificent entertainments I had received excited
their admiration, and they rejoiced at my narrow escapes. With such
conversation I amused the Queen my mother and the rest of the company in
her coach, on our way to Paris, where, supper and the ball being ended, I
took an opportunity, when I saw the King and the Queen my mother
together, to address them.

I expressed my hopes that they would not now oppose my going to the King
my husband; that now, by the peace, the chief objection to it was
removed, and if I delayed going, in the present situation of affairs, it
might be prejudicial and discreditable to me. Both of them approved of
my request, and commended my resolution. The Queen my mother added that
she would accompany me on my journey, as it would be for the King's
service that she did so. She said the King must furnish me with the
necessary means for the journey, to which he readily assented. I thought
this a proper time to settle everything, and prevent another journey to
Court, which would be no longer pleasing after my brother left it, who
was now pressing his expedition to Flanders with all haste. I therefore
begged the Queen my mother to recollect the promise she had made my
brother and me as soon as peace was agreed upon, which was that, before
my departure for Gascony, I should have my marriage portion assigned to
me in lands. She said that she recollected it well, and the King thought
it very reasonable, and promised that it should be done. I entreated
that it might be concluded speedily, as I wished to set off, with their
permission, at the beginning of the next month. This, too, was granted
me, but granted after the mode of the Court; that is to say,
notwithstanding my constant solicitations, instead of despatch, I
experienced only delay; and thus it continued for five or six months in

My brother met with the like treatment, though he was continually urging
the necessity for his setting out for Flanders, and representing that his
expedition was for the glory and advantage of France,--for its glory, as
such an enterprise would, like Piedmont, prove a school of war for the
young nobility, wherein future Montlucs, Brissacs, Termes, and
Bellegardes would be bred, all of them instructed in these wars, and
afterwards, as field-marshals, of the greatest service to their country;
and it would be for the advantage of France, as it would prevent civil
wars; for Flanders would then be no longer a country wherein such
discontented spirits as aimed at novelty could assemble to brood over
their malice and hatch plots for the disturbance of their native land.

These representations, which were both reasonable and consonant with
truth, had no weight when put into the scale against the envy excited by
this advancement of my brother's fortune. Accordingly, every delay was
used to hinder him from collecting his forces together, and stop his
expedition to Flanders. Bussi and his other dependents were offered a
thousand indignities. Every stratagem was tried, by day as well as by
night, to pick quarrels with Bussi,--now by Quelus, at another time by
Grammont, with the hope that my brother would engage in them. This was
unknown to the King; but Maugiron, who had engrossed the King's favour,
and who had quitted my brother's service, sought every means to ruin him,
as it is usual for those who have given offence to hate the offended

Thus did this man take every occasion to brave and insult my brother; and
relying upon the countenance and blind affection shown him by the King,
had leagued himself with Quelus, Saint-Luc, Saint-Maigrin, Grammont,
Mauleon, Hivarrot, and other young men who enjoyed the King's favour. As
those who are favourites find a number of followers at Court, these
licentious young courtiers thought they might do whatever they pleased.
Some new dispute betwixt them and Bussi was constantly starting. Bussi
had a degree of courage which knew not how to give way to any one; and my
brother, unwilling to give umbrage to the King, and foreseeing that such
proceedings would not forward his expedition, to avoid quarrels and, at
the same time, to promote his plans, resolved to despatch Bussi to his
duchy of Alencon, in order to discipline such troops as he should find
there. My brother's amiable qualities excited the jealousy of Maugiron
and the rest of his cabal about the King's person, and their dislike for
Bussi was not so much on his own account as because he was strongly
attached to my brother. The slights and disrespect shown to my brother
were remarked by every one at Court; but his prudence, and the patience
natural to his disposition, enabled him to put up with their insults, in
hopes of finishing the business of his Flemish expedition, which would
remove him to a distance from them and their machinations. This
persecution was the more mortifying and discreditable as it even extended
to his servants, whom they strove to injure by every means they could
employ. M. de la Chastre at this time had a lawsuit of considerable
consequence decided against him, because he had lately attached himself
to my brother. At the instance of Maugiron and Saint-Luc, the King was
induced to solicit the cause in favour of Madame de Senetaire, their
friend. M. de la Chastre, being greatly injured by it, complained to my
brother of the injustice done him, with all the concern such a proceeding
may be supposed to have occasioned.

About this time Saint-Luc's marriage was celebrated. My brother resolved
not to be present at it, and begged of me to join him in the same
resolution. The Queen my mother was greatly uneasy on account of the
behaviour of these young men, fearing that, if my brother did not join
them in this festivity, it might be attended with some bad consequence,
especially as the day was likely to produce scenes of revelry and
debauch; she, therefore, prevailed on the King to permit her to dine on
the wedding-day at St. Maur, and take my brother and me with her. This
was the day before Shrove Tuesday; and we returned in the evening, the
Queen my mother having well lectured my brother, and made him consent to
appear at the ball, in order not to displease the King.

But this rather served to make matters worse than better, for Maugiron
and his party began to attack him with such violent speeches as would
have offended any one of far less consequence. They said he needed not
to have given himself the trouble of dressing, for he was not missed in
the afternoon; but now, they supposed, he came at night as the most
suitable time; with other allusions to the meanness of his figure and
smallness of stature. All this was addressed to the bride, who sat near
him, but spoken out on purpose that he might hear it. My brother,
perceiving this was purposely said to provoke an answer and occasion his
giving offence to the King, removed from his seat full of resentment;
and, consulting with M. de la Chastre, he came to the resolution of
leaving the Court in a few days on a hunting party. He still thought his
absence might stay their malice, and afford him an opportunity the more
easily of settling his preparations for the Flemish expedition with the
King. He went immediately to the Queen my mother, who was present at the
ball, and was extremely sorry to learn what had happened, and imparted
her resolution, in his absence, to solicit the King to hasten his
expedition to Flanders. M. de Villequier being present, she bade him
acquaint the King with my brother's intention of taking the diversion of
hunting a few days; which she thought very proper herself, as it would
put a stop to the disputes which had arisen betwixt him and the young
men, Maugiron, Saint-Luc, Quelus, and the rest.

My brother retired to his apartment, and, considering his leave as
granted, gave orders to his domestics to prepare to set off the next
morning for St. Germain, where he should hunt the stag for a few days. He
directed the grand huntsman to be ready with the hounds, and retired to
rest, thinking to withdraw awhile from the intrigues of the Court, and
amuse himself with the sports of the field. M. de Villequier, agreeably
to the command he had received from the Queen my mother, asked for leave,
and obtained it. The King, however, staying in his closet, like
Rehoboam, with his council of five or six young men, they suggested
suspicions in his mind respecting my brother's departure from Court. In
short, they worked upon his fears and apprehensions so greatly, that he
took one of the most rash and inconsiderate steps that was ever decided
upon in our time; which was to put my brother and all his principal
servants under an arrest. This measure was executed with as much
indiscretion as it had been resolved upon. The King, under this
agitation of mind, late as it was, hastened to the Queen my mother, and
seemed as if there was a general alarm and the enemy at the gates, for he
exclaimed on seeing her: "How could you, Madame, think of asking me to
let my brother go hence? Do you not perceive how dangerous his going
will prove to my kingdom? Depend upon it that this hunting is merely a
pretence to cover some treacherous design. I am going to put him and his
people under an arrest, and have his papers examined. I am sure we shall
make some great discoveries."

At the time he said this he had with him the Sieur de Cosse, captain of
the guard, and a number of Scottish archers. The Queen my mother,
fearing, from the King's haste and trepidation, that some mischief might
happen to my brother, begged to go with him. Accordingly, undressed as
she was, wrapping herself up in a night-gown, she followed the King to my
brother's bedchamber. The King knocked at the door with great violence,
ordering it to be immediately opened, for that he was there himself. My
brother started up in his bed, awakened by the noise, and, knowing that
he had done nothing that he need fear, ordered Cange, his valet de
chambre, to open the door. The King entered in a great rage, and asked
him when he would have done plotting against him. "But I will show you,"
said he, "what it is to plot against your sovereign." Hereupon he
ordered the archers to take away all the trunks, and turn the valets de
chambre out of the room. He searched my brother's bed himself, to see if
he could find any papers concealed in it. My brother had that evening
received a letter from Madame de Sauves, which he kept in his hand,
unwilling that it should be seen. The King endeavoured to force it from
him. He refused to part with it, and earnestly entreated the King would
not insist upon seeing it. This only excited the King's anxiety the more
to have it in his possession, as he now supposed it to be the key to the
whole plot, and the very document which would at once bring conviction
home to him. At length, the King having got it into his hands, he opened
it in the presence of the Queen my mother, and they were both as much
confounded, when they read the contents, as Cato was when he obtained a
letter from Caesar, in the Senate, which the latter was unwilling to give
up; and which Cato, supposing it to contain a conspiracy against the
Republic, found to be no other than a love-letter from his own sister.

But the shame of this disappointment served only to increase the King's
anger, who, without condescending to make a reply to my brother, when
repeatedly asked what he had been accused of, gave him in charge of M. de
Cosse and his Scots, commanding them not to admit a single person to
speak with him.

It was one o'clock in the morning when my brother was made a prisoner in
the manner I have now related. He feared some fatal event might succeed
these violent proceedings, and he was under the greatest concern on my
account, supposing me to be under a like arrest. He observed M. de Cosse
to be much affected by the scene he had been witness to, even to shedding
tears. As the archers were in the room he would not venture to enter
into discourse with him, but only asked what was become of me. M. de
Cosse answered that I remained at full liberty. My brother then said it
was a great comfort to him to hear that news; "but," added he, "as I know
she loves me so entirely that she would rather be confined with me than
have her liberty whilst I was in confinement, I beg you will go to the
Queen my mother, and desire her to obtain leave for my sister to be with
me." He did so, and it was granted.

The reliance which my brother displayed upon this occasion in the
sincerity of my friendship and regard for him conferred so great an
obligation in my mind that, though I have received many particular
favours since from him, this has always held the foremost place in my
grateful remembrance.

By the time he had received permission for my being with him, daylight
made its appearance. Seeing this, my brother begged M. de Cosse to send
one of his archers to acquaint me with his situation, and beg me to come
to him.


The Brothers Reconciled.--Alencon Restored to His Liberty.

I was ignorant of what had happened to my brother, and when the Scottish
archer came into my bedchamber, I was still asleep. He drew the curtains
of the bed, and told me, in his broken French, that my brother wished to
see me. I stared at the man, half awake as I was, and thought it a
dream. After a short pause, and being thoroughly awakened, I asked him
if he was not a Scottish archer. He answered me in the affirmative.
"What!" cried I, "has my brother no one else to send a message by?" He
replied he had not, for all his domestics had been put under an arrest.
He then proceeded to relate, as well as he could explain himself, the
events of the preceding night, and the leave granted my brother for my
being with him during his imprisonment.

The poor fellow, observing me to be much affected by this intelligence,
drew near, and whispered me to this purport: "Do not grieve yourself
about this matter; I know a way of setting your brother at liberty, and
you may depend upon it, that I will do it; but, in that case, I must go
off with him." I assured him that he might rely upon being as amply
rewarded as he could wish for such assistance, and, huddling on my
clothes, I followed him alone to my brother's apartments. In going
thither, I had occasion to traverse the whole gallery, which was filled
with people, who, at another time, would have pressed forward to pay
their respects to me; but, now that Fortune seemed to frown upon me, they
all avoided me, or appeared as if they did not see me.

Coming into my brother's apartments, I found him not at all affected by
what had happened; for such was the constancy of his mind, that his
arrest had wrought no change, and he received me with his usual
cheerfulness. He ran to meet me, and taking me in his arms, he said,
"Queen! I beg you to dry up your tears; in my present situation, nothing
can grieve me so much as to find you under any concern; for my own part,
I am so conscious of my innocence and the integrity of my conduct, that I
can defy the utmost malice of my enemies. If I should chance to fall the
victim of their injustice, my death would prove a more cruel punishment
to them than to me, who have courage sufficient to meet it in a just
cause. It is not death I fear, because I have tasted sufficiently of the
calamities and evils of life, and am ready to leave this world, which I
have found only the abode of sorrow; but the circumstance I dread most
is, that, not finding me sufficiently guilty to doom me to death, I shall
be condemned to a long, solitary imprisonment; though I should even
despise their tyranny in that respect, could I but have the assurance of
being comforted by your presence."

These words, instead of stopping my tears, only served to make them
stream afresh. I answered, sobbing, that my life and fortune were at his
devotion; that the power of God alone could prevent me from affording him
my assistance under every extremity; that, if he should be transported
from that place, and I should be withheld from following him, I would
kill myself on the spot.

Changing our discourse, we framed a number of conjectures on what might
be the probable cause of the King's angry proceedings against him, but
found ourselves at a loss what to assign them to.

Whilst we were discussing this matter the hour came for opening the
palace gates, when a simple young man belonging to Bussi presented
himself for entrance. Being stopped by the guard and questioned as to
whither he was going, he, panic-struck, replied he was going to M. de
Bussi, his master. This answer was carried to the King, and gave fresh
grounds for suspicion. It seems my brother, supposing he should not be
able to go to Flanders for some time, and resolving to send Bussi to his
duchy of Alencon as I have already mentioned, had lodged him in the
Louvre, that he might be near him to take instructions at every

L'Archant, the general of the guard, had received the King's commands to
make a search in the Louvre for him and Simier, and put them both under
arrest. He entered upon this business with great unwillingness, as he
was intimate with Bussi, who was accustomed to call him "father."
L'Archant, going to Simier's apartment, arrested him; and though he
judged Bussi was there too, yet, being unwilling to find him, he was
going away. Bussi, however, who had concealed himself under the bed, as
not knowing to whom the orders for his arrest might be given, finding he
was to be left there, and sensible that he should be well treated by
L'Archant, called out to him, as he was leaving the room, in his droll
manner: "What, papa, are you going without me? Don't you think I am as
great a rogue as that Simier?"

"Ah, son," replied L'Archant, "I would much rather have lost my arm than
have met with you!"

Bussi, being a man devoid of all fear, observed that it was a sign that
things went well with him; then, turning to Simier, who stood trembling
with fear, he jeered him upon his pusillanimity. L'Archant removed them
both, and set a guard over them; and, in the next place, proceeded to
arrest M. de la Chastre, whom he took to the Bastille.

Meanwhile M. de l'Oste was appointed to the command of the guard which
was set over my brother. This was a good sort of old man, who had been
appointed governor to the King my husband, and loved me as if I had been
his own child. Sensible of the injustice done to my brother and me, and
lamenting the bad counsel by which the King was guided, and being,
moreover, willing to serve us, he resolved to deliver my, brother from
arrest. In order to make his intention known to us he ordered the
Scottish archers to wait on the stairs without, keeping only, two whom he
could trust in the room. Then taking me aside, he said:

"There is not a good Frenchman living who does not bleed at his heart to
see what we see. I have served the King your father, and I am ready to
lay down my life to serve his children. I expect to have the guard of
the Prince your brother, wherever he shall chance to be confined; and,
depend upon it, at the hazard of my life, I will restore him to his
liberty. But," added he, "that no suspicions may arise that such is my
design, it will be proper that we be not seen together in conversation;
however, you may, rely upon my word."

This afforded me great consolation; and, assuming a degree of courage
hereupon, I observed to my brother that we ought not to remain there
without knowing for what reason we were detained, as if we were in the
Inquisition; and that to treat us in such a manner was to consider us as
persons of no account. I then begged M. de l'Oste to entreat the King,
in our name, if the Queen our mother was not permitted to come to us, to
send some one to acquaint us with the crime for which we were kept in

M. de Combaut, who was at the head of the young counsellors, was
accordingly sent to us; and he, with a great deal of gravity, informed us
that he came from the King to inquire what it was we wished to
communicate to his Majesty. We answered that we wished to speak to some
one near the King's person, in order to our being informed what we were
kept in confinement for, as we were unable to assign any reason for it
ourselves. He answered, with great solemnity, that we ought not to ask
of God or the King reasons for what they did; as all their actions
emanated from wisdom and justice. We replied that we were not persons to
be treated like those shut up in the Inquisition, who are left to guess
at the cause of their being there.

We could obtain from him, after all we said, no other satisfaction than
his promise to interest himself in our behalf, and to do us all the
service in his power. At this my brother broke out into a fit of
laughter; but I confess I was too much alarmed to treat his message with
such indifference, and could scarcely, refrain from talking to this
messenger as he deserved.

Whilst he was making his report to the King, the Queen my mother kept her
chamber, being under great concern, as may well be supposed, to witness
such proceedings. She plainly foresaw, in her prudence, that these
excesses would end fatally, should the mildness of my brother's
disposition, and his regard for the welfare of the State, be once wearied
out with submitting to such repeated acts of injustice. She therefore
sent for the senior members of the Council, the chancellor, princes,
nobles, and marshals of France, who all were greatly scandalised at the
bad counsel which had been given to the King, and told the Queen my
mother that she ought to remonstrate with the King upon the injustice of
his proceedings. They observed that what had been done could not now be
recalled, but matters might yet be set upon a right footing. The Queen
my mother hereupon went to the King, followed by these counsellors, and
represented to him the ill consequences which might proceed from the
steps he had taken.

The King's eyes were by this time opened, and he saw that he had been ill
advised. He therefore begged the Queen my mother to set things to
rights, and to prevail on my brother to forget all that had happened, and
to bear no resentment against these young men, but to make up the breach
betwixt Bussi and Quelus.

Things being thus set to rights again, the guard which had been placed
over my brother was dismissed, and the Queen my mother, coming to his
apartment, told him he ought to return thanks to God for his deliverance,
for that there had been a moment when even she herself despaired of
saving his life; that since he must now have discovered that the King's
temper of mind was such that he took the alarm at the very imagination of
danger, and that, when once he was resolved upon a measure, no advice
that she or any other could give would prevent him from putting it into
execution, she would recommend it to him to submit himself to the King's
pleasure in everything, in order to prevent the like in future; and, for
the present, to take the earliest opportunity of seeing the King, and to
appear as if he thought no more about the past.

We replied that we were both of us sensible of God's great mercy in
delivering us from the injustice of our enemies, and that, next to God,
our greatest obligation was to her; but that my brother's rank did not
admit of his being put in confinement without cause, and released from it
again without the formality of an acknowledgment. Upon this, the Queen
observed that it was not in the power even of God himself to undo what
had been done; that what could be effected to save his honour, and give
him satisfaction for the irregularity of the arrest, should have place.
My brother, therefore, she observed, ought to strive to mollify the King
by addressing him with expressions of regard to his person and attachment
to his service; and, in the meantime, use his influence over Bussi to
reconcile him to Quelus, and to end all disputes betwixt them. She then
declared that the principal motive for putting my brother and his
servants under arrest was to prevent the combat for which old Bussi, the
brave father of a brave son, had solicited the King's leave, wherein he
proposed to be his son's second, whilst the father of Quelus was to be
his. These four had agreed in this way to determine the matter in
dispute, and give the Court no further disturbance.

My brother now engaged himself to the Queen that, as Bussi would see he
could not be permitted to decide his quarrel by combat, he should, in
order to deliver himself from his arrest, do as she had commanded.

The Queen my mother, going down to the King, prevailed with him to
restore my brother to liberty with every honour. In order to which the
King came to her apartment, followed by the princes, noblemen, and other
members of the Council, and sent for us by M. de Villequier. As we went
along we found all the rooms crowded with people, who, with tears in
their eyes, blessed God for our deliverance. Coming into the apartments
of the Queen my mother, we found the King attended as I before related.
The King desired my brother not to take anything ill that had been done,
as the motive for it was his concern for the good of his kingdom, and not
any bad intention towards himself. My brother replied that he had, as he
ought, devoted his life to his service, and, therefore, was governed by
his pleasure; but that he most humbly begged him to consider that his
fidelity and attachment did not merit the return he had met with; that,
notwithstanding, he should impute it entirely to his own ill-fortune, and
should be perfectly satisfied if the King acknowledged his innocence.
Hereupon the King said that he entertained not the least doubt of his
innocence, and only desired him to believe he held the same place in his
esteem he ever had. The Queen my mother then, taking both of them by the
hand, made them embrace each other.

Afterwards the King commanded Bussi to be brought forth, to make a
reconciliation betwixt him and Quelus, giving orders, at the same time,
for the release of Simier and M. de la Chastre. Bussi coming into the
room with his usual grace, the King told him he must be reconciled with
Quelus, and forbade him to say a word more concerning their quarrel. He
then commanded them to embrace. "Sire," said Bussi, "if it is your
pleasure that we kiss and are friends again, I am ready to obey your
command;" then, putting himself in the attitude of Pantaloon, he went up
to Queus and gave him a hug, which set all present in a titter,
notwithstanding they had been seriously affected by the scene which had
passed just before.

Many persons of discretion thought what had been done was too slight a
reparation for the injuries my brother had received. When all was over,
the King and the Queen my mother, coming up to me, said it would be
incumbent on me to use my utmost endeavours to prevent my brother from
calling to mind anything past which should make him swerve from the duty
and affection he owed the King. I replied that my brother was so
prudent, and so strongly attached to the King's service, that he needed
no admonition on that head from me or any one else; and that, with
respect to myself, I had never given him any other advice than to conform
himself to the King's pleasure and the duty he owed him.


The Duc d'Alencon Makes His Escape from Court.--Queen Marguerite's
Fidelity Put to a Severe Trial.

It was now three o'clock in the afternoon, and no one present had yet
dined. The Queen my mother was desirous that we should eat together,
and, after dinner, she ordered my brother and me to change our dress (as
the clothes we had on were suitable only to our late melancholy
situation) and come to the King's supper and ball. We complied with her
orders as far as a change of dress, but our countenances still retained
the impressions of grief and resentment which we inwardly felt.

I must inform you that when the tragi-comedy I have given you an account
of was over, the Queen my mother turned round to the Chevalier de Seurre,
whom she recommended to my brother to sleep in his bedchamber, and in
whose conversation she sometimes took delight because he was a man of
some humour, but rather inclined to be cynical.

"Well," said she, "M. de Seurre, what do you think of all this?"

"Madame, I think there is too much of it for earnest, and not enough for

Then addressing himself to me, he said, but not loud enough for the Queen
to hear him: "I do not believe all is over yet; I am very much mistaken
if this young man" (meaning my brother) "rests satisfied with this." This
day having passed in the manner before related, the wound being only
skinned over and far from healed, the young men about the King's person
set themselves to operate in order to break it out afresh.

These persons, judging of my brother by themselves, and not having
sufficient experience to know the power of duty over the minds of
personages of exalted rank and high birth, persuaded the King, still
connecting his case with their own, that it was impossible my brother
should ever forgive the affront he had received, and not seek to avenge
himself with the first opportunity. The King, forgetting the ill-judged
steps these young men had so lately induced him to take, hereupon
receives this new impression, and gives orders to the officers of the
guard to keep strict watch at the gates that his brother go not out, and
that his people be made to leave the Louvre every evening, except such of
them as usually slept in his bedchamber or wardrobe.

My brother, seeing himself thus exposed to the caprices of these
headstrong young fellows, who led the King according to their own
fancies, and fearing something worse might happen than what he had yet
experienced, at the end of three days, during which time he laboured
under apprehensions of this kind, came to a determination to leave the
Court, and never more return to it, but retire to his principality and
make preparations with all haste for his expedition to Flanders. He
communicated his design to me, and I approved of it, as I considered he
had no other view in it than providing for his own safety, and that
neither the King nor his government were likely to sustain any injury by

When we consulted upon the means of its accomplishment, we could find no
other than his descending from my window, which was on the second story
and opened to the ditch, for the gates were so closely watched that it
was impossible to pass them, the face of every one going out of the
Louvre being curiously examined. He begged of me, therefore, to procure
for him a rope of sufficient strength and long enough for the purpose.
This I set about immediately, for, having the sacking of a bed that
wanted mending, I sent it out of the palace by a lad whom I could trust,
with orders to bring it back repaired, and to wrap up the proper length
of rope inside.

When all was prepared, one evening, at supper-time, I went to the Queen
my mother, who supped alone in her own apartment, it being fast-day and
the King eating no supper. My brother, who on most occasions was patient
and discreet, spurred on by the indignities he had received, and anxious
to extricate himself from danger and regain his liberty, came to me as I
was rising from table, and whispered to me to make haste and come to him
in my own apartment. M. de Matignon, at that time a marshal, a sly,
cunning Norman, and one who had no love for my brother, whether he had
some knowledge of his design from some one who could not keep a secret,
or only guessed at it, observed to the Queen my mother as she left the
room (which I overheard, being near her, and circumspectly watching every
word and motion, as may well be imagined, situated as I was betwixt fear
and hope, and involved in perplexity) that my brother had undoubtedly an
intention of withdrawing himself, and would not be there the next day;
adding that he was assured of it, and she might take her measures

I observed that she was much disconcerted by this observation, and I had
my fears lest we should be discovered. When we came into her closet, she
drew me aside and asked if I heard what Matignon had said.

I replied: "I did not hear it, Madame, but I observe that it has given
you uneasiness."

"Yes," said she, "a great deal of uneasiness, for you know I have pledged
myself to the King that your brother shall not depart hence, and Matignon
has declared that he knows very well he will not be here to-morrow."

I now found myself under a great embarrassment; I was in danger either of
proving unfaithful to my brother, and thereby bringing his life into
jeopardy, or of being obliged to declare that to be truth which I knew to
be false, and this I would have died rather than be guilty of.

In this extremity, if I had not been aided by God, my countenance,
without speaking, would plainly have discovered what I wished to conceal.
But God, who assists those who mean well, and whose divine goodness was
discoverable in my brother's escape, enabled me to compose my looks and
suggested to me such a reply as gave her to understand no more than I
wished her to know, and cleared my conscience from making any declaration
contrary to the truth. I answered her in these words:

"You cannot, Madame, but be sensible that M. de Matignon is not one of my
brother's friends, and that he is, besides, a busy, meddling kind of man,
who is sorry to find a reconciliation has taken place with us; and, as to
my brother, I will answer for him with my life in case he goes hence, of
which, if he had any design, I should, as I am well assured, not be
ignorant, he never having yet concealed anything he meant to do from me."

All this was said by me with the assurance that, after my brother's
escape, they would not dare to do me any injury; and in case of the
worst, and when we should be discovered, I had much rather pledge my life
than hazard my soul by a false declaration, and endanger my brother's
life. Without scrutinising the import of my speech, she replied:
"Remember what you now say,--you will be bound for him on the penalty of
your life."

I smiled and answered that such was my intention. Then, wishing her a
good night, I retired to my own bedchamber, where, undressing myself in
haste and getting into bed, in order to dismiss the ladies and maids of
honour, and there then remaining only my chamber-women, my brother came
in, accompanied by Simier and Cange. Rising from my bed, we made the
cord fast, and having looked out, at the window to discover if any one
was in the ditch, with the assistance of three of my women, who slept in
my room, and the lad who had brought in the rope, we let down my brother,
who laughed and joked upon the occasion without the least apprehension,
notwithstanding the height was considerable. We next lowered Simier into
the ditch, who was in such a fright that he had scarcely strength to hold
the rope fast; and lastly descended my brother's valet de chambre, Cange.

Through God's providence my brother got off undiscovered, and going to
Ste. Genevieve, he found Bussi waiting there for him. By consent of the
abbot, a hole had been made in the city wall, through which they passed,
and horses being provided and in waiting, they mounted, and reached
Angers without the least accident.

Whilst we were lowering down Cange, who, as I mentioned before, was the
last, we observed a man rising out of the ditch, who ran towards the
lodge adjoining to the tennis-court, in the direct way leading to the
guard-house. I had no apprehensions on my own account, all my fears
being absorbed by those I entertained for my brother; and now I was
almost dead with alarm, supposing this might be a spy placed there by M.
de Matignon, and that my brother would be taken. Whilst I was in this
cruel state of anxiety, which can be judged of only by those who have
experienced a similar situation, my women took a precaution for my safety
and their own, which did not suggest itself to me. This was to burn the
rope, that it might not appear to our conviction in case the man in
question had been placed there to watch us. This rope occasioned so
great a flame in burning, that it set fire to the chimney, which, being
seen from without, alarmed the guard, who ran to us, knocking violently
at the door, calling for it to be opened.

I now concluded that my brother was stopped, and that we were both
undone. However, as, by the blessing of God and through his divine mercy
alone, I have, amidst every danger with which I have been repeatedly
surrounded, constantly preserved a presence of mind which directed what
was best to be done, and observing that the rope was not more than half
consumed, I told my women to go to the door, and speaking softly, as if I
was asleep, to ask the men what they wanted. They did so, and the
archers replied that the chimney was on fire, and they came to extinguish
it. My women answered it was of no consequence, and they could put it
out themselves, begging them not to awake me. This alarm thus passed off
quietly, and they went away; but, in two hours afterward, M. de Cosse
came for me to go to the King and the Queen, my mother, to give an
account of my brother's escape, of which they had received intelligence
by the Abbot of Ste. Genevieve.

It seems it had been concerted betwixt my brother and the abbot, in order
to prevent the latter from falling under disgrace, that, when my brother
might be supposed to have reached a sufficient distance, the abbot should
go to Court, and say that he had been put into confinement whilst the
hole was being made, and that he came to inform the King as soon as he
had released himself.

I was in bed, for it was yet night; and rising hastily, I put on my
night-clothes. One of my women was indiscreet enough to hold me round
the waist, and exclaim aloud, shedding a flood of tears, that she should
never see me more. M. de Cosse, pushing her away, said to me: "If I were
not a person thoroughly devoted to your service, this woman has said
enough to bring you into trouble. But," continued he, "fear nothing. God
be praised, by this time the Prince your brother is out of danger."

These words were very necessary, in the present state of my mind, to
fortify it against the reproaches and threats I had reason to expect from
the King. I found him sitting at the foot of the Queen my mother's bed,
in such a violent rage that I am inclined to believe I should have felt
the effects of it, had he not been restrained by the absence of my
brother and my mother's presence. They both told me that I had assured
them my brother would not leave the Court, and that I pledged myself for
his stay. I replied that it was true that he had deceived me, as he had
them; however, I was ready still to pledge my life that his departure
would not operate to the prejudice of the King's service, and that it
would appear he was only gone to his own principality to give orders and
forward his expedition to Flanders.

The King appeared to be somewhat mollified by this declaration, and now
gave me permission to return to my own apartments. Soon afterwards he
received letters from my brother, containing assurances of his
attachment, in the terms I had before expressed. This caused a cessation
of complaints, but by no means removed the King's dissatisfaction, who
made a show of affording assistance to his expedition, but was secretly
using every means to frustrate and defeat it.


Queen Marguerite Permitted to Go to the King Her Husband.--Is Accompanied
by the Queenmother.--Marguerite Insulted by Her Husband's Secretary.--She
Harbours Jealousy.--Her Attention to the King Her Husband during an
Indisposition.--Their Reconciliation.--The War Breaks Out
Afresh.--Affront Received from Marechal de Biron.

I now renewed my application for leave to go to the King my husband,
which I continued to press on every opportunity. The King, perceiving
that he could not refuse my leave any longer, was willing I should depart
satisfied. He had this further view in complying with my wishes, that by
this means he should withdraw me from my attachment to my brother. He
therefore strove to oblige me in every way he could think of, and, to
fulfil the promise made by the Queen my mother at the Peace of Sens, he
gave me an assignment of my portion in territory, with the power of
nomination to all vacant benefices and all offices; and, over and above
the customary pension to the daughters of France, he gave another out of
his privy purse.

He daily paid me a visit in my apartment, in which he took occasion to
represent to me how useful his friendship would be to me; whereas that of
my brother could be only injurious,--with arguments of the like kind.

However, all he could say was insufficient to prevail on me to swerve
from the fidelity I had vowed to observe to my brother. The King was
able to draw from me no other declaration than this: that it ever was,
and should be, my earnest wish to see my brother firmly established in
his gracious favour, which he had never appeared to me to have forfeited;
that I was well assured he would exert himself to the utmost to regain it
by every act of duty and meritorious service; that, with respect to
myself, I thought I was so much obliged to him for the great honour he
did me by repeated acts of generosity, that he might be assured, when I
was with the King my husband I should consider myself bound in duty to
obey all such commands as he should be pleased to give me; and that it
would be my whole study to maintain the King my husband in a submission
to his pleasure.

My brother was now on the point of leaving Alencon to go to Flanders; the
Queen my mother was desirous to see him before his departure. I begged
the King to permit me to take the opportunity of accompanying her to take
leave of my brother, which he granted; but, as it seemed, with great
unwillingness. When we returned from Alencon, I solicited the King to
permit me to take leave of himself, as I had everything prepared for my
journey. The Queen my mother being desirous to go to Gascony, where her
presence was necessary for the King's service, was unwilling that I
should depart without her. When we left Paris, the King accompanied us
on the way as far as his palace of Dolinville. There we stayed with him
a few days, and there we took our leave, and in a little time reached
Guienne, which belonging to, and being under the government of the King
my husband, I was everywhere received as Queen. My husband gave the
Queen my mother a meeting at Wolle, which was held by the Huguenots as a
cautionary town; and the country not being sufficiently quieted, she was
permitted to go no further.

It was the intention of the Queen my mother to make but a short stay; but
so many accidents arose from disputes betwixt the Huguenots and
Catholics, that she was under the necessity of stopping there eighteen
months. As this was very much against her inclination, she was sometimes
inclined to think there was a design to keep her, in order to have the
company of her maids of honour. For my husband had been greatly smitten
with Dayelle, and M. de Thurene was in love with La Vergne. However, I
received every mark of honour and attention from the King that I could
expect or desire. He related to me, as soon as we met, the artifices
which had been put in practice whilst he remained at Court to create a
misunderstanding betwixt him and me; all this, he said, he knew was with
a design to cause a rupture betwixt my brother and him, and thereby ruin
us all three, as there was an exceeding great jealousy entertained of the
friendship which existed betwixt us.

We remained in the disagreeable situation I have before described all the
time the Queen my mother stayed in Gascony; but, as soon as she could
reestablish peace, she, by desire of the King my husband, removed the
King's lieutenant, the Marquis de Villars, putting in his place the
Marechal de Biron. She then departed for Languedoc, and we conducted her
to Castelnaudary; where, taking our leave, we returned to Pau, in Bearn;
in which place, the Catholic religion not being tolerated, I was only
allowed to have mass celebrated in a chapel of about three or four feet
in length, and so narrow that it could scarcely hold seven or eight
persons. During the celebration of mass, the bridge of the castle was
drawn up to prevent the Catholics of the town and country from coming to
assist at it; who having been, for some years, deprived of the benefit of
following their own mode of worship, would have gladly been present.
Actuated by so holy and laudable a desire, some of the inhabitants of
Pau, on Whitsunday, found means to get into the castle before the bridge
was drawn up, and were present at the celebration of mass, not being
discovered until it was nearly over. At length the Huguenots espied
them, and ran to acquaint Le Pin, secretary to the King my, husband, who
was greatly in his favour, and who conducted the whole business relating
to the new religion. Upon receiving this intelligence, Le Pin ordered
the guard to arrest these poor people, who were severely beaten in my
presence, and afterwards locked up in prison, whence they were not
released without paying a considerable fine.

This indignity gave me great offence, as I never expected anything of the
kind. Accordingly, I complained of it to the King my husband, begging
him to give orders for the release of these poor Catholics, who did not
deserve to be punished for coming to my chapel to hear mass, a
celebration of which they had been so long deprived of the benefit. Le
Pin, with the greatest disrespect to his master, took upon him to reply,
without waiting to hear what the King had to say. He told me that I
ought not to trouble the King my husband about such matters; that what
had been done was very right and proper; that those people had justly
merited the treatment they met with, and all I could say would go for
nothing, for it must be so; and that I ought to rest satisfied with being
permitted to have mass said to me and my servants. This insolent speech
from a person of his inferior condition incensed me greatly, and I
entreated the King my husband, if I had the least share in his good
graces, to do me justice, and avenge the insult offered me by this low

The King my husband, perceiving that I was offended, as I had reason to
be, with this gross indignity, ordered Le Pin to quit our presence
immediately; and, expressing his concern at his secretary's behaviour,
who, he said, was overzealous in the cause of religion, he promised that
he would make an example of him. As to the Catholic prisoners, he said
he would advise with his parliament what ought to be done for my

Having said this, he went to his closet, where he found Le Pin, who, by
dint of persuasion, made him change his resolution; insomuch that,
fearing I should insist upon his dismissing his secretary, he avoided
meeting me. At last, finding that I was firmly resolved to leave him,
unless he dismissed Le Pin, he took advice of some persons, who, having
themselves a dislike to the secretary, represented that he ought not to
give me cause of displeasure for the sake of a man of his small
importance,--especially one who, like him, had given me just reason to be
offended; that, when it became known to the King my brother and the Queen
my mother, they would certainly take it ill that he had not only not
resented it, but, on the contrary, still kept him near his person.

This counsel prevailed with him, and he at length discarded his
secretary. The King, however, continued to behave to me with great
coolness, being influenced, as he afterwards confessed, by the counsel of
M. de Pibrac, who acted the part of a double dealer, telling me that I
ought not to pardon an affront offered by such a mean fellow, but insist
upon his being dismissed; whilst he persuaded the King my husband that
there was no reason for parting with a man so useful to him, for such a
trivial cause. This was done by M. de Pibrac, thinking I might be
induced, from such mortifications, to return to France, where he enjoyed
the offices of president and King's counsellor.

I now met with a fresh cause for disquietude in my present situation,
for, Dayelle being gone, the King my husband placed his affections on
Rebours. She was an artful young person, and had no regard for me;
accordingly, she did me all the ill offices in her power with him. In the
midst of these trials, I put my trust in God, and he, moved with pity by
my tears, gave permission for our leaving Pau, that "little Geneva;" and,
fortunately for me, Rebours was taken ill and stayed behind. The King my
husband no sooner lost sight of her than he forgot her; he now turned his
eyes and attention towards Fosseuse. She was much handsomer than the
other, and was at that time young, and really a very amiable person.

Pursuing the road to Montauban, we stopped at a little town called Eause,
where, in the night, the King my husband was attacked with a high fever,
accompanied with most violent pains in his head. This fever lasted for
seventeen days, during which time he had no rest night or day, but was
continually removed from one bed to another. I nursed him the whole
time, never stirring from his bedside, and never putting off my clothes.
He took notice of my extraordinary tenderness, and spoke of it to several
persons, and particularly to my cousin M-----, who, acting the part of an
affectionate relation, restored me to his favour, insomuch that I never
stood so highly in it before. This happiness I had the good fortune to
enjoy during the four or five years that I remained with him in Gascony.

Our residence, for the most part of the time I have mentioned, was at
Nerac, where our Court was so brilliant that we had no cause to regret
our absence from the Court of France. We had with us the Princesse de
Navarre, my husband's sister, since married to the Duc de Bar; there were
besides a number of ladies belonging to myself. The King my husband was
attended by a numerous body of lords and gentlemen, all as gallant
persons as I have seen in any Court; and we had only to lament that they
were Huguenots. This difference of religion, however, caused no dispute
among us; the King my husband and the Princess his sister heard a sermon,
whilst I and my servants heard mass. I had a chapel in the park for the
purpose, and, as soon as the service of both religions was over, we
joined company in a beautiful garden, ornamented with long walks shaded
with laurel and cypress trees. Sometimes we took a walk in the park on
the banks of the river, bordered by an avenue of trees three thousand
yards in length. The rest of the day was passed in innocent amusements;
and in the afternoon, or at night, we commonly had a ball.

The King was very assiduous with Fosseuse, who, being dependent on me,
kept herself within the strict bounds of honour and virtue. Had she
always done so, she had not brought upon herself a misfortune which has
proved of such fatal consequence to myself as well as to her.

But our happiness was too great to be of long continuance, and fresh
troubles broke out betwixt the King my husband and the Catholics, and
gave rise to a new war. The King my husband and the Marechal de Biron,
who was the King's lieutenant in Guienne, had a difference, which was
aggravated by the Huguenots. This breach became in a short time so wide
that all my efforts to close it were useless. They made their separate
complaints to the King. The King my husband insisted on the removal of
the Marechal de Biron, and the Marshal charged the King my husband, and
the rest of those who were of the pretended reformed religion, with
designs contrary to peace. I saw, with great concern, that affairs were
likely soon to come to an open rupture; and I had no power to prevent it.

The Marshal advised the King to come to Guienne himself, saying that in
his presence matters might be settled. The Huguenots, hearing of this
proposal, supposed the King would take possession of their towns, and,
thereupon, came to a resolution to take up arms. This was what I feared;
I was become a sharer in the King my husband's fortune, and was now to be
in opposition to the King my brother and the religion I had been bred up
in. I gave my opinion upon this war to the King my husband and his
Council, and strove to dissuade them from engaging in it. I represented
to them the hazards of carrying on a war when they were to be opposed
against so able a general as the Marechal de Biron, who would not spare
them, as other generals had done, he being their private enemy. I begged
them to consider that, if the King brought his whole force against them,
with intention to exterminate their religion, it would not be in their
power to oppose or prevent it. But they were so headstrong, and so
blinded with the hope of succeeding in the surprise of certain towns in
Languedoc and Gascony, that, though the King did me the honour, upon all
occasions, to listen to my advice, as did most of the Huguenots, yet I
could not prevail on them to follow it in the present situation of
affairs, until it was too late, and after they had found, to their cost,
that my counsel was good. The torrent was now burst forth, and there was
no possibility of stopping its course until it had spent its utmost

Before that period arrived, foreseeing the consequences, I had often
written to the King and the Queen my mother, to offer something to the
King my husband by way of accommodating matters. But they were bent
against it, and seemed to be pleased that matters had taken such a turn,
being assured by Marechal de Biron that he had it in his power to crush
the Huguenots whenever he pleased. In this crisis my advice was not
attended to, the dissensions increased, and recourse was had to arms.

The Huguenots had reckoned upon a force more considerable than they were
able to collect together, and the King my husband found himself
outnumbered by Marechal de Biron. In consequence, those of the pretended
reformed religion failed in all their plans, except their attack upon
Cahors, which they took with petards, after having lost a great number of
men, M. de Vezins, who commanded in the town, disputing their entrance
for two or three days, from street to street, and even from house to
house. The King my husband displayed great valour and conduct upon the.
occasion, and showed himself to be a gallant and brave general. Though
the Huguenots succeeded in this attempt, their loss was so great that
they gained nothing from it. Marechal de Biron kept the field, and took
every place that declared for the Huguenots, putting all that opposed him
to the sword.

From the commencement of this war, the King my husband doing me the
honour to love me, and commanding me not to leave him, I had resolved to
share his fortune, not without extreme regret, in observing that this war
was of such a nature that I could not, in conscience, wish success to
either side; for if the Huguenots got the upper hand, the religion which
I cherished as much as my life was lost, and if the Catholics prevailed,
the King my husband was undone. But, being thus attached to my husband,
by the duty I owed him, and obliged by the attentions he was pleased to
show me, I could only acquaint the King and the Queen my mother with the
situation to which I was reduced, occasioned by my advice to them not
having been attended to. I, therefore, prayed them, if they could not
extinguish the flames of war in the midst of which I was placed, at least
to give orders to Marechal de Biron to consider the town I resided in,
and three leagues round it, as neutral ground, and that I would get the
King my husband to do the same. This the King granted me for Nerac,
provided my husband was not there; but if he should enter it, the
neutrality was to cease, and so to remain as long as he continued there.
This convention was observed, on both sides, with all the exactness I
could desire. However, the King my husband was not to be prevented from
often visiting Nerac, which was the residence of his sister and me. He
was fond of the society of ladies, and, moreover, was at that time
greatly enamoured with Fosseuse, who held the place in his affections
which Rebours had lately occupied. Fosseuse did me no ill offices, so
that the King my husband and I continued to live on very good terms,
especially as he perceived me unwilling to oppose his inclinations.

Led by such inducements, he came to Nerac, once, with a body of troops,
and stayed three days, not being able to leave the agreeable company he
found there. Marechal de Biron, who wished for nothing so much as such
an opportunity, was apprised of it, and, under pretence of joining M. de
Cornusson, the seneschal of Toulouse, who was expected with a
reinforcement for his army, he began his march; but, instead of pursuing
the road, according to the orders he had issued, he suddenly ordered his
troops to file off towards Nerac, and, before nine in the morning, his
whole force was drawn up within sight of the town, and within cannon-shot
of it.

The King my husband had received intelligence, the evening before, of the
expected arrival of M. de Cornusson, and was desirous of preventing the
junction, for which purpose he resolved to attack him and the Marshal
separately. As he had been lately joined by M. de La Rochefoucauld, with
a corps of cavalry consisting of eight hundred men, formed from the
nobility of Saintonge, he found himself sufficiently strong to undertake
such a plan. He, therefore, set out before break of day to make his
attack as they crossed the river. But his intelligence did not prove to
be correct, for De Cornusson passed it the evening before. My husband,
being thus disappointed in his design, returned to Nerac, and entered at
one gate just as Marechal de Biron drew up his troops before the other.
There fell so heavy a rain at that moment that the musketry was of no
use. The King my husband, however, threw a body of his troops into a
vineyard to stop the Marshal's progress, not being able to do more on
account of the unfavourableness of the weather.

In the meantime, the Marshal continued with his troops drawn up in order
of battle, permitting only two or three of his men to advance, who
challenged a like number to break lances in honour of their mistresses.
The rest of the army kept their ground, to mask their artillery, which,
being ready to play, they opened to the right and left, and fired seven
or eight shots upon the town, one of which struck the palace. The
Marshal, having done this, marched off, despatching a trumpeter to me
with his excuse. He acquainted me that, had I been alone, he would on no
account have fired on the town; but the terms of neutrality for the town,
agreed upon by the King, were, as I well knew, in case the King my
husband should not be found in it, and, if otherwise, they were void.
Besides which, his orders were to attack the King my husband wherever he
should find him.

I must acknowledge on every other occasion the Marshal showed me the
greatest respect, and appeared to be much my friend. During the war my
letters have frequently fallen into his hands, when he as constantly
forwarded them to me unopened. And whenever my people have happened to
be taken prisoners by his army, they were always well treated as soon as
they mentioned to whom they belonged.

I answered his message by the trumpeter, saying that I well knew what he
had done was strictly agreeable to the convention made and the orders he
had received, but that a gallant officer like him would know how to do
his duty without giving his friends cause of offence; that he might have
permitted me the enjoyment of the King my husband's company in Nerac for
three days, adding, that he could not attack him, in my presence, without
attacking me; and concluding that, certainly, I was greatly offended by
his conduct, and would take the first opportunity of making my complaint
to the King my brother.


Situation of Affairs in Flanders.--Peace Brought About by Duc d'Alencon's
Negotiation.--Marechal de Biron Apologises for Firing on Nerac.--Henri
Desperately in Love with Fosseuse.--Queen Marguerite Discovers Fosseuse
to Be Pregnant, Which She Denies.--Fosseuse in Labour. Marguerite's
Generous Behaviour to Her.--Marguerite's Return to Paris.

The war lasted some time longer, but with disadvantage to the Huguenots.
The King my husband at length became desirous to make a peace. I wrote
on the subject to the King and the Queen my mother; but so elated were
they both with Marechal de Biron's success that they would not agree to
any terms.

About the time this war broke out, Cambray, which had been delivered up
to my brother by M. d'Ainsi, according to his engagement with me, as I
have before related, was besieged by the forces of Spain. My brother
received the news of this siege at his castle of Plessis-les-Tours,
whither he had retired after his return from Flanders, where, by the
assistance of the Comte de Lalain, he had been invested with the
government of Mons, Valenciennes, and their dependencies.

My brother, being anxious to relieve Cambray, set about raising an army,
with all the expedition possible; but, finding it could not be
accomplished very speedily, he sent forward a reinforcement under the
command of M. de Balagny, to succour the place until he arrived himself
with a sufficient force to raise the siege. Whilst he was in the midst
of these preparations this Huguenot war broke out, and the men he had
raised left him to incorporate themselves with the King's army, which had
reached Gascony.

My brother was now without hope of raising the siege, and to lose Cambray
would be attended with the loss of the other countries he had just
obtained. Besides, what he should regret more, such losses would reduce
to great straits M. de Balagny and the gallant troops so nobly defending
the place.

His grief on this occasion was poignant, and, as his excellent judgment
furnished him with expedients under all his difficulties, he resolved to
endeavour to bring about a peace. Accordingly he despatched a gentleman
to the King with his advice to accede to terms, offering to undertake the
treaty himself. His design in offering himself as negotiator was to
prevent the treaty being drawn out to too great a length, as might be the
case if confided to others. It was necessary that he should speedily
relieve Cambray, for M. de Balagny, who had thrown himself into the city
as I have before mentioned, had written to him that he should be able to
defend the place for six months; but, if he received no succours within
that time, his provisions would be all expended, and he should be obliged
to give way to the clamours of the inhabitants, and surrender the town.

By God's favour, the King was induced to listen to my brother's proposal
of undertaking a negotiation for a peace. The King hoped thereby to
disappoint him in his expectations in Flanders, which he never had
approved. Accordingly he sent word back to my brother that he should
accept his proffer of negotiating a peace, and would send him for his
coadjutors, M. de Villeroy and M. de Bellievre. The commission my
brother was charged with succeeded, and, after a stay of seven months in
Gascony, he settled a peace and left us, his thoughts being employed
during the whole time on the means of relieving Cambray, which the
satisfaction he found in being with us could not altogether abate.

The peace my brother, made, as I have just mentioned, was so judiciously
framed that it gave equal satisfaction to the King and the Catholics, and
to the King my husband and the Huguenots, and obtained him the affections
of both parties. He likewise acquired from it the assistance of that
able general, Marechal de Biron, who undertook the command of the army
destined to raise the siege of Cambray. The King my husband was equally
gratified in the Marshal's removal from Gascony and having Marechal de
Matignon in his place.

Before my brother set off he was desirous to bring about a reconciliation
betwixt the King my husband and Mareohal de Biron, provided the latter
should make his apologies to me for his conduct at Nerac. My brother had
desired me to treat him with all disdain, but I used this hasty advice
with discretion, considering that my brother might one day or other
repent having given it, as he had everything to hope, in his present
situation, from the bravery of this officer.

My brother returned to France accompanied by Marechal de Biron. By his
negotiation of a peace he had acquired to himself great credit with both
parties, and secured a powerful force for the purpose of raising the
siege of Cambray. But honours and success are followed by envy. The
King beheld this accession of glory to his brother with great
dissatisfaction. He had been for seven months, while my brother and I
were together in Gascony, brooding over his malice, and produced the
strangest invention that can be imagined. He pretended to believe (what
the King my husband can easily prove to be false) that I instigated him
to go to war that I might procure for my brother the credit of making
peace. This is not at all probable when it is considered the prejudice
my brother's affairs in, Flanders sustained by the war.

But envy and malice are self-deceivers, and pretend to discover what no
one else can perceive. On this frail foundation the King raised an altar
of hatred, on which he swore never to cease till he had accomplished my
brother's ruin and mine. He had never forgiven me for the attachment I
had discovered for my brother's interest during the time he was in Poland
and since.

Fortune chose to favour the King's animosity; for, during the seven
months that my brother stayed in Gascony, he conceived a passion for
Fosseuse, who was become the doting piece of the King my husband, as I
have already mentioned, since he had quitted Rebours. This new passion
in my brother had induced the King my husband to treat me with coldness,
supposing that I countenanced my brother's addresses. I no sooner
discovered this than I remonstrated with my brother, as I knew he would
make every sacrifice for my repose. I begged him to give over his
pursuit, and not to speak to her again. I succeeded this way to defeat
the malice of my ill-fortune; but there was still behind another secret
ambush, and that of a more fatal nature; for Fosseuse, who was
passionately fond of the King my husband, but had hitherto granted no
favours inconsistent with prudence and modesty, piqued by his jealousy of
my brother, gave herself up suddenly to his will, and unfortunately
became pregnant. She no sooner made this discovery, than she altered her
conduct towards me entirely from what it was before. She now shunned my
presence as much as she had been accustomed to seek it, and whereas
before she strove to do me every good office with the King my husband,
she now endeavoured to make all the mischief she was able betwixt us. For
his part, he avoided me; he grew cold and indifferent, and since Fosseuse
ceased to conduct herself with discretion, the happy moments that we
experienced during the four or five years we were together in Gascony
were no more.

Peace being restored, and my brother departed for France, as I have
already related, the King my husband and I returned to Nerac. We were no
sooner there than Fosseuse persuaded the King my husband to make a
journey to the waters of Aigues-Caudes, in Bearn, perhaps with a design
to rid herself of her burden there. I begged the King my husband to
excuse my accompanying him, as, since the affront that I had received at
Pau, I had made a vow never to set foot in Bearn until the Catholic
religion was reestablished there. He pressed me much to go with him, and
grew angry at my persisting to refuse his request. He told me that his
little girl (for so he affected to call Fosseuse) was desirous to go
there on account of a colic, which she felt frequent returns of. I
answered that I had no objection to his taking her with him. He then
said that she could not go unless I went; that it would occasion scandal,
which might as well be avoided. He continued to press me to accompany
him, but at length I prevailed with him to consent to go without me, and
to take her with him, and, with her, two of her companions, Rebours and
Ville-Savin, together with the governess. They set out accordingly, and
I waited their return at Baviere.

I had every day news from Rebours, informing me how matters went. This
Rebours I have mentioned before to have been the object of my husband's
passion, but she was now cast off, and, consequently, was no friend to
Fosseuse, who had gained that place in his affection she had before held.
She, therefore, strove all she could to circumvent her; and, indeed, she
was fully qualified for such a purpose, as she was a cunning, deceitful
young person. She gave me to understand that Fosseuse laboured to do me
every ill office in her power; that she spoke of me with the greatest
disrespect on all occasions, and expressed her expectations of marrying
the King herself, in case she should be delivered of a son, when I was to
be divorced. She had said, further, that when the King my husband
returned to Baviere, he had resolved to go to Pau, and that I should go
with him, whether I would or not.

This intelligence was far from being agreeable to me, and I knew not what
to think of it. I trusted in the goodness of God, and I had a reliance
on the generosity of the King my husband; yet I passed the time I waited
for his return but uncomfortably, and often thought I shed more tears
than they drank water. The Catholic nobility of the neighbourhood of
Baviere used their utmost endeavours to divert my chagrin, for the month
or five weeks that the King my husband and Fosseuse stayed at

On his return, a certain nobleman acquainted the King my husband with the
concern I was under lest he should go to Pau, whereupon he did not press
me on the subject, but only said he should have been glad if I had
consented to go with him. Perceiving, by my tears and the expressions I
made use of, that I should prefer even death to such a journey, he
altered his intentions and we returned to Nerac.

The pregnancy of Fosseuse was now no longer a secret. The whole Court
talked of it, and not only the Court, but all the country. I was willing
to prevent the scandal from spreading, and accordingly resolved to talk
to her on the subject. With this resolution, I took her into my closet,
and spoke to her thus: "Though you have for some time estranged yourself
from me, and, as it has been reported to me, striven to do me many ill
offices with the King my husband, yet the regard I once had for you, and
the esteem which I still entertain for those honourable persons to whose
family you belong, do not admit of my neglecting to afford you all the
assistance in my power in pour present unhappy situation. I beg you,
therefore, not to conceal the truth, it being both for your interest and
mine, under whose protection you are, to declare it. Tell me the truth,
and I will act towards you as a mother. You know that a contagious
disorder has broken out in the place, and, under pretence of avoiding it,
I will go to Mas-d'Agenois, which is a house belonging to the King my
husband, in a very retired situation. I will take you with me, and such
other persons as you shall name. Whilst we are there, the King will take
the diversion of hunting in some other part of the country, and I shall
not stir thence before your delivery. By this means we shall put a stop
to the scandalous reports which are now current, and which concern you
more than myself."

So far from showing any contrition, or returning thanks for my kindness,
she replied, with the utmost arrogance, that she would prove all those to
be liars who had reported such things of her; that, for my part, I had
ceased for a long time to show her any marks of regard, and she saw that
I was determined upon her ruin. These words she delivered in as loud a
tone as mine had been mildly expressed; and, leaving me abruptly, she
flew in a rage to the King my husband, to relate to him what I had said
to her. He was very angry upon the occasion, and declared he would make
them all liars who had laid such things to her charge. From that moment
until the hour of her delivery, which was a few months after, he never
spoke to me.

She found the pains of labour come upon her about daybreak, whilst she
was in bed in the chamber where the maids of honour slept. She sent for
my physician, and begged him to go and acquaint the King my husband that
she was taken ill. We slept in separate beds in the same chamber, and
had done so for some time.

The physician delivered the message as he was directed, which greatly
embarrassed my husband. What to do he did not know. On the one hand, he
was fearful of a discovery; on the other, he foresaw that, without proper
assistance, there was danger of losing one he so much loved. In this
dilemma, he resolved to apply to me, confess all, and implore my aid and
advice, well knowing that, notwithstanding what had passed, I should be
ready to do him a pleasure. Having come to this resolution, he withdrew
my curtains, and spoke to me thus: "My dear, I have concealed a matter
from you which I now confess. I beg you to forgive me, and to think no
more about what I have said to you on the subject. Will you oblige me so
far as to rise and go to Fosseuse, who is taken very ill? I am well
assured that, in her present situation, you will forget everything and
resent nothing. You know how dearly I love her, and I hope you will
comply with my request." I answered that I had too great a respect for
him to be offended at anything he should do, and that I would go to her
immediately, and do as much for her as if she were a child of my own. I
advised him, in the meantime, to go out and hunt, by which means he would
draw away all his people, and prevent tattling.

I removed Fosseuse, with all convenient haste, from the chamber in which
the maids of honour were, to one in a more retired part of the palace,
got a physician and some women about her, and saw that she wanted for
nothing that was proper in her situation. It pleased God that she should
bring forth a daughter, since dead. As soon as she was delivered I
ordered her to be taken back to the chamber from which she had been
brought. Notwithstanding these precautions, it was not possible to
prevent the story from circulating through the palace. When the King my
husband returned from hunting he paid her a visit, according to custom.
She begged that I might come and see her, as was usual with me when any
one of my maids of honour was taken ill. By this means she expected to
put a stop to stories to her prejudice. The King my husband came from
her into my bedchamber, and found me in bed, as I was fatigued and
required rest, after having been called up so early.

He begged me to get up and pay her a visit. I told him I went according
to his desire before, when she stood in need of assistance, but now she
wanted no help; that to visit her at this time would be only exposing her
more, and cause myself to be pointed at by all the world. He seemed to
be greatly displeased at what I said, which vexed me the more as I
thought I did not deserve such treatment after what I had done at his
request in the morning; she likewise contributed all in her power to
aggravate matters betwixt him and me.

In the meantime, the King my brother, always well informed of what is
passing in the families of the nobility of his kingdom, was not ignorant
of the transactions of our Court. He was particularly curious to learn
everything that happened with us, and knew every minute circumstance that
I have now related. Thinking this a favourable occasion to wreak his
vengeance on me for having been the means of my brother acquiring so much
reputation by the peace he had brought about, he made use of the accident
that happened in our Court to withdraw me from the King my husband, and
thereby reduce me to the state of misery he wished to plunge me in. To
this purpose he prevailed on the Queen my mother to write to me, and
express her anxious desire to see me after an absence of five or six
years. She added that a journey of this sort to Court would be
serviceable to the affairs of the King my husband as well as my own; that
the King my brother himself was desirous of seeing me, and that if I
wanted money for the journey he would send it me. The King wrote to the
same purpose, and despatched Manique, the steward of his household, with
instructions to use every persuasion with me to undertake the journey.
The length of time I had been absent in Gascony, and the unkind usage I
received on account of Fosseuse, contributed to induce me to listen to
the proposal made me.

The King and the Queen both wrote to me. I received three letters, in
quick succession; and, that I might have no pretence for staying, I had
the sum of fifteen hundred crowns paid me to defray the expenses of my
journey. The Queen my mother wrote that she would give me the meeting in
Saintonge, and that, if the King my husband would accompany me so far,
she would treat with him there, and give him every satisfaction with
respect to the King. But the King and she were desirous to have him at
their Court, as he had been before with my brother; and the Marechal de
Matignon had pressed the matter with the King, that he might have no one
to interfere with him in Gascony. I had had too long experience of what
was to be expected at their Court to hope much from all the fine promises
that were made to me. I had resolved, however, to avail myself of the
opportunity of an absence of a few months, thinking it might prove the
means of setting matters to rights. Besides which, I thought that, as I
should take Fosseuse with me, it was possible that the King's passion for
her might cool when she was no longer in his sight, or he might attach
himself to some other that was less inclined to do me mischief.

It was with some difficulty that the King my husband would consent to a
removal, so unwilling was he to leave his Fosseuse. He paid more
attention to me, in hopes that I should refuse to set out on this journey
to France; but, as I had given my word in my letters to the King and the
Queen my mother that I would go, and as I had even received money for the
purpose, I could not do otherwise.

And herein my ill-fortune prevailed over the reluctance I had to leave
the King my husband, after the instances of renewed love and regard which
he had begun to show me.


[Author unknown]

CHARLES, COMTE DE VALOIS, was the younger brother of Philip the Fair, and
therefore uncle of the three sovereigns lately dead. His eldest son
Philip had been appointed guardian to the Queen of Charles IV.; and when
it appeared that she had given birth to a daughter, and not a son, the
barons, joining with the notables of Paris and the, good towns, met to
decide who was by right the heir to the throne, "for the twelve peers of
France said and say that the Crown of France is of such noble estate that
by no succession can it come to a woman nor to a woman's son," as
Froissart tells us. This being their view, the baby daughter of Charles
IV. was at once set aside; and the claim of Edward III. of England, if,
indeed, he ever made it, rested on Isabella of France, his mother, sister
of the three sovereigns. And if succession through a female had been
possible, then the daughters of those three kings had rights to be
reserved. It was, however, clear that the throne must go to a man, and
the crown was given to Philip of Valois, founder of a new house of

The new monarch was a very formidable person. He had been a great feudal
lord, hot and vehement, after feudal fashion; but he was now to show that
he could be a severe master, a terrible king. He began his reign by
subduing the revolted Flemings on behalf of his cousin Louis of Flanders,
and having replaced him in his dignities, returned to Paris and there
held high state as King. And he clearly was a great sovereign; the
weakness of the late King had not seriously injured France; the new King
was the elect of the great lords, and they believed that his would be a
new feudal monarchy; they were in the glow of their revenge over the
Flemings for the days of Courtrai; his cousins reigned in Hungary and
Naples, his sisters were married to the greatest of the lords; the Queen
of Navarre was his cousin; even the youthful King of England did him
homage for Guienne and Ponthieu. The barons soon found out their
mistake. Philip VI., supported by the lawyers, struck them whenever he
gave them opening; he also dealt harshly with the traders, hampering them
and all but ruining them, till the country was alarmed and discontented.
On the other hand, young Edward of England had succeeded to a troubled
inheritance, and at the beginning was far weaker than his rival; his own
sagacity, and the advance of constitutional rights in England, soon
enabled him to repair the breaches in his kingdom, and to gather fresh
strength from the prosperity and good-will of a united people. While
France followed a more restricted policy, England threw open her ports to
all comers; trade grew in London as it waned in Paris; by his marriage
with Philippa of Hainault, Edward secured a noble queen, and with her the
happiness of his subjects and the all-important friendship of the Low
Countries. In 1336 the followers of Philip VI. persuaded Louis of
Flanders to arrest the English merchants then in Flanders; whereupon
Edward retaliated by stopping the export of wool, and Jacquemart van
Arteveldt of Ghent, then at the beginning of his power, persuaded the
Flemish cities to throw off all allegiance to their French-loving Count,
and to place themselves under the protection of Edward. In return Philip
VI. put himself in communication with the Scots, the hereditary foes of
England, and the great wars which were destined to last 116 years, and to
exhaust the strength of two strong nations, were now about to begin. They
brought brilliant and barren triumphs to England, and, like most wars,
were a wasteful and terrible mistake, which, if crowned with ultimate
success, might, by removing the centre of the kingdom into France, have
marred the future welfare of England, for the happy constitutional
development of the country could never have taken place with a sovereign
living at Paris, and French interests becoming ever more powerful.
Fortunately, therefore, while the war evoked by its brilliant successes
the national pride of Englishmen, by its eventual failure it was
prevented from inflicting permanent damage on England.

The war began in 1337 and ended in 1453; the epochs in it are the Treaty
of Bretigny in 1360, the Treaty of Troyes in 1422, the final expulsion of
the English in 1453.

The French King seems to have believed himself equal to the burdens of a
great war, and able to carry out the most far-reaching plans. The Pope
was entirely in his hands, and useful as a humble instrument to curb and
harass the Emperor. Philip had proved himself master of the Flemish,
and, with help of the King of Scotland, hoped so to embarrass Edward III.
as to have no difficulty in eventually driving him to cede all his French
possessions. While he thought it his interest to wear out his antagonist
without any open fighting, it was Edward's interest to make vigorous and
striking war. France therefore stood on the defensive; England was
always the attacking party. On two sides, in Flanders and in Brittany,
France had outposts which, if well defended, might long keep the English
power away from her vitals. Unluckily for his side, Philip was harsh and
raw, and threw these advantages away. In Flanders the repressive
commercial policy of the Count, dictated from Paris, gave Edward the
opportunity, in the end of 1337, of sending the Earl of Derby, with a
strong fleet, to raise the blockade of Cadsand, and to open the Flemish
markets by a brilliant action, in which the French chivalry was found
powerless against the English yeoman-archers; and in 1338 Edward crossed
over to Antwerp to see what forward movement could be made. The other
frontier war was that of Brittany, which began a little later (1341). The
openings of the war were gloomy and wasteful, without glory. Edward did
not actually send defiance to Philip till 1339, when he proclaimed
himself King of France, and quartered the lilies of France on the royal
shield. The Flemish proved a very reed; and though the French army came
up to meet the English in the Vermando country, no fighting took place,
and the campaign of 1339 ended obscurely. Norman and Genoese ships
threatened the southern shores of England, landing at Southampton and in
the Isle of Wight unopposed. In 1340 Edward returned to Flanders; on his
way he attacked the French fleet which lay at Sluys, and utterly
destroyed it. The great victory of Sluys gave England for centuries the
mastery of the British channel. But, important as it was, it gave no
success to the land campaign. Edward wasted his strength on an
unsuccessful siege of Tournia, and, ill-supported by his Flemish allies,
could achieve nothing. The French King in this year seized on Guienne;
and from Scotland tidings came that Edinburgh castle, the strongest place
held by the English, had fallen into the hands of Douglas. Neither from
Flanders nor from Guienne could Edward hope to reach the heart of the
French power; a third inlet now presented itself in Brittany. On the
death of John III. of Brittany, in 1341, Jean de Montfort, his youngest
brother, claimed the great fief, against his niece Jeanne, daughter of
his elder brother Guy, Comte de Penthievre. He urged that the Salic law,
which had been recognised in the case of the crown, should also apply to
this great duchy, so nearly an independent sovereignty. Jeanne had been
married to Charles de Blois, whom John III. of Brittany had chosen as his
heir; Charles was also nephew of King Philip, who gladly espoused his
cause. Thereon Jean de Montfort appealed to Edward, and the two Kings
met in border strife in Brittany. The Bretons sided with John against
the influence of France. Both the claimants were made prisoners; the
ladies carried on a chivalric warfare, Jeanne de Montfort against Jeanne
de Blois, and all went favourably with the French party till Philip, with
a barbarity as foolish as it was scandalous, tempted the chief Breton
lords to Paris and beheaded them without trial. The war, suspended by a
truce, broke out again, and the English raised large forces and supplies,
meaning to attack on three sides at once,--from Flanders, Brittany, and
Guienne. The Flemish expedition came to nothing; for the people of Ghent
in 1345 murdered Jacques van Arteveldt as he was endeavouring to persuade
them to receive the Prince of Wales as their count, and Edward, on
learning this adverse news, returned to England. Thence, in July, 1346,
he sailed for Normandy, and, landing at La Hogue, overran with ease the
country up to Paris. He was not, however, strong enough to attack the
capital, for Philip lay with a large army watching him at St. Denis.
After a short hesitation Edward crossed the Seine at Poissy, and struck
northwards, closely followed by Philip. He got across the Somme safely,
and at Crecy in Ponthieu stood at bay to await the French. Though his
numbers were far less than theirs, he had a good position, and his men
were of good stuff; and when it came to battle, the defeat of the French
was crushing. Philip had to fall back with his shattered army; Edward
withdrew unmolested to Calais, which he took after a long siege in 1347.
Philip had been obliged to call up his son John from the south, where he
was observing the English under the Earl of Derby; thereupon the English
overran all the south, taking Poitiers and finding no opposition. Queen
Philippa of Hainault had also defeated and taken David of Scotland at
Neville's Cross.

The campaign of 1346-1347 was on all hands disastrous to King Philip. He
sued for and obtained a truce for ten months. These were the days of the
"black death," which raged in France from 1347 to 1349, and completed the
gloom of the country, vexed by an arbitrary and grasping monarch, by
unsuccessful war, and now by the black cloud of pestilence. In 1350 King
Philip died, leaving his crown to John of Normandy. He had added two
districts and a title to France: he bought Montpellier from James of
Aragon, and in 1349 also bought the territories of Humbert, Dauphin of
Vienne, who resigned the world under influence of the revived religion of
the time, a consequence of the plague, and became a Carmelite friar. The
fief and the title of Dauphin were granted to Charles, the King's
grandson, who was the first person who attached that title to the heir to
the French throne. Apart from these small advantages, the kingdom of
France had suffered terribly from the reign of the false and heartless
Philip VI. Nor was France destined to enjoy better things under John
"the Good," one of the worst sovereigns with whom she has been cursed. He
took as his model and example the chivalric John of Bohemia, who had been
one of the most extravagant and worthless of the princes of his time, and
had perished in his old age at Crecy. The first act of the new King was
to take from his kinsman, Charles "the Bad" of Navarre, Champagne and
other lands; and Charles went over to the English King. King John was
keen to fight; the States General gave him the means for carrying on war,
by establishing the odious "gabelle" on salt, and other imposts. John
hoped with his new army to drive the English completely out of the
country. Petty war began again on all the frontiers,--an abortive attack
on Calais, a guerilla warfare in Brittany, slight fighting also in
Guienne. Edward in 1335 landed at Calais, but was recalled to pacify
Scotland; Charles of Navarre and the Duke of Lancaster were on the Breton
border; the Black Prince sailed for Bordeaux. In 1356 he rode northward
with a small army to the Loire, and King John, hastily summoning all his
nobles and fief-holders, set out to meet him. Hereon the Black Prince,
whose forces were weak, began to retreat; but the French King outmarched
and intercepted him near Poitiers. He had the English completely in his
power, and with a little patience could have starved them into
submission; instead, he deemed it his chivalric duty to avenge Crecy in
arms, and the great battle of Poitiers was the result (19th September,
1356). The carnage and utter ruin of the French feudal army was quite
incredible; the dead seemed more than the whole army of the Black Prince;
the prisoners were too many to be held. The French army, bereft of
leaders, melted away, and the Black Prince rode triumphantly back to
Bordeaux with the captive King John and his brave little son in his
train. A two years' truce ensued; King John was carried over to London,
where he found a fellow in misfortune in David of Scotland, who had been
for eleven years a captive in English hands. The utter degradation of
the nobles, and the misery of the country, gave to the cities of France
an opportunity which one great man, Etienne Marcel, provost of the
traders at Paris, was not slow to grasp. He fortified the capital and
armed the citizens; the civic clergy made common cause with him; and when
the Dauphin Charles convoked the three Estates at Paris, it was soon seen
that the nobles had become completely discredited and powerless. It was
a moment in which a new life might have begun for France; in vain did the
noble order clamour for war and taxes,--they to do the war, with what
skill and success all men now knew, and the others to pay the taxes.
Clergy, however, and burghers resisted. The Estates parted, leaving what
power there was still in France in the hands of Etienne Marcel. He
strove in vain to reconcile Charles the Dauphin with Charles of Navarre,
who stood forward as a champion of the towns. Very reluctantly did
Marcel entrust his fortunes to such hands. With help of Lecocq, Bishop
of Laon, he called the Estates again together, and endeavoured to lay
down sound principles of government, which Charles the Dauphin was
compelled to accept. Paris, however, stood alone, and even there all
were not agreed. Marcel and Bishop Lecocq, seeing the critical state of
things, obtained the release of Charles of Navarre, then a prisoner. The
result was that ere long the Dauphin-regent was at open war with Navarre
and with Paris. The outbreak of the miserable peasantry, the Jacquerie,
who fought partly for revenge against the nobles, partly to help Paris,
darkened the time; they were repressed with savage bloodshed, and in 1358
the Dauphin's party in Paris assassinated the only great man France had
seen for long. With Etienne Marcel's death all hope of a constitutional
life died out from France; the Dauphin entered Paris and set his foot on
the conquered liberties of his country. Paris had stood almost alone;
civic strength is wanting in France; the towns but feebly supported
Marcel; they compelled the movement to lose its popular and general
character, and to become a first attempt to govern France from Paris
alone. After some insincere negotiations, and a fear of desultory
warfare, in which Edward III. traversed France without meeting with a
single foe to fight, peace was at last agreed to, at Bretigny, in May,
1360. By this act Edward III. renounced the French throne and gave up
all he claimed or held north of the Loire, while he was secured in the
lordship of the south and west, as well as that part of Northern Picardy
which included Calais, Guines, and Ponthieu. The treaty also fixed the
ransom to be paid by King John.

France was left smaller than she had been under Philip Augustus, yet she
received this treaty with infinite thankfulness; worn out with war and
weakness, any diminution of territory seemed better to her than a
continuance of her unbearable misfortunes. Under Charles, first as
Regent, then as King, she enjoyed an uneasy rest and peace for twenty

King John, after returning for a brief space to France, went back into
his pleasant captivity in England, leaving his country to be ruled by the
Regent the Dauphin. In 1364 he died, and Charles V., "the Wise," became
King in name, as he had now been for some years in fact. This cold,
prudent, sickly prince, a scholar who laid the foundations of the great
library in Paris by placing 900 MSS. in three chambers in the Louvre, had
nothing to dazzle the ordinary eye; to the timid spirits of that age he
seemed to be a malevolent wizard, and his name of "Wise" had in it more
of fear than of love. He also is notable for two things: he reformed the
current coin, and recognised the real worth of Du Guesclin, the first
great leader of mercenaries in France, a grim fighting-man, hostile to
the show of feudal warfare, and herald of a new age of contests, in which
the feudal levies would fall into the background. The invention of
gunpowder in this century, the incapacity of the great lords, the rise of
free lances and mercenary troops, all told that a new era had arrived. It
was by the hand of Du Guesclin that Charles overcame his cousin and
namesake, Charles of Navarre, and compelled him to peace. On the other
hand, in the Breton war which followed just after, he was defeated by Sir
John Chandos and the partisans of Jean de Montfort, who made him
prisoner; the Treaty of Guerande, which followed, gave them the dukedom
of Brittany; and Charles V., unable to resist, was fair to receive the
new duke's homage, and to confirm him in the duchy. The King did not
rest till he had ransomed Du Guesclin from the hands of Chandos; he then
gave him commission to raise a paid army of freebooters, the scourge of
France, and to march with them to support, against the Black Prince, the
claims of Henry of Trastamare to the Crown of Castile. Successful at
first by help of the King of Aragon, he was made Constable of Spain at
the coronation of Henry at Burgos. Edward the Black Prince, however,
intervened, and at the battle of Najara (1367) Du Guesclin was again a
prisoner in English hands, and Henry lost his throne. Fever destroyed
the victorious host, and the Black Prince, withdrawing into Gascony,
carried with him the seeds of the disorder which shortened his days. Du
Guesclin soon got his liberty again; and Charles V., seeing how much his
great rival of England was weakened, determined at last on open war. He
allied himself with Henry of Trastamare, listened to the grievances of
the Aquitanians, summoned the Black Prince to appear and answer the
complaints. In 1369, Henry defeated Pedro, took him prisoner, and
murdered him in a brawl; thus perished the hopes of the English party in
the south. About the same time Charles V. sent open defiance and
declaration of war to England. Without delay, he surprised the English
in the north, recovering all Ponthieu at once; the national pride was
aroused; Philip, Duke of Burgundy, who had, through the prudent help of
Charles, lately won as a bride the heiress of Flanders, was stationed at
Rouen, to cover the western approach to Paris, with strict orders not to
fight; the Aquitanians were more than half French at heart. The record
of the war is as the smoke of a furnace. We see the reek of burnt and
plundered towns; there were no brilliant feats of arms; the Black Prince,
gloomy and sick, abandoned the struggle, and returned to England to die;
the new governor, the Earl of Pembroke, did not even succeed in landing:
he was attacked and defeated off Rochelle by Henry of Castile, his whole
fleet, with all its treasure and stores, taken or sunk, and he himself
was a prisoner in Henry's hands. Du Guesclin had already driven the
English out of the west into Brittany; he now overran Poitou, which
received him gladly; all the south seemed to be at his feet. The attempt
of Edward III. to relieve the little that remained to him in France
failed utterly, and by 1372 Poitou was finally lost to England. Charles
set himself to reduce Brittany with considerable success; a diversion
from Calais caused plentiful misery in the open country; but, as the
French again refused to fight, it did nothing to restore the English
cause. By 1375 England held nothing in France except Calais, Cherbourg,
Bayonne, and Bordeaux. Edward III., utterly worn out with war, agreed to
a truce, through intervention of the Pope; it was signed in 1375. In
1377, on its expiring, Charles, who in two years had sedulously improved
the state of France, renewed the war. By sea and land the English were
utterly overmatched, and by 1378 Charles was master of the situation on
all hands. Now, however, he pushed his advantages too far; and the cold
skill which had overthrown the English, was used in vain against the
Bretons, whose duchy he desired to absorb. Languedoc and Flanders also
revolted against him. France was heavily burdened with taxes, and the
future was dark and threatening. In the midst of these things, death
overtook the coldly calculating monarch in September, 1380.

Little had France to hope from the boy who was now called on to fill the
throne. Charles VI. was not twelve years old, a light-wined, handsome
boy, under the guardianship of the royal Dukes his uncles, who had no
principles except that of their own interest to guide them in bringing up
the King and ruling the people. Before Charles VI. had reached years of
discretion, he was involved by the French nobles in war against the
Flemish cities, which, under guidance of the great Philip van Arteveldt,
had overthrown the authority of the Count of Flanders. The French cities
showed ominous signs of being inclined to ally themselves with the civic
movement in the north. The men of Ghent came out to meet their French
foes, and at the battle of Roosebek (1382) were utterly defeated and
crushed. Philip van Arteveldt himself was slain. It was a great triumph
of the nobles over the cities; and Paris felt it when the King returned.
All movement there and in the other northern cities of France was
ruthlessly repressed; the noble reaction also overthrew the "new men" and
the lawyers, by whose means the late King had chiefly governed. Two years
later, the royal Dukes signed a truce with England, including Ghent in
it; and Louis de Male, Count of Flanders, having perished at the same
time, Marguerite his daughter, wife of Philip of Burgundy, succeeded to
his inheritance (1384.) Thus began the high fortunes of the House of
Burgundy, which at one time seemed to overshadow Emperor and King of
France. In 1385, another of the brothers, Louis, Duc d'Anjou, died, with
all his Italian ambitions unfulfilled. In 1386, Charles VI., under
guidance of his uncles, declared war on England, and exhausted all France
in preparations; the attempt proved the sorriest failure. The regency of
the Dukes became daily more unpopular, until in 1388 Charles dismissed
his two uncles, the Dukes of Burgundy and Berri, and began to rule. For
a while all went much better; he recalled his father's friends and
advisers, lightened the burdens of the people, allowed the new ministers
free hand in making prudent government; and learning how bad had been the
state of the south under the Duc de Berri, deprived him of that command
in 1390. Men thought that the young King, if not good himself, was well
content to allow good men to govern in his name; at any, rate, the rule
of the selfish Dukes seemed to be over. Their bad influences, however,
still surrounded him; an attempt to assassinate Olivier de Clisson, the
Constable, was connected with their intrigues and those of the Duke of
Brittany; and in setting forth to punish the attempt on his favourite the
Constable, the unlucky young King, who had sapped his health by
debauchery, suddenly became mad. The Dukes of Burgundy and Berri at once
seized the reins and put aside his brother the young Duc d'Orleans. It
was the beginning of that great civil discord between Burgundy and
Orleans, the Burgundians and Armagnacs, which worked so much ill for
France in the earlier part of the next century. The rule of the uncles
was disastrous for France; no good government seemed even possible for
that unhappy land.

