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Title: History of the Rise of the Huguenots - Volume 2
Author: Baird, Henry Martyn, 1832-1906
Language: English
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  HISTORY OF THE

  RISE OF THE HUGUENOTS.

  BY

  HENRY M. BAIRD,

  PROFESSOR IN THE UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK.


  _IN TWO VOLUMES._

  VOL. II.

  _FROM THE EDICT OF JANUARY (1562), TO THE
  DEATH OF CHARLES THE NINTH (1574)._


  London:
  HODDER AND STOUGHTON,
  27, PATERNOSTER ROW.
  MDCCCLXXX.

  Hazell, Watson, and Viney, Printers, London and Aylesbury.



  CONTENTS

  OF

  VOLUME SECOND.


  BOOK II.

  CHAPTER XIII.

  1562-1563.

                                                                     Page
  THE FIRST CIVIL WAR                                                   3
    Unsatisfactory Character of the Edict of January                    3
    Huguenot Leaders urge its Observance                                3
    Seditious Sermons                                                   5
    Opposition of Parliaments                                           6
    New Conference at St. Germain                                       7
    Defection of Antoine of Navarre, and its Effects                    9
    He is cheated with Vain Hopes                                      10
    Jeanne d'Albret constant                                           10
    Immense Crowds at Huguenot Preaching                               11
    The Canons of Sainte-Croix                                         12
    The Guises meet Christopher of Würtemberg at Saverne               13
    Their Lying Assurances                                             15
    The Guises deceive Nobody                                          17
    Throkmorton's Account of the French Court                          17
    The Massacre of Vassy                                              19
    The Huguenots call for the Punishment of the Murderers             23
    The Pretence of Want of Premeditation                              24
    Louis of Condé appeals to the King                                 26
    Beza's Remonstrance                                                27
    An Anvil that had worn out many Hammers                            28
    Guise enters Paris                                                 28
    The Queen Mother takes Charles to Melun                            30
    Her Letters imploring Condé's Aid                                  31
    Revolutionary Measures of the Triumvirs                            32
    Condé retires to Meaux                                             33
    La Noue justifies his Prudence                                     33
    The Huguenot Summons                                               34
    Admiral Coligny's Reluctance to take up Arms                       34
    Guise and Navarre seize the King and bring him to Paris            36
    Montmorency's Exploit at the "Temples"                             37
    He earns the Title of "Le Capitaine Brûlebanc"                     37
    Condé throws himself into Orleans                                  38
    His "Justification"                                                39
    Stringent Articles of Association                                  40
    The Huguenot Nobles and Cities                                     41
    Can Iconoclasm be repressed?                                       42
    An Uncontrollable Impulse                                          43
    It bursts out at Caen                                              44
    The "Idol" of the Church of Sainte-Croix                           45
    Massacre of Huguenots at Sens                                      46
    Disorders and War in Provence and Dauphiny                         47
    William of Orange and his Principality                             48
    Massacre by Papal Troops from Avignon                              49
    Merciless Revenge of the Baron des Adrets                          50
    His Grim Pleasantry at Mornas                                      51
    Atrocities of Blaise de Montluc                                    51
    The Massacre at Toulouse                                           52
    The Centenary celebrated                                           53
    Foreign Alliances sought                                           54
    Queen Elizabeth's Aid invoked                                      55
    Cecil's Urgency and Schemes                                        56
    Divided Sympathies of the English                                  56
    Diplomatic Manoeuvres                                              57
    Condé's Reply to the Pretended "Petition"                          59
    Third National Synod of the Protestants                            61
    Interview of Catharine and Condé at Toury                          62
    The "Loan" of Beaugency                                            63
    Futile Negotiations                                                64
    Spasmodic Efforts in Warfare                                       65
    Huguenot Discipline                                                66
    Severities of the Parisian Parliament                              68
    Military Successes of the "Triumvirs" at Poitiers and Bourges      71
    Help from Queen Elizabeth                                          73
    Siege of Rouen                                                     76
    Ferocity of the Norman Parliament                                  80
    Death of Antoine, King of Navarre                                  81
    The English in Havre                                               84
    Condé takes the Field and appears before Paris                     85
    Dilatory Diplomacy                                                 90
    The Battle of Dreux                                                93
    Montmorency and Condé Prisoners                                    94
    Riotous Conduct of the Parisians                                   96
    Orleans Invested                                                   98
    Coligny again in Normandy                                          99
    Huguenot Reverses                                                 101
    Assassination of Duke François de Guise                           103
    Execution of Poltrot                                              105
    Beza and Coligny accused                                          106
    They vindicate Themselves                                         106
    Estimates of Guise's Character                                    109
    Renée de France at Montargis                                      110
    Deliberations for Peace                                           113
    The "Noblesse" in favor of the Terms--the Ministers against them  114
    The Edict of Pacification                                         115
    Remonstrance of the English Ambassador                            116
    Coligny's Disappointment                                          116
    Results of the First Civil War                                    118
    It prevents France from becoming Huguenot                         119

         *       *       *       *       *

    Huguenot Ballads and Songs                                        120


  CHAPTER XIV.

  1563-1567.

  THE PEACE OF AMBOISE AND THE BAYONNE CONFERENCE                     126
    Charles demands Havre of the English                              126
    The Siege                                                         127
    How the Peace was received                                        128
    Vexatious Delays in Normandy                                      129
    The Norman Parliament protests and threatens                      130
    A Rude Rebuff                                                     131
    Commissioners to enforce the Edict                                132
    A Profligate Court alienated from Protestantism                   132
    Profanity a Test of Catholicity                                   134
    Admiral Coligny accused of Guise's Murder                         135
    His Defence espoused by the Montmorencies                         135
    Petition of the Guises                                            136
    The King adjourns the Decision                                    137
    Embarrassment of Catharine                                        137
    Charles's Majority proclaimed                                     138
    The King and the Refractory Parisian Parliament                   139
    The Pope's Bull against Princely Heretics                         141
    Proceedings against Cardinal Châtillon                            141
    The Queen of Navarre cited to Rome                                141
    Spirited Reply of the French Council                              142
    Catharine seeks to seduce the Huguenot Leaders                    144
    Weakness of Condé                                                 145
    Recent Growth of Protestantism                                    146
    Milhau-en-Rouergue                                                147
    Montpellier--Béarn                                                148
    Jeanne d'Albret's Reformation                                     148
    Attempt to kidnap her                                             150
    Close of the Council of Trent                                     152
    Cardinal Lorraine's Attempt to secure the Acceptance of its
        Decrees                                                       154
    His Altercation with L'Hospital                                   155
    General Plan for suppressing Heresy                               156
    "Progress" of Charles and his Court                               157
    Calumnies against the Huguenots                                   159
    Their Numbers                                                     159
    Catharine's New Zeal--Citadels in Protestant Towns                160
    Interpretative Declarations infringing upon the Edict             160
    Assaults upon Unoffending Huguenots--No Redress                   162
    Condé appeals to the King                                         163
    Conciliatory Answers to Huguenot Inhabitants of Bordeaux and
        Nantes                                                        164
    Protestants excluded from Judicial Posts                          165
    Marshal Montmorency checks the Parisian Mob                       166
    His Encounter with Cardinal Lorraine                              166
    The Conference at Bayonne                                         167
    What were its Secret Objects?                                     168
    No Plan of Massacre adopted                                       169
    History of the Interview                                          170
    Catharine and Alva                                                172
    Catharine rejects all Plans of Violence                           175
    Cardinal Granvelle's Testimony                                    176
    Festivities and Pageantry                                         176
    Henry of Béarn an Actor                                           177
    Roman Catholic Confraternities                                    179
    Hints of the Future Plot of the "League"                          180
    The Siege of Malta and French Civilities to the Sultan            181
    Constable Montmorency defends Cardinal Châtillon                  182
    The Court at Moulins                                              183
    Feigned Reconciliation of the Guises and Coligny                  184
    L'Hospital's Measure for the Relief of the Protestants            185
    Another Altercation between Cardinal Lorraine and the Chancellor  186
    Progress of the Reformation at Cateau-Cambrésis                   187
    Insults and Violence                                              192
    Huguenot Pleasantries                                             192
    Alarm of the Protestants                                          193
    Attempts to murder Coligny and Porcien                            194
    Alva sent to the Netherlands                                      195
    The Swiss Levy                                                    196
    Condé and Coligny remonstrate                                     197
    Discredited Assurances of Catharine                               198
    "The very Name of the Edict employed to destroy the Edict itself" 199

         *       *       *       *       *

    The Huguenot Attempts at Colonization in Florida                  199
    The First and Second Expeditions (1562, 1564)                     199
    Third Expedition (1565)                                           200
    Massacre by Menendez                                              200
    Indignation of the French Court                                   201
    Sincere Remonstrances                                             201
    Sanguinary Revenge of De Gourgues                                 202


  CHAPTER XV.

  1567-1568.

  THE SECOND CIVIL WAR AND THE SHORT PEACE                            203
    Coligny's Pacific Counsels                                        203
    Rumors of Plots to destroy the Huguenots                          203
    D'Andelot's Warlike Counsels prevail                              204
    Cardinal Lorraine to be seized and King Charles liberated         205
    The Secret slowly leaks out                                       206
    Flight of the Court to Paris                                      207
    Cardinal Lorraine invites Alva to France                          208
    Condé at Saint Denis                                              209
    The Huguenot Movement alienates the King                          210
    Negotiations opened                                               210
    The Huguenots abate their Demands                                 211
    Montmorency the Mouthpiece of Intolerance                         211
    Insincerity of Alva's Offer of Aid                                212
    The Battle of St. Denis (Nov. 10, 1567)                           213
    Constable Montmorency mortally wounded                            215
    His Character                                                     216
    The Protestant Princes of Germany determine to send Aid           217
    The Huguenots go to meet it                                       219
    Treacherous Diplomacy                                             220
    Catharine implores Alva's Assistance                              221
    Condé and John Casimir meet in Lorraine                           222
    Generosity of the Huguenot Troops                                 223
    The March toward Orleans                                          223
    The "Michelade" at Nismes                                         224
    Huguenot Successes in the South and West                          226
    La Rochelle secured for Condé                                     226
    Spain and Rome oppose the Negotiations for Peace                  228
    Santa Croce demands Cardinal Châtillon's Surrender                229
    A Rebuff from Marshal Montmorency                                 229
    March of the "Viscounts" to meet Condé                            230
    Siege of Chartres                                                 231
    Chancellor L'Hospital's Memorial                                  232
    Edict of Pacification (Longjumeau, March 23, 1568)                234
    Condé for and Coligny against the Peace                           235
    Condé's Infatuation                                               235
    Was the Court sincere?                                            236
    Catharine short-sighted                                           238
    Imprudence of the Huguenots                                       238
    Judicial Murder of Rapin at Toulouse                              239
    Seditious Preachers and Mobs                                      240
    Treatment of the Returning Huguenots                              241
    Expedition and Fate of De Cocqueville                             242
    Garrisons and Interpretative Ordinances                           244
    Oppression of Royal Governors                                     245
    "The Christian and Royal League"                                  246
    Insubordination to Royal Authority                                247
    Admirable Organization of the Huguenots                           247
    Murder runs Riot throughout France                                248
    La Rochelle, etc., refuse Royal Garrisons                         250
    Coligny retires for Safety to Tanlay, Condé to Noyers             251
    D'Andelot's Remonstrance                                          252
    Catharine sides with L'Hospital's Enemies                         254
    Remonstrance of the three Marshals                                255
    Catharine's Intrigues                                             255
    The Court seeks to ruin Condé and Coligny                         256
    Téligny sent to remonstrate                                       256
    The Oath exacted of the Huguenots                                 257
    The Plot Disclosed                                                259
    Intercepted Letter from Spain                                     259
    Isabella of Spain her Husband's Mouthpiece                        261
    Charles begs his Mother to avoid War                              262
    Her Animosity against L'Hospital                                  263
    Another Quarrel between Lorraine and the Chancellor               263
    Fall of Chancellor L'Hospital                                     264
    The Plot                                                          265
    Marshal Tavannes its Author                                       266
    Condé's Last Appeal to the King                                   267
    Flight of the Prince and Admiral                                  268
    Its Wonderful Success                                             269
    The Third Civil War opens                                         270

         *       *       *       *       *

    The City of La Rochelle and its Privileges                        270


  CHAPTER XVI.

  1568-1570.

  THE THIRD CIVIL WAR                                                 274
    Relative Advantages of Huguenots and Roman Catholics              274
    Enthusiasm of Huguenot Youth                                      274
    Enlistment of Agrippa d'Aubigné                                   275
    The Court proscribes the Reformed Religion                        275
    Impolicy of this Course                                           277
    A "Crusade" published at Toulouse                                 278
    Fanaticism of the Roman Catholic Preachers                        279
    Huguenot Places of Refuge                                         280
    Jeanne d'Albret and D'Andelot reach La Rochelle                   281
    Successes in Poitou, Angoumois, etc.                              282
    Powerful Huguenot Army in the South                               284
    Effects a Junction with Condé's Forces                            284
    Huguenot Reprisals and Negotiations                               287
    William of Orange tries to aid the Huguenots                      288
    His Declaration in their behalf                                   290
    Aid sought from England                                           291
    Generously accorded by Clergy and Laity                           292
    Misgivings of Queen Elizabeth                                     294
    Her Double Dealing and Effrontery                                 295
    Fruitless Sieges and Plots                                        297
    Growing Superiority of Anjou's Forces                             298
    The Armies meet on the Charente                                   299
    Battle of Jarnac (March 13, 1569)                                 301
    Murder of Louis, Prince of Condé                                  302
    The Prince of Navarre remonstrates against the Perfidy shown      305
    Exaggerated Bulletins                                             307
    The Pope's Sanguinary Injunctions                                 308
    Sanguinary Action of the Parliament of Bordeaux                   310
    Queen Elizabeth colder                                            310
    The Queen of Navarre's Spirit                                     311
    The Huguenots recover Strength                                    312
    Death of D'Andelot                                                312
    New Responsibility resting on Coligny                             314
    The Duke of Deux Ponts comes with German Auxiliaries              315
    They overcome all Obstacles and join Coligny                      317
    Death of Deux Ponts                                               318
    Huguenot Success at La Roche Abeille                              319
    Furlough of Anjou's Troops                                        320
    Huguenot Petition to the King                                     320
    Coligny's Plans overruled                                         324
    Disastrous Siege of Poitiers                                      324
    Cruelties to Huguenots in the Prisons of Orleans                  326
    Montargis a Safe Refuge                                           327
    Flight of the Refugees to Sancerre                                328
    The "Croix de Gastines"                                           329
    Ferocity of Parliament against Coligny and Others                 330
    A Price set on Coligny's Head                                     330
    The Huguenots weaker                                              332
    Battle of Moncontour (Oct. 3, 1569)                               333
    Coligny wounded                                                   334
    Heavy Losses of the Huguenots                                     335
    The Roman Catholics exultant                                      336
    Mouy murdered by Maurevel                                         337
    The Assassin rewarded with the Collar of the Order                338
    Fatal Error committed by the Court                                338
    Siege of St. Jean d'Angely                                        340
    Huguenot Successes at Vézelay and Nismes                          344
    Coligny encouraged                                                347
    Withdrawal of the Troops of Dauphiny and Provence                 348
    The Admiral's Bold Plan                                           348
    He Sweeps through Guyenne                                         349
    "Vengeance de Rapin"                                              351
    Coligny pushes on to the Rhône                                    351
    His Singular Success and its Causes                               351
    He turns toward Paris                                             353
    His Illness interrupts Negotiations                               353
    Engagement of Arnay-le-Duc                                        354
    Coligny approaches Paris                                          356
    Progress of Negotiations                                          356
    The English Rebellion affects the Terms offered                   358
    Better Conditions proposed                                        360
    Charles and his Mother for Peace                                  360
    The War fruitless for its Authors                                 361
    Anxiety of Cardinal Châtillon                                     363
    The Royal Edict of St. Germain (Aug. 8, 1570)                     363
    Dissatisfaction of the Clergy                                     365
    "The Limping and Unsettled Peace"                                 366


  CHAPTER XVII.

  1570-1572.

  THE PEACE OF ST. GERMAIN                                            367
    Sincerity of the Peace                                            367
    The Designs of Catharine de' Medici                               369
    Charles the Ninth in Earnest                                      370
    Tears out the Parliament Record against Cardinal Châtillon        371
    His Assurances to Walsingham                                      371
    Gracious Answer to German Electors                                372
    Infringement on Edict at Orange                                   373
    Protestants of Rouen attacked                                     374
    The "Croix de Gastines" pulled down                               375
    Projected Marriage of Anjou to Queen Elizabeth of England         377
    Machinations to dissuade Anjou                                    379
    Charles indignant at Interference                                 379
    Alençon to be substituted as Suitor                               380
    Anjou's new Ardor                                                 380
    Elizabeth interposes Obstacles                                    381
    Papal and Spanish Efforts                                         382
    Vexation of Catharine at Anjou's fresh Scruples                   383
    Louis of Nassau confers with the King                             384
    Admiral Coligny consulted                                         386
    Invited to Court                                                  387
    His Honorable Reception                                           389
    Disgust of the Guises and Alva                                    390
    Charles gratified                                                 391
    Proposed Marriage of Henry of Navarre to the King's Sister        392
    The Anjou Match falls through                                     396
    The Praise of Alençon                                             398
    Pius the Fifth Alarmed                                            400
    Cardinal of Alessandria sent to Paris                             400
    The King's Assurances                                             400
    Jeanne d'Albret becomes more favorable to her Son's Marriage      403
    Her Solicitude                                                    403
    She is treated with Tantalizing Insincerity                       404
    She is shocked at the Morals of the Court                         405
    Her Sudden Death                                                  407
    Coligny and the Boy-King                                          408
    The Dispensation delayed                                          410
    The King's Earnestness                                            411
    Mons and Valenciennes captured                                    412
    Catharine's Indecision                                            413
    Queen Elizabeth inspires no Confidence                            414
    Rout of Genlis                                                    415
    Determines Catharine to take the Spanish Side                     416
    Loss of the Golden Opportunity                                    416
    The Admiral does not lose Courage                                 417
    Charles and Catharine at Montpipeau                               418
    Rumors of Elizabeth's Desertion of her Allies                     419
    Charles thoroughly cast down                                      420
    Coligny partially succeeds in reassuring him                      421
    Elizabeth toys with Dishonorable Proposals from the Netherlands   422
    Fatal Results                                                     423
    The Mémoires inédits de Michel de la Huguerye                     423
    His View of a long Premeditation                                  423
    Studied Misrepresentation of Jeanne d'Albret                      424


  CHAPTER XVIII.

  1572.

  THE MASSACRE OF ST. BARTHOLOMEW'S DAY                               426
    The Huguenot Nobles reach Paris                                   426
    The Betrothal of Henry of Navarre to Margaret of Valois           427
    Entertainment in the Louvre                                       429
    Coligny's Letter to his Wife                                      430
    Festivities and Mock Combats                                      431
    Huguenot Grievances to be redressed                               432
    Catharine and Anjou jealous of Coligny's Influence over the King  433
    The Duchess of Nemours and Guise                                  434
    Was the Massacre long premeditated?                               435
    Salviati's Testimony                                              435
    Charles' Cordiality to Coligny                                    436
    Coligny wounded                                                   437
    Agitation of the King                                             439
    Coligny courageous                                                440
    Visited by the King and his Mother                                441
    Catharine attempts to break up the Conference                     443
    Charles writes Letters expressing his Displeasure                 444
    The Vidame de Chartres advises the Huguenots to leave Paris       445
    Catharine and Anjou come to a Final Decision                      446
    They ply Charles with Arguments                                   447
    The King consents reluctantly                                     449
    Few Victims first selected                                        450
    Religious Hatred                                                  452
    Precautionary Measures                                            452
    Orders issued to the Prévôt des Marchands                         454
    The First Shot and the Bell of St. Germain l'Auxerrois            455
    Murder of Admiral Coligny                                         456
    His Character and Work                                            460
    Murder of Huguenot Nobles in the Louvre                           465
    Navarre and Condé spared                                          468
    The Massacre becomes general                                      470
    La Rochefoucauld and Téligny fall                                 470
    Self-defence of a few Nobles                                      471
    Victims of Personal Hatred                                        472
    Adventures of young La Force                                      472
    Pitiless Butchery                                                 474
    Shamelessness of the Court Ladies                                 476
    Anjou, Montpensier, and others encourage the Assassins            476
    Wonderful Escapes                                                 477
    Death of the Philosopher Ramus                                    478
    President Pierre de la Place                                      479
    Regnier and Vezins                                                480
    Escape of Chartres and Montgomery                                 481
    Charles himself fires on them                                     482
    The Massacre continues                                            484
    Pillage of the Rich                                               485
    Orders issued to lay down Arms                                    487
    Little heeded                                                     487
    Miracle of the "Cimetière des Innocents"                          488
    The King's First Letter to Mandelot                               490
    Guise throws the Responsibility on the King                       491
    Charles accepts it on Tuesday morning                             492
    The "Lit de Justice"                                              492
    Servile Reply of Parliament                                       493
    Christopher De Thou                                               493
    Ineffectual Effort to inculpate Coligny                           495
    His Memory declared Infamous                                      496
    Petty Indignities                                                 496
    A Jubilee Procession                                              498
    Charles declares he will maintain his Edict of Pacification       498
    Forced Conversion of Navarre and Condé                            499


  CHAPTER XIX.

  1572.

  THE MASSACRE IN THE PROVINCES, AND THE RECEPTION OF THE TIDINGS
        ABROAD                                                        501
    The Massacre in the Provinces                                     501
    The Verbal Orders                                                 502
    Instructions to Montsoreau at Saumur                              503
    Two Kinds of Letters                                              504
    Massacre at Meaux                                                 505
    At Troyes                                                         507
    The Great Bloodshed at Orleans                                    508
    At Bourges                                                        511
    At Angers                                                         512
    Butchery at Lyons                                                 513
    Responsibility of Mandelot                                        517
    Rouen                                                             519
    Toulouse                                                          521
    Bordeaux                                                          522
    Why the Massacre was not Universal                                524
    Policy of the Guises                                              525
    Spurious Accounts of Clemency                                     525
    Bishop Le Hennuyer, of Lisieux                                    525
    Kind Offices of Matignon at Caen and Alençon                      526
    Of Longueville and Gordes                                         526
    Of Tende in Provence                                              527
    Viscount D'Orthez at Bayonne                                      528
    The Municipality of Nantes                                        529
    Uncertain Number of Victims                                       530
    News of the Massacre received at Rome                             530
    Public Thanksgivings                                              532
    Vasari's Paintings in the Vatican                                 533
    French Boasts count for Nothing                                   535
    Catharine writes to Philip, her son-in-law                        536
    The Delight of Philip of Spain                                    537
    Charles instigates the Murder of French Prisoners                 539
    Alva jubilant, but wary                                           540
    England's Horror                                                  541
    Perplexity of La Mothe Fénélon                                    541
    His Cold Reception by Queen Elizabeth                             543
    The Ambassador disheartened                                       546
    Sir Thomas Smith's Letter                                         546
    Catharine's Unsuccessful Representations                          547
    Briquemault and Cavaignes hung for alleged Conspiracy             548
    The News in Scotland                                              550
    In Germany                                                        550
    In Poland                                                         552
    Sympathy of the Genevese                                          554
    Their Generosity and Danger                                       557
    The Impression at Baden                                           558
    Medals and Vindications                                           559
    Disastrous Personal Effect on King Charles                        560
    How far was the Roman Church Responsible?                         562
    Gregory probably not aware of the intended Massacre               564
    Paul the Fifth instigates the French Court                        564
    He counsels exterminating the Huguenots                           565

         *       *       *       *       *

    A New Account of the Massacre at Orleans                          569


  CHAPTER XX.

  1572-1574.

  THE SEQUEL OF THE MASSACRE, TO THE DEATH OF CHARLES THE NINTH       572
    Widespread Terror                                                 572
    La Rochelle and other Cities in Huguenot Hands                    573
    Nismes and Montauban                                              573
    La Rochelle the Centre of Interest                                576
    A Spurious Letter of Catharine                                    577
    Designs on the City                                               577
    Mission of La Noue                                                579
    He is badly received                                              580
    The Royal Proposals rejected                                      581
    Marshal Biron appears before La Rochelle                          582
    Beginning of the Fourth Religious War                             582
    Description of La Rochelle                                        582
    Resoluteness of the Defenders                                     583
    Their Military Strength                                           584
    Henry, Duke of Anjou, appointed to conduct the Siege              585
    The Besieged pray and fight                                       585
    Bravery of the Women                                              586
    La Noue retires--Failure of Diplomacy                             587
    English Aid miscarries                                            588
    Huguenot Successes in the South                                   589
    Sommières and Villeneuve                                          589
    Beginning of the Siege of Sancerre                                589
    The Incipient Famine                                              590
    Losses of the Army before La Rochelle                             591
    Roman Catholic Processions                                        592
    Election of Henry of Anjou to the Crown of Poland                 593
    Edict of Pacification (Boulogne, July, 1573)                      593
    Meagre Results of the War                                         594
    The Siege and Famine of Sancerre continue                         595
    The City capitulates                                              597
    Reception of the Polish Ambassadors                               598
    Discontent of the South with the Terms of Peace                   599
    Assembly of Milhau and Montauban                                  600
    Military Organization of the Huguenots                            600
    Petition to the King                                              601
    "Les Fronts d'Airain"                                             603
    Catharine's Bitter Reply                                          604
    The Huguenots firm                                                604
    Decline of Charles's Health                                       605
    Project of an English Match renewed                               606
    Intrigues with the German Princes                                 608
    Death of Louis of Nassau                                          610
    Anjou's Reception at Heidelberg                                   610
    Frankness of the Elector Palatine                                 611
    Last Days of Chancellor L'Hospital                                613
    The Party of the "Politiques"                                     615
    Hotman's "Franco-Gallia"                                          615
    Treacherous Attempt on La Rochelle                                616
    Huguenots reassemble at Milhau                                    617
    They complete their Organization                                  618
    The Duke of Alençon                                               619
    Glandage Plunders the City of Orange                              620
    Montbrun's Exploits in Dauphiny                                   621
    La Rochelle resumes Arms (Beginning of the Fifth Religious War)   622
    Diplomacy tried in Vain                                           623
    The "Politiques" make an Unsuccessful Rising                      625
    Flight of the Court from St. Germain                              626
    Alençon and Navarre examined                                      627
    Execution of La Mole and Coconnas                                 628
    Condé retires to Germany                                          629
    Reasons for the Success of the Huguenots                          630
    Montgomery lands in Normandy                                      631
    He is forced to Surrender                                         632
    Delight of Catharine                                              632
    Execution of Montgomery                                           633
    Last Days of Charles the Ninth                                    635
    Distress of his Young Queen                                       636
    Death and Funeral Rites of Charles                                638
    Had Persecution, War and Treachery Succeeded?                     639



BOOK SECOND.

_FROM THE EDICT OF JANUARY (1562) TO THE DEATH OF CHARLES THE NINTH
(1574)._



CHAPTER XIII.

THE FIRST CIVIL WAR.


[Sidenote: Inconsistencies of the Edict of January.]

The Edict of January was on its very face a compromise, and as such rested
on no firm foundation. Inconsistent with itself, it fully satisfied
neither Huguenot nor Roman Catholic. The latter objected to the toleration
which the edict extended; the former demanded the unrestricted freedom of
worship which it denied. If the existence of two diverse religions was
compatible with the welfare of the state, why ignominiously thrust the
places of Protestant worship from the cities into the suburbs? If the two
were irreconcilable, why suffer the Huguenots to assemble outside the
walls?

[Sidenote: Huguenot leaders urge the observance of the edict.]

Yet there was this difference between the attitude assumed by the rival
parties with reference to the edict: while the Roman Catholic leaders made
no secret of their intention to insist upon its repeal,[1] the Huguenot
leaders were urgent in their advice to the churches to conform strictly to
its provisions, restraining the indiscreet zeal of their more impetuous
members and exhibiting due gratitude to Heaven for the amelioration of
their lot. To the _people_ it was, indeed, a bitter disappointment to be
compelled to give up the church edifices, and to resort for public service
to the outskirts of the town. Less keen was the regret experienced by
others not less sincerely interested in the progress of the purer
doctrines, who, on account of their appreciation of the violence of the
opposition to be encountered, had not been so sanguine in their
expectations. And so Beza and other prominent men of the Protestant
Church, after obtaining from Chancellor L'Hospital some further
explanations on doubtful points, addressed to their brethren in all parts
of France a letter full of wholesome advice. "God," said they, "has
deigned to employ new means of protecting His church in this kingdom, by
placing those who profess the Gospel under the safeguard of the king, our
natural prince, and of the magistrates and governors established by him.
This should move us so much the more to praise the infinite goodness of
our Heavenly Father, who has at length answered the cry of His children,
and lovingly to obey the king, in order that he may be induced to aid our
just cause." The provisional edict, they added, was not all that might yet
be hoped for. As respected the surrender of the churches, those Huguenots
who had seized them on their own individual authority ought rather to
acknowledge their former indiscretion than deplore the necessity for
restitution. In fine, annoyance at the loss of a few privileges ought to
be forgotten in gratitude for the gain of many signal advantages.[2] The
letter produced a deep impression, and its salutary advice was followed
scrupulously, if not cheerfully, even in southern France, where the
Huguenots, in some places, outnumbered the adherents of the Romish Church.

[Sidenote: Seditious Sermons.]

The papal party was less ready to acquiesce. The Edict of January was,
according to its representative writers, the most pernicious law for the
kingdom that could have been devised. By forbidding the magistrates from
interfering with the Protestant conventicles held in the suburbs, by
permitting the royal officers to attend, by conferring upon the ministers
full liberty of officiating, a formal approval was, for the first time,
given to the new sect under the authority of the royal seal.[3] The
pulpits resounded with denunciations of the government. The King of
Navarre and the queen mother were assailed under scriptural names, as
favoring the false prophets of Baal. Scarcely a sermon was preached in
which they did not figure as Ahab and Jezebel.[4] A single specimen of the
spirited discourses in vogue will suffice. A Franciscan monk--one
Barrier--the same from whose last Easter sermon an extract has already
been given[5]--after reading the royal ordinance in his church of
Sainte-Croix, in Provins, remarked: "Well now, gentlemen of Provins, what
must I, and the other preachers of France, do? Must we obey this order?
What shall we tell you? What shall we preach? 'The Gospel,' Sir Huguenot
will say. And pray, stating that the errors of Calvin, of Martin Luther,
of Beza, Malot, Peter Martyr, and other preachers, with their erroneous
doctrine, condemned by the Church a thousand years ago, and since then by
the holy oecumenical councils, are worthless and damnable--is not this
preaching the Gospel? Bidding you beware of their teaching, bidding you
refuse to listen to them, or read their books; telling you that they only
seek to stir up sedition, murder, and robbery, as they have begun to do in
Paris and numberless places in the realm--is not this preaching 'the
Gospel?' But some one may say: 'Pray, friar, what are you saying? You are
not obeying the king's edict; you are still talking of Calvin and his
companions; you call them and those who hold their sentiments _heretics_
and _Huguenots_; you will be denounced to the courts of justice, you will
be thrown into prison--yes, you will be hung as a seditious person.' I
answer, _that_ is not unlikely, for Ahab and Jezebel put to death the
prophets of God in their time, and gave all freedom to the false prophets
of Baal. 'Stop, friar, you are saying too much, you will be hung.' Very
well, then there will be a gray friar hung! Many others will therefore
have to be hung, for God, by His Holy Spirit, will inspire the pillars of
His church to uphold the edifice, which will never be overthrown until the
end of the world, whatever blows may be struck at it."[6]

[Sidenote: Opposition of the parliaments.]

The parliaments exhibited scarcely less opposition to the edict than did
the pulpits of the Roman Catholic churches. One--the Parliament of
Dijon--never registered it at all;[7] while that of Paris instituted a
long and decided resistance. "_Non possumus, nec debemus," "non possumus,
nec debemus pro conscientia_," were the words in which it replied when
repeatedly pressed to give formal sanction.[8] The counsellors were
equally displeased with the contents of the edict, and with the
irregularity committed in sending it first to the provincial parliaments.
Even when the king, yielding to their importunity, by a supplementary
"declaration," interpreted the provision of the edict relative to the
attendance of royal officers upon the reformed services, as applicable
only to the bailiffs, seneschals, and other minor magistrates, and
strictly prohibited the attendance of the members of parliament and other
high judicatories,[9] the counsellors, instead of proceeding to the
registry of the obnoxious law, returned a recommendation that the
intolerant Edict of _July_ be enforced![10] It was not possible until
March to obtain a tardy assent to the reception of the January Edict into
the legislation of the country, and then only a few of the judges
vouchsafed to take part in the act.[11] The delay served to inflame yet
more the passions of the people.

[Sidenote: New conference.]

Scarcely had the edict which was to adjust the relations of the two
religious parties been promulgated, when a new attempt was made to
reconcile the antagonistic beliefs by the old, but ever unsuccessful
method of a conference between theologians. On the twenty-eighth of
January a select company assembled in the large council-chamber of the
royal palace of St. Germain, and commenced the discussion of the first
topic submitted for their deliberation--the question of pictures or images
and their worship. Catharine herself was present, with Antoine of Navarre
and Jeanne d'Albret, Michel de l'Hospital, and other members of the
council. On the papal side appeared the Cardinals of Bourbon, Tournon, and
Ferrara, and a number of less elevated dignitaries. Beza and Marlorat were
most prominent on the side of the reformed. The discussion was long and
earnest, but it ended leaving all the disputants holding the same views
that they had entertained at the outset. Beza condemned as idolatrous the
practice of admitting statues or paintings into Christian churches, and
urged their entire removal. The Inquisitor De Mouchy, Fra Giustiniano of
Corfu, Maillard, dean of the Sorbonne, and others, attempted to refute his
positions in a style of argument which exhibited the extremes of profound
learning and silly conceit. Bishop Montluc of Valence,[12] and four
doctors of theology--Salignac, Bouteiller, D'Espense, and Picherel--not
only admitted the flagrant abuses of image-worship, but drew up a paper in
which they did not disguise their sentiments. They recommended the removal
of representations of the Holy Trinity, and of pictures immodest in
character, or of saints not recognized by the Church. They reprobated the
custom of decking out the portraits of the saints with crowns and dresses,
the celebration of processions in their honor, and the offering of gifts
and vows. And they yielded so far to the demands of the Protestants as to
desire that only the simple cross should be permitted to remain over the
altar, while the pictures should be placed high upon the walls, where they
could neither be kissed nor receive other objectionable marks of
adoration.[13] It was a futile task to reconcile views so discordant even
among the Roman Catholic partisans. Two weeks were spent in profitless
discussion, and, on the eleventh of February, the new colloquy was
permitted to dissolve without having entered upon any of the more
difficult questions that still remained upon the programme marked out for
it.[14] The cardinals had prevailed upon Catharine de' Medici to refer the
settlement to the Council of Trent.[15] The joy of De Mouchy, the
inquisitor, and of his companions, knew no bounds when Chancellor
L'Hospital declared the queen's pleasure, and requested the members to
retire to their homes, and reduce their opinions to writing for future
use. They were ready to throw themselves on Beza's neck in their delight
at being relieved of the necessity of debating with him![16]

[Sidenote: Defection of Antoine and its results.]

[Sidenote: Constancy of Jeanne.]

But, in truth, the time for the calm discussion of theological
differences, the time for friendly salutation between the champions of the
rival systems of faith, was rapidly drawing to a close. If some rays of
sunshine still glanced athwart the landscape, conveying to the unpractised
eye the impression of quiet serenity, there were also black and portentous
clouds already rising far above the horizon. Those who could read the
signs of the times had long watched their gathering, and they trembled
before the coming of the storm. Although they were mercifully spared the
full knowledge of the overwhelming ruin that would follow in the wake of
that fearful war of the elements, they saw the angry commotion of the sky,
and realized that the air was surcharged with material for the most
destructive bolts of heaven. And yet it is the opinion of a contemporary,
whose views are always worthy of careful consideration, that, had it not
been for the final defection of the King of Navarre at this critical
juncture, the great woes impending over France might still have been
delayed or averted.[17] That unhappy prince seemed determined to earn the
title of the "Julian Apostate" of the French Reformation. Plied by the
arts of his own servants, D'Escars (of whom Mézeray pithily remarks that
he was ready to sell himself for money to anybody, save his master) and
the Bishop of Auxerre; flattered by the Triumvirate, tempted by the
Spanish Ambassador, Cardinal Tournon, and the papal legate, he had long
been playing a hypocritical part. He had been unwilling to break with the
Huguenots before securing the golden fruit with which he was lured on, and
so he was at the same time the agent and the object of treachery. Even
after he had sent in his submission to the Pope by the hands of D'Escars,
he pretended, when remonstrated with by his Protestant friends, that "he
would take care not to go so far that he could not easily extricate
himself."[18] He did not even show displeasure when faithfully rebuked and
warned.[19] Yet he had after long hesitation completely cast in his lot
with the papal party. He was convinced at last that Philip was in earnest
in his intention to give him the island of Sardinia, which was depicted to
him as a terrestrial paradise, "worth four Navarres."[20] It was widely
believed that he had received from the Holy See the promise of a divorce
from his heretical consort, which, while permitting him to retain the
possessions which she had justly forfeited by her spiritual rebellion,
would enable him to marry the youthful Mary of Scots, and add a
substantial crown to his titular claims.[21] But we would fain believe
that even Antoine of Bourbon had not sunk to such a depth of infamy.
Certain it is, however, that he now openly avowed his new devotion to the
Romish Church, and that the authority of his name became a bulwark of
strength to the refractory parliament in its endeavor to prevent the
execution of the edict of toleration.[22] But he was unsuccessful in
dragging with him the wife whom he had been the instrument of inducing
first to declare herself for the persecuted faith of the reformers. And
when Catharine de' Medici, who cared nothing for religion, tried to
persuade her to arrange matters with her husband, "Sooner," she said,
"than ever go to mass, had I my kingdom and my son in my hand, I would
cast them both into the depth of the sea, that they might not be a
hinderance to me."[23] Brave mother of Henry the Fourth! Well would it
have been, both for her son and for France, if that son had inherited more
of Jeanne d'Albret's devotion to truth, and less of his father's lewdness
and inconstancy!

[Sidenote: Immense crowds at Huguenot preaching.]

[Sidenote: The canons of Sainte Croix.]

As early as in February, Beza was of the opinion that the King of Navarre
would not suffer him to remain longer in the realm to which he himself had
invited him so earnestly only six months before. At all events, he would
be publicly dismissed by the first of May, and with him many others. With
this disquieting intelligence came also rumors of an alliance between the
enemies of the Gospel and the Spaniard, which could not be treated with
contempt as baseless fabrications.[24] But meanwhile the truth was making
daily progress. At a single gathering for prayer and preaching, but a few
days before, twenty-five thousand persons, it was computed, had been in
attendance, representing all ranks of the population, among whom were many
of the nobility.[25] In the city of Troyes, a few weeks later, eight or
nine thousand persons assembled from the neighboring country to celebrate
the Lord's Supper, and the number of communicants was so great that they
could not all partake on a single day; so the services were repeated on
the morrow.[26] Elsewhere there was equal zeal and growth. Indeed, so
rapid was the advance of Protestantism, so pressing the call for
ministers, that the large and flourishing church of Orleans, in a letter
written the last day of February, proclaimed their expectation of
establishing a theological school to supply their own wants and those of
the adjacent regions; and it is no insignificant mark of the power with
which the reformatory movement still coursed on, that the canons of the
great church of Sainte Croix had given notice of their intention to attend
the lectures that were to be delivered![27] In such an encouraging strain
did "the ministers, deacons, and elders" of the most Protestant city of
northern France write on the day before that deplorable massacre of Vassy,
which was to be the signal for an appeal from argument to arms, upon which
the newly enkindled spirit of religious inquiry was to be quenched in
partisan hatred and social confusion. Within less than two months the
tread of an armed host was to be heard in the city which it had been hoped
would be thronged by the pious students of the gospel of peace, and
frenzied soldiers would be hurling upon the floors of Sainte Croix the
statues of the saints that had long occupied their elevated niches.

We must now turn to the events preceding the inauspicious occurrence the
fruits of which proved so disastrous to the French church and state.

[Sidenote: The Guises meet the Duke of Würtemberg at Saverne.]

Having at length made sure of the co-operation of the King of Navarre in
the contest upon which they had now resolved with the view of preventing
the execution of the Edict of January, the Guises desired to strengthen
themselves in the direction of Germany, and secure, if not the assistance,
at least the neutrality of the Protestant princes. Could the Protestants
on the other side of the Rhine be made indifferent spectators of the
struggle, persuaded that their own creed resembled the faith of the Roman
Catholics much more than the creed of the Huguenots; could they be
convinced that the Huguenots were uneasy and rebellious radicals, whom it
were better to crush than to assist; could, consequently, the "reiters"
and "lansquenets" be kept at home--it would, thought the Guises, be easy,
with the help of the German Catholics, perhaps of Spain also, to render
complete the papal supremacy in France, and to crush Condé and the
Châtillons to the earth. Accordingly, the Guises extended to Duke
Christopher of Würtemberg an invitation to meet them in the little town of
Saverne (or Zabern, as it was called by the Germans), in Alsace, not far
from Strasbourg.[28] The duke came as he was requested, accompanied by his
theologians, Brentius and Andreä; and the interview, beginning on the
fifteenth of February,[29] lasted four days. Four of the Guises were
present; but the conversations were chiefly with Francis, the Duke of
Guise, and Charles, the Cardinal of Lorraine; the Cardinal of Guise and
the Grand Prior of the Knights of St. John taking little or no active
part. Christopher and Francis had been comrades in arms a score of years
back, for the former had served several years, and with no little
distinction, in the French wars. This circumstance afforded an
opportunity for the display of extraordinary friendship. And what did the
brothers state, in this important consultation, respecting their own
sentiments, the opinions of the Huguenots, and the condition of France?
Happily, a minute account, in the form of a manuscript memorandum taken
down at the time by Duke Christopher, is still extant in the archives of
Stuttgart.[30] Little known, but authentic beyond the possibility of
cavil, this document deserves more attention than it has received from
historians; for it places in the clearest light the shameless mendacity of
the Guises, and shows that the duke had nearly as good a claim as the
cardinal, his brother, to the reputation which the Venetian ambassador
tells us that Charles had earned "_of rarely telling the truth_."

[Sidenote: Lying assurances.]

Duke Christopher made the acquaintance of Charles of Lorraine as a
preacher on the morning after his arrival, when he heard him, in a sermon
on the temptation in the wilderness, demonstrate that no other mediators
or intercessors must be sought for but Jesus Christ, who is our only
Saviour and the only propitiation for our sins. That day Christopher had a
long conversation with Guise respecting the unhappy condition of France,
which the latter ascribed in great part to the Huguenot ministers, whose
unconciliatory conduct, he said, had rendered abortive the Colloquy of
Poissy. Würtemberg corrected him by replying that the very accounts of the
colloquy which Guise had sent him showed that the unsuccessful issue was
owing to the prelates, who had evidently come determined to prevent any
accommodation. He urged that the misfortunes that had befallen France were
much rather to be ascribed to the cruel persecutions that had been
inflicted on so many guiltless victims. "I cannot refrain from telling
you," he added, "that you and your brother are strongly suspected in
Germany of having contributed to cause the death, since the decease of
Henry the Second--and even before, in his lifetime--of several thousands
of persons who have been miserably executed on account of their faith. As
a friend, and as a Christian, I must warn you. Beware, beware of innocent
blood! Otherwise the punishment of God will fall upon you in this life and
in the next." "He answered me," writes Würtemberg, "_with great sighs_: 'I
know that my brother and I are accused of that, and of many other things
also. But _we are wronged_,[31] as we shall both of us explain to you
before we leave.'"

The cardinal entered more fully than his brother into the doctrinal
conference, talking now with Würtemberg, now with his theologian Brentius,
and trying to persuade both that he was in perfect accord with them. While
pressing his German friends to declare the Zwinglians and the Calvinists
heretics--which they carefully avoided doing--and urging them to state the
punishment that ought to be inflicted on heretics, there seemed to be no
limit to the concessions which Lorraine was willing to make. He _adored_
and _invoked_ only Christ in heaven. He merely _venerated_ the wafer. He
acknowledged that his party went too far in calling the mass a sacrifice,
and celebrating it for the living and the dead. The mass was not a
sacrifice, but a commemoration of the sacrifice offered on the altar of
the cross ("non sacrificium, sed memoria sacrificii præstiti in ara
crucis"). He believed that the council assembled at Trent would do no
good. When the Romish hierarchy, with the Pope at its head, as the
pretended vicar of God on earth, was objected to, he replied that that
matter could easily be adjusted. As for himself, "in the absence of a red
gown, he would willingly wear a black one."

[Sidenote: The Guises deceive no one.]

He was asked whether, if Beza and his colleagues could be brought to
consent to sign the Augsburg confession, he also would sign it. "You have
heard it," he replied, "I take God to witness that I believe as I have
said, and that by God's grace I shall live and die in these sentiments. I
repeat it: I have read the Confession of Augsburg, I have also read
Luther, Melanchthon, Brentius, and others; I entirely approve their
doctrines, and I might speedily agree with them in all that concerns the
ecclesiastical hierarchy. _But I am compelled still to dissemble for a
time_, that I may gain some that are yet weak in the faith." A little
later he adverted to Würtemberg's remarks to Guise. "You informed my
brother," he said, "that in Germany we are both of us suspected of having
contributed to the execution of a large number of innocent Christians
during the reigns of Henry and of Francis the Second. Well! I swear to
you, in the name of God my Creator, and pledging the salvation of my soul,
_that I am guilty of the death of no man condemned for religion's sake_.
Those who were then privy to the deliberations of state can testify in my
favor. On the contrary, whenever crimes of a religious character were
under discussion, I used to say to King Henry or to King Francis the
Second, that they did not belong to my department, that they had to do
with the secular power, and I went away."[32] He even added that, although
Du Bourg was in orders, he had begged the king to spare him as a learned
man. "In like manner," says Würtemberg, "the Duke of Guise with great
oaths affirmed that he was innocent of the death of those who had been
condemned on account of their faith. 'The attempt,' he added, 'has
frequently been made to kill us, both the cardinal and myself, with
fire-arms, sword, and poison, and, although the culprits have been
arrested, I never meddled with their punishment.'" And when the Duke of
Würtemberg again "conjured them not to persecute the poor Christians of
France, for God would not leave such a sin unpunished," both the cardinal
and the Duke of Guise gave him their right hands, promising on their
princely faith, and by the salvation of their souls, that they would
neither openly nor secretly persecute the partisans of the "new
doctrines!" Such were the barefaced impostures which this "par nobile
fratrum" desired Christopher of Würtemberg to publish for their
vindication among the Lutherans of Germany. But the liars were not
believed. The shrewd Landgrave of Hesse, on receiving Würtemberg's
account, even before the news of the massacre of Vassy, came promptly to
the conclusion that the whole thing was an attempt at deception.
Christopher himself, in the light of later events, added to his manuscript
these words: "Alas! It can now be seen how they have kept these promises!
_Deus sit ultor doli et perjurii, cujus namque res agitur._"[33]

[Sidenote: Throkmorton's account of the French court.]

Meanwhile events of the greatest consequence were occurring at the
capital. The very day after the Saverne conference began, Sir Nicholas
Throkmorton wrote to Queen Elizabeth an account of "the strange issue" to
which affairs had come at the French court since his last despatch, a
little over a fortnight before. His letter gives a vivid and accurate view
of the important crisis in the first half of February, 1562, which we
present very nearly in the words of the ambassador himself. "The Cardinal
of Ferrara," says Throkmorton, "has allured to his devotion the King of
Navarre, the Constable, Marshal St. André, the Cardinal of Tournon, and
others inclined to retain the Romish religion. All these are bent to
repress the Protestant religion in France, and to find means either to
range [bring over to their side] the Queen of Navarre, the Prince of
Condé, the Admiral, and all others who favor that religion, or to expel
them from the court, with all the ministers and preachers. The queen
mother, fearing this conspiracy might be the means of losing her authority
(which is as dear to her as one religion or the other), and mistrusting
that the Constable was going about to reduce the management of the whole
affair into the King of Navarre's hands, and so into his own, has caused
the Constable to retire from the court, as it were in disgrace, and
intended to do the like with the Cardinal of Tournon and the Marshal St.
André. The King of Navarre being offended with these proceedings, and
imputing part of her doings to the advice of the Admiral, the Cardinal
Châtillon, and Monsieur D'Andelot, intended to compel those personages to
retire also from the court. In these garboils [commotions] the Prince of
Condé, being sick at Paris, was requested to repair to the court and stand
her [Catharine] in stead. In this time there was great working on both
sides to win the house of Guise. So the Queen Mother wrote to them--they
being in the skirts of Almain--to come to the court with all speed. The
like means were made [use of] by the King of Navarre, the Cardinal of
Ferrara and the Constable, to ally them on their part. During these
solicitations the Duke D'Aumale arrived at the court from them, who was
requested to solicit the speedy repair to the court of the Duke of Guise
and the Cardinal of Lorraine.

"The Prince of Condé went from hence in a horse litter to the court of St.
Germain, where he found the Protestant preachers prohibited from preaching
either in the King's house or in the town, and that the King of Navarre
had solemnly vowed to retain and maintain the Romish religion, and had
given order that his son should be instructed in the same. The Prince,
finding the Queen of Navarre and the house of Châtillon ready to leave the
court, fell again dangerously sick. Nevertheless his coming so revived
them, as by the covert aid of the Queen Mother, they attempted to make the
Protestant preachers preach again at the town's end of St. Germain, and
were entreated to abide at the court, where there is an assembly which is
like to last until Easter. The Cardinal of Ferrara assists daily at these
disputes. The King of Navarre persists in the house of Châtillon retiring
from the court, and it is believed the Queen of Navarre, and they, will
not tarry long there."[34]

Such was the picture drawn by the skilful pencil of the English envoy. It
was certainly dark enough. Catharine and Navarre had sent Lansac to assure
the Pope that they purposed to live in and defend the Roman Catholic
religion. Sulpice had gone on a like mission to Spain. It was time,
Throkmorton plainly told Queen Elizabeth, that she should show as great
readiness in maintaining the Protestant religion as Ferrara and his
associates showed in striving to overthrow it. And in a private despatch
to Cecil, written the same day, he urged the secretary to dissuade her
Majesty from longer retaining candles and cross on the altar of the royal
chapel, at a time when even doctors of the Sorbonne consented to the
removal of images of all sorts from over the altar in places of
worship.[35]

From Saverne the Cardinal of Lorraine returned to his archbishopric of
Rheims, while the duke, accompanied by the Cardinal of Guise, proceeded in
the direction of the French capital. On his route he stopped at Joinville,
one of the estates of the family, recently erected in their favor into a
principality. Here he was joined by his wife, Anne d'Este; here, too, he
listened to fresh complaints made by his mother, Antoinette of Bourbon,
against the insolence of the neighboring town of Vassy, where a
considerable portion of the inhabitants had lately had the audacity to
embrace the reformed faith.

[Sidenote: Vassy in Champagne.]

[Sidenote: Origin of the Huguenot Church.]

Vassy, an important town of Champagne--though shorn of much of its
influence by the removal of many of its dependencies to increase the
dignity of Joinville--and one of the places assigned to Mary of Scots for
her maintenance, had apparently for some time contained a few professors
of the "new doctrines." It was, however, only in October, 1561, after the
Colloquy of Poissy, that it was visited by a Protestant minister, who,
during a brief sojourn, organized a church with elders and deacons.
Notwithstanding the disadvantage of having no pastor, and of having
notoriously incurred the special hatred of the Guises, the reformed
community grew with marvellous rapidity. For the Gospel was preached not
merely in the printed sermons read from the pulpit, but by the lips of
enthusiastic converts. When, after a short absence, the founder of the
church of Vassy returned to the scene of his labors, he came into
collision with the Bishop of Châlons, whose diocese included this town.
The bishop, unaccustomed to preach, set up a monk in opposition; but no
one would come to hear him. The prelate then went himself to the
Protestant gathering, and sat through the "singing of the commandments"
and a prayer. But when he attempted to interrupt the services and asserted
his episcopal authority, the minister firmly repelled the usurpation,
taking his stand on the king's edict. Then, waxing warm in the discussion,
the dauntless Huguenot exposed the hypocrisy of the pretended shepherd,
who, not entering the fold by canonical election, but intruding himself
into it without consulting his charge, was more anxious to secure his own
ease than to lead his sheep into green pastures. The bishop soon retired
from a field where he had found more than his match in argument: but the
common people, who had come to witness his triumph over the Huguenot
preacher, remained after his unexpected discomfiture, and the unequal
contest resulted in fresh accessions to the ranks of the Protestants.
Equally unsuccessful was the Bishop of Châlons in the attempt to induce
the king to issue a commission to the Duke of Guise against the
unoffending inhabitants, and Vassy was spared the fate of Mérindol and
Cabrières. At Christmas nine hundred communicants, after profession of
their faith, partook of the Lord's Supper according to the reformed rites;
and in January, 1562, after repeated solicitations, the church obtained
the long-desired boon of a pastor, in the person of the able and pious
Leonard Morel. Thus far the history of Vassy differed little from that of
hundreds of other towns in that age of wonderful awakening and growth, and
would have attracted little attention had not its proximity to the
Lorraine princes secured for it a tragic notoriety.[36]

[Sidenote: Approach of the Duke of Guise.]

On the twenty-eighth of February, Guise, with two hundred armed retainers,
left Joinville. That night he slept at Dommartin-le-Franc. On Sunday
morning, the first of March, he continued his journey. Whether by accident
or from design, it is difficult to say, he drew near to Vassy about the
time when the Huguenots were assembling for worship, and his ears caught
the sound of their bell while he was still a quarter of a league distant.
The ardor of Guise's followers was already at fever-heat. They had seen a
poor artisan apprehended in a town that lay on their track, and summarily
hung by their leader's order, for the simple offence of having had his
child baptized after the reformed rites. When Guise heard the bell of the
Vassy church, he turned to his suite to inquire what it meant. "It is the
Huguenots' preaching," some one replied. "_Par la mort-Dieu_," broke in a
second, "they will soon be huguenotted after another fashion!" Others
began to make eager calculations respecting the extent of the plunder. A
few minutes later an unlucky cobbler was espied, who, from his dress or
manner, was mistaken for a Huguenot minister. It was well that he could
answer the inquiries of the duke, before whom he was hurried, by assuring
him that he was no clergyman and had never studied; otherwise, he was
told, his case had been an extremely ugly one.[37]

[Sidenote: The massacre.]

On entering Vassy Guise repaired to the monastery chapel to hear mass
said. He was followed by some of the gentlemen of his suite. Meantime,
their valets found their way to the doors of the building in which the
Protestants were worshipping, scarcely more than a stone's throw distant.
This motley crowd was merely the vanguard of the Papists. Soon two or
three gentlemen sent by Guise, according to his own account, to admonish
the Huguenot assembly of their want of due obedience, entered the edifice,
where they found twelve hundred persons quietly listening to the word of
God. They were politely invited to sit down: but they replied by noisy
interruption and threats. "_Mort-Dieu_, they must all be killed!" was
their exclamation as they returned to report to Guise what they had seen.
The defenceless Huguenots were thrown into confusion by these significant
menaces, and hastened to secure the entrance. It was too late. The duke
himself was approaching, and a volley from the arquebuses of his troop
speedily scattered the unarmed worshippers. It is unnecessary to describe
in all its details of horror the scene that ensued. The door of the
sheep-fold was open and the wolf was already upon his prey. All the
pent-up hatred of a band of fanatical and savage soldiers was vented upon
a crowd of men, women, and children, whose heterodoxy made them pleasing
victims, and whose unarmed condition rendered victory easy. No age, no sex
was respected. It was enough to be a Huguenot to be a fit object for the
sword or the gun. To escape from the doomed building was only possible by
running the gauntlet of the troops that lay in wait. Those who sought to
climb from the roof to the adjacent houses were picked off by the
arquebuses of the besieging party. Only after an hour and a half had
elapsed were the soldiers of Guise called off by the trumpet sounding a
joyful note of victory. The evidence of their prowess, however, remained
on the field of contest, in fifty or sixty dead or dying men and women,
and in nearly a hundred more or less dangerously wounded.[38]

In a few hours more Guise was resuming his journey toward Paris. He was
told that the Huguenots of Vassy had forwarded their complaints to the
king. "Let them go, let them go!" he exclaimed. "They will find there
neither their Admiral nor their Chancellor."[39]

Upon whose head rests the guilt of the massacre of Vassy? This was the
question asked by every contemporary so soon as he realized the startling
fact that the blow there struck was a signal that called every man to take
the sword, and stand in defence of his own life. It is the question which
history, more calm and dispassionate, because farther removed from the
agitations of the day, now seeks to solve, as she looks back over the
dreary torrents of blood that sprang from that disastrous source. The
inquiry is not an idle one--for justice ought to find such a vindication
in the records of past generations as may have been denied at the time of
the commission of flagrant crimes.

The Huguenots declared Guise to be a murderer. Theodore Beza, in eloquent
tones, demanded the punishment of the butcher of the human race. So
imposing was the cry for retribution that the duke himself recognized the
necessity of entering a formal defence, which was disseminated by the
press far and wide through France and Germany. He denied that the massacre
was premeditated. He averred that it was merely an unfortunate incident
brought about by the violence of the Protestants of Vassy, who had
provided themselves with an abundant supply of stones and other missiles,
and assailed those whom he had sent to remonstrate courteously with them.
He stated the deaths at only twenty-five or thirty. Most of these had been
occasioned by the indignant valets, who, on seeing their masters wounded,
had rushed in to defend them. So much against his will had the affair
occurred, that he had repeatedly but ineffectually commanded his men to
desist. When he had himself received a slight wound from a stone thrown by
the Huguenots, the sight of the blood flowing from it had infuriated his
devoted followers.

The Duke's plea of want of premeditation we may, perhaps, accept as
substantially true--so far, at least, as to suppose that he had formed no
deliberate plan of slaughtering the inhabitants of Vassy who had adopted
the reformed religion.[40] It is difficult, indeed, to accept the argument
of Brantôme and Le Laboureur, who conceive that the fortuitous character
of the event is proved by the circumstance that the deed was below the
courage of Guise. Nor, perhaps, shall we give excessive credit to the
asseverations of the duke, repeated, we are told, even on his death-bed.
For why should these be more worthy of belief than the oaths with which
the same nobleman had declared to Christopher of Würtemberg that he
neither had persecuted, nor would persecute the Protestants of France? But
the Duke of Guise admits that he knew that there was a growing community
of Huguenots at Vassy--"scandalous, arrogant, extremely seditious
persons," as he styles them. He tells us that he intended, as the
representative of Mary Stuart, and as feudal lord of some of their number,
to admonish them of their disobedience; and that for this purpose he sent
Sieur de la Bresse (or Brosse) with others to interrupt their public
worship. He accuses them, it is true, of having previously armed
themselves with stones, and even of possessing weapons in an adjoining
building; but what reason do the circumstances of the case give us for
doubting that the report may have been based upon the fact that those who
in this terror-stricken assembly attempted to save their lives resorted to
whatever missiles they could lay their hands upon? If the presence of his
wife, and of his brother the cardinal, is used by the duke as an argument
to prove the absence of any sinister intentions on his part, how much
stronger is the evidence afforded to the peaceable character of the
Protestant gathering by the numbers of women and children found there? But
the very fact that, as against the twenty-five or thirty Huguenots whom he
concedes to have been slain in the encounter, he does not pretend to give
the name of a single one of his own followers that was killed, shows
clearly which side it was that came prepared for the fight. And yet who
that knows the sanguinary spirit generally displayed by the Roman Catholic
masses in the sixteenth century, could find much fault with the Huguenots
of Vassy if they had really armed themselves to repel violence and protect
their wives and children--if, in other words, they had used the common
right of self-preservation?[41]

The fact is that Guise was only witnessing the fruits of his
instructions, enforced by his own example. He had given the first taste of
blood, and now, perhaps without his actual command, the pack had taken the
scent and hunted down the game. He was avowedly on a crusade to
re-establish the supremacy of the Roman Catholic religion throughout
France. If he had not hesitated to hang a poor pin-dealer for allowing his
child to be baptized according to the forms of Calvin's liturgy; if he was
on his way to Paris to restore the Edict of July by force of arms, it is
idle to inquire whether he or his soldiers were responsible for the blood
shed in peace. "He that sowed the seed is the author of the harvest."

[Sidenote: Condé appeals to the king.]

The news quickly flew to Condé that the arch-enemy of the Protestants had
begun the execution of the cruel projects he had so long been devising
with his fanatical associates; that Guise was on his way toward seditious
Paris, with hands yet dripping with the blood of the inhabitants of a
quiet Champagnese town, surprised and murdered while engaged in the
worship of their God. Indignant, and taking in the full measure of the
responsibility imposed upon him as the most powerful member of the
Protestant communion, the prince, who was with the court at the castle of
Monceaux--built for herself by Catharine in a style of regal
magnificence--laid before the king and his mother a full account of the
tragic occurrence. It was a pernicious example, he argued, and should be
punished promptly and severely. Above all, the perpetrators ought not to
be permitted to endanger the quiet of France by entering the capital.
Catharine was alarmed and embarrassed by the intelligence; but, her fear
of a conjunction between Guise and Navarre overcoming her reluctance to
affront the Lorraine family, induced her to consent; and she wrote to the
Duke, who had by this time reached his castle of Nanteuil, forbidding him
to go to Paris, but inviting him to visit the court with a small escort.
At the same time she gave orders to Saint André to repair at once to
Lyons, of which he was the royal governor. But neither of the triumvirs
showed any readiness to obey her orders. The duke curtly replied that he
was too busy entertaining his friends to come to the king; the marshal
promptly refused to leave the king while he was threatened by such
perils.[42]

[Sidenote: Beza's remonstrance.]

[Sidenote: An anvil that has worn out many hammers.]

The King of Navarre now came from Paris to Monceaux, to guard the
interests of the party he had espoused. He was closely followed by
Theodore Beza and Francour, whom the Protestants of Paris had deputed, the
former on behalf of the church, the latter of the nobility, to demand of
the king the punishment of the authors of the massacre. The queen mother,
as was her wont, gave a gracious audience, and promised that an
investigation should be made. But Navarre, being present, seemed eager to
display a neophyte's zeal, and retorted by blaming the Huguenots for going
in arms to their places of worship. "True," said Beza, "but arms in the
hands of the wise are instruments of peace, and the massacre of Vassy has
shown the necessity under which the Protestants were laid." When Navarre
exclaimed: "Whoever touches my brother of Guise with the tip of his
finger, touches my whole body!" the reformer reminded him, as one whom
Antoine had himself brought to France, that the way of justice is God's
way, and that kings _owe_ justice to their subjects. Finally, when he
discovered, by Navarre's adoption of all the impotent excuses of Guise,
that the former had sold himself to the enemies of the Gospel, Theodore
Beza made that noble reply which has become classic as the motto of the
French Reformation: "Sire, it is, in truth, the lot of the Church of God,
in whose name I am speaking, to endure blows and not to strike them. _But
also may it please you to remember that it is an anvil that has worn out
many hammers._"[43]

[Sidenote: Guise's entry into Paris.]

At Nanteuil, Guise had been visited by the constable, with two of his
sons, by Saint André, and by other prominent leaders. Accompanied by them,
he now took the decided step of going to Paris in spite of Catharine's
prohibition. His entry resembled a triumphal procession.[44] In the midst
of an escort estimated by eye-witnesses at two thousand horse, Francis of
Guise avoided the more direct gate of St. Martin, and took that of St.
Denis, through which the kings of France were accustomed to pass. Vast
crowds turned out to meet him, and the cries of "_Vive Monsieur de
Guise!_" sounding much like regal acclammations, were uttered without
rebuke on all sides. The "prévost des marchands" and other members of the
municipal government received him with great demonstrations of joy, as the
defender of the faith. At the same hour the Prince of Condé, surrounded by
a large number of Protestant noblemen, students, and citizens, was riding
to one of the preaching-places.[45] The two cavalcades met, but no
collision ensued. The Huguenot and the papist courteously saluted each
other, and then rode on. It is even reported that between the leaders
themselves less sincere amenities were interchanged. Guise sent word to
Condé that he and his company, whom he had assembled only on account of
the malevolent, were at the prince's commands. Condé answered by saying
that his own men were armed only to prevent the populace of Paris from
making an attack upon the Protestants as they went to their place of
worship.[46]

[Sidenote: Anxieties of Catharine de' Medici.]

For weeks the position of the queen mother had been one of peculiar
difficulty and anxiety. That she was "well inclined to advance the true
religion," and "well affected for a general reformation in the Church," as
Admiral Coligny at this time firmly believed,[47] is simply incredible.
But, on the other hand, there can be little doubt that Catharine saw her
interest in upholding the Huguenot party, of which Condé and the three
Châtillon brothers were acknowledged leaders. Unfortunately, the King of
Navarre, "hoping to compound with the King of Spain for his kingdom of
Navarre," had become the tool of the opposite side--he was "_all Spanish
now_"[48]--and Chantonnay, Philip's ambassador, was emboldened to make
arrogant demands. The envoy declared that, "unless the house of Châtillon
left the court, he was ordered to depart from France." Grave diplomatists
shook their heads, and thought the menace very strange, "the rather that
another prince should appoint what counsellors should remain at court;"
and sage men inferred that "to such princes as are afraid of shadows the
King of Spain will enterprise far enough."[49] None the less was Catharine
deeply disturbed. She felt distrust of the heads of the Roman Catholic
party, but she feared to break entirely with them, and was forced to
request the Protestant leaders to withdraw for a time from the vicinity of
Paris. That city itself presented to the eye a sufficiently strange and
alarming aspect, "resembling more a frontier town or a place besieged than
a court, a merchant city, or university." Both sides were apprehensive of
some sudden commotion, and the Protestant scholars, in great numbers,
marched daily in arms to the "sermons," in spite of the opposition of the
rector and his council.[50] The capital was unquestionably no place for
Catharine and her son, at the present moment.

[Sidenote: She removes the king to Melun.]

[Sidenote: and thence to Fontainebleau.]

[Sidenote: Her painful indecision.]

At length, Catharine de' Medici, apprehensive of the growing power of the
triumvirate, and dreading lest the king, falling into its hands, should
become a mere puppet, her own influence being completely thrown into the
shade, removed the court from Monceaux to Melun, a city on the upper
Seine, about twenty-five miles south-east of Paris.[51] She hoped
apparently that, by placing herself nearer the strongly Huguenot banks of
the Loire, she would be able at will to throw herself into the arms of
either party, and, in making her own terms, secure future independence.
But she was not left undisturbed. At Melun she received a deputation from
Paris, consisting of the "prévost des marchands" and three "échevins,"
who came to entreat her, in the name of the Roman Catholic people of the
capital, to return and dissipate by the king's arrival the dangers that
were imminent on account of Condé's presence, and to give the people the
power to defend themselves by restoring to them their arms. Still
hesitating, still experiencing her old difficulty of forming any plans for
the distant future, and every moment balancing in her mind what she should
do the next, she nevertheless pushed on ten miles farther southward, to
the royal palace of Fontainebleau, and found herself not far from half the
way to Orleans. But change of place brought the vacillating queen mother
no nearer to a decision. Soubise, the last of the avowed Protestants to
leave her, still dreamed he might succeed in persuading her. Day after
day, in company with Chancellor L'Hospital, the Huguenot leader spent two
or three hours alone with her in earnest argument. "Sometimes," says a
recently discovered contemporary account, "they believed that they had
gained everything, and that she was ready to set off for Condé's camp;
then, all of a sudden, so violent a fright seized her, that she lost all
heart." At last the time came when the triumvirs were expected to appear
at Fontainebleau on the morrow, to secure the prize of the king's person.
Soubise and the indefatigable chancellor made a last attempt. Five or six
times in one day they returned to the charge, although L'Hospital
mournfully observed that he had abandoned hope. He knew Catharine well:
she could not be brought to a final resolution.[52] It was even so.
Soubise himself was forced to admit it when, at the last moment--almost
too late for his own safety--he hurriedly left, Catharine still begging
him to stand by her, and made his way to his friends.

[Sidenote: She implores Condé's aid.]

It seems to have been during this time of painful anxiety that Catharine
wrote at least the last of those remarkable letters to Condé which that
prince afterward published in his own justification, and respecting the
authenticity of which the queen would have been glad had she been able to
make the world entertain doubts. They breathed a spirit of implicit
confidence. She called herself his "good cousin," that was not less
attached to him than a mother to a son. She enjoined upon him to remember
the protection which he was bound to give to "the children, the mother,
and the kingdom." She called upon him not to desert her. She declared
that, in the midst of so many adverse circumstances, she would be driven
almost to despair, "were it not for her trust in God, and the assurance
that Condé would assist her in preserving the kingdom and service of the
king, her son, in spite of those who wished to ruin everything." More than
once she told him that his kindness would not go unrequited; and she
declared that, if she died before having an opportunity to testify her
gratitude, she would charge her children with the duty.[53]

In Paris events were rapidly succeeding each other. Marshal Montmorency,
the constable's eldest son, was too upright a man to serve the purposes of
the triumvirs; and, with his father's consent and by Navarre's authority,
he was removed, and Cardinal Bourbon installed in his place as governor of
the city.[54] A few days after Antoine himself came to Paris and lodged in
the constable's house. Here, with Guise, Saint André, and the other chief
statesmen who were of the same party, conferences were held to which
Condé and his associates were not invited; and to these irregular
gatherings, notwithstanding the absence of the king, the name of the
_royal council_ was given.[55]

[Sidenote: Condé retires to Meaux.]

There were nine or ten thousand horse--Papist and Huguenot--under arms in
Paris.[56] It was evident that Condé and Guise could not longer remain in
the city without involving it in the most bloody of civil contests. Under
these circumstances the prince offered, through his brother, the Cardinal
of Bourbon, to accede to the wish of Catharine, and leave Paris by one
gate at the same moment that the triumvirs should leave by another.
Indeed, without waiting to obtain their promise, he retired[57] with his
body of Protestant noblesse to Meaux, where he had given a rendezvous to
Admiral Coligny and others whom he had summoned from their homes. This
step has generally been stigmatized as the first of Condé's egregious
mistakes. Beza opposed it at the time, and likened the error to that of
Pompey in abandoning Rome;[58] and the "History of the Reformed Churches"
has perpetuated the comparison.[59] The same historical parallel was drawn
by Étienne Pasquier.[60] But the judicious François de la Noue, surnamed
_Bras-de-Fer_, thought very differently; and we must here, as in many
other instances, prefer the opinion of the practical soldier to that of
the eminent theologian or the learned jurist. Parliament, the clergy, the
municipal government, the greater part of the university, and almost all
the low populace, with the partisans and servants of the hostile princes
and noblemen, were intensely Roman Catholic.[61] The three hundred
resident Protestant gentlemen, with, as many more experienced soldiers,
four hundred students, and a few untrained burgesses, were "but as a fly
matched with an elephant." The novices of the convents and the priests'
chambermaids, armed only with sticks, could have held them in check.[62]
It were better to lose the advantages of the capital than to be
overwhelmed within its walls by superior forces, being completely cut off
from that part of France where the main strength of the Protestants lay.

[Sidenote: The Huguenot summons.]

From Meaux messengers were sent to the Protestant churches in all parts of
France to request their aid, both in money and in men. "Since," said the
letter they bore, "God has brought us to such a point that no one can
disturb our repose without violating the protection it has pleased our
king to accord us, and consequently without declaring himself an enemy of
his Majesty and of this kingdom's peace, there is no law, divine or human,
that does not permit us to take measures for defence, calling for help on
those whom God has given the authority and the will to remedy these
evils."[63]

[Sidenote: Admiral Coligny's reluctance.]

Happily for the Huguenot cause, however, the nobles and gentry that
favored it had not waited to receive this summons, but had, many of them,
already set out to strengthen the forces of the prince. Among others, and
by far more important than all the rest, came Gaspard de Coligny, whose
absence from court during the few previous weeks has been regarded as one
of the most untoward circumstances of the time. At his pleasant castle of
Châtillon-sur-Loing, surrounded by his young family, he received
intelligence, first, of the massacre, then of the ominous events that had
occurred at the capital. Condé sent to solicit his support; his brothers
and many friends urged him to rush at once to the rescue. But still, even
after the threatening clouds had risen so high that they must soon burst
over the devoted heads of the Huguenots, the admiral continued to
hesitate. Every instinct of his courageous nature prompted the skilful
defender of St. Quentin to place himself at once at the post of danger.
But there was one fear that seemed likely to overcome all his martial
impulses. _It was the fear of initiating a civil war._ He could not refer
to the subject without shuddering, for the horrors of such a contest were
so vividly impressed upon his mind that he regarded almost anything as
preferable to the attempt to settle domestic difficulties by an appeal to
the sword. But the tears and sighs of his wife, the noble Charlotte de
Laval, at length overmastered his reluctance. "To be prudent in men's
esteem," she said, "is not to be wise in that of God, who has given you
the science of a general that you might use it for the good of His
children." When her husband rehearsed again the grounds of his hesitation,
and, calling upon her seriously to consider the suffering, the privations,
the anxiety, the bereavements, the ignominy, the death which would await
not only those dearest to her, but herself, if the struggle should prove
unsuccessful, offered her three weeks to make her decision, with true
womanly magnanimity she replied: "The three weeks are already past; you
will never be conquered by the strength of your enemies. Make use of your
resources, and bring not upon your head the blood of those who may die
within three weeks. I summon you in God's name not to defraud us any more,
or I shall be a witness against you at His judgment." So deep was the
impression which these words made upon Coligny, that, accepting his wife's
advice as the voice of heaven, he took horse without further delay, and
joined Condé and the other Protestant leaders.[64]

[Sidenote: The king seized and brought to Paris.]

It was unfortunate that the prince, for a week after leaving Paris, should
have felt too feeble to make any movement of importance. Otherwise, by a
rapid march, he might, according to his plan,[65] have reached
Fontainebleau in advance of his opponents, and, with the young king and
his mother under his protection, have asserted his right as a prince of
the blood to defend Charles against those who had unjustly usurped the
functions of royalty. As it was, the unlucky delay was turned to profit by
his enemies. These now took a step that put further deliberation on
Catharine's part out of the question, and precluded any attempt to place
the person of the king in Condé's hands. Leaving a small garrison in
Paris, Guise proceeded with a strong body of troops to Fontainebleau,
determined to bring the king and his mother back to Paris. Persuasion was
first employed; but, that failing, the triumvirate were prepared to resort
to force. Navarre, acting at Guise's suggestion, at length told Catharine
distinctly that, as guardian of the minor king, he must see to it that he
did not fall into his brother's hands; as for Catharine, she might remain
or follow him, as she pleased.[66] Tears and remonstrances were of no
avail.[67] Weeping and sad, Charles is said to have repeatedly exclaimed
against being led away contrary to his will;[68] but the triumvirs would
not be balked of their game, and so brought him with his mother first to
Melun, then, after a few days, to the prison-like castle of Vincennes, and
finally to the Louvre.[69]

[Sidenote: The constable's exploits at the "temples."]

[Sidenote: D'Andelot and Condé throw themselves into Orleans.]

The critical step had been taken to demonstrate that the reign of
tolerance, according to the prescriptions of the Edict of January, was at
an end. The constable, preceding the king to Paris, immediately upon his
arrival instituted a system of arbitrary arrests. On the next morning (the
fourth of April) he visited the "temple of Jerusalem,"[70] one of the two
places which had been accorded to the Huguenots for their worship outside
of the walls. Under his direction the pulpit and the benches of the
hearers were torn up, and a bonfire of wood and Bibles was speedily
lighted, to the great delight of the populace of Paris. In the afternoon
the same exploits were repeated at the other Huguenot church, known from
its situation, outside of the gate of St. Antoine, as "_Popincourt_."
Here, however, not only the benches, but the building itself was burned,
and several adjacent houses were involved in the conflagration. Having
accomplished these outrages and encouraged the people to imitate his
lawless example, the aged constable returned to the city. He had well
earned the contemptuous name which the Huguenots henceforth gave him of
"Le Capitaine _Brûlebanc_."[71] If the triumvirate succeeded, it was plain
that all liberty of worship was proscribed. It was even believed that the
Duchess of Guise had been sent to carry a message, in the king's name, to
her mother, the aged Renée of France, to the effect that if she did not
dismiss the Huguenot preachers from Montargis, and become a good Catholic,
he would have her shut up for the rest of her life in a convent.[72]
Whatever truth there may have been in this story, one thing was certain:
in Paris it would have been as much as any man's life was worth to appear
annoyed at the constable's exploit, or to oppose the search made for arms
in suspected houses. Every good Catholic had a piece of the Huguenots'
benches or pulpit in his house as a souvenir; "so odious," says a
contemporary, "is the new religion in this city."[73] Meantime, on Easter
Monday (the thirtieth of March) Condé left Meaux at the head of fifteen
hundred horse, the flower of the French nobility, "better armed with
courage than with corselets"--says François de la Noue. As they approached
the capital, the whole city was thrown into confusion, the gates were
closed, and the chains stretched across the streets.[74] But the host
passed by, and at St. Cloud crossed the Seine without meeting any
opposition. Here the news of the seizure of the person of Charles by the
triumvirs first reached the prince, and with it one great object of the
expedition was frustrated.[75] The Huguenots, however, did not delay, but,
instead of turning toward Fontainebleau, took a more southerly route
directly for the city of Orleans. D'Andelot, to whom the van had been
confided, advanced by a rapid march, and succeeded by a skilful movement
in entering the city, of which he took possession in the name of the
Prince of Condé, acting as lieutenant of the king unlawfully held in
confinement. Catharine de' Medici, who, having been forced into the party
of the triumvirs, had with her usual flexibility promptly decided to make
the most of her position, sent messengers to Condé hoping to amuse him
with negotiations while a powerful Roman Catholic detachment should by
another road reach Orleans unobserved.[76] But the danger coming to
Andelot's knowledge, he succeeded in warning Condé; and the prince, with
the main body of the Protestant horse, after a breakneck ride, threw
himself, on the second of April, into the city, which now became the
headquarters of the religion in the kingdom.[77] The inhabitants came out
to meet him with every demonstration of joy, and received him between
double lines of men, women, and children loudly singing the words of the
French psalms, so that the whole city resounded with them.[78]

[Sidenote: Condé's justification.]

No sooner had the Prince of Condé established himself upon the banks of
the Loire, than he took measures to explain to the world the necessity and
propriety of the step upon which he had ventured. He wrote, and he induced
the Protestant ministers who were with him to write, to all the churches
of France, urging them to send him reinforcements of troops and to fill
his empty treasury.[79] At the same time he published a "declaration" in
justification of his resort to arms. He recapitulated the successive steps
that revealed the violent purposes of the triumvirs--the retreat of the
Guises and of the constable from court, Nemours's attempt to carry the
Duke of Orleans out of the kingdom, the massacre at Vassy, Guise's refusal
to visit the royal court and his defiant progress to the capital, the
insolent conduct of Montmorency and Saint-André, the pretended _royal_
council held away from the king, the detention of Charles and of his
mother as prisoners. And from all these circumstances he showed the
inevitable inference to be that the triumvirs had for one of their chief
objects the extirpation of the religion "which they call new," "either by
open violence or by the change of edicts, and the renewal of the most
cruel persecutions that have ever been exercised in the world." It was not
party interest that had induced him to take up arms, he said, but loyalty
to God, to his king, and to his native land, a desire to free Charles from
unlawful detention, and a purpose to insist upon the execution of the
royal edicts, especially that of January, and to prevent new ministers of
state from misapplying the sums raised for the payment of the national
debts. He warned all lovers of peace not to be astonished at any edicts
that might emanate from the royal seal so long as the king remained a
prisoner, and he begged Catharine to order the triumvirs to lay down their
arms. If they did so, he declared that he himself, although of a rank far
different from theirs, would consent to follow their example.[80]

[Sidenote: Stringent articles of association.]

The Huguenots had thrown off the shackles which a usurping party about the
king endeavored to fasten upon them; but they had not renounced the
restraints of law. And now, at the very commencement of a great struggle
for liberty, they entered into a solemn compact to banish licentious
excesses from their army. Protesting the purity of their motives, they
swore to strive until the king's majority to attain the objects which had
united them in a common struggle; but they promised with equal fervor to
watch over the morals of their associates, and to suffer nothing that was
contrary to God's honor or the king's edicts, to tolerate no idolatrous or
superstitious practices, no blasphemy, no uncleanness or theft, no
violation of churches by private authority. They declared their intention
and desire to hear the Word of God preached by faithful ministers in the
midst of the camps of war.[81]

[Sidenote: Huguenot nobles and cities.]

The papal party was amazed at the opposition its extreme measures had
created. In place of the timid weakling whom the triumvirate had expected,
they saw a giant spring from the ground to confront them.[82] To Orleans
flocked many of the highest nobles of the land. Besides Condé--after
Navarre and Bourbon, the prince of the blood nearest to the crown--there
were gathered to the Protestant standard the three Châtillons, Prince
Porcien, Count de la Rochefoucauld, the Sieurs de Soubise, de Mouy, de
Saint Fal, d'Esternay, Piennes, Rohan, Genlis, Grammont, Montgomery, and
others of high station and of large influence and extensive landed
possessions.[83] And, what was still more important, the capture of
Orleans was but the signal for a general movement throughout France. In a
few weeks the Huguenots, rising in their unsuspected strength, had
rendered themselves masters of cities in almost every province. Along the
Loire, Beaugency, Blois, Tours, and Angers declared for the Prince of
Condé; in Normandy, Rouen, Havre, Dieppe, and Caen; in Berry and the
neighboring provinces, Bourges, La Rochelle, Poitiers; along the Saône and
Rhône, Châlons, Mâcon, Lyons, Vienne, Valence, Montélimart, Tournon,
Orange; Gap and Grenoble in Dauphiny; almost the whole of the papal
"Comtât Venaissin;" the Vivarais; the Cevennes; the greater part of
Languedoc and Gascony, with the important cities of Montauban, Castres,
Castelnaudary, Beziers, Pézénas, Montpellier, Aiguesmortes, and
Nismes.[84] In northern France alone, where the number of Protestants was
small, the Huguenots obtained but a slight foothold.[85]

[Sidenote: Can iconoclasm be repressed?]

In the midst of this universal movement there was one point in the compact
made by the confederates at Orleans, which it was found impossible to
execute. How could the churches, with their altars, their statues, their
pictures, their relics, their priestly vestments, be guaranteed from
invasion? To the Huguenot masses they were the temples and instruments of
an idolatrous worship. Ought Christians to tolerate the existence of such
abominations, even if sanctioned by the government? It was hard to draw a
nice line of distinction between the overthrow of idolatry by public
authority and by personal zeal. If there were any difference in the merit
of the act, it was in favor of the man who vindicated the true religion at
the risk of his own life. Nay, the Church itself had incontrovertibly
given its sanction to this view by placing among the martyrs those
primitive Christians who had upon their own responsibility entered heathen
temples and overthrown the objects of the popular devotion. In those early
centuries there had been manifested the same reckless exposure of life,
the same supreme contempt for the claims of art in comparison with the
demands of religion. The Minerva of Phidias or Praxiteles was no safer
from the iconoclastic frenzy of the new convert from heathenism than the
rude idol of a less cultivated age. The command, "Thou shalt not make unto
thee any graven image," had not excepted from its prohibition the
marvellous products of the Greek chisel.

It was here, therefore, that the chief insubordination of the Huguenot
people manifested itself--not in licentious riot, not in bloodshed, not in
pillage. Calvin, with his high sense of law and order, might in his
letters reiterate the warnings against the irregularity which we have seen
him uttering on a previous occasion;[86] the ministers might threaten the
guilty with exclusion from the ordinances of the Church; Condé might
denounce the penalty of death. The people could not restrain themselves or
be restrained. They must remove what had been a stumbling-block to them
and might become a snare to others. They felt no more compunction in
breaking an image or tearing in pieces a picture, than a traveller, whom a
highwayman has wounded, is aware of, when he destroys the weapons dropped
by his assailant in his hurried flight. Indeed, they experienced a strange
satisfaction in visiting upon the lifeless idol the punishment for the
spiritual wrongs received at the hands of false teachers of religion.[87]

[Sidenote: It bursts out at Caen.]

We have an illustration of the way in which the work of demolition was
accomplished in events occurring about this time at Caen. Two or three
inhabitants of this old Norman city were at Rouen when the churches were
invaded and sacked by an over-zealous crowd of sympathizers with the "new
doctrines." On their return to their native city, they began at once to
urge their friends to copy the example of the provincial capital. The news
reaching the ears of the magistrates of Caen, these endeavored--but to no
purpose, as the sequel proved--to calm the feverish pulse of the people.
On a Friday night (May eighth), the storm broke out, and it raged the
whole of the next day. Church, chapel, and monastery could testify to its
violence. Quaint windows of stained glass and rich old organs were dashed
in pieces. Saints' effigies, to employ the quaint expression of a Roman
Catholic eye-witness, "were massacred." "So great was the damage
inflicted, without any profit, that the loss was estimated at more than a
hundred thousand crowns." Still less excusable were the acts of vandalism
which the rabble--ever ready to join in popular commotions and always
throwing disgrace upon them--indulged. The beautiful tombs of William,
Duke of Normandy and conqueror of England, and of the Duchess-queen
Mathilda, the pride of Caen, which had withstood the ravages of nearly
five hundred years, were ruthlessly destroyed. The monument of Bishop
Charles of Martigny, who had been ambassador under Charles the Eighth and
Louis the Twelfth, shared the same fate. The zealous Roman Catholic who
relates these occurrences claims to have striven, although to no purpose,
to rescue the ashes of the conqueror from dispersion.[88]

[Sidenote: The "idol" of Sainte Croix.]

The contagion spread even to Orleans. Here, as in other places where the
Huguenots had prevailed, there were but few of the inhabitants that had
not been drawn over to the reformed faith, or at least pretended to
embrace it. Yet Condé, in his desire to convince the world that no
partisan hatred moved him, strictly prohibited the intrusion of
Protestants into the churches, and assured the ecclesiastics of protection
so long as they chose to remain in the city. For a time, consequently,
their services continued to be celebrated in the presence of the faithful
few and with closed doors; but soon, their fears getting the better of
their prudence, the priests and monks one by one made their retreat from
the Protestant capital. On the twenty-first of April, word was brought to
Condé that some of the churches had been broken into during the preceding
night, and that the work of destruction was at that very moment going
forward in others. Hastening, in company with Coligny and other leaders,
to the spacious and imposing church of the Holy Rood (Sainte Croix), he
undertook, with blows and menaces, to check the furious onslaught. Seeing
a Huguenot soldier who had climbed aloft, and was preparing to hurl from
its elevated niche one of the saints that graced the wall of the church,
the prince, in the first ebullition of his anger, snatched an arquebuse
from the hands of one of his followers, and aimed it at the adventurous
iconoclast. The latter had seen the act, but was in no wise daunted. Not
desisting an instant from his pious enterprise, "Sir," he cried to Condé,
"have patience until I shall have overthrown this idol; and then let me
die, if that be your pleasure!"[89]

The Huguenot soldier's fearless reply sounded the knell of many a sacred
painting and statue; for the destruction was accepted as God's work rather
than man's.[90] Henceforth little exertion was made to save these objects
of mistaken devotion, while the greatest care was taken to prevent the
robbery of the costly reliquaries and other precious possessions of the
churches, of which inventories were drawn up, and which were used only at
the last extremity.[91]

[Sidenote: Massacre of Huguenots at Sens.]

Far different in character from the bloodless "massacres" of images and
pictures in cities where the Huguenots gained the upper hand, were the
massacres of living men wherever the papists retained their superiority.
One of the most cruel and inexcusable was that which happened at Sens--a
city sixty-five or seventy miles toward the south-east from Paris--where,
on an ill-founded and malicious rumor that the reformed contemplated
rising and destroying their Roman Catholic neighbors, the latter, at the
instigation, it is said, of their archbishop, the Cardinal of Guise, and
encouraged by the violent example of Constable Montmorency at Paris,[92]
fell on the Protestants, murdered more than a hundred of both sexes and of
every age, and threw their dead bodies into the waters of the Yonne.[93]
While these victims of a blind bigotry were floating on under the windows
of the Louvre toward the sea, Condé addressed to the queen mother a letter
of warm remonstrance, and called upon her to avenge the causeless murder
of so many innocent men and women; expressing the fear that, if justice
were denied by the king and by herself, the cry of innocent blood would
reach high heaven, and God would be moved to inflict those calamities
with which the unhappy realm was every day threatened.[94]

A few days before Condé penned this appeal, the English ambassador had
written and implored his royal mistress to seize the golden opportunity to
inspirit the frightened Catharine de' Medici, panic-stricken by the
violent measures of the Roman Catholic party; assuring her that "not a day
passed but that the Spanish ambassador, the Bishop of Rome, or some other
papist prince's minister put terror into the queen mother's mind."[95] But
Throkmorton's words and Cecil's entreaties were alike powerless to induce
Elizabeth to improve her advantage. The opportunity was fast slipping by,
and the calamities foretold by Condé were coming on apace.

[Sidenote: Disorders in Provence and Dauphiny.]

In truth, few calamities could exceed in horror those that now befell
France. In the south-eastern corner of the kingdom, above all other parts,
civil war, ever prolific in evil passions, was already bearing its
legitimate fruits. For several years the fertile, sunny hills of Provence
and Dauphiny had enjoyed but little stable peace, and now both sides
caught the first notes of the summons to war and hurried to the fray.
Towns were stormed, and their inhabitants, whether surrendering on
composition or at the discretion of the conqueror, found little justice or
compassion. The men were more fortunate, in being summarily put to the
sword; the women were reserved for the vilest indignities, and then shared
the fate of their fathers and husbands. The thirst for revenge caused the
Protestant leaders and soldiers to perpetrate deeds of cruelty little less
revolting than those which disgraced the papal cause; but there was, at
least, this to be said in their favor, that not even their enemies could
accuse them of those infamous excesses of lewdness of which their
opponents were notoriously guilty.[96] Their vengeance was satisfied with
the lives, and did not demand the honor of the vanquished.

[Sidenote: The city of Orange.]

The little city of Orange, capital of William of Nassau's principality,
contained a growing community of Protestants, whom the prince had in vain
attempted to restrain. About a year and a half before the outburst of the
civil war, William the Silent, then a sincere Roman Catholic,[97] on
receiving complaints from the Pope, whose territories about Avignon--the
Comtât Venaissin--ran around three sides of the principality, had
expressed himself "_marvellously sorry_ to see how those _wicked heresies_
were everywhere spreading, and that they had even penetrated into his
principality of Orange."[98] And when he received tidings that the
Huguenots were beginning to preach, he had written to his governor and
council, "to see to it by all means in the world, that no alteration be
permitted in our true and ancient religion, and in no wise to consent that
those wicked men should take refuge in his principality." As Protestantism
advanced in Orange, he purposed to give instructions to use persuasion and
force, "in order to remedy a disorder so pernicious to all
Christendom."[99] While he was unwilling to call in French troops, lest he
should prejudice his sovereign rights, he declared his desire to be
authorized to employ the pontifical soldiers in the work of
repression.[100] But in spite of these restrictive measures, the reformed
population increased rather than diminished, and the bishop of the city
now called upon Fabrizio Serbelloni, a cousin of Pope Pius the Fourth, and
papal general at Avignon, to assist him by driving out the Protestants,
who, ever since the massacre of Vassy, had feared with good reason the
assault of their too powerful and hostile neighbors, and had taken up arms
in self-defence. They had not, however, apprehended so speedy an attack as
Serbelloni now made (on the fifth of June), and, taken by surprise, were
able to make but a feeble resistance. The papal troops entered the city
through the breach their cannon had effected. Never did victorious army
act more insolently or with greater inhumanity. None were spared; neither
the sick on their beds, nor the poor in their asylums, nor the maimed that
hobbled through the streets. Those were most fortunate that were first
despatched. The rest were tortured with painful wounds that prolonged
their agonies till death was rather desired than dreaded, or were hurled
down upon pikes and halberds, or were hung to pot-hooks and roasted in the
fire, or were hacked in pieces. Not a few of the women were treated with
dishonor; the greater part were hung to doors and windows, and their dead
bodies, stripped naked, were submitted to indignities for which the annals
of warfare, except among the most ferocious savages, can scarcely supply a
parallel. That the Almighty might not seem to be insulted in the persons
only of living creatures formed in His own image, the fresh impiety was
perpetrated of derisively stuffing leaves torn from French Bibles into the
gaping wounds of the dead lying on this field of carnage. Nor did the
Roman Catholics of Orange fare much better than their reformed neighbors.
Mistaken for enemies, they were massacred in the public square, where they
had assembled, expecting rather to receive a reward for their services in
assisting the pontifical troops to enter, than to atone for their
treachery by their own death.[101]

[Sidenote: François de Beaumont, Baron des Adrets.]

But the time for revenge soon came around. The barbarous warfare initiated
by the adherents of the triumvirate in Dauphiny and Provence bred or
brought forward a leader and soldiers who did not hesitate to repay
cruelty with cruelty. François de Beaumont, Baron des Adrets, was a
merciless general, who affected to believe that rigor and strict
retaliation were indispensable to remove the contempt in which the
Huguenots were held, and who knew how by bold movements to appear where
least expected, and by vigor to multiply the apparent size of his army.
Attached to the Reformation only from ambition, and breathing a spirit
far removed from the meekness of the Gospel, he soon awakened the horror
of his comrades in arms, and incurred the censure of Condé for his
barbarities; so that, within a few months, becoming disgusted with the
Huguenots, he went over to the papal side, and in the second civil war was
found fighting against his former associates.[102] Meantime, his brief
connection with the Huguenots was a blot upon their escutcheon all the
more noticeable because of the prevailing purity;[103] and the injury he
inflicted upon the cause of Protestantism far more than cancelled the
services he rendered at Lyons and elsewhere. At Pierrelate he permitted
his soldiers to take signal vengeance on the garrison for the recent
massacre. At Mornas the articles of the capitulation, by which the lives
of the besieged were guaranteed, were not observed; for the Protestant
soldiers from Orange, recognizing among them the perpetrators of the
crimes which had turned their homes into a howling desert, fell upon them
and were not--perhaps could not be--restrained by their leader.[104] The
fatal example of Orange was but too faithfully copied, and precipitating
the prisoners from the summit of a high rock became the favorite mode of
execution.[105] Only one of the unfortunates, who happened to break his
fall by catching hold of a wild fig-tree growing cut of the side of the
cliff, was spared by his enemies.[106] A number of the naked corpses were
afterward placed in an open boat without pilot or tiller, and suffered to
float down the Rhône with a banner on which were written these words: "O
men of Avignon! permit the bearers to pass, for they have paid the toll at
Mornas."[107]

[Sidenote: Blaise de Montluc.]

[Sidenote: Massacre at Toulouse.]

The atrocities of Des Adrets and his soldiers in the East were, however,
surpassed by those which Blaise de Montluc inflicted upon the Huguenots of
the West, or which took place under his sanction. His memoirs, which are
among the most authentic materials for the history of the wars in which he
took part, present him to us as a remorseless soldier, dead to all
feelings of sympathy with human distress, glorying in having executed
more Huguenots than any other royal lieutenant in France,[108] pleased to
have the people call the two hangmen whom he used to take about with him
his "lackeys."[109] It is not surprising that, under the auspices of such
an officer, fierce passions should have had free play. At Toulouse, the
seat of the most fanatical parliament in France, a notable massacre took
place. Even in this hot-bed of bigotry the reformed doctrines had made
rapid and substantial progress, and the great body of the students in the
famous law-school, as well of the municipal government, were favorable to
their spread.[110] The common people, however, were as virulent in their
hostility as the parliament itself. They had never been fully reconciled
to the publication of the Edict of January, and had only been restrained
from interference with the worship of the Protestants by the authority of
the government. Of late the Huguenots had discovered on what treacherous
ground they stood. A funeral procession of theirs had been attacked, and
several persons had been murdered. A massacre had been perpetrated in the
city of Cahors, not far distant from them. In both cases the entire
authority of parliament had been exerted to shield the guilty. The
Huguenots, therefore, resolved to forestall disaster by throwing Toulouse
into the hands of Condé, and succeeded so far as to introduce some
companies of soldiers within the walls and to seize the "hôtel de ville."
They had, however, miscalculated their strength. The Roman Catholics were
more numerous, and after repeated conflicts they were able to demand the
surrender of the building in which the Protestants had intrenched
themselves. Destitute alike of provisions and of the means of defence, and
menaced with the burning of their retreat, the latter accepted the
conditions offered, and--a part on the day before Pentecost, a part after
the services of that Sunday, one of the chief festivals of the Reformed
Church--they retired without arms, intending to depart for more hospitable
cities. Scarce, however, had the last detachment left the walls, when the
tocsin was sounded, and their enemies, respecting none of their promises,
involved them in a horrible carnage. It was the opinion of the best
informed that in all three thousand persons perished on both sides during
the riot at Toulouse, of whom by far the greater number were Huguenots.
Even this effusion of blood was not sufficient. The next day Montluc
appeared in the city. And now, encouraged by his support, the Parliament
of Toulouse initiated a system of judicial inquiries which were summary in
their character, and rarely ended save in the condemnation of the accused.
Within three months two hundred persons were publicly executed. The
Protestant leader was quartered. The parliament vindicated its orthodoxy
by the expulsion of twenty-two counsellors suspected of a leaning to the
Reformation; and informers were allured by bribes, as well as frightened
by ecclesiastical menaces, in order that the harvest of confiscation might
be the greater.[111]

Such were the deeds which the Roman Catholics of southern France have up
to our times commemorated by centenary celebrations;[112] such the pious
achievements for which Blaise de Montluc received from Pope Pius the
Fourth the most lavish praise as a zealous defender of the Catholic
faith.[113]

[Sidenote: Foreign alliances sought.]

Meanwhile, about Paris and Orleans the war lagged. Both sides were
receiving reinforcements. The ban and rear-ban were summoned in the king's
name, and a large part of the levies joined Condé as the royal
representative in preference to Navarre and the triumvirate.[114] Charles
the Ninth and Catharine had consented to publish a declaration denying
Condé's allegation that they were held in duress.[115] The Guises had sent
abroad to Spain, to Germany, to the German cantons of Switzerland, to
Savoy, to the Pope. Philip, after the abundant promises with which he had
encouraged the French papists to enter upon the war, was not quite sure
whether he had better answer the calls now made upon him. He was by no
means confident that the love of country of the French might not, after
all, prove stronger than the discord engendered by their religious
differences, and their hatred of the Spaniard than their hatred of their
political rivals.[116] "Those stirrings," writes Sir Thomas Chaloner from
Spain, "have here gevyn matter of great consultation day by day to this
king and counsaile. One wayes they devise howe the Gwisans may be ayded
and assisted by them, esteming for religion sake that the prevaylment of
that syde importithe them as the ball of theire eye. Another wayes they
stand in a jelousie whither theis nombers thus assembled in Fraunce, may
not possibly shake hands, and sett upon the Lowe Countries or Navarre,
both peecs, upon confidence of the peace, now being disprovided of
garisons. So ferfurthe as they here repent the revocation of the Spanish
bands owt of Flanders.... So as in case the new bushops against the
people's mynd shall need be enstalled, the Frenche had never such an
opertunyte as they perchauns should fynd at this instant."[117] To the
Duke of Würtemberg the Guises had induced Charles and Catharine to write,
throwing the blame of the civil war entirely upon Condé;[118] but
Christopher, this time at least, had his eyes wide open, and his reply was
not only a pointed refusal to join in the general crusade against the
Calvinists, but a noble plea in behalf of toleration and clemency.[119]

[Sidenote: Queen Elizabeth's aid invoked.]

The Huguenots, on the other hand, had rather endeavored to set themselves
right in public estimation and to prepare the way for future calls for
assistance, than made any present requisitions. Elizabeth's ambassador,
Throkmorton, had been carefully instructed as to the danger that overhung
his mistress with all the rest of Protestant Christendom. He wrote to her
that the plot was a general one, including England. "It may please your
Majesty the papists, within these two days at Sens in Normandy, have slain
and hurt two hundred persons--men and women. Your Majesty may perceive how
dangerous it is to suffer papists that be of great heart and enterprise to
lift up their crests so high."[120] In another despatch he warned her of
her danger. "It standeth your Majesty upon, for the conservation of your
realm in the good terms it is in (thanks be to God), to countenance the
Protestants as much as you may, until they be set afoot again, I mean in
this realm; for here dependeth the great sway of that matter."[121]

[Sidenote: Cecil's urgency and schemes.]

[Sidenote: Divided sympathies of the English.]

Cecil himself adopted the same views, and urged them upon Elizabeth's
attention. Not succeeding in impressing her according to his wish, he
resorted to extraordinary measures to compass the end. He instructed
Mundt, his agent in Germany, to exert himself to induce the Protestant
princes to send "special messengers" to England and persuade Elizabeth to
join in "a confederacy of all parts professing the Gospel." In fact, the
cunning secretary of state went even farther, and dictated to Mundt just
what he should write to the queen. He was to tell her Majesty "that if she
did not attempt the furtherance of the Gospel in France, and the keeping
asunder of France and Spain, she would be in greater peril than any other
prince in Christendom," for "the papist princes that sought to draw her to
their parts meant her subversion"--a truth which, were she to be informed
of by any of the German princes, might have a salutary effect.[122] But
the vacillating queen could not be induced as yet to take the same view,
and needed the offer of some tangible advantages to move her. No wonder
that Elizabeth's policy halted. Every occurrence across the channel was
purposely misrepresented by the emissaries of Philip, and the open
sympathizers of the Roman Catholic party at the English court were almost
more numerous than the hearty Protestants. A few weeks later, a
correspondent of Throkmorton wrote to him from home: "Here are daily
bruits given forth by the Spanish ambassador, as it is thought, far
discrepant from such as I learn are sent from your lordship, and the
papists have so great a voice here as they have almost as much credit, the
more it is to be lamented. I have not, since I came last over, come in any
company where almost the greater part have not in reasoning defended
papistry, allowed the Guisians' proceedings, and seemed to deface the
prince's quarrel and design. How dangerous this is your lordship doth
see."[123] The Swiss Protestant cantons were reluctant to appear to
countenance rebellion. Berne sent a few ensigns to Lyons at the request of
the Protestants of that city, but wished to limit them strictly to the
defensive, and subsequently she yielded to the urgency of the Guises and
recalled them altogether.[124] But as yet no effort was made by Condé to
call in foreign assistance. The reluctance of Admiral Coligny, while it
did honor to the patriotism which always moved him, seems to have led him
to commit a serious mistake. The admiral hoped and believed that the
Huguenots would prove strong enough to succeed without invoking foreign
assistance; moreover, he was unwilling to set the first example of
bringing in strangers to arbitrate concerning the domestic affairs of
France.[125] And, indeed, had his opponents been equally patriotic, it is
not improbable that his expectation would have been realized. For, if
inferior to the enemy in infantry, the Huguenots, through the great
preponderance of noblemen and gentlemen in their army, were at first far
superior in cavalry.

[Sidenote: Diplomatic manoeuvres.]

The beaten path of diplomatic manoeuvre was first tried. Four times were
messengers sent to Condé, in the king's name, requiring his submission.
Four times he responded that he could not lay down his arms until Guise
should have retired from court and been punished for the massacre of
Vassy, until the constable and Saint André should have returned to their
governments, leaving the king his personal liberty, and until the Edict of
January should be fully re-established.[126] These demands the opposing
party were unwilling to concede. It is true that a pretence was made of
granting the last point, and, on the eleventh of April, an edict,
ostensibly in confirmation of that of January, was signed by Charles, by
the advice of Catharine, the King of Navarre, the Cardinals of Bourbon and
Guise, the Duke of Guise, the constable, and Aumale. But there was a
glaring contradiction between the two laws, for Paris was expressly
excepted from the provisions. In or around the capital no exercises of the
reformed religion could be celebrated.[127] Such was the trick by which
the triumvirs hoped to take the wind out of the confederates' sails.
Though the concession could not be accepted by the Protestants, it might
be alleged to show foreigners the unreasonableness of Condé and his
supporters. Meantime, in reply to the prince's declaration as to the
causes for which he had taken up arms, the adherents of Guise published in
their own vindication a paper, wherein they gravely asserted that, but for
the duke's timely arrival, fifteen hundred Huguenots, gathered from every
part of the kingdom, would have entered Paris, and, with the assistance of
their confederates within the walls, would have plundered the city.[128]

The month of May witnessed the dreary continuation of the same state of
things. On the first, Condé wrote to the queen mother, reiterating his
readiness to lay down the arms he had assumed in the king's defence and
her's, on the same conditions as before. On the fourth, Charles,
Catharine, and Antoine replied, refusing to dismiss the Guises or to
restore the Edict of January in reference to Paris, but, at the same time,
inviting the prince to return to court, and promising that, after he
should have submitted, and the revolted cities should have been restored
to their allegiance, the triumvirs would retire to their governments.[129]

On the same day two petitions were presented to Charles. Both were signed
by Guise, Montmorency, and Saint André. In the first they prayed his
Majesty to interdict the exercise of every other religion save the "holy
Apostolic and Roman," and require that all royal officers should conform
to that religion or forfeit their positions; to compel the heretics to
restore the churches which had been destroyed; to punish the sacrilegious;
to declare rebels all who persisted in retaining arms without permission
of the King of Navarre. Under these conditions they would consent, they
said, to leave France--nay, to go to the ends of the world. In the second
petition they demanded the submission of the confederates of Orleans, the
restitution of the places which had been seized, the exaction of an oath
to observe the royal edicts, both new and old, and the enforcement of the
sole command of Navarre over the French armies.[130]

[Sidenote: Condé's reply to the pretended petition.]

