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Title: Pictures of the old French court - Jeanne de Bourbon, Isabeau de Bavière, Anne de Bretagne
Author: Bearne, Catherine Mary
Language: English
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PICTURES OF THE OLD FRENCH COURT


[Illustration: AMBOISE.]



  Pictures of the
  Old French Court

  Jeanne de Bourbon
  Isabeau de Bavière
  Anne de Bretagne

  By
  Catherine Bearne

  _Author of_
  “Lives and Times of the Early Valois Queens”

  _ILLUSTRATED BY EDWARD H. BEARNE FROM ANCIENT
  PRINTS, ORIGINAL DRAWINGS, &c._

  NEW YORK
  E. P. DUTTON & COMPANY
  1900



PREFACE


In a former book I endeavoured, from information gathered out of the
records of the first half of the fourteenth century, to give some idea
of the court and social conditions of France at that time, and also of
the first three Valois Queens, whose very existence appears unknown
to the average English reader. This was no easy matter owing to the
scarcity of details, which had to be carefully gleaned from amongst
masses of histories and chronicles of battles, sieges, conspiracies,
general councils, and other public events.

The present volume treats of the years between the latter part of the
fourteenth and beginning of the sixteenth centuries, about which so
much more information exists that I have found it necessary to abandon,
for want of space, my intention of giving a short account of the courts
of Marie d’Anjou and Charlotte de Savoie, wives of Charles VII. and
Louis XI., who took very little part in public affairs; and to give a
much shorter account of the reign of Anne de Bretagne.

Very little has been written about Isabeau de Bavière, and much less
still concerning Jeanne de Bourbon, whereas a great deal is known of
Anne de Bretagne, the history of whose life has more than once been
related. To an interesting biography of her by Louisa Stuart Costello,
and an invaluable one by Le Roux de Lincy I am much indebted. I have,
as before, consulted many early chronicles, histories, and letters,
French, English, German, Italian, and Spanish, besides the works of
various excellent modern writers, whose names I quote. Accuracy being
of the greatest importance in books like these, I give, in reply to the
observation of a critic, that the lines I quoted referring to the siege
of Cassel are incorrect, the original of De Nangis:--

    “In dicto vero castro, in regis et totius Francorum exercitus
    derisum et subsannationem, in quodam eminenti loco posuerant
    Flammingi quemdam gallum permaximum de tela tincta, dicentes:
    ‘Quando gallus iste cantabit, rex Cassellum capiet vi armorum.’
    Unde et gallice in gallo scriptum erat:

        ‘Quand ce coq chanté aura,
         Le Roy Cassel conquestera.’”[1]

I quoted these lines from the “Grandes Chroniques.”[2]

To another critic who says he has never heard of the “Grand
dictionnaire de Morèry,” and suggests that no such book exists, I
can only reply that I have it upon my shelves. It is in several
folio volumes, was published at Paris 1699, and is quoted by various
historians. It is sometimes spelt “Morèri.”



CONTENTS


  _REIGN OF CHARLES V. AND JEANNE DE BOURBON._

  CHAPTER I.                                                        PAGE

  The House of Bourbon--Marriage of Pierre de Bourbon and Isabelle
    de Valois--Birth of their children--Betrothal of Jeanne to the
    Comte de Savoie--To the Dauphin Humbert--Her marriage with the
    heir of France--Character of Charles--Death of Philippe VI.
    --Coronation of King and Queen--Charles invested with Duchy of
    Normandy--Marriage of the Queen of Spain--Pedro el Cruel--
    Marriage of the Comtesse de Savoie--Death of the Duc de Bourbon
    at Poitiers                                                        1

  CHAPTER II.

  France after the Battle of Poitiers--The Jacquerie--The Marché de
    Meaux--The Comte de Foix and the Captal de Buch--Rescue of the
    Dauphine--Vengeance of the nobles                                 16

  CHAPTER III.

  Return of Charles and Jeanne to Paris--Marriage of Catherine de
    Bourbon to the Comte de Harcourt--The Céléstins--The Treaty of
    Bretigny--Marriage of Isabelle de France to Giovanni Visconti--
    Return of the King--Death of the children of the Dauphine--The
    plague--The Duchy of Burgundy                                     33

  CHAPTER IV.

  King Jean returns to England--His death--Coronation of Charles V.
    and Jeanne de Bourbon--Murder of Blanche, Queen of Spain--The
    Céléstine Church--The Abbey of Chelles--The King’s library--
    Magnificence of the Court--Birth and death of the second Princess
    Jeanne                                                            49

  CHAPTER V.

  Comet--Meeting of Parliament--Marriage of the Queen’s sister--
    The Louvre and its gardens--Christine de Pisan--The Dauphin
    --His christening--War--French victories--Prosperity of
    France--Hôtel St. Paul--Birth of Marie de France--Capture and
    liberation of the Queen’s mother--Bonne, Comtesse de Savoie--
    Birth of Louis and Isabelle de France--Louis, Duc de Bourbon      68

  CHAPTER VI.

  Illness of the Queen--Her recovery--Floods in Paris--Death of
    several princesses of the royal family--Bertrand du Guesclin--
    Court of Charles V. and Jeanne de Bourbon--The peers of France
    --The King’s will--Betrothal of his daughters--Visit of the
    Emperor--The Emperor Charles and the Duchess-dowager de Bourbon
    --Birth of the Princess Catherine--Death of the Queen--Of the
    Princess Isabelle--Grief of the King--His death                   89


  _REIGN OF CHARLES VI. and ISABEAU DE BAVIERE._

  CHAPTER I.

  The House of Wittelsbach--Stephan von Wittelsbach and Taddea
    Visconti--Birth of Isabeau--Negotiations for her marriage--
    Her journey to Brussels--The fair of Amiens--Her interview with
    the King--Her wedding--Charles and Louis de France               107

  CHAPTER II.

  Royal Family and Court of France--Birth and death of Charles and
    Jeanne de France--Dress and amusements--The Abbey of St. Denis
    --Knighthood of the King of Sicily--The ball--Duchesse de
    Berry--Valentine Visconti                                        124

  CHAPTER III.

  State entry of Isabeau into Paris--Magnificent fêtes--Southern
    tour of Charles and Louis--Bad health of Charles--Bonne
    d’Artois and Jean de Clermont--Dreadful storm--Birth of Dauphin
    --Death of Blanche, Duchesse d’Orléans--Pierre de Craon and the
    Constable de Clisson--Madness of the King                        147

  CHAPTER IV.

  Tyranny of the Duchess of Burgundy--Birth of Marie de France--
    The Duchesse de Berry saves La Rivière--Doctor Hassely--The
    King recovers--The Masquerade--Dreadful fire--King ill--
    The sorcerers--King recovers--Dr. Fréron--King ill again
    --Accusations against Louis and Valentine d’Orléans--Birth of
    Louis de France--Betrothal of Isabelle de France to Richard II.
    of England--Their marriage--Disastrous crusade--Marriage of
    Jeanne de France to Duc de Bretagne--Marie de France takes the
    veil                                                             166

  CHAPTER V.

  Illness of the King--Execution of the sorcerers--Birth of Jean de
    France--Death of Queen Blanche de Navarre--Household of Isabeau
    --Ludwig of Bavaria--Ancient Paris--The Queen’s châteaux
    --Burgundy and Orléans--Henry of Lancaster--The plague--
    Revolution in England--The Dauphin Charles                       192

  CHAPTER VI.

  Courage of the young Queen of England--Death of the Dauphin--
    Birth of Catherine de France--Intrigues of Louis d’Orléans, and
    quarrels at Court--Return of the Queen of England--Burgundians
    and Orléanists--Birth of Charles de France--Dreadful storms--
    Death of Duke of Burgundy--Illness of Duc de Berry--Conduct
    of Savoisy--Frère Jacques Legrand--The Princess Marie’s choice
    --Accident in the forest--The King and the Dauphin--Jean
    Sans-peur--The King ill--Eclipse--Royal weddings--The great
    winter--Murder of Louis d’Orléans                                212

  CHAPTER VII.

  Departure of Royal Family--Hundred Years’ War--Valentine
    d’Orléans--Queen’s return to Louvre--Death of Valentine--
    Forced reconciliation--Philippe de Bourgogne and Michelle de
    France--Misconduct of the Duc de Bretagne--Death of Isabelle de
    France--Of the Duc de Bourbon--Quarrels of the Duke and Duchess
    of Aquitaine--Of the princes                                     242

  CHAPTER VIII.

  Riots led by Burgundy--The Duc d’Aquitaine’s ball--His quarrels
    with Burgundy--The Comte de Charolais--The Battle of Azincourt
    --Death of Louis d’Aquitaine--The Dauphin Jean--His court
    --His death--Imprisonment of the Queen--Jean Sans-peur
    rescues her--Enters Paris by night--Massacre of Armagnacs--
    The Dauphin Charles--Murder of Jean Sans-peur--Marriage of
    Catherine de France to Henry V.--Departure for England--Birth
    of a son--Return to Paris--Festivities--Death of Henry V.--
    Death of Charles VI.--Retirement of the Queen--Henry VI. enters
    Paris--Treaty of Arras--Death of Isabeau                         260

  Marie D’Anjou, wife of Charles VII.; Charlotte de Savoie, wife of
    Louis XI.                                                        299


  _REIGN OF ANNE DE BRETAGNE, WIFE OF CHARLES VIII. and LOUIS XII._

  CHAPTER I.

  Birth of Anne and Isabelle--Their childhood--Louis d’Orléans--
    Alain d’Albret--Death of François II.--First council--French
    war--Marriage ceremony--Siege of Rennes                          303

  CHAPTER II.

  Joustes before Rennes--Death of Isabelle--Betrothal of Anne--
    Marguérite of Austria--Marriage of Anne to Charles VIII.--Birth
    of the Dauphin--Italian war--Return of Charles--Death of Dauphin
    --Birth and death of other children--Death of Charles VIII.      316

  CHAPTER III.

  Despair of the Queen--Resumes duchy--Friendship with Louis XII.
    --Returns to Bretagne--King’s divorce--Charlotte d’Aragon--
    Marriage of Anne to Louis XII.--Italian war--Birth of Claude
    de France--Splendour of the Court--Hôtel des Tournelles--The
    Maids of Honour--Disasters in Italy                              328

  CHAPTER IV.

  Ludovico Sforza--Shipbuilding--Queen’s gardens--Library--
    Treasures--Dress--Betrothal of Claude de France--Archduke’s
    visit--Illness of King--Maréchal de Gié--Second illness of
    King--Queen in Bretagne--Second betrothal of Princess Claude     341

  CHAPTER V.

  Story of Anne de Graville--Illness of Claude--Court of Anne de
    Bretagne--Italian war--Marriage of Marguérite d’Angoulême--
    Dress and customs at Court--Birth of Renée de France--The
    Prince de Chalais--The Queen ill--Birth and death of a son--
    League of Cambrai--Sea-fight--Death of the Queen                 353



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


  Amboise                                                 _Frontispiece_
                                                                    PAGE
  Jeanne de Bourbon                                                    6
  Meaux                                                               25
  French Noble, Fourteenth Century                                    56
  Lady of French Court, Fourteenth Century                            67
  The Bastille                                                        80
  Meeting of the Queen and her Mother                                 86
  Shield of Jeanne de Bourbon                                        105
  Isabeau de Bavière                                                 117
  Nevers                                                             186
  The Prioress of Poissy                                             190
  Bedroom of the Fifteenth Century                                   197
  Old Paris                                                          202
  The Louvre, from the Hôtel de Nesle                                207
  Hôtel Barbette                                                     237
  Bourges                                                            257
  Man in Armour, Fifteenth Century                                   273
  Map of English Possessions in France, 1380-1422                    287
  Shield of Isabeau de Bavière                                       298
  Marie d’Anjou                                                      299
  Shield of Marie d’Anjou                                            300
  Charlotte de Savoie                                                301
  Shield of Charlotte de Savoie                                      302
  Anne de Bretagne                                                   310
  Trumpeter                                                          316
  Tour d’Amboise                                                     323
  Louis XII.                                                         330
  Bourges                                                            333
  Lady of Fifteenth Century                                          339
  Blois                                                              342
  Loches                                                             349
  Shield of Anne de Bretagne                                         364



PICTURES OF THE OLD FRENCH COURT



_REIGN OF CHARLES V. AND JEANNE DE BOURBON_



CHAPTER I

1332-1356

  The House of Bourbon--Marriage of Pierre de Bourbon and Isabelle
    de Valois--Birth of their children--Betrothal of Jeanne to the
    Comte de Savoie--To the Dauphin Humbert--Her marriage with
    the heir of France--Character of Charles--Death of Philippe
    VI.--Coronation of King and Queen--Charles invested with
    Duchy of Normandy--Marriage of the Queen of Spain--Pedro el
    Cruel--Marriage of the Comtesse de Savoie--Death of the Duc de
    Bourbon at Poitiers.


The royal house of Bourbon descends from Saint Louis through his sixth
son, Robert, Comte de Clermont and Sire de Bourbon. The pedigree is as
follows:--

                                 Saint Louis.
                                      |
            Robert de France, Comte de Clermont et Sire de Bourbon.
                                      |
                Louis I., Duc de Bourbon et Comte de Clermont.
                                      |
              +-----------------------+------------------------+
              |                       |                        |
  Pierre I., Duc de Bourbon.        Jeanne,             Jacques, Comte
              |                 _m._ Charles V.          de la Marche.
              |                                                |
  Louis II., Duc de Bourbon.                            Louis, Comte
              |                                            de Vendôme.
              |                                                |
       +------+-----------+------------------+         Jean II., Comte
       |                  |                  |           de Vendôme.
       |                  |                  |                 |
     Jean,              Louis,              Other      François, Comte
  Duc de Bourbon.  Comte de Montpensier.  daughters.     de Vendôme.
       |                  |                                    |
       |                  |                             Charles, Duc
       |                  |                              de Vendôme.
       |                  +------------------------+           |
       +---------------------------+               |    Antoine, Duc
       |                           |               |    de Vendôme et
  Charles I., Duc de Bourbon.   Pierre II.,        |   Roi de Navarre.
       |                       Duc de Bourbon      |           |
   Jean II., Duc de Bourbon.       et              |       Henri IV.
       |                      Sire de Beaujeu.     |
   LOUIS, COMTE DE CLERMONT.       |               |
                                   |               |
                                   |               |
                                   |               |
                   SUSANNE, DUCHESSE DE BOURBON,   |
                                 _m._              |
                her cousin, Charles, Constable de Bourbon,
                  descended from LOUIS, COUNT DE MONTPENSIER.

{1335}

Jeanne de Bourbon was the great-granddaughter of Saint Louis. Her
father was Pierre, Duc de Bourbon, and her mother Isabelle, one of
the younger daughters of Charles, Comte de Valois.[3] Their eldest
daughter, Jeanne, was born February 3, 1335, and within a year or so of
each other their second daughter, Blanche, and their son Louis.[4] The
other daughters were Bonne, Catherine, Marguérite, Isabelle (?), and
Marie.[5]

The Duchesse de Bourbon being a half-sister of Philippe, and her
husband one of his favourite companions, they spent most of their time
and money also, at Paris, Vincennes, and the other royal palaces in the
gay, brilliant days when first the Valois came to the throne.

Jeanne was born at Vincennes, and passed her childhood at that
magnificent court over which she was so early chosen to reign. She was
betrothed at six years old to Amadeo VI. (afterwards called the Green
Count) of Savoy.[6] With the state and splendour that surrounded her
earliest years were mingled those national calamities which had already
begun to cast their shadow over the kingdom of France.

{1346}

The Hundred Years’ War had broken out soon after her birth. The
disastrous sea-fight ending in the total destruction of the French
navy, took place in 1338.

Taxes were high; there had been bad harvests, bringing famine and
pestilence. France was already less prosperous than she had been under
the Capétiens kings.

The terrors and troubles of the English war must have left a deep
impression on the imagination of the gentle child, who seems to have
been remarkable for her beauty and sweetness of disposition. She was
between nine and ten years old at the time when the English host lay
encamped near Paris, when gates and walls were strictly guarded and men
were arming in haste, while fugitives poured into Paris all day, and
the nights were illumined with flames of burning castles and villages.
Her father was in the battle of Crécy, but returned in safety, and not
long afterwards her little sister Bonne was married to the younger
son of the Duc de Brabant. The Princess Joan, eldest daughter of the
Duc de Normandie, was married on the same day to the elder son of the
Duc de Brabant, by the desire of the King, who wrote orders that his
granddaughter and niece should be ready on a certain day to meet the
two boys who were to be their husbands. The ceremony took place, but
both the boys died a little later of the plague. Joan afterwards became
Queen of Navarre, and Bonne Countess of Savoy.

{1348}

The Duchesse de Bourbon and her children must have left Paris and
returned to their home in the Bourbonnais, for the Duke wrote there
from Paris on July 22, 1348, to announce to his eldest daughter, whose
engagement to the Comte de Savoie had been broken off, that her uncle,
Gui, Comte de Forez, had brought proposals of marriage for her from
Humbert, Dauphin du Viennois, which he had accepted. But the plague was
then raging all over the Lyonnais, so that it was out of the question
to run the risk of travelling at that time. The Duke therefore induced
the Dauphin to consent to the marriage being deferred for the present.
Humbert was scarcely a suitable husband for Jeanne, who was then eleven
years old, while he was a widower, whose only son had lost his life by
falling from his arms out of a balcony, as he was playing with him.
The shock of this accident and the loss of his heir had cast a gloom
over the life of the Dauphin, and when a second time the Duc de Bourbon
sought to delay the arrangements for the marriage, he replied that in
that case he considered himself free from all engagements. The Duc
de Bourbon, on hearing this, went to meet the Dauphin, and after an
interview between the two princes the negotiations were resumed, in
January, 1349, and the middle of February following was fixed upon for
their fulfilment. But whether the desire to quit the world and seek
the consolations of religion in the retirement of the cloister had
already taken strong hold upon his mind, or whether the secret ambition
and intrigues of the French court had any influence on the matter,
it was suddenly given out that the Dauphin had decided to renounce
the world and enter the order of St. Dominic, and had arranged for
the immediate cession of his estates to the King’s grandson, Charles,
eldest son of the Duke of Normandy. Humbert, the last prince of the
house of La Tour du Pin, had already, by treaties passed in 1343 and
1344, promised the Viennois, afterwards known as Dauphiné, to Philippe,
younger son of Philippe VI. Then the young Philippe had been made Duc
d’Orléans instead, and the province was to go to Jean, but at last it
was given to the heir of the Duke of Normandy, and from this time forth
that province, with the title of Dauphin, was the inheritance of the
eldest sons of France. To the Duc de Bourbon the King offered, instead
of Humbert de la Tour du Pin, his own grandson, for a son-in-law; an
exchange with which it is needless to say the Duke was well content.
The treaty was signed at Lyon in July, 1349.

[Illustration: Jeanne de Bourbon]

So Jeanne was, after all, to be Dauphine, but her husband, instead of
a widower old enough to be her father, was to be a young prince of her
own age and the future King of France.

{1350}

They were married at Vincennes in the following year, on the 8th of
April, 1350, both of them being about thirteen or fourteen years old.
Of course they were not strangers to each other, for they were cousins,
and had both been brought up at the court of their grandfather and
uncle in Paris, and at that ancient castle in the deep shade of the
forest, where generations of the children of France[7] had been born,
had played in childhood, grown to manhood or womanhood, ruled, loved,
suffered and died. The love of the forest and of all beauty in nature
and art lay deep in the heart of the young Dauphin, who in no way
resembled his father or grandfather. That Philippe and Jean de Valois,
the chivalrous King of Bohemia or the warlike Princes of Burgundy
should have had such a descendant would surely have seemed impossible
at that time and with those surroundings.

Charles had neither inherited the striking beauty nor the martial
tastes of the Valois. He was a quiet, delicate lad, tall, pale,
dark-eyed and rather timid. He cared very little for riding, and not at
all for war and warlike pastimes, but delighted in study and literary
pursuits. And he adored the Dauphine, whose bright beauty and charming
character made her the idol of the court and country. The children had
been attached to one another from the first, and as they grew older
Charles, both as Dauphin and King, ever turned for sympathy, counsel,
or consolation to Jeanne, whom he called “the light of his eyes and the
sunshine of the kingdom.”

The plague had now abated, and people were beginning to recover from
the fear and depression in which they had lately been living. The
royal family had suffered severely. The Dauphin had lost his mother
and grandmother; the two little princesses, sisters of himself and the
Dauphine, were widows; the Queen of Navarre, whose daughter Blanche the
King had just married, was also among the victims of the pestilence.
However, for the present the plague was over, and those who had escaped
now breathed freely and tried to console themselves in different ways
for the calamities of the last two years. The Duke of Normandy was
married just after his father to the widowed Comtesse d’Auvergne; there
were _fêtes_ again at court, and things seemed to be returning to their
usual state. The death of Philippe VI. came as a sudden shock in the
midst of the general rejoicing; but then followed the coronation of the
new King and Queen, which was celebrated with great magnificence. On
the same day the King knighted his two eldest sons, the Dauphin, and
Louis, afterwards Duc d’Anjou, his brother Philippe, Duc d’Orléans, his
stepson Philippe, Duc de Bourgogne, his cousins the Comtes d’Alençon
and d’Etampes, and other young nobles. The King and Queen left Reims on
Monday evening and journeyed by Laon, Soissons, and Senlis to Paris,
which they entered in state on Sunday, the 17th October, after vespers.
The town was _encourtinée_, or hung with costly stuffs, the artisans
were dressed each in the costume of their own trade, the citizens of
the town in costumes like each other, the Lombards who lived in the
city all wore long parti-coloured silk robes, and on their heads tall,
pointed hats, parti-coloured like their dresses. “And they followed
after each other as was ordered, some on horseback and some on foot,
and before them went those playing music, to meet the King, who entered
Paris with great joy.”[8]

{1352}

The court remained at Paris till the feast of St. Martin in the winter,
the time being spent partly in festivities and partly in business
connected with parliament. On the accession of a new King all the
judicial officers had to be re-invested[9] or they were _désappointés_;
a word which became obsolete in French, was adopted by the English,
and from them has been re-adopted by the French, but with a different
signification.

“In 1352, on Monday the vigil of the Conception,” says the Monk of
Saint Denis, “the King gave the duchy of Normandy to Monseigneur
Charles, his eldest son, Dauphin de Vienne et Comte de Poitiers, and
on the next day, Tuesday, the day of the feast of the Conception
beforesaid, Monseigneur Charles did him homage for it, at the hostel
of Maistre Martin de Mello, canon of Paris, of the cloister of Notre
Dame.”

After which the Prince always called himself Duc de Normandie, greatly
preferring the title to that of Dauphin.

The Dauphin and Dauphine lived chiefly at Vivier-en-Brie, a castle
in the midst of the woods not far from Vincennes. This château had
been given to the father of the Dauphin, now King, when he married
his mother, Bonne de Luxembourg, by his grandfather, Philippe VI.
Here the Dauphin afterwards founded a chantry or chapel with fourteen
ecclesiastics to chant the offices and give opportunity to the officers
who followed the court to perform their devotions.

Jean, who had been at war with the Spaniards, considering the constant
strife which, with short intervals of imperfectly observed truce, was
always going on between France and England, was naturally anxious to
conclude a peace with the King of Spain, whose subjects were extremely
desirous that he should marry a French princess. In 1352 a treaty
was arranged between the two countries, in which this was one of the
clauses; and it was decided that one of the daughters of the Duc de
Bourbon should be selected. Nieces of the late King of France and
sisters of the future Queen of that country, one of them would be a
suitable wife for their young King. With some difficulty they induced
him to consent, and a Spanish embassy was despatched to France to
conclude the alliance.

The character of Pedro the Cruel was notorious, even for the lawless
times in which he lived. His early friend the King of Navarre, though
by no means scrupulous, afterwards abandoned his alliance in disgust;
and although at this time he was not more than twenty years old, his
crimes had already given him a reputation of which the Duc de Bourbon
must have known quite well. But the King of France had set his heart
upon this alliance, and had promised to give a dowry of three hundred
thousand florins. Pedro was to settle various castles, towns, and
estates upon the Princess, and the Duke, whose eldest daughter was
to be Queen of France, was well contented to see the second Queen
of Spain. For it was upon the Princess Blanche that the choice had
fallen. As long as one of his girls wore the crown of Spain, the Duke
did not care which it might be. He introduced the ambassador into the
room where they all were, so that he might choose.[10] And as Blanche,
the eldest next to the Dauphine of France, seemed to him the most
beautiful, he fixed upon her; and the marriage took place during the
summer of that year.

Various entries appear among the accounts of the royal expenses for
splendid presents and rich dresses purchased “for the marriage of her
Majesty the Queen of Spain.” Blanche, then about fourteen or fifteen
years old, went to Valladolid to meet her husband. She is said by
contemporary historians to have been beautiful, gentle, and attractive,
notwithstanding which her fate was one of the most tragic that ever
befel a woman sacrificed to political expediency. The destinies of
the French princesses who have married Kings of Spain have always
seemed tinged with melancholy and gloom. The intolerable rigour of that
etiquette which reduced the lives of the Spanish queens to a dignified
slavery, the cruelty of the national amusements, the jealous tyranny
and bigotry of many of the kings, must surely have made these young
girls look back with regret and longing to the gay court and “_plaisant
pays de France_.” Even when, as in other cases, the King, however
bigoted, morose, or relentless in general, was really fond of his wife,
the life of a Queen of Spain can scarcely have been a very cheerful one.

But Blanche de Bourbon was more than usually unfortunate. Pedro, who
came to the throne before he was sixteen, began by putting to death
various Spanish nobles and gentlemen, and also Eleanor de Guzman, his
late father’s mistress, by whom that King had had several sons, and for
whom the Queen and her son, the present King, had been slighted and
neglected. He also murdered two or three of his natural brothers, and
it was by the hand of one of those who escaped from his power that he
met the due reward of his crimes.

The Queen-mother had urged Pedro to revenge her wrongs and his own
upon Eleanor de Guzman; but when he began not only to imitate but far
to surpass the faults of his father, by taking a Jewess named Maria de
Padilla for his mistress, deserting his young wife three days after
their marriage and keeping her a prisoner, his mother offered the most
strenuous opposition to his conduct and warmly espoused the cause of
the young Queen, her daughter-in-law. It was of no avail, however.
Blanche was doomed to wear out her youth in captivity, in one Spanish
castle after another, while Pedro carried on intrigues with various
women, but remained chiefly under the influence of Maria de Padilla.

{1355}

The cause of this iniquity has never been certainly known. Whether
Pedro, having allowed himself to be persuaded into this marriage
against his will, afterwards regretted it and took this way of
revenging himself; whether he was, as it has been said actuated by an
insane and perfectly groundless jealousy of his younger brother Don
Federico, one of the sons of Eleanor de Guzman, whom he had sent to
meet Blanche, and whom in a furious rage he stabbed to the heart; or
whether it was simply owing to the baneful influence of his Jewish
mistress, must remain doubtful. But the story of Blanche de Bourbon
will always be considered one of the most pathetic tragedies which
history records.

Her sisters were more fortunate. Bonne, the third daughter of the Duc
de Bourbon, who had been married when almost a baby to the younger son
of the Duc de Brabant and had shortly afterwards become a widow, was
married in 1355 to Amadeo VI., Comte de Savoie, then about twenty-two
years old. He had been betrothed to Jeanne de Bourgogne sister of
the last Capétien Duke, Philippe de Navarre and then to Jeanne de
Bourbon, now Dauphine elder sister of Bonne. At ten years old he had
succeeded his father, Aimon,[11] brother of that Comte de Savoie who
married Blanche de Bourgogne and left no heirs male. Amadeo VI. was
one of the greatest princes of his day, both as warrior and statesman.
Bonne de Bourbon, Comtesse de Savoie, was, says an ancient writer, “an
ornament to her century, and her goodness caused her to be admired on
all occasions.” The wedding was celebrated at Paris in August, and the
young Countess set off for Savoy, where she reigned for many years in
prosperity and honour. Her life was chequered with many sorrows and
also beset by many difficulties, which she surmounted with courage and
capacity. As Regent of Savoy during the latter part of her life, she
was held in high esteem. She died in the Château de Mâcon in 1402.

{1356}

In September, 1356, came the disastrous battle of Poitiers. To Jeanne,
as to everybody else in France, that must have been a time of fearful
anxiety and suspense. Those nearest and dearest to her were with the
army; and although the sight of the gallant host that followed the King
in such splendid array to meet the enemy might well have filled the
hearts of those they left behind with pride and confidence, there was
still the remembrance of the time when Paris had waited in breathless
expectation for news of Philippe de Valois and his chivalrous army
while those who were not prisoners or scattered over the land lay dead
on the field of Crécy.

And when tidings came of a defeat more terrible than the former--of the
fall of the oriflamme, of the capture of the King and his youngest son
by an enemy so inferior in numbers, Jeanne also heard of her father’s
death on the field of battle.

Pierre, Duc de Bourbon, had died like a brave soldier by the side of
the King, whom he shielded from the blows aimed at him. But he had
disregarded the commands of the Church, issued at the persuasion of his
creditors, that he should pay his debts, and was therefore considered
as an excommunicated person, to whom no one dared give Christian burial
without permission.

His son and successor, Louis II., undertook to satisfy all claims, and
his body was then removed from the convent of the Jacobins at Poitiers,
where it had been carried after the battle, to that of the same
religious order at Paris.

There the Duc de Bourbon was buried near his father, and his lands and
honours passed to his son, known to history as “the good Duke, Louis de
Bourbon.”



CHAPTER II

1356-1358

  France after the battle of Poitiers--The Jacquerie--The Marché de
    Meaux--The Comte de Foix and the Captal de Buch--Rescue of the
    Dauphine--Vengeance of the nobles.


The captivity of the King and the flight of the Queen, who took
refuge with her two children in her son’s duchy of Burgundy, placed
Charles and Jeanne at the head of the court and kingdom. The Dauphin,
or, as he preferred to call himself, the Duc de Normandie, assumed
the government, and, in consideration of his youth, a council was
appointed to assist him. Confusion and dismay had taken possession
of the country. The three estates were convoked to deliberate on the
means to be adopted to provide the ransom of the King. They sat for
a fortnight in the hôtel of the _Frères Mineurs_,[12] but Etienne
Marcel, at the head of a strong party, demanded the redress of various
grievances, and amongst others the immediate release of the King of
Navarre, then imprisoned at Arleux. No conclusion, however, was arrived
at; the estates were dissolved and Charles summoned the three estates
of the Languedoc, or southern part of France, but without much more
success.[13] In December he went to Metz to see his uncle, the son of
the King of Bohemia, now the Emperor Charles IV., to take counsel with
him; leaving his brother Louis lieutenant at Paris in his place.

{1357}

Charles IV. had been brought up in the court of Philippe de Valois;
his sister, Bonne, had been the first wife of Jean, and he regarded
the Valois family with strong affection. But he was too much like them
to be of any use as an adviser, although he is said to have reproached
his nephew with having, at this time of general distress, ordered for
himself a new and splendid crown of gold. He, and probably the Duchesse
de Normandie, spent Christmas with their uncle amidst a succession of
_fêtes_, and returned to Paris towards the end of January to find the
discontent of the people increased; which was not surprising, for there
had been a still further depreciation of the coin of the realm; the
seigneurs and knights who had been taken prisoners at Poitiers were
returning in crowds to collect their ransoms, which were enormously
heavy, and as the Jews and Lombards had been banished they could not
borrow money on usury from them, as they might otherwise have done,
so that there was no way of getting it but to wring it out of the
peasants. As there was scarcely a family that had not at least one
member a prisoner, a system of universal extortion was going on. They
seized the property of their vassals and in many cases endeavoured, by
imprisonment and other cruelty, to force them to give up any money they
supposed them to have concealed,[14] in order that it might be sent to
the English to buy back those, many of whom they did not at all wish to
see.

And they were profoundly irritated by this new misfortune. At Crécy,
at any rate, they grumbled, every one had fought bravely and done
their best; no shadow of dishonour had rested on the lilies of France.
The nobles might have been proud and extortionate, but in the hour of
danger they did not flinch. They lay in heaps on the field of battle,
and a life of extravagance and dissipation was redeemed by a hero’s
death.

But now there were suspicions of panic; there had been confusion and
mismanagement, and there appeared to be an extraordinary number of
prisoners. The early flight of four out of the five young princes
also displeased the people, who now began to despise the nobles whom
hitherto they had only feared and hated. And whereas it had formerly
been the custom for them to serve the King in time of war at their own
cost and without pay, they had, in the reign of Philippe de Valois,
begun to demand money while in the field, and the sums granted by
Philippe had to be increased by Jean just at the time when they seemed
to be least deserved.

The Hundred Years’ War between France and England in the fourteenth
century was destructive to the prosperity and civilisation which, in
spite of many drawbacks, had characterised the thirteenth. There could
be no liberty while the country was full of armed bands led by powerful
barons; agriculture was not likely to flourish in such a state of
things as has been described; the nobles had no leisure to encourage
or interest themselves in literary pursuits while their whole lives
were spent in warfare. It was in the monasteries that learning was
chiefly cultivated and protected, but many of those great religious
establishments in the country, though always possessing some sort of
fortification, had been sacked and burned by brigands, and others
deserted by their inhabitants, who no longer found that security which
the cloister had formerly afforded. The towns had become less free,
and many of them had lost the liberties and privileges accorded them
by the Capétiens Kings. For the Valois and their followers held the
traders and unwarlike citizens in the deepest contempt, and so, as time
went on, grew and strengthened a bitter hatred of the lower classes
for those of gentle blood, making men the deadly enemies of their
own countrymen and causing national calamities far more dreadful and
disgraceful than any brought about by foreign invaders.

In other countries nobles and people, united in their sentiments and
aspirations, developed in peaceful and harmonious progress to the
accomplishment of their destinies;[15] whilst in France the deplorable
separation that began in the fourteenth century caused the frightful
excesses of the Jacquerie, and having produced the Reign of Terror in
the days of our great-grandfathers and the Commune in our own, is
still so fatal an injury to the power, stability, and prestige of the
French nation.

{1358}

The first child of the Duke and Duchess of Normandy was born in
September of this year (1357), a daughter, named Jeanne.

It was on the 28th of May, 1358,[16] that the Jacquerie, or rising
of the peasants, broke out at the little town of Saint-Leu, where a
number of labourers, joined by small tradesmen, artisans, and other
persons of the lower classes, assembled in revolt; and having murdered
nine gentlemen who happened to be in the town, spread themselves over
the surrounding country, putting to death every man, woman, and child
of good blood who came in their way, and plundering and burning the
châteaux. They attacked the villages at each end of the forest of
Ermenonville, and went to the castle of Beaumont-sur-Oise, where the
Duchesse d’Orléans then was. Warned just in time of the approach of the
murderers, she fled for her life, was out of the castle before they
arrived and set it on fire, and escaped to Meaux, a town on the Marne,
where the Duchess of Normandy, the Princess Isabelle de France and more
than three hundred ladies had taken refuge, some having escaped in
their nightdresses without having had time to dress themselves.

The rebellion spread rapidly over Picardy, Champagne, and the
Ile-de-France, and the horrors of it have never been equalled in
any Christian country. It was like a revolt of savages. Hordes of
bloodthirsty miscreants went about burning castles, murdering and
torturing men, women, and children. None who fell into their power
might escape dishonour and death; any village refusing to join them was
exposed to their vengeance.

A band of three thousand Jacques having just destroyed the Château
de Poix, were marching on Aumale when they met a hundred and twenty
Norman and Picards men-at-arms, led by Guillaume de Picquigny. The
latter came forward to parley with them but was treacherously slain by
one Jean Petit Cardaine. His followers fell upon the Jacques, killed
two thousand of them, and put the remainder to flight. The Jacques
had cause to repent of this murder, for Guillaume de Picquigny was a
relation of that Jean de Picquigny who delivered the King of Navarre
from Arleux. And Charles of Navarre, who was always ready to protect
his friends and punish his enemies, took ample vengeance for his death.
The Château d’Ermenonville belonged to Robert de Lorris, who had risen
from humble life in the village from which he took his name. It is a
mistaken notion that in the middle ages people could not and did not
rise from the ranks to the highest social position. It was, of course,
less frequent than in our own days, but in the fourteenth century there
were hundreds of cases of the kind, both ecclesiastic and secular.[17]

Robert de Lorris was one of them. He was a great authority on French
law, and a favourite both of Philippe de Valois and Jean, by whom
he had been ennobled, made Chamberlain, Vicomte de Montreuil, and
Seigneur d’Ermenonville. The Jacques besieged, took, and plundered the
Château d’Ermenonville, and the chamberlain only saved his own life and
those of his wife and children by renouncing his nobility and declaring
himself one of the people.

The atrocities of the Jacquerie did not, fortunately, extend over the
whole of France. An attempt was made to produce an insurrection at Caen
by one Pierre de Montfort, who paraded the streets with the model of
a plough in his hat, proclaiming himself a Jacque, and calling on the
people to follow him. This, luckily for themselves, they had too much
sense to do, and Pierre de Montfort was soon afterwards slain by three
burghers whom he had insulted.[18]

The rebellion was worst about Amiens, Compiègne, Senlis, Beauvais, and
Soissons. The Jacques made an attack upon Compiègne, but were repulsed
by the inhabitants and some nobles who had taken refuge in the town.
The atrocities committed all over that part of the country which
was the scene of the revolt were too frightful to relate. Hundreds
of castles were burnt, an immense amount of property destroyed, and
numbers of men, women, and children tortured, dishonoured, and slain.

The leader of the Jacques, Guillaume Cale, is said to have disapproved
of the most horrible of the excesses of his followers, but to have been
unable to restrain them. And Etienne Marcel, with many of the bourgeois
of his party, encouraged and gave assistance to these miscreants,
though forbidding the murder of women and children, which of course he
was powerless to prevent. But a letter of remission given subsequently
to one Jaquin de Chennevières expressly declares that he had orders
from the Prévôt to burn and destroy the châteaux of Beaumont-sur-Oise,
Bethemont, Javerny, Montmorency, Enghien, Chaton, and all the houses
and fortresses of the nobles between the Seine and the Oise, from
Chaton to Beaumont.[19]

And whatever may be our opinion of the policy of the celebrated Prévôt
des Marchands, the murder of the Marshals of Normandy and Champagne
(which had already taken place in the presence of the Dauphin) and the
assistance he rendered to these wretches are stains which neither good
intentions nor expediency can excuse.

Jeanne meanwhile, and her companions, were in the most awful peril. The
smaller bourgeoisie, as a rule, hated the gentlemen and sympathised
with the Jacques. The Mayor of Meaux, Jean Soulas, was on their side.
The gentlemen with them were few in number, the Jacques were coming,
and the Duc de Normandie had, a short time before, taken sudden
possession of the Marché de Meaux, to the great discontent of the
inhabitants of that town. The Mayor had even had the insolence to say
to the Comte de Joigny, whom the Duke had sent to perform this duty,
that if he had known what he came for he should never have set foot in
the place. Informed of this insubordination the Regent had reprimanded
and fined the Mayor, which only increased his hostility. However,
he and the principal officials and burghers had sworn to be faithful
to the Regent, and not to allow anything to be done to injure him,
and Charles had left Meaux some time in May, leaving his wife and
the rest of the ladies in the Marché with a much smaller garrison to
protect them than he would have done had he realised the treachery and
disloyalty of Soulas and his friends. The Duc d’Orléans was there, the
Bègue de Vilaine, the Sires de Trocy and Revel, Héron de Mail, Philippe
d’Aulnoy, Regnaud d’Arcy, and Louis de Chambly called Le Borgne.

Scarcely had the Regent quitted Meaux when discord and strife broke out
between the inhabitants, led by the Mayor, and the nobles shut up in
the Marché. The exasperated bourgeois laid siege to the fortress and
sent to Paris to ask for assistance, at the same time summoning all the
peasants in the neighbourhood to join them in attacking the Marché.[20]

They were not slow in answering to the invitation. From all parts of
the country round they came swarming to Meaux. The Prévôt des Marchands
had responded to their appeal by sending Pierre Gilles, a grocer of
Paris and one of the leaders of the insurrection, with a body of armed
men from Paris to Meaux. He knew the Regent was absent and the garrison
weak, and thought the Marché would fall into their hands by assault.
Pierre Gilles and his troop burned all the châteaux on their way, and
forced the inhabitants of the villages through which they passed to
join them.

[Illustration: MEAUX.]

The Mayor and burghers threw open the gates, and about nine thousand
furious ruffians, armed with scythes, pitchforks, and knives, rushed
into the town.

The towns people received them with open arms, supplied them with
abundance of food and wine, which excited them to still greater
ferocity, and joined in the tumult of fearful shouts and cries as
the bloodthirsty savages swarmed through the streets looking up with
murderous eyes to the towers and walls of the Marché.

Now the Marché de Meaux was on an island formed by the Marne, which
flowed on one side of it, and a canal that went round it, coming out
of the river on one side of the Marché and going back into it on the
other. On the side of Meaux there was a bridge over the Marne from the
Marché to the town, and on the opposite side of the Marché another
bridge, across the canal to the other shore. Most fortunately, the
Dauphin had recently caused the island to be strongly fortified, and
his having done so now saved his wife and sister from a horrible
death. All round the Marché were high strong walls and towers. Trees
could be seen above the parapet inside, and the ground rose high in
the middle. It was a strong place, but they were so few to defend it
against the furious hordes outside. In it were the young Dauphine, the
Princess Isabelle de France, daughter of the King, then about ten or
eleven years old; Blanche de France, Duchesse d’Orléans, who had just
escaped from Beaumont-sur-Oise; and, as was before said, at least three
hundred women, girls, and children of the noblest families in France.
The gates were closed, the walls guarded as well as could be done with
their few defenders, but the position grew every moment more alarming.
The streets were crowded to overflowing with these bloodthirsty
wretches, and all down them were spread tables with bread, meat and
wine for their refreshment. All over the town they were thronging
and feasting, while their horrible cries and brutal threats rose to
the ears of the besieged women and children who waited in terror and
despair, all hope of deliverance seeming to be at an end.

The fortress was always attacked from the town side, and from this
direction, when the Jacques had finished feasting, the assault would
certainly come.

But the Marché was fortunately not surrounded by the town. On the other
side, across the canal, lay the open country of Brie. And suddenly
a troop of men in armour was seen approaching at full speed. It was
Gaston, Comte de Foix, and Jean de Grailly, Captal de Buch, two of
the most famous soldiers in France, with about sixty lances, who rode
under the gateway into the beleaguered fortress, and were received with
acclamations by those within its walls. The troop was a small one, but
a few tried soldiers under such leaders counted for more than hundreds
of the rabble outside, and the Dauphine and her companions must have
felt that they were saved.

Having no particular fighting to do just then, the two knights had
employed their leisure in an expedition against some heathen tribes
still to be found in Prussia; and on their way back, passing through
Châlons, had heard of what was going on at Meaux and of the perilous
position of the ladies shut up in the Marché. The Comte de Foix was
brother-in-law of the King of Navarre; and the Captal de Buch, a Gascon
gentleman, was a subject and follower of King Edward of England.
Etienne Marcel, on the other hand, was a strong partisan of Charles of
Navarre. But the project of the bourgeois prévôt to throw the wives
and children of French gentlemen into the power of a mob of brutal
savages was not likely to recommend itself to the two knights, who
at once turned their horses’ heads towards Meaux, and pushed on with
desperate haste to save the Marché before it fell. The white banner
still floated from its walls,[21] but they were only just in time.
The Jacques, having done feasting, now ranged themselves in order of
battle, and in immense numbers, with frightful yells, pressed towards
the Marché and began the attack. The shrieks of the terrified women and
children mingled with the tumult outside,[22] but Jean de Grailly and
Gaston de Foix ordered the gate on the side of the town to be thrown
open. Then, raising the pennon of the Captal and the banners of Orléans
and Foix, they rushed out and fell upon the enemy. Down to the bridge
they rode, over which was thronging a multitude like ferocious wild
beasts. But before the charge of the knights the Jacques went down in
heaps; those behind them hesitated, then drew back and fled before the
cavaliers, who pursued them with levelled lances and drawn swords
through the streets of the town. Several of the nobles were killed,
amongst others Louis de Chambly, called Le Borgne, but thousands of the
Jacques were slain. Many of the citizens of Meaux were killed in the
battle that raged all over the city; the rest were carried prisoners
to the citadel. Jean Soulas, the traitorous mayor, was taken during
the fighting and hanged when it was over. The nobles then set fire
to the town, which was burning for a fortnight. The royal château,
with many houses and churches, perished in the flames. Froissart says
that seven thousand Jacques were killed. The inhabitants of Meaux,
“for their detestable deed,” were declared guilty of high treason,
and the town condemned to be and for ever remain uninhabited. The
Regent, in consideration of the Dean and Chapter of Meaux, and at the
petition of some other towns who interceded with him on behalf of the
place, afterwards remitted this sentence. But the commune of Meaux was
suppressed and united to the prévôté de Paris.[23]

Jeanne and her companions watched from the Marché the victory of their
friends and the destruction of their enemies, and it must soon have
been evident to them that their danger was at an end. The destruction
of the Jacques on that day, June 9, 1358, arrested the course of the
rebellion. The nobles scoured the country, putting to death all the
Jacques they could find. Learning that some of them had taken refuge
at Sens, they resolved to inflict on that city the same punishment as
on Meaux, and for that purpose a party of them, on the 13th of June,
presented themselves at the Paris gate of the town, demanding the keys
in the name of the Regent. But the inhabitants had received notice
beforehand of what was intended, and had taken measures accordingly.
Therefore, when the nobles, having been admitted, and thinking
themselves masters of the place, advanced with drawn swords and cries
of “_Ville gagnée! ville prise!_” the citizens, and even those nobles
who belonged to Sens, pushed down from the top of the street, which was
very steep, carts with scythes fastened to the wheels which they had
prepared for the purpose, while armed men issued from the houses, and
women threw stones, lime, and boiling water from the windows, by which
means some were killed and the rest escaped out of the city.

But the defeat at Meaux broke the head of the insurrection. From the
terror, the slaughter, and the discouragement of that day the Jacques
never recovered, and the finishing stroke was given by the King of
Navarre, on whose support some of them had been foolish enough to
reckon, because of his hostility to the King and Dauphin.

The gentlemen of Normandy and Picardy sent an invitation to Charles de
Navarre, who was then at his castle at Longueville, to be their leader
in this contest; he “who was the first gentleman in the world.”[24]

The King of Navarre was ready enough. He placed himself at the head of
four hundred lances, and by the time he came up with the Jacques, near
Clermont, his troop had increased to a thousand men, many of whom were
English. The Jacques were put to flight with great slaughter, and their
leader, Guillaume Cale, put to death. Some say that he was arrested by
treachery; at any rate Charles of Navarre declared that the Jacques
were furious wild beasts, with whom it was not possible to treat or
make any terms. The Regent had been in arms ever since the insurrection
had broken out, and the attack upon his wife rendered it more hateful
to him.

The Jacquerie was soon at an end; it only lasted about a month, and
when once the nobles had recovered from the surprise and shock of its
outbreak, it was put down and punished with tremendous severity. Pierre
Gilles was beheaded at the Halles on the 4th of August. He appears to
have been a man of considerable wealth, and in the inventory of his
merchandise was a large quantity of sugar in loaves and in powder from
Cairo, or, as it was called, Babylon. It came chiefly from Egypt at
that time.

That part of Champagne, Ile-de-France, and other districts which had
been the scene of these atrocities of the Jacques, was so devastated
with fire and sword that for some time it remained almost without
inhabitants.[25] The towns and villages which had taken part in the
Jacquerie were heavily fined, as may be seen by the records in the
“Trésor des Chartes.” Chavanges, for instance, was fined a thousand
gold florins.[26]

A note, tome vi. p. 117, of the “Grandes Chroniques de France,” M.
Paulin Paris, makes the following remarks and gives the following
quotation respecting the complicity of Etienne Marcel in the Jacquerie,
and the fallacious hopes in which the rebels indulged with regard to
the King of Navarre:--

“C’est que ces Marseillais du XIVme siécle avoient été bien
réellement soulevés par les anarchistes de Paris. Je demande la
permission de citer à l’appui de cette opinion la précieuse chronique
manuscrite conservée sous le No. 530, Supplément françois. A
l’occasion de l’expédition du roi de Navarre contre les Jacques, on
y lit: En ce temps assembla le roy de Navarre grans gens et ala vers
Clermont-en-Beauvoisie, et en tuêrent plus de huit cens et fist copper
la teste à leur cappitaine qui se vouloit tenir pour roy; et dient
aucuns que les Jacques s’attendoient que le roy de Navarre leur deust
aidier, pour l’alliance, qu’il avoit au prévost des marchans, par
lequel prévost la Jacquerie s’esmeut, si comme on dit.”



CHAPTER III

1358-1361

  Return of Charles and Jeanne to Paris--Marriage of Catherine de
    Bourbon to the Comte de Harcourt--The Céléstins--The Treaty
    of Bretigny--Marriage of Isabelle de France to Giovanni
    Visconti--Return of the King--Death of the children of the
    Dauphine--The plague--The Duchy of Burgundy.


The Duchess of Normandy and her friends were now free, after the
horrible experience of the last few days. The enemy was destroyed,
the revolt quelled, and the town, at which they could hardly have
looked without shuddering, was half burnt down and deserted; for the
inhabitants, who had so lately been raging and clamouring for their
blood, were either slain or carried away prisoners. The Duchesse
d’Orléans, after this second narrow escape within a few days, set off
on her journey towards Paris, which was still in a disturbed state, and
in the neighbourhood of which her mother, Queen Jeanne d’Evreux, was
busy trying, as she repeatedly did, to patch up a peace between the
Duke of Normandy and the King of Navarre, who, although he hated and
put down the Jacquerie, was a friend and ally of Etienne Marcel and
had a powerful party at Paris.

The Duchess of Normandy stayed on for a short time in the fortress of
Meaux, waiting for her husband to join her.

On the 19th of July peace was concluded by the efforts of Queen Jeanne
d’Evreux, assisted by the young Queen of Navarre, sister of the Duke
of Normandy, the Archbishop of Beauvais, and two or three others. The
interview took place at Charenton on the Seine, where the Dauphin
caused a bridge of boats to be constructed for the occasion.

He then joined the Dauphine at Meaux. The danger in which Jeanne had
been and the insult involved in the attack upon her had naturally
enraged him against every one in any way connected with the revolt;
but various letters of remission to those concerned in it, on several
occasions granted to persons forced against their will to take part
in it, were signed by him about this time. Meanwhile, reports of the
diminishing strength of Etienne Marcel and his party kept arriving from
Paris; with invitations to Charles to return and take possession of the
capital.

At last came tidings of the death of the prévôt, struck down at night
as he was in the act of changing the guard and placing the keys
of Paris in the hands of the King of Navarre. His adherents were
immediately scattered, imprisoned, or slain, and the royalists sent
urgent entreaties to the Duke of Normandy, who lost no time in setting
off for Paris, which he entered on the evening of Thursday, August
2nd, amidst the acclamations of the people and the illuminations and
rejoicings prepared to welcome him.

The next day he sent a messenger to Jeanne with the news of this
successful state of affairs, directing her to join him at Paris with
the ladies of her court. When she arrived there she found the Duc de
Normandie waiting for her at the Louvre, where they took up their
abode and where for some time they lived in peace. The King was still
a prisoner, and the Regent, freed from the constant enmity of Etienne
Marcel, endeavoured to repair the misfortunes that had happened and
to get the affairs of the State somewhat into order. The truce with
England was soon to expire, but he made another treaty of peace with
the King of Navarre, and contrived to win to his side the young Comte
de Harcourt, Jean III., who, since the execution of his father by the
King of France in the affair of Rouen, had been fighting against that
country in the ranks of England and Navarre.

The Dauphin, however, succeeded in making friends with him, and
although the precedent of Charles of Navarre was not very encouraging,
he tried to attach the Comte de Harcourt to his interests by marrying
him to Catherine, one of the Dauphine’s sisters. The wedding took place
in October, at the Louvre.[27]

The favourite monastic order of Charles and Jeanne appears to have been
that of the Céléstins. It will be remembered that Saint Louis brought
from the Holy Land some Carmelites, sometimes called _Barrés_ because
of the striped robes or mantles they used at first to wear; and that in
the reign of Philippe-le-Long they sold their monastery, or rather the
ground on which it stood, to one Jacques Marcel, a citizen of Paris,
reserving to themselves all building materials, carved stones, columns,
woodwork, and tombs, with the bones of those buried therein; all to be
transported by midsummer day to the new place which had been chosen for
the larger and more convenient monastery which they now required.

But before they left their old home, the Carmelites, assisted by an
agent of the Bishop, carefully pointed out to the new owner those parts
which were consecrated ground, and Jacques Marcel, “who was a good man,
and feared God,” built two chapels upon them, just at the entrance to
the garden, and appointed and endowed two chaplains to serve them.

Jacques Marcel was buried in a tomb of black marble in one of these
chapels, and the place went to his son, Garnier Marcel, in 1320.

Now there was a young man named Robert de Jussi, who had been a novice
in the Céléstin monastery of St. Pierre, in the forest of Cuisse, not
far from Compiègne. But after he had been there a year, his parents
by their entreaties and importunity persuaded him to renounce the
monastic life and return to the world. Philippe de Valois, who was
then king, took a fancy to him, attracted by his talents, good sense,
and piety. He chose him, while still very young, to be one of his
secretaries; and so well did he serve the King and so great was the
reputation he acquired at court for his judgment and conduct, that he
remained Secretary of State and one of the most distinguished members
of Council under Philippe de Valois, Jean, and Charles V., Dauphin. But
his worldly success and prosperity did not make him forget the convent
in the forest, the holy lessons and examples of the good fathers, and
the peaceful days he had spent with them. He spoke of them to the
Dauphin, who sent for some of them to come from their monastery to
Paris in 1352, when Garnier Marcel presented them with the site of the
old Carmelite monastery which had been bought by his father; where
they established themselves. Charles both as Dauphin and King showed
unvarying kindness and affection to this brotherhood, visiting the
convent frequently, and conversing familiarly with the brethren. In
this year (1358), seeing that they were in need of help, he granted
them a purse of money from the Chancery of France, to be given yearly,
and as a proof of his friendship carried the first to them himself, and
distributed its contents with his own hands. He afterwards built them a
church, and conferred upon them many other benefits.

A curious law made at this time, which in our own days many of us would
gladly see re-established, was, that if a tailor or dressmaker spoilt
a dress, either by cutting the material badly or by ignorance, so that
by their fault it did not fit, they should pay to the owner of the said
garment whatever was the value of it, and besides that should pay a
fine of five _solz_, of which three should go to the King and two to
the confraternity.[28]

{1359}

Also that if any one made a doublet to sell, and made it of bad or
common thread or stuff, the doublet should be burnt, and the maker
should pay six _solz_ to the King and four to the confraternity.[29]

“On Sunday, the nineteenth day of May,” says the chronicler, “was made
a convocation at Paris of the church, the nobles, and the fortified
towns,[30] by letters of monseigneur the regent, to hear a certain
treaty of peace which had been proposed in England between the Kings
of France and of England. Which treaty had been brought to the regent
by Monseigneur Guillaume de Meleun, Archbishop of Sens, by the Comte
de Tanquarville, brother of the said Archbishop, by the Comte de
Dampmartin, and by Messire Arnoul d’Odenham, Marshal of France, all
prisoners of the English. On which day came few people, partly because
they had not been told soon enough of the said convocation, and also
because the roads were infested by the English and Navarrais, who
held fortresses on every road by which one could go to Paris; and also
because of the robbers who held French fortresses and were not much
better than the English. And the whole kingdom was covered (_semé_)
with them, so that one could not go about the country. The said English
and Navarrais held the castle of Meleun, the island and all the town on
the side towards Bièvre; and the part towards Brie was French. _Item_,
they held la Ferté-Soubs-Juerre, Oysseri, Nogent-l’Artaut, and at least
five or six fortresses on the river Marne; in Brie they held Becoisel
and La Houssoie. In Mucien they held Juilly, Creil, and several other
places on the river Oyse; on and about the Seine, Poissy, Meullent,
Mante, Rais; and more than a hundred others in different parts, as well
in Picardie as elsewhere. Which day of the nineteenth was continually
put off in the expectation of more people until the following Saturday,
the twenty-fifth day of the said month.

“On the which Saturday the said regent was at the palace on the marble
staircase in the court; and there, in presence of all the people,
he caused the treaty to be read by Maistre Guillaume des Dormares,
advocate of the King in parliament, by the which treaty it appeared
that the King of England asked for the duchy of Normandy, the duchy
of Guienne, the city and castle of Saintes, with all the diocese and
country; the cities of Agen, Tarbes, Pierregort, Limoges, Caours,
with all the diocese and country; the counties of Bigorre, Poitiers,
Anjou, and Maine; the city and castle of Tours, and all the diocese and
country of Touraine; the counties of Boulogne, Guines, and Pontieu;
the town of Monstrueil-sur-Mer and all the _chastellenies_; the town
of Calais and all the land of Merq, without the King of England being,
on account of the said lands, in any way subject either to the present
King of France or to his successors, but only a neighbour. And besides,
the said King of England desired to have the homage and sovereignty
of the duchy of Brittany for ever, the same as the other lands before
mentioned.

“Besides this he asked for four millions of _escus de Philippe_,
with all the lands that he held in the kingdom of France, upon such
condition that the King of France should make recompense of other lands
to all those who had anything on the said lands, by alienation made by
the Kings of France, or by those who claimed any rights transmitted
by them, since the said lands and countries belonged to the Kings of
France.

“And also required the said English to be put into possession of
the towns and castles of Rouen, Caen, Vernon, Pont-de-l’Arche,
Goulet, Gisors, Moliniaux, Arques, Gaillart, Vire, Boulogne,
Monstrueil-sur-Mer, and la Rochelle; a hundred thousand pounds sterling
and ten seigneurs for hostages on the first of August following. And
this done, he would return the King of France to his kingdom and power,
but in all manner a loyal prisoner until the above-named things were
accomplished.

“Which treaty was very displeasing to the people of France (_fu moult
deplaisant_). And after they had deliberated, they replied to the
said regent that the said treaty was neither bearable nor possible
(_n’estoit passable né faisable_); and therefore they ordered good war
to be made upon the English.

{1360}

“_Item._ Sunday, the second day of June following, it was granted to
the regent that the nobles should serve him for a month at their own
expense, each according to his estate, without counting coming nor
going. And that the impositions ordered should be paid by the fortified
towns. The clergy offered to pay the said impositions; the town of
Paris offered six hundred swords, three hundred archers, and a thousand
brigands. And it was ordered that all those who were there should
return to their towns, because they could not grant anything without
speaking to their towns, and that they should send their answers on
the Monday after Trinity. And afterwards several towns sent their
answer: but because the flat country was all spoiled by the English and
Navarrais enemies, and also by the garrisons of the French fortresses,
the said fortified towns (_bonnes villes_) could not fulfil the number
of twelve thousand swords (_glaives_) which had been granted him by the
Langue d’oc.”[31]

The Duke and Duchess of Normandy had still no son, but another
daughter, the Princess Bonne, had been born to them.

The war with England had gone on all the winter, but in the spring of
1360 new proposals of peace were made, and this time accepted. By the
treaty signed at Bretigny, May 8, 1360, King Edward renounced his claim
to the crown of France, and also to the duchy of Normandy and all the
inheritance of the Plantagenets north of the Loire. But the King of
France ceded to him, no longer as fiefs, but in absolute sovereignty,
Poitou, Aquitaine, with all the _arrière-fiefs_ appertaining to it from
the Loire to the Pyrenees, and a ransom of three millions of _écus
d’or_, to be paid in sums of four hundred thousand _écus_ annually.

Six English knights were sent to Paris by King Edward, in presence of
whom the Dauphin was to swear to the treaty in the most solemn manner.
Therefore, when Mass was sung, after the _Agnus Dei_, Charles, who was
then in the Hôtel de Sens, came out of his oratory and took the oath
before the altar. Then, from a window of the Hôtel de Sens, peace was
proclaimed by a sergeant-at-arms, “the regent went to Notre-Dame de
Paris to return thanks for the said peace, and then they chanted the
_Te Deum_, and rang the bells very solemnly.”[32]

King Edward is said to have been induced to make peace by a frightful
storm which overtook his army near Chartres, killing six thousand
horses and a thousand cavaliers, amongst whom were the heirs of Warwick
and Morley. Thinking that the anger of God was roused against him
because of the misery and devastation he was causing, he vowed to put
an end to the war.

All over the country the news spread that peace was signed, and in
spite of the hard conditions there was a general burst of rejoicing. In
the villages and towns church bells rang, thanksgivings were offered,
and festivities of all kinds went on everywhere; except in some of the
towns and provinces transferred to England, who declared that they
might yield homage to the English with their lips, but in their hearts
never.

To the Princess Isabelle de France the return of the King can have been
no subject of congratulation. She was his third daughter, her sisters
being the Queen of Navarre and Marie, afterwards Duchesse de Bar. The
fourth sister had taken the veil at Poissy, and died the year after in
early childhood (1352).

In the deplorable state of the country, it was most difficult to obtain
the money required to pay the first instalment of the King’s ransom.
Galeazzo Visconti, _Vicomte et Prince de Milan_,[33] offered to give
600,000 florins in exchange for the Princess Isabelle, whom he was
anxious to marry to his son, Giovanni. The Visconti were amongst the
richest and most powerful of the princes of Italy. They ruled over
Milan and the greater part of Lombardy. The two brothers, Galeazzo and
Bernabo, chiefs of the family, were stained with countless crimes and
cruelties. Of Giovanni nothing could be said, as he was only ten years
old. The Princess Isabelle was not quite twelve, but she seems to have
had her own ideas, and she hated this Italian marriage. It was no use.
The Visconti were eager for the alliance of the King of France, and
willing to pay for the honour. King Jean wanted the money, and had
been ready to sign the utterly ruinous treaty at first proposed and
sacrifice France to gain his own liberty; so that he was not likely to
hesitate. The French people did not like the marriage, and there was a
murmuring all over the country against the King for selling his own
blood. But the preparations were hurried on, and the Princess was sent
to Italy before the end of that summer, with a splendid _cortège_.

