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Title: La Grande Mademoiselle - 1627 - 1652
Author: Barine, Arvède
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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    The Knickerbocker Press

    COPYRIGHT, 1902

    Published, November, 1902

    The Knickerbocker Press, New York


La Grande Mademoiselle was one of the most original persons of her
epoch, though it cannot be said that she was ever of the first order.
Hers was but a small genius; there was nothing extraordinary in her
character; and she had too little influence over events to have made
it worth while to devote a whole volume to her history--much less to
prepare for her a second chronicle--had she not been an adventurous and
picturesque princess, a proud, erect figure standing in the front rank
of the important personages whom Emerson called "representative."

Mademoiselle's agitated existence was a marvellous commentary on the
profound transformation accomplished in the mind of France toward the
close of the seventeenth century,--a transformation whose natural
reaction changed the being of France.

I have tried to depict this change, whose traces are often hidden
by the rapid progress of historical events, because it was neither
the most salient feature of the closing century nor the result of a

Essential, of the spirit, it passed in the depths of the eager souls of
the people of those tormented days. Such changes are analogous to the
changes in the light of the earthly seasons. From day to day, marking
dates which vary with the advancing years, the intense light of summer
gives place to the wan light of autumn. So the landscape is perpetually
renewed by the recurring influences of natural revolution; in like
manner, the moral atmosphere of France was changed and recharged with
the principles of life in the new birth; and when the long civil labour
of the Fronde was ended, the nation's mind had received a new and
opposite impulsion, the casual daily event wore a new aspect, the sons
viewed things in a light unknown to their fathers, and even to the
fathers the appearance of things had changed. Their thoughts, their
feelings, their whole moral being had changed.

It is the gradual progress of this transformation that I have attempted
to show the reader. I know that my enterprise is ambitious; it would
have been beyond my strength had I had nothing to refer to but the
Archives and the various collections of personal memoirs. But two
great poets have been my guides, Corneille and Racine, both faithful
interpreters of the thoughts and the feelings of their contemporaries;
and they have made clear the contrast between the two distinct social
epochs--between the old and the new bodies, so different, yet so
closely connected.

When the Christian pessimism of Racine had--in the words of Jules
Lemaître--succeeded the stoical optimism of Corneille, all the
conditions evolving their diverse lines of thought had changed.

The nature of La Grande Mademoiselle was exemplified in the moral
revolution which gave us _Phédre_ thirty-four years (the space of a
generation) after the apparition of _Pauline_.

In the first part of her life,--the part depicted in this
volume,--Mademoiselle was as true a type of the heroines of Corneille
as any of her contemporaries. Not one of the great ladies of her world
had a more ungovernable thirst for grandeur; not one of them cherished
more superb scorn for the baser passions, among which Mademoiselle
classed the tender sentiment of love. But, like all the others, she was
forced to renounce her ideals; and not in her callow youth, when such
a thing would have been natural, but when she was growing old, was she
carried away by the torrent of the new thought, whose echoes we have
caught through Racine.

The limited but intimately detailed and somewhat sentimental history
of Mademoiselle is the history of France when Louis XIII. was old, and
when young Louis--Louis XIV.--was a minor, living the happiest years of
all his life.

If I seem presumptuous, let my intention be my excuse for so long
soliciting the attention of my reader in favour of La Grande


    Page 83, ninth line from top, _read_ de Lormes _for_ de Lorme.

    Page 272, fifth line from bottom, _dele_ hypnotic.




    I. Gaston d'Orléans--His Marriage--His Character--II. Birth
    of Mademoiselle--III. The Tuileries in 1627--The Retinue
    of a Princess--IV. Contemporary Opinions of Education--The
    Education of Boys--V. The Education of Girls--VI. Mademoiselle's
    Childhood--Divisions of the Royal Family                      1-80


    I. Anne of Austria and Richelieu--Birth of Louis XIV.--II.
    _L'Astrée_ and its Influence--III. Transformation of the Public
    Manners--The Creation of the Salon--The Hôtel de Rambouillet and
    Men of Letters                                              81-153


    I. The Earliest Influences of the Theatre--II. Mademoiselle and
    the School of Corneille--III. Marriage Projects--IV. The Cinq-Mars
    Affair--Close of the Reign                                 154-236


    I. The Regency--The Romance of Anne of Austria and
    Mazarin--Gaston's Second Wife--II. Mademoiselle's New Marriage
    Projects--III. Mademoiselle Would Be a Carmelite Nun--The Catholic
    Renaissance under Louis XIII. and the Regency--IV. Women Enter
    Politics--The Rivalry of the Two Junior Branches of the House of
    France--Continuation of the Royal Romance                  237-327


    I. The Beginning of Trouble--Paris and the Parisians in
    1648--II. The Parliamentary Fronde--Mademoiselle Would Be Queen
    of France--III. The Fronde of the Princes and the Union of the
    Frondes--Projects for an Alliance with Condé--IV. La Grande
    Mademoiselle's Heroic Period--The Capture of Orleans--The Combat in
    the Faubourg Saint Antoine--The End of the Fronde--Exile   328-436



    LA GRANDE MADEMOISELLE                           _Frontispiece_
              From a steel engraving.

    MARIE DE MÉDICIS                                             6
              From a steel engraving.

              After the painting by J. Rigaud.

              From a contemporary print.

    MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ                                           54
              From an engraving of the painting by Muntz.

    CARDINAL RICHELIEU                                          84

              From an old print.

    LOUIS XIII., KING OF FRANCE AND OF NAVARRE                 152
              From an old print.

    CORNEILLE                                                  168
              From an engraving of the painting by Lebrun.

    RACINE                                                     182
              From a steel engraving.

    THE HÔTEL DE RICHELIEU IN THE 17TH CENTURY                 204
              From a contemporary print.

    A GAME OF CHANCE IN THE 17TH CENTURY                       210
              From an engraving by Sébastien Leclerc.

    MARQUIS DE CINQ-MARS                                       212

    ANNE OF AUSTRIA                                            242

              From an old print.

    HENRIETTE, DUCHESSE D'ORLÉANS                              258
              From a steel engraving.

    ST. VINCENT DE PAUL                                        292
              From a steel engraving.

    DUCHESSE DE CHEVREUSE                                      300

    CARDINAL MAZARIN                                           320

    MADEMOISELLE DE MONTPENSIER                                324
              From a steel engraving.

    THE TOWER OF NESLE                                         342
              From a contemporary print.

    CARDINAL DE RETZ                                           344

    MADAME DE LA VALLIÈRE                                      366
              From a steel engraving.

    VICOMTE DE TURENNE                                         398

      IN THE 17TH CENTURY                                      410
              From an old print.

    LA ROCHEFOUCAULD                                           416
              From a steel engraving.

    PRINCE DE CONDÉ                                            420

    DUC D'ORLÉANS                                              422




    I. Gaston d'Orléans--His Marriage--His Character--II. Birth
    of Mademoiselle--III. The Tuileries in 1627--The Retinue
    of a Princess--IV. Contemporary Opinions of Education--The
    Education of Boys--V. The Education of Girls--VI. Mademoiselle's
    Childhood--Divisions of the Royal Family.

In the Château of Versailles there is a full-length portrait of La
Grande Mademoiselle,--so called because of her tall stature,--daughter
of Gaston d'Orléans, and niece of Louis XIII. When the portrait was
painted, the Princess's hair was turning grey. She was forty-five years
old. Her imperious attitude and warlike mien befit the manners of the
time of her youth, as they befit her Amazonian exploits in the days of
the Fronde.

Her lofty bearing well accords with the adventures of the illustrious
girl whom the customs and the life of her day, the plays of Corneille,
and the novels of La Calprenède and of Scudéry imbued with sentiments
much too pompous. The painter of the portrait had seen Mademoiselle
as we have seen her in her own memoirs and in the memoirs of her

Nature had fitted her to play the part of the goddess in exile; and it
had been her good fortune to find suitable employment for faculties
which would have been obstacles in an ordinary life. To become the
Minerva of Versailles, Mademoiselle had to do nothing but yield to
circumstances and to float onward, borne by the current of events.

In the portrait, under the tinselled trappings the deep eyes look
out gravely, earnestly; the thoughtful face is naively proud of its
borrowed divinity; and just as she was pictured--serious, exalted in
her assured dignity, convinced of her own high calling--she lived her
life to its end, too proud to know that hers was the fashion of a
bygone age, too sure of her own position to note the smiles provoked
by her appearance. She ignored the fact that she had denied her
pretensions by her own act (her romance with Lauzun,--an episode by far
too bourgeois for the character of an Olympian goddess). She had given
the lie to her assumption of divinity, but throughout the period of
her romance she bore aloft her standard, and when it was all over she
came forth unchanged, still vested with her classic dignity. The old
Princess, who excited the ridicule of the younger generation, was, to
the few surviving companions of her early years, the living evocation
of the past. To them she bore the ineffaceable impression of the
thought, the feeling, the inspiration, the soul of France, as they had
known it under Richelieu and Mazarin.

The influences that made the tall daughter of Gaston d'Orléans a
romantic sentimentalist long before sentimental romanticism held any
place in France, ruled the destinies of French society at large; and
because of this fact, because the same influences that directed the
illustrious daughter of France shaped the course of the whole French
nation, the solitary figure--though it was never of a high moral
order--is worthy of attention. La Grande Mademoiselle is the radiant
point whose light illumines the shadows of the past in which she lived.


Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans, Duchess of Montpensier, was the daughter
of Gaston of France, younger brother of King Louis XIII., and of a
distant cousin of the royal family, Marie of Bourbon, Duchess of
Montpensier. It would be impossible for a child to be less like her
parents than was La Grande Mademoiselle. Her mother was a beautiful
blond personage with the mild face of a sheep, and with a character
well fitted to her face. She was very sweet and very tractable.
Mademoiselle's father resembled the decadents of our own day. He was a
man of sickly nerves, vacillating, weak of purpose, with a will like
wax, who formed day-dreams in which he figured as a gallant and warlike
knight, always on the alert, always the omnipotent hero of singularly
heroic exploits. He deluded himself with the idea that he was a real
prince, a typical Crusader of the ancient days. In his chaotic fancy he
raised altar against altar, burning incense before his purely personal
and peculiar gods, taking principalities by assault, bringing the kings
and all the powers of the earth into subjection, bearing down upon them
with his might, and shifting them like the puppets of a chess-board.
His efforts to attain the heights pictured by his imagination resulted
in awkward gambols through which he lost his balance and fell, crushed
by the weight of his own folly. Thus his life was a series of ludicrous
but tragic burlesques.

In the seventeenth century, in flesh and blood, he was the Prince
whom modern writers set in prominent places in romance, and whom they
introduce to the public, deluded by the thought that he is the creature
of their invention. Louis XIII. was a living and pitiable anachronism.
He had inherited all the traditions of his rude ancestors. Yet, to meet
the requirements of his situation, nature had accoutred him for active
service with nothing but an enervated and unbalanced character. One
of his most odious infamies--his first--served as a prologue to the
birth of "Tall Mademoiselle." In 1626, as Louis XIII. had no child,
his brother Gaston was heir-presumptive to the throne, and he was a
bachelor. They who had some interest in the question were pushing him
from all sides, urging him not to fetter himself by the inferior
marriage of a younger son. They implored him to have patience; to "wait
a while"; to see if there would not be some unlooked-for opening for
him in the near future. His own apparent future was promising; there
was much encouragement in the fact that the King was sickly. What might
not a day bring forth?--"under such conditions great changes were

Monsieur's mind laid a tenacious grasp on the idea that he must either
marry a royal princess, or none at all; and he was so imbued with the
thought that he must remain free to attain supreme heights that when
Marie de Médicis proposed to him a marriage with the richest heiress
of France, Mlle. de Montpensier, he tried to evade her offer. He
encouraged Chalais's conspiracy, which was to be the means of helping
him to effect his flight from Court; he permitted his friends to
compromise themselves, then without a shadow of hesitation he sold them
all. When the plot had been exposed, he hastily withdrew his irons from
the fire by reporting everything to Richelieu and the Queen-mother.
His friends tried to excuse him by saying that he had lost his head;
but it was not true. His avowals as informer are on record in the
archives of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and they prove that he
was a man who knew very well what he was doing and why he was doing
it, who worked intelligently and systematically, planning his course
with matter-of-fact self-possession, selling his treason at the highest
market-price of such commodities.

The 12th July, 1626, Monsieur denounced thirty of his friends, or
servitors, whose only fault had lain in their devotion to his interests.

Once when Marie de Médicis reproached him for having failed to keep a
certain written promise "never to think of anything tending to separate
him from the King," Monsieur replied calmly that he had _signed that
paper_ but that he never had _said_ that he would not do it,--that he
"never had given a verbal promise." They then reminded him that he
had "solemnly sworn several times." The young Prince replied with the
same serenity, that whenever he took an oath, he did it "with a mental

The 18th, Monsieur, being in a good humour, made some strong
protestations to his mother, who was in her bed. He again took up the
thread of his denunciations to Richelieu without waiting to be invited
to give his information. The 23d, he went to the Cardinal and told him
to say that he, Monsieur, was ready to marry whenever they pleased, "if
they would give him his appanage at the time of the marriage,"--after
which announcement he remarked that _the late M. d'Alençon had had
three appanages_. Monsieur sounded his seas, and spied out his
land in all directions, carefully gathering data and making very
minute investigations as to the King's intentions. He intimated his
requirements to the Cardinal, who "sent the President, Le Coigneux, to
talk over his marriage and his appanage."

[Illustration: MARIE DE MEDICIS


His haggling and his denunciations alternated until August 2d. Finally
he obtained the duchies of Montpensier and of Chartres, the county of
Blois, and pecuniary advantages which raised his income to the sum of a
million livres. His vanity was allowed free play on the occasion of the
signing of the contract, but this was forgiven him because he was only
eighteen years old.

    Monsieur had eighty French guards, all wearing casques, and
    bandoleers of the fine velvet of his livery. Their helmets were
    loaded, in front and behind, with Monsieur's initials enriched with
    gold. He had, also, twenty-four Swiss guards, who marched before
    him on Sundays and other fête days, with drums beating, though
    the King was still in Paris. He was fond of pomp. The lives of
    his friends did not weigh a feather in the balance against a few
    provinces and a rolling drum.

His guardian, Marshal d'Ornano, was a prisoner in Versailles, where
the Court was at that time. Investigations against him were in rapid
progress; but the face of the young bridegroom was wreathed with smiles
when he led his bride to the altar, 5th August, 1626. As soon as he had
given his consent they had hastened the marriage. The ceremony took
place as best it could. It was marriage by the lightning process. There
was no music, the bridegroom's habit was not new. While the cortège
was on its way, two of the resplendent duchesses quarrelled over some
question of precedence. To quote the _Chronicles_: "From words they
came to blows and from blows to scratches of their skins."

This event scandalised the public, but the splendour of the fêtes
effaced the memory of the regrettable incidents preceding them.
While the fêtes were in progress, Monsieur exhibited a gayety which
astonished the people; they were not accustomed to the open display
of such indelicacy. It was known why young Chalais had been condemned
to death; it was known that Monsieur had vainly demanded that he
be shown some mercy. When the 19th--the day of execution--came,
Monsieur saw fit to be absent. The youthful Chalais was beheaded by a
second-rate executioner, who hacked at his neck with a dull sword and
with an equally dull tool used by coopers. When the twentieth blow was
struck, Chalais was still moaning. The people assembled to witness the
execution cried out against it.

Fifteen days later Marshal d'Ornano gave proof of his accommodating
amiability by dying in his prison. Others who had vital interests at
stake either fled or were exiled.

Judging from appearances, Monsieur had had nothing to do with the
condemned or the suspected. His callous levity was noted and judged
according to its quality. Frequently tolerant to an extraordinary
degree, the morality of the times was firm enough where the fidelity
of man to master, or of master to man, was concerned. The common idea
of decency exacted absolute devotion from the soldier to his chief,
from servant to employer, from the gentleman to his seignior. Nor was
the duty of master to man less binding. Though his creatures or
servants were in the wrong, though their failures numbered seventy
times seven, it was the master's part to uphold, to defend, and to give
them courage, to stand or to fall with them, as the leader stands with
his armies. Gaston knew this; he knew that he dishonoured his own name
in the eyes of France when he delivered to justice the men who had
worn his colours. But he mocked at the idea of honour, shaming it, as
those among our own sons--if they are unfortunate enough to resemble
him--mock at the higher and broader idea of home and country,--the
idea which, in our day, takes the place of all other ideas exacting an
effort or a sacrifice.



It must not be supposed that Monsieur was an ordinary poltroon,
bowed down by the weight of his shame, desperately feeble, a mawkish
and shambling type of the effeminate adolescent; though a coward in
shirking consequences he was a typical "prince": very spirited, very
gay, and very brilliant; conscious of the meaning of all his actions;
contented in his position,--such as he made it,--and resigned to act
the part of a coward before the world.

His vivacity was extraordinary. The people marvelled at his unfailing
lack of tact. Though very young, he was well grown. He was no longer
a child whose nurse caught him with one hand, forcibly buttoning his
apron as he struggled to run away; yet he skipped and gambolled,
spinning incessantly on his high heels, his hand thrust into his
pocket, his cap over his ear. In one way or in another he incessantly
proclaimed his presence. His sarcastic lips were always curved over his
white teeth; he was always whistling.

"One can see well that he is high-born," wrote the indulgent Madame
de Motteville. "His restlessness and his grimaces show it." But
Madame de Motteville was not his only chronicler. Others relished his
manners less. A gentleman who had lived in his (Monsieur's) house when
Monsieur was very young, saw him again under Mazarin, and finding that
despite his age and size he was the same peculiar being that he had
been in infancy, the old gentleman turned and ran away. "Well, upon my
word," he cried, "if he is not the same deuced scamp as in the days of
Richelieu! I shall not salute him."

Monsieur's portraits are not calculated to contradict the impression
given by his contemporaries. He is a handsome boy. The long oval face
is delicately fine. The eyes are spiritual; and despite its look of
self-sufficiency the whole face is infinitely charming. One of the
portraits shows a certain shade of sly keenness, but as a whole the
face is always indescribably attractive,--and yet as we gaze upon it
we are seized by an impulse to follow the example of the old marquis,
and run away without saluting. In the portrait the base soul looks
out of the handsome face just as it did in life, manifesting its
deplorable reality through its mask of natural beauty and intelligence.
No one could say that Monsieur was a fool. Retz declared: "M. le
Duc d'Orléans had a fine and enlightened mind." It was the general
impression that his conversation was admirable; judged by his talk
he was a being of a superior order. His manners and his voice were
engaging. He was an artist, very fond of pictures and rare and handsome
trifles. He was skilful in engraving on metals; he loved literature;
he loved to read; he was interested in new ideas and in the march of
thought. He knew many curious sciences. He was a cheerful companion,
easy-mannered, sprightly, easy of approach, fond of raillery, and full
of his jests, but his jests were never ill-natured. Even his enemies
were forced to own that he had a good disposition, and that he was
naturally kind; and this was the general opinion of the strange being
who was a Judas to so many of his most devoted friends.