An obscure strife went on until 1404, when Duke Philip of Burgundy died,
leaving his vast inheritance to John the Fearless, the deadly foe of
Louis d'Orleans. Paris was with him, as with his father before him; the
Duke entered the capital in 1405, and issued a popular proclamation
against the ill-government of the Queen-regent and Orleans. Much
profession of a desire for better things was made, with small results. So
things went on until 1407, when, after the Duc de Berri, who tried to
play the part of a mediator, had brought the two Princes together, the
Duc d'Orleans was foully assassinated by a Burgundian partisan. The Duke
of Burgundy, though he at first withdrew from Paris, speedily returned,
avowed the act, and was received with plaudits by the mob. For a few
years the strife continued, obscure and bad; a great league of French
princes and nobles was made to stem the success of the Burgundians; and
it was about this time that the Armagnac name became common. Paris,
however, dominated by the "Cabochians," the butchers' party, the party of
the "marrowbones and cleavers," and entirely devoted to the Burgundians,
enabled John the Fearless to hold his own in France; the King himself
seemed favourable to the same party. In 1412 the princes were obliged to
come to terms, and the Burgundian triumph seemed complete. In 1413 the
wheel went round, and we find the Armagnacs in Paris, rudely sweeping
away all the Cabochians with their professions of good civic rule. The
Duc de Berri was made captain of Paris, and for a while all went against
the Burgundians, until, in 1414, Duke John was fain to make the first
Peace of Arras, and to confess himself worsted in the strife. The young
Dauphin Louis took the nominal lead of the national party, and ruled
supreme in Paris in great ease and self-indulgence.

The year before, Henry V. had succeeded to the throne of England,--a
bright and vigorous young man, eager to be stirring in the world, brave
and fearless, with a stern grasp of things beneath all,--a very
sheet-anchor of firmness and determined character. Almost at the very
opening of his reign, the moment he had secured his throne, he began a
negotiation with France which boded no good. He offered to marry
Catharine, the King's third daughter, and therewith to renew the old
Treaty of Bretigny, if her dower were Normandy, Maine, Anjou, not without
a good sum of money. The French Court, on the other hand, offered him
her hand with Aquitaine and the money, an offer rejected instantly; and
Henry made ready for a rough wooing in arms. In 1415 he crossed to
Harfleur, and while parties still fought in France, after a long and
exhausting siege, took the place; thence he rode northward for Calais,
feeling his army too much reduced to attempt more. The Armagnacs, who
had gathered at Rouen, also pushed fast to the north, and having choice
of passage over the Somme, Amiens being in their hands, got before King
Henry, while he had to make a long round before he could get across that
stream. Consequently, when, on his way, he reached Azincourt, he found
the whole chivalry of France arrayed against him in his path. The great
battle of Azincourt followed, with frightful ruin and carnage of the
French. With a huge crowd of prisoners the young King passed on to
Calais, and thence to England. The Armagnacs' party lay buried in the
hasty graves of Azincourt; never had there been such slaughter of nobles.
Still, for three years they made head against their foes; till in 1418
the Duke of Burgundy's friends opened Paris's gates to his soldiers, and
for the time the Armagnacs seemed to be completely defeated; only the
Dauphin Charles made feeble war from Poitiers. Henry V. with a fresh
army had already made another descent on the Normandy coast; the Dukes of
Anjou, Brittany, and Burgundy made several and independent treaties with
him; and it seemed as though France had completely fallen in pieces.
Henry took Rouen, and although the common peril had somewhat silenced the
strife of faction, no steps were taken to meet him or check his course;
on the contrary, matters were made even more hopeless by the murder of
John, Duke of Burgundy, in 1419, even as he was kneeling and offering
reconciliation at the young Dauphin's feet. The young Duke, Philip, now
drew at once towards Henry, whom his father had apparently wished with
sincerity to check; Paris, too, was weary of the Armagnac struggle, and
desired to welcome Henry of England; the Queen of France also went over
to the Anglo-Burgundian side. The end of it was that on May 21,1420, was
signed the famous Treaty of Troyes, which secured the Crown of France to
Henry, by the exclusion of the Dauphin Charles, whenever poor mad Charles
VI., should cease to live. Meanwhile, Henry was made Regent of France,
promising to maintain all rights and privileges of the Parliament and
nobles, and to crush the Dauphin with his Armagnac friends, in token
whereof he was at once wedded to Catharine of France, and set forth to
quell the opposition of the provinces. By Christmas all France north of
the Loire was in English hands. All the lands to the south of the river
remained firmly fixed in their allegiance to the Dauphin and the
Armagnacs, and these began to feel themselves to be the true French
party, as opposed to the foreign rule of the English. For barely two
years that rule was carried on by Henry V. with inflexible justice, and
Northern France saw with amazement the presence of a real king, and an
orderly government. In 1422 King Henry died; a few weeks later Charles
VI. died also, and the face of affairs began to change, although, at the
first, Charles VII. the "Well-served," the lazy, listless prince, seemed
to have little heart for the perils and efforts of his position. He was
proclaimed King at Mehun, in Berri, for the true France for the time lay
on that side of the Loire, and the Regent Bedford, who took the reins at
Paris, was a vigorous and powerful prince, who was not likely to give way
to an idle dreamer. At the outset Charles suffered two defeats, at
Crevant in 1423, and at Verneuil in 1424, and things seemed to be come to
their worst. Yet he was prudent, conciliatory, and willing to wait; and
as the English power in France--that triangle of which the base was the
sea-line from Harfleur to Calais, and the apex Paris--was unnatural and
far from being really strong; and as the relations between Bedford and
Burgundy might not always be friendly, the man who could wait had many
chances in his favour. Before long, things began to mend; Charles wedded
Marie d'Anjou, and won over that great house to the French side; more and
more was he regarded as the nation's King; symptoms of a wish for
reconciliation with Burgundy appeared; the most vehement Armagnacs were
sent away from Court. Causes of disagreement also shook the friendship
between Burgundy and England.

Feeling the evils of inaction most, Bedford in 1428 decided on a forward
movement, and sent the Earl of Salisbury to the south. He first secured
his position on the north of the Loire, then, crossing that river, laid
siege to Orleans, the key to the south, and the last bulwark of the
national party. All efforts to vex or dislodge him failed; and the
attempt early in 1429 to stop the English supplies was completely
defeated at Bouvray; from the salt fish captured, the battle has taken
the name of "the Day of the Herrings." Dunois, Bastard of Orleans, was,
wounded; the Scots, the King's body-guard, on whom fell ever the grimmest
of the fighting, suffered terribly, and their leader was killed. All
went well for Bedford till it suited the Duke of Burgundy to withdraw
from his side, carrying with him a large part of the fighting power of
the besiegers. Things were already looking rather gloomy in the English
camp, when a new and unexpected rumour struck all hearts cold with fear.
A virgin, an Amazon, had been raised up as a deliverer for France, and
would soon be on them, armed with mysterious powers.

A young peasant girl, one Jeanne d'Arc, had been brought up in the
village of Domremy, hard by the Lorraine border. The district, always
French in feeling, had lately suffered much from Burgundian raids; and
this young damsel, brooding over the treatment of her village and her
country, and filled with that strange vision-power which is no rare
phenomenon in itself with young girls, came at last to believe with warm
and active faith in heavenly appearances and messages, all urging her to
deliver France and her King. From faith to action the bridge is short;
and ere long the young dreamer of seventeen set forth to work her
miracle. Her history is quite unique in the world; and though probably
France would ere many years have shaken off the English yoke, for its
strength was rapidly going, still to her is the credit of having proved
its weakness, and of having asserted the triumphant power of a great
belief. All gave way before her; Charles VII., persuaded doubtless by
his mother-in-law, Yolande of Aragon, who warmly espoused her cause,
listened readily to the maiden's voice; and as that voice urged only what
was noble and pure, she carried conviction as she went. In the end she
received the King's commission to undertake the relief of Orleans. Her
coming was fresh blood to the defence; a new spirit seemed to be poured
out on all her followers, and in like manner a deep dejection settled
down on the English. The blockade was forced, and, in eight days the
besiegers raised the siege and marched away. They withdrew to Jargeau,
where they were attacked and routed with great loss. A little later
Talbot himself, who had marched to help them, was also defeated and
taken. Then, compelling Charles to come out from his in glorious ease,
she carried him triumphantly with her to Rheims, where he was duly
crowned King, the Maid of Orldans standing by, and holding aloft the
royal standard. She would gladly have gone home to Domremy now, her
mission being accomplished; for she was entirely free from all ambitious
or secondary aims. But she was too great a power to be spared. Northern
France was still in English hands, and till the English were cast out her
work was not complete; so they made her stay, sweet child, to do the work
which, had there been any manliness in them, they ought to have found it
easy to achieve for themselves. The dread of her went before her,--a
pillar of cloud and darkness to the English, but light and hope to her
countrymen. Men believed that she was called of God to regenerate the
world, to destroy the Saracen at last, to bring in the millennial age.
Her statue was set up in the churches, and crowds prayed before her image
as before a popular saint.

The incapacity and ill-faith of those round the King gave the English
some time to recover themselves; Bedford and Burgundy drew together
again, and steps were taken to secure Paris. When, however, Jeanne,
weary of courtly delays, marched, contemptuous of the King, as far as St.
Denis, friends sprang up on every side. In Normandy, on the English line
of communications, four strong places were surprised; and Bedford, made
timid as to his supplies, fell back to Rouen, leaving only a small
garrison in Paris. Jeanne, ill-supported by the royal troops, failed in
her attack on the city walls, and was made prisoner by the Burgundians;
they handed her over to the English, and she was, after previous
indignities, and such treatment as chivalry alone could have dealt her,
condemned as a witch, and burnt as a relapsed heretic at Rouen in 1431.
Betrayed by the French Court, sold by the Burgundians, murdered by the
English, unrescued by the people of France which she so much loved,
Jeanne d'Arc died the martyr's death, a pious, simple soul, a heroine of
the purest metal. She saved her country, for the English power never
recovered from the shock. The churchmen who burnt her, the Frenchmen of
the unpatriotic party, would have been amazed could they have foreseen
that nearly 450 years afterwards, churchmen again would glorify her name
as the saint of the Church, in opposition to both the religious liberties
and the national feelings of her country.

The war, after having greatly weakened the noblesse, and having caused
infinite sufferings to France, now drew towards a close; the Duke of
Burgundy at last agreed to abandon his English allies, and at a great
congress at Arras, in 1435, signed a treaty with Charles VII. by which
he solemnly came over to the French side. On condition that he should
get Auxerre and Macon, as well as the towns on and near the river Somme,
he was willing to recognise Charles as King of France. His price was
high, yet it was worth all that was given; for, after all, he was of the
French blood royal, and not a foreigner. The death of Bedford, which
took place about the same time, was almost a more terrible blow to the
fortunes of the English. Paris opened her gates to her King in April,
1436; the long war kept on with slight movements now and then for several

The next year was marked by the meeting of the States General, and the
establishment, in principle at least, of a standing army. The Estates
petitioned the willing King that the system of finance in the realm
should be remodelled, and a permanent tax established for the support of
an army. Thus, it was thought, solidity would be given to the royal
power, and the long-standing curse of the freebooters and brigands
cleared away. No sooner was this done than the nobles began to chafe
under it; they scented in the air the coming troubles; they, took as
their head, poor innocents, the young Dauphin Louis, who was willing
enough to resist the concentration of power in royal hands. Their
champion of 1439, the leader of the "Praguerie," as this new league was
called, in imitation, it is said, of the Hussite movement at Prague, the
enthusiastic defender of noble privilege against the royal power, was the
man who afterwards, as Louis XI., was the destroyer of the noblesse on
behalf of royalty. Some of the nobles stood firmly by the King, and,
aided by them and by an army of paid soldiers serving under the new
conditions, Charles VII., no contemptible antagonist when once aroused,
attacked and overthrew the Praguerie; the cities and the country people
would have none of it; they preferred peace under a king's strong hand.
Louis was sent down to the east to govern Dauphiny; the lessons of the
civil war were not lost on Charles; he crushed the freebooters of
Champagne, drove the English out of Pontois in 1441, moved actively up
and down France, reducing anarchy, restoring order, resisting English
attacks. In the last he was loyally supported by the Dauphin, who was
glad to find a field for his restless temper. He repulsed the English at
Dieppe, and put down the Comte d'Armagnac in the south. During the two
years' truce with England which now followed, Charles VII. and Louis drew
off their free-lances eastward, and the Dauphin came into rude collision
with the Swiss not far from Basel, in 1444. Some sixteen hundred
mountaineers long and heroically withstood at St. Jacob the attack of
several thousand Frenchmen, fighting stubbornly till they all perished.

The King and Dauphin returned to Paris, having defended their
border-lands with credit, and having much reduced the numbers of the
lawless free-lances. The Dauphin, discontented again, was obliged once
more to withdraw into Dauphiny, where he governed prudently and with
activity. In 1449, the last scene of the Anglo-French war began. In that
year English adventurers landed on the Breton coast; the Duke called the
French King to his aid. Charles did not tarry this time; he broke the
truce with England; he sent Dunois into Normandy, and himself soon
followed. In both duchies, Brittany and Normandy, the French were
welcomed with delight: no love for England lingered in the west. Somerset
and Talbot failed to defend Rouen, and were driven from point to point,
till every stronghold was lost to them. Dunois then passed into Guienne,
and in a few-months Bayonne, the last stronghold of the English, fell
into his hands (1451). When Talbot was sent over to Bordeaux with five
thousand men to recover the south, the old English feeling revived, for
England was their best customer, and they had little in common with
France. It was, however, but a last flicker of the flame; in July, 1453,
at the siege of Castillon, the aged Talbot was slain and the war at once
came to an end; the south passed finally into the kingdom of France.
Normandy and Guienne were assimilated to France in taxation and army
organisation; and all that remained to England across the Channel was
Calais, with Havre and Guines Castle. Her foreign ambitions and
struggles over, England was left to consume herself in civil strife,
while France might rest and recover from the terrible sufferings she had
undergone. The state of the country had become utterly wretched.

With the end of the English wars new life began to gleam out on France;
the people grew more tranquil, finding that toil and thrift bore again
their wholesome fruits; Charles VII. did not fail in his duty, and took
his part in restoring quiet, order, and justice in the land.

The French Crown, though it had beaten back the English, was still
closely girt in with rival neighbours, the great dukes on every frontier.
All round the east and north lay the lands of Philip of Burgundy; to the
west was the Duke of Brittany, cherishing a jealous independence; the
royal Dukes, Berri, Bourbon, Anjou, are all so many potential sources of
danger and difficulty to the Crown. The conditions of the nobility are
altogether changed; the old barons have sunk into insignificance; the
struggle of the future will lie between the King's cousins and himself,
rather than with the older lords. A few non-royal princes, such as
Armagnac, or Saint-Pol, or Brittany, remain and will go down with the
others; the "new men" of the day, the bastard Dunois or the Constables Du
Guesclin and Clisson, grow to greater prominence; it is clear that the
old feudalism is giving place to a newer order, in which the aristocracy,
from the King's brothers downwards, will group themselves around the
throne, and begin the process which reaches its unhappy perfection under
Louis XIV.

Directly after the expulsion of the English, troubles began between King
Charles VII. and the Dauphin Louis; the latter could not brook a quiet
life in Dauphiny, and the King refused him that larger sphere in the
government of Normandy which he coveted. Against his father's will,
Louis married Charlotte of Savoy, daughter of his strongest neighbour in
Dauphiny; suspicion and bad feeling grew strong between father and son;
Louis was specially afraid of his father's counsellors; the King was
specially afraid of his son's craftiness and ambition. It came to an
open rupture, and Louis, in 1456, fled to the Court of Duke Philip of
Burgundy. There he lived at refuge at Geneppe, meddling a good deal in
Burgundian politics, and already opposing himself to his great rival,
Charles of Charolais, afterwards Charles the Bold, the last Duke of
Burgundy. Bickerings, under his bad influence, took place between King
and Duke; they never burst out into flame. So things went on
uncomfortably enough, till Charles VII. died in 1461 and the reign of
Louis XI. began.

Between father and son what contrast could be greater? Charles VII.,
"the Well-served," so easygoing, so open and free from guile; Louis XI.,
so shy of counsellors, so energetic and untiring, so close and guileful.
History does but apologise for Charles, and even when she fears and
dislikes Louis, she cannot forbear to wonder and admire. And yet Louis
enslaved his country, while Charles had seen it rescued from foreign
rule; Charles restored something of its prosperity, while Louis spent his
life in crushing its institutions and in destroying its elements of
independence. A great and terrible prince, Louis XI. failed in having
little or no constructive power; he was strong to throw down the older
society, he built little in its room. Most serious of all was his action
with respect to the district of the River Somme, at that time the
northern frontier of France. The towns there had been handed over to
Philip of Burgundy by the Treaty of Arras, with a stipulation that the
Crown might ransom them at any time, and this Louis succeeded in doing in
1463. The act was quite blameless and patriotic in itself, yet it was
exceedingly unwise, for it thoroughly alienated Charles the Bold, and led
to the wars of the earlier period of the reign. Lastly, as if he had not
done enough to offend the nobles, Louis in 1464 attacked their hunting
rights, touching them in their tenderest part. No wonder that this year
saw the formation of a great league against him, and the outbreak of a
dangerous civil war. The "League of the Public Weal" was nominally
headed by his own brother Charles, heir to the throne; it was joined by
Charles of Charolais, who had completely taken the command of affairs in
the Burgundian territories, his father the old duke being too feeble to
withstand him; the Dukes of Brittany, Nemours, Bourbon, John of Anjou,
Duke of Calabria, the Comte d'Armagnac, the aged Dunois, and a host of
other princes and nobles flocked in; and the King had scarcely any forces
at his back with which to withstand them. His plans for the campaign
against the league were admirable, though they were frustrated by the bad
faith of his captains, who mostly sympathised with this outbreak of the
feudal nobility. Louis himself marched southward to quell the Duc de
Bourbon and his friends, and returning from that task, only half done for
lack of time, he found that Charles of Charolais had passed by Paris,
which was faithful to the King, and was coming down southwards, intending
to join the Dukes of Berri and Brittany, who were on their way towards
the capital. The hostile armies met at Montleheri on the Orleans road;
and after a strange battle--minutely described by Commines--a battle in
which both sides ran away, and neither ventured at first to claim a
victory, the King withdrew to Corbeil, and then marched into Paris
(1465). There the armies of the league closed in on him; and after a
siege of several weeks, Louis, feeling disaffection all around him, and
doubtful how long Paris herself would bear for him the burdens of
blockade, signed the Peace of Conflans, which, to all appearances,
secured the complete victory to the noblesse, "each man carrying off his
piece." Instantly the contented princes broke up their half-starved
armies and went home, leaving Louis behind to plot and contrive against
them, a far wiser man, thanks to the lesson they had taught him. They
did not let him wait long for a chance. The Treaty of Conflans had given
the duchy of Normandy to the King's brother Charles; he speedily
quarrelled with his neighbour, the Duke of Brittany, and Louis came down
at once into Normandy, which threw itself into his arms, and the whole
work of the league was broken up. The Comte de Charolais, occupied with
revolts at Dinan and Liege, could not interfere, and presently his
father, the old Duke Philip, died (1467), leaving to him the vast
lordships of the House of Burgundy.

And now the "imperial dreamer," Charles the Bold, was brought into
immediate rivalry with that royal trickster, the "universal spider,"
Louis XI. Charles was by far the nobler spirit of the two: his vigour
and intelligence, his industry and wish to raise all around him to a
higher cultivation, his wise reforms at home, and attempts to render his
father's dissolute and careless rule into a well-ordered lordship, all
these things marked him out as the leading spirit of the time. His
territories were partly held under France, partly under the empire: the
Artois district, which also may be taken to include the Somme towns, the
county of Rhetel, the duchy of Bar, the duchy of Burgundy, with Auxerre
and Nevers, were feudally in France; the rest of his lands under the
empire. He had, therefore, interests and means of interference on either
hand; and it is clear that Charles set before himself two different lines
of policy, according as he looked one way or the other.

At the time of Duke Philip's death a new league had been formed against
Louis, embracing the King of England, Edward IV., the Dukes of Burgundy
and Brittany, and the Kings of Aragon and Castile. Louis strained every
nerve, he conciliated Paris, struck hard at disaffected partisans, and in
1468 convoked the States General at Tours. The three Estates were asked
to give an opinion as to the power of the Crown to alienate Normandy, the
step insisted upon by the Duke of Burgundy. Their reply was to the
effect that the nation forbids the Crown to dismember the realm; they
supported their opinion by liberal promises of help. Thus fortified by
the sympathy of his people, Louis began to break up the coalition. He
made terms with the Duc de Bourbon and the House of Anjou; his brother
Charles was a cipher; the King of England was paralysed by the antagonism
of Warwick; he attacked and reduced Brittany; Burgundy, the most
formidable, alone remained to be dealt with. How should he meet him?--by
war or by negotiation? His Court was divided in opinion; the King
decided for himself in favour of the way of negotiation, and came to the
astonishing conclusion that he would go and meet the Duke and win him
over to friendship. He miscalculated both his own powers of persuasion
and the force of his antagonist's temper. The interview of Peronne
followed; Charles held his visitor as a captive, and in the end compelled
him to sign a treaty, of peace, on the basis of that of Conflans, which
had closed the War of the Public Weal. And as if this were not
sufficient humiliation, Charles made the King accompany him on his
expedition to punish the men of Liege, who, trusting to the help of
Louis, had again revolted (1469). This done, he allowed the degraded
monarch to return home to Paris. An assembly of notables of Tours
speedily declared the Treaty of Perrone null, and the King made some
small frontier war on the Duke, which was ended by a truce at Amiens, in
1471. The truce was spent in preparation for a fresh struggle, which
Louis, to whom time was everything, succeeded in deferring from point to
point, till the death of his brother Charles, now Duc de Guienne, in
1472, broke up the formidable combination. Charles the Bold at once
broke truce and made war on the King, marching into northern France,
sacking towns and ravaging the country, till he reached Beauvais. There
the despair of the citizens and the bravery of the women saved the town.
Charles raised the siege and marched on Rouen, hoping to meet the Duke of
Brittany; but that Prince had his hands full, for Louis had overrun his
territories, and had reduced him to terms. The Duke of Burgundy saw that
the coalition had completely failed; he too made fresh truce with Louis
at Senlis (1472), and only, deferred, he no doubt thought, the direct
attack on his dangerous rival. Henceforth Charles the Bold turned his
attention mainly to the east, and Louis gladly saw him go forth to spend
his strength on distant ventures; saw the interview at Treves with the
Emperor Frederick III., at which the Duke's plans were foiled by the
suspicions of the Germans and the King's intrigues; saw the long siege of
the Neusz wearing out his power; bought off the hostility of Edward IV.
of England, who had undertaken to march on Paris; saw Charles embark on
his Swiss enterprise; saw the subjugation of Lorraine and capture of
Nancy (1475), the battle of Granson, the still more fatal defeat of Morat
(1476), and lastly the final struggle of Nancy, and the Duke's death on
the field (January, 1477).

While Duke Charles had thus been running on his fate, Louis XI. had
actively attacked the larger nobles of France, and had either reduced
them to submission or had destroyed them.

As Duke Charles had left no male heir, the King at once resumed the duchy
of Burgundy, as a male fief of the kingdom; he also took possession of
Franche Comte at the same time; the King's armies recovered all Picardy,
and even entered Flanders. Then Mary of Burgundy, hoping to raise up a
barrier against this dangerous neighbour, offered her hand, with all her
great territories, to young Maximilian of Austria, and married him within
six months after her father's death. To this wedding is due the rise to
real greatness of the House of Austria; it begins the era of the larger
politics of modern times.

After a little hesitation Louis determined to continue the struggle
against the Burgundian power. He secured Franche Comte, and on his
northern frontier retook Arras, that troublesome border city, the "bonny
Carlisle" of those days; and advancing to relieve Therouenne, then
besieged by Maximilian, fought and lost the battle of Guinegate (1479).
The war was languid after this; a truce followed in 1480, and a time of
quiet for France. Charles the Dauphin was engaged to marry the little
Margaret, Maximilian's daughter, and as her dower she was to bring
Franche Comte and sundry places on the border line disputed between the
two princes. In these last days Louis XI. shut himself up in gloomy
seclusion in his castle of Plessis near Tours, and there he died in 1483.
A great king and a terrible one, he has left an indellible mark on the
history of France, for he was the founder of France in its later form, as
an absolute monarchy ruled with little regard to its own true welfare. He
had crushed all resistance; he had enlarged the borders of France, till
the kingdom took nearly its modern dimensions; he had organised its army
and administration. The danger was lest in the hands of a feeble boy
these great results should be squandered away, and the old anarchy once
more raise its head.

For Charles VIII., who now succeeded, was but thirteen years old, a weak
boy whom his father had entirely neglected, the training of his son not
appearing to be an essential part of his work in life. The young Prince
had amused himself with romances, but had learnt nothing useful. A head,
however, was found for him in the person of his eldest sister Anne, whom
Louis XI. had married to Peter II., Lord of Beaujeu and Duc de Bourbon.
To her the dying King entrusted the guardianship of his son; and for more
than nine years Anne of France was virtual King. For those years all
went well.

With her disappearance from the scene, the controlling hand is lost, and
France begins the age of her Italian expeditions.

When the House of Anjou came to an end in 1481, and Anjou and Maine fell
in to the Crown, there fell in also a far less valuable piece of
property, the claim of that house descended from Charles, the youngest
brother of Saint Louis, on the kingdom of Naples and Sicily. There was
much to tempt an ambitious prince in the state of Italy. Savoy, which
held the passage into the peninsula, was then thoroughly French in
sympathy; Milan, under Lodovico Sforza, "il Moro," was in alliance with
Charles; Genoa preferred the French to the Aragonese claimants for
influence over Italy; the popular feeling in the cities, especially in
Florence, was opposed to the despotism of the Medici, and turned to
France for deliverance; the misrule of the Spanish Kings of Naples had
made Naples thoroughly discontented; Venice was, as of old, the friend of
France. Tempted by these reasons, in 1494 Charles VIII. set forth for
Italy with a splendid host. He displayed before the eyes of Europe the
first example of a modern army, in its three well-balanced branches of
infantry, cavalry, and artillery. There was nothing in Italy to
withstand his onslaught; he swept through the land in triumph; Charles
believed himself to be a great conqueror giving law to admiring
subject-lands; he entered Pisa, Florence, Rome itself. Wherever he went
his heedless ignorance, and the gross misconduct of his followers, left
behind implacable hostility, and turned all friendship into bitterness.
At last he entered Naples, and seemed to have asserted to the full the
French claim to be supreme in Italy, whereas at that very time his
position had become completely untenable. A league of Italian States was
formed behind his back; Lodovico il Moro, Ferdinand of Naples, the
Emperor, Pope Alexander VI., Ferdinand and Isabella, who were now welding
Spain into a great and united monarchy, all combined against France; and
in presence of this formidable confederacy Charles VIII. had to cut his
way home as promptly as he could. At Fornovo, north of the Apennines, he
defeated the allies in July, 1495; and by November the main French army
had got safely out of Italy. The forces left behind in Naples were worn
out by war and pestilence, and the poor remnant of these, too, bringing
with them the seeds of horrible contagious diseases, forced their way
back to France in 1496. It was the last effort of the King. His health
was ruined by debauchery in Italy, repeated in France; and yet, towards
the end of his reign, he not merely introduced Italian arts, but
attempted to reform the State, to rule prudently, to solace the poor;
wherefore, when he died in 1498, the people lamented him greatly, for he
had been kindly and affable, brave also on the battle-field; and much is
forgiven to a king.

His children died before him, so that Louis d'Orleans, his cousin, was
nearest heir to the throne, and succeeded as Louis XII. By his accession
in 1498 he reunited the fief of Orleans County to the Crown; by marrying
Anne of Brittany, his predecessor's widow, he secured also the great
duchy of Brittany. The dispensation of Pope Alexander VI., which enabled
him to put away his wife Jeanne, second daughter of Louis XI., was
brought into France by Caesar Borgia, who gained thereby his title of
Duke of Valentinois, a large sum of money, a French bride, and promises
of support in his great schemes in Italy.

His ministers were men of real ability. Georges d'Amboise, Archbishop of
Rouen, the chief of them, was a prudent and a sagacious ruler, who,
however, unfortunately wanted to be Pope, and urged the King in the
direction of Italian politics, which he would have done much better to
have left alone. Louis XII. was lazy and of small intelligence; Georges
d'Amboise and Caesar Borgia, with their Italian ambitions, easily made
him take up a spirited foreign policy which was disastrous at home.

Utterly as the last Italian expedition had failed, the French people were
not yet weary of the adventure, and preparations for a new war began at
once. In 1499 the King crossed the Alps into the Milanese, and carried
all before him for a while. The duchy at first accepted him with
enthusiasm; but in 1500 it had had enough of the French and recalled
Lodovico, who returned in triumph to Milan. The Swiss mercenaries,
however, betrayed him at Novara into the hands of Louis XII., who carried
him off to France. The triumph of the French in 1500 was also the
highest point of the fortunes of their ally, Caesar Borgia, who seemed
for a while to be completely successful. In this year Louis made a
treaty at Granada, by which he and Ferdinand the Catholic agreed to
despoil Frederick of Naples; and in 1501 Louis made a second expedition
into Italy. Again all seemed easy at the outset, and he seized the
kingdom of Naples without difficulty; falling out, however, with his
partner in the bad bargain, Ferdinand the Catholic, he was speedily swept
completely out of the peninsula, with terrible loss of honour, men, and

It now became necessary to arrange for the future of France. Louis XII.
had only a daughter, Claude, and it was proposed that she should be
affianced to Charles of Austria, the future statesman and emperor. This
scheme formed the basis of the three treaties of Blois (1504). In 1500,
by the Treaty of Granada, Louis had in fact handed Naples over to Spain;
now by the three treaties he alienated his best friends, the Venetians
and the papacy, while he in fact also handed Milan over to the Austrian
House, together with territories considered to be integral parts of
France. The marriage with Charles came to nothing; the good sense of
some, the popular feeling in the country, the open expressions of the
States General of Tours, in 1506, worked against the marriage, which had
no strong advocate except Queen Anne. Claude, on intercession of the
Estates, was affianced to Frangois d'Angouleme, her distant cousin, the
heir presumptive to the throne.

In 1507 Louis made war on Venice; and in the following year the famous
Treaty of Cambrai was signed by Georges d'Amboise and Margaret of
Austria. It was an agreement for a partition of the Venetian
territories,--one of the most shameless public deeds in history. The
Pope, the King of Aragon, Maximilian, Louis XII., were each to have a
share. The war was pushed on with great vigour: the battle of Agnadello
(14th May, 1509) cleared the King's way towards Venice; Louis was
received with open arms by the North Italian towns, and pushed forward to
within eight of Venice. The other Princes came up on every side; the
proud "Queen of the Adriatic" was compelled to shrink within her walls,
and wait till time dissolved the league. This was not long. The Pope,
Julius II., had no wish to hand Northern Italy over to France; he had
joined in the shameless league of Cambrai because he wanted to wrest the
Romagna cities from Venice, and because he hoped to entirely destroy the
ancient friendship between Venice and France. Successful in both aims,
he now withdrew from the league, made peace with the Venetians, and stood
forward as the head of a new Italian combination, with the Swiss for his
fighting men. The strife was close and hot between Pope and King; Louis
XII. lost his chief adviser and friend, Georges d'Amboise, the splendid
churchman of the age, the French Wolsey; he thought no weapon better than
the dangerous one of a council, with claims opposed to those of the
papacy; first a National Council at Tours, then an attempted General
Council at Pisa, were called on to resist the papal claims. In reply
Julius II. created the Holy League of 1511, with Ferdinand of Aragon,
Henry VIII. of England, and the Venetians as its chief members, against
the French. Louis XII. showed vigour; he sent his nephew Gaston de Foix
to subdue the Romagna and threaten the Venetian territories. At the
battle of Ravenna, in 1512, Gaston won a brilliant victory and lost his
life. From that moment disaster dogged the footsteps of the French in
Italy, and before winter they had been driven completely out of the
peninsula; the succession of the Medicean Pope, Leo X., to Julius II.,
seemed to promise the continuance of a policy hostile to France in Italy.
Another attempt on Northern Italy proved but another failure, although
now Louis XII., taught by his mishaps, had secured the alliance of
Venice; the disastrous defeat of La Tremoille, near Novara (1513),
compelled the French once more to withdraw beyond the Alps. In this same
year an army under the Duc de Longueville, endeavouring to relieve
Therouenne, besieged by the English and Maximilian, the Emperor-elect,
was caught and crushed at Guinegate. A diversion in favour of Louis
XII., made by James IV. of Scotland, failed completely; the Scottish King
was defeated and slain at Flodden Field. While his northern frontier was
thus exposed, Louis found equal danger threatening him on the east; on
this aide, however, he managed to buy off the Swiss, who had attacked the
duchy of Burgundy. He was also reconciled with the papacy and the House
of Austria. Early in 1514 the death of Anne of Brittany, his spouse, a
lady of high ambitions, strong artistic tastes, and humane feelings
towards her Bretons, but a bad Queen for France, cleared the way for
changes. Claude, the King's eldest daughter, was now definitely married
to Francois d'Angouleme, and invested with the duchy of Brittany; and the
King himself, still hoping for a male heir to succeed him, married again,
wedding Mary Tudor, the lovely young sister of Henry VIII. This marriage
was probably the chief cause of his death, which followed on New Year's
day, 1515. His was, in foreign policy, an inglorious and disastrous
reign; at home, a time of comfort and material prosperity. Agriculture
flourished, the arts of Italy came in, though (save in architecture)
France could claim little artistic glory of her own; the organisation of
justice and administration was carried out; in letters and learning
France still lagged behind her neighbours.

The heir to the crown was Francois d'Angouleme, great-grandson of that
Louis d'Orleans who had been assassinated in the bad days of the strife
between Burgundians and Armagnacs, in 1407, and great-great-grandson of
Charles V. of France. He was still very young, very eager to be king,
very full of far-reaching schemes. Few things in history are more
striking than the sudden change, at this moment, from the rule of
middle-aged men or (as men of fifty were then often called) old men, to
the rule of youths,--from sagacious, worldly-prudent monarchs--to
impulsive boys,--from Henry VII. to Henry VIII., from Louis XII. to
Frangois I, from Ferdinand to Charles.

On the whole, Frangois I. was the least worthy of the three. He was
brilliant, "the king of culture," apt scholar in Renaissance art and
immorality; brave, also, and chivalrous, so long as the chivalry involved
no self-denial, for he was also thoroughly selfish, and his personal aims
and ideas were mean. His reign was to be a reaction from that of Louis

From the beginning, Francois chose his chief officers unwisely. In
Antoine du Prat, his new chancellor, he had a violent and lawless
adviser; in Charles de Bourbon, his new constable, an untrustworthy
commander. Forthwith he plunged into Italian politics, being determined
to make good his claim both to Naples and to Milan; he made most friendly
arrangements with the Archduke Charles, his future rival, promising to
help him in securing, when the time came, the vast inheritances of his
two grandfathers, Maximilian, the Emperor-elect, and Ferdinand of Aragon;
never was a less wise agreement entered upon. This done, the Italian war
began; Francois descended into Italy, and won the brilliant battle of
Marignano, in which the French chivalry crushed the Swiss burghers and
peasant mercenaries. The French then overran the north of Italy, and, in
conjunction with the Venetians, carried all before them. But the
triumphs of the sword were speedily wrested from him by the adroitness of
the politician; in an interview with Leo X. at Bologna, Francois bartered
the liberties of the Gallican Church for shadowy advantages in Italy. The
'Pragmatic Sanction of Bourgea', which now for nearly a century had
secured to the Church of France independence in the choice of her chief
officers, was replaced by a concordat, whereby the King allowed the
papacy once more to drain the wealth of the Church of France, while the
Pope allowed the King almost autocratic power over it. He was to appoint
to all benefices, with exception of a few privileged offices; the Pope
was no longer to be threatened with general councils, while he should
receive again the annates of the Church.

The years which followed this brilliantly disastrous opening brought
little good to France. In 1516 the death of Ferdinand the Catholic
placed Charles on the throne of Spain; in 1519 the death of Maximilian
threw open to the young Princes the most dazzling prize of human
ambition,--the headship of the Holy Roman Empire. Francois I., Charles,
and Henry VIII. were all candidates for the votes of the seven electors,
though the last never seriously entered the lists. The struggle lay
between Francois, the brilliant young Prince, who seemed to represent the
new opinions in literature and art, and Charles of Austria and Spain, who
was as yet unknown and despised, and, from his education under the
virtuous and scholastic Adrian of Utrecht, was thought likely to
represent the older and reactionary opinions of the clergy. After a long
and sharp competition, the great prize fell to Charles, henceforth known
to history as that great monarch and emperor, Charles V.

The rivalry between the Princes could not cease there. Charles, as
representative of the House of Burgundy, claimed all that had been lost
when Charles the Bold fell; and in 1521 the war broke out between him and
Francois, the first of a series of struggles between the two rivals.
While the King wasted the resources of his country on these wars, his
proud and unwise mother, Louise of Savoy, guided by Antoine du Prat,
ruled, to the sorrow of all, at home. The war brought no glory with it:
on the Flemish frontier a place or two was taken; in Biscay Fontarabia
fell before the arms of France; in Italy Francois had to meet a new
league of Pope and Emperor, and his troops were swept completely out of
the Milanese. In the midst of all came the defection of that great
prince, the Constable de Bourbon, head of the younger branch of the
Bourbon House, the most powerful feudal lord in France. Louise of Savoy
had enraged and offended him, or he her; the King slighted him, and in
1523 the Constable made a secret treaty with Charles V. and Henry VIII.,
and, taking flight into Italy, joined the Spaniards under Lannoy. The
French, who had again invaded the Milanese, were again driven out in
1524; on the other hand, the incursions of the imperialists into Picardy,
Provence, and the southeast were all complete failures. Encouraged by
the repulse of Bourbon from Marseilles, Francois I. once more crossed the
Alps, and overran a great part of the valley of the Po; at the siege of
Pavia he was attacked by Pescara and Bourbon, utterly defeated and taken
prisoner (24th February, 1525); the broken remnants of the French were
swept out of Italy at once, and Francois I. was carried into Spain, a
captive at Madrid. His mother, best in adversity, behaved with high
pride and spirit; she overawed disaffection, made preparations for
resistance, looked out for friends on every side. Had Francois been in
truth a hero, he might, even as a prisoner, have held his own; but he was
unable to bear the monotony of confinement, and longed for the pleasures
of France. On this mean nature Charles V. easily worked, and made the
captive monarch sign the Treaty of Madrid (January 14, 1526), a compact
which Francois meant to break as soon as he could, for he knew neither
heroism nor good faith. The treaty stipulated that Francois should give
up the duchy of Burgundy to Charles, and marry Eleanor of Portugal,
Charles's sister; that Francois should also abandon his claims on
Flanders, Milan, and Naples, and should place two sons in the Emperor's
hands as hostages. Following the precedent of Louis XI. in the case of
Normandy, he summoned an assembly of nobles and the Parliament of Paris
to Cognac, where they declared the cession of Burgundy to be impossible.
He refused to return to Spain, and made alliances wherever he could, with
the Pope, with Venice, Milan, and England. The next year saw the ruin of
this league in the discomfiture of Clement VII., and the sack of Rome by
the German mercenaries under Bourbon, who was killed in the assault. The
war went on till 1529, when Francois, having lost two armies in it, and
gained nothing but loss and harm, was willing for peace; Charles V.,
alarmed at the progress of the Turks, was not less willing; and in
August, 1529, the famous Treaty, of Cambrai, "the Ladies' Peace," was
agreed to by Margaret of Austria and Louise of Savoy. Though Charles V.
gave up all claim on the duchy of Burgundy, he had secured to himself
Flanders and Artois, and had entirely cleared French influences out of
Italy, which now became firmly fixed under the imperial hand, as a
connecting link between his Spanish and German possessions. Francois
lost ground and credit by these successive treaties, conceived in bad
faith, and not honestly carried out.

No sooner had the Treaty of Cambrai been effectual in bringing his sons
back to France, than Francois began to look out for new pretexts and
means for war. Affairs were not unpromising. His mother's death in 1531
left him in possession of a huge fortune, which she had wrung from
defenceless France; the powers which were jealous of Austria, the Turk,
the English King, the members of the Smalkald league, all looked to
Francois as their leader; Clement VII., though his misfortunes had thrown
him into the Emperor's hands, was not unwilling to treat with France; and
in 1533 by the compact of Marseilles the Pope broke up the friendship
between Francois and Henry VIII., while he married his niece Catherine
de' Medici to Henri, the second son of Francois. This compact was a real
disaster to France; the promised dowry of Catherine--certain Italian
cities--was never paid, and the death of Clement VII. in 1534 made the
political alliance with the papacy a failure. The influence of Catherine
affected and corrupted French history for half a century. Preparations
for war went on; Francois made a new scheme for a national army, though
in practice he preferred the tyrant's arm, the foreign mercenary. From
his day till the Revolution the French army was largely composed of
bodies of men tempted out of other countries, chiefly from Switzerland or

While the Emperor strove to appease the Protestant Princes of Germany by
the Peace of Kadan (1534), Francois strengthened himself with a definite
alliance with Soliman; and when, on the death of Francesco Sforza, Duke
of Milan, who left no heirs, Charles seized the duchy as its overlord,
Francois, after some bootless negotiation, declared war on his great
rival (1536). His usual fortunes prevailed so long as he was the
attacking party: his forces were soon swept out of Piedmont, and the
Emperor carried the war over the frontier into Provence. That also
failed, and Charles was fain to withdraw after great losses into Italy.
The defence of Provence--a defence which took the form of a ruthless
destruction of all its resources--had been entrusted to Anne de
Montmorency, who henceforward became Constable of France, and exerted
great influence over Francois I. Though these two campaigns, the French
in Italy and the imperialist in Provence, had equally failed in 1536,
peace did not follow till 1538, when, after the terrible defeat of
Ferdinand of Austria by the Turks, Charles was anxious to have free hand
in Germany. Under the mediation of Paul III. the agreement of Nice was
come to, which included a ten years' truce and the abandonment by
Francois of all his foreign allies and aims. He seemed a while to have
fallen completely under the influence of the sagacious Emperor. He gave
way entirely to the Church party of the time, a party headed by gloomy
Henri, now Dauphin, who never lost the impress of his Spanish captivity,
and by the Constable Anne de Montmorency; for a time the artistic or
Renaissance party, represented by Anne, Duchesse d'Etampes, and Catherine
de' Medici, fell into disfavour. The Emperor even ventured to pass
through France, on his way from Spain to the Netherlands. All this
friendship, however, fell to dust, when it was found that Charles refused
to invest the Duc d'Orleans, the second son of Francois, with the duchy
of Milan, and when the Emperor's second expedition against the sea-power
of the Turks had proved a complete failure, and Charles had returned to
Spain with loss of all his fleet and army. Then Francois hesitated no
longer, and declared war against him (1541). The shock the Emperor had
suffered inspirited all his foes; the Sultan and the Protestant German
Princes were all eager for war; the influence of Anne de Montmorency had
to give way before that of the House of Guise, that frontier family, half
French, half German, which was destined to play a large part in the
troubled history of the coming half-century. Claude, Duc de Guise, a
veteran of the earliest days of Francois, was vehemently opposed to
Charles and the Austro-Spanish power, and ruled in the King's councils.
This last war was as mischievous as its predecessors no great battles
were fought; in the frontier affairs the combatants were about equally
fortunate; the battle of Cerisolles, won by the French under Enghien
(1544), was the only considerable success they had, and even that was
almost barren of results, for the danger to Northern France was imminent;
there a combined invasion had been planned and partly executed by Charles
and Henry VIII., and the country, almost undefended, was at their mercy.
The two monarchs, however, distrusted one another; and Charles V.,
anxious about Germany, sent to Francois proposals for peace from Crespy
Couvrant, near Laon, where he had halted his army; Francois, almost in
despair, gladly made terms with him. The King gave up his claims on
Flanders and Artois, the Emperor his on the duchy of Burgundy; the King
abandoned his old Neapolitan ambition, and Charles promised one of the
Princesses of the House of Austria, with Milan as her dower, to the Duc
d'Orleans, second son of Francois. The Duke dying next year, this
portion of the agreement was not carried out. The Peace of Crespy, which
ended the wars between the two great rivals, was signed in autumn, 1544,
and, like the wars which led to it, was indecisive and lame.

Charles learnt that with all his great power he could not strike a fatal
blow at France; France ought to have learnt that she was very weak for
foreign conquest, and that her true business was to consolidate and
develop her power at home. Henry VIII. deemed himself wronged by this
independent action on the part of Charles, who also had his grievances
with the English monarch; he stood out till 1546, and then made peace
with Francois, with the aim of forming a fresh combination against
Charles. In the midst of new projects and much activity, the marrer of
man's plots came on the scene, and carried off in the same year, 1547,
the English King and Francois I., leaving Charles V. undisputed arbiter
of the affairs of Europe. In this same year he also crushed the
Protestant Princes at the battle of Muhlberg.

In the reign of Francois I. the Court looked not unkindly on the
Reformers, more particularly in the earlier years.

Henri II., who succeeded in 1547, "had all the faults of his father, with
a weaker mind;" and as strength of mind was not one of the
characteristics of Francois I., we may imagine how little firmness there
was in the gloomy King who now reigned. Party spirit ruled at Court.
Henri II., with his ancient mistress, Diane de Poitiers, were at the head
of one party, that of the strict Catholics, and were supported by old
Anne de Montmorency, most unlucky of soldiers, most fanatical of
Catholics, and by the Guises, who chafed a good deal under the stern rule
of the Constable. This party had almost extinguished its antagonists; in
the struggle of the mistresses, the pious and learned Anne d'Etampes had
to give place to imperious Diane, Catherine, the Queen, was content to
bide her time, watching with Italian coolness the game as it went on; of
no account beside her rival, and yet quite sure to have her day, and
ready to play parties against one another. Meanwhile, she brought to her
royal husband ten sickly children, most of whom died young, and three
wore the crown. Of the many bad things she did for France, that was
perhaps among the worst.

On the accession of Henri II. the duchy of Brittany finally lost even
nominal independence; he next got the hand of Mary, Queen of Scots, then
but five years old, for the Dauphin Francois; she was carried over to
France; and being by birth half a Guise, by education and interests of
her married life she became entirely French. It was a great triumph for
Henri, for the Protector Somerset had laid his plans to secure her for
young Edward VI.; it was even more a triumph for the Guises, who saw
opened out a broad and clear field for their ambition.

At first Henri II. showed no desire for war, and seemed to shrink from
rivalry or collision with Charles V. He would not listen to Paul III.,
who, in his anxiety after the fall of the Protestant power in Germany in
1547, urged him to resist the Emperor's triumphant advance; he seemed to
show a dread of war, even among his neighbours. After he had won his
advantage over Edward VI., he escaped the war which seemed almost
inevitable, recovered Boulogne from the English by a money payment, and
smoothed the way for peace between England and Scotland. He took much
interest in the religious question, and treated the Calvinists with great
severity; he was also occupied by troubles in the south and west of
France. Meanwhile, a new Pope, Julius III., was the weak dependent of
the Emperor, and there seemed to be no head left for any movement against
the universal domination of Charles V. His career from 1547 to 1552 was,
to all appearance, a triumphal march of unbroken success. Yet Germany
was far from acquiescence; the Princes were still discontented and
watchful; even Ferdinand of Austria, his brother, was offended by the
Emperor's anxiety to secure everything, even the imperial crown for his
son Philip; Maurice of Saxony, that great problem of the age, was
preparing for a second treachery, or, it may be, for a patriotic effort.
These German malcontents now appealed to Henri for aid; and at last Henri
seemed inclined to come. He had lately made alliance with England, and
in 1552 formed a league at Chambord with the German Princes; the old
connection with the Turk was also talked of. The Germans agreed to
allow' him to hold (as imperial vicar, not as King of France) the "three
bishoprics," Metz, Verdun, and Toul; he also assumed a protectorate over
the spiritual princes, those great bishops and electors of the Rhine,
whose stake in the Empire was so important. The general lines of French
foreign politics are all here clearly marked; in this Henri II. is the
forerunner of Henri IV. and of Louis XIV.; the imperial politics of
Napoleon start from much the same lines; the proclamations of Napoleon
III. before the Franco-German war seemed like thin echoes of the same.

Early in 1552 Maurice of Saxony struck his great blow at his master in
the Tyrol, destroying in an instant all the Emperor's plans for the
suppression of Lutheran opinions, and the reunion of Germany in a
Catholic empire; and while Charles V. fled for his life, Henri II. with
a splendid army crossed the frontiers of Lorraine. Anne de Montmorency,
whose opposition to the war had been overborne by the Guises, who warmly
desired to see a French predominance in Lorraine, was sent forward to
reduce Metz, and quickly got that important city into his hands; Toul and
Verdun soon opened their gates, and were secured in reality, if not in
name, to France. Eager to undertake a protectorate of the Rhine, Henri
II. tried also to lay hands on Strasburg; the citizens, however,
resisted, and he had to withdraw; the same fate befell his troops in an
attempt on Spires. Still, Metz and the line of the Vosges mountains
formed a splendid acquisition for France. The French army, leaving
strong garrisons in Lorraine, withdrew through Luxemburg and the northern
frontier; its remaining exploits were few and mean, for the one gleam of
good fortune enjoyed by Anne de Montmorency, who was unwise and arrogant,
and a most inefficient commander, soon deserted him. Charles V., as soon
as he could gather forces, laid siege to Metz, but, after nearly three
months of late autumnal operations, was fain to break up and withdraw,
baffled and with loss of half his army, across the Rhine. Though some
success attended his arms on the northern frontier, it was of no
permanent value; the loss of Metz, and the failure in the attempt to take
it, proved to the worn-out Emperor that the day of his power and
opportunity was past. The conclusions of the Diet of Augsburg in 1555
settled for half a century the struggle between Lutheran and Catholic,
but settled it in a way not at all to his mind; for it was the safeguard
of princely interests against his plans for an imperial unity. Weary of
the losing strife, yearning for ease, ordered by his physicians to
withdraw from active life, Charles in the course of 1555 and 1556
resigned all his great lordships and titles, leaving Philip his son to
succeed him in Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain, and his brother
Ferdinand of Austria to wear in his stead the imperial diadem. These
great changes sundered awhile the interests of Austria from those of

Henri endeavoured to take advantage of the check in the fortunes of his
antagonists; he sent Anne de Montmorency to support Gaspard de Coligny,
the Admiral of France, in Picardy, and in harmony with Paul IV.,
instructed Francois, Duc de Guise, to enter Italy to oppose the Duke of
Alva. As of old, the French arms at first carried all before them, and
Guise, deeming himself heir to the crown of Naples (for he was the eldest
great-grandson of Rene II., titular King of Naples), pushed eagerly
forward as far as the Abruzzi. There he was met and outgeneraled by
Alva, who drove him back to Rome, whence he was now recalled by urgent
summons to France; for the great disaster of St. Quentin had laid Paris
itself open to the assault of an enterprising enemy. With the departure
of Guise from Italy the age of the Italian expeditions comes to an end.
On the northern side of the realm things had gone just as badly.
Philibert of Savoy, commanding for Philip with Spanish and English
troops, marched into France as far as to the Somme, and laid siege to St.
Quentin, which was bravely defended by Amiral de Coligny. Anne de
Montmorency, coming up to relieve the place, managed his movements so
clumsily that he was caught by Count Egmont and the Flemish horse, and,
with incredibly small loss to the conquerors, was utterly routed (1557).
Montmorency himself and a crowd of nobles and soldiers were taken; the
slaughter was great. Coligny made a gallant and tenacious stand in the
town itself, but at last was overwhelmed, and the place fell. Terrible
as these mishaps were to France, Philip II. was not of a temper to push
an advantage vigorously; and while his army lingered, Francois de Guise
came swiftly back from Italy; and instead of wasting strength in a
doubtful attack on the allies in Picardy, by a sudden stroke of genius he
assaulted and took Calais (January, 1558), and swept the English finally
off the soil of France. This unexpected and brilliant blow cheered and
solaced the afflicted country, while it finally secured the ascendency of
the House of Guise. The Duke's brother, the Cardinal de Lorraine,
carried all before him in the King's councils; the Dauphin, betrothed
long before, was now married to Mary of Scots; a secret treaty bound the
young Queen to bring her kingdom over with her; it was thought that
France with Scotland would be at least a match for England joined with
Spain. In the same year, 1558, the French advance along the coast, after
they had taken Dunkirk and Nieuport, was finally checked by the brilliant
genius of Count Egmont, who defeated them at Gravelinea. All now began
to wish for peace, especially Montmorency, weary of being a prisoner, and
anxious to get back to Court, that he might check the fortunes of the
Guises; Philip desired it that he might have free hand against heresy.
And so, at Cateau-Cambresis, a peace was made in April, 1559, by which
France retained the three bishoprics and Calais, surrendering Thionville,
Montmedy, and one or two other frontier towns, while she recovered Ham
and St. Quentin; the House of Savoy was reinstated by Philip, as a reward
to Philibert for his services, and formed a solid barrier for a time
between France and Italy; cross-marriages between Spain, France, and
Savoy were arranged;--and finally, the treaty contained secret articles
by which the Guises for France and Granvella for the Netherlands agreed
to crush heresy with a strong hand. As a sequel to this peace, Henri II.
held a great tournament at Paris, at which he was accidentally slain by a
Scottish knight in the lists.

The Guises now shot up into abounded power. On the Guise side the
Cardinal de Lorraine was the cleverest man, the true head, while
Francois, the Duke, was the arm; he showed leanings towards the
Lutherans. On the other side, the head was the dull and obstinate Anne
de Montmorency, the Constable, an unwavering Catholic, supported by the
three Coligny brothers, who all were or became Huguenots. The
Queen-mother Catherine fluctuated uneasily between the parties, and
though Catholic herself, or rather not a Protestant, did not hesitate to
befriend the Huguenots, if the political arena seemed to need their
gallant swords. Their noblest leader was Coligny, the admiral; their
recognised head was Antoine, King of Navarre, a man as foolish as
fearless. He was heir presumptive to the throne after the Valois boys,
and claimed to have charge of the young King. Though the Guises had the
lead at first, the Huguenots seemed, from their strong aristocratic
connections, to have the fairer prospects before them.

Thirty years of desolate civil strife are before us, and we must set it
all down briefly and drily. The prelude to the troubles was played by
the Huguenots, who in 1560, guided by La Renaudie, a Perigord gentleman,
formed a plot to carry off the young King; for Francois II. had already
treated them with considerable severity, and had dismissed from his
councils both the princes of the blood royal and the Constable de
Montmorency. The plot failed miserably and La Renaudie lost his life; it
only secured more firmly the authority of the Guises. As a counterpoise
to their influence, the Queen-mother now conferred the vacant
chancellorship on one of the wisest men France has ever seen, her Lord
Bacon, Michel de L'Hopital, a man of the utmost prudence and moderation,
who, had the times been better, might have won constitutional liberties
for his country, and appeased her civil strife. As it was, he saved her
from the Inquisition; his hand drew the edicts which aimed at enforcing
toleration on France; he guided the assembly of notables which gathered
at Fontainebleau, and induced them to attempt a compromise which moderate
Catholics and Calvinists might accept, and which might lessen the power
of the Guises. This assembly was followed by a meeting of the States
General at Orleans, at which the Prince de Conde and the King of Navarre
were seized by the Guises on a charge of having had to do with La
Renaudie's plot. It would have gone hard with them had not the sickly
King at this very time fallen ill and died (1560).

This was a grievous blow to the Guises. Now, as in a moment, all was
shattered; Catherine de Medici rose at once to the command of affairs;
the new King, Charles IX., was only, ten years old, and her position as
Regent was assured. The Guises would gladly have ruled with her, but she
had no fancy for that; she and Chancellor de L'Hopital were not likely to
ally themselves with all that was severe and repressive. It must not be
forgotten that the best part of her policy was inspired by the Chancellor
de L'Hopital.

Now it was that Mary Stuart, the Queen-dowager, was compelled to leave
France for Scotland; her departure clearly marks the fall of the Guises;
and it also showed Philip of Spain that it was no longer necessary for
him to refuse aid and counsel to the Guises; their claims were no longer
formidable to him on the larger sphere of European politics; no longer
could Mary Stuart dream of wearing the triple crown of Scotland, France,
and England.

The tolerant language of L'Hopital at the States General of Orleans in
1561 satisfied neither side. The Huguenots were restless; the Bourbon
Princes tried to crush the Guises, in return for their own imprisonment
the year before; the Constable was offended by the encouragement shown to
the Huguenots; it was plain that new changes impended. Montmorency began
them by going over to the Guises; and the fatal triumvirate of Francois,
Duc de Guise, Montmorency, and St. Andre the marshal, was formed. We
find the King of Spain forthwith entering the field of French intrigues
and politics, as the support and stay of this triumvirate. Parties take
a simpler format once, one party of Catholics and another of Huguenots,
with the Queen-mother and the moderates left powerless between them.
These last, guided still by L'Hopital, once more convoked the States
General at Pontoise: the nobles and the Third Estate seemed to side
completely with the Queen and the moderates; a controversy between
Huguenots and Jesuits at Poissy only added to the discontent of the
Catholics, who were now joined by foolish Antoine, King of Navarre. The
edict of January, 1562, is the most remarkable of the attempts made by
the Queen-mother to satisfy the Huguenots; but party-passion was already
too strong for it to succeed; civil war had become inevitable.

The period may be divided into four parts: (1) the wars before the
establishment of the League (1562-1570); (2) the period of the St.
Bartholomew (1570-1573); (3) the struggle of the new Politique party
against the Leaguers (1573-1559); (4) the efforts of Henri IV. to crush
the League and reduce the country to peace (1589-1595). The period can
also be divided by that series of agreements, or peaces, which break it
up into eight wars:

1. The war of 1562, on the skirts of which Philip of Spain interfered on
one side, and Queen Elizabeth with the Calvinistic German Princes on the
other, showed at once that the Huguenots were by far the weaker party.
The English troops at Havre enabled them at first to command the lower
Seine up to Rouen; but the other party, after a long siege which cost
poor Antoine of Navarre his life, took that place, and relieved Paris of
anxiety. The Huguenots had also spread far and wide over the south and
west, occupying Orleans; the bridge of Orleans was their point of
junction between Poitou and Germany. While the strength of the Catholics
lay to the east, in Picardy, and at Paris, the Huguenot power was mostly
concentrated in the south and west of France. Conde, who commanded at
Orleans, supported by German allies, made an attempt on Paris, but
finding the capital too strong for him, turned to the west, intending to
join the English troops from Havre. Montmorency, however, caught him at
Dreux; and in the battle that ensued, the Marshal of France, Saint-Andre,
perished; Conde was captured by the Catholics, Montmorency by the
Huguenots. Coligny, the admiral, drew off his defeated troops with great
skill, and fell back to beyond the Loire; the Duc de Guise remained as
sole head of the Catholics. Pushing on his advantage, the Duke
immediately laid siege to Orleans, and there he fell by the hand of a
Huguenot assassin. Both parties had suffered so much that the
Queen-mother thought she might interpose with terms of peace; the Edict
of Amboise (March, 1563) closed the war, allowing the Calvinists freedom
of worship in the towns they held, and some other scanty privileges. A
three years' quiet followed, though all men suspected their neighbours,
and the high Catholic party tried hard to make Catherine sacrifice
L'Hopital and take sharp measures with the Huguenots. They on their side
were restless and suspicious, and it was felt that another war could not
be far off. Intrigues were incessant, all men thinking to make their
profit out of the weakness of France. The struggle between Calvinists
and Catholics in the Netherlands roused much feeling, though Catherine
refused to favour either party. She collected an army of her own; it was
rumoured that she intended to take the Huguenots by surprise and
annihilate them. In autumn, 1567, their patience gave way, and they
raised the standard of revolt, in harmony with the heroic Netherlanders.
Conde and the Chatillons beleaguered Paris from the north, and fought the
battle of St. Denis, in which the old Constable, Anne de Montmorency, was
killed. The Huguenots, however, were defeated and forced to withdraw,
Conde marching eastward to join the German troops now coming up to his
aid. No more serious fighting followed; the Peace of Longjumeau (March,
1568), closed the second war, leaving matters much as they were. The
aristocratic resistance against the Catholic sovereigns, against what is
often called the "Catholic Reaction," had proved itself hollow; in
Germany and the Netherlands, as well as in France, the Protestant cause
seemed to fail; it was not until the religious question became mixed up
with questions as to political rights and freedom, as in the Low
Countries, that a new spirit of hope began to spring up.

The Peace of Longjumeau gave no security to the Huguenot nobles; they
felt that the assassin might catch them any day. An attempt to seize
Condo and Coligny failed, and served only to irritate their party;
Cardinal Chatillon escaped to England; Jeanne of Navarre and her young
son Henri took refuge at La Rochelle; L'Hopital was dismissed the Court.
The Queen-mother seemed to have thrown off her cloak of moderation, and
to be ready to relieve herself of the Huguenots by any means, fair or
foul. War accordingly could not fail to break out again before the end
of the year. Conde had never been so strong; with his friends in England
and the Low Countries, and the enthusiastic support of a great party of
nobles and religious adherents at home, his hopes rose; he even talked of
deposing the Valois and reigning in their stead. He lost his life,
however, early in 1569, at the battle of Jarnac. Coligny once more with
difficulty, as at Dreux, saved the broken remnants of the defeated
Huguenots. Conde's death, regarded at the time by the Huguenots as an
irreparable calamity, proved in the end to be no serious loss; for it
made room for the true head of the party, Henri of Navarre. No sooner
had Jeanne of Navarre heard of the mishap of Jarnac than she came into
the Huguenot camp and presented to the soldiers her young son Henri and
the young Prince de Conde, a mere child. Her gallant bearing and the
true soldier-spirit of Coligny, who shone most brightly in adversity,
restored their temper; they even won some small advantages. Before long,
however, the Duc d'Anjou, the King's youngest brother, caught and
punished them severely at Moncontour. Both parties thenceforward wore
themselves out with desultory warfare. In August, 1570, the Peace of St.
Germain-en-Laye closed the third war and ended the first period.

2. It was the most favourable Peace the Huguenots had won as yet; it
secured them, besides previous rights, four strongholds. The Catholics
were dissatisfied; they could not sympathise with the Queen-mother in her
alarm at the growing strength of Philip II., head of the Catholics in
Europe; they dreaded the existence and growing influence of a party now
beginning to receive a definite name, and honourable nickname, the
Politiques. These were that large body of French gentlemen who loved the
honour of their country rather than their religious party, and who,
though Catholics, were yet moderate and tolerant. A pair of marriages
now proposed by the Court amazed them still more. It was suggested that
the Duc d'Anjou should marry Queen Elizabeth of England, and Henri of
Navarre, Marguerite de Valois, the King's sister. Charles II. hoped thus
to be rid of his brother, whom he disliked, and to win powerful support
against Spain, by the one match, and by the other to bring the civil wars
to a close. The sketch of a far-reaching resistance to Philip II. was
drawn out; so convinced of his good faith was the prudent and sagacious
William of Orange, that, on the strength of these plans, he refused good
terms now offered him by Spain. The Duc d'Alencon, the remaining son of
Catherine, the brother who did not come to the throne, was deeply
interested in the plans for a war in the Netherlands; Anjou, who had
withdrawn from the scheme of marriage with Queen Elizabeth, was at this
moment a candidate for the throne of Poland; while negotiations
respecting it were going on, Marguerite de Valois was married to Henri of
Navarre, the worst of wives [?? D.W.] to a husband none too good.
Coligny, who had strongly opposed the candidature of Anjou for the throne
of Poland, was set on by an assassin, employed by the Queen-mother and
her favourite son, and badly wounded; the Huguenots were in utmost alarm,
filling the air with cries and menaces. Charles showed great concern for
his friend's recovery, and threatened vengeance on the assassins. What
was his astonishment to learn that those assassins were his mother and
brother! Catherine worked on his fears, and the plot for the great
massacre was combined in an instant. The very next day after the King's
consent was wrung from him, 24th August, 1572, the massacre of St.
Bartholomew's day took place. The murder of Coligny was completed; his
son-in-law Teligny perished; all the chief Huguenots were slain; the
slaughter spread to country towns; the Church and the civil power were at
one, and the victims, taken at unawares, could make no resistance. The
two Bourbons, Henri and the Prince de Conde, were spared; they bought
their lives by a sudden conversion to Catholicism. The chief guilt of
this great crime lies with Catherine de' Medici; for, though it is
certain that she did not plan it long before, assassination was a
recognised part of her way of dealing with Huguenots.

A short war followed, a revolt of the southern cities rather than a war.
They made tenacious and heroic resistance; a large part of the royal
forces sympathised rather with them than with the League; and in July,
1573, the Edict of Boulogne granted them even more than they, had been
promised by the Peace of St. Germain.

3. We have reached the period of the "Wan of the League," as the four
later civil wars are often called. The last of the four is alone of any
real importance.

Just as the Peace of La Rochelle was concluded, the Duc d'Anjou, having
been elected King of Poland, left France; it was not long before troubles
began again. The Duc d'Alencon was vexed by his mother's neglect; as
heir presumptive to the crown he thought he deserved better treatment,
and sought to give himself consideration by drawing towards the middle
party; Catherine seemed to be intriguing for the ruin of that
party--nothing was safe while she was moving. The King had never held up
his head since the St. Bartholomew; it was seen that he now was dying,
and the Queen-mother took the opportunity of laying hands on the middle
party. She arrested Alencon, Montmorency, and Henri of Navarre, together
with some lesser chiefs; in the midst of it all Charles IX. died (1574),
in misery, leaving the ill-omened crown to Henri of Anjou, King of
Poland, his next brother, his mother's favourite, the worst of a bad
breed. At the same time the fifth civil war broke out, interesting
chiefly because it was during its continuance that the famous League was
actually formed.

Henri III., when he heard of his brother's death, was only too eager to
slip away like a culprit from Poland, though he showed no alacrity in
returning to France, and dallied with the pleasures of Italy for months.
An attempt to draw him over to the side of the Politiques failed
completely; he attached himself on the contrary to the Guises, and
plunged into the grossest dissipation, while he posed himself before men
as a good and zealous Catholic. The Politiques and Huguenots therefore
made a compact in 1575, at Milhaud on the Tarn, and chose the Prince de
Conde as their head; Henri of Navarre escaped from Paris, threw off his
forced Catholicism, and joined them. Against them the strict Catholics
seemed powerless; the Queen-mother closed this war with the Peace of
Chastenoy (May, 1576), with terms unusually favourable for both
Politiques and Huguenots: for the latter, free worship throughout France,
except at Paris; for the chiefs of the former, great governments, for
Alencon a large central district, for Conde, Picardy, for Henri of
Navarre, Guienne.

To resist all this the high Catholic party framed the League they had
long been meditating; it is said that the Cardinal de Lorraine had
sketched it years before, at the time of the later sittings of the
Council of Trent. Lesser compacts had already been made from time to
time; now it was proposed to form one great League, towards which all
should gravitate. The head of the League was Henri, Duc de Guise the
second, "Balafre," who had won that title in fighting against the German
reiters the year before, when they entered France under Condo. He
certainly hoped at this time to succeed to the throne of France, either
by deposing the corrupt and feeble Henri III., "as Pippin dealt with
Hilderik," or by seizing the throne, when the King's debaucheries should
have brought him to the grave. The Catholics of the more advanced type,
and specially the Jesuits, now in the first flush of credit and success,
supported him warmly. The headquarters of the movement were in Picardy;
its first object, opposition to the establishment of Conde as governor of
that province. The League was also very popular with the common folk,
especially in the towns of the north. It soon found that Paris was its
natural centre; thence it spread swiftly across the whole natural France;
it was warmly supported by Philip of Spain. The States General, convoked
at Blois in 1576, could bring no rest to France; opinion was just as much
divided there as in the country; and the year 1577 saw another petty war,
counted as the sixth, which was closed by the Peace of Bergerac, another
ineffectual truce which settled nothing. It was a peace made with the
Politiques and Huguenots by the Court; it is significant of the new state
of affairs that the League openly refused to be bound by it, and
continued a harassing, objectless warfare. The Duc d'Anjou (he had taken
that title on his brother Henri's accession to the throne) in 1578
deserted the Court party, towards which his mother had drawn him, and
made friends with the Calvinists in the Netherlands. The southern
provinces named him "Defender of their liberties;" they had hopes he
might wed Elizabeth of England; they quite mistook their man. In 1579
"the Gallants' War" broke out; the Leaguers had it all their own way; but
Henri III., not too friendly to them, and urged by his brother Anjou, to
whom had been offered sovereignty over the seven united provinces in
1580, offered the insurgents easy terms, and the Treaty of Fleix closed
the seventh war. Anjou in the Netherlands could but show his weakness;
nothing went well with him; and at last, having utterly wearied out his
friends, he fled, after the failure of his attempt to secure Antwerp,
into France. There he fell ill of consumption and died in 1584.

This changed at once the complexion of the succession question. Hitherto,
though no children seemed likely to be born to him, Henri III. was young
and might live long, and his brother was there as his heir. Now, Henri
III. was the last Prince of the Valois, and Henri of Navarre in
hereditary succession was heir presumptive to the throne, unless the
Salic law were to be set aside. The fourth son of Saint Louis, Robert,
Comte de Clermont, who married Beatrix, heiress of Bourbon, was the
founder of the House of Bourbon. Of this family the two elder branches
had died out: John, who had been a central figure in the War of the
Public Weal, in 1488; Peter, husband of Anne of France, in 1503; neither
of them leaving heirs male. Of the younger branch Francois died in 1525,
and the famous Constable de Bourbon in 1527. This left as the only
representatives of the family, the Comtes de La Marche; of these the
elder had died out in 1438, and the junior alone survived in the Comtes
de Vendome. The head of this branch, Charles, was made Duc de Vendome by
Francois I. in 1515; he was father of Antoine, Duc de Vendome, who, by
marrying the heroic Jeanne d'Albret, became King of Navarre, and of
Louis, who founded the House of Conde; lastly, Antoine was the father of
Henri IV. He was, therefore, a very distant cousin to Henri III; the
Houses of Capet, of Alencon, of Orleans, of Angouleme, of Maine, and of
Burgundy, as well as the elder Bourbons, had to fall extinct before Henri
of Navarre could become heir to the crown. All this, however, had now
happened; and the Huguenots greatly rejoiced in the prospect of a
Calvinist King. The Politique party showed no ill-will towards him; both
they and the Court party declared that if he would become once more a
Catholic they would rally to him; the Guises and the League were
naturally all the more firmly set against him; and Henri of Navarre saw
that he could not as yet safely endanger his influence with the
Huguenots, while his conversion would not disarm the hostility of the
League. They had before, this put forward as heir to the throne Henri's
uncle, the wretched old Cardinal de Bourbon, who had all the faults and
none of the good qualities of his brother Antoine. Under cover of his
name the Duc de Guise hoped to secure the succession for himself; he also
sold himself and his party to Philip of Spain, who was now in fullest
expectation of a final triumph over his foes. He had assassinated
William the Silent; any day Elizabeth or Henri of Navarre might be found
murdered; the domination of Spain over Europe seemed almost secured. The
pact of Joinville, signed between Philip, Guise, and Mayenne, gives us
the measure of the aims of the high Catholic party. Paris warmly sided
with them; the new development of the League, the "Sixteen of Paris," one
representative for each of the districts of the capital, formed a
vigorous organisation and called for the King's deposition; they invited
Henri, Duc de Guise, to Paris. Soon after this Henri III. humbled
himself, and signed the Treaty of Nemours (1585) with the Leaguers. He
hereby became nominal head of the League and its real slave.

The eighth war, the "War of the Three Henries," that is, of Henri III.
and Henri de Guise against Henri of Navarre, now broke out. The Pope
made his voice heard; Sixtus excommunicated the Bourbons, Henri and
Conde, and blessed the Leaguers.

For the first time there was some real life in one of these civil ware,
for Henri of Navarre rose nobly to the level of his troubles. At first
the balance of successes was somewhat in favour of the Leaguers; the
political atmosphere grew even more threatening, and terrible things,
like lightning flashes, gleamed out now and again. Such, for example,
was the execution of Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots, in 1586. It was known
that Philip II. was preparing to crush England. Elizabeth did what she
could to support Henri of Navarre; he had the good fortune to win the
battle of Contras, in which the Duc de Joyeuse, one of the favourites of
Henri III., was defeated and killed. The Duc de Guise, on the other
hand, was too strong for the Germans, who had marched into France to join
the Huguenots, and defeated them at Vimroy and Auneau, after which he
marched in triumph to Paris, in spite of the orders and opposition of.
the King, who, finding himself powerless, withdrew to Chartres. Once
more Henri III. was obliged to accept such terms as the Leaguers chose to
impose; and with rage in his heart he signed the "Edict of Union" (1588),
in which he named the Duc de Guise lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and
declared that no heretic could succeed to the throne. Unable to endure
the humiliation, Henri III. that same winter, assassinated the Duc and
the Cardinal de Guise, and seized many leaders of the League, though he
missed the Duc de Mayenne. This scandalous murder of the "King of
Paris," as the capital fondly called the Duke, brought the wretched King
no solace or power. His mother did not live to see the end of her son;
she died in this the darkest period of his career, and must have been
aware that her cunning and her immoral life had brought nothing but
misery to herself and all her race. The power of the League party seemed
as great as ever; the Duc de Mayenne entered Paris, and declared open war
on Henri III., who, after some hesitation, threw himself into the hands
of his cousin Henri of Navarre in the spring of 1589. The old Politique
party now rallied to the King; the Huguenots were stanch for their old
leader; things looked less dark for them since the destruction of the
Spanish Armada in the previous summer. The Swiss, aroused by the threats
of the Duke of Savoy at Geneva, joined the Germans, who once more entered
northeastern France; the leaguers were unable to make head either against
them or against the armies of the two Kings; they fell back on Paris, and
the allies hemmed them in. The defence of the capital was but languid;
the populace missed their idol, the Duc de Guise, and the moderate party,
never extinguished, recovered strength. All looked as if the royalists
would soon reduce the last stronghold of the League, when Henri III. was
suddenly slain by the dagger of a fanatical half-wined priest.

The King had only time to commend Henri of Navarre to his courtiers as
his heir, and to exhort him to become a Catholic, before he closed his
eyes, and ended the long roll of his vices and crimes. And thus in crime
and shame the House of Valois went down. For a few years, the throne
remained practically vacant: the heroism of Henri of Navarre, the loss of
strength in the Catholic powers, the want of a vigorous head to the
League,--these things all sustained the Bourbon in his arduous struggle;
the middle party grew in strength daily, and when once Henri had allowed
himself to be converted, he became the national sovereign, the national
favourite, and the high Catholics fell to the fatal position of an
unpatriotic faction depending on the arm of the foreigner.

4. The civil wars were not over, for the heat of party raged as yet
unslaked; the Politiques could not all at once adopt a Huguenot King, the
League party had pledged itself to resist the heretic, and Henri at first
had little more than the Huguenots at his back. There were also
formidable claimants for the throne. Charles II. Duc de Lorraine, who
had married Claude, younger daughter of Henri IL, and who was therefore
brother-in-law to Henri III., set up a vague claim; the King of Spain,
Philip II., thought that the Salic law had prevailed long enough in
France, and that his own wife, the elder daughter of Henri III. had the
best claim to the throne; the Guises, though their head was gone, still
hoping for the crown, proclaimed their sham-king, the Cardinal de
Bourbon, as Charles X., and intrigued behind the shadow of his name. The
Duc de Mayenne, their present chief, was the most formidable of Henri's
opponents; his party called for a convocation of States General, which
should choose a King to succeed, or to replace, their feeble Charles X.
During this struggle the high Catholic party, inspired by Jesuit advice,
stood forward as the admirers of constitutional principles; they called
on the nation to decide the question as to the succession; their Jesuit
friends wrote books on the sovereignty of the people. They summoned up
troops from every side; the Duc de Lorraine sent his son to resist Henri
and support his own claim; the King of Spain sent a body of men; the
League princes brought what force they could. Henri of Navarre at the
same moment found himself weakened by the silent withdrawal from his camp
of the army of Henri III.; the Politique nobles did not care at first to
throw in their lot with the Huguenot chieftain; they offered to confer on
Henri the post of commander-in-chief, and to reserve the question as to
the succession; they let him know that they recognised his hereditary
rights, and were hindered only by his heretical opinions; if he would but
be converted they were his. Henri temporised; his true strength, for the
time, lay in his Huguenot followers, rugged and faithful fighting men,
whose belief was the motive power of their allegiance and of their
courage. If he joined the Politiques at their price, the price of
declaring himself Catholic, the Huguenots would be offended if not
alienated. So he neither absolutely refused nor said yes; and the chief
Catholic nobles in the main stood aloof, watching the struggle between
Huguenot and Leaguer, as it worked out its course.

Henri, thus weakened, abandoned the siege of Paris, and fell back; with
the bulk of his forces he marched into Normandy, so as to be within reach
of English succour; a considerable army went into Champagne, to be ready
to join any Swiss or German help that might come. These were the great
days in the life of Henri of Navarre. Henri showed himself a hero, who
strove for a great cause--the cause of European freedom--as well as for
his own crown.

The Duc de Mayenne followed the Huguenots down into the west, and found
Henri awaiting him in a strong position at Arques, near Dieppe; here at
bay, the "Bearnais" inflicted a heavy blow on his assailants; Mayenne
fell back into Picardy; the Prince of Lorraine drew off altogether; and
Henri marched triumphantly back to Paris, ravaged the suburbs and then
withdrew to Tours, where he was recognised as King by the Parliament. His
campaign of 1589 had been most successful; he had defeated the League in
a great battle, thanks to his skilful use of his position at Arques, and
the gallantry of his troops, which more than counterbalanced the great
disparity in numbers. He had seen dissension break out among his
enemies; even the Pope, Sixtus, had shown him some favour, and the
Politique nobles were certainly not going against him. Early in 1590
Henri had secured Anjou, Maine, and Normandy, and in March defeated
Mayenne, in a great pitched battle at Ivry, not far from Dreux. The
Leaguers fell back in consternation to Paris. Henri reduced all the
country round the capital, and sat down before it for a stubborn siege.
The Duke of Parma had at that time his hands full in the Low Countries;
young Prince Maurice was beginning to show his great abilities as a
soldier, and had got possession of Breda; all, however, had to be
suspended by the Spaniards on that side, rather than let Henri of Navarre
take Paris. Parma with great skill relieved the capital without striking
a blow, and the campaign of 1590 ended in a failure for Henri. The
success of Parma, however, made Frenchmen feel that Henri's was the
national cause, and that the League flourished only by interference of
the foreigner. Were the King of Navarre but a Catholic, he should be a
King of France of whom they might all be proud. This feeling was
strengthened by the death of the old Cardinal de Bourbon, which reopened
at once the succession question, and compelled Philip of Spain to show
his hand. He now claimed the throne for his daughter Elisabeth, as
eldest daughter of the eldest daughter of Henri II. All the neighbours
of France claimed something; Frenchmen felt that it was either Henri IV.
or dismemberment. The "Bearnais" grew in men's minds to be the champion
of the Salic law, of the hereditary principle of royalty against feudal
weakness, of unity against dismemberment, of the nation against the

The middle party, the Politiques of Europe,--the English, that is, and
the Germans,--sent help to Henri, by means of which he was able to hold
his own in the northwest and southwest throughout 1591. Late in the year
the violence of the Sixteen of Paris drew on them severe punishment from
the Duc de Mayenne; and consequently the Duke ceased to be the recognised
head of the League, which now looked entirely to Philip II. and Parma,
while Paris ceased to be its headquarters; and more moderate counsels
having taken the place of its fierce fanaticism, the capital came under
the authority of the lawyers and citizens, instead of the priesthood and
the bloodthirsty mob. Henri, meanwhile, who was closely beleaguering
Rouen, was again outgeneralled by Parma, and had to raise the siege.
Parma, following him westward, was wounded at Caudebec; and though he
carried his army triumphantly back to the Netherlands, his career was
ended by this trifling wound. He did no more, and died in 1592.

In 1593, Mayenne, having sold his own claims to Philip of Spain, the
opposition to Henri looked more solid and dangerous than ever; he
therefore thought the time was come for the great step which should rally
to him all the moderate Catholics. After a decent period of negotiation
and conferences, he declared himself convinced, and heard mass at St.
Denis. The conversion had immediate effect; it took the heart out of the
opposition; city after city came in; the longing for peace was strong in
every breast, and the conversion seemed to remove the last obstacle. The
Huguenots, little as they liked it, could not oppose the step, and hoped
to profit by their champion's improved position. Their ablest man,
Sully, had even advised Henri to make the plunge. In 1594, Paris opened
her gates to Henri, who had been solemnly crowned, just before, at
Chartres. He was welcomed with immense enthusiasm, and from that day
onwards has ever been the favourite hero of the capital. By 1595 only
one foe remained,--the Spanish Court. The League was now completely
broken up; the Parliament of Paris gladly aided the King to expel the
Jesuits from France. In November, 1595, Henri declared war against
Spain, for anything was better than the existing state of things, in
which Philip's hand secretly supported all opposition: The war in 1596
was far from being successful for Henri; he was comforted, however, by
receiving at last the papal absolution, which swept away the last
scruples of France.