Villani gives an account of the magnificence of the entertainments
given in her honour at the palaces of Galeazzo and Bernabo in Milan.
He says she arrived in regal state, splendidly dressed, and received
the homage of all before her marriage, but after that, notwithstanding
her royal blood, she did reverence to Galeazzo and Bernabo and their
wives,[34] the former of whom was a Princess of Savoy.[35]

The splendid _fêtes_ went on for three days and nights in the stately
beautiful Italian palaces, which so far surpass those of other lands.
Every day there were banquets, where at the chief table dined a
thousand guests, princes, ambassadors, nobles and representatives
of the citizens. There were jousts in the _cortile_ or courtyard
of the palace of Galeazzo, ladies looking on from the windows and
_loggie_.[36] The last _fête_ was given by Bernabo.

Meanwhile the King of France, whose freedom had been bought in exchange
for his daughter, had been conducted by the Black Prince to Calais, in
the castle of which a great supper was given in his honour by King
Edward, whose sons, with the Duke of Lancaster and the chief barons of
England, served bareheaded at the table, and after two days spent at
Boulogne in religious ceremonies and festivities King Edward embarked
for England, and Jean prepared to return to Paris.

Besides the public misfortunes of this time, a great sorrow befel
the Duke and Duchess of Normandy in the death of their two little
daughters, Jeanne and Bonne, whom their mother had dedicated to God
if the King returned. The historian says God apparently accepted the
gift.[37] The eldest was about three years old. The former died October
21st at the abbey of St. Antoine des Champs, at Paris, where she had
been placed in order to be dedicated to religion, and her little sister
rather less than three weeks after her. They were both buried in the
church of that abbey, where their effigies in white marble were placed,
lying upon their black marble tomb. This grief was all the more bitter
to Charles and Jeanne as these were their only children. The chronicler
remarks of this event: “Item, on Thursday, the 11th November, were
buried the two daughters of the Duke of Normandy, at St. Antoine, near
Paris, and was present the said Duke at the funeral, very troubled,
for he had no more children.”[38] Among those chosen to go to England
with King Edward were Louis Duc d’Anjou and Jean Duc de Berry, second
and third sons of the King, to whom their father had given these two
duchies by way of compensation; Philippe, Duc d’Orléans, the King’s
brother; Louis, Duc de Bourbon; Pierre d’Alençon and Jean, brother to
the Comte d’Etampes, “_tous des fleurs-de-lis_,” says the monk of St.
Denis.

{1361}

And in December, Jean made his entry into Paris with a pomp and parade
rather unsuitable to the occasion and the manner of his return, and
again began the usual succession of court festivities and amusements
that formed the occupation of the Valois princes and those who
surrounded them. As to the peasants, as soon as the peace of Bretigny
was signed, they began to take courage and to work in the fields again.
After a long cold winter the weather seemed to have cleared up, and
they hoped for a good harvest, though the destruction of most of the
barns and farm buildings had made it difficult to find places to store
it in. The plague, too, was again increasing, not spreading regularly
from south to north as it had done in 1348, but appearing irregularly
here and there in places which had escaped before, especially in hilly
and mountainous districts where the inhabitants had hoped they were
safe from it. It attacked first the people who were already weakened
from bad food and other hardships; next those who had been suffering,
as so many were, from agitation, anxiety or sorrow; and then it began
to attack those who were free from any such disadvantages. It spread
all about, with the same symptoms as before and attended with the
same disastrous consequences. Every one was, of course, dreadfully
afraid of catching it, so that people shut themselves up, refusing
to have communication with each other; there was no one to keep order
or to do any work, and the great companies of brigands and disbanded
soldiers were all over the country. There were fifteen thousand of them
near Lyon alone. The King of England sent orders to those under his
allegiance to desist from their depredations, but they would not obey
him. The plague was very bad all the spring; seventeen thousand people
died of it at Avignon, it was raging in London and was also at Paris,
although not quite so violent there.

The Queen and her daughter, the Princess of Burgundy, had died of it in
1360, and now her son Philippe, the last Capétien Duke, fell a victim
to the same scourge.

On hearing of the death of his stepson, Jean at once claimed the
duchy. As has been already shown, the heirs male of Duke Robert II.
were now extinct; the Comtesse de Savoie, his eldest daughter, had no
heirs either; of the Duchess de Bar there could be no question, as
she had not only renounced her claims on her marriage, but was the
youngest daughter. It rested between the King of France, son of the
third daughter, Jeanne, and the King of Navarre, grandson of the second
daughter, Marguérite. To most people the claim of Charles of Navarre
must appear incontestably the right one; but it is true that instances
in favour of Jean’s pretensions were not uncommon in these days. At any
rate he seized the duchy, and on the 23rd of December entered Dijon;
took the oath, before the high altar of Saint Bénigne in presence
of the chief officials of Burgundy, to observe the constitution and
privileges of that state; and was careful to rest his claim to the
succession, not on its having lapsed to the crown, but on the right of
his mother, Jeanne de Bourgogne, speaking much of his grandfather, Duke
Robert, whose heir he declared himself to be and whose laws and system
of government he promised to follow.

The great inheritance of Burgundy was now broken up, for Artois and
the County Palatine went to Marguérite, Countess dowager of Flanders,
second daughter of Philippe-le-Long, Boulogne and Auvergne to the next
heir of Guillaume XIII., while Flanders and Hainault remained the
inheritance of the child Marguérite, widow of Philippe de Rouvre.



[Illustration]

CHAPTER IV

1364-1367

  King Jean returns to England--His death--Coronation of Charles
    V. and Jeanne de Bourbon--Murder of Blanche, Queen of
    Spain--The Céléstine Church--The Abbey of Chelles--The King’s
    library--Magnificence of the Court--Birth and death of the
    second Princess Jeanne.


Four years had passed away: years a little less unfortunate for France,
as although Jean was still upon the throne and passed his time in
travelling about his kingdom in search of amusement instead of giving
serious attention to the affairs of the State, he allowed himself to
be much influenced by the Dauphin. He ceased to meddle with the value
of the coinage, he recalled the Jews and forbade private wars among
the nobles. There was still peace between France and England, although
English subjects were frequently to be found in the ranks of the
Navarrais who were continually at war with the French.

The country was still in a disturbed state, and infested by troops
of brigands who were always attacking the villages and châteaux. The
Seigneur de Murs, a little castle near Corbeil, was outside his gates
one day, when a party of drovers came up and complained that his
servants had taken some pigs of theirs. The seigneur invited them to
come inside the gates to see if they could identify any, but no sooner
were they over the drawbridge than they threw off their disguise, blew
a horn, drew their swords, and being joined by their companions who
rushed out of a wood close by, they seized the seigneur, his wife and
children, and taking possession of the castle, they made it for some
time a centre from which they pillaged the whole countryside.

{1364}

By the death of the Queen, Jeanne, Duchesse de Normandie, was the head
of the court and of society. She was extremely popular, and her beauty
the admiration of every one. Froissart in his chronicles always speaks
of her as “_la belle Duchesse_,” or “_la bonne Duchesse_.” And now the
time was drawing near for her to ascend the throne.

The Duc d’Anjou, second son of the King, had broken his parole and
returned to France. Jean, horrified at such a breach of honour and of
the laws of chivalry, declared his resolution to return to England. Of
the true reasons for this journey, which was strongly opposed by his
ministers and friends, many different explanations have been given.
Modern historians have in many cases adopted the well-known story of
his reply that if truth and honour were banished from the earth, they
ought still to find refuge on the lips and in the hearts of kings.
M. Dulaure,[39] however, observes that this speech, which was that
of Marcus Aurelius, does not belong to the fourteenth century, and
has been ascribed by Paradin to François I., and by some other writer
to the Emperor Charles V. And neither the writers of the “Grandes
Chroniques de France,” De Nangis, nor Froissart, who were the most
voluminous chroniclers of that time, make any mention of it. De Nangis
says that he went to arrange for the ransom of his third son, the Duc
de Berry, and his brother, the Duc d’Orléans. Froissart declares that
he wished to see the King and Queen of England and to make excuses for
the conduct of his second son. Others have attributed his persisting in
this project to his love for some English lady, probably the Countess
of Salisbury. M. Paulin Paris, in a note to his edition of the “Grandes
Chroniques de France,” agrees with the explanation of De Nangis, and
treats the idea of the English love affair as ridiculous and unlikely
at the age of the King of France, who was forty-five. But this does not
seem an unanswerable objection, considering the character and habits of
Jean; especially if we look at the history of certain other kings at a
much more advanced age--Henry IV. for instance.

But whatever might be his reasons, Jean left France according to the
“Grandes Chroniques,” on Tuesday evening, January 3, 1364, embarking
at Boulogne; and arrived at Dover on Thursday, whence after two or
three days he pursued his way to London, was met by a great company
of illustrious persons and lavishly entertained by King Edward and the
English royal family, who assigned the Savoy Palace for his dwelling,
where, after about three months passed in festivities and diversions of
various kinds, he was taken ill and died.

The Dauphin was at Vernon, besieging his step-grandmother, Blanche
de Navarre, when the news came of his father’s death. Towards her as
well as his eldest sister Jeanne, Queen of Navarre, and his aunt,
Jeanne d’Evreux, Charles was often placed in an attitude of hostility
in which there was no personal animosity, but which arose from their
relationship to and affection for his arch-enemy, the King of Navarre.
Charles had no wish at all to injure or frighten his sister, of whom he
was very fond, or his aunt, for whom he had the greatest respect, or
his step-grandmother, who was also his cousin, and with whom he seems
to have been on friendly terms when there was no particular quarrel
going on about Charles of Navarre. Nevertheless this was not the first
time he had been at open war with these ladies, or engaged in besieging
one of their castles. He hastened to come to an arrangement with Queen
Blanche, and leaving Bertrand du Guesclin in command of the troops
that were actively opposing the Navarrais, he hastened to Paris, where
the body of the late King was sent from England. “After the funeral
at Saint-Denis,” says the chronicler, “Charles went out into a meadow
of the cloister of the said church, and there, leaning against a fig
tree in the said meadow, he received the homage of several peers and
barons; after which he went to dinner, and spent that day and the next
at Saint-Denis. And the following Thursday, the 9th May, departed the
said King Charles to go to his coronation at Reims, which was to be on
the day of the Trinity following.”

Nothing could be more solemn, stately, and imposing than the ceremonial
used at the coronation of the Kings and Queens of France; and it must
have made a strong impression upon the religious and cultivated minds
of Charles and Jeanne. By the regulations made to a great extent by
Louis le Jeune in 1179, and afterwards added to and confirmed by
St. Louis, the King and Queen, on their arrival at Reims, the city
consecrated by the baptism of the first Christian King of France and
the coronation of so many generations of his successors, were met by
a procession of the canons and other ecclesiastics of the cathedral,
churches, and convents of the town. On Saturday, the day before the
coronation, after complines, the church was committed to the care of
guards appointed by the King, with those belonging there. Then the
King, in the silence of the night, came to the church and remained
alone in prayer and watching.

When matins rang, at the dawning of the day, the King’s guards were
marshalled to keep the great entrance, the other doors being closed.
Then matins were chanted, and after them prime. And then the King
arrived and the coronation began.

On the spot where Clovis was baptised stands the church of St. Remy,
second only to the cathedral in beauty and grandeur. In it was always
kept the ampoulle of holy oil with which the Kings of France were
anointed, and to which was attached the ancient legend of its having
miraculously appeared, being brought down from heaven by a white dove
at the baptism of Clovis. This tradition was then firmly believed, and
the ampoulle was brought in solemn procession by the monks of St. Remy
with cross and candles, carried with great reverence by the Abbot of
that monastery under a silk canopy borne by four of the brotherhood.
The Archbishop of Reims, with the bishops and canons, came to the door,
when the Archbishop received it from the hand of the Abbot with a
promise to restore it, and carried it to the altar accompanied by the
Abbot and four monks. It was afterwards taken back to St. Remy.

Two thrones were placed in the middle of the cathedral, joining the
choir. Around the highest, which was that of the King, were ranged the
peers of France, and all those whose rank and office entitled them to
such places.

The Archbishop girded on his sword, charging him to keep the army of
God, and defend the Church and kingdom committed to him, with the
blessing of God, by the virtue of the Holy Spirit and the help of Jesus
Christ the invincible Conqueror. Then with prayers and benediction he
was anointed with oil from the ampoulle, the ring placed on his finger,
the sceptre and hand or rod of justice in his hands, and finally
the Archbishop took the crown from the altar and placed it on his
head, supported by the peers of France during the prayers and solemn
benediction. When the King was crowned and seated on his throne, the
Queen arrived at the cathedral. She prostrated herself before the altar
and was raised from her knees by the bishops. After some prayers she
was anointed, but with a different oil; a smaller sceptre, and a rod
of justice like the King’s were given to her, and the ring placed on
her finger with these words, “Take the ring of faith, the sign of the
Holy Trinity by which thou mayest escape all heresy and malice, and by
the virtue given to thee call heathen nations to the knowledge of the
truth.”

And never could the benediction of the Archbishop have been more fully
re-echoed in the hearts of all around him than when he placed the crown
on the head of Jeanne de Bourbon, saying, “Take the crown of glory,
honour, and felicity, that thou mayest shine with splendour and be
crowned with joy immortal.”

The Queen was conducted to her throne by the barons who supported the
crown, and surrounded by the ladies of highest rank; after which the
King and Queen kneeling at the altar, received the Communion from the
hands of the Archbishop, who at the conclusion of Mass took off their
crowns and put smaller ones on their heads, and they proceeded to the
palace with a drawn sword carried before them.[40]

They left Reims after their coronation, and on the 28th of May,
Tuesday, entered Paris. The King made his entry at one o’clock, went to
the church of Notre Dame and then to the palace, and “about the hour of
nine” the Queen’s procession arrived at the gate. Her beauty and grace
were the admiration of the multitudes that thronged to see her as she
rode into Paris, the crown on her head, her dress covered with jewels
and the trappings of her horse embroidered with gold. Philippe, Duc
de Touraine, the King’s favourite brother, walked by her side holding
the bridle of her horse. With her were the Princess Marie de France,
afterwards Duchesse de Bar, the Duchesse d’Anjou and the Duchesse
d’Orléans, by whose horses walked princes of the blood royal, the
ladies of her court with a brilliant _cortège_ of nobles, chevaliers,
and guards, winding through the crowded, decorated streets to the
Palais de la Cité.

Just after the King and Queen had entered Paris there arrived in
triumph from the battlefield Bertrand du Guesclin. He had won a victory
at Cocherel, and had brought not only the news of his success but the
famous Captal de Buch, whom he had taken prisoner, to greet the King on
the opening of his reign.

[Illustration: FRENCH NOBLE, FOURTEENTH CENTURY.]

There was a great banquet next day at the palace, at which the Captal,
who was placed on parole, dined with the King.[41] And much honour was
shown to Sir Bertrand du Guesclin. After dinner there were jousts in
the courtyard of the palace, at which the King of Cyprus and many of
the greatest nobles jousted.

On Friday, the last day of May, the King invested his youngest
brother, the Duc de Touraine, with the duchy of Burgundy. It had been
promised to him by his father in remembrance of the day when, as a
mere child, he stood alone by his side in the battle of Poitiers. He
afterwards married the heiress of Flanders and Hainault.

The Duchess-dowager, mother of Jeanne, lived a good deal at court,
and her brother Louis, Duc de Bourbon, was a great favourite with the
King, who extended his affection for Jeanne to every one belonging to
her. Louis de Bourbon was one of the best and noblest characters of his
century. When a hostage in England, he made himself so beloved that he
was allowed to go about wherever he chose, and even to return to France
on parole. His estates were managed during his absence by his mother.

The youngest sister of the Queen, Marie de Bourbon, was a nun at
Poissy, and for her also both Jeanne and Charles had much affection.

But a constant source of anxiety and grief to them all had been the
unfortunate marriage of their sister Blanche, Queen of Spain, who
lingered in captivity in one castle after another in spite of the
indignation and remonstrances of the Spanish people, the French King,
and the royal family her relations. At last came the news that she had
been poisoned by Pedro el Cruel, and her death excited the horror and
execration of France and Spain against her murderer. Blanche seems to
have passed these years in saintly resignation to the will of God. Her
brother the Duc de Bourbon and her brother-in-law the King of France
did not suffer her death to remain unavenged.

Charles V. declared war upon Pedro, and sent French troops to Spain
commanded by Bertrand du Guesclin, the Bègue de Vilaine, and other
officers, and after a short time he paid for his crimes with the loss
of his throne and his life.

One cannot help being struck by the extraordinary discrepancy in the
accounts given of the Kings of France by ancient and modern writers.
According to the former, they all appear to have been models of every
virtue and talent under the sun; while if one reads the descriptions
of some of the latter, especially of those who are republican in
principles, one finds that, with the exception perhaps of Saint Louis,
no King of France ever had any good qualities at all but courage, and
that, while all the misfortunes that happened were entirely his fault,
any success he might have in the management of his affairs and the
government of his kingdom was either the result of accident or was due
to somebody else.

Charles V., however, may be said to have done considerably more to
deserve his name “le Sage” than Jean did to earn that of “le Bon.”
In all respects different from his father and grandfather, he set
himself to try to repair the ruin and distress in which the kingdom
was plunged. He was, as Sismondi remarks, the first modern King of
France. His effigy on the seals is seated in a chair, not mounted on
horseback. It is characteristic of his life and habits. His government
was the personal government of an intelligent, prudent, and honest
King, occupied with the internal and external affairs of the State.[42]
He found himself surrounded with dangers and difficulties. The
country was so depopulated by plague and famine that in many parts
the inhabitants were reduced to two-thirds and even one-third of
their numbers in the beginning of the reign of his grandfather. The
neighbouring countries were involved in civil wars and disturbances,
into which it was difficult for France to escape being drawn. Italy was
full of discord. Spain was divided between the factions of _Pedro el
Cruel_ and his brother, _Enrique de Trastamare_, who had risen against
that tyrant to avenge the murders of his mother and brothers.

{1366}

Charles found no help in his own family. His eldest sister was married
to his enemy the King of Navarre, to whom she was devoted. The Duc de
Bar, who had just married Marie, the second sister, was likely to be
more trouble than assistance; the Visconti had paid his father a large
sum of money for the marriage of Isabelle, but were too far off to have
anything to do with affairs in France. Of his brothers, the two elder
ones had all the faults and scarcely any of the good qualities of the
Valois. They were arrogant, rapacious, violent and cruel. The Duke of
Burgundy was the best of them.

Charles had always been delicate, and people said he had been poisoned
when he was young by the King of Navarre. It was one of those absurd
accusations heaped upon Charles of Navarre by his enemies. He could
have had no object in poisoning the Dauphin, for if he had died the
crown would have passed, not to him, but to the Duc d’Anjou, and there
were plenty of other princes of the house of Valois whose claims would
have come before his. The Dukes of Berry and Orléans, the Alençon
princes, and even the Duc de Bourbon, all stood before him in the line
of succession.[43] But it is probable that the King firmly believed
that he had been poisoned by his brother-in-law, and therefore was not
likely to regard him with very friendly feelings.

{1367}

Jeanne nursed and consoled Charles in his frequent illnesses, and
shared and sympathised with all his tastes.[44] Both were devoted to
art and literature; Charles V. was the best educated and most learned
prince of the fourteenth century. Almost the only existing letter
written entirely by the hand of a Valois King of the direct line is by
him. It is preserved at the Dépôt Central.[45] Jeanne’s love of books
caused her to interest herself in the writings and translations of the
time; she was also fond of poetry. Many Greek and Latin authors were
now translated into French, and by the desire of the King and Queen,
Nicolas d’Oresme, Bishop of Lisieux, made a translation of the whole of
the Bible, which Charles took with him wherever he went, being in the
habit of reading it all through every year. It was in two volumes.

On the 24th March, 1367, Charles laid the foundation stone of the
new church of the Céléstins. Besides the church he gave them costly
presents, amongst others a great cross of silver gilt. The Queen
presented an image of the Virgin, also of silver gilt. The church was
finished in 1370, and consecrated by the Archbishop of Sens. Charles
lavished upon this church the most precious objects of art; chalices,
missals, and ornaments of all descriptions; and especially magnificent
were two chapels entirely hung with cloth of gold, one being covered
with _fleurs-de-lis_, the other with suns and stars. The benefits and
favours conferred by the King and Queen upon this convent were so
great as to cause them to be considered as founders of it, and their
statues were accordingly placed on the portal of the church. They spent
5,000 francs in building a dormitory, refectory, chapter-house and
cloister.[46]

The hôtel St. Paul, where Charles and Jeanne afterwards lived, was most
conveniently near the Céléstine convent. The courtiers, following their
example, were always giving presents to this brotherhood. The King’s
secretaries founded a confraternity in their church, and all belonged
to it. The King exempted this order from all public contributions, even
such as were generally paid by the clergy. They continued for several
generations to enjoy such great favour and protection from the royal
family that they appear to have rather presumed upon their privileges,
for in time it grew into a byword, and in speaking of a conceited,
arrogant person the exclamation “Voilà un fier Céléstin” became a
common figure of speech.

The Céléstins, as time went on, became celebrated for the excellence of
their cookery; there were especially certain omelettes for which they
were much distinguished. But this was long after the time we are now
considering.

One of the most fashionable convents for women was that of Chelles,
near Paris. It had been founded by Clotilde, wife of Clovis I., and
much enlarged by Ste. Bathilde, who dreamed that she saw a ladder
raised before the altar of Our Lady, which touched Heaven, and by which
she mounted in a _cortège_ of angels. In consequence of this, the Abbey
of Chelles bore as arms, a ladder between two _fleurs-de-lis_, those
orders founded by Kings and Queens of France having the right to bear
the lilies in their arms. The Abbesses of Chelles bore the greatest
names in France, among them were Giselle, sister of Charlemagne, one of
his daughters and numbers of widows, sisters, and daughters of kings.

But after a time this rich and distinguished establishment became
also very worldly. Some monks built a monastery close to it, and the
King had a palace on the other side of its walls. Scandals arose.
The nuns got up late, went out hunting and conducted themselves much
more after the fashion of the court than the cloister. They were on
excellent terms with the brotherhood of the neighbouring monastery, who
were mostly poor cadets of noble families. They gave parties and made
_confitures_ for these monks; and when Louis le Bègue carried off a nun
of sixteen years old over the wall of his palace, his example was so
much followed by his courtiers that nearly fifty nuns had eloped in a
few months. The Bishop of Paris and Abbot of St. Victor went to preach
and try to carry out reforms; but on their way back were attacked in
the forest and the Abbot killed.[47] After Robert II. (996) the palace
fell into ruins; but the evil reputation of the sisterhood went on long
after. In 1358 they fled to Paris, but returned to their convent, which
was besieged by the English. They escaped again with their Abbess, Alix
le Passy, and were afterwards collected and reorganised by Jehanne la
Forêt.

King Jean, who was not by any means a literary character, had only
possessed twenty books, but Charles delighted in collecting them and
arranged his library in a tower in the Louvre, which was called La
Tour de la Librairie.[48] He collected nine hundred volumes, which in
those days, before printing was used, made a considerable library. The
catalogue of this library was made in 1378 by order of the King, and
still exists.[49] It was in three rooms, occupying three floors of the
tower, the windows of which had iron bars and a trellis of ironwork;
with glass painted. The ceilings were of cypress wood and the walls
panelled with richly carved oak. Thirty candles and a silver lamp
burned all night in each room so that they might be available for study
night and day.

In a manuscript, “Bibliothèque du Roy,” No. 7609, are found the names
of the different instruments of music of the fourteenth century, among
which can be recognised several that are still in use. Here are the
names of some of the books contained in the library:--

“Dit de la Rose.”

“Le Livre de la Mutation de Fortune.”

“Le chemin de long estude” (translated from the Romance into French).

“La Cité des Dames.”

“Le Livre des trois vertus.”

“Le Livre des faits d’Armes et de Chevalrie divisé en quatres parties.”

“Le Traité de la Paix.”

“Le Corps de Policie.”

Charles V. and Jeanne possessed many beautiful books on parchment with
exquisite miniatures and illustrations of the fourteenth century, books
of hours and books of psalms, one of which had belonged to Saint Louis.

They commissioned Raôul de Presle to translate the “City of God,” by
St. Augustine, and gave him 4,000 francs a year for doing it.[50]

Besides books and manuscripts, they had an immense collection of
magnificent objects of art. Since the days of Louis, the taste for
splendour and costly decoration had spread in all classes. Every now
and then laws were made to check them, but as the nobles would not obey
them and could not be forced to do so, they only acted as restraints on
the bourgeoisie. And so the most important of all industrial arts had
come to be that of the goldsmith.

It seems extraordinary, considering the impoverished condition of
the finances and the dreadful state of affairs in general when they
came to the throne, that the King and Queen should have been able to
spend the sums they did upon buildings, books, treasures of art, and
all cultivated and intellectual pursuits. But their wise and good
management was so successful in altering the disastrous state of things
caused by the follies and misfortunes of their predecessors, that they
were able to spend money with royal magnificence upon the aims and
objects they preferred.

Jeanne was clear-headed and sensible, and the economy and order she
introduced into the royal household was considered an excellent
example. She sold a quantity of costly plate to help pay the troops of
Du Guesclin in 1369, and so contributed to the successful result of the
war with England; after which they began to collect again.

[Illustration: LADY OF THE COURT.]

But their daily life was surrounded by magnificence, as may be seen by
a list made later on by order of the King, in which appear all sorts of
precious and costly things. Statuettes of gold and silver, exquisite
carvings in ivory, quantities of gold dishes, plates, candlesticks,
basins, salt-cellars, drinking cups, knives and spoons; very few
forks--there were only three at Vincennes, of which one belonged to the
Queen. Jewels and precious stones in profusion, sets of hangings for
rooms--that is to say portières; carpets, hangings, canopies, curtains
for windows and beds, some of silk, others cloth of gold or velvet;
one is mentioned as being entirely of cloth of gold, with a cross of
red velvet embroidered with several coats of arms; another of green
with stripes of gold. Spanish leather, richly embroidered cushions,
costly tents to put over the Queen’s bath, called _espreniers_. One of
these is described as being made of white satin, embroidered with roses
and _fleurs-de-lis_; others were blazoned with the arms of France and
Navarre.[51] Every now and then some curious little incident seems to
give a touch of life and interest to this old list, such as a little
gold barrel and chain with the arms of Burgundy, which the King always
had with him and which had belonged to his grandmother, Jeanne de
Bourgogne; the gold serpents on the salt-cellars with their tongues in
the salt, which were supposed to reveal the presence of any poison that
might have been put in; a crown _à bassinet_ set with jewels, probably
belonging to King Jean, who was in the habit of wearing a crown on his
helmet in battle, regardless of the additional danger of proclaiming
his rank; and in the midst of this catalogue of splendour “item, an
old mattress all torn and the pillow the same, which had belonged to
King Jean.” Two banners of France covered with _fleurs-de-lis_ and
bordered with pearls, to drive away the flies when the King was at
table; dog-collars of velvet and silver, green game bags embroidered
with pearls, inkstands, purses, whips, leather lanterns. The contents
are given of some coffers or boxes the King always took about with him
and of which he kept the keys. Amongst the rare cameos, jewels, gold
chaplets, &c., was the holy stone to make women have children, and
another stone which cured the gout.

Different things are mentioned as having belonged to Charlemagne and
St. Louis. There were also gold basins to wash in, and gold vases to
put the remains of repasts to give to the poor. _Bas-reliefs_ of
gold, generally of sacred subjects, and all the things belonging to
the chapels, such as chalices, crucifixes, missals, crosses, statues,
hangings, reliquaries, paternosters, &c., most costly and beautiful.
An immense number of crowns and coronets seem to have belonged to the
King, Queen, and Princesses, and jewelled girdles, clasps, and rings
are also enumerated among their possessions.

Charles and Jeanne at the beginning of their reign lived chiefly at the
Louvre and at Vincennes, where he ordered four of the inhabitants of
the village of Montreuil to watch against poachers every night in the
forest. At Vincennes had been born on June 7, 1366, “_entre tierce et
midi_,” another daughter to the King and Queen. She was christened four
days afterwards in the chapel there and named Jeanne, her god-parents
being the Duc de Berry, the two Queens dowager, Jeanne d’Evreux and
Blanche de Navarre, and Marguérite, Countess of Flanders and Artois.
But the same ill-luck seemed to pursue the children of Charles and
Jeanne as had followed those of Philippe de Valois and Jeanne de
Bourgogne; for this little princess also died the following December,
and was buried at St. Denis, leaving the King and Queen again childless.



CHAPTER V

1368-1373

  Comet--Meeting of Parliament--Marriage of the Queen’s sister--The
    Louvre and its gardens--Christine de Pisan--The Dauphin--His
    christening--War--French victories--Prosperity of France--Hôtel
    St. Paul--Birth of Marie de France--Capture and liberation of
    the Queen’s mother--Bonne, Comtesse de Savoie--Birth of Louis
    and Isabelle de France--Louis, Duc de Bourbon.


A French historian assures us that in this, the year before the war
began again, “the presage of it was seen in the heavens, that is to say
in the Holy Week a comet between north and west with a long hairy tail
stretching towards the east and red rays like a pyramid of fire.”[52]

The monks went preaching about in all the French provinces for the
rights of Charles V.; in the English ones for Edward III.

“In this year the King and Queen sat in parliament on the vigil of the
Ascension,” and Jeanne gave her advice and opinion, by special desire
of the King, upon the important affairs then discussed. Whenever he
was ill the secret despatches were all taken to her, and her seal
carried the same authority as his own.[53]

{1368}

He had detached Armand d’Albret from the English cause and married him
to Marguérite, one of the Queen’s sisters, to the indignation of the
Black Prince, who spoke “_moult rudement_” about it.[54] As Armand
d’Albret had before seized the castle of La Motte d’Epineul, it was
made part of the dowry of the young princess, who often appears in
descriptions of festivities at her sister’s court.

In 1371 she was godmother, with the Princess Jeanne, daughter of
Philippe VI., to her niece, Marie de France. Her husband and son were
killed at Azincourt, and, like her sister Bonne, Comtesse de Savoie,
she undertook the guardianship of her grandson, Charles d’Albret, for
whom in 1416 she obtained letters from Charles VI. admitting him to do
homage for his lands though under fifteen years old.

Hitherto every King of France had held his court either in the
palais de la Cité or the Louvre. Those who only know the Louvre as
the magnificent Renaissance palace of François I. and Henri II., can
perhaps hardly picture it as the most romantic royal castle that ever
existed. The buildings formed an oblong court, with round towers at the
angles and in the middle of the sides, while nearly in the centre of
the court stood a massive round keep, and to the south and east were
well defended gateways. All this was moated, and on the side towards
the river were other walls and towers.[55] It was outside Paris
until Charles included it within the walls. He altered the internal
arrangements, heightening the rooms and also the towers, so that it was
more beautiful than ever. It was he who built the long line of towers
all along the river. They were of all sizes and shapes, and each had
a captain of its own. The names of many of them are known from the
registers in the Chambre des Comptes. The Tour du Fer-de-cheval, Tour
de l’Orgueil, du Bois, de l’Ecluse, Jean de l’Etang, de l’Armoirie, de
la Taillerie, de la grande Chapelle, la petite Chapelle, Grosse Tour
du Louvre, Tour de la Librairie, and many others. The Grosse Tour,
built by Philippe Auguste, was enormously thick and strong, and had a
dungeon. The great portal was on the river, flanked with towers; the
second entrance was narrow, with two towers, on which were sculptured
the figures of Charles V. and Jeanne de Bourbon.

The rooms were large, low, with panels of wood; the windows narrow,
barred with iron and filled with glass, on which were painted the arms
of the person to whom the apartment belonged--King, Queen, _enfants de
France_, princes of the blood, &c.

The apartment of the Queen was below that of the King, and exactly the
same in size and disposition. Sauval remarks that the view of the river
from the windows was very beautiful. The apartments of the King, the
Queen, and each of their children had a chapel and gallery attached
to it. In the apartment afterwards given to the Dauphin there was a
clock, doubtless made by Jean de Vic, who about that time made one for
the King, which was placed in the Tour du Palais and has been supposed
to be the only one in Paris under Charles V.[56]

The great garden of the Louvre was very old: it had _treilles_ or
trellised walks from one end to the other, hedges, arbours, and grass.
It was planted with roses and other flowers, herbs and vegetables.
There were two smaller ones, called the King’s and Queen’s garden.[57]

The great garden went up to what is now the Rue St. Honoré, and was
bounded by the city walls. To any one who is fond of flowers and
gardening, it is most interesting to read the old bills and accounts
preserved in different registers, and to see something of what these
ancient gardens were like.

“Compte 1362, of Pierre Culdöë, lieutenant, and the noble Messire Jean
de Damille, chevalier, chastelain of the castle of the Louvre, of the
receipts, &c., for certain works which have been done in the gardens of
the said Louvre, _à la plaisance du Roy, nostre Seigneur_, beginning in
the month of May ‘362,’ and finishing in the month of March CCCLXIII.”

Then follow many interesting accounts, of which, however, it is
impossible to give more than a few specimens. For instance, sums of
money are paid to--

“Perin Durant, gardener, for having got many good herbs and planted
the same in the said gardens of the Louvre in the month of March, 1362.”

“To Pierre Hubert, trellis-maker, for having fastened up the hedges
round the said gardens in the month of February, and done up about half
the said hedges which the wind had blown down; for wood, osier, and
trouble.”[58]

“To Jean Baril, for having made a heap of earth (mound) with a
summer-house of trellised wood on the top, with the arms of the
King, Queen and _nos seigneurs_ de France upon it, and having made a
drawbridge to it in the month of March, 1362, for wood, osier, and
trouble.”

“To Jean Caillon and Geffroy de Febon, gardeners, for their trouble in
having planted sage, hyssop, lavender, strawberries, and several other
herbs in the gardens of the said Louvre, for having dug the garden all
round, put in herbs and seeds, renewed all the paths and grass plots
(_préaux_) and taken away the weeds and rubbish.”

“To Jean Dudoy, gardener, for having ... taken away all the weeds,
stones, and rubbish, and made several beds of sage, hyssop, lavender,
balsam, strawberries, and violets, and planted bulbs of lilies, double
red rose trees, and many other good herbs which he got.”

“To Sevestre Vallerin, the work of his arm (_la peine de bras_) for
his trouble in having weeded the paths which go among the _préaux_
(courts or grass plots), and the beds in which are the rose trees,
strawberries, violets, sage, hyssop, lavender, balsam, parsley, and
other good herbs: and also for having watered four summer-houses and
a great square room to make the plants grow (_pour faire venir les
herbes_).”

“To Etienne de la Groye, gardener, for having made in the said gardens
certain trellises, arbours, and hedges all along the walls, inside.”[59]

We hear of some one being paid also for planting a pear tree, and
lettuce is mentioned amongst the vegetables that mingled with the
flowers growing in the quaint old garden. It must have been a strange
place, with its stiff beds of roses, lavender, and sweet herbs, its
formal paths and summer-houses, its long trellised walks under the
huge, ancient walls, shadowed by a forest of frowning towers.

As the Queen’s apartments in the south wing of the château would not
contain all the rooms required, some more were allotted to her looking
west; and some to the King, who, out of consideration for the Queen,
had given her the first floor and taken the second for himself. One
of these was the bedroom of the King, and containing amongst other
furniture one of two great beds, “_pour le corps du Roy_,” furnished by
the _courtepointier_, Richard des Ourmes, at the price of twenty francs
of gold each.

The King’s cabinet or study (_estude_) was lighted by one large window
with painted glass, and four small ones, and hung with black _drap
de Caen_. It had a high chair, a bench, a form (_escabelle_) and
two bureaux. Green drapery was thrown over the furniture, and a high
chimney with mantelpiece of stone warmed the room, which was most
likely between his oratory and library. His chapel, or oratory, was
vaulted, and heated by a stove in the winter.[60]

The furniture in the Louvre consisted of enormous cupboards, buffets,
and heavy chairs or _faudesteuils_, all richly carved, illuminated,
and sometimes decorated with gold and gems; benches, forms, settles,
_dossiers_ or seats with backs, covered with velvet, satin, or cloth
of gold; an _estendait_, or kind of sofa is mentioned as being in one
or two of the rooms; the walls were hung with tapestry, and there were
plenty of carpets and cushions, some embroidered with pearls. Spanish
leather was thrown on the floor in summer.[61]

The house linen seems to have been kept in chests in the bedrooms: a
number of white silk sheets are described as being in a square box with
two covers in the large window in the King’s room; and later in his
palace called Beauté, in a gilded chest (_coffre_) in the room where
the King slept, there were towels, tablecloths, and sheets of _toile
de Reims_; also richly embroidered pillows, one of which had on it a
knight, a lady, two fountains and two lions. There were _couvertoers_,
or warm coverings for winter, and _couvertures_, or sheets of
ornamental stuffs thrown over the beds in the day. One of these is
mentioned as being of ermine, fastened to an old sheet of _marramas_,
of which the King had caused a breadth to be cut off to make a chasuble.

The chimneys were of course high and open, with great fires on dogs
(_chenets_) on the hearth. There exist bills for three _chenets de
fer_ for the Queen’s and other rooms, and for tongs, shovels, and
_tirtifeux_. Also for bellows, “five new bellows carved and ornamented
with gold.”

There are also bills from one Marie Lallemande, for blue and white
stuff for the window curtains of the King’s and Queen’s bedchambers,
and for eighteen feather beds with pillows; and from Jean de Verdelay
and Colin de la Baste for six tables of walnut wood and a pair of
trestles for the Queen’s rooms, and for the King’s large dining-room an
oak bench with columns (_un banc de chesne à coulombes_) twenty feet
long for the King’s larger table, with the daïs of the same length and
three feet wide, and a _dréçoir_ with a step round it in the same room
(_sale_),[62] “_et enfonsé le viez banc Sainct Louis, et une marche
autour_.”

The King was anxious to attract to his court any literary or talented
persons that could be found, and being himself, like every one else
of his day, a believer in astrology, he gladly welcomed a learned man
and celebrated astrologer named Thomas de Pisan, a native of Bologna,
who, delighted at his reception, sent for his wife and daughter and
presented them at the Louvre, 1368. Charles took the whole family under
his protection. He gave an income to the astrologer, and his daughter,
the celebrated Christine de Pisan, was brought up at court as a
_demoiselle de qualité_. Her father, seeing her talents, bestowed much
care on her education. She was taught Latin and French, and not allowed
to forget her native Italian; she also studied science and literature.
At fifteen she was married to Etienne du Chastel, a young man of good
birth and education, but small fortune, who was made one of the King’s
secretaries. She became a distinguished writer, and is best known for
her life of Charles V., written, after his death, at the command of
the Duke of Burgundy. Her style is exceedingly pompous and fulsome,
but some interesting details can be gained from her writings, and if
they were not crammed with tiresome, prosy moral sentiments, and absurd
flattery of the King, they might have been much more interesting and
valuable still. After the death of Charles V., the prosperity of the
family waned: her father lost most of his pay and died old and poor;
her husband died 1402, and one of her sons died young. Her daughter
became a nun at Poissy.

On the 16th of April, 1368, Lionel, Duke of Clarence second son of the
King of England, passed through Paris on his way to Italy to marry the
daughter of Galeazzo Visconti. The Dukes of Berry and Burgundy went
to meet him at St. Denis and conducted him to the Louvre, where his
room was “_moult bien parée et aournée_.” He dined and supped that day
with the King, and the next day dined with the Queen “_en l’ostel du
roy près de Saint-Pol, là où elle estoit lors logiée et y fist-en très
grant feste_.”[63] After dinner when they had played and danced, the
Princes returned to the Louvre, where Lionel stayed during the few days
he was at Paris, being entertained by the different members of the
French royal family. Lionel of England was a handsome and courageous
Flemish giant, mild-tempered and amiable, possessing no great vigour of
intellect.[64] Through his daughter married to Edmund Mortimer the line
of York derived their claim to the English crown.

The King had a painted barge like a floating house, richly decorated
inside and outside, in which he used to go up and down the Seine from
the Louvre to his new and favourite palace of St. Paul,[65] which he
had built chiefly while he was still regent.

Charles and Jeanne had now been married eighteen years, and had no
children. They had never had a son, and their three daughters had all
died, to their great grief. But on the 3rd of December, 1368, “on the
first day of the Advent of our Lord, at the third hour after midnight,
the Queen Jehanne, wife of King Charles, then King of France, had her
first son in the ostel near St. Pol; and the moon was in the sign of
the Virgin in the second phase of the said sign, and the moon was
twenty-three days old. For the which birth the King and all the people
in France had great joy, and not without cause, for until now the said
King had had no male child. And the King gave thanks to God and the
Virgin Mary. And that day he went to Notre Dame de Paris, and caused a
beautiful mass to Our Lady to be sung before her image at the entrance
of the choir; and the next day, Monday, he went to Saint Denis in
France on pilgrimage, and he caused to be given away at Paris a great
heap of florins, to the number of three thousand florins and more.”[66]

The child was christened on Wednesday, the 6th of December, and the
chronicler thus describes the proceedings:--

“The Wednesday following, sixth day of December, in the year one
thousand three hundred and sixty-eight aforesaid, the said son of the
King was christened in the church of Saint-Pol of Paris, about the
hour of prime, in the manner which follows. And the day before were
made enclosures of wood in the street before the said church, and also
inside the said church about the font, to take care that there should
not be too great press of people.

“First: before the said child went two hundred _varlés_ who carried
two hundred torches, who all remained in the said street,[67] holding
the said burning torches, except twenty-six who went inside. And after
was Messire Hue de Chasteillon, seigneur de Dampierre, master of
the crossbowmen, who carried a candle in his hand, and the Comte de
Tanquarville, who carried a cup in which was the salt, and had a towel
at his neck with which the said salt was covered. And after was the
Queen, Jehanne d’Evreux, who carried the said child in her arms, and
Monseigneur Charles, seigneur de Montmorenci, et Monseigneur Charles,
comte de Dampmartin, were beside her; and thus they issued from the
said hostel of the King of Saint-Pol, by the door which is the nearest
to the church. And immediately after the said child, were the Duc
d’Orléans, the King’s uncle, the Duc de Berry, the Duc de Bourbon,
the Queen’s brother, and many other great seigneurs and ladies; Queen
Blanche, the Duchesse d’Orléans, the Comtesse de Harcourt and the
Dame de Lebret,[68] sisters of the Queen, who were well adorned with
coronets and jewels.”[69]

The chronicler goes on to describe the christening, the cardinals,
bishops, and abbots with mitres and crosiers, how the crowd was so
great that the child had to be taken home by a back way and how the
King gave away money in the coulture Ste. Katherine, where there was
also such a crowd that several women were killed.

The Queen seems to have been ill a long time, for the chronicler says
that there was a great fête when she recovered (_releva de sa gésine_)
from her confinement, on the 4th February, and after the dinner a dance
and other amusements, and the King gave his son the title of Dauphin du
Viennois.

Charles had succeeded in getting rid of the Grande Compagnie led by
the Archiprêtre, mentioned in the life of Jeanne de Boulogne, Bertrand
du Guesclin having persuaded them to go with him to Spain, to fight
against Pedro el Cruel, at the request of the King, who said: “If some
one would lead _ces gens-là_ against the miscreant and tyrant Pedro,
who has killed our sister, let him do so whatever it costs me.”[70]

{1369}

[Illustration: THE BASTILLE.]

The news of the defeat and death of Pedro was brought to Paris in the
early summer, and the chronicler remarks, “and certainly many people
thought that this had happened to the said Pierre because he was a
very bad man and had wickedly and traitorously murdered his good,
wedded wife, daughter of the Duc de Bourbon and sister of the Queen
of France.” The inhabitants of Guyenne had revolted against the Black
Prince, who had been taxing them too heavily; and the war with England
had begun again, but this time it seemed to be going in favour of
France. Fortress after fortress fell into French hands and on the 29th
April, Abbeville surrendered to Hue de Châtillon.

{1370}

This and the next year passed prosperously for the kingdom. Bertrand
du Guesclin, created Constable of France, was everywhere winning
back towns, castles, and fortresses; the gallant Sir John Chandos
was killed in Poitou, and by the end of 1370, Ponthieu, Périgord,
Rouergue, Saintonge, Poitou, part of Limousin, and nearly all Guyenne
had been won back. The rapid restoration of the kingdom was a marvel
to every one. The hero du Guesclin was the idol of the nation; the
Duc de Bourbon especially loved him because he had avenged his sister
the Queen of Spain. The wise and firm government of the King brought
prosperity and order into everything. His Court was magnificent, not
with the wild and warlike revelry of Philippe and Jean de Valois, but
with the refined and artistic luxury of a prince more cultivated than
his time.

All round about Paris he restored and rebuilt the royal châteaux that
had been destroyed by the English and Navarrais, taking care to fortify
them at the same time. Melun, Creil, Montargis, amongst others, and
St. Germain, which had been burnt by the soldiers of King Edward. He
gave Paris a new bridge, walls, gates, and the Bastille, of which the
first stone was laid by Aubriot, provost of Paris, in April, 1370. He
had built two new royal residences, Beauté, a most delightful château
at the end of the forest of Vincennes, and the hôtel de St. Paul at
Paris, having taken a dislike to the Palais de la Cité, from the
scenes of blood and terror that he had witnessed there. The Louvre
was not large enough for the immense number of suites of apartments he
wanted. Gradually it was used in his reign chiefly to entertain and
lodge foreign princes. He bought several hôtels, gardens, and meadows
and turned the whole into one huge palace, which, with its pleasure
grounds, covered nearly all the space between the river, the rue St.
Antoine, the rue St. Paul, and the Bastille. The hôtels de Sens, de
Saint Maur, d’Etampes, hôtel de la Reine, and others.

The whole were surrounded with a high wall, enclosing, besides all
these great hôtels which formed the palace, and were connected by
twelve galleries, six meadows, eight gardens, and a number of courts.
All the princes of the blood, great nobles and officers of the court
had their apartments in this wonderful palace, which the King declared
should for ever belong to the Crown, adding that he had there enjoyed
many pleasures, endured and recovered from many illnesses, and
therefore he regarded it with singular affection.

It was a curious mixture of luxury and simplicity, arm, feudal castle,
and palace all in one.[71] The King delighted in the gardens and
orchards and used to work in them with his own hands. Both he and
Jeanne were also very fond of animals, and seem to have had an immense
number of pets, for which there were enclosures and aviaries in all
their palaces, but especially at their two favourite abodes, St. Paul
and Beauté. They had lions and wild boars amongst other creatures,
and numbers of birds. Besides the great aviaries at the Palais, the
Louvre, St. Paul, and the other palaces, there were in every apartment
in St. Paul bird-cages of wire painted green, and there is an account
of a large octagon cage made at that palace[72] for the King’s parrot,
which is called “_la cage au pape-gaut du Roy_.” There were numbers of
fowls, pigeons, and peacocks, the wild boars were kept in a garden, the
lions, of course, in dens, and there were rooms for the turtle doves
and for the Queen’s dogs.

The description of the interior of this palace, or group of palaces,
reads like a page out of the “Arabian Nights.” One large hôtel (one
of three houses the King gave the Queen) was used for her horses,
_coches_, and the grooms and people belonging to her stables. The
_conciergerie_, _lingerie_, _tapisserie_, _pâtisserie_, _pelleterie_,
_fruiterie_, _lavandrie_, _saucisserie_, _panneterie_, _épicerie_,
_taillerie_, _maison du four_, _jeux de paumes_, _garde-manger_,
_celliers_, _caves_, _cuisines charbonnerie fauconnerie_, &c., must
have formed a little town in themselves. Silk, velvet, tapestry,
Spanish leather, and cloth of gold covered the walls, floors, and
seats. The furniture, massive and picturesque in form, was ornamented
with rich carving, illumination, gold or gems. The beams of the ceiling
were decorated with gold _fleurs-de-lis_. The rooms were heated with
stoves (_étuves_) and huge fires on open hearths, with magnificent
chimney pieces of stone sculptured often with colossal statues and
figures of animals. The washing basins and all the dinner services,
&c., used by the royal family were of gold or silver. All the numerous
apartments of the different princes, princesses, and great personages
had chapels, galleries, bath-rooms, &c., attached to them. The room of
the King’s jewels was brilliant with gold, silver, and precious stones.

To say nothing of the art treasures of gold, jewels, and illuminations,
what would not a lover of art and antiquity in our own day give for one
of the long oak benches, for instance, ending in handles like those of
baskets, carved all over with birds and animals, and mounted on many
carved columns--especially for the one called “the old bench of St.
Louis,” which stood in the King’s dining room at the Louvre.

It was in their favourite hôtel de St. Paul, or as it is called in old
writings, St. Pol, that Charles and Jeanne principally lived, and here
were born the Dauphin and all their younger children.

The birth of the Princess Marie took place on the 27th of February,
1370, and her godmothers were Jeanne, daughter of Philippe VI. and
Queen Blanche, and the Dame d’Albret, sister of the Queen.

With the exception of Blanche, whom she never met again after her
disastrous marriage with the King of Spain, Jeanne saw a great deal of
her family, especially of her three youngest sisters, the Comtesse de
Harcourt, the Dame d’Albret, and the Prieure de Poissy. Bonne, Comtesse
de Savoie, was farther away in her beautiful southern home, and being
the wife of a greater prince, had more of the occupations and cares of
a government upon her hands. Bonne was brave, clever, sensible, and
universally admired. Things went prosperously enough with her until,
after she had been married about thirty years, in 1385 her husband,
the Green Count, died of plague in Italy, where he had gone on some
warlike expedition. She governed Savoy for her son Amadeo VII., the
Red Count, whom she married to a daughter of the Duc de Berry. But the
Red Count was killed out hunting in 1391. He left the guardianship
of his son and the regency of Savoy to his mother, in whom he might
well have the greatest reliance, instead of to his young widow who had
neither the talents nor experience to fit her for such a trust, and
who, he was quite sure would marry again, as she did. In spite of her
opposition the Countess Bonne assumed the guardianship of her grandson
Amadeo VIII. and the State. After he came of age she could not get
her dowry properly paid, so she sent for her brother Louis, Duc de
Bourbon, who came at once with a troop of soldiers and threatened to
make war upon the Savoyards. Thereupon the dowry was paid without any
further trouble. Bonne died at the Château de Mâcon, 1402. In 1372 the
Duchess-dowager de Bourbon, mother of the Queen, was at the castle of
Belle Perche, in the Bourbonnais, when one night it was surprised by
three captains of brigands or free companies, who got in by scaling
the walls. Louis de Bourbon assembled his vassals and friends and laid
siege to the place where his mother was a prisoner. The Duchess managed
to let him know that she was afraid of the things the engines threw in
and the damage they caused, and that she wished him to blockade the
castle. He did so accordingly, but the Earls of Cambridge and Pembroke
arrived with a large force and carried off the Duchess and her ladies
to a château in Limousin. She was soon afterwards exchanged for Simon
Burke, a favourite of the Black Prince. She went to Clermont, a hunting
château of her son, and in the forest close by she met her daughters
coming to see her.[73] In a miniature representing their meeting
the Queen advances wearing a dress covered with _fleurs-de-lis_ and
emblazoned with the arms of France and Bourbon, holding a bird, the
sign of high rank and led by Jean de Bourbon, Comte de la Marche. Her
little daughter Marie, bearing the same arms accompanies her, then come
the young Duchess, wife of Louis, and the Queen’s sisters, Comtesses
de Savoie and Harcourt, and Dame d’Albret. Each leads a dog with a
long leash, two ladies follow, one carrying the train of the Duchesse
de Bourbon. All the princesses have the arms of their husbands and of
Bourbon emblazoned on their dresses, including the Duchess-dowager,
Isabelle de Valois, who also wears a long widow’s veil.[74]

[Illustration: MEETING OF THE QUEEN AND HER MOTHER.]

{1373}

Parti-coloured dresses were much worn then. The Queen’s second son,
Louis, was born March, 1371. Bertrand du Guesclin was his godfather,
and put a sword into his hand, praying God and Our Lady to make him a
good knight. In July, 1373, was born her daughter Isabelle. The little
Dauphin was her godfather and held her at the font; her grandmother,
the Duchess Isabelle, was her godmother.

Louis de Bourbon had married in 1371 Anne, daughter of the Comte de
Clermont et d’Auvergne. He was a good soldier, just, generous, and
religious; his court was as magnificent as those of the Dukes of
Burgundy and Orléans. When he returned from being a hostage in England
he instituted an order of chivalry called the Ecu d’or. During the
fête, after the ceremony, his Procureur-Général, Chavreau, presented
to him a register of depredations committed on his lands during his
captivity by divers lords, his vassals, most of whom were present,
and were seized with consternation; but the Duke replied, “Chavreau,
have you also the register of the services they have rendered me?” and
without looking at it, threw it into the fire. It is said that when,
after the capture of his mother, Anne, Duchesse de Bretagne, fell
into his hands and exclaimed, “_Ah, beau cousin!_ am I a prisoner?”
he replied, “No, madame, we do not make war on ladies.” His subjects
adored him, and when, many years afterwards, he died and his body
was brought to Moulins to be buried, clergy and people thronged to
accompany it wherever the funeral passed, with tears and lamentations.



CHAPTER VI

1373-1380

  Illness of the Queen--Her recovery--Floods in Paris--Death
    of several princesses of the Royal Family--Bertrand du
    Guesclin--The Court of Charles V. and Jeanne de Bourbon--The
    peers of France--The King’s will--Betrothal of his
    daughters--Visit of the Emperor Charles IV.--The Emperor
    and the Duchess-dowager de Bourbon--Birth of the Princess
    Catherine--Death of the Queen--Of the Princess Isabelle--Grief
    of the King--His death.


The beds used at this time were enormous. If only six feet square they
were considered very small and called _couchettes_, but when they
were from eight feet and a half by seven and a half to twelve feet
by eleven, they were supposed to be of a sufficient size and called
_couches_. These beds were mounted on very wide steps covered with
rich carpets, and were hung with exquisite and costly stuffs; alcoves,
supposed to be so much later an invention, were then in use. The
chronicler of the quatre premiers Valois relates that in 1373 the Queen
was seized with a dangerous illness. She seems to have been delirious,
as he goes on to say that she lost her _bonne mémoire_, that the
King, _qui moult l’aimoit_, made many pilgrimages about it, and that
by the mercy of God and Our Lady she recovered her good health and
good senses. In spite of his delicate health Charles often made these
pilgrimages to holy places, walking barefoot with the monks.

{1373}

In the early part of 1373 there were great floods, especially of the
Seine, Marne, Yonne, Oise, and Loire. They lasted two months and were
said to be the worst that had happened within living memory. The
streets of Paris were full of water so that people had to go about
in boats. From one gate to another the water flowed; it rose to the
bridges and filled the lower rooms in the houses.

Several princesses of the French royal family had died within a short
time--the Queen-dowager, Jeanne d’Evreux, of whose will and funeral
an account was given in a former volume; Jeanne, Queen of Navarre,
eldest sister of the King; the Princess Jeanne, daughter of Philippe
VI. and Queen Blanche, who died on her way to Spain to marry the son
of the King of Aragon. Also the old Prioress of Poissy, great aunt
of the Queen, who was the Princess Marie de Clermont, daughter of
Robert, Comte de Clermont, son of St. Louis. In early youth she had
been betrothed to the Marquis de Montferrat. But she had set her heart
on a monastic life, and she took the veil with the approval of her
cousin Philippe le Bel, in the convent he had just founded at Poissy.
She became Prioress, but having lost her sight she resigned that
dignity, and died in May, 1372, at seventy-three years of age. It was,
of course, afterwards that Marie de Bourbon, youngest sister of the
Queen, was made Prioress of Poissy.

These were years of success and happiness for Charles and Jeanne. They
had now four children, two of whom were sons. Prosperity was restored
to their kingdom. The people trusted them, so that heavier taxes than
those which caused riots under Jean and Charles VI. were paid without
opposition by the subjects of Charles V., who knew that the affairs
of the State were administered by able hands, and that the money so
collected would be used for the defence and welfare of the country, not
squandered on court pageants or unworthy favourites.

A truce was made with England, who had lost all the territories won
from the late King, and restored to France by the wisdom of Charles le
Sage and the valour of Bertrand du Guesclin.

Romance and poetry gather, as well they may, around the career
of this heroic leader, the despised, neglected child of a poor
Breton gentleman; who swept the English from his country, and died
Constable of France, surrounded by his victorious troops, the keys of
Châteauneuf-Randon, his last conquest, being laid upon his coffin. His
father, a Breton noble, and his mother, who was proud and beautiful,
considered their eldest son a disgrace to their family--for Bertrand
was ugly, rough, and continually fighting and getting into mischief.
Disliked and ill-treated at home he made his escape from his father’s
château, and took refuge with an uncle and aunt, who received him with
kindness, and with whom he remained. When he was sixteen or seventeen
there was one day a wrestling match at Rennes, and being resolved to
attend it he ran away from church, fought at the match and won the
prize, but was so dreadfully hurt that he had to be carried back to
the château of his uncle, where he was laid up for some time, during
which his aunt, divided between her sorrow and uneasiness about his
wounds and her anger at his disobedience, kept coming into his room,
alternately reproaching and consoling him. Sometime afterwards there
was a tourney at Rennes. Bertrand borrowed a horse and arms of his
cousin and presented himself in the lists, challenging the first
esquire who would break a lance with him. One of the bravest of the
troop came forward, and was overthrown by him at the first shock. The
next adversary who advanced was his own father. Recognising the arms
of his house upon his father’s shield, Bertrand threw down his own, to
the astonishment of all present, who attributed his doing so to fear.
But he overthrew the next adversary and then raised his casque. His
father embraced him, and his mother and aunt were filled with joy. His
father then gave him everything he wanted for the outfit of a cavalier,
and by his gallant deeds he soon rose to the height of fame. The story
of his death in 1380, when besieging the castle of Châteauneuf-Randon
in Gévaudan, as told by ancient chroniclers, is as follows: The Castle
was to surrender the day after Du Guesclin died; Marshal de Sancerre
summoned the Governor to give up the keys, but he answered that he had
sworn to yield them only to Du Guesclin. Being told that he was dead,
he replied, “Then I will lay them on his tomb.” The Marshal consented,
the Governor, at the head of the garrison, issued from the castle, and
passing through the ranks of the besieging army knelt before[75] the
body of Du Guesclin and laid the keys on his coffin.

Before he died Du Guesclin charged his captains to remember that in
whatever country they made war, women, children, the poor and _les gens
de l’église_ were not their enemies. He had all his life been good to
the weak and the poor.

The King and Queen showed all honour and affection to Du Guesclin.

Louis de Harcourt had been one of the foremost captains in the English
war, and now came to Paris with the King’s brothers. Charles had
suspected him sometime before of being in love with the Queen, and had
regarded him with jealousy and anger in consequence, but having become
convinced that he had been mistaken and unreasonable, _que sans raison
il avoit eu cette folle suspicion_, he received him _moult agréablement
et joyeusement_.[76]

While there can be no doubt that the court of Charles V. and Jeanne
de Bourbon was much more orderly and more intellectual than those of
the two first Valois kings, it does not seem so certain that it was
equally amusing. It was stately and magnificent; comfort, luxury, and
civilisation had greatly increased; there were splendid banquets,
balls, and other entertainments, but the accounts of the daily life
there, which have come down to us from that time, especially those of
Christine de Pisan, who lived among the scenes she describes, show a
very different state of things from the brilliant, reckless lives of
pleasure and gaiety led by all who belonged to the Court of France in
the days of Philippe de Valois and his son Jean.

The King got up at six or seven o’clock in the morning, and when
dressed his breviary was brought him and he went to his oratory to
hear mass; after which he gave audience to anybody who wished to ask
him anything. In these interviews he treated everybody who approached
him with the greatest courtesy and kindness. On certain days he then
went to the Council Chamber, and at ten o’clock he sat down to dinner,
music going on all the time of that repast. When it was over he devoted
two hours to interviews with foreign envoys, or with any one bringing
news from the seat of war,[77] or of any other matters of importance in
different parts of his kingdom. Then he went to lie down for an hour,
and after that, one reads with a feeling of relief, that he allowed
himself a little pleasure. Christine de Pisan takes care to explain
that this was only in order that he might work better afterwards, but
one may trust that this absurd suggestion was only an idea of her own,
and that the mind of Charles was not so saturated with duty and dulness
as she would imply. At any rate, he amused himself during this part
of the day by looking at his books, jewels, and different collections,
and talking with his friends. Perhaps the most intimate and the one he
loved best was Jean de la Rivière. There is a note of a ring he gave
him, with a ruby in it _qui tient au violet_.

Next, the King went to vespers and then out into his garden, where
generally the Queen was with him, and where curious and beautiful
things were often brought to them by the merchants. In winter he had
different books read to him; stories from the Scriptures, philosophy,
romances, &c., till supper, and during the rest of the evening he
amused himself. Jeanne also had some one to read aloud to her while she
was at dinner.

The King’s devotion to the Queen had never changed. From his boyish
days at the court of his grandfather she had been the only woman he had
ever loved. Without consulting her he would take no step of importance,
and he cared for no pleasure she could not share. They lived, as
Christine de Pisan says, _en paix et en amour_. Charles delighted in
finding and giving her beautiful presents of jewels, curiosities,
objects of art, or anything that he thought would please her.

Christine de Pisan describes with enthusiasm the way in which Jeanne
held her court, the order and magnificence with which everything was
arranged, whether in the daily life of her court and household, or in
the splendid entertainments and ceremonies of state. She speaks of the
beauty and dignity of Jeanne, as she appeared at these festivities,
wearing her crown, her royal mantle of cloth of gold, or of silk
covered with precious stones, and a girdle of jewels, accompanied by
two or three queens (the two Queens-dowager, Jeanne and Blanche, and
the Queen of Navarre), by her mother the Duchesse de Bourbon and by all
the members of the royal family and court.

The peers of France in the time of Charles V. were as follows: Original
peers ecclesiastical, called Clercs Ducs, _i.e._, the Archbishop of
Reims and the Bishops of Laon and Langres; Clercs Comtes, _i.e._, the
Bishops of Beauvais, Châlons, and Noyon.

Lay peers, _i.e._, Dukes of Burgundy, Normandy, and Aquitaine; Counts
of Toulouse, Flanders, and Champagne.

But the King held in his hands the Counties of Toulouse and Champagne,
and the following new ones had been created.

Comte d’Alençon, Duc de Bourbon, Comte d’Etampes, Comte d’Artois, Duc
de Bretagne, Comte de Clermont and Roi de Navarre (as Comte d’Evreux).

