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Title: Odd Bits of History - Being Short Chapters Intended to Fill Some Blanks
Author: Wolff, Henry W.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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ODD BITS OF HISTORY.



  ODD BITS OF HISTORY
  BEING
  _SHORT CHAPTERS INTENDED TO FILL SOME BLANKS_


  BY HENRY W. WOLFF


  LONDON
  LONGMANS, GREEN & Co.
  AND NEW-YORK: 15 EAST 16th STREET
  1894.

  _(All rights reserved.)_



PREFACE.


The chapters composing this book appeared originally in the shape of
review articles. I owe acknowledgments to the Editors of _Blackwood's
Magazine_, the _National Review_ and the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for the
permission kindly accorded me to republish them.

To my regret I find, on receiving the clean sheets, that pressure of time
and a rather troublesome nervous affection of one eye have led me to
overlook a few printer's errors, such as: p. 70, _occassion_ for
_occasion_; p. 137, _Fuensaldana_ for _Fuensaldaña_; p. 253, _Nicephoras
Phorcas_ for _Nicephorus Phocas_; p. 267, _Polydore Virgil_ for _Polydore
Vergil_. The misprints will in every instance, I believe, explain
themselves.

H. W. W.



CONTENTS.


  CHAPTER                                         PAGE

     I. THE PRETENDER AT BAR-LE-DUC                  1

    II. RICHARD DE LA POLE, "WHITE ROSE"            58

   III. THE EARLY ANCESTORS OF OUR QUEEN            91

    IV. ABOUT A PORTRAIT AT WINDSOR                120

     V. THE REMNANT OF A GREAT RACE                145

    VI. VOLTAIRE AND KING STANISLAS                181

   VII. THE PRINCE CONSORT'S UNIVERSITY DAYS       219

  VIII. SOMETHING ABOUT BEER                       248



I.--THE PRETENDER AT BAR-LE-DUC.[1]


"The Pretender Charles Edward resided here three years in a house which is
still pointed out." So you may read in "Murray," under the head of
"Bar-le-Duc." The information, which is apt to suggest inquiry to those
who, like myself, are fond of picking up a little bit of neglected history
on their travels, is, as it happens, not altogether accurate. For, in the
first place, the "Pretender" who "resided" at Bar was not "Charles Edward"
at all--_could_ not have been "Charles Edward," who was not born till five
years after the Pretender who _did_ reside there had left. In the second,
so little is "the house still pointed out" that, on my first visit to Bar,
in August, 1890, I could actually not find a soul to give me even the
vaguest information as to its whereabouts. Even mine hostess of the
"Cygne," in whose stables, I afterwards discovered, some of the
Pretender's horses had been put up, had never heard of our political
exile. "_Cela doit être dans la Haute Ville_"--"_Cela doit être dans la
Basse Ville_"--"_Eh bien, moi je n'en sais rien_." Why should they know
about the Pretender? There were no thanks, surely, due to him. While in
the town, he had given himself intolerable airs, had put the town to no
end of expense and all manner of trouble, and in the end had slunk away
without so much as a word of thanks or farewell, leaving a heavy score of
debts to be paid--and, up in a cottage perched on the very brow of the
picturesque hill--for which some one else had to pay the rent--one pretty
little Barisienne disconsolate, betrayed, disgraced. There was, in fact,
but one man belonging to the town who had taken the trouble to trace the
house from the description given in the local archives--a description,
indeed, exact enough--M. Vladimir Konarski, and he was away on his
holiday. There was nothing, then, for me to do, but to go home with an
empty note-book, _quoad_ Bar, and return in 1891 to resume my inquiry.

Even to us Englishmen the first Pretender is not a particularly attractive
personage. But he is a historical character. And about his doings at Bar
thus far very little has been made known. With the help of M. Konarski's
notes, of the local archives, freely placed at my disposal by the kindness
of M. A. Jacob, of the manuscripts in the _Archives Nationales_, in the
Archives of Nancy and in the Foreign Office at Paris, of the Stuart MSS.
in London, and of other neglected sources of information, as well as some
rather minute local research, I have managed to gather together
sufficient historical crumbs to make up a fairly substantial loaf--all
the information on the subject, I suppose, that is to be got. And, at any
rate, as a secondary side-chapter to our national history at an important
epoch, perhaps the account which within the limits of a magazine article I
shall be able to give, may prove of passing interest to more besides those
staunch surviving Jacobites who still from time to time "play at treason"
in out-of-the-way places.

What sent the Pretender to Bar every schoolboy knows. We had fought with
France and were, in 1713, about to conclude peace. Our court had, as a
Stuart MS. in Paris puts it, showed itself extremely "_chatouilleuse et
susceptible_" with respect to the countenance given at Versailles to
James, and to his residence in France--where he seemed to us perpetually
on the spring for mischief. Louis XIV., we were aware, had expressed his
desire to render to the Pretender's family "_de plus grands et plus
heureux services_" than he had yet been able to give. And so, very
naturally, before engaging to suspend hostilities, we insisted that James
should be turned out of France. Once we were about it, we might as well
have asked a little more, and pressed for his removal to a farther
distance from our shores. Considering all the commotion which afterwards
arose upon this point, how Queen Anne was periodically pestered with
addresses calling upon her to demand his removal, one might have thought
that so much forethought might have been exercised. However, the idea
seems never to have suggested itself to our wise statesmen at the proper
time. On the contrary, the one thing which in 1712 and 1713 they appeared
eager for was, that James should _not_ be allowed to settle in
"papistical" Italy--the very country into which afterwards, just _because_
it was papistical, so M. de Robethon's official letters admit in the
plainest terms, the Court of Hanover was extremely anxious to see its
enemy decoyed. If he would but go to Rome, that would be best of all. For
it would do for him entirely at home, M. de Robethon thinks. However, in
1713 we took a different view, and, as Lorraine lay particularly handy and
convenient, from the French point of view--being near, and though
nominally an independent duchy, entirely under French influence--to
Lorraine James was sent. There was some talk of his going to Nancy. He
himself did not at first fancy Bar-le-Duc. He feared that he might find it
slow. The French king believed that in a large town like Nancy, which had
still some poor remnants of its once famous fortifications left, he would
be safer. And when Duke Leopold had gone to all the trouble of putting the
half-dilapidated château of Bar into habitable order, taking to it the
pick of his own furniture from the palace at Nancy, and embarking in
additional large purchases--in order to make James thoroughly comfortable,
as Louis had told him that he must--he not unnaturally became, as the
French envoy M. d'Audriffet reports, "_fort agité_," on being unexpectedly
advised that after all the Chevalier was to go elsewhere. "Very well,"
said he in high dudgeon, "I will take back all my furniture. But I wash my
hands of the whole business. At Bar I could have answered for the
Chevalier's safety within reasonable limits. At Nancy the king will have
to see to it himself. That is a 'neutral' town, and every dangerous
character from any part of Europe--cut-throat, assassin, Hanoverian
emissary--has access to it. You will have to watch every stranger, to keep
the exile perpetually under lock and key, to give him a large escort every
time he leaves the town. To mark my refusal of all responsibility, I shall
at once withdraw my little garrison of a company of guards from the
place"--a brilliant little troop, decked out gaily in scarlet-and-silver.
James, who was at the time at Châlons, awaiting the king's
pleasure--waiting also for a passport and safe conduct (a most important
requisite in those days)--and waiting, not least, for money, of which he
was chronically, and at that moment most acutely, in want--his mother says
that he had none at all--did not relish the idea of so much restraint and
danger. So he begged Louis to change his mind back again, and to allow him
after all to go to Bar. And Louis, having put poor Leopold to more
trouble--for he had at once set eighty men at work at Nancy, turning his
palace, "_pillé, dégradé, négligé_" that it was, to rights--coolly has
Leopold informed that his first choice is again to hold good, with not a
word of regret added to sweeten the pill, except it be, that all the
trouble incurred "_sera bientost reparé_." Later, James found the air at
Bar "_trop vif_" and accordingly thought of moving to Saint Mihiel. After
that, his courtiers hoped that he would prevail upon the Duke to lend him
his rather magnificent palace of Einville, near Lunéville. And in one of
the despatches it is shown that their suspicion that Lord Middleton was
opposing this proposal was one of the reasons why they so very much
disliked him. But, after all, with the interruptions caused by very
frequent, and often prolonged, visits to Lunéville, to Commercy, and to
Nancy--as well as to Plombières, and one or two sly expeditions to Paris
and St Germains--in the interesting and picturesque little capital of the
Barrois, washed by the foaming Ornain, did the Chevalier remain, hatching
schemes, writing despatches to the Pope, _quâ_ king, moreover making love
to his nameless fair one, and beguiling the time with the games of the
period, until the _Fata Morgana_ of rather hoped for than anticipated
success lured him on that unhappy expedition into Scotland.

James tries to make a serious hardship of his "exile" at Bar. But he
might, without much trouble, have fixed upon a very much worse spot. Bar
was not in his day the important town that it had been. The resident
dukes, with their courts and knighthood, their tourneys and banquets, and
all the pageantry of the days of early chivalry, had passed away. The
famous University of de Tholozan, highly praised by Jodocus Sincerus, had
likewise disappeared. Nor was the town anything like as accessible as it
is now. There was no railway leading to it, no Rhine-Marne
Canal--beautifying the scene wherever it passes--to carry life and
business into the place. The roads were simply execrable. The surrounding
woods swarmed with brigands, outlaws, and other bad characters, whom
special _chasse-coquins_ were retained to keep in awe. Whenever "His
Majesty" moved from one place to another, the forest-roads had to be
literally lined with troops to ensure his safety. But all this was no
drawback peculiar to Bar. The entire duchy of Lorraine was suffering from
the same trouble--the after-effect of French ravages and French
occupation. Leave that out of account, and Bar must have been attractive
enough. Its situation is remarkably picturesque. The castle-hill rises up
steeply, all but isolated from the surrounding heights, above the smiling
valley of the Ornain, with delightfully green and tempting side-valleys
curling around it, like natural fosses, on either side. The view of the
long, bright green stretch of meadows bordering the river; the laughing
gardens, full of flowers and shrubs; the luxuriant fruit-trees and hedges;
the half-archaic-looking streets, venerable with their churches and
monasteries, and the eleven old turreted gates, as they were then; the
soft, rounded _côtes_, covered with clustering vines, but looking at a
distance as if carpeted with velvety lawn; the picturesque range of hills
on the opposite bank, contoured into a telling sky-line; the dark forests
of richly varied foliage, and the charming "hangers" which drop down
gracefully here and there, with pleasingly effective irregularity, into
the plain; the pretty little cottage plots, bright with flowers, shady
with overhanging trees, which then as now lined that useful _Canal
Urbain_; and the peculiarly engaging perspective of the landscape
spreading out right and left--all this combines to form a truly
fascinating picture. The view of the castle-hill from below is no less
pleasing. In James's day the hill was still crowned with the old historic
castle, built in the tenth century, but embodying in its masonry the
remains of the much more ancient structure in which Childéric I. had, like
the Stuart prince, found a welcome refuge--the castle in which Francis of
Guise was born, who drove us out of Calais--the castle in which Mary
Queen of Scots, bright with youthful beauty, and radiant with happiness,
delighted with her cheering presence the gay Court of her cousin and
playmate, Charles III., fresh to his ducal coronet, as she was to the
second crown which decked her head--for she was newly married to Francis
II., newly crowned Queen of France at Rheims. The daughter of Marie de
Lorraine, brought up in Lorrain Condé, she reckoned herself a Lorraine
princess, and as a Lorraine princess the Lorrains have ever regarded, and
idolised, her. To the memory of this unhappy queen, round which time had
gathered a bright halo of romance, not least was due that hearty welcome
which the Lorrains readily extended to her exiled kinsman. Most
picturesque must the castle have been in olden days, when those seventeen
medieval towers (removed by order of Louis XIV. in 1670) still stood round
about it like sturdy sentries, each laden with historic memories. Even now
the view of the hill is pleasing enough--with its winding roads, its steep
steps, its antique clock-tower, its terraced gardens and rambling lanes,
with that rather imposing convent-school raising its walls perpendicularly
many storeys high, the quaint church of St Peter[2] topping the southern
summit with its tower flattened to resist the wind, with those
delightfully green and shady Pâquis just beyond, densely wooded with
trees, including the two largest elms in France--the Pâquis which, with
their _paslemaile_, formed the favourite resort of James while at Bar, and
in the shady seclusion of which he spun his web of deceiving flattery
round the guileless heart of the girl whom he betrayed. Only to please
him, we read in the archives, it was that the town council put up benches
in that shade, which cost the town nine livres.

At James's time Bar was still a rather considerable provincial capital,
the _chef-lieu_ of the largest _bailliage_ in Lorraine. And in that little
"West End" of the _Haute Ville_, where a cluster of Louis-Quatorze houses
still stand in decayed grandeur, to recall past fashionableness, the
nobility of the little Barrois, locally always a powerful and influential
body--the Bassompierres, the Haraucourts, the Lenoncourts, the
Stainvilles, the Romécourts--had their town houses, and there also dwelt
the pick of the bureaucracy, all ready to pay their court to the Stuart
"king," to whom even the French envoy reckoned it "an honour" to be
introduced. The town had its own municipal government--at one time with
its own _clergé_, _noblesse_, and _tiers état_; in James's day still with
its _syndic_, to represent the Crown, its elected _mayeur_, _Maître des
Comptes_, so many _eschargeots_, _esvardeurs_, _gouverneurs de
carrefours_, and so on. It had a wall all round with no fewer than eleven
gates. When James was there, Bar was famed throughout France and Lorraine
for its peculiarly "elegant" _poignées d'épée_ (sword-hilts) and other
cutlery. Corneille tells us that the whole street of Entre Deux Ponts was
full of cutlers' shops, and no visitor ever came to the place but he must
carry off at least one sword-hilt as a keepsake. The town already
manufactured its famous _dragées_ and _confitures_, and pressed that same
sour wine which "Murray" will have it--on what ground I know
not--"resembles champagne," and which then was appreciated as a delicacy.
The sanitary arrangements were not perfect. The _Canal Urbain_
occasionally overflowed its banks and swamped the entire Rue des Tanneurs,
in which the Pretender's house was situated. And, together with the rest
of Bar and Lorraine, the town was still a little bit destitute after the
havoc wrought by French and Swedes, Croats and Germans, _Cravates_ (local
brigands) and Champenois peasants, and all that "omnium bipedum
sceleratissima colluvies," which had again and again overrun the duchy,
robbing, burning, pillaging, violating, desecrating, torturing, exacting,
and sucking the country dry to the very bone. Of all the world "only
Jerusalem" had experienced worse horrors, so a pious Lorrain chronicler
affirms. Oh, how the Lorrains of that day--and long after--hated and
detested the French! When in November, 1714, those habitual invaders at
length evacuated Nancy, the mob dressed up a straw figure in a French
uniform, and led it forth amid jeers and execrations to an _auto-da-fé_.
Even after annexation, a Nancy housewife declared herself most grossly
"insulted" by a French officer, who simply explained the benefits which he
thought that annexation must bring with it, and in anger she threw the
_friture_, just frizzling in her pan, straight in his face.

Lorraine had been sadly afflicted indeed with long years of warfare. But
in 1713 things were beginning to mend. Leopold, restored by the Treaty of
Ryswick to his duchy--in which, as duke, his father had never set
foot--had been on the throne getting on for sixteen years. And what with
the excellent counsels of that best of Chancellors, Irish Earl
Carlingford, and his own intuitive judgment and enlightened and paternal
despotism, Lorraine was becoming populous and prosperous, happy and
contented, once more. Leopold earned himself a name for a shrewd and
prudent ruler. His brother-in-law, Philip of Orleans (the Regent), said of
him, that of all rulers of Europe he did not know one who was his superior
"_en expérience, en sagesse, et en politique_." And Voltaire has
immortalised his virtues by saying: "_Il est à souhaiter que la dernière
postérité apprenne qu'un des plus petits souverains de l'Europe a été
celui qui fit le plus de bien à son peuple_." In fact, he was the very
ruler whom Lorraine at that juncture wanted. Autocratic he was, and vain,
and self-important, notwithstanding the homely _bourgeoisie_ of his
manner. But he knew exactly where the shoe pinched, and how to devise a
remedy. He it was who first conceived the idea, which has helped to make
France prosperous, of a wide network of canals. He it was, who, in 1724,
set Europe an example, which at the time made him famous, of covering his
country with a network of model roads. And though he again and again
proposed, for the benefit of his own family, to "swap" poor little
Lorraine--for the Milanais, for a bit of the Low Countries, or for other
valuable possessions--while he was duke, he managed to make himself
popular, and he was resolved to do his duty. "_Je quitterais demain ma
souveraineté si je ne pouvais faire du bien_," so he said. Under his
father, that brilliant general, Charles V., he had given proof of his
pluck and prowess at Temeswar, of his military ability before Ebersburg.
But in Lorraine, he knew, the one thing needful was peace. And with a
dogged determination which was bound to overcome all difficulties, though
the stars in their courses seemed to be fighting against him, that peace
he managed to maintain, in the midst of a raging sea of war all round,
which had drawn all neighbouring countries into its whirl. He did it--it
is worth recording, because it materially affected James's position at his
Court--by as adroit balancing between the two great belligerent Powers of
the Continent as ever diplomatist managed to achieve. Born and bred in
Austria, allied to the Imperial family by the closest ties of blood--his
mother was an archduchess--trained in Austrian etiquette, an officer in
the Austrian army, beholden to Austria for many past favours--and keenly
alive to the fact that for any favours which might yet be to come he must
look exclusively to the Court of Vienna--in his leanings and
prepossessions he was entirely Austrian. But under his father and
great-uncle history had taught his country the severe lesson, that without
observing the best, though they be the most obsequious, relations towards
France, at whose mercy the country lay, no Lorraine was possible.
Accordingly, almost Leopold's very first act as Duke was to send M. de
Couvange to Paris, to solicit on his behalf the hand of "Mademoiselle,"
the Princess of Orleans. Her hand was gladly accorded. There was a
tradition--with a very obvious object--at Paris in favour of Lorrain
marriages. This was the thirty-third, and there remained a thirty-fourth
to conclude--the ill-starred marriage of Marie Antoinette. King James II.
and his Queen attended the wedding at Fontainebleau, and Elizabeth
Charlotte became one of the best of wives, and best and most popular of
Lorraine duchesses, bearing her husband no less than fourteen children.
Balancing between Austria and France, maintaining his private relations
with the one, giving way in everything to the other, was Leopold's prudent
maxim throughout his reign. So long as he adhered to that he felt himself
safe. Whenever he departed from it, he found himself getting into
mischief.

Leopold has been much abused by our writers and politicians, as if he had
been a deliberate anti-English plotter and Jacobite accomplice. It is but
fair to him to explain why he afforded our Pretender such liberal
hospitality. The real fact is, that he could not help himself. He was
bound to. France demanded it, and he _could not_ refuse--nor yet refuse to
make his hospitality generous and lavish. There was the additional
attraction, indeed, of a show of importance, of a little implication in
diplomatic negotiations and playing a part in European high politics,
which to Leopold must have been strongly seductive. A good deal is also
said about religious motives, the suggestion of which must have helped
Leopold equally with the Curia and the Imperial Court, with both of whom
he was anxious to stand well. The Pope--it is true, under pressure from
James--subsequently thanked Leopold in a special brief, "_ample et bien
exprimé_," for the proof of attachment which he had rendered to the Church
by his reception of the English Pretender, the emblem to all Europe of the
Church of Rome under persecution. Leopold was an exceptionally devout
Roman Catholic. He heard mass religiously every day, spent an hour in
prayer after dinner, and "adored the Sacrament" every evening. He had
revived Charles III.'s stringent provisions against Protestants,
interdicting all public worship and, in theory at any rate, declaring
Protestantism a crime deserving of hanging. In his excessive zeal he would
not even allow the Cistercian monks of Beaupré to retain in their service
a Protestant shepherd, though they pleaded hard that he was the best
shepherd whom they had ever had. So zealous a believer was of course a man
after the very heart of the widow and son of that "_fort bon homme_," as
Archbishop Le Tellier scoffingly termed James II., who had "sacrificed
three kingdoms for a mass." To himself, on the other hand, it seemed
something of a sacred act to open his house to the "Woman persecuted by
the dragon." However, all this was but as dust in the balance by the side
of the compelling necessity of French dictation, doubly compelling at that
particular period. For Leopold had of late been playing his own little
game. Things had gone against France in the field, and he had put his
money on the other horse. He was always after a fashion a gambling and
speculative ruler, willing to stake almost his very existence on the
_roulette_ of high politics. At that moment he was flattering himself with
hopes that the Congress of Utrecht would do something for him. Both
Austria and England had privately promised--at least some of their
statesmen had--that he was to have a seat at the Congress table. That
would add immensely to his dignity and prestige. Then he was to have a
slice of the Low Countries. To ensure this result, he was "casting his
bread upon the waters" with a vengeance--spending money wholesale, bribing
English, and Dutch, and Austrian statesmen with the most profuse
generosity--more particularly Marlborough, in whom he appears to have
retained a belief throughout, who most faithlessly "sold" him, and who
cost him a fortune. At the very time here spoken of our great general had
been favoured with a fresh mark of favour from Leopold--a magnificent
_carosse_, horsed with six splendid dapple-greys (Leopold was a great
horse-fancier), hung with most costly trappings. All this--which proved in
the event to have been entirely thrown away--very naturally gave umbrage
to France. And Louis XIV. had not missed his opportunity of letting
Leopold know that a score was being marked up against him at Versailles.
France had never stood on much ceremony with Lorraine, from Henry II.
downward. Louis XIV., more particularly, had done his best to equal his
grandfather's notorious and most capricious hostility. In 1702, in the
teeth of international law and of Leopold's protests, as well as Elizabeth
Charlotte's prayers, he had marched his troops into Lorraine. They were
still there, indeed, in larger numbers than before. When 1709 brought its
"_grand hiver_"--still remembered as a time of grievous tribulation--when
the crops froze in the fields, the vines in the vineyards, the children in
the nursery, the sacramental wine in the chalice, the water by the fire,
when Dearth and Famine once more laid their grim hand upon all
Lorraine--Louis XIV. had given Leopold a little additional cut with his
tyrant's whip, seizing some of the provisions providently laid up for the
relief of his subjects, and appropriating them to the use of his own
armies, which moreover, he reinforced by a fresh contingent of 20,000 men,
sent with orders to live "_à discrétion_." Louis was quite ready to do
something of the same sort again. Therefore, when Louis said: Receive
James, Leopold had no choice but to receive him. His letters and
despatches make this perfectly clear. There is a good deal of talk about
the Pretender's "estimable qualities," how the Duke and Duchess admire
him, how happy they are that he has not gone to Aix-la-Chapelle. And no
doubt the two managed to be for a time excellent friends. But every now
and then, through all this polite buncombe, out comes the frank admission
that all is done "to please the king." And we know how promptly and
unhesitatingly Leopold's hospitality was withdrawn, once French pressure
ceased, in 1716. To ourselves, by receiving an exiled Pretender into his
neutral realm, as we have received many such, Leopold never dreamt that he
was giving cause for legitimate umbrage. No one could be more surprised
than he seems to have been when our Parliament took up the matter as a
grievance.

And, to be fair, he never appears to have afforded to James the slightest
encouragement for a forcible assertion of his claims. His counsel was all
the other way. It was the French, it was the Pretender's own followers at
home, it was Roman Cardinal Gualterio, who countenanced, and occasionally
urged, warlike measures. Cardinal Gualterio, more in particular, prodded
the Catholic prince very vigorously, in the interest of his Church,
arguing that "_il falloit hazarder quelque chose et meme affronter le
sort, ce qui ne se fait pas sans risque_." Leopold, on the other hand,
was all dissuasion. He wanted James to keep _near_ England, in order to be
handy in the event of his being recalled--which he seems to have thought a
likely contingency. When James began to talk of armaments and invasions,
Leopold dwelt upon the difficulties, the all-but-hopelessness of such a
move. When, in June, 1714, shortly before Queen Anne's death, James wrote
from Plombières, that he _must_ go into England, since he learnt that his
rival, the Electoral Prince of Hanover, had gone there, Leopold, who was
admirably informed from Hanover, through his brother, the
Elector-Archbishop of Trèves, sent a message back post-haste with the
trustworthy tidings that George was neither gone nor going. The reasons
which led George's father to forbid his visit read a little strange at the
present day. In the first place, there was that Hanoverian economy--which,
it is true, was ostensibly disclaimed. In the second, the Prince was not
to be received in England as heir-presumptive--so that he would not really
better his chances by going. Moreover, the Elector, "_connoissant l'humeur
brusque et fort emportée de son fils, apprehendoit beaucoup qu'il ne se
rendit odieux aux anglais_." Lastly, and mainly, he was afraid of dropping
between two stools, if he were to stake his son's chances too decidedly on
the English succession. It was quite on the cards, he thought, that "_par
un effet des resolutions que l'inconstance de la nation y a rendues si
ordinaire_," the British nation would _chasser_ its next sovereign as it
had _chassé_ its last-but-one. And then, where would his son be? For if
his son went to England, it was much to be feared that his brother, who
had been not quite rightfully excluded from the succession, might make
good his claim to Hanover. And there would George be, out in the cold! So
his father was resolved to play a waiting game.

The first difficulty which James found himself confronted with, and which
Leopold had to overcome for him--for French good offices were obviously
out of the question--was the procuring of a passport. Such credential was
at the time indispensable, for Europe was swarming with bad characters.
Besides, there was nominally war still; and public roads and even walled
towns were altogether insecure. In the Foreign Office papers we come
across correspondence relating to the robbing of the public coach running
between Strassburg and Paris, at Benameny, in Lorrain territory, by
Palatine soldiers, who had come over from Caub. And even in carefully
locked and watched Bar-le-Duc, Leopold advises King Louis that, with "a
fourth company of his regiment of guards" added to the local force,
besides twenty-five _chevaux-legers_ and twenty-five _gardes-du-corps_ to
act as escort, he can answer for the Pretender's safety only against
attacking parties of not more than fifty or a hundred at the outside,
which, he says, ought to be borne in mind, "_si armées se mettoient en
campagne_." Queen Mary only expresses what everyone felt when she says
that it is to be apprehended "_que quelque méchant en se servissent de
l'occasion pour faire un méchant coup_." She accordingly begs the
"_commnoté_" of Chaillot to pray for "the king's" safety.

In 1714 the Emperor, who was the principal sovereign to be petitioned,
would not make out a passport for James, to enable him to move into
Germany--though professedly willing to give the Stuart his niece in
marriage, and avowedly not a little put out with England, but yet desirous
of avoiding offence to King George. In 1713 he raised no difficulty.
Indeed, at Leopold's instance he was obliging enough to supplement his
passport with a special letter of commendation very kindly worded. And he
carefully avoided treading on corns either way by not naming James in the
document--for all of which Leopold takes great credit. But it appears that
plenty more potentates besides the Emperor had to be solicited. And the
two Electors, of Hanover and of Brandenburg, were obdurate in their
refusal--in agreement for once. It was a ticklish matter; for without
their safe-conduct James could scarcely be counted secure. On the other
hand, if their safe-conducts were to be waited for, the Emperor would of a
surety take offence, as if his own passport were judged insufficient.
Leopold, being great on etiquette, took the last-named to be the more
serious danger, and advised running the risk--more particularly since he
had been advised by his envoy in London, Baron Förstner, that Queen Anne
had privately granted what amounted to a passport to her brother for going
into Lorraine. That was taken to settle the matter, and James put himself
_en route_.

It was on the 22d of February, 1713, that he reached Bar, closely guarded
and travelling _incognito_, on which account an official reception in Bar
was dispensed with, though the French artillery at Toul had fired a
salute. The council were under strict injunctions to omit nothing which
might conduce to their visitor's safety, or minister to his comfort, or
that was conventionally due to a crowned head. Accordingly, we find them
in their next sitting, on the 25th February, passing a whole string of
votes and resolutions having reference to his arrival and his safety in
the town. The police and _chasse-coquins_ are forthwith put on the alert,
sentries are placed at all corners, and, to accommodate them, a whole
number of new sentry-boxes are put up. The authorities are directed to
question every stranger coming into the town carefully, and, if there
should appear to be anything suspicious about any one, rigorously to
detain him and report the case at once by express courier to Lunéville.
Iron _grilles_ are put up. All the postern-gates are walled up, so is one
of the principal entrances, and so is--in spite of sanitary
considerations--a main sewer passing through the wall. Soldiers were a
good deal less squeamish in those days than they are now, and sewers had
served for many a surprise in the Thirty Years' War. The remaining ten
gates are to be carefully watched, and never opened before 5 A.M., nor
left open after 8 P.M. Billets are issued for the overflow of James's
suite, which appears to have been numerous, and stable-room is bespoken
for his horses. James evidently was an inconvenient visitor to house. For
he would have all his large apparatus of Court and Household close to
him--chamberlains, kitchen, kennel, and all. Mrs Strickland praises his
habitual economy. His doings in Lorraine do not bear out that praise. From
the Nairne MSS. in the British Museum (which give a full list) we know
that in 1709 and 1710 his household comprised above 120 persons, from the
secretaries down to the grooms' helper, drawing salaries of from 12 to 675
livres _per mensem_. There was the Comptroller, Mr. Bous, who retailed
the anecdotes of the Court to Lady Middleton; a clerk of the green cloth,
a yeoman baker, a yeoman confectioner, a yeoman of the chaundry, Jeremiah
Browne, "Esq.," master-cook, a water-carrier, and a scourer. There were
yeomen's scullery assistants, confessors and chaplains, a doctor, a
"chyrurgien," and an apothecary, a "rideing purveyor," and a "chaiseman,"
"Lady Maclane, laundress," pursuivants, and necessary women--all that
belongs to a royal household. And the whole establishment cost "19,412
lstrs. _per mensem_." All these people did not go to Bar, but a good many
did. And there were a crowd more, for whom the town had to provide. For we
read in the Macpherson Papers that all "Peacock's family"--_i.e._, all
Protestant refugees who had been at "Stanley," _i.e._, at St.
Germains--had followed the Chevalier to Bar. There was not one of them
left. So writes the Queen. And the Duke states, quite independently of
this, that the Pretender is surrounded with Protestant exiles. Altogether
James's Court ran up a goodly bill, which it was disappointing to the town
afterwards to find that, though incurred by express order of the Duke, the
burgesses were expected to meet out of their own funds. To enable them to
do so, Leopold allowed the council to appropriate the _deniers_ of the
_octroi_ to their involuntary hospitality.

The more or less Protestant colouring given to the refugee establishment
was scarcely palatable to the very orthodox population of Bar. But James
was playing, not to the Bar pit, but to the English gallery. "Downs or
Leslie should at once go there," so we find O'Rourke writing to Middleton
early in 1713. Leslie did go soon after, and the Chevalier, as his
advocates take credit, prevailed upon the Duke to relax his rigid rule in
one instance, and allow Protestant service in an upper room in James's
house. That was in the "Rue Nève." The upper room, which, we read, was
just over James's own apartment, cannot have been large. So it is to be
feared that the service was not over well attended. But it was enough to
save appearances, and to give the Jacobites of England a shadow of reason
for declaring, as they did, that James really was a Protestant. James
himself spoke a very different language. "He would rather abandon all than
act against his conscience and his honour." He protested over and over
again that "all the crowns in the world would not make him change his
religion."

Thanks to King Louis's perpetual ordering and countermanding, when James
got to Bar, the château was once more as bare and uninhabitable as ever it
had been, and for a few days the Pretender had to be content with the same
rather humble house which he was destined subsequently to occupy for a
considerable time, in the "Rue des Tanneurs"--Number 22, Rue Nève, it is
now--a plain, square, three-storeyed building (counting the upper range of
rooms, which is very low, as a storey). This is described as at the time
"the principal house" in the town, the property of one of the most
distinguished residents, Councillor of State M. Marchal. It has eight
windows frontage, facing severally the Rue Nève and the Rue des Pressoirs,
and abutting width-ways on the very narrow passage Rue St. Antoine. A few
days later, however, we find the Pretender safely established in the
château, and there on the 9th of March he receives the Duke of Lorraine
and his brother François, Abbé of Stavelot, with an amount of circumstance
and scrupulous weighing of precedences which is described with rather
amusing minuteness in the 'Gazette de France.' Not to hurt James's
feelings--to whom royal honours could not be openly shown, out of
consideration for Queen Anne--Leopold ordered that he himself should not
be received with the usual ceremonial, troops under arms, and councillors
presenting addresses. But the Lorrains were a devotedly loyal population.
They would not be forbidden. The whole population of the town and of all
the surrounding district crowded into the streets, to receive the ruler of
the land with shouts of welcome. James, being the resident, played the
host at Bar. There was, a dinner, a supper, and a long private talk in the
château, with the result, we read, that the two princes at once became
fast friends. James, we know, though wanting in most of the qualities
which are regarded as specifically manly, was a good-looking and agreeable
fellow enough. As for Leopold, with his experience of Courts, and his kind
and considerate disposition, he could not very well prove otherwise than a
pleasant companion and a kind patron. We have plenty of portraits of him
left, limned both with pen and with brush. Short and stumpy,
round-bellied, red-faced, with a free allowance of pimples, and, moreover,
with those abnormally stout legs which remained his most striking outward
characteristic to his dying day, he must have looked a veritable _Jacques
Bonhomme_ put into a full-bottomed wig and court-dress. There is a tale to
those legs. Leopold came into the world about two months before his time,
_very_ sickly and _very_ delicate. More particularly his legs were very
spindles. Under a special treatment designed to remedy this defect, they
grew just as much too big as previously they had been too thin. Terrible
stickler for etiquette that Leopold was, and intent upon lavish display,
when occasion seemed to demand it, both himself and his wife were
simplicity itself when such occasion was withdrawn. They could talk to a
peasant in the peasant's brogue about his _ouïettes_ and his hemp. One of
the princesses thought nothing of accepting a lift home in a market-cart,
and, as the driver commendingly related, showed herself "_bien sage_."
"_Cousine_," said the Duchess to the Duchess of Elboeuf, "_restez chez
nous, nous avons un bon gigot_." This simplicity and familiarity with
humble ways as a matter of course made the Duke and Duchess popular. But
what helped them more than anything to gain their people's hearts was
their remarkable readiness to enter into all those local _fêtes_ which
long custom had sanctioned as common to both high and low. The French
occupation had made a long break in the observance of those _fêtes_. How
should the Lorrains "sing songs" in what had become to them practically "a
strange land?" For something like thirty years their harps remained hung
up upon the willow-trees. Great, however, was the joy when at the first
_Fête de la Veille des Rois_--kept in commemoration of the brilliant
victory achieved over Charles the Bold in 1476--and at the _Brandons_ or
_Faschinottes_,[3] following that _fête_, the Duke and Duchess appeared
in person among the merry-makers, entering most good-humouredly and,
indeed, jovially into all their doings. Of the many local customs which
Lorraine boasts, the _Brandons_ was at that time still the particular
favourite. It had been handed down from hoary antiquity. Every couple
married since the last _Brandons_ was expected to join. The husband had to
provide himself with a faggot or log of wood, and carry it in procession
through the town, accompanied by his wife, along a roundabout route
prescribed by custom, to the Duke's palace, march three times past the
Duke's window, and then deposit the piece of fuel on a huge pyramidal pyre
built up in the ducal courtyard. Some couples went on foot, others rode on
horseback. All were dressed in their best, and the procession must have
looked exceedingly picturesque. Every lady was expected to wear some
little ornament--generally made of silver--specially devised to indicate
either her calling or her station in life: a coronet, or a sickle, or
whatever it might be. The streets were lined with people, who freely
expended their wit--a pretty ready one--in chaff pointed at the new
victims to matrimony, who in their turn were expected to put on a most
dejected look, as if seriously repenting the allegiance rashly entered
into to Hymen. In the evening the pyre was lighted, and round this huge
bonfire people made mildly merry with gambols and dances. Tables were
spread, at the Duke's cost, richly laden with viands and native wine. In
1698, at the first revival of the _Brandons_ after a long pause, the file
of matrimonial victims was, of course, quite exceptionally long. It was a
delightful surprise to the crowd to see at its head the Duke and Duchess
themselves, newly married as they were--the Duchess, being slightly
_enceinte_ with her first-born, wearing at her girdle a little silver
cradle. That was not all. In the evening Leopold mixed freely with the
revellers, stopped at table after table, drank here and drank there,
proposing a toast or responding to one,--with the result that the people
went half-mad with enthusiasm. Not a tumbler had the Duke drunk out of,
which was not religiously treasured as a relic. And long after the French
had forced their yoke firmly home upon the shrinking neck of unwilling
Lorraine, those tumblers were still shown to growing children as memorials
of the "good old time." At the carnival, which followed the _Brandons_,
Leopold and Elizabeth Charlotte were again to the fore. They did not mind
figuring in public--even sometimes on an amateur stage. Leopold once
appeared masked as Sultan--his consort, not quite appropriately, as an
Odalisk; but the loyal Lorrains saw nothing incongruous in that dress.

The striking difference very apparent in the characters severally of host
and guest in our little chapter of history, may have helped to draw them
together all the more closely. James was in his ordinary mood anything but
mirthful. References to him are frequent in the correspondence as being
"terribly sad," or else "very pensive, which is his ordinary humour,"
"_très sérieux et reservé_," so much so that "_rien ne l'auoit pû tirer de
la profonde melancolie ou il étoit_," and so on. Yet he could be merry,
too, and more in particular he loved a dance. At one ball, given in the
Palace at Lunéville, we read that he managed particularly to ingratiate
himself with the ladies who were past their first bloom, by an act of
undoubted chivalry. They wanted badly to dance, but dared not, while the
Duchess was sitting. And the Duchess considered herself too much of a
matron to foot it with the young ones. James, however, made her. He would
take no refusal. The dead room became reanimated once more, and many an
aging heart in its night-thoughts blessed the gallant _prétendant_. James,
we are told, was a prominent figure in the Nancy _Brandons_ and Carnival,
kept with peculiar _éclat_ in 1715, after a fresh break of thirteen years,
due to French occupation. Court chroniclers seem to consider that the
presence of "_Le Roi d'Angleterre_" added peculiar lustre to that
performance.

Reporting himself after his visit to Bar, as in duty bound, to King Louis,
Leopold declares himself "_charmé de l'esprit, de la sagesse, de la
douceur et des manières gracieuses de M. le Chevalier de Saint Georges_."
The 'Journal de Verdun,' drawing its information, of course, from official
sources, announces that after their first encounter the two princes "_se
separèrent extrêmement satisfaits l'un de l'autre_" in "_parfaite amitié
bien cimentée_." Of James it will have it that he is "_d'un caractère si
doux, si affable, et si populair, qu'il s'est bientôt acquis, de tous ceux
qui ont eu l'honneur de le voir, le respect et la vénération dûs à sa
vertu et à sa naissance_."

Leopold gone, the time passed, on the whole, quietly at Bar. There were
occasional alarms, when some suspicious stranger had been seized. On one
occasion, again, there is some talk of a "poisoned letter," sent in an
ingenious fashion. To Louis, we find, the Duke appeared a little too
forward in warning James of these dangers, as if he wanted to frighten his
guest into quitting Lorraine. To vary the little episodes, there was the
famous _coëqure_, who so much amused Queen Mary Beatrice's companions with
his odd manners and his "thou"-ing. "The Spirit had moved him," as we
know, to inform James that he was to rule over England, in which country
there were plenty of well-wishers to support him. Were money wanted, he
said that his friends would readily combine to raise some millions. They
did not, welcome as the money would have been to James, whom we find
continually complaining of want of funds. In the cipher despatches the
common burden is, that "Mr. Parton" will not "deliver the goods." There is
another prophetic person to encourage the Pretender, a nun of the
"Monastère de Sainte Marie del Roma," near Montevallo--accredited by her
superior, who writes to the Marquis Spada that her prophecies have never
failed to come true. If he escapes the many traps set for him in 1715, so
the nun says, James will certainly become King of England. Occasionally
also there are little tiffs between English visitors and Barisien
residents. What English, Scotch, and Irish there were there, we do not
know for certain, but there were a goodly number, and not all of the best
manners. Noel, who is a good historian on Lorrain things, but a little at
fault on English, will have it that among these people was "_Lord Chatham,
qui devint plus tard si célèbre_." Occasionally there was a visitor coming
on the sly with news--such as the Duke of Berwick, whose visits were at
one time frequent--or, towards the end of the sojourn, the banished Lord
Bolingbroke, and "Le Comte de Peterborough" travelling under the pseudonym
of "Schmit." Marlborough did not come himself, but he sent an aide-de-camp
on a confidential mission to Lunéville, overflowing with pleasant words,
and through him be begged particularly to be well and promptly advised on
the Chevalier's movements, since "_Le salut d'Angleterre_" might depend
upon this. The Duke of Lorraine was not particularly impressed with
James's followers, especially after Lord Middleton was gone. "_Ce ne sont
que des gens d'un caractère fort médiocre_," he writes. They talk about
things which affect their chief with the utmost freedom. In Mr Higgons,
who had succeeded Lord Middleton, he could discern no merit whatever. As
for Lord Middleton, he found him "_fort reservé et voulant dominer seul_."
He gives him credit for capacity and zeal, but censures him as being
"_timide et irresolu_." All the rest, he says, are "_de jeunes gens qui ne
pouuoint souffrir ce Milord, et qui auoint eu l'imprudence de dire à
Lunéville qu'il etoit si fort hay en Angleterre que les plus zelez
partisans de leur Maitre auoint temoigné qu'ils ne feroint jamais rien
pour ces interests tant qu'il l'auroit au-prez de luy_." All these men
evidently have very little knowledge of what is going on at home, he says.
There is no one in whose judgment the Pretender might repose any faith
except it be the Earl of Oxford or Lord Bolingbroke.

On the whole, the Pretender's life at Bar, though perhaps a little
monotonous, can scarcely have been unpleasant. He made friends with the
local _haute volée_, asking them to dinner, and being asked back--and
borrowed money from them whenever he could. His especial friends were the
Marquis de Bassompierre, from whom he borrowed 15,000 livres, which the
Duke repaid in 1719, and M. de Rousselle. A good deal of time the
Chevalier spent in his closet, with Nairne, or Higgons, or Middleton,
concocting plans and dictating long memorials to the Pope, or else to
Cardinal Gualterio, advocating the canonisation of Bellarmine,
recommending _protégés_ for places which they never got, and insisting on
his right to nominate bishops to Irish sees, the names of which he could
not spell. At off-times he played _reversi_, _boston_, and _ombre_, and
occasionally _petit palet_, which is an aristocratic form of
chuck-farthing. Then there was the pleasure of the chase, of which we know
from Father Leslie that James was a tolerably keen votary. In Lorraine the
diversion of _vénerie_ was held in high estimation, though reserved only
for very great magnates, and guarded by a ring-fence of the strictest
enactments against vulgar intrusion. Poaching accordingly came to be a
very common offence. "Ground game," indeed--at any rate rabbits--it was
open to all to shoot. "High game"--_i.e._, deer--on the other hand, was
reserved within certain limits exclusively for the Duke. Within about
eight miles of the Duke's palaces, in what were called the ducal
_plaisirs_, not even nobles of the highest rank were permitted to shoot or
hunt. No dogs belonging to private persons were allowed in the fields near
those _plaisirs_, on any pretence whatever, be the deer, and boars, and
wolves, ever so troublesome. Even shepherds' dogs and watch-dogs must have
their hamstrings cut, or else a log tied round their necks. And in some
districts every Parish was required by law to provide a _louvière_ or
wolf's pit, 20 feet deep, 18 feet wide at its bottom, and 12 at its
opening. From "_le haut puissant messire_" Jean de Ligniville's most
amusing disquisitions on "_La Meutte et Venerie_" we learn that the
district about Bar was "_très boisé_" and well stocked with game of every
description, which, local chroniclers tell us, James was frequently
occupied in hunting. Lorrain and English hunting were not then as far
apart in their general features as one might be tempted to assume. English
kings had more than once sent presents of English hounds to Lorrain
dukes--Charles III. received from James I. a present of eighty harriers at
a time. And more than one Lorrain grandee came over to hunt and shoot
here. Ligniville himself, the Duke's _Grand Veneur_ (under Charles IV.),
had frequently hunted in England, and expressed himself especially
delighted with the sport in which he had joined in Yorkshire. On the
whole, he appears to have considered English hounds superior to
French--less eager at first, but with more stay in them--and he was proud
of having received presents of some from the Prince of Wales of his time
(Charles I.), "Milord de Hée," and from "Milord Howard." But a cross
between English and French hounds he seems to have regarded as the _ne
plus ultra_ of excellence. "Puss" was very much persecuted in the valley
of the Meuse, furnishing by its exceptional swiftness and skill in
swimming almost too good sport, "_contre montant l'eaüe tellement viste
que les chiens ne les pouuoint pas aborder_." James's hunting sometimes
led him into adventures, and on one occasion nearly saddled his host with
a diplomatic difficulty. Riding hard, he once got to the little town of
Ligny at nightfall, some eight miles from Bar, in a vassal territory
belonging, under the Duke of Lorraine, to Montmorency, Duke of Luxemburg.
The Duke of Luxemburg, being rather a big vassal, was in consequence also
a very troublesome one, and the Lorrain Court and his officers frequently
found themselves at loggerheads. To James, coming from Bar, with fifty
Lorrain _gens d'armes_, besides his own suite, the _maire_ resolutely
refused to open the gates and furnish lodgings for the night, grounding
his refusal upon a decision of the Parliament of Paris passed in the year
1661. The Lorrains were quite prepared for a siege and an assault.
However, James deemed it wiser to leave things alone, and so the company
rode half a mile further, to a little village called Velaine, where they
spent a most uncomfortable night. Soon we have Montmorency complaining to
King Louis of the assumed "_nouuelles entreprises de M. le Duc de Lorrain
sur mon comté de Ligny_." Leopold revenged himself by imprisoning about a
dozen _maires_ of the Ligny county, on the plea of their having failed to
furnish the requisite waggons, and in the end bought Montmorency out with
the sum of 2,600,000 francs.

All this, however, was not enough excitement for James. In one of his
letters he plaintively calls Bar his "Todis"--by which of course he means
"Tomis." "Tomis," by a natural train of thought suggested--besides the
_tristia_, of which we have plenty--the _ars amatoria_. And to it the
Chevalier devoted not a few of his unoccupied hours. If local tradition
speaks true, he differed very materially in his prosecution of this art
from his father, of whom Catherine Sedley said that on what principle he
selected the ladies of his heart she could never make out. None of them
were good-looking, and if any of them had wit, he had not the wit to find
it out. And Mary of Modena, his wife, added that, although he was willing
to give up his crown for his faith, he could never muster sufficient
resolution to discard a mistress. His son was in both respects far more of
a man of the world.