Condé's reply (May twentieth) was the most bitter, as well as the ablest
and most vigorous paper of the initiatory stage of the war. It well
deserves a careful examination. The pretended _petition_, Louis of Bourbon
wrote to the queen mother, any one can see, even upon a cursory perusal,
to be in effect nothing else than a _decree_ concocted by the Duke of
Guise, Constable Montmorency, and Marshal Saint André, with the assistance
of the papal legate and nuncio and the ministers of foreign states.
Ambition, not zeal for the faith, is the motive. In order to have their
own way, not only do the signers refuse to have a prince of the blood near
the monarch, but they intend removing and punishing all the worthy members
of the royal privy council, beginning with Michel de l'Hospital, the
chancellor. In point of fact, they have already made a ridiculous
appointment of six new counsellors. The queen mother is to be banished to
Chenonceaux, there to spend her time in laying out her gardens. La
Roche-sur-Yon will be sent elsewhere. New instructors are to be placed
around the king to teach him riding, jousting, the art of love--anything,
in short, to divert his mind from religion and the art of reigning well.
The conspiracy is more dangerous than the conspiracy of Sulla or Cæsar, or
that of the Roman triumvirs. Its authors point to their titles, and allege
the benefits they have conferred; but their boasts may easily be answered
by pointing to their insatiable avarice, and to the princely revenues they
have accumulated during their long connection with the public
administration. They speak of the present dangerous state of the country.
What was it before the massacre of Vassy? After the publication of the
Edict of January universal peace prevailed. That peace these very
petitioners disturbed. What means the coalition of the constable and
Marshal Saint André? What mean the barbarities lately committed in Paris,
but that the peace was to be broken by violent means? As to the obedience
the petitioners profess to exhibit to the queen, they showed her open
contempt when they refused to go to the provinces which they governed
under the king's orders; when they came to the capital contrary to her
express direction, and that in arms; when by force they dragged the king,
her son, and herself from Fontainebleau to the Louvre. They have accused
the Huguenots of treating the king as a prisoner, because these desire
that the decree drawn up by the advice of the three estates of the realm
should be made irrevocable until the majority of Charles the Ninth; but
how was it when three persons, of whom one is a foreigner and the other
two are servants of the crown, dictate a _new_ edict, and wish that edict
to be absolutely irrevocable? There is no need of lugging the Roman
Catholic religion into the discussion, and undertaking its defence, for no
one has thought of attacking it. The demand made by the petitioners for a
compulsory subscription to certain articles of theirs is in opposition to
immemorial usage; for no subscription has ever been exacted save to the
creed of the Apostles. It is a second edict, and in truth nothing else
than the introduction of that hateful Spanish inquisition. Ten thousand
nobles and a hundred thousand soldiers will not be compelled either by
force or by authority to affix their signatures to it. But, to talk of
enforcing submission to a Roman Catholic confession is idle, so long as
the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine do not retract their own
adhesion to the Augsburg Confession lately given in with such
protestations to a German prince. The charge of countenancing the breaking
of images the prince would answer by pointing to the penalties he has
inflicted in order to repress the irregularity. And yet, if it come to the
true desert of punishment, what retribution ought not to be meted out for
the crimes perpetrated by the petitioners, or under their auspices and
after their examples, at Vassy, at Sens, at Paris, at Toulouse, and in so
many other places? For the author of the petition should have remembered
that it is nowhere written that a dead image ever cried for vengeance;
but the blood of man--God's living image--demands it of heaven, and draws
it down, though it tarry long. As for the accusation brought against Condé
and the best part of the French nobility, that they are rebels, the prince
hopes soon to meet his accusers in the open field and there decide the
question whether a foreigner and two others of such a station as they are
shall undertake to judge a prince of the blood. To allege Navarre's
authority comes with ill-grace from men who wronged that king so openly
during the late reign of Francis the Second. Finally, the Prince of Condé
would set over against the petition of the triumvirate, one of his own,
containing for its principal articles that the Edict of January, which his
enemies seek to overturn, shall be observed inviolate; that all the king's
subjects of every order and condition shall be maintained in their rights
and privileges; that the professors of the reformed faith shall be
protected until the majority of Charles; that arms shall be laid down on
either side; above all, that _foreign_ arms, which he himself, so far from
inviting to France, has, up to the present moment, steadfastly declined
when voluntarily offered, and which he will never resort to unless
compelled by his enemies, shall be banished from the kingdom.[131]

[Sidenote: Third National Synod.]

While the clouds of war were thus gathering thick around Orleans, within
its walls a synod of the reformed churches of France had assembled on the
twenty-fifth of April, to deliberate of matters relating to their
religious interests. Important questions of discipline were discussed and
settled, and a day of public fasting and prayer was appointed in view of
the danger of a declared civil war.[132]

[Sidenote: Interview of Catharine and Condé.]

The actual war was fast approaching. The army of the Guises, under the
nominal command of the King of Navarre, was now ready to march in the
direction of Orleans. Before setting out, however, the triumvirs resolved
to make sure of their hold upon the capital, and royal edicts (of the
twenty-sixth and twenty-seventh of May) were obtained ordering the
expulsion from Paris of all known Protestants.[133] Then, with an army of
four thousand foot and three thousand horse, the King of Navarre marched
toward the city of Châteaudun.[134] On hearing of the movement of his
brother's forces, the Prince of Condé advanced to meet him at the head of
six thousand foot and two thousand horse. There were those, however, who
still believed it to be possible to avert a collision and settle the
matters in dispute by amicable discussion. Of this number was Catharine
de' Medici. Hastily leaving the castle of Vincennes, she hurried to the
front, and at the little town of Toury, between the two armies, she
brought about an interview between Condé, the King of Navarre, and
herself. Such was the imbittered feeling supposed to animate both sides,
that the escorts of the two princes had been strictly enjoined to avoid
approaching each other, lest they should be tempted to indulge in
insulting remarks, and from these come to blows. But, to the great
surprise of all, they had no sooner met than papist and Huguenot rushed
into each other's arms and embraced as friends long separated. While the
principals were discussing the terms of union, their followers had already
expressed by action the accord reigning in their hearts, and the white
cloaks of Condé's attendants were to be seen indiscriminately mingled with
the crimson cloaks of his brother's escort. Yet, after all, the interview
came to nothing. Neither side could accept the only terms the other would
offer, and Catharine returned disappointed to Paris, to be greeted by the
populace with the most insulting language for imperilling the orthodoxy
of the kingdom.[135] Not, however, altogether despairing of effecting a
reconciliation, Condé addressed a letter to the King of Navarre,
entreating him, before it should be too late, to listen to his brotherly
arguments. The answer came in a new summons to lay down his arms.[136]

[Sidenote: The "loan" of Beaugency.]

Yet, while they had no desire for a reconciliation on any such terms as
the Huguenots could accept, there were some substantial advantages which
the Roman Catholic leaders hoped to reap under cover of fresh
negotiations. All the portion of the valley of the Loire lying nearest to
Paris was in the hands of the confederates of Orleans. It was impossible
for Navarre to reach the southern bank, except by crossing below Amboise,
and thus exposing the communications of his army with Paris to be cut off
at any moment. To attain his end with less difficulty, Antoine now sent
word to his brother that he was disposed to conclude a peace, and proposed
a truce of six days. Meanwhile, he requested Condé to gratify him by the
"loan" of the town of Beaugency, a few miles below Orleans, where he might
be more comfortably lodged than in his present inconvenient quarters. The
request was certainly sufficiently novel, but that it was granted by Condé
may appear even more strange.

[Sidenote: Futile negotiations.]

This was not the only act of folly in which the Huguenot leaders became
involved. Under pretence of showing their readiness to contribute their
utmost to the re-establishment of peace, the constable, Guise, and Saint
André, after obtaining a declaration from Catharine and Antoine that their
voluntary retreat would do no prejudice to their honor,[137] retired from
the royal court, but went no farther than the neighboring city of
Châteaudun. The Prince of Condé, swallowing the bait, did not hesitate a
moment to place himself, the very next day, in the hands of the queen
mother and his brother, and was led more like a captive than a freeman
from Beaugency to Talsy, where Catharine was staying. Becoming alarmed,
however, at his isolated situation, he wrote to his comrades in arms, and
within a few hours so goodly a company of knights appeared, with Coligny,
Andelot, Prince Porcien, La Rochefoucauld, Rohan, and other distinguished
nobles at their head, that any treacherous plans that may have been
entertained by the wily Italian princess were rendered entirely futile.
She resolved, therefore, to entrap them by soft speeches. With that utter
disregard for consistency so characteristic both of her actions and of her
words, Catharine publicly[138] thanked the Huguenot lords for the services
they had rendered the king, who would never cease to be grateful to them,
and recognized, for her own part, that her son and she herself owed to
them the preservation of their lives. But, after this flattering preamble,
she proceeded to make the unpalatable proposition that they should consent
to the repeal of the edict so far as Paris was concerned, under the
guarantee of personal liberty, but without permission to hold public
religious worship. The prince and his associates could listen to no such
terms. Indeed, carried away by the fervor of their zeal, they protested
that, rather than surrender the rights of their brethren, they would leave
the kingdom. "We shall willingly go into exile," they said, "if our
absence will conduce to the restoration of public tranquillity." This
assurance was just what Catharine had been awaiting. To the infinite
surprise of the speakers themselves, she told them that she appreciated
their disinterested motives, and accepted their offer; that they should
have safe-conducts to whatever land they desired to visit, with full
liberty to sell their goods and to receive their incomes; but that their
voluntary retirement would last only until the king's majority, which
would be declared so soon as he had completed his fourteenth year![139] It
needs scarcely be said that, awkward as was the predicament in which they
had placed themselves, the prince and his companions had little
disposition to follow out Catharine's plan. On their return to the
Protestant camp, the clamor of the soldiers against any further exposure
of the person of their leader to peril, and the opportune publication of
an intercepted letter said to have been written by the Duke of Guise to
his brother, the Cardinal of Lorraine, on the eve of his departure for
Châteaudun, and disclosing treacherous designs,[140] decided the Huguenot
leaders to break off the negotiations.[141]

The long period of comparative inaction was now succeeded by a spasmodic
effort at energetic conduct. The six days' truce had scarcely expired when
the prince resolved to throw himself unexpectedly upon the neighboring
camp of the Roman Catholics, before Montmorency, Guise, and Saint André
had resumed their accustomed posts. One of those nocturnal attacks, which,
under the name of _camisades_, figure so frequently in the military
history of the period, was secretly organized, and the Protestant
soldiers, wearing white shirts over their armor, in order that they might
easily recognize each other in the darkness of the night, started with
alacrity, under D'Andelot's command, on the exciting adventure. But their
guides were treacherous, or unskilful, and the enterprise came to
naught.[142] Disappointed in this attempt, and unable to force the enemy
to give battle, Condé turned his attention to Beaugency, which the King
of Navarre had failed to restore, and carried it by storm. He would gladly
have followed up the advantage by laying siege to Blois and Tours, which
the triumvirate had taken and treated with the utmost cruelty; but heavy
rains, and the impossibility of carrying on military operations on account
of the depth of the mud, compelled him to relinquish his project, and
reduced the main army to renewed inactivity.[143]

The protracted delays and inexcusable sluggishness of the leaders had
borne their natural fruits. Many of the Protestant gentlemen had left the
camp in disgust at the mistakes committed; others had retired to their
homes on hearing that their families were exposed to the dangers of war
and stood in need of their protection; a few had been corrupted by the
arts of the enemy. For it was a circumstance often noticed by
contemporaries, that no envoy was ever sent from Orleans to the court who
did not return, if not demoralized, yet so lukewarm as to be incapable of
performing any good service in future.[144] Yet the dispersion of the
higher rank of the reformed soldiers, and the consequent weakening of
Condé's army in cavalry, were attended with this incidental advantage,
that they contributed greatly to the strengthening of the party in the
provinces, and necessitated a similar division of the opposing
forces.[145]

[Sidenote: Huguenot discipline.]

Never, perhaps, was there an army that exhibited such excellent discipline
as did the army of the Protestants in this the first stage of its warfare.
Never had the morals and religion of soldiers been better cared for. It
was the testimony of a soldier, one of the most accomplished and
philosophical writers of his times--the brave "Bras de Fer"--that the
preaching of the Gospel was the great instrument of imbuing the army with
the spirit of order. Crimes, he tells us, were promptly revealed; no
blasphemy was heard throughout the camp, for it was universally frowned
upon. The very implements of gambling--dice and cards--were banished.
There were no lewd women among the camp-followers. Thefts were unfrequent
and vigorously punished. A couple of soldiers were hung for having robbed
a peasant of a small quantity of wine.[146] Public prayers were said
morning and evening; and, instead of profane or indelicate songs, nothing
was heard but the psalms of David. Such were the admirable fruits of the
careful discipline of Admiral Coligny, the true leader of the Protestant
party; and they made a deep impression upon such enthusiastic youths as
François de la Noue and Téligny. Their more experienced author, however,
was not imposed upon by these flattering signs. "It is a very fine thing,"
he told them, "if only it last; but I much fear that these people will
spend all their goodness at the outset, and that, two months hence,
nothing will remain but malice. I have long commanded infantry, and I know
that it often verifies the proverb which says: '_Of a young hermit, an old
devil!_' If this army does not, we shall give it a good mark."[147] The
prediction was speedily realized; for, although the army of the prince
never sought to rival the papal troops in the extent of its license, the
standard of soldierly morality was far below that which Coligny had
desired to establish.[148]

[Sidenote: Severities of the parliament.]

So far as cruelty was concerned, everything in the conduct of their
antagonists was calculated to provoke the Protestants to bitter
retaliation. The army of Guise was merciless. If the infuriated Huguenots
selected the priests that fell into their hands for the especial monuments
of their retribution, it was because the priesthood as a body had become
the instigators of savage barbarity, instead of being the ministers of
peace; because when they did not, like Ronsard the poet, themselves buckle
on the sword, or revel in blood, like the monks of Saint Calais,[149] they
still fanned, as they had for years been fanning, the flame of civil war,
denouncing toleration or compromise, wielding the weapons of the church to
enforce the pious duty of exterminating every foul calumny invented to the
disadvantage of the reformers. No wonder, then, that the ecclesiastical
dress itself became the badge of deadly and irreconcilable hostility, and
that in the course of this unhappy war many a priest was cut down without
any examination into his private views or personal history. Parliament,
too, was setting the example of cruelty by reckless orders amounting
almost to independent legislation. By a series of "arrêts" succeeding each
other rapidly in the months of June and July, the door was opened wider
and wider for popular excess. When the churches of Meaux were visited by
an iconoclastic rabble on the twenty-sixth of June, the Parisian
parliament, on the thirtieth of June, employed the disorder as the pretext
of a judicial "declaration" that made the culprits liable to all the
penalties of treason, and permitted any one to put them to death without
further authorization. The populace of Paris needed no fuller powers to
attack the Huguenots, for, within two or three days, sixty men and women
had been killed, robbed, and thrown into the river. Parliament, therefore,
found it convenient to terminate the massacre by a second order
restricting the application of the declaration to persons taken in the
very act.[150] A few days later (July, 1562), other arrêts empowered all
inhabitants of towns and villages to take up arms against those who
molested priests, sacked churches, or "held conventicles and unlawful
assemblies," whether public or secret; and to arrest the ministers,
deacons, and other ecclesiastical functionaries for trial, as guilty of
treason against God as well as man.[151] Not content with these appeals to
popular passion,[152] however, the Parisian judges soon gave practical
exemplifications of their intolerant principles; for two royal
officers--the "lieutenant general" of Pontoise, and the "lieutenant" of
Senlis--were publicly hung; the former for encouraging the preaching of
God's word "in other form than the ancient church" authorized, the latter
for "celebrating the Lord's Supper according to the Genevese fashion."
These were, according to the curate of St. Barthélemi, the first
executions at Paris for the simple profession of "Huguenoterie" since the
pardon proclaimed by Francis the Second at Amboise.[153] A few days
later, a new and more explicit declaration pronounced all those who had
taken up arms, robbed churches and monasteries, and committed other
sacrilegious acts at Orleans, Lyons, Rouen, and various other cities
mentioned by name, to be rebels, and deprived them of all their offices.
Yet, by way of retaliation upon Condé for maintaining that he had entered
upon the war in order to defend the persons of the king and his mother,
unjustly deprived of their liberty, parliament pretended to regard the
prince himself as an unwilling captive in the hands of the confederates;
and, consequently, excepted him alone from the general attainder.[154] But
the legal fiction does not seem to have been attended with the great
success its projectors anticipated.[155] The people could scarcely credit
the statement that the war was waged by the Guises simply for the
liberation of their mortal enemy, Condé, especially when Condé himself
indignantly repelled the attempt to separate him from the associates with
whom he had entered into common engagements, not to add that the
reputation of the Lorraine family, whose mouthpiece parliament might well
be supposed to be, was not over good for strict adherence to truth.

Meanwhile the triumvirs were more successful in their military operations
than the partisans of the prince. Their auxiliaries came in more promptly,
for the step which Condé now saw himself forced to take, in consequence of
his opponents' course, they had long since resolved upon. They had
received reinforcements from Germany, both of infantry and cavalry, under
command of the Rhinegrave Philip of Salm and the Count of Rockendorf;
while Condé had succeeded in detaching but few of the Lutheran troopers by
a manifesto in which he endeavored to explain the true nature of the
struggle. Soldiers from the Roman Catholic cantons had been allowed a free
passage through the Spanish Franche-Comté by the regent of the Low
Countries, Margaret of Parma. The Pope himself contributed liberally to
the supply of money for paying the troops.[156] But the Protestant
reinforcements from the Palatinate and Zweibrücken (Deux-Ponts), and from
Hesse, which D'Andelot, and, after him, Gaspard de Schomberg, had gone to
hasten, were not yet ready; while Elizabeth still hesitated to listen to
the solicitations of Briquemault and Robert Stuart, the Scotchman, who had
been successively sent to her court.[157]

[Sidenote: Military successes of the triumvirs.]

[Sidenote: Fall of Bourges.]

After effecting the important capture of the city of Poitiers, Marshal
Saint André, at the head of a Roman Catholic army, had marched, about the
middle of August, toward Bourges, perhaps the most important place held by
the Protestants in central France. Beneath the walls of this city he
joined the main army, under Navarre's nominal command, but really led by
the Duke of Guise. The siege was pressed with vigor, for the king was
present in person with the "Guisards." To the handful of Huguenots their
assailants appeared to be "a marvellous army of French, Germans, reiters,
Spaniards, and other nations, numbering in all eighty or a hundred
thousand men, with the bravest cavalry that could be seen."[158] And, when
twenty or twenty-five cannon opened upon Bourges with balls of forty or
fifty pounds' weight, and when six hundred and forty discharges were
counted on a single day, and every building in the town was shaken to its
very foundations, the besieged, numbering only a few hundred men, would
have been excusable had they lost heart. Instead of this, they obstinately
defended their works, repaired the breach by night, and inflicted severe
injury on the enemy by nocturnal sallies. To add to the duke's
embarrassment, Admiral Coligny, issuing from Orleans, was fortunate enough
to cut off an important convoy of provisions and ammunition coming from
Paris to the relief of the besiegers.[159] Despairing of taking the city
by force, they now turned to negotiation. Unhappily, M. d'Ivoy, in command
of the Huguenot garrison, was not proof against the seductive offers made
him. Disregarding the remonstrances of his companions in arms, who pointed
to the fact that the enemy had from day to day, through discouragement or
from sheer exhaustion, relaxed their assaults, he consented (on the
thirty-first of August) to surrender Bourges to the army that had so long
thundered at its gates. D'Ivoy returned to Orleans, but Condé, accusing
him of open perfidy, refused to see him; while the Protestants of Bourges
shared the usual fate of those who trusted the promises of the Roman
Catholic leaders, and secured few of the religious privileges guaranteed
by the articles of capitulation.[160]

With the fall of Bourges, the whole of central France, as far as to the
gates of Orleans, yielded to the arms of Guise. Everywhere the wretched
inhabitants of the reformed faith were compelled to submit to gross
indignities, or seek safety in flight. To many of these homeless fugitives
the friendly castle of Montargis, belonging to the Duchess of Ferrara, to
which reference will shortly be made, afforded a welcome refuge.[161]

[Sidenote: Help from Queen Elizabeth.]

The necessity of obtaining immediate reinforcements had at length brought
Condé and the other great Huguenot lords to acquiesce in the offer of the
only terms upon which Elizabeth of England could be persuaded to grant
them actual support. As the indispensable condition to her interference,
she demanded that the cities of Havre and Dieppe should be placed in her
hands. These would be a pledge for the restoration of Calais, that old
English stronghold which had fallen into the power of the French during
the last war, and for whose restoration within eight years there had been
an express stipulation in the treaties Cateau-Cambrésis. This humiliating
concession the Huguenots reluctantly agreed to make. Elizabeth in turn
promised to send six thousand English troops (three thousand to guard each
of the cities), who should serve under the command of Condé as the royal
lieutenant, and pledged her word to lend the prince and his associates one
hundred and forty thousand crowns toward defraying the expenses of the
war.[162] On the twentieth of September the Queen of England published to
the world a declaration of the motives that led her to interfere, alleging
in particular the usurpation of the royal authority by the Guises, and the
consequent danger impending over the Protestants of Normandy through the
violence of the Duke of Aumale.[163]

The tidings of the alliance and of some of its conditions had already
reached France, and they rather damaged than furthered the Protestant
cause. As the English queen's selfish determination to confine her
assistance to the protection of the three cities became known, it alarmed
even her warmest friends among the French Protestants. Condé and Coligny
earnestly begged the queen's ambassador to tell his mistress that "in case
her Majesty were introduced by their means into Havre, Dieppe, and Rouen
with six thousand men, only to keep those places, it would be unto them a
great note of infamy." They would seem wantonly to have exposed to a
foreign prince the very flower of Normandy, in giving into her hands
cities which they felt themselves quite able to defend without assistance.
So clearly did Throkmorton foresee the disastrous consequences of this
course, that, even at the risk of offending the queen by his presumption,
he took the liberty to warn her that if she suffered the Protestants of
France to succumb, with minds so alienated from her that they should
consent to make an accord with the opposite faction, the possession of the
cities would avail her but little against the united forces of the French.
He therefore suggested that it might be quite as well for her Majesty's
interests, "that she should serve the turn of the Huguenots as well as her
own."[164] Truly, Queen Elizabeth was throwing away a glorious opportunity
of displaying magnanimous disinterestedness, and of conciliating the
affection of a powerful party on the continent. In the inevitable struggle
between Protestant England and papal Spain, the possession of such an ally
as the best part of France would be of inestimable value in abridging the
contest or in deciding the result. But the affection of the Huguenots
could be secured by no such cold-blooded compact as that which required
them to appear in the light of an unpatriotic party whose success would
entail the dismemberment of the kingdom. To make such a demand at the very
moment when her own ambassador was writing from Paris that the people "did
daily most cruelly use and kill every person, no age or sex excepted, that
they took to be contrary to their religion," was to show but too clearly
that not religious zeal nor philanthropic tenderness of heart, so much as
pure selfishness, was the motive influencing her.[165] And yet the English
queen was not uninformed of, nor wholly insensible to, the calls of
humanity. She could in fact, on occasion, herself set them forth with
force and pathos. Nothing could surpass the sympathy expressed in her
autograph letter to Mary of Scots, deprecating the resentment of the
latter at Elizabeth's interference--a letter which, as Mr. Froude notices,
was not written by Cecil and merely signed by the queen, but was her own
peculiar and characteristic composition. "Far sooner," she wrote, "would I
pass over those murders on land; far rather would I leave unwritten those
noyades in the rivers--those men and women hacked in pieces; but the
shrieks of the strangled wives, great with child--the cries of the infants
at their mothers' breasts--pierce me through. What drug of rhubarb can
purge the bile which these tyrannies engender?"[166]

The news of the English alliance, although not unexpected, produced a very
natural irritation at the French court. When Throkmorton applied to
Catharine de' Medici for a passport to leave the kingdom, the queen
persistently refused, telling him that such a document was unnecessary in
his case. But she significantly volunteered the information that "some of
his nation had lately entered France without asking for passports, who she
hoped would speedily return without leave-taking!"[167]

[Sidenote: Siege of Rouen, October.]

Meanwhile the English movement rather accelerated than retarded the
operations of the royal army. After the fall of Bourges, there had been a
difference of opinion in the council whether Orleans or Rouen ought first
to be attacked. Orleans was the centre of Huguenot activity, the heart
from which the currents of life flowed to the farthest extremities of
Gascony and Languedoc; but it was strongly fortified, and would be
defended by a large and intrepid garrison. A siege was more likely to
terminate disastrously to the assailants than to the citizens and
Protestant troops. The admiral laughed at the attempt to attack a city
which could throw three thousand men into the breach.[168] Rouen, on the
contrary, was weak, and, if attacked before reinforcements were received
from England, but feebly garrisoned. Yet it was the key of the valley of
the Seine, and its possession by the Huguenots was a perpetual menace of
the capital.[169] So long as it was in their hands, the door to the heart
of the kingdom lay wide open to the united army of French and English
Protestants. Very wisely, therefore, the Roman Catholic generals abandoned
their original design[170] of reducing Orleans so soon as Bourges should
fall, and resolved first to lay siege to Rouen. Great reason, indeed, had
the captors of such strongholds as Marienbourg, Calais, and Thionville, to
anticipate that a place so badly protected, so easily commanded, and
destitute of any fortification deserving the name, would yield on the
first alarm.[171] It was true that a series of attacks made by the Duke of
Aumale upon Fort St. Catharine, the citadel of Rouen, had been signally
repulsed, and that, after two weeks of fighting, on the twelfth of July he
had abandoned the undertaking.[172] But, with the more abundant resources
at their command, a better result might now be expected. Siege was,
therefore, a second time laid, on the twenty-ninth of September, by the
King of Navarre.

The forces on the two sides were disproportionate. Navarre, Montmorency,
and Guise were at the head of sixteen thousand foot and two thousand
horse, in addition to a considerable number of German mercenaries.
Montgomery,[173] who commanded the Protestants, had barely eight hundred
trained soldiers.[174] The rest of the scanty garrison was composed of
those of the citizens who were capable of bearing arms, to the number of
perhaps four thousand more. But this handful of men instituted a stout
resistance. After frequently repulsing the assailants, the double fort of
St. Catharine, situated near the Seine, on the east of the city, and
Rouen's chief defence, was taken rather by surprise than by force. Yet,
after this unfortunate loss, the brave Huguenots fought only with the
greater desperation. Their numbers had been reinforced by the accession of
some five hundred Englishmen of the first detachment of troops which had
landed at Havre on the third of October, and whom Sir Adrian Poynings had
assumed the responsibility of sending to the relief of the beleaguered
capital of Normandy.[175] With Killigrew of Pendennis for their captain,
they had taken advantage of a high tide to pass the obstructions of boats
filled with stone and sand that had been sunk in the river opposite
Caudebec, and, with the exception of the crew of one barge that ran
ashore, and eleven of whom were hung by the Roman Catholics, "for having
entered the service of the Huguenots contrary to the will of the Queen of
England," they succeeded in reaching Rouen.[176]

These, however, were not the only auxiliaries upon whom the Huguenot chief
could count. The women were inspired with a courage that equalled, and a
determination that surpassed, that of their husbands and brothers. They
undertook the most arduous labors; they fought side by side on the walls;
they helped to repair at night the breaches which the enemy's cannon had
made during the day; and after one of the most sanguinary conflicts during
the siege, it was found that there were more women killed and wounded than
men. Yet the courage of the Huguenots sustained them throughout the
unequal struggle. Frequently summoned to surrender, the Rouenese would
listen to no terms that included a loss of their religious liberty. Rather
than submit to the usurpation of the Guises, they preferred to fall with
arms in their hands.[177] For fall they must. D'Andelot was on his way
with the troops he had laboriously collected in Germany; another band of
three thousand Englishmen was only detained by the adverse winds; Condé
himself was reported on his way northward to raise the siege--but none
could arrive in time. The King of Navarre had been severely wounded in the
shoulder, but Guise and the constable pressed the city with no less
decision. At last the walls on the side of the suburbs of St. Hilaire and
Martainville were breached by the overwhelming fire of the enemy. The
population of Rouen and its motley garrison, reduced in numbers, worn out
with toils and vigils, and disheartened by a combat which ceased on one
day only to be renewed under less favorable circumstances on the next,
were no longer able to continue their heroic and almost superhuman
exertions.

[Sidenote: Fall of Rouen.]

[Sidenote: The Norman parliament.]

On Monday, the twenty-sixth of October, the army of the triumvirate forced
its way over the rubbish into Rouen, and the richest city of France,
outside of Paris, fell an unresisting prey to the cupidity of an
insubordinate soldiery. Rarely had so tempting a prize fallen into the
hands of a conquering army; rarely were the exactions of war more
remorsely inflicted.[178] But the barbarities of a licentious army were
exceeded in atrocity by the cooler deliberations of the Norman parliament.
That supreme court, always inimical to the Protestants, had retired to the
neighboring city of Louviers, in order to maintain itself free from
Huguenot influence. It now returned to Rouen and exercised a sanguinary
revenge. Augustin Marlorat, one of the most distinguished among the
reformed ministers of France, and the most prominent pastor of the church
of Rouen, had been thrown into prison; he was now brought before the
parliament, and with others was sentenced to death as a traitor and a
disturber of the public repose, then dragged on a hurdle to the place of
execution and ignominiously hung.[179]

The ferocity of the Norman parliament alarming the queen mother, she
interfered to secure the observance of the edict of amnesty she had
recently prepared. But serious results followed in the case of two
prominent partisans of Guise who had fallen into Condé's hands, and were
in prison when the tidings reached Orleans. On the recommendation of his
council, the prince retaliated by sending to the gallows Jean Baptiste
Sapin, a member of the Parisian parliament, and the Abbé de Gastines, who
had been captured while travelling in company with an envoy whom the court
were sending to Spain.[180]

[Sidenote: Death of Antoine de Bourbon, King of Navarre.]

The fall of Rouen was followed within a few weeks by the death of the King
of Navarre. His painful wound was not, perhaps, necessarily mortal, but
the restless and vainglorious prince would not remain quiet and allow it
to heal. He insisted on being borne in a litter through the breach into
the city which had been taken under his nominal command. It was a sort of
triumphal procession, marching to the sound of cymbals, and with other
marks of victory. But the idle pageant only increased the inflammation in
his shoulder. Even in his sick-room he allowed himself no time for serious
thought; but, prating of the orange-groves of Sardinia which he was to
receive from the King of Spain, and toying with Rouhet, the beautiful maid
of honor by whom Catharine had drawn him into her net, he frittered away
the brief remnant of an ignoble life. When visibly approaching his end, he
is said, at the suggestion of an Italian physician, to have confessed
himself to a priest, and to have received the last sacraments of the
Romish Church. Yet, with characteristic vacillation he listened, but a few
hours later, with attention and apparent devoutness, to the reading of
God's Word, and answered the remonstrances of his faithful Huguenot
physician by the assurance that, if he recovered his health, he would
openly espouse the Augsburg Confession, and cause the pure Gospel to be
preached everywhere throughout France.[181] His death occurred on the
seventeenth of November, 1562, at Les Andelys, a village on the Seine. He
had insisted, contrary to his friends' advice, upon being taken by boat
from Rouen to St. Maur-des-Fossés, where, within a couple of leagues of
Paris, he hoped to breathe a purer air; but death overtook him before he
had completed half his journey.[182]

Had Antoine embraced with sincerity and steadfastly maintained either of
the two phases of religious belief which divided between them the whole of
western Christendom, his death would have left a void which could have
been filled with difficulty. He was the first prince of the blood, and
entitled to the regency. His appearance was prepossessing, his manners
courteous. He was esteemed a capable general, and was certainly not
destitute of administrative ability. If, with hearty devotion, he had
given himself to the reformed views, the authority of his great name and
eminent position might have secured for their adherents, if not triumph,
at least toleration and quiet. But two capital weaknesses ruined his
entire course. The love of empty glory blinded him to his true interests;
and the love of sensual pleasure made him an easy dupe. He was robbed of
his legitimate claims to the first rank in France by the promise of a
shadowy sceptre in some distant region, which every sensible statesman of
his time knew from the first that Philip the Second never had entertained
the slightest intention of conferring; while, by the siren voices of her
fair maids of honor, Catharine de' Medici was always sure of being able to
lure him on to the most humiliating concessions. Deceived by the
emissaries of the Spanish king and the Italian queen mother, Antoine would
have been an object rather of pity than of disgust, had he not himself
played false to the friends who supported him. As it was, he passed off
the stage, and scarcely left a single person to regret his departure.
Huguenots and papists were alike gratified when the world was relieved of
so signal an example of inconstancy and perfidy.[183] Antoine left behind
him his wife, the eminent Jeanne d'Albret, and two children--a son, the
Prince of Béarn, soon to appear in history as the leader of the Huguenot
party, and, on the extinction of the Valois line, to succeed to the throne
as Henry the Fourth; and a daughter, Catharine, who inherited all her
mother's signal virtues. The widow and her children were, at the time of
Antoine's death, in Jeanne's dominions on the northern slopes of the
Pyrenees, whither they had retired when he had first openly gone over to
the side of the Guises. There, in the midst of her own subjects, the Queen
of Navarre was studying, more intelligently than any other monarch of her
age, the true welfare of her people, while training her son in those
principles upon which she hoped to see him lay the foundations of a great
and glorious career.

[Sidenote: The English in Havre.]

The sagacity of the enemy had been well exhibited in the vigor with which
they had pressed the siege of Rouen. Condé, with barely seven thousand
men, had several weeks before shut himself up in Orleans, after
despatching the few troops at his disposal for the relief of Bourges and
Rouen, and could do nothing beyond making his own position secure, while
impatiently awaiting the long-expected reinforcements from England and
Germany.[184] The dilatoriness that marked the entire conduct of the war
up to this time had borne its natural fruit in the gradual diminution and
dispersion of his forces, in the loss of one important city after another,
and almost of entire provinces, and, worst of all, in the discouragement
pervading all classes of the Huguenot population.[185] Now, however, he
was on the eve of obtaining relief. Two days after the fall of Rouen, on
the twenty-eighth of October, a second detachment of the English fleet
succeeded in overcoming the contrary winds that had detained them ten days
in crossing the channel, and landed three thousand troops at the port of
Havre.[186] D'Andelot had finally been able to gather up his German
"reiters" and "lansquenets,"[187] and was making a brilliant march through
Alsace, Lorraine, Burgundy, and Champagne, skilfully avoiding the enemy's
forces sent out to watch and intercept him.[188] On the sixth of
November, he presented himself before the gates of Orleans, and was
received with lively enthusiasm by the prince and his small army.[189]

Now at length, on the seventh of November, Condé could leave the walls
which for seven months had sheltered him in almost complete inaction, and
within which a frightful pestilence had been making havoc among the flower
of the chivalry of France; for, whilst fire and sword were everywhere
laying waste the country, heaven had sent a subtle and still more
destructive foe to decimate the wretched inhabitants. Orleans had not
escaped the scourge. The city was crowded with refugees from Paris and
from the whole valley of the Loire. Among these strangers, as well as
among the citizens, death found many victims. In a few months it was
believed that ten thousand persons perished in Orleans alone; while in
Paris, where the disease raged more than an entire year, the number of
deaths was much larger.[190]

[Sidenote: Condé takes the field.]

With the four thousand lansquenets and the three thousand reiters brought
him from Germany,[191] Condé was able to leave a force, under command of
D'Andelot, sufficient to defend the city of Orleans, and himself to take
the field with an army of about fifteen thousand men.[192] "Our enemies,"
he said, "have inflicted two great losses upon us in taking our
castles"--meaning Bourges and Rouen--"but I hope that now we shall have
their knights, if they move out upon the board."[193]

As he was leaving Orleans, he was waited upon by a deputation of fifty
reformed ministers, who urged him to look well to the discipline and
purity of the army. They begged him, by salutary punishment, to banish
from the camp theft and rapine, and, above all, that more insidious and
heaven-provoking sin of licentiousness, which, creeping in, had doubtless
drawn down upon the cause such marked signs of the Lord's displeasure,
that, of all the congregations in France, only the churches of a few
islands on the coasts, and the churches of Montauban, Havre, Orleans,
Lyons, and of the cities of Languedoc[194] and Dauphiny, continued to rear
their heads through the storm that had prostrated all the rest; and, to
this end, they warned him by no means to neglect to afford his soldiers
upon the march the same opportunities of hearing God's Word and of public
prayer which they had enjoyed in Orleans.[195]

The Huguenot army directed its course northward, and the different
divisions united under the walls of Pluviers, or Pithiviers, a weak place,
which surrendered after six hours of cannonading, with little loss to the
besieging party. The greater part of the garrison was dismissed unharmed,
after having been compelled to give up its weapons. Two of the officers,
as guilty of flagrant breach of faith and other crimes, were summarily
hung.[196] And here the Huguenot cause was stained by an act of cruelty
for which no sufficient excuse can be found. Several Roman Catholic
priests, detected, in spite of their disguise, among the prisoners, were
put to death, without other pretext save that they had been the chief
instigators of the resistance which the town had offered. Unhappily, the
Huguenot regarded the priest, and the Roman Catholic the reformed
minister, as the guilty cause of the civil war, and thought it right to
vent upon his head the vengeance which his own religion should have taught
him to leave to the righteous retribution of a just God. After the fall of
Pithiviers, no resistance was attempted by Étampes and other slightly
garrisoned places of the neighborhood, the soldiers and the clergy taking
refuge, before the approach of the army, in the capital.

[Sidenote: The prince appears before Paris.]

The prince was now master of the country to the very gates of Paris, and
it was the opinion of many, including among them the reformer, Beza, that
the city itself might be captured by a sudden advance, and the war thus
ended at a blow.[197] They therefore recommended that, without delay, the
army should hasten forward and attack the terrified inhabitants before
Guise and the constable should have time to bring the army and the king
back from Normandy, where they still lingered. The view was so plausible,
indeed, that it was adopted by most of the reformed historians, and, being
indorsed by later writers, has caused the failure to march directly
against the capital to be regarded as a signal error of Condé in this
campaign. But it would certainly appear hazardous to adopt this conclusion
in the face of the most skilful strategists of the age. It has already
been seen that François de la Noue, one of the ablest generals of whom the
Huguenots could ever boast, regarded the idea of capturing Paris at the
beginning of the struggle, with the comparatively insignificant forces
which the prince could bring to the undertaking, as the most chimerical
that could be entertained. Was it less absurd now, when, if the Protestant
army had received large accessions, the walls of Paris could certainly be
held by the citizens for a few days, until an army of fully equal size,
under experienced leaders, could be recalled from the lower Seine? Such,
at least, was the conclusion at which Admiral Coligny, the commanding
spirit in the council-chamber and the virtual head of the Huguenot army,
arrived, when he calmly considered the perils of attacking, with twelve or
fifteen thousand men and four pieces of artillery, the largest capital of
continental Europe--a city whose population amounted to several hundred
thousand souls, among whom there was now not a single avowed Protestant,
and whose turbulent citizens were not unaccustomed to the use of arms. He
resolved, therefore, to adopt the more practicable plan of making the city
feel the pressure of the war by cutting off its supplies of provisions and
by ravaging the surrounding country. Thus, Paris--"the bellows by whose
blasts the war was kept in flames," and "the kitchen that fed it"--would
at last become weary of sustaining in idleness an insolent soldiery, and
of seeing its villages given over to destruction, and compel the king's
advisers to offer just terms of peace, or to seek a solution of the
present disputes on the open field.[198]

But, whatever doubt may be entertained respecting the propriety of the
plan of the campaign adopted by the Prince of Condé, there can be none
respecting the error committed in not promptly carrying that plan into
execution. The army loitered about Étampes instead of pressing on and
seizing the bridges across the Seine. Over these it ought to have crossed,
and, entering the fruitful district of Brie, to have become master of the
rivers by which the means of subsistence were principally brought to
Paris. With Corbeil and Lagny in his possession, Condé would have held
Paris in as deadly a grasp as Henry the Fourth did twenty-eight years
later, when Alexander of Parma was forced to come from Flanders to its
assistance.[199] When, at last, the Huguenot army took the direction of
Corbeil, commanding one of the bridges, the news arrived of the death of
Antoine of Navarre. And with this intelligence came fresh messengers from
Catharine, who had already endeavored more than once by similar means to
delay the Huguenots in their advance. She now strove to amuse Condé with
the hope of succeeding his brother as lieutenant-general of the kingdom
during Charles's minority.[200]

In vain did the soldiers chafe at this new check upon their enthusiasm,
in vain did prudent counsellors remonstrate. There was a traitor even in
the prince's council, in the person of Jean de Hangest, sieur de Genlis
(brother of D'Ivoy, the betrayer of Bourges), whose open desertion we
shall soon have occasion to notice, and this treacherous adviser was
successful in procuring a delay of four days.[201] The respite was not
thrown away. Before the Huguenots were again in motion, Corbeil was
reinforced and rendered impregnable against any assaults which, with their
feeble artillery, they could make upon it. Repulsed from its walls, after
several days wasted in the vain hope of taking it, the prince moved down
the left bank of the Seine, and, on the twenty-eighth of November,
encamped opposite to Paris in the villages of Gentilly and Arcueil.[202]
New proffers came from Catharine; there were new delays on the road. At
Port à l'Anglais a conference with Condé had been projected by the queen
mother, resulting merely in one between the constable and his nephew
Coligny--as fruitless as any that had preceded; for Montmorency would not
hear of tolerating in France another religion besides the Roman Catholic,
and the Admiral would rather die a thousand deaths than abandon the
point.[203]

Under the walls of Paris new conferences took place. The Parisians worked
night and day, strengthening their defences, and making those preparations
which are rarely completed except under the spur of an extraordinary
emergency. Meanwhile, every day brought nearer the arrival of the Spanish
and Gascon auxiliaries whom they were expecting. At a windmill near the
suburb of St. Marceau, the Prince of Condé, Coligny, Genlis, Grammont, and
Esternay met the queen mother, the Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon, the
constable, his son Marshal Montmorency, and Gonnor, at a later time known
as Marshal Cossé. On both sides there were professions of the most ardent
desire for peace, and "Huguenot" and "papist" embraced each other
cordially at parting. But the dangerous intimacy soon bore the bitter
fruit of open treachery. A _camisade_ had been secretly planned by the
Huguenots, and the attack was about to be made on the enemy's works, when
word was brought that one of the chiefs intrusted with the knowledge of
all their plans--the same Genlis, who had been the principal advocate of
the delays upon the route--had gone over to the enemy, and the enterprise
was consequently abandoned.[204]

The deliberations being set on foot by the one party, at least, only in
order to gain time, it is not surprising that they accomplished nothing.
The court would concede none of the important demands of the prince. It
was resolved to exclude Protestantism not only from Paris, but from Lyons,
from all the seats of parliaments, from frontier towns, and from cities
which had not enjoyed the right of having preaching according to the Edict
of January. The exercises of the reformed worship could not be tolerated
in any place where the court sojourned--a cunning provision which would
banish from the royal presence all the princes and high nobility, such as
Renée of France, Condé, and the Châtillons, since these could not consent
to live without the ordinances of their faith for themselves and their
families and retainers. The triumvirs would not agree to the recall of
those who had been exiled. They were willing to have all proceedings
against the partisans of Condé suspended; but they would neither consent
that all edicts, ordinances, and sentences framed against the Huguenots be
declared null and void, nor assent to the restoration of those dignities
which had been taken from them. In other words, as the prince remarked,
the Protestant lords were to put a halter about their own necks for their
enemies to tighten whenever the fancy should take them so to do.[205]

At last the Parisian defences were completed, and the Spanish and Gascon
troops, to the number of seven thousand men, arrived. Then the mask of
conciliation was promptly laid aside. Two weeks of precious time had been
lost, the capital was beyond doubt impregnable, and the unpleasant fact
stared the prince in the face that, after leaving a sufficient force to
garrison it, the constable and Guise might still march out with an army
outnumbering his own.[206] On the tenth of December the Huguenot army
broke up its encampment, and moved in the direction of Chartres,
hesitating at first whether to lay siege to that city or to press on to
Normandy in order to obtain the needed funds and support of the English.
The decision was made in a few days to adopt the latter course, and Condé
had proceeded as far as the vicinity of Dreux on the river Eure, when he
found himself confronted by the enemy, who, enjoying the advantage of
possessing the cities and bridges on the route, could advance with greater
ease by the principal roads. The triumvirs, so lately declining battle in
front of Paris, were now as eager as they had before been reluctant to try
their fortunes in the open field. No longer having the King of Navarre
behind whose name and authority to take shelter, they desired to cover
their designs by the queen mother's instructions. So, before bringing on
the first regular engagement, in which two armies of Frenchmen were to
undertake each other's destruction, they had sent Michel de Castelnau, the
well-known historian, on the fifteenth of December, to inquire of
Catharine de' Medici whether they should give the Huguenots battle. But
the queen was too timid, or too cunning, to assume the weighty
responsibility which they would have lifted from their own shoulders.
"Nurse," she jestingly exclaimed, when Castelnau announced his mission,
calling to the king's old Huguenot foster-mother who was close at hand,
"the generals have sent to ask a woman's advice about fighting; pray, what
is your opinion?" And the envoy could get no more satisfactory answer than
that the queen mother referred the whole matter to themselves, as
experienced military men.[207]

[Sidenote: The battle of Dreux, December 19, 1562.]

On the nineteenth of December, 1562, the armies met. The enemy had that
morning crossed the Eure, and posted himself with sixteen thousand foot
and two thousand horse, and with twenty-two cannon, between two villages
covering his wings, and with the city of Dreux and the village of Tréon
behind him as points of refuge in case of defeat. The constable commanded
the main body of the army. Guise, to rebut the current charge of being the
sole cause of the war, affected to lead only his own company of horse in
the right wing, which was under Marshal Saint André. The prince's army was
decidedly inferior in numbers; for, although he had four thousand
horse,[208] his infantry barely amounted to seven thousand or eight
thousand men, and he had only five pieces of artillery. Yet the first
movements of the Huguenots were brilliant and effective. Condé, with a
body of French horse, fell upon the battalion of Swiss pikes. It was a
furious onset, long remembered as one of the most magnificent cavalry
charges of the age.[209] Nothing could stand before it. The solid phalanx
was pierced through and through, and the German reiters, pouring into the
way opened by the French, rode to and fro, making havoc of the brave but
defenceless mountaineers. They even penetrated to the rear, and plundered
the camp of the enemy, carrying off the plate from Guise's tent. Meanwhile
Coligny was even more successful than the prince. With a part of the
Huguenot right he attacked and scattered the troops surrounding his
uncle, the constable. In the mêlée Montmorency himself, while fighting
with his usual courage, had his jaw fractured by a pistol-shot, and was
taken prisoner. But now the tide turned. The Swiss, never for a moment
dreaming of retreat or surrender, had promptly recovered from their
confusion and closed their ranks. The German infantry, or lansquenets,
were brought up to the attack, but first hesitated, and then broke before
the terrible array of pikes. D'Andelot, ill with fever, had thus far been
forced to remain a mere spectator of the contest. But now, seeing the
soldiers whom he had been at such pains to bring to the scene of action in
ignominious retreat, he threw himself on his horse and labored with
desperation to rally them. His pains were thrown away. The lansquenets
continued their course, and D'Andelot, who scarcely escaped falling into
the enemy's hands, probably concurred in the verdict pronounced on them by
a contemporary historian, that no more cowardly troops had entered the
country in fifty years.[210] It was at this moment that the Duke of Guise,
who had with difficulty held his impatient horse in reserve on the Roman
Catholic right, gave the signal to his company to follow him, and fell
upon the French infantry of the Huguenots, imprudently left unprotected by
cavalry at some distance in the rear. The move was skilfully planned and
well executed. The infantry were routed. Condé, coming to the rescue, was
unable to accomplish anything. His horse was killed under him, and, before
he could be provided with another, he was taken prisoner by Damville, a
son of the constable. The German reiters now proved to be worth little
more than the lansquenets. Returning from the pursuit of the fugitives of
the constable's division, and perceiving the misfortunes of the infantry,
they retired to the cover of a wood, and neither the prayers nor the
expostulations of the admiral could prevail on them to face the enemy
again that day.[211] But Guise could not follow up his advantage. The
battle had lasted five hours. Almost the whole of the Huguenot cavalry and
the remnants of the infantry had been drawn up by Coligny in good order on
the other side of a ravine; and the darkness would not allow the Duke,
even had he been so disposed, to renew the engagement.[212]

On either side the loss had been severe. Marshal Saint André,
Montbéron--one of the constable's sons--and many other illustrious Roman
Catholics, were killed. Montmorency was a prisoner. The Huguenots, if they
had lost fewer prominent men and less common soldiers, were equally
deprived of their leading general. What was certain was, that the
substantial fruits of victory remained in the hands of the Duke of Guise,
to whom naturally the whole glory of the achievement was ascribed. For,
although Admiral Coligny thought himself sufficiently strong to have
attacked the enemy on the following day,[213] if he could have persuaded
his crestfallen German auxiliaries to follow him, he deemed it advisable
to abandon the march into Normandy--difficult under any circumstances on
account of the lateness of the season--and to conduct his army back to
Orleans. This, Coligny--never more skilful than in conducting the most
difficult of all military operations, a retreat in the presence of an
enemy--successfully accomplished.[214]

The first tidings of the battle of Dreux were brought to Paris by
fugitives from the constable's corps. These announced the capture of the
commanding general, and the entire rout of the Roman Catholic army. The
populace, intense in its devotion to the old form of faith, and
recognizing the fatal character of such a blow,[215] was overwhelmed with
discouragement. But Catharine de' Medici displayed little emotion. "Very
well!" she quietly remarked, "_then we shall pray to God in French_."[216]
But the truth was soon known, and the dirge and the _miserere_ were
rapidly replaced by the loud _te deum_ and by jubilant processions in
honor of the signal success of the Roman Catholic arms.[217]

[Sidenote: Riotous conduct of the Parisian mob.]

Recovering from their panic, the Parisian populace continued to testify
their unimpeachable orthodoxy by daily murders. It was enough, a
contemporary writer tells us, if a boy, seeing a man in the streets, but
called out, "Voylà ung Huguenot," for straightway the idle vagabonds, the
pedlers, and porters would set upon him with stones. Then came out the
handicraftsmen and idle apprentices with swords, and thrust him through
with a thousand wounds. His dead body, having been robbed of clothes, was
afterward taken possession of by troops of boys, who asked nothing better
than to "trail" him down to the Seine and throw him in. If the victim
chanced to be a "town-dweller," the Parisians entered his house and
carried off all his goods, and his wife and children were fortunate if
they escaped with their lives. With the best intentions, Marshal
Montmorency could not put a stop to these excesses; he scarcely succeeded
in protecting the households of foreign ambassadors from being involved in
the fate of French Protestants.[218] Yet the same men that were ready at
any time to imbue their hands in the blood of an innocent Huguenot, were
full of commiseration for a Roman Catholic felon. A shrewd murderer is
said to have turned to his own advantage the religious feeling of the
people who had flocked to see him executed. "Ah! my masters," he exclaimed
when already on the fatal ladder, "I must die now for killing a Huguenot
who despised our Lady; but as I have served our Lady always truly, and put
my trust in her, so I trust now she will show some miracle for me."
Thereupon, reports Sir Thomas Smith, the people began to murmur about his
having to die for a Huguenot, ran to the gallows, beat the hangman, and
having cut the fellow's cords, conveyed him away free.[219]

[Sidenote: Orleans invested.]

[Sidenote: Coligny returns to Normandy.]

Of the triumvirs, at whose instigation the war had arisen, one was
dead,[220] a second was a prisoner in the hands of the enemy, the
third--the Duke of Guise--alone remained. Navarre had died a month before.
On the other hand, the Huguenots had lost their chief. Yet the war raged
without cessation. As soon as the Duke of Guise had collected his army and
had, at Rambouillet, explained to the king and court, who had come out to
meet him, the course of recent events, he followed the Admiral toward
Orleans. Invested by the king with the supreme command during the
captivity of the constable, and leading a victorious army, he speedily
reduced Étampes and Pithiviers, captured by Condé on his march to Paris.
Meantime, Coligny had taken a number of places in the vicinity of Orleans,
and his "black riders" had become the terror of the papists of
Sologne.[221] Not long after Guise's approach, fearing that his design was
to besiege the city of Orleans, Coligny threw himself into it. His stay
was not long, however. His German cavalry could do nothing in case of a
siege, and would only be a burden to the citizens. Besides, he was in want
of funds to pay them. He resolved, therefore, to strike boldly for
Normandy.[222] Having persuaded the reiters to dispense with their heavy
baggage-wagons,[223] which had proved so great an incumbrance on the
previous march, he started from Orleans on the first of February with four
thousand troopers, leaving his brother D'Andelot as well furnished as
practicable to sustain the inevitable siege. The lightness of his army's
equipment precluded the possibility of pursuit; its strength secured it an
almost undisputed passage.[224] In a few days it had passed Dreux and the
scene of the late battle, and at Dives, on the opposite side of the
estuary of the Seine from Havre, had received from the English the
supplies of money which they had long been desirous of finding means to
convey to the Huguenots.[225] The only considerable forces of the Guise
faction in Normandy were on the banks of the river, too busy watching the
English at Havre to be able to spare any troops to resist Coligny. Turning
his attention to the western shores of the province, he soon succeeded in
reducing Pont-l'Evêque, Caen, Bayeux, Saint Lo, and the prospect was
brilliant of his soon being able, in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth's
troops, to bring all Normandy over to the side of the prince.[226]
Meanwhile, however, there were occurring in the centre of the kingdom
events destined to give an entirely different turn to the relations of the
Huguenots and papists in France. To these we must now direct our
attention.

François de Guise, relieved of the admiral's presence, had begun the siege
of Orleans four days after the departure of the latter for Normandy (on
the fifth of February), and manifested the utmost determination to destroy
the capital city, as it might be regarded, of the confederates. Indeed,
when the court, then sojourning at Blois, in alarm at the reports sent by
Marshal de Brissac from Rouen, respecting Coligny's conquests and his own
impotence to oppose him, ordered Guise to abandon his undertaking and
employ his forces in crushing out the flames that had so unexpectedly
broken forth in Normandy, the duke declined to obey until he should have
received further orders, and gave so cogent reasons for pursuing the
siege, that the king and his council willingly acquiesced in his
plan.[227] From his independent attitude, however, it is evident that
Guise was of Pasquier's mind, and believed he had gained as much of a
victory in the capture of the constable, his friend in arms, but dangerous
rival at court, taken by the Huguenots at Dreux, as by the capture of the
Prince of Condé, his enemy, who had fallen into his hands in the same
engagement.[228]

[Sidenote: Capture of the Portereau.]

The city of Orleans, on the north bank of the Loire, was protected by
walls originally of no great worth, but considerably strengthened since
the outbreak of the civil war. On the opposite side of the river, a
suburb, known as the _Portereau_, was fortified by weaker walls, in front
of which two large bastions had recently been erected. The suburb was
connected with Orleans by means of a bridge across the Loire, of which the
end toward the Portereau was defended by two towers of the old mediæval
construction, known as the "tourelles," and that toward the city by the
city wall and a large square tower.[229] Against the Portereau the duke
directed the first assault, hoping easily to become master of it, and
thence attack the city from its weakest side. His plan proved successful
beyond his expectations. While making a feint of assailing with his whole
army the bastion held by the Gascon infantry, he sent a party to scale the
bastion guarded by the German lansquenets, who, being taken by surprise,
yielded an entrance almost without striking a blow. In a few minutes the
Portereau was in the hands of Guise, and the bridge was crowded with
fugitives tumultuously seeking a refuge in the city. Orleans itself was
nearly involved in the fate of its suburb; for the enemy, following close
upon the heels of the fleeing host, was at the very threshold of the
"tourelles," when D'Andelot, called from his sick-bed by the tumult,
posting himself at the entrance with a few gentlemen in full armor, by
hard blows beat back the troops, already sanguine of complete
success.[230] A few days later the "tourelles" themselves were scaled and
taken.[231]

After so poor a beginning, the small garrison of Orleans had sufficient
reason to fear the issue of the trial to which they were subjected. But,
so far from abandoning their courage, they applied themselves with equal
assiduity to their religious and to their military duties. "In addition to
the usual sermons and the prayers at the guard-houses, public
extraordinary prayers were made at six o'clock in the morning; at the
close of which the ministers and the entire people, without exception,
betook themselves to work with all their might upon the fortifications,
until four in the evening, when every one again attended prayers."
Everywhere the utmost devotion was manifested, women of all ranks sharing
with their husbands and brothers in the toils of the day, or, if too
feeble for these active exertions, spending their time in tending the sick
and wounded.[232]

[Sidenote: "A new and very terrible device."]

Not only did the Huguenots, when they found their supply of lead falling
short, make their cannon-balls of bell-metal--of which the churches and
monasteries were doubtless the source--and of brass, but they turned this
last material to a use till now, it would appear, unheard of. "I have
learned this day, the fifteenth instant, of the Spaniards," wrote the
English ambassador from the royal court, which was at a safe distance, in
the city of Blois, "that they of Orleans shoot brass which is hollow, and
so devised within that when it falls it opens and breaks into many pieces
with a great fire, and hurts and kills all who are about it. Which is a
new device and very terrible, for it pierces the house first, and breaks
at the last rebound. Every man in Portereau is fain to run away, they
cannot tell whither, when they see where the shot falls."[233]

[Sidenote: Huguenot reverses.]

It could not, however, be denied that there was much reason for
discouragement in the general condition of the Protestant cause throughout
the country. Of the places so brilliantly acquired in the spring of the
preceding year, the greater part had been lost. Normandy and Languedoc
were the only bright spots on the map of France. Lyons still remained in
the power of the Huguenots, in the south-east; but, though repeated
assaults of the Duke of Nemours had been repulsed, it was threatened with
a siege, for which it was but indifferently prepared.[234] Des Adrets, the
fierce chieftain of the lower Rhône, had recently revealed his real
character more clearly by betraying the cause he had sullied by his
barbarous advocacy, and was now in confinement.[235] Indeed, everything
seemed to point to a speedy and complete overthrow of an undertaking which
had cost so much labor and suffering,[236] when an unexpected event
produced an entire revolution in the attitude of the contending parties
and in the purposes of the leaders.

[Sidenote: Assassination of François de Guise.]

This event was the assassination of François de Guise. On the evening of
the eighteenth of February, 1563, in company with a gentleman or two, he
was riding the round of his works, and arranging for a general attack on
the morrow. So confident did he feel of success, that he had that morning
written to the queen mother, it is said, that within twenty-four hours he
would send her news of the capture of Orleans, and that he intended to
destroy the entire population, making no discrimination of age or sex,
that the very memory of the rebellious city might be obliterated.[237] At
a lonely spot on the road, a man on horseback, who had been lying in wait
for him, suddenly made his appearance, and, after discharging a pistol at
him from behind, rode rapidly off, before the duke's escort, taken up with
the duty of assisting him, had had time to make any attempt to apprehend
the assassin. Three balls, with which the pistol was loaded, had lodged in
Guise's shoulder, and the wound, from the first considered dangerous,
proved mortal within six days. The murderer had apparently made good his
escape; but a strange fatality seemed to attend him. During the darkness
he became so confused that, after riding all night, he found himself
almost at the very place where the deed of blood had been committed, and
was compelled to rest himself and his jaded horse at a house, where he was
arrested on suspicion by some of Guise's soldiers. Taken before their
superior officers, he boldly avowed his guilt, and boasted of what he had
done. His name he gave as Jean Poltrot, and he claimed to be lord of
Mérey, in Angoumois; but he was better known, from his dark complexion and
his familiarity with the Spanish language, by the sobriquet of
"L'Espagnolet." He was an excitable, melancholy man, whose mind,
continually brooding over the wrongs his country and faith had experienced
at the hands of Guise, had imbibed the fanatical notion that it was his
special calling of God to rid the world of "the butcher of Vassy," of the
single execrable head that was accountable for the torrents of blood which
had for a year been flowing in every part of France.

After having been a page of M. d'Aubeterre, father-in-law of the Huguenot
leader Soubise, Mérey, at the beginning of the civil war, had been sent by
the daughter of D'Aubeterre to her husband, then with Condé at Orleans.
Subsequently he had accompanied Soubise on his adventurous ride with a few
followers from Orleans to Lyons, when the latter assumed command in behalf
of the Huguenots. Soubise appears to have valued him highly as one of
those reckless youths that court rather than shun personal peril, while he
shared the common impression that the lad was little better than a fool.
True, for years--ever since the tumult of Amboise, where his kinsman, La
Renaudie and another relative had been killed--Mérey had been constantly
boasting to all whom he met that he would kill the Duke of Guise; but
those who heard him "made no more account of his words than if he had
boasted of his intention to obtain the imperial crown."[238]

He had given expression to his purpose at Lyons, in the presence of M. de
Soubise, the Huguenot governor, and again to Admiral Coligny before he
started on his expedition to Normandy. But the Huguenot generals evidently
imagined that there was nothing in the speech beyond the prating of a
silly braggart. Soubise, indeed, advised him to attend to his own duties,
and to leave the deliverance of France to Almighty God; but neither the
admiral nor the soldiers, to whom he often repeated the threat, paid any
attention to it. In short, he was regarded as one of those frivolous
characters, of whom there is an abundance in every camp, who expect to
acquire a cheap notoriety by extravagant stories of their past or
prospective achievements, but never succeed in earning more, with all
their pains, than the contempt or incredulity of their listeners. Still,
Poltrot was a man of some value as a scout, and Coligny had employed
him[239] for the purpose of obtaining information respecting the enemy's
movements, and had furnished him at one time with twenty crowns to defray
his expenses, at another with a hundred, to procure himself a horse. The
spy had made his way to the Roman Catholic camp, and, by pretending to
follow the example of others in renouncing his Huguenot associations, had
conciliated the duke's favor to such an extent that he excited no
suspicion before the commission of the treacherous act.

[Sidenote: Execution of Poltrot.]

But, if Poltrot was a fanatic, he was not of the stuff of which martyrs
are made. When questioned in the presence of the queen and council to
discover his accomplices, his constancy wholly forsook him, and he said
whatever was suggested. In particular he accused the admiral of having
paid him to execute the deed, and Beza of having instigated him by holding
forth the rewards of another world. La Rochefoucauld, Soubise, and others
were criminated to a minor degree. During his confinement in the prisons
of the Parisian parliament, to which he was removed, he continually
contradicted himself. But his weakness did not save him. He was condemned
to be burned with red-hot pincers, to be torn asunder by four horses, and
to be quartered. Before the execution of this frightful sentence, he was,
by order of the court, put to torture. But, instead of reiterating his
former accusations, he retracted almost every point.[240] To purchase a
few moments' reprieve, he sought an interview with the first president of
the parliament, Christopher de Thou; and we have it upon the authority of
that magistrate's son, the author of an imperishable history of his times,
that, entering into greater detail, Poltrot persisted constantly in
exculpating Soubise, Coligny, and Beza. A few minutes later, beside
himself with terror and not knowing what he said in his delirium, he
declared the admiral to be innocent; then, at the very moment of
execution, he accused not only him, but his brother, D'Andelot, of whom he
had said little or nothing before.[241]

[Sidenote: Beza and Coligny are accused, but vindicate themselves.]

Coligny heard in Normandy the report of the atrocious charges that had
been wrung from Poltrot. Copies of the assassin's confession were
industriously circulated in the camp, and he thus became acquainted with
the particulars of the accusation. With Beza and La Rochefoucauld, who
were with him at Caen, he published, on the twelfth of March, a long and
dignified defence. The reformer for himself declared, that, although he
had more than once seen persons ill-disposed toward the Duke of Guise
because of the murders perpetrated by him at Vassy, he had never been in
favor of proceeding against him otherwise than by the ordinary methods of
law. For this reason he had gone to Monceaux to solicit justice of
Charles, of his mother, and of the King of Navarre. But the hopes which
the queen mother's gracious answer had excited were dashed to the earth by
Guise's violent resort to arms. Holding the duke to be the chief author
and promoter of the present troubles, he admitted that he had a countless
number of times prayed to God that He would either change his heart or rid
the kingdom of him. But he appealed to the testimony of Madame de Ferrare
(Renée de France, the mother-in-law of Guise), and all who had ever heard
him, when he said that never had he publicly mentioned the duke by name.
As for Poltrot himself, he had never met him.

The admiral himself was not less frank. Ever since the massacre of Vassy
he had regarded Guise and his party as common enemies of God, of the king,
and of the public tranquillity; but never, upon his life and his honor,
had he approved of such attacks as that of Poltrot. Indeed, he had
steadfastly employed his influence to deter men from executing any plots
against the life of the duke; until, being duly informed that Guise and
Saint André had incited men to undertake to assassinate Condé, D'Andelot,
and himself, he had desisted from expressing his opposition. The different
articles of the confession he proceeded to answer one by one; and he
forwarded his reply to the court with a letter to Catharine de' Medici, in
which he earnestly entreated her that the life of Poltrot might be spared
until the restoration of peace, that he might be confronted with him, and
an investigation be made of the entire matter before unsuspected judges.
"But do not imagine," he added, "that I speak thus because of any regret
for the death of the Duke of Guise, which I esteem the greatest of
blessings to the realm, to the Church of God, to myself and my family,
and, if improved, the means of giving rest to the kingdom."[242]

The admiral's frankness was severely criticised by some of his friends. He
was advised to suppress those expressions that were liable to be perverted
to his injury, but he declared his resolution to abide by the consequences
of a clear statement of the truth. And indeed, while the worldly wisdom of
Coligny's censors has received a species of justification in the avidity
with which his sincere avowals have been employed as the basis of graver
accusations which he repelled, the candor of his defence has set upon his
words the indelible impress of veracity which following ages can never
fail to read aright. That Catharine recognized his innocence is evident
from the very act by which she endeavored to make him appear guilty. He
had begged that Poltrot might be spared till after the conclusion of
peace, that he might himself have an opportunity to vindicate his
innocence by confronting him in the presence of impartial judges. It was
Catharine's interest, she thought, to confirm her own power by attaching a
stigma to the honor of the Châtillons, and so depriving them of much of
their influence in the state.[243] Accordingly, on Thursday, the
eighteenth of March, Poltrot was put to death and his mouth sealed forever
to further explanations. _The next day the Edict of Pacification was
signed at Amboise._[244] After all, it is evident that Coligny's innocence
or guilt, in this particular instance, must be judged by his entire course
and his well-known character. If his life bears marks of perfidy and
duplicity, if the blood of the innocent can be found upon his skirts, then
must the verdict of posterity be against him. But if the careful
examination of his entire public life, as well as the history of his
private relations, reveals a character not only above reproach, but the
purest, most beneficent, and most patriotic of all that France can boast
in political stations in the sixteenth century, the confused and
contradictory allegations of an enthusiast who had not counted the cost of
his daring attempt--allegations wrung from him by threats and
torture--will not be allowed to weigh for an instant against Coligny's
simple denial.[245]

[Sidenote: Various estimates of Guise.]

Of the Duke of Guise the estimates formed by his contemporaries differed
as widely as their political and religious views. With the Abbé Bruslart
he was "the most virtuous, heroic, and magnanimous prince in Europe, who
for his courage was dreaded by all foreign nations." To the author of the
history of the reformed churches his ambition and presumption seemed to
have obscured all his virtues.[246] The Roman Catholic preachers regarded
his death as a stupendous calamity, a mystery of Divine providence, which
they could only interpret by supposing that the Almighty, jealous of the
confidence which His people reposed rather in His creature than in
Himself, had removed the Duke of Guise in order to take the cause of His
own divinity, of His spouse the Church, of the king and kingdom, under His
own protection.[247] The Bishop of Riez wrote and published a highly
colored account of the duke's last words and actions, in the most approved
style of such posthumous records, and introduced edifying specimens of a
theological learning, which, until the moment of his wounding, Guise had
certainly never possessed, making him, of course, persist to the end in
protesting his innocence of the guilt of Vassy.[248] The Protestants,
while giving him credit for some compunctions of conscience for his
persecuting career, and willingly admitting that, but for his pernicious
brother, the Cardinal of Lorraine, he might have run a far different
course, were compelled to view his death as a great blessing to
France.[249]

[Sidenote: Renée de France at Montargis.]

A famous incident, illustrating the perils to which the Huguenots of the
central provinces were subjected during the siege, is too characteristic
to be passed over in silence. More than once, in the course of the war,
the town and castle of Montargis, the Duchess of Ferrara's residence, had
been threatened on account of the asylum it afforded to defenceless
Protestants flocking thither from all quarters. When the minds of the
Roman Catholics had become exasperated by nine or ten months of civil war,
they formed a settled determination to break up this "nest of Huguenots."
Accordingly the Baron de la Garde--Captain Poulain, of Mérindol
memory--brought an order, in the king's name, from the Duke of Guise, at
that time before the walls of Orleans, commanding Renée to leave
Montargis, which had become important for military purposes, and to take
up her abode at Fontainebleau, St. Germain, or Vincennes. The duchess
replied that it was idle to say that so weak a place as Montargis could,
without extensive repairs, be of any military importance; and that to
remove to any place in the vicinity of Paris would be to expose herself to
assassination by the fanatical populace. She therefore sent Poulain back
to the king for further instructions. Meantime, Poulain was followed by
Malicorne, a creature of the duke's, at the head of some partisan troops.
This presumptuous officer had the impertinence to demand the immediate
surrender of the castle, and went so far as to threaten to turn some
cannon against it, in case of her refusal. But he little understood the
virile courage of the woman with whom he had to do. "Malicorne," she
answered him, "take care what you undertake. There is not a man in this
kingdom that can command me but the king. If you attempt what you
threaten, I shall place myself first upon the breach, that I may find out
whether you will be audacious enough to kill a king's daughter. Moreover,
I am not so ill-connected, nor so little loved, but that I have the means
of making the punishment of your temerity felt by you and your offspring,
even to the very babes in the cradle." The upstart captain was not
prepared for such a reception, and, after alleging his commission as the
excuse for the insolence of his conduct, delayed an enterprise which the
wound and subsequent death of Guise entirely broke off.[250] Montargis
continued during this and the next civil wars to be a safe refuge for
thousands of distressed Protestants.

A great obstacle to the conclusion of peace was removed by Guise's death.
There was no one in the Roman Catholic camp to take his place. The
panegyric pronounced upon the duke by the English ambassador, Sir Thomas
Smith, may perhaps be esteemed somewhat extravagant, but has at least the
merit of coming from one whose sympathies were decidedly adverse to him.
"The papists have lost their greatest stay, hope, and comfort. Many
noblemen and gentlemen did follow the camp and that faction, rather for
the love of him than for any other zeal or affection. He was indeed the
best captain or general in all France, some will say in all Christendom;
for he had all the properties which belong [to], or are to be wished in a
general: a ready wit and well advised, a body to endure pains, a courage
to forsake no dangerous adventures, use and experience to conduct any
army, much courtesy in entertaining of all men, great eloquence to utter
all his mind. And he was very liberal both of money and honor to young
gentlemen, captains, and soldiers; whereby he gat so much love and
admiration amongst the nobility and the soldiers in France, that I think,
now he is gone, many gentlemen will forsake the camp; and they begin to
drop away already. Then he was so earnest and so fully persuaded in his
religion, that he thought nothing evil done that maintained that sect; and
therefore the papists again thought nothing evil bestowed upon him; all
their money and treasure of the Church, part of their lands, even the
honor of the crown of France, they could have found in their hearts to
have given him. And so all their joy, hope, and comfort one little stroke
of a pistolet hath taken away! Such a vanity God can show men's hope to
be, when it pleaseth Him."[251]

Of the four generals on the Roman Catholic side under whose auspices the
war began, three were dead and the fourth was in captivity. The treasury
was exhausted. The interest of old debts was left unpaid; new debts had
been contracted. Less than half the king's revenues were available on
account of the places which the Huguenots held or threatened. The
alienation of one hundred thousand livres of income from ecclesiastical
property had been recently ordered, greatly to the annoyance of the
clergy. The admiral's progress had of late been so rapid that but two or
three important places of lower Normandy remained in friendly hands.
After the reduction of these he would move down through Maine and Anjou
to Orleans, with a better force than had been marshalled at Dreux;[252]
the English would gain such a foothold on French soil as it would be
difficult to induce them to relinquish. And where could competent
generals be secured for the prosecution of hostilities? The post of
lieutenant-general, now vacant, had, indeed, been offered to the Duke
Christopher of Würtemberg; but what prospect was there that a Protestant
would consent to conduct a war against Protestants?[253]

[Sidenote: Deliberations for peace.]

Catharine was urgent for an immediate conclusion of peace. For the purpose
of fixing its conditions, Condé was brought, under a strong guard, to the
camp of the army before Orleans, and, on the small "Isle aux Bouviers" in
the middle of the Loire, he and the constable, released on their honor,
held a preliminary interview on Sunday, the seventh of March, 1563.[254]
At first there seemed little prospect of harmonizing their discordant
pretensions; for, if the question of the removal of the triumvirs had lost
all its practical importance, the old bone of contention remained in the
re-establishment of the Edict of January. On this point Montmorency was
inflexible. He had been the prime instrument in expelling Protestantism
from Paris, and had distinguished himself by burning the places of
worship. It could hardly be expected that he should rebuild what he had so
laboriously torn down. And, whatever had been his first intentions, Condé
proved less tenacious than might have been anticipated from his previous
professions. The fact was, that the younger Bourbon was not proof against
the wiles employed with so much success against his elder brother.
Flattered by Catharine, he was led to suppose that after all it made
little difference whether the full demands of the Huguenots were expressly
granted in the edict of pacification or not. The queen mother was
resolved, so he was assured, to confer upon him the dignity and office of
lieutenant-general, left vacant by Navarre's death. When this should be
his, it would be easy to obtain every practical concession to which the
Huguenots were entitled. So much pleased was the court with the ardor he
displayed, that he was at last permitted to go to Orleans on his own
princely parole, in order to consult his confederates.

The Huguenot ministers whose advice he first asked, seeing his
irresolution, were the more decided in opposing any terms that did not
expressly recognize the Edict of January. Seventy-two united in a letter
(on the ninth of March, 1563), in which they begged him not to permit the
cause to suffer disaster at his hands, and rather to insure an extension,
than submit to an abridgment of the liberty promised by the royal
ordinance.[255] From the ministers, however, Condé went to the Huguenot
"noblesse," with whom his arguments of expediency had more weight, and
who, weary of the length and privations of the war, and content with
securing their own privileges, readily accepted the conditions reprobated
by the ministers. The pacification was accordingly agreed upon, on the
twelfth of March, and officially published in the form of a royal edict,
dated at Amboise, on the nineteenth of March, 1563.

[Sidenote: Edict of Pacification, March 12, 1563.]

Charles the Ninth, by advice of his mother, the Cardinal of Bourbon, the
Princes of Condé and La Roche-sur-Yon, the Dukes of Montmorency, Aumale,
and Montpensier, and other members of his privy council, grants, in this
document, to all barons, châtellains, and gentlemen possessed of the right
to administer "haute justice," permission to celebrate in their own houses
the worship of "the religion which they call reformed" in the presence of
their families and retainers. The possessors of minor fiefs could enjoy
the same privilege, but it extended to their families only. In every
bailiwick or sénéchaussée, the Protestants should, on petition, receive
one city in whose suburbs their religious services might be held, and in
all cities where the Protestant religion was exercised on the seventh of
March of the present year, it should continue in one or two places
_inside_ of the walls, to be designated hereafter by the king. The
Huguenots, while secured in their liberty of conscience, were to restore
all churches and ecclesiastical property which they might have seized, and
were forbidden to worship according to their rites in the city of Paris or
its immediate neighborhood. The remaining articles of the peace were of a
more personal or temporary interest. Foreign troops were to be speedily
dismissed; the Protestant lords to be fully reinstated in their former
honors, offices, and possessions; prisoners to be released; insults based
upon the events of the war to be summarily punished. And Charles declared
that he held his good cousin, the Prince of Condé, and all the other
lords, knights, gentlemen, and burgesses that had served under him, to be
his faithful subjects, believing that what they had done was for good ends
and for his service.[256]

[Sidenote: Sir Thomas Smith's remonstrance.]

Such was the Edict of Amboise--a half-way measure, very different from
that which was desired on either side. The English ambassador declared he
could find no one, whether Protestant or papist, that liked the "accord,"
or thought it would last three weeks. And he added, by way of warning to
Coligny and Condé: "What you, who are the heads and rulers, do, I cannot
tell; but every man thinketh that it is but a traine and a deceipt to
sever the one of you from another, and all of you from this stronghold
[Orleans], and then thei will talke with you after another sorte."[257] He
urged the Huguenots to learn a lesson from the fate of Bourges, Rouen, and
other cities which had admitted the "papists," and to consider that these
fine articles came from the queen mother, the Cardinals of Bourbon,
Ferrara, and Guise, and others like them, who desired to take the
Protestants like fish in a net. And he gave D'Andelot the significant
hint--very significant it was, in view of what afterwards befell his
brother Gaspard--that the report spread by the enemy respecting Poltrot's
confession was only a preparation that, _in case any of the Huguenot
noblemen should be assassinated, it might be said that the deed had been
done in just revenge by the Guises_, who would not hesitate to sacrifice
them either by force or by treason.[258]

[Sidenote: Coligny's disappointment.]

Of the other party, Catharine de' Medici alone was jubilant over the
edict. On the contrary, the Roman Catholic people of Paris regarded it as
an approval of every sort of impiety and wicked action, and the parliament
would register it only after repeated commands (on the twenty-seventh of
March), and then with a formal declaration of its reluctance.[259] But no
one was so much disappointed as the admiral. Hastening from Normandy to
Orleans, he reached that city on the twenty-third of March, only to find
that the peace had been fully concluded several days before. In the
council of the confederates, the next day, he spoke his mind freely. He
reminded Condé that, from the very commencement of hostilities, the
triumvirs had offered the restoration of the Edict of January with the
exclusion of the city of Paris; and that never had affairs stood on a
better footing than now,[260] when two of the three chief authors of the
war were dead, and the third was a prisoner. But the poor had surpassed
the rich in devotion; the cities had given the example to the nobles. In
restricting the number of churches to one in a bailiwick, the prince and
his counsellors had ruined more churches by a single stroke of the pen
than all the forces of their enemies could have overthrown in ten years.
Coligny's warm remonstrance was heard with some regret for the
precipitancy with which the arrangement had been made; but it was too
late. The peace was signed. Besides, Condé was confident that he would
soon occupy his brother's place, when the Huguenots would obtain all their
demands.

But while the prince refused to draw back from the articles of peace to
which he had pledged himself, he consented to visit the queen mother in
company with the admiral, and endeavor to remove some of the restrictions
placed upon Protestant worship. And Catharine was too well satisfied with
her success in restoring peace, to refuse the most pressing of the
admiral's requests. However, she took good care that none of her promises
should be in writing, much less be incorporated in the Edict of
Pacification. "The prince and the admyrall," wrote the special envoy
Middlemore to Queen Elizabeth, "have bene twice with the quene mother
since my commynge hyther, where the admirall hath bene very earnest for a
further and larger lybertye in the course of religion, and so hath
obtayned that there shall be preachings within the townes in every
balliage, wheras before yt was accordyd but in the suburbs of townes only,
and that the gentylmen of the visconte and provoste of Parys shall have in
theyr houses the same libertye of religion as ys accordyd elzwhere. So as
the sayd admyrall doth now seame to lyke well inoughe that he shewyd by
the waye to mislyke so muche, which was the harde articles of religion
concludyd upon by the prince in his absence."[261]

On Sunday, the twenty-eighth of March, 1563--the anniversary of that
Sunday which they had kept with so much solemnity at Meaux, on the eve of
their march to Orleans--the Huguenot nobles and soldiers celebrated the
Lord's Supper, in the simple but grand forms of the Geneva liturgy, within
the walls of the church of the Holy Rood, long since stripped of its
idolatrous ornaments, and on the morrow began to disperse to the homes
from which for a year they had been separated.[262] The German reiters, at
the same time, set out on their march toward Champagne, whence they soon
after retired to their own country.

[Sidenote: Results of the war.]

The war that had just closed undoubtedly constituted a turning-point in
the Huguenot fortunes. The alliance between the persecuted reformers, on
the one hand, and the princes of the blood and the nobility of France, on
the other, had borne fruit, and it was not altogether good fruit. The
patient confessors, after manfully maintaining their faith through an
entire generation against savage attack, and gaining many a convert from
the witnesses of their constancy, had grasped the sword thrust into their
hands by their more warlike allies. In truth, it would be difficult to
condemn them; for it was in self-defence, not against rightful authority,
but against the tyranny of a foreign and hostile faction. Candidly viewing
their circumstances at the distance of three centuries, we can scarcely
see how they could have acted otherwise than as they did. Yet there was
much that, humanly speaking, was unfortunate in the conjuncture. War is a
horrible remedy at any time. Civil war super-adds a thousand horrors of
its own. And a civil war waged in the name of religion is the most
frightful of all. The holiest of causes is sure to be embraced from impure
motives by a host of unprincipled men, determined in their choice of party
only by the hope of personal gain, the lust of power, or the thirst for
revenge--a class of auxiliaries too powerful and important to be
altogether rejected in an hour when the issues of life or death are
pending, even if by the closest and calmest scrutiny they could be
thoroughly weeded out--a process beyond the power of mortal man at any
time, much more in the midst of the tumult and confusion of war. The
Huguenots had made the attempt at Orleans, and had not shrunk from
inflicting the severest punishments, even to death, for the commission of
theft and other heinous crimes. They had endeavored in their camp to
realize the model of an exemplary Christian community. But they had
failed, because there were with them those who, neither in peace nor in
war, could bring themselves to give to so strict a moral code any other
obedience than that which fear exacts. Such was the misery of war. Such
the melancholy alternative to which, more than once, the reformed saw
themselves reduced, of perishing by persecution or of saving themselves by
exposing their faith to reproach through alliance with men of as little
religion or morality as any in the opposite camp.

[Sidenote: It prevents France from becoming Huguenot.]

The first civil war prevented France from becoming a Huguenot country.
This was the deliberate conclusion of a Venetian ambassador, who enjoyed
remarkable opportunities for observing the history of his times.[263] The
practice of the Christian virtue of patience and submission under
suffering and insult had made the reformers an incredible number of
friends. The waging of war, even in self-defence, and the reported acts of
wanton destruction, of cruelty and sacrilege--it mattered little whether
they were true or false, they were equally credited and produced the same
results--turned the indifference of the masses into positive aversion. It
availed the Huguenots little in the estimate of the people that the crimes
that were almost the rule with their opponents were the exception with
them; that for a dozen such as Montluc, they were cursed with but one
Baron des Adrets; that the barbarities of the former received the
approbation of the Roman Catholic priesthood, while those of the latter
were censured with vehemence by the Protestant ministers. Partisan spirit
refused to hold the scales of justice with equal hand, and could see no
proofs of superior morality or devotion in the adherents of the reformed
faith.

       *       *       *       *       *

     [Sidenote: Huguenot ballads and songs.]

     Besides their psalms, hallowed by so many thrilling
     associations, the Huguenots possessed a whole cycle of song.
     The meagre portion of this that has come down to us is among
     the most valuable of the monuments illustrative of their modes
     of thought and their religious and political aspirations. At
     the same time it brings vividly before us the great crises of
     their history. M. Henri Bordier has done a service not easily
     estimated at its full worth, by the publication of a
     considerable collection of the popular songs of the
     Protestants, under the title, "Le Chansonnier Huguenot du XVIe
     Siècle" (Paris, 1871). These songs are grouped in four
     divisions: religious songs, polemic and satirical songs, songs
     of war, and songs of martyrdom.

     The three oldest Huguenot songs known to exist belong to the
     first two divisions, and have been saved from destruction by
     the enemies of their authors, in the very attempt to secure
     their suppression. They have recently been found upon the
     records of the Parliament of Paris, where they obtained a
     place, thanks to the zeal of the "lieutenant général" of Meaux
     in endeavoring to ferret out the composers of anti-papal
     ballads. They were entered, without regard to metre, as so
     much prose. A stanza or two of the song entitled _Chanson
     nouvelle sur le chant: "N'allez plus au bois jouer,"_ and
     evidently adapted to the tune of a popular ballad of the day,
     may suffice to indicate the character of the most vigorous of
     these compositions. It is addressed to Michel d'Arande, a
     friend of Farel, whom Bishop Briçonnet had invited to preach
     the Gospel in his diocese of Meaux, and begins:

    Ne preschez plus la vérité,
        Maistre Michel!
    Contenue en l'Evangille,
    Il y a trop grand danger
        D'estre mené
    Dans la Conciergerie.
    Lire, lire, lironfa.

    Il y a trop grand danger
        D'estre mené
    Dans la Conciergerie
    Devant les chapperons fourrez
        Mal informez
    Par gens plains de menterie.
    Lire, lire, lironfa.

     The "chants religieux," of which M. Bordier's collection
     reproduces twenty-five, are partly poetical paraphrases of the
     Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, etc., and partly original
     compositions on a variety of themes, such as patient endurance
     of insult, etc. They display great familiarity with the Holy
     Scriptures, and sometimes not a little poetic fire.

     The "chants polémiques" treat of a number of subjects,
     prominent among which are the monks and nuns, and the
     doctrines of the papal church. In one the expiring papacy is
     represented as summoning to her bedside cardinals, bishops,
     and other members of the clergy, to witness her last
     struggles. In another the Sorbonne is held up to ridicule, in
     company with all the mediæval doctors of theology. In a third
     the poet more seriously combats the belief in purgatory as
     unscriptural. But it is the mass that bears the brunt of
     attack. The Host figures under the designation, current in the
     literature of the sixteenth century,[264] of _Le Dieu de
     Pâte_, or _Le Dieu de Farine_. The pompous and complicated
     ceremonial, with its repetitions devoid of meaning for the
     illiterate spectator, is, on the whole, the favorite object of
     satire. In strict accordance with the spirit of the rough
     controversy of the times, little mercy is shown to religious
     antagonists. There is a good specimen of this style of
     treatment in an interesting song dating from about 1564,
     entitled "Noel nouveau de la description ou forme et manière
     de dire la Messe, sur ce chant: Hari, bouriquet." Of the
     fifteen stanzas of which it is composed, two or three may
     serve as samples. The preliminary service over, the priest
     comes to the consecration of the wafer:

            Un morceau de paste
            Il fait adorer;
            Le rompt de sa patte
            Pour le dévorer,
            Le gourmand qu'il est.
    Hari, hari l'asne, le gourmand qu'il est,
            Hari bouriquet!

            Le Dieu qu'il faict faire,
            La bouche le prend;
            Le coeur le digère,
            Le ventre le rend,
            Au fond du retrait!
    Hari, hari l'asne, au fond du retrait,
            Hari bouriquet!

            Le peuple regarde
            L'yvrongne pinter
            Qui pourtant n'a garde
            De luy présenter
            A boire un seul traict.
    Hari, hari l'asne, à boire un seul traict,
            Hari bouriquet!

            Achève et despouille
            Tous ses drapeaux blancs,
            En sa bourse fouille
            Et y met six blancs.
            C'est de peur du frais.
    Hari, hari l'asne, c'est de peur du frais,
            Hari bouriquet!

     A somewhat older song (written before 1555) purports to be the
     dirge of the Mass uttered by itself--_Désolation de la Messe
     expirant en chantant_. The Mass in perplexity knows not how to
     begin the customary service:

    _Spiritus_, _Salve_, _Requiem_,
    Je ne sçay si je diray bien.
    Quel _Introite_, n' _Oremus_
    Je prenne; _Sancti_, _Agimus_.
    Feray-je des Martyrs ou Vierges?
    _De ventre ad te clamamus!_
    Sonnez là, allumez ces cierges:
    Y a-t-il du pain et du vin?

    Où est le livre et le calice
    Pour faire l'office divin?
    Ça, cest autel, qu'on le tapisse!
    Hélas, la piteuse police.
    Ame ne me vient secourir.
    Sans Chapelain, Moine, Novice,
    Me faudra-il ainsi périr?

     Pope and cardinals are summoned in vain. No one comes, no one
     will bring reliquary or consecrated wafer. The Mass must
     finally resign all hope and die:

    Hélas chantant, brayant, virant,
    Tant que le crime romp et blesse
    Puis que voy tost l'ame expirant,
    Dites au moins adieu la Messe.
    A tous faisant mainte promesse
    Ore ai-je tout mon bien quitté
    Veu qu'a la mort tens et abaisse
    _Ite Missa est_; donc _Ite_,
        _Ite Missa est_.

     The "chants de guerre" furnish a running commentary upon the
     military events of the last forty years of the sixteenth
     century, which is not devoid of interest or importance. The
     hopeful spirit characterizing the earlier ballads is not lost
     even in the latest; but the brilliant anticipations of a
     speedy triumph of the truth, found before the outbreak of the
     first civil war, or immediately thereafter, are lacking in
     other productions, dating from the close of the reign of Henry
     the Third. In a spirited song, presumably belonging to 1562,
     the poet, adopting the nickname of Huguenots given to the
     Protestants by their opponents, retaliates by applying an
     equally unwelcome term to the Roman Catholics, and forecasting
     the speedy overthrow of the papacy:

    Vous appellez Huguenots
    Ceux qui Jesus veullent suivre,
    Et n'adorent vos marmots
    De boys, de pierre et de cuyvre.
        Hau, Hau, Papegots,
    Faictes place aux Huguenots.

    Nostre Dieu renversera
    Vous et vostre loy romaine,
    Et du tout se mocquera
    De vostre entreprise vaine.
        Hau, Hau, Papegots,
    Faictes place aux Huguenots.

    Vostre Antechrist tombera
    Hors de sa superbe place
    Et Christ partout règnera
    Et sa loy pleine de grâce.
        Hau, Hau, Papegots,
    Faictes place aux Huguenots.

     The current expectation of the Protestants is attested in a
     long narrative ballad by Antoine Du Plain on the siege of
     Lyons (1563), in which Charles the Ninth figures as another
     Josiah destined to abolish the idolatrous mass:

    Ce Roy va chasser l'Idole
    Plain de dole
    Cognoissant un tel forfait:
    Selon la vertu Royale,
    Et loyale,
    Comme Iosias a fait.

     It is noticeable that the words "va chasser l'Idole" are an
     anagram of the royal title _Charles de Valois_--an anagram
     which gave the Huguenots no little comfort. The same play upon
     words appears with a slight variation in a "Huictain au Peuple
     de Paris, sur l'anagrammatisme du nom du tres-Chrestien Roy de
     France, Charles de Valois IX. de ce nom" (Recueil des Choses
     Mémorables, 1565, p. 367), of which the last line is,

    "O Gentil Roy qui _chassa leur idole_."

     But after the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day the hopes of
     the Huguenots were blighted. If the king is not referred to by
     name, his mother figures as the guilty cause of all the
     misfortune of France. She is a second Helen born for the ruin
     of her adopted country, according to Étienne de Maisonfleur.

    Hélène femme estrangère
    Fut la seule mesnagère
    Qui ruina Ilion,
    Et la reine Catherine
    Est de France la ruine
    Par l'Oracle de Léon.

     "Léon" is Catharine's uncle, Pope Leo the Tenth, who was said
     to have predicted the total destruction of whatever house she
     should be married into. See also the famous libel "Discours
     merveilleux de la vie de Catherine de Medicis" (Ed. of
     Cologne, Pierre du Marteau, 1693), p. 609.

     The massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day naturally contributes a
     considerable fund of laments, etc., to the Huguenot popular
     poetry of the century. A poem apparently belonging to a more
     remote date, discovered by Dr. Roullin, and perhaps the only
     Breton song of the kind that has come down to us, is as simple
     and unaffected a narrative as any of the modern Greek
     _moerologia_ (Vaurigaud, Essaie sur l'hist. des églises réf.
     de Bretagne, 1870, i. 6). It tells the story of a Huguenot
     girl betrayed to the executioner by her own mother. In spite
     of a few dialectic forms, the verses are easily understood.

    Voulz-vous ouir l'histoire
    D'une fille d'espit
    Qui n'a pas voulu croire
    Chose que l'on lui dit.

    --Sa mère dit: "Ma fille,
    A la messe allons donc!"
    --"Y aller à la messe,
    Ma mère, ce n'est qu'abus.

    Apportez-moi mes livres
    Avec mes beaux saluts.
    J'aimerais mieux être brûlée
    Et vantée au grand vent

    Que d'aller à la messe
    En faussant mon serment."
    --Quand sa très-chère mère
    Eut entendu c' mot là,

    Au bourreau de la ville
    Sa fille elle livra.
    "Bourreau, voilà ma fille!
    Fais à tes volontés;

    Bourreau, fais de ma fille
    Comme d'un meurtrier."
    Quand elle fut sur l'échelle,
    Trois rollons jà montée,

    Elle voit sa mère
    Qui chaudement pleurait.
    "Ho! la cruelle mère
    Qui pleure son enfant

    Après l'avoir livrée
    Dans les grands feux ardents.
    Vous est bien fait, ma mère,
    De me faire mourir.

    Je vois Jesus, mon père,
    Qui, de son beau royaume,
    Descend pour me quérir.
    Son royaume sur terre
    Dans peu de temps viendra,
    Et cependant mon âme
    En paradis ira."


FOOTNOTES:

[1] The nuncio alone seems to have thought that the edict would work so
well, that "in six months, or a year at farthest, there would not be a
single Huguenot in France!" His ground of confidence was that many, if not
most of the reformed, were influenced, not by zeal for religion, but by
cupidity. Santa Croce to Card. Borromeo, Jan. 17, 1562, Aymon, i. 44;
Cimber et Danjou, vi. 30.

[2] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 428, 429. The letter is followed by an
examination of the edict, article by article, as affecting the
Protestants. Ib. i. 429-431.

[3] Abbé Bruslart, Mém. de Condé. i. 70. Barbaro spoke the universal
sentiment of the bigoted wing of the papal party when he described "the
decree" as "full of concealed poison," as "the most powerful means of
advancing the new religion," as "an edict so pestiferous and so poisonous,
that it brought all the calamities that have since occurred." Tommaseo,
Rel. des Amb. Vén., ii. 72.

[4] Claude Haton, 211. "Et longtemps depuis ne faisoient sermon qu'ilz
_Acab_ et _Hiésabel_ et leurs persécutions ne fussent mis par eux en
avant," etc. In fact, Catharine seemed fated to have her name linked to
that of the infamous Queen of Israel. A Protestant poem, evidently of a
date posterior to the massacre of Saint Bartholomew, is still extant in
the National Library of Paris, in which the comparison of the two is drawn
out at full length. The one was the ruin of Israel, the other of France.
The one maintained idolatry, the other papacy. The one slew God's holy
prophets, the other has slain a hundred thousand followers of the Gospel.
Both have killed, in order to obtain the goods of their victims. But the
unkindest verses are the last--even the very dogs will refuse to touch
Catharine's "carrion."

    "En fin le jugement fut tel
    Que les chiens mengent Jhésabel
    Par une vangeance divine;
    Mais la charongne de Catherine
    Sera différente en ce point,
    Car les chiens ne la vouldront point."

Appendix to Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. 1, 110.

[5] _Ante_, i. 477.

[6] Mém. de Claude Haton, 211, 212.

[7] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 431.

[8] Abbé Bruslart, Mém. de Condé. i. 70, 71.

[9] Declaration of Feb. 14, 1561/2, Du Mont, Corps diplomatique, v. 91,
92.

[10] And, indeed, with modifications which were to render it still more
severe. Letter of Beza to Calvin, Feb. 26, 1562, Baum, ii., App., 167.

[11] The registry took place on Friday, March 6th. Isambert, xiv. 124; La
Fosse, 45, who says "Ledict édict fut publié en la salle du palais en ung
vendredy, 5e [6e] de ce moys, _là où il y eut bien peu de conseillers et
le président Baillet qui signèrent_."

[12] The same prelate to whom Cardinal Lorraine doubtless referred in no
complimentary terms, when, at the assembly of the clergy at Poissy, he
said, "qu'il estoit contrainct de dire, _Duodecim sumus, sed unus ex nobis
Diabolus est_, et passant plus outre, qu'il y avoit ung evesque de la
compagnie ... qui avoit revelé ce qui se faisoit en laditte assemblée,"
etc. Journal de Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 50.

[13] See the document in Schlosser, Leben des Theodor de Beze, App.,
359-361; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 436, 437.

[14] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 436-450; Baum, ii. 512-545. In
connection with Prof. Baum's long and thorough account of the colloquy,
Beza's correspondence, printed in the appendix, is unusually interesting.

[15] "Cardinalium intercessione ac precibus mox soluta sunt omnia." Beza
to Bullinger, March 2, 1562. Baum, ii., App., 169.

[16] "Nihil hoc consilio gratius accidere potuit nostris adversariis
quibus iste ludus minime placebat, adeo ut _ipse Demochares ... pene sui
oblitus in meos amplexus rueret_, et ejus sodales honorifice me
salutarent!" Beza to Calvin, Feb. 26, 1562, ibid., 165. The Venetian
Barbaro represents this second conference as an extremely efficient means
of spreading heresy: "La qual [in San Germano] apportò un grandissimo
scandalo e pregiudizio alla religion nostra, e diede alla loro,
reputazione e fomento maggiore." Rel. des Amb. Vén., ii. 74.

[17] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 432.

[18] "Qu'il ne s'y mettroit si avant qu'il ne s'en pust aisement tirer."
Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi supra_.

[19] See the frank letter of Calvin, written to him about this time, in
Bonnet, Lettres franç., ii. 441; Calvin's Letters, Amer. ed., iv. 247.

[20] "That pestilent yle of Sardigna!" exclaimed Sir Thomas Smith, a
clever diplomatist and a nervous writer, "that the pore crowne of it
should enter so farre into the pore Navarrian hed (which, I durst
warraunt, shall never ware it), [as to] make him destroy his owen
countrey, and to forsake the truth knowen!" Forbes, State Papers, ii. 164.

[21] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi supra_; De Thou, iii. (liv.
xxviii.), 96-99.

[22] Letter of Beza to Calvin, Feb. 1, 1562, Baum, ii., App., 163.

[23] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., i. 433.

[24] Letter to Calvin, Feb. 26, 1562, _apud_ Baum, ii., App., 167, 168.

[25] Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[26] Recordon, Le protestantisme en Champagne (Paris, 1863), from MSS. of
Nicholas Pithou, p. 105. This learned jurist, the equal of his more
celebrated brothers in ability, and their superior in moral courage, has
left his testimony respecting the beneficent influence of the reformed
doctrines upon his fellow-citizens: "A la verité la ville de Troyes en
général fit une perte incroyable en la rupture de cette Église. Car
c'était une grande beauté et chose plus que émerveillable de la voir si
bien fleurie. Il se voyoit en la jeunesse, touchée par la prédication de
la parole de Dieu, qui auparavant était si dépravée que rien plus, un
changement si subit et si étrange que les catholiques mêmes en étoient
tout étonnés. Car, tels qui au précédent se laissaient aller du tout à
leurs voluptez et s'étaient plongez en gourmandises, yvrogneries et jeux
défendus, tellement qu'ils y passaient la plus grande et meilleure partie
du temps, et faisaient un fort mauvais ménage, depuis qu'ils étaient
entrés dans l'Église quittaient du tout leur vie passée et la détestaient,
se rangeant et se soumettant allègrement à la discipline ecclésiastique,
ce qui était si agréable aux parents de tels personnages, que, quoiqu'ils
fussent catholiques, ils en louaient Dieu." Ibid., pp. 107, 108.

[27] "Nous avons espérance que non seulement la jeunesse d'icy se
façonnera par la main d'un si excellent ouvrier qui nous est venu; mais
que les chanoines mesmes de Sainte-Croix le viendront ouyr en ses leçons,
ce qu'ils ont desja déclaré. De quoy sortiront des fruicts surmontant
toute expectation." Gaberel, Hist. de l'égl. de Genève, i., Pièces
justificatives, 168.

[28] The archives of Stuttgart contain the instructive correspondence
which the Duke of Guise had, ever since the previous summer, maintained
with the Duke of Würtemberg. From the letters published in the Bulletin of
the French Protestant Historical Society (February and March, 1875), we
see that François endeavored to alienate Christopher from the Huguenots by
representing the latter as bitter enemies of the Augsburg Confession, and
as speaking of it with undisguised contempt. (Letter of July 2, 1561,
Bull., xxiv. 72.) Christopher made no reply to these statements, but urged
his correspondent to a candid examination of religious truth, irrespective
of age or prescription, reminding him (letter of Nov. 22, 1561) that our
Lord Jesus Christ "did not say 'I am the _ancient custom_,' but 'I am the
_Truth_.'" (Ibid., xxiv. 114.) And he added, sensibly enough, that, had
the pagan ancestors of both the French and the Germans followed the rule
of blind obedience to custom, they would certainly never have become
Christians.

[29] Guise's original invitation was for Saturday, January 31st, but
Christopher pleaded engagements, and named, instead, Sunday, Feb. 15th.
(Ibid., xxiv. 116, 117.)

[30] The relation was first noticed and printed by Sattler, in his
Geschichte von Würtemberg unter den Herzögen. I have used the French
translation by M. A. Muntz, in the Bulletin, iv. (1856) 184-196.

[31] In a letter of Würtemberg to Guise, written subsequently to the
massacre of Vassy, he reminds him of the advice he had given him, and of
Guise's assurances: "Vous savez aussi avec quelle asseurance vous m'avez
respondu _que l'on vous faisoit grand tort_ de ce que l'on vous vouloit
imposer estre cause et autheur de la mort de tant de povres chrestiens qui
ont espandu leur sang par ci-devant," etc. Mémoires de Guise, 494.

[32] There are some characters with whom mendacity has become so essential
a part of their nature, that we cease to wonder at any possible extreme of
lying. It was, however, no new thing with the cardinal to assume
immaculate innocence. Over two years before this time, at the beginning of
the reign of Francis II., when bloody persecution was at its height, Sir
Nicholas Throkmorton wrote to Queen Elizabeth, Sept. 10, 1559: "I am
enformed that they here begin to persecute againe for religion more than
ever they did; and that at Paris there are three or four executed for the
same, and diverse greate personages threatened shortly to be called to
answer for their religion. Wherin the Cardinal of Lorraine having bene
spoken unto, within these two daies, hathe said, _that it is not his
faulte; and that there is no man that more hateth extremités, then he
dothe_; and yet it is knowne that it is, notwithstanding, _alltogither by
his occasion_." Forbes, State Papers, i. 226, 227.

[33] Bulletin, iv. 196. De Thou's account of the Saverne conference (iii.
(liv. xxix.) 127, 128) is pretty accurate so far as it goes, but has a
more decidedly polemic tone than the Duke of Würtemberg's memorandum.

[34] Throkmorton to the Queen, Paris, Feb. 16, 1562. State Paper Office. I
have followed closely the condensation in the Calendars.

[35] Same to Cecil, of same date. State Paper Office.

[36] Discours entier de la persécution et cruauté exercée en la ville de
Vassy, par le duc de Guise, le 1. de mars, 1562; reprinted in Mémoires de
Condé, iii. 124-149, and Cimber et Danjou, iv. 123-156. This lengthy
Huguenot narrative enters into greater details respecting the early
history of the church of Vassy than any of the other contemporary
relations. The account bears every mark of candor and accurate
information.

[37] "Que son cas estoit bien sale s'il eust esté ministre."

[38] The "Destruction du Saccagement" has preserved the names of
forty-five persons who died by Tuesday, March 3d; the "Discours entier"
has a complete list of forty-eight that died within a month, and refers to
others besides. A contemporary engraving is extant depicting in quaint but
lively style the murderous affair. Montfaucon reproduces it. So does also
M. Horace Gourjon in a pamphlet entitled "Le Massacre de Vassy" (Paris,
1844). He gives, in addition, an exterior view of the barn in which the
Huguenots were worshipping.

[39] Besides a brief Latin memoir of minor importance, there were
published two detailed accounts of the massacre written by Huguenots. The
one is entitled "Destruction du Saccagement, exerce cruellement par le Duc
de Guise et sa cohorte, en la ville de Vassy, le premier jour de Mars,
1561. À Caens. M.D.LXII.," and having for its epigraph the second verse of
the 79th psalm in Marot's poetical version, "The dead bodies of thy
servants have they given to be meat unto the fowls of the heaven, the
flesh of thy saints unto the beasts of the earth." (The year 1562, it will
be remembered, did not commence in France until Easter Sunday, March
29th.) The account seems to have been composed on the spot and within a
very few days of the occurrence. This may be inferred from the list of
those who died being given only up to Tuesday, March 3d. The other
narrative: "Discours entier de la persecution et cruauté exercée en la
ville de Vassy," etc., enters into much greater detail, and is preceded by
a full account of the early history of the Church. It was written and
published a little later in the spring of 1562. Both memoirs are reprinted
in the invaluable Archives curieuses of Messrs. Cimber et Danjou, iv.
103-110, and 123-156, as well as in the Mémoires de Condé, iii. 111-115,
124-149 (the former document with the title "Relation de l'occasion"),
etc. Another contemporary account was written in Guise's interest, and
contains a long extract of a letter of his to the Duke of Würtemberg:
"Discours au vray et en abbregé de ce qui est dernièrement aduenu à Vassi,
y passant Monseigneur le Duc de Guise. A Paris. M.D.LXII.... Par priuilege
expres dudict Seigneur." (Cimber, iv. 111-122; Mém. de Condé, iii.
115-122). To these authorities must be added Guise's vindication in
parliament (Cimber, iv. 157, etc., from Reg. of Parl.; Mém. de Guise, 488,
etc.), and his letter and that of the Cardinal of Lorraine to Christopher
of Würtemberg, March 22 (Ib. 491, 492). Compare J. de Serres, De statu
rel. et reip. (1571), ii. 13-17; De Thou, iii. 129, etc.; Jehan de la
Fosse, 45. Davila, bk. iii. in init., is more accurate than Castelnau,
iii., c. 7. Claude Haton's account (Mémoires, i. 204-206) may be classed
with the curiosities of literature. This veracious chronicler would have
it that a crowd of Huguenots, with stones in their hands, and singing at
the top of their voices, attempted to prevent the passage of the duke and
his company through the outskirts of Vassy, where they were apparently
worshipping in the open air! Of course they were the aggressors.

[40] And yet there is great force in M. Sismondi's observation (Hist. des
Français, xviii. 264): "Malgré leur assertion, il est difficile de ne pas
croire qu'au moment où ils se réunissoient en armes pour disputer aux
protestans l'exercise public de leur culte que leur accordoit l'édit de
janvier, c'etoit un coup prémédité que l'attaque du duc de Guise contre
une congrégation de huguenots, composée, à ce qu'il assure, en partie de
ses vassaux, et qui se trouvoit la première sur son passage à peu de
distance de ses terres."

[41] It is extremely unfortunate that Mr. Froude should have based his
account of French affairs at this important point upon so inaccurate and
prejudiced a writer as Varillas. To be correct in his delineation of these
transactions was almost as important for his object, as to be correct in
the narration of purely English occurrences. If he desired to avoid the
labor, from which he might well wish to be excused, of mastering the great
accumulation of contemporary and original French authorities, he might
have resorted with propriety, as he has done in the case of the massacre
of St. Bartholomew's Day, to Henri Martin's noble history, or to the
history of Sismondi, not to speak of Soldan, Von Polenz, and a host of
others. Varillas wrote, about a century after the events he described, a
number of works of slender literary, and still slighter historical value.
His "Histoire de Charles IX." (Cologne, 1686)--the work which Mr. Froude
has but too often followed--begins with an adulatory dedication to Louis
XIV., the first sentence of which sufficiently reveals the author's
prepossessions: "Sire, it is impossible to write the history of Charles
IX. without beginning the panegyric of your Majesty." No wonder that Mr.
Froude's account of the massacre of Vassy (History of England, vii. 401,
402), derived solely from this source (Hist. de Charles IX., i. 126,
etc.), is as favorable to Guise as his most devoted partisan could have
desired. But where in the world--even in Varillas--did the English
historian ever find authority for the statement (vii. 402) that, in
consequence of the necessity felt by Guise for temporizing, a little later
"_the affair at Vassy was censured in a public decree_"? To have allowed
_that_ would have been for Guise to admit that he was guilty of murder,
and that his enemies had not slandered him when they styled him a "butcher
of the human race." The duke _never did_ make such an acknowledgment; on
the contrary, he asseverated his innocence in his last breath. What was
really done on the occasion referred to was to try to shift the
responsibility of the war from the shoulders of the papists to those of
the Huguenots, by pretending to re-enact the edict of January with
restrictions as to the capital.

[42] Jean de Serres, ii. 17, 18; De Thou, iii. 132, 133.

[43] "Sire, c'est à la vérité à l'Église de Dieu, au nom de laquelle je
parle, d'endurer les coups, et non pas d'en donner. Mais aussi vous
plaira-t-il vous souvenir que _c'est une enclume qui a usé beaucoup de
marteaux_." Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 1, 2; Pierre de Lestoile,
Journal de Henri III. (ed. Petitot), i. 55; De Thou, iii. 132, 133.