The lay peers sat on the right of the King, the ecclesiastical on the
left. New peers sat according to creation.[78]

That Charles should forbid private wars among the nobles was a
matter of course. He also made a law forbidding games of hazard. He
discouraged all books of licentious tendency and conversation of the
same kind, and gave out that those who led scandalous lives would lose
his favour and be dismissed from court. He was very angry with a young
chevalier who had, as Christine de Pisan expresses it, “instructed the
Dauphin in love and folly,” and forbade him to enter his presence, or
that of the Queen and their children; but he does not seem to have been
cruel or very severe. He would by no means allow either his nobles or
any one else to condemn their wives to perpetual imprisonment if they
were unfaithful to them, “considering the fragility of human nature,”
and was with great difficulty persuaded to allow of their being kept
under restraint if their conduct was too outrageous.

On one occasion his barber, who was shaving him, kept putting his hand
in the pouch or purse the King wore at his side and taking out money.
Charles saw what he was about and forgave him; but he repeated his
offence twice or thrice. The fourth time, the King dismissed him but
would not allow him to be put to death, as by the laws of that time he
was liable to be; because he had served him so long. Another time, “it
was in the time of the pestilence, before he was crowned,[79] as he was
entering Paris with a great company, after a great commotion in the
town which had been against him,” as he passed through a street one of
the rabble cried out, “By God, Sire! if I had been believed, you would
not have come in; but they will not do much for you.”

The Comte de Tanquarville, who rode before the King, wanted to go and
put the fellow to death, but Charles restrained him, only answering
with an indifferent smile. “They will not believe you, beau sire.” On
being told by some of the princes that he was too easy and too ready
to grant pardons, by which he encouraged crime, he replied that he
would much rather be too indulgent than too severe. He was exceedingly
charitable both to the convents and to the poor and unfortunate of all
classes, and gave away an immense amount of money.

The government of Languedoc had been entrusted by the King to the Duc
d’Anjou, the eldest and perhaps the worst of his brothers. But his rule
was so cruel and oppressive, and such commotions arose from it that
Charles interfered; forbade the executions and punishments ordered by
the Duke to be carried out, and took the government of the province
away from him. The two elder of the King’s brothers were a continual
source of uneasiness to him. Believing from his delicate health that
his own life would not be a long one, he felt a dread that was only
too well founded of what would happen if in the event of his death
the kingdom and the Dauphin should fall into their hands. He did what
he could to obviate this contingency. He fixed the majority of the
Dauphin at fourteen years of age. He gave the guardianship of him and
his brother and sisters to the Queen, her brother the Duc de Bourbon,
and his third brother the Duc de Bourgogne. The Duc d’Anjou, though
he was to be regent, was to swear on the gospels and holy relics to
govern loyally for the welfare of the kingdom and his nephew, and was
to have no jurisdiction over the town and _vicomté_ of Paris, the
towns and _baillages_ of Melun and Sens, and the whole of the duchy of
Normandy, which were to be administered for the King by his guardians
and a council; he also regulated the fortunes of his younger children.
The Princess Marie was betrothed to Guillaume de Bavière, Comte de
Hollande, et de Hainault, eldest son of the Duke of Bavaria, and the
Princess Isabelle to Jean, Duc d’Alençon. The crowns or coronets for
these little princesses and several other of their possessions appear
in a list made by order of their father.[80]

{1377}

In December, 1377, the Emperor Charles IV. came on a visit to the
King and Queen. Preparations for his reception were made on the
grandest scale. He arrived at Cambrai on Tuesday before Christmas
with his son, the King of the Romans, was met by a body of nobles
and cavaliers sent by the King to welcome him and entertained by the
Bishop. The next night he slept at the abbey of Mont St. Martin. The
Duc de Bourbon, the Comte d’Eu, cousin of the King, and the Bishops of
Beauvais and Paris came to meet him at Compiègne with three hundred
cavaliers in blue and white, the Duke’s colours. The Duc de Bourbon
entertained the whole company at supper and the next day, at Senlis,
the Emperor was met by another array of cavalry with the Dukes of
Burgundy and Berry. As he had been seized on the way with an attack of
gout, the King of France sent a litter drawn by mules and “_noblement
appareilliée_”[81] belonging to the Queen, which the Emperor received
with great satisfaction and in which he travelled to St. Denis. There
he was met by a train of prelates and dignitaries who accompanied him
to the famous church, into which, as he was not well enough to walk,
he caused himself to be carried and offered his prayers before the
altar of St. Louis. He was then carried to his room and his suite were
supplied by the Abbot with “great fish, beef, mutton, rabbits, fowls,
fodder for their horses, and abundance of wine.” Many presents were
brought by the people of the town, and the Emperor when he had rested
was carried to the treasury of the abbey, where priceless collections
of relics, crowns, and gems were displayed before him. The robes,
crowns, jewels, and everything of the kind used at the coronations were
kept by the Abbot and monks of St. Denis.

The Emperor spent that day in the Abbey, and rose very early the next
morning, January 4th, as on that day he was to go to Paris. But before
he set off he was carried again into the church, where he asked to
see the tombs of the kings, especially of Jean and of Philippe de
Valois and his wife, Jeanne de Bourgogne. For he was the son of the
gallant King of Bohemia, who died at Crécy; his sister, Bonne, was the
first wife of Jean, and he himself had been brought up in the court
of Philippe de Valois and Jeanne de Bourgogne. As he remarked, “his
youth had been nourished in their hostel and much good they had done
to him.”[82] And he called the Abbot and monks and begged them to pray
to God for the “_bons seigneurs et dames qui gisoient là_.” Then, with
much state and ceremony, he began his journey to Paris, to visit once
more the splendid scenes of those far-off days and the children of
those, who had been the friends and companions of his youth. And he
said that more than any creature on earth he desired to see the King
and Queen and their children, and then let God take him, for he would
willingly die.

The Emperor got out of his litter and entered Paris mounted on a black
horse richly caparisoned with the arms of France, sent him by the King
his nephew, who came out to meet him mounted on a tall white charger
wearing a scarlet robe, mantle and hat covered with pearls, with a
great train of nobles and chevaliers gorgeously dressed attended by
their followers wearing their liveries, the officers of the households
of the King and the Dauphin in immense numbers dressed according to
their grades. The King had sent a proclamation the day before that no
one should dare (_que nul ne fust tant hardi_) to take up the space in
the _grant rue_ by coming to the palace with carts or people, and no
one should move from the places where they had put themselves to see
the King and Emperor pass. None were allowed to come into the town,
and many of the inhabitants had to stay outside in the fields, while
sergeants-at-arms were posted in the streets, and thirty of them with
swords and maces rode before the King’s bodyguard. The King of France,
the Emperor and the King of the Romans rode into Paris side by side in
this magnificent procession, and it was three o’clock when they arrived
at the marble steps of the palace, when the Emperor, who could hardly
hold himself up from the gout, was placed in a chair covered with cloth
of gold and with much honour and ceremony conducted to the apartment
prepared for him.

It would be too long in a work like this to give the details so
minutely described and so interesting to the student of history, of the
proceedings of the next few days, during which the Emperor remained
the guest of the King of France, of the banquets with five dais one
above another in great halls where windows, ceiling, and columns were
hung with cloth of gold, of the profusion of the feasting, of the
_spectacle_ of the conquest of Jerusalem in the vast hall of the Palais
de la Cité, of the entertainments at the Louvre, Beauté and Vincennes,
offered by the King to the Emperor. It will be sufficient to relate
what is perhaps the most interesting event of his sojourn in Paris,
his visit to the Queen at the hôtel St. Paul on Sunday, January 10th.
The Emperor, accompanied by the King of France, went down to the quay
near the Louvre, where they embarked on the King’s barge and proceeded
by water to St. Pol, where they landed. They were met in the middle of
the court by the Dauphin and his brother Louis Comte de Valois, who
knelt before the King and then went to salute the Emperor. The latter
took off his hat, kissed the two boys, and was carried on in his chair
through such a throng of seigneurs, knights, and people of the Court
that the chair could hardly pass, to the _salon_ of the Queen, who was
in the midst of a great assemblage of princesses and ladies of the
court. As he sat by the Queen the Emperor kept asking for her mother,
the Duchesse de Bourbon, Isabelle de Valois, the sister of his first
wife and friend of his sister Bonne, Duchesse de Normandie, whom he had
known so well in the old days at Paris and Vincennes. She had withdrawn
to the end of the great room out of the crowd, but when she was told
that he was anxious to see her she came up to him.

Then for a moment they looked at each other in silence. The memories
of bygone days, of their own youth, of the forms and faces of the
dead came back to them and they both burst into tears, so that, as
the chronicler says, “it was a piteous thing to see.”[83] Finding it
impossible to carry on any conversation then, they deferred it till
after dinner. After the Emperor had rested in the apartment of the
Dauphin, which had been prepared for him, the Kings of France and of
the Romans dined, wine and dessert were served, and the banquet was
in the great Salle de Sens. Then Charles V. retired to his own rooms;
his brothers with the King of the Romans, who wanted to see the lions,
went to find Louis, Comte de Valois, who probably wished to go with
them, and the Duchesse de Bourbon came to the apartment of the Emperor,
her brother-in-law. For a long time they sat together, talking of old
times, as people will who were companions in childhood after being
separated for half a lifetime. Later on they were joined by the Queen
and her two little sons, and they all stayed with the Emperor till the
hour of vespers.

They brought him two beautiful dogs with the golden _fleur-de-lis_ on
their silken collars, and he gave the Queen a gold reliquary.

Towards evening the King came to fetch the Emperor as they were going
down to Vincennes and Beauté, whence the latter was to take his
departure.[84]

{1378}

It was the last fête of the court of Jeanne de Bourbon. For less than
a month afterwards, on the 4th of February, at the hôtel St. Paul,
she gave birth to a daughter, “_dont moult fut grevée de travail_.”
To allay the violence of the fever with which she was seized the
Queen insisted on being put into a cold bath, after which she became
alarmingly ill. The child was hastily baptized by the Bishop of Paris
and called after her mother’s favourite Saint Catherine. All her life
Jeanne had desired to die before her husband, and said she hoped she
would never live to be regent. She had her wish,[85] for she died in
the King’s arms February 6, 1378, about two hours before midnight.

The little Princess Isabelle died a few days after her mother, and was
buried by her side at St. Denis.

Jeanne de Bourbon was one of the most charming and spotless characters
in history. From her childish marriage to her death she does not seem
to have had an enemy or a word of blame ever attached to her. She was
always spoken of as “la belle duchesse” or “la bonne reine.” Charles
was inconsolable. He never had the frank, open nature nor the graceful
charm of manner that made some of the princes of his house adored by
their friends and subjects. Quiet and reserved, he was a man of few
but deep and lasting friendships and affections, and he was capable of
a deathless love. The loss of Jeanne broke his heart. From that day his
life was over. He never regained either health or spirits, but died
rather more than two years after at his château of Beauté at the edge
of his beloved forest.

Isabelle de Valois, Duchess-dowager de Bourbon, took charge of her
granddaughters and retired into the convent of the Cordelières at
Paris, where she ended her days.

[Illustration: Semé de France au bâton de gueules mis enbande.]



_THE REIGN OF CHARLES VI. AND ISABEAU DE BAVIÈRE_



CHAPTER I

1375-1385

  The House of Wittelsbach--Stephan von Wittelsbach and Taddea
    Visconti--Birth of Isabeau--Negotiations for her marriage--Her
    journey to Brussels--The fair of Amiens--Her interview with the
    King--Her wedding--Charles and Louis de France.


During several years after the death of Jeanne de Bourbon no Queen sat
on the throne of France, for her son succeeded as a child of twelve
years old. And it would have been difficult to find two kings and
queens more totally unlike each other in every respect than Charles le
Sage and Jeanne de Bourbon, “the sunshine of France,” were to their son
and daughter-in-law, Charles VI. and Isabeau de Bavière.

An intelligent woman of my acquaintance once remarked, on being asked
whether she considered women to be better than men, “Oh, certainly!
Much better. I know several good women, but I only know one good man.”

{1375}

It might appear as if some idea of the kind pervaded this and a
former volume, in which, with the exception perhaps of Charles V. and
Louis XII., none of the Kings of France treated of can be exactly so
described; whereas the talents, beauty, and goodness of the Queens
seem generally made evident. But all the researches into the history
of their times, from which these records are drawn, seem to prove that
during the eight reigns in question most of the Queens of France really
were distinguished for their excellent qualities, and that except the
unlucky Charlotte de Savoie they were all more or less good-looking;
Blanche de Navarre, Isabeau de Bavière, and Marie d’Anjou being
remarkably beautiful; and that at any rate Blanche de Navarre, the
three Jeannes, wives of Philippe de Valois, Jean and Charles V., and
Anne de Bretagne, were highly cultivated women, possessing superior
talents and strongly-marked characters. In Isabeau de Bavière we find
an entirely different personality.

Stephan I., Duke of Bavaria, of the ancient house of Wittelsbach, died
in 1375, leaving three sons, between whom he divided his dominions, and
from whom descend the three lines of Ingolstadt, Landshut, and Munich.

The strongest ties of affection and friendship united these three
brothers, who however, seem to have borne little resemblance to each
other.

{1383}

Stephan of Ingolstadt was short in stature, but good-looking,
high-spirited, and full of romance, his chief delight being in
love-making and warlike adventures. Friederich of Landshut, a brave,
wise, able prince, was by far the most capable member of the family,
while Johann, a rough and fearless sportsman, led a wild, jovial life
in his own court and castles, which he filled with huntsmen, hawks,
dogs, and horses.[86] From him descends the Munich line of Bavarian
princes.[87] Johann took a German wife, but Stephan and Friederich
married Taddea and Maddalena, daughters of Bernabo Visconti, one of the
chiefs of that family so renowned for splendour, power, and cruelty,
then ruling in Milan. After a few years Taddea died, and left Stephan
with a son and daughter named Ludwig and Isabeau, or Elizabeth. The
latter was born at Ingolstadt 1370 or 1371. By his second marriage he
had no children.

In all Germany, and perhaps in all Europe, there is not a more
beautiful country than Bavaria, with its lakes, mountains, forests,
and ancient castles. Here Isabeau spent her short childhood, idolized
by her father and brother, flattered and spoiled by all around her,
for her extraordinary beauty was the admiration of the court. It was a
brief childhood, for she was only about twelve years old when the first
negotiations for her marriage with the King of France were begun. Her
uncle, Friederich of Landshut, was serving in Flanders with the French
against the English army in the year 1383, just at the time when the
uncles and guardians of the young Charles VI. were looking for a wife
for him, and as his father, the late King Charles V., had desired that
he should be married to a German, and thus secure an ally to France
against England, they were hesitating between the daughters of Austria,
Lorraine, and one or two others that had been suggested, and inquired
of Duke Friederich whether there were any marriageable princess of his
family who would be suitable.

Friederich was naturally anxious not to let slip the chance of the
crown of France for one of his house; so he explained that, although he
had no children of the right age, his brother, Stephan, had a daughter
in all respects suitable, being extremely beautiful and about two years
younger than the King, and he lost no time in writing to inform his
brother of the splendid prospect which seemed to be opening before
them. But Duke Stephan, less ambitious than his brother, was in no
way elated by this proposal. He replied that, in the first place, he
did not like unequal alliances, and between himself and the King of
France the difference was too great; neither did he wish his daughter
to go so far away, but would prefer to marry her to some noble of his
own country; besides which objections, there existed a custom that a
prospective Queen of France should, like candidates for the army in
our own days, pass a sort of medical examination which was conducted
by certain matrons chosen from among the ladies of highest rank at
the French court; and to this the Duke refused to consent. He declared
that he was not going to allow either himself or his daughter to be
made ridiculous by sending her to France on an uncertainty, or to risk
the affront of her being rejected. She should stay in her own country
and marry some one nearer home. So, for the time, the negotiations were
broken off.

It was indeed most unfortunate that the very sensible decision of
Stephan was not adhered to, and also that in the one and only case in
which the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy carried out the directions of the
late King, their brother, the result should have been so deplorable. In
all other respects they disobeyed his injunctions. They brought up his
sons in opposition to his wishes, they wasted the treasure he had taken
so much time and care to collect, they impoverished the people by their
extortions, and incensed them by their misgovernment, so that they were
fast bringing France back to that state of anarchy and misery from
which she had been rescued by the wise rule of Charles V.

If Isabeau had stayed, as her father wished, at his comparatively
simple court and married some German noble, it would probably have been
much better both for France and herself; but this was not to be, for
the rest of the family and connections of that young princess strongly
disapproved of the decision of Duke Stephan, and used all their
endeavours to prevail upon him to alter it. For many generations the
numerous members of the house of Wittelsbach had married into all the
royal and ruling families of France, Burgundy, and Flanders. Amongst
others, the Duchesse de Brabant was a relation of theirs and was most
anxious for the marriage.

{1385}

In 1385, the wedding of a Bavarian prince with one of the daughters of
Philippe, Duke of Burgundy, was to be celebrated with great pomp and
rejoicings at Cambrai, in the presence of the King and the whole of the
French court. During the festivities the Duchesse de Brabant took the
opportunity of reopening the subject with the King’s uncles to whom
she pointed out all the alliances and advantages it would bring. The
princes were willing to agree to it; for they had not yet decided on
a wife for their nephew. A daughter of Lancaster had been suggested,
but this was not approved of, and they were still hesitating between
an Austrian archduchess and a princess of Lorraine, having, as they
said, received[88] no further communications from Bavaria. The duchess
promised to see about it before the end of the summer. The Duke of
Burgundy, himself closely connected with the house of Bavaria, was the
chief supporter of this alliance and entered warmly into the plans of
the Duchesse de Brabant, who succeeded in overcoming the objections
of Stephan and persuaded him to allow his daughter to pay a visit to
her and to the Duchesse de Hainault, also a relation, and then to
go with them to the fair of Amiens, where she would meet the King.
Her uncle, Duke Friederich was to take her, and in order to avoid
anything compromising to her dignity, she was to go on the pretext of
a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Jean d’Amiens, where a famous
relic was exhibited during the time this fair was going on. A painter
was sent to paint the portraits of the three princesses, _i.e._, of
Lorraine, Austria, and Bavaria. The portraits were shown to the King,
who at once chose that of Isabeau. It still hangs in the gallery of the
Louvre. She wears a red robe trimmed with fur, a tight corsage partly
of blue velvet and a high headdress ornamented with gold and jewels.

It was early summer when Isabeau took leave of her father and her
country, and set off with her uncle upon her journey. They travelled
first to Brussels, where they were warmly received by the Duchesse de
Brabant with whom they stayed three days, and then went to Quesnoy
to stay three weeks with the Duchesse de Hainault; of whom Froissart
remarks, “_La duchesse qui fut moult sage, endoctrinait tous les jours,
en toutes manières et contenances, la jeune fille de Bavière, quoique,
de sa nature, celle-ci estoit propre et pourvue de sens et de doctrine;
mais point de françois elle ne sçavoit_.”

They also made considerable changes in Isabeau’s dress, which they
declared to be far too simple for the future Queen of France. The
Duchesse de Brabant ordered an entirely new trousseau for her so that
she might be dressed as magnificently as if she had been her own
daughter, and having arranged all this she went to Amiens, where she
was joined by Isabeau under the care of the Duchesse de Hainault and
her uncle, Friederich of Landshut.

The fair of Amiens, which took place every year was one of those
mixtures of amusement and devotion so characteristic of the Middle
Ages. The relic, which they declared to be the head of St. John the
Baptist, had been brought from the siege of Constantinople by the
Crusaders in 1204; and given by a gentleman of Picardy to the church
of St. Jean d’Amiens, of which one of his brothers was a canon. It was
always shown at the time of the fair, to which all classes came in
crowds. One can form no idea of the splendour and picturesqueness of
these mediæval fairs from the squalid spectacles that survive in our
own days.

For what do we see now? Uninteresting but harmless crowds, mostly clad
in cheap, tasteless imitations of the dress of a higher rank, pressing
into shows which one cannot imagine anybody wishing to see, surrounding
long rows of monotonous booths filled with ugly, commonplace goods
that one cannot imagine anybody wishing to buy, committing no crimes
and molesting nobody. But although very few modern fairs in civilised
Europe offer anything worth buying or seeing, they were widely
different in the Middle Ages. In many towns important fairs took place
every year to which people went properly attended and protected, and
where beautiful and valuable things of all kinds were to be sold. There
the merchants brought jewels, embroideries, and costly stuffs from
Italy and the East; pictures, illuminated missals, stamped leather,
rich carvings in wood and ivory; delicately wrought cups, flagons,
bowls, and other precious works of the gold and silver smiths; weapons
of war, objects of art, and curiosities of every description. All sorts
of shows and diversions were also going on all day and far into the
night, which was the time the King and court usually went. It was a
wonderful sight: the fitful glare of torches thrown here and there
on the booths loaded with costly wares, while mingling in the throng
around might be seen gleaming armour, magnificent dresses of silk
and velvet, leather jerkins, tall caps, and peasants’ coarse woollen
gowns and tunics; dark gabled houses forming a shadowy background. Now
and then a fierce quarrel would arise, and there would be a rush and
scuffle of armed men, the glitter of swords and daggers, shouts, cries,
the fall of some and the dash of others down the dark, narrow streets
which afforded their best chance of escape. The most famous of the old
French fairs were the _Foire de Lendit_, or _Landit_, held between
Paris and St. Denis, and perhaps the most ancient of all,[89] the fairs
of St. Denis and St. Germain, which belonged to the Abbot and monks of
St. Germain-des-Près, and was held in the celebrated _Pré-aux-clercs_,
a great meadow or open space going from the Abbey to the Seine. The
fair of Amiens was a great resort of all classes at that time, and when
Isabeau with her uncle, Duke Friederich, and the Duchesse de Brabant
arrived at its gates the town was thronged with people. The King was
there with his court and a great array of nobles and ladies, besides
numbers of ecclesiastics, merchants bringing their goods on long trains
of mules, bourgeois and peasants, wandering minstrels and soldiers, so
that the whole place was a scene of bustle, excitement, and festivity,
which may well have delighted a young girl scarcely out of childhood
longing for all the pleasure and magnificence so soon to be laid at her
feet. For the King, ever since his uncles had shown him the portrait
of Isabeau had not ceased to torment them to let him see the original,
and as soon as he heard that she was really close at hand he sent two
of his favourite chevaliers, the Seigneurs de la Rivière and de la
Tremoille, to receive and conduct her with her relations and suite to
the lodgings prepared for them, and assure them of his eagerness for
the interview which had been arranged to take place on the following
day.

The Duchesses and Isabeau were delighted at all they heard from the
two chevaliers of the King’s anxiety and impatience, which promised
well for the success of the plan; the beauty of Isabeau being far
too striking to leave much doubt of the effect it would produce on a
romantic, impressionable lad, who had already fallen in love with her
picture.

The next day, Friday, the young princess was magnificently dressed,
the Duchesses of Burgundy, Brabant, and Hainault, presiding at her
toilette, after which she went with them to the King’s reception.

Charles, who had lain awake all night thinking about her, turned
eagerly towards the door as Isabeau entered, and all eyes were fixed
on her with interest and curiosity as she passed through the throng of
courtiers. It must have been a trying moment for her, though if she
felt nervous she did not show it, but only stood in silence before the
King, who hastily prevented her, as she was about to bow or kneel
before him, and raised her up with passionate admiration. All the
evening he could not take his eyes from her, and after she had left and
the reception was over no one felt any doubt of the result. The Duke
of Burgundy told La Rivière, who was going with the King to his room,
to find out while he was undressing what he wished to be done. Charles
replied: “Tell my uncle, the Duke of Burgundy, to make haste and
conclude the affair.”[90]

[Illustration: Isabeau de Baviere]

The Duke of Burgundy therefore went to the lodgings of the Duchesse
de Brabant and Princess Isabeau, and the arrangements were concluded.
The Duke, at the council, wished the wedding to be at Arras, but the
King declared he would not have any more delay, as he could neither
sleep nor rest. He sent the Princess a splendid crown, and the wedding
was celebrated at the cathedral of Amiens a few days afterwards, in
presence of the whole court, and followed by banquets and various
festivities, which lasted for some days. The wedding was so hurried on
that there was no time to finish the trousseau ordered for the young
queen.[91] And thus were two spoilt, self-willed children of fourteen
and sixteen placed at the head of what, in those days, was the most
powerful kingdom in Christendom.

Many people who have a slight acquaintance with French history picture
to themselves Charles VI. as the miserable invalid he became in
later years, and know nothing about the tall, handsome young Prince,
high-spirited, passionate, generous, and as eager for glory, as fond
of pleasure, magnificence, and love-making, as his great-grandfather
and grandfather the Kings Philippe and Jean, and his great uncle,
Duke Philippe d’Orléans. To their own father, the sickly, studious
Charles V., who hated riding, war, and rough games, but in whose
reign, nevertheless, the English invaders were driven out of France
and the French navy re-established; neither Charles VI. nor his young
brother Louis bore the slightest resemblance, except that Louis had
inherited, with the beauty and gallant grace of the Valois, the love
of books, art, and study, which distinguished Charles V.[92] By far
the most brilliant of the two brothers, he had been, at the time of
his father’s death, too young to give much indication of what he would
turn out like; indeed about the only details mentioned respecting him
are his beauty and the admiration it excited at the last great pageant
of court,[93] where just before his mother’s death the Emperor was
so splendidly received and entertained; and the devout way in which
he used to say his prayers, kneeling before the image of the Virgin.
But the hasty, impetuous temper of Charles, his incapacity for any
serious study, his excitable, unstable temperament, his passion for
pleasure and display, had been an anxiety and grief to his father,
who recognised in the boy all the qualities, attractions, and faults
of his race, which had already been so fatal to France. In fact, as
it often happens, the lad was everything his father did not want him
to be, and Charles V., as long as he lived, used every means in his
power to counteract the tendencies which he considered so dangerous.
He forbade any love-stories to be told to the Dauphin, and when on one
occasion one of the gentlemen of his household disobeyed this order,
dismissed him.[94] He gave him the best tutors that could be found,
and tried to influence and educate him by constant supervision. At
the earliest age his tutor observed his delight in anything that had
to do with war, and his father, probably seeing that he would never
make a scholar or statesman, and thinking that he might perhaps become
a great leader and soldier, encouraged this taste. One day he showed
him the royal treasury of crowns, jewels, and objects of inestimable
value, telling him to choose whatever he liked for himself. The child
looked around and pointed to a sword which hung up in a corner of the
room, and which was given to him accordingly. Some days afterwards, at
a state banquet, the King caused to be placed before him a soldier’s
casque and a magnificent crown of gold and precious stones, asking
which he would like best--to be crowned King with the one, or to wear
the other amidst the dangers of war. Without hesitation the Dauphin
replied, “Monseigneur, I like the casque better than the crown.” This
answer delighted the nobles, who, amidst acclamations of loyalty, swore
to serve and defend the boy whenever he should become their King, after
which Charles V. ordered the casque and sword to be hung up by the
Dauphin’s bed, and a little suit of armour and weapons to be made for
him,[95] that so gallant a spirit might be encouraged. If Charles V.
and Jeanne de Bourbon had lived to look after their sons it seems most
likely that the ruin and misery which fell upon them and upon France
might have been averted.

For many years Charles V. had felt sure that his life would not be a
long one; but his hope was that the Queen, who had good health, would
survive him and would be guardian to the children, her brother, Louis
de Bourbon--called “the good Duke Louis”--being always at hand to help
her. After the irreparable calamity of her death, and finding his own
health rapidly breaking up, he did what he could for his children by
making the Duc de Bourbon guardian to the young King and his brother,
and by preventing the Duc d’Anjou, who, as the eldest of his brothers,
had to be regent, from having more power than he could help. The Ducs
de Berry and Bourgogne were also joined in the government of the
country and the young princes. With many misgivings he entreated them
to carry out his directions and to bring up the King properly; nearly
his last words to them on the subject having been, “_Soignez-le, mes
frères, et prenez grande attention de le bien former à la royauté, car
l’enfant est jeune et de l’esprit léger_.”[96]

Those princes did nothing of the kind. It is true that the Princess
Catherine was given into the sole charge of her grandmother, the old
Duchesse de Bourbon, who since the Queen’s death had lived a saintly
life at the convent of St. Marcel; but Charles and Louis were brought
up together at the hôtel St. Paul in an atmosphere of flattery, folly,
and corruption, which was eventually fatal to them both. The three
brothers of the late King were eager to secure for themselves all the
power and wealth they could seize, and would not listen to the Duc de
Bourbon, who, as personal guardian only, and not a brother of the late
King, had less power and could not oppose them. The lives led by the
two boys were what in our own days would be called fast for a man ten
years older, and eventually resulted in the madness of Charles and the
death of Louis. The aim of their uncles was to keep them ignorant,
so that the reins of government might remain as long as possible in
their own hands. In this they only partly succeeded, as Louis was very
clever and fond of study, but Charles hated books, application, or
restraint of any kind. They both rode well and were good at all sorts
of games and sports, and the people, who had respected Charles V. and
adored Jeanne de Bourbon, now bestowed all their affection on their
young King, who was called Charles le Bien-Aimé. To the end of his
unfortunate career he never lost either this name or the affection of
his people, for although he was hot-tempered and imperious, so that he
would never bear the slightest opposition, he was brave, open-handed,
kind-hearted, and had those free, pleasant, courteous manners that go
farther in gaining friends--everywhere, but most especially amongst
the lower classes--than a host of benefits and virtues. He was very
faithful and affectionate to his friends, never forgot the names of the
humblest people,[97] but was always polite and ready to talk to any
one about anything.[98] And amidst the roughness and cruelty of the
times it is interesting to come upon the note of a sum paid to _Colin
le serrurier_ for an iron _fleur-de-lis_ to hang upon a stag, which had
been hunted by the King, had taken refuge in a stable at Choisy, and
had been allowed by him to return to the forest--an example of mercy
which might well be placed before many people in the present day who
ought to be civilised enough not to require it.

The King’s marriage and the beauty of Isabeau delighted the people, and
if she had possessed the sense, talents, and good qualities of other
queens whose histories have been recorded in these volumes, a great
career would indeed have been open before her. Advised and supported
by the Duc de Bourbon and the old friends and counsellors of Charles
V., she could have retained her influence over the King and held the
reins of government when they dropped from his hands. The voice of the
nation would have been with her, for it was weary of the oppression
and cruelty of the princes; and most of the fierce feuds and bloodshed
that came from the incapacity and vices of all the chief members of the
royal family need never have happened.



CHAPTER II

1385-1389

  The Royal Family and Court of France--Birth and death of Charles
    and Jeanne de France--Dress and amusements--The Abbey of St.
    Denis--Knighthood of the King of Sicily--The ball--The Duchesse
    de Berry--Valentine Visconti.


When Isabeau arrived at the French court the chief members of the royal
family were the King, his brother Louis, Comte de Valois, and Duc de
Touraine, who, though only fourteen, was already a soldier, having
fought at the King’s side in the battle of Rosebecques, in Flanders,
when he was scarcely twelve years old, wearing a small suit of armour
he had insisted on having made on purpose; and the little Princess
Catherine,[99] who lived with her grandmother at St. Marcel but came
often to Vincennes and the other palaces of her brother. Next in rank
were the two uncles of the King, the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy, who,
with the Duc de Bourbon, were now regents and guardians of the King and
kingdom, for the Duc d’Anjou had been adopted as her heir by Giovanna,
Queen of Naples and Sicily, and had left France for his new inheritance
two or three years before. Chief among the princesses were the famous
Queen Blanche of Navarre, widow of Philippe de Valois, the King’s
great-grandfather; Blanche, Duchesse d’Orléans, widow of Philippe, the
King’s great uncle, and daughter of Charles IV., the last king of the
elder Capétienne House; and Marguérite, Duchesse de Bourgogne, the
heiress of Flanders, wife of the last Capétien and the first Valois
Dukes of Burgundy.[100] In the case of the two last-named princesses,
Charles left his young wife at Creil when, a few days after their
wedding, he started for Flanders to make war upon the contumacious city
of Gand, or Ghent. He returned in September and conducted the Queen to
Paris; but they did not then make a state entry into the capital, as
was usual on such occasions.

{1385}

Although the majority of the King had been fixed at fourteen years
by his father, who considered a boy at that age a less objectionable
ruler for France than the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy; they had
managed to keep the government in their hands until now. But Charles
was exceedingly tired of their interference and strongly urged on by
Louis and Isabeau, resolved to get rid of them. He observed one day to
his brother: “_Beau frère, il est temps que je gouverne comme a fait
mon père, et je ne veux souffrir mie l’autorité et volonté des beaux
oncles de Berry et Bourgogne le peuple aussi trop fort s’en plaint
et souffre de leurs faits._”[101] And shortly afterwards he informed
his two uncles, much to their consternation, that he intended for the
future to govern his own kingdom. But he took care to keep with him
his uncle Louis, Duc de Bourbon, whom he loved. The frank, loyal,
affectionate, and sympathetic nature of the Duke, his chivalrous
tastes, and the really paternal care with which he had watched over
his nephews, had won their warmest affection[102]; and now that his
influence was no longer weakened by their other uncles, immediate
reforms were the result of his wise counsels. Taxes were reduced,
certain corrupt officials dismissed, a truce of three years was made
with the English, the trusty Juvenal des Ursins was made provost of
Paris, and all these measures were received with unqualified approval
throughout the kingdom.

{1386}

The extravagance of the court, and especially of the royal family,
prevented any improvements of this kind from lasting long. No queen
before her had ever been consumed by such a passion for dress,
luxury, and pleasure, as Isabeau de Bavière; never had such boundless
extravagance been seen, even at the brilliant court of the Valois.[103]
Towards the end of September of the year after the marriage of Charles
and Isabeau, a son was born to them at the château de Beauté, the
favourite resort of Charles V., on the edge of the forest of Vincennes.
The birth of the Dauphin was, as usual, received with acclamations,
and proclaimed by couriers all over the kingdom. It was also usual on
such occasions that the King and Queen should endow churches, remit
taxes and debts, and distribute alms to the poor. But they did none
of these things, and when, shortly after, the little Dauphin Charles
died, every one said that was the reason, especially as during all that
autumn there were frightful storms, and it was said[104] that many
crows had been seen flying about, dropping hot ashes from their beaks
on the thatched roofs of barns, of which many were set on fire.[105]

{1387}

It was the eve of the Holy Innocents when the Dauphin died, and he was
carried that night by torchlight, with a grand procession of nobles, to
St. Denis, and buried there in the chapel of his grandfather, Charles
V. A daughter was Isabeau’s next child, born at the Louvre in 1387. She
was called Isabelle, and married Richard II., King of England. In 1388
was born a second daughter, Jeanne, at the Maison Royale de St. Ouen,
_à l’heure de prime_. She died in infancy.

In his interesting study of Isabeau de Bavière, M. Vallet de Viriville
says that in the portrait painted of her in 1383 we see a young girl
“_qui rayonnait d’innocence: telle elle était sortie des mains de
l’universel auteur_,”[106] and goes on to ask by what means she could
have fallen from such a height to such a depth of infamy. But it seems
improbable that this description could ever have applied to Isabeau de
Bavière. Except that she was remarkably beautiful, we hear very little
about her childhood. The chroniclers of her father’s court indeed said
that she possessed admirable beauty, elegant manners, and exquisite
virtue. But at the time this was written, Isabeau was probably twelve
or thirteen years old; and could hardly have done any great good or
harm. During her whole career, beginning at the day when, at fourteen
years old, she became Queen of France, there does not seem to have
been any great difference in her way of going on; by which we may
gather that she was one of the sort of women one meets every now and
then who are always surrounded with a turmoil of quarrels, discredit,
and difficulties caused by themselves, into which everybody who goes
near them is sure to be drawn. We meet them in novels, we meet them
in history, we meet them in real life; and when we do, we know that
there will be no more peace till they are gone. But, fortunately, we
do not meet them as powerful and irresponsible rulers, like Isabeau
de Bavière. And we can perhaps imagine what a calamity such a head of
society was for France.

Inordinately vain, selfish, capricious, too shallow either really to
love or hate, extravagant and yet avaricious, with no sense and no
scruples, this young girl, scarcely out of childhood, not knowing
a word of French, and having been brought up in the distant castle
of a Bavarian noble, was suddenly placed at the head of the court
of France, the gayest and most splendid in Europe, with every one
at her feet, her will supreme except for the nominal control of a
dissipated, extravagant boy only two years older than herself, and
very much in love with her. Isabeau began by introducing many foolish
and exaggerated fashions in dress which, with all their richness, had
neither the grace nor the distinction of the costume of the last two
or three reigns. For instance, she increased the height of the tall
headdresses called _hennins_ so enormously that those who wore them
could not get through the doors without stooping; some of them also had
horns. Very long pointed open sleeves were worn, large wide sashes of
silk or cloth of silver, and a _surcot_, which was a sort of garment
something like a chasuble. Sometimes the _surcots_ had slits and
openings to show the dress underneath, of which the preachers loudly
complained. These _surcots_ had been worn in the former reigns. Dogskin
and chamois-skin boots and gloves lined with fur were also worn. One of
the court costumes was a _surcot_ open at the sides and a corsage of
cloth of gold.[107] Evening dresses were worn for the first time open
at the neck and bosom, and arms were no longer blazoned upon the robes.

As to men’s dress, the Valois had made a great change about the middle
of the fourteenth century. Long tunics were quite done away with, and
they now wore short doublets and _justaucorps_ reaching to the knee,
hoods with long points hanging down to the loins, round or pointed
hats with plumes and brims looped up behind, cloaks with scolloped
edges, open in front or behind, _chausses_, a kind of stockings of a
different colour for each leg and sometimes with soles to them instead
of shoes. Shoes were still worn with points to the toes.[108]

The doublets and _justaucorps_ were of silk or velvet, and sometimes
padded with wadding so as not to wrinkle; and worn with jewelled
girdle, dagger, and purse. They cut their hair short, and wore
pointed beards. Charles VI. wore short jackets with large sleeves
and short tunic. One of the most costly, fashionable, and, it would
seem, comfortable garments was the _houppelande_, worn both by men
and women. This was an enormously long trailing robe or mantle with
loose sleeves, made of cloth, silk, or velvet, and trimmed with fur
and rich embroideries; high collar and gold chains.[109] It had not
hitherto been customary for the King himself to take part in the games
and sports which were the delight of the court, but Charles who had of
course as Dauphin been too young to ride in joustes and tournaments,
had no idea of being for ever deprived of his favourite amusement, but
distinguished himself in the lists like the other young chevaliers of
his court.

The King’s uncles (brothers of Charles V.) were, as has been before
observed, most deplorable guides and guardians to their nephews and
France. The Duc de Bourgogne was by far the best, as he had many noble
qualities, and his overwhelming pride and ambition were at any rate not
unsuitable to a great soldier and the most powerful prince in France.
The favourite son and brother of the two last kings, he had stood
by his father’s side at Poitiers at thirteen years old, fighting to
the last, had been carried prisoner with him to England, and had been
rewarded by the promise of the duchy of Burgundy, which was accordingly
conferred on him by his brother, Charles V. At the coronation of his
nephew, he had insisted on taking precedence of his elder brother, the
Duc d’Anjou, much to the indignation of that prince; as he contended
that the duchy of Burgundy made him the premier peer of France. He had
married the heiress of Flanders, widow at eleven years old of Philippe
de Rouvre, Duc de Bourgogne, and with that haughty and determined
princess he lived on terms of such unbroken affection and confidence
as to be the wonder of the court. He was much influenced by her, and,
unlike most of the princes, no illegitimate child was ever recognised
as his.[110]

The Duc de Berry, without the great qualities of his brother, was
greedy after money, and a cruel oppressor of the people, but he spent
what he wrung from them with royal magnificence in art, literature,
splendid palaces, and a great household.

The Duc d’Anjou was the handsomest of the brothers, and the most
unpopular, for he was just as cruel and extortionate as the Duc de
Berry, and did not spend his money in Paris, but hoarded it up with
a view to providing the means of securing that Italian kingdom of
which he had always been dreaming, and to which every one in France
rejoiced when he had gone. But he died in 1385, and his widow, Marie de
Bretagne, Queen-dowager of Sicily, was now at Paris with her two young
sons, Louis II. and Charles, whose guardian she was.

{1389}

In the early part of 1389, the Pope sent word to her that an attempt
was being made by another claimant to get possession of the kingdom of
Sicily. She went at once to her nephew, asking for help, which Charles
was always ready to give on an occasion of this kind, and before the
young King of Sicily and his brother started for that country he
resolved to give a magnificent fête in honour of their knighthood.

Great were the preparations for this ceremonial. Proclamations were
made and invitations issued all over France, England, and Germany.
It was arranged that the fêtes should be at St. Denis, the place
around which have gathered for centuries the grandest, holiest, and
most solemn associations of the history of France. Founded in 630 by
Dagobert, the splendid church was restored and decorated by its great
Abbot,[111] Suger, in 1140. There, according to pious tradition, were
transported and buried the remains of St. Denis the martyr, there
hung the oriflamme, the flame-coloured banner which had so often led
the chivalry of France to victory, there were the tombs of the kings,
queens, and royal family from Dagobert downwards, there, at the feet of
Charles V., was soon to be laid the hero Du Guesclin. The splendour of
the treasure of St. Denis, which had delighted the eyes of the Emperor
Charles IV., was unsurpassed. Gold and silver statues, crucifixes,
and altar plate set with precious stones, books covered with gold and
silver, written in letters of gold and ornamented with gems, gorgeous
vestments, royal crowns of gold and jewels, the golden sceptre and
sword of Charlemagne, the hand of justice, golden spurs, and coronation
robes, all were in the keeping of the Abbot of St. Denis, who was
independent of any other jurisdiction, and one of the greatest nobles
in France. Pope Stephen III. granted to the monks of this great house
the privilege of electing one from their number to be consecrated
Bishop and receive the power of exercising all episcopal functions
in the abbey. The Abbots of St. Denis were also permitted to wear
the ring, mitre, and crozier, and the pontifical vestments when they
celebrated mass, which on certain high festivals was sung in Greek.
From the kings they had the right to pardon criminals, coin money, and
hold fairs and markets, and to sit as councillors in the parliament
of Paris. Their right, recognised by Louis le Gros, to the country of
the Vexin, gave them the oriflamme,[112] which belonged to it, and
the war-cry of their feudal castle, “_Montjoie Saint Denis_,” was the
war-cry of France.

Those delightful and invaluable historical works, the “Grandes
Chroniques de France,” were written by the monks of St. Denis; of
whom one used to be chosen by the abbot to go about with the court
on purpose to write them. After the invention of printing they were
arranged and printed by the Benedictine Jean Chartier, 1496.[113]

The ceremony of conferring knighthood was one of the most interesting
and characteristic of the many spectacles of the Middle Ages. In
a former volume relating to the French court were described the
magnificent fêtes given by Philippe le Bel on the occasion of the
knighthood of his three sons and the young Princes of Burgundy, the
fame of which had spread all over Christendom. Charles and Isabeau
determined that there should be no falling off either in the splendour
or the diversions of those they were about to give. During the
seventy-six years that had elapsed between those festivities and the
ones now in question, wealth and luxury had greatly increased, there
was more general cultivation and no gloomy figure severely moral and
remorselessly cruel cast a shadow, like Philippe le Bel, upon the
universal rejoicing.

The Queen, the ladies of the court, and princes of the blood, were to
lodge in the abbey itself, which was well suited to receive them. The
refectory was of enormous size, with two naves divided by a colonnade,
the windows were filled with the most gorgeous stained glass and
the tables were of stone. In the cloister was an ancient fountain
thirty-six feet in circumference, with sculptured figures from heathen
mythology, and over it a vault raised on sixteen columns, mostly of
marble, which had been put there by Hugues VI. the forty-second abbot,
1197.[114]

A huge wooden hall was built for the occasion in the courtyard of the
abbey. It was covered with white outside, lined with white and green
and decorated with tapestries and cloth of gold. In it was a large
dais, and outside a place for tournaments with wooden galleries for
the ladies to look on at the spectacle. On Saturday, May 1st, about
sunset, the King arrived, and soon after the Queen of Sicily in an open
car accompanied by the princes of the blood, her two sons, the King of
Sicily, then about twelve years old, and his brother rode by her side
in long grey robes without any gold or ornament, carrying pieces of
the same stuff rolled up on their saddles as if for a journey, after
an ancient custom of esquires. They escorted their mother to the abbey
and then proceeded to the priory de l’Estrée, where they undressed and
bathed. At nightfall they went to salute the King, who took them to
the church, where they put on the dress of knighthood. It was of red
silk lined with vair, long robes and mantles down to the ground, but no
covering on the head. Then a great procession was formed, a _cortège_
of nobles going before and behind the young King of Sicily, who walked
between the Dukes of Burgundy and Touraine, and his brother, who was
accompanied by the Duc de Bourbon and Pierre de Navarre, Comte de
Mortaigne.

After prayers before the holy relics the procession returned with the
same state to the great banquet, after which the King went to bed and
the King of Sicily and his brother returned to the church to pass the
night in prayer and watching before the altar according to the ancient
usage. But young as the children were, and tired with the journey and
the fatigues of all these ceremonies, it was evident that they would
not be able to sit up all night in church saying prayers, so after a
little while they were fetched away to rest until daybreak, when they
had to go back; and later in the morning came the imposing function
in the church. It was crowded with the courtiers and nobles, all the
monks were also present, and when the rest were assembled a door was
opened out of the cloisters and two of the chief esquires of the King’s
household appeared carrying drawn swords and golden spurs, and followed
by the King himself in his royal robes and mantle, accompanied by the
two young princes.

Immediately after came the Queens of France and Sicily with their
ladies. A solemn mass was then sung, at the conclusion of which the
bishop approached the King, and the two boys knelt before him and
demanded admission to knighthood. The King received their vows, girded
on their swords, and commanded M. de Chauvigny to put on their spurs,
the Bishop gave them his blessing, and the picturesque and touching
ceremony was at an end.

Every one returned to the abbey, where there was a grand banquet, in
fact two, for the monk of St. Denis who gives the account of it says
that they dined and supped in the banqueting hall with the King and
court and then danced all night.

It may interest some people to know that a granddaughter of the elder
of these boys was the famous and unfortunate Marguérite d’Anjou, wife
of Henry VI., King of England.

For four days and nights joustes and tournaments went on, at which the
Queen gave away the prizes; followed by banquets and balls. The court
was in a frenzy of excitement and the fêtes ended with a masked ball
more splendid than any, but so licentious and disorderly that of the
brilliant crowds that thronged the torch-lighted halls and wandered in
the dim, tapestried galleries and rooms of the great abbey, it has been
asserted that few escaped the perils of that night of wild, lawless
revelry; and the monk of Saint Denis declares that the scenes enacted
there desecrated the holiness of the place.[115] A liaison between
Isabeau and her brother-in-law the Duc de Touraine was said to be one
of the results, and it has certainly been the general opinion that
whether or not it originated on that occasion, there could be only one
explanation to the relations which from that time until the death of
the Duke continued to exist between them.

It is true that M. Jarry[116] in his interesting work on Louis
d’Orléans observes that this has never been proved, and that M. Vallet
de Viriville makes the same remark; but he adds “_Tout le dit, rien
ne le prouve. Louis, duc d’Orléans, etait le vice aimable. Pour cette
fille d’Ève, si prête à faillir et trop aisée à charmer, il eut la
séduction du Tentateur_.”[117] Louis was one of the handsomest, most
fascinating, and most dissipated men in France, and his liaisons were
innumerable. It was said that he wore a magic ring, and that as long
as it was on his finger no woman could resist him. It was, in fact, a
reproach made by his enemies that he wore it in the Holy Week. Between
such a man as this and a woman like Isabeau, can any one believe that
the most constant, intimate, and unrestrained companionship was likely
to be of a different nature from what was universally believed?

It may here be remarked that the order of knighthood did not in itself
confer the right to raise a banner. This privilege belonged only to
such gentlemen as bore the rank of “_chevalier banneret_” and owned
enough land to enable them to support it. The others were called
“_chevalier bachelier_” and bore a pennon or small pointed flag,
whereas the banner was square. If a _chevalier bachelier_ were raised
to be a _chevalier banneret_, he had first to prove that his property
was sufficient to qualify him for that dignity. When Sir John Chandos,
after having long held high military command, though not a knight
banneret, asked the Black Prince for the right to raise a banner, he
said, “Thank God I have enough and to spare in lands and in inheritance
to keep up that rank as it is fitting.”

The next thing of importance that happened at court was a most absurd
marriage made by the Duc de Berry, which, however, seems to have turned
out very well.

There was a certain Eléonore, daughter and heiress of the Comte de
Comminges, who had married the son of that Comte de Boulogne et
d’Auvergne, to whom those two provinces had fallen after the death of
the young Philippe de Rouvre and the end of the Capétienne house of
Burgundy, which, as will be remembered, took place in the reign of Jean.

The marriage of Eléonore de Comminges turned out unhappily, so she
resolved to leave her husband, whose prodigality and neglect she could
not bear any longer, and take refuge with her uncle, the Comte d’Urgel,
who was a son of the King of Aragon. Taking her only child, a girl of
three years old, she contrived to escape out of the dominions of her
father-in-law and journeyed south towards those of her uncle. On the
way she passed near Orthez, a castle of the famous Gaston, Comte de
Foix, who was a cousin of hers and of whom she asked hospitality.

Now Gaston Phœbus was that Comte de Foix whose deeds have been
described in the life of Blanche de Navarre. He was separated from
his wife, the Princess Agnes of Navarre, who had gone back to her own
family. He was supposed to have stabbed his only legitimate son in
a fit of rage, and he now lived with several illegitimate sons and
a mistress who was one of the chief causes of the departure of the
Princess Agnes.

But he was a man of many and varied talents; passionately fond of
music, a great soldier, an excellent governor of the province entrusted
to him by Charles V., and a powerful ally and friend to any one he
liked. He received his cousin with great kindness and affection and
into his ears she poured the history of her wrongs; her anger against
her husband and her resolve to obtain the restitution of Comminges, her
inheritance, which had been wrongfully seized by the Comte d’Armagnac.
As to her husband, she said, “he cares nothing about it, he is _trop
mal chevalier_, all he cares for is to eat, drink, and waste his
property; if he got Comminges he would only sell it for his follies,
and besides, I cannot live with him. With great trouble I have taken
and extracted my daughter out of the hands and country of my husband’s
father, and I have brought her to you to ask you to be her guardian and
take care of her. Her father will be rejoiced when he knows she is with
you, for he told me he had doubts about her birth.”

Gaston de Foix, who seems to have taken a fancy to the child, willingly
agreed, and his cousin continued her journey, leaving the child,
who was from that time brought up by him as his own daughter in his
castle.[118]

The Comtesse d’Auvergne occasionally came to see her daughter, but she
always lived with her adopted father. At the time we are now concerned
with, the Duc de Berry, who was a widower, and nearly fifty years of
age, attracted by the riches and beauty of the child, now twelve years
old, wanted to marry her, much to the disapprobation of the King, who
thought it ridiculous. “Bel oncle,” he said, “what can you want with
a child (_une fillette_) like that? She is only twelve years old and
you are fifty! It is absurd for you to think of such a thing. Ask for
her for my cousin Jean, your son, who is of a proper age for her; the
affair would be much more suitable for him than for you.”

To which the Duke replied that he had already done so, but the Comte de
Foix would not hear of it, as, by his late mother, Jean descended from
the Comtes d’Auvergne, whom he hated; and that if the child were too
young the marriage could remain a form for three or four years, until
she was grown up.

The King laughed, again advised him not to proceed with the matter, but
said that as he persisted he would see to it. Therefore he sent Bureau
de la Rivière to treat with the Comte de Foix, to whom the Duke gave
3,000 francs for his care of the young girl, who was quite ready to
be Duchesse de Berry, did not care a bit for the age of the Duke, but
was delighted to marry so exalted a personage as the King’s uncle. The
Comte de Foix sent her with an escort of five hundred lances, she was
met by five hundred more with litters, chariots, and splendid dresses
sent by the Duc de Berry, to whom she was married amid much festivity
in presence of her father and other great nobles. And thus was an aunt
of twelve years old added to the youthful royal family of France.

The Duc de Berry was delighted with the little Duchess, so were the
King and Queen; she became an immense favourite at court, seems to have
got on extremely well with the Duke and to have thoroughly enjoyed
herself in her new life. She always expressed her gratitude to Bureau
de la Rivière for bringing about her marriage, and, as will be seen
later, he had every reason to congratulate himself that he had done so.
When, after many years, the Duc de Berry died and she married again,
she was not happy with her new husband and soon left him.

Just after this marriage came that of Louis, Duc de Touraine with
Valentine Visconti, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti and Isabelle de
France, and consequently cousin both to the King and Queen. For it will
be remembered that the Queen’s mother was a Visconti; while Isabelle de
France was that little daughter of King Jean who was married so much
against her will to Gian Galeazzo Visconti, but who had lived in Italy
in great magnificence and honour; for the Visconti were delighted with
the alliance, and the birth of her daughter (who was also granddaughter
to the King of France) was received with great rejoicings all over the
dominions of her father-in-law. Isabelle died in 1373, and Valentine
was for a long time the only child of her father, as none of Isabelle’s
three sons grew to manhood, and when, seven years later, he married
Caterina Visconti, no children were born to them for eight years.
Valentine, therefore, was a great heiress, and was sought in marriage
all over Europe. But Gian Galeazzo, a quiet, rather shy man of studious
tastes, always surrounded with ecclesiastics and learned men from
all countries, would not part with the daughter who was his constant
companion. For Valentine was clever and fond of learning, she read and
spoke Latin, French, and German, and shared in the literary pursuits of
her father and the cultivated circle in which they lived. A mysterious
and sinister reputation hung over Gian Galeazzo Visconti. He was said
to carry his researches beyond the lawful limits of human knowledge. It
was whispered that the death of his uncle, Bernabo Visconti, might be
traced to a subtle poison administered at his instigation, and what at
that time caused even more terror than that of poison and assassination
was the suspicion of sorcery that clung to him and attached itself
afterwards to his daughter and even his son-in-law. In spite of the
roughness, cruelty, and callousness prevailing in those days north of
the Alps, the French regarded the Italians with feelings of mingled
fear, curiosity, and admiration. The glory of Italian art, the
splendour of Italian cities, the superior comfort and luxury of life in
those immense palaces in that delicious climate, the fearful deeds done
in the dungeons of the Italian tyrants, the learning and wisdom of the
scholars and students who pored by day over books and manuscripts and
watched the heavens from tower and loggia on starry, southern nights,
who knew how to read their future from the stars and to destroy their
enemies with a ring or a bunch of flowers; all this took firm hold on
the imagination of their northern neighbours, and made them look upon
Italy as a land full of romance, mystery, and supernatural dangers.

Valentine was twenty years of age when, in 1386, her father consented
to her betrothal to the brother of the King of France. The marriage was
much desired by the French as, besides Valentine’s enormous fortune, it
would bring back to France the county of Vertus, the dowry of Isabelle,
and also give her Asti, a whole province of towns, villages, and
castles, which would be a footing for the French in Italy.

It was not until the summer of 1389 that Valentine left her father
on her journey to France. It was afterwards reported at Paris that
the Duke of Milan said to her, “Fair daughter, when I see you again I
trust you will be Queen of France;” but this is probably untrue, more
especially as Gian Galeazzo, who had kept her as long as he could, rode
with her out of the gates of Pavia and then turned, without a word
of farewell, and rode silently back, not daring to look once more
into her beloved face. In the saddest of her tragic life Valentine
remembered with tears that silent parting.[119]

The King, Queen, Duc de Touraine, all the princes and the whole court
were waiting at Melun, where the marriage was celebrated with suitable
magnificence and much festivity. Valentine fell deeply in love with
the Duc de Touraine, although he was five years younger than herself.
She was not remarkably handsome, but very attractive, and in spite of
the perpetual infidelities of Louis her devotion to him never changed,
and she also lived on good terms with the Queen, notwithstanding the
disposition of Isabeau to entertain for her a jealousy which might well
have been reversed. Isabeau was then eighteen, in the height of her
beauty, the idol of the court and people, all the more as she was again
_enceinte_, and the hopes of every one were fixed on the birth of a
Dauphin.

Valentine was as superior to Isabeau as light to darkness. Ambitious,
cultivated, with brilliant intellectual powers, strong both to love and
hate, brave and gentle, no shadow of reproach rests on her name.

The King took a great fancy to her and used to call her his beloved
sister. She and Louis seem to have got on very harmoniously and
affectionately together on the whole, by which one must conclude she
must have been a woman of extraordinary tact and patience in some
matters.

She brought with her a most gorgeous trousseau of clothes and jewels;
amongst her many dresses was a scarlet one sewn thick with pearls and
diamonds, and a cap of scarlet and pearls for the hair; another of gold
brocade with sleeves and headdress of woven pearls.[120]



[Illustration]

CHAPTER III

1389-1392

  State entry of Isabeau into Paris--Magnificent fêtes--Southern
    tour of Charles and Louis--Bad health of Charles--Bonne
    d’Artois and Jean de Clermont--Dreadful storm--Birth of
    Dauphin--Death of Blanche, Duchesse d’Orléans--Pierre de Craon
    and the Constable de Clisson--Madness of the King.


Although it was now four years since her marriage with Charles VI.,
Isabeau had never been crowned; and although she had of course often
been in Paris, she had not made any ceremonial entry into that city.

But she had no idea of giving up the honours usually conferred on the
Queens of France; and the King, always delighted at the idea of any
new festival, made inquiries as to how these state entries had been
arranged in the times of his predecessors, so that nothing might be
wanting in magnificence on the present occasion.

There was one member of the royal family who was considered a great
authority on these and many other matters. The famous Blanche de
Navarre, although she had been Queen-dowager for forty-one years and
was the widow of the King’s great-grandfather, Philippe de Valois, was
only about fifty-nine years old, had been in her youth the brightest
star of the Valois court, and all her life one of the most brilliant,
powerful, and popular women of her century.[121] To her Charles applied
for advice, and into her hands he gave authority to regulate every
detail of the whole ceremony. She consulted the records kept at St.
Denis, and from those and her own recollections she arranged one of the
most splendid pageants known to history.

{1389}

The Queen went from Melun to St. Denis, where she stayed two days until
the royal family and court were assembled. On Sunday, August 17th, at
midday, the procession started for Paris. Isabeau, dressed in a silk
robe covered with golden _fleur-de-lis_, was in a gorgeous open litter,
followed by Queen Blanche, the Duchesses of Burgundy, Berry, and Bar,
the Comtesse de Nevers, and the Dame de Coucy, all in their litters.
The royal dukes on horseback surrounded the Queen’s litter, and among
them rode Valentine, Duchesse de Touraine, on a horse covered with
trappings embroidered with gold. Each litter was escorted by a troop of
cavaliers, and burghers dressed in red and green, and mounted on horses
with trappings of the same colours, lined the road from St. Denis to
Paris, from the gates of which issued a brilliant crowd, shouting,
“Vive le roi! Vive la reine! Noël! Noël!”

The _cortège_ entered Paris by the Porte aux Peintres into the rue
St. Denis, which was draped from top to bottom with crimson and green
covered with gold stars. At every turn was some new spectacle. As
Isabeau entered Paris she passed under an artificial sky, with clouds,
stars, the three Persons of the Trinity, and a troop of children
dressed like angels, two of whom descended singing a verse in her
honour, and placed a crown of gold and jewels on her head; and as she
passed over one of the bridges which had been covered with silken
curtains, they were suddenly divided, and a man with another crown
flew down a cord from the tower of Notre Dame, and flew up again
with a lighted torch in each hand, which, as it was already getting
dark, could be seen by all Paris. Wine was flowing all day and night
from fountains and taps in the streets and _carrefours_; in open-air
theatres plays and “mysteries” were acted, the houses were hung
with rich stuffs and costly tapestries. The procession had stopped
at St. Lazare, where the Queen put on her crown and the princesses
and duchesses their coronets, the princes of the blood and nobles
dismounting and ranging themselves by the litters of the Queen and
ladies; then proceeding to Notre Dame they entered the church, made
a short prayer, and went on to the Palais de la Cité, where they
supped.[122]

Next day the King in his royal robes, scarlet mantle glittering with
jewels, and crown on his head, entered the chapel of the Palais. The
Queen, also covered with scarlet and jewels, and with her hair flowing
on her shoulders, knelt before the altar, saluted the King, mounted on
to a high dais covered with cloth of gold, and was anointed and crowned
by the Archbishop of Rouen.[123]

Then there was a splendid fête in the great hall of the Palais de la
Cité, the most ancient of all the palaces of the Kings of France. This
hall was considered one of the largest and finest in the world. It was
paved with black and white marble and panelled and vaulted with wood,
rows of columns went down it, decorated with gold and blue and adorned
with the statues of the Kings of France; those who were distinguished
and fortunate having their hands raised, while the hands of those who
were bad rulers, weak, or unlucky hung down. At one end, going right
down it, was an enormous table, so long, so wide, and so thick that it
was said that never were there such huge blocks of marble as those of
which it was composed. It stood there for hundreds of years, and was
used for great banquets. At it dined only Emperors, Kings, and other
Princes and Princesses of the blood royal, peers of France and their
wives; the rest of the nobles and courtiers sat at other tables. This
huge table was also used as a stage for the _clercs de la Basoche_ for
their plays and mummeries during two or three hundred years.[124]

It was very hot, and there was a great crowd at the joustes and
banquet, the Queen and several of the ladies nearly fainted. The King
ordered a barrier to be broken down to let in air, and the tables
withdrawn (“levées”) to let them go out “without wine or spices”
(dessert).

The King, who took no part in the entry, which was in honour of the
Queen alone, had nevertheless managed to amuse himself very well, and
had seen the whole spectacle in disguise. “Savoisy,” he said to his
chamberlain, “I want you to get on a good horse, and I will get up
behind you; we will disguise ourselves so that no one will know us, and
go and see my wife’s entry.”[125]

They mingled in the crowd, seeing and hearing much that diverted them,
and the King afterwards told the Queen and ladies all his adventures
with great delight.