Had Monsieur possessed but one grain of moral consciousness, and had
he been free from an almost inconceivable degree of weakness and
of cowardice, he would have made a fine Prince Charming. But his
poltroonery and his moral debility stained the whole fabric of his life
and made him a lugubrious example of spiritual infirmity. He engaged in
all sorts of intrigues because he was too weak to say No, and owing to
the same weakness he never honestly fulfilled an engagement.

At times he started out intending to do his duty, then when midway on
his route he was seized by fear, he took the bit between his teeth,
and ran, and nothing on earth could stop him. He carried out his
cowardice with impudence, and his villainy was artful and adroit.
However base his action, he was never troubled by remorse. He was
insensible to love, and devoid of any sense of honour. Having betrayed
his associates, he abandoned them to their fate, then thrust his hand
into his pocket, pirouetted, cut a caper, whistled a tune, and thought
no more of it.


The third week in October the Duchess of Orleans returned to Paris.
The Court was at the Louvre. The young pair, Monsieur and his wife,
had their apartments in the palace, and the courtiers were not slow in
finding their way to them.

Hardly had she arrived when Madame declared her pregnancy. As there
was no direct heir to the crown, this event was of great importance.
The people precipitated themselves toward the happy Princess who was
about to give birth to a future King of France. Staid and modest though
she was, her own head was turned by her condition. She paraded her
hopes. It seemed to her that even then she held in her arms the son
who was to take the place of a dauphin. Every one offered her prayer
and acclamations; and every one hailed Monsieur as if he had been the
rising sun.[1]

Monsieur asked nothing better than to play his part; he breathed the
incense offered to his brilliant prospects with felicity.

Husband and wife enjoyed their importance to the full; they displayed
their triumphant faces in all parts of that palace that had seen so
much bitterness of spirit.

In itself, politics apart, the Louvre was not a very agreeable
resting-place. On the side toward Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois its aspect
was rough and gloomy. The remains of the old fortress of Philip
Augustus and of Charles V. were still in existence. Opposite the
Tuileries, towards the Quai, the exterior of the palace was elegant and
cheerful. There the Valois and Henry IV. had begun to build the Louvre
as we know it to-day.

A discordant combination of extreme refinement and of extreme
coarseness made the interior of the palace one of the noisiest and
dirtiest places in the world. The entrance to the palace of the King
of France was like the entrance to a mill; a tumultuous crowd filled
the palace from morning until night; and it was the custom of the day
for individuals to be perfectly at ease in public,--no one stood on
ceremony. The ebbing and flowing tide of courtiers, of business men, of
countrymen, of tradesmen, and all the throngs of valets and underlings
considered the stairways, the balconies, the corridors, and the places
behind the doors, retreats propitious for the relief of nature.

It was a system, an immemorial servitude, existing in Vincennes and
Fontainebleau as at the Louvre,--a system that was not abolished
without great difficulty. In a document dated posterior to 1670,
mention is made of the thousand masses of all uncleanness, and the
thousand insupportable stenches, "which made the Louvre a hot-bed of
infection, very dangerous in time of epidemic." The great ones of earth
accepted such discrepancies as fatalities; they contented themselves
with ordering a sweep of the broom.

Neither Gaston nor the Princess, his wife, descended to the level of
their critical surroundings. They were habituated to the peculiar
features of the royal palaces; and certainly that year, in the
intoxication of their prospects, they must have considered the palatial
odours very acceptable.

It did not agree with their frame of mind to note that the always
gloomy palace was more than usually dismal. Anne of Austria had been
struck to the heart by the pregnancy of her sister-in-law. She had been
married twelve years and she no longer dared to cherish the hope of
an heir. She felt that she was sinking into oblivion. Her enemies had
begun to insinuate that her usefulness was at an end and that she had
no reason for clinging to life. The Queen of France lived so eclipsed
a life that to the world she was nothing but a pretty woman with a
complexion of milk and roses. The people knew that she was unhappy,
and they pitied her. They never learned her true character until she
became Regent. Anne of Austria was not the only one to drain the cup of
bitterness that year. Louis XIII. also was jealous of the maternity of
Madame. It was a part of his nature to cherish evil sentiments, and
his friends found some excuse for his faults in his misfortunes. Since
Richelieu had attained power, Louis had succumbed to the exigencies
of monarchical duty. His whole person betrayed his distress, exhaling
constraint and anxiety. The most mirthful jester quailed at the sight
of the long, livid face, so mournful, so expressive of the mental
torment of the Prince who "knew that he was hated and who had no
fondness for himself."

Louis was timid and prudish, and, like his brother, he had sick nerves.
Hérouard, who was his doctor when he was a child, exhibits the young
Prince as a somnambulist, who slept with eyes open, and who arose in
his sleep, walking and talking in a loud voice. Louis's doctors put
an end to any strength that he may have had originally. In one year
Bouvard bled him forty-seven times; and during that one twelvemonth the
child was given twelve different kinds of medicines and two hundred
and fifteen enemas. Is it credible that after such an experience
the unhappy King merited the reproach of being "obstreperous in his
intercourse with the medical faculty"?

He had studied but little; he took no interest in the things that
pleased the mind; his pastimes were purely animal. He liked to hunt, to
work in his garden, to net pouches for fish and game, to make snares
and arquebuses. He liked to make preserves, to lard meat, and to
shave. Like his brother, he had one artistic quality: he loved music
and composed it. "This was the one smile, the only smile of a natural

Louis XIII. was of a nature dry and hard. He detested his wife; he
loved nothing on earth but his young favourites. He loved them; then,
in an instant, without warning, he ceased to love them; and when he
had ceased to love them he did not care what became of them,--did not
care whether they lived or died. Whenever he could witness the agony of
death he did so, and turned the occasion into a picnic or a pleasure
trip. He enjoyed watching the grimaces of the dying. His religious
devotion was sincere, but it was narrow and sterile. He was jealous
and suspicious, forgetful, frivolous, incapable of applying himself to
anything serious.

He had but one virtue, but that he carried to such lengths that it
sufficed to embalm his memory. This virtue was the one which raised
the family of Hohenzollern to power and to glory. The sombre soul
of Louis XIII. was imbued with the imperious sentiment of royal
duty,--the professional duty of the man designed and appointed by
Divine Providence to give account to God for millions of the souls of
other men. He never separated either his own advantage or his own glory
from the advantage and the glory of France. He forced his brother to
marry, though he knew that the birth of a nephew would ulcerate his own
flesh. He harboured Richelieu with despairing resolution because he
believed that France could not maintain its existence without the hated
ministry. He had the essential quality, the one quality which supplies
the lack of other qualities, without which all other qualities, great
and noble though they be, are useless before the State.

Around these chiefs of the Court buzzed a swarm of ambitious rivals
and whispering intriguers all animated by one purpose, to effect the
discomfiture of Richelieu. The King's health was failing. The Cardinal
knew that Louis "had not two days to live"; he was seen daily, steadily
advancing toward the grave. In Michelet's writings there is a striking
page devoted to the "great man of business wasting his time and
strength struggling against I do not know how many insects which have
stung him." Marie de Médicis was the only one who united with the King
in defending Richelieu in the critical winter of 1626. The Cardinal
was the Queen's creature. The pair had many memories in common--and of
more than one kind. Some years previous Richelieu had taken the trouble
to play lover to the portly quadragenarian, and he had brought to bear
upon his effort all the courage requisite for such a suit. The Court of
France had looked on while the Cardinal took lessons in lute playing,
because the Queen-mother, notwithstanding her age and her proportions,
had had a fancy to play the lute as she had done when a little girl.
Marie de Médicis had given proof that she was not insensible to such
delicate attentions, and she had forgotten nothing; but the moment was
approaching when Richelieu would find that it had been to no purpose
that he had shouldered the ridicule of France by sighing out his music
at the feet of the fat Queen.

That year a stranger would have said that the Court of France had
never been more gay. Fête followed fête. In the winter there were two
grand ballets at the Louvre, danced by the flower of the nobility, the
King at their head. Louis XIII. adored such exhibitions, though they
overthrow all modern ideas of a royal majesty.

The previous winter he had invited the Bourgeoisie of Paris to the
Hôtel-de-Ville to contemplate their ghastly monarch masked for the
carnival, dancing his _grand pas_. "_It is my wish_," said he, "_to
confer honour upon the city by this action_." The Bourgeoisie had
accepted the invitation; man and wife had flocked to the appointed
place at the appointed hour, and there they had waited from four
o'clock in the afternoon until five o'clock in the morning, before the
royal dancers had made their appearance. The dance had not ended until
noon, when the honoured Bourgeoisie had returned to their homes.

Monsieur took his full share of all official pleasures, and he had also
some pleasures of his own,--and purely personal they were. Some of
them were infantine; some of them, marked by intelligence, were far in
advance of the ideas of that epoch. Contemporary customs demanded that
people of the world should relegate their serious affairs to the tender
mercies of the professional keen wits, who made it their business to
attend to such questions. Gaston used to convene the chosen of his
lords and gentlemen, to argue subjects of moral and political import.
In discussion Monsieur bore himself very gallantly. The resources of
his wit were inexhaustible, and the justice of his judgment invariably
evoked applause. He was a sleep-walker, because awake or asleep he was
so restless that "he could not stay long in one place."[2] But he was
not always asleep when he was met in the night groping his way through
the noisome alleys. He used to jump from his bed, disguise himself, and
run about in the night, leading a life like that of the wretched Gérard
de Nerval, lounging on foot through the little streets of Paris which
were very dark and suspiciously dirty. It amused him to enter strange
houses and invite himself to balls and other assemblies. His behaviour
in such places is not recorded, but the gentlemen who followed him (to
protect him) let it be understood that there was "nothing good in it."

Gaston of Orleans had all the traits common to those whom we call
"degenerate." His chief characteristic was an active form of bare and
shameless moral relaxation. He was the mainspring of many and various

One day when Richelieu was present, Louis XIII. twitted the Queen with
her fancies. He said that she had "wished to prevent Monsieur from
marrying so that she could marry him herself when she became a widow."

Anne of Austria cried out: "I should not have gained much by the

(Neither would France have "gained much by the change," and it was
fortunate for her that Louis was permitted to retain possession of his
feeble rights.)

The child so desired by some, so envied and so dreaded by others,
entered the world May 29, 1627. Instead of a dauphin it was a girl--_La
Grande Mademoiselle_. Seven days after the child was born the mother

Louis XIII. gave orders for the provision of royal obsequies, and
he himself sprinkled the bier with the blessed water, very grateful
because Providence had not endowed him with a nephew. Anne of Austria,
incognito, assisted at the funeral pomps. This act was received with
various interpretations. The simple--the innocent-minded--said that it
was a proof of the compassion inspired by Madame's sudden taking off;
the malicious supposed that it was just as the King had said: "The
Queen loved Monsieur; she rejoiced in his wife's death; she hoped to
marry him when she became a widow."

The Queen was sincerely afflicted by Madame's death. She cherished an
open preference for her second son, and the thought of his ambitious
flight had agreeably caressed her heart.

Richelieu pronounced a few suitable words of regret for the Princess
who had never meddled with politics, and Monsieur did just what he
might have been expected to do: he wept boisterously, immediately dried
his tears, and plunged into debauchery.

The Court executed the regulation manœuvres, and came to the "about
face" demanded by the circumstances. Whatever may have been the
calculations made by individuals relative to the positions to be taken
in order to secure the best personal results, and whatever the secret
opinions may have been (as to the advantages to be drawn from the
catastrophe), it was generally conceded that the little Duchess had
been fortunate in being left sole possessor of the vast fortune of the
late Madame her mother.

The latter had brought as marriage-portion the dominion of Dombes,
the principality of Roche-sur-Yon, the duchies of Montpensier,
Châtellerault, and Saint-Fargeau, with several other fine tracts of
territory bearing the titles of marquisates, counties, viscounties, and
baronies, with very important incomes from pensions granted by the King
and by several private individuals,--in all amounting to three hundred
thousand livres of income.[3]

The child succeeding to this immense inheritance was the richest
heiress in Europe. As her mother had been before her, so Mademoiselle
was raised in all the magnificence and luxury befitting her rank and


They had brought her from the Louvre to the Tuileries by the
balustraded terrace along the Seine.[4]

She was lodged in the _Dôme_--known to the old Parisians as the
_pavillon d'Horloge_--and in the two wings of the adjoining buildings.
At that time the Tuileries had not assumed the aspect of a great
barrack. They wore a look of elegance and fantastic grace before they
were remodelled and aligned by rule. At its four corners the _Dôme_
bore four pretty little towers; on the side toward the garden was a
projecting portico surmounted by a terrace enclosed by a gallery. On
this terrace, in time, Mademoiselle and her ladies listened to many a
serenade and looked down on many a riot.

The rest of the façade (as far as the _pavillon de Flore_) formed
a succession of angles, now jutting forward, now receding, in
conformations very pleasing to the eye. The opposite wing and the
_pavillon de Marsan_ had not been built. Close at hand lay an almost
unbroken country. The rear of the palace looked out upon a parterre;
beyond the parterre lay a chaos from which the _Carrousel_ was not
wholly delivered until the Second Empire. There stood the famous Hôtel
de Rambouillet, close to the hotel of Madame de Chevreuse, confidential
friend of Anne of Austria and interested enemy of Richelieu. There were
other hotels, entangled with churches, with a hospital, a "Court of
Miracles," gardens, and wild lands overgrown with weeds and grasses.
There were shops and stables; and away at the far end of the settlement
stood the Louvre, closing the perspective.



The Court and the city crowded together around the Bird House and the
Swans' Pond, in the Dedalus and before the Echo, ogling or criticising
one another. At that time the Place de la Concorde was a great, green
field, called the Rabbit Warren. In one part of the field stood the
King's kennels.[5] The city's limits separated the Champs-Élysées from
the wild lands running down to the Seine at the point where the Pont
de la Concorde now stands. This space, enclosed by the boundaries
of the city, assured to the Court a park-like retreat in the green
fields of the open country. The enclosure was entered by the gate
of the Conférence. The celebrated "Garden of Renard" was associated
with Mademoiselle's first memories. It had been taken from that part
of _La Garenne_ which lay between the gate of the Conférence[6] and
the Garden of the Tuileries. Renard had been _valet-de-chambre_ to a
noble house. He was witty, pliable, complaisant to the wishes or the
fancied needs of his employers, amiable, and of "easy, accommodating
manners"[7]; in short, he was a precursor of the Scapins and the
Mascarelles of Molière. Mazarin found pleasure and profit in talking
with him. Renard's garden was a bower of delights. It was the preferred
trysting-place of the lordlings of the Court, and the scene of all
things gallant in that gallant day.

The fair ladies of the Court frequented the place; so did the crowned
queens; and there many an amorous knot was tied, and many a plot laid
for the fall of many a minister.

There the men of the day gave dinners, and rolled under the table at
dessert; and in the bosky glades of the garden the ladies offered their
collations. There were balls, comedies, concerts, and serenades in the
groves, and all the gay world met there to hear the news and to discuss
it. Renard was the man of the hour, no one could live without him.

The Cours la Reine, created by Marie de Médicis, was outside of Paris.
It was a broad path, fifteen hundred and forty common steps long, with
a "round square," or _rond-point_, in its centre. In that sheltered
path, the fine world, good and bad, displayed its toilets and its

Mlle. de Scudéry has given us a description of it at the hour when it
was most frequented. Two of her characters entered Paris by the village
of Chaillot.

    Coming into the city, where Hermogène led Bélésis, one finds beside
    the beautiful river four great alleys, so broad, so straight, and
    so shaded by the great trees which form them, that one could not
    imagine a more agreeable promenade. And this is the place where all
    the ladies come in the evening in little open chariots, and where
    all the men follow them on horseback; so that having liberty to
    approach either one or the other, or all of them, as they go up and
    down the paths they all promenade and talk together; and this is
    doubtless very diverting.

Hermogène and Bélésis having penetrated into the Cours,

    they saw the great alleys full of little chariots, all painted and
    gilded; sitting in the chariots were the most beautiful ladies
    of Suze (Paris), and near the ladies were infinite numbers of
    gentlemen of quality, admirably well mounted and magnificently
    dressed, going and coming, saluting as they passed.

In the summer they lingered late in the Cours la Reine, and ended the
evening at Renard's. Marie de Médicis and Anne of Austria were rarely

Close by the Champs-Élysées lay a forest, through which the huntsman
passed to hunt the wolf in the dense woods of the Bois de Boulogne. In
the distance could be seen the village of Chaillot, perched on a height
amidst fields and vines. Market gardens covered the quarters of Ville
l'Evêque and the Chaussée d'Antin.

Mademoiselle was installed with royal magnificence at the Tuileries. In
her own words: "They made my house, and they gave me an equipage much
grander than any daughter of France had ever had."

Thirty years later she was still happily surrounded by the retinue
provided by her far-seeing guardians. Her servitors were of every
grade, from the lowest, who prepared a pathway for her feet, to the
highest, whose service added dignity to her presence. By investing her
with her nucleus of domestic tributaries, her friends had established
her importance, even in her infancy, by manifestations that could not
be disputed. In that day people were obliged to attach importance to
such details. But a short time had passed since brutal force had been
the only recognised right; and it was the way of the world to judge
the grandeur of a prince by the length and volume of his train. It was
because La Grande Mademoiselle had, from earliest youth, possessed
an army of squires, of courtiers, of valets, and of serving-men and
serving-women--a horde beginning with the fine milord and ending with
the hare-faced scullion, seen now and then in some shadowy retreat of
the palace, low-browed, down-trodden, looking out with dazzled eyes
upon the world of life and luxury,--it was because she had been a
ruler even in her swaddling bands, that she could aspire, naturally
and without overweening arrogance, to the hands of the most powerful
sovereigns. "The sons of France," says a document of 1649, "are
provided with just such officials as surround the King; but they
are less numerous.... The Princes have officers in accordance with
their revenues and in accordance with the rank that they hold in the

The same document furnishes us with details of the installation of
Anne of Austria. If, when we estimate the equipage of Mademoiselle,
we reduce it by half of the estimate of the Queen's equipage, we fall
short of the reality. Like an army in campaign, a Court ought to be
sufficient unto itself, able to meet all its requirements. The upper
domestic retinue of the Queen comprised more than one hundred persons,
_maîtres-d'hôtel_ or stewards, cup-bearers, carvers, secretaries,
physicians, surgeons, oculists, musicians, squires, almoners, nine
chaplains, "her confessor," a common confessor, and too many other
kinds of employees to be enumerated. Under all these officials, each
one of whom had his own especial underlings, were equal numbers of
valets and of chambermaids who assured the service of the apartments.
The Court cooking kept busy one hundred and fifty-nine drilled
knife-sharpeners, soup-skimmers, roast-hasteners, and water-handers, or
people to hand water as the cooks needed it for their mixtures. There
were other servitors whose business it was to await the beck and call
of their superiors,--call-boys, always waiting for signals. Then came
the busy world of the stables; then fifty merchants or shop-men, and
an indefinite number of artisans of all the orders of all the trades.
In all there were between six and seven hundred souls, not counting
the valets of the valets or the grand "_charges_," the officials close
to the Queen, the Queen's chancellor, the _chevaliers d'honneur_, or
gentlemen-in-waiting, the ladies in-waiting, and maids of honour.