By rewards and kindliness,--for Henri was always willing to give and had
a pleasant word for all, most of the reluctant nobles, headed by the Duc
de Mayenne himself, came in in the course of 1596. Still the war pressed
very heavily, and early in 1597 the capture of Amiens by the Spaniards
alarmed Paris, and roused the King to fresh energies. With help of Sully
(who had not yet received the title by which he is known in history)
Henri recovered Amiens, and checked the Spanish advance. It was noticed
that while the old Leaguers came very heartily to the King's help, the
Huguenots hung back in a discontented and suspicious spirit. After the
fall of Amiens the war languished; the Pope offered to mediate, and Henri
had time to breathe. He felt that his old comrades, the offended
Huguenots, had good cause for complaint; and in April, 1598, he issued
the famous Edict of Nantes, which secured their position for nearly a
century. They got toleration for their opinions; might worship openly in
all places, with the exception of a few towns in which the League had
been strong; were qualified to hold office in financial posts and in the
law; had a Protestant chamber in the Parliaments.

Immediately after the publication of the Edict of Nantes, the Treaty of
Vervins was signed. Though Henri by it broke faith with Queen Elizabeth,
he secured an honourable peace for his country, an undisputed kingship
for himself. It was the last act of Philip II., the confession that his
great schemes were unfulfilled, his policy a failure.


Adversity is solitary, while prosperity dwells in a crowd
Comeliness of his person, which at all times pleads powerfully
Envy and malice are self-deceivers
Everything in the world bore a double aspect
From faith to action the bridge is short
Hearsay liable to be influenced by ignorance or malice
Honours and success are followed by envy
Hopes they (enemies) should hereafter become our friends
I should praise you more had you praised me less
It is the usual frailty of our sex to be fond of flattery
Lovers are not criminal in the estimation of one another
Mistrust is the sure forerunner of hatred
Much is forgiven to a king
Necessity is said to be the mother of invention
Never approached any other man near enough to know a difference
Not to repose too much confidence in our friends
Parliament aided the King to expel the Jesuits from France
Prefer truth to embellishment
Rather out of contempt, and because it was good policy
Situated as I was betwixt fear and hope
The pretended reformed religion
The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day
The record of the war is as the smoke of a furnace
There is too much of it for earnest, and not enough for jest
Those who have given offence to hate the offended party
To embellish my story I have neither leisure nor ability
Troubles might not be lasting
Young girls seldom take much notice of children


Written by Himself

Being Historic Court Memoirs of the Great Events
during the Minority of Louis XIV.
and the Administration of Cardinal Mazarin.







Cardinal de Retz----Photogravure from an Old Painting

Turenne----Photogravure from an Old Painting

Richelieu----Engraving by Lubin

Anne of Austria----Original Etching by Mercier

Louis XIII----Painting in the Louvre

Conde'----Painting in Versailles Gallery


Our Author, John Francis Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz, Sovereign of
Commercy, Prince of Euville, second Archbishop of Paris, Abbot of Saint
Denis in France, was born at Montmirail, in Brie, in October, 1614.

His father was Philippe Emanuel de Gondi, Comte, de Joigni, General of
the Galleys of France and Knight of the King's Orders; and his mother was
Frances Marguerite, daughter of the Comte de Rochepot, Knight of the
King's Orders, and of Marie de Lannoy, sovereign of Commercy and Euville.

Pierre de Gondi, Duc de Retz, was his brother, whose daughter was the
Duchesse de Lesdiguieres.

His grandfather was Albert de Gondi, Duc de Retz, Marquis de Belle Isle,
a Peer of France, Marshal and General of the Galleys, Colonel of the
French Horse, First Gentleman of the Bedchamber, and Great Chamberlain to
the Kings Charles IX. and Henri III.

This history was first printed in Paris in 1705, at the expense of the
Duchesse de Lesdiguieres, the last of this noble family, whose estate
fell after her decease to that of Villeroy.

His preceptor was the famous Vincent de Paul, Almoner to Queen Anne of

In 1627 he was made a Canon of the Cathedral of Paris by his uncle, Jean
Francois de Gondi, first archbishop of that city, and was not long after
created a Doctor of the Sorbonne.

In 1643 he was appointed Coadjutor of the archbishopric of Paris, with
the title of Archbishop of Corinth, during which, such was his pastoral
vigilance that the most important affairs of the Church were committed to
his care.

As to his general character, if we take it from his own Memoirs, he had
such presence of mind, and so dexterously improved all opportunities
which fortune presented to him, that it seemed as if he had foreseen or
desired them. He knew how to put a good gloss upon his failings, and
oftentimes verily believed he was really the man which he affected to be
only in appearance. He was a man of bright parts, but no conduct, being
violent and inconstant in his intrigues of love as well as those of
politics, and so indiscreet as to boast of his successful amours with
certain ladies whom he ought not to have named. He affected pomp and
splendour, though his profession demanded simplicity and humility. He
was continually shifting parties, being a loyal subject one day and the
next a rebel, one time a sworn enemy to the Prime Minister, and by and by
his zealous friend; always aiming to make himself formidable or
necessary. As a pastor he had engrossed the love and confidence of the
people, and as a statesman he artfully played them off against their
sovereign. He studied characters thoroughly, and no man painted them in
truer colours more to his own purpose. Sometimes he confesses his
weaknesses, and at other times betrays his self-flattery.

It being his fate to be imprisoned by Mazarin, first at Vincennes and
then at Nantes, he made his escape to Rome, and in 1656 retired to
Franche Comte, where Cardinal Mazarin gave orders for his being arrested;
upon which he posted to Switzerland, and thence to Constance, Strasburg,
Ulm, Augsburg, Frankfort, and Cologne, to which latter place Mazarin sent
men to take him dead or alive; whereupon he retired to Holland, and made
a trip from one town to another till 1661, when, Cardinal Mazarin dying,
our Cardinal went as far as Valenciennes on his way to Paris, but was not
suffered to come further; for the King and Queen-mother would not be
satisfied without his resignation of the archbishopric of Paris, to which
he at last submitted upon advantageous terms for himself and an amnesty
for all his adherents. But still the Court carried it so severely to the
Cardinal that they would not let him go and pay his last devoirs to his
father when on his dying bed. At length, however, after abundance of
solicitation, he had leave to go and wait upon the King and Queen, who,
on the death of Pope Alexander VII., sent him to Rome to assist at the
election of his successor.

No wonder that King Charles II. of England promised to intercede for the
Cardinal's reestablishment; for when the royal family were starving, as
it were, in their exile at Paris, De Retz did more for them than all the
French Court put together; and, upon the King's promise to take the Roman
Catholics of England under his protection after his restoration, he sent
an abbot to Rome to solicit the Pope to lend him money, and to dispose
the English Catholics in his favour.

He would fain have returned his hat to the new Pope, but his Holiness, at
the solicitation of Louis XIV., ordered him to keep it. After this he
chose a total retirement, lived with exemplary piety, considerably
retrenched his expenses, and hardly allowed himself common necessaries,
in order to save money to pay off a debt of three millions, which he had
the happiness to discharge, and to balance all accounts with the world
before his death, which happened at Paris on the 24th of August, 1679, in
the 65th year of his age.




MADAME:--Though I have a natural aversion to give you the history of my
own life, which has been chequered with such a variety of different
adventures, yet I had rather sacrifice my reputation to the commands of a
lady for whom I have so peculiar a regard than not disclose the most
secret springs of my actions and the inmost recesses of my soul.

By the caprice of fortune many mistakes of mine have turned to my credit,
and I very much doubt whether it would be prudent in me to remove the
veil with which some of them are covered. But as I am resolved to give
you a naked, impartial account of even the most minute passages of my
life ever since I have been capable of reflection, so I most humbly beg
you not to be surprised at the little art, or, rather, great disorder,
with which I write my narrative, but to consider that, though the
diversity of incidents may sometimes break the thread of the history, yet
I will tell you nothing but with all that sincerity which the regard I
have for you demands. And to convince you further that I will neither
add to nor diminish from the plain truth, I shall set my name in the
front of the work.

False glory and false modesty are the two rocks on which men who have
written their own lives have generally split, but which Thuanus among the
moderns and Caesar among the ancients happily escaped. I doubt not you
will do me the justice to believe that I do not pretend to compare myself
with those great writers in any respect but sincerity,--a virtue in which
we are not only permitted, but commanded, to rival the greatest heroes.

I am descended from a family illustrious in France and ancient in Italy,
and born upon a day remarkable for the taking of a monstrous sturgeon in
a small river that runs through the country of Montmirail, in Brie, the
place of my nativity.

I am not so vain as to be proud of having it thought that I was ushered
into the world with a prodigy or a miracle, and I should never have
mentioned this trifling circumstance had it not been for some libels
since published by my enemies, wherein they affect to make the said
sturgeon a presage of the future commotions in this kingdom, and me the
chief author of them.

I beg leave to make a short reflection on the nature of the mind of man.
I believe there never was a more honest soul in the world than my
father's; I might say his temper was the very essence of virtue. For
though he saw I was too much inclined to duels and gallantry ever to make
a figure as an ecclesiastic, yet his great love for his eldest son--not
the view of the archbishopric of Paris, which was then in his
family--made him resolve to devote me to the service of the Church. For
he was so conscious of his reasons, that I could even swear he would have
protested from the very bottom of his heart that he had no other motive
than the apprehension of the dangers to which a contrary profession might
expose my soul. So true it is that nothing is so subject to delusion as
piety: all sorts of errors creep in and hide themselves under that veil;
it gives a sanction to all the turns of imagination, and the honesty of
the intention is not sufficient to guard against it. In a word, after
all I have told you, I turned priest, though it would have been long
enough first had it not been for the following accident.

The Duc de Retz, head of our family, broke at that time, by the King's
order, the marriage treaty concluded some years before between the Duc de
Mercoeur--[Louis, Duc de Mercoeur, since Cardinal de Vendome, father of
the Duc de Vendome, and Grand Prior, died 1669.]--and his daughter, and
next day came to my father and agreeably surprised him by telling him he
was resolved to give her to his cousin to reunite the family.

As I knew she had a sister worth above 80,000 livres a year, I, that very
instant, thought of a double match. I had no hopes they would think of
me, knowing how things stood, so I was resolved to provide for myself.

Having got a hint that my father did not intend to carry me to the
wedding, as, foreseeing, it may be, what happened, I pretended to be
better pleased with my profession, to be touched by what my father had so
often laid before me on that subject, and I acted my part so well that
they believed I was quite another man.

My father resolved to carry me into Brittany, for the reason that I had
shown no inclination that way. We found Mademoiselle de Retz at
Beaupreau, in Anjou. I looked on the eldest only as my sister, but
immediately considered Mademoiselle de Scepaux (so the youngest was
called) as my mistress.

I thought her very handsome, her complexion the most charming in the
world, lilies and roses in abundance, admirable eyes, a very pretty
mouth, and what she wanted in stature was abundantly made up by the
prospect of 80,000 livres a year and of the Duchy of Beaupreau, and by a
thousand chimeras which I formed on these real foundations.

I played my game nicely from the beginning, and acted the ecclesiastic
and the devotee both in the journey and during my stay there;
nevertheless, I paid my sighs to the fair one,--she perceived it. I spoke
at last, and she heard me, but not with that complacency which I could
have wished.

But observing she had a great kindness for an old chambermaid, sister to
one of my monks of Buzai, I did all I could to gain her, and by the means
of a hundred pistoles down, and vast promises, I succeeded. She made her
mistress believe that she was designed for a nunnery, and I, for my part,
told her that I was doomed to nothing less than a monastery. She could
not endure her sister, because she was her father's darling, and I was
not overfond of my brother,--[Pierre de Gondi, Duc de Retz, who died in
1676.]--for the same reason. This resemblance in our fortunes
contributed much to the uniting of our affections, which I persuaded
myself were reciprocal, and I resolved to carry her to Holland.

Indeed, there was nothing more easy, for Machecoul, whither we were come
from Beaupreau, was no more than half a league from the sea. But money
was the only thing wanting, for my treasury, was so drained by the gift
of the hundred pistoles above mentioned that I had not a sou left. But I
found a supply by telling my father that, as the farming of my abbeys was
taxed with the utmost rigour of the law, so I thought myself obliged in
conscience to take the administration of them into my own hands. This
proposal, though not pleasing, could not be rejected, both because it was
regular and because it made him in some measure believe that I would not
fail to keep my benefices, since I was willing to take care of them. I
went the next day to let Buzai,--[One of his abbeys.]--which is but five
leagues from Machecoul. I treated with a Nantes merchant, whose name was
Jucatieres, who took advantage of my eagerness, and for 4,000 crowns
ready money got a bargain that made his fortune. I thought I had
4,000,000, and was just securing one of the Dutch pinks, which are always
in the road of Retz, when the following accident happened, which broke
all my measures.

Mademoiselle de Retz (for she had taken that name after her sister's
marriage) had the finest eyes in the world, and they never were so
beautiful as when she was languishing in love, the charms of which I
never yet saw equalled. We happened to dine at a lady's house, a league
from Machecoul, where Mademoiselle de Retz, looking in the glass at an
assembly of ladies, displayed all those tender, lively, moving airs which
the Italians call 'morbidezza', or the lover's languish. But
unfortunately she was not aware that Palluau, since Marechal de
Clerambaut, was behind her, who observed her airs, and being very much
attached to Madame de Retz, with whom he had in her tender years been
very familiar, told her faithfully what he had observed.

Madame de Retz, who mortally hated her sister, disclosed it that very
night to her father, who did not fail to impart it to mine. The next
morning, at the arrival of the post from Paris, all was in a hurry, my
father pretending to have received very pressing news; and, after our
taking a slight though public leave of the ladies, my father carried me
to sleep that night at Nantes. I was, as you may imagine, under very
great surprise and concern; for I could not guess the cause of this
sudden departure. I had nothing to reproach myself with upon the score
of my conduct; neither had I the least suspicion that Palluau had seen
anything more than ordinary till I arrived at Orleans, where the matter
was cleared up, for my brother, to prevent my escape, which I vainly
attempted several times on my journey, seized my strong box, in which was
my money, and then I understood that I was betrayed; in what grief, then,
I arrived at Paris, I leave you to imagine.

I found there Equilli, Vasse's uncle, and my first cousin, who, I
daresay, was one of the most honest men of his time, and loved me from
his very soul. I apprised him of my design to run away with Mademoiselle
de Retz. He heartily approved of my project, not only because it would
be a very advantageous match for me, but because he was persuaded that a
double alliance was necessary to secure the establishment of the family.

The Cardinal de Richelieu--[Armand Jean du Plesais, Cardinal de
Richelieu, was born in 1585, and died in 1642.]--(then Prime Minister)
mortally hated the Princesse de Guemenee, because he was persuaded she
had crossed his amours with the Queen,--[Anne of Austria, eldest daughter
of Philip II., King of Spain, and wife of Louis XIII., died 1666.]--and
had a hand in the trick played him by Madame du Fargis, one of the
Queen's dressing women, who showed her Majesty (Marie de Medicis) a
love-letter written by his Eminence to the Queen, her daughter-in-law.
The Cardinal pushed his resentment so far that he attempted to force the
Marechal de Breze, his brother-in-law, and captain of the King's
Life-guards, to expose Madame de Guemenee's letters, which were found in
M. de Montmorency's--[Henri de Montmorency was apprehended on the 1st of
September, 1632, and beheaded in Toulouse in November of the same
year.]--coffer when he was arrested at Chateau Naudari. But the Marechal
de Breze had so much honour and generosity as to return them to Madame de
Guemenee. He was, nevertheless, a very extravagant gentleman; but the
Cardinal de Richelieu, perceiving he had been formerly honoured by some
kind of relation to him, and dreading his angry excursions and
preachments before the King, who had some consideration for his person,
bore with him very patiently for the sake of settling peace in his own
family, which he passionately longed to unite and establish, but which
was the only thing out of his power, who could do whatever else he
pleased in France. For the Marechal de Breze had conceived so strong an
aversion to M. de La Meilleraye, who was then Grand Master of the
Artillery, and afterwards Marechal de La Meilleraye, that he could not
endure him. He did not imagine that the Cardinal would ever look upon a
man who, though his first cousin, was of a mean extraction, had a most
contemptible aspect, and, if fame says true, not one extraordinary good

The Cardinal was of another mind, and had a great opinion--indeed, with
abundance of reason--of M. de La Meilleraye's courage; but he esteemed
his military capacity infinitely too much, though in truth it was not
contemptible. In a word, he designed him for that post which we have
since seen so gloriously filled by M. de Turenne.

You may, by what has been said, judge of the divisions that were in
Cardinal de Richelieu's family, and how much he was concerned to appease
them. He laboured at them with great application, and for this end
thought he could not do better than to unite these two heads of the
faction in a close confidence with himself, exclusive of all others. To
this end he used them jointly and in common as the confidants of his
amours, which certainly were neither suitable to the lustre of his
actions nor the grandeur of his life; for Marion de Lorme, one of his
mistresses, was little better than a common prostitute. Another of his
concubines was Madame de Fruges, that old gentlewoman who was so often
seen sauntering in the enclosure. The first used to come to his
apartment in the daytime, and he went by night to visit the other, who
was but the pitiful cast-off of Buckingham and Epienne. The two
confidants introduced him there in coloured clothes; for they had made up
a hasty peace, to which Madame de Guemenee nearly fell a sacrifice.

M. de La Meilleraye, whom they called the Grand Master, was in love with
Madame de Guemenee, but she could not love him; and he being, both in his
own nature and by reason of his great favour with the Cardinal, the most
imperious man living, took it very ill that he was not beloved. He
complained, but the lady was insensible; he huffed and bounced, but was
laughed to scorn. He thought he had her in his power because the
Cardinal, to whom he had declared his rage against her, had given him her
letters, as above mentioned, which were written to M. de Montmorency,
and, therefore, in his menaces he let fall some hints with relation to
those letters to the disadvantage of Madame de Guemenee. She thereupon
ridiculed him no longer, but went almost raving mad, and fell into such
an inconceivable melancholy that you would not have known her, and
retired to Couperai, where she would let nobody see her.

As soon as I applied my mind to study I resolved at the same time to take
the Cardinal de Richelieu for my pattern, though my friends opposed it as
too pedantic; but I followed my first designs, and began my course with
good success. I was afterwards followed by all persons of quality of the
same profession; but, as I was the first, the Cardinal was pleased with
my fancy, which, together with the good offices done me by the Grand
Master with the Cardinal, made him speak well of me on several occasions,
wonder that I had never made my court to him, and at the same time he
ordered M. de Lingendes, since Bishop of Magon, to bring me to his house.

This was the source of my first disgrace, for, instead of complying with
these offers of the Cardinal and with the entreaties of the Grand Master,
urging me to go and make my court to him, I returned the most trifling
excuses and apologies; one time I pretended to be sick and went into the
country. In short, I did enough to let them see that I did not care to
be a dependent on the Cardinal de Richelieu, who was certainly a very
great man, but had this particular trait in his genius,--to take notice
of trifles. Of this he gave me the following instance: The history of
the conspiracy of Jean Louis de Fiesque,--[Author of "The Conspiracy of
Genoa." He was drowned on the 1st of January, 1557.]--which I had
written at eighteen years of age, being conveyed by Boisrobert into the
Cardinal's hands, he was heard to say, in the presence of Marechal
d'Estrees and M. de Senneterre, "This is a dangerous genius." This was
told my father that very night by M. de Senneterre, and I took it as
spoken to myself.

The success that I had in the acts of the Sorbonne made me fond of that
sort of reputation, which I had a mind to push further, and thought I
might succeed in sermons. Instead of preaching first, as I was advised,
in the little convents, I preached on Ascension, Corpus Christi Day,
etc., before the Queen and the whole Court, which assurance gained me a
good character from the Cardinal; for, when he was told how well I had
performed, he said, "There is no judging of things by the event; the man
is a coxcomb." Thus you see I had enough to do for one of two-and-twenty
years of age.

M. le Comte,--[Louis de Bourbon, Comte de soissons, killed in the battle
of Marfee, near Sedan, in 1641.]--who had a tender love for me, and to
whose service and person I was entirely devoted, left Paris in the night,
in order to get into Sedan, for fear of an arrest; and, in the meantime,
entrusted me with the care of Vanbrock, the greatest confidant he had in
the world. I took care, as I was ordered, that he should never stir out
but at night, for in the daytime I concealed him in a private place,
between the ceiling and the penthouse, where I thought it impossible for
anything but a cat or the devil to find him. But he was not careful
enough of himself, for one morning my door was burst open, and armed men
rushed into my chamber, with the provost at their head, who cried, with a
great oath, "Where is Vanbrock?" I replied, "At Sedan, monsieur, I
believe." He swore again most confoundedly, and searched the mattresses
of all the beds in the house, threatening to put my domestics to the rack
if they did not make a disclosure; but there was only one that knew
anything of the matter, and so they went away in a rage. You may easily
imagine that when this was reported the Court would highly resent it. And
so it happened, for the license of the Sorbonne being expired, and the
competitors striving for the best places, I had the ambition to put in
for the first place, and did not think myself obliged to yield to the
Abbe de La Mothe-Houdancourt, now Archbishop of Auch, over whom I had
certainly some advantage in the disputations. I carried myself in this
affair more wisely than might have been expected from my youth; for as
soon as I heard that my rival was supported by the Cardinal, who did him
the honour to own him for his kinsman, I sent the Cardinal word, by M. de
Raconis, Bishop of Lavaur, that I desisted from my pretension, out of the
respect I owed his Eminence, as soon as I heard that he concerned himself
in the affair. The Bishop of Lavaur told me the Cardinal pretended that
the Abby de La Mothe would not be obliged for the first place to my
cession, but to his own merit. This answer exasperated me. I gave a
smile and a low bow, pursued my point, and gained the first place by
eighty-four voices. The Cardinal, who was for domineering in all places
and in all affairs, fell into a passion much below his character, either
as a minister or a man, threatened the deputies of the Sorbonne to raze
the new buildings he had begun there, and assailed my character again
with incredible bitterness.

All my friends were alarmed at this, and were for sending me in all haste
to Italy. Accordingly, I went to Venice, stayed there till the middle of
August, and was very near being assassinated; for I amused myself by
making an intrigue with Signora Vendranina, a noble Venetian lady, and
one of the most handsome I ever saw. M. de Maille, the King's
ambassador, aware of the dangerous consequences of such adventures in
this country, ordered me to depart from Venice; upon which I went through
Lombardy, and towards the end of September arrived at Rome, where the
Marechal d'Estrees, who resided there as ambassador, gave me such
instructions for my behaviour as I followed to a tittle. Though I had no
design to be an ecclesiastic, yet since I wore a cassock I was resolved
to acquire some reputation at the Pope's Court. I compassed my design
very happily, avoiding any appearance of gallantry and lewdness, and my
dress being grave to the last degree; but for all this I was at a vast
expense, having fine liveries, a very splendid equipage, and a train of
seven or eight gentlemen, whereof four were Knights of Malta. I disputed
in the Colleges of Sapienza (not to be compared for learning with those
of the Sorbonne), and fortune continued still to raise me. For the
Prince de Schomberg, the Emperor's ambassador, sent me word one day,
while I was playing at 'balon' at the baths of Antoninus, to leave the
place clear for him. I answered that I could have refused his Excellency
nothing asked in a civil manner, but since it was commanded, I would have
him to know that I would obey the orders of no ambassador whatever, but
that of the King, my master. Being urged a second time by one of his
attendants to leave the place, I stood upon my own defence, and the
Germans, more, in my opinion, out of contempt of the few people I had
with me than out of any other consideration, let the affair drop. This
bold carriage of so modest an abbe, to an ambassador who never went
abroad without one hundred musketeers on horseback to attend him, made a
great noise in Rome, and was much taken notice of by Cardinal Mazarin.

The Cardinal de Richelieu's health declining, the archbishopric of Paris
was now almost within my ken, which, together with other prospects of
good benefices, made me resolve not to fling off the cassock but upon
honourable terms and valuable considerations; but having nothing yet
within my view that I could be sure of, I resolved to distinguish myself
in my own profession by all the methods I could. I retired from the
world, studied very hard, saw but very few men, and had no more
correspondence with any of the female sex, except Madame de -------.

The devil had appeared to the Princesse de Guemenee just a fortnight
before this adventure happened, and was often raised by the conjurations
of M. d'Andilly, to frighten his votary, I believe, into piety, for he
was even more in love with her person than I myself; but he loved her in
the Lord, purely and spiritually. I raised, in my turn, a demon that
appeared to her in a more kind and agreeable form. In six weeks I got
her away from Port Royal; I was very diligent in paying her my respects,
and the satisfaction I had in her company, with some other agreeable
diversions, qualified in a great measure the chagrin which attended my
profession, to which I was not yet heartily reconciled. This enchantment
had like to have raised such a storm as would have given a new face to
the affairs of Europe if fortune had been ever so little on my side.

M. the Cardinal de Richelieu loved rallying other people, but could not
bear a jest himself, and all men of this humour are always very crabbed
and churlish; of which the Cardinal gave an instance, in a public
assembly of ladies, to Madame de Guemenee, when he threw out a severe
jest, which everybody observed was pointed at me. She was sensibly
affronted, but I was enraged. For at last there was a sort of an
understanding between us, which was often ill-managed, yet our interests
were inseparable. At this time Madame de La Meilleraye, with whom,
though she was silly, I had fallen in love, pleased the Cardinal to that
degree that the Marshal perceived it before he set out for the army, and
rallied his wife in such a manner that she immediately found he was even
more jealous than ambitious. She was terribly afraid of him, and did not
love the Cardinal, who, by marrying her to his cousin, had lessened his
own family, of which he was extremely fond. Besides, the Cardinal's
infirmities made him look a great deal older than he was. And though all
his other actions had no tincture of pedantry, yet in his amorous
intrigues he had the most of it in the world. I had a detail of all the
steps he had made therein, which were extremely ridiculous. But
continuing his solicitation, and carrying her to his country seat at
Ruel,--[The Cardinal de Richelieu's seat, three leagues from
Paris.]--where he kept her a considerable time, I guessed that the lady
had not brains enough to resist the splendour of Court favour, and that
her husband's jealousy would soon give way to his interest, but, above
all, to his blind side, which was an attachment to the Court not to be
equalled. When I was in the hottest pursuit of this passion I proposed
to myself the most exquisite pleasures in triumphing over the Cardinal de
Richelieu in this fair field of battle; but on a sudden I had the
mortification to hear the whole family was changed. The husband allowed
his wife to go to Ruel as often as she pleased, and her behaviour towards
me I suspected to be false and treacherous. In short, Madame de
Guemenee's anger, for a reason I hinted before, my jealousy of Madame de
La Meilleraye, and an aversion to my own profession, all joined together
in a fatal moment and were near producing one of the greatest and most
famous events of our age.

La Rochepot, my first cousin and dear friend, was a domestic of the late
Duc d'Orleans,--[Gaston Jean Baptists de France, born 1608, and died at
Blois, 1660.]--and his great confidant. He mortally hated the Cardinal
de Richelieu, who had persecuted his mother, and had her hung up in
effigy, and kept his father still a prisoner in the Bastille, and now
refused the son a regiment, though Marechal de La Meilleraye, who very
highly esteemed him for his courage, interceded for the favour. You may
imagine that when we came together we did not forget the Cardinal.

I being crossed in my designs, as I told you, and as full of resentment
as La Rochepot was for the affronts put upon his person and family, we
chimed in our thoughts and resolutions, which were, dexterously to manage
the weakness of the Duc d'Orleans and to put that in execution which the
boldness of his domestics had almost effected at Corbie.

The Duc d'Orleans was appointed General, and the Comte de Soissons
Lieutenant-General of the King's forces in Picardy, but neither of them
stood well with the Cardinal, who gave them those posts only because the
situation of affairs was such that he could not help it. L'Epinai,
Montresor, and La Rochepot made use of all the arguments they could think
of to raise jealousies and fears in the Duc d'Orleans, and to inspire him
with resolution and courage to rid himself of the Cardinal. Others
laboured to persuade the Comte de Soissons to relish the same proposal,
but though resolved upon, it was never put into execution. For they had
the Cardinal in their power at Amiens, but did him no harm. For this
every one blamed the Count's companion, but I could never yet learn the
true cause; only this is certain, that they were no sooner come to Paris
than they were all seized with a panic, and retired, some one way, some

The Comte de Guiche, since Marechal de Grammont, and M. de Chavigni,
Secretary of State and the Cardinal's most intimate favourite, were sent
by the King to Blois. Here they frightened the Duc d'Orleans and made
him return to Paris, where he was more afraid than ever; for such of his
domestics as were not gained by the Court made use of his pusillanimous
temper, and represented to him the necessity he was under to provide for
his own, or rather their, security. La Rochepot and myself endeavoured
to heighten his fears as much as possible, in order to precipitate him
into our measures. The term sounds odd, but it is the most expressive I
could find of a character like the Duke's. He weighed everything, but
fixed on nothing; and if by chance he was inclined to do one thing more
than another, he would never execute it without being pushed or forced
into it.

La Rochepot did all he could to fix him, but finding that the Duke was
always for delays, and for perplexing all expedients with groundless
fears of invincible difficulties, he fell upon an expedient very
dangerous to all appearance, but, as it usually happens in extraordinary
cases, much less so than at first view.

Cardinal de Richelieu having to stand godfather at the baptism of
Mademoiselle, La Rochepot's proposal was to continue to show the Duke the
necessity he lay under still to get rid of the Cardinal, without saying
much of the particulars, for fear of hazarding the secret, but only to
entertain him with the general proposal of that affair, thereby to make
him the better in love with the measures when proposed; and that they
might, at a proper time and place, tell him they had concealed the detail
to the execution from his Highness upon no other account but that they
had experienced on several occasions that there was no other way of
serving his Highness, as he himself had told La Rochepot several times;
that nothing, therefore, remained but to get some brave fellows fit for
such a resolute enterprise, and to hold post-horses ready upon the road
of Sedan under some other pretext, and to so execute the design in the
presence and in the name of his Royal Highness upon the day of the
intended solemnity, that his Highness should cheerfully own it when it
was done, and that then we would carry him off by those horses to Sedan.
Meanwhile the distraction of the inferior ministers and the joy of the
King to see himself delivered from a tyrant would dispose the Court
rather to invite than to pursue him. This was La Rochepot's scheme, and
it seemed exceedingly plausible.

La Rochepot and I had, it may be, blamed the inactivity of the Duc
d'Orleans and the Comte de Soissons in the affair of Amiens a hundred
times; yet, no sooner was the scheme sufficiently matured for execution,
the idea of which I had raised in the memory of La Rochepot, than my mind
was seized with I know not what fear; I took it then for a scruple of
conscience,--I cannot tell whether it was in truth so or not, but, in
short, the thought of killing a priest and a cardinal deeply affected my
mind. La Rochepot laughed at my scruples, and bantered me thus: "When
you are in the field of battle I warrant you will not beat up the enemy's
quarters for fear of assassinating men in their sleep." I was ashamed of
my scruples, and again hugged the crime, which I looked upon as
sanctified by the examples of great men, and justified and honoured by
the mighty danger that attended its execution. We renewed our
consultations, engaged some accomplices, took all the necessary
precautions, and resolved upon the execution. The danger was indeed very
great, but we might reasonably hope to come off well enough; for the
Duke's guard, which was within, would not have failed to come to our
assistance against that of the Cardinal's, which was without. But his
fortune, and not his guards, delivered him from the snare; for either
Mademoiselle or himself, I forget which, fell suddenly ill, and the
ceremony was put off to another time, so that we lost our opportunity.
The Duke returned to Blois, and the Marquis de Boissi protested he would
never betray us, but that he would be no longer concerned, because he had
just received some favour or other from the Cardinal's own hands.

I confess that this enterprise, which, had it succeeded, would have
crowned us with glory, never fully pleased me. I was not so scrupulous
in the committing of two other transgressions against the rules of
morality, as you may have before observed; but I wish, with all my heart,
I had never been concerned in this. Ancient Rome, indeed, would have
counted it honourable; but it is not in this respect that I honour the
memory of old Rome.

There is commonly a great deal of folly in conspiracies; but afterwards
there is nothing tends so, much to make men wise, at least for some time.
For, as the danger in things of this nature continues, even after the
opportunities for doing them are over, men are from that instant more
prudent and circumspect.

Having thus missed our blow, the Comte de La Rochepot and the rest of
them retired to their several seats in the country; but my engagements
detained me at Paris, where I was so retired that I spent all my time in
my study; and if ever I was seen abroad, it was with all the reserve of a
pious ecclesiastic; we were all so true to one another in keeping this
adventure secret, that it never got the least wind while the Cardinal
lived, who was a minister that had the best intelligence in the world;
but after his death it was discovered by the imprudence of Tret and
Etourville. I call it imprudence, for what greater weakness can men be
guilty of than to declare themselves to have been capable of what is
dangerous in the first instance?

To return to the history of the Comte de Soissons, I observed before that
he had retired to Sedan for safety, which he could not expect at Court.
He wrote to the King, assuring his Majesty of his fidelity, and that
while he stayed in that place he would undertake nothing prejudicial to
his service. He was most mindful of his promise; was not to be biassed
by all the offers of Spain or the Empire, but rejected with indignation
the overtures of Saint-Ibal and of Bardouville, who would have persuaded
him to take up arms. Campion, one of his domestics, whom he had left at
Paris to mind his affairs at Court, told me these particulars by the
Count's express orders, and I still remember this passage in one of his
letters to Campion: "The men you know are very urgent with me to treat
with the enemy, and accuse me of weakness because I fear the examples of
Charles de Bourbon and Robert d'Artois." He was ordered to show me this
letter and desire my opinion thereupon. I took my pen, and, at a little
distance from the answer he had already begun, I wrote these words:

"And I do accuse them of folly." The reasons upon which my opinion was
grounded were these: The Count was courageous in the highest degree of
what is commonly called valour, and had a more than ordinary share in
that boldness of mind which we call resolution. The first is common and
to be frequently met with among the vulgar, but the second is rarer than
can be imagined, and yet abundantly more necessary for great enterprises;
and is there a greater in the world than heading a party? The command of
an army is without comparison of less intricacy, for there are wheels
within wheels necessary for governing the State, but then they are not
near so brittle and delicate. In a word, I am of opinion there are
greater qualities necessary to make a good head of a party than to make
an emperor who is to govern the whole world, and that resolution ought to
run parallel with judgment,--I say, with heroic judgment, which is able
to distinguish the extraordinary from what we call the impossible.

The Count had not one grain of this discerning faculty, which is but
seldom to be met with in the sublimest genius. His character was mean to
a degree, and consequently susceptible of unreasonable jealousies and
distrusts, which of all characters is the most opposite to that of a good
partisan, who is indispensably obliged in many cases to suppress, and in
all to conceal, the best-grounded suspicions.

This was the reason I could not be of the opinion of those who were for
engaging the Count in a civil war; and Varicarville, who was the man of
the best sense and temper of all the persons of quality he had about him,
told me since that when he saw what I wrote in Campion's letter the day I
set out for Italy, he very well knew by what motives I was, against my
inclination, persuaded into this opinion.

The Count held out all this year and the next against every solicitation
of the Spaniards and the importunities of his own friends, much more by
the wise counsels of Varicarville than by the force of his own
resolution; but nothing could secure him from the teasings of the
Cardinal de Richelieu, who poured into his ears every day in the King's
name his many dismal discoveries and prognostications. For fear of being
tedious I shall only tell you in one word that the Cardinal, contrary to
his own interest, hurried the Count into a civil war, by such arts of
chicanery as those who are fortune's favourites never fail to play upon
the unfortunate.

The minds of people began now to be more embittered than ever. I was
sent for by the Count to Sedan to tell him the state of Paris. The
account I gave him could not but be very agreeable; for I told him the
very truth: that he was universally beloved, honoured, and adored in that
city, and his enemy dreaded and abhorred. The Duc de Bouillon, who was
urgent for war, be the consequence what it would, improved upon these
advantages, and made them look more plausible, but Varicarville strongly
opposed him.

I thought myself too young to declare my opinion; but, being pressed to
do so by his Highness, I took the liberty to tell him that a Prince of
the blood ought to engage himself in a civil war rather than suffer any
diminution of his reputation or dignity, yet that nothing but these two
cases could justly oblige him to it, because he hazards both by a
commotion whenever the one or the other consideration does not make it
necessary; that I thought his Highness far from being under any such
necessity; that his retreat to Sedan secured him from the indignity he
must have submitted to, among others, of taking the left hand, even in
the Cardinal's own house; that, in the meantime, the popular hatred of
the Cardinal gained his Highness the greater share of the public favour,
which is always much better secured by inaction than action, because the
glory of action depends upon success, for which no one can answer;
whereas inaction is sure to be commended as being founded upon the hatred
which the public will always bear to the minister. That, therefore, I
should think it would be more glorious for his Highness, in the view of
the world, to support himself by his own weight, that is, by the merit of
his virtue, against the artifices of so powerful a minister as the
Cardinal de Richelieu,--I say, more glorious to support himself by a wise
and regular conduct than to kindle the fire of war, the flagrant
consequences whereof no man is able to foresee; that it was true that the
minister was universally cursed, but that I could not yet see that the
people's minds were exasperated enough for any considerable revolution;
that the Cardinal was in a declining state of health, and if he should
not die this time, his Highness would have the opportunity of showing the
King and the public that though, by his own personal authority and his
important post at Sedan, he was in a capacity to do himself justice, he
sacrificed his own resentments to the welfare and quiet of the State; and
that if the Cardinal should recover his health, he would not fail, by
additional acts of tyranny and oppression, to draw upon himself the
redoubled execrations of the people, which would ripen, their murmurings
and discontents into a universal revolution.

This is the substance of what I said to the Count, and he seemed to be
somewhat affected by it. But the Duc de Bouillon was enraged, and told
me, by way of banter, "Your blood is very cold for a gentleman of your
age." To which I replied in these very words: "All the Count's servants
are so much obliged to you, monsieur, that they ought to bear everything
from you; but were it not for this consideration alone, I should think
that your bastions would not be always strong enough to protect you." The
Duke soon came to himself, and treated me with all the civilities
imaginable, such as laid a foundation for our future friendship. I stayed
two days longer at Sedan, during which the Count changed his mind five
different times, as I was told by M. Saint-Ibal, who said little was to
be expected from a man of his humour. At last, however, the Duc de
Bouillon won him over. I was charged to do all I could to convince the
people of Paris, had an order to take up money and to lay it out for this
purpose, and I returned from Sedan with letters more than enough to have
hanged two hundred men.

As I had faithfully set the Count's true interest before him, and
dissuaded him from undertaking an affair of which he was by no means
capable, I thought it high time to think of my own affairs. I hated my
profession now more than ever; I was at first hurried into it by the
infatuation of my kindred. My destiny had bound me down to it by the
chains both of duty and pleasure, so that I could see no possibility to
set myself free. I was upwards of twenty-five years of age, and I saw it
was now too late to begin to carry a musket; but that which tortured me
most of all was this fatal reflection, that I had spent so much of my
time in too eager a pursuit of pleasure, and thereby riveted my own
chains; so that it looked as if fate was resolved to fasten me to the
Church, whether I would or no. You may imagine with what satisfaction
such thoughts as these were accompanied, for this confusion of affairs
gave me hopes of getting loose from my profession with uncommon honour
and reputation. I thought of ways to distinguish myself, pursued them
very diligently, and you will allow that nothing but destiny broke my

The Marechaux de Vitri and Bassompierre, the Comte de Cremail, M. du
Fargis, and M. du Coudrai Montpensier were then prisoners in the Bastille
upon different counts. But, as length of time makes confinement less
irksome, they were treated very civilly, and indulged with a great share
of freedom. Their friends came to see them, and sometimes dined with
them. By means of M. du Fargis, who had married my aunt, I got
acquainted with the rest, and by conversing with them discovered very
remarkable emotions in some of them, upon which I could not help
reflecting. The Marechal de Vitri was a gentleman of mean parts, but
bold, even to rashness, and his having been formerly employed to kill the
Marechal d'Ancre had given him in the common vogue, though I think
unjustly, the air of a man of business and expedition. He appeared to me
enraged against the Cardinal, and I concluded he might do service in the
present juncture, but did not address myself directly to him, and thought
it the wisest way first to sift the Comte de Cremail, who was a man of
sound sense, and could influence the Marechal de Vitri as he pleased. He
apprehended me at half a word, and immediately asked me if I had made
myself known to any of the prisoners. I answered, readily:

"No, monsieur; and I will tell you my reasons in a very few words.
Bassompierre is a tattler; I expect to do nothing with the Marechal de
Vitri but by your means. I suspect the honesty of Du Coudrai, and as for
my uncle, Du Fargis, he is a gallant man, but has no headpiece."

"Whom, then, do you confide in at Paris?" said the Comte de Cremail.

"I dare trust no man living," said I, "but yourself."

"It is very well," said he, briskly; "you are the man for me. I am above
eighty years old, and you but twenty-five; I will qualify your heat, and
you my chilliness."

We went upon business, drew up our plan, and at parting he said these
very words: "Let me alone one week, and after that I will tell you more
of my mind, for I hope to convince the Cardinal that I am good for
something more than writing the 'Jeu de l'Inconnu.'"

You must know that the "Jeu de l'Inconnu" was a book, indeed, very ill
written, which the Comte de Cremail had formerly published, and which the
Cardinal had grossly ridiculed. You will be surprised, without doubt,
that I should think of prisoners for an affair of this importance, but
the nature of it was such that it could not be put into better hands, as
you will see by and by.

A week after, going to visit the prisoners, and Cremail and myself being
accidentally left alone, we took a walk upon the terrace, where, after a
thousand thanks for the confidence I had put in him, and as many
protestations of his readiness to serve the Comte de Soissons, he spoke
thus: "There is nothing but the thrust of a sword or the city of Paris
that can rid us of the Cardinal. Had I been at the enterprise of Amiens,
I think I should not have missed my blow, as those gentlemen did. I am
for that of Paris; it cannot miscarry; I have considered it well. See
here what additions I have made to our plan." And thereupon he put into
my hand a paper, in substance as follows: that he had conferred with the
Marechal de Vitri, who was as well disposed as anybody in the world to
serve the Count; that they would both answer for the Bastille, where all
the garrison was in their interest; that they were likewise sure of the
arsenal; and that they would also declare themselves as soon as the Count
had gained a battle, on condition that I made it appear beforehand, as I
had told him (the Comte de Cremail), that they should be supported by a
considerable number of officers, colonels of Paris, etc. For the rest,
this paper contained many particular observations on the conduct of the
undertaking, and many cautions relating to the behaviour to be observed
by the Count. That which surprised me most of all was to see how fully
persuaded these gentlemen were of carrying their point with ease.

Though it came into my head to propose this project to the persons in the
Bastille, yet nothing but the perfect knowledge I had of their
disposition and inclination could have persuaded me that it was
practicable. And I confess, upon perusal of the plan prepared by M. de
Cremail, a man of great experience and excellent sense, I was astonished
to find a few prisoners disposing of the Bastille with the same freedom
as the Governor, the greatest authority in the place.

As all extraordinary circumstances are of wonderful weight in popular
revolutions, I considered that this project, which was even ripe for
execution, would have an admirable effect in the city. And as nothing
animates and supports commotions more than the ridiculing of those
against whom they are raised, I knew it would be very easy for us to
expose the conduct of a minister who had tamely suffered prisoners to
hamper him, as one may say, with their chains. I lost no time;
afterwards I opened myself to M. d'Estampes, President of the Great
Council, and to M. l'Ecuyer, President of the Chamber of Accounts, both
colonels, and in great repute among the citizens, and I found them every
way answering the character I had of them from the Count; that is, very
zealous for his interest, and fully persuaded that the insurrection was
not only practicable, but very easy. Pray observe that these two
gentlemen, who made no great figure, even in their own profession, were,
perhaps, two of the most peaceable persons in the kingdom. But there are
some fires which burn all before them. The main thing is to know and
seize the critical moment.

The Count had charged me to disclose myself to none in Paris besides
these two, but I ventured to add two more: Parmentier, substitute to the
Attorney-General; and his brother-in-law, Epinai, auditor of the Chamber
of Accounts, who was the man of the greatest credit, though but a
lieutenant, and the other a captain. Parmentier, who, both by his wit
and courage, was as capable of a great action as any man I ever knew,
promised me that he would answer for Brigalier, councillor in the Court
of Aids, captain in his quarter, and very powerful among the people, but
told me at the same time that he must not know a word of the matter,
because he was a mere rattle, not to be trusted with a secret.

The Count made me a remittance of 12,000 crowns, which I carried to my
aunt De Maignelai, telling her that it was a restitution made by one of
my dying friends, who made me trustee of it upon condition that I should
distribute it among decayed families who were ashamed to make their
necessities known, and that I had taken an oath to distribute it myself,
persuant to the desire of the testator, but that I was at a loss to find
out fit objects for my charity; and therefore I desired her to take the
care of it upon her. The good woman was perfectly transported, and said
she would do it with all her heart; but because I had sworn to make the
distribution myself, she insisted upon it that I must be present, not
only for the sake of my promise, but to accustom myself to do acts of
charity. This was the very thing I aimed at,--an opportunity of knowing
all the poor of Paris. Therefore I suffered myself to be carried every
day by my aunt into the outskirts, to visit the poor in their garrets,
and I met very often in her house people who were very well clad, and
many whom I once knew, that came for private charity. My good aunt
charged them always to pray to God for her nephew, who was the hand that
God had been pleased to make use of for this good work. Judge you of the
influence this gave me over the populace, who are without comparison the
most considerable in all public disturbances. For the rich never come
into such measures unless they are forced, and beggars do more harm than
good, because it is known that they aim at plunder; those, therefore, who
are capable of doing most service are such as are not reduced to common
beggary, yet so straitened in their circumstances as to wish for nothing
more than a general change of affairs in order to repair their broken
fortunes. I made myself acquainted with people of this rank for the
course of four months with uncommon application, so that there was hardly
a child in the chimney-corner but I gratified with some small token. I
called them by their familiar names. My aunt, who always made it her
business to go from house to house to relieve the poor, was a cloak for
all. I also played the hypocrite, and frequented the conferences of
Saint Lazarus.

Varicarville and Beauregarde, my correspondents at Sedan, assured me that
the Comte de Soissons was as well inclined as one could wish, and that he
had not wavered since he had formed his last resolution. Varicarville
said that we had formerly done him horrible injustice, and that they were
now even obliged to restrain him, because he seemed to be too fond of the
counsels of Spain and the Empire. Please to observe that these two
Courts, which had made incredible solicitations to him while he wavered,
began, as soon as his purpose was fixed, to draw back,--a fatality due to
the phlegmatic temper of the Spaniard, dignified by the name of prudence,
joined to the astute politics of the house of Austria. You may observe
at the same time that the Count, who had continued firm and unshaken
three months together, changed his mind as soon as his enemies had
granted what he asked; which exactly comes up to the character of an
irresolute man, who is always most unsteady the nearer the work comes to
its conclusion. I heard of this convulsion, as one may call it, by an
express from Varicarville, and took post the same night for Sedan,
arriving there an hour after Aretonville, an agent despatched from the
Count's brother in-law, M. de Longueville.--[Henri d'Orleans, the second
of that name, died 1663.]--He came with some plausible but deceitful
terms of accommodation which we all agreed to oppose. Those who had been
always with the Count pressed him strongly with the remembrance of what
he himself thought or said was necessary to be done ever since the war
had been resolved on. Saint-Ibal, who had been negotiating for him at
Brussels, pressed him with his engagements, advances, and solicitations,
insisted on the steps I had, by his order, already taken in Paris, on the
promises made to De Vitri and Cremail, and on the secret committed to two
persons by his own command, and to four others for his service and with
his consent. Our arguments, considering his engagements, were very just
and clear. We carried our point with much ado after a conflict of four
days. Aretonville was sent back with a very smart answer. M. de Guise,
who had joined the Count, and was a well-wisher to a rupture, went to
Liege to order the levies, Varicarville and I returned to Paris, but I
did not care to tell my fellow conspirators of the irresolution of our
principal. Some symptoms of it appeared afterwards, but they very soon

Being assured that the Spaniards had everything in readiness, I went for
the last time to Sedan to take my final instructions. There I found
Meternic, colonel of one of the oldest regiments of the Empire,
despatched by General Lamboy, who had advanced with a gallant army under
his command, composed for the most part of veteran troops. The Colonel
assured the Count that he was ordered to obey his commands in everything,
and to give battle to the Marechal de Chatillon, who commanded the army
of France upon the Meuse. As the undertaking at Paris depended entirely
on the success of such a battle, the Count thought it fitting that I
should go along with Meternic to Givet, where I found the army in a very
good condition. Then I returned to Paris, and gave an account of every
particular to the Marechal de Pitri, who drew up the order for the
enterprise. The whole city of Paris seemed so disposed for an
insurrection that we thought ourselves sure of success. The secret was
kept even to a miracle. The Count gave the enemy battle and won it. You
now believe, without doubt, the day was our own. Far from it; for the
Count was killed in the very crisis of the victory, and in the midst of
his own men; but how and by whom no soul could ever tell.

You may guess what a condition I was in when I heard this news; M. de
Cremail, the wisest of us all, thought of nothing else now but how to
conceal the secret, which, though known to only six in all Paris, was
known to too great a number; but the greatest danger of discovery was
from the people of Sedan, who, being out of the kingdom, were not afraid
of punishment. Nevertheless, everybody privy to it religiously kept it
secret, and stood their ground, which, with another accident I shall
mention hereafter, has made me often think, and say too, that secrecy is
not so rare a thing as we imagine with men versed in matters of State.

The Count's death settled me in my profession, for I saw no great things
to be done, and I found myself too old to leave it for anything trifling.
Besides, Cardinal de Richelieu's health was declining, and I already
began to think myself Archbishop of Paris. I resolved that for the
future I would devote myself to my profession. Madame de Guemenee had
retired to Port Royal, her country-seat. M. d'Andilly had got her from
me. She neither powdered nor curled her hair any longer, and had
dismissed me solemnly with all the formalities required from a sincere
penitent. I discovered, by means of a valet de chambre, that, captain
---- of the Marshal's Guards, had as free access to Meilleraye's lady as
myself. See what it is to be a saint! The truth is, I grew much more
regular,--at least affected to be thought so,--led a retired life, stuck
to my profession, studied hard, and got acquainted with all who were
famous either for learning or piety. I converted my house almost into an
academy, but took care not to erect the academy into a rigid tribunal. I
began to be pretty free with the canons and curates, whom I found of
course at my uncle's house. I did not act the devotee, because I could
not be sure how long I should be able to play the counterfeit, but I had
a high esteem for devout people, which with such is the main article of
religion. I suited my pleasures to my practice, and, finding I could not
live without some amorous intrigue, I managed an amour with Madame de
Pommereux, a young coquette, who had so many sparks, not only in her
house but at her devotions, that the apparent business of others was a
cover for mine, which was, at least, some time afterwards, more to the
purpose. When I had succeeded, I became a man in such request among
those of my profession that the devotees themselves used to say of me
with M. Vincent, "Though I had not piety enough, yet I was not far from
the kingdom of heaven."

Fortune favoured me more than usual at this time. I was at the house of
Madame de Rambure, a notable and learned Huguenot, where I met with
Mestrezat, the famous minister of Charento. To satisfy her curiosity she
engaged us in a dispute; we had nine different disputations. The
Marechal de la Forde and M. de Turenne were present at some of them, and
a gentleman of Poitou, who was at all of them, became my proselyte. As I
was then but twenty-six years of age, this made a great deal of noise,
and among other effects, was productive of one that had not the least
connection with its cause, which I shall mention after I have done
justice to a civility I received from my antagonist in one of the
conferences. I had the advantage of him in the fifth meeting, relating
to the spiritual vocation; but in the sixth, treating of the Pope's
authority, I was confounded, because, to avoid embroiling myself with the
Court of Rome, I answered him on principles which are not so easy to be
maintained as those of the Sorbonne. My opponent perceived the concern I
was under, and generously forebore to urge such passages as would have
obliged me to explain myself in a manner disagreeable to the Pope's
Nuncio. I thought it extremely obliging, and as we were going out
thanked him in the presence of M. de Turenne; to which he answered, very
civilly, that it would have been a piece of injustice to hinder the Abbe
de Retz from being made a cardinal. This was such complaisance as you
are not to expect from every Geneva pedant. I told you before that this
conference produced one effect very different from its cause, and it is
this: Madame de Vendome, of whom you have heard, without doubt, took such
a fancy to me ever after, that a mother could not have been more tender.
She had been at the conference too, though I am very well assured she
understood nothing of the matter; but the favourable opinion she had of
me was owing to the Bishop of Lisieux, her spiritual director, who,
finding I was disposed to follow my profession, which out of his great
love to me he most passionately desired, made it his business to magnify
the few good qualities I was master of; and I am thoroughly persuaded
that what applause I had then in the world was chiefly owing to his
encouragement, for there was not a man in France whose approbation could
give so much honour. His sermons had advanced him from a very mean and
foreign extraction (which was Flemish) to the episcopal dignity, which he
adorned with solid and unaffected piety. His disinterestedness was far
beyond that of the hermits or anchorites. He had the courage of Saint
Ambrose, and at Court and in the presence of the King he so maintained
his usual freedom that the Cardinal de Richelieu, who had been his
scholar in divinity, both reverenced and feared him. This good man had
that abundant kindness for me that he read me lectures thrice a week upon
Saint Paul's Epistles, and he designed also the conversion of M. de
Turenne and to give me the honour of it.

M. de Turenne had a great respect for him, whereof he gave him very,
distinguishing marks. The Comte de Brion, whom, I believe, you may
remember under the title of Duc d'Amville, was deeply in love with
Mademoiselle de Vendome, since Madame de Nemours; and, besides, he was a
great favourite of M. de Turenne, who, to do him a pleasure and to give
him the more opportunities to see Mademoiselle de Vendome, affected to be
a great admirer of the Bishop of Lisieux and to hear his exhortations
with a world of attention. The Comte de Brion, who had twice been a
Capuchin, and whose life was a continual medley of sin and devotion,
pretended likewise to be much interested in M. de Turenne's conversion,
and was present at all the conferences held at Mademoiselle de Vendome's
apartment. De Brion had very little wit, but was a clever talker, and
had a great deal of assurance, which not very seldom supplies the room of
good sense. This and the behaviour of M. de Turenne, together with the
indolence of Mademoiselle de Vendome, made me think all was fair, so that
I never suspected an amour at the bottom.

The Bishop of Lisieux being a great admirer of Corneille's writings, and
making no scruple to see a good comedy, provided it was in the country
among a few friends, the late Madame de Choisy proposed to entertain him
with one at Saint Cloud. Accordingly Madame took with her Madame and
Mademoiselle de Vendome, M. de Turenne, M. de Brion, Voiture, and myself.
De Brion took care of the comedy and violins, and I looked after a good
collation. We went to the Archbishop's house at Saint Cloud, where the
comedians did not arrive till very late at night. M. de Lisieux admired
the violins, and Madame de Vendome was hugely diverted to see her
daughter dance alone. In short, we did not set out till peep of day (it
being summer-time), and the days at the longest, and were got no further
than the bottom of the Descent of Bonshommes, when all on a sudden the
coach stopped. I, being next the door opposite to Mademoiselle de
Vendome, bade the coachman drive on. He answered, as plain as he could
speak for his fright, "What! would you have me drive over all these
devils here?" I put my head out of the coach, but, being short-sighted
from my youth, saw nothing at all. Madame de Choisy, who was at the
other door with M. de Turenne, was the first in the coach who found out
the cause of the coachman's fright. I say in the coach, for five or six
lackeys behind it were already crying "Jesu Maria" and quaking with fear.

Madame de Choisy cried out, upon which M. de Turenne threw himself out of
the coach, and I, thinking we were beset by highwaymen, leaped out on the
other side, took one of the footmen's hangers, drew it, and went to the
other aide to join M. de Turenne, whom I found with his eyes fixed on
something, but what I could not see. I asked him what it was, upon which
he pulled me by the sleeve, and said, with a low voice, "I will tell you,
but we must not frighten the ladies," who, by this time, screamed most
fearfully. Voiture began his Oremus, and prayed heartily. You, I
suppose, knew Madame de Choisy's shrill tone; Mademoiselle de Vendome was
counting her beads; Madame de Vendome would fain have confessed her sins
to the Bishop of Lisieux, who said to her, "Daughter, be of good cheer;
you are in the hands of God." At the same instant, the Comte do Brion
and all the lackeys were upon their knees very devoutly singing the
Litany of the Virgin Mary.

M. de Turenne drew his sword, and said to me, with the calm and
undisturbed air he commonly puts on when he calls for his dinner, or
gives battle, "Come, let us go and see who they are."

"Whom should we see?" said I, for I believed we had all lost our senses.

He answered, "I verily think they are devils."

When we had advanced five or six steps I began to see something which I
thought looked like a long procession of black phantoms. I was
frightened at first, because of the sudden reflection that I had often
wished to see a spirit, and that now, perhaps, I should pay for my
incredulity, or rather curiosity. M. de Turenne was all the while calm
and resolute. I made two or three leaps towards the procession, upon
which the company in the coach, thinking we were fighting with all the
devils, cried out most terribly; yet it is a question whether our company
was in a greater fright than the imaginary devils that put us into it,
who, it seems, were a parcel of barefooted reformed Augustine friars,
otherwise called the Black Capuchins, who, seeing two men advancing
towards them with drawn swords, one of them, detached from the
fraternity, cried out, "Gentlemen, we are poor, harmless friars, only
come to bathe in this river for our healths." M. de Turenne and I went
back to the coach ready to die with laughing at this adventure.

Upon the whole we could not help making this reflection, that what we
read in the lives of most people is false. We were both grossly
mistaken, I, for supposing him to be frightened; he, for thinking me calm
and undisturbed. Who, therefore, can write truth better than the man who
has experienced it? The President de Thou is very just in his remark
when he says that "There is no true history extant, nor can be ever
expected unless written by honest men who are not afraid or ashamed to
tell the truth of themselves." I do not pretend to make any merit of my
sincerity in this case, for I feel so great a satisfaction in unfolding
my very heart and soul to you, that the pleasure is even more prevalent
than reason with me in the religious regard I have to the exactness of my

Mademoiselle de Vendome had ever after an inconceivable contempt for the
poor Comte de Brion, who in this ridiculous adventure had disclosed a
weakness never before imagined; and as soon as we were got into the coach
she bantered him, and said, particularly to me:

"I fancy I must be Henri IV.'s granddaughter by the esteem I have for
valour. There's nothing can frighten you, since you were so undaunted on
this extraordinary occasion."

I told her I was afraid, but being not so devout as M. de Brion, my fears
did not turn to litanies.

"You feared not," said she, "and I fancy you do not believe there are
devils, for M. de Turenne, who is very brave, was much surprised, and did
not march on so briskly as you."

I confess the distinction pleased me mightily and made me think of
venturing some compliments. I then said to her, "One may believe there
is a devil and yet not fear him; there are things in the world more

"And what are they?" said she.

"They are so strong," said I, "that one dare not so much as name them."

She interpreted my meaning rightly, as she told me since, though she
seemed at that time not to understand me.

Mademoiselle was not what they call a great beauty, yet she was very
handsome, and I was complimented for saying of her and of Mademoiselle de
Guise that they were beauties of quality who convinced the beholders at
first sight that they were born Princesses. Mademoiselle de Vendome had
no great share of wit, but her folly lay as yet concealed; her air was
grave, tinctured with stateliness, not the effect of good sense, but the
consequence of a languid constitution, which sort of gravity often covers
a multitude of defects. In the main, take her altogether, she was really

Let me beseech you, madame, with all submission, to call now to mind the
commands you were pleased to honour me with a little before your
departure from Paris, that I should give you a precise account of every
circumstance and accident of my life, and conceal nothing. You see, by
what I have already related, that my ecclesiastical occupations were
diversified and relieved, though not disfigured, by other employments of
a more diverting nature. I observed a decorum in all my actions, and
where I happened to make a false step some good fortune or other always
retrieved it. All the ecclesiastics of the diocese wished to see me
succeed my uncle in the archbishopric of Paris, but Cardinal de Richelieu
was of another mind; he hated my family, and most of all my person, for
the reasons already mentioned, and was still more exasperated for these
two which follow.

I once told the late President de Mesmes what seems now to me very
probable, though it is the reverse of what I told you some time ago, that
I knew a person who had few or no failings but what were either the
effect or cause of some good qualities. I then said, on the contrary, to
M. de Mesmes, that Cardinal de Richelieu had not one great quality but
what was the effect or cause of some greater imperfection. This, which
was only 'inter nos', was carried to the Cardinal, I do not know by whom,
under my name. You may judge of the consequences. Another thing that
angered him was because I visited the President Barillon, then prisoner
at Amboise, concerning remonstrances made to the Parliament, and that I
should do it at a juncture which made my journey the more noticeable. Two
miserable hermits and false coiners, who had some secret correspondence
with M. de Vendome, did, upon some discontent or other, accuse him very
falsely of having proposed to them to assassinate the Cardinal, and to
give the more weight to their depositions they named all those they
thought notorious in that country; Montresor and M. Barillon were of the
number. Early notice of this being given me, the great love I had for
the President Barillon made me take post that night to acquaint him with
his danger and get him away from Amboise, which was very feasible; but
he, insisting upon his innocence, rejected my proposals, defied both the
accusers and their accusations, and was resolved to continue in prison.
This journey of mine gave a handle to the Cardinal to tell the Bishop of
Lisieux that I was a cordial friend to all his enemies.

"True enough," said the Bishop; "nevertheless you ought to esteem him;
you have no reason to complain of him, because those men whom you mean
were all his true friends before they became your enemies."

"If it be so," replied the Cardinal, "then I am very much misinformed."

The Bishop at this juncture did me all the kind offices imaginable, and
if the Cardinal had lived he would undoubtedly have restored me to his
favour; for his Eminence was very well disposed, especially when the
Bishop assured him that, though I knew myself ruined at Court to all
intents and purposes, yet I would never come into the measures of M. le
Grand.--[M. de Cinq-Mars, Henri Coeffier, otherwise called Ruze d'Effial,
Master of the Horse of France; he was beheaded September 12, 1642.]--I
was indeed importuned by my friend M. de Thou to join in that enterprise,
but I saw the weakness of their foundation, as the event has shown, and
therefore rejected their proposals.

The Cardinal de Richelieu died in 1642, before the good Bishop had made
my peace with him, and so I remained among those who had rendered
themselves obnoxious to the Ministry. At first this character was very
prejudicial to my interest. Although the King was overjoyed at his
death, yet he carefully observed all the appearances of respect for his
deceased minister, confirmed all his legacies, cared for his family, kept
all his creatures in the Ministry, and affected to frown upon all who had
not stood well with the Cardinal; but I was the only exception to this
general rule. When the Archbishop of Paris presented me to the King, I
was treated with such distinguishing marks of royal favour as surprised
all the Court. His Majesty talked of my studies and sermons, rallied me
with an obliging freedom, and bade me come to Court once every week. The
reasons of these extraordinary civilities were utterly unknown to us
until the night before his death, when he told them to the Queen. I
passed them by in silence before as having no bearing on my history, but
I am obliged to insert them here because they have been, in their
consequences, more fortunate than I seemed to have any just claim to

A short time after I left the college, my governor's valet de chambre
found, at a poor pin-maker's house, a niece of hers but fourteen years
old, who was surprisingly beautiful. After I had seen her he bought her
for me for 150 pistoles, hired a little house for her, and placed her
sister with her; when I went to see her I found her in great heaviness of
mind, which I attributed to her modesty. I next day found what was yet
more surprising and extraordinary than her beauty; she talked wisely and
religiously to me, and yet without passion. She cried only when she
could not help it. She feared her aunt to a degree that made me pity
her. I admired her wit first, and then her virtue, for trial of which I
pressed her as far as was necessary, until I was even ashamed of myself.
I waited till night to get her into my coach, and then carried her to my
aunt De Maignelai, who put her into a convent, where she died eight or
ten years after, in great reputation for piety. My aunt, to whom this
young creature confessed that the menaces of the pin-maker had terrified
her so much that she would have done whatsoever I wished, was so affected
with my behaviour that she went to tell it to the Bishop of Lisieux, who
told it to the King.

This second adventure was not of the same nature, but it made as great an
impression on the King's mind. It was a duel I had with Coutenau,
captain of a company of the King's Light-horse, brave, but wild, who,
riding post from Paris as I was going there, made the ostler take off my
saddle and put on his. Upon my telling him I had hired the horse, he
gave me a swinging box on the ear, which fetched blood. I instantly drew
my sword, and so did he. While making our first thrusts his foot
slipped, and his sword dropped out of his hand as he fell to the ground.
I retired a little and bade him pick it up, which he did, but it was by
the point, for he presented me the handle and begged a thousand pardons.
He told this little story afterwards to the King, with whom he had great
freedom. His Majesty was pleased with it, and remembered both time and
place, as you will see hereafter.

The good reception I found at Court gave my relatives some grounds to
hope that I might have the coadjutorship of Paris. At first they found a
great deal of difficulty in my uncle's narrowness of spirit, which is
always attended with fears and jealousies; but at length they prevailed
upon him, and would have then carried our point, if my friends had not
given it out, much against my judgment, that it was done by the consent
of the Archbishop of Paris, and if they had not suffered the Sorbonne,
the cures, and chapter to return him their thanks. This affair made too
much noise in the world for my interest. For Cardinal Mazarin, De
Noyers, and De Chavigni thwarted me, and told his Majesty that the
chapter should not be entrusted with the power of nominating their own
archbishop. And the King was heard to say that I was yet too young.

But we met with a worse obstacle than all from M. de Noyers, Secretary of
State, one of the three favourite ministers, who passed for a religious
man, and was suspected by some to be a Jesuit in disguise. He had a
secret longing for the archbishopric of Paris, which would shortly be
vacant, and therefore thought it expedient to remove me from that city,
where he saw I was extremely beloved, and provide me with some post
suitable to my years. He proposed to the King by his confessor to
nominate me Bishop of Agde. The King readily granted the request, which
confounded me beyond all expression. I had no mind to go to Languedoc,
and yet so great are the inconveniences of a refusal that not a man had
courage to advise me to it. I became, therefore, my own counsellor, and
having resolved with myself what course to take, I waited upon his
Majesty, and thanked him for his gracious offer, but said I dreaded the
weight of so remote a see, and that my years wanted advice, which it is
difficult to obtain in provinces so distant. I added to this other
arguments, which you may guess at. I was in this adventure also more
happy than wise. The King continued to treat me very kindly. This
circumstance, and the retreat of M. de Noyers, who fell into the snare
that Chavigni had laid for him, renewed my hopes of the coadjutorship of
Paris. The King died about this time, in 1643. M. de Beaufort, who had
been always devoted to the Queen's interest, and even passed for her
gallant, pretended now to govern the kingdom, of which he was not so
capable as his valet de chambre. The Bishop of Beauvais, the greatest
idiot you ever knew, took upon himself the character of Prime Minister,
and on the first day of his administration required the Dutch to embrace
the Roman Catholic religion if they desired to continue in alliance with
France. The Queen was ashamed of this ridiculous minister, and sent for
me to offer my father--[Philippe Emmanuel de Gondi, Comte de Joigni; he
retired to the: Fathers of the Oratory, and became priest; died 1662,
aged eighty-one.]--the place of Prime Minister; but he refusing
peremptorily to leave his cell and the Fathers of the Oratory, the place
was conferred upon Cardinal Mazarin.

You may now imagine that it was no great task for me to obtain what I
desired at a time that nothing was refused, which made Feuillade say that
the only words in the French tongue were "La Reine est si bonne."

Madame de Maignelai and the Bishop of Lisieux desired the Queen to grant
me the coadjutorship of Paris, but they were repulsed, the Queen assuring
them that none should have it but my father, who kept from Court; and
would never be seen at the Louvre, except once, when the Queen told him
publicly that the King, the very night before he died, had ordered her
expressly to have it solicited for me, and that he said in the presence
of the Bishop of Lisieux that he had me always in his thoughts since the
adventures of the pinmaker and Captain Coutenau. What relation had these
trifling stories to the archbishopric of Paris? Thus we see that affairs
of the greatest moment often owe their rise and success to insignificant
trifles and accidents. All the companies went to thank the Queen. I
sent 16,000 crowns to Rome for my bull, with orders not to desire any
favour, lest it should delay the despatch and give the ministers time to
oppose it. I received my bull accordingly; and now you will see me
ascending the theatre of action, where you will find scenes not indeed
worthy of yourself, but not altogether unworthy of your attention.


MADAME:--I lay it down as a maxim, that men who enter the service of the
State should make it their chief study to set out in the world with some
notable act which may strike the imagination of the people, and cause
themselves to be discussed. Thus I preached first upon All Saints' Day,
before an audience which could not but be numerous in a populous city,
where it is a wonder to see the Archbishop in the pulpit. I began now to
think seriously upon my future conduct. I found the archbishopric sunk
both in its temporals and spirituals by the sordidness, negligence, and
incapacity of my uncle. I foresaw infinite obstacles to its
reestablishment, but perceived that the greatest and most insuperable
difficulty lay in myself. I considered that the strictest morals are
necessarily required in a bishop. I felt myself the more obliged to be
strictly circumspect as my uncle had been very disorderly and scandalous.
I knew likewise that my own corrupt inclinations would bear down all
before them, and that all the considerations drawn from honour and
conscience would prove very weak defences. At last I came to a
resolution to go on in my sins, and that designedly, which without doubt
is the more sinful in the eyes of God, but with regard to the world is
certainly the best policy, because he that acts thus always takes care
beforehand to cover part of his failings, and thereby to avoid the
jumbling together of sin and devotion, than which nothing can be more
dangerous and ridiculous in a clergyman. This was my disposition, which
was not the most pious in the world nor yet the wickedest, for I was
fully determined to discharge all the duties of my profession faithfully,
and exert my utmost to save other souls, though I took no care of my own.

The Archbishop, who was the weakest of mortals, was, nevertheless, by a
common fatality attending such men, the most vainglorious; he yielded
precedence to every petty officer of the Crown, and yet in his own house
would not give the right-hand to any person of quality that came to him
about business. My behaviour was the reverse of his in almost
everything; I gave the right-hand to all strangers in my own house, and
attended them even to their coach, for which I was commended by some for
my civility and by others for my humility. I avoided appearing in public
assemblies among people of quality till I had established a reputation.
When I thought I had done so, I took the opportunity of the sealing of a
marriage contract to dispute my rank with M. de Guise. I had carefully
studied the laws of my diocese and got others to do it for me, and my
right was indisputable in my own province. The precedence was adjudged
in my favour by a decree of the Council, and I found, by the great number
of gentlemen who then appeared for me, that to condescend to men of low
degree is the surest way to equal those of the highest.

I dined almost every day with Cardinal Mazarin, who liked me the better
because I refused to engage myself in the cabal called "The Importants,"
though many of the members were my dearest friends. M. de Beaufort, a
man of very mean parts, was so much out of temper because the Queen had
put her confidence in Cardinal Mazarin, that, though her Majesty offered
him favours with profusion, he would accept none, and affected to give
himself the airs of an angry lover. He held aloof from the Duc
d'Orleans, insulted the late Prince, and, in order to support himself
against the Queen-regent, the chief minister, and all the Princes of the
blood, formed a cabal of men who all died mad, and whom I never took for
conjurers from the first time I knew them. Such were Beaupre,
Fontrailles, Fiesque, Montresor, who had the austerity of Cato, but not
his sagacity, and M. de Bethune, who obliged M. de Beaufort to make me
great overtures, which I received very respectfully, but entered into
none. I told Montresor that I was indebted to the Queen for the
coadjutorship of Paris, and that that was enough to keep me from entering
into any engagement that might be disagreeable to her Majesty. Montresor
said I was not obliged for it to the Queen, it having been ordered before
by the late King, and given me at a crisis when she was not in a
condition to refuse it. I replied, "Permit me, monsieur, to forget
everything that may diminish my gratitude, and to remember that only
which may increase it." These words were afterwards repeated to Cardinal
Mazarin, who was so pleased with me that he repeated them to the Queen.

The families of Orleans and Conde, being united by interest, made a jest
of that surly look from which Beaufort's cabal were termed "The
Importants," and at the same time artfully made use of the grand
appearance which Beaufort (like those who carry more sail than ballast)
never failed to assume upon the most trifling occasions. His counsels
were unseasonable, his meetings to no purpose, and even his hunting
matches became mysterious. In short, Beaufort was arrested at the Louvre
by a captain of the Queen's Guards, and carried on the 2d of September,
1643, to Vincennes. The cabal of "The Importants" was put to flight and
dispersed, and it was reported over all the kingdom that they had made an
attempt against the Cardinal's life, which I do not believe, because I
never saw anything in confirmation of it, though many of the domestics of
the family of Vendome were a long time in prison upon this account.

The Marquis de Nangis, who was enraged both against the Queen and
Cardinal, for reasons which I shall tell you afterwards, was strongly
tempted to come into this cabal a few days before Beaufort was arrested,
but I dissuaded him by telling him that fashion is powerful in all the
affairs of life, but more remarkably so as to a man's being in favour or
disgrace at Court. There are certain junctures when disgrace, like fire,
purifies all the bad qualities, and sets a lustre on all the good ones,
and also there are times when it does not become an honest man to be out
of favour at Court. I applied this to the gentlemen of the aforesaid

I must confess, to the praise of Cardinal de Richelieu, that he had
formed two vast designs worthy of a Caesar or an Alexander: that of
suppressing the Protestants had been projected before by Cardinal de
Retz, my uncle; but that of attacking the formidable house of Austria was
never thought of by any before the Cardinal. He completed the first
design, and had made great progress in the latter.

That the King's death made no alteration in affairs was owing to the
bravery of the Prince de Conde and the famous battle of Rocroi, in 1643,
which contributed both to the peace and glory of the kingdom, and covered
the cradle of the present King with laurels. Louis XIV.'s father, who
neither loved nor esteemed his Queen, provided him a Council, upon his
death-bed, for limiting the authority of the Regency, and named the
Cardinal Mazarin, M. Seguier, M. Bouthillier, and M. de Chavigni; but
being all Richelieu's creatures, they were so hated by the public that
when the King was dead they were hissed at by all the footmen at Saint
Germain, and if De Beaufort had had a grain of sense, or if De Beauvais
had not been a disgraceful bishop, or if my father had but entered into
the administration, these collateral Regents would have been undoubtedly
expelled with ignominy, and the memory of Cardinal de Richelieu been
branded by the Parliament with shouts of joy.

The Queen was adored much more for her troubles than for her merit. Her
admirers had never seen her but under persecution; and in persons of her
rank, suffering is one of the greatest virtues. People were apt to fancy
that she was patient to a degree of indolence. In a word, they expected
wonders from her; and Bautru used to say she had already worked a miracle
because the most devout had forgotten her coquetry. The Duc d'Orleans,
who made a show as if he would have disputed the Regency with the Queen,
was contented to be Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom. The Prince de
Conde was declared President of the Council, and the Parliament confirmed
the Regency to the Queen without limitation. The exiles were called
home, prisoners set at liberty, and criminals pardoned. They who had
been turned out were replaced in their respective employments, and
nothing that was asked was refused. The happiness of private families
seemed to be fully secured in the prosperity of the State. The perfect
union of the royal family settled the peace within doors; and the battle
of Rocroi was such a blow to the Spanish infantry that they could not
recover in an age. They saw at the foot of the throne, where the fierce
and terrible Richelieu used to thunder rather than govern, a mild and
gentle successor,--[Cardinal Julius Mazarin, Minister of State, who died
at Vincennes in 1661.]--who was perfectly complacent and extremely
troubled that his dignity of Cardinal did not permit him to be as humble
to all men as he desired; and who, when he went abroad, had no other
attendants than two footmen behind his coach. Had not I, then, reason
for saying that it did not become an honest man to be on bad terms with
the Court at that time of day?

You will wonder, no doubt, that nobody was then aware of the consequence
of imprisoning M. de Beaufort, when the prison doors were set open to all
others. This bold stroke--at a time when the Government was so mild that
its authority was hardly felt--had a very great effect. Though nothing
was more easy, as you have seen, yet it looked grand; and all acts of
this nature are very successful because they are attended with dignity
without any odium. That which generally draws an unaccountable odium
upon even the most necessary actions of statesmen, is that, in order to
compass them, they are commonly obliged to struggle with very great
difficulties, which, when they are surmounted, are certain to render them
objects both of envy and hatred. When a considerable occasion offers,
where there is no victory to be gained because there is no difficulty to
encounter, which is very rare, it gives a lustre to the authority of
ministers which is pure, innocent, and without a shadow, and not only
establishes it, but casts upon their administration the merit of actions
which they have no hand in, as well as those of which they have.

When the world saw that the Cardinal had apprehended the man who had
lately brought the King back to Paris with inconceivable pride, men's
imaginations were seized with an astonishing veneration. People thought
themselves much obliged to the Minister that some were not sent to the
Bastille every week; and the sweetness of his temper was sure to be
commended whenever he had not an opportunity of doing them harm. It must
be owned that he had the art of improving his good luck to the best
advantage. He made use of all the outward appearances necessary to
create a belief that he had been forced to take violent measures, and
that the counsels of the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde had
determined the Queen to reject his advice; the day following he seemed to
be more moderate, civil, and frank than before; he gave free access to
all; audiences were easily had, it was no more to dine with him than with
a private gentleman. He had none of that grand air so common to the
meaner cardinals. In short, though he was at the head of everybody, yet
he managed as if he were only their companion. That which astonishes me
most is that the princes and grandees of the kingdom, who, one might
expect, would be more quick-sighted than the common people, were the most

The Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde--the latter attached to the
Court by his covetous temper--thought themselves above being rivalled;
the Duke--[Henri de Bourbon, Duc d'Enghien, born 1646, died 1686. We
shall often speak of him in this history.]--was old enough to take his
repose under the shadow of his laurels; M. de Nemours--[Charles Amadeus
of Savoy, killed in a duel by M. de Beaufort, 1650.]--was but a child; M.
de Guise, lately returned from Brussels, was governed by Madame de Pons,
and thought to govern the whole Court; M. de Schomberg complied all his
life long with the humour of those who were at the helm; M. de Grammont
was a slave to them. The Parliament, being delivered from the tyranny of
Richelieu, imagined the golden age was returning, being daily assured by
the Prime Minister that the Queen would not take one step without them.
The clergy, who are always great examples of slavish servitude
themselves, preached it to others under the plausible title of passive
obedience. Thus both clergy and laity were, in an instant, become the
devotees of Mazarin.

Being ordered by my Lord Archbishop of Paris to take care of his diocese
in his absence, my first business was, by the Queen's express command, to
visit the Nuns of the Conception, where, knowing that there were above
fourscore virgins, many of whom were very pretty and some coquettes, I
was very loth to go for fear, of exposing my virtue to temptation; but I
could not be excused, so I went, and preserved my virtue, to my
neighbour's edification, because for six weeks together I did not see the
face of any one of the nuns, nor talked to any of them but when their
veils were down, which gave me a vast reputation for chastity. I
continued to perform all the necessary functions in the diocese as far as
the jealousy of my uncle would give me leave, and, forasmuch as he was
generally so peevish that it was a very hard matter to please him, I at
length chose to sit still and do nothing. Thus I made the best use
imaginable of my uncle's ill-nature, being sure to convince him of my
honest intentions upon all occasions; whereas had I been my own master,
the rules of good conduct would have obliged me to confine myself to
things in their own nature practicable.