It was in the green bosquets of those Pâquis, his favourite
lounging-place, that James first discovered his human jewel. To house her
suitably, he took--at somebody else's cost--a cottage on the brow of the
hill, where the view is delightful and the air magnificent. You can still
approximately trace the site, high up in the Rue de l'Horloge, above the
Rue St. Jean, a little below the neglected terrace in the Rue
Chavée--which is well worth visiting for its prospect. As the house stood
with its back to the hill and facing only the open space, there must have
been absolute privacy. But, after moving down to the Lower Town, James
found the ascent by those _Quatre-vingt Degrés_--which Oudinot rode up on
horseback--a trifle laborious. The steps lead almost straight up from his
house to the cottage, describing just enough of an angle to take in the
humble building, now marked by a tablet, in which Marshal Oudinot was
born. A more convenient arrangement could scarcely have been desired. But
the steps were sadly "_sales et délabrés_." Not to inconvenience James in
his amours, the town council readily voted the requisite sum for putting
them into proper repair.

When September came on, James found the air on the castle-hill "_trop
vif_." Although his mother generally reports that "_il se porte bien_," it
is to be feared that his constitution was none of the strongest. We read
in one of D'Audriffet's despatches, "_que sa santé estoit toujours fort
delicate_." He has had a "_fluxion_" in the eye. He has "weak lungs." "He
is evidently very poorly," writes D'Audriffet to Louis. He finds himself
"_alteré par l'intemperie du tems_." He takes the waters of Plombières
four times "for his health," and wants to take those of Aix-la-Chapelle.
He talks of going to a warmer climate--Spain or Italy, or, more
specifically, Venice. But he can now obtain no fresh passport from the
Emperor. Then he goes to have a look at Saint Mihiel, likewise in the
Barrois, only a few miles from Koeurs, in which another Prince of Wales,
young Edward--the same whom Edward IV. meanly struck with his gauntlet,
and Richard of Gloucester despatched with a stab, to stop his
"sprawling"--spent his young years of exile in company with his mother,
Queen Margaret, from 1464 to 1471. But he does not like the idea of living
in the Benedictine Abbey. So the Duke orders the town council to get ready
once more M. Marchal's convenient house below, to which the Chevalier
insists that a second house adjoining shall be added, belonging to M. de
Romécourt, besides a portion of one belonging to M. Lepaige, with a
kitchen specially built, and a "gardemanger," a new door, and sundry other
conveniences, to say nothing of the hiring of further accommodation for
his horses, his kennel, his _gens de vénerie_, his guards, some of his
suite--all of whom and all of which he wants very near him, and all of
which consequently, costs the town a good deal of money. M. de
Romécourt's house is a complete match to M. Marchal's, but smaller,
bringing up the frontage to thirteen windows.

However, James was not always at Bar, nor yet always, when away, at
Plombières. Duke Leopold was constantly inviting him to Lunéville, and
sometimes to Nancy, and arranging most magnificent _fêtes_ in his honour.
Leopold could do things handsomely when he chose. Even when James stayed
three whole weeks, there was something new provided every day to amuse
him--"_les plaisirs de la Cour étoint entremêlé de repas, de collations,
de bals, de concerts, de Comédie, de promenades, de chasse, de feux
d'artifice, etc., mais chaque jour tout étoit nouveau_." Leopold's palace
at Lunéville--the same in allusion to which Louis XV. said to King
Stanislas, "_Mon père, vous êtes mieux logé que moi_"--was specially laid
out for the gaiety and the varied succession of amusements for which the
Lorrain Court was famous. It was at the Lorrain Court that the _cotillon_,
that universal favourite on the Continent, was first invented. And in
Leopold's theatre it was that Adrienne Lecouvreur made her first
appearance.

To give James a right royal reception, Leopold spared neither pains nor
money. He always made a point of going to meet his guest--to Batelemont,
to Houdemont, or to Gondrecourt. To enable the Court to enter with proper
spirit into all the magnificence prepared, we read in the official
despatches, that in April, 1713, on the occasion of James's first visit,
the Duke directed that two quarters' salaries, in arrear since 1711,
should be paid to the officers of his household. D'Audriffet makes merry
over this. But in France things were no better. The Court of Versailles,
we know, was always behindhand in its payments to Queen Mary. Mrs
Strickland makes this a matter of reproach to Desmarets, as if purely the
result of his negligence. But the Court had not got the money. In 1715 we
have D'Audriffet himself sending in his little account, which shows five
years' salary to be owing, in addition to 24,800 livres of disbursements,
the whole debt amounting to 84,800 livres.

Even more brilliant than the _fêtes_ given at Lunéville, were those to
which James was invited at the Château of Commercy, the seat of the Prince
de Vaudémont. Vaudémont was rich and generous. He had occupied high
positions in the army and the administrative services both of Austria and
of Spain. He was a man pre-eminently prudent in council. Our William III.
had discovered that, and had frequently sought his opinion, more
particularly while the Treaty of Ryswick was under consideration. To James
the Prince became a most valuable friend and confidant--more especially at
that critical juncture when the Pretender's great aim was to get away
unobserved form Lorraine. In his splendid castle of Commercy, set off by
magnificent cent gardens and sheets of water throwing Versailles into the
shade, the "Damoiseau" of Commercy gave _fêtes_ the description of which
baffled Court chroniclers of the period, and after which, in the words of
the "Gazette de Hollande," James found himself constrained to go back to
Bar in self-defence, "_pour s'y delasser, pour ainsi dire, de la fatigue
des plaisirs continuels_." There was such a _fête_ in June, 1713, arranged
on a peculiarly lordly scale, in which a chorus of _Pèlerins de Saint
Jacques_ were brought in--appropriately hailing from "L'Isle de Cythère,"
and provided with passports from the goddess Venus--whose special object
seems to be to say pretty things to James:--

  "Vous gagnez tous les coeurs, tout le monde gémit
      De voir un Roy d'une bonté si rare,
  Et brillant de l'éclat de toutes les vertus
      Loin des Etats qui lui sont dûs
  Mais nous verrons un jour cette triple couronne
      Qu'ont porté si longtems vos Illustres Ayeux,
      Sur votre chef tomber des Cieux.
  Le mérite, le sang, les Loix, tout vous la donne;
  Laissez le soin de soûtenir ces droits
  Au Dieu qui dans ses mains porte les coeurs des Rois."

Then a curious supper was given. The twenty-four most illustrious guests
present sat down at two tables, the ladies at one, the gentlemen at the
other. Each person was served with an equal portion, "_tous en vaisselle
de fayance, jusqu'aux manches des couteaux_."

  "Et dans ce sobre repas
  Chacun n'eut que vingt-sept plats."

In all, to these twenty-four people 648 _plats_ were served. The great
joke of the meal was, that strict silence was enjoined. "_Mais on avoit
oublié d'en bannir les Ris._" So people soon began to laugh, and then the
men accused the ladies of breaking the rule, and the ladies retorted, and
that put an end to Trappism. On another occasion, in July, 1714, when
James spent a fortnight at Commercy--while his sister was slowly
dying--the Prince, in the course of an even more brilliant _fête_,
entertained his guests with sham-fights, the siege of a castle, and other
incidents of military operations, for which the services of a French
army-corps stationed in the neighbourhood, at Troussay, under the command
of M. de Ruffey, were impressed.

Mary of Modena must have felt the removal of her only son--her only child,
since the Princess Louise, "_la Consolatrice_," was dead--very keenly. She
declared that she had no one left to open her heart to. This was not to be
understood quite literally, for we find the Queen-Dowager pouring out her
confidences very effusively to her _chère mère_ and the sisters at
Chaillot, whose journals, in fact, supply the main records of Mary's
doings. But, no doubt, she missed James much. Once after his banishment,
in July, 1714--when James rushed secretly to Paris, to consult with the
king about the steps to be taken in view of Queen Anne's impending death,
and was sent away "_fort peu satisfait_"--she had seen him for an hour or
two in the night. Very naturally, she wished to visit him at Bar, more
particularly as her doctors had advised her to try the waters of
Plombières. It is not altogether impossible, also, although the Queen was
kept in rather tight leading-strings by Dr. Beaulieu, that, plagued as she
was with cancer in the breast, she may have wished to take the advice of a
specialist at Bar with whose fame at the time the world was ringing.
Bar-le-Duc had become strangely identified with cures for cancer. In 1663
Pierre Alliot first discovered the value of cauterising as a corrective
treatment. And early in 1714 M. le sieur Moat, another Bar doctor,
astonished the world with quite a novel method, which was probably humbug,
since it is said to have effected perfectly incredible recoveries. Some
months later we find Queen Mary preparing to set out for Bar and also for
Plombières. Her bad health and an abnormally wet summer put a stop to the
project. This was just about the time of the death of Queen Anne, when
Leopold felt as if he were politically walking on eggs. He had given so
much umbrage in England already, that every further offence was to be
carefully avoided. If the Queen, as was to be anticipated, in going to
Plombières, were also to visit Lunéville, that must of a certainty give
rise to misunderstandings. So he sends officers and messengers to inquire
and dissuade, as diplomatically as he can. The Queen had been so ill as to
be given up, and he did not wish to pain her. But above all things he had
to think of himself.

On very different grounds the tidings of the Queen's impending visit also
fluttered the good people of Bar not a little. They had never entertained
a queen. So on the 13th of July we find the heads of the town council
carefully inquiring of the Marquis de Gerbévillers, the governor of the
district, what is the proper ceremonial to be observed. Thereupon a
deputation is named, and a present of 16 lb. of _dragées_ and forty-eight
_pots de confitures_ is voted, besides a _feuillade_ of wine for
distribution, and a special _vin d'honneur_, to be presented to the royal
visitor by the Marquis de Bassompierre, on behalf of the town. The
Barisiens are very proud both of their _confitures_ and of their wine.
Both may be had now, presumably, in the same quality in which they were
tendered to Queen Mary. The _confitures_ consist of currants, red and
white, preserved whole, in a syrup made sweet to excess. But the flavour
is good. The _vins de Bar_ have long been reckoned a delicacy, more
particularly the _clairet_--a variety having a colour half-way between red
and white. The wine is highly praised by patriotic writers as being
"_excellent, délicat, léger, et bien-faisant_," and more than any other
"_ami de l'homme_." And if you only stick to that wine alone, and take
care not to mix, you can drink, they protest, absolutely whatever quantity
you like, without feeling one whit the worse next day. To an English
palate, I am bound to say, the wine is apt to present itself as
intolerably sour.

After all, the Queen's visit did not come off till spring, 1715. That was,
again, a most inconvenient time for the Duke of Lorraine, on much the same
grounds as before. He had just made up that nasty tiff with the English
Court, arising out of the publication of the Pretender's manifesto. King
George was at length going to receive his envoy, M. de Lambertye. At such
a juncture the classical "pig among roses" would have been ten times more
welcome to nervous Leopold than Mary of Modena and her son at his Court.
So he writes to Louis, begging him for heaven's sake to stop the Queen
from coming, and despatches Baron Förstner post-haste to Bar to
remonstrate with the Pretender. Neither attempt proved successful--but the
Queen's visit did not do much harm. Her ill-health again came in as a
special providence, detaining her till after Whitsuntide. She set out
incognita with what is represented as a very modest train--namely, four
coaches-and-six, one _littière_, and _quelques chaises_. The Duke had the
good grace to receive her with a most hearty welcome. He sent the Marquis
de Bassompierre, her son's great friend, to meet her at Châlons. Her son
met her at Moutiers, on the border of the Barrois. For safety the forests
were once more stocked with soldiers. On the 22d of June, Mary made her
entry into Bar, putting up in James's house in the Rue des Tanneurs. The
local grandees and the town council turned out in force to receive her,
the Marquis de Bassompierre presenting the _dragées_ and the _vin
d'honneur_, while the _bailli_, M. de Gerbévillers, did the honours on
behalf of the Duke, whose Great Chamberlain he was. On the 25th Mary and
James proceed to Commercy, where everybody expresses himself and herself
delighted with _cette sainte Reine_. On the 18th of July the Queen arrives
at Nancy, where the Duke and Duchess are staying. James was at that time
in the midst of plotting. "Milord Drummond" had come from England to
confer with him. Ferrari put in one of his suspicious appearances, to the
bewilderment and annoyance of the French envoy. An Irish priest who talked
indiscreetly about a _grand coup à faire_ was seized and kept under
arrest. Couriers were rushing frantically to and fro. Something was "up."
And Lord Stair, at Paris, we find, knew of it. But the Queen did not
seemingly take a very hopeful view of things. She thanked the Duke very
pathetically for his kindness to James. It needed generosity, she avowed,
to interest one's self on behalf of a Prince "forsaken by all the world."
Her gratitude would be "eternal." The Duchess was most attentive. Both
days that the Queen was at Nancy she forestalled her in calling,
surprising her at her toilet. At Lunéville, the Duchess had offered to
make the Chevalier's bed with her own hands. From Nancy Mary Beatrice
proceeded to Plombières _viâ_ Bar, returning to St Germains on the 22d of
August. The waters had not done her much good.

A brief space is due to those rather curious negotiations which were
carried on while James was at Bar, to find the Pretender a suitable wife.
According to Mrs Strickland this was rather a romantic affair. James was
dying to marry his cousin, the Princess d'Este, while, on the other hand,
the Princess Sobieska and Mademoiselle de Valois were both dying to marry
him. In truth, there was no dying on either side, and the wooing
originated, not in James's feeble affections--which were probably occupied
to the full extent of their capacity with that young lady on the hill--but
in the fertile brain of his scheming and restless host. Mrs Strickland, I
ought to say, rather overrates the position of the Princess Sobieska, who
eventually _did_ marry the Chevalier; and if there was any romance in her
affection, she lived to be cured of it. Being the daughter only of an
elective king, a _parvenu_ among royal personages, she was looked upon as
a princess rather by courtesy than of right. Even to James, down in the
world as he was, Leopold--in a manner her kinsman--did not dare to propose
her except as a _pis aller_, when all hopes elsewhere were extinguished.
His first proposal was an Austrian archduchess. He evidently thought the
suggestion one which would do him credit. It would be a downright good
"Catholic" match. It was bound to help the Pretender, and it might be
agreeable to the Emperor, and so secure him, Leopold, very much on the
look-out for favours as he was, gratitude in two influential quarters.
The mere moral effect, he says, of an alliance entered into by the premier
dynasty of Europe with the outcast Stuart prince must prove immensely to
James's advantage. But there was money, too--which James particularly
wanted--much money, heaped up in the Hofburg. James assented--though with
nothing seemingly of eagerness; for it took him some months to grasp the
full meaning of the idea. The proposal was made in March, 1714--long
before the Princess Sobieska was thought of; and, as Leopold reports with
unmistakable satisfaction, it was _assez gouté_ at Vienna. Only, the
Princess asked for--the younger daughter of the late Emperor--was very
young, in fact, a child in the nursery, and the marriage could not
possibly take place for some considerable time. So, the Emperor thought,
the matter had best be kept quiet. Nothing daunted, rather encouraged,
Leopold, with James's approval, returned to the charge in June. If the
younger archduchess was too young--very well, let it be the elder,
Elizabeth, who was at that time heir-presumptive to the crown. (For Maria
Theresa, the reigning Emperor's daughter, was not yet born.) Vienna took
time to consider. James's appetite grew keen, and in July we find him
plying the Emperor with two memorials, drawn up with the help of Nairne.
So elated did he grow over his supposed brilliant prospects, that he
returned very cold answers indeed to Cardinal Gualterio's well-meant
representations in favour of a union with another lady--was it the
Princess d'Este, Gualterio's own countrywoman? There was no money in that
quarter. Accordingly James haughtily pronounces the marriage "_pas
faisable_." But he pushes his suit at Vienna. It must be, he urges in his
first memorial, altogether to the Emperor's interest that the Archduchess
Elizabeth should be married to "_une personne qui ait assés de naissance
et d'autres bonnes qualités personelles pour estre choisi après lui à
remplir sa place_." Such a person James considers himself to be. And he
puts his case in this way. Either the English crown will fall to him or it
will not. If it does, well, then, there he is, a most desirable, wealthy,
and influential nephew-in-law. If it does not, there he is, again, the
fittest person in the world to succeed to the Imperial crown. In the
second memorial, issued shortly after, he presses some further points.
Hanover must not be allowed to grow too powerful. Indeed, as a Protestant
Power, it is too "_formidable_" already, and the "_Duc d'Hannovre_" is
"_un redoutable Rival_." But, "_il est certain qu'il (l'empereur) a moins
à apprehender de l'Angleterre sans le Duc d'Hannovre que de le Duc
d'Hannovre sans l'Angleterre_." Therefore--the reasoning does not seem
quite clear--James ought to be supported; or else, certainly, the Duc
d'Hannovre should be made to forego one of the two crowns--either Hanover
or England, a proposal which James pronounces perfectly "_juste et
nullement impracticable_." The proposal does not, however, "fetch" the
Emperor, who goes on procrastinating. But, on the other hand, Louis XIV,
gets wind of it, though he was not meant to, through D'Audriffet, and
grows uneasy, throwing all the cold water that he can upon the scheme.
Meanwhile in England things go against the Pretender. Queen Anne dies,
King George succeeds, and, in spite of James's solemn protest, addressed
to the Powers in English, French, and Latin, England seems perfectly
content. After this it is not surprising to find Leopold, when James
returns to the subject of his marriage, shaking his head discouragingly,
and pointing out that the Pretender's matrimonial value has fallen
appreciably in the market. He must no longer look "so high." Besides, the
Emperor will not care to embroil himself by such a marriage with the
Government of King George, with which he has struck up a friendship which,
in Louis XIV.'s words, promises to prove alike "_solide et sincère_." Now,
there is the Princess Sobieska! Leopold thinks that he could manage that.
Through her mother she is a niece of the Empress Eleanor. Therefore, to a
certain extent, James will still secure the Hapsburg interest. As for
marrying the Archduchess, that is out of the question. James does not see
it. He goes on harping upon the Archduchess Elizabeth, and worrying poor
Leopold to resume negotiations.

Leopold found worry of a more serious sort besetting him, on account of
James, in a different quarter. To satisfy France was all very well. But
what in this matter satisfied France offended England. Now, England itself
was very little to the Duke of Lorraine. Louis XIV. kept assuring him that
English complaints and remonstrances should have "_point de suite_," and
that he would see him through the business. He had "nothing to fear."
Accordingly, when the English Houses of Parliament began, very
unreasonably, to memorialise Queen Anne in favour of moving for James's
expulsion from "ungrateful" Lorraine, though the Court of St Germains
showed itself, as we are told, "_fort picquée de ses addresses_," Leopold
simply smiled, and assured James that he would see that those addresses
remained "_inutiles_." He did not quite like it when Baron Förstner, his
envoy in London, reported the two parties in England, both "Thoris" and
"Wighs," to be unanimous on the point. James himself, whom he consulted
without any result, confessed himself in an "_embarras de prendre le
meilleur party_." However, Bolingbroke had advised Förstner that no notice
should be taken; the English nation "_se portoit tantot a une chose et
tantot a une autre_;" Parliament was about to be dissolved, and in the new
House the whole thing might be forgotten. King Louis explained the
resolution as a Whig dodge, a shibboleth, designed to make it clear who
were the Pretender's supporters. However, the remonstrances went on. Two
bishops made themselves ridiculous by very indiscreet and officious
interference. The Duke judges that this "_n'estoit qu'une grimace de la
Cour d'Angleterre_." But after a time he grows irritable, and recalls his
envoy--quite as much in disgust as for economy. That does not mend
matters--no more does the Duke's letter, written at the French king's
suggestion for communication to Prior. D'Audriffet's despatch of 3d May,
1714, shows that Leopold at that time quite expected that he might be made
to give effect to the English demand. Meanwhile Queen Anne dies. James
issues his proclamation, at which George and our Parliament take
needlessly great offence, and an icy coldness springs up between the two
Courts--just under circumstances under which coldness is least acceptable
to Leopold. For, however little Queen Anne might have had it in her power
to cross him, her successor is Elector of Hanover as well as King of
England, fast friends with the Emperor, and has a great say in the
bestowal of ecclesiastical patronage in Germany, for which Leopold, on
behalf of his "near and dear relations" has an insatiable appetite.
Accordingly he grows uncomfortable. He notices with alarm, so the letters
show, that George takes an unusually long time advising him of the late
Queen's death, and when the advice comes, it says nothing about his own
accession. Anxious to make up the breach, Leopold at once despatches a
special envoy, Lambertye, to present his congratulations. To the Duke's
dismay George will not receive him. Leopold, however, bids him stay where
he is, and addresses to the king his well-known memorial, which must
certainly be pronounced dignified in tone and just in substance. James's
proclamation, Leopold shows, was issued without any knowledge or consent
on his part. Privately, he causes it to be explained that he is simply
obeying dictatorial orders from Versailles. But--"_on a beau leur dire_,"
writes de Bosque, D'Audriffet's substitute, on the 31st of October, "_que
la France a vn pouuoir arbitraire sur le Duc de Lorrain et ses Etats, cela
no les contente plus_." The poor Duke grows most uncomfortable. However,
in January the matter is made up, and King George consents to receive
Lambertye at last--at the very time when Queen Mary Beatrice threatens
once more to trouble relations just settling down again, with her visit to
Lunéville. In any case Lambertye's mission did not bring Lorraine any
good--except, says Noel, it be the importation of a new variety of potato,
which he carried home from England, and which proved much superior to the
old Lorrain sort.

If our statesmen had little right to call upon Leopold to expel James,
they had of course every reason to be vigilant. And they do not appear to
have failed often in that duty. To be quite fair, James's followers, on
the whole, made the task pretty easy for them. They were always plotting,
but at the same time also always letting out their secret--a tippler
talking in his cups; an officer confiding intelligence to his sweetheart;
a bungling conspirator boasting in very big words. Long before October,
1715, when the great "invasion" at length took place, we have references
to some intended move. All is promptly reported to England, and to Paris,
where, after his arrival at his post, Stair, when not engaged in smuggling
goods for his friends,--"_poil de chèvre_ stockings of different colours
of grey, and long enough of the feet and legs" for the Duke of Argyll,
besides knives, spoons, and forks of the St. Cloud pattern, all with
"chiney" handles to them; a "bodyes," a "monto," and a "peticoate" for
Lady Harriet Godolphin, to oblige the Duchess of Marlborough; moreover,
silk gowns for the Countess of Loudoun--spares neither pains nor money to
obtain the very best and most prompt intelligence. On the whole, he is
admirably served, though occasionally he finds himself on a wrong scent,
and even at the critical time, notwithstanding Mrs. Strickland's statement
as to Mademoiselle du Châtelet's jealous peaching, it seems as if
Bolingbroke were after all right, and our Ambassador had been put upon the
right tack too late.

At length, after much posting backwards and forwards of trusted but
untrustworthy messengers and confidants, after more than one false alarm,
and one very provoking act of treachery (on the part of a bankrupt
banker), after much dissuasion from the Duke of Lorraine, who seems to
have exhausted all his powers of reasonable argument in vain, after
stealthy visits said to have been paid by Bolingbroke and Ormonde to Bar,
and by Mar to Commercy, the great move takes place. To the end Leopold
appears to have considered James's recall by the spontaneous act of the
English nation a probable contingency. Now he warns him that a Hanoverian
king on the English throne will play his game far more effectually than he
himself possibly can by taking up arms--that, in the face of the
unpopularity which the foreign ruler is sure to bring upon himself, if
left alone, James will, by raising the flag of rebellion, only be cutting
his own throat. However, James will pay no heed. Learning prudence, at any
rate, as the time for action draws nearer, both the Chevalier and his
friends grow close and uncommunicative, so as to extract complaints even
from D'Audriffet, who, having been previously let into all the harmless
little secrets of the plot at first hand, now finds himself reduced to
coaxing intelligence out of "_une personne attachée au Chevalier de St.
Georges, qui est de mes amies_." However, in October, just before the
departure actually takes place, Leopold confides to him that James has
expressed himself resolved to take his fortune into his own hand. He has
been advised from England and Scotland that circumstances will never be
more favourable. If he misses this chance, he will have no other. "_C'est
tout gagner ou tout perdre._"

At this time it is that James addresses to his friend Cardinal Gualterio
at Rome a curious "_Mémoire sur un Lit_," which seems worth recording. He
begs Gualterio to purchase, at once, as if for himself, "_un grand bois de
lit à la francoise propre à coucher deux personnes, avec un dossier, mais
point des pilliers. Le fond du lit de bon coutil--renforcé avec sangles_."
Also, "_deux bons mattelas de bonne laine d'Ang{re.} proportionnés à la
grandeur du lit_." His Eminence, James adds, will easily guess the purpose
for which the bed is designed--a purpose depending upon "_un certain cas
qu'on espere pouuoir arriver bientôt, mais qui doit etre tres secret
jusqu'a ce qu'il soit asseuré_." He adds that he wants "_ni couuertures,
ni tour de lit, ni ciel de lit, parcequ'on a tout cela ici_." The whole
thing reminds one of that famous musical armchair which was ordered on
behalf of Napoleon III., to be delivered at Berlin in 1870.

The final escape of James was, on the whole, managed with secresy and some
skill, though things went a little untowardly. Stair, who was sparing no
pains to keep the Pretender watched to his every step, was a little
deceived, partly by that false information which Bolingbroke says that he
purposely gave him, partly by the equivocal bearing of the Regent and
Torcy, who were both secretly befriending the Chevalier. Certainly Stair
got his correct intelligence too late to be of much use, and so sent to
Château Thierry to have James seized after the bird had flown. Cadogan in
Brussels was better informed. He had stationed a "gentleman from
Mecklenburgh," M. de Pless, at Nancy, ostensibly to attend the Academy,
really to play the spy upon the Pretender. A letter from the Regent to
D'Audriffet shows that the object of his mission was perfectly understood
in the French capital. The news of the Chevalier's departure comes out
through the indiscretion of some one in the secret arriving from
Commercy--and immediately Pless takes formal leave of the Duke, and
hurries without a moment's delay off to Brussels, where Cadogan has a
courier ready, who, but for provokingly prolonged contrary winds, would
have reached England in excellent time.

Finding the Chevalier's mind made up, Leopold, wishing to be kind to the
last, sends his _protégé_ as a parting gift, along with an affectionate
valedictory letter, the acceptable present of 27,000 louis in gold, which
James at once stows away in his private strong-box. This, we read, he was
in the habit of always carrying about with him, placing it under his bed
at night, and allowing no one to come near it. How he managed to transport
it when riding on horseback from St Malo to Dunkirk, we are not told.

It is well known that James started from Commercy on the 28th of October,
1715, in disguise. But the precise manner of his escape is not generally
quite correctly related. It explains why, for a full fortnight after
James's disappearance, newspapers still go on reporting his supposed
doings in Lorraine. The escape was of course abetted by the Prince de
Vaudémont, who, to make it possible, invited a large company to Commercy
for the day appointed, to hunt in his forests. James went out to hunt, and
James apparently came back in the evening. But the James who returned was
not the James who had gone out with the Pretender, but a follower of his,
who bore a striking resemblance to his master, and had more than once been
mistaken for him. Who this gentleman was I have not been able to trace.
With this man James had exchanged clothes, unseen by any one, out in the
forest. And so, as the Duc de Villeroy writes to Madame de Maintenon (the
letter is in the Paris MSS), "_Il partit misterieusement de Commerci en
chaise roulante, vestu du violet en Ecclesiastique, avec un petit colet,
malgré la vigilance des Espions, sans qu'ils ayent pû auoir ni vent ni
nouvelles de son depart, que deux ou trois jours après sa sortie_." The
Pretender pursued his journey, carefully avoiding highroads, reaching
Peterhead safely in the end, though only after much travelling backwards
and forwards, taking pains to elude Stair's spies, who were placed at all
important points. At Nonancourt he narrowly missed being caught, as we
know, by Captain Douglas and two other emissaries, evidently what Bunyan
calls "ill-favoured ones." For the impression became general in
France--over which the editor of 'The Annals of the Earls of Stair,' Mr
Murray Graham, grows exceedingly indignant--that these men were assassins
retained to destroy the Pretender by Lord Stair, whose passports they
carried, and who promptly came to their rescue when they were brought
before the Grand Prévôt de la Haute Normandie. Very probably they looked
cut-throats. One of them was armed. And as cut-throats, not spies, the
_maîtresse de la poste_ cautioned James against them, helping him off, to
save his life, in a disguise and with a guide provided by herself. As
supposed cut-throats they were seized by the police, and as cut-throats
they were brought before the judge. Stair's interference probably it was
that saved their lives. But all his explanations and all his protestations
could not for a long time remove from the mind of the French people the
impression that the men were assassins. The Regent, we hear, released them
without inquiry, simply to avoid scandal.

How the Pretender's enterprise ended we all know. He does not appear to
have been particularly attentive to his late host, the Duke of Lorraine.
On the 24th of October he sent him a formal farewell; but on the 7th
November we have the Duke stating as a grievance that he is without news.
During November we find people in Paris growing remarkably confident. On
the 2d of December Lord Stair complains that "_les plus sages à la Cour_"
are just again beginning to treat the Chevalier as Pretender. Until two
days before he was "King of England" to every one in Paris, "_et tout le
monde avoit levé le masque_." There was not a single Frenchman, having any
connection with the Court, who so much as set foot in Stair's house.
Everybody thought that the Stuart cause was about to triumph. But the 11th
of January, 1716, saw James back at Gravelines, "_d'où il repassa en
Lorraine_," say the MSS. in the _Archives Nationales_. Mrs Strickland will
have it that he went to Paris, where Bollingbroke advised him to go
straight into Lorraine, without first asking leave of the Duke--which
advice he did not follow. Independent Lorrain sources state that he passed
through Lorraine, "_courant la poste a 9 chevaux_." As he had left all his
goods and chattels at Bar-le-Duc, that seems the more likely version.
Before his departure Duke Leopold had assured the Pretender that his
dominions would always be open to him, and that he "_pourroit compter sur
luy en tout ce qui en pourroit dependre_." In March, however, under
altered circumstances, we find him advising Queen Mary Beatrice "for the
second time," that he cannot again receive her son into his duchy. The
Pretender himself seems to have taken the first warning. For we read in
the 'Gazette de Hollande' that his _Domestiques et Equipages_ were removed
from Bar to Paris in February. According to M. Konarski (I have not
verified the entry in the archives, but it is doubtless correct) James
left Bar on the 9th of February, "_sans adresser ses remerciments et ses
adieux au duc Leopold_," says Noel; "_comme un escroc vulgaire_," says M.
Konarski. "_Ne se contentant pas de largent que Léopold lui donnait il
emprunta des sommes assez fortes aux seigneurs et partit sans les
rembourser._" The sum of 15,000 francs paid to his friend M. de
Bassompierre, which appears in the official accounts, is only one such
debt. "_Cette ingratitude de la part du Chevalier de Saint Georges_," adds
Noel, "_indignait toute la Cour_." People spoke to Leopold about it.
"Gentlemen," said the Duke, "you forget that this Prince is in misfortune,
and that he was a king." On another occasion he remarked to M.
Bardin:--"He has done me justice; he has thought that I have simply
performed my duty in assisting an unfortunate."

If the direct benefits which the hospitality extended to James brought to
Lorraine were less than nil, the indirect were scarcely more valuable. No
doubt, the Pretender having set the example, not a few Roman Catholics
from the United Kingdom, so Noel relates, sought the same hospitable
refuge. Others came--among them both Noel and Marchal name the elder
Pitt--to take advantage of the new Academy opened by Leopold, and rapidly
blossoming into greatness under such distinguished masters as Duval and
Vayringe. Some of these men brought plenty of money with them, and their
liberal fees went to swell acceptably the new professors' receipts. But
the number of impecunious persons, more particularly Irish, who flowed to
the Lorrain Court to prey upon Leopold's generosity, seems to have been
even larger. "_Nous regorgeons d'Irlandais_," writes the Duke's friend
Bardin in 1719--_Irlandais_ who evidently boasted but little money and
less gratitude. Bardin complains of an exceptionally bad case of the
latter sort. Leopold mildly replies. "I helped him, not for his sake, but
for my own."

       *       *       *       *       *

In 1749, when the Duc fainéant, Stanislas Leszinski, "_simple gentilhomme
lithuanien_," was holding his gay little Court at Lunéville, with Voltaire
and Madame du Châtelet to lend brilliancy to it, and Madame de Boufflers
to preside as elderly Venus, we read that the whole company were deeply
touched when the great French writer, as was his wont, read out aloud his
just completed chapter on the Stuarts, in the 'Siècle de Louis XV.'
Everybody had a regret for the hardly used dynasty. Scarcely had Voltaire
closed his book, when in rushed a messenger, bringing the tidings that
James's son, Charles Edward, doubly an exile after the failure of his
rebellion of 1745, had, on the demand of the English Government, been
seized at Paris on leaving the Opera. "Oh heaven!" exclaimed Voltaire,
"is it possible that the king can suffer such an indignity, and that his
glory can have been tarnished by a stain which all the water of the Seine
will not wash away!" The whole company was moved. Voltaire retired
gloomily into his own room, threw down his MS. into a corner, and did not
take the work up again till he found himself amid the more prosaic
surroundings of Berlin. Very shortly after Charles Edward himself knocked
at Stanislas' door. What he did during the nearly three years that he was
a refugee at Lunéville, it seems impossible to ascertain. The French State
Papers are silent--at Lunéville not a tradition has survived. His doings
evidently were not considered worth recording. The drama of Stuart
kingship was played out. The dream had come to an end. And so Courts grew
cold.

       *       *       *       *       *

A fate not so very dissimilar--except for one brilliant saving
incident--awaited those very Dukes who had shown hospitality so freely to
the Stuarts. The Stuart Pretendership and the Lorrain Dukedom came to an
end at pretty nearly the same time. Hanover elbowed out the one, France
the other. The Stuarts went down for good. The Lorrains found themselves
transplanted to Vienna, and crowned with the Imperial diadem. They brought
their new country good qualities and manners insuring popularity. But they
brought it no luck. For once the old Austrian distich spoke wrong:--

  "Bella gerunt alii, tu, felix Austria, nube!
  Nam quae Mars aliis, dat tibi regna Venus."

Under the Lorrain Emperors came the Seven Years' War, which lost Austria
Silesia; the Napoleonic wars, which lost much territory in the west;
1859, which lost part of her Italian possessions; 1866, which tore away
the rest, and, moreover, turned Austria out of Germany. But the Lorrain
Emperors have not forgotten their old virtue of hospitality. It may seem a
strange whim of fate that at the present time the principal among those
dispossessed sovereigns and unrecognised Pretenders who have flocked for
protection under the hospitable "Double Cross," now carried back almost to
its Eastern birthplace, should be the direct descendant and
representative, six generations down, of the relentless and troublesome
rival of that same Stuart James, whom, with not a little risk and cost to
himself, the last really Lorrain Duke generously sheltered in the years
from 1713 to 1716.



II.--RICHARD DE LA POLE, "WHITE ROSE."[4]


English visitors at Metz--there ought to be more, for there is not a
little that is interesting to be seen in and around the old imperial
city--are likely to have pointed out to them some venerable house or
other, which, their guides will tell them, was nearly four hundred years
ago the residence of a great English noble, a pretender to the crown, and
the terror of Henry VIII.--the "Duke of Suffolk." Some guides may even
style him "The King of England," since their distinguished townsman,
Philippe de Vigneulles, gives him that title. In all probability the house
shown will be the wrong one. For there is a great deal of loose and
inaccurate archæology prevalent in these parts, and one old house is very
apt to be confounded with another. I myself have had a leading French
archæologist in Metz indicating to me an old Merovingian palace--highly
interesting, to be sure--as the "Duc de Sciffort's" quarters. Once the
building was plainly ancient, the trifling difference of eight hundred or
a thousand years in the several dates made no odds to him. With the kind
assistance, however, of the present archivist, Dr. Wolfram, my friend M.
des Robert and the help of some old documents preserved in the local
library--which in spite of repeated pilferings for the enrichment of
Paris, still contains many valuable old manuscripts, I have been able
pretty clearly to trace the movements in Metz of our distinguished
countryman--who was indeed a claimant to the English crown, and over whose
death in the battle of Pavia, in 1525, Henry VIII. exulted with such
exuberance of gratitude to Providence, that he ordered a second public
thanksgiving to be held "with great joy" on the 16th of March, the triumph
proper for the victory of Pavia having--somewhat rashly, as it afterwards
turned out--been celebrated on the 9th day of that month.

The story of this Englishman's exploits abroad affords some features of
interest. It is a rather curious tale of adventure, love and war, strange
escapades, intrigues, and ambition. And it may be worth telling, because I
find that in English historical writings there is a gaping hiatus on the
subject--which is not a little remarkable. For, considering what an
ever-present weight Richard evidently was on the minds of the two last
Henrys, to what all but incredible lengths those kings carried their
unscrupulous persecution of him--how they offered bribes to kings to
deliver him up, and to meaner men to assassinate him--how not a treaty was
proposed to foreign potentates but contained a special clause forbidding
the harbouring of this dangerous character--one might have supposed that
our chroniclers of the time would have deemed it expedient to tell
posterity something about him. Their silence is explained by a strange
want of materials. So little turns out to have been known in this country
about the great marpeace, that Mr. Burton, in his 'History of Scotland,'
actually assigns to him the wrong christian name, calling him "Reginald."
Mr Gairdner in his interesting preface to one of the volumes of
'Chronicles and Memorials' goes at some length into the history of
Richard's brother Edmund. What became of Richard himself--except that he
fell at Pavia--he confesses that he "cannot trace at all accurately."
Napier in his 'Notices of Swyncombe and Ewelme' supplies fuller
information than any other English writer. But he, too, is evidently at
fault for materials. It is practically only foreign sources, very little
studied in this country, to which we have to look for information on the
subject of how "White Rose" employed the time of his exile, be it
self-imposed or involuntary, which made up the main portion of his life.

The chief of such writers is Philippe de Vigneulles, a contemporary of
Richard's, and a citizen of Metz, who has left rather curious and pretty
full memoirs written in that strange-sounding, uncouth Lorrain French,
which was at his time spoken at Metz. The original manuscript, formerly in
the possession of Count Emmery, was some time ago purchased at a sale by
M. Prost, the well-known Lorrain archæologist. From it M. des Robert,
another well-known writer, specifically connected with the ancient city of
Metz--which only patriotic considerations have led him to desert--has
drawn the information which some years ago he incorporated in a little
monograph. Even this monograph leaves some gaps. And the author falls into
one or two odd mistakes--which are no doubt excusable in a foreigner. For
instance, he confounds the "rebel and traitor" Richard de la Pole with one
of the most faithful followers of the Tudor kings, Sir Richard Pole, of
Lordington, in ascribing to his hero, first, the office of Chamberlain to
Prince Arthur, and later on the fatherhood of Reginald Pole the cardinal.
But his pamphlet is decidedly useful, as supplying clues, which I have
been able to follow up successfully on the spot.

Richard de la Pole was the last member of a family which, within the space
of about a century of strange vicissitudes, ran through all the stages of
rapid rise, almost to the height of the throne, and no less sudden,
humiliating descent, to attainder, execution, confiscation, and dishonour.
I cannot stop here to tell their history at length. Genealogists have been
careful to point out that the French prefix _de la_ proves no Norman
descent. There is no "de la Pole," nor any name resembling it, to be met
with in the Battle Roll. The De la Poles' origin was, in fact, so humble,
that their first distinguished member, Michael, the prosperous
merchant--to whom his native town, Hull, raised a monument in
1871--afterwards Lord Chancellor of England and Knight of the Garter, is
described in Camden as "basely born." His "base birth," it is true, has
been disproved. But that only makes a difference of two or three
generations. When Richard and his brothers came into the world, the family
had had five generations of titled distinction and notoriety--partly of
honour and partly of disgrace. Only one Suffolk of this
creation--Richard's father--seems to have died at home and in his bed. And
even his death was caused by "grief for the ruin of his family." The Lord
Chancellor expired almost exactly a century before of "a broken heart" in
exile. His son fell a victim to "dissentery" before Harfleur. The next
Earl was honourably killed at Agincourt. His son, again, the "Duke of
Suffolk" denounced in early ballads, lived to disgrace that dukedom which
he had first obtained, and to die by lynch law under the form of a trial,
for having had a hand in the murder of Humphrey, the "good" Duke of
Gloucester, and in the surrender of Normandy and Aquitaine to France. This
"bad" Duke's son rose once more to high distinction. King Edward IV.
actually conferred upon him the hand of his sister Elizabeth; and Richard
III., on the death of his own only son, appointed his eldest son
John--created Earl of Lincoln--next heir to the throne. That appointment
proved in after-time a rather questionable boon to the family. For it
involved both John and his brothers in perils, and intrigues, and
persecution. The Earl of Lincoln fell in the battle of Stoke, fighting for
Simnel, the pretending Earl of Warwick, and by his treason and disgrace
caused the death of his father. Of course his estates and titles were held
to be forfeited. That forfeiture notwithstanding, the Earl of Lincoln's
next brother was admitted to some part of the succession, both of estate
and of title, by amicable arrangement with King Henry VII. These peerage
cases were dealt with in those days in a very different manner from what
they are now, as appears from the fact, that only some eight years
previously, in Edward IV.'s reign, the De la Poles' rather distant cousin,
the then Duke of Bedford--a Neville, not a Russell--had been deprived of
his peerage by Act of Parliament on the score of poverty.

Edmund de la Pole bargained with Henry VII., and recovered part of his
brother's possessions and also the humbler of his titles in the peerage,
by sacrificing the higher. He was admitted to the peerage as "Earl of
Suffolk." Notwithstanding his renunciation, he, later on, when in exile,
again claimed the dukedom. Edmund had in his youth been reported by the
University of Oxford in a letter addressed to his uncle, King Edward IV.,
"a penetrating, eloquent, and brilliant genius"--anything but which he
proved himself to be. His letters read like the writing of a man of very
poor education, even judged by the standard of those unlettered days. And
at Court he played his cards so unskilfully, that he soon became, from a
rather petted hanger-on, a declared "rebel and traitor," persecuted with
all the unrelenting meanness and malice that the two first Tudor
kings--the first, at any rate, not feeling very secure on his throne--were
masters of. That almost necessarily involved his younger brother Richard
in a like fate--which Richard did nothing to evade. Edmund, we read, had
the misfortune to kill a "mean" person, whom he presumed to chastise for
insulting him. For this he was brought before the King's Bench and
adjudged guilty. The king readily granted a pardon. But the Earl took the
indignity of his mere trial so much to heart, that he very unwisely fled
die country. People said that he had taken refuge at the Court of his aunt
Margaret, Duchess of Burgundy, which was then notoriously the
gathering-place of malcontent Yorkists. This turned out incorrect. But the
rumour may have helped to prejudice Henry against him. Edmund returned
home for Prince Arthur's wedding in 1501, and appears to have been at
pains to make his loyalty know, and to have been outwardly well received.
But almost immediately afterwards he ran away a second time. And as he
forthwith proclaimed himself a pretender to the throne, and obtained from
the Emperor Maximilian a promise of material help--the loan of 4000 of his
troops, wherewith to make good his pretention--it is not surprising that
Henry should have set all his ample apparatus of crafty persecution at
work against a man become so dangerous a foe. But it is surprising to find
him stooping so very low in his recourse to dirty expedients. The State
Papers show that bribes were offered all round--to the Emperor, to the
King of France, Louis XII., to Philip of Castile and Burgundy--as much as
twelve thousand crowns in gold--for Edmund's surrender or despatch. At
length, in 1506, Fortune put Philip into Henry's power--a storm driving
him on our coast. And Henry meanly took advantage of that opportunity to
extort from the Spaniard an undertaking to surrender Edmund--then detained
at Namur--agreeing, in return, to Philip's stipulation, that the
prisoner's life should be spared. That promise he kept to the letter.
Edmund was detained in the Tower until Henry's death--and then executed on
Tower Hill by Henry VIII., in obedience to a direction set down with
incredible rancour in his father's will. Dugdale suggests that, Edmund
being so popular as a pretender, Henry VIII. did not like to leave the
kingdom for a war projected in France, with his rival remaining in England
alive. Another report says, that he was beheaded on the ground of
correspondence proved to have taken place between himself and his brother,
then a general in the French army.

Richard had taken service under the King of France as early as 1492.
Charles VIII. detecting in him even then that brilliant capacity which
made him in after-life one of the foremost generals of his day, intrusted
to him the command of 6000 _lansquenets_, at whose head he mastered the
difficult but valuable art of maintaining discipline among a most unruly,
but at the same time most serviceable host, and qualified himself for that
peculiar kind of warfare in which he subsequently gathered splendid
laurels. By this early favour Charles linked to his Court an officer who,
as Gaillard says, became one of "_cette pleiade de grands Capitaines qui
illustrèrent les règnes de Louis XII. et François I., et portèrent si haut
l'honneur de nos armes--Bayard, la Palisse, la Trémouille, duc de
Gueldres, Robert de la Marck_ [better known as Fleurange, "Le Jeune
Aventureux"], _et la famille de Rohan_." Of all these famous
captains--and, moreover, of Francis of Angoulême himself--Richard was a
comrade-in-arms and familiar friend. And nobody seemed to be able to
manage the wild and "_indociles_" mercenaries, who were ready to place
themselves at the service of any sovereign who would pay them, like
himself. Dreaded foes--and to the people scarcely less dreaded
allies--were those "bandes noires" of Northern Germany, who, like the
modern Prussians, bore on their banner the colours of black and white.
Before Pampeluna--of gloomy memory--they mutinied even against Bayard,
"striking"--according to the most approved notions of nineteenth-century
trades-unionism--at the most critical juncture for the concession of
double pay. Bayard and Suffolk between them, however, soon reduced them to
obedience. Brantôme relates that it was said of the _lansquenets_ that
after St. Peter had refused them entrance into heaven, their troubled
souls could not even obtain admission into hell. The very devils were
afraid of this wild company. With these rough warriors did Richard fight
his battles, and fought them so well, that there was not one of the three
French kings whom he served, who did not feel moved to reward his services
with a substantial pension, in addition to his open thanks. Ever foremost
in battle, Richard's company "receveyd," as John Stile reports to Henry
VIII., "most hurte and los of men then any other of that party." And on
that fateful day which cost Richard his life, and Francis I. "_tout fors
l'honneur_," the king declared that, if all his troops had but done their
duty like Richard's _lansquenets_, the victory would have been his.
Francis was especially beholden to these rough soldiers, because, by
winning for him the battle of Marignano, when his crown was still young
and unsettled upon his head, they raised him to high prestige, and
completely altered his position in Europe. "_Ce gros garçon gâtera tout_,"
Louis XII. had said--leaving 1800 livres of debts for the "_gros garçon_"
to pay. The prediction proved wrong.