The great and noble people were often very badly served by their hordes
of servants. Madame de Motteville tells us how the ladies of the Court
of Anne of Austria were nourished in the peaceful year 1644, when the
Court coffers were yet full.

    According to the law of etiquette, the Queen supped in solitary
    state. Her supper ended, we ate what was left. We ate without order
    or measure, in any way we could. Our only table service was her
    wash-cloth and the remnants of her bread. And, though this repast
    was very ill-organised, it was not at all disagreeable, because it
    had the advantage of what is called "privacy," and because of the
    quality and the merit of those who sometimes met there.

The most modern Courts still retain some vestiges of the Middle Ages.
Louis XIII. had, or had had, four dwarfs, their salary being three
hundred "tournois" or Tours livres. The King paid a man to look after
his dwarfs, keep them in order, and regulate their conduct.[9]

To the day of her death, despite her exile and her misery, Marie de
Médicis maintained in her service a certain Jean Gassan, who figures in
her will as employed in "keeping the parrot."

When a child, Louis XIV. had two _baladins_. Mademoiselle had a dwarf
who did not retire from her service until 1645. The registers of the
Parliament (date, 10th May, 1645) contain letters patent and duly
verified, by which the King accorded to "Ursule Matton, the dwarf of
Mademoiselle, sole daughter of the Duke of Orleans, the power and the
right to establish a little market in a court behind the new meat
market of Saint Honoré."[10]

Marie de Médicis completed the house and establishment of her
granddaughter by giving her, for governess, a person of much virtue,
wit, and merit, Madame de Saint Georges, who knew the Court thoroughly.
Nevertheless Mademoiselle asserted that she had been very badly raised,
thanks to the herd of flattering hirelings who thronged the Tuileries,
and who no sooner surrounded her than they became insupportable.

    It is a common thing [said she] to see children who are objects of
    respect, and whose high birth and great possessions are continually
    the subject of conversation, acquire sentiments of spurious glory.
    I so often had at my ears people who talked to me either about my
    riches or about my birth that I had no trouble to persuade myself
    that what they said was true, and I lived in a state of vanity
    which was very inconvenient.

While very young she had reached a degree of folly where it displeased
her to have people speak of her maternal grandmother, Madame de Guise.
"I used to say: '_She_ is my _distant_ grandmamma; _she_ is not Queen.'"

It does not appear that Madame Saint Georges, that person of so much
merit, had done anything to neutralise evil influences.

Throughout the seventeenth century, opinions on the education of girls
were very vacillating because little importance was attached to them.
In 1687, after all the progress accomplished through the double
influence of Port Royal and Madame de Maintenon, Fénelon wrote:

    Nothing is more neglected than the education of girls. Fashion and
    the caprices of the mothers often decide nearly everything. The
    education of boys is considered of eminent importance because of
    its bearing upon the public welfare; and while as many errors are
    committed in the education of boys as in the education of girls, at
    least it is an accepted idea that a great deal of enlightenment is
    required for the successful education of a boy.

It was supposed that contact with society would be sufficient to form
the mind and to polish the wit of woman. In this fact lay the cause of
the inequality then noticeable in women of the same class. They were
more or less superior from various points of view, as they had been
more or less advantageously placed to profit by their worldly lessons,
by the spectacle of life, and by the conversation of honest people.

The privileged ones were women who, like Mademoiselle and her
associates, had been accustomed to the social circles where the history
of their times was made by the daily acts of life. Their best teachers
were the men of their own class, who intrigued, conspired, fought, and
died before their eyes,--often for their pleasure. The agitated and
peril-fraught lives of those men, their chimeras, and their romanticism
put into daily practice, were admirable lessons for the future heroines
of the Fronde. To understand the pupils, we must know something of
their teachers. What was the process of formation of those professors
of energy; in what mould was run that race of venturesome and restless
cavaliers who evoked a whole generation of Amazons made in their own
image? The system of the education of France of that epoch is in
question, and it is worthy of a close and detailed examination.


From their infancy, boys were prepared for the ardent life of their
times. They were raised according to a clearly defined and fixed
idea common to rich and poor, to noble and to plebeian. The object
of a boy's education was to make him a man while he was still very
young. The only difference in the opinions of the gentleman and of the
bourgeois was this:

The gentleman believed that action was the best stimulant to action.
The bourgeois thought that the finer human sentiments, the so-called
"humanities," were the only sound foundations for a virile and
practical education. But whatever the method used, in that day, a man
entered upon life at the age when our sons are but just beginning
interminable studies preliminary to their "examinations." At the age
of eighteen, sixteen--even fifteen years,--the De Gassions, the La
Rochefoucaulds, the Omer Talons, and the Arnauld d'Andillys had become
officers, lawyers, or men of business, and in their day affairs bore
little resemblance to modern affairs. In our day men do not enter
active life until they have been aged and fatigued by the march of
years. The time of entrance upon the career of life ought not to be
a matter of indifference to a people. At the age of thirty years a
man no longer thinks and feels as he thought and felt at the age of
twenty. His manner of making war is different; and there is even
more difference in his political action. He has different ambitions.
His inclinations lead him into different adventures. The moments of
history, when the agitators of the nation were young men, glow with
the light of no other epoch. There was then an indefinable quality in
life,--an active principle, more ardent and more vital. Under Louis
XIII. there were scholars to make the unhappy students of our own
emasculated times die of envy. Certain examples of our modern school
become bald before they rise from the benches of their college.

Jean de Gassion, Marshal of France at the age of thirty years, who
"killed men" at the age of thirty-eight years (1647), was the fourth
son, but not the last, of a President of Parliament at Navarre,
who had raised his offspring with great care (having destined him
for the career of "Letters"). The child took such advantage of his
opportunities that before he was sixteen years old he was a consummate
scholar. He knew several of the living languages--German, Flemish,
Italian, and Spanish. Thus prepared for active life, he set out from
Pau astride of his father's old horse. When he had gone four or five
leagues, the old horse gave out. Jean de Gassion continued his journey
on foot. When he reached Savoy, they made war on him. He enlisted as
common soldier, and fought so well that he was promoted cornet. When
peace was declared, he was in France. He determined to go to the King
of Sweden--Gustavus Adolphus,--who was said to be somewhere in Germany.
De Gassion had resolved to offer the King the service of his sword,
and to ask to be allowed to lead the Swedish armies. But as he had no
idea of presenting himself to the King single-handed, he persuaded some
fifteen or twenty cavaliers of his own regiment to go with him, and
embarked with them on the Baltic Sea. And--so runs the story--he just
happened to land where Gustavus Adolphus was walking along the shore.

(Such coincidences are possible only when youths are in their teens;
after the age of twenty, no man need hope for similar experience.) Jean
saluted the King, and addressed him in excellent Latin. He expressed
his desire to be of service. The King was amused; he received the
strange offer amiably, and consented to put the learned stripling
to the test. And so it was that Gassion was enabled to attain to a
colonelcy when he was but twenty-two years old. His early studies had
stood him in good stead; had he not known his Latin, he would have
missed his career. His Ciceronian harangue, poured out fluently just as
the occasion demanded it, attracted the favour of a King who was, by
his own might, a prince of letters.

After the King of Sweden died, Gassion returned to France. With Condé
he won the battle of Rocroy, and, during the siege, died of a bullet
in his head, leaving behind him the reputation of a brilliant soldier
and accomplished man of letters, as virtuous as he was brave. He never
wished to marry. When they spoke to him of marriage, he answered that
he did not think enough of his life to offer a share of it to any one.
This was an expression of pessimism far in advance of his epoch.

La Rochefoucauld, who will never be accused of having been naturally
romantic, offered another example of the miracles performed by youths.
Only once in his life did he play the part of Paladin. He launched
himself in politics before he had a beard. When he was sixteen years
old, he entered upon his grand campaign, bearing the title of "Master
of the Camp."

The following year he was at Court, elbowing his way among all the
parties, busily engaged in opposition to Richelieu. But his politics
did not add anything to his age; he was still an adolescent, far
removed from the enlightened theorist of the _Maximes_.

The peculiarly special savour of the springtime of life was
communicated to his soul at the hour appointed by nature. In him it
was impregnated by a faint perfume of heroism and of poetry. He never
forgot the happiness with which for a week or more he played the fool.
He was then twenty-three years old. Queen Anne of Austria was in the
depths of her disgrace, maltreated and persecuted by her husband and by

    In this extremity [said Rochefoucauld], abandoned by all the world,
    devoid of aid, daring to confide in no one but Mademoiselle de
    Hautefort--and in me,--she proposed to me to abduct them both and
    take them to Brussels. Whatever difficulty I may have seen in such
    a project, I can say that it gave me more joy than I had ever had
    in my life. I was at an age when a man loves to do extraordinary
    things, and I could not think of anything that would give me more
    satisfaction than that: to strike the King and the Cardinal with
    one blow, to take the Queen from her husband and from the jealous
    Richelieu, and to snatch Mademoiselle de Hautefort from the King
    who was in love with her!

In truth the adventure would not have been an ordinary one; La
Rochefoucauld assumed its duties with enthusiasm, renouncing them only
when the Queen changed her mind.

Like all his fellows, La Rochefoucauld had his outburst of youth; but
he fell short of its folly. Recalling his extravagant project, he said:
"Youth is a continuous intoxication; it is the fever of Reason."

The memoirs of Arnauld d' Andilly tell us how the sons of the higher
nobility were educated in the year 1600 and thereabout. Arnauld d'
Andilly began to study Greek and Latin at home, under the supervision
of a very learned father. Toward his tenth year his family thought
that the moment had come to introduce into his little head the
meanings and the realities of speculation. The child was destined
for "civil employment." His day was divided into two parts; one half
was devoted to "disinterested study"; the other half to the study of
things practical. So he served his apprenticeship for business by such
a system that his themes and his versions lost none of their rights.
His mornings were consecrated to lessons and tasks. They were long
mornings; the family rose at four o'clock. The little student became a
good Latinist, and even a good Hellenist. He wrote very well in French,
and he was a good reader.

Ten or twelve volumes which belonged to him are still in existence, and
they attest that he knew a great deal more than the graduates of our
modern colleges,--though he knew nothing of the things they aim at. At
eleven o'clock he closed his lexicons, bade adieu to his preceptor and
to the pedagogy, bestrode his horse, and rode to Paris, to the house
of one of his uncles, who had taken it upon himself to teach the boy
everything that he could not learn from his books. Our forefathers
carefully watched their sons' first contact with reality. They tried
not to leave to chance the duties of so important an initiation; and
as a general thing their supervision left ineffaceable traces. Uncle
Claude de la Mothe-Arnauld, Treasurer-General of France, installed his
nephew in his private cabinet and gave him various bundles of endorsed
papers to decipher. The child was obliged to pick out their meaning
and then render a clear analysis of it in a distinct voice. When he
was fifteen years old another uncle, a Supervisor of the National
Finances, caused the student to "put his fist into the dough" in his
own office. At sixteen years of age, "little Arnauld" was "M. Arnauld
d' Andilly"; vested with office under the State, received at Court,
and permitted to assist behind the chair of the King, at the Councils
of Finance, so that he might hear financial arguments, and learn from
the Nation's statesmen how to decide great questions. His education
was not an exceptional one. The sons of the bourgeoisie were raised in
like manner. Attempts to educate boys were more or less successful,
according to the natural gifts of the postulants. Omer Talon,
Advocate-General of the Parliament of Paris, and one of the great
Parliamentary orators of the century, had pursued extensive classical
studies, and "as he spoke, Latin and Greek rushed to his lips." He
had "vast attainments in law," a science much more complicated in the
sixteenth century than in our day. But, learned though he was, he had
not lingered on the benches of his school. He was admitted to the Bar
when he was eighteen years old, and "immediately began to plead and to
be celebrated."

Antoine Le Maïtre, the first "Solitaire" of Port Royal, began his
career by appearing in public as the best known and most important and
influential lawyer in Paris when he was twenty-one years old.

Generally, the nobility sacrificed learning, which it despised, to an
impatient desire to see its sons "in active life." The nobles made
pages of their sons as soon as they were thirteen or fourteen years
old, or else sent them to the "Academy" to learn how to make proper use
of a horse, to fence, to vault, and to dance.[11]

       *       *       *       *       *

In the eyes of people of quality books and writings were the tools of
plebeians; good enough for professional fine wits, or lawyers' clerks,
but not fit for the nobility.

       *       *       *       *       *

In the reign of Louis XIII.,[12] M. d'Avenal wrote thus: "Gentlemen
are perfectly ignorant,--the most illustrious and the most modestly
insignificant alike. In this respect, with few exceptions, there is
absolute equality between them."

The Constable, De Montmorency, had the reputation of a man of sound
sense, "though he had no book learning, and hardly knew how to write
his own name." Many of the great lords knew no more; and this ignorance
was not shameful; on the contrary it was desired, affected, gloried in,
and eagerly imitated by the lesser nobility.

"I never sharpen my pen with anything but my sword," proudly declared a

"Ah?" answered a wit; "then your bad writing does not astonish me!"

The exceptions to the rule resulted from the caprices of the fathers;
and they were sometimes found where least expected. The famous
Bassompierre, arbiter of fashion and flower of courtiers, who, at one
sitting, burned more than six thousand letters from women, who wore
habits costing fourteen thousand écus, and could describe their details
twenty years after he had worn them, had been very liberally educated,
and according to a method which as may be imagined, was far in advance
of the methods of his day. He had followed the college course until the
sixteenth year of his age, he had laboured at rhetoric, logic, physics,
and law, and dipped deep into Hippocrates and Aristotle. He had also
studied _les cas de Conscience_. Then he had gone to Italy, where he
had attended the best riding schools, the best fencing schools, a
school of fortifications, and several princely Courts. At the age of
nineteen years he was a superb cavalier and a good musician, he knew
the world, and had made a very brilliant first appearance at Court.

The great Condé, General-in-Chief at the age of twenty-two years,
had followed a college course at the school of Bourges, and had been
"drilled" at the "Academy." He was tried by the fire of many a hard
school. Wherever he went he was preceded by tart letters of instruction
from his father. By his father's orders he was always received and
treated as impartially as any of the lesser aspirants to education;
he was severely "exercised," put on his mettle in various ways, and
compelled to start out from first principles, no matter how well he
knew them. When seven years old he spoke Latin fluently. When he
reached the age of eleven he was well grounded in rhetoric, law,
mathematics, and the Italian language. He could turn a verse very
prettily; and he excelled in everything athletic.

Louis XIII. applauded this deep and thorough study,--perhaps because he
regretted his lost opportunities. He told people that he should "wish
to have ... Monsieur the Dauphin," educated in like manner.[13]

In measure as the century advanced it began to be recognised that a
nobleman could "study" without detracting from his noble dignity.
Louis de Pontis, who started out as a D'Artagnan, and ended at Port
Royal,[14] wished that time could be taken to instruct the youth of the
nation. Answering some one who had asked his advice as to the education
of two young lords of the Court, he wrote[15]:

    I will begin by avowing that I do not share the sentiments of those
    who wish for their children only so much science as is "needed"--as
    they call it--"for a gentleman"; I do not see things in that light.
    I should demand more science.

    Since science teaches man how to reason and to speak well in
    public, is it not necessary to men, who, by the grandeur of their
    birth, their employment, and their duties, may need it at any
    moment, and who make use of it in their numerous meetings with
    the enlightened of the world? There are several personages who
    hold that the society of virtuous and talented women expands and
    polishes the mind of a young cavalier more than the conversation of
    men of letters; but I am not of their opinion....

Notwithstanding this declaration, Pontis desired that great difference
should be established between the treatment of a child training for
the robes and the treatment of one training for military service. "The
first ought never to end his studies; it is sufficient for the second
to study until his fifteenth or sixteenth year; after that time he
ought to be sent to the Academy...."

In this opinion Pontis echoed the general impression. At the time
when La Grande Mademoiselle was born, the man of quality no longer
had a right to be "brutal,"--in other words, to betray coarseness of
nature. New customs and new manners exacted from the man of noble
birth tact and good breeding, not science. But it was requisite that
the nobleman's mind should be "formed" by the influence and discourse
of a man of letters, so that he might be capable of judging witty and
intellectual works ("works of the mind").

Marshal Montmorency,[16] son of the Constable, who "hardly knew how to
write his own name," had always in his employ cultured and intellectual
people, who "made verses" for him on a multitude of such subjects as
it was befitting his high estate that he should know; such subjects
as were calculated to give him an air of intelligence and general
information. His intellectual advisers informed him what to think and
what to say of the current questions of the day.[17] It was good form
for great and noble houses to entertain at least one _autheur_. As
there were no public journals or reviews, the _autheur_ took the place
of literary chronicles and literary criticism. He talked of the last
dramatic sketch, or of the last new novel.

It was not long before another step in advance was taken, by which
every nobleman was permitted to entertain his own personal _autheur_,
and to compose "works of the mind" for himself. But he who succumbed to
the epidemic (_cacoëthes scribendi_), owed it to his birth and breeding
to hide his malady, or to make excuses for it.

Mlle. de Scudéry puts in the mouth of _Sapho_ (herself) in _Le Grand

    Nothing is more inconvenient than to be intellectual or to be
    treated as if one were so, when one has a noble heart and a
    certain degree of birth; for I hold that it is an indubitable fact
    that from the moment one separates himself from the multitude,
    distinguishing one's self by the enlightenment of one's mind; when
    one acquires the reputation of having more mind than another, and
    of writing well enough--in prose or in verse--to be able to compose
    books, then, I say, one loses one half of one's nobility--if
    one has any--and one is not one half as important as another of
    the same house and of the same blood, who has not meddled with

About the time this opinion saw the light, Tallemant des Réaux wrote to
M. de Montausier, husband of the beautiful Julie d'Angennes, and one of
the satellites of the Hôtel de Rambouillet: "He plys the trade of a man
of mind too well for a man of quality--or at least he plays the part
too seriously ... he has even made translations...."

This mention is marked by one just feature: the man who wrote, who
could write, or who indulged in writing, was supposed to have judgment
enough to keep him from attaching importance to his works. The fine
world had regained the taste for refinement lost in the fracas of the
civil wars; but in the higher classes of society was still reflected
the horror of the preceding generations for pedants and for pedantry.

Ignorant or learned, half-grown boys were cast forward by their hasty
education into their various careers when they had barely left the
ranks of infancy. They were reckless, still in the flower of their
giddy youth; but they were enthusiastic and generous. France received
their high spirits very kindly. Deprived of the good humour, and
stripped of the illusions furnished by the young representatives of
their manhood, the times would have been too hard to be endured. The
traditions of the centuries when might was the only right still weighed
upon the soul of the people. One of those traditions exacted that--from
his infancy--a man should be "trained to blood." A case was cited where
a man had his prisoners killed by his own son,--a child ten years old.
One exaction was that a man should never be conscious of the sufferings
of a plebeian.

France had received a complete inheritance of inhuman ideas, which
protected and maintained the remains of the savagery that ran, like a
stained thread, through the national manners, just falling short of
rendering odious the gallant cavaliers. All that saved them from the
disgust aroused by the brutal exercise of the baser "rights" was the
bright ray of poetry, whose dazzling light gleamed amidst their sombre

They were quarrelsome, but brave. Perchance as wild as outlaws, but
devoted, gay, and loving. They were extraordinarily lively, because
they were--or had been but a short time before--extraordinarily young,
with a youth that is not now, nor ever shall be.