Some of the ladies left and went to their own hôtels when the King
and Queen retired, but many remained all night, and the next morning
the Queen and court moved to the hôtel St. Paul, where the revels
went on for six days more, with a license that again called forth the
reproaches and indignation of the preachers.[126]

Splendid presents were given by the City of Paris and by different
people to the Queen and the Duchesse de Touraine, whose first
appearance among them had excited great curiosity and interest.
The Duc de Berry gave Isabeau a large house in the faubourg St.
Marcel, with courts, galleries, moats, gardens, meadows, and a rabbit
warren.[127]

The fatigue and excitement of all these gaieties seem to have told upon
her, for she could not be present at a banquet and dance given by the
King to the ladies of the court during the festivities at St. Paul, but
stayed in her room and supped there.

She did not accompany the King when early in October he set off on a
journey south. He had received great complaints from Aquitaine[128]
of the oppressions and extortions of the Duc de Berry, and he also
wanted to attend the coronation at Avignon of the young King of Sicily.
The Queen being _enceinte_ could not take a long and tiring journey,
besides which it is more than probable that Charles on this occasion
greatly preferred her absence. For his progress through Provence,
Guyenne, and Languedoc, though ostensibly for political objects, such
as the extinction of the schism at Avignon, the coronation of the King
of Sicily, and the reformation of the abuses in Aquitaine, had also its
social side. There, in the land of troubadours, poetry, and courts of
love, where the sun was burning and the nights were bright, where the
imagination was more vivid and the hot blood of the south ran quicker
through the veins, where manners and morals were easy and had a tinge
of orientalism derived from contact with the East; the progress of
the young King from one town to another was a saturnalia of dancing,
feasting, love-making, and violent exercise in games and tournaments,
which for the first time seem to have taken visible effect upon him.

Some symptoms he must have felt which troubled and alarmed him, for
while at Avignon he caused an effigy of himself to be made life-size
in wax and placed under a tabernacle close to the relics of the young
Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg, of saintly reputation, to whose tomb
people were flocking to be cured of epilepsy and other maladies.[129]

There was no royal post at that time; it was not instituted till the
reign of Louis XI. Charles sent a courier to the Queen two or three
weeks after his departure, to ask for news of her; he was then in
Dauphiné, and from that time until his return in March she seems to
have had no more letters or communications from him.[130]

During his absence another daughter was born and named Jeanne, like
the first one. Isabeau had now two daughters still living. This second
Jeanne afterwards married the Duc de Bretagne.

M. Vallet de Viriville says of Isabeau that although frivolous,
capricious, and fantastic, she seems to have been liked by her ladies,
and was certainly just as fond of her children as other women usually
are. While they were little she had them always with her, caressed and
watched over them, wept and prayed when they were ill, and redoubled
her lamentations when any of them died. Her neglect of them a little
later on, however, seems to contradict this; but then Isabeau was a
person so inconsistent and selfish that neither her affection nor her
dislike could ever be reckoned upon; and her extravagance and folly was
the cause of the penury to which the royal children were at one time
reduced. Her quarrels with her sons in later years were long after they
had passed childhood; with those of her daughters who lived to grow up
she does not seem to have disagreed.

{1390}

The Queen and the Duchesse de Touraine had been left together at Beauté
by their husbands when they started for the south.

After an absence of several months, spent as has been described, those
young princes turned their steps northwards again. When they arrived
at Montpellier the King told his brother that he felt so impatient to
see the Queen and Duchesse de Touraine again that he could not wait
any longer, but proposed that they should race back to Paris; a bet of
5,000 francs to be paid to the winner. Louis agreed, and they set off,
riding day and night, changing horses very frequently and being carried
in litters when it was absolutely necessary to take a little rest. The
race was won by Louis, who got on to a boat at Troyes and went down the
Seine to Melun, thus getting rest all that part of the way. At Melun he
disembarked and rode on to Paris, where he arrived some hours before
the King, having done it in four days and a half.

Louis went straight to see the Queen, and then presented himself before
his brother and claimed the 5,000 francs.

This adventure does not seem to have done Louis any harm, but it was
declared by the doctors to have been most injurious to Charles, and to
have helped to over-excite and unsettle his brain.

The King returned from his southern tour weakened, exhausted, and very
angry with all he had found out about the oppressions and cruelties of
the Duc de Berry. He had held a Parliament at Toulouse, punished some
of the officials, dismissed others, and tried to redress some of the
worst grievances. But though Charles was generous and kind-hearted,
neither he nor his brother nor any of his uncles, except the Duc de
Bourbon, had any idea how to govern, and the latter was entirely
opposed to the Dukes of Berry and Burgundy; so much so, indeed, that a
melancholy romance was the result of their dissensions.

The youngest daughter of the Duke of Burgundy had been, in 1386,
betrothed to the Comte de Clermont, son of the Duc de Bourbon. But
they were too young at the time for the marriage to take place, and
meanwhile the quarrels of their families caused it to be broken off.
They appear, however, to have been deeply attached to each other,
for Bonne de Bourgogne, or, as she is named in her epitaph, Bonne
d’Artois, declared that she would have no other husband than the Comte
de Clermont, and, after refusing every other alliance suggested to her,
died at Arras, 1399. The Comte de Clermont also refused to marry any
one else as long as she lived.[131]

The Queen was again _enceinte_, and the court were at Saint
Germain-en-Laye for the summer. Money was wanted, as usual, for the
extravagant follies of the royal household, and in spite of the
compassion of the King for the suffering of the people, it was proposed
to levy new taxes.

It was a calm, cloudless day in July; the Council was sitting, the
King presiding, and the Queen had gone to mass in her private chapel,
when suddenly the sky became black with clouds, forked lightning
flashed through the darkness accompanied by awful claps of thunder,
and a violent wind tore the windows from their hinges and shattered
all the panes of glass in the Queen’s Chapel. Mass had to be finished
low and hurriedly lest the Host[132] be torn out of the hands of the
officiating priest, the palace seemed to shake, and everybody was
prostrate with terror. The Queen went trembling to the King, saying
that this was an expression of the anger of God for their oppression
of the people, and they had better give up the new taxes. The Council
was dismissed accordingly and the taxes abandoned. Many trees were
torn up in the forest, and four officers of the royal household killed
by the lightning.[133] Isabeau had always the greatest terror of a
thunderstorm; she had a vaulted cellar under the Palais de la Cité on
purpose to take refuge in on those occasions.[134]

The much longed for Dauphin was born on the 6th of February, 1391, at
the hôtel St. Paul. The King was asleep, for it was in the middle of
the night, but the tidings were soon brought to him and to all Paris,
which was at once plunged into a tumult of rejoicing. The bells of all
the churches were ringing, couriers were starting for all parts of the
kingdom, the streets were filled with people and torches, and set with
tables covered with wine and food at which stood ladies of the highest
rank, offering them freely to all who passed.

{1392}

The Dauphin was baptized next day in the church of St. Paul, his
god-parents being Blanche, Duchess-dowager of Orléans, the Duke of
Burgundy, and Comte de Daumartin.

In the following May was born, also at the hôtel St. Paul, the eldest
son of Louis and Valentine. He was also named Charles. The Duc de
Bourbon was his godfather. He afterwards married the Princess Isabelle,
eldest daughter of Charles VI.[135]

The Duchess-dowager of Orléans, Blanche de France, died in February,
1392, after a long and painful illness. She was greatly respected and
honoured, and her funeral at St. Denis was attended by the whole of
the royal family and court. She was daughter of Charles IV. and Jeanne
d’Evreux, and, as she on one occasion remarked to King Philippe de
Valois, if she had been a man she would have been king instead of him.
She was proud, high-spirited, and so charitable that she had given away
nearly all her fortune before she died.[136]

The King gave the duchy of Orléans to his brother instead of that of
Touraine.

A conference was held at Amiens between the Dukes of Lancaster and
York, uncles of Richard II., and the French King with the Dukes of
Burgundy and Berry. The four dukes entered Amiens riding side by side
so as to avoid questions of precedence. It was remarked that the
English dukes were dressed with great simplicity in cloth of greenish
brown, while the Duke of Burgundy had his clothes covered with pearls,
rubies, and sapphires. They could not agree on terms of lasting peace,
so they arranged a truce for a year longer, and then separated. But
Charles, who, during the whole fortnight had not troubled himself
at all about the negotiations, but passed the time in feasting and
amusements, had made himself very ill with an attack of fever and had
to be taken in a litter to Beauvais, where he stayed in the bishop’s
palace till he was well again.[137]

Amongst the constant companions of the King and the Duc d’Orléans was a
certain Pierre de Craon. He was a particular favourite of Louis, they
often dressed alike, and Craon was the confidant of all the duke’s
love affairs, which were innumerable. There was a girl in Paris whose
beauty he had for some time admired and to whom he had offered 1,000
crowns if she would consent to become his mistress. She appears to have
been hesitating about the matter, and meanwhile, Louis took Craon to
see her. Craon had the rashness to go and tell the whole story to the
Duchesse d’Orléans, with the result he might have expected. Valentine
was very angry and sent for the girl, who appeared before her trembling
with fear.

“Well,” said Valentine, “so you wish to take monseigneur away from me?”

“No, no, Madame, God forbid,” answered the girl, beginning to cry, “I
should not dare even to think of such a thing.”

“That is true,” said Valentine, “I know all about it. Monseigneur loves
you and you love him, things have even gone so far that he has offered
you 1,000 crowns, but you have refused and you have done well. For this
time I forgive you, and I forbid you, as you value your life, to have
for the future anything to do with monseigneur. Dismiss him.”[138]

The girl retired, thankful to have escaped so well, and the next time
the Duke called she fled from him, refusing to show him the least sign
of affection. Much astonished and disappointed he asked what was the
matter. She began to cry and reproached him with having betrayed her
either to the Duchess or to somebody else who had told her, and went on
to say, “you had better try to recollect to whom you have been making
confidences. I am dreadfully afraid of Madame la Duchesse, and I have
promised and sworn never to have any communication with you. I am not
going to excite her jealousy.”

“Ma belle dame,” replied Louis, “I swear to you that I would rather
lose a hundred thousand francs than betray you. Since you have
promised, keep your oath, but at any cost I will find out who has
revealed our secrets.”

Therefore Louis went that night to supper with his wife, to whom he
made himself as pleasant as he well knew how to do. By soft words,
love-making and persuasion he prevailed upon her to tell him that it
was Pierre de Craon who had revealed the affair to her.

Next morning he rode to the Louvre in a furious rage and met the King
going to Mass. Charles, who was very fond of him, seeing his disturbed
looks, stopped and asked what was the cause of them. Louis poured out
his indignation to his brother, adding that besides this, Craon was
always reproaching him with his love of necromancy. “To hear him,”
he said, “one would think I was a wizard. By the faith I owe you,
monseigneur, if it were not for my respect for you I would kill him.”

“Do not do that,” replied Charles. “I will send him word that I have
no further occasion for his services and he is to leave my hôtel;
you can turn him out of yours too.” Accordingly that day the Sires
de la Rivière and de Noviant from the King, and two gentlemen of the
household of the Duc d’Orléans, brought orders to Craon to retire.

He demanded an explanation, but neither the King nor the Duke would
see him. Unable to get any information, and vowing vengeance against
the unknown enemy, he retired to the court of his cousin, the Duc de
Bretagne, and, after consulting together, they came to the conclusion
that it must have been the Constable de Clisson who had done this, and
resolved to avenge themselves on him.

Pierre de Craon therefore returned secretly to Paris and concealed
himself in his hôtel, which was a splendid house, and which he had well
stored with food and necessaries, and in his anxiety that his presence
should not be known, he even took the precaution of locking up the wife
and daughter of his concierge for fear they should disclose it.

On the 13th June there was a fête at the hôtel St. Paul. There were
joustes in the afternoon and then a supper, followed by a ball which
went on until about an hour after midnight.

The Constable de Clisson was the last to depart. He took leave of the
King and Duc d’Orléans, and then, with eight _valets_ of whom two
carried torches, he proceeded towards the rue St. Catherine, at the
corner of which Craon was lying in wait for him with a band of forty
brigands. As he rode down the street, on a sudden the torches were
snatched from his men and thrown to the ground. Clisson thought it was
a trick of Louis d’Orléans and called out, “By my faith, monseigneur,
this is too bad, but I forgive you because you are young and think of
nothing but jokes.” But to his astonishment the answer was, “_A mort! à
mort Clisson! Si vous faut mourir_,” as Craon drew his sword and with
the gang of assassins attacked the Constable, who, after defending
himself desperately, was flung from his horse against the door of a
baker’s shop which gave way and he fell down two steps into the house.
The baker and his people rushed out to pick him up, and the assassins,
most of whom only now discovered that they had been hired to murder the
Constable of France, fled in terror. Craon rode for his life through
the Porte Saint Antoine, gained his own castle of Sablé, and from
thence got safe to Bretagne. Meanwhile, the news spread rapidly through
the city. The King who was going to bed, was just undressing in the
hôtel St. Paul, when he was told that his Constable had been murdered.

“Murdered! My Constable! By whom?” he exclaimed.

“It is not known, but it is close by, in the rue St. Catherine.”

“Torches! quick!” cried the King. “I shall go and see him.” And without
waiting for guards or suite, he threw a _houppelande_ round him, and
rushed out, arriving at the shop just as the Constable was beginning
to recover his senses. He opened his eyes and they fell upon the young
King leaning anxiously over him. “Ah, Constable, how do you feel?”

“_Cher sire, bien faiblement et petitement._”

“_Et qui vous a mis en ce parti?_”

“_Sire, Pierre de Craon et ses complices, trâitreusement et sans
défense._”[139]

Charles turned to the doctor who had been hastily called in and said,
“Look at my Constable, and tell me what there is to fear.”[140]
Delighted to hear that although Clisson was covered with wounds,
his life was in no danger, and swearing that never had a crime been
punished and avenged as this should be; Charles sent in pursuit of
Craon and his companions, of whom some were taken and executed, but
most of them escaped.

The King confiscated his dominions, took possession of his treasures,
and divided his lands between the Duc d’Orléans and some of his
friends. The wife and daughter of Craon fled, and the King ordered the
Duc de Bretagne to give up the traitor who had attacked his Constable.

The Duke pretended not to know where he was, so Charles assembled his
troops to go to war with him, ordering his uncles of Berry and Burgundy
to join him with their vassals. They both hated this project as the
Duke of Burgundy was a great friend of the Duc de Bretagne, and the Duc
de Berry, who was in Paris at the time, had been told of the conspiracy
the very day it was carried out, but as he could not bear the Constable
he said nothing about it to the King on pretence of not wishing to
disturb the festivities going on at the palace. However, they were
forced to obey the King, who would not listen to their assurances
that Craon was not there at all, but in Spain. He threw himself into
a violent passion whenever the matter was discussed, and seemed to be
growing so violent and so unreasonable that all who approached him
were filled with alarm.[141]

The weather was very hot, and Charles was in a perfectly unfit state
to bear the fatigue and excitement of a campaign. During the whole
summer it had been so dry that the large rivers, the chief roads for
merchandise, had been so low that boats could not go on them, wells
and springs were dried up, the parched earth cracked; there was great
distress, for no rain fell.

One broiling day he insisted, in spite of the advice of his uncles, on
leaving Le Mans with the troops. He was dressed in black velvet, and
almost suffocated with the heat.

As they were entering a wood a tall figure rushed out and caught his
horse by the bridle, crying out that he was betrayed (which by the by
is the typical exclamation of the modern Frenchman). This particular
man, however, appears to have been mad, and while he was raving and
warning the King not to go further he was seized by the guards.

Charles said nothing at first, but rode on for about an hour till the
troop came out of the wood on to a sandy plain where the dust and heat
were overpowering. One of the pages, who was so exhausted that he was
falling asleep, let his spear fall against some one else’s armour.
The clang it made startled the King, who suddenly gave a shout and
rode furiously forward striking at everybody. He struck down several
men, killing four, and rushed at the Duc d’Orléans, who fled for his
life and escaped. The Duke of Burgundy rode up exclaiming, “_Haro!
le grand meschef! monseigneur est tout dévoyé!_” They tried to catch
the King, but it was most difficult and dangerous. However, at last a
cavalier who was very fond of him got behind him and threw his arms
round him. He was laid on the ground, the paroxysm passed off and he
fell back insensible. They placed him in a litter, and the whole troop
turned back to Le Mans. The expedition was at an end, and the King was
mad.[142]



CHAPTER IV

1392-1398

  Tyranny of Duchess of Burgundy--Birth of Marie de
    France--Duchesse de Berry saves La Rivière--Doctor
    Hassely--King recovers--The masquerade--Dreadful fire--King
    ill--The sorcerers--King recovers--Dr. Fréron--King ill
    again--Accusations against Louis and Valentine--Birth of Louis
    de France--Betrothal of Isabelle de France to Richard II. of
    England--Their marriage--Disastrous crusade--Marriage of Jeanne
    de France to Duc de Bretagne--Marie de France takes the veil.


The consternation of everybody and the confusion into which the kingdom
fell can scarcely be imagined. The King was taken to Creil where he
slowly improved, but was by no means fit to have anything to do with
affairs; indeed for some time he only had partially lucid intervals,
and was altogether much weakened.

The Queen was on the eve of her confinement, so the news of what had
happened was obliged to be kept from her, in fact it was forbidden to
be told her on pain of death.[143] The Duke of Burgundy seized the
government,[144] to which he had no right, the Duc de Berry being his
elder brother, and the Duc d’Orléans the nearest in blood to the King.
But, as Sismondi remarks, the Duke of Burgundy was the least incapable
of the three, and the people, who hated them all, made no opposition.

{1392}

The Duchess of Burgundy established herself with the Queen on pretence
of taking care of her, and remained there, dictating, meddling, and
taking precedence of every one. A daughter was born to the Queen very
soon afterwards, and as an offering for the restoration of the King,
Isabeau, when she heard of the calamity, named the child Marie and
dedicated her to religion.[145]

Meanwhile the court was in a ferment. The King’s uncles, directly they
got the power into their own hands, began to persecute those of the
party opposed to them.[146] The Duchess of Burgundy, furious against
Clisson for causing the King to go to war with the Duc de Bretagne,
who was her cousin and great friend, incited her husband against him.
Clisson fled from the country, so did several others, including the
Seigneur de Noviant who had incurred the enmity of the Duke of Burgundy
by refusing to give him thirty thousand crowns out of the treasury
without the King’s knowledge.[147] He and Bureau de la Rivière, who
had been a most intimate friend of Charles V., were caught, thrown
into the Bastille, and condemned to death. But, fortunately for the
latter, the little Duchesse de Berry, whose marriage he had arranged,
and whom he had himself fetched from the castle of Gaston de Foix, had
ever since that time been exceedingly fond of him. When she heard that
he was arrested and in danger of his life, with the Duke and Duchess of
Burgundy resolved on his destruction, the Queen absolutely indifferent,
and the King powerless to help him, she resolved to save him herself.
She was then about fifteen years old, and she hurried to the Duc de
Berry, threw herself on her knees before him crying and declaring that
La Rivière was falsely accused, that no one dared speak for him but
herself, that he had made her marriage, for which she was much obliged
to him, that the duke ought to feel the same, that it would be the
deepest ingratitude to desert him to whom they owed their happiness,
and that if he were put to death she would never be happy again, but
would spend every day “_en tristesse et douleur_.”[148] The Duke,
who adored her, comforted her and promised that his life should be
spared. He went to the King who, though not recovered, was in a state
sufficiently rational to be made to understand and give a command, and
got from him the order for his pardon, in which the Seigneur de Noviant
shared. They were exiled, but later on the Duchesse de Berry, of whom
the King was very fond, got all their castles restored to them.[149]
The Duke and Duchess of Burgundy were furious, but they could do
nothing.

The Seigneur de Coucy had a celebrated doctor, a certain Guillaume
de Hassely,[150] who at his recommendation was called in to the King,
and so skilful was his treatment that Charles gradually improved,
slept, ate, and drank as usual, went out hunting and hawking, and
at last asked for the Queen and Dauphin, who were brought to him at
Creil, where he received them with delight and affection. He was
horrified to find he had killed and wounded several of his followers
in his paroxysm. After a little he was allowed to see his brother and
uncles, to whom Dr. Hassely said, “Thank God I restore you the King in
good health; but he must not be irritated, worried, or troubled with
state affairs. His head is not strong yet, but it will get stronger;
meanwhile amusements and distractions are better for him than councils
and work.” The Queen and Princes were anxious to keep Dr. Hassely at
court, but he was an old man and could not bear the fatigue of that
life. He retired to Laon, covered with honours and rewards, and died
soon afterwards.[151]

The King’s uncles were very glad to persuade him that he was not well
enough to do anything but amuse himself and had better leave the
government in their hands. Charles inquired for various friends of
his, and was told that they were traitors and in prison. He ordered
them to be at once set free and their property restored, but had not
strength and clearness of understanding to go more into the matter,
and they were safer away from Paris. He sent after Clisson and tried
to get him to return; but the Constable knew well enough that if the
King had another attack he would fall into the hands of the Duke of
Burgundy again, so he stayed away, keeping in communication with the
Duc d’Orléans and his party, who were called “_Marmousets_” by the
friends of the Dukes of Burgundy and Berry. Charles did not think
about business at all; but only amused himself; and Isabeau, careless,
apathetic, indifferent to everything but dress, luxury, pleasure, and
amassing riches, for some time submitted to the domineering influence
of the Duchess of Burgundy, which was vehemently resisted by the Duke
and Duchess d’Orléans. Louis claimed the regency during the King’s
incapacity to govern, and Valentine was indignant at the presumption
of the Duchess of Burgundy in taking precedence over her, the wife of
the King’s only brother and, as she imprudently remarked, possibly the
future Queen of France.

The King was declared to be well again the following winter; he and the
Queen came back and took up their abode at St. Paul, and the Court was
once more in a whirl of gaiety.

There are various records of purchases made by Isabeau about this time;
amongst others a gold goblet in the form of a rose, her favourite
flower; pearls to ornament the collar of the Queen’s squirrel, a
_chaise à pignier_ or chair to have her hair dressed in, having a low
back. Most chairs of that time had very high backs; they were made low
for that purpose. Also some shoes for the Queen’s fool and her mother.
And soon after it is stated that the Queen not having obtained money
enough for divers things necessary and desired by her, would in future
have her own “_argentier_” for herself and her children, by order of
the King.

{1393}

It was January, 1393. The King, delighted to be well again and eager
to catch at any new prospect of amusement, was told by one of the
gentlemen of his household named De Gensay, of a disguise he had
planned whereby people were made to look like naked savages or wild men
covered with long hair like that of wild beasts, which Paradin remarks
was “_chose plaisante à veoir_.” These costumes were made of linen
covered all over with tow, very long and combed out to look like hair
from head to foot. They fitted tightly to the figure, and were stuck
on “_fort proprement_,” as Paradin again remarks. De Gensay proposed
that the masquerade should take place at the wedding festivities of one
of the Queen’s ladies, who was a countrywoman and great favourite of
hers. Now this lady had been married before, and at that time in France
extreme licence was permitted at the re-marriage of a widow.[152]
Speeches, songs, dances, and general behaviour were alike improper to a
degree that, even in those days, would not have been allowed on other
occasions. The ball was to take place at a large house which belonged
to Queen Blanche de Navarre. It stood at the corner of the rue de la
Reine Blanche, and was called hôtel de la Reine Blanche.[153] When
the King saw this preposterous disguise he was so delighted that he
insisted on being one of the six who were to wear it, the others being
the Comte de Joüy, the écuyer d’honneur de Gensay, the bastard De Foix,
and the sons of the Comte de Valentinois and Seigneur de Nantoillet.

They all begged the King to give orders that at the ball at which they
were to appear no light of any kind should be allowed to approach
them on account of the inflammable nature of these absurd costumes.
Charles accordingly sent a proclamation ordering all lights, torches,
and flambeaux to retire behind and far from six savage men who were to
enter the saloon where the ladies were. Unfortunately the Duc d’Orléans
had not been told of the intended masquerade, of which indeed no one
knew but those who were to take part in it, those who dressed them, and
the Queen. The Duc d’Orléans arrived at the ball after the proclamation
about the lights, and just then the six savages entered the room all
fastened together with cords except the King, who led them. The novelty
of this ridiculous spectacle was so successful that everybody crowded
round to see them and try to find out who they were, and in their
excitement forgot all about the order respecting the lights. The King
left his companions fastened together, and, passing before the Queen,
went up to the young Duchesse de Berry and began to make love to her
(_luy faisant infinies caresses_). She caught hold of his hand, saying
that she would not let him go until she knew who he was. Just at that
moment the Duc d’Orléans, also desiring to find out who the mummers
were, snatched a torch from one of his pages and held it down close to
them so as to see better--the dry tow caught fire, in a moment they
were all in flames and being fastened together, they could neither
escape nor could any one help them. The Duchesse de Berry, when she
saw the whole place on fire, threw her long robe round the King and so
saved him. The Queen, seeing the flames, hearing the dreadful cries and
tumult, and knowing that the King was one of the six, fell fainting
with terror. The young De Nantoillet managed to unfasten himself from
the others, and happening to remember a tank or cistern of water in one
of the rooms of service close by, used for washing the plate, rushed
into that room, threw himself into the tank, and was saved; of the
rest, De Gensay (the inventor of the mummery) and Charles de Poitiers,
son of the Comte de Valentinois, were burnt to death on the spot, and
the other two only survived their injuries for two days. There was a
general cry of “Save the King!” but the Duchesse de Berry, hastily
exclaiming, “Go and change your clothes at once, the Queen is in terror
about you,” had hurried him out of the ballroom. Isabeau was carried
fainting to her room, where Charles, having pulled off the fatal
disguise, hastened to reassure her. Every one was accusing and blaming
the Duc d’Orléans, who, nearly beside himself with horror and remorse,
and crying out that he had done it and it was all his fault, fled
out of the ballroom and rushed up to the apartments of the King and
Queen.[154]

The Dukes of Burgundy and Berry had left the ball before the arrival
of the mummers, finding it rather late, and had returned to their
own hôtels. They knew nothing about what had happened until the next
morning, when there was a great outcry all over Paris, and the report
reached their ears that there had been a great fire after they had left
the ball and that the King had been burnt to death with the others.
Even after they had ascertained the truth the people would not believe
it, but insisted on seeing the King for themselves, and it was not
until he had gone in public procession with his brother and uncles to
Notre Dame to give thanks for his safety, that they were pacified; and
when they found out in what an idiotic way the King’s life had nearly
been sacrificed they broke into denunciations of the goings on at court
and threats against the princes of the blood. Some people even declared
that Louis d’Orléans had done it on purpose, hoping to destroy the King
and thus have the chance of succeeding himself if the Dauphin, who was
delicate, did not live to grow up; which, by the by, would certainly
have come to pass, for he died before he was ten years old. But there
is not the slightest proof or even probability of the truth of this
accusation. With all his faults Louis was not capable of so monstrous a
crime as this, even supposing he had not been, as he always appears to
have been, on affectionate terms with his brother.

The catastrophe excited the greatest horror in the minds of everybody
except the tenants and people belonging to the Comte de Joüy, who was
so outrageously tyrannical and cruel that they were all delighted when
they heard that they were so unexpectedly delivered from him.

The late calamity seems to have had a sobering effect upon the court,
and for a little while after this shock things went on more quietly.
But in June the King had a relapse, and this time he was worse, or at
any rate the aggravated symptoms lasted longer. He did not recognise
the Queen, and when she came near and spoke to him affectionately
would ask who she was and even seemed to take a dislike to her, and
told those surrounding him to take her away for he did not know what
she wanted. He declared that he was not King, that his name was not
Charles but George, that his arms were a lion pierced with a spear
and not the _fleur-de-lis_, the very sight of which threw him into
a rage, and which he would try to efface or tear out of tapestries,
plate, or anything upon which they were. He declared he was not married
and had no children, and the only person he knew was the Duchesse
d’Orléans whom he insisted on seeing every day, and called “_ma sœur
bien-aimée_.” People began, as usual, to talk about sorcery. Some
said it was to witchcraft that Valentine owed her influence, others
declared that the King’s illness came from his having been bewitched.
Dr. Hassely was dead, and the Queen insisted on sending for a sorcerer
to try and cure him. The sorcerer or wizard was, as the monk of St.
Denis says, “coarse, brutal, and vulgar.” He had a magic book, which
he said God had given to Adam, and by which he professed to be able
to control the stars, so that if any planet had a malign influence on
the King he could cause another to appear to counteract it. All the
clergy, doctors, and professors were very angry and the sorcerer did
no good; some said it was folly, others, that it was sin; there was
a great outcry and he was got rid of. Then a learned doctor called
Fréron was called in, under whom Charles began to get better. All over
the kingdom they had litanies, prayers, and processions followed by
crowds of barefooted people; priests in splendid robes going from one
church to another. The King said he would go too, and after persisting
several times, he went to St. Denis with a great _cortège_ of nobles,
heard mass, where he behaved very well, “_d’une manière décente et
sans commettre aucune extravagance_.”[155] After dinner he went away,
leaving the Bishop of Senlis to make a _neuvaine_ for him. The Queen
ordered them at many churches. In January, 1394, he was well again.
Early in the same month the Princess Michelle was born.

{1394}

In honour of her the King changed into “Porte Ste. Michelle” the name
of the “Porte de l’Enfer” so called on account of the haunted convent
of the Chartreux of Vauvert just outside it, with its weird tales of
moving lights, unearthly sounds, and phantoms, spoken of in the former
volume treating of the Valois Queens.

The Hundred Years’ War with England still dragged on, and brigands
again began to infest the country, and great distress prevailed; to
the alleviation of which Charles now turned his attention for a short
time. For Dr. Fréron, either finding that the treatment ordered by his
predecessor had been carried much too far, or else because he thought
quiet, and rational occupation with the affairs of the State would do
the King more good than the ceaseless, reckless, dissipation,[156]
which was the original cause of his illness, ordered him a tranquil
life, occupation for his mind, rest, and various other changes which
certainly appeared to succeed; for the King was quite restored under
his care, and as well as he had been before his first seizure. No one
could now say that he was not capable of giving proper orders, nor
dispute the validity of those he gave, as the Duke of Burgundy had done
when the King had granted some permissions to hunt in the royal forests.

Charles went several pilgrimages and, his own sufferings having
made him more compassionate to others, he recalled fugitives chased
away by the tyranny of his uncles, exempted them from taxation for
six years, and, abolishing the games of chance in the villages, he
established practice in shooting with the bow and crossbow, in order
that the peasants should be able to help defend the country which now
was obliged to hire mercenaries to oppose the English archers. The
people were delighted at this, and already, says M. Sismondi, becoming
so skilful that the nobles in alarm took the first opportunity of
putting a stop to the archery and re-opening the gambling houses. The
remembrance of the Jacquerie was naturally in the minds of the French
gentlemen as was that of their tyranny in the hearts of the people.
That unfortunate class hatred between the upper and lower ranks which,
as was remarked in our former volume, had caused the disgrace and
downfall of France, was still growing and establishing itself as time
passed on, while other nations were slowly becoming stronger and more
closely united to their own countrymen as they advanced in civilisation.

{1395}

The King went on very well until about the middle of the summer of
1395, by which time he had grown very tired of the restraints imposed
on him by Dr. Fréron, the trouble of attending to serious affairs, and
the comparative dulness of his court. Also it is probable that the
symptoms of the terrible malady so long kept at bay by the skill of the
great doctor were making themselves felt and deprived him of the little
self-control and sense he had ever had. At any rate he dismissed Dr.
Fréron, who retired with his property to Cambrai,[157] and when he had
gone the frenzy returned and Charles was again mad.

It had been a bad summer, with violent winds, doing much damage.
Misfortunes and troubles seemed to be gathering again over France. The
deepest disappointment was felt by high and low at the relapse of the
King, confusion and misgovernment began again, the air was full of evil
rumours and terrors as it had been in the years before the battles of
Crécy and Poitiers. It was reported that in Languedoc had been seen a
great star, followed by five little ones which seemed to attack it for
about the space of half an hour, while voices and dreadful cries were
heard in the heavens; and there appeared the gigantic form of a man who
shone like copper, transfixed the great star with a spear and vanished.

In Guyenne unearthly voices were heard in the air, accompanied by the
clang of armour and the tramp of combatants.[158]

The court was rent by the quarrels of the Queen and Duchesse d’Orléans
with the Duchess of Burgundy, whom neither of them could bear, and
whose interference Isabeau was now roused up to resist. In fact,
the arrogance and encroachments of the Burgundian party had become
alike intolerable and alarming. The state of the King from this time
grew gradually worse. He was not always mad, but his attacks grew
more frequent, lasted longer, and took different forms on different
occasions. Sometimes even in the middle of them he would have lucid
intervals in which his commands were absolutely obeyed. After a period
of sanity and health, he could tell by the symptoms when the attack was
coming on again, and would desire that all arms, knives, &c., should
be taken out of his reach, and sometimes that he should be forcibly
restrained lest he should hurt any one. He begged every one he knew, if
they had bewitched him, as some said, to have pity upon him and reverse
the spell. The whole state of things was heartbreaking, and when he
was mad he did not know the Queen, it was not safe for her to go near
him, he struck at her and ran after her so that she fled in terror.
Sometimes he knew every one except the Queen and her children, but one
person he always knew, and that was the Duchesse d’Orléans.

He was always calling for her. She would go to him without the least
fear and sit with him for hours. Her voice seemed to have a strange
fascination for him, and he would do anything she wished. There is
not the slightest idea that between Charles and Valentine there was
ever any such love as between Louis and Isabeau, but they had always
been fond of each other as brother and sister. The populace, however,
chose to attribute her influence to magic; they said she came from
Lombardy, where it was practised to a great extent; that her father
himself was a magician, and that it was from no devotional reasons
that the Duc d’Orléans went so often to the Céléstins, but to see one
of the brotherhood, a certain Philippe de Mezière, looked upon with
suspicion on account of his studies, who had been a great friend of the
late King. Louis d’Orléans would sit up half the night talking with
him about books, music, or metaphysical subjects. He was a strange
mixture of the most opposite qualities and vices, and he added to the
inconsistencies of his character that of being extremely devotional.
In all intellectual tastes he and Valentine suited each other very
well; as to Isabeau, she knew nothing about such matters. There is a
record of an historical manuscript which the Duke of Burgundy gave
her, probably with the hope of inducing her to take more interest in
literary subjects, but it was of no use.[159]

The injurious reports concerning Louis and Valentine were diligently
circulated by the Burgundian party. She was said, and by many
believed, to have bewitched the King. The monk of St. Denis remarks,
“_Pour moi, je mis loin de partager l’opinion vulgaire au sujet des
sortilèges, opinion repandue par les sots, les nécromanciers, et les
gens superstitieux; les médecins et les théologiens s’accordent à dire
que les maléfices n’ont aucune puissance, et que la maladie du roi
provenait des excés de sa jeunesse._”[160]

Things, however, came to a climax at last when Valentine was accused
of attempting to poison the Dauphin in order to open the way to the
throne for her husband and children. The story was that one day when
the children of the King and the Duc d’Orléans were playing together
in the apartments of Valentine some one had thrown an apple amongst
them close to the Dauphin, who was about to pick it up, but that one of
the children of the Duc d’Orléans got it, bit a piece out, was taken
ill, and died in a few days, the apple being poisoned. The only thing
that is certainly true about this story is that a little son of Louis
and Valentine did die about this time; but whether he ate an apple
shortly before his death, whether it was thrown among the children
when at play, or whether there was any reason for attributing his
death to such a cause does not seem to have been shown. It does not
appear that there was a shadow of probability about it, but that it was
nothing more than a spiteful calumny got up by the Burgundian party and
believed by the fierce and credulous Parisian mob. However, there was
a great outcry: the Dauphin was not allowed to go to the apartments of
the Duchesse d’Orléans, and the Duc d’Orléans and his friends thought
Valentine would be safer out of Paris for the present. Therefore she
left that city with her children in great pomp for Blois, where she
remained for a time till the storm blew over.

{1396}

Her father, the Duke of Milan, was furious when he heard of these
accusations against his daughter and himself, for he was also said
to have bewitched the King, to have asked the French ambassador how
he was, and on being told “well,” to have exclaimed, “You tell me a
diabolic thing, and one that is impossible.[161] The King cannot be
well”--clearly pointing either to sorcery or secret poisoning. He
offered to send a champion to fight to the death any man who accused
his daughter, and threatened to invade France.

In January, 1396, the Queen gave birth to a son, who was named Louis,
and in February the King recovered his senses. It had been arranged
that the little Princess Isabella, eldest daughter of Charles and
Isabeau, should be married to Richard II., King of England, instead
of to the son of the Duc de Bretagne, to whom she had at first been
betrothed. Richard was thirty years old and a widower, but it was
felt that the splendour and advantages of such an alliance as this,
not only for the Princess, but still more for France, were not to be
lost. The English ambassadors, therefore, when in 1395 they came to
Paris, where the King was at that time living at the Louvre, and the
Queen and her children at the hôtel St. Paul, were received with great
honour and favour, and having paid their respects to the Queen, they
turned to the Princess Isabelle. The Marshal of England knelt before
her saying, “_Madame, s’il plaît à Dieu, vous serez notre dame et Reine
d’Angleterre._” To which the pretty, graceful child, who was only about
seven years old, replied, “_Sire s’il plaît à Dieu et à monseigneur mon
père, je le serai volontiers; car on m’a bien dit que je serais une
grande dame._” Then giving him her hand she raised him and led him to
her mother.[162]

{1397}

The ambassadors were enchanted with the little princess, who was the
especial darling of her parents and the whole Court. All the daughters
of Charles and Isabeau seem to have been remarkable for good looks and
charm, and very superior to their sons. The second one, Jeanne, was
promised to the son of the Duc de Bretagne instead, and the marriage of
Isabelle took place in October, 1397.

Magnificent preparations were of course made beforehand for the
wedding of the eldest daughter of the Valois with the great enemy
of her country, by which it was hoped to close the Hundred Years’
War and restore prosperity to France. The King sent for the most
skilful jewellers and ordered for her a profusion of rings, bracelets,
necklaces, chains, and all kinds of jewels of great price, cloth of
gold and other costly stuffs, covered chariots, saddles and bridles
covered with gold and silver. He was fortunately quite well, and sane
just then, so that he was able to attend his daughter’s wedding. He
went with the Queen, princes, and court to meet the King of England
between Calais and Ardres, where the French and English camps were
pitched near each other, the French one containing a hundred and twenty
tents surrounded by a palisade, and in front a large tent like a great
hall, more magnificent than the rest, over which floated the lilies of
France.

The English camp contained the same number of tents, but the one
that stood in front of it, with the standard bearing the leopards of
England, was like a vast round tower.

The most stringent regulations were proclaimed in both camps to avoid
the slightest danger of any disputes arising to endanger the harmony of
the meeting on which hung the peace and welfare of two kingdoms.

None but the immediate escorts were to be armed; it was forbidden to
throw stones, pick quarrels, or play any game that could lead to them,
and the conferences went on amicably for several days, being disturbed
only by a violent storm which tore up many tents in the French camp,
tearing the silk lining of them to shreds, while only four of the
English tents suffered. Torrents of rain fell, and superstitious
fears were entertained that some calamity was about to happen. “But,”
says the worthy chronicler of St. Denis, “on learning the result of
the conference, they rather thought the enemy of the repose of mankind
who dwells among the shades of darkness had thus given vent to his
fury because he had not been able to throw any obstacle in the way of
peace.”[163]

The young Queen, who had been married by proxy to Richard in Paris, set
off for St. Denis with great pomp, where she performed her devotions
according to the ancient custom, and then continued her journey.

[Illustration: NEVERS.]

The King of England had been dining with the King of France, waited
upon by the Dukes of Burgundy, Berry, and Bourbon, both monarchs having
been much entertained by the amusing conversation of the last-mentioned
prince, when the sound of trumpets and other music announced the
approach of the young Queen of England, who entered the camp with a
procession of surpassing magnificence, wearing royal robes covered
with _fleurs-de-lis_, a gentleman of her train carrying a crown of
gold before her carriage. The Duchesses of Lancaster and Gloucester
came forward to pay their homage, and the Dukes of Burgundy, Berry,
and Orléans advanced, and one of them taking her in his arms carried
her to her father, who led her by the hand to the King of England,
saying, “_Mon fils, voici ma fille que je vous avais promise, je vous
la laisse, en vous priant de l’aimer désormais comme votre femme._”
Richard II. was a most imposing personage. To the stately bearing of
the Plantagenets he united the far-famed beauty of his mother, the Fair
Maid of Kent. As the little Queen bent before him he raised her up and
kissed her, after which he took his leave.[164] She was placed in a
splendid litter in which she was to proceed to her husband’s town of
Calais, accompanied by the Duchesses of Lancaster, York, Gloucester,
and other great English ladies, with the Dame de Coucy, who was to go
with her to England. She began to cry and sob at parting from her
father and uncles; Charles VI., who was extremely fond of her, cried
too, and the Dukes also shed tears.[165] The King and Queen were
married again at the Church of St. Nicolas at Calais, and the day after
that embarked for England. Before going on board ship, finding that her
French attendants were to be dismissed, the poor little thing began to
cry again, and begged King Richard to let them go with her, to which he
at once consented, so they accompanied her to England.[166]

An expedition had been for some time in preparation to assist
Sigismond, King of Hungary, against the Turks under Bajazet, who had
invaded Europe and threatened to push on to Rome and feed his horse
upon the high altar of St. Peter. The troop consisted of a thousand
men, amongst whom were many young cavaliers of the noblest houses
in France, led by Jean, Comte de Nevers, eldest son of the Duke of
Burgundy, then about twenty-two years old. The troop was splendidly
equipped, Philippe of Burgundy having by means of heavy taxes on his
vassals collected a great sum of money with which, had he spent it
rationally, he could have put an army into the field. The troop had
set forth in March, and the luxury and extravagance of the French
nobles astonished their Hungarian and German allies. Their tents
were of green satin, their banners and the trappings of their horses
were covered with gold and silver, their armour, dresses, and plate
were magnificent. They marched across Germany and joined their allies
at Buda-Pesth. The army then marched along the banks of the Danube,
upon which great barges accompanied them loaded with choice wines and
delicacies for the French.[167]

But evil rumours began to be afloat after some time regarding the
expedition, and the chroniclers of the time relate various supernatural
occurrences which filled with terror the superstitious minds of the
people. The garrisons of various fortresses in Guyenne were awakened
in the night by the clash of arms. Fearing a surprise, they seized
their weapons, and beheld a battle fought in the air by phantoms in
the forms of cavaliers in armour, which filled them with dread. They
sent messengers to inform the King, the court, and the university of
these prodigies, which seemed to portend divers calamities. “For my
part,” remarks the monk of St. Denis, “I leave the secret of all these
supernatural events to Him who knows all and who commands the heavens,
the earth, and the sea.”[168]

But on Christmas night, 1396, when the King and all the court were
assembled in the hôtel St. Paul,[169] one Jacques de Helly entered
the hall in boots, spurs, and all the disorder of a hasty journey,
and throwing himself on his knees before the King, told him of the
disastrous defeat of the French by Bajazet and the massacre or
captivity of the whole troop. It appeared that the French, furious at
being obliged to raise the siege of Nicopolis, had murdered in cold
blood and in violation of their plighted word all their prisoners
who had surrendered on parole, and that Bajazet, enraged at their
treachery, had naturally retaliated, and having by overwhelming numbers
defeated them and killed four hundred, had taken prisoners the Comte
de Nevers and about three hundred others. He had ordered them all to
be beheaded except twenty-eight of the highest rank, for whom he could
exact enormous ransoms, and among whom of course was the Comte de
Nevers. It was to obtain these ransoms, that Jacques de Helly had been
sent. It then appeared that some unfortunate fugitives had already come
with the tidings, but had been shut up in the Châtelet to prevent the
news being disclosed, with threats of being drowned if they told it.
History certainly repeats itself.

However, no amount of lies would now avail to make the Parisians think
a defeat was a victory, besides which it was necessary again to wring
money from the people to pay the ransoms.

This misfortune had such an effect upon the King, that instead of
his being all right until the summer as before, an attack of madness
came on early in the spring, to cure which Marshal de Sancerre sent
from Languedoc two Augustine monks, who had the reputation of being
magicians. This was, of course, in direct opposition to the rules of
the Church, but the clergy did not exactly like to prevent their
endeavours; they contented themselves with murmuring that it would be
much better to burn them as wizards than to offer them rewards. In July
the King recovered his reason, for which the monks imprudently took the
credit, forgetting what would be likely to befall them should he have a
relapse.

The second daughter of Charles and Isabeau, the Princess Jeanne, was
married to the son of the Duc de Bretagne; and the third, the Princess
Marie, who had been dedicated from her infancy to the religious life,
was now received into the convent of Poissy.

[Illustration: THE PRIORESS OF POISSY.]

On the day of the Nativity of the Virgin, the King and Queen, with a
brilliant company, arrived at Poissy. There was a grand procession,
the Bishop of Bayeux bearing a splendid jewel presented by the King,
who with the Queen and a brilliant _cortège_ of nobles and ladies
formed part of the procession, the Sire d’Albret carrying in his arms
the Princess Marie, who wore a gold crown and long robe and mantle
of cloth of gold, and whom he placed before the chapter, where the
spiritual director of the convent addressed the novice, who, it must be
remembered, was not yet five years old, and explained to her the rules
of the order and the vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience, to which
the child “answered humbly that she submitted herself.” The Prioress,
who was a sister of the Duc de Bourbon, and had taken the veil at this
convent at about the age of the Princess Marie, then dressed her in the
habit of the order, after which she was conducted to the church by all
the nuns, singing hymns to the Holy Spirit. After mass she received
the episcopal benediction, and then there was a splendid banquet given
by the King. At the close of the proceedings a dispute arose between
the Prioress and the Abbot and monks of St. Denis respecting the crown
worn by the little princess which was of gold set with jewels of
great price, and which, with the robes, jewels, &c., worn by her, the
Prioress claimed according, as she said, to the usual custom, for the
convent. But it appeared that this crown belonged to the abbey of St.
Denis, and had been only lent for the occasion; therefore the monks
would by no means give it up. The King, being appealed to, declared the
crown had been borrowed by his orders, and settled the matter by paying
the convent 600 gold crowns to redeem it, and sending it back to St.
Denis.[170]

{1398}

The King and Queen arranged the household of the young princess,
appointing certain nuns to be her ladies, and then returned to Paris.



CHAPTER V

1398-1400

  Illness of the King--Execution of sorcerers--Birth of Jean
    de France--Death of Queen Blanche de Navarre--Household
    of Isabeau--Ludwig of Bavaria--Ancient Paris--The Queen’s
    châteaux--Burgundy and Orléans--Henry of Lancaster--The
    plague--Revolution in England--The Dauphin Charles.


In 1398 things did not improve. The King had fewer lucid intervals,
during one of which, however, he went to Reims and entertained with
lavish hospitality the Emperor Wenceslas. The two monks were still at
the Bastille occupied with their necromancy, but as it had no effect
upon the King, who had more attacks than ever this year, the terror
they inspired began to diminish, while the horror excited by their
supposed dealings with the powers of darkness remained. Seeing the
danger of their position they tried to propitiate the Duke of Burgundy
by laying the blame of their failure on the Duc d’Orléans, saying that
the diabolic arts he employed against the King were too strong for them
to counteract. But by this outrageous accusation against the King’s
brother, they had gone too far. The Duc d’Orléans complained, the monks
were arrested and given over to the clergy, who delivered them to the
provost of Paris, and they were soon afterwards beheaded.

{1398}

In August another son was born to the King and Queen and named
Jean.[171]

In October died Queen Blanche de Navarre, alike beloved and honoured
by the royal family, the court, and the people. The adventures of her
brilliant youth when she shared the throne of Philippe de Valois, or
the fortunes of her brothers, the gallant Princes of Navarre, have been
related in a former volume. She had always been rich and powerful,
but never through oppressing her subjects or vassals, so that they
loved and venerated her as a mother. She was the providence of the
poor and suffering, and a good friend to the religious houses. With
every earthly gift and advantage, brilliant beauty, an irresistible
fascination, distinguished talents, high rank and great riches, living
in the midst of the most dissipated court in Europe, no taint of
dishonour ever sullied her name; she seemed, in the midst of all the
cruelty, violence, and corruption with which she was surrounded, like
a bright star in a dark and stormy sky. For fifty years she had been
Queen-dowager, and she had been present certainly at the marriage of
the eldest, and almost certainly at the marriage of the second, and
the consecration of the third of the great-great-granddaughters of her
husband. Her dowry reverted to the crown, her personal property, which
was large, she divided between her favourite nephew, Pierre de Navarre,
and certain charities. But as to the relic she left to the Carmelite
Church, the worthy monk of St. Denis earnestly declares that she
“was deceived by vain and lying tongues of those who brought it from
Constantinople, for the only true and undoubted nail which pierced our
Lord belongs to St. Denis and nowhere else, as is proved by the history
of Charlemagne and by continued miracles which for five hundred years
have been done by contact of that relic.”[172]

The officers of her household went to ask the Dukes of Burgundy, Berry,
and Orléans whether, not having been crowned Queen, her funeral was to
be at St. Denis with royal pomp. To which (the King being probably ill
then) they replied at once that it was undoubtedly to be so, and it was
attended by all the royal family and court.[173]

The health of the King gradually grew worse. The attacks came oftener
and lasted longer. But whenever they subsided, as they often did quite
suddenly, he became sane again, resumed the government, went out
hunting and hawking, and took part in everything, whether amusement or
business, as usual. During his intervals of insanity, the Queen ought
of course to have been a most important part of the government, but
she cared nothing about that or any rational thing; what interested
her were only the dissipations of the court, her dress, the sums of
money and treasure she could collect, eating and drinking, and the
constant society of Louis d’Orléans. The only praiseworthy or harmless
tastes she had were a sort of natural affection for her children and
a fondness for animals of which she had a good many for pets. She
was also fond of music. Amongst the accounts of the period we find
sums paid to the “_varlet de chambre_” of Madame Michelle de France
for having, during her absence at Poissy (probably to attend the
consecration of her little sister) mended her gold cup which the monkey
had broken; to Guillaume Juvel “_varlet de chambre de la royne_,” for
money lent the Queen to give a poor man who had given her a goldfinch
that would eat out of her hand; also for a milch cow for Monseigneur
Jehan de France and for a tent for him with tapestries with histories
on them; for the harpist of the Queen and the minstrels of the Dauphin;
and for a large box of wood and iron with holes in it to burn a
candle by night in the room of Madame Jehanne de France. Among the
same accounts come splendid clothes for the Queen’s _relevailles_ on
getting up after her confinement; baths of oak; sums for putting iron
on two large cupboards in the Queen’s stables at St. Paul to keep the
harness of pearls and embroidery of her horses; for two pair of wheels
for her “_char_”; for mending some tapestries bearing the histories of
nine heroes, that is to say, Joshua, David, Judas Maccabeus, Hector,
Alexander, Cæsar, Arthur, Charlemagne, and Godefroi de Bouillon;
histories of the seven deadly sins, of the seven ages of man; of
Godefroi de Bouillon, of the Dukes of Aquitaine; and the history of
stags.

{1399}

And for making a chair of red Cordova leather fringed with silk, gilt
nails, and two gold chains, decorated and painted with choice colours.

Isabeau had much more idea of comfort than had hitherto been usual
even in the palaces of the Kings of France. Mingled with the splendour
that had been more or less customary for some generations we see
various attempts at convenience not yet introduced. She is said to have
been the first to use a “suspended carriage,” and those she had were
luxurious and commodious to a degree never seen before, and drawn by
very swift horses. She had one chariot on purpose for thunderstorms,
“_pour le tonnerre_,” but in what the safety of it consisted is not
stated.[174]

She had _calorifères_ like little iron chariots filled with red-hot
ashes wheeled about the cold galleries of the palaces, and hollow balls
of gold and silver full of red-hot cinders to hold in the hand as
_chaufferettes_. In hot weather she caused herself to be fanned by huge
fans to keep her cool and drive away the flies; her rooms were hung
with costly tapestry and stuffs which were taken down and went with
her from one palace to another. She had one room entirely hung with
white satin, another with green satin, and her plate was almost always
of gold. She used an Eastern talisman against poison, fastened with a
silver gilt chain to her goblet and salt-cellar, and an officer of her
household tried every dish before she tasted it. She had a cupboard
painted and decorated by a skilful artist, in which she kept her relics
and perfumes. For the latter she had a mania. She always kept damask
rose water about her, and used also a great quantity of what were
called “_oiselets de Chypre_.” These were little bottles something the
shape of birds, filled with different Oriental perfumes. She and her
ladies were constantly eating all sorts of sweetmeats, of which there
seem to have been innumerable kinds.[175]

[Illustration: BEDROOM OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.]

Carpets were sometimes, but not generally used, the floors were still
strewn with rushes and fresh boughs, especially the great halls and
banqueting rooms. It was, however, usual to lay them on the steps
going up to the great beds, and the floors of many of the rooms in the
palaces were of wood, often inlaid.

They must have looked both magnificent and comfortable, those great
bedrooms in the palaces and _hôtels_ of the nobles. The huge bed in
an alcove or corner, steps covered with rich carpets going up to
it, and curtains of silk or some costly material, carved cupboards,
chests and seats, beams of the ceilings painted or gilded, walls hung
with tapestry, windows protected by trellises of iron and filled with
stained glass, a huge chimney-place, sculptured all over with figures
and armorial bearings, on the hearth of which blazed great logs, while
by it at right angles a tall carved settle kept away the draught.

The Queen’s bath was of carved oak, furnished or lined with bath
sheets or towels. Over it was a canopy with curtains, which drew all
round.[176]

One thing appears to be certain, and that is that, although at this
time houses were insanitary and the streets narrow and dirty, with
open sewers in them, people were personally far cleaner than at a
later day.[177] All through the Valois times, down to 1600, there were
plenty of _étuves_, or public bath-houses, to which every one who had
not baths in their own houses used often to go. There were hot and
vapour baths, and some of these establishments were extremely luxurious
and elegant, and were used for other purposes besides bathing. People
who were starting on a journey often slept at them the night before,
setting off from them in the morning; they were often much resorted to
as _rendezvous_, and many were the scenes of license and revelry which
took place in them when the young nobles and courtiers, led often by
Louis d’Orléans, adjourned there after some supper or banquet.[178]

The priests were very angry with them, and often preached against
them, and so, later on, did the Huguenot ministers. By 1600 they
had much diminished in number and importance, and soon after they
disappeared,[179] which was a great pity, for of course it did no good
at all; people were just as immoral as before, and not nearly so clean.
But this is another instance of the mischief done by the misplaced
activity of those busy, fanatical folks, who, with the most excellent
intentions in their attempts to reform either religion or morals,
direct their attacks upon something which is in itself perfectly
harmless, or even valuable to the majority of people, doing all they
can to deprive them of it, simply because they see some persons make an
improper use of it. The early Christians were always preaching against
those magnificent Roman baths, the destruction of which was such an
irreparable loss to the people.[180] The Puritans, thinking that the
morals of many plays and the lives of many actors left much to be
desired, would, even in the last generation, have done away with all
theatres if they had been allowed. And in our own days have we not many
instances of the same kind?

In spite of all the suffering she caused and the harm she did, we
do not gather that Isabeau was at all actively harsh, cruel, or
disagreeable. She seems to have been liked by the companions of her
follies, the servants of her household, and her ladies, of whom she had
four _dames_, four _demoiselles de corps_, and two others. Her vices,
faults, and deficiencies were just the worst she could have had in the
present crisis, for they made her not only useless, but mischievous. If
she had had brains, decision of character, courage, and common sense,
she might also have been proud, passionate, vindictive, or ambitious,
to any extent, and yet have been a great queen, and perhaps the
salvation of France.

But Isabeau’s faults were not those of a great character. She was
selfish, lazy, frivolous, vain, and avaricious. She let the reins
of government remain without an effort or complaint in the hands
of the Duke of Burgundy, she allowed the overbearing interference
of the Duchess until it became perfectly insupportable. She now
occupied herself in amassing for herself an enormous private fortune,
considering that the health of the King gave every cause for fear, and
that she had had no dowry on her marriage. She had certainly secured
to herself by letters of the King, 1394, a revenue of 25,000 _livres_,
representing at that time an enormous sum;[181] but besides this she
was constantly collecting and storing away in chests, gold, jewels,
plate, unset diamonds, and other precious stones, title deeds of lands,
everything she could lay her hands upon, in which she was assisted by
her brother, Ludwig of Bavaria, who was constantly in France, getting a
large share of the spoils, wrung by taxation from the people. Isabeau
seems to have had more affection for him than for any one else, and
never appears to have changed towards him. From what little can be
known about him he must have been very much like her, he was generally
with her and Louis d’Orléans, and the people hated him, perhaps, most
of all. Isabeau caused him to be _grand maître d’hôtel_ to the King
for some years, and married him first to Anne de Bourbon, Comtesse
de Montpensier, and then to Catherine d’Alençon, widow of Pierre de
Navarre, both princesses of the blood. He was apparently corrupt,
dissipated, greedy after money, shallow, and useless.

[Illustration: OLD PARIS.]

Though the streets of Paris were narrow and winding, yet both city and
faubourgs had many large gardens and enclosures, or _clos_, as they
were called, which belonged to the abbeys, convents, palaces, and
hotels of the King and nobles. First, there was the famous _Prè aux
clercs_, renowned in romance, mentioned several times in this and a
former volume, which was so large that De Sauval says: “_Il se va perdu
bien loin dans la campagne_,” and which only began to be built upon in
1630. The _clos des Jacobins_ was nine acres, where now are the streets
of la Madeleine, St. Thomas, St. Dominique, &c., and it was said that
before part of it was cut through to make the moats and fortifications
in the reign of Jean, it went up to the walls of the university.[182]
The _clos des Cordeliers_ was also enormous, and in fact the great
enclosures, gardens, vineyards, meadows, and even preserves for rabbits
and other game, were so numerous as to form an important feature in the
ancient capital.

For those who care for the history of Paris there still remain in the
byeways antique houses, picturesque corners, and old streets, around
which cling the historic memories dear to their hearts, but to the
great majority to whom it appears as nothing but an endless succession
of broad streets and boulevards lined with trees, superb, monotonous,
uninteresting houses copied from the Italian, and splendid shops; it
would be impossible to picture to themselves mediæval Paris as it
existed at the time of which this book treats.

Mr. Harrison, in an interesting essay on the transformation of Paris,
says: “The modern streets, to which our tourists confine their walks,
form after all only a gigantic screen, behind which much of old Paris
still remains untouched.”

Until 1789 Paris remained a mediæval city. It would, of course, be out
of the question in a work like this to attempt to give any real account
of it, but it is possible to catch just a glimpse of what the aspect
and life of the city must then have been by careful researches into the
many splendid works in the Bibliothèque Nationale, the British Museum,
and other places, which are filled with pictures and descriptions of it.

With its lofty walls, towers, gates, and moats, old Paris looked, as
it was, a fortress. Inside it was a dense, tangled network of dark
lanes, narrow, crooked streets, huge palaces, mediæval fortresses and
conventual enclosures. Here and there came a tower or Gothic portal,
churches, bridges, and quays crowded with confused piles of lofty
wooden houses, walled gardens with terraces, courts, and colonnades;
while those great royal and feudal castles, the _Châtelet_, the
_Bastille_, the _Temple_, and the _Louvre_, frowned over the city.

The sanitary state of Paris was such that it is difficult to understand
why any one was left alive. Narrow, unpaved streets, with open sewers
running down the middle of them, cemeteries and charnel houses in the
heart of the city, drinking water taken direct from the Seine, it is
no wonder that there were such numbers of deaths of children and young
people, and that so few attained to old age. Of all the children of
Philippe de Valois only two lived to grow up; out of the numerous
family of Charles V. only two survived their childhood. Charles VI. had
twelve children, and though only four died in childhood, scarcely one
reached forty-five years. The sons and daughters of King Jean must have
been exceptionally strong, for all except one grew up, and one or two
lived to be quite old. And if this were the case with the royal family,
it was not likely to be better with those who lived under much less
favourable conditions.

Not only within the walls, but for many miles outside them stood a
profusion of churches, convents, abbeys, chapels, oratories of all
sizes, from the mighty _St. Germain des Près_ to the smallest chantry
on the pier of a bridge. Rich in works of art, gorgeous in colour,
paintings, frescoes, mosaics, stained glass, carved statues, coloured
marbles, gold and silver plate, bronzes, ivories, silks, velvets,
tapestries, embroideries, illuminated books, bells, clocks, perfumes,
organs, instruments of music, choirs of singers, every beautiful and
delightful thing was crowded together with the relics of saints and
tombs of great men, miraculous images, lamps, candles on thousands of
altars, offerings dedicated to countless saints and martyrs. The Church
was school, art museum, place of instruction, prayer, confession of
sin, preaching, and civilising. The great convents and monasteries
were the schools, colleges, hospitals and poorhouses. They existed in
design for the poor, diseased, and wretched. Christ loved the weak and
suffering, and the doors of His house stood ever open to the weak,
the suffering, the halt, the blind, and the lame. The poorest, the
weakest, the most abject, were welcome there. The priest, the monk,
and the nun taught, clothed, and nursed the suffering poor and their
children; there was consolation in heaven for those who had found earth
a hell.[183]

Strange and characteristic were the names of many of the streets
and houses, such as Cherche-midi, Trois-morts-et-trois-vifs,
L’Ymage-de-Saint Nicolas, Quatre-fils-Aymon, Ami-du-cœur, Panier-vert,
Hospice des Quinze-Vingts,[184] beside the Croissant, Lyon d’or, Gerbe
d’or, Croix blanche, Homme sauvage, Couronne, Cheval blanc, and many
others still in use. Isabeau had several hôtels of her own amongst
this tangled labyrinth of streets, buildings, and gardens. First, the
hôtel de la Reine, which was one of the group of hôtels connected by
galleries and colonnades, surrounded by gardens, built by Charles V.,
and called St. Paul. Then she had one in the faubourg St. Marcel, given
her by the Duc de Berry, and another out in the country near Pouilly,
called Val-la-Reine. Some years later she bought another, called
Bagnolet, with a good deal of land and a windmill, besides all other
accessories; it had also about six thousand elms and many other trees.
And in this year she bought the hôtel Barbette, in the vieille rue du
Temple. This she enlarged, bought all the ground about it to turn into
gardens, and used it as a place of diversion.[185]

[Illustration: THE LOUVRE FROM THE HÔTEL DE NESLE.]