[44] Journal de Jehan de la Fosse, 45, 46; Santa Croce to Borromeo, Aymon,
i. 96, 97; Jean de Serres, ii. 18; Chantonnay, _ubi supra_, ii. 27; Hist,
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 2, 3; Throkmorton to the Queen, March 20th,
State Paper Office; De Thou, iii. 133; etc. The date was the 15th of
March, according to La Fosse; the 16th, according to Languet (ii. 212) and
Throkmorton; the 18th, according to Santa Croce; the 20th, according to J.
de Serres. I prefer to all the authority of a letter of one Chastaigner,
written from Paris to a friend in Poitou on the very day of Guise's entry.
It is dated March 17th. "Quant aux nouvelles de Monsieur de Guyse, il est
arrivé ce soir en ceste ville, Monsieur le connestable et Monsieur le
maréchal de Saint-André avec luy, et en tout avoient bien deux mil
chevaulx, les ungs disent plus." (Archives of Poitiers, and printed in
Bulletin, xiii. (1864), 15, 16.)

[45] This was not by accident. It had been planned by Condé, to show that
the Huguenots were brave and determined, and it succeeded so well that it
not only made an impression on the party of Guise, but also largely
augmented the courage of his own men. Letter of Beza to Calvin, March 22,
1562, _apud_ Baum, ii., App., 171. Condé had returned to Paris by the
urgent request of the Protestants. Jean de Serres, ii. 19.

[46] Letter of Chastaigner, _ubi supra_.

[47] Throkmorton to the queen, March 6th, State Paper Office.

[48] "The King of Navarre was never so earnest on the Protestant side as
he is now furious on the papists' part, insomuch as men suspect he will
become a persecutor." Throkmorton to Cecil, March 9th, State Paper Office.
Summary in Calendar.

[49] Throkmorton to the queen, March 6, 1562, State Paper Office.

[50] The same to Cecil, same date, State Paper Office.

[51] "Whilst these assemblies were in the town, the queen mother conceived
great jealousy (the King of Navarre being allied to the said duke
[Guise]), lest she should be put from the government and the king taken
from her hands, to prevent which she left Monceaux, her own house, _for
Orleans_, thinking they were secure there, because the Prince of
Rochesurion (being governor of the king's person and also of Orleans) was
not conjoined with the King of Navarre, the Duke of Guise, and the
constable, in their purposes. The King of Navarre, perceiving this, would
not consent to the king going to Orleans, and, after great disputes
betwixt the queen mother and him, she, with the king, were constrained to
reside all this Easter at Fontainebleau." Throkmorton to the queen, March,
20, 1562, State Paper Office, Summary in Calendar.

[52] "Combien que le Chancelier luy dict, qu'il n'y espéroit plus rien,
qu'elle n'avoit point de résolution, qu'il la congnoissoit bien." Mémoires
de la vie de Jehan l'Archevesque, Sieur de Soubise, printed from the
hitherto unknown MS. in the Bulletin, xxiii. (1874), 458, 459.

[53] Four of the seven letters that constituted the whole correspondence
are printed in the Mém. de Condé, iii. 213-215. Jean de Serres gives two
of them in his Comment. de statu rel. et reip., ii. 38, 39. They were laid
by Condé's envoy before the princes of Germany, as evidence that he had
not taken up arms without the best warrant, and that he could not in any
way be regarded as a rebel. They contain no allusion to any promise to lay
down his arms so soon as she sent him word--the pretext with which she
strove at a later time to palliate, in the eyes of the papal party at home
and abroad, a rather awkward step. The curé of Mériot, while admitting the
genuineness of the letters, observes: "La cautelle et malice de la dame
estoit si grande, qu'elle se délectoit de mettre les princes en division
et hayne les ungs contre les aultres, affin qu'elle régnast et qu'elle
demeurast gouvernante seulle de son filz et du royaume." Mém. de Cl.
Haton, i. 269. The queen mother's exculpatory statements may be examined
in Le Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, i. 763, 764.

[54] Bruslart, in Mém. de Condé, i. 75, 76; J. de Serres, ii. 20; La
Fosse, 46; De Thou, iii. 134. The date is variously given--March 17th or
18th.

[55] J. de Serres, ii. 21; De Thou, _ubi supra_; the Prince of Condé's
declaration of the causes which have constrained him to undertake the
defence of the royal authority, etc., _ap._ Mém. de Condé, iii. 222, etc.;
same in Latin in J. de Serres, ii. 46.

[56] Throkmorton to the queen, March 20, State Paper Office.

[57] March 23d. "Ce même jour (lundi xxiii.) le Prince de Condé s'en
partit de Paris pour s'en aller à une sienne maison, combien qu'il avoit
dict qu'il ne bougeroit de Paris que M. de Guise ne s'en fut parti."
Journal anonyme de l'an 1562, _ap._ Baum, iii. App., 175, note.

[58] Letter of March 28th, Baum, ii., App., 175, 176.

[59] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 3.

[60] Letter to Fonssomme, OEuvres choisies, ii. 248.

[61] One of the latest exploits of the populace was the disinterring of a
Huguenot buried in the cemetery of the Holy Innocents, and throwing his
body into a public sewer! March 15th, Journal de Jehan de la Fosse, 45.

[62] "Je cuide que si les novices des couvens et les chambrières des
prestres seulement se fussent presentez à l'impourveue avec des bastons de
cotterets (cotrets) ès mains, que cela leur eust fait tenir bride." Mém.
de la Noue, c. ii.

[63] Circular letter dated Paris, March 25th, _apud_ Baum, ii., App., 172.

[64] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 132, 133 (liv. iii., c. 2). This striking
incident rests on the sole authority of Agrippa d'Aubigné, who claims to
have learned it "de ceux qui estoient de la partie." Hotman, who wrote his
_Gasparis Colinii Vita_ (1575) at the earnest request of the admiral's
_second_ wife, makes no allusion to a story throwing so much lustre upon
the _first_.

[65] Throkmorton to the queen, April 10, 1562, State Paper Office.

[66] "Ou il faut que venez avec nous, ou nous emmenerons le Roy sans
vous." Letter of Condé to the Emperor Ferdinand, April 20th, Mém. de
Condé, iii. 305, etc.

[67] "Alors Leurs Majestez, ne pouvant mieux, eurent recours à quelques
larmes." Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iii., c. 8.

[68] "Le Roy enfant de bonne nature et grande espérance, tesmoignoit non
seulement par paroles, mais aussi avec abondance de larmes, extrême dueil
et tristesse; et souventefois s'escriant, déploroit sa condition par
telles paroles: 'Pourquoy ne me laissez-vous? Pour quelle raison me voy-je
circuy et environné de gens armez? Pourquoy contre ma volonté me
tirez-vous du lieu où je prenoye mon plaisir? Pourquoy deschirez-vous
ainsi mon estat en ce mien aage?'" Letter of Condé, _ubi supra_, iii. 306.

[69] Charles the Ninth's entry into Paris was a sorry pageant compared
with that of Guise only a few weeks earlier. "Only the merchants and a few
counsellors of the city were present," says Jehan de la Fosse (p. 47). The
king rode between the queen mother and the King of Navarre. According to
Chamberlain, it was a _sober_, but not a _solemn_ entry (C. to Chaloner,
April 7, 1562, State Paper Office). Either when Guise returned to Paris
from Fontainebleau, or on his previous entry into the city--it is
difficult from Claude Haton's confused narrative to determine which was
intended--the people sang: "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the
Lord." Mémoires, i. 245.

[70] The singular name of this building is explained by the sign that hung
before it. "Apvril. En ung samedy. M. Anne de Montmorenssy, connétable de
France, fut devant brasque _en la maison où pendoit pour enseigne la ville
de Jérusalem_, où preschoient les huguenots, et fist mettre le feu dedans
la maison." Journal de J. de la Fosse, 46.

[71] La Fosse, _ubi supra_; J. de Serres, ii. 27; Hist. ecclés. des égl.
réf., ii. 8; De Thou, iii. 136, 137; Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 80; Santa
Croce to Borromeo, April 5 (Aymon, i. 125); Throkmorton to the queen, _ubi
supra_.

[72] Santa Croce to Borromeo, April 5th, Aymon, i. 126, and Cimber et
Danjou, vi. 74.

[73] Chantonnay, _ubi supra_, ii. 32.

[74] Journal de Jehan de la Fosse, 46. The "Porte St. Honoré," before
which the Huguenots, after passing north of the city, presented themselves
(Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 78), was in Francis I.'s time near the
present "Palais Royal," in the time of Louis XIII. near the "Madeleine."
See the map in Dulaure, Histoire de Paris.

[75] Mém de la Noue, c. i. The letter of Beza to Calvin from Meaux, March
28, 1562, shows, however, that even before the prince left that city it
was known that the triumvirs had set out for Fontainebleau. Beza, not
apparently without good reason, blamed the improvidence of Condé in not
forestalling the enemy. "Hostes, relicto in urbe non magno præsidio, in
aulam abierunt quod difficile non erat et prospicere et impedire. Sed
aliter visum est certis de causis, quas tamen nec satis intelligo nec
probo." Baum, ii., App., 176.

[76] Yet, if we may credit the unambiguous testimony of Jean de Tavannes,
Catharine did not cease to endeavor to favor the Huguenots. He assures us
that, a few months later, during the summer, his father, Gaspard de
Tavannes, intercepted at Châlons a messenger whom Catharine had despatched
to her daughter the Duchess of Savoy ("qui agréoit ces nouvelles
opinions") ostensibly as a lute-player. Among his effects the prying
governor of Burgundy found letters signed by the queen mother, containing
some rather surprising suggestions. "La Royne luy escrivoit qu'elle estoit
resolue de favoriser les Huguenots, d'où elle espéroit son salut contre le
gouvernement du triumvirat ... qu'elle soupçonnoit vouloir oster la
couronne à ses enfans; et prioit madame de Savoye d'aider lesdits
Huguenots de Lyon, Dauphiné et Provence, et qu'elle persuadast son mary
d'empescher les Suisses et levée d'Italie des Catholiques." Mém. de
Tavannes (Petitot ed.), ii. 341, 342. Tavannes did not dare to detain the
messenger, nor to take away his letters; and if, as his son asserts, the
enmity of Catharine, which the discovery of her secret gained for him,
delayed his acquisition of the marshal's baton for ten years, he certainly
had some reason to remember and regret his ill-timed curiosity.

[77] Mém. de la Noue, c. iii.; De Thou, iii. 138; Letter of Beza, of April
5th, Baum, ii., App., 177; Jean de Serres, ii. 24, 25; Bruslart, Mém. de
Condé, i. 79. Chamberlain (to Chaloner, April 7, 1562), who on his way
from Orleans met the first detachment within a mile of that city--"a
thousand handsome gentlemen, well mounted, each having two or three daggs,
galloping towards him." State Paper Office.

[78] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 7.

[79] April 7th. Mém. de Condé, iii. 221; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii.,
9; J. de Serres, ii. 58, 59; De Thou, iii. 139. The historian of the
reformed churches, as well as Beza in his letter of March 28th (Baum, ii.,
App., 176), complains bitterly of the slowness and parsimony of the
Parisian Protestants, who seemed to be unable to understand that war was
actually upon them.

[80] April 8th. "Déclaration faicte par M. le prince de Condé, pour
monstrer les raisons qui l'ont contraint d'entreprendre la défence de
l'authorité du Roy," etc. Mém. de Condé, iii. 222-235; Jean de Serres, ii.
42-57; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 9, 10; De Thou, iii. 139-141.

[81] Traicté d'association, etc., April 11th. Mém. de Condé, iii. 258-262;
J. Serres, ii. 31-37; De Thou, iii. 141.

[82] See Pasquier's letter to Fonssomme, already referred to, which
contains a vivid picture of the confusion reigning in Paris, the surprise
of the papal party, and the delight of the untrained populace at the
prospect of war. OEuvres (ed. Feugère), ii. 246-250.

[83] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iii., c. 8.

[84] Ibid., liv. iii., c. 9.

[85] Even so late as May 8, 1562, the English minister resident at the
court, than whom probably no other person in France felt obliged to keep
himself better informed, wrote to Cecil respecting the Prince of Condé's
strength: "I can assur you att thys dyspatche _he ys the strongest
partie_, and in suche state his matter standeth, that _these men_ [the
court] _wold fayne have a reasonable end, thoughe yt were with some
dishonnour_." MSS. State Paper Office, Duc d'Aumale, Princes de Condé,
Pièces justif., i. 370.

[86] It is strange that a historian at once so conscientious and generally
so well-informed as M. Rosseeuw Saint-Hilaire should, in his Histoire
d'Espagne, ix. 60, 61, have made the grave mistake of holding Calvin
responsible for the excesses of the iconoclasts. See the Bulletin, xiv.
127, etc., for a complete refutation.

[87] Like the undeceived dupe in the old Athenian comedy, who mournfully
laments that he had been led to worship a bit of earthenware as a god:

                            Oimoi deilaios,
    Hote kai se chutreoun onta theon hêgêsamên.
            (ARISTOPHANES, CLOUDS, 1473, 1474.)

On the other hand, the zealous Roman Catholic had his arguments for the
preservation and worship of images, some of which may strike us as
sufficiently whimsical. "I confess," says one, "that God has forbidden
idols and idolatry, but He has not forbidden the images (or pictures)
which we hold for the veneration of the saints. For if that were so, _He
would not have left us the effigy of his holy face_ painted in His
likeness, on the cloth which that good lady Veronica presented Him, which
yet to-day is looked upon with so much devotion in the church of St. Peter
at Rome, nor the impression of His holy body represented in the 'saint
suaire' which is at Chambéry. Is it not found that Saint Luke thrice made
with his own hand the portrait of Our Lady?... That holy evangelist ought
certainly to have known the will of his Lord and Master better than you,
my opponent, who wish to interpret the Scripture according to your
sensuality." Discours des Guerres de Provence (Arch. curieuses, iv. 501,
502). Of course, the author never dreamed that his _facts_ might possibly
be disputed.

[88] Les Recherches et Antiquitez de la ville de Caen, par Charles de
Bourgueville, sieur du lieu, de Bras, et de Brucourt. À Caen, 1588. Pt.
ii. 170-172. From page 76 onward the author gives us a record of notable
events in his own lifetime. So also at Cléry, it is to be regretted that,
not content with greatly injuring the famous church of Our Lady, the
Huguenot populace, inflamed by the indiscretion of the priests, desecrated
the monuments of the brave Dunois, and of Louis the Eleventh and his
queen. Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 23. According to the author of the
"Horribles cruautés des Huguenots en France" (Cimber et Danjou, vi. 304),
they even burned the bones of Louis; nor did they respect those of the
ancestors of the Prince of Condé.

[89] "Monsieur, ayez patience que j'aie abattu cette idole, et puis que je
meure, s'il vous plaît."

[90] "Comme étant ce fait plutôt oeuvre de Dieu que des hommes." Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 20. "L'impétuosité des peuples était telle
contre les images, qu'il n'était possible aux hommes d'y résister." Ibid.
ii. 23.

[91] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 20-22.

[92] "Ledict moys," says Jehan de la Fosse in his journal (p. 47), "des
citoyens de Sens tuèrent beaucoup de huguenots, voyant que monsieur le
connétable avoict faict brûler Popincourt."

[93] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 242-245; Jean de Serres, ii. 40; De
Thou, iii. 144. The massacre commenced on Sunday, April 12th (not 14th, as
the Hist. ecclés. states), and was continued the next day or two.
According to De Serres, the horrors of Sens seemed to efface those of
Vassy itself. Read the really terrible paragraph on the subject in the
contemporary "Remonstrance au Roy sur le faict des Idoles abbatues et
déjettées hors des Temples" (Mém. de Condé, iii. 355-364), beginning "Où
sont les meurtres, les boucheries des hommes passés au fil de l'espée, par
l'espace de neuf jours en la ville de Sens?" The address to the Cardinal
of Guise is not less severe than the address to his brother in the famous
"_Tigre_": "Te suffisoit-il pas, Cardinal, que le monde sceust que tu es
Atheiste, Magicien, Nécromantien, sans le publier davantage, et faire
ouvrir en pleine rue les femmes grosses pour voir le siége de leurs
enfans?" P. 360. White (Mass. of St. Bartholomew, 200) confounds in his
account the two brother cardinals, and makes _Lorraine_ to have been
Archbishop of Sens.

[94] Letter of Condé of April 19th, Mém. de Condé, iii. 300, 301; Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 246, 247; J. de Serres, ii. 40-42.

[95] Throkmorton to Cecil, April 10, 1562. State Paper Office.

[96] I will not sully these pages even by a reference to the unnatural and
beastly crimes which De Thou and other trustworthy historians ascribe to
the Roman Catholic troops, especially the Italian part.

[97] So late as January, 1561, he wrote: "Quant à la religion, que sa
Majesté se peult asseuré que je viveray et moreray en icelle." Gachard,
Correspondance de Guillaume le Taciturne, ii. 6.

[98] "Et suis mervilleusement mari de veoir comme ces méchantes hérésies
se augmente partout," etc.

[99] "Qu'il fasse tout debvoir du monde, tant par puplication, comme par
force (autant qui j'en porrois la avoir) de remédier à telle désordre, qui
est si domagable à tout la christienté."

[100] Letter to Card. Granvelle, Oct. 21, 1560, Gachard, i. 461-463.

[101] De Thou (whose graphic account I have principally followed), iii.
226-228; J. de Serres, ii. 183, 184; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., iii.
164-167.

[102] Agrippa d'Aubigné has inserted in his history (i. 154-156) an
interesting conversation which he held with the Baron des Adrets, then an
old man, a dozen years later, in the city of Lyons. In answer to the
question, Why he had resorted to acts of cruelty unbecoming to his great
valor? the baron replied that no one commits cruelty in avenging cruelty;
for, if the first measures are _cruelty_, the second are _justice_. His
severities, he urged, were needed in order to show proper spirit in view
of the past, and proper regard for the future. His soldiers must be forced
to commit themselves beyond hope of pardon--they must, especially in a war
in which their opponents cloaked themselves with the royal authority,
fight without respect of persons. "The soldier cannot be taught," said he
with characteristic bluntness, "to carry his sword and his hat in his hand
at the same time." When asked what motive he had in subsequently leaving
his old comrades in arms, he explained that it was neither fear nor
avarice, but disgust at their timid policy and at seeing himself
superseded. And to D'Aubigné's third question--a somewhat bold one, it
must be confessed--Why success had never attended his recent undertakings,
he answered "with a sigh": "_Mon enfant_, nothing is too warm for a
captain who has no greater anxiety for victory than have his soldiers.
With the Huguenots I had _soldiers_; since then I have had only
_hucksters_, who cared for nothing but money. The former were moved by
apprehension unmingled with fear, and revenge, passion, and honor were the
wages they fought for. I could not give those Huguenot soldiers _reins_
enough; the others have worn out my _spurs_."

[103] And yet I agree with Von Polenz, Gesch. des Franz. Calvinismus
(Gotha, 1859), ii. 188, 189, note, in regarding the Roman Catholic
accounts of Des Adrets's cruelties and perfidy as very much exaggerated,
and in insisting upon the circumstance that the barbarity practised at
Orange had furnished him not only the example, but the incentive.

[104] According to Jean de Serres, this leader was the Baron des Adrets in
person; according to De Thou, Montbrun commanded by the baron's
appointment. So also Histoire ecclés., iii. 171.

[105] So at Montbrison, the Baron des Adrets reserved thirty prisoners
from the common slaughter to expiate the massacre of Orange by a similar
method. One of them was observed by Des Adrets to draw back twice before
taking the fatal leap. "What!" said the chief, "do you take _two springs_
to do it?" "I will give you _ten_ to do it!" the witty soldier replied;
and the laugh he evoked from those grim lips saved his life. De Thou (iii.
231, 232) and others.

[106] J. de Serres, ii. 188; Castelnau, liv., iv. c. ii. But the "Discours
des Guerres de la comté de Venayscin et de la Prouence ... par le seigneur
Loys de Perussiis, escuyer de Coumons, subiect uassal de sa saincteté"
(dedicated to "Fr. Fabrice de Serbellon, cousin-germain de N. S. P. et son
général en la cité d'Avignon et dicte comté,") Avignon, 1563, and
reprinted in Cimber (iv. 401, etc.), makes no mention of the fig-tree, and
regards the preservation as almost miraculous. There is a faithful
representation of the ruined Château of Mornas above the frightful
precipice, in Count Alexander de Laborde's magnificent work, Les Monuments
de la France (Paris, 1836), plate 179.

[107] Discours des Guerres de la comté de Venayscin, etc., 453; De Thou,
iii. 240.

[108] Mém. de Blaise de Montluc, iii. 393 (Petitot ed.): "pouvant dire
avec la vérité qu'il n'y a lieutenant de Roy en France qui ait plus faict
passer d'Huguenots par le cousteau ou par la corde, que moy."

[109] "Me deliberay d'user de toutes les cruautez que je pourrois." Ib.,
iii. 20. "Je recouvray secrettement deux bourreaux, lesquels on appella
depuis mes laquais, parce qu'ils estoient souvent après moy." Ib., iii.,
21. Consult the succeeding pages for an account of Montluc's brutality,
which could scarcely be credited, but that Montluc himself vouches for it.

[110] Since the publication of the Edict of January at Toulouse (on the
6th of February), the Protestant minister had sworn to observe its
provisions before the seneschal, viguier, and capitouls, and, when he
preached, these last had been present to prevent disturbance. A place of
worship, twenty-four cannes long by sixteen in width (174 feet by 116),
had been built on the spot assigned by the authorities. Hist. ecclés. des
égl. réf., iii. 1.

[111] De Thou, iii. 294; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., iii. 1-32.

[112] Even in 1762, Voltaire remonstrated against a jubilee to "thank God
for four thousand murders." Yet a century later, in 1862, Monseigneur
Desprez, Archbishop of Toulouse, gave notice of the recurrence of the
celebration in these words: "The Catholic Church always makes it a duty to
recall, in the succession of ages, the most remarkable events of its
history--particularly those which belong to it in a special manner. It is
thus that we are going to celebrate this year the jubilee commemorative of
a glorious act accomplished among you three hundred years ago." The
archbishop was warm in his admiration of the last centennial procession,
"at which were present all the persons of distinction--the religious
orders, the officiating minister under his canopy, the red robes, and the
members of parliament pressing behind the university, the seneschal, the
_bourgeoisie_, and finally a company of soldiers." But the French
government, not agreeing with the prelate in the propriety of perpetuating
the reminiscence, forbade the procession and all out-door solemnities, and
declared "the celebration of a jubilee of the 16th to the 23d of May next,
enjoined by the Archbishop of Toulouse, to be nothing less than the
commemoration of a mournful and bloody episode of our ancient religious
discords." See a letter from a correspondent of the New York Evening Post,
Paris, April 10, 1862.

[113] Papal brief of April 23, 1562: "Ista sunt vere catholico viro digna
opera, ista haud dubie divina sunt beneficia. Agimus omnipotenti Deo
gratias, qui tam præclaram tibi mentem dedit," etc. Soldan, ii. 61.

[114] De Thou, iii. 149-151.

[115] Ibid., iii. 143, April 7th.

[116] Catharine de' Medici stated to Sir Harry Sydney, the special English
envoy, in May, 1562, that her son-in-law, the King of Spain, had offered
Charles thirty thousand foot and six thousand horse "payd of his owne
charge," besides what the Duke of Savoy and others were ready to furnish.
Letter of Sidney and Throkmorton to Queen Elizabeth, May 8, 1562, MSS.
State Paper Office. Duc d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, Pièces justif., i.
363.

[117] Sir T. Chaloner, ambassador in Spain, to Sir Nicholas Throkmorton,
May 1, 1562, Haynes, State Papers, 382, 383.

[118] April 17th. Mém. de Condé, iii. 281-284.

[119] May 15th and 16th, Mém. de Condé, iii. 284-287.

[120] Froude, History of England, vii. 404.

[121] Throkmorton to the queen, April 1, 1562, State Paper Office.

[122] Cecil to Mundt, March 22, 1562, State Paper Office.

[123] Wm. Hawes to Throkmorton, July 15, 1562, State Paper Office.

[124] Hist. ecclés., iii. 143-145; De Thou, iii. 233, 234.

[125] Almost all the members of Condé's council favored a call upon the
German Protestant princes for prompt support. But "the admiral broke off
this plan of theirs, saying that he would prefer to die rather than
consent that those of the religion should be the first to bring foreign
troops into France." It was, therefore, concluded to send two gentlemen to
Germany, to remain there until the conclusion of the war, in order to
explain the position of the Huguenots. Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii.
23.

[126] Mém. de Condé, i. 79, 80. Cf. Baum, ii., App., 177.

[127] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 14; Mém. de Condé, i. 81-83, and
iii. 256; De Thou, iii. 143.

[128] "Que sans sa venue à Paris, il fust arrivé vers les Pasques, plus de
quinze centz chevaulx de tous costez du royaume, pour saccager la ville,"
etc. Response à la Déclaration que faict le Prince de Condé, etc. Mém. de
Condé, iii. 242.

[129] Mém. de Condé, iii. 388-391; Hist, ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 30,
31; Jean de Serres, ii. 63; De Thou, iii. 152.

[130] J. de Serres, ii. 112-117; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 27-29;
Mém. de Condé, iii. 392, 393; De Thou, iii. 153, 154.

[131] Jean de Serres, ii. 118-150; Mém. de Condé, iii. 395-416; Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 32-46; De Thou, iii. 154-157. It is incredible
that, as De Thou suggests, this answer should have been penned by Montluc,
Bishop of Valence. On the other hand, it bears every mark of having
proceeded from the pen of that learned, eloquent, and sprightly writer,
Theodore Beza. As a literary production it fully deserves the warm
encomium passed upon it by Professor Baum: "It is a masterpiece in respect
both to the arrangement and to the treatment of the matter; and, with its
truly Demosthenian strength, may, with confidence, be placed by the side
of the most eloquent passages to which the French language can point."
Baum, Theodor Beza, ii. 642.

[132] J. de Serres, ii. 93, etc.; De Thou, iii. 158. See the acts of the
third National Synod in Aymon, Tous les Synodes, i. 23-31. The Second
National synod had been held at Poitiers, on the tenth of March, 1561. Its
acts are in Aymon, i. 13-22.

[133] J. de Serres, ii. 170; De Thou, iii. 160; Jehan de la Fosse, 50;
Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf. ii. 47.

[134] De Thou, iii. 160.

[135] Journal de Bruslart, Mémoires de Condé, i. 87; Claude Haton, i. 284;
Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf. ii. 48.

[136] See the prince's affectionate letter to Antoine, June 13th, Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf. ii. 49; De Thou, _ubi supra_; J. de Serres, ii. 156.

[137] Mém. de Guise, 495.

[138] It was in the presence of seven knights of the order of St. Michael,
of the secretaries of state, etc. See Condé's long remonstrance against
the judgment of the Parisian parliament, Aug. 8, 1562. Hist. ecclés. des
égl. réf., ii. 71; Mém. de Condé, iii. 587.

[139] Unlucky Bishop Montluc has received the doubtful credit of having
laid this pretty snare for the Huguenot chiefs, but with what reason it is
beyond my ability to conjecture. The same brain could scarcely have
indited the bitter reply to the petition of the triumvirs, and devised the
cunning project of entangling their opponents. Evidently the Bishop of
Valence has received some honors to which he is not entitled.

[140] Mém. de Guise, 494; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 59.
"Conclusion," says the duke in his confidence in the success of his
project, "la religion réformée, en nous conduisant et tenant bon, comme
nous ferons jusques au bout, s'en va aval l'eau, et les admiraux, mal ce
qui est possible: toutes nos forces entièrement demeurent, les leurs
rompues, les villes rendues sans parler d'édits ne de presches et
administration de sacremens à leur mode." A memorandum of eight articles
from the triumvirs to Navarre, seized at the same time, showed the
intention to arrest the Prince of Condé. Ib., ii. 60.

[141] J. de Serres, ii. 170-180; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi supra_;
De Thou, iii. 164-168. Harangue of Bishop Spifame to the emperor, Le
Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, ii. 28-38. Mémoires de Jéhan de
l'Archevesque, Sieur de Soubise, Bulletin, xxiii. (1874) 460, 461.

[142] La Noue, c. v., p. 597; De Thou, iii. 168, 169, etc.

[143] J. de Serres, ii. 180; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 61, 62.

[144] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 62; La Noue, c. iv.

[145] La Noue, c. vii., p. 600. "Ledict seigneur prince de Condé," says
Jean Glaumeau of Bourges, in his journal, "voyant qu'il ne pouvoit avoir
raison avec son ennemy et qu'il ne le pouvoit rencontrer, ayant une armée
de viron trente ou quarante milles hommes, de peur qu'ilz n'adurassent
(endurassent) fain ou soif, commence à les séparer et envoya en ceste
ville de Bourges, tant de cheval que de pied, viron quatre milles, et y
arrivèrent le samedi xie jour de juillet." Bulletin, v. (1857) 387.

[146] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 61.

[147] "Si celle-cy y faut, nous ferons la croix à la cheminée." Mém. de la
Noue, c. vi. 598, 599.

[148] The author of the Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 61, regards the
failure of the confederates promptly to put to the death--as Admiral
Coligny and others had insisted upon their doing--a Baron de Courtenay,
who had outraged a village girl, and their placing him under a guard from
which he succeeded in making his escape, as "the door, so to speak,
through which Satan entered the camp."

[149] De Thou, iii. 171.

[150] Abbé Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 90; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf.,
ii. 66; Journal de Jehan de la Fosse, 52. The latter erroneously calls it
an edict "de par le roi;" but certainly gives the essence of the order
according to the popular estimate when he says "qu'il estoit permis au
peuple de tuer tout huguenot qu'il trouveroit, d'où vint qu'il y en eust
en la ville de Paris plusieurs tués et jetés en l'eau."

[151] Mém. de Condé, i. 91. Text of arrêt of July 13th, ib., iii. 544; of
arrêt of July 17th, ib., iii. 547. Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi
supra_; Recordon, p. 108.

[152] Nicholas Pithou has left in his MSS., which, unfortunately, have not
yet been published entire, a thrilling narrative of the savage excesses
committed partly by the authorities of Troyes, partly by the soldiers and
the rabble, under their eyes and with their approval. There is nothing
more abominable in the annals of crime than what was committed at this
time with the connivance of the ministers of law. The story of the
sufferings of Pithou's sister, Madame de Valentigny, will be found of
special interest. See Recordon, 107-129.

[153] Mém. de Condé, i. 91, and Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi supra_.
J. de la Fosse, 53, 54, "pour huguenoterye." Even with these judicial
executions the people interfered, cutting off the heads of the victims,
using them for footballs, and finally burning them. The contemptuous
disobedience of the _people_ of Paris and their cruelty are frequent
topics touched upon in Throkmorton's correspondence. He acknowledges
himself to be afraid, because of "the daily despites, injuries, and
threatenings put in use towards him and his by the insolent, raging
people." He sees that "neither the authority of the king, the queen
mother, or any other person can be sanctuary" for him; for they "daily
most cruelly kill every person (no age or sex excepted) whom they take to
be contrary to their religion, notwithstanding daily proclamations under
pain of death to the contrary." He declares that the king and his mother
are, "for their own safety, constrained to lie at Bois de Vincennes, not
thinking good to commit themselves into the hands of the furious
Parisians;" and that the Chancellor of France, "being the most sincere man
of this prince's council," is in as great fear of his life as Throkmorton
himself, being lodged hard by the Bois de Vincennes, where he has the
protection of the king's guards; and yet even there he has been threatened
with a visit from the Parisians, and with being killed in his own house.
See both of Throkmorton's despatches to the queen, of August 5, 1562,
State Paper Office. One of them is printed in Forbes, ii. 7, etc.

[154] Mém. de Condé, i. 91-93; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi supra_;
De Thou, iii. 192, 193; J. de La Fosse, 54.

[155] It appears from a letter of the Nuncio Santa Croce (April 29th),
that, as early as two months before, the court flattered itself with the
hope of deriving great advantages from excluding Condé from the ban, and
affecting to regard him as a prisoner (Aymon, i. 152, and Cimber et
Danjou, vi. 91). "Con che pensano," he adds, "di quietar buona parte del
popolo, che non sentendo parlar di religione, e parendoli ancora che la
guerra si faccia per la liberatione del Principe de Condé, stara a
vedere."

[156] "The byshopp off Rome hathe lent these hys cheampions and frends on
hundrethe thousand crowns, and dothe pay monthely besyds six thousand
sowldiers." Throkmorton to the Council, July 27, 1562, Forbes, State
Papers, ii. 5.

[157] De Thou, iii. 191, etc.; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 64, etc.

[158] The number was, in fact, only about 15,000 foot and 3,000 horse,
according to De Thou, iii. 198.

[159] Although Coligny captured six cannon and over forty wagons of
powder, he was compelled reluctantly to destroy, or render useless, and
abandon munitions of war of which he stood in great need; for the enemy
had taken the precaution to kill or drive away the horses, and the wagons
could not be dragged to Orleans, a distance of over twenty miles. It
happened that Sir Nicholas Throkmorton, whose instructive correspondence
furnishes so lucid a commentary upon the events from 1559 to 1563, was
travelling under escort of the royal train, to take leave of Charles IX.
at Bourges. In the unexpected assault of the Huguenots he was stripped of
his money and baggage, and even his despatches. Under these circumstances
he thought it necessary to accompany Coligny to Orleans. Catharine, who
knew well Throkmorton's sympathy with the Protestants, and hated him
heartily ("Yt is not th' Ambassador of Englande," he had himself written
only a few days earlier, "which ys so greatlye stomackyd and hatyd in this
countreye, but yt ys the persone of Nicholas Throkmorton," Forbes, ii.
33), would have it that he had purposely thrown himself into the hands of
the Huguenots. His confidential correspondence with Queen Elizabeth does
not bear out the charge. Despatch from Orleans, Sept. 9, 1562, Forbes,
State Papers, ii. 36, etc. Catharine assured Sir Thomas Smith, on his
arrival at court as English ambassador, that she wished he had been sent
before, instead of Throkmorton, "for they took him here to be the author
of all these troubles," declaring that Throkmorton was never well but when
he was making some broil, and that he was so "passionate and affectionate"
on the Huguenots' side, that he cared not what trouble he made. Despatch
of Smith, Rouen, Nov. 7, 1562, State Paper Office.

[160] Histoire ecclés., ii. 296-306 (the terms of capitulation, ii. 304,
305); Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iii., c. xi. (who maintains they were
implicitly observed); Throkmorton, in Forbes, State Papers, ii. 41;
Davila, bk. iii., p. 71; De Thou, iii. 198, 199. "Bituriges turpiter a
duce præsidii proditi sese dediderunt, optimis quidem conditionibus, sed
quas biduo post perfidiosissimus hostis infregit." Beza to Bullinger,
Sept. 24, 1562, Baum, ii., Appendix, 194. M. Bourquelot has published a
graphic account of the capture of Bourges in May, by the Huguenots, under
Montgomery, and of the siege in August, from the MS. Journal of Jean
Glaumeau, in the National Library (Bulletin de l'hist. du prot. fr., v.
387-389). M. L. Lacour reprints in the same valuable periodical (v.
516-518) a contemporary hymn of some merit, "Sur la prise de Bourges." We
are told that a proverb is even now current in Berry, not a little
flattering to the Huguenot rule it recalls:

    "L'an mil cinq cent soixante et deux
    Bourges n'avoit prêtres ny gueux." (Ibid., v. 389.)

[161] Jean de Serres, De statu relig. et reip., ii. 258, 259.

[162] This conclusion was arrived at as early as Aug. 29th. Froude, Hist.
of England, vii. 433. Seventy thousand crowns were to be paid to the
prince's agents at Strasbourg or Frankfort so soon as the news should be
received of the transfer of Havre, thirty thousand more within a month
thereafter. The other forty thousand were in lieu of the defence of Rouen
and Dieppe, should it seem impracticable to undertake it. Havre was to be
held until the Prince should have effected the restitution of Calais and
the adjacent territory according to the treaties of Cateau-Cambrésis,
although the time prescribed by those treaties had not expired, and until
the one hundred and forty thousand crowns should have been repaid without
interest. The compact, signed by Queen Elizabeth at Hampton Court, Sept.
20, 1562, is inserted in Du Mont, Corps Diplomatique, v. 94, 95, and in
Forbes, State Papers, ii., 48-51.

[163] See the declaration in Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 415, 416;
and Forbes, State Papers, ii. 79, 80. J. de Serres, ii. 261, etc. Cf.
Forbes, State Papers, ii. 60, 69-79.

[164] Throkmorton to the queen, Sept. 24, 1562. Forbes, State Papers, ii.
64, 65.

[165] Froude, _ubi supra_. In fact, Elizabeth assured Philip the
Second--and there is no reason to doubt her veracity in this--that she
would recall her troops from France so soon as Calais were recovered and
peace with her neighbors were restored, and that, in the attempt to secure
these ends, she expected the countenance rather than the opposition of her
brother of Spain. Queen Elizabeth to the King of Spain, Sept. 22, 1562.
Forbes, State Papers, ii. 55. It is not improbable, indeed, that there
were ulterior designs even against Havre. "It is ment," her minister Cecil
wrote to one of his intimate correspondents, "to kepe Newhaven in the
Quene's possession untill Callice be eyther delyvered, or better assurance
of it then presently we have." But he soon adds that, in a certain
emergency, "I think the Quene's Majestie nead not be ashamed to utter her
right to Newhaven as parcell of the Duchie of Normandy." T. Wright, Queen
Elizabeth and her Times (London, 1838), i. 96.

[166] Froude, History of England, vii. 460, 461.

[167] Catharine to Throkmorton, Étampes, Sept. 21, 1562, State Paper
Office.

[168] Mém. de la Noue, c. vii.; De Thou, iii. 206, 207 (liv. xxxi).
Throkmorton is loud in his praise of the fortifications the Huguenots had
thrown up, and estimates the soldiers within them at over one thousand
horse and five thousand foot soldiers, besides the citizen militia.
Forbes, ii. 39.

[169] Cuthbert Vaughan appreciated the importance of this city, and warned
Cecil that "if the same, for lack of aid, should be surprised, it might
give the French suspicion on our part that the queen meaneth but an
appearance of aid, thereby to obtain into her hands such things of theirs
as may be most profitable to her, and in time to come most noyful to
themselves." Forbes, ii. 90. Unfortunately it was not Cecil, but Elizabeth
herself, that restrained the exertions of the troops, and she was hard to
move. And so, for lack of a liberal and hearty policy, Rouen was suffered
to fall, and Dieppe was given up without a blow, and Warwick and the
English found themselves, as it were, besieged in Havre. Whereas, with
those places, they might have commanded the entire triangle between the
Seine and the British Channel. See Throkmorton's indignation, and the
surprise of Condé and Coligny, Forbes, State Papers, ii. 193, 199.

[170] In a letter to Lansac, Aug. 17, 1562, Catharine writes: "Nous nous
acheminons à Bourges pour en déloger le jeune Genlis.... L'ayant levé de
là, comme je n'y espère grande difficulté, nous tournerons vers Orléans
pour faire le semblable de ceux qui y sont." Le Laboureur, i. 820.

[171] Mém. de François de la Noue, c. viii. (p. 601.)

[172] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 375, 376, 383; J. de Serres, ii.
181; De Thou, iii. 179-181.

[173] It was undoubtedly a Roman Catholic fabrication, that Montgomery
bore on his escutcheon _a helmet pierced by a lance_ (un heaume percé
d'une lance), in allusion to the accident by which he had given Henry the
Second his mortal wound, in the joust at the Tournelles. Abbé Bruslart,
Mém. de Condé, i. 97, who, however, characterizes it as "chose fort dure à
croire."

[174] Mém. de la Noue, c. viii.

[175] When Lord Robert Dudley began to break to the queen the
disheartening news that Rouen had fallen, Elizabeth betrayed "a marvellous
remorse that she had not dealt more frankly for it," and instead of
exhibiting displeasure at Poynings's presumption, seemed disposed to blame
him that he had not sent a thousand men instead, for his fault would have
been no greater. Dudley to Cecil, Oct. 30, 1562, Forbes, State Papers, ii.
155.

[176] De Thou, iii. 328; Froude, vii. 436; Sir Thomas Smith to
Throkmorton, Paris, Oct. 17, 1562, Forbes, State Papers, ii. 117.

[177] "But thei will have there preaching still. Thei will have libertie
of their religion, and thei will have no garrison wythin the towne, but
will be masters therof themselves: and upon this point thei stand."
Despatch of Sir Thomas Smith, Poissy, Oct. 20, 1562, Forbes, State Papers,
ii. 123.

[178] The plundering lasted eight days. While the Swiss obeyed orders, and
promptly desisted, "the French suffered themselves to be killed rather
than quit the place whilst there was anything left." Castelnau, liv. iii.,
c. 13. The _curé_ of Mériot waxes jocose over the incidents of the
capture: "Tout ce qui fut trouvé en armes par les rues et sur les
murailles fut passé par le fil de l'espée. La ville fut mise au pillage
par les soldatz du camp, qui se firent gentis compaignons. _Dieu sçait que
ceux qui estoient mal habillez pour leur yver_ (hiver) _ne s'en allèrent
sans robbe neufve._ Les huguenotz de la ville furent en tout maltraictez,"
etc. Mém. de Claude Haton, i. 288.

[179] On the siege of Rouen, see the graphic account of De Thou, iii.
(liv. xxxiii.) 328-335; the copious correspondence of the English envoys
in France, Forbes, State Papers, vol. ii.; the Hist. ecclés. des égl.
réf., ii. 389-396 (and Marlorat's examination and sentence _in extenso_,
398-404); J. de Serres, ii. 259; La Noue, c. viii.; Davila (interesting,
and not so inaccurate here as usual, perhaps because he had a
brother-in-law, Jean de Hemery, sieur de Villers, in the Roman Catholic
army, but who greatly exaggerates the Huguenot forces), ch. iii. 73-75;
Castelnau, liv. iii., c. 13.

[180] It is to be noted, however, that the order of the Prince of Condé,
in the case of Sapin (November 2, 1562), makes no mention of the judicial
murder of Marlorat, but alleges only his complicity with parliament in
imprisoning the king, his mother, and the King of Navarre, in annulling
royal edicts by magisterial orders, in constraining the king's officers to
become idolaters, in declaring knights of the Order of St. Michael and
other worthy gentlemen rebels, in ordering the tocsin to be rung, and
inciting to assassination, etc. Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 115, 116.
See Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 100. When Condé was informed that the
Parisian parliament had gone in red robes to the "Sainte Chapelle," to
hear a requiem mass for Counsellor Sapin, he laughed, and said that he
hoped soon to multiply their _litanies_ and _kyrie eleysons_. Hist.
ecclés., _ubi supra_.

[181] As early as October 27th, Navarre sent a gentleman to Jeanne
d'Albret, then at Pau in Béarn, "desiring to have her now to cherish him,
and do the part of a wife;" and the messenger told Sir Thomas Smith, with
whom he dined that day in Evreux, "that the king pretendeth to him, that
this punishment [his wounds] came to him well-deserved, for his unkindness
in forsaking the truth." Forbes, State Papers, ii. 167. The authenticity
of the story of Antoine of Navarre's death-bed repentance is sufficiently
attested by the letter written, less than a year later (August, 1563), by
his widow, Jeanne d'Albret, to the Cardinal of Armagnac: "Où sont ces
belles couronnes que vous luy promettiés, et qu'il a acquises à combattre
contre la vraye Religion et sa conscience; comme la confession dernière
qu'il en a faite en sa mort en est seur tesmoignage, et les paroles dites
à la Royne, en protestation de faire prescher les ministres par tout s'il
guerissoit." Pierre Olhagaray, Histoire de Foix, Béarn, et Navarre (Paris,
1609), p. 546. See also Brantôme (edition Lalanne), iv. 367, and the
account, written probably by Antoine's physician, De Taillevis, among the
Dupuy MSS. of the Bibliothèque nationale, ibid., iv. 419.

[182] Lestoile (Collection Michaud et Poujoulat), 15; Hist. ecclés. des
égl. réf., ii. 397, 406-408; De Thou, 336, 337; Relation de la mort du roi
de Navarre, Cimber et Danjou, iv. 67, etc.

[183] I am convinced that the historian De Thou has drawn of this fickle
prince much too charitable a portrait (iii. 337). It seems to be saying
too much to affirm that "his merit equalled that of the greatest captains
of his age;" and if "he loved justice, and was possessed of uprightness,"
it must be confessed that his dealings with neither party furnish much
evidence of the fact. (I retain these remarks, although I find that the
criticism has been anticipated by Soldan, ii. 78). Recalling the earlier
relations of the men, it is not a little odd that, when the news of
Navarre's death reached the "holy fathers" of the council then in session
in the city of Trent, the papal legates and the presidents paid the
Cardinal of Lorraine a formal visit to _condole_ with him on the decease
of his dear relative! (Acta Conc. Tridentini, _apud_ Martene et Durand,
Amplissima Collectio, tom. viii. 1299). The farce was, doubtless, well
played, for the actors were of the best in Christendom.

[184] Letter of Beza to Bullinger, Sept. 1, 1562, Baum, iii., App., 190.
The Huguenots had sustained a heavy loss also in the utter defeat and
dispersion by Blaise de Montluc of some five or six thousand troops of
Gascony, which the Baron de Duras was bringing to Orleans.

[185] The sentiments of well-informed Huguenots are reflected in a letter
of Calvin, of September, 1562, urging the Protestants of Languedoc to make
collections to defray the expense entailed by D'Andelot's levy. "D'entrer
en question ou dispute pour reprendre les faultes passées, ce n'est pas le
temps. Car, quoy qu'il en soit, Dieu nous a réduicts à telle extrémité que
si vous n'estes secourus de ce costé-là, on ne voit apparence selon les
hommes que d'une piteuse et horrible désolation." Bonnet, Lettres franç.,
ii. 475.

[186] Hist. ecclés., ii. 421.

[187] See "Capitulation des reytres et lansquenetz levez pour monseigneur
le prince de Condé, du xviii. d'aoust 1562," Bulletin, xvi. (1867),
116-118. The reiters came chiefly from Hesse.

[188] Claude Haton, no friend to Catharine, makes the Duke d'Aumale, in
command of eight or nine thousand troops, avoid giving battle to
D'Andelot, and content himself with watching his march from Lorraine as
far as St. Florentin, in obedience to secret orders of the queen mother,
signed with the king's seal. Mémoires, i. 294, 295. The fact was that
D'Andelot adroitly eluded both the Duke of Nevers, Governor of Champagne,
who was prepared to resist his passage, and Marshal Saint André, who had
advanced to meet him with thirteen companies of "gens-d'armes" and some
foot soldiers. Davila, bk. iii. 76; De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxiii.) 356.

[189] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 114, 115. The writer ascribes the
fall of Rouen to the delay of the reiters in assembling at their
rendezvous. Instead of being ready on the first of October, it was not
until the tenth that they had come in sufficient numbers to be mustered
in.

[190] Eighty thousand, according to the Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii.
91, 92; twenty-five thousand, according to Claude Haton, Mémoires, 332,
333.

[191] Letter of Beza to Bullinger, Sept. 1st, Baum, ii., App., 191; Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 114, 115; Davila, bk. iii., 77; De Thou, iii.
355, 356.

[192] Letter of Beza to Calvin, Dec. 14, 1562, Baum, ii., App., 196. The
authority of Beza, who had recently returned from a mission on which he
had been sent by Condé to Germany and Switzerland and who wrote from the
camp, is certainly to be preferred to that of Claude Haton, who states the
Huguenot forces at 25,000 men (Mémoires, i. 298). The prince's chief
captains--Coligny, Andelot, La Rochefoucauld, and Mouy--Haton rates as the
best warriors in France after the Duke of Guise. According to
Throkmorton's despatches from Condé's camp near Corbeil, the departure
from Orleans took place on the 8th of November, and the prince's French
forces amounted only to six thousand foot soldiers, indifferently armed,
and about two thousand horse. Forbes, State Papers, ii. 195. But this did
not include the Germans--some seven thousand five hundred men more. Ibid.,
ii. 196. Altogether, he reckons the army at "6,000 horsemen of all sorts
and nations, and 10,000 footmen." Ibid., ii. 202.

[193] Mém. de La Noue, c. viii., p. 602.

[194] The Protestants of Languedoc held in Nismes (Nov. 2-13, 1562) the
first, or at least one of the very first, of those "political assemblies"
which became more and more frequent as the sixteenth century advanced.
Here the Count of Crussol, subsequently Duke d'Uzès, was urged to accept
the office of "head, defender, and conservator" of the reformed party in
Languedoc. To the count a council was given, and he was requested not to
find the suggestion amiss that he should in all important matters, such as
treaties with the enemy, consult with the general assembly of the
Protestants, or at least with the council. By this good office he would
demonstrate the closeness of the bond uniting him as head to the body of
his native land, besides giving greater assurance to a people too much
inclined to receive unfounded impressions ("ung puple souvent trop
meticulleux et de legiere impression"). Procès-verbal of the Assembly of
Nismes, from MS. Bulletin, xxii. (1873), p. 515.

[195] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 117; De Thou, iii. 357. Calvin's,
or the Geneva liturgy, was probably used but in part. Special prayers,
adapted to the circumstances of the army, had been composed, under the
title of "Prières ordinaires des soldatz de l'armée conduicte par Monsieur
le Prince de Condé, accomodées selon l'occurrence du temps." Prof. Baum
cites a simple, but beautiful evening prayer, which was to be said when
the sentinels were placed on guard for the night. Theodor Beza, ii. 624,
note.

[196] Throkmorton (Forbes, ii. 195, 197) represents the executions as more
general, and as an act of severity, "chiefly in revenge of the great
cruelty exercised by the Duke of Guise and his party at Rouen against the
soldiers there, but specially against your Majesty's subjects."

[197] Throkmorton was convinced of the practicability of capturing Paris
by a rapid movement even from before Corbeil: "The whole suburbes on this
syde the water is entrenched, where there is sundry bastions and cavaliers
to plante th' artillerye on, which is verey daungerous for th'
assaylantes. Nevertheles, if the Prince had used celeritie, in my opinion,
with little losse of men and great facilitie he might have woon the
suburbes; and then the towne coulde not longe have holden, somme parte of
the sayd suburbes havinge domination therof." Forbes, ii. 217.

[198] Mémoires de François de la Noue, c. ix., p. 603 (Collection Michaud
et Poujoulat). See also Davila (bk. iii. 77), who represents the advice of
the admiral rather to have been to employ the army in recapturing the
places along the Loire, while Condé insisted on trying to become master of
Paris. De Thou, iii. 358. Beza, in his letter of Dec. 14th, says: "Quum
enim urbs repentino impetu facile capi posset, etc." So also the Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 118.

[199] See Motley, United Netherlands, iii. 59.

[200] "The Prince of Condé and his campe having approched the towne of
Corbeille, and being ready to batter the same, the queene mother sente her
principal escuyer, named Monsieur de Sainte-Mesme, with a lettre to the
sayd prince, advertisinge him of the deathe of the kinge, his brother. The
sayd de Sainte-Mesme had also in credence to tell the prince from the
queene, that she was verey desirous to have an ende of theise troubles:
and also that she was willinge that the sayd prince should enjoy his ranke
and aucthorité due unto him in this realme.... This the queene mother's
lettre and sweete words hathe empeached the battrye and warlyke procedings
against Corbeill; the prince therby beeing induced to desist from using
any violence against his ennemyes. I feare me, that this delaying will
torne much to the prince's disadvantage; and that there is no other good
meaning at this time in this faire speeche, then there was in the treaty
of Bogeancy (Beaugency) in the monethe of July last." Throkmorton to the
queen, from Essonne, opposite Corbeil, Nov. 22, 1562, Forbes, ii. 209.

[201] Letter of Beza to Calvin, Dec. 14th, Baum, ii., App., 197.

[202] Ib., _ubi supra_.

[203] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 120; De Thou, iii. 359.

[204] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 132; De Thou, iii. 361; Mém. de
Castelnau, liv. iv., c. iv.; Forbes, ii. 227, 228. Even in September, the
English ambassador wrote from Orleans, "there is greate practise made by
the queene mother and others to winne Monsieur de Janlis and Monsieur de
Grandmont from the prince." Forbes, ii. 41.

[205] "Par ce moyen, un chacun de nous trainera son licol, jusques à ce
que les dessusdits le serrent à leur appetit." Hist. ecclés. des égl.
réf., ii. 126. The details of the conferences, with the articles offered
on either side, are given at great length, pp. 121-136.

[206] "The queene mother and hyr councelours," wrote Throkmorton to
Elizabeth, four or five days later (Dec. 13, 1562), "have at the length
once agayne showed, howe sincerely they meane in their treatyes. For when
their force out of Gascoigne together with two thousand five hundred
Spainardes were arrived, and when they had well trenched and fortefyed the
faulxbourges and places of advantage of Paris; espienge, that the prince
coulde remayne no longer with his campe before Paris for lack of victuaill
and fourrage, having abused him sufficiently with this treaty eight or ten
dayes: the sayd queene mother ... refused utterly the condicions before
accorded." Forbes, State Papers, ii. 226. It is not strange that the
ambassador, after the meagre results of the past five weeks, "could not
hope of any great good to be done, until he saw it;" although he was
confident that "if matters were handled stoutly and roundly, without
delay," the prince might constrain his enemies to accord him favorable
conditions.

[207] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iv., c. iv.

[208] Five thousand, according to the Duke d'Aumale (Les Princes de Condé,
i. 190).

[209] "Quatre-vingtz salades ... lesquels sembloient estre _quatre-vingtz
saettes_ du ciel!" Explanation of plan of battle sent by Guise to the
king, reprinted in Mém. de Condé, iv. 687.

[210] "Etant chose certaine qu'il n'entra de cinquante ans en France des
plus couards hommes que ceux-là, bien qu'ils eussent la plus belle
apparence du monde." Hist. ecclés. ii. 144.

[211] It ought perhaps, in justice to the reiters, to be noticed that
Coligny attributes their failure not to cowardice, as in the case of both
the French and the German infantry, but to their not understanding orders,
and to the occasional absence of an interpreter.

[212] La Noue in his commentaries (Ed. Mich., c. x., p. 605 seq.) makes
some interesting observations on the singular incidents of the battle of
Dreux. The author of the Histoire ecclés., ii. 140, and De Thou, iii. 367,
criticise both the Roman Catholic and the Protestant generals. They find
the former to blame for not waiting to engage the Huguenots until they had
reached the rougher country they were approaching, where the superiority
of Condé in cavalry would have been of little avail. They censure the
latter for leaving his own infantry unprotected, and for attacking the
enemy's infantry instead of his cavalry. If this had been routed, the
other would have made no further resistance.

[213] He had, according to Beza's letter to Calvin, Dec. 27th (Baum, ii.
Appendix, 202), lost only one hundred and fifty of his horsemen; or,
according to the Histoire ecclés. (ii. 146), only twenty-seven.

[214] For details of the battle of Dreux, see Hist. ecclés., ii. 140-148;
Mém. de Castelnau, liv. ii., c. v.; De Thou, iii. 365, etc.; Pasquier,
Lettres (Ed. Feugère), ii. 251-254; Guise's relation, reprinted in Mém. de
Condé, iv. 685, etc., and letters subsequently written, ibid. iv. 182,
etc.; Coligny's brief account, written just after the battle, ibid. iv.
178-181; the Swiss accounts, Baum, ii. Appendix, 198-202; Vieilleville,
liv. viii., c. xxxvi.; Davila, 81, seq. Cf. letter of Catharine, _ubi
infra_, and two plans of the engagement, in vol. v. of Mém. de Condé. The
Duc d'Aumale gives a good military sketch, i. 189-205.

[215] "Et non sans cause," says Abbé Bruslart; "d'autant que de ceste
bataille despendoit tout l'estat de la religion chrestienne et du
royaume." Mém. de Condé, i. 105. A despatch of Smith to the Privy Council,
St. Denis, Dec. 20, 1562, gives this first and incorrect account. MS.
State Paper Office.

[216] H. Martin, Hist. de France, x. 156. Le Laboureur, ii. 450.
Catharine's own account to her minister at Vienna, it is true, is very
different. "J'en demeuray près de 24 heures _en une extrême ennuy et
fascherie_, et jusques à ce que le S. de Losses arriva par-devers moy, qui
fut hier sur les neuf heures du matin." Letter to the Bishop of Rennes,
Dec. 23, 1562, _apud_ Le Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, ii. 66-68.

[217] The Council of Trent, on receiving an account of the battle, Dec.
28th, offered solemn thanksgivings. Acta Concil. Trid. _apud_ Martene et
Durand, Ampl. Coll., t. viii. 1301, 1302; Letter of the Card. of Lorraine
to the Bishop of Rennes, French ambassador in Germany, _apud_ Le
Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, ii. 70.

[218] Sir Thomas Smith to Cecil, February 4, 1563, State Paper Office.

[219] Same to same, February 26, 1563, State Paper Office.

[220] For Marshal Saint André, who had once gravely suggested in the
council the propriety of sewing the queen mother up in a bag and throwing
her into the river, it is understood that the Medici shed few tears.
Brantôme and Le Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, ii. 81. The marshal
had been shot by a victim whom he had deprived of his possessions by
confiscation. Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[221] "Black devils," Guise calls them in a letter of Jan. 17th. "M. de
Châtillon et ces diables noirs sont à Jerjuau." Mém. de Guise, 502.

[222] Coligny had notified the English court of his intention early in
January, and Cecil entertained high hopes of the result: "A gentleman is
arryved at Rye, sent from the Admyrall Chastillion, who assureth his
purpose to prosecute the cause of God and of his contrey, and meaneth to
joyne with our power in Normandy, which I trust shall make a spedy end of
the whole." Letter to Sir T. Smith, January 14th, Wright, Q. Eliz., i.
121.

[223] How important a matter this was, may be inferred from the fact that
the Admiral took pains to dwell upon it, in a letter to Queen Elizabeth,
written two or three days before his departure: "Advisant au reste vostre
Majésté, Madame, que j'ay faict condescendre les reistres a laisser tous
leur bagages et empechemens en ceste ville (_chose non auparavant ouye_):
de sorte que dedans le dix ou douziesme de ce moys de Febvrier prochain au
plus tard, avec l'aide de Dieu, nous serons bien prez du Havre de Grace,"
etc. Letter from Orleans, Jan. 29, 1563, Forbes, ii. 319.

[224] "En cest equipage, nous faisions telle diligence, que souvent nous
prévenions la renommée de nous mesmes en plusieurs lieux où nous
arrivions." Mém. de la Noue, c. xi. La Noue states the force at two
thousand reiters, five hundred French horse, and one thousand mounted
arquebusiers.

[225] "The 8th of that moneth" (February), says Stow, "the said Admirall
came before Hunflew with six thousand horsemen, reisters and others of his
owne retinues, beside footmen, and one hundred horsemen of the countries
thereabout, and about sixe of the clocke at night, there was a great peale
of ordinance shot off at Newhaven (Havre) for a welcome to the sayd
Admirall." Annals (London, 1631), 653. The passage is inaccurately quoted
by Wright, Queen Eliz., i. 125, note.

[226] Hist. des égl. réf., ii. 156, 157; Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iv., c.
vii. and viii.

[227] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iv., c. ix.

[228] OEuvres (Ed. Feugère), ii. 254; and again, ii. 257.

[229] Davila, bk. iii., p. 85.

[230] Castelnau (liv. iv., c. ix.), who was present, gives a less graphic
account than Davila (bk. iii., pp. 85, 86), who was not. Hist. ecclés. des
égl. réf., ii. 159-161; La Noue, c. xi. 607-609.

[231] Feb. 9th--the day before Sir Thomas Smith reached Blois. Letter to
Privy Council, Feb. 17, 1563, State Paper Office; Hist. ecclés. des égl.
réf., ii. 160.

[232] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 162.

[233] Sir Thomas Smith to the Privy Council, Feb. 15th and 17th, 1563,
State Paper Office, Calendar, pp. 138, 141. It is now known, of course,
that _bombs_ had been occasionally used long before 1563, by the Arabs in
Spain, and others. But this kind of missile was practically a novelty, and
was not adopted in ordinary warfare till near a century later.

[234] It was at a most trying moment--when M. de Soubise, the Protestant
governor, found that only two weeks' provisions remained in the city, and
therefore felt compelled to issue an order to force some 7,000
non-combatants--women, children, and the poor--to leave Lyons, that Viret,
the Huguenot pastor, had an opportunity to display the great ascendancy
which his eminent piety and discretion had secured him over all ranks in
society. According to the newly published Memoirs of Soubise, Viret boldly
remonstrated against an act which was equivalent to a surrender of
thousands of defenceless persons to certain butchery, and declared that
the ordinary rules of military necessity did not apply to a war like this,
"in which the poorest has an interest, since we are fighting for the
liberty of our consciences," adding his own assurance that help would come
from some other quarter. Finally the governor yielded, saying: "Even
should it turn out ill and my reputation suffer, as though I had not done
my duty as a captain, yet, at your word, I will do as you ask, being well
assured that God will bless my act." Bulletin, xxiii. (1874), 497. It will
be remembered that Pierre Viret had been the able coadjutor of Farel in
the reformation of Geneva, twenty-eight years before. The siege of Lyons
was made the subject of a lengthy song by Antoine Du Plain (reprinted in
the Chansonnier Huguenot, 220 seq.), containing not a few historical data
of importance.

[235] "Nous venons maintenans d'estre advertyz de Lion par M. de Soubize,
comme le Baron des Adrez, ayant esté practiqué par M. de Nemours, avoit
comploté de faire entrer quelque gendarmerie et gens de pied de M. de
Nemours dedans Rommans, ville du Daulphiné: dont il a esté empesché par le
sieur de Mouvans, et par la noblesse du pays; qui se sont saisiz de sa
personne, et le ont mené prisonnier à Valence, pour le envoyer en
Languedoc devers mon frère, naguères cardinal de Chastillon, et Monsieur
de Crussol (qui ont presque delivré tout le dict pays de Languedoc de la
tyrannie des ennemys de Dieu et du Roy) a fin de le faire punir, et servir
d'exemple aux autres deserteurs de Dieu, de leur debvoir, et de la
patrie." Admiral Coligny to Queen Elizabeth, Orleans, January 29, 1562/3,
Forbes, ii. 320.

[236] The gloomy picture is painted by Henri Martin, x. 158, etc.

[237] This statement does not rest upon any documentary proof that I am
aware of. It is, however, vouched for by the Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf.,
ii. 162. Moreover, Admiral Coligny, in his later defence, expressly
states, "on the testimony of men worthy of belief," that Guise "was
accustomed to boast that, on the capture of the city, he would spare none
of the inhabitants, and that no respect would be paid to age or sex." Jean
de Serres, iii. 29; Mém. de Condé, iv. 348.

[238] Mém. de Soubise, Bulletin, xxiii. (1874) 499.

[239] Not without some hesitation, however. So little confidence in his
good judgment did his frivolous appearance inspire, that Coligny observed:
"I would not trust him, without knowing him better than I do, had not
Monsieur de Soubise sent him to me." Mém. de Soubise, Bulletin, xxiii.
(1874) 502.

[240] The Procès verbal of Poltrot's examination just before his death,
March 18th, is inserted in the Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 187-198.
In this he declares that his first testimony was _false_ and extorted by
the fear of death, and exculpates Soubise, Beza, Coligny, etc., from
having instigated him. He says that when put to torture he will say
anything the questioners want him to. Accordingly, when so tortured, he
accuses them, and when released a moment after the horses have begun to
rend him in pieces, he conjures up a plot of the Huguenots to sack Paris,
etc. May it not properly be asked, what such testimony as this is worth?
For or against Coligny, volumes of it would not affect his character in
our estimation.

[241] The direct testimony of Jacques Auguste de Thou, on a matter with
which he was evidently intimately acquainted through his father, is
unimpeachable, and will outweigh with every unprejudiced mind all the
stories of Davila, Castelnau, etc., founded on mere report. De Thou,
Histoire univ. (liv. xxxiv.), iii. 403.

[242] Poltrot's pretended confession of Feb. 26th, at Camp Saint Hilaire,
near Saint Mesmin, with the replies signed by Coligny, la Rochefoucauld,
and Beza to each separate article, is inserted in full in Mém. de Condé,
iv. 285-303, and the Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 176-186. Coligny's
letter to Catharine, ibid., ii. 186, 187, Mém. de Condé, iv. 303.

[243] That Catharine de' Medici was no very sincere mourner for Guise is
sufficiently certain; and it is well known that there were those who
believed her to have instigated his murder (See Mém. de Tavannes, Pet.
ed., ii. 394). This is not surprising when we recall the fact that almost
every great crime or casualty that occurred in France, for the space of a
generation, was ascribed to her evil influence. Still the Viscount de
Tavannes makes too great a draft upon our credulity, when he pretends that
she made a frank admission of guilt to his father. "Depuis, au voyage de
Bayonne, passant par Dijon, elle dit au sieur de Tavannes: 'Ceux de Guise
se vouloient faire roys, je les en ay bien gardé devant Orléans.'" The
expression "devant Orléans" can hardly be tortured into a reference to
anything else than Guise's assassination.

[244] I entirely agree with Prof. Baum (Theodor Beza, ii. 719) in
regarding "this single circumstance as more than sufficient to demonstrate
both the innocence of Coligny and his associates, and the consciously
guilty fabrication of the accusations."

[245] Besides the authorities already referred to, the Journal of
Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 123, 124; Davila, bk. iii. 86, 87; Claude
Haton, i. 322, etc.; J. de Serres, ii. 343-345; and Pasquier, Lettres
(OEuvres choisies), ii. 258, may be consulted with advantage. Prof. Baum's
account is, as usual, vivid, accurate, and instructive (Theodor Beza, ii.
706, etc.). Varillas, Anquetil, etc., are scarcely worth examining. There
is the ordinary amount of blundering about the simplest matters of
chronology. Davila places the wounding of Guise on the 24th of February,
his death three days later, etc.

[246] Mém. de Condé, i. 124; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 164.

[247] Claude Haton, i. 325, 326.

[248] See Riez's letter to the king, reprinted in Mém. de Condé, iv.
243-265, and in Cimber and Danjou's invaluable collection of contemporary
pamphlets and documents, v. 171-204; Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 164.

[249] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., _ubi supra_. There is extant an
affecting letter from the aged Renée of Ferrara to Calvin, in which she
complains with deep feeling of the reformed, and especially their
preachers, for the severity with which even after his death they attacked
the memory of her son-in-law, and even spoke of his eternal condemnation
as an ascertained fact. "I know," she said, "that he was a persecutor; but
I do not know, nor, to speak freely, do I believe that he was reprobated
of God; for he gave signs to the contrary before his death. But they want
this not to be mentioned, and they desire to shut the mouths of those who
know it." Cimber et Danjou, v. 399, etc. Calvin's reply of the 24th of
January, 1564, is admirable for its kind, yet firm tone (Bonnet, Lettres
franç. de Calvin, ii. 550, etc., Calvin's Letters, Am. edit., iv. 352,
etc.). He freely condemned the beatification of the King of Navarre, while
the Duke of Guise was consigned to perdition. The former was an apostate;
the latter an open enemy of the truth of the Gospel from the very
beginning. Indeed, to pronounce upon the doom of a fellow-sinner was both
rash and presumptuous, for there is but one Judge before whose seat we all
must give account. Yet, in condemning the authors of the horrible troubles
that had befallen France, and which all God's children had felt scarcely
less poignantly than Renée herself, sprung though she was from the royal
stock, it was impossible not to condemn the duke "who had kindled the
fire." Yea, for himself, although he had always prayed God to show Guise
mercy, the reformer avowed, in almost the very words of Beza, that he had
often desired that God would lay His hand upon the duke to free His Church
of him, unless He would convert him. "And yet I can protest," he added,
"that but for me, before the war, active and energetic men would have
exerted themselves to destroy him from the face of the earth, whom my sole
exhortation restrained."

Some of the composers of Huguenot ballads were bitter enough in their
references to Guise's death and pompous funeral; see, among others, the
songs in the Chansonnier Huguenot, pp. 253 and 257.

[250] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 285, 286. The story is well told in
Memorials of Renée of France, 215-217. De Thou (liv. xxx.), iii. 179, has
incorrectly placed this occurrence among the events of the first months of
the war. During the second war Brantôme once stopped to pay his respects
to Renée, and saw in the castle over 300 Huguenots that had fled there for
security. In a letter of May 10, 1563, Calvin speaks of her as "the
nursing mother of the poor saints driven out of their homes and knowing
not whither to go," and as having made her castle what a princess looking
only to this world would regard almost an insult to have it called--"God's
hostelry" or "hospital" (ung hostel-Dieu). God had, as it were, called
upon her by these trials to pay arrears for the timidity of her younger
days. Lettres franç., ii. 514 (Amer. trans., iv. 314).

[251] Despatch to the queen, Blois, February 26, 1562/3, Forbes, State
Papers, ii. 340. "Of the thre things that did let this realme to come to
unity and accorde," adds Smith, "I take th' one to be taken away. How th'
other two wil be now salved--th' one that the papists may relent somwhat
of their pertinacie, and the Protestants have som affiaunce or trust in
there doengs, and so th' one live with th' other in quiet, I do not yet
se."

[252] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. iv., c. xii.; Davila, bk. iii. 88; Journal
de Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 124; Letter of Catharine to Gonnor, March
3d, ibid., iv. 278; Hist. ecclés., ii. 200.

[253] Rascalon, Catharine's agent, proffered the dignity in a letter of
the 13th of March, and the duke declined it on the 17th of the same month.
At the same time he gave some wholesome advice respecting the observance
of the Edict, etc. Hist. ecclés., ii. 165-168.

[254] "La Royne ... y a si vivement procedé, que ayant ordonné que sur la
foy de l'un et de l'autre nous nous entreveorions en l'Isle aux Bouviers,
joignant presque les murs de ceste ville, dimenche dernier cela fut
executé." Condé to Sir Thomas Smith, Orleans, March 11, 1563, Forbes, ii.
355.

[255] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 170, 171. Coupled with demands for
the restitution of the edict without restriction or modification, the
prohibition of insults, the protection of the churches, the permission to
hold synods, the recognition of Protestant marriages, and that the
religion be no longer styled "new," "inasmuch as it is founded on the
ancient teaching of the Prophets and Apostles," we find the Huguenot
ministers, true to the spirit of the age, insisting upon "the rigorous
punishment of all Atheists, Libertines, Anabaptists, Servetists, and other
heretics and schismatics."

[256] The text of the edict of Amboise is given by Isambert, Recueil des
anc. lois franç., xiv. 135-140; J. de Serres, ii. 347-357; Hist. ecclés.
des égl. réf., ii. 172-176; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. (liv. iii.) 192-195. See
Pasquier, Lettres (OEuvres choisies), ii. 260.

[257] Smith to the queen, April 1, 1563, in Duc d'Aumale, Princes de
Condé, i. Documents, 439.

[258] Smith to D'Andelot, March 13, 1563, State Paper Office.

[259] Journal de Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i. 125: "de expresso Regis
mandato iteratis vicibus facto." Claude Haton is scarcely more
complimentary than Bruslart: "elle (la paix) estoit faicte du tout au
désavantage de l'honneur de Dieu, de la religion catholicque et de
l'authorité du jeune roy et repos public de son royaume." Mémoires, i.
327, 328.

[260] Elizabeth of England was herself, apparently, awakening to the
importance of the struggle, and new troops subsidized by her would soon
have entered France from the German borders. "This day," writes Cecil to
Sir Thomas Smith, ambassador at Paris, Feb. 27, 1562/3, "commission
passeth hence to the comte of Oldenburg to levy eight thousand footemen
and four thousand horse, who will, I truste, passe into France with spede
and corradg. He is a notable, grave, and puissant captayn, and fully bent
to hazard his life in the cause of religion." Th. Wright, Queen Elizabeth
and her Times, i. 125. But Elizabeth's troops, like Elizabeth's money,
came too late. Of the latter, Admiral Coligny plainly told Smith a few
weeks later: "If we could have had the money at Newhaven (Havre) _but one
xiii daies sooner_, we would have talked with them after another sorte,
and would not have bene contented with this accord." Smith to the queen,
April 1, 1563, in Duc d'Aumale, i. 439.

[261] Letter from Orleans, March 30, 1563, MSS. State Paper Office, Duc
d'Aumale, i. 411.

[262] Hist. ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 203. Theodore Beza was the preacher
on this occasion, and betrayed his own disappointment by speaking of the
liberty of religion they had received as "not so ample, peradventure, as
they would wish, yet such as they ought to thank God for." Smith to the
queen, March 31, State Paper Office.

[263] Relazione di Correro, 1569. Rel. des Amb. Vén., ii. 118-120.

[264] It appears at least as early as in Farel's Epistre à tous Seigneurs,
written in 1530, p. 166 of Fick's edition.



CHAPTER XIV.

THE PEACE OF AMBOISE, AND THE BAYONNE CONFERENCE.


[Sidenote: The restoration of Havre demanded.]

[Sidenote: Fall of Havre.]

Scarcely had the Edict of Amboise been signed when a demand was made upon
the English queen for the city of Havre, placed in her possession by the
Huguenots, as a pledge for the restoration of Calais in accordance with
the treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, and as security for the repayment of the
large sums she had advanced for the maintenance of the war. But Elizabeth
was in no favorable mood for listening to this summons. Instead of being
instructed to evacuate Havre, the Earl of Warwick was reinforced by fresh
supplies of arms and provisions, and received orders to defend to the last
extremity the only spot in France held by the queen. A formal offer made
by Condé to secure a renewal of the stipulation by which Calais was to be
given up in 1567, and to remunerate Elizabeth for her expenditures in the
cause of the French Protestants, was indignantly rejected; and both sides
prepared for open war.[265] The struggle was short and decisive. The
French were a unit on the question of a permanent occupation of their soil
by foreigners. Within the walls of Havre itself a plot was formed by the
French population to betray the city into the hands of their countrymen;
and Warwick was forced to expel the natives in order to secure the lives
of his own troops.[266] But no vigilance of the besieged could insure the
safety of a detached position on the borders of so powerful a state as
France. Elizabeth was too weak, or too penurious, to afford the recruits
that were loudly called for. And now a new and frightful auxiliary to the
French made its appearance. A contagious disease set in among the English
troops, crowded into a narrow compass and deprived of their usual
allowance of fresh meat and wholesome water. The fearful mortality
attending it soon revealed the true character of the scourge. Few of those
that fell sick recovered. Gathering new strength from day to day, it
reigned at length supreme in the fated city. Soon the daily crowd of
victims became too great to receive prompt sepulture, and the corpses
lying unburied in the streets furnished fresh fuel for the raging
pestilence. Seven thousand English troops were reduced in a short time to
three thousand, in a few days more to fifteen hundred men.[267] The hand
of death was upon the throat of every survivor. At length, too feeble to
man their works, despairing of timely succor, unable to sustain at the
same moment the assault of their opponents and the fearful visitation of
the Almighty, the English consented to surrender; and, on the
twenty-eighth of July, a capitulation was signed, in accordance with
which, on the next day, Havre, with all its fortifications and the ships
of war in its harbor, fell once more into the hands of the French.[268]

[Sidenote: How the peace was received.]

The pacification of Amboise, a contemporary chronicler tells us, was
received with greater or less cordiality in different localities of
France, very much according to the number of Protestants they had
contained before the war. "This edict of peace was very grievous to hear
published and to have executed in the case of the Catholics of the
peaceable cities and villages where there were very few Huguenots. But it
was a source of great comfort to the Catholics of the cities which were
oppressed by the Huguenots, as well as of the neighboring villages in
which the Catholic religion had been intermitted, mass and divine worship
not celebrated, and the holy sacraments left unadministered--as in the
cities of Lyons and Orleans, and their vicinity, and in many other cities
of Poitou and Languedoc, where the Huguenots were masters or superior in
numbers. As the peace was altogether advantageous to the Huguenots, they
labored hard to have it observed and published."[269]

[Sidenote: Vexatious delays in Normandy.]

But to secure publication and observance was not always possible.[270] Not
unfrequently the Huguenots were denied by the illiberality of their
enemies every privilege to which they were entitled by the terms of the
edict. At Troyes, the Roman Catholic party, hearing that peace had been
made, resolved to employ the brief interval before the edict should be
published, and the mayor of the city led the populace to the prisons,
where all the Huguenots that could be found were at once murdered.[271]
The vexatious delays, and the actual persecution still harder to be borne,
which were encountered at Rouen, have been duly recorded by an anonymous
Roman Catholic contemporary, as well as in the registers of the city hall
and of the Norman parliament, and may serve as an indication of what
occurred in many other places. From the chapter of the cathedral and the
judges of the supreme provincial court, down to the degraded rabble, the
entire population was determined to interpose every possible obstacle in
the way of the peaceable execution of the new law. Before any official
communication respecting it reached them, the clergy declared, by solemn
resolution, their intention to reserve the right of prosecuting all who
had plundered their extensive ecclesiastical domain. The municipality
wrote at once to the king, to his mother, and to others at court,
imploring that Rouen and its vicinity might be exempted from all exercise
of the "new religion." Parliament sent deputies to Charles the Ninth to
remonstrate against the broad concessions made in favor of the
Protestants, and, even when compelled to go through the form of a
registration, avoided a publication of the edict, in order to gain time
for another fruitless protest addressed to the royal government.

When it came to the execution of the law, the affair assumed a more
threatening aspect. The Roman Catholics had resolved to resist the return
of the "for-issites," or fugitive Huguenots. At first they excused their
opposition by alleging that there were bandits and criminals of every kind
in the ranks of the exiles. Next they demanded that a preliminary list of
their names and abodes should be furnished, in order that their arms might
be taken away. Finally they required, with equal perverseness, that, in
spite of the express stipulation of the king's rescript, the "for-issites"
should return only as private individuals, and should not venture to
resume their former offices and dignities. Meantime the "for-issites,"
driven to desperation by the flagrant injustice of which they were the
victims, began to retaliate by laying violent hands upon all objects of
Roman Catholic devotion in the neighboring country, and by levying
contributions upon the farms and villas of their malignant enemies. The
Rouenese revenged themselves in turn by wantonly murdering the Huguenots
whom they found within the city walls.

[Sidenote: Protest of the Norman parliament.]

The embittered feeling did not diminish at once after the more intrepid of
the Huguenots had, under military compulsion, been readmitted into Rouen.
There were daily complaints of ill-usage. But the insolence of the
dominant party rose to a still higher pitch when there appeared a royal
edict--whether genuine or forged has not as yet been settled--by which the
cardinal demands of the Huguenots were granted. The alleged concessions
may not strike us as very extraordinary. They consisted chiefly in
disarming the Roman Catholics equally with the adherents of the opposite
creed, and in erecting a new chamber in parliament to try impartially
cases in dispute between the adherents of the two communions.[272] This
was certainly decreeing but a small measure of the equality in the eye of
the law which the Protestants might claim as a natural and indefeasible
right. The citizens of the Norman capital, however, regarded the enactment
as a monstrous outrage upon society. Charles the Ninth, happened at this
time to be passing through Gaillon, a place some ten leagues distant from
Rouen, on his way to the siege of Havre; and Damours, the
advocate-general, was deputed to bear to him a protest drawn up by
parliament. The tone of the paper was scarcely respectful to the monarch;
it was positively insulting to the members of the royal council who
professed the Protestant faith. It predicted the possible loss of
Normandy, or of his entire kingdom, in case the king pursued a system of
toleration. The Normans, it said, would not submit to Protestant
governors, nor to the return of the exiles in arms, nor to their
resumption of their former dignities. If the "for-issites" continued their
excesses, they would be set upon and killed. The Roman Catholic burgesses
of Rouen even proclaimed a conditional loyalty. Should the king not see
fit to accede to their demands, they declared themselves ready to place
the keys of their city in his hands to dispose of at his pleasure, at the
same time craving permission to go where they pleased and to take away
their property with them.

[Sidenote: A rude rebuff.]

Truly the spirit of the "Holy League" was already born, though the times
were not yet ripe for the promulgation of such tenets. The
advocate-general was a fluent speaker, and he had been attended many a
weary mile by an enthusiastic escort. Parliamentary counsellors, municipal
officers, clergy, an immense concourse of the lower stratum of the
population--all were at Gaillon, ready to applaud his well-turned
sentences. But he had chosen an unlucky moment for his oratorical display.
His glowing periods were rudely interrupted by one of the princely
auditors. This was Louis of Condé--now doubly important to the court on
account of the military undertaking that was on foot--who complained of
the speaker's insolent words. So powerful a nobleman could not be
despised. And so the voluble Damours, with his oration but half delivered,
instead of meeting a gracious monarch's approval and returning home amid
the plaudits of the multitude, was hastily taken in charge by the archers
of the royal guard and carried off to prison. The rest of the Rouenese
disappeared more rapidly than they had come. The avenues to the city were
filled with fugitives as from a disastrous battle. Even the grave
parliament, which the last winter had been exhibiting its august powers in
butchering Huguenots by the score, beginning with the arch-heretic
Augustin Marlorat, lost for a moment its self-possession, and took part in
the ignominious flight. Shame, however, induced it to pause before it had
gone too far, and, putting on the gravest face it could summon, it
reappeared ere long at Gaillon with becoming magisterial gravity. Never
had there been a more thorough discomfiture.[273] A few days later the
Marshal de Bourdillon made his entry into Rouen with a force of Swiss
soldiers sufficient to break down all resistance, the "for-issites" were
brought in, a new election of municipal officers was held, and comparative
quiet was restored in the turbulent city.[274]

[Sidenote: Commissioners to enforce the edict.]

[Sidenote: Alienation of a profligate court.]

[Sidenote: Profanity a test of Catholicity.]

So far as a character so undecided could frame any fixed purpose,
Catharine de' Medici was resolved to cement, if possible, a stable peace.
The Chancellor, Michel de l'Hospital, still retained his influence over
her, and gave to her disjointed plans somewhat of the appearance of a
deliberate policy. That policy certainly seemed to mean peace. And to
prove this, commissioners were despatched to the more distant provinces,
empowered to enforce the execution of the Edict of Amboise.[275] Yet never
was the court less in sympathy with the Huguenots than at this moment. If
shameless profligacy had not yet reached the height it subsequently
attained under the last Valois that sat upon the throne of France, it was
undoubtedly taking rapid strides in that direction. For the giddy throng
of courtiers, living in an atmosphere that reeked with corruption,[276]
the stern morality professed by the lips and exemplified in the lives of
Gaspard de Coligny and his noble brothers, as well as by many another of
nearly equal rank, could afford but few attractions. Many of these
triflers had, it is true, exhibited for a time some leaning toward the
reformed faith. But their evanescent affection was merely a fire kindled
in the light straw: the fuel was soon consumed, and the brilliant flame
which had given rise to such sanguine expectations died out as easily as
it sprang up.[277] When once the novelty of the simple worship in the rude
barn, or in the retired fields, with the psalms of Marot and Beza sung to
quaint and stirring melodies, had worn off; when the black gown of the
Protestant minister had become as familiar to the eye as the stole and
chasuble of the officiating priest, and the words of the reformed
confession of sins as familiar to the ear as the pontifical litanies and
prayers, the "assemblée" ceased to attract the curious from the salons of
St. Germain and Fontainebleau. Besides, it was one thing to listen to a
scathing account of the abuses of churchmen, or a violent denunciation of
the sins of priest and monk, and quite another to submit to a faithful
recital of the iniquities of the court, and hear the wrath of God
denounced against the profane, the lewd, and the extortionate. There were
some incidents, occurring just at the close of the war, that completed the
alienation which before had been only partial. The Huguenots had attempted
by stringent regulations to banish swearing, robbery, and other flagrant
crimes from their army. They had punished robbery in many instances with
death. They had succeeded so far in doing away with oaths, that their
opponents had paid unconscious homage to their freedom from the despicable
vice. In those days, when in the civil struggle it was so difficult to
distinguish friends from foes, there was one proof of unimpeachable
orthodoxy that was rarely disputed. He must be a good Catholic who could
curse and swear. The Huguenot soldier would do neither.[278] So nearly,
indeed, did the Huguenot affirmation approach to the simplicity of the
biblical precept, that one Roman Catholic partisan leader of more than
ordinary audacity had assumed for the motto on his standard the
blasphemous device: "'Double 's death' has conquered 'Verily.'"[279] But
the strictness with which theft and profanity were visited in the Huguenot
camp produced but a slight impression, compared with that made by the
punishment of death inflicted by a stern judge at Orleans, just before the
proclamation of peace, on a man and woman found guilty of adultery. Almost
the entire court cried out against the unheard-of severity of the sentence
for a crime which had never before been punished at all. The greater part
of these advocates of facile morals had even the indiscretion to confess
that they would never consent to accept such people as the Huguenots for
their masters.[280]

[Sidenote: Admiral Coligny accused.]

[Sidenote: His defence espoused by Condé and the Montmorencies.]

Even after the publication of the Edict of Amboise, there was one matter
left unsettled that threatened to rekindle the flames of civil war. It
will be remembered that the murderer of the Duke of Guise, overcome by
terror in view of his fate had charged Gaspard de Coligny with having
instigated the perpetration of the foul crime; that, as soon as he heard
the accusation, the admiral had not only answered the allegations, article
by article, but had written, earnestly begging that Poltrot's execution
might be deferred until the return of peace should permit him to be
confronted with his accuser. This very reasonable demand, we have seen,
had been rejected, and the miserable assassin had been torn into pieces by
four horses, upon the Place de Grève, on the very day preceding that which
witnessed the signing of the Edict of Amboise. If, however, the queen
mother had hoped to diminish the difficulties of her position by taking
this course, she had greatly miscalculated. In spite of his protestations,
and of a second and more popular defence which he now made,[281] the
Guises persisted in believing, or in pretending to believe, Coligny to be
the prime cause of the murder of the head of their family. His very
frankness was perverted into a proof of his complicity. The admiral's
words, as an eminent historian of our own day observes, bear the seal of
sincerity, and we need go for the truth nowhere else than to his own
avowals.[282] But they did not satisfy his enemies. The danger of an open
rupture was imminent. Coligny was coming to court from his castle of
Châtillon-sur-Loing, with a strong escort of six hundred gentlemen; but so
inevitable did a bloody collision within the walls of Paris seem to the
queen, that she begged Condé to dissuade him for the present from carrying
out his purpose. Meantime, Condé and the two Montmorencies--the constable
and his son, the marshal--espoused Coligny's cause as their own, by
publicly declaring (on the fifteenth of May) his entire innocence, and
announcing that any blow aimed at the Châtillons, save by legal process,
they would regard and avenge as aimed at themselves.[283] Taking excuse
from the unsettled relations of the kingdom with England and at home, the
privy council at the same time enjoined both parties to abstain from acts
of hostility, and adjourned the judicial investigation until after arms
had been laid down.[284]

[Sidenote: Petition of the Guises.]

At length, on the twenty-sixth of September--two months after the
reduction of Havre--the Guises renewed their demand with great solemnity.
Charles was at Meulan (on the Seine, a few miles below Paris), when a
procession of mourners entered his presence. It was the family of Guise,
headed by the late duke's widow, his mother, and his children, coming to
sue for vengeance on the murderer. All were clad in the dress that
betokened the deepest sorrow, and the dramatic effect was complete.[285]
They brought a petition couched in decided terms, but making no mention of
the name of Coligny, and signed, not only by themselves, but by three of
the Bourbons--the Cardinal Charles, the Duke of Montpensier, and his
son--and by the Dukes of Longueville and Nemours.[286] Under the
circumstances, the king could not avoid granting their request and
ordering inquisition to be made by the peers in parliament assembled.[287]
But the friends of the absent admiral saw in the proposed investigation
only an attempt on the part of his enemies to effect through the forms of
law the ruin of the most prominent Huguenot of France. It was certain,
they urged, that he could expect no justice at the hands of the presidents
and counsellors of the Parisian parliament. Nor did they find it difficult
to convince Catharine that to permit a public trial would be to reopen
old sores and to risk overturning in a single hour the fabric of peace
which for six months she had been laboring hard to strengthen.[288] The
king was therefore induced to evoke the consideration of the complaint of
the Guises to his own grand council. Here again new difficulties sprang
up. The Duchess of Guise was as suspicious of the council as Coligny of
the parliament, and challenged the greater number of its members as too
partial to act as judges. In fact, it seemed impossible to secure a jury
to settle the matter in dispute. After months spent to no purpose in
wrangling, Charles determined to remove the question both from the
parliament and from the council, and on the fifth of January, 1564,
reserved for himself and his mother the duty of adjudication. At the same
time, on the ground that the importance of the case demanded the
deliberations of a prince of greater age and of more experience than he as
yet possessed, and that its discussion at present might prove prejudicial
to the tranquillity of the kingdom, he adjourned it for three full years,
or until such other time as he might hereafter find to be convenient.[289]

[Sidenote: Embarrassment of Catharine.]

The feud between the Châtillons and the Guises was not, however, the only
embarrassment which the government found itself compelled to meet.
Catharine was in equal perplexity with respect to the engagements she had
entered into with the Prince of Condé. It was part of the misfortune of
this improvident princess that each new intrigue was of such a nature as
to require a second intrigue to bolster it up. Yet she was to live long
enough to learn by bitter experience that there is a limit to the extent
to which plausible but lying words will pass current. At last the spurious
coin was to be returned discredited to her own coffers. Catharine had
enticed Condé into concluding a peace much less favorable to the
Huguenots than his comrades in arms had expected in view of the state of
the military operations and the pecuniary necessities of the court, by the
promise that he should occupy the same controlling position in the
government as his brother, the King of Navarre, held at the time of his
death. We have seen that he was so completely hoodwinked that he assured
his friends that it was of little consequence how scanty were the
concessions made in the edict. He would soon be able, by his personal
authority, to secure to "the religion" the largest guarantees. If we may
believe Catharine herself, he went so far in his enthusiastic desire for
peace as to threaten to desert the Huguenots, if they declined to embrace
the opportunity of reconciliation.[290]

[Sidenote: The majority of Charles proclaimed.]

How to get rid of the troublesome obligation she had assumed, was now the
problem; since to fulfil her promise honestly was, for a person of her
crooked policy and inordinate ambition, not to be thought of for an
instant. The readiest solution was found in abolishing the office of
lieutenant-general. This could be done only by declaring the termination
of the minority of Charles. For this an opportunity presented itself,
when, on the seventeenth of August, 1563,[291] the queen and her children,
with a brilliant retinue, were in the city of Rouen, on their return from
the successful campaign against Havre. That day Charles the Ninth held a
"lit de justice" in the palace of the Parliament of Normandy. Sitting in
state, and surrounded by his mother, his younger brothers, and a host of
grandees, he proceeded to address the assembled counsellors, pronouncing
himself of full age, and, in the capacity of a major king, delivered to
them an edict, signed the day before, ordering the observance of his Edict
of Amboise and the complete pacification of his kingdom by a universal
laying down of arms.[292] True, Charles was but a few days more than
thirteen years of age; but his right to assume the full powers of
government was strenuously maintained by Chancellor L'Hospital, upon whom
devolved the task of explaining more fully the king's motives and
purposes. Then Catharine, the author of the pageant, rising, humbly
approached her son's throne, and bowed to the boy in token that she
resigned into his hands the temporary authority she had held for nearly
three years. Charles, advancing to meet her, accepted her homage, saying,
at the same time, in words that were but too significant and prophetic of
the remainder of his reign: "Madame ma mère, you shall govern and command
as much or more than ever."[293]

[Sidenote: Charles and the refractory Parliament of Paris.]

The Parliament of Rouen, flattered at being selected for the instrument in
so important an act, published and registered the edict of Charles's
majority, notwithstanding some unpalatable provisions. Not so the
Parliament of Paris. The counsellors of the capital were even more
indignant at the slight put upon their claim to precedence, than at the
proposed disarming of the Roman Catholics--a measure particularly
distasteful to the riotous population of Paris.[294] The details of their
opposition need not, however, find a record here. In the end the firmness
of the king, or of his advisers, triumphed. At Mantes[295] Charles
received a deputation from the recalcitrant judges, with Christopher de
Thou, their first president, at its head. After hearing their
remonstrances, he replied to the delegates that, although young and
possessed of little experience, he was as truly king of France as any of
his predecessors, and that he intended to make himself obeyed as such. To
prove, however, that he had not acted inconsiderately in the premises, he
called upon the members of his council who were present to speak; and each
in turn, commencing with Cardinal Bourbon, the first prince of the blood,
declared that the edict of Amboise had been made with his consent and
advice, and that he deemed it both useful and necessary. Whereupon Charles
informed the parliamentary committee that he had not adopted this course
because he was under any obligation to render to them an account of his
actions. "But," said he, "now that I am of age, I wish you to meddle with
nothing beyond giving my subjects good and speedy justice. The kings, my
predecessors, placed you where you are, in order that they might unburden
their consciences, and that their subjects might live in greater security
under their obedience, not in order to constitute you my tutors, or the
protectors of the realm, or the guardians of my city of Paris. You have
allowed yourselves to suppose until now that you are all this. I shall not
leave you under the delusion; but I command you that, as in my father's
and grandfather's time you were accustomed to attend to justice alone, so
you shall henceforth meddle with nothing else." He professed to be
perfectly willing to listen to their representations when modestly given;
but he concluded by threatening them that, if they persisted in their
present insolent course, he would find means to convince them that they
were not his guardians and teachers, but his servants.[296] These stout
words were shrewdly suspected to come from "the shop of the
chancellor,"[297] whose popularity they by no means augmented. But Charles
was himself in earnest. A fresh delegation of counsellors was dismissed
from the royal presence with menaces,[298] and the parliament and people
of Paris were both finally compelled to succumb. Parliament registered the
edict; the people surrendered their arms--the poor receiving the estimated
value of the weapons, the tradesmen and burgesses a ticket to secure their
future restoration. As a matter of course, the nobles do not appear at all
in the transaction, their immemorial claim to be armed even in time of
peace being respected.

[Sidenote: The Pope's bull against princely heretics.]

[Sidenote: Cardinal Châtillon.]

Pope Pius the Fourth had been as indignant as Philip the Second himself at
the conclusion of peace with the Huguenots. He avenged himself as soon as
he received the tidings, by publishing, on the seventh of April, 1563, a
bull conferring authority upon the inquisitors general of Christendom to
proceed against heretics and their favorers--even to bishops, archbishops,
patriarchs and cardinals--and to cite them before their tribunal by merely
affixing the summons to the doors of the Inquisition or of the basilica of
St. Peter. Should they fail to appear in person, they might at once be
condemned and sentenced. The bull was no idle threat. Without delay a
number of French prelates were indicted for heresy, and summoned to come
to Rome and defend themselves. The list was headed by Cardinal Odet de
Châtillon, Coligny's eldest brother, who had openly espoused the reformed
belief, and St. Romain, Archbishop of Aix. Caraccioli, who had resigned
the bishopric of Troyes and had been ordained a Protestant pastor, Montluc
of Valence, and others of less note, figured among the suspected.[299] As
they did not appear, a number of these prelates were shortly
condemned.[300] Not content with this bold infraction of the Gallican
liberties, the Roman pontiff went a step farther, and, through the
Congregation of the Inquisition, cited Jeanne d'Albret, Queen of Navarre,
to appear at Rome within six months, on pain of being held attainted of
heresy, and having her dominions given in possession to the first Catholic
occupant.[301]

[Sidenote: The council protests against the papal bull.]

In other words, not only Béarn, the scanty remnant of her titular
monarchy, but all the lands and property to which the Huguenot queen had
fallen heir, were to follow in the direction the kingdom of Navarre had
taken, and go to swell the enormous wealth and dominion of the Spanish
prince,[302] who found his interest to lie in the discord and misfortunes
of his neighbors. Surely such an example would not be without significance
to princes and princesses who, like Catharine, were wont occasionally to
court the heretics on account of their power, and whose loyalty to the
papal church could scarcely be supposed, even by the most charitable, to
rest on any firmer foundation than self-interest. Nor was the lesson
thrown away. Catharine and Michel de l'Hospital, and many another, read
its import at a glance. But, instead of breaking down their opposition,
the papal bull only forearmed them. They saw that Queen Jeanne's cause was
their cause--the cause of any of the Valois who, whether upon the ground
of heresy or upon any other pretext, might become obnoxious to the See of
Rome. The royal council of state, therefore, promptly took the matter in
hand, in connection with the recent trial of the French prelates, and
replied to the papal missive by a spirited protest, which D'Oisel, the
French ambassador at Rome, was commissioned to present. In his monarch's
name he was to declare the procedure against the Queen of Navarre to be
not only derogatory to the respect due to the royal dignity, which that
princess could claim to an equal degree with the other monarchs of
Christendom, but injurious to the rights and honor of the king and
kingdom, and subversive of civil society. It was unjust, for it was
dictated by the enemies of France, who sought to take advantage of the
youth of the king and his embarrassments arising from civil wars, to
oppress a widow and orphans--the widow and orphan children, indeed, of a
king for whom the Pope had himself but recently been endeavoring so
zealously to secure the restoration of Navarre. The malice was apparent
from the fact that nothing similar had been undertaken by the Holy See
against any of the monarchs who had revolted from its obedience within the
last forty years. Sovereign power had been conferred upon the Pope for the
salvation of souls, not that he might despoil kings and dispose of
kingdoms according to his caprice--an undertaking his predecessors had
engaged in hitherto only to their shame and confusion. Finally, the King
of France begged Pius to recall the sentence against Queen Jeanne,
otherwise he would be compelled to employ the remedies resorted to by his
ancestors in similar cases, according to the laws of the realm.[303] Not
content with this direct appeal, Catharine wrote to her son's ambassador
in Germany to interest the emperor and the King of the Romans in an affair
that no less vitally affected them.[304] So vigorous a response seems to
have frightened the papal court, and the bull was either recalled or
dropped--at least no trace is said to be found in the Constitutions of
Pius the Fourth--and the proceedings against the bishops were indefinitely
suspended.[305]

But while Catharine felt it necessary, for the maintenance of her own
authority and of the dignity of the French crown, to enter the lists
boldly in behalf of the Queen of Navarre, she was none the less bent upon
confirming that authority by rendering it impossible for the Huguenots
ever again to take the field in opposition to the crown. A war for the
sake of principle was something of which that cynical princess could not
conceive. The Huguenot party was strong, according to her view, only
because of the possession of powerful leaders. The religious convictions
of its adherents went for nothing. Let the Condés, and the Colignies, and
the Porciens, and the La Rochefoucaulds be gained over, and the people,
deprived of a head, would subordinate their theology to their interest,
and unity would be restored under her own rule. It was the same vain
belief that alone rendered possible a few years later such a stupendous
crime and folly as the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. Many an obscure and
illiterate martyr, who had lost his life during her husband's reign, might
have given her a far juster estimate of the future than her Macchiavellian
education, with all its fancied shrewdness and insight into human
character and motives, had furnished her.

[Sidenote: Catharine's attempt to seduce Condé from the Huguenots.]

To overthrow the political influence of the Huguenots she must seduce
their leaders. Of this Catharine was sure. With whom, then, should she
commence but with the brilliant Condé? The calm and commanding admiral,
indeed, was the true head and heart of the late war--never more firm and
uncompromising than after defeat--as reluctant to renounce war without
securing, beyond question, the religious liberty he sought, as he had been
averse to take up the sword at all in the beginning. Of such a man,
however, little hope could be entertained. But Louis of Bourbon was cast
in another mould. Excessively small in stature and deformed in person, he
was a general favorite; for he was amiable, witty, and talkative.[306]
Moreover, he was fond of pleasure to an extent that attracted notice even
in that giddy court, and as open to temptation as any of its frivolous
denizens.[307] For such persons Catharine knew how to lay snares. Never
did queen surround herself with more brilliant enticements for the unwary.
Her maids of honor were at once her spies and the instruments of
accomplishing her designs. As she had had a fair Rouhet to undermine the
constancy of Antoine, so she had now an Isabeau de Limueil to entrap his
younger brother. Nor did Catharine's device prove unsuccessful. Condé
became involved in an amorous intrigue that shook the confidence of his
Huguenot friends in his steadfastness and sincerity; while the silly girl
whom the queen had encouraged in a course that led to ruin, as soon as her
shame became notorious, was ignominiously banished from court--for no one
could surpass Catharine in the personation of offended modesty.[308] Yet,
notwithstanding a disgraceful fall which proved to the satisfaction of a
world, always sufficiently sceptical of the depth of religious
convictions, that ambition had much more to do with the prince's conduct
than any sense of duty, Condé was not wholly lost to right feelings. The
tears and remonstrances of his wife--the true-hearted Éléonore de
Roye--dying of grief at his inconstancy, are said to have wrought a marked
change in his character.[309] From that time Catharine's power was gone.
In vain did she or the Guises strive to gain him over to the papal party
by offering him, in second marriage, the widow of Marshal Saint André,
with an ample dower that might well dazzle a prince of the blood with but
a beggarly appanage;[310] or even by proposing to confer upon him the hand
of the yet blooming Queen of Scots,[311] the Prince of Condé remained true
to the cause he had espoused till his blood stained the fatal field of
Jarnac.

[Sidenote: Huguenot progress.]

But while the queen mother was plying the great with her seductions, while
the Roman Catholic leaders were artfully instilling into the minds of the
people the idea that the Edict of Amboise was only a temporary
expedient,[312] while royal governors, or their lieutenants, like
Damville--the constable's younger son--at Pamiers, were cruelly abusing
the Protestants whom they ought to have protected,[313] there was much in
the tidings that came especially from southern France to encourage the
reformers. In the midst of the confusion and carnage of war the leaven had
yet been working. There were even to be found places where the progress of
Protestantism had rendered the application of the provisions of the edict
nearly, if not quite impossible. The little city of Milhau, in
Rouergue,[314] is a striking and very interesting instance.

[Sidenote: Milhau-en-Rouergue.]

The edict had expressly directed that all churches should be restored to
the Roman Catholics, and that the Protestants should resort for worship to
other places, either in the suburbs, or--in the case of cities which the
Huguenots had held on the seventh of March, 1563--within the walls. But,
soon after the restoration of peace, the consuls and inhabitants of Milhau
presented a petition to Charles the Ninth, in which they make the
startling assertion that the entire population has become Protestant ("de
la religion"); that for two years or thereabouts they have lived in
undisturbed peace, whilst other cities have been the scene of
disturbances; and that, at a recent gathering of the inhabitants, they
unanimously expressed their desire to live in the exercise of the reformed
faith, under the royal permission. By the king's order the petition was
referred for examination to the commissioners for the execution of the
edict in the province of Guyenne. All its statements were found to be
strictly correct. There was not one papist within the city; not one man,
woman, or child expressed a desire for the re-establishment of the Roman
Catholic ceremonial. The monks had renounced the cowl, the priests their
vestments. Of their own free will, some of the friars had married, some
had taken up useful trades. The prior had voluntarily resigned the greater
part of his revenues; retaining one-third for his own support, he had
begged that the remainder might be devoted to the preaching of God's Word
and the maintenance of the poor. The two churches of the place had for
eighteen months been used for Protestant worship, and there were no other
convenient places to be found. Indeed, had the churches been given up,
there would have been no one to take possession. A careful domiciliary
examination by four persons appointed by the royal judge had incontestably
established the point. Over eight hundred houses were visited,
constituting the greater part of the city. The occupants were summoned to
express their preferences, and the result was contained in the solemn
return of the commission: "We have not found a single person who desired
or asked for the mass; but, on the contrary, all demanded the preaching of
the Word of God, and the administration of His holy sacraments as
instituted by Himself in that Word. And thus we certify by the oath we
have taken to God and to the king."[315]

[Sidenote: The cry for ministers.]

From other places the cry of the churches for ministers to be sent from
Geneva was unabated. In one town and its environs, so inadequate was a
single minister to the discharge of his pastoral duties, that the peasants
of the vicinity were compelled to baptize one another's children, or to
leave them unbaptized.[316] At Montpellier it is the consuls that beg that
their corps of ministers may be doubled; their two pastors cannot preach
every day and three times upon Sunday, and yet visit the neighboring
villages.[317]

[Sidenote: Establishment of the Reformation in Béarn.]

Nowhere, however, was the advance of Protestantism so hopeful as in the
principality of Béarn, whither Jeanne d'Albret had retired, and where,
since her husband's death, she had been dividing her cares between the
education of her son, Henry of Navarre, and the establishment of the
Reformation. A less courageous spirit than hers[318] might well have
succumbed in view of the difficulties in her way. Of the nobility not
one-tenth, of the magistracy not one-fifth, were favorable to the changes
which she wished to introduce. The clergy were, of course, nearly
unanimous in opposition.[319] She was, however, vigorously and wisely
seconded in her efforts by the eminent reformed pastor, Merlin, formerly
almoner of Admiral Coligny, whom Calvin had sent from Geneva at her
request.[320] But when, contrary to his advice, the Queen of Navarre had
summoned a meeting of the estates of her small territory, she detected
unexpected symptoms of resistance. She accordingly abstained from
broaching the unwelcome topic of reformation. But the deputies of the
three orders themselves introduced it. Taking occasion from a prohibition
she had issued against carrying the host in procession, they petitioned
her to maintain them in the religion of their ancestors, in accordance
with the promise which the princes of the country were accustomed to
make.[321] Fortunately a small minority was found to offer a request of an
entirely opposite tenor; and Jeanne d'Albret, with her characteristic
firmness, declared in reply "that she would reform religion in her
country, whoever might oppose." So much discontent did this decision
provoke that there was danger of open sedition.[322]

These internal obstacles were, however, by no means the only
difficulties. The court of Pau was disturbed by an uninterrupted
succession of rumors of trouble from without. Now it was the French king
that stood ready to seize the scanty remnants of Navarre, or the Spaniard
that was all prepared for an invasion from the south; anon it was Montluc
from the side of Guyenne, or Damville from that of Languedoc, who were
meditating incursions in the interest of the Roman Catholic Church. "In
short," exclaims her indefatigable coadjutor, Raymond Merlin, "it is
wonderful that this princess should be able to persist with constancy in
her holy design!"[323] Then came the papal citation, and the necessity to
avoid the alienation of the French court which would certainly result from
suddenly abolishing the papal rites, especially in view of the
circumstance that Catharine de' Medici had several times begged the Queen
of Navarre by letter to refrain from taking that decided step.[324]

[Sidenote: A plan to kidnap Jeanne and her children.]