They inspired the women with their boisterous gallantry. In the higher
classes the sexes led nearly the same life. They frequented the same
pleasure resorts and revelled in the same joys. They met in the lanes
and alleys, at the theatre (_Comédie_), at balls, in their walks, on
the hunt, on horseback, and even in the camps. A woman of the higher
classes had constantly recurring opportunities to drink in the spirit
of the times. As a result the ambitious aspired to take part in public
life; and they shaped their course so well, and made so much of their
opportunities, that Richelieu complained of the importance of women in
the State. They were seen entering politics, and conspiring like men;
and they urged on the men to the extremes of folly.

Some of the noblewomen had wardrobes full of disguises; and they ran
about the streets and the highways dressed as monks or as gentlemen.
Among them were several who wielded the sword in duel and in war, and
who rode fearlessly and well. They were all handsome and courageous,
and even in the abandon of their most reckless gambols they found means
to preserve their delicacy and their grace. Never were women more
womanly. Men adored them, trembling lest something should come about
to alter their perfection. Their fear was the cause of their desperate
and stubborn opposition to the idea of the education of girls, then
beginning to take shape among the elder women.

I cannot say that the men were not in the wrong; but I do say that I
understand and appreciate their motives. Woman, or goddess, of the
order of the nobles of the time of Louis XIII., was a work of art, rare
and perfect; and to tremble for her safety was but natural!

It happened that La Grande Mademoiselle came to the age to profit by
instruction just when polite circles were discussing the education
of girls. The governess whose duty it had been to guide her mind was
caught between two opposing forces: the defendants of the ancient
ignorance and the first partisans of the idea of "_enlightenment for


_Les Femmes Savantes_ might have been written under Richelieu.
_Philamente_ had not awaited the advent of Molière to protest against
the ignorance and the prejudice that enslaved her sex. When the piece
appeared, more than half a century had elapsed since people had
quarrelled in the little streets about woman's position,--what she
ought to know, and what she ought not to know. But if the piece had
been written long before its first appearance, the treatment of the
subject could not have been the same. It would have been necessary
to agree as to what woman ought to be in her home and in her social
relations; and at that time they were just beginning to disagree
on that very subject. Nearly all men thought that things ought to
be maintained in the existing conditions. The nobles had exquisite
mistresses and incomparable political allies; the bourgeois had
excellent housekeepers; and to one and all alike, noble and bourgeois,
it seemed that any instruction would be superfluous; that things
were perfect just as they were. The majority of the women shared the
opinions of the men. The minority, looking deeper into the question,
saw that there might be a more serious and more intellectual way of
living to which ignorance would be an obstacle; but at every turn they
were met by men stubbornly determined that women should not be made
to study. Such men would not admit that there could be any difference
between a cultivated woman and "_Savante_,"--the term then used for
"blue-stocking." It must be confessed that there was some justice in
their judgment. For a reason which escapes me, when knowledge attempted
to enter the mind of a woman it had great trouble to make conditions
with nature and simplicity. It was not so easy! Even to-day certain
preparations are necessary,--appointment of commandants, the selection
of countersigns, establishment of a picket-line--not to say a deadline.
We have _précieuses_ in our own day, and their pretensions and their
grimaces have been lions in our path whenever we have attempted the
higher instruction of our daughters; the truly _précieuses_, they who
were instrumental in winning the cause of the higher education of
women--they who, under the impulsion given by the Hôtel de Rambouillet,
worked to purify contemporary language and manners--were not ignorant
of the baleful affectation of their sisters, nor of the extent of its
compromising effect upon their own efforts. Mlle. de Scudéry, who knew
"nearly everything that one could know" (by which was probably meant
"everything fit to be known"), and who piqued herself upon being not
less modest than she was wise, could not be expected to share, or to
take part in, and in the mind of the public be confounded with, the
female _Trissotins_ whose burden of ridicule she felt so keenly. She
would not allow herself to resemble them in any way when she brought
them forth in _Grand Cyrus_, where the questions now called "feminist"
were discussed with great good sense.

_Damophile_, who affects to imitate _Sapho_, is only her caricature.
_Sapho_ "does not resemble a '_Savante_'"; her conversation is natural,
gallant, and easy (commodious).

_Damophile_ always had five or six teachers. I believe that the least
learned among them taught her astrology.

She was always writing to the men who made a profession of science.
She could not make up her mind to have anything to say to people who
did not know anything. Fifteen or twenty books were always to be seen
on her table; and she always held one of them in her hand when any one
entered the room, or when she sat there alone; and I am assured that
it could be said without prevarication that one saw more books in her
cabinet than she had ever read, and that at _Sapho's_ house one saw
fewer books than she had read.

More than that, _Damophile_ used only great words, which she pronounced
in a grave and imperious voice; though what she said was unimportant;
and _Sapho_, on the contrary, used only short, common words to express
admirable things. Besides that, _Damophile_, believing that knowledge
did not accord with her family affairs, never had anything to do with
domestic cares; but as to _Sapho_, she took pains to inform herself of
everything necessary to know in order to command even the least things
pertaining to the household.

_Damophile_ not only talked as if she were reading out of a book, but
she was always talking about books; and, in her ordinary conversation,
she spoke as freely of unknown authors as if she were giving public
lessons in some celebrated academy.

    She tries ... with peculiar and strange carefulness, to let it be
    known how much she knows, or thinks that she knows. And that, too,
    the first time that a stranger sees her. And there are so many
    obnoxious, disagreeable, and troublesome things about _Damaphile_,
    that one must acknowledge that if there is nothing more amiable nor
    more charming than a woman who takes pains to adorn her mind with a
    thousand agreeable forms of knowledge,--when she knows how to use
    them,--nothing is as ridiculous and as annoying as a woman who is
    "stupidly wise."

Mlle. de Scudéry raged when people, who had no tact, took her for
a _Damophile_, and, meaning to compliment her, consulted her "on
grammar," or "touching one of Hesiod's verses." Then the vials of her
wrath were poured out upon the "_Savantes_" who gave the prejudiced
reason for condemning the education of woman, and who provoked annoying
and ridiculous misconception by their insupportable pedantry; when
there were so many young girls of the best families who did not even
learn their own language, and who could not make themselves understood
when they took their pens in hand.

    "The majority of women," said Nicanor, "seem to try to write so
    that people will misunderstand them, so strange is their writing
    and so little sequency is there in their words."

    "It is certain," replied Sapho, "that there are women who speak
    well who write badly; and that they do write badly is purely their
    own fault.... Doubtless it comes from the fact that they do not
    like to read, or that they read without paying any attention to
    what they are doing, and without reflecting upon what they have
    read. So that although they have read the same words they use when
    they write, thousands and thousands of times, when they come to
    write they write them all wrong. And by putting some letters where
    other letters ought to be, they make a confused tangle which no one
    can distinguish unless he is well used to it."

    "What you say is so true," answered Erinne, "that I saw it proved
    no longer ago than yesterday. I visited one of my friends, who has
    returned from the country, and I carried her all the letters she
    wrote to me while she was away, so that she might read them to me
    and let me know what was in them."

Mademoiselle de Scudéry did not exaggerate; our great-grandmothers
did not see the utility of applying a knowledge of spelling to their
letters. In that respect each one extricated herself by the grace of

The Marchioness of Sablé, who was serious and wise, and, according to
the testimony of _Sapho_, "the type of the perfect _précieuse_" had
peculiar ways of her own in her spelling. She wrote, _J'hasse, notre
broulerie votre houbly_. Another "_précieuse_," Madame de Brégy, whose
prose and verse both appeared in print, wrote to Madame de Sablé, when
they were both in their old age:

    Je vous diré que je vieus d'aprendre que samedi, Monsieur, Madame,
    et les poupons reviene a Paris, et que pour aujourd'hui la Rayue
    et Madame de Toscane vout a Saint-Clou don la naturelle bauté sera
    reausé de tout les musique possible et d'un repas magnifique don je
    quiterois tous les gous pour une écuelle non pas de nantille, mes
    pour une devostre potage; rien n'étan si délisieus que d'an mauger
    en vous écoutan parler. (19th September, 1672.)

It is but just to add that as far as orthography was concerned many of
the men were women. The following letter of the Duke of Gesvres, "first
gentleman of Louis XIV.," has no reason to envy the letter of the old

    (Paris, this 20th September, 1677.) Monsieur me trouvant oblige
    de randre vuue bonne party de l'argan que mais enfant out pris de
    peuis quil sont en campane Monsieur cela m'oblije a vous suplier
    très humblement Monsieur de me faire la grasse de Commander
    Monsieur quant il vous plaira que l'on me pay le capitenery
    de Movsaux monsieur vous asseurant que vous m'oblijeres fort
    sansiblement Monsieur, comme ausy de me croire avec toute sorte de
    respec Monsieur vastre très humble et très obeissant serviteur.

Enough is as good as a feast! Though we stand in no superstitious awe
of orthography, we can but laud Mademoiselle de Scudéry for having
crossed lances in its favour. And well might she wish that to the first
elements of an education might be added a certain amount of building
material suitable for a foundation so solid that something more serious
than dancing steps and chiffons might at a later date be introduced
into the brains of young girls.

    Seriously, [she said] is there anything stranger than the way
    they act when they prepare to enter upon the ordinary education
    of woman? One does not wish women to be coquettish or gallant,
    and yet they are permitted to learn carefully everything that
    has anything to do with gallantry; though they are not permitted
    to know anything that might fortify their virtue or occupy their
    minds. All the great scoldings given them in their first youth
    because they are not proper[19]--that is to say dressed in good
    taste, and because they do not apply themselves to their dancing
    lessons and their singing lessons--do they not prove what I say?
    And the strangest of all is that this should be so when a woman
    cannot, with any propriety, dance more than five or six years
    of all the years of her life! And this same person who has been
    taught to do nothing but to dance is obliged to give proof of
    judgment to the day of her death; and though she is expected to
    speak properly, even to her last sigh, nothing is done--of all
    that might be done--to make her speak more agreeably, nor to act
    with more care for her conduct; and when the manner in which these
    ladies pass their lives is considered, it might be said that they
    seem to have been forbidden to have reason and good sense, and that
    they were put in the world only that they might sleep, be fat, be
    handsome, do nothing, and say nothing but silly things.... I know
    one who sleeps more than twelve hours every day, who takes three or
    four hours to dress herself, or, to speak more to the point: not to
    dress herself--for more than half of the time given to dressing is
    passed either in doing nothing or in doing over what has been done.
    Then she employs fully two or three hours in consuming her divers
    repasts; and all the rest of the time is spent receiving people to
    whom she does not know what to say, or in paying visits to people
    who do not know what to say to her.

In spite of her strictness, Mlle. de Scudéry was no advocate of the
idea which makes a woman her husband's servant, or installs her as the
slave of the stew-pan. Whenever she was urged to "tell precisely what
a woman ought to know," the problem was so new to her that she did not
know how to answer it. She evaded it, rejecting its generalities. She
had only two fixed ideas: that science was necessary to women; and
that the women who attained it must not let it be known that they had
attained it. She expressed her two opinions clearly:

    It [science] serves to show them the meaning of things; it makes
    it possible for them to listen intelligently when their mental
    superiors are talking--even to talk to the point and to express
    opinions--but they must not talk as books talk; they must try
    to speak as if their knowledge had come naturally, as if their
    inherent common sense had given them an understanding of the things
    in question.

Mademoiselle had in her mind one woman whom she would have liked to set
up as a pattern for all other women. That one woman knew Latin, and
because of her sense and propriety, was esteemed by Saint Augustine,
and yet no one had ever thought of calling her a "_Savante_."

Mlle. de Scudéry was very grateful to the charming Mme. de Sévigné,
because she plead the cause of woman's education by so fine an example,
and she depicted her admirable character with visible complaisance,
under the name of Clarinte.[20]

    Her conversation is easy, diverting and natural. She speaks to the
    point, and evinces clear judgment; she speaks well; she even has
    some spontaneous expressions, so ingenuous and so witty that they
    are infinitely pleasing.... Clarinte dearly loves to read; and
    what is better, without playing the wit, she is admirably quick to
    seize the hidden meaning of fine ideas. She has so much judgment
    that, though she is neither severe, nor shy, she has found the
    means to preserve the best reputation in the world.... What is most
    marvellous in this person is that, young as she is, she cares for
    her household as prudently as if she had had all the experience
    that time can give to a very enlightened mind; and what I admire
    still more, is that whenever it is necessary she can do without
    the world, and without the Court; she is as happy in the country,
    she can amuse herself as well there, as if she had been born in
    the woods.... I had nearly forgotten to tell you that she writes
    as she speaks; that is to say, most agreeably and as gallantly as

The programme used for the distribution of studies by means of which
the De Sévignés were fabricated is not revealed. Nature herself must
have furnished a portion of the plan. As far as we can judge the part
played by education was restricted to the adoption of some of the
suggestions of very rich moral endowments.

Mlle. de Chantal had been admirably directed by her uncle, the Abbé
de Coulanges, and, aside from the cares of the profession which
now presides over the education of woman, it is probable that more
efficient means could not be found for the proper formation of the
character of a girl than it was Mademoiselle de Chantal's good fortune
to enjoy.

Ménage and Chapelain had been her guides in rhetoric. She had read
Tacitus and Virgil in the original all her life. She was familiar with
Italian and with Spanish, and had ancient and modern history at her
tongue's end,--also the moralists and the religious writers.

These serious and well-grounded foundations, which she continually
strengthened and renewed until death, did not prevent her from
"adoring" poetry, the drama, and the superior novels,--in short, all
things of enlightenment and worth wherever she found them and under
whatever form. She was graceful in the dance; she sang well,--her
contemporaries said that her manner of singing was "impassioned."

[Illustration: MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ


The Abbé Coulanges had raised her so carefully that she was orderly;
and, unlike the majority, she liked to pay her debts. She was a perfect
type of woman. She even made a few mistakes in orthography, taking one,
or more, letter, or letters, for another, or for others. In short, she
made just the number of errors sufficient to permit her to be a writer
of genius without detracting from her air of distinguished elegance, or
from the obligations and the quality of her birth.

There were others at Court and in the city who confirmed their right
to enlightenment, thereby justifying the theses of Mademoiselle de
Scudéry. But a large number of women gave the lie to her theories
by their resemblance to _Damophile_. Of these latter was "the
worthy Gournay," Montaigne's "daughter by alliance," who, from the
exalted heights of her Greek and Latin, and in a loud, insistent
voice, discoursed like a doctor of medicine on the most ticklish of
subjects,--subjects far from pleasing when rolled out of the mouth
of a woman, even when so displaced in the name of antiquity and all
that is venerable! (For in these names "the good Gournay" evoked
them.) There was another pedant, the Viscountess d'Auchy, who had
"founded conferences" in her own house; the people of the fine world
flocked there to smother as they listened while it was proved, for
their edification, that the Holy Trinity had natural reasons for its
existence. On those "foundations" the Innate Idea also was proved by
demonstrative reason by collecting and by analysing the ideas of young
children concerning philosophy and theology. The lady who founded the
conferences had bought some manuscript _Homilies on the Epistles of St.
Paul_, of a doctor of theology. She had had them imprinted and attached
to portraits of herself. Thus accoutred for their mission, they were
circulated with great success, and their proceeds formed the endowment
fund of the _Conférence_ Library.

"The novelty of seeing a great lady of the Court commenting on the most
obscure of the apostles caused every one to buy the book."[21] It ended
by the Archbishop of Paris intimating to the "Order of the Conferences"
that they "would better leave Theology to the Sorbonne."

Mlle. Des Jardins declaimed her verses in the salons with great
"contortions" and with eyes rolling as if in death; and she was not at
all pleased when people preferred Corneille's writings to her own.

Mlle. Diodée frightened her hearers so that they took to their heels
when she began to read her fine thoughts on Zoroaster or on Hermes
Trismegistus. Another learned lady would speak of nothing but solar or
lunar eclipses and of comets.

The pedantry of this high order of representative woman transported the
"honest man" with horror. The higher the birth of the man the greater
his fear lest by some occult means he might be led to slip his neck
into the noose of a "_Savante_." But there was one counter-irritant
for this virulent form of literary eruption. The young girls of the
highest nobility were all extremely ignorant. Mlle. de Maillé-Brézé,
niece of Cardinal de Richelieu, had not an idea of the most limited
degree of the knowledge of books when she married the great Condé
(1641). She knew nothing whatever. It was considered that ignorance
carried to such length proved that neglect of instruction had gone
too far, and when the great Condé went on his first campaign, friends
seized the opportunity to add a few facets to the uncut jewel. She was
turned and turned about, viewed in different lights, and polished so
that her qualities could be seen to the best advantage. "The year after
her marriage," says Mlle. de Scudéry, "she was sent to the Convent of
the Carmelite Nuns of Saint Denis, to be taught to learn to read and
write, during the absence of Monsieur her husband."

The _Contes de Perrault_--faithful mirror of the habits of those
days--teaches us what an accomplished princess ought to be like. All
the fairies to be found in the country had acted as godmothers to the

    so that each one of them could bring her a gift ... consequently
    the princess had acquired every imaginable perfection.... The
    youngest fairy gave her the gift of being the most beautiful
    woman in the world; the one who came next gave her the spirit
    of an angel; the third endowed her with power to be graceful in
    everything that she did; the fourth gave her the art of dancing
    like a fairy; the fifth the art of singing like a nightingale;
    and the sixth endowed her with the power to play all kinds of
    instruments to perfection.

Perrault had traced his portraits over the strongly defined lines of
real life. La Grande Mademoiselle was trained after the manner of the
_Belle-au-Bois-dormant_. Her governess had had too much experience
to burden her with a science that would have made her redoubtable in
the eyes of men; so she had transferred to the fairies the task of
providing her young charge with a suitable investiture. Unhappily
for her eternal fame, when she distributed her powers of attorney
some of the fairies were absent; so Mademoiselle neither sang like a
nightingale, nor displayed classic grace in all her actions. But her
resemblance to Perrault's heroines was striking. The fairies empowered
to invest her with mind and delicacy of feeling had been present at
her baptism, and they had left indisputable proof of the origin of her
ideas. Like their predecessors, the elves of the _Contes_, they had
never planned for anything less than the marriage of their god-daughter
to the King's son. By all that she saw and heard, Mademoiselle knew
that Providence had not closed an eye at the moment of her creation.
She knew that her quality was essential. She knew that it was written
on high that she should marry the son of a great King.

Her life was a conscientious struggle to "accomplish the oracle"; and
the marriages that she missed form the weft of her history.


The first of the _Mémoires_ show us the Court of Louis XIII. and the
affairs of the day as seen by a little girl. This is an aspect to
which historians have not accustomed us; and as a natural result of
the infantine point of view the horizons are considerably narrowed.
The little Princess did not know that anything important was taking
place in Germany. She could not be ignorant of the fact that Richelieu
was engaged in a struggle with the high powers of France; she read the
general distress in the clouded faces surrounding her. But in her mind
she decided that it was nothing but one of her father's quarrels with
the Cardinal. The judgments she rendered against the high personages
whose houses she frequented were dictated by purely sentimental
considerations. "Some she liked; some she did not like"; consequently
the former gained, and the latter lost. Many contestants were
struggling before her young eyes; Louis XIII. was among the winners.