During this year one Salmon, a gentleman of the household of the
Queen of England, who had gone with her to that country on her
marriage, arrived with letters from King Richard, who wished to send
the King and Queen of France news of the welfare and happiness of
their daughter. Charles and Isabeau, delighted to hear about her,
received the messenger with great honour. Richard appears to have
felt some uneasiness at the friendship between Henry, son of the Duke
of Lancaster, and the Duc d’Orléans. For Henry of Lancaster was
already his secret enemy and dangerous rival, and the Duc d’Orléans
was extremely powerful and ambitious; the Venetians sent ambassadors
to him, and European princes appealed to him as to an independent
sovereign. Year after year the dissension grew deeper between him and
his uncle of Burgundy, who persisted in retaining the regency, which
Louis declared ought to be his, during the King’s frequent attacks of
insanity.

The year 1399 was an unfortunate one in every way. Troubles and dangers
were beginning to gather in England, threatening the safety of Richard
and Isabelle, and causing the greatest anxiety to the King and Queen
of France. In March and April there were great floods. The Seine
overflowed the whole country and destroyed the seeds, so that the crops
were ruined and the country made so unhealthy that the plague began
again. For eight days a dreadful comet flamed in the sky, which every
one said foreboded evil.[186]

Henry of Lancaster, Earl of Hereford and Derby, had become Duke of
Lancaster through his father’s death, and having been exiled for
treasonable practices by King Richard was spending some months at the
French court. Richard seized the duchy of Lancaster and wrote to the
King of France, complaining of the disloyalty of Henry and begging
him not to consent to his marriage with Marie, daughter of the Duc de
Berry, who, though only twenty-three, was a widow for the second time,
and would have brought him great riches and powerful alliances.[187]

The Duc de Berry was quite willing to agree to the marriage, but
Charles spoke to the Duke of Burgundy, who, when Henry, still called
Earl of Derby, took occasion, the King, princes, and court being
assembled, to speak of the matter, said in the name of the King:
“Cousin, we cannot give our cousin to a traitor.” Henry replied
indignantly that he was no traitor, and defied any one who should
call him so; whereupon Charles, who really liked him, and besides was
weak and confused with illness, softened the refusal by assuring him
that the words of his uncle of Burgundy were inspired by England, and
that no one in France doubted his honour. That as to the marriage, it
could be spoken of another time, but first it was necessary that he
should be invested with his duchy of Lancaster. After which wine and
dessert (_épices_) were served and the subject dropped.[188] Henry of
Lancaster, who was crafty enough, succeeded in deluding and making
friends with the King and princes, even gaining over the Duke of
Burgundy; and then returned to England.

The plague grew worse and worse; so fatal was the epidemic that it
was forbidden at Paris to publish the lists of the dead. The court
moved for a time into Normandy, there were litanies, sermons, and
processions, but as the monk of St. Denis says, “many abbeys were
nearly depopulated, though the abbey of St. Denis only lost one
brother, who passed without doubt to the abode of the blessed.” The
plague was about in the country for two years.

Disquieting reports were brought from England to the French coast
by some merchants of Bruges.[189] It was rumoured that a revolution
had taken place, that King Richard had been deposed, and that both he
and the young queen were in captivity. The King and Queen of France
were in the deepest anxiety about their daughter and nobody could
tell what had happened (which is a strange reflection, in this, the
five-hundredth year after these events). The court returned to the
capital, and suddenly all Paris was thrown into excitement by the news
that the Dame de Coucy, _grande-maitresse_ to the Queen of England, had
arrived unexpectedly at her family hôtel. Directly Charles heard of it
he rushed to the hôtel de Coucy to see her. He found her in great alarm
and dismay, having been banished from England, and all that she told
him of the dethronement, imprisonment, and danger of his son-in-law
and the captivity of his daughter so distressed and incensed him that
although he had been rather unusually well for some little time, he
fell into a frenzy of madness which for the present rendered him
incapable of doing anything.[190]

{1400}

The astonishment and anger of all the French princes at these events
knew no bounds. They cursed the insolent London burghers who had dared
to rebel against their King, were furious with Henry of Lancaster, of
whose resistance to Richard they had never contemplated such a result;
and tried to stir up against him the inhabitants of the remaining
English possessions in France, but without success; for although
attached to Richard, who was born at Bordeaux, the inhabitants of
Bordeaux, Bayonne, &c., were so much better governed, less taxed, and
more prosperous than their French neighbours that they declined to
exchange the English for the French rule.

The people of Paris, discontented and uneasy at the King’s illness
and the various misfortunes that kept happening, bethought themselves
that they never saw anything of the Dauphin, who was delicate and did
not appear much in public. They therefore insisted on his being shown
to them, and his uncles, in consequence, made him ride through Paris
to St. Denis, attended by a _cortège_ of nobles. There was a state
banquet there, and the people, delighted with the Dauphin and the
splendid pageant, thronged the whole way, singing hymns and litanies,
and praying for the little lad who rode in state for the first and last
time as the heir of France.[191]



CHAPTER VI

1400-1409

  Courage of the young Queen of England--Death of the
    Dauphin--Birth of Catherine de France--Intrigues of Louis
    d’Orléans, and quarrels at court--Return of the Queen of
    England--Burgundians and Orléanists--Birth of Charles de
    France--Dreadful storms--Death of Burgundy--Illness of Duc de
    Berry--Conduct of Savoisy--Frère Jacques Legrand--The Princess
    Marie’s choice--Accident in the forest--The King and the
    Dauphin--Jean Sans-peur--King ill--Eclipse--Royal weddings--The
    great winter--Murder of Louis d’Orléans.


“The marriage of King Richard with Isabelle was unadvised, and so I
declared when it was proposed,” said the Duke of Burgundy. “Since the
English have imprisoned King Richard, they will assuredly put him
to death, for they always hated him because he preferred peace to
war.”[192]

His words were not long in being fulfilled. No one can doubt that it
was by the order of Henry that Richard was secretly murdered, and thus
came to an end the project of uniting the Valois and Plantagenets and
closing by this alliance the Hundred Years’ War.

{1400}

The fate of Isabelle was of course what now occupied the royal family
of France. Her father sent ambassadors to see her and demanded that
she should immediately be sent back to France with all her dowry and
possessions. Henry IV., on the other hand, was most anxious that
she should marry his son, now Prince of Wales, who was, as he truly
remarked, of a much more suitable age for her than Richard had been.
But Isabelle would not hear of this plan. She had been extremely
fond of King Richard, whose visits to her at Windsor or wherever she
happened to be pursuing her studies under the care of her ladies had
been her greatest pleasure and holidays, and she doubtless looked
forward to the time when, free from every restraint, she would live
and reign always with the handsome, magnificent hero of romance who
treated her with affectionate kindness and unlimited indulgence. If, as
Sainte-Marthe and other French historians say, and as seems certain,
Isabelle was the eldest daughter of Charles VI. and was born in 1388,
she could not at this time have been more than twelve years old, but
she appears to have felt for King Richard the kind of romantic worship
that very young girls occasionally feel for a man much older than
themselves. At any rate, she took an extraordinarily prominent part in
a conspiracy to restore Richard, tore the badge of Lancaster from the
liveries of her household, issued a proclamation declaring that she did
not recognise Henry as king, went with the barons of Richard’s party to
Cirencester, and after his death vehemently refused to marry the Prince
of Wales, asking only to be sent back to France to her father and
mother; and a constant interchange of letters upon that subject went on
between the royal families of France and England during the whole of
this year.

{1401}

In January the Dauphin Charles, who had been gradually growing thinner
and weaker, faded away and died. His doctors could not find out what
was the matter nor do him any good. The King, who was just then in his
right mind, went to St. Denis to pray for him; the Dukes of Burgundy,
Bourbon, and Orléans went to Ste. Catherine and Notre Dame for the same
purpose, and prayers and processions went on everywhere, but he died on
the 11th of January in the middle of the night.[193]

The next brother, Louis, became Dauphin, and the youngest, Jean, then
two years old, was created Duc de Touraine. The duchy of Guyenne was
also added to the territory of the Dauphin.

The Queen’s father, Stephan of Bavaria, came to France this year and
remained some time. He was again a widower and Isabeau wanted to marry
him to the widow of the last Sire de Coucy who had great possessions,
but the princes objected to placing a Bavarian in a powerful position
close to Paris, so it had to be given up.

The King’s attacks got no better; he had six during 1399. Sometimes he
was childish, played, laughed, and ran about all over the hôtel St.
Paul or wherever he happened to be, so that they had to wall up a great
many of the entrances and places he could fall out of. At other times
he was raving and furious, so that it was dangerous to approach him,
and sometimes sad and melancholy. The Queen was not entirely separated
from him, because every now and then he got well and then they were
together and he gave his orders and often tried to put to rights the
mischief and wrong done in his absence, and recalled friends who had
been exiled or imprisoned. He had insisted on Juvenal des Ursins,
provost of Paris, being left with him and not molested, and it was
of no use for his enemies to try to prevent it. He would not listen
to them, but exclaimed angrily, “Where is my provost? I will have
my provost!” He was well for part of the summer of 1400, and was at
services of thanksgiving in consequence at St. Denis and Notre Dame,
but was soon after taken ill again and not well till Christmas. The
Princess Catherine was born October 27th, at St. Paul.

In spite of the King’s frequent attacks of madness, the Queen contrived
to amuse herself very well. From what one can gather from the records
of the times she seems to have been generally on good terms with him
when he was well, and not to have allowed the pleasures and diversions
of her life to be interfered with when he was ill. The court was still
disturbed and excited by the rivalry of the Duchesses of Burgundy and
Orléans, but Isabeau, who, if she had been a different sort of woman,
could and ought to have ruled them both, did nothing of the kind. She
hated the Duchess of Burgundy and was rather inclined to be jealous
of Valentine, but still on the whole seems to have got on well enough
with her notwithstanding her liaison with the Duc d’Orléans. Louis
and Isabeau were nearly always together; they made excursions and gave
balls and dinners and suppers at St. Paul, the hôtel Barbette, and
other places; they hunted and drove in the royal forests and their
proceedings created continual gossip and scandal in society and all
over Paris. Louis at the same time was carrying on a more than usually
scandalous intrigue[194] with the beautiful wife of the Sire de Canny,
which is noticeable because the result of it was the birth of the great
Dunois, the far-famed Bastard of Orléans, renowned in French song and
story.

The Queen and her children lived chiefly at the hôtel St. Paul, going
backwards and forwards between it and the Palais, spending two or three
weeks at one and then at the other, making excursions and visits to
other of the royal castles in the neighbourhood. The plague, or, as
they called it, “the mortality,” was still a good deal about, and there
are notices of men sent to find out if it was safe to go to different
places, as for instance, Jehan Charron was sent by the Queen to Crécy
with letters to the _receveur_ to ask if “the mortality” was there,
and another man on another occasion to ride all night somewhere to
make the same inquiry; and as Isabeau again sent two or three times in
April to different places it must have still been going on. She also
went to St. Ouen and borrowed a litter from the Abbot of Coulons.[195]
On May 31st she seems to have returned from some excursion, for she
dined and supped at the hôtel Barbette and went to St. Paul to sleep.
Isabeau and Louis, with their suites, would often go out to dine and
sup at one of these châteaux, especially as the days grew long and the
weather hot. Baignolet, or Bagnolet, near Romainville, with its wood of
elms and other trees, was another of the Queen’s country-places where
they sometimes went, returning to Paris at night. But the distress,
confusion, and poverty in the kingdom were increasing rapidly, and
the people murmured as the sounds of music and merriment were heard
from the windows of the hôtel Barbette or the cavalcades of Louis and
Isabeau, with their splendid dresses, trappings, and horses swept
through the streets or passed out of the gates of Paris.

They were both very fond of horses and rode well, and wherever she was
Isabeau had numbers of pet animals. Plenty of dogs, both large and
small, monkeys which played about in her rooms, an enormous aviary of
all sorts of birds, French and foreign, which sang and chattered all
about her palaces, for there were parrots amongst them as well as doves
and little birds. When she moved she took them with her, and was always
buying more or having them given to her.[196]

All her children were with her at this time except the Queen of
England, who was expected before long, and the little nun at
Poissy--that is to say, her two boys, her second daughter, Jeanne,
Duchesse de Bretagne, who still lived with her, and the little
Michelle and Catherine. There is an account of the offerings made
by the Queen and the four elder children at Circumcision, Epiphany,
Candlemas, Easter, and all the great festivals. The children all gave
the same.

Also of enormous quantities of sweetmeats and bonbons made “for the
Queen and _enfants de France_ (at the New Year); that is to say, for
_nos seigneurs_ the Dukes of Guyenne and Touraine, and _nos dames_ the
Duchesse de Bretagne et Michelle de France.” Dragées, coriander, _paste
du roy_, preparations of cinnamon, rose sugar, sugared nuts (perhaps
pralines), and various others in great quantities and several times;
sometimes twenty pounds, sometimes forty, and then, as one can well
imagine, medicines for the Dukes of Guyenne and Touraine.

Also frequently paper and bottles of ink for the Queen, and money paid
to the messengers who carried her letters on many occasions to the
King, the Duc and Duchesse d’Orléans, to various abbots, abbesses, and
different people.[197]

She also had some fools and dwarfs. One called _Grand Jehan le fol_
died some time before, and there is a bill for 12 lbs. of wax for
his funeral at St. Germain d’Auxerrois. These fools were both male
and female; she had one fool, her mother, and grandmother, besides a
Saracen woman some one had given her, of whom she afterwards made a
sister (_sœur converse_) in a convent.

In August the young Queen of England came home. Henry IV. had behaved
very badly to her and to her family, for it was not until after long
and tedious negotiations that he would send her at all, and when he did
he kept nearly all her jewels and the whole of her dowry. He went to
take leave of and console her and sent her to Calais with a brilliant
escort of nobles and ladies. Her father was just then in his right
senses, and delighted at her coming. He sent his uncle the Duke of
Burgundy to fetch her. The Duke met her halfway between Calais and
Boulogne, where a magnificent tent was pitched in which she took wine
and refreshments with her English ladies, who sobbed and cried as she
embraced them all, gave them presents, and took leave of them. She then
joined the Duke of Burgundy, who waited for her with an escort of six
hundred cavalry, and journeyed by Boulogne, Abbeville, then to Picardy,
and by St. Denis to Paris, where she was restored to her parents,
brothers, and sisters at the hôtel St. Paul. Charles and Isabeau
received her with joy and affection. The Queen took charge of her and
re-arranged her household, which she diminished in numbers but placed
ladies of higher rank about her.[198]

The Duc d’Orléans had raised a troop of fifteen hundred men to go to
the assistance of the Emperor Wenceslas, who had been dethroned by
his subjects; but although he was joined in Luxembourg by the Duc de
Gueldre, who was rash, hot-headed, and a great friend of his, the
expedition came to nothing, and they returned to Paris together, with
the Duc d’Orléans’s troop and five hundred men of the Duc de Gueldre.
They were soon joined by the Bretons who were friends of Clisson, by
some Scottish and Welsh companies in the French service, and by a
number of Normans and all the vassals of Orléans, ready to fight in his
quarrel against the party of Burgundy.

For the rivalry and hatred between the uncle and nephew and their
families had arrived at such a pitch that they seemed to be on the
verge of a civil war. Besides the question of the regency between
Philippe and Louis, and the mortal hatred between the Duchesses of
Orléans and Burgundy, it was whispered that a new cause of offence
had arisen. Louis d’Orléans had a private room--cabinet, study, or
drawing-room--the walls of which he had hung with the portraits of
women who he declared had been his mistresses. This room he generally
kept closed, but one day by chance, Jean, Comte de Nevers, eldest son
of the Duke of Burgundy, went into it and found his wife’s portrait
among the others. That this was nothing but an infamous boast on the
part of Louis, and that no blame whatever was attached to the Comtesse
de Nevers seems certain, that is to say, if the story be true at all.
At any rate it was reported and believed at court and related by French
historians, and has been given as a reason for the tragic climax to the
feud between Burgundy and Orléans. For Jean Sans-peur, as the Comte
de Nevers was nick-named, swore vengeance against his cousin for this
insult; and the Dukes of Orléans and Burgundy, each with his followers
and vassals, fortified themselves in their dwellings--Louis in his
hôtel near the porte St. Antoine, and the Burgundians in their hôtel
d’Artois[199]--while the citizens trembled at the thought of these
fierce and violent men in the midst of them longing to be at each
other’s throats and making no secret of their delight at the prospect
of sacking Paris. Seven or eight thousand men on each side were waiting
the signal to draw their swords; the King was just then mad, and the
Queen and Duc de Berry vainly tried to mediate between them. So matters
went on all through December, but at the beginning of January, 1402,
the Duc de Berry, who was then living at the hôtel de Nesle, managed
to get his brother and nephew to meet there. It was no easy matter,
as although they sat at the council together they refused to speak to
or salute one another, and each vehemently opposed whatever the other
proposed. However, he persuaded them at last to embrace, and ride
together through the streets to proclaim their reconciliation to the
people, and dismiss their soldiers, to the great relief of the court
and Parisians, and at the same time the King returned to his senses, so
there was a general thanksgiving at St. Denis, and for a time every one
breathed more freely.[200]

{1402}

In February Isabeau had another boy, and for the third time the King
and Queen chose the name of Charles for their son, who was made Comte
de Ponthieu and was afterwards Charles VII.

In May the Queen gave a great fête at the hôtel Barbette to the Duc de
Gueldre, at which Louis, Valentine, and several other seigneurs were
present.[201]

One would almost suppose that serious thunderstorms in those days
must have been more frequent than at present in the north of Europe,
for three of truly southern violence took place in May and June of
this year. The first, accompanied by a furious wind and a shower of
hailstones as big as a goose’s egg, destroyed the vines and other crops
for sixteen leagues; in the second the lightning struck the hôtel St.
Paul, penetrated into the Queen’s room, where that night she was not
sleeping,[202] and consumed the magnificent curtains of her bed. As a
thank-offering for her escape she sent offerings to several churches,
and to the monks of St. Denis a sum to say three masses a year for the
soul of the late Dauphin. The third storm, on the last day of June, did
more harm than either of the others; it tore up trees, unroofed houses,
and destroyed a great part of the halle du Lendit, near St. Denis, but
left the part untouched where the judges of the royal contributions
resided. The people, who were vexed and harassed by them, remarked that
the devil had spared his own abode. The great cross on the priory de
l’Estrée was struck down.

The King went on much the same, being tolerably well for a few weeks,
and then ill for several weeks more. The Duc d’Orléans had persuaded
him to appoint him regent, and to give him absolute power over all
the Langue d’Oïl, or northern part of France. Some time after he had
an attack of madness, and Orléans, directly he had the government in
his hands, levied enormous taxes, forced loans from everybody, seized
provisions both of lay and ecclesiastics, and published a decree for
another heavy and universal tax throughout the kingdom, to which he
attached the signatures of his uncles of Burgundy and Berry, both
of whom at once publicly denied them, saying that the secretary of
their nephew was a forger. There was a general commotion; Louis was
declared unfit to govern, and even the Queen and Duchesse d’Orléans
saw that this sort of thing could not possibly go on. So directly the
King was better a council was called, in which the Queen, the Duchesse
d’Orléans, all the princes of the blood, the Constable, Chancellor,
the chief minister, and some of the nobles took part. By them it was
settled that in case of the King’s death the chief authority should be
in the hands of the Queen until the majority of her son. Meanwhile the
Queen was president of the Council. The direction of affairs was taken
away from the Duc d’Orléans, and the Duke of Burgundy regained his
power next time the King was ill.

It had been promised by the King and Queen that the late Dauphin should
marry the eldest daughter of the Comte de Nevers, and she was now
betrothed to the Dauphin Louis, commonly called Duc d’Aquitaine,[203]
and it was further arranged that the Princess Michelle should be
married to Philippe, eldest son of the Comte de Nevers, but that she
should be left to be brought up by the Queen her mother. The marriage
of the Dauphin and Marguérite of Burgundy was celebrated with great
pomp at Paris in the cathedral of Notre Dame in August 1404. There had
been some talk of marrying Jean, the second son of the King, to another
daughter of the Comte de Nevers, but this idea was given up and he was
betrothed to Jacqueline, only child of Guillaume, Comte de Hainault,
and Marguérite de Bourgogne, a great heiress.

{1404}

Not long afterwards the Duke of Burgundy was taken ill on a journey
from Arras, where he had left the Duchess, to Brussels, in order to
visit his aunt, the Duchesse de Brabant. The roads were very bad, and
though pioneers were sent on before his litter to smooth and mend
them, he could not go on much further, but stopped at an inn called
the “Stag,” and sent for his three sons, Jean, Antoine, and Philippe.
He expressed repentance for his oppressions, exhorted his sons to fear
God, to be good brothers to each other, loyal subjects to the King,
and to live at peace with the rest of the royal family, after which he
arranged his affairs and died.

So extravagant had he been that, in spite of his immense possessions,
it was doubtful whether he had left enough money to pay his debts, for
which reason the Duchess of Burgundy formally renounced _communauté de
biens_, laying her girdle, purse and keys upon his coffin, according
to the custom. She died very soon after.[204]

At the same time the Duc de Berry was very ill, and when he recovered
and found the Duke of Burgundy was dead he was deeply grieved. While
the former was ill and the King mad, the Duc d’Orléans, at the head
of an armed band, broke into the Palais one night and carried away
nearly all the money to be found there. The Hundred Years’ War had
begun again, and there were constant fights going on, towns and castles
attacked and taken, seaports and villages surprised and sacked by
warships. The new Duke of Burgundy was much worse than the old one,
and had not, of course, the same authority in the council or royal
family. The Duc d’Orléans, though he hated his uncle, was obliged to
have a certain respect for him as a sort of representative of his
father,[205] and the King, in spite of putting a stop every now and
then to his tyrannical proceedings, looked up to him with an amount of
consideration which neither he nor his brother entertained for Jean
Sans-peur, who was as ambitious and extravagant as his father, without
his great qualities, and was harder, more unscrupulous, more cruel,
and more crafty. The chief princes of the blood who ruled in council
were now the Queen, the Duc de Berry (the last surviving son of King
Jean), Louis le Bon, Duc de Bourbon, Louis II., King of Sicily (son
of the late Duc d’Anjou, and a much better man than his father),
Charles III., King of Navarre (also an excellent character), and Jean
Sans-peur, Duke of Burgundy, besides, of course, the Duc d’Orléans.
But unfortunately the two most influential were the Dukes of Burgundy
and Orléans, the latter being always supported by the Queen and her
brother, Ludwig of Bavaria.

{1405}

The brigands had reappeared all over the country and great distress
prevailed, large tracts of land went out of cultivation, travelling was
unsafe owing to the highwaymen who infested the roads, but the fêtes
at court grew more brilliant and licentious and the royal favourites
more insolent. Charles de Savoisy, who had long been a favourite of
the King, and was _grand-maître d’hôtel_ to the Queen, was one of the
most conspicuous. One of his pages, galloping down the streets as a
procession belonging to the university was going by, knocked down
some of the students, out of insolent bravado. The others surrounded
and gave him a blow. The page fled to the hôtel Savoisy and demanded
vengeance, whereupon the retainers of Savoisy attacked the procession
which was already entering the church of Ste. Catherine, striking
with sticks and swords those who were still outside, and firing off
cross-bows into the church, wounding several people and injuring the
sacred images, ornaments, and vestments of the priests. When first
Savoisy heard of it, he said his men had done quite right to maintain
the honour of his house; but finding that the University had laid a
complaint before the Queen and the Dukes of Burgundy and Orléans, he
was frightened and offered to give up the culprits to be hanged. The
University, however, proceeded with the case, the Duc d’Orléans took it
up, and just then the King came to his senses and was very angry. He
ordered Savoisy to be banished, his hôtel razed to the ground, and a
chapel built there at his expense instead. Savoisy was, after a time,
recalled and enriched again.[206]

Meanwhile Louis d’Orléans, Isabeau, and her brother were amassing an
enormous amount of treasure, which they kept in safe places distributed
about. A convoy drawn by six horses and loaded entirely with gold coin
was stopped near Metz, being on the way to Germany, sent by Isabeau.
The people learned from the drivers of it that several others[207]
of these convoys had safely reached their destination. But they did
not pay their tradesmen nor any of their debts. The servants of the
household of the King, Dauphin, and other royal children, could not
get their wages, so that thus it was nearly impossible to procure them
proper food, clothes, and attendance. An Augustine monk named Jacques
Legrand, preaching before the Queen on Ascension Day, harangued against
the dissolute habits of the court, where he declared that Venus reigned
and corruption was general. He said that drunkenness, debauchery, and
licentious dances went on all night, that the Queen had introduced the
excessive luxury and extravagance in dress which everywhere prevailed,
as she would hear if she went out in disguise. The Queen was very
angry and some of her ladies told the monk that they could not imagine
why he was not afraid to say such things, to which he replied that he
could still less understand why they dared to do them. He treated with
indifference the threats aimed at him, and when some of the courtiers
told the King that he had been speaking disrespectfully of the Queen
and her goings on, he said he was very glad of it, and that the monk
should preach to him in his oratory on Whitsunday. Charles listened
with much attention to his sermon on the excesses of the court and
society, and when it was over praised him for his fidelity and courage,
took him under his protection, and resolved to reform the state of
things he complained of. But he fell ill again in June and remained so
during half July, so nothing was done.[208]

There was a spell of very bad weather just then. The melting of snow in
the mountains of Haute Bourgogne caused a torrent to rush down from the
gorges carrying stones and rocks. It drowned many people, broke down
the walls of the great abbey of Cluny, and rushed in, driving the monks
up to the higher stories, where they remained till, in sixteen hours,
the flood went down, and they descended to dig out the dead bodies from
the ruins.[209]

The Queen and Duc d’Orléans had formed the project of attaching to
their party the Duc de Bar, cousin of the King, by marrying his son
to one of the daughters of France. As the only available one was the
Princess Marie, notwithstanding her vows and dedication of the child
at Poissy, Isabeau, accompanied by Louis, set out for that convent to
see her daughter and talk to her on the subject. She found, however,
that instead of a ready consent, which she doubtless expected, the
Princess Marie, then about twelve years old, absolutely refused to
leave the convent. The Queen talked for a long time to her daughter,
and the Duc d’Orléans added his persuasions, but it was no use, she
would not hear of it. She said to the Queen that she had placed her
there, she was dedicated to God, and she should stay there, adding,
“You have made a gift to God and you cannot recall it.”

The King was ill just then, but when he got better they persuaded
him to try his influence. He consented rather reluctantly, but said
she should do as she chose. He went to see her and asked whether she
would consent to leave the convent and marry (she had, of course, not
yet taken the irrevocable vows). But the child replied that she had
promised to be the bride of Christ, and would hold to her vow unless
her father could find her a better and more powerful bridegroom.[210]
The Queen and Duc d’Orléans, after their unsuccessful visit to the
young princess, went to hunt in the forest of St. Germain. There a
frightful storm came on. Isabeau, as usual, was terrified. Louis got
off his horse and took refuge in her carriage. The horses took fright
and ran away down to the river, into which they would certainly have
plunged had not a man caught hold of them and cut the traces, or
whatever were the straps that fastened them to the carriage. The
lightning struck the room where the Dauphin was in Paris, and killed
one of his favourite esquires. The Dauphin was dreadfully frightened
but not hurt. His attendants consoled him and had holy water thrown
about the room.[211] The people said that these floods and storms were
caused by the conduct of the Queen and Duc d’Orléans, who seem to have
been of the same opinion, for they were for a short time seized with
remorse and declared they would pay their debts. Louis even went so
far as to summon his creditors to his hôtel to receive their money,
but when they came he had changed his mind and would not pay them--at
least, only those who had come from a great distance.

One day the King, recovering suddenly from an attack of insanity, and
finding everything in a state of confusion and discomfort, began to
inquire the meaning of this condition of things. The Queen and the Duc
d’Orléans were away, so he questioned the governess of the Dauphin,
who told him that she really could not get proper clothes and scarcely
proper food for the Dauphin and his brothers and sisters, that the
Queen would not attend to the matter, and she did not know what to do.
Charles was exceedingly angry and grieved, for he was very fond of his
children, and he sent for the Dauphin and asked him if it were true.
The boy hesitated, but after a little persuasion told his father that
it was, only that his mother had by caresses and entreaties made him
promise not to tell his father. Charles then asked him how long it was
since he had been with his mother, to which he replied, about three
months. The King thanked the governess for her faithfulness, begged her
to take care of the children, gave her a gold cup he had been drinking
from to reward her services, promising to do more for her afterwards.
Then he called a council and sent for the Duke of Burgundy.[212]

The Queen and the Duc d’Orléans, when they heard he was coming, fled
to Melun and fortified themselves there; which was easy enough as it
was a very strong place on an island in the Seine. It had been the
headquarters of the party of Navarre, as it had belonged to Queen
Blanche in the reign of Jean and Charles V.[213]

In order to prevent the Dauphin from falling into the hands of the
Duke of Burgundy, they sent word to Ludwig of Bavaria, the Queen’s
brother, to bring not only him but the children of Burgundy also, to
the Queen’s country house at Pouilly, where they went to wait for them.
But the Parisians got to hear of it, and sent in haste to meet the Duke
of Burgundy and tell him to come as fast as he could, for the Queen
had sent for the Dauphin and they were afraid she was going to take
him to Germany. Jean Sans-peur, at the head of a strong body of armed
men, pushed on at full speed, but found when he got there that they
had already started. He rode after them and caught them up at about a
league and a half from Paris. They had been taken by boat to Vitry and
had slept at Villejuif. It was pouring with rain. The Duke of Bavaria
represented that the Queen had sent for the children and begged the
Duke of Burgundy, who had much the stronger party of the two, not to
prevent his obeying her orders. The Duke of Burgundy rode up to the
Dauphin’s litter, and, opening the _portière_, asked him if it were by
his own free will that he had left Paris. The Dauphin replied that he
would much rather go back there to his father; upon which the Duke of
Burgundy ordered him to return at once, and himself took hold of the
bridles of the horses and turned them back towards Paris. The Duke of
Bavaria accompanied him, and the Dauphin was soon lodged in the Louvre
while the Duke of Burgundy fortified himself in his hôtel d’Artois.

{1406}

The rest of the party returned to Pouilly, where they found Isabeau and
Louis just going to dinner. But on hearing what had happened they were
so alarmed that, without even waiting to dine, they fled to Melun and
took refuge there.[214]

There was now open war between the Queen and Duc d’Orléans and the
Burgundian party, and the royal family was divided and perplexed. The
King of Sicily and Duc de Bourbon tried to make peace and came to Melun
for that purpose, but it was no use; the Queen would not see them and
the Duc d’Orléans would not listen to them. He said the capture of the
Dauphin was an insult to the Queen and to himself. They went back in
despair, and begged the Duc de Berry to try. He also went to Melun,
but it was no use; the Queen would not go back to Paris.

She was at this time very angry with some of the members of her
household who had been spreading scandal about her. She dismissed
several of her maids-of-honour, among them one who had been her great
favourite, whom she often consulted, and who kept her seal. She put two
of the gentlemen of her household in prison and kept them there for
some time, in spite of the entreaties of their friends that they might
be brought to trial.[215]

However, a conference was held at Vincennes, peace was patched up, and
they all returned to Paris, where the Queen took up her abode again
with the King at St. Paul, the Duc d’Orléans at his hôtel near the
Bastille, the Duke of Burgundy occupied the hôtel d’Artois, the King of
Sicily the hôtel d’Anjou, and the Duc de Berry the hôtel de Nesle. Each
of these hôtels was a fortress, and all the streets around them were
defended with chains and wooden doors.

Meanwhile, the King had another attack worse than ever. He was very
fierce, so that no one dared go near him, and refused to undress or
wash. This went on so long, and he got into such a dreadful state, that
the doctor said it must be stopped somehow. Ten or twelve men therefore
disguised themselves, wore armour under their clothes, and blackened
their faces. Then they rushed into the King’s room, “terrible to see,”
as the chronicler remarks. The King was so frightened that he let them
get close to him, and then they seized him, undressed and washed him,
and put clean clothes on him. He soon began to get better, but for
some time did not know any one but Juvenal des Ursins, who used to go
to see him, and whom he would recognise and talk to. Shortly after he
recovered his senses.[216]

On the 16th of June, 1406, there was a total eclipse of the sun
between six and seven in the morning. It lasted half an hour, “and,”
says the chronicler, “nothing whatever could one see, any more than
if it had been night and there had been no moon.” People crowded into
the churches, and every one thought the world was coming to an end.
“However, the thing passed off, and the astronomers assembled and
said that the thing was very strange and the sign of a great evil to
come.”[217]

Two more royal marriages took place. Isabelle, Queen of England, was
married to Charles, eldest son of the Duc d’Orléans, and her little
brother Jean, to Jacqueline, daughter of the Comte de Hainault and
niece of the Duke of Burgundy. Isabelle hated this marriage and cried
all the time, it was said at court, because she thereby lost the title
of Queen of England. Miss Strickland, in her life of that Queen,
observes that if she had been so anxious to keep the crown of England,
she could easily have done so by marrying King Henry V., and that her
grief was caused by her love for King Richard. But at any rate, it is
not difficult to understand that a girl of seventeen might well object
to be married to a boy of fifteen,[218] and her cousin, besides the
fact of his being a subject while she had been a queen. Miss Strickland
goes on to state that after a short time she became reconciled to this
marriage, Charles of Orléans being accomplished and precocious beyond
his years, and devoted to her, but it was cut short by her early death.

{1407}

After the weddings the Comtesse de Hainault wished to take the Duc de
Touraine back with her. The Queen objected, and a dispute arose, but as
it had been agreed in the contract that he should be under her care,
she got her way, took leave of the Queen (the King was then ill), and
returned to Hainault. The Count came to meet them with a brilliant
suite and received the young prince with great ceremony, and in every
place through which they passed was music and rejoicing. The children
had the household of sovereign princes, and the Count tried to educate
his son-in-law in the ways of the country, that he might live in
harmony with his future subjects. The King, when he recovered, made no
objection, but consented to the Count’s request that his son should be
brought up in Hainault.[219]

Never within the memory of any one alive had been seen such a winter as
that of 1407. The snow lay deep on the ground, wells were frozen to an
extraordinary depth, wine was frozen in the barrel and bread at the
bakers. Many people died of the cold, and it was known as “_le grand
hiver_.”[220] The frost lasted sixty-six days, beginning in November.
Louis d’Orléans had been ill on and off all the autumn, and had been
staying at Beauté for the benefit of the fresh air of the forest which
his father had so loved. Valentine and her children were still in the
country, and the King at the Louvre. Isabeau had for some time been
living in the hôtel Barbette, where she had given birth to her twelfth
and last child, who was christened Philippe and died soon after.
Isabeau was still weak, and had not recovered from her illness; she had
displayed extraordinary grief at the death of this baby, for whom it
was said she showed more affection than for any of her other children.
She was altogether low and depressed in spirits, and Louis came every
day to see and console her.

He was just then living at the hôtel de Nesle, not the great palace
opposite the Louvre, but the one afterwards called the hôtel de
Soissons, whence he and his daily rides to the hôtel Barbette were
known and watched by the men of Burgundy.

[Illustration: HOTEL BARBETTE.]

On Wednesday evening, November 23, 1407, Louis and Isabeau were having
supper and spending the evening together at the hôtel Barbette. Isabeau
was splendidly dressed in long robes and an enormous headdress with
horns, covered with jewels. It was only eight o’clock, but the night
was dark and all the shops in that quarter were closed. Suddenly a
messenger from the King was announced for the Duc d’Orléans, who said
that he desired at once to see the Duke, as he had an important matter
to speak to him about.

Louis rose, took his leave, and went out. Mounting his mule,[221] he
rode carelessly along, swinging his embroidered glove and humming
a song as he went. He was only accompanied by two esquires, both
riding the same horse, a young German page or esquire, and four or
five _varlets_ carrying torches. As they passed a dark corner by a
wall close to the house of the Maréchal d’Evreux the horse of the two
esquires seems to have been aware of the presence of some men concealed
in the darkness, snorted violently, and ran away. The assassins rushed
out and assailed the Duke, who, thinking it was a mistake, exclaimed,
“I am the Duc d’Orléans,” to which, however, the reply was, “It is you
we want.” The two esquires looked round, expecting he was following
them, and seeing the struggle, managed to stop their horse, and
returned. Louis d’Orléans lay dead on the ground, covered with wounds;
his German page, who had defended him to the last, died as they came
up, muttering, “_Mon maître_.” The assassins rode off at full speed,
laughing and strewing _chaussetrapes_, or calthrops, behind them, and
setting fire to a house to divert attention from their flight. In a
moment cries of alarm resounded on all sides; the street was full of
torches; some of the followers of the Duke rushed back to the hôtel
Barbette to tell the Queen, who heard the tumult with terror and did
not know what was happening.

Félibien says that the murderers came out of a house called Notre
Dame, because over the door was an image of our Lady, and that it was
opposite that of the Maréchal de Rieux. This house they had hired for
the purpose, and had been hidden in it for a fortnight. They were
eighteen in number. The wife of a shoemaker said that she opened her
window, and looking out into the street, she saw the Duke and his
little group of attendants come out of the hôtel Barbette; then the
attack of the murderers, the short fight, the fall of the Duke, his
page, and another of his followers; and that after all was over a tall
man wrapped in a cloak, with a red hood drawn over his face, came
out of a house opposite, which had lately been bought by the Duke of
Burgundy, and pushing with his foot the body of Orléans, said, “_Il est
mort, éteignez tous et allons nous en._” She shouted, “_Murder! Fire!_”
out of the window, but they turned with threatening words and ordered
her to be silent. The Maréchal de Rieux, a friend and partisan of
Louis d’Orléans, hearing the clamour and cries, came out of his hôtel
with a torch, and to his horror found him lying dead, with his German
page also dead and another of his followers dying; the rest had fled.
The body of Louis was carried to the nearest church, and then to that
of the Céléstins, and laid in the _chapelle d’Orléans_, which he had
founded.[222]

Isabeau, wild with fear, ordered her litter at once, got into it, and
was carried to the hôtel St. Paul, where she took refuge with the
King, taking up her abode in the room adjoining his; while the news
spread through Paris, and the nobles, hastily arming, flocked to St.
Paul to guard the King, all the gates of Paris were closed but two,
which were strictly guarded and count kept of all who passed out or in.

The King, filled with grief and anger, sent for the provost of Paris
and ordered him to find out the assassins, and there was a general
wonder who was the instigator of this crime. Suspicions fell upon the
Sieur de Canny, who had cause enough to hate Louis d’Orléans, but it
appeared that he had not been in or near Paris at the time; and on the
25th the provost of Paris presented himself at the hôtel St. Paul where
the princes were assembled, as a council was about to be held, and came
into the apartment where they were all waiting for the time for it to
begin. The King of Sicily and the Dukes of Burgundy, Berry, and Bourbon
were present, besides other princes of the blood.[223]

The Duke of Burgundy was standing by a window talking to the King of
Sicily when the provost of Paris appeared and said that he believed he
could find out the author of the crime if he might have permission to
search the hôtels of all the princes.[224] It appeared that a scullion
who had acted as spy for the murderers had been seen to escape and
enter the hôtel d’Artois, or Burgundy.

All the princes at once gave leave for their palaces to be searched
except the Duke of Burgundy, who hesitated and changed colour, and the
King of Sicily asked him if he knew anything of the affair. Taking
him and the Duc de Berry aside, he confessed his guilt. “_C’est moi
qui ai fait le coup et ne sais comme il s’est fait, il faut que le
diable m’ait tenté et surpris._” The princes looked at each other
in consternation. “_Dieu!_” exclaimed the Duc de Berry, “_je perds
aujourd’hui mes deux neveux!_”

Next day, when he presented himself to attend the council at the hôtel
de Nesle, the Duc de Berry stopped him, saying he had better not go in,
as it would please no one to see him there; he had better go back to
his hôtel. The Duke of Burgundy left the palace, the Comte de Saint-Pol
refusing to accompany him, got fresh horses, and fled to the nearest
fortress belonging to him, cutting the Pont Saint Maxence behind him to
stop pursuit. The Duc de Bourbon indignantly asked the Duc de Berry,
“Why did you let him go?” He grieved sincerely for his nephew, and
never again would sit at a council, or enter a room, or go to any place
where the Duke of Burgundy was.



CHAPTER VII

1407-1412

  Departure of royal family--Hundred Years’ War--Valentine
    d’Orléans--Queen returns to Louvre--Death of Valentine--Forced
    reconciliation--Philippe de Bourgogne and Michelle de
    France--Misconduct of the Duc de Bretagne--Death of Isabelle de
    France--Of the Duc de Bourbon--Quarrels of the Duke and Duchess
    of Aquitaine--Of the princes.


Never did there appear to be a more conspicuous example of successful
crime than the one recorded in the last chapter. Jean Sans-peur
had satisfied his vengeance and got rid of his rival, and although
retribution eventually fell upon him, he was for many years able to
rejoice in his deed and escape the punishment of it by reason of his
powerful position and the weakness of those opposed to him.

For Charles VI. was in a much worse state of health than he had been
at the time of the attack on Clisson, and though he was transported
with sorrow and indignation and swore vengeance upon the murderers, he
almost immediately fell into one of his fits of madness, and when he
got better he was so confused and weak as to be unable to take any
decided measures. The Queen had implored him to punish the assassins,
but she had no power to do so when he was again mad, and, fearing for
her own safety, she left Paris with the Duke of Aquitaine, his wife,
her other children and her brother, and took up her abode at Melun with
them.[225] The other members of the royal family were afraid of the
Duke of Burgundy,[226] who besides his violent character and immense
power, could easily have endangered France by throwing in his lot with
the English, who were carrying on the war, notwithstanding the absurd
injustice of the claim they put forward to the crown of France.

{1407}

It will be remembered that, as was explained in the former volume,[227]
Edward III. of England claimed that throne through his mother,
Isabella, daughter of Philippe IV., and persisted in it, although it
was finally decided that the Valois, as nearest heirs male, descending
from Charles, brother of that King, were the lawful possessors of the
throne ascending to the _loi salique_ or Salic law, which henceforward
was adopted by the country; and notwithstanding the existence of
daughters and grandsons through them, who would have come before the
sister of the then last Kings, Louis Hutin, Philippe-le-Long and
Charles-le-Bel, supposing the female line to have been admitted at all.

But Henry IV. had still less pretensions than Edward III., for he was
not the lawful heir even of the English King. If, as has been shown,
the claim of King Edward was an unjust one, of course he had no ground
to stand upon. If, on the other hand, it were a just one, then it would
belong, not to the descendant of his third son, John of Gaunt, Duke of
Lancaster, but to the Mortimers, who descended by the female line from
Lionel, Duke of Clarence, his second son, Richard II., son of the Black
Prince, having left no children. In fact, the Mortimers were the right
heirs to the crown of England.[228]

However, the English were still a very serious danger for France,
and the Duke of Burgundy would have been an invaluable ally, whom,
in consequence, they did not dare to drive to desperation. And as he
always posed as a friend of the people when he wanted to injure Louis
d’Orléans, who was supposed to be their chief oppressor, he was very
popular with the credulous mob, who did not, after the first horror
caused by the assassination of the King’s brother, trouble themselves
much about it, but said, alluding to the knotted stick which had been
the emblem of Orléans, and the plane of Burgundy, “_Le bâton noueux est
enfin raboté._”[229]

Louis d’Orléans had been buried with great solemnity in the Chapelle
d’Orléans of the Céléstins, all the princes of the blood, including
his murderer, attending in white mantles, the day before the council
at which the Duke of Burgundy had owned his guilt. Valentine was
still in the country when the news was brought to her, with her
children. Overwhelmed with grief, she sent her daughter and her two
eldest boys, the young Duc d’Orléans and the Comte de Vertus, for
safety, to the strong castle of Blois, and with her youngest son and
her daughter-in-law, the Princess Isabelle, she set off, in spite of
the fearful cold, to Paris, where they arrived on December 10th, went
to the hôtel St. Paul, threw themselves at the feet of the King, who
had got better again, and implored justice on the murderer. Charles
received his daughter and sister-in-law with kindness and affection,
and promised all they asked, but early in January another of his
attacks came on, and Valentine seeing that nothing could be done and
not thinking herself safe, as the Duke of Burgundy seemed all powerful
at Paris where he had returned amid the acclamations of the mob,
retired to Blois, and fortified herself there with her children.[230]

{1408}

The great frost broke up and the melting of the snow and ice swelled
the rivers into frightful torrents, carrying away houses, trees, and
cattle. The monk of St. Denis says that he saw in the Seine masses of
ice three hundred feet long dashing against each other, destroying
boats and bridges. At Paris, on the second day of the thaw, the pont
St. Michel was swept away, with all the houses on it, and so was a
wooden bridge on the other branch of the Seine. Much it was feared
that the Grand Pont also would give way, as it shook terribly with
the icicles, but only fourteen shops fell. The roads were impassable
by reason of the rocks and trees with which they were covered by the
floods. Many mills were destroyed, and the price of bread rose. The
King ordered all bakers to sell flour at the same price, but great
distress prevailed, and no one alive had ever seen such a winter.[231]

About May the Princess Marie took the perpetual vows at Poissy, in
presence of the King, Queen, and court.

The King went to Melun to visit the Queen, who had sent for the provost
of Paris and made him tell her all that had been done there, and
found that the Duke of Burgundy had been trying to throw upon her the
same suspicions of magic that he had formerly done upon the Duchesse
d’Orléans. He had now left Paris, and Isabeau, greatly incensed,
resolved to return there in state. Charles was taken ill again the day
after his visit to Melun, and Isabeau sent for several of the princes,
including Berry, Bourbon, Alençon, and the young Duc de Bretagne,
husband of her second daughter Jeanne, and went to Paris escorted by
them, in a gilded coach, the Dauphin Louis, who was usually called Duc
d’Aquitaine, riding in the procession for the first time, with a guard
of three thousand men in armour. Proclamations were issued that any
one misbehaving or causing any disturbance would be imprisoned in the
Châtelet, which was indeed no desirable place of abode.[232]

The Queen took up her residence in the strong fortress of the Louvre
with her children, where she doubtless felt safer than in the hôtel St.
Paul, and had herself appointed regent in case of the King’s illness.

The princes were divided between their anger at the murder of Orléans
and their fear of Burgundy, but as he was now absent, the Duchesse
d’Orléans and her children came to Paris and appealed to the Duc
d’Aquitaine and other princes for vengeance on the murderer of their
husband and father. The King was just then ill again. As he, when in
his mad state, either did not know Isabeau at all, or else was so
fierce that she could not go near him without danger to her life,
she had ceased to take much trouble about him. In fact, a young girl
called Odette had been chosen, with the full consent of the Queen, to
be his mistress and constant companion. She seems to have been the
only consolation of Charles, who was devoted to her; always listened
to her in his most insane moments, and did whatever she told him. She
was called by the household and courtiers, “La petite reine.” Their
daughter, named Marguérite de Valois, was recognised by the King, and
afterwards married to a French noble.

The monk of St. Denis says she was of low origin, and such has been
the general opinion; but M. Vallet de Viriville says there is good
reason to suppose her to have been the daughter of Odin de Champdivers,
a Burgundian gentleman who had a château near Dôle, where, after the
death of Charles, she took refuge.[233]

While the Queen and princes were deliberating on the means of punishing
Jean Sans-peur, the news of his victorious return from an expedition
to Flanders filled them with consternation. The Queen first tried to
borrow money to escape with the King and her children, but no one would
lend her any. The King, therefore, left Paris with the Duc de Bourbon
on the 3rd of November, and went by boat to the Céléstins, and thence
to St. Victor with 1,500 men. The Queen, with the Duke and Duchess of
Aquitaine,[234] the rest of the children, the Duc de Berry, the Kings
of Sicily and Navarre left two days later, went down the Loire to Tours
and joined the King. The Duke of Burgundy entered Paris amidst cries of
“Noël! Noël!” from the populace.[235]

Valentine Visconti, Duchesse d’Orléans, despairing of getting either
justice or vengeance, returned to Blois with her children, and also the
little son of Louis d’Orléans and the Dame de Canny, the afterwards
famous Dunois, the Bastard of Orléans.

Jean Sans-peur, finding the King, Queen, and royal family all gone,
was much disturbed. He resolved to negotiate, and persuaded his
brother-in-law, the Comte de Hainault, who was also father-in-law to
the King’s second son, to go to Tours for that purpose.

Perhaps what made peace with Burgundy more possible was the death of
Valentine Visconti on the 4th of December, at Blois. Overcome with
grief, disappointment, and anxiety, her health had given way. She took
for her device a _chante-pleurs_[236] dropping tears, and the motto
“_Rien ne m’est plus; plus ne m’est rien_,” which she had embroidered
on the black hangings of her room. She always charged her sons to
avenge their father, and pointing to the little Jean (afterwards
Dunois), then six years old, she said, “_Celui-là m’a été enlevé, il
n’y a point d’enfant si bien taillé pour venger la mort de son père._”

As the result of the negotiations an interview was arranged in solemn
state in the church of Notre Dame de Chartres. A platform was raised
before the great crucifix, all around sat the King, Queen, Kings of
Sicily and Navarre, Dukes de Berry and Bourbon, the Cardinal de Bar,
the Archbishop of Sens, and all the princes and great nobles. The Duke
of Burgundy, with his advocate, then came forward and knelt before the
King, the advocate making a speech of which the arrogance was only
thinly veiled by the formal respect for the sovereign, ending by asking
pardon for the Duke of Burgundy, to which the latter added, “_Sire,
de ce ie vous prie._” The King was silent, but the Duc de Berry knelt
before the Queen, whispering something to her, upon which she rose, and
with the Duc d’Aquitaine and the Kings of Sicily and Navarre, knelt
and joined in the request, to which he replied, “_Nous le voulons
et accordons pour l’amour de vous._” The Duke of Burgundy and his
advocate then approached the young princes of Orléans, who in deep
mourning and with tearful eyes stood behind the King; the advocate
saying: “_Messeigneurs voici le Duc de Bourgogne qui vous prie qu’il
vous plaise oster de vos cœurs la vengeance ou hayne que porriez avoir
contre luy pour l’éxcés fait et perpetré en la personne de Monseigneur
d’Orléans vostre père et que doresnavant vous demourez et soyez bons
amys ensemble_;” to which Burgundy added, “_et de ce ie vous en prie_.”
The princes of Orléans, of whom the eldest, the young Duke, was then
seventeen, stood in silence, and it was only in obedience to the desire
of the King that they reluctantly, and with tears, answered, “_Sire,
puisqu’il vous plait commander, nous luy accordons sa requeste, et luy
pardonnons toute la maleveillance que aurions contre luy car en rien
ne voulons désobéir à chose qui soit à vostre plaisir._”[237] Peace
was then signed, sealed, and sworn upon the gospels, but in spite of
the grandeur and solemnity of the scene and the intense interest and
importance of the occasion, the whole thing was a hollow and worthless
form. There was no repentance in the heart of Jean Sans-peur, and no
forgiveness in those of the sons, friends, and followers of Louis and
Valentine d’Orléans. As to the Queen, she was too weak and shallow for
any lasting passion or feeling, in which her son the Duc d’Aquitaine
closely resembled her. He expressed great anger at the murder of his
uncle, and yet he persuaded his father to appoint the Duke of Burgundy
his guardian. It is true that at this time he was only twelve years
old, but the same vacillating, unreliable character was the despair of
his friends and of France during his life. Burgundian one week and
Armagnac the next, he, like his mother, was neither to be trusted by
friends nor feared by enemies.

The King and Queen returned to Paris in March. All the Queen’s
ladies were dressed in white, and there was much feasting at the
palaces of the King and Queen, and the hôtels of the nobles and chief
burghers.[238]

In June the Princess Michelle was married to the eldest son of the Duke
of Burgundy, Philippe, Comte de Charolais, and this marriage turned out
very happily, for Michelle, then seventeen years old, was a charming
character, like her sisters, and Philippe was in most respects unlike
his fierce, unscrupulous father. Gay, kind-hearted, and affectionate,
he was known as Philippe-le-Bon, and was adored by his subjects as no
other duke had been since all Burgundy mourned for Philippe de Rouvre,
the last of the beloved Capétienne house.

In August the Duke of Burgundy was hastily summoned by the King and
Queen to come to Paris and bring a strong body of men-at-arms who
might be wanted, as there was a serious quarrel going on with the
Duc de Bretagne, husband of their second daughter Jeanne; who had
not only brought over[239] a number of English and made war on the
Comtesse de Penthièvre, but had quarrelled with his wife because she
opposed his proceedings, and was even said to have struck her. Her
father and mother were, of course, much incensed at this, so they
resolved to send the Duke of Burgundy and some of the other princes
to attack and subdue him. Jean Sans-peur was all the more willing as
the Comte de Penthièvre had married one of his daughters, so he came
at once with his troops, and preparations were going on vigorously for
the invasion of Bretagne; but the Duke, hearing of the indignation
of his mother-in-law, “_et de ceux qui gouvernoit le roi_,” became
so frightened that he came to Paris and made his submission. All the
princes were very angry, and the Duc d’Orléans, his brother-in-law,
told him that the lion in his heart was not bigger than that of a child
of a year old.[240] In fact, he seems to have been what some in these
days would call “well hustled,” and it would appear that the quarrel
between him and the Princess Jeanne was made up. One may imagine that
at any rate he must have altered his conduct as we find years after,
that the Penthièvres having taken him prisoner and threatened his life,
she persuaded her brother, the Dauphin, to forbid them to do him any
injury, and taking up arms herself she besieged and took their castles
and forced them to set him at liberty.

{1409}

The next calamity that happened was the death, at Blois, of the
Princess Isabelle, Duchesse d’Orléans, in giving birth to her first
child. The young duke was overwhelmed with grief, and the only
consolation he seemed to find at first was in the infant daughter who
survived.[241] In her “Life of Isabelle de Valois,” Miss Strickland
declares that the second marriage of Isabelle had been an extremely
happy one, and remarks upon the talents and virtues of the young
Charles d’Orléans, the well-known poet, of whose despairing verses on
the death of Isabelle she gives a translation, also of a later poem,
which she declares to have been written on the same subject.[242] The
young duke gave the rich dresses belonging to her to make vestments for
the abbey of St. Denis, where prayers were said for her.

But none of the misfortunes that befel the royal family or the
country stopped the gaieties of the court. The King was at the
Palais for Christmas and sent for the Queen, who was at Vincennes,
to come and join him and bring the Duc d’Aquitaine, who had hitherto
remained under her care. The princes went to meet her and various
splendid entertainments took place when she arrived. She formally
gave the Duc d’Aquitaine into the care of the King, who appointed the
Duke of Burgundy his governor. Nothing, however, could be done in
council without consent of the Queen. The Ducs de Berry and Bourbon,
disapproving of the overweening power of Jean Sans-peur, left Paris and
retired to their châteaux.

Jeanne, Duchesse de Bretagne, who had a son in this year, was very
anxious that her brother the Duc d’Aquitaine should come and attend
her “_lever_.” He was not allowed to do so, but a seigneur was sent
instead, with splendid jewels as presents for her.[243] The monk of
St. Denis in his chronicle tells us that in the early part of July
there was a strange omen in Hainault. Innumerable flocks of birds of
prey assembled and fought in the air, as if leagued against each other.
Storks, herons, and magpies attacked rooks, crows, and jays, and a
fierce battle ended in the victory of the former, the ground being
strewn with the bodies of the latter, and causing people “of learning
and experience” to say that bloody battles would soon be going on.[244]

{1410}

It was a tolerably safe prediction to make at that time, more
especially as the death of Louis had not, as the Duke of Burgundy
supposed it would, annihilated the party of his opponents. On the
contrary the Orléanists married the young Duke Charles, now a widower,
to Bonne, daughter of Bernard, Comte d’Armagnac, one of the most
powerful nobles in the kingdom. He claimed descent from Clovis and had
married a daughter of the Duc de Berry. Brave, liberal, unscrupulous,
a faithful friend, and a relentless foe, he was the man chosen by the
princes to take the leadership of the party which none of them were
capable of holding themselves. From this time the name of the party
changed from Orléanist to Armagnac, and the strife became fiercer and
more desperate than it had ever been under the leadership of the more
gentle, easy going Louis.

The royal family and court had sustained a great loss in the death of
the Duc de Bourbon, who died in August, 1410, on his way to help the
Armagnacs at the head of his troops, for he had never for an instant
been persuaded to condone the murder of his nephew by the Duke of
Burgundy. The lofty character and noble life of Louis II., Duc de
Bourbon, stand out conspicuously amidst the corruption and depravity
with which he was surrounded during his later years. When the court
and rule of his brother-in-law and sister had fallen to his nephews,
Isabeau, and the brothers of Charles V., the Duchesse de Bourbon
withdrew from court and lived almost entirely with her children on
their own estates in the Bourbonnais, where he also spent a great deal
of his time, although obliged to be frequently at Paris and elsewhere
with his nephews, to whom he was always a good friend and who were
extremely fond of him. The only letter existing in the handwriting of
Charles VI. is to him. As a son, brother, husband, father, soldier,
statesman, and ruler, he was idolised, and after his death his funeral
train, as it travelled through the country was followed by crowds of
people weeping and lamenting. He had, with the consent of the Duchess,
intended after this last expedition to retire to the monastery of
the Céléstins at Vichy, and after his death two knotted cords were
found under his clothes, which he wore secretly. He knew he could not
recover, received the last sacraments and prayed constantly, dying
peacefully at the age of seventy-three, leaving a stainless name and a
heroic example.[245]

Meanwhile the dissensions amongst the different members of the royal
family only increased. The marriage of the Duc d’Aquitaine with
Marguérite de Bourgogne had turned out as badly as possible. He
slighted and neglected her and made open love to other people. One of
the ladies of the Queen’s household especially was his mistress, he
wore her colours and device to the great indignation of the Duke of
Burgundy, who took the part of his daughter. Isabeau seems to have done
the same, for it is frequently mentioned that the Duchesse d’Aquitaine
was with the Queen while the Duke was elsewhere.

{1412}

There was open war between Burgundians and Armagnacs. The Duke of
Burgundy had placed his own people in the household of his son-in-law,
and tried by all means to gain influence over him, which seemed to
be easy enough, and to retain it, which was not easy at all, as no
dependence whatever could be placed on any friendship, affection, or
opinion of his lasting a single week. The Comte de Clermont, Duc de
Bourbon by the death of his father, was like him, an Orléanist. In
company with the Ducs de Berry and Orléans, the Comtes d’Alençon and
Armagnac, and the Sire d’Albret he had entered into a treaty with the
English, offering, among other concessions, to restore to them the
duchy of Aquitaine. This treaty was discovered and the above-named
princes, who had taken refuge in Bourges, were besieged there by the
Burgundians about the end of June, 1412.

[Illustration: BOURGES.]

But the Duc d’Aquitaine began to get tired of these constant quarrels
of Burgundians and Armagnacs, for whose sake the kingdom, which was his
own inheritance, was being wasted and destroyed, and he resolved to put
a stop to the war. To the consternation of his father-in-law he forbade
the gunners and engineers to fire any more, or to demolish or destroy
the walls, gates, or fortifications of Bourges, saying that the war
had gone on long enough. The Duke of Burgundy said that the sooner it
was finished the better, only it must be by the complete subjection
of the Armagnacs. To which the Duc d’Aquitaine rejoined that he would
doubtless welcome their submission to the King, his father, but that
in any case this had gone on too long already, to the detriment of
the kingdom; that the discredit would fall upon him, the heir of
France, and that the opposing party were his uncles, cousins, and near
relations, against whom he refused any longer to fight. The Duke of
Burgundy was obliged to submit, the siege was raised and peace for a
short time restored.[246]

The princes and court returned to Paris, where the usual amusements
and festivities began again. The Duc d’Aquitaine was the leader of all
the follies and dissipation that went on. He was as extravagant and
licentious as his uncle Louis d’Orléans had been, without his intellect
or charm.

Louis d’Orléans, in spite of his countless infidelities, lived on good
terms with his wife, but the Duc d’Aquitaine seems not only to have
been unfaithful, but brutal. He was not without cultivation, spoke
Latin almost as well as French, and was exceedingly fond of music,
but he cared nothing for the affairs of state, spent his nights in
balls, suppers, and entertainments, and stayed in bed all day. His
life seemed even more full of dissipation and debauchery than those of
his father and uncle, while it was not redeemed by any of the gallant,
warlike deeds of a soldier’s life, such as had won them popularity
even in early boyhood. Every one complained of the Duc d’Aquitaine; his
father-in-law was indignant at his behaviour to his wife, very serious
apprehensions were entertained for his health amongst the members of
the royal family, the people pointed to the example of his father,
whose manner of life had caused his madness, and predicted that if
he went on so he would lose his reason in the same way, and even the
Queen several times threatened that unless he reformed his conduct in
some degree the succession to the throne should be transferred to his
brother Jean, Duc de Touraine, who, in the charge of his father-in-law,
the Comte de Hainault, was being better brought up.



CHAPTER VIII

1413-1435

  Riots led by Burgundy--The Duc d’Aquitaine’s ball--His
    quarrels with Burgundy--The Comte de Charolais--Battle of
    Azincourt--Death of Aquitaine--The Dauphin Jean--His court--His
    death--Imprisonment of the Queen--Jean Sans-peur rescues
    her--Enters Paris by night--Massacre of Armagnacs--The Dauphin
    Charles--Murder of Jean Sans-peur--Marriage of Catherine
    de France to Henry V.--Departure for England--Birth of a
    son--Return to Paris--Festivities--Death of Henry V.--Death
    of Charles VI.--Retirement of the Queen--Henry VI. enters
    Paris--Treaty of Arras--Death of Isabeau.


It was May, 1413, the court was at Saint Paul. The King had just
recovered from one of his attacks. Every one had been, dressed in white
hoods, to Notre Dame to give thanks, and now the important event was
the wedding to be celebrated on the following day between the Queen’s
brother, Duke Ludwig of Bavaria, and Catherine d’Alençon, widow of
Pierre de Navarre, Comte de Mortaigne.