When Richard de la Pole took service under Charles VIII., his father was
recently dead "of grief," and his family were under a cloud, owing to
Lincoln's rising in 1487. The "affable" king was much pleased with his
captain, and after the siege of Boulogne assigned to him a pension of 7000
_écus_. At the conclusion of the treaty of Etaples, Henry VII. began his
shabby course of persecution against Richard, from which he and his son
never desisted while Richard was alive, demanding from Charles the
surrender of his foe. Charles, however, flatly refused the demand. King
Charles's pension, it is sadly to be feared, lapsed with his life in 1498;
for in 1505, and thereabouts, we find Richard in absolute
destitution--left, indeed, in pawn by his brother Edmund for that
brother's debts with the citizens of Aix-la-Chapelle. (Sir Henry Ellis,
with a little too much knowledge of German geography, places Richard at
"Aken on the Elbe." It is, however, perfectly clear that the place of his
detention was Aachen--that is, what we generally call Aix-la-Chapelle, but
for which both Edmund and Richard adopted various fancy spellings, as,
indeed, they did for most of their words, from the simple article upward.)

As Richard's fate is so closely bound up with Edmund's, it may be
convenient to review at one rapid glance the fortunes of that poor
nobleman after his flight in 1501. He first repaired to Imst, in the
Tyrol, to seek help from the Emperor Maximilian. The Emperor Maximilian
gave him ample encouragement, drew up an agreement, kept his confidential
agent as representative at his own Court, and sent him with letters of
recommendation to Aix-la-Chapelle, where, hoping to obtain further
succour, Edmund managed to outrun the constable, and was fain to leave his
brother as pledge. In spring 1502 it was proposed that Edmund, to make
good his claim, should land in England from Denmark. In that same year,
however, Henry talked over the Emperor, and concluded a treaty with him,
by which Maximilian bound himself not to allow any English rebels to
reside in his dominions, "even though they be of the rank of dukes." That
was, there can be no doubt, specially aimed at Edmund and Richard. Edmund
now despaired of help in the quarter appealed to, and transferred his
attentions to the Court of the Count Palatine. In 1504 he entered
Guelders, with a view to proceeding to Frisia and obtaining pecuniary
assistance--so he writes to his pawned brother at Aachen--from Duke George
of Saxony. The Duke of Guelders, greedy to secure--as Archduke Philip, his
cousin, writes to Henry--the reward which he is likely to receive from
Henry, plays the traitor and enters into an intrigue with Philip of
Burgundy--it is always the same Philip--who eventually "interns" Edmund at
Namur.

Poor Richard was in sore straits all the time. "Here I ly," he writes to
his brother in very curious English, "in gret peyne and pouerte for your
Grace, and no manner of comffort I have of your Grace.... Sir, be my
trothe ye dele ffery hardly with me." "Sir," he writes again another time,
"I beseche your Grace, send me some what to help me with all." He reports
that--while Edmund was at Namur--the indignant "bourgoys of Aix" have sent
a deputation to Philip to see what redress they could obtain. And coming
back empty-handed they had denounced Edmund to Richard as "_le pluis false
homme que oncques fuyt de sa parole_," and threatened to expose him at all
the courts of Europe. At the same time Richard is made uncomfortable by
the fact that he knows that Henry has offered the burgesses of Aix
bribes--as much as 5000 crowns in gold--if they will deliver him "three
lieuwes out of the town of Aix"--"and he will pay them," he significantly
adds.

From Namur, Edmund, with a mixture of rather too ingenuous prudence and
folly, as a last shift, offers a reconciliation to Henry, but fixes his
own terms exorbitantly high. This offer, as has been already related,
sealed his doom. He died by the executioner in 1513.

His death left Richard the more or less recognised "White Rose" claimant
to the throne of England. (What became of his two elder brothers, Humphrey
and Edward--both of whom took orders, and one of whom was Archdeacon of
Richmond--we are not told.) Somehow or other he had managed to get away
from Aix in 1506. For in that year we find the Emperor reporting to Henry
that he had seized the French "orators," who had proceeded to Hungary by
way of Venice. He had looked out, as desired, for Richard, but had not
been able to find him among the company. In April, 1507, however, Richard
writes, dating his letter "Budae," to the Bishop of Liége--one of the De
la Marcks with whom at Metz he was to become intimate--in Latin, which is
very much better than his English, though that is not saying much.

King Henry having, in 1509, given proofs of his peculiar goodwill towards
the De la Poles, by excepting them in distinct terms from a general
pardon, we cannot be surprised to learn that Richard--"Blanche Rose" they
called him in France--had grown busy scheming against his sovereign. Louis
XII. was then at war with Henry, and it served Louis's purpose to turn to
account the "_instrument de trouble que le roi dans l'occassion pouvait
faire agir en Angleterre--une étincelle qui pouvait y rallumer les
anciennes incendies_." In 1512 we have John Stile reporting to Henry, that
"your sayd rebel was mayde a Capytan of the Almaynys that went you to
Navar, where many of the Almaynys now of late be slayne." "The Almaynys"
were Richard's _lansquenets_, who indeed suffered great "hurte and los" in
that ill-starred campaign. Richard fought there side by side with Bayard,
and half starved with him on bread made of millet; and though their defeat
meant disaster to the King of Navarre, the army were not altogether sorry
to be called back to Artois, invaded by the English. Richard's command of
the "French fleet for a rising in England," recorded by Peter Martyr, was
probably only of brief duration. For we find him again at the head of his
6000 _lansquenets_ at Therouenne, besieged by the English, and taking part
in the inglorious "battle of the Spurs"--so named because the French,
taken by surprise while riding, not their war-horses, but their
"hackneys," trusted more to their spurs than to their swords. That day of
Guinegate helped to bring peace to England and France--and to send Richard
to Metz. The Duc de Longueville, taken prisoner on that day, turned his
captivity to account for negotiating a treaty of peace--one condition of
which was that the Princess Mary, Henry VIII.'s sister, should be married
to the all but dying Louis XII.--as the clerics of the Basoche said, "_Une
hacquenée pour le porter bientost et plus doucement en enfer ou en
paradis_." Another condition was, that Richard should be given up. To this
Louis would not agree, but answered in almost the same terms which his
cousin had used, "_Qu'il aimait mieux perdre tout ce qu'il possédait que
de le conserver en violant l'hospitalité_." Some people say that this was
mere bounce. But it had its effect.

A compromise was arranged, in pursuance of which Richard was banished to
Metz. That was rather a cool proceeding on the part of the two monarchs,
considering that Metz was then a city of the Empire, in no sort of
dependence upon either Henry or Louis. The thirteen Jurats of Metz were
accordingly a little taken aback when they received Louis's letter to
"_mes bons amis_," begging that his _protégé_ might be "_bien reçu et bien
advenu_"--as well they might, in view of the treaty concluded between
England and their master, the Emperor, in 1502, with special reference to
this self-styled "duke." However, they got over the difficulty by granting
Richard a _laissezpasser_ for eight days, to be indefinitely renewed,
while that should prove practicable. So De la Pole went to Metz, England
and France got their peace for a time, and Mary--"_bien polie, mignoinne,
gente et belle_" as she was--married Louis, "_fort gouteux vies et
caducque_," as a brief prelude to her clandestine marriage with the new
Duke of Suffolk, Brandon.

On the 2d of September, 1514, one Saturday, we read in Vigneulles,
"Blanche Rose" entered Metz, escorted by sixty "_chevaliers_," several
French "_gentilhommes_," and a guard of honour furnished by the Duke of
Lorraine, René II. That was making his entry in good style; and such
style, on the whole, he managed to maintain whilst in Metz. It is true
that at times he was very short of money, and paid his servants, dressed
"in grey and blue," their wages most irregularly; and that even his
chaplain could wring his "wages" from him only "a crown at a time." But
that was because, what with keeping open house, and entertaining the
_honoratiores_ of Metz, betting, gambling, and making love to other men's
wives, "the Duke" spent his money faster than he got it. King Louis had
allowed him a pension of 6000 _écus_ per annum. King Francis made very
much of him, and from time to time "augmented his stipend." The Messins,
always inclined to hospitality, took delight in honouring their guest,
whose chivalrous manners and easy amiability made him popular. And they
never ceased to look upon him as "_le vray héritier d'Angleterre qui
devoit mieulx estre roy que celui qui l'estoit_."

Metz was then in a semi-independent state, which, in the present day, it
is interesting to study. Its nationality was German, its language was a
curious sort of early French. Its sympathies were French, too. Its
seigneurs served in the French army; and at the famous "sacres" of French
kings, representatives of the leading families of Metz--the Serrières, the
Gournays, the De Heus, the Baudoches, &c.--attended, and considered it an
honour to be dubbed knights. To complete the mixture of nationalities, the
city was surrounded by Lorraine, then an independent dukedom. The
government of the city was in principle the same as that of other great
German free towns--Strassburg, Bâle, Cologne, Mayence, &c. There was
nothing at all similar in France. It was divided into six (originally only
five) "paraiges." Its head was a _maître échevin_, at that time appointed
afresh every year. It was administered by a council of thirteen Jurats,
representing, for the most part, the patrician families. From the judgment
of the Thirteen there was no appeal. The larger Council consisted of the
Thirteen, with the addition of an indefinite number of "prudhommes" or
"wardours"; and for purposes of taxation and similar business, the whole
mass of citizens were called together. There were, moreover, standing
committees of seven each, appointed to deal severally with matters of war,
gates and walls, the collection of taxes, the treasury, and paving. There
were also three mayors under the _maître échevin_ and a number of "amans"
or amanuenses, answering to modern notaries. The whole city was a
thoroughly self-contained little republic.

Among these people Richard de la Pole had come to take up his abode. As a
welcome, the Thirteen presented him with two demi-cuves of wine, one red
the other "clairet," and, moreover, with twenty-five quarters of oats for
his horses. The question of housing so distinguished a guest presented
some difficulties. On the advice of Michel Chaverson, the _maître échevin_
for the year, the Thirteen committed Richard to the care of Vigneulles,
the writer of the Memoirs, then already a citizen of note and substance.
For the first three nights he put Richard up at "la Court St Mairtin,"
which was presumably near the Church of St Martin still existing. The
Duke of Lorraine's Guard were quartered in what was then the leading
hotel, "à l'Ange," which has now disappeared. Nothing suitable offering
for a longer residence, Vigneulles prevailed upon his fellow-citizen,
Chevalier Claude Baudoche, one of the foremost men in the place, and
"Seigneur of Moulins"--the prettily situated village or almost suburb
which you pass on your way to the battle-fields of 1870--to lend him for
an indefinite period his magnificent mansion called "Paisse Temps,"
situated on the bank of one arm of the Moselle. The site may still easily
be traced. It adjoined the Abbey of St Vincent, of which the church still
stands--a beautiful church inside, though insignificant without. Its
architectural lines are perfect, and there is some fine stained glass from
the famous works of Champigneulles, of Metz, which were in 1875 removed to
Bar-le-Duc. The Baudoches were at that time a wealthy and highly
influential family in Metz. To-day, such is the instability of things
terrestrial, the city knows them no more. About fifty years ago, their
last remaining representative was a small watchmaker plying his trade in
an insignificant shop in the Rue Fournirue. Of the suitableness of the
house secured there could be no question; for in it Pierre Baudoche,
Claude's father, had entertained several crowned heads, including the
Emperor Maximilian. Here Richard found a lordly home, which he maintained
in a lordly style, receiving in turn all the leading personages of Metz
and dispensing a princely hospitality.

On New Year's Day, 1515, precisely at midnight, Louis XII. died, not
twelve weeks after his marriage with Mary, who--rather uncomfortable under
the attentions paid her by Francis, French historians say--very soon left
the Court, to marry the new Duke of Suffolk. The "gros garçon" could not
keep quiet long. With an army including no less than 26,000 _lansquenets_
he marched into Italy, to claim his succession to the Milanais, and won
the battle of Marignano. In this campaign Richard appears to have found no
employment, though his old corps, the _lansquenets_, covered themselves
with glory. The treaty with England, forbidding his employment in France,
was still too recent for him to be allowed to lend the aid of his sword.
Truth to tell, Henry gained mighty little by Richard's ostensible
inaction. Being at Metz, plotting and scheming, he made the king far more
uncomfortable than he could possibly have done had he been fighting at
Marignano. He was reported to be planning all sorts of enterprises.
Evidently he was much feared at home. Wolsey complains that malcontents
and men out of work threaten that they will join De la Pole and take part
in the impending invasion. On Henry's side it is all treachery and
scheming. Richard is to be waylaid, to be murdered, and so on. Lord
Worcester writes that he "knows of a gentleman who will take that matter
in hand." He is to be seized "when he goes into the field either to course
the hares or to see his horses" (_i.e._, to take exercise). The Emperor,
on the other hand, had grown so careless in the observance of his treaty
with England, that the Messins had plucked up courage formally to present
Richard with the freedom of their city. And a "paper of intelligence" to
the English Court describes him as "in his glory."

In 1516 "Blanche Rose" could remain quiet no longer. He must see Francis,
and ask for military employment. So on the 22d February, without telling
any one a word, we find him mounting horse, taking with him only his cook
and a page, and trotting off to Paris, covering a hundred miles in
twenty-four hours. But there was no employment for him yet. He returned on
the 3rd of April. On Christmas Eve he repeats his ride, again secretly,
accompanied by the Duke of Guelders, who had come to Metz in disguise. He
returned, as he had come, in strict privacy, on the 17th February. After
his return Claude Baudoche found that he could no longer spare "Paisse
Temps," and politely turned out his guest. But he placed another house at
his disposal, which may still be seen, at the crossing of the Rue de
l'Esplanade and the Rue des Prisons Militaires (I give the French names,
having forgotten the German). In the old chronicles the house, previously
occupied by Jean or Jehan de Vy, is described as "_après le grant maison
de coste de St Esprit_." Just opposite it is the Church of St Martin, a
rather interesting building, exhibiting a curious medley of architectural
styles. A rather remarkable feature in the church is a row of curious
sculptures. "Blanche Rose's" house, dwindled terribly in size, and shorn
of its ancient splendour, though still exhibiting some small remnants of
former grandeur, such as zigzag mouldings and Gothic labels, directly
faces this church on one side, and on the other side a public building,
which is, if I recollect right, the military prison, and in front of which
a Prussian sentry paces solemnly up and down.

At this house it was that Richard conceived the curious idea of treating
his fellow-burgesses to what must have infallibly endeared him to English
neighbours--namely, the spectacle of a horse-race. Such a thing as that
was, it appears, previously quite unknown in Metz. And accordingly it
occasioned not a little stir. Richard and "_aultres seigneurs_," we read,
were much given to exciting pastimes, including gambling and betting. And
Richard, being the owner of a horse of which--like other owners of
horses--he had an exceedingly high opinion, was rash enough one day to
offer a bet against any one who might maintain that within ten "_lues_"
round there was another horse running equally well. Nicolle Dex (whose
name was pronounced Desh) readily took the bet, offering, to run his own
horse against Richard's. All the particulars of the arrangements for the
race are minutely recorded by Vigneulles. The two men were to ride their
own horses. The course was to be from the Orme at Aubigny (a village five
miles from Metz) to the gate of the Abbey of St. Clement (which abbey was
destroyed in 1552, when the Duc de Guise held Metz against Charles V.).
The bet was for eighty "_escus d'or au solleil_," which was to be paid
beforehand to a stakeholder. The race came off on the appointed day,
Saturday the 2nd of May--the day on which "_l'awaine et le bacon_" were,
by regulation of the authorities, first sold. That would enable the
competitors to get easily out of the gate of St. Thibault--which was
conveniently near Richard's house, but which had to be opened on purpose.
The Chevalier Dex, with an amount of cunning of which Vigneulles does not
altogether approve, had for some days before subjected both himself and
his horse to preparatory treatment--"_dieu scet comment_." "_Comme il me
fut dit et certifié_," that treatment consisted in his drinking nothing
but white wine--which is the more sour of the two, and therefore is
supposed rather strongly to contract the human frame--and giving his horse
no hay whatever. Moreover, he had his horse shod with very light steel
shoes. And himself he made as light as possible, riding "_tout en
pourpoint, avec un petit bonnet en sa teste_," without shoes and without a
saddle, having merely a light saddle-cloth laid over the horse's back.
"Blanche Rose," however, rode in a saddle, and booted and spurred as for
ordinary exercise. When the signal was given, Vigneulles says, the
horsemen started with such terrible impetuosity that the bystanders
thought the earth was going to open under them. "Blanche Rose" kept the
lead most part of the way. But when the two reached St. Laidre--a
_léproserie_ near Montigny (the name of which still survives in a hamlet
situated between Montigny and Aubigny) famed for its asparagus and
fruit--Dex's artifices began to tell. Richard's horse was found to puff
and to pant, and could not keep pace with its rival. Nicolle outstripped
him. And though Richard spurred his horse till "_le cler sanc en sailloit
de tout cousté_," it availed him nothing. Nicolle, having husbanded his
horse's powers, came in first at the post. Richard was terribly annoyed,
but he "_ne dédaignait de risquer un peu de honte contre beaucoup de
plaisir_," like a good many other people. Very naturally, however, he
would have his revenge. So the next St. Clement's Day saw the two horses
running against one another once more; but it seems that their masters did
not this time act as their own jockeys. Ill luck would have it that
"Blanche Rose's" jockey, one of his pages, was thrown whilst riding, by
which mishap his master lost his bet a second time. After that he did not
tempt fortune again on the turf.

A month after the first race, Richard made a second attempt to obtain a
command under Francis. Accompanied by several "_de nos jonnes seigneurs_,"
he proceeded to Milan and other places in Italy. "_Dieu les conduie_,"
piously ejaculates Vigneulles. They arrived, as it turned out, a day after
the fair. Peace had been concluded, and the _seigneurs_ returned to Metz
without having had occasion to draw their swords.

In this year, Henry, through one of his emissaries, tempted Richard with a
proposal that he should endeavour to make his peace with the king, and
write him a letter in that sense. The king, explained Alamire, the
emissary in question, "had the character of being most clement." "So I
have heard," replied Richard, scenting the mischief; "and how well I
should stand with my present protector, the King of France, if King Henry
were to show him my letter!"

In the following year Richard once more rode to Paris, seeking employment.
This time he was rewarded with a secret mission, on which he was sent into
Normandy. It was about this time that Giustiniani learnt from the legate,
Campeggio, that Francis favoured "Blanche Rose" more than ever, and Henry
and his ministers again began to feel acutely uncomfortable. They had
heard, so the State Papers show, that Francis and Richard were plotting
mischief: Francis was favouring the Duke of Albany and trying to stir up
disturbances in Scotland. There was a scheme on foot, Sir Richard
Jernegan reports, according to which the Duke of Albany was to sail from
Brittany to Scotland, "there to make business against the king," while
"Blanche Rose" was to invade England from Denmark, abetted by the king of
that country, and accompanied by that king's uncle, the Duke of Ulske; and
Monsieur de Bourbon and the Duke of Vendôme were at the same time to
besiege Tournay, which, in the peace of 1514, England had managed to
retain. We cannot be altogether surprised, knowing in what systematic
manner the Henrys persecuted the De la Poles, to learn that a man was said
to have been taken in Champagne, paid by Henry to kill Richard. Indeed the
thought of getting rid of Richard by assassination appears to have been
habitually uppermost in Henry's mind.

However, the threatened invasion did not take place yet. Francis had other
work to turn his thoughts to. On the 12th of January, 1519, Emperor
Maximilian of Germany died, and the question arose, who was to be the next
Emperor. Charles, the youthful King of Spain, was a candidate, and Francis
of France resolved to enter the lists against him. He considered himself
to have a fair chance. He seems to have counted even on Henry's support;
but Henry, it turned out, cherished ill-founded hopes of being himself
elected, and fought in a half-hearted way for his own hand. Francis,
however, spared no pains in his canvass. He bribed and coaxed and promised
all round, and indeed only very narrowly missed the election. At the last
moment the Elector of Saxony left him in the lurch, just as, nearly three
centuries after, that Elector's successor failed Napoleon at Leipzig,
going over to the other side. But for that defection Francis would of a
surety have been elected Emperor. One of the promises which Francis had
rashly made, was this: "_Si je suis élu, trois ans après l'élection, je
jure que je serai à Constantinople ou je serai mort_." At the very last
stage of the proceedings he despatched Richard de la Pole as a
confidential envoy to Prague, where the Electoral College was sitting, to
further his candidature. In the National Library at Paris a manuscript
letter is still preserved containing the king's instructions. However,
Richard arrived too late.

In the same year--1519--"Blanche Rose" found himself compelled to change
his quarters a second time. Claude Baudoche "_vouloit r'avoir ses
maisons_." The dean and chapter of Metz signalised their goodwill towards
the guest of their city by making over to him for life, at a nominal rent
of 10 _sols messins_ per annum, their old mansion, called "la Haulte
Pierre," occupying the commanding site on which now stands the Palais de
Justice. In all probability, the handsome esplanade now leading up to that
building did not at that time exist, nor yet perhaps the splendid terrace
facing the Moselle and St. Quentin. But at all times the situation must
have been unique. The reason why the house was let so cheap was, that it
was then in an utterly dilapidated condition, and the tenant undertook
thoroughly to repair it. He did better, as the chapter remembered to his
credit after his death. At a heavy cost--he spent 2000 gold florins upon
it in one year--he rebuilt it from top to bottom in magnificent style.
That mansion does not now survive. It was pulled down in 1776 to make
room for the present structure, more useful though less showy, in which
are housed the provincial law-courts.

While still in "la Rue de la Grande Maison"--the Rue de
l'Esplanade--Richard de la Pole got entangled in a little love intrigue,
which caused a tremendous commotion in the town, and led him into serious
trouble. Metz was rather famed in those days for its goldsmiths. The Rue
Fournirue--still interesting--was full of them. One of these artisans,
named Nicolas Sébille, had a young wife, whom Vigneulles describes as
"_une des belles jonnes femmes, qui fut point en la cité de Metz, haulte,
droite et élancée et blanche comme la neige_." To this beautiful young
woman's heart Richard successfully laid siege. She came to see him at his
house, which was conveniently near. The conquest does not appear to have
cost him much persuasion. Evidently Madame Sébille was as hotly smitten
with him as he was with her. To be able to carry on his little amour with
the greater freedom, he gave the unsuspecting husband an order for some
very costly and elaborate goldsmith's work, necessitating one or two
journeys to Paris, the expense of which Richard was quite content to pay.
While the husband was away "_celle belle Sébille_" went "_aulcunes fois
bancqueter et faire la bonne chière en l'ostel du dit duc_," so much so
that the city began to talk. The duke, for the safety of his lady-love,
employed a certain hosier named Mangenat to escort her and watch the
streets. Mangenat was in one sense admirably fitted for this office--for
he was a stalwart bully, who soon became the terror of all the
neighbourhood. Like the German and French police in these days, he
suspected a spy or an enemy in every person he met, and struck and mauled
a good many harmless creatures. That caused additional scandal; and as
there was no police to maintain peace and order, the neighbours, after
complaining a good deal, took the law into their own hand, and one fine
night, early in September, turned out in force to lynch Mangenat. Richard
had by that time removed to "Haulte Pierre," and there was therefore a
considerable distance to cover between his house and the Rue Fournirue.
The neighbours were firmly resolved to turn Mangenat into a "_corps sans
âme_." Mangenat, however, managed to elude them. The neighbours then laid
their plaint before the Thirteen. Madame Sébille, fearing her husband's
wrath, resolutely packed up her clothes and jewels and other belongings,
and with them also her husband's money, and transferred herself with these
possessions to the "Haulte Pierre." This made matters still worse,
especially when Nicolas returned home and set a-clamouring for his money
and his wife. Watching for "Blanche Rose," he caught him one day in the
Rue Fournirue, and very nearly did for him. On Sunday, the 16th of
September, he demonstratively took up his position, fully armed with sword
and hallebarde, at the cathedral door, intending to knock Richard's life
out of him in the sacred place. Richard was warned, and wisely kept out of
the way. However, as Nicolas tried to raise a popular tumult, on the
ground that an outraged plebeian could obtain no legal redress from the
patrician court--"_l'aristocratie_," says M. des Robert, "_fut tout
puissante_"--the Thirteen could ignore the case no longer. With some
difficulty they persuaded "the duke" to let Madame Sébille go. He agreed
to this only on the distinct understanding that Nicolas "_ne lui_ [that
is, his wife] _ne reprochait en rien sa conduite, ni ne la baittroit, ni
ne lui diroit parole qui l'en puist desplaire, si non que leur débast ou
huttin vint pour aultre chose_." This undertaking having been given--by
the Thirteen--Madame Sébille was brought before the court under protection
of a strong armed escort, consisting of notable chevaliers. Of course
Nicolas would in no wise agree to the terms proposed. And so the
Thirteen--it is interesting to learn how these cases were dealt with in
those early days--kept his wife in their own charge, lodging her very
fitly in the council-room of the "Seven of War," and supplying her with
good food and drink at the expense of the town. Thereupon Nicolas, as he
could not obtain redress as a citizen of Metz, migrated to Thionville,
became a burgess of that town and then--as he was entitled to do in those
days--levied war in person on the man who had wronged him. He bribed "_Des
Allemans_" to waylay and kidnap or kill Richard, just as the two English
Henrys had done. Richard, being a little bit frightened, sought refuge in
the chateau of Ennery, belonging to Signor Nicolle de Heu. (This fact was
promptly reported to Henry.) Here, Vigneulles says, Richard meant to
"_passer mélancolie et passer son dueil_." However, Sébille's "_Allemans_"
found him out, and one day very nearly captured him. So "Blanche Rose"
thought it prudent to seek safer quarters. He found them at Toul. Nicolas
does not appear to have followed him so far, nor to have troubled himself
much further about his faithless wife. This put the Thirteen in a fix.
They had the lady on their hands, and were sorely puzzled what to do with
her. Nicolas would not have her on any account, and could not at
Thionville be made to take her; and restore her to Richard they in
propriety could not. After much deliberation, having detained her a full
fortnight at public expense, they cut the knot to their own satisfaction
by handing Madame Sébille over to her brother, one Gaudin, a butcher, who
was to take care of her. Gaudin gave her in charge to an old woman selling
wax candles. Madame Sébille was under strict injunction not to leave the
city. But who could expect her to observe that command? Anyhow, one fire
morning, pretending that she had a pilgrimage to perform to "St. Trottin,"
she made her way outside the city gates disguised as a _vendangeresse_,
with a basket by her side and a sickle in her hand. Outside the walls she
was met by friends who at once put her into a page's clothes, in which, of
course, she marched as straight as she could to Toul, and joined "Blanche
Rose," to her swain's delight as well as her own. Richard had once more
"_ne dédaigné de risquer un peu de honte contre beaucoup de plaisir_." He
and his lady-love were now outside the jurisdiction of the Thirteen, and
might therefore consider themselves safe. But upon the abettors of the
lady's flight the magistrates visited their share in the offence with all
the greater rigour. Notwithstanding Richard's earnest interposition, they
heavily fined and banished them. Thus ends the story of Richard's amour;
for what became of Madame Sébille afterwards, neither history nor
tradition records. She was not allowed to enjoy the company of her knight
long; for stirring events were in train, which required his presence
elsewhere.

In 1521 a powerful alliance of European States was formed against Francis
I., designed to humble the victor of Marignano. It comprised the Emperor,
the Pope, the King of England, Florence, Venice, and Genoa. In 1522
England invaded Picardy and Flanders. That put an end to the treaty
engagements of 1514, and made Richard's services allowable as well as
needful to the French king. Indeed "Blanche Rose" did not wait to be
summoned. The State papers and other official publications of that period
relate how busy he was plotting against England and Scotland. King Francis
took a delight in parading his partiality for the Duke of Albany and the
"Duke of Suffolk." He rode in public with one of them on one side and one
on the other. He slapped Richard on the back and said in the hearing of
the Court: "My Lord of Suffolk, I will set you in England with 40,000 men
within few days." He proposed a marriage for Richard with the daughter of
the Duke of Holstein, and planned sundry invasions of England which,
happily, did not come off. But Richard joined the French army under Guise
and Vendôme, and fought against his countrymen in Picardy. There he raised
a corps of 2,000 men on his own authority, and led this welcome
reinforcement to Francis at St. Jean de Moustiers. In 1524 he accompanied
Albany into Scotland, without, however, doing much hurt. But he greatly
frightened Henry's officers. We find Fitzwilliam writing to Wolsey, urging
him, in face of "his wretched traitor" being in the field, to "hasten over
some men to give courage to the Flemings."

Then came the campaign which led to the catastrophe of Pavia. Richard
joined the French army at Marseilles, and was, in company with Francis of
Lorraine, placed at the head of his old corps the German _lansquenets_,
who were delighted to fight under so practised and trusted a leader. They
were 6,000 at the beginning of the campaign, pitted against a larger
number of their own brethren under Frundsberg, in the Emperor's service.
On St. Matthias Day, in 1525, the battle of Pavia was fought, which lost
Francis his liberty. Francis, as usual, showed no want of dash, but a
lamentable lack of prudence. Mistaking the enemy's retreat, under the fire
of his guns, for a settled defeat, he sent his infantry after them,
placing the bulk of his army between the foe and his own artillery. The
allies were not slow to turn this false move to account. Charging back
upon their foes, they overwhelmed them with superior numbers. That lost
the French the day. Richard's _lansquenets_ did their best to retrieve the
error. Having knelt down, as their manner was, and thrown dust behind
them, they rushed, singing their familiar war-songs, into the fray with an
impetus which promised to break the hostile ranks. "Had but the Switzers
fought like the _lansquenets_," Francis said after the battle, "the day
would have been ours." But the odds were too many against them. They were
met by their own fellow-_lansquenets_--each side being furious with the
other. The German men were wroth at seeing their comrades on the other
side, fighting against their own country--the French at seeing their
brother-soldiers desert so faithful an employer as Francis. So no quarter
was given on either side. And the French _lansquenets_--they had lost
one-fourth of their number before the charge began--being wedged in
between a superior force of Germans closing in on either side, were simply
crushed as between two millstones. The list of killed was long--and
brilliant. Among the slain were the two captains of the _lansquenets_,
Francis of Lorraine and Richard de la Pole. The latter had--as a painting
preserved in the Ashmolean Museum indicates--died protecting Francis with
his sword. He was found buried under "_un monceau_" of dead enemies
against whom he had fought. There was loud rejoicing in the camp of the
allies. It was given out that "three kings" had been taken or
killed--Francis, the unfortunate King of Navarre, and, "to make up the
trinity of kings," says a despatch addressed to Wolsey, "La Rose Blanche,
whom they call the King of Scots." Appended to the curious despatch which
Frundsberg forwarded to the Emperor, giving a report of the battle--the
oldest record extant--is a drawing, showing three crowned knights, fancy
portraits of the "kings."

One is prepared to find Henry VIII. ordering a triumph, and congratulating
himself upon his happy riddance from a rival who had been more of a thorn
in his side than the present generation is probably aware. But it does
seem small to read, in the State Papers, of one of Henry's tools begging
from Wolsey the king's authority for seizing "some goods of no great
amount" that Richard had left at Metz.

The French were far more chivalrous in their treatment of the dead
warrior. We read in Camden that "for his singular valour" his very enemy,
the Duke of Bourbon, "honoured his remains with splendid obsequies, and
attended in person as one of the chief mourners." Francis expressed his
attachment to the fallen, and his indebtedness to him for brilliant
services. "_La France_," says Gaillard, "_perdit en lui un allié utile,
qui la servit efficacement et sans rien exiger d'elle_." Considering that
he was an English subject, that may sound questionable praise. But though
he may have shown too great willingness to avail himself of the excuse, it
should be borne in mind that it was England's kings who first drove him
into treason.

The chapter of Metz, grateful for Richard's liberality, passed the
following "resolution"--as we should say--founding a mass for the repose
of their benefactor's soul: "Aprilis anno Domini 1525 in conflictu apud
Paviensem civitatem quo tunc Franciscus Gallorum rex per exercitum
Romanorum imperatoris captus et Hispaniam captivus ductus extituit,
habito, obiit quondam illuster Richardus dux de Suffolk qui domum nostram
dictam à la Haute Pierre sibi ante per nos ad vitam locatam obtinens valde
somptuose restauravit, unde statuimus nunc anniversarium quotannum
Ecclesiâ nostrâ pro salute animæ suæ perpetuo celebrari."

That mass ought, of course, to be read still. However, deans and chapters
have as little respect for "pious founders"--though these be their own
predecessors--as British Parliaments in democratic days. Consequently, the
ecclesiastical function has long since been discontinued.

Apart from Richard's death, Henry did not find himself much of a gainer by
the victory of Pavia. He had contributed nothing directly to the battle,
and Charles V. accordingly would concede him none of the spoils. On the
contrary, grasping monarch that he was, under cover of a marriage-portion
to be given to Henry's daughter, he asked for a subsidy of 600,000 ducats.
We need not be surprised to find Henry shortly after concluding a treaty
with France, which secured him two millions of crowns.

One more notice we have of Richard de la Pole, the last of his race.
Describing Pavia, as he found it in 1594, Fynes Moryson says: "Neere that
(the castle) is the Church of St. Austine; there I did reade this
inscription, written in Latin upon another sepulchre:--The French King
Francis I. being taken by Cæsar's army neere Pavia, the 24th of February,
in the yeere 1525, among other lords, these were slaine: Francis Duke of
Lorayne, Richard de la Pole, Englishman and Duke of Suffolk, banished by
his tyrant King Henry VIII. At last Charles Parker of Morley, kinseman of
the said Richard, banished out of England for the Catholike faith by
Queene Elizabeth, and made Bishop here by the bounty of Philip, King of
Spain, did out of his small means erect this monument to him."

This is the last memorial of a life which created not a little stir in its
day, and might under more favourable circumstances have been made signally
serviceable to Richard's own country. Even that last memorial has probably
now disappeared. But still "White Rose" may fairly claim a place at any
rate in the lighter records of English history.



III.--THE EARLY ANCESTORS OF OUR QUEEN.[5]


Thanks to Cook, thanks to our all-reporting newspaper-press, and thanks,
not least, to our truly Athenian craving continually for "some new thing,"
Ammergau has become almost a household word among us. Everybody has heard
of its "Passion Play." Every tenth year sees Britons rushing in shoals to
the picturesque banks of the Ammer, to witness there, while it may be
witnessed, the last surviving specimen of that popular religious drama
which in bygone times helped the Church so materially, and over so wide an
area, to impress her truths upon men's minds. But I question, if among all
those thousands of sight-seeing Britons, who gather as interested
spectators, there are many who realize in what very close relation that
same little valley stands to the early fortunes of the ancient House whose
Head now occupies our Throne. How many, indeed, among us can be said to
know very much at all about that family? And yet the history of that race
ought to be of some interest to us. In these latter days it has become
intertwined with the history of our own nation. It is marked by striking
contrasts of ups and downs, at one time leading the Guelphs on a rapid
triumphal progress up to the very steps of the Imperial Throne, then again
dropping them down to the obscure level of paltry insignificance. It tells
of a race endowed with a strong individuality--manly, chivalrous,
generous; but generally also headstrong and reckless. It is interwoven
with pathetic legend. Its early beginnings are lost in the dim haze of a
prehistoric age. Its latter end has not yet come. There is no dynasty now
surviving equally ancient--there is but one which can join in the boast
which up to a few decades ago the Guelphs could make:--that on the throne
on which it was planted centuries ago it has retained its hold to the
present generation. That other dynasty is the family, Slav by descent, of
the Obotrite Grand Dukes of Mecklenburg--the same race whom our Alfred the
Great speaks of as "Apdrede." The present grand dukes are the direct
descendants of that terrible Prince Niklot, of the twelfth century, whom
among German princes only the Guelph, Henry the Lion, was found strong
enough to subdue. But before Bodrician Niklot had mounted his barbarian
throne, Henry the Generous had already been installed as chief over
Lüneburg--the principality over which his family continued to rule down to
1866, when the cruel Fortune of War decided against its last Guelph chief.
In the adjoining Duchy of Brunswick, over which, as forming part of
ancient Saxony, the Guelphs were set as heads in 1127, the family
continued to hold sway till 1884, when Death removed the last scion of
their older line, in the person of the late Duke of Brunswick. The Guelph
pedigree, however, goes very much farther back than the time of Henry.
Long even before Guelph Odoacer, at the head of his Teuton hordes,
dethroned that caricature of an Emperor, Romulus Augustulus, there were
Guelph "Agilolfings" leading to battle, as trusted chiefs, their own
Scyrian tribes. What the later history of the family might have been, if
to its constitutional valour and generosity had been joined the less
showy, but far more useful, qualities of prudence and judgment, we may
now, by the light of past events, readily conjecture. The Guelphs were in
Henry's day by far the strongest dynasty in Germany--at a period when for
the Imperial throne above all things a strong dynasty was needed. Had
Germany elected Henry the Generous as Emperor, as everybody expected that
she would, the Guelphs might still be wearing the crown of Charlemagne,
and Germany might have a different tale to tell, both of her past
experiences and of her present position. For it deserves to be noticed
that all the troubles which came upon the Empire, by minute subdivision of
its territory, and by the setting up of "opposition emperors," sprang
directly and demonstrably from contests provoked with the Guelphs. It was
Henry IV.'s resistance to Welf IV. that led to the multiplication of
vassal crowns, which subsequently became a curse to Germany. It was the
Powers pledged to the support of the Guelphs--most notably the Popes and
our Coeur-de-Lion--who put forward those troublesome "opposition
emperors," the forerunners and direct cause of the ruinous
Interregnum--"die kaiserlose, die schreckliche Zeit"--and by such means of
the political prostration of the country enduring through centuries.

But our interest, in England, lies more with the Guelphs than with
Germany. One cannot help sympathizing with a race which, being evidently
designed for greatness, advanced towards it with giant strides, only to
find the prize at which it ambitiously grasped snatched from its hand in
the very moment of seeming attainment.

Of the very early history of the Guelphs we have fairly definite, but only
very fragmentary, information. They were leaders of the Scyri, we learn--a
Teuton race of the Semnone family, mentioned by Pliny, by Zosimus, and by
Jornandes--who poured over Germany, in the days of Valentinian, along with
hosts of other German tribes, and who, having been all but exterminated by
the Goths, united with some other septs of the same family, the Rugii, the
Heruli, the Turcilingi, to form a composite nation which, for convenience,
adopted the common name of Bajuvarii. Bavarians accordingly the Guelphs
originally were, as the historian Theganus is careful to point out--not
Swabians, as German historians have often named them; Bavarians, as seems
to be evidenced, among other things, by the dark features and black hair
which for a long time distinguished them--more especially from their
opponents of a full century, the fair-haired and light-complexioned
Hohenstaufens. Of the confederate Bajuvarii, the Agilolfings or Guelphs
still continued chiefs. Under a Guelph, Eticho--whom Priscus Rhetor
praises as a man of exceptional capacity and high character--we find the
nation attaching themselves as auxiliaries to the host of Attila, and
rendering the Hunnish king signal service. Eticho was by no means a mere
rough warrior. He fully appreciated Roman culture and civilization--which
led the eunuch, Chrysaphas, to propose to him the murder of his chief. The
honest Guelph rejected such suggestion with scorn. From the midst of the
Bajuvarii went forth the Guelph Odoacer on his march to Rome. The
Bajuvarii were then settled on the banks of the Danube--roughly speaking
in what is now Austria, _plus_ Bavaria and the Tyrol. Hence we find the
earliest known seats of the Guelphs in the Bavarian Highlands. Ammergau
was theirs, and Hohenschwangau was one of their earliest castles, founded,
indeed, by a Guelph. When, after a revolt of the Rugii--which was
successfully suppressed by Odoacer--some of the allied tribes dispersed,
to seek new homes in the tempting districts on the banks of the Ens and
around the lake of Constance--both at the time sorely devastated and
depopulated by the Goths--the Guelphs, without giving up their old seats,
accompanied their men. And thus it came about that the earliest castle
which we hear of as having been built by the Guelphs is supposed to have
stood in Thurgau, of which country the Guelphs subsequently became Counts.
This is all mere inference; but as such it seems legitimate. For the
monastery of Rheinau is known to have been founded by a Guelph. And such
monasteries were never built far away from the founder's stronghold. Hence
the Guelphs' connection with the Black Forest, of which the Guelph St.
Conrad is the venerated patron saint; and hence their connection with
Alsace, of which they were long Counts--such powerful Counts that Pepin
the Short judged it advisable to reduce them to the position of removable
governors--_missi cameræ_. [S. Odilia, the patron saint of Alsace, whose
name is a household word among her own countrymen, and about whom Goethe
grew enthusiastic, was an undoubted Guelph.] Hence, also, their connection
with the whilom country of the Burgundians, among the nobles of which land
we find a Guelph chief, in 605, standing up manfully against the
aggressive usurpations of Protadius, a Frankish major-domo, and acting as
spokesman.

As _missi cameræ_ the Guelphs had a serious brush with the Church--the
only tiff, practically speaking, which ever occurred between them and
Rome. Of this quarrel, in which the Guelphs were probably in the right, we
find a tradition kept up for some centuries. The Abbot of St. Gall figured
in those days in Germany as the exact counterpart to the rich and grasping
"Abbot of Canterbury" of our ballad. For some pilfering of crown lands the
Guelph Warin, as a conscientious _missus cameræ_, had Abbot Othmar
imprisoned, which brought about the Abbot's death. Rome at once canonized
her "martyr," and exacted heavy retribution from his "persecutors," not
merely in the shape of severe penances and the foundation of masses, but
by the more substantial satisfaction of large transfers of landed estates
to the injured abbey--Affeltangen and Wiesendangen, and I know not how
many properties more, till even to the pious Guelphs the demands appeared
to grow beyond all measure of reason. It is true, they recouped themselves
elsewhere--_quod si cui minus credibile videatur_, say the monkish
chroniclers--"which, if to any it appear a little incredible, let him read
the ancient histories, and he will find nearly all their territories to
have been violently taken and held by them of others."

It is with Warin's son Isembart, living in the time of Charlemagne, that
the better known history of the Guelphs begins. He was the hero of that
ridiculous fable about the "pups," which has been invented to explain
their adoption of their peculiar name. Isembart's wife Irmentrude, it is
said, having uncharitably reproached a poor beggarwoman for having borne
triplets--which she held to be a proof of unfaithful conduct towards her
husband--was punished for her gratuitous accusation by being herself made
to bear at one birth, not three sons, but twelve. To screen herself from
the same reproach which she had unkindly fastened upon the beggar, she hit
upon the rather inept device of having eleven of those newly-born sons
drowned as supposed "whelps." The twelfth she kept--and he is said to have
become "Welf," the founder of the race. The other eleven were happily
rescued by their father, who came up just in time to save them. Ten of
them lived to become founders of princely houses. The eleventh became a
bishop. One of them is said to have been Thassilo, the reputed ancestor of
the Hohenzollerns. The real meaning of all this legend obviously is that,
by survival and intermarriage with other illustrious families of Europe,
the Guelphs have in course of time become, in a sense, the parent of most
reigning lines--Zähringens, Hapsburgs, Hohenzollerns, Capets, Bourbons,
and the rest of them.

The fable of children being sent to be drowned as "whelps"--and in every
instance happily rescued--is, as it happens, by no means peculiar to the
Guelphs. It occurs in the Black Forest, in connection with a family
bearing the name of "Hund." It occurs in Lower Lorraine in that pretty
_trouvère_ legend recording the doings of "Helias," the "Chevalier au
Cygne," whom we moderns know as "Lohengrin." It is interesting to note
that, along with that fable, Guelph tradition in Bavaria shares with the
tradition of Lorraine the far more attractive and poetical myth of an
enchanted swan--the swan, in fact, of "Lohengrin"--a bird specifically
emblematizing purity--whence the extinct "Order of the Swan" of the
Margraves of Brandenburg. That order was an aristocratic "Social Purity
League," which Frederick William IV. would gladly have revived, could he
but have found sufficient candidates for it among his nobility. But his
proposal met with very scanty support. Hence, also, the equally ancient
"Order of the Swan" of Cleves, having a like object.

As regards the "whelps" of the Guelphs, the existence of very different
and contradictory versions helps to show what a made-up story the whole
legend is. The only authority for it is the monk Bucelinus, who himself
quotes no more ancient source. And he is said to have invented it for the
mere purpose of showing off his monkish Latin, in order to deduce from the
Latin word for "whelp"--_catulus_--an imaginary descent, supposed to be
complimentary, from a fabulous Roman senator "Catilina," and through him
from the ancient Trojan kings. In opposition to this, it is a fact that
there were "Welfs" long before Isembart. The name Guelph, therefore, could
not have been first suggested by Irmentrude's unsuccessful stratagem.
Isembart lived in the ninth century. But, as early as the fifth, Odoacer
had a brother named "Welf." "Welf" and "Eticho" were, in fact, the two
traditional names of the family, from prehistoric days downward. Sir
Andrew Halliday's suggestion, that the name may have been first taken from
an ensign which the Guelphs are supposed to have borne in battle, is
equally wide of the mark. For that ensign, we know, from the Agilolfings
down to the Hanovers, never was a "whelp" at all, but a "lion." In truth
the name "Welf" has nothing whatever to do with "whelp," but is derived
from "hwelpe," "huelfe"--help. As Eticho means "hero," so Welf means
"helper"--_auxiliator_. The popular Latin rendering for it in olden days
was "Bonifacius." "Salvator" would be a more exact rendering, but would
obviously be liable to misinterpretation. In confirmation of this theory,
we find that, migrating into Italy about Charlemagne's time, a Guelph, on
becoming Count of Lucca, as a matter of course assumes the name of
"Bonifacius." And in his line, for further confirmation, we observe the
same peculiarity which marks the Guelphs, that is, the naming of all sons
of the family, without distinction, by the style of "Count"--a practice
altogether unknown in those days among other families.