He was a good uncle, very affectionate to his niece, and deeply
grateful that she was nothing worse than a girl. He could never rid
himself of the idea that his brother might have endowed him with an
heir. He had Mademoiselle brought to the Louvre by the gallery along
the river, and allowed himself to be cheered by her turbulence and
uncurbed indiscretions.

Anne of Austria exhibited a deep tenderness for Mademoiselle; but no
one can deceive a child. "I think that all the love she showed me
was nothing but the effect of what she felt for Monsieur," writes
Mademoiselle; and further on she formally declares that the Queen,
believing herself destined to a near widowhood, had formed the "plan"
of marrying Monsieur. Whatever the Queen's plans may have been, it
is certain that she caressed the daughter for love of the father.
Anne of Austria never forgave Mademoiselle for the part that she had
played before her birth, in the winter of 1626-1627, when the Duchess
of Orleans so arrogantly promised to bring forth a Dauphin. Monsieur
had no reason to fear the scrutiny of a child. He was a charming
playfellow; gay, complaisant, fond of his daughter, at least for the
moment,--no one could count upon the future!

Cardinal de Richelieu could not gain anything by thoughtful criticism.
To the little Princess he was the Croquemitaine of the Court. When we
think of his ogre face--spoil sport that he was! as he appeared to
the millions of French people who were incapable of understanding his
policy--the silhouette traced by the hand of Mademoiselle appears in
a new light, and we are forced to own that its profound and simple
ignorance is instructive.

Marie de Médicis had managed to disappear from the Luxembourg and from
Paris, after the _Journée des Dupes_ (11 November, 1630), and her
little granddaughter had not noticed her departure. She writes: "I was
still so young that I do not remember that I ever saw her." The case
was not the same after the departure of Monsieur. He had continually
visited the Tuileries, and when he came no more the child knew it well
enough. She understood that her father had been punished, and she
was not permitted to remain ignorant of the identity of the insolent
personage who had placed him on the penitential stool. Mademoiselle,
then less than four years old, was outraged in all her feelings by the
success of Richelieu. She made war upon him in her own way; and, dating
from that day, became dear to the people of Paris, who had always loved
to vex and to humble the Government. She wrote with a certain pride:
"On that occasion my conduct did not at all answer to my years. I did
not want to be amused in any way; and they could not even make me go to
the assemblies at the Louvre." As she had no better scapegoat, her bad
humour was vented on the King. She constantly growled at him, demanding
that he should bring back her "papa." But Mademoiselle was never able
to pout to such purpose that she could stay away from the palace long,
for she was a true courtier, firmly convinced that to be away from
Court was to be in a desert, no matter how many servants and companions
might surround her. She soon mended her broken relations with the
assemblies and the collations of the Louvre, and could not refrain from
"entering into the joy of her heart" when "Their Majesties" sent word
to her guardians to take her to Fontainebleau. But she never laid down
her arms where Richelieu was concerned. She knew all the songs that
were written against him.

Meanwhile Monsieur had not taken any steps to make himself
interesting. As soon as he had crossed the French frontier he entered
upon a pleasure debauch which rendered him unfit for active service,
for a time at least. He paid for his high flight in Spanish money. In
1632 he further distinguished himself by entering France at the head
of a foreign army. On that occasion he caused the death of the Duke of
Montmorency, who was executed for "rebellion."

Immediately after the Duke's execution, it was discovered that Monsieur
had secretly married a sister of the Duke of Lorraine. He, Monsieur,
crowned his efforts by signing a treaty with Spain (12 May, 1634), for
which act France paid by yielding up strips of French territory.

But to his daughter Monsieur was always the victim of an impious
persecution. Speaking of the years gorged with events so closely
concerning her own life, she says:

    Many things passed in those days. I was only a child; I had no part
    in anything, and could not notice anything; All that I can remember
    is that at Fontainebleau (5 May, 1663) I saw the Ceremony of the
    Chevaliers of the Order. During the ceremony they degraded from the
    Order Monsieur the Duke d'Elbœuf, and the Marquis de la Vieu Ville.
    I saw them tear off and break the arms belonging to their rank,--a
    rank equal to all the others; and when I asked the reason they told
    me they had insulted them "because they had followed Monsieur."
    Then I wept. I was so wounded by this treatment that I would have
    retired from Court; and I said that I could not look on this action
    with the submission that would become me.

The day after the ceremony an incident exciting much comment added
to Mademoiselle's grief. Her enemy, the Cardinal, took part in the
promotion of the Cordons Bleus. On this occasion Louis XIII. wished to
exalt his Minister by giving him a distinguishing mark of superiority.
He wished to distinguish him, and him only, by giving him a present.
His choice of a present fell upon an object well fitted to evoke the
admiration of a child. The chevaliers of the _Saint Esprit_ were at
a banquet. At dessert they brought to Richelieu the King's gift, an
immense rock composed of various delicate confitures. From the centre
of the rock jetted a fountain of perfumed water. Given under solemn
circumstances and to a prince of the Church, it was a singular present.
It attracted remark, its familiarity tended to give colour to the
rumours circulating to the effect that an alliance then in process of
incubation would eventually unite the House of France and the family of
a very powerful Minister. The people voiced the current rumour volubly;
they said that "Gaston's marriage with a Lorraine" would never be
recognised, and that the young Prince would buy his pardon by marrying
the niece of the Cardinal. Mademoiselle heard the rumours and her heart
swelled with anguish at the thought of her father's dishonour.

    I was not so busy with my play that I did not listen attentively
    when they spoke of the "accommodating ways" of Monsieur! The
    Cardinal de Richelieu, who was first minister and master of
    affairs, had made up his mind that it should be so,--that he
    should marry _that one!_ and he had expressed his wishes with such
    shameful suggestions that I could not hear them mentioned without
    despair. To make peace with the King, Monsieur must break his
    marriage with Princesse Marguerite d'Orléans, and marry Mlle. de
    Combalet, niece of the Cardinal, now Madame d'Aguillon! From the
    time I first heard of the project I could not keep from weeping
    when it was spoken of; and, in my wrath, to avenge myself, I sang
    all the songs against the Cardinal and his niece that I knew.
    Monsieur did not let himself be "arranged" to suit the Cardinal.
    He came back to France without the assistance of the ridiculous
    condition. But how it was done I do not know. I cannot say anything
    about it, because I had no knowledge of it.

If it is true that Mademoiselle did not know the details of the
quarrels in which the House of France engaged during her childhood,
she was not inquisitive. Her knowledge in that respect had been at the
mercy of her own inclination. By the thoughtful care of Richelieu, all
the correspondence and all the official reports exposing the Court
miseries were placed where all might read who ran. Richelieu had
divined the power of the press over public opinion, although in that
day there was no press in France. There were no journals to defend
the Government. The _Mercure Française_[22] was not a journal; it
appeared once a year, and contained only a brief narration of "the
most remarkable things that had come to pass" in the "four parts of
the world." Renaudot's _Gazette_[23] was hardly a journal, though
it appeared every eight days, and numbered Louis XIII. among its
contributors. Louis furnished its military news. Richelieu and "Father
Joseph" furnished its politics. Neither Renaudot nor his protectors
had any idea of what we call a "premier Paris" or an "article de
fond"; they had never seen such things and they would not have been
capable of compassing such inventions. The _Gazette_ was not a sheet
of official information; it did not contain matter enough for one page
of the _Journal des Débats_. But the necessity of saying something to
France was a crying one. It had become absolutely necessary to put
modern royalty in communication with the nation, and to explain to the
people at large the real meaning of the policy of the Prime Minister.
The people must be taught why wars, alliances, and scaffolds were
necessary. Something must be done to defend France against the attacks
of Marie de Médicis and the cowardly Gaston. At that time placards
and pamphlets rendered the services now demanded of the journals. By
means of the placards the King could speak directly to the people and
take them to witness that he was in difficulty, and that he was trying
to do his best. In his public letters he confided to them his family
chagrins, and the motives of his conduct toward the foreign powers. His
correspondence with his mother and his brothers was printed as fast
as it was written or received by him. Apologies for his conduct were
supported by a choice of documents. From time to time the pamphlets
were collected and put in volumes--the volumes which were the
ancestors of our "yellow books."

I have before me one of these volumes, dated 1639, without name of
editor or publisher. It bears the title: _Recueil de divers pièces pour
servir a l'histoire_. Two thirds of its space are consecrated to the
King's quarrels with his family. Mademoiselle must have learned from it
many things which she has not the air of suspecting. Perhaps she found
it convenient or agreeable to be ignorant of them. In the pages of
this instructive volume none of her immediate relations appear to any
advantage. Louis XIII. is invariably dry and bombastic, or constrained
and affected; he shows no trace of emotion when, in his letter of 23
February, 1631, he informs the people that

    being placed in the extremity of choosing between our mother and
    our minister we did not even hesitate, because they have embittered
    the Queen our very honoured lady and mother against our very dear
    and very beloved cousin, Cardinal de Richelieu; there being no
    entreaty, no prayer or supplication, nor any consideration, public
    or private, that we have not put forward to soften her spirit;
    our said cousin recognising what he owes her, by reason of all
    sorts of considerations, having done all that he could do for her
    satisfaction; the reverence that he bears her having carried him to
    the point of urging us and supplicating us, divers times, to find
    it good that he should retire from the management of our affairs;
    a request which the utility of his past services and the interests
    of our authority have not permitted us to think of granting.... And
    recognising the fact that none of the authors of these differences
    continue to maintain their disposition to diverge from our royal
    justice, we have not found a way to avoid removing certain persons
    from our Court, nor even to avoid separating ourselves, though
    with unutterable pain, from the Queen, our very honoured lady and
    mother, during such time as may be required for the softening of
    her heart....

Another letter, from the King to his mother, is revolting in its
harshness. After her departure from France, Marie de Médicis addressed
to him some very tart pages in which she accused Richelieu of having
had designs on her life. In the same letter she represented herself as
flying from her son's soldiers:

    I will leave you to imagine my affliction when I saw myself in
    flight, pursued by the cavalry with which they had threatened
    me! so that I would be frightened and run the faster out of your
    kingdom; by that means constraining me to press on thirty leagues
    without either eating or drinking, to the end that I might escape
    from their hands. (Avesnes, 28 July, 1631.)

Instead of feeling pity for the plaints of the old woman who realised
that she had been conquered, Louis XIII. replied:

    Madame, I am the more annoyed by your resolution to retire from my
    state because I know that you have no real reason for doing so.
    The imaginary prison, the supposititious persecutions of which you
    complain, and the fears that you profess to have felt at Compiègne
    during your life there, were as lacking in foundation as the
    pursuit that you pretend my cavalry made when you made your retreat.

After these words, the King delivered a pompous eulogy on the Cardinal
and ended it thus:

    You will permit me, an it please you, to tell you, Madame, that
    the act that you have just committed, and all that has passed
    during a period more or less recent, make it impossible for me to
    be ignorant of your intentions in the past, and the action that I
    have to expect from you in the future. The respect that I owe to
    you hinders me from saying any more.

It is true that Marie de Médicis received nothing that she did not
deserve; but it may be possible that it was not for her son to speak to
her with brutality.

In their way Gaston's letters are _chefs-d'œuvre_. They do honour
to the psychological sensibility of the intelligent _névrosé_.
Monsieur knew both the strength and the weakness of his brother. He
knew him to be jealous, ulcerated by the consciousness of his own
insignificance--an insignificance brought into full relief by the
importance of the superior Being then hard at work making "of a France
languishing a France triumphant"[24]; and with marvellous art he found
the words best qualified to irritate secret wounds.

His letters open with insinuations to the effect that Richelieu had a
personal interest in maintaining the enmity between "the King and his
own brother," so that the King, "having no one to defend him," could be
held more closely in his, Richelieu's, grasp.

    I beseech ... your Majesty ... to have the gracious prudence to
    reflect upon what has passed, and to examine more seriously the
    designs of those who have been the architects of these plans; if
    you will graciously examine into this matter you will see that
    there are interests at stake which are not yours,--interests of
    a nature opposed to your interests, and which aim at something
    further, and something far in advance of anything that you have
    thought of up to the present time (March 23, 1631).

In the following letter Monsieur addresses himself directly to Louis
XIII.'s worst sentiments and to his kingly conscience. He feigns to be
deeply grieved by the deplorable condition of his brother, who, as he
says, is reduced, notwithstanding

    "the very great enlightenment of his mind" to the plight of a
    puppet ... nothing but the shadow of a king, a being deprived of
    his authority, lacking in power as in will, counted as nothing in
    his own kingdom, devoid even of the external lustre ordinarily
    attached to the rank of a sovereign.

Monsieur declares that Richelieu has left the King

    "nothing but the name and the figure of a king," _and that for a
    time only_; for as soon as he has ridded _himself of you ... and of
    me! ... he means to take the helm and steer the Ship of State in
    his own name_.

Monsieur depicted the new "Mayor of the Palace" actually reigning in
overburdened, crushed, and oppressed France,

    whom he has ruined and whose blood he has sucked pitilessly and
    without shame. In his own person he has consumed more than two
    hundred millions since he took the rule of your affairs ... and
    he expends daily, in his own house, ten times more than you do in
    yours.... Let me tell you what I have seen! In your kingdom not one
    third of your subjects eat bread made of wheat flour; another third
    eats bread made of oats; and another third not only is reduced
    to beggary, but it is languishing in need so crying that some are
    actually starving to death; those who are not dying of hunger are
    prolonging their lives with acorns, herbs, and like substances,
    like the lower animals. And they who are least to be pitied among
    these last are living on bran and on blood which they pick up in
    the gutters in front of the butchers' shops. I have seen these
    things with my own eyes, and in different parts of the country,
    since I left Paris.

In this Monsieur told the truth. The peasant had come to that point
of physical degradation. But his sufferings could not be diminished
by provoking a civil war, and Richelieu did not fail to make the
fact plain in the polemics of the _Recueil_, written under his
supervision--when it was not written in his own hand. He (Richelieu)
defended his policy tooth and nail, he justified his millions, his
accumulated official honours.

One of Monsieur's letters bears copious notes made throughout its
length and breadth in the Cardinal's own hand. Without any of the
scruples of false shame, he inspired long factums to the glory of the
Prime Minister of France.

In the pages inspired by him there are passages of peculiar inhumanity.
In one place, justifying the King for the treatment inflicted upon his
mother, he says that "the pain of the nine months that she carried him
would have been sold by her at too high a price, had the King, because
of it, been forced to let her set fire to his kingdom."[25]

Other passages are equally heartless: "Do they blame the Prime Minister
for his riches?--and if the King had seen fit to give him more? The
King is free to give or to take away. Can he not act his pleasure; who
has the right to say him nay?"

The _Recueil_ shows passages teeming with cynical and pampered pride.
In favour of himself Richelieu wrote:

    The production of these great geniuses is not an ordinary
    bissextile work. Sometimes the revolution of four of Nature's
    centuries are required for the formation of a mind of such
    phenomenal proportions, in which are united all the excellencies,
    any one of which would be enough to set far above the ordinary
    character of man the being endowed with them. I speak not only of
    the virtues that are in some sort the essence of the profession
    made by their united representative types,--Pity, Wisdom, Prudence,
    Moderation, Eloquence, Erudition, and like attributes,--I speak of
    other virtues, the characteristic qualities of another and separate
    order, like those composing the perfections of a chief of war ...

Among the official documents in the volume just quoted are instruments
whose publication would have put any man but Gaston d'Orléans under
ground for the rest of his days, among other things, his treaty of
peace (1632), signed at Béziers (20th September) after the battle
of Castelnaudary, where the Duc de Montmorency had been beaten and
taken before his eyes. In that treaty Monsieur had pledged himself to
abandon his friends,--not to take any interest in those who had been
allied with him "on these occasions," and "not to pretend that he had
any cause for complaint when the King made them submit to what they
deserved." He promised "to love, especially, his cousin Richelieu." In
recompense for this promise and the other articles of the treaty the
King re-established his brother "in all his rights." As we know, the
treaty of Béziers ended nothing. Gaston saw all his partisans beheaded
as he recrossed the frontier. He did not enter France to remain there
until October, 1634. Then he went home "on the faith" _of the King's
declaration_, which closes the volume. By this declaration Monsieur was
again re-established in the enjoyment of all his rights, appanages,
pensions, and appointments. For him this was the important article. As
Richelieu took the trouble to have all his monuments of egotism and
barrenness of heart re-imprinted, it is probable that he did not intend
to let the country forget them. In that case he attained his ends.

The public had formed its opinion, and in consequence it took no
further interest in the royal family, always excepting Anne of Austria,
who had retired among the shadows.

Marie de Médicis was now free to cry aloud in her paroxysms of fury.
Gaston could henceforth pose as a martyr, and Louis XIII., withered
by melancholy, dried remnant of his former pompous dignity, might be
blown into a corner or be borne away by the wind like a dead leaf in
autumn, and not a soul in France would hail it by the quiver of an
eyelash. If Richelieu had hoped that profit would accrue to him from
the royal unpopularity he had counted without the great French host.
Despite the fact that his importance and the terror he inspired had
increased tenfold, he also had become tainted by the insignificance of
the royal family. But to all the people he seemed the ogre dreaded by
Mademoiselle in her infancy, though indisputedly an unnatural ogre,
possessing genius far beyond the reach of the normal man. He was
universally looked upon as a leader of priceless value to a country in
its hour of crisis, and as a companion everything but desirable. He
appalled the people. His first interviews with Gaston after the young
Prince's return to France were terrible. Monsieur was defenceless; the
Cardinal was pitiless.

"Mademoiselle had run ahead to meet her father. In her innocence she
had rejoiced to find him unchanged." Richelieu also believed that
Monsieur had not changed, and he was all the more anxious to get him
out to his (Richelieu's) château at Rueil. He pretended that there was
to be a fête at the château. Monsieur did not leave Rueil until he had
opened his heart to the Cardinal, just as he had done in regard to the
affair Chalais.

Turned, and re-turned, by his terrible cousin, the unhappy wretch
denounced mother and friends,--absent or present,--those who had
plotted to overthrow the prime ministry and those who had (according to
Gaston's story) tried to assassinate the Cardinal on such a day and
in such a place. "Not," said Richelieu in his _Mémoires_,--"not that
Monsieur recounted these things of his own accord. He did not do that;
but the Cardinal asked him if it was not true that such a person had
said such and such things, and he confessed, very ingenuously, that it

Truly the fête at Rueil had sinister results for the friends of

Monsieur retired to Blois, but he often returned to Paris, and
whenever he returned he fulfilled his fatherly duties in his own
fashion, romping and chattering with Mademoiselle. He amused himself
by listening to her songs against Richelieu, and for her pleasure he
organised a _corps-de-ballet_ of children. All the people of the Court
flocked to the palace to witness the ballet.

On the occasion of another ballet danced at the Louvre he displayed
himself to Mademoiselle in all his glory (18th February, 1635). The
King, the Queen, and the principal courtiers of their suite were among
the dancers.