There had been a good deal of uneasiness in the air for some time
and the war with England was going on. When peace was made between
Burgundians and Armagnacs, the latter were obliged to break their
alliance with the English king, whose troops under his second son, the
Duke of Clarence, had ever since been ravaging Normandy, Picardy, and
Maine, notwithstanding that the little Comte d’Angoulême, the youngest
of the Orléans princes, had been given them as a hostage. They were
also attacking some of the southern parts of France, and swore they
would regain the duchy of Aquitaine, their ancient patrimony. Two
months ago Henry IV. had died, and the Prince of Wales, now Henry
V., hitherto remarkable chiefly for his fast, disorderly, somewhat
scandalous life, seemed likely to be a powerful and dangerous enemy.
The populace of Paris were deeply discontented, as well they might be,
for it was openly declared that the expenses of the King’s household,
which used to be 94,000 francs were now 450,000, and yet the tradesmen
were not paid; that although the allowance for the King and Queen’s
alms went on, scarcely any alms were ever given; that some of the royal
servants and officers received enormous salaries, while others could
never get any wages paid at all; and that, in spite of the sums allowed
for the repair of the King’s castles and palaces, they were in such a
state that they would soon fall into ruins.

{1413}

The Duke of Burgundy had his own reasons for wishing to stir up the
people. He was afraid of certain transactions by which he had got hold
of a large sum of money being made known by Pierre des Essarts, provost
of Paris, who held his receipts for them, and now belonged to the
Orléanists; he was uneasy about the power and favour of that party and
the estrangement of the Duc d’Aquitaine, who disliked him because he
was so overbearing and disagreeable.

The Duc d’Aquitaine had been warned that an attack upon the hôtel St.
Paul was intended, and advised to arm his household, raise the banner
with the _fleur-de-lis_ over the entrance and defend himself. But while
he was deliberating with the other princes, instead of taking immediate
action, as any of his forefathers would have done, a dreadful noise
began to be heard, and a shouting, howling, desperate mob was seen to
be rushing down the streets towards the hôtel St. Paul. They surrounded
that palace, planted the standard of the city, and with loud cries and
threats demanded to speak to the Duc d’Aquitaine.

Among the chief characteristics that distinguish the history of France
from that of any other Christian or civilised nation are the furious,
credulous, ferocious mobs, whose atrocious deeds continually appear
in her annals, and who seem to belong to no particular century; for
whether we see them murdering nobles and gentlemen with their wives and
children in the fourteenth century, Huguenots in the sixteenth, waggon
loads of women, young girls, and little children in the eighteenth--or
priests and unarmed hostages in the nineteenth, whether they are called
Jacques, or Leaguers, or Septembriseurs, or Communists--they evidently
do not excite either abhorrence or shame in the minds of the great mass
of their countrymen who have just raised a statue in Paris in honour of
one of the most bloodthirsty of the wretches who acted as their leader
in the perpetration of those cowardly and brutal crimes against which
the rest of civilised humanity revolts.

One of these mobs, not a whit more cruel and savage than those which
yelled and howled and danced through the streets of Paris in our own
and our fathers’ and grandfathers’ days, was now pressing round the
hôtel of the Duc d’Aquitaine at Saint Paul. They had certainly much
reason for their anger and complaints, but whether their cause is a
bad or a good one the means by which they carry it out are always
atrocious. On this occasion they put forward a Carmelite monk called
Eustace, who gave a harangue on the calamities, bad government, and
generally disastrous state of things. The Duke of Burgundy came
down, said the King was only just recovered and could not bear this
agitation, and advised them to go away. But they clamoured for the Duc
d’Aquitaine, who, terrified by the tumult and urged by the Duke of
Burgundy, appeared at a window and promised all they asked.

One of their leaders, named Jean de Troyes, then imposed silence,
and in a speech received with enthusiastic applause by the people
and with scarcely concealed indignation by the nobles, declared that
they would do no harm to the Duc d’Aquitaine, but demanded that his
evil counsellors should be given up to them; and on his chancellor
imprudently asking to whom they referred handed up a list of fifty
names, including not only the principal gentlemen of his household, but
Ludwig of Bavaria, the Queen’s brother, Edouard, Duc de Bar, cousin
of the King, and several of the Queen’s ladies. The princes could
not pacify them, the Queen wept and raved, the King remonstrated in
vain; the Duc d’Aquitaine, turning with a furious look to the Duke of
Burgundy, exclaimed, “Father-in-law, this outrage is your doing, for
the leaders of it are the people of your house. Know surely that the
day will come when you shall repent of it, for things will not always
go on according to your pleasure.”

Some of the nobles and ladies came down and gave themselves up, the
others were seized by the mob, who broke into the palace and hunted all
over the rooms and galleries to find them, tearing one gentleman out of
the arms of the Duchesse d’Aquitaine, who tried to protect him. They
were carried away on horseback and shut up, some in the Palais, some in
the Louvre.

When they were gone, the King went to dinner and the Duc d’Aquitaine
retired with the Queen into her room, where they shut themselves up and
cried.

Something, however, had to be done, so they sent the Comte de
Vertus, who escaped to his brother, the Duc d’Orléans, told him what
had happened, and how some of the princes were in prison, and the
King, Queen, and Duc d’Aquitaine like prisoners in the hands of the
Parisians, and desired the rest of the princes to make haste to come
and deliver them.

The King of Sicily, the Ducs d’Orléans, Bourbon, and Bretagne, the
Comtes de Vertus and Alençon accordingly assembled at Vernon, and sent
a message to the populace that unless the prisoners were immediately
set free they would put all Paris to fire and sword.

The Duke of Burgundy saw he had gone too far, having infuriated the
Duc d’Aquitaine and set all the princes against him, the University
of Paris hastened to disassociate herself with the riots, and the
chief _bourgeois_, frightened at what had been done tried by all
means and with many apologies, to divert and appease the anger of the
royal family. The city was still very unquiet, _frère Eustache_ went
on preaching against Aquitaine, saying that the licentiousness and
debauchery of such a life as he was leading had already caused the
madness of his father and the death of his uncle, and that it would be
better to declare his brother, Jean de Touraine, the heir of France;
while one Léon de Jacqueville forced his way into the ballroom of his
hôtel one night in the middle of a ball and loudly declaimed against
him, saying that he dishonoured his rank. The Duke struck him three
times with his dagger, but his cuirass saved him. The ballroom was a
scene of confusion, the mob rushed to attack the hôtel and were only
stopped by the opportune arrival of the Duke of Burgundy, who dispersed
them. The Duc d’Aquitaine was so agitated by the scene that he spit
blood for days afterwards.[247]

Burgundy, however, saw that he was rapidly losing friends, and thought
it well to send his son, the Comte de Charolais, away. That young
prince, therefore, with his wife, the Princess Michelle, set off for
Gand, accompanied as far as Lendit by a great body of the _bourgeois_
of Paris of whom she took leave affectionately, begging them to
deliver her uncle, the Duke of Bavaria, and then she proceeded to St.
Denis with her husband, after which they went with a brilliant train to
Gand.[248]

While all these commotions were going on the English made a descent
upon the county of Eu, sacked and burnt Tréport and several other
towns, took to their ships and sailed for England with their plunder.
The Armagnacs were devastating the country, and the Parisians more and
more terrified at the threats of the princes. Their party grew stronger
and stronger, the King ordered the Duc d’Aquitaine to go and liberate
the prisoners, which he did, riding to the Palais and the Louvre
and bringing them all away with him except the ladies, who had been
liberated soon after they were taken, and two or three gentlemen who
had been killed in the riots. Bells rang, feasting went on, the rioters
were either seized and punished or else fled, and the princes entered
Paris in triumph.[249]

The Duc d’Aquitaine ordered all the favourites of Burgundy to
be seized, one only was spared at the entreaty of the Duchesse
d’Aquitaine, the rest were arrested or fled. Jean Sans-peur himself,
warned that the streets round the hôtel d’Artois were being watched by
night by the Orléanists who were crowding into Paris to join the Duc
d’Aquitaine, fled from a hunting party with one gentleman only, rode at
full speed in doubt and fear through the forest of Bondy, and next day
meeting one of his followers with a band of men-at-arms pursued his
journey safely to Flanders.

{1414}

For a little while the Armagnacs were triumphant. The marriage of the
Duke of Bavaria took place, and what was more important, Charles, Comte
de Ponthieu, youngest son of the King, was betrothed to Marie d’Anjou,
daughter of the King of Sicily, at the Louvre in presence of the Queen
and Princes, the King being ill at the time.

There was also a talk of marrying the Princess Catherine, youngest
daughter of the King and Queen, to Henry V. of England.

In February of 1414, with bitterly cold winds appeared a disease that
seems just like the modern influenza. It was attended by cold, cough,
loss of appetite, violent pains in the head and general languour. It
attacked all classes; judges and lawyers had to suspend their courts,
the malady spread and was very dangerous.

A foolish step of the Queen’s had just re-opened the routs and
quarrels that always seemed now to rage amongst the royal family.
There were certain gentlemen in the household of her son, the Duc
d’Aquitaine, whom she distrusted because they had been placed there by
his father-in-law, and she wished to remove them. She was just then
living at the hôtel St. Paul, and the Duchesse d’Aquitaine with her;
the Duke was at the Louvre. Having consulted with the Armagnac chiefs,
who were silly enough to countenance her plans, she went suddenly to
the Louvre taking the Duchess with her, seized Jean de Croy, and three
other officers of her son’s household, and threw them into prison. The
Duc d’Aquitaine, who liked them, flew into a great rage and the princes
could hardly prevent him from rushing out to appeal to the mob, and
could not stop him from writing secretly to the Duke of Burgundy to
come back.

With two such people as Isabeau and her son what could be done?
Jean Sans-peur set off at once with a body of troops--but before he
could arrive Isabeau and the princes had contrived to pacify the Duc
d’Aquitaine and persuade him to contradict everything he had said,
and write to the fortified towns proclaiming the Duke of Burgundy an
enemy of the King. Infuriated by this treatment, the Duke of Burgundy
produced and displayed his son-in-law’s letters, and continued his
march towards Paris, the civil war beginning again with much cruelty
and slaughter.

The domestic quarrels of the royal family were worse than ever. The old
Duc de Berry disputed the regency during the King’s frequent attacks,
with the Duc d’Aquitaine, just as he and his brother had done with
Louis d’Orléans, and on the same pretence, his youth and inexperience.
Aquitaine was at daggers drawn with his father-in-law, and so far
justified his great-uncle’s assertions that besides possessing all
the faults of his uncle, Louis d’Orléans and his father, he had no
taste for military affairs, no attraction or charm, though he was
rather good-looking. He was exceedingly unpopular, hated appearing in
public, and shut himself up all day (when he was not in bed) playing
the harp and _épinette_ with his musical friends. If the King gave him
any business to do he neglected it, and was so ill-tempered that he
could not bear to be found the least fault with. Music, horses, and
dissipation were all he cared for. He had now separated from his wife
and reduced her household to a very low estate; he had always disliked
her. Historians say that she gave no cause whatever for complaint,
but that people made mischief between them.[250] The Duke of Burgundy
sent a message requiring him to dismiss La Cassinelle and take his
wife back, which only made him more angry. He had removed her from his
mother’s care and sent her to St. Germain-en-Laye,[251] also seizing
some treasure kept by Isabeau at the houses of confidential agents,
taking advantage of the illness of the King his father to do as he
chose. This was the beginning of the Queen’s dislike for Armagnac, who
was mixed up in the affair, and her inclining towards the Burgundian
party.

{1415}

In March, 1415, the Emperor of Germany paid a visit to the French
Court, where he was entertained with the usual lavish profusion. He, in
return, gave a great banquet at the Louvre to the ladies of the court
and _bourgeoises_ of Paris, “and to each one was laid a German knife,
and the strongest wine that could be got. And everything was so spiced
they could hardly eat it. There were many minstrels, and after dinner
they danced and some sang. And when they left to each was given a gold
ring, which, however was not of much value.”[252]

When the summer came round the truce with England expired. English
troops from Calais and other places began to attack the French
provinces, and it was rumoured that King Henry was gathering a great
host at Southampton to invade France.

It was nearly sixty years since the battle of Poitiers, and seventy
since that of Crécy, and there were old people alive who could remember
the confusion, dismay, and terror of that time. The Duc de Berry had
himself been in the battle of Poitiers, from which he had fled; while
the Duke of Burgundy, then a boy of thirteen, had fought to the last
beside their father, King Jean, and been carried prisoner with him to
England.

Times were still more disastrous now. With a mad King, a worthless
heir-apparent, and a number of princes of the blood without either
capacity or conduct, there were no leaders whom the people could trust
or love, or whom they would follow and die for as their fathers and
grandfathers did for Philippe de Valois, King Jean, the Duc de Bourbon,
the gallant Princes of Navarre, the heroic King of Bohemia, or the
noble chiefs of the Capétienne house of Burgundy.

However, it was necessary to make preparations. Enormous taxes were
levied in haste, and everywhere bands of soldiers were hurrying up to
join the army, and plundering the villages on their way. What the tax
collectors left they carried off, and the people in terror and despair
left their homes and hid in the woods, longing only that the campaign
might be over, whichever side won.[253]

Charles d’Albret was appointed commander-in-chief, and all the highest
commands were given to Armagnacs. Jean Sans-peur took no post in the
army at all, and forbade the Comte de Charolais to join; being, besides
politically hostile, resolved not to risk his only son as had been done
to their cost by the former house of Burgundy.

Early in August the English fleet sailed from Southampton, and sixteen
hundred ships entered the Seine, passed up between Honfleur and
Harfleur, and landed the troops, who proceeded to invest the latter
town, which was an important commercial place and the key of Normandy,
being a strong fortress surrounded with deep moats and massive walls
and towers.[254] It was bravely defended, but as no help came from the
French army which was slowly gathering at Vernon, the town surrendered
on September 22nd.

King Henry repaired, provisioned, and garrisoned the place, and then
began his victorious march through France. Charles, who just then was
in his right mind, came to Rouen with the Duc d’Aquitaine and the rest
of the princes in October, and at a hurried council it was decided that
a battle must be fought, but that the King and his son should not be
present for fear of a calamity such as befel King Jean at Poitiers. All
over France the nobles were summoned to join the royal standard with
their vassals, but the princes were stupid enough to refuse a body of
six thousand armed men offered by the city of Paris whose services they
disdained.

The Comte de Charolais, who knew there was going to be a battle but
did not know when, was wild to get away and join the army. His tutors,
however, had been warned by the terrible Duke of Burgundy that he made
them responsible for his not doing so, and they were at their wits’
end what to do. They did not like to tell the young Philippe, lest
he should find some way of circumventing them, and when a summons
arrived for him from the Constable d’Albret, he declared he would
go. He was then at Arras, and in much perplexity they pretended to
consent, and leaving that city got him to the castle of Aire, where
the Constable again sent several seigneurs and Montjoye, King-at-arms,
to fetch him. As long as they could the distracted tutors put off his
departure, carefully concealing from him the time when the battle was
to take place, but most of his people kept escaping secretly to go to
the front, and at last they were obliged to tell him, to appease his
anger, of his father’s orders, which he dared not disobey but retired
to his room in despair and shut himself up there crying. (“_Moult fort
pleurant._”)[255]

[Illustration: MAN IN ARMOUR, FIFTEENTH CENTURY.]

The King of England desired to cross by the ford of Blanchetache, where
his great-grandfather, Edward III., had passed over the river seventy
years ago, but the place was too strongly guarded, so he marched along
the bank for some distance and came up with the French army which was
waiting for him at a place enclosed with little woods between the
villages of Rousseauville and Azincourt. It was Thursday, October 24th,
about the hour of vespers, when the two armies confronted each other.
Philippe, Comte de Nevers, and several young nobles had just been
knighted by the hand of Boucicault, Marshal of France. The Constable
had arrived with the royal banner, the Oriflamme.[256] Around it
rose the banners of the princes, barons, and chevaliers with their
followers who had flocked to the standard of France. Great fires were
lighted, for the night was cold; a drizzling rain had begun to fall,
and they were waiting for the English army which must pass on its way
to Calais.

The English were hungry and tired with their long march, but they came
up with the sound of trumpets and martial music, and the heavy tramp
of horses and armed men, so that the earth seemed to tremble with the
echo. Silently and composedly they took up their perilous position,
well aware of the danger which lay before them, for the French host
outnumbered them by at least three to one, and had a much larger
proportion of cavalry. But they thought of Crécy and Poitiers, passed
the night in attending to their horses, bows, and armour, and prepared
for death by confessing their sins, and receiving the Sacrament of the
Body of Christ.[257]

The French had scarcely any musical instruments to rejoice their
spirits, and their horses did not neigh, but made scarcely a sound
all night, which many considered an evil omen. The rain and mud and
cold depressed their spirits which sank lower as they, too, remembered
Crécy and Poitiers. All night they were calling to each other in the
darkness, and many who had been at enmity made friends again, forgave
each other, embraced, and drank out of the same cup, as they thought
that perhaps they were about to see the dawn of their last day.[258]

Still, when morning broke and they saw their own great superiority in
numbers and strength, they gathered confidence, and thought indeed that
the English army could not escape them. And between nine and ten they
advanced to battle, bending their heads so that the arrows might not
pierce through their visors.

King Henry had heard mass at the break of day, and then mounting his
grey charger had arranged his troops for the battle, the archers
forming the right and left wings. He rode through the ranks and
harangued the soldiers, pointing out the danger of their position,
from which the only escape was victory. He reminded them of those
other battles in which their fathers and grandfathers, wearied and
outnumbered, had fought and conquered, and then dismounting from
his horse he placed himself at the head of the infantry and led the
attack. Twice they halted to take breath, and twice they came on with
a great shout, while a shower of arrows rushed through the air into
the vanguard of the French army. The English archers were slightly
armed and poorly dressed, but strong and active; they wore an axe or
sword at their girdle and carried a pike to force their way through
the thickest of the fight. In the French army there was neither order
nor discipline. The King and his sons were not present as at Crécy and
Poitiers, and the princes would obey no other leader. Those who were
not placed in the vanguard refused to stay with their men but pressed
forward to join the line of cavaliers in heavy armour who bore the
noblest names in France, and stood in the front of the battle.

A squadron of cavalry was ordered to charge; they were the flower of
the French troops. They came on impetuously at a gallop, but the ground
was soft with deep mud, the horses slipped, floundered, and became
unmanageable, a flight of arrows falling amongst them added to their
confusion, they turned and fled. Then the English throwing down bows
and pikes, seized their swords and axes and rushed into the thick of
the fight. They broke through the first division, but when they came to
the second and third there were no leaders, as they had all gone to the
front ranks. The subalterns could not lead the soldiers, who hesitated,
wavered, and at last gave way, and the battle became a rout. The
English were too few in number to pursue as they dared not separate,
and Henry seeing a troop coming up, and thinking the enemy were being
reinforced, gave the order to put the prisoners to death, which command
began to be carried out, but presently, seeing that the troop was also
retreating, the King ordered the massacre to be stopped, which was at
once done, but not before many lives had been sacrificed, and a deep
stain inflicted upon his name.

The English lost sixteen hundred men, including the Duke of York and
Earl of Oxford, but the losses of the French are said to have been ten
thousand men and fifteen hundred prisoners. Among the dead were the
Duc de Brabant and Comte de Nevers, brothers of the Duke of Burgundy,
the Duc de Bar and his two brothers, the Constable d’Albret and the
Duc d’Alençon, all nearly related to the King, and numbers of other
nobles and gentlemen. Among the prisoners were the Ducs d’Orléans and
Bourbon, the Comtes de Richemont and Eu, Marshal Boucicault, and many
others of high degree.

But the army of King Henry was too small and too exhausted to push its
victory any further; in fact, its safety appeared to him so doubtful
that he ordered all the plunder taken to be burnt, and taking their
prisoners with them the English troops turned their steps towards
Calais and embarked for Dover a week after the victory.[259] The Queen
was at Melun when the news of the disaster arrived. She was ill at the
time, and had also become so stout that she had been obliged to give up
riding, therefore in haste and consternation she had herself carried
in a litter to Paris, taking with her the Duchesse d’Aquitaine, for
fear of falling into the hands of the Duke of Burgundy, who directly
he heard of the result of the battle and the losses of the Armagnacs,
started for the capital at the head of ten thousand cavalry. The Queen
and Duchesse d’Aquitaine were at the hôtel d’Orléans,[260] and the Duc
d’Aquitaine, who now returned in haste to Paris, went to the hôtel de
Bourbon; the King, the Duc de Berry, and Comte d’Armagnac also hurried
back; the King of Sicily took refuge at Angers, to get out of the way
of Jean Sans-peur, who was his bitter enemy, because he had first
betrothed his son to the daughter of the latter, a little child, and
then changed his mind and sent her back to her father.

{1416}

The Duc d’Aquitaine sent to forbid Burgundy to advance, and not liking
to set his son-in-law at defiance he arrested his march, but in the
midst of all the anxiety and commotion that was going on, Louis Duc
d’Aquitaine died after a few days’ illness, having, as had always
been foretold, utterly destroyed his constitution by the excesses of
his life. Before his death he expressed his remorse at his conduct
to his wife.[261] Of course there were some who declared that he
had been poisoned, and that Jean Sans-peur had done it, but as his
death prevented the Duke of Burgundy’s daughter from being Queen of
France this is not at all likely, however angry he might have been at
Aquitaine’s treatment of her and disregard of his own counsels.

The next Dauphin, Jean Duc de Touraine, lived with his wife and her
family in Hainault, where the Queen and Council (the King being ill)
sent, to desire him to come at once to Paris. But Jean, brought up by
the near relations and firm allies of Burgundy, was far more Burgundian
than his elder brother, the son-in-law of Jean Sans-peur. He refused
to receive the deputation except in the presence of the Burgundian
ambassadors, and he would not go to Paris unless his uncle of Burgundy
might go too. Louis d’Aquitaine had died at the beginning of 1416,
and it was not until early in 1417 that, after much discussion and
exchange of letters and messengers he set off with his father-in-law
for Compiègne, as the Queen absolutely refused to come to St. Quentin
as they wished.[262]

{1417}

They established themselves in the royal palace of Compiègne, where
they were joined by the Dauphine and Comtesse de Hainault, and where
they lived in state and splendour as Jean always had done, for the
Hainaults were very rich. Jacqueline was their only child, and they
were exceedingly proud of the alliance with the son of the King,
especially now he had become Dauphin. He was now eighteen, and seems
to have had more constancy of purpose than his brother, but to have
been entirely under the influence of the Comte de Hainault and Duke
of Burgundy. What he was really like is impossible to say. De Mézeray
calls him “_un jeune homme capriceux, acriastre, déplaisant en mœurs
et façons_.” Juvenal des Ursins and Paradin observe that it was a pity
he did not live to be King, as he had been well brought up and taught
by the Comte de Hainault who was a wise prince. The monk of St. Denis
declares that he was a noble character, but he generally appears to
have had that opinion of the _fleurs-de-lis_. It was very likely that
he was better than his eldest brother, as he easily might have been.
He was extravagant and magnificent like all his family, and those who
surrounded him and had charge of his education were always praising his
lavish generosity and inciting him to hold a more brilliant court than
his parents the King and Queen.[263]

That the Dauphin and Dauphine lived in great splendour at Compiègne
is proved by many of the bills and accounts still existing, the
costly stuffs of their dresses, the magnificent plate and jewels,
and the presents they made to each other and to the members of their
households. Messengers went perpetually between Compiègne, Senlis,
Paris, and other places to fetch things and to carry letters. There is
a record of a sum paid to the Provost of Senlis for having escorted
“_pour la doubte et péril des chemins_,” a sum of money from Senlis to
Compiègne. Sums of money are also given to the King’s minstrels, to the
choristers of the Dauphin’s chapel, and to Hennequin who takes care of
his pet dogs; also for tapestry hangings for his room, nine pieces,
with a stag hunt and boat hunt on green worked with silk, gold, and
silver.[264]

Isabeau must have been estranged from the son who had been so separated
from her; for we find that when she came to Senlis with her youngest
son Charles, who had been made Duc de Touraine, Governor of Paris, and
Duc de Berry (the old Duke having just died), although the Dauphine
was taken there to pay her homage, and spent some hours with her “_en
grande léeses_,” Isabeau returned to Paris with the Comte de Hainault
without seeing the Dauphin. Possibly she may have been irritated
against him, for he still refused to come to Paris, now in the hands
of the Armagnacs, and demanded the regency during the King’s malady.

But amongst the schemes, disputes, and rivalry of the two parties, one
of which put its trust in the Dauphin, and the other fixed its hopes
on his brother, the Duc de Touraine, then between fourteen and fifteen
years old--a sudden change raised the spirits of the one and filled the
other with dismay. The Dauphin began to be ill. Doctors were sent for;
we read of “_chevaucheurs_” sent to ride “_haste hastivement_” to fetch
fruit and medicines from Paris; and prayers and masses said and sung in
chapels and convents for his recovery.

Early in April the Comte de Hainault, secretly warned that he would
be arrested by the Armagnacs, escaped early in the morning from Paris
on pretence of a pilgrimage to St. Maur-des-fossés, in the forest of
Vincennes, from whence he rode in haste to Compiègne. But he found the
Dauphin ill in bed “with a swollen body and other symptoms of poison,”
according to some historians, or, as others say, with an abscess in the
ear. At any rate he died in a few days,[265] and there was an outcry of
poison, perhaps with more probability than usual, for he had not ruined
his health like his brother, and though it could be nothing but an
outrageous calumny that the Queen had done it by means of a gold chain
she sent him, it was more likely that if there had been foul play at
all it came from the Armagnacs who had everything to gain by the death
of the Burgundian Jean and the succession of the Armagnac Charles, the
son-in-law of the King of Sicily and bitter enemy of Burgundy.

Isabeau was certainly most unlucky in her relations with her sons.
Three of them died in early childhood, with Louis she latterly had
frequent quarrels, Jean was estranged from her; but the unnatural
strife and hatred between her and her remaining son Charles was the
crown of all the calamities of her reign. It seems to have been caused
in the first place by Armagnac, who, in consequence of the death soon
after each other of the King’s two elder sons, the Duc de Berry, the
King of Sicily, and the Comte de Hainault, had become exceedingly
powerful and, the only person whose power and influence might stand in
his way being the Queen, proceeded to make mischief between her, the
Dauphin, a weak, characterless boy, and the King, whose mind was now
more clouded and his intellect feebler during the intervals between the
attacks of his terrible malady.

Added to all this, the King of England threatened that he would soon
be in Paris and there were hurried preparations to resist him. All the
places that lay on the road by which he would pass were strengthened,
moats deepened, walls repaired, batteries of wood and stone made, and
stores of provisions laid in. St. Denis was especially fortified, and
the monks had to contribute largely to the defence fund, for which
purpose they were obliged to sell two large gold crowns and a quantity
of silver plate. The holy relics, including the body of St. Denis,
were taken by some of the monks to Paris and hidden in a safe but
secular place, which, however, caused so much scandal that they had to
be brought back again; and the monk who writes of this time says that
for eleven months the trumpets of the enemy were continually in their
ears.[266]

The Queen was holding her court at Vincennes and had placed in command
of the troops who acted as her guards, Louis de Bosredon, and the Sires
de Graville and Giac, dissolute young nobles, who spent enormous sums
of money and passed their time in feasting, revelry, and in carrying
on intrigues with the Queen’s ladies, and, it was rumoured, even with
the Queen herself. At least it was said by Armagnac and his party, to
whose interest it was to circulate such a report, and who succeeded
in making the Dauphin and the King, who then had a lucid interval,
believe the story. Being at the same time weak and violent, and so, as
is always the case, more dangerous and mischievous than a person who,
though violent, is also strong, they listened to the words of Armagnac,
and the King riding in haste one evening to Vincennes, passed Bosredon,
who instead of dismounting according to the usual etiquette, saluted
slightly and rode on. This put a finishing stroke to the anger of
Charles, who ordered him to be arrested. He was put to the “_question_”
or torture, and was said to have made compromising confessions
respecting the Queen. He was thrown into the Seine and drowned; the
other young nobles escaped. It is very likely, whatever admissions were
wrung by these iniquitous means from Bosredon, that he was not guilty;
as to Isabeau she was about forty-seven years old, had grown fat, and
was suffering from gout, which circumstances make such an accusation as
far as she was concerned highly improbable, though the disorders of her
court were doubtless deplorable. However, the conspiracy had succeeded,
she was sent to Tours with the Duchess of Bavaria her sister-in-law,
and not allowed as she wished, to go to Melun, where she had much
treasure, a great deal of which was seized by the Dauphin, and the part
he took in this outrage aroused in the Queen that undying hatred which
caused such disaster to him and to France.

{1418}

It would have been better for the Dauphin Charles if he had let his
mother and her friends and her treasure alone, for Isabeau, though
capricious and foolish, was not a woman to submit tamely to such an
outrage as this. And Jean Sans-peur was neither capricious, foolish,
nor weak, and it was to him that her thoughts turned in this crisis.

For about six months Isabeau led an intolerable life at Tours in close
captivity, guarded by Jean Picard, who had been her own secretary, and
had betrayed to the Dauphin the existence of a collection of gold,
silver, pearls, and diamonds which she had entrusted to the keeping of
the Abbot of St. Denis; Guillaume Toreau, her chancellor, and Laurent
du Puy, whom she hated more than any of them, as he prevented her from
writing or receiving letters without his leave and treated her with
disrespect, even speaking to her without taking his hat off.

She managed however to send a secret message to the Duke of Burgundy
with her seal. Jean Sans-peur was besieging Corbeil, but he knew that
the Queen was worth more to him than the possession of that or any
other town, so he raised the siege and rode day and night to Tours
where he arrived on the Feast of All Souls.

The Queen meanwhile had signified her intention of performing her
devotions at the abbey of Marmoutiers on the banks of the Loire, near
Tours. The three gaolers did not venture to object to this act of
religion. While prayers were going on they approached the Queen and
said that a great company of Burgundians and English were close at
hand. Just then Hector de Saveuse, lieutenant of the Duke of Burgundy,
having posted armed men all round, entered the church and saluted
the Queen in the name of his master who was close at hand. Isabeau
pointed to her three gaolers saying, “Arrest these three men.” This was
immediately done, but Laurent du Puy, who knew it was all over with
him, broke away, ran down to the Loire, tried to jump into a boat that
lay moored to the shore, fell into the water and was drowned. In two
hours the Queen and the Duke of Burgundy had met and become reconciled;
the Queen assumed the regency, and under the powerful escort of the
Duke of Burgundy, having been recognised by the authorities of Tours,
made a progress through central France with her ladies, and fixed her
court and parliament at Troyes. She had a seal engraved with the arms
of France and Bavaria and issued proclamations beginning, “_Isabelle,
par la grace de Dieu Royne de France_.” The civil war now raged as
fiercely as ever, and the English had conquered most of Normandy and
were besieging Rouen.

In May, 1418, a party of young men, partisans of the Queen and
Burgundy, led by Perrinet le Clerc, whose father kept the keys of
the porte S. Germain-des-Près, went to Seigneur de L’Isle Adam, and
offered to admit the Burgundian troops by night into Paris. It was
arranged that the latter should be at the gate with eight hundred
men, and Perrinet should contrive to steal the keys from his father
who always kept them under his pillow, and who would have distrusted
any one rather than his son. With a band of the conspirators Perrinet
crept secretly in the darkness to the Porte St. Germain and awaited the
coming of the soldiers. It was nearly two hours after midnight when the
gate was unlocked, L’Isle Adam and his troops in order of battle passed
stealthily through, and Perrinet le Clerc locked the gate behind them
and threw the keys over the wall into the moat, while the Burgundians
began their silent march through the dark, narrow streets, no word
being spoken until they stood before the Châtelet where a body of four
hundred armed men waited for them, and then began the attack on the
houses of the Armagnacs with a sudden rush amid cries for the King and
Burgundy. Forcing their way to the palace they seized the King, induced
him to grant all their demands and rode away with him. Armagnac escaped
in disguise; Tanneguy du Chastel, provost of Paris, aroused by the
noise and tumult, hastened to the hôtel of the Dauphin, wrapped him in
a cloak, and hurried him and the Dauphine into the Bastille where
some of their party had taken refuge. Doors were flung open, people
rushed out of their houses with arms in their hands, torches gleamed
and cries resounded in the streets, plunder, fighting, and slaughter
went on all night, and in the morning both King and capital were in
the hands of the Burgundians. Armagnac was betrayed by the man who had
sheltered him and carried off to prison; Tanneguy du Chastel escaped
with the Dauphin to Corbeil and thence to Melun; the town was given
up to violence, pillage, and murder; the Armagnacs fled in confusion;
and the Duke of Burgundy went to Troyes and brought back the Queen in
triumph. All the chiefs of the Burgundian party came to meet them with
six hundred of the principal citizens, bringing velvet robes covered
with crosses of St. Andrew for Burgundy and his nephew which they put
on to enter Paris. The Queen was seated on a “_char_,” the streets
so lately running with blood were strewn with flowers, and the King
received the Queen with affection and satisfaction.

[Illustration: FRANCE AFTER THE DEATH OF CHARLES VI., 1380-1422.]

But very soon the approach of the English army compelled them to take
refuge at Troyes, while a dreadful pestilence was ravaging the country.
The Abbot of St. Denis died, and many other people of importance.
Many fled from the country, and for four months there was a dreadful
mortality.[267] The Duke of Burgundy was now declared Captain of Paris
instead of the Dauphin, who remained at Bourges. The King, Queen, and
Princess Catherine were completely under the influence of Burgundy,
whose eldest son was, it will be remembered, married to another
daughter of the King, and whose aim now was to get the Dauphin also
under his guidance, which did not seem to be at all impossible, Charles
being only fifteen, and having no more brains, capacity, nor decision
of character than his brother Louis; being absolutely guided by whoever
he was with, and at present surrounded by persons of no particular rank
or weight. The young Comte de Clermont, son of the Duc de Bourbon, who
was about the age of the Dauphin and had just returned from captivity
in England, had come over to the Burgundians, saying that wherever the
King was, there was his place, and it was hoped the Dauphin would do
the same. Armagnac was dead, and his chief counsellor was Tanneguy du
Chastel, a Breton gentleman. Burgundy had sent his young wife Marie
d’Anjou back to him and was anxious for a reconciliation.

The English conquests were spreading. Rouen was besieged and taken,
and though negotiations were going on for the marriage of the Princess
Catherine, Henry V. demanded as her dowry all the provinces conceded to
his great-grandfather by the peace of Bretigny, to which the King and
Duke of Burgundy would not agree.

As the King and Queen started to take the Princess Catherine to meet
Henry V. at Pontoise, however, the King was seized with an attack of
frenzy, so he had to be left there while the Duke of Burgundy went on
to Melun with the Queen and Princess.

Henry V. met them, and at once fell in love with the Princess who was
just nineteen and extremely beautiful; but he would not come to terms
about the dowry, and Isabeau, thinking to inflame his passion for her,
only let them meet once and then sent her back to Pontoise. However,
this only infuriated Henry, who told Burgundy that he would have the
Princess and the lands too, in spite of them, “_et je vous chasseray de
France, vous et vostre Roy_.”[268]

The negotiations not having resulted in much good the King desired the
Dauphin and Duke of Burgundy to make peace. The Duc de Bretagne went
to and fro between the Dauphin, his brother-in-law, and the Queen and
Burgundy. “Everywhere there was a great longing for the success of
the arrangements for there was great desolation in all parts of the
kingdom for the war was of father against son, brother against brother,
uncle against nephew. And the worst was when in one town were held the
two factions of Burgundy and Armagnac, and thieves and robbers were
everywhere and merchandise always and everywhere lost.”[269]

It was difficult enough to persuade the Dauphin to agree to terms, but
the Queen sent the Dame de Giac, an old lady the Dauphin had been very
fond of from his childhood, and who was said to have been at one time
the mistress of the Duke of Burgundy, to Pouilly where the conference
was going on. She went from one tent to the other and managed so to
arrange matters as to bring about a reconciliation. The Dauphin,
who, though he had no sense, had very pleasant manners, showed great
courtesy to the Duke and when they separated frantic rejoicings took
place at Paris, bells ringing, feasting in the streets, singing and
dancing going on all night long.[270]

{1419}

But, as at the marriage festivities of Richard II. and Isabelle, a
great storm came on during the conference, “and,” says the monk of
St. Denis, “the heavens were black with clouds, there was thunder and
lightning and torrents of rain and huge hailstones which destroyed the
vines and crops. Some said this storm arose from natural causes, but
it was most generally believed that the evil spirits could sometimes
produce these disorders and that perhaps the interviews of the princes
were disagreeable to them. Therefore people did not believe in the
stability or durability of the treaty concluded. It was also the
opinion of several of the learned astrologers. For my part I leave
their judgment to Him who reigns in the heavens.”[271]

The truce with England expired and the war broke out again. The English
troops took many towns and castles, the Duke of Burgundy retired with
the King and Queen to Troyes, and no adequate measures were taken
against the enemy. The Dauphin returned from Touraine in September,
and sent Tanneguy du Chastel to Troyes to ask for another conference
with the Duke of Burgundy, who at first refused, saying that there was
peace between them and the Dauphin had much better come to Troyes to
his father and mother. However, he allowed himself to be persuaded and
consented to meet the Dauphin at Montereau, in spite of the entreaties
and warnings of his own friends and followers who dreaded the vengeance
of the Armagnacs for all his deeds, from the murder of Louis d’Orléans
to the late massacres of their friends and relations in Paris, besides
their fear of his gaining over the Dauphin the influence he already
possessed over the King and Queen.

The interview was to take place on the bridge of Montereau, to which
the Duke of Burgundy rode on the 10th of September, about three in
the afternoon. As he dismounted to go on to the bridge, three of his
servants who had been upon it examining the barrier across it, which
they did not like the look of, came up to him and again begged him
not to risk himself on it, but it was no use. At the barrier in the
middle of the bridge he met the Dauphin, the one through which he
himself passed having been locked behind him. After a few words of
conversation, the Dauphin, as the Duke knelt before him, began to
reproach him with having done nothing to oppose the English. At that
moment one of the Armagnacs pushed him from behind, Burgundy laid his
hand on his sword which had got behind him to pull it forward. Robert
de Loir, who had pushed him, exclaimed, “_Mettez-vous la main à vostre
épée en la présence de Monseigneur le Dauphin?_” Tanneguy du Chastel
approached, made a sign, and saying “_Il est temps_” struck the Duke
with an axe. He tried to draw his sword but it was too late, there was
a cry of “_Tuez! tuez!_” a fierce scuffle; then Jean Sans-peur lay
dead at the feet of the Dauphin, and Louis d’Orléans was avenged.

{1420}

The rage, consternation, and mischief caused by this event throughout
the country, just as every one thought there was going to be a little
peace, cannot be described. The Queen and her son-in-law Philippe,
Comte de Charolais, now Duke of Burgundy, prepared to take their
revenge. Philippe, overwhelmed with grief, would scarcely see or speak
to any one for days. To his wife he said, “Michelle, your brother
has murdered my father”; and then finding that she was fretting and
making herself miserable fearing to lose his affection he comforted and
reassured her. The Queen and Duke of Burgundy sent proclamations to all
the chief towns in France denouncing the Dauphin for the murder of Jean
Sans-peur; and made a treaty with the King of England at Troyes, by
which they agreed that he should marry the Princess Catherine and not
only act as regent of France during the King’s illnesses but succeed to
the crown to the exclusion of the Dauphin.

Isabeau, who was then at Troyes, sent the Bishop of Arras secretly
to Henry to invite him to come there, and to take him a love-letter
from the Princess Catherine, with which he was delighted.[272] The
young princess was deeply in love with Henry V. and very anxious to be
Queen of England, and had all along persuaded her mother, whose great
favourite she was, to help her in the matter and forward the alliance.
Isabeau was glad enough to do so for she loved her daughter and hated
her son, and this marriage fell in with her views regarding them both.
The wedding was celebrated at Troyes, June 3, 1420, with extraordinary
magnificence. The Kings and Queens of France and England and the young
Duke of Burgundy entered Paris, and spent Christmas there; after which
Henry and Catherine went on a visit to England. The young Queen seems
to have felt bitterly the separation from her parents and country; an
ancient chronicle says of her: “_Item, ce jour party la fille de France
nommée Catherine que le roy d’Engleterre avoit espousée et fut menée en
Engleterre, et fut une piteuse départie, especialement du roy de France
et de sa fille._”[273]

{1422}

Just before Christmas, 1421, came the news of the birth of a son
to the King and Queen of England. In Paris as in London bells rang
and bonfires blazed in the streets; for the child, afterwards the
unfortunate Henry VI., was born the heir of both England and France.
The winter was an unusually cold one, the frost being so severe that
no corn could be ground except in windmills, all the watermills being
frozen up.

In May, 1422, Queen Catherine came back escorted in great pomp by a
great body of English troops. She arrived at Vincennes, where she
stayed some weeks with her parents and husband who received her, as an
ancient chronicler observes, “as if she had been an angel.” The court
kept Whitsuntide at Paris, Charles VI. and Isabeau at the hôtel St.
Paul, Henry V. and Catherine at the Louvre. The people thronged to see
the great banquets at which the King and Queen of England feasted in
splendid robes, crowns, and jewels; while those of the King and Queen
of France were neglected, and at neither were food and wine given away
according to ancient custom, which caused much discontent. But these
were the last great fêtes of the French court in the reigns of Charles
and Henry. In the following August the King of England, who had for
some time been suffering from a dangerous and, in those days, incurable
malady, died at Vincennes, and his death was followed in October by
that of Charles VI. at the hôtel St. Paul. Henry died at thirty-six,
in the midst of a brilliant and victorious career King of England
and almost King of France, leaving a widow of twenty-one overwhelmed
with grief, an infant heir to two kingdoms, and a nation in mourning.
Charles, whose reign began so magnificently, passed away in the
half-deserted palace of St. Paul. Although Isabeau was living there at
the time, only his confessor, almoner, and the first gentleman of his
household were with him when he died, at the age of fifty-three.

{1423}

The Queen does not seem to have been present at the funeral, the
Dauphin was an exile and an enemy, and the chief mourner was the Duke
of Bedford, Regent of France for Henry of Lancaster. The funeral waited
till his arrival at Paris and there was much dispute as to what the
arrangements should be, it having been so long since a King of France
had been buried that very few people remembered, and there were no
records on the subject.

The litter was so constructed, that it could be made narrower to pass
through the doors of St. Paul, Notre Dame, and the narrow streets,
and widened in the broader thoroughfares. On it was placed the coffin
covered with a pall of cloth of gold and scarlet with deep border of
blue velvet embroidered with golden _fleurs-de-lis_, which fell down
to the ground. It was surmounted by an image of the King dressed in
royal robes, with mantle of ermine, crown, and sceptre. The litter was
carried by the “_varlets_” of the King and followed by two hundred
gentlemen of his household in black, bearing torches and shields
with the arms of France. Next came the mendicant orders, Jacobins,
Carmelites, Cordeliers, and Augustins, then the colleges, parochial
clergy, ecclesiastics of the collegiate churches and university,
bishops, abbots and nobles, members of Parliament, the four presidents
in mantles of scarlet and vair holding the four corners of the pall,
the King’s chamberlain, esquires, and many of the chief citizens; the
Duke of Bedford, Regent of France, rode behind the litter. The streets
and windows were crowded with people mourning and lamenting, and so,
at the hour of vespers the body of Charles le Bien-aimé was carried
to Notre Dame. The church was hung with costly stuffs covered with
_fleurs-de-lis_, and blazing with torches, the psalms and vigils for
the dead were chanted “_et fut nuict_.” Next morning, after mass, the
procession formed again and the body was carried in state to St. Denis,
where all night the monks chanted psalms and vigils for the dead; and
then next day, after a magnificent requiem, Charles VI. was buried by
his father and mother, and through the dim aisles and cloister of the
great abbey resounded the cry, “Pray for the soul of the most excellent
prince, Charles VI., King of France.”

After the religious rites were over the Duke of Bedford dined in his
own room, but there was a great dinner in the vast hall of the abbey
to which crowded prelates, nobles, gentlemen, and officials, _maîtres
d’hôtel_ restraining those who were pressing to the chief table and had
no right there, and alms being distributed while the banquet was going
on to more than five thousand poor people.

Isabeau survived her husband twelve years, but this latter part of her
life contains scarcely anything of sufficient interest to record. After
the death of her son-in-law Henry V., with whom she always got on well,
the departure of her daughter Catherine for England, and the death of
Charles VI., she lived in the half-deserted palace of St. Paul with a
diminished household and shattered fortune. Her daughter the Duchess of
Burgundy died in 1423, and of her twelve children there only remained
the son she hated, the Queen of England, now far away, and her second
and third daughters, Jeanne, Duchesse de Bretagne, and Marie, Prioress
of Poissy, whom it is to be supposed she sometimes saw.

Her brother, Ludwig of Bavaria, also survived her. But war and famine
and pestilence had devastated the kingdom. Grass grew in the streets
of Paris, and wolves came and attacked children outside the walls and
even within the city.[274] One event of interest happened in 1431,
which was the state entry of her grandson Henry VI. into Paris. While
Isabeau stood at the window of the hôtel St. Paul watching the pageant,
the child looked up at her as he rode by, and, some one saying to
him, “That is the Queen-dowager of France, your grandmother,” he took
off his cap and saluted her. At the sight of the young King, the son
of her favourite daughter, riding as she herself had done amid the
acclamations of the people through the streets which had once been
decorated and thronged to do her honour, Isabeau burst into tears and
turned from the window. The King, then ten years old, afterwards went
to visit his grandmother at the hôtel St. Paul.[275]

{1435}

Isabeau died there in 1435, September 29th. She had a favourite old
German lady who lived with her to the last and with her other ladies
followed her funeral _cortège_ to Notre Dame on the 13th of October.
Very little pomp was displayed on that occasion, but the clergy of
that cathedral came in procession to St. Paul, and spared nothing to
make the office worthy of a sovereign, lending a crown, sceptre, and
other royal ornaments. There were present the Chancellor of France,
the Bishop of Paris, and certain French and English nobles. After the
ceremony the body was placed in a boat by the presidents of Parliament
and taken to St. Denis to be buried by her husband Charles VI.[276]

Paris was still in possession of the English, but just before the
Queen’s death the treaty of Arras was signed between the Duke of
Burgundy and Charles VII.

[Illustration: Losangé d’argent & d’azur de 21. pieces mises en bande.]



_MARIE D’ANJOU, WIFE OF CHARLES VII._

_CHARLOTTE DE SAVOIE, WIFE OF LOUIS XI._

1413


Round Marie d’Anjou and Charlotte de Savoie, wives of Charles VII.
and Louis XI., partly from their own personality and partly from the
circumstances amidst which they were placed, so much less interest
gathers than around the two Queens who precede or the one who follows
them, that I have preferred to pass over their reigns, and to conclude
this volume with a sketch of the more interesting character and
eventful life of Anne de Bretagne, whose death closes the annals of the
early Queens of the house of Valois.

[Illustration: Marie d’Anjou.]

Marie was the granddaughter of Louis, Duc d’Anjou, the second,
handsomest, and perhaps worst of the sons of King Jean. Although
she was exceedingly beautiful, and in many ways gifted, she had no
influence with Charles VII., whom she had married as a child, when, his
elder brothers being alive, there appeared no prospect of his becoming
King. After his accession he constantly neglected her for Agnes Sorel
and other mistresses. She seems not to have been wanting in judgment
or capacity, and under different circumstances might have made an
excellent queen; but her idea of duty was the submission of a slave,
and her gentle, saintly character was more fitted for the cloister
than the throne. She was the only human being her son, Louis XI.,
really loved,[277] and would never oppose, and her death soon after
his accession to the throne was considered a public calamity. She had
twelve children, of whom seven died young.

{1463}

[Illustration: Tiercé en chef, au 1. facé d’argent Et de gueules de
huit pieces, pour Hongrie. Au 2. semé de France au lambel de trois
pendant de gueules, pour Anjou Sicile. Au 3. d’argent à la croix
potencée d’or, cantonnée de quatre croisettes de mè mei pour Jerusalem.
Soutenu au 1. de la pointe et semé de France à la bordure de gueules
pour Anjou. parti d’or a quatre pals de gueules, pour Arragon.]

[Illustration: Charlotte de Savoie]

{1451}

Charlotte de Savoie was much less gifted and more unfortunate than her
predecessor. Charles VII., with all his faults, was neither cruel,
avaricious, nor disagreeable, and his wife was free to amuse herself
and direct her children and household as she pleased. But Louis XI.
was a cruel, remorseless tyrant, and the only consolation of the
unfortunate Charlotte de Savoie was that she seldom saw him. She lived
in seclusion and with little state at Loches and Amboise, and when his
death gave her freedom she was already in bad health, and only survived
him for a few months. Of her six children only three lived to grow
up: Charles VIII., Anne de Beaujeu, Regent of France, and Jeanne, the
deformed wife of Louis XII.

[Illustration: De gueules à la croix d’argent.]



_REIGN OF ANNE DE BRETAGNE, WIFE OF CHARLES VIII. AND LOUIS XII._



CHAPTER I

1476-1491

  Birth of Anne and Isabelle--Their childhood--Louis
    d’Orléans--Alain d’Albret--Death of François II.--First
    Council--French war--Marriage ceremony--Siege of Rennes.


Anne, eldest daughter of François II., Duc de Bretagne, and his second
wife, Marguérite de Foix, was born at Nantes, January 26, 1476,[278]
and her sister, Isabelle, four or five years after.

{1476}

Their mother died in 1485, leaving the children under the care of
Françoise de Dinan, Dame de Laval, a member of one of the greatest
families of Bretagne, who had been their governess from their infancy.
They continued to be brought up at the court of their father, who seems
to have kept them constantly with him, but whose affection for them did
not prevent his promising them to anybody whose alliance he thought
might be useful to him amidst the difficulties and dangers he had
brought upon the duchy which had been so prosperous when he succeeded
to it.

Always under the influence of some unworthy favourite, he had for many
years been governed by Antoinette de Maignelais, Dame de Villequier,
niece of Agnes Sorel, and her successor in the affections of Charles
VII. After his death she carried on a _liaison_ with François, which
embittered the life of his first wife, daughter of the last Duc de
Bretagne, so that the people declared that his having no son to succeed
him was a punishment from heaven for his conduct.

Anne, as the heiress of Bretagne, was of especial importance, and
proposals for her marriage and her sister’s with the King of the
Romans, the young sons of Edward IV. of England, the Infant of Spain,
or some of the chief Breton nobles, were perpetually being entertained.

Some French writers have originated a romantic story of love between
Anne and Louis, Duc d’Orléans, who had quarrelled with Charles VIII.
and his sister, the Regent,[279] and was a great deal at the court of
Bretagne. But as Anne was from eight to eleven years old at that time,
by comparing dates and details given by early chroniclers, it becomes
evident that this was not possible, and that if Louis, who was then
from two to five and twenty, thought of such a child at all, it could
only be as the heiress of Bretagne. He was, like his grandfather, the
brother of Charles VI., always involved in some love affair, besides
being already married to Jeanne, the deformed daughter of Louis XI.,
who had forced the marriage upon him in childhood, notwithstanding
his opposition and that of his parents,[280] Charles Duc d’Orléans
and Marie de Clèves, hoping thereby to extinguish that branch of the
family. And, notwithstanding his aversion to his wife, he could not get
rid of her whilst her brother was King and her sister Regent of France.

Jeanne, Duchesse d’Orléans, was greatly to be pitied. She loved Louis
as Valentine Visconti had loved his still handsomer and more dissipated
grandfather. But Valentine was a brilliant, attractive woman of the
world, with whom the Duke, in spite of his frequent infidelities, had
got on very well. Jeanne, besides being deformed, was a meek, ascetic
person, whose life had been passed in slavish submission to her father,
the terrible Louis XI., and despairing love for her husband; her tastes
and ideas were those of the cloister.

Although his follies were the cause of many calamities to the duchy,
François II. was very popular, he was good-looking and pleasant,
encouraged art, literature, and commerce, and spent his money freely.

                                           Charles V.
                                               |
      +----------------------------------------+
      |                                        |
  Charles VI.              Louis Duc d’Orléans _m._ Valentine Visconti.
      |                                        |
  Charles VII.             +------------+------+----------+
      |                    |            |                 |
  Louis XI.                |     Philippe Comte       Jean Comte
      |                    |       de Vertus.        d’Angoulême.
  Charles VIII.            |                              |
                           |                              |
            +--------------+                              |
            |                                             |
  Charles Duc d’Orléans _m._ 1. Isabelle de France;       |
            |                2. Bonne d’Armagnac;         |
            |                3. Marie de Clèves.          |
            |                         |                   |
            +-------------------------+                   |
            |                                             |
  Louis XII., Duc d’Orléans _m._ 1. Jeanne de France;     |
            |                    2. Anne de Bretagne.     |
            |                             |               |
            +-----------------------------+   Charles Comte d’Angoulême
            |                                           _m._
            |                                    Louise de Savoie.
            |                                             |
          Claude                    _m._             François I.
            |                                             |
            +-------------------+-------------------------+
                                |
                            Henri II. _m._ Catherine dei Medici.
                                |
            +-------------------+-------------------+
            |                   |                   |
        François II.        Charles IX.          Henri III.
                              End of the Valois Kings.

The greatest danger in which he involved the State arose from his
constant enmity to France, whose fugitives he protected, and whose
enemies he encouraged and assisted on all occasions; and from the
credulous weakness which placed him always under the influence of
some objectionable person. Antoinette de Maignelais died in 1475,
but still more fatal was his infatuation for one Landais, a man of
obscure birth and abominable character, whom he made his treasurer,
and whose crimes and cruelties so exasperated the Bretons that they
rose in rebellion, surrounded the palace with threats and cries, and
demanded that he should be given up to them. The Comte de Foix tried
to appease them, but returned in haste, exclaiming, “I would rather be
Prince over a million wild boars than over such people as your Bretons;
you will certainly have to give up your treasurer, or we shall all be
murdered.”[281] Landais was accordingly tried, condemned, and executed,
but the harm he had done and the disastrous state of affairs still
remained.

The young English princes having been murdered by their uncle, Richard
III., the Vicomte de Rohan wanted to marry the two princesses to his
two sons; other suitors also presented themselves, of whom the one
specially detested by Anne was Alain, Comte d’Albret, brother of her
governess, the Dame de Laval. He was a widower of forty-five, rough,
ugly, disagreeable, ill-tempered, and the father of eight legitimate
and four illegitimate children. A more preposterous husband for the
young princess could not have been thought of; notwithstanding which,
the Dame de Laval used all her influence in his favour. But her
persuasions were useless. Anne could not bear the sight of him, and
would not listen. Besides her personal dislike to him, she said his
position was far beneath her. She wanted to marry a King, or the son of
a King, not a mere Breton noble who was her father’s subject and would
be her own.

{1488}

There was, however, a strong party who, desiring that their future
duchess should marry a Breton and stay in her own country, supported
the pretensions of Albret, and so harassed the Duke, her father, that
in order to gain allies and help in his difficulties, he consented to
this monstrous sacrifice, and desired her to accept him. Anne resisted,
but she was then a child of eleven or twelve years of age, and when
her father, whom she loved, used reproaches, commands, entreaties,
and assured her that the marriage was necessary to the welfare of the
country she adored, he succeeded in wringing a reluctant consent from
her.

But shortly afterwards he was beaten by the French at St. Aubin, and
after signing a treaty giving up Dol, St. Malo, and other important
towns, and promising not to marry either of his daughters without
permission of Charles VIII., he fell ill and died in September, 1488.

The Princess Anne, now Duchess de Bretagne, was not quite thirteen
years old, but in capacity and character far beyond her age. She was
well educated, understood Latin and Greek, and wrote very good letters.
One to Maximilian of Austria, with an account of the war, the troubles
in Bretagne, and the battle of St. Aubin is quoted as a surprising
production for one so young. But Anne was full of talent and high
spirit, her faults and good qualities were those of a noble nature.
Brave, proud, impetuous, imperious, passionately attached to her own
country, loving her friends and hating her enemies with all her heart,
always to be relied on, yielding only to the commands of the Church, or
the good of her own Bretagne, a woman to be loved, admired, sometimes
feared, but never despised or distrusted.

The Duke left his daughters under the guardianship of the Maréchal de
Rieux and the Comte de Comminges, who were also to consult Dunois, son
of the famous Bastard of Orléans, and Madame de Laval was to remain
their governess.[282] She must have been fond of them and good to them
in spite of her reprehensible partisanship of her unsuitable brother,
for Anne always showed her much affection.

The princesses were taken immediately from Coiron, where the Duke died,
to Guérande, which was considered safer. The Breton nobles had sworn
allegiance to Anne in her father’s lifetime, among others her natural
brother, François Baron d’Avaugour, son of Antoinette de Maignelais. He
and Anne were very fond of each other.

An embassy was sent to the King of France and the States hastily
summoned. Anne sat at the head of the Council, and her ministers soon
discovered that she was no weak, timid girl of whom they could dispose
at their pleasure, but a high-spirited princess who knew very well that
she was their sovereign.

When Rieux brought forward again the project of marrying her to the
detested Albret as the best way out of the present difficulties, she
immediately, with an eloquence and decision that astonished them,
rejected the proposal. An historian remarks, “And the high heart that
she had! girl as she was!”[283]

She said that Albret had not even fulfilled the conditions which alone
had induced her to consent to such an engagement, in giving assistance
to her father, who had never desired nor approved of the marriage,
but had been tormented into consenting when in weak health by Madame
de Laval, that she had always protested against it, and that Albret
knew he was repugnant to her, and that she never meant to carry it
out. That she was the Duchesse de Bretagne and the greatest heiress in
Christendom, that the idea of trying to force her to marry against her
will was contrary to all propriety, and that sooner than make such a
marriage as this she would retire into a convent and take the veil.

[Illustration: Anne de Bretagne]

She hated Albret all the more, because as she grew older and increased
in beauty, he had conceived a violent passion for her, but her courage
and firmness put a stop to the tyrannical meddling of her ministers
and filled them with respect and admiration.

She then sent a messenger to England claiming the protection of Henry
VII.

Her chancellor, Montauban, supported her, considering the match far
beneath her, and told Albret plainly of the aversion and indignation
of the Duchess and the preposterous nature of his claims. The Comte
d’Albret flew into a furious rage, but was of course powerless in the
matter. And just then Charles VIII. sent to claim the wardship of the
Duchess and her sister, saying that he would marry them to the two sons
of the Vicomte de Rohan and resign all his claims to the duchy.

But the Bretons, who hated the Rohans because they were considered
friends to France and traitors to Bretagne, would not hear of this;
Louis d’Orléans was in prison at Bourges, help did not come from
England, and the friends of the Duchess, including the Maréchal de
Rieux, who saw that it was hopeless to think of the Comte d’Albret,
proposed the eldest son of the Emperor Maximilian, King of the Romans,
who had been already suggested as a possible husband for her during the
lifetime of her father, and to whom she had no objection. For, although
Maximilian was also a widower and a great deal older than herself, he
was a handsome, courteous, pleasant man in the prime of life, and could
give her the most splendid position in Europe.

The duchy was by this time in a condition equally deplorable and
dangerous. Charles VIII., exasperated at the English and other foreign
troops being called in, made vigorous war upon Bretagne, town after
town was besieged and taken by his army. Alain d’Albret continued to
put forth his claims on the young Duchess, declaring that he had her
father’s promise and her own consent, but ignoring the fact that this
consent had been wrung from a weak and almost dying man, and a child
of ten years old, who directly she was free had made a public protest
against this arbitrary act. Madame de Laval for a long time continued
her advocacy of her brother’s cause, while Anne steadily persisted that
she would take the veil sooner than marry him.

{1489}

Meanwhile she waited anxiously for help from England, but Henry
VII., unwilling to make war on France, lost a great deal of time in
correspondence with the French King, hoping to arrange matters by this
means. But the war went on, and the young Duchess fled from one town to
another, and at length, finding herself in an unsafe position in the
unfortified town of Rhédon, with her sister, where there was a great
chance of being taken by the French, sent to her guardians, Rieux and
Comminges, to come up with the troops and escort them to Nantes. There
was no time to lose, for the French were in the neighbourhood, and the
place could not be defended.

The princesses were waiting in great anxiety when they were told that
Rieux and Comminges had both gone to Nantes, where they had joined
Albret. Anne was very angry, all the more as she suspected that they
would try to influence the people against her and her friends by
making them believe that Dunois intended to deliver up both her and
the town to the King of France. She set off from Rhédon on horseback
with Isabelle and the Chancellor Montauban, with a bodyguard of ten
Bretons as an escort, and rode to La Pasquelay, about three leagues
from Nantes, where she was joined by Dunois at the head of some troops.
She sent a message to Nantes ordering the gates to be opened for
her entry, but the reply was that she was welcome to enter with her
household and private guards, but not with Montauban, Dunois, or the
troops; and seeing that the plan was to throw her into the power of
Rieux and Albret, she angrily refused, upon which they marched out of
the town with a large force to compel her to enter as they proposed.
With undaunted courage Anne mounted on horseback behind Montauban and
rode forward, while Dunois and the troops prepared for battle. But the
townspeople no sooner saw her than they forbade any force to be used
against her, but obliged the nobles to go back into the town. For some
days negotiations went on, but Anne sent word that she would only enter
Nantes as its sovereign, and turning away after a perilous journey took
refuge at Rennes, where the people had begged her to come, and where
they received her with bursts of enthusiastic loyalty and abuse of the
traitors of Nantes.[284]

Her cousin, Jean de Châlons, who was taken prisoner with the Duc
d’Orléans, but had been released,[285] was Anne’s great friend and
supporter against Albret; and in March, 1490, it was decided to
place her under the protection of the Emperor, by marrying her to his
son, the King of the Romans. Negotiations were accordingly carried on
with profound secrecy. Madame de Laval, seeing that her efforts were
vain, abandoned the cause of her brother; Maximilian, King of the
Romans, sent the Baron Volfan de Polhaim, with several other nobles,
to Bretagne, and a few days after the ceremony of betrothal was gone
through, and the marriage celebrated without any one knowing the day on
which it took place. According to the old German custom in such cases,
the young princess was placed in her bed into which Polhaim, as proxy
for Maximilian, put his bare leg up to the knee in presence of the
three other envoys, Madame de Laval and some members of the household
of the Duchess, and declared the marriage to be consummated.

{1490}

It was not likely that so important an event could be long concealed.
The Chancellor de Montauban was one of the first to let it out by
giving Anne, in several official acts, the title of Queen of the
Romans. This disclosure caused an outburst of anger and commotion.
The French pushed on the war with more activity than ever, Alain
d’Albret betrayed Nantes into their hands, and Charles VIII. refused
to acknowledge the legality of the marriage, contracted without his
consent.