The Cardinal Mazarin confessed to me, many years afterwards, that this
conduct of mine in managing the affairs of the diocese, though it did him
no injury, was the first thing that made him jealous of my growing
greatness in Paris. Another thing alarmed him with as little reason, and
that was my undertaking to examine the capacity of all the priests of my
diocese, a thing of inconceivable use and importance. For this end I
erected three tribunals, composed of canons, curates, and men of
religious orders, who were to reduce all the priests under three
different classes, whereof the first was to consist of men well
qualified, who were therefore to be left in the exercise of their
functions; the second was to comprehend those who were not at present,
but might in time prove able men; and the third of such men as were
neither now nor ever likely to become so. The two last classes, being
separated from the first, were not to exercise their functions, but were
lodged in separate houses; those of the second class were instructed in
the doctrine, but the third only in the practice of piety. As this could
not but be very expensive, the good people opened their purses and
contributed liberally. The Cardinal was so disturbed when he heard of it
that he got the Queen to send for my uncle upon a frivolous occasion,
who, for reasons as frivolous, ordered me to desist. Though I was very
well informed, by my good friend the Almoner, that the blow came from
Court, I bore it with a great deal more patience than was consistent with
a man of my spirit, for I did not seem to take the least notice of it,
but was as gracious to the Cardinal as ever. But I was not so wary in
another case which happened some time after, for honest Morangis telling
me I was too extravagant, which was but too true, I answered him rashly,
"I have made a calculation that Caesar, when at my age, owed six times as
much." This remark was carried, unluckily, by a doctor then present, to
M. Servien, who told it maliciously to the Cardinal, who made a jest of
it, as he had reason to do, but he took notice of it, for which I cannot
blame him.

In 1645 I was invited, as a diocesan, to the assembly of the clergy,
which, I may truly say, was the rock whereon the little share of favour I
had at Court was cast away. Cardinal de Richelieu had given a cruel blow
to the dignity and liberty of the clergy in the assembly of Mantes, and,
with very barbarous circumstances, had banished six of his most
considerable prelates. It was resolved in this assembly of 1645 to make
them some amends for their firmness on that occasion by inviting them to
come and take their places--though they were not deputed--among their
brethren. When this was first, proposed in the assembly, nobody dreamt
that the Court would take offence at it, and it falling to my turn to
speak first, I proposed the said resolution, as it had been concerted
betwixt us before in private conversation, and it was unanimously
approved of by the assembly.

At my return home the Queen's purse-bearer came to me with an order to
attend her Majesty forthwith, which I accordingly obeyed. When I came
into her presence she said she could not have believed I would ever have
been wanting in my duty to that degree as to wound the memory of the late
King, her lord. I had such reasons to offer as she could not herself
confute, and therefore referred me to the Cardinal, but I found he
understood those things no better than her Majesty. He spoke to me with
the haughtiest air in the world, refused to hear my justification, and
commanded me in the King's name to retract publicly the next day in full
assembly. You may imagine how difficult it was for me to resolve what to
do. However, I did not break out beyond the bounds of modest respect,
and, finding that my submission made no impression upon the Cardinal, I
got the Bishop of Arles, a wise and moderate gentleman, to go to him
along with me, and to join with me in offering our reasons. But we found
his Eminence a very ignoramus in ecclesiastical polity. I only mention
this to let you see that in my first misunderstanding with the Court I
was not to blame, and that my respect for the Cardinal upon the Queen's
account was carried to an excess of patience.

Some months after, his profound ignorance and envenomed malice furnished
me with a fresh occasion to exercise patience. The Bishop of Warmia, one
of the ambassadors that came to fetch the Queen of Poland, was very
desirous to celebrate the marriage in the Church of Notre-Dame. Though
the archbishops of Paris never suffered solemnities of this kind to be
celebrated in their churches by any but cardinals of the royal family,
and though my uncle had been highly blamed by all his clergy for
permitting the Cardinal de La Rochefoucault to marry the Queen of
England,--[Henriette Marie of France, daughter of Henri IV., died
1669.]--nevertheless I was ordered by a 'lettre de cachet' to prepare the
said Church of Notre Dame for the Bishop of Warmia, which order ran in
the same style as that given to the 'prevot des marchands' when he is to
prepare the Hotel de Ville for a public ball. I showed the letter to the
deans and canons, and said I did not doubt but it was a stratagem of one
or other of the Secretary of State's clerks to get a gift of money.

I thereupon went to the Cardinal, pressed him with both reasons and
precedents, and said that, as I was his particular humble servant, I
hoped he would be pleased to lay them before her Majesty, making use of
all other persuasion--which I thought would dispose him to a compliance.
It was then that I learned that he only wanted an opportunity to embroil
me with the Queen, for though I saw plainly that he was sorry he had
given such orders before he knew their consequence, yet, after some
pause, he reassumed his former obstinacy to the very last degree; and,
because I spoke in the name of the Archbishop and of the whole Church of
Paris, he stormed as much as if a private person upon his own authority
had presumed to make a speech to him at the head of fifty malcontents. I
endeavoured with all respect to show him that our case was quite
different; but he was so ignorant of our manners and customs that he took
everything by the wrong handle. He ended the conversation very abruptly
and rudely, and referred me to the Queen. I found her Majesty in a
fretful mood, and all I could get out of her was a promise to hear the
chapter upon this affair, without whose consent--I had declared I could
not conclude anything.

I sent for them accordingly, and having introduced them to the Queen,
they spoke very discreetly and to the purpose. The Queen sent us back to
the Cardinal, who entertained us only with impertinences, and as he had
but a superficial knowledge of the French language, he concluded by
telling me that I had talked very insolently to him the night before. You
may imagine that that word was enough to vex me, but having resolved
beforehand to keep my temper, I smiled, and said to the deputies,
"Gentlemen, this is fine language." He was nettled at my smile, and said
to me in aloud tone, "Do you know whom you talk to? I will teach you how
to behave." Now, I confess, my blood began to boil. I told him that the
Coadjutor of Paris was talking to Cardinal Mazarin, but that perhaps he
thought himself the Cardinal de Lorraine, and me the Bishop of Metz, his

Then we went away and met the Marechal d'Estrees coming up to us, who
came to advise me not to break with the Court, and to tell me that things
might be arranged; and when he found I was of another opinion, he told me
in plain terms that he had orders from the Queen to oblige me to come to
her. I went without more ado, accompanied by the deputies, and found her
more gracious and better humoured than I am able to express. She told me
that she had a mind to see me, not so much in relation to our affair,
which might be easily accommodated, as to reprimand me for using such
language to the poor Cardinal, who was as meek as a lamb, and loved me as
his own son. She added all the kind things possible, and ordered the
dean and deputies to go along with me to the Cardinal's house, that we
might consult together what course to take. This was so much against my
inclination that I gave the Queen to understand that no person in the
world but her Majesty could have persuaded me to it.

We found the Minister even milder than his mistress. He made a world of
excuses for the word "insolent," by which he said, and perhaps it may be
true, that he meant no more than 'insolito', a word signifying "somewhat
uncommon." He showed me all the civility imaginable, but, instead of
coming to any determination, put us off to another opportunity. A few
days after, a letter was brought me at midnight from the Archbishop,
commanding me to let the Bishop of Warmia perform the marriage without
any more opposition.

Had I been wise I should have stopped there, because a man ought in
prudence to make his peace with the Court upon any terms consistent with
honour. But I was young, and the more provoked because I perceived that
all the fair words given me at Fontainebleau were but a feint to gain
time to write about the affair to my uncle, then at Angers. However, I
said nothing to the messenger, more than that I was glad my uncle had so
well brought me off. The chapter being likewise served with the same
order, we sent the Court this answer: That the Archbishop might do what
he listed in the nave of the church, but that the choir belonged to the
chapter, and they would yield it to no man but himself or his coadjutor.
The Cardinal knew the meaning of this, and thereupon resolved to have the
marriage solemnised in the Chapel Royal, whereof he said the Great
Almoner was bishop. But this being a yet more important question than
the other, I laid the inconveniences of it before him in a letter. This
nettled him, and he made a mere jest of my letter. I gave the Queen of
Poland to understand that, if she were married in that manner, I should
be forced, even against my will, to declare the marriage void; but that
there remained one expedient which would effectually remove all
difficulties,--that the marriage might be performed in the King's Chapel,
and should stand good provided that the Bishop of Warmia came to me for a

The Queen, resolving to lose no more time by awaiting new orders from
Angers, and fearing the least flaw in her marriage, the Court was obliged
to comply with my proposal, and the ceremony was performed accordingly.

Not long after this marriage I was unhappily embroiled with the Duc
d'Orleans, upon an occasion of no greater importance than my foot-cloth
in the Church of Notre-Dame, which was by mistake removed to his seat. I
complained of it to him, and he ordered it to be restored. Nevertheless
the Abby de la Riviere made him believe I had put an affront upon him
that was too public to be pardoned. The Duke was so simple as to believe
it, and, while the courtiers turned all into banter, he swore he would
receive incense before me at the said church for the future. In the
meantime the Queen sent for me, and told me that the Duke was in a
terrible passion, for which she was very sorry, but that nevertheless she
could not help being of his opinion, and therefore insisted upon it that
I ought to give him satisfaction in the Church of Notre-Dame the Sunday
following. Upon the whole she referred me to Cardinal Mazarin, who
declared to me at first that he was very sorry to see me in so much
trouble, blamed the Abby for having incensed the Duke to such a degree,
and used all the arguments he could to wheedle me to give my consent to
being degraded. And when he saw I was not to be led, he endeavoured to
drive me into the snare. He stormed with an air of authority, and would
fain have bullied me into compliance, telling me that hitherto he had
spoken as a friend, but that I had forced him henceforth to speak as a
minister. He also began to threaten, and the conversation growing warm,
he sought to pick a quarrel by insinuating that if I would do as Saint
Ambrose did, I ought to lead a life like him. As he spoke this loud
enough to be heard by some bishops at the other end of the room, I
likewise raised my voice, and told him I would endeavour to make the best
use of his advice, but he might assure himself I was fully resolved so to
imitate Saint Ambrose in this affair that I might, through his means,
obtain grace to be able to imitate him in all others.

I had not been long gone home when the Marechal d'Estrees and M.
Senneterre came, furnished with all the flowers of rhetoric, to persuade
me that degradation was honourable; and finding me immovable, they
insinuated that my obstinacy might oblige his Highness to use force, and
order his guards to carry me, in spite of myself, to Notre-Dame, and
place me there on a seat below his. I thought this suggestion too
ridiculous to mind it at first, but being forewarned of it that very
evening by the Duke's Chancellor, I put myself upon the defensive, which
I think is the most ridiculous piece of folly I was ever guilty of,
considering it was against a son of France, and when there was a profound
tranquillity in the State, without the least appearance of any commotion.
The Duke, to whom I had the honour of being related, was pleased with my
boldness. He remembered the Abby de la Riviere for his insolence in
complaining that the Prince de Conti was marked down for a cardinal
before him; besides, the Duke knew I was in the right, having made it
very evident in a statement I had published upon this head. He
acquainted the Cardinal with it, said he would not suffer the least
violence to be offered to me; that I was both his kinsman and devoted
servant, and that he would not set out for the army till he saw the
affair at an end.

All the Court was in consternation for fear of a rupture, especially when
the Prince de Conde had been informed by the Queen of what his son had
said; and when he came to my house and found there sixty or eighty
gentlemen, this made him believe that a league was already made with the
Duke, but there was nothing in it. He swore, he threatened, he begged,
he flattered, and in his transports he let fall some expressions which
showed that the Duke was much more concerned for my interest than he ever
yet owned to me. I submitted that very instant, and told the Prince that
I would do anything rather than the royal family should be divided on my
account. The Prince, who hitherto found me immovable, was so touched at
my sudden surrender in complaisance to his son, at the very time, too,
when he himself had just assured me I was to expect a powerful protection
from him, that he suddenly changed his temper, so that, instead of
thinking as he did at first, that there was no satisfaction great enough
for the Duc d'Orleans, he now determined plainly in favour of the
expedient I had so often proposed,--that I should go and declare to him,
in the presence of the whole Court, that I never designed to be wanting
in the respect I owed him, and that the orders of the Church had obliged
me to act as I did at Notre-Dame. The Cardinal and the Abby de la
Riviere were enraged to the last degree, but the Prince put them into
such fear of the Duke that they were fain to submit. The Prince took me
to the Duc d'Orleans's house, where I gave them satisfaction before the
whole Court, precisely in the words above mentioned. His Highness was
quite satisfied with my reasons, carried me to see his medals, and thus
ended the controversy.

As this affair and the marriage of the Queen of Poland had embroiled me
with the Court, you may easily conceive what turn the courtiers gave to
it. But here I found by experience that all the powers upon earth cannot
hurt the reputation of a man who preserves it established and unspotted
in the society whereof he is a member. All the learned clergy took my
part, and I soon perceived that many of those who had before blamed my
conduct now retracted. I made this observation upon a thousand other
occasions. I even obliged the Court, some time after, to commend my,
proceedings, and took an opportunity to convince the Queen that it was my
dignity, and not any want of respect and gratitude, that made me resist
the Court in the two former cases. The Cardinal was very well pleased
with me, and said in public that he found me as much concerned for the
King's service as I was before for the honour of my character.

It falling to my turn to make the speech at the breaking up of the
assembly of the clergy at Paris, I had the good luck to please both the
clergy and the Court. Cardinal Mazarin took me to supper with him alone,
seemed to be clear of all prejudices against me, and I verily believe was
fully persuaded that he had been imposed upon. But I was too much
beloved in Paris to continue long in favour at Court. This was a crime
that rendered me disagreeable in the eyes of a refined Italian statesman,
and which was the more dangerous from the fact that I lost no opportunity
of aggravating it by a natural and unaffected expense, to which my air of
negligence gave a lustre, and by my great alms and bounty, which, though
very often secret, had the louder echo; whereas, in truth, I had acted
thus at first only in compliance with inclination and out of a sense of
duty. But the necessity I was under of supporting myself against the
Court obliged me to be yet more liberal. I do but just mention it here
to show you that the Court was jealous of me, when I never thought myself
capable of giving them the least occasion, which made me reflect that a
man is oftener deceived by distrusting than by being overcredulous.

Cardinal Mazarin, who was born and bred in the Pope's dominions, where
papal authority has no limits, took the impetus given to the regal power
by his tutor, the Cardinal de Richelieu, to be natural to the body
politic, which mistake of his occasioned the civil war, though we must
look much higher for its prime cause.

It is above 1,200 years that France has been governed by kings, but they
were not as absolute at first as they are now. Indeed, their authority
was never limited by written laws as are the Kings of England and
Castile, but only moderated by received customs, deposited, as I may say,
at first in the hands of the States of the kingdom, and afterwards in
those of the Parliament. The registering of treaties with other Crowns
and the ratifications of edicts for raising money are almost obliterated
images of that wise medium between the exorbitant power of the Kings and
the licentiousness of the people instituted by our ancestors. Wise and
good Princes found that this medium was such a seasoning to their power
as made it delightful to their people. On the other hand, weak and
vicious Kings always hated it as an obstacle to all their extravagances.
The history of the Sire de Joinville makes it evident that Saint Louis
was an admirer of this scheme of government, and the writings of Oresme,
Bishop of Lisieux, and of the famous Juvenal des Ursins, convince us that
Charles V., who merited the surname of Wise, never thought his power to
be superior to the laws and to his duty. Louis XI., more cunning than
truly wise, broke his faith upon this head as well as all others. Louis
XII. would have restored this balance of power to its ancient lustre if
the ambition of Cardinal Amboise,--[George d'Amboise, the first of the
name, in 1498 Minister to Louis XII., deceased 1510.]--who governed him
absolutely, had not opposed it.

The insatiable avarice of Constable Montmorency--[Anne de Montmorency,
Constable of France in 1538, died 1567.]--tended rather to enlarge than
restrain the authority of Francois I. The extended views and vast
designs of M. de Guise would not permit them to think of placing bounds
to the prerogative under Francois II. In the reigns of Charles IX. and
Henri III. the Court was so fatigued with civil broils that they took
everything for rebellion which was not submission. Henri IV., who was
not afraid of the laws, because he trusted in himself, showed he had a
high esteem for them. The Duc de Rohan used to say that Louis XIII. was
jealous of his own authority because he was ignorant of its full extent,
for the Marechal d'Ancrel and M. de Luynes were mere dunces, incapable of
informing him. Cardinal de Richelieu, who succeeded them, collected all
the wicked designs and blunders of the two last centuries to serve his
grand purpose. He laid them down as proper maxims for establishing the
King's authority, and, fortune seconding his designs by the disarming of
the Protestants in France, by the victories of the Swedes, by the
weakness of the Empire and of Spain, he established the most scandalous
and dangerous tyranny that perhaps ever enslaved a State in the best
constituted monarchy under the sun.

Custom, which has in some countries inured men even to broil as it were
in the heat of the sun, has made things familiar to us which our
forefathers dreaded more than fire itself. We no longer feel the slavery
which they abhorred more for the interest of their King than for their
own. Cardinal de Richelieu counted those things crimes which before him
were looked upon as virtues. The Mirons, Harlays, Marillacs, Pibracs,
and the Fayes, those martyrs of the State who dispelled more factions by
their wholesome maxims than were raised in France by Spanish or British
gold, were defenders of the doctrine for which the Cardinal de Richelieu
confined President Barillon in the prison of Amboise. And the Cardinal
began to punish magistrates for advancing those truths which they were
obliged by their oaths to defend at the hazard of their lives.

Our wise Kings, who understood their true interest, made the Parliament
the depositary of their ordinances, to the end that they might exempt
themselves from part of the odium that sometimes attends the execution of
the most just and necessary decrees. They thought it no disparagement to
their royalty to be bound by them,--like unto God, who himself obeys the
laws he has preordained. ['A good government: where the people obey their
king and the king obeys the law'--Solon. D.W.] Ministers of State, who
are generally so blinded by the splendour of their fortune as never to be
content with what the laws allow, make it their business to overturn
them; and Cardinal de Richelieu laboured at it more constantly than any
other, and with equal application and imprudence.

God only is self-existent and independent; the most rightful monarchs and
established monarchies in the world cannot possibly be supported but by
the conjunction of arms and laws,--a union so necessary that the one
cannot subsist without the other. Laws without the protection of arms
sink into contempt, and arms which are not tempered by laws quickly turn
a State into anarchy. The Roman commonwealth being set aside by Julius
Caesar, the supreme power which was devolved upon his successors by force
of arms subsisted no longer than they were able to maintain the authority
of the laws; for as soon as the laws lost their force, the power of the
Roman Emperors vanished, and the very men that were their favourites,
having got possession of their seals and their arms, converted their
masters' substance into their own, and, as it were, sucked them dry under
the shelter of those repealed laws. The Roman Empire, formerly sold by
auction to the highest bidder, and the Turkish emperors, whose necks are
exposed every day to the bowstring, show us in very bloody characters the
blindness of those men that make authority to consist only in force.

But why need we go abroad for examples when we have so many at home?
Pepin, in dethroning the Merovingian family, and Capet, in dispossessing
the Carlovingians, made use of nothing else but the same power which the
ministers, their predecessors, had acquired under the authority of their
masters; and it is observable that the mayors of the Palace and the
counts of Paris placed themselves on the thrones of kings exactly by the
same methods that gained them their masters' favours,--that is, by
weakening and changing the laws of the land, which at first always
pleases weak princes, who fancy it aggrandises their power; but in its
consequence it gives a power to the great men and motives to the common
people to rebel against their authority. Cardinal de Richelieu was
cunning enough to have all these views, but he sacrificed everything to
his interest. He would govern according to his own fancy, which scorned
to be tied to rules, even in cases where it would have cost him nothing
to observe them. And he acted his part so well that, if his successor
had been a man of his abilities, I doubt not that the title of Prime
Minister, which he was the first to assume, would have been as odious in
France in a little time as were those of the Maire du Palais and the
Comte de Paris. But by the providence of God, Cardinal Mazarin, who
succeeded him, was not capable of giving the State any jealousy of his
usurpation. As these two ministers contributed chiefly, though in a
different way, to the civil war, I judge it highly necessary to give you
the particular character of each, and to draw a parallel between them.

Cardinal de Richelieu was well descended; his merit sparkled even in his
youth. He was taken notice of at the Sorbonne, and it was very soon
observed that he had a strong genius and a lively fancy. He was commonly
happy in the choice of his parties. He was a man of his word, unless
great interests swayed him to the contrary, and in such a case he was
very artful to preserve all the appearances of probity. He was not
liberal, yet he gave more than he promised, and knew admirably well how
to season all his favours. He was more ambitious than was consistent
with the rules of morality, although it must be owned that, whenever he
dispensed with them in favour of his extravagant ambition, his great
merit made it almost excusable. He neither feared dangers nor yet
despised them, and prevented more by his sagacity than he surmounted by
his resolution. He was a hearty friend, and even wished to be beloved by
the people; but though he had civility, a good aspect, and all the other
qualifications to gain that love, yet he still wanted something--I know
not what to call it--which is absolutely necessary in this case. By his
power and royal state he debased and swallowed up the personal majesty of
the King. He distinguished more judiciously than any man in the world
between bad and worse, good and better, which is a great qualification in
a minister. He was too apt to be impatient at mere trifles when they had
relation to things of moment; but those blemishes, owing to his lofty
spirit, were always accompanied with the necessary talent of knowledge to
make amends for those imperfections. He had religion enough for this
world. His own good sense, or else his inclination, always led him to
the practice of virtue if his self-interest did not bias him to evil,
which, whenever he committed it, he did so knowingly. He extended his
concern for the State no further than his own life, though no minister
ever did more than he to make the world believe he had the same regard
for the future. In a word, all his vices were such that they received a
lustre from his great fortune, because they were such as could have no
other instruments to work with but great virtues. You will easily
conceive that a man who possessed such excellent qualities, and appeared
to have as many more,--which he had not,--found it no hard task to
preserve that respect among mankind which freed him from contempt, though
not from hatred.

Cardinal Mazarin's character was the reverse of the former; his birth was
mean, and his youth scandalous. He was thrashed by one Moretto, a
goldsmith of Rome, as he was going out of the amphitheatre, for having
played the sharper. He was a captain in a foot regiment, and Bagni, his
general, told me that while he was under his command, which was but three
months, he was only looked upon as a cheat. By the interest of Cardinal
Antonio Barberini, he was sent as Nuncio Extraordinary to France, which
office was not obtained in those days by fair means. He so tickled
Chavigni by his loose Italian stories that he was shortly after
introduced to Cardinal de Richelieu, who made him Cardinal with the same
view which, it is thought, determined the Emperor Augustus to leave the
succession of the Empire to Tiberius. He was still Richelieu's
obsequious, humble servant, notwithstanding the purple. The Queen making
choice of him, for want of another, his pedigree was immediately derived
from a princely family. The rays of fortune having dazzled him and
everybody about him, he rose, and they glorified him for a second
Richelieu, whom he had the impudence to ape, though he had nothing of
him; for what his predecessor counted honourable he esteemed scandalous.
He made a mere jest of religion. He promised everything without scruple;
at the same time he intended to perform nothing. He was neither
good-natured nor cruel, for he never remembered either good offices or
bad ones. He loved himself too well, which is natural to a sordid soul;
and feared himself too little, the true characteristic of those that have
no regard for their reputation. He foresaw an evil well enough, because
he was usually timid, but never applied a suitable remedy, because he had
more fear than wisdom. He had wit, indeed, together with a most
insinuating address and a gay, courtly behaviour; but a villainous heart
appeared constantly through all, to such a degree as betrayed him to be a
fool in adversity and a knave in prosperity. In short, he was the first
minister that could be called a complete trickster, for which reason his
administration, though successful and absolute, never sat well upon him,
for contempt--the most dangerous disease of any State--crept insensibly
into the Ministry and easily diffused its poison from the head to the

You will not wonder, therefore, that there were so many unlucky cross
rubs in an administration which so soon followed that of Cardinal de
Richelieu and was so different from it. It is certain that the
imprisonment of M. de Beaufort impressed the people with a respect for
Mazarin, which the lustre of his purple would never have procured from
private men. Ondedei (since Bishop of Frejus) told me that the Cardinal
jested with him upon the levity of the French nation on this point, and
that at the end of four months the Cardinal had set himself up in his own
opinion for a Richelieu, and even thought he had greater abilities. It
would take up volumes to record all his faults, the least of which were
very important in one respect which deserves a particular remark. As he
trod in the steps of Cardinal de Richelieu, who had completely abolished
all the ancient maxims of government, he went in a path surrounded with
precipices, which Richelieu was aware of and took care to avoid. But
Cardinal Mazarin made no use of those props by which Richelieu kept his
footing. For instance, though Cardinal de Richelieu affected to humble
whole bodies and societies, yet he studied to oblige individuals, which
is sufficient to give you an idea of all the rest. He had indeed some
unaccountable illusions, which he pushed to the utmost extremity. The
most dangerous kind of illusion in State affairs is a sort of lethargy
that never happens without showing pronounced symptoms. The abolishing
of ancient laws, the destruction of that golden medium which was
established between the Prince and the people, and the setting up a power
purely and absolutely despotic, were the original causes of those
political convulsions which shook France in the days of our forefathers.

Cardinal de Richelieu managed the kingdom as mountebanks do their
patients, with violent remedies which put strength into it; but it was
only a convulsive strength, which exhausted its vital organs. Cardinal
Mazarin, like a very unskilful physician, did not observe that the vital
organs were decayed, nor had he the skill to support them by the chemical
preparations of his predecessor; his only remedy was to let blood, which
he drew so plentifully that the patient fell into a lethargy, and our
medicaster was yet so stupid as to mistake this lethargy for a real state
of health. The provinces, abandoned to the rapine of the
superintendents, were stifled, as it were, under the pressure of their
heavy misfortunes, and the efforts they made to shake them off in the
time of Richelieu added only to their weight and bitterness. The
Parliaments, which had so lately groaned under tyranny, were in a manner
insensible to present miseries by a too fresh and lively remembrance of
their past troubles. The grandees, who had for the most part been
banished from the kingdom, were glad to have returned, and therefore took
their fill of ease and pleasure. If our quack had but humoured this
universal indolence with soporifics, the general drowsiness might have
continued much longer, but thinking it to be nothing but natural sleep,
he applied no remedy at all. The disease gained strength, grew worse and
worse, the patient awakened, Paris became sensible of her condition; she
groaned, but nobody minded it, so that she fell into a frenzy, whereupon
the patient became raving mad.

But now to come to particulars. Emeri, Superintendent of the Finances,
and in my opinion the most corrupt man of the age, multiplied edicts as
fast as he could find names to call them by. I cannot give you a better
idea of the man than by repeating what I heard him say in full
Council,--that faith was for tradesmen only, and that the Masters of
Requests who urged faith to be observed in the King's affairs deserved to
be punished. This man, who had in his youth been condemned to be hanged
at Lyons, absolutely governed Mazarin in all the domestic affairs of the
kingdom. I mention this, among many other instances which I could produce
of the same nature, to let you see that a nation does not feel the
extremity of misery till its governors have lost all shame, because that
is the instant when the subjects throw off all respect and awake
convulsively out of their lethargy.

The Swiss seemed, as it were, crushed under the weight of their chains,
when three of their powerful cantons revolted and formed themselves into
a league. The Dutch thought of nothing but an entire subjection to the
tyrant Duke of Alva, when the Prince of Orange, by the peculiar destiny
of great geniuses, who see further into the future than all the world
besides, conceived a plan and restored their liberty. The reason of all
this is plain: that which causes a supineness in suffering States is the
duration of the evil, which inclines the sufferers to believe it will
never have an end; as soon as they have hopes of getting out of it, which
never fails when the evil has arrived at a certain pitch, they are so
surprised, so glad, and so transported, that they run all of a sudden
into the other extreme, and are so far from thinking revolutions
impossible that they suppose them easy, and such a disposition alone is
sometimes able to bring them about; witness the late revolution in
France. Who could have imagined, three months before the critical period
of our disorders, that such a revolution could have happened in a kingdom
where all the branches of the royal family were strictly united, where
the Court was a slave to the Prime Minister, where the capital city and
all the provinces were in subjection to him, where the armies were
victorious, and where the corporations and societies seemed to have no
power?--whoever, I say, had said this would have been thought a madman,
not only in the judgment of the vulgar, but in the opinion of a D'Estrees
or a Senneterre.

In August, 1647, there was a mighty clamour against the tariff edict
imposing a general tax upon all provisions that came into Paris, which
the people were resolved to bear no longer. But the gentlemen of the
Council being determined to support it, the Queen consulted the members
deputed from Parliament, when Cardinal Mazarin, a mere ignoramus in these
affairs, said he wondered that so considerable a body as they were should
mind such trifles,--an expression truly worthy of Mazarin. However, the
Council at length imagining the Parliament would do it, thought fit to
suppress the tariff themselves by a declaration, in order to save the
King's credit. Nevertheless, a few days after, they presented five
edicts even more oppressive than the tariff, not with any hopes of having
them received, but to force the Parliament to restore the tariff. Rather
than admit the new ones, the Parliament consented to restore the old one,
but with so many qualifications that the Court, despairing to find their
account in it, published a decree of the Supreme Council annulling that
of the Parliament with all its modifications. But the Chamber of
Vacations answered it by another, enjoining the decree of Parliament to
be put in execution. The Council, seeing they could get no money by this
method, acquainted the Parliament that, since they would receive no new
edicts, they could do no less than encourage the execution of such edicts
as they had formerly ratified; and thereupon they trumped up a
declaration which had been registered two years before for the
establishment of the Chamber of Domain, which was a terrible charge upon
the people, had very pernicious consequences, and which the Parliament
had passed, either through a surprise or want of better judgment. The
people mutinied, went in crowds to the Palace, and used very abusive
language to the President de Thore, Emeri's son. The Parliament was
obliged to pass a decree against the mutineers.

The Court, overjoyed to see the Parliament and the people together by the
ears, supported the decree by a regiment of French and Swiss Guards. The
Parisians were alarmed, and got into the belfries of three churches in
the street of Saint Denis, where the guards were posted. The Provost ran
to acquaint the Court that the city was just taking arms. Upon which
they ordered the troops to retire, and pretended they were posted there
for no other end than to attend the King as he went to the Church of
Notre Dame; and the better to cover their design, the King went next day
in great pomp to the said church, and the day after he went to
Parliament, without giving notice of his coming till very late the night
before, and carried with him five or six edicts more destructive than the
former. The First President spoke very boldly against bringing the King
into the House after this manner, to surprise the members and infringe
upon their liberty of voting. Next day the Masters of Requests, to whom
one of these edicts, confirmed in the King's presence, had added twelve
colleagues, met and took a firm resolution not to admit of this new
creation. The Queen sent for them, told them they were very pretty
gentlemen to oppose the King's will, and forbade them to come to Council.
Instead of being frightened, they were the more provoked, and, going into
the Great Hall, demanded that they might have leave to enter their
protest against the edict for creating new members, which was granted.

The Chambers being assembled the same day to examine the edicts which the
King had caused to be ratified in his presence, the Queen commanded them
to attend her by their deputies in the Palais Royal, and told them she
was surprised that they pretended to meddle with what had been
consecrated by the presence of the King. These were the very words of
the Chancellor. The First President answered that it was the custom of
Parliament, and showed the necessity of it for preserving the liberty of
voting. The Queen seemed to be satisfied; but, finding some days after
that the Parliament was consulting as to qualifying those edicts, and so
render them of little or no use, she ordered the King's Council to forbid
the Parliament meddling with the King's edicts till they had declared
formally whether they intended to limit the King's authority. Those
members that were in the Court interest artfully took advantage of the
dilemma the Parliament was in to answer the question, and, in order to
mollify them, tacked a clause to the decrees which specified the
restrictions, namely, that all should be executed according to the good
pleasure of the King. This clause pleased the Queen for a while, but
when she perceived that it did not prevent the rejecting of almost any
other edict by the common suffrage of the Parliament, she flew into a
passion, and told them plainly that she would have all the edicts,
without exception, fully executed, without any modifications whatsoever.

Not long after this, the Court of Aids, the Chamber of Accounts, the
Grand Council, and the Parliament formed a union which was pretended to
be for the reformation of the State, but was more probably calculated for
the private interest of the officers, whose salaries were lessened by one
of the said edicts. And the Court, being alarmed and utterly perplexed
by the decree for the said union, endeavoured, as much as in them lay, to
give it this turn, to make the people have a mean opinion of it. The
Queen acquainted the Parliament by some of the King's Council that,
seeing this union was entered into for the particular interest of the
companies, and not for the reformation of the State, as they endeavoured
to persuade her, she had nothing to say to it, as everybody is at liberty
to represent his case to the King, but never to intermeddle with the
government of the State.

The Parliament did not relish this ensnaring discourse, and because they
were exasperated by the Court's apprehending some of the members of the
Grand Council, they thought of nothing but justifying and supporting
their decree of union by finding out precedents, which they accordingly
met with in the registers, and were going to consider how to put it in
execution when one of the Secretaries of State came to the bar of the
house, and put into the hands of the King's Council a decree of the
Supreme Council which, in very truculent terms, annulled that of the
union. Upon this the Parliament desired a meeting with the deputies of
the other three bodies, at which the Court was enraged, and had recourse
to the mean expedient of getting the very original decree of union out of
the hands of the chief registrar; for that end they sent the Secretary of
State and a lieutenant of the Guards, who put him into a coach to drive
him to the office, but the people perceiving it, were up in arms
immediately, and both the secretary and lieutenant were glad to get off.

After this there was a great division in the Council, and some said the
Queen was disposed to arrest the Parliament; but none but herself was of
that opinion, which, indeed, was not likely to be acted upon, considering
how the people then stood affected. Therefore a more moderate course was
taken. The Chancellor reprimanded the Parliament in the presence of the
King and Court, and ordered a second decree of Council to be read and
registered instead of the union decree, forbidding them to assemble under
pain of being treated as rebels. They met, nevertheless, in defiance of
the said decree, and had several days' consultation, upon which the Duc
d'Orleans, who was very sensible they would never comply, proposed an
accommodation. Accordingly Cardinal Mazarin and the Chancellor made some
proposals, which were rejected with indignation. The Parliament affected
to be altogether concerned for the good of the public, and issued a
decree obliging themselves to continue their session and to make humble
remonstrances to the King for annulling the decrees of the Council.

The King's Council having obtained audience of the Queen for the
Parliament, the First President strenuously urged the great necessity of
inviolably preferring that golden mean between the King and the subject;
proved that the Parliament had been for many ages in possession of full
authority to unite and assemble; complained against the annulling of
their decree of union, and concluded with a very earnest motion for
suppressing decrees of the Supreme Council made in opposition to theirs.
The Court, being moved more by the disposition of the people than by the
remonstrances of the Parliament, complied immediately, and ordered the
King's Council to acquaint the Parliament that the King would permit the
act of union to be executed, and that they might assemble and act in
concert with the other bodies for the good of the State.

You may judge how the Cabinet was mortified, but the vulgar were much
mistaken in thinking that the weakness of Mazarin upon this occasion gave
the least blow to the royal authority. In that conjuncture it was
impossible for him to act otherwise, for if he had continued inflexible
on this occasion he would certainly have been reckoned a madman and
surrounded with barricades. He only yielded to the torrent, and yet most
people accused him of weakness. It is certain this affair brought him
into great contempt, and though he endeavoured to appease the people by
the banishment of Emeri, yet the Parliament, perceiving what ascendancy
they had over the Court, left no stone unturned to demolish the power of
this overgrown favourite.

The Cardinal, made desperate by the failure of his stratagems to create
jealousy among the four bodies, and alarmed at a proposition which they
were going to make for cancelling all the loans made to the King upon
excessive interest,--the Cardinal, I say, being quite mad with rage and
grief at these disappointments, and set on by courtiers who had most of
their stocks in these loans, made the King go on horseback to the
Parliament House in great pomp, and carry a wheedling declaration with
him, which contained some articles very advantageous to the public, and a
great many others very ambiguous. But the people were so jealous of the
Court that he went without the usual acclamations. The declaration was
soon after censured by the Parliament and the other bodies, though the
Duc d'Orleans exhorted and prayed that they would not meddle with it, and
threatened them if they did.

The Parliament also passed a decree declaring that no money should be
raised without verified declarations, which so provoked the Court that
they resolved to proceed to extremities, and to make use of the signal
victory which was obtained at Lens on the 24th of August, 1648, to dazzle
the eyes of the people and gain their consent to oppressing the

All the humours of the State were so disturbed by the great troubles at
Paris, the fountainhead, that I foresaw a fever would be the certain
consequence, because the physician had not the skill to prevent it. As I
owed the coadjutorship of the archbishopric to the Queen, I thought it my
duty in every circumstance to sacrifice my resentment, and even the
probability of glory, to gratitude; and notwithstanding all the
solicitations of Montresor and Laigues, I made a firm resolution to stick
close to my own business and not to engage in anything that was either
said or done against the Court at that time. Montresor had been brought
up from his youth in the faction of the Duc d'Orleans, and, having more
wit than courage, was so much the more dangerous an adviser in great
affairs; men of this cast only suggest measures and leave them to be
executed by others. Laigues, on the other hand, who was entirely
governed by Montresor, had not much brains, but was all bravery and
feared nothing; men of this character dare do anything they are set upon
by those who confide in them.

Finding that my innocence and integrity gained me no friends at Court,
and that I had nothing to expect from the Minister, who mortally hated
me, I resolved to be upon my guard, by acting in respect to the Court
with as much freedom as zeal and sincerity; and in respect to the city,
by carefully preserving my friends, and doing everything necessary to
get, or, rather, to keep, the love of the people. To maintain my
interest in the city, I laid out 36,000 crowns in alms and other
bounties, from the 26th of March to the 25th of August, 1648; and to
please the Court I told the Queen and Cardinal how the Parisians then
stood affected, which they never knew before, through flattery and
prejudice. I also complained to the Queen of the Cardinal's cunning and
dissimulation, and made use of the same intimations which I had given to
the Court to show the Parliament that I had done all in my power to
clearly inform the Ministry of everything and to disperse the clouds
always cast over their understandings by the interest of inferior
officers and the flattery of courtiers. This made the Cardinal break
with me and thwart me openly at every opportunity, insomuch that when I
was telling the Queen in his presence that the people in general were so
soured that nothing but lenitives could abate their rancour, he answered
me with the Italian fable of the wolf who swore to a flock of sheep that
he would protect them against all his comrades provided one of them would
come every morning and lick a wound he had received from a dog. He
entertained me with the like witticisms three or four months together, of
which this was one of the most favourable, whereupon I made these
reflections that it was more unbecoming a Minister of State to say silly
things than to do them, and that any advice given him was criminal.

The Cardinal pretended that the success of the King's arms at Lens had so
mortified the Court that the Parliament and the other bodies, who
expected they would take a sharp revenge on them for their late conduct,
would have the great satisfaction of being disappointed. I own I was
fool enough to believe him, and was perfectly transported at the thought;
but with what sincerity the Cardinal spoke will appear by and by.

On the 26th of August, 1648, the worthy Broussel, councillor of the Grand
Chamber, and Rene Potier, Sieur de Blancmenil, President of the Inquests,
were both arrested by the Queen's officers. It is impossible to express
the sudden consternation of all men, women, and children in Paris at this
proceeding. The people stared at one another for awhile without saying a
word. But this profound silence was suddenly attended with a confused
noise of running, crying, and shutting up of shops, upon which I thought
it my duty to go and wait upon the Queen, though I was sorely vexed to
see how my credulity had been abused but the night before at Court, when
I was desired to tell all my friends in Parliament that the victory of
Lens had only disposed the Court more and more to leniency and
moderation. When I came to the New Market, on my way to Court, I was
surrounded with swarms of people making a frightful outcry, and had great
difficulty in getting through the crowd till I had told them the Queen
would certainly do them justice. The very boys hissed the soldiers of
the Guard and pelted them with stones. Their commander, the Marechal de
La Meilleraye, perceiving the clouds began to thicken on all sides, was
overjoyed to see me, and would go with me to Court and tell the whole
truth of the matter to the Queen. The people followed us in vast
numbers, calling out, "Broussel, Broussel!"

The Queen, whom we found in her Cabinet Council with Mazarin and others,
received me neither well nor ill, was too proud and too much out of
temper to confess any shame for what she had told me the night before,
and the Cardinal had not modesty enough to blush. Nevertheless he seemed
very much confused, and gave some obscure hints by which I could perceive
he would have me to believe that there were very sudden and extraordinary
reasons which had obliged the Queen to take such measures. I simulated
approval of what he said, but all the answer I returned was that I had
come thither, as in duty bound, to receive the Queen's orders and to
contribute all in my power to restore the public peace and tranquillity.
The Queen gave a gracious nod, but I understood afterwards that she put a
sinister interpretation upon my last speech, which was nevertheless very
inoffensive and perfectly consonant to my character as Coadjutor of
Paris; but it is a true saying that in the Courts of princes a capacity
of doing good is as dangerous and almost as criminal as a will to do

The Marechal de La Meilleraye, finding that the Abbe de la Riviere and
others made mere jest and banter of the insurrection, fell into a great
passion, spoke very sharply, and appealed to me. I freely gave my
testimony, confirmed his account of the insurrection, and seconded him in
his reflections upon the future consequences. We had no other return
from the Cardinal than a malicious sneer, but the Queen lifted up her
shrill voice to the highest note of indignation, and expressed herself to
this effect: "It is a sign of disaffection to imagine that the people are
capable of revolting. These are ridiculous stories that come from
persons who talk as they would have it; the King's authority will set
matters right."

The Cardinal, perceiving that I was a little nettled, endeavoured to
soothe me by this address to the Queen: "Would to God, madame, that all
men did but talk with the same sincerity as the Coadjutor of Paris. He
is greatly concerned for his flock, for the city, and for your Majesty's
authority, and though I am persuaded that the danger is not so great as
he imagines, yet his scruples in this case are to be commended in him as
laudable and religious." The Queen understood the meaning of this cant,
recovered herself all of a sudden, and spoke to me very civilly; to which
I answered with profound respect and so innocent a countenance that La
Riviere said, whispering to Beautru, "See what it is not to be always at
Court! The Coadjutor knows the world and is a man of sense, yet takes
all the Queen has said to be in earnest."

The truth is, the Cabinet seemed to consist of persons acting the several
parts of a comedy. I played the innocent, but was not so, at least in
that affair. The Cardinal acted the part of one who thought himself
secure, but was much less confident than he appeared. The Queen affected
to be good-humoured, and yet was never more ill-tempered. M. de
Longueville put on the marks of sorrow and sadness while his heart leaped
for joy, for no man living took a greater pleasure than he to promote all
broils. The Duc d'Orleans personated hurry and, passion in speaking to
the Queen, yet would whistle half an hour together with the utmost
indolence. The Marechal de Villeroy put on gaiety, the better to make
his court to the Prime Minister, though he privately owned to me, with
tears in his eyes, that he saw the State was upon the brink of ruin.
Beautru and Nogent acted the part of buffoons, and to please the Queen,
personated old Broussel's nurse (for he was eighty years of age),
stirring up the people to sedition, though both of them knew well enough
that their farce might perhaps soon end in a real tragedy.

The Abby de la Riviere was the only man who pretended to be fully
persuaded that the insurrection of the people was but vapour, and he
maintained it to the Queen, who was willing to believe him, though she
had been satisfied to the contrary; and the conduct of the Queen, who had
the courage of a heroine, and the temper of La Riviere, who was the most
notorious poltroon of his time, furnished me with this remark: That a
blind rashness and an extravagant fear produce the same effects while the
danger is unknown.

The Marechal de La Meilleraye assumed the style and bravado of a captain
when a lieutenant-colonel of the Guards suddenly came to tell the Queen
that the citizens threatened to force the Guards, and, being naturally
hasty and choleric, was transported even with fury and madness. He cried
out that he would perish rather than suffer such insolence, and asked
leave to take the Guards, the officers of the Household, and even all the
courtiers he could find in the antechambers, with whom he would engage to
rout the whole mob. The Queen was greatly in favour of it, but nobody
else, and events proved that it was well they did not come into it. At
the same time entered the Chancellor, a man who had never spoken a word
of truth in his whole life; but now, his complaisance yielding to his
fear, he spoke directly according to what he had seen in the streets. I
observed that the Cardinal was startled at the boldness of a man in whom
he had never seen anything like it before. But Senneterre, coming in
just after him, removed all their apprehensions in a trice by assuring
them that the fury of the people began to cool, that they did not take
arms, and that with a little patience all would be well again.

There is nothing so dangerous as flattery at a juncture where he that is
flattered is in fear, because the desire he has not to be terrified
inclines him to believe anything that hinders him from applying any
remedy to what he is afraid of. The news that was brought every moment
made them trifle away that time which should have been employed for the
preservation of the State. Old Guitaut, a man of no great sense, but
heartily well affected, was more impatient than all the rest, and said
that he did not conceive how it was possible for people to be asleep in
the present state of affairs; he muttered something more which I could
not well hear, but it seemed to bear very hard upon the Cardinal, who
owed him no goodwill.

The Cardinal answered, "Well, M. Guitaut, what would you have us do?"

Guitaut said, very bluntly, "Let the old rogue Broussel be restored to
the people, either dead or alive."

I said that to restore him dead was inconsistent with the Queen's piety
and prudence, but to restore him alive would probably put a stop to the

At these words the Queen reddened, and cried aloud, "I understand you, M.
le Coadjutor. You would have me set Broussel at liberty; but I will
strangle him sooner with these hands,"--throwing her head as it were into
my face at the last word, "and those who--"

The Cardinal, believing that she was going to say all to me that rage
could inspire, advanced and whispered in her ear, upon which she became
composed to such a degree that, had I not known her too well, I should
have thought her at her ease. The lieutenant de police came that instant
into the Cabinet with a deadly pale aspect. I never saw fear so well and
ridiculously represented in any Italian comedy as the fright which he
appeared in before the Queen. How admirable is the sympathy of fearful
souls! Neither the Cardinal nor the Queen were much moved at what M. de
La Meilleraye had strongly urged on them, but the fears of the lieutenant
seized them like an infection, so that they were all on a sudden
metamorphosed. They ridiculed me no longer, and suffered it to be
debated whether or no it was expedient to restore Broussel to the people
before they took arms, as they had threatened to do. Here I reflected
that it is more natural to the passion of fear to consult than to

The Cardinal proposed that I, as the fittest person, should go and assure
the people that the Queen would consent to the restoration of Broussel,
provided they would disperse. I saw the snare, but could not get away
from it, the rather because Meilleraye dragged me, as it were, to go
along with him,--telling her Majesty that he would dare to appear in the
streets in my company, and that he did not question but we should do
wonders. I said that I did not doubt it either, provided the Queen would
order a promise to be drawn in due form for restoring the prisoners,
because I had not credit enough with the people to be believed upon my
bare word. They praised my modesty, Meilleraye was assured of success,
and they said the Queen's word was better than all writings whatsoever.
In a word, I was made the catspaw, and found myself under the necessity
of acting the most ridiculous part that perhaps ever fell to any man's
share. I endeavoured to reply; but the Duc d'Orleans pushed me out
gently with both hands, saying, "Go and restore peace to the State;" and
the Marshal hurried me away, the Life-guards carrying me along in their
arms, and telling me that none but myself could remedy this evil. I went
out in my rochet and camail, dealing out benedictions to the people on my
right and left, preaching obedience, exerting all my endeavours to
appease the tumult, and telling them the Queen had assured me that,
provided they would disperse, she would restore Broussel.

The violence of the Marshal hardly gave me time to express myself, for he
instantly put himself at the head of the Horse-guards, and, advancing
sword in hand, cried aloud, "God bless the King, and liberty to
Broussel!" but being seen more than he was heard, his drawn sword did
more harm than his proclaiming liberty to Broussel did good. The people
took to their arms and had an encounter with the Marshal, upon which I
threw myself into the crowd, and expecting that both sides would have
some regard to my robes and dignity, the Marshal ordered the Light-horse
to fire no more, and the citizens with whom he was engaged held their
hands; but others of them continued firing and throwing stones, by one of
which I was knocked down, and had no sooner got up than a citizen was
going to knock me down with a musket. Though I did not know his name,
yet I had the presence of mind to cry out, "Forbear, wretch; if thy
father did but see thee--" He thereupon concluded I knew his father very
well, though I had never seen him; and I believe that made him the more
curious to survey me, when, taking particular notice of my robes, he
asked me if I was the Coadjutor. Upon which I was presently made known
to the whole body, followed by the multitude which way soever I went, and
met with a body of ruffians all in arms, whom, with abundance of
flattery, caresses, entreaties, and menaces, I prevailed on to lay down
their weapons; and it was this which saved the city, for had they
continued in arms till night, the city had certainly been plundered.

I went accompanied by 30,000 or 40,000 men without arms, and met the
Marechal de La Meilleraye, who I thought would have stifled me with
embraces, and who said these very words: "I am foolhardy and brutal; I
had like to have ruined the State, and you have saved it; come, let us go
to the Queen and talk to her like true, honest Frenchmen; and let us set
down the day of the month, that when the King comes of age our testimony
may be the means of hanging up those pests of the State, those infamous
flatterers, who pretended to the Queen that this affair was but a
trifle." To the Queen he presently hurried me, and said to her, "Here is
a man that has not only saved my life, but your Guards and the whole

The Queen gave an odd smile which I did not very well like, but I would
not seem to take any notice of it, and to stop Meilleraye in his encomium
upon me, I assumed the discourse myself, and said, "Madame, we are not
come upon my account, but to tell you that the city of Paris, disarmed
and submissive, throws herself at your Majesty's feet."

"Not so submissive as guilty," replied the Queen, with a face full of
fire; "if the people were so raging as I was made to believe, how came
they to be so soon subdued?"

The Marshal fell into a passion, and said, with an oath, "Madame, an
honest man cannot flatter you when things are come to such an extremity.
If you do not set Broussel at liberty this very day, there will not be
left one stone upon another in Paris by tomorrow morning."

I was going to support what the Marshal had said, but the Queen stopped
my mouth by telling me, with an air of banter, "Go to rest, sir; you have
done a mighty piece of work."

When I returned home, I found an incredible number of people expecting
me, who forced me to get upon the top of my coach to give them an account
of what success I had had at Court. I told them that the Queen had
declared her satisfaction in their submission, and that she told me it
was the only method they could have taken for the deliverance of the
prisoners. I added other persuasives to pacify the commonalty, and they
dispersed the sooner because it was supper-time; for you must know that
the people of Paris, even those that are the busiest in all such
commotions, do not care to lose their meals.

I began to perceive that I had engaged my reputation too far in giving
the people any grounds to hope for the liberation of Broussel, though I
had particularly avoided giving them my word of honour, and I apprehended
that the Court would lay hold of this occasion to destroy me effectually
in the opinion of the people by making them believe that I acted in
concert with the Court only, to amuse and deceive them.

While I was making these and the like reflections, Montresor came and
told me that I was quite mistaken if I thought to be a great gainer by
the late expedition; that the Queen was not pleased with my proceedings,
and that the Court was persuaded that I did what lay in my power to
promote the insurrection. I confess I gave no credit to what Montresor
said, for though I saw they made a jest of me in the Queen's Cabinet, I
hoped that their malice did not go so far as to diminish the merit of the
service I had rendered, and never imagined that they could be capable of
turning it into a crime. Laigues, too, came from Court and told me that
I was publicly laughed at, and charged with having fomented the
insurrection instead of appeasing it; that I had been ridiculed two whole
hours and exposed to the smart raillery of Beautru, to the buffoonery of
Nogent, to the pleasantries of La Riviere, to the false compassion of the
Cardinal, and to the loud laughter of the Queen.

You may guess that I was not a little moved at this, but I rather felt a
slight annoyance than any transport of passion. All sorts of notions
came into my mind, and all as suddenly passed away. I sacrificed with
little or no scruple all the sweetest and brightest images which the
memory of past conspiracies presented in crowds to my mind as soon as the
ill-treatment I now publicly met with gave me reason to think that I
might with honour engage myself in new ones. The obligations I had to
her Majesty made me reject all these thoughts, though I must confess I
was brought up in them from my infancy, and Laigues and Montresor could
have never shaken my resolution either by insinuating motives or making
reproaches, if Argenteuil, a gentleman firmly attached to my interest,
had not come into my room that moment with a frightened countenance and

"You are undone; the Marechal de La Meilleraye has charged me to tell you
that he verily thinks the devil is in the courtiers, who has put it into
their heads that you have done all in your power to stir up the sedition.
The Marechal de La Meilleraye has laboured earnestly to inform the Queen
and Cardinal of the truth of the whole matter, but both have ridiculed
him for his attempt. The Marshal said he could not excuse the injury
they did you, but could not sufficiently admire the contempt they always
had for the tumult, of which they foretold the consequence as if they had
the gift of prophecy, always affirming that it would vanish in a night,
as it really has, for he hardly met a soul in the streets."

He added that fires so quickly extinguished as this were not likely to
break out again; that he conjured me to provide for my own safety; that
the King's authority would shine out the next day with all the lustre
imaginable; that the Court seemed resolved not to let slip this fatal
conjuncture, and that I was to be made the first public example.

Argenteuil said: "Villeroy did not tell me so much, because he durst not;
but he so squeezed my hand 'en passant' that I am apt to think he knows a
great deal more, and I must tell you that they have very good reason for
their apprehensions, because there is not a soul to be seen in the
streets, and to-morrow they may take up whom they list."

Montresor, who would be thought to know all things beforehand, said that
he was assured it would be so and that he had foretold it. Laigues
bewailed my conduct, which he said had raised the compassion of all my
friends, although it had been their ruin. Upon this I desired to be left
about a quarter of an hour to myself, during which, reflecting how I had
been provoked and the public threatened, my scruples vanished; I gave
rein to all my thoughts, recollected that all the glorious ideas which
have ever entered my imagination were most concerned with vast designs,
and suffered my mind to be regaled with the pleasing hopes of being the
head of a party, a position which I had always admired in Plutarch's
"Lives." The inconsistency of my scheme with my character made me
tremble. A world of incidents may happen when the virtues in the leader
of a party may be vices in an archbishop. I had this view a thousand
times, and it always gave place to the duty I thought I owed to her
Majesty, but the remembrance of what had passed at the Queen's table, and
the resolution there taken to ruin me with the public, having banished
all scruples, I joyfully determined to abandon my destiny to all the
impulses of glory. I said to my friends that the whole Court was witness
of the harsh treatment I had met with for above a year in the King's
palace, and I added: "The public is engaged to defend my honour, but the
public being now about to be sacrificed, I am obliged to defend it
against oppression. Our circumstances are not so bad as you imagine,
gentlemen, and before twelve o'clock to-morrow I shall be master of

My two friends thought I was mad, and began to counsel moderation,
whereas before they always incited me to action; but I did not give them
hearing. I immediately sent for Miron, Accountant-General, one of the
city colonels, a man of probity and courage, and having great interest
with the people. I consulted with him, and he executed his commission
with so much discretion and bravery that above four hundred considerable
citizens were posted up and down in platoons with no more noise and stir
than if so many Carthusian novices had been assembled for contemplation.
After having given orders for securing certain gates and bars of the
city, I went to sleep, and was told next morning that no soldiers had
appeared all night, except a few troopers, who just took a view of the
platoons of the citizens and then galloped off. Hence it was inferred
that our precautions had prevented the execution of the design formed
against particular persons, but it was believed there was some mischief
hatching at the Chancellor's against the public, because sergeants were
running backwards and forwards, and Ondedei went thither four times in
two hours.

Being informed soon after that the Chancellor was going to the Palace
with all the pomp of magistracy, and that two companies of Swiss Guards
approached the suburbs, I gave my orders in two words, which were
executed in two minutes. Miron ordered the citizens to take arms, and
Argenteuil, disguised as a mason, with a rule in his hand, charged the
Swiss in flank, killed twenty or thirty, dispersed the rest, and took one
of their colours. The Chancellor, hemmed in on every side, narrowly
escaped with his life to the Hotel d'O, which the people broke open,
rushed in with fury, and, as God would have it, fell immediately to
plundering, so that they forgot to force open a little chamber where both
the Chancellor and his brother, the Bishop of Meaux, to whom he was
confessing, lay concealed. The news of this occurrence ran like
wild-fire through the whole city. Men and women were immediately up in
arms, and mothers even put daggers into the hands of their children. In
less than two hours there were erected above two hundred barricades,
adorned with all the standards and colours that the League had left
entire. All the cry was, "God bless the King!" sometimes, "God bless
the Coadjutor!" and the echo was, "No Mazarin!"

The Queen sent her commands to me to use my interest to appease the
tumult. I answered the messenger, very coolly, that I had forfeited my
credit with the people on account of yesterday's transactions, and that I
did not dare to go abroad. The messenger had heard the cry of "God bless
the Coadjutor!" and would fain have persuaded me that I was the
favourite of the people, but I strove as much to convince him of the

The Court minions of the two last centuries knew not what they did when
they reduced that effectual regard which kings ought to have for their
subjects into mere style and form; for there are, as you see, certain
conjunctures in which, by a necessary consequence, subjects make a mere
form also of the real obedience which they owe to their sovereigns.

The Parliament hearing the cries of the people for Broussel, after having
ordered a decree against Cominges, lieutenant of the Queen's Guards, who
had arrested him, made it death for all who took the like commissions for
the future, and decreed that an information should be drawn up against
those who had given that advice, as disturbers of the public peace. Then
the Parliament went in a body, in their robes, to the Queen, with the
First President at their head, and amid the acclamations of the people,
who opened all their barricades to let them pass. The First President
represented to the Queen, with becoming freedom, that the royal word had
been prostituted a thousand times over by scandalous and even childish
evasions, defeating resolutions most useful and necessary for the State.
He strongly exaggerated the mighty danger of the State from the city
being all in arms; but the Queen, who feared nothing because she knew
little, flew into a passion and raved like a fury, saying, "I know too
well that there is an uproar in the city, but you Parliamentarians,
together with your wives and children, shall be answerable for it all;"
and with that she retired into another chamber and shut the door after
her with violence. The members, who numbered about one hundred and
sixty, were going down-stairs; but the First President persuaded them to
go up and try the Queen once more, and meeting with the Duc d'Orleans,
he, with a great deal of persuasion, introduced twenty of them into the
presence-chamber, where the First President made another effort with the
Queen, by setting forth the terrors of the enraged metropolis up in arms,
but she would hear nothing, and went into the little gallery.

Upon this the Cardinal advanced and proposed to surrender the prisoner,
provided the Parliament would promise to hold no more assemblies. They
were going to consider this proposal upon the spot, but, thinking that
the people would be inclined to believe that the Parliament had been
forced if they gave their votes at the Palais Royal, they resolved to
adjourn to their own House.

The Parliament, returning and saying nothing about the liberation of
Broussel, were received by the people with angry murmurs instead of with
loud acclamations. They appeased those at the first two barricades by
telling them that the Queen had promised them satisfaction; but those at
the third barricade would not be paid in that coin, for a journeyman
cook, advancing with two hundred men, pressed his halberd against the
First President, saying, "Go back, traitor, and if thou hast a mind to
save thy life, bring us Broussel, or else Mazarin and the Chancellor as

Upon this five presidents 'au mortier' and about twenty councillors fell
back into the crowd to make their escape; the First President only, the
most undaunted man of the age, continued firm and intrepid. He rallied
the members as well as he could, maintaining still the authority of a
magistrate, both in his words and behaviour, and went leisurely back to
the King's palace, through volleys of abuse, menaces, curses, and
blasphemies. He had a kind of eloquence peculiar to himself, knew
nothing of interjections, was not very exact in his speech, but the force
of it made amends for that; and being naturally bold, never spoke so well
as when he was in danger, insomuch that when he returned to the Palace he
even outdid himself, for it is certain that he moved the hearts of all
present except the Queen, who continued inflexible. The Duc d'Orleans
was going to throw himself at her feet, which four or five Princesses,
trembling with fear, actually did. The Cardinal, whom a young councillor
jestingly advised to go out into the streets and see how the people stood
affected, did at last join with the bulk of the Court, and with much ado
the Queen condescended to bid the members go and consult what was fitting
to be done, agreed to set the prisoners at liberty, restored Broussel to
the people, who carried him upon their heads with loud acclamations,
broke down their barricades, opened their shops, and in two hours Paris
was more quiet than ever I saw it upon a Good Friday.

As to the primum mobile of this revolution, it was owing to no other
cause than a deviation from the laws, which so alters the opinions of the
people that many times a faction is formed before the change is so much
as perceived.

This little reflection, with what has been said, may serve to confute
those who pretend that a faction without a head is never to be feared. It
grows up sometimes in a night. The commotion I have been speaking of,
which was so violent and lasting, did not appear to have any leader for a
whole year; but at last there rose up in one moment a much greater number
than was necessary for the party.

The morning after the barricades were removed, the Queen sent for me,
treated me with all the marks of kindness and confidence, said that if
she had hearkened to me she would not have experienced the late
disquietness; that the Cardinal was not to blame for it, but that
Chavigni had been the sole cause of her misfortunes, to whose pernicious
counsels she had paid more deference than to the Cardinal. "But; good
God!" she suddenly exclaimed, "will you not get that rogue Beautru
soundly thrashed, who has paid so little respect to your character? The
poor Cardinal was very near having it done the other night." I received
all this with more respect than credulity. She commanded me to go to the
poor Cardinal, to comfort him, and to advise him as to the best means of
quieting the populace.

I went without any scruple. He embraced me with a tenderness I am not
able to express, said there was not an honest man in France but myself,
and that all the rest were infamous flatterers, who had misled the Queen
in spite of all his and my good counsels. He protested that he would do
nothing for the future without my advice, showed me the foreign
despatches, and, in short, was so affable, that honest Broussel, who was
likewise present upon his invitation, for all his harmless simplicity,
laughed heartily as we were going out, and said that it was all mere

There being a report that the King was to be removed by the Court from
Paris, the Queen assured the 'prevot des marchands' that it was false,
and yet the very next day carried him to Ruel. From there I doubted not
that she designed to surprise the city, which seemed really astonished at
the King's departure, and I found the hottest members of the Parliament
in great consternation, and the more so because news arrived at the same
time that General Erlac--[He was Governor of Brisac, and commanded the
forces of the Duke of Weimar after the Duke's death]--had passed the
Somme with 4,000 Germans. Now, as in general disturbances one piece of
bad news seldom comes singly, five or six stories of this kind were
published at the same time, which made me think I should find it as
difficult a task to raise the spirits of the people as I had before to
restrain them. I was never so nonplussed in all my life. I saw the full
extent of the danger, and everything looked terrible. Yet the greatest
perils have their charms if never so little glory is discovered in the
prospect of ill-success, while the least dangers have nothing but horror
when defeat is attended with loss of reputation.

I used all the arguments I could to dissuade the Parliament from making
the Court desperate, at least till they had thought of some expedients to
defend themselves from its insults, to which they would inevitably have
been exposed if the Court had taken time by the forelock, in which,
perhaps, they were prevented by the unexpected return of the Prince de
Conti. I hereupon formed a resolution which gave me a great deal of
uneasiness, but which was firm, because it was the only resolution I had
to take. Extremities are always disagreeable, but are the wisest means
when absolutely necessary; the best of it is that they admit of no middle
course, and if peradventure they are good, they are always decisive.

Fortune favoured my design. The Queen ordered Chavigni to be sent
prisoner to Havre-de-Grace. I embraced this opportunity to stir up the
natural fears of his dear friend Viole, by telling him that he was a
ruined man for doing what he had done at the instigation of Chavigni;
that it was plain the King left Paris with a view to attack it, and that
he saw as well as I how much the people were dejected; that if their
spirits should be quite sunk they could never be raised; that they must
be supported; that I would influence the people; and that he should do
what he could with the Parliament, who, in my opinion, ought not to be
supine, but to be awakened at a juncture when the King's departure had
perfectly drowned their senses, adding that a word in season would
infallibly produce this good effect.

Accordingly Viole struck one of the boldest strokes that has perhaps been
heard of. He told the Parliament that it was reported Paris was to be
besieged; that troops were marching for that end, and the most faithful
servants of his late Majesty, who, it was suspected, would oppose designs
so pernicious, would be put in chains; that it was necessary for them to
address the Queen to bring the King back to Paris; and forasmuch as the
author of all these mischiefs was well known, he moved further that the
Duc d'Orleans and the officers of the Crown should be desired to come to
Parliament to deliberate upon the decree issued in 1617, on account of
Marechal d'Ancre, forbidding foreigners to intermeddle in the Government.
We thought ourselves that we had touched too high a key, but a lower note
would not have awakened or kept awake men whom fear had perfectly
stupefied. I have observed that this passion of fear has seldom that
influence upon individuals that it generally has upon the mass.

Viole's proposition at first startled, then rejoiced, and afterwards
animated those that heard it. Blancmenil, who before seemed to have no
life left in him, had now the courage to point at the Cardinal by name,
who hitherto had been described only by the designation of Minister; and
the Parliament cheerfully agreed to remonstrate with the Queen, according
to Viole's proposition, not forgetting to pray her Majesty to remove the
troops further from Paris, and not to send for the magistrates to take
orders for the security of the city.

The President Coigneux whispered to me, saying, "I have no hopes but in
you; we shall be undone if you do not work underground." I sat up
accordingly all night to prepare instructions for Saint-Ibal to treat
with the Count Fuensaldagne, and oblige him to march with the Spanish
army, in case of need, to our assistance, and was just going to send him
away to Brussels when M. de Chatillon, my friend and kinsman, who
mortally hated the Cardinal, came to tell me that the Prince de Conde
would be the next day at Ruel; that the Prince was enraged against the
Cardinal, and was sure he would ruin the State if he were let alone, and
that the Cardinal held a correspondence in cipher with a fellow in the
Prince's army whom he had corrupted, to be informed of everything done
there to his prejudice. By all this I learnt that the Prince had no
great understanding with the Court, and upon his arrival at Ruel I
ventured to go thither.

Both the Queen and the Cardinal were extremely civil, and the latter took
particular notice of the Prince's behaviour to me, who embraced me 'en
passant' in the garden, and spoke very low to me, saying that he would be
at my house next day. He kept his word, and desired me to give him an
account of the state of affairs, and when I had done so we agreed that I
should continue to push the Cardinal by means of the Parliament; that I
should take his Highness by night incognito to Longueil and Broussel, to
assure them they should not want assistance; that the Prince de Conde
should give the Queen all the marks of his respect for and attachment to
her, and make all possible reparation for the dissatisfaction he had
shown with regard to the Cardinal, that he might thereby insinuate
himself into the Queen's favour, and gradually dispose her to receive and
fallow his counsels and hear truths against which she had always stopped
her ears, and that by thus letting the Cardinal drop insensibly, rather
than fall suddenly, the Prince would find himself master of the Cabinet
with the Queer's approbation, and, with the assistance of his humble
servants in Council, arbiter of the national welfare.

The Queen, who went away from Paris to give her troops an opportunity to
starve and attack the city, told the deputies sent by Parliament to
entreat her to restore the King to Paris that she was extremely surprised
and astonished; that the King used every year at that season to take the
air, and that his health was much more to be regarded than the imaginary
fears of the people. The Prince de Conde, coming in at this juncture,
told the President and councillors, who invited him to take his seat in
Parliament, that he would not come, but obey the Queen though it should
prove his ruin. The Duc d'Orleans said that he would not be there
either, because the Parliament had made such proposals as were too bold
to be endured, and the Prince de Conti spoke after the same manner.

The next day the King's Council carried an order of Council to Parliament
to put a stop to their debates against foreigners being in the Ministry.
This so excited the Parliament that they made a remonstrance in writing,
instructed the 'prevot des marchands' to provide for the safety of the
city, ordered all other governors to keep the passages free, and resolved
next day to continue the debate against foreign ministers. I laboured
all night to ward off the fatal blow, which I was afraid would hurry the
Prince, against his will, into the arms of the Court. But when next day
came, the members inflamed one another before they sat, through the
cursed spirit of formality, and the very men who two days ago were all
fear and trembling were suddenly transported, they knew not why, from a
well-grounded fear to a blind rage, so that without reflecting that the
General had arrived whose very name made them tremble, because they
suspected him to be in the interest of the Court, they issued the said
decree, which obliged the Queen to send the Duc d'Anjou,--[Philippe of
France, only brother to King Louis XIV., afterwards Duc d'Orleans, died
suddenly at St. Cloud, in 1701.]--but just recovered from the smallpox,
and the Duchesse d'Orleans, much indisposed, out of town.

This would have begun a civil war next day had not the Prince de Conde
taken the wisest measures imaginable, though he had a very bad opinion of
the Cardinal, both upon the public account and his own, and was as little
pleased with the conduct of the Parliament, with whom there was no
dealing, either as a body or as private persons. The Prince kept an even
pace between the Court and country factions, and he said these words to
me, which I can never forget:

"Mazarin does not know what he is doing, and will ruin the State if care
be not taken; the Parliament really goes on too fast, as you said they
would; if they did but manage according to our scheme, we should be able
to settle our own business and that of the public, too; they act with
precipitation, and were I to do so, it is probable I should gain more by
it than they. But I am Louis de Bourbon, and will not endanger the
State. Are those devils in square caps mad to force me either to begin a
civil war tomorrow or to ruin every man of them, and set over our heads a
Sicilian vagabond who will destroy us all at last?"

In fine, the Prince proposed to set out immediately for Ruel to divert
the Court from their project of attacking Paris, and to propose to the
Queen that the Duc d'Orleans and himself should write to the Parliament
to send deputies to confer about means to relieve the necessities of the
State. The Prince saw that I was so overcome at this proposal that he
said to me with tenderness, "How different you are from the man you are
represented to be at Court! Would to God that all those rogues in the
Ministry were but as well inclined as you!"

I told the Prince that, considering how the minds of the Parliament were
embittered, I doubted whether they would care to confer with the
Cardinal; that his Highness would gain a considerable point if he could
prevail with the Court not to insist upon the necessity of the Cardinal's
presence, because then all the honour of the arrangement, in which the
Duc d'Orleans, as usual, would only be as a cipher, would redound to him,
and that such exclusion of the Cardinal would disgrace his Ministry to
the last degree, and be a very proper preface to the blow which the
Prince designed to give him in the Cabinet.

The Prince profited by the hint, so that the Parliament returned answer
that they would send deputies to confer with the Princes only, which last
words the Prince artfully laid hold of and advised Mazarin not to expose
himself by coming to the conference against the Parliament's consent, but
rather, like a wise man, to make a virtue of the present necessity. This
was a cruel blow to the Cardinal, who ever since the decease of the late
King had been recognised as Prime Minister of France; and the
consequences were equally disastrous.

The deputies being accordingly admitted to a conference with the Duc
d'Orleans, the Princes de Conde and Conti and M. de Longueville, the
First President, Viole, who had moved in Parliament that the decree might
be renewed for excluding foreigners from the Ministry, inveighed against
the imprisonment of M. de Chavigni; who was no member, yet the President
insisted upon his being set at liberty, because, according to the laws of
the realm, no person ought to be detained in custody above twenty-four
hours without examination. This occasioned a considerable debate, and
the Duc d'Orldans, provoked at this expression, said that the President's
aim was to cramp the royal authority. Nevertheless the latter vigorously
maintained his argument, and was unanimously seconded by all the
deputies, for which they were next day applauded in Parliament. In
short, the thing was pushed so far that the Queen was obliged to consent
to a declaration that for the future no man whatever should be detained
in prison above three days without being examined. By this means
Chavigni was set at liberty. Several other conferences were held, in
which the Chancellor treated the First President of the Parliament with a
sort of contempt that was almost brutal. Nevertheless the Parliament
carried all before them.

In October, 1648, the Parliament adjourned, and the Queen soon after
returned to Paris with the King.

The Cardinal, who aimed at nothing more than to ruin my credit with the
people, sent me 4,000 crowns as a present from the Queen, for the
services which she said I intended her on the day of the barricade; and
who, think you, should be the messenger to bring it but my friend the
Marechal de La Meilleraye, the man who before warned me of the sinister
intentions of the Court, and who now was so credulous as to believe that
I was their favourite, because the Cardinal was pleased to say how much
he was concerned for the injustice he had done me; which I only mention
to remark that those people over whom the Court has once got an
ascendency cannot help believing whatever they would have them believe,
and the ministers only are to blame if they do not deceive them. But I
would not be persuaded by the Marshal as he had been by the Cardinal, and
therefore I refused the said sum very civilly, and, I am sure, with as
much sincerity as the Court offered it.

But the Cardinal laid another trap for me that I was not aware of,--by
tempting me with the proffer of the Government of Paris; and when I had
shown a willingness to accept it, he found means to break off the treaty
I was making for that purpose with the Prince de Guemende, who had the
reversion of it, and then represented me to the people as one who only
sought my own interest. Instead of profiting by this blunder, which I
might have done to my own advantage, I added another to it, and said all
that rage could prompt me against the Cardinal to one who told it to him

To return now to public affairs. About the feast of Saint Martin the
people were so excited that they seemed as if they had been all
intoxicated with gathering in the vintage; and you are now going to be
entertained with scenes in comparison to which the past are but trifles.

There is no affair but has its critical minute, which a bold
statesmanship knows how to lay hold of, and which, if missed, especially
in the revolution of kingdoms, you run the great risk of losing

Every one now found their advantage in the declaration,--that is, if they
understood their own interest. The Parliament had the honour of
reestablishing public order. The Princes, too, had their share in this
honour, and the first-fruits of it, which were respect and security. The
people had a considerable comfort in it, by being eased of a load of
above sixty millions; and if the Cardinal had had but the sense to make a
virtue of necessity, which is one of the most necessary qualifications of
a minister of State, he might, by an advantage always inseparable from
favourites, have appropriated to himself the greatest part of the merit,
even of those things he had most opposed.

But these advantages were all lost through the most trivial
considerations. The people, upon the discontinuation of the
Parliamentary assemblies, resumed their savage temper, and were scared by
the approach of a few troops at which it was ridiculous to take the least
umbrage. The Parliament was too apt to give ear to every groundless tale
of the non-execution of their declarations. The Duc d'Orleans saw all
the good he was capable of doing and part of the evil he had power to
prevent, but neither was strong enough to influence his fearful temper;
he was unconscious of the coming and fatal blow. The Prince de Conde,
who saw the evil to its full extent, was too courageous by nature to fear
the consequences; he was inclined to do good, but would do it only in his
own way. His age, his humour, and his victories hindered him from
associating patience with activity, nor was he acquainted, unfortunately,
with this maxim so necessary for princes,--"always to sacrifice the
little affairs to the greater;" and the Cardinal, being ignorant of our
ways, daily confounded the most weighty with the most trifling.

The Parliament, who met on the 2d of January, 1649, resolved to enforce
the execution of the declaration, which, they pretended, had been
infringed in all its articles; and the Queen was resolved to retire from
Paris with the King and the whole Court. The Queen was guided by the
Cardinal, and the Duc d'Orleans by La Riviere, the most sordid and
self-interested man of the age in which he lived. As for the Prince de
Conde, he began to be disgusted with the unseasonable proceedings of the
Parliament almost as soon as he had concerted measures with Broussel and
Longueil, which distaste, joined to the kindly attentions of the Queen,
the apparent submission of the Cardinal, and an hereditary inclination
received from his parents to keep well with the Court, cramped the
resolutions of his great soul. I bewailed this change in his behaviour
both for my own and the public account, but much more for his sake. I
loved him as much as I honoured him, and clearly saw the precipice.

I had divers conferences with him, in which I found that his disgust was
turned into wrath and indignation. He swore there was no bearing with
the insolence and impertinence of those citizens who struck at the royal
authority; that as long as he thought they aimed only at Mazarin he was
on their side; that I myself had often confessed that no certain measures
could be concerted with men who changed their opinions every quarter of
an hour; that he could never condescend to be General of an army of
fools, with whom no wise man would entrust himself; besides that, he was
a Prince of the blood, and would not be instrumental in giving a shock to
the Throne; and that the Parliament might thank themselves if they were
ruined through not observing the measures agreed on.

This was the substance of my answer: "No men are more bound by interest
than the Parliament to maintain the royal authority, so that they cannot
be thought to have a design to ruin the State, though their proceedings
may have a tendency that way. It must be owned, therefore, that if the
sovereign people do evil, it is only when they are not able to act as
well as they would. A skilful minister, who knows how to manage large
bodies of men as well as individuals, keeps up such a due balance between
the Prince's authority and the people's obedience as to make all things
succeed and prosper. But the present Prime Minister has neither judgment
nor strength to adjust the pendulum of this State clock, the springs of
which are out of order. His business is to make it go slower, which, I
own, he attempts to do, but very awkwardly, because he has not the brains
for it. In this lies the fault of our machine. Your Highness is in the
right to set about the mending of it, because nobody else is capable of
doing it; but in order to do this must you join with those that would
knock it in pieces?

"You are convinced of the Cardinal's extravagances, and that his only
view is to establish in France a form of government known nowhere but in
Italy. If he should succeed, will the State be a gainer by it, according
to its only true maxims? Would it be an advantage to the Princes of the
blood in any sense? But, besides, has he any likelihood of succeeding?
Is he not loaded with the odium and contempt of the public? and is not
the Parliament the idol they revere? I know you despise them because the
Court is so well armed, but let me tell you that they are so confident of
their power that they feel their importance. They are come to that pass
that they do not value your forces, and though the evil is that at
present their strength consists only in their imagination, yet a time may
come when they may be able to do whatever they now think it in their
power to do.

"Your Highness lately told me that this disposition of the people was
only smoke; but be assured that smoke so dark and thick proceeds from a
brisk fire, which the Parliament blows, and, though they mean well, may
blaze up into such a flame as may consume themselves and again hazard the
destruction of the State, which has been the case more than once. Bodies
of men, when once exasperated by a Ministry, always aggravate their
failures, and scarcely ever show them any favour, which, in some cases,
is enough to ruin a kingdom.

"If, when the proposition was formerly made to the Parliament by the
Cardinal to declare whether they intended to set bounds to the royal
authority, if, I say, they had not wisely eluded the ridiculous and
dangerous question, France would have run a great risk, in my opinion, of
being entirely ruined; for had they answered in the affirmative, as they
were on the point of doing, they would have rent the veil that covers the
mysteries of State. Every monarchy has its peculiar veil; that of France
consists in a kind of religious and sacred silence, which, by the
subjects generally paying a blind obedience to their Kings, muffles up
that right which they think they have to dispense with their obedience in
cases where a complaisance to their Kings would be a prejudice to
themselves. It is a wonder that the Parliament did not strip off this
veil by a formal decree. This has had much worse consequences since the
people have taken the liberty to look through it.

"Your Highness cannot by the force of arms prevent these dangerous
consequences, which, perhaps, are already too near at hand. You see that
even the Parliament can hardly restrain the people whom they have roused;
that the contagion is spread into the provinces, and you know that
Guienne and Provence are entirely governed by the example of Paris. Every
thing shakes and totters, and it is your Highness only that can set us
right, because of the splendour of your birth and reputation, and the
generally received opinion that none but you can do it.

"The Queen shares with the Cardinal in the common hatred, and the Duc
d'Orleans with La Riviere in the universal contempt of the people. If,
out of mere complaisance, you abet their measures, you will share in the
hatred of the public. It is true that you are above their contempt; but
then their dread of you will be so great that it will grievously embitter
the hatred they will then bear to you, and the contempt they have already
for the others, so that what is at present only a serious wound in the
State will perhaps become incurable and mortal. I am sensible you have
grounds to be diffident of the behaviour of a body consisting of above
two hundred persons, who are neither capable of governing nor being
governed. I own the thought is perplexing; but such favourable
circumstances seem to offer themselves at this juncture that matters are
much simplified.

"Supposing that manifestoes were published, and your Highness declared
General of the Parliamentary Army, would you, monseigneur, meet with
greater difficulties than your grandfather and great-grandfather did, in
accommodating themselves to the caprice of the ministers of Rochelle and
the mayors of Nimes and Montauban? And would your Highness find it a
greater task to manage the Parliament of Paris than M. de Mayenne did in
the time of the League, when there was a factious opposition made to all
the measures of the Parliament? Your birth and merit raise you as far
above M. de Mayenne as the cause in hand is above that of the League; and
the circumstances of both are no less different. The head of the League
declared war by an open and public alliance with Spain against the Crown,
and against one of the best and bravest kings that France ever had. And
this head of the League, though descended from a foreign and suspected
family, kept, notwithstanding, that same Parliament in his interest for a
considerable time.

"You have consulted but two members of the whole Parliament, and them
only upon their promise to disclose your intentions to no man living. How
then can your Highness think it possible that your sentiments, locked up
so closely in the breasts of two members, can have any influence upon the
whole body of the Parliament? I dare answer for it, monseigneur, that if
you will but declare yourself openly the protector of the public and of
the sovereign companies, you might govern them--at least, for a
considerable time--with an absolute and almost sovereign authority. But
this, it seems, is not what you have in view; you are not willing to
embroil yourself with the Court. You had rather be of the Cabinet than
of a party. Do not take it ill, then, that men who consider you only in
this light do not conduct themselves as you would like. You ought to
conform your measures to theirs, because theirs are moderate; and you may
safely do it, for the Cardinal can hardly stand under the heavy weight of
the public hatred, and is too weak to oblige you against your will to any
sudden and precipitate rupture. La Riviere, who governs the Duc
d'Orleans, is a most dangerous man. Continue, then, to introduce
moderate measures, and let them take their course, according to your
first plan. Is a little more or less heat in Parliamentary proceedings
sufficient reason to make you alter it? For whatever be the consequence,
the worst that can happen is that the Queen may believe you not zealous
enough for her interest; but are there not remedies enough for that? Are
there not excuses and appearances ready at hand, and such as cannot fail?