It speaks well for the energy and intrepidity of Jeanne d'Albret, as well
as for the wisdom of some of her advisers, that she was able to lay in
these troublous times such broad foundations for the Protestant system of
worship and government as we shall shortly have occasion to see her
laying; for she was surrounded by courtiers who beheld in her bold
espousal of the Reformation the death-blow to their hopes of advancement
at Paris, and were, consequently, resolute in their opposition. An
incident occurring some months later demonstrates that the perils from her
treacherous neighbors were not purely imaginary. This event was nothing
less than the discovery of a plan to kidnap the Queen of Navarre and her
young son and daughter, and to give them over into the hands of the
Spanish Inquisition. Shortly after Antoine's death, her enemies in
France--among whom, despite his subsequent denial, it is probable that
Blaise de Montluc was one--had devised this plot as a promising means of
promoting their interests. They had despatched a trusty agent to prepare a
few of their most devoted partisans in Guyenne for its execution; he was
then to pass into Spain, to confer with the Duke of Alva. The latter part
of his instructions had not been fulfilled when the assassination of Guise
took place. Nothing daunted by this mishap, the conspirators ordered their
agent to carry out the original scheme. Alva received it with favor, and
sent the Frenchman, with his own approval of the undertaking, to the
Spanish court, where he held at least three midnight interviews with
Philip. No design was ever more dear to that prudent monarch's heart than
one which combined the rare attractions of secrecy and treachery,
particularly if there were a reasonable hope in the end of a little
wholesome blood-letting. Fortunately, however, the messenger had not been
so careful in his conversation but that he disclosed to one of Isabella's
French servants all that was essential in his commission. The momentous
secret soon found its way to the Spanish queen's almoner, and finally to
the queen herself. The blow impending over her cousin's head terrified
Isabella, and melted her compassionate heart. She disclosed to the
ambassador of Charles the Ninth the astounding fact that some of the
Spanish troops then at Barcelona, on their way to the campaign in Barbary,
were to be quietly sent back from the coast to the interior. Thence,
passing through defiles in the Pyrenees, under experienced guides, they
were to fall upon the unsuspecting court of the Queen of Navarre at Pau.
In such a case, to be forewarned was to be forearmed. The private
secretary of the French envoy was despatched to inform Jeanne d'Albret of
her peril, and to notify Catharine de' Medici of the intended incursion
into the French territories. The premature disclosure occasioned the
abandonment of the plan; but it is said that Philip the Second never
forgave his unfortunate wife her part in frustrating its execution.[325]

[Sidenote: The Council of Trent closes its sessions.]

The month of December, 1563, witnessed the close of that celebrated
convocation, the Council of Trent. This is not the place for the
discussion of its extraordinary history, yet it is worth while to note the
conclusion of an assembly which exerted so weighty an influence in
establishing the dogmas of the papal church. Resumed after its long
suspension, on the eighteenth of January, 1562, the council from whose
deliberations such magnificent results of harmony had been expected, began
its work by rendering the breach between the Roman Catholic and the
Protestant worlds incurable. Fortunately for the Roman See, all the
leading courts in Christendom, although agreed in pronouncing for the
necessity of reform, were at variance with one another in respect to the
particular objects to be aimed at. It was by a skilful use of this
circumstance that the Pope was enabled to extricate himself creditably
from an embarrassing situation, and to secure every essential advantage.
At the reopening of the council, the French and German bishops were not
present, and the great majority of the members being poor Italian prelates
dependent almost for their daily bread upon the good pleasure of the
pontiff, it is not surprising that the first step taken was to concede to
the Pope or his legates the exclusive right to introduce subjects for
discussion, as well as the yet more important claim of sitting as judge
and ratifying the decisions of the assembled Fathers before they became
valid. Notwithstanding this disgraceful surrender of their independence
and authority, the Roman See was by no means sure as to the results at
which the prelates of the Council of Trent would arrive. France and the
empire demanded radical reforms in the Pope and his court, and some
concessions to the Protestants--the permission of marriage for the
priesthood, the distribution of the wine to the laity in the eucharistic
sacrament, and the use of the vernacular tongue in a portion, at least,
of the public services. The arrival of the Cardinal of Lorraine and other
bishops, in the month of November, 1562, to reinforce the handful of
French prelates in attendance, enhanced the apprehensions of Pius. For,
strange as it may appear to us, even Pius suspected Charles of favoring
innovation--so far had the arch-hypocrite imposed on friend as well as foe
by his declaration of adhesion to the Augsburg Confession! The fact was
that there was no lack of dissimulation on any side, and that the prelates
who urged reforms were among the most insincere. They had drawn up certain
articles without the slightest expectation, and certainly without the
faintest desire, to have them accepted. Their sole aim seemed to be to
shift the blame for the flagrant disorders of the Church from their own
shoulders to those of the Pope. If their suggestions had been seriously
entertained and acted upon, no men would have had more difficulty than
they in concealing their chagrin.[326] The monarchs--and it was their
ambassadors who, with the papal legates, directed all the most important
conclusions--were at heart equally averse to the restoration of canonical
elections, and to everything which, by relieving the ecclesiastics of
their servile dependence upon the crown, might cut off that perennial
fountain for the payment of their debts and for defraying the expenses of
their military enterprises, which they had discovered in the contributions
wrung from churchmen's purses. Thus, in the end, by a series of
compromises, in which Pope and king each obtained what he was anxious to
secure, and sacrificed little for which he really cared, the council
managed to confirm the greater number of the abuses it had been expected
to remove, and to render indelible the line of demarcation between Roman
Catholic and Protestant, which it was to have effaced.

[Sidenote: Cardinal Lorraine returns to France,]

The Cardinal of Lorraine returning to France, after the conclusion of the
council (the fourth of December, 1563), made it his first object to secure
the ratification of the Tridentine decrees. He had now thrown off the mask
of moderation, which had caused his friends such needless alarms, and was
quite ready to sacrifice (as the nuncio had long since prophesied he would
sacrifice)[327] the interests of France to those of the Roman See. But the
undertaking was beyond his strength.

[Sidenote: and unsuccessfully seeks the approval of the decrees of Trent.]

On Lorraine's arrival at court, then stopping at St. Maur-sur-Marne
(January, 1564), Catharine answered his request that the king should
approve the conclusions of Trent by saying that, if there was anything
good in them, the king would gladly approve of it, even if it were not
decreed by the council. And, at a supper, to which he was invited the same
evening at the quarters of the Cardinal of Bourbon, he had to put up with
a good deal of rough jesting from Condé and his boon companions, who plied
him with pungent questions respecting the Pope and the doings of the holy
Fathers.[328]

[Sidenote: Wrangle between Lorraine and L'Hospital.]

A few weeks later Lorraine made a more distinct effort to secure
recognition for the late council's work. Several of the presidents of
parliament, the avocat-général, and the procureur du roi had been summoned
to court--which, meanwhile, had removed to Melun (February, 1564)--to give
their advice to the privy council respecting this momentous question. The
cardinal's proposition met with little favor. Chancellor L'Hospital
distinguished himself by his determined opposition, and boldly refuted the
churchman's arguments. The cardinal had long been chafing at the
intractability of the lawyer, who owed his early advancement to the
influence of the house of Guise, and now could no longer contain his
anger. He spoke in a loud and imperious tone, and used taunts that greatly
provoked the illustrious bystanders. "It is high time for you to drop your
mask," he said to L'Hospital, "for, as for myself, I cannot discover what
religion you are of. In fact, you seem to have no other religion than to
injure as much as possible both me and my house. Ingrate that you are, you
have forgotten all the benefits you have received at my hands." The
chancellor's answer was quiet and dignified. "I shall always be ready,
even at the peril of my life, to return my obligations to you. I cannot do
it at the expense of the king's honor and welfare." And he added the
pointed observation that the cardinal was desirous of effecting, by
intrigue, what he had been unable to effect by force of arms. Others took
up the debate, the old constable himself disclaiming any intention of
disputing respecting doctrines which he approved, but expressing his
surprise that Lorraine should disturb the tranquillity of the kingdom, and
take up the cause of the Roman pontiff against a king through whose
liberality he was in the enjoyment of an annual revenue of three or four
hundred thousand francs. Catharine, as usual, did her best to allay the
irritation; but the cardinal, greatly disappointed, retired to
Rheims.[329]

[Sidenote: Opposition of Du Moulin.]

A few months after the scene at Melun, the most eminent of French jurists,
the celebrated Charles Du Moulin, published an unanswerable treatise,
proving that the Council of Trent had none of the characteristics of a
true oecumenical synod, and that its decrees were null and void.[330] And
the Parliament of Paris, although it ordered the seizure of the book and
imprisoned the author for some days, could not be induced to consent to
incorporate in the legislation of the country the Tridentine decrees, so
hostile in spirit to the French legislation.[331] Evidently parliament,
although too timid to say so, believed, with Du Moulin, that the
acceptance of the decrees in question "would be against God and against
the benefit of Jesus Christ in the Gospel, against the ancient councils,
against the majesty of the king and the rights of his crown, against his
recent edicts and the edicts of preceding kings, against the liberty and
immunity of the Gallican Church, the authority of the estates and courts
of parliament of the kingdom, and the secular jurisdiction."[332]

It was shortly before this time that the report gained currency that
Charles the Ninth had received an embassy from Philip of Spain and the
Duke of Savoy, inviting him, it was said, to a conference with all other
"Christian" princes, to be held on the twenty-fifth of March (1564), to
swear submission in common to the decrees of Trent and devise means for
the repression of heresy. But neither Charles nor his mother, still very
much under the influence of the tolerant chancellor, was disposed to enter
upon the path of persecution marked out for them. The conference was
therefore, we are told, gracefully, but firmly declined.[333] The story
was but an idle rumor, the absurdity of which is clearly seen from this
one fact among many, that Philip had not at this time himself accepted and
published the Tridentine decrees;[334] while, from various documents that
have come down to us, it appears that Catharine de' Medici had for some
months[335] been projecting a trip that should enable her son to meet
several of the neighboring princes, for the purpose of cultivating more
friendly relations with them. From this desire, and from the wish, by
displaying the young monarch to the inhabitants of the different
provinces, to revive the loyalty of his subjects, seriously weakened
during the late civil war, apparently arose the project of that well-known
"progress" of Charles the Ninth through the greater part of France, a
progress which consumed many successive months.

[Sidenote: The "progress" of Charles IX.]

Whether the Cardinal of Lorraine had any direct part, as was commonly
reported, in bringing about the journey of the king, is uncertain. He
himself wrote to Granvelle that he had neither advocated nor opposed
it;[336] but the character of the man has been delineated to little
purpose in these pages if the reader is disposed to give any weight to his
assertion. Certain, however, it is that the Huguenots looked upon the
project with great suspicion, and that its execution was accepted as a
virtual triumph of their opponents. Condé and Coligny could see as clearly
as the cardinal the substantial advantages which a formal visit to the
elder branch of the Lorraine family might secure to the branch of the
family domiciled in France; and they could readily imagine that under
cover of this voyage might be concealed the most nefarious designs against
the peace of their co-religionists. It is not surprising that many
Huguenot nobles accepted it as a mark of the loss of favor, and that few
of them accompanied the court in its wanderings.[337] The English
ambassador, noting this important fact, made, on his own account, an
unfavorable deduction from what he saw, as to the design of the court.
"They carry the king about this country now," he observed, "mostly to see
the ruins of the churches and religious houses done by the Huguenots in
this last war. They suppress the losses and hurts the Huguenots have
suffered."[338] On the other hand, the Roman Catholic party received their
success as a presage of speedy restoration to full power, and entertained
brilliant hopes for the future.[339] The queen mother was beginning to
make fair promises to the papal adherents, and the influence of the
admiral and his brothers seemed to be at an end.

Leaving the palace of Fontainebleau, the court passed through Sens and
Troyes to the city of Bar-sur-Seine, where Charles acted as sponsor for
his infant nephew, the son of the Duke of Lorraine. The brilliant _fêtes_
that accompanied the arrival of the king here and elsewhere could not,
however, hide from the world one of the chief results, if not designs, of
the journey. It was a prominent part of the queen mother's plan to seize
the opportunity for carrying out the system of repression toward the
Huguenots which she had already begun. While there is no reason to suppose
that as yet she felt any disposition to lend an ear to the suggestions of
Spanish emissaries, or of Philip himself, for a general massacre, or at
least an open war of extermination, she was certainly very willing by less
open means to preclude the Protestants from ever giving her trouble, or
becoming again a formidable power in the state. The most unfavorable
reports, in truth, were in circulation against the Huguenots. At Lyons
they were accused of poisoning the wells, or, according to another version
of the story, the kitchen-pots, in order to give the impression that the
plague was in the city, and so deter the king from coming.[340] Catharine
had no need, however, of crediting these calumnious tales in order to be
moved to hostile action. Her desire was unabated to reign under her son's
name, untrammelled by the restraint of the jealous love of liberty
cherished by the Huguenots. Their numbers were large--though not so large
as they were then supposed to be. Even so intelligent a historian as
Garnier regards them as constituting nearly one-third of the kingdom.[341]
M. Lacretelle is undoubtedly much more correct in estimating them at
fifteen or sixteen hundred thousand souls, or barely one-tenth of the
entire population of France--a country at that time much more sparsely
inhabited, and of which a much larger part of the surface was in inferior
cultivation, or altogether neglected, than at present.[342] But, however
small their number in proportion to the papists, the Huguenots, from their
superior industry and intelligence, from the circumstance that their
strength lay in the sturdy middle class and in the nobility, including
little of the rabble of the cities and none of that of Paris,[343] were a
party that naturally awakened the jealousy of the queen. We need make
little account of any exasperation in consequence of such silly devices as
the threatening letter said to have been put in Catharine's bed-room,
warning her that if she did not drive the papists from about her, "she and
her L'Aubespine" (secretary of state) would feel the dagger.[344] She was
too shrewd not to know that a Roman Catholic was more likely to have
penned it than a Huguenot.

[Sidenote: Catharine's new zeal.]

In furtherance of the policy to which she had now committed herself, she
caused the fortifications of the cities that had been strongholds of the
Protestants during the late war to be levelled, and in their place erected
citadels whereby the Huguenots might be kept in subjection.[345] As Easter
approached, Catharine revealed the altered tone of her mind by notifying
her maids of honor that she would suffer none to remain about her but
those who were good Catholics and submitted to the ordinary test of
orthodoxy. There is said to have been but a single girl who declined to go
to mass, and preferred to return to her home.[346] Well would it have been
if the queen had been as attentive to the morals[347] as to the orthodoxy
of these pleasure-seeking attendants. But, to belong to the "religion
ancienne et catholique" was a mantle large enough to cover a multitude of
sins.

[Sidenote: Interpretative declarations infringing upon the Edict.]

[Sidenote: Declaration of Roussillon.]

More direct infringements upon the liberty guaranteed by the Edict of
Amboise had already been made or were yet in store. The legislation which
could not conveniently be repealed by formal enactment could be rendered
null by interpretative declarations. Charles was made to proclaim that by
the Edict he had not intended to permit preaching in places previously
belonging to the patrimony of the Church, or held as benefices. This was
aimed at such prelates of doubtful catholicity as Saint Romain, Archbishop
of Aix, or the Cardinal Bishop of Beauvais, Odet de Châtillon. He was made
to say, that by the places where Protestant worship could be held within
the walls, by virtue of its having been exercised on the seventh of March,
1563, were meant only those that had been garrisoned by Protestants, and
had undergone a successful siege. This stroke of the pen cut off several
cities in which Protestantism had been maintained without conflict of
arms. The Huguenot counsellors of the parliament were deprived of the
enjoyment of their right to attend the "assemblée," or "Protestant
congregation," by a gloss which forbade the inhabitants of Paris from
attending the reformed worship in the neighboring districts. When the
court reached Lyons, a city which, as we have seen, had been among the
foremost in devotion to the Protestant cause, a fresh edict, of the
twenty-fourth of June, prohibited the reformed rites from being celebrated
in any city in which the king might be sojourning. Five or six weeks
later, at the little town of Roussillon, a few miles south of Vienne, on
the Rhône, another and more flagrant violation of the letter and spirit of
the edict of pacification was incorporated in a declaration purporting to
remove fresh uncertainties as to the meaning of its provisions. It forbade
the noblemen who might possess the right to maintain Protestant services
in their castles, to permit any persons but their own families and their
vassals to be present. It prohibited the convocation of synods and the
collection of money, and enjoined upon ministers of the gospel not to
leave their places of residence, nor to open schools for the instruction
of the young. But the most vexatious and unjust article of all was that
which constrained all priests, monks, and nuns, who during or since the
troubles had forsaken their vows and had married, either to resume their
monastic profession and dismiss their consorts, or to leave the kingdom.
As a penalty for the violation of this command, the men were to be
sentenced to the galleys for life, the women to close confinement in
prison. I omit in this list of grievances suffered by the Huguenots some
minor annoyances such as that which compelled the artisan to desist from
working in his shop with open doors on the festivals of the Roman
Catholic Church.[348]

[Sidenote: Assaults upon unoffending Huguenots.]

These legal infractions were not all. Everywhere the Huguenots had to
complain of acts of violence, committed by their papist neighbors, at the
instigation of priests and bishops, and not infrequently of the royal
governors. Little more than a year had passed since peace was restored,
and already the victims of religious assassination rivalled in number the
martyrs of the days of open persecution. At Crevant the Protestants were
attacked on their way to their "temple;" at Tours they were attacked while
engaged in worship. At Mans the fanatical bishop was the chief instigator
of a work of mingled murder and rapine. At Vendôme it was the royal
governor himself, Gilbert de Curée, who fell a victim to the hatred of the
Roman Catholic noblesse, and was treacherously killed while hunting.[349]
If anything more was needed to render the violence insupportable, it was
found in the fact that any attempt to obtain judicial investigation and
redress resulted not in the condemnation of the guilty, but in the
personal peril of the complainant.[350]

[Sidenote: Condé appeals for redress.]

Smarting under the repeated acts of violence to which at every moment they
were liable, and under the successive infringements upon the Edict of
Amboise, the Huguenots urged the Prince of Condé to represent their
grievances to the monarch, in the excellence of whose heart they had not
yet lost confidence. The Protestant leader did not repel the trust. His
appeal to Charles and to the queen mother was urgent. He showed that, even
where the letter of the edict was observed, its spirit was flagrantly
violated. The edict provided for a place for preaching in each prefecture,
to be selected by the king. In some cases no place had yet been
designated. In others, the most inconvenient places had been assigned.
Sometimes the Huguenots of a district would be compelled to go _twenty or
twenty-five leagues_ in order to attend divine worship. The declaration
affecting the monks and nuns who had forsaken their habit was a violation
of the general liberty promised. So also was the prohibition of synods,
which, though not expressly mentioned, were implied in the toleration of
the religion to which they were indispensably necessary. But it was the
prejudice and ill-will, of which the Huguenots were the habitual victims
at the hands of royal governors and other officers, which moved them most
deeply. The evident desire was to find some ground of accusation against
them. The ears of the judges were stopped against their appeals for
justice. It was enough that they were accused. Decrees of confiscation, of
the razing of their houses, of death, were promptly given before any
examination was made into the truth of their culpability. On a mere rumor
of a commotion in the Protestant city of Montauban, an order was issued to
demolish its walls. The case was far otherwise with turbulent Roman
Catholic towns. The people were encouraged to acts of violence toward the
Huguenots by the impunity of the perpetrators of similar crimes, and by
the evident partiality of those who were set to administer justice. Out of
six or seven score murders of Protestants since the peace, not two of the
abominable acts had been punished. Under such circumstances it would not
be surprising if the victims of inordinate cruelty should at length be
driven in desperation to take their defence into their own hands.[351]

[Sidenote: Conciliatory reply of the king.]

The king, or his ministers, fearful of a commotion during his absence from
Paris, answered the letter of the prince with tolerable courtesy, and even
made a pretence of desiring to secure justice to his Protestant subjects;
but the attempt really effected very little. Thus, for instance, while
sojourning in the city of Valence (on the fifth of September, 1564),
Charles received a petition of the Huguenots of Bordeaux, setting forth
some of the grievances under which they were groaning, and gave a
favorable answer. He permitted them, by this patent, to sing their psalms
in their own houses. He declared them free from any obligation to furnish
the "pain bénit," and to contribute to the support of Roman Catholic
fraternities. The Protestants were not to be molested for possessing or
selling copies of the Bible. They must not be compelled to deck out their
houses in honor of religious processions, nor to swear on St. Anthony's
arm. They might work at their trades with closed doors, except on Sundays
and solemn feasts. Magistrates were forbidden to take away the children of
Huguenots, in order to have them baptized according to Romish rites.
Protestants could be elected to municipal offices equally with the
adherents of the other faith.[352] In a similar tone of conciliation the
king published an order from Roussillon, remitting the fines that had been
imposed upon the Huguenots of Nantes for neglecting to hang tapestry
before their houses on Corpus Christi Day, and permitting them henceforth
to abstain from an act so offensive to their religious convictions.[353]

[Sidenote: Protestants excluded from judicial posts.]

Such local concessions were, however, only the decoys by which the queen
mother intended to lure the Huguenots on to a fatal security. A few months
later, at Avignon, Catharine caused an ordinance to be published in the
king's name, which Cardinal Santa Croce characterized as an excellent one.
It excluded Protestants from holding judicial seats. Catharine told the
nuncio that her counsellors had been desirous of extending the same
prohibition to all other charges under government, but that she had
deterred them. It would have driven the Huguenots to desperation, and
might have occasioned disturbances. "We shall labor, however," she said,
"to exclude them little by little from all their offices." At the same
time she expressed her joy that everything was succeeding so well, and
privately assured the nuncio "that people were much deceived in her."[354]

And yet such are the paradoxes of history, especially in this age of
surprises, that, at the very moment the king was depriving his own
Protestant subjects of their rights, he was negotiating in behalf of the
Protestant subjects of his neighbors! The king would not leave Avignon--so
wrote the English envoy--without reconciling the inhabitants of the Comtât
Venaissin and the principality of Orange, whom diversity of religion had
brought into collision. And, by the articles of pacification which the
ambassador enclosed, the king was seen "to have had a care for others
also, having provided a certain liberty of religion even to the Pope's own
subjects, which he had much difficulty in obtaining."[355]

[Sidenote: Marshal Montmorency checks the Parisian mob.]

[Sidenote: His encounter with Cardinal Lorraine.]

While the queen mother, under cover of her son's authority, followed the
new policy of opposition to the Huguenots upon which she had now entered,
an incident occurred at Paris showing that even the Roman Catholics were
not unanimous in their support of the Guises and their plan of
exterminating heresy. The governor of the metropolis was Marshal
Montmorency, the most worthy of all the constable's sons. He had
vigorously exerted himself ever since the king's departure to protect the
Huguenots in accordance with the provisions of the treaty. A Protestant
woman, who during the war had been hung in effigy for "huguenoterie," but
had returned from her flight since the conclusion of peace, died and was
secretly buried by friends, one Sunday night, in the "Cimetière des
Innocents." The next morning a rabble, such as only Paris could afford,
collected with the intention of disinterring the heretic. And they would
have accomplished their design, had not Marshal Montmorency ridden in,
sword in hand, and resolved to hang the culprits that very day. "He would
assist the Huguenots," he is reported to have been in the habit of saying,
"because they were the weaker party."[356] On Monday, the eighth of
January, 1565, the Cardinal of Lorraine approached the city in full
ecclesiastical dress, with the intention of entering it.[357] He was
attended by his young nephew, the Duke of Guise, and by an escort of armed
men, whom Catharine had permitted him to retain in spite of the general
prohibition, because of the fears he undoubtedly felt for his personal
safety. As he neared Paris he was met by a messenger sent by the governor,
commanding him to bid his company lay down their arms, or to exhibit his
pretended authority. The cardinal, accustomed to domineer over even such
old noble families as the Montmorencies, would do neither, and attempted
to ride defiantly into the city. But the marshal was no respecter of
persons. With the troops at his command he met and dispersed the
cardinal's escort. Lorraine fled as for his life into a shop on the Rue
Saint Denis. Thence he was secretly conveyed to his own palace, and
shortly after he left the city in utter discomfiture, but breathing dire
threats against the marshal.[358] The latter, calling into Paris his
cousin the admiral, had no difficulty in maintaining order. Great was the
consternation of the populace, it is true, for the absurd report was
circulated that Coligny was come to plunder the city, and to seize the
Parliament House, the Cathedral, and the Bastile;[359] and even the first
president, De Thou, begged him, when he came to the parliament, to explain
the reasons of his obeying his cousin's summons, and to imitate the
prudence of Pompey the Great when he entered the city of Rome, where
Cæsar's presence rendered a sedition imminent. The admiral, in reply,
gracefully acknowledged the honor which parliament had done him in
likening him to Pompey, whom he would gladly imitate, he said, because
Pompey was a patriot. Still he saw no appositeness in the comparison, "as
there was no Cæsar in Paris."[360]

[Sidenote: The conference at Bayonne, June, 1565.]

Early in the month of June, 1565, Charles the Ninth and his court reached
the neighborhood of the city of Bayonne, where, on the very confines of
France and Spain, a meeting had been arranged between Catharine and her
daughter Isabella, wife of Philip the Second. Catharine's first proposal
had been that her royal son-in-law should himself be present. She had
urged that great good to Christendom might flow from their deliberations.
Philip the Prudent, however, and his confidential adviser, the Duke of
Alva, were suspicious of the design. Alva was convinced that Catharine
had only her own private ends in view.[361] Granvelle observed that little
fruit came of these interviews of princes but discord and confusion, and
judged that, had not the queen mother strenuously insisted upon improving
perhaps the only opportunity which she and her daughter might enjoy of
seeing each other, even the interview between the two queens would have
been declined.[362] As it was, however, Philip excused himself on the plea
of engrossing occupations.

Such were the circumstances under which the Bayonne conference took
place--a meeting which Cardinal Granvelle assured his correspondents was a
simple visit of a daughter to her mother,[363] but to which
contemporaries, both Roman Catholic and Protestant, ascribed a far deeper
significance. At this meeting, according to Jean de Serres, writing only
four or five years after the event,[364] a holy league, as it was called,
was formed, by the intervention of Isabella, for the purpose of
re-establishing the authority of the ancient religion and of extirpating
the new. France and Spain mutually promised to render each other
assistance in the good work; and both pledged themselves to the support of
the Holy See by all the means in their power. Philip himself was not
present, either, it was conjectured, in order that the league might the
better be kept secret, or to avoid the appearance of lowering his dignity
before that of the French monarch.[365] The current belief--until
recently almost the universal belief of historians--goes farther, and
alleges that in this mysterious conference Catharine and Alva, who
accompanied his master's wife, concocted the plan of that famous massacre
whose execution was delayed by various circumstances for seven years. Alva
was the tempter, and the words with which he recommended his favorite
method of dealing with heresy, by destroying its chief upholders, were
embodied in the ignoble sentence, "Better a salmon's head than ten
thousand frogs."[366]

In fact, a general impression that the conference had led to the formation
of a distinct plan for the universal destruction of Protestantism gained
ground almost immediately. Within about a month after the queen mother and
her daughter had ended their interview, the English ambassador wrote to
Leicester and Cecil that "they of the religion think that there has been
at this meeting at Bayonne some complot betwixt the Pope, the King of
Spain, and the Scottish queen, by their ambassadors, and some say also the
Papists of England."[367]

[Sidenote: No plan of massacre agreed upon.]

Fortunately, however, we are not left to frame by uncertain conjecture a
doubtful story of the transactions of this famous interview. The
correspondence of the Duke of Alva himself with Philip the Second has been
preserved among the manuscripts of Simancas, to dispel many inveterate
misapprehensions. These letters not only prove that no plan for a massacre
of the Huguenots was agreed upon by the two parties, but that Alva did
not even distinctly declare himself in favor of such a plan. They furnish,
however, an instructive view, such as can but rarely be so well obtained,
of the net of treacherous intrigue which the fingers of Philip and his
agents were for many years busy day and night in cautiously spreading
around the throne of France.

[Sidenote: June 14th.]

[Sidenote: June 15th.]

On Thursday, the fourteenth of June, the young Spanish queen, with her
brilliant train of attendant grandees, crossed the narrow stream forming
the dividing line between the two kingdoms, and was conducted by her
mother, her brothers and sister, and a crowd of gallant French nobles, to
the neighboring town of Saint Jean de Luz. On Friday, Catharine and
Charles rode forward to make their solemn entry into Bayonne, where they
were to await their guests' arrival. Before they started, Alva had already
been at work complimenting such good Catholics as the constable, Cardinal
Bourbon, and Prince La Roche-sur-Yon, flattering Cardinal Guise (his
brother of Lorraine was absent from court, not yet being fully reinstated
in favor), the Duke of Montpensier, and vain old Blaise de Montluc. Nor
were his blandishments thrown away. Poor weak Guise--the "cardinal des
bouteilles" he was called, from the greater acquaintance he had with the
wine and good living than with religious or political affairs[368]--was
overcome with emotion and gratitude, and begged Alva to implore the
Catholic king, by the love of God, to look in pity upon an unhappy
kingdom, where religion was fast going to ruin. Montpensier threw himself
into Alva's arms, and told him that Philip alone was the hope of all the
good in France, declaring for himself that he was willing to be torn in
pieces in his behalf, and maintaining the meanwhile, that, should that
pleasant operation be performed, "Philip" would be found written on his
heart. To Blaise de Montluc's self-conceit Alva laid siege in no very
covert manner, assuring him that his master had not given his consent to
Catharine's plan for an interview until he had perused a paper written by
the grim old warrior's hand, in which he had expressed the opinion that
the conference would be productive of wholesome results. The implied
praise was all that was needed to induce Montluc to explain himself more
fully. He was opposed to the exercise of any false humanity. He ascribed
the little success that had attended the Roman Catholic arms in the last
struggle to the half-way measures adopted and the attempt to exercise the
courtesies of peace in time of war. The combatants on either side
addressed their enemies as "my brother" and "my cousin." As for himself,
he had made it a rule to spare no man's life, but to wage a war of
extermination. To this unburdening of his mind Alva replied by giving
Montluc to understand that, as a good Roman Catholic, it should be his
task to discover the means of inducing Charles and his mother to perform
their duty, and, if he failed in this, to disclose to Philip the course
which he must pursue, "since it was impossible to suffer matters to go on,
as they were going, to their ruin."

What the duty of the French king was, in Philip's and Alva's view, is
evidenced by the advice of the "good" Papists which the minister reports
to his master with every mark of approbation. It was, in the first place,
to banish from the kingdom every Protestant minister, and prohibit utterly
any exercise of the reformed religion. The provincial governors, whose
orthodoxy in almost every case could be relied upon, were to be the
instruments in the execution of this work.[369] But, besides this, it
would be necessary to seize a few of the leaders and cut off their heads.
Five or six, it was suggested, would be all the victims required.[370] It
was, in fact, essentially the plan of operations with which Alva undertook
a year or two later the reduction of the Netherlands to submission to
Spanish tyranny and the Papal Church. Treacherous imprisonments of the
most suspected, which could scarcely have been confined within such narrow
numerical limits as Alva laid down, together with a "blood council" to
complete the work, or with a massacre in which the proprieties of judicial
investigation would be less nicely observed--such was the scheme after
Philip's own heart.

But this scheme suited the present frame of mind neither of Charles nor of
Catharine. When the crafty Spaniard, cautiously feeling his way, begged
the young king to be very careful of his life, "for God, he was convinced,
was reserving him to execute a great work by his hands, in the punishment
of the offences which were committed in that kingdom,"[371] Charles
briskly responded: "Oh! to take up arms does not suit me. I have no
disposition to consummate the destruction of my kingdom begun in the past
wars."[372] The duke clearly saw that the king was but repeating a lesson
that had been taught him by others, and contemptuously dismissed the
topic.[373]

[Sidenote: Catharine and Alva.]

Catharine was not less determined than her son to avoid a resort to arms.
It was with difficulty that Alva could get her to broach the subject of
religion at all. Isabella having, at his suggestion, pressed her mother to
disclose the secret communication to make which she had sought this
interview, Catharine referred, with some bitterness, to the distrust of
Charles and of herself evidently entertained by Philip, which would be
likely to lead in the end to a renewal of war between France and Spain.
And she reproached Isabella with having so soon allowed herself to become
"Hispaniolized"[374]--a charge from which her daughter endeavored to clear
herself as best she could. When at last Alva succeeded in bringing up the
subject, which was, ostensibly at least, so near what Philip called his
heart, Catharine's display of tact was such as to elicit the profound
admiration of even so consummate a master in the art of dissimulation as
the duke himself. Her circumspection, he declared, he had never seen
equalled.[375] She maintained that there was no need of alarm at the
condition of religion in France, for everything was going on better than
when the Edict of Pacification was published. "It is your satisfaction at
being freed from war that leads you to take so cheerful a view," urged
Alva. "My master cannot but require the application of a more efficient
remedy, since the cause is common to Spain; for the disease will spread,
and Philip has no inclination to lose his crown, or, perhaps, even his
head." Catharine now insisted upon Alva's explaining himself and
disclosing his master's plan of action. This Alva declined to do. Although
Philip was as conversant with the state of France as she or any other
person in the kingdom, yet he preferred to leave to her to decide upon the
precise nature of the specific to be administered. Catharine pressed the
inquiry, but Alva continued to parry the question adroitly. He asks if,
since the Edict of Toleration, ground has been gained or lost. Decidedly
gained, she replies, and proceeds to particularize. But Alva is confident
that she is deceiving herself or him: it is notorious that things are
becoming worse every day.

"Would you have me understand," interrupts Catharine, "that we must resort
to arms again?"

"I see no present need of assuming them," answers Alva, "and my master
would not advise you to take them up, unless constrained by other
necessity than that which I now see."

"What, then, would Philip have me do?" asks Catharine. "Apply a prompt
remedy," answers Alva; "for sooner or later your enemies will, by their
own action, compel you to accept the wager of war, and that, probably,
under less favorable circumstances than at present. All Philip's thoughts
are intent upon the expulsion of that wretched sect of the Huguenots, and
upon restoring the subjects of the French crown to their ancient
obedience, and maintaining the queen mother's legitimate authority." "The
king, my son," responds Catharine, "publishes whatever edicts he pleases,
and is obeyed." "Then, if he enjoys such authority over his vassals,"
breaks in Isabella, "why does he not punish those who are rebels both
against God and against himself?"

That question Catharine did not choose to answer. Instead of it she had
some chimerical schemes to propose--a league between France, Spain, and
Germany, that should give the law to the world, and a confirmation of the
bonds that united the royal houses of France and Spain by two more
marriages, viz.: of Don Carlos to Margaret, her youngest daughter, and of
the Duke of Anjou to the Princess of Portugal. Alva, however, making light
of such projects, which could, according to his view, effect nothing more
than the bond already connecting the families, was not slow in bringing
the conversation back to the religious question. But he soon had reason to
complain of Catharine's coldness. She had already expressed her mind
fully, she said; and she resented, as a want of the respect due to her,
the hint that she was more indifferent than previously. She would not fail
to do justice, she assured him. That would be difficult, rejoined Alva,
with a chancellor at the head of the judiciary who could not certainly be
expected to apply the remedy needed by the unsound condition of France.
"It is his personal enemies," promptly replied Catharine, "who, out of
hatred, accuse L'Hospital of being a bad Catholic." "Can you deny that he
is a Huguenot?" asked the Spaniard. "I do not regard him as such," calmly
answered the French queen. "Then you are the only person in the kingdom
who is of that opinion!" retorted the duke. "Even before I left France,
and during the lifetime of my father, King Henry," said Isabella,
interrupting with considerable animation, "your Majesty knows that that
was his reputation; and you may be certain that so long as he is retained
in his present office the good will always be kept in fear and in
disfavor, while the bad will find him a support and advocate in all their
evil courses. If he were to be confined for a few days only in his own
house, you would at once discover the truth of my words, so much better
would the interests of religion advance."[376] But this step Catharine was
by no means willing to take. Nor, when again pressed by Alva, who dwelt
much on the importance to Philip of knowing her intentions as to applying
herself in earnest to the good work, so as to be guided in his own
actions, would she deign to give any clearer indications. Yet she
avowed--greatly shocking the orthodox duke thereby[377]--that she
designed, instead of securing the acceptance of the decrees of Trent by
the French, to convene a council of "good prelates and wise men," to
settle a number of matters not of divine or positive prescription, which
the Fathers of Trent had left undecided. Alva expressed his extreme
astonishment, and reminded her of the Colloquy of Poissy--the source, as
he alleged, of all the present disgraceful situation of France.[378] But
Catharine threw the whole blame of the failure of that conference upon the
inordinate conceit of the Cardinal of Lorraine,[379] and persisted in the
plan. The Spaniard came to the conclusion that Catharine's only design was
to avoid having recourse to salutary rigor, and indulged in his
correspondence with his master in lugubrious vaticinations respecting the
future.[380]

[Sidenote: Catharine rejects all violent plans.]

[Sidenote: Cardinal Granvelle's testimony.]

So far, then, was the general belief which has been adopted by the
greater number of historians up to our own days from being correct--the
belief that Catharine framed, at the Bayonne conference, with Alva's
assistance, a plan for the extermination of the Protestants by a massacre
such as was realized on St. Bartholomew's Day, 1572--that, on the
contrary, the queen mother refused, in a peremptory manner that disgusted
the Spanish fanatics, every proposition that looked like violence. That we
have not read the correspondence of Alva incorrectly, and that no letter
containing the mythical agreement of Catharine ever reached Philip, is
proved by the tone of the letters that passed between the great agents in
the work of persecution in the Spanish Netherlands. Cardinal Granvelle,
who, in his retreat at Besançon, was kept fully informed by the King of
Spain, or by his chief ministers, of every important event, and who
received copies of all the most weighty documents, in a letter to Alonso
del Canto expresses great regret that Isabella and Alva should have failed
in their endeavor to induce Catharine de' Medici to adopt methods more
proper than she was taking to remedy the religious ills of France. She
promised marvels, he adds, but was determined to avoid recourse to arms,
which, indeed, was not necessary, if she would only act as she should. He
was persuaded that the plan she was adopting would entail the ruin of
religion and of her son's throne.[381]

[Sidenote: Festivities and pageantry.]

While the policy of two of the most important nations on the face of the
globe, in which were involved the interests, temporal and eternal, of
millions of men, women, and children, formed the topic of earnest
discussion between two women--a mother and her daughter, the mother yet to
become infamous for her participation in a bloody tragedy of which she as
yet little dreamed--and a Spanish grandee doomed to an equally unenviable
immortality in the records of human suffering and human crime, the city of
Bayonne was the scene of an ephemeral gayety that might well convey the
impression that such merry-making was not only the sole object of the
conference, but the great concern of life.[382] Two nations, floundering
in hopeless bankruptcy, yet found money enough to lavish upon costly but
unmeaning pageants, while many a noble, to satisfy an ostentatious
display, made drafts which an impoverished purse was little able to honor.
The banquets and jousts, the triumphal arches with their flattering
inscriptions, the shows in which allegory revelled almost to madness--all
have been faithfully narrated with a minuteness worthy of a loftier
theme.[383] This is, however, no place for the detailed description which,
though entertaining, can be read to advantage only on the pages of the
contemporary pamphlets that have come down to us.

Yet, in the discussion of the more serious concerns of a great religious
and political party, we may for a moment pause to gaze at a single show,
neither more magnificent nor more dignified than its fellows; but in which
the youthful figure of a Bearnese destined to play a first part in the
world's drama, but up to this time living a life of retirement in his
ancestral halls, first makes his appearance among the pomps to which as
yet he has been a stranger. The pride of the grandfather whose name he
bore, Henry of Navarre had been permitted, at that whimsical old man's
suggestion, to strengthen an already vigorous constitution by athletic
sports, and by running barefoot like the poorest peasant over the sides of
his native hills. "God designed," writes a companion of his later days who
never rekindles more of his youthful fire than when descanting upon his
master's varied fortunes, "to prepare an iron wedge wherewith to cleave
the hard knots of our calamities."[384] Later in childhood, when both
father and grandfather were dead, he was the object of the unremitting
care of a mother whose virtues find few counterparts or equals in the
women of the sixteenth century; and Jeanne d'Albret, in a remarkable
letter to Theodore Beza, notes with joy a precocious piety,[385] which,
there is reason to fear, was not hardy enough to withstand the withering
atmosphere of a court like that with which he was now making his first
acquaintance.

One evening there was exhibited in a large hall, well lighted by means of
blazing torches, a tournament in which the knights fought on foot.[386]
From a castle where they held an enchanted lady captive, the knights
challengers issued, and "received all comers with a thrust of the pike,
and five blows with the sword." Each champion, on his arrival, endeavored
to enter the castle, but was met at the portal by guards "dressed very
fantastically in black," and repelled with "lighted instruments." Not a
few of the less illustrious were captured here. The more exalted in rank
reached the donjon, or castle-keep, but as they thought to set foot within
it, a trap-door opened and they too found themselves prisoners. It fared
better with the princes; for the success of each champion was measured by
a rigid heraldic scale. These passed the donjon, but, on a bridge leading
to the tower where slept the enchanted lady, a giant confronted them, and
in the midst of the combat the bridge was lowered, and they were taken, as
had been their predecessors. "The Duke of Vendôme,[387] son of the late
duke, whom they call in France the Prince of Navarre--a boy apparently ten
or eleven years of age--crossed the bridge, and the giant pretended to
surrender; but he too was afterward repulsed like the rest." The Duke of
Orleans--whom the reader will more readily recognize under the title of
Duke of Anjou, which he, about this time, received--next entered the
lists. Naturally he penetrated further than his namesake of Navarre, and
"the giant showed more fear of him than of the other;" but a cloud
enveloped them both, and "thus the duke vanished from sight." King Charles
was the last to fight, and for his prowess it was reserved for him to
defeat the giant and deliver the lady.[388]

[Sidenote: The confraternities.]

The author of the pompous show had made a serious mistake. The giant
"League," before whom so many a champion failed, it was the lot not of
Charles, nor of Henry of Valois, but of the other Henry, of Navarre, to
overcome. That giant was already in existence, although still in his
infancy. For some time past the zealous papists, impatient of the sluggish
devotion of the court, had been forming "confréries," or fraternities,
whose members, bound together by a common oath, were pledged to the
support of the Roman Catholic religion.[389] The plan was a dangerous one,
and it shortly excited the apprehension of the king and his mother. "I am
told," Charles wrote in July, 1565, to one of his governors, "that in a
number of places in my realm there is a talk of establishing an
association amongst my subjects, who invite one another to join it. I beg
you to take measures to prevent that any be made for any purpose
whatsoever; but keep my subjects so far as possible united in the desire
to render me duty and obedience."[390] And to prove the sincerity of his
intentions, the French king ordered the late Edict of Pacification again
to be proclaimed by public crier in the streets of the seditious city of
Paris--a feat which was successfully performed under Marshal Montmorency's
supervision, by the city provost, accompanied by so strong a detachment of
archers and arquebusiers, as effectually to prevent popular
disturbance.[391] Already there were restless spirits that saw in another
civil war fresh opportunity for the advancement of their selfish
interests. Months ago Villegagnon, the betrayer of the Brazilian colony of
Coligny, had written to Cardinal Granvelle, telling him that he had
resigned his dignities and offices in the French court, and had informed
Catharine de' Medici, "that until Charles was the declared enemy of the
enemies of God and of His church, he would never again bear arms in his
service."[392] The vice-admiral, of whom modesty was never a conspicuous
virtue, went so far as to draw a flattering portrait of himself as a
second Hannibal, vowing eternal enmity to the Huguenots.[393] And Nicole
de St. Rémy, whose only claim to honorable mention was found in her
oft-paraded boast that, as a mistress of Henry the Second, she had borne
him a son, and who held in France the congenial post of a Spanish spy,
suggested the marriage of the Cardinal of Bourbon in view of the possible
contingency of the death of all Catharine's sons.[394] The centre of all
intrigue, the storehouse from which every part of France was supplied with
material capable of once more enkindling the flames of a destructive civil
war, was the house of the Spanish resident envoy, Frances de Alava,
successor of the crafty Chantonnay, the brother of Granvelle. It was he
that was in constant communication with all the Roman Catholic malcontents
in France.[395] Catharine endeavored to check this influence, but to no
purpose. The fanatical party were bound by a stronger tie of allegiance to
Philip, the Catholic king, than to her, or to the Very Christian King her
son. Catharine had particularly enjoined upon the Cardinal of Lorraine to
have no communication with Granvelle or with Chantonnay, but the prelate's
relations with both were never interrupted for a moment.[396]

[Sidenote: Siege of Malta, and French civilities to the Sultan.]

The fact was that, so far from true was it that a cordial understanding
existed between the courts of France and Spain, such as the mythical
league for the extirpation of heresy presupposes, the distrust and
hostility were barely veiled under the ordinary conventionalities of
diplomatic courtesy. While Catharine and Philip's queen were exchanging
costly civilities at Bayonne, the Turks were engaged in a siege of Malta,
which has become famous for the obstinacy with which it was prosecuted and
the valor with which it was repelled. Spain had sent a small detachment of
troops to the assistance of the grand master, Jean de la Valette, and his
brave knights of St. John, and the Pope had contributed ten thousand
crowns to their expenses.[397] Yet at this very moment an envoy of the
Sultan was at the court of the Very Christian King of France, greatly to
the disgust of the Spanish visitors and pious Catholics in general,[398]
and only waited for the departure of Isabella and Alva to receive formal
presentation to the monarch and his mother.[399]

[Sidenote: The constable espouses Cardinal Châtillon's defence.]

Meantime, although the queen mother continued her policy of depriving the
Huguenots of one after another of the privileges to which they were
entitled, and replaced Protestant governors of towns and provinces by
Roman Catholics, her efforts at repression seemed, for the time at least,
to produce little effect. "The true religion is so rooted in France,"
wrote one who accompanied the royal progress, "that, like a fire, it
kindles daily more and more. In every place, from Bayonne hither, and for
the most part of the journey, there are more Huguenots than papists, and
the most part of men of quality and mark be of the religion." If the
writer, as is probable, was over-sanguine in his anticipations, he could
not be mistaken in the size of the great gathering of Protestants--full
two thousand--for the most part gentlemen and gentlewomen, which he
witnessed with his own eyes, brought together at Nantes to listen to the
preaching of the eloquent Perucel.[400] And it was not an insignificant
proof of the futility of any direct attempt to crush the Huguenots, that
Constable Montmorency pretty plainly intimated that there were limits
which religious proscription must not transcend. The English ambassador
wrote from France, late in November, that the Pope's new nuncio had within
two days demanded that the red cap should be taken from the Cardinal of
Châtillon. But the latter, who chanced to be at court, replied that "what
he enjoyed he enjoyed by gift of the crown of France, wherewith the Pope
had nothing to do." The old constable was even more vehement. "The Pope,"
said he, "has often troubled the quiet of this realm, but I trust he shall
not be able to trouble it at this time. I am myself a papist; but if the
Pope and his ministers go about again to disturb the kingdom, _my sword
shall be Huguenot_. My nephew shall leave neither cap nor dignity which he
has for the Pope, seeing the edict gives him that liberty."[401]

[Sidenote: The court at Moulins.]

Early in the following year, Charles the Ninth convoked in the city of
Moulins, in Bourbonnais, near the centre of France, an assembly of
notables to deliberate on the interests of the kingdom, which had not yet
fully recovered from the desolations of the first civil war. The extensive
journey, which had occupied a large part of the two preceding years, had
furnished him abundant evidence of the grievances under which his subjects
in the various provinces were laboring, and he now summoned all that was
most illustrious in France, and especially those noblemen whom he had
dismissed to their governments when about to start from his capital, to
assist him in discovering the best mode of relief. If the Florentine
Adriani could be credited, there were other and sinister designs in the
mind of the court, or, at least, in that of Catharine. According to this
historian, the plan of the second "Sicilian Vespers," resolved upon at
Bayonne, was to have been put into execution at Moulins, which, from its
strength, was well suited for the scene of so sanguinary a drama; but,
although the Huguenot chiefs assembled in numbers, their actions betrayed
so much suspicion of the Roman Catholics, and it seemed so difficult to
include all in the blow, that the massacre was deferred until the arrival
of a more propitious time, which did not come until St. Bartholomew's Day,
1572.[402] I need not stop to refute a story which presupposes the
adoption of resolutions in the conference of Bayonne, which we now know,
from documentary evidence, were never for a moment entertained by
Catharine and her son the king.

[Sidenote: Feigned reconciliation of the Guises and Coligny.]

So far from having any such treacherous design, in point of fact the
assembly of Moulins was intended in no small degree to serve as a means of
healing the dissensions existing among the nobles. The most serious
breaches were the feud between the Châtillons and the Guises on account of
the suspected complicity of Admiral Coligny in the murder of the late
duke, and that between Marshal Montmorency and the Cardinal of Lorraine,
arising out of the affray in January, 1565. Both quarrels were settled
amicably in the king's presence, with as much sincerity as generally
characterizes such reconciliations. Coligny declared on oath, in the royal
presence, that he was guiltless of Guise's murder, neither having been its
author nor having consented to it; whereupon the king declared him
innocent, and ordered the parties to be reconciled. The command was
obeyed, for Anne d'Este, Guise's widow, and Cardinal Charles of Lorraine
in turn embraced the admiral, in token of renewed friendship. How much of
meaning these caresses contained was to be shown six years later by the
active participation of the one in the most famous massacre which the
annals of modern history present, and by the exultant rejoicings in which
the other indulged when he heard of it. Young Henry of Guise, less
hypocritical than his mother and his uncle, held aloof from the
demonstration, and permitted the beholders to infer that he was quietly
biding his time for vengeance.[403]

[Sidenote: The chancellor introduces a measure for the relief of the
Protestants.]

[Sidenote: A new altercation between Lorraine and the chancellor.]

An event of principal importance that occurred during the stay of the
court at Moulins was a fresh altercation between Lorraine and L'Hospital.
A tolerant but apparently unauthorized act of the chancellor furnished the
occasion. The Edict of Pacification had made provision for the worship of
the Huguenots in but a small number of places through the kingdom. If
living out of reach of these more favored localities, what were they to
do, that they might not be compelled to exist without the restraints of
religion during their lifetime, and to die without its consolations, nor
leave their children unbaptized and uninstructed in the articles of their
faith? L'Hospital proposed to remedy the evil by permitting the
Protestants, in such cases, to institute a species of private worship in
their houses, and had procured the royal signature to an edict permitting
them to call in, as occasion might require, ministers of the Gospel from
other cities where their regular ministrations were tolerated by the law
of Amboise.[404] This edict he had sent forthwith to the different
parliaments for registration. The Parliament of Dijon, in Burgundy,
however, instead of obeying, promptly despatched two counsellors with a
remonstrance to the king.[405] On arriving at court, the delegation at
first found it impossible to gain the royal ear. In such awe did the
"maîtres de requêtes"--to whom petitions were customarily entrusted--stand
of the grave and severe chancellor--that venerable old man with the white
beard, whom Brantôme likened to another Cato--that none was found bold
enough to present the Burgundian remonstrance. At last the delegates went
to the newly-arrived cardinal, and Lorraine readily undertook the task.
Appearing in the royal council he introduced the matter by expressing "his
surprise that the Catholics had no means of making themselves heard
respecting their grievances." The objectionable edict was read, and all
the members of the council declared that they had never before seen or
heard of it. Cardinal Bourbon was foremost in his anger, and declared
that if the chancellor had the right to issue such laws on his own
responsibility, there was no use in having a council. "Sir," said
L'Hospital, turning to the Cardinal of Lorraine, "you are already come to
sow discord among us!" "I am not come to sow discord, but to prevent you
from sowing it as you have done in the past, scoundrel that you are!" was
the reply.[406] "Would you prevent these poor people, whom the king has
permitted to live with freedom of conscience in the exercise of their
religion, from receiving any consolation at all?" asked L'Hospital. "Yes,
I intend to prevent it," answered the cardinal, "for everybody knows that
to suffer such things is to tolerate secret preaching; and I shall prevent
it so long as I shall have the power, in order to give no opportunity for
the growth of such tyrannical practices. And," continued he, "do you, who
have become what you now are by my means, dare to tell me that I come to
sow discord among you? I shall take good care to keep you from doing what
you have done heretofore." The council rose in anger, and passed into the
adjoining apartment, where Catharine, who had not recovered from a
temporary illness, strove to appease them as best she could. Charles
ordered a new meeting, and, after hearing the deputies from Dijon, the
king, conformably to the advice of the council, revoked the edict, and
issued a prohibition of all exercise of the Protestant religion or
instruction in its doctrines, save where it had been granted at Amboise.
The chancellor was strictly enjoined to affix the seal of state to no
papers relating to religious affairs without the consent of the royal
council.

[Sidenote: Protestantism on the northern frontier.]

[Sidenote: Progress of the reformation at Cateau-Cambrésis.]

For several years the Protestants in the northern provinces of France had
been busily communicating the religious views they had themselves embraced
to their neighbors in Artois, Flanders, and Brabant. This intercourse
became exceedingly close about the beginning of the year 1566; and its
result was a renunciation of the papal church and its worship, which was
participated in by such large numbers, and effected so instantaneously,
that the friends and the foes of the new movement were almost equally
surprised. The story of this sudden outburst of the reformatory spirit in
Valenciennes, Tournay, and other places, accompanied--as are all movements
that take a strong hold upon the popular feelings--with a certain amount
of lawlessness, which expended itself, however, upon inanimate images and
held sacred the lives and honor of men and women, has been well told in
the histories of the country whose fortunes it chiefly affected.[407] I
may be permitted, therefore, to pass over these indirect results of
Huguenot influence, and glance at the fortunes of a border town within the
present bounds of France, and closely connected with the history of France
in the sixteenth century, of which little or no notice has been taken in
this connection.[408] Cateau-Cambrésis, famous for the treaty by which
Henry the Second bartered away extensive conquests for a few paltry places
that had fallen into the hands of the enemy, was, as its name--Chastel,
Château or Cateau--imports, a castle and a borough that had grown up about
it, both of them on lands belonging to the domain of Maximilian of Bergen,
Archbishop and Duke of Cambray, and Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. It
was smaller, but relatively far more important three hundred years ago
than at the present day. For several years a few "good burgesses," with
their families, had timidly studied the Holy Scriptures in secret,
restrained from making an open profession of their faith by the terrible
executions which they saw inflicted upon the Protestants in the
Netherlands. But, encouraged by the toleration prevailing in France, they
began to cross the frontier, and to frequent the Huguenot "assemblées" at
Crespy, Tupigny, and Chauny. The distance was not inconsiderable, and the
peril was great. The archbishop had not only written a letter, which was
read in every parish church, forbidding the singing of Marot's psalms and
the frequenting of French conventicles, but he had sent his spies to the
conventicles to discover cases of disobedience. The Huguenots of Cateau
multiplied in spite of these precautions. "The eyes of the aforesaid
spies," writes a witness of the events, "were so holden that they did not
even recognize those with whom they conversed." Yet, although the
Huguenots met at home to read the Bible and to "sing the psalms which were
most appropriate to the persecution and dispersion of the children of
God," the town was as quiet as it had ever been. A slight incident,
however, revealed the intensity of the fire secretly burning below the
surface. A Huguenot minister was discovered on Whitsunday, in an adjoining
village, and brought to Cateau. His captors facetiously told the suspected
Protestants whom they met, that they had brought them a preacher, and that
they would have no further occasion for leaving the town in quest of one.
But the joke was not so well appreciated as it might have been by the
adherents of the reformed faith, who seem by this time to have become
extremely numerous. The excitement was intense. When the bailiff of
Cambrésis was detected, not long after, stealing into the place by night,
accompanied by some sixty men, with the intention of carrying the preacher
off to Cambray, he met with unexpected resistance. A citizen, on his way
to his garden outside the walls, was the first to notice the guard of
strange arquebusiers at the gate, and ran back to give the alarm. The
tocsin was rung, and the inhabitants assembled in arms. It was now the
turn of the bailiff to be astonished, and to listen humbly to the
remonstrances of the people, indignant that he should have presumed to
seize their gates and usurp the functions of the local magistrates.
However, the intruders, after being politely informed that, according to
strict justice, the whole party might have been summarily put to death,
were suffered to beat a hasty retreat; not that so perfect a control could
be put upon the ardor of some, but that they "administered sundry blows
with the flat of their swords upon the back of the bailiff and a few of
his soldiers."

[Sidenote: Interference of the Archbishop of Cambray.]

The incident itself was of trifling importance, for the Huguenot minister
was promptly given up to the baron of the village where he had been
captured, and was taken by his orders to Cambray. But it led to serious
consequences. Threatened by the archiepiscopal city, the Protestants of
Cateau, afraid to go to the French preaching-places, sent for Monsieur
Philippe, minister of Tupigny, and held the reformed services just outside
of their own walls. Alarmed at the progress of Protestant doctrines in his
diocese, the Archbishop convened the estates of Cambray, and, on the
eighteenth of August, 1566, sent three canons of the cathedral to persuade
his subjects of Cateau to return to the Papal Church, and to threaten them
with ruin in case of refusal. Neither argument nor menace was of any
avail. The Protestants, who had studied their Bibles, were more than a
match for the priests, who had not; and, as for the peril, the Huguenots
quaintly replied: "Rather than yield to your demand, we should prefer to
have our heads placed at our feet." When asked if they were all of this
mind, they reiterated their determination: "Were the fires made ready to
burn us all, we should enter them rather than accede to your request and
return to the mass." These were brave words, but the sturdy Huguenots made
them good a few months later.

[Sidenote: The images and pictures overthrown.]

Scarcely a week had passed before the news reached Cateau (on the
twenty-fifth of August) that the "idols" had been broken in all the
churches of Valenciennes, Antwerp, Ghent, Tournay, and elsewhere. Although
stirred to its very depths by the exciting intelligence, the Protestant
population still contained itself, and merely consulted convenience by
celebrating Divine worship within the city walls, in an open cemetery.
Unfortunately, however, the minister whom the reformed had obtained was
ill-suited to these troublous times. Monsieur Philippe, unlike Calvin and
the great majority of the ministers of the French Protestant church, was
rash and impetuous. Early the next morning he entered the church of St.
Martin, in company with three or four other persons, and commenced the
work of destruction. Altars, statues, pictures, antiphonaries, missals,
graduals--all underwent a common fate. From St. Martin's the iconoclasts
visited in like manner the other ecclesiastical edifices of the town and
its suburbs. Upon the ruins of the Romish superstition the new fabric
arose, and Monsieur Philippe preached the same day in the principal church
of Cateau, to a large and attentive audience.

[Sidenote: The Protestant claims.]

And now began an animated interchange of proclamations on the one hand,
and of petitions on the other. The archbishop demanded the unconditional
submission of his subjects, and gave no assurances of toleration. The
Protestants declared themselves ready to give him their unqualified
allegiance, as their temporal sovereign, but claimed the liberty to
worship God. Maximilian referred to the laws and constitutions of the
Empire of which they formed an integral part. The burgesses answered by
showing that they had always been governed in accordance with the
"placards" issued by the King of Spain for his provinces of the
Netherlands, and that, whenever they had appealed in times past to the
chamber of the Empire, as for example at Spires, they had not only been
repelled, but even punished for their temerity.[409] They claimed,
therefore, the benefit of the "Accord" made by the Duchess of Parma at
Brussels a few days previously, guaranteeing the exercise of the reformed
religion wherever it had heretofore been practised;[410] while the
archbishop, when forced to declare himself, plainly announced that he
would not suffer the least deviation from the Roman Catholic faith. In
their perplexity, the Protestants had recourse to the Count of Horn, at
Tournay, by whom they were received with the utmost kindness. The count
even furnished them with a letter to the archbishop, entreating him to be
merciful to them.[411]

[Sidenote: The Archbishop's vengeance.]

But nothing was further from the heart of Maximilian than mercy. He was
the same blind adherent of Cardinal Granvelle and his policy, whom, a year
or two before, Brederode, Hoogstraaten, and their fellow-revellers had
grievously insulted at a banquet given to Egmont before his departure for
Spain; the same treacherous, sanguinary priest who wrote to Granvelle
respecting Valenciennes: "We had better push forward and make an end of
all the principal heretics, whether rich or poor, without regarding
whether the city will be entirely ruined by such a course."[412] On
Monday, the twenty-fourth of March, 1567, the troops of the archbishop
appeared before Cateau, and the same day the place was surrendered by the
treachery of some of the inhabitants. At once Cateau became a scene of
bloody executions. All that had taken part in the Protestant worship were
brought before a tribunal, which often tried, condemned, and punished with
death upon one and the same day. Monsieur Philippe, the rash preacher, and
one of his deacons seem to have been the first victims. There was no lack
of food for the gallows. To have been present at the "preachings," to have
partaken of the communion, to have maintained that the Protestant was
better than the Roman Catholic religion, to have uttered a jest or drawn a
caricature reflecting upon the Papal Church and its ceremonies--any of
these was sufficient reason for sending a man to be hung or beheaded. The
duchess's "moderation" had effected thus much, that no one seems to have
been burned at the stake. And so, at last, by assiduous but bloody work,
the Reformation was completely extirpated from Cateau Cambrésis. It was,
at least, a source of mournful satisfaction that scarce one of the
sufferers failed to exhibit great constancy and pious resignation in view
of death.[413]

[Sidenote: The idea of toleration is not understood.]

Let us return from the Flemish borders to France proper, where,
notwithstanding attempts at external reconciliation, the breach between
the Protestants and their Roman Catholic neighbors was daily widening,
where, in fact, the elements of a new war were gathering shape and
consistency. It was becoming more and more difficult--especially for a
government of temporary shifts and expedients--to control the antagonistic
forces incessantly manifesting themselves. The idea of toleration was
understood by neither party. The Roman Catholics of Provins were so slow
to comprehend the liberty of conscience and religious profession of which
the Huguenots had wrung a concession in the last edict by force of arms,
that they undertook to prosecute the Protestants for eating roast lamb and
capons during Lent. With little more appreciation of the altered posture
of affairs, the Archbishop of Sens (Cardinal Guise) initiated a trial
against a heretical curate of Courtenay, according to the rules of canon
law, and the latter might have stood but a poor chance to recover his
freedom had not the Huguenot lord of Courtenay seized upon the
archbishop's "official" as he was passing his castle, and held him as a
hostage to secure the curate's release.[414]

[Sidenote: Huguenot pleasantries.]

It would be asserting too much to say that the Protestants were innocent
of any infraction upon the letter or spirit of the Edict of Amboise. They
would have been angels, not men, had they been proof against the
contagious spirit of raillery that infected the men of the sixteenth
century. Where they dared, they not unfrequently held up their opponents
to ridicule in the coarse style so popular with all classes.[415] Thus a
contemporary Roman Catholic recounts with indignation how Prince Porcien
held a celebration in Normandy, and among the games was one in which a
"paper castle" was assaulted, and the defenders, dressed as _monks_, were
taken prisoners, and were afterward paraded through the streets on asses'
backs.[416] But these buffooneries were harmless sallies contrasted with
the insults with which the Protestants were treated in every town where
they were not numerically preponderating; nor were they anything more than
rare occurrences in comparison with the latter. This page of history is
compelled to record no violent commotion on the part of the reformed
population, save in cases where, as at Pamiers (a town not far south of
Toulouse, near the foot of the Pyrenees), they had been goaded to madness
by the government deliberately trampling upon their rights of worship, at
the instigation of the ecclesiastical authorities.[417] A trifling
accident might then, however, be sufficient to cause their inflamed
passions to burst out; and in the disturbances that were likely to ensue,
little respect was usually paid to the churches or the monasteries. Such
are wont to be the unhappy effects of the denial of justice according to
the forms of established law. They would have been a hundred-fold more
frequent had it not been for the persistent opposition interposed by the
Huguenot ministers--many of them with Calvin carrying the doctrine of
passive submission to constituted authority almost to the very verge of
apparent pusillanimity.

[Sidenote: Alarm of the Protestants.]

[Sidenote: Attempts to murder the admiral and Prince Porcien.]

From month to month the conviction grew upon the Protestants that their
destruction was agreed upon. There was no doubt with regard to the desire
of Philip the Second; for his course respecting his subjects in the
Netherlands showed plainly enough that the extermination of heretics was
the only policy of which his narrow mind could conceive as pleasing in the
sight of heaven. The character of Catharine--stealthy, deceitful,
regardless of principle--was equally well understood. Between such a queen
and the trusted minister of such a prince, a secret conference like that
of Bayonne could not be otherwise than highly suspicious. It is not
strange that the Huguenots received it as an indubitable fact that the
court from this time forward was only waiting for the best opportunity of
effecting their ruin; for even intelligent Roman Catholics, who were not
admitted into the confidence of the chief actors in that celebrated
interview, came to the same conclusion. Those who knew what had actually
been said and done might assure the world that the rumors were false; but
the more they asseverated the less they were believed. For it is one of
the penalties of insincere and lying diplomacy, that when once appreciated
in its true character--as it generally is appreciated in a very brief
space of time--it loses its persuasive power, and is treated without much
investigation as uniform imposture.[418] With a suspicious vigilance, bred
of the very treachery of which they had so often been the victims, the
Huguenots saw signs of dangers that perhaps were not actually in
preparation for them. And certainly there was enough to alarm. Not many
months after the assembly of Moulins a cut-throat by the name of Du May
was discovered and executed, who had been hired to murder Admiral Coligny,
the most indispensable leader of the party, near his own castle of
Châtillon-sur-Loing.[419] The last day of the year there was hung a
lackey, who pretended that the Cardinal of Lorraine had tried to induce
him to poison the Prince of Porcien; and, although he retracted his
statements at the time of his "amende honorable,"[420] his first story was
generally credited. The rumor was current that in December, 1566, Charles
received special envoys from the emperor, the Pope, and the King of Spain,
warning him that, unless he should revoke his edict of toleration, they
would declare themselves his open enemies.[421] This was certainly
sufficiently incredible, so far as the tolerant Maximilian was concerned;
but stranger mutations of policy had often been noticed, and, as to Pius
the Fifth and Philip, nothing seemed more probable.

[Sidenote: Alva in the Netherlands.]

[Sidenote: The Swiss levy.]

With the opening of the year 1567 the portentous clouds of coming danger
assumed a more definite shape. In the neighboring provinces of the
Netherlands, after a long period of procrastination, Philip the Second had
at length determined to strike a decisive blow. The Duchess of Parma was
to be superseded in the government by a man better qualified than any
other in Europe for the bloody work assigned him to do. Ferdinando de
Toledo, Duke of Alva, in his sixtieth year, after a life full of brilliant
military exploits, was to undertake a work in Flanders such as that which,
two years before, he had recommended as the panacea for the woes of
France--a work with which his name will ever remain associated in the
annals of history. The "Beggars" of the Low Countries, like the Huguenots
in their last war, had taken up arms in defence of their religious, and,
to a less degree, of their civil rights. The "Beggars" complained of the
violation of municipal privileges and compacts, ratified by oath at their
sovereign's accession, as the Huguenots pointed to the infringement upon
edicts solemnly published as the basis of the pacification of the country;
and both refused any longer to submit to a tyranny that had, in the name
of religion, sent to the gallows or the stake thousands of their most
pious and industrious fellow-citizens. The cause was, therefore, common to
the Protestants of the two countries, and there was little doubt that
should the enemy of either prove successful at home, he would soon be
impelled by an almost irresistible impulse to assist his ally in
completing his portion of the praiseworthy undertaking. It is true that
the Huguenots of France were not now in actual warfare with the
government; but, that their time would come to be attacked, there was
every reason to apprehend. Hence, when the Duke of Alva, in the memorable
summer of 1567, set out from Piedmont at the head of ten thousand
veterans, to thread his way over the Alps and along the eastern frontiers
of France, through Burgundy and Lorraine, to the fated scene of his bloody
task in the Netherlands, the Protestants of France saw in this neighboring
demonstration a new peril to themselves. In the first moments of
trepidation, their leaders in the royal council are said to have
acquiesced in, if they did not propose, the levy of six thousand Swiss
troops, as a measure of defence against the Spanish general; and Coligny,
the same contemporary authority informs us, strongly advocated that they
should dispute the duke's passage.[422] Even if this statement be true,
they were not long in detecting, or believing that they had detected,
proofs that the Swiss troops were really intended for the overthrow of
Protestantism in France, rather than for any service against the Duke of
Alva. Letters from Rome and Spain were intercepted, we learn from François
de la Noue, containing evidence of the sinister designs of the court.[423]
The Prince of La Roche-sur-Yon, a prince of the blood, a short time
before his death, warned his cousin of Condé of the impending danger.[424]
Condé, who, within the past few months, had repeatedly addressed the king
and his mother in terms of remonstrance and petition for the redress of
the oppression under which the Huguenots were suffering, but to no
purpose, again supplicated the throne, urging in particular that the levy
of the Swiss be countermanded, since, if they should come, there would be
little hope of the preservation of the peace;[425] while Admiral Coligny,
who found Catharine visiting the constable, his uncle, at his palace of
Chantilly, with faithful boldness exposed to them both the impossibility
of retaining the Protestants in quiet, when they saw plain indications
that formidable preparations were being made for the purpose of
overwhelming them. To these remonstrances, however, they received only
what they esteemed evasive answers--excuses for not dismissing the Swiss,
based upon representations of the danger of some Spanish incursion, and
promises that the just requests of the Huguenots should receive the
gracious attention of a monarch desirous of establishing his throne by
equity.[426]

"The queene returned answer by letters," wrote the English ambassador,
Norris, to Elizabeth, "assuringe him"--Condé--"by the faythe of a
princesse _et d'une femme de bien_ (for so she termed it), that so long as
she might any waies prevayle with the Kinge, her sonne, he should never
breake the sayd edicte, and therof required him to assure himselfe; and if
he coulde come to the courte, he shoulde be as welcome as his owne harte
could devise; if not, to passe the tyme without any suspect or jealousie,
protesting that there was nothing ment that tended to his indempnitie,
what so ever was bruted abrode or conceyved to the contrary, as he should
perceyve by the sequele erst it were long."[427]

Shall we blame those sturdy, straightforward men, so long fed upon
unmeaning or readily-broken promises of redress, if they gave little
credit to the royal assurances, and to the more honeyed words of the queen
mother? Perhaps there existed no sufficient grounds for the immediate
alarm of the Huguenots. Perhaps no settled plan had been formed with the
connivance of Philip--no "sacred league" of the kind supposed to have been
sketched in outline at Bayonne--no contemplated massacre of the chiefs,
with a subsequent assembly of notables at Poitiers, and repeal of all the
toleration that had been vouchsafed to the Protestants.[428] All this may
have been false; but, if false, it was invested with a wonderful
verisimilitude, and to Huguenots and Papists it had, so far as their
actions were concerned, all the effect of truth. At all events the
promises of the king could not be trusted. Had he not been promising,
again and again, for four years? Had not every restrictive ordinance,
every interpretation of the Edict of Amboise, every palpable infringement
upon its spirit, if not upon its letter, been prefaced by a declaration of
Charles's intention to maintain the edict inviolate? In the words of an
indignant contemporary, "the very name of the edict was employed to
destroy the edict itself."[429]

       *       *       *       *       *

     [Sidenote: The Huguenot attempts at colonization in Florida.]

     The Huguenot expeditions to Florida have been so well sketched
     by Bancroft and Parkman, and so fully set forth by their
     latest historian, M. Paul Gaffarel, that I need not speak of
     them in detail. In fact, they belong more intimately to
     American than to French history. They owed their origin to the
     enlightened patriotism of Coligny, who was not less desirous,
     as a Huguenot, to provide a safe refuge for his fellow
     Protestants, than anxious, as High Admiral of France, to
     secure for his native country such commercial resources as it
     had never enjoyed. "I am in my house," he wrote in 1565,
     "studying new measures by which we may traffic and make profit
     in foreign parts. I hope shortly to bring it to pass that we
     shall have the best trade in Christendom." (Gaffarel, Histoire
     de la Floride française, Paris, 1875, pp. 45, 46). But,
     although the project of Huguenot emigration was conceived in
     the brain of the great Protestant leader, apparently it was
     heartily approved by Catharine de' Medici and her son. They
     certainly were not averse to be relieved of the presence of as
     many as possible of those whom their religious views, and,
     still more, their political tendencies, rendered objects of
     suspicion. "If wishing were in order," Catharine (Letter to
     Forquevaulx, March 17, 1566, Gaffarel, 428) plainly told the
     Spanish ambassador, on one occasion, "I would wish that all
     the Huguenots were in those regions" ("si c'estoit souëter, ie
     voudrois que touts les Huguenots fussent en ce pais-là"). In
     the discussion that ensued between the courts of Paris and
     Madrid, the queen mother never denied that the colonists went
     not only with her knowledge, but with her consent. In fact,
     she repudiated with scorn and indignation a suggestion of the
     possibility that such considerable bodies of soldiers and
     sailors could have left her son's French dominions without the
     royal privity (Ibid., 427).

     [Sidenote: 1562.]

     The first expedition, under Jean Ribault, in 1562, was little
     more than a voyage of discovery. The main body promptly
     returned to France, the same year, finding that country rent
     with civil war. The twenty-six or twenty-eight men left behind
     to hold "Charlesfort" (erected probably near the mouth of the
     South Edisto river, in what is now South Carolina),
     disheartened and famishing, nevertheless succeeded in
     constructing a rude ship and recrossing the Atlantic in the
     course of the next year.

     [Sidenote: 1564.]

     A second expedition (1564), under René de Laudonnière, who had
     taken part in the first, was intended to effect a more
     permanent settlement. A strong earthwork was accordingly
     thrown-up at a spot christened "Caroline," in honor of Charles
     the Ninth, and the colony was inaugurated under fair auspices.
     But improvidence and mismanagement soon bore their legitimate
     fruits. Laudonnière saw himself constrained to build ships for
     a return to Europe, and was about to set sail when the third
     expedition unexpectedly made its appearance (August 28, 1565),
     under Ribault, leader of the first enterprise.

     [Sidenote: 1565.]

     [Sidenote: Massacre by Menendez.]

     Unfortunately the arrival of this fresh reinforcement was
     closely followed by the approach of a Spanish squadron,
     commanded by Pedro Menendez, or Melendez, de Abila, sent by
     Philip the Second expressly to destroy the Frenchmen who had
     been so presumptuous as to settle in territories claimed by
     his Catholic Majesty. Nature seemed to conspire with their own
     incompetency to ruin the French. The French vessels, having
     gone out to attack the Spaniards, accomplished nothing, and,
     meeting a terrible storm, were driven far down the coast and
     wrecked. "Caroline" fell into the hands of Menendez, and its
     garrison was mercilessly put to death. The same fate befell
     the shipwrecked French from the fleet. Those who declared
     themselves Roman Catholics were almost the only persons spared
     by their pitiless assailants. A few women and children were
     granted their lives; also a drummer, a hornblower, and a few
     carpenters and sailors, whose services were valuable.
     Laudonnière and a handful of men escaped to the woods, and
     subsequently to Europe. About two hundred soldiers, who
     threatened to entrench themselves and make a formidable
     resistance, were able to obtain from Menendez a pledge that
     they should be treated as prisoners of war, which, strange to
     say, was observed. The rest--many hundreds--were consigned to
     indiscriminate slaughter; Ribault himself was flayed and
     quartered; and over the dead Huguenots was suspended a tablet
     with this inscription: "Hung, not as Frenchmen, but as
     Lutherans" (Gaffarel, 229; De Thou, iv. 113; Ag. d'Aubigné, i.
     248). Spain and Rome had achieved a grand work. The chaplain
     Mendoza could piously write: "The greatest advantage from our
     victory, certainly, is the triumph our Lord grants us, which
     will cause His Holy Gospel to be introduced into these
     regions." (Mendoza, _apud_ Gaffarel, 214).

     The report of these atrocities, tardily reaching the Old
     World, called forth an almost universal cry of horror.
     Fair-minded men of both communions stigmatized the conduct of
     Menendez and his companions as sheer murder; for had not the
     French colonists of Florida been attacked before being
     summoned to surrender, and butchered in cold blood after being
     denied even such terms as were customarily accorded to Turks
     and other infidels? Among princes, Philip alone applauded the
     deed, and seemed only to regret that faith had been kept with
     any of the detested Huguenots (Gaffarel, 234, 245). It has
     been commonly supposed that whatever indignation was shown by
     Catharine de' Medici and her son, was merely assumed in
     deference to the popular clamor, and that but a feeble
     remonstrance was really uttered. This supineness would be
     readily explicable upon the hypothesis of the long
     premeditation of the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day. If the
     treacherous murder of Admiral Coligny and the other great
     Huguenot leaders had indeed been deliberately planned from the
     time of the Bayonne conference in 1565, and would have been
     executed at Moulins in 1566, but for unforeseen circumstances,
     no protests against the Florida butchery could have been
     sincere. On the other hand, if Catharine de' Medici was
     earnest and persistent in her demand for the punishment of
     Menendez, it is not conceivable that her mind should have been
     then entertaining the project of the Parisian matins. The
     extant correspondence between the French queen mother and her
     envoy at the court of Madrid may fairly be said to set at rest
     all doubts respecting her attitude. She was indignant,
     determined, and outspoken.

     So slowly did news travel in the sixteenth century, that it
     was not until the eighteenth of February, 1566, that
     Forquevaulx, from Madrid, despatched to the King of France a
     first account of the events that had occurred in Florida
     nearly five months before. The ambassador seems to have
     expressed becoming indignation in the interviews he sought
     with the Duke of Alva, repudiating with dignity the suggestion
     that the blame should be laid upon Coligny, for having abused
     his authority as admiral to set on foot a piratical expedition
     into the territories of a friendly prince; and holding forth
     no encouragement to believe that Charles would disavow
     Coligny's acts. He told Alva distinctly that Menendez was a
     butcher rather than a good soldier ("plus digne bourreau que
     bon soldat," Forquevaulx to Charles IX., March 16, 1566,
     Gaffarel, 425). He declared to him that the Turks had never
     exhibited such inhumanity to their prisoners at Castelnovo or
     at Gerbes--in fact, never had barbarians displayed such
     cruelty. As a Frenchman, he assured the Spaniard that he
     shuddered when he thought of so execrable a deed, and that it
     appeared to him that God would not leave it unpunished (Ibid.,
     426).

     Catharine's own language to the Spanish ambassador, Don
     Francez de Alava, was not less frank. "As their common
     mother," she said, "I can but have an incredible grief at
     heart, when I hear that between princes so closely bound as
     friends, allies, and relations, as these two kings, and in so
     good a peace, and at a time when such great offices of
     friendship are observed between them, so horrible a carnage
     has been committed on the subjects of my son, the King of
     France. I am, as it were, beside myself when I think of it,
     and cannot persuade myself that the king, your master, will
     refuse us satisfaction" (Catharine to Forquevaulx, Moulins,
     March 17th, Gaffarel, 427). Not content with this plain
     talking to Alava, she "prayed and ordered" Forquevaulx to make
     Philip himself understand her desires respecting "the
     reparation demanded by _so enormous an outrage_." He was to
     tell his Catholic Majesty that Catharine would never rest
     content until due satisfaction was made; and that she would
     feel "marvellous regret" should she not only find that all her
     pains to establish perpetual friendship between the two kings
     had been lost, but one day be reproached by Charles for having
     suffered such a stain upon his reputation ("que ... j'aye
     laissé faire une telle escorne à sa reputation." Gaffarel,
     429).

     Forquevaulx fulfilled his instructions to the very letter,
     adding, on his own account, that in forty-one years of
     military service he had never known so execrable an
     execution. He seems also to have disposed effectually of the
     Spanish claim to Florida through right of ancient discovery,
     by emphasizing the circumstance that Menendez, after his
     victory, thought it necessary to take formal possession of the
     land. He informed Philip that no news could be more welcome to
     the Huguenots than that the subjects of Charles had been
     murdered by those very persons who were expected to strengthen
     him by their friendship and alliance (Forquevaulx to
     Catharine, April 9th, Gaffarel, 432). His words had little
     effect upon any one at the Spanish court, save the young
     queen, who felt the utmost solicitude lest her brother and her
     husband should become involved in war with each other. ("Me
     sembla qu'il tint à peu qu'elle ne pleurast son soul de
     crainte qu'il ne survienne quelque alteration." Forquevaulx,
     _ubi supra_, 430.)

     But, although no progress was made toward obtaining justice,
     the French government did not relax its efforts. Charles wrote
     from Saint Maur, May 12, 1566, that his will was that
     Forquevaulx should renew his complaint and insist with all
     urgency upon a reparation of the wrong done him. "You will not
     cease to tell them," said the king, "that they must not hope
     that I shall ever be satisfied until I see such a reparation
     as our friendship demands." (Gaffarel, 437.)

     [Sidenote: Sanguinary revenge of De Gourgues, April, 1568.]

     The French ambassador continued to press his claim, and, in
     particular, to demand the release of the French prisoners,
     even up to near the time when a private citizen, Dominique de
     Gourgues, undertook to avenge his country's wrongs while
     satisfying his thirst for personal revenge. De Gourgues was
     not, as has usually been supposed, a Huguenot; he had even
     been an adherent of Montluc and of the house of Guise
     (Gaffarel, 265). But, having been captured in war by the
     Spaniards, in 1566, he had been made a galley-slave. From that
     time he had vowed irreconcilable hatred against the Catholic
     king. He obtained a long-deferred satisfaction when, in April,
     1568, he surprised the fort of Caroline, slew most of the
     Spanish soldiers, and placed over the remainder--spared only
     for the more ignominious punishment of hanging upon the same
     trees to which Huguenots had been suspended--the inscription,
     burned with a hot iron on a pine slab: "I do this not as to
     Spaniards, nor as to seamen, but as to traitors, robbers, and
     murderers." (The words are given with slight variations. See
     "La Reprinse de la Floride par le Cappitaine Gourgue,"
     reprinted by Gaffarel, 483-515; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 354-356;
     De Thou, iv. 123-126.)


FOOTNOTES:

[265] Froude, Hist. of England, vii. 519. Seethe courteous summons of
Charles, April 30, 1563, Forbes, State Papers, ii. 404, 405, and
Elizabeth's answer, May 7th, ibid., ii. 409-411; Condé's offer in his
letter of June 26, 1563, Forbes, ii. 442. See also the extended
correspondence of the English envoys, in the inedited documents published
by the Duc d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, i. 423-500.

[266] Froude, vii. 520; Castelnau, liv. v., c. ii. Compare Forbes, ii.
422.

[267] "The plage dothe increace here dayly, wherby our nombres are decayde
within these fowr days in soche sorte, as we have not remayning at this
present (in all our judgements) 1500 able men in this towne. They dye nowe
in bothe these peces upon the point of 100 a daye, so as we can not geyt
men to burye theym," etc. Warwick to the Privy Council, July 11, 1563.
Forbes, ii. 458.

[268] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 417-420; Mém. de Castelnau, liv. v., c.
ii. and iii.; Cimber et Danjou, v. 229; Stow's Annals (London, 1631), 655,
656; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. iv., c. ii. (i. 198-200); Davila, bk. iii.
(Eng. trans., London, 1678), p. 89; Froude, vii. 519-528. Consult
especially Dr. Patrick Forbes, Full View of the Public Transactions in the
Reign of Queen Elizabeth (London, 1741), vol ii. pp. 373-500. This
important collection of letters, to which I have made such frequent
reference under the shorter title of "State Papers," ends at this point.
Peace was definitely concluded between France and England by the treaty of
Troyes, April 11, 1564 (Mém. de Condé, v. 79, 80). Sir Nicholas
Throkmorton, who had long been a prisoner, held to be exchanged against
the hostages for the restitution of Calais, given in accordance with the
treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, now returned home. Before leaving, however, he
had an altercation with his colleague, Sir Thomas Smith, of which the
latter wrote a full account. Sir Nicholas, it seems, in his heat applied
some opprobrious epithets to Smith, and even called him "traitor"--a
charge which the latter repudiated with manly indignation. "Nay, thou
liest, quoth I; I am as true to the queen as thou any day in the week, and
have done her Highness as faithful and good service as thou." Smith to
Cecil, April 13, 1564, State Paper Office.

[269] Mém. de Claude Haton, i. 356, 357.

[270] See the order of the fanatical Parliament of Toulouse, which it had
the audacity to publish with, or instead of, the king's edict. It contains
this clause: "Ce que estant veu par nous, avons ordonné et ordonnons que,
en la ville de Thoulouse ni aultres du ressort du parlement d'icelle, ne
se fera publicquement ni secrettement aulcun exercice de la nouvelle
prétendue religion, en quelque sorte que ce soit, sous peine de la hart.
Item, que tous ceux qui vouldront faire profession de laditte prétendue
religion réformée ayent à se retirer," etc. Mém. de Claude Haton, i. 358,
359.

[271] Recordon, Le Protestantisme en Champagne, 132, 133.

[272] M. Floquet, in his excellent history of the Norman Parliament (ii.
571), repudiates as "une de ces exagérations familières à De Bèze," the
statement of the Histoire ecclés. des églises réformées, "that in the
Parliament of Rouen, whatever the cause might be, whoever was known to be
of the (reformed) religion, whether plaintiff or defendant, was instantly
condemned." Yet he quotes below (ii. 571, 573, 574), from Chancellor de
l'Hospital's speech to that parliament, statements that fully vindicate
the justice of the censure. "Vous pensez bien faire d'adjuger la cause à
celuy que vous estiméz plus homme de bien ou meilleur chrestien; comme
s'il estoit question, entre les parties, lequel d'entre eux est meilleur
poète, orateur, peintre, artisan, et enfin de l'art, doctrine, force,
vaillance, ou autre quelconque suffisance, non de la chose qui est amenée
en jugement." And after enumerating other complaints: "Ne trouvez point
estrange ce que je vous en dy: car souvent sont apportéz au roy de vos
jugements qui semblent, de prime face, fort esloignéz de toute droicture
et équité."

[273] Chron. MS. du xvi. siècle, Registres, etc., _apud_ Floquet, Hist. du
parlement de Normandie, ii. 525-547.

[274] Ibid., ii. 548.

[275] The father of Agrippa d'Aubigné was, as his son informs us, one of
the commissioners sent on this occasion to Guyenne. Mémoires d'A.
d'Aubigné, ed. Buchon, 474.

[276] What else can be said, in view of such well authenticated statements
as the following? On his progress through France, to which reference will
soon be made, Charles the Ninth stopped with his court at Troyes, where no
expense was spared in providing tournaments and games for his amusement.
Just as he was about to leave the city, and was already booted for his
journey, he was detained for a little while that he might witness a novel
entertainment. He was taken to a garden where a number of young girls,
selected for their extraordinary beauty and entirely nude, executed in his
presence the most obscene dances. It was two churchmen that are said to
have provided the boy-king with this infamous diversion--Cardinal Charles
of Bourbon and Cardinal Louis of Guise. Recordon, 143.

[277] "Il est notoire qu'au temps du colloque de Poissy la doctrine
evangelique y fut proposée en liberté; ce qui causa que plusieurs, tans
grands que petits, prindrent goust à icelle. Mais, tout ainsi qu'un feu de
paille fait grand' flamme, et puis s'esteint incontinent d'autant que la
matière défaut, après que ce qu'ils avoient receu comme une nouveauté se
fut un peu envieilly en leur coeur, les affections s'amortirent, et la
pluspart retourna à l'ancienne cabale de la cour, qui est bien plus propre
pour faire rire et piaffer, et pour s'enrichir." Mém. de Franç. de la
Noue, c. ii. (Ed. Mich, et Pouj., 591).

[278] "Quelque chose qu'il sût dire avec blasphêmes horribles--moyen
ordinaire à telles gens pour prouver leur religion." Hist. ecclés. des
églises réformées, ii. 458. To stuff leaves torn from French Bibles into
the mouths or wounds of dying or dead Huguenots, as we have seen, was a
diversion not unknown to their opponents. Of course, there is nothing
astonishing in the circumstance that the invocation of Calvin's
liturgy--"Notre aide soit au nom de Dieu qui a fait le ciel et la
terre"--should have been a favorite formula for the beginning of a game of
chance, or that the doxology--"Louange à Dieu de tous ses biens"--["Praise
God from whom all blessings flow."]--should have been esteemed a fitting
ejaculation for the winner. Ibid., ii. 310, 431.

[279] "'Double mort Dieu' a vaincu 'Certes'; entendant par ce dernier mot
ceux de la religion qui condamnent ces juremens et blasphêmes." Hist.
ecclés. des égl. réf., ii. 507.

[280] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 409.

[281] Declaration dated Châtillon-sur-Loing, May 5, 1563. Mém. de Condé,
iv. 339-349; and Jean de Serres, iii. 15-29.

[282] Martin, Hist. de France, x. 164.

[283] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.), 415, 416. Catharine had been the
involuntary instrument of renewing the old friendship between the
constable and his nephews, when, on Guise's death, she conferred the
office of grand master upon his young son, instead of restoring it to Anne
de Montmorency, to whom the dignity had formerly belonged. Three months
later (Aug. 30, 1563) Condé drew up another paper, assuming the entire
responsibility for all the acts of the Châtillon brothers during the war:
"Acte par lequel M. le prince de Condé déclare que tout ce que M. l'amiral
de Coligny et M. D'Andelot son frère ont fait pendant les troubles, ils
ont fait à sa réquisition et par ses ordres." Mém. de Condé, iv. 651.

[284] See Martin, x. 174, 175.

[285] Davila, bk. iii. 92, and D'Aubigné, liv. iv., c. iii. (i. 201), both
of whom mistake the place of the occurrence, supposing it to have been
Paris.

[286] Copie de la requeste présentée au Roy très-chrestien par ceulx de la
mayson de Guyse, etc. Mém. de Condé, iv. 667, 668.

[287] Ibid., iv. 668.

[288] "C'est un vray moyen pour destruire et gaster en une heure tout le
fondement de ce qu'elle a prins grand' peine de bastir depuis six mois."
Mémoire présenté à la Reine-mère, pour empêcher que la maison de Guyse
n'allât demander justice au parlement de Paris, de l'assassinat de
François duc de Guise. Mém. de Condé, iv. 493-495.

[289] Arrêt du conseil du Roy, par lequel il évoque à sa personne le
procès meu entre les maisons de Guyse et de Chastillon, etc. Mém. de
Condé, iv. 495.

[290] "Ne parlez encore à personne," writes Catharine to M. de Gonnor
(March 12, 1563), "des conditions, car j'ay toûjours peur qu'ils ne nous
trompent; encore que le Prince de Condé leur a déclaré que s'ils
n'acceptent ces conditions et s'ils ne veulent la paix, qu'il s'en viendra
avec le Roy mon fils, et se déclarera leur ennemy, chose que je trouve
très-bonne." Le Laboureur, ii. 241.

[291] Not September 15th, as Davila states, nor September 24th, as
D'Aubigné seems to assert; but his narrative is confused.

[292] The two documents--address and edict--in Mém. de Condé, iv. 574-581.

[293] Floquet, Hist. du parlement de Normandie, ii. 584. The entire scene
is very vividly portrayed, ibid., ii. 561-586. Bruslart, Mém. de Condé, i.
132; De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 421-424; Jean de Serres, iii. 32; Mém. de
Castelnau, liv. v., c. iv., etc.; Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ., liv.
iv., c. iii. (i. 200-202); Davila, bk. iii. 90.

[294] "Les Parisiens furent fort pressés qu'ils eussent à mettres les
armes bas," says the metropolitan curate, Jean de la Fosse, under date of
May, 1563, "mais ils n'en volurent jamais rien faire." Mém. d'un curé
ligueur, 63, 64.

[295] A town on the left bank of the Seine, four leagues beyond Meulan.

[296] Mém. de Condé (Bruslart), Sept., 1563, i. 133-135.

[297] Ibid., _ubi supra_. "Ces parolles là sont venues de la boutique de
Monsieur le Chancellier et non du Roy."

[298] Ibid., i. 136. Even after Charles's lecture and a still more
intemperate address of Montluc, Bishop of Valence, when parliament came to
a vote there was a tie. To please Catharine, whose entire authority was at
stake, the royal council of state gave the extraordinary command that the
minute of this vote should be erased from the records of parliament, and
the edict instantly registered. This last was forthwith done. De Thou,
iii. (liv. xxxv.) 426, 427. Bruslart (_ubi supra_, i. 136) denies that the
erasure was actually made as Charles had commanded.

[299] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 441, etc.

[300] Letter of Card. de la Bourdaisière, Rome, Oct. 23, 1563, in which
sentence is said to have been pronounced, the day before, on the
Archbishop of Aix, and the bishops of Uzès, Valence, Oléron, Lescar,
Chartres, and Troyes. Le Laboureur, i. 863, 864.

[301] Monitorium et citatio officii sanctæ Inquisitionis contra
illustrissimam et serenissimam dominam Joannam Albretiam, reginam Navarræ,
Mém. de Condé, iv. 669-679; and Vauvilliers, Histoire de Jeanne d'Albret,
iii. Pièces justif., 221-240. It is dated Tuesday, September 28, 1563. De
Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 442. The Card. de la Bourdaisière (_ubi supra_)
merely says: "Tout le monde dit à Rome, que la Reine de Navarre fut aussi
privée audit Consistoire, mais il n'en est rien, bien est-elle citée."
Mém. de Castelnau, liv. v., c. ix.

[302] It needed no very extraordinary penetration to read "Philip" under
the words of the monitorium: "Ita ut in casu contraventionis (quod Deus
avertat) et contumaciæ, regnum, principatus, ac alia cujuscunque status et
dominia hujuscemodi, dentur et dari possint _cuilibet illa occupanti, vel
illi aut illis quibus Sanctitati suæ et successoribus suis dare et
concedere magis placuerit_."

[303] Summary of the protest in De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 441-447; and
Vauvilliers, ii. 7-17; in full in Mém. de Condé, iv. 680-684. "Quant au
fait de la Reine de Navarre, qui est celuy qui importe le plus, ledit
sieur d'Oysel aura charge de luy faire bien entendre," says Catharine in a
long letter to Bishop Bochetel (_ubi infra_), "qu'il n'a nulle autorité et
jurisdiction sur ceux qui portent titre de Roy ou de Reine, et que ce
n'est à luy de donner leur estats et royaumes en proye au premier
conquerant."

[304] See the interesting letter of Catharine to Bochetel, Bishop of
Rennes, French ambassador at Vienna, Dec. 13, 1563, in which the papal
assumption is stigmatized as dangerous to the peace of Christendom. "De
nostre part nous sommes délibéréz de ne le permettre ny consentir," she
says, and she is persuaded that neither Ferdinand nor Maximilian will
consent. Le Laboureur, i. 783.

[305] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 447. Castelnau (liv. v., c. ix.) gives a
wrong impression by his assertion that "the Pope could never be induced to
reverse the sentence against the Queen of Navarre."

[306] Le Laboureur, ii. 610, 611; Brantôme, Hommes illustres (OEuvres, ix.
259). We cannot accept, without much caution, the portraits drawn of the
prince by the English while they were still smarting with resentment
against him for concluding peace with the king without securing the claims
of Elizabeth upon Calais. "The Prince of Condé," wrote Sir Thomas Smith,
April 13, 1563, "is thought ... to be waxen almost a new King of Navarre.
So thei which are most zelous for the religion are marvelously offendid
with him; and in great feare, that shortly all wil be worse than ever it
was. Et quia nunc prodit causam religionis, as they say, dia tên
rhathumian autou kai psychrotêta pros ta kala, and begynnes even now
gunaikomanein, as the other did; they thinke plainly, that he will declare
himself, ere it be long, unkiend to God, to us, and to himself; being won
by the papists, either with reward of Balaam, or ells with Cozbi the
Midianite, to adjoigne himself to Baal-peor." Forbes, State Papers, ii.
385.

[307] "Le bon prince," says Brantôme, "estoit aussi mondain qu'un autre,
et aimoit autant la femme d'autruy que la sienne, tenant fort du naturel
de ceux de la race de Bourbon, qui ont esté fort d'amoureuse complexion."
Hommes illustres, M. le Prince de Condé. Granvelle wrote to the Emperor
Ferdinand from Besançon (April 12, 1564), that word had come from France,
"que le prince de Condé y entendoit au service des dames plus qu'en aultre
chose, et assez froid en la religion des huguenotz." Papiers d'état, vii.
467.

[308] See Bayle's art. on Isabeau de Limueil; J. de Serres, iii. 45, 46;
De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 42.

[309] Jean de Serres, iii. 50, 51; De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 412, 413.
Cf. Bolwiller to Cardinal Granvelle, Sept. 4, 1564, Papiers d'état du
cardinal de Granvelle, viii. 305. See, however, the statements in chapter
xvi. of this history.

[310] His revenue from his county of Soissons was not 1,000 crowns a year,
and he had little from his other possessions (Le Laboureur, ii. 611).
Secretary Courtewille, in his secret report (Dec., 1561), states that the
Huguenot nobles of the first rank were in general poor--Vendôme, Condé,
Coligny, etc.--and that were it not for a monthly sum of 1,200 crowns,
which the Huguenots furnished to Condé, and 1,000 which the admiral
received in similar manner, they would hardly know how to support
themselves. Papiers d'état du card. de Granv., vi. 440.

[311] Mary herself, however, writing to her aunt, the Duchess of Aerschot
(Nov. 6, 1564), represents the offer of marriage as made by Condé, both to
her grandmother and to her uncle the cardinal: "à qui il a fait toutes les
belles offres du monde." Papiers d'état du card. de Granv., viii. 481.

[312] Jean de Serres, iii. 32, 33.

[313] Ibid., iii. 45, 46; De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 414; D'Aubigné, Hist.
univ., i. 197.

[314] On the upper Tarn, in the modern department of the Aveyron.

[315] The very important documents which exhibit these facts at great
length are in the archives of the "Mairie" of Milhau and in the
Bibliothèque nationale, and were inedited until printed in the Bulletin,
ix. (1860) 382-392. Among the names of the Huguenots of Milhau figuring
here is that of Benoit Ferragut, apothecary.

[316] Graignan, pour l'église de Someyre, à la Vénérable Compagnie, 19
juin, 1563, Gaberel, Hist. de l'église de Genève, i., Pièces
justificatives, 153. "Et pourtant, je ne peux pas suffire à tout. Les
paysans se baptisent les enfants les ungs les autres, ou sont contraincts
de les laisser à baptiser."

[317] Les consuls de Montpellier à la Vén. Comp., 30 janvier, 1563 (1564),
ibid., i., Pièces just., 179.

[318] I know of no more beautiful monument of Jeanne's courage and piety
than the letter she wrote to the Cardinal of Armagnac, in reply to a
letter of the cardinal, dated August 18, 1563, intended to frighten her
into a return to the papal church. It was sent by the same messenger who
had brought the letter of Armagnac, and it has every mark of having been
Jeanne's own composition. Both letters are given in full by Olhagaray,
Hist. de Foix, Béarn, et Navarre, 536-543, and 544-551; a summary in
Vauvilliers, i. 347-362. The Queen of Navarre boldly avowed her
sentiments, but declared her policy to be pacific: "Je ne fay rien par
force; il n'y a ny mort ny emprisonnement, ny condemnation, qui sont les
nerfs de la force." But she refused to recognize Armagnac--who was papal
legate in Provence, Guyenne, and Languedoc--as having any such office in
Béarn, proudly writing: "Je ne recognois en Béarn que Dieu auquel je dois
rendre conte de la charge qu'il m'a baillée de son peuple." The
publication of these letters produced a deep impression favorable to the
Reformation.

[319] Letter of Jehan Reymond Merlin to Calvin, Pau, July 23, 1563,
printed for the first time in the Bulletin, xiv. (1865) 233, 234.

[320] Olhagaray, Hist. de Foix, Béarn, et Navarre, p. 535; Vauvilliers,
Hist. de Jeanne d'Albret, i. 319.

[321] Letter of Merlin, _ubi supra_, 237, 238; Vauvilliers, i. 320.

[322] Ibid., 238. "Dont plusieurs, voire des grands, s'en allèrent fort
mal contens, et singulièrement quelques-uns qu'elle rabroua plus rudement
que je n'eusse désiré." Merlin adds that all now saw the excellence of his
advice, for, had it been followed, "il y auroit apparence que la
réformation eust esté faite en ce pays par l'authorité des estats;
maintenant il faut qu'elle se fasse de seule puissance absolue de la
royne, voyre avec danger." In other parts of France, as well as in Béarn,
Jeanne's reformatory movements were looked upon with great disfavor. Upon
a glass window at Limoges (made about the year 1564, and still in
existence, I believe) she is represented, by way of derision, as herself
in the pulpit, and preaching to a congregation of eight Huguenots seated.
Underneath is the bitter couplet,

    "Mal sont les gens endoctrinés
    Quand par femme sont sermonés."

M. Hennin, Monuments de l'hist. de France, Paris, 1863, tome ix.
(1559-1589) 76. The statement that this and a somewhat similar
representation, also described in this work, came from an old abbey, whose
monks thus revenged themselves upon the queen for removing their pulpit,
seems to be a mistake.

[323] Letter of Merlin, _ubi supra_, 239: "Brief c'est merveille que ceste
princesse puisse persister constamment en son sainct vouloir." Cf. letter
of same, Dec. 25, 1563, 245.

[324] Letter of Merlin, Dec. 25, 1563, _ubi supra_, 245.

[325] "Récit d'une entreprise faite en l'an 1565 contre la Reine de
Navarre et messeigneurs les enfans," etc., etc.; Cimber et Danjou,
Archives curieuses, vi. 281-295. The year should be 1564. The best
authority is, however, that of De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxvi.) 496-499, who
states that he simply gives the account as he had it from the lips of
Secretary Rouleau, who brought the tidings to France, and from the
children of the domestic of Isabella who detected the conspiracy. See,
also, Léon Feer, in Bulletin, xxvi. (1877), 207, etc., 279, etc.

[326] Michel de l'Hospital frankly told Santa Croce that the misfortunes
of France came exclusively from the French themselves, "e della vita dei
preti, molto sregolata, i quali non vogliono esser riformati, e
principalmente quelli del Concilio, e poi nelle loro lettere rejiciunt
culpam in Papam." "Io so," adds the nuncio himself, "che sono loro che non
vogliono esser riformati, e hanno mandati di quà certi articoli che hanno
parimente mandati a Roma, circa gli quali io vi posso dir che se Sua
Santita li accordasse, conformamente alle loro petitioni, sariano i più
malcontenti del mondo; ma no le hanno fatte ad altro fine che per haver
occasione di mostrar di quà, che il Papa è quello che non vuole, mentre
che sono loro che non vogliono quella riformatione del clero." Santa Croce
to Borromeo, March 28, 1563, Aymon, i. 230, 231; Cimber et Danjou, vi.
138.

[327] "Il quale (Cardinal di Lorreno) con la morte del suo fratello,
havera manco spiriti, e credo io che terra più conto della satisfattione
di Sua Santita che di qua." Santa Croce to Borromeo, Blois, March 28,
1563, shortly after Guise's death. Aymon, i. 233; Cimber et Danjou, vi.
140.

[328] "Sed hæ nugæ ipsi nequaquam placebant." Languet, letter of Feb. 3,
1564, Epist. secr., ii. 283.

[329] Letter of Santa Croce to Borromeo, Melun, Feb. 25, 1564, Aymon, i.
258, 259; Letter of Beza to Bullinger, Geneva, March 6, 1564, Simler Coll.
(Zurich) MSS.; Languet, March 6, 1564, Epist. secr., ii. 286, 287. There
has been great confusion respecting this altercation between Lorraine and
L'Hospital. According to Henri Martin (Histoire de France, x. 194), it
took place "à propos d'un nouvel édit qui accordait aux réformés quelques
facilités pour l'enseignement et l'exercise de leur religion en maisons
privées dans les villes où le culte public leur était interdit." M. Jules
Bonnet has kindly made search for me in the Zurich and Paris libraries,
and obtained corroborative proof of what I already suspected, that M.
Martin and others had confounded the scene at _Melun_ in February, 1564,
with another quarrel between the same persons in March, 1566, at
_Moulins_. See the documents, including the letter of Beza referred to
above, published together with my inquiries, in the Bulletin de la Soc. du
prot. fr., xxiv. (1875) 409-415.

[330] "Conseil sur le fait du Concile de Trente," etc. Mém. de Condé, v.
81-129. The dedication to Prince Porcien is dated May 29, 1564. See De
Thou, iii. (liv. xxxvi.) 501.

[331] Du Moulin was ordered by a royal letter to be set at large, Lyons,
June 24, 1564.

[332] Conclusion of "Conseil," etc. Mém. de Condé, v. 129.

[333] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxvi.), 499, 500; Ag. d'Aubigné, Hist. univ.,
i. 203 (liv. iv., c. iv.); Mém. de Castelnau, liv. v., c. vi.

[334] Prof. Soldan has discussed the matter at great length. Gesch. des
Prot. in Frank., ii. 197, etc.

[335] As early as Dec. 13, 1563, the queen mother had announced to the
French ambassador in Vienna her son's expected journey, toward the end of
February or the beginning of March, to visit his sister, the Duchess of
Lorraine, and her infant son. Letter to Bochetel, Bishop of Rennes, Le
Laboureur, i. 784. See, too, Languet's letter of Nov. 16, 1563, Epist.
secr., ii. 268.

[336] Lorraine to Granvelle, _ubi infra_. The progress was resolved upon,
it will be seen, before Lorraine's return from Trent.

[337] "I am going to meet their Majesties at Châlons," wrote the Cardinal
of Lorraine from Tou-sur-Marne, between Rheims and Châlons, April 20,
1564; "thence they are to leave for Bar, where they will, I think, remain
no more than four or five days. I hope that the voyage will be honorable
and profitable for our house.... As to our court, it was never so empty of
persons belonging to the opposite religion as it is now. The few that are
there show very great regret at this voyage, in which I can assure you
that I have not meddled at all, either to further or to retard it; only a
short time after my return from Trent, I succeeded in having Nancy changed
for Bar." Papiers d'état du card. de Granvelle, vii. 511.

[338] Smith to Cecil, Tarascon, Oct. 21, 1564, State Paper Office,
Calendar.

[339] "Assuredly, sir," wrote the cardinal in the letter just cited, "the
queen my mistress shows, daily more and more, a strong and holy affection.
This evening I have heard, by the Cardinal of Guise, my brother, who has
reached me, many holy intentions of their Majesties, which may God give
them grace to put into good execution." Ibid., _ubi supra_. In a somewhat
similar strain Granvelle about this time wrote: "I am so strongly assured
that religion is going to take a favorable turn in France, that I know not
what to say of it. The world in that quarter is so light and variable,
that no great grounds of confidence can be assumed. But it is at any rate
something that matters are not growing worse." Letter to Bolwiller, April
9, 1564, Papiers d'état, etc., vii. 461.

[340] Letter of Granvelle to the Emperor Ferdinand, May 8, 1564, Papiers
d'état, vii. 613; also 622, 631.

[341] "Les réformés qui formoient presque le tiers du royaume." Garnier,
Hist. de France, xxx. 453.

[342] "On peut présumer qu'il n'y eut jamais en France plus de quinze on
seize cent mille réformés.... La France possédait a peine quinze millions
d'habitans. Ainsi les protestans n'en formaient guère que le dixième."
Lacretelle, Histoire de France pendant les guerres de religion, ii. 169,
170. The entire passage is important.

[343] Giov. Michiel, Rel. des Amb. Vén., i. 412.

[344] Capefigue, from MS., Hist. de la réforme, de la ligue, etc., ii.
408.

[345] Jean de Serres, iii. 47, 48; De Thou, iii., liv. xxxvi. 504; Mém. de
Castelnau, l. v., c. x.; Pasquier, Lettres, iv., 22, _ap._ Capefigue, ii.
410.

[346] Granvelle to the Emperor Ferdinand, April 12, 1564, Pap. d'état,
vii. 467.

[347] Of solicitude on this score, the only evidence I have come across is
furnished by the following passage of one of the "Occurrences in France,"
under date of April 11, 1565, sent to the English Government. "Orders are
also taken in the court that no gentleman shall talk with the queen's
maids, except it is in the queen's presence, or in that of Madame la
Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, except he be married; and if they sit upon a
form or stool, he may sit by her, and if she sit upon the ground he may
kneel by her, but not lie long, as the fashion was in this court." State
Paper Office, Calendar, 331.

[348] Edict of Vincennes, June 14, 1563, and Declarations of Paris, Dec.
14, 1563; of Lyons, June 24, 1564; and of Roussillon, Aug. 4, 1564.
Isambert, Recueil des anc. lois. franç., xiv. 141, 159, 170-172, and
Drion, Hist. chronol., i. 102-108. See Jean de Serres, iii. 35-41, 55-63,
and after him, De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxv.) 411, 412, 504, 505.