This last solemnity left mingled memories, both good and bad, in
Mademoiselle's mind. One of her father's most faithful companions in
exile was to have danced in the ballet. During a rehearsal, Richelieu
had him arrested and conducted to the Wood of Vincennes, "where he died
very suddenly."[26] The rôle in which he should have acted was danced
by one of the other courtiers, and therefore Gaston did not appear to
be affected.

The _Gazette_ informed the public that the fête had "succeeded
admirably"; that every one had carried away from the place so teeming
with marvels the same idea that Jacob had entertained when, having
looked upon the angels all the night, he believed that the earth
touched the confines of heaven! But, at least, there was one person for
whom the sudden disappearance of Puylaurens had spoiled everything.
Mademoiselle had "liked him and wished him well." He had won her heart
by giving her bonbons, and she felt that the ugly history reflected
upon her father. "I leave it," she said, "to people better instructed
and more enlightened than I am to speak of what Monsieur did afterward
to Puylaurens' prison."

The following year she had to swallow an insult on her own account. The
lines which appeared in one of the gazettes of July, 1636, must have
seemed insupportable to a child full of unchecked pride.

"The 17th, Mademoiselle, aged nine years and three months, was baptised
in the Louvre, in the Queen's chamber, by the Bishop of Auxerre, First
Almoner to the King, having for godmother and godfather the Queen and
the Cardinal Duke (_Richelieu_), and was named Anne Marie."

Mention of this little event is made in Retz's _Mémoires_. "M. le
Cardinal was to hold at the font Mademoiselle, who, as you may judge,
had been baptised long before; but the ceremonies of the baptism had
been deferred."

This godfather, who was not a prince, was a humiliation to
Mademoiselle, and to crown her distress he thought that he ought to
make himself agreeable to his god-daughter.

By his intention to be amiable he "made her beside herself" because he
treated her--at nine years!--as if she had been a little girl. "Every
time that he saw me he told me that that spiritual alliance obliged
him to take care of me, and that he would arrange a marriage for me (a
discourse that he addressed to me, talking just as they do to children
to whom they incessantly repeat the same thing)."

A journey through France, which she made in 1637, "put balm on the
wounds of her pride." They chanted the _Te Deum_, the Army Corps
saluted her, a city was illuminated, and the nobility offered her
fêtes. She "swam in joy"; for thus she had always thought that the
appearance of a person of her quality should be hailed. She ended her
tour in Blois where Monsieur, the ever good father, desired that he,
in person, should be the one to initiate his child in the morality
of princes, which virtue in those aristocratic times had nothing in
common with the bourgeois's morality. For the moment he was possessed
of an insignificant mistress, a young girl of Tours called "Louison."
Monsieur took his daughter to Tours so that he might present his
mistress to her. Mademoiselle declared herself satisfied with her
father's choice. She thought that Louison had "a very agreeable face,
and a great deal of wit for a girl of that quality who had never been
to Court." But Mme. de Saint Georges saw the new relations with an
anxious eye; she submitted her scruples to Monsieur:

    Madame de Saint Georges ... asked him if the girl was good,
    because, otherwise, though she had been honoured by his good
    graces, she should be glad if she would not come to my house.
    Monsieur gave her every assurance and told her that he would not
    have wished for the girl himself without that condition. In those
    days I had such a horror of vice that I said to her: "Maman (I
    called her thus), if Louison is not virtuous, even though my Papa
    loves her I will not see her at all; or if he wishes me to see her
    I will not receive her well." She answered that she was really
    a very good girl, and I was very glad of it, for she pleased me
    much--so I saw her often.

Mademoiselle did not suspect that there was anything comical in this
passage; had she done so she would not have written it, because she was
not one of those who admit that it is sometimes permissible to smile at
the great.

On her return from her journey she resumed her ordinary life.

    I passed the winter in Paris as I had passed my other winters.
    Twice a week I went to the assemblies given by Mme. the Countess
    de Soissons at the Hôtel de Brissac. At these assemblies the usual
    diversions were comedies [plays] and dancing. I was very fond of
    dancing and, for love of me, they danced there very often....

There were also assemblies with comedies at the Queen's, at
Richelieu's, and at a number of personages', and Mademoiselle herself
received at the Tuileries.

    The night of the 23d-24th January (1636) [reports the _Gazette_]
    Mademoiselle in her lodgings at the Tuileries, gave a comedy and
    a ball to the Queen, where the Good Grace of this princess in the
    dawn of her life, gave proof of what her noontide is to be. The
    24th February, Monsieur gave a comedy and a collation to His Royal
    Highness of Parma at Mademoiselle his daughter's, in her apartments
    at the Tuileries.

Mademoiselle passed the days and the nights in fêtes. Her studies did
not suffer by it because she never studied and never knew anything of
study outside of reading and writing, making a courtesy, and carefully
observing the rules of a minute etiquette.

It is probable that she owed the little that she knew to several months
of forced retreat in a convent, when she was nine years old. She made
herself so intolerable to every one,--it is she who tells it,--she was
so vexatious, with her "grimaces" and her "mockeries," that they put
her in a cloister to try to discipline her and to correct her faults;
the plan succeeded: "They saw me return ... wiser, and better than I
had been." Yes, more sober, better behaved, and a little less ignorant,
but not much less. The following letter, bearing the date of her
maturity, shows more clearly than all the descriptions in the world,
the degree of instructions which satisfied the seventeenth century's
ideas of the education of a princess. The letter is addressed to
Colbert ("a Choisy ce 5 Août 1665"):

    Monsieur, le sieur Segrais qui est de la cademy et qui a bocoup
    travalie pour la gloire du Roy et pour le public, aiant este oublie
    lannee passée dans les gratifications que le Roy a faicts aux baus
    essprit ma prie de vous faire souvenir de luy set un aussi homme de
    mérite et qui est a moi il ya long tams jespere que cela ne nuira
    pas a vous obliger a avoir de la consideration pour luy set se que
    je vous demande et de une croire, monsieur Colbert, etc.

This orthography did not hinder Mademoiselle when, under the name
of "Princess Cassandane" she figured in the _Grand Dictionnaire des
Précieuses_; and according to the distinctions established between the
"true _précieuse_" and the "_Savante_" by Mademoiselle de Scudéry, she
had a right to figure there, as had many of her noble contemporaries,
who would have been the shame of the humblest of the schools.

The "true _précieuse_," she who left comets and the Greek language
to the "_Savantes_," applied herself to the task of penetrating the
mysteries of the heart. That was her science, and from certain points
of view it was worth as much as any other.

La Grande Mademoiselle devoted her talents and her life to the
perfection of her particular art. Keeping well within the limits
that she herself had set, she made a special study of the hearts of
princesses and of everything concerning them; and she professed that
she had established, definitely, the only proper methods by which
persons of her quality should, bound in duty to themselves, look upon
love, and upon glory.

The wells from which she drew her spiritual draughts were not
exclusively her own; she shared their benefits with all honest people,
of either sex, engaged in completing the sentimental education by the
essential principle of life.


[Footnote 1: _Mémoires de Gaston._]

[Footnote 2: _Mémoires de Gaston._]

[Footnote 3: _Mémoires de Gaston._]

[Footnote 4: _Mémoires de Mademoiselle de Montpensier._]

[Footnote 5: Sauval (1620-1670), _Histoire et recherches sur les
antiquités de Paris_.]

[Footnote 6: The gate of the "Conférence" was built at the time the
great improvements were begun, in 1633. It was built after the grand
plans of Cardinal de Richelieu and according to his own instructions

[Footnote 7: Piganiol de la Force (1673-1753), _Description of the City
of Paris_, etc.]

[Footnote 8: _Estat de la France_ (Collection Danjou).]

[Footnote 9: _Extraits des comptes et dépenses du roi pour l'année
1616_ (Collection Danjou).]

[Footnote 10: _Mémoires de Mathieu Molé._]

[Footnote 11: Letter written by Pontis.]

[Footnote 12: _Richelieu et la monarchie absolue._]

[Footnote 13: _Mémoires_ of Lenet.]

[Footnote 14: See his _Mémoires_.]

[Footnote 15: A few years before his death, which occurred in 1670.]

[Footnote 16: Beheaded in 1632, aged thirty-seven years.]

[Footnote 17: Tallemant.]

[Footnote 18: The first volume of _Le Grand Cyrus_ appeared in 1649;
the last in 1653.]

[Footnote 19: Mademoiselle de Scudéry uses the word _propre_, meaning
"elegant," etc.]

[Footnote 20: In _Clélie_.]

[Footnote 21: Tallemant.]

[Footnote 22: The first number bears date 1605.]

[Footnote 23: The first number appeared May 1, 1631.]

[Footnote 24: _Recueil_, etc. _Discours sur plusieurs points importants
de l'état present des affaires de France._]

[Footnote 25: _Recueil_, etc. _Avertissement aux provinces sur les
nouveaux mouvements du royaume_, by the Sieur de Cléonville (1631).]

[Footnote 26: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]


    I. Anne of Austria and Richelieu--Birth of Louis XIV.--II.
    _L'Astrée_ and its Influence--III. Transformation of the Public
    Manners--The Creation of the Salon--The Hôtel de Rambouillet and
    Men of Letters.


But little information concerning the affairs of the day previous
to the last months of the reign of Louis XIII. can be gleaned from
the _Mémoires_ of La Grande Mademoiselle. It is hardly credible that
a young girl raised at the Court of France, not at all stupid, and
because of her birth so situated as to see and to hear everything,
could have gone through some of the most thrilling catastrophes of
that tragic time without seeing or hearing anything. At a later day
Mademoiselle was the first to wonder at it; she furnishes an example
surpassing imagination.

In 1637, before starting on her journey into the province, she went to
bid adieu to "their Majesties," who were at Chantilly. Mademoiselle
fell upon a drama. Richelieu had just disgraced the Queen of France,
who had been declared guilty of abusing her religious retreat at the
Convent of Val-de-Grâce by holding secret correspondence with Spain.
Val-de-Grâce had been ransacked, and one of Anne of Austria's servants
had been arrested. Anne herself had been questioned like a criminal,
and she had had a very bitter _tête-à-tête_ in her chamber with such a
Richelieu as she had never met before.

It was then ten years since Louis XIII., abruptly entering his wife's
private apartments, had interrupted a declaration of love made by his
Minister. After Marie de Médicis, Anne of Austria! Evidently it was
a system of policy in which pride of personal power played its part.
Possibly the heart also played some small rôle when Anne of Austria
was young and beautiful; but it was the heart of a Richelieu, and
unless we know what such a thing is like it is difficult to explain the
Minister's attitude at Chantilly. Historians have not taken the trouble
to tell us, because there were things more important to them and to
the history of Europe than the exploits of so high-flying a Cardinal.
Nevertheless, even an historian could have made an interesting chapter
out of the sentimental life of Richelieu. It was a violent and cruel
life; as violent and as pitiless as the passions that haunted his
harrowed soul. Michelet compared the Duke's life to "a lodging that had
been ransacked." In him love was a cloak thickly lined with hatred.
Mme. de Motteville, who witnessed Richelieu's courtship of the Queen,
was astonished by his way of making love. "The first marks of his
affection," she writes, "were his persecutions of her. They burst out
before everybody, and we shall see that this new way of loving will
last as long as the Cardinal lives."

Anne of Austria felt only his persecutions. Richelieu was not pleasing
to women. He was the earthly All-powerful. He possessed riches and
genius, but they knew that he was cruel--even pitiless--in anger; and
he could not persuade them to pretend to love him; all, even Marion
de Lorme, mocked and laughed at him, and Retz gave a reason for their

    Not being a pedant in anything else, he was a thorough pedant in
    gallantry, and this is the fault that women never pardon. The
    Queen detested Richelieu, and she made him feel it; but he took
    his revenge at Val-de-Grâce. After the outburst--after the word
    _treason_ had been spoken--it rested with him to have mercy, or
    to send into shameless banishment the barren Queen. It gave him
    pleasure to see her cowering before him, frightened and deprived of
    all her pride. He exulted in disdaining her with an exaggerated and
    insulting affectation of respect, and fearing lest the scene should
    not be known to posterity, he painted it with all the zest of the
    reaction of his wounded dignity.[27] He listened complacently while
    she drove the nails into her coffin, rendering more proofs of her
    docility "than he should have dared to expect"; incriminating
    herself, as she explained in her own way, by palpable untruths,
    all her treasonable letters to her brothers and to her friends in
    Spain. When she had told a great deal more than she knew, Richelieu
    put a few sharp questions, and the Queen completely lost her head.

    Then [wrote Richelieu, in his chronicle] she confessed to
    the Cardinal everything which is in the paper signed by her
    afterwards. She confessed with much displeasure and confusion,
    because she had taken oaths contrary to what she was confessing.
    While she made the said confession to the Cardinal her shame was
    such that she cried out several times, "Oh, how kind you must be,
    Monsieur the Cardinal!" protesting that all her life she should
    be grateful and recognise the obligation she was under to those
    who drew her out of the affair. She had the honour to say to the
    Cardinal: "Give me your hand," presenting her own as a mark of
    the fidelity with which she should keep all her promises. Through
    respect the Cardinal refused to give her his hand. From the same
    motive he retired instead of approaching her.

Officially Louis XIII. pardoned the intrigue of Val-de-Grâce, but the
courtiers were not deceived, and they immediately deserted the Queen's
apartment. When they passed her windows they modestly lowered their
eyes. It was just at that time that Mademoiselle arrived. It was at the
end of August. She read her welcome in every face. Now that she had
come gayety became a duty and amusements an obligation. The feeling of
relief was general. Mademoiselle wrote:

    I put all the Court in good humour. The King was in great grief
    because of the suspicions they had awakened against the Queen, and
    not long before that they had found the strong box that had made
    all the trouble at Val-de-Grâce, about which too much has been said
    already. I found the Queen in bed, sick. Any one would be sick
    after such an affront as she had received.

Of all at Court, Anne of Austria was not the least happy to see
Mademoiselle. Now she could pour out her sorrow. Mme. de Saint Georges,
Mademoiselle's governess, was one of her familiar friends. The Queen
told her everything. Mademoiselle was permitted to sit with the two
ladies to avert suspicion. So the child found herself in possession of
secrets whose importance and danger must have been known to her. It may
be that she would have liked nothing better than to recount them in her
memoirs, but she was "forced to admit with sheepish reticence that to
her grief she had never remembered anything of it."


Some months later she was entangled in the King's romance with Mlle. de
Hautefort, and "did not notice anything"--and this is to her credit--of
all the struggles made by the Cabals to turn the adventure to their
profit. In spite of her lack of memory she had opened wide both eyes
and ears. The schemes of lovers always interested her, as they interest
all little girls. To this instinct of her sex we owe a very pretty
picture of the transformation of man by love. And the man was no other
than the annoying and annoyed Louis XIII. Mademoiselle gives us the
picture in default of more serious proof of her observation. Hunting
was the King's chief pleasure.

In 1638, during the luminous springtime, he was seen in the forests
gay, at times actually happy--thanks to two great blue eyes. When he
followed his dogs he took his niece and other young people with him
that he might have an excuse for taking Mlle. de Hautefort.

    We were all dressed in colours [recounts Mademoiselle]. We were
    on fine, ambling horses, richly caparisoned, and to guarantee us
    against the sun each of us had a hat trimmed with a quantity of
    plumes. They always turned the hunt so that it should pass fine
    and handsome houses where grand collations could be found, and,
    coming home, the King placed himself in my coach, between Mme. de
    Hautefort and me. When he was in good humour he conversed very
    agreeably to us of everything. At that time he suffered us to speak
    freely enough of the Cardinal de Richelieu, and the proof that it
    did not displease him was that he spoke thus himself.

    Immediately after the hunting party returned they went to the
    Queen. I took pleasure in serving at her supper, and her maids
    carried the dishes (viands). There was a regular programme. Three
    times a week we had music, they of the King's chamber sang, and the
    most of the airs sung by them were composed by the King. He wrote
    the words, even; and the subject was never anything but Mme. de
    Hautefort. The King was in humour so gallant that at the collations
    that he gave us in the country he did not sit at table at all; and
    he served us nearly everything himself, though his civility had
    only one object. He ate after us, and did not seem to feel more
    complaisance for Mme. de Hautefort than for the others, so afraid
    was he that some one should perceive his gallantry.

Despite these precautions, the Court and the city, Paris, and the
province were informed of the least incidents of an affair of such
importance. The only person whom the King's passion left indifferent
was the Queen. Anne of Austria had never been jealous. She did not
consider Louis XIII. worth the pains of jealousy,--and now jealousy
would have been out of place. Anne, after twenty-three years of
marriage, was _enceinte_. The people who had loaded her with outrages
while she was bowed by shame now knelt at her feet, sincere in their
respectful demonstrations of devotion for the wife of the King who
might one day become Queen-mother, or even Regent of France. It was
like one of the fairy plays in a theatre. Nature had waved her wand,
and the disgraced victim of enchantment had arisen "clothed on with
majesty." It was an edifying and delightful transformation. After
all her shame, the novelty of being cared for and treated gently was
so great and so agreeable that when she saw her royal spouse sighing
before the virtuous and malignant de Hautefort--"whose chains" were
said to be heavy and hard to bear--she looked upon it very lightly.
Anne of Austria smiled at the benumbed attitudes of the King, at his
awkward ardour, and equally awkward prudery. The Queen learned with
amusement that when among her companions, the young girls of the Court,
Mlle. de Hautefort mocked the King, and boasted that he "dared not
approach her, though he maintained her," and that she was "bored to
death by his talk of dogs, and birds, and the hunt." Friends repeated
these criticisms. Louis XIII. heard of them and took offence "at the
ingrate," and the Court went into mourning. "If there should be some
serious quarrel between them," wrote Mademoiselle, "all the comedies
and the entertainments will be over. At that time, when the King came
to the Queen's apartments, he did not speak to anybody, and nobody
dared to speak to him. He sat in a corner, and very often he yawned and
went to sleep. It was a species of melancholy which chilled the whole
world, and during this grief he passed the most of the time writing
what he had said to Mme. de Hautefort, and what she had answered.
It is so true that after he died they found great bundles of papers
recounting all his differences with his mistresses--to the praise of
whom it must be said, and to his praise also, that he had never loved
any women who were not very virtuous."