"And now, I pray your Highness to give me leave to add that there never
was so excellent, so innocent, so sacred, and so necessary a project as
this formed by your Highness, and, in my humble opinion, there never were
such weak reasons as those you have now urged to hinder its execution;
for I take this to be the weakest of all, which, perhaps, you think a
very strong one, namely, that if Mazarin miscarries in his designs you
may be ruined along with him; and if he does succeed he will destroy you
by the very means which you took to raise him."

It had not the intended effect on the Prince, who was already
prepossessed, and who only answered me in general terms. But heroes have
their faults as well as other men, and so had his Highness, who had one
of the finest geniuses in the world, but little or no forethought. He
did not seek to aggravate matters in order to render himself necessary at
Court, or with a view to do what he afterwards did for the Cardinal, nor
was he biassed by the mean interests of pension, government, and
establishment. He had most certainly great hopes of being arbiter of the
Cabinet. The glory of being restorer of the public peace was his first
end in view, and being the conservator of the royal authority the second.
Those who labour under such an imperfection, though they see clearly the
advantages and disadvantages of both parties, know not which to choose,
because they do not weigh them in the same balance, so that the same
thing appears lightest today which they will think heaviest to-morrow.
This was the case of the Prince, who, it must be owned, if he had carried
on his good design with prudence, certainly would have reestablished the
Government upon a lasting foundation.

He told me more than once, in an angry mood, that if the Parliament went
on at the old rate he would teach them that it would be no great task to
reduce them to reason. I perceived by his talk that the Court had
resumed the design of besieging Paris; and to be the more satisfied of it
I told him that the Cardinal might easily be disappointed in his
measures, and that he would find Paris to be a very tough morsel.

"It shall not be taken," he said, "like Dunkirk, by mines and storming;
but suppose its bread from Gonesse should be cut off for eight days

I took this statement then for granted, and replied that the stopping of
that passage would be attended with difficulties.

"What difficulties?" asked the Prince, very briskly. "The citizens? Will
they come out to give battle?"

"If it were only citizens, monseigneur," I said, "the battle would not be
very sharp."

"Who will be with them?" he replied; "will you be there yourself?"

"That would be a very bad omen," I said; "it would look too much like the
proceedings of the League."

After a little pause, he said, "But now, to be serious, would you be so
foolish as to embark with those men?"

"You know, monseigneur," I said, "that I am engaged already; and that,
moreover, as Coadjutor of Paris, I am concerned both by honour and
interest in its preservation. I shall be your Highness's humble servant
as long as I live, except in this one point."

I saw he was touched to the quick, but he kept his temper, and said these
very words: "When you engage in a bad cause I will pity you, but shall
have no reason to complain of you. Nor do you complain of me; but do me
that justice you owe me, namely, to own that all I promised to Longueil
and Broussel is since annulled by the conduct of the Parliament."

He afterwards showed me many personal favours, and offered to make my
peace with the Court. I assured him of my obedience and zeal for his
service in everything that did not interfere with the engagements I had
entered into, which, as he himself owned, I could not possibly avoid.

After we parted I paid a visit to Madame de Longueville, who seemed
enraged both against the Court and the Prince de Conde. I was pleased to
think, moreover, that she could do what she would with the Prince de
Conti, who was little better than a child; but then I considered that
this child was a Prince of the blood, and it was only a name we wanted to
give life to that which, without one, was a mere embryo. I could answer
for M. de Longueville, who loved to be the first man in any public
revolution, and I was as well assured of Marechal de La Mothe,--[Philippe
de La Mothe-Houdancourt, deceased 1657.]--who was madly opposed to the
Court, and had been inviolably attached to M. de Longueville for twenty
years together. I saw that the Duc de Bouillon, through the injustice
done him by the Court and the unfortunate state of his domestic affairs,
was very much annoyed and almost desperate. I had an eye upon all these
gentlemen at a distance, but thought neither of them fit to open the
drama. M. de Longueville was only fit for the second act; the Marechal
de La Mothe was a good soldier, but had no headpiece, and was therefore
not qualified for the first act. M. de Bouillon was my man, had not his
honesty been more problematic than his talents. You will not wonder that
I was so wavering in my choice, and that I fixed at last upon the Prince
de Conti, of the blood of France.

As soon as I gave Madame de Longueville a hint of what part she was to
act in the intended revolution, she was perfectly transported, and I took
care to make M. de Longueville as great a malcontent as herself. She had
wit and beauty, though smallpox had taken away the bloom of her pretty
face, in which there sat charms so powerful that they rendered her one of
the most amiable persons in France. I could have placed her in my heart
between Mesdames de Gudmenee and Pommereux, and it was not the despair of
succeeding that palled my passion, but the consideration that the
benefice was not yet vacant, though not well served,--M. de La
Rochefoucault was in possession, yet absent in Poitou. I sent her three
or four billets-doux every day, and received as many. I went very often
to her levee to be more at liberty to talk of affairs, got extraordinary
advantages by it, and I knew that it was the only way to be sure of the
Prince de Conti.

Having settled a regular correspondence with Madame de Longueville, she
made me better acquainted with M. de La Rochefoucault, who made the
Prince de Conti believe that he spoke a good word for him to the lady,
his sister, with whom he was in, love. And the two so blinded the Prince
that he did not suspect anything till four years after.

When I saw that the Court would act upon their own initiative, I resolved
to declare war against them and attack Mazarin in person, because
otherwise we could not escape being first attacked by him.

It is certain that he gave his enemies such an advantage over him as no
other Prime Minister ever did. Power commonly keeps above ridicule, but
everybody laughed at the Cardinal because of his silly sayings and
doings, which those in his position are seldom guilty of. It was said
that he had lately asked Bougeval, deputy of the Grand Council, whether
he did not think himself obliged to have no buttons to the collar of his
doublet, if the King should command it,--a grave argument to convince the
deputies of an important company of the obedience due to kings, for which
he was severely lampooned both in prose and verse.

The Court having attempted to legalise excessive usury,--I mean with
respect to the affair of loans,--my dignity would not permit me to
tolerate so public and scandalous an evil. Therefore I held an assembly
of the clergy, where, without so much as mentioning the Cardinal's name
in the conferences, in which I rather affected to spare him, yet in a
week's time I made him pass for one of the most obstinate Jews in Europe.

At this very time I was sent for, by a civil letter under the Queen's own
hand, to repair to Saint Germain, the messenger telling me the King was
just gone thither and that the army was commanded to advance. I made him
believe I would obey the summons, but I did not intend to do so.

I was pestered for five hours with a parcel of idle rumours of ruin and
destruction, which rather diverted than alarmed me, for though the Prince
de Conde, distrusting his brother the Prince de Conti, had surprised him
in bed and carried him off with him to Saint Germain, yet I did not
question but that, as long as Madame de Longueville stayed in Paris, we
should see him again, the rather because his brother neither feared nor
valued him sufficiently to put him under arrest, and I was assured that
M. de Longueville would be in Paris that evening by having received a
letter from himself.

The King was no sooner gone than the Parliament met, frightened out of
their senses, and I know not what they could have done if we had not
found a way to change their fears into a resolution to make a bold stand.
I have observed a thousand times that there are some kinds of fear only
to be removed by higher degrees of terror. I caused it to be signified
to the Parliament that there was in the Hotel de Ville a letter from his
Majesty to the magistrates, containing the reasons that had obliged him
to leave his good city of Paris, which were in effect that some of the
officers of the House held a correspondence with the enemies of the
Government, and had conspired to seize his person.

The Parliament, considering this letter and that the President le Feron,
'prevot des marchands', was a creature of the Court, ordered the citizens
to arms, the gates to be secured, and the 'prevot des marchands' and the
'lieutenant de police' to keep open the necessary passages for

Having thought it good policy that the first public step of resistance
should be taken by the Parliament to justify the disobedience of private
persons, I then invented this stratagem to render me the more excusable
to the Queen for not going to Saint Germain. Having taken leave of all
friends and rejected all their entreaties for my stay in Paris, I took
coach as if I were driving to Court, but, by good luck, met with an
eminent timber-merchant, a very good friend of mine, at the end of
Notre-Dame Street, who was very much out of humour, set upon my
postilion, and threatened my coachman. The people came and overturned my
coach, and the women, shrieking, carried me back to my own house.

I wrote to the Queen and Prince, signifying how sorry I was that I had
met with such a stoppage; but the Queen treated the messenger with scorn
and contempt. The Prince, at the same time that he pitied me, could not
help showing his anger. La Riviere attacked me with railleries and
invectives, and the messenger thought they were sure of putting the rope
about all our necks on the morrow.

I was not so much alarmed at their menaces as at the news I heard the
same day that M. de Longueville, returning from Rouen, had turned off to
Saint Germain. Marechal de La Mothe told me twenty times that he would
do everything to the letter that M. de Longueville would have him do for
or against the Court. M. de Bouillon quarrelled with me for confiding in
men who acted so contrary to the repeated assurances I had given him of
their good behaviour. And besides all this, Madame de Longueville
protested to me that she had received no news from M. de La
Rochefoucault, who went soon after the King, with a design to fortify the
Prince de Conti in his resolution and to bring him back to Paris. Upon
this I sent the Marquis de Noirmoutier to Saint Germain to learn what we
had to trust to.

On the 7th of January, 1649, an order was sent from the King to the
Parliament to remove to Montargis, to the Chamber of Accounts to adjourn
to Orleans and to the Grand Council to retire to Mantes. A packet was
also sent to the Parliament, which they would not open, because they
guessed at the contents and were resolved beforehand not to obey.
Therefore they returned it sealed up as it came, and agreed to send
assurances of their obedience to the Queen, and to beg she would give
them leave to clear themselves from the aspersion thrown upon them in the
letter above mentioned sent to the chief magistrate of the city. And to
support the dignity of Parliament it was further resolved that her
Majesty should be petitioned in a most humble manner to name the
calumniators, that they might be proceeded against according to law. At
the same time Broussel, Viole, Amelot, and seven others moved that it
might be demanded in form that Cardinal Mazarin should be removed; but
they were not supported by anybody else, so that they were treated as
enthusiasts. Although this was a juncture in which it was more necessary
than ever to act with vigour, yet I do not remember the time when I have
beheld so much faintheartedness.

The Chamber of Accounts immediately set about making remonstrances; but
the Grand Council would have obeyed the King's orders, only the city
refused them passports. I think this was one of the most gloomy days I
had as yet seen. I found the Parliament had almost lost all their
spirit, and that I should be obliged to bow my neck under the most
shameful and dangerous yoke of slavery, or be reduced to the dire
necessity of setting up for tribune of the people, which is the most
uncertain and meanest of all posts when it is not vested with sufficient

The weakness of the Prince de Conti, who was led like a child by his
brother, the cowardice of M. de Longueville, who had been to offer his
service to the Queen, and the declaration of MM. de Bouillon and de La
Mothe had mightily disfigured my tribuneship. But the folly of Mazarin
raised its reputation, for he made the Queen refuse audience to the
King's Council, who returned that night to Paris, fully convinced that
the Court was resolved to push things to extremity.

I was informed from Saint Germain that the Prince had assured the Queen
he would take Paris in a fortnight, and they hoped that the
discontinuance of two markets only would starve the city into a
surrender. I carried this news to my, friends, who began to see that
there was no possibility, of accommodation.

The Parliament was no sooner acquainted that the King's Council had been
denied audience than with one voice--Bernai excepted, who was fitter for
a cook than a councillor--they passed that famous decree of January 8th,
1649, whereby Cardinal Mazarin was declared an enemy to the King and
Government, a disturber of the public peace, and all the King's subjects
were enjoined to attack him without mercy.

In the afternoon there was a general council of the deputies of
Parliament, of the Chamber of Accounts, of the Court of Aids, the chief
magistrates of Paris, and the six trading companies, wherein it was
resolved that the magistrates should issue commissions for raising 4,000
horse and 10,000 foot. The same day the Chamber of Accounts, the Court
of Aids, and the city sent their deputies to the Queen, to beseech her
Majesty to bring the King back to Paris, but the Court was obdurate. The
Prince de Conde flew out against the Parliament in the Queen's presence;
and her Majesty told them all that neither the King nor herself would
ever come again within the walls of the city till the Parliament was gone
out of it.

The next day the city received a letter from the King commanding them to
oblige the Parliament to remove to Montargis. The governor, one of the
sheriffs, and four councillors of the city carried the letter to
Parliament, protesting at the same time that they would obey no other
orders than those of the Parliament, who that very morning settled the
necessary funds for raising troops. In the afternoon there was a general
council, wherein all the corporations of the city and all the colonels
and captains of the several quarters entered into an association,
confirmed by an oath, for their mutual defence. In the meantime I was
informed by the Marquis de Noirmoutier that the Prince de Conti and M. de
Longueville were very well disposed, and that they stayed at Court the
longer to have a safer opportunity of coming away. M. de La
Rochefoucault wrote to the same purpose to Madame de Longueville.

The same day I had a visit from the Duc d'Elbeuf,--[Charles de Lorraine,
the second of that name, who died 1657.]--who, as they said, having
missed a dinner at Court, came to Paris for a supper. He addressed me
with all the cajoling flattery of the House of Guise, and had three
children with him, who were not so eloquent, but seemed to be quite as
cunning as himself. He told me that he was going to offer his service to
the Hotel de Ville; but I advised him to wait upon the Parliament. He
was fixed in his first resolution, yet he came to assure me he would
follow my advice in everything. I was afraid that the Parisians, to whom
the very name of a Prince of Lorraine is dear, would have given him the
command of the troops. Therefore I ordered the clergy over whom I had
influence to insinuate to the people that he was too influential with the
Abbe de La Riviere, and I showed the Parliament what respect he had for
them by addressing himself to the Hotel de Ville in the first place, and
that he had not honour enough to be trusted. I was shown a letter which
he wrote to his friend as he came into town, in which were these words:
"I must go and do homage to the Coadjutor now, but in three days' time he
shall return it to me." And I knew from other instances that his
affection for me was of the feeblest.

While I was reflecting what to do, news was brought to me before daylight
that the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville were at the gate of Saint
Honord and denied entrance by the people, who feared they came to betray
the city. I immediately fetched honest Broussel, and, taking some
torches to light us, we posted to the said gate through a prodigious
crowd of people; it was broad daylight before we could persuade the
people that they might safely let them in.

The great difficulty now was how to manage so as to remove the general
distrust of the Prince de Conti that existed among the people. That
which was practicable the night before was rendered impossible and even
ruinous the next day, and this same Duc d'Elbeuf, whom I thought to have
driven out of Paris on the 9th, was in a fair way to have compelled me to
leave on the 10th if he had played his game well, so suspected was the
name of Conde by the people. As there wanted a little time to reconcile
them, I thought it was our only way to keep fair with M. d'Elbeuf and to
convince him that it would be to his interest to join with the Prince de
Conti and M. de Longueville. I accordingly sent to acquaint him that I
intended him a visit, but when I arrived he was gone to the Parliament,
where the First President, who was against removing to Montargis and at
the same time very averse to a civil war, embraced him, and, without
giving the members time to consider what was urged by Broussel, Viole,
and others to the contrary, caused him to be declared General, with a
design merely to divide and weaken the party.

Upon this I made haste to the Palace of Longueville to persuade the
Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville to go that very instant to the
Parliament House. The latter was never in haste, and the Prince having
gone tired to bed, it was with much ado I prevailed on him to rise. In
short, he was so long in setting out that the Parliament was up and M.
d'Elbeuf was marching to the Hotel de Ville to be sworn and to take care
of the commissions that were to be issued. I thereupon persuaded the
Prince de Conti to go to the Parliament in the afternoon and to offer
them his service, while I stayed without in the hall to observe the
disposition of the people.

He went thither accordingly in my coach and with my grand livery, by
which he made it appear that he reposed his confidence entirely in the
people, whom there is a necessity of managing with a world of precaution
because of their natural diffidence and instability. When we came to the
House we were saluted upon the stairs with "God bless the Coadjutor!"
but, except those posted there on purpose, not a soul cried, "God bless
the Prince de Conti!" from which I concluded that the bulk of the people
were not yet cured of their diffidence, and therefore I was very glad
when I had got the Prince into the Grand Chamber. The moment after, M.
d'Elbeuf came in with the city guards, who attended him as general, and
with all the people crying out, "God bless his Highness M. d'Elbeuf!" But
as they cried at the same time "God save the Coadjutor!" I addressed
myself to him with a smile and said, "This is an echo, monsieur, which
does me a great deal of honour."--"It is very kind of you," said he, and,
turning to the guards, bade them stay at the door of the Grand Chamber. I
took the order as given to myself, and stayed there likewise, with a
great number of my friends. As soon as the House was formed, the Prince
de Conti stood up and said that, having been made acquainted at Saint
Germain with the pernicious counsels given to the Queen, he thought
himself obliged, as Prince of the blood, to oppose them. M. d'Elbeuf,
who was proud and insolent, like all weak men, because he thought he had
the strongest party, said he knew the respect due to the Prince de Conti,
but that he could not forbear telling them that it was himself who first
broke the ice and offered his service to the Parliament, who, having
conferred the General's baton upon him, he would never part with it but
with his life.

The generality of the members, who were as distrustful of the Prince de
Conti as the people, applauded this declaration, and the Parliament
passed a decree forbidding the troops on pain of high treason to advance
within twenty miles of Paris. I saw that all I could do that day was to
reconduct the Prince de Conti in safety to the palace of Longueville, for
the crowd was so great that I was fain to carry him, as it were, in my
arms out of the Grand Chamber.

M. d'Elbeuf, who thought the day was all his own, hearing my name joined
with his in the huzzas of the people, said to me by way of reprisal,
"This, monsieur, is an echo which does me a great deal of honour," to
which I replied, as he did to me before, "Monsieur, it is very kind of
you." Meantime he was not wise enough to improve the opportunity, and I
foresaw that things would soon take another turn, for reputation of long
standing among the people never fails to blast the tender blossoms of
public good-will which are forced out of due season.

I had news sent to me from Madame de Lesdiguieres at Saint Germain, that
M. d'Elbeuf, an hour after he heard of the arrival of the Prince de Conti
and M. de Longueville at Paris, wrote a letter to the Abbe de la Riviere
with these words: "Tell the Queen and the Duc d'Orleans that this
diabolical Coadjutor is the ruin of everything here, and that in two days
I shall have no power at all, but that if they will be kind to me I will
make them sensible. I am not come hither with so bad a design as they
imagine." I made a very good use of this advice, and, knowing that the
people are generally fond of everything that seems mysterious, I imparted
the secret to four or five hundred persons. I had the pleasure to hear
that the confidence which the Prince had reposed in the people by going
about all alone in my coach, without any attendance, had won their

At midnight M. de Longueville, Marechal de La Mothe, and myself went to
M. de Bouillon, whom we found as wavering as the state of affairs, but
when we showed him our plan, and how easily it might be executed, he
joined us immediately. We concerted measures, and I gave out orders to
all the colonels and captains of my acquaintance.

The most dangerous blow that I gave to M. d'Elbeuf was by making the
people believe that he held correspondence with the King's troops, who on
the 9th, at night, surprised Charenton. I met him on the first report of
it, when he said, "Would you think there are people so wicked as to say
that I had a hand in the capture of Charenton?" I said in answer, "Would
you think there are people vile enough to report that the Prince de Conti
is come hither by concert with the Prince de Conde?"

When I saw the people pretty well cured of their diffidence, and not so
zealous as they were for M. d'Elbeuf, I was for mincing the matter no
longer, and thought that ostentation would be as proper to-day as reserve
was yesterday. The Prince de Conti took M. de Longueville to the
Parliament House, where he offered them his services, together with all
Normandy, and desired they would accept of his wife, son, and daughter,
and keep them in the Hotel de Ville as pledges of his sincerity. He was
seconded by M. de Bouillon, who said he was exceedingly glad to serve the
Parliament under the command of so great a Prince as the Prince de Conti.
M. d'Elbeuf was nettled at this expression, and repeated what he had said
before, that he would not part with the General's staff, and he showed
more warmth than judgment in the whole debate. He spoke nothing to the
purpose. It was too late to dispute, and he was obliged to yield, but I
have observed that fools yield only when they cannot help it. We tried
his patience a third time by the appearance of Marechal de La Mothe, who
passed the same compliment upon the company as De Bouillon had done. We
had concerted beforehand that these personages should make their
appearance upon the theatre one after the other, for we had remarked that
nothing so much affects the people, and even the Parliament, among whom
the people are a majority, as a variety of scenes.

I took Madame de Longueville and Madame de Bouillon in a coach by way of
triumph to the Hotel de Ville. They were both of rare beauty, and
appeared the more charming because of a careless air, the more becoming
to both because it was unaffected. Each held one of her children,
beautiful as the mother, in her arms. The place was so full of people
that the very tops of the houses were crowded; all the men shouted and
the women wept for joy and affection. I threw five hundred pistoles out
of the window of the Hotel de Ville, and went again to the Parliament
House, accompanied by a vast number of people, some with arms and others
without. M. d'Elbeuf's captain of the guards told his master that he was
ruined to all intents and purposes if he did not accommodate himself to
the present position of affairs, which was the reason that I found him
much perplexed and dejected, especially when M. de Bellievre, who had
amused him hitherto designedly, came in and asked what meant the beating
of the drums. I answered that he would hear more very soon, and that all
honest men were quite out of patience with those that sowed divisions
among the people. I saw then that wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing
without courage. M. d'Elbeuf had little courage at this juncture, made a
ridiculous explanation of what he had said before, and granted more than
he was desired to do, and it was owing to the civility and good sense of
M. de Bouillon that he retained the title of General and the precedence
of M. de Bouillon and M. de La Mothe, who were equally Generals with
himself under the Prince de Conti, who was from that instant declared
Generalissimo of the King's forces under the direction of the Parliament.

There happened at this time a comical scene in the Hotel de Ville, which
I mention more particularly because of its consequence. De Noirmoutier,
who the night before was made lieutenant-general, returning by the Hotel
de Ville from a sally which he had made into the suburbs to drive away
Mazarin's skirmishers, as they were called, entered with three officers
in armour into the chamber of Madame de Longueville, which was full of
ladies; the mixture of blue scarfs, ladies, cuirassiers, fiddlers, and
trumpeters in and about the hall was such a sight as is seldom met with
but in romances. De Noirmoutier, who was a great admirer of Astrea, said
he imagined that we were besieged in Marcilli. "Well you may," said I;
"Madame de Longueville is as fair as Galatea, but Marsillac (son of M. de
La Rochefoucault) is not a man of so much honour as Lindamore." I fancy
I was overheard by one in a neighbouring window, who might have told M.
de La Rochefoucault, for otherwise I cannot guess at the first cause of
the hatred which he afterwards bore me.

Before I proceed to give you the detail of the civil war, suffer me to
lead you into the gallery where you, who are an admirer of fine painting,
will be entertained with the figures of the chief actors, drawn all at
length in their proper colours, and you will be able to judge by the
history whether they are painted to the life. Let us begin, as it is but
just, with her Majesty.

Character of the Queen.

The Queen excelled in that kind of wit which was becoming her circle, to
the end that she might not appear silly before strangers; she was more
ill-natured than proud, had more pride than real grandeur, and more show
than substance; she loved money too well to be liberal, and her own
interest too well to be impartial; she was more constant than passionate
as a lover, more implacable than cruel, and more mindful of injuries than
of good offices. She had more of the pious intention than of real piety,
more obstinacy than well-grounded resolution, and a greater measure of
incapacity than of all the rest.

Character of the Duc d' Orleans.

The Duc d'Orleans possessed all the good qualities requisite for a man of
honour except courage, but having not one quality eminent enough to make
him notable, he had nothing in him to supply or support the weakness
which was so predominant in his heart through fear, and in his mind
through irresolution, that it tarnished the whole course of his life. He
engaged in all affairs, because he had not power to resist the
importunities of those who drew him in for their own advantage, and came
off always with shame for want of courage to go on. His suspicious
temper, even from his childhood, deadened those lively, gay colours which
would have shone out naturally with the advantages of a fine, bright
genius, an amiable gracefulness, a very honest disposition, a perfect
disinterestedness, and an incredible easiness of behaviour.

Character of the Prince de Conde.

The Prince de Conde was born a general, an honour none could ever boast
of before but Caesar and Spinola; he was equal to the first, but superior
to the second. Intrepidity was one of the least parts of his character.
Nature gave him a genius as great as his heart. It was his fortune to be
born in an age of war, which gave him an opportunity to display his
courage to its full extent; but his birth, or rather education, in a
family submissively attached to the Cabinet, restrained his noble genius
within too narrow bounds. There was no care taken betimes to inspire him
with those great and general maxims which form and improve a man of
parts. He had not time to acquire them by his own application, because
he was prevented from his youth by the unexpected revolution, and by a
constant series of successes. This one imperfection, though he had as
pure a soul as any in the world, was the reason that he did things which
were not to be justified, that though he had the heart of Alexander so he
had his infirmities, that he was guilty of unaccountable follies, that
having all the talents of Francois de Guise, he did not serve the State
upon some occasions as well as he ought, and that having the parts of
Henri de Conde, his namesake, he did not push the faction as far as he
might have done, nor did he discharge all the duties his extraordinary
merit demanded from him.

Character of the Duc de Longueville.

M. de Longueville, though he had the grand name of Orleans, together with
vivacity, an agreeable appearance, generosity, liberality, justice,
valour, and grandeur, yet never made any extraordinary figure in life,
because his ideas were infinitely above his capacity. If a man has
abilities and great designs, he is sure to be looked upon as a man of
some importance; but if he does not carry them out, he is not much
esteemed, which was the case with De Longueville.

Character of the Duc de Beaufort.

M. de Beaufort knew little of affairs of moment but by hearsay and by
what he had learned in the cabal of "The Importants," of whose jargon he
had retained some smattering, which, together with some expressions he
had perfectly acquired from Madame de Vendome, formed a language that
would have puzzled a Cato. His speech was short and stupidly dull, and
the more so because he obscured it by affectation. He thought himself
very sufficient, and pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his
share. He was brave enough in his person, and outdid the common Hectors
by being so upon all occasions, but never more 'mal a propos' than in
gallantry. And he talked and thought just as the people did whose idol
he was for some time.

Character of the Dice d'Elbeuf.

M. d'Elbeuf could not fail of courage, as he was a Prince of the house of
Lorraine. He had all the wit that a man of abundantly more cunning and
good sense could pretend to. He was a medley of incoherent flourishes.
He was the first Prince debased by poverty; and, perhaps, never man was
more at a loss than he to raise the pity of the people in misery. A
comfortable subsistence did not raise his spirits; and if he had been
master of riches he would have been envied as a leader of a party.
Poverty so well became him that it seemed as if he had been cut out for a

Character of the Duc de Bouillon.

The Duc de Bouillon was a man of experienced valour and profound sense. I
am fully persuaded, by what I have seen of his conduct, that those who
cry it down wrong his character; and it may be that others had too
favourable notions of his merit, who thought him capable of all the great
things which he never did.

Character of M. de Turenne.

M. de Turenne had all the good qualities in his very nature, and acquired
all the great ones very early, those only excepted that he never thought
of. Though almost all the virtues were in a manner natural to him, yet
he shone out in none. He was looked upon as more proper to be at the
head of an army than of a faction, for he was not naturally enterprising.
He had in all his conduct, as well as in his way of talking, certain
obscurities which he never explained but on particular occasions, and
then only for his own honour.

Character of Marechal de La Mothe.

The Marechal de La Mothe was a captain of the second rank, full of
mettle, but not a man of much sense. He was affable and courteous in
civil life, and a very useful man in a faction because of his wonderful

Character of the Prince de Conti.

The Prince de Conti was a second Zeno as much as he was a Prince of the
blood. That is his character with regard to the public; and as to his
private capacity, wickedness had the same effect on him as weakness had
on M. d'Elbeuf, and drowned his other qualities, which were all mean and
tinctured with folly.

Character of M. de La Rochefoucault.

M. de La Rochefoucault had something so odd in all his conduct that I
know not what name to give it. He loved to be engaged in intrigues from
a child. He was never capable of conducting any affair, for what reasons
I could not conceive; for he had endowments which, in another, would have
made amends for imperfections . . . . He had not a long view of what
was beyond his reach, nor a quick apprehension of what was within it; but
his sound sense, very good in speculation, his good-nature, his engaging
and wonderfully easy behaviour, were enough to have made amends more than
they did for his want of penetration. He was constantly wavering in his
resolution, but what to attribute it to I know not, for it could not come
from his fertile imagination, which was lively. Nor can I say it came
from his barrenness of thought, for though he did not excel as a man of
affairs, yet he had a good fund of sense. The effect of this
irresolution is very visible, though we do not know its cause. He never
was a warrior, though a true soldier. He never was a courtier, though he
had always a good mind to be one. He never was a good party man, though
his whole life was engaged in partisanship. He was very timorous and
bashful in conversation, and thought he always stood in need of
apologies, which, considering that his "Maxims" showed not great regard
for virtue, and that his practice was always to get out of affairs with
the same hurry as he got into them, makes me conclude that he would have
done much better if he had contented himself to have passed, as he might
have done, for the politest courtier and the most cultivated gentlemen of
his age.

Character of Madame de Longueville.

Madame de Longueville had naturally a great fund of wit, and was,
moreover, a woman of parts; but her indolent temper kept her from making
any use of her talents, either in gallantries or in her hatred against
the Prince de Conde. Her languishing air had more charms in it than the
most exquisite beauty. She had few or no faults besides what she
contracted in her gallantry. As her passion of love influenced her
conduct more than politics, she who was the Amazon of a great party
degenerated into the character of a fortune-hunter. But the grace of God
brought her back to her former self, which all the world was not able to

Character of Madame de Chevreuse.

Madame de Chevreuse had not so much as the remains of beauty when I knew
her; she was the only person I ever saw whose vivacity supplied the want
of judgment; her wit was so brilliant and so full of wisdom that the
greatest men of the age would not have been ashamed of it, while, in
truth, it was owing to some lucky opportunity. If she had been born in
time of peace she would never have imagined there could have been such a
thing as war. If the Prior of the Carthusians had but pleased her, she
would have been a nun all her lifetime. M. de Lorraine was the first
that engaged her in State affairs. The Duke of Buckingham--[George
Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, assassinated when preparing to succour
Rochelle.]--and the Earl of Holland (an English lord, of the family of
Rich, and younger son of the Earl of Warwick, then ambassador in France)
kept her to themselves; M. de Chateauneuf continued the amusement, till
at last she abandoned herself to the pleasing of a person whom she loved,
without any choice, but purely because it was impossible for her to live
without being in love with somebody. It was no hard task to give her one
to serve the turn of the faction, but as soon as she accepted him she
loved him with all her heart and soul, and she confessed that, by the
caprice of fortune, she never loved best where she esteemed most, except
in the case of the poor Duke of Buckingham. Notwithstanding her
attachment in love, which we may, properly call her everlasting passion,
notwithstanding the frequent change of objects, she was peevish and
touchy almost to distraction, but when herself again, her transports were
very agreeable; never was anybody less fearful of real danger, and never
had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies.

Character of Mademoiselle de Chevreuse.

Mademoiselle de Chevreuse was more beautiful in her person than charming
in her carriage, and by nature extremely silly; her amorous passion made
her seem witty, serious, and agreeable only to him whom she was in love
with, but she soon treated him as she did her petticoat, which to-day she
took into her bed, and to-morrow cast into the fire out of pure aversion.

Character of the Princess Palatine.

The Princess Palatine' had just as much gallantry as gravity. I believe
she had as great a talent for State affairs as Elizabeth, Queen of
England. I have seen her in the faction, I have seen her in the Cabinet,
and found her everywhere equally sincere.

Character of Madame de Montbazon.

Madame de Montbazon was a very great beauty, only modesty was visibly
wanting in her air; her grand air and her way of talking sometimes
supplied her want of sense. She loved nothing more than her pleasures,
unless it was her private interest, and I never knew a vicious person
that had so little respect for virtue.

Character of the First President.

If it were not a sort of blasphemy to say that any mortal of our times
had more courage than the great Gustavus Adolphus and the Prince de
Conde, I would venture to affirm it of M. Mole, the First President, but
his wit was far inferior to his courage. It is true that his enunciation
was not agreeable, but his eloquence was such that, though it shocked the
ear, it seized the imagination. He sought the interest of the public
preferably to all things, not excepting the interest of his own family,
which yet he loved too much for a magistrate. He had not a genius to see
at times the good he was capable of doing, presumed too much upon his
authority, and imagined that he could moderate both the Court and
Parliament; but he failed in both, made himself suspected by both, and
thus, with a design to do good, he did evil. Prejudices contributed not
a little to this, for I observed he was prejudiced to such a degree that
he always judged of actions by men, and scarcely ever of men by their

To return to our history. All the companies having united and settled
the necessary funds, a complete army was raised in Paris in a week's
time. The Bastille surrendered after five or six cannon shots, and it
was a pretty sight to see the women carry their chairs into the garden,
where the guns were stationed, for the sake of seeing the siege, just as
if about to hear a sermon.

M. de Beaufort, having escaped from his confinement, arrived this very
day in Paris. I found that his imprisonment had not made him one jot the
wiser. Indeed, it had got him a reputation, because he bore it with
constancy and made his escape with courage. It was also his merit not to
have abandoned the banks of the Loire at a time when it absolutely
required abundance of skill and courage to stay there. It is an easy
matter for those who are disgraced at Court to make the best of their own
merit in the beginning of a civil war. He had a mind to form an alliance
with me, and knowing how to employ him advantageously, I prepossessed the
people in his favour, and exaggerated the conspiracy which the Cardinal
had formed against him by means of Du Hamel.

As my friendship was necessary to him, so his was necessary to me; for my
profession on many occasions being a restraint upon me, I wanted a man
sometimes to stand before me. M. de La Mothe was so dependent on M. de
Longueville that I could not rely on him; and M. de Bouillon was not a
man to be governed.

We went together to wait on the Prince de Conti; we stopped the coach in
the streets, where I proclaimed the name of M. de Beaufort, praised him
and showed him to the people; upon which the people were suddenly fired
with enthusiasm, the women kissed him, and the crowd was so great that we
had much ado to get to the Hotel de Ville. The next day he offered a
petition to the Parliament desiring he might have leave to justify
himself against the accusation of his having formed a design against the
life of the Cardinal, which was granted; and he was accordingly cleared
next day, and the Parliament issued that famous decree for seizing all
the cash of the Crown in all the public and private receipt offices of
the kingdom and employing it in the common defence.

The Prince de Conde was enraged at the declaration published by the
Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville, which cast the Court, then at
Saint Germain, into such a despair that the Cardinal was upon the point
of retiring. I was abused there without mercy, as appeared by a letter
sent to Madame de Longueville from the Princess, her mother, in which I
read this sentence: "They rail here plentifully against the Coadjutor,
whom yet I cannot forbear thanking for what he has done for the poor
Queen of England." This circumstance is very curious. You must know
that a few days before the King left Paris I visited the Queen of
England, whom I found in the apartment of her daughter, since Madame
d'Orleans. "You see, monsieur," said the Queen, "I come here to keep
Henriette company; the poor child has lain in bed all day for want of a
fire." The truth is, the Cardinal having stopped the Queen's pension six
months, tradesmen were unwilling to give her credit, and there was not a
chip of wood in the house. You may be sure I took care that a Princess
of Great Britain should not be confined to her bed next day, for want of
a fagot; and a few days after I exaggerated the scandal of this
desertion, and the Parliament sent the Queen a present of 40,000 livres.
Posterity will hardly believe that the Queen of England, granddaughter of
Henri the Great, wanted a fagot to light a fire in the month of January,
in the Louvre, and at the Court of France.

There are many passages in history less monstrous than this which make us
shudder, and this mean action of the Court made so little impression upon
the minds of the generality of the people at that time that I have
reflected a thousand times since that we are far more moved at the
hearing of old stories than of those of the present time; we are not
shocked at what we see with our own eyes, and I question whether our
surprise would be as great as we imagine at the story of Caligula's
promoting his horse to the dignity of a consul were he and his horse now

To return to the war. A cornet of my regiment being taken prisoner and
carried to Saint Germain, the Queen immediately ordered his head to be
cut off, but I sent a trumpeter to acquaint the Court that I would make
reprisals upon my prisoners, so that my cornet was exchanged and a cartel

As soon as Paris declared itself, all the kingdom was in a quandary, for
the Parliament of Paris sent circular letters to all the Parliaments and
cities in the kingdom exhorting them to join against the common enemy;
upon which the Parliaments of Aix and Rouen joined with that of Paris.
The Prince d'Harcourt, now Duc d'Elbeuf, and the cities of Rheims, Tours,
and Potiers, took up arms in its favour. The Duc de La Tremouille raised
men for them publicly. The Duc de Retz offered his service to the
Parliament, together with Belle Isle. Le Mans expelled its bishop and
all the Lavardin family, who were in the interest of the Court.

On the 18th of January, 1649, I was admitted to a seat and vote in
Parliament, and signed an alliance with the chief leaders of the party:
MM. de Beaufort, de Bouillon, de La Mothe, de Noirmoutier, de Vitri, de
Brissac, de Maure, de Matha, de Cugnac, de Barnire, de Sillery, de La
Rochefoucault, de Laigues, de Sevigny, de Bethune, de Luynes, de
Chaumont, de Saint-Germain, d'Action, and de Fiesque.

On the 9th of February the Prince de Conde attacked and took Charenton.
All this time the country people were flocking to Paris with provisions,
not only because there was plenty of money, but to enable the citizens to
hold out against the siege, which was begun on the 9th of January.

On the 12th of February a herald came with two trumpeters from the Court
to one of the city gates, bringing three packets of letters, one for the
Parliament, one for the Prince de Conti, and the third for the Hotel de
Ville. It was but the night before that a person was caught in the halls
dropping libels against the Parliament and me; upon which the Parliament,
Princes, and city supposed that this State visit was nothing but an
amusement of Cardinal Mazarin to cover a worse design, and therefore
resolved not to receive the message nor give the herald audience, but to
send the King's Council to the Queen to represent to her that their
refusal was out of pure obedience and respect, because heralds are never
sent but to sovereign Princes or public enemies, and that the Parliament,
the Prince de Conti, and the city were neither the one nor the other. At
the same time the Chevalier de Lavalette, who distributed the libels, had
formed a design to kill me and M. de Beaufort upon the Parliament stairs
in the great crowd which they expected would attend the appearance of the
herald. The Court, indeed, always denied his having any other commission
than to drop the libels, but I am certain that the Bishop of Dole told
the Bishop of Aire, but a night or two before, that Beaufort and I should
not be among the living three days hence.

The King's councillors returned with a report how kindly they had been
received at Saint Germain. They said the Queen highly approved of the
reasons offered by the Parliament for refusing entrance to the herald,
and that she had assured them that, though she could not side with the
Parliament in the present state of affairs, yet she received with joy the
assurances they had given her of their respect and submission, and that
she would distinguish them in general and in particular by special marks
of her good-will. Talon, Attorney-General, who always spoke with dignity
and force, embellished this answer of the Queen with all the ornaments he
could give it, assuring the Parliament in very pathetic terms that, if
they should be pleased to send a deputation to Saint Germain, it would be
very kindly received, and might, perhaps, be a great step towards a

When I saw that we were besieged, that the Cardinal had sent a person
into Flanders to treat with the Spaniards, and that our party was now so
well formed that there was no danger that I alone should be charged with
courting the alliance of the enemies of the State, I hesitated no longer,
but judged that, as affairs stood, I might with honour hear what
proposals the Spaniards would make to me for the relief of Paris; but I
took care not to have my name mentioned, and that the first overtures
should be made to M. d'Elbeuf, who was the fittest person, because during
the ministry of Cardinal de Richelieu he was twelve or fifteen years in
Flanders a pensioner of Spain. Accordingly Arnolfi, a Bernardin friar,
was sent from the Archduke Leopold, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands
for the King of Spain, to the Duc d'Elbeuf, who, upon sight of his
credentials, thought himself the most considerable man of the party,
invited most of us to dinner, and told us he had a very important matter
to lay before us, but that such was his tenderness for the French name
that he could not open so much as a small letter from a suspected
quarter, which, after some scrupulous and mysterious circumlocutions, he
ventured to name, and we agreed one and all not to refuse the succours
from Spain, but the great difficulty was, which way to get them.
Fuensaldagne, the general, was inclined to join us if he could have been
sure that we would engage with him; but as there was no possibility of
the Parliaments treating with him, nor any dependence to be placed upon
the generals, some of whom were wavering and whimsical, Madame de
Bouillon pressed me not to hesitate any longer, but to join with her
husband, adding that if he and I united, we should so far overmatch the
others that it would not be in their power to injure us.

M. de Bouillon and I agreed to use our interest to oblige the Parliament
to hear what the envoy had to say. I proposed it to the Parliament, but
the first motion of it was hissed, in a manner, by all the company as
much as if it had been heretical. The old President Le Coigneux, a man
of quick apprehension, observing that I sometimes mentioned a letter from
the Archduke of which there had been no talk, declared himself suddenly
to be of my opinion. He had a secret persuasion that I had seen some
writings which they knew nothing of, and therefore, while both sides were
in the heat of debate, he said to me:

"Why do you not disclose yourself to your friends? They would come into
your measures. I see very well you know more of the matter than the
person who thinks himself your informant." I vow I was terribly ashamed
of my indiscretion. I squeezed him by the hand and winked at MM. de
Beaufort and de La Mothe. At length two other Presidents came over to my
opinion, being thoroughly convinced that succours from Spain at this time
were a remedy absolutely necessary to our disease, but a dangerous and
empirical medicine, and infallibly mortal to particular persons if it did
not pass first through the Parliament's alembic.

The Bernardin, being tutored by us beforehand what to say when he came
before the Parliament, behaved like a man of good sense.

When he desired audience, or rather when the Prince de Conti desired it
for him, the President de Mesmes, a man of great capacity, but by fear
and ambition most slavishly attached to the Court, made an eloquent and
pathetic harangue, preferable to anything I ever met with of the kind in
all the monuments of antiquity, and, turning about to the Prince de
Conti, "Is it possible, monsieur," said he, "that a Prince of the blood
of France should propose to let a person deputed from the most bitter
enemy of the fleurs-de-lis have a seat upon those flowers?" Then turning
to me, he said, "What, monsieur, will you refuse entrance to your
sovereign's herald upon the most trifling pretexts?" I knew what was
coming, and therefore I endeavoured to stop his mouth by this answer:
"Monsieur, you will excuse me from calling those reasons frivolous which
have had the sanction of a decree." The bulk of the Parliament was
provoked at the President's unguarded expression, baited him very
fiercely, and then I made some pretence to go out, leaving Quatresous, a
young man of the warmest temper, in the House to skirmish with him in my
stead, as having experienced more than once that the only way to get
anything of moment passed in Parliamentary or other assemblies is to
exasperate the young men against the old ones.

In short, after many debates, it was carried that the envoy should be
admitted to audience. Being accordingly admitted, and bidden to be
covered and sit down, he presented the Archduke's credentials, and then
made a speech, which was in substance that his master had ordered him to
acquaint the company with a proposal made him by Cardinal Mazarin since
the blockade of Paris, which his Catholic Majesty did not think
consistent with his safety or honour to accept, when he saw that, on the
one hand, it was made with a view to oppress the Parliament, which was
held in veneration by all the kingdoms in the world, and, on the other,
that all treaties made with a condemned minister would be null and void,
forasmuch as they were made without the concurrence of the Parliament, to
whom only it belonged to register and verify treaties of peace in order
to make them authoritative; that the Catholic King, who proposed to take
no advantage from the present state of affairs, had ordered the Archduke
to assure the Parliament, whom he knew to be in the true interest of the
most Christian King, that he heartily acknowledged them to be the
arbiters of peace, that he submitted to their judgment, and that if they
thought proper to be judges, he left it to their choice to send a
deputation out of their own body to what place they pleased. Paris itself
not excepted, and that his Catholic Majesty would also, without delay,
send his deputies thither to meet and treat with them; that, meanwhile,
he had ordered 18,000 men to march towards their frontiers to relieve
them in case of need, with orders nevertheless to commit no hostilities
upon the towns, etc., of the most Christian King, though they were for
the most part abandoned; and it being his resolution at this juncture to
show his sincere inclination for peace, he gave them his word of honour
that his armies should not stir during the treaty; but that in case his
troops might be serviceable to the Parliament, they were at their
disposal, to be commanded by French officers; and that to obviate all the
reasonable jealousies generally, attending the conduct of foreigners,
they, were at liberty to take all other precautions they should think

Before his admission the Prdsident de Mesmes had loaded me with
invectives, for secretly corresponding with the enemies of the State, for
favouring his admission, and for opposing that of my sovereign's herald.

I had observed that when the objections against a man are capable of
making greater impression than his answers, it is his best course to say
but little, and that he may talk as much as he pleases when he thinks his
answers of greater force than the objections. I kept strictly to this
rule, for though the said President artfully pointed his satire at me, I
sat unconcerned till I found the Parliament was charmed with what the
envoy had said, and then, in my turn, I was even with the President by
telling him in short that my respect for the Parliament had obliged me to
put up with his sarcasms, which I had hitherto endured; and that I did
not suppose he meant that his sentiments should always be a law to the
Parliament; that nobody there had a greater esteem for him, with which I
hoped that the innocent freedom I had taken to speak my mind was not
inconsistent; that as to the non-admission of the herald, had it not been
for the motion made by M. Broussel, I should have fallen into the snare
through overcredulity, and have given my vote for that which might
perhaps have ended in the destruction of the city, and involved myself in
what has since fully proved to be a crime by the Queen's late solemn
approbation of the contrary conduct; and that, as to the envoy, I was
silent till I saw most of them were for giving him audience, when I
thought it better to vote the same way than vainly to contest it.

This modest and submissive answer of mine to all the scurrilities heaped
upon me for a fortnight together by the First President and the President
de Mesmes had an excellent effect upon the members, and obliterated for a
long time the suspicion that I aimed to govern them by my cabals. The
President de Mesmes would have replied, but his words were drowned in the
general clamour. The clock struck five; none had dined, and many had not
broken their fast, which the Presidents had, and therefore had the
advantage in disputation.

The decree ordering the admission of the Spanish envoy to audience
directed that a copy of what he said in Parliament, signed with his own
hand, should be demanded of him, to the end that it might be registered,
and that, by a solemn deputation, it should be sent to the Queen, with an
assurance of the fidelity of the Parliament, beseeching her at the same
time to withdraw her troops from the neighbourhood of Paris and restore
peace to her people. It being now very late, and the members very
hungry,--circumstances that have greater influence than can be imagined
in debates, they were upon the point of letting this clause pass for want
of due attention. The President Le Coigneux was the first that
discovered the grand mistake, and, addressing himself to a great many
councillors, who were rising up, said, "Gentlemen, pray take your places
again, for I have something to offer to the House which is of the highest
importance to all Europe." When they had taken their places he spoke as

"The King of Spain takes us for arbiters of the general peace; it may be
he is not in earnest, but yet it is a compliment to tell us so. He
offers us troops to march to our relief, and it is certain he does not
deceive us in this respect, but highly obliges us. We have heard his
envoy, and considering the circumstances we are in, we think it right so
to do. We have resolved to give an account of this matter to the King,
which is but reasonable; some imagine that we propose to send the
original decree, but here lies the snake in the grass. I protest,
monsieur," added he, turning to the First President, "that the members
did not understand it so, but that the copy only should be carried to
Court, and the original be kept in the register. I could wish there had
been no occasion for explanation, because there are some occasions when
it is not prudent to speak all that one thinks, but since I am forced to
it, I must say it without further hesitation, that in case we deliver up
the original the Spaniards will conclude that we expose their proposals
for a general peace and our own safety to the caprice of Cardinal
Mazarin; whereas, by delivering only a copy, accompanied with humble
entreaties for a general peace, as the Parliament has wisely ordered, all
Europe will see that we maintain ourselves in a condition capable of
doing real service both to our King and country, if the Cardinal is so
blind as not to take a right advantage of this opportunity."

This discourse was received with the approbation of all the members, who
cried out from all corners of the House that this was the meaning of the
House. The gentlemen of the Court of Inquests did not spare the
Presidents. M. Martineau said publicly that the tenor of this decree was
that the envoy of Spain should be made much of till they received an
answer from Saint Germain, which would prove to be another taunt of the
Cardinal's. Pontcarre said he was not so much afraid of a Spaniard as of
a Mazarin. In short, the generals had the satisfaction to see that the
Parliament would not be sorry for any advances they should make towards
an alliance with Spain.

We sent a courier to Brussels, who was guarded ten leagues out of Paris
by 500 horse, with an account of everything done in Parliament, of the
conditions which the Prince de Conti and the other generals desired for
entering into a treaty with Spain, and of what engagement I could make in
my own private capacity.

After he had gone I had a conference with M. de Bouillon and his lady
about the present state of affairs, which I observed was very ticklish;
that if we were favoured by the general inclination of the people we
should carry all before us, but that the Parliament, which was our chief
strength in one sense, was in other respects our main weakness; that they
were very apt to go backward; that in the very last debate they were on
the point of twisting a rope for their own necks, and that the First
President would show Mazarin his true interests, and be glad to amuse us
by stipulating with the Court for our security without putting us in
possession of it, and by ending the civil war in the confirmation of our
slavery. "The Parliament," I said, "inclines to an insecure and
scandalous peace. We can make the people rise to-morrow if we please;
but ought we to attempt it? And if we divest the Parliament of its
authority, into what an abyss of disorders shall we not precipitate
Paris? But, on the other hand, if we do not raise the people, will the
Parliament ever believe we can? Will they be hindered from taking any
further step in favour of the Court, destructive indeed to their own
interest, but infallibly ruinous to us first?"

M. de Bouillon, who did not believe our affairs to be in so critical a
situation, was, together with his lady, in a state of surprise. The mild
and honourable answer which the Queen returned to the King's councillors
in relation to the herald, her protestations that she sincerely forgave
all the world, and the brilliant gloss of Talon upon her said answer, in
an instant overturned the former resolutions of the Parliament; and if
they regained sometimes their wonted vigour, either by some intervening
accidents or by the skilful management of those who took care to bring
them back to the right way, they had still an inclination to recede. M.
de Bouillon being the wisest man of the party, I told him what I thought,
and with him I concerted proper measures. To the rest, I put on a
cheerful air, and magnified every little circumstance of affairs to our
own advantage.

M. de Bouillon proposed that we should let the Parliament and the Hotel
de Ville go on in their own way, and endeavour all we could clandestinely
to make them odious to the people, and that we should take the first
opportunity to secure, by banishment or imprisonment, such persons as we
could not depend upon. He added that Longueville, too, was of opinion
that there was no remedy left but to purge the Houses. This was exactly
like him, for never was there a man so positive and violent in his
opinion, and yet no man living could palliate it with smoother language.
Though I thought of this expedient before M. de Bouillon, and perhaps
could have said more for it, because I saw the possibility of it much
clearer than he, yet I would not give him to understand that I had
thought of it, because I knew he had the vanity to love to be esteemed
the first author of things, which was the only weakness I observed in his
managing State affairs. I left him an answer in writing, in substance as

"I confess the scheme is very feasible, but attended with pernicious
consequences both to the public and to private persons, for the same
people whom you employ to humble the magistracy will refuse you obedience
when you demand from them the same homage they paid to the magistrates.
This people adored the Parliament till the beginning of the war; they are
still for continuing the war, and yet abate their friendship for the
Parliament. The Parliament imagines that this applies only to some
particular members who are Mazarined, but they are deceived, for their
prejudice extends to the whole company, and their hatred towards
Mazarin's party supports and screens their indifference towards all the
rest. We cheer up their spirits by pasquinades and ballads and the
martial sound of trumpets and kettle-drums, but, after all, do they pay
their taxes as punctually as they did the first few weeks? Are there
many that have done as you and I, monsieur, who sent our plate to the
mint? Do you not observe that they who would be thought zealous for the
common cause plead in favour of some acts committed by those men who are,
in short, its enemies? If the people are so tired already, what will
they be long before they come to their journey's end?

"After we have established our own authority upon the ruin of the
Parliament's, we shall certainly fall into the same inconveniences and be
obliged to act just as they do now. We shall impose taxes, raise moneys,
and differ from the Parliament only in this, that the hatred and envy
they have contracted by various ways from one-third part of the
people,--I mean the wealthy citizens,--in the space of six weeks will
devolve upon us, with that of the other two-thirds of the inhabitants,
and will complete our ruin in one week. May not the Court to-morrow put
an end to the civil war by the expulsion of Mazarin and by raising the
siege of Paris? The provinces are not yet sufficiently inflamed, and
therefore we must double our application to make the most of Paris.
Besides the necessity of treating with Spain and managing the people,
there is another expedient come into my head capable of rendering us as
considerable in Parliament as our affairs require.

"We have an army in Paris which will be looked upon as the people so long
as it continues within its walls. Every councillor of inquest is
inclined to believe his authority among the soldiers to be equal to that
of the generals. But the leaders of the people are not believed to be
very powerful until they make their power known by its execution. Pray
do but consider the conduct of the Court upon this occasion. Was there
any minister or courtier but ridiculed all that could be said of the
disposition of the people in favour of the Parliament even to the day of
the barricades? And yet it is as true that every man at Court saw
infallible marks of the revolution beforehand. One would have thought
that the barricades should have convinced them; but have they been
convinced? Have they been hindered from besieging Paris on the slight
supposition that, though the caprice of the people might run them into a
mutiny, yet it would not break out into a civil war? What we are now
doing might undeceive them effectually; but are they yet cured of their
infatuation? Is not the Queen told every day that none are for the
Parliament but hired mobs, and that all the wealthy burghers are in her
Majesty's interests?

"The Parliament is now as much infatuated as the Court was then. This
present disturbance among the people carries in it all the marks of power
which, in a little time, they will feel the effects of, and which, as
they cannot but foresee, they ought to prevent in time, because of the
murmurs of the people against them and their redoubled affection for M.
de Beaufort and me. But far from it, the Parliament will never open its
eyes until all its authority is quashed by a sudden blow. If they see we
have a design against them they will, perhaps, have so inconsiderable an
opinion of it that they will take courage, and if we should but flinch,
they will bear harder still upon us, till we shall be forced to crush
them; but this would not turn to our account; on the contrary, it is our
true interest to do them all the good we can, lest we divide our own
party, and to behave in such a manner as may convince them that our
interest and theirs are inseparable. And the best way is to draw our
army out of Paris, and to post it so as it may be ready to secure our
convoys and be safe from the insults of the enemy; and I am for having
this done at the request of the Parliament, to prevent their taking
umbrage, till such time at least as we may find our account in it. Such
precautions will insensibly, as it were, necessitate the Parliament to
act in concert with us, and our favour among the people, which is the
only thing that can fix us in that situation, will appear to them no
longer contemptible when they see it backed by an army which is no longer
at their discretion."

M. de Bouillon told me that M. de Turenne was upon the point of declaring
for us, and that there were but two colonels in all his army who gave him
any uneasiness, but that in a week's time he would find some way or other
to manage them, and that then he would march directly to our assistance.
"What do you think of that?" said the Duke. "Are we not now masters both
of the Court and Parliament?"

I told the Duke that I had just seen a letter written by Hoquincourt to
Madame de Montbazon, wherein were only these words: "O fairest of all
beauties, Peronne is in your power." I added that I had received another
letter that morning which assured me of Mazieres. Madame de Bouillon
threw herself on my neck; we were sure the day was our own, and in a
quarter of an hour agreed upon all the preliminary precautions.

M. de Bouillon, perceiving that I was so overjoyed at this news that I,
as well as his lady, gave little attention to the methods he was
proposing for drawing the army out of Paris without alarming the
Parliament, turned to me and spoke thus, very hastily: "I pardon my wife,
but I cannot forgive you this inadvertence. The old Prince of Orange
used to say that the moment one received good news should be employed in
providing against bad."

The 24th of February, 1649, the Parliament's deputies waited on the Queen
with an account of the audience granted to the envoy of the Archduke. The
Queen told them that they should not have given audience to the envoy,
but that, seeing they had done it, it was absolutely necessary to think
of a good peace,--that she was entirely well disposed; and the Duc
d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde promised the deputies to throw open all
the passages as soon as the Parliament should name commissioners for the

Flamarin being sent at the same time into the city from the Duc d'Orleans
to condole with the Queen of England on the death of her husband (King
Charles I.), went, at La Riviere's solicitation, to M. de La
Rochefoucault, whom he found in his bed on account of his wounds and
quite wearied with the civil war, and persuaded him to come over to the
Court interest. He told Flamarin that he had been drawn into this war
much against his inclinations, and that, had he returned from Poitou two
months before the siege of Paris, he would have prevented Madame de
Longueville engaging in so vile a cause, but that I had taken the
opportunity of his absence to engage both her and the Prince de Conti,
that he found the engagements too far advanced to be possibly dissolved,
that the diabolical Coadjutor would not bear of any terms of peace, and
also stopped the ears of the Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville,
and that he himself could not act as he would because of his bad state of
health. I was informed of Flamarin's negotiations for the Court
interest, and, as the term of his passport had expired, ordered the
'prevot des marchands' to command him to depart from the city.

On the 27th the First President reported to the Parliament what had
occurred at Saint Germain. M. de Beaufort and I had to hinder the people
from entering the Great Chamber, for they threatened to throw the
deputies into the river, and said they had betrayed them and had held
conferences with Mazarin. It was as much as we could do to allay the
fury of the people, though at the same time the Parliament believed the
tumult was of our own raising. This shows one inconvenience of
popularity, namely, that what is committed by the rabble, in spite of all
your endeavours to the contrary, will still be laid to your charge.

Meanwhile we met at the Duc de Bouillon's to consider what was best to be
done at this critical juncture between a people mad for war, a Parliament
for peace, and the Spaniards either for peace or war at our expense and
for their own advantage. The Prince de Conti, instructed beforehand by
M. de La Rochefoucault, spoke for carrying on the war, but acted as if he
were for peace, and upon the whole I did not doubt but that he waited for
some answer from Saint Germain. M. d'Elbeuf made a silly proposal to
send the Parliament in a body to the Bastille. M. de Beaufort, whom we
could not entrust with any important secret because of Madame de
Montbazon, who was very false, wondered that his and my credit with the
people was not made use of on this occasion.

It being very evident that the Parliament would greedily catch at the
treaty of peace proposed by the Court, it was in a manner impossible to
answer those who urged that the only way to prevent it was to hinder
their debates by raising tumults among the people. M. de Beaufort held
up both his hands for it. M. d'Elbeuf, who had lately received a letter
from La Riviere full of contempt, talked like an officer of the army.
When I considered the great risk I ran if I did not prevent a tumult,
which would certainly be laid at my door, and that, on the other hand, I
did not dare to say all I could to stop such commotion, I was at a loss
what to do. But considering the temper of the populace, who might have
been up in arms with a word from a person of any credit among us, I
declared publicly that I was not for altering our measures till we knew
what we were to expect from the Spaniards.

I experienced on this occasion that civil wars are attended with this
great inconvenience, that there is more need of caution in what we say to
our friends than in what we do against our enemies. I did not fail to
bring the company to my mind, especially when supported by M. de
Bouillon, who was convinced that the confusion which would happen in such
a juncture would turn with vengeance upon the authors. But when the
company was gone he told me he was resolved to free himself from the
tyranny, or, rather, pedantry of the Parliament as soon as the treaty
with Spain was concluded, and M. de Turenne had declared himself
publicly, and as soon as our army was without the walls of Paris. I
answered that upon M. de Turenne's declaration I would promise him my
concurrence, but that till then I could not separate from the Parliament,
much less oppose them, without the danger of being banished to Brussels;
that as for his own part, he might come off better because of his
knowledge of military affairs, and of the assurances which Spain was able
to give him, but, nevertheless, I desired him to remember M. d'Aumale,
who fell into the depth of poverty as soon as he had lost all protection
but that of Spain, and, consequently, that it was his interest as well as
mine to side with the Parliament till we ourselves had secured some
position in the kingdom; till the Spanish army, was actually on the march
and our troops were encamped without the city; and till the declaration
of M. de Turenne was carried out, which would be the decisive blow,
because it would strengthen our party with a body of troops altogether
independent of strangers, or rather it would form a party perfectly
French, capable by its own strength to carry on our cause.

This last consideration overjoyed Madame de Bouillon, who, however, when
she found that the company was gone without resolving to make themselves
masters of the Parliament, became very angry, and said to the Duke:

"I told you beforehand that you would be swayed by the Coadjutor."

The Duke replied: "What! madame, would you have the Coadjutor, for our
sakes only, run the risk of being no more than chaplain to Fuensaldagne?
Is it possible that you cannot comprehend what he has been preaching to
you for these last three days?"

I replied to her with a great deal of temper, and said, "Don't you think
that we shall act more securely when our troops are out of Paris, when we
receive the Archduke's answer, and when Turenne has made a public

"Yes, I do," she said, "but the Parliament will take one step to-morrow
which will render all your preliminaries of no use."

"Never fear, madame," said I, "I will undertake that, if our measures
succeed, we shall be in a condition to despise all that the Parliament
can do."

"Will you promise it?" she asked.

"Yes," said I, "and, more than that, I am ready to seal it with my

She took me at my word, and though the Duke used all the arguments with
her which he could think of, she bound my thumb with silk, and with a
needle drew blood, with which she obliged me to sign a promissory note as
follows: "I promise to Madame la Duchesse de Bouillon to continue united
with the Duke her husband against the Parliament in case M. de Turenne
approaches with the army under his command within twenty leagues of Paris
and declares for the city." M. de Bouillon threw it into the fire, and
endeavoured to convince the Duchess of what I had said, that if our
preliminaries should succeed we should still stand upon our own bottom,
notwithstanding all that the Parliament could do, and that if they did
miscarry we should still have the satisfaction of not being the authors
of a confusion which would infallibly cover me with shame and ruin, and
be an uncertain advantage to the family of De Bouillon.

During this discussion a captain in M. d'Elbeuf's regiment of Guards was
seen to throw money to the crowd to encourage them to go to the
Parliament House and cry out, "No peace!" upon which M. de Bouillon and I
agreed to send the Duke these words upon the back of a card: "It will be
dangerous for you to be at the Parliament House to-morrow." M. d'Elbeuf
came in all haste to the Palace of Bouillon to know the meaning of this
short caution. M. de Bouillon told him he had heard that the people had
got a notion that both the Duke and himself held a correspondence with
Mazarin, and that therefore it was their best way not to go to the House
for fear of the mob, which might be expected there next day.

M. d'Elbeuf, knowing that the people did not care for him, and that he
was no safer in his own house than elsewhere, said that he feared his
absence on such an occasion might be interpreted to his disadvantage. M.
de Bouillon, having no other design but to alarm him with imaginary fears
of a public disturbance, at once made himself sure of him another way, by
telling him it was most advisable for him to be at the Parliament, but
that he need not expose himself, and therefore had best go along with me.

I went with him accordingly, and found a multitude of people in the Great
Hall, crying, "God bless the Coadjutor! no peace! no Mazarin!" and M.
de Beaufort entering another way at the same time, the echoes of our
names spread everywhere, so that the people mistook it for a concerted
design to disturb the proceedings of Parliament, and as in a commotion
everything that confirms us in the belief of it augments likewise the
number of mutineers, we were very near bringing about in one moment what
we had been a whole week labouring to prevent.

The First President and President de Mesmes having, in concert with the
other deputies, suppressed the answer the Queen made them in writing,
lest some harsh expressions contained therein should give offence, put
the best colour they could upon the obliging terms in which the Queen had
spoken to them; and then the House appointed commissioners for the
treaty, leaving it to the Queen to name the place, and agreed to send the
King's Council next day to demand the opening of the passages, in
pursuance of the Queen's promise. The President de Mesmes, surprised to
meet with no opposition, either from the generals or myself, said to the
First President, "Here is a wonderful harmony! but I fear the
consequences of this dissembled moderation." I believe he was much more
surprised when the sergeants came to acquaint the House that the mob
threatened to murder all that were for the conference before Mazarin was
sent out of the kingdom. But M. de Beaufort and I went out and soon
dispersed them, so that the members retired without the least danger,
which inspired the Parliament with such a degree of boldness afterwards
that it nearly proved their ruin.

On the 2d of March, 1649, letters were brought to the Parliament from the
Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde, expressing a great deal of joy at
what the Parliament had done, but denying that the Queen had promised to
throw open the passages, upon which the Parliament fell into such a rage
as I cannot describe to you. They sent orders to the King's Council, who
were gone that morning to Saint Germain to fetch the passports for the
deputies, to declare that the Parliament was resolved to hold no
conference with the Court till the Queen had performed her promise made
to the First President. I thought it a very proper time to let the Court
see that the Parliament had not lost all its vigour, and made a motion,
by Broussel, that, considering the insincerity of the Court, the levies
might be continued and new commissions given out. The proposition was
received with applause, and the Prince de Conti was desired to issue
commissions accordingly.

M. de Beaufort, in concert with M. de Bouillon, M. de La Mothe and
myself, exclaimed against this contravention, and offered, in the name of
his colleagues and his own, to open all the passages themselves if the
Parliament would but take a firm resolution and be no more beguiled by
deceitful proposals, which had only served to keep the whole nation in
suspense, who would otherwise have declared by this time in favour of its
capital. It is inconceivable what influence these few words had upon the
audience, everybody concluded that the treaty was already broken off; but
a moment after they thought the contrary, for the King's Council returned
with the passports for the deputies, and instead of an order for opening
the passages, a grant--such a one as it was--of 500 quarters of corn per
diem was made for the subsistence of the city. However, the Parliament
took all in good part; all that had been said and done a quarter of an
hour before was buried in oblivion, and they made preparations to go next
day to Ruel, the place named by the Queen for the conference.

The Prince de Conti, M. de Beaufort, M. d'Elbeuf, Marechal de La Mothe,
M. de Brissac, President Bellievre, and myself met that night at M. de
Bouillon's house, where a motion was made for the generals of the army to
send a deputation likewise to the place of conference; but it was
quashed, and indeed nothing would have been more absurd than such a
proceeding when we were upon the point of concluding a treaty with Spain;
and, considering that we told the envoy that we should never have
consented to hold any conference with the Court were we not assured that
it was in our power to break it off at pleasure by means of the people.

The Parliament having lately reproached both the generals and troops with
being afraid to venture without the gates, M. de Bouillon, seeing the
danger was over, proposed at this meeting, for the satisfaction of the
citizens, to carry them to a camp betwixt the Marne and the Seine, where
they might be as safe as at Paris. The motion was agreed to without
consulting the Parliament, and, accordingly, on the 4th of March, the
troops marched out and the deputies of Parliament went to Ruel.

The Court party flattered themselves that, upon the marching of the
militia out of Paris, the citizens, being left to themselves, would
become more tractable, and the President de Mesmes made his boast of what
he said to the generals, to persuade them to encamp their army. But
Senneterre, one of the ablest men at Court, soon penetrated our designs
and undeceived the Court. He told the First President and De Mesmes that
they were beguiled and that they would see it in a little time. The
First President, who could never see two different things at one view,
was so overjoyed when he heard the forces had gone out of Paris that he
cried out:

"Now the Coadjutor will have no more mercenary brawlers at the Parliament

"Nor," said the President de Mesmes, "so many cutthroats."

Senneterre, like a wise man, said to them both:

"It is not the Coadjutor's interest to murder you, but to bring you
under. The people would serve his turn for the first if he aimed at it,
and the army is admirably well encamped for the latter. If he is not a
more honest man than he is looked upon to be here, we are likely to have
a tedious civil war."

The Cardinal confessed that Senneterre was in the right, for, on the one
hand, the Prince de Conde perceived that our army, being so
advantageously posted as not to be attacked, would be capable of giving
him more trouble than if they were still within the walls of the city,
and, on the other hand, we began to talk with more courage in Parliament
than usual.

The afternoon of the 4th of March gave us a just occasion to show it. The
deputies arriving at Ruel understood that Cardinal Mazarin was one of the
commissioners named by the Queen to assist at the conference. The
Parliamentary deputies pretended that they could not confer with a person
actually condemned by Parliament. M. de Tellier told them in the name of
the Duc d'Orleans that the Queen thought it strange that they were not
contented to treat upon an equality with their sovereign, but that they
should presume to limit his authority by excluding his deputies. The
First President and the Court seeming to be immovable, we sent orders to
our deputies not to comply, and to communicate, as a great secret, to
President de Mesmes and M. Menardeau, both creatures of the Court, the
following postscript of a letter I wrote to Longueville:

"P.S.--We have concerted our measures, and are now capable to speak more
to the purpose than we have been hitherto, and since I finished this
letter I have received a piece of news which obliges me to tell you that
if the Parliament do not behave very prudently, they will certainly be

Upon this the deputies were resolved to insist upon excluding the
Cardinal from the conference, a determination which was so odious to the
people that, had we permitted it, we should certainly have lost all our
credit with them, and been obliged to shut the gates against our deputies
upon their return.

When the Court saw that the deputies desired a convoy to conduct them
home, they found out an expedient, which was received with great joy;
namely, to appoint two deputies on the part of the Parliament, and two on
the part of the King, to confer at the house of the Duc d'Orleans,
exclusive of the Cardinal, who was thereupon obliged to return to Saint
Germain with mortification.

On the 5th of March, Don Francisco Pisarro, a second envoy from the
Archduke, arrived in Paris, with his and Count Fuensaldagne's answer to
our former despatches by Don Jose d'Illescas, and full powers for a
treaty; instructions for M. de Bouillon, an obliging letter from the
Archduke to the Prince de Conti, and another to myself, from Count
Fuensaldagne, importing that the King, his master, would not take my
word, but would depend upon whatever I promised Madame de Bouillon.

The Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville, prompted by M. de La
Rochefoucault, were for an alliance with Spain, in a manner without
restriction. M. d'Elbeuf aimed at nothing but getting money. M. de
Beaufort, at the persuasion of Madame de Montbazon, who was resolved to
sell him dear to the Spaniards, was very scrupulous to enter into a
treaty with the enemies of the State; Marechal de La Mothe declared he
could not come to any resolution till he saw M. de Longueville, and
Madame de Longueville questioned whether her husband would come into it;
and yet these very persons but a fortnight before unanimously wrote to
the Archduke for full powers to treat with him.

M. de Bouillon told them that he thought they were absolutely obliged to
treat with Spain, considering the advances they had already made to the
Archduke to that end, and desired them to recollect how they had told his
envoy that they waited only for these full powers and instructions to
treat with him; that the Archduke had now sent his full powers in the
most obliging manner; and that, moreover, he had already gone out of
Brussels, to lead his army himself to their assistance, without staying
for their engagement. He begged them to consider that if they took the
least step backwards, after such advances, it might provoke Spain to take
such measures as would be both contrary to our security and to our
honour; that the ill-concerted proceedings of the Parliament gave us just
grounds to fear being left to shift for ourselves; that indeed our army
was now more useful than it had been before, but--yet not strong enough
to give us relief in proportion to our necessities, especially if it were
not, at least in the beginning, supported by a powerful force; and that,
consequently, a treaty was necessary to be entered into and concluded
with the Archduke, but not upon any mean conditions; that his envoys had
brought carte blanche, but that we ought to consider how to fill it up;
that he promised us everything, but though in treaties the strongest may
safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit, it is certain he cannot
perform everything, and therefore the weakest should be very wary.

The Duke added that the Spaniards, of all people, expected honourable
usage at the beginning of treaties, and he conjured them to leave the
management of the Spanish envoys to himself and the Coadjutor, "who,"
said he, "has declared all along that he expects no advantage either from
the present troubles or from any arrangement, and is therefore altogether
to be depended upon."

This discourse was relished by all the company, who accordingly engaged
us to compare notes with the envoys of Spain, and make our report to the
Prince de Conti and the other generals.

M. de Bouillon assured me that the Spaniards would not enter upon French
ground till we engaged ourselves not to lay down our arms except in
conjunction with them; that is, in a treaty for a general peace; but our
difficulty was how to enter into an engagement of that nature at a time
when we could not be sure but that the Parliament might conclude a
particular peace the next moment. In the meantime a courier came in from
M. de Turenne, crying, "Good news!" as he entered into the court. He
brought letters for Madame and Mademoiselle de Bouillon and myself, by
which we were assured that M. de Turenne and his army, which was without
dispute the finest at that time in all Europe, had declared for us; that
Erlach, Governor of Brisac, had with him 1,000 or 1,200 men, who were all
he had been able to seduce; that my dear friend and kinsman, the Vicomte
de Lamet, was marching directly to our assistance with 2,000 horse; and
that M. de Turenne was to follow on such a day with the larger part of
the army. You will be surprised, without doubt, to hear that M. de
Turenne, General of the King's troops, one who was never a party man, and
would never hear talk of party intrigues, should now declare against the
Court and perform an action which, I am sure, Le Balafre--

[Henri de Lorraine, first of that name, Duc de Guise, surnamed Le
Balafre, because of a wound he received in the left cheek at the battle
of Dormans, the scar of which he carried to his grave. He formed the
League, and was stabbed at an assembly of the States of Blois in 1588.]

and Amiral de Coligny would not have undertaken without hesitation. Your
wonder will increase yet more when I tell you that the motive of this
surprising conduct of his is a secret to this day. His behaviour also
during his declaration, which he supported but five days, is equally
surprising and mysterious. This shows that it is possible for some
extraordinary characters to be raised above the malice and envy of vulgar
souls; for the merit of any person inferior to the Marshal must have been
totally eclipsed by such an unaccountable event.

Upon the arrival of this express from Turenne I told M. de Bouillon it
was my opinion that, if the Spaniards would engage to advance as far as
Pont-a-Verre and act on this side of it in concert only with us, we
should make no scruple of pledging ourselves not to lay down our arms
till the conclusion of a general peace, provided they kept their promise
given to the Parliament of referring themselves to its arbitration. "The
true interest of the public," said I, "is a general peace, that of the
Parliament and other bodies is the reestablishment of good order, and
that of your Grace and others, with myself, is to contribute to the
before-mentioned blessings in such manner that we may be esteemed the
authors of them; all other advantages are necessarily attached to this,
and the only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them.
You know that I have frequently vowed I had no private interest to serve
in this affair, and I will keep my vow to the end. Your circumstances
are different from mine; you aim at Sedan, and you are in the right. M.
de Beaufort wants to be admiral, and I cannot blame him. M. de
Longueville has other demands--with all my heart. The Prince de Conti
and Madame de Longueville would be, for the future, independent of the
Prince de Conde; that independence they shall have.

"Now, in order to attain to these ends, the only means is to look another
way, to turn all our thoughts to bring about a general peace, and to sign
to-morrow the most solemn and positive engagement with the enemy, and,
the better to please the public, to insert in the articles the expulsion
of Cardinal Mazarin as their mortal enemy, to cause the Spanish forces to
come up immediately to Pont-a-Verre, and those of M. de Turenne to
advance into Champagne, and to go without any loss of time to propose to
the Parliament what Don Josh d'Illescas has offered them already in
relation to a general peace, to dispose them to vote as we would have
them, which they will not fail to do considering the circumstances we are
now in, and to send orders to our deputies at Ruel either to get the
Queen to nominate a place to confer about a general peace or to return
the next day to their seats in Parliament. I am willing to think that
the Court, seeing to what an extremity they are reduced, will comply,
than which what can be more for our honour?

"And if the Court should refuse this proposition at present, will they
not be of another mind before two months are at an end? Will not the
provinces, which are already hesitating, then declare in our favour? And
is the army of the Prince de Conde in a condition to engage that of Spain
and ours in conjunction with that of M. de Turenne? These two last, when
joined, will put us above all the apprehensions from foreign forces which
have hitherto made us uneasy; they will depend much more on us than we on
them; we shall continue masters of Paris by our own strength, and the
more securely because the intervening authority of Parliament will the
more firmly unite us to the people. The declaration of M. de Turenne is
the only means to unite Spain with the Parliament for our defence, which
we could not have as much as hoped for otherwise; it gives us an
opportunity to engage with Parliament, in concert with whom we cannot act
amiss, and this is the only moment when such an engagement is both
possible and profitable. The First President and De Mesmes are now out
of the way, and it will be much easier for us to obtain what we want in
Parliament than if they were present, and if what is commanded in the
Parliamentary decree is faithfully executed, we shall gain our point, and
unite the Chambers for that great work of a general peace. If the Court
still rejects our proposals, and those of the deputies who are for the
Court refuse to follow our motion or to share in our fortune, we shall
gain as much in another respect; we shall keep ourselves still attached
to the body of the Parliament, from which they will be deemed deserters,
and we shall have much greater weight in the House than now.

"This is my opinion, which I am willing to sign and to offer to the
Parliament if you seize this, the only opportunity. For if M. de Turenne
should alter his mind before it be done, I should then oppose this scheme
with as much warmth as I now recommend it."

The Duke said in answer: "Nothing can have a more promising aspect than
what you have now proposed; it is very practicable, but equally
pernicious for all private persons. Spain will promise all, but perform
nothing after we have once promised to enter into no treaty, with the
Court but for a general peace. This being the only thing the Spaniards
have in view, they will abandon us as soon as they, can obtain it, and if
we urge on this great scheme at once, as you would have us, they would
undoubtedly obtain it in a fortnight's time, for France would certainly
make it with precipitation, and I know the Spaniards would be glad to
purchase it on any terms. This being the case, in what a condition shall
we be the next day after we have made and procured this general peace? We
should indeed have the honour of it, but would this honour screen us
against the hatred and curses of the Court? Would the house of Austria
take up arms again to rescue you and me from a prison? You will say,
perhaps, we may stipulate some conditions with Spain which may secure us
from all insults of this kind; but I think I shall have answered this
objection when I assure you that Spain is so pressed with home troubles
that she would not hesitate, for the sake of peace, to break the most
solemn promises made to us; and this is an inconvenience for which I see
no remedy.

"If Spain should be worse than her word with respect to the expulsion of
Mazarin, what will become of us? And will the honour of our contributing
to the general peace atone for the preservation of a minister to get rid
of whom they took up arms? You know how they abhor the Cardinal; and,
suppose the Cardinal be excluded from the Ministry, according to promise,
shall we not still be exposed to the hatred of the Queen, to the
resentment of the Prince de Conde, and to all the evil consequences that
may be expected from an enraged Court for such an action? There is no
true glory but what is durable; transitory honour is mere smoke. Of this
sort is that which we shall acquire by this peace, if we do not support
it by such alliances as will gain us the reputation of wisdom as well as
of honesty. I admire your disinterestedness above all, and esteem it,
but I am very well assured that if mine went the length of yours you
would not, approve of it. Your family is settled; consider mine, and
cast your eyes on the condition of this lady and on that of both the
father and children."

I answered: "The Spaniards must needs have great regard for us, seeing us
absolute masters of Paris, with eight thousand foot and three thousand
horse at its gates, and the best disciplined troops in the world marching
to our assistance." I did all I could to bring him over to my opinion,
and he strove as much to persuade me to enter into his measures; namely,
to pretend to the envoys that we were absolutely resolved to act in
concert with them for a general peace, but to tell them at the same time
that we thought it more proper that the Parliament should likewise be
consulted; and, as that would require some time, we might in the
meanwhile occupy the envoys by signing a treaty with them, previous to
coming to terms with. The Parliament, which by its tenor would not tie
us up to conclude anything positively in relation to the general peace;
"yet this," said he, "would be a sufficient motive to cause them to
advance with their army, and that of my brother will come up at the same
time, which will astonish the Court and incline them to an arrangement.
And forasmuch as in our treaty with Spain we leave a back door open by
the clause which relates to the Parliament, we shall be sure to make good
use of it for the advantage of the public and of ourselves in case of the
Court's noncompliance."

These considerations, though profoundly wise, did not convince me,
because I thought his inference was not well-grounded. I saw he might
well enough engage the attention of the envoys, but I could not imagine
how he could beguile the Parliament, who were actually treating with the
Court by their deputies sent to Ruel, and who would certainly run madly
into a peace, notwithstanding all their late performances. I foresaw
that without a public declaration to restrain the Parliament from going
their own lengths we should fall again, if one of our strings chanced to
break, into the necessity of courting the assistance of the people, which
I looked upon as the most dangerous proceeding of all.

M. de Bouillon asked me what I meant by saying, "if one of our strings
chanced to break." I replied, "For example, if M. de Turenne should be
dead at this juncture, or if his army has revolted, as it was likely to
do under the influence of M. d'Erlach, pray what would become of us if we
should not engage the Parliament? We should be tribunes of the people
one day, and the next valets de chambre to Count Fuensaldagne. Everything
with the Parliament and nothing without them is the burden of my song."