[349] Jean de Serres, iii. 54, 55, 64, 65, etc. De Thou, iii. (liv.
xxxvi.) 503, etc.

[350] Ibid., _ubi supra_. There are no similar cases of assassination on
the part of Huguenots at this period. That of Charry at court seems to
have resulted partly from revenge for personal wrongs, partly from
mistaken devotion on the part of one of D'Andelot's followers to his
master's interests. See Languet, letter of Feb. 3, 1564, Epist. secr., ii.
284.

[351] Jean de Serres, iii. 65-82; De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxvi.) 505; Lettres
de Monseigneur le Prince de Condé à la Roine Mère du Roy, avec
Advertissemens depuis donnéz par ledit Seigneur Prince à leurs Majestez,
etc, (Aug. 31, 1564, etc.), Mém. de Condé, v. 201-214.

[352] "Articles respondus par le Roy en son Conseil privé, sur la requeste
présentée par plusieurs habitans de la ville de Bourdeaux," etc. The
signature of the secretary, Robertet, was affixed Sept. 5, 1564; but such
was the obstinacy of the judges of Bordeaux, that the document was not
published in the parliament of that city until nearly eight months later
(April 30, 1565). Mém. de Condé, v. 214-224. Cimber et Danjou, Archives
curieuses, vi. 271-278. The Protestants petitioned for another town in
place of St. Macaire, which had been assigned them for their religious
worship--the most inconveniently situated in the entire "sénéchaussée."
They desired a city which they could go to and return from on the same
day. They stated that "la plus grande partie des plus notables familles de
la ville de Bourdeaux est de la religion réformée." This part of their
request the king referred to the judgment of the governor.

[353] Ordonnance du roi Charles IX., 6 août, 1564, Nantes MS., Bulletin,
xiii. (1864), 203, 204.

[354] Aymon, i. 277, 278, and Cimber et Danjou, Archives cur., vi. 167. As
by this time both Papists and Huguenots knew Catharine de' Medici to be a
woman utterly devoid of moral principle, it may fairly be considered an
open question whether there was any one in France more deceived than she
was in supposing that she had deceived others.

[355] Sir Thomas Smith to the queen, from Tarascon (near Avignon), Oct.
21, 1564, enclosing "Articles of pacification for those of the religion in
Venaissin and Avignon agreed to by the ministers of the Pope and those of
the Prince of Orange, Oct. 11, 1564." Signed by the vice-legate, Bishop of
Fermo, and Fabrizio Serbellone, State Paper Office.

[356] Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 55, 56, 68.

[357] "Lundi passé, viiie du present mois, ung peu avant les trois heures
après midy, monsieur le révérendissime cardinal de Lorraine, vestu du
robbon et chappeau, ... est entré en Paris." Account written two days
after the occurrence by Del Rio, attached to the Spanish embassy in Paris.
Papiers d'état du card. de Granvelle, viii. 600-602.

[358] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vi., c. iii.; Jean de Serres, iii. 85, 86;
De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxvii.) 533-537; Mém. de Claude Haton, i. 381-383;
Journal de Jehan de la Fosse, 70-72; Condé MSS., in Duc d'Aumale, Princes
de Condé, i. 518; Le Livre des Marchands (Ed. Panthéon) 424, 425, where
the ludicrous features of the scene are, of course, most brightly colored.
"J'espère bien aussi m'en resentir ung jour," wrote the cardinal himself,
a few weeks later, from Joinville. Pap. d'état du card. de Granvelle,
viii. 681.

[359] Jehan de la Fosse, 72.

[360] Harangue de l'Admiral de France à Messieurs de la Cour de Parlement
de Paris, du 27 janvier 1565, avec la réponse. Papiers d'état du card. de
Granvelle, viii. 655-657. M. de Crussol, in a letter of February 4, 1565,
alludes to the admiral's flattering reception by the clergy and by the
Sorbonne, "qui sont allé le visiter et offert infiny service;" and states
that both parties were gratified by the interview. Condé MSS., in Duc
d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, Pièces inédits, i. 520.

[361] Philip II. to Alva, Dec. 14, 1563, Pap. d'état du card. de
Granvelle, vii. 269; Alva to Philip II., Dec. 22, 1563, ib., vii. 286,
287.

[362] Granvelle to the Baron de Bolwiller, March 13, 1565, ib., ix. 61,
62.

[363] Ibid., _ubi supra_. "Je vous asseure, comme il est véritable, qu'il
n'y a aultre chose en cecy que simple visitation de fille à mère."

[364] Prof. Kluckholn, strangely enough, speaks of Jean de Serres's
Commentarii de statu relig., etc., as "zuerst im Jahre, 1575, erschienen"
(Zur Geschichte des angeb. Bündnisses von Bayonne, Abhand. der k. bayer.
Akademie, München, 1868, p. 151). I have before me the earlier edition of
1571, containing verbatim the passage he quotes, with a single unimportant
exception--"ecclesiarum" instead of "religiosorum."

[365] J. de Serres, Comment, de statu reipublicæ et religionis in Gallia
regno, Carolo IX. rege (1571), iii. 92. The Prince of Condé, in his long
petition sent to Charles, Aug. 23, 1568, at the outbreak of the Third
Civil War, says expressly in reference to events a year preceding the
Second War: "Quandoquidem ego et alii Religionis reformatæ viri fuerimus
jampridem admoniti de inito Baionæ consilio cum Hispano, ad eos omnes
plane delendos atque exterminandos qui Religionem reformatam in tuo regno
profiteantur." Ibid., iii. 200.

[366] The remark is said to have been accidentally overheard by Henry of
Navarre, afterward Henry the Fourth, of whose presence little account was
taken in consequence of his youth. (He was just eleven years and a half
old.) But his intimate follower, Agrippa d'Aubigné, would have been likely
to give him as authority, had this been the case. He only says: "Les plus
licentieux faisoient leur profit d'un terme du Duc d'Alve à Baionne, que
dix mille grenouilles ne valloient pas la teste d'un saumon." Hist. univ.,
liv. iv., c. v. (i. 206). Jean de Serres, _ubi supra_, iii. 125, gives the
expression in nearly the same words: "Satius esse unicum salmonis caput,
quam mille ranarum capita habere."

[367] Smith to Leicester and Cecil, July 2-29, 1565, State Paper Office,
Calendar, 403.

[368] "On apelloit ce bon prélat 'le cardinal des bouteilles,'" says
Lestoile, "pource qu'il les aimoit fort, et ne se mesloit guères d'autres
affaires que de celles de la cuisine, où il se connoissoit fort bien, et
les entendoit mieux que celles de la religion et de l'estat." In
chronicling the death of Louis, Cardinal of Guise, at Paris, March 29,
1578, he records the suggestive fact that "he was the last of the six
brothers of the house of Guise; yet died he young, at the age of
forty-eight years." Journal de Henri III., p. 96 (edit. Michaud). So
closely is the scriptural warning fulfilled, that "bloody and deceitful
men shall not live out half their days." Cardinal Guise (not Cardinal
Lorraine, as Mr. Henry White seems to suppose, Massacre of St.
Bartholomew, Am. edit., 187, 188) was the abettor of the massacre of
Vassy.

[369] Cartas que el Duque de Alba scrivió, etc. Papiers d'état du cardinal
de Granvelle, ix. 296.

[370] "Con no mas personas que con cinco ó seys que son el cabo de todo
esto, los tomasen á su mano y les cortasen las cabeças," etc. Ibid., ix.
298.

[371] "Que mirase mucho por su salud, pues que della dependia todo el bien
de la christiandad, y creya que le tenia Dios guardado para venir por su
mano un gran servicio, que era el castigo de las offensas que en este su
reyno se le hazian." Cartas que el Duque de Alba scrivió a su Magestad ...
que contienen las vistas en Bayona, etc. Papiers d'état du card. de
Granvelle, ix. 291.

[372] "Saltó luego con dezirme: 'ó, el tomar las armas no conviene, que yo
destruya mi reyno como se començó á hazer con las guerras passadas.'"
Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[373] "Como es, descubrí lo que le tenian pedricado; passé á otras
materias," etc. Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[374] "Que venia muy Española." Ibid., ix. 300.

[375] "Ella començó cierto la plática con el mayor tiento que yo he visto
tener jamas á nadie en cosa." Ibid., ix. 303.

[376] Cartas que el Duque de Alba scrivió, etc. Papiers d'état du card. de
Granvelle, ix. 315.

[377] "Yo me alteré _terriblemente_ de oírselo, y le dixe que me
maravillava mucho." Ibid., ix. 317.

[378] "La junta passada de adonde començáron todas las desverguenças que
al presente ay en este reyno." Ibid., ix. 317.

[379] "En la otra el cardenal de Lorena havia sido el que avia hecho todo
el daño, pensando poder persuadir á los ministros." Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[380] "Parécenos que quiere con esta semblea (i.e., assemblée), que ellos
llaman, remendar lo que falta en el rigor necessario al remedio de sus
vasallos, y plega á Dios no sea," etc. Ibid., ix. 318.

[381] Letter of Granvelle, Aug. 20, 1565, Papiers d'état, ix. 481.

[382] "Depuis l'arrivée n'y eust mention que de festins, récréations et
passe-temps de diverses manières." Relation du voyage de la reine Isabelle
d'Espagne à Bayonne, MSS. Belgian Archives, Compte Rendu de la commission
royale d'histoire, seconde série, ix. (1857) 159. This paper was drawn up
by the Secretary of State Courtewille, and sent to President Viglius.

[383] Over the first triumphal arch was a representation of Isabella (or
Elizabeth) trampling Mars under foot, with the mottoes _Sacer hymen pacem
nobis contulit_ and _Deus nobis hæc otia fecit_, and below the lines:

    Élizabeth, de roy fille excellente,
    Vous avez joint ung jour deux rois puissans;
    France et l'Espaigne, en gloire permanente,
    Extolleront voz âges triumphans, etc.

Over a second arch at the palace gate, which was reached by a street hung
with tapestry and decorated with the united arms of France and Spain, was
suspended a painting of Catharine with her three sons and three daughters,
and the inscription:

    C'est à l'entour de royalle couronne
    Que le jardin hespérien floronne:
    Ce sont jardins de si belle féconde,
    Qui aujourd'huy ne trouve sa seconde;
    Ce sont rameaux vigoureux et puissans;
    Ce sont florons de vertu verdissans.
    Royne sans per (paire), de grâce décorée,
    Vous surmontez Pallas et Cythérée.

Catharine's portraits scarcely confirm the boast of her panegyrist that
she surpassed Venus, however well she might match Minerva in sagacity.

[384] Agrippa d'Aubigné, Histoire universelle, i. 1.

[385] "Le feu bon homme Monsieur de La Gaucherie y marchoit en rondeur de
conscience, et mesme mon filz lui doibt et aux siens cette rasine (racine)
de piété qui lui est, par la grasse de Dieu, si bien plantée au cueur par
bonnes admonitions, que maintenant, dont je loue ce bon Dieu, elle produit
et branches et fruitz. Je lui suplie qu'il luy fasse ceste grasse qu'il
continue de bien en mieulx." Letter of Dec. 6, 1566, MSS. Geneva Library,
Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot. français, xvi. (1867) 65.

[386] "Ung tournoy a pied."

[387] It will be remembered that the Spaniards never acknowledged the
claim of Antoine or his wife to the title of sovereigns of Navarre. In all
Spanish documents, therefore, such as that which we are here following,
their son Henry is designated only by the dukedom of Bourbon-Vendôme which
he inherited from his father.

[388] Relation du voyage de la reine Isabelle à Bayonne, MSS. Belgian
Archives, _ubi supra_, ix. 161, 162.

[389] See Jean de Serres, iii., 53, for the fraternities of the Holy Ghost
in Burgundy. Blaise de Montluc's proposition of a league with the king as
its head had been declined; the monarch needed no other tie to his
subjects than that which already bound them together. Agrippa d'Aubigné,
Hist. univ., liv. iv., c. v. (i. 206.)

[390] Letter of Charles IX. to M. de Matignon, July 31, 1565, _apud_
Capefigue, Hist. de la Réforme, de la Ligue, etc., ii. 419, 420. The same
letter stipulated for the better protection of the Protestants by freeing
them from domiciliary visits, etc.

[391] Maniquet to Gordes, August 1, 1565, Condé MSS. in Aumale, i. 528.

[392] Letter of Villegagnon to Granvelle, May 25, 1564, Papiers d'état,
vii. 660. The Huguenots figure as "les _Aygnos_, c'est-à-dire, en langue
de Suisse, rebelles et conjurés contre leur prince pour la liberté."

[393] Letter of May 27, 1564, Ibid., vii., 666.

[394] Letter of N. de St. Rémy, June 5, 1564. Ibid., viii. 24, 25. "Le
peuple l'aymeroit trop mieulx pour roy que nul aultre de Bourbon."

[395] Catharine never forgave Ambassador Chantonnay for having boasted
that, with Throkmorton's assistance, he could overturn the State. "Jusqu'à
dire que Trokmarton, qui estoit ambassadeur d'Angleterre au commencement
de ces troubles, pour l'intelligence qu'il a avec les Huguenots, et luy
pour celle qu'il a avec les Catholiques de ce royaume, sont suffisans pour
subvertir cet Estat." Letter to the Bishop of Rennes, Dec. 13, 1563, La
Laboureur, i. 784.

[396] Granvelle to Philip II., July 15, 1565. Papiers d'état, ix. 399,
402, etc.

[397] See Alex. Sutherland's Achievements of the Knights of Malta (Phila.,
1846), ii. 121, which contains an interesting popular account of this
memorable leaguer.

[398] Papiers d'état du card. de Granvelle, ix. 545, etc.

[399] Giovambatista Adriani, Istoria de' suoi tempi (Ed. of Milan, 1834),
ii. 221.

[400] Sir Thomas Smith to Cecil, Nantes, Oct. 12, 1565, State Paper
Office, Calendar.

[401] Sir Thomas Smith to Leicester, Nov. 23, 1565, State Paper Office.

[402] "Al qual tempo si riservò tale esecuzione per alcuni sospetti, che
apparivano negli Ugonotti, e per difficoltà di condurvegli tutti, e ancora
perchè più sicuro luogo era Parigi che Molino." Giovambatista Adriani,
Istoria de' suoi tempi (lib. decimottavo), ii. 221.

[403] De Thou, iii. (liv. xxxix.) 660-664; Castelnau, liv. vi., c. ii.;
Jehan de la Fosse, 76; Davila, bk. iii. 98.

[404] The edict, of course, is not to be found in Isambert, or any other
collection of French laws; but a letter in Lestoile (ed. Michaud, p. 19),
to whom we are indebted for most of our knowledge of the event, refers to
the very wording of the document ("ce sont les mots de l'édict"). The
letter is entitled "Mémoire d'un différend meu à Moulins en 1566, entre le
Cardinal de Lorraine et le Chancellier de l'Hôpital," and begins with the
words: "Je vous advise que _du jour d'hier_," etc. M. Bonnet has
discovered and published, in the Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot.
franç., xxiv. (1875) 412-415, a second and fuller account, dated Moulins,
March 16, 1566 (MS. French Nat. Library, Dupuy, t. lxxxvi., f. 158). As
was seen above (p. 155), this altercation has been generally confounded
with that of two years earlier. The letter given by Lestoile (see above)
is also published in Mém. de Condé, v. 50, but is referred to the wrong
event by the editor. Prof. Soldan (Gesch. des Prot. in Fr., ii. 199),
follows the Mém. de Condé in the reference.

[405] Not many months before this occurrence a guest at the Prince of
Orange's table told Montigny that there were no Huguenots in
Burgundy--meaning the Spanish part, or Franche-Comté. "If so," replied the
unfortunate nobleman, "the Burgundians cannot be men of intelligence,
since those who have much mind for the most part are Huguenots;" a saying
which, reported to Philip, no doubt made a deep impression on his bigoted
soul. Pap. d'état du card. de Granvelle, vii. 187, 188. The Burgundians of
France were equally intolerant of the reformed doctrines.

[406] "Je ne suis venu pour troubler; mais pour empescher que ne
troubliez, comme avez faict par le passé, belistre que vous estes."
Lestoile and Mém. de Condé, _ubi supra_.

[407] See Prescott, Philip II., and Motley, Rise of the Dutch Republic.

[408] M. Charles L. Frossard, of Lille, discovered the MSS. on which the
following account is wholly based, in the Archives of the Department du
Nord, preserved in that city. As these papers appear to have been
inedited, and are referred to, so far as I can learn, by no previous
historian, I have deemed it proper to deviate from the rule to which I
have ordinarily adhered, of relating in detail only those events that
occurred within the ancient limits of the kingdom of France. However, the
reformation at Cateau-Cambrésis received its first impulses from France.
Mr. Frossard communicated the papers to the Bulletin de la Société de
l'histoire du protestantisme français, iii. (1854), 255-264, 396-417,
525-538. They are of unimpeachable accuracy and authenticity.

[409] Lille MSS., _ubi supra_, 403.

[410] "De sorte qu'ils espèrent que lesdits de la requeste et du compromis
les adsisteront suyvant leur promesse, à ce qu'ils puissent jouyr de la
mesme liberté accordez à Bruxelles, asçavoir, que l'exercise de la
religion aye lieu par tout où il a esté usité auparavant, comme ceulx du
Chastel en Cambrésis ont eue aussy, et ce seulement par manière de
provision, jusques à ce que aultrement il y soict pourveu par le Roy avec
l'advis des estatz, estimans que le Roy ne souffrira rien en son pays qui
ne soict conforme ausdites ordonnances de l'empire." Lille MSS., _ubi
supra_.

[411] Letter of P. de Montmorency, Sept. 11, 1566, Lille MSS., _ubi
supra_.

[412] Motley, Dutch Republic, i. 458-462.

[413] Lille MSS., _ubi supra_.

[414] Mémoires de Claude Haton, i. 416, 417.

[415] The satirical literature of the period would of itself fill a
volume. The Huguenot songs in derision of the mass are particularly
caustic. See M. Bordier, Le Chansonnier Huguenot, and the note to the last
chapter. The Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot. franç., x. (1861),
40, reprints a "dizain" commencing--

    "Nostre curé est un fin boulanger,
    Qui en son art est sage et bien appris:
    Il vend bien cher son petit pain léger,
    Combien qu'il ait le froment à bon prix."

[416] "Chose indigne d'un prince tel qu'il se disoit." Journal d'un curé
ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 73.

[417] See the moderate account of the dispassionate Roman Catholic De
Thou, iii. (liv. xxxix.) 666-670. Also Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. iv., c. vi.
(i. 208), and Discours des troubles advenus en la ville de Pamiers, le 5
juin 1566, Archives curieuses (Cimber et Danjou), vi. 309-343. The
massacre of Protestants at Foix was caused by an exaggerated and false
account of the commotion at Pamiers, carried thither by a fugitive
Augustinian monk.

[418] The good policy of straightforward dealing on the part of an
ambassador is set forth in a noble letter of Morvilliers, Bishop of
Orleans, from which I permit myself to quote a few sentences: "Il y en a
toutesfois qui pensent que, pour estre habille homme, il fault tousjours
aller masqué, laquelle opinion j'estime du tout erronée, et celluy qui la
suit grandement dêceu. Le temps m'a donné quelque expérience des choses;
mais je n'ay jamais veu homme, suivant ces chemins obliques, qui n'ait
embrouillé les affaires de son maistre, et, luy, perdre beaucoup plus
qu'acquérir de réputation; et au contraire ceux, qui se sont conduits
prudemment avec la verité, avoir, pour le moins, rapporté de leur
négotiation ce fruict et l'honneur d'y avoir faict ce que les hommes, avec
le sens et jugement humain, peuvent faire." Correspondance diplomatique de
Bertrand de Salignac de la Mothe Fénélon, vii. 97.

[419] Journal de Jehan de la Fosse, 79, 80; Vie de Coligny (Cologne,
1686), 321-323; Gasparis Colinii Vita, 1575, 55; Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist.
univ., 1, 207.

[420] Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 81.

[421] "December (1566.) Au commencement vinrent plusieurs ambassades à
Paris, tant de la part de l'Empereur, que du Pape, que du roy d'Espagne,
lesquels mandèrent au roy de France, qu'il eust à faire casser l'esdict de
janvier, ou autrement qu'ils se déclareroient ennemys." Ibid., 80. The
fanatical party affected to regard the Edict of Amboise, March, 1563, as a
mere re-establishment of the edict of January 17, 1562.

[422] Mémoires de Castelnau, liv. vi., c. ii. Castelnau was certainly in a
favorable position for learning the truth respecting these matters; and
yet even he speaks of the "holy league," formed at Bayonne, as of
something beyond controversy. According to a treaty and renewal of
alliance between Charles the Ninth and the Roman Catholic cantons of
Switzerland, entered into Dec. 7, 1564, for Charles's lifetime, and seven
years beyond, the Swiss were to furnish him, when attacked, not less than
six nor more than sixteen thousand men for the entire war. The success of
the negotiation occasioned great rejoicing at Paris, and corresponding
annoyance in the Spanish dominions. Du Mont, Corps diplomatique, v.
129-131; Jehan de la Fosse, 70; Papiers d'état du card. de Granvelle,
viii. 599.

[423] Mém. de Fr. de la Noue, c. xi.

[424] He did more than this, according to the belief of the times, as
expressed by Jean de Serres; for, "having been present at the Bayonne
affair," he brought him irrefragable proof of the "holy league entered
into by the kings of France and Spain for the ruin of the religion."
Comment. de statu. rel. et reip., iii. 126.

[425] Yet so much were intelligent observers deceived respecting the signs
of the times, that only a little over two months before the actual
outbreak of the second civil war (July 4, 1567), Judge Truchon
congratulated France on the edifying spectacle of loving accord which the
court furnished. "I have this very day," he writes, "seen the king
holding, with his left hand, the head of my lord, the prince [of Condé],
and with his right the head of my lord the Cardinal of Bourbon, and
_playfully trying to strike their foreheads together_. The Duke d'Aumale
was paying his attentions to Madame la Mareschale [de Montmorency.] ...
The Cardinal of Châtillon was not far off. In short, all, without
distinction, seemed to me to be so harmonious that I wish there may never
be greater divisions in France. It was a fine example for many persons of
lower rank," etc. Letter to M. de Gordes, MS. in Archives de Condé, Duc
d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, i. 540, Pièces inédites.

[426] Jean de Serres, iii. 128, 129. See, also, Condé's letter of Aug. 23,
1568. Ibid., iii. 201.

[427] Norris to Queen Elizabeth, Aug. 29, 1567, State Paper Office, Duc
d'Aumale, Pièces inédites, i. 559.

[428] "Sed ne frustra laborare viderentur, de Albani consilio, 'Satius
esse unicum salmonis caput, quam mille ranarum capita habere,' ineunt
rationes de intercipiendis optimatum iis, qui Religionem sequerentur,
Condæo, Amiralio, Andelotio, Rupefocaldio aliisque primoribus viris. Ratio
videbatur præsentissima, ut a rege accerserentur, tanquam consulendi de
iis rebus quæ ad regnum constituendum facerent," etc. Jean de Serres, iii.
125. It will be remembered that this volume was published the year before
the St. Bartholomew's massacre. The persons enumerated, with the exception
of those that died before 1572, were the victims of the massacre.

[429] "Ita Edicti nomen usurpabatur, dum Edictum revera pessundaretur."
Jean de Serres, iii. 60.



CHAPTER XV.

THE SECOND CIVIL WAR AND THE SHORT PEACE.


[Sidenote: Coligny's pacific counsels.]

[Sidenote: Rumors of plots to destroy the Huguenots.]

[Sidenote: D'Andelots warlike counsels prevail.]

[Sidenote: Cardinal Lorraine to be seized and King Charles liberated.]

A treacherous peace or an open war was now apparently the only alternative
offered to the Huguenots. In reality, however, they believed themselves to
be denied even the unwelcome choice between the two. The threatening
preparations made for the purpose of crushing them were indications of
coming war, if, indeed, they were not properly to be regarded, according
to the view of the great Athenian orator in a somewhat similar case, as
the first stage in the war itself. The times called for prompt decision.
Within a few weeks three conferences were held at Valéry and at Châtillon.
Ten or twelve of the most prominent Huguenot nobles assembled to discuss
with the Prince of Condé and Coligny the exigencies of the hour. Twice was
the impetuosity of the greater number restrained by the calm persuasion of
the admiral. Convinced that the sword is a fearful remedy for political
diseases--a remedy that should never be applied except in the most
desperate emergency--Coligny urged his friends to be patient, and to show
to the world that they were rather forced into war by the malice of their
enemies than drawn of their own free choice. But at the third meeting of
the chiefs, before the close of the month, they were too much excited by
the startling reports reaching them from all sides, to be controlled even
by Coligny's prudent advice. A great friend of "the religion" at court had
sent to the prince and the admiral an account of a secret meeting of the
royal council, at which the imprisonment of the former and the execution
of the latter was agreed upon. The Swiss were to be distributed in equal
detachments at Paris, Orleans, and Poitiers, and the plan already
indicated--the repeal of the Edict of Toleration and the proclamation of
another edict of opposite tenor--was at once to be carried into effect.
"Are we to wait," asked the more impetuous, "until we be bound hand and
foot and dragged to dishonorable death on Parisian scaffolds? Have we
forgotten the more than three thousand Huguenots put to violent deaths
since the peace, and the frivolous answers and treacherous delays which
have been our only satisfaction?" And when some of the leaders expressed
the opinion that delay was still preferable to a war that would certainly
expose their motives to obloquy, and entail so much unavoidable misery,
the admiral's younger brother, D'Andelot, combated with his accustomed
vehemence a caution which he regarded as pusillanimous, and pointedly
asked its advocates what all their innocence would avail them when once
they found themselves in prison and at their enemy's mercy, when they were
banished to foreign countries, or were roaming without shelter in the
forests and wilds, or were exposed to the barbarous assaults of an
infuriated populace.[430] His striking harangue carried the day. The
admiral reluctantly yielded, and it was decided to anticipate the attack
of the enemy by a bold defensive movement. Some advocated the seizure of
Orleans, and counselled that, with this refuge in their possession,
negotiations should be entered into with the court for the dismissal of
the Swiss; others that the party should fortify itself by the capture of
as many cities as possible. But to these propositions the pertinent reply
was made that there was no time for wordy discussions, the controversy
must be settled by means of the sword;[431] and that, of a hundred towns
the Protestants held at the beginning of the last war, they had found
themselves unable to retain a dozen until its close. Finally, the prince
and his companions resolved to make it the great object of their endeavors
to drive the Cardinal of Lorraine from court and liberate Charles from his
pernicious influence. This object was to be attained by dispersing the
Swiss, and by conducting hostilities on a bold plan--rather by the
maintenance of an army that could actively take the field,[432] than by
seizing any cities save a few of the most important. On the twenty-ninth
of September, the feast-day of St. Michael, the Huguenots having suddenly
risen in all parts of France, Condé and Coligny, at the head of the troops
of the neighboring provinces, were to present themselves at the court,
which would be busy celebrating the customary annual ceremonial of the
royal order. They would then hand to the king a humble petition for the
redress of grievances, for the removal of the Cardinal of Lorraine, and
for the dispersion of the Swiss troops, which, instead of being retained
near the frontiers of the kingdom which they had ostensibly come to
protect, had been advanced to the very vicinity of the capital.[433] It
might be difficult to prevent the enterprise from wearing the appearance
of a plot against the king, in whose immediate vicinity the cardinal was;
but the event, if prosperous, would demonstrate the integrity of their
purpose.[434]

[Sidenote: The secret slowly leaks out.]

The plan was well conceived, and better executed than such schemes usually
are. The great difficulty was to keep so important a secret. It was a
singular coincidence that, as in the case of the tumult of Amboise, over
seven years before, the first intimations of their danger reached the
Guises from the Netherlands.[435] But the courtiers, whose minds were
taken up with the pleasures of the chase, and who dreamed of no such
movement, were so far from believing the report, that Constable
Montmorency expressed vexation that it was imagined that the Huguenots
could get together one hundred men in a corner of the kingdom--not to
speak of an army in the immediate vicinity of the capital--without the
knowledge of himself, the head of the royal military establishment; while
Chancellor de l'Hospital said that "it was a capital crime for any servant
to alarm his prince with false intelligence, or give him groundless
suspicions of his fellow-subjects."[436]

The news, however, being soon confirmed from other sources, a spy was sent
to Châtillon-sur-Loing to report upon the admiral's movements. He brought
back word that he had found Coligny at home, and apparently engrossed in
the labors of the vintage--so quietly was the affair conducted until
within forty-eight hours of the time appointed for the general
uprising.[437] It was not until hurried tidings came from all quarters
that the roads to Châtillon and to Rosoy--a small place in Brie, where the
Huguenots had made their rendezvous--were swarming with men mounted and
armed, that the court took the alarm.

[Sidenote: Flight of the court to Paris.]

It was almost too late. The Huguenots had possession of Lagny and of the
crossing of the river Marne. The king and queen, with their suite, at
Meaux, were almost entirely unprotected, the six thousand Swiss being
still at Château-Thierry, thirty miles higher up the Marne. Instant orders
were sent to bring them forward as quickly as possible, and the night of
the twenty-eighth of September witnessed a scene of abject fear on the
part of the ladies and not a few of the gentlemen that accompanied Charles
and his mother. At three o'clock in the morning, under escort of the
Swiss, who had at last arrived, the court started for Paris, which was
reached after a dilatory journey that appeared all the longer because of
the fears attending it.[438] The Prince of Condé, who had been joined as
yet only by the forerunners of his army, engaged in a slight skirmish with
the Swiss; but a small band of four or five hundred gentlemen, armed only
with their swords, could do nothing against a solid phalanx of the brave
mountaineers, and he was forced to retire. Meanwhile Marshal Montmorency,
sent by Catharine to dissuade the prince, the admiral, and Cardinal
Châtillon from prosecuting their enterprise, had returned with the message
that "the Huguenots were determined to defeat the preparations made to
destroy them and their religion, which was only tolerated by a conditional
edict, revocable by the king at his pleasure."[439]

[Sidenote: Cardinal Lorraine invites Alva to invade France.]

The Cardinal of Lorraine did not share in the flight of the court to
Paris. Never able to boast of the possession of overmuch courage, he may
have feared for his personal safety; for it was not impossible that he
might be sacrificed by a queen rarely troubled with any feelings of
humanity, to allay the storm raging about the ship of state; or he may
have hoped to be of greater service to his party away from the
capital.[440] However this may be, the Cardinal betook himself in hot
haste to the city of Rheims, but reached his palace only after an almost
miraculous escape from capture by his enemies.[441] Once in safety, he
despatched two messengers in rapid succession[442] to Brussels, and begged
Alva to send him an agent with whom he might communicate in confidence.
The proposals made when that personage arrived at Rheims were sufficiently
startling; for, after calling attention to Philip's rightful claim to the
throne of France, in case of the death of Charles and his brothers, he
offered in a certain contingency to place in the Spanish monarch's hands
some strong places that might prove valuable in substantiating that claim.
In return, the Cardinal wished Philip to assume the defence of the papal
church in France, and particularly desired him to undertake the protection
of his brothers and of himself. The message was not unwelcome either to
Alva or to his royal master. They were willing, they said, to assist the
King of France in combating the Huguenots,[443] and they made no objection
to accepting the cities. At the worst, these cities would serve as pledges
for the repayment of whatever sums the King of Spain might expend in
maintaining the Roman Catholic faith in France. With respect to the
propriety of Philip's becoming the formal guardian of the Guises, Alva
felt more hesitation, for who knew how matters might turn out? And Philip,
never quite ready for any important decision, praised his lieutenant's
delay, and inculcated further procrastination.[444] But the succession to
the throne of France was worthy of deep consideration. As Alva intimated,
the famous Salic law, under which Charles's sister Isabella was excluded
from the crown, was merely a bit of pleasantry, and force of arms would
facilitate the acknowledgment of her claims.[445]

[Sidenote: Condé at Saint Denis.]

The blow which the Huguenots had aimed at the tyrannical government of the
Cardinal of Lorraine had missed its mark, through premature disclosure;
but they still hoped to accomplish their design by slower means. Shut up
in Paris, the court might be frightened or starved into compliance before
the Roman Catholic forces could be assembled to relieve the capital. With
this object the Prince of Condé moved around to the north side of the
city, and took up his quarters, on the second of October, in the village
of Saint Denis. With the lower Seine, which, in one of its serpentine
coils, here turns back upon itself, and retreats from the direction of the
sea, in his immediate grasp, and within easy striking distance of the
upper Seine, and its important tributary the Marne--the chief sources of
the supply of food on which the capital depended--the Prince of Condé
awaited the arrival of his reinforcements, and the time when the hungry
Parisians should compel the queen to submit, or to send out her troops to
an open field. At the same time he burned the windmills that stretched
their huge arms on every eminence in the vicinity. It was an ill-advised
measure, as are all similar acts of destruction, unless justified by
urgent necessity. If it occasioned some distress in Paris,[446] it only
embittered the minds of the people yet more, and enabled the municipal
authorities to retaliate with some color of equity by seizing the houses
of persons known or suspected to be Huguenots, and selling their goods to
defray part of the expense incurred in defending the city.[447]

[Sidenote: The Huguenot movement alienates the king.]

The attempt "to seize the person of the king"--for such the movement was
understood to be by the Roman Catholic party--was even more unfortunate.
It produced in Charles an alienation[448] which the enemies of the
Huguenots took good care to prevent him from ever completely forgetting.
They represented the undertaking of Meaux as aimed, not at the counsellors
of the monarch, but at the "Sacred Majesty" itself, and Condé and Coligny,
with their associates, were pictured to the affrighted eyes of the
fugitive boy-king as conspirators who respected none of those rights which
are so precious in the view of royalty.

[Sidenote: Negotiations opened. The Huguenots gradually abate their
demands.]

[Sidenote: Constable Montmorency the mouthpiece of intolerance.]

Meantime Catharine was not slow in resorting to the arts by which she was
accustomed to seek either to avert the evil consequences of her own
short-sighted policy, or to gain time to defeat the plans of her
opponents.[449] The Huguenots received a deputation consisting of the
chancellor, the Marshal de Vieilleville, and Jean de Morvilliers--three of
the most influential and moderate adherents of the court--through whom
Charles demanded the reason of the sudden uprising which causelessly
threatened his own person and the peace of the realm. The Huguenot leaders
replied by denying any evil design, and showing that they had armed
themselves only in self-defence against the manifested malice of their
enemies.[450] Subsequent interviews between Condé and the envoys of
Charles seemed to hold forth some hopes of peace. The king declared
himself ready to furnish the Protestants with proofs of the uprightness of
his intentions, and L'Hospital even exhibited the draft of an edict in
which their rights should be guaranteed. As this proved unsatisfactory,
the prince, at the chancellor's suggestion, submitted the requests of his
associates. These related to the banishment of the foreign troops, the
permission to come and present their petitions to the king, the
confirmation and maintenance of the past edicts, with the repeal of all
restrictive interpretations, the assembling of the states general, and
the removal of the burdensome imposts under which the people groaned, and
which were of advantage only to the crowd of Italians and others enjoying
extraordinary credit at court.[451] If the first of these demands were
sufficiently bold, the last demand was little calculated to conciliate
Catharine, who naturally conceived herself doubly insulted by the covert
allusion to her own prodigality and by the reference to her countrymen.
She found no difficulty in inducing Charles to answer through a
proclamation sent by a herald to the confederates, commanding Condé,
Coligny, D'Andelot, La Rochefoucauld, Genlis, and the other leaders, by
name, to lay down the arms which they had taken up without his
consent.[452] Perceiving the mistake they had committed in making requests
which, although just and appropriate, were in part but ill-suited to the
times, the Protestants began to abate their demands. Confining themselves
to the matter of religion, they now petitioned only for an unrestricted
liberty of conscience and worship, confirmed by the repeal of all
ordinances or parliamentary decisions conflicting with it. Their
moderation inspired fresh hopes of averting the resort to arms, and a new
conference was held, between the Huguenot position and the city of Paris,
at the hamlet of La Chapelle Saint Denis. It was destined to be the last.
Constable Montmorency, the chief spokesman on the Roman Catholic side,
although really desirous of peace, could not be induced to listen to the
only terms on which peace was possible. "The king," he said, "will never
consent to the demand for religious toleration throughout France without
distinction of persons or places. He has no intention of permanently
tolerating two religions. His edicts in favor of the Protestants have been
intended only as temporary measures; for his purpose is to preserve the
old faith by all possible means. He would rather be forced into a war with
his subjects than avoid it by concessions that would render him an object
of suspicion to neighboring princes."[453]

[Sidenote: Insincerity of Alva's offers of aid.]

The simultaneous rising of the Huguenots in every quarter of the kingdom,
and the immediate seizure of many important cities, had surprised and
terrified the court; but it had also stimulated the Roman Catholic leaders
to put forth extraordinary efforts to bring together an army superior to
that of their opponents. Besides the Parisian militia and the troops that
flocked in from the more distant provinces, it was resolved to call for
the help repeatedly promised by Philip of Spain and his minister, the Duke
of Alva, when urging Charles to break the compacts he had entered into
with his reformed subjects. But the assistance actually furnished fell far
short of the expectations held forth. When Castelnau, after two efforts,
the first of which proved unsuccessful,[454] reached Brussels by a
circuitous route, he found Alva lavish of good wishes, and urgent, like
his master, that no arrangement should be made with the rebels before they
had suffered condign punishment. But the envoy soon convinced himself that
all these protestations meant little or nothing, and that the Spaniards
were by no means sorry to see the French kingdom rent by civil war.
Ostensibly, Alva was liberal above measure in his offers. He wished to
come in person at the head of five thousand horse and fifteen thousand
foot, and make short work of the destruction of Condé and his followers--a
proposition which Castelnau, who knew that Catharine was quite as jealous
of Spanish as of Huguenot interference in her schemes, felt himself
compelled politely to decline; especially as the very briefest term within
which Alva professed himself ready to move was a full month and a half.
For seven or eight days the duke persisted in refusing the Spanish troops
that were requested,[455] and in insisting upon his own offer--precious
time which, had it been husbanded, might have changed the face of the
impending battle before the walls of Paris. When, at length, pressed by
the envoy for a definite answer or for leave to return, the duke offered
to give him, in about three weeks' time, a body of four or five thousand
German lansquenets--troops that would have been quite useless to Charles,
who already had at his disposition as many pikemen as he needed, in the
six thousand Swiss. All that Castelnau was finally able to bring home was
an auxiliary force of about seventeen hundred horse, under Count Aremberg.
Even now, however, the officer in command was bound by instructions which
prevented him from taking the direct road to the beleaguered capital of
France, and compelled him to pass westward by Beauvais and Poissy.[456]

[Sidenote: Battle of Saint Denis, Nov. 10, 1567.]

[Sidenote: The constable is mortally wounded.]

The impatience of the Parisians, who for more than a month had been
inactive spectators, while their city was besieged by an insignificant
force and they were deprived of the greater part of their ordinary
supplies of food, could scarcely be restrained. They were the more anxious
for battle since they had received encouragement by the recapture of a few
points of some military importance along the course of the lower Seine.
Unable to resist the pressure any longer, Constable Anne de Montmorency
led out his army to give battle to the Huguenots on the tenth of November,
1567. Rarely has such an engagement been willingly entered into, where the
disproportion between the contending parties was so considerable. The
constable's army consisted of sixteen thousand foot soldiers (of whom six
thousand were Swiss, and the remainder in part troops levied in the city
of Paris) and three thousand horse, and was provided with eighteen pieces
of artillery. To meet this force, Condé had barely fifteen hundred hastily
mounted and imperfectly equipped gentlemen, and twelve hundred foot
soldiers, gathered from various quarters and scarcely formed as yet into
companies. He had not a single cannon. Of his cavalry, only one-fifth part
were provided with lances, the rest having swords and pistols. The greater
number had no defensive armor; and not a horse was furnished with the
leathern _barbe_ with which the knight continued, as in the middle ages,
to cover his steed's breast and sides. The constable had wisely chosen a
moment when the prince had weakened himself by detaching D'Andelot, with
five hundred horse and eight hundred arquebusiers, to seize Poissy and
intercept the Count of Aremberg.[457] In the face of such a disparity of
numbers and equipment, the Huguenots exhibited signal intrepidity.[458]
With Coligny thrown forward on the right, in front of the village of Saint
Ouen, and Genlis on the left, near Aubervilliers, they opened the attack
upon the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, who descended from higher
ground to meet them. Marshal de Montmorency, the constable's eldest son,
commanding a part of the royal army, alone was successful, and had the
valor of his troops been imitated by the rest, the defeat of the Huguenots
would have been decisive; but the "Parisian regiment," despite its gilded
armor,[459] yielded at the first shock of battle and fled in confusion to
the walls of Paris. Their cowardice uncovered the position of the
constable, and the cavalry of the Prince penetrated to the spot where the
old warrior was still fighting hand to hand, with a vigor scarcely
inferior to that which he had displayed more than fifty years earlier, in
the first Italian campaign of Francis the First.[460] A Scottish
gentleman, according to the most probable account--for the true history of
the affair is involved in unusual obscurity--Robert Stuart by name, rode
up to Montmorency and demanded his surrender. But the constable, maddened
at the suggestion of a fourth captivity,[461] for all reply struck Stuart
on the mouth, with the hilt of his sword, so violent a blow that he broke
three of his teeth. At that very moment he received, whether from Stuart
or from another of the Scottish gentlemen is uncertain,[462] a pistol-shot
that entered his shoulder and inflicted a mortal wound. At a few paces
from him, Condé, with his horse killed under him, nearly fell into the
hands of the enemy. At last, however, his partisans succeeded in rescuing
him, and, while he retired slowly to Saint Denis, the dying constable was
carried to Paris, whither the Roman Catholic army returned at
evening.[463]

[Sidenote: Character of Anne de Montmorency.]

The battle of Saint Denis was indecisive, and the victory was claimed by
both sides. The losses of the Huguenots and the Roman Catholics were about
equal--between three and four hundred men--although the number of
distinguished Huguenot noblemen killed exceeded that of the slain
belonging to the same rank in the royal army. If the possession of the
field at the end of the day, and the relief of Paris, be taken as
sufficient evidence, the honor of success belonged to the Roman Catholic
army. But the loss of their chief commander far more than counterbalanced
any advantage they may have gained. Not that Anne de Montmorency was a
general of remarkable abilities. Although he had been present in a large
number of important engagements ever since the reign of Louis the Twelfth,
and had proved himself a brave man in all, he was by no means a successful
military leader. The late Duke of Guise had eclipsed his glory, and in a
much briefer career had exhibited much more striking tactical skill. The
battle of Saint Denis, it was alleged by many, had itself been marred by
his clumsy disposition of his troops. Proud and overbearing in his
deportment, he alienated even those with whom his warm attachment to the
Roman Catholic Church ought to have made him popular. Catharine de'
Medici, we have seen, had long been his enemy. In like manner, even the
bigoted populace of Paris forgot the pious exploits that had earned him
the surname of "le Capitaine Brûlebanc," and remembered only his
suspicious relationship to Cardinal Châtillon, Admiral Coligny, and
D'Andelot, those three intrepid brothers whose uncompromising morality and
unswerving devotion to their religious convictions made them, even more
than the Prince of Condé, true representatives of the dreaded Huguenot
party.[464]

But the loss of the principal general at this important juncture in
military affairs dealt a severe blow to the Roman Catholic cause. There
was no other leader of sufficient prominence to put forth an indisputable
claim to succeed him. Catharine, not sorry to be relieved of so formidable
a rival, was resolved that he should have no troublesome successor.
Accordingly she induced the king to leave the office of constable vacant,
and to confer upon her second surviving son, Henry, Duke of Anjou, whose
unscrupulous character had already made him her favorite, the supreme
command of the army, with the less ambitious title of royal
lieutenant-general.[465]

The death of the constable, who survived his wound only a single day, and
the subsequent divisions of the court, furnished the Prince of Condé with
an immunity from attack, of which, in view of his great inferiority in
number of troops, he deemed it most prudent to take advantage by promptly
retiring from his exposed position. Besides this, he had now an imperative
summons to the eastern frontier of the kingdom.

[Sidenote: The Protestant princes of Germany determine to aid the
Huguenots.]

At the very commencement of the war the Protestants had sent a deputation
to the German princes to solicit their support in a struggle in which the
adherents of the Augsburg Confession were no less vitally interested than
the reformed. But Bochetel, Bishop of Rennes, the envoy of Charles the
Ninth, had so skilfully misrepresented the true character of the contest,
that the Landgrave of Hesse, and the Electors of Saxony and Brandenburg,
persuaded that political motives, rather than zeal for religion, were the
occasion of the revolt, had refused to assist the Huguenots, while
permitting William of Saxony and the Marquis of Baden to levy troops for
the king. To the Elector Palatine, Frederick the Third, surnamed "the
Pious," who from a Lutheran had become a Calvinist, a special ambassador
was despatched in the person of M. de Lansac. This gentleman, by more than
usually reckless misstatements, sought to persuade the elector to abandon
the enterprise of assistance which he had intended to intrust to his
second son, John Casimir. But his falsehoods were refuted by the
straightforward exposé of the prince's agents,[466] and Lansac was only so
far successful that the elector consented to delay the departure of the
troops until he had sent a messenger to France to acquaint himself with
the true state of the case. It needed no more than this to determine him;
for the minister whom the elector had intrusted with the commission, after
visiting successively the court of the king and the camp of the prince of
Condé, returned with certain proofs that the representations of Bochetel
and of Lansac were altogether false.[467] Consequently the army which John
Casimir had gathered was speedily despatched to furnish Condé the support
the Huguenots so much needed.

In the letter which the elector palatine sent about the same time to the
King of France, the motives of this apparently inimical action are vividly
set forth. His envoy, the Councillor Zuleger, says the elector, has made a
careful examination. Lansac and his companion have industriously
circulated throughout Germany the report that the Edict of Toleration is
kept entire, that Condé and the Protestants have no other object in view
but a horrible rebellion against Charles to deprive him of his crown, and
that the prince has had money struck as if he were king himself.[468] But
Zuleger has, on the contrary, reported that when, in the presence of the
royal council, he asked for proofs of Condé's intention to make himself
king, Catharine de' Medici replied that it was a "mockery," and that,
though Condé had struck money, both in the late and in the present
troubles, it was with the king's inscription and arms, and not as though
he were himself king. So far from that, Zuleger declares that, during the
eleven days of his stay in the prince's camp, he heard prayers offered
morning and night for the preservation of the state and for the king's
safety. As to the maintenance of the edict, the constable before his death
openly affirmed that Charles would not permit a free exercise of religion,
and never intended the Edict of Orleans to be other than _provisional_.
Indeed, the queen-mother remarked to Zuleger that it is a privilege of the
French monarchs never to make a perpetual edict; to which Charles, who was
present, promptly responded, "Pourquoi non?"[469]

It was to form a junction with the force brought by John Casimir that the
prince now raised the siege of Paris, two or three days subsequently to
the battle of Saint Denis,[470] and after that D'Andelot, disappointed in
having had no share in the engagement, had scoured the field, driving back
into Paris an advanced guard of the enemy, and burning, by way of bravado,
some windmills in the very suburbs.[471]

[Sidenote: The Huguenots go to meet the Germans.]

[Sidenote: Treacherous diplomacy.]

The purpose of the Huguenot leaders could not be mistaken, and Catharine
was determined to frustrate it. The chief object at which all her
intrigues now aimed was to delay the Protestant army in its march toward
Lorraine, until the Duke of Anjou, at the head of a force which was daily
gaining new accessions of strength from the provinces, should be able to
overtake Condé and bring on a general and decisive action. From Saint
Denis the Huguenots had first followed the course of the upper Seine to
Montereau. Crossing the stream at this point, Coligny, as usual commanding
the vanguard, had, at Pont-sur-Yonne, received a powerful detachment,
under the Count of La Rochefoucauld, which had made its way from the
provinces of Poitou, Saintonge, and Guyenne, across the valley of the
Loire, to reinforce the Prince of Condé's army.[472] Having effected a
junction, the united body had changed its course, recrossed the Seine, and
countermarched to the river Marne, at Épernay and Châlons. Coligny's
skilful manoeuvre had disappointed the queen's plan, and she resorted to
her accustomed arts of negotiation. So flattering, indeed, were her
promises, that Condé, had he not been restrained by the more prudent
counsels of his associates (among whom the Vidame of Chartres was most
urgent in his protests against so suicidal a policy), would instantly have
relaxed the sinews of war.[473] A petty act of treachery served to open
his eyes, and to prevent the Protestants from involving themselves in more
serious disaster; for the Count de Brissac took advantage of a three days'
armistice to fall unexpectedly upon an outpost of the prince's army and
gain an advantage, which was duly magnified by report at Paris into a
brilliant victory.[474] Unabashed by this incident, Catharine soon after
renewed her seductive offers (on the twentieth of December, 1567). She
invited a conference with the Cardinal of Châtillon and other Protestant
leaders, and herself went so far as Châlons to meet them. Thence the scene
of the negotiations was transferred to Vincennes, in the vicinity of
Paris, and for a time the prospect of reconciliation was bright and
encouraging. The king's envoys consented to the re-establishment of the
Edict of Amboise, without any past or future restrictions, until the
decision of the religious question by that mythical assembly which, like a
mirage of the desert, ever and anon arose to entrance and disappoint the
longing eyes of thoughtful men in this century--a free, universal, and
legitimate council of the Church. But the hopes founded on these promises
were as illusory as any previously conceived. Instead of a formal and
unambiguous ratification of the terms by Charles himself, the Cardinal of
Châtillon was treated only to complaints about the causeless rising of the
Protestants, and expressions of astonishment that Condé had not instantly
countermanded the approach of the German auxiliaries on receiving the
king's gracious proffers.[475]

[Sidenote: Catharine implores Alva's assistance.]

[Sidenote: Alva's view of accommodations with heretics.]

Meantime Catharine was not idle in soliciting foreign aid. The Duke
d'Aumale--who had also marched to Lorraine, in order to meet the Germans
coming to the assistance of the Roman Catholics, under command of the
Marquis of Baden--not being strong enough to block the passage of Condé's
troops, Catharine wrote to Alva, begging him to send to the duke, in this
emergency, two thousand arquebusiers. She warned him that if, through the
failure to procure them, the German reiters of John Casimir should be
permitted to enter the kingdom, she would hold herself exonerated, in the
sight of God and of all Christian princes, from the blame that might
otherwise attach to her for the peace which she would be compelled to
make with the heretics.[476] Alva, in reply, declined to send the Spanish
arquebusiers, who, he said, were needed by him, and could do little good
in France; but he added that, if Aumale, who was a soldier, would
guarantee with this accession to stop the reiters, he would let them go,
useful as they were in the Netherlands. As to the accommodation with the
Huguenots, which Catharine suggested, he viewed it as a frightful evil,
and exclaimed "that it was better to have a kingdom ruined in preserving
it for God and the king, than to retain it whole, but without religion,
for the advantage of the devil and his partisans, the heretics."[477]

[Sidenote: Condé and John Casimir meet in Lorraine.]

[Sidenote: Generosity of the Huguenot troops.]

About the beginning of the new year the foot-sore Huguenot army, after
nearly two months of tedious marches through a hostile country, and no
less tedious negotiations, reached Lorraine, only to find that their
German allies had not yet arrived. Sick at heart, with a powerful enemy
hanging on their rear, and seeking only an opportunity to make a sudden
descent upon them, many of the Huguenots were disposed to take advantage
of the proximity of the German cities to disperse and find a refuge there.
But Condé, with his never-failing vivacity and cheerfulness, and Coligny,
with his "grave words," succeeded in checking their despondency until the
welcome news of John Casimir's approach was announced. He brought six
thousand five hundred horse, three thousand foot, and four cannon of
moderate size. His arrival did not, however, prove an occasion of
unmingled satisfaction. The reiters, serving from purely mercenary
motives, demanded the immediate payment of one hundred thousand crowns,
promised as a first instalment on account of their wages, and were
resolved to go no farther without receiving it. The Prince of Condé had
but two thousand crowns to meet the engagement. In this new perplexity the
Huguenots, from the leaders down to the very lowest, gave a noble
illustration of devotion to their religion's cause. Condé and Coligny set
the example by giving up their plate to replenish the empty coffers of the
army. The captains urged, the ministers of the gospel preached, a generous
sacrifice of property in the common interest. Their exhortations did not
fall upon dull ears. Money, gold chains, silver, articles of every
description, were lavishly contributed. An unpaid army sacrificed its own
private property, not only without a murmur, but even joyfully. The very
camp-servants vied with their masters, and put them to shame by their
superior liberality.[478] In a short time a sum was raised which, although
less than what had been pledged, contented the reiters, who declared
themselves ready to follow their Huguenot fellow-soldiers into the heart
of the kingdom.[479] Well might an army capable of such heroic contempt
for personal gain or loss be deemed invincible!

[Sidenote: The march toward Orleans.]

And now, with feelings widely different from those which had possessed
them in the journey toward Lorraine--a movement too nearly akin to a
flight to inspire anything but disgust--the Huguenot soldiers, over twenty
thousand strong, turned their faces once more westward. Their late
pursuers, no longer seeking an engagement where the result might be worse
than doubtful, confined themselves to watching their progress from a safe
distance. As all the cities upon their route were in the hands of the
Roman Catholics, the Huguenots were forced to take more circuitous and
difficult paths through the open country. But the dispositions made by
Coligny are said to have been so thorough and masterly, that they
travelled safely and in comfort.[480] Not that the soldiers, dispersed at
night through the villages, were freed from the necessity or the
temptation to pillage;[481] for the poor farmers, robbed of the fruits of
their honest toil, frequently had good reason to complain that those who
had recently dispensed their own treasure with so liberal a hand were even
more lavish of the property of others. But they were far more merciful and
considerate toward their enemies than the Roman Catholic army to its
friends. Even a curate of Brie--no very great lover of the Huguenots, who
relates with infinite gusto the violation of Huguenot women by Anjou's
soldiers[482]--admits that, excepting in the matter of the plundering of
the churches and the distressing of priests, the Roman Catholics were a
little worse than the heretics.[483]

[Sidenote: The "Michelade" at Nismes.]

Leaving the Huguenot army on its march toward Orleans, let us glance at
the operations of the party in other quarters of the kingdom. Southern
France, where the Protestants were most numerous, and where the excitable
character of the people disposed them more easily than elsewhere to sudden
outbreaks, was not behind the north in rising at the appointed time
(September, 1567). At Nismes, indeed, a furious commotion broke out--the
famous "Michelade," as it was called, because it immediately followed the
feast-day of St. Michael--a commotion whose sanguinary excesses gave it an
unenviable notoriety, and brought deep disgrace upon the Protestant cause.
Here the turbulent populace was encouraged by the report that Lyons was in
friendly hands, and maddened by the intelligence that, besides the common
dangers impending over all the Huguenots of France, the Huguenots of
Nismes had more particular occasion for fear in the troops of the
neighboring Comtât Venaissin. These troops, it was said, had been summoned
by the bishop and chapter of the cathedral of Nismes. The mob accordingly
took possession of the city, closing the gates, and imprisoning a large
number of persons--consuls, priests, and other obnoxious characters. That
night the cathedral and the chapter-house witnessed a wild scene of
destruction. Pictures of the saints, and altars, including everything
associated with Roman Catholic worship, were ruthlessly destroyed. But the
most terrible event occurred in the episcopal palace. The bishop was saved
from capture and certain death by the intervention of a courageous man,
himself a Protestant; but others were less fortunate. No fewer than eighty
prisoners, brought in detachments to the court of the palace, were
butchered in rapid succession, and their corpses thrown promiscuously into
a well. The next morning the Protestant pastors and elders assembled, and,
sending to the ringleaders a minister and a deacon, begged them to
discontinue their horrible work. Already, however, had returning shame
made everybody unwilling to avow his complicity in the crime. Quiet was
restored. The Protestant seneschal and council released such prisoners as
had escaped the fate of their comrades, and the bishop himself was sent
away under an escort to a place of safety, by order of the very judge whom
the clergy had, a year before, sought to deprive of his office as a
heretic.[484] Nismes remained in the hands of the Protestants through the
war.

[Sidenote: Huguenot successes in the south and west.]

[Sidenote: La Rochelle secured for Condé.]

Meanwhile more important movements took place. René of Savoy, son of the
Count de Tende, but better known as Cipierre, was Condé's agent in
assembling the Huguenots of Provence; but Paul de Mouvans, whom we have
met with before in this history, was the real hero of the region. In
Dauphiny, Montbrun commanded. In Bourbonnais and the neighboring provinces
west of the Rhône, Parcenac and Verbelai raised three thousand foot and
five hundred horse, but sustained so severe a loss while passing through
Forez, that the number was soon reduced to barely twelve hundred. Nearer
the Pyrenees, seven thousand men were assembled, known as "the army of the
viscounts," to which further reference will shortly be made. Lyons, one of
the Huguenot strongholds in the first war, the Protestants failed to
capture.[485] But Orleans was secured by the skill of François de la Noue,
a young champion whose name was destined long to figure in the most
brilliant deeds of arms of his party, both in France and in the Low
Countries.[486] In the west, too, the Huguenots made the most important
gain of the war in the city of La Rochelle, for the next half-century and
more their secure refuge on approach of danger.

This place, strong by nature, surrounded by low, marshy grounds, rendering
it almost unapproachable from the land side, save by the causeways over
which the roads ran, with a large and convenient harbor and with easy
access to the sea, was already rich and populous. The citizens of La
Rochelle were noted for their independent spirit, engendered or fostered
by their maritime habits. Although the great importance of the city dates
from the civil wars, when its wharves received the commerce driven from
older ports, and when its privateers swept the shores of Brittany and the
bosom of the English channel, it had long boasted extraordinary
privileges, among which the most highly prized was the right to refuse
admission to a royal garrison.[487] Besides this, the citizens were
accustomed to choose three candidates for the office of major, from whom
the king or the royal governor made his selection; and the magistrate thus
appointed enjoyed an authority which the Rochellois would scarcely concede
to their monarch.[488] La Rochelle--whose former orthodoxy Father Soulier
attempts to establish by instancing the sentence which the "présidial" of
the city pronounced in 1552 against some Protestants, condemning them to
be dragged on a hurdle with a fagot of sticks bound to their backs, and
afterward to be burned, one of them alive[489]--had been so far affected
by the progress of the Reformation, that it was perhaps only the fear of
losing its trade and privileges that prevented it from openly siding with
Condé in the first religious war.[490] By this time, however,
Protestantism had struck such deep roots, that one of the three candidates
for the mayoralty, at the Easter elections of 1567, was Truchares, a
political Huguenot. The king was, indeed, warned of his sentiments; but
the royal governor, M. de Jarnac, supported his claims, and Truchares
received the requisite confirmation.[491] Still La Rochelle hesitated to
espouse the Protestant side. It was not until midwinter,[492] that Condé,
returning from Lorraine, commissioned M. de Sainte-Hermine to assume
command of the city in his name; and on the tenth of February, 1568, the
mayor and échevins of La Rochelle opened their gates to their new friends,
with protestations of their purpose to devote their lives and property to
the advancement of the common cause. "The sequel proved only too clearly,"
writes a Roman Catholic historian, "that they were very sincere in their
promises; for, having soon after demolished all the churches, they
employed the materials to fortify this city in such a manner that it
served from this time forward as a citadel for the Protestants, and as a
secure retreat for all the apostates and malcontents of the kingdom until
it was reduced by Louis the Thirteenth."[493]

[Sidenote: Spain and Rome oppose the negotiations for peace.]

Meantime the irresolute queen mother, always oscillating between war and
peace, had again begun to treat with the Huguenots. Between the fifth and
twentieth of January she held repeated interviews with Cardinal Châtillon,
D'Esternay, and Téligny. The bigots took the alarm. The Papal Nuncio and
the ambassadors of Spain and Scotland did their utmost "to impeach the
accord." A post arrived from Philip the Second, offering a hundred
thousand crowns of gold if Charles would continue the war. The doctors of
the Sorbonne remonstrated. All united in a common cry that "it was
impossible to have two religions in one realm without great confusion."
Poor Charles was so moved by the stale falsehood, as well as by the large
promises made him, that he sent the Protestant envoys word that he would
treat no further unless Condé and his "complices" would send the reiters
back to Germany, and, wholly disarming, come to him with their ordinary
retinues to purge themselves of the attempt made at Meaux.

[Sidenote: Cardinal Santa Croce demands that Cardinal Châtillon be
surrendered to the Pope.]

[Sidenote: Retort of Marshal Montmorency.]

Even this amount of complaisance on the part of the weak monarch, however,
did not satisfy Cardinal Santa Croce, who, on one occasion entering the
council chamber (on the twentieth of January), boldly demanded the
fulfilment of the queen mother's promise to surrender Cardinal Châtillon
into the Pope's hands. Catharine did not deny the promise, but interposed
the plea that the present was a very unsuitable time, since Châtillon had
come to court upon the king's safe-conduct. To this the churchman replied
that no respect ought to be had toward the Cardinal, for he was "an
excommunicate person," condemned of schism, and dead in the eyes of the
law. Up to this point the Duke de Montmorency, who was present, had kept
silence; but now, turning to the queen mother, he is reported by the
English ambassador to have made a pungent address. "But, madam," he said,
"is it possible that the Cardinal Châtillon's delivery should come in
question, being warranted by the king and your Majesty to the contrary,
and I myself being made a mean therein? Wherefore this matter is odious to
be talked of, and against the law of arms and all good civil policy; and I
must needs repute them my enemies who go about to make me falsify my
promise once made." After these plain words Santa Croce "departed without
attaining his most cruel request."[494]

[Sidenote: March of the viscounts to meet Condé.]

During the first few months after the assumption of arms, the Huguenots of
southern France, surrounded by domestic enemies, had confined themselves
to attempting to secure their own safety and that of their neighbors, by
taking the most important cities and keeping in check the forces of the
provincial governors--an undertaking in which they met with more success
in the districts bordering upon the Mediterranean than in those adjoining
the Bay of Biscay. These events, although in themselves important and
interesting, would usurp a disproportionate place in this history. While
Condé was absent from the vicinity of the capital, however, a body of six
thousand troops, drawn from the army of the _viscounts_, under Mouvans and
other experienced southern leaders, undertook a hazardous march from
Dauphiny, intending to join the prince's army at Orleans.[495] The cities
were in the possession of the enemy, the fords were carefully guarded, the
entire country was hostile. But the perils which might have deterred less
resolute men only enhanced the glory of the success of the gallant
Huguenots. Abandoned by a considerable number of their comrades, who
preferred a life of plunder to a fatiguing journey under arms, they met
(on the eighth of January, 1568) and defeated, with a force consisting
almost exclusively of infantry, the cavalry which the governor of Auvergne
and the local nobility had assembled near the village of Cognac[496] to
dispute their passage. Continuing their march, they reached Orleans in
time to relieve that city, to whose friendly protection against the Roman
Catholic bands of Martinengo and Richelieu that infested its neighborhood
and threatened its capture Condé and the other Huguenot leaders of the
north had entrusted their wives and children.[497]

[Sidenote: Siege of Chartres.]

Having stopped a brief time to rest the soldiers after the protracted
march, the viscounts turned their victorious arms against the city of
Blois. After the surrender of this place, they had proceeded down the
valley of the Loire, and were about to take Montrichard, on the Cher, when
recalled by Condé. The prince had by forced marches anticipated the army
of Anjou, resolving to strike a blow which should be felt at the hostile
capital itself, and had selected Chartres, an important city about fifty
miles in a south-westerly direction from Paris, as the most convenient
place to besiege.[498] Rapid, however, as had been his advance--and a part
of his army had travelled sixty miles in two days--the enemy had
sufficient notice of his intention to throw into the city a small force of
soldiers; and when Condé arrived before the walls (on the twenty-fourth of
February, 1568), he found the place prepared to sustain an attack, in
which the courage of the assailants was equalled by the skill and
resolution of the defenders. As usual, the Huguenots were badly off for
artillery; the united armies could only muster five siege-pieces and four
light culverines. "For, although the Catholics esteem the Huguenots to be
'fiery' men," says a quaint old writer, who was as ready with his sword as
with his pen, "they have always been poorly provided with such implements.
Nor have they, like the former, a Saint Anthony, who, they say, presides
over the element in question."[499]

The operations of the siege of Chartres were interrupted by fresh
negotiations for peace. Half a year had the flames of war been desolating
the fairest parts of France; yet the court was no nearer the attainment of
its ends than at the outbreak of hostilities. If the Roman Catholic forces
had been swollen to about forty thousand men, they were confronted by a
Huguenot army of twenty-eight or thirty thousand men in the very
neighborhood of the capital. The voice of prudence dictated an immediate
settlement of the dispute before more lives were sacrificed, more towns
and villages destroyed, more treasure squandered. Catharine, reigning
supreme under her son's name, with her usual inconstancy of purpose, was
ready to exchange the war, into which she had plunged France by lending
too willing an ear to the suggestions of Philip of Spain, as they came to
her through the Cardinal of Lorraine and others, and which had produced
only bloodshed, devastation of the kingdom, and deeper depression of the
finances, for the peace to which Michel de l'Hospital, her better genius,
was constantly urging her by every consideration of policy and justice.

[Sidenote: Chancellor Michel de l'Hospital's memorial.]

In a paper, wherein about this time the chancellor committed to writing
the arguments he had often ineffectually employed to persuade the king and
his mother, he combats with patriotic indignation the flimsy pretexts of
which the priests and the Spaniard made use in pressing the continuance of
hostilities. "'The king has more men than the Huguenots.' True, but we
find twice as many battles on record gained by the smaller as by the
greater number; in consequence of which fact all princes and nations have
recognized the truth that victory is the gift of God. 'The king's cause is
the more just.' Grant it--yet God makes use of such instruments as He
wills to punish our iniquities--the Babylonians, for instance, of old, the
Turks in our own days. The Huguenots have thus far succeeded beyond all
expectation. They have little money, but what they have they use well, and
they can get more. Their devotion to their cause is conspicuous. They are
not a rabble hastily gotten together, which has risen imprudently, in
disorder, without a leader, without discipline. They are experienced,
resolute, desperate warriors, with plans formed long ago--men ready to
risk everything for the attainment of their matured designs. Necessity and
despair render them docile and wonderfully subject to discipline; and with
this cooperates the high esteem they have conceived of their leaders,
whose ambition is restrained, whose union is cemented by the same
necessity which the ancients called 'the bond of concord.' On the
contrary, the king's camp is rent by quarrels, envy, and rivalry; ambition
is unbridled, avarice reigns supreme. With the termination of so wretched
a war, there will shine forth a joyous and blessed peace, which I can
justly term a 'precious conquest,' since it will render his Majesty
redoubtable to all Europe, which has learned the greatness of the two
powers which the king will restore to his own subjection.

"The true method of breaking up the leagues of the Huguenots is to remove
the necessity for forming them. This must be done by treating the
Huguenots no longer as enemies, but as friends. For, if we examine
carefully into the matter, we shall find that hitherto they have been
dealt with as rebels; and this has compelled them to resort to all means
of self-preservation. This has placed arms in their hands; this has
engendered the horrible desolation of France. For the intrigues set on
foot against them in all quarters were conducted with so little attempt at
secrecy--the disfavor was so evident, the disdain was so apparent, the
threats of the rupture of the Edict of Pacification and of the publication
of the decrees of the Council of Trent were so open, and the injustice of
their handling was so manifest, that they had been too dull and stupid,
had they not avoided the treachery in store for them.[500] Even brute
beasts perceive the coming of the storm, and seek the covert; let us not
find fault if men, perceiving it, arm themselves for the encounter. Our
menaces have been the messengers of our plots, as truly as the lightning
is the messenger of the thunderbolt. We have shown them our preparatives;
let us, therefore, cease to wonder that they stand ready to start on the
first intimation of danger.[501] When they see that they have no longer
anything to fear, they will certainly return to their accustomed
occupations."[502]

[Sidenote: Edict of Pacification, Longjumeau, March 23, 1568.]

L'Hospital was right. The Huguenots wanted nothing but security of person
and conscience--the latter even more than the former. And they were ready
to lay down their arms so soon as the court could bring itself to concede
the restoration of the Edict of Amboise, without the restrictive
ordinances and interpretations which had shorn it of most of its value. On
this basis negotiations now recommenced. The more prudent Huguenots
suggested that the party ought to receive at the king's hands some of the
cities in their possession, to be held as pledges for the execution of the
articles of the compact. But Charles and his counsellors resented the
proposal as insulting to the dignity of the crown,[503] and the Huguenots,
not yet fully appreciating the fickleness or treachery of the court, did
not press the demand--a fatal weakness, soon to be atoned for by the
speedy renewal of the war on the part of the Roman Catholics.[504] After
brief consultation the terms of peace were agreed upon, and were
incorporated in the royal edict of the twenty-third of March, 1568, known,
from the name of the place where it was signed, as the "Edict of
Longjumeau." The cardinal provisions were few: they re-established the
supremacy of the Edict of Amboise, expressly repealing all the
interpretations that infringed upon it; and permitted the nobles, who
under that law had been allowed to have religious exercises in their
castles, to admit strangers as well as their own vassals to the services
of the reformed worship. Condé and his followers were, at the same time,
recognized as good and faithful servants of the crown, and a general
amnesty was pronounced covering all acts of hostility, levy of troops,
coining of money, and similar offences. On the other hand, the Huguenots
bound themselves to disband and lay down their arms, to surrender the
places they held, to renounce foreign alliances, and to eschew in future
all meetings other than those religious gatherings permitted under the
last peace. The new edict was not a final and irrevocable law, but was
granted "until, by God's grace, all the king's subjects should be reunited
in the profession of one and the same religion."[505]

[Sidenote: Condé favors and Coligny opposes the peace.]

The Huguenots gained by this peace all their immediate demands, and so far
the edict might be deemed satisfactory. But what better security had they
for its observance more than they had had for the observance of that which
had preceded it? Coligny, prudent and far-sighted, had shown himself as
averse to concluding it without sufficient guarantees for its faithful
execution, as he had been opposed to beginning the war a half-year before.
The peace, he urged, was intended by the court only as a means of saving
Chartres, and of afterward overwhelming the reformers;[506] and he
attempted to prove his assertions by the signal instances of bad faith
which had provoked the recourse to arms. But Condé was impatient. If we
may believe Agrippa d'Aubigné, his old love of pleasure was not without
its influence;[507] but he covered his true motives under the specious
pretext afforded him by the Huguenot nobles, who, fatigued with the
incessant toils of the campaign, reduced to straits by a warfare which
they had carried on at their own expense, and longing to revisit homes
which had been repeatedly threatened with desolation, had abandoned their
standards and scattered to their respective provinces at the first mention
of peace.[508] François de la Noue, more charitable to the prince, regards
the universal desire for peace, without much concern respecting its
conditions, as the wild blast of a hurricane which the Huguenot captains
could not resist if they would.[509] When whole cornets of cavalry started
without leave, before the siege of Chartres was actually raised, what
could generals, deserted by volunteers who had come of their own accord
and had served for six months without pay, expect to accomplish?

[Sidenote: Was the court sincere?]

[Sidenote: A treacherous plot detected. The king indignant.]

Was the peace of Longjumeau--"the patched-up peace," or "the short peace,"
as it was called; that "wicked little peace," as La Noue styles it[510]--a
compact treacherously entered into by the court? This is the old, but
constantly recurring question respecting every principal event of this
unhappy period; and it is one that rarely admits of an easy or a simple
answer. So far as the persons who had been chiefly instrumental in
forwarding the negotiations which ended in the peace of Longjumeau were
concerned, they were Chancellor L'Hospital and the Bishops of Orleans and
Limoges--the most moderate members of the royal council,[511] whose fair
spirit was so conspicuous that for years they had been exposed to insult
and open hostility as supposed Huguenots. Nothing is clearer than that the
purpose of these men was the sincere and entire re-establishment of peace
on a lasting foundation. The arguments of L'Hospital which I have laid
before the reader furnish sufficient proof. This party had, through the
force of circumstances, temporarily obtained the ascendancy in the
council, and now had the ear of the queen mother. But there were by the
side of its representatives at the council-board men of an entirely
different stamp--advocates of persecution, of extermination; a few, from
conscientious motives, preferring, with Alva, a kingdom ruined in the
attempt to root out heresy, to one flourishing, with heresy tolerated; a
larger number--and Cardinal Lorraine, who had now resumed his seat and his
influence, must be classed with these--counting upon deriving personal
advantage from the supremacy of the papal faction. It is equally manifest
that this party could have acquiesced in the peace, which again formally
acknowledged the principle of religious toleration, only with the design
of embracing the first favorable opportunity for crushing the Huguenots,
when scattered and disarmed. Their desires, at least, deceived no one of
ordinary perspicacity. Indeed, the peace came near failing to go into
effect at all, in consequence of the discovery of the fact that a "privy
council" had been held in the Louvre, to which none but sworn enemies of
the Huguenots were admitted, "wherein was conspired a surprise of Orleans,
Soissons, Rochelle, and Auxerre," to be executed by four designated
leaders, while the Protestants were laying down their arms. In an age of
salaried spies, it is not astonishing that by ten o'clock the next morning
the whole plot was betrayed to Cardinal Châtillon, who immediately sent
word to stay the publication of the peace. When Charles heard of it, we
are told that he swore, by the faith of a prince, that, if there had been
any such conspiracy, it had been formed wholly without his knowledge, and,
laying his hand on his breast, said: "This is the cardinal and Gascoigne's
practice. In spite of them, I will proceed with the peace;" and,
commanding pen and ink to be brought, he wrote Condé a letter promising a
good and sincere observance of the articles agreed upon.[512]

[Sidenote: Short-sightedness of Catharine.]

But, besides the two parties, and wavering between them--fluctuating in
her own purposes, as false to her own plans as she was to her promises,
with no principles either of morality or of government, intent only on
grasping power, the enemy of every one that stood in the way of this, even
if it were her son or her daughter--was that enigma, Catharine de' Medici,
whose secret has escaped so many simply because they looked for something
deep and recondite, when the solution lay almost upon the very surface.
Was Catharine sincerely in favor of peace? She was never sincere. Her
Macchiavellian training, the enforced hypocrisy of her married life, the
trimming policy she had thought herself compelled to pursue during the
minority of the kings, her two sons, had eaten from her soul, even to its
root, truthfulness--that pure plant of heaven's sowing. Loving peace only
because it freed her from the fears, the embarrassments, the vexations of
war--not because she valued human life or human happiness--she embraced it
as a welcome expedient to enable her to escape the present perplexities of
her position. It is improbable that Catharine distinctly premeditated a
treacherous blow at the Huguenots, simply because she rarely premeditated
anything very long. I am aware that this estimate of the queen is quite at
variance with the views which have obtained the widest currency; but it is
the estimate which history, carefully read, seems to require us to adopt.
Catharine's plans were proverbially narrow in their scope, never extending
much beyond the immediate present. After the catastrophe, which had
perhaps been the result of the impulse of the moment, she was not,
however, unwilling to accept the homage of those who deemed it a high
compliment to her prudence to praise her consummate dissimulation. She
probably entered upon the peace of Longjumeau without any settled purpose
of treachery--unless that state of the soul be in itself treachery that
has no fixed intention of upright dealing. But she had not, in adopting
the advice of Chancellor de l'Hospital, renounced the policy of the
Cardinal of Lorraine, in case that policy should at some future time
appear to be advantageous; and it was much to be feared that the
contingency referred to would soon arrive. Catharine, not less than
Charles himself, resented "the affair of Meaux" of the preceding
September. It was studiously held up to their eyes by the enemies of the
Huguenots as an attempt upon the honor, and indeed even upon the personal
liberty and life of their Majesties. Might not Catharine and Charles be
tempted to retaliate by trying the effect of a surprise upon the Huguenots
themselves?

[Sidenote: Imprudence of the Huguenots.]

The Huguenots had certainly been grossly imprudent in putting themselves
at the mercy of a woman whom they had greatly offended, and whose natural
place, according to those mysterious sympathies which bind men of similar
natures, was with their adversaries. They had been warned by their secret
friends at court, some of them by Roman Catholic relatives.[513] But the
caution was little heeded. It was not long[514] before those who had been
the most strenuous advocates of peace began to admit that the draught they
had put to their own lips, and now must needs drink, was likely to prove
little to their taste.[515]

[Sidenote: Judicial murder of Rapin, at Toulouse.]

The parliaments made serious objections to the reception of the edict.
Toulouse was, as usual, pre-eminent for its intolerance. The king sent
Rapin, a Protestant gentleman who had served with distinction under Condé
in Languedoc, to carry the law to the parliament, and require its official
recognition. The choice was unfortunate, for it awakened all the hatred of
a court proverbial for its hostility to the Reformation. An accusation of
matters quite foreign to his mission was trumped up against Rapin, and,
contrary to all the principles of justice, and notwithstanding the
privileged character he bore as the king's envoy, he was arrested,
condemned to death, and executed. So atrocious a crime might perhaps have
been punished, had not the new commotions to which we shall soon be
obliged to pay attention, intervened and screened the culprits from their
righteous retribution.[516] Not content with murdering Rapin, the
Parliament of Toulouse still refused to register the edict, and not less
than four successive orders were sent by the king before his refractory
judges yielded an unwilling consent, even then annexing restrictive
clauses which they took care to insert in their secret records.[517]

[Sidenote: Seditious preachers and mobs.]

Again Roman Catholic pulpits resounded, as they did whenever any degree of
toleration was accorded the Protestants, with denunciations of Catharine,
of Charles, of all in the council who had advocated such pernicious views.
Again Ahab and Jezebel appear; but while Catharine is always Jezebel, it
is Charles that now figures, in place of poor Antoine of Navarre, as
Ahab.[518] Again, in the struggle of royalty with priests and monks
breathing sedition, it is the churchman who by his arrogance carries off
the victory with the common people, while from the sensible he receives
merited contempt.[519] So fine a text as the edict afforded for spirited
Lenten discourses did not present itself every day, and the clergy of
France improved it so well that the passions of their flocks were inflamed
to the utmost.[520] Except where their numbers were so large as to command
respect, the Protestants scarcely dared to return to their homes.

[Sidenote: Riot when the edict is published at Rouen.]

The very mention of the peace, with its favorable terms for the
Protestants, was enough to stir up the anger of the ignorant populace.
When the Parliament of Rouen, after agreeing to the Edict of Longjumeau in
private session, threw open its doors (on the third of April, 1568) to
give it official publication, a rabble that had come purposely to create a
tumult, interrupted the reading with horrible imprecations against the
peace, the Huguenots, the edicts, the "prêches," and the magistrates who
approved such impious acts. The presidents and counsellors fled for their
lives. The populace, as though inspired by some evil spirit, raged and
committed havoc in the "palais de justice." The mob opened the prisons and
liberated eight or ten Roman Catholics; then flocked to the ecclesiastical
dungeons and would have massacred the Protestants that were still confined
there, had these not found means to ransom their lives with money. It was
not until six days later that the royal edict was read, in the presence of
a large military force called in to preserve order.[521]

[Sidenote: Treatment of the returning Huguenots.]

In spite of the provisions of the edict, the Huguenots wandered about in
the open country, avoiding the cities where they were likely to meet with
insult and violence, if not death. The Protestants of Nogent, Provins, and
Bray hesitated for three months, and then we are told that each man
watched his opportunity and sought to enter when his Roman Catholic
friends might be on guard to defend him from the insolence of others.

[Sidenote: At Provins.]

But the sufferings of the Huguenot burgess were not ended when he was once
more in his own house. He was studiously treated as a rebel. Every
movement was suspicious. A Roman Catholic chronicler, who has preserved in
his voluminous diary many of the details that enable us to restore
something of its original coloring to the picture of the social and
political condition of the times, vividly portrays the misfortunes of the
unfortunate Huguenots of Provins. They were not numerous. One by one,
thirty or forty had stealthily crept into town, experiencing no other
injury than the coarse raillery of their former neighbors. Thereupon the
municipal government met and deliberated upon the measures of police to be
taken "in order to hold the Huguenots in check and in fear, and to avoid
any treachery they might intend to put into practice by the introduction
of their brother Huguenots into the city to plunder and hold it by force."
The determination arrived at was that each of the four captains should
visit the Huguenot houses of his quarter, examine the inmates, and take
all the weapons he found, giving a receipt to their owners. This was not
the only humiliation to which the Protestants were subjected. A
proclamation was published forbidding them from receiving any person into
their houses, from meeting together under any pretext, from leaving their
houses in the evening after seven o'clock in summer, or five in winter,
from walking by day or night on the walls, or, indeed, from approaching
within two arquebuse shots' distance of them--all upon pain of death! They
could not even go into the country without a passport from the bailiff and
the captain of the gate, the penalty of transgressing this regulation
being banishment. No wonder that the Huguenots were irritated, and that
most of them wished that they had not returned.[522] Since, however, a
royal ordinance of the nineteenth of May expressly enjoined upon all
fugitive Huguenots to re-enter the cities to which they belonged, and in
case of refusal commanded the magistrates to raise a force and attack them
as presumptive robbers and enemies of the public peace,[523] they were
perhaps quite as safe within the walls as roaming about outside of them.

[Sidenote: Expedition and fate of De Cocqueville.]

Early in the summer an event occurred on the northern frontier, which,
although in itself of little weight, augmented the suspicions which the
Protestants began to entertain of the Spanish tendencies of the
government. One Seigneur de Cocqueville, with a party of French and
Flemish Huguenots, had crossed the northern boundary and invaded Philip's
Netherland provinces. He had, however, been driven back into France. As he
was believed to have acted under Condé's instructions, that prince was
requested by Charles to inform him whether Cocqueville were in his
service. When Condé disavowed him, and declined all responsibility for
the movement, Marshal Cossé was directed to march against Cocqueville,
and, on the eighteenth of July, the Huguenot chieftain was captured at the
town of Saint Valéry, in Picardy, where he had taken refuge. Of
twenty-five hundred followers, barely three hundred are said to have been
spared. In order to please Alva, the Flemings received no quarter. The
leaders, Cocqueville, Vaillant, and Saint Amand, were brought to Paris and
gibbeted on the Place de Grève.[524]

[Sidenote: Attitude of the government suspicious.]

[Sidenote: Garrisons and interpretative ordinances.]

The central government itself gave the gravest grounds for fear and
suspicion. The Huguenots had promptly disbanded. They had lost no time in
dismissing their German allies, who, retiring with well-filled pockets to
the other side of the Rhine, seemed alone to have profited by the
intestine commotions of France.[525] On the contrary, the Roman Catholic
forces showed no disposition to disarm. It is true that, in the first
fervor of the ascendancy of the peace party, Catharine countermanded a
levy of five thousand Saxons, much to the annoyance of Castelnau, who had
by his unwearied diligence brought them in hot haste to Réthel on the
Aisne, only to learn that the preliminaries of peace were on the point of
being concluded, and that the troopers were expected to retrace their
steps to Saxony.[526] But the Swiss and Italian soldiers, as well as the
French gens-d'armes, were for the most part retained. To Humières, who
commanded for the king in Péronne, Charles wrote an explanation of his
course: "Inasmuch as there are sometimes turbulent spirits so constituted
that they neither can nor desire to accommodate themselves so soon to
quiet, it has appeared to me extremely necessary to anticipate this
difficulty, and act in such a manner that, force and authority remaining
on my side, I may be able to keep in check those who might so far forget
themselves as to set on foot new disturbances and be the cause of
seditious uprising."[527] Large garrisons were thus provided for those
towns which had rendered themselves conspicuous in the defence of the
Huguenots during the late war, and the sufferings of the Protestants, upon
whom, in preference to their Roman Catholic neighbors, the insolent
soldiers were quartered, were terrible beyond description.[528] The
horrors of the "dragonnades" of the reign of Louis the Fourteenth were
rivalled by these earlier military persecutions. Multitudes were despoiled
of their goods, hundreds lost their lives at the hands of their cruel
guests. France assumed the aspect of a great camp, with sentries posted
everywhere to maintain it in peace against some suspected foe. The
sea-ports, the bridges, the roads were guarded; the Huguenots themselves
were placed under a species of surveillance. Nor were the old resorts of
the court forgotten. Again interpretative ordinances were called in to
abrogate a portion of the law itself. Charles declared in a new
proclamation that he had not intended by the Edict of Longjumeau to
include Auvergne, nor any district belonging as an appanage to his mother,
to Anjou, Alençon, or the Bourbon princes, in the toleration guaranteed by
the edict. And thus a very considerable number of Protestants were by a
single stroke of the pen stripped of the privileges solemnly accorded to
them but a few weeks before.[529] Other pledges were as shamelessly
broken. The Huguenot gentlemen whom the court had attempted to punish by
declaring them to have forfeited their honors and dignities, were not
reinstated according to the terms of the edict.[530]

[Sidenote: Oppression by royal governors.]

The conduct of individual governors furnished still greater occasion for
complaint and alarm. The Duke of Nemours, who, in marrying Anne of Este,
Guise's widow, two years before, seemed also to have espoused all the
hatred which the Lorraines felt for Protestantism, and for the family of
the Châtillons, its most prominent and faithful defenders, was governor of
the provinces of Lyonnais and Dauphiny. This insubordinate nobleman loudly
proclaimed his intention to disregard the Edict of Longjumeau, as opposed
to the Roman Catholic Church and to the king's honor. In vain did the
Protestants, who were numerous in the city of Lyons, demand to be allowed
to enjoy the two places of worship they had possessed, before the late
troubles, within the city walls. The duke would not listen to their just
claims, and the court, in answer to their appeals, only responded that the
king did not approve of the holding of Protestant services inside of
cities, and that a place would shortly be assigned for their use in the
vicinity.[531] Unrebuked by the queen or her son for his flagrant
disobedience, Nemours received nothing but plaudits from the fanatical
adherents of the religion he pretended to maintain, and was honored by the
Pope, Pius the Fifth (on the fifth of July, 1568), with a special brief,
in which he was praised for being the first to set a resplendent example
of resistance to the execution of an unchristian peace.[532]

Marshal Tavannes, in Burgundy, earned equal gratitude for his opposition
to the concession of Protestant rights. Not content with remonstrance
respecting a peace which had excited every one "to raise his voice against
the king and Catharine," and with dark hints of the danger of handling so
carelessly a border province like Burgundy,[533] he openly favored the
revival of those "Confraternities of the Holy Ghost" which Charles had so
lately condemned and prohibited. Being himself detained by illness, two of
his sons were present at a meeting of one of these seditious assemblages,
held in Dijon, the provincial capital, where, before a great concourse of
people, the most inflammatory language was freely uttered.[534]

[Sidenote: The "Christian and Royal League."]

[Sidenote: Insubordination to royal authority.]

At Troyes, the capital of Champagne, a similar association assumed the
designation of "the Christian and Royal League." The document, containing
the oath taken by the clergy whom the king's lieutenant had associated
with the nobility and the provincial estates in the "holy" bond, is still
extant, with the signatures of the bishop, the deans, canons, and inferior
ecclesiastics appended.[535] The primary object was the maintenance of
"the true Catholic and Roman Church of God;" and after this the
preservation of the crown for the house of Valois was mentioned. It was to
be sustained "against all persons, without excepting any, save the persons
of the king, his sons and brothers, and the queen their mother, and
without regard to any relationship or alliance," and "so long as it might
please God that the signers should be governed according to the Roman and
Apostolic Church."[536] In less public utterances the spirit of
insubordination to the regal authority made itself understood even more
clearly. When the formation of such associations was objected to, on the
ground of the king's prohibition, the response given by those who
pretended to be better informed than the rest was that the Cardinal of
Lorraine could make the matter agreeable to his Majesty. Others more
boldly announced the intention of the Roman Catholic party, in case
Charles should refuse to sanction its course, to send him to a monastery
for the rest of his days, and elect another king in his place. Three
months' time was all that these blatant boasters allowed for the utter
destruction of the Huguenots in France. An end would be made of them as
soon as the harvest and vintage were past.[537]

[Sidenote: Admirable organization of the Huguenots.]

If the Roman Catholics had resolved upon a renewal of the war, they
certainly had reason to desire a better combination of their forces than
they had effected in the late contest. They had been startled and amazed
at the rapidity with which, although embracing but an inconsiderable
minority of the population, the Huguenots had succeeded in massing an army
that held at bay that of the king. They admired the completeness of the
organization which enabled the Prince of Condé and the admiral to summon
the gentry of the most distant provinces, and bring them to the very
vicinity of the court before the movement was suspected even by Constable
Montmorency, who believed himself to be kept advised of the most trifling
occurrences that took place in any part of France. The triumph of the
Huguenots--for was it not a triumph which they had achieved in securing
such terms as the Edict of Longjumeau conceded?--was a disgrace to the
papists, who had not known how to use their overwhelming preponderance in
numbers. Never had a more signal example been given of the superiority of
united and zealous sympathy over discordant and soulless counsels.[538]
While their enemies, with nothing in common but their hatred of
Protestantism, were hampered by the want of concert between their leaders,
or cheated of their success by their positive jealousies and quarrels, the
Huguenots had in their common faith, in their well-ordered form of church
government, combining the advantages of great local efficiency with those
of a representative union, and in their common danger, the instruments
best adapted to secure the ends they desired. "They were so closely bound
together by this order and by these objects," wrote the Venetian
ambassador Correro, "that there resulted a concordant will and so perfect
a union that it made them prompt in rendering instant obedience and in
forming common designs, and most ready to execute the commands of their
superiors."[539]

[Sidenote: Murder runs riot throughout France.]

With such associations as "the Confraternities of the Holy Ghost," and
"the Christian and Royal League" springing up in various parts of France,
under the express sanction of the provincial governors, and publishing as
their chief aim the extirpation of heresy from the realm; with priests and
monks, especially those of the new order of Jesus, inflaming the passions
of the people by seditious preaching, and persuading their hearers that
any toleration of heretics was a compact with Satan, it is not strange
that murder held high carnival wherever the Protestants were not so
numerous as to be able to stand on the defensive. The victims were of
every rank and station, from the obscure peasant to the distinguished
Cipierre, son of the Count de Tende and a relative of the Duke of Savoy,
the orders for whose assassination were confidently believed to have
issued from the court.[540] At Auxerre, which had been given up by the
Huguenots in accordance with the provisions of the peace, one hundred and
fifty Protestants paid with their lives the price of their good faith.
Their bodies were thrown into the public sewers. In the city of Amiens one
hundred and fifty persons were slaughtered at one time. Instead of
punishment, the rioters obtained their object: the reformed worship was
forbidden in Amiens, or within three leagues of the city.[541] At Clermont
the assassins, after plundering the wares of a wealthy merchant, who had
refused to hang tapestry before his house at the time of the procession on
Corpus Christi Day--La Fête-Dieu--buried him in a fire made of furniture
taken from his own house.[542] At Ligny, in Champagne, a Huguenot was
pursued into the very bedchamber of a royal officer, and there killed.
Troyes, Bourges, Rouen, and a host of other places, witnessed the
commission of atrocities which it would be rather sickening than
profitable to narrate.[543] In Paris itself the murders of Huguenots were
frequent. "On Sunday last," wrote Norris, the English envoy, to his royal
mistress, "the Prince of Condé sent a gentleman to the king, to beseech
his Majesty to administer justice against such as murder them of the
religion, and as he entered into the city there were five slain in St.
Anthony's street, not far from my lodging."[544] The aggregate of
homicides committed within the brief compass of this so-called peace was
enormous. Jean de Serres and Agrippa d'Aubigné may possibly go somewhat
beyond the mark when they state the number of victims in three
months--April, May, and June, 1568--at over ten thousand;[545] but they
are substantially correct in saying that the number far exceeded that of
the armed Huguenots slain during the six months of the preceding war;[546]
for the Venetian ambassador, who certainly had no motive for exaggeration,
asserts that "the principal cities of the kingdom, notwithstanding the
conditions of the peace, refused to readmit 'the preachings' to their
territories, and slew many thousands of Huguenots who dared to rise and
complain."[547]

[Sidenote: Rochelle and other cities refuse to receive garrisons.]

[Sidenote: Condé and Coligny retire.]

[Sidenote: D'Andelot's remonstrance.]

While the majority of the cities held by the Protestants had, as we have
seen, promptly opened their gates to the king, a number, perceiving the
dangers to which they were exposed, alarmed by the attitude of the Roman
Catholics, and doubtful of the good faith of the court, declined to allow
the garrisons to enter. This was the case with La Rochelle, which defended
its course by appealing to its privileges, and with Montauban, Albi,
Milhau, Sancerre, Castres, Vézelay, and other less important towns.[548]
The events of a few weeks had amply vindicated the wisdom and justice of
their refusal. La Rochelle even began to repair its fortifications,
confident that the papal faction would never rest until it had made the
attempt to destroy the great Huguenot stronghold in the west. Evidently
there was no safety for a Protestant under the ægis of the Edict of
Longjumeau. The Prince of Condé dared not resume the government of the
province nominally restored to his charge, and retired to Noyers, a small
town in Burgundy, belonging to his wife's dower, where he would be less
exposed than in the vicinity of Paris to any treacherous attempt upon his
person. Admiral Coligny was not slow in following his example. He
abandoned his stately manor of Châtillon-sur-Loing, where, with a heart
saddened by recent domestic affliction,[549] he had been compelled to
exercise a princely hospitality to the crowds that daily thronged to
consult with him and to do him honor,[550] and took up his abode in the
castle of Tanlay, belonging to his brother D'Andelot, and within a few
miles of the prince's retreat.[551] D'Andelot himself had recently started
for Brittany, where his first wife, Claude de Rieux, had held extensive
possessions.[552] Before leaving, however, he had written to Catharine de'
Medici, a letter of remonstrance full of noble sentiments. The occasion
was the murder of one of his gentlemen, whom he had sent to the
neighboring city of Auxerre; but his letter embraced a complete view of
"the calamitous state of the poor kingdom," whose misery "was such as to
cause the hair of all that heard to stand on end." "Not only," said
D'Andelot, "can we feel no doubt that God will not leave unpunished so
much innocent blood, which continues to cry before Him for vengeance, as
well as so many violations of women and maidens; so many robberies; so
much oppression--in one word, every species of iniquity. But, besides
this, we can look for nothing else than the near-approaching desolation
and ruin of this state: for no one that has read sacred and profane
history will be able to deny that such things have always preceded the
overthrow of empires and monarchies. I am well aware, madam, that there
will be those who, on seeing this letter, will ridicule me, and will say
that I am playing the part of prophet or preacher. I am neither the one
nor the other, since God has not given me this calling. But I will yet
say, with truth, that there is not a man in the kingdom, of any rank or
quality, who loves his king and his kingdom better than I do, or who is
more grieved at seeing those disorders that I see, which can, in the end,
result only in general confusion. I know full well that I shall be met
with the taking up of arms, in which I participated, with so many others,
on the eve of last St. Michael's Day, as if we had intended to attack the
persons of your Majesties, or anything belonging to you, or this state, as
was published wherever it was possible, and as is still daily asserted.
But, not to undertake other justification, I will only say that, if such
wickedness had entered into my heart, though I might conceal it from men,
I could not hide it from God, from whom I never have asked forgiveness for
it, nor ever shall I." D'Andelot proceeded to show that the movement in
question had been caused by absolute necessity, and that this was rendered
evident to all men by that which was now occurring in every part of
France. He told her that it was sufficiently manifest that this universal
oppression was only designed to provoke "those of the religion" to such a
point that they would lose patience, and to obtain a pretext for attacking
and exterminating them. He reminded her that he had often insisted "that
opinions in matters of religion can be changed neither by fire nor by
force of arms, and that those deem themselves very happy who can lay down
their lives for the service of God and for His glory." He warned her of
those who, unlike the Huguenots, would sacrifice the interests of the
state to their own individual ends of ambition or revenge. In conclusion,
after alluding to a recent sudden death which much resembled a mark of the
divine displeasure upon the murderous assault that had called forth this
letter, he exclaimed: "I do not mean to be so presumptuous as to judge the
dealings of God; but I do mean to say, with the sure testimony of His
word, that all those who violate public faith are punished for it."[553]

[Sidenote: Catharine takes side with the chancellor's enemies.]

That salutary warning had been rung in Catharine's ears more than once,
and was destined to be repeated again and again, with little effect: "All
those who violate public faith are punished for it." L'Hospital had but a
few months before been urging to a course of political integrity, and
pointing out the rock on which all previous plans of pacification had
split. There was but one way to secure the advantages of permanent peace,
and that was an upright observance of the treaties formed with the
Huguenots. But Catharine was slow to learn the lesson. Crooked paths, to
her distorted vision, seemed to be the shortest way to success. Her
Italian education had taught her that deceit was better, under all
circumstances, than plain dealing, and she could not unlearn the
long-cherished theory. Whether L'Hospital's views were originally the
chief motives that influenced her in consenting to the peace of
Longjumeau, or whether she had acquiesced in it as a cover to treacherous
designs, certain it is that she now began to side openly with the
chancellor's enemies, and that the Cardinal of Lorraine regained his old
influence in the council. The fanatical sermons that had been a
premonitory symptom of the previous wars were again heard with complacency
in the court chapel; for, about the month of June, the king appointed as
his preachers four of the most blatant advocates of persecution: Vigor, a
canon of Notre Dame; De Sainte Foy; the gray friar, Hugonis; and Claude de
Sainctes, whose acquaintance the reformers had made at the Colloquy of
Poissy.[554]

[Sidenote: Remonstrance of the three marshals.]

[Sidenote: Catharine's intrigues.]

There had been a desperate struggle in the royal council ever since the
conclusion of the peace. The extreme Roman Catholics, recognizing the
instability of Catharine, had long since begun to base their hopes upon
Henry of Anjou's influence. Their opponents accepted the issue, and
resolved to circumscribe the duke's inordinate powers. Three of the
marshals of France--Montmorency, his brother Damville, and
Vieilleville--presented themselves at a meeting of the royal council held
in the queen mother's sick-chamber (on the second of May, 1568), to
remonstrate against Anjou's retaining the office of lieutenant-general.
Even Cardinal Bourbon supported their movement, and, sinking for the time
his extreme religious partisanship, threatened to leave the court, and
give the world to understand how much he had at heart the honor of his
house and the welfare of his friends. The object of the marshals could not
be mistaken: it was nothing less than the overthrow of the Cardinal of
Lorraine, who sought supreme power under cover of Anjou's name. The end of
the war, remarked the ambassador, Sir Henry Norris, had brought no end to
the mortal hatred between the houses of Guise and Montmorency. The
prospect of permanent peace was dark. The king was easy to be seduced, his
mother bent upon maintaining these divisions in the court, and Anjou so
much under the cardinal's influence that it was to be feared that the
Huguenots would in the end be forced to have recourse once more to arms.
In the midst of these perils, the queen mother had been exercising her
ingenuity in playing off one party against the other; now giving
countenance to the Guises, now to the Montmorencies. At one time she used
Limoges, at another Morvilliers or Sens, in her secret intrigues.
Presently she resorted to Lorraine, and, when jealous of his too great
forwardness, would turn to the chancellor himself, "undoing in one day
what the cardinal had intended long afore." Besides these prominent
statesmen, she had not scrupled to take up with meaner tools--men whose
elevation boded no good to the commonwealth, and with whom she conferred
about the imposition of those onerous taxes which had cost her the
forfeiture of the good-will of the people. To add to the confusion, the
jealousy between the king and his brother Anjou had reappeared, and the
chancellor had lost his characteristic courage and avowed his utter
despair of being able to stem the fierce tide of human selfishness and
passion. Cardinal Lorraine was realizing his long-cherished hope: "for
this one man's authority had been the greatest countermand of his
devices."[555]

[Sidenote: The court tries to ruin Condé and Coligny.]

The Huguenot leaders had entered into engagements to repay to the king the
nine hundred thousand francs advanced by him to the German reiters of
Count Casimir. This sum--a large one for the times--Charles now called
upon Condé and Coligny to refund, and he expressly commanded that it
should not be levied upon the Protestant churches, but be raised by those
who had taken up arms in the late contest.[556] It was a transparent
attempt to array the masses that had suffered little pecuniarily in the
war against the brave men who had not only impoverished themselves, but
hazarded their lives in defence of the common cause. Nothing less than the
financial ruin of the prince and the admiral, who had voluntarily become
sureties, seemed likely to satisfy their enemies.

[Sidenote: Téligny sent to carry a reply.]

The Prince of Condé despatched young Téligny to carry his spirited reply
to this extraordinary demand, and, not confining himself to the exhibition
of its flagrant injustice, he recapitulated the daily multiplying
infractions upon the edict. The Protestants were treated as enemies, he
said, and were safe neither at home nor abroad. An open war could not be
more bitter.[557] Besides countless general massacres, he complained of
the recent assassination of two of his own dependants, and of the
surveillance exercised over all the great noblemen "of the religion," who
were closely watched in their castles by the commanders of neighboring
forces. Against himself the unparalleled insult had been shown of placing
a garrison in the palace of a prince of the blood. Nay, he had arrested a
spy caught in the very act of measuring the height of the fortifications
of Noyers, and sounding the depth of the moat, with a view to a subsequent
assault, and the capture not only of the prince, but of the admiral, who
frequently came there to see him. He rehearsed the grounds of just alarm
which the Protestants had in the threats their indiscreet enemies were
daily uttering, and in "the confraternities of the Holy Ghost," defiantly
instituted with the approval of the king's own governors. What safety was
there for the Huguenots when a counsellor of a celebrated parliament had
lately asserted, in the presence of an assembly of three thousand persons,
"that he had commands from the leading men of the royal council
admonishing the Catholics that they ought to give no credence to any
edicts of the king unless they contained a peculiar mark of authenticity."
And he was induced to believe him right, by noticing the fact that, since
the establishment of peace, no one had obeyed the royal letters. Finally,
in decided but respectful language, he remonstrated against the pernicious
precedent which the court was allowing to become established, when the
express commands of the monarch were set at naught with impunity.[558]

[Sidenote: An oath to be exacted of the Huguenots.]

As the time approached for the blow to be struck that should forever put
an end to the exercise of the reformed faith in France, the conspirators
began to betray their anxiety lest their nefarious designs might be
anticipated and rendered futile by such a measure of defence as that which
the Huguenots had taken on the eve of Michaelmas. They resolved,
therefore, if possible, to bind their victims hand and foot; and no more
convenient method presented itself than that of involving them in
obligations of implicit obedience which would embarrass, if they did not
absolutely preclude, any exercise of their wonderful system of combined
action. About the beginning of August, Charles despatched to all parts of
his dominions the form of an oath which was to be demanded of every
Protestant subject, and the royal officers and magistrates were directed
to make lists of those who signed as well as of those who refused to sign
it.[559] "We protest before God, and swear by His name"--so ran the
oath--"that we recognize King Charles the Ninth as our natural sovereign
and only prince ... and that we will never take up arms save by his
express command, of which he may have notified us by his letters patent
duly verified; and that we will never consent to, nor assist with counsel,
money, food, or anything else whatsoever, those who shall arm themselves
against him or his will. We will make no levy or assessment of money for
any purpose without his express commission; and will never enter into any
secret leagues, intrigues, or plots, nor engage in any underhand practices
or enterprises, but, on the contrary, we promise and swear to notify him
or his officers of all that we shall be able to learn and discover that is
devised against his Majesty.... Moreover, we protest that we will not
leave the city, whatever necessity may arrive, but will join our hearts,
our wills, and our abilities with our fellow-citizens in defence of that
city, to which we will always entertain the devotion of true and faithful
citizens, whilst the Catholics will find in us sincere and fraternal
affection: awaiting the time when it may please God to put an end to all
troubles, to which we hope that this reconciliation will be a happy
prelude."[560]

The trap was not ill contrived, and its bars were strong enough to hold
anything that might venture within. Fortunately, however, the bait did not
conceal the cruel design lurking behind it. Why, it might be asked, this
new test? Was Condé, whom the king had only four or five months ago
recognized by solemn edict as his "dear cousin and faithful servant and
subject," a friend or a foe? Had peace been concluded with the Huguenots
only that they might anew be treated as rebels and enemies? What had
become of the prescribed amnesty? Was it at all likely that private
citizens would bury in oblivion their former dissensions and abstain from
mutual insults, when the monarch officially reminded them that there was
one class of his subjects whose past conduct made them objects of grave
suspicion? While, therefore, the Huguenots professed themselves ready to
give the king all possible assurances of their loyal devotion, they
declined to swear to a form that bore on its face the proof that it was
composed, not in accordance with Charles's own ideas, but by an enemy of
the crown and of public tranquillity. They requested that it might receive
such modifications as would permit them to sign it with due regard to
their own self-respect and to their religious convictions, and they
entreated Charles to confirm their liberty of conscience and of religious
observance; for, without these privileges, which they valued above their
own existence, they were ready to forsake, not only their cities, but
their very lives also.[561]

[Sidenote: The plot disclosed by an intercepted letter.]

At this critical moment the destiny of France was wavering in the balance,
and the decision depended upon the answer to be given to the question
whether Chancellor L'Hospital or Cardinal Lorraine should retain his place
in the council. The tolerant policy of the former is too well understood
to need an explanation. The designs of the latter are revealed by an
intercepted letter that fell into the hands of the Huguenots about this
time. It was written (on the ninth of August) at the little country-seat
named Madrid,[562] whose ruins are still pointed out, near the banks of
the Seine, on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, and not far from the walls
of the city of Paris. The writer, evidently a devoted partisan of the
house of Guise, had been entrusted by the Cardinal of Lorraine[563] with a
glimpse at the designs of the party of which the latter was the declared
chief. A proclamation was soon to be made in the king's name, through
Marshal Cossé, to the Protestant nobles, assuring them of the monarch's
intention to deal kindly and peaceably with them, to preserve their
religious liberties, and to treat them as his faithful subjects; and
explaining the design of the movement which he was now setting on foot to
be merely the reduction of the inhabitants of some insolent cities (those
that, like La Rochelle, had refused to admit garrisons) to his authority.
This announcement, the cardinal proceeded to say, might disturb some good
Catholics, who would think that their labors and the dangers they had
undergone were all in vain. In reality, however, it was only intended to
secure the power in the hands of the king, and to take away from the
Protestant leaders all occasion for assembling, until, being reduced to
straits, that rabble, so hostile to the king and the kingdom, should be
wholly destroyed. Thus the very remnants would be annihilated; for the
seed would assuredly spring up again, unless the same course should be
pursued as that of which the French had resplendent examples shown them by
their neighbors.[564] Meanwhile, until these plans could be carried into
effect, as they would doubtless be within the present month, the
Protestant nobles must be carefully diverted, as some were already showing
signs of security, and others of falling into the snare prepared for them.
The cardinal, so he informed the writer, was confident, with God's favor,
of an easy and most certain victory over the enemies of the faith.[565]

[Sidenote: Isabella of France again her husband's mouthpiece.]