Anne, who was in desperate straits for want of money, sold her plate
and jewels, and struck a coinage of leather with a small piece of
silver in the centre. She gave the command of her army to Rieux, who
had left Albret, returned to his allegiance, and for the sake of the
country, been pardoned. He drove the French out of Lower Bretagne;
Brest, St. Malo, and some other towns held out for her; she had English
archers and German and Spanish troops from Maximilian, but was too weak
to withstand the French, who, late in the autumn, laid siege to Rennes.

Anne made her Chancellor, Montauban, promise not to leave her for a
day; she trusted also in Jean de Châlons and Dunois, who was as brave
as his renowned father though his enormous size interfered with his
activity.



[Illustration: TRUMPETER.]

CHAPTER II

1491-1498

  Joustes before Rennes--Death of Isabelle--Betrothal of
    Anne--Marguérite of Austria--Marriage of Anne--Charles
    VIII.--Birth of Dauphin--Italian War--Return of King--Death of
    Dauphin--Birth and death of other children--Death of Charles
    VIII.


The French army lay encamped before Rennes. Hostilities began by the
Bastard de Foix dressed as St. George, riding up to the walls and
challenging any knight to come out and break a lance with him in honour
of the ladies. A Breton noble in complete armour at once appeared,
lists were made among the moats, Anne had a scaffolding erected from
which she with her ladies and court witnessed the combat, first with
lances, then with swords, and, after she had supplied hypocras and
other refreshments to the French, every one retired.

{1491}

Next day the siege began. Provisions and money ran short and the
Princess Isabelle died. Charles offered Anne a large pension, any place
she chose to live in except Rennes or Nantes; and Louis de Luxembourg,
the Comte d’Angoulême or the Duc de Nemours for a husband in exchange
for the duchy, which she refused. He next offered her foreign troops
all the arrears due to them if they would withdraw from Rennes, which
they immediately did. Then he tried to induce her to accept a large
allowance, give up the duchy and go to the King of the Romans; and
finally proposed that she should throw over Maximilian, who could get
no money from his father, the Emperor, had never even seen her, and
probably cared very little for the marriage (having lately lost Marie
de Bourgogne whom he loved passionately), and marry him.

It was far the best way out of this disastrous state of things. Charles
was politically her enemy, but she had no personal dislike to him, he
was a suitable age and a splendid match, besides which it was evident
that she must either accept him or lose Bretagne altogether. And
whether it would be better for her or Bretagne that she should be a
landless fugitive or Queen of France was a question about which there
was no doubt whatever in the minds of any of the sensible people who
surrounded her. Her cousin, the Prince of Orange, her guardian, the
Maréchal de Rieux, her Chancellor, Montauban, and her governess, Madame
de Laval, all told her the same thing, and tried to persuade her to
consent to this marriage. The Duc d’Orléans, who had been released
by the intercession of his wife; and the Comte de Dunois, added their
entreaties, and Anne at last began to hesitate. Then Madame de Laval
told her confessor and begged him to speak to her. He accordingly
assured her that it was required of her by God and the Church to make
this sacrifice for the good of her country and the restoration of
peace. Anne yielded to the only authority she recognised and consented
to an interview with the King.

Charles therefore went, on pretence of a pilgrimage to the chapel of
Notre Dame which was at the gate of Rennes. After his devotions were
finished, he suddenly entered the town accompanied by the Princess Anne
de Beaujeu, and an armed escort. The next day he presented himself at
the palace of the Duchess. They had a long private audience in which
Charles seems to have succeeded in overcoming any dislike Anne may have
had for him, as they were betrothed to each other three days afterwards
in the chapel of Notre Dame.

Two solemn contracts had to be broken for the sake of this marriage,
so important both to Bretagne and France. Besides the ceremonial
marriage of Anne and Maximilian, his daughter Marguérite had not only
been for the last eight years the legal wife of Charles VIII., but had
been brought up in France and treated as Dauphine and then as Queen.
The marriage, which was of course only a form, had been celebrated at
Amboise just before the death of Louis XI., with pomp and ceremony
in the presence of the court, the Dauphin being then twelve and the
Princess Marguérite three years old.[286]

It was a great affront to Maximilian, both on his own account and that
of his daughter, who, though so young, was extremely indignant, having
long considered herself Queen of France. She was conducted back to her
father with great state, and when, as she passed through Arras, the
people began the French cry of “Noël, Noël!” she said impatiently,
“Do not cry ‘Noël!’ but ‘Vive Bourgogne!’” She was afterwards the
famous Regent of the Netherlands, and throughout her life never forgot
the slight or felt anything but enmity to France, in which, however,
she did not include the Queen, who had sent her splendid jewels and
beautiful embroideries, and with whom she was always on friendly
terms.[287]

A chronicler favouring the Austrian party, observes in his writings
that with respect to this alliance three things are most surprising:
first, that Charles VIII. should have had the audacity to carry it out,
being already married to the daughter of Maximilian; secondly, that the
Duchesse de Bretagne should have accepted the deadly enemy of her house
as her husband; and thirdly, that the Seigneur de Dunois, who had done
so much to bring about this marriage, should have fallen dead from his
horse as he returned from the betrothal, _ce qui épouvanta fort tout le
peuple_.[288]

For Dunois, one of the most faithful friends of the young Duchess,
never saw her crowned Queen, having been seized with apoplexy as just
described.

Although by this alliance Anne gained a much higher rank, she lost that
of a sovereign princess. Charles was the conqueror, and she had no
choice but to submit to the French terms, which were--that the duchy of
Bretagne should pass entirely into the hands of the King; that if she
should survive him but have no living children, it should again become
hers, but that in that case, in order to avoid another war she should
bind herself not to marry any one but the King of France or his heir;
that she should receive the same dowry as the King’s mother; and, by
his special desire, that any jewels, furniture, or property of whatever
value, which might be in her possession at the King’s death, should be
hers absolutely. The Prince of Orange approved of this contract, which
she signed on her wedding day, December 6, 1491.

In spite of her poverty, Anne displayed royal magnificence in her
dress and all the accessories of her wedding. It is probable that the
States granted her a large sum of money for that occasion. At any
rate her wedding-dress of cloth-of-gold with gold embroideries, cost
126,000 francs (present value), and all her travelling appointments
were splendid. She gave velvet dresses to the ladies and gentlemen of
her household, that of Madame de Laval being of violet velvet, and a
costume of cloth-of-gold to the Prince of Orange.[289]

Anne was now fifteen years old and the King twenty. After their
wedding, they went to Tours, and then to Paris, splendidly received all
the way. Anne was crowned at St. Denis in the following February, on
which occasion she was dressed in white satin. The crown was too large
and heavy for the young head, and was held by Louis, Duc d’Orléans. The
next day she entered Paris.

De Mézeray declares that Anne had an immense influence over the King,
and that she ruled her own duchy entirely. But M. Le Roux de Lincy
denies this statement, and quotes in support of such contradiction two
well-known historians of Bretagne,[290] who assert that during the
whole of the married life of Charles VIII. and Anne, all the _actes de
Bretagne_ are in the name of Charles alone, without that of Anne ever
being mentioned.

In spite of the King’s jealous monopoly of her duchy, he was always
much attached to the Queen, although this did not prevent his carrying
on many love affairs and intrigues with other women, greatly to her
displeasure; and every now and then arose quarrels and disputes about
this or that person to whom his attentions were too much directed. But
they were always together, except when he was at war; he lavished money
and every luxury upon her, and was as much influenced by her as he
could be by anybody. For Charles was obstinate, rash, and chimerical;
and in many matters would take no advice from any one. He was not
handsome like most of his family, being short and badly made; but he
had beautiful eyes, a charming expression and manners so gentle and
courteous that it was said that no one had ever heard him say a rude or
harsh thing.

{1492}

Madame de Beaujeu, sister of the King, who had been hitherto the
greatest lady in France, began by trying in vain to oppose and
interfere with the Queen, who, having from childhood been accustomed to
the deference and obedience due to a sovereign princess, declined to
allow her authority to be questioned, so that the late Regent had to
yield.

Charles and Anne lived chiefly at Plessis and Amboise, which he had
caused to be magnificently refurnished and decorated for her reception.

Whenever it was possible Anne travelled by water, the rivers being
still the chief highways, and the great barges with wooden houses on
board the most comfortable conveyances. On October 10th was born the
Dauphin, Charles-Orland, at Plessis, to the great rejoicing of France,
Bretagne, and the King; he was christened with splendid ceremonial, his
god-parents being the Queen-dowager of Sicily and the Dukes of Orléans
and Bourbon. He was dedicated to the Virgin, and always dressed in
white and cloth of silver. A few months afterwards the King and Queen
set off for Lyon, leaving him at Amboise, surrounded by the strictest
precautions, amongst which was one forbidding any one to visit him who
had ever been in Italy.

They stayed at Lyon and Grenoble amidst much festivity until the
baggage arrived, was unloaded from the chariots and packed on mules to
cross the Alps. On September 1st, after attending mass, Charles bade
the Queen farewell, mounted his horse, placed himself at the head of his
army and started, accompanied by Louis d’Orléans.

[Illustration: TOUR D’AMBOISE.]

Anne remained at Lyon, and at first the King’s daily letters brought
news of unbroken conquests, which, however, like all the French
victories in Italy, melted away, leaving nothing but disaster to
France. It was fifteen months before Charles returned to Lyon where
Anne had waited for him. In spite of his reverses he was in good
spirits and resolved on another Italian campaign, for like all the
Valois he was an ardent soldier. His favourite charger “Savoie,” a
splendid black horse with only one eye, had carried him through all
the battles and loved him so much that he would fight for him with his
teeth and hoofs. He was given him by the Duc de Savoie.[291] Amongst
other adventures is told the story of a young girl to whom he took a
fancy at Naples. She was brought to his palace there and when left
alone with him she explained that she had not come of her own free
will, but had been carried off by force, and threw herself on his
mercy. Charles assured her that she need fear no violence from him,
sent her away in safety, and promised her his protection.

{1495}

In December, 1495, the Dauphin, then about three years old, was
suddenly taken ill and died at Amboise, where he had always lived.
Although he had been so little with his parents they were most anxious
about him, and constant news of him had always been sent them. M.
Le Roux de Lincy gives several letters written by the Queen to his
governor, full of inquiries and directions respecting him. He was a
beautiful, precocious child,[292] and his death was a severe blow to
his parents. Philippe de Commines, who had a grudge against Charles
because he had been imprisoned by him and the Regent, says that
he cared very little, being jealous of the Dauphin, a most absurd
supposition regarding a child of three years old, and it being most
unlikely that he should have[293] preferred his heir to be Louis
d’Orléans instead of a son of his own. On the contrary, the shock made
both Charles and Anne so ill and depressed that the doctors ordered the
King to be amused, therefore many more gaieties took place at court
than the Queen felt inclined for. She hated being present at them, and
quarrelled with the Duc d’Orléans because he seemed to her in such
good spirits that she fancied he was glad to be again heir-presumptive
and to be called “Monseigneur,” which she could not bear to hear.[294]
This caused a coolness between Louis and the King and Queen, so that
he retired to Blois, where he surrounded himself with literary men and
collected a large library, including the books and manuscripts written
by his father. Anne had another son next year, also named Charles, the
following year one called François, and then a daughter named Anne. But
although she got strong Bretonne women to nurse them and took every
precaution she could not save any. None of them lived more than a few
weeks. They were buried in an exquisitely sculptured tomb of white
marble in the cathedral of Tours.

The King and Queen, finding no medicine or cure any use, had tried
various superstitious means. They had a whole coffer full of charms and
amulets, and the people said it was a curse on them because they had
not been free to marry each other. But they were still very young and
hoped yet to have living children. Charles began to think that these
misfortunes were the punishment of Heaven for his dissipated life, and
resolved to reform. Anne was so uneasy and jealous of his proceedings
that she could not bear him to be out of her sight, and had at one time
brought on a miscarriage by persisting in going out hunting when she
was _enceinte_ because she did not want him to go without her. Now,
however, Charles declared he would have no more love affairs, would
give his whole attention to his kingdom and people. He had planned
another Italian campaign and a crusade against the unbelievers, but
it was strongly represented to him that he ought not to leave France
without having an heir. The Queen, who dreaded another long separation,
was naturally of the same opinion, and Charles was persuaded to remain
in France, and began to alter and decorate his favourite château of
Amboise. He had brought books, pictures, statues, and all sorts of
treasures from Italy, and had become much influenced by the splendour
of the renaissance then prevailing there. He began the great tower with
an inclined ascent by which a troop of cavalry can ride to the top,
from the lower entrance down by the river.

{1496}

The splendid old château had become more comfortable and luxurious
than ever under the rule of Anne de Bretagne.[295] Tapestries hung on
the walls, thick carpets lay on the floors, curtains of damask and
satin were over the beds and everywhere. The Queen was at Amboise with
the King, who could not bear to be separated from her, and in whose
pursuits and diversions she always shared. One day, about two o’clock
in the afternoon, he proposed that they should go and look on at a game
of _paume_ which was to be played _dans les fossés du château_.

{1497}

She consented, and the King, taking her by the hand, they left her
private apartment together. They had to pass through a low, dirty,
dilapidated gallery which Charles intended to have pulled down, and
in entering which he struck his head violently against its arched
doorway.[296] He declared, however, that he was not much hurt and they
proceeded to the seats from which they were to watch the game. While it
was going on the King talked and laughed as usual, but when it was over
he complained of pain in his head and said he would go to his own room.
The Queen, dreadfully frightened, went with him.[297] As they walked
back he began to speak of his repentance for the faults and follies
of his life, and just as he said, “_J’espère bien ne commettre aucun
péché, soit mortel, soit véniel_,” he suddenly fell to the ground. They
were again at the entrance of the fatal gallery, where a straw mattress
being hastily thrown on the floor he was laid upon it. They dared not
move him, so he lay there until about eleven at night, only recovering
consciousness for a few moments, when, after murmuring, “_Mon Dieu!
Vierge Marie! Monseigneur Saint Claude! Monseigneur Saint Blaise me
soient en aide!_” he died.[298]



CHAPTER III

1498-1501

  Despair of the Queen--Resumes duchy--Friendship with Louis
    XII.--Returns to Bretagne--King’s divorce--Charlotte
    d’Aragon--Marriage of Anne and Louis XII.--Italian war--Birth
    of Claude de France--Splendour of Court--Hôtel des
    Tournelles--Maids of honour--Disaster in Italy.


Charles VIII. died at dawn on Palm Sunday.[299] The Queen, who was only
two and twenty, had now lost her mother, father, sister, children, and
husband. In a frenzy of grief and despair she shut herself up in her
own rooms where she remained crying, wringing her hands and refusing to
eat.

The Duc d’Orléans, now Louis XII., was still at Blois, and much
distressed at the melancholy state of the Queen. He sent the Cardinal
Briçonnet and the Bishop of Condon, who had been friends of hers and
of Charles VIII., to see her.[300] They found her lying on the floor
sobbing and crying in a corner of the room. She did not get up when
they came in, but the Bishop, a man of holy life and intellectual
power, succeeded in comforting her so far that she listened to his
words of consolation, rose, became calmer, and was persuaded to take
some food.

{1498}

Then she began to think about her beloved Bretagne, now her own again,
and directly she had finished that first repast she signed a decree
reestablishing the _chancellerie_ which had been suppressed.

Her nearest remaining relation was her brother the Baron d’Avaugour,
but she was very fond of her cousin, Jeanne de Laval, Queen-dowager of
Sicily, to whom she wrote, telling her of the death of the King; and
also of the Prince of Orange, Jean de Châlons, for whom she sent at
once and whom she made governor of Bretagne.

Three days after the death of Charles, Louis XII. came to see her. He
promised to give a splendid funeral to the late King, which he did.
Anne ordered her mourning to be black instead of the white usually worn
by Queens of France, and sent to the prelates, nobles, and _bourgeois_
of Bretagne to come and escort her to Paris, where, according to
custom, she was to pass the first months of widowhood; the hôtel
d’Estampes, one of the group forming the hôtel St. Paul, having been
prepared for her.

On May 15th she left Amboise with her great Breton train, paid a state
visit to the King, and establishing herself in her hôtel turned her
attention to the government of Bretagne, demanding from the _Mâitre de
la Monnaie_ at Nantes the gold and silver coinage with the effigies
of her father and herself, appointing her brother and other Breton
nobles governors of the towns, from which the French troops were now
withdrawn,[301] writing constantly to her relations, friends, and
officers, and occasionally seeing Louis XII., who did everything he
could to please her.

[Illustration: LOUIS XII.]

For although he could not have been in love with her, as some
historians assert, before she was ten years old, it is certain that he
was now most anxious to marry her, not only as Duchesse de Bretagne
but as the woman he admired and loved.[302] He was thirty-four,
handsome, and extremely attractive, and Anne, besides being ambitious
and reluctant to lose the French crown, seems to have returned his
affection. A French writer remarks that her love for Charles had arisen
from duty, and therefore was not likely to be very lasting,[303] which
may well have been the case. But it was evident that no such marriage
could take place until Louis had obtained a divorce from his present
wife, Jeanne de France, for which purpose he began negotiations with
the Pope, the friendship between Anne and himself meanwhile increasing
as may be seen by the following letter:--

    “MONSIEUR MON BON FRÈRE,--Je aye receu par le Sr de la
    Pomeraye, voz lectres & aveques sa charge entendu la singulere
    benevoleme & amytié que me portés, dont je suys très consolée
    & vous en remercie de tout mon cueur, vous priant de tousjours
    ainsi continuer comme c’est la ferme confiance de celle que est
    & à jamays serra.

          “Vostre bonne seure, cosine & allyée,
              “ANNE.”[304]

In June they met at Estampes and agreed to marry each other as soon
as Louis could get his divorce. Anne went back to Paris, and later in
the summer she went to Laval to stay with the Queen-dowager of Sicily,
after which she returned to Bretagne, where she was received with great
state and universal joy. Delighted to be once more in possession of
her own duchy she resolved now that she had recovered the reins of
government never again to let them slip out of her hands. Under her
supervision a history of Bretagne was written by a learned priest, her
almoner, from the papers and records in different monasteries.

She ruled Bretagne as a sovereign princess with much wisdom and
capacity, and being generous and charitable she made various excellent
laws for the good of the people. Her own household she arranged on a
magnificent scale, and appointed a guard of a hundred Breton gentlemen
who escorted her wherever she went.

While she was at Nantes her old governess, Madame de Laval, died, to
her great sorrow.

{1499}

The question of the King’s divorce was heard before an ecclesiastical
tribunal, and the marriage dissolved by Alexander VI. (Borgia).

Louis made Jeanne Duchesse de Berry and gave her a splendid appanage
of lands and money. She retired to Bourges, founded the order of the
Annonciades, became Superior of it, and died in 1500, after a life of
charity and devotion. The dissolution of a marriage to which he had
always had an unconquerable repugnance cannot be considered surprising,
but at first many of the people were indignant and pointed at the
judges, saying, “There is Caiaphas, there is Herod, there is Pontius
Pilate; they have judged against _la haute dame_ that she is not Queen
of France.”[305]

Alexander VI.,[306] of the noble Spanish family of Borgia, had in his
youth a natural daughter, the famous Lucrezia, Duchess of Ferrara,
and four sons. The eldest and youngest he married to daughters of the
King of Naples, the second, Giovanni, Duca di Gandia was supposed to
have been murdered by his next brother, the Cardinal Cesare, or Cæsar,
who had become a soldier and who surpassed most of his contemporaries
in the enormity of his crimes. The Pope now sent him to France with a
Cardinal’s hat for George d’Amboise, the King’s favourite minister,
and the bull for the dissolution of his marriage, Louis promising him
the duchy of Valentinois, a large pension and one of his relations in
marriage.

[Illustration: BOURGES.]

The court was at Chinon when he arrived. His followers, horses, and
mules were covered with silk, velvet, and cloth of gold. The horse
he rode had trappings of cloth of gold covered with precious stones;
he himself wore a dress of red satin and cloth of gold bordered with
pearls and gems; his hat was trimmed with a double row of rubies as
big as beans, which shed a strange light; even his boots were covered
with gold cords and edged with pearls. Around his neck was a necklace
or collar worth 30,000 ducats.[307] He gave the cardinal’s hat to the
King, telling him that the bull was not ready, although he had it with
him, as he hoped to be able to extort something more from Louis. The
Pope’s nuncio however told the King that the dispensation had been
made out long ago, and that Cæsar had got it. He was therefore obliged
to deliver it up, but he invited the nuncio to dinner, and, as he was
foolish enough to accept, he died of poison shortly afterwards.

The wife upon whom Borgia fixed his choice was Charlotte d’Aragon,
daughter of Frederic III., King of Naples and Sicily, called Princesse
de Tarente at the French Court, where her mother, the niece of Queen
Charlotte de Savoie, had been brought up. When she died, as Frederic,
engaged in perpetual strife, could not look after his daughter, she had
been adopted by Charles VIII. when about ten years old, and lived at
court ever since.[308] She had a complete household, a litter, mule,
and several horses, being treated as a royal princess,[309] and was
_demoiselle d’honneur_ to the Queen. She grew up into a most attractive
girl--pretty, clever, amusing, kind-hearted; the favourite of the whole
court. The Queen, who was extremely fond of her, when, after the death
of Charles VIII., she returned to Bretagne, gave her a silver toilette
service and parted from her reluctantly.

{1500}

When Charlotte heard that Cæsar Borgia wanted to marry her she was very
much alarmed, very much horrified, and very angry. She declared that
she would not marry that abominable man, and entreated her father and
every one she knew to protect her. Borgia, who had set his mind on her,
and also hoped to get hold of the principality of Tarentum, pressed for
an answer. Charlotte positively refused, declaring that she would not
have for her husband a priest, the son of a priest, and a fratricide,
whose birth and conduct were alike, infamous. Cæsar revenged himself by
getting up a league against Frederic, who fled to Ischia and thence to
France. The Queen was delighted with her courage, and in 1500 married
her to Guy de Laval, a handsome young Breton noble, very rich and a
cousin of her own, so that Charlotte not only became still more nearly
connected with the Queen, but remained at court.

Anne chose to be married at Nantes in January, and this time the
contract secured her entire control of the government and revenues of
Bretagne, with power to leave it to her own heirs after the death of
the King if they had no children. Besides her dowry from Charles she
had one of equal amount for her life from Louis.

The King and Queen spent most of the winter in Bretagne, hunting and
amusing themselves, and in April travelled slowly to Blois, great
festivities attending their progress.

The Queen’s second marriage was much happier than the first. In
appearance, intellect, and character Louis was far superior to Charles.
The intrigues and dissipations of his former life disappeared before
the higher, nobler love of which Charles was incapable. No suspicion of
unfaithfulness ever arose between Anne and Louis;[310] she had regained
her beloved duchy, the management of which was her chief interest and
occupation, besides the share she took in the government of France.
Though she had no better luck with the sons of her second than of her
first marriage her two daughters lived, and upon them she lavished the
passionate affection she had given to the first Dauphin. Louis was the
idol of France; since the days of St. Louis there had been no such
king. To the virtues of Charles V. he united the gallant grace and
charm of the Valois, and the people called him “_le père du peuple_.”

Inheriting also the warlike spirit of his house, he resolved to make
an expedition to conquer the duchy of Milan, now seized by Ludovico
Sforza, but which he claimed as heir of his grandmother, Valentine
Visconti.

The Queen, in her anxiety about the child she was expecting, instead
of accompanying him to the frontier waited at Romorantin as the plague
was at Blois. Even there some of her household had it, and when it
abated she proceeded to Blois where her daughter was born and named
after Ste. Claude, to whose shrine she had just made a pilgrimage.

[Illustration: LADY OF THE FIFTEENTH CENTURY.]

Notwithstanding his desire to have a son, Louis received the news with
great joy just as he was entering Milan, and both he and the Queen were
always devoted to this child, which though small and delicate lived
to grow up. Not long afterwards Louis returned with his victorious
army, and the court resumed its wonted gaiety, the Queen being anxious
that it should be the most magnificent in Europe. She was very rich,
exceedingly generous, and always ready to pay any expenses that Louis,
who was more economical, thought too great. She held many tournaments,
at which she gave splendid prizes; she was a great benefactress to the
religious orders, especially to the Cordeliers and Minimes, to whom she
gave convents,[311] and crowds of poor people waited for alms at her
gates.

The hôtel St. Paul, the favourite palace of Charles V. and Charles VI.,
was now deserted. It was considered unhealthy because of the malaria
arising from its many moats and ponds, and Louis XI. gave away most of
the splendid hôtels belonging to it.[312]

Louis XII. and Anne, when in Paris, lived at Les Tournelles, a most
picturesque and delightful old château near St. Paul, but more healthy.
It was built in 1380, and had belonged to Jean Duc de Berry, Charles
VI., and Louis d’Orléans. It was named from being a mass of little
towers and turrets, was very large and convenient, stood in a wood like
a country house, had chapels, galleries and gardens with fountains and
seats of turf. The Duke of Bedford lived there during the English rule,
and his beautiful wife, Anne of Burgundy; they kept flocks of peacocks
and other rare birds.

Louis and Anne were as fond of animals as their predecessors. The Queen
kept a large hawking establishment, and numbers of horses and mules;
her stables were magnificent, and her litters and _chariots branlants_
(suspended) lined with soft cushions and costly stuffs. She had many
dogs of different breeds and sizes.

The position of the Queen’s ladies was very distinguished and
important. Already in 1492 she had sixteen _dames_ and eighteen
_demoiselles_, of the noblest families. She was very strict, keeping
constant supervision over their books, songs, and amusements, and
forbidding them to be alone with the gentlemen of the court, or talk to
them about love that had nothing to do with marriage. If they disobeyed
her she was implacable, otherwise she treated them with unbounded
kindness, gave them the same luxuries she had herself, and took the
greatest care of them in illness. An existing account mentions silver
plate and a fur-lined coverlet for the night, ordered for Anne de Foix
when she was ill. She gave them dowries, arranged their marriages, and
if their husbands lived far away sent somebody to take care of them and
bring her news of them. Some she loved almost like her own children.

Ladislas, King of Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia, being a widower, wanted
a French princess for his wife. The Queen selected Anne de Candale
and Germaine de Foix, both pretty girls and princesses of Foix, and
sent him their portraits. He chose Anne, who did not wish to be Queen
of Hungary, but to marry the Comte de Dunois, son of the Queen’s old
friend whom he did not resemble, for though handsome and agreeable
he was supposed to be wanting in courage. The Queen would not hear
of it, and notwithstanding the tears and objections of the young
princess the marriage was celebrated by proxy, and she started with a
brilliant retinue in charge of Bretagne, King-at-arms, whose account
of the grandeur of her reception, presents, &c., still exists in the
_Bibliothèque Impériale_. Ladislas was enchanted with her and wrote
with enthusiastic gratitude to the Queen, who was very fond of and
anxious about her, and many messengers and letters passed between them;
but the princess, who never became reconciled to her splendid exile,
died in giving birth to a son.

{1501}

Germaine de Foix became the second wife of Ferdinand, King of Spain.

The Queen apparently acted in an arbitrary manner towards Anne de
Rohan, who clandestinely married a natural son of the house of Bourbon,
and who, after a stormy scene with her royal mistress, left the court
and was imprisoned by her father at a château in a forest until,
hearing that her husband had married somebody else in Germany, she
became the wife of her cousin, Pierre de Rohan.[313]

Cæsar Borgia had insisted on a wife being found for him, and the
person so sacrificed was Charlotte, the youngest daughter of Alain
d’Albret. His consent was bought by an enormous dowry from the Pope and
a cardinal’s hat for one of his family. Five years later Cæsar Borgia
was killed in a skirmish, and the Duchess de Valentinois, his widow,
who was universally respected, retired in peace with her daughter to a
castle in Berry.[314]

In April came disastrous news from Milan, which had revolted against
the French, who now only held the fortress itself.[315] The King sent
Louis de la Trémoille and the Cardinal d’Amboise immediately to take
command, and the wise counsels of the one and the military capacity of
the other so rapidly turned the tide that France was again victorious,
Sforza was taken prisoner, “and thus,” says the chronicler, “was the
duchy of Milan twice conquered in seven months and a half, and for this
time the war in Lombardy finished.”[316]



CHAPTER IV

1501-1506

  Ludovico Sforza--Shipbuilding--Queen’s
    gardens--Library--Treasures--Dress--Betrothal of Claude de
    France--Archduke and Archduchess--Illness of King--Maréchal
    de Gié--Second illness of King--Queen in Bretagne--Second
    betrothal of Princess Claude.


Ludovico Sforza was imprisoned at Loches, at first rigorously, but
afterwards with indulgence, being allowed books, paper, ink, cards,
_paume_, &c. He died in captivity.

Louis had a project for the conquest of Naples, which displeased the
Queen, by whom he was in most matters greatly influenced, and whom he
called “_Ma Bretonne_.” She saw that these expeditions always caused
disasters to France, and had much more sympathy with his desire for
a crusade against the Turks, who had invaded Greece. Out of her own
revenues she raised soldiers and sailors and had twelve large ships
built in the seaports of Bretagne. The largest, _Marie la Cordelière_,
of 2,000 tons, carried 100 guns.[317] Anne took the deepest interest
in the navy, upon which she spent large sums, but managed her affairs
so well that in spite of her princely generosity she had no debts but
always plenty of money.

{1501}

This crusade was unsuccessful, the ships being damaged by a tempest.

[Illustration: BLOIS.]

Anne filled her household with her faithful Bretons. Her guard of
gentlemen assembled always on the terrace at Blois, called “_la
Perche aux Bretons_.” She never kept them waiting, but would rise
and hasten towards them saying, “There are my Bretons on their perch
expecting me.”[318] To her the French queens owed the right to have
their especial guard, also the right to receive separately all foreign
ambassadors.

She delighted in flowers and gardening, her favourite gardens being
those of Amboise, given her by Charles VIII., and of Blois by Louis
XII. She was also extremely fond of books, and had a splendid library,
for, besides all she inherited from her father and the French kings,
Charles VIII. brought her eleven hundred and forty from Naples and
Louis XII. a thousand manuscripts from the library of the Visconti
at Milan. She employed a colony of painters, sculptors, scribes, and
architects brought from Italy and established at Tours by Charles
VIII., and consequently possessed numbers of artistic treasures,
including that wonderful illuminated book containing the psalms,
prayers, and offices of the Church richly adorned with flowers,
animals, landscapes, portraits and scenes in miniature well known as
the “Livre d’Heures d’Anne de Bretagne,” and one of the most perfect
examples of French art of that day.[319]

She had a little room with boxes and drawers full of costly jewels
to give as presents. For dress personally she cared little, although
especially on state occasions she was always magnificent in her
toilette. The fashions in her reign were exceedingly graceful and
artistic. Fine linen, velvet or satin shoes, long trailing dresses
open in front, made of cloth of gold and crimson silk or velvet, with
a golden girdle and chaplet of pearls, chains and jewels round the
neck, headdress of white silk embroidered with gold and pearls, hoods
of cloth, satin, or velvet, scarlet for bourgeoises, black for nobles.
Sometimes long dresses of black velvet. These were purely French
till late in this reign when Italian and Flemish costumes began to be
copied.[320] Charles VIII., being short and ill-made, re-introduced the
long robes of former times, but Louis XII., who was tall and graceful,
usually wore short clothes. The Queen created an order for the ladies
of the court, called the Cordelière, from the cords that bound Christ:
the badge was a jewelled necklace in the form of a cord.

{1502}

Before the Princess Claude was two years old proposals came from
the Emperor Maximilian to marry her to his grandson, the Duke of
Luxemburg, son of the Archduke Philip of Austria. In France the general
desire was that she should become the wife of the Comte d’Angoulême,
heir-presumptive to the throne of that country, but the Queen strongly
favoured the Austrian alliance. In November, 1501, the Archduke and
Archduchess arrived on a visit. They were mounted on mules covered
with trappings of crimson velvet, next rode a long train of ladies,
and six hundred horses carried litters and drew waggons after them.
The procession entered Blois at night; as it wound up the steep street
torches blazed on every house, and the grand staircase of the castle
was lined with hundreds of archers of the guard in gilded armour. The
King, sitting in a great carved chair by the fire, welcomed them, and
asked the Archduchess if it was her pleasure to bestow a kiss upon him,
which she did, after asking permission of the Bishop of Cordova. Louis
then saying that he knew the ladies would like to be alone together,
she was taken to the Queen’s rooms, where Anne sat by the fire
surrounded by her ladies, who, it may here be remarked generally sat
on the floor or on cushions, not many chairs being usual in the rooms.
Later, she retired to her bedchamber, where, escorted by six pages in
red and yellow with wax candles in gold candlesticks, quantities of all
kinds of sweetmeats were carried to her by ladies and gentlemen, with
gold and silver boxes of knives, forks, serviettes, &c., which were all
placed on buffets and on the bed. The Queen’s apothecary followed, and
afterwards came silver warming-pans and washing basins, velvet coffers
of brushes, combs, sponges, mirrors, and fine linen.[321]

{1503}

The Princess Claude had been brought down, but directly she saw her
proposed mother-in-law she cried so loud that she had to be removed by
her governess.[322]

The Archduke had supper downstairs, but the King did not join him as
he was keeping the fast of _Notre Dame des Avents_ on bread and water.
They stayed five days, and the betrothal of the Princess was concluded.

January 21, 1503, was born a Dauphin, who, however, died immediately,
to the general grief and disappointment.

Next came news of reverses in Italy and the loss of two battles, soon
after which the King became very ill. The Queen nursed him untiringly,
scarcely ever leaving his room; every one was in consternation, and
the doctors gave up all hope of his recovery. Anne was in despair.
Added to her grief for him was the dread of what would be the position
of herself and her daughter in the event of his death and the triumph
of Louise de Savoie and the hostile party, at the head of which was
Pierre de Rohan, Maréchal de Gié, a Breton who had taken the side of
France against Bretagne.

She therefore ordered the officers of her household to load two or
three great barges on the Loire with all her treasure and take them
down to Nantes. Then, if the King died, she could retreat with her
child to Bretagne, where they would be safe among their own subjects.

But Gié, thinking the King’s death at hand, had the insolence to stop
the Queen’s barges, placing 10,000 archers to watch the Loire and
prevent the Princess Claude being carried out of France.[323] This
attempt of one of her own subjects to take from her guardianship her
daughter, the heiress of Bretagne, not of France, and to seize the
property settled on her by two kings, was not likely to be forgiven by
the Queen. Gié had overreached himself, for Louis suddenly recovered,
and on hearing of his conduct, ordered his arrest. The judges who
tried him hated him, and condemned him to death, but this sentence was
quashed by the King, and Gié was heavily fined, deprived of his post,
and banished from court for five years. Some French historians, who
seem to think any means justifiable to gain a province for France,
approve his conduct, and call Anne vindictive for insisting on its
punishment; others will probably consider that he got what he deserved.

{1505}

Gié retired to his magnificent château of Verger, and the _clercs de la
Basoche_ gave a play called “_Trop chauffer cuit, trop parler nuit_”
alluding to him. In another they said, “_Un Maréchal avait voulu ferrer
une Anne (âne), mais elle lui avait donné un si grand coup de pied
qu’elle l’avait jeté hors de la cour, pardessus les murailles jusque
dedans le verger._”[324]

They were very witty, often impertinent. When the King was told
that they had ventured to represent him, because of some necessary
retrenchment, as Avarice, he said that the people might laugh, and
he would rather be called avaricious than extravagant; but when they
attempted any ridicule of the Queen he sternly forbade it, saying he
would suffer no disrespect to his wife, nor for that matter to any
woman in his kingdom.

The Queen’s second coronation at St. Denis and entry into Paris took
place when the King was convalescent--with the same splendour as the
first. It was by torchlight, and after the usual fêtes and banquet at
the Palais they returned to Touraine, and spent the rest of the summer
at Blois, Loches, and Amboise with the Princess Claude.

The year 1505 opened with an unsatisfactory state of affairs in
Italy,[325] where many of the best French officers, amongst them the
Chevalier Bayard, were still engaged. The King became depressed and
out of spirits, all the more because of the dispute about his daughter,
whose marriage the Emperor kept urging him to celebrate immediately
with the Duke of Luxemburg, while the French were so vehemently in
favour of François, whom he had created Duc de Valois, that he felt
both he and the Queen were for the first time becoming unpopular.
These matters so preyed upon his mind as to bring on an illness more
serious than the last. He was seized with fever and delirium, and all
the country was plunged into grief and alarm. Again the Queen nursed
him night and day, the people thronged the churches,[326] masses
were chanted, long lines of cowled figures carried holy relics, with
banners, crosses, and swinging censers through the streets, peasants
left their work and multitudes with bare feet, tears and lamentations
flocked after the processions. The Queen vowed that if he recovered she
would make a pilgrimage to Notre Dame du Foll-Coat in Bretagne before
the year was out.[327]

A romantic incident caused by this calamity was the death of Tommasina
Spinola, a beautiful Genoese who had fallen in love with Louis in
Italy. It was a platonic, chivalrous romance, to which neither her
husband nor the Queen objected, and after the shock of hearing
that Louis was dead had been fatal to her, he, having by this time
recovered, desired Jean d’Auton to write a record of her, which was
presented to him and the Queen at Tours.[328]

[Illustration: LOCHES.]

{1506}

In the summer the Queen set off for Bretagne to fulfil her vow about
the pilgrimage, leaving the King at Blois with their child.

When once Anne was in Bretagne it was no easy matter to get her away
again, although Louis was now left with Louise de Savoie, and all those
who were anxious for the French instead of the Austrian marriage of the
Princess Claude.

She took her ladies and a large suite of French nobles, and was joined
by numbers of Bretons, her progress through her own dominions being one
continual triumph. She visited many of the towns, which were richly
decorated, and gave splendid joustes and other fêtes in her honour, and
having made her _neuvaine_ and offerings at Foll-Coat, she summoned the
States, transacted a great deal of business, and went to Brest to see
her favourite ship, _Marie-la-Cordelière_.

The King, however, got very tired of being without her, and sent her
a message to come and join him at Angers. She was then at Morlaix
suffering from inflammation in the eye, and sent for a relic supposed
to be the finger of St. John Baptist, to cure her. It was kept in a
church at Plougarnon, not far off, but she was presently told that it
had disappeared on the way, and been found in the church again. Then
Anne with all her suite went to Plougarnon, slept in the village, and
attended mass at the dawn of day in the ancient church with massive
square tower and quaint leaden steeple, standing in a green valley by
a brook flowing down to the sea.[329] The Bishop of Nantes touched the
Queen’s eye with the relic when she had received the Communion; she
made her offerings, and the pilgrimage was finished.[330]

The King kept writing to her to come back, and began to get very
angry at her delay. The Cardinal d’Amboise, who was very much in the
confidence of them both, wrote three sensible and urgent letters,[331]
assuring her that he had never seen the King so displeased, and begging
her to return; saying what a pity it would be if any dissension should
arise between them; also that the King was going back to Blois and
thence by water to Amboise, taking Princess Claude and the Countess
d’Angoulême with him. The Queen therefore brought her Breton tour to an
end, and returned to Blois in September.

Her arrival dispelled the King’s vexation, but to her dismay she found
him bent upon breaking off the Austrian engagement of their daughter,
for many were murmuring against the Queen for allowing her dislike of
Louise de Savoie to influence her to the detriment of France. Even the
Bretons preferred the future King of France to the grandson of the
Emperor, and although the prediction of Anne that François would not
care about Claude, who was neither pretty, clever, nor attractive,
was certainly verified, there seems no reason to suppose she would
have been happier with the Duke of Luxemburg, afterwards Charles V.
Louis said he was resolved “_de n’allier ses souris qu’aux rats de son
grenier_;” and when Anne impatiently remarked, “To hear you one would
think mothers conspired to injure their daughters,” he asked if she
thought it was the same thing to rule Bretagne as to wear the crown
of France, saying, “_Voulez-vous préferer le bât d’un ane_ (Anne) _à
la selle d’un cheval?_” and as she still seemed unconvinced, he told
her that at the Creation God gave horns to hinds as well as stags,
but finding they wanted to govern everybody, He took them away as a
punishment.[332]

But not wishing to act in defiance of the Queen, Louis agreed that at
the meeting of the States at Tours, in May, 1506, the deputies should
implore him on their knees to consent to the marriage of the Princess
Claude to François, Duc de Valois. As he had foreseen, the Queen could
not then oppose it; and on Ascension Day the children were betrothed in
the great hall of the Castle of Plessis les Tours, she being six and he
twelve years old.[333]



CHAPTER V

1503-1514

  Story of Anne de Graville--Illness of Claude--Court of
    Anne de Bretagne--Italian war--Marriage of Marguérite
    d’Angoulême--Dress and customs at Court--Birth of Renée de
    France--The Prince de Chalais--The Queen ill--Birth and death
    of a son--League of Cambrai--Sea-fight--Death of Queen.


Though much vexed at her daughter’s engagement the Queen still hoped
something might happen to prevent the marriage; meanwhile she formed
the household of the Princess, and amongst others she placed in it
Anne de Graville, one of her _demoiselles d’honneur_, a sister of whom
had been in that of the King’s first wife. To Anne, as to some of her
companions, is attached a romance, which, after four hundred years,
clings to her memory, and like the scent of rose leaves and lavender
in some old-fashioned country house, the refrain of an ancient ballad
or the quaint phrases traced in faded ink on some letter yellow with
age coming to us from a long-vanished generation, seems to give us a
momentary glimpse into the life of those far-off days.

{1503}

Louis de Malet, Admiral de Graville, bore one of the oldest names in
France, and had been the favourite of three kings. That he was a man of
great capacity and wisdom is proved by his correspondence, now existing
in the _Bibliothèque Impériale_. He was also extremely cultivated. He
gave a bell to Rouen Cathedral, built the portal of Sens and a church
near Paris. He collected a valuable library of manuscripts, with
illuminations, miniatures, poems in French and Italian, &c., and filled
his château of Marcoussy with pictures and splendid furniture.

Marcoussy, about eighteen miles from Paris, was one of the most
imposing castles in the Ile-de-France, with its massive walls,
huge towers, and deep moats, surrounded by trees and gardens with
terraces, fountains, and fishponds. Here he passed most of his time
when not occupied in public affairs, and here grew up his children,
Louis, Joachim, Jeanne, Louise, and Anne. They studied music, poetry,
literature, and received altogether as good an education as was then
attainable. The youngest, Anne, was herself the authoress of a poem
written on one of the stories of Boccaccio, and many an exquisite
embroidery for church or convent was done by the three sisters.

But upon the prosperous, happy lives of the Gravilles sorrow began to
fall. Louis and Joachim died, and their loss so affected their mother
that she also died in March, 1503, desiring to be buried near Joachim
in the monastery of Marcoussy. Louise and Jeanne had made brilliant
marriages, and Anne was left alone with her father, whose favourite
she was, and who dreaded parting with her. However, between marriage
and the cloister there was no alternative, and the Admiral wrote to
her saying he had received offers from three young nobles, of whom he
thought the first frivolous, the second rash and hasty, but the third,
though less rich, was sensible and irreproachable in character.[334]

But meanwhile, Anne fell in love with her cousin Pierre, Baron
d’Entragues, illegitimate son of Robert de Balzac, a young soldier of
four and twenty who, fearing the Admiral might not allow the marriage,
carried her off; some said with, others without her consent. At any
rate she forgave him, and their marriage was celebrated without waiting
for the permission of the Admiral, who was very angry, threatened to
disinherit his daughter and forbade any one to help them. The Baron
d’Entragues had no money and when he applied for help to his relations
they refused; the young people had nothing to live upon and did not
know what to do. So they bethought themselves of the good monks of the
Céléstin convent of Marcoussy and took refuge with them. The Prior and
brotherhood received them with kindness, sympathy, and promises of
help, and they stayed in the monastery waiting till Good Friday, which
was now approaching, when the Admiral was sure to come there to church.

Accordingly, when he presented himself at the office of the veneration
of the Cross, the Prior stopped him, saying, “Dare you approach with
your lips the sacred wood on which the Son of God shed His precious
blood to reconcile men with His Father; if you have not resolved from
your heart to forgive your two children who are here at your knees with
profound repentance imploring pardon for their fault?” As he spoke
Pierre and Anne threw themselves on their knees before him. The solemn
words of the Prior and the sight of the child who had always been so
dear to him were too much for the Admiral, he held out his arms to them
both, and took them back with him to the castle.[335] The marriage
proved a very happy one. Anne had a long prosperous life, and one of
her children inherited Marcoussy.

{1507}

In the spring of 1507, Louis went to Genoa, to put down a revolt there,
which, having done, he recrossed the Alps and came to Grenoble, where
the Queen went to meet him. While he was there the Princess Claude
was seized with a kind of continuous fever which greatly alarmed and
distressed the Queen, who kept up a constant correspondence with Madame
des Bouchage, governess to the little princess, being always fully
informed of her condition. The doctors at first declared she would not
recover, but as she very soon became much better, the Queen, who did
not believe in doctors because they had been altogether wrong about her
eldest son, and failed to save either him or any of her other children,
was so angry, and so confirmed in her opinion that she wrote to Madame
des Bouchage that the child was not to see any more of them, for they
were no use, she must take care of her herself.[336] The Princess
Claude soon recovered.

{1508}

The Italian war dragged on. The league of Cambrai was formed against
Venice in 1508, and Louis was eager to be again at the head of the
French army. Anne did all she could to dissuade him, and tried to
induce him to return to Blois, assuring him that Claude was fretting
to see him,[337] but it was useless. He recrossed the Alps, and soon
came tidings of the victory of Agnadel and conquest of nearly all the
Venetian mainland provinces.[338]

He returned, safe and victorious, to Blois at the end of the summer,
and there during that year took place the wedding of Marguérite, sister
of François, Duc de Valois, with the Duc d’Alençon. It was celebrated
with suitable splendour and followed by a great banquet and ball, after
which there were joustes. The Duc de Valois kept the lists with eight
others, served by the King himself, the princes who contended were so
young that small lances were made on purpose. The Pope’s legate not
being well, looked on from a window. Next day they fought again, this
time in white armour, the bridegroom dressed in white satin. The Queen
and her ladies gave the prizes.[339]

They all delighted in festivities and amusements, _fêtes champêtres_
were often given in the open air, a favourite day being Mid-Lent
Sunday, called, especially in the valleys of the Marne and Meuse,
_dimanche des fontaines_. M. Siméon de Luce describes those given in a
preceding reign by Beatrix de Bourlemont when young men and girls from
the neighbouring châteaux and peasants from the villages hung garlands,
dined, sang, and danced under an ancient beech tree said to be haunted
by fairies.[340]

A solemn and important domestic _fête_ in the country was the first
mass of a young priest. M. de Ribbe describes one of their mediæval
village festivals. Presents were given, relations and friends assembled
as for a marriage or christening. They walked to church two and two in
a long procession, minstrels playing before them and crowds following.
A collection was made in church and then there was a great banquet in
the _bergerie_ to which the relations contributed various dishes, the
cooking being done in a mill close by.[341]

On the opening of parliament it was customary to present quantities of
roses and violets to the members, one special person being responsible.
De Sauval mentions an account owing to Marguérite le Mercier,
_marchande de roses_, for four dozen _chapeaux_ of red roses, eight
bouquets of violets, and a great basinful of flowers to cover the
table, distributed to the Presidents, Councillors, and other officers
of the King, the vigil of the feast of Whitsuntide, who were assembled
at the Chastelet for the deliverance of the prisoners in the said
Chastelet “_comme d’anciennté a este coutume de faire_.”[342]

{1509}

Renée de France was born October, 1509. Amidst the general
disappointment at not getting a Dauphin, the King and Queen rejoiced
that this child lived. She was afterwards the celebrated Duchess of
Ferrara.

The Queen from this time entertained the project of leaving Bretagne
to Renée, if she could not break off Claude’s marriage, and constantly
endeavoured to gain the consent of the King; but, although, dreading
the outcry which would be the consequence, he would not agree to her
wishes, it seems very possible, considering her great influence over
him, that had she lived longer she would have succeeded in carrying out
one or other of these plans. During her lifetime she would never allow
the marriage of Claude to take place.

Anne was extremely fond of music; amongst other musicians in her
household were four Bretons minstrels. About six months after the birth
of Renée, being at Chartres, she was so struck with the voice of a
chorister boy in the cathedral that she asked the chapter to give him
to her, and in return for their doing so she said, “You have given
me a little voice and I will give you a large one,” and accordingly
presented them with a great bell, named “Anne de Bretagne” to be rung
every day from Easter to Trinity, and 3,000 livres.[343]

{1510}

She rather prided herself upon her conversational powers, indeed,
writers of her day assert that nobody could talk better, either in
society or on State affairs. The King, who liked to have her opinion
about everything that went on, always sent the ambassadors to her after
an audience with him.

One day she was going to receive the Spanish ambassador, and not
understanding Spanish she asked her chamberlain, the Prince de Chalais,
who understood several languages, to teach her some sentences to say
to him. Chalais, who had a mania for playing practical jokes, without
considering whether the Queen was a proper subject for one, taught her
some words not possible in any decent society. Fortunately for himself
he was so delighted with his trick or so doubtful of the result of it
that, just before the audience, he told it to the King. He laughed but
hastened to warn the Queen, who was, of course, exceedingly angry,
would not receive Chalais for some days, and would have dismissed him
had not the King dissuaded her, assuring her that he would never have
allowed her to say the words to the ambassador.[344]

In 1510 Louis and Anne sustained an irreparable loss by the death of
the Cardinal d’Amboise.

As usual, the French successes in Italy had been short lived. The
Venetians under their famous Doge, Loredan, had reconquered nearly all
their territory, and the members of the league of Cambrai had turned
against France, the Milanese was lost, and the King of Spain seized
the Spanish side of Navarre including Pampeluna. Catherine de Foix,
heiress of the gallant Princes of Navarre and Queen in her own right,
remarked to her husband, Jean d’Albret, “Dom Jean, if you had been born
Catherine and I Dom Jean, we should never have lost Navarre.”[345]

{1511}

The Queen had so dangerous an illness in March, 1511, that her life was
despaired of; but after receiving the Communion she revived and by the
middle of April was tolerably well. In the following January she had
another son, who died like all his brothers, and the doctors managed
the Queen so badly that her health was permanently injured. Late in
March the Austrian ambassador, who went to take leave of her, found
her still in bed but brave, cheerful, and taking her usual interest in
public affairs. She did not get up until May, when she appeared much
better, but never really regained her strength, and just then many
circumstances combined to depress and trouble her.

A great battle was fought August 10, 1512, between the French and
English fleets. The _Regent_ with the English Admiral on board attacked
the famous _Cordelière_, commanded by the Breton Hervé Portzmoguet. The
two ships were grappled together, the battle raged fiercely and the
dead lay in heaps on the decks. Then Portzmoguet, seeing that all hope
was lost, set fire to both vessels, and, clad in complete armour, threw
himself from the mast into the sea. The ships went down together with
more than two thousand men, the French fleet drew off to Brest, the
English to the high seas.[346]

{1514}

There was strife between the King and Pope, and the Queen’s views were
strongly opposed to those of Louis. The Pope laid France under an
interdict from which he excepted Bretagne. In vain the King assured
her that women had no voice in Church matters; she had but to point to
Bretagne as her answer, and to remind him that at fourteen years old
she had successfully opposed Innocent III. when he illegally appointed
two of his nephews to benefices in her duchy. Also that her influence
had prevented Louis from occupying Rome, when, after the battle of
Ravenna, the road to the Eternal City lay open to his victorious
troops. She ultimately induced him to subscribe to the Lateran Council,
whereby the Roman gained the victory over the Gallican party in the
Church.[347]

Anne was not yet thirty-eight, but her brilliant, eventful life was
drawing to a close. For a year or two her health had been failing and
on the 2nd of January, 1514, she was taken ill at Blois and died a
week afterwards. Knowing that she would not recover, one of her last
orders was that her heart should be sent to Nantes and laid in the tomb
of her father and mother in the land and among the people she had so
faithfully loved.

The King shut himself up alone for days wearing the black mourning
he had chosen, contrary to the custom for Kings of France. From the
shock of the Queen’s death he never recovered. He only survived for
two months the preposterous marriage he was induced to make in the
following year with the young sister of Henry VIII. for the purpose of
stopping the English war. Claude, wife of François I., died ten years
after her mother leaving several children, one of whom was Henri II.,
whose three sons were the last kings of the house of Valois.

The funeral of the Queen at St. Denis was of more than usual
magnificence, and when her coffin was lowered into the tomb there
stepped forward Champagne King-at-arms who, after calling three times
for silence, said, “King-at-arms of the Bretons, do your duty.”
Then Bretagne King-at-arms in his coat of mail stepped forward and
proclaimed, “The most Christian Queen and Duchess, our sovereign Lady
and Mistress, is dead? The Queen is dead! The Queen is dead!” The
_Chevalier d’honneur_ with the hand of justice, the _Grand Maître de
Bretagne_ (brother of the Queen) with the sceptre, and the _grand
écuyer_ with the crown advanced, kissed them, and gave them to the
Bretagne King-at-arms, who laid them on the coffin.[348]

In France, to which she had given a great province, Anne de Bretagne
was soon forgotten; but, in the land she loved and ruled so well four
hundred years ago, her name and her memory are still honoured and
cherished by her own people.