After several hours' dispute neither of us was convinced, and I went away
very much perplexed, the rather because M. de Bouillon, being the great
confidant of the Spaniards, I doubted not but he could make their envoys
believe what he pleased.

I was still more puzzled when I came home and found a letter from Madame
de Lesdiguieres, offering me extraordinary advantages in the Queen's name
the payment of my debts, the grant of certain abbeys, and a nomination to
the dignity of cardinal. Another note I found with these words: "The
declaration of the army of Germany has put us all into consternation." I
concluded they would not fail to try experiments with others as well as
myself, and since M. de Bouillon began to think of a back door when all
things smiled upon us, I guessed the rest of our party would not neglect
to enter the great door now flung open to receive them by the declaration
of M. de Turenne. That which afflicted me most of all was to see that M.
de Bouillon was not a man of that judgment and penetration I took him for
in this critical and decisive juncture, when the question was the
engaging or not engaging the Parliament. He had urged me more than
twenty times to do what I now offered, and the reason why I now urged
what I before rejected was the declaration of M. de Turenne, his own
brother, which should have made him bolder than I; but, instead of this,
it slackened his courage, and he flattered himself that Cardinal Mazarin
would let him have Sedan. This was the centre of all his views, and he
preferred these petty advantages to what he might have gained by
procuring peace to Europe. This false step made me pass this judgment
upon the Duke: that, though he was a person of very great parts, yet I
questioned his capacity for the mighty things which he has not done, and
of which some men thought him very capable. It is the greatest
remissness on the part of a great man to neglect the moment that is to
make his reputation, and this negligence, indeed, scarcely ever happens
but when a man expects another moment as favourable to make his fortune;
and so people are commonly deceived both ways.

The Duke was more nice than wise at this juncture, which is very often
the case. I found afterwards that the Prince de Conti was of his
opinion, and I guessed, by some circumstances, that he was engaged in
some private negotiation. M. d'Elbeuf was as meek as a lamb, and seemed,
as far as he dared, to improve what had been advanced already by M. de
Bouillon. A servant of his told me also that he believed his master had
made his peace with the Court. M. de Beaufort showed by his behaviour
that Madame de Montbazon had done what she could to cool his courage, but
his irresolution did not embarrass me very much, because I knew I had her
in my power, and his vote, added to that of MM. de Brissac, de La Mothe,
de Noirmoutier and de Bellievre, who all fell in with my sentiments,
would have turned the balance on my side if the regard for M. de Turenne,
who was now the life and soul of the party, and the Spaniards' confidence
in M. de Bouillon, had not obliged me to make a virtue of necessity.

I found both the Archduke's envoys quite of an other mind; indeed, they
were still desirous of an agreement for a general peace, but they would
have it after the manner of M. de Bouillon, at two separate times, which
he had made them believe would be more for their advantage, because
thereby we should bring the Parliament into it. I saw who was at the
bottom of it, and, considering the orders they had to follow his advice
in everything, all I could allege to the contrary would be of no use. I
laid the state of affairs before the President de Bellievre, who was of
my opinion, and considered that a contrary course would infallibly prove
our ruin, thinking, nevertheless, that compliance would be highly
convenient at this time, because we depended absolutely on the Spaniards
and on M. de Turenne, who had hitherto made no proposals but such as were
dictated by M. de Bouillon.

When I found that all M. de Bellievre and I said could not persuade M. de
Bouillon, I feigned to come round to his opinion, and to submit to the
authority of the Prince de Conti, our Generalissimo. We agreed to treat
with the Archduke upon the plan of M. de Bouillon; that is, that he
should advance his army as far as Pont-A-Verre, and further, if the
generals desired it; who, on their part, would omit nothing to oblige the
Parliament to enter into this treaty, or rather, to make a new one for a
general peace; that is to say, to oblige the King to treat upon
reasonable conditions, the particulars whereof his Catholic Majesty would
refer to the arbitration of the Parliament. M. de Bouillon engaged to
have this treaty 'in totidem verbis' signed by the Spanish ministers, and
did not so much as ask me whether I would sign it or no. All the company
rejoiced at having the Spaniards' assistance upon such easy terms, and at
being at full liberty to receive the propositions of the Court, which
now, upon the declaration of M. de Turenne, could not fail to be very

The treaty was accordingly signed in the Prince de Conti's room at the
Hotel de Ville, but I forbore to set my hand to it, though solicited by
M. de Bouillon, unless they would come to some final resolution; yet I
gave them my word that, if the Parliament would be contented, I had such
expedients in my power as would give them all the time necessary to
withdraw their troops. I had two reasons for what I said: first, I knew
Fuensaldagne to be a wise man, that he would be of a different opinion
from his envoys, and that he would never venture his army into the heart
of the kingdom with so little assurance from the generals and none at all
from me; secondly, because I was willing to show to our generals that I
would not, as far as it lay in my power, suffer the Spaniards to be
treacherously surprised or insulted in case of an arrangement between the
Court and the Parliament; though I had protested twenty times in the same
conference that I would not separate myself from the Parliament.

M. d'Elbeuf said, "You cannot find the expedients you talk of but in
having recourse to the people."

"M. de Bouillon will answer for me," said I, "that it is not there that I
am to find my expedients."

M. de Bouillon, being desirous that I should sign, said, "I know that it
is not your intent, but I am fully persuaded that you mean well, that you
do not act as you would propose, and that we retain more respect for the
Parliament by signing than you do by refusing to sign; for," speaking
very low, that he might not be heard by the Spanish ministers, "we keep a
back door open to get off handsomely with the Parliament."

"They will open that door," said I, "when you could wish it shut, as is
but too apparent already, and you will be glad to shut it when you
cannot; the Parliament is not a body to be jested with."

After the signing of the treaty, I was told that the envoys had given
2,000 pistoles to Madame de Montbazon and as much to M. d'Elbeuf.

De Bellievre, who waited for me at home, whither I returned full of
vexation, used an expression which has been since verified by the event:
"We failed, this day," said he, "to induce the Parliament, which if we
had done, all had been safe and right. Pray God that everything goes
well, for if but one of our strings fails us we are undone."

As for the conferences for a peace with the Court at Ruel, it was
proposed on the Queen's part that the Parliament should adjourn their
session to Saint Germain, just to ratify the articles of the peace, and
not to meet afterwards for two or three years; but the deputies of
Parliament insisted that it was their privilege to assemble when and
where they pleased. When these and the like stories came to the ears of
the Parisians they were so incensed that the only talk of the Great
Chamber was to recall the deputies, and the generals seeing themselves
now respected by the Court, who had little regard for them before the
declaration of M. de Turenne, thought that the more the Court was
embarrassed the better, and therefore incited the Parliament and people
to clamour, that the Cardinal might see that things did not altogether
depend upon the conference at Ruel. I, likewise, contributed what lay in
my power to moderate the precipitation of the First President and
President de Mesmes towards anything that looked like an agreement.

On the 8th of March the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that M. de
Turenne offered them his services and person against Cardinal Mazarin,
the enemy of the State. I said that I was informed a declaration had
been issued the night before at Saint Germain against M. de Turenne, as
guilty of high treason. The Parliament unanimously passed a decree to
annul it, to authorise his taking arms, to enjoin all the King's subjects
to give him free passage and support, and to raise the necessary funds
for the payment of his troops, lest the 800,000 livres sent from Court to
General d'Erlach should corrupt the officers and soldiers. A severe
edict was issued against Courcelles, Lavardin, and Amilly, who had levied
troops for the King in the province of Maine, and the commonalty were
permitted to meet at the sound of the alarm-bell and to fall foul of all
those who had held assemblies without order of Parliament.

On the 9th a decree was passed to suspend the conference till all the
promises made by the Court to allow the entry of provisions were
punctually executed.

The Prince de Conti informed the House the same day that he was desired
by M. de Longueville to assure them that he would set out from Rouen on
the 15th with 7,000 foot and 3,000 horse, and march directly to Saint
Germain; the Parliament was incredibly overjoyed, and desired the Prince
de Conti to press him to hasten his march as much as possible.

On the 10th the member for Normandy told the House that the Parliament of
Rennes only stayed for the Duc de la Tremouille to join against the
common enemy.

On the 11th an envoy from M. de la Tremouille offered the Parliament, in
his master's name, 8,000 foot and 2,000 horse, who were in a condition to
march in two days, provided the House would permit his master to seize on
all the public money at Poitiers, Niort, and other places whereof he was
already master. The Parliament thanked him, passed a decree with full
powers accordingly, and desired him to hasten his levies with all

Posterity will hardly believe that, notwithstanding all this heat in the
party, which one would have thought could not have immediately
evaporated, a peace was made and signed the same day; but of this more by
and by.

While the Court, as has been before hinted, was tampering with the
generals, Madame de Montbazon promised M. de Beaufort's support to the
Queen; but her Majesty understood that it was not to be done if I were
not at the market to approve of the sale. La Riviere despised M.
d'Elbeuf no longer. M. de Bouillon, since his brother's declaration,
seemed more inclined than before to come to an arrangement with the
Court, but his pretentions ran very high, and both the brothers were in
such a situation that a little assistance would not suffice, and as to
the offers made to myself by Madame de Lesdiguieres, I returned such an
answer as convinced the Court that I was not so easily to be moved.

In short, Cardinal Mazarin found all the avenues to a negotiation either
shut or impassable. This despair of success in the Court was eventually
more to the advantage of the Court than the most refined politics, for it
did not hinder them from negotiating, the Cardinal's natural temper not
permitting him to do otherwise; but, however, he could not trust to the
carrying out of negotiations, and therefore beguiled our generals with
fair promises, while he remitted 800,000 livres to buy off the army of M.
de Turenne, and obliged the deputies at Ruel to sign a peace against the
orders of the Parliament that sent them. The President de Mesmes assured
me several times since that this peace was purely the result of a
conversation he had with the Cardinal on the 8th of March at night, when
his Eminence told him he saw plainly that M. de Bouillon would not treat
till he had the Spaniards and M. de Turenne at the gates of Paris; that
is, till he saw himself in the position to seize one-half of the kingdom.
The President made him this answer:

"There is no hope of any security but in making the Coadjutor a

To which Mazarin answered: "He is worse than the other, who at least
seemed once inclined to treat, but he is still for a general peace, or
for none at all."

President de Mesmes replied: "If things are come to this pass we must be
the victims to save the State from perishing--we must sign the peace. For
after what the Parliament has done to-day there is no remedy, and perhaps
tomorrow we shall be recalled; if we are disowned in what we do we are
ruined, the gates of Paris will be shut against us, and we shall be
prosecuted and treated as prevaricators and traitors. It is our business
and concern to procure such conditions as will give us good ground to
justify our proceedings, and if the terms are but reasonable, we know how
to improve them against the factions; but make them as you please
yourself, I will sign them all, and will go this moment to acquaint the
First President that this is the only expedient to save the State. If it
takes effect we have peace, if we are disowned by the Parliament we still
weaken the faction, and the danger will fall upon none but ourselves."
He added that with much difficulty he had persuaded the First President.

The peace was signed by Cardinal Mazarin, as well as by the other
deputies, on the part of the King. The substance of the articles was
that Parliament should just go to Saint Germain to proclaim the peace,
and then return to Paris, but hold no assembly that year; that all their
public decrees since the 6th of January should be made void, as likewise
all ordinances of Council, declarations and 'lettres de cachet'; that as
soon as the King had withdrawn his troops from Paris, all the forces
raised for the defence of the city should be disbanded, and the
inhabitants lay down their arms and not take them up again without the
King's order; that the Archduke's deputy should be dismissed without an
answer, that there should be a general amnesty, and that the King should
also give a general discharge for all the public money made use of, as
also for the movables sold and for all the arms and ammunition taken out
of the arsenal and elsewhere.

M. and Madame de Bouillon were extremely surprised when they heard that
the peace was signed. I did not expect the Parliament would make it so
soon, but I said frequently that it would be a very shameful one if we
should let them alone to make it. M. de Bouillon owned that I had
foretold it often enough. "I confess," said he, "that we are entirely to
blame," which expression made me respect him more than ever, for I think
it a greater virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one.
The Prince de Conti, MM. d'Elbeuf, de Beaufort, and de La Mothe were very
much surprised, too, at the signing of the peace, especially because
their agent at Saint Germain had assured them that the Court was fully
persuaded that the Parliament was but a cipher, and that the generals
were the men with whom they must negotiate. I confess that Cardinal
Mazarin acted a very wily part in this juncture, and he is the more to be
commended because he was obliged to defend himself, not only against the
monstrous impertinences of La Riviere, but against the violent passion of
the Prince de Conde.

We held a council at the Duc de Bouillon's, where I persuaded them that
as our deputies were recalled by an order despatched from Parliament
before the treaty was signed, it was therefore void, and that we ought to
take no notice of it, the rather because it had not been communicated to
Parliament in form; and, finally, that the deputies should be charged to
insist on a general treaty of peace and on the expulsion of Mazarin; and,
if they did not succeed, to return forthwith to their seats in
Parliament. But I added that if the deputies should have time to return
and make their report, we should be under the necessity of protesting,
which would so incense the people against them that we should not be able
to keep them from butchering the First President and the President de
Mesmes, so that we should be reputed the authors of the tragedy, and,
though formidable one day, should be every whit as odious the next. I
concluded with offering to sacrifice my coadjutorship of Paris to the
anger of the Queen and the hatred of the Cardinal, and that very
cheerfully, if they would but come into my measures.

M. de Bouillon, after having opposed my reasons, concluded thus: "I know
that my brother's declaration and my urging the necessity of his
advancing with the army before we come to a positive resolution may give
ground to a belief that I have great views for our family. I do not deny
but that I hope for some advantages, and am persuaded it is lawful for me
to do so, but I will be content to forfeit my reputation if I ever agree
with the Court till you all say you are satisfied; and if I do not keep
my word I desire the Coadjutor to disgrace me."

After all I thought it best to submit to the Prince de Conti and the
voice of the majority, who resolved very wisely not to explain themselves
in detail next morning in Parliament, but that the Prince de Conti should
only say, in general, that it being the common report that the peace was
signed at Ruel, he was resolved to send deputies thither to take care of
his and the other generals' interests.

The Prince agreed at once with our decision. Meantime the people rose at
the report I had spread concerning Mazarin's signing the treaty, which,
though we all considered it a necessary stratagem, I now repented of.
This shows that a civil war is one of those complicated diseases wherein
the remedy you prescribe for obviating one dangerous symptom sometimes
inflames three or four others.

On the 13th the deputies of Ruel entering the Parliament House, which was
in great tumult, M. d'Elbeuf, contrary to the resolution taken at M. de
Bouillon's, asked the deputies whether they had taken care of the
interest of the generals in the treaty.

The First President was going to make his report, but was almost stunned
with the clamour of the whole company, crying, "There is no peace! there
is no peace!" that the deputies had scandalously deserted the generals
and all others whom the Parliament had joined by the decree of union,
and, besides, that they had concluded a peace after the revocation of the
powers given them to treat. The Prince de Conti said very calmly that he
wondered they had concluded a treaty without the generals; to which the
First President answered that the generals had always protested that they
had no separate interests from those of the Parliament, and it was their
own fault that they had not sent their deputies. M. de Bouillon said
that, since Cardinal Mazarin was to continue Prime Minister, he desired
that Parliament should obtain a passport for him to retire out of the
kingdom. The First President replied that his interest had been taken
care of, and that he would have satisfaction for Sedan. But M. de
Bouillon told him that he might as well have said nothing, and that he
would never separate from the other generals. The clamour redoubled with
such fury that President de Mesmes trembled like an aspen leaf. M. de
Beaufort, laying his hand upon his sword, said, "Gentlemen, this shall
never be drawn for Mazarin."

The Presidents de Coigneux and de Bellievre proposed that the deputies
might be sent back to treat about the interests of the generals and to
reform the articles which the Parliament did not like; but they were soon
silenced by a sudden noise in the Great Hall, and the usher came in
trembling and said that the people called for M. de Beaufort. He went
out immediately, and quieted them for the time, but no sooner had he got
inside the House than the disturbance began afresh, and an infinite
number of people, armed with daggers, called out for the original treaty,
that they might have Mazarin's sign-manual burnt by the hangman, adding
that if the deputies had signed the peace of their own accord they ought
to be hanged, and if against their will they ought to be disowned. They
were told that the sign-manual of the Cardinal could not be burnt without
burning at the same time that of the Duc d'Orleans, but that the deputies
were to be sent back again to get the articles amended. The people still
cried out, "No peace! no Mazarin! You must go! We will have our good
King fetched from Saint Germain, and all Mazarins thrown into the river!"

The people were ready to break open the great door of the House, yet the
First President was so far from being terrified that, when he was advised
to pass through the registry into his own house that he might not be
seen, he replied, "If I was sure to perish I would never be guilty of
such cowardice, which would only serve to make the mob more insolent, who
would be ready to come to my house if they thought I was afraid of them
here." And when I begged him not to expose himself till I had pacified
the people he passed it off with a joke, by which I found he took me for
the author of the disturbance, though very unjustly. However, I did not
resent it, but went into the Great Hall, and, mounting the solicitors'
bench, waved my hands to the people, who thereupon cried, "Silence!" I
said all I could think of to make them easy. They asked if I would
promise that the Peace of Ruel should not be kept. I answered, "Yes,
provided the people will be quiet, for otherwise their best friends will
be obliged to take other methods to prevent such disturbances." I acted
in a quarter of an hour above thirty different parts. I threatened, I
commanded, I entreated them; and, finding I was sure of a calm, at least
for a moment, I returned to the House, and, embracing the First
President, placed him before me; M. de Beaufort did the same with
President de Mesmes, and thus we went out with the Parliament, all in a
body, the officers of the House marching in front. The people made a
great noise, and we heard some crying, "A republic!" but no injury was
offered to us, only M. de Bouillon received a blow in his face from a
ragamuffin, who took him for Cardinal Mazarin.

On the 16th the deputies were sent again to Ruel by the Parliament to
amend some of the articles, particularly those for adjourning the
Parliament to Saint Germain and prohibiting their future assemblies; with
an order to take care of the interest of the generals and of the
companies, joined together by the decree of union.

The late disturbances obliged the Parliament to post the city
trained-bands at their gates, who were even more enraged against the
"Mazarin peace," as they called it, than the mob, and who were far less
dreaded, because they consisted of citizens who were not for plunder; yet
this select militia was ten times on the point of insulting the
Parliament, and did actually insult the members of the Council and
Presidents, threatening to throw the President de Thore into the river;
and when the First President and his friends saw that they were afraid of
putting their threats into execution, they took an advantage of us, and
had the boldness even to reproach the generals, as if the troops had not
done their duty; though if the generals had but spoken loud enough to be
heard by the people, they would not have been able to hinder them from
tearing the members to pieces.

The Duc de Bouillon came to the Hotel de Ville and made a speech there to
Prince de Conti and the other generals, in substance as follows:

"I could never have believed what I now see of this Parliament. On the
13th they would not hear the Peace of Ruel mentioned, but on the 15th
they approved of it, some few articles excepted; on the 16th they
despatched the same deputies who had concluded a peace against their
orders with full and unlimited powers, and, not content with all this,
they load us with reproaches because we complain that they have treated
for a peace without us, and have abandoned M. de Longueville and M. de
Turenne; and yet it is owing only to us that the people do not massacre
them. We must save their lives at the hazard of our own, and I own that
it is wisdom so to do; but we shall all of us certainly perish with the
Parliament if we let them go on at this rate." Then, addressing himself
to the Prince de Conti, he said, "I am for closing with the Coadjutor's
late advice at my house, and if your Highness does not put it into
execution before two days are at an end, we shall have a peace less
secure and more scandalous than the former."

The company became unanimously of his opinion, and resolved to meet next
day at M. de Bouillon's to consider how to bring the affair into
Parliament. In the meantime, Don Gabriel de Toledo arrived with the
Archduke's ratification of the treaty signed by the generals, and with a
present from his master of 10,000 pistoles; but I was resolved to let the
Spaniards see that I had not the intention of taking their money, though
at his request Madame de Bouillon did all she could to persuade me.
Accordingly, I declined it with all possible respect; nevertheless, this
denial cost me dear afterwards, because I contracted a habit of refusing
presents at other times when it would have been good policy to have
accepted them, even if I had thrown them into the river. It is sometimes
very dangerous to refuse presents from one's superiors.

While we were in conference at M. de Bouillon's the sad news was brought
to us that M. de Turenne's forces, all except two or three regiments, had
been bribed with money from Court to abandon him, and, finding himself
likely to be arrested, he had retired to the house of his friend and
kinswoman, the Landgravine of Hesse. M. de Bouillon, was, as it were,
thunderstruck; his lady burst out into tears, saying, "We are all
undone," and I was almost as much cast down as they were, because it
overturned our last scheme.

M. de Bouillon was now for pushing matters to extremes, but I convinced
him that there was nothing more dangerous.

Don Gabriel de Toledo, who was ordered to be very frank with me, was very
reserved when he saw how I was mortified about the news of M. de Turenne,
and caballed with the generals in such a manner as made me very uneasy.
Upon this sudden turn of affairs I made these remarks: That every company
has so much in it of the unstable temper of the vulgar that all depends
upon joining issue with opportunity; and that the best proposals prove
often fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive to-morrow.

I could not sleep that night for thinking about our circumstances. I saw
that the Parliament was less inclined than ever to engage in a war, by
reason of the desertion of the army of M. de Turenne; I saw the deputies
at Ruel emboldened by the success of their prevarication; I saw the
people of Paris as ready to admit the Archduke as ever they could be to
receive the Duc d'Orleans; I saw that in a week's time this Prince, with
beads in his hand, and Fuensaldagne with his money, would have greater
power than ourselves; that M. de Bouillon was relapsing into his former
proposal of using extremities, and that the other generals would be
precipitated into the same violent measures by the scornful behaviour of
the Court, who now despised all because they were sure of the Parliament.
I saw that all these circumstances paved the way for a popular sedition
to massacre the Parliament and put the Spaniards in possession of the
Louvre, which might overturn the State.

These gloomy thoughts I resolved to communicate to my father, who had for
the last twenty years retired to the Oratory, and who would never hear of
my State intrigues. My father told me of some advantageous offers made
to me indirectly by the Court, but advised me not to trust to them.

Next day, M. de Bouillon was for shutting the gates against the deputies
of Ruel, for expelling the Parliament, for making ourselves masters of
the Hotel de Ville, and for bringing the Spanish army without delay into
our suburbs. As for M. de Beaufort, Don Gabriel de Toledo told me that
he offered Madame de Montbazon 20,000 crowns down and 6,000 crowns a year
if she could persuade him into the Archduke's measures. He did not
forget the other generals. M. d'Elbeuf was gained at an easy rate, and
Marechal de La Mothe was buoyed up with the hopes of being accommodated
with the Duchy of Cardonne. I soon saw the Catholicon of Spain (Spanish
gold) was the chief ingredient. Everybody saw that our only remedy was
to make ourselves masters of the Hotel de Ville by means of the people,
but I opposed it with arguments too tedious to mention. M. de Bouillon
was for engaging entirely with Spain, but I convinced Marechal de La
Mothe and M. de Beaufort that such measures would in a fortnight reduce
them to a precarious dependence on the counsels of Spain.

Being pressed to give my opinion in brief, I delivered it thus: "We
cannot hinder the peace without ruining the Parliament by the help of the
people, and we cannot maintain the war by the means of the same people
without a dependence upon Spain. We cannot have any peace with Saint
Germain but by consenting to continue Mazarin in the Ministry."

M. de Bouillon, with the head of an ox, and the penetration of an eagle,
interrupted me thus: "I take it, monsieur," said he, "you are for
suffering the peace to come to a conclusion, but not for appearing in

I replied that I was willing to oppose it, but that it should be only
with my own voice and the voices of those who were ready to run the same
hazard with me.

"I understand you again," replied M. de Bouillon; "a very fine thought
indeed, suitable to yourself and to M. de Beaufort, but to nobody else."

"If it suited us only," said I, "before I would propose it I would cut
out my tongue. The part we act would suit you as well as either of us,
because you may accommodate matters when you think it for your interest.
For my part, I am fully persuaded that they who insist upon the exclusion
of Mazarin as a condition of the intended arrangement will continue
masters of the affections of the people long enough to take their
advantage of an opportunity which fortune never fails to furnish in
cloudy and unsettled times. Pray, monsieur, considering your reputation
and capacity, who can pretend to act this part with more dignity, than
yourself? M. de Beaufort and I are already the favourites of the people,
and if you declare for the exclusion of the Cardinal, you will be
tomorrow as popular as either of us, and we shall be looked upon as the
only centre of their hopes. All the blunders of the ministers will turn
to our advantage, the Spaniards will caress us, and the Cardinal,
considering how fond he is of a treaty, will be under the necessity to
court us. I own this scheme may be attended with inconveniences, but, on
the other side of the question, we are sure of certain ruin if we have a
peace and an enraged minister at the helm, who cannot hope for
reestablishment but upon our destruction. Therefore, I cannot but think
the expedient is as proper for you to engage in as for me, but if, for
argument's sake, it were not, I am sure it is for your interest that I
should embrace it, for you will by that means have more time to make your
own terms with the Court before the peace is concluded, and after the
peace Mazarin will in such case be obliged to have more regard for all
those gentlemen whose reunion with me it will be to his interest to

M. de Bouillon was so convinced of the justice of my reasoning that he
told me, when we were by ourselves, that he had, as well as myself,
thought of my expedient as soon as he received the news of the army
deserting M. de Turenne, that he could still improve it, as the Spaniards
would not fail to relish it, and that he had been on the point several
times one day to confer about it with me; but that his wife had conjured
him with prayers and tears to speak no more of the matter, but to come to
terms with the Court, or else to engage himself with the Spaniards. "I
know," said he, "you are not for the second arrangement; pray lend me
your good offices to compass the first." I assured him that all my best
offices and interests were entirely at his service to facilitate his
agreement with the Court, and that he might freely make use of my name
and reputation for that purpose.

In fine, we agreed on every point. M. de Bouillon undertook to make the
proposition palatable to the Spaniards, provided we would promise never
to let them know that it was concerted among ourselves beforehand, and we
never questioned but that we could persuade M. de Longueville to accept
it, for men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures which lead
them two ways, and consequently press them to no choice.

I had almost forgotten to tell you what M. de Bouillon said to me in
private as we were going from the conference. "I am sure," said he,
"that you will not blame me for not exposing a wife whom I dearly love
and eight children whom she loves more than herself to the hazards which
you run, and which I could run with you were I a single man."

I was very much affected by the tender sentiments of M. de Bouillon and
the confidence he placed in me, and assured him I was so far from blaming
him that I esteemed him the more, and that his tenderness for his lady,
which he was pleased to call his weakness, was indeed what politics
condemned but ethics highly justified, because it betokened an honest
heart, which is much superior both to interest and politics. M. de
Bouillon communicated the proposal both to the Spanish envoys and to the
generals, who were easily persuaded to relish it.

Thus he made, as it were, a golden bridge for the Spaniards to withdraw
their troops with decency. I told him as soon as they were gone that he
was an excellent man to persuade people that a "quartan ague was good for

The Parliamentary deputies, repairing to Saint Germain on the 17th of
March, 1649, first took care to settle the interests of the generals,
upon which every officer of the army thought he had a right to exhibit
his pretensions. M. de Vendome sent his son a formal curse if he did not
procure for him at least the post of Superintendent of the Seas, which
was created first in favour of Cardinal de Richelieu in place of that of
High Admiral, but Louis XIV. abolished it, and restored that of High

Upon this we held a conference, the result of which was that on the 20th
the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that himself and the other
generals entered their claims solely for the purpose of providing for
their safety in case Mazarin should continue in the Ministry, and that he
protested, both for himself and for all the gentlemen engaged in the same
party, that they would immediately renounce all pretensions whatsoever
upon the exclusion of Cardinal Mazarin.

We also prevailed on the Prince de Conti, though almost against his will,
to move the Parliament to direct their deputies to join with the Comte de
Maure for the expulsion of Cardinal Mazarin. I had almost lost all my
credit with the people, because I hindered them on the 13th of March from
massacring the Parliament, and because on the 23d and 24th I opposed the
public sale of the Cardinal's library. But I reestablished my reputation
in the Great Hall among the crowd, in the opinion of the firebrands of
Parliament, by haranguing against the Comte de Grancei, who had the
insolence to pillage the house of M. Coulon; by insisting on the 24th
that the Prince d'Harcourt should be allowed to seize all the public
money in the province of Picardy; by insisting on the 25th against a
truce which it would have been ridiculous to refuse during a conference;
and by opposing on the 30th what was transacted there, though at the same
time I knew that peace was made.

I now return to the conference at Saint Germain.

The Court declared they would never consent to the removal of the
Cardinal; and that as to the pretensions of the generals, which were
either to justice or favour, those of justice should be confirmed, and
those of favour left to his Majesty's disposal to reward merit. They
declared their willingness to accept the Archduke's proposal for a
general peace.

An amnesty was granted in the most ample manner, comprehending expressly
the Prince de Conti, MM. de Longueville, de Beaufort, d'Harcourt, de
Rieug, de Lillebonne, de Bouillon, de Turenne, de Brissac, de Duras, de
Matignon, de Beuron, de Noirmoutier, de Sdvigny, de Tremouille, de La
Rochefoucault, de Retz, d'Estissac, de Montresor, de Matta, de Saint
Germain, d'Apchon, de Sauvebeuf, de Saint Ibal, de Lauretat, de Laigues,
de Chavagnac, de Chaumont, de Caumesnil, de Cugnac, de Creci, d'Allici,
and de Barriere; but I was left out, which contributed to preserve my
reputation with the public more than you would expect from such a trifle.

On the 31st the deputies, being returned, made their report to the
Parliament, who on the 1st of April verified the declaration of peace.

As I went to the House I found the streets crowded with people crying "No
peace! no Mazarin!" but I dispersed them by saying that it was one of
Mazarin's stratagems to separate the people from the Parliament, who
without doubt had reasons for what they had done; that they should be
cautious of falling into the snare; that they had no cause to fear
Mazarin; and that they might depend on it that I would never agree with
him. When I reached the House I found the guards as excited as the
people, and bent on murdering every one they knew to be of Mazarin's
party; but I pacified them as I had done the others. The First
President, seeing me coming in, said that "I had been consecrating oil
mixed, undoubtedly, with saltpetre." I heard the words, but made as if I
did not, for had I taken them up, and had the people known it in the
Great Hall, it would not have been in my power to have saved the life of
one single member.

Soon after the peace the Prince de Conti, Madame de Longueville and M. de
Bouillon went to Saint Germain to the Court, which had by some means or
other gained M. d'Elbeuf. But MM. de Brissac, de Retz, de Vitri, de
Fiesque, de Fontrailles, de Montresor, de Noirmoutier, de Matta, de la
Boulaie, de Caumesnil, de Moreul, de Laigues, and d'Annery remained in a
body with us, which was not contemptible, considering the people were on
our side; but the Cardinal despised us to that degree that when MM. de
Beaufort, de Brissac, de La Mothe, and myself desired one of our friends
to assure the Queen of our most humble obedience, she answered that she
should not regard our assurances till we had paid our devoirs to the

Madame de Chevreuse having come from Brussels without the Queen's leave,
her Majesty sent her orders to quit Paris in twenty-four hours upon which
I went to her house and found the lovely creature at her toilet bathed in
tears. My heart yearned towards her, but I bid her not obey till I had
the honour of seeing her again. I consulted with M. de Beaufort to get
the order revoked, upon which he said, "I see you are against her going;
she shall stay. She has very fine eyes!"

I returned to the Palace de Chevreuse, where I was made very welcome, and
found the lovely Mademoiselle de Chevreuse. I got a very intimate
acquaintance with Madame de Rhodes, natural daughter of Cardinal de
Guise, who was her great confidant. I entirely demolished the good
opinion she had of the Duke of Brunswick-Zell, with whom she had almost
struck a bargain. De Laigues hindered me at first, but the forwardness
of the daughter and the good-nature of the mother soon removed all
obstacles. I saw her every day at her own house and very often at Madame
de Rhodes's, who allowed us all the liberty we could wish for, and we did
not fail to make good use of our time. I did love her, or rather I
thought I loved her, for I still had to do with Madame de Pommereux.

Fronde (sling) being the name given to the faction, I will give you the
etymology of it, which I omitted in the first book.

When Parliament met upon State affairs, the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince
de Conde came very frequently, and tempered the heat of the contending
parties; but the coolness was not lasting, for every other day their fury
returned upon them.

Bachoumont once said, in jest, that the Parliament acted like the
schoolboys in the Paris ditches, who fling stones, and run away when they
see the constable, but meet again as soon as he turns his back. This was
thought a very pretty comparison. It came to be a subject for ballads,
and, upon the peace between the King and Parliament, it was revived and
applied to those who were not agreed with the Court; and we studied to
give it all possible currency, because we observed that it excited the
wrath of the people. We therefore resolved that night to wear hatbands
made in the form of a sling, and had a great number of them made ready to
be distributed among a parcel of rough fellows, and we wore them
ourselves last of all, for it would have looked much like affectation and
have spoilt all had we been the first in the mode.

It is inexpressible what influence this trifle had upon the people; their
bread, hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, fans, ornaments were all 'a la mode
de la Fronde', and we ourselves were more in the fashion by this trifle
than in reality. And the truth is we had need of all our shifts to
support us against the whole royal family. For although I had spoken to
the Prince de Conde at Madame de Longueville's, I could not suppose
myself thoroughly reconciled. He treated me, indeed, civilly, but with
an air of coldness, and I know that he was fully persuaded that I had
complained of his breach of a promise which he made by me to some members
of Parliament; but, as I had complained to nobody upon this head, I began
to suspect that some persona studied to set us at variance. I imagined
it came from the Prince de Conti, who was naturally very malicious, and
hated me, he knew not why. Madame de Longueville loved me no better. I
always suspected Madame de Montbazon, who had not nearly so much
influence over M. de Beaufort as I had, yet was very artful in robbing
him of all his secrets. She did not love me either, because I deprived
her of what might have made her a most considerable person at Court.

Count Fuensaldagne was not obliged to help me if he could. He was not
pleased with the conduct of M. de Bouillon, who, in truth, had neglected
the decisive point for a general peace, and he was much less satisfied
with his own ministers, whom he used to call his blind moles; but he was
pleased with me for insisting always on the peace between the two Crowns,
without any view to a separate one. He therefore sent me Don Antonio
Pimentel, to offer me anything that was in the power of the King his
master, and to tell me that, as I could not but want assistance,
considering how I stood with the Ministry, 100,000 crowns was at my
service, which was accordingly brought me in bills of exchange. He added
that he did not desire any engagement from me for it, nor did the King
his master propose any other advantage than the pleasure of protecting
me. But I thought fit to refuse the money, for the present, telling Don
Antonio that I should think myself unworthy, of the protection of his
Catholic Majesty if I took any, gratuity, while I was in no capacity, of
serving him; that I was born a Frenchman, and, by virtue of my, post,
more particularly, attached than another to the metropolis of the
kingdom; that it was my misfortune to be embroiled with the Prime
Minister of my King, but that my resentment should never carry me to
solicit assistance among his enemies till I was forced to do so for
self-preservation; that Divine Providence had cast my lot in Paris, where
God, who knew the purity of my intentions, would enable me in all
probability to maintain myself by my own interest. But in case I wanted
protection I was fully persuaded I could nowhere find any so powerful and
glorious as that of his Catholic Majesty, to whom I would always think it
an honour to have recourse. Fuensaldagne was satisfied with my answer,
and sent back Don Antonio Pimentel with a letter from the Archduke,
assuring me that upon a line from my hand he would march with all the
forces of the King his master to my assistance.


MADAME:--Cardinal Mazarin thought of nothing else now but how to rid
himself of the obligations he lay under to the Prince de Conde, who had
actually saved him from the gallows. And his principal view was an
alliance with the House of Vendome, who had on some occasions opposed the
interest of the family of Conde.

In Paris the people libelled not only the Cardinal, but the Queen. Indeed
it was not our interest to discourage libels and ballads against the
Cardinal, but it concerned us to suppress such as were levelled against
the Queen and Government. It is not to be imagined what uneasiness the
wrath of the people gave us upon that head. Two criminals, one of whom
was a printer, being condemned to be hanged for publishing some things
fit to be burnt and for libelling the Queen, cried out, when they were
upon the scaffold, that they were to be put to death for publishing
verses against Mazarin, upon which the people rescued them from justice.

On the other hand, some gay young gentlemen of the Court, who were in
Mazarin's interest, had a mind to make his name familiar to the
Parisians, and for that end made a famous display in the public walks of
the Tuileries, where they had grand suppers, with music, and drank the
Cardinal's health publicly. We took little notice of this, till they
boasted at Saint Germain that the Frondeurs were glad to give them the
wall. And then we thought it high time to correct them, lest the common
people should think they did it by authority. For this end M. de
Beaufort and a hundred other gentlemen went one night to the house where
they supped, overturned the table, and broke the musicians' violins over
their heads.

Being informed that the Prince de Conde intended to oblige the King to
return to Paris, I was resolved to have all the merit of an action which
would be so acceptable to the citizens. I therefore resolved to go to
the Court at Compiegne, which my friends very much opposed, for fear of
the danger to which I might be exposed, but I told them that what is
absolutely necessary is not dangerous.

I went accordingly, and as I was going up-stairs to the Queen's
apartments, a man, whom I never saw before or since, put a note into my
hand with these words: "If you enter the King's domicile, you are a dead
man." But I was in already, and it was too late to go back. Being past
the guard-chamber, I thought myself secure. I told the Queen that I was
come to assure her Majesty of my most humble obedience, and of the
disposition of the Church of Paris to perform all the services it owed to
their Majesties. The Queen seemed highly pleased, and was very kind to
me; but when we mentioned the Cardinal, though she urged me to it, I
excused myself from going to see him, assuring her Majesty that such a
visit would put it out of my power to do her service. It was impossible
for her to contain herself any longer; she blushed, and it was with much
restraint that she forbore using harsh language, as she herself confessed

Servien said one day that there was a design to assassinate me at his
table by the Abbe Fouquet; and M. de Vendome, who had just come from his
table, pressed me to be gone, saying that there were wicked designs
hatching against me.

I returned to Paris, having accomplished everything I wanted, for I had
removed the suspicion of the Court that the Frondeurs were against the
King's return. I threw upon the Cardinal all the odium attending his
Majesty's delay. I braved Mazarin, as it were, upon his throne, and
secured to myself the chief honour of the King's return.

The Court was received at Paris as kings always were and ever will be,
namely, with acclamations, which only please such as like to be
flattered. A group of old women were posted at the entrance of the
suburbs to cry out, "God save his Eminence!" who sat in the King's coach
and thought himself Lord of Paris; but at the end of three or four days
he found himself much mistaken. Ballads and libels still flew about. The
Frondeurs appeared bolder than ever. M. de Beaufort and I rode sometimes
alone, with one lackey only behind our coach, and at other times we went
with a retinue of fifty men in livery and a hundred gentlemen. We
diversified the scene as we thought it would be most acceptable to the
spectators. The Court party, who blamed us from morning to night,
nevertheless imitated us in their way. Everybody took an advantage of
the Ministry from our continual pelting of his Eminence. The Prince, who
always made too much or too little of the Cardinal, continued to treat
him with contempt; and, being disgusted at being refused the post of
Superintendent of the Seas, the Cardinal endeavoured to soothe him with
the vain hopes of other advantages.

The Prince, being one day at Court, and seeing the Cardinal give himself
extraordinary airs, said, as he was going out of the Queen's cabinet,
"Adieu, Mars." This was told all over the city in a quarter of an hour.
I and Noirmoutier went by appointment to his house at four o'clock in the
morning, when he seemed to be greatly troubled. He said that he could
not determine to begin a civil war, which, though the only means to
separate the Queen from the Cardinal, to whom she was so strongly
attached, yet it was both against his conscience and honour. He added
that he should never forget his obligations to us, and that if he should
come to any terms with the Court, he would, if we thought proper, settle
our affairs also, and that if we had not a mind to be reconciled to the
Court, he would, in case it did attack us, publicly undertake our
protection. We answered that we had no other design in our proposals
than the honour of being his humble servants, and that we should be very
sorry if he had retarded his reconciliation with the Queen upon our
account, praying that we might be permitted to continue in the same
disposition towards the Cardinal as we were then, which we declared
should not hinder us from paying all the respect and duty which we
professed for his Highness.

I must not forget to acquaint you that Madame de Guemenee, who ran away
from Paris in a fright the moment it was besieged, no sooner heard that I
had paid a visit to Mademoiselle de Chevreuse than she returned to town
in a rage. I was in such a passion with her for having cowardly deserted
me that I took her by the throat, and she was so enraged at my
familiarity with Mademoiselle de Chevreuse that she threw a candlestick
at my head, but in a quarter of an hour we were very good friends.

The Prince de Conde was no sooner reconciled with the Court than he was
publicly reproached in the city for breaking his word with the Frondeurs;
but I convinced him that he could not think such treatment strange in a
city so justly exasperated against Mazarin, and that, nevertheless, he
might depend on my best services, for which he assured me of his constant

Moissans, now Marechal d'Albret, who was at the head of the King's
gendarmes, accustomed himself and others to threaten the chief minister,
who augmented the public odium against himself by reestablishing Emeri, a
man detested by all the kingdom. We were not a little alarmed at his
reestablishment, because this man, who knew Paris better than the
Cardinal, distributed money among the people to a very good purpose. This
is a singular science, which is either very beneficial or hurtful in its
consequences, according to the wisdom or folly of the distributor.

These donations, laid out with discretion and secrecy, obliged us to
yield ourselves more and more unto the bulk of the people, and, finding a
fit opportunity for this performance, we took care not to let it slip,
which, if they had been ruled by me, we should not have done so soon, for
we were not yet forced to make use of such expedients. It is not safe in
a faction where you are only upon the defensive to do what you are not
pressed to do, but the uneasiness of the subalterns on such occasions is
troublesome, because they believe that as soon as you seem to be inactive
all is lost. I preached every day that the way was yet rough, and
therefore must be made plain, and that patience in the present case was
productive of greater effects than activity; but nobody comprehended the
truth of what I said.

An unlucky expression, dropped on this occasion by the Princesse de
Guemenee, had an incredible influence upon the people. She called to
mind a ballad formerly made upon the regiment of Brulon, which was said
to consist of only two dragoons and four drummers, and, inasmuch as she
hated the Fronde, she told me very pleasantly that our party, being
reduced to fourteen, might be justly compared to that regiment of Brulon.
Noirmoutier and Laigues were offended at this expression to that degree
that they continually murmured because I neither settled affairs nor
pushed them to the last extremity. Upon which I observed that heads of
factions are no longer their masters when they are unable either to
prevent or allay the murmurs of the people.

The revenues of the Hotel de Ville, which are, as it were, the patrimony
of the bourgeois, and which, if well managed, might be of special service
to the King in securing to his interest an infinite number of those
people who are always the most formidable in revolutions--this sacred
fund, I say, suffered much by the licentiousness of the times, the
ignorance of Mazarin, and the prevarication of the officers of the Hotel
de Ville, who were his dependents, so that the poor annuitants met in
great numbers at the Hotel de Ville; but as such assemblies without the
Prince's authority are reckoned illegal, the Parliament passed a decree
to suppress them. They were privately countenanced by M. de Beaufort and
me, to whom they sent a solemn deputation, and they made choice of twelve
syndics to be a check upon the 'prevot des marchands'.

On the 11th of December a pistol, as had been concerted beforehand, was
fired into the coach of Joly, one of the syndics, which President
Charton, another of the syndics, thinking was aimed at himself, the
Marquis de la Boulaie ran as if possessed with a devil, while the
Parliament was sitting, into the middle of the Great Hall, with fifteen
or twenty worthless fellows crying out "To Arms!" He did the like in the
streets, but in vain, and came to Broussel and me; but the former
reprimanded him after his way, and I threatened to throw him out at the
window, for I had reason to believe that he acted in concert with the
Cardinal, though he pretended to be a Frondeur.

This artifice of Servien united the Prince to the Cardinal, because he
found himself obliged to defend himself against the Frondeurs, who, as he
believed, sought to assassinate him. All those that were his own
creatures thought they were not zealous enough for his service if they
did not exaggerate the imminent danger he had escaped, and the Court
parasites confounded the morning adventure with that at night; and upon
this coarse canvas they daubed all that the basest flattery, blackest
imposture, and the most ridiculous credulity was capable of imagining;
and we were informed the next morning that it was the common rumour over
all the city that we had formed a design of seizing the King's person and
carrying him to the Hotel de Ville, and to assassinate the Prince.

M. de Beaufort and I agreed to go out and show ourselves to the people,
whom we found in such a consternation that I believed the Court might
then have attacked us with success. Madame de Montbazon advised us to
take post-horses and ride off, saying that there was nothing more easy
than to destroy us, because we had put ourselves into the hands of our
sworn enemies. I said that we had better hazard our lives than our
honour. To which she replied, "It is not that, but your nymphs, I
believe, which keep you here" (meaning Mesdames de Chevreuse and
Guemenee). "I expect," she said, "to be befriended for my own sake, and
don't I deserve it? I cannot conceive how you can be amused by a wicked
old hag and a girl, if possible, still more foolish. We are continually
disputing about that silly wretch" (pointing to M. de Beaufort, who was
playing chess); "let us take him with us and go to Peronne."

You are not to wonder that she talked thus contemptibly of M. de
Beaufort, whom she always taxed with impotency, for it is certain that
his love was purely Platonic, as he never asked any favour of her, and
seemed very uneasy with her for eating flesh on Fridays. She was so
sweet upon me, and withal such a charming beauty, that, being naturally
indisposed to let such opportunities slip, I was melted into tenderness
for her, notwithstanding my suspicions of her, considering the then
situation of affairs, and would have had her go with me into the cabinet,
but she was determined first to go to Peronne, which put an end to our

Beaufort waited on the Prince and was well received, but I could not gain

On the 14th the Prince de Conde went to Parliament and demanded that a
committee might be appointed to inquire into the attempt made on his

The Frondeurs were not asleep in the meantime, yet most of our friends
were dispirited, and all very weak.

The cures of Paris were my most hearty friends; they laboured with
incredible zeal among the people. And the cure of Saint Gervais sent me
this message: "Do but rally again and get off the assassination, and in a
week you will be stronger than your enemies."

I was informed that the Queen had written to my uncle, the Archbishop of
Paris, to be sure to go to the Parliament on the 23d, the day that
Beaufort, Broussel, and I were to be impeached, because I had no right to
sit in the House if he were present. I begged of him not to go, but my
uncle being a man of little sense, and that much out of order, and being,
moreover, fearful and ridiculously jealous of me, had promised the Queen
to go; and all that we could get out of him was that he would defend me
in Parliament better than I could defend myself. It is to be observed
that though he chattered to us like a magpie in private, yet in public he
was as mute as a fish. A surgeon who was in the Archbishop's service,
going to visit him, commended him for his courage in resisting the
importunities of his nephew, who, said he, had a mind to bury him alive,
and encouraged him to rise with all haste and go to the Parliament House;
but he was no sooner out of his bed than the surgeon asked him in a
fright how he felt. "Very well," said my Lord. "But that is
impossible," said the surgeon; "you look like death," and feeling his
pulse, he told him he was in a high fever; upon which my Lord Archbishop
went to bed again, and all the kings and queens in Christendom could not
get him out for a fortnight.

We went to the Parliament, and found there the Princes with nearly a
thousand gentlemen and, I may say, the whole Court. I had few salutes in
the Hall, because it was generally thought I was an undone man. When I
had entered the Great Chamber I heard a hum like that at the end of a
pleasing period in a sermon. When I had taken my place I said that,
hearing we were taxed with a seditious conspiracy, we were come to offer
our heads to the Parliament if guilty, and if innocent, to demand justice
upon our accusers; and that though I knew not what right the Court had to
call me to account, yet I would renounce all privileges to make my
innocence apparent to a body for whom I always had the greatest
attachment and veneration.

Then the informations were read against what they called "the public
conspiracy from which it had pleased Almighty God to deliver the State
and the royal family," after which I made a speech, in substance as

"I do not believe, gentlemen, that in any of the past ages persons of our
quality had ever received any personal summons grounded merely upon
hearsay. Neither can I think that posterity will ever believe that this
hearsay evidence was admitted from the mouths of the most infamous
miscreants that ever got out of a gaol. Canto was condemned to the
gallows at Pau, Pichon to the wheel at Mans, Sociande is a rogue upon
record. Pray, gentlemen, judge of their evidence by their character and
profession. But this is not all. They have the distinguishing character
of being informers by authority. I am sorely grieved that the defence of
our honour, which is enjoined us by the laws of God and man, should
oblige me to expose to light, under the most innocent of Kings, such
abominations as were detested in the most corrupt ages of antiquity and
under the worst of tyrants. But I must tell you that Canto, Sociande,
and Gorgibus are authorised to inform against us by a commission signed
by that august name which should never be employed but for the
preservation of the most sacred laws, and which Cardinal Mazarin, who
knows no law but that of revenge, which he meditates against the
defenders of the public liberty, has forced M. Tellier, Secretary of
State, to countersign.

"We demand justice, gentlemen, but we do not demand it of you till we
have first most humbly implored this House to execute the strictest
justice that the laws have provided against rebels, if it appears that we
have been concerned directly or indirectly in raising this last
disturbance. Is it possible, gentlemen, that a grandchild of Henri the
Great, that a senator of M. Broussel's age and probity, and that the
Coadjutor of Paris should be so much as suspected of being concerned in a
sedition raised by a hot-brained fool, at the head of fifteen of the
vilest of the mob? I am fully persuaded it would be scandalous for me to
insist longer on this subject. This is all I know, gentlemen, of the
modern conspiracy."

The applause that came from the Court of Inquiry was deafening; many
voices were heard exclaiming against spies and informers. Honest Doujat,
who was one of the persons appointed by the Attorney-General Talon, his
kinsman, to make the report, and who had acquainted me with the facts,
acknowledged it publicly by pretending to make the thing appear less
odious. He got up, therefore, as if he were in a passion, and spoke very
artfully to this purpose:

"These witnesses, monsieur, are not to accuse you, as you are pleased to
say, but only to discover what passed in the meeting of the annuitants at
the Hotel de Ville. If the King did not promise impunity to such as will
give him information necessary for his service, and which sometimes
cannot be come at without involving evidence in a crime, how should the
King be informed at all? There is a great deal of difference between
patents of this nature and commissions granted on purpose to accuse you."

You might have seen fire in 'the face of every member. The First
President called out "Order!" and said, "MM. de Beaufort, le Coadjuteur,
and Broussel, you are accused, and you must withdraw."

As Beaufort and I were leaving our seats, Broussel stopped us, saying,
"Neither you, gentlemen, nor I are bound to depart till we are ordered to
do so by the Court. The First President, whom all the world knows to be
our adversary, should go out if we must."

I added, "And M. le Prince," who thereupon said, with a scornful air:

"What, I? Must I retire?"

"Yes, yes, monsieur," said I, "justice is no respecter of persons."

The President de Mesmes said, "No, monseigneur, you must not go out
unless the Court orders you. If the Coadjutor insists that your Highness
retire, he must demand it by a petition. As for himself, he is accused,
and therefore must go out; but, seeing he raises difficulties and
objections to the contrary, we must put it to the vote." And it was
passed that we should withdraw.

Meanwhile, most of the members passed encomiums upon us, satires upon the
Ministry, and anathemas upon the witnesses for the Crown. Nor were the
cures and the parishioners wanting in their duty on this occasion. The
people came in shoals from all parts of Paris to the Parliament House.
Nevertheless, no disrespect was shown either to the King's brother or to
M. le Prince; only some in their presence cried out, "God bless M. de
Beaufort! God bless the Coadjutor!"

M. de Beaufort told the First President next day that, the State and
royal family being in danger, every moment was precious, and that the
offenders ought to receive condign punishment, and that therefore the
Chambers ought to be assembled without loss of time. Broussel attacked
the First President with a great deal of warmth. Eight or ten
councillors entered immediately into the Great Chamber to testify their
astonishment at the indolence and indifference of the House after such a
furious conspiracy, and that so little zeal was shown to prosecute the
criminals. MM. de Bignon and Talon, counsel for the Crown, alarmed the
people by declaring that as for themselves they had no hand in the
conclusions, which were ridiculous. The First President returned very
calm answers, knowing well that we should have been glad to have put him
into a passion in order to catch at some expression that might bear an
exception in law.

On Christmas Day I preached such a sermon on Christian charity, without
mentioning the present affairs, that the women even wept for the unjust
persecution of an archbishop who had so great a tenderness for his very

On the 29th M. de Beaufort and I went to the Parliament House,
accompanied by a body of three hundred gentlemen, to make it appear that
we were more than tribunes of the people, and to screen ourselves from
the insults of the Court party. We posted ourselves in the Fourth
Chamber of the Inquests, among the courtiers, with whom we conversed very
frankly, yet upon the least noise, when the debates ran high in the Great
Chamber, we were ready to cut one another's throats eight or ten times
every morning. We were all distrustful of one another, and I may venture
to say there were not twenty persons in the House but were armed with
daggers. As for myself, I had resolved to take none of those weapons
inconsistent with my character, till one day, when it was expected the
House would be more excited than usual, and then M. de Beaufort, seeing
one end of the weapon peeping out of my pocket, exposed it to M. le
Prince's captain of the guards and others, saying, "See, gentlemen, the
Coadjutor's prayer-book." I understood the jest, but really I could not
well digest it. We petitioned the Parliament that the First President,
being our sworn enemy, might be expelled the House, but it was put to the
vote and carried by a majority of thirty-six that he should retain his
station of judge.

Paris narrowly escaped a commotion at the time of the imprisonment of
Belot, one of the syndics of the Hotel de Ville annuitants, who, being
arrested without a decree, President de la Grange made it appear that
there was nothing more contrary to the declaration for which they had
formerly so exerted themselves. The First President maintaining the
legality of his imprisonment, Daurat, a councillor of the Third Chamber,
told him that he was amazed that a gentleman who was so lately near being
expelled could be so resolute in violating the laws so flagrantly.
Whereupon the First President rose in a passion, saying that there was
neither order nor discipline in the House, and that he would resign his
place to another for whom they had more respect. This motion put the
Great Chamber all in a ferment, which was felt in the Fourth, where the
gentlemen of both parties hastened to support their respective sides, and
if the most insignificant lackey had then but drawn a sword, Paris would
have been all in an uproar.

We solicited very earnestly for our trial, which they delayed as much as
it was in their power, because they could not choose but acquit us and
condemn the Crown witnesses. Various were the pretences for putting it
off, and though the informations were not of sufficient weight to hang a
dog, yet they were read over and over at every turn to prolong the time.

The public began to be persuaded of our innocence, as also the Prince de
Conde, and M. de Bouillon told me that he very much suspected it to be a
trick of the Cardinal's.

On the 1st of January, 1650, Madame de Chevreuse, having a mind to visit
the Queen, with whom she had carried on in all her disgrace an
unaccountable correspondence, went to the King's Palace. The Cardinal,
taking her aside in the Queen's little cabinet, said to her:

"You love the Queen. Is it not possible for you to make your friends
love her?"

"How can that be?" said she; "the Queen is no more a Queen, but a humble
servant to M. le Prince."

"Good God!" replied the Cardinal; "we might do great things if we could
get some men into our interest. But M. de Beaufort is at the service of
Madame de Montbazon, and she is devoted to Vigneul and the Coadjutor; "
at the mention of which he smiled. "I take you, monsieur," said Madame
de Chevreuse; "I will answer for him and for her."

Thus the conversation began, and the Cardinal making a sign to the Queen,
Madame de Chevreuse had a long conference that night with her Majesty,
who gave her this billet for me, written and signed with her own hand:

Notwithstanding what has passed and what is now doing, I cannot but
persuade myself that M. le Coadjuteur is in my interest. I desire to see
him, and that nobody may know it but Madame and Mademoiselle de
Chevreuse. This name shall be your security. ANNE

Being convinced that the Queen was downright angry with the Prince de
Conde on account of a rumour spread abroad that he had some intriguing
gallantries with her Majesty, I weighed all circumstances and returned
the answer to the Queen:

Never was there one moment of my life wherein I was not devoted to your
Majesty. I am so far from consulting my own safety that I would gladly
die for your service . . . I will go to any place your Majesty shall
order me.

My answer, with the Queen's letter enclosed, was carried back by Madame
de Chevreuse and well received. I went immediately to Court, and was
taken up the back staircase by the Queen's train-bearer to the petit
oratoire, where her Majesty was shut up all alone. She showed me as much
kindness as she could, considering her hatred against M. le Prince and
her friendship for the Cardinal, though the latter seemed the more to
prevail, because in speaking of the civil wars and of the Cardinal's
friendship for me she called him "the poor Cardinal" twenty times over.
Half an hour after, the Cardinal came in, who begged the Queen to
dispense with the respect he owed her Majesty while he embraced me in her
presence. He was pleased to say he was very sorry that he could not give
me that very moment his own cardinal's cap. He talked so much of
favours, gratifications, and rewards that I was obliged to explain
myself, knowing that nothing is more destructive of new reconciliations
than a seeming unwillingness to be obliged to those to whom you are
reconciled. I answered that the greatest recompense I could expect,
though I had saved the Crown, was to have the honour of serving her
Majesty, and I humbly prayed the Queen to give me no other recompense,
that at least I might have the satisfaction to make her Majesty sensible
that this was the only reward I valued.

The Cardinal desired the Queen to command me to accept of the nomination
to the cardinalate, "which," said he, "La Riviere has snatched with
insolence and acknowledged with treachery." I excused myself by saying
that I had taken a resolution never to accept of the cardinalship by any
means which seemed to have relation to the civil wars, to the end that I
might convince the Queen that it was the most rigid necessity which had
separated me from her service. I rejected upon the same account all the
other advantageous propositions he made me, and, he still insisting that
the Queen could do no less than confer upon me something that was very
considerable for the signal service I was likely to do her Majesty, I

"There is one point wherein the Queen can do me more good than if she
gave me a triple crown. Her Majesty told me just now that she will cause
M. le Prince to be apprehended. A person of his high rank and merit
neither can nor ought to be always shut up in prison, for when he comes
abroad he will be full of resentment against me, though I hope my dignity
will be my protection. There are a great many gentlemen engaged with me
who, in such a juncture, would be ready to serve the Queen. And if it
seemed good to your Majesty to entrust one of them with some important
employment, I should be more pleased than with ten cardinals' hats."

The Cardinal told the Queen that nothing was more just, and the affair
should be considered between him and me.

We had several conferences, at which we agreed on gratifications for some
of our friends and to arrest the Prince de Conde, the Prince de Conti,
and the Duc de Longueville.

The Cardinal took occasion to speak of the treachery of La Riviere. "This
man," said he, "takes me to be the most stupid creature living, and
thinks he shall be to-morrow a cardinal. I diverted myself to-day with
letting him try on some scarlet cloth I lately received from Italy, and I
put it near his face to know whether a scarlet colour or carnation became
him best."

I heard from Rome that his Eminence was not behindhand with La Riviere
upon the score of treachery. For on the very day he got him nominated by
the King, he wrote a letter to Cardinal Sachelli more fit to recommend
him to a yellow cap than to a red one. This letter, nevertheless, was
full of tenderness for La Riviere, which Mazarin knew was the only way to
ruin him with Pope Innocent, who hated Mazarin and all his adherents.

Madame de Chevreuse undertook to see how the Duc d'Orleans would relish
the design of imprisoning the Princes. She told him that, though the
Queen was not satisfied with M. le Prince, yet she could not form a
resolution of apprehending him without the concurrence of his Royal
Highness. She magnified the advantages of bringing over to the King's
service the powerful faction of the Fronde, and the daily dangers Paris
was exposed to, both by fire and sword. This last reason touched him as
much or more than all, for he trembled every time he came to the
Parliament; M. le Prince very often could not prevail upon him to go at
all, and a fit of colic was generally assigned as the reason of his
absence. At length he consented, and on the 18th of January the three
Princes were put under arrest by three officers of the Queen's Guards.

The people having a notion that M. de Beaufort was apprehended, ran to
their arms, which I caused to be laid down immediately, by marching
through the streets with flambeaux before me. M. de Beaufort did the
like, and the night concluded with bonfires.

The Queen sent a letter from the King to the Parliament with the reasons,
which were neither strong nor well set out, why the Prince de Conde was
confined. However, we obtained a decree for our absolution.

The Princesses were ordered to retire to Chantilly. Madame de
Longueville went towards Normandy, but found no sanctuary there, for the
Parliament of Rouen sent her a message to desire her to depart from the
city. The Duc de Richelieu would not receive her into Havre, and from
there she retired to Dieppe.

M. de Bouillon, who after the peace was strongly attached to the Prince
de Conde, went in great haste to Turenne; M. de Turenne got into Stenai;
M. de La Rochefoucault, then Prince de Marsillac, returned home to
Poitou; and Marechal de Breze, father-in-law to the Prince de Conde, went
to Saumur.

There was a declaration published and registered in Parliament against
them, whereby they were ordered to wait on the King within fifteen days,
upon pain of being proceeded against as disturbers of the public peace
and guilty of high treason.

The Court carried all before them. Madame de Longueville, upon the King
going into Normandy, escaped by sea into Holland, whence she went
afterwards to Arras, to try La Tour, one of her husband's pensioners, who
offered her his person, but refused her the place. She repaired at last
to Stenai, whither M. de Turenne went to meet her, with all the friends
and servants of the confined Princes that he could muster. The King went
from Normandy to Burgundy, and returned to Paris crowned with laurels of

The Princess-dowager, who had been ordered to retire to Bourges, came
with a petition to Parliament, praying for their protection to stay in
Paris, and that she might have justice done her for the illegal
confinement of the Princes her children. She fell at the feet of the Duc
d'Orleans, begged the protection of the Duc de Beaufort, and said to me
that she had the honour to be my kinswoman. M. de Beaufort was very much
perplexed what to do, and I was nearly ready to die for shame; but we
could do nothing for her, and she was obliged to go to Valery.

Several private annuitants, who had made a noise in the assemblies at the
Hotel de Ville, were afraid of being called to account, and therefore,
after M. le Prince was arrested, they desired me to procure a general
amnesty. I spoke about it to the Cardinal, who seemed very pliable, and,
showing me his hatband, which was 'a la mode de la Fronde', said he hoped
himself to be comprised in that amnesty; but he shuffled it off so long
that it was not published and registered in Parliament till the 12th of
May, and it would not have been obtained then had not I threatened
vigorously to prosecute the Crown witnesses, of which they were mightily
apprehensive, being so conscious of the heinousness of their crime that
two of them had already made their escape.

The present calm hardly deserved that name, for the storm of war began to
rise again in several places at once.

Madame de Longueville and M. de Turenne made a treaty with the Spaniards,
and the latter joined their army, which entered Picardy and besieged
Guise, after having taken Catelet; but for want of provisions the
Archduke was obliged to raise the siege. M. de Turenne levied troops
with Spanish money, and was joined by the greater part of the officers
commanding the soldiers that went under the name of the Prince's troops.

The wretched conduct of M. d'Epernon had so confounded the affairs of
Guienne that nothing but his removal could retrieve them.

One of the greatest mischiefs which the despotic authority of ministers
has occasioned in the world in these later times is a practice,
occasioned by their own private mistaken interests, of always supporting
superiors against their inferiors. It is a maxim borrowed from
Machiavelli, whom few understand, and whom too many cry up for an able
man because he was always wicked. He was very far from being a complete
statesman, and was frequently out in his politics, but I think never more
grossly mistaken than in this maxim, which I observed as a great weakness
in Mazarin, who was therefore the less qualified to settle the affairs of
Guienne, which were in so much confusion that I believe if the good sense
of Jeannin and Villeroi had been infused into the brains of Cardinal de
Richelieu, it would not have been sufficient to set them right.

Senneterre, perceiving that Cardinal Mazarin and I were not cordial
friends, undertook to reconcile us, and for that end took me to the
Cardinal, who embraced me very tenderly, said he laid his heart upon the
table, that was one of his usual phrases,--and protested he would talk as
freely to me as if I were his own son. I did not believe a word of what
he said, but I assured his Eminence that I would speak to him as if he
were my father, and I was as good as my word. I told him I had no
personal interest in view but to disengage myself from the public
disturbances without any private advantage, and that for the same reason
I thought myself obliged to come off with reputation and honour. I
desired him to consider that my age and want of skill in public affairs
could not give him any jealousy that I aimed to be the First Minister. I
conjured him to consider also that the influence I had over the people of
Paris, supported by mere necessity, did rather reflect disgrace than
honour upon my dignity, and that he ought to believe that this one reason
was enough to make me impatient to be rid of all these public broils,
besides a thousand other inconveniences arising every moment, which
disgusted me with faction. And as for the dignity of cardinal, which
might peradventure give him some umbrage, I could tell him very sincerely
what had been and what was still my notion of this dignity, which I once
foolishly imagined would be more honourable for me to despise than to
enjoy. I mentioned this circumstance to let him see that in my tender
years I was no admirer of the purple, and not very fond of it now,
because I was persuaded that an Archbishop of Paris could hardly miss
obtaining that dignity some time or other, according to form, by actions
purely ecclesiastical; and that he should be loth to use any other means
to procure it.

I said that I should be extremely sorry if my purple were stained with
the least drop of blood spilt in the civil wars; that I was resolved to
clear my hands of everything that savoured of intrigue before I would
make or suffer any step which had any tendency that way; that he knew
that for the same reason I would neither accept money nor abbeys, and
that, consequently, I was engaged by the public declarations I had made
upon all those heads to serve the Queen without any interest; that the
only end I had in view, and in which I never wavered, was to come off
with honour, so that I might resume the spiritual functions belonging to
my profession with safety; that I desired nothing from him but the
accomplishment of an affair which would be more for the King's service
than for my particular interest; that he knew that the day after the
arrest of the Prince he sent me with his promise to the annuitants of the
Hotel de Ville, and that for want of performance those men were persuaded
that I was in concert with the Court to deceive them. Lastly, I told him
that the access I had to the Duc d'Orleans might perhaps give him
umbrage, but I desired him to consider that I never sought that honour,
and that I was very sensible of the inconveniences attending it. I
enlarged upon this head, which is the most difficult point to be
understood by Prime Ministers, who are so fond of being freely admitted
into a Prince's presence that, notwithstanding all the experience in the
world, they cannot help thinking that therein consists the essence of

When truth has come to a certain point, it darts such powerful rays of
light as are irresistible, but I never knew a man who had so little
regard for truth as Mazarin. He seemed, however, more regardful of it
than usual, and I laid hold of the occasion to tell him of the dangerous
consequences of the disturbances of Guienne, and that if he continued to
support M. d'Epernon, the Prince's faction would not let this opportunity
slip; that if the Parliament of Bordeaux should engage in their party, it
would not be long before that of Paris would do the same; that, after the
late conflagration in this metropolis, he could not suppose but that
there was still some fire hidden under the ashes; and that the factious
party had reason to fear the heavy punishment to which the whole body of
them was liable, as we ourselves were two or three months ago. The
Cardinal began to yield, especially when he was told that M. de Bouillon
began to make a disturbance in the Limousin, where M. de La Rochefoucault
had joined him with some troops.

To confirm our reconciliation, a marriage was proposed between my niece
and his nephew, to which he, gave his consent; but I was much averse to
it, being not yet resolved to bury my family in that of Mazarin, nor did
I set so great a value on grandeur as to purchase it with the public
odium. However, it produced no animosity on either side, and his friends
knew that I should be very glad to be employed in making a general peace;
they acted their parts so well that the Cardinal, whose love-fit for me
lasted about a fortnight, promised me, as it were of his own accord, that
I should be gratified.

News came about this time from Guienne that the Ducs de Bouillon and de
La Rochefoucault had taken Madame la Princesse into Bordeaux, together
with M. le Duc, her son. The Parliament was not displeased with the
people for receiving into their city M. le Duc, yet they observed more
decorum than could be expected from the inhabitants of Gascogne, so
irritated as they were against M. d'Epernon. They ordered that Madame la
Princesse, M. le Duc, MM. de Bouillon and de La Rochefoucault should have
liberty to stay in Bordeaux, provided they would promise to undertake
nothing against the King's service, and that the petition of Madame la
Princesse should be sent to the King with a most humble remonstrance from
the Parliament against the confinement of the Princes.

At the same time, one of the Presidents sent word to Senneterre that the
Parliament was not so far enraged but that they would still remember
their loyalty to the King, provided he did but remove M. d'Epernon. But
in case of any further delay he would not answer for the Parliament, and
much less for the people, who, being now managed and supported by the
Prince's party, would in a little time make themselves masters of the
Parliament. Senneterre did what he could to induce the Cardinal to make
good use of this advice, and M. de Chateauneuf, who was now Chancellor,
talked wonderfully well upon the point, but seeing the Cardinal gave no
return to his reasons but by exclaiming against the Parliament of
Bordeaux for sheltering men condemned by the King's declaration, he said
to him very plainly, "Set out to-morrow, monsieur, if you do not arrange
matters to-day; you should have been by this time upon the Garonne."

The event proved that Chateauneuf was in the right, for though the
Parliament was very excited, they stood out a long time against the
madness of the people, spurred on by M. de Bouillon, and issued a decree
ordering an envoy of Spain, who was sent thither to commence a treaty
with the Duc de Bouillon, to depart the city, and forbade any of their
body to visit such as had correspondence with Spain, the Princess herself
not excepted. Moreover, the mob having undertaken to force the
Parliament to unite with the Princes, the Parliament armed the
magistracy, who fired upon the people and made them retire.

A little time before the King departed for Guienne, which was in the
beginning of July, word came that the Parliament of Bordeaux had
consented to a union with the Princes, and had sent a deputy to the
Parliament of Paris, who had orders to see neither the King nor the
ministers, and that the whole province was disposed for a revolt. The
Cardinal was in extreme consternation, and commended himself to the
favour of the meanest man of the Fronde with the greatest suppleness

As soon as the King came to the neighbourhood of Bordeaux the deputies of
Parliament, who went to meet the Court at Lebourne, were peremptorily
commanded to open the gates of the city to the King and to all his
troops. They answered that one of their privileges was to guard the King
themselves while he was in any of their towns. Upon this, Marechal de La
Meilleraye seized the castle of Vaire, in the command of Pichon, whom the
Cardinal ordered to be hanged; and M. de Bouillon hanged an officer in
Meilleraye's army by way of reprisal.

After that the Marshal besieged the city in form, which, despairing of
succour from Spain, was forced to capitulate upon the following terms:

That a general pardon should be granted to all who had taken up arms and
treated with Spain, that all the soldiers should be disbanded except
those whom the King had a mind to keep in his pay, that Madame la
Princesse and the Duke should be at liberty to reside either in Anjou or
at Mouzon, with no more than two hundred foot and sixty horse, and that
M. d'Epernon should be recalled from the government of Guienne.

The Princess had an interview with both the King and Queen, at which
there were great conferences between the Cardinal and the Ducs de
Bouillon and de La Rochefoucault.

The deputy from Bordeaux, arriving at Paris soon after the King's
departure, went immediately, to Parliament, and, after an eloquent
harangue, presented a letter from the Parliament of Bordeaux, together
with their decrees, and demanded a union between the two Parliaments.
After some debates it was resolved that the deputy should deliver his
credentials in writing, which should be presented to his Majesty by the
deputies of the Parliament of Paris, who would, at the same time, most
humbly beseech the Queen to restore peace to Guienne.

The Duc d'Orleans was against debating about the petition to the Queen
for the liberation of the Priuces and the banishment of Cardinal Mazarin;
nevertheless, many of the members voted for it, upon a motion made by the
President Viole, who was a warm partisan of the Prince de Conde, not
because he had hopes of carrying it, but on purpose to embarrass M. de
Beaufort and myself upon a subject of which we did not care to speak, and
yet did not dare to be altogether silent about, without passing in some
measure for Mazarinists. President Viole did the Prince a great deal of
service on this occasion, for Bourdet a brave soldier, who had been
captain of the Guards and was attached to the interest of the
Prince--performed an action which emboldened the party very much, though
it had no success. He dressed himself and fourscore other officers of
his troops in mason's clothes, and having assembled many of the dregs of
the people, to whom he had distributed money, came directly to the Duc
d'Orleans as he was going out, and cried, "No Mazarin! God bless the
Princes!" His Royal Highness, at this apparition and the firing of a
brace of pistols at the same time by Bourdet, ran to the Great Chamber;
but M. de Beaufort stood his ground so well with the Duke's guards and
our men, that Bourdet was repulsed and thrown down the Parliament stairs.

But the confusion in the Great Chamber was still worse. There were daily
assemblies, wherein the Cardinal was severely attacked, and the Prince's
party had the pleasure of exposing us as his accomplices. What is very
strange is that at the same time the Cardinal and his friends accused us
of corresponding with the Parliament of Bordeaux, because we maintained,
in case the Court did not adjust affairs there, we would infallibly bring
the Parliament of Paris into the interest of the Prince. If I were at
the point of death I should have no need to be confessed on account of my
behaviour on this occasion. I acted with as much sincerity in this
juncture as if I had been the Cardinal's nephew, though really it was not
out of any love to him, but because I thought myself obliged in prudence
to oppose the progress of the Prince's faction, owing to the foolish
conduct of his enemies; and to this end I was obliged to oppose the
flattery of the Cardinal's tools as much as the efforts made by those who
were in the service of the Prince.

On the 3d of September President Bailleul returned with the other
deputies, and made a report in Parliament of his journey to Court; it
was, in brief, that the Queen thanked the Parliament for their good
intentions, and had commanded them to assure the Parliament in her name
that she was ready to restore peace to Guienne, and that it would have
been done before now had not M. de Bouillon, who had treated with the
Spaniards, made himself master of Bordeaux, and thereby cut off the
effects of his Majesty's goodness.

The Duc d'Orleans informed the House that he had received a letter from
the Archduke, signifying that the King of Spain having sent him full
powers to treat for a general peace, he desired earnestly to negotiate it
with him. But his Royal Highness added that he did not think it proper
to return him any answer till he had the opinion of the Parliament. The
trumpeter who brought the letter gathered a party at Tiroir cross, and
spoke very seditious words to the people. The next day they found libels
posted up and down the city in the name of M. de Turenne, setting forth
that the Archduke was coming with no other disposition than to make
peace, and in one of them were these words: "It is your business,
Parisians, to solicit your false tribunes, who have turned at last
pensioners and protectors of Mazarin, who have for so long a time sported
with your fortunes and repose, and spurred you on, kept you back, and
made you hot or cold, according to the caprices and different progress of
their ambition."

You see the state and condition the Frondeurs were in at this juncture,
when they could not move one step but to their own disadvantage. The Duc
d'Orleans spoke to me that night with a, great deal of bitterness against
the Cardinal, which he had never done before, and said he had been
tricked by him twice, and that he was ruining himself, the State, and all
of us, and would, by so doing, place the Prince de Conde upon the throne.
In short, Monsieur owned that it was not yet time to humble the Cardinal.
"Therefore," said M. Bellievre, "let us be upon our guard; this man can
give us the slip any moment."

Next day a letter was sent from the Prince de Conde, by the Baron de
Verderonne, to the Archduke, desiring him to name the time, place and
persons for a treaty. The Baron returned with a letter from the Archduke
to his Royal Highness, desiring that the conferences might be held
between Rheims and Rhetel, and that they might meet there personally,
with such others as they should think fit to bring with them. The Court
was surprised, but, however, did not think fit to delay sending full
powers to his Royal Highness to treat for peace on such terms as he
thought reasonable and advantageous for the King's service; and there
were joined with him, though in subordination, MM. Mole, the First
President, d'Avaux, and myself, with the title of Ambassadors
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiaries. M. d'Avaux obliged me to assure Don
Gabriel de Toledo, in private, that if the Spaniards would but come to
reasonable terms, we would conclude a peace with them in two days' time.
And his Royal Highness said that Don Gabriel being a lover of money, I
should promise him for his part 100,000 crowns if the conference that was
proposed ended in a peace, and bid him tell the Archduke that, if the
Spaniards proposed reasonable terms, he would sign and have them
registered in Parliament before Mazarin should know anything of the

Don Gabriel received the overture with joy; he had some particular
fancies, but Fuensaldagne, who had a particular kindness for him, said
that he was the wisest fool he ever saw in his life. I have remarked
more than once that this sort of man cannot persuade, but can insinuate
perfectly well, and that the talent of insinuation is of more service
than that of persuasion, because one may insinuate to a hundred where one
can hardly persuade five.

The King of England, after having lost the battle of Worcester, arrived
in Paris the day that Don Gabriel set out, the 13th of September, 1651.
My Lord Taff was his great chamberlain, valet de chambre, clerk of the
kitchen, cup-bearer, and all,--an equipage answerable to his Court, for
his Majesty had not changed his shirt all the way from England. Upon his
arrival at Paris, indeed, he had one lent him by my Lord Jermyn; but the
Queen, his mother, had not money to buy him another for the next day. The
Duc d'Orleans went to compliment his Majesty upon his arrival, but it was
not in my power to persuade his Royal Highness to give his nephew one
penny, because, said he, "a little would not be worth his acceptance, and
a great deal would engage me to do as much hereafter." This leads me to
make the following digression: that there is nothing so wretched as to be
a minister to a Prince, and, at the same time, not his favourite; for it
is his favour only that gives one a power over the more minute concerns
of the family, for which the public does, nevertheless, think a minister
accountable when they, see he has power over affairs of far greater

Therefore I was not in a condition to oblige his Royal Highness by
assisting the King of England with a thousand pistoles, for which I was
horridly, ashamed, both upon his account anal my own; but I borrowed
fifteen hundred for him from M. Morangis, and carried them to my Lord
Taff.--[Lord Clarendon extols the civilities of Cardinal de Retz to King
Charles II., and has reported a curious conversation which the Cardinal
had with that Prince.]--It is remarkable that the same night, as I was
going home, I met one Tilney, an Englishman whom I had formerly known at
Rome, who told me that Vere, a great Parliamentarian and a favourite of
Cromwell, had arrived in Paris and had orders to see me. I was a little
puzzled; however, I judged it would be improper to refuse him an
interview. Vere gave me a brief letter from Cromwell in the nature of
credentials, importing that the sentiments I had enunciated in the
"Defence of Public Liberty" added to my reputation, and had induced
Cromwell to desire to enter with me into the strictest friendship. The
letter was in the main wonderfully civil and complaisant. I answered it
with a great deal of respect, but in such a manner as became a true
Catholic and an honest Frenchman. Vere appeared to be a man of
surprising abilities.

I now return to our own affairs. I was told as a mighty secret that
Tellier had orders from the Cardinal to remove the Princes from the Bois
de Vincennes if the enemy were likely to come near the place, and that he
should endeavour by all means to procure the consent of the Duc d'Orleans
for that end; but that, in case of refusal, these orders should be
executed notwithstanding, and that he should endeavour to gain me to
these measures by the means of Madame de Chevreuse. When Tellier came to
me I assured him that it was all one, both to me and the Duc d'Orleans,
whether the Princes were removed or not, but since my opinion was
desired, I must declare that I think nothing can be more contrary to the
true interest of the King; "for," said I, "the Spaniards must gain a
battle before they can come to Vincennes, and when there they must have a
flying camp to invest the place before they can deliver the Princes from
confinement, and therefore I am convinced that there is no necessity for
their removal, and I do affirm that all unnecessary changes in matters
which are in themselves disagreeable are pernicious, because odious. I
will maintain, further, that there is less reason to fear the Duc
d'Orleans and the Frondeurs than to dread the Spaniards. Suppose that
his Royal Highness is more disaffected towards the Court than anybody;
suppose further that M. de Beaufort and I have a mind to relieve the
Princes, in what way could we do it? Is not the whole garrison in that
castle in the King's service? Has his Royal Highness any regular troops
to besiege Vincennes? And, granting the Frondeurs to be the greatest
fools imaginable, will they expose the people of Paris at a siege which
two thousand of the King's troops might raise in a quarter of an hour
though it consist of a hundred thousand citizens? I therefore conclude
that the removal would be altogether impolitic. Does it not look rather
as if the Cardinal feigns apprehension of the Spaniards only as a
pretence to make himself master of the Princes, and to dispose of their
persons at pleasure? The generality of the people, being Frondeurs, will
conclude you take the Prince de Conde out of their hands,--whom they look
upon to be safe while they see him walking upon the battlements of his
prison,--and that you will give him his liberty when you please, and thus
enable him to besiege Paris a second time. On the other hand, the
Prince's party will improve this removal very much to their own advantage
by the compassion such a spectacle will raise in the people when they see
three Princes dragged in chains from one prison to another. I was really
mistaken just now when I said the case was all one to me, for I see that
I am nearly concerned, because the people--in which word I include the
Parliament will cry out against it; I must be then obliged, for my own
safety, to say I did not approve of the resolution. Then the Court will
be informed that I find fault with it, and not only that, but that I do
it in order to raise the mob and discredit the Cardinal, which, though
ever so false; yet in consequence the people will firmly believe it, and
thus I shall meet with the same treatment I met with in the beginning of
the late troubles, and what I even now experience in relation to the
affairs of Guienne. I am said to be the cause of these troubles because
I foretold them, and I was said to encourage the revolt at Bordeaux
because I was against the conduct that occasioned it."