Such were the cardinal's intentions as expressed by himself and reported
almost word for word[566] in a letter to which I shall presently have
occasion again to direct the reader's attention. It was the policy
advocated persistently both by Pius the Fifth and by Philip the Second,
and embodied in counsel which would have been resented by a court
possessed of more self-respect than the French court, as impertinent
advice. For, in the report made to Catharine by one of her servants at the
Spanish capital, there is a wonderful similarity in the language employed
to that used at the conference of Bayonne. Isabella of France is again the
speaker, though much suspected of uttering rather the sentiments of
Philip, her husband, who was present,[567] than her own. Again, after
expressing the most vehement zeal for the welfare of her native country,
she advocated rigorous measures against the Huguenots, in phrases almost
identical with those which, as the Duke of Alva relates, she had addressed
to her mother three years before. "She told me among other things," says
the queen's agent, "that she would never believe that either the king her
brother, or you, will ever execute the design already entered into between
you (although, by your command, I had notified the king [Philip] and
herself of your good-will respecting this matter), until she saw it
performed; for you had often before made them the same promises, but no
result had ever followed. She feared that your Majesties might be
dissuaded from action by the smooth speeches of certain persons in your
court, until the enemy gained the opportunity of forming new designs, not
only against the king's authority, but even against yourselves. The
apprehension kept her in a constant state of alarm."[568]

[Sidenote: King Charles entreats his mother to avoid war.]

But, although Catharine had now given in her adhesion to the Spanish and
Lorraine party, the success of that party was as yet incomplete.
L'Hospital was still in the privy council, and Charles himself greatly
preferred the conciliation and peace advocated by the chancellor. The
same letter from the pleasure-palace of "Madrid," on the banks of the
Seine, whose contents have already occupied our attention, makes important
disclosures respecting the attitude of the unhappy prince, of whom it may
be questioned whether his greatest misfortune was that he had so
unprincipled a mother, or that he had not sufficient strength of will to
resist her pernicious designs. "I observed," wrote this correspondent
still further in reference to the Cardinal of Lorraine, "that he was very
much excited on account of a conversation which the king had recently had
with the queen, and which he believed to have been suggested to him by
others. For the king entreated his mother, almost as a suppliant, 'to take
the greatest care lest war should again break out, and that the edict
should everywhere be observed: otherwise he foresaw the complete ruin of
his kingdom.'[569] And when the queen alleged the rebellion of the
inhabitants of La Rochelle, he replied, as he had been instructed
beforehand, 'that the Rochellois only desired to retain their ancient
privileges. Their demand was not unreasonable; and even if it were, it was
better to make a temporary sacrifice to the welfare of the realm than to
plunge in new turmoil. As to the nobles, he was persuaded that they would
live peaceably if the edict were properly executed. In short, he was
earnestly desirous that matters should be restored to their best and most
quiet state.' The queen and very many other illustrious persons have but
one object of fervent desire, and that is to see the kingdom of France
return to the condition it was in under Francis and Henry. The queen
mother knows that this speech was dictated to him by certain men, and she
owes the authors of it no good-will. So much the more anxiously does she
desire, in common with a vast multitude of good Catholics, to prove to
the king that whatever is done in this affair has for its sole object to
liberate him from servitude and make him a king in reality, and to expel
the pestilence and those infected by it--a result utterly unattainable in
any other way."[570]

[Sidenote: Catharine's animosity against L'Hospital.]

Catharine could not doubt that it was Michel de l'Hospital that had
infused into Charles his own just and pacific spirit. From the moment she
had come to this conclusion the chancellor's fall was inevitable. The
particular occasion of it, however, seems to have been the opposition
which he offered to the reception of a papal bull. To relieve the royal
treasury, the court had applied to Rome for permission to alienate
ecclesiastical possessions in France yielding an income of fifty thousand
crowns (or one hundred and fifty thousand francs), on the plea that the
indebtedness had been incurred in defence of the Roman Catholic faith.
Pius the Fifth granted the application, but in his bull of the first of
August, 1568, he not only made it a condition that the funds should be
exclusively employed under the direction of a trustworthy person--and as
such he named the Cardinal of Lorraine--in the extermination of the
heretics of France, or their reconciliation with the Church of Rome, but
he ascribed to Charles in making the request the declared purpose of
continuing a work for which his own means had proved inadequate. The
reception of the document was in itself an act of bad faith, and the
chancellor resisted it to the utmost of his power, urging that the pontiff
should be requested to alter its objectionable form.[571]

[Sidenote: Another quarrel between Lorraine and the chancellor.]

Another of those painful scenes occurred in the privy council (on the
nineteenth of September), of which there had been so many within the past
four or five years. Again the disputants were the Cardinal of Lorraine and
the chancellor. The former angrily demanded the reason why L'Hospital had
refused to affix his signature to the bull; whereupon the latter alleged,
among many other grounds, that to revoke the Edict of Pacification, as
demanded by the Pope, "was the direct way to cause open wars, and to bring
the Germans into the realm." The cardinal was "much stirred." He called
L'Hospital a hypocrite; he said that his wife and daughter were
Calvinists. "You are not the first of your race that has deserved ill of
the king," he added. "I am sprung from as honest a race as you are,"
retorted the other. Beside himself with fury, Lorraine "gave him the lie,
and, rising incontinently out of his chair," would have seized him by the
beard, had not Marshal Montmorency stepped in between them. "Madam," said
the cardinal, "in great choler," turning to the queen mother, in whose
presence the angry discussion took place, "the chancellor is the sole
cause of all the troubles in France, and were he in the hands of
parliament his head would not tarry on his shoulders twenty-four hours."
"On the contrary, Madam," rejoined L'Hospital, "the cardinal is the
original cause of all the mischiefs that have chanced as well to France,
within these eight years, as to the rest of Christendom. In proof of which
I refer him to the common report of even those who most favor him."[572]

[Sidenote: The chancellor's fall.]

But the chancellor accomplished nothing. Catharine had overcome her weak
son's partiality for the grave old counsellor by persuading him that, as
the chancellor's wife, his daughter, his son-in-law, and indeed his entire
house, were avowedly Huguenots, it was impossible but that he was himself
only restrained from making an open profession of Protestantism by the
fear of losing his present position.[573] Finding himself not only
stripped of all influence, and compelled to witness the enactment of
measures repugnant to his very nature, but an object of hatred to his
associates, Michel de l'Hospital withdrew from a council board where, as
he asserted, even Charles himself did not dare to express his opinions
freely.[574] Subsequently retiring altogether from the court to his
country-seat of Vignai, not far from Étampes, he surrendered his insignia
of office to a messenger of Catharine, who came to recommend him, in the
king's name, to take that rest which his advanced years demanded. Monsieur
de Morvilliers succeeded him, with the title of keeper of the seals, but
the full powers of chancellor.[575] In quiet retirement, the venerable
judge and legislator lingered more than four years, unhappy only in being
spared to see the melancholy results of the rejection of his prudent
counsels, the desolation of his native land, and the transformation of an
amiable king into a murderer of his own subjects. Few days in this
eventful reign were more lasting in their consequences than that which
beheld the final removal from all direct influence upon the court of the
only leading politician or statesman who could have forestalled the
horrors of a generation of inhuman wars.

[Sidenote: The plot.]

[Sidenote: Marshal Tavannes its author.]

The crisis now rapidly approached. The Huguenot chiefs were widely
separated from each other--Montgomery in Normandy, Genlis and Mouy in
Picardy, Rochefoucauld at Angoulême, D'Andelot in Brittany, Condé and
Coligny in Burgundy. The royal court, now entirely in the interest of the
Guises, resolved to execute the plan which the Roman Catholic nobles of
this faction had sketched to Alva three years before at Bayonne, by the
seizure of five or six of the leaders, as a measure preliminary to the
total suppression of Protestantism in France. Gaspard de Tavannes was
entrusted with the execution of the most important part of the scheme--the
arrest of the prince and the admiral. Fourteen companies of gens-d'armes
and as many ensigns of infantry stood under his orders, and Noyers was
closely beset on all sides.[576] It was at this moment, when secrecy was
all important to the success of the plot, that the tidings of the
threatening storm reached its destined victims. It has long been believed
and reported that Tavannes, unwilling to lend himself to unworthy
machinations whose execution would have wounded his soldierly pride, took
measures to warn Condé and Coligny of their danger. Unfortunately, the
story rests on no better authority than his "Mémoires," written by a son
who has often shown a greater desire to vindicate his father's memory than
to maintain historical truth, and who, writing under the rule of the
Bourbons, had in this case, as in that of the pretended deliverance of
Henry of Navarre and Henry of Condé, at the great Parisian massacre four
years later, sufficient inducements for endeavoring to represent the
reigning family as indebted to his father for its preservation.[577]
Brantôme is consistent with the entire mass of contemporary documents in
representing Tavannes as the author of the whole scheme; and certainly one
who was so deeply implicated in the massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day
cannot have been too humane to think of capturing, or even assassinating,
two nobles, although one of them was a prince of the blood. A more
probable story is that Tavannes was the unintentional instrument of the
disclosure, a letter of his having fallen into Huguenot hands, containing
the words: "The deer is in the net; the game is ready."[578] But, in
point of fact, the Huguenots needed no such hints. With their perfect
organization, in the face of so treacherous a foe, after so many
violations as they had of late witnessed of the royal edict, they were
already on their guard, and the hostile preparations had not escaped their
notice.

[Sidenote: Condé's last appeal to the king.]

When the news first reached him that the troops sent ostensibly to besiege
La Rochelle were recalled, Condé, alarmed by what he heard from every
quarter, had begged his mother-in-law, the Marchioness de Rothelin, to go
to the court and entreat the king, in his name, to maintain the sanctity
of his engagements, confirmed by repeated oaths. Scarcely had she
departed, however, before he received fresh and reiterated warnings that
his safety depended upon instant escape. He determined, nevertheless, to
make a last attempt to avert the horrid prospect of a war which, from the
malignant hatred exhibited by all classes of Roman Catholics, he rightly
judged would exceed the previous contests both in duration and in
destructiveness. He addressed to his young sovereign a letter explaining
the necessity of the step he was about to take, accompanied by a long
appeal, of which it would be impracticable to give even a brief summary.
Every point in the multitudinous grievances of which the Huguenots
complained was recapitulated. Every counter-charge with which the court
had endeavored to parry the force of previous remonstrances was
satisfactorily answered. In eloquent terms the prince indicted Charles,
Cardinal of Lorraine, as the enemy alike of the royal dignity and of the
liberties of the people, as the author of all the troubles of France, and
the advocate and defender of robbers and murderers.[579] He reminded the
king of the declaration of Maximilian, the present Emperor of Germany, in
a letter written before his election to Charles himself: "All the wars and
all the dissensions that are to-day rife among the Christians have
originated from two cardinals--Granvelle and Lorraine."[580] And he closed
the long and eloquent document by protesting, in the sight of God and of
all foreign nations, that the Huguenot nobles sought the punishment of
Lorraine and his associates alone, as the guilty causes of all the
calamities that portended destruction to the French crown, and would
pursue them as perjured violators of the public faith and capital enemies
of peace and tranquillity. He therefore hoped that no one would be
astonished if he and his allies should henceforth refuse to receive as the
king's commands anything that might be decided upon by the royal council,
so long as the cardinal might be present at its sessions, but should
regard them as fabrications of the cardinal and his fellows. The causes of
the misfortunes that might arise must be attributed, not to himself and
his Huguenot allies, but to the cardinal and his Roman Catholic
confederates.[581]

[Sidenote: The flight of the prince and the admiral.]

[Sidenote: Proves wonderfully successful.]

Having despatched "this testimony of the innocence, integrity, and faith"
of himself and of his associates, "to be transmitted to posterity in
everlasting remembrance," the Prince of Condé set out on the same day (the
twenty-third of August) from Noyers. Coligny had joined him, bringing from
Tanlay his daughter, the future bride of Téligny--and, after that
nobleman's assassination on St. Bartholomew's Day, of William of Orange,
the hero of the revolt of the Netherlands--and his young sons, as well as
the wife and infant son of his brother D'Andelot. Condé was himself
accompanied by his wife, who was expecting soon to be confined, and by
several children. His own servants and those of the admiral, with a few
noblemen that came in from the neighborhood, swelled their escort to about
one hundred and fifty horse.[582] With such a handful of men, and
embarrassed in their flight by the presence of those whom their age or
their sex disqualified for the endurance of the fatigues of a protracted
journey, Condé and Coligny undertook to reach the friendly shelter of the
walls of La Rochelle. It was a perilous attempt. The journey was one of
several hundred miles, through the very heart of France. The cities were
garrisoned by their enemies. The bridges and fords were guarded. The
difficulties, in fact, were apparently so insurmountable, that the Roman
Catholics seem to have expected that any attempt to escape would be made
in the direction of Germany, where Casimir, their late ally, would
doubtless welcome the Protestant leaders. This mistake was the only
circumstance in their favor, for it diminished the number and the
vigilance of the opposing troops.

The march was secret and prompt. Contrary to all expectation, an unguarded
ford was discovered not far from the city of Sancerre,[583] by which, on a
sandy bottom, the fugitive Huguenots crossed the Loire, elsewhere deep and
navigable as far as Roanne.[584] If the drought which had so reduced the
stream as to render the passage practicable was justly regarded as a
providential interposition of Heaven in their behalf, the sudden rise of
the river immediately afterward, which baffled their pursuers, was not
less signal a blessing.[585] Other dangers still confronted them, but
their prudence and expedition enabled them to escape them, and on the
eighteenth of September[586] the weary travellers, with numbers
considerably increased by reinforcements by the way, entered the gates of
La Rochelle amid the acclamations of the brave inhabitants.

[Sidenote: The third civil war opens.]

The escape of the prince and the admiral rendered useless all further
attempt at the concealment of the treacherous designs of the papal party;
and the third religious war dates from this moment.

       *       *       *       *       *

     [Sidenote: The city of La Rochelle and its privileges.]

     The city of La Rochelle, said to have become a walled place
     about 1126, had received many tokens of favor at the hands of
     its successive masters before the accession of Queen Alienor,
     or Éléonore, last Duchess of Aquitaine. It was by a charter of
     this princess, in 1199, that the municipality, or "commune,"
     was established. (Arcère, Hist. de la Rochelle, ii., Preuves,
     660, 661.) The terms of the charter are vague; but, as
     subsequently constituted, the "commune" consisted of one
     hundred prominent citizens, designated as "pairs," or peers,
     in whom all power was vested. The first member in dignity was
     the "maire" or mayor, selected by the Seneschal of Saintonge
     from the list of three candidates yearly nominated by his
     fellow-members. The historian of the city compares him, for
     power and for the sanctity attaching to his person, to the
     ancient tribunes of Rome. Next were the twenty-four
     "échevins," or aldermen, one-half of whom on alternate years
     assisted the mayor in the administration of justice. Last of
     all came seventy-five "pairs" having no separate designation,
     who took part in the election of the mayor, and voted, on
     important occasions, in the "assemblée générale." (See a
     historical discussion, Arcère, i. 193-199.)

     From King John Lackland, of England, the Rochellois are said
     to have received express exemption from the duty of marching
     elsewhere in the king's service, without their own consent,
     and from admitting into their city any troops from abroad. (P.
     S. Callot, La Rochelle protestante, 1863, p. 6.) When, in
     1224, after standing a siege of three weeks, La Rochelle fell
     into the hands of Louis VIII. of France, its new master
     engaged to maintain all its privileges--a promise which was
     well observed, for not only did the city lose nothing, but it
     actually received new favors at the king's hands. (Arcère, i.
     212; Callot, 6.) In 1360, the disasters of the French,
     consequent upon the battle of Poitiers, compelled the monarch
     to surrender the city of La Rochelle to his captors in order
     to regain his liberty. The concession was reluctantly made,
     with the most flattering testimony to the past fidelity of the
     inhabitants (see letters of John II. of France, to the
     Rochellois, Calais, Oct., 1360, Arcère, ii, Preuves, 761), and
     it was with still greater reluctance that the latter consented
     to carry it into effect. "They made frequent excuses," says
     Froissard, "and would not, for upwards of a year, suffer any
     Englishman to enter their town. The letters were very
     affecting which they wrote to the King of France, beseeching
     him, by the love of God, that he would never liberate them of
     their fidelity, nor separate them from his government and
     place them in the hands of strangers; for they would prefer
     being taxed every year one-half of what they were worth,
     rather than be in the hands of the English." (Froissard, i. c.
     214, Johnes's Trans.) When compelled to yield, it was with the
     words: "We will honor and obey the English, but our hearts
     shall never change." Edward the Third had solemnly confirmed
     their privileges (Callot, 8).

     But La Rochelle's unwilling subjection to the English crown
     was of brief duration. By a plot, somewhat clumsily contrived,
     but happily executed (Aug., 1372), the commander of the
     garrison, who did not know how to read, was induced to lead
     his troops outside of the castle wall for a review. The royal
     order that had been shown him was no forgery, but had been
     sent on a previous occasion, and the attesting seal was
     genuine. At a preconcerted signal, two hundred Rochellois rose
     from ambush, and cut off the return of the English. The
     latter, finding their antagonists reinforced by two thousand
     armed citizens under the lead of the mayor himself, soon came
     to terms, and, withdrawing the few men they had left behind in
     the castle, accepted the offer of safe transportation by a
     ship to Bordeaux. (See the entertaining account in Froissard,
     i. c. 311.) The wary Rochellois took good care, before even
     admitting into their city Duguesclin, Constable of France,
     with a paltry escort of two hundred men-at-arms, to stipulate
     that pardon should be extended to those who immediately after
     the departure of the English had razed the hateful castle to
     the ground, and that no other should ever be erected; that La
     Rochelle and the country dependent upon it should henceforth
     form a particular domain under the immediate jurisdiction of
     the king and his parliament of Paris; that its militia should
     be employed only for the defence of the place; and that La
     Rochelle should retain its mint and the right to coin both
     "black and white money." (Froissard, _ubi supra_, corrected by
     Arcère, i. 260.) Not only did the grateful monarch readily
     make these concessions, and confirm all La Rochelle's past
     privileges, but, for its "immense services," by a subsequent
     order he conferred nobility upon the "mayor," "échevins" and
     "conseillers" of the city, both present and future, as well as
     upon their children forever. (Letters of January 8, 1372/3,
     Arcère, ii., Preuves, 673-675.)

     The extraordinary prerogatives of which this was the origin
     were recognized and confirmed by subsequent monarchs,
     especially by Louis the Eleventh, Charles the Eighth, Louis
     the Twelfth, and Francis the First. (Callot, 11.) The
     resistance of the inhabitants to the exaction of the obnoxious
     "gabelle," or tax upon salt, did indeed, toward the end of the
     reign of the last-named king (1542), bring them temporarily
     under his displeasure; but, with the exception of a
     modification in their municipal government, made in 1530, and
     revoked early in the reign of Henry the Second, the city
     retained its quasi-independence without interruption until the
     outbreak of the religious wars.

     As we have seen (_ante_, p. 227), La Rochelle was in 1552 the
     scene of the judicial murder of at least two Protestants. The
     constancy of one of the sufferers had been the means of
     converting many to the reformed doctrines, and among others
     Claude d'Angliers, the presiding judge, whose name may still
     be read at the foot of their sentence. (Arcère, i. 329.) So
     rapidly had those doctrines spread, that on Sunday, May 31,
     1562, the Lord's Supper was celebrated according to the
     fashion of Geneva, not in one of the churches, but on the
     great square of the hay-market, in a temporary enclosure shut
     in on all sides by tapestries and covered with an awning of
     canvas. More than eight thousand persons took part in the
     exercises. But if the morning's services were remarkable, the
     sequel was not less singular. "As the disease of
     image-breaking was almost universal," says an old chronicler,
     "it was communicated by contagion to the inhabitants of this
     city, in such wise that, that very afternoon about three or
     four o'clock, five hundred men, who were under arms and had
     just received the same sacrament, went through all the
     churches and dashed the images in pieces. Howbeit it was a
     folly conducted with wisdom, seeing that this action passed
     without any one being wounded or injured." (P. Vincent, _apud_
     Callot, 34, and Delmas, 61.) As usual, the whole affair was
     condemned by the ministers.

     Although La Rochelle had steadily refused, during the earlier
     part of the first religious war, to declare for the Prince of
     Condé, and had maintained a kind of neutrality, the court was
     in constant fear lest the weight of its sympathies should yet
     draw it in that direction. It was therefore a matter of great
     joy when, in October, 1562, the Duke of Montpensier succeeded,
     by a ruse meriting the designation of treachery, in throwing
     himself into La Rochelle with a large body of troops. With his
     arrival the banished Roman Catholic mass returned, and the
     Protestant ministers were warned to leave at once. (Arcère, i.
     339.)

     For two months after the restoration of peace, the Huguenots
     of La Rochelle, embracing almost the entire population, held
     their religious services, in accordance with the terms of the
     Edict of Pacification, in the suburbs of the city. But, on the
     9th of May, 1563, Charles the Ninth was prevailed to give
     directions that one or two places should be assigned to the
     Huguenots within the city. This gracious permission was
     ratified with greater solemnity in letters patent of July
     14th, in which the king declared the motive to be the
     representations made to him of "the inconveniences and eminent
     dangers that might arise in our said city of La Rochelle, if
     the preaching and exercise of the pretended reformed religion
     should continue to be held outside of the said city, being, as
     it is, a frontier city in the direction of the English,
     ancient enemies of the inhabitants of that city, where it
     would be easy for them, by this means, to execute some evil
     enterprise." (Commission of Charles IX., to M. de Jarnac. This
     valuable MS., with other MSS., carried to Dublin at the
     revocation of the Edict of Nantes, by M. Elie Bouhereau, and
     placed in the Marsh Library, has recently been restored to La
     Rochelle, in accordance with M. Bouhereau's written
     directions. Delmas, 369.)

     Two years later, Charles and his court, returning from their
     long progress through France, came to La Rochelle, and spent
     three days there (Sept., 1565). A noteworthy incident occurred
     at his entry. The jealous citizens had not forgotten an
     immemorial custom which was not without significance. A silken
     cord had been stretched across the road by which the monarch
     was to enter, that he might stop and promise to respect the
     liberties and franchises of La Rochelle. Constable Montmorency
     was the first to notice the cord, and in some anger and
     surprise asked whether the magistrates of the city intended to
     refuse their sovereign admission. The symbolism of the pretty
     custom was duly explained to him, but for all response the old
     warrior curtly observed that "such usages had passed out of
     fashion," and at the same instant cut the cord with his sword.
     (Arcère, i. 349; Delmas, 80, 81.) Charles himself refused the
     request of the mayor that he should swear to maintain the
     city's privileges. After so inauspicious a beginning of his
     visit, the inhabitants were not surprised to find the king,
     during his stay, reducing the "corps-de-ville" from 100 to 24
     members, under the presidency of a governor invested with the
     full powers of the mayor; ordering that the artillery should
     be seized, two of the towers garrisoned by foreign troops, and
     the magistrates enjoined to prosecute all ministers that
     preached sedition; or banishing some of the most prominent
     Protestants from La Rochelle.

     It was characteristic of the government of Catharine de'
     Medici--always destitute of a fixed policy, and consequently
     always recalling one day what it had done the day before--that
     scarcely two months elapsed before the queen mother put
     everything back on the footing it had occupied before the
     royal visit to La Rochelle.


FOOTNOTES:

[430] The most authentic account of these important interviews is that
given by François de la Noue in his Mémoires, chap. xi. It clearly shows
how much Davila mistakes in asserting that "the prince, the admiral, and
Andelot persuaded them, without further delay, to take arms." (Eng.
trans., London, 1678, bk. iv., p. 110.) Davila's careless remark has led
many others into the error of making Coligny the advocate, instead of the
opposer, of a resort to arms. See also De Thou, iv. (liv. xlii.) 2-7, who
bases his narrative on that of De la Noue, as does likewise Agrippa
d'Aubigné, l. iv., c. vii. (i. 209), who uses the expression: "L'Amiral
voulant endurer toutes extremitez et se confier en l'innocence."

[431] "Ains avec le fer."

[432] "Une armée gaillarde." La Noue, _ubi supra_.

[433] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vi., c. iv., c. v.; La Noue, c. xi.; De
Thou, iv. (liv. xlii.) 5, 6. Davila, l. iv., p. 110, alludes to the
accusation, extorted from Protestant prisoners on the rack, that "the
chief scope of this enterprise was to murder the king and queen, with all
her other children, that the crown might come to the Prince of Condé," but
admits that it was not generally credited. The curate of Saint Barthélemi
is less charitable; describing the rising of the Protestants, he says: "En
ung vendredy 27e se partirent de toutes les villes de France les
huguenots, sans qu'on leur eust dit mot, mais ils craignoient que si on
venoit au dessein de leur entreprise qui estoit de prendre ou tuer le roy
Charles neuvième, qu'on ne les saccagea ès villes." Journal d'un curé
ligueur (J. de la Fosse), 85.

[434] La Noue, and De Thou, _ubi supra_.

[435] The historian, Michel de Castelnau, sieur de Mauvissière, had been
sent as a special envoy to congratulate the Duke of Alva on his safe
arrival, and the Duchess of Parma on her relief. As he was returning from
Brussels, he received, from some Frenchmen who joined him, a very
circumstantial account of the contemplated rising of the Huguenots, and,
although he regarded the story as an idle rumor, he thought it his duty to
communicate it to the king and queen. Mémoires, liv. vi., c. iv.

[436] Mém. de Castelnau, _ubi supra_. It is probable that the French court
partook of Cardinal Granvelle's conviction, expressed two years before,
that the Huguenots would find it difficult to raise money or procure
foreign troops for another war, not having paid for those they had
employed in the last war, nor holding the strongholds they then held.
Letter of May 7, 1565, Papiers d'état, ix. 172.

[437] Mém. du duc de Bouillon (Ancienne Collection), xlvii. 421.

[438] La Fosse, p. 86, represents Charles as exclaiming, when he entered
the Porte Saint Denis: "Qu'il estoit tenu à Dieu, et qu'il y avoit quinze
heures qu'il estoit à cheval, et avoit eust trois alarmes."

[439] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vi., c. v.; La Noue, c. xiii. (Anc. Coll.,
xlvii. 180-185); De Thou, iv. 8; J. de Serres, iii. 129-131; La Fosse, 86;
Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ., i. 210.

[440] "Ravi d'avoir allumé le feu de la gùerre," says De Thou, iv. 9.

[441] De Thou, _ubi supra_.

[442] The circumstance of two messengers, each bearing letters from the
same person, while the letters made no allusion to each other, following
one another closely, struck Alva as so suspicious, that he actually placed
the second messenger under arrest, and only liberated him on hearing from
his own agent on his return that the man's credentials were genuine.

[443] Alva proposed to detach 5,000 men to prevent the entrance of German
auxiliaries into France, and protect the Netherlands.

[444] Letter of Alva to Philip, Nov. 1, 1567, Gachard, Correspondance de
Philippe II., i., 593.

[445] "Que la ley sálica, que dizien, es baya, y las armas la allanarian."
Ibid, i. 594.

[446] The price of wheat, Jehan de la Fosse tells us (p. 86) advanced to
fifteen francs per "septier."

[447] Journal d'un curé ligueur (J. de la Fosse), 86.

[448] In one of Charles's first despatches to the Lieutenant-Governor of
Dauphiny, wherein he bids him restrain, and, if necessary, attack any
Huguenots of the province who might undertake to come to Condé's
assistance, there occurs an expression that smacks of the murderous spirit
of St. Bartholomew's Day: "You shall cut them to pieces," he writes,
"without sparing a single person; for the more dead bodies there are, the
less enemies remain (car tant plus de mortz, moins d'ennemys!)" Charles to
Gordes, Oct. 8, 1567, MS. in Condé Archives, D'Aumale, i. 563.

[449] Davila (i. 113) makes the latter her distinct object in the
negotiations: "The queen, to protract the time till supplies of men and
other necessary provisions arrived, and to abate the fervor of the enemy,
being constrained to have recourse to her wonted arts, excellently
dissembling those so recent injuries, etc."

[450] Of course "Sieur Soulier, prêtre" sees nothing but perversity in
these grounds. "Ils n'alleguèrent que des raisons frivolles pour excuser
leur armement." Histoire des édits de pacification, 64.

[451] Davila is certainly incorrect in stating that the Huguenots demanded
"that the queen mother should have nothing to do in the government" (p.
113).

[452] October 7th, Soulier, Hist. des édits de pacification, 65.

[453] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlii.) 10-15; Jean de Serres, iii. 131, 132;
Davila, bk. iv. 113-115; Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. universelle, l. iv., c.
6, 7 (i. 211, 212); Castelnau, l. vi., c. 6.

[454] So closely was Paris invested on the north, that, although
accompanied by an escort of sixty horse, Castelnau was driven back into
the faubourgs when making an attempt by night to proceed by one of the
roads leading in this direction. He was then forced to steal down the left
bank of the Seine to Poissy, before he could find means to avoid the
Huguenot posts. Mémoires, l. vi., c. 6.

[455] Castelnau was instructed to ask for three or four regiments of
Spanish or Italian foot, and for two thousand cavalry of the same nations.

[456] I have deemed it important to go into these details, in order to
exhibit in the clearest light the insincerity of Philip the Second--a
prince who could not be straightforward in his dealings, even when the
interests of the Church, to which he professed the deepest devotion, were
vitally concerned. My principal authority is the envoy, Michel de
Castelnau, liv. vi., c. 6. Alva's letter to Catharine de' Medici, Dec.,
1567, Gachard, Correspondance de Philippe II., i. 608, 609, sheds some
additional light on the transactions. I need not say that, where Castelnau
and Alva differ in their statements, as they do in some essential points,
I have had no hesitation in deciding whether the duke or the impartial
historian is the more worthy of credit. See, also, De Thou, iii. (liv.
xli.) 755.

[457] Mém. de Fr. de la Noue, c. xiv. (Ancienne coll., xlvii. 189);
Davila, bk. iv. 116; Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. universelle, i. 212, 213; De
Thou, iv. 22; Martin, Hist. de France, x. 246. There is some discrepancy
in numbers. There is, however, but little doubt that those given in the
text are substantially correct. D'Aubigné blunders, and more than doubles
the troops of the constable.

[458] Agrippa d'Aubigné relates an incident which has often been repeated.
Among the distinguished spectators gathered on the heights of Montmartre,
overlooking the plain, was a chamberlain of the Turkish sultan, the same
envoy who had been presented to the king at Bayonne. When he saw the three
small bodies of Huguenots issue in the distance from Saint Denis, and the
three charges, in which so insignificant a handful of men broke through
heavy battalions and attacked the opposing general himself, the Moslem, in
his admiration of their valor, twice cried out: "Oh, that the grand
seignior had a thousand such men as those soldiers in white, to put at the
head of each of his armies! The world would hold out only two years
against him." Hist. univ., i. 217.

[459] "Autant de volontaires Parisiens bien armez et _dorez comme
calices_." Agrippa d'Aubigné, l. iv., c. 8 (i. 213). "Tenans la bataille
desjà achevée, tout ce gros si bien doré print la fuitte." (Ibid., i.
215.)

[460] At Marignano, in 1515.

[461] He was taken prisoner by the Emperor Charles V. at Pavia, in company
with Francis I.; at the battle of Saint Quentin, in 1557; and in 1562, at
the battle of Dreux, by the Huguenots. It was rather hard that the story
should have obtained currency, according to the curé of Mériot, that
Constable Montmorency was shot by a royalist, who saw that he was
purposely allowing himself to be enveloped by the troops of Condé, in
order that he might be taken prisoner, "comme telle avoit jà esté sa
coustume en deux batailles!" Mém. de Claude Haton, i. 458.

[462] Even Henry of Navarre, in a letter of July 12, 1569, published by
Prince Galitzin (Lettres inédites de Henry IV., Paris, 1860, pp. 4-11)
states that he is unable to say whether it was Stuart, "pour n'en sçavoir
rien;" but asserts that "il est hors de doubte et assez commung qu'il fut
blessé en pleine bataille et combattant, et non de sang froid."

[463] Mémoires de Fr. de la Noue, c. xiv.; Jean de Serres, iii. 137, 138;
De Thou, iv. 22, etc.; Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ., i. 214-217;
Castelnau, liv. vi., c. 7; Claude Haton, i. 457; Jean de la Fosse, 88, 89;
Charles IX. to Gordes, Nov. 11, 1567, Condé MSS., D'Aumale, i. 564.

[464] "La mort dudit connestable fut plaincte de peu de gens du party des
catholicques, à cause de la huguenotterie de l'admiral, du card. de
Chastillon, et d'Andelot, ses nepveux, qui estoient, après le Prince de
Condé, chefz des rebelles huguenotz françoys et des plus meschant; et
avoient plusieurs personnes ceste oppinion du connestable, qu'il les eust
bien retirez de ceste rebellion s'il eust voulu, attendu que tous avoient
esté avancez en leurs estatz par le feu roy Henry, par son moyen." Claude
Haton, i. 458.

[465] Charles IX. to Gordes, Nov. 17, 1567, Condé MSS., Duc d'Aumale, i.
565.

[466] This exposé, committed to writing by the elector palatine's request,
and translated for Frederick's convenience into German, is published by
Prof. A. Kluckholn, in a monograph read before the Bavarian Academy of
Sciences: "Zur Geschichte des angeblichen Bündnisses von Bayonne, nebst
einem Originalbericht über die Ursachen des zweiten Religionskriegs in
Frankreich." (Abhandlungen, iii. Cl., xi. Bd., i. Abth.) Munich, 1868. The
Huguenot envoys were Chastelier Pourtaut de Latour and Francour. The
document is probably from the pen of the former (p. 13).

[467] De Thou, iv. 28, 29; Castelnau, liv. vi., c. 8; Jean de Serres, iii.
144, 146. Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ., i. 217, 218. Wenceslaus Zuleger's
Report is printed in full by F. W. Ebeling, Archivalische Beiträge, 48-73,
and by A. Kluckholn, Zwei pfälzische Gesandtschaftsberichte, etc. Abhandl.
der Bayer. Akad., 1868, 189-205.

[468] It is needless to say that no authentic coins or medals bearing
Condé's head, with the designation of "Louis XIII.," have ever been found.
After the direct contradiction by Catharine de' Medici, no other testimony
is necessary. The Jesuits, however, impudently continued to speak of
Condé's treason as an undoubted truth, and even gave the legend of the
supposed coin as "Ludovicus XIII., Dei gratia, Francorum Rex primus
Christianus." See "Plaidoyé de Maistre Antoine Arnauld, Advocat en
Parlement, pour l'Université de Paris ... contre les Jesuites, des 12 et
13 Juillet, 1594." Mémoires de la ligue, 6, 164. Arnauld stigmatizes the
calumny as "notoirement fausse."

[469] Frederick, Elector Palatine, to Charles IX., Heidelberg, Jan. 19,
1568. Printed in full in F. W. Ebeling, Archivalische Beiträge, 74-82.

[470] Agrippa d'Aubigné, _ubi supra_.

[471] November 13th, "Hier au soyr, vers les sept heures," says Charles to
Gordes, Nov. 14, 1567, MS. Condé Arch., D'Aumale, i. 565. The king
naturally represents the movement as confused--"une bonne fuyte"--and
confidently states that he will follow, and, by a _second_ victory, put a
speedy end to the war.

[472] Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. iv., c. 11 (i. 219).

[473] Ibid., i. 219, 220.

[474] La Noue, c. xiv.; De Thou, iv. 37; Jehan de la Fosse, 89, 90;
Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 227. Davila, bk. iv., pp. 119, 120, represents
Brissac's attack (which, according to him, was not made till after the
expiration of the truce) as a part of a projected general assault. Anjou's
main body failed to come up, and so Condé was saved. The blame was thrown
on Marshal Gonnor (Cossé) and on M. de Carnavalet, the king's tutor, whom
some suspected of unwillingness to allow so much noble blood to be shed.
Others accused the one of too much friendship with the Châtillons, the
other of a leaning to heresy ("de sentir le fagot") Agrippa d'Aubigné, i.
227. See also Cl. Haton, i. 503. These two noblemen were accused of
advocating other designs which were very obnoxious to the Roman Catholic
party. "La vérité est," says Jehan de la Fosse, in his journal, p. 90,
under date of December, 1567, "que aulcuns grands seigneurs entre lesquels
on nomme Gonor [et] Carnavallet donnoient à entendre que si Monsieur,
frère du roy, voloit prendre une partie de ces gens et les joindre avec le
camp des huguenots, qui [qu'ils] le feroient comte de Flandre."

[475] De Thou, iv. 37-41; Castelnau, liv. vi., c. 8; La Fosse, 91.

[476] Catharine de' Medici to Alva, Dec. 4, 1567, Gachard, Correspondance
de Philippe II., i. 607.

[477] Alva to Catharine de' Medici, Dec., 1567, Gachard, Correspondance de
Philippe II., i. 608, 609.

[478] It is told of one lackey that he contributed twenty crowns.

[479] The scene is described in an animated manner by François de la Noue,
c. xv. (Ancienne Collection, xlvii. 199-201); De Thou, iv. 41. "Marque le
lecteur," writes Agrippa d'Aubigné, in his nervous style, "un trait qui
n'a point d'exemple en l'antiquité, que ceux qui devoient demander paye et
murmurer pour n'en avoir point, puissent et veuillent en leur extreme
pauvreté contenter une armée avec 100,000 livres à quoi se monta cette
brave gueuserie; argument aux plus sages d'auprès du roi pour prescher la
paix; tenans pour invincible le parti qui a la passion pour difference, et
pour solde la nécessité." Hist. univ., i. 228. D'Aubigné is mistaken,
however, in making the army contribute the entire 100,000. Davila and De
Thou say they raised 30,000; La Noue, over 80,000.

[480] Mém. de Fr. de la Noue, c. xv.

[481] Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[482] Mémoires de Claude Haton, i. 500-503.

[483] Ibid., ii. 517. "Et dès lors fut le pillage mis sus par les gens de
guerre des deux partis; et firent tous à qui mieux pilleroit et
rançonneroit son hoste, jugeant bien en eux que qui plus en pilleroit plus
en auroit. Les gens de guerre du camp catholicque, excepté le pillage des
églises et saccagemens des prebstres, estoient au reste aussi meschans, et
quasi plus que les huguenotz."

[484] Ménard, Hist. de Nismes, apud Cimber et Danjou, vii. 481, etc.;
Bouche, Histoire gén. de Languedoc, v. 276, 277. Prof. Soldan, Geschichte
des Protestantismus in Frankreich, ii. 274-276, whose account of an event
too generally unnoticed by Protestant historians is fair and impartial,
calls attention to the following circumstances, which, although they do
not excuse in the least its savage cruelties, ought yet to be borne in
mind: 1st, That no woman was killed; 2d, that only those _men_ were killed
who had in some way shown themselves enemies of the Protestants; and, 3d,
that there is no evidence of any premeditation. To these I will add, as
important in contrasting this massacre with the many massacres in which
the Huguenots were the victims, the fact that the Protestant ministers not
only did not instigate, but disapproved, and endeavored as soon as
possible to put an end to the murders.

[485] De Thou, iv. 33-35.

[486] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 211.

[487] Henri Martin (Histoire de France, x. 255), on the authority of
Coustureau, Vie du duc de Montpensier, states that the Rochellois had,
after the peace of 1563, bought from Catharine de' Medici, for 200,000
francs, the suppression of the garrison placed in their city by the Duke
of Montpensier, and remarks: "Ces 200,000 francs coutèrent cher!" The
authority, however, is very slender in the absence of all corroborative
evidence, and Arcère, more than a century ago, showed (Histoire de la
Rochelle, i. 625) how improbable, or, rather, impossible the story is. If
any gift was made to Catharine by the city, it must have been far less
than the sum, enormous for the times and place, of 200,000 crowns; and, at
any rate, it could not have been for the purchase of a privilege already
enjoyed for hundreds of years. See the illustrative note at the end of
this chapter.

[488] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 218. "Plus absolument et avec plus d'obeïsance
que les Rochellois, qui depuis ont tousjours tenu le parti réformé, n'en
ont voulu deferer et rendre aux princes mesmes de leur parti, contre
lesquels ils se sont souvent picquez, en resveillant et conservant
curieusement leurs privileges."

[489] Others were beaten and banished, and suffered the other penalties
denounced by the Edict of Châteaubriant, as Soulier goes on to show with
much apparent satisfaction. Hist. des édits, etc., 67, 68. The text of the
joint sentence of Couraud, Constantin, and Monjaud is interesting. It is
given by Delmas, L'Église réformée de la Rochelle (Toulouse, 1870), pp.
19-25.

[490] Martin, Hist. de France, x. 254.

[491] Agrippa d'Aubigné, _ubi supra_; Davila, bk. iv. 122; De Thou, iv. 27
seq.; Soulier, 69. According to Arcère, Hist. de la Rochelle, i. 352, the
mayor's correct name was Pontard, Sieur de Trueil-Charays.

[492] The commission was dated from Montigny-sur-Aube, January 27, 1568,
Soulier, 70. De Thou's expression (_ubi supra_), "peu de temps après," is
therefore unfortunate.

[493] Soulier, Hist. des édits de pacification, 70.

[494] Norris to Queen Elizabeth, January 23, 1568, State Paper Office. I
retain the quaint old English form in which Norris has couched the
marshal's speech. It is plain, in view of the perfidy proposed by Santa
Croce, even in the royal council, that Condé was not far from right in
protesting against the proposed limitation of Cardinal Châtillon's escort
to twenty horse, insisting "que la qualité de mondict sieur le Cardinal,
qui n'a acoustumé de marcher par païs avecques si peu de train, ny son
eage (age) ne permectent pas maintenant de commencer." Condé to the Duke
of Anjou, Dec. 27, 1567, MS. Bibl. nat., Aumale, Prince de Condé, i. 568.

[495] The "seven viscounts"--often referred to about this period--were the
viscounts of Bourniquet, Monclar, Paulin, Caumont, Serignan, Rapin, and
Montagut, or Montaigu. They headed the Protestant gentry of the provinces
Rouergue, Quercy, etc., as far as to the foot of the Pyrenees. Mouvans
held an analogous position in Provence, Montbrun in Dauphiné, and D'Acier,
younger brother of Crussol, in Languedoc. Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 220, 221;
De Thou, iv. 33; Duc d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, i. 327. When "the
viscounts" consented, at the earnest solicitation of the second Princess
of Condé, to part with a great part of their troops, they confided them to
Mouvans, Rapin, and Poncenac.

[496] The _village_ of Cognac, or Cognat, near Gannat, in the ancient
Province of Auvergne (present Department of Allier), must not, of course,
be confounded with the important _city_ of the same name, on the river
Charente, nearly two hundred miles further west.

[497] Jean de Serres, iii. 146, 147; De Thou, iv. 48-51; Agrippa
d'Aubigné, i. 226.

[498] Opinions differed respecting the propriety of the movement.
According to La Noue, Chartres in the hands of the Huguenots would have
been a "thorn in the foot of the Parisians;" while Agrippa d'Aubigné makes
it "a city of little importance, as it was neither at a river crossing,
nor a sea-port;" "but," he adds, "in those times places were not estimated
by the standard now in vogue."

[499] "Car encore que les Catholiques estiment les Huguenots estre _gens à
feu_, si sont-il toujours mal pourveus de tels instrumens," etc. Mém. de
la Noue, c. xviii. For the siege of Chartres, besides La Noue, see Jean de
Serres, iii. 148; De Thou, iv., 51-53; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 229-232.

[500] "Ils eussent esté par trop lourds et stupides, s'ils n'en eussent
évité la feste."

[501] "Cessons donc de nous esbahir s'ils ont un pied en l'air et l'oeil
en la campagne."

[502] The whole of this remarkable memorial is inserted in the older
Collection universelle de mémoires, xlv. 224-260. Its importance is so
great, as reflecting the views of a mind so impartial and liberal as that
of Chancellor L'Hospital, that I make no apology for the prominence I have
given to it. Besides the omission of much that might be interesting, I
have in places rather recapitulated than translated literally the striking
remarks of the original.

[503] La Noue, c. xviii.

[504] Castelnau, who was behind the scenes, assures us that had "the
Huguenots insisted upon keeping some places in their own hands, for the
performance of what was promised, it would have been granted, and, in all
probability, have prevented the war from breaking out so soon again," etc.
Mém., liv. vi., c. 11.

[505] Jean de Serres, iii. 149-154; De Thou, iv. 54, 55; Davila, bk. iv.
124; Castelnau, _ubi supra_; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 260, etc.

[506] "L'Amiral maintenoit et remonstroit que cette paix n'estoit que pour
sauver Chartres, et puis pour assommer separez ceux qu'on ne pourroit
vaincre unis." Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 232.

[507] "Le Prince de Condé plus facile, desireux de la cour, où il avoit
laissé quelque semence d'amourettes, se servit de ce que plusieurs
quittoient l'armée," etc. Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[508] La Noue, c. xviii.

[509] La Noue, c. xix.

[510] "La paix fourrée," Soulier, Histoire des édits de pacification, 73.
"Ceste meschante petite paix," La Noue, c. xix. Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist.
universelle, i. 260, and, following him, Browning, Hist. of the Huguenots,
i. 220, and De Félice, Hist. of the Protestants of France, 190, say that
this peace was wittily christened "La paix boiteuse et mal-assise;" but,
as we shall see, this designation belongs to the peace of Saint
Germain-en-Laye, in 1570, concluding the third religious war.

[511] Leopold Ranke, Civil Wars and Monarchy in France in the Sixteenth
and Seventeenth Centuries (New York, 1853), 234.

[512] Norris to Cecil, Paris, March 30, 1568, State Paper Office.

[513] La Noue, c. xviii. (Anc. coll., 214).

[514] A fortnight had not elapsed since the date of the Edict of
Pacification when Condé was compelled to call the king's attention to a
flagrant outrage committed by Foissy, a royalist, against the Sieur
d'Esternay. After having burned Esternay's residence at Lamothe during the
preliminary truce, Foissy subsequently to the conclusion of peace returned
and completed his work of devastation. Condé to Charles IX., April 5,
1568, MS., Archives du dép. du Nord, _apud_ Duc d'Aumale, i. 572.

[515] "Nous avons fait la folie, ne trouvons donc estrange si nous la
beuvons. Toutefois il y a apparence que le breuvage sera amer." La Noue,
_ubi supra_.

[516] De Thou, iv. 55, 56; Jean de Serres, Comm. de statu, etc., iii. 160;
Condé's petition of Aug. 23d, ibid., iii. 218; Mém. de Claude Haton, i.
357-359, who, however, makes the singular blunder of placing the incident
of Rapin's death after the peace of Amboise in 1563. The curé's
description of the zeal of the Toulouse parliament for the Roman Catholic
Church confirms everything that Protestant writers have said on the
subject: "Laditte court de parlement avoit tousjours résisté à laditte
prétendue religion et faict exécuter ceux qui en faisoient profession,
nonobstant édict à ce contraire faict en faveur d'iceux huguenotz." See
also Raoul de Cazenove, Rapin-Thoyras, sa famille, sa vie, et ses oeuvres
(Paris, 1866), 47-49--a truly valuable work, and a worthy tribute to a
distinguished ancestry.

[517] "Edictum promulgant, hac addita exceptione, _Reservatis clausulis
quæ secreto Senatus commentario continentur_." J. de Serres, iii. 160,
161; De Thou, _ubi supra_. See the petition of Condé of Aug. 23d. J. de
Serres, iii. 220, etc.

[518] Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. 527, etc.

[519] "Sire," said a nobleman, after listening to the arguments against
the peace made by some of the remonstrants, and to Charles's replies, "it
is too much to undertake to dispute with these canting knaves; it were
better to have them strapped in the kitchen by your turnspits." Ibid., ii.
530.

[520] Playing upon the chancellor's name, Sainte Foy, one of the court
preachers, exclaimed in the pulpit: "Be not astonished if the Huguenots
demolish the churches, for they have turned all France into a _hospital_
instead"--"donnant à entendre que par le chancelier nomme Hospital, la
France estoit pauvre, pourtant qu'il a par trop encore de douceur pour les
huguenots qui ont ruiné le pais de France." Jehan de la Fosse, 93, 94.

[521] Floquet, Hist. du parlement de Normandie, iii. 36-42.

[522] Mémoires de Claude Haton, ii. 533, 534. Similar regulations were
made in many other places "cumplurimis in locis." Jean de Serres, iii.
156.

[523] Jean de Serres, iii. 158, 159.

[524] De Thou, iv. 77, 78; Castelnau, l. vii., c. 1; D'Aubigné, i. 260; La
Fosse, 97; Motley, Dutch Republic, ii. 184.

[525] Charles was, however, near experiencing trouble with the reiters of
Duke Casimir. He had, by the terms of the agreement with the Huguenots,
undertaken to advance the 900,000 francs which were due, and on failing to
fulfil his engagements his unwelcome guests threatened to turn their faces
toward Paris. Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vi., c. 11. At last, with promises
of payment at Frankfort, the Germans were induced to leave France. Du
Mont, Corps diplomatique, v. 164, gives a transcript of Casimir's receipt,
May 21, 1568, for 460,497 livres, etc.

[526] Mémoires de Castelnau, liv. vi., c. 9, c. 10. Duke John William of
Saxe-Weimar was even more vexed at the issue of his expedition than
Castelnau himself. It was with difficulty that he could be persuaded to
accept an invitation to make a visit to the French court.

[527] Paris MS., _apud_ Soldan, Gesch. des Prot. in Frankreich, ii. 300.
Rumor, as is usual in such cases, outstripped even the unwelcome truth,
and Norris wrote to Queen Elizabeth that the king had sent secret letters
to two hundred and twelve places, charging the governors "to runne uppon
them [the Huguenots] and put them to the sword." "Your Majestie will
judge," adds Norris, "ther is smale place of surety for them of the
Religion, either in towne or felde." Letter of June 4, 1568, _apud_
D'Aumale, Les Princes de Condé, ii. 363, Pièces inédites.

[528] When the Protestants at Rouen begged protection, the king sent four
companies of infantry, which the citizens at first refused to admit. At
last they were smuggled in by night, _and quartered upon the Huguenots_.
Floquet, Hist. du parlement de Normandie, iii. 43.

[529] Jean de Serres, iii. 157, 158.

[530] Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[531] Jean de Serres, iii. 161; Soldan, ii. 303.

[532] Soldan, ii. 306.

[533] Letter to Catharine, April 27, 1568, MS., _apud_ Soldan, ii. 303.

[534] Jean de Serres, iii. 163, 164. Petition of Condé of Aug. 23d. Ibid.,
iii. 215, etc.

[535] MS. Bibl. nat., _apud_ Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. App., 1152, 1153.
Less correctly given in Lestoile's Mémoires. The title is "Sermens des
Associez de la Ligue Chrestienne et Roiale," and the date is June 25,
1568.

[536] Prof. Soldan is certainly right (ii. 305) in his interpretation of
the passage, "tant et si longuement qu'il plaira à Dieu que nous serons
_par eux_ régis en nostredicte religion apostolique et romaine," which
Ranke (Civil Wars and Monarchy, p. 236), and, following him, Von Polenz
(Gesch. des franz. Calvinismus, ii. 361), have construed as referring to
"la maison de Valois." Involved as is the phraseology, I do not see how
the word "eux" can designate any other person or persons than "ledit sr.
lieutenant avec mesditz sieurs de la noblesse de cedit gouvernement et
autres associez."

[537] Jean de Serres, iii. 164.

[538] "Den Erfolg des letzten Krieges," well observes Prof. Soldan,
"hatten die Hugenotten nicht ihrer Anzahl, sondern der Organisation und
dem Geiste ihres Gemeindewesens zu verdanken. Diese bewegliche,
weitverzweigte, aus einem festen Mittelpunkte gleichmässig gelenkte und
von Eifer für die gemeinsame Sache belebte Vereinsgliederung hatte über
den lahmen und stockenden Mechanismus vielfach grösserer, aber in sich
selbst uneiniger Kräfte einen beschämenden Triumph erlangt." Geschichte
des Protestantismus in Frankreich, ii. 303.

[539] Relations des Amb. Vén., ii. 116.

[540] Cipierre, a young nobleman only twenty-two years of age, was
returning, with a body-guard of about thirty-five men, from a visit to his
cousin, the duke, at Nice, where he had been treated with great honor.
When approaching Fréjus he perceived signs of treachery in a body of men
lurking under cover of a grove, and betook himself for safety into the
city, now, since his father's death, a part of the province of which his
eldest brother was royal governor. The tocsin was rung, and his enemies,
originally a band of three hundred men, being swollen by constant
accessions to four times that number, the house in which Cipierre had
taken refuge was assailed. After a heroic defence the small party of
defenders surrendered their arms, on assurance that their opponents would
at once retire. The papists, however, scarcely made a pretence of
fulfilling their compact, for they speedily returned and massacred every
one whom they found in the house. Cipierre himself was not among the
number. To secure him a new breach of faith was necessary. The captain of
the murderers pledged his own word to the magistrate that if Cipierre
would come forth from his hiding-place he would spare his life. He
discharged the obligation, so soon as Cipierre presented himself, by
plunging a dagger into his breast. J. de Serres, iii. 166-168; Agrippa
d'Aubigné, i. 262.

[541] Petition of Condé, Aug. 23, 1568, J. de Serres, iii. 210, 211.

[542] Vie de Coligny (Cologne, 1686), 349, 350; J. de Serres, iii. 166.

[543] Ibid., iii. 165; Recordon, from MSS. of N. Pithou, 155-157; MS. Mém.
historiques des Antiquités de Troyes, by Duhalle, _apud_ Bulletin de
l'hist. du prot. fr., xvii. (1868) 376. Of the royal edicts guaranteeing
the Protestants, the last author remarks that "ils firent plus de bruit
que de fruit."

[544] Duc d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, ii. 364, Pièces justificatives.

[545] J. de Serres, iii. 168; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 262.

[546] Jean de Serres does not expressly state that he refers to the
combatants, but I presume this to be his meaning.

[547] Relazione di Correro, Rel. des Amb. Vén., ii. 120.

[548] "Montauban, etc., faisoient conter les cloux de leurs portes aux
garnisons qu'on leur envoyoit." Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 261. It was the
_garrisons_ only that were refused; the royal governors were promptly
accepted. M. de Jarnac, for instance, had no difficulty in securing
recognition at La Rochelle; but he was not permitted to introduce troops
to distress and terrify the citizens. See the letters of the "Maire,
Echevins, Conseilliers et Pairs," of La Rochelle to Charles the Ninth,
April 21st, June 6th and 30th, etc. Le Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de
Castelnau, ii. 547-551. They deny the slanderous accusation that the Roman
Catholics have not been permitted to return since the peace, asserting, on
the contrary, that they have greeted them as brethren and fellow-citizens.
They appeal to M. de Jarnac himself for testimony to the good order of La
Rochelle. "Meanwhile," they say, "we are preserving this city of yours in
all tranquillity, and maintain it, under your obedience, with much greater
security, devotion, affection, fidelity and loyalty, such as we have
received from our predecessors, than would do all others who were
strangers and mercenaries, and not its natural subjects and inhabitants."
Norris to Queen Elizabeth, June 23, 1568: "The towne of Rochelle hathe now
the thirde time bin admonished to render itself to the king." State Paper
Office, Duc d'Aumale, ii. 367.

[549] His wife, Charlotte de Laval, whose brave Christian injunctions, as
we have seen, decided the reluctant admiral to take up arms in the first
religious war (see _ante_, chapter xiii., p. 35), lay dying of a disease
contracted in her indefatigable labors for the sick and wounded soldiers
at Orleans, whilst the admiral was at the siege of Chartres. On the
conclusion of the peace he hastened to her, but was too late to find her
alive. In a touching letter, written to her husband after all hope of
seeing him again in this world had fled, a letter the substance of which
is preserved by one of his biographers (Vie de Coligny, Cologne, 1686, p.
342), she lamented the loss of a privilege that would have alleviated the
sufferings of her last hours, but consoled herself with the thought of the
object for which he was absent. She conjured him, by the love he bore her
and to her children, to fight to the last extremity for God and religion;
warning him, lest through his habitual respect for the king--a respect
which had before made him reluctant to take up arms--he should forget the
obligations he owed to God as his first Master. She begged him to rear the
children she left him in the pure religion, that they might one day be
capable of taking his place; and, for their sakes, implored him not to
hazard his life unnecessarily. She bade him beware of the house of Guise.
"I do not know," she added, "whether I ought to say the same thing of the
queen mother, as we are forbidden to judge evil of our neighbor; but she
has given so many marks of her ambition that a little distrust is
excusable." The earlier biographer of Coligny (Gasparis Colinii Vita,
1575, p. 63, etc.) gives an affecting picture of the deep sorrow and pious
resignation of the admiral.

[550] Somewhat hyperbolically, the biographer of the admiral (Vie de
Coligny, p. 346) says that the concourse at Châtillon and Noyers was so
great that the Louvre was a desert in comparison! When ten gentlemen left
by one gate, twenty entered by another. The churches raised a purse of
100,000 crowns, one-half of which was to go to him, and the other half to
the Prince of Condé; but, though nearly ruined by the enormous expenses of
his hospitality, he declined to receive his portion.

[551] Noyers and Tanlay are ten or twelve miles from each other, in the
modern department of the Yonne.

[552] Jean de Serres, _ubi supra_. Cf. De Thou, iv. 142; Bulletin de la
Soc. de l'hist. du prot. fr. (1854), iii. 239. This valuable periodical is
mistaken in stating, vii. (1858) 120, that "D'Andelot s'était retiré dans
ses terres de Bretagne à la conclusion de la paix." He did not leave
Tanlay until after writing the letter referred to below, and shortly
before Coligny's arrival: "partant de chez lui, pour se rendre chez son
frère Andelot, il trouva qu'il étoit allé en Bretagne." Vie de Coligny,
350. D'Andelot was in Brittany at the outbreak of the third war. His
adventures in escaping to La Rochelle will be narrated in the next
chapter. Mr. Henry White is, of course, equally wrong when he says
(Massacre of St. Bartholomew, New York, 1868, p. 291): "The admiral had
gone to this charming retreat [Tanlay], to consult with his brother, to
whom it belonged, _and who had joined him there_," and when he mentions
D'Andelot as in the suite of Condé and Coligny in their celebrated flight
(p. 292); "besides which, he (the prince) was accompanied by the admiral
and his family, _by Andelot_ and his wife," etc.

[553] Lettre de François d'Andelot à la Royne mère du Roy, de Tanlay, co
8me juillet, 1568. MS. Library of Berne. This letter has been twice
printed in the Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot. français, iv.
(1856) 329-331, and vii. (1858) 121-123. The first reproduction is in one
important part more correct than the second. It is not impossible, after
all, that the author of the letter was not D'Andelot, but his brother,
Admiral Coligny himself; for M. J. Tessier mentions (Bulletin, xxii.
(1873) 47), that it exists in manuscript in the Paris National Library
(MSS. Vc. Colbert, 24, f. 161), in the admiral's own handwriting, and
signed with his usual signature, _Chastillon_. The whole tone, I must
confess, seems rather to be his.

[554] Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 96.

[555] Norris to Queen Elizabeth, May 12, 1568, State Paper Office.

[556] Jean de Serres, iii. 170; Davila, bk. iv. 128; Condé to the king,
Noyers, June 11, 1568, MS. Paris Lib., _apud_ D'Aumale, ii. 351-353.

[557] As the prince had described the state of affairs in a letter to the
king, of July 22, 1568: "Nous nous voions tuez, pillez, saccagez, les
femmes forcées, les filles ravies des mains de leurs pères et mères, les
grands mis hors de leurs charges," etc. All this injustice had been
committed with complete impunity. In fact, to use his own forcible words,
were the king to attempt to punish the outrages done to the Protestants,
"the trees in France would have more men than leaves upon them"--"tous les
arbres seroient plus couvertz d'hommes que de feuilles." MS. Paris Lib.,
_apud_ D'Aumale, ii. 355, 356.

[558] J. de Serres, iii. 171-173; Davila, bk. iv. 128.

[559] The Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot. français, ix. (1860)
217-219, published from MSS. in the Library of the British Museum, the
letter of Charles the Ninth to the first president of the Parisian
parliament, dated "du château de Bolongne, ce premier jour d'aoust,"
enclosing the formula. The pretext is "afin d'oster tout ce doubte et
différend qui règne aujourd'huy parmi nos subjectz." The president is to
associate with himself the seigneur de Nantouillet, provost of the city,
and the seigneur de Villeroy, "prévôt des marchands."

[560] Bulletin, etc., ix. (1860) 218, 219; Jean de Serres, iii. 175, etc.

[561] Jean de Serres (Comm. de statu rel. et reipublicæ, iii. 174-183)
inserts the reply of the Protestants to the proposed oath, article by
article.

[562] Built by Francis I., and so named because constructed on the plan of
the palace in which he lived when a captive in Spain.

[563] It is true the writer carefully avoids mentioning the cardinal's
name, but there is no difficulty in discovering that he is intended.

[564] "Uti nimirum detur opera ut vires penes Regem sint, primoresque
religionis illius occupentur, omnes conveniendi rationes illis demantur:
ut ad illas angustias redacti, quemadmodum facillimum erit, possit
hujusmodi colluvies regi regnoque adversaria, plane pessundari, omnesque
adeo reliquiæ profligari: quoniam semen profecto esset in dies
egerminaturum, nisi ea ratio observaretur, cujus a vicinis nostris adeo
luculenta exempla demonstrentur." Jean de Serres, iii. 187.

[565] The letter is given entire, with the exception of some matters of no
general interest, in the valuable chronicle of this period, by Jean de
Serres (s. l. 1571), iii. 185-190.

[566] "Hæc sunt propemodum ipsa illius verba, quæ conatus sum memoriæ
mandare, ut possem ad te de rerum omnium statu certius perscribere." Ib.,
iii. 188.

[567] "Et quoniam tunc vehementius quam assuevisset, rem illam mihi
commemoravit, et fortasse regis domini sui, qui ibi tunc erat, mandatu,
volui hac de causa te istarum rerum facere certiorem."

[568] This letter, which was also intercepted by the Huguenots, is
preserved by Jean de Serres, iii. 184, 185. It bears unmistakable marks of
authenticity.

[569] Condé himself alludes to these words of Charles the Ninth to his
mother, in his letter of August 23d. Referring to the king's aversion to a
resort to violence, he says: "Quod mihi repetitis literis sæpissime
demonstrasti, et nuper quidem Reginæ matri, ex eo sermone quem cum illa
habebas, quo significabas quantum odiosa tibi esset turbarum renovatio cum
nimirum illam orabas, daret operam ut omnia pacificarentur, efficeretque
ne rursus ad bella civilia rediretur, quæ non possent non extremum exitium
afferre." Jean de Serres, iii, 193.

[570] Letter _apud_ J. de Serres, iii. 188-190.

[571] De Thou, iii. 136; Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 1, where the sum is
erroneously trebled; Davila, bk. iv., p. 130. See also Soldan, ii., 324,
and Von Polenz, ii. 365.

[572] Norris, in a letter to Cecil, Sept. 25, 1568, gives almost the very
words of the angry contestants. State Paper Office.

[573] Davila, bk. iv. 130; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 136.

[574] Ranke, Civil Wars and Monarchy in France, 236, 237.

[575] Davila and De Thou, _ubi supra_. De Thou seems certainly to be
wanting in his accustomed accuracy when he represents--iv. (liv. xliv.)
136, 137--the submission of the test-oath to the Protestants as posterior
to, and consequent upon the fall of L'Hospital: "La reine délivrée du
Chancelier, et n'ayant plus personne qui s'opposât à ses volontés, ne
songea plus qu'à brouiller les affaires, etc." I have shown that the papal
bull which L'Hospital opposed was dated at Rome on the same day (August 1,
1568) on which Charles sent his orders to the president of the Parisian
parliament to administer the oath to the Protestants of the capital. Yet,
as early as on the 12th of May, 1568, the English ambassador, Norris,
wrote to Cecil that Anjou, a cruel enemy of the Protestants, had a privy
council of which Cardinal Lorraine was the "chiefest" member, and his own
chancellor, who sealed everything submitted to him, "which thing he [the
good olde chauncelor of the Kinges] hathe so to harte as he is retirid him
to his owne house in the towne of Paris; and wheras the King's chauncelor
I meane, who nether for love nor dread wolde seal enything against the
statutes of the realme, or that might be prejudiciall to the same, this of
Mr. d'Anjou's refusithe nothing that is proferid to him." State Paper
Office, Duc d'Aumale, ii. 360.

[576] Jean de Serres, iii. 191; Davila, bk. iv., p. 128.

[577] See Soldan, Gesch. des Prot. in Frankreich, ii. 327, note 63. Yet
Condé himself, shortly before the flight from Noyers, expressed himself in
strikingly confident terms as to Tavannes's probity. In a letter to the
king, complaining of the treacherous plots formed against himself, July
22, 1568, the prince says he is sure that Tavannes is not privy to these
designs, "car je le cognois de trop longue main ennemy de ceulx qui ne
veullent qu'entretenir les troubles. Parquoy je croy que cecy se faict à
son desceu." MS. Paris Lib., _apud_ D'Aumale, ii. 356.

[578] "Le cerf est aux toiles, la chasse est préparée." See Anquetil,
Esprit de la ligue, i. 278.

[579] "Turbarum causas imputamus adversario illi tuo ac tuæ dignitatis
hosti Cardinali Lotharingo et sociis, quorum nimirum pravis consiliis et
arcta necessitudine et familiaritate quam cum Hispano habent, dissensiones
et simultates inter tuos subjectos ab hinc sex annis continuantur, et
misere foventur atque aluntur per cædes atque strages, quæ ipsorum nutu
quotidie ubique perpetrantur." Jean de Serres, iii. 194. "Impurusne
Presbyter, tigris, tyrannus," etc., ibid., iii. 196. "Cardinalis
Lotharingus, quasi sicariorum ac prædorum patronus," etc., ibid., iii.,
210.

[580] "Quodnam item de illo judicium tulerit Cæsar Maximilianus hodie
imperans, cum ad te prescripsit, omnia bella et omnes dissensiones, quæ
inter Christianos hodie vagantur, proficisci a Granvellano et Lotharingo
Cardinalibus." Jean de Serres, iii. 234.

[581] This petition or protestation of Condé is among the longest public
papers of the period, occupying not less than forty-three pages of the
invaluable Commentarii de statu religionis et reipublicæ of Jean de
Serres. It well repays an attentive perusal, for it contains, in my
judgment, the most important and authentic record of the sufferings of the
Huguenots during the peace. The reader will notice that I have made great
use of its authority in the preceding narrative.

[582] Jean de Serres, iii. 241.

[583] The place is sufficiently designated by Ag. d'Aubigné (Hist. univ.,
i. 263) "à Bonni près Sancerre;" by Jean de Serres (iii. 242) "ad
Sangodoneum vicum (Saint Godon) qui tribus ferme milliaribus distat ab ea
fluminis parte, qua transiit Condæus;" by Hotman, Gasparis Colinii Vita,
1575 (p. 68), "ad flumen accessit, quo Sancerrani collis radices
alluuntur," and by the "Vie de Coligny" (p. 351), "vis à vis de Sancerre."
It will surprise no one accustomed to the uncertainties and perplexities
of historical investigation, that while one author, quoted by Henry White
(Mass. of St. Bartholomew, 292), puts the crossing "near les Rosiers, four
leagues below Saumur," Davila (p. 129) places it at Roanne. The two spots
are, probably, not less than 230 miles apart in a straight line.

[584] See De Thou, etc.

[585] Recueil des choses mém. (Hist. des Cinq Rois), 336. The Life of
Coligny (1575), p. 68, states that the rise took place within _three_
hours after the Huguenots crossed.

[586] Jean de Serres, iii. 192, and De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 140. The
dates of Condé's departure from Tanlay and arrival at La Rochelle are, as
usual, given differently by other authorities.



CHAPTER XVI.

THE THIRD CIVIL WAR.


[Sidenote: Relative advantages of the Roman Catholics and Huguenots.]

[Sidenote: Enthusiasm of Huguenot youth.]

[Sidenote: Enlistment of Agrippa d'Aubigné.]

Having narrowly escaped falling into the hands of their treacherous
enemies, and finding themselves compelled once more to take up arms in
defence of their own lives and the liberties of their fellow-believers,
the Prince of Condé and Admiral Coligny resolved to institute a vigorous
contest. A single glance at the situation, the full dangers of which were
now disclosed by the tidings coming from every quarter, was sufficient to
convince them that in a bold and decided policy lay their only hope of
success. The Roman Catholics had, it is true, enjoyed rare opportunities
for maturing a comprehensive plan of attack; although the sequel seemed to
prove that they had turned these opportunities to little practical use.
But the Huguenots possessed countervailing advantages, in close sympathy
with each other, in fervid zeal for their common faith, as well as in an
organization all but perfect. Simultaneously with their flight from
Noyers, the prince and the admiral had sent out a summons addressed to the
Protestants in all parts of the kingdom, and this was responded to with
enthusiasm by great numbers of those who had been their devoted followers
in the two previous wars. Multitudes of young men, also, with imaginations
inflamed by the recital of the exploits of their fathers and friends,
burned to enroll themselves under such distinguished leaders. Many were
the stratagems resorted to by these aspirants for military honors. Among
others, the eminent historian, Theodore Agrippa d'Aubigné, has left an
amusing account of the adventures he passed through in reaching the
Huguenot recruiting station. His prudent guardian had taken the precaution
to remove Agrippa's clothes every evening, in order to prevent him from
carrying out his avowed purpose of entering the army; but one night, on
hearing the report of the arquebuse--which a number of his companions,
bent on the same course, had fired as a signal near his place of
confinement--the youth boldly lowered himself to the ground by the sheets
of his bed, and, with bare feet and no other clothing than a shirt, made
his way to Jonzac. There, after receiving an outfit from some Protestant
captains, he jotted down at the bottom of the receipt which he gave them
in return, the whimsical declaration "that never in his life would he
blame the war for having stripped him, since he could not possibly leave
it in a sorrier plight than that in which he entered it."[587]

[Sidenote: The court proscribes the reformed religion.]

The resolution and enthusiasm of the Huguenots were greatly augmented by
the imprudent course of the court. Notwithstanding their own guilty
designs, Catharine and the Cardinal of Lorraine were taken by surprise
when the news reached them that Condé and Coligny had escaped, and that
the Huguenots were everywhere arming. So sudden an outbreak had not been
expected; and, while awaiting the muster of that portion of the troops
that had been dismissed, but was now summoned to assemble at Étaples on
the 10th of September,[588] it was thought best to quiet the agitated
minds of the people. A declaration was accordingly published, assuring all
the adherents of the reformed faith who remained at home and furnished no
assistance to the enemy, of the royal protection, Charles promising, at
the same time, to give a gracious hearing to their grievances.[589] But,
as soon as the Roman Catholic forces began to collect in large numbers,
and the apprehension of a sudden assault by the Huguenots died away, the
court threw off the mask of conciliation, and Charles was made to sign two
laws unsurpassed for intolerance. The first purported to be "an
irrevocable and perpetual edict." It rehearsed the various steps taken by
Charles the Ninth and his brother Francis in reference to the "so-called
reformed religion," from the time of the tumult of Amboise. It alluded to
the edicts of July and of January--the latter adopted by the queen mother,
by advice of the Cardinals of Bourbon and Tournon, of the constable, of
Saint André, and others, because less objectionable than an edict
tolerating the worship of that religion _within_ the walls of the cities.
None of these concessions, it asserted, having satisfied the professors of
the new faith, who had collected money and raised troops with the intent
of establishing another government in place of that which God had
instituted, the king now repealed the edicts of toleration, and henceforth
prohibited his subjects, of whatever rank and in all parts of his
dominions, on pain of confiscation and death, from the exercise of any
other religious rites than those of the Roman Catholic Church. All
Protestant ministers were ordered to leave France within fifteen days.
Quiet and peaceable laymen were promised toleration until such time as God
should deign to bring them back to the true fold; and pardon was offered
to all who within twenty days should lay down their arms.[590] The second
edict deprived all Protestant magistrates of the offices they held,
reserving, however, to those who did not take part in the war, a certain
portion of their former revenues.[591]

In order to give greater solemnity to the transaction, Charles, clothed in
robes of state and with great pomp, repaired to the parliament house, to
be present at the publication of the new edicts, and with his own hands
threw into the fire and burned up the previous edicts of pacification.
"Thus did his Royal Highness of France," writes a contemporary German
pamphleteer with intense satisfaction, "as was seemly and becoming to a
Christian supreme magistrate, _pronounce sentence of death upon all
Calvinistic and other heresies_."[592]

[Sidenote: Impolicy of this course.]

Nothing devised by the papal party could have been better adapted to
further the Huguenot cause than the course it had adopted. The wholesale
proscription of their faith united the Protestants, and led every
able-bodied man to take up arms against a perfidious government, whose
disregard of treaties solemnly made was so shamefully paraded before the
world. "These edicts," admits the candid Castelnau, "only served to make
the whole party rise with greater expedition, and furnished the Prince of
Condé and the admiral with a handle to convince all the Protestant powers
that they were not persecuted for any disaffection to the government, but
purely for the sake of religion."[593]

[Sidenote: Attempts to make capital of the proscriptive measures.]

Efforts were not spared by the Guisard party to make capital abroad out of
the new proscriptive measures. Copies of the edicts, translated from the
French, were put into circulation beyond the Rhine, accompanied by a
memorial embodying the views presented by an envoy of Charles to some of
the Roman Catholic princes of the empire. The king herein justified
himself for his previous clemency by declaring that he had entertained no
other idea than that of allowing his subjects of the "pretended" reformed
faith time and opportunity for returning to the bosom of the only true
church. Lovers of peace and good order among the Germans were warned that
they had no worse enemies than the insubordinate and rebellious Huguenots
of his Very Christian Majesty's dominions, while the adherents of the
Augsburg Confession were distinctly given to understand that Lutheranism
was safer with the Turk than where Calvin's doctrines were professed.[594]

To influence the princes the offices of skilled diplomatists were called
into requisition, but to no purpose. When Blandy requested the emperor, in
Charles's name, to prevent any succor from being sent to Condé from
Germany, Maximilian replied by counselling his good friend the king to
seek means to restore concord and harmony among his subjects, and
professing his own inability to restrain the levy of auxiliary troops. And
from Duke John William, of Saxony, the same envoy only obtained
expressions of regret that the war so lately suppressed had broken out
anew, and of discontent on the part of the German princes at the rumor
that Charles had been so ill advised as to join in a league made by the
Pope and the King of Spain, with the view of overwhelming the
Protestants.[595]

[Sidenote: A "crusade" preached at Toulouse.]

On the other hand, the new direction taken by Catharine met with the most
decided favor on the part of the fanatical populace, and the pulpits
resounded with praise of the complete abrogation of all compacts with
heresy. The Roman Catholic party in Toulouse acted so promptly,
anticipating even the orders of the royal court, as to make it evident
that they had been long preparing for the struggle. On Sunday, the twelfth
of September, a league for the extermination of heresy was published,
under the name of a _crusade_. A priest delivered a sermon with the
consent of the Parliament of Toulouse. Next day all who desired to join in
the bloody work met in the cathedral dedicated to St. Stephen--the
Christian protomartyr having, by an irony of history, more than once been
made a witness of acts more congenial to the spirit of his persecutors
than to his own--and prepared themselves for their undertaking by a common
profession of their faith, by an oath to expose their lives and property
for the maintenance of the Roman Catholic religion, and by confession and
communion. This being done, they adopted for their motto the words, "Eamus
nos, moriamur cum Christo," and attached to their dress a white cross to
distinguish them from their Protestant fellow-citizens. Of success they
entertained no misgivings. Had not Attila been defeated, with his three
hundred thousand men, not far from Toulouse? Had not God so blessed the
arms of "our good Catholics" in the time of Louis the Eighth, father of
St. Louis, that eight hundred of them had routed more than sixty thousand
heretics? "So that we doubt not," said the new crusaders, "that we shall
gain the victory over these enemies of God and of the whole human race;
and if some of us should chance to die, our blood will be to us a second
baptism, in consequence of which, without any hinderance, we shall pass,
with the other martyrs, straight to Paradise."[596] A papal bull, a few
months later (on the fifteenth of March, 1569), gave the highest
ecclesiastical sanction to the crusade, and emphasized the complete
extermination of the heretics.[597]

[Sidenote: Fanaticism of the Roman Catholic preachers.]

The faithful, but somewhat garrulous chronicler, who has left us so vivid
a picture of the social, religious, and political condition of the city of
Provins during a great part of the second half of this century, describes
a solemn procession in honor of the publication of the new ordinance,
which was attended by over two thousand persons, and even by the
magistrates suspected of sympathy with the Protestants. Friar Jean
Barrier, when pressed to preach, took for his text the song of Moses: "I
will sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and
his rider hath He thrown into the sea." His treatment of the verse was
certainly novel, although the exegesis might not find much favor with the
critical Hebraist. The Prince of Condé was the _horse_, on whose back
were mounted the Huguenot ministers and preachers--the _riders_ who drove
him hither and thither by their satanic doctrine. Although they were not
as yet drowned, like Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea, France had great
reason to rejoice and praise God that the king had annulled the Edict of
January, and other pernicious laws made during his minority. As for
himself, said the good friar, he was ready to die, like another Simeon,
since he had lived to see the edicts establishing "the Huguenotic liberty"
repealed, and the preachers expelled from France.[598]

[Sidenote: The Huguenot places of refuge.]

Similar rejoicings with similar high masses and sermons by enthusiastic
monks, were heard in the capital[599] and elsewhere. But the jubilant
strains were sounded rather prematurely; for the victory was yet to be
won. The Huguenot nobles, invited by Condé, were flocking to La Rochelle;
the Protestant inhabitants of the towns, expelled from their homes, were
generally following the same impulse. But others, reluctant, or unable to
traverse such an expanse of hostile territory, turned toward nearer places
of refuge. Happily they found a number of such asylums in cities whose
inhabitants, alarmed by the marks of treachery appearing in every quarter
of France, had refused to receive the garrisons sent to them in the king's
name. It was a wonderful providence of God, the historian Jean de Serres
remarks. The fugitive Huguenots of the centre and north found the gates of
Vézelay and of Sancerre open to them. Those of Languedoc and Guyenne were
safe within the walls of Montauban, Milhau, and Castres. In the
south-eastern corner of the kingdom, Aubenas, Privas, and a few other
places afforded a retreat for the women and children, and a convenient
point for the muster of the forces of Dauphiny.[600]

[Sidenote: Jeanne d'Albret and D'Andelot reach La Rochelle.]

Meantime, the Queen of Navarre, with young Prince Henry and his sister
Catharine, started from her dominions near the Pyrenees. The court had in
vain plied her with conciliatory letters and messages sent in the king's
name. Gathering her troops together, and narrowly escaping the forces
despatched to intercept her, she formed a junction with a very
considerable body of troops raised in Périgord, Auvergne, and the
neighboring provinces, under the Seigneur de Piles, the Marquis de
Montamart, and others, and, after meeting the Prince of Condé, who came as
far as Cognac to receive her, found safety in the city of La
Rochelle.[601]

From an opposite direction, François d'Andelot, whom the outbreak of
hostilities overtook while yet in Brittany, was warned by Condé to hasten
to the same point. With his accustomed energy, the young Châtillon rapidly
collected the Protestant noblemen and gentry, not only of that province,
but of Normandy, Touraine, Maine, and Anjou, and with such experienced
leaders as the Count of Montgomery, the Vidame of Chartres, and François
de la Noue, had reached a point on the Loire a few miles above Angers. It
was his plan to seize and hold the city and bridge of Saumur, and thus
secure for the Huguenots the means of easy communication between the two
sides of the important basin intervening between the smaller basins of the
Seine and the Garonne. His expectations, however, were frustrated
principally by the good fortune of M. de Martigues, who succeeded in
making a sudden dash through D'Andelot's scattered divisions, and in
conveying to the Duke of Montpensier at Saumur so large a reinforcement as
to render it impossible for the Huguenots to dream of dislodging him.[602]
For a time D'Andelot was in great peril. With only about fifteen hundred
horse and twenty-five hundred foot,[603] he stood on the banks of a river
swollen by autumnal rains and supposed to be utterly impassable, and in
the midst of a country all whose cities were in the hands of the enemy. He
had even formed the desperate design of retiring twenty or thirty miles
northward, in hope of being able to entice Montpensier to follow him so
incautiously that he might turn upon him, and, after winning a victory,
secure for himself a passage to the sources of the Loire or to his allies
in Germany. At this moment the joyful announcement was made by Montgomery
that a ford had been discovered. The news proved to be true. The crossing
was safe and easy. Not a man nor a horse was lost. The interposition of
heaven in their behalf was so wonderful, that, as the Huguenot troopers
reached the southern bank, the whole army, by common and irresistible
impulse, broke forth in praise to Almighty God, and sang that grand psalm
of deliverance--the seventy-sixth.[604] Never had those verses of Beza
been sung by more thankful hearts or in a nobler temple.[605]

[Sidenote: Success in Poitou, Angoumois, etc.]

Full of courage, the exultant troops of D'Andelot now pressed southward.
First the city of Thouars fell into their hands; then the more important
Partenay surrendered itself to the Huguenots. Here, according to the cruel
rules of warfare of the sixteenth century, they deemed themselves
justified in hanging the commander of the place, who had thrown himself
into the castle, for having too obstinately insisted upon standing an
assault in a spot incapable of defence, together with some priests who
had shared his infatuation.[606] Admiral Coligny now met his brother, and
the united army, with three cannon brought from La Rochelle, forming his
entire siege artillery, demanded and obtained the surrender of Niort, the
size and advantageous position of which made it a bulwark of La Rochelle
toward the east. Angoulême, Blaye, Cognac, Pons, and Saintes, were still
more valuable acquisitions. In short, within a few weeks, so large a
number of cities in the provinces of Poitou, Angoumois, and Saintonge had
fallen under the power of the Protestants, that they seemed fully to have
retrieved the losses they had experienced through the treacherous peace of
Longjumeau. "In less than two months," writes La Noue of his
fellow-soldiers, "from poor vagabonds that they were, they found in their
hands sufficient means to continue a long war."[607] And the veteran
Admiral Coligny, amazed at the success attending measures principally
planned by himself, was accustomed to repeat with heartfelt thankfulness
the exclamation attributed to Themistocles: "I should be lost, if I had
not been lost!"[608]

[Sidenote: Affairs in Dauphiny, Provence, and Languedoc.]

[Sidenote: Powerful Huguenot army in the south.]

[Sidenote: It effects a junction with Condé's forces.]

Meantime, in the south-eastern part of France, the provinces of Dauphiny,
Provence, and Lower Languedoc, the Huguenots had not been slow in
responding to the call of the Prince of Condé. The difficulty was rather
in assembling their soldiers than in raising them; for there was little
lack of volunteers after the repeal of the royal edicts in favor of the
Protestants. With great trouble the contingents of Dauphiny and Provence
were brought across the Rhône, and at Alais the Baron d'Acier[609]
mustered an army to go to the succor of the Prince of Condé at La
Rochelle. A Roman Catholic historian expresses his profound astonishment
that the Huguenots of this part of the kingdom, when surprised by the
violation of the peace, should so speedily have been able to mass a force
of twenty-five thousand men, well furnished and equipped, and commanded by
the most excellent captains of the age--Montbrun, Mouvans, Pierre-Gourde,
and others.[610] The abbé's wonder was doubtless equalled by the
consternation which the news spread among the enemies of the Huguenots.
The Roman Catholics could bring no army capable of preventing the junction
of D'Acier's troops with those of Condé; but the Duke of Montpensier
succeeded, on the twenty-fifth of October, in inflicting a severe loss
upon one of the divisions at Messignac, near Périgueux. Mouvans and
Pierre-Gourde, who were distant from the main body, were attacked in their
quarters, by a force under Brissac, which they easily repulsed. D'Acier,
suspecting the design of the enemy, had commanded the Huguenot captains to
make no pursuit, and to await his own arrival. But brave Mouvans was as
impatient of orders as he was courageous in battle. Disregarding the
authority which sat so lightly upon him, he fell into an ambuscade, where
he atoned for his rashness by the loss of his own life and the lives of
more than a thousand of his companions. After this disaster, D'Acier
experienced no further opposition, and, on the first of November, he met
the advancing army of Condé at Aubeterre, on the banks of the Dronne.[611]

With the new accessions to his army, the prince commanded a force very
considerably larger than any he had led in the previous wars. Among the
conflicting statements, we may find it difficult to fix its numbers.
Agrippa d'Aubigné says that, after the losses consequent upon the defeat
of Messignac and those resulting from camp diseases, Condé's army
consisted of only seventeen thousand foot soldiers, and two thousand five
hundred horsemen.[612] A Huguenot bulletin, sent from La Rochelle for the
information of Queen Elizabeth and the Protestants of England, may have
given somewhat too favorable a view of the prince's prospects, but was
certainly nearer the truth, in assigning him twenty-five thousand
arquebusiers and a cavalry force of five or six thousand men.[613] On the
other hand, Henry of Anjou, who had been placed in nominal command of the
Roman Catholic army, had not yet been able to assemble a much superior,
probably not an equal, number of soldiers. The large forces which,
according to his ambassador at the English court, Charles the Ninth could
call out,[614] existed only on paper. The younger Tavannes, whose father
was the true head of the royal army, gives it but about twenty thousand
men.[615]

It was already nearly winter when the armies were collected, and their
operations during the remainder of the campaign were indecisive. In the
numerous skirmishes that occurred the Huguenots usually had the advantage,
and sometimes inflicted considerable damage upon the enemy. But the Duke
of Anjou, or the more experienced leaders commanding in his name,
studiously avoided a general engagement. The instructions from the court
were to wear out the courage and enthusiasm of Condé's adherents by
protracting a tame and monotonous warfare.[616] The prince's true policy,
on the contrary, lay in decided action. His soldiers were inferior to none
in France. The flower of the higher nobility and the most substantial of
the middle classes had flocked to his standard so soon as it was unfurled.
But, without regular commissariat, and serving at their own costs, these
troops could not long maintain themselves in the field.[617] The nobles
and country gentlemen, never too provident in their habits, soon exhausted
their ready funds, with their crowd of hungry retainers, and became a more
pitiable class than even the burgesses. The latter, whom devotion to their
religious convictions, rather than any thirst for personal distinction,
had impelled to enter the service, could not remain many months away from
their workshops and counting-rooms without involving their families in
great pecuniary distress. It was not, however, possible for Condé and
Coligny to bring about a combat which the duke was resolved to decline,
and the unparalleled severity of the season suspended, at the same time,
their design of wresting from his hands the city of Saumur, a convenient
point of communication with northern France. Early in December the vines
were frozen in the fields,[618] disease broke out in either camp, and the
soldiers began to murmur at a war which seemed to be waged with the
elements rather than with their fellow-men. While Anjou's generals,
therefore, drew off their troops to Saumur, Chinon on the Vienne, and
Poitiers, Condé's army went into winter quarters a little farther west, at
Montreuil-Bellay, Loudun and Thouars, but afterward removed, for greater
commodity in obtaining provisions, to Partenay and Niort.[619]

[Sidenote: Huguenot reprisals and negotiations.]

It was while the Huguenots lay thus inactive that their leaders
deliberated respecting the best means of providing for their support
during the coming campaign. Jeanne d'Albret, whose masculine vigor[620]
had never been displayed more conspicuously than during this war, was
present, and assisted by her sage counsels. It was determined, in view of
the cruelties exercised upon the Protestants in those parts of the kingdom
where they had no strongholds, and of the confiscation of their property
by judicial decisions, to retaliate by selling the ecclesiastical
possessions in the cities that were now under Huguenot power, and applying
the proceeds to military uses. The order of sale was issued under the
names of the young Prince of Navarre, of Condé, Coligny, D'Andelot and La
Rochefoucauld, and a guarantee was given by them. As a reprisal the
measure was just, and as a warlike expedient nothing could be more
prudent; for, while it speedily filled the coffers of the Huguenot army,
it cut off one great source of the revenues of the court, which had been
authorized both by the Pope and by the clergy itself to lay these
possessions under contribution.[621]

Already the temper of the Protestant leaders had been sounded by an
unaccredited agent of Catharine de' Medici, who found Condé at Mirebeau,
and entreated him to make those advances toward a peace which would
comport better with his dignity as a subject than with that of Charles as
a king. But the prince, who saw in the mission of an irresponsible
mediator only a new attempt to impede the action of the confederates, had
dismissed him, after declaring, in the presence of a large number of his
nobles, that he had been compelled to resort to arms in order to provide
for his own defence. The war was, therefore, directed not against the
king, but against those capital enemies of the crown and of the realm, the
Cardinal of Lorraine and his associates. All knew his own vehement desire
for peace, of which his late excessive compliance was a sufficient proof;
but, since the king was surrounded by his enemies, he intended, with
God's favor, to come and present his petitions to his Majesty in
person.[622]

[Sidenote: William of Orange attempts to aid the Huguenots.]

Abroad the Huguenots had not been idle in endeavoring to secure the
support of advantageous alliances. So early as in the month of August,
after the disastrous defeat of Louis of Nassau, at Jemmingen, the Prince
of Orange had contemplated the formation of a league for common defence
with the Prince of Condé and Admiral Coligny. A draft of such an agreement
has been preserved; but it is unsigned, and may be regarded rather as
indicative of the friendly disposition of the French and Dutch patriots
than as a compact that was ever formally adopted.[623] That same autumn
William of Orange had undertaken an expedition intended to free the
Netherlands from the tyranny of Alva. He had been met with consummate
skill. The duke refused to fight, but hung remorselessly on his skirts.
The inhabitants of Brabant extended no welcome to their liberator. The
prince's mercenaries, vexed at their reception, annoyed by the masterly
tactics of their enemy, and eager only to return to their homes, clamored
for pay and for plunder. Orange, outgeneralled, was compelled to abandon
the campaign, and would gladly have turned his arms against the oppressors
of his fellow-believers in France; but his German troops had enlisted only
for the campaign in the Netherlands, and peremptorily declined to transfer
the field of battle to another country. However, the depth of the Meuse,
which had become unfordable, furnished more persuasive arguments than
could be brought forward by Genlis and the Huguenots who with him had
joined the Prince of Orange, and the army of the patriots was forced to
direct its course southward and to cross the French frontier.

[Sidenote: Consternation and devices of the court.]

[Sidenote: Declaration of the Prince of Orange.]

Great was the consternation at the court of Charles. Paris trembled for
its safety, and vigorous were the efforts made to get rid of such
dangerous guests. Marshal Cossé, who commanded for his Majesty on the
Flemish border, was too weak to copy successfully the tactics of Alva; but
he employed the resources of diplomacy. His secretary, the Seigneur de
Favelles, not content with remonstrating against the prince's violation of
the territory of a king with whom he was at peace, endeavored to terrify
him by exaggerating the resources of Charles the Ninth and by fabricating
accounts of Huguenot reverses. Condé, he said, had been forced to recross
the river Vienne in great confusion; and there was a flattering prospect
that he would be compelled to shut himself up in La Rochelle; for
"Monseigneur the Duke of Anjou" had an irresistible army of six thousand
horse and twenty-five or thirty thousand foot, besides the forces coming
from Provence under the Count de Tende, the six thousand newly levied
Swiss brought by the Duke d'Aumale, and other considerable bodies of
troops.[624] Gaspard de Schomberg[625] was despatched on a similar errand
by Charles himself, and offered the prince, if he came merely desiring to
pass in a friendly manner through the country, to furnish him with every
facility for so doing. In reply, William of Orange, although the refusal
of his soldiers to fight against Charles[626] left him no alternative but
to embrace the course marked out for him, did not disguise his hearty
sympathy with his suffering brethren in France. In view of the attempts
made, according to his Majesty's edict of September last, to constrain the
consciences of all who belonged to the Christian religion, and in view of
the king's avowed determination to exterminate the pure Word of God, and
to permit no other religion than the Roman Catholic--a thing very
prejudicial to the neighboring nations, where there was a free exercise of
the Christian religion--the prince declared his inability to credit the
assertions of his Majesty, that it was not his Majesty's intention to
constrain the conscience of any one. He avowed his own purpose to give
oppressed Christians everywhere all aid, comfort, counsel, and assistance;
asserting his conviction that the men who professed "the religion"
demanded nothing else than the glory of God and the advancement of His
Word, while in all matters of civil polity they were ready to render
obedience to his Majesty. He averred, moreover, that if he should perceive
any indications that the Huguenots were pursuing any other object than
liberty of conscience and security for life and property, he would not
only withdraw his assistance from them, but would use the whole strength
of his army to exterminate them.[627] After this declaration, the prince
prosecuted his march to Strasbourg, where he disbanded his troops, pawning
his very plate and pledging his principality of Orange, to find the means
of satisfying their demands. Great was the delight of the royalists, great
the disappointment of the Huguenots, on hearing that the expedition had
vanished in smoke. "The army of the Prince of Orange," wrote an agent of
Condé in Paris, "after having thrice returned to the king's summons a
sturdy answer that it would never leave France until it saw religion
re-established, has retreated, in spite of our having given it notice of
your intention to avow it. I know not the cause of this sudden movement,
for which various reasons are alleged."[628] William the Silent had not,
however, relinquished the intention of going to the assistance of the
Huguenots, whose welfare, next to that of his own provinces, lay near his
heart. Retaining, therefore, twelve hundred horsemen whom he found better
disposed than the rest, he patiently awaited the departure of the new ally
of the French Protestants, Wolfgang, Duke of Deux-Ponts (Zweibrücken), in
whose company he had determined to cross France with his brothers Louis
and Henry of Nassau.[629]

[Sidenote: Aid sought from England.]

[Sidenote: Generous response of the English people.]

[Sidenote: Bishop Jewel's noble plea.]

The Prince of Condé received more immediate and substantial assistance
from beyond the Channel. When Tavannes undertook to capture Condé and
Coligny at Noyers, it was in contemplation to seize Odet, Cardinal of
Châtillon, the admiral's elder brother,[630] in his episcopal palace at
Beauvais. He received, however, timely warning, and made his escape
through Normandy to England, where Queen Elizabeth received him at her
court with marks of distinguished favor.[631] His efforts to enlist the
sympathies and assistance of the English monarch in behalf of his
persecuted countrymen were seconded by Cavaignes, who soon arrived as an
envoy from Condé. Cavaignes was instructed to ask material aid--money to
meet the engagements made with the Duke of Deux-Ponts, and ships with
their armaments to increase the small flotilla of privateersmen, which the
Protestants had, for the first time, sent out from La Rochelle. Soon after
appeared the vice-admiral, Chastelier-Pourtaut de Latour, under whose
command the flotilla had been placed, bearing a letter from the Queen of
Navarre to her sister of England, in which she was entreated to espouse a
quarrel that had arisen not from ambition or insubordination, but from the
desire, in the first place, to defend religion, and, next, to rescue a
king who was being hurried on to ruin by treacherous advisers.[632] To
these reiterated appeals, and to the solicitations for aid addressed to
them by other refugees from papal violence who had found their way to the
shores of Great Britain, the subjects of the queen returned a more
gracious answer than the queen herself. The exiled Huguenot ministers were
received with open arms by men who regarded them as champions of a common
Christianity,[633] and some Protestant noblemen had in a few weeks after
their arrival raised for their relief, the sum--considerable for those
days--of one hundred pounds sterling. Not only the laity, but even the
clergy of the Church of England, took a tender pride in receiving the "few
servants of God"--some three or four thousand--whom Providence had thrown
upon their shores. They welcomed them to their cities, and resented the
attempts of Pope and king to secure their extradition. Could the Pope, who
harbored six thousand usurers and twenty thousand courtesans in his own
city of Rome, call upon the Queen of England to deny the right of asylum
to "the poor exiles of Flanders and France, and other countries, who
either lost or left behind them all that they had--goods, lands, and
houses--not for adultery, or theft, or treason, but for the profession of
the Gospel?" "It pleased God," wrote Bishop Jewel, "here to cast them on
land: the queen of her gracious pity hath granted them harbor. Is it
become so heinous a thing to show mercy?" "They are our brethren,"
continued their noble-minded advocate, "they live not idly. If they have
houses of us, they pay rent for them. They hold not our grounds but by
making due recompense. They beg not in our streets, nor crave anything at
our hands, but to breathe our air, and to see our sun. They labor truly,
they live sparefully. They are good examples of virtue, travail, faith,
and patience. The towns in which they abide are happy, for God doth follow
them with His blessings."[634]

[Sidenote: Misgivings of Queen Elizabeth.]

[Sidenote: Her double-dealing and effrontery.]

Queen Elizabeth was less decidedly in their favor. Her court swarmed with
creatures of the Spanish king, who openly gloried in the victories of the
Guises. The ambassadors of Charles and Philip strove to the utmost to
render the Huguenots odious to her mind, and to give a false coloring to
the war raging in France. Her jealousy of the royal prerogative was
appealed to, by the repeated declaration that the Protestants of France
were turbulent men, who, for the slightest occasion and upon the most
slender suspicion, were ready to have recourse to arms--enthusiasts, who
could not be dissuaded from rash enterprises; sectaries, who employed
their consistories and their organized form of church government to levy
men, to collect arms, munitions of war, and money--rebels, in fine, who
could at any moment rise within an hour, and surprise his most Christian
Majesty's cities and provinces. The abrogation of religious liberty was,
therefore, not merely advisable, but absolutely necessary. Elizabeth was
reminded, also, of her own intolerant measures toward the Roman Catholics
of her dominions; and she was assured that her fears of a combined attack
on all the Protestants were devoid of foundation--that Charles had neither
taken up arms, nor revoked the edicts of toleration at the desire of any
other prince, still less because of the instance of any private
individuals, but of his own free will, in order to secure his
kingdom.[635] These arguments, if they did not convince Elizabeth, gave
her a fair excuse for trying to maintain an appearance of
non-intervention, which the perilous position of England seemed to her to
dictate. With the problem of Scotland and Mary Stuart yet unsolved--with a
very considerable part of the lords and commons of her own kingdom
scarcely concealing their affection for the Romish faith--she deemed it
hazardous to provoke too far the enmity of Philip the Second, her
brother-in-law, and a late suitor for her hand. As if any better way could
be found of warding off from her island the assaults of Philip than by
rendering efficient aid to Condé and Orange! As if England's dissimulation
and refusal to support the "Huguenots" and the "Gueux" in any other than
an underhand way were likely to retard the sailing of the great expedition
that was to turn the Pope's impotent threats against the "bastard of
England" into fearful realities! As if Protestantism, everywhere menaced,
could hope for glorious success in any other path than a bold and combined
defence![636] Unfortunately Elizabeth was fairly launched on a sea of
deceitful diplomacy, and not even Cecil could hold her back. She gave La
Mothe Fénélon, the French envoy, assurances that would have been most
satisfactory could he have closed his eyes to the facts that gave these
assurances the lie direct. At one time, with an appearance of sincerity,
she told the Spanish ambassador, it is true, that she could not abandon
the family of Châtillon, who had long been her friends, whilst she saw the
Guises, the declared enemies of her person and state, in such authority,
both in the council and the field; that she could not feel herself secure,
especially since a member of the French council had inadvertently dropped
the hint that, after everything had been settled at home, Charles would
turn his arms against England. She had rather, consequently, anticipate
than be anticipated.[637] But to La Mothe Fénélon himself she maintained
unblushingly that, so far from helping the French Protestants, "there was
nothing in the world of which she entertained such horror as of seeing a
body rising in rebellion against its head, and that she had no notion of
associating herself with such a monster."[638] And again and again she
protested that she was not intriguing in France--that she had sent the
Huguenots no assistance.[639] At the same time Admiral Winter had been
despatched with four or five ships of war and a fleet of merchantmen, to
carry to La Rochelle, in answer to the request of Condé and of the Queen
of Navarre, 100,000 "angelots" and six pieces of cannon and
ammunition.[640] When the ambassador was commissioned to lay before the
queen a remonstrance against this flagrant breach of neutrality, and to
demand an answer, within fifteen days, respecting her intentions,[641]
Elizabeth, in declaring for peace, had the effrontery to assert that the
assistance in cannon and powder (for she denied that any money was left at
La Rochelle) was involuntary, not only with her, but even with the admiral
himself. Having dropped into the harbor to obtain the wine and other
commodities with which his fleet of merchantmen were to be freighted,
Admiral Winter was approached by the governor of the city, who so strongly
pressed him to sell or lend them some pieces of artillery and some powder,
which they could not do without, that, considering that he, as well as the
ships, were in their power, he thought it necessary to comply with a part
of their requests, although it was against his will.[642] Such were the
paltry falsehoods to which Elizabeth's insincere course naturally and
directly led. La Mothe Fénélon was well aware that Admiral Winter, besides
his public commission, had been furnished with a secret order, authorizing
him to assist La Rochelle, signed by Elizabeth's own hand, without which
the wary old seaman absolutely refused to go, doubtless fearing that he
might be sacrificed when it suited his mistress's crooked policy. What the
order contained was no mystery to the French envoy.[643] Neither party in
this solemn farce was deceived, but both wanted peace. Catharine would
have been even more vexed than surprised had Elizabeth confessed the
truth, and so necessitated a resort to open hostilities.[644] As the honor
of the government was satisfied, even by the notoriously false story of
Winter's compulsion, there was no necessity for pressing the question of
its veracity to an inconvenient length.

[Sidenote: Fruitless sieges and plots.]

The cold winter of 1568-1569 passed without signal events, excepting the
great mortality among the soldiers of both camps from an epidemic
disease--consequent upon exposure to the extraordinary severity of the
season--and the fruitless siege of the city of Sancerre by the Roman
Catholics. Five weeks were the troops of Martinengo detained before the
walls of this small place, whose convenient proximity to the upper Loire
rendered it valuable to the Huguenots, not only as a means of facilitating
the introduction of their expected German auxiliaries into central France,
but still more as a refuge for their allies in the neighboring provinces.
The bravery of the besieged made them superior to the forces sent to
dislodge them. They repulsed, with great loss to their enemies, two
successive assaults on different parts of the works, and, at last, gaining
new courage from the advantages they had obtained, assumed the offensive,
and forced Martinengo and the captains by whom he had been reinforced to
retire humiliated from the hopeless undertaking.[645] Meantime, in not
less than three important cities which the Huguenots hoped to gain without
striking a blow, the plans of those who were to have admitted the
Protestants within the walls failed in the execution; and Dieppe, Havre,
and Lusignan remained in the power of the Roman Catholic party.[646]

[Sidenote: Growing superiority of Anjou's forces.]

At the opening of the spring campaign the Prince of Condé found his
position relatively to his opponents by no means so favorable as at the
close of the previous year. His loss by disease equalled, his loss by
desertion exceeded, that of the Duke of Anjou; for it was impossible for
troops serving at their own expense, however zealous they might be for the
common cause, to be kept together, especially during a season of inaction,
so easily as the forces paid out of the royal treasury. Besides this, the
Duke of Anjou had received considerable reinforcements. Two thousand two
hundred German reiters, under the Rhinegrave and Bassompierre, had arrived
in his camp. They were the first division of a force of five thousand six
hundred men who had crossed the Rhine, near the end of December, under
Philibert, Marquis of Baden, and others. The young Count de Tende brought
three thousand foot soldiers from Provence and Dauphiny, and smaller
bodies came in from other parts of France.[647] Condé, on the contrary,
had received scarcely any accessions to his troops. The "viscounts," whose
arrival had turned the scale at the conclusion of the last war, lingered
in Guyenne, with an army of six thousand foot soldiers and a
well-appointed cavalry force, preferring to protect the Protestant
territories about Montauban and Castres, and to ravage the lands of their
enemies, as far as to the gates of Toulouse, rather than leave their homes
unprotected and join Condé. A dispute respecting precedence had not been
without some influence in causing the delay, and M. de Piles, who had been
twice sent to urge them forward, had only succeeded in bringing a corps
of one thousand two hundred arquebusiers and two hundred horse.[648] It
was now expected, however, that realizing the vital importance of opposing
to Anjou a powerful Protestant army, the viscounts would abandon their
short-sighted policy; and it was the intention of Condé and Coligny, after
effecting a junction, to march with the combined armies to meet the Duke
of Deux-Ponts. Anticipating this plan, the court had despatched the Dukes
of Aumale and of Nemours to guard the entrance into France from the side
of Germany. There seemed to be danger that the precaution would prove
ineffectual through the jealousy existing between the two leaders; but
this danger Catharine attempted to avert by removing the royal court to
Metz, where she could exert her personal influence in reconciling the
ambitious rivals.[649] In order to prevent the threatened union of Condé
and the viscounts, the Duke of Anjou now left his winter quarters upon the
Loire and moved southward. On the other hand, the Prince of Condé left
Niort, and, pursuing a course nearly parallel, passed through St. Jean
d'Angely to Saintes, thence diverging to Cognac, on the Charente.[650]

[Sidenote: The armies meet on the Charente.]

The Charente, although by no means one of the largest rivers of France,
well deserves to be called one of the most capricious. For about a quarter
of its length it runs in a northwesterly direction. At Civray it abruptly
turns southward and flows in a meandering course as far as Angoulême,
receiving on the way the waters of the Tardouère (Tardoire), and with it
almost completely inclosing a considerable tract of land. At Angoulême,
the old whim regaining supremacy, the Charente again bends suddenly
westward, and finally empties into the ocean below Rochefort, through a
narrow arm of the sea known as the Pertuis d'Antioche. The tract of
country included between the river and the shores of the Bay of Biscay,
comprising a large part of the provinces of Aunis and Saintonge, was in
the undisputed possession of the Huguenots. They held the right bank of
the river, and controlled the bridges. Here they intended to await the
arrival of the viscounts. Jarnac, an important town on this side, a few
miles above Cognac, Admiral Coligny with the advance guard of the prince's
army had wrested from the enemy. They had also recovered Châteauneuf, a
small place situated higher up, and midway between Jarnac and Angoulême.

In pursuance of his plan, the Duke of Anjou, after crossing the Charente
near Ruffec, had moved around to the south side, determined to prevent the
junction of the two Huguenot armies. Once more Châteauneuf fell into his
hands; but the garrison, after retreating to the opposite bank, had
destroyed the bridge behind them. This bridge the Roman Catholics set
themselves at once to repair. At the same time they began the construction
of a bridge of boats in the immediate vicinity. While these constructions
were pushed forward with great vigor, the royal army marched down as far
as Cognac and made a feint of attack, but retired after drawing from the
walls a furious cannonade. It was now that prudence demanded that the
Protestant army should withdraw from its advanced position with only the
Charente between its vanguard and the far superior forces of the enemy.
This was the advice of Coligny and of others in the council of war. But
Condé prevented its prompt execution, exclaiming: "God forbid that it
should ever be said that a Bourbon fled before his enemies!"[651]

[Sidenote: Battle of Jarnac, March 13, 1569.]

The bridges being now practicable, almost the whole army of Anjou was
thrown across the Charente under cover of the darkness, during the night
of the twelfth and thirteenth of March, only a small force remaining on
the left bank to protect Châteauneuf and the passage. So skilfully was
this movement effected that it escaped the observation even of those
divisions of the Protestant army that were close to the point of crossing.
When at length the admiral was advised that the enemy were in force on the
northern bank, he at once issued the order to fall back toward Condé and
the main body of the Huguenots. Unfortunately, the divisions of Coligny's
command were scattered; some had been discontented with the posts assigned
them, and had on their own responsibility exchanged them for others that
better suited their fancy. The very command to concentrate was obeyed with
little promptness, and the afternoon was more than half spent before
Coligny, and D'Andelot, who was with him, could begin the retreat. Never
was dilatoriness more ill-timed. The handful of men with the admiral, near
the abbey and hamlet of Bassac, fought with desperation, but could not
ward off the superior numbers of the enemy. La Noue, in command of the
extreme rear, with great courage drove back the foremost of the Roman
Catholics, but was soon overpowered and taken prisoner. His men were
thrown in disorder upon D'Andelot, who, by an almost superhuman effort,
not only sustained the shock, but retook and for a short time held the
abbey. D'Andelot was, however, in turn forced to yield the ground.