[Illustration: _D’hermines._]



INDEX


  A

  Abbeville, 81

  Agnadel, battle of, 357

  Aire, castle of, 272

  Albret, Alain de:
    wishes to marry Anne de Bretagne, 307;
    she consents to betrothal, 308;
    she refuses to marry him, 310, 311;
    his rebellion, 313, 314;
    marriage of his daughter, 340

  Albret, Armand de:
    married Marguérite de Bourbon, 69

  Albret, Charles de:
    commanded at battle of Azincourt, 271

  Albret, Jean de, 361

  Alexander VI. (_see_ Borgia)

  Alençon, 8, 99, 256, 357

  Alençon (_see_ Catherine)

  Amadeo VI., Count of Savoy (called Green Count), 4, 5, 13, 14, 85

  Amadeo VII., Count of Savoy (called Red Count), 85

  Amadeo VIII., Count of Savoy, 85

  Amboise, George, Cardinal de, 332, 340, 351, 360

  Amboise, Château de, 301, 322, 324, 326, 343, 347, 351

  Amiens, Jacquerie, 22;
    fair of, 113-115;
    conference, 158

  Ampoulle, 54

  Angoulême, François de (_see_ Valois)

  Angoulême, Jean, Comte de, 261

  Angoulême, Marguérite de, 357

  Anjou, Louis, Duc de, second son of Jean, King of France:
    knighted, 8;
    hostage in England, 46;
    breaks parole, 50;
    bad government, 98;
    disputed precedence with Burgundy, 131;
    death, 131

  Anjou (_see_ Marie d’Anjou)

  Anné de Beaujeu, daughter of Louis XI., Regent of France, 302, 318,
        322

  Anne de Bourgogne, 338

  Anne, Duchesse de Bretagne, 88

  Anne, Duchesse de Bretagne, wife of Charles VIII. and Louis XII.:
    birth and childhood, 302-308;
    refuses Albret, 308;
    succeeds to duchy, 308;
    first council, 309;
    war with France, 312;
    marriage with King of the Romans, 314;
    besieged at Rennes, 316;
    betrothed to Charles VIII., 318;
    marriage, 320;
    coronation, 321;
    birth of Dauphin, 322;
    Italian war, 323;
    return of King and death of Dauphin, 324;
    birth and death of other children, 325;
    death of Charles VIII., 327;
    Queen goes to Paris, 329;
    betrothed to Louis XII., 331;
    returns to Bretagne, 331;
    marries Louis XII., 335;
    birth of Claude de France, 337;
    hôtel des Tournelles, 338;
    maids of honour, 338;
    gardens, court, pursuits, and dress, 343;
    betrothal of Claude de France to the Duke of Luxemburg, 345;
    birth and death of a son, 345;
    quarrel with Gié, 346;
    pilgrimage to Bretagne after King’s illness, 348;
    betrothal of Claude de France to François Duc de Valois, 351, 352;
    birth of Renée de France, 352;
    love of music, 359;
    gives a bell to cathedral of Chartres, 359;
    anger with Chalais, 360;
    dangerous illness, 361;
    birth of another son, his death, 361;
    death of the Queen, 362;
    her funeral, 363

  Agnes Sorel, 300, 304

  Anne de Candale, 339, 340

  Anne de Foix, 338

  Anne de Graville, 353-356

  Anne de Rohan, 340

  Aquitaine (_see_ Louis de France)

  Ardres, 184

  Arleux, Château de, 16, 21

  Armagnac, Bernard, Comte de, 254, 256, 269, 277, 282, 283, 288

  Armagnacs, 286, 287, 291

  Arras, 155, 272, 298

  Augustins, 295

  Auton, Jean de, 348

  Auvergne, Jeanne, Comtesse de, second wife of Jean, King of France, 8

  Auvergne, Eléonore de Comminges, Comtesse de, 139, 141

  Avaugour, François Baron de, son of François II., Duc de Bretagne,
        and Antoinette de Maignelais, 309, 329, 363

  Avignon, plague at, 47;
    Charles VI. at, 153

  Azincourt, battle of, 272-277


  B

  Bar, Marie, Duchesse de, youngest daughter of Robert II., Duke of
        Burgundy, 47

  Bar, Edouard, Duc de, 59, 228, 263, 276

  Bar, Marie, Duchesse de, daughter of Jean, King of France, 59

  Barbette, hôtel de, 206, 216, 236

  Basoche, clercs de la, 347

  Bastille, 81, 167, 192, 204, 287

  Bavaria, 110

  Beaumont-sur-Oise, Château de, 20

  Beauté, château de, 74, 81, 102, 105, 126, 154, 222

  Beauvais, 22

  Beaujeu (_see_ Anne de Beaujeu)

  Bègue de Vilaine, 24, 58

  Berry (now spelt Berri), Jean, Duc de, third son of Jean,
        King of France:
    hostage in England, 46;
    ransom, 51;
    bad qualities, 59;
    christening of Dauphin, 79;
    meets the Emperor, 99;
    guardian to his nephews, 111, 122;
    regent, 124;
    Charles VI. obliges him to resign, 126;
    grasping and unpopular, 131;
    marriage, 139, 141, 142;
    gives house to Isabeau, 152;
    conference at Amiens, 158;
    opposes war with Bretagne, 163;
    regency, 167;
    saves La Rivière, 168;
    opposes Orléans, 170;
    the ball, 174;
    attends wedding of Richard II. and Isabelle de France, 185, 186;
    marriage of his daughter with Henry of Lancaster prevented, 209;
    illness and recovery, 225;
    mediates between Queen and Burgundy, 232;
    occupies hôtel de Nesle, 233;
    grief at murder of Louis d’Orléans, 241;
    conference at Chartres, 249;
    Armagnac connections, 254;
    disputes regency, 268;
    death, 280

  Berry, Duchesse de, 142, 148, 168, 172, 173

  Bertrand du Guesclin:
    commands French troops, 52;
    takes prisoner the Captal de Buch, 56;
    avenges the murder of Blanche de Bourbon on Pedro el Cruel, 58;
    made Constable of France, 81;
    godfather to Louis de France, 87;
    his life and death, 90-93;
    buried at Saint-Denis, 132

  Blanche de Bourbon:
    birth, 3;
    marries Pedro el Cruel, King of Spain, 11;
    imprisoned by him, 13;
    murdered, 57

  Blanche de Navarre, wife of Philippe VI.:
    godmother to daughter of Charles V., 6, 7;
    arranges state entry of Isabeau de Bavière, 148;
    death, 193, 194

  Blanche de France, daughter of Charles IV., Duchesse d’Orléans, 20,
        33, 79, 125, 340

  Blois, Château de, 182, 248, 249, 325, 336, 337, 343, 347, 357, 362

  Bonne d’Artois, daughter of Philippe Duc de Bourgogne, 155

  Bonne de Luxembourg, first wife of Jean, King of France, 10

  Bonne de Bourbon, wife of Amadeo VI., Count of Savoy, 3, 14, 85

  Bonne de France, daughter of Charles V., 41, 45

  Borgia, Alexander VI., 330, 332, 340

  Borgia, Cesare, son of Alexander VI., 332-335, 340

  Bosredon, Louis de, 283

  Bourbon, Catherine de, Comtesse de Harcourt, 3, 35

  Bourbon, Isabelle, Duchesse de (_see_ Valois)

  Bourbon, Louis II., Duc de:
    birth, 3;
    succeeds to duchy, 15;
    hostage, 46;
    christening of Dauphin, 79;
    love for du Guesclin, 81;
    defends his mother and sister, 85;
    marriage, 85;
    good qualities and popularity, 86;
    guardian to nephews, 98;
    meets the Emperor, 99;
    affection of Charles VI. for him, 126;
    knighthood of King of Sicily, 136;
    wise government, 155;
    godfather to Charles d’Orléans, 157;
    wedding of King and Queen of England, 185, 187;
    goes to Melun, 232;
    indignation at murder of Louis d’Orléans, 241;
    his death, 254

  Bourbon, Jean, Duc de, 155, 256, 264, 277, 288

  Bourbon, Marguérite, Dame d’Albret, 3

  Bourbon, Pierre Duc de:
    marries Isabelle de Valois, 3;
    Crécy, 4;
    arranges marriage of eldest daughter, 5;
    of second daughter, 11;
    killed at Poitiers, 15

  Bourges, 259

  Brabant, Duchesse de, 112, 113, 116

  Brabant, Duc de, 276

  Bretagne, Duc de, 161, 163

  Bretagne, Jean, Duc de, 183, 190, 246, 251, 252

  Bretagne, Jeanne, Duchesse de, second daughter of Charles VI.:
    born, 153;
    betrothed, 183;
    married, 190;
    remained with her mother, 195, 217;
    quarrel with her husband, 251;
    reconciliation, 252;
    birth of a son, 253;
    survived the Queen, 296

  Bretagne, François II., Duc de (_see_ François)

  Bretigny, treaty of, 41, 42, 288

  Briçonnet, Cardinal, 328

  Burgundy, Philippe de Rouvre, last Capétien Duke of, 8, 47

  Burgundy, Philippe, fourth son of Jean, King of France:
    first Valois Duke of, 57;
    favourite brother of Charles V., 59;
    guardian to his nephews, 98;
    meets Emperor, 99;
    oppressive government, 111;
    marriage of his daughter to Bavarian prince, 112;
    mismanagement of his nephew, 120, 121, 125;
    character, 130, 131;
    opposes Duc de Bourbon, 155;
    Amiens, 158;
    opposes war with Bretagne, 163;
    present when King went mad, 165;
    seizes government and persecutes La Rivière and others, 166-170;
    ball, 174;
    disputed King’s permission, 177;
    attends marriage of Richard II. of England and Isabelle de
        France, 185, 187;
    levies enormous taxes on his vassals, 187;
    funeral of Queen Blanche de Navarre, 194;
    dissensions with Louis Duc d’Orléans, 208;
    with Lancaster, 209;
    disapproves marriage of Isabelle, Queen-dowager of England, 212;
    meets her with escort, 219;
    hatred between Burgundy and Orléans, 221, 223;
    death, 224

  Burgundy, Jean Sans-peur, Duke of:
    swears vengeance against Louis d’Orléans, 221;
    character, 225;
    captures the Dauphin, 232;
    murders Louis, Duc d’Orléans, 239;
    confesses crime, flight, 241;
    impunity and power, 242-245;
    returns to Paris, 249;
    conference at Chartres and influence over Dauphin, 250;
    sent for to punish the Duc de Bretagne, 252;
    governor of the Dauphin, 253;
    interferes to protect his daughter, 256;
    quarrels with his son-in-law the Dauphin, 256;
    siege of Bourges, 259;
    riots, 261-265;
    La Cassinelle, 269;
    forbids his son to be at Azincourt, 272;
    accused of poisoning the Dauphin, 278;
    delivers the Queen, 285;
    gets into Paris and massacres the Armagnacs, 287;
    goes with Queen to Melun, 288;
    peace with Dauphin Charles, 290;
    murdered, 292

  Burgundy, Philippe le Bon, Duke of:
    betrothed to Michelle de France, 224;
    married, 251;
    returns to Burgundy, 265;
    grief at being prevented being at Azincourt, 272;
    at his father’s assassination, 292;
    enters Paris with the Kings and Queens of England and France, 293

  Burgundy, Marguérite de Flandre, wife of Philippe de Rouvre and
        Philippe de France, Dukes of Burgundy:
    inherits Flanders and Hainault, 48;
    harmonious life led by Philippe and Marguérite, 130;
    their death, 224, 225

  Burgundy, Marguérite, eldest daughter of Philippe and Marguérite,
        Duke and Duchess of Burgundy; wife of Louis, Duc d’Aquitaine
        and Dauphin, 224, 243, 248, 255, 258, 277, 278


  C

  Cale, Guillaume, leader of the Jacquerie, 22, 31

  Cambrai, 99, 112, 178, 357

  Canny, Dame de, 216

  Canny, Sieur de, 240

  Captal de Buch, Jean de Grailly, 27, 28, 56

  Carmelites, 36, 37, 295

  Cassinelle, 256, 269

  Catherine d’Alençon, 201, 260, 267

  Catherine de France, daughter of Charles V., 104, 121, 125

  Catherine de France, daughter of Charles VI., 215, 288, 289,
        293, 294, 296

  Catherine de Foix, 361

  Céléstins, 35, 60, 61, 62, 180, 255

  Chandos, Sir John, 81, 139

  Chalais, Prince de, 360

  Châlons, Jean de (_see_ Orange)

  Charles V., King of France:
    betrothed to Jeanne de Bourbon, 6;
    married to her, 7;
    Duke of Normandy, 9;
    Vivier-en-Brie, 10;
    regent, 16;
    visit to the Emperor, 16;
    Meaux, 23, 24;
    returns to Paris, 35;
    Carmelites, 37;
    treaty of Bretigny, 42;
    death of two daughters, 45;
    misrule, 49;
    siege of Vernon, 52;
    coronation and state entry, 53-57;
    war with Pedro el Cruel, 59;
    difficulties and ill-health, 59, 60;
    Céléstins, 60, 61, 62;
    library treasures, 63-67;
    the Louvre and its gardens, 69-75;
    King’s barge, 77;
    birth and christening of Dauphin, 72-79;
    gets rid of the Grande Compagnie, 79;
    prosperity of kingdom, 81;
    Hôtel St. Paul, 82-84;
    pilgrimages, 90;
    success and happiness, 91;
    Louis de Harcourt, 93;
    life at court, 93-97;
    distrust of his brothers, 98;
    will, 99;
    visit of the Emperor, 99-104;
    death of the Queen, 104;
    death of Charles V., 105

  Charles VI., King of France:
    birth, christening, 77, 79;
    visit of Emperor, 102, 103;
    succeeds to throne, 107;
    negotiations for marriage, 110-113;
    fair of Amiens, 113-116;
    Isabeau de Bavière, 116, 117;
    wedding, 117;
    character and education of Charles VI., 118-122;
    assumes government, 126;
    birth and death of Dauphin, 127;
    dress, 130;
    splendour of fêtes for knighthood of the King of Sicily 134, 135;
    opposes marriage of Duc de Berry, 142;
    fêtes for marriage of Louis d’Orléans, affection for Valentine
        Visconti, 142-145;
    state entry of Queen, 148, 149;
    coronation of Queen, 150, 151;
    southern tour, 152-155;
    birth of second Dauphin Charles, 157;
    Pierre de Craon and the Constable de Clisson, 158-163;
    war with Bretagne, 163, 164;
    madness of Charles VI., 164-169;
    recovery, 169, 170;
    fire at the ball, 171-175;
    second attack of madness, 175;
    second recovery, 176-178;
    madness returned, 179;
    affection for Valentine, 180;
    recovered again, 182;
    at wedding of Richard II. and Isabelle, 184-187;
    attends the profession of his daughter Marie at Poissy, 190, 191;
    declining health, 190, 194;
    receives news of Queen of England, 206;
    anxiety for Queen of England and displeasure with Lancaster,
        208, 209;
    alarm caused by English revolution brings on attack of madness, 210;
    frequent attacks, 214, 215;
    joy at return of Queen of England, 219;
    bad health, 222, 223;
    calls council, 223;
    his respect for Philippe, Duke of Burgundy, 226;
    anger with Savoisy, 227;
    Jacques Legrand, 228;
    the King and the Princess Marie, 229;
    the King and the Dauphin, 230;
    summons Jean Sans-peur, 231;
    bad attack, 233;
    disguised men, 233, 234;
    horror at murder of Duc d’Orléans, 240;
    bad health, 242, 243;
    receives Valentine, 245;
    goes to Melun to the Queen, 246;
    Odette de Champdivers, 247;
    conference of Chartres, 249;
    returns to Paris and sends for Duke of Burgundy, 251;
    quarrel with Duc de Bretagne, 252;
    appoints Burgundy governor to Dauphin, 253;
    letter to Duc de Bourbon, 255;
    riots, 260, 268;
    Azincourt, 272-277;
    King ill, 278;
    execution of Bosredon, quarrel with the Queen, her imprisonment,
        282-284;
    in the hands of Burgundians, 287;
    attack of frenzy, 288;
    desires Dauphin to make peace with Burgundy, 289;
    goes to Troyes, 290;
    Paris, 293;
    death, 294;
    funeral, 295, 296

  Charles VII., King of France:
    birth, 221;
    betrothed to Marie d’Anjou, 267;
    Duc de Touraine, 280;
    Armagnac, 281, 282;
    quarrel with Queen, 283, 284;
    fled to Bastille, 287;
    Burgundy and Armagnac, 288;
    murder of Burgundy, 291;
    excluded from succession, 292;
    in exile, 294;
    treaty of Arras, 298, 300, 301

  Charles VIII., King of France, 302;
    war with Bretagne, 308-315;
    siege of Rennes, 316, 317;
    betrothed to Anne de Bretagne, 318;
    broke off marriage with Marguérite of Austria, 318;
    married Anne de Bretagne, 320;
    character, 321, 322;
    lived at Plessis and Amboise, 322;
    birth of Dauphin, 322;
    departure for Italy, 323;
    return, 324;
    despair at loss of his children, 325;
    treasures he brought from Italy, 326;
    death, 327;
    funeral, 329

  Charles IV., Emperor, son of Jean, King of Bohemia, 17, 99, 104

  Charles, eldest son of Charles VI., 127

  Charles, Dauphin, second son of Charles VI., 157, 181, 211, 214

  Charles le Mauvais, King of Navarre, 16, 21, 30, 31, 35, 47, 52, 59

  Charles le Bon, King of Navarre, 226, 249

  Charles, Duc d’Orléans:
    birth, 157;
    marries Isabelle, Queen-dowager of England, 234, 235;
    sent to Blois, 245, 248;
    conference of Chartres, 250;
    death of Isabelle, 252, 253;
    marries Bonne d’Armagnac, 254;
    treaty with English, 256;
    with princes at Vernon, 264;
    taken prisoner at Azincourt, 277;
    disapproved his son’s marriage, 305, 325

  Charlotte d’Aragon:
    refuses Cæsar Borgia, 334;
    marries Guy de Laval, 340

  Charlotte de Savoie, Queen of France, 301, 302

  Chartreux, 176

  Châtelet, 204, 286, 359

  Châteauneuf-Randon, death of Bertrand du Guesclin, 91

  Chelles, abbey de, 62

  Christine de Pisan, 76, 95, 97

  Claude, Queen of France:
    birth, 337;
    betrothed to Duke of Luxemburg, 345;
    heiress of Bretagne, 346;
    betrothed to Duc de Valois, 352;
    illness, 356;
    death, 363

  Clarence, Lionel, Duke of, second son of Edward III., King of
        England, 246, 261

  Clermont, Château de, 31, 86

  Clermont, Jean de (_see_ Bourbon)

  Clisson, Constable de, 161, 163, 167

  Comets, 68

  Comminges, Comte de, 309, 313

  Comminges, Comtesse de, 139, 141

  Compiègne, 22, 99

  _Cordelière, Marie la_, favourite ship of Anne de Bretagne, 341;
    she visits it, 350;
    sunk in sea fight, 360

  Cordelière, order of Anne de Bretagne, 344

  Cordeliers, 203, 295, 337

  Coucy, Dame de, 186, 210

  Coucy, Seigneur de, 168

  Craon, Pierre de, 158-163

  Crécy, battle of, 4, 18

  Creil, 81, 125, 169


  D

  Dauphin du Viennois, Humbert de la Tour du Pin, 5, 6

  Dunois, Jean, Comte de, son of Louis, Duc d’Orléans and the Dame de
        Canny, called Bastard of Orléans, 216, 249

  Dunois, Comte de, 309, 313-315, 318, 319

  Dunois, Comte de, 349


  E

  Eclipse, 234

  Edward III., King of England, 52, 243, 272

  Edward, Prince of Wales (Black Prince), 6-9

  Eléonore de Guzman, 12

  Entragues, Baron de, 355

  Ermenonville, 20

  Etienne Marcel:
    provost of Paris, 16;
    Jacquerie, 27, 28;
    death, 34

  Étuves or public baths, 199, 200


  F

  Foix, Gaston, Comte de:
    called Gaston Phoebus, 27, 28, 139-142

  Foix, Comte de, 307

  Foix, Germaine de, 339, 340

  Foix (_see_ Catherine)

  François, Duc de Valois, afterwards François II., King of
        France, 348, 352

  François II., Duc de Bretagne, 303;
    Antoinette de Maignelais, 304;
    character, 305;
    Landais, 307;
    battle of St. Aubin, death, 308

  Françoise de Dinan, Dame de Laval, 304, 308-312, 314, 317, 320, 321

  Frèron, Doctor, 176, 177, 178

  Friederich von Landshut (_see_ Wittelsbach)


  G

  Giac, Madame de, 289

  Gié, Maréchal de, 346, 347

  Gilles, 24

  Guérande, Château de, 309


  H

  Hainault, Jacqueline de:
    wife of Jean, Duc de Touraine and Dauphin, fourth son of
        Charles VI., 234, 235, 278-280

  Harcourt, Jean de, married Catherine de Bourbon, 35

  Harcourt, Louis de, 93

  Harfleur, battle of, 271

  Hasseley, Guillaume, doctor, 169, 170

  Henry IV., Duke of Lancaster, King of England:
    exiled for treasonable practices, 208;
    proposes to marry daughter of Duc de Berry, 209;
    indignation of French at his usurpation, 210;
    wishes to marry Isabelle de France, widow of Richard II., to Prince
         of Wales, 213;
    detains her jewels and dowry, 219;
    absurd claim to French crown, 244;
    death, 261

  Henry V., King of England, 261;
    invades France, 270;
    Harfleur, 271;
    Azincourt, 272-277;
    negotiations for his marriage with Catherine de France, 288, 289;
    is betrothed to her and declared Regent and heir of France, 292;
    marriage, 293;
    departure to England and birth of a son, 293;
    return to France, 293;
    death, 294

  Henry VI., King of England and France:
    birth, 293;
    enters Paris, 297


  I

  Isabeau de Bavière, wife of Charles VI.:
    birth and childhood, 109;
    negotiations for marriage with Charles VI., 110-112;
    fair of Amiens, 113-116;
    interview with the King, 116, 117;
    wedding, 117;
    beauty of Isabeau, 122;
    remains at Creil, 125;
    birth and death of first Dauphin Charles, 126, 127;
    birth of Isabelle de France, 127;
    character of Isabeau, 128;
    dress at court, 129, 130;
    fêtes for the knighthood of King of Sicily, 134-137;
    Isabeau and Louis d’Orléans, 138;
    jealousy of Valentine Visconti, 145;
    state entry and coronation, 147-152;
    absence of the King, 152;
    birth of Jeanne de France, 153;
    at Beauté, return of King and his brother, 154;
    storm at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 156;
    birth of the second Dauphin Charles, 157;
    of Marie de France, 167;
    goes to the King at Creil, 169;
    returns to Paris, 170;
    has her own _argentier_, 171;
    ball, 172-174;
    King does not know her, 175;
    birth of Michelle de France, 176;
    quarrels with Duchess of Burgundy, 179;
    birth of Louis de France, 182;
    Poissy, 193, 194;
    birth of Jean de France, 193;
    tastes, pursuits, and household, 194-200;
    amasses treasure, 201;
    hôtels, 206;
    letters from England, 206;
    anxiety for Queen of England, 208, 210;
    birth of Catherine de France, 215;
    society and amusements of Isabeau and Louis d’Orléans, 215, 217;
    Isabeau and her children, 217, 218;
    fools and dwarfs, 218;
    return of Queen of England, 219;
    tries to mediate between Orléans and Burgundy, 221;
    birth of Charles de France (afterwards Charles VII.), 221;
    fête at hôtel Barbette, 222;
    council, 223;
    betrothal of Michelle de France, 224;
    receives complaint of University, 226;
    treasures of Isabeau and Ludwig of Bavaria stopped, 227;
    Jacques Legrand, 228;
    the Queen and Princess Marie, 229;
    the forest of Saint-Germain, 229;
    neglect of her children, 230;
    flight to Melun, 231;
    Burgundy seizes the Dauphin, 232;
    anger with some of her household, 233;
    returns to Saint Paul, 233;
    objects of Jean, Duc de Touraine, going to Hainault, 235;
    birth and death of Philippe de France, 236;
    murder of Louis d’Orléans, 236-241;
    implores vengeance, 243;
    goes to Melun, 243;
    consecration of Princess Marie, King’s visit to Melun, Queen
        returns to Louvre, 246, 247;
    Odette de Champdivers, 247;
    goes with children to Tours, 248;
    conference of Chartres, 249, 250;
    returns to Paris, 251;
    anger with son-in-law, Duc de Bretagne, 252;
    gives up charge of the Duc d’Aquitaine, 253;
    takes care of Duchesse d’Aquitaine, 256;
    threatens Duc d’Aquitaine, 259;
    riots, 260-264;
    quarrel with Aquitaine, 267;
    flight from Melun after battle of Azincourt, 277;
    sends for Jean, Duc de Touraine, now Dauphin, 278;
    goes to Senlis with Charles, now Duc de Touraine, 280;
    absurd accusation of poisoning him, 281;
    unfortunate relations with her sons, 282;
    violent quarrel with King and Charles, the new Dauphin, 283;
    imprisonment, 284;
    appeals to Jean Sans-peur, 284;
    he rescues her, 285;
    she assumes the regency, 285;
    they enter Paris, 287;
    massacre of Armagnacs and reconciliation with King, 287;
    the Princess Catherine, 288, 289;
    truce with Dauphin, 289;
    goes to Troyes, 291;
    spends Christmas at Paris, 293, 294;
    death of Charles VI., 294;
    years of widowhood, 296;
    her grandson, Henry VI., 297;
    death, 297

  Isabelle de France, daughter of Jean, King of France:
    besieged in Meaux, 26;
    forced to marry Giovanni Visconti, 43, 44;
    splendour of her life in Italy, 142, 143;
    death, 143

  Isabelle de France, daughter of Charles V.:
    birth, betrothal, death, 87, 99, 104

  Isabelle de Valois, daughter of Charles de Valois:
    married Pierre, Duc de Bourbon, 3;
    left Paris, 5;
    lived much at court, 57;
    captured by free companies, 85;
    exchanged, 86;
    meets her daughters, 86, 87;
    the Duchesse de Bourbon and the Emperor, 102, 103;
    takes charge of her granddaughters, retired into convent of
        Cordelières, death, 105, 125

  Isabelle de Bretagne, second daughter of François II., Duc de
        Bretagne, 303, 304, 309, 312, 313, 317

  Isabelle de France, eldest daughter of Charles VI., wife of Richard
        II., King of England:
    birth, 127;
    receives English ambassadors, 183;
    marriage, 183-187;
    letters to parents, 206;
    English revolution, 210;
    courage, love for Richard, his death, 213;
    returns to France, 219;
    marries Charles d’Orléans, 235;
    death, 252


  J

  Jacobins, 15, 202, 295

  Jacquerie, 20-32

  Jean, King of France, 7;
    coronation, 8;
    treaty with Spain, 10;
    battle of Poitiers, captivity, 14;
    released, 42;
    disastrous treaty, 43;
    fêtes at Calais, 44, 45;
    seizes Burgundy, 47, 48;
    his amusements, 49;
    returns to England, 50, 51;
    death, 52

  Jean de France, Duc de Touraine, afterwards Dauphin, fourth son of
        Charles VI.:
    birth and childhood, 193, 217, 218;
    proposed marriage with a daughter of Burgundy, 224;
    betrothal to Jacqueline de Hainault, 224;
    marriage, 234;
    goes to Hainault, 235;
    brought up there, 259;
    proposal to declare him heir of France, 265;
    becomes Dauphin, 278;
    goes to Compiègne, 279;
    lives in splendour there, 280;
    estranged from the Queen, 281;
    death, 281

  Jeanne de France, daughter of Louis XI., wife of Louis XII.:
    unhappy marriage, 305;
    divorce, 332;
    made Duchesse de Berry, lived at Bourges, died there, 332

  Jeanne d’Evreux, wife of Charles IV., 32, 52, 67, 90

  Jeanne de France, daughter of Philippe VI., 90

  Jeanne de France, daughter of Jean, King of France, 4

  Jeanne de Bourbon, wife of Charles V.:
    birth, 3;
    betrothal to Comte de Savoie, 3;
    to Dauphin du Viennois, 5;
    to Dauphin of France, 6;
    her marriage, 7;
    birth of a daughter, 20;
    Marché de Meaux, 20-29;
    returns to Paris, 35;
    birth of second daughter, 41;
    death of children, 45;
    beauty and popularity of the Dauphine, 50;
    coronation, 53, 54, 55;
    entry into Paris, 56;
    the King’s love for the Queen, 60;
    their literary tastes, 61;
    birth and death of a daughter, 67;
    household and daily life, 68;
    birth of Dauphin, 77;
    illness of the Queen, 89;
    birth of Marie de France, 84;
    the Queen’s mother, 86;
    birth of Louis and Isabelle de France, 87;
    illness of the Queen, 89;
    life at court, 93-96;
    the last fête of the court of Jeanne de Bourbon, 101-104;
    birth of Catherine de France and death of Queen, 104

  Jeanne de France, daughter of Charles V., 20, 45

  Jeanne de France, daughter of Charles V., 67

  Jeanne de France, daughter of Charles VI. (_see_ Bretagne)

  Jeanne de Laval, Queen of Sicily, 329, 331

  Joan (_see_ Jeanne de France, daughter of King Jean)

  Jussi, Robert de, 36, 37


  L

  Ladislas, King of Hungary, Poland, and Bohemia, 339

  Lancaster (_see_ Henry IV.)

  Langue d’oc, 17, 98, 179, 223

  Langue d’oil, 17

  Laval, Françoise de Dinan, Dame de (_see_ Françoise)

  Lendit, fair of, 115, 222

  Loches, Château de, 301, 341

  Loredan, Doge of Venice, 360

  Lorris, Robert, 24

  Louis de France, Duc d’Anjou (_see_ Anjou)

  Louis de France, Duc d’Orléans, second son of Charles V.:
    birth, 87;
    visit of the Emperor, 102, 103;
    talents, 121;
    Comte de Valois et Duc de Touraine, 124;
    opposes his uncles, 125;
    Louis and Isabeau, 138;
    marriage of Louis with Valentine Visconti, 142, 145;
    journey to Provence, 152;
    race to Paris, 154;
    love affair and quarrel with Craon, 158-161;
    King goes mad and attacks him, 164;
    ball, 172-174;
    accused of sorcery, 180, 193;
    _étuves_, 199;
    power and ambition, 208;
    goes to Notre Dame and Ste. Catherine, 214;
    society of Queen and Duc d’Orléans, 216, 217;
    expedition to Luxemburg, 219;
    hatred and rivalry between Orléans and Burgundy, 220, 221;
    oppressive government, 223;
    Jean Sans-peur and Louis d’Orléans, 225, 226;
    amasses treasure, 227;
    helps the Queen to persuade Princess Marie to renounce the
        cloister, 228, 229;
    narrow escape in the forest of St. Germain, 229;
    refuses to pay his debts, 230;
    goes to Melun with the Queen, 231;
    will not listen to the King of Sicily and Duc de Bourbon, 232;
    returns to Paris, 233;
    hôtel Barbette, 236;
    murdered, 238, 239

  Louis de France, Duc d’Aquitaine and Dauphin, third son of
        Charles VI.:
    birth, 182;
    Dauphin, 211;
    betrothed to Marguérite of Burgundy, 223;
    marriage, 224;
    the King and the Dauphin, 230;
    taken by Duke of Burgundy, 231;
    lodges in Louvre, 232;
    weakness of character, 250;
    conduct to his wife, 255, 256;
    stops siege of Bourges, 258;
    universally disliked, 259;
    dissensions with Burgundy, 261;
    riots, 262-266;
    quarrel with the Queen, 267, 268;
    with his wife and father-in-law, 269;
    at Rouen before the battle of Azincourt, 271;
    death, 278

  Louis XII., King of France and Duc d’Orléans:
    quarrel with Anne de Beaujeu, Regent of France, 304;
    Louis d’Orléans and Jeanne de France, 305;
    prisoner, 313;
    godfather to Dauphin Charles-Orland, 322;
    displeasure of Anne de Bretagne, retires from court, lives at
         Blois, 325;
    succeeds to throne, 328;
    visits the Queen, 329;
    in love with Anne de Bretagne, 331;
    divorced from Jeanne de France, 332;
    marries Anne de Bretagne, 335;
    their happiness, 336;
    birth of Claude de France, 337;
    Les Tournelles, 338;
    Italian war, 340, 341;
    crusade, 342;
    visit of Archdukes, 244;
    betrothal of Claude de France, 345;
    illness of King, 345;
    recovery, arrests Gié, 346;
    clercs de la Basoche, 347;
    summer in Touraine, 347;
    another illness, 348;
    Tommasina Spinola, 348;
    recalls Queen from Bretagne, 351;
    betroths Claude to François, Duc de Valois, 352;
    Italian expedition, 356;
    league of Cambrai, 357;
    return to France, 357;
    birth of Renée de France, 359;
    loss of Italian conquests, 360;
    strife with Pope, 362;
    death of Queen, 362;
    death of Louis XII., 363

  Louis, Duc de Bourbon (_see_ Bourbon)

  Louvre, Palais du, 35, 63-67, 102, 182, 204, 232, 247, 264, 266, 267


  M

  Marcel, Jacques, 36

  Marcoussy, Château de, 353-356

  Marguérite de Bourbon (_see_ Bourbon)

  Marguérite de Flandre, (_see_ Burgundy)

  Marguérite de Valois, daughter of Charles, Comte d’Angoulême, and
        sister of François I., King of France, 357

  Marguérite of Austria, daughter of Emperor Maximilian, 119, 318

  Marie d’Anjou, daughter of Louis, King of Sicily, wife of
        Charles VII.:
    married Charles, Comte de Ponthieu, fifth son of Charles VI.,
        267, 300;
    takes refuge in Bastille, 287;
    rejoins Charles, 288;
    neglect of Charles VII., 300;
    love of her son, Louis XI., 300;
    death, 300

  Marie de Bourbon, daughter of Pierre, Duc de Bourbon, Prioress of
        Poissy, 91, 193, 194

  Marie de Clermont, daughter of Robert, Comte de Clermont,
        granddaughter of Saint Louis, Prioress of Poissy, 90

  Marie de France, daughter of Charles V., 84

  Marie de France, daughter of Charles VI., Prioress of Poissy:
    birth, 167;
    dedicated to religion, 167;
    enters convent of Poissy, 193, 194;
    refuses to leave convent, 229;
    takes the veil, 246;
    survives most of her brothers and sisters, 296

  Maximilian, Emperor, 308, 310, 311, 318, 344, 348

  Meaux, 20, 29, 34

  Melun, Château de, 81, 145, 148, 154, 221, 232, 246, 277, 284

  Michelle de France, Duchess of Burgundy, daughter of Charles VI.

  Montauban, chancellor of Bretagne, 311-315

  Montereau, 291

  Mortaigne, (_see_ Pierre de Navarre)

  Montjoie Saint Denis, 133


  N

  Nantes, 301, 312, 313, 317, 335, 362

  Navarre (_see_ Blanche de)

  Navarre (_see_ Charles de)

  Navarre, Pierre de, Comte de Mortaigne, youngest son of Charles le
        Mauvais, King of Navarre, 136, 194

  Nesle, Hôtel de, 221, 233, 241

  Nevers (_see_ Jean Sans-peur, Duke of Burgundy)

  Normandie, Duc de:
    Charles, son of King Jean, 9;
    favourite title, 10


  O

  Odette de Champdivers, 247

  Orléans (_see_ Louis de, Philippe de, etc.)

  Oriflamme, 132, 273

  Orange, Jean de Châlons, Prince de, 313, 315, 317, 319, 320, 329


  P

  Palais de la Cité, 56, 69, 101, 150, 253, 264, 266, 347

  Pampeluna, 360

  Pedro el Cruel, King of Spain:
    marriage and crimes, 10-13;
    murder of Blanche de Bourbon, 57;
    death, 58

  Peers of France, 96

  Philippe VI., de Valois, King of France, 6, 8, 10

  Philippe, Archduke of Austria, son of Emperor Maximilian, 344, 345

  Plessis-les-Tours, Château de, 301

  Poitiers, 14

  Portzmoguet, Admiral, 361

  Pré-aux-clercs, 202


  R

  Renée de France, youngest daughter of Louis XII.:
    Duchess of Ferrara, 359

  Rennes, siege of, 313-318

  Richard II., King of England:
    betrothed to Isabelle de France, 182;
    married, 185-187;
    letters to Charles VI., 206;
    revolution, 208;
    captivity, 210;
    death, 213

  Rieux, Maréchal de:
    guardian to Anne and Isabelle de Bretagne, 309, 310, 312,
        313, 315, 317

  Rivière, Jean de la:
    friend of Charles V., 95

  Rivière, Bureau de la, 116;
    arranges marriage of Duke de Berry, 139-141;
    gratitude of the Duchess, 142;
    arrested and thrown into Bastille, 167;
    saved by Duchesse de Berry, 168


  S

  Savoisy, chamberlain to Charles VI., 151, 226

  St. Aubin, battle of, 308

  Saint-Denis, Abbey of:
    burial of King Jean, 52;
    Charles V. returns thanks for birth of Dauphin, 78;
    burial of Jeanne de Bourbon and Isabelle de France, 104;
    knighthood of King of Sicily, 132-138;
    coronation of Isabeau de Bavière, 148-150;
    Charles VI., mass after recovery from attack of madness, 176;
    Isabelle de France on her way to marry Richard II. of England, 185;
    dispute about a crown at the consecration of Marie de France, 191;
    relic left by Queen Blanche de Navarre, 194;
    Charles, Dauphin, son of Charles VI., rides from Paris to St.
        Denis, 211;
    prayers for his life, 214;
    thanksgivings for peace between Orléans and Burgundy, 221;
    masses for soul of Dauphin Charles, 222;
    dresses of Isabelle de France given after her death, 253;
    plague, 28;
    funeral of Charles VI., 295;
    coronation of Anne de Bretagne, 321;
    her second coronation, 347;
    her funeral, 363

  Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 156, 269

  Saint-Germain-des-Près, 115, 204

  St. Paul, Hôtel de, 42, 76, 77, 78, 82-84, 102, 104, 121, 157, 161,
        170, 183, 215, 216, 217, 219, 233, 239, 240, 245, 247, 260,
        294, 329, 337

  Sforza, Ludovico, 340, 341

  Soulas, Jean, mayor of Meaux, 22-24

  Spinoza, Tommasina, 348

  Streets of Paris, 205, 206


  T

  Tanneguy du Chastel, provost of Paris, 286, 287, 290, 291

  Temple, 204

  Tournelles, Château des, 337, 338


  V

  Valois, François, Duc de (_see_ François II., King of France)

  Valois (_see_ Isabelle)

  Vauvert, 176

  Villequier, Antoinette de Maignelais, Dame de, 304, 307, 309

  Vincennes, 3, 7, 37, 69, 70-75, 102, 104, 125, 233, 283, 293

  Vivier-en-Brie, Château de, 10

  Visconti, Bernabo, 43, 109

  Visconti, Galeazzo, Vicomte et Prince de Milan, 43

  Visconti, Giovanni or Gian Galeazzo, Duke of Milan, 43, 142-144,
        180, 182

  Visconti, Maddalena, 109

  Visconti, Taddea, 109

  Visconti, Valentine, daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti and Isabelle
        de France, wife of Louis, Duc d’Orléans:
    birth, childhood, and youth in Italy, 142-144;
    marries Louis, Duc d’Orléans, 145, 146;
    enters Paris, 148;
    remains at Beauté, 154;
    birth of a son, 157;
    story of Pierre de Craon, 158-160;
    rivalry with Duchess of Burgundy, 170;
    affection of the King, 175;
    accused of sorcery, 180;
    of attempt to poison the Dauphin, 181;
    goes to Blois, 182;
    enmity with Duchess of Burgundy, 220;
    in the country, 236;
    demands vengeance on the murderers of Louis d’Orléans, 245;
    retires to Blois, 248;
    death, 249


  W

  Wenceslas, Emperor, 360

  Wittelsbach, house of, 108, 109

  Wittelsbach, Friederich, of Landshut, Duke of Bavaria, 109-114

  Wittelsbach, Johann, of Munich, Duke of Bavaria, 109

  Wittelsbach, Stephan, of Ingolstadt, Duke of Bavaria, 109-114, 214

  Wittelsbach, Ludwig, son of Stephan, Duke of Bavaria, 109, 201, 227,
        231, 232, 260, 263, 266, 267, 396


UNWIN BROTHERS, THE GRESHAM PRESS, WOKING AND LONDON.



FOOTNOTES


[1] “Chron. Guill. de Nangis,” t. ii. p. 94. Société de l’histoire de
France.

[2] “Les Grandes Chron.,” confirment la leçon _in gallo_, mais donnent
deux vers un peu différents.

  Quant ce coq-ci chanté ara
  Le roy trouvé ça entrera.

[3] Charles de Valois had three wives and fourteen children; two
or three of his daughters were named Isabelle. One married Robert
d’Artois. Sainte-Marthe says the marriage of Pierre and Isabelle took
place in 1322, in her early childhood; but other historians, with more
probability, place it in 1332.

[4] It is difficult to reconcile the conflicting dates given by
historians. There is no doubt that Jeanne was the eldest daughter, yet
some place her birth in 1337; and the second daughter Blanche, who in
that case would not have been born till 1338, is nevertheless declared
to have been sixteen years old when she became Queen of Spain, 1352,
which is manifestly impossible.

[5] There seems to be some doubt about Isabelle, as we hear nothing
about her in after life. One historian confuses her with her sister
Marguérite; another states that she married one Guillaume, Sire de
Mello; others that she died unmarried; most do not mention her at all.
If she ever existed she most probably died in childhood.

[6] The Counts of Savoy were, as is well known, ancestors of the Kings
of Italy.

[7] Only the children of the King and the heir-apparent were called
“Enfants de France.” It was for centuries later the rule that only the
Enfants de France might ride or drive into the Louvre, Palais, Hôtel
St. Paul, Tournelles, or any royal palace. Princes of the blood must
get down at the door, nobles in the street. (De Sauval.)

[8] “Grandes Chroniques,” t. vi. p. 2.

[9] “Grandes Chroniques,” t. vi. p. 2. M. Paulin Paris remarks that the
distinction here made between the _gens de métier_, or workmen, and
bourgeois, or burghers, sufficiently proves the existence of the latter
as a class.

[10] Mariana, “España.”

[11] Morèry, “Grand dictionnaire historique,” 1699.

[12] “Grandes Chroniques de France,” t. vi. p. 35, Paulin Paris.

[13] The northern part of France was the Langue d’oil, the southern the
Langue d’oc, so called from the languages spoken there.

[14] Sismondi, “Hist. France,” t. vii. p. 78.

[15] “Hist. de la Jacquerie,” chap. ii. p. 31. Siméon Luce.

[16] “Grandes Chroniques de France,” Paulin Paris, t. vi. p. 110.

[17] Siméon de Luce, “Guerre de cent ans.”

[18] “Hist. de la Jacquerie,” Siméon Luce.

[19] “Hist. de la Jacquerie,” Siméon Luce.

[20] “Hist. de la Jacquerie,” p. 135, Siméon Luce.

[21] This is the first time the white banner appears in French history.

[22] “Hist. de la Jacquerie,” p. 140. Siméon Luce.

[23] Siméon de Luce.

[24] “Sire, vous etes le plus gentilhomme du monde, ne souffrés
pas que gentillesse soit mise à néant. Si ceste gent qui ce dient
Jacques durent longuement, et les bonne villes soient de leur aide,
ilz mettront gentillesse au néant et du tout destruiront” (“Hist.
Jacquerie,” Siméon Luce; et “Chronique des quatre premiers Valois”).

[25] Sismondi.

[26] A gold florin was worth twenty francs.

[27] The “Grandes Chroniques de France” place this marriage in October,
1359.

[28] The guild or confraternity of tailors and dressmakers of Paris.

“_Item._ Que quiconque sera tailleur de robes à Paris, et il mestaille
une robe ou une garnement par mal ordonner le drap au tailler, ou par
l’ignorance de sa taille, le meffait et dommaige sera veu et regardé
par ledis maistres; et s’ilz rapportent que la robe ou garnement soit
empiré par mestaille ou par la coulpe du tailleur, le tailleur rendra
le dommaige à celui à qui la robe ou le garnement sera; et y paiera
cinq solz d’amende, dont les trois seront au roy, et les deux à la
dicte confrairie.”

[29] “_Item._ Que nul ne mectent lay ne estouppes en doublet qu’il face
pour vendre; et qui fera le contraire; le doublet sera ars, et paiera
six solz d’amende au roy, et quatre solz à la confrairie.

“Estouppe était probablement chanvre, filasse, lin.”

[30] _Bonne villes_, _i.e._, fortified towns.

[31] “Grandes Chroniques de France.”

[32] “Grandes Chroniques de France.”

[33] Sainte-Marthe.

[34] “... ma il drappo sopra capo non sofferse, e così stette infino
che fu sposata; e da quel punto dinnanzi posto in oltre la reale
dignità e nobilità di sangue, reverenza fece a messer Galeazzo e a
messer Barnabo e alle donne loro.”

[35] Sainte-Marthe.

[36] _Loggie_ are arcaded galleries, terraces or balconies generally
to be seen in Italian palaces or houses of any antiquity. The vulgar
and tasteless buildings that now disfigure modern Italy are frequently
without them.

[37] De Mézeray.

[38] Bonne de France died November 7, 1360. “Item, le jeudi 12 Novembre
furent enterrées les deux filles du duc de Normandie à Saint Antoine
près de Paris, et fu present le dit duc à l’enterrage moult courroucié
qui plus n’avait d’enfants.”

[39] Dulaure, “Hist. Paris.”

[40] “Hist. du Cérémonial Français,” Godefroy.

[41] Soon afterwards released.

[42] Guizot, “Hist. France,” t. ii. p. 179.

[43] “Trésor des Chartes,” No. 386, p. 221.

[44] Dreux du Radier, “Reines et Regentes.”

[45] There is also a letter of his son Charles VI.

[46] De Sauval, “Sablier.”

[47] “Environs de Paris,” Nodier.

[48] Sauval, “Antiquitez de Paris.”

[49] “Bibliothèque du Roy,” Félibien.

[50] Félibien.

[51] Douet d’Arcq.

[52] “Grandes Chroniques de France.”

[53] De Mézeray, “Hist. France.”

[54] “Archives Nat. de Bourbon,” No. 1,409.

[55] “Paris in its Old and Present Times,” p. 157. Hamerton.

[56] “Antiquitez de Paris,” Sauval.

[57] “Paris à Travers les Ages,” Fourmier et Hoffbauer.

[58] “Comptes du vieux Louvre. Topographie historique du vieux Paris.”
A. Berty et Tisserand.

[59] “Comptes du vieux Louvre. Topographie historique du vieux Paris.”

[60] “Paris à Travers les Ages,” Fourmier et Hoffbauer.

[61] Documents inédits, 3me serie: Archéologie.

[62] Documents inedits, 3me serie: Archéologie.

[63] “Grandes Chroniques de France,” t. vi. p. 251.

[64] “Queens of England,” A. Strickland, vol. ii. p. 345.

[65] Christine de Pisan.

[66] “Grandes Chroniques de France,” t. vi. p. 267.

[67] Idem.

[68] Marguérite de Bourbon.

[69] “Grandes Chroniques de France.”

[70] “Chron. de Bertrand du Guesclin,” Cuvelier, 14th century.

[71] Martin, “Hist. France.”

[72] Sauval.

[73] Abbé Choisy, “Hist. Charles V.”

[74] Montfaucon, “Monuments de la Monarchie française.”

[75] Some doubt has been thrown on the certainty of this occurrence,
but an ancient chronicler of Du Guesclin gives an account which
confirms the fact of the keys being laid on the coffin of the dead
hero. (Guizot, “Hist. France,” t. ii. p. 201.)

[76] “Chronique des quatre premiers Valois.”

[77] He had couriers who rode night and day and brought him news from
a distance of eighty leagues on the following day. (Martin, “Hist.
France.”)

[78] “Hist. Cérémonial Français.” T. Godefroy.

[79] Christine de Pisan.

[80] Documents inédits.

[81] “Grandes Chroniques de France.”

[82] “... en leur hostel avoit esté norry en sa jeunesse et que moult
de biens luy avoient fais.”

[83] “C’estoit piteuse chose à regarder.”

[84] “Grandes Chroniques de France,” t. vi. p. 401.

[85] De Mézeray.

[86] “Baierischen Geschichten,” Heinrich Zschokke.

[87] The house of Wittelsbach claims descent from Charlemagne. The
Kings of Bavaria descend from Johann, or John of Munich the third
brother.

[88] “Chronique de Flandre.”

[89] “Antiquitez de Paris,” t. i. p. 667. De Sauval.

[90] “Chronique de Flandre.”

[91] Froissart.

[92] Christine de Pisan.

[93] “La Vie politique de Louis de France, Duc d’Orléans,” Jarry.

[94] Christine de Pisan.

[95] “Chronique du religieux de St. Denis,” t. i. p. 25.

[96] Froissart.

[97] “Relig. du St. Denis.”

[98] “Comptes de l’hôtel de la reine Isabeau de Bavière. Doüet d’Arcq,
Archives de l’empire.”

[99] The Princess Catherine died in childhood.

[100] It is true that the Valois were strictly speaking Capétiens also;
but the elder line are generally known as the Capétiens and the younger
as the Valois Dukes.

[101] Froissart.

[102] “Ducs de Bourbon et Comtes de Forez,” J. de la Mure. Notes,
Steyert.

[103] Brantôme.

[104] Relig. de St. Denis, trad., Bellaguet, t. i. livre vii., p. 459.

[105] Juvenal des Ursins.

[106] “Isabeau de Bavière, étude historique,” Vallet de Viriville, p. 8.

[107] “Comment discerner les styles, le costume et la mode du viii. au
xix. siècle,” L. Roger-Milés.

[108] “Comment discerner les Styles,” etc. L. Roger Milés.

[109] Ibid.

[110] “Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne,” t. ii. p. 161. Barante.

[111] De Sauval, &c.

[112] “Grand Dictionnaire Historique: père Louis Morery, prêtre,
docteur en théologie,” pub. Thierry, Rue St. Jacques, devant les
Mathurius, 1699, t. iv. This name, when quoted by some writers, is
spelt “Morèri.”

[113] With this account of St. Denis in mediæval France, let us compare
the following account of it in modern France:--

“Most of these persons were still drunk, with the brandy they had
swallowed out of chalices--eating mackerel on the patenas! Mounted on
asses, which were housed with priests’ cloaks, they reined them with
priests’ stoles; they held clutched with the same hand communion-cup
and sacred wafer. They stopped at the doors of dram-shops; held out
ciboriums: and the landlord, stoup in hand, had to fill them thrice.
Next came mules high-laden with crosses, chandeliers, censers,
holy-water vessels, hyssops; recalling to mind the priests of Cybele,
whose panniers, filled with the instruments of their worship, served
at once as storehouse, sacristy, and temple. In such equipage did
these profaners advance towards the Convention. They enter there,
in an immense train, ranged in two rows; all masked like mummers in
fantastic sacerdotal vestments; bearing on hand-barrows their heaped
plunder--ciboriums, suns, candelabras, plates of gold and silver....
Not untouched with liquor, they crave to dance the Carmagnole also
on the spot: whereto an exhilarated Convention cannot but accede....
Several members, quitting their curule chairs, took the hand of girls
flaunting in priests’ vestures, and danced the Carmagnole along with
them. Such Old-Hallowtide have they in this year once named of Grace,
1793” (“French Revolution,” Carlyle, vol. iii. p. 193).

[114] “Au cloistre d’icelle maison royale se voit un bassin de fontaine
fort ancien et admirable pour estre grand et d’une piéce, et relevé
tout à l’entour de figures qui representent quelques fables des dieux
paiens” (Père du Breul).

[115] “Ils souillèrent la sainteté de la maison religieuse” (“Relig. de
St. Denis,” liv. x. p. 599).

[116] “Vie politique de Louis de France,” &c., Jarry.

[117] “Isabeau de Bavière,” Vallet de Viriville, p. 13.

[118] “Madame et cousine, je fairay volontiers ce dont vous me priez.
Car j’y suis tenus par lignage, et pour ce vostre fille ma cousine je
garderay, et penseray bien d’elle comme si ce fust ma propre fille ...”
(“L’Art de vérifier les dates,” t. 10, p. 145).

[119] “Valentine Visconti,” Mary Robinson, _Fortnightly Review_.

[120] “Valentine Visconti,” Mary Robinson, _Fortnightly Review_.

[121] Blanche de Navarre. “Lives of the Early Valois Queens,” to which
this volume is a sequel.

[122] “Relig. de St. Denis”; Froissart.

[123] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. x. p. 615.

[124] “Antiquitez de Paris.” De Sauval.

[125] “Savoisy, je te pris tant que je puis, que tu montes sur un bon
cheval et je monterai derrière toi et nous nous habillerons tellement
qu’on ne nous connoistra point et nous allons voir l’entrée de ma
femme.”

[126] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. x. p. 609; also Juvenal des Ursins
and Froissart.

[127] De Sauval.

[128] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. x. p. 627.

[129] “Archives de l’Art Français, 1858,” p. 342 et suivantes. “Isabeau
de Bavière,” Vallet de Viriville.

[130] Ibid.

[131] “Histoire des Ducs de Bourbon, Comtes de Forez,” La Mure.

[132] Juvenal des Ursins, p. 83.

[133] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xi. p. 685.

[134] “Antiquitez de Paris,” De Sauval.

[135] “Hist. de la maison de France,” Sainte-Marthe, t. 1. p. 675.

[136] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xiii. p. 63.

[137] Froissart, t. xiii. c. 27, p. 45.

[138] “Comment! vous voulez donc m’enlever, monseigneur?” “Nenni,
Madame, à Dieu ne plaise; je n’oserai seulement pas y penser.” “C’est
vrai, je sais tout et suis bien informée; monseigneur vous aime et vous
l’aimez, la chose va même si loin qu’il vous a promis 1,000 écus d’or.
Mais vous avez refusé, et vous avez fait sagement. Je vous pardonne
pour cette fois et vous défends, si vous tenez à la vie d’avoir
désormais nul entretien avec monseigneur” (“Ducs de Bourgogne de la
maison de Valois,” Barante).

[139] Froissart, t. xiii. c. 28, p. 38 to 61. “Relig. de St. Denis,”
liv. xii. c. i. p. 214. Juvenal des Ursins, p. 88.

[140] “Regardez mon connétable, et sachez me dire ce qu’il y a à
craindre, etc.” (“Ducs de Bourgogne de la maison de Valois,” p. 341.)

[141] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xiv. Juvenal des Ursins, p. 91.

[142] Froissart; “Relig. de St. Denis,” &c.

[143] “Chronique de Flandre.”

[144] Froissart, xiii. c. 50, p. 102. “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xii.
c. 4, p. 221. Juvenal des Ursins, p. 91.

[145] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xiv. p. 95.

[146] Juvenal des Ursins, p. 91.

[147] Juvenal des Ursins, p. 91.

[148] “Chronique de Flandre.”

[149] Ibid.

[150] “Chronique de Flandre.” Froissart. Paradin.

[151] “Chronique de Flandre.”

[152] A curious relic of this ancient custom still survives in villages
in the west of England, where, after the marriage of a widow or
widower, the villagers will sometimes assemble at night outside their
house blowing horns, beating drums, and making hideous noises.

[153] The “Religieux de St. Denis” says this ball was at the hôtel
St. Paul; but Juvenal des Ursins, who from his position at Court was
certain to have known where it took place, and was most likely himself
at the ball, declares it was at the hôtel de la Reine Blanche, we will
therefore accept his authority, which De Sauval considers conclusive.

[154] Froissart, t. xiii. c. 32, p. 240. “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv.
xii. c. 9, p. 255. Juvenal des Ursins, p. 93. Monstrelet, t. i. pp. 312
and 423. Also Barante, “Ducs de Bourgogne,” t. ii. p. 197.

[155] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xiv. p. 93.

[156] Sismondi.

[157] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xv. c. 14, p. 324.

[158] Juvenal des Ursins. The “Relig. de St. Denis” relates this
ghostly story, but places it in 1397.

[159] It was the “Chroniques de France.” Philippe de Bourgogne, like
all his brothers, was a collector of books, manuscripts, and objects of
art.

[160] “Relig. de St. Denis,” t. xvi. p. 407.

[161] “Diabolicum recitas et quod est impossibile,” Valentine Visconti,
M. Robinson, _Fortnightly Review_. Gian Galeazzo bought the title of
Duke from the Emperor, 1395.

[162] Froissart.

[163] “Relig. de St. Denis,” l. xvii. p. 465.

[164] “Relig. de St. Denis,” l. xvii. p. 469. Froissart.

[165] Barante, “Ducs de Bourgogne.”

[166] “Les demandes du roi Charles VI. avec les réponses de Pierre
Salmon, son sécrétaire et intime.” “D’après les Manuscrits de la
Bibliothèque du Roi,” p. 17. Salmon was one of these attendants. The
Minutes of the Council contain a long list of the French members of
Isabelle’s household returning with her some years afterwards to France.

[167] Planche, “Hist. de Bourg.,” l. xiv. c. 150, p. 147.

[168] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xvii. p. 483.

[169] Ibid.

[170] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[171] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[172] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[173] Ibid.

[174] “Isabeau de Bavière,” Vallet de Viriville.

[175] “Isabeau de Bavière,” Vallet de Viriville.

[176] Idem.

[177] “Isabeau de Bavière,” Vallet de Viriville.

[178] “Poésies d’Eustache Deschamps.”

[179] “An Idler in Old France,” Tighe Hopkins.

[180] I do not, of course, mean to say that the Roman baths were
destroyed by the early Christians.

[181] Vallet de Viriville.

[182] De Sauval, “Antiquitez de Paris.”

[183] “The Mediæval City. The Transformation of Paris,” F. Harrison.

[184] The hospice of Quinze-Vingts was founded by St. Louis for the
blind. A tradition, which is not considered true, says it was so
named from three hundred knights who were blinded by the infidels for
the Christian faith. They had a cemetery, chapel, chaplain, and two
bells, and bore the _fleur-de-lis_, being a royal foundation. A tavern
keeper in Paris having adopted the sign of the “Quinze-Vingts,” they
complained to the provost, who ordered him to give it up.

[185] “Antiquitez de Paris.” Sauval.

[186] “Relig. de St. Denis.” Juvenal des Ursins.

[187] Sismondi.

[188] Froissart, t. xiv. c. 69, p. 155.

[189] Strickland, “Queens of England,” vol. iii. p. 25.

[190] Sismondi, “Hist. Français,” t. viii. p. 125.

[191] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xx. p. 745.

[192] Juvenal des Ursins.

[193] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxi. p. 771, t. ii.

[194] The whole history of it may be read in ancient French chronicles,
Juvenal des Ursins, Paradin, &c.

[195] “Compte de l’hôtel de la reine Isabeau de Bavière,” 1401.
“Archives de l’Empire.” “Registre Côté,” R. K. 45, fol. 87 à 101. Doüet
d’Arcq.

[196] Vallet de Viriville.

[197] “Compte de l’hôtel de la reine Isabeau de Bavière,” 1401.
“Archives de l’Empire.” “Registre Côté,” R. K. 45, fol. 87 à 101. Doüet
d’Arcq.

[198] “Relig. de St. Denis,” t. iii. l. xxii. p. 7.

[199] Plancher, “Hist. de Bourg.,” l. xiv. p. 182.

[200] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxi. c. 4, p. 442. Juvenal des Ursins.

[201] “Compte de l’hôtel de la reine Isabeau de Bavière,” 1401.
“Archives de l’Empire.” “Registre Côté,” R. K. 45, fol. 87 à 101. Doüet
d’Arcq.

[202] “Relig. de St. Denis,” t. iii. l. xxii. p. 9. Another account
says the Queen was in bed at the time, but escaped unhurt.

[203] Aquitaine was beginning to be called Guyenne about this time.

[204] Monstrelet, “Chronique,” t. i. p. 89. Barante, “Ducs de Bourg.,”
t. ii. p. 17.

[205] Sismondi.

[206] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxiv. c. 8, p. 493. Monstrelet, c.
xiii. p. 126.

[207] “Isabeau de Bavière,” Vallet de Viriville.

[208] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxvi. p. 275.

[209] Ibid., liv. xxvi. p. 281.

[210] “Relig. de St. Denis.” Juvenal des Ursins.

[211] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxvi. p. 283.

[212] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[213] “Early Valois Queens.”

[214] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxvi. p. 295.

[215] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxvi. p. 331.

[216] Juvenal des Ursins, p. 177.

[217] Juvenal des Ursins.

[218] Many historians make out Isabelle and Charles to have been
younger, which is impossible, as she was born in November, 1388, and he
in May, 1391.

[219] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxvii. p. 397.

[220] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[221] It was the custom to use mules to go about in the town, also for
two to ride the same horse on these occasions.

[222] Félibien, Monstrelet, Paradin, “Relig. de St. Denis,” &c.

[223] De Mézeray, Monstrelet, Félibien, &c.

[224] The hôtels of princes of the blood were sanctuary, as well as the
churches.

[225] Vallet de Viriville.

[226] Sismondi, “Hist. France.”

[227] “Lives of the Early Valois Queens,” Catherine Bearne, p. 8.

[228] The Yorkists claimed the crown of England by a marriage with the
heiress of the elder line, _i.e._, of Lionel.

[229] Monstrelet, “Chronique,” t. i. c. 43, p. 165.

[230] Monstrelet, c. 37, p. 229. “Relig. de St. Denis.” The Duke of
Burgundy before an assembly of princes boldly tried to justify the
murder, and employed a friar to speak for that purpose. Charles was
induced in his weak state to sign letters of pardon for him.

[231] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxviii. p. 749.

[232] Ibid., liv. xxix. p. 59.

[233] “Isabeau de Bavière,” p. 15, Vallet de Viriville.

[234] Before the final expulsion of the English, Aquitaine was
gradually taking the name of Guyenne. But, when it became the settled
name, Guyenne did not include Gascony, Limousin, Saintonge, Anjoumois,
and Poitou.

[235] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[236] Historians differ as to what this meant.

[237] Paradin, “Annales de Bourgogne,” liv. iii. p. 518.

[238] Juvenal des Ursins.

[239] Jeanne de Navarre, mother of the Duc de Bretagne, had, as a
widow, become the wife of Henry IV. of England.

[240] Monstrelet, “Chron.,” 1. ii. p. 96, édition Buchon.

[241] Idem.

[242] M. de Maulde de Clavière, however, in his interesting history of
Louis XII., son of Charles, says that, with respect to the second at
any rate of these poems, it is not known for whom it was meant, it was
written during his captivity in England. There is, however, no reason
why it should not have been about Isabelle.

[243] Monstrelet, “Chroniques,” c. lxv. p. 81, édition Doüet d’Arcq.

[244] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxxi. p. 333.

[245] La Mure, “Hist. Ducs de Bourgogne, &c.”

[246] Paradin, “Annales de Bourgogne,” liv. iii. p. 560.

[247] Paradin. “Relig. de St. Denis.” Monstrelet.

[248] Paradin.

[249] Paradin. “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[250] “Relig. de St. Denis,” xxxvi. 587.

[251] “Chronique de Flandre.” Monstrelet, “Chron.,” c. cxliii. p. 85.

[252] Juvenal des Ursins, p. 330.

[253] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxxv. p. 1002.

[254] Monstrelet, “Chron.,” c. cxliii. p. 85.

[255] Monstrelet, c. cxlvii. p. 102.

[256] The battle of Azincourt was the last at which the Oriflamme
appeared.

[257] Monstrelet.

[258] “Le Fèvre St. Remi,” t. viii. c. 61, p. 1. Monstrelet.

[259] Sismondi in the account he gives of this battle says that Le
Fèvre Saint-Remi who writes of it was himself present, and to him most
of these details are owing. The description of it is also given by the
“Relig. de St. Denis,” Monstrelet, Juvenal des Ursins, Pierre Fenin,
Barante, Walsingham, and others.

[260] “Mem. Sire de St. Remi, ed. Buchon,” t. viii. p. 27.

[261] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxxv., c. 9, p. 1016. Monstrelet,
c. clxiv. p. 168. “Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris,” p. 210. Paradin,
Juvenal des Ursins, &c.

[262] “Chronique de Flandre.” “Messager des sciences historiques de la
Belgique,” 1887.

[263] “Relig. de St. Denis,” t. vi. liv. xxxvii. p. 61.

[264] “Messager des Sciences historiques de la Belgique,” Leopold de
Villers, 1887.

[265] “Chronique de Flandre,” “Relig. de St. Denis,” Monstrelet,
Juvenal des Ursins, Paradin, De Mézeray, &c.

[266] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[267] “Relig. de St. Denis,” liv. xxxix. p. 283.

[268] De Mézeray, p. 1023. Monstrelet, c. ccvii., p. 322.

[269] “Chronique anonyme.” Bibliothèque imperiale.

[270] “Relig. de St. Denis.”

[271] Ibid.

[272] Strickland, “Queens of England,” vol. iii. p. 135. Katherine de
Valois.

[273] “Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris,” p. 148.

[274] “Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris.”

[275] Monstrelet.

[276] T. Chastier, t. i. p. 211.

[277] Except his eldest daughter in after years, for whom he had a
strong affection.

[278] Sainte-Marthe. Hilarion de la Coste. Morèry, Grand Dictionnaire.
Lobineau, “Hist. Bretagne,” t. i. p. 727.

[279] About a game of _paume_. Commines, Bellefont, &c.

[280] De Maulde La Clavière. Louis XII. t. i. p. 115.

[281] Lobineau, “Hist. Bretagne,” t. i. p. 745.

[282] Lobineau, “Hist. Bretagne,” t. i. p. 790.

[283] D’Argentré.

[284] Lobineau, “Hist. Bret.,” t. i. p. 796.

[285] Ibid., t. i. pp. 798, 807, 808.

[286] Philippe de Commines. “Mém.” t. ii. p. 241, note 1, édition
Dupont. L’Art de Vérifier les dates.

[287] Le Roux de Lincy.

[288] Jean Molinet, “Chroniques,” t. iv. p. 577.

[289] “Revue des provinces de l’Ouest,” Juillet, 1854, p. 235.

[290] Dom Morice; Lobineau, “Hist. Bretagne,” t. ii. col. 1550.

[291] Commines.

[292] Ibid.

[293] Le Roux de Lincy, “Anne de Bretagne,” t. i. p. 133.

[294] Brantôme, “Dames illustres,” t. v. p. 4.

[295] De Maulde-la-Clavière, “Louis XII.,” t. ii. p. 272.

[296] Commines; Brantôme, t. ii. p. 19, ed. Petitot.

[297] Villeneuve, “Mem. Anne de Bretagne,” p. 246.

[298] Commines, Villeneuve, Godefroy, &c.

[299] Villeneuve, “Mem.,” p. 246.

[300] Godefroy, “Hist. Charles VIII.,” p. 745.

[301] Dom Lobineau, t. i. p. 823.

[302] Brantôme, “Hommes illustres,” t. ii. p. 59.

[303] Touchard Lafosse.

[304] Biblio. Imp., fonds Béthune, MS. 8465, fol. 10, _recto_ (Le Roux
de Lincy).

[305] Douey d’Attichy, “Madame Jeanne de France de Valois,” &c., p. 143.

[306] Moréry.

[307] Brantôme, “Capitaines étrangers,” t. l. p. 404.

[308] “Etat de la maison d’Anne de Bretagne,” p. 708. “Hist. Charles
VIII.” Godefroy.

[309] Tomasi, “Bibliophile Jacob, Hist. xvi. Siècle,” i. p. 176. Le
Roux de Lincy.

[310] Sainte-Marthe, t. ii. p. 620. De Seyssel.

[311] De Mézeray.

[312] The buildings were sold in 1542 and pulled down; scarcely a trace
remains of them except a tower at the corner of the rue St. Paul, which
may have belonged to one.

[313] Le Roux de Lincy.

[314] Hilarion, de la Coste.

[315] Guizot, “Hist. France,” t. ii. p. 505.

[316] Jean d’Auton.

[317] De Mézeray.

[318] Brantôme, “Dames illustres,” t. v. p. 8.

[319] Musée des Souverains, Louvre.

[320] Roger-Milés, “Comment discerner les styles,” &c.

[321] Godefroy, “Ceremonial français.”

[322] Ibid.

[323] Lobineau.

[324] Brantôme, D’Argentré, Jean d’Auton.

[325] “L’Art de vérifier les dates.”

[326] “Jean de Saint Gelais.”

[327] Le Roux de Lincy.

[328] Spinola was one of the four great Genoese families allowed to
build their palaces of striped black and white marble. The others were
Grimaldi, Fieschi, and Doria.

[329] Le Roux de Lincy.

[330] Ibid.

[331] These valuable letters were first published by M. Le Roux de
Lincy in his work on Anne de Bretagne; they belonged to the collection
Lajariette.

[332] De Mézeray, “Hist. France,” p. 375.

[333] Dane, “Hist. Bretagne,” t. iii. p. 242; Henault, Ste.-Marthe.

[334] Letter preserved in Archives of Château de Marcoussy.

[335] Archives of Monastery of Marcoussy, “Histoire manuscrites des
convent et des seigneurs de Marcoussy &c.,” given by M. Le Roux de
Lincy.

[336] Bibliothèque Imperiale. MS. 8457, fol. 5, given by Le Roux de
Lincy.

[337] Jean d’Auton.

[338] Guizot, “Hist. France,” t. ii. p. 520. Henault, Sainte-Marthe.

[339] Touchard-Lafosse, “Hist. Blois.” St. Gelais.

[340] “Revue des deux Mondes,” 1 Mai, 1885.

[341] “La Société provençale, à la fin du Moyen Age.”

[342] “Antiquitez de Paris.”

[343] Le Roux de Lincy quotes “Hist. de l’auguste et vénérable église
de Chartres, &c.,” Chartres, 1683.

[344] Brantôme, “Dames illustres,” t. v. p. 9.

[345] Henault, “Hist. France,” t. i. p. 442.

[346] Alain Bouchard, “Chron. de Bretagne,” quoted by Le Roux de Lincy,
&c.

[347] Louarches, “Les Femmes dans l’hist. France,” p. 105.

[348] M. Le Roux de Lincy giving these details says they only exist in
a manuscript called “Le trépas de l’Hermine regrettée.” MS. fol. 35.
vo.



Transcriber’s Notes


Punctuation, hyphenation, and spelling were made consistent when a
predominant preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not
changed. The spelling of non-English words has not been thoroughly
checked.

Simple typographical errors were corrected; occasional unbalanced
quotation marks retained.

Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.

The original book included a running timeline (years) at the top of
most pages. Those years appear here between paragraphs in the form:
{year} (where “year” is a number), with consecutive duplicates
omitted within each chapter. The dates in the timeline mostly are in
ascending sequence, but not always.

Index not checked for proper alphabetization or correct page references.

Footnotes, originally at the bottom of each page, have been collected
and placed at the end of this eBook, following the Index.

Page 2: Small-caps names in the text version of the genealogy chart are
shown in all-caps.

Page 45: Closing quotation mark added after “no more children.”

Page 195: Closing quotation mark added after “_varlet de chambre_”.

Page 310: Closing quotation mark added after “girl as she was!”.

Page 340: Closing quotation mark added after “the war in Lombardy
finished.”

Page 363: “Mistress, is dead? The Queen is dead!” was printed with the
question mark.

Page 375: No page numbers given for “Michelle de France”.





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