Mademoiselle never seemed to realise the political importance of the
King's favourites. That subject, like all else serious, escaped her.
She writes:

"I listened to all that they told me--all that I was old enough to

We need not hope to learn from her what Richelieu thought of the
King's chaste affection; why, though he had encouraged it, he was
angered by it; why he looked with disfavour upon Mlle. de Lafayette,
and manipulated her affairs so well that he introduced her into the
cell of a convent, and ordered the King to take medicine whenever he
suspected that Louis aspired to contemplate her through the grating
of her prison; if Mademoiselle had ever known such things "they had
never presented themselves to her memory." Nor will it do us any good
to search her memoirs for reasons making it clear why Louis XIII.,
who worked incessantly against Richelieu, and "did not love him,"
sacrificed, for the Cardinal's pleasure, all his friends and near
relations. Throughout all the reverses of 1635 and 1636, when France
was trembling under the trampling feet of the invader, when the enemy's
skirmishers lay at the gates of Pontoise, the King was faithful to the
dictator, whose policy had drawn ruin on the nation. Mademoiselle had
never known these things. They had been far below her horizons. The
ungrateful years had buffeted her as they passed. She had been pretty
and sprightly in early childhood. At the age of eleven she was a buxom
girl, with swollen cheeks, thick lips, and a stupid mien,--in a word:
a frankly ill-favoured creature, too absorbed in the preoccupations
of animal life (the need to skip and jump, to be seen and heard) to
listen, to observe, or to reflect. The Queen's condition gave her one
more occasion to manifest the lengths to which she had carried her
innocence, though she had lived in a world where innocence was not
regarded as the most important item in an outfit. She rejoiced that
there was to be a Dauphin. Evidently she did not know that his advent
would strip her father of his rights as heir-presumptive to the throne.
In her own words, she "rejoiced without the least reflection." Anne of
Austria was touched by a simpleness of heart to which her life had not
accustomed her. "You shall be my daughter-in-law!" she cried repeatedly
to her young niece. For she could not bear the thought that the child's
later reflections might awake regret.

Mademoiselle embraced the idea only too ardently, and to it she owed
one of the bitterest hours of her existence.

The child who was to be Louis XIV. was born at the Château of Saint
Germain, 5th September, 1638. Mademoiselle made him her toy. She
writes: "The birth of Monsieur the Dauphin gave me a new occupation.
I went to see him every day and I called him _my little husband_.
The King was diverted by this and he thought that I did well." She
had counted without her godfather the Cardinal, who was more of a
Croquemitaine, and more of a spoil-sport than he had ever been. He
considered her childish talk very indecorous. Mademoiselle pursues:

    Cardinal de Richelieu, who does not like me to accustom myself to
    being there, nor to have them accustomed to seeing me there, had me
    given orders to return to Paris. The Queen and Mme. de Hautefort
    did all that was possible to keep me. They could not obtain their
    wish,--which I regretted. It was all tears and cries when I left
    there. Their Majesties gave many proofs of friendship, especially
    the Queen, who made me aware of a particular tenderness on that
    occasion. After this displeasure I had still another to endure.
    They made me pass through Rueil to see the Cardinal, who usually
    lived there when the King was at Saint Germain. He took it so to
    heart that I had called the little Dauphin _my little husband_
    that he gave me a great reprimand: he said that I was too large
    to use such terms; that I had been ill-behaved to do so. He spoke
    so seriously--just as if I had been a person of judgment--that,
    without answering him, I began to weep. To pacify me he gave me
    collation, but I did not pass it over. I came away from there very
    angry at all he had said to me.

Richelieu meant that his orders should be obeyed. Mademoiselle adds:
"When I was in Paris I only went to Court once in two months; and
when I did go there I only dined with the Queen and then returned to
Paris to sleep." It must be said that if the Cardinal had submitted to
it for a night or two, she might have found it difficult to sleep at
the château. At that time our kings had strange and very inconvenient
arrangements for receiving guests; their household appointments
had brought them to such a pass that they had suppressed their
guest-chamber. When the royal family went to Saint Germain there was a
regular house-moving; they carried all their furniture with them, and
nothing was left in the Louvre,--not even enough for the King to sleep
on when business called him to the capital. Henry IV., a monarch who
did not stand on ceremony, invited himself to the house of some lord or
of some rich bourgeois, where he put himself at his ease, receiving the
Parliament, and also his fair friends, and bidding adieu to his hosts
only when he was ready to go home. He took leave of them in his own
time and at his own hour.

The timid Louis XIII. had never dared to do such things; he had never
thought of having two beds: one in the city, the other in the country.

When the Court came back to Paris they brought all their furniture;
not a mattress was left in the palace at Saint Germain. This singular
custom had evolved another, which appears to us to have lacked
hospitality. When the King of France invited distinguished guests, he
never furnished their rooms. He offered them the four walls, and let
them arrange themselves as best they could. From as far back as people
could remember, they had seen the great arrive at the château closely
followed by their beds, their curtains, and even their cooks and their
stew-pans. This was the case with Monsieur and his daughter; and so it
was with Mazarin, in the following reign. Mademoiselle was not ignorant
of the peculiar methods of the royal housekeeping. She knew that the
King's friends could not be made comfortable for the night, on the spur
of the moment, and she rested very well in Versailles, and thought of
nothing but her amusements.

The people saw a gratuitous malevolence in her exile from Court; but
the Fronde proved the justice of the Cardinal's action. La Grande
Mademoiselle made civil war to constrain Mazarin to marry her to Louis
XIV., who was eleven years her junior. Her godfather had guessed well:
the idea of being Queen had germinated rapidly in the little head in
which the influence of _Astrée_--still active despite its age--was
busily forming romantic visions far in advance of its generation.
D'Urfé died in 1620; to his glory be it said that we are obliged to go
back to him and to his work when we would explain the moral state of
the later days.


Few books in any country or in any time have equalled the fortune
of _Astrée_,[28] a pastoral romance in ten volumes, in which the
different effects of honest friendship are deduced from the lives
of shepherds and others, under a long title in the style of the
century. Honoré d'Urfé's work immediately became the "code of polite
society" and of all who aspired to appear polite. Everything was _à
l'Astrée_--fashions, sentiments, language, the games of society,
and the conversation of love. The infatuation extended to classes
of society who read but little. In a comedy familiar to the lesser
bourgeoisie,[29] some one reproached marriageable girls for permitting
themselves to be captured by the insipid flattery of the first coxcomb
who addresses them thus:

    ----Bien poli, bien frisé
    Pourvu qu' il sache un mot des livres d'_Astrée_.

Success had crossed the frontiers of France. People in foreign lands
found material for their instruction in _Astrée_. The work was a novel
with a key; a story with a meaning. "Celadon" was the author; "Astrée"
was his wife (the beautiful Diane de Chateaumorand, with whom he had
not been happy). The Court of _le grand Enric_ was the Court of Henry
IV. "Galatée" was the Queen (Marguerite) and so on. "All the stories
in _Astrée_ were founded on truth," wrote Patru, who had gathered his
information from the lips of d'Urfé. But "the author has romanced
everything--if I dare use the word." The charm found in the scandalous
reality of the scenes and in the truth of the characters crowned
the work's success; the book was translated in most languages, and
devoured with the same avidity by all countries. In Germany there was
an _Académie des Vrais Amants_ copied from the "Academy" of Lignon. In
Poland, in the last half of the century, John Sobieski, who was not by
any means one of the be-musked knights of the carpet, played at Astrée
and Celadon, with Marie d'Arquien. "To grass with the matrimonial love
which turns to friendship at the end of three months! ... Celadon am I,
now as in the past; the ardent lover of those first glad days!"[30] he
wrote after marriage.

When the people's infatuation had passed, the book still remained the
standard of all delicate minds, and it continued to wield its literary

    Through two centuries [said Montégut] _Astrée_ lost nothing of
    its renown. The most diverse and the most opposite minds alike
    loved the book; Pellisson and Huet the Bishop of Avranches were
    enthusiastic admirers of its qualities. La Fontaine and Mme. de
    Sévigné delighted in it. Racine, in his own silent and discreet
    way, read it with fond pleasure and profit, but did not say so.

    Marivaux had read it and drawn even more benefit from it than
    Racine.... Last of all, Jean Jacques Rousseau admired it so much
    that he avowed that he had re-read it once a year the greater part
    of his life. Now as Jean Jacques exerted a dominant influence upon
    the destinies of our modern imaginative literature, it follows
    that the success of _Astrée_ has been indirectly prolonged even to
    our own day. Madame George Sand, for example, derived some little
    benefit from d'Urfé, though she was not too well aware of it.

Montégut had forgotten the Abbé Prévost; but M. Brunetière repairs the
omission, and adds: "One may say that _Astrée's_ success shaped the
channel for the chief current of our modern literature."

Its social influence was equal to its influence upon literature. And
yet, to-day, not one of all the books that had their time of glory and
of popularity is more neglected. No one reads _Astrée_ now, and no one
can read it; with the best will in the world, the most indulgent must
throw the book down, bored by its dulness. It has become impossible
to endure the five thousand pages of the amorous dissertations of the
shepherds of Lignon. At the best such a debauch of subtlety would be
only tolerable, even had it emanated from a writer of genius. And
d'Urfé had no genius; he had nothing but talent.

D'Urfé was a little gentleman of Forez, whom his epoch (he was born
in 1568) had permitted to examine the society of the Valois. We know
that no social body was ever more corrupt; nevertheless those who saw
it were dazzled by it; and because they had looked upon it they were
considered--in the time of Louis XIII.--exquisitely elegant and polite;
they were regarded as the survivors of a superior civilisation.

The ladies of the Court of Anne of Austria were proud of their power
to attract the notice of the elderly noblemen "thanks to whom," in the
words of a contemporary writer, "remnants of the polite manners brought
by Catherine de Médicis from Italy were still seen in France." The
homage of the antique gentlemen was insistent, of a kind which refuses
to be repelled. Even the Queen accepted it. Anne of Austria, whose
habitually correct attitude was notable, felt that she was constrained
to receive the attentions of the old Duc de Bellegarde, though the
Duke's character and customs were notorious. Duc de Bellegarde had been
one of the deplorable favourites of Henri III.

Anne of Austria was hypercritical in regard to forms of conversation;
her own language was fastidiously delicate; she exacted minute
attention to the superficial details of civility; yet the notorious de
Bellegarde sat at ease before the Court, displaying all the peculiar
gallantry of his epoch, "and," said the Queen's friend, Mme. de
Motteville, "it was the more noticeable and the fame of it was the
more scandalous because the Queen did not hesitate to accept from
him incense whose smoke might well blacken her reputation. The Queen
permitted the Duke to treat her as he had treated the women of his own
day, a day when gallantry and women reigned."

The civil wars swept away the splendid but rotten world, but the
prestige of the Valois still asserted its power.

In 1646, a posthumous romantic tale appeared in Paris, entitled
_Orasie_. It was generally attributed to the pen of Mlle. de Senterre,
a maid-of-honour of the Court of Catherine de Médicis. "This book,"
said the editorial preface, "is a true history, full of very choice
events; there is nothing fictitious in it but the names given to its
heroes and its heroines. _Orasie_ is a mirror reflecting the most
magnificent and the most pompous of kingly Courts, the Court where
reigned the truest civility and the purest politeness, where false
gallantry, like base action, was unknown."

The Court thus eulogised had been the centre of delicate mannerism
and the incubating cell of the refinement of vice. Though the civil
wars had annihilated the splendid rottenness of the Court, the memory
of the delicacy of the Valois survived. When peace was declared, when
men had leisure to look about them, they were confronted by the rude
Court of Henry IV. They felt the need of a re-establishment of polite
society, but where could they find the elements of such society?
Foreign influences had enervated the national imagination, Spanish
literature with its romances of cruel chivalry, its pastorals, and its
theatrical dramas had imbued the Romanticism of France with its poison,
and symptoms of moral debility were generally evident. A period of
fermentation and expectancy follows war. When the civil wars were over,
the men of France sat waiting; their need was pressing, but they could
form no idea of its nature. At such a time the eager watchmen on the
towers acclaim the bearer of tidings, be they tidings of good or of

Honoré d'Urfé's chief merit lay in the fact that he was the man of the
hour, he came when he was most needed, holding the mirror up to nature,
and clearly reflecting the common feeling. If I may use the term, he
presented his countrymen with an intelligent mirror reflecting their
confused and agitated aspirations. Nature and occasion had fitted him
for his work: he had all the accessories and all the requirements of
his art; best of all, he had the imperious vocation which is the first
and the essential qualification of authorship, without which no man
should have the hardihood to lay hold upon an inkstand. D'Urfé knew
that war demoralises a people; he comprehended the situation of his
country; he had been a member of the League, and one of the last to
surrender. He knew that the spirit of love was hovering over France,
waiting to find a resting-place. François de Sales and d'Urfé were
friends, and in such close communion of thought that, to quote the
words of Montégut, "there was not a simple analogy, there was almost
an identity of inspiration and of talent between _Astrée_ and the
_Introduction à la vie dévote_."

D'Urfé had only to remember the æstheticism which surrounded his
expanding youth to comprehend the general weariness caused by the lack
of intellectual symmetry and by the rusticity of the manners of the new
reign. He was a serious and thoughtful man; he had devoted long months,
even years, to meditation and to study before he had touched his pen,
and by repeated revisions he had ranged in his book the greater part of
the thoughts and the aspirations of his epoch. In a word, the obscure
provincial writer who had never entered the Louvre had composed a
quasi-universal work resuming all the intellectual and sentimental
life of an epoch. _Astrée_ was a powerful achievement; but one, or at
most but two, such books can be produced in a century.[31] D'Urfé's
laborious efforts attained a double result. While he extricated and
brought into the light the ideal for which he had searched years
together, he excited his contemporaries to strive to be natural and
real, and the first French novel, _Astrée_, was our first romance with
a thesis. The subject is commonplace: lovers whose theme is love, and
a lovers' quarrel; in the last volume of the book, love triumphs, the
quarrel is forgotten, and the lovers marry.

In the beginning of the work, the shepherdess _Astrée_, beside
herself with causeless jealousy, overwhelms the shepherd Celadon with
reproaches and Celadon, tired of life, throws himself into the Lignon.
Standing upon the bank of the river, he apostrophises a ring and the
riband left in his hand when his shepherdess escaped his grasp:

    "Bear witness, O dear cord! that rather than break one knot of my
    affections I will renounce my life, and then, when I am dead, and
    my cruel love beholds thee in my hand, thou shalt speak for me,
    thou shalt say that no one could be loved as I loved her.... Nor
    lover wronged like me!" Then he appeals to the ring. "And thou,
    emblem of eternal, faithful love, be glad to be with me in death,
    the only token left me of her love!"

Hardly has he spoken when, turning his face toward _Astrée_, he springs
with folded arms into the water. The nymphs save him, and his romantic
adventures serve as the wire carrying the action of the romance.

But the system is inadequate to its strain. Dead cars bring about a
constantly recurring block, and more than an hundred personages of more
or less importance stop the way by their gallant intrigues. The romance
mirrors the passing loves and the fevered and passionate life of the
be-ribanded people who hung up their small arms in their panoplies,
twisted their lances into pruning-hooks, and replaced the pitiless
art of war by the political arts of peace. Honoré d'Urfé's heroes
appear to be more jealously careful of their fine sentiments than of
the sword-thrusts lavishly distributed by the lords and gentlemen of
their days. They are much more zealous in their search for elegant
expressions than in bestirring themselves to serious action. The
perfumed students of phraseology have changed since the night of Saint
Bartholomew, when more than one of them fought side by side with Henry
de Guise; but it is not difficult to recognise the precursors of the
Fronde in the druids, shepherds, and chevaliers of _Astrée_, and so
thought d'Urfé's first readers.

With extreme pleasure they contemplated themselves in the noble puppets
seen in the romance, basking in the sun of peace. Away with care! They
had nothing worse to fight than lovers' casuistries, and they lay in
the shadows of the trees, enjoying the riches of a country redeemed
by their own blood. With them were their ladies; lover and lass were
disguised as shepherd and shepherdess, or as mythological god and
goddess. Idle and elegant as they were, the happy lovers had been
tortured by wounds, racked by pride, stung by the fire of battle; to
sleep for ever had been the vision of many a bivouac, and now war was
over, and to lie in a day-dream fanned by the summer winds and watched
by the eye of woman,--this was the evolution of the hope of death! This
was the restorative desired by the provincial nobles when they stood
firm as rocks in ranks thinned and broken by thirty years of civil and
religious war. Such a rest the jaded knights had hoped for when they
accepted their one alternative, and, by their recognition of Henry IV.,
acknowledged submission to a principal superior to private interest and
personal ambition.

The high nobility had soon tired of order and obedience. Never was it
more turbulent or more undisciplined than under Louis XIII. and in the
minority of Louis XIV., but it must be noted as one of the signs of
the times that it no longer carried its jaunty ease of conscience into
its plots and its mutinies. Curious proofs of this fact are still in
existence; the revolting princes and lords stoutly denied that they
had taken arms against the King. If they had openly made war, and so
palpably that they could not deny it, they invariably asserted with
affirmations that they had done it "to render themselves useful to the
King's service." Gaston d'Orléans gave the same reason for his conduct
when he deserted France for a foreign country. All averred that they
had been impelled to act by a determination to force the King to accept
deliverance from humiliating tyranny, or from pernicious influences.
During the Fronde, when men changed parties as freely as they changed
their gloves, the rebels protested their fidelity to the King, and they
did it because the idea of infidelity was abhorrent to them.

No one in France would have admitted that it could be possible to hold
personal interests or personal caprice above the interests of the
State, and in the opinion of the French cavalier this would have been
reason enough for any action; but there was a more practical reason;
the descendants of the great barons were beginning to doubt their power
to maintain the assertion of their so-called rights. By suggesting
subjects for the meditations of all the people of France who could read
or write _Astrée_ had contributed a novelty in scruples. In our day
such a book as _Astrée_ would excite no interest; the reiteration of
the "torrents of tenderness" to which it owed its sentimental influence
would make it a doubtful investment for any publisher, and even the
thoughtful reader would find its best pages difficult reading; but when
all is said and done, it remains, and it shall remain, the book which
best divines our perpetually recurring and eternal necessities.

It treats of but one passion, love, and yet it gives the most subtle
study in existence. In it all the ways of loving are minutely analysed
in interminable conversations. All the reasons why man should love are
given, with all the reasons why he should not love. All the joys found
by the lover in his sufferings are set forth, with all the sufferings
that his joys reserve for him. All the reasons for fidelity and all the
reasons for inconstancy are openly dissected. A complete list is given
of all the intellectual sensations of love (and of some sensations
which are not intellectual). In short, _Astrée_ is a diagnosis of the
spiritual, mental, and moral condition of the love-sick. It contains
all the "cases of conscience" which may or might arise, under the same
or different circumstances, in the lives of people who live to love,
and who, thus loving, see but one reason for existence--people who
severally or individually, each in his own way and according to his
own light, exercise this faculty to love,--still loving and loving even
then, now, and always.

D'Urfé's conception was of the antique type. He regarded love as a
fatality against which it were vain to struggle. Toward the middle of
the book the sorrowful Celadon, crushed by the wrath of _Astrée_, is
hidden in a cavern where he "sustains life by eating grasses." The
druid Adamas knows that Celadon is perishing by inches, and he essays
to bring the lover to reason. Celadon answers him:

    "If, as you say, God gave me full possession of power over myself,
    why does He ask me to give an account of myself?--for just as He
    gave me into my own hands and just as He gave me to myself, so have
    I given myself to her to whom I am consigned for ever. First of
    all! If He would have account of Celadon, let Him apply to her of
    whom I am! Enough for me if I offend not her nor violate my sacred
    gift to her. God willed my life, for by my destiny I love; and God
    knows it, and has always known it, for since I first began to have
    a will I gave myself to her, and still am hers. In brief, I should
    not have been blest by love as I have been in all these years had
    God not willed it.[32] If He has willed it would it be just to
    punish me because I still remain as He ordained that I should be?
    No! for I have not power to change my fate. So be it, if my parents
    and my friends condemn me! They all should be content and glad,
    when for my acts, I give my reason; _that I love her_."