Meantime Coligny had called upon Condé for assistance, and the prince,
leaving his infantry to follow, had hurried back with the few horse that
were within reach, and now took position on the left. But it was
impossible for so unequal a struggle to continue long. The Huguenots were
outflanked and almost enclosed between their adversaries and the Charente.
It was a time for desperate and heroic venture. Coligny's forces had lost
the ground which they had been contesting inch by inch about a raised
causeway.

Condé himself had but three hundred knights. One of his arms he carried in
a sling, because of a recent injury. To render his condition yet more
deplorable, his thigh had just been broken, as he rode up, by a kick from
the unmanageable horse of his brother-in-law, La Rochefoucauld. The
prince was no coward. Turning to his little company of followers, he
exclaimed: "My friends, true noblesse of France, here is the opportunity
we have long wished for in vain! Our God is the God of Battles. He loves
to be so called. He always declares Himself for the right, and never fails
to succor those who serve Him. He will infallibly protect us, if, after
having taken up arms for the liberty of our consciences, we put all our
hope in Him. Come and let us complete what the first charges have begun;
and remember in what a state Louis of Bourbon entered into the combat for
Christ and for his native land!" Thus having spoken, he bent forward, and,
at the head of his devoted band, and under an ensign bearing for device
the figure of the Roman hero Marcus Curtius and the singularly appropriate
motto, "Doux le peril pour Christ et le Pays," he dashed upon a hostile
battalion eight hundred strong.[652]

[Sidenote: Death of Louis, Prince of Condé.]

The conflict was, in the judgment of that scarred old Huguenot warrior,
Agrippa d'Aubigné, the sharpest and most obstinate in all the civil
wars.[653] At last Condé's horse was killed under him, and the prince was
unable to extricate himself. The day was evidently lost, and Condé,
calling two of the enemies' knights with whom he was acquainted, and the
life of one of whom he had on a former occasion saved, raised his visor,
made himself known, and surrendered. His captors pledged him their word
that his life should be spared, and respectfully endeavored to raise him
from the ground. Just at that moment another horseman rode up. It was
Montesquiou, captain of Anjou's guards, who came directly from his master,
and was charged--so it was said--with a secret commission. He drew a
pistol as he approached, and, without inquiring into the terms of the
capture, shot Condé in the back. The shot penetrated between the joints of
his armor, and caused almost instantaneous death.

So perished a prince even more illustrious for his courage and intrepidity
than for his exalted rank--a prince who had conscientiously espoused the
reformed faith, and had felt himself constrained by his duty to his God
and to his fellow-believers to assert the rights of the oppressed
Huguenots against illegal persecution. "Our consolation," wrote Jeanne
d'Albret a few weeks later, "is that he died on the true bed of honor,
both for body and soul, for the service of his God and his king, and the
quiet of his fatherland."[654] So magnanimous a hero could not be
insensible to the invasion of his claims as the representative of the
family next in the succession to the Valois; but I cannot agree with those
who believe that, in his assumption of arms in three successive wars, he
was influenced solely, or even principally, by selfish or ambitious
motives. His devotion to the cause which he had espoused was sincere and
whole-souled. If his love of pleasure was a serious blot upon his
character, let charity at least reflect upon the fearful corruption of the
court in which he had been living from his childhood, and remember that if
Condé yielded too readily to its fascinations, and fell into shameful
excesses, he yet bore with meekness the pointed remonstrances of faithful
friends, and in the end shook off the chains with which his enemies had
endeavored to bind him fast.[655] As a soldier, no one could surpass Condé
for bravery.[656] If his abilities as a general were not of the very
first order, he had at least the good sense to adopt the plans of Gaspard
de Coligny, the true hero of the first four civil wars. The relations
between these two men were well deserving of admiration. On the part of
Condé there was an entire absence of jealousy of the resplendent abilities
and well-earned reputation of the admiral. On the part of Coligny there
was an equal freedom from desire to supplant the prince either in the
esteem of his followers or in military rank. Coligny was inflexible in his
determination to accept no honors or distinctions that might appear to
prejudice the respect due by a Châtillon to a prince of royal blood.[657]

The Prince of Condé was, unfortunately, not the only Huguenot leader
murdered in cold blood at the battle of Jarnac. Chastelier-Pourtaut de
Latour, who, having lately brought his flotilla back in safety to La
Rochelle, had hastened to take the field with the Protestants, was
recognized after his capture as the same nobleman who, five years before,
had killed the Sieur de Charry at Paris, and was killed in revenge by some
of Charry's friends. Robert Stuart, the brave leader descended from the
royal house of Scotland, who was said to have slain Constable Montmorency
in the battle of St. Denis, was assassinated after he had been talking
with the Duke of Anjou, within hearing and almost in sight of the duke, by
one of the constable's adherents.[658]

[Sidenote: Henry of Navarre remonstrates against the perfidy.]

These flagrant violations of good faith incurred severe animadversion. A
letter is extant, written by young Prince Henry of Navarre, or in his
name, to Henry of Anjou, on the twelfth of July, 1569, about four months
after the battle of Jarnac. He begins by answering the aspersions cast
upon his mother and himself, and by asserting that, if his age (which,
however, is not much less than that of Anjou) disqualifies him from
passing a judgment upon the present state of affairs, he has lived long
enough to recognize the instigators of the new troubles as the enemies of
the public weal. It is not Henry of Navarre, whose honors and dignities
are all dependent upon the preservation of France, who seeks the ruin of
the kingdom; but, rather, they seek its ruin who, in their eagerness to
usurp the crown, have gone the length of making genealogical searches to
prove their possession of a title superior to that of the Valois, "and
have learned how to sell the blood of the house of France against
itself,[659] _constraining the king_, as it were, _to make use of his left
arm to cut off his right_, so as more easily to wrest his sceptre from him
afterward." In reply to the statement of Anjou that Stuart alone was
killed in cold blood, Henry of Navarre affirms that he can enumerate many
others.[660] "But I shall content myself with merely reminding you of the
manner in which the late Prince of Condé was treated, inasmuch as it
touches you, Sir, and because it is a matter well known and free of doubt.
For his death has left to posterity an example of as noted treachery, bad
faith and cruelty as was ever shown, seeing that those, Sir, who murdered
him could not be deterred from the perpetration of so wicked an act by the
respect they owed to the greatness of your blood, to which he had the
honor of being so nearly related, and that they dealt with him as they
would have done with the most miserable soldier of the whole army."[661]

The Huguenot loss in the battle of Jarnac was surprisingly small in the
number of men killed. It is probable that, including prisoners, they lost
about four hundred men, or about twice as many as the Roman
Catholics.[662] But the loss was in effect much more considerable. The
dead and the prisoners were the flower of the French nobility. Among those
that had fallen into the enemy's hands were the bastard son of Antoine of
Navarre, François de la Noue, Soubise, La Loue, and others of nearly equal
distinction. Of infantry the Huguenot army lost but few men, as the
regiments, with the exception of that of Pluviaut, did not enter the
engagement at all. Coming up too late, and finding themselves in danger of
falling into the hands of the enemy's victorious cavalry, they evacuated
Jarnac, crossed to the left bank of the Charente, and, after breaking down
the bridge, retreated leisurely toward Cognac. Admiral Coligny, meantime,
upon whom the command in chief now devolved, diverged to the right, and
conducted the cavalry in safety to Saintes. The Roman Catholic army,
apparently satisfied with the success it had gained, made no attempt at
pursuit.

The Duke of Anjou entered Jarnac in triumph. With him was brought the
corpse of the Prince of Condé, tied to an ass's back, to be afterward
exposed by a pillar of the house where Anjou lodged--the butt of the
sneers and low wit of the soldiers.[663] In the first glow of exultation
over a victory, the real credit of which belonged to Gaspard de
Tavannes,[664] Anjou contemplated erecting a chapel on the spot where
Condé fell. The better counsels of M. de Carnavalet, however, induced him
to abandon a design which would have confirmed all the sinister rumors
respecting his complicity in the assassination.[665] The prince's dead
body was given up for interment to the Prince of Navarre, and found a
resting-place in the ancestral tomb at Vendôme.[666]

[Sidenote: Exaggerated bulletins.]

Henry of Anjou was not inclined to suffer his victory to pass unnoticed.
Almost as soon as the smoke of battle had cleared away, a careful
description of his exploit was prepared for circulation, and it was no
fault of the compiler if the account he gave was not sufficiently
flattering to the young prince's vanity. Condé's body had not been four
days in the hands of the Roman Catholics, before Anjou wrote to his
brother, the King of France, announcing the fact that he had already
despatched messengers with the precious document to the Pope and the Duke
of Florence, to the Dukes of Savoy, Ferrara, Parma, and Urbino, to the
Republic of Venice and the Duke of Mantua, and to Philip of Spain; while
copies were also under way, intended for the French ambassadors in England
and Switzerland, for the Parliaments of Paris, Bordeaux, and Toulouse, the
"prévôt des marchands," and the "échevins" of the capital, and
others.[667]

[Sidenote: The Pope's sanguinary injunctions.]

The exaggerated bulletins of the Duke of Anjou were received with great
demonstrations of joy by all the Roman Catholic allies of France. Pope
Pius the Fifth in particular sent warm congratulations to the "Most
Christian King" and to Catharine de' Medici. But he was very careful to
couple his expressions of thanks with an earnest recommendation to pursue
the work so auspiciously begun, even to the extermination of the detested
heretics. "The more kindly God has dealt with you and us," he promptly
wrote to Charles, "the more vigorously and diligently must you make use of
the present victory to pursue and destroy the remnants of the enemy, and
wholly tear up, not only the roots of an evil so great and which had
gathered to itself such strength, but even _the very fibres_ of the roots.
Unless they be thoroughly extirpated, they will again sprout and grow up
(as we have so often heretofore seen happen), where your Majesty least
expects it." Pius pledged his word that Charles would succeed in his
undertaking, "if no respect for men or for human considerations should be
powerful enough to induce him to spare God's enemies, who had spared
neither God nor him." "In no other way," he added, "will you be able to
appease God, than by avenging the injuries done to God with the utmost
severity, by the merited punishment of most accursed men." And he set as a
warning before the eyes of the French monarch the example of King Saul,
who, when commanded by God, through Samuel the Prophet, so to smite the
Amalekites, an infidel people, that none should escape, neither man nor
woman, neither infant nor suckling, incurred the anger and rejection of
the Almighty by sparing Agag and the best of the spoil, instead of utterly
destroying them.[668]

Two weeks later the pontiff received the unwelcome tidings that some of
the Huguenot prisoners taken in the battle of Jarnac had been spared. La
Noue, Soubise, and other gentlemen had actually been left alive, and were
likely to escape without paying the forfeit due to their crimes. At this
dreadful intelligence the righteous indignation of Pius was kindled. On
one and the same day (the thirteenth of April) he wrote long letters to
Catharine, to Anjou, to the Cardinal of Lorraine, to the Cardinal of
Bourbon, as well as to Charles himself.[669] Of all these letters the
tenor was identical. Such slackness to execute vengeance would certainly
provoke God's patience to anger; the king must visit condign punishment
upon the enemies of God and the rebels against his own authority. To the
victor of Jarnac he was specially urgent, supplicating him to counteract
any leanings that might be shown to an impious mercy. "Your brother's
rebels have disturbed the public tranquillity of the realm. They have, so
far as in them lay, subverted the Catholic religion, have burned churches,
have most cruelly slain the priests of Almighty God, have committed
numberless other crimes; consequently they deserve to receive those
extreme penalties (_supplicia_) that are ordained by the laws. And if any
of their number shall attempt, through the intercession of your nobles
with the king your brother, to escape the penalties they deserve, it is
your duty, in view of your piety to God and zeal for the divine honor, to
reject the prayers of all that intercede for them, and to show yourself
equally inexorable to all."[670]

[Sidenote: The sanguinary action of the Parliament of Bordeaux.]

Was it in consequence of the known desire of the occupant of the Holy See
that the policy of the French courts of justice became more and more
sanguinary? We can scarcely doubt that the Pope's injunctions had much to
do with these increasing severities. Beginning in March, 1569, the
Parliament of Bordeaux issued a series of decrees condemning a crowd of
Protestants to death. The names that appear upon the records within the
compass of one year number not less than _twelve hundred and seventeen_.
The victims were taken out of all grades of society--from noblemen,
military men, judges, priests and monks, down to humble mechanics and
laborers. The lists made out by their enemies prove at least one fact
which the Huguenots had long maintained: that they counted in their ranks
representatives of the first families of the country, as well as of every
other class of the population. Happily sentence was pronounced generally
upon the absent, and the barbarous punishment of beheading, quartering,
and exposing to the popular gaze, remained unexecuted. But the incidental
penalty of the confiscation of the property of reputed Huguenots, which,
so far from being a mere formal threat, was in fact the principal object
contemplated by the prosecution, proved to be sober reality, and the goods
of the banished Protestants afforded rich plunder to the informers.[671]

[Sidenote: Queen Elizabeth becomes colder.]

Upon Elizabeth of England the first effect of the reported victory at
Jarnac was clearly marked. Her favorite, the Earl of Leicester, assured
the French ambassador that, although the queen was sorry to see those
professing her religion maltreated, yet, as queen, she would arm in behalf
of Charles when fighting against his own subjects.[672] Her own
declarations, however, were not so strong, or perhaps, after a little
reflection, she took a more hopeful view of the fortunes of the Huguenots.
For, although she exhibited curiosity to hear the "true" account, which a
special messenger from Charles the Ninth was commissioned to bring her,
and received the tidings in a manner satisfactory to the French
ambassador, she would not rejoice at the death of Condé, whom she held to
be a very good and faithful servant of his Majesty's crown, and deplored a
war which, whether victory inclined to one side or the other, must lead to
the diminution of Charles's best forces and the ruin of his noblesse.[673]

[Sidenote: Spirit of the Queen of Navarre.]

In point of fact, however, the defeat which the royalists had flattered
themselves would terminate the war, and over which they had sung Te Deums,
weakened the Huguenots very little.[674] The Queen of Navarre, on hearing
the intelligence, hurried to Cognac, where she presented herself to the
army, and reminded the brave men who heard her voice that, although the
Prince of Condé, their late leader, was dead, the good cause was not dead;
and that the courage of such good men ought never to fail. God had
provided, and ever would provide, fresh instruments to uphold His own
chosen work. Her brief address restored the flagging spirits of the
fugitives. When she returned to La Rochelle, to devise new means of
supplying the necessities of the army, she left behind her men resolved to
retrieve their recent losses. They did not wait long for an opportunity.
The Roman Catholics, advancing, laid siege to Cognac, confident of easy
success. But the garrison, which included seven thousand infantry newly
levied, received them with determination. Sallies were frequent and
bloody, and when, at last, the siege was raised, the army of Anjou had
sacrificed nearly as many men before the walls of a small provincial city
as the Huguenots had lost on the much vaunted field of Jarnac.[675]

[Sidenote: The Huguenots recover strength.]

The events of the next two or three months certainly exhibited no
diminution in the power or in the spirit of the Huguenots. St. Jean
d'Angely, into which Count Montgomery had thrown himself, defied the
entire army of Anjou, and the siege was abandoned. Angoulême, an equally
tempting morsel, he tried to obtain, but failed. At Mucidan, a town
somewhat to the south-west of Périgueux, he was more successful. But he
effected its capture at the expense of the life of Brissac, one of his
bravest officers--a loss which he attempted to avenge by murdering the
garrison, after it had surrendered on condition that life and property
should be spared.[676] Within a month or two after the battle of Jarnac
the Protestants at La Rochelle wrote, for Queen Elizabeth's information,
that they were more powerful than ever, that Piles had brought them 4,000
recruits, that D'Andelot was soon to bring the viscounts with a large
force.[677]

[Sidenote: Death of D'Andelot.]

But the course of that indefatigable warrior was now run. D'Andelot's
excessive labors and constant exposure had brought on a fever to which his
life soon succumbed. There were not wanting those, it is true, who
ascribed his sudden death, like most of the deaths of important personages
in the latter part of this century, to poison; and Huguenot and loyal
pamphleteers alike laid the crime at the door of Catharine de'
Medici.[678] But there is no sufficient evidence to substantiate the
accusation, and we must not unnecessarily ascribe this base act to a woman
already responsible for too many undeniable crimes.[679] The death of so
gallant and true-hearted a nobleman, a faithful and unflinching friend of
the Reformation from the time when it first began to spread extensively
among the higher classes of the French population, and who had amply
atoned for a momentary act of weakness, in the time of Henry the Second,
by an uncompromising profession of his religion on every occasion during
the reigns of that monarch's two sons, was deeply felt by his comrades in
arms. As "colonel-general of the French infantry," he had occupied the
first rank in this branch of the service,[680] and his experience was as
highly prized as his impetuous valor upon the field of battle. The
brilliancy of his executive abilities seemed to all beholders
indispensable to complement the more calm and deliberative temperament of
his elder brother. It was natural, therefore, that the admiral, while
pouring out his private grief for one who had been so dear to him, in a
touching letter to D'Andelot's children,[681] should experience as deep a
sorrow for the loss of his wise and efficient co-operation. He might be
pardoned a little despondency as he recalled the prophetic words that had
dropped from D'Andelot's lips during a brief respite from his burning
fever: "France shall have many woes to suffer with you, and then without
you; but all will in the end fall upon the Spaniard!"[682] The prospect
was not bright. Peace was yet far distant--peace, which Coligny preferred
a thousand times to his own life, but would not purchase dishonorably by
the sacrifice of civil liberty and of the right to worship his God
according to the convictions of his heart and conscience. The burden of
the defence of the Protestants had appeared sufficiently heavy when Condé,
a prince of the blood, was alive to share it with him. But now, with the
entire charge of maintaining the party against a powerful and determined
enemy, who had the advantage of the possession of the person of the king,
and thus was able to cloak his ambitious designs with the pretence of the
royal authority, and deprived of a brother whom the army had appropriately
surnamed "le chevalier sans peur,"[683] the task might well appear to
demand herculean strength.

[Sidenote: New responsibility imposed on Admiral Coligny.]

Henry of Navarre had, indeed, just been recognized as general-in-chief,
and he was accompanied by his cousin, Henry of Condé; but Navarre was a
boy of little more than fifteen, and his cousin was not much older.
Nothing could for the present be expected from such striplings; and the
public, ever ready to look upon the comical side of even the most serious
matters, was not slow in nicknaming them the "admiral's two pages."[684]
Coligny, however, was not crushed by the new responsibility which devolved
upon him. No longer hampered by the authority of one whose counsels often
verged on foolhardiness, he soon exhibited his consummate abilities so
clearly, that even his enemies were forced to acknowledge that they had
never given him the credit he deserved. "It was soon perceived," observes
an author by no means friendly to the Huguenots, "that the accident (of
Condé's death) had happened only in order to reveal in all its splendor
the merits of the Admiral de Châtillon. The admiral had had during his
entire life very difficult and complicated matters to unravel, and,
nevertheless, he had never had any that were not far below his abilities,
and in which, consequently, he had no need of exerting his full capacity.
Thus those qualities that were rarest, and that exalted him most above
others, remained hidden, through lack of opportunity, and would apparently
have remained always concealed during the lifetime of the Prince of Condé,
because the world would have attributed to the prince all those results to
whose accomplishment it could not learn that the admiral had contributed
more than had the former. But, after the battle of Jarnac had permitted
the admiral to exhibit himself fully on the most famous theatre of Europe,
the Calvinists perceived that they were not so unhappy as they thought,
since they still had a leader who would prevent them from noticing the
loss they had experienced, so many singular qualities had he to repair
it."[685]

[Sidenote: The Duke of Deux Ponts comes with German auxiliaries.]

Wolfgang, Duke of Deux Ponts, had at length entered France, and was
bringing to the Huguenots their long-expected succor. He had seven
thousand five hundred reiters from lower Germany, six thousand lansquenets
from upper Germany, and a body of French and Flemish gentlemen, under
William of Orange and his brother, Mouy, Esternay and others, which may
have swelled his army to about seventeen thousand men in all.[686] In
vain did his cousin, the Duke of Lorraine, attempt to dissuade him,
offering to reimburse him the one hundred thousand crowns he had already
spent upon the preparations for the expedition. Even Condé's death did not
discourage him. He came, he said, to fight, not for the prince, but for
"the cause."[687] When about entering his Most Christian Majesty's
dominions, he had published the reasons of his coming to assist the
Huguenots. In this paper he treated as pure calumnies the accusations
brought by their enemies against Condé, Coligny, and their associates, and
proved his position by quoting the king's own express declaration, in the
recent edicts of pacification, "that he recognized everything they had
attempted as undertaken by his orders and for the good of the
kingdom."[688] The point was certainly well taken. Charles's various
declarations were not remarkably consistent. In one, Condé was "his
faithful servant and subject," and his acts were prompted by the purest of
motives. In the next, he and his fellow-Huguenots were incorrigible
rebels, with whom every method of conciliation had signally failed. But
Charles did not trouble himself to attempt to smooth away these
contradictions. He is even said to have replied to the envoy whom Deux
Ponts sent him (April, 1569), demanding the restitution of the Edict of
January and the payment of thirty thousand crowns due to Prince Casimir,
that "Deux Ponts was too insignificant a personage (_trop petit
compagnon_) to undertake to dictate laws to him, and that, as to the
money, he would deliberate about _that_ when the duke had laid down his
arms."[689]

The secret of this arrogant demeanor is found in the fact that the court
believed it impossible for the Germans to join Coligny. Even so late as
the middle of May, when Deux Ponts had penetrated to Autun in Burgundy,
Charles regarded the attempt as well nigh hopeless. The fortunes of the
Huguenots were desperate. "There remains for them as their last resort,"
he wrote to one of his ambassadors, "but the single hope that the Duke of
Deux Ponts will venture so far as to go to find them where they are. But
there is little likelihood that an army of strangers, pursued by another
of about equal strength--an army destitute of cities of its own, without
means of passing the rivers, favored by no one in my kingdom, dying of
hunger, so often harassed and put to inconvenience--should be able to make
so long a journey without being lost and dissipated of itself, even had I
no forces to combat it." "The duke," continued the king, "will soon repent
of his mad project of entering France, and attempting to cross the Loire,
where such good provision has been made to obstruct him."[690]

[Sidenote: They overcome all obstacles and join Coligny.]

[Sidenote: Death of Deux Ponts.]

Charles had not exaggerated the difficulties of the undertaking; but Deux
Ponts, under the blessing of Heaven, surmounted them all. The discord
between Aumale and Nemours rendered weak and useless an army that might,
in the hands of a single skilful general, have checked or annihilated
him.[691] Mouy and his French comrades were good guides. The Loire was
reached, while Aumale and Nemours followed at a respectful distance.
Guerchy, an officer lately belonging to Coligny's army, discovered a ford
by which a part of the Germans crossed. The main body laid siege to the
town of La Charité, which was soon reduced (on the twentieth of May), the
Huguenots thus gaining a bridge and stronghold that proved of great
utility for their future operations. Six days after the king had
demonstrated the impossibility of the enterprise, Deux Ponts was on the
western side of the Loire.[692] Meantime, Coligny and La Rochefoucauld
were advancing to meet him with the élite of their army and with all the
artillery they had. On approaching Limoges on the Vienne, they learned
that the Germans had crossed the river and were but two leagues distant.
Coligny at once took horse, and rode to their encampment, in order to
greet and congratulate their leader. He was too late. The general, who had
conducted an army five hundred miles through a hostile country, was in the
last agonies of death, and on the next day (the eleventh of June) fell a
victim to a fever from which he had for some time been suffering. "It is a
thing that ought for all time to be remarked as a singular and special act
of God," said a bulletin sent by the Queen of Navarre to Queen Elizabeth,
"that He permitted this prince to traverse so great an extent of country,
with a great train of artillery, infantry, and baggage, and in full view
of a large army; and to pass so many rivers, and through so many difficult
and dangerous places, of such kind that it is not in the memory of man
that an army has passed through any similar ones, and by which a single
wagon could not be driven without great trouble, so that it appears a
dream to those who have not seen it; and that being out of danger, and
having arrived at the place where he longed to be, in order to assist the
churches of this realm, God should have been pleased, that very day, to
take him to Himself; and, what is more, that his death should have
produced no change or commotion in his army."[693]

Duke Wolfgang of Deux Ponts was quietly succeeded in the command of the
German troops by Count Wolrad of Mansfeld. A day later the two armies met
with lively demonstrations of joy. In honor of the alliance thus cemented
a medal was struck, bearing on the one side the names and portraits of
Jeanne and Henry of Navarre, and on the other the significant words,
"_Pax certa, victoria integra, mors honesta_"--the triple object of their
desires.[694]

[Sidenote: Huguenot success at La Roche Abeille.]

The combined army, now numbering about twenty-five thousand men, soon came
to blows with the enemy. The Duke of Anjou, whose forces were somewhat
superior in numbers, had approached within a very short distance of
Coligny, but, unwilling to risk a general engagement, had intrenched
himself in an advantageous position. A part of his army, commanded by
Strozzi, lay at La Roche Abeille, where it was furiously assaulted by the
Huguenots. Over four hundred royalists were left dead upon the field, and
Strozzi himself was taken prisoner. The disaster had nearly proved still
more serious; but a violent rain saved the fugitives by extinguishing the
lighted matches upon which the infantry depended for the discharge of
their arquebuses, and by seriously impeding the pursuit of the
cavalry.[695]

[Sidenote: Furlough of Anjou's troops.]

Although the Duke of Anjou had recently received considerable
reinforcements--about five thousand pontifical troops and twelve hundred
Florentines, under the command of Sforza, Count of Santa Fiore[696]--it
was now determined in a military council to disband the greater part of
the army, giving to the French forces a short furlough, and, for the most
part, trusting to the local garrisons to maintain the royal supremacy in
places now in the possession of the Roman Catholics. In adopting this
paradoxical course, the generals seem to have been influenced partly by a
desire to furnish the "gentilhommes," serving at their own expense, an
opportunity to revisit their homes and replenish their exhausted purses,
and thus diminish the temptation to desertion which had thinned the ranks;
partly, also, by the hope that the new German auxiliaries of the Huguenots
would of themselves melt away in a climate to which they were
unaccustomed.[697]

[Sidenote: Huguenot petition to the king.]

Meanwhile, the admiral, whose power had never been so great as it now was,
exhibited the utmost anxiety to avert, if possible, any further effusion
of blood. Under his auspices a petition was drawn up in the name of the
Queen of Navarre, and the Princes, Seigneurs, Chevaliers, and gentlemen
composing the Protestant army. A messenger was sent to the Duke of Anjou
to request a passport for the deputies who were to carry it to the court.
But the duke was unwilling to terminate a war in which he had (whether
deservedly or not) acquired so much reputation, and reluctant to be forced
to resume the place of a subject near a brother whose capricious and
jealous humor he had already experienced. He therefore either refused or
delayed compliance with the admiral's demand.[698] Coligny succeeded,
however, in forwarding the document to his cousin Francis, Marshal of
Montmorency--a nobleman who, although he had not taken up arms with the
Huguenots, virtually maintained, on his estates near Paris, a neutrality
which, from the suspicion it excited, was not without its perils.
Montmorency laid the petition before Catharine and the king.

[Sidenote: The single purpose of the Huguenots.]

The voluminous state papers of the period would possess little claim to
our attention, were it not for the singleness of purpose which they
exhibit as animating the patriotic party through a long succession of
bloody wars. The Huguenots were no rebels seeking to undermine the
authority of the crown, no obstinate democrats striving to carry into
execution an impracticable scheme of government,[699] no partisans
struggling to supplant a rival faction. They were not turbulent lovers of
change. They had for their leaders princes and nobles with interests all
on the side of the maintenance of order, men whose wealth was wasted,
whose magnificent palaces were plundered of their rich contents,[700]
whose lives, with the lives of their wives and children, were jeoparded in
times of civil commotion. Even the unauthorized usurpations of the
foreigners from Lorraine[701] would not have been sufficient to move the
greater part of them to a resort to the sword. Their one purpose, the sole
object which they could not renounce, was the securing of religious
liberty. The Guises--even that cruel and cowardly cardinal with hands
dripping with the blood of the martyrs of a score of years--were nothing
to them, except as impersonations of the spirit of intolerance and
persecution. Liberty to worship their God in good conscience was their
demand alike after defeats and after successes, under Louis de Bourbon or
under Gaspard de Coligny. They did, indeed, sympathize with the first
family of the blood, deprived of the position near the throne to which
immemorial custom entitled it--and what true Frenchman did not? But
Admiral Coligny, rather than the Prince of Condé, was the type of the
Huguenot of the sixteenth century--Coligny, the heroic figure that looms
up through the mist of the ages and from among the host of meaner men,
invested with all the attributes of essential greatness--pious, loyal,
truthful, brave, averse to war and bloodshed, slow to accept provocation,
resolute only in the purpose to secure for himself and his children the
most important among the inalienable prerogatives of manhood, the freedom
of professing and practising his religious faith.

The present petition differed little from its predecessors. It reiterated
the desire of the Huguenots for peace--a desire evidenced on so many
occasions, sometimes when prudence might have dictated a course opposite
to that which they adopted. The return they had received for their
moderation could be read in broken edicts, and in "pacifications" more
sanguinary than the wars they terminated. The Protestant princes and
gentlemen, therefore, entreated Charles "to make a declaration of his will
respecting the liberty of the exercise of the reformed religion in the
form of a solemn, perpetual, and irrevocable edict." They begged him "to
be pleased to grant universally to all his subjects, of whatever quality
or condition they might be, the free exercise of that religion in all the
cities, villages, hamlets, and other places of his kingdom, without any
exception, reservation, modification, or restriction as to persons, times,
or localities, with the necessary and requisite securities." True,
however, to the spirit of the age, which dreaded unbridled license of
opinion as much as it did the intolerance of the papal system, the
Huguenots were careful to preclude the "Libertines" from sheltering
themselves beneath this protection, by calling upon Charles to require of
all his subjects the profession of the one or the other religion[702]--so
far were even the most enlightened men of their country and period from
understanding what spirit they were of, so far were they from recognizing
the inevitable direction of the path they were so laboriously pursuing!

It scarcely needs be said that the petition received no attention from a
court not yet tired of war. Marshal Montmorency was compelled to reply to
Coligny, on the twentieth of July, that Charles refused to take notice of
anything emanating from the admiral or his associates until they should
submit and return to their duty. Coligny answered in a letter which closed
the negotiations; protesting that since his enemies would listen to no
terms of accommodation, he had, at least, the consolation of having done
all in his power to avert the approaching desolation of the kingdom, and
calling upon God and all the princes of Europe to bear witness to the
integrity of his purpose.[703]

[Sidenote: Coligny's plans overruled.]

[Sidenote: Disastrous siege of Poitiers.]

The Huguenots now took some advantage of the temporary weakness of the
enemy in the open field. On the one hand they reduced the city of
Châtellerault and the fortress of Lusignan, hitherto deemed
impregnable.[704] On the other, they despatched into Béarn the now famous
Count Montgomery, who, joining the "viscounts," was successful in wresting
the greater part of that district from the hands of Terrides, a skilful
captain sent by Anjou, and in restoring it to the Queen of Navarre.[705]
Respecting their plan of future operations a great diversity of opinion
prevailed among the Huguenot leaders. Admiral Coligny was strongly in
favor of pressing on to the north, and laying siege to Saumur. With this
place in his possession, as it was reasonable to suppose it soon might be,
he would enjoy a secure passage across the river Loire into Brittany,
Anjou, and more distant provinces, as he already had access by the bridge
of La Charité to Burgundy, Champagne, and the German frontier.
Unfortunately the majority of the generals regarded it as a matter of more
immediate importance to capture Poitiers, a rich and populous city, said
at that time to cover more ground than any other city in France, with the
single exception of Paris. They supposed that their recent successes at
Châtellerault and Lusignan, on either side of Poitiers, and the six pieces
of cannon they had taken at Lusignan would materially help them. Coligny
reluctantly yielded to their urgency, and the army which had appeared
before Poitiers on the twenty-fourth of July, 1569,[706] began the siege
three days later. It was a serious blunder. The Huguenots succeeded,
indeed, in capturing a part of the suburbs, and in reducing the garrison
to great straits for food; but they were met with great determination, and
with a singular fertility of expedient. The Count de Lude was the royal
governor. Henry, Duke of Guise (son of the nobleman assassinated near
Orleans in 1563), with his brother Charles, Duke of Mayenne, and other
good captains, had thrown himself into Poitiers two days before Coligny
made his appearance. It was Guise's first opportunity to prove to the
world that he had inherited his father's military genius; and the glory of
success principally accrued to him. He met the assailants in the breach,
and contested every inch of ground. Their progress was obstructed by
chevaux-de-frise and other impediments. Boiling oil was poured upon them
from the walls. Burning hoops were adroitly thrown over their heads. Pitch
and other inflammable substances fell like rain upon their advancing
columns. They were not even left unmolested in their camp. A dam was
constructed on the river Clain, and the inundation spread to the Huguenot
quarters. To these difficulties raised by man were added the ravages of
disease. Many of the Huguenot generals, and the admiral himself, were
disabled, and the mortality was great among the private soldiers.

In spite of every obstacle, however, it seemed probable that Coligny would
carry the day. "The admiral's power exceedeth the king's," wrote Cecil to
Nicholas White: "he is sieging of Poitiers, the winning or losing whereof
will make an end of the cause. He is entered within the town by assault,
but the Duke of Guise, etc., are entrenched in a stronger part of the
town; and without the king give a battle, it is thought that he cannot
escape from the admiral."[707] Just at this moment, the Duke of Anjou,
assembling the remnants of his forces, appeared before Châtellerault; and
the peril to the Huguenot city seemed so imminent, that Coligny was
compelled to raise the siege of Poitiers, on the ninth of September, and
hasten to its relief. Seven weeks of precious time had been lost, and more
than two thousand lives had been sacrificed by the Huguenots in this
ill-advised undertaking. The besieged lost but three or four hundred
men.[708] Great was the delight manifested in Paris, where, during the
prevalence of the siege, solemn processions had gone from Notre Dame to
the shrine of Sainte Geneviève, to implore the intercession of the patron
of the city in behalf of Poitiers.[709]

Meanwhile the Huguenots had been more fortunate on the upper Loire, where
La Charité sustained a siege of four weeks by a force of seven thousand
Roman Catholics under Sansac. Its works were weak, its garrison small, but
every assault was bravely met. In the end the assailants, after severe
losses experienced from the enemy and from a destructive explosion of
their own magazine, abandoned their enterprise in a panic, on hearing an
ill-founded rumor of Coligny's approach.[710]

[Sidenote: Cruelties to the Huguenots in the prisons of Orleans.]

It was fortunate for the Protestants of the north and east that they
still had Sancerre and La Charité as asylums from the violence of their
enemies. Far from their armed companions, there was little protection for
their lives or their property. The edict of the preceding September,
assuring to peaceable Protestants freedom from molestation in their homes,
was as much a dead letter as any of its predecessors. The government, the
courts of justice, and the populace, were equally eager to oppress them.
At Orleans the "lieutenant-general" placed all the Huguenots of the city,
without distinction of age or sex, in the public prisons, upon pretext of
providing for the public security. A few days after (on the twenty-first
of August) the people, inflamed to fanaticism by seditious priests,
attacked these buildings. They succeeded in breaking into the first
prison, and every man, woman, and child was murdered. The door of the
second withstood all their attempts to gain admission. But the
bloodthirsty mob would not be balked of its prey. The whole neighborhood
was ransacked for wood and other combustible materials, and willing hands
kindled the fire. As the flames rose high above the doomed house, parents
who had lost all hope of saving their own lives sought to preserve the
lives of their infant children by throwing them to relatives or
acquaintances whom they recognized among their persecutors. But there are
times when the heart of man knows no pity. The laymen who had been taught
that heretics must be exterminated, even to the babe in the cradle, now
put into practice the savage lesson they had learned from their spiritual
instructors. Fathers and brothers took a cruel pleasure in receiving the
hapless infants on the point of their pikes, or in despatching them with
halberds, reserving the same fate for any of more mature age who might
venture to appeal from the devouring flames to their merciless fellow-men.
The number of the victims of sword and fire is said to have reached two
hundred and eighty persons.[711]

[Sidenote: Montargis a safe refuge.]

[Sidenote: Flight of the refugees to Sancerre.]

The tragic end of the Huguenots at Orleans warned the Protestants of the
villages and open country of the dangers to which they were exposed. Many
fled with their wives and children to Montargis, where the aged Renée of
Ferrara was still living, the unwilling spectator of commotions which she
had foreseen and predicted, and which she had striven to prevent. Her
palace was still what Calvin had called it in the time of the first war,
"God's hostelry." Renée's royal descent, her connection by marriage with
the Guises--for Henry, the present duke, was her grandson--her well-known
aversion to civil war,[712] and, added to these, that demeanor which ever
betrayed a consciousness that she was a king's daughter, had thus far
protected her from direct insult, staunch and avowed Protestant as she
was, and had enabled her to extend to a host of fugitives for religion's
sake a hospitality which had not yet been invaded. But, the rancor
entertained by the two parties increasing in bitterness as the third
conflict advanced, it became more and more difficult to repress the
impatience felt by the fanatics of Paris to rid themselves of an asylum
for the adherents of the hated faith within so short a distance--about
seventy miles--of the orthodox capital. Montargis was narrowly watched.
Early in March the duchess was warned, in a letter, of pretended plans
formed by the refugees on her lands to succor their friends elsewhere in
the vicinity--the writer being no other than the adventurer Villegagnon,
the former vice-admiral, the betrayer of Coligny's Huguenot colony to
Brazil, who was now in the Roman Catholic service, under the Duke of
Anjou.[713] But the fresh flood of refugees to Montargis rendered further
forbearance impossible. The preachers stirred up the people, and the
people incited the king. Renée was told that she must dismiss the Huguenot
preachers, or submit to receiving a Roman Catholic garrison in her castle;
that the exercise of the Protestant religion could no longer be tolerated,
and the fugitives must find another home. The duchess could no longer
resist the superior forces of her enemies, and tearfully she provided the
miserable Huguenots for their journey with such wagons as she could find.
The company consisted of four hundred and sixty persons, two-thirds women
and infants in the arms of their mothers. Scarcely knowing whither to
direct their steps, they fled toward the Loire, and hastened to place the
river between them and their pursuers. The precaution availed them little.
They had barely reached the vicinity of Châtillon-sur-Loire,[714] when the
approach of Cartier with a detachment of light horse and mounted
arquebusiers was announced; and the defenceless throng, knowing that no
pity could be expected from men whose hands had already been imbrued in
the blood of their fellow-believers, and being exhorted by their ministers
to meet death calmly, knelt down upon the ground and awaited the terrible
onset. At that very instant, between the hillocks in another direction,
and somewhat nearer to the fugitives, a band of cavalry made its
appearance. They numbered some one hundred and twenty men, and, as they
rode up, were taken for the advance guard of their persecutors. But, on
coming nearer and recognizing some of the kneeling suppliants, the knights
threw off their cloaks and displayed their white cassocks, the badge of
the adherents of the house of Navarre. They were two cornets of Huguenot
horse, on their way from Berry to La Charité, under the command of Bourry,
Teil, and other captains. In the midst of the tearful acclamations of the
women, their new friends turned upon the exultant pursuers, and so bravely
did they fight that the Roman Catholics soon fled, leaving eighty men and
two standards on the field. The Huguenot knights, who had so
providentially become their deliverers, escorted the fugitives from
Montargis to Sancerre and La Charité, where they remained in safety until
the conclusion of peace.[715]

[Sidenote: The "Croix de Gastines."]

Meantime the courts of justice emulated the example of cruelty set them by
the government and the mob. In May they began by sending to the gallows on
the Place Maubert, in Paris, a student barely twenty-two years of age, for
having taught some children the Huguenot doctrines (huguenoterie),
"without any other crime," the candid chronicler adds. After so fair a
beginning there was no difficulty in finding good subjects for hanging.
Accordingly, on the thirtieth of June, three victims more were sacrificed
on the old Place de Grève, "partly for heresy and for celebrating the
Lord's Supper in their house; partly"--so it was pretended--"for having
assisted in demolishing altars." In the great number of similar executions
with which the sanguinary records of Paris abound, the fate of Nicholas
Croquet and the two De Gastines--father and son--would have been
forgotten, but for the extraordinary measures taken in respect to the
house where the impiety had been committed of celebrating the Lord's
Supper according to the simple scheme of its first institution. The
Parisian parliament ordered that "the house of the Five White Crosses,
belonging to the De Gastines, situated in the Rue Saint Denis," should be
razed to the ground, and that upon the site a stone cross should be
placed, with an inscription explanatory of the occasion of its erection.
That spot was to serve as a public square for all time, and a fine of
6,000 livres, with corporal punishment, was imposed upon any one who
should ever undertake to build upon it.[716] It was not foreseen that
military exigencies might presently render imperative a reconciliation
with the Huguenots, and that the "perpetual" decree of parliament, like
the "irrevocable" edicts of the king, might be somewhat abridged by stern
necessity.

[Sidenote: Ferocity of parliament against Coligny and others.]

[Sidenote: A price set on the head of the admiral.]

The work of blood continued. In July two noblemen were decapitated--the
Baron de Laschêne and the Baron de Courtène--and denunciation of reputed
heretics was vigorously prosecuted, by command of parliament and of the
city curates.[717] Two months later a cowardly but impotent blow was
struck at a more distinguished personage. Parliament undertook to try
Gaspard de Coligny, and, having found him guilty of treason (on the
thirteenth of September), pronounced him infamous, and offered a reward of
fifty thousand gold crowns for his apprehension, with full pardon for any
offences the captor might have committed. Lest the exploit, however,
should be deemed too difficult for execution, a few days later (on the
twenty-eighth of September) the same liberal terms were held out to any
one who should murder him. As it was not so easy to capture or
assassinate a general who was at that moment in command of an army not
greatly inferior to that of the Duke of Anjou, the court gave the Parisian
populace the cheaper spectacle of a hanging of the admiral in effigy. It
was the eve of the festival of "the Exaltation of the Cross"--Tuesday, the
thirteenth of September--and the time was deemed appropriate for the
execution of so determined an enemy of the worship of that sacred emblem.
While Coligny's escutcheon was dragged in dishonor through the streets by
four horses, the hangman amused the mob by giving to his effigy the
traditional tooth-pick, which he was said to be in the habit of
continually using--a facetious trait which the curate of St. Barthélemi,
of course, does not forget to insert in his brief diary.[718]
Nevertheless, that the decree of parliament setting a price upon the
admiral's head was no child's play, appeared about this time from the
abortive plot of one Dominique d'Albe, who confessed that he had been
hired to poison the Huguenot chief, and was hanged by order of the
princes.[719] Nor was it without practical significance that the decree
itself had been translated into Latin, Italian, Spanish, German, Flemish,
English, and Scotch, and scattered broadcast through Europe by the
partisans of Guise.

[Sidenote: The Huguenots weakened.]

Meantime the condition of the rival armies in western France promised
again, in the view of the court, a speedy solution of the military
problem. The Duke of Anjou had of late been heavily reinforced. With the
old troops that had returned to his standard, and the new troops that
poured in upon him, he had a well-appointed army of about twenty-seven
thousand men, of whom one-third were cavalry. Coligny, on the contrary,
had been so weakened by his losses at the siege of Poitiers, and by the
desertion of those whom disappointment at the delays and the expense of
the service had rendered it impossible to retain, that he was inferior to
his antagonist by nine or ten thousand men. He had only eleven or twelve
thousand foot and six thousand horse.[720] The Roman Catholic general
resolved to employ his preponderance of forces in striking a decisive
blow. This appeared the more desirable, since it was known that Montgomery
was returning from the reduction of Béarn, bringing with him six or seven
thousand veterans--an addition to the Huguenot army that would nearly
restore the equilibrium.

Leaving Chinon, where he had been for some time strengthening himself, the
Duke of Anjou crossed the swollen river Vienne, on the twenty-sixth of
September, and started in pursuit of the Huguenots. Coligny had been
resting his army at Faye, a small town about midway between Chinon and
Châtellerault. It was here that the attempt upon his life, to which
allusion has just been made, was discovered. And it was from this point
that the Prince of Orange started in disguise, and undertook, with forty
mounted companions, a perilous journey across France by La Charité to
Montbéliard, for the purpose of raising in Germany the fresh troops of
which the admiral stood in such pressing need.[721]

[Sidenote: Battle of Moncontour, October 3, 1569.]

The Huguenot general had moved westward, secretly averse to giving battle
before the arrival of Montgomery, but forced to show a readiness to fight
by the open impatience of his southern troops, and by the murmurs of the
Germans, who openly threatened to desert unless they were either paid or
led against the enemy. Within a couple of leagues of the town of
Moncontour, soon to gain historic renown, Coligny, believing the Roman
Catholics to be near, drew up his own men in order of battle (on the
thirtieth of September); but, receiving from his scouts the erroneous
information that there were no considerable bodies of the enemy in the
neighborhood, he resumed his march toward the town of which La Noue had
rendered himself master. The army was scarcely in motion before Mouy,
commanding the rear, was attacked by a heavy detachment of the Duke of
Anjou's vanguard, under the Duke of Montpensier. Mouy's handful of men
stood their ground well, now facing the enemy and driving him off, now
slowly retreating, and gave the rest of the Huguenot army the opportunity
of gaining the opposite side of a marshy tract, through which there flowed
a small stream. Then they themselves crossed, after losing about a hundred
of their number. Anjou neglected the chance here afforded him of gaining
an entire victory; and Coligny, after halting for a short time, drew off
toward Moncontour, which he reached on the next day without further
obstruction. The duke spent the night on the battle-field in token of
victory, and then started in pursuit; but, in order to avoid attack while
crossing the short, but deep river Dive, a tributary of the Loire which
flows by the walls of Moncontour, he turned to the left, and, rapidly
ascending to its sources, descended again on the opposite bank.

[Sidenote: Coligny wounded.]

[Sidenote: Heavy losses of the Huguenots.]

The admiral might still have succeeded in avoiding a capital engagement,
and in reaching Partenay or some other point of safety, had he not been
again embarrassed by the mutiny of the Germans, who, as usual, were most
urgent for pay on the eve of battle. As it was, before they could be
quieted, the duke had made up for his considerable détour, and overtook
the Protestants a short distance beyond Moncontour. Coligny, having given
command of the right wing to Count Louis of Nassau, interposed the left,
of which he himself assumed command, between the main body and the enemy,
hoping to get off with a mere skirmish.[722] In this he was disappointed.
Attacked in force, his troops made a sturdy resistance. The fight
resembled in some of its incidents the conflicts of the paladins of a
past age. The elder rhinegrave rode thirty paces in front of his Roman
Catholic knights; Coligny as far in advance of the Protestants. The two
leaders met in open field. The rhinegrave was killed on the spot. The
admiral received a severe injury in his face. The blood, gushing freely
from the wound, nearly strangled him before his visor could be raised.
Reluctantly he was compelled to retire to the rear of the army. Still the
tide of battle ran high. The Swiss troops of Anjou displayed their
accustomed valor. It was matched by that of the Huguenots, who several
times seemed on the point of winning the day, and already shouted,
"Victory! Victory!" The Duke of Anjou, who, however little he was entitled
to the credit of planning the engagement, certainly displayed great
courage in the contest itself, was at one time in extreme peril, and the
Marquis of Baden was killed while riding near him. On the other side, the
Princes of Béarn and Condé, who had come to the army from Partenay, to
encourage the soldiers by their presence, endeavored by word and example
to sustain the courage of the outnumbered Huguenots.[723] But at the
critical moment, when the Roman Catholic line had begun to give way,
Marshal Cossé, who as yet had not been engaged, advanced with his fresh
troops and changed the fortunes of the day. The personal valor of Louis of
Nassau was unavailing. The German reiters, routed and panic-stricken, fled
from the field. Encountering their own countrymen, the lansquenets or
German infantry, they broke through their ranks and threw them into
confusion. Into the breach thus made the Swiss poured in an irresistible
flood. Inveterate hatred now found ample opportunity for satisfaction.
The helpless lansquenets were slaughtered without mercy. No quarter was
given. One of the German colonels, who had been the foremost cause of the
morning's mutiny, and who had prevented his soldiers from fighting until
their wages were paid, now made them tie handkerchiefs to their pikes to
show that they surrendered; but they fared no better than the rest.[724]
Others kneeled and begged for mercy of their savage foes, crying in broken
French, "_Bon papiste, bon papiste moi!_" It was all in vain. Of four
thousand lansquenets that entered the action, barely two hundred escaped
with their lives. Three thousand French, enveloped by Anjou's cavalry,
were spared by the duke's express command, but not before one thousand of
their companions had been killed. In all, two thousand French foot
soldiers and three hundred knights perished on the field, while with the
valets and camp-followers the loss was much more considerable. La Noue was
again a prisoner in the enemy's hands. So also was the famous D'Acier. His
captor, Count Santa Fiore, received from Pius the Fifth a severe letter of
rebuke for "having failed to obey his commands _to slay at once every
heretic that fell into his hands_."[725]

The battle of Moncontour, fought on Monday, the third of October, 1569,
was a thorough success on the side of the Guises and of Catharine de'
Medici. Compared with it, the battle of Jarnac was only an insignificant
skirmish. Although, under the skilful conduct of Louis of Nassau and of
Wolrad of Mansfeld, the remnants of the army drew off to Airvault and
thence to Partenay, escaping the pursuit of Aumale and Biron, the Huguenot
losses were enormous, and the spirit of the soldiers was, for the time,
entirely crushed.[726] The Roman Catholics, on the contrary, had lost
scarcely any infantry, and barely five hundred horse, although among the
cavalry officers were several persons of great distinction.

[Sidenote: The Roman Catholics exulting.]

[Sidenote: Extravagance of parliament.]

Fame magnified the exploit, and exalted the Duke of Anjou into a hero.
Charles himself became still more jealous of his brother's growing
reputation. Pius the Fifth, on receipt of the tidings, sent the latter a
brief, congratulating him upon his success, renewing his advice to make
thorough work of exterminating the heretics, and warning him against a
mercy than which there was nothing more cruel.[727] To foreign
courts--especially to those which betrayed a leaning to the Protestant
side--the most exaggerated accounts of the victory were despatched. A
"relation" of the battle of Moncontour, with which Philip the Second was
furnished, stated the Huguenot loss at fifteen thousand men, eleven
cannon, three thousand wagons belonging to the reiters, and eight hundred
or nine hundred horses.[728] For a moment the court believed that the
Protestants were ruined, and that their entire submission must inevitably
ensue.[729] The Parisian parliament, in the excess of its joy, added the
third of October to the number, already excessive, of its holidays,
declaring that henceforth no pleadings should be held on the anniversary
of so glorious a triumph.[730] About the same time, in order to exhibit
more clearly the spirit by which it was animated, the same dignified
tribunal gave the order that the bodies of Francis D'Andelot and his wife
should be disinterred and hanged upon a a gibbet![731]

[Sidenote: Murder of De Mouy by Maurevel.]

[Sidenote: The assassin rewarded with the collar of the order.]

The Roman Catholics were, nevertheless, entirely mistaken in their
anticipations of the speedy subjugation of their opponents. The latter
were disheartened for a few days, but not in the least disposed to give
over the struggle. "The reformed were too numerous," a modern historian
well remarks, "too well organized, and had struck their roots too deeply,
to be subdued by the loss of a few pitched battles."[732] The prospect at
first was, indeed, very dark. It seemed almost impossible for the
Huguenots to maintain themselves in the region which for a whole year had
been the chief field of operations. As Anjou advanced southward, Partenay
was abandoned without a blow, and after occupying it he pushed on toward
Niort. Of this important place the intrepid De Mouy had been placed by
Coligny in command. Not content with a bare defence, he sallied out and
repulsed the enemy. But his boldness proved fatal to him. There was a
Roman Catholic "gentilhomme," Maurevel by name, who, allured by the reward
of fifty thousand crowns offered by parliament for the capture or
assassination of Admiral Coligny, had entered the Protestant camp with
protestations of great disgust with his former patrons the Guises, and had
vainly sought an opportunity to take the great chieftain's life. Three
years later that opportunity was to present itself in the streets of Paris
itself. Loth to return to his friends without accomplishing any noteworthy
exploit, Maurevel joined De Mouy, with whom he so ingratiated himself that
the general not only supplied him from his purse, but made him a companion
and a bed-fellow. As the Huguenots were returning to Niort, the traitor
found the conjuncture he desired. Chancing to be left alone with De Mouy,
he drew a pistol and shot him in the loins; then putting spurs to his
horse, reached with ease the advancing columns of Anjou. De Mouy was taken
back to Niort mortally wounded. His friends, contrary to his earnest
desire, insisted on taking him by boat down the Sèvre to La Rochelle,
where he died. Meanwhile Niort, in discouragement, surrendered to the
Roman Catholic army.[733] The assassin was well rewarded. A letter is
extant, written by Charles the Ninth to the Duke of Anjou, from
Plessis-lez-Tours, on the tenth of October, 1569, in which the king begs
his brother to confer on "Charles de Louvier, sieur de Moureveil, being
the person who killed Mouy," the collar of the royal order of Saint
Michael, to which he had been elected by the knights companions, as a
reward for "his signal service;" and to see that he receive from the city
of Paris a present commensurate with his merits![734]

[Sidenote: Fatal error of the court.]

Catharine de' Medici and the Cardinal of Lorraine came from Tours, where
they had been watching the course of the war, Niort, and the plan of
future operations was discussed in their presence. Almost every place of
importance previously held by the Huguenots toward the north and east of
La Rochelle had fallen, even to the almost impregnable Lusignan. Saint
Jean d'Angely, on the Boutonne, was the only remaining outwork, whose
capture must precede an attack on the citadel itself. Should the
victorious army of the king lay siege to Saint Jean d'Angely, or should it
continue the pursuit of Coligny and the princes, who, in order to divert
it from the undertaking, had retired from Saint Jean d'Angely to Saintes,
and thence, not long after, in the direction of Montauban? This was the
question that demanded an instant answer. Jean de Serres informs us that
the Protestant leaders were extremely anxious that their enemies should
adopt the latter course;[735] yet the best military authorities on both
sides declare without hesitation that the failure of the Roman Catholics
to follow it was the one capital error that saved the Huguenots, perhaps,
from utter destruction. "Hundreds of times have I been amazed," says the
Roman Catholic Blaise de Montluc, "that so many great and wise captains
who were with Monsieur (the Duke of Anjou) should have adopted the bad
plan of laying sieges, instead of pursuing the princes, who were routed
and reduced to such extremities that they had no means of getting to their
feet again." And the Protestant François de la Noue devotes an entire
chapter of his "discourses" to the proof of the assertion that "as the
siege of Poitiers was the beginning of the mishaps of the Huguenots, so
that of Saint Jean was the means of arresting the good fortune of the
Catholics."

What, it may be asked, led to the commission of so fatal an error? The
memoirs of Tavannes, who advocated the immediate pursuit of the admiral,
ascribe it to the reluctance of the Montmorencies to permit their cousin
to be overwhelmed; to the jealousy felt by Cardinal Lorraine of the
military successes which threw his brother, the Duke of Aumale, and his
nephew, the Duke of Guise, into obscurity; and to the suggestions of De
Retz, the king's favorite, who persuaded Charles that it was dangerous to
permit the renown of Anjou to increase yet further.[736] It must, however,
be remembered that the younger Tavannes is not always a good authority;
and that where, as in the present instance, the glory of his father is
affected, he becomes altogether untrustworthy. If we reject his account as
apocryphal, which apparently we must do, there still remains good reason
to believe that the siege of Saint Jean d'Angely was agreed to by the
majority of the Roman Catholic leaders from the sincere conviction that
its reduction, to be followed by the still more important capture of La
Rochelle, would annihilate the Huguenot party in the west, its stronghold
and refuge, and that it could then subsist but little longer in other
parts of the kingdom.

[Sidenote: Siege of Saint Jean d'Angely.]

The defence of Saint Jean d'Angely had been intrusted by Coligny to
competent hands. De Piles had found the fortifications weak and imperfect;
he completed and strengthened them.[737] With a small garrison of
Huguenots he repaired by night the breaches made by the enemy's cannon
during the day, and repelled every attempt to storm the place. When the
siege had advanced about two weeks, Charles himself, who was resolved not
to suffer Henry of Anjou any longer to win all the laurels of the war,
made his appearance in the Roman Catholic camp, on the twenty-sixth of
October, and summoned the garrison to surrender. De Piles, however,
declined to listen to the commands of the king, even as he had disobeyed
those of the duke, taking refuge in the feudal theory that he could give
up the place only to the Prince of Navarre, the royal governor of the
province of Guyenne, at whose hands he had received it. Yet the position
of the Protestants was growing extremely perilous. During one of the
assaults upon the wall, De Piles himself became so thoroughly convinced
that Saint Jean would be carried, that he caused a breach to be made in
the fortifications in his rear, in order to facilitate the withdrawal of
his troops. Happily, he had no need of this mode of escape on the present
occasion. Meanwhile the most honorable terms were offered him. These he
refused to accept; but, finding his stock of ammunition rapidly becoming
exhausted, he agreed to a truce of ten days, that he might have time to
send a messenger to the princes to obtain their orders; promising, in case
he received no succor in the interval, to surrender the city on condition
that the garrison should be permitted to retire with their horses, arms
and personal effects, and that religious liberty should be granted to all
the residents. But, before the armistice had quite expired, Saint Surin,
and forty other brave horsemen from Angoulême, succeeded in piercing the
enemy's lines, and relieved De Piles from an engagement into which he had
entered with great reluctance. The hostages on both sides were given up,
and the siege was renewed with greater fury than ever. In the end, seeing
no prospect of sufficient reinforcement to enable him to maintain his
position, De Piles capitulated (on the second of December) on similar
terms to those that he had before declined, and the garrison marched out
with flying banners. Seven weeks had they detained the entire army of the
victors of Moncontour before an ill-fortified place. More than six
thousand men had died under its walls, by the casualties of war and by the
scarcely less destructive diseases that raged in the camp.[738] One of the
ablest and most enterprising of the royal generals--Sebastian of
Luxemburg, Viscount of Martigues and governor of Brittany--had been
killed.[739] Of the Protestants, only about a hundred and eighty persons
perished, nearly the half of them inhabitants of the town; for the men of
Saint Jean d'Angely, and even the women and children, had labored
industriously in defending their firesides.

It was a part of the compact, that, while neither De Piles nor his
soldiers should serve on the Huguenot side for four months, they should be
safely conducted without the Roman Catholic lines. The Duc d'Aumale and
other leaders seem to have endeavored conscientiously to execute the
stipulation; but their followers could not resist the temptation to attack
the Huguenots as they were traversing the suburbs. Nearly all were robbed,
and a considerable number--as many, according to Agrippa d'Aubigné, as
fell during the siege--were murdered. De Piles, on his arrival at
Angoulême, wrote to demand the punishment of those who had committed so
flagrant a breach of faith, and, when he could obtain no satisfaction,
sent a herald to the king to declare that he held himself and his
fellow-combatants absolved from all obligations, and that they would at
once resume their places in the Huguenot army.[740]

Nearly three months of precious time elapsed since the disastrous rout of
Moncontour before the royalists completed the reduction of the region
adjoining La Rochelle. Outside of that citadel of French Protestantism
only the little town of Tonnay, on the Charente, still held for the Prince
of Navarre. Yet so long as La Rochelle itself stood firm, the Duke of
Anjou had accomplished little; and La Rochelle had made good use of the
respite to strengthen its works. Every effort to gain a lodgement in its
neighborhood had signally failed. The end of December came, and with it
cold and discouragement. Anjou's army was dwindling away. The King of
Spain and the Pope recalled their troops, as if the battle of the third of
October had ended the war, and Santa Fiore, the pontifical general, sent
to Rome twenty-six standards, taken by the Italians at Moncontour--a
present from Charles the Ninth, which Pius accepted with great delight,
and dedicated as a trophy in the Basilica of St. John Lateran.[741] Henry
of Anjou himself was ill, or was unwilling any longer to endure separation
from a court of whose pleasures he was inordinately fond; and, resigning
the command of the army into the hands of the eldest son of the Duke of
Montpensier, François de Bourbon--generally known as the prince
dauphin--he hastened, at the beginning of the new year, to join Charles
and Catharine de' Medici at Angers. The French troops, meantime, were
either furloughed or scattered, and the generals condemned to inaction,
while the German reiters and lansquenets and the Swiss pikemen were
permitted to return to their own homes.[742] Such was the suicidal policy
of the Roman Catholic party--a policy which saved the Huguenots from
prostration; for it may with truth be affirmed that the errors committed
in the siege of Saint Jean d'Angely, and in disbanding the powerful army
of Anjou, completely obliterated the advantage which had been won on the
bloody field of Moncontour.[743]

While the Protestants had been forced to abandon one important place after
another in Poitou, Saintonge and Aunis, they had in other parts of the
kingdom been displaying their old enterprise, and had obtained
considerable success. Vézelay in Burgundy, the birthplace of the reformer
Theodore Beza, passed through a fiery ordeal. This ancient town, built
upon the brow of a hill, and strong as well by reason of its situation as
of its walls constructed in a style that was now becoming obsolete in
France, had been captured at the beginning of the war by some of the
neighboring Huguenot noblemen, who scaled the walls and surprised the
garrison. One of the few points the Protestants held in the eastern part
of the kingdom, it was regarded as a place of the greatest importance to
their cause.

[Sidenote: Huguenot successes. Vézelay.]

Within a few weeks Vézelay was twice besieged by a Roman Catholic army
under Sansac. A vigorous sortie, in which the Huguenots destroyed almost
all the engines of war of the assailants, on the first occasion caused the
siege to be raised. When Sansac renewed his attempt he fared no better.
The soldiers who had thrown themselves into the place, with the
enthusiastic citizens, repelled every attack, and promptly suppressed
treacherous plots by putting to death two persons whom they found engaged
in revealing their secrets to the enemy. Sansac next undertook to reduce
Vézelay by hunger; but the Huguenots broke his lines, aided by their
friends in La Charité and Sancerre, and supplied themselves abundantly
with provisions. When, on the sixteenth of December, Sansac finally
abandoned the fruitless and inglorious undertaking, he had lost, since
October, no fewer than fifteen hundred of his soldiers.[744]

[Sidenote: Brilliant capture of Nismes.]

The Huguenots of Sancerre in turn made an attempt to enter Bourges, the
capital of the province of Berry, by promising a large sum of money to the
officer second in command of the citadel; but he revealed their plan to
his superior, M. de la Chastre, governor of the province, and the advanced
party which had been admitted within the gates (on the twenty-first of
December) fell into the snare prepared for them.[745] The capture of
Nismes--"the city of antiquities"--more than compensated for the failure
at Bourges. Rarely has an enterprise of equal difficulty been more
patiently prosecuted, or been crowned with more brilliant success. The
exiled Protestants, a large and important class, had now for many months
been subjected to the greatest hardships, and were anxiously watching an
opportunity to return to their homes. At last a carpenter presented
himself, who had long revolved the matter in his mind, and had discovered
a method of introducing the Huguenots into the city which promised well.
There was a fountain, a short distance from the walls of Nismes, known to
the ancients by the same name as the city itself--Nemausus--whose copious
stream, put to good service by the inhabitants, turned a number of mills
within the municipal limits. To admit the waters a canal had been built,
which, where it pierced the fortifications, was protected by a heavy iron
grating. Through this wet channel the carpenter resolved that the
Huguenots should enter Nismes. It so happened that a friend of his dwelt
in a house which was close to the wall at this spot; with his help he
lowered himself by night from a window into the ditch. A cord, which was
slackened or drawn tight according as there was danger of detection or
apparent security, served to direct his operations. The utmost caution was
requisite, and the water-course was too contracted to permit more than a
single person to work at once. Provided only with a file, the carpenter
set himself to sever the stout iron bars. The task was neither pleasant
nor easy. Night after night he stood in the cold stream, with the mud up
to his knees, exposed to wind and rain, and working most industriously
when the roar of the elements covered and drowned the noise he made. It
was only for a few minutes at a time that he could work; for, as the place
was situated between the citadel and the "porte des Carmes," a sentry
passed it at brief intervals, and was scarcely out of hearing except when
he went to ring the bell which announced a change of guard. Fifteen
nights, chosen from the darkest of the season, were consumed in this
perilous undertaking; and each morning, when the approach of dawn
compelled him to suspend his labors, the carpenter concealed his progress
by means of wax and mud. All this time he had been prudent enough to keep
his own counsel; but when, on the fifteenth of November, his work was
completed, he called upon the Huguenot leaders to follow him into Nismes.
A detachment of three hundred men was placed at his disposal. When once
the foremost were in the town, and had overpowered the neighboring guards,
the Huguenots obtained an easy success. The clatter of a number of
camp-servants, who were mounted on horseback, with orders to ride in every
direction, shouting that the city was in the hands of the enemy,
contributed to facilitate the capture. Most of the soldiers, who should
have met and repelled the Protestants, shut themselves up in their houses
and refused to leave them. In a few minutes, all Nismes, with the
exception of the castle, which held out a few months longer, was
taken.[746]

[Sidenote: Coligny encouraged.]

When Admiral Coligny, wounded and defeated, was borne on a litter from the
field of Moncontour, where the hopes of the Huguenots had been so rudely
dashed to the ground, his heart almost failed him in view of the prospects
of the war and of his faith. Two persons seemed at this critical juncture
to have exercised on his mind a singular influence in restoring him to his
accustomed hopefulness. L'Estrange, a simple gentleman, was being carried
away in a plight similar to his own, when, having been brought to the
admiral's side, he looked intently upon him, and then gave expression to
his gratitude to Heaven, that, in the midst of the chastisements with
which it had seen fit to visit his fellow-believers, there was yet so much
of mercy shown, in the words, "Yet is God very gentle!"[747]--a friendly
reminder, which, the great leader was wont to say, raised him from gloom
and turned his thoughts to high and noble resolve.[748] Nor was the heroic
Queen of Navarre found wanting at this crisis. No sooner had she heard of
the disaster than she started from La Rochelle, and at Niort met the
admiral, with such remnants of the army as still clung to him. Far from
yielding to despondency, Jeanne d'Albret urged the generals to renew the
contest; and, having communicated to them a part of her own enthusiasm,
returned to La Rochelle to watch over the defence of the city, and to lend
still more important assistance to the cause, by writing to Queen
Elizabeth and the other allies of the Huguenots, correcting the
exaggerated accounts of the defeat of Moncontour which had been studiously
disseminated by the Roman Catholic party, and imploring fresh assistance.

[Sidenote: Withdrawal of the troops of Dauphiny and Provence.]

As for Coligny, his plans were soon formed. The troops of Dauphiny and
Provence, always among the most reluctant to leave their homes, had long
been clamoring for permission to return. It was now impossible to retain
them. On the fourteenth of October they started from Angoulême, whither
they had gone without consulting the Protestant generals, and, under the
leadership of Montbrun and Mirabel, directed their course toward their
native provinces. In two days they reached the river Dordogne at Souillac,
where a part of their body, while seeking to cross, was attacked by the
Roman Catholics, and suffered great loss. The rest pushed forward to
Aurillac, in Auvergne, which had recently been captured by a Huguenot
captain, and soon found their way to Privas, Aubenas, and the banks of the
Rhône.[749] Thence, after refreshing themselves for a few days, they
crossed into Dauphiny to renew the struggle for their own firesides.[750]

[Sidenote: Plan of the admiral's bold march.]

On the eighteenth of October, four days after the departure of the
Dauphinese troops from Angoulême, Coligny set forth from Saintes upon an
expedition as remarkable for boldness of conception as for its singularly
skilful and successful execution--an expedition which is entitled to rank
among the most remarkable military operations of modern times.[751] In the
face of an enemy flushed with victory, and himself leading an army reduced
to the mere shadow of its former size, the admiral deliberately drew up
the plan of a march of eight or nine months, through a hostile territory,
and terminating in the vicinity of the capital itself. As sketched by
Michel de Castelnau from the admiral's own words in conversation with him,
the objects of the Protestant general were principally these: to satisfy
the claims of his mutinous German mercenaries by the reduction of some of
the enemy's rich cities in Guyenne; to strengthen himself by forming a
junction with the army of Montgomery and such fresh troops as "the
viscounts" might be able to raise; to meet on the lower Rhône the
recruited forces of Montbrun and Mirabel; thence to turn northward, and,
having reached the borders of Lorraine, to welcome the Germans whom the
Elector Palatine and William of Orange would hold in readiness; and, at
last, to bring the war to an end by forcing the Roman Catholics to give
battle, under circumstances more advantageous to the reformed, in the
immediate vicinity of Paris.[752]

[Sidenote: He sweeps through Guyenne.]

Coligny's army was chiefly composed of cavalry; of infantry he had but
three thousand men.[753] The young Princes of Navarre and of Condé, whom
he wished to accustom to the fatigues of the march and of the
battle-field, while endearing them to the Huguenots by their participation
in the same perils with the meanest private soldier, were his companions,
and had commands of their own. He had left La Rochefoucauld in La Rochelle
to protect the city and the Queen of Navarre. The admiral's course was
first directed to Montauban, that city which has been the stronghold of
Protestantism in southern France down to the present time. But the
difficulties of the way, and, particularly, the improbability of finding
easy means of crossing so near their mouths the successive rivers, which,
rising in the mountainous region of Auvergne and the Cevennes, all flow
westward and empty into the Garonne, or its wide estuary, the Gironde,
compelled Coligny to make a considerable deflection to the left. He
effected the passage of the Dordogne at Argentat, a little above the spot
where Montbrun had sustained his recent check, and, after making a feint
of throwing himself into Auvergne, crossed the Lot below Cadenac, and
reached Montauban in safety.[754] The Count of Montgomery, returning from
his victorious campaign in Béarn, had been ordered to be in readiness in
this city. But learning that, by an unaccountable delay, he was still in
Condom, south of the Garonne, Coligny marched westward to Aiguillon, at
the confluence of the Lot and the Garonne. Near this place he constructed,
with great trouble, a substantial bridge across the Garonne, with the
intention of transporting his army to the left bank, and ravaging the
country far down in the direction of Bordeaux. This bold movement was
prevented by Blaise de Montluc, who, adopting the suggestion of another,
and appropriating the credit due to the sagacity of this nameless genius,
detached one of the numerous floating windmills that were moored in the
Garonne, and having loaded it with stones, sent it down with the current
against Coligny's bridge. Not only were the chains that bound the
structure broken, but the very boats on which it rested were carried away
as far as to Bordeaux itself. It was with great difficulty that the
admiral brought back to the right bank the division of his army that had
already crossed, and with it the troops of Count Montgomery.[755]

The united army now returned to Montauban, where, in the midst of a rich
district in part friendly to the Huguenots, it spent the last days of 1569
and the greater part of the month of January, 1570. Its numbers had by
this time received such large accessions, that Coligny wrote to Germany
that he had six or seven thousand horse and fifteen thousand foot.[756] As
the reformed population of Montauban had contributed enough money to
satisfy the prince's indebtedness to the importunate reiters and
lansquenets,[757] the troops were enthusiastic in their devotion to the
cause, and pushed their raids under the intrepid La Loue south of the
Garonne toward the Bay of Biscay, as far as Mont de Marsan and Roquefort
in the "Pays des Landes."[758]

[Sidenote: "Vengeance de Rapin."]

[Sidenote: Coligny pushes on to the Rhône.]

The Huguenots now proceeded towards Toulouse, but that city was too
strongly fortified and garrisoned to tempt them to make an attack. They
inflicted, however, a stern retribution upon the vicinity, devoting to
destruction the villas and pleasure-grounds of the members of a parliament
that had rendered itself infamous for its injustice and blind bigotry. The
cruel fate of Rapin, murdered according to the forms of law, simply
because he was a Protestant and brought from the king an edict containing
too much toleration to suit the inordinate orthodoxy of these robed
fanatics, was yet fresh in the memory of the soldiers, and fired their
blood. On ruined and blackened walls, in more than one quarter, could be
read subsequently the ominous words, written by no idle braggarts:
"_Vengeance de Rapin!_" Leaving the marks of their passage in a desolated
district, the Huguenots swept on to the friendly city of Castres, and
thence through lower Languedoc, by Carcassonne and Montpellier, which they
made no attempt to reduce, to Uzès and Nismes. Meanwhile Piles had from
Castres made a marauding expedition with a body of picked troops to the
very foot of the Pyrenees, and, in retaliation for the aid which the
Spaniards had furnished Charles the Ninth, had penetrated to Perpignan,
and ravaged the County of Roussillon.[759]

[Sidenote: His singular success and its causes.]

Thus the Huguenots--of whom Charles had contemptuously written to his
ambassador at London, in January, that they were in so miserable a plight
that, even since Anjou had dismissed all his men-at-arms after the capture
of Saint Jean d'Angely, they dared not show their faces[760]--had pushed
an army from the mouth of the Gironde to the mouth of the Rhône. If
Viscount Monclar had fallen mortally wounded near Castres, and brave La
Loue had been surprised and killed near Montpellier, the Protestants had,
nevertheless, sustained little injury. They had been largely reinforced on
the way, both by the local troops that joined them and by chivalric
spirits such as M. de Piles, who followed them so soon as he was forced to
surrender Saint Jean d'Angely; or, like Beaudiné and Renty, who had been
left with La Rochefoucauld to guard La Rochelle, but who, impatient of
long inaction, at length obtained permission to attach themselves to the
princes, and caught up with them at Castres, after a journey full of
hazardous adventures. The Huguenot army, says La Noue, had been but an
insignificant snow-ball when it started on its adventurous course; but the
imprudence of its opponents permitted it to roll on, without hinderance,
until it grew to a portentous size.[761] The jealousy existing between
Montluc and Marshal Damville, who commanded for the king--the former as
lieutenant-general in Gascony, and the latter as governor in
Languedoc--undoubtedly removed many difficulties from the way of Admiral
Coligny; and Montluc openly accused his rival, who was a Montmorency, of
purposely furthering the designs of his heretical cousin. The accusation
was a baseless fabrication; yet it obtained, as such stories generally do,
a wide currency among the prejudiced and the ignorant, who could explain
Damville's failure to impede Coligny's progress in no more satisfactory
way than as the result of collusion between the son and the nephew of the
late constable.[762]

[Sidenote: The admiral turns toward Paris.]

[Sidenote: His illness interrupts negotiations.]

Coligny had not yet accomplished his main object. Turning northward, and
hugging the right bank of the Rhône, he prosecuted his undertaking of
carrying the war to the very gates of Paris. The few small pieces of
artillery the Protestants possessed, it was now found difficult to drag
over rugged hills that descended to the river's edge. They were,
therefore, at first transported to the other side, and finally left behind
in some castles garrisoned by the Huguenots. The recruits that had been
expected from Dauphiny came in very small numbers, and it was with
diminished forces that Coligny and the princes, on the twenty-sixth of
May, reached Saint Étienne, at that time a small town, which modern
enterprise and capital has transformed into a great manufacturing
city.[763] A little farther, at St. Rambert on the Loire, an incident
occurred which threatened to blight all the fair hopes the Protestants had
now again begun to conceive of a speedy and prosperous conclusion of the
war. Admiral Coligny fell dangerously ill, and for a time serious fears
were entertained for his life. It was a moment of anxious suspense. Never
before had the reformed realized the extent to which their fortunes were
dependent on a single man. The lesson was a useful one to the young
companions of the princes, who, in the midst of the stern discipline of
the camp, had shown some disposition to complain of the loss of the more
congenial gayety of the court.[764] Louis of Nassau, brother of William of
Orange, and next in command, was the only person among the Protestants
that could have succeeded to Coligny in his responsible position; but even
Louis of Nassau could not exact the respect enjoyed by the admiral, both
with his own troops and with the enemy. Indeed, it was the conduct of the
Roman Catholics at this juncture that furnished the clearest proof of the
indispensable importance to the Huguenots of their veteran leader. The
negotiations, which must soon be adverted to, had for some time been in
progress, and the court displayed considerable anxiety to secure a peace;
but the moment it was announced that Coligny was likely to die, the
deputies from the king broke them off and waited to see the issue. Being
asked to explain so singular a course, and being reminded that the
Huguenots had other generals with whom a treaty might be formed in case of
Coligny's death, it is said that the deputies replied by expressing their
surprise that the Protestants did not see the weight and authority
possessed by their admiral. "Were he to die to-day," said they, "to-morrow
we should not offer you so much as a glass of water. As if you did not
know that the admiral's name goes farther in giving you consideration than
had you another army equal in size to that you have at present!"[765]

[Sidenote: Engagement of Arnay-le-Duc.]

But Gaspard de Coligny was destined to die a death more glorious for
himself, and to leave behind him a name more illustrious than it would
have been had he died on the eve of the return of peace to his desolated
country. He recovered, and once more advanced with his brave Huguenots.
And now the distance between the Protestant camp and the Roman Catholic
capital was rapidly diminishing. To meet the impending danger, the king
ordered Marshal Cossé, who had succeeded the prince dauphin in command of
the new army, to cross into Burgundy, check the admiral's course, and, if
possible, defeat him. The two armies met on the twenty-fifth of June, in
the neighborhood of the small town of Arnay-le-Duc.[766] Great was the
disparity of numbers. Cossé had four thousand Swiss, six thousand French
infantry, three thousand French, German, and Italian horse, and twelve
cannon. Coligny's army had lost so much during its incessant marches
through a thousand difficult places, and in a country where desertion or
straying from the main body was so easy, that it consisted of but
twenty-five hundred arquebusiers and two thousand horsemen, besides a few
recruits from Dauphiny.

The Germans, who constituted about one-half of the cavalry, were
ill-equipped; but the French horse were as well armed as any corps the
Huguenots had been able to set on foot. All were hardened by toil and
well disciplined. Of artillery the admiral was entirely destitute.

The armies took position upon opposite hills, separated by a narrow
valley, in which flowed a brook fed by some small ponds. Cossé made the
attack, and attempted to cross the stream; but, after an obstinate fight
of seven hours, his troops were compelled to abandon the undertaking with
considerable loss. Next the entrenchments thrown up by the Huguenots in
the neighborhood of the ponds were assaulted. Here the Roman Catholics
were subjected to a galling fire, and began to yield. Afterward, receiving
reinforcements, they seemed to be on the point of succeeding, when Coligny
brought up M. de Piles, the hero of Saint Jean d'Angely, who, supported by
Count Montgomery, soon restored the superiority of the Huguenots. The
enemy was equally unfortunate in the attempt, simultaneously made, to turn
the admiral's position; and, foiled at every point, he retired for the
day. On the morrow, both armies reappeared in the same order of battle,
but neither general was eager to renew a contest in which the advantage
was all with those who stood on the defensive, and, after indulging in a
brief and ineffective cannonade, the order was given to the Roman Catholic
troops to return to camp.[767]

[Sidenote: Coligny approaches Paris.]

After this indecisive combat, Coligny, who had no desire to bring on a
general engagement before receiving the considerable accession of troops
of which he was in expectation, slipped away from Cossé, and though hotly
pursued by the enemy's cavalry, made his way to the friendly walls of La
Charité upon the Loire. Here he busied himself with preparations for
further undertakings, and was engaged particularly in providing his army
with a few cannon and mortars, of which he had greatly felt the need, when
activity was interrupted by a ten days' truce, dating from the fourteenth
of July, the precursor of a definite treaty of peace.[768] At the
expiration of the armistice, Coligny advanced, toward the end of July, to
his castle of Châtillon-sur-Loing, and distributed his troops in the
vicinity of Montargis, still nearer Paris. Marshal Cossé, at the same
time, moved in a parallel line through Joigny, and took up his position at
Sens, where he could at once protect the capital and prevent the Huguenots
from making raids in that fertile and populous province, the "Île de
France," from which the whole country had derived its name. Leaving the
admiral and his brave followers here, at the conclusion of an adventurous
expedition of over twelve hundred miles, which had consumed more than nine
months, let us glance at the negotiations for peace which had long been in
progress, and were now at length crowned with success.

[Sidenote: Progress of the negotiations.]

[Sidenote: The English rebellion affects the terms offered.]

So true was it of the combatants in the French civil wars, that they
rarely carried on hostilities but they were also treating for peace, that
since the battle of Moncontour there had hardly elapsed a month without
the discussion of the terms on which arms could be laid aside by both
parties. Scarcely had the first startling impression made by the defeat of
the Huguenots passed away before Catharine de' Medici sent that skilful
diplomatist, Michel de Castelnau, to assure the Queen of Navarre, at La
Rochelle, of her personal esteem and affection, as well as of her fervent
desire to employ her influence with the king, her son, in effecting a
pacification based upon just and honorable conditions. Jeanne replied in
courteous language; but, while she insisted upon her own hearty
reciprocation of the queen mother's wish, she also expressed the suspicion
which all the reformed entertained of the sincerity of the leading
ministers in the French cabinet, whose relations with Spain and with the
Pope showed that they were intent on nothing less than the utter ruin of
the Huguenots.[769] In November the matter took a more definite shape,
through Marshal Cossé, who appeared in La Rochelle with propositions of
peace. This statesman, otherwise moderate in his counsels, was imbued with
the notion that the Protestants were so discouraged by their late defeat,
that they would gladly accept any terms. But the Huguenots, having
understood that he was empowered merely to offer them liberty of
conscience, without the right to the public worship of God, promptly broke
off the negotiations.[770] A month or two later they were induced to
believe that the court was disposed to larger concessions, or, if not,
that they might at least justify themselves in the eyes of the world by
showing that they were neither unreasonable nor desirous of prolonging the
horrors of war. Two deputies--Jean de la Fin, Sieur de Beauvoir la Nocle,
and Charles de Téligny: the one sent by the Queen of Navarre, the other
sent by Coligny and the princes, who were already far on their journey
through the south of France--came to the king at Angers, and presented the
demands of the Huguenots. These demands certainly did not breathe a spirit
of craven submission. The Huguenots called not only for complete liberty
of conscience, but also for the right to hold their religious assemblies
through the entire kingdom, without prejudice to their dignities or
honors. They stipulated for the annulling of all sentences pronounced
against them; the approval of all that they had done, as done for the
welfare of the realm; the restitution of their dignities and property, and
the giving of good and sufficient securities for the execution of the
edict of pacification.[771] Catharine and her counsellors had undoubtedly
gained some wholesome experience since Cossé's first proposals. They had
already discovered that a single pitched battle had not ruined the
Huguenots; and they now suspected that a number of additional battles
might be required to effect that desirable result. It is not astonishing,
however, that the queen mother was not yet ready to grant terms which
could scarcely have been conceded even on the morrow of an overwhelming
defeat. The articles sent by the king to the Protestant leaders as a
counter-proposal were therefore of a very different character from those
which they had submitted. Charles offered to the Queen of Navarre, the
Princes of Navarre and Condé, the admiral, and their followers, entire
amnesty, and consented to annul all judicial proceedings made against
them during these or the late troubles. He would exact no punishment for
any treaties which they might have formed with foreign princes, and would
restore their goods, honors, and estates. As to the religious question, he
would allow them to hold two cities, in which they might do as they
pleased, the king placing in each city a capable "gentilhomme" to maintain
his authority and the public tranquillity. Elsewhere in France he would
tolerate no reformed minister, no exercise of any other religion than his
own. Neither would he guarantee the restitution of the judicial and other
offices once held by Protestants, since others had bought them, and the
money proceeding from the sale had been spent in defraying the expenses of
the war; especially as the clergy must look to the courts for the
enforcement of their claims for indemnification for the destruction of the
churches and other ecclesiastical property. The king professed himself
willing to give all reasonable securities for the performance of his
promises, but neglected to make any specification of the nature of those
securities.[772] Such were the hard conditions offered--all that Catharine
and the Guises were willing to concede at a time when it was hoped that
the Huguenots would lose the assistance of one of their secret supporters,
Elizabeth of England; for the Earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland had
risen in the north, and they had not only the best wishes, but the ready
co-operation of every Spanish and French sympathizer. Charles himself was
writing to his ambassador at London a letter meant to meet the queen's
eye, instructing him to congratulate Elizabeth on the progress made in
suppressing the insurrection; and Catharine, by the same messenger, sent a
secret letter of the same date, ordering the same diplomatic agent, in
case the rebellion was not at an end, to give aid and comfort to the
rebels.[773] Catharine and the Guises had not lost heart. Moved by
repeated supplications, Pius the Fifth at last decided to excommunicate
the heretical daughter of Henry and Anne Boleyn. But, as the bull of the
twenty-fifth of February, 1570, had been procured solely by the entreaties
of the rebel earls, enforced by the intercessions of the Guises, and as it
was known that Philip the Second, so far from desiring it, was strongly
opposed to the imprudent policy of the pontiff, the document, which
pretended to relieve all the queen's subjects of the obligations of their
allegiance, was committed to the charge of the Cardinal of Lorraine, to
launch at Elizabeth's devoted head whenever the convenient moment should
arrive.[774]

At Montréal, near Carcassonne, the admiral was again overtaken by a royal
messenger, who on this occasion was Biron, equally distinguished on the
field and in the council-chamber. While the Protestants replied to his
offer that with heartfelt satisfaction they greeted the king's disposition
to restore peace to France, and sent to Charles, who was then at
Châteaubriand, in Brittany, a delegation consisting of Téligny, Beauvoir
la Nocle, and La Chassetière, they distinctly stated that no terms could
be entertained which should not include liberty of worship. For they
declared that "the deprivation of the exercise of their religion was more
insupportable to them than death itself."[775] But, in fact, the Huguenot
princes and nobles placed little reliance upon the sincerity of the court,
and had no hope of peace so long as they treated at a distance from the
capital. Accordingly, Coligny, in his march up the valley of the Rhône,
when again approached in the king's name by Biron, accompanied by Henry de
Mesmes, Sieur de Malassise, peremptorily declined to enter into a truce
which should interrupt the efficiency of his movement.[776]

[Sidenote: Better conditions proposed.]

[Sidenote: Charles and his mother for peace.]

[Sidenote: The war fruitless for its authors.]

But when at last the admiral reached the Loire, and, at La Charité and
Châtillon, was within a few hours of Paris, the attitude of the court in
relation to the peace seemed to undergo an entire change, and it became
evident that the negotiations, which had previously been employed for the
mere purpose of amusing the Huguenots, were now resorted to with the view
of ending a war already protracted far beyond expectation. Nor is it
difficult to discover some of the circumstances that tended to bring about
this radical mutation of policy.[777] The resources of the kingdom were
exhausted. It was no longer possible to furnish the ready money without
which the German and other mercenaries, of late constituting a large
portion of the royal troops, could not be induced to enter the kingdom.
The Pope and Philip were lavish of nothing beyond promises and
exhortations that above all things Charles should make no peace with the
heretical rebels. Indeed, Philip had few men, and no money, to spare. The
French troops were in great straits. The gentlemen, who, in return for
their immunity from all taxation, were bound to serve the monarch in the
field at their own expense, had exhausted their available funds in so long
a contest, and it was impossible to muster them in such numbers as the war
demanded. Charles himself had always been averse to war. His tastes were
pacific. If he ever emulated the martial glory which his brother Anjou had
so easily acquired, the feeling was but of momentary duration, and met
with little encouragement from his mother. He had, undoubtedly, consented
to the initiation of the war only in consequence of the misrepresentations
made by those who surrounded him, respecting its necessity and the ease of
its prosecution. He had now the strongest reasons for desiring the
immediate return of peace. His marriage with the daughter of the emperor
had for some months been arranged, but Maximilian refused to permit
Elizabeth to become the queen of a country rent with civil commotion.
Catharine de' Medici, also, from the advocate of war, had become anxious
for peace--tardily returning to the conviction which she had often
expressed in former years, that the attempt to exterminate the Huguenots
by force of arms was hopeless. After two years she was no nearer her
object than when the Cardinal of Lorraine persuaded her to endeavor to
seize Condé at Noyers. Jarnac had accomplished nothing; Moncontour was
nearly as barren a victory. A great part of what had been so laboriously
effected by Anjou's army in the last months of 1569, La Noue had been
undoing in the first half of 1570.[778] The Protestants, who were, a few
months since, shut up in La Rochelle, had defeated their enemies at Sainte
Gemme, near Luçon, and had retaken Fontenay, Niort, the Isle d'Oléron,
Brouage, and other places. The Baron de la Garde, who had lately, in the
capacity of "general of the galleys," been infesting the seas in the
neighborhood of La Rochelle, was compelled to retire to Bordeaux.[779]
Saintes had been besieged and captured, and the Huguenots were advancing
to the reduction of St. Jean d'Angely, not long since so dearly won by the
Roman Catholics.[780] Montluc had, it is true, met with success in Béarn,
where Rabasteins was taken and its entire garrison massacred.[781] But
what were these advantages at the foot of the Pyrenees, when an army under
Gaspard de Coligny, after sweeping four hundred leagues through the
southern and western provinces, was now in the immediate vicinity of
Paris? His forces, indeed, were small in numbers, but would speedily grow
formidable. The French ambassador sent from London the intelligence that
letters of credit had been sent from England to Hamburg in order to hasten
the entrance into France of some twelve or fifteen thousand Germans under
Duke Casimir; that twenty-five hundred men were to be despatched from La
Rochelle to make a descent on some point in Normandy or Brittany, in
conjunction with the ships of the Prince of Orange; and that the English
were to be invited to co-operate.[782] If it had proved impracticable to
prevent the Duc de Deux Ponts from marching across France to join the
confederates near the ocean, what hope was there that the king would be
able to hinder the union of Coligny and Casimir? Or, why might not both be
reinforced by the troops of La Noue, who had been accomplishing such
exploits in Aunis and Saintonge?

The princes of Germany added their intercessions to the stern logic of the
conflict. During the festivities in Heidelberg, attending the marriage of
John Casimir, Duke of Bavaria, and Elizabeth, daughter of the Elector of
Saxony, in June, 1570, the Elector Palatine, the Elector of Saxony, the
Margraves George Frederick of Brandenburg and Charles of Baden, Louis,
Duke of Würtemberg, the Landgraves William, Philip and George of Hesse,
and Adolphus, Duke of Holstein, wrote a joint letter to Charles the Ninth
of France, in which they drew his attention to the injury which the long
war he was carrying on with his subjects was inflicting upon the states of
the empire, and to the necessity of speedily terminating it if he would
retain their good-will and friendship. And they assured him that there was
no way of accomplishing this result except by permitting the exercise of
the reformed religion throughout the kingdom, and abolishing all
distinctions between his Majesty's subjects of different faiths.[783]

[Sidenote: Anxiety of Cardinal Châtillon.]

When the war had so signally failed, it is not strange that the king and
his mother should have turned once more to the advocates of peace, with
whose return to favor the retirement of the Guises from court was
contemporaneous. Yet the Protestants, who knew too well from experience
the malignity of that hated family, could not but shudder lest they might
be putting themselves in the power of their most determined enemies. The
Queen of Navarre wrote to Charles urging him to use his own native good
sense, and assuring him that she feared "marvellously" that these
well-known mischief-makers would lure him into "a patched-up-peace"--_une
paix fourrée_--like the preceding pacifications. The object they had in
view was, indeed, the ruin of the Huguenots; but the first disaster, she
warned him, would fall on the monarch and his royal estate.[784] Cardinal
Châtillon, when sounded by the French ambassador in England, expressed his
eagerness for peace. On selfish grounds alone he would be glad to exchange
poverty in England for his revenues of one hundred and twenty thousand a
year in France. But he had his fears. "Remembering that the king, the
queen, and monsieur (the Duke of Anjou), to confirm the last peace, did
him the honor to give him their word, placing their own hands in his, and
that those who induced them to break it were those very persons with whom
he and his associates now had to conclude the proposed peace," he said,
"his hair stood upon end with fear." All that the Protestants wanted was
security. They would be glad to transfer the war elsewhere--a thing his
brother the admiral had always desired; and, if admitted to the king's
favor, they would render his Majesty the most notable service that had
been done to the crown for two hundred years.[785]

[Sidenote: Royal Edict of pacification, St. Germain, August 8, 1570.]

The terms of the long-desired peace were at last decided upon by the
commissioners, among whom Téligny and Beauvoir la Nocle were most
prominent on the Protestant side, while Biron and De Mesmes represented
the court. On the eighth of August, 1570, they were officially promulgated
in a royal edict signed at St. Germain-en-Laye.

There were in this document the usual stipulations respecting amnesty,
the prohibition of insults and recriminations, and kindred topics. The
liberty of religious profession was guaranteed. Respecting worship
according to the Protestant rites, the provision was of the following
character. All nobles entitled to "high jurisdiction"[786] were permitted
to designate one place belonging to them, where they could have religious
services for themselves, their families, their subjects, and all who might
choose to attend, so long as either they or their families were present.
This privilege, in the case of other nobles, was restricted to their
families and their friends, not exceeding ten in number. To the Queen of
Navarre a few places were granted in the fiefs which she held of the
French crown, where service could be celebrated even in her absence. In
addition to these, there was a list of cities, designated by name--two in
each of the twelve principal governments or provinces--in which, or in the
suburbs of which, the reformed services were allowed; and this privilege
was extended to all those places of which the Protestants had possession
on the first of the present month of August. From all other places--from
the royal court and its vicinity to a distance of two leagues, and
especially from Paris and its vicinity to the distance of ten
leagues--Protestant worship was strictly excluded. Provision was made for
Protestant burials, to take place in the presence of not more than ten
persons. The king recognized the Queen of Navarre, the prince her son, and
the late Prince of Condé and his son, as faithful relations and servants;
their followers as loyal subjects; Deux Ponts, Orange, and his brothers,
and Wolrad Mansfeld, as good neighbors and friends. There was to be a
restitution of property, honors, and offices, and a rescission of judicial
sentences. To protect the members of the reformed faith in the courts of
justice, they were to be permitted to challenge four of the judges in the
Parliament of Paris; six--three in each chamber--in those of Rouen, Dijon,
Aix, Rennes, and Grenoble; and four in each chamber of the Parliament of
Bordeaux. They were to be allowed a peremptory appeal from the Parliament
of Toulouse. To defend the Huguenots from popular violence, four cities
were to be intrusted to them for a period of two years--La Rochelle,
Montauban, Cognac, and La Charité--to serve as places of refuge; and the
Princes of Navarre and Condé, with twenty of their followers, were to
pledge their word for the safe restoration of these cities to the king at
the expiration of the designated term.[787]

[Sidenote: Dissatisfaction of the clergy.]

Such were the leading features of the edict of pacification that closed
the third religious war, by far the longest and most sanguinary conflict
that had as yet desolated France. That the terms would be regarded as in
the highest degree offensive by the intolerant party at home and abroad
was to be expected. The Parisian curate, Jehan de la Fosse, only spoke the
common sentiment of the clergy and of the bigoted Roman Catholics when he
said that "it contained articles sufficiently terrible to make France and
the king's faithful servants tremble, seeing that the Huguenots were
reputed as faithful servants, and what they had done held by the king to
be agreeable."[788] It was not astonishing, therefore, that, although the
publication of the edict was effected without delay under the eyes of the
court at Paris, it gave rise in Rouen to a serious riot.[789] The Papal
Nuncio and the Spanish ambassador were indignant. Both Pius and Philip had
bitterly opposed the negotiations of the early part of the year. Now their
ambassadors made a fruitless attempt to put off the evil day of peace; the
Spanish ambassador not only offering three thousand horse and six thousand
foot to extirpate the Huguenots, but affirming that "there were no
conditions to which he was not ready to bind himself, provided that the
king would not make peace with the heretics and rebels."[790]

[Sidenote: "The limping and unsettled peace."]

For the first time in their history, the relations of the Huguenots of
France to the state were settled, not by a royal declaration which was to
be of force until the king should attain his majority, or until the
convocation of a general council of the Church, but by an edict which was
expressly stated to be "_perpetual and irrevocable_." Such the
Protestants, although with many misgivings, hoped that it might prove. It
was not, however, an auspicious circumstance that the popular wit, laying
hold of the fact that one of the Roman Catholic commissioners that drew up
its stipulations--Biron--was lame, while the other--Henri de Mesmes--was
best known as Lord of Malassise, conferred upon the new compact the
ungracious appellation of "_the limping and unsettled peace_"--"la paix
boiteuse et mal-assise."[791]


FOOTNOTES:

[587] Mémoires d'Agrippa d'Aubigné (Ed. Buchon), 475.

[588] Jean de Serres, iii. 247.

[589] Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. 541; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 145.

[590] The text of the edict is given by Jean de Serres, iii. 272-281. See
also De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 145, 146; Castelnau, liv. vii., c. ii. La
Fosse (Journal d'un curé ligueur, 98), gives the correct date: "Septembre.
_La veille du Saint Michel_ (i.e., _Sept._ 28th) fut rompu l'esdict de
janvier, et publié dedans le palais esdict au contraire;" while the
ambassador La Mothe Fénélon alludes to it in a despatch to Catharine as
"votre édict du xxxe de Septembre." Correspondance diplomatique, i. 28.

[591] J. de Serres, iii. 281, 282; De Thou and Castelnau, _ubi supra_,
Recordon, Le protestantisme en Champagne, 158, 159.

[592] Zway Edict, u. s. w., _ubi infra_, p. 38.

[593] Castelnau, _ubi supra_.

[594] I have before me this interesting publication, of which the first
lines of the title-page (inordinately long and comprehensive, after the
fashion of the times) run as follows: "Zway Edict, sampt einer offnen
Patent der Königlichen Würden in Franckreich, durch welche alle
auffrurische Predigten, versamblungen und ubung der newen unchristlichen
Secten und vermainten Religion gantz und gar abgeschafft und allain die
Römische und Bäpstische Catholische ware Religion gestattet werden
sollen.... 1568."

[595] De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 160, 161.

[596] "Notre sang nous sera ung secong baptême, par quoy sans aucun
empeschement, nous irons avec les autres martyrs droit en paradis."
Publication de la croisade, Hist. de Languedoc, v. (Preuves) 216, 217. See
the account, ibid., v. 290.

[597] Ibid., v. (Preuves) 217. The laborious author of the Hist. de
Languedoc, v. 290, makes a singular mistake in saying "that this bull is
dated March 15th, of the year 1568, which proves that the project had been
formed several months before its execution." The date of the bull is,
indeed, given as stated at the close of the document; but the addition,
"pontificatus nostri anno _quarto_," furnishes the means for correcting
it. Pius V. was not created Pope until January 7, 1566. See De Thou, iii.
(liv. xxxix.) 622.

[598] Mémoires de Claude Haton, ii. 541, 542.

[599] Jehan de la Fosse, 99.

[600] Jean de Serres, iii. 249.

[601] Jean de Serres, iii. 255, 256; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlix.) 141. De
Serres (iii. 256-266) gives interesting extracts of the letters which
Jeanne wrote to Charles, to his mother, to the Duke of Anjou, and to her
brother-in-law, the Cardinal of Bourbon. She urged the latter, by every
consideration of blood and honor, to shake off his shameful servitude to
the counsels of the Cardinal of Lorraine, whom she openly accused of
having conspired to murder Bourbon, with Marshal Montmorency and
Chancellor L'Hospital, during a recent illness of the queen.

[602] Jean de Serres, iii. 267-269; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 142, 143;
D'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 2, 3 (i. 264-268).

[603] J. de Serres, _ubi supra_.

[604]
    "C'est en Judée proprement
    Que Dieu s'est acquis un renom;
    C'est en Israël voirement
    Qu'on voit la force de son Nom:
    En Salem est son tabernacle,
    En Sion son sainct habitacle."

I quote from an edition of the unaltered Huguenot psalter (1638).

[605] Jean de Serres, iii. 270; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 144, 145;
Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ. liv. v., c. 4 (i. 269) states the
circumstance that the river fell a foot and a half during the four hours
consumed in the crossing, and then rose again as opportunely: "Mais il
s'en fust perdu la pluspart sans un heur nompareil; ce fut que la riviere
s'estant diminuée d'un pied et demi durant le passage de quatre heures, se
r'enfla sur la fin;" adding in one of those nervous sentences which
constitute a principal charm of his writings: "Nous dirions avec crainte
_ces courtoisies de Loire_, si nous n'avions tous ceux qui ont escrit pour
gariment."

[606] Jean de Serres, iii. 270, 271; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 147;
Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 269.

[607] La Noue, c. xx.

[608] Ibid., _ubi supra_; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 150.

[609] Jacques de Crussol, Baron d'Acier (or, Assier), afterwards Duke
d'Uzès, lieutenant-general of the royal armies in Languedoc, etc.
According to the Abbé Le Laboureur (iii. 56-60), it was interest that
induced him, a few years later, to become a Roman Catholic.

[610] Le Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, ii. 588. The same author
elsewhere (ii. 56-60) states the army as only 20,000. Jean de Serres, iii.
284, 285, and De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 150-152, give an account of the
difficulties encountered in bringing these troops to the place of
rendezvous, and enumerate the leaders and contingents of the three
provinces. According to the latter, the total was 23,000 men. See Agrippa
d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 5 (i. 271).

[611] Jean de Serres, iii. 286, 291, 292; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.), 153,
154; Agrippa d'Aubigné, _ubi supra_; Davila, bk. iv., p. 132, 133; Le
Laboureur, ii. 588, 589. It is more than usually difficult to ascertain
the loss of the Huguenots at Messignac. Jean de Serres, who states it at
600, and Davila, who says that it amounted to 2,000 foot and more than
4,000 horse, are the extremes. De Thou sets it down at more than 1,000;
D'Aubigné at 1,000 or 1,200; Castelnau at 3,000 foot and 300 horse; and Le
Laboureur, following him, at over 3,000 men.

[612] Hist. univ., liv. v., c. 6 (i. 273).

[613] "Discours envoyé de la Rochelle," accompanying La Mothe Fénélon's
despatch of January 20, 1569. Correspondance diplomatique, i. 137, 138.
Another letter of a later date gives even larger figures--30,000 foot
(25,000 of them arquebusiers) and 7,000 or 8,000 horse, besides recruits
expected from Montauban. Ibid., i. 147.

[614] Upwards of 23,000 horse and 200 ensigns of foot (which we may
perhaps reckon at 40,000 men). Despatch of La Mothe Fénélon, Dec. 5, 1568,
Corresp. diplomatique, i. 29.

[615] Mémoires de Tavannes, iii. 38. De Thou, iv. 154, assigns 18,000 foot
and 3,000 horse to Condé; and 12,000 foot and 4,000 horse, exclusive of
the Swiss (who, according to Tavannes, numbered 6,000), to Anjou.

[616] Jean de Serres, iii. 295, 296.

[617] "Resolution qui sembloit la plus nécessaire aux Réformez, pource que
difficilement pouvoient-ils maintenir une telle troupe sans solde et sans
magazins reglez." Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 6 (i. 273).

[618] See "Tableau des phénomènes météorologiques, astronomiques, etc.,
mentionnés dans les Mémoires de Claude Haton."

[619] Jean de Serres, iii. 304, 305; De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 159.

[620] "Cette Roine, _n'aiant de femme que le sexe_, l'âme entière aux
choses viriles, l'esprit puissant aux grands affaires, le coeur invincible
aux adversitez." Agrippa d'Aubigné, ii. 8.

[621] Jean de Serres, iii. 306, 307.

[622] Jean de Serres, iii. 296, 297; Relation sent from La Rochelle, La
Mothe Fénélon, i. 173. The Prince of Condé had also made a solemn
protestation in writing, and before a large assembly, before entering upon
any belligerent acts. The substance of these frequent documents is so
similar that I have deemed it unnecessary to do more than refer to it. See
J. de Serres, iii. 249, 250. The Huguenot soldiers had, at the same time,
taken an oath to support the cause until the achievement of a peace
securing the undisturbed enjoyment of life, honors and religious liberty,
and to submit to a careful military discipline. Ibid., iii. 251, 252-255,
where the oath and a summary of the rules of discipline are inserted.

[623] "Projet d'alliance du Prince d'Orange avec l'Amiral de Coligny et le
Prince de Condé pour obtenir entière liberté de conscience dans les
Pays-Bas et en France. Le--août l'an 1568." Groen Van Prinsterer, Archives
de la Maison d'Orange-Nassau, iii. 282-286.

[624] Letter of Favelles (Dec., 1568), Groen Van Prinsterer, Archives,
etc., iii. 312-316.

[625] He was not a "maréchal," as Mr. Motley inadvertently calls him
(Dutch Republic, ii. 261), but a very prominent and successful negotiator,
whose eulogy M. de Thou, an intimate friend, has pronounced in the 122d
book of his history (ix. 285). Henry, the first Count of Schomberg made
Marshal of France, was not born until 1583.

[626] It was generally believed that Schomberg, gaining access to the
Germans through one of the principal officers, to whom he was related, was
the occasion of their disaffection. Jean de Serres, iii. 298. "Il mesnagea
si bien la plus part des capitaines," says Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 340, "que
quand le Prince leur parla d'aller joindre le Prince de Condé, _il les
trouva tous bons théologiens et mauvais partisans_; discourans de la
justice des armes, sans oublier le droit des rois et les affaires qu'ils
avoient en leur païs. Schomberg s'en revint aiant reçeu quelques injures
par Genlis."

[627] Letter of December 3, 1568, Cissonne, in Motley, Rise of the Dutch
Republic, ii. 261, 262.

[628] News-letter from Paris, from the Huguenot physician of the Duke of
Jarnac, discovered in the gauntlet of the Prince of Condé, and sent by
Anjou, with other papers found on his dead body, to King Charles. Duc
d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, Pièces inéd., ii. 391.

[629] Jean de Serres, iii. 299; Groen Van Prinsterer, Archives, etc., iii.
316; Motley, Dutch Republic, ii. 263; Ag. d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 26 (i.
340).

[630] M. Froude falls into a very natural error, in calling him (History
of England, Am. edit., ix. 334) "the _younger_ Châtillon." With the
exception of a brother who died in early youth, he was the oldest of the
family; but his quiet and more sluggish character inclined him to accept
the cardinal's hat, when offered to him by his uncle, the constable; and,
rich with the revenues of bishoprics and abbeys, he subsequently renounced
all his rights as eldest son to his brother Gaspard. Froude is, however,
in good company. Even the usually accurate Tytler-Fraser says of Cardinal
Châtillon: "This high-born ecclesiastic was in most things the reverse of
his _elder_ brother D'Andelot." England under Edward VI. and Mary, i. 36.

[631] Lodged by Elizabeth in Sion House, not far from Hampton Court, he
was accorded more honor than usually fell to the lot of an envoy of
royalty. Never, says Florimond de Ræmond, did the queen meet him but she
greeted him with a kiss, and it became a popular saying that Condé's
ambassador was a much more important personage than the envoy of the King
of France. De ortu, progressu, et ruina hæreseon (Cologne, 1614), ii. 284
(l. vi., c. 15).

[632] The letter of Jeanne to Elizabeth, Oct. 15, 1568, is inserted in
Jean de Serres, iii. 288-291.