So much for the name and origin of the Guelphs. Now I must ask the reader
to return with me to Ammergau, which is peculiarly sacred to the memory of
Eticho, styled the Second, who was probably the son of Isembart. Eticho
lived in the days of Emperor Lewis the Pious, who in second nuptials
married the Guelph's sister Judith. The birth, by Judith, of little
Charles--who became "Charles the Bald"--gave rise to that unnatural war
between Lewis and his three elder sons, in the course of which alike
Judith and two of her brothers were imprisoned in Tortona, from which
place of confinement Bonifacius II. of Lucca, marching to their relief,
avowedly as a kinsman, loyally rescued them. Eticho's daughter, Lucardis,
again married an emperor, Arnulf of Carinthia--of whom Carlyle need not
have spoken quite so unkindly, as of a "Carolingian Bastard," seeing that
he made a far better ruler than any of his legitimate kinsmen of his own
time. Thanks to Lucardis it was that Eticho was driven to seek a refuge,
as a hermit, in the wild seclusion of Ammergau. He went there to mourn,
with twelve chosen companions, the loss of Guelph independence, which his
son Henry, so he thought, had at the instigation of his sister
ingloriously bartered away for a "mess of pottage"--a pretty substantial
one, it must be owned. In truth, Henry did exceedingly well for his house.
This is how the Saxon Annalist relates the story:--Henry, ambitious for
wealth and power, agreed to swear fealty to the Emperor, if in return, in
addition to his own lands, he were given in fee as much territory as he
could drive around with a car, or else with a plough--on that point the
versions differ--in the time between sunrise and the conclusion of the
Emperor's afternoon nap. Arnulf thought the bargain a cheap one for
himself. However, Henry had stationed relays of the swiftest horses that
he could procure at various points, and with their help he raced round the
coveted territory with such marvellous speed that--having started from the
Lech--by the time when the Emperor awoke he had actually reached the Isar.
The Emperor was just beginning to move restlessly in his chair and to show
signs of returning consciousness, when Henry arrived at the foot of a
mountain which he had designed as the extreme limit of his new
possessions. If his mare would but last out the journey, one brisk gallop
would carry him to the appointed goal. Unfortunately, the mare refused--in
consequence of which, for many centuries the Guelphs would not mount a
mare. The hill which Henry thus narrowly failed to obtain still goes by
the name of Mährenberg, the "Mare's mountain." Arnulf considered that he
had been "done." But, having pledged his word, he held himself bound.
Eticho, grieved, mourned out his life in his hermit's cell in Ammergau.
Henry--who was after his adventure named _Heinricus cum aureo curru_--does
not appear to have made any particular effort to propitiate his father.
But when the old man was dead, he carried his remains with great pomp and
show to the monastery of Altomünster, very near his own new seat of
Altorf, where he raised a gorgeous tomb to Eticho's memory, at which
Guelph chiefs made it a practice to kneel for generations after, thus
evidencing their respect for an ancestor who came to be looked upon as
specifically the champion of independence. The homage paid became a cult;
and in Ammergau shortly after rose up, where Eticho's cell had stood, a
wooden memorial church, to be replaced, in 1350, by a much larger
monastery, built at the expense of Emperor Lewis the Bavarian, a
descendant of Eticho. The monastery is still known as "Ettal"--that is,
"Eticho's Thal," "Etichonis vallis."

Altomünster, I may mention in passing, was the "Minster" supposed to have
been founded by S. Alto, a Scottish saint, the companion and disciple of
S. Boniface, who managed, like Moses, to make a hard rock give forth a
spring of rushing water by striking it with his staff. The spring still
flows; and, as it was specially blessed by S. Boniface, its water is no
doubt entitled to the peculiar veneration in which it is held to the
present day.

From their new seat at Altorf, up to the death of Welf III., the Guelphs
continued to take their name. They were specifically "the Guelphs of
Altorf." While there, they managed to better their fortune not a little.
It was a rough neighbourhood then, with nothing but forest all round,
forest spreading out for miles, stocked with wolves, and bears, and all
manner of game. To the present day some thirteen thousand acres remain
under timber. There are plenty of dales, and caves, and peaks, and the
like, in the district, which have given rise to an innumerable host of
legends. One of Henry's sons was that excellent Bishop Conrad, who became
the family saint _par excellence_, and who first inaugurated the
traditional friendship with Rome. Welf II., feeling his power growing,
ventured to break a lance with the Emperor, in support of his friend
Ernest of Swabia, whose Burgundian possessions--very large ones--the
Emperor had wrongfully seized. It did no good to Ernest. But it taught the
Emperor that the Guelphs had become a power to be reckoned with--a power
with whom it was advisable to stand well. And accordingly we find the next
Emperor, Henry III., with a view to propitiating the succeeding Guelph,
Welf III., preferring him to the dukedom of Carinthia, which was a very
important office in those days--Carinthia being a frontier march, and
embracing Verona and part of Venetia. So great was the importance attached
to this position that for seven years Henry had, for want of a
sufficiently strong candidate, advisedly kept it open. Welf took the
Duchy--and then pursued his own course, defying the Emperor at Roncaglia,
and refusing to render him service--which was politic and, according to
the notions of his day, not dishonest.

Welf III. was the last Guelph of the male line. After him we find the
Guelphs of the female branch succeeding to the family honours--the
"Guelphs of Ravensburg," as they were fond of styling themselves. These
are the Guelphs from whom our Queen is descended. To what extent the
family had added to their estate while settled at Altorf came to be seen
when, in 1055, Welf III. died. The possessions which he left embraced a
good bit of Alemannia, the greater half of Bavaria (which then included
the present Austria), the larger part of the Tyrol, and a tidy slice of
Northern Italy. It is no wonder that "Mother Church," always alive to
temporal opportunities, cast her eyes a little longingly on so fair an
estate, and, in default of a male heir, demanded it for herself. But there
was a Guelph beforehand with her--Welf IV., the son of Chuniza, the sister
of Welf III., by her marriage with Azzo (a direct descendant of the Guelph
Bonifacius). Welf IV. proved himself a particularly strong and able
ruler--_vir armis strenuus, concilio providus, sapientia tam forensi quam
civili præditus_, the monkish chroniclers style him. Hence his surname,
which he well deserved--"the Strong." By his accession he added to the
family territories those valuable estates in Italy which for a long period
made his family one of the most wealthy in Europe. For Azzo was reputed
the richest and one of the most powerful _marchiones_ of Italy. Welf's
younger brother was Hugo, the first of the family to take the name of
Este, who became the founder of a race which has been held particularly
noble. Welf IV. secured his family other gains. Man of war that he was,
the Emperor Henry IV. was thankful to have him for a supporter in his
struggles with the rebellious Saxons, before whom the Swabian companies
had recoiled. At the battle of the Unstrut Welf completely shattered their
power, and thereby secured to Henry for a time the peaceful possession of
his purple--and for himself, as a reward, the Dukedom of Bavaria. That
office was worth even more than the Dukedom of Carinthia. For at that time
Germany owned but four regular dukes, representing severally the four
principal tribes which made up the nation. And with those four dukes,
under the Emperor, rested, in the main, the power in the Empire.

Following in the footsteps of his uncle, we find Welf IV. drawing closer
the links which connected him with Swabia, while correspondingly loosening
his proprietary relations with Bavaria, and in token of such policy fixing
his residence in pretty Ravensburg. The reason evidently was, that the
laws of Swabia conceded to vassal lords more extensive rights than did the
laws of Bavaria. Accordingly, we find Henry the Generous, when
dispossessed of his duchy by Conrad III., appealing specifically to the
laws of Swabia against the Emperor's monstrously unfair judgment. But,
apart from that political reason, Ravensburg was also no doubt more
attractive on the score of its pleasant situation and its delightful
surroundings. You may identify both sites, when sailing down the lake of
Constance, among that picturesquely outlined cluster of hills, on which
your eye is sure to rest instinctively--the hills rising on the northern
bank, in the very face of the tall Alps of Appenzell, among which the
lopsided Säntis is particularly conspicuous. From Ravensburg both the lake
and the Alps are clearly visible, and, moreover, a charming landscape
nearer than either, with that pretty Schussenthal right in front, and a
multitude of rocky peaks dotted about the forest, alternating with shady
dales, smiling fields, and lush meadows. Of the castle there is now but a
crumbling weather-worn old gateway left. The town still exists, and
flourishes after a fashion--consisting of a group of quaint, picturesque,
out-of-date houses, looking for all the world like a piece of grey
antiquity recalled to life. At Ravensburg used to be stored the Archives
of the Guelph family. A valuable and interesting collection they must have
been. What has become of them nobody knows. They may have been destroyed
by fire. They may, with heaps of other precious material for history, have
been carried to greedy Vienna, to be there preserved as so much lumber.

During Welf IV.'s reign happened that historic conflict between Church and
State, Pope Hildebrand and Henry IV. of Germany, for his share in which
Henry has been censured a good deal more than in justice he deserves.
Really, in going to Canossa, the Emperor did--so far as his intention was
concerned--a very prudent thing. The German princes had bluntly informed
him that while he remained at feud with the Pope, he would look for their
obedience in vain. With the Pope, accordingly, Henry strove to set himself
right. Could he certainly foresee that, urged on by the malignant Countess
Matilda, Gregory would take advantage of his duress, while he was
literally hemmed in between two outer walls of the castle, to force upon
him so bitter a cup of humiliation? Matilda was a Guelph--destined to play
a very important part in Guelph history. Welf IV. was her near kinsman,
and had, moreover, become a zealous supporter of the Pope. Therefore we
can scarcely wonder at finding him with Hildebrand and Matilda at Canossa,
witnessing his chief's degradation. We can not wonder, either, at finding
Welf, when Henry had once more fallen out with the Pope, commanding the
rebel forces raised to support the "opposition Emperor," Rudolph of
Swabia. And, being a Guelph, it is no wonder that he should have taken
advantage of the opportunity of his victory, to extort from the Emperor
terms materially benefiting his own house--namely, the recognition of his
private property in Swabia as held directly from the Emperor, and--which
was more important--the recognition of his Bavarian dukedom as hereditary
in his family. How great was the power wielded at that period in Germany
by this early Guelph prince, is evident from the fact that after his
conclusion of a separate peace with the Emperor the opposition practically
collapsed, and Hermann, the new "opposition emperor," found himself almost
without support. Welf IV., I ought to mention, was the first Guelph to
connect his family in a manner with our island. He married Judith, the
daughter of Count Baldwin of Flanders, and the widow of Tostig, King of
Northumberland, the son of Earl Godwine, of Kent, and brother of the
unfortunate King Harold. Leaving Judith at home with the two sons whom she
had borne him, Welf and Henry, Welf IV. started in 1098, at an advanced
age, on a crusade to the Holy Land, which he successfully accomplished.
But on his return home he was struck down by a fatal illness, which
overtook him in the island of Cyprus.

This brings us down to the time of a tragic little incident which has
furnished the subject for the favourite family legend of the Guelphs. At
the time of their father's death both Welf and Henry were mere boys, left
in charge of a good monk, Kuno, a Benedictine of Weingarten. Considering
how important a part Weingarten has played in Guelph history--that its
monks have become the carefully minute but provokingly inaccurate
chroniclers of the Guelph family--and that, thanks to the pious liberality
of the late King of Hanover, in the Abbey church of Weingarten the
gathered bones of most of the early Guelph lords have found an honoured
resting-place, perhaps I ought to say just a word about that monastery. It
was Welf the Third's foundation, set up at a short distance only from
Ravensburg, on a site commanding a magnificent view of the country all
around, and was intended to provide accommodation for those pious monks,
originally of Altomünster, who had been twice, at very short intervals,
burnt out of Altorf. It still stands; its three towers form a conspicuous
landmark in the Schussengau; and to its shrine still are undertaken
pilgrimages from a wide circuit--a survival that from a worship of olden
days which was one of the great spectacles of the mediæval Church. Before
setting out for the Holy Land, Welf IV. entrusted to the monks of
Weingarten for safe keeping, a relic which was at the time held in far
more than ordinary esteem. It consisted of some drops of the Saviour's
blood, believed to be thoroughly genuine, and preserved, enclosed in a
costly vessel made of pure gold of Arabia and valued at three thousand
florins. There was a history to those drops. Pious inquirers have
ascertained that the name of the centurion who was present at the
Saviour's crucifixion, as the Gospel relates, was Longinus, and that he
was a native of Mantua. Seeing the precious drops trickling down, it is
said, he caught them up in a vessel, and, becoming converted by what he
witnessed, returned home to Mantua, still reverently carrying them with
him. He was in due time baptized, and became a missionary and a martyr.
For something like eight hundred years the Holy Blood remained buried in
his garden at Mantua. Then it was discovered by accident, only to be once
more concealed somewhere or other. But in 1049, when Pope Leo IX. happened
to be at Mantua, once more it came to light, to be instantly claimed by
the Pope on behalf of the Supreme See. The Mantuans objected; but in the
end Leo obtained, at any rate, part of the precious treasure. Of his share
he kept half. The other half he gave away to his friend the Emperor Henry
III., who, on his death, bequeathed it to Baldwin of Flanders, from whom,
in her turn, Judith got it--carrying it with her to Northumberland, and
then on to Ravensburg, where she dutifully made it over to her husband.
And when Welf started on his crusade, he, as observed, entrusted the relic
to the monastery of Weingarten. The monks knew well how to turn so
valuable a possession to account. The Good Friday ceremony of "Worshipping
the Sacred Blood" became one of the most frequented, most impressive, and
most honoured ceremonies of the Church. As many as thirty thousand people
have been known to flock to the place from all quarters, turning the
hillside into a huge pilgrim's camp, and contributing not a little to the
prosperity of the religious house. Under the circumstances, the monks
decided to restrict the attendance at the procession--which was the main
part of the ceremony--to horsemen only, whence the whole function came to
be popularly named "Der Blutritt." As many as fifteen thousand horsemen
are known to have joined in the monster cavalcade. At the head rode the
_Custos_ of the relic, a monk, holding up the Blood for adoration. He was
followed by a horseman doing duty for Longinus, clad as a Roman warrior,
bearing in his hand the supposed "sacred spear." After him marched a small
squad of other horsemen, representing Roman legionaries. Next followed a
goodly muster of Princes and Counts and Lords. And the rear was brought up
by a long file of mounted soldiers, contributed by the surrounding dozen
or so of petty principalities, all gay in their best uniforms, reflecting
in the variety of their dress the unhappy division of the Empire, and
joining lustily in the sacred song _Salvator Mundi_.

But we must now return to Ravensburg and young Welf. Not far off from
Ravensburg still stands, conspicuous upon its lofty hill, the old castle
of Waldburg, the cradle of the noble race of the Truchsesses of Waldburg,
who were at times rather a rough set. There is a story of one particularly
brusque Count who, having rallied the Abbot of Weingarten upon his
sumptuous living and soft raiment, and having been told in reply that such
things were far more creditable than riding about the country robbing and
stealing, promptly retorted with a vigorous box on the Abbot's ear--at the
Abbot's own table. The Count thereupon withdrew, but shortly after paid
the monastery an even more hostile visit, setting fire to the village and
burning it down to the ground. In punishment he was sentenced by the
Emperor to abstain for life from wearing a helmet. Hence the bare head and
flowing locks of the Knight of Waldburg, always to be seen in the thick of
the fray, which became a valued feature in the family escutcheon. But at
the time of which I am speaking the Waldburgs were thoroughly peaceable
folk. The particular knight of Welf's day had, as it happened, a lovely
daughter, just about two years younger than young Welf, who, of course,
fell desperately in love with Bertha, as in return Bertha did with him.
Hundreds of innocent little amatory interviews took place between the two,
either at Waldburg or else in the forest, with the full acquiescence of
Kuno, who saw nothing to object to in the proposed match. However, Kuno
died, and was in his guardianship replaced by a monk of a very different
character--Anthony, a schemer and intriguer--who would without doubt have
been a Jesuit, if the Order had been then established. To Welf's utter
dismay, this Anthony, one fine morning, informed his young charge that in
the interest alike of the Guelph family and of the Church he, a youth of
eighteen, must forthwith marry Gregory VIIth's friend, Matilda of Canossa,
Spoleto, &c., the persecutress of Henry IV., a Guelph herself, the widow
of Godfrey the Hunchback of Lorraine, very rich and very
powerful--_nobilissimi ac ditissimi marchionis Bonifacii filia_--but
mannish--_femina virilis animi_--accustomed to leading her own men in
battle, scheming, ugly, ill-tempered, and forty-three to boot. Hers were
splendid possessions--Parma, and Mantua, and Ferrara, and Spoleto, and
Reggio, and Lucca, and Tuscany. But all these riches were as nothing in
the eyes of Welf, who had made up his mind that he must marry Bertha, aged
sixteen, or no one. A little plot was quickly concocted, and one fine
night Welf, in disguise, might be seen slyly escorting Bertha, likewise in
disguise, and accompanied only by her private maid, Francisca, through the
forest down to Lindau, on the border of the lake, where a boat was in
readiness to bear the fugitives across to Constance. From that place, Welf
said--probably thinking of his mother's connections with our country--"we
will make our way straight to England, where a Guelph's arm and sword are
sure to be welcome and to find employment." The lake was reached, and the
oars splashed briskly over the smooth surface--when all of a sudden, at
half-way, over goes the boat, capsizing, and Bertha sinks down to the
bottom, to be seen no more. Diving, and swimming, and calling proved all
in vain. Thoroughly unhappy, indifferent to anything that might happen,
Welf consents to wed the elderly Matilda, with whom he settles down to
live at Spoleto, sullenly resigning himself to his fate. One day a nun
begs to be allowed to see him. She turns out to be Francisca, the maid,
driven by qualms of conscience to make a frank confession of a horrid
crime committed. Bribed by Monk Anthony, she said, she had on that
disastrous night drugged poor Bertha with a handkerchief--then, when she
was thoroughly drowsy, on the sly tied a stone to her feet--whereupon
Anthony, disguised as a boatman, had overturned the boat. Anthony had
told her that there was no sin in all this, it was an act _ad majorem Dei
gloriam_; but her conscience would leave her no peace. Next day, at her
own wish, Francisca was executed as a murderess, and Welf left his
wife--who turned out to have been a party to the conspiracy--in anger and
disgust, vowing to see her no more, and formally repudiating her before
long--_nescio quo interveniente divorcio_, says the monkish chronicler.

We have now reached the very eve of that brilliant period when the Guelphs
appeared to have risen, rapidly, high above other dynasties--only to sink
even more suddenly to a humble level of prosaic obscurity, on which they
were destined to continue for centuries. The records of that brief spell
of meteoric greatness read like a romance. The Guelphs were giants,
visibly overtopping all their contemporaries. Henry "the Great," Henry
"the Generous," Henry "the Lion"--their very names tell of vigour and
influence, of strength of character and striking individuality. Their
domains came to stretch from sea to sea, from the Northern Ocean, which we
call the German, to the Mediterranean--and breadthways across the whole
Continent of Germany, eastward into those still only half-explored Slav
regions in which dwelt the uncultured Bodricians and Luticzians, backed by
the Russians and the Poles. Even Denmark was in a state of dependence upon
them. And the Guelph Duchies represented a power almost superior to that
of the Empire. Had not Frederick Barbarossa been so very great a ruler, it
is said, Henry the Lion's realm would infallibly have either swallowed up
the rest of Germany or else have constituted itself a separate Empire.
Under Henry the Generous the Imperial Crown seemed to lie actually at the
feet of the Guelph dynasty. They need but have stooped a little to pick it
up. But stooping was the one thing which they could not bring themselves
to do. As a result they were jockeyed out of this prize just as their late
successor was the other day jockeyed out of his kingdom of Hanover.
Germany, it is to be feared, lost more by that shabby trick than did the
Guelphs. Under a race of heroes like those Henrys, with plenty of power of
their own at their back to support them against rivals and malcontents, it
did not seem too much to expect that something like the halcyon days of
the Saxon emperors might have been brought back. All ended in smoke. There
was that family quarrel between Guelphs and Ghibellines, which ruined both
houses--unfortunately, the Guelphs first. It seems a strange coincidence
that the two rival cousins, Frederick Barbarossa and Henry the Lion,
should both have been born at Ravensburg. It seems odd, also, that after
being long the warmest of friends, the two houses should have become such
implacable foes. The Hohenstaufens had no one but Welf IV. to thank for
the Swabian crown. It was he who had extorted it from Henry IV. And it
seems more than strange, it seems hard, cruel, and unjust, that not only
should the Guelphs a second time have been punished in their private
capacity for what they had done in the service of the Empire, but that,
moreover, the Emperor's persecution, which led to their fall, should have
been, as I shall show, the direct consequence of loyal service rendered to
the Imperial Crown.

Welf the Fifth's was a brief reign--and about the only pacific one in that
early period. A staunch friend to the Pope, but at the same time strictly
loyal to the Emperor, he managed to overcome resistance, say the monks of
Weingarten, "by liberality and graciousness rather than by cruelty and
force." His brother, Henry, surnamed variously "the Black," and "the
Great," was a man of entirely different mould. He it was who about 1100
first acquired by marriage with Wulfhilde, the daughter of Magnus, Duke of
Saxony, the valuable "allodium" of Lüneburg, which up to 1866 formed the
nucleus of Guelph possessions in Northern Germany. Henry's son, Henry the
Generous, bettered that example by obtaining the Saxon Dukedom. He was a
staunch friend to Lothair of Saxony, the Emperor of his time--married his
daughter Gertrude--and in his support made war upon the Hohenstaufens, who
had seized, without claim or title, Imperial territory, more especially
the city of Nuremberg. In 1126 his troops carried Nuremberg by storm, and
as a reward Lothair conferred the Dukedom of Saxony upon his son-in-law,
who thereby came to hold two dukedoms at the same time. The victory over
the Hohenstaufens was completed a few years later by Henry's capture (on
behalf of the Empire) of Ulm. Clearly Henry was altogether in the right.
But the Hohenstaufens, smarting under deserved defeat, seized the
opportunity of his absence--in Italy, where he was, to attend the
Emperor's coronation--to ravage his lands in revenge. Of course, he
retaliated. And thus was begun that memorable great feud which rent
Germany in two and brought it down to the very brink of ruin and
disintegration. The sad result might still have been averted if the
general expectation had been fulfilled, and Henry the Generous had been
elected to the Imperial throne. So confident was Lothair of his succession
that at his death he entrusted the Imperial insignia--those precious
_clenodia_ of Trifels--to him for keeping. But the Hohenstaufens baulked
him by a clever election trick. Summoning the Electing Princes--a very
indeterminate body at that time--with the exception only of the Bavarians
and the Saxons, privately to Coblenz--not by any means a proper place for
the purpose--they easily secured the choice of Conrad, in which the Saxons
weakly acquiesced--being then still new to the rule of their Duke--and
which the Pope, just as weakly, confirmed. Little he knew what a scourge
he was binding for the punishment of his successors. Those two
confirmations practically decided the issue. Nevertheless, so little
assured did Conrad feel of his position that he fled from Augsburg by
night, fearing an attack from the Guelphists. Arrived at Würzburg,
contrary to all law and justice, he condemned Henry unheard, proclaimed
against him the sentence of proscription (_reichsacht_), and declared him
to have forfeited both his Duchies. A furious contest ensued, Welf VI.
fighting in Bavaria, Henry in Saxony. In Germany the two factions are
commonly spoken of as "Welf" and "Waiblingen." But it is by no means
certain that the latter name is correct. It is quite as possible that
"Ghibelline" may be intended to stand for "Giebelingen," the name of the
castle in which Frederick Barbarossa was brought up, and near which the
Hohenstaufens gained one of their first decisive victories over the
Guelphs. In the south things went for the most part against the latter.
Welf VI. had been christened "the German Achilles." He tried to justify
that name--being seconded, rather feebly, by the Kings of Hungary and of
Sicily. But in spite of all his fighting, as the Bavarians showed
themselves lukewarm, his efforts fell short of adequate success. In the
north things went better. The Saxons, holding strong views in favour of
what we should term State rights, manfully stood by their Duke, who
pressed the Hohenstaufen Emperor so hard, that before long Conrad was
almost compelled to ask for an armistice. The armistice was granted; and
before it came to an end Henry died at Quedlinburg--it is said by poison.
That left the Guelphs at a serious disadvantage. For Welf VI. had quite as
much to do as he could manage, to maintain himself as a belligerent in the
south. And in the north, besides the Duchess Gertrude and her mother, the
Empress Richenza, there was only Henry the Lion, a boy of ten, to head the
rebel tribe. Conrad skilfully disarmed Gertrude by persuading her, still
quite a young woman, to marry Leopold of Austria, the new Duke of Bavaria,
and to assent, as a condition of that marriage, to her son's waiver of his
rights in the south. In the north we find Berlin stretching out its hands
eagerly for the Guelph Duchy--just as in 1866--but without success. The
covetous Margrave of Brandenburg, I ought to explain, was not a
Hohenzollern, but Albert the Bear. The Hohenzollerns were at that time
still very small folk--so small that some years later, when Welf VI.,
disgusted with affairs of state, and grieving over the loss of his son,
gave himself up to a life of reckless pleasure, and held a private court
at Zurich, in ostentatious magnificence, we find the Count of Zollern of
those days in attendance upon him, as a sort of noble retainer. Once Henry
attained his majority, he quickly made his power felt. He must have been a
character whom one could not help admiring. Brave, chivalrous, frank,
generous to a fault, and zealously solicitous for the welfare of his
subjects, for the extension of commerce, the improvement of agriculture,
the development of self-government, a friend and supporter to every kind
of progress--but, at the same time, headstrong, rash, impetuous--he seemed
the very beau-ideal of knighthood, a man morally as well as physically of
the colossal stature that the sculptor has attributed to him at
Brunswick--a fit companion for his brother-in-law and staunch ally,
Richard Coeur-de-Lion. For a time fortune favoured Henry. The Wends were
constantly making incursions into German territory, keeping the border
provinces in a state of perpetual disturbance. The Emperor alone was no
match for them. Henry was sent for; and, like a German Charles Martel, he
struck down Prince Niklot and his host with crushing blows. The result was
a short-lived reconciliation with the Emperor, and Henry's reinstatement,
for a brief period, in both his Duchies--Bavaria having, however,
previously been reduced in size by the cutting off of what is now Austria.
Had Henry but had the prudence to use his opportunities, all might still
have been well. For Welf VI. made him an offer of his Italian
possessions--Spoleto, Tuscany and Sardinia--a valuable _point d'appui_,
which must have helped Henry to maintain his balance in Germany, or at the
very least to save more than he did out of the subsequent wreck. In the
course of a life of lavish prodigality, Welf had come to an end of his
available resources. He wanted money. Now, would Henry buy those Italian
possessions of him? Henry declined, calculating a little too securely upon
an unbought inheritance at Welf's death. In that calculation he made a
great mistake. Welf, angry at his refusal, repeated the offer to his other
nephew, Frederick Barbarossa, who as a matter of course jumped at it. And
so the opportunity was lost. Fresh contests ensued, fresh proscriptions,
banishments, outlawry. As an exile Henry was driven to seek the protection
of his ally Richard, taking refuge repeatedly in Normandy and in England.
Then he managed to renew the fight--and at last, by the Emperor's grace,
he received back, of all his vast dominions, those little principalities
of Brunswick and Lüneburg, which to almost the present day have remained
specifically identified with Guelph rule, and in which the Guelph Counts
and Dukes--subsequently Electors and Kings--managed to live on in their
prosaic, humdrum, humble way, powerless and uninteresting princelets of
the great German family of little sovereigns--till an accident, lucky for
them, called them across to England.

One brief flickering-up there was, before their candle finally went out on
the larger scene of continental politics. But it was a very poor
flickering indeed, and no credit to any one concerned. A Guelph became
Emperor at last. But no thanks to his own prowess or his own merit, or to
a _bonâ-fide_ popular choice. It was our Coeur-de-Lion who, at the Pope's
partisan instigation, to avenge his own humiliation at Hagenau--with the
help of his "_multa pecunia_," as chroniclers relate--forced his nephew,
Otto IV., on the throne which, according to strict law, had already young
Frederick II. for an occupant. It was a poor, weak travesty of a reign.
Had not Philip of Swabia opportunely died, it would have been no reign at
all.

For many a century the star of the Guelphs seemed set. The "viri nobiles,
egregiæ libertatis" of ancient times counted for little in the game of
European politics. Early in the present century the elder line, that of
Wolfenbüttel, brought forth one more hero of the old Guelph type--that
brave Brunswicker who, in the great war of German liberation, by his
brilliant gallantry quickened all Young Germany to a more fiery
patriotism. The younger line, that of Lüneburg, found a new sphere of
action opened to it in this country, and now lives to perpetuate, on a
Throne even greater than that which "the Generous" and "the Lion" had
filled, that

  "Dynastia Guelphicorum
    Inter Flores lilium,
    Inter Illustres Illustrissimus
  Eorum memoria in Benedictione."

Under the new aspect of things, if, fortunately, Henry the Lion's bold
bent for war be wanting, his characteristic care for the welfare of his
subjects has been retained; and it is a satisfaction to know, in a reign
that has happily outlived its Jubilee, that there is no longer occasion
for that sorrowful plaint to which, in the warlike days of the race,
Countess Itha gave expression--the wife of the great-grandson of Eticho
II., of Ammergau--that "No Guelph was ever known to live to a great age."



IV.--ABOUT A PORTRAIT AT WINDSOR.[6]


In Windsor Castle, in the Vandyke Room, there is a portrait which has
puzzled a good many visitors. It is an undoubted Vandyke; it shows a
pretty face--a trifle sensual, perhaps--but who the lady may have been
whose features it immortalises, nobody seems to be able to tell.
"Somebody"--"Somebody connected with Charles II."--"Some French lady"--are
guesses rather than information offered. "Murray" used to call the lady by
her right name. But lately, for some reason or other, she has in his
description become transformed into "Madame de St. Croix," which probably
sounds "safer." Formerly she figured as "Beatrix de Cusance, Princesse de
Cantecroix," which was correct--unless the more illustrious title be given
her which for a few brief hours she legitimately bore, though never
actually crowned, that of "Duchess of Lorraine."

There is a good deal of history graven in those smiling features--curious,
changeful history of their bearer's own life--and history, more important,
of nations, on which she exercised a decisive influence. It was thinking
of her, not least, that Richelieu penned those truthfully reproachful
words:--"Les plus grandes et les plus importantes menées qui se fassent en
ce royaume sont ordinairement commencées et conduites par des femmes."
Without her and Madame de Chevreuse--perhaps, it would be too much to say
that France might still be without that Lorraine of which she felt it so
great a hardship to lose a portion in 1871; but certainly the tide of
events during the past three centuries would have taken a very different
course from that which it actually did--different, probably, for the
better.

Beatrix was "somebody connected with our Charles II."--it is quite true.
Without that link with our own Court her portrait would scarcely have
found a place in Windsor Castle, and the sorry poet Flecknoe--Dryden's
"MacFlecknoe"--would certainly not have rhymed upon her beauty and
"vertue" in most halting and unmelodious lines, now long forgotten even by
students of literature. But her connection with our "gay monarch" was of
the briefest, a mere sly nibbling at forbidden fruit while the real
good-man was away, closely watched by Spanish guards in the dark tower of
Toledo--that same martial and romantic duke, to whom our Charles I.
addressed urgent prayers to become his saviour, and on whom he conferred
the proud title of "Protector of Ireland." It seems odd now--to us, with
our modern notions of Lorraine, as a small and very helpless province of
France--to think, that on the wayward ruler of that petty duchy, himself
at the time an exile, should our Charles have built up hopes of his own
preservation in the storms of the Great Rebellion. There can, however, be
no doubt about the fact. In June, 1651,[7] Viscount Taaffe, Sir Nicholas
Plunket, and Geffrey Browne, by order of the Marquis of Clanricarde, King
Charles's deputy, formally waited upon Duke Charles IV. of Lorraine at
Brussels, "to solicit his aid in favour of the unhappy kingdom of
Ireland." The mission was considered of such pressing importance that Lord
Taaffe, in order not to delay it, put off the call which in duty he owed
to the Duke of York, then residing at Antwerp. Charles IV. rather rashly
undertook the office pressed upon him, formally accepted the style and
title of "Protector of Ireland," fitted out--though not owning an inch of
seaboard--a man-of-war, which he christened "Espérance de Lorraine"--and
there the matter ended.

With this adventurous Charles IV. was the life of the beautiful Beatrix
bound up from girlhood to death. It was a romantic affair--in some of its
episodes a little sadly comical--and, since we have constituted ourselves
guardians of her effigy, her story may be worth telling.

The Cusances were an old, distinguished, and very wealthy family in the
Franche Comté, when the Comté was still a province, not of France, but of
the Empire. At the present time the "Almanach de Gotha" knows them no
more, nor any French or German "Peerage." But in their own day they ranked
among the best of bloods; the strains of the Hapsburghs and the
Granvelles mingled in their veins. "Gentillesse de Cusance" had in whilom
Burgundy become a proverbial saying. The family owned a wide tract of
territory in the mountainous country through which flows the Doubs, and
among those hills, forming part of the Jura, stood, twenty miles from
Besançon, their Castle Belvoir. Of this proud family Beatrix was, with two
sisters--one of whom became a nun, while the other married a cousin on the
mother's side, a Count de Berghes, of the Low Countries--left the last
offspring. There was no male to perpetuate the name. At twenty she was
known as "la personne la plus belle et la plus accomplie de la province."
People raved about her. Abbé Hugo, the Lorrain Duke's father-confessor, in
his MS. History (which has never been published, for fear of giving
offence to the French), describes her as "of a little more than middle
height, and exquisitely proportioned." "She possessed," he said, "just
sufficient _embonpoint_ to impart to her _une mine haute et un port
majestueux_." Her face, something between oval and round, was marked by a
particularly clear complexion and an animated expression. Her eyes were
blue and well-placed; her hair was of a light ash colour; her mouth was
small, and of a brilliant red; her teeth were of pearly whiteness, and
well-ranged; neck, arms, hands were all "beautifully delicate, white, and
admirably shaped"; in fact, you could not desire a more perfect specimen
of feminine humanity.

With this beauty it was the happy, or unhappy, lot of the no less engaging
Charles IV. to become acquainted at the impressionable age of thirty, when
to the eye, at any rate, he represented all that was manly and
chivalrous. He was then the beau-ideal of the sex, unequalled in all
accomplishments peculiar to the privileged Man of the tip-top strata, a
brilliant horseman, fencer, tilter, and love-maker in the bargain--a
veritable "Don Juan, alike in love and in politics," as his own historian,
M. des Robert, has aptly styled him.

The two were for the first time brought into contact in 1634. Charles was
then for the moment--a pretty protracted moment--a lackland prince.
Counting a little too confidingly upon the help of that "Empire" which was
always ready to claim and never ready to protect, and moreover upon
equally treacherous Spain, he had defied France--with the result of being
turned out of his dominions by her. But if Charles was driven from his
duchy, he had carried his brilliant little army with him--there was no
better in Europe. He had gained a high reputation already as a dashing
general and a tactician of ready resource. The French feared him, in spite
of their superior numbers. The Austrians and Spaniards were eager for his
alliance, and willing to pay him his own price. He was stationed, in
command of his own troops and some Spaniards, at Besançon, where life was
then made gay indeed to the military visitors. Very butterfly that he
was--forgetting altogether his homely Duchess Nicole, who was far
away--Charles fluttered about merrily from flower to flower, almost
thankful to Providence for having by her otherwise harsh judgment driven
him to such captivating pastures new for the cult of Cupid. He was told,
of course, of the bewitching beauty sojourning in the same city. Sated
already with objects of admiration, he, however, at first scarcely paid
heed to the praises of her charms. But once he met her, the hearts of both
were in a twinkling set aflame.

Charles did not at the time enjoy the best of reputations among
respectable folk. He had dabbled a little too freely in illicit loves.
Accordingly, old Madame de Cusance observed the young people's mutual
passion with very reasonable alarm--and, to prevent its being carried to
dangerous lengths, she packed Beatrix off in hot haste to lonely Belvoir.
To a lover of Charles's mettle, however, twenty miles was a stimulus
rather than an obstacle to love-making. Every day saw him galloping out to
pursue his courting. There were French spies and scouts stationed all
round, watching for the cavalier, eager to carry him off, as their
comrades had not long before carried off our ambassador, Montagu, to
Coiffy. By narrow breakneck paths, which are shown to the present day,
Charles threaded his way adventurously through the forest, where it seems
a marvel that he did not again and again come to grief. No feat, however,
was too hazardous, no risk too great for him to encounter in the pursuit
of his romantic passion. Accordingly, the old lady, like a prudent,
motherly Dutch matron that she was, saw nothing for it but to carry her
daughter very much further away still, to Brussels, where she had her
family mansion, the Hotel Berghes. There Charles could not at once follow
her, for he had his army to look after; and, moreover, the French stood in
the way like a massive wall. No sooner, however, had he gathered his fresh
bays on the field of Nördlingen, and brought the campaign of 1635 to a
more or less satisfactory close, than, still homeless and landless, he
hurried likewise to Brussels, which was then the recognised
gathering-place of all the poor victims of Richelieu's grasping policy.
However, in one way he had been forestalled. In the interval the old
countess, thinking in her innocence that nothing could so effectually put
a stop to undesirable love-making as an actual marriage, had compelled her
beautiful daughter to marry Leopold D'Oiselet, Prince de Cantecroix, a
great personage both in the Franche Comté and in Germany. That ought to
have made all things sure. In truth, it did nothing of the kind. Beatrix
and Charles remained as infatuatedly in love as before, and pursued their
amour seemingly with all the greater zest and determination, because there
was now a legal hindrance. The husband, as it happened, was not the only
difficulty in the way. All the Lorrain princes and princesses--expelled,
like Charles, from their own country, and assembled in the capital of the
Austrian Netherlands--set their faces dead against the lady, and
positively refused to have anything to do with her. Beatrix did not care.
She could afford to snap her fingers at Nicole, Nicolas-Francois, Claude,
Henriette, and the rest of them, so long as Charles remained true to her;
and soon we find her, the lawful wife of Prince Cantecroix, openly avowing
herself "the fiancée" of the Lorrain Duke, who was himself lawfully
married.

The old lady, foiled once more in her precautions, once more packed her
daughter off out of harm's way--this time back to Besançon. As a matter
quite of course Charles hereupon proposed to the crowned heads with whom
he was in league, that the next campaign must necessarily be carried on
in the Franche Comté, where, indeed, the French had somewhat alarmingly
gained the upper hand, and were at that time rather embarrassingly (for
the Spaniards) investing Dôle. As if to support him in his pleading, a
deputation of Comtois magnates arrived at Brussels, headed, for irony, by
the Prince de Cantecroix himself, petitioning the victor of Nördlingen,
with all the urgency of which they were masters, to come to their rescue.
Charles did not keep them waiting long. He promptly led his army back to
their old quarters at Besançon, where he scarcely repaid Cantecroix in a
Christian spirit. For his father-confessor informs us that, being a devout
"Catholic," and believing implicity in the efficacy of masses, he caused
no less than three thousand such to be said, to obtain from Heaven his
rival's death. He drove the French away from Dôle, but after that he would
not stir another finger. Fighting was all very well, but there was metal
more attractive at Besançon. The old countess, had submitted at last to
the inexorable ruling of fate. It was of no use transporting Beatrix
backwards and forwards, while Charles followed so persistently after, and
her own husband was so blind, or else so helpless. Things must be allowed
to take their course.

Charles's masses had the desired effect. In February, 1637 the Prince de
Cantecroix died. In his testament he provided liberally for "ma bien aimée
femme"--which _femme_ loyally lost no time in transferring herself from
his house to one belonging to the duke.

M. de Cantecroix being out of the way, the next thing to be done was to
remove the no less inconvenient Duchess Nicole. From her right to the
throne Charles had already ousted her by a really grotesque farce enacted
in concert with his father. Charles does not appear to have had masses
said for Nicole's death, but he very assiduously consulted the learned of
Church and State concerning the possibility of obtaining a legal
declaration of nullity of marriage. This was an easier matter in those
days than it is now; because, for want of any other plea, there was always
the charge of witchcraft to fall back upon--a charge much in favour with
"the Church." Charles decided to play this trump card. There was a priest,
Melchior de la Vallée, a chosen protégé of the late duke, who had baptized
Nicole. He was now alleged to have been a sorcerer before he performed the
rite of baptism. _Ergo_, he was incompetent lawfully to baptize; _ergo_,
Nicole was not properly baptized; _ergo_, she was not a Christian; _ergo_:
the whole marriage must be void. Witnesses were, of course, produced to
prove the case, and poor Melchior, having been duly condemned, was
orthodoxly burnt at Custines--the place in which Mary Queen of Scots had
spent her youth. His property was declared forfeited to the Crown--to be
eventually employed by Charles, in a fit of remorse, to endow, by way of
pious compensation, the great Chartreuse of Bosserville near Nancy.

That part of the business had been easily accomplished. It remained, on
the ground of this condemnation, to upset the obnoxious marriage. The
Duke's Chancellor, Le Moleur, was easily persuaded to pronounce an
"opinion" to the effect desired, and, armed with this, he was promptly
sent to Rome, accompanied by the Duke's father-confessor, Cheminot, to
obtain a Papal judgment in accordance with it. The whole thing looked so
plausible as readily to silence the last remaining doubts of Beatrix; and
just nine days after Cantecroix's death the two lovers put their
signatures to the marriage contract which was to make them man and wife.
Less than five weeks later the marriage was formally celebrated in a
characteristic hole-and-corner fashion. On the evening of April 2, 1637,
the duke's physician, Forget, brought the _vicaire_ (curate) of the parish
of S. Pierre in Besançon a written authority from his _curé_ (rector) to
celebrate Sacraments wherever he might be called upon to do so. That done,
the _vicaire_ is led by Forget on a roundabout way into Charles's house,
where he finds a sumptuous supper awaiting him. The food and liquor
despatched, the unsuspecting curate is, in a temper which disposes him to
comply with almost any demand, taken into Charles's own chamber, where the
duke bluntly informs him: "Tu es ici pour bénir notre mariage." Even in
spite of the supper, the curate hesitates. But the duke will stand no
parleying. The ceremony is gone through. The young couple, to place
themselves entirely in order, comply with the custom of the diocese to the
very tittle: embrace, break a loaf of bread between them, drink out of the
same glass, and the thing is done. The curate receives twenty doubloons
for his pains, and is, like everybody else present, pledged to silence.

Secrecy was, however, under the circumstances, absolutely out of the
question, probably not even seriously desired. Soon after we find the duke
publicly owning Beatrix as his wife, and giving orders that she shall be
treated as duchess and styled "Altesse." She lives with Charles, rides
with him, shows herself by his side to his soldiers, who conceive a
violent fancy for her. Nicole and the Lorrain princes and princesses
protest. But they are far away, and can do no hurt. The old countess is
brought to acquiesce in the marriage, and all seems to go as merrily as
could be wished. Beatrix's sister, the nun of Gray, confesses to pious
scruples, and implores her sister not to do what is wicked, but is
silenced with a simple "Vous n'êtes qu'une enfant." To make all things
sure, Mazarin, anxious to obtain from Charles an advantageous peace,
promises his all-powerful interest with the Curia. The peace duly signed,
Beatrix and her husband religiously undertake, side by side, a pilgrimage
to Bonsecours, where they pray for Heaven's blessing upon their union, and
afterwards hold their formal entry into Nancy, to the bewilderment of her
husband's loyal subjects, who, not knowing what to make of the double
wedlock, cry out lustily: "Que Dieu protège et bénisse le bon Duc Charles
et ses deux femmes!"

But there was mischief brewing. Nicole and her belongings would have been
less than human if they had not set heaven and earth in motion to upset
the new irregular union. When Cheminot and Le Moleur arrived at Rome to
bespeak the Pope's approval, they found the Prince Nicolas-François
already there, actively counterworking their game, on which even without
such opposing influence the Vatican could scarcely have been expected to
smile. In the place of approval, they received nothing but black looks,
coupled with a strict injunction to the Lady Beatrix not on any account to
pretend to the title of "Duchess."

Of course Charles's "Petite Paix" lasted only a few weeks. Instead of
leading his troops into the French camp as supports, as he had agreed, he
took them straight to the Spanish headquarters, with the inevitable result
of being once more turned out of his country, and finding himself an exile
at large. These misfortunes, however, sat lightly upon the gay-hearted
monarch, while he had the lovely Beatrix by his side, starring it with her
at the Courts of Worms, Luxemburg, and Brussels, and insisting everywhere
upon Beatrix being treated as duchess. He had given her her own
body-guard, her own establishment of maids of honour, allowed her to hold
her courts and drawing-rooms, just like a reigning princess.

Meanwhile, concurrently with the Pope's judgment, another matter was
slowly ripening. All this marrying and re-marrying had, as a matter of
course, led to litigation. Prince Cantecroix had left a goodly fortune,
for the possession of which his mother, the Marquise d'Autriche, and his
cousin, M. de Saint Amour, were then fighting fiercely.

While Charles and Beatrix were attending at Malines, as important
witnesses in this case, what should unexpectedly arrive but a brief from
the Pope, directing the archbishop to proclaim the judgment pronounced on
that half-forgotten application of Le Moleur's and Cheminot's! It had
taken His Holiness some years to come to a decision even on the
preliminary point, that of the marriage with Beatrix; on the main
question, the validity of Charles's marriage with Nicole, the judgment was
still silent. But Charles's marriage with Beatrix the document declared
entirely illegal and invalid, formally threatening both parties concerned
with major excommunication if they did not at once separate and
thereafter continue apart, and, moreover, within a given time, purge
themselves by a public and humiliating penance. To Beatrix this judgment
came as a crushing blow. However, she yielded prompt obedience, removing
at once to the distant Hombourg Haut, near Saint-Avold.

Charles evidently cared very much less about the separation, however
little he might relish the idea of a penance. It looks very much as if he
had already grown a little tired of the lovely Beatrix. She was still very
beautiful, and had any amount of love-making left in her. Her little amour
with Charles II. was still to come; and that portrait to be seen at
Windsor, which so much enamoured Flecknoe, actually shows her as she was a
little later. However, the _toujours perdrix_ of one particular beauty had
evidently begun to pall upon Charles's exacting taste. He managed very
soon to find some cheering consolation for his loss, to the infinite
entertainment of the gay Court of Brussels--which delighted in scandal,
and was constantly on the look out for some fresh amusement. Charles
provided such, very opportunely, by a quite unexpected new amour, which
was certainly not wanting in originality. Charles suddenly fell over head
and ears in love with the very _bourgeoise_ daughter of the Burgomaster of
Brussels. He pressed his heart and hand upon her again and again. No
effort was too great for him to make in prosecution of his suit, no
expense too lavish. The girl found herself serenaded, _fêted_, asked to
all sorts of festivities--tournaments, concerts, balls--all arranged
specifically in her honour. She found jewellery showered upon her. And, to
secure her good will, the proud Carlovingian Duke even condescended to
compete with the humble burghers at the popular _kermesse_, in the
cross-bow shooting at the "papegay," which, crack marksman that he was, he
brought down in brilliant style, thereby constituting himself
"papegay-king" for the year. That dignity imposed upon him the obligation
of treating all the burghers and their young women to a flow of
liquor--which liquor he did not stint--and, moreover, of holding a
triumphal progress through the town--which he magnified into a sort of
Lord Mayor's procession, himself appearing in the character of his own
ancestor, Godfrey de Bouillon, encased in costly armour, with all his rich
jewellery hung upon his person, and seated, high and lofty, upon a
magnificent car. The buxom Flamande found all this mightily pretty, but
scarcely knew what to make of it so long as her mother strictly forbade
her to give the devoted Charles any encouragement, nor dare so much as to
meet him in private. Once only was the mother prevailed upon to permit a
_tête-à-tête_ for just as long as Charles could manage to hold a live coal
in his palm. To extend the time, Charles extinguished the fire by
heroically crushing the coal with his fingers. All this tomfoolery amused
the Court intensely. But people were just a little astounded when Charles
carried his devotion so far as to refuse to treat with the Spanish
plenipotentiaries for a renewal of his treaty, unless their Excellencies
would first secure the approval and advocacy of his Flemish Dulcinea. The
Spaniards needed the Lorrain troops badly, and so submitted for the
time--but they had their revenge.