Tellier, in the Queen's name, thanked me for my unresisting disposition,
and made the same proposal to his Royal Highness; upon which I spoke, not
to second Tellier, who pleaded for the necessity of the removal, to which
I could by no means be reconciled, but to make it evident to his Royal
Highness that he was not in any way concerned in it in his own private
capacity, and that, in case the Queen did command it positively, it was
his duty to obey. M. de Beaufort opposed it so furiously as to offer the
Duc d'Orleans to attack the guards which were to remove him. I had solid
reasons to dissuade him from it, to the last of which he submitted, it
being an argument which I had from the Queen's own mouth when she set out
for Guienne, that Bar offered to assassinate the Princes if it should
happen that he was not in a condition to hinder their escape. I was
astonished when her Majesty trusted me with this secret, and imagined
that the Cardinal had possessed her with a fear that the Frondeurs had a
design to seize the person of the Prince de Conde. For my part, I never
dreamed of such a thing in my life. The Ducs d'Orleans and de Beaufort
were both shocked at the thought of it, and, in short, it was agreed that
his Royal Highness should give his consent for the removal, and that M.
de Beaufort and myself should not give it out among the people that we
approved of it.

The day that the Princes were removed to Marcoussi, President Bellievre
told the Keeper of the Seals in plain terms, that if he continued to
treat me as he had done hitherto, he should be obliged in honour to give
his testimony to the truth. To which the Keeper of the Seals returned
this blunt answer: "The Princes are no longer in sight of Paris; the
Coadjutor must not therefore talk so loud."

I return now to the Parliament, which was so moderate at this time that
the Cardinal was hardly mentioned, and they agreed, 'nemine
contradicente', that the Parliament should send deputies to Bordeaux to
know once for all if that Parliament was for peace or not.

Soon after this the Parliament of Toulouse wrote to that of Paris
concerning the disturbances in Guienne, part whereof belonged to their
jurisdiction, and expressly demanded a decree of union. But the Duc
d'Orleans warded off the blow very dexterously, which was of great
consequence, and, more by his address than by his authority, brought the
Parliament to dismiss the deputies with civil answers and insignificant
expressions, upon which President Bellievre said to me, "What pleasure
should we not take in acting as we do if it were for persons that had but
the sense to appreciate it!"

The Parliament did not continue long in that calm. They passed a decree
to interrogate the State prisoners in the Bastille, broke out sometimes
like a whirlwind, with thunder and lightning, against Cardinal Mazarin;
at other times they complained of the misapplication of the public funds.
We had much ado to ward off the blows, and should not have been able to
hold out long against the fury of the waves but for the news of the Peace
of Bordeaux, which was registered there on October the 1st, 1650, and put
the Prince de Conde's party into consternation.

One mean artifice of Cardinal Mazarin's polity was always to entertain
some men of our own party, with whom, half reconciled, he played fast and
loose before our eyes, and was eternally negotiating with them, deceiving
and being deceived in his turn. The consequence of all this was a great,
thick cloud, wherein the Frondeurs themselves were at last involved; but
which they burst with a thunderclap.

The Cardinal, being puffed up with his success in settling the troubles
of Guienne, thought of nothing else than crowning his triumph by
chastising the Frondeurs, who, he said, had made use of the King's
absence to alienate the Duc d'Orleans from his service, to encourage the
revolt at Bordeaux, and to make themselves masters of the persons of the
Princes. At the same time, he told the Princess Palatine that he
detested the cruel hatred I bore to the Prince de Conde, and that the
propositions I made daily to him on that score were altogether unworthy
of a Christian. Yet he suggested to the Duc d'Orleans that I made great
overtures to him to be reconciled to the Court, but that he could not
trust me, because I was from morning to night negotiating with the
friends of the Prince de Conde. Thus the Cardinal rewarded me for what I
did with incredible application and, I must say, uncommon sincerity for
the Queen's service during the Court's absence. I do not mention the
dangers I was in twice or thrice a day, surpassing even those of soldiers
in battles. For imagine, I beseech you, what pain and anguish I must
have been in at hearing myself called a Mazarinist, and at having to bear
all the odium annexed to that hateful appellation in a city where he made
it his business to destroy me in the opinion of a Prince whose nature it
was to be always in fear and to trust none but such as hoped to rise by
my fall.

The Cardinal gave himself such airs after the peace at Bordeaux that some
said my best way would be to retire before the King's return.

Cardinal Mazarin had been formerly secretary to Pancirole, the Pope's
nuncio for the peace of Italy, whom he betrayed, and it was proved that
he had a secret correspondence with the Governor of Milan. Pancirole,
being created cardinal and Secretary of State to the Church, did not
forget the perfidiousness of his secretary, now created cardinal by Pope
Urban, at the request of Cardinal de Richelieu, and did not at all
endeavour to qualify the anger which Pope Innocent had conceived against
Mazarin after the assassination of one of his nephews, in conjunction
with Cardinal Anthony.

[Anthony Barberini, nephew to Urban VIII., created Cardinal 1628, made
Protector of the Crown of France 1633, and Great Almoner of the Kingdom
1653. He was afterwards Bishop of Poitiers, and, lastly, Archbishop of
Rheims in 1657. Died 1671.]

Pancirole, who thought he could not affront Mazarin more than by
contributing to make me cardinal, did me all the kind offices with Pope
Innocent, who gave him leave to treat with me in that affair.

Madame de Chevreuse told the Queen all that she had observed in my
conduct in the King's absence, and what she had seen was certainly one
continued series of considerable services done to the Queen.

She recounted at last all the injustice done me, the contempt put upon
me, and the just grounds of my diffidence, which, she said, of necessity
ought to be removed, and that the only means of removing it was the hat.
The Queen was in a passion at this. The Cardinal defended himself, not
by an open denial, for he had offered it me several times, but by
recommending patience, intimating that a great monarch should be forced
to nothing. Monsieur, seconding Madame de Chevreuse in her attack,
assailed the Cardinal, who, at least in appearance, gave way, out of
respect for his Royal Highness. Madame de Chevreuse, having brought them
to parley, did not doubt that she should also bring them to capitulate,
especially when she saw the Queen was appeased, and had told his Royal
Highness that she was infinitely obliged to him, and would do what her
Council judged most proper and reasonable. This Council, which was only
a specious name, consisted only of the Cardinal, the Keeper of the Seals,
Tellier, and Servien.

The matter was proposed to the Council by the Cardinal with much
importunity, concluding with a most submissive petition to the Queen to
condescend to the demand of the Duc d'Orleans, and to what the services
and merits of the Coadjutor demanded. The proposition was rejected with
such resolution and contempt as is very unusual in Council in opposition
to a Prime Minister. Tellier and Servien thought it sufficient not to
applaud him; but the Keeper of the Seals quite forgot his respect for the
Cardinal, accused him of prevarication and weakness, and threw himself at
her Majesty's feet, conjuring her in the name of the King her son, not to
authorise, by an example which he called fatal, the insolence of a
subject who was for wresting favours from his sovereign, sword in hand.
The Queen was moved at this, and the poor Cardinal owned he had been too
easy and pliant.

I had myself given a very natural handle to my adversaries to expose me
so egregiously. I have been guilty of many blunders, but I think this is
the grossest that I ever was guilty of in all my life. I have frequently
made this observation, that when men have, through fear of miscarriage,
hesitated a long time about any undertaking of consequence, the remaining
impressions of their fear commonly push them afterwards with too much
precipitancy upon the execution of their design. And this was my case.
It was with the greatest reluctance that I determined to accept the
dignity of a cardinal, because I thought it too mean to form a pretension
to it without certainty of success; and no sooner was I engaged in the
pursuit of it but the impression of the former fearful ideas hurried me
on, as it were, to the end, that I might get as soon as possible out of
the disagreeable state of uncertainty.

The Cardinal would have paid my debts, given me the place of Grand
Almoner, etc.; but if he had added twelve cardinals' hats into the
bargain, I should have begged his excuse. I was now engaged with
Monsieur, who had, meanwhile, resolved upon the release of the Princes
from their confinement.

Cardinal Mazarin, after his return to Paris, made it his chief study to
divide the Fronde. He thought to materially weaken my interest with
Monsieur by detaching from me Madame de Chevreuse, for whom he had a
natural tenderness, and to give me a mortal blow by embroiling me with
Mademoiselle her daughter. To do this effectually he found a rival, who,
he hoped, would please her better, namely, M. d'Aumale, handsome as
Apollo, and one who was very likely to suit the temper of Mademoiselle de
Chevreuse. He had entirely devoted himself to the Cardinal's interest,
looked upon himself as very much honoured by this commission, and haunted
the Palace of Chevreuse so diligently that I did not doubt but that he
was sent thither to act the second part of the comedy which had
miscarried so shamefully in the hands of M. de Candale. I watched all
his movements, and complained to Mademoiselle de Chevreuse, but she gave
me indirect answers. I began to be out of humour, and was soon appeased.
I grew peevish again; and Mademoiselle de Chevreuse saying in his
presence, to please me and to sting him, that she could not imagine how
it was possible to bear a silly fellow, "Pardon me, mademoiselle,"
replied I, "we suffer fops sometimes very patiently for the sake of their
extravagances." This man was notoriously foppish and extravagant. My
answer pleased, and we soon got rid of him at the Palace of Chevreuse.
But he thought to have despatched me, for he hired one Grandmaison, a
ruffian, to assassinate me, who apprised me of his design. The first
time I met M. d'Aumale, which was at the Duc d'Orleans's house, I did not
fail to let him know it; but I told it him in a whisper, saying that I
had too much respect for the House of Savoy to publish it to the world.
He denied the fact, but in such a manner as to make it more evident,
because he conjured me to keep it secret. I gave him my word, and I kept

Madame de Guemenee, with whom I had several quarrels, proposed to the
Queen likewise to despatch me, by shutting me up in a greenhouse in her
garden, which she might easily have done, because I often went to her
alone by night; but the Cardinal, fearing that the people would have
suspected him as the author of my sudden disappearance, would not enter
into the project, so it was dropped.

To return to our negotiations for the freedom of the Princes. The Duc
d'Orleans was with much difficulty induced to sign the treaty by which a
marriage was stipulated between Mademoiselle de Chevreuse and the Prince
de Conti, and to promise not to oppose my promotion to the dignity of a
cardinal. The Princes were as active in the whole course of these
negotiations as if they had been at liberty. We wrote to them, and they
to us, and a regular correspondence between Paris and Lyons was never
better established than ours. Bar,

[Bar was, according to M. Joly, an unsociable man, who was for raising
his fortune by using the Princes badly, and who, on this account, was
often the dupe of Montreuil, secretary to the Prince de Conti.--See
JOLY'S "Memoirs," vol. i., p. 88.]

their warder, was a very shallow fellow; besides, men of sense are
sometimes outwitted.

Cardinal Mazarin, upon his return with the King from Guienne, was greatly
pleased with the acclamations of the mob, but he soon grew weary of them,
for the Frondeurs still kept the wall.

The Cardinal being continually provoked at Paris by the Abbe Fouquet, who
sought to make himself necessary, and being so vain as to think himself
qualified to command an army, marched abruptly out of Paris for
Champagne, with a design to retake Rhetel and Chateau-Portien, of which
the enemy were possessed, and where M. de Turenne proposed to winter.

On the feast of Saint Martin, the First President and the
Attorney-General Talon exhorted the Parliament to be peaceable, that the
enemies of the State might have no advantage. A petition was read from
Madame la Princesse, desiring that the Princes should be brought to the
Louvre and remain in the custody, of one of the King's officers, and that
the Solicitor-General be sent for to say what he had to allege against
their innocence, and that in case he should have nothing solid to offer
they be set at liberty.

The Chambers, being assembled on the 7th of December, to take the affair
into consideration, Talon, the Attorney-General, informed the House that
the Queen had sent for the King's Council, and ordered them to let the
Parliament know that it was her pleasure that the House should not take
any cognisance of the Princess's petition, because everything that had
relation to the confinement of the Princes belonged to the royal
authority. Talon made a motion that the Parliament should depute some
members to carry the petition to the Queen, and to beseech her Majesty to
take it into her consideration. At the same time another petition was
presented from Mademoiselle de Longueville, for the liberty of the Duke
her father, and that she might have leave to stay in Paris to solicit it.

No sooner was this petition read than a letter from the three Princes was
presented and read, praying that they might be brought to trial or set at

On the 9th day of the month an order was brought to the Parliament from
the King, commanding the House to suspend all deliberations on this
subject till they had first sent their deputies to Court to know his
Majesty's pleasure.

Deputies were sent immediately, to whom, accordingly, the Queen gave
audience in bed, telling them that she was very much indisposed. The
Keeper of the Seals added that it was the King's pleasure that the
Parliament should not meet at all until such time as the Queen his mother
had recovered her health.

On the 10th the House resolved to adjourn only to the 14th, and on that
day a general procession was proposed to the Archbishop by the Dean of
Parliament, to beg that God would inspire them with such counsels only as
might be for the good of the public.

On the 14th they received the King's letter, forbidding their debates,
and informing them that the Queen would satisfy them very speedily about
the affair of the Princes; but this letter was disregarded. They sent a
deputation to invite the Duc d'Orleans to come to the House, but, after
consulting with the Queen, he told the deputies that he did not care to
go, that the Assembly was too noisy, that he could not divine what they
would be at, that the affairs in debate were never known to fall under
their cognisance, and that they had nothing else to do but to refer the
said petitions to the Queen.

On the 18th news came that Marechal du Plessis had gained a signal
victory over M. de Turenne, who was coming to succour Rhetel, but found
it already surrendered to Marechal du Plessis; and the Spanish garrison,
endeavouring to retreat, was forced to an engagement on the plains of
Saumepuis; that about 2,000 men were killed upon the spot, among the rest
a brother of the Elector Palatine, and six colonels, and that there were
nearly 4,000 prisoners, the most considerable of whom were several
persons of note, and all the colonels, besides twenty colours and
eighty-four standards. You may easily guess at the consternation of the
Princes' party; my house was all night filled with the lamentations of
despairing mourners, and I found the Duc d'Orleans, as it were, struck

On the 19th, as I went to the Parliament House, the people looked
melancholy, dejected, and frightened out of their wits. The members were
afraid to open their mouths, and nobody would mention the name of Mazarin
except Menardeau Champre, who spoke of him with encomiums, by giving him
the honour of the victory of Rhetel, and then he moved the House to
entreat the Queen to put the Princes into the hands of that good and wise
Minister, who would be as careful of them as he had been hitherto of the
State. I wondered most of all that this man was not hissed in the House,
and especially as he passed through the Great Hall. This circumstance,
together with what I saw that afternoon in every street, convinced me how
much our friends were dispirited, and I therefore resolved next day to
raise their courage. I knew the First President to be purblind, and such
men greedily swallow every new fact which confirms them in their first
impression. I knew likewise the Cardinal to be a man that supposed
everybody had a back door. The only way of dealing with men of that
stamp is to make them believe that you design to deceive those whom you
earnestly endeavour to serve.

For this reason, on the 20th, I declaimed against the disorders of the
State, and showed that it having pleased Almighty God to bless his
Majesty's arms and to remove the public enemy from our frontiers by the
victory gained over them by Marechal du Plessis, we ought now to apply
ourselves seriously to the healing of internal wounds of the State, which
are the more dangerous because they are less obvious. To this I thought
fit to add that I was obliged to mention the general oppression of the
subjects at a time when we had nothing more to fear from the lately
routed Spaniards; that, as one of the props of the public safety was the
preservation of the royal family, I could not without the utmost concern
see the Princes breathe the unwholesome air of Havre-de-Grace, and that I
was of opinion that the House should humbly entreat the King to remove
them, at least to some place more healthy. At this speech everybody
regained their courage and concluded that all was not yet lost. It was
observed that the people's countenances were altered. Those in the Great
Hall resumed their former zeal, made the usual acclamations as we went
out, and I had that day three hundred carriages of visitors.

On the 22d the debate was continued, and it was more and more observed
that the Parliament did not follow the triumphant chariot of Cardinal
Mazarin, whose imprudence in hazarding the fate of the whole kingdom in
the last battle was set off with all the disadvantages that could be
invented to tarnish the victory.

The 30th crowned the work, and produced a decree for making most humble
remonstrances to the Queen for the liberty of the Princes and for
Mademoiselle de Longueville staying in Paris.

It was further resolved to send a deputation to the Duc d'Orleans, to
desire his Royal Highness to use his interest on this occasion in favour
of the said Princes.

The King's Council having waited on her Majesty with the remonstrances
aforesaid, she pretended to be under medical treatment, and put off the
matter a week longer. The Duc d'Orleans also gave an ambiguous answer.
The Queen's course of treatment continued eight or ten days longer than
she imagined, or, rather, than she said, and consequently the
remonstrances of the Parliament were not made till the 20th of January,

On the 28th the First President made his report, and said the Queen had
promised to return an answer in a few days.

It happened very luckily for us at this time that the imprudence of the
Cardinal was greater than the inconstancy of the Duc d'Orleans, for a
little before the Queen returned an answer to the remonstrances, he
talked very roughly to the Duke in the Queen's presence, charging him
with putting too much confidence in me. The very day that the Queen made
the aforesaid answer he spoke yet more arrogantly to the Duke in her
Majesty's apartment, comparing M. de Beaufort and myself to Cromwell and
Fairfax in the House of Commons in England, and exclaimed furiously in
the King's presence, so that he frightened the Duke, who was glad he got
out of the King's Palace with a whole skin, and who said that he would
never put himself again in the power of that furious woman, meaning the
Queen, because she had improved on what the Cardinal had said to the
King. I resolved to strike the iron while it was hot, and joined with M.
de Beaufort to persuade his Royal Highness to declare himself the next
day in Parliament. We showed him that, after what had lately passed,
there was no safety for his person, and if the King should go out of
Paris, as the Cardinal designed, we should be engaged in a civil war,
whereof he alone, with the city of Paris, must bear the heavy load; that
it would be equally scandalous and dangerous for his Royal Highness
either to leave the Princes in chains, after having treated with them,
or, by his dilatory proceedings, suffer Mazarin to have all the honour of
setting them at liberty, and that he ought by all means to go to the
Parliament House.

The Duchess, too, seconded us, and upon his Highness saying that if he
went to the House to declare against the Court the Cardinal would be sure
to take his Majesty out of Paris, the Duchess replied, "What, monsieur,
are you not Lieutenant-General of France? Do not you command the army?
Are you not master of the people? I myself will undertake that the King
shall not go out of Paris." The Duke nevertheless remained inflexible,
and all we could get out of him was that he would consent to my telling
the Parliament, in his name, what we desired he should say himself. In a
word, he would have me make the experiment, the success of which he
looked upon to be very uncertain, because he thought the Parliament would
have nothing to say against the Queen's answer, and that if I succeeded
he should reap the honour of the proposition. I readily accepted the
commission, because all was at stake, and if I had not executed it the
next morning I am sure the Cardinal would have eluded setting the Princes
at liberty a great while longer, and the affair have ended in a
negotiation with them against the Duke.

The Duchess, who saw that I exposed myself for the public good, pitied me
very much. She did all she could to persuade the Duke to command me to
mention to the Parliament what the Cardinal had told the King with
relation to Cromwell, Fairfax and the English Parliament, which, if
declared in the Duke's name, she thought would excite the House the more
against Mazarin; and she was certainly in the right. But he forbade me

I ran about all night to incite the members at their first meeting to
murmur at the Queen's answer, which in the main was very plausible,
importing that, though this affair did not fall within the cognisance of
Parliament, the Queen would, however, out of her abundant goodness, have
regard to their supplications and restore the Princes to liberty.
Besides, it promised a general amnesty to all who had borne arms in their
favour, on condition only that M. de Turenne should lay down his arms,
that Madame de Longueville should renounce her treaty with Spain, and
that Stenai and Murzon should be evacuated.

At first the Parliament seemed to be dazzled with it, but next day, the
1st of February, the whole House was undeceived, and wondered how it had
been so deluded. The Court of Inquests began to murmur; Viole stood up
and said that the Queen's answer was but a snare laid for the Parliament
to beguile them; that the 12th of March, the time fixed for the King's
coronation, was just at hand; and that as soon as the Court was out of
Paris they, would laugh at the Parliament. At this discourse the old and
new Fronde stood up, and when I saw they, were greatly excited I waved
my, cap and said that the Duke had commanded me to inform the House that
the regard he had for their sentiments having confirmed him in those he
always naturally, entertained of his cousins, he was resolved to concur
with them for procuring their liberty, and to contribute everything in
his power to effect it; and it is incredible what influence these few
words had upon the whole assembly. I was astonished at it myself. The
wisest senators seemed as mad as the common people, and the people madder
than ever. Their acclamations exceeded anything you can imagine, and,
indeed, nothing less was sufficient to give heart to the Duke, who had
all night been bringing forth new projects with more sorrowful pangs and
throes (as the Duchess expressed it) than ever she had felt when in
labour with all her children.

When he was fully informed of the good success of his declaration, he
embraced me several times before all the company, and M. Tellier going to
wait upon him from the Queen, to know if he acknowledged what I had said
in his name in the House, "Yes," replied he, "I own, and always will own,
all that he shall say or act in my name." We thought that after a solemn
declaration of this nature the Duke would not scruple to take all the
necessary precautions to prevent the Cardinal carrying away the King, and
to that end the Duchess did propose to have all the gates of the city
well guarded, under pretence of some popular tumults. But he was deaf to
all she said, pretending that he was loth to make his King a prisoner.

On the 2d of February, 1651, the Duke, urged very importunately by the
Princes' party informing him that their liberty depended on it, told them
that he was going to perform an action which would remove all their
diffidence. He sent immediately for the Keeper of the Seals, Marechal
Villeroi; and Tellier, and bade them tell the Queen that he would never
come to the Palais Royal as long as Mazarin was there, and that he could
no longer treat with a man that ruined the State. And, then, turning
towards Marechal Villeroi, "I charge you," said he, "with the King's
person; you shall be answerable for him to me." I was sadly afraid this
would be a means to hasten the King's departure, which was what we
dreaded most of all, and I wondered that the Cardinal did not remove
after such a declaration. I thought his head was turned, and indeed I
was told that he was beside himself for a fortnight together.

The Duke having openly declared against Mazarin, and being resolved to
attack and drive him out of the kingdom, bade me inform the House next
day, in his name, how the Cardinal had compared their body to the Rump
Parliament in England, and some of their members to Cromwell and Fairfax.
I improved upon this as much as possible, and I daresay that so much heat
and ferment was never seen in any society before. Some were for sending
the Cardinal a personal summons to appear on the spot, to give an account
of his administration; but the most moderate were for making most humble
remonstrances to the Queen for his removal. You may easily guess what a
thunderclap this must have been to the Court. The Queen asked the Duke
whether she might bring the Cardinal to his Royal Highness. His answer
was that he did not think it good for the safety of his own person. She
offered to come alone to confer with his Highness at the Palais
d'Orleans, but he excused himself with a great deal of respect.

He sent orders an hour after to the Marshals of France to obey him only,
as Lieutenant-General of the State, and likewise to the 'prevots des
marchands' not to take up arms except by his authority. You will wonder,
without doubt, that after all this noise no care was taken of the gates
of Paris to prevent the King's departure. The Duchess, who trembled at
the thoughts of it, daily redoubled her endeavours to induce the Duke to
secure the gates of the city, but all to no purpose; for weak minds are
generally deficient in some respect or other.

On the 4th the Duke came to the Parliament and assured the assembly of
his concurrence in everything to reform the State and to procure the
liberty of the Princes and the Cardinal's removal. As soon as his Royal
Highness had done speaking, the Master of the Ceremonies was admitted
with a letter from the King, which was read, and which required the House
to separate, and to send as many deputies as they could to the Palais
Royal to hear the King's will and pleasure. Deputies were accordingly
sent immediately, for whose return the bulk of the members stayed in the
Great Chamber. I was informed that this was one trick among others
concerted to ruin me, and, telling the Duc d'Orleans of it, he said that
if the old buffoon, the Keeper of the Seals, was concerned in such a
complication of folly and knavery, he deserved to be hanged by the side
of Mazarin. But the sequel showed that I was not out in my information.

As soon as the deputies were come to the Palais Royal, the First
President told the Queen that the Parliament was extremely concerned that
the Princes were still confined, notwithstanding her royal promise for
setting them at liberty. The Queen replied that Marchal de Grammont was
sent to release them and to see to their necessary security for the
public tranquillity, but that she had sent for them in relation to
another affair, which the Keeper of the Seals would explain to them, and
which he couched in a sanguinary manifesto, in substance as follows:

"All the reports made by the Coadjutor in Parliament are false, and
invented by him. He lies!" (This is the only word the Queen added to
what was already written). "He is a very wicked, dangerous man, and
gives the Duke very pernicious advice; he wants to ruin the State because
we have refused to make him cardinal, and has publicly boasted that he
will set fire to the four corners of the kingdom, and that he will have
100,000 men in readiness to dash out the brains of those that shall
attempt to put it out." These expressions were very harsh, and I am sure
that I never said anything like that; but it was of no use at this time
to make the cloud which was gathering over the head of Mazarin fall in a
storm upon mine. The Court saw that Parliament was assembled to pass a
decree for setting the Princes at liberty, and that the Duke in person
was declaring against Mazarin in the Grand Chamber, and therefore they
believed that a diversion would be as practicable as it was necessary,
namely, to bring me upon my trial in such a manner that the Parliament
could not refuse nor secure me from the railleries of the most
inconsiderable member. Everything that tended to render the attack
plausible was made use of, as well as everything that might weaken my
defence. The writing was signed by the four Secretaries of State, and,
the better to defeat all that I could say in my justification, the Comte
de Brienne was sent at the heels of the deputies with an order to desire
the Duc d'Orleans to come to a conference with the Queen in relation to
some few difficulties that remained concerning the liberty of the

When the deputies had returned to Parliament, the First President began
with reading the paper which had been delivered to him against me, upon
which you might have read astonishment in every face. Menardeau, who was
to open the trenches against me, was afraid of a salvo from the Great
Hall, where he found such a crowd of people, and heard so many
acclamations to the Fronde, and so many imprecations against Mazarin,
that he durst not open his mouth against me, but contented himself with a
pathetic lamentation of the division that was in the State, and
especially in the royal family. The councillors were so divided that
some of them were for appointing public prayers for two days; others
proposed to desire his Royal Highness to take care of the public safety.
I resolved to treat the writing drawn up against me by the Cardinal as a
satire and a libel, and, by some ingenious, short passage, to arouse the
minds of my hearers. As my memory did not furnish me with anything in
ancient authors that had any relation to my subject, I made a small
discourse in the best Latin I was capable of, and then spoke thus:

"Were it not for the profound respect I bear to the persons who have
spoken before me, I could not forbear complaining of their not crying out
against such a scurrilous, satirical paper, which was just now read,
contrary to all forms of proceeding, and written in the same style as
lately profaned the sacred name of the King, to encourage false witnesses
by letters-patent. I believe that those persons thought this paper,
which is but a sally of the furious Mazarin, to be much beneath
themselves and me. And that I may conform my opinion to theirs, I will
answer only by repeating a passage from an ancient author: 'In the worst
of times I did not forsake the city, in the most prosperous I had no
particular views, and in the most desperate times of all I feared
nothing.' I desire to be excused for running into this digression. I
move that you would make humble remonstrances to the King, to desire him
to despatch an order immediately for setting the Princes at liberty, to
make a declaration in their favour, and to remove Cardinal Mazarin from
his person and Councils."

My opinion was applauded both by the Frondeurs and the Prince's party,
and carried almost 'nemine contradicente'.

Talon, the Attorney-General, did wonders. I never heard or read anything
more eloquent or nervous. He invoked the names of Henri the Great, and
upon his knees recommended the kingdom of France in general to the
protection of Saint Louis.

Brienne, who had been sent by the Queen to desire an interview with the
Duc d'Orleans, was dismissed with no other answer than that the Duke
would come to pay his humble duty to the Queen as soon as the Princes
were at liberty, and Cardinal Mazarin removed from the King's person and

On the 5th of February there was an assembly of the, nobility at Nemours
for recovering their privileges. I opposed it to the utmost of my power,
for I had experienced more than once that nothing can be more pernicious
to a party than to engage without any necessity in such affairs as have
the bare appearance of faction, but I was obliged to comply. This
assembly, however, was so terrifying to the Court that six companies of
the Guards were ordered to mount, with which the Duc d'Orleans was so
offended that he sent word to the officers, in his capacity of
Lieutenant-General of the State, to receive no orders but from himself.
They answered very respectfully, but as men devoted to the Queen's

On the 6th, the Duke having taken his place in the Parliament, the King's
Council acquainted the House that, having been sent to wait on her
Majesty with the remonstrances, her Majesty's answer was that no person
living wished more for the liberty of the Princes than herself, but that
it was reasonable at the same time to consult the safety of the State;
that as for Cardinal Mazarin, she was resolved to retain him in her
Council as long as she found his assistance necessary for the King's
service; and that it did not belong to the Parliament to concern
themselves with any of her ministers.

The First President was shrewdly attacked in the House for not being more
resolute in speaking to the Queen. Some were for sending him back to
demand another audience in the afternoon; and the Duc d'Orleans having
said that the Marshals of France were dependent on Mazarin, it was
resolved immediately that they should obey none but his Royal Highness.

I was informed that very evening that the Cardinal had made his escape
out of Paris in disguise, and that the Court was in a very great

The Cardinal's escape was the common topic of conversation, and different
reasons were assigned to it, according to the various interests of
different parties. As for my part, I am very well persuaded that fear
was the only reason of his flight, and that nothing else hindered him
from taking the King and the Queen along with him. You will see in the
sequel of this history that he endeavoured to get their Majesties out of
Paris soon after he had made his escape, and that it was concerted in all
probability before he left the Court; but I could never understand why he
did not put it into execution at a time when he had no reason to fear the
least opposition.

On the 17th the Parliament ordered the thanks of the House to be returned
to the Queen for removing the Cardinal, and that she should be humbly
asked to issue an order for setting the Princes at liberty, and a
declaration for excluding all foreigners forever from the King's Council.
The First President being deputed with the message, the Queen told him
that she could return him no answer till she had conferred with the Duc
d'Orleans, to whom she immediately deputed the Keeper of the Seals,
Marechal Villeroi, and Tellier; but he told them that he could not go to
the Palais Royal till the Princes were set at liberty and the Cardinal
removed further from the Court. For he observed to the House that the
Cardinal was no further off than at Saint Germain, where he governed all
the kingdom as before, that his nephew and his nieces were yet at Court;
and the Duke proposed that the Parliament should humbly beseech the Queen
to explain whether the Cardinal's removal was for good and all. If I had
not seen it, I could not have imagined what a heat the House was in that
day. Some were for an order that there should be no favourites in France
for the future. They became at length of the opinion of his Royal
Highness, namely, to address the Queen to ask her to explain herself with
relation to the removal of Cardinal Mazarin and to solicit orders for the
liberty, of the Princes.

On the same day the Queen sent again to desire the Duc d'Orleans to come
and take his place in the Council, and to tell him that, in case he did
not think it convenient, she would send the Keeper of the Seals to
concert necessary measures with him for setting the Princes at liberty.
His Royal Highness accepted the second, but rejected the first proposal,
and treated M. d'Elbeuf roughly, because he was very pressing with his
Royal Highness to go to the King's Palace. The messengers likewise
acquainted the Duke that they were ordered to assure him that the removal
of the Cardinal was forever. You will see presently that, in all
probability, had his Royal Highness gone that day to Court, the Queen
would have left Paris and carried the Duke along with her.

On the 19th the Parliament decreed that, in pursuance of the Queen's
declaration, the Cardinal should, within the space of fifteen days,
depart from his Majesty's dominions, with all his relations and foreign
servants; otherwise, they should be proceeded against as outlaws, and it
should be lawful for anybody to despatch them out of the way.

I suspected that the King would leave Paris that very day, and I was
almost asleep when I was sent for to go to the Duc d'Orleans, whom
Mademoiselle de Chevreuse went to awaken in the meantime; and, while I
was dressing, one of her pages brought me a note from her, containing
only these few words:

"Make haste to Luxembourg, and be upon your guard on the way." I found
Mademoiselle de Chevreuse in his chamber, who acquainted me that the King
was out of bed, and had his boots on ready for a journey from Paris.

I waited on the Duke, and said, "There is but one remedy, which is, to
secure the gates of Paris." Yet all that we could obtain of him was to
send the captain of the Swiss Guards to wait on the Queen and desire her
Majesty to weigh the consequences of an action of that nature. His
Duchess, perceiving that this expedient, if not supported effectually,
would ruin all, and that his Royal Highness was still as irresolute as
ever, called for pen and ink that lay upon the table in her cabinet, and
wrote these words on a large sheet of paper:

M. le Coadjuteur is ordered to take arms to hinder the adherents of
Cardinal Mazarin, condemned by the Parliament, from carrying the King out

Des Touches, who found the Queen bathed in tears, was charged by her
Majesty to assure the Duc d'Orleans that she never thought of carrying
away the King, and that it was one of my tricks.

The Duc d'Orleans saying at the House next day that orders for the
Princes' liberty would be despatched in two hours' time, the First
President said, with a deep sigh, "The Prince de Conde is at liberty, but
our King, our sovereign Lord and King, is a prisoner." The Duc
d'Orleans, being now not near so timorous as before, because he had
received more acclamations in the streets than ever, replied, "Truly the
King has been Mazarin's prisoner, but, God be praised, he is now in
better hands."

The Cardinal, who hovered about Paris till he heard the city had taken up
arms, posted to Havre-de-Grace, where he fawned upon the Prince de Conde
with a meanness of spirit that is hardly to be imagined; for he wept, and
even fell down on his knees to the Prince, who treated him with the
utmost contempt, giving him no thanks for his release.

On the 16th of February the Princes, being set at liberty, arrived in
Paris, and, after waiting on the Queen, supped with M. de Beaufort and
myself at the Duc d'Orleans's house, where we drank the King's health and
"No Mazarin!"

On the 17th his Royal Highness carried them to the Parliament House, and
it is remarkable that the same people who but thirteen months before made
bonfires for their confinement did the same now for their release.

On the 20th the declaration demanded of the King against the Cardinal,
being brought to be registered in Parliament, was sent back with
indignation because the reason of his removal was coloured over with so
many encomiums that it was a perfect panegyric. Honest Broussel, who
always went greater lengths than anybody, was for excluding all cardinals
from the Ministry, as well as foreigners in general, because they swear
allegiance to the Pope. The First President, thinking to mortify me,
lauded Broussel for a man of admirable good sense, and espoused his
opinion; and the Prince de Conde, too, seemed to be overjoyed, saying,
"It is a charming echo." Indeed, I might well be troubled to think that
the very day after a treaty wherein the Duc d'Orleans declared that he
was resolved to make me a cardinal, the Prince should second a
proposition so derogatory to that dignity. But the truth is, the Prince
had no hand in it, for it came naturally, and was supported for no other
reason but because nothing that was brought as an argument against
Mazarin could then fail of being approved at the same time. I had some
reason to think that the motion was concerted beforehand by my enemies,
to keep me out of the Ministry. Nevertheless, I was not offended with
the Parliament, the bulk of whom I knew to be my friends, whose sole aim
was to effectually demolish Mazarin, and I acquiesced in the solid
satisfaction which I had in being considered in the world as the expeller
of Mazarin, whom everybody hated, and the deliverer of the Princes, who
were as much their darlings.

The continual chicanery of the Court provoked the Parliament of Paris to
write to all the Parliaments of France to issue decrees against Cardinal
Mazarin, which they did accordingly. The Parliament obliged the Court to
issue a declaration setting forth the innocence of the Princes, and
another for the exclusion of cardinals--French as well as
foreigners--from the King's Council, and the Parliament had no rest till
the Cardinal retired from Sedan to Breule, a house belonging to the
Elector of Cologne.

I had advice sent me from the Duchesse d'Orleans to be upon my guard, and
that she was on the point of dying with fear lest the Duke should be
forced by the daily menaces of the Court to abandon me. I thereupon
waited on the Duke, and told him that, having had the honour and
satisfaction of serving his Royal Highness in the two affairs which he
had most at heart,--namely, the expelling of Mazarin and the releasing of
the Princes his cousins,--I found myself now obliged to reassume the
functions of my profession; that the present opportunity seemed both to
favour and invite my retreat, and if I neglected it I should be the most
imprudent man living, because my presence for the future would not only
be useless but even prejudicial to his Royal Highness, whom I knew to be
daily importuned and irritated by the Court party merely upon my account;
and therefore I conjured him to make himself easy, and give me leave to
retire to my cloister. The Duke spared no kind words to retain me in his
service, promised never to forsake me, confessed that he had been urged
to it by the Queen, and that, though his reunion with her Majesty and the
Princes obliged him to put on the mask of friendship, yet he could never
forget the great affronts and injuries which he had received from the
Court. But all this could not dissuade me, and the Duke at last gave his
approbation, with repeated assurances to allow me a place next his heart
and to correspond with me in secret.

Having taken my leave of the Princes, I retired accordingly to my
cloister of Notre-Dame, where I did not trust Providence so far as to
omit the use of human means for defending myself against the insults of
my enemies.

Except the visits which I paid in the night-time to the Hotel de
Chevreuse, I conversed with none but canons and cures. I was the object
of raillery both at Court and at the Palace of Conde; and because I had
set up a bird-cage at a window, it became a common jest that "the
Coadjutor whistled to the linnets." The disposition of Paris, however,
made amends for the raillery of the Court. I found myself very secure,
while other people were very uneasy. The cures, parish priests, and even
the mendicants, informed themselves with diligence of the negotiations of
the Prince de Conde. I gave M. de Beaufort a thrust now and then, which
he knew not how to parry with all his cunning, and the Duc d'Orleans, who
in his heart was enraged against the Court, continued his correspondence
with me very faithfully.

Soon after, the Marechal du Plessis came to me at midnight and embraced
me, saying, "I greet you as our Prime Minister." When he saw that I
smiled, he added, "I do not jest; you may be so if you please. The Queen
has ordered me to tell you that she puts the King and Crown into your
hands." He showed me a letter written in the Cardinal's own hand to the
Queen, which concluded thus:

"You know, madame, that the greatest enemy I have in the world is the
Coadjutor. Make use of him rather than treat with the Prince upon those
conditions he demands. Make him a cardinal, give him my place, and lodge
him in my apartments. Perhaps he will be still more attached to the Duc
d'Orleans than to your Majesty; but the Duke is not for the ruin of the
State. His intentions in the main are not bad. In a word, madame, do
anything rather than grant the Prince his demand to have the government
of Provence added to that of Guienne."

I told the Marshal that I could not but be highly obliged to his
Eminence, and that I was under infinite obligations to the Queen; and to
show my gratitude, I humbly begged her Majesty to permit me to serve her
without any private interest of my own; said that I was very incapable
for the place of Prime Minister upon many accounts, and that it was not
consistent with her Majesty's dignity to raise a man to that high post
who was still reeking, as it were, with the fumes of faction.

"But," said the Marshal, "the place must be filled by somebody, and as
long as it is vacant the Prince will be always urging that Cardinal
Mazarin is to have it again."

"You have," said I, "persons much fitter for it than I." Then he showed
me a letter signed by the Queen, promising me all manner of security if I
would come to Court. I went thither at midnight, according to agreement,
and the Marshal, who introduced me to the Queen by the back stairs,
having withdrawn, her Majesty used all the arguments she could to
persuade me to accept the place of Prime Minister, which I was determined
to refuse, because I found that she had the Cardinal at heart more than
ever; for, as soon as she saw I would not accept the post of Prime
Minister, she offered me the cardinal's hat, but with this proviso, that
I would use my utmost endeavours towards the restoration of Cardinal
Mazarin. Then I judged it high time for me to speak my mind, which I did
as follows:

"It is a great affliction to me, madame, that public affairs are reduced
to such a pass as not only warrants, but even commands a subject to speak
to his sovereign in the style in which I am now about to address your
Majesty. It is well known to you that one of my worst crimes in the
Cardinal's opinion is that I foretold all these things, and that I have
passed for the author of events of which I was only the prophet. Your
Majesty would fain extricate yourself with honour, and you are in the
right; but permit me to tell you, as my opinion, that it can never be
effected so long as your Majesty entertains any thoughts of
reestablishing Mazarin. I should fail in the respect I owe to your
Majesty if I pretended to thwart your Majesty's opinion with regard to
the Cardinal in any other way than with my most humble remonstrances; but
I humbly conceive I do but discharge my bounden duty while I respectfully
represent to your Majesty wherein I may be serviceable or useless to you
at this critical juncture. Your Majesty has the Prince to cope with,
who, indeed, is for the restoration of the Cardinal, but upon condition
that you give him such powers beforehand as will enable him to ruin him
at pleasure. To resist the Prince you want the Duc d'Orleans, who is
absolutely against the Cardinal's reestablishment, and who, provided he
be excluded, will do what your Majesty pleases to command him. You will
neither satisfy the Prince nor the Duke. I am extremely desirous to
serve your Majesty against the one and with the other, but I can do
neither the one nor the other without making use of proper means for
obtaining those two different ends."

"Come over to me," said she, "and I shall not care a straw for all the
Duke can do."

I answered, "Should I do so, and should it appear never so little that I
was on terms of reconciliation with the Cardinal, I could serve your
Majesty with neither the Duke nor the people, for both would hate me
mortally, and I should be as useless to your Majesty as the Bishop of

At this the Queen was very angry, and said, "Heaven bless my son the
King, for he is deserted by all the world! I do all I can for you, I
offer you a place in my Council, I offer you the cardinalship; pray what
will you do for me?"

I said that I did not come to receive favours, but to try to merit them.

At this the Queen's countenance began to brighten, and she said, very
softly, "What is it, then, that you will do?"

"Madame," said I, "I will oblige the Prince, before a week is at an end,
to leave Paris; and I will detach the Duke from his interest to-morrow."

The Queen, overjoyed, held out her hand and said, "Give me yours, and I
promise you that you shall be cardinal the next day, and the second man
in my friendship." She desired also that Mazarin and I might be good
friends; but I answered that the least touch upon that string would put
me out of tune and render me incapable of doing her any service;
therefore I conjured her to let me still enjoy the character of being his

"Was anything," said the Queen, "ever so strange and unaccountable? Can
you not possibly serve me without being the enemy of him in whom I most

I told her it must needs be so. "Madame," I said, "I humbly beseech your
Majesty to let me tell you that, as long as the place of Prime Minister
is not filled up, the Prince will increase in power on pretence that it
is kept vacant to receive the Cardinal by a speedy restoration."

"You see," said her Majesty, "how the Prince treats me; he has insulted
me ever since I disowned my two traitors,--Servien and Lionne." I took
the opportunity while she was flushed with anger to make my court to her
by saying that before two days were at an end the Prince should affront
her no longer. But the tenderness she had for her beloved Cardinal made
her unwilling to consent that I should continue to exclaim against his
Eminence in Parliament, where one was obliged to handle him very roughly
almost every quarter of an hour. She bade me remember that it was the
Cardinal who had solicited my nomination. I answered that I was highly
obliged to his Eminence upon that score, and that I was ready to give him
proofs of my acknowledgment in anything wherein my honour was not
concerned, but that I should be a double-dealer if I promised to
contribute to his reestablishment. Then she said, "Go! you are a very
devil. See Madame Palatine, and let me hear from you the night before
you go to the Parliament."

I do not think I was in the wrong to refuse her offer. We must never
jest with proffered service; for if it be real, we can never embrace it
too much; but if false, we can never keep at too great a distance. I
lamented to the public the sad condition of our affairs, which had
obliged me to leave my dear retirement, where, after so much disturbance
and confusion, I hoped to enjoy comfortable rest; that we were falling
into a worse condition than we were in before, because the State suffered
more by the daily negotiations carried on with Mazarin than it had done
by his administrations; and that the Queen was still buoyed up with hopes
of his reestablishment.

The Prince de Conde having inflamed the Parliament, to make himself more
formidable to the Queen and Court, some new scenes were opened every day.
At one time they sent to the provinces to inform against the Cardinal; at
another time they made search after his effects at Paris.

I went one day with four hundred men in my company to the Parliament
House, where the Prince de Conde inveighed against the exportation of
money out of the kingdom by the Cardinal's banker. But afterwards I
absented myself for awhile from Parliament, which made me suspected of
being less an enemy to the Cardinal, and I was pelted with a dozen or
fifteen libels in the space of a fortnight, by a fellow whose nose had
been slit for writing a lampoon against a lady of quality. I composed a
short but general answer to all, entitled "An Apology for the Ancient and
True Fronde." There was a strong paper war between the old and new
Fronde for three or four months, but afterwards they united in the attack
on Mazarin. There were about sixty volumes of tracts written during the
civil war, but I am sure that there are not a hundred sheets worth

I was sent for again to another private conference with the Queen, who,
dreading an arrangement with the Prince de Conde, was for his being
arrested, and advised me to consider how it might be done. It seems that
M. Hoquincourt had offered to kill him in the street, as the shortest way
to be rid of him, for she desired me to confer about it with Hoquincourt,
"who will," said she, "show you a much surer way." The Queen,
nevertheless, would not own she had ever such a thought, though she was
heard to say, "The Coadjutor is not a man of so much courage as I took
him for."

The next day I was informed that the Queen could endure the Prince no
longer, and that she had advices that he had formed a design to seize the
King; that he had despatched orders to Flanders to treat with the
Spaniards, and that either he or she must be ruined; that she was not for
shedding blood, and that what Hoquincourt proposed was far from it,
because he promised to secure the Prince without striking a blow if I
would answer for the people.

The Parliament continued to prosecute Mazarin, who was convicted of
embezzling some nine millions of the public money. The Prince assembled
the Chambers, and persuaded them to issue a new decree against all those
of the Court party who held correspondence with the said Cardinal.

The Prince de Conde, being uneasy at seeing Mazarin's creatures still at
Court, retired to Saint Maur on the 6th of July, 1651. On the 7th the
Prince de Conti acquainted the Parliament with the reasons for his
departure, and talked in general of the warnings he had received from
different hands of a design the Court had formed against his life, adding
that his brother could not be safe at Court as long as Tellier, Servien,
and Lionne were not removed. There was a very hot debate in the ensuing
session between the Prince de Conti and the First President. The latter
talked very warmly against his retreat to Saint Maur, and called it a
melancholy prelude to a civil war. He hinted also that the said Prince
was the author of the late disturbances, upon which the Prince de Conti
threatened that had he been in any other place he would have taught him
to observe the respect due to Princes of the blood. The First President
said that he did not fear his threats, and that he had reason to complain
of his Royal Highness for presuming to interrupt him in a place where he
represented the King's person. Both parties were now in hot blood, and
the Duke, who was very glad to see it, did not interpose till he could
not avoid it, and then he told them both that they should endeavour to
keep their temper.

On the 14th of July a decree was passed, upon a motion made by the Duc
d'Orleans, that the thanks of the Parliament should be presented to her
Majesty for her gracious promise that the Cardinal should never return;
that she should be most humbly entreated to send a declaration to
Parliament, and likewise to give the Prince de Conde all the necessary
securities for his return; and that those persons who kept up
correspondence with Mazarin should be immediately prosecuted.

On the 18th the First President carried the remonstrances of the
Parliament to the Queen, and though he took care to keep within the terms
of the decree, by not naming the under ministers, yet he pointed them out
in such a manner that the Queen complained bitterly, saying that the
First President was "an unaccountable man, and more vexatious than any of
the malcontents."

When I took the liberty to show her that the representative of an
assembly could not, without prevarication, but deliver the thoughts of
the whole body, though they might be different from his own, she replied,
very angrily, "These are mere republican maxims."

I will give you an account of the success of the remonstrances after I
have related an adventure to you which happened at the Parliament House
during these debates.

The importance of the subject drew thither a large number of ladies who
were curious to hear what passed. Madame and Mademoiselle de Chevreuse,
with many other ladies, were there the evening before the decree was
passed; but they were singled out from the rest by one Maillard, a
brawling fellow, hired by the Prince's party. As ladies are commonly
afraid of a crowd, they stayed till the Duc d'Orleans and the rest were
gone out, but when they came into the hall they were hooted by twenty or
thirty ragamuffins of the same quality as their leader, who was a
cobbler. I knew nothing of it till I came to the Palace of Chevreuse,
where I found Madame de Chevreuse in a rage and her daughter in tears. I
endeavoured to comfort them by the assurance that I would take care to
get the scoundrels punished in an exemplary manner that very day. But
these were too inconsiderable victims to atone for such an affront, and
were therefore rejected with indignation. The blood of Bourbon only
could make amends for the injury done to that of Lorraine. These were
the very words of Madame de Chevreuse. They resolved at last upon this
expedition,--to go again next morning to the House, but so well
accompanied as to be in a condition of making themselves respected, and
of giving the Prince de Conti to understand that it was to his interest
to keep his party for the future from committing the like insolence.
Montresor, who happened to be with us, did all he could to convince the
ladies how dangerous it was to make a private quarrel of a public one,
especially at a time when a Prince of the blood might possibly lose his
life in the fray. When he found that he could not prevail upon them, he
used all means to persuade me to put off my resentment, for which end he
drew me aside to tell me what joy and triumph it would be to my enemies
to suffer myself to be captivated or led away by the violence of the
ladies' passion. I made him the following answer: "I am certainly to
blame, both with regard to my profession and on account of my having my
hands full, to be so far engaged with Mademoiselle de Chevreuse; but,
considering the obligation I am under to her, and that it is too late to
recede from it, I am in the right in demanding satisfaction in this
present juncture. I will not by any means assassinate the Prince de
Conti; but she may command me to do anything except poisoning or
assassinating, and therefore speak no more to me on this head."

The ladies went again, therefore, next day, being accompanied by four
hundred gentlemen and above four thousand of the most substantial
burghers. The rabble that was hired to make a clamour in the Great Hall
sneaked out of sight, and the Prince de Conti, who had not been apprised
of this assembly, which was formed with great secrecy, was fain to pass
by Madame and Mademoiselle de Chevreuse with demonstrations of the
profoundest respect, and to suffer Maillard, who was caught on the stairs
of the chapel, to be soundly cudgelled.

I return to the issue of the remonstrances. The Queen told the deputies
that she would next morning send to the House a declaration against
Cardinal Mazarin.

On the 21st the Prince de Conde came to Parliament accompanied by M. de
La Rochefoucault and fifty or sixty gentlemen, and congratulated them
upon the removal of the ministers, but said that it could not be
effectual without inserting an article in the declaration which the Queen
had promised to send to the Parliament. The First President said that it
would be both unjust and inconsistent with the respect due to the Queen
to demand new conditions of her every day; that her Majesty's promise, of
which she had made the Parliament a depositary, was a sufficient
security; that it was to be wished that the Prince had shown a due
confidence therein by repairing to the Palais Royal rather than to a
court of justice; and that the post he was in obliged him to express his
surprise at such conduct. The Prince replied that the First President
had no reason to wonder at his great precautions, since he (the Prince)
knew by recent woeful experience what it was to live in a prison; and
that it was notorious that the Cardinal ruled now in the Cabinet more
absolutely than ever he did before.

The Duc d'Orleans, who was gone to Limours on pretence of taking the air,
though on purpose to be absent from Parliament, being informed that the
very women cried at the King's coach "No Mazarin!" and that the Prince de
Conde, as well attended as his Majesty, had met the King in the park, was
so frightened that he returned to Paris, and on the 2d of August went to
Parliament, where I appeared with all my friends and a great number of
wealthy citizens. The First President mightily extolled the Queen's
goodness in making the Parliament the depositary of her promise for the
security of the Prince, who, being there present, was asked by the First
President if he had waited on the King? The Prince said he had not,
because he knew there would be danger in it, having been well informed
that secret conferences had been held to arrest him, and that in a proper
time and place he would name the authors. The Prince added that
messengers were continually going and coming betwixt the Court and
Mazarin at Breule, and that Marechal d'Aumont had orders to cut to pieces
the regiments of Conde, Conti, and Enghien, which was the only reason
that had hindered them from joining the King's army.

The First President told him that he was sorry to see him there before he
had waited on the King, and that it seemed as if he were for setting up
altar against altar. This nettled the Prince to that degree that he said
that those who talked against him had only self-interests in view. The
First President denied that he had any such aim, and said that he was
accountable to the King only for his actions. Then he exaggerated the
danger of the State from the unhappy division of the royal family.

Finally it was resolved, 'nemine contradicente', that the
Solicitor-General should be commissioned to prosecute those who had
advised the arrest of the Prince de Conde; that the Queen's promise for
the safety of the Prince should be registered; that his Royal Highness
should be desired by the whole assembly to go and wait on the King; and
that the decrees passed against the servitors of Mazarin should be put
into execution. The Prince, who seemed very well satisfied, said that
nothing less than this could assure him of his safety. The Duc d'Orleans
carried him to the King and the Queen, from whom he met with but a cold

At the close of this session the declaration against the Cardinal was
read and sent back to the Chancellor, because it was not inserted that
the Cardinal had hindered the Peace of Munster, and advised the King to
undertake the journey and siege of Bordeaux, contrary to the opinion of
the Duc d'Orleans.

The Queen, provoked by the conduct of the Prince de Conde, who rode
through the streets of Paris better attended than the King, and also by
that of the Duke, whom she found continually given to change, resolved,
in a fit of despair, to hazard all at once. M. de Chateauneuf flattered
her inclination on that point, and she was confirmed in it by a fiery
despatch from Mazarin at Bruele. She told the Duc d'Orleans plainly that
she could no longer continue in her present condition, demanded his
express declaration for or against her, and charged me, in his presence,
to keep the promise I had made her, to declare openly against the Prince
if he continued to go on as he had begun.

Her Majesty was convinced that I acted sincerely for her service, and
that I made no scruple to keep my promise; and she condescended to make
apologies for the distrust she had entertained of my conduct, and for the
injustice she owned she had done me.

On the 19th, the Prince de Conde having taxed me with being the author of
a paper against him, which was read that day in the House, said he had a
paper, signed by the Duc d'Orleans, which contained his justification,
and that he should be much obliged to the Parliament if they would be
pleased to desire her Majesty to name his accusers, against whom he
demanded justice. As to the paper of which he charged me with being the
author, he said it was a composition worthy of a man who had advised the
arming of the Parisians and the wresting of the seals from him with whom
the Queen had entrusted them.

The Prince de Conti was observed to press his brother to resent what I
said in my defence, but he kept his temper; for though I was very well
accompanied, yet he was considerably superior to me in numbers, so that
if the sword had been drawn he must have had the advantage. But I
resolved to appear there the next day with a greater retinue. The Queen
was transported with joy to hear that there were men who had the
resolution to dispute the wall with the Prince.

["The Queen," says M. de La Rochefoucault in his Memoirs, "was overjoyed
to see two men at variance whom in her heart she hated almost equally....
Nevertheless, she seemed to protect the Coadjutor."]

She ordered thirty gendarmes and as many Light-horse to be posted where I
pleased; I had forty men sent me, picked out of the sergeants and bravest
soldiers of one of the regiments of Guards, and some of the officers of
the city companies, and assembled a great number of substantial burghers,
all of whom had pistols and daggers under their cloaks. I also sent many
of my men to the eating-houses thereabouts, so that the Great Hall was,
as it were, invested on every side with my friends. I posted thirty
gentlemen as a reserve in a convenient chamber, who, in case of an
attack, were to assault the party of the Prince in flank and rear. I had
also laid up a store of grenades. In a word, my measures were so nicely
concerted, both within and without the Parliament House, that Pont
Notre-Dame and Pont Saint Michel, who were passionately in my, interest,
only waited for the signal; so that in all likelihood I could not fail of
being conqueror.

On the morning of the 21st all the Prince de Conde's humble servants
repaired to his house, and my friends did the like to mine, particularly
the Marquises of Rouillac and Camillac, famous both for their courage and
extravagances. As soon as the latter saw Rouillac, he made me a low bow
in a withdrawing posture, saying, "Monsieur, I came to offer you my
service, but it is not reasonable that the two greatest fools in the
kingdom should be of the same side." The Prince came to the House with a
numerous attendance, and though I believe he had not so many as I, he had
more persons of quality, for I had only the Fronde nobility on my side,
except three or four who, though in the Queen's interest, were
nevertheless my particular friends; this disadvantage, however, was
abundantly made up by the great interest I had among the people and the
advantageous posts I was possessed of. After the Prince had taken his
place, he said that he was surprised to see the Parliament House look
more like a camp than a temple of justice; that there were posts taken,
and men under command; and that he hoped there were not men in the
kingdom so insolent as to dispute the precedence with him. Whereupon I
humbly begged his pardon, and told him that I believed there was not a
man in France so insolent as to do it; but that there were some who could
not, nor indeed ought not, on account of their dignity, yield the
precedence to any man but the King. The Prince replied that he would
make me yield it to him. I told him he would find it no easy matter.
Upon this there was a great outcry, and the young councillors of both
parties interested themselves in the contest, which, you see, began
pretty warmly. The Presidents interposed between us, conjuring him to
have some regard to the temple of justice and the safety of the city, and
desiring that all the nobility and others in the hall that were armed
might be turned out. He approved of it, and bade M. de La Rochefoucault
go and tell his friends so from him. Upon which I said, "I will order my
friends to withdraw also." Young D'Avaux, now President de Mesmes, then
in the Prince's interest, said, "What! monsieur, are you
armed?"--"Without doubt," I said; though I had better have held my,
tongue, because an inferior ought to be respectful in words to his
superior, though he may equal him in actions. Neither is it allowable in
a Churchman when armed to confess it. There are some things wherein men
are willing to be deceived. Actions very often vindicate men's
reputations in what they do against the dignity of their profession, but
nothing can justify words that are inconsistent with their character.

As I had desired my friends to withdraw, and was entering into the Court
of Judicature, I heard an uproar in the hall of people crying out "To
arms!" I had a mind to go back to see what was the matter; but I had not
time to do it, for I found myself caught by the neck between the folding
doors, which M. de La Rochefoucault had shut on me, crying out to MM.
Coligny and Ricousse to kill me.

[This action is very much disguised and softened in the Memoirs of
Rochefoucault. M. Joly, in his Memoirs, vol. i., p. 155, tells it almost
in... the same manner as the Cardinal de Retz.]

The first thought he was not in earnest, and the other told him he had no
such order from the Prince. M. Champlatreux, running into the hall and
seeing me in that condition, vigorously pushed back M. de La
Rochefoucault, telling him that a murder of that nature was horrible and
scandalous. He opened the door and let me in. But this was not the
greatest danger I was in, as you will see after I have told you the
beginning and end of it.

Two or three of the Prince de Conde's mob cried out, as soon as they saw
me, "A Mazarin!" Two of the Prince's soldiers drew their swords, those
next to them cried out, "To your arms!" and in a trice all were in a
fighting posture. My friends drew their swords, daggers, and pistols,
and yet, as it were by a miracle, they stopped their hands on a sudden
from action; for in that very instant of time, Crenan, one of my old
friends, who commanded a company of the Prince de Conti's gendarmes, said
to Laigues, "What are we doing? Must we let the Prince de Conde and the
Coadjutor be murdered? Whoever does not put up his sword is a rascal!"
This expression coming from a man of great courage and reputation, every
one did as he bade them. Nor is Argenteuil's courage and presence of
mind to be less admired. He being near me when I was caught by the neck
between the folding doors, and observing one Peche,--[Joly calls him "The
great clamourer of the Prince." See his Memoirs, p. 157.]--a brawling
fellow of the Prince's party, looking for me with a dagger in his hand,
screened me with his cloak, and thereby saved my life, which was in the
more danger because my friends, who supposed I was gone into the Great
Chamber, stayed behind to engage with the Prince de Conde's party. The
Prince told me since that it was well I kept on the defensive, and that
had the noise in the hall continued but a minute longer, he would himself
have taken me by the throat and made me pay for all; but I am fully
persuaded that the consequences would have been fatal to both parties,
and that he himself had had a narrow escape.

As soon as I reentered the Great Chamber I told the First President that
I owed my life to his son, who on that occasion did the most generous
action that a man of honour was capable of, because he was passionately
attached to the Prince de Conde, and was persuaded, though without a
cause, that I was concerned in above twenty editions against his father
during the siege of Paris. There are few actions more heroic than this,
the memory of which I shall carry to my grave. I also added that M. de
La Rochefoucault had done all he could to murder me.'

[The Duke answered, as he says himself in his Memoirs, that fear had
disturbed his judgment, etc. See in the Memoirs of M. de La
Rochefoucault, the relation of what passed after the confinement of the

He answered me these very words: "Thou traitor, I don't care what becomes
of thee." I replied, "Very well, Friend Franchise" (we gave him that
nickname in our party); "you are a coward" (I told a lie, for he was
certainly a brave man), "and I am a priest; but dueling is not allowed
us." M. de Brissac threatened to cudgel him, and he to kick Brissac. The
President, fearing these words would end in blows, got between us. The
First President conjured the Prince pathetically, by the blood of Saint
Louis, not to defile with blood that temple which he had given for the
preservation of peace and the protection of justice; and exhorted me, by
my sacred character, not to contribute to the massacre of the people whom
God had committed to my charge. Both the Prince and I sent out two
gentlemen to order our friends and servants to retire by different ways.
The clock struck ten, the House rose, and thus ended that morning's work,
which was likely to have ruined Paris.

You may easily guess what a commotion Paris was in all that morning.
Tradesmen worked in their shops with their muskets by them, and the women
were at prayers in the churches. Sadness sat on the brows of all who
were not actually engaged in either party. The Prince, if we may believe
the Comte de Fiesque, told him that Paris narrowly escaped being burnt
that day. "What a fine bonfire this would have been for the Cardinal,"
said he; "especially to see it lighted by the two greatest enemies he

The Duc d'Orleans, quite tired out with the cries of the people, who ran
affrighted to his palace, and fearing that the commotion would not stop
at the Parliament House, made the Prince promise that he would not go
next day to the Parliament with above five in company, provided I would
engage to carry no more. I begged his Royal Highness to excuse me if I
did not comply, because I should be wanting in my respect to the Prince,
with whom I ought not to make any comparison, and because I should be
still exposed to a pack of seditious brawlers, who cried out against me,
having no laws nor owning any chief. I added that it was only against
this sort of people that I armed; that there was so little comparison
between a private gentleman and his Highness that five hundred men were
less to the Prince than a single lackey to me. The Duke, who owned I was
in the right, went to the Queen to represent to her the evil consequences
that would inevitably attend such measures.

The Queen, who neither feared nor foresaw dangers, made no account of his
remonstrances, for she was glad in the main of the dangers which seemed
to be so near at hand. When Bertet and Brachet, who crept up to the
garrets of the Palais Royal for fear of having their throats cut in the
general commotion, had made her sensible that if the Prince and myself
should perish in such a juncture it would occasion such a confusion that
the very name of Mazarin might become fatal to the royal family, she
yielded rather to her fears than to her convictions, and consented to
send an order in the King's name to forbid both the Prince and me to go
to the House. The First President, who was well assured that the Prince
would not obey an order of that nature, which could not be forced upon
him with justice, because his presence was necessary in the Parliament,
went to the Queen and made her sensible that it would be against all
justice and equity to forbid the Prince to be present in an assembly
where he went only to clear himself from a crime laid to his charge. He
showed her the difference between the first Prince of the blood, whose
presence would be necessary in that conjuncture, and a Coadjutor of
Paris, who never had a seat in the Parliament but by courtesy.

The Queen yielded at last to these reasons and to the entreaties of all
the Court ladies, who dreaded the noise and confusion which was likely to
occur next day in the Parliament House.

The Parliament met next day, and resolved that all the papers, both of
the Queen, the Duc d'Orleans, and the Prince de Conde, should be carried
to the King and Queen, that her Majesty should be humbly entreated to
terminate the affair, and that the Duc d'Orleans should be desired to
make overtures towards a reconciliation.

As the Prince was coming out of the Parliament House, attended by a
multitude of his friends, I met him in his coach as I was at the head of
a procession of thirty or forty cures of Paris, followed by a great
number of people. Upon my approach, three or four of the mob following
the Prince cried out, "A Mazarin!" but the Prince alighted and silenced

[M. de La Rochefoucault, in his Memoirs, says that the people abused the
Coadjutor with scurrilous language, and would have torn him in pieces if
the prince had not ordered his men to appease the tumult.]

He then fell on his knees to receive my blessing, which I gave him with
my hat on, and then pulled it off in obeisance.

The Queen was so well pleased with my prudent conduct that I can truly
say I was a favourite for some days. Madame de Carignan was telling her
one day that I was very homely, to which the Queen replied, "He has a
very fine set of teeth, and a man cannot be called homely who has this
ornament." Madame de Chevreuse remembered that she had often heard the
Queen say that the beauty of a man consisted chiefly in his teeth,
because it was the only beauty which was of any use. Therefore she
advised me to act my part well, and she should not despair of success.
"When you are with the Queen," said she, "be serious; look continually on
her hands, storm against the Cardinal, and I will take care of the rest"
I asked two or three audiences of the Queen upon very trifling occasions,
followed Madame de Chevreuse's plan very closely, and carried my
resentment and passion against the Cardinal even to extravagance. The
Queen, who was naturally a coquette, understood those airs, and
acquainted Madame de Chevreuse therewith, who pretended to be surprised,
saying, "Indeed, I have heard the Coadjutor talk of your Majesty whole
days with delight; but if the conversation happened to touch upon the
Cardinal, he was no longer the same man, and even raved against your
Majesty, but immediately relented towards you, though never towards the

Madame de Chevreuse, who was the Queen's confidante in her youth, gave me
such a history of her early days as I cannot omit giving you, though I
should have done it sooner. She told me that the Queen was neither in
body nor mind truly Spanish; that she had neither the temperament nor the
vivacity of her nation, but only the coquetry of it, which she retained
in perfection; that M. Bellegarde, a gallant old gentleman, after the
fashion of the Court of Henri III., pleased her till he was going to the
army, when he begged for one favour before his departure, which was only
to put her hand to the hilt of his sword, a compliment so insipid that
her Majesty was out of conceit with him ever after. She approved the
gallant manner of M. de Montmorency much more than she loved his person.
The aversion she had to the pedantic behaviour of Cardinal de Richelieu,
who in his amours was as ridiculous as he was in other things excellent,
made her irreconcilable to his addresses. She had observed from the
beginning of the Regency a great inclination in the Queen for Mazarin,
but that she had not been able to discover how far that inclination went,
because she (Madame de Chevreuse) had been banished from the Court very
soon after; and that upon her return to France, after the siege of Paris,
the Queen was so reserved at first with her that it was impossible for
her to dive into her secrets. That since she regained her Majesty's
favour she had sometimes observed the same airs in her with regard to
Cardinal Mazarin as she used to display formerly in favour of the Duke of
Buckingham; but at other times she thought that there was no more between
them than a league of friendship. The chief ground for her conjecture
was the impolite and almost rude way in which the Cardinal conversed with
her Majesty. "But, however," said Madame de Chevreuse, "when I reflect
on the Queen's humour, all this may admit of another interpretation.
Buckingham used to tell me that he had been in love with three Queens,
and was obliged to curb all the three; therefore I cannot tell what to
think of the matter."

To resume the history of more public affairs. I did not so far please
myself with the figure I made against the Prince (though I thought it
very much for my honour), but I saw clearly that I stood on a dangerous

"Whither are we going?" I said to M. Bellievre, who seemed to be
overjoyed that the Prince had not been able to devour me; for whom do we
labour? I know that we are obliged to act as we do; I know, too, that we
cannot do better; but should we rejoice at the fatal necessity which
pushes us on to exert an action comparatively good and which will
unavoidably end in a superlative evil?"

"I understand you," said the President, "and will interrupt you for one
moment to tell you what I learned of Cromwell" (whom he had known in
England). "He told me one day that it is then we are mounting highest
when we ourselves do not know whither we are going."

"You know, monsieur," said I to Bellievre, "that I abhor Cromwell; and
whatever is commonly reported of his great parts, if he is of this
opinion, I must pronounce him a fool."

I mentioned this dialogue for no other purpose than to observe how
dangerous it is to talk disrespectfully of men in high positions; for it
was carried to Cromwell, who remembered it with a great deal of
resentment on an occasion which I shall mention hereafter, and said to M.
de Bourdeaux, Ambassador of France, then in England, "I know but one man
in the world who despises me, and that is Cardinal de Retz." This
opinion of him was likely to have cost me very dear. I return from this

On the 31st, Melayer, valet de chambre to the Cardinal, arrived with a
despatch to the Queen, in which were these words: "Give the Prince de
Conde all the declarations of his innocence that he can desire, provided
you can but amuse him and hinder him from giving you the slip."

On the 4th the Prince de Conde insisted in Parliament on a formal decree
for declaring his innocence, which was granted, but deferred to be
published till the 7th of September (the day that the King came of age),
on pretence of rendering it more authentic and solemn by the King's
presence, but really to gain time, and see what influence the splendour
of royalty, which was to be clothed that day with all the advantages of
pomp, would have upon the minds of the people.

But the Prince de Conde, who had reason to distrust both the Fronde and
the Court, did not appear at the ceremony, and sent the Prince de Conti
to the King to desire to be excused, because the calumnies and
treacheries of his enemies would not suffer him to come to the Palace;
adding that he kept away out of pure respect to his Majesty. This last
expression, which seemed to intimate that otherwise he might have gone
thither without danger, provoked the Queen to that degree that she said,
"The Prince or I must perish."

The Prince de Conde retired to Bourges,--further from Court. He was
naturally averse to a civil war, nor would his adherents have been more
forward than himself if they had found their interests in his
reconciliation to the Court; but this seemed impracticable, and therefore
they agreed upon a civil war, because none of them believed themselves
powerful enough to conclude a peace. They know nothing of the nature of
faction who imagine the head of a party to be their master. His true
interest is most commonly thwarted by the imaginary interests even of his
subalterns, and the worst of it is that his own honour sometimes, and
generally prudence, joins with them against himself. The passions and
discontent which reigned then among the friends of the Prince de Conde
ran so high that they were obliged to abandon him and form a third party,
under the authority of the Prince de Conti, in case the Prince
accomplished his reconciliation to the Court, according to a proposition
then made to him in the name of the Duc d'Orleans. The subdivision of
parties is generally the ruin of all, especially when it is introduced by
cunning views, directly contrary to prudence; and this is what the
Italians call, in comedy, a "plot within a plot," or a "wheel within a


In December, 1651, the Parliament agreed to the following resolution: To
send a deputation to the King to inform him of the rumours of Mazarin's
return, and to beseech him to confirm the royal promise which he had made
to his people upon that head; to forbid all governors to give the
Cardinal passage; to desire the King to acquaint the Pope and other
Princes with the reasons that had obliged him to remove the Cardinal; and
to send to all the Parliaments of the kingdom to make the like decree.

Somebody making a motion that a price might be set upon the Cardinal's
head, I and the rest of the spiritual councillors retired, because
clergymen are forbidden by the canon law to give their vote in cases of
life and death.

They agreed also to send deputies to the King to entreat him to write to
the Elector of Cologne to send the Cardinal out of his country, and to
forbid the magistrates of all cities to entertain any troops sent to
favour his return or any of his kindred or domestics. A certain
councillor who said, very judiciously, that the soldiers assembling for
Mazarin upon the frontiers would laugh at all the decrees of Parliament
unless they were proclaimed to them by good musketeers and pikemen, was
run down as if he had talked nonsense, and all the clamour was that it
belonged only to the King to disband soldiers.

The Duc d'Orleans acquainted the House, on the 29th, that Cardinal
Mazarin had arrived at Sedan; that Marechals de Hoquincourt and de la
Ferte were gone to join him with their army to bring him to Court; and
that it was high time to oppose his designs. Upon this it was
immediately resolved that deputies should be despatched forthwith to the
King; that the Cardinal and all his adherents should be declared guilty
of high treason; that the common people should be commanded to treat them
as such wherever they met them; that his library and all his household
goods should be sold, and that 150,000 livres premium should be given to
any man who should deliver up the said Cardinal, either dead or alive.
Upon this expression all the ecclesiastics retired, for the reason above

A new decree was passed on the 2d of January, 1652, wherein it was
decided that all the Parliaments of France should be invited to issue
their decrees against Mazarin, conformable to the last; that two more
councillors should be added to the four sent to guard the rivers and to
arm the common people; and that the troops of the Duc d'Orleans should
oppose the march of Mazarin.

On the 24th the deputies who had been to Poitiers to remonstrate with the
King against the return of the Cardinal, made their report in Parliament,
to the effect that his Majesty, after having consulted with the Queen and
her Council, returned for answer, that without doubt, when the Parliament
issued their late decrees, they did not know that Cardinal Mazarin had
made no levy of soldiers but by his Majesty's express orders; that it was
he who commanded him to enter France with his troops, and that therefore
the King did not resent what the company had done; but that, on the other
hand, he did not doubt that when they had heard the circumstances he had
just mentioned, and knew, moreover, that Cardinal Mazarin only desired an
opportunity to justify himself, they would not fail to give all his
subjects an exemplary proof of the obedience they owed to him. The
Parliament was highly provoked, and next day resolved to admit no more
dukes, peers, nor marshals of France till the Cardinal had left the

Mazarin, arriving at Court again, persuaded the King to go to Saumur,
though others advised him to march to Guienne against the Prince de
Conde, with whom the Duc d'Orleans was now resolved to join forces. The
King went from Saumur to Tours, where the Archbishop of Rouen carried
complaints to the King, in the name of the bishops there, against the
decrees of Parliament relating to the Cardinal.

The Duc d'Orleans complained in Parliament against the inconsistency of
their proceedings, and said the King had sent him carte blanche in order
to oblige him to consent to the restoration of the Cardinal, but that
nothing would ever cause him to do it, nor to act apart from the
Parliament. Yet their unaccountable proceedings perplexed him beyond
expression, so that he commanded, or rather permitted, M. de Beaufort to
put his troops in action. And because I told him that, considering the
declarations he had so often repeated against Mazarin, I thought his
conduct in setting his troops in motion against him did not add so much
to the measure of the disgust he had already given to the Court that he
need to apprehend much from it, he gave me for answer these memorable
words which I have reflected upon a thousand times: "If you," said he,
"had been born a Son of France, an Infante of Spain, a King of Hungary,
or a Prince of Pales, you would not talk as you do. You must know that,
with us Princes, words go for nothing, but that we never forget actions.
By to-morrow noon the Queen would not remember my declarations against
the Cardinal if I would admit him tomorrow morning; but if my troops were
to fire a musket she would not forgive me though we were to live two
thousand years hence."

In February, 1652, I was made a cardinal, and was to receive the hat, as
all French cardinals do, from the King. My enemies, who thought to ruin
my credit with the Duc d'Orleans, gave out that I had been obliged to the
Court for my dignity, attacked me in form as a secret favourer of
Mazarin, and, while their emissaries gained over such of the dregs of the
people as they could corrupt by money, they were supported by all the
intrigues of the Cabinet. But the Duke, who knew better, only laughed at
them; so that they confirmed me in his good opinion, instead of
supplanting me, because in cases of slander every reflection that does
not hurt the person attacked does him service. I said to the Duke that I
wondered he was not wearied out with the silly stories that were told him
every day against me, since they all harped upon one string; but he said,
"Do you take no account of the pleasure one takes every morning in
hearing how wicked men are under the cloak of religious zeal, and every
night how silly they are under the mask of politicians?"

The servants of the Prince de Conde gave out such stories against me
among the populace as were likely to have done me much more mischief.
They had a pack of brawling fellows in their pay who were more
troublesome to me now than formerly, when they did not dare to appear
before the numerous retinue of gentlemen and liverymen that accompanied
me, for as I had not yet had the hat, I was obliged, wherever I went, to
go incognito, according to the rules of the ceremonial. Those fellows
said that I had betrayed the Duc d'Orleans, and that they would be the
death of me. I told the Duke, who was afraid they would murder me, that
he should soon see how little those hired mobs ought to be regarded. He
offered me his guards, but though Marechal d'Estampes fell on his knees
in my way to stop me, I went down-stairs with only two persons in
company, and made directly towards the ruffians, demanding who was their
leader. Upon which a beggarly fellow, with an old yellow feather in his
hat, answered me, insolently, "I am." Then I called out to the guards at
the gate, saying, "Let me have this rascal hanged up at these grates."
Thereupon he made me a very low bow, and said that he did not mean to
affront me; that he only came with his comrades to tell me of the report
that I designed to carry the Duc d'Orleans to Court, and reconcile him
with Mazarin; that they did not believe it; that they were at my service,
and ready to venture their lives for me, provided I would but promise
them to be always an honest Frondeur.

The Duc d'Orleans took such delight in conversing with me that, on De
Goulas, one of his secretaries, telling him that all the foreign officers
took mighty umbrage at it, he pulled him up very sharply, and said, "Go
to the devil, you and your foreign officers. If they were as good
Frondeurs as Cardinal de Retz, they would be at their posts, and not
tippling in the taverns of Paris." There was such a strong faction in
the city of Orleans for the Court that his presence there was very
necessary; but as it was much more so at Paris, the Duke was prevailed
upon by his Duchess to let her go thither. M. Patru was pleased to say
that as the gates of Jericho fell at the sound of trumpets, those of
Orleans would open at the sound of fiddles, of which M. de Rohan was a
very great admirer. But, in fact, though the King was just at hand with
the troops, and though M. Mold, Keeper of the Seals, was at the gate
demanding entrance for the King, the Duchess crossed the river in a
barge, made the watermen break down a little postern, which had been
walled up for a long time, and marched, with the acclamations of
multitudes of the people, directly to the Hotel de Ville, where the
magistrates were assembled to consider if they should admit the Keeper of
the Seals. By this means she turned the scale, and MM. de Beaufort and
de Nemours joined her.

The Prince de Conde arriving at Paris from Guienne on the 11th of April,
the magistrates had a meeting in the Hotel de Ville, in which they
resolved that the Governor should wait on his Royal Highness, and tell
him that the company thought it contrary to order to receive him into the
city before he had cleared himself from the King's declaration, which had
been verified in Parliament against him.

The Duc d'Orleans, who was overjoyed at this speech, said that the Prince
had only come to discourse with him about private affairs, and that he
would stay but twenty-four hours at Paris. M. de Chavigni informed the
Duke that the Prince was able to stand his ground as long as he pleased,
without being obliged to anybody; and he gathered together a mob of
scoundrels upon the Pont-Neuf, whose fingers itched to be plundering the
house of M. du Plessis Guenegaut, and by whom the Duke was frightened to
a great degree.

The reflections I had leisure to make upon my new dignity obliged me to
take great care of my hat, whose dazzling flame of colour turns the heads
of many that are honoured with it. The most palpable of those delusions
is the claiming precedence of Princes of the blood, who may become our
masters the next moment, and who at the same time are generally the
masters of all our kindred. I have a veneration for the cardinals of my
family, who made me suck in humility after their example with my mother's
milk, and I found a very happy opportunity to practise it on the very day
that I received the news of my promotion. Chateaubriant said to me,
before a vast number of people at my levee, "Now we will pay our respects
no more to the best of them," which he said because, though I was upon
ill terms with the Prince de Conde, and though I always went well
attended, I yet saluted him wherever I met him with all the respect due
to him on the score of so many titles. I said to him:

"Pray pardon me, monsieur; we shall pay our respects to the great men
with greater complaisance than ever. God forbid that the red hat should
turn my head to that degree as to make me dispute precedence with the
Princes of the blood. It is honour enough for a gentleman to walk side
by side with them." This expression, I verily believe, afterwards
secured the rank of precedence to the hat in the kingdom of France, by
the courtesy of the Prince de Conde, and his friendship for me.

Mademoiselle de Chevreuse, the most fantastical lady upon earth,
suspecting that I held a secret correspondence with the Queen, could not
forbear murmuring and threatening what she would do. She said I had
declared to her a thousand times that I could not imagine how it was
possible for anybody to be in love with that Swiss woman. In short, she
said this so often that the Queen had a notion from somebody or other
that I had called her by that name. She never forgave me for it, as you
will perceive in the sequel. You may easily conceive that this
circumstance, which gave me no encouragement to hope for a very gracious
reception at Court for the time to come, did not weaken those resolutions
which I had already taken to retire from public business. The place of
my retreat was agreeable enough: the shadow of the towers of Notre-Dame
was a refreshment to it; and, moreover, the Cardinal's hat sheltered it
from bad weather. I had fine ideas of the sweetness of such a
retirement, and I would gladly have laid hold of it, but my stars would
not have it so. I return to my narrative.