[633] There were many English clergymen with whom the diversity of order
in public worship created no prejudice against the reformed churches of
France. Of this number was William Whittingham, Dean of Durham, who, when
he accompanied the Earl of Warwick, upon the occupation of Havre in 1562,
conformed the service of the English garrison to that of the resident
Protestants. Understanding that some of his countrymen had made
"frivolous" complaints of his action, the Dean justified himself by Saint
Augustine's counsel in such matters, and by alleging the disastrous
consequences a different course would have produced on the minds of the
French Protestants, who, he said, "as they had conceived evil of the
infinity of our rites and cold proceedings in religion, so if they should
have seen us (but in form only, though not in substance), to use the same
or like order in ceremonies which the papists had a little afore observed
(against whom they now venture goods and body), they would to their great
grief have suspected our doings as not sincere, and have feared in time
the loss of that liberty which after a sort they had purchased with the
bloodshedding of many thousands." And the dean maintains the wisdom of the
course pursued, having "perceived that it wrought here a marvellous
conjunction of minds between the French and us, and brought singular
comfort to all our people." The Bishop of London seems to have concurred
in these views, as well as Cuthbert Vaughan, and probably Warwick himself.
Whittingham to Cecil, Newhaven (Havre), Dec. 20, 1562, State Paper Office.
It ought to be added that Whittingham, in this letter, expresses in fact a
preference for the French forms to the English, as "most agreeable with
God's Word, most approaching to the form the godly Fathers used, best
allowed of the learned and godly in these days, and according to the
example of the best reformed churches." Dean Whittingham, who had married
the sister of John Calvin, was a leader of the Puritan party in the Church
of England, and the editor and principal translator of the "Genevan"
version of the English Bible. His opponents maintained that he was "a man
not in holy orders, either according to the Anglican or the Presbyterian
rite." (History of the Church of England, by G. G. Perry, Canon of
Lincoln, New York, 1879, p. 303.) But a commission appointed by the queen
to look into the matter, after the dean had been excommunicated by the
Archbishop of York, reported that "William Whittingham was ordained in a
better sort than even the archbishop himself." (Historic Origin of the
Bible, by Edwin Cone Bissell, New York, 1873, p. 57.)

[634] "A view of a seditious bull sent into England from Pius Quintus,
Bishop of Rome, 1569," etc. Works of Bishop Jewel, edited by R. W. Jelf,
vii. 263-265.

[635] Despatch of La Mothe Fénélon, Dec. 5, 1568, detailing the
justification of Charles, which he had made in an interview with Queen
Elizabeth, Correspondance diplomatique, i. 28-33.

[636] Yet no one could speak more courageous words than Elizabeth in her
own interests. In December, 1560, she requested the ambassador of Francis
II. "to write to his master frankly what she was about to say, viz., that
she meant to do her best to defend herself: that she was not of such
poverty, nor so void of the obedience of her subjects, but she trusted to
be able to do this. _She came of the race of lions, and therefore could
not sustain the person of a sheep._" Communication with the French
Ambassador, December 13, 1560, State Paper Office.

[637] Despatch of La Mothe Fénélon, Dec. 21, 1568, Corresp. dipl., i. 55,
56.

[638] "Qu'elle n'avoit rien en si grand horreur, en ce monde, que de voir
ung corps s'esmouvoir contre sa teste, et qu'elle n'avoit garde de
s'adjoindre à ung tel monstre." Ibid., i. 60.

[639] Ibid., i. 36-130.

[640] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 2; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c.
10 (i. 283); De Thou, iv. (liv. xliv.) 160. La Mothe Fénélon's despatch of
January 24, 1569 (Corr. dipl. i. 153, 154), states the assistance at 6
cannon and furniture, 300 barrels of powder, 4,000 balls, and £7,000.

[641] Despatch to La Mothe Fénélon, March 8, 1569, and "Articles presantez
à la royne d'Angleterre par le Sr de la Mothe, etc," Corresp. diplom., i.
224, 237-241.

[642] "Considérant luy-mesmes et toute la flotte des marchands estre en
leur pouvoir, il trouva nécessaire pour luy de condescendre en partie à
leurs demandes, _combien quv ce fût contre sa volonté_." Coppie du
messaige qui a esté declairé par la Majesté de la Royne et son conseil,
par parolle de bouche, à l'amb. du Roy de France, par Jehan Somer, clerc
du signet de sa Majesté le IIIe jour de mars, 1568. Corresp. diplom., i.
242-251.

[643] Despatch of Dec. 5, 1568, Corresp. diplom., i. 32, 33.

[644] In his despatch of March 25, 1569, La Mothe Fénélon admits to
Catharine his great perplexity as to how he should act, so as neither to
show too little spirit nor to provoke Elizabeth to such a declaration as
would compel the king, his master, to declare war at so inopportune a
time. Corresp. diplom., i. 281.

[645] Jean de Serres, iii. 307, 308; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.) 169, 170;
Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 3.

[646] De Thou, iv. 171, 172; Castelnau, _ubi supra_.

[647] Jean de Serres, iii. 302, 309; De Thou, iv. 161; Agrippa d'Aubigné,
i. 277.

[648] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.) 174, 175.

[649] The Earl of Leicester gives Charles a more direct part in the war.
"The king hathe bene these two monethes about Metz in Lorrayne, to
empeache the entry of the Duke of Bipounte, who is set forward by the
common assent of all the princes Protestants in Germany, with twelve
thousand horsemen, and twenty-five thousand footemen, to assiste the
Protestants in France, and to make some final end of their garboyles."
Letter to Randolph, ambassador to the Emperor of Muscovy, May 1, 1569,
Wright, Queen Elizabeth, i. 313. The facilities, even for diplomatic
correspondence, with so distant a country as Muscovy, were very scanty.
Leicester's despatch is accordingly an interesting résumé of the chief
events that had occurred in Western Europe during the past sixty days.

[650] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 277; De Thou, iv. 172, etc.

[651] "Ja Dieu ne plaise qu'on die jamais que Bourbon ait fuyt devant ses
ennemis." Lestoile, 21. It is probably to this circumstance that the Earl
of Leicester alludes, when he says that "the Prince of Condé, through his
overmuche hardines and little regard to follow the Admirall's advise had
his arme broken with a courrire shotte," etc. Wright, Queen Elizabeth, i.
313, 314.

[652] Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ., liv. v., c. 8 (i. 280); De Thou, iv.
175.

[653] D'Aubigné, _ubi supra_. A Huguenot patriarch, named La Vergne, was
noticed by Agrippa himself fighting in the midst of twenty-five of his
nephews and kinsmen. The dead bodies of the old man and of fifteen of his
followers fell almost on a single heap, and nearly all the survivors were
taken prisoners.

[654] Jeanne d'Albret to Marie de Clèves, April, 1569, Rochambeau, Lettres
d'Antoine de Bourbon et de Jehanne d'Albret (Paris, 1877), 297.

[655] I regret to say that the current representations as to the
termination of Condé's dishonorable attachment to Isabeau de Limueil are
proved by contemporary documents to be erroneous. The tears and
remonstrances of his wife Éléonore de Roye (see _ante_, chapter xiv.) may
have had some temporary effect. But an anonymous letter among the Simancas
MSS., written March 15, 1565 (and consequently more than six months after
Éléonore's death, which occurred July 23, 1564), portrays him as "hora più
che mai passionato per la sua Limolia." Duc d'Aumale, Pièces justif., i.
552. Just as Calvin (letter of September 17, 1563, Bonnet, Lettres franç.,
ii. 539) had rebuked the prince with his customary frankness, warning him
respecting his conduct, and saying that "les bonnes gens en seront
offenséz, les malins en feront leur risée," so now Coligny and the
Huguenot gentlemen of his suite united with the Protestant ministers in
begging him to renounce his present course of life, and contract a second
honorable marriage. The latter held up to him "il pericolo et infamia
propria, et il scandalo commune a tutta la relligione per esserne lui
capo;" the former threatened to leave him. I have seen no injurious
reports affecting Condé's morals after his marriage, November 8, 1565, to
Françoise Marie d'Orléans Longueville. Duc d'Aumale, Princes de Condé, i.
263-278.

[656] Long the idol of the Huguenots, both of high or of low degree, he
enjoyed a popularity perpetuated in a spirited song ("La Chanson du Petit
Homme"), current so far back as the close of the first war, 1563, the
refrain of which, alluding to the prince's diminutive stature, is: "_Dieu
gard' de mal le Petit Homme!_" Chansonnier Huguenot, 250, etc.

[657] The author of the Vie de Coligny (Cologne, 1686) gives more than one
instance of a deference on the part of the subject of his biography which
may seem to the reader excessive, but which alone could satisfy the
chivalrous feeling of the loyal knight of the sixteenth century.

[658] Brantôme (Hommes illustres, OEuvres, viii. 163, 164) relates that
Honorat de Savoie, Count of Villars, begged the Duke of Anjou to have
Stuart given over to him, and, having gained his request, murdered him.

[659] "Qui par artifices merveilleusement subtils ont bien sceu vandre le
sang de la maison de France contre soy-mesmes."

[660] The Earl of Leicester wrote to Randolph: "Robert Stuart,
Chastellier, and certaine other worthy gentlemen, to the number of six,
were lykewise taken and slayne, as the Frenche tearme it, de sang froid."
Wright, Queen Elizabeth, i. 314. See also Cardinal Châtillon's letter to
the Elector Palatine, June 10, 1569, in which the writer declares
significantly of Condé's murder by Montesquiou, "ce qu'il n'eust osé
entreprendre sans en avoir commandement _des plus grands_." Kluckholn,
Briefe Friedrich des Frommen, ii. 336.

[661] Letter of Henry of Navarre to the Duke of Anjou, "escript au Camp
d'Availle le xiie jour de juillet 1569." Lettres inédites de Henry IV.
recueillies par le Prince Augustin Galitzin (Paris. 1860), 4-11.

[662] The Huguenot loss is given by Jean de Serres (iii. 316) at 200
killed and 40 taken prisoners. Agrippa d'Aubigné states it at 140
gentilhommes (Hist. univ., i. 280). The Earl of Leicester's words are: "In
which conflicte was slayne on both sydes, as we heare, not above foure
hundred men" (Wright, Queen Elizabeth, i. 313, 314). Castelnau speaks of
over a hundred Huguenot gentlemen slain and an equal number taken
prisoners (liv. vii., c. 4). The "Adviz donné par Mr Norrys, ambassadeur
pour la royne d'Angleterre, prins de ses lettres, envoyées de Metz, le 18
d'Avril" (La Mothe Fénélon, i. 362), agrees with Leicester, but is unique
in making Anjou's loss greater than that of the Huguenots. De Thou makes
the Protestants lose 400. The untruthful Davila says, "the Huguenots lost
not above seven hundred men, but they were most of them gentlemen and
cavaliers of note."

[663] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 281. La Fosse and others have preserved one of
the good Catholic stanzas composed on this occasion:

    L'an mil cinq cent soixante et neuf
    Entre Congnac et Châteauneuf
    Fust apporté sur une ânesse
    Le grand ennemi de la messe.
            (Journal d'un curé ligueur, 104.)

[664] "On donna l'honneur de cette défaicte à M. de Tavannes." La Fosse,
104.

[665] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.) 177. Claude de Sainctes, afterward Bishop
of Evreux, who, it will be remembered, figured at the colloquy of Poissy,
is credited with the suggestion of the chapel.

[666] The principal authorities consulted for the battle of Jarnac, or of
Bassac, as it is also frequently called, from the abbey near which it
raged, are: Jean de Serres, iii. 309-315; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.)
173-176; Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 4; Ag. d'Aubigné, i. 278-281; Le vray
discours de la bataille donnée par monsieur le 13. iour de Mars, 1569,
entre Chasteauneuf et Jarnac, etc., avec privilege (Cimber et Danjou,
Archives curieuses, vi. 365, etc.); Discours de la bataille donnée par
Monseigneur, Duc d'Anjou et de Bourbonnoys, ... contre les rebelles ...
entre la ville d'Angoulesme et Jarnac, près d'une maison nommée Vibrac
appartenant à la Dame de Mezières; an inaccurate official account, drawn
up at Metz by Neufville on the first reception of the news, and sent by
the Spanish ambassador, Alava, to Philip II.; La Mothe Fénélon, Corr.
dip., vii. 3-11; Davila, bk. iv.; the "Relation originale" in Documents
inédits tirés des coll. MSS. de la bibliothèque royale (Fr. gov.), iv.
483, etc. Compare the excellent narratives of the Duc d'Aumale and Prof.
Soldan. The Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot. fr., i. (1853) 429,
gives a representation of a monument, in the form of an obelisk, about
eleven feet in height, erected by the Department of the Charente, in 1818,
on the spot where Condé fell. A somewhat similar monument, raised in 1770
by the Count de Jarnac, was destroyed during the first French revolution.

[667] Anjou to Charles IX., March 17, 1569, Duc d'Aumale, Les Princes de
Condé, ii. 399.

[668] Apostolicarum Pii Quinti, P. M., Epistolarum libri quinque.
Antverpiæ, 1640, 152.

[669] Pii Quinti Epist., 157-166.

[670] Ibid., 160, 161.

[671] Boscheron des Portes, Hist. du Parlement de Bordeaux (Bordeaux,
1877), i. 214, 216. As the Huguenots were condemned, not for heresy, but
for rebellion, sacrilege, etc., the learned author finds no mention of
fagot and flame.

[672] La Mothe Fénélon. i. 288-294.

[673] Despatch of April 12, 1569, ibid., i. 303.

[674] It is evident that the results of the battle were designedly
exaggerated by the Roman Catholics at the time, and have been overrated
ever since. Agrippa d'Aubigné alleges that, out of 128 cornets of cavalry
in the Huguenot army, only fifteen were engaged; and that of over 200
ensigns of infantry, barely _six_--those under Pluviaut--came within a
league of the battle-field. Hist. univ., _ubi supra_.

[675] Jean de Serres, iii. 317, 318; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.) 178, 179. De
Thou reckons the losses of the Roman Catholics before Cognac at more than
300 men.

[676] De Thou, iv. 180, 181; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 282; J. de Serres, iii.
318, 319.

[677] La Mothe Fénélon, i. 367. And now, to the insulting _quatrain_
already quoted à propos of Condé's death, the Huguenot soldiers of
Angoumois replied in rough verses of their own:

    Le Prince de Condé
    Il a été tué;
    Mais Monsieur l'Amiral
    Est encore à cheval,
    Avec La Rochefoucauld
    Pour achever tous ces Papaux.

V. Bujeaud, Chronique protestante de l'Angoumois, 40.

[678] Discours merveilleux de la vie de Catherine de Medicis (Cologne,
1683), 645. See the atrocious letter to Catharine, which the queen found
upon her bed, Nov. 8, 1575, and which purports to have been written from
Lausanne. In the copy published by Le Laboureur (ii. 425-429), it is
signed "Grand Champ;" in that which the editor of Claude Haton gives in an
appendix (p. 1111-1115) the name is "Emille Dardani." The date is
doubtful. Le Laboureur is apparently more correct in giving it as "le
troisième mois de la quatrième année après la trahison" (St. Bartholomew's
Day).

[679] The Vie de Coligny (Cologne, 1686), p. 360, 361, says nothing to
indicate that the author regarded D'Andelot's death as other than natural.
But Hotman's Gasparis Colinii Vita (1575), p. 75, mentions the suspicion,
and considers it confirmed by the saying attributed to Birague, afterward
chancellor, that "the war would never be terminated by arms alone, but
that it might be brought to a close very easily by _cooks_." Cardinal
Châtillon, in a letter to the Elector Palatine, June 10, 1569, alludes to
his brother's having died of poison as a well-ascertained fact, "comme il
est apparent tant par l'anatomie," etc. Kluckholn, Briefe Frederick des
Frommen, ii 336.

[680] Since the outbreak of the present war, the court had undertaken to
deprive D'Andelot of his rank, and had divided his duties between Brissac
and Strozzi. Brissac had been killed, and Strozzi was now recognized by
the court as colonel-general.

[681] The letter written from Saintes, May 18, 1569, is inserted in
Gasparis Colinii Vita (1575) pp. 75-78, the author remarking, "quam ipsius
manum, atque chirographum præ manibus jam habeo." The possession of so
many family manuscripts on the part of the anonymous writer of this
valuable contemporary account, is explained by the fact that he was no
other than the distinguished Francis Hotman, in whose hands the admiral's
widow, Jaqueline d'Entremont, or Antremont, had placed all the documents
she possessed, entreating him to undertake the pious task of compiling a
life of her husband. In a remarkable letter which has but lately come to
light, dated January 15, 1572 (new style 1573), after an exordium full of
those classical allusions of which the age was so fond, she writes: "Ne
trouvez étrange, je vous supplie, si j'ai essayé de réveiller vostre plume
pour laisser à la postérité autant de témoignages de la vertu de feu
monseigneur et mari, que nos ennemis la veulent désigner," etc. Bulletin,
vi. 29.

[682] "La France aura beaucoup de maux avec vous, et puis sans vous; mais
en fin tout tombera sur l'Espagnol." Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 283.

[683] Agrippa d'Aubigné, _ubi supra_.

[684] Berger de Xivrey, Lettres missives de Henri IV. (Paris, 1843), i. 7.

[685] Histoire de Charles IX. par le sieur Varillas (Cologne, 1686), ii.
161, 162. I am glad to embrace this opportunity of quoting a historian in
whose statements of facts I have as seldom the good fortune to concur as
in his general deductions of principles. M. de Thou (iv. 182) remarks in a
similar spirit: "Il fit voir à la France (et ses ennemis même en
convinrent) qu'il étoit capable de soutenir lui seul tout le parti
Protestant dont on croyoit auparavant qu'il ne soutenoit qu'une partie."

[686] Ranke (Civil Wars and Monarchy), 241; the statement of Jean de
Serres, iii. 325, would make the total number a little larger; the
accounts of Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 285, and De Thou, iv. 185, make it
somewhat smaller.

[687] Adviz, etc., La Mothe Fénélon, i. 363.

[688] De Thou, iv. 184; Jean de Serres, iii. 320-323. This was in
February. It was the more natural for Wolfgang to defend his course, as he
was himself an ancient ally of the King of Spain. In the Papiers d'état du
card. de Granvelle, ix. 567, we have the text of a compact formed Oct. 1,
1565: "Lettres de Service accordées par le roi d'Espagne à Wolfgang, comte
Palatin et duc de Deux Ponts." According to this document, the duke was
bound for three years to obey Philip's summons, although he refused to
pledge himself to do anything directly or indirectly against the Augsburg
Confession or its supporters.

[689] Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 104.

[690] Letter of Charles IX. to La Mothe Fénélon, May 14, 1569, Corresp.
dipl., vii. 20, 21. The same incredulity respecting the possibility of
Deux Ponts's enterprise is expressed by the anonymous author of a
memorandum of a journey through France, in Documents inédits tirés des
MSS. de la bibl. royale, iv. 493. It is alluded to in the "Remonstrance"
of the Protestant princes presented after the junction of the armies. Jean
de Serres, iii. 337.

[691] Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 5.

[692] De Thou, iv. 185-188; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 285; Anquetil, Esprit de
la ligue, i. 297.

[693] Discours envoyé de La Rochelle à la Royne d'Angleterre. La Mothe
Fénélon, ii. 158, etc.

[694] De Thou, iv. 188; Lestoile, 22; J. de Serres, iii. 524; Castelnau,
liv. vii., c. 6.

[695] Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 7; De Thou, iv. 192; Jean de Serres, iii.
327 (who states the Roman Catholic loss as higher than given in the text).
Brantôme ascribes the defeat of Strozzi to the circumstance that the
matches of _his_ troops were put out by the rain, and that his infantry,
unsupported by cavalry, was at the mercy of Mouy and the Huguenot
troopers. Colonnels fr., OEuvres, ed. Lalanne, vi. 60. But the "Discours
envoyé de la Rochelle à la Royne d'Angleterre" (La Mothe Fénélon, ii. 160)
states that the Huguenots would have done much greater execution and
perhaps put an end to the dispute, "n'eust été que, tout ce jour là, la
pluye fut si extrême et si grande que noz harquebouziers ne pouvoient plus
jouer." La Roche Abeille, or La Roche l'Abeille, is a hamlet seventeen
miles south of Limoges.

[696] According to J. A. Gabutius, the biographer of Pius V. (sec. 120, p.
646), the Pope sent 4,500 foot and 1,000 horse, and Cosmo, Duke of
Florence, 1,000 foot and 200 horse. Besides these, many nobles attached
themselves to the expedition as volunteers. Santa Fiore was instructed to
leave France _the moment he should perceive that the heretics were treated
with_. "Quod si ipse summus copiarum Dux, vel de pace vel de rerum
compositione quidquam Catholicæ religioni damnosum præsentiret; [Pius V.]
imperavit e vestigio aut converso itinere in Italiam remearet, aut ad
Catholicum exercitum in Belgio cum hæreticis bellantem sese conferret et
adjungeret."

[697] De Thou, iv. 192; Vie de Coligny, 364; Gasparis Colinii Vita, 81;
Jean de Serres, iii. 331. Charles IX. in a letter to La Mothe Fénélon,
from St. Germains des Prés, July 27, 1569, alludes to the successes of the
Huguenots, whom Anjou cannot resist, "ayant donné congé à la pluspart de
sa gendarmerye de s'en aller faire ung tour en leurs maisons." Corresp.
diplom., vii. 35, 36. The furlough, which was to expire on the 15th of
August, was afterward extended by Anjou to the 1st of October.

[698] See Vie de Coligny, 364; De Thou, iv. 192; Jean de Serres, iii. 345,
346.

[699] Yet the "Guisards" were never tired of asserting the contrary. Sir
Thomas Smith tells us that Cardinal Lorraine maintained to him that "they
[the Huguenots] desired to bring all to the form of a republic, like
Geneva." Smith records the conversation at length in a letter to Cecil,
wishing his correspondent to perceive "how he had need of a long spoon
that should eat potage with the Devil." The discussion must have been an
earnest one. Sir Thomas was not disposed to boast of being a finished
courtier. In fact, he declares that, as to framing compliments, he is "the
verriest calf and beast in the world," and threatens to get one Bizzarro
to write him some, which he will get translated (for all sorts of people),
and learn them by heart. He managed on this occasion to speak his mind to
Lorraine pretty freely respecting the real origin of the war (the
conversation took place in 1562), and told the churchman the
uncomplimentary truth, that his brother's deed at Vassy was the cause of
all the troubles. Smith to Cecil, Rouen, Nov. 7, 1562, State Paper Office.

[700] Not to speak of Noyers, belonging to Condé, Coligny's stately
residence at Châtillon-sur-Loing fell into the hands of the enemy. In
direct violation of the terms of the capitulation, the palace was robbed
of all its costly furniture, which was sent to Paris and sold at auction.
Château-Renard, which also was the property of Coligny, was taken by the
Roman Catholics, and became the nest of a company of half-soldiers,
half-robbers, under an Italian--one Fretini--who laid under contribution
travellers on the road to Lyons. De Thou, iv. 198, 199; Agrippa d'Aubigné,
i. 292.

[701] How deeply the Guises felt the taunt that they were strangers in
France, appears from a sentence of the cardinal's to the Bishop of Rennes
(Trent, Nov. 24, 1563), wherein, alluding to the recent birth of a son to
the Duke of Lorraine and Catharine de' Medici's daughter, he says that he
is "merveilleusement aise ... pource que sera occasion aux Huguenots de ne
nous dire plus princes estrangers." Le Laboureur, ii. 313.

[702] "Copie d'une Remonstrance que ceulx de la Rochelle ont mandé avoyr
envoyée au Roy, après l'arrivée du duc de Deux Ponts." La Mothe Fénélon,
ii. 179-188. In Latin, Jean de Serres, iii. 333-345. Gasparis Colinii
Vita, 80.

[703] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 6; Jean de Serres, iii. 345, 346;
De Thou, _ubi supra_.

[704] "Lusignan la pucelle." De Thou, iv. 197; Jean de Serres, iii. 331;
Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 290.

[705] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 294; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.) 200-202; Jean de
Serres, iii. 347.

[706] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 298: "Pressé par les interests et murmures des
Poictevins, il sentit en cet endroit une des incommoditez qui se trouve
aux partis de plusieurs testes; sa prudence donc cedant à sa nécessité,"
etc.

[707] Letter of Sept. 8, 1569, Wright, Queen Elizabeth, i. 323.

[708] Jean de Serres, iii. 348, etc.; Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 7; De Thou,
iv. 205-214; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 297, etc.

[709] Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 109.

[710] Jean de Serres, iii. 332; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 292; De Thou, etc.

[711] Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 13 (i. 293); De Thou, iv. (liv. xlv.)
204; Jehan de la Fosse, 108.

[712] That Renée was, like all the other prominent Huguenots, from the
very first opposed to a resort to the horrors of war, is certain. Agrippa
d'Aubigné goes farther than this, and asserts (i. 293) that she had become
estranged from Condé in consequence of her blaming the Huguenots for their
assumption of arms: "blasmant ceux qui portoient les armes, jusques à
estre devenus ennemis, le Prince de Condé et elle, sur cette querelle." I
can scarcely credit this account, of which I see no confirmation, unless
it be in a letter to an unknown correspondent, in the National Library
(MSS. Coll. Béthune, 8703, fol. 68), of which a translation is given in
Memorials of Renée of France (London, 1859), 263, 264. It is dated
Montargis, Aug. 20, 1569: "Praying you ... to employ yourself, as I know
you are accustomed to do, in whatsoever way shall be possible to you, in
striving to arrive at a good peace, in which endeavor I, on my part, shall
put forth all my power, if it shall please God. And if it cannot be a
general one, _at least it shall be to those who desire it, and who belong
to us_." Who, however, was the correspondent? The subscription, "Your good
cousin, Renée of France," would appear to point to Admiral Coligny or some
one of equal rank. Louis de Condé was no longer living.

[713] Letter of Villegagnon to the Duchess of Ferrara, Montereau, March 4,
1569, _apud_ Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. Appendix, 1109.

[714] It must be remembered that this was a different place from
Châtillon-sur-Loing, Admiral Coligny's residence, which was not more than
fifteen miles distant. The places are frequently confounded with each
other. The Loing is a tributary of the Seine, into which it empties below
Montereau, after flowing by Châtillon-sur-Loing, Montargis, and Nemours.

[715] The fullest and most graphic account of this interesting incident I
find in Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 293 (liv. v., c. 13). See De Thou, iv. (liv.
xlv.) 204, and Memorials of Renée of France (London, 1859), 261-263. The
Huguenot horsemen numbered not eight hundred, as the author last quoted
states, but about one hundred and twenty--"six vingts."

[716] The "Discours de ce qui avint touchant la Croix de Gastines, l'an
1571, vers Noel" (Mémoires de l'état de France sous Charles IX., and
Archives curieuses, vi. 475, etc.), contains the quaint decree of the
parliament. See Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 107. As
actually erected, the monument consisted of a high stone pyramid,
surmounted by a gilt crucifix. Besides the decree in question, there were
engraved some Latin verses of so confused a construction that it was
suggested that the composer intended to cast ridicule both on the Roman
Catholics and on the Huguenots. M. de Thou, who was a boy of sixteen at
the time--and who, as son of the first President of Parliament, and
himself, at a later time, a leading member and president _à mortier_ of
that body, enjoyed rare advantages for arriving at the truth--declares
(iv. 488) that the elder Gastines was a venerable man, beloved by his
neighbors, and, indeed, by the entire city; and that the execution was
compassed by a cabal of seditious persons, who, by dint of soliciting the
judges, of exciting the people, of inducing them to congregate and follow
the judges with threats as they left parliament, succeeded in causing to
be punished with death, in the persons of the Gastines, an offence which,
until then, had been punished only with exile or a pecuniary fine.

[717] Jehan de la Fosse, 107, 108.

[718] Journal d'un curé ligueur, 110; Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 8;
De Thou, iv. (liv. l) 216; Gasp. Colinii Vita (1569), 87; Memoirs of G. de
Coligny, 140, etc. The arrêt of the parliament is in Archives curieuses,
vi. 377, etc. The Latin life of Coligny (89-91) inserts a manly and
Christian letter, in the author's possession, written (Oct. 16, 1569) by
the admiral to his own children and those of his deceased brother,
D'Andelot, who were studying at La Rochelle, shortly after receiving
intelligence of this judicial sentence and of the wanton injury done to
his palace at Châtillon-sur-Loing. "We must follow our Head, Jesus Christ,
who himself leads the way," he writes. "Men have deprived us of all that
it was in their power to take from us, and if it be God's will that we
never recover what we have lost, still we shall be happy, and our
condition will be a good one, inasmuch as these losses have not arisen
from any harm done by us to those who have brought them upon us, but
solely from the hatred they bear toward me for the reason that it has
pleased God to make use of me in assisting His Church."

[719] Jean de Serres, iii. 356, 357; Mem. of Coligny, 136; De Thou, iv.
216, 217; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 302.

[720] Jean de Serres, iii. 363; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 221; Castelnau,
vii., c. 8.

[721] De Thou, iv. 216; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 302. The place was also
known by the name of Foie la Vineuse.

[722] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 305.

[723] In the heat of the engagement, the excited imaginations of the
combatants even saw visions of celestial champions, as Theseus was fabled
to have appeared at Marathon. A renegade Protestant captain afterward
assured the Cardinal of Alessandria that on that eventful day he had seen
in mid-air an array of warriors with refulgent armor and blood-red swords,
threatening the Huguenot lines in which he fought; and he had instantly
embraced the Roman Catholic faith, and vowed perpetual service under the
banners of the pontiff. There were others, we are told, to corroborate his
account of the prodigy. Joannis Antonii Gabutii Vita Pii Quinti Papæ (Acta
Sanctorum, Maii 5), § 125, pp. 647, 648.

[724] Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 307. "Ne se trouva oncques gens plus fidelles
au camp catholicque que lesditz estrangers, et singulièrement les Suisses,
lesquelz ne pardonnèrent à ung seul de leur nation germanique de ceux qui
tombèrent en leurs mains." Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. 582.

[725] "Che non avesse il comandamanto di lui osservato d'ammazzar subito
qualunque heretico gli fosse venuto alle mani." Catena, Vita di Pio V.,
_apud_ White, Mass. of St. Bartholomew, 305, and De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.)
228. With singular inconsistency--so impossible is it generally to carry
out these horrible theories of extermination--the Roman pontiff himself
afterward liberated D'Acier without exacting any ransom. De Thou, _ubi
supra_. "Si Santafiore lui avoit obéï," says an annotator, "Jacques de
Crussol (D'Acier) ne se seroit pas converti, et n'auroit pas laissé une si
illustre poterité."

[726] On the battle of Moncontour, consult J. de Serres, iii. 357-362; De
Thou, iv. 224-228; Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 9; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v.,
c. 17; a Roman Catholic relation in Groen van Prinsterer, Archives de la
Maison d'Orange Nassau, iii. 324-326.

[727] "Nihil est enim ea pietate misericordiaque crudelius, quæ in impios
et ultima supplicia meritos confertur." Pius V. to Charles IX., Oct. 20,
1569. Pii V. Epistolæ (Antwerp, 1640), 242. The French victories of Jarnac
and Moncontour were celebrated by a medal struck at Rome, with the legend,
"_Fecit potentiam in bracchio suo, dispersit superbos_," and a
representation of Pius kneeling and invoking the aid of heaven against the
heretics. In the distance is seen a combat, and above it appears the
Divine Being directing the issue. Figured in "Le Trésor de Numismatique et
de Glyptique, par Paul Delaroche" (Médailles des Papes, plate 15, No. 5),
Paris, 1839.

[728] La Mothe Fénélon, vii. 65, etc., from Simancas MSS. So Claude Haton,
who is rarely behindhand in such matters, makes the Protestants lose
fifteen thousand or sixteen thousand men. Mémoires, ii. 582. Admiral
Coligny was for a time believed by the court to be dead or mortally
wounded, "mais ne fut rien." Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[729] If we may credit the curate Claude, Catharine de' Medici alone was
vexed at the completeness of the rout and the number of Huguenots slain,
"inasmuch as she gave them as much support as possible, and encouraged
them in rebellion, that the civil wars might continue, in which she took
pleasure because of the management of affairs they threw into her
hands"--"pour le maniment des affaires qu'elle entreprenoit et manioit."
Mémoires, ii. 583.

[730] Journal d'un curé ligueur (Jehan de la Fosse), 110.

[731] Jehan de la Fosse, 112. The date is stated as "about Oct. 17th."

[732] Ranke, Civil Wars and Monarchy in France, i. 241.

[733] De Thou, iv. 230; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 310. The murderer's name is
variously written Maurevel, Moureveil, Montrevel, etc.

[734] This letter, respecting which I confess that I find some
difficulties, possesses a history of its own. On the 13th of Ventôse, in
the second year of the republic, the original was sent to the national
convention, which, the next day, ordered its insertion in the official
bulletin, and its preservation in the national library, as emanating "from
one of the Neros of France." See App. to Journal de Lestoile, ed. Michaud,
pt. i., p. 307, 308, and the revolutionary bulletins.

[735] "Ut sese Montalbani cum Vicecomitibus conjungerent, et sperantes
Andium, dum se persequeretur, ab San-Jani oppugnandæ instituto
destiturum." De statu rel. et reip., iii. 365.

[736] See Soldan, iii. 372, 373; Anquetil, Esprit de la ligue, i. 317,
etc.

[737] With his usual inaccuracy, Davila speaks of Saint Jean d'Angely as
"excellently fortified" (Eng. trans., p. 166).

[738] This number, given by Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 313, and by De Thou, iv.
(liv. xlv.) 242, seems the most probable. La Popelinière swells it to near
10,000 (Soldan, ii. 375), while Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 10, reduces it to
"over 8,000." Strange to say, Jean de Serres, who, writing and publishing
this portion of his history within a year after the conclusion of the
third civil war, almost uniformly gives the highest estimates of the Roman
Catholic losses, here makes them about 2,000, or lower than any one else.

[739] Agrippa d'Aubigné, who was generous enough to appreciate valor even
in an enemy, calls him "celui qui entamoit toutes les parties difficiles,
à qui rien n'estoit dur ny hazardeux, qui en tous les exploits de son
temps avoit fait les coups de partie" (i. 312). Lestoile in his journal
(p. 22, Ed. Mich.) affirms that he was killed just as he had uttered a
blasphemous inquiry of the Huguenots, where was now their "Dieu le Fort,"
and taunted them with his having become "à ceste heure leur Dieu le
Faible." "Le Dieu, le Fort, l'Éternel parlera," was the first line of a
favorite Huguenot psalm.

[740] On the siege of Saint Jean d'Angely, see J. de Serres, iii. 369,
370; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 311-313; De Thou, iv. 238-242; Castelnau, liv.
vii., c. 10. It scarcely needs to be mentioned that Davila, bk. v., p.
166, knows nothing of any treachery on the part of the Roman Catholics,
but duly mentions that De Piles did not observe his promise.

[741] Davila, bk. v. (Eng. tr., p. 163 and 167); De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.)
250. Gabutius, in his life of Pius V., transcribes the exultant
inscription, dictated by the pontiff himself (§ 126, p. 648), and claims
for the canonized subject of his panegyric the chief credit of the
victory. According to him the Italians were the first to engage with the
heretics, and the last to desist from the pursuit.

[742] Davila, bk. 5th (Eng. tr., p. 167); Mém. de Claude Haton, ii. 591.

[743] "L'hiver arriva, il fallut mettre les troupes en quartier; et le
fruit d'une victoire si complette, l'effort d'une armée royale si
formidable, fut la prise de quelques places médiocres, pendant que La
Rochelle, la plus utile de toutes, restoit aux vaincus, et que les princes
rétablissoient les affaires, à l'aide d'un délai qu'ils n'avoient point
osé se promettre." Anquetil, L'Esprit de la ligue, i. 317.

[744] J. de Serres, iii. 372; De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 234, 235, who
makes the loss in the first siege 300 men, and in the second over 1,000
horsemen; Agrippa d'Aubigné, Hist. univ., l. v., c. 19 (i. 315, 316), who
states the total at 1,400 foot and near 400 horse; while Castelnau, l.
vii., c. 10, speaks of but 300 in all. Vézelay, famous in the history of
the Crusades (see Michaud, Hist. des Croisades, ii. 125) as the place
where St. Bernard in 1146 preached the Cross to an immense throng from all
parts of Christendom, is equidistant from Bourges and Dijon, and a little
north of a line uniting these two cities.

[745] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 246, 247; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c.
19 (i. 317); J. de Serres, iii. 370. About twenty prisoners were taken, to
whom their captors promised their lives. Afterward there were strenuous
efforts made, especially by the priests, to have them put to death as
rebels and traitors. M. de la Chastre resisted the pressure, disregarding
even a severe order of the Parliament of Paris, accompanied by the threat
of the enormous fine of 2,000 marks of gold, which bade him send them to
the capital. (Hist. du Berry, etc., par M. Louis Raynal, 1846, iv, 104,
_apud_ Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot. fr., iv. (1856) 27.) Even
Charles IX. wrote to him, but the governor was inflexible. His noble reply
has come to light, dated Jan. 21, 1570, just one month after the failure
of the Protestant scheme. After urging the danger of retaliation by the
Huguenots of La Charité and Sancerre upon the prisoners they held, to the
number of more than forty, and the inexpediency of accustoming the people
of Bourges to bloody executions which they would not fail to repeat, he
concludes his remonstrance in these striking words: "Nevertheless, Sire,
if you should find it expedient, for the good of your service, to put them
to death, the channel of the courts of justice is the most proper, without
recompensing my services, or sullying my reputation with a stain that will
ever be a ground of reproach against me. And I beg you, Sire, to make use
of me in other matters more worthy of a gentleman having the heart of his
ancestors, who for five hundred years have served their king without stain
of treachery or act unworthy of a gentleman." Inedited letter, _apud_
Bulletin, _ubi supra_, 28, 29. M. de la Chastre became one of the marshals
of France. He conducted, three years later, the terrible siege of
Sancerre, famous in history. He had the reputation among the Huguenots of
being very severe, if not bloodthirsty--a reputation which he deserved, if
he was, as Henry of Navarre styles him, "un des principaux exécuteurs de
la Sainct Barthélemy." (Deposition in the trial of La Mole, Coconnas, etc.
Archives curieuses, viii. 150.) La Chastre tried to clear himself of the
imputation, by recalling the events of 1569. To Jean de Léry he maintained
"qu'il n'est point sanguinaire, ainsi qu'on a opinion, comme aussi il
l'avoit desjà bien monstré aux autres troubles, lorsqu'il avoit en sa
puissance les sieurs d'Espeau, baron de Renty, et le capitaine Fontaine,
qui est en son armée: car encores que la cour du parlement de Paris luy
fist commandement de les représenter, à peine de 2,000 marcs d'or, il ne
le voulut faire." Jean de Léry, "Discours de l'extrême famine ... dans la
ville de Sancerre," Archives curieuses, viii. 67.

[746] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 235-237; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 19
(i. 316, 317); Jean de Serres, iii. 368, 369.

[747] "Si est-ce que Dieu est très-doux."

[748] Agrippa d'Aubigné, l. v., c. 18 (i. 309). The words were, as M.
Douen reminds us (Clément Marot et le Psautier huguenot, 1878, 13) the
first line of the seventy-third psalm of the Huguenot psalter.

[749] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 232; Jean de Serres, iii. 366.

[750] Ibid., iii. 372, etc.

[751] Even in December, Languet could scarcely imagine that Coligny would
not return and winter at La Rochelle. Letter of Dec. 12, 1569, Epist.
secr., i. 130.

[752] Mém. de Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 12.

[753] At least, so says Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 18 (i. 309).

[754] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 233; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 309, 318 (liv.
v., cs. 18 and 20). The two authorities are not in exact agreement, De
Thou stating that Coligny went to Montauban before his march to meet
Montgomery, while D'Aubigné makes him follow the left bank of the Dordogne
down to Aiguillon. Gasparis Colinii Vita (1575), 91, 92, supports De Thou.

[755] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvi.) 249; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 20 (i.
318); Gasparis Colinii Vita (1575), 94. The author of this valuable and
authentic life of the admiral gives a full description of the bridge.
Professor Soldan is mistaken in saying that the bridge was not yet
completed (Geschichte des Prot. in Frank., ii. 377). It had been
completed, and two days had been spent in taking over the German cavalry
("opere effecto, biduoque in traducendis Germanis equitibus consumpto")
when the disaster occurred.

[756] Languet, Letter of January 3, 1570, Epist. secretæ, i. 133.

[757] Gasparis Colinii Vita (1576), 91; Vie de Coligny (Cologne, 1686),
378, where the account of the expedition, however, is full of blunders.
Mr. Browning, following this untrustworthy authority, makes Admiral
Coligny cross the Garonne and pass through Béarn, on his way from Saintes
to Montauban! A glance at the map of France will show that this would have
required a much greater bend to the right than he in reality made to the
left, since Béarn lay entirely south of the river Adour. To reach Béarn by
land _before_ crossing the Garonne, as the "Vie" evidently imagines he
did, would almost have required Aladdin's lamp. In fact, the entire
passage is a jumble of the exploits of Montgomery and Coligny.

[758] La Popelinière, _apud_ Soldan, ii. 378.

[759] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 303-306; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c.
20 (i. 319, 320); Davila, bk. v., p. 168; Raoul de Cazenove,
"Rapin-Thoyras, sa famille," etc., 49, 50.

[760] La Mothe Fénélon, vii. 81.

[761] "L'imprudence des Catholiques, lesquels laissant rouler, sans nul
empeschement, ceste petite pelote de neige, en peu de temps elle _se fit
grosse comme une maison_." Mém. de la Noue, c. xxix.

[762] Of course, Davila (bk. v., p. 167, 168), who rarely rejects a good
story of intrigue, especially if there be a dainty bit of treachery
connected with it, adopts unhesitatingly the popular rumor of Marshal
Damville's infidelity to his trust.

[763] St. Étienne possessed already, at the time the "Vie de Coligny" was
written, that branch of industry which still constitutes one of its chief
sources of wealth. It was described as a "petite ville fameuse par la
quantité d'armes qui s'y fait, et qui se transportent dans les païs
étrangers, en sorte que c'est ce qui nourrit presque toute la province."
P. 381.

[764] Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c. 21 (i. 322).

[765] Gasparis Colinii Vita, 97, 98.

[766] Arnay-le-Duc, or René-le-Duc, as the place was indifferently called,
is situated about thirty miles south-west of Dijon, on the road to Autun.

[767] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 312-314; Agrippa d'Aubigné, liv. v., c.
22 (i. 321-325); Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 12; Davila, bk. v. 169.

[768] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 315. Davila attributes to the connivance
of Marshal Cossé the escape of the Protestants from Arnay-le-Duc. This is
consistent with the same writer's statement that it was the marshal's
intentional slowness that enabled Coligny to seize upon Arnay-le-Duc and
post himself so advantageously.

[769] Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 10.

[770] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 301.

[771] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 302.

[772] The articles, a copy of which was sent to the ambassador at the
court of Elizabeth, in a letter from Angers, Feb. 6, 1570, are printed in
La Mothe Fénélon, vii. 86-88. I omit reference in the text to the articles
prohibiting foreign alliances and the levy of money, prescribing the
dismissal of foreign troops, etc. The two cities referred to in the fifth
article are rather to be regarded as places of worship--the only places in
the kingdom where Protestant worship would be tolerated--than as pledges
for the performance of the projected edict, as Prof. Soldan apparently
regards them chiefly, if not exclusively. Geschichte des Prot. in
Frankreich, ii. 379.

[773] Charles to ambassador, Jan. 14th; letter of Catharine, same date; La
Mothe Fénélon, vii. 77, 78.

[774] See Froude, History of England, x. 9. etc.

[775] De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 305. Cf. Soulier, Hist. des édits de
pacification, 92.

[776] De Thou, iv. 311. It was at St. Étienne in Forez, that the incident
occurred.

[777] For a fuller discussion of these circumstances than the limits of
this history will permit me to give, I must refer the reader to the work
of Prof. Soldan, Geschichte des Protestantismus in Frankreich, ii. 385.

[778] La Noue was one of the most modest, as well as one of the most
capable of generals. "I have felt myself so much the more obliged to speak
of it," writes the historian De Thou respecting the battle of Sainte
Gemme, "as La Noue, the most generous of men, who has written on the civil
wars with as much fidelity as judgment, always disposed to render
conspicuous the merit of others, and very reserved respecting his own, has
not said a word of this victory." De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 320.

[779] Brantôme has written the eulogy of this personage, whose true name
was Antoine Escalin. He was first ambassador at Constantinople, where his
good services secured his appointment as general of the galleys. After
undergoing the displeasure of the king, and a three years' imprisonment
for his participation in the massacre of the Vaudois, he was reinstated in
office. Subsequently he was temporarily displaced by the grand prior, and
by the Marquis of Elbeuf. It is an odd mistake of Mr. Henry White (Mass.
of St. Bartholomew, p. 14, note) when he says: "In the religious wars he
sided with the Huguenots." Brantôme says: "Il haïssoit mortellement ces
gens-là."

[780] De Thou, iv. 316-325; Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 325-335.

[781] Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[782] La Mothe Fénélon, iii. 210, 215. Despatch of June 21st.

[783] De Thou, iv. 287, 288; Kluckholn, Briefe Friedrich des Frommen, ii.
398.

[784] La Mothe Fénélon, iii. 256, 257.

[785] Letter of April 17, 1570, Rochambeau, Lettres d'Antoine de Bourbon
et de Jehanne d'Albret (Paris, 1877), 299.

[786] Chassanée in his "Consuetudines ducatus Burgundiæ, fereque totius
Galliæ" (Lyons, 1552), 50, defines the "haute justice" by the possession
of the power of life and death: "De secundo vero gradu meri imperii, seu
altæ justiciæ, est habere gladii potestatem ad animadvertendum in
facinorosos homines."

[787] See the edict itself in Jean de Serres, iii. 375-390; summaries in
De Thou, iv. (liv. xlvii.) 328, 329, and Agrippa d'Aubigné, i. 364, 365.

[788] Journal d'un curé ligueur, 120.

[789] Ibid., _ubi supra_.

[790] Castelnau, liv. vii., c. 12. The work of this very fair-minded
historian terminates with the conclusion of the peace. De Thou, iv. (liv.
xlvii.) 327.

[791] "On la disoit boiteuse et mal-assise," says Henri de Mesmes himself
in his account of these transactions, adding with a delicate touch of
sarcasm: "Je n'en ay point vû depuis vingt-cinq ans qui ait guère duré."
Le Laboureur, Add. aux Mém. de Castelnau, ii. 776. Prof. Soldan has
already exposed the mistake of Sismondi and others, who apply the popular
nickname to the preceding peace of Longjumeau. See _ante_, chap. xv.



CHAPTER XVII.

THE PEACE OF SAINT GERMAIN.


[Sidenote: Sincerity of the peace.]

A problem of cardinal importance here confronts us, in the inquiry whether
the peace which had at length dawned upon France was or was not concluded
in good faith by the young king and his advisers. Was the treaty a
necessity forced upon the court by the losses of men and treasure
sustained during three years of almost continual civil conflict? Were the
queen mother and those in whose hands rested the chief control of affairs,
really tired of a war in which nothing was to be gained and everything was
in jeopardy, a war whose most brilliant successes had been barren of
substantial fruits, and had, in the sequel, been stripped of the greater
part of their glory by the masterly conduct of a defeated opponent? Or,
was the peace only a prelude to the massacre--a skilfully devised snare to
entrap incautious and credulous enemies?

The latter view is that which was entertained by the majority of the
contemporaries of the events, who, whether friends or foes of Charles and
Catharine, whether Papists or Protestants, could not avoid reading the
treaty of pacification in the light of the occurrences of the "bloody
nuptials." The Huguenot author of the "Tocsin against the murderers" and
Capilupi, author of the appreciative "Stratagem of Charles the
Ninth"--however much they may disagree upon other points--unite in
regarding the royal edict as a piece of treachery from beginning to end.
It was even believed by many of the most intelligent Protestants that the
massacre was already perfected in the minds of its authors so far back as
the conference of Bayonne, five years before the peace of St. Germain, in
accordance with the suggestions of Philip the Second and of Alva. This
last supposition, however, has been overthrown by the discovery of the
correspondence of Alva himself, in which he gives an account of the
discussions which he held with Catharine de' Medici on that memorable
occasion. For we have seen that, far from convincing the queen mother of
the necessity for adopting sanguinary measures to crush the Huguenots, the
duke constantly deplores to his master the obstinacy of Catharine in still
clinging to her own views of toleration. It seems equally clear that the
peace of St. Germain was no part of the project of a contemplated massacre
of the Protestants. The Montmorencies, not the Guises, were in power, and
were responsible for it. The influence of the former had become paramount,
and that of the latter had waned. The Cardinal of Lorraine had left the
court in disgust and retired to his archbishopric of Rheims, when he found
that the policy of war, to which he and his family were committed, was
about to be abandoned. Even in the earlier negotiations he had no part,
while the queen mother and the moderate Morvilliers were omnipotent.[792]
And when Francis Walsingham made his appearance at the French court, to
congratulate Charles the Ninth upon the restoration of peace, he found his
strongest reasons of hope for its permanence, next to the disposition and
the necessities of the king, in the royal "misliking toward the house of
Guise, who have been the nourishers of these wars,"[793] and in the
increase of the royal "favor to Montmorency, a chief worker of this peace,
who now carrieth the whole sway of the court, and is restored to the
government of Paris."[794]

At home and abroad, the peace was equally opposed by those who could not
have failed to be its warmest advocates had it been treacherously
designed. We have already seen that both Pope Pius the Fifth, and the King
of Spain insisted upon a continuance of the war, and offered augmented
assistance, in case the government would pledge itself to make no compact
with the heretical rebels. The pontiff especially was unremitting in his
persuasions and threats; denouncing the righteous judgment of God upon the
king who preferred personal advantage to the claims of religion, and
reminding him that the divine anger was wont to punish the sins of rulers
by taking away their kingdoms and giving them to others.[795] The project
of a massacre of Protestants, had it in reality been entertained by the
French court while adopting the peace, could scarcely have been kept so
profound a secret from the king and the pontiff who had long been urging a
resort to such measures, nor would Pius and Philip have been suffered
through ignorance to persist in so open a hostility to the compact which
was intended to render its execution feasible.

[Sidenote: The designs of Catharine de' Medici.]

If the Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day, as enacted on the fatal Sunday
of August, was not premeditated in the form it then assumed--if the peace
of St. Germain was not, as so many have imagined, a trick to overwhelm the
Huguenots taken unawares--are we, therefore, to believe that the idea of
such a deed of blood was as yet altogether foreign to the mind of
Catharine de' Medici? I dare not affirm that it was. On the contrary,
there is reason to believe that the conviction that she might some day
find herself in a position in which she could best free herself from
entanglement by some such means had long since lodged in her mind. It was
not a strange or repulsive notion to the careful student of the code of
morality laid down in "Il Principe." Alva had familiarized her with it,
and the civil wars had almost invested it in her eyes with the appearance
of justifiable retaliation. She had gloated in secret over the story of
the Queen Blanche, mother of Louis the Ninth, and her successful struggle
with her son's insubordinate nobles, telling her countryman, the Venetian
ambassador Correro, with a significant laugh such as she was wont
occasionally to indulge in, that she would be very sorry to have it known
that she had been reading the old manuscript chronicle, for they would at
once infer that she had taken the Castilian princess as her pattern.[796]
More unscrupulous than the mother of St. Louis, she had revolved in her
mind various schemes for strengthening her authority at the expense of the
lives of a few of the more prominent Huguenot chiefs, convinced, as she
was, that Protestantism would cease to exist in France with the
destruction of its leaders. But, despite pontifical injunctions and
Spanish exhortations, she formed no definite plans; or, if she did, it was
only to unravel on the morrow what she had woven the day before. What
Barbaro said of her at one critical juncture was true of her generally in
all such deliberations: "Her irresolution is extreme; she conceives new
plans from hour to hour; within the compass of a single day, between
morning and evening, she will change her mind three times.[797]"

[Sidenote: Charles the Ninth in earnest.]

[Sidenote: He tears out the record against Cardinal Châtillon.]

While it is scarcely possible to believe Catharine to have been more
sincere in the adoption of this peace than in any other event of her life,
we may feel some confidence that her son was really in favor of peace for
its own sake. He was weary of the war, jealous of his brother Anjou,
disgusted with the Guises, and determined to attempt to conciliate his
Huguenot subjects, whom he had in vain been trying to crush. Apparently he
wished to make of the amnesty, which the edict formally proclaimed, a
veritable act of oblivion of all past offences, and intended to regard the
Huguenots, in point of fact as well as in law, as his faithful subjects.
An incident which occurred about two months after the conclusion of peace,
throws light upon the king's new disposition. Cardinal Odet de Châtillon,
deprived by the Pope of his seat in the Roman consistory, had, on motion
of Cardinal Bourbon, been declared by the Parisian parliament to have lost
his bishopric of Beauvais, on account of his rebellion and his adoption
of Protestant sentiments. All such judicial proceedings had indeed been
declared null and void by the terms of the pacification, but the
parliaments showed themselves very reluctant to regard the royal edict. In
October, 1570, Charles the Ninth happening to be a guest of Marshal
Montmorency at his palace of Écouen, a few leagues north of Paris, sent
orders to Christopher de Thou, the first president, to wait upon him with
the parliamentary records. Aware of the king's object, De Thou, pleading
illness, sent four of his counsellors instead; but these were
ignominiously dismissed, and the presence of the chief judge was again
demanded. When De Thou at last appeared, Charles greeted him roughly.
"Here you are," he said, "and not very ill, thank God! Why do you go
counter to my edicts? I owe our cousin, Cardinal Bourbon, no thanks for
having applied for and obtained sentence against the house of Châtillon,
_which has done me so much service, and took up arms for me_." Then
calling for the records, he ordered the president to point out the
proceedings against the admiral's brother, and, on finding them, tore out
with his own hand three leaves on which they were inscribed; and on having
his attention directed by the marshal, who stood by, to other places
bearing upon the same case, he did not hesitate to tear these out
also.[798]

[Sidenote: His assurances to Walsingham.]

[Sidenote: Gracious answer to the German electors.]

To all with whom he conversed Charles avowed his steadfast purpose to
maintain the peace inviolate. He called it his own peace. He told
Walsingham, "he willed him to assure her Majesty, that the only care he
presently had was to entertain the peace, whereof the Queen of Navarre and
the princes of the religion could well be witnesses, as also generally the
whole realm."[799] And the shrewd diplomatist believed that the king spoke
the truth;[800] although, when he looked at the adverse circumstances
with which Charles was surrounded, and the vicious and irreligious
education he had received, there was room for solicitude respecting his
stability.[801] There was, indeed, much to strengthen the hands of Charles
in his new policy of toleration. On the twenty-sixth of November he
married, with great pomp and amid the display of the popular delight,
Elizabeth, daughter of the Emperor Maximilian the Second. This union, far
from imperilling the permanence of the peace in France,[802] was likely to
render it more lasting, if the bridegroom could be induced to copy the
conciliatory and politic example of his father-in-law. Not long after
Charles received at Villers-Cotterets an embassy sent by the three
Protestant electors of Germany and the other powerful princes of the same
faith. They congratulated him upon the suppression of civil disorder in
France, and entreated him to maintain freedom of worship in his dominions
such as existed in Germany and even in the dominions of the Grand Turk;
lending an ear to none who might attempt to persuade him that tranquillity
could not subsist in a kingdom where there was more than one religion.
Charles made a gracious answer, and the German ambassadors retired,
leaving the friends of the Huguenots to entertain still better hopes for
the recent treaty.[803]

[Sidenote: Catharine warned by the Huguenots.]

[Sidenote: Infringement on the edict at Orange.]

It cannot be denied, however, that the Huguenots could see much that was
disquieting and calculated to prevent them from laying aside their
suspicions. There were symptoms of the old constitutional timidity on the
part of Catharine de' Medici. She showed signs of so far yielding to the
inveterate enemies of the Huguenots as to abstain from insisting upon the
concession of public religious worship where it had been accorded by the
Edict of St. Germain. No wonder that the Huguenots, on their side, warned
her, with friendly sincerity and frankness, that, should she refuse to
entertain their just demands, _the present peace would be only a brief
truce, the prelude to a relentless civil war_. "We will all die," was
their language, "rather than forsake our God and our religion, which we
can no more sustain without public exercise than could a body live without
food and drink."[804] Not only did the courts throw every obstacle in the
way of the formal recognition of the law establishing the rights of the
Huguenots, but the outbreaks of popular hatred against the adherents of
the purer faith were alarming evidence that the chronic sore had only been
healed over the surface, and that none of the elements of future disorder
and bloodshed were wanting. Thus, in the little city and principality of
Orange, the Roman Catholic populace, taking advantage of the supineness of
the governor and of the consuls, introduced within the walls, under cover
of a three days' religious festival, a large number of ruffians from the
adjoining Comtât Venaissin. This was early in February, 1571. Now began a
scene of rapine and bloodshed that might demand detailed mention, were it
not that at the frequent repetition of such ghastly recitals the stoutest
heart sickens. Men, and even mere boys, of the reformed faith were
butchered in their homes, in the arms of their wives or their mothers. The
goods of Protestants were plundered and openly sold to the highest
bidder. Of many, a ransom was exacted for their safety. The work went on
for two weeks. At last a deputy from Orange reached the Huguenot princes
and the admiral at La Rochelle, and Count Louis of Nassau, who was still
there, wrote to Charles with such urgency, in the name of his brother, the
Prince of Orange, that measures were taken to repress and punish the
disorder.[805]

[Sidenote: The Protestants at Rouen attacked, March 4, 1571.]

A much more serious infringement upon the protection granted to the
Protestants by the edict, took place at Rouen about a month later.
Unable to celebrate their worship within the city walls, the
Protestants had gone out one Sunday morning to the place assigned them
for this purpose in the suburbs. Meantime a body of four hundred Roman
Catholics posted themselves in ambush near the gates to await their
return. When the unsuspecting Huguenots, devoutly meditating upon the
solemnities in which they had been engaged, made their appearance,
they were greeted first with imprecations and blasphemies, then with a
murderous attack. Between one hundred and one hundred and twenty are
said to have been killed or wounded. The punishment of this audacious
violation of the rights of the Protestants was at first left by
parliament to the inferior or presidial judges, and the investigation
dragged. The judges were threatened as they went to court: "Si l'on
sçavoit que vous eussiez informé, on vous creveroit les yeux; si vous
y mectez la main, on vous coupera la gorge!" The people broke into the
prisons and liberated the accused. The civic militia refused to
interfere. It was evident that no justice could be obtained from the
local magistrates. The king, however, on receiving the complaints of
the Huguenots, displayed great indignation, and despatched Montmorency
to Rouen with twenty-seven companies of soldiers, and a commission
authorized to try the culprits. The greater part of these, however,
had fled. Only five persons received the punishment of death; several
hundred fugitives were hung in effigy. Montmorency attempted to secure
the Protestants against further aggression by disarming the entire
population, with the exception of four hundred chosen men, and by
compelling the parliament, on the fifteenth of May, to swear to
observe the Edict of Pacification--precautions whose efficacy we shall
be able to estimate more accurately by the events of the following
year.[806]

[Sidenote: The "Croix de Gastines" again.]

The strength of the popular hatred of the Huguenots was often too great
for even the government to cope with. The rabble of the cities would hear
of no upright execution of the provisions respecting the oblivion of past
injuries, and resisted with pertinacity the attempt to remove the traces
of the old conflict. The Parisians gave the most striking evidence of
their unextinguished rancor in the matter of the "Croix de Gastines," a
monument of religious bigotry, the reasons for whose erection in 1569 have
been sufficiently explained in a previous chapter.[807]

More than a year had passed since the promulgation of the royal edict of
pacification annulling all judgments rendered against Protestants since
the death of Henry the Second; and yet the Croix de Gastines still stood
aloft on its pyramidal base, upon the site of the Huguenot place of
meeting. Several times, at the solicitation of the Protestants, the
government ordered its demolition. The municipal officers of Paris
declined to obey, because it had not been erected by them; the parliament,
because, as they alleged, the sentence was just and they could not
retract; the Provost of Paris, because he was not above parliament, which
had placed it there.[808] Charles himself wrote with his own hand to the
provost: "You deliberate whether to obey me, and whether you will have
that fine pyramid overturned. I forbid you to appear in my presence until
it be cast down."[809] The end was not yet. The monks preached against the
sacrilege of lowering the cross. Maître Vigor, on the first Sunday of
Advent, praised the people of Paris for having opposed the demolition,
maintaining that they had acted "only from zeal for God, who upon the
cross suffered for us." "The people," he declared, "had never murmured
when they had taken down Gaspard de Coligny, who had been hung in effigy,
and _would soon, God willing, be hung in very deed!_"[810] Meantime, the
mob of Paris exhibited its zeal for the honor of the cross by assailing
the soldiers sent to tear down the "Croix de Gastines," and by breaking
open and plundering the contents of several Huguenot houses. It was not
until the provost had called in the assistance of Marshal Montmorency, and
the latter had killed a few of the seditious Parisians who opposed his
progress, and hung one man to the windows of a neighboring house, that the
disturbance ceased. The pyramid was then destroyed, and the cross
transferred to the Cimetière des Innocents, where it is said to have
remained until the outbreak of the French Revolution.[811] The "plucking
down of the cross" was a distasteful draught to the fanatics. "The common
people," wrote an eye-witness, "ease their stomacks onely by uttering
seditious words, which is borne withal, for that was doubted. The
Protestants by the overthrow of this cross receive greater comfort, and
the papists the contrary."[812]

[Sidenote: Projected marriage of Anjou to Queen Elizabeth.]

The Huguenot leaders, rejoicing at any evidence of the royal favor,
desired to strengthen it and render it more stable. For this purpose they
found a rare opportunity in projecting matrimonial alliances. Queen
Elizabeth, of England, was yet unmarried, a princess of acknowledged
ability, and reigning over a kingdom, which, if it had not at that time
attained the wealth of industry and commerce which it now possesses, was,
at least, one of the most illustrious in Christendom. Where could a more
advantageous match be sought for Henry of Anjou, the French monarch's
brother? True, the Tudor princess was no longer young, and her personal
appearance was scarcely praised, except by her courtiers. She had been a
candidate for many projected nuptials, but in none had the disparity of
age been so great as in the present case, for, being a maiden of
thirty-seven, she lacked but a single year of being twice as old as
Anjou.[813] Besides these objections, and independently of the difference
of creed between the queen and Anjou, she had the unenviable reputation of
being irresolute, fickle, and capricious. And yet, in spite of all these
difficulties, the match was seriously proposed and entertained in the
autumn and winter succeeding the ratification of peace.

It is worthy of notice that the scheme originated with the French
Protestants. Cardinal Châtillon, the admiral's brother, and the Vidame of
Chartres, both of them zealous partisans of the Reformation, and at this
time engaged in negotiations in England, were the first to make mention of
the plan, and probably it took its rise in their minds. Their object was
manifest: if France could be united to Protestant England by so
distinguished a marriage, the permanence of the peace of St. Germain might
be regarded as secure. Under such auspices, the Huguenots, long proscribed
and persecuted, might hope for such favor and toleration as they had never
yet enjoyed.

Catharine de' Medici, when approached on the subject, gave indications of
hearty acquiescence. Of late there had been a growing estrangement between
the French and Spanish courts. The selfishness and arrogance of Philip and
his ministers had been particularly evident and offensive during the late
war. It was sufficiently clear that the Catholic king opposed the peace
less from hatred of heresy or of rebellion, than because of his scarcely
disguised hope of profiting by the misfortunes of France. The queen mother
was consequently quite inclined to tighten the bonds of amity and
friendship with England, when those that had previously existed with Spain
were loosened. The prospect of a crown for her favorite son was an
alluring one--doubly so, because of Nostradamus's prophecy that she would
see all her sons upon the throne, to which she gave a superstitious
credence, trembling lest it should involve in its fulfilment their
untimely death. It is true that, in view of Elizabeth's age, she would
have preferred to marry the Duke of Anjou to some princess of the royal
house of England, whom Elizabeth might first have proclaimed her heir and
successor.[814] However, as the English queen was, perhaps, even more
reluctant than the majority of mankind to be reminded of her advancing
years and of her mortality, Catharine's ambassador may have deemed it
advisable to be silent regarding the suggestion of so palpable a "memento
mori," and contented himself with offering for her own acceptance the hand
of one whom he recommended as "the most accomplished prince living, and
the most deserving her good graces."[815] Elizabeth received the proposal
with courtesy, merely alluding to the great difference between her age and
Anjou's, but admitted her apprehension lest, since "she was already one
whose kingdom rather than herself was to be wedded," she might marry one
who would honor her as a queen rather than love her as a woman. In fact,
the remembrance of the amours of the father and grandfather made her
suspicious of the son, and the names of Madame d'Estampes and of Madame de
Valentinois (Diana of Poitiers) inspired her with no little fear. All
which coy suggestions La Mothe Fénélon, astute courtier that he was, knew
well how to answer.[816]

[Sidenote: Machinations to dissuade Anjou.]

Soon, however, the difficulty threatened to be the unwillingness of the
suitor, rather than the reluctance of the lady. Henry of Anjou was the
head of the Roman Catholic party in France. Charles's orthodoxy might be
suspected; there was no doubt of his brother's. His intimacy with the
Guises, his successes as general of the royal forces in what was styled a
war in defence of religion, were guarantees of his devotion to the papal
cause. All his prestige would be lost if he married the heretical daughter
of Henry the Eighth and Anne Boleyn. Hence desperate efforts were made to
deter him--efforts which did not escape the Argus-eyed Walsingham. "The
Pope, the King of Spain, and the rest of the confederates, upon the doubt
of a match between the queen, my mistress, and monsieur, do seek, by what
means they can, to dissuade and draw him from the same. They offer him to
be the head and chief executioner of the league against the Turk, a thing
now newly renewed, though long ago meant; which league is thought to
stretch to as many as they repute to be Turks, although better Christians
than themselves. The cause of the Cardinal of Lorraine's repair hither
from Rheims, as it is thought, was to this purpose."[817]

[Sidenote: Charles indignant at the interference.]

Charles the Ninth was indignant at this interference, and said: "If this
matter go forward, it behooveth me to make some counter-league," having
his eye upon the German Protestant princes and Elizabeth.[818] Besides,
there were at this juncture other reasons for displeasure, especially with
Spain. Charles and his mother had received a rebuff from Sebastian of
Portugal, to whom they had offered Margaret of Valois in marriage. The
young king had replied, through Malicorne, "that they were both young,
and that therefore about eight years hence that matter might be better
talked of," "which disdainful answer," the English ambassador wrote from
the French court, "is accepted here in very ill part, and is thought not
to be done without the counsel of Spain."[819]

[Sidenote: Alençon to be substituted as suitor.]

With Henry of Anjou, however, much to the disgust and disappointment of
his mother, the "league" succeeded too well. Scarcely had a month passed,
before Catharine was compelled to write to the envoy in England, telling
him that Henry had heard reports unfavorable to Elizabeth's character, and
positively declined to marry her.[820] In her extreme perplexity at this
unexpected turn of events, the queen mother suggested to La Mothe Fénélon
that perhaps the Duke of Alençon would do as well, and might step into the
place which his brother had so ungallantly abandoned.[821] Now, as this
Alençon was a beardless boy of sixteen, and, unlike Charles and Henry,
small for his age, it is not surprising that La Mothe declared himself
utterly averse to making any mention of him for the present, lest the
queen should come to the very sensible conclusion that the French were
"making sport of her."[822]

[Sidenote: Anjou's new ardor.]

[Sidenote: Elizabeth interposes obstacles.]

But there was at present no need of resorting to substitution. For a time
the ardor of Anjou was rekindled, and rapidly increased in intensity.
Catharine first wrote that Anjou "condescended" to marry Elizabeth;[823]
presently, that "he desired infinitely to espouse her."[824] A month or
two later he declared to Walsingham: "I must needs confess that, through
the great commendation that is made of the queen your mistress, for her
rare gifts as well of mind as of body, being (as even her very enemies
say) the rarest creature that was in Europe these five hundred years; my
affection, grounded upon so good respects, hath now made me yield to be
wholly hers."[825] On the other hand, Elizabeth began to exhibit such
coldness that her most intimate servants doubted her sincerity in the
entire transaction. With more candor than courtiers usually exhibit in
urging a suit which they suspect to be distasteful to their sovereign,
Lord Burleigh, the Earl of Leicester, and Sir Francis Walsingham used
every means of persuading the queen to decisive action. "My very good
Lord," wrote Walsingham, on the fourteenth of May, 1571, "the Protestants
here do so earnestly desire this match; and on the other side, the papists
do so earnestly seek to impeach the same, as it maketh me the more earnest
in furthering of the same. Besides, when I particularly consider her
Majesty's state, both at home and abroad, so far forth as my poor eyesight
can discern; and how she is beset with foreign peril, the execution
whereof stayeth only upon the event of this match, I do not see how she
can stand if this matter break off."[826] Lord Burleigh, in perplexity on
account of Elizabeth's conduct, exclaimed that "he was not able to discern
what was best;" but added: "Surely I see no continuance of her quietness
without a marriage, and therefore I remit the success to Almighty
God."[827] The situation of Elizabeth's servants was, indeed, extremely
embarrassing. Their mistress had laid an insuperable obstacle in the way.
She did not, indeed, require Anjou to abjure his faith, but her demands
virtually involved this. Not only did she refuse to grant the duke, by the
articles of marriage, public or even private worship for himself and his
attendants, according to the rites of the Roman Catholic Church, but she
wished to bind him to make no request to that effect after marriage.[828]
In vain did Catharine protest that this was to require him to become an
atheist, and her own advisers solemnly warn her that this could but lead
to an entire rupture of the negotiations. Under the pretence of excluding
all exercise of Popery from England, the queen disappointed the ardent
hopes of thousands of sincere and thorough Protestants in France and of
many more in England, who viewed the marriage as by far the most advisable
cure--far better than a simple treaty of peace--for the ills of both
kingdoms. "If you find not in her Majesty," wrote Walsingham to Leicester,
"a resolute determination to marry--a thing most necessary for our
staggering state--then were it expedient to take hold of amity, which may
serve to ease us for a time, though our disease requireth another remedy;"
and again, a few days later (on the third of August, 1571): "My lord, if
neither marriage nor amity may take place, the poor Protestants here do
think then their case desperate. They tell me so with tears, and therefore
I do believe them. And surely, if they say nothing, beholding the present
state here, I could not but see it most apparent."[829]

[Sidenote: Papal and Spanish efforts.]

The fears of the Protestants were not baseless. As the marriage, and the
consequent close friendship with England, seemed to insure the growth and
spread of the reformed faith,[830] the failure of both was an almost
unmistakable portent of the triumph of the opposite party and of the
renewal of persecution and bloodshed. And so also the fanatical Roman
Catholics read the signs of the times, and again they plied Anjou with
their seductions. "Great practices are here for the impeachment of this
match," wrote the English ambassador, near the end of July, 1571. "The
Papal Nuncio, Spain, and Portugal, are daily courtiers to dissuade this
match. The clergy here have offered Monsieur a great pension, to stay him
from proceeding. In conclusion, there is nothing left undone, that may be
thought fit to hinder."[831]

[Sidenote: Vexation of Catharine at Anjou's fresh scruples.]

And these intrigues were not fruitless. Anjou now declared to his mother
that he would not go to England without public assurances that he should
enjoy the liberty to exercise his own religion. He was unwilling even to
trust the queen's word, as Catharine and Charles would have wished him to
do. Catharine meantime expressed her vexation in her despatches to La
Mothe Fénélon.[832] "We strongly suspect," she said, "that Villequier,
Lignerolles, or Sarret, or possibly all three, may be the authors of these
fancies. If we succeed in obtaining some certainty respecting this matter,
I assure you that they will repent of it."[833] But she added that, should
the negotiation unfortunately fail, she was resolved to put forth all her
efforts in behalf of her son Alençon, who would be more easily
suited.[834]

In fact, while Anjou was indifferent, or perhaps disgusted at the
obstacles raised in the way of the marriage, and was unwilling to
sacrifice his attachment to the party in connection with which he had
obtained whatever distinction he possessed; and while Elizabeth, who was
by no means blind, saw clearly enough that she was likely to get a husband
who would regard his bride rather as an incumbrance than as an
acquisition,[835] there were two persons who were as eager as Elizabeth's
advisers, or the Huguenots themselves, to see the match effected. These
were Charles the Ninth and Catharine de' Medici, both of whom just now
gave abundant evidence of their disposition to draw closer to England and
to the Huguenots of France and the Gueux of Holland, while suffering the
breach between France and Spain to become more marked.

[Sidenote: Louis of Nassau confers with the king.]

Count Louis of Nassau, ever since the conclusion of peace, had remained
with the Huguenots within the walls of La Rochelle. At the repeated
solicitations of his brother, the Prince of Orange, he had entered into
correspondence with the king, and urged him to embrace an opportunity such
as might never return, to endear himself to the Netherlanders, and add
materially to the extent and power of France by espousing the cause of
constitutional rights. His advances were so favorably received that he now
came in disguise, accompanied by La Noue, Téligny, and Genlis, to confer
with Charles upon the subject. They met at Lumigny-en-Brie, whither the
king had gone to indulge in his favorite pastime of the chase, and on
several consecutive days held secret conferences.[836] Louis was a
nobleman whose history and connections entitled him to respect; but his
frank and sincere character was a still more powerful advocate in his
behalf.[837] He proved to the king how justly he might interfere in
defence of the Low Countries, where Philip was seeking "to plant, by
inquisition, the foundation of a most horrible tyranny, the overthrow of
all freedoms and liberties." He traced the course of events since the
humiliating treaty of Cateau-Cambrésis, and added: "If you think in
conscience and honor you may not become the protector of this people, you
should do well to forbear, for otherwise the success cannot be gained. If
you think you may, then weigh in policy how beneficial it will be for you,
and how much your father would have given, to have had the like
opportunity offered unto him that is now presented unto you gratis; which,
if you refuse, the like you must never look for."

Both Charles and his mother appeared well pleased with the proposal, and
the king, who had listened attentively to the recital of the follies into
which Philip had fallen in consequence of listening to evil advice,
exclaimed: "Similar counsellors, by violating my edict, wellnigh brought
me into like terms with my subjects, wherefrom ensued the late troubles;
but now, thank God, He has opened my eyes to discern what their meaning
was." Next, Louis showed that success was not difficult. The Roman
Catholics and the Protestants in the Netherlands equally detested the
tyranny of the Spaniards. The towns were ready to receive garrisons.
Philip had not in the whole country over three thousand troops upon whose
fidelity he could rely. The addition of a dozen ships to those already
possessed by the patriots would enable them effectually to prevent the
landing of Spanish reinforcements. In short, the Netherlands were ripe for
a division which would amply recompense France and the German princes, as
well as Queen Elizabeth, should she, as was hoped, consent to take part in
the enterprise: for the provinces of Flanders and Artois, which had once
belonged to the French crown, would gladly give themselves up to Charles;
Brabant, Gelderland, and Luxemburg would be restored to the empire; and
Holland, Zealand, and the rest of the islands would fall to the share of
the queen.[838]

[Sidenote: Admiral Coligny consulted.]

[Sidenote: He marries Jacqueline d'Entremont.]

So favorably did Charles and his mother, with those counsellors to whom
the secret was intrusted, receive the count's advances, that it was
clearly advisable to bring them into communication with Admiral Coligny,
to whose conduct the enterprise, if adopted, must be confided, and for
whom the young king expressed great esteem. Indeed, so urgently was the
admiral invited, and so intimately did the success or failure of the
attempt to enlist France in the Flemish war seem to be dependent upon his
personal influence, that Gaspard de Coligny, despite the ill-concealed
solicitude of many of his more suspicious friends, consented to trust
himself in the king's hands. As for himself, the admiral had little desire
to leave the secure retreat of La Rochelle. Here he was surrounded by
friends. Here his happiness had been enhanced by two marriages which
promised to add greatly to the wealth and influence he already possessed.
Jacqueline d'Entremont, the widow of a brave officer killed in the civil
wars, had long entertained an admiration, which she made no attempt to
disguise, for the bravery and piety of the stern leader of the Huguenots.
Possessed of very extensive estates in the dominions of the Duke of Savoy,
she had also the qualities of mind and disposition which fitted her to
become the wife of so upright and magnanimous a man. The proposals of
marriage are said to have come from her relatives, nor did the lady
herself hesitate to express the wish before her death to become the Marcia
of the new Cato.[839] The nuptials were celebrated with great pomp at La
Rochelle, whither Jacqueline, after having been married by proxy,[840] was
escorted by a goodly train of Huguenot nobles. Great were the rejoicings
of the people, but not less great the anger of the Duke of Savoy, who, as
Jacqueline's feudal lord, claimed the right to dispose of her hand, and
had peremptorily forbidden her to marry the admiral. The barbarous revenge
which Emmanuel Philibert too soon found it in his power to inflict upon
the unfortunate widow of Coligny forms the subject for one of the darkest
pages of modern history.[841] Under no less auspicious circumstances was
consummated the union of Coligny's daughter, Louise de Châtillon, to
Téligny, a young noble whose skill as a diplomatist seemed to have
destined him to hold a foremost rank among statesmen. Scarcely less
unhappy, however, than her step-mother, Louise was to behold both her
father and her husband perish in a single hour by the same dreadful
catastrophe.

[Sidenote: Accepts the invitation to court.]

Was it foolish rashness or overweening presumption that led the admiral to
leave the new home he had made within the strong defences of La Rochelle;
or was he moved solely by a conscientious persuasion that he had no right
to consider personal danger when the great interests of his country and
his faith were at stake? The former view has not been without its
advocates, some of whom have gloried in finding the proofs of a judicial
blindness sent by Heaven to hasten the self-induced destruction of the
Huguenots. A more careful consideration of all the circumstances of the
case, illustrated by a better appreciation of Coligny's character, rather
induces me to adopt the opposite conclusion. Certainly the noble language
of Coligny in reply to the warnings of his friends, both now and later,
when he was about to venture within the walls of Paris, displayed no
unconsciousness of the perils by which he was environed. "Better, however,
were it," he said, "to die a thousand deaths, than by undue solicitude for
life to be the occasion of keeping up distrust throughout an entire
kingdom."

About the beginning of September, 1571, Charles and his court repaired to
Blois, on the banks of the Loire.[842] The avowed object of the movement
was to meet Coligny and the Protestant princes. "There are many practices
(intrigues) to overthrow this journey," wrote Walsingham, about the middle
of the preceding month, "but the king sheweth himself to be very resolute.
I am most constantly assured that the king conceiveth of no subject that
he hath, better than of the admiral, and great hope there is that the king
will use him in matters of greatest trust; for of himself he beginneth to
see the insufficiency of others--some, for that they are more addicted to
others than to himself; others, for that they are more Spanish than
French, or else given more to private pleasures than public. There is none
of any account within this realm, whose as well imperfections as virtues,
he knoweth not. Those that do love him, do lament that he is so much given
to pleasure: they hope the admiral's access unto the court will yield some
redress in that case. Queen mother, seeing her son so well affected
towards him, laboreth by all means to cause him to think well of her. She
seemeth much to further the meeting."[843]

[Sidenote: His honorable reception.]

Nothing could surpass the honorable reception of the admiral, when, on the
twelfth of September, he arrived with a small retinue at court in the city
of Blois. On first coming into the royal presence, he humbly kneeled, but
Charles graciously lifted him up, and embraced him, calling him his
father, and protesting that he regarded this as one of the happiest days
of his life, since he saw the war ended and tranquillity confirmed by
Coligny's return. "You are as welcome," said he, "as any gentleman that
has visited my court in twenty years." And in the same interview, he
expressed his joy in words upon which subsequent events placed a sinister
construction, but which nevertheless appear to have been uttered in good
faith: "At last we have you with us, and you will not leave us again
whenever you wish."[844] Nor was Catharine behind her son in affability.
She surprised the courtiers by honoring the Huguenot leader with a kiss.
And even Anjou, who chanced to be indisposed, received him in his
bedchamber with a show of friendliness. More substantial tokens of favor
followed. The same person, who, as the principal general of the rebels,
had been attainted of treason, his castle and possessions being
confiscated or destroyed by decree of the first parliament of France, and
a reward of fifty thousand gold crowns being set upon his head, now
received from the king's private purse the unsolicited gift of one hundred
thousand livres, to make good his losses during the war. Moreover, he was
presented with the revenues of his lately deceased brother, the Cardinal
Odet de Châtillon, for the space of one year, and was intrusted with the
lucrative office of guardian of the house of Laval during the minority of
its heir. Indeed, throughout his stay at Blois, which was protracted
through several weeks, Coligny was the favored confidant of Charles, who
sometimes even made him preside in the royal council.[845]

Moreover, it was doubtless at Coligny's suggestion that the king at this
time wrote to the Duke of Savoy interceding for those Waldenses who in the
recent wars had aided the French Protestants in arms, and who since their
return to the ducal dominions had experienced severe persecution on that
account. "I desire," he says in this letter, "to make a request of you, a
request of no ordinary character, but as earnest as you could possibly
receive from me--that, just as for the love of me you have treated your
subjects in this matter with unusual rigor, so you would be pleased, for
my sake, and by reason of my prayer and special recommendation, to receive
them into your benign grace, and reinstate them in the possessions which
have for this cause been confiscated." He added that he desired not only
to exhibit to his Protestant subjects his intention to execute his edict,
but to extend to their allies from abroad the same love and
protection.[846]

[Sidenote: Disgust of the Guises and of Alva.]

These and other marks of honorable distinction shown to the acknowledged
head of the Huguenots, must have been excessively distasteful both to the
Guises and to the Spaniard. The former now retired from court, and left
Charles completely in the hands of the Montmorencies and the admiral.[847]
Earlier in the year, the Duke of Alva had met with a signal rebuff at the
hands of the French, when, in return for the aid furnished to Charles by
his Catholic Majesty during the late wars, he requested him to supply him
with German reiters, to allow him to levy in France troops to serve
against the Prince of Orange, and to detain the fleet which was said to be
preparing for the prince at La Rochelle. The first two demands were
peremptorily refused, while the ships, it was replied, were intended
merely to make reprisals upon the Spaniards, who had taken some Protestant
vessels, drowned a part of their crew in the ocean, and delivered others
into the power of the Inquisition, and could not be interfered with.[848]
The Spanish ambassador had borne with the offensiveness of this answer;
but the favor with which the Huguenots were now received, and the openness
with which the Flemish war was discussed, rendered his further stay
impossible. It is true that the interviews of Louis of Nassau with the
king were held with great secrecy, and that Charles even had the
effrontery to deny that he had met the brother of Orange at all.[849] It
was impossible to deny that Philip's subjects were despoiled by vessels
which issued with impunity from La Rochelle. But, although the ambassador
declared that these grievances must be redressed, or war would ensue, he
was bluntly informed by Charles that "Philip might not look to give laws
to France." Catharine partook of her son's indignation, the more so as she
seems at this time to have shared in the current belief that her daughter
Elizabeth had been poisoned by her royal husband.[850] At last, in
November, the ambassador withdrew from court, without taking leave of the
king, after having, in scarcely disguised contempt,[851] given away to the
monks the silver plate which Charles had presented to him.

[Sidenote: Charles gratified.]

While the new policy of conciliation and toleration thus disgusted one, at
least, of those foreign powers which had spurred on the government to
engage in suicidal civil contests, it was at home producing the beneficent
results hoped for by its authors. Charles himself appeared to be daily
more convinced of its excellence. In a letter to President Du Ferrier,
the French envoy at Constantinople, written during the admiral's stay at
Blois, he exposed for the sultan's benefit the reasons for the mutation in
his treatment of the Huguenots, and for the cordial reception he had given
Coligny at his court. "You know," he said, "that this kingdom fell into
discord and division, in which it still is involved. I forgot no
prescription which I thought might cure it of this ulcerous wound; at one
time trying mild remedies, at others applying the most caustic, without
sparing my own person, or those whom nature made most dear to me.... But,
having at length discovered that only time could alleviate the ill, and
_that those who were at the windows were very glad to see the game played
at my expense_,[852] I had recourse to my original plan, which was that of
mildness; and by good advice I made my Edict of Pacification, which is the
seal of public faith, under whose benign influence peace and quiet have
been restored." And referring to Coligny's arrival, he added: "You know
that experience is dearly bought and is worth much. I must therefore tell
you that the chief result which I hoped from his coming begins already to
develop, inasmuch as the greater part of my subjects, who lately lived in
some distrust, have by this demonstration gained such assurance of my
kindness and affection, that all partisan feeling and faction are visibly
beginning to fade away."[853]

[Sidenote: Proposed marriage of Henry of Navarre and the king's sister.]

Besides the Flemish project, an important domestic affair engaged the
attention of the king and his counsellors at the time of Coligny's visit.
This was the proposed marriage of young Henry, the Prince of Béarn, and
after his mother's death heir of the crown of Navarre, to Margaret of
Valois, the youngest sister of Charles the Ninth. Margaret, who had lately
entered upon her twentieth year, was a year and a half older than the
prince.[854] In a court and a state of society where the birth of a
daughter was the signal for the initiation of an unlimited number of
matrimonial projects, it is not surprising that this match, among many
others, was talked of in the very infancy of the parties, perhaps with
little expectation that anything would ever come of it. The prince was a
sprightly boy, and, it is said, so delighted his namesake, Henry the
Second, that the monarch playfully asked him whether he would like to be
his son-in-law--a question which the boy found no difficulty in answering
in the affirmative. In fact, the matter went so far that, when the young
Bearnese was little over three years of age, Antoine of Bourbon wrote to
his sister, the Duchess of Nevers, with undisguised delight, of "the favor
the king has been pleased to show me by the agreement between us for the
marriage of Madam Margaret, his daughter, with my eldest son--a thing
which I accept as so particular a token of his good grace, that I am now
at rest and satisfied with what I could most ardently desire in this
world."[855] But the boy's mother had not been inclined to accept the
king's offer to take and educate him with his own children.[856] She was
not very familiar with the disorders of the royal court; but she had seen
enough to convince her that the quiet plains at the foot of the Pyrenees
could furnish a safer school of manners and morals. More than once the
idea of the connection between the crowns of France and Navarre was
revived, and in 1562 Catharine bethought herself of it as a means of
detaching the unfortunate Antoine from the triumvirs, whose cause he had
espoused with such strange infatuation.[857] But other plans soon
diverted the ambitious mind of the Italian queen. Moreover, the civil wars
between Protestants and Roman Catholics made the marriage of the daughter
of the "Very Christian King" to the son of the most obstinate Huguenot in
France appear to be out of the range of propriety or likelihood. Meantime,
Margaret's union with Sebastian of Portugal was seriously discussed.[858]
The tiresome negotiations ended in January, 1571, with a haughty refusal
of her hand, dictated, as we have seen, by Philip himself. A few weeks
later, as Margaret informs us in her Mémoires--which may generally be
credited, except where the fair author's love affairs are concerned--the
Prince of Navarre began again to be mentioned as an available candidate
for her hand. She expressly states that it was from the Montmorencies that
the first suggestion came[859]--that is, from François de Montmorency, the
constable's oldest son. This nobleman, while he had inherited a great part
of his father's influence, as the head of one of the most honorable feudal
families in France, having its seat in the very neighborhood of the
capital, had ranged himself with the party opposed to that with which Anne
had been identified, and, although in outward profession a Roman Catholic,
was in full sympathy with the liberal political views of his cousin,
Admiral Coligny. This fact effectually disposes of the story that the
marriage was proposed, however much it may subsequently have been
entertained, as a trap to ensnare the Huguenots, thus thrown off their
guard.

Marshal Biron, another statesman of the same type, was the messenger to
carry the royal proposals to La Rochelle. He pictured to the Queen of
Navarre in glowing colors the advantages that would flow from this
alliance, the strength it would impart to the friends of mutual
toleration, the consternation and dismay it would carry into the camp of
the enemy. At the same time he declared that Charles the Ninth felt
confident that, although he had not as yet obtained from the Pope the
dispensation which the relationship subsisting between the parties, as
well as their religious differences, rendered necessary, Pius the Fifth
would ultimately place no obstacle in the way. Jeanne d'Albret gratefully
acknowledged the honor offered by the king to her son, but, before
accepting it, professed herself compelled to consult her spiritual
advisers respecting the question whether such a marriage might in good
conscience be entered into by a member of the reformed church.[860] As for
Margaret herself, she gives us in her Mémoires little light as to the
state of her own feelings at this time. If we may imagine her so
indifferent, she demurely expressed her acquiescence in whatever her
mother might decide, but begged her to remember that "she was very
Catholic," and that "she would be very sorry to marry any one who was not
of her religion."[861] A few months later, however, when the prospects of
the marriage became less bright, because of the difficulties arising from
religion, it would seem that, with a perversity not altogether
unexampled, Margaret became more anxious to have it consummated. At least,
Francis Walsingham writes to Lord Burleigh: "The gentlewoman, being most
desirous thereof, falleth to reading of the Bible, and to the use of the
prayers used by them of the religion."[862]

[Sidenote: The Anjou match abandoned.]

Meanwhile, the project of a marriage between Elizabeth and Anjou had, as
we have seen, been virtually abandoned. The matter of religion was the
ostensible stumbling-block; it can scarcely have been the real difficulty
on either side. As to Anjou, the sincerity of his religious convictions is
certainly not above suspicion. But he was the head of a party in his
brother's kingdom, a party that professed unalterable devotion to the
"Holy See" and the old faith. If the eternal rewards of his fidelity to
the papacy were at all problematical, there was no doubt whatever in his
mind of the advantage of so powerful support as that which the
ecclesiastics of France could give him. He was resolved not to throw away
this advantage by openly agreeing to renounce all exercise of his own
religion in England, and this, too, without the certainty that the
concession would secure to him the hand of the queen. And, unfortunately,
it was impossible for him to gain this certainty. Elizabeth was already
pretty well understood. Her fancies and freaks it was beyond the power of
the most astute of her ministers to predict or to comprehend. If the
barrier of religion were demolished, there was no possibility of telling
what more formidable works might be unmasked. And so Henry, rather more
sensible upon this point than even Catharine and Charles, who would have
had him shrink from no concessions, made a virtue of necessity, definitely
withdrew from competition for the hand of a woman for whose personal
appearance it was impossible for him to entertain any admiration; whose
moral character, he had often been told and he more than half suspected,
was bad;[863] and told his friends, and probably believed, that he had
had a narrow escape. The queen, on the other hand, was perhaps not
conscious of insincerity of purpose. She must marry, if not from
inclination, for protection's sake--the protection of her subjects and
herself--so all the world told her; and a marriage that would secure to
England the support of France against Spain was the best. But that she
sought excuses for not taking the Duke of Anjou is evident, even though
she strove to make it appear to others, as well as to herself, that the
refusal came at last from him.[864] And she had her advisers--subjects who
in secret aspired to her hand, or others--who, in an underhand way,
stimulated her aversion to Henry. It is not unlikely that the Earl of
Leicester, despite his ardent protestations of zealous support of the
match, was the most insidious of its opponents. "While 'the poor
Huguenots' were telling Walsingham in tears that an affront from England
would bring back the Guises, and end in a massacre of themselves,
Leicester was working privately upon the queen, who was but too willing to
listen to him, feeding her through the ladies of the bedchamber with
stories that Anjou was infected with a loathsome disease, and assisting
his Penelope to unravel at night the web which she had woven under Cecil's
direction in the day."[865]

[Sidenote: The praise of Alençon.]

So the negotiation of a marriage between Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of
Anjou, after being virtually dead for about a half-year, breathed its last
in January, 1572. But the full accord between the two kingdoms was too
important to the interests of both, and the opportunity of obtaining a
crown for one of her sons too precious in the eye of Catharine.
Accordingly the discussion of the terms of the treaty of amity was pressed
with still greater zeal, while the French envoy to England was instructed
to offer Alençon to Elizabeth in place of his brother. And now were the
wits of the statesmen on both sides of the channel exercised to find good
reasons why the match would be no incongruous one. Unfortunately, Alençon,
as already stated, was short even for his age; but this was no insuperable
obstacle. "Nay," said Catharine de' Medici to Sir Thomas Smith, when she
was sounding him respecting his mistress's disposition, "he is not so
little; he is so high as you, or very near." "For that matter, madam,"
replied Smith, "I for my part make small account, if the queen's majestie
can fancie him. For _Pipinus Brevis_, who married _Bertha_, the King of
Almain's daughter, was so little to her, that he is standing in
Aquisgrave, or Moguerre, a church in Almain, she taking him by the hand,
and his head not reaching to her girdle; and yet he had by her Charlemain,
the great Emperor and King of France, which is reported to be almost a
giant's stature."[866] It was not so easy to dispose of the disparity in
years,[867] and perhaps still less of Alençon's disfigurement by
small-pox; for that unlucky prince added this to the long catalogue of his
misfortunes. The course of the treaty for mutual defence was, happily,
somewhat smoother than that of the matchmaking. On the eighteenth of April
the treaty was formally concluded,[868] and shortly after, Marshal
Montmorency and M. de Foix were despatched to administer the oath to Queen
Elizabeth. This solemn ceremony was performed on Sunday, the fifteenth of
June. The deputies were received with every mark of distinction, and the
marshal was publicly presented by the queen with the insignia of the
Order of the Garter.[869] The commission of the French envoys instructed
them to press upon Elizabeth the Alençon marriage as a powerful means of
cementing the alliance; and it empowered them to expend money to the
extent of ten or twelve thousand crowns in buying the consent of those
lords who had hitherto opposed the union. The Earl of Leicester, whose
straightforwardness may have been suspected, was to be tempted by the
special offer of some French heiress in marriage, the name of Mademoiselle
de Bourbon being suggested.[870] But the marriage was not destined to be
accomplished, although the negotiations were kept up until the very time
of the massacre, and Elizabeth sent to Catharine de' Medici her hearty
acknowledgment of the honor she had done her _in offering her all her sons
successively_.[871] At the very moment when the fearful blow fell which
was to render any such marriage impossible, Catharine was planning and
proposing an interview between Elizabeth on the one side, and herself and
Alençon on the other. That the dignity of neither party might be
compromised, it was suggested that the meeting might take place some calm
day on the water between Dover and Boulogne.[872] Elizabeth had
reconsidered her partial refusal, and encouraged the project; the nobles,
the ladies of the court, the council, all favored it; and in a letter
written four days after the streets of Paris flowed with blood, but before
the appalling intelligence had reached him, the French ambassador wrote to
Catharine: "All who are well affected cry to us, 'Let my Lord the Duke
come!'"[873]

[Sidenote: Pope Pius the Fifth alarmed.]

[Sidenote: The Cardinal of Alessandria sent to Paris.]

[Sidenote: The king's assurances.]

It cannot be supposed that such a leaning could be manifested toward the
Huguenot party, and such amity concluded with the Protestant kingdom of
England, without arousing grave solicitude on the part of the Pope and
other Roman Catholic sovereigns of Europe. Pius the Fifth determined, if
possible, to deter Charles from permitting the hateful marriage between
his sister and the heretical Prince of Navarre. He therefore promptly
despatched his nephew, the Cardinal of Alessandria,[874] first to
Sebastian of Portugal, whom he found no great difficulty in persuading
again to entertain the project of a marriage with Margaret of Valois, and
thence, with the utmost haste, to the court of Charles the Ninth.[875] The
legate, when admitted to an audience, unfolded at great length the
grievances of the pontiff--the mission of a heretic, formerly a bishop, as
envoy to Constantinople, the rumored opposition of the king to the Holy
League against the Turk, but especially the contemplated nuptials of a
daughter of France with the son of Jeanne d'Albret. Charles replied to
these charges in the most politic manner. He prayed that the earth might
open and swallow him up, rather than that he should stand in the way of so
illustrious and holy league as that against the infidel. As to his zeal
for the Christian faith, he demonstrated it--albeit some might object that
the fraternal affection which was reported to subsist between the parties
hardly rendered this argument convincing--by the fact of his having
exposed, in its defence, his dearest brother, the Duke of Anjou, to all
the perils of war. By civil war the resources of his kingdom had been so
weakened that they barely sufficed for its protection. He justified the
Navarrese marriage by alleging the remarkable traits which made Henry
superior to any other prince of the Bourbon family, and by the great
benefit which religion would gain from his conversion. In short, Charles
was profuse in protestations of his sincere determination to maintain the
Catholic faith; and, drawing a valuable diamond ring from his finger, he
presented it to the legate as a pledge, he said, of his unalterable
fidelity to the Holy See, and a token that he would more than redeem his
promises. The cardinal legate, however, declined to receive the gift,
saying that he was amply satisfied with the plighted word of so great a
king, a security more firm than any other pledge that could be given to
him.[876] Such seem to have been the assurances given by Charles on this
celebrated occasion, vague and indefinite, but calculated to allay to a
certain extent the anxiety of the head of the papal church.[877] There is
good reason to believe that the king's intention of fulfilling them, not
to say his plan for doing so, was equally undefined; although, so far as
his own faith was concerned, he had no thought of abandoning the church of
his fathers. The expressions by means of which Charles is made to point
with unmistakable clearness to a contemplated massacre,[878] of which,
however the case may stand with respect to his mother, it is all but
certain that he had at this time no idea, can only be regarded as fabulous
additions of which the earliest disseminators of the story were altogether
ignorant. The fact that the cardinal legate's rejection of the ring was
publicly known[879] seems to be a sufficient proof that it was offered
simply as a pledge of the king's general fidelity to the Holy See, not of
his intention to violate his edict and murder his Protestant subjects. The
government made the attempt in like manner to quiet the people, whom even
the smallest amount of concession and favor to the Huguenots rendered
suspicious; and the words uttered for this purpose were often so
flattering to the Roman Catholics, that, in the light of subsequent
events, they seem to have a reference to acts of treachery to which they
were not intended to apply.

[Sidenote: Jeanne d'Albret becomes more favorable to her son's marriage.]

The doubt propounded by Jeanne d'Albret to the reformed ministers,
respecting the lawfulness of a mixed marriage, having been satisfactorily
answered, and the devout queen being convinced that the union of Henry and
Margaret would rather tend to advance the cause to which she subordinated
all her personal interests, than retard it by casting reproach upon it,
the project was more warmly entertained on both sides. Yet the subject was
not without serious difficulty. Of this the religious question was the
great cause. To the English ambassadors, Walsingham and Smith, Jeanne
declared (on the fourth of March, 1572) in her own forcible language,
"that now she had the wolf by the ears, for that, in concluding or not
concluding the marriage, she saw danger every way; and that no matter
(though she had dealt in matters of consequence) did so much trouble her
as this, for that she could not tell how to resolve." She could neither
bring herself to consent that her son with his bride should reside at the
royal court without any exercise of his own religion--a course which would
not only tend to make him an atheist, but cut off all hope of the
conversion of his wife--nor that Margaret of Valois should be guaranteed
the permission to have mass celebrated whenever she came into Jeanne's own
domains in Béarn, a district which the queen "had cleansed of all
idolatry." For Margaret would by her example undo much of that which had
been so assiduously labored for, and the Roman Catholics who had remained
would become "more unwilling to hear the Gospel, they having a staff to
lean to."[880]

[Sidenote: Her solicitude.]

It was this uncertainty about Margaret's course, and the consequent gain
or loss to the Protestant faith, that rendered it almost impossible for
Jeanne d'Albret to master her anxiety. "In view," she wrote to her son,
"of Margaret's judgment and the credit she enjoys with the queen her
mother and the king and her brothers, if she embrace 'the religion,' I can
say that we are the most happy people in the world, and not only our house
but all the kingdom of France will share in this happiness.... If she
remain obstinate in her religion, being devoted to it, as she is said to
be, it cannot be but that this marriage will prove the ruin, first, of our
friends and our lands, and such a support to the papists that, with the
good-will the queen mother bears us, we shall be ruined with the churches
of France." It would almost seem that a prophetic glimpse of the future
had been accorded to the Queen of Navarre. "My son, if ever you prayed
God, do so now, I beg you, as I pray without ceasing, that He may assist
me in this negotiation, and that this marriage may not be made in His
anger for our punishment, but in His mercy for His own glory and our
quiet."[881]

But there were other grounds for solicitude. Catharine de' Medici was the
same deceitful woman she had always been. She would not allow Jeanne
d'Albret to see either Charles or Margaret, save in her presence. She
misrepresented the queen's words, and, when called to an account, denied
the report with the greatest effrontery. She destroyed all the hopes
Jeanne had entertained of frank discussion.

[Sidenote: The Queen of Navarre is treated with tantalizing insincerity.]

"You have great reason to pity me," the Queen of Navarre wrote to her
faithful subject in Béarn, "for never was I so disdainfully treated at
court as I now am.... Everything that had been announced to me is changed.
They wish to destroy all the hopes with which they brought me."[882]
Catharine showed no shame when detected in open falsehood. She told Jeanne
d'Albret that her son's governor had given her reason to expect that Henry
would consent to be married by proxy according to the Romish ceremonial.
But when she was hard pressed and saw that Jeanne did not believe her, she
coolly rejoined: "Well, at any rate, he told me something." "I am quite
sure of it, madam, but it was something that did not approach that!"
"Thereupon," writes Jeanne in despair, "she burst out laughing; for,
observe, she never speaks to me without trifling."[883]

[Sidenote: She is shocked at the morals of the court.]

But it was particularly the abominable immorality of the royal court that
alarmed the Queen of Navarre for the safety of her only son, should he be
called to sojourn there. The lady Margaret, she wrote--and her words
deserve the more notice on account of the infamy into which the life as
yet apparently so guileless was to lead--"is handsome, modest, and
graceful; but nurtured in the most wicked and corrupt society that ever
was. I have not seen a person who does not show the effects of it. Your
cousin, the marquise, is so changed in consequence of it, that there is no
appearance of religion, save that she does not go to mass; for, as for her
mode of life, excepting idolatry, she acts like the papists, and my sister
the princess still worse.... I would not for the world that you were here
to live. It is on this account that I want you to marry, and your wife and
you to come out of this corruption; for although I believed it to be very
great, I find it still greater. Here it is not the men that solicit the
women, but the women the men. Were you here, you would never escape but by
a remarkable exercise of God's mercy.... I abide by my first opinion, that
you must return to Béarn. My son, you can but have judged from my former
letters, that they only try to separate you from God and from me; you will
come to the same conclusion from this last, as well as form some idea
respecting the anxiety I am in on your account. I beg you to pray
earnestly to God; for you have great need of His help at all times, and
above all at this time. I pray to Him that you may obtain it, that He may
give you, my son, all your desires."[884]

[Sidenote: Death of Jeanne d'Albret, June 9, 1572.]

Such were the anxieties of the Queen of Navarre in behalf of a son whom
she had carefully reared, hoping to see in him a pillar of the Protestant
faith. She was to be spared the sight both of those scenes in his life
which might have flushed her cheek with pride, and of other scenes which
would have caused her to blush with shame. At length the last difficulties
in the way of Henry of Navarre's marriage, so far as the court and the
queen were concerned, were removed.[885] Charles and Catharine no longer
insisted that Margaret should be allowed the mass when in Béarn; while
Jeanne reluctantly abandoned her objections to the celebration of the
marriage ceremony in the city of Paris. Accordingly, about the middle of
May the Queen of Navarre left Blois and came to the capital for the
purpose of devoting her attention to the final arrangements for the
wedding. She had not, however, been long in Paris before she fell sick of
a violent fever, to which it became evident that she must succumb. We are
told by a writer who regards this as a manifest provocation of Heaven,
that one of her last acts before her sudden illness had been a visit to
the Louvre to petition the king that, on the approaching festival of
Corpus Christi (Fête-Dieu), the "idol," as she styled the wafer, might not
be borne in solemn procession past the house in which she lodged; and that
the king had granted her request.[886] During the short interval before
her death she exhibited the same devotion as previously to the purer
Christianity she had embraced, mingled with affectionate solicitude for
her son and daughter, so soon to be left orphans. Her constancy and
fortitude proved her worthy of all the eulogies that were lavished upon
her.[887] On Monday, the ninth of June, she died, sincerely mourned by the
Huguenots, who felt that in her they had lost one of their most able and
efficient supports, the weakness of whose sex had not made her inferior to
the most active and resolute man of the party. Even Catharine de' Medici,
who had hated her with all her cowardly heart, made some show of admiring
her virtues, now that she was no longer formidable and her straightforward
policy had ceased to thwart the underhanded and shifting diplomacy in
which the queen mother delighted. Yet the report gained currency that
Jeanne had been poisoned at Catharine's instigation. She had, it was said,
bought gloves of Monsieur René, the queen mother's perfumer[888]--a man
who boasted of his acquaintance with the Italian art of poisoning--and had
almost instantly felt the effects of some subtle powder with which they
were impregnated. To contradict this and other sinister stories, the king
ordered an examination of her remains to be made; but no corroborative
evidence was discovered. It is true that the physicians are said to have
avoided, ostensibly through motives of humanity, any dissection of the
brain, where alone the evidence could have been found.[889] Be this as it
may, the charge of poisoning is met so uniformly in the literature of the
sixteenth century, on occasion of every sudden death, that the most
credulous reader becomes sceptical as to its truth, and prefers to indulge
the hope that perhaps the age may not have been quite so bad as it was
represented by contemporaries.

The Prince of Béarn now became King of Navarre; and, as the court went
into mourning for the deceased queen, his nuptials with Margaret of Valois
were deferred until the month of August.

[Sidenote: Coligny and the boy king.]

Admiral Coligny, instead of returning to La Rochelle after his friendly
reception at the court at Blois, had gone to Châtillon, where his ruined
country-seat and devastated plantations had great need of his
presence.[890] Here he was soon afterward joined by his wife, travelling
from La Rochelle with a special safe-conduct from the king, the preamble
of which declared Charles's will and intention to retain Coligny near his
own person, "in order to make use of him in his most grave and important
affairs, as a worthy minister, whose virtue is sufficiently known and
tried."[891] Coligny was not left long in his rural retirement. Charles
expressed, and probably felt, profound disgust with his former advisers,
and knew not whom to trust. On one occasion, about this time, he held a
conversation with Téligny respecting the Flemish war. Téligny had just
entreated his Majesty not to mention to the queen mother the details into
which he entered--a promise which Charles readily gave, and swore with his
ordinary profanity to observe. And then the poor young king, with a
desperation which must enlist our sympathy in his behalf, undertook to
explain to Coligny's son-in-law his own solitude in the midst of a
crowded court. There was no one, he said, upon whom he could rely for
sound counsel, or for the execution of his plans. Tavannes was prudent,
indeed; but, having been Anjou's lieutenant, and almost the author of his
victories, would oppose a war that threatened to obscure his laurels.
Vieilleville was wedded to his cups. Cossé was avaricious, and would sell
all his friends for ten crowns. Montmorency alone was good and
trustworthy, but so given to the pleasures of the chase that he would be
sure to be absent at the very moment his help was indispensable.[892] It
is not strange, under these circumstances, that Charles should have turned
with sincere respect, and almost with a kind of affection, to that stern
old Huguenot warrior, upright, honorable, pious, a master of the art of
war, never more to be dreaded than after the reverses which he accepted as
lessons from a Father's hands.

As for Coligny himself, his task was not one of his own seeking. But he
pitied from his heart the boy-king--still more boyish in character than in
years--as he pitied and loved France. Above all, he was unwilling to omit
anything that might be vitally important for the progress of the Gospel in
his native land and abroad. His eyes were not blind to his danger. When,
at the king's request, he came to Paris, he received letters of
remonstrance for his imprudence, from all parts of France. He was reminded
that other monarchs before Charles had broken their pledges. Huss had been
burned at Constance notwithstanding the emperor's safe conduct, and the
maxim that no faith need be kept with heretics had obtained a mournful
currency.[893] To these warnings Admiral Coligny replied at one moment
with some annoyance, indignant that his young sovereign should be so
suspected; at another, with more calmness, magnanimously dismissing all
solicitude for himself in comparison with the great ends he had in view.
When he was urged to consider that other Huguenots, less hated by the
papists than he was, had been treacherously assassinated--as was the
general opinion then--Andelot, Cardinal Châtillon, and lately the Queen of
Navarre--his reply was still the same: "I am well aware that it is against
me principally that the enmity is directed. And yet h