    "But," answered Adamas, "do you count on living long in such away?"

    "Election," answered Celadon, "depends not on him who has neither
    will nor understanding."

La Grande Mademoiselle and most of her contemporaries escaped
_Astrée's_ influence in this respect; they did not admit that man has
"neither will nor understanding" where his passions are concerned; or
that his feelings depend on "destiny." Corneille, who had confronted
the question, set forth the principle that the heart should defer to
the will. "The love of an honest man," he wrote in 1634,[33]--"The love
of an honest man should always be voluntary. One ought never to love to
the point where he cannot help loving, and if he carries love so far,
he is the slave of a tyranny whose yoke he should shake off."

In her youth Mademoiselle de Montpensier was one of the truest of
the Cornéliennes of her generation; she practised what others were
contented to restrict to preaching. Love's tyranny appeared to her
a shameful thing, and she was so convinced that it rested with the
lover whether he should be a slave or free himself "by shaking off
the yoke," that even the most honest attacks of moral faintness were,
in her eyes, occasions for judgment without mercy. One day--she
tells it herself--she turned a young _femme de chambre_ out of her
service simply "because the girl had married for love." The shame
then attendant upon love increased in proportion to the "condition"
of the slaves of the questionable passion. The lower orders were
insignificant, and their loves and their antipathies, like their
sufferings, were beneath the consideration of reason, but when men
were of a certain rank, sentiment was debarred from the conditions of
marriage. Mademoiselle followed all the precepts of high quality, and
throughout the first half of her life her line of action lay parallel
with the noble principles introduced by Corneille. Jansenism, which,
like Corneille, raised the veil of life for many of the humbler human
hearts, made no impression upon "tall Mademoiselle." Lauzun was needed
to break her pride.

Concerning moral questions, public sentiment was calm; the only
serious difference raised by d'Urfé's work during a period of half
a century was the conflict of opinions[34] on human liberty; on all
other subjects, notably the things of taste, d'Urfé was in harmony
with public feeling; at times _Astrée_ exceeded public feeling, but
it seldom conflicted with it. The sentiments of the book were far in
advance of the epoch.

But the nature with which d'Urfé communed and which he loved was the
nature viewed by Louis XIII., and fashioned according to the royal
taste, improved, repaired, decorated with artificial ornaments, and
confined within circumscribed landscapes composed of complicated
horticultural figures; a composite nature in which verdure was nothing
but a feature. The fashion of landscape-gardening--an invention of
the Renaissance--had arrived in France from Italy. In the land of its
birth very amusing specimens of the picturesque were maintained by
intelligent property-owners.

    "There are fountains," [said M. Eugene Muntz,][35] "groves, verdant
    bowers, trellises, vine-wreathed arbours, flowers cherished
    for their beauty, and plants cultivated for their medicinal
    properties; and under ground there are caves and grottoes. There
    are bird-houses, hydraulic organs, single statues, groups of
    statues, obelisks, vases, pavilions, covered walks, and bathhouses;
    everything is brought together within a limited space to charm the
    eye and to favour the imagination."

The landscape-gardening of France offered the same spectacle, and the
cultivated parks bore close resemblance to the shops of the venders
of _bric-à-brac_. "In those rare gardens," said an enthusiastic
historian, "he who promenades may pass from one surprise to another,
losing himself at every step in all sorts of labyrinths." ("Dedalus"
was the name in use, for in those days much was borrowed from mythology
and from other ancient sources.) The labyrinths were complicated by
ingenious devices intended to deceive the vision. Æstheticism of style
demanded such delusions. The most renowned landscape-gardens were
the royal parks, on which money had been freely lavished to perfect
and to elaborate nature. Among the "rarities" in the gardens of the
Gondis and at Saint Cloud, were fountains whose waters played invisible
instruments. At the Duke de Bellegarde's (rue de Grenelle Saint Honoré)
the most marvellous thing in the garden was an illuminated grotto of
arcades, ornamented with grotesques and with marine columns, and
covered with a vaulting encrusted with shells and with a quantity
of rock-work; and more than that, so full of water-spouts, canals,
water-jets, and invisible faucets[36] that even the King had no greater
number on his terraces at Saint Germain--nor had Cardinal de Richelieu
a greater number in his gardens at Rueil, though the first artificial
cascades ever seen in France[2] had been built in his garden.[37] At
the Château of Usson, the home of Queen Marguerite, who appears in
_Astrée_ under the name of _Galatée_, the garden was provided with
all the rarities the place would hold. Nothing that artifice could
add to it had been forgotten. The woods were embellished with divers
grottoes so well counterfeiting nature that the eye often deceived the
judgment.[38] The most remarkable grotto was

    the cave of old Mandragora, a place so full of witcheries that
    surprise followed surprise, and hour by hour, something continually
    occurred to delight the vision. The vaulting of the entrance was
    sustained by two sculptured figures very industriously arrayed
    with minute stones of divers colours; the hair, the eyebrows, and
    the beards of the statues, and the two sculptured horns of the
    god Pan were composed of sea shells so neatly and so properly
    set in that the cement could not be seen. The outer coping of
    the door was formed like a rustic arch, and garlands of shells,
    fastened at the four corners, ended close to the heads of the two
    statues. The inside of the arch tapered to a rocky point, which,
    in several places, seemed to drip saltpetre. The retaining walls
    of the arch were set back in niches to form fountains, and all of
    the fountains depicted some of the various effects of the power
    of love. In the grotto arose a tomb-like monument ornamented with
    images representing divers objects, all formed of coloured marble,
    and trimmed with pictures; wherever such an effect was possible,
    the trees were pruned to take the appearance of some other object
    or objects.

Thus the laborious and unrestrained intervention of man evoked
a factitious type of nature as far from precious as the false
_Précieuses_. By the unreserved admiration of its florid descriptions
_Astrée_ had consecrated the artificial mode. Nature demanded
Lenôtre to strip her gardens of their ridiculous decorations, and
to redeem them by simplicity, but when Lenôtre accomplished the
work of regeneration the public taste was wounded; the people had
become accustomed to the sight of parks decorated like the stage of
the theatre, and the simplicity of nature shocked them. La Grande
Mademoiselle considered Chenonceaux incomplete; she complained that it
"looked unfinished"; her artificially nourished taste missed something,
because the owners of Chenonceaux had respected the work of God, and
left their park just as they had received it from the hand of its
Creator; she wondered why Provence was called beautiful--to her it
seemed "ugly enough." She lived at the gate of the Pyrenees thirty days
and never entered the country, yet she delighted in the pretentious
trinkets with which the landscape-gardeners of the Italian school
decorated French woods and gardens. Honoré d'Urfé was responsible for
her ignorance. Many of d'Urfé's tastes[39] were noble, and _Astrée_
was a work of excellent purpose--almost a great work; but it lacked the
one thing demanded by true art,--love of nature in its simplicity.

D'Urfé's artificial taste was more regrettable because his successors,
they who continued his work, accentuated his faults, as, generally
speaking, the disciples of all innovators accentuate the faults of
their masters. Few among the _Précieuses_ knew how to sift the chaff
from the wheat when the time came to take or to leave the varied gifts
of their inheritance. The true _Précieuses_ precipitated the revolution
of which d'Urfé had been the prophet; they alone consummated the moral
transformation which, according to his light, he had prepared.

During the changing years of half a century the _Précieuses_ "kept the
school" of manners and fine language, laying on the ferule whenever
they found pupils as recalcitrant as the damsel whose story I am
attempting to relate. They did not try--far from it!--to train the
public taste, to correct it, or to guide it aright; they urged France
into the tortuous by-paths of false ethics and superficial art; but,
taken all in all, their influence was good. La Grande Mademoiselle, the
abrupt cavalier-maiden, proved its virtue. To the Hôtel de Rambouillet
she owed it that she did not end as she began--a dragoon in petticoats,
and she recognised the fact, and was grateful for the benefits that she
had received.



It has been asked: Was the Society of the _Précieuses_ a result of
the influence of _Astrée_? With the exception noted, it is probable
that d'Urfé made no attempt to form new intellectual or sentimental
currents; he confined himself to the observation of the thoughts and
the feelings at work in the depths of human souls within his own view;
he was a close student of character, his book was a study, and his
influence reformed opinions and manners; but as the Society of the
_Précieuses_ was in process of incubation before _Astrée_ appeared,
it must have taken shape had d'Urfé never written his book. The world
of fashion had long deemed it witty to ridicule the _Précieuses_;
from too much handling, jests upon that subject had lost their
effervescence, and in time it was considered more original to find
virtue in the delicate mannerisms of the refined ladies than to adhere
to the old fashion of mocking them. Their exaggerations were numerous
and pronounced, but their civility was in pleasant contrast with the
abrupt indelicacies of the Béarnais; and even now, looking back to them
across the separating centuries, we can find few causes for reproach.
They subjected their literature to the yoke of the Spanish and Italian
schools, but they could hardly have done less at a time when the
Court was Italian, and when Spanish influences were entering by all
the frontiers. Aside from their submission to foreign influences, the
_Précieuses_ were sturdy champions of the right, and unless we are
prepared to falsify more than thirty years of our history of morals,
and of literature, we must admit that they rendered us services which
cannot be forgotten or misunderstood.

They were women of the world, important after the fashion of their day,
and by the power of their worldly influence they freed literature from
the pedantry with which Ronsard--and Montaigne, also, to a certain
extent--had entangled it. They forced the writers to brush the dust
from their bookshelves; they imposed upon them some of the exigencies
of their own sex, and by the bare fact of their influence literature
which had been almost wholly erudite acquired a quality assimilating it
to the usages of the world, and an air of decency and of civility which
it had always lacked. The _Précieuses_ compelled men to grant them
the respect due to all women under civilisation, and to count them as
members of the body politic; they exacted concessions to their modesty;
they purified language; they obliged "all honest men" to select their
topics of conversation; they habituated people to discern the delicate
shades of thought and to dissect ideas and find the hidden meanings of
words; they made demands for concessions to the rights of precocity,
and, as a result, propriety of verbal expression and closely attentive
analyses entered conversation hand in hand. Many and eminent were the
services rendered unto France by the amiable band of worldly reformers;
theirs was a mighty enterprise; we cannot measure the transformation
wrought by the influence of women in the indecent manners of that
day unless we make a minute examination of the subject. Before the
advent of the _Précieuses_, exterior elegance and a graceful bearing
had been a cloak covering the words and the conduct of barbarians.
Proofs of this fact abound in the records of that day. La Grande
Mademoiselle was of the second generation of the _Précieuses_; her
wit, her love of wit, and her intellect, gave her rank in the _Livré
d'Or_[40]; but the habits of youth are difficult to overcome, and when
she first visited the Hôtel de Rambouillet she used the words and the
gestures of a pandour, her squared shoulders and out-thrust chest bore
evidences of the natural investiture of the Cossack. Speaking of that
epoch, her most impartial critic tells us that she "voiced a thousand
imprecations."[41] In one of her attacks of indignation she threatened
the Maréchal de l'Hôpital: "I will tear your beard out with my own
hands!" she cried fiercely, and the marshal took fright and ran away.
Several ladies of Mademoiselle's society were known to possess brisk
and heavy hands, and feet of the same alert and virile character. Their
people and their lovers knew something of their "manuals and pedals,"
and bore visible tokens of the efficacy of those phenomenal members
on their own persons,--and in all the colours of the rainbow. Madame
de Vervins, who assisted with La Grande Mademoiselle at the fêtes
given in honour of Mademoiselle de Hautefort, "basted her lackeys and
other servants at will," and she did it with no slack hand. One of the
subjects on whom she plied her dexterity died under the operation,
and the people of Paris avenged his death by sacking her palace.[42]
Following is the record:

    On brisa vitré, on rompit porte, ...
      Bref: si fort s'accrut le tumulte
      Que de peur de plus grande insulte,
        Cette dame s'enfuit exprès,
        Et se sauva par le marais.

But if the ladies were not lambs, the gentlemen were not sheep. They
were no laggards in war. When they turned the flank of the enemy they
did not mince matters, and upon occasion they drew the first blood.
Once upon a time, at a dance, Comte de Brégis, having received a
slap from his partner, turned upon her and pulled her hair down in
the midst of the banquet. At a supper, in the presence of a great
and joyous company, the Marquis de la Case snatched a leg of mutton
from a trencher and buffeted his neighbour in her face, smearing
her with gravy. As she was a lady of an even temper, she laughed
heartily,[43] and the incident was closed. Malherbe confessed to Madame
de Rambouillet that he had "cuffed the ears of the Viscountess d'Auchy
until she had cried for aid." As he was a jealous man, his action was
not without cause, and in that day to flog a woman was a thing that any
gentleman felt free to do.

The regenerating _Précieuses_ had not arrived too soon. Ignoble jests
and obscenities too foul to recount were accepted as conversation by
both sexes. The father of the great Condé, who was president of a
"social" club whose rules compelled members to imitate every movement
made by their leader, ate, and forced his fellow members (including the
ladies) to eat--I dare not say what; do not try to guess--you could
never do it!

The modest and timid Louis XIII. could--when he set about it--give his
Court very unappetising examples. In a book of _Edification_, bearing
date 1658, we read that "the late King, seeing a young woman among the
crowds admitted to his palace so that they might see the King eat, said
nothing, and gave no immediate evidence that he had seen her; but, as
he raised his glass for the last sup, before rising from the table, he
filled his mouth with wine, and having held it thus sanctuaried for an
instant, launched it forth into the uncovered chest of the watchful
lady," who had been too eager to witness the mastications of royalty.

Aristocratic traditions exacted that the nobles should flog their
inferiors, and the nobles conformed to the traditional exactions
freely. Men and women were flogged for "failures" of the least
importance, and knowing those antique customs as we do, we may be
permitted to wonder that we have so few records of the music of that
eventful day.

Richelieu "drubbed his people," he drubbed his officers, he drubbed
(so it was said) his ministers. The celebrated Duke d'Épernon, the
last of the great Seigniors after Saint Simon, was "as mild-mannered
a man as ever cut a throat or scuttled a ship"; one day when he was
discussing some official question with his Eminence, the Archbishop of
Bordeaux, he gave the exalted prelate "three clips of his fist full in
the archiepiscopal face and breast, supplementing them by several cuts
of the end of his cane in the pit of the stomach." We are not told how
the priest received his medicine, but history records that "this done,
Monsieur the Duke bore witness to his Lordship (the Archbishop) that
had it not been for the respect due to his character, he (the Duke)
should have tipped him over on the pavement." One day when the feelings
of the Maréchal de Mauny were outraged because a farmer had kept the de
Mauny servitors waiting for their butter and eggs, he (the Maréchal)
rushed from his palace like a madman, fell upon the first peasants
who crossed his path, and with sword-thrusts and with pistol-shots
wounded two of the "aggressors" mortally. This last event occurred in
Burgundy; it was merely an incident. In Anjou, Comte de Montsoreau
maintained a private money-coining establishment in the wood near, or
on, his property, halted the travellers on the highways, obliged them
to pay their ransom, and, at the head of a band of twenty men, all
being brigands of his own species, swept over the country, pillaging
in all directions. The daily occurring duels accustomed men to look
lightly upon death, and contempt for human life prevailed. When the
Chevalier d'Andrieux was thirty years old, he had killed seventy-two
men. In such cases edicts were worthless; the national need demanded a
radical change of morals. Nine years after the death of Louis XIII.,
Maréchal de Grammont said in one of his letters: "Since the beginning
of the Regency, according to the estimate made, nine hundred and forty
gentlemen have been killed in duels." That was an official estimate,
and it did not include the deaths which, though they were attributed
to other causes, were the direct and immediate results of honourable
encounters; the dead thus enumerated having been killed on the spot.[44]

At that time the duel was not attended by ceremonies; it was a
hand-to-hand encounter between barbarians. The contestants fought with
any weapons that came to hand, and in the way most convenient to their
needs. All means were considered proper for the killing of men, though
it was generally conceded that for killing well the different means
were, or might be made, more or less courteous. This being the case,
the duel was in more or less good or bad taste, according to the means
used in its execution, and according to the regularity, or the lack of
regularity, employed in their use.

In 1612, Balagny and Puymorin alighted from their horses and drew
swords in the rue des Petits Champs. While they were fighting, a valet
took a pitchfork and planted it in Balagny from the back. Balagny died
of the wound inflicted by the valet, and Puymorin also died; he had
been wounded when the valet interfered. Still another lackey killed
Villepreau in the duel between Beaupré and Villepreau. That duel also
was fought in the street (rue Saint Honoré.) When young Louvigny[45]
fought with d'Hocquincourt, he said: "Let us take our swords!" As
the other bent to comply with the suggestion, Louvigny gave a great
sword-thrust, which, running his adversary through and through, put him
to death. Tallemant des Reaux qualified the act as "appalling," but it
bore no consequences for Louvigny.

Maréchal de Marillac (who was beheaded in 1632) killed his adversary
before the latter had time to draw his sword. We should have called it
an assassination, but our forefathers saw no harm in such duelling.
They reserved their criticisms for the timidly peaceable who objected
to a fight.

The salon, with its ultra-refinement and its delicacy, followed
close upon the heels of these remnants of barbarity. The salon gave
form to the civility which forbade a man to pierce the fleshy part
of the back of an adversary with a pitchfork. Polite courtesy also
restrained gentlemen from forcing ladies to swallow all uncleanness
under the pretence of indulging in a merry jest. As good manners
make for morality, let us thank the _Précieuses_ for the reform they
accomplished when they moulded men for courteous intercourse with their
fellow-men; and to Madame de Rambouillet, among others, let thanks
be given, for she made the achievement possible by opening the way
and beginning at the beginning. Womanly tact, a decorous keeping of
her house, love of order and of beauty inspired her with the thought
that the arrangements made in the old hotels of Paris for the people
of ancient days were not fitted for the use of the enlightened age of
the _Précieuses_. There were no salons in the old hotels; the salon
was unknown; therefore there was no room in which to frame the society
then in formation. Tallemant tells us that the only houses known at
that time were built with a hall upon one side, a room upon the other
side, and a staircase in the middle. The _salle_ was a parade-room,
a place to pass through, a corridor where no one lingered. People
received visitors in the room in which they happened to be when the
visitors arrived; at different times they happened to be in different
rooms. Very naturally at eating-time they were in rooms where they
could sit at meat. There were no rooms devoted to the daily meals. The
table on which viands were served was placed in any room large enough
to contain the number of persons who were to be entertained. If there
were few guests, the table was placed in a small room; when the guests
were numerous, they were seated in a large room, or the table, ready
served, was carried into any room large enough to hold the company. It
was all a matter of chance. Banquets were given in the corridor, in
the _salle_, in the ante-room, or in the sleeping-room,[46] because
literary intuition was undeveloped. Madame de Rambouillet was the first
to realise that the spirit of conversation is too rare and too delicate
a plant to thrive under unfavourable conditions, and that in order to
establish conversational groups, a place must be provided in which they
who favour conversation may talk at ease. Every one recognises that
fact now, and every one ought to recognise it. No one--man or woman--is
justified in ignoring the