Of course the news of all this love-making brought Beatrix back pretty
promptly to the Low Countries. As an excuse she alleged a burning desire
to be reconciled to the Church, whose censure her sensitive conscience
could no longer endure. Charles was by no means equally impatient.
However, late in 1645, he too at length consented, and, accordingly, the
two attended together to hear the Church's commination, prostrate
themselves at full length before the altar, play the abject penitents
throughout, confess their guilt, and receive episcopal absolution--all in
the presence of a very large assemblage, which made the proceeding none
the more pleasant for the principal actors.

That done, Beatrix settled down again, perhaps all the better pleased at
finding that by his new treaty obligations Charles had bound himself to
proceed immediately to the battle-fields in France. Whether she had a
right to be severe upon Charles's little amatory escapades may appear a
trifle doubtful by the light of her own conduct now that he was away. At
Ghent she took a leaf out of his own book. The duke soon heard of her
being in a close _liaison_ with a Polish magnate, Prince Radzivill, _jeune
et bien fait, poli et galant_. And not long after arrived the further
intelligence that one of her most conspicuous and most successful admirers
was our own "gay monarch," Charles Stuart, subsequently Charles II., who
was then a refugee in the Netherlands. There is no reason to believe that
these misfeasances were in any way belittled to Charles's ear, seeing that
it was Princess Marguerite, the Duchess of Orleans, his sister, who played
the principal tale-bearer, a lady who, like all the Lorrain princesses,
had a direct interest in bringing Charles's connection with Beatrix to a
close. Charles took the bait. He was furious with the Princess de
Cantecroix. He would repudiate her for good. He would be reconciled on
the spot with Nicole. All seemed to herald a happy and creditable ending
to the misunderstanding of years, when, all of a sudden, Beatrix announced
herself _enceinte_, and by that announcement upset the whole carefully
reared-up house of cards. Nicole had borne the duke no son. Here was the
prospect of one. Throwing the Pope's warning to the winds, forgetting and
forgiving all about Beatrix's wrong-doings, Charles rushed to join her,
and was overjoyed to be able to be present at the birth of what was
destined to be his only son, Charles, subsequently the gifted and
distinguished Prince de Vaudémont, our William III.'s confidant and
adviser, and the elder Pretender's potent patron and ally. The Papal
Nuncio and the Archbishop of Malines were horrorstruck at this barefaced
breaking of a solemn oath. But no serious harm came of it after all. Only,
it was a little provoking to find that when the confinement was over, and
Charles's back was once more turned, Beatrix calmly resumed her illicit
flirtations, of which the Lorrain princesses, more particularly the
Princess Marguerite, were not slow to advise the duke.

Charles's patience was now completely worn out. As soon as he could manage
it, he posted back to the Low Countries, resolved, as he declared, to
"mettre deux folles à la raison." One _folle_, of course, was
Beatrix--whom Charles protested that nothing would induce him ever to take
into favour again; and the other was his sister Henriette, who had
distinguished herself by a very unconventional match indeed, her third,
between herself, aged fifty, and the youthful Italian banker, Grimaldi,
aged twenty-seven. There were some utilitarian arguments to plead in
excuse of the marriage. Henriette had spent her last _écu_, had sold every
bit of property of hers that was at all saleable, and was deep in debt to
boot; and Grimaldi had money. But nothing would justify the extraordinary
proceeding which these two lovers, driven into a corner, resorted to, of,
so to speak, "springing themselves" upon the unsuspecting Archbishop of
Malines, and simultaneously declaring their intention to be man and wife,
before he could so much as utter a word of protest. That constituted, the
archbishop had himself previously explained, a legal marriage according to
canon law.

Charles found Beatrix at Antwerp. He at once seized her house in all legal
form, fretting and fuming with rage, and refusing to listen to a word
which she might say in explanation. He had everything put under lock and
key, sentries placed before the door, and, overhauling all the furniture
with his own hands, he claimed back all the property which the lady held
from him; above all, that very valuable collection of jewellery for which
the Lorrain Court was noted. To his dismay he found that a portion of it
was gone. That made matters ten times worse. The missing pieces must
necessarily have been given to Beatrix's _galants_.

The Lorrain princes and princesses were delighted to observe a fresh
rupture, and spared no pains to fan the flame. As it happened, at this
very time, in 1654, the Papal Tribunal of the "Rota" had at last made up
its mind how to adjudicate upon that old plea first raised in 1637, and
formally laid before the Pope in 1642--the question of the validity of
Charles's marriage with Nicole. The "Rota" ruled the whole suit to be
frivolous. The marriage had been "freely contracted," was therefore
binding, and, not to be troubled again with anything of the sort, the
Court imposed upon Beatrix "perpetual silence." Charles accepted the
judgment readily; indeed, he was so earnestly bent upon reconciliation
with Nicole, that he seriously talked of having her excommunicated, should
she withhold her consent. All seemed once more coming right, in spite of
itself, when Europe was surprised by a gross outrage against law and good
faith, namely, the high-handed seizure by the Spanish governor,
Fuensaldana, of the Duke of Lorraine, and his removal, as a prisoner, to
the distant Castle of Toledo. Six long years was the duke destined to pine
in that unwholesome, dark, barred tower, a prey to vermin and to all
discomforts, and a victim to ever freshly-raised, ever sorely-disappointed
hopes. The very Spaniards around him pitied him. The ladies of Toledo
conspired to liberate the interesting captive, who, in spite of his fifty
years, was still handsome, nimble, full of courtesy and full of life. His
own subjects braved tortures, galleys, death--everything, to effect his
rescue. Never was ruler more beloved; rarely did he less deserve it.
Nicole loyally forgot all past grievances, appealed to Mazarin, appealed
to King Louis, appealed to the Pope. Beatrix likewise did her best--more
especially after Nicole's death, in 1657--though roughly rated all the
time by her wrathful and impatient late lover, who never for a day
together knew his own mind. At one time he asked indignantly: Why did she
not come to share his prison? At another he bade her stay where she was,
since there she could be of greater use. A third time he would have
nothing whatever to say to her. When she sent her _intendant_,
Pelletier, to Spain, to exert himself in the cause of the duke's
liberation, Charles brought up the old charges of infidelity and
misappropriation of his jewellery. But he was delighted to receive at
Pelletier's hands the newly-painted portraits of his two children, Anne
and Charles, to whom, as a partially redeeming feature in his character,
he continued devoted to his dying day.

In 1660 Spain found that she could carry on war no longer. The result was
the Treaty of the Pyrenees, which was rather dictated by Mazarin than
negotiated between France and Spain, and which, among other things,
provided that Charles should be set free. Purchasing the glory of a
princely escort from the needy noblemen of Spain by a distribution of the
full sum of compensation just received at Madrid, the duke hurried to
Saint Jean de Luz in state, and there, with his habitual impetuosity,
nearly got himself back into prison. The Spanish Ambassador, Don Louis de
Haro, badgered beyond endurance by Charles, full of his complaints,
seriously threatened to have the duke carried back to Toledo. This brought
our rather romantic Stuart exile to the front, whom nobody then supposed
to be so near becoming Charles II. of England. Indeed, Mazarin held him in
such small estimation, that he would not even admit him to his presence.
But on Don Louis, if he ever seriously intended fresh violence, this bold
manoeuvre had the desired effect. He promptly desisted from further
threats. The Lorrain Charles, touched by the chivalrous conduct of his
namesake, in a burst of gratitude generously offered the latter the free
use of his purse--an offer which must have been peculiarly welcome to the
ever-impecunious Stuart--and frankly forgave him his rivalry in the matter
of Beatrix, which looks, indeed, as if between him and her he now intended
all to be over.

In truth, he did not leave the lady very long in doubt upon that point;
for, finding her at Bar-le-Duc, when, on his way home from Paris, he
passed through that town, he flatly declined to see her. She was staying
with her daughter, whom in Paris Charles had got married to the Prince de
Lillebonne, the governor of the Barrois. He was quite willing that Beatrix
should be treated _en duchesse_, but at this time of day it surely was not
to be expected that he would once more embroil himself with the Pope by
breaking his oath! Just only for a few minutes did he at length consent to
meet her, at the urgent supplication of both his children--outside Bar, in
a little village; and then he was chillingly cold.

Otherwise, he had still fire enough left in him, when occasion
required--as he showed not long after, when at Paris, while engaged on
that hare-brained errand of concluding the "Treaty of Montmartre," he
became madly enamoured of Marianne Pajot, the daughter of his
brother-in-law's (the Duke of Orleans') apothecary. The marriage very
nearly became a fact. Everything was ready, in spite of protests from all
sides. The priest was waiting, the wedding-guests were in attendance,
actually eating the wedding supper, and drinking the young couple's
health--for precisely at midnight the ceremony was to be performed--when
Du Tellier marched into the room with a guard, and at Louis XIV.'s order
carried off Marianne to the convent of Ville l'Evêque. "You would have
had to take a syringe for your armorial device if you had married her,"
said Louis XIV. mockingly. "Yes," replied Charles, alluding to the treaty
just concluded, "with the royal _fleur-de-lys_ at the nozzle."

This was by no means Charles's last amour. Indeed, after various wildish
escapades nearly leading to matrimony he, four years later, when arrived
at the ripe age of sixty, actually took to wife a girl of thirteen, and
settled down a tolerably staid and respectable husband at last. But this
adventure with Marianne Pajot warned Beatrix, whose health was beginning
seriously to fail, that if she wanted to become Charles's wife at all, she
must be quick about it. Accordingly, when the two once more found
themselves in close proximity, unwilling neighbours at Bar-le-Duc--she up
in the castle, he in the lower town, to be out of her way--she took the
liberty of reminding him of his repeated promises to obtain a dispensation
from the Pope and get the marriage renewed. Charles was not at all
prepared for such an appeal, which accordingly made him not a little
cross. "Not yet," he pleaded, "il n'est pas encore temps de songer à notre
mariage"--not when he was fifty-six and she nearly forty-six! Would he not
consent at any rate to see her? God forbid; how could he, a devout
"Catholic," presume to infringe the Pope's explicit command? Indeed, these
repeated appearances of Beatrix, when she was not wanted, were becoming
wearisome to him. She must keep out of the way. Let her go back to
Besançon! He was duke and could command. But Beatrix, loth to fly from
that which alone could cure her heartache, pleaded, like Lot, for a
shorter journey. Might she not stay at Remiremont? Charles acquiesced. In
small Lorrain towns she spent the next year or so. Life was getting hard
for her, in view of progressively failing health--harder under the painful
sense of injustice and unfaithfulness. She gave herself up to religious
devotions. At Mattaincourt it was, while she was burning candles and
offering prayers to the Lorrain saint, P. Fourier, that the startling news
reached her of a fresh amour into which Charles had thrown himself with
all the ardour of a young man of twenty, an amour with the beautiful
Isabelle de Ludres ("Matame te Lutre," as Madame de Sévigné called her,
ridiculing the rough Lorrain accent), a most delicately-formed,
symmetrically-shaped _brunette_, a very tit-bit of womanhood, destined to
shine in after-time for a brief period in the changing firmament of _Le
Roi Soleil_ at Versailles, as an ephemeral favourite star. She was a
canoness of Poussay--_Lavandières_ they were called in the popular
slang--looking probably all the prettier in her semi-religious garb,
because its wear involved no religious obligations of any kind. The abbess
had obligingly allowed Charles free access to the "nun," and there they
were, acknowledged _fiancé_ and _fiancée_, talking of the time when the
marriage was to take place. To be near Isabella, Charles had moved his
court to Mirecourt, which is just about halfway between Poussay and
Mattaincourt, utterly unconscious probably of the proximity of Beatrix.
There were daily _fêtes_, dances, tourneys, the whole bit of country
seemed transformed into a "Garden of Love." It was like a ghost rising
from the earth when Beatrix--pale, worn, haggard, but still erect and
dignified in bearing--appeared on the scene, her marriage contract in her
hand, to bid the young canoness beware, and remind her lover of his
promises and broken vows. What right had she to be there? asked Charles in
a pet. Had he not bidden her go back to Besançon? Let her be off at once
and not trouble him any more! Alas! in her state of health, travelling to
Besançon was out of the question. She got as far as Mattaincourt, sending
fresh precatory letters to faithless Charles. He would give them no heed.
But she left him no peace. By a severe effort she got to Besançon at last.
"She may disinherit your children," urged Charles's lawyers. "She may stop
your marriage," chimed in the Churchmen. "Remember, she has but at longest
a few weeks to live," added the doctors. "Really?" asked Charles with
visible relief. "She cannot possibly live longer." Not a moment did he
cease from his amatory merry-making preparatory to a contemplated new
marriage. But, as there was time for celebrating a preliminary one in the
interval, for his children's sake he consented to despatch a messenger to
the Pope to demand a dispensation, which arrived just in time for the
marriage with Beatrix to be solemnised while there was still breath in
her. "Me voilà, bien honoré," whispered the dying woman, "à la fin de mes
jours!" Scarcely had the priest left her bedside, when he was called in
once more to celebrate another sacrament. "Ah! quelle union," gasped
Beatrix, "du sacrement de mariage et de l'extrême onction!"

Thus ended, on June 5, 1663, the changeful life of that "excellents peace
as Nature ever made," as wrote Richard Flecknoe in contemplation of her
portrait at Windsor, full of "colour" and "freshness," and with eyes whose
very lids were "than other eyes more admirably fair," the lady who on the
canvas in our royal castle looks so happy and serene, but who in real life
tasted far more of the bitterness than of the sweet of man's fleeting
love--not, certainly, without much fault on her own part, yet, in respect
of her relations with Charles, surely more sinned against than sinning.

The news of her death found the feasting at Mirecourt at its merriest.
Trumpets were sounding, flags were flying, drums were beating, all the
jingle of the masquerade of court life was at its noisiest. The widower
scarcely stopped in his amusements to order a brief formal mourning, which
altered but the hue, not the spirit of the feast. For all that his labour
was thrown away. Beatrix had, in self-defence, despatched a protest
against the marriage to the Vicar-general of Toul, who, as a French
bishop, stood in no sort of dependence upon the Duke of Lorraine--rather
delighted in crossing him. Besides, Isabelle's mother, shocked at what she
saw and heard, peremptorily forbade the marriage, and packed her daughter
off in haste to the solitude of Richardménil.

When Beatrix's will was opened, it was found that she had not forgotten
"her very dear husband." "As a token of respect and submission," she had
"taken the liberty" of bequeathing to him--that very diamond ring with
which he had wedded her, then the worship of all, twenty-six years before,
when his own affection was still fresh and young, and his whole being
seemed bound up in the life and possession of the fervently-loved young
widow. At her death, certainly, she had this to boast of, that of all the
beauties who had riveted Charles's affection, none had for so long a time
and with equal power held sway over his fickle heart. If she was
neglected, it is some satisfaction to think that her children were
honoured and cherished. On the Prince de Vaudémont Charles heaped what
benefits he had to bestow. But the stain of his birth clung to him to his
death. At one time Charles had hoped to seat him on the proud throne of
the Carlovingians. When in 1723 he died, the Lorrain Courts found that no
princely honours could be paid to his body. Quietly, without pomp and
show, were his bones laid beside the bones of his father, in the
Chartreuse of Bosserville, sad memorial that it remains of the duke's
faithlessness to his first wife. Neither of Charles nor of Beatrix has any
offspring survived. Of Charles even later Dukes of Lorraine have scarcely
ever spoken without a protest. Beatrix lies buried at Besançon, and, after
all, considering what evil she unwittingly brought upon her adopted
country, the portrait which alone remains to recall what she was finds,
perhaps, a more fitting place on the walls of Royal Windsor than could
have been given to it in the historic hall of the more than half-destroyed
palace of Nancy, or among the Lorrain portraits preserved, as a memorial
of Lorrain-Hapsburg rule, in the museum of Florence.



V.--THE REMNANT OF A GREAT RACE.[8]


Modern History is, in its rapid march onward, making sad havoc of old
races. New nations are rising up; but only like new banks and headlands on
our coast, by the accumulation of drifted shingle, which the very same
tide is washing away from wasting older rocks. A generation or two hence,
in the making of a new German people, the last remnant will have finally
disappeared of an interesting race, which historians and archæologists
alike, to whom it is known, will be loth to miss.

There are probably few Englishmen who have any very clear idea as to what
and who the "Wends" or "Sorbs" are. Early in the last century, we read--I
think it was in the year 1702--our Ambassador at Vienna, one Hales,
travelling home by way of Bautzen, to his utter surprise found himself in
that city in the midst of a crowd of people, strange of form, strange of
speech, strange of garb--but unquestionably picturesque--such as he had
never before seen or heard of. They are there still, wearing the same
dress, using the same speech, looking as odd and outlandish as ever. We
need not go back to the records of Alfred the Great, of Wulfstan and
Other, to learn what a powerful nation the Wends, one of the principal
branches of the great Slav family, were in times gone by. In the days when
Wendish warriors, like King Niklot, were feared in battle, their ships
went forth across the sea, side by side with those of the Vikings,
planting colonies on the Danish Isles, in Holland, in Spain--aye, very
ambitious Slav historians will even have it that our own _Sorbiodunum_
(Salisbury) is "the town of the Sorbs," founded by Sorb settlers in 449,
and that to the same settlers--also styled _Weleti_ (Alfred the Great
calls them _Vylte_)--do our "Wilton" and "Wiltshire" owe their names. On
the Continent they once overspread nearly all Germany. Hanover has its
"Wendland," Brunswick its "Wendish Gate." Franconia, when ruinously
devastated by intestinal wars of German races, was, at Boniface's
instance, recultivated by immigrant Wends, famous in his days, and after,
for their husbandry. The entire North German population, from the Elbe
eastward, and north of the Bavarian and Bohemian mountains, is in descent
far more Wendish than German. Wendish names, Wendish customs, Wendish
fragments of speech, bits of Wendish institutions, survive everywhere, to
tell of past Slav occupation. Altenburg is Wendish to a man, the
Mecklenburgs are to the present day ruled even by Wendish grand dukes.
Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Lübeck, Leipzig, Schwerin, and many more
German towns, still bear Wendish names.

There are now but a poor 150,000 or 160,000 left of this once powerful
people. And that handful is dwindling fast. Every year sees the tide of
spreading Germanism making further inroad on the minute domain which the
Germanised Wends have left to their parent race in that much disputed
territory, the Lusatias. Prussian administration, Prussian education,
Prussian pedantic suppression of everything which is not neo-German, are
rapidly quenching the still smoking flax. It boots little that the Saxon
Government, kinder in its own smaller country, has, very late in the day,
changed its policy, and is now striving to preserve what is, at its lowest
valuation, a most interesting little piece of ethnographic archæology. It
is much too late now to stop the march of Germanisation, which has pushed
on so rapidly that even in the same family you may at the present day find
parents still thoroughly Wendish, and _priding_ themselves on their
Wendish patronymics, and children wholly German, styling themselves by
newly coined German names. Evidently the race is dying fast.

Its death was in truth prepared a long time ago. Once the Saxons had
obtained the mastery, the poor Slavs were oppressed and persecuted in
every way. They were forbidden to wear their own peculiar dress. They were
forbidden to trade. The gates of their own towns were closed against them,
or else opened only to admit them into a despised "ghetto." No man of
culture dared to own himself a Wend. Accordingly, though they possess a
language unique for its plasticity and pliancy, up to the time of the
Reformation written literature they had none. For centuries their race
has been identified with the lowest walks in life. They must have their
own parsons, of course; but that was all. Otherwise, hewers of wood and
drawers of water, toiling cultivators of the soil, they were doomed to
remain--very "serfs," lending, as we know, in the north, a peculiar name
to that servile station ("serfs," from "serbs"), just as in the south
"Slav" became the distinctive term for "slave."

To the eye of the archæologist, all this hardship has secured one
compensating advantage. It has left the Wends--in dress, in customs, in
habits of mind, in songs and traditions--most interestingly primitive.
Everything specifically Wendish bears the unmistakable stamp of national
childhood, early thought, old-world life. There has been no development
within the race, as among other Slavs. There have been modern overlayings,
no doubt; but they are all foreign additions. The Wendish kernel has
remained untouched, displaying with remarkable distinctness that
peculiarly characteristic feature which runs through all the Slav kindred,
at once uniting and separating various tribes, combining a curious unity
of substructure with a striking variety of surface. Among the "Serbs,"
or--"Sorbs"--really "Srbs"--of Germany, occur names which reveal a close
kinship with Russians, Bohemians, and Croats. By the strange
survival--among two tribes alone in all the world--of a complete dual, and
the retention of a distinct preterite tense (without the use of an
auxiliary verb) their language links them plainly with the Old Bulgarians.
Their national melodies exhibit a marked resemblance to those melancholy
airs which charm English visitors in Russia. Yet a Pole, one of their
nearest neighbours, is totally at sea among the Wends. His language is to
them almost as unintelligible as that of their "dumb" neighbours on the
opposite side, the _Njemski_--that is, the Germans. Even among themselves
the Lusatians are divided in speech. In Lower Lusatia, for instance, where
the population are descended from the ancient Lusitschani, if you want to
ask a girl for a kiss, you must say: _gulitza, daj mi murki_. In Upper
Lusatia, where dwell the Miltschani, the same request takes the shape of:
_holitza, daj mi hupkuh_. My German friends would have it that to their
ears Wendish sounded very like English--which simply meant, that they
understood neither the one nor the other. In truth, there is no
resemblance whatever between the two tongues, except it be this, that like
some of our own people, the Wends are incorrigibly given to putting their
H's in the wrong place. The explanation, in respect of the Wends, is, that
in their language no word is known to begin with a vowel. Hence, to make
German at all pronounceable to their lips, they often have to add an H as
initial letter, the impropriety of which addition they happen generally to
remember at the wrong time. It will terrify linguists among ourselves to
be told that this Slav language--which the Germans despise as barbarous,
which has scarcely any literature, and which is spoken by very few men of
high education--possesses, in addition to our ordinary verbs, also verbs
"neutropassive," "inchoative," "durative," "momentaneous," and
"iterative"; an aorist, like Greek, and a preterite aorist of its own; a
subjunctive pluperfect, and in declension seven cases, including a
"sociative" case, and a "locative." The most remarkable characteristics
of the language, however, are the richness of its vocalisation, and its
peculiar flexibility and pliancy, which enable those who speak it to coin
new and very expressive words for distinct ideas almost at pleasure, yet
open to no misconstruction.

In outward appearance the Wends are throughout a powerful, healthy, and
muscular race, whose men are coveted for the conscription. The first
Napoleon's famous "Bouchers Saxons"--the Saxon dragoons--were Wends almost
to a man. And in the present day, it is the Wends who contribute the
lion's share of recruits to the Saxon household regiments. Their women are
prized throughout Germany as nurses. They are all well-built, well-shaped,
strong of muscle, and nimble in motion, like the Lacedæmonian women of
old. All surrounding Germany recruits its nurses from Wendland. Next to
stature, the most distinctive external feature of the race is its national
dress, which, as in most similar cases, survives longest, and in its most
characteristic form, among women. As between different districts, such
dress varies very markedly, but throughout it has some common features.
Short bright-coloured skirts, with the hips preternaturally enlarged by
artificial padding, and an unconscionable amount of starch put into the
petticoats on Sundays; close-fitting bodices, under which, in some
districts, by an atrocious perversion of taste, are placed bits of stout
cardboard, designed to compress a strongly developed bust to hideous
flatness; small tight-fitting caps, into which is gathered all the hair,
and which are often concealed under some bright-coloured outer head-gear,
with an abundance of ribbons dependent; and a goodly allowance of
scrupulously clean collar, frill, and neckerchiefs, at any rate on
Sundays; and, on festive occasions, stockings of the same irreproachable
whiteness put upon massive calves which on other occasions are worn all
bare--these are, briefly put, the main characteristics of the women's
dress. Oddly, the Roman Catholics, who elsewhere--in the Black Forest, for
instance--affect the gayest colours, among the Wends show a partiality for
the soberest of hues, more specifically brown and black. The men delight
in big buttons, bright waistcoats, and high boots, long coats which pass
on from father to son through generations, and either preternaturally
stout hats of prehistoric mould, or else large blue caps with monster
shades. Their peculiar customs are simply legion, and so are their
traditions and superstitions. Their fairs are a thing to see.
Old-fashioned as the Wends are, ordinary shopping has no attraction for
them. But the merry fair, with its life and society, its exchange of
gossip, its display of finery, its haggling and bargaining, its music and
its dancing, is irresistibly alluring. At the great fair at Vetzschau in
olden days you might see as many as a thousand Wendish girls, all dressed
in their best, formally but merrily going through their Wendish dances in
the market-place. In matters of faith the Wends are all great believers in
little superstitious formulas and observances, such as not turning a knife
or a harrow edge or tine upward, lest the devil should sit down upon it.
Their favourite devices for attracting a man's or a maiden's love are a
little too artlessly natural to be fit for recital here. One great
prevailing superstition is the belief in lucky stones--_kamushkis_.
Stones, in truth, play a leading part in their traditions. They have a
belief that stones went on growing, like plants, till the time of our
Saviour's temptation, in the course of which, by an improvement upon the
authorised text, they assert that he hurt his foot against one by
accident. In punishment for having caused that pain, their growth is
understood to have been stopped. They have other stones as
well--"fright-stones" and "devil-stones" for instance. But the _kamushkis_
are by far the most important and the most valuable. They are handed on as
precious heirlooms from parent to child, and often put down at a high
value in the inventory of an estate. The supernatural world of the Wends
is as densely peopled as any mythology ever yet heard of. There is the
_psches-poniza_--the noon woman, to avoid whom women in pregnancy and
after their confinement dare not go out of doors in the midday hours;
there is the _smerkava_, or "dusk-woman," who is fatal to children, the
_wichor_, or whirlwind; the _plon_, or dragon, who terrifies, but also
brings treasure; the _bud_, or Will-o'-the-Wisp; the _bubak_, or bogey;
the nocturnal huntsman, _nocny hanik_; and the nocturnal carman, _nocny
forman_; the _murava_, or nightmare; the _kobod_ or _koblik_; the
_chódota_ (witch); the _buzawosj_, who frightens children; the _djas_, the
_graby_, the _schyry zed_, the _kunkaz_, there are spirits "black" and
"white." Every mill has its peculiar _nykus_ or _nyx_, who must be fed and
propitiated. And then there are roguish sprites, such as _Pumpot_, who is
a sort of Wendish "barguest," doing kind turns as often as he plays
mischievous pranks. All this curious Slav mythology alone is worth
studying. If in a family children keep dying young, the remedy certain to
be applied is, to christen the next born "Adam" or "Eve," according to its
sex, which is thought absolutely to ensure its life. Like most
much-believing races, the Wends are remarkably simple-minded, trustful,
leadable, and docile, free from that peculiar cunning and malice which is
often charged, rightly or wrongly, to Slav races--not without fault, but
in the main a race of whom one grows fond.

To see the Wends ethnographically at their best, you should seek them in
their forest homes, all through that vast stretch of more or less
pine-clad plain, mostly sand, extending northwards from the last distant
spurs of the "Riesengebirge" (which bounds at the same time Bohemia and
Silesia), to the utmost limits of their territory in the March of
Brandenburg, and much beyond that--or else in that uniquely beautiful
Spreewald, some hundred of miles or so south of Berlin, a land of giant
forest and water, an archipelago of turfy islets. That is the ancient
headquarters of the Wendish nation, still peopled by a peculiar tribe,
with peculiar, very quaint dress, with traditions and customs all their
own, settled round the venerated site of their old kings' castle. It is
all a land of mystic romance, sylvan silence, old-world usages, such as
well become the supposed "Sacred Forest" of the ancient "Suevi." Alders
and oaks--the former of a size met with nowhere else--cast a dense, black
shade over the whole scene, which is in reality but one vast lake, on
whose black and torpidly moving waters float wooded _kaupes_ or isles,
scattered over which dwell in solitude and practical isolation the
toilsome inhabitants, having no means of communication open to them
except the myriads of arms of the sluggishly flowing Spree. A parish
covers many square miles. Each little cottage, a picture by itself amid
its bold forest surroundings, stands long distances away from its
neighbours. The outskirts of the forest consist of wide tracts of wobbling
meadow, a floating web of roots and herbage, over which one can scarcely
move without sinking into water up to the hips. Were you to tread through,
down you would go helplessly into the fathomless black swamp. On those
vast meadows grow the heavy crops of sweet nutritious grass which make the
Spreewald hay valued at Berlin for its quality as is the hay of the Meuse
at Paris. On their little islands, as in the _Hortillonages_ of the Somme,
the _kaupers_ raise magnificent crops of vegetables (more particularly
cucumbers, without which Berlin would scarcely be itself), which, as on
the Somme, they are constrained to carry to market by boat. Boats and
skates, in fact, supply in that wooded Holland the only means of
locomotion. And thanks to its canals and its water, all in it is so fresh,
and so luxuriant, and so remarkably silent, that, while one is there,
there seems no place like the Spreewald in which to be thoroughly alone
with Nature. On a mound artificially raised upon one of these islands, at
Burg, once stood the castle of the great Wendish kings, whose sceptre is
supposed still to descend in secret from sire to son in a particular
family, known only to the best initiated of Wends. To this country more
specifically, together with some scores of distinctive water sprites (each
endowed with its own attribute), does Wendish mythology owe its numerous
legends about snakes wearing precious crowns, which on occasion they will
carelessly lay down on the grass, where, if luck should lead you that way,
you may seize them and so ensure to yourself untold riches--provided that
you can manage to get safely away.

In the mountainous country about Bautzen and Loebau in Saxony, where the
scenery is fine, the air bracing, the soil mostly fat, nineteenth century
levelling has been far too long at work for race customs to have
maintained themselves altogether pure. There stand the ancient sacrificing
places of the Wends, the Czorneboh, sacred to the "black god," the
Bjeliboh, sacred to the "white" one--respectively, the Mounts Ebal and
Gerizim of Wendland--and many more. Wendish traditions and Wendish speech
are still very rife in those parts. And most of the brains of the race are
to be found in that well-cultivated district--the "Wendish Mozart,"
Immisch, Hornigk, Pfuhl--all the literary coryphæi of the race. From
Bautzen, certainly, with its bipartite cathedral, in which Roman Catholics
and Protestants worship peaceably side by side, divided only by a grating,
it is quite impossible to dissociate Wendish traditions. That is to the
Upper Lusatians what Cottbus is to the lower--_mjesto_, "the town" _par
excellence_. There are very true Wends in those regions still. In a
village near Hochkirch the community managed for a long time successfully
to keep out Germans, refusing to sell any property otherwise than to a
Wend. But under the influence of advancing civilisation so many things
externally peculiar to the race have disappeared--their forests, and their
wooden buildings, much of their ancient dress; they live so much in the
great world, that they can scarcely be said to have kept up their
peculiar race-life in absolute purity.

In the forest, on the other hand, where, in fact, dwell the bulk of the
not yet denationalised race, you still see Wends as they were many
centuries ago. It is a curious country, that easternmost stretch of what
once was the great forest of Miriquidi, almost touching Bautzen and
Görlitz with its southernmost fringe, and extending northward far into the
March of Brandenburg. At first glance you would take it to be intolerably
prosaic. It spreads out at a dead level, flat as a rink, for miles and
miles away, far as the eye can see, with nothing to break the straight
sky-line--except it be clouds of dust whirled up by the wind from the
powdery surface of this German Sahara. The villages lie far apart, divided
by huge stretches of dark pine forest, much of it well-grown, not a
little, however, crippled and stunted. The roads are, often, mere tracks
of bottomless sand, along which toils the heavy coach at a foot pace,
drawn by three horses at least, and shaking the passengers inside to bits
by its rough motion across gnarled pine-roots which in the dry sand will
never rot. But look at it a little more closely, and you will find a
peculiar kind of wild romance resting upon it. If you take the trouble to
inquire, you will find that all this forest is peopled with elves. There
are stories and legends and superstitions attaching to almost every point.
Hid away among it are the sites of ancient Wendish villages--you may see
where stood the houses, you may trace where were the ridged fields, you
may feel, Wends will have it, by a creeping sensation coming over you as
you pass, where were the ancient grave-yards. Here is an ancient haunted
Celtic barrow. There is a cave in which are supposed to meet, at certain
uncanny hours, the ghosts of cruel Swedish invaders, barbarously murdered
in self-defence, or else Wendish warriors of much older time. Yonder,
again, is a mound beneath which lies a treasure. Here "spooks" this
spirit, there his fellow. By the Wends the forest is regarded with
peculiar awe. It is to them a personality, almost a deity, exacting, as
they will have it, every year at least one victim as a tribute or
sacrifice. Every now and then you will come upon a heap of dry branches,
on which you may observe that every passer-by religiously lays an
additional stick. That is a "dead man," a Wendish "cairn," raised up in
memory of some person who on that spot lost his life. Between the forest
and dry fields picturesquely stretch out sheets of water, some of them of
large size. And where there is water, the scenery at once assumes a hue of
freshness and verdure which is most relieving. Dull and bare as this
country generally is, no Switzer loves his own beautiful mountain home
more fervently, or admires it with greater appreciation, than do the Wends
their native patch of sand and peat and forest; nor does he miss it, when
away, with more painful home-sickness.

In this flat tract of land you may see the German Slavs still living in
their traditional timber or clay-and-wattle houses, built in the orthodox
Wendish style--with a little round-roofed oven in front, and a draw-well
surmounted by a tall slanting beam, with a little garden, the
_Ausgedinge-haus_ for the pensioned-off late proprietor, the curious
barge-board, ornamented at either end with some crudely fantastical
carving (which was borrowed more than a thousand years ago from the early
Saxons), and with that most characteristic mark of all, the heavy arched
beam overshadowing the low windows. The house would be thatched, but that
the Prussian government absolutely forbids thatch for new roofing. The
entire settlement is laid out on the old nomad plan, reminding one of
times when for security villagers had to dwell close together. In the
middle of the village is the broad street or green, planted with high
trees, which, by their contrast with the surrounding pine forest, indicate
the site to the traveller a long way off. The Wends are devoted lovers of
trees, and in every truly Wendish village you are sure to find a large
lime tree, tall or stunted, but in every case spreading out its branches a
long distance sideways, and overshadowing a goodly space. That tree has
for generations back formed the centre of local life, and is venerated as
becomes a "sacred tree" of ancient date. Here young and old are wont to
assemble. Here, on Saturday afternoons in spring-time, gather the young
girls to blend their tuneful voices in sacred song heralding the advent of
Easter. Here used to meet the village council--which has in recent times,
for reasons of practical convenience, removed to the public-house--the
_gromada_, or _hromada_, summoned by means of a _kokula_ or _hejka_, that
is, a "crooked stick" or a hammer, sent round from house to house. Every
householder, large or small, has a right to be present and to take his
full part in the proceedings; for the Wends are no respecters of persons.
In the centre sits the _solta_, as president, supported by his "sidesmen,"
the _starski_. And there are discussed the affairs of the little
community, heavily and solemnly at first, but with increasing animation as
the _pálenza_, or _schnaps_, gets into people's heads. The most
interesting by far of these periodical meetings is the _gromada
hoklapnica_--the "gromada of brawls," that is--which is held in most
villages on St. Thomas' Day, in some on Epiphany Day, to transact, with
much pomp and circumstance, the business which has reference to the whole
year. The annual accounts are there settled. New members are received into
the commune, and if any have married, the Wendish marriage tax is levied
upon them. If there are any paupers in the parish, they are at that
meeting billeted in regular succession upon parishioners. Another
important matter to settle is the institution of paid parish officers,
none of whom are appointed for more than a year at a time. Watchman,
field-guard, blacksmith, road-mender, &c., all are expected to attend, cap
in hand, making their obeisance as before a Czar, thanking the _gromada_
for past favours, which have secured them infinitesimal pay, and humbly
supplicating for new, which are, as a rule, granted with a rather pompous
and condescending grace.

The village homesteads line the common or street on either side, standing
gable outwards, as every Wendish house ought to stand. From them radiate
in long narrow strips the fields, as originally divided, when the settlers
were still a semi-nomad race, when each member was scrupulously assigned
his own share of loam, clay, high land, low land, peat, sand, meadow--not
only in order that none might be better off than his neighbour, but also
that the workers in the fields might at all times make sure of
fellowship, to lighten their toil by chat and song, and by taking their
meals in company. During the whole of their history the Wends have shown
themselves devoted to agriculture. Their social system was based upon
agriculture; agriculture occupied their thoughts. Their legends represent
their ancient kings, and the saints of their hagiology, as engaged in
agriculture. And their girls, thinking of marriage, may be heard to sing:

  "No, such a suitor I will not have
  Who writeth with a pen;
  The husband for me is the man
  Who plougheth with the plough."

By intuitive instinct the Wends prefer cultivating light land, whereas the
Germans give the preference to strong. All their implements seem made for
light soil. Such are their wooden spades, tastefully edged with steel
which, though not perhaps as useful as our all-steel implements, look
incomparably more picturesque. And from light soil the Wends know better
than any race how to raise remunerative crops. They understand heavy land,
too--as witness their excellent tillage in Upper Lusatia, and above all in
that German "Land of Goshen," the Duchy of Altenburg. But on sand they are
most at home. And in the poorest districts you may make sure that wherever
you see a particularly fine patch of corn, or potatoes, or millet, or
buckwheat, that patch is peasant's land.

The church, as a rule, is placed right in the middle of the village. The
Wends value their church. For all their stubborn paganism in early days,
against which St. Columban, and St. Emmeran, and St. Rupert and St.
Eckbert all contended in vain, the Wends have, since they were
christianized, always been a devoutly religious people, and at
present--barring a little drinking and a little stealing (which latter,
however, is strictly confined to fruit and timber, in respect of which two
commodities they hold communistic opinions)--they are exemplary
Christians. With their parsons they do not always stand on the best of
terms. But that is because some of the parsons, raised from peasant rank,
are, or were--for things have altered by the introduction of fixed
stipends--a little exacting in the matter of tithes and offerings, and the
demand that there should be many sponsors at a christening, for the sake
of the fees. There are some queer characters among that forest-clergy. One
that I knew was a good deal given to second-hand dealing. He attended
every sale within an accessible radius, to bring home a couch, or a whip,
or a pair of pole-chains, or a horse-cloth, for re-sale. His vicarage was
in truth a recognised second-hand goods store, in which every piece of
furniture kept continually changing. Another was greedy enough to claim a
seat at the Squire's table, at the great dinners given in connection with
the annual _battues_, as a matter of "prescription." A third drank so hard
that on one occasion he had to be propped up against the altar to enable
him to go on with the service. The most curious of all was the "chaplain"
of Muskau, who married his couples wholesale, on the Manchester "sort
yourselves" principle. Sometimes, when things went a little slowly, and he
grew impatient, it was _he_ who "sorted" the couples, and then
occasionally it would happen that, giving the word of command like a
Prussian corporal, he would "sort" them wrongly. They were far too well
drilled to discipline not to obey. But when the ceremony was over they
would lag sheepishly behind, scratching their heads and saying: "_Knès
duchowny_, _I_ should have married _that_ girl, and this girl should have
married _him_." However, the Church had spoken, and the cause was
finished. Married they were and married they must remain. Even to this the
patient Wends submitted; and, perhaps, they were all the happier for it.

But all this has nothing to do with the Church proper, as distinct from
the parson. Their religious instinct appears born with the Wends. Religion
seems to be in all their thoughts and most of their acts. The invariable
greeting given is "God be with you." They talk habitually of "God's rain,"
"God's sun," "God's crops," "God's bread"--to them "every good gift and
every perfect gift cometh from above." Worshippers returning from church
are hailed with a "Welcome from God's Word." When the sun goes down, it is
to "God" that it goes to rest. Whenever a bargain is struck, the appeal to
the other party is "God has seen it," or "God has heard it." And although
German jurisdiction, with its partiality for oaths slily extracted _after_
a statement, has imported here and there a little false swearing, in the
main that ancient confirmation of the contract is still respected. In
Wendland the churches are filled as nowhere else in Germany, and however
prosily the parson may preach--as he generally does--nowhere is he more
attentively and devoutly listened to. In Wendland alone of all Germany
have I noticed that Protestants bow at the mention of the name of
"Jesus." Barring some ten thousand Roman Catholics in Saxony, the Wends
are all staunch Protestants of that nondescript Lutheran-Calvinist creed,
which the kings of Prussia have imposed upon their country. But not a few
of their beliefs and superstitions and legends hark back to older days.
They still keep _Corpus Christi_. In their religious legends, which are of
very ancient origin, the Virgin plays a prominent part--leading off, among
other things, a nocturnal dance, in which the angels all join, clad in
silken gowns with green wreaths on their heads, meeting for the purpose,
of all unsuitable places, in the church, and carefully locking the door
against human intruders. The Virgin's flight into Egypt is put into
strongly agricultural language, "Has a woman with a child passed this
way?" ask Herod's ruthless emissaries. "Aye," answers the truthful Wend,
"while I was sowing this barley." "You fool, that must have been three
months ago." In truth, by a miracle the barley has grown to maturity in
one brief hour. By this expedient the Virgin escapes. The Virgin spins;
the Virgin sews shirts; the Virgin does all that Wendish women are taught
to do. In Scripture-lore the Wends have their own localised versions of
the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; of the fight of St. George and the
Dragon; and an even more localised tale of the doings of King David. The
archangel Michael is made to fight for Budyssin against the Germans. Judas
Iscariot, according to their national tradition, comes to grief mainly
through gambling. The Saviour gave him thirty pieces of silver to buy
bread with. These he staked--tempted by Jews whom he saw gambling by the
wayside--on an unlucky card; and to recover them it was that he sold his
Master. To cap all this unorthodoxy, the Wends make the Creator call after
Judas that he is forgiven. But remorse drives him to hang himself,
notwithstanding. He tries a pine and a fir, but finds them too soft, so he
selects an aspen tree--hence the perpetual agitation of its leaves. One of
their peculiar legendary saints is Diter Thomas, who was so holy that he
could hang his clothes when going to bed--which he appears to have done in
the daytime--on a sunbeam. One day, however, at church this devout man
espied the Devil seated behind the altar, engaged in taking down on a
fresh cowhide the names of all whom he saw sleeping in church. There must
have been an unusually large number, for the cowhide proved too small, and
Satan was fain to stretch it by holding one end with his teeth and pulling
at the other with his hands. As it happened, his teeth let go, and back
went his head against the wall, with a bang which woke up all the
sleepers. This aroused in pious Thomas so much mirth that he forgot the
respect due to the holy place, and laughed aloud--in punishment for which
offence his grace departed from him, and he was thenceforth reduced to the
necessity of using pegs. For their regularity in attendance at church I
half suspect that the peculiar fondness of the Wends for singing is, in
not a small degree, accountable; and, it may be, also the attraction of a
little gossip after service, and the excitement of an occasional little
fair.

The Wends would indeed not be Slavs if they were not engrossingly fond of
singing. Singing is, in fact, among young folk reckoned the principal
accomplishment. And they have a rich store of songs, set to exceedingly
melodious airs. They have them of all descriptions--legends and convivial
songs, martial songs, sacred hymns, short _róncka_ and _reje_ for the
dancing-room, and long elegies and ballads for the field, to shorten the
long summer's day out at work. They have their own curious instruments,
too, still in use--a three-stringed fiddle, a peculiar sort of hautboy,
and bagpipes of two different sizes, the larger one invariably ornamented
with a goat's head. To be a _kantorka_ (precentress) in church, or even in
a spinning-room, is a thing for a Wendish girl to be proud of, and to
remember to her old age. What a Wendish village would in winter time be
without those social spinning meetings it is difficult to imagine. To no
race do conviviality, mirth, harmless but boisterous amusement, seem so
much of a necessary of life. And none appears to be so thoroughly devoted
to the practice of homely household virtues. Spinning, poultry-breeding,
bee-keeping, gardening, coupled with singing, and nursing children, and
making model housewives--these are the things which occupy girls'
thoughts. At her very christening the baby-girl, borne back from church
"as a Christian," is made to find a spindle and a broom carefully laid in
the room, to act as charms in setting her infant thoughts in the right
direction. Her "sponsor's letter" is sure to contain some symbolic grains
of flax and millet. And a lover's principal gift to his sweetheart
invariably consists of a carefully turned and brightly-painted
"kriebatsche," an antiquated spindle and distaff that is, which is held
dear as a family Bible. Spinning, indeed, is among Wends a far more
important occupation than elsewhere. For men and women alike wear by
preference linen clothes, made of good, stout, substantial stuff, thick
enough to keep out the cold. In rural Germany a peasant girl is expected
as an indispensable preparative for marriage to knit her "tally" of
stockings. In Wendland the _trousseau_ consists all of spun linen.
Servants invariably receive part of their wages in flax. Spinning
accordingly is about the most important work to be accomplished in a
household. And as it lends itself capitally to sociability and mirth, the
Wendish maidens take to it with peculiar zest. The date for beginning
these gatherings throughout Lusatia is the 11th of October, St. Burkhard's
Day in the Wendish calendar. On that day the young unmarried women tell
themselves off into _psazas_, that is, spinning companies, consisting of
twelve at the outside, all of them girls of unblemished character. Among
no race on earth is purity more valued and insisted upon--in both
sexes--than among these poor forest Wends. Wherever corruption has crept
in, it is wholly due to the evil seductions of Germans, who have taken
advantage of the helplessness of Wendish girls when away on service. In a
Wendish village, to have made a _faux pas_ deprives a young fellow and
girl alike of their character for life. The girl must not sit with the
other girls in church when the young are catechised; she must not walk up
to the altar on high festivals; she must not join in the singing; and the
spinning companies will not have her. In olden time she was not even
allowed to dance. Young men going notoriously astray used to be punished
in their own way.

Some time before the eventful eleventh, the _psazas_ assemble to decide
in whose house the spinning gatherings are to be held. In that house they
meet throughout the winter, spinning industriously with wheel or with
spindle from seven to ten, and requiting the housewife for her hospitality
with welcome assistance in various kinds of domestic work. On the first
evening the company quite expect to be treated to a good supper of roast
goose. How all the spinners, with the resident family, and those young
fellows who, of course, will from time to time pay the lasses a
visit--either in disguise or in their own proper garb--manage to meet, and
work, and lark, and dance, where they do, it is rather a problem to solve.
For many of the rooms are not large. They are plain, of course, in their
equipment, like all Wendish rooms (in which paint is allowed only on
chairs, all the other woodwork being subject to the scrubbing-brush), but
strikingly peculiar. Almost in one corner--but far enough away from the
wall to leave space for a little, cosy nook behind--stands the monster
tile stove, very adequately heated with peat or wood, and showing,
tolerably high up, a little open fireplace, in which burns a bright little
wood fire, rather to give light and look cheerful, than to diffuse warmth.
That is the vestal hearth of the Wendish house, without which there would
be no home. In another corner stands the solid, large deal table, with
painted chairs all round. The walls are all wainscoted with deal boards;
and round the whole room runs a narrow bench, similar to the _murka_, a
seat far more tempting, which encircles the stove. Nearly all the
household implements in use are neatly ranged about the walls, or else
placed on the floor--the _boberzge_, a peculiar plate rack; the _polca_,
to hold pots and spoons; and the _standa_, for water. There are baskets,
cans, tubs disposed about, and a towel hung up for show. This room grows
tolerably lively when the spinning company assemble, telling their tales,
playing their games, gossiping and chatting, but mostly singing. "Shall we
have any new songs?" is the first question invariably asked when the
_psaza_ constitutes itself. And if there is a new girl come into the
village, the inquiry at once passes round, "Does she know any new songs?"
Indeed, the _psazas_ serve as the principal singing classes for the young
women in the village. They are kept up throughout the year as special
choirs and sub-choirs, so to speak, singing together on all sacred and
mundane occasions where singing is required. Whenever "the boys" look in,
there is great fun. Sometimes one will dress up as a "bear," in a "skin"
made up of buckwheat straw; or else he will march in as a "stork," which
causes even greater amusement. Once at least in the season the funny man
of the set makes his appearance transformed into what, by a very wild
flight of imagination, may be taken for a pantomime horseman, with a horse
made up of four big sieves, hung over with a white sheet. Before calling
in a real, formal way, the boys are always careful to ask for leave, which
means that they will bring _piwo_ and _pálenza_ (beer and spirits), the
girls revenging themselves by providing cake and coffee; and then the
entertainment will wind up with a merry dance. One very amusing occasion
is the _dopalowak_, or _dolamowak_, that is, the last spinning evening
before Christmas, when the boys sit in judgment upon the girls, and,
should they find one or other to be guilty of idleness, condemn her to
have her flax burnt or else her spindle broken, which penalties are, of
course, in every case commuted into a fine. This sort of thing goes on
till Ash Wednesday, when the "Spinte" is formally executed by stabbing, an
office which gives fresh scope to the facetiousness and agility of the
funny man. The night before is the social evening _par excellence_. It is
called _corny wecor_, "the black evening," because girls and boys alike
amuse themselves with blackening their faces like chimney-sweeps, and with
the very same material. The boys are allowed to take off the girls' caps
and let down their hair--the one occasion on which it is permitted to hang
loose. And there is rare merrymaking throughout the night. Indeed, all
Shrovetide is kept with becoming spirit, perhaps more boisterously than
among any other folk, and in true excitable Slav style. The boys go about
a-"zampering," and collecting contributions; the girls bring out their
little savings; and then the young people dance their fill, keeping it up
throughout Lent. Indeed, they dance pretty well all the year round--

  "Njemski rady rejwam,
  Serski hisce radsjo;"

which may be rendered thus:

  "The German way I love to dance,
  But the Wendish dance I dote on."

To witness the _serska reja_--the only truly national dance preserved
among the Wends--at its best, you should see it danced on some festive
occasion, when the blood is up, out in the open air, on the grass plot,
where stands the sacred lime tree. There is plenty of room there. The very
sight of the green--say of the young birches planted around for decoration
at Whitsuntide or Midsummer--seems to fire the susceptible spirits. The
dancers throw themselves into the performance with a degree of vigour and
energy of which we Teutons have no notion. The _serska reja_ is a
pantomimic dance. Each couple has its own turn of leading. The cavalier
places his partner in front of him, facing her, and while the band keeps
playing, and the company singing one of those peculiarly stirring Wendish
dance tunes, he sets about adjuring her to grant him his desire, and dance
with him. She stands stock still, her arms hanging down flop by her side.
The cavalier capers about, shouts, strikes his hands against his thighs,
kneels, touches his heart--with the more dramatic force the better. At
length the lady gives way, and in token of consent raises her hand.
Briskly do the two spin round now for the space of eight bars, after which
for eight more they perform something like a cross between a _chassez
croisez_ and a jig, and so on for a little while, after which the whole
company join in the same performance. As a finish the cavalier "stands"
the band and his partner some liquor, and a merry round dance concludes
his turn of leading, to the accompaniment of a tune and song, _róncka_,
selected by himself.

Lent is a season more particularly consecrated to song. Every Saturday
afternoon, and on some other days, the girls of the various _psazas_
assemble under the village lime tree, the seat around which is
scrupulously reserved for them, to sing, amid the rapt attention of the
whole village, some of their delightful sacred songs peculiar to the
season. This singing reaches its climax on Easter night, when young
fellows and girls march round the village in company, warbling in front of
every door, in return for which they receive some refreshment. For a brief
time only do they suspend their music to fetch "Easter water" from the
brook, which must be done in perfect silence, and accordingly sets every
mischief-maker at work, teasing and splashing, and playing all sorts of
practical jokes, in order to extract a word of protest from the
water-fetching maidens. As the clock strikes midnight the young women form
in procession and march out to the fields, and all round the cultivated
area, singing Easter hymns till sunrise. It produces a peculiarly striking
effect to hear all this solemn singing--maybe, the same tunes ringing
across from an adjoining parish, as if echoed back by the woods--and to
see those tall forms solemnly moving about in the early gloaming, like
ancient priestesses of the Goddess Ostara. While the girls are singing,
the bell-ringers repair to the belfry (which in many villages stands
beside the church) to greet the Easter sun with the traditional
"Dreischlag," the "three-stroke," intended to indicate the Trinity.

Lent sees the Wends perform another curious rite, of peculiar antiquarian
interest. The fourth Sunday in Lent is by established custom set apart for
the ceremony of "driving out Death"--in the shape of a straw figure decked
out with the last bridal veil used, which the bride is expected to give up
for the purpose. This poor figure is stoned to destruction to the cry of
_Lec horè, lec horè_, which may be borrowed from the Lutheran name for
the Sunday in question, _Laetare_. In some places the puppet is seated in
a bower of pine boughs, and so carried about amid much infantine
merriment, to be ultimately burnt or drowned. The interesting feature of
this rite is, that it does not really represent the Teuton "expulsion of
winter" so much as the much older ceremony of piously visiting the site on
which in Pagan times bodies used to be burnt after death. It is a heathen
All Saints' Day.

I have no space here to refer to anything like all the curious Wendish
observances which ought to be of interest to folk-lorists: the lively
_kokot_, or harvest home, so called because under the last sheaf it was
usual to conceal a cock, _kokota lapac_ with legs and wings bound, which
fell to the lot of the reaper who found it; the _lobetanz_; the _kermusa_,
or _kirmess_, great and small, the merry children's feast on May Day; the
joyful observance of Whit Sunday and Midsummer; the peculiar children's
games, and so on. It is all so racy and peculiar, all so merry and yet so
modest in the expenditure made upon it, it all shows the Wends so much to
advantage as a contented, happy, cheerful people--perhaps a little
thoughtless, but in any case making the best of things under all
circumstances, and glad to show off their Slav finery, and throw
themselves into whatever enjoyment Providence has vouchsafed, with a zest
and spirit which is not to be excelled, and which I for one should be
sorry to see replaced by the more decorous, perhaps, but far less
picturesque hilarity of the prosy Prussians. If only the Wends did not
consume such unconscionable quantities of bad liquor! And if in their cups
they did not fall a-quarrelling quite so fiercely! It is all very well to
say, as they do in one of their proverbs, with truthful pithiness, that
"there is not a drop of spirit on which do not hang nine devils." But
their practice accords ill with this proverbial wisdom. The public-house
is to them the centre of social life. Every new-comer is formally
introduced and made to shake hands with the landlord. They have a good
deal of tavern etiquette which is rigidly adhered to, and the object of
which in all cases is, like George the Fourth's "whitewash," to squeeze an
additional glass of liquor into the day's allowance. Thus every guest is
entitled to a help from the landlord's jug, but in return, from every
glass served is the landlord entitled to the first sip. Thus again, after
a night's carousal, the guests always expect to be treated by the host to
a free liquor round, which is styled the _Swaty Jan_--that is, the Saint
John--meaning "the Evangelist," whose name is taken in vain because he is
said to have drunk out of a poisoned cup without hurt. All the invocation
in the world of the Saint will not, however, it is to be feared, make the
wretched _pálenza_ of the Wends--raw potato fusel--innocuous. It is true,
their throats will stand a good deal. By way of experiment, I once gave an
old woman a glass of raw spirit as it issued from the still, indicating
about 82 per cent. of alcohol. She made a face certainly, but it did not
hurt her; and she would without much coaxing have taken another glass.

This article has already grown so long that of the many interesting
customs connected with the burial of the dead and the honouring of their
memory I can only refer to one very peculiar and picturesque rite. Having
taken the dying man out of his bed, and placed him (for economy) on straw
(which is afterwards burnt) to die, put him in his coffin, with whatever
he is supposed to love best, to make him comfortable--and in addition a
few bugs, to clear the house of them--the mourners carry him out of the
house, taking care to bump him on the high threshold, and in due course
the coffin is rested for part of the funeral service in front of the
parsonage or the church. In providing for the comfort of the dead the
survivors show themselves remarkably thoughtful. No male Wend is buried
without his pipe, no married female without her bridal dress. Children are
given toys, and eggs, and apples. Money used to be put into the coffin,
but people found that it got stolen. So now the practice is restricted to
the very few Jews who are to be found among the Wends and who, it is
thought, cannot possibly be happy without money; and, with a degree of
consideration which to some people will appear excessive, some stones are
added, in order that they may have them "to throw at the Saviour." In
front of the church or parsonage the coffin is once more opened, and the
mourners, all clad in white--which is the Wendish colour for mourning--are
invited to have a last look at the body. Then follows the _Dobra noc_, a
quaint and strictly racial ceremony. The nearest relative of the dead, a
young person, putting a dense white veil over his or her head and body, is
placed at the back of the coffin, and from that place in brief words
answers on behalf of the dead such questions as affection may prompt near
friends and relatives to put. That done, the whole company join in the
melodious _Dobra noc_--wishing the dead one last "Good-night." After that,
the lid is once more screwed down and the coffin is lowered into the
grave.

There are few things more picturesque, I ought to say, than a funeral
procession in the Spreewald, made up of boats gliding noiselessly along
one of those dark forest canals, having the coffin hung with white, and
all the mourners dressed in the same colour, the women wearing the
regulation white handkerchief across their mouths. The gloom around is not
the half-night of Styx; but the thought of Charon and his boat
instinctively occurs to one. The whole seems rather like a melancholy
vision, or dream, than a reality.

Hard pressed as I am for space, I must find some to say, at any rate, just
a few words about Wendish marriage customs. For its gaiety, and noise, and
lavish hospitality, and protracted merriment, its finery and its curious
ways, the Wendish wedding has become proverbial throughout Germany. Were I
to detail all its quaint little touches, all its peculiar observances,
each one pregnant with peculiar mystic meaning, all its humours and all
its fun, I should have to give it an article by itself. It is a curious
mixture of ancient and modern superstition and Christianity, diplomacy and
warfare. The bride is still ostensibly carried off by force. Only a short
time ago the bridegroom and his men were required to wear swords in token
of warfare and conquest. But all the formal negotiation is done by
diplomacy--very cautiously, very carefully, as if one were feeling his
way. First comes an old woman, the _schotta_, to clear the ground. After
that the _druzba_, the best man, appears on the scene--to inquire about
pigs, or buckwheat, or millet, or whatever it may be, and incidentally
also about the lovely Hilzicka, whom his friend Janko is rather thinking
of paying his addresses to--the fact being all the while that long since
Janko and Hilzicka have, on the sly, arranged between themselves that they
are to be man and wife. But observe that in Wendland girls may propose as
well as men; and that the bridegroom, like the bride, wears his "little
wreath of rue"--_if he be an honest man_, in token of his virtue. The girl
and her parents visit the suitor's house quite unexpectedly. And there and
then only does the young lady openly decide. If she sits down in the
house, that means "Yes." And forthwith preparations are busily set on
foot. Custom requires that the bride should give up dancing and gaiety and
all that, leave off wearing red, and stitch away at her _trousseau_, while
her parents kill the fatted calf. Starve themselves as they will at other
times, at a wedding they must be liberal like _parvenus_. Towards this
hospitality, it is true, their friends and neighbours contribute, sending
butter and milk, and the like, just before the wedding, as well as making
presents of money and other articles to the young people at the feast
itself. But we have not yet got to that by a long way. The young man, too,
has his preparations to make. He has to send out the _braska_, the
"bidder," in his gay dress, to deliver invitations. How people would stare
in this country, were they to see a _braska_ making his rounds, with a
wreath on his hat, one or two coloured handkerchiefs dangling showily from
different parts of his coat, besides any quantity of gay ribbons and
tinsel, and a herald's staff covered with diminutive bunting! Then there
are the banns to be published, and on the Sunday of the second time of
asking, the bride and bridegroom alike are expected to attend the Holy
Communion, and afterwards to go through a regular examination--in Bible,
in Catechism, in reading--at the hands of the parson. By preference the
latter makes them read aloud the seventh chapter of the First Epistle to
the Corinthians. At the wedding itself, the ceremonial is so complicated
that the _braska_, the master of ceremonies, has to be specially trained
for his duties. There is a little farce first at the bride's house. The
family pretend to know nothing of what is coming; their doors and windows
are all closely barred, and the _braska_ is made to knock a long time
before the door is cautiously opened, with a gruff greeting which bids him
go away and not trouble peaceable folk. His demand for "a little shelter"
is only granted after much further parleying and incredulous inquiry about
the respectability of the intruding persons. When the bride is asked for,
an old woman is produced in her stead, next a little girl, then one or two
wrong persons more, till at last the true bride is brought forth in all
the splendour of a costume to which it is scarcely possible to do justice
in writing. As much cloth as will make up four ordinary gowns is folded
into one huge skirt. On the bride's neck hangs all conceivable finery of
pearls, and ribbons, and necklaces, and strings of silver coins--as much,
in fact, as the neck will carry. There is any amount of starched frilling
and collar above the shoulders; a close-fitting, blue silk bodice below;
and a high cap, something like a conjuror's--the _borta_, or bride's
cap--upon her head. Even her stockings are not of the ordinary make, but
knitted particularly large so as to have to be laid in folds. The wedding
party, driving off to church, preceded by at least six outriders, make as
big a clatter as pistol-firing, singing, shouting, thumping with sticks,
and discordant trumpeting will produce. On the road, and in church, a
number of little observances are prescribed. At the feast the bride, like
the bridegroom, has her male attendants, _swats_, whose duty it is, above
all things, to dance with her, should she want a partner. For this is the
last day of her dancing for life, except on Shrove Tuesdays, and, in some
Prussian parishes, by express order of the Government, on the Emperor's
birthday and the anniversary of Sedan. The bridegroom, on the other hand,
must not dance at the wedding, though he may afterwards. Like the bride,
he has his own _slonka_--his "old lady," that is--to serve him as guide,
philosopher and friend. Hospitality flows in unstinted streams. Sometimes
as many as two hundred persons sit down to the meals, and keep it up,
eating, drinking and dancing, for three days at least, sometimes for a
whole week at a stretch. It would be a gross breach of etiquette to leave
anything of the large portions served out on the table. Whatever cannot be
eaten must be carried home. Hence those waterproof pockets of phenomenal
size which, in olden days, Wendish parsons used to wear under their long
coat-tails, and into which, at gentlemen's houses, they used to deposit a
goodly store of sundry meats, poultry, pudding and _méringues_, to be
finally christened--surreptitiously, of course--with rather incongruous
affusions of gravy or soup, administered by the mischievous young
gentlemen of "the House," for the benefit of Frau Pastorin and her
children at home. Sunday and Tuesday are favourite days for a wedding.
Thursday is rigorously avoided. For two days the company feast at the
bride's house. Taking her to bed on the first night is a peculiar
ceremony. The young girls crowd around her in a close circle, and refuse
to let her go. The young lads do the same by the bridegroom. When, at
last, the two force an exit, they are formally received into similar
circles of married men and women severally. The bride is bereft of her
_borta_, and receives a _cjepc_, a married woman's cap, in its place.
After some more hocuspocus, the two are accompanied severally by the
_braska_ and the bride's _slonka_ into the bridal chamber, the bride
protesting all the time that she is "not yet her bridegroom's wife." The
_braska_ serves as valet to the bridegroom, the _slonka_ undresses the
bride. Then the _braska_ formally blesses the marriage-bed, and out walk
the two attendants to leave the young folk by themselves. Next morning the
bride appears as "wife," looking very demure, in a married woman's garb.
On that day the presents are given, amid many jokes--especially when it
comes to a cradle, or a baby's bath--from the _braska_ and the
_zwada_--the latter a sort of clown specially retained to amuse the bride,
who is expected to be terribly sad throughout. The sadder she is at the
wedding, the merrier, it is said, will she be in married life. There is
any amount of rather rough fun. On the third day, the company adjourn to
the house of the bridegroom's parents, where, according to an ancient
custom, the bride ought to go at once into the cowhouse, and upset a can
of water, "for luck." After that she is made to sit down to a meal, her
husband standing by, and waiting upon her. That accomplished, she should
carry a portion of meat to the poorest person in the village. A week
later, the young couple visit the bride's parents, and have a "young
wedding" _en famille_.

I have said enough, I hope, to shew what an interestingly childlike,
happily disposed, curious and contented race those few surviving Wends
are. And they are so peaceful and loyal. Russian and Bohemian Pan-slavists
have tried all their blandishments upon them, to rouse them up to an
anti-German agitation. In 1866 the Czar, besides dispensing decorations,
sent 63 cwts. of inflammatory literature among them. It was all to no
purpose. Surely these quiet, harmless folk, fathers as they are of the
North German race, might have been spared that uncalled-for nagging and
worrying which has often been pointed against them from Berlin for purely
political purposes! In the day of their power they were more tolerant of
Germanism. They fought side by side with the Franks, fought even under
Frankish chieftains. Germany owes them a debt, and should at least, as it
may be hoped that she now will, let them die in peace. Death no doubt is
bound to come. It cannot be averted. But it is a death which one may well
view with regret. For with the Wends will die a faithfully preserved
specimen of very ancient Slav life, quite unique in its way, as
interesting a piece of history, archæology and folk-lore as ever was met
with on the face of the globe.



VI.--VOLTAIRE AND KING STANISLAS.[9]


One can scarcely help wondering that among all the books written about
Voltaire and his varied experiences, there should be practically not one
which treats of that brief but eventful period during which, in company
with the "_sublime Emilie_," the great writer found himself the guest of
hospitable King Stanislas--"le philosophe-roi chez le roi-philosophe." To
Voltaire himself that was one of the most memorable episodes in his long
and changeful life. It left on his mind memories which lasted till death.
He showed this when, in 1757, looking about him for a peaceful haven of
rest, he fixed his eyes once more, as if instinctively, upon Lunéville as
a place in which to spend the evening of his days. Stanislas would have
been only too thankful to receive him. Old and feeble, rapidly growing
blind and helpless, and reduced by ill-health and the desertion of his
Court to the poor resource of playing _tric-trac_--backgammon--in his
lonely afternoons, with such uncourtly _bourgeois_ as his messengers could
pick up in the town, the _fainéant_ Duke would have hailed Voltaire's
presence, as he himself says, as a godsend. However, the _philosophe_ was
once more out of favour with Louis XV. Accordingly, the permission was
withheld, and the royal father-in-law found himself denied the small
solace which surely he might have looked for at the hand of his daughter's
husband.

The biographical neglect of Voltaire's stay in Lorraine appears all the
more surprising since in Lorraine, almost alone of Voltaire's favourite
haunts, are there visible memorials left of his sojourn. Nowhere else is
anything preserved that could recall Voltaire. In Lorraine dragoons and
_piou-pious_ now tramp where in his day courtiers sauntered, and
nursemaids lounge where the first wits of the century made the air ring
with their _bon-mots_. Still, the stone buildings, at any rate, of
Lunéville and Commercy have been allowed to stand, and French
destructiveness has spared some of the flower-beds that delighted
Voltaire. In that pretty "Bosquet" of Lunéville you may walk where
Voltaire trod, where he rallied Madame de Boufflers on her "Magdalen's
tears," where Saint Lambert made sly appointments with Madame du
Châtelet--and with not a few other ladies as well. In the Palace you may
step into the upper room where Voltaire lived and wrote, and fought out
his battles with the bigot Alliot. You may walk into "le petit appartement
de la reine," on the ground-floor, which Stanislas good-naturedly gave up
to Madame du Châtelet for her confinement--and her death. There it was
that those impassioned scenes occurred of which every biographer of
Voltaire speaks, and there that the Marchioness's ring was found to tell
the mortifying tale of her unfaithfulness to her most devoted lover. You
may walk through that side-door through which, dazed with grief, the
stupefied philosopher stumbled; and sit on the low stone-step--one of a
short flight facing the town--on which he dropped in helpless despair,
"knocking his head against the pavement." In that hideously rococo church,
tawdrily gay with gew-gaw ornament, you may stand by the black marble
slab, still bare of any inscription, below which rest, rudely disturbed by
the rough mobs-men of the first Revolution, the decayed bones of the
_sublime_ but faithless _Emilie_.

Barring his rather unnecessary grief over the threatened production of a
travestied _Semiramis_, there were for Voltaire no happier two years than
those which saw him, with one or two interruptions, King Stanislas' guest.
And to Stanislas, eager as he was to attach the great writer to his bright
little court, there could have been no more welcome rigour than that
which, at his daughter's instance, drove the leading spirit of the age
into temporary exile. Voltaire had paid his court a little too openly to
the powerful favourite. After that _cavagnole_ scandal at Fontainebleau,
neither he nor Madame du Châtelet stood for the time in the best of odours
at Court. Therefore, it probably required little persuasion on the part of
the two royal princesses, prompted by their revengeful mother, to prevail
upon Louis XV. in that one little square-rod of hallowed ground, over
which the power of the mighty Circe did not extend, their nursery, to
decree the banishment of the poet. Madame de Pompadour might have reversed
the judgment had she been given the chance; but she was not given it, and,
after all, Voltaire's exile did not make much difference to her. So the
philosopher and Emilie were allowed to pursue their cold winter's journey,
amid sundry break-downs and accidents, and prolonged involuntary
star-gazing in a frosty night, to that pretty little oasis in ugly
Champagne--a Lorrain _enclave_--in which stood the du Châtelets' castle.

Stanislas did not allow the brilliant couple to remain long in their
uncongenial retirement. He was anxious not to be forestalled by Prussian
Frederick, who made wry faces enough on finding the preference over
himself and his famous Sans-souci given to the _prince bourgeois_ and his
_tabagie de Lunéville_. Stanislas' great ambition was, to make his Court a
favoured seat of learning and letters. In his own, rather too
complimentary opinion, he was himself something of a _littérateur_.
Voltaire laughed pretty freely--behind the king's back--at his uncouth and
incorrect prose and at those long and limping verses _de onze à quatorze
pieds_, which the world has long since forgotten, as well it might. There
are some well-put thoughts to be found in the king's _Réflexions sur
divers sujets de morale_--for instance: "l'esprit est bien peu de chose
quand ce n'est que de l'esprit," to say nothing of his oft-quoted motto:
"malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem." But, at best his
writings, however carefully revised by Solignac--his answer to Rousseau,
and his _Oeuvres d'un Philosophe Bienfaisant_--are but ephemeral trash.
Really, Stanislas could not even speak or write French correctly. But
though he was nothing of a writer, and not much more of a wit, he knew
thoroughly how to appreciate talent and genius in others. And in a man
occupying nominally royal rank, placed at the head of a brilliant Court,
having a civil list corresponding in value to at least 6,000,000 francs in
the present day, and a pension list of perfectly amazing length in his
bestowal, such appreciation must mean something.

To understand the life of the little world into which, in 1748, Voltaire
entered, we ought to remember what at that time Lorraine and its Court
were. Stanislas had not been put upon his ephemeral throne without a
definite object. To lodge the French king's penniless father-in-law, who
no doubt had to be maintained somewhere, in the Palace of Lunéville,
instead of that of Meudon or of Blois, and to allow him to amuse himself
with playing at being king, was one thing. But very much more was required
of him. In 1737 France had, after toying for several centuries, with
greedy eyes and hungry tongue, with the precious morsel of Lorraine, at
length firmly and finally closed her jaws upon it. It was a bitter fate
for the duchy, in which France was detested; and the hardship was felt by
every one of its sons from the powerful "grands chevaux" down to the
humblest peasant. Of what French government meant, the Lorrains had had
more than one taste. They were sipping at the bitter cup at that very
time; they were having it raised daily to their lips, while that ablest of
French administrators, De la Galaizière--a veritable French Bismarck,
hard-headed, hard-hearted, inexorably firm, and pitilessly exacting--was
loading them with _corvées_, with _vingtièmes_, with the burden of
conscription for the French army, plaguing them with high-handed judgments
and oppressive penalties, all of which ran directly counter to the
constitution which the nominal sovereign, Stanislas, had sworn to observe.
It was Galaizière who was king, not Stanislas, the ornamental figure-head;
and under his stern rule all Lorraine cried out.

Even courtly Saint Lambert, who, as a moneyless member of the _petite
noblesse_, with his mouth wide open for French favours, represented in
truth the least popular element in Lorrain Society, felt impelled by his
Muse to record his protest in verse:

  J'ai vu le magistrat qui régit la province
    L'esclave de la Cour, et l'ennemi du prince,
  Commander _la corvée_ à de tristes cantons,
    Où Cérès et la faim commandoient les moissons.
  On avoit consumé les grains de l'autre année;
      Et je crois voir encore la veuve infortunée,
  Le débile orphelin, le vieillard épuisé,
    Se trainer, en pleurant, au travail imposé.
  Si quelques malheureux, languissants, hors d'haleine,
    Cherchent un gazon frais, le bord de la fontaine,
  Un piqueur inhumain les ramène aux travaux,
    Ou leur vend à prix d'or un moment de repos.

But there was no help for it. Kind-hearted Stanislas was caused many a
wretched hour by the incongruity of his position, which led his "subjects"
to appeal to him against the oppression of "his chancellor," as he
patronizingly called him who was in truth his master. He had begged Louis
to appoint a more humane and merciful man, but his prayer had proved of no
avail.

Still, there was something which Stanislas could do. Affable, genial,
kind, free-handed to a fault, the stranger puppet-king--the originally
distrusted "Polonais"--might, in spite of all harsh government
administered in his name, by tact and liberality gain the personal
affections of his nominal subjects, and so in the character of a Lorrain
Prince discharge better than any one else that odious task of
un-Lorraining the Lorrains. All things considered, he earned his civil
list.

French writers have very needlessly contended over the motives which led
Father Menoux, of all men, the King's Jesuit confessor, to urge Stanislas
to invite the great _philosophe_ to his Court. Although repeatedly
assailed on the score of its inherent improbability, Voltaire's own
version is doubtless the most plausible. One of the leading
characteristics of the Lorrain Court, as Voltaire knew it, was the sharp
division prevailing between French and Lorrains, Jesuits and
_philosophes_. By all his antecedents--by his rigidly Romanist education,
by the principles carefully instilled into him, first by his parents,
later by his wife--Stanislas was predisposed to take sides staunchly with
the Jesuits. A more devout Catholic was not to be found. The king made all
his household attend mass, appointed a special almoner for his
_gardes-du-corps_, and directed the kitchen-folk to select a monastery for
the scene of their daily devotions. In respect of offerings, the Church
bled him freely, and found him a willing victim. More especially during
the lifetime of his wife, that homely, very religious Catherine Opalinska
whose _bourgeois_ manners gave such great offence to the courtiers of
Versailles, the Jesuit faction had it all their own way.

But when Voltaire came to the Court, Catherine had been nearly a year in
her grave. King Stanislas' immediate _entourage_, it is true, was still
wholly Jesuit--the French governor, Galaizière; the King's _intendant_,
Alliot; his father-confessor, Menoux; his useful secretary, de Solignac;
Bathincourt, Thiange, and Madame de Grafigny's "Panpan," De Vaux. But
otherwise a decided change had come over the scene. The lady head of the
Court now was the peculiarly attractive Marquise de Boufflers, a declared
_philosophe_, and, in virtue of her birth, the powerful leader of the
Lorrain faction. She was a Beauvau, the daughter of that lovely Princesse
de Craon who had ruled the heart of the late Duke Leopold. Her husband
(who had not stood seriously in the way of her _amours_) was dead; and she
was therefore quite free to give herself up to her _liaison_ with
Stanislas, who had formally installed her in some of the best apartments
in the palace, in a suite adjoining his own, and handed over to her the
management of the Court. She must have been a remarkably fascinating
woman. We find Voltaire, in his courtly way, writing of her:

  Vos yeux sont beaux, mais votre âme est plus belle,
        Vous êtes simple et naturelle,
  Et sans prétendre à rien, vous triomphez de tous.
  Si vous eussiez vécu du temps de Gabrielle,
        Je ne sais ce qu'on eût dit de vous,
        Mais l'on n'aurait point parlé d'elle.

She is described as possessing a fine girlish figure, a peculiarly clear
and delicate complexion, exceptionally beautiful hair, and neat hands
(which made de Tressan enamoured of her "_comme un fou_") and, moreover, a
charming lightness and grace of movement and manner--endowments of nature
which scarcely needed a fine discriminating taste and more than average
intellectual powers to render effective. She sang, played, painted pastel,
and possessed an inexhaustible fund of tact and self-command. Whenever she
happened to be absent from the Court, de Tressan writes to Devaux, "Je me
meurs, je péris d'ennui. On ne joue point, la société est décousue." Her
nickname at Court was "La Dame de Volupté," which, as is shown by the
following lines, composed by herself for her epitaph, she accepted
good-humouredly:--

  Ci gît, dans une paix profonde,
  Cette Dame de Volupté,
  Qui, pour plus grande sûreté,
  Fit son paradis dans ce monde.

To the priests her relations with Stanislas constituted a serious
stumbling-block, and many a lecture had the king to listen to from his
confessor, Menoux. He accepted it submissively, and even performed the
penances which on the score of Madame de Boufflers the Jesuit decreed. But
discard her he would not, on any consideration. Just as little, on the
other hand, would he discard the Jesuit, however good-humouredly he might
listen to Madame de Boufflers' rather violent abuse of him.

Menoux was now trembling for his authority. Madame de Boufflers'
influence appeared to him to be growing too formidable. They were curious
relations which subsisted between Voltaire and the priest. With de Tressan
and other Academicians Menoux was at open and embittered feud. Voltaire
was more of a statesman. To their faces the two opponents invariably
professed the sincerest friendship and the warmest admiration. Even many
years after we find Voltaire, when writing to Menoux, declaring to him his
unaltered love and attachment, while at the same time paying the Abbé
delicate compliments on the score of his _esprit_: "Je voudrais que vous
m'aimassiez, car je vous aime." Behind their backs they called each other
names. Menoux was by no means a mere hierophantic prig or sacerdotal oaf.
Voltaire calls him "le plus intrigant et le plus hardi prêtre que j'ai
jamais connu," and adds that he had "milked" Stanislas to the extent of a
full million. D'Almbert describes him as the type of a Court
divine--"habitué au meilleur monde," without any "rigidité
claustrale"--"homme d'infiniment d'esprit, fin, délicat, intelligent,
subtile, ayant heureusement cultivé les lettres et en conservant les
grâces et la fraicheur sans la moindre trace de pédanterie." Between him
and Boufflers there was continual warfare--above-ground and below-ground,
by open hostilities and by schemes and intrigues. It was with a view to
checkmating Boufflers, so Voltaire relates, that Menoux first suggested an
invitation to Voltaire and Madame du Châtelet to come to the Court. Madame
du Châtelet was to become the favourite's rival. To this theory French
writers object that, as du Châtelet was some years older than Boufflers,
not nearly as good-looking, certainly not _dévote_, and another man's
property already, the scheme was absurd. In the result Menoux certainly
showed himself to have made a mistake; but that was owing to a
circumstance which neither he nor any one else could have foreseen.
Otherwise the scheme cannot be pronounced bad. To literary-minded
Stanislas, at his time of life, the intellectual graces of du Châtelet
might well balance the greater personal attractions of Boufflers. Besides,
Menoux did not look for an actual ally so much as for a rival to the
favourite. Even to lessen her absolute authority would be quite enough for
his purpose. He travelled all the way to Cirey to sound the two, and,
finding them willing, pressed their invitation upon Stanislas.

Stanislas was, as Menoux had foreseen, only too eager to accept the
suggestion. He had had more than one taste of the pleasures of playing the
Mæcenas. Montesquieu had been at his Court, working there at his _Esprit
des Lois_, and Madame de Grafigny, Helvétius, Hénault, Maupertuis; and the
shy and retiring, but gifted Devaux was a fixture. However, Stanislas
wanted more. The only disappointment to Menoux was that he found the
invitation planned by himself actually issued by his rival, Madame de
Boufflers. It was, of course, accepted; and the beginning of 1748 saw
Voltaire and Madame du Châtelet safely arrived at Commercy.

The Lorrain Court, always bright and gay, was at that time perhaps at its
very brightest. Stanislas, being permitted to play at being king, and
given ample pecuniary resources for doing so, played the game in good
earnest, with a due appreciation of showy externals, and with a
singularly happy grace. He had at his command an apparatus which any real
king might have envied. Here was Commercy, raised by Durand for the rich
and tasteful Prince de Vaudémont, the friend of our William III. and of
the elder Pretender, a blaze of magnificence, with gardens around it, and
sheets of water, and cascades, which cast Versailles into the shade. His
principal residence, however, one of the masterpieces designed by
Boffrand, was the Palace of Lunéville. On seeing it Louis XV., surprised
at its grandeur, exclaimed, "Mais, mon père, vous êtes mieux logé que
moi." That was the

              salon magnifique,
  Moitié Turc et moitié Chinois,
  Où le goût moderne et l'antique,
  Sans se nuire, ont uni leurs lois,

of which Voltaire writes--very incongruous, but decidedly splendid and
comfortable. Stanislas had added the delightful "Bosquet," laid out for
him by Gervais--overloading it, it is true, with kiosks and pavilions,
renaissance architecture and renaissance statuary, a hermitage, and
eventually with de Tressan's "Chartreuse." Like all persons of "taste" in
his day, Stanislas loved gimcrackery; he had utilized François Richard's
inventive genius for embellishing his principal residence with a unique
contrivance, admired by all Europe--an artificial rock with clockwork
machinery setting about eighty figures in motion. You may see a picture of
it still in the Nancy Museum. It must have been very ingenious and very
ugly. First, there was a miller's wife opening her casement-window to
answer some supposed caller; then two cronies appear on the scene,
engaging in a morning chat. A shepherd playing on his _musette_ leads his
flock, tinkling with bells, across the rock. Two wethers engage in a real
contest; a clockwork dog jumps up, barking, and separates them. There was
a forge, with hammers beating and sparks flying. An insatiable tippler
knocks at the closed door of the tavern, and is answered by the hostess
with a pailful of water emptied upon his head from a window above. In the
distance a pious hermit is seen telling his beads. And in the background
is discovered, standing on a balcony, to crown the whole, the Queen,
Catherine Opalinska, complacently looking down upon the scene, while two
sentries pace solemnly up and down, occasionally presenting arms. Such
were the toys of royalty in those days. Besides these two palaces
Stanislas had others--Chanteheux, well in view from Lunéville, built in
the Polish style: "rien de plus superbe, rien de plus irrégulier";
Einville, flat and level, disparaged by the duc de Luynes, but
nevertheless grand, and possessing a "salon" famed for its magnificence
throughout Europe; and lastly the historic Malgrange, close to Nancy, the
"Sans souci" of Henri le Bon, in which Catherine of Bourbon had met the
Roman doctors of divinity, despatched to convert her, in learned
disputation, and sent them away discomfited, to the no little annoyance of
her brother, Henri IV. Beyond this, Héré was at work beautifying Nancy in
the Louis-Quinze style, with statuary and balustrades, gorgeous gateways,
and magnificent arches; and he was building that handsome palace, which
now serves as the Commanding General's quarters, in which, in 1814, when
the Emperor of Austria, the last real Lorrain Duke's grandson, was lodged
there, was hatched the Absolutist conspiracy of the "Holy Alliance."

The Court itself was modelled entirely on the pattern of the superior
Olympus of Versailles. "On ne croyait pas avoir changé de lieu quand on
passait de Versailles à Lunéville," says Voltaire. There was splendour,
display, lavishness, gilding everywhere--only in Lorraine there was an
absolute absence of etiquette and restraint--"ce qui complétait le
charme." At Lunéville the etiquette was of the slightest. From the other
palaces it was wholly banished--"me voici dans un beau palais, avec la
plus grande liberté (et pourtant chez un roi)--à la Cour sans être
courtisan." "C'est un homme charmant que le roi Stanislas," Voltaire goes
on, in another letter. And not without cause. For Stanislas had placed
himself and all his household at the great writer's service. The king
entertained a perfect army of Court dignitaries, who had scarcely anything
to do for their salaries. He had his _gardes-du-corps_, resplendent in
scarlet and silver, his _cadets-gentilhommes_, who were practically pages,
half of them Lorrains, the remainder Poles, his regular pages, two of whom
must always stand by him, when playing at _tric-trac_, never moving a
muscle all the while. He had his pet dwarf "Bébé," decked out in military
dress, with a diminutive toy-coach and two goats to carry him about, and a
page in yellow and black always to wait upon him. This dwarf the king
would for a joke occasionally have baked up in a pie. Upon the pie being
opened Bébé would jump out, sword in hand, greatly frightening the ladies
and performing on the dinner-table a sort of war-dance, which was his
great accomplishment. Then he had his _musique_, headed by Anet, the
particular friend of Lulli, and with Baptiste, another friend of Lulli,
for "premier violon." The Lorrain court had always been noted for its
concerts, its theatricals and its _sauteries_--that was at the time the
fashionable name for balls. Adrienne Lecouvreur, Mademoiselle Clairon,
Fleury, had all come out first on the Lorrain stage. Lunéville it was
which invented the "Cotillon," which has become so popular all over the
continent. Lunéville also was the birthplace of the aristocratic and
graceful "Chapelet." And king Stanislas' orchestra enjoyed a European
reputation. "Do you pay your musicians better than I do?" asked Louis
Quinze of his father-in-law with a touch of jealousy. "No, my brother; but
I pay them for what they do, you pay them for what they know." There was
wit and fashion in abundance, and a galaxy of beauty--the royal-born
Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, the Princesse de Lützelburg, the fascinating
Princesse de Talmonde, Stanislas' cousin, who subdued the heart of our
young Pretender, the Countess of Leiningen, the Princesse de Craon, Madame
de Mirepoix, Madame de Chimay, and others. But what of all things
Stanislas prided himself upon most were his table and his kitchen. He was,
as I have said, fond of gimcracks and he was a great eater, though he
often concentrated all his eating upon one Gargantuan meal. The
dinner-hour never came round fast enough for him, which made Galaizière
say, "If you go on like that, Sire, we shall shortly have you dining the
day before." His particular delight were quaint culinary refinements,
"imitations" and "surprises," which were only to be achieved with the
help of so accomplished a master as his supreme _chef de cuisine_ (there
were five other _chefs_ besides) Gilliers, the author of that unsurpassed
cookery-book, _Le cannaméliste français_. Every dining-table at Court was
a mechanical work of art. Touch a spring, when the cloth was removed, and
there would start up a magnificent _surtout_--there were some measuring
five feet by three--a silversmith's _chef d'oeuvre_, covered with rocks,
and castles, and trees, and statuary, a swan spouting water at a beautiful
Leda, and the like. And between these ornaments was set out a rich array
of dessert, likewise so shaped as to represent every variety of figures,
like Dresden China. One year, when all the fruit failed--I believe it was
while Voltaire was in Lorraine, in 1749, which was a year of unparalleled
distress--Gilliers kept the Court supplied with a continual succession of
imitation fruit, which did service for real plums and peaches. Stanislas
had introduced such "bizarreries septentrionales" as raw _choucroûte_ and
unsavoury messes of meat and fruit, and imitation _plongeon_ (great
northern diver), produced by plucking a goose alive, beating it to death
with rods, and preparing it in a peculiar way. A turkey treated in the
same manner found itself transformed into a sham capercailzie. But the
_chefs d'oeuvre_ were Gilliers' "surprises," prepared after much thought,
to which Stanislas contributed his share. Voltaire makes out that "bread
and wine"--which he did not always get--would have been amply sufficient
for his modest wants; but what we hear of the Lorrain Court shows him to
have been by no means indifferent to the products of Gillier's inimitable
_cuisine_. We read of Voltaire's eyes glistening with delight when, after
the removal of the cloth, what looked like a ham was brought upon the
table, and a truffled tongue. The ham turned out to be a confectionery
made up of strawberry preserve and whipped cream, _pané_ with macaroons;
the tongue something of the same sort, truffled with chocolate. I must not
forget the coffee, to which Voltaire, like most great writers, was
devoted. Swift declared that he could not write unless he had "his coffee
twice a week." Voltaire consumed from six to eight cups at a
sitting--which is nothing compared with the performance of Delille, who,
to keep off the megrim, swallowed twenty. Stanislas employed a special
_chef du café_, La Veuve Christian, who was responsible for its quality.
Then, there was the wine, Stanislas' special hobby. Of course, he had all
the Lorrain _crûs_. The best of these, that grown on the famous Côte de
Malzéville, close to Nancy, he had made sure of by bespeaking the entire
produce in advance for his lifetime, at twelve francs the "measure." His
peculiar pride, however, was his Tokay. Every year his predecessor,
Francis, become Emperor of Germany, sent him a large cask, escorted all
the way by a guard of Austrian grenadiers. As soon as ever that cask
arrived, Stanislas set personally to work. What with drugs, and syrups,
and sugar, and other wine, he manufactured out of one cask about ten,
which he drew off into bottles specially made for the purpose. Some he
kept for his own use at dessert. The larger portion he distributed among
his friends, who every one of them becomingly declared upon their oath
that better Tokay they had never tasted.

But there were better things to entertain the Lorrain Court. There were
fêtes; there were theatricals--at some of which Voltaire and du Châtelet
performed in person, Voltaire as the "Assesseur" in _L'Etourderie_, du
Châtelet as "Issé"; there was brilliant conversation, music, everything
that money could buy and good company produce. And Voltaire was the fêted
of all. "Voltaire était dieu à la Cour de Stanislas," says Capefigue. He
could do as he liked--sleep, wake, work, mix with the company, stroll
about alone--without any restraint; the king and all were at his beck, all
eager for his every word, taking everything from him in the best part,
appreciating, admiring, worshipping. His plays were put upon the stage. He
was allowed to drill the actors at his pleasure. In this way, _Le
Glorieux_ was produced with great pomp; also _Nanine_, _Brutus_, _Mérope_,
and _Zaïre_, the last-named, for a novelty, by a troupe of children.
Whatever he wrote, he could make sure that he would have an attentive
audience of illustrious personages to hear him read out.

  Je coule ici mes heureux jours,
  Dans la plus tranquille des Cours,
  Sans intrigue, sans jalousie,
  Auprès d'un roi sans courtisans,
  Près de Boufflers et d'Emilie;
  Je les vois et je les entends,
  Il faut bien que je fasse envie.

If Voltaire was "god," Madame du Châtelet was "goddess"--waited upon,
petted, having her every wish and every whim studied and gratified. There
could seemingly be no more congenial, mutually appreciative group of
persons than Stanislas and Voltaire, the Marquise de Boufflers and the
Marquise du Châtelet.

Stanislas was then already an oldish man--according to one of his
biographers, Abbé Aubert, sixty-six; according to another, Abbé Proyart,
seventy-one. He was not quite the robust hero that he had been when he
accompanied Charles XII. on his trying ride to Bender, and shared rough
camp-life with Mazeppa. When, in 1744, Charles Alexander of Lorraine
crossed the Rhine at the head of 80,000 Austrians, and sent out manifestos
which gladdened his countrymen's hearts, proclaiming that he was coming to
take possession of the old Duchy--when signal-fires blazed on every
hilltop of the Vosges to bid him welcome, and all Lorraine was throbbing
with patriotic excitement; when Galaizière mustered what scratch forces he
could improvise for defence, and dragged the twelve ornamental pieces of
cannon out of the Lunéville Park to point against the foe--then Stanislas,
remembering his age, had discreetly retired, in a sad state of tremor,
behind the safe walls of Nancy. But in 1748 he was at any rate still hale
and hearty, and bore the weight of his years with an easy grace. He
managed to gallop to the Malgrange at a pace which left all his younger
companions far behind. He is described as of winning manners, rather
majestic in figure and bearing, of an engaging countenance, exceedingly
good-natured and affable. It was said that "il ne savait pas haïr." "Je ne
veux pas," he declared when multiplying charities and hospitals, "qu'il y
ait un genre de maladie dont mes sujets pauvres ne puissent se faire
traiter gratuitement." Among such "maladies" he included "the law"--for he
paid advocates to give gratuitous advice to the poor.

Voltaire is described as about at his best at that period. The air of
Lorraine is said to have suited him particularly well. He was just turned
fifty--a little too old, as Madame du Châtelet was cruel enough to inform
him, to act the part of an ardent lover, but appearing to less exacting
persons still in the very vigour of manhood. "Après une vie sobre, réglée,
sagement laborieuse," he is represented as "well preserved"--slim,
straight, upright, of a good bearing, with a well-shaped leg and a neat
little foot. His features, we know, were wanting in regularity; but they
wore a benevolent and pleasing expression. His greatest charm is said to
have lain in his brilliant and expressive eyes, which seemed by their play
to be ever anticipating the action of his lips. His mind certainly was
still young, and so were his tastes. He is described as a most fastidious
dandy, _irréprochablement poudré et parfumé_, affecting clothes of the
latest cut and richly embroidered with gold. To his factotum at Paris,
Abbé Moussinot, he writes from Lunéville: "Send me some diamond buckles
for shoes or garters, twenty pounds of hair-powder, twenty pounds of
scent, a bottle of essence of jessamine, two 'enormous' pots of pomatum _à
la fleur d'orange_, two powder puffs, two embroidered vests,"--&c. He was,
moreover, an accomplished courtier. Properly to ingratiate himself with
his new host, he made his appearance at Commercy with a complimentary copy
of his _Henriade_ in his hand, on the flyleaf of which were penned these
lines:

  Le ciel, comme Henri, voulut vous éprouver:
  La bonté, la valeur à tous deux fut commune,
  Mais mon héros fit changer la fortune
      Que votre vertu sut braver.

Of Madame du Châtelet's appearance we have two hopelessly irreconcilable
accounts. She was certainly past forty-two; if her ill-natured cousin, the
Marquise de Créqui, speaks truly (and she refers doubters to the parish
register of St. Roch), she was even five years more. Voltaire's portrait
of her, painted with the brush of admiration, is probably more
complimentary than strictly truthful. Madame du Deffand limns her in very
different lines:--"Une femme grande et sèche, une maîtresse d'école sans
hanches, la poitrine étroite, et sur la poitrine une petite mappe-monde
perdue dans l'espace, de gros bras trop courts pour ses passions, des
pieds de grue, une tête d'oiseau de nuit, le nez pointu, deux petits yeux
verts de mer et verts de terre, le teint noir et rouge, la bouche plate et
les dents clair-semées." This hideous portraiture, it is true, Sainte
Beuve protests against as a "page plus amèrement satirique" than any to be
found in French literature. But Madame de Créqui has even worse to say of
her cousin, adding, by way of further embellishment, "des pieds terribles,
et des mains formidables"--let alone that, if Emilie was "une merveille de
force," she was also at the same time "un prodige de gaucherie." "Voilà la
belle Emilie!" Even Voltaire speaks of her "main d'encre encore salie."
However, everybody agrees in praising the grace of her manner, the
remarkably attractive play of her expressive eyes--Saint Lambert calls her
"la brune à l'oeil fripon"--and her peculiar skill in becomingly dressing
her dark hair. She spoke with engaging animation and quickly--"comme moi
quand je fais la française," says Madame de Grafigny (who was always proud
of being a Lorraine)--"comme un ange," she completes the sentence. If
during the day, while wholly engrossed upon her _Newton_, Emilie showed a
little too much of the pedant, according to the same lady's testimony--"le
soir elle est charmante."

The advent of the brilliant couple from Cirey, it need not be stated,
added further strength to the _philosophe_ party. Abbé Menoux found out
that he had reckoned without his host. Between the two Marchionesses, De
Boufflers and du Châtelet, in the place of the expected jealousy and
rivalry, there proved to be nothing but sincere, close, and demonstrative
friendship. To some extent Madame du Châtelet's amiability towards the
Duke's favourite was a piece of diplomacy. She had not come into Lorraine
without a very material object in view. Her husband was not as well off as
either he or she might have wished; and, although in other matters she
showed herself very indifferent to the dull "_bonhomme_"--that is what she
used to call him--in matters of money she thoroughly supported his
interest. As in some respect a vassal of the Duke of Lorraine, and a
member of one of those four distinguished families which were known in
Lorraine as "Les grands Chevaux"--the Lignivilles, the Lenoncourts, the
Haraucourts and the du Châtelets--she considered that her husband had
something like a claim upon king Stanislas. One of King Stanislas' best
pieces of patronage, the post of _grand maréchal des maisons_, worth 2,000
_écus_ a year, had at the time fallen vacant, and for her husband _la
belle Emilie_ resolved to secure it. It cost her a tough struggle, for
there was a formidable rival in the field in the person of Berchenyi, a
Hungarian, and one of the King's old favourites. However, her woman's
persistence triumphed in the end. Apart from such cupboard love, the two
women, both of them possessing _esprit_, both born courtiers, and both,
moreover, sharing a sublime contempt for the prosaic rules of what has
become known as the "Nonconformist Conscience," seemed thoroughly made for
one another. And their alliance told upon the Court. The Jesuits became
alarmed. Menoux put himself upon his defence, and threw himself into the
contest, more particularly with Voltaire, with a degree of vigour and
energy which taxed all the combative power of his opponent. Others might
eye the infidel askance and profess a holy horror of the opinions of one
whom Heaven was fully expected some day to punish in its own way. There is
an amusing anecdote of an unexpected encounter between Madame Alliot, the
wife of the "Jesuit" _intendant_, and Voltaire, both of whom rushed for
shelter, in a sudden and exceptionally violent storm, under the same tree.
At first the lady shrank from the atheist as from an unclean thing. The
rain, however, was inexorable. She revenged herself by preaching to the
infidel, attributing the entire displeasure of Heaven, as evidenced in
that fearful storm, to his unbelief. Voltaire, it is said, not feeling
quite sure of his ground while lightnings were flashing, and in no sort of
mood to play the Ajax, contented himself with meekly pleading that he had
"written very much more that was good of Him to whom the lady referred
than the lady herself could ever say in her whole life." Such harmless
little hits the _philosophe_ had now and then to put up with; but for
serious fighting few besides Menoux had any stomach. Devaux (Panpan),
however "dévot," was disarmed by being--quite on the sly, but no less
ardently--one of Madame de Boufflers' chosen admirers. Galaizière was
taken up with other things. Solignac was too much of a dependent. "Mon
Dieu" Choiseul did not carry sufficient weight. There was, indeed, another
Abbé at Court, who might have been expected to help: Porquet, who became
the Duke's almoner, a most amusing person in a passive way. But he was by
no means cut out for a champion. Besides, being tutor to the young de
Boufflers, he was scarcely a free agent. He himself describes himself as
an "homme empaillé." When first appointed almoner, and called upon to say
grace, he found that he had quite forgotten his Benedicite. Stanislas made
him occasionally read to him out of the Bible, with the result that,
half-dozing over the sacred page, he fell into mis-readings such as this:
"Dieu apparut en singe à Jacob." "Comment," interrupted the Duke, "c'est
'en songe' que vous voulez dire!" "Eh, Sire, tout n'est-il pas possible à
la puissance de Dieu?"

There was one sturdy supporter of Catholicism, however, who never flinched
from the fight: that was Alliot, the Duke's _intendant_, who, by virtue of
his office, had it in his power to make his dislike sharply felt. With
what abhorrence he regarded the infidel guest, for whom he had to cater,
we may learn from the contemporary records of his clerical allies,
narratives which do not ordinarily come under the notice of persons
reading about Voltaire. One can scarcely help drawing the inference that
King Stanislas, with all his goodness and all his affected devotion to
_periculosa libertas_, was a little bit of a "Mr. Facing-both-ways," using
very different arguments in different companies--a Pharisee to the
Pharisees, a _philosophe_ to the _philosophes_. Only thus could it come
about that we have such extraordinary stories, altogether inconsistent
with known facts, vouched for on the authority of reverend divines like
Abbé Aubert and Abbé Proyart. "On vit quelquefois," says Abbé Proyart, "à
la Cour du roi de Pologne certains sujets peu dignes de sa confiance, et
le Prince les connoissoit; mais il trouvoit dans sa religion même des
motifs de ne pas les éloigner." It was represented to him (by Alliot) that
Voltaire "faisoit l'hypocrite." "C'est lui même, et non pas moi qu'il fait
dupe," replied the king. "Son hypocrisie du moins est un hommage qu'il
rend à la vertu. Et ne vaut-il pas mieux que nous le voyions hypocrite ici
que scandaleux ailleurs?" But "le vrai sage," the Abbé goes on, found
himself compelled at last to dismiss "le faux philosphe, qui commençoit à
répandre à sa Cour le poison de ses dangereuses maximes." Under this
clerical gloss the well-known story of Alliot stopping Voltaire's supply
of food and candles assumes a totally new shape. "Ce ne fut pas une petite
affaire que d'obliger Voltaire à sortir du château de Lunéville." In vain
did the king treat his guest with marked coldness; the philosopher would
not take the hint. In his predicament Stanislas appealed to the
_intendant_ for advice. "Sire," replies Alliot, "_hoc genus dæmoniorum non
ejicitur nisi in oratione et jejunio_," which means, he explains, that
"pour se débarrasser de pareilles pestes," having "prayed" them to go
without avail, he should now enforce a "fast," which would certainly drive
them out of the place. Stanislas is alleged to have fallen in with the
Jesuit's counsels; hence that open tiff with Alliot over the stoppage of
provisions, which made Voltaire complain that he had not been allowed
"bread, wine and candles." In truth, of course, all this clerical story is
pure invention. Of the stopping of the provisions Stanislas knew nothing
till advised by Voltaire, when he quickly set the matter right.

What with feasting, working, acting, dancing, travelling, the time passed
most pleasantly. "En vérité," writes Voltaire to the Countess D'Argental,
"ce séjourci est délicieux; c'est un château enchanté dont le maître fait
les honneurs. Je crois que Madame du Châtelet passerait ici sa vie."
Sometimes at Commercy, sometimes at the Malgrange, most generally at
Lunéville, with visitors coming and going, discussions raised, attentions
being paid this side and that, gallantry, billiards, _tric-trac_,
_lansquenet_, _comète_ (which was a great favourite), marionettes, fancy
balls, time could hang heavily on no one's hands. "On a de tout ici, hors
du temps." Madame du Châtelet, writing till five o'clock in the morning,
though she rose not later than nine, worked hard at her translation of
_Newton_, which Voltaire cried up as a masterpiece--more particularly the
preface. Whenever she found herself at fault, she had a splendidly
fitted-up astronomical cabinet, kept up by Stanislas, to fall back upon, a
cabinet which, says Voltaire, "n'a pas son pareil en France." Voltaire
himself carried on a brisk correspondence with the Argentals, with
Frederick the Great, with his friend Falkener in Wandsworth, and with many
more, and worked at his history "de cette maudite guerre," at the _Siècle
de Louis XIV._, at _Catilina_, and so on, with the easy industry which
comes from comfort and absolute absence of restraint amid agreeable
surroundings. To ingratiate himself the more with Madame de Boufflers, he
wrote _La Femme qui a raison_. He acted and he criticized. He performed
with a magic lantern, to the great amusement of the Court; and at masked
balls he got himself up, sometimes as a "wild man," sometimes as an
ancient augur. He was sorely troubled when threatened with a performance
in Paris of a travesty of _Semiramis_. Then he lost some manuscripts.
Then, again, Menoux frightened him with a tale that _Le Mondain_ and _Le
Portatif_, published at Amsterdam, had both been in France traced to his
pen. Among the visitors who in the second year of his stay came to enliven
the Court was our Young Pretender--over whose misfortunes Voltaire had
pathetically lamented before King Stanislas--and Prince Cantacuzene. The
Pretender's cause Voltaire had espoused with fervid warmth. The news of
his arrest in Paris arrived at Lunéville at the very moment when he was
delighting the Lorrain Court with reading out his just completed chapter
of _Le Siècle de Louis XIV._, treating of the Stuarts. "O ciel!" he
exclaimed, "est-il possible que le roi souffre cet affront et que sa
gloire subisse une tache que toute l'eau de la Seine ne saurait laver?"
"Que les hommes privés," he wrote later, "qui se plaignent de leurs
infortunes jettent leurs yeux sur ce prince et sur ses ancêtres."

Several times he left Lorraine for a brief time, going with Madame du
Châtelet to Cirey, to Châlons, and to Paris. One visit he paid to Paris by
himself, to see _Semiramis_ put on the stage. He came back in a pitiable
state, the account of which in Longchamp's journal reads comical enough.
"Il est vrai que j'ai été malade," he writes later, "mais il y a plaisir à
l'être chez le roi de Pologne; il n'y a personne assurément qui ait plus
soin de ses malades que lui. On ne peut pas être meilleur roi et meilleur
homme." One would think not. Voltaire was petted like an invalid child. He
had but to send word that he wished to see Stanislas, to bring the king to
his bedside. When he found himself "malingre, bon à rien qu' à perdre ses
regards vers la Vôge," he was taken out to Chanteheux, and made thoroughly
comfortable there, where he could best indulge in the idle pleasure of
contemplating the mountains. Meanwhile Madame du Châtelet had been to
Plombières with Madame de Boufflers, and had come home just as much
disgusted with the place as Voltaire himself had been nine or ten years
before. Then the gay Court reassembled, and there was the same life, the
same succession of pleasures, the same effusion of wit and raillery.
Gilliers invented new dishes. King Stanislas exhibited his indifferent
pastels. Madame de Boufflers played the harp, and courtiers with voices
sang to her accompaniment. Under Voltaire's inspiration, all the Court
turned _littérateur_ and engaged in versifying. Stanislas took up his pen
once more and wrote, among other things, _Le Philosophe
Chrétien_--horrifying thereby his daughter, the Queen of France, who
persuaded herself that in the book she discerned the malignant teaching of
the infidel Voltaire. Madame de Boufflers wrote; Saint Lambert composed
fresh ditties; Devaux grew industrious; even Galaizière found himself
impressed by the lyric Muse. Every courtier mounted his own little Pegasus
and made an attempt to produce something witty, or clever, or at least
readable. Lunéville became a modern Athens.

But there was a snake in the grass. One of the pleasantest features of the
remarkably sociable life carried on by the brilliant company assembled
under the roof of Stanislas, while at Lunéville and at Commercy, were
those merry nocturnal gatherings held as soon as the king had retired to
rest--which he did punctually at ten o'clock, without ever troubling the
company, in spite of his jealousy, with an unexpected reappearance. Then
began Madame de Boufflers' reign in good earnest; and to the good cheer of
a choice little supper, to which often an exciting game of _comète_ or of
_cavagnole_ added a fresh delight, was summoned, by means of a lighted
candle placed in a particular window, a new guest, whom Stanislas'
jealousy would not otherwise tolerate in the palace. This guest was the
young and handsome Saint Lambert, a captain in the Duke of Lorraine's
Guards, the cynosure of the ladies' world, of whom it was said that no
fair heart to which he seriously laid siege could resist him. His muse had
not yet taken the frigid turn which eventually produced those dull and
chilling _Seasons_, a poem in which no one will now detect any merit,
though Voltaire praised it up to the skies, and French contemporaries
declared that the poet had surpassed Thomson. But he dabbled very neatly
in little ditties, _vers d'occasion_, and the like, some of them rather
light and pretty, though not of the most perfect style. Voltaire professes
to regard Saint Lambert as a _terrible élève_, of whose poetry he owns
himself "jealous." "Il prend un pen ma tournure et l'embellit--j'éspère
que la postérité m'en remerciera." Posterity has done nothing of the
kind. In matters of courtship Saint Lambert resembled the "_papillon
libertin_" sketched by himself in one of his prettiest _pièces
fugitives_:--

  Plus pressant qu'amoureux, plus galant que fidèle,
  De la rose coquette allez baiser le sein.
  D'aimer et de changer faites-vous une loi:
  A ces douces erreurs consacrez votre vie.

Neither Society nor History would ever have known him, nor have detected
any talent in him, had it not been his fortune to dispossess his two great
contemporaries, Voltaire and Rousseau, successively of their mistresses,
conquering the heart, first of Madame du Châtelet, and later that of
Madame de Houdetot. Madame de Houdetot and he turned out to be really
congenial spirits. For Madame du Châtelet his own conduct shows that he
did not really care--as how could a young man of thirty-one for a woman of
forty-two or else forty-seven, who had been some years a grandmother? Her
letters are full of impassioned professions of affection, impatient
longings for his presence, reproaches for his indifference. On his side it
was all a question of vanity. It flattered him to think that he had
eclipsed the great genius of the age in the affections of a woman of whom
all the polite world was talking. What she was he knew well enough. More
than once had she tasted of the forbidden fruit. Voltaire's _Epître à la
Calomnie_ had not whitewashed the Magdalen who had had relations
successively with Guébriant, with Richelieu, and with Voltaire. Of
Voltaire's overstrained praise of her assumed modesty Saint Lambert
himself writes:--

  De cette tendre Courtisane
  Il faisait presque une Susanne.

But what could have induced Madame du Châtelet to engage in this
conspiracy of deceit all round--deceit on her part towards Voltaire,
deceit on Saint Lambert's part towards both Voltaire (with whom he was not
then on terms of intimacy) and Madame de Boufflers (with whom he had a
standing _liaison_)? It was in Madame de Boufflers' drawing-room, of all
places, that the courtship was most actively carried on. Her gilt-framed
harp, we hear, served as a letter-box for the lovers. There was a slit in
it just of a convenient size to hold the letters, which passed daily. Of
Madame du Châtelet's passion there could be no doubt. She threw herself
into the _amour_ with the fervour of a girl of sixteen. She sent her lover
dainty _billets-doux_ written on pink and blue-edged, fringed, and scented
paper; declared that she could not live two days without hearing from him,
when he was away; appointed _rendez-vous_ in the "Bosquet"--watched and
waited for him. It seems ridiculous in a grandmother; but she was not the
first woman of her age to go wrong.

Clogenson will have it that the attachment sprang up some years
before--that Madame du Châtelet became annoyed at Voltaire's long absence
at the Court of King Frederick, and looked out for a new lover. We know,
however, that Emilie and Saint Lambert met for the first time at the
Lorrain Court in 1748, when Voltaire had long been back from Berlin, and
was devoting himself to his lady with an assiduity which could not be
excelled. Besides, we know--from correspondence quite recently come to
light--that as late as 1744 the relations between Voltaire and Emilie were
still quite unclouded. The miniature portrait of Voltaire, which she wore
so long secretly in her ring, and which was after her death found to have
been replaced by one of Saint Lambert, was painted in 1744. In February of
that year she writes to Abbé Moussinot: "Je vous laisse la choix du
peintre, et je ne le trouverai pas cher, quoiqu'il puisse coûter." That
does not sound like pining for a fresh lover. Evidently the later
attachment dated only from 1748, when she first became personally
acquainted with Saint Lambert; and, as the late M. Meaume puts it, "threw
herself at his head." There is no need to look very far for an
explanation. Emilie herself is perfectly outspoken about it. The
temptation came. She had yielded so often that she had not sufficient
virtue left to resist. The odd part of the business is, that Voltaire so
readily forgave her; that he continued to dote upon her, to look upon her
as half of his own self; and that he grew fast and admiring friends,
almost _in consequence_ of the betrayal, with his betrayer, Saint Lambert.
Many years after, Saint Lambert very naïvely set forth his own views on
the proper conduct of friends in matters of this kind in his _Conte
Iroquois_. Voltaire accepted that not very chivalrous theory readily, and
contented himself with protesting--"O ciel! voilà bien les femmes! J'en
avais ôté Richelieu, Saint Lambert m'a expulsé: cela est dans l'ordre, un
clou chasse l'autre."

Growing poetic, he says:

  "Dans ces vallons et dans ces bois,
  Les fleurs dont Horace autrefois
    Faisait des bouquets pour Glycère--
  Saint Lambert ce n'est que pour toi
    Que ces belles fleurs sont écloses:
    C'est ta main qui cueille les roses.
  Et les épines sont pour moi."

Indeed, his relations with Madame du Châtelet were not those of an
ordinary lover. He did not look upon her as in his young days he had
looked upon the inconstant "Pimpette," on the beautiful "Aurore," the
pretty "Artemire," on the very "natural" Rupelmonde, or the false
Adrienne. His heart beat to a different tune at Cirey from what it did in
the Rue Cloche Perce. She was a companion and a friend--"une âme pour qui
la mienne était faite."

There is no need to review the incidents of that melancholy love-making in
detail. They are well known. It was at Commercy that the treachery was
detected, and that those half-comical, half pathetic scenes described by
Longchamp occurred--Voltaire, mad with a sense of the injury endured,
firing up, abjuring Emilie, almost accepting Saint Lambert's challenge to
fight, ordering his valet, Longchamp, to bespeak a coach and horses at
once, that very night, for Paris. Longchamp knew too well who was master.
Instead of rushing to the posting-house, he went quietly to Emilie, who
directed him to let post-master, horses, and coach alone, and report that
there were none to be had. Her cynically frank explanation, next morning,
in Voltaire's own room put matters straight and Saint Lambert was not
only pardoned but asked pardon of by Voltaire and admitted as a friend to
both parties. Later came the ludicrous trick played off upon the Marquis
at Cirey. Last of all, there was the sad ending at Lunéville.

Madame du Châtelet had a short time before met Stanislas at the Trianon,
and had begged him for the use, for the time of her confinement, of "le
petit appartement de la reine" in the ducal palace, a handsome set of
apartments on the ground-floor, looking out on one side on the Cour
d'Honneur, on the other on the private gardens reserved for the
Court--apartments which were magnificently furnished, but were prized by
the petitioner chiefly for their comfort, and for their nearness to those
other rooms, on the first floor (which command a splendid view across the
Bosquet, bounded in the distance by the gorgeous façade of Chanteheux), in
which Voltaire was to be lodged. Those rooms in the first story are now
appropriated as a granary. Madame du Châtelet's apartments serve as
quarters for the divisional General. King Stanislas, kind-hearted as ever,
gladly acceded to the petition, and entered into all the arrangements with
particular personal interest, as if they had concerned some near relative
of his. Under his own and Madame de Bouffler's attentive care (to say
nothing of Voltaire and Mademoiselle du Thil), we know how admirably
Emilie was looked after, how satisfactorily at first all seemed to
proceed--her _Newton_ was finished just in the nick of time--till that
fatal glass of iced _orgeat_ suddenly turned happiness into grief, and
made the palace a house of mourning.

Voltaire was dazed at the loss, unable to command his words or his steps.
He tottered out on to the little flight of stairs, where he sat in dull
despair and stupefaction. In spite of all that had happened of late, he
declared that he had lost, not a mistress, but "half of his own self." The
world would be a different world to him now. There was to be no more of
woman's love for him in his after-life. Lunéville was no longer a place
for him. "Je ne pourrais pas supporter Lunéville, où je l'ai perdue d'une
manière plus funeste que vous ne pensez." Stanislas, kind to the last, did
all that he could to comfort his distressed friend. On the day of his
great trial he went up thrice into his room, sat with him, and wept with
him. We hear little of the funeral, except that it was carried out in a
magnificent style, attended by the whole of the Court, and with all the
honours which were due to a member of one of the four "_Grands Chevaux_."
It seemed like a mockery of Fate that, on being carried out to be placed
on the car the bier should have broken down in the large saloon in which
only a few weeks before Emilie had gathered brilliant laurels in her
favourite character of Issé, and that a mass of flowers, with which her
coffin was covered, should have dropped on the very spot where on that
occasion had fallen a shower of bouquets thrown in token of admiration.
The parish church of St. Remy, then quite new, received the body--it is
that same hideously grotesque rococo church now dedicated to St. Jacques,
overladen with misshapen ornament, whose two lofty but gingerbread spires,
"bourgeoises, lourdes, cossues et bonhommes au demeurant," as Edmond About
describes them, stand up, a conspicuous landmark, visible from afar off,
and looking down on a scene far more attractive than themselves--the
little town with its rectangular streets and squares, brightly-green
vineyards all around, and laughing hop-grounds, carefully-kept gardens,
dark bosquets, and luxuriant meadows, watered on one side by the broad
Meurthe, on the other by the modest Vesouze--with the chain of the Vosges
rising in the distance, overtopping those prettily undulating elevations
with which Lunéville is fenced in. The tomb was new, the first dug in the
nave--and it has remained the last. A black marble slab, bearing no
inscription, was laid over the grave. That same black slab is there still.
It was displaced once, when the rough champions of the Revolution raised
it, in order to possess themselves of the lead of the coffin, scattering
about rudely the bones which that coffin enclosed--almost at the precise
moment when the body of Voltaire was being carried in triumph to the
Pantheon in Paris. Pious hands gathered the remains once more together,
and there they rest in the same humble vault.

Voltaire wrote serious verses upon Emilie's death; King Frederick the
Great wrote flippant ones. Maupertuis lamented the possessor of brilliant
powers never put to a bad use, a woman guilty of "ni tracasserie, ni
médisance, ni mechanceté." Madame de Grafigny mourned over one who had
"never told a lie:" Voltaire added that she had "never spoken ill of
anyone." It all mattered little after she was gone. Voltaire packed up his
things, and hurried off sorrowfully to Cirey, where he gathered together
the various chattels with which he had made that place more habitable and
more attractive; and before the Marquis could seriously object, he had
carried them off to Paris.

He had done his work at Lunéville. He had put the stamp of literature and
taste on the place. He had set the current of learning flowing towards the
Lorrain capital, where a year after de Tressan appeared, to add one more
captive to the admiring army vanquished by de Boufflers--Tressan, the
"Horace, Pollion et Tibulle" of Voltaire, but forgotten now--who in 1751
founded, under Stanislas' auspices, that "Société de Sciences et de Belles
Lettres," which soon acquired the name of "Academy," and took rank in
public estimation almost on a par with the sacred Olympus of the "Forty"
at Paris. Montesquieu, Helvétius, Hénault, Fontenelle, Bishop Poncet,
Bishop Drouas--all begged as a favour to be admitted. Really, that
Academy--which is still a flourishing institution at Nancy--was Voltaire's
work. Stanislas' fond dream had been realized, and the Court of Lorraine
had become a foremost seat of the Muses.

Voltaire never forgot the hospitality received at Stanislas' hands. To the
time of that nominal sovereign's melancholy death, he continued in
friendly and affectionate correspondence with him. In 1760, after Louis
XV. had refused him permission to settle once more on the banks of the
Vesouze, we find him writing to the Polish king:--"Je me souviendrai
toujours, Sire, avec la plus tendre et la plus respectueuse reconnaissance
des jours heureux que j'ai passés dans votre palais. Je me souviendrai que
vous daigniez faire les charmes de la société comme vous faisiez la
félicité de vos peuples, et que si c'était un bonheur de dépendre de vous,
c'en était un plus grand de vous approcher."

Six years after that the little drama of the Lorrain Court was played out.
Blind, and old, and deserted, Stanislas was not even sufficiently cared
for to have some one handy to help when his silk dressing-gown caught
fire. He died of his wounds--with an innocent _bon-mot_ on his lips. The
Lorrains, who had been slow to welcome him, crowded round his sick bed and
his hearse. He had done his work. In spite of his failings, his posings,
his airs, and his frivolities, no one need grudge him that tribute of
esteem. He had made the change from independence, dear as life itself to
the Lorrains while under their own dukes, to incorporation with France
very much easier. He had done much material good to the Duchy, and to
literature he had rendered very useful service. His Court is forgotten
now. His Palace is turned into a barrack; and the once gay capital has,
but for its garrison, become a sleepy little provincial town, in which the
presence of a stray stranger puts the police at once on the _qui vive_.
The hop-trade and the manufacture of _dentelleries_ monopolize the
attention of the inhabitants; and only rarely is it that some inquiring
traveller comes to inspect with interest the spot on which was enacted the
most important scene of what the late Comte d'Haussonville has aptly
called "the great second act" of the _comédie_ of Voltaire's life--that
act which, according to the same gifted author, might be named "L'amour de
la science, et la science de l'amour."



VII.--THE PRINCE CONSORT'S UNIVERSITY DAYS.[10]

    "Quarum virtutum laude hominum animas, dum in hac urbe morabaris,
    mirifice Tibi devinxisti."--_Address of the Senate of Bonn to Prince
    Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, January, 28, 1840._


There are incidents in a man's life--sometimes important, sometimes
insignificant--which impress themselves upon his mind as if graven in
"with a pen of iron." Thirty-two years have now passed away, but I
remember, as if it had happened only a few weeks ago, old "Senius" putting
his weather-worn face into my bedroom at Bonn, on the memorable grey
morning of mid-December, 1861, to make the melancholy announcement: "Uür
Prinz is doht." "Dat war 'ne johde Heer," he added rather impressively.

"Senius" was our "Stiefelfuchs"--which means a great deal more than having
to "polish our boots." And in some capacity or other--it must have been a
subordinate one--it had been his fate to be employed in the Prince
Consort's household while the latter was a student at Bonn. What
qualified him for either of these positions I am at a loss to conjecture.
He was nothing of a valet. We used to beg him, for mercy's sake, not to
attempt to remove stains from our clothes, inasmuch as in doing so (in the
only way which seemed to suggest itself to his untutored mind) he
invariably made two smudges out of one by spitting just a little wide of
the mark. At least that was the tradition. For any delicate mission, such
as smuggling liquor into the "Carcer," he was absolutely useless. He knew
well enough how to bandage a man for a "Mensur." And on the bitter cold
days of a North-German winter the huge bowl of his ever-smoking pipe would
be very acceptable as a hand-warmer to those gloved for the fight. He was
honest, no doubt, and strictly faithful, and that must have helped to
ingratiate him with the Prince. But his main recommendation appears to
have been his curious capacity for saying odd things in an odd way, and in
the quaintest of broad Rhenish _patois_, which made them sound doubly
droll. What with quaint habits and quaint sayings, he had become a
"character" at Bonn, generally popular as such, known to every man, woman
and child in the place, and allowed almost any latitude of speech. The
Prince, whose relish for humour was, in his student days, fully as keen as
ever in after-life, appears to have been tickled with the man's unintended
drollery; for, according to "Senius's" own naïvely frank account, he made
it his amusement to "draw" him, eliciting odd answers by inoffensively
unmerciful chaff. And this may account for "Senius" remaining in the
princely household, and experiencing much kindness at his master's hands.
If gratitude be a return, the Prince had it in ample measure. That "dat
war 'ne johde Heer" was spoken with unmistakable feeling, and it proved
the prelude to a whole string of little anecdotes which--though not
perhaps in themselves particularly remarkable or worth repeating--were
poured forth with such simple earnestness as sufficiently testified, how
firmly a sense of regard and affection had taken root in the old man's
heart, to live there through many years of separation.

"Senius" was not the only person in Bonn who could grow warm upon this
subject. The Prince's death, indeed, set loose in the University town a
whole flood of anecdotes and reminiscences, some very trivial and
commonplace, but all of them evidencing a lively interest and abiding
regard. It is strange what power some persons possess of impressing men's
minds. There have been scores of princes students at Bonn since, some of
them spending more money and making much more of a show; but memory has
closed over them like water over a ripple. There is none remembered like
the then Prince of Coburg--down to the days of his grandson, the present
Emperor, who, of course, conquered local hearts by identifying himself
rather demonstratively with the place.

At my time people spoke frequently of "der Prinz Albehrt." All the older
townsfolk remembered the "bildschöne junge Mann," who sat his horse like a
born cavalier, and whose mere appearance was calculated to prepossess
people in his favour. Two friends of mine--the brothers von C---- (one of
them is now a retired general who has covered himself with glory in the
wars in 1866 and 1870)--used as boys to make a point of watching for the
Coburg Princes when about to mount horse, from the house of their
neighbour, Landrath von Hymmen, who lived just opposite. They would rush
out eagerly at the proper moment to hold the Princes' stirrups, and
consider themselves amply rewarded with a kind word or a genial smile.
Travelling Englishmen have afterwards made it a matter of duty, Murray or
Baedecker in hand, to "do" the simple house "in which Prince Albert
lived," as they "did" the Münster and the Alte Zoll. To the people of Bonn
the Prince's doings were a living memory. Only eighteen months ago I was
surprised, while accidentally alluding to the subject in conversation with
an old resident, since dead, to find that gentleman at once pulling out of
his pocket a photograph of the Prince's house, which he seemed to carry
about with him habitually. He knew all the windows, and the gateway, and
answered questions about the Prince's habits of life as if they had
referred to matters of yesterday.

In truth, Bonn owes a great deal to the Prince Consort--more than most
people are aware. If the University has grown great and popular, a
favourite with reigning houses, a High School in which every King of
Prussia is expected to have pursued his studies, something like a "Christ
Church" among German Universities; if the town has grown rich and
flourishing, a favourite residence with wealth and position _en retraite_,
the merit is in no small measure due to the Prince who, practically
speaking, first set the fashion among illustrious folk. No scion of a
reigning house, to speak of--none, certainly, to make a mark--had been at
Bonn before. Indeed, Bonn, with its associations of the Burschenschaft,
of disaffection and of ecclesiastical strife, did not stand in the best of
odours. Hence, when a Prince came to break the ice, of more than ordinary
promise, and already connected by rumour with a high destiny, very
naturally, all eyes were turned upon him. His subsequent marriage with the
Queen--at that time certainly the most powerful sovereign in
Christendom--following almost immediately upon his studentship, no doubt
emphasised the effect and added force to the example. We see at once
princes flocking to the _Fridericia Guilelmia Rhenana_--Schaumburgs, and
Mecklenburgs, and Schleswig-Holsteins, and Meiningens. Twelve years after
we have the heir to the Prussian Crown matriculating as a student. We find
the roll of students growing at a bound from 650 to 731--to increase since
to above 1,200. In short, we see Bonn developing into a different place.
English folk--as the Prince's friend, Professor Loebell, puts it, rather
uncomplimentarily, in one of his Belgian letters--send their "young bears"
to Bonn in whole batches, "to be licked." Then the parents come
themselves, bringing their families with them, to settle there. German
rank and fashion follow in their wake, quintupling the population in less
than sixty years--and the reputation and position of the town are made.

Bonn was a very different place from the fashionable town that it is now,
when, on May 3, 1837, Professor Wutzer, as Rector Magnificus, pledged
"Prinz Albrecht Franz, Herzog von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha", "by pressure of
hand in place of oath," to be a faithful "citizen" of the University.
Prince Ernest, the Prince's elder brother, matriculated at the same time.
There was also a Prince of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, of whom little was seen
or heard; moreover, Prince William of Löwenstein, who grew to be the
Prince's intimate friend; and two Hohenlohes. (Prince Erbach is not in the
University Register included among persons of illustrious birth.) All the
wide belt of spruce and tidy villas set up amid laughing gardens, which
now make Bonn so charming and attractive, and impart to it so pleasing a
look of prosperity and comfort, were still a thing to come. The little
town, having only about 12,000 inhabitants, still lay hemmed in within the
lines of its old walls, the gates of which were carefully closed for
security every night. There was an air of "smallness" about everything,
except the handsome "Schloss," which Archbishop Clemens August had built
(with money received from France) as a sumptuous residence for himself,
but which King Frederick William III. in 1818, without much regard for
Roman Catholic susceptibilities, converted into a "double-denomination"
University. Lutheran divines now taught where the most orthodox of
Catholic princes had held court. A non-denominational Senate conferred
degrees where the last Archbishop-Elector, the Austrian Archduke Max
Franz--"Abbé Sacrebleu," as he was popularly called--had danced with most
unepiscopal perseverance and vigour. And at Poppelsdorf learned professors
made the air malodorous with chemical stenches in the same palace in which
that most courtly of all archbishops, Clemens August, had entertained
those beautiful ladies who got him into rather serious trouble at Rome.
But, apart from these costly buildings, all was country-townish. There was
no Coblenzer Strasse as yet--only a small cluster of houses, among which
the _Vinca Domini_--whilom the winepress of the local lord--and the villa
of the patriot Arndt, were alone conspicuous. Inside the walls the
students were much in evidence, rough in their uncouth costume of those
days, very "Guys" in embroidered "pikesches" and wide petticoat-trousers,
having long curls dangling from their heads and heavy rapiers from their
waists. However, opinion in high quarters was not altogether favourable to
them. The revolutionary "Burschenschaft" had been strong in Bonn,
numbering Heinrich Heine among its members. Rhineland was, moreover, at
that time still wholly unreconciled to Prussian rule. Its seventeen years
of incorporation with France had raised a crop of free and anti-Prussian
ideas which were not soon to be eradicated. And with Austria so powerful,
and Austrian sympathies so widely diffused, thanks to Max Franz, the
authorities had still to deal gingerly with their new subjects. It made
them wince to hear the words "'ne Prüss" commonly and openly used as a
term of reproach and contempt--they were so to down in the fifties. But
they could not interfere too rigorously. Then there was the ecclesiastical
squabble, foreshadowing Prince Bismarck's "Culturkampf," and every bit as
serious and as violent. Only incapacity like that of a Schmedding, and
infatuation like that of a Bunsen, could have created such a hopeless
dilemma. "Is your Government mad?" Cardinal Lambruschini is reported to
have asked, when Bunsen communicated to him the appointment of Droste von
Vischering to be Archbishop of Cologne, as a supposed "angel of peace."
The Crown Prince, subsequently Frederick William IV., favoured the
appointment. The "angel of peace" proved a very demon of war. What with
the dispute over mixed marriages, the Episcopal protest against State
interference in Church matters, the Anathema pronounced by the new prelate
against the latitudinarian school of the followers of Hermes, particularly
favoured by the Government and deliberately installed at Bonn, and the
Archbishop's uncompromising ban upon the University _Convictorium_, there
was war along the whole line. All Rhineland, be it remembered, was then
still staunchly Romanist. Bonn contained but a handful of Protestants. The
"concurrently endowed" University, planted in the midst of a Catholic
country, was a standing abomination and a perpetual taunt to the native
population. The Prince's letters of that time show how fully he
appreciated the grave significance of the struggle even at his early age.
It was while he was at Bonn that the refractory Archbishop was carried off
by force, to be "interned" at Minden.

Under such circumstances it required some resolution for a young
Protestant Prince to settle amid an excited Romanist population. If to be
"'ne Prüss" was a reproach, to be "'ne Jüss"--that is "Gueux," or
Protestant--meant downright anathema. And Prince Albert settled right in
what may be called a little Protestant colony, saucily set up under the
very shadow of the beautiful east-end of that splendid old "Münster,"
which traces its foundation to Constantine, and has been the scene of
Councils and Imperial coronations from the tenth century downwards.

The Empress Frederick, a few years ago, when in Bonn, very naturally asked
to be shown the house in which her father had lived. By that time every
vestige of it had disappeared, and she could only be pointed out the
site--a garden it is now, fronting an entirely new building in the
Martinsplatz, close to where, up to the beginning of the century, stood
the church which gave the square its name. But I can perfectly recall the
unpretending structure, a three-storied, flat-gabled house, with a
two-storied wing--the old-fashioned windows set off by dark-green
shutters--lying rather in a hollow, within a yard enclosed in a stone wall
pierced by a gate, but generally open in situation and yet, thanks to the
enclosure, pretty private. It commanded very fair views of the
Poppelsdorfer Allee--the favourite strolling-ground, ever since it was
planted, for fashionable and unfashionable Bonn--of the Kreuzberg, and
sideways of the more distant Seven Mountains. It seemed a small house to
harbour two Princes and their suite, more especially when one was told
that what seemed the main portion was reserved for the use of the owner.
But it was a building of considerable depth, and so afforded sufficient
room for the illustrious inmates and all their not very numerous
household, which included, of course, the "excellent" Doctor Florschütz as
tutor, the rather starchy martinet-soldier Herr von Wiechmann, who acted
as governor, the Prince's favourite valet, and some more. All about the
household, as about the Prince's doings generally, was marked by extreme
simplicity, which could not, however, in any particular have suggested
anything like niggardliness, but merely the voluntary plain living of a
gentleman who had no taste for sumptuous habits. Meals, appointments,
entertainments, everything indicated a dislike of display. The Prince's
trap was such as an innkeeper living opposite could, on its original
owner's departure, purchase and use for his business-drives without
occasioning remark. If there was one material thing in respect of which
the Prince practised luxury, it was his little stud, which was small, but
generally admired as choice, and which was, it need scarcely be added,
much prized by its owner. The hours kept in the little green-shuttered
house were probably the most regular in all the town. Everything in the
illustrious student's life was subordinated to the purposes of study.
Every hour had its allotted task. He must have been an early riser who
could have seen the blinds down of a morning; and long before lights went
out in some of the adjoining houses, all was darkness and rest in the
Prince's home, which was a veritable temple of method and punctuality.

The quarters had been selected because the Duke of Saxe-Coburg wished his
sons to be lodged with a professor. There were not many such with
sufficiently large dwellings to select from, and possibly on that ground
the choice had fallen upon a Professor of Medicine, who could have been of
little service to the Princes in the prosecution of their studies. He was
popularly known as "Gamaschenbischof"--"Gaiter-Bishop"--to distinguish him
from the other Geheimrath Bischoff who became better known as a great
professor of chemistry, but who wore no gaiters. I quite forget whether
"Gamaschenbischof" was a Roman Catholic or a Protestant. But his next-door
neighbour on the side of the old Neuthor--then still an old-fashioned
arched gateway with a substantial gate to keep out bad characters at
night--was the acknowledged head of the Lutheran congregation, then a
mere handful, the sparing growth of twenty years of Prussian rule. The
little community did not yet possess a church of their own as they do now.
Indeed, for many years after they had to content themselves with the use
of the bald but lofty University chapel, which for many decades they have
shared with their English fellow-Christians, often enough keeping the
latter waiting when their sermon happened to be long, and considerately
leaving a crucifix as a fixture for rigid Evangelicals to chafe at and
write letters about to successive chaplains. But the proper stronghold of
local Protestantism was to be found in that turreted little Château
Gaillard facing the Münster, in which Pusey's friend, Professor Sack,
Schleiermacher's least heterodox pupil, had at the Prince's time his
official residence. The Coburg Princes, who loyally upheld their own
Protestant church, were not infrequent visitors in the house of this
pastor, who was well-informed and sociable, and by no means an
unacceptable neighbour. Beyond the parsonage, directly abutting upon the
Neuthor, was another Protestant institution--the Lutheran school--which,
some years later, became a noted centre of attraction to males of all
creeds, by reason of the residence in it of "The Three Graces," the
_Küster's_--that is, the clerk and schoolmaster's--remarkably handsome
daughters. But in 1837 and 1838 those ladies were still too young to do
much mischief, even to so impressionable a cavalier as Prince Ernest. All
these buildings spoken of, which still stood at my time, have long since
been pulled down and made to give place to houses of a more modern type.

All things considered, it would have been difficult for the Duke of
Coburg to make a better choice of a University in which to give his sons
the last finishing touch of education. Bonn has always stood high as a
home of learning. King Frederick William III. was careful, with the most
luxurious buildings and what was at that time considered a truly princely
endowment, to bestow upon his own peculiar "pet child" as competent a
teaching staff as money and favour could procure. And in 1837, though
Niebuhr was gone, and Arndt was suspended--for preaching too vigorously
the gospel of German union, which was then reputed rank heresy--and though
Dahlmann, who would have been a professor after Prince Albert's own heart,
had not yet come, the teaching staff could compare with that of any
period. But apart from that, there was a tone of freedom and geniality
prevailing at Bonn which distinguished that place from all other German
universities. It was the least Prussian of all Prussian High Schools--far
more in the world and in touch with the world than all its sisters. Set up
on "Frankish" soil, which used to give Germany its Emperors; the chosen
residence, until recently, of prelates of an ancient See, who had
entertained relations from time immemorial with all great Courts, and who
had been recruited from princely houses; and, last, but not least, only a
generation before an integral portion of the Republic, "one and
indivisible," which planted its tricolor nowhere without leaving its free
spirit behind, even after the outward ensign was gone--Bonn nourished a
more independent habit of thought and encouraged wider and larger views
than did the "zopf"-ruled universities of the East. It was here,
doubtless, among the patriotic aspirations of a "Young Germany" unchilled
by Carlsbad and Laibach, under the inspiring teaching of Arndt, that Duke
Ernest, prophetically styled _Spes patriæ_ in an address presented by the
Academical Senate, conceived that liberal, high-minded and unselfish
policy which paved the way as much as anything else for the Union of 1871.
And to Prince Albert, likewise, this must have seemed a wider world than
that of Coburg; and, in a period of life more formative of character than
any other, it must have served to prepare him better for that freer sphere
of action into which he was destined shortly to be called.

Niebuhr, as observed, was gone from Bonn. Arndt was removed from his
"chair" for saying too freely in 1820 what Princes had openly proclaimed
in 1813. Dahlmann was, in truth, still one of "the Seven of Göttingen,"
inasmuch as Ernest Augustus had not yet made his Hanoverians to regret
that they were governed by the Salic law. But there was Welcker, the great
historian of art, and the brilliant elocutionist, from whom the Prince
must have learnt much of that close knowledge and warm appreciation of art
which afterwards made him so efficient a furtherer of culture in this
kingdom. There were Loebell and Perthes, von Alten, Bethmann-Hollweg,
Walter, Brandis, Nitzsch, Deiters, Bleek, Breidenstein, Nöggerath,
Argelander, Schlegel, Fichte, Plücker, Böcking, and many more--not a few
of whom I can perfectly remember from my own days. The two Princes, and
more particularly Prince Albert, knew how to turn the opportunities at
their command to admirable account, not merely by attending the public
lectures with exemplary regularity, but, in addition, by seeking out
learning, so to speak, _en déshabillé_, and drawing from it in the easy
way of conversation and chat probably more information than it dispensed
on more formal occasions. Prince Albert was on excellent terms with the
most able of these men--Schlegel, Perthes, Bethmann-Hollweg, Walter and
some more--and was frequently to be seen walking with one or other of them
in the Poppelsdorfer Allee, or else on the Venusberg, or along the Rhine,
keeping up an animated conversation. And often would he ask some one or
two to his house, or else drop in--sometimes on his own invitation--to
that peculiarly German repast of evening "tea," further to prosecute his
cross-questioning. "Tea," of course, does not in this application mean
anything like our own "five o'clock," nor yet quite so substantial a meal
as our middle-class "high tea," but a light evening repast, such as is
usual (viz., after a good mid-day dinner) among the cultivated classes in
Germany, when _en famille_, from the Imperial Court downward. Taxing the
stomach but little, such a meal leaves the head all the more free for
intellectual occupation, and is, in truth, dependent for its best relish
on the Attic salt supplied by the company. (The "tea" itself is,
unfortunately, as a rule, indifferent in quality.) At Bonn these "teas"
became little feasts of reason, and used to be, I am told, one of the
Prince's particular delights. He was in the habit of discussing questions
of learning and politics and statesmanship very freely with his own chosen
little set, Prince Löwenstein and others. But he knew the difference
between this and putting Professors (who in Bonn were then not merely men
of the lamp) into the witness-box and pleasurably pumping them dry over
their own tea-table. Nobody relished this treatment more than the
Professors themselves, who in after-time often spoke of the enjoyable
evenings which they had spent, and the pleasure of discussing matters on
which they were masters with so apt a pupil, who knew how to put
brightness and stimulating interest into the conversation. The Prince's
enjoyment, it is to be suspected, went even a little further. For, men of
great learning as these Professors were, more than one of them had
contracted odd habits of speech and manner, which no man was more quick to
note and more apt inoffensively to caricature--in mien and with
pencil--than the Prince. We know that he could use pen and brush deftly
enough. And more particularly of his artist's work completed at Bonn
several specimens survive--for instance, the Queen's "Savoyard Boy." Some
of the caricature sketches referred to are said to have been admirable,
and no less so the mimicry which, without malice or guile, brought out
tellingly the little oddities of these learned gentry, to the intense
amusement of a privileged and very select audience. There was, as it
happened, ample material. Schlegel, the great and the witty--there could
have been no pleasanter companion than he who first made the Germans
understand Shakespeare--was, with all his merits, vain and conceited, and
foolishly insisted upon parading his conceit before the world. He was old
at that time, and lectured only at rare intervals, but every now and then
some of that old impetuosity would break out, which in earlier days had
made him, without regard for conventionalities, pull off his coat and
waistcoat in the midst of an evening party, in order to fling to his
brother Frederick the smaller garment, for which in a rash moment he had
bartered away a good story. Then there was Loebell, the friend of Tieck,
the uncompromising Protestant, full of historic lore as an egg is of meat,
and of truly magnetic attractiveness to his pupils, but ugly as a monkey,
diffident and gauche, and, thanks to his habitual absence of mind, a
source of the oddest and never-failing anecdote. Perthes and Fichte laid
themselves equally open to ridicule. The "University Judge" (Proctor) von
Salomon, commonly nicknamed "the Salamander," was made more than once to
sit for a comic portrait; and Oberberghauptmann Count Beust--the Prince's
own countryman, a native of Saxe-Coburg, with whom the Prince was on terms
of comparative intimacy--provided at times irresistible food for laughter,
not only by his curious squat little figure, but even more by that
genuinely Saxon sing-song accent, which seems to be a common feature of
all Beusts who have not remained in their old Brandenburg home. The
statesman of the same name, whom we have seen in our midst, shared this
same family defect, and was accordingly known in Saxony as "Beist;" and
one of the Ministries of which he formed a member was currently spoken of,
by way of joke, as "Behr _beisst_ Rabenhorst." As droll as any was
Professor Kaufmann, from whom, long before I listened to the curious
cadences of his speech, the Prince Consort learnt very orthodox political
economy conveyed in the prosiest of ways, fortunately relieved by the
quaintest illustrations of economic truths which could ever have issued
from the brain of man. He looked like one of Cruikshank's figures come to
life, and it was really difficult not to laugh at him.

The Prince's shafts of wit never wanted point, but at the same time they
never struck painfully home. There was no mimicry or jest which even its
victims could not readily forgive. Years after the Prince had left Bonn,
the very men whom he had amused himself by taking off most mercilessly
looked back, not only without resentment, but with absolute satisfaction,
on all this intercourse. And when, on the approach of the Prince's
marriage, it was proposed to send him a Latin address of congratulation,
and to bestow upon him--as the fittest offering for the occasion that the
Senate could think of--the Degree of _Doctor utriusque juris_, the motion
was carried by acclamation, and the learned Professor Ritschl was at once
commissioned to compose a Latin ode, which turned out perfect in grammar
and prosody, but which is a trifle too long to be here quoted.

With the students, generally speaking--apart from his own little princely
set--the Prince was less intimate. He would mingle with them in the
quadrangle, the lecture-hall, and the fencing-room, and he would invite
them periodically, in batches, to his hospitable table, where, of course,
he made a most genial host. But I have heard complaints of his supposed
reserve and coldness, and his keeping people at a distance, contrasting
just a little with the _engouement_ with which Prince Ernest was ready to
take part in the fun and frolic of German student life. It was said that
the coming engagement with the Queen, which rumour considerably
ante-dated, had chilled Prince Albert's young blood, and led him to stand
a little on his dignity. Probably this was to some extent a question of
manner. But, moreover, it ought to be borne in mind, that student life was
in those days just a trifle rough, and, knowing what it was, one can
readily understand the Prince's disinclination to identify himself
altogether with habits not by any means congenial to himself. He could
grow sociable enough with students on proper occasions. He is known to
have been a regular attendant at the _Fechtboden_--where, however, he
practised rather with the broad-sword than with the student's
rapier--ready to accept the challenge of any competent opponent; and he
would occasionally look on with interest at a real _Mensur_, whenever good
fencers were put forward to fight. We know that at a great fencing match
he carried off the first prize.[11] Even beyond this, from time to time he
would visit a students' _Kneipe_--having duly prepared himself for the
short nocturnal dissipation with a little snooze--and join very readily in
the fun and the mirth, more particularly in such amusements as allowed
play for the intellectual faculties. He was fond of German melodies, and
knew how to delight his audience with a song. And when it came to some
serio-comic diversion--such as the mock-trial know as a _Bierconvent_, a
travesty of legal proceedings, conceived, when ably led, in the spirit of
Demosthenes' hypothetical lawsuit about "the shadow of an ass"--he is said
to have been excellent. But mere beer-drinking and shouting were not in
his line. At home he was wont to cultivate the Muses, People still talk of
a little volume of poetry which the two brothers are said to have brought
out conjointly in support of a local charity, and to which Prince Albert
is supposed to have contributed the verse, and Prince Ernest the tunes. I
should not be surprised to learn that Prince Albert had as much to do with
the music as with the text. So far as there was poetry and music and
geniality to be found under the rough mask of student life, the Prince was
very ready to take part in it. And during the sixteen months of his
studentship he grew sufficiently familiar with some of his fellow-students
even to _tutoyer_. My friend, E. von C----, who was then a boy, distinctly
remembers meeting him walking towards the Rhine, and hearing him accosted
by two burly "Westphalians": "Wo gehst du hin, Albert?" "Ich gehe ins
Schiff," was his reply; "ich reise nach England." The Westphalians at once
turned round to see him off. That was an eventful journey "to England."

How little _hauteur_ really had to do with the Prince's intercourse with
his fellow-men is testified by the friendly acquaintanceship which grew up
at Bonn between him and persons of an entirely different class, and which
has still left its honourable memories behind.

Pretty well opposite his own quarters, cornering the Martinsplatz--where
now are two much-frequented shops--in those days stood a middle-sized
house, over the door of which might be read the inscription
"Weinwirthschaft von Peter Stamm." In later days, under a new proprietor,
the house came to be more ambitiously christened "Gasthaus zum Deutschen
Hof." In this establishment both Princes were frequent visitors, perhaps
Prince Albert more so than his brother. It was at this corner generally
that they mounted horse for a ride--I believe that some of their horses
were put up in the "Weinwirthschaft"--and here accordingly my friend, von
C----, used to watch for them, in order to hold their stirrups. In a
University town, in which

  Bibit hera, bibit herus,
  Bibit miles, bibit clerus,
  Bibit ille, bibit illa,
  Bibit servus cum ancilla,
  Bibit velox, bibit piger,
  Bibit albus, bibit niger,
  Bibit constans, bibit vagus,
  Bibit rudis, bibit magus,
  Bibit pauper et aegrotus,
  Bibit exul et ignotus,
  Bibit puer, bibit canus,
  Bibit praesul et decanus,
  Bibit soror, bibit frater,
  Bibit anus, bibit mater,
  Bibit iste, bibit ille,
  Bibunt centum, bibunt mille:
  Tam pro Papa, tam pro rege
  Bibunt omnes sine lege,

of course there are wine-shops many, and beer-shops many; and neither
student nor "Philistine" need ever be in any fear of having to remain
"dry" for want of liquor. But there has always been some one or other
wine-house raised a little above the common run, not by any pretentious
architecture or outfit--as a rule it was in external features one of the
most unpretending in the town--but by the superior quality of the liquor
served. Here would meet--as is doubtless the case now--the _honoratiores_
of the town, and some other blithe spirits, admitted almost by favour, a
select _clientèle_, to sip down, to the accompaniment of fluent
conversation, not the vulgar "schoppen" of the multitude, but the
capitalist "special"--a half-pint held in a massive goblet-shaped glass.
In my time the "select" wine-house of this sort was that of
"Schmitzköbes"--which means "James Schmitz"--in the market-place. In the
Prince's time it was the house of Peter Stamm. However, it was not for the
wine that the Prince came to this house--though in moderation he
appreciated a glass of good Rhenish, or Walporzheim. In our
aristocratically organised country, where, moreover, sportsmanship is held
to be public property, as accessible to the stockbroker as to the squire,
we have no idea of the fast link which in Germany--altogether differently
constituted, at any rate, then--the love of sport will bind between
persons of totally different classes. It holds them together like a
bracket. Prince and farmer, noble and tradesman--it is all alike _quoad_
sport; for that purpose genuine comradeship is established, on altogether
equal terms. There is no giving one's self away in this, nor yet any undue
presumption. The tradesman remains a tradesman, the prince no less a
prince; social differences are merely put aside. Now Peter Stamm was a
most zealous sportsman, who knew where to find a hare or a bird for many
miles round, and could spend whole nights and days with his dog and with
his gun--more particularly if there were some like-minded companion to
share the sport. And what was more for the present purpose, he was an
ardent horse-fancier, and a connaisseur of horse-flesh. His brother,
"Stamm-hannes"--that is, "John Stamm"--was a noted horse-dealer and
horse-breaker, who always had some good cattle on hand. And, moreover,
Peter Stamm was a great dog-fancier, and known for having the best dogs in
all Bonn. From him, I believe, it was that the Prince purchased that
handsome favourite of his, Eôs, whom he brought over with him to England,
his constant companion then on walks and drives and travels. So here was a
threefold cord which bound together these two neighbours, living within a
stone's throw of one another--a link which never broke in after-life. Long
after the Prince had left Bonn, there used to be messages going backwards
and forwards. When Peter was gone, Stamm-hannes kept up the intercourse,
and on one of his travels to England even visited the Prince as an old
friend. They are both dead now--and so is Nicolas, the third brother, who
kept the Bellevue Hotel on the Rhine. But to the present day old Fräulein
Stamm, now eighty-three years of age, carefully preserves and
affectionately cherishes the few keepsakes which still remain of the
Prince's giving--originally to Peter--and there is nothing that the old
lady is more fond of talking about than those old days, when the Prince
and Peter used to drive out to the Kottenforst together, and Peter would
come home and tell her of their common, not overexciting, adventures. The
keepsakes have dwindled down to three pictures and two porcelain cups, the
latter rather rudely painted, as was the fashion in those days, with views
of the Drachenfels and Rolandseck. Of the pictures, two are portraits of
the young Princes taken at Brussels before they repaired to Bonn, and
showing their boyish faces flanked by two heavy pairs of epaulettes. The
third, a woodcut, represents some unknown sportsman going a-stalking.
There used to be other small articles, such as sportsman friends are in
the habit of presenting to one another; but time has, one after the other,
disposed of them.

The Prince, we know, was always particularly fond of bodily exercise. At
Bonn he would fence regularly. And he would swim with as much zest, and
think nothing of mixing with the common crowd in those rough-and-ready
swimming-baths which I well remember; for in my time they were still all
the convenience for river bathing that Bonn had to offer--a rude concern
on the other bank of the Rhine, knocked together out of a raft and a few
sheds. In those baths the Prince did not seem to mind whom he rubbed
shoulders with. In this respect he closely resembled his son-in-law, the
Emperor Frederick, whose popularity in Berlin was not a little enhanced by
the _sans gêne_ with which he would, while in the water, join in the
splashing and larking of his future subjects, to whom it never on such
occasions occurred to forget themselves. A simple "Na, Jungens, jetzt ist
genug" from the Prince would at once warn them back into proper distance.
The Prince Consort became just as popular among the swimmers at Bonn. The
Rhine is really a troublesome river to swim in, on account of the force of
its current. The Prince would have himself rowed up a pretty long
distance, to swim back. I once or twice swam the same distance, in company
with Count H----, of the "Borussians," and we both found it quite long
enough. A very favourite sport with the Prince was, to tumble little boys
into the water--the swimming-master being by for safety--and then dive
after them to bring them up. He would select such as were not likely to be
frightened. And they came to like the fun.

But the Prince's favourite recreation of all was going a-shooting. In the
near neighbourhood of Bonn there is no very ambitious sport. The more
venturesome spirits go as far as the Eifel Mountains, there to kill
wild-boar and red-deer. For this the Prince grudged the time. So he had to
be content with hares and birds, an occasional roebuck--and, I dare say,
in those, early days he now and then brought down a fox, which in Germany
is reckoned rather good sport. When, in 1858, the Crown Prince, Emperor
Frederick, came back from his wedding, and found the officers of the Deutz
Cuirassiers drawn up in line at the Cologne station to salute him, he
singled out Count F----, of M--dorf, to present more especially to his
bride. "I must present Count F---- to you," he said; "it was on his estate
that I shot my first fox." Either Count F----'s conscience stung him, or
else he realised better than the Crown Prince in what light vulpicide is
regarded in the Princess's country: "It was not really a fox, Sir," he
explained with some embarrassment; "it was a wild cat."

There were water-fowl near Brühl; there used to be a heronry there. But I
do not think the Prince went in that direction. His ordinary
shooting-ground was near Bergheim, on the other side of the Rhine and,
beyond the Venusberg, in the Kottenforst, a long stretch of forest, not
everywhere well-timbered, in which Peter Stamm had a "Jagd," to which of
course the Prince was welcome. Wherever the forest was a little ragged
there were, of course, black game. And then, in spring, to the Prince's
great delight, there was woodcock shooting. The "Schnepfenstrich" was his
pet sport, and never was he to be seen more regularly driving his plain
little trap out to Röttgen--where Stamm had his shooting--the faithful
Peter always by his side--than in the four weeks which precede Palm
Sunday, the season of all others sacred in Germany to woodcock shooting,
for

  Oculi, da kommen sie;
  Laetare, das ist das wahre;
  Judica, sind sie auch noch da;
  Palmarum, Trallarum.

The Latin words are the Lutheran calendar names for the four Sundays next
before Easter.

Often Stamm-hannes would be of the party--often also Everard Sator,
another local Nimrod and horse-fancier, of Stamm's peculiar set, and
acceptable to the Prince. And some of the Prince's more aristocratic
companions would likewise occasionally join. But the Prince and Peter were
in this matter inseparables, roughing it out on the wooded heights from
sheer love of sport; and after that they would meet in the
"Weinwirthschaft" and talk over their common experiences, being
attentively overheard by a small company who reckoned it a privilege,
however little they might know about shooting, to listen to these
sportmen's tales, and bottle them up to retail to others after the Prince
was gone.

There was another very faithful friend, of humbler station still, whose
heart the Prince managed to capture by his genial affability and the kind
interest which it was his wont to manifest in others. Nobody could have
stayed any time in Bonn at that particular period without becoming
acquainted with "Appeltring"--or, as she was more ceremoniously called to
her face, "Frau Gevatterin." She was, without question, the most popular
"character" in Bonn, and there was no man who had not a kind word for her,
and was not ready to test her well-known power of repartee by a little
joke. "Appeltring," of course, means "Apple-kate"--"Tring" standing for
Katherine by one of those extraordinary transformations of names which,
probably, not even Grimm could explain, and which in the Rhenish dialect
convert "Heinrich" into "Drickes," and "Reinhard" into "Nieres." She was
an apple-woman, as her name implies, or, rather, a seller of fruit
generally, and had her stall or tent just outside the Neuthor, close to
the Prince's quarters, and on a spot which he must pass several times
almost every day--a coign of vantage, moreover, from which all the
fashionable and unfashionable world taking the air in the Poppelsdorfer
Allee, might be surveyed, as can all the fine folk passing in and out of
Hyde Park from Hyde Park Corner. She was on that spot still when I was at
Bonn twenty-three years later, and she was there for some time after--a
weather-bronzed, wrinkled old woman then, but still full of chat and
lively talk, humour and repartee, and endowed with a truly encyclopædic
knowledge of everyone who had been anyone at Bonn, and of his life, and
failings, and little adventures. Even in the Prince's day she was
decidedly past her first youth, and devoid of personal attractions; but
she had still something of the halo about her then of a not very distant
serio-comic little love affair, about which she was made to hear no end of
chaff--with a trumpeter (named Bengler, if I recollect right) who lost his
life in that Russian war in which the great Moltke won his first spurs.
During all the time that she offered her wares outside the Neuthor her
stall was a favourite resort with folk who had a spare quarter of an hour
on their hands, some of them of the best blood. The Emperor Frederick has
sat on that spot many a time, watching the passers-by, and exchanging chat
with "Tring," while eating cherries from one of the shallow flat-bottomed
baskets in which "Frau Gevatterin," or her younger assistant, served them
from the tent; and so have the Coburg Princes, more particularly Prince
Albert, who had a peculiar liking for "Appeltring" and her quaint ways,
her good temper, and her ready answers. Barring the Princes, "Tring's"
customers were not always prompt paymasters. This necessitated the keeping
of accounts, which, as "Tring" was nothing of a penwoman, resulted in a
description of bookkeeping so curious as to induce a learned archæological
society of Bonn afterwards to publish her records in facsimile. There were
no names, but rude imitations of a beard, or a tassel, or big top-boots,
or else a peculiar nose, or a pair of spectacles, or some other
distinguishing feature about the particular debtor.

The habit of almost daily chat begot a peculiar familiarity and interest
in one another's affairs between these two people at opposite poles of
society, and inspired "Tring" with a devotion to the Prince which has
just a touch of romance about it. To her simple but honest mind the Prince
was the noblest creature that walked the earth. Whenever he failed to pass
to bid her good-day, she seemed to feel as if deprived of a substantial
pleasure. For years and decades after he had gone she would relate with
striking animation little stories of his life in Bonn, and tell of his
kindness to her. She was indefatigable in inquiries about him, and would
draw in every word of information received with eager curiosity. Nor did
she ever hear of anyone going to England without commissioning
him--"Jrüsse Se den Prinzen Albehrt." It sounded very ridiculous to some,
no doubt. But I venture to surmise, that to the Prince himself that
broadly Rhenish "Jrüsse Se den Prinzen Albehrt" would have been a not
unwelcome greeting.

Most of the good people here spoken of, with whom the Prince exchanged
jokes and more serious intercourse, whom he charmed with his happy temper
or edified with graver talk, are now dead and gone. Bonn has grown a town
of 50,000 or 60,000 inhabitants, well-to-do, bright and attractive, adding
to its population year by year. The University has throughout its history
maintained its old high rank. As a new generation rises up old
reminiscences are dying out. Stories which thirty years ago passed current
from mouth to mouth are gradually being forgotten. There is so much more
that used to be told of the Prince, when memories were fresh; indeed,
there is much that might be told still, only the incidents seem trivial in
themselves, and memorable only as demonstrating what singular power their
hero possessed of riveting men's affections, and as concurring in
impressing a stamp of noble principle, unselfish consideration for others,
of a genial and happy disposition, and laborious devotion to study upon
his student life of sixteen months. There was, there is reason to believe,
very much good done in private, of which the outside world never heard. To
Bonn the Prince's stay was a turning-point in its history; and, since
elsewhere scarcely anything has been said about that particular epoch in
the Prince's life, it may not be unmeet to gather together the fragments
of traditions and reminiscences surviving, before they pass finally out of
men's minds, and thus to fill a gap hitherto left in the memorials of a
life which has in its later periods amply realized the promise given in
the early days of youth here spoken of.



VIII.--SOMETHING ABOUT BEER.[12]


When Judas Iscariot, as the legend has it, prompted by a presumptuous
ambition to emulate Our Saviour in the performance of a miracle similar to
that of Cana, spoke his cabalistic words over the water which he desired
to make potable, it may be argued that a worse product might have resulted
from the process than beer--at any rate from a non-teetotal point of view.
According to another legend, of wider currency, the inventor of beer was
not the apostate apostle, but a more or less mythical king of Brabant,
named Gambrinus. His bine-crowned visage may be seen beaming from the
walls of most tap-rooms in Germany and in those more or less German
provinces which once formed, or should have formed, or still form, that
political desideratum, the "Middle Kingdom." This is a case of _ex
vocabulo fabula_. For Gambrivium is Cambray--the Cambray of the League and
also of early brewing. And "Gambrinus" is either John the Victorious of
Brabant, who fell in a tournament held at Bar-le-Duc on the occasion of
the marriage of Henri, count of that country, with Eleanor, daughter of
our King Edward I., or else--and more probably--it is Jean Sans-Peur of
Burgundy, who, to ingratiate himself with his Flemish subjects, had a
dollar coined, showing a wreath of hop-bine encircling his head--and also
instituted the order of the _Houblon_, giving no little offence thereby to
his loyal clergy. Not that there was anything at all heretical in his act.
No; but the case was really much worse. For the clergy, it turned out, in
those days had a vested interest in beer. That was in the fourteenth
century, when the liquor was still generally brewed without hops, a
mixture of aromatic herbs being used instead, which was in most cases
supplied from episcopal forests. So it was in Brabant. The Bishop of Liége
possessed virtually a monopoly of the trade in _gruyt_, and when Duke John
favoured the cultivation of hops, the bishop's income suffered a serious
diminution. Accordingly, his Eminence remonstrated--just as in our
country, about 1400, and again in 1442, complaint was made to Parliament
of the introduction of that "wicked weed, that would spoil the taste of
drink and endanger the people." In the dioceses of Utrecht and Cologne it
was just the same thing. The bishops fought hard for their _gruyt_ or
_krüt_, using their crosiers as a defensive weapon, but had eventually to
give in. From this it would appear that what King Gambrinus really did
introduce was not beer, but the use in the brewing of it of hops, the
ingredient over which that eminent saint, Abbess Hildegardis of
Rupertusberg, had already pronounced her benediction. St. Hildegardis was
a saint of unquestionable authority, having been specially recognised at
the Council of Trèves as a prophetess by St. Bernard and Pope Eugenius IV.
She recommended hops on the ground that, though "heating and drying," and
productive of "a certain melancholy and sadness" (she must have been
thinking of the effects next day), they possess the sovereign virtues of
preventing noxious fermentation and also of preserving the beer. (Burton,
in partial opposition to the saint, asserts that beer--hopped, of
course--"hath an especial virtue _against_ melancholy, as our herbalists
confess.") St. Hildegardis' opinion was given in the twelfth century. That
was not by any means the earliest age of beer; for we find it referred to
in history some centuries before. Whether the inhabitants of Chalcedon,
when they shouted in derision after the Emperor Valens, "Sabajarius!
Sabajarius!"--which has been translated, "drinker of beer"--really
referred to beer, as we now understand it, must appear doubtful. In the
same way, the reputed "beer" of the early Egyptians and Hebrews--alluded
to by Xenophon, Herodotus, and other ancient writers--may or may not have
been beer in our sense. But in the eighth century we find Charlemagne
enjoining brewing in his dominions. In 862 we have Charles the Bald making
to the monks of St. Denis a grant of ninety _boisseaux d'épeautre_ a year
_pour faire de la cervoise_. In 1042 we have Henri I. conferring on the
monks of Montreuil-sur-Marne the valuable right of brewing, and in 1268
St. Louis laying down rules for the guidance of brewers in Paris. Paris
was then, as it now is becoming again--I cannot say that I like the
idea--a very "beery" place. Its brewers, even at a very remote time,
formed a highly respected corporation, using as their insignia and
trade-mark an image of the Holy Virgin--their patron saint--incongruously
enough grouped together with Ceres, both being encircled by the
legend:--_Bacchi Ceres aemula_. No modern Pope would allow such crossing
of the two religions. Ceres was of course in olden time looked upon as the
especial goddess of beer, made of barley, which was after her named
_Cerevisia_. Juvenal mentions _Demetrius_ as its name, derived of course
from Demeter. However, Fischart, a notable German poet, who lived in the
sixteenth century, ascribes its invention to Bacchus, as an intended
substitute for wine wherever there are no grapes. Modern Germany has
produced a very pretty song, which represents Wine as a wonder-working
nobleman, making a triumphal progress in grand style, clad in silk and
gold, and Beer crossing his path as a sturdy but rather perky peasant, in
a frieze jacket and top-boots, challenging him to a thaumaturgic tourney,
as Jannes and Jambres challenged Moses. After an amusing little squabble
the two make friends, and henceforth rule the world in joint sovereignty
and happy unity. At Paris, in the reign of Charles V., we find the local
brewers, twenty-one in number, so wealthy as to be able to pay a million
_écus d'or_ for their licenses. Under Charles VI., beer had become a
regulation drink at the French court, and we have our own Richard II.
presenting the French king with a "_vaisseau à boire cervoise_." From this
it may be inferred that the famous verselet--

  Hops and turkeys, carps and beer,

or, as some rigid Anglican has improved it--

  Hops, reformation, bays, and beer
  Came to England all in one year--

to wit, the year 1525--is a little wrong in its date, and that beer was
known earlier. After the date named, we know that it soon made its way
into the highest circles. As proof of this we have the one shoe which
Queen Bess carelessly left behind after that lunch, of which beer formed
an item, with which she was regaled on her progress through Sussex, under
the spreading oak still shown in that pretty village of Northiam--

  O fair Norjem! thou dost far exceed
  Beckley, Peasmarsh, Udimore, and Brede--

which shoe may still be seen, by favour, in the private archæological
collection at Brickwall House, in company with Accepted Frewen's
toasting-fork.

Saxon descent may have had much to do with the development of our own
peculiar cerevisial taste--taste, that is, for beer with some body and a
good strong flavour of malt. There can be no doubt that, compared with the
produce of other countries, our beer is still the best--if only one's
liver will stand it--the most tasty, the most nourishing--"meat, drink and
cloth," as Sir John Linger puts it--beer which will occasionally "make a
cat speak and a wise man dumb." The Saxons always had a liking for beer
with something in it--not merely "strong water," as Sir Richard l'Estrange
calls the small stuff. The ancient Teutons, we know, were all of them
furious drinkers. Accordingly, not a few of the modern generation hold,
with Luther's Elector of Saxony, that a custom of such very venerable
antiquity ought not to be lightly abandoned. Tacitus writes that the
Germans think it no shame to spend a whole day and night a-drinking. The
Greek Emperor Nicephoras Phorcas told the ambassador of Emperor Otho that
his master's soldiers had no other proficiency but in getting drunk.
Rudolph of Hapsburgh grew vociferous over the discovery of good beer.
"Walk in, walk in!" he shouted, standing at a tavern door in Erfurt,
wholly oblivious of his imperial dignity; "there is excellent beer to be
had inside." And "good King Wenceslas" of our Christmas carol--described
as "good" nowhere else--was an habitual toper, and was "done" accordingly
by the French at Rheims, where he thought more of the wine than of the
treaty which he was negotiating. Henri Quatre would on no account marry a
German wife. "Je croirais," he said, "toujours avoir un pot de vin auprès
de moi." A modern writer, Charles Monselet, says that in Strassburg--in
this respect a typically German town--"tout se ressent de la domination de
la bière." Beer lends its colour to the faces of the inhabitants, to their
hair, to their clothes; to the soil and the houses; and the very women
seem nothing but "walking _chopes_." But the Saxons in particular--not the
modern ones, but those of the North, some of whom found their way into
England--always loved good stout nutritious drink, such as that to which
the German composer Von Flotow ascribes our sturdy robustness:

  Das ist das treffliche Elixir,
  Das ist das kräftige Porterbier.

Obsopæus says of the ancient Saxons:

  Coctam Cererem potant _crassosque liquores_.

And an old rhyme, still quoted with gusto, goes to this effect:

  Ein echter Sachse wird, wie alle Völker sagen,
  Nie schmal in Schultern sein, noch schlaffe Lenden tragen.
  Fragt Einer, welches denn die Ursach' sei:
  Er isset Speck und Wurst, und trinket _Mumm_ dabei.

"Mumm" is our own good old "mum," about the meaning of which in an Act of
Parliament there was recently some controversy, when even Mr. Gladstone
did not quite know how to explain it. It is the good, thick, stout,
nourishing beer--_nil spissius illo_--which makes blood and flesh, and
gives strength--"vires præstat et augmentat carnem, generatque cruorem,"
says the school of Salerno. Very presumably it is such beer as this, too,
of which the unnamed witty poet quoted in Percy's "Reliques" writes:

                            nobilis ale-a
  Efficit heroas dignamque heroe puellam.

No doubt beer has had a good many nasty things said about it. The same
school of Salerno lays it down that "crassos humores nutrit cerevisia,
ventrem quoque mollit et inflat." It also affirms that ebriety resulting
from beer is more hurtful than that produced by wine. But, notwithstanding
this, it endorses the advice given by Matthew de Gradibus, which is, to
drink it in preference to wine at the beginning of, or even throughout,
meals, and above all things after any great exertion. "Cerevisia vero
utpote crassior, et ad concoctionem pertinacior, non tam avide rapitur:
quare ab ea potus in principio prandii vel coenae utilius inchoatur.
Cerevisia humores etiam orificio stomachi insidentes abluit, et sitim, quæ
ex nimia vini potatione timetur, praeterea et quamlibet aliam mendosam
coercet ac reprimit." To say nothing of the censure pronounced by Crato,
Henry of Avranches, and Wolfram von Eschenbach--that pillar of the Roman
Church, Cardinal Chigi, charitably suggests that if beer had but a little
sulphur added, it would become a right infernal drink. And Moscherosch,
joking on the admixture of pitch with beer, common in his time--possibly
copied from a similar practice applied to wine in the days of ancient
Greece--speaks of "la bière poissée qui habitue au feu de l'enfer." "Pix
intrantibus" used to be a familiar superscription placed for a joke over
tavern doors. Then, again, we have Luther barely qualifying the old German
rhyme--

  Gott machte Gutes, Böses wir:
  Er braute Wein, wir brauen Bier--

by laying it down that "Vinum est donatio Dei, cerevisia traditio humana."
And he went so far as to pronounce the leading brewer of his time "Pestis
Germaniae." But this same Luther was himself a zealous beer-toper. He
drank beer, it is on record, when plotting the Reformation with
Melanchthon at Torgau. He called for _Bierseidel_ when Carlstadt came to
the "Bear" at Jena to discuss with him the subject of consubstantiation.
And the two divines used their pewters very freely by way of accentuating
their theological arguments, and, towards the close of the sitting, even
in substitution of them. Luther records with satisfaction, in his "Table
Talk," that many presents reached him from France, Prussia, and Russia, of
"wormwood-beer." And at Worms, where he was pleading the cause of the
reformed faith before a hostile Diet, the one ray of comfort which
pierced through the gloom of his imprisonment was the arrival,
particularly mentioned in his letters, of a small cask of "Eimbeck" beer
from one of the friendly princes. Like our modern M.P.'s annually
exercised about the matter, the German reformer had a fervent zeal for the
"purity of beer"--so fervent, that he actually threatened adulterating
brewers with Divine wrath. He wrote these lines:

  Am jüngsten Tage wird geschaut
  Was jeder für ein Bier gebraut.

On the other hand, Cardinal Chigi's Roman anathema is more than
neutralised by any number of benedictions, expressed or implied, from holy
men of his Church. There are the regulations of St. Louis, of St.
Hildegardis, the enlisted interest of the Bishops of Cologne, Utrecht, and
Liége, the patron-saintship of St. Amandus, St. Leonard, St. Adrian, and
the Irish St. Florentius, and, moreover, the very close connection which
from time immemorial monks and religious houses have maintained with
brewing. In olden days they were the brewers _par excellence_. In Lorraine
our English Benedictines of Dieulouard, who maintained themselves in their
monastery near Pont-à-Mousson down to the time of the Revolution, long
possessed an absolute monopoly of brewing, and were famed for their
produce. And M. Reiber will have it that there are still in Germany, at
the present day, _des congrégations de moines brasseurs_. Then there is
St. Chrodegang, a near relative of Charlemagne, the great reformer of
monastic orders, who particularly directed--and the rule is still
observed--that monks should be allowed the option of either beer or wine.
And sensible monks, a communicative Carthusian confided to me the other
day, prefer good beer any day to bad wine.

If, in face of all this, neither Romanists nor Protestants can say
anything against beer, much less are Mussulmans in a position to do so.
For Mahomet actually, though he expressly forbids wine, never says a word
in prohibition of beer--thus leaving a convenient loophole to thirsty
Mahommedans, of which French writers tell us that bibulous Algerians
eagerly avail themselves.

From all this it will be seen that, despite teetotal disparagement, beer
comes before the world, so to speak, with very respectable credentials,
entitling it to a fairly good reception. Brillat-Savarin, it is true,
admits to its detriment that "l'eau est la seule boisson qui apaise
véritablement la soif." But "l'eau," says another French writer, M.
Reiber, "est la prose des liquides, l'alcool en est la poésie." Speaking
more particularly of beer, among alcoholic drinks, M. Dubrunfaut writes:
"La bière occupe incontestablement le premier rang parmi les boissons
hygiéniques connues." And he goes on to say that among the beer-drinking
nations one finds, as a rule, manly qualities most developed--as among the
English, the Germans, the Dutch, the Belgians, and the Northern French.
Brillat-Savarin only objects that beer makes people stout.

Of course there is beer and beer. The wise doctors of Salerno very rightly
gave particular attention to this subject--as well they might, for beer
was adulterated in their days with no more scruple than it is in ours. The
Minnesinger Marner, in the thirteenth century, bitterly complains that
brewers make beer even without malt. There was no minnesinging to be done
on such drink. Then there was the manufacture of the aroma. Before there
were hops--and even after--people had a violent fancy for spices, the
indulgence in which was carried to such a point that the Church, meeting
in Council at Worms in 868, and at Trèves in 895, felt bound to take
notice of the matter, and in a special canon laid down the rule that beer
spiced after the manner then prevalent should be allowed, as a luxury,
only on Sundays and saints' days. What those spices were may be gathered
from the following recipe for making beer, which appears to have been
first published at Strassburg (from early days a cerevisian city) in 1512,
and which was twice re-issued, under special approbation--namely, in 1552
and 1679. "To one pound of coloured 'sweet-root' (probably liquorice) add
seven ounces of good cinnamon, four ounces of the best ginger, one ounce
each of cloves, 'long' pepper, galanga, and nutmeg, half an ounce each of
mace and of cardamom, and two ounces of genuine Italian saffron." Whatever
might be added in the shape of malt, who would recognise in this decoction
anything remotely worthy of the name of beer? It is of such stuff that
Cardinal Chigi must have been thinking when he pronounced beer "infernal
drink." For brewing beer the school of Salerno give the following good
advice:

  Non acidum sapiat cerevisia, sit bene clara.
  Ex granis sit cocta bonis satis, ac veterata.

It must not, above all things, be sour. For acidity "ventriculo inimica
est. Acetus nervosas offendit partes." As the Germans have it--and they
ought to know--

  Ein böses Weib und sauer Bier
  Behüt' der Himmel dich dafür!

It should be clear, because "turbida impinguat, flatus gignit, atque
brevem spiritum efficit." "Bene cocta" it should be, for "male cocta
ventris inflationes, tormina et colicos cruciatos generat"--which Latin
speaks for itself. As for good grain, the doctors appear to prefer a
mixture of barley and oats. They allow either wheat, barley, or oats.
Wheat, they say, makes the most nourishing beer, but heating and
astringent. Barley alone makes the beer cold and dry. A mixture of barley
and oats renders it less nourishing, but also lighter on the stomach, and
less confining and distending. The Germans nowadays brew beer of every
conceivable grain and no-grain, even potatoes. But according to the
material so is the product. Lastly, say the doctors, beer, like wine,
should be old, or you will feel the effects in your stomach.

We cannot at the present period dissociate from beer the idea of hops. But
it was comparatively late in history before hops were regarded as an
indispensable ingredient. The Sclav nations are reported to have had them
early; also the Mahommedans of the East. Haroun-al-Rashid's physician
states that in his day they were given as medicine. In France, the first
record of their cultivation is of the year 768, when Pepin le Bref gave
some directions as to the hop-grounds belonging to the monastery of St.
Denis. In Germany they are known to have been successfully cultivated
about Magdeburg in 1070. We are supposed to have received them over here
in 1525. In Alsace, beer-drinking country as it is, they were not
cultivated till 1802. The soil being very suitable, they then made way
with such rapidity that they soon crowded out completely madder and woad,
which had previously been considered the most profitable crops--so
profitable, that from the _coques de pastel_ (woad), which were looked
upon as the emblem of prosperity and well-being, the Lauraguais, and
indeed the whole country round Toulouse, came to be christened _le pays de
Cocagne_. Hence our own word of "Cockaigne," about the derivation of which
so many contradictory guesses have been made. It may be interesting to
note that in Strassburg the bakers at one time used to put hops into their
yeast, and that in some foreign countries the young shoots of the hop-bine
furnish a favourite vegetable, dressed like asparagus.

Drinking habits are of course by far the most developed in Germany, where
beer has really become the object of a cult. Blessed with a healthy
thirst, which made our own poet Owen exclaim--

  Si latet in vino verum, ut proverbia dicunt,
    Invenit verum Teuto, vel inveniet--

the nation has seized upon beer as a second faith, "outside which there is
no salvation." Fischart, indeed, in his verses bade people who _must_
drink beer, and would not be satisfied with German wine, "go to
Copenhagen; there they would find beer enough." Denmark truly was of
old--we know from "Hamlet"--a grand country for drinking. But in respect
of beer, in the present day, it is not "in it" with Germany. Tacitus wrote
about German drinking. Emperor Charlemagne felt bound to pass a law
against it. The earlier Popes, before consenting to crown a German
emperor, exacted from him an affirmative reply to the standing question:
"Vis sobrietatem cum Dei auxilio custodire?" Of the old Palsgraves it
used to be said: "Potatores sub coelo non meliores;" and "bibere more
palatino" became a byword. Maximilian I. felt called upon to pass
stringent laws. In the sixteenth century Germany went by the name of "Die
grossen Trinklande." And Luther, when resting from his _seidels_
accompanying theological disputations, expressed a fear "lest this devil
(of thirst) should go on tormenting Germany till the day of judgment." The
modern Germans have remained true to the custom of their forefathers, and
have developed it scientifically.

  Um den Gerstensaft, geliebte Seelen,
  Dreht sich unser ganzer Staat herum.

The whole commonwealth literally "hinges" upon beer. The Emperor has drunk
it as a student at Bonn, and presumably still drinks it--in moderation.
The German Chancellor, instead of the parliamentary full-dress dinners
customary among ourselves, invites the members of the Diet to
"beer-evenings." If a learned professor discover a new bacillus or
antidotal lymph; if an African traveller annex a new province; if a
statesman attain his jubilee--there is but one form of public recognition
for all varieties of merit and distinction, and that is a _biercommers_.
No doubt the great extension of university education has a great deal to
do with the spread of regulated beer-drinking. The learned classes set the
tone, and the many follow it.

  Cerevisiam bibunt homines, animalia cætera fontes.

That has become the general motto. It sounds very filthy to hear of the
astounding quantities of liquor consumed. But, in the first place, where
much is drunk, it is only very light stuff. And, to make it less trying,
the drinkers adopt the Socratic maxim of "small cups and many," by
frothing the beer up incredibly. Altogether they follow good classical
rules, which it is curious to trace, and which make their symposia rather
interesting. Drinking is not the end, but only the natural means for
attaining hilarity. And there is a good deal of rough geniality about it.
Like the ancient Greeks, these organised drinkers fix a well-recognised
[Greek: tropos tês poseôs]. They have their absolute ruler, the
symposiarch, their accepted order of drinking, their proper scale of
fines. And also, as in Greece, only too often drinking is not a voluntary
act, but [Greek: anagkazesthai], and it is made to be [Greek: apneusti
pinein]--drinking without taking breath. There is the [Greek: propinein
philotêsias]--drinking to one another--which _must_ be answered. There are
songs and jokes--though no _tæniæ_ and, fortunately, no kisses. And the
small cups are duly followed up with the large horns, the [Greek: kerata],
and the huge vessels which the Greeks called [Greek: phreata]. Nay, these
modern classics even imitate the Greeks in respect of the [Greek: hales
kai kyminon]. For in many places the well-salted and carawayed [Greek:
epipasta] forms a standing accompaniment to the liquor. And next day, if
they are a trifle "foxed," they copy the Greeks in [Greek: kraipalên
kraipalê exelaunein], or, as Sir John Linger calls it in better
"understanded" language, they take "a hair of the same dog," with a
pickled herring covered with raw onions for a companion, which is supposed
to set all things right. There are beer-courts to adjudge upon disputes,
there are indeterminate beer-minutes to settle the time--everything is
"beer." In all this joking there is no harm. As little harm is _meant_ to
be in the _missoe cerevisiales_ which tradition has handed down from the
time when monks were both the greatest brewers and also the greatest
drinkers, and, probably, in their refectories and misericords made as much
fun of the service over their cups as do now--or did until lately--German
students. There is the genuine chanting of versicles and responses, but
the words have reference to beer. This practice, I am glad to say, is now
very much on the decline.

All this is scarcely surprising. We all knew it of the Germans long ago.
But it is a little strange to find France once more--few people know about
the first time--taking her place among beer-drinking countries and placing
the _honestas chopinandi_ among the precepts of the modern decalogue. The
French are good enough to explain that they do this, not for their own
gratification, but as a public service, as "saviours of society," to
"rendre les moeurs gambrinales plus aimables." That may be. But the fact
remains, that the annual consumption of beer per head of the population in
France has now risen to 21 litres (about 14 quarts), which on the top of
119 litres of wine (however light), 20 litres of cider, and 4 litres of
spirits, is a respectable allowance enough. For Germany the figures are
said to be--93 litres of beer, 6 of wine, and 10 of spirits--and such
spirits! France brews every year more than eight millions of hectolitres
of beer, and consumes considerably more. To do this, of course it must
import from abroad. And very rightly too, I should say. For though French
beer may no longer deserve the description given of it by the Emperor
Julian, who condemned it as "smelling strongly of the goat," there is
still little enough that is really good. And it is drunk out of such tiny
thimbles! I suspect that there is a dodge in this. The "bocks" have grown
smaller and smaller, till in some places they are mere tea-cups. But then
out come the _restaurateurs_ with their old disused "bocks," now
re-christened _bocks sérieux_, and charge double price. That promises to
make France a real brewers' paradise. But, large glasses or small, there
is something about the beer which you must first get used to. Accordingly,
many of those gorgeous _brasseries_, of genuinely German type, which seem
so out of place in the Paris boulevards, are supplied, not from
Tantonville or Xertigny, but from Munich or Vienna, or else from
Strassburg. For, of course, the attachment which Frenchmen feel for their
lost provinces had a great deal to do with their new departure in the way
of a liking for beer. France, as it happens, owes some reparation to
Strassburg, and more particularly to its brewers. For at various times it
has treated the latter most unkindly. In the first place, the Second
Empire unmercifully hastened on the hour of "Bruce," making it eleven
"sharp," instead of the quarter past which had been previously allowed.
This threatens never to be forgotten or forgiven. In the second place, the
First Republic, though it honoured hops by assigning to them, in the place
of the calendar saint, St. Omer, the patronship of the 9th of September,
inflicted a very grievous injury when, in the _An II._ of its era, its
_tribunal révolutionnaire_ imposed a fine of 255,000 livres upon the
brewing trade, as is stated in the official _Livre Bleu_, "pour les abus
qu'ils ont pu se permettre sur leur comestibilité." The mulct is explained
in this wise:--"Considérant que la soif de l'or a constamment guidé les
brasseurs, il les condamne à deux cents cinquante-cinq mille livres
d'amende, qu'ils doivent payer dans trois jours, sous peine d'être
déclarés rebelles à la loi et de voir leurs biens confisqués." There is no
talk of "compensation," as among ourselves. To be sure, the bakers, with
nothing against them--except it be on the score of weight--fared worse.
For they were declared _hostes generis humani_, and fined 300,000 livres.
The brewers really paid only 188,000 livres. But that was considered heavy
enough. In spite of this imposition, the brewing trade in Strassburg has
made tremendous strides, and continues flourishing. And very much more
beer is now consumed in the city than wine. For 1878 the figures were:
121,345 hectolitres of beer and 36,583 of wine. Paris in 1881 consumed
300,000 hectolitres of beer; in 1853 only 7,000 and in 1864 still only
40,000 hectolitres. (All this beer-drinking, it will be seen, dates from
1870.) In Paris, in spite of protection, the brewing interest appears to
find foreign competition rather formidable. At the time of the first
revolution, a French general (Santerre), with the assistance of government
subsidies, tried very hard to oust us from the market by brewing "ale" and
"porter." This earned the veteran the nickname of "Le Général Mousseux."
But the speculation did not pay, and had to be abandoned. Having become so
popular, beer has, of course, found many fervid apologists in France. "La
bière fait en ce moment le tour du monde. Mieux que tous les raisonnements
et quoi qu'en disent les esprits chagrins, sa vogue prouve que la boisson
en houblon est utile, que l'humanité l'apprécie et en a besoin." So says
M. Reiber. "La bonne bière n'est pas une boisson malsaine; elle est
tonique et nourrissante." So says Dr. Tourdes.

But really this is nothing new. Old inscriptions, dating from the
Gallo-Roman era, show that Pliny was correct in setting down, at his
period, the Gauls as a largely beer-drinking race. They had earthenware
beer-pots, some of which have been exhumed, bearing the inscription,
"Cerevisariis felicitas!" An old Gallo-Roman flagon is preserved in Paris,
on which is engraved--"Hospita reple lagenam cervisia!" The oldest
beer-song extant is Old-French, dating from the thirteenth century. It is
as follows:

         LETABUNDUS
        Or hi purra;
  La _cerveyse_ nos chauntera
         Alleluia!
  Qui que aukes en beyt
  Si tel seyt comme estre doit
        Res miranda.

The prohibition which Charlemagne issued against keeping St. Stephen's Day
too zealously by the consumption of beer and wine, applied to France no
less than to Germany. The French were, in truth, great respecters of
saints' days in a bibulous way. St. Martin's Day was with them a favourite
occasion for drinking. Hence _martiner_ still currently signifies drinking
more than one ought. Another suggestive popular term is "Boire comme un
Templier." France then has really only returned to her _premier amour_.
But in doing so she has set upon it a seal of domination, which is
significant, as meaning that it is not likely to be readily surrendered.

No doubt beer, having held its own so long, though much assailed, will
still continue to maintain its position. There is too much of human nature
in man to admit of its being effectually proscribed. "Abusus non tollit
usum." The same school of Salerno which praises beer as a wholesome drink
adds this wise proviso:--"Hic unicum de cervisiæ usu præceptum traditur:
nempe ut modice sumatur, neque ea stomachus prægravetur vel ebrietas
concilietur." Sebastian Brant writes in old German:

  Eyn Narr muosz vil gesoffen han,
  Eyn Wyser maesslich drincken kann.

There is great virtue in the _modice sumatur_. The wine-trade has passed
through a similar change. Though four-bottle men have died out, the
wine-trade is doing better than it did in olden days. So it will probably
be with beer. However temperance advocates may regret it, it is not to be
got rid of by railing. In truth it is now indeed making _le tour du
monde_. And, unless mankind changes its character altogether, it will
probably go on drinking--more or less _modice_--to the end of the chapter,
a beverage which stands commended by so exemplary a Father of the Church
as the whilom Bishop of Bath and Wells, Polydore Virgil, who pronounces it

  Potus tum salubris tum jucundus.



FOOTNOTES:

[1] Blackwood's Magazine, August, 1894.

[2] The church encloses, in addition to one of the "true" pebbles with
which was stoned, says M. Bellot-Herment, the chronicler of Bar, "_St
Etienne, curé de Gamaliel, bourg du diocèse de Jerusalem_," that boldly
original sculpture from the chisel of the great Lorrain artist, Ligier
Richier, whom we so undeservedly ignore, the famous "_Squelette_"--the
mere name of which frightened Dibdin away, as he himself relates. Durival
terms this sculpture "_une affreuse beauté_"--but "_beauté_" it
undoubtedly is.

[3] Patriotic Frenchmen derive this name from the Latin _fascinatio_. But
quite evidently it is a gallicised form of the German _fastnacht_, which
in Alsace is pronounced _fàsenacht_, or very nearly _fàsenocht_; in a
French mouth it would naturally become _faschinottes_.

[4] Blackwood's Magazine, June, 1891.

[5] National Review, February, 1892.

[6] Gentleman's Magazine, February, 1893.

[7] See the _Memoirs of the Family of Taaffe_, p. 13.

[8] Westminster Review, May, 1892.

[9] National Review, May, 1892.

[10] Gentleman's Magazine, February, 1894.

[11] The "English" student who took the second prize on the occasion must,
I think, have been Edmund Arnold. At any rate, I can discover no other
English name on the register. English students were still few in those
days.

[12] Gentleman's Magazine, March, 1891.



Transcriber's Notes:

Passages in italics are indicated by _italics_.

Superscripted characters are indicated by {superscript}.

The original text contains letters with diacritical marks that are not
represented in this text version.

The original text includes Greek characters. For this text version these
letters have been replaced with transliterations.





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