On the 12th of April the Duc d'Orleans took the Prince de Conde with him
to the Parliament, assuring them that he had not, nor ever would have,
any other intention than to serve his King and country; that he would
always follow the sentiments of the Parliament; and that he was willing
to lay down his arms as soon as the decrees against Cardinal Mazarin were
put into execution.

The President Bailleul said that the members always thought it an honour
to see the Prince de Conde in his place, but that they could not
dissemble their real concern to see his hands stained with the blood of
the King's soldiers who were killed at Bleneau. Upon this a storm arose
from the benches, which fell with such fury upon the poor President that
he had scarcely room to put in a word for himself, for fifty or sixty
voices disowned him at one volley.

On the 13th the Parliament agreed that the declaration made by the Duc
d'Orleans and the Prince should be carried to the King; that the
remonstrances they had sent to the King should likewise be sent to all
the sovereign companies of Paris, and to all the Parliaments of the
kingdom, to invite them also to send a deputation on their own behalf;
and that a general assembly should be immediately held at the Hotel de
Ville, to which the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince should be invited to
make the same declarations as they made to the Parliament; and that, in
the meantime, the King's declaration against Cardinal Mazarin, and all
the decrees passed against him, should be put into execution.

On the 13th of May a councillor of Parliament and captain of his ward,
having brought his company to the Palace to act as ordinary guard, was
abandoned by all the burghers that composed it, who said they were not
created to guard Mazarins.

The mob, who at the same time appeared ready enough to murder some of the
magistrates in the streets, had nothing in their mouths but the names and
services of the Princes, who next day disowned their humble servants in
the assemblies of the several courts. Though this conduct gave occasion
to severe decrees, which the Parliament issued at every turn against the
seditious, it did not hinder the same Parliament from believing that
those who disowned the sedition were the authors of it, and consequently
did not lessen the hatred which many private men conceived against them.
Such were the various and complicated views every one had concerning the
then position of affairs, that I wrapped myself up, as one may say, in my
great dignities, to which I abandoned the hopes of my fortune; and I
remember one day the President Bellievre telling me that I ought not to
be so indolent. I answered him: "We are in a great storm, where,
methinks, we all row against the wind. I have two good oars in my hand,
one of which is the Cardinal's dignity, and the other the Archiepiscopal.
I am not willing to break them; and all I have to do now is to support

At the same time I had other disquietings of a more private nature.
Mademoiselle de Chevreuse fell in love with my rival, the Abbe Fouquet.
Little De Roye, who was a very, pretty German lass at her house, informed
me of it, and made me amends for the infidelity of the mistress, whose
choice, to tell you the truth, did not mortify me much, because she had
nothing but beauty, which cloys when it comes alone. She cared for
nobody besides him she loved; but as she was never long in love, so
neither was it long that she was in good temper. She used her cast-off
lovers as she did her old clothes, which other women lay aside, but she
burnt, so that her daughters had much ado to save a petticoat,
head-dress, gloves, or Venice point. And I verily believe that if she
could have committed her lovers to the flames when she left them off, she
would have done it with all her heart. Madame her mother, who
endeavoured to set her at variance with me when she was resolved to unite
herself entirely with the Court, could not succeed, though she went so
far that Madame de Guemenee caused a letter to be read to her in my
handwriting, whereby I devoted myself body and soul to her, as witches
give themselves to the devil.

It was at that time that Madame de Chevreuse, seeing herself neglected at
Paris, resolved to retire to Dampierre, where, depending upon what had
been told her from Court, she hoped to be well received. I gave vent to
my passion, which, in truth, was not very great, to Mademoiselle de
Chevreuse, and I took care to have both the mother and daughter
accompanied out of Paris, quite to Dampierre, by all the nobility and
gentlemen I had with me.

I cannot finish this slight sketch of the condition I was in at Paris
without acknowledging the debt I owe to the generosity of the Prince de
Conde, who, finding that a person was come from the Prince de Conti, at
Bordeaux, with a design to attack me, told him that he would have him
hanged if he did not go back to his master in two hours' time.

Marigny told me, almost at the same time, that, observing the Prince de
Conde to be very intent upon reading a book, he took the liberty to tell
him that it must needs be a very choice one, because he took such delight
in it; and that the Prince answered him, "It is true I am very fond of
it, for it shows me my faults, which nobody has the courage to tell me."
This book was entitled "The Right and False Steps of the Prince de Conde
and of the Cardinal de Retz."

There were divers negotiations between the parties, during which Mazarin
gave himself the pleasure of letting the public see MM. de Rohan, de
Chavigni, and de Goulas conferring with him, before the King as well as
in private, at that very instant when the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de
Conde said publicly, in the assembly of the Chambers, that it ought to be
the preliminary of all treaties to have nothing to do with Mazarin. He
acted a perfect comedy in their presence, pretending to be forcibly
detained by the King, whom he begged with folded hands to let him return
to Italy.

On the 30th of April there was so great a murmuring in Parliament that
the Duc d'Orleans said they should never see him there again until the
Cardinal was gone.

On the 6th of May the remonstrances of the Parliament and the Chamber of
Accounts were carried to the King by a large deputation, as were, on the
7th, those of the Court of Aids and the city. The King's answer to both
was that he would cause his troops to retire when those of the Princes
were gone.

On the 10th it was resolved that the King's Council should be sent to
Saint Germain for a further answer touching the removal of Cardinal
Mazarin from the Court and kingdom, and the armies from the neighbourhood
of Paris.

On the 14th there was a great uproar again in the Parliament, where there
was a confused clamour for taking into consideration the best means for
hindering the riots and disorders daily committed in the city and in the
hall of the Palace; upon which the Duc d'Orleans, who was afraid that
under this pretence the Mazarinists should make the House take some steps
contrary to their interests, came to the Palace on a sudden, and proposed
that they should grant him full power.

The 29th being the day that the deputies of the Court of Inquiry desired
the Parliament to consider the ways and means for raising the 150,000
livres promised to him who should bring Cardinal Mazarin to justice, and
the Archbishop's Grand Vicar coming up at that moment to the bar of the
King's Council to confer about the descent of the shrine of Sainte
Genevieve, a member said, very pleasantly, "We are this day engaged in
devotion for a double festival: we are appointing processions, and
contriving how to murder a Cardinal."

On the 20th of June the King's answer to the Parliament's remonstrances
was reported in substance as follows: That though his Majesty was
sensible that the demand for the removal of Cardinal Mazarin was but a
pretence, yet, he was willing to grant it after justice was done to the
Cardinal's honour by such reparations as were due to his innocence,
provided the Princes would give him good security for the performance of
their proposals upon the removal of the said Cardinal. That therefore
his Majesty, desired to know: 1. Whether, in this case, they will
renounce all leagues and associations with foreign princes? 2. Whether
they will not form new pretensions? 3. Whether they will come to Court?
4. Whether they will dismiss all the foreigners that are in the kingdom?
5. Whether they will disband their forces? 6. Whether Bordeaux will
return to its duty, as well as the Prince de Conti and Madame de
Longueville? 7. Whether the places which the Prince de Conde has
fortified shall be put into the condition they were in before the breach?

The Duc d'Orleans, provoked at these propositions, said that a Son of
France and a Prince of the blood were never known to have been treated
like common criminals, and that the declaration which both had made was
more than sufficient to satisfy the Court.

On the 21st it was moved in Parliament that an inventory should be taken
of what remained of Mazarin's furniture. There having been in the
morning a great commotion at the Palace, when the President and some
others had run a risk of being killed by the mob, M. de Beaufort invited
his friends to meet him in the afternoon in the Palais Royal, and having
got together four or five thousand beggars, he harangued them as to the
obedience which they owed to the Parliament. But two or three days after
this fine sermon of his, the sedition was more violent than ever.

On the 25th the Princes declared in Parliament that, as soon as the
Cardinal had departed the kingdom, they would faithfully execute all the
articles contained in the King's answer, and immediately send deputies to
complete the rest.

On the 4th of July a mob assembled, who forced all that went by to put a
handful of straw in their hats, upon which the Duc d'Orleans and the
Prince de Conde went to the Hotel de Ville and convinced the assembly of
the necessity they were under of defending themselves against Mazarin.
Upon a trumpeter arriving from his Majesty with orders to adjourn the
assembly for a week, the people were much incensed, and called out to the
citizens to unite strictly with the Princes. They fell upon the first
thing they met in their way, threw stones into the windows of the Hotel
de Ville, set fire to its gates, and, entering with drawn swords,
murdered M. Le Gras, the Master of Requests, and the Master of Accounts,
and twenty or thirty citizens perished in the tumult. There was a
general consternation all over the city; all the shops were shut in an
instant, and in some parts they set up barricades to stop the rioters,
who had almost overrun the whole town. It was observed that the
appearance of the Duchesse de Beaufort prevailed more with the mob in
causing them to disperse than the exposing of the Host by the cure of St.

The late riot had such an effect on the Parliament that the President
Mortier and many of the councillors kept away from the public assemblies
for fear, notwithstanding they were enjoined, by a special decree, to
come and take their places. The magistrates, for the same reason, did
not go to the Hotel de Ville.

On the 18th the deputies of Parliament being ordered to follow the King
to Pontoise, the House passed a decree for their immediate return to
Parliament, and the Prince de Conde and the Duke de Beaufort brought them
into town with twelve hundred horse.

The Court in the meantime passed decrees of Council, annulling those of
the Parliament and the transactions of the assembly at the Hotel de

On the 20th the Parliament declared by a decree that, the King being
prisoner to Cardinal Mazarin, the Duc d'Orleans should be desired to take
upon him the office of Lieutenant-General of his Majesty, and the Prince
to take upon him the command of the army as long as Mazarin should
continue in the kingdom, and that a copy of the said decree should be
sent to all the Parliaments of the kingdom, who should be desired to
publish the like; but not one complied, except that of Bordeaux. Nor was
the Duke better obeyed by the several governors of the provinces, for but
one vouchsafed him an answer when he acquainted them with his new
dignity, the Court having put them in mind of their duty by an order of
Council, published to annul that of the Parliament for establishing the
said lieutenancy; and in Paris itself the Duke's authority was despised,
for two wretches having been condemned for setting fire to the Hotel de
Ville, the citizens who were ordered to take charge of the execution
refused to obey.

On the 24th it was ordered that a general assembly should be held at the
Hotel de Ville, to consider the ways and means to raise money for
supporting the troops, and that the statues at Mazarin's palace should be
sold to make up the sum set upon the Cardinal's head.

On the 29th it was resolved in the Hotel de Ville to raise 800,000 livres
for augmenting his Royal Highness's troops, and to exhort all the great
towns of the kingdom to unite with the metropolis.

On the 6th of August the King sent a declaration signifying the removal
of the Parliament to Pontoise. There was a great commotion in the House,
who agreed not to register it till the Cardinal had left the kingdom. As
for the Parliament of Pontoise, which consisted of but fourteen officers,
with three Presidents at their head, who had a little before retired in
disguise from Paris, they made remonstrances likewise to the King for
removing Cardinal Mazarin. The King granted what was desired of him, and
that upon the solicitations of that honest, disinterested minister, who
withdrew from Court to Bouillon. This comedy, so unworthy the dignity of
a king, was accompanied with circumstances that rendered it still more
ridiculous:--The two Parliaments fulminated severe decrees against one
another, and that of Paris made an order that whosoever sat in the
assembly at Pontoise should be struck off the register.

At the same time that of Pontoise registered the King's declaration,
which contained an injunction to the Parliament of Paris, the Chamber of
Accounts, and the Court of Aids, that, since Cardinal Mazarin was
removed, they should now lay down their arms on condition that his
Majesty would grant an amnesty, remove his troops from about Paris,
withdraw those that were in Guienne, allow a free and safe passage to the
Spanish troops, and give the Princes permission to send to his Majesty
persons to confer with his ministers concerning what remained to be
adjusted. This same Parliament resolved to return their thanks to his
Majesty for removing Cardinal Mazarin, and most humbly to entreat the
King to return to his good city of Paris.

On the 26th they also registered the King's amnesty, or royal pardon,
granted to all that had taken up arms against him, but with such
restrictions that very few could think themselves safe by it.

The King acquainted the Duc d'Orleans that he wondered that, since
Mazarin was removed, he should delay, according to his own declaration
and promise, to lay down his arms, to renounce all associations and
treaties, and to cause the foreign troops to withdraw; and that when this
was done, those deputies that should come to his Majesty from him should
be very welcome.

On the 3d of September the Parliament resolved that their deputies should
wait upon the King with their thanks for removing Cardinal Mazarin, and
to beseech his Majesty to return to Paris; that the Duc d'Orleans and the
Prince de Conde should be desired to write to the King and assure him
they would lay down their arms as soon as his Majesty would be pleased to
send the passports for the safe retreat of the foreigners, together with
an amnesty in due form, registered in all the Parliaments of the kingdom;
and that his Majesty should be petitioned to receive the deputies of the

Pray indulge me with a short pause here to consider the scandalous arts
which ministers palliate with the name and sacred word of a great King,
and with which the most august Parliament of the kingdom--the Court of
Peers--expose themselves to ridicule by such manifest inconsistencies as
are more becoming the levity of a college than the majesty of a senate.
In short, persons are not sensible of what they do in these State
paroxysms, which savour somewhat of frenzy. I knew in those days some
very honest men, who were so fully satisfied of the justice of the cause
of the Princes that, upon occasion, they would have laid down their lives
for it; and I also knew some eminently virtuous and disinterested men who
would as gladly have been martyrs for the Court. The ambition of great
men manages such dispositions just as it suits their own interests; they
help to blind the rest of mankind, and they even become blinder
themselves than other people.

Honest M. de Fontenay, who had been twice ambassador at Rome, a man of
great experience and good sense and a hearty well-wisher to his country,
daily condoled with me on the lethargy into which the intestine divisions
had lulled the best citizens and patriots. We saw the Spanish colours
and standards displayed upon the Pont-Neuf; the yellow sashes of Lorraine
appeared at Paris with the same liberty as the Isabelles and blue ones.
People were so accustomed to these spectacles and to the news of
provinces, towns, and battles lost, that they were become insolent and
stupid. Several of my friends blamed my inactivity, and desired me to
bestir myself. They bid me save the kingdom, save the city, or else I
should fall from the greatest love to the greatest hatred of the people.
The Frondeurs suspected me of favouring Mazarin's party, and the Mazarins
thought I was too partial to the Frondeurs.

I was touched to the quick with a pathetic speech made to me by M. de
Fontenay. "You see," said he, "that Mazarin, like a Jack-in-the-bog,
plays at Bo-peep; but you see that, whether he appears or disappears, the
wire by which the puppet is drawn on or off the stage is the royal
authority, which is not likely to be broken by the measures now on foot.
Abundance of those that appear to be his greatest opponents would be very
sorry to see him crushed; many others would be very glad to see him get
off; not one endeavours to ruin him entirely. You may get clear of the
difficulty that embarrasses you by a door which opens into a field of
honour and liberty. Paris, whose archbishop you are, groans under a
heavy load. The Parliament there is but a mere phantom, and the Hotel de
Ville a desert. The Duc d'Orleans and the Prince have no more authority
than what the rascally mob is pleased to allow them. The Spaniards,
Germans, and Lorrainers are in the suburbs laying waste the very gardens.
You that have rescued them more than once, and are their pastor, have
been forced to keep guards in your own house for three weeks. And you
know that at this day your friends are under great apprehension if they
see you in the streets without arms. Do you count it a slight thing to
put an end to all these miseries? And will you neglect the only
opportunity Providence puts a into your hands to obtain the honour of it?
Take your clergy with you to Compiegne, thank the King for removing
Mazarin, and beg his Majesty to return to Paris. Keep up a good
correspondence with those bodies who have no other design but the common
good, who are already almost all your particular friends, and who look
upon you as their head by reason of your dignity. And if the King
actually returns to the city, the people of Paris will be obliged to you
for it; if you meet with a refusal, you will have still their
acknowledgments for your good intention. If you can get the Duc
d'Orleans to join with you, you will save the realm; for I am persuaded
that if he knew how to act his part in this juncture it would be in his
power to bring the King back to Paris and to prevent Mazarin ever
returning again. You are a cardinal; you are Archbishop of Paris; you
have the good-will of the public, and are but thirty-seven years old:
Save the city, save the kingdom."

In short, the Duc d'Orleans approved of my scheme, and ordered me to
convene a general assembly of the ecclesiastical communities, and to get
deputies chosen out of them all, and go with them to Court, there to
present the deputation, which should request the King to give peace to
his people and return to his good city of Paris. I was also to endeavour
by the aid of my friends to induce the other corporate bodies of the city
to do likewise. I was to tell the Queen that she could not but be
sensible that the Duke was in good earnest for peace, which the public
engagements he was under to oppose Mazarin had not suffered him to
conclude, or even to propose, while the Cardinal continued at Court; that
he renounced all private views and interests with relation to himself or
friends; that he desired nothing but the security of the public; and that
after he had the satisfaction of seeing the King at the Louvre he would
then with joy retire to Blois, fully resolved to live in peace and
prepare for eternity.

I set out immediately with the deputies of all the ecclesiastical bodies
of Paris, nearly two hundred gentlemen, accompanied by fifty men of the
Duke's Guards. The number of my attendants gave such umbrage at Court,
where it was ridiculously exaggerated, that the Queen sent me word I
should only have accommodation for eighty horses, whereas I had no less
than one hundred and twelve for the coaches alone. If I had known as
much when I went as I heard after I returned, I should have hesitated
about going, for I was told that some moved for arresting me, and others
for killing me. However, the Queen received me very well; the King gave
me the cardinal's hat and a public audience.

I told the Queen, in a private audience, that I was not come only as a
deputy from the Church of Paris, but that I had another commission which
I valued much more, because I took it to be more for her service than the
other,--that of an envoy from the Duc d'Orleans, who had charged me to
assure her Majesty that he was resolved to serve her effectually and
without delay, as he had promised by a note under his own hand, which I
then pulled out of my pocket. The Queen expressed a great deal of joy,
and said, "I knew very well, M. le Cardinal, that you would at last give
some particular marks of your affection for me."

The Queen told me that she thanked the Duke, and was very much obliged to
him; that she hoped and desired he would contribute towards making the
necessary dispositions for the King's return to Paris, and that she would
not take one step but in concert with him. At the same time I heard that
the Queen spoke disdainfully of me, whom she dreaded, to my enemies at
Court; pretended that I had owned Mazarin was an honest man, and
ridiculed me for the expense I had put myself to on the journey, which,
indeed, was immense for so short a time, because I kept seven open
tables, and spent 800 crowns a day.

When I returned to Paris I was received with incredible applause. The
King also came thither on the 21st of October, and was welcomed by the
acclamations of the people. The Queen received me with wonderful
respect, and bade the King embrace me, as one to whom he chiefly owed his
return to Paris; but orders were sent to the Duc d'Orleans to retire next
morning to Limours.

When I went to see him, he was panic-struck, and imagined it was only a
feint to try his temper. He was in an inconceivable agony, and fancied
that every musket which was let off by way of rejoicing for his Majesty's
return was fired by the soldiers coming to invest his palace. Every
messenger that he sent out brought him word that all was quiet, but he
would believe nobody, and looked continually out of the window to hear if
the drums were beating the march. At last he took courage to ask me if I
was firm to him, and after I had assured him of my fidelity he desired
that, as a proof of my attachment and affection for him, I would be
reconciled to M. de Beaufort. "With all my heart," said I. Whereupon he
embraced me, then opened the gallery door by his bedchamber, and out came
M. de Beaufort, who threw himself about my neck, and said, "Pray ask his
Royal Highness what I have been saying to him concerning you. I know who
are honest men. Come on, monsieur, let us drive all the Mazarins away
for good and all." He endeavoured to show both the necessity and the
possibility of it, and advised the raising of barricades next morning, by
break of day, in the market-places.

The Duc d'Orleans turned to me and said, as they do in Parliament, "Your
opinion, M. Dean." I replied: "If I must give it as Dean, there never
was more occasion for the forty hours' prayers than now. I myself stand
in need of them more than anybody, because I can give no advice but what
must appear very cruel and be attended with horrid inconveniences. If I
should advise you to put up with the injurious treatment you undergo,
will not the public, who always make the worst of everything, have a
handle to say I betray your interest, and that my advice was but a
necessary consequence of all those obstacles I threw in the Princes' way?
And if I give it as my opinion that your Royal Highness should follow the
measures which M. de Beaufort proposes, shall I not be accounted one who
blows hot and cold in a breath?--who is for peace when he thinks to gain
his advantages by the treaty, but for war when he is not permitted to
negotiate?--one who is for destroying Paris with fire and sword, and for
carrying the flames to the gates of the Louvre by attacking the very
person of the King? If you obey, you will be responsible to the public
for all it may suffer afterwards. I am no competent judge of what it may
suffer in particular; for who can foresee events depending on the
caprices of a cardinal, on the stormings of Ondedei, the impertinence of
the Abbe Fouquet, and the violence of Servien? But you will have to
answer for all, because the public will be persuaded that you might have
prevented it. If you do not obey, you may go near to overturn the

Here the Duke interrupted me eagerly, and said, "This is not to the
purpose; the question is whether I am in a condition, that is, if it is
in my power, to disobey."

"I believe so," I said; "for I do not see how the Court can oblige you to
obey, unless the King himself should march to Luxembourg, which would be
a matter of great importance."

"Nay," said M. de Beaufort, "it would be impossible."

I then perceived that the Duke began to think so too, for it fitted his
humour, as he could not endure taking any pains, and, upon this
supposition, resolved to stay at home with his arms folded. I said:

"You are able to do anything to-night and tomorrow morning, but I cannot
answer how it may be in the evening."

M. de Beaufort, who thought that I was going to argue for the offensive,
fell in roundly with me to second me; but I stopped him short by telling
him he mistook my meaning.

"I shall never presume," said I, "to give advice in the condition things
are now in. The Duke himself must decide, and even propose, too, and it
is our business to perform his commands."

Then he said, "If I should resolve to brave it out, will you declare for

"Yes," I said, "it is what I ought in duty to do. I am attached to your
service, in which I shall certainly not be wanting, and you need only to
command me. But I am very much grieved that, considering the present
state of affairs, an honest man cannot act the honest part, do what he

The Duke, who was by nature good, but not very tender, could not help
being moved at what I said; the tears came into his eyes, he embraced me,
and asked me if I thought he could secure the King's person. I told him
that nothing was more impossible. I found at length that he was inclined
to obey, but he bade us keep our friends together in readiness, and to be
with him at break of day. However, he set out for Limours an hour sooner
than he had told us, and left word that he had his reasons for so doing,
which we should know another day, advising us, if possible, to make our
peace with the Court.

On the 22d the King held his Bed of Justice, at the Louvre, where he
published the amnesty, as also an order for reestablishing the Parliament
at Paris, in which there was a clause forbidding them to meddle with
State affairs. At the same time he caused a declaration to be published
ordering MM. de Beaufort, Rohan, Viole, de Thou, Broussel, Portail,
Bitaud, Croissi, Machaut, Fleury, Martineau, and Perraut to depart the

The Court now began to offer me terms of reconciliation. I was desirous
that as many of my friends as possible should be included; but Caumartin,
who was in the secret of affairs, told me there were no hopes of
procuring any advantages for particular persons; that all that could be
done was to save the ship for another voyage, and that this ship, which
was myself, could be saved in no other way, in the condition into which
our affairs were fallen by the Duc d'Orleans's want of resolution, but by
launching out into the main, and steering towards Rome. "You stand,"
said he, "as it were, on the point of a needle, and if the Court knew
their strength they would rout you as they do the rest; your courage
gives you an air that both deceives and disquiets them. Make use of the
present opportunity for obtaining what may be serviceable to you in your
employ at Rome, for the Court will deny you nothing."

Montresor, hearing of it, said to me afterwards, with an oath, "He is a
villain who says your Eminence can make your peace honourably without
making terms for your friends; he who affirms the contrary does it for
his own private ends." Therefore I refused the offers made me by
Servien, which were that the King would resign his affairs in Italy to my
care, and allow me a pension of 50,000 crowns; that I should have 100,000
crowns towards paying off my debts, and 50,000 in hand towards furniture;
that I should continue three years at Rome, and then return to resume my
functions at Paris.

The Princess Palatine told me I ought either to accept or else treat with
the Cardinal, since all the subalterns were against me. Madame de
Lesdiguieres advised me to preserve my equanimity and keep within doors,
adding that the Cardinal, who was impatient to return to Paris, but durst
not as long as I stayed, would make me a bridge of gold to go out and
agree to whatever I demanded. Accordingly, I sent my proposals to the
Cardinal, who was then lurking in Turenne's army upon the frontiers, and
desired such and such posts for my friends. Meantime Servien and the
Abbe Fouquet endeavoured to exasperate the Queen by telling her that I
was continually caballing with the annuitants and officers of the
militia; and because I refused to go to Parliament, in obedience to the
King's orders, when he held his Court of Justice there to register the
declaration of high treason against the Prince de Conde, the Queen was
made to believe that I was intriguing for the Prince, and therefore
resolved to ruin me, cost what it would. One officer posted men in a
house near Madame de Pommereux's, to attack me; another was employed to
get intelligence at what time of night I was in the habit of visiting
her; a third had an order, signed by the King, to attack me in the street
and bring me off dead or alive. An unknown person advised me not to go
that day to Rambouillet; but I went with two hundred gentlemen, and found
a great many officers of the Guards, who, whatever were their orders,
were in no condition to attack me, and received me with reverence; but I
blamed myself for it afterwards, because it only tended to incense the
Court the more against me.

Upon All Saints' Day I preached at Saint Germain, which is the King's
parish, where their Majesties did me the honour to be present, for which
I went next day to return them thanks; but finding that the cautions sent
me from all quarters multiplied very fast, I did not go to the Louvre
till the 19th of December, when I was arrested in the Queen's antechamber
by the captain of the Guards then in waiting, who carried me into an
apartment where the officers of the kitchen brought me dinner, of which I
ate heartily, to the mortification of the base courtiers, though I did
not take it kindly to see my pockets turned inside out as if I had been a
cutpurse. This ceremony, which is not common, was performed by the
captain; but he found nothing except a letter from the King of England,
desiring me to try if the Court of Rome would assist him with money. When
this letter came to be talked of, it was maliciously reported that it
came from the Protector. I was carried in one of the King's coaches,
under guard, to Vincennes. As we passed we found at several of the gates
a battalion of Swiss with their pikes presented towards the city, where
everybody was quiet, though their sorrow and consternation were visible
enough. I was afterwards informed, however, that all the butchers in the
veal market were going to take up arms, and that they might have made
barricades there with all the ease in the world, only they were
restrained for fear that I should have paid for their tumult with the
loss of my life; so that the women remained in tears, and the men stood
stock-still in a fright. I was confined at Vincennes for a fortnight
together, in a room as big as a church, without any firing. My guards
pilfered my, linen, apparel, shoes, etc., so that sometimes I was forced
to lie in bed for a week or ten days together for want of clothes to
dress myself. I could not but think that such treatment had been ordered
by the higher powers on purpose to break my heart; but I resolved not to
die that way, and though my guard said all he could to vex me, I affected
to take no notice.

The influence of the clergy of Paris obliged the Court to explain itself
concerning the causes of my imprisonment, by the mouth of the Chancellor,
who, in the presence of the King and Queen, acquainted them that his
Majesty had caused me to be arrested for my own good, and to prevent me
from putting something that I designed into execution. The chapter of
Notre-Dame had an anthem sung every day for my deliverance. The Sorbonne
and many of the a religious orders distinguished themselves by declaring
for me. This general stir obliged the Court to treat me somewhat better
than at first. They let me have a limited number of books, but no ink
and paper, and they allowed me a 'valet de chambre' and a physician.

During my confinement at Vincennes, which lasted fifteen months, I
studied both day and night, especially the Latin tongue, on which I
perceive one cannot bestow too much pains, since it takes in all other
studies. I dived into the Greek also, and read again the ninth decade of
Livy, which I had formerly delighted in, and found as pleasant as ever. I
composed, in imitation of Boetius, a treatise, which I entitled
"Consolation de la Theologie," in which I proved that every prisoner
ought to endeavour to be 'vinctus in Christo' (in the bonds of Christ),
mentioned by Saint Paul. I also compiled "Partus Vincennarum," which was
a collection of the Acts of the Church of Milan for the use of the Church
of Paris.

My guard omitted nothing he could invent to make my life uneasy and
disturb my studies. One day he came and told me that he had received
orders from the King to give me an airing on the top of the donjon; and
when he perceived that I took a pleasure in walking there, he informed
me, with joy in his looks, that he had orders to the contrary. I told
him that they were come in good time, for the air, which was too sharp
there, had made my head ache. Afterwards he offered to take me down into
the tennis-court to see my guards at play. I desired him to excuse me,
because I thought the air would be too piercing for me; but he made me
go, telling me that the King, who took more care of my health than I
fancied, had ordered that he should give me some exercise. Soon after he
desired me to excuse him for not bringing me down again, "for reasons,"
said he, "which I must not tell." The truth was, I was so much above
these chicaneries that I despised them; but I must own that I used to
think within myself that, in the main, to be a prisoner of State was of
all others the most afflicting. All the relaxation I had from my studies
was to divert myself with some rabbits on the top of the donjon, and some
pigeons in the turrets, for which I was indebted to the continual
solicitations of the Church of Paris. I had not been a prisoner above
nine days when one of my guards, while his comrade who watched me was
asleep, came and slipped a note into my hand from Madame de Pommereux, in
which were only these words: "Let me have your answer; you may safely
trust the bearer." The bearer gave me a pencil and a piece of paper, on
which I wrote that I had received her letter.

Notwithstanding that three sergeants and twenty-four Life-guards relieved
one another every day, our correspondence was not interrupted. Madame de
Pommereux, M. de Caumartin, and M. de Raqueville wrote me letters twice a
week constantly about the means to effect my escape, which I attempted
twice, but in vain.

The Abbe Charier, who set out for Rome the day after I was arrested,
found Pope Innocent incensed to the highest degree, and ready to throw
his thunder upon the heads of the authors of it. He spoke of it to the
French Ambassador with great resentment, and sent the Archbishop of
Avignon, with the title of Nuncio Extraordinary, on purpose to solicit my
release. The King was in a fury, and forebade the Nuncio to pass Lyons.
The Pope told the Abbe Charier that he was afraid to expose his and the
Church's authority to the fury of a madman, and said, "Give me but an
army, and I will furnish you with a legate." It was a difficult matter
indeed to get him that army, but not impossible, if those that should
have stood my friends had not left me in the lurch.

In the meantime Noirmoutier and Bussi Lamet wrote a letter to Mazarin,
declaring they could not help proceeding to extremities if I were
detained any longer in prison. The Prince de Conde declared he would do
anything, without exception, which my friends desired, for my liberty,
and offered to march all the Spanish forces to their assistance; but the
misfortune was that there was nobody to form the proper schemes; and
Noirmoutier, who was the most enterprising man of them all, was hindered
from action by Madame de Chevreuse and De Laigues, who, the Cardinal
said, would be accountable for the actions of their friends, and that if
they fired one pistol-shot they must expect what would follow. Therefore
Noirmoutier was glad to elude all the propositions of the Prince de
Conde, and to be content with only writing and speaking in my favour, and
firing the cannon at the drinking of my health.

M. de Pradello, who commanded the French and Swiss Guards in the castle,
came one day to tell me of the happy return of Cardinal Mazarin to Paris,
and of his magnificent reception at the Hotel de Ville; and he informed
me that the Cardinal had sent him to assure me of his most humble
services, and to beg of me to be persuaded that he would forget nothing
that might be for my service. I made as if I did not heed the
compliment, and was for talking of something else; but as he pressed me
for a direct answer, I told him that I should have been ready at the
first word to show him my acknowledgments were I not persuaded that the
duty of a prisoner to the King did not permit him to explain himself in
anything relating to his release, till his Majesty had been graciously
pleased to grant it him. He understood my meaning, and endeavoured to
persuade me to return a more civil answer to the Cardinal, which I
declined to do.

The Cardinal was so pestered with complaints from Rome, and so disturbed
with the discontent which prevailed in Poitou and Paris, on account of my
imprisonment, that he sent me an offer of my liberty and great
advantages, on condition that I would resign the coadjutorship of Paris.

The solicitations of the chapter of Notre-Dame prevailed on the Court to
consent that one of their body might be always with me, who, though he
came gladly for my sake, fell into a deep melancholy. He could not,
however, be prevailed upon to go out; and being soon after seized with a
fever, he cut his own throat. My uncle dying soon after, possession was
taken of the archbishopric in my name by my proxy, and Tellier, who was
sent to Notre-Dame Church to oppose it on the part of the King, was
mortified with the thunder of my bulls from Rome. The people were
surprised to see all the formalities observed to a nicety, at a juncture
when they thought there was no possibility of observing one. The cures
waxed warmer than ever, and my friends fanned the flame. The Nuncio,
thinking himself slighted by the Court, spoke in dignified terms, and
threatened his censures. A little book was published, showing the
necessity of shutting up the churches, which aroused the Cardinal's
apprehensions, and his apprehensions naturally led him into negotiation.
He amused me with hundreds of fine prospects of church livings,
governments, etc., and of being restored to the good graces of the King
and to the strictest friendship with his Prime Minister.

I had more liberty than before. They always carried me up to the top of
the donjon whenever it was fair overhead; but my friends, who did not
doubt that all the Court wanted was to get some expression from me of my
inclination to resign, in order to discredit me with the public, charged
me to guard warily my words, which advice I followed; so that when a
captain of the Guards came from the King to discourse with me upon this
head, who, by Mazarin's direction, talked to me more like a captain of
the Janissaries than like an officer of the most Christian King, I
desired leave to give him my answer in writing, expressing my contempt
for all threats and promises, and an inviolable resolution not to give up
the archbishopric of Paris.

Next day President Bellievre came to me on the part of the King, with an
offer of seven abbeys, provided I would quit my archbishopric; but he
opened his mind to me with entire freedom, and said he could not but
think what a fool the Sicilian was to send him on such an errand. "Most
of your friends," said Bellievre, "think that you need only to stand out
resolutely, and that the Court will be glad to set you at liberty and
send you to Rome; but it is a horrid mistake, for the Court will be
satisfied with nothing but your resignation. When I say the Court, I
mean Mazarin; for the Queen will not bear the thought of giving you your
liberty. The chief thing that determines Mazarin to think of your
liberty is his fear of the Nuncio, the chapter, the cures, and the
people. But I dare affirm that the Nuncio will threaten mightily, but do
nothing; the chapter may perhaps make remonstrances, but to no purpose;
the cures will preach, and that is all; the people will clamour, but take
up no arms. The consequence will be your removal to Brest or
Havre-de-Grace, and leaving you in the hands of your enemies, who will
use you as they please. I know that Mazarin is not bloodthirsty, but I
tremble to think of what Noailles has told you, that they are resolved to
make haste and take such methods as other States have furnished examples
of. You may, perhaps, infer from my remarks that I would have you
resign. By no means. I have come to tell you that if you resign you
will do a dishonourable thing, and that it behooves you on this occasion
to answer the great expectation the world is now in on your account, even
to the hazarding of your life, and of your liberty, which I am persuaded
you value more than life itself. Now is the time for you to put forward
more than ever those maxims for which we have so much combated you: 'I
dread no poison nor sword! Nothing can hurt me but what is within me!
It matters not where one dies!' Thus you ought to answer those who speak
to you about your resignation."

I was carried from Vincennes, under guard, to Nantes, where I had
numerous visits and diversions, and was entertained with a comedy almost
every night, and the company of the ladies, particularly the charming
Mademoiselle de La Vergne, who in good truth did not approve of me,
either because she had no inclination for me, or else because her friends
had set her against me by telling her of my inconstancy and different
amours. I endured her cruelty with my natural indifference, and the full
liberty Marechal de La Meilleraye allowed me with the city ladies gave me
abundance of comfort; nevertheless I was kept under a very strict guard.
As I had stipulated with Mazarin that I should have my liberty on
condition that I would resign my archbishopric at Vincennes, which I knew
would not be valid, I was surprised to hear that the Pope refused to
ratify it; because, though it would not have made my resignation a jot
more binding, yet it would have procured my liberty. I proposed
expedients to the Holy See by which the Court might do it with honour,
but the Pope was inflexible. He thought it would damage his reputation
to consent to a violence so injurious to the whole Church, and said to my
friends, who begged his consent with tears in their eyes, that he could
never consent to a resignation extorted from a prisoner by force.

After several consultations with my friends how to make my escape, I
effected it on August the 8th, at five o'clock in the evening. I let
myself down to the bottom of the bastion, which was forty feet high, with
a rope, while my valet de chambre treated the guards with as much liquor
as they could drink. Their attention, was, moreover, taken up with
looking at a Jacobin friar who happened to be drowned as he was bathing.
A sentinel, seeing me, was taking up his musket to fire, but dropped it
upon my threatening to have him hanged; and he said, upon examination,
that he believed Marechal de La Meilleraye was in concert with me. Two
pages who were washing themselves, saw me also, and called out, but were
not heard. My four gentlemen waited for me at the bottom of the ravelin,
on pretence of watering their horses, so that I was on horseback before
the least notice was taken; and, having forty fresh horses planted on the
road, I might have reached Paris very soon if my horse had not fallen and
caused me to break my shoulder bone, the pain of which was so extreme
that I nearly fainted several times. Not being able to continue my
journey, I was lodged, with only one of my gentlemen, in a great
haystack, while MM. de Brissac and Joly went straight to Beaupreau, to
assemble the nobility, there, in order to rescue me. I lay hid there for
over seven hours in inexpressible misery, for the pain from my injury
threw me into a fever, during which my thirst was much augmented by the
smell of the new hay; but, though we were by a riverside, we durst not
venture out for water, because there was nobody to put the stack in order
again, which would very probably have occasioned suspicion and a search
in consequence. We heard nothing but horsemen riding by, who, we were
afterwards informed, were Marechal de La Meilleraye's scouts. About two
o'clock in the morning I was fetched out of the stack by a Parisian of
quality sent by my friend De Brissac, and carried on a hand-barrow to a
barn, where I was again buried alive, as it were, in hay for seven or
eight hours, when M. de Brisac and his lady came, with fifteen or twenty
horse, and carried me to Beaupreau. From thence we proceeded, almost in
eight of Nantes, to Machecoul, in the country of Retz, after having had
an encounter with some of Marechal de La Meilleraye's guards, when we
repulsed them to the very barrier.

Marechal de La Meilleraye was so amazed at my escape that he threatened
to destroy the whole country with fire and sword, for which reason I was
an unwelcome guest to Madame de Retz and her father, who rallied me very
uncharitably on my disobedience to the King. We therefore thought fit to
leave the country, and went aboard a ship for Belle Isle, whence, after a
very short stay there, we escaped to San Sebastian.

Upon my arrival there I sent a letter to the King of Spain requesting
leave to pass through his dominions to Rome. The messenger was received
at Court with civilities beyond expression, and sent back next day with
the present of a gold chain worth 800 crowns. I had also one of the
King's litters sent me, and an invitation to go to Madrid, but I desired
to be excused; and though I also refused immense offers if I would but go
to Flanders and treat with the Prince de Conde, etc., for the service of
Spain, yet I had a velvet coffer sent me with 40,000 crowns in it, which
I likewise thought fit to refuse. As I had neither linen nor apparel,
either for myself or servants, and as the 400 crowns which we got by the
sale of pilchards on board the barque in which we came from Belle Isle
were almost all spent, I borrowed 400 crowns of the Baron de Vateville,
who commanded for the King of Spain in Guipuzcoa, and faithfully repaid

From San Sebastian I travelled incognito to Tudela, where I was met by
the King's mule drivers and waited on by the alcade, who left his wand at
my chamber door and at his, entrance knelt and kissed the hem of my
garment. From thence I was conducted to Comes by fifty musketeers riding
upon asses, who were sent me by the Governor of Navarre. At Saragossa I
was taken for the King of England, and a large number of ladies, in over
two hundred carriages, came to pay me their respects. Thence I proceeded
to Vivaros, where I had rich presents from the Governor of Valencia. And
thence I sailed to Majorca, whose Governor met me with above one hundred
coaches of the Spanish nobility, and carried me to mass at the Cathedral,
where I saw thirty or forty ladies of quality of more than common charms;
and, to speak the truth, the women there in general are of rare beauty,
having a graceful tincture both of the lily and the rose, and wear a
head-dress which is exceedingly pretty. The Governor, after having
treated me with a magnificent dinner under a tent of gold brocade near
the seaside, carried me to a concert of music in a convent, where I found
the nuns not inferior in beauty to the ladies of the town. The Governor
carried me to see his lady, who was as ugly as a witch, and was seated
under a great canopy sparkling with precious stones, which gave a
wonderful lustre to about sixty ladies with her, who were the handsomest
in the whole town. I was reconducted on board my galley with music and a
discharge of the artillery, and sailed to Port Mahon, and thence through
the Gulf of Lyons to the canal between Corsica and Sardinia, where our
ship was very nearly cast away upon a sandbank; but with great difficulty
we got her off and reached Porto Longone. There we quitted the galley,
and went by land to Piombino.


I travelled from Piombino to Florence, where I had great honours and vast
offers from the Grand Duke, though Mazarin had threatened him, in the
King's name, with a rupture if he granted me passage through his
dominions; but the Grand Duke sent to desire the Cardinal to let him know
whether there was any possibility of refusing it without disobliging the
Pope and the Sacred College. As I was travelling through the Duke's
country, my mules, being frightened by a clap of thunder, ran with my
litter into a brook, where I narrowly escaped being drowned.

As soon as I arrived at Rome the Pope sent me 4,000 crowns in gold. I
was immediately informed that a strong faction was formed there against
me by the Court of France; that the Cardinal d'Est, representative of
that nation, had terrible orders from the King; and that they were
resolved to send me packing from Rome, cost what it would. I had my old
scruples upon me, and said I would die a thousand deaths rather than make
resistance; but I thought it would be too disrespectful in a cardinal to
come so near the Pope and to go away without kissing his feet, and I
resolved to leave the rest to the providence of God.

The Pope having ordered his guards to be ready, in case the French
faction should offer to rise, the Cardinal d'Est was so good as to let me
alone. His Holiness gave me an audience of four hours, condescended to
beg my forgiveness for not having acted with more vigour for my liberty;
and said, with tears in his eyes: "God forgive those who delayed to give
me timely notice of your imprisonment, and who made us believe that you
had been guilty, of an attempt upon the King's person. The Sacred
College took fire at the news; but the French Ambassador being at
liberty, to give out what he chose, because nobody, appeared here on your
part to contradict him, Mazarin extinguished it, and half the Sacred
College thought you were abandoned by the whole kingdom." In short, the
Pope was so well disposed to me that he thought of adopting me as his
nephew, but he sickened soon after and died.

The conclave chose Cardinal Chigi (who was called Alexander VIII.) for
his successor, in whose election I had such a share that when it came to
my turn, at the adoration of the cardinals, to kiss his feet, he embraced
me, saying, "Signor Cardinal de Retz, 'ecce opus manuum tuarum'" ("Behold
the work of your own hands"). I went home accompanied with one hundred
and twenty coaches of gentlemen, who did not doubt that I should govern
the Pontificate.

My friends in France, who commonly judge of other nations by their own,
imagined that a persecuted cardinal might, nay, ought to live like a
private man even at Rome, and advised me not to spend much money, because
my revenues in France were all seized, and said that such exemplary
modesty would have an admirable effect upon the clergy of Paris. But
Cardinal Chigi talked after another manner: "When you are reestablished
in your see you may live as you please, because you will be in a country
where everybody will know what you are or are not able to do. You are
now at Rome, where your enemies say every day that you have lost your
credit in France, and you are under a necessity to make it appear that
what they say is false. You are not a hermit, but a cardinal, and a
cardinal, too, of the better rank. At Rome there are many people who
love to tread upon men when they are down. Dear sir, take care you do
not fall, and do but consider what a figure you will make in the streets
with six vergers attending you; otherwise every pitiful citizen of Paris
that meets you will be apt to jostle you, in order to make his court to
the Cardinal d'Est. You ought not to have come to Rome if you had not
had resolution and the means to support your dignity. I presume you do
not make it a point of Christian humility to debase yourself. And let me
tell you that I, the poor Cardinal Chigi, who have but 5,000 crowns
revenue, and am one of the poorest in the College, and though I am sure
to meet nobody in the streets who will be wanting in the respect due to
the purple, yet I cannot go to my functions without four coaches in
livery to attend me."

Therefore I hired a palace, kept a great table, and entertained fourscore
persons in liveries. The Cardinal d'Est, the very day after the creation
of the new Pope, forbade all Frenchmen to give me the way in the streets,
and charged the superiors of the French churches not to admit me. M. de
Lionne, who resided here as a sort of private secretary to Mazarin, was
so nettled because the new Pope had granted me the pallium for my
archbishopric that he told him the King would never own me, insinuated
that there would be a schism among the clergy of France, and that the
Pope must expect to be excluded from the congress for a general peace.
This so frightened his Holiness that he made a million of mean excuses,
and said, with tears in his eyes, that I had imposed upon him, and that
he would take the first opportunity to do the King justice. Upon this M.
de Lionne sent word to the Cardinal that he hoped very shortly to
acquaint him of my being prisoner in the Castle of Saint Angelo, and that
the Cardinal would be no better off for his Majesty's amnesty, because
the Pope said none but he could absolve or condemn cardinals. Meantime
all my domestics who were subjects of the King of France were ordered to
quit my service, on pain of being treated as rebels and traitors. I
could have little hope of protection from the Pope, for he was become
quite another man, never spoke one word of truth, and continually amused
himself with mere trifles, insomuch that one day he proposed a reward for
whoever found out a Latin word for "calash," and spent seven or eight
days in examining whether "mosco" came from "muses," or "musts" from
"mosco." All his piety consisted in assuming a serious air at church, in
which, nevertheless, there was a great mixture of pride, for he was vain
to the last degree, and envious of everybody. The work entitled
"Sindicato di Alexandro VII." gives an account of his luxury and of
several pasquinades against the said Pope, particularly that one day
Marforio asking Pasquin what he had said to the cardinals upon his
death-bed, Pasquin answered, "Maxima de aeipso, plurima de parentibus,
parva de principibus, turpia de cardinalibus, pauca de Ecclesia, de Deo
nihil." ("He said fine things of himself, a great many things of his
kindred, some things of princes, nothing good of the cardinals, but
little of the Church, and nothing at all of God"). His Holiness, in a
consistory, laid claim to the merit of the conversion of Christina, Queen
of Sweden, though everybody knew to the contrary, and that she had
abjured heresy a year and a half before she came to Rome.

Having heard that Bussiere, who is Chamberlain to the Ambassadors at
Rome, had declared I should not have a place in Saint Louis's church on
the festival of that saint, I was not discouraged from going thither. At
my entrance he snatched the holy water stick from the cure just as he was
going to sprinkle me; nevertheless, I took my place, and was resolved to
keep up the status and dignity of a French cardinal. This was my
condition at Rome, where it was my fate to be a refugee, persecuted by my
King and abused by the Pope. All my revenues were seized, and the French
bankers forbidden to serve me; nay, those who had an inclination to
assist me were forced to promise they would not. Two of the Abbe
Fouquet's bastards were publicly maintained out of my revenues, and no
means were left untried to hinder the farmers from relieving me, or my
creditors from harassing me with vexatious and expensive lawsuits.


Always judged of actions by men, and never men by their actions
Always to sacrifice the little affairs to the greater
Arms which are not tempered by laws quickly become anarchy
Associating patience with activity
Assurrance often supplies the room of good sense
Blindness that make authority to consist only in force
Bounty, which, though very often secret, had the louder echo
Buckingham had been in love with three Queens
By the means of a hundred pistoles down, and vast promises
Civil war as not powerful enough to conclude a peace
Civil war is one of those complicated diseases
Clergy always great examples of slavish servitude
Confounded the most weighty with the most trifling
Contempt--the most dangerous disease of any State
Dangerous to refuse presents from one's superiors
Distinguished between bad and worse, good and better
Fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive tomorrow
False glory and false modesty
Fool in adversity and a knave in prosperity
Fools yield only when they cannot help it
Good news should be employed in providing against bad
He weighed everything, but fixed on nothing
He knew how to put a good gloss upon his failings
He had not a long view of what was beyond his reach
Help to blind the rest of mankind, and they even become blinder
His ideas were infinitely above his capacity
His wit was far inferior to his courage
Impossible for her to live without being in love with somebody
Inconvenience of popularity
Insinuation is of more service than that of persuasion
Is there a greater in the world than heading a party?
Kinds of fear only to be removed by higher degrees of terror
Laws without the protection of arms sink into contempt
Man that supposed everybody had a back door
Maxims showed not great regard for virtue
Mazarin: embezzling some nine millions of the public money
Men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures
More ambitious than was consistent with morality
My utmost to save other souls, though I took no care of my own
Need of caution in what we say to our friends
Neither capable of governing nor being governed
Never had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies
Nothing is so subject to delusion as piety
Oftener deceived by distrusting than by being overcredulous
One piece of bad news seldom comes singly
Only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them
Passed for the author of events of which I was only the prophet
Poverty so well became him
Power commonly keeps above ridicule
Pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his share
Queen was adored much more for her troubles than for her merit
She had nothing but beauty, which cloys when it comes alone
So indiscreet as to boast of his successful amours
Strongest may safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit
The subdivision of parties is generally the ruin of all
The wisest fool he ever saw in his life
Those who carry more sail than ballast
Thought he always stood in need of apologies
Transitory honour is mere smoke
Treated him as she did her petticoat
Useful man in a faction because of his wonderful complacency
Vanity to love to be esteemed the first author of things
Verily believed he was really the man which he affected to be
Virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one
We are far more moved at the hearing of old stories
Weakening and changing the laws of the land
Who imagine the head of a party to be their master
Whose vivacity supplied the want of judgment
Wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing without courage
With a design to do good, he did evil
Yet he gave more than he promised
You must know that, with us Princes, words go for nothing


Written by Herself

Being the Historic Memoirs of the Court of Louis XIV.


Madame de Montespan----Etching by Mercier

Hortense Mancini----Drawing in the Louvre

Madame de la Valliere----Painting by Francois

Moliere----Original Etching by Lalauze

Boileau----Etching by Lalauze

A French Courtier----Photogravure from a Painting

Madame de Maintenon----Etching by Mercier from Painting by Hule

Charles II.----Original Etching by Ben Damman

Bosseut----Etching by Lalauze

Louis XIV. Knighting a Subject----Photogravure from a Rare Print

A French Actress----Painting by Leon Comerre

Racine----Etching by Lalauze



Historians have, on the whole, dealt somewhat harshly with the
fascinating Madame de Montespan, perhaps taking their impressions from
the judgments, often narrow and malicious, of her contemporaries. To help
us to get a fairer estimate, her own "Memoirs," written by herself, and
now first given to readers in an English dress, should surely serve.
Avowedly compiled in a vague, desultory way, with no particular regard to
chronological sequence, these random recollections should interest us, in
the first place, as a piece of unconscious self-portraiture. The cynical
Court lady, whose beauty bewitched a great King, and whose ruthless
sarcasm made Duchesses quail, is here drawn for us in vivid fashion by
her own hand, and while concerned with depicting other figures she really
portrays her own. Certainly, in these Memoirs she is generally content
to keep herself in the background, while giving us a faithful picture of
the brilliant Court at which she was for long the most lustrous ornament.
It is only by stray touches, a casual remark, a chance phrase, that we,
as it were, gauge her temperament in all its wiliness, its egoism, its
love of supremacy, and its shallow worldly wisdom. Yet it could have
been no ordinary woman that held the handsome Louis so long her captive.
The fair Marquise was more than a mere leader of wit and fashion. If she
set the mode in the shape of a petticoat, or devised the sumptuous
splendours of a garden fete, her talent was not merely devoted to things
frivolous and trivial. She had the proverbial 'esprit des Mortemart'.
Armed with beauty and sarcasm, she won a leading place for herself at
Court, and held it in the teeth of all detractors.

Her beauty was for the King, her sarcasm for his courtiers. Perhaps
little of this latter quality appears in the pages bequeathed to us,
written, as they are, in a somewhat cold, formal style, and we may assume
that her much-dreaded irony resided in her tongue rather than in her pen.
Yet we are glad to possess these pages, if only as a reliable record of
Court life during the brightest period of the reign of Louis Quatorze.

As we have hinted, they are more, indeed, than this. For if we look
closer we shall perceive, as in a glass, darkly, the contour of a subtle,
even a perplexing, personality.

P. E. P.




The Reason for Writing These Memoirs.--Gabrielle d'Estrees.

The reign of the King who now so happily and so gloriously rules over
France will one day exercise the talent of the most skilful historians.
But these men of genius, deprived of the advantage of seeing the great
monarch whose portrait they fain would draw, will search everywhere among
the souvenirs of contemporaries and base their judgments upon our
testimony. It is this great consideration which has made me determined
to devote some of my hours of leisure to narrating, in these accurate and
truthful Memoirs, the events of which I myself am witness.

Naturally enough, the position which I fill at the great theatre of the
Court has made me the object of much false admiration, and much real
satire. Many men who owed to me their elevation or their success have
defamed me; many women have belittled my position after vain efforts to
secure the King's regard. In what I now write, scant notice will be
taken of all such ingratitude. Before my establishment at Court I had
met with hypocrisy of this sort in the world; and a man must, indeed, be
reckless of expense who daily entertains at his board a score of insolent

I have too much wit to be blind to the fact that I am not precisely in my
proper place. But, all things considered, I flatter myself that
posterity will let certain weighty circumstances tell in my favour. An
accomplished monarch, to greet whom the Queen of Sheba would have come
from the uttermost ends of the earth, has deemed me worthy of his
entertainment, and has found amusement in my society. He has told me of
the esteem which the French have for Gabrielle d'Estrees, and, like that
of Gabrielle, my heart has let itself be captured, not by a great king,
but by the most honest man of his realm.

To France, Gabrielle gave the Vendome, to-day our support. The princes,
my sons, give promise of virtues as excellent, and will be worthy to
aspire to destinies as noble. It is my desire and my duty to give no
thought to my private griefs begotten of an ill-assorted marriage. May
the King ever be adored by his people; may my children ever be beloved
and cherished by the King; I am happy, and I desire to be so.


That Which Often It is Best to Ignore.--A Marriage Such as One Constantly
Sees.--It is Too Late.

My sisters thought it of extreme importance to possess positive knowledge
as to their future condition and the events which fate held in store for
them. They managed to be secretly taken to a woman famed for her talent
in casting the horoscope. But on seeing how overwhelmed by chagrin they
both were after consulting the oracle, I felt fearful as regarded myself,
and determined to let my star take its own course, heedless of its
existence, and allowing it complete liberty.

My mother occasionally took me out into society after the marriage of my
sister, De Thianges; and I was not slow to perceive that there was in my
person something slightly superior to the average intelligence,--certain
qualities of distinction which drew upon me the attention and the
sympathy of men of taste. Had any liberty been granted to it, my heart
would have made a choice worthy alike of my family and of myself. They
were eager to impose the Marquis de Montespan upon me as a husband; and
albeit he was far from possessing those mental perfections and that
cultured charm which alone make an indefinite period of companionship
endurable, I was not slow to reconcile myself to a temperament which,
fortunately, was very variable, and which thus served to console me on
the morrow for what had troubled me to-day.

Hardly had my marriage been arranged and celebrated than a score of the
most brilliant suitors expressed, in prose and in verse, their regret at
having lost beyond recall Mademoiselle de Tonnai-Charente. Such elegiac
effusions seemed to me unspeakably ridiculous; they should have explained
matters earlier, while the lists were still open. For persons of this
sort I conceived aversion, who were actually so clumsy as to dare to tell
me that they had forgotten to ask my hand in marriage!


Madame de Montespan at the Palace.--M. de Montespan.--His Indiscreet
Language.--His Absence.--Specimen of His Way of Writing.--A Refractory
Cousin.--The King Interferes.--M. de Montespan a Widower.--Amusement of
the King.--Clemency of Madame de Montespan.

The Duc and Duchesse de Navailles had long been friends of my father's
and of my family. When the Queen-mother proceeded to form the new
household of her niece and daughter-in-law, the Infanta, the Duchesse de
Navailles, chief of the ladies-in-waiting, bethought herself of me, and
soon the Court and Paris learnt that I was one of the six ladies in
attendance on the young Queen.

This princess, who while yet at the Escurial had been made familiar with
the notable names of the French monarchy, honoured me during the journey
by alluding in terms of regard to the Mortemarts and
Rochechouarts,--kinsmen of mine. She was even careful to quote matters
of history concerning my ancestors. By such marks of good sense and good
will I perceived that she would not be out of place at a Court where
politeness of spirit and politeness of heart ever go side by side, or, to
put it better, where these qualities are fused and united.

M. le Marquis de Montespan, scion of the old house of Pardaillan de
Gondrin, had preferred what he styled "my grace and beauty" to the most
wealthy partis of France. He was himself possessed of wealth, and his
fortune gave him every facility for maintaining at Court a position of
advantage and distinction.

At first the honour which both Queens were graciously pleased to confer
upon me gave my husband intense satisfaction. He affectionately thanked
the Duc and Duchesse de Navailles, and expressed his most humble
gratitude to the two Queens and to the King. But it was not long before
I perceived that he had altered his opinion.

The love-affair between Mademoiselle de la Valliere and the King having
now become public, M. de Montespan condemned this attachment in terms of
such vehemence that I perforce felt afraid of the consequences of such
censure. He talked openly about the matter in society, airing his views
thereanent. Impetuously and with positive hardihood, he expressed his
disapproval in unstinted terms, criticising and condemning the prince's
conduct. Once, at the ballet, when within two feet of the Queen, it was
with the utmost difficulty that he could be prevented from discussing so
obviously unfitting a question, or from sententiously moralising upon the

All at once the news of an inheritance in the country served to occupy
his attention. He did all that he could to make me accompany him on this
journey. He pointed out to me that it behoved no young wife to be
anywhere without her husband. I, for my part, represented to him all
that in my official capacity I owed to the Queen. And as at that time I
still loved him heartily (M. de Montespan, I mean), and was sincerely
attached to him, I advised him to sell off the whole of the newly
inherited estate to some worthy member of his own family, so that he
might remain with us in the vast arena wherein I desired and hoped to
achieve his rapid advance.

Never was there man more obstinate or more selfwilled than the Marquis.
Despite all my friendly persuasion, he was determined to go. And when
once settled at the other end of France, he launched out into all sorts
of agricultural schemes and enterprises, without even knowing why he did
so. He constructed roads, built windmills, bridged over a large torrent,
completed the pavilions of his castle, replanted coppices and vineyards,
and, besides all this, hunted the chamois, bears, and boars of the
Nebouzan and the Pyrenees. Four or five months after his departure I
received a letter from him of so singular a kind that I kept it in spite
of myself, and in the Memoirs it will not prove out of place. Far better
than any words of mine, it will depict the sort of mind, the logic, and
the curious character of the man who was my husband.

MONTESPAN,--May 15, 1667.

I count more than ever, madame, upon your journey to the Pyrenees. If you
love me, as all your letters assure me, you should promptly take a good
coach and come. We are possessed of considerable property here, which of
late years my family have much neglected. These domains require my
presence, and my presence requires yours. Enough is yours of wit or of
good sense to understand that.

The Court is, no doubt, a fine country,--finer than ever under the
present reign. The more magnificent the Court is, the more uneasy do I
become. Wealth and opulence are needed there; and to your family I never
figured as a Croesus. By dint of order and thrift, we shall ere long
have satisfactorily settled our affairs; and I promise you that our stay
in the Provinces shall last no longer than is necessary to achieve that
desirable result. Three, four, five,--let us say, six years. Well, that
is not an eternity! By the time we come back we shall both of us still
be young. Come, then, my dearest Athenais, come, and make closer
acquaintance with these imposing Pyrenees, every ravine of which is a
landscape and every valley an Eden. To all these beauties, yours is
missing; you shall be here, like Dian, the goddess of these noble
forests. All our gentlefolk await you, admiring your picture on the
sweetmeat-box. They are minded to hold many pleasant festivals in your
honour; you may count upon having a veritable Court. Here it is that you
will meet the old Warnais nobility that followed Henri IV. and placed the
sceptre in his hand. Messieurs de Grammont and de Biron are our
neighbours; their grim castles dominate the whole district, so that they
seem like kings.

Our Chateau de Montespan will offer you something less severe; the
additions made for my mother twenty years ago are infinitely better than
anything that you will leave behind you in Paris. We have here the
finest fruits that ever grew in any earthly paradise. Our huge, luscious
peaches are composed of sugar, violets, carnations, amber, and jessamine;
strawberries and raspberries grow everywhere; and naught may vie with the
excellence of the water, the vegetables, and the milk.

You are fond of scenery and of sketching from nature; there are half a
dozen landscapes here for you that leave Claude Lorrain far behind. I
mean to take you to see a waterfall, twelve hundred and seventy feet in
height, neither more nor less. What are your fountains at Saint Germain
and Chambord compared with such marvellous things as these?

Now, madame, I am really tired of coaxing and flattering you, as I have
done in this letter and in preceding ones. Do you want me, or do you
not? Your position as Court lady, so you say, keeps you near the
monarch; ask, then, or let me ask, for leave of absence. After having
been for four consecutive years Lady of the Palace, consent to become
Lady of the Castle, since your duties towards your spouse require it.
The young King, favourite as he is with the ladies, will soon find ten
others to replace you. And I, dearest Athenais, find it hard even to
think of replacing you, in spite of your cruel absence, which at once
annoys and grieves me. I am--no, I shall be--always and ever yours, when
you are always and ever mine.


I hastened to tell my husband in reply that his impatience and ill-humour
made me most unhappy; that as, through sickness or leave of absence, five
or six of the Court ladies were away, I could not possibly absent myself
just then; that I believed that I sufficiently merited his confidence to
let me count upon his attachment and esteem, whether far or near. And I
gave him my word of honour that I would join him after the Court moved to
Fontainebleau, that is to say, in the autumn.

My answer, far from soothing or calming him, produced quite a contrary
effect. I received the following letter, which greatly alarmed and
agitated me:

Your allegations are only vain pretexts, your pretexts mask your
falsehoods, your falsehoods confirm all my suspicions; you are deceiving
me, madame, and it is your intention to dishonour me. My cousin, who saw
through you better than I did before my wretched marriage,--my cousin,
whom you dislike and who is no whit afraid of you,--informs me that,
under the pretext of going to keep Madame de la Valliere company, you
never stir from her apartments during the time allotted to her by the
King, that is to say, three whole hours every evening. There you pose as
sovereign arbiter; as oracle, uttering a thousand divers decisions; as
supreme purveyor of news and gossip; the scourge of all who are absent;
the complacent promoter of scandal; the soul and the leader of sparkling

One only of these ladies became ill, owing to an extremely favourable
confinement, from which she recovered a week ago. At the outset, the King
fought shy of your raillery, but in a thousand discreditable ways you set
your cap at him and forced him to pay you attention. If all the letters
written to me (all of them in the same strain) are not preconcerted, if
your misconduct is such as I am told it is, if you have dishonoured and
disgraced your husband, then, madame, expect all that your excessive
imprudence deserves. At this distance of two hundred and fifty leagues I
shall not trouble you with complaints and vain reproaches; I shall
collect all necessary information and documentary evidence at
headquarters; and, cost me what it may, I shall bring action against you,
before your parents, before a court of law, in the face of public
opinion, and before your protector, the King. I charge you instantly to
deliver up to me my child. My unfortunate son comes of a race which
never yet has had cause to blush for disgrace such as this. What would
he gain, except bad example, by staying with a mother who has no virtue
and no husband? Give him up to me, and at once let Dupre, my valet, have
charge of him until my return. This latter will occur sooner than you
think; and I shall shut you up in a convent, unless you shut me up in the

Your unfortunate husband, MONTESPAN.

The officious cousin to whom he alluded in this threatening letter had
been so bold as to sue for my hand, although possessed of no property.
Ever since that time he remained, as I knew, my enemy, though I did not
know, nor ever suspected, that such a man would find pleasure in spying
upon my actions and in effecting the irrevocable estrangement of a
husband and a wife, who until then had been mutually attached to each

The King, whose glance, though very sweet, is very searching, said to me
that evening, "Something troubles you; what is it?" He felt my pulse,
and perceived my great agitation. I showed him the letter just
transcribed, and his Majesty changed colour.

"It is a matter requiring caution and tact," added the prince after brief
meditation. "At any rate we can prevent his showing you any disrespect.
Give up the Marquis d'Antin to him," continued the King, after another
pause. "He is useless, perhaps an inconvenience, to you; and if deprived
of his child he might be driven to commit some desperate act."

"I would rather die!" I exclaimed, bursting into tears.

The King affectionately took hold of both my hands, and gently said:

"Very well, then, keep him yourself, and don't give him up."

As God is my witness, M. de Montespan had already neglected me for some
time before he left for the Pyrenees; and to me this sudden access of
fervour seemed singularly strange. But I am not easily hoodwinked; I
understood him far better and far quicker than he expected. The Marquis
is one of those vulgar-minded men who do not look upon a woman as a
friend, a companion, a frank, free associate, but as a piece of property
or of furniture, useful to his house, and which he has procured for that
purpose only.

I am told that in England a man is the absolute proprietor of his wife,
and that if he took her to the public market with a cord round her neck
and exhibited her for sale, such sale is perfectly valid in the eyes of
the law. Laws such as these inspire horror. Yet they should hardly
surprise one among a semibarbarous nation, which does nothing like other
peoples, and which deems itself authorised to place the censer in the
hands of its monarch, and its monarch in the hands of the headsman.

M. de Montespan came to Paris and instituted proceedings against me
before the Chatelet authorities. To the King he sent a letter full of
provocations and insults. To the Pope he sent a formal complaint,
accompanied by a most carefully prepared list of opinions which no lawyer
was willing to sign. For three whole months he tormented the Pope, in
order to induce him to annul our marriage. Of a truth, our Sovereign
Pontiff could have done nothing better, but in Rome justice and religion
always rank second to politics. The cardinals feared to offend a great
prince, and so they suffered me to remain the wife of my husband. When
he saw that on every side his voice was lost in the desert, and that the
King, being calmer and more prudent than he, did not deign to pick up the
glove, his folly reached its utmost limit. He went into the deepest
mourning ever seen. He draped his horses and carriages with black. He
gave orders for a funeral service to be held in his parish, which the
whole town and its suburbs were invited to attend. He declared, verbally
and in writing, that he no longer possessed a wife; that Madame de
Montespan had died of an attack of coquetry and ambition; and he talked
of marrying again when the year of mourning and of widowhood should be

His first outbursts of wrath were the source of much amusement to the
King, who naturally was on the side of decorum and averse to hostile
opinion. Pranks such as these seemed to him more a matter for mirth than
fear, and, on hearing the story of the catafalque, he laughingly said to
me, "Now that he has buried you, it is to be hoped that he will let you
repose in peace." But hearing each day of fresh absurdities, his Majesty
grew at last impatient. Luckily, M. de Montespan, perceiving that every
house had closed its doors to him, decided to close his own altogether
and travel abroad.

Not being of a vindictive disposition, I never would allow M. de Louvois
to shut him up in the Bastille. On the contrary I privately paid more
than fifty thousand crowns to defray his debts, being glad to render him
some good service in exchange for all the evil that he spoke of me.

I reflected that he had been my husband, my confidant, my friend; that
his only faults were bad temper, love of sport, and love of wine; that he
belonged to one of the very first families of France; and that, despite
all that was said, my son D'Antin certainly was nothing to the King, and
that the Marquis was his father.


Mademoiselle de la Valliere Jealous.--The King Wishes All to Enjoy
Themselves.--The Futility of Fighting against Fate.--What is Dead is

MADEMOISELLE DE LA VALLIERE was tall, shapely, and extremely pretty, with
as sweet and even a temper as one could possibly imagine, which eminently
fitted her for dreamy, contemplative love-making, such as one reads of in
idyls and romances. She would willingly have spent her life in.
contemplating the King,--in loving and adoring him without ever opening
her mouth; and to her, the sweet silence of a tete-a-tete seemed
preferable to any conversation enlivened by wit.

The King's character was totally different. His imagination was vivid,
and mere love-making, however pleasant, bored him at last if the charm of
ready speech and ready wit were wanting.

I do not profess to be a prodigy, but those who know me do me the justice
to admit that where I am it is very difficult for boredom to find ever so
small a footing.

Mademoiselle de la Valliere, after having begged me, and begged me often,
to come and help her to entertain the King, grew suddenly suspicious and
uneasy. She is candour itself, and one day, bursting into tears, she
said to me, in that voice peculiar to her alone, "For Heaven's sake, my
good friend, do not steal away the King's heart from me!" When
mademoiselle said this to me, I vow and declare in all honesty that her
fears were unfounded, and that (for my part at least) I had only just a
natural desire to gain the good-will of a great prince. My friendship for
La Valliere was so sincere, so thorough, that I often used to superintend
little details of her toilet and give her various little hints as to
attentive conduct of the sort which cements and revives attachments. I
even furnished her with news and gossip, composing for her a little
repertoire, of which, when needful, she made use.

But her star had set, and she had to show the world the touching
spectacle of love as true, as tender, and as disinterested as any that
has ever been in this world, followed by a repentance and an expiation
far superior to the sin, if sin it was.

Moreover, Mademoiselle de la Valliere never broke with me. She shed
tears in abundance, and wounded my heart a thousand times by the sight of
her grief and her distress. For her sake I was often fain to bid
farewell to her fickle lover, proud monarch though he was. But by
breaking with him I should not have reestablished La Valliere. The
prince's violent passion had changed to mere friendship, blended with
esteem. To try and resuscitate attachments of this sort is as if one
should try to open the grave and give life to the dead. God alone can
work miracles such as these.


The Marquis de Bragelonne, Officer of the Guards.--His Baleful Love.--His
Journey.--His Death.

The Marquis de Bragelonne was born for Mademoiselle de la Valliere. It
was this young officer, endowed with all perfections imaginable, whom
Heaven had designed for her, to complete her happiness. Despite his
sincere, incomparable attachment for her, she disdained him, preferring a
king, who soon afterwards wearied of her.

The Marquis de Bragelonne conceived a passion for the little La Valliere
as soon as he saw her at the Tuileries with Madame Henrietta of England,
whose maid of honour at first she was. Having made proof and declaration
of his tender love, Bragelonne was so bold as to ask her hand of the
princess. Madame caused her relatives to be apprised of this, and the
Marquise de Saint-Remy, her stepmother, after all necessary inquiries had
been made, replied that the fortune of this young man was as yet too
slender to permit him to think of having an establishment.

Grieved at this answer, but nothing daunted, Bragelonne conferred
privately with his lady-love, and told her of his hazardous project. This
project instantly to realise all property coming to him from his father,
and furnished with this capital, to go out, and seek his fortune in India
[West Indies. D.W.]

"You will wait for me, dearest one, will you not?" quoth he. "Heaven,
that is witness how ardently I long to make you happy, will protect me on
my journey and guard my ship. Promise me to keep off all suitors, the
number of whom will increase with your beauty. This promise, for which I
desire no other guarantee but your candour, shall sustain me in exile,
and make me count as nought my privations and my hardships."

Mademoiselle de la Beaume-le-Blanc allowed the Marquis to hope all that
he wished from her beautiful soul, and he departed, never imagining that
one could forget or set at nought so tender a love which had prompted so
hazardous an enterprise.

His journey proved thoroughly successful. He brought back with him
treasures from the New World; but of all his treasures the most precious
had disappeared. Restored once more to family and friends, he hastened
to the capital. Madame d'Orleans no longer resided at the Tuileries,
which was being enlarged by the King.

Bragelonne, in his impatience, asks everywhere for La Valliere. They
tell him that she has a charming house between Saint Germain, Lucienne,
and Versailles. He goes thither, laden with coral and pearls from the
Indies. He asks to have sight of his love. A tall Swiss repulses him,
saying that, in order to speak with Madame la Duchesse, it was absolutely
necessary to make an appointment.

At the same moment one of his friends rides past the gateway. They greet
each other, and in reply to his questioning, this friend informs him that
Mademoiselle de la Valliere is a duchess, that she is a mother, that she
is lapped in grandeur and luxury, and that she has as lover a king.

At this news, Bragelonne finds nothing further for him to do in this
world. He grasps his friend's hand, retires to a neighbouring wood, and
there, drawing his sword, plunges it into his heart,--a sad requital for
love so noble!


M. Fouquet.--His Mistake.--A Woman's Indiscretion May Cause the Loss of a
Great Minister.--The Castle of Vaux.--Fairy-land.--A Fearful
Awakening.--Clemency of the King.

On going out into society, I heard everybody talking everywhere about M.
Fouquet. They praised his good-nature, his affability, his talents, his
magnificence, his wit. His post as Surintendant-General, envied by a
thousand, provoked indeed a certain amount of spite; yet all such vain
efforts on the part of mediocrity to slander him troubled him but little.
My lord the Cardinal (Mazarin. D.W.) was his support, and so long as the
main column stood firm, M. Fouquet, lavish of gifts to his protector, had
really nothing to fear.

This minister also largely profited by the species of fame to be derived
from men of letters. He knew their venality and their needs. His
sumptuous, well-appointed table was placed in grandiose fashion at their
disposal. Moreover, he made sure of their attachment and esteem by fees
and enormous pensions. The worthy La Fontaine nibbled like others at the
bait, and at any rate paid his share of the reckoning by the most profuse
gratitude. M. Fouquet had one great defect: he took it into his head
that every woman is devoid of will-power and of resistance if only one
dazzle her eyes with gold. Another prejudice of his was to believe, as
an article of faith, that, if possessed of gold and jewels, the most
ordinary of men can inspire affection.

Making this twofold error his starting-point as a principle that was
incontestable, he was wont to look upon every beautiful woman who
happened to appear on the horizon as his property acquired in advance.

At Madame's, he saw Mademoiselle de la Valliere, and instantly sent her
his vows of homage and his proposals.

To his extreme astonishment, this young beauty declined to understand
such language. Couched in other terms, he renewed his suit, yet
apparently was no whit less obscure than on the first occasion. Such a
scandal as this well-nigh put him to the blush, and he was obliged to
admit that this modest maiden either affected to be, or really was,
utterly extraordinary.

Perhaps Mademoiselle de la Valliere ought to have had the generosity not
to divulge the proposals made to her; but she spoke about them, so
everybody said, and the King took a dislike to his minister.

Whatever the cause or the real motives for Fouquet's disgrace, it was
never considered unjust, and this leads me to tell the tale of his mad
folly at Vaux.

The two palaces built by Cardinal Mazarin and the castles built by
Cardinal Richelieu served as fine examples for M. Fouquet. He knew that
handsome edifices embellished the country, and that Maecenas has always
been held in high renown, because Maecenas built a good deal in his day.

He had just built, at great expense, in the neighbourhood of Melun, a
castle of such superb and elegant proportions that the fame of it had
even reached foreign parts. All that Fouquet lived for was show and
pomp. To have a fine edifice and not show it off was as if one only
possessed a kennel.

He spoke of the Castle of Vaux in the Queen's large drawing-room, and
begged their Majesties to honour by their presence a grand fete that he
was preparing for them.

To invite the royal family was but a trifling matter,--he required
spectators proportionate to the scale of decorations and on a par with
the whole spectacle; so he took upon himself to invite the entire Court
to Vaux.

On reaching Vaux-le-Vicomte, how great and general was our amazement! It
was not the well-appointed residence of a minister, it was not a human
habitation that presented itself to our view,--it was a veritable fairy
palace. All in this brilliant dwelling was stamped with the mark of
opulence and of exquisite taste in art. Marbles, balustrades, vast
staircases, columns, statues, groups, bas-reliefs, vases, and pictures
were scattered here and there in rich profusion, besides cascades and
fountains innumerable. The large salon, octagonal in shape, had a high,
vaulted ceiling, and its flooring of mosaic looked like a rich carpet
embellished with birds, butterflies, arabesques, fruits, and flowers.

On either side of the main edifice, and somewhat in the rear, the
architect had placed smaller buildings, yet all of them ornamented in the
same sumptuous fashion; and these served to throw the chateau itself into
relief. In these adjoining pavilions there were baths, a theatre, a
'paume' ground, swings, a chapel, billiard-rooms, and other salons.

One noticed magnificent gilt roulette tables and sedan-chairs of the very
best make. There were elegant stalls at which trinkets were distributed
to the guests,--note-books, pocket-mirrors, gloves, knives, scissors,
purses, fans, sweetmeats, scents, pastilles, and perfumes of all kinds.

It was as if some evil fairy had prompted the imprudent minister to act
in this way, who, eager and impatient for his own ruin, had summoned his
King to witness his appalling system of plunder in its entirety, and had
invited chastisement.

When the King went out on to the balcony of his apartment to make a
general survey of the gardens and the perspective, he found everything
well arranged and most alluring; but a certain vista seemed to him
spoiled by whitish-looking clearings that gave too barren an aspect to
the general coup d'oeil.

His host readily shared this opinion. He at once gave the requisite
instructions, which that very night were executed by torchlight with the
utmost secrecy by all the workmen of the locality whose services at such
an hour it was possible to secure.

When next day the monarch stepped out on to his balcony, he saw a
beautiful green wood in place of the clearings with which on the previous
evening he had found fault.

Service more prompt or tasteful than this it was surely impossible to
have; but kings only desire to be obeyed when they command.

Fouquet, with airy presumption, expected thanks and praise. This,
however, was what he had to hear: "I am shocked at such expense!"

Soon afterwards the Court moved to Nantes; the ministers followed; M.
Fouquet was arrested.

His trial at the Paris Arsenal lasted several months. Proofs of his
defalcations were numberless. His family and proteges made frantic yet
futile efforts to save so great a culprit. The Commission sentenced him
to death, and ordered the confiscation of all his property.

The King, content to have made this memorable and salutary example,
commuted the death penalty, and M. Fouquet learned with gratitude that he
would have to end his days in prison.

Nor did the King insist upon the confiscation of his property, which went
to the culprit's widow and children, all that was retained being the
enormous sums which he had embezzled.


Close of the Queen-mother's Illness.--The Archbishop of Auch.--The
Patient's Resignation.--The Sacrament.--Court Ceremony for its
Reception.--Sage Distinction of Mademoiselle de Montpensier.--Her
Prudence at the Funeral.

As the Queen-mother's malady grew worse, the Court left Saint Germain to
be nearer the experts and the Val-de-Grace, where the princess frequently
practised her devotions with members of the religious sisterhood that she
had founded.

Suddenly the cancer dried up, and the head physician declared that the
Queen was lost.

The Archbishop of Auch said to the King, "Sire, there is not an instant
to be lost; the Queen may die at any moment; she should be informed of
her condition, so that she may prepare herself to receive the Sacrament."

The King was troubled, for he dearly loved his mother. "Monsieur," he
replied, with emotion, "it is impossible for me to sanction your request.
My mother is resting calmly, and perhaps thinks that she is out of
danger. We might give her her death-blow."

The prelate, a man of firm, religious character, insisted, albeit
reverently, while the prince continued to object. Then the Archbishop
retorted, "It is not with nature or the world that we have here to deal.
We have to save a soul. I have done my duty, and filial tenderness will
at any rate bear the blame."

The King thereupon acceded to the churchman's wishes, who lost no time in
acquainting the patient with her doom.

Anne of Austria was grievously shocked at so terrible an announcement,
but she soon recovered her resignation and her courage; and M. d' Auch
made noble use of his eloquence when exhorting her to prepare for the
change that she dreaded.

A portable altar was put up in the room, and the Archbishop, assisted by
other clerics, went to fetch the Holy Sacrament from the church of Saint
Germain de l'Auxerrois in the Louvre parish.

The princes and princesses hereupon began to argue in the little closet
as to the proper ceremony to be observed on such occasions. Madame de
Motteville, lady-in-waiting to the Queen, being asked to give an opinion,
replied that, for the late King, the nobles had gone out to meet the Holy
Sacrament as far as the outer gate of the palace, and that it would be
wise to do this on the present occasion.

Mademoiselle de Montpensier interrupted the lady-in-waiting and those who
shared her opinion. "I cannot bring myself to establish such a
precedent," she said, in her usual haughty tone. "It is I who have to
walk first, and I shall only go half-way across the courtyard of the
Louvre. It's quite far enough for the Holy Wafer-box; what's the use of
walking any further for the Holy Sacrament?"

The princes and princesses were of her way of thinking, and the
procession advanced only to the limits aforesaid.

When the time came for taking the Sacred Heart to Val-de-Grace with the
funeral procession, Mademoiselle, in a long mourning cloak, said to the
Archbishop before everybody, "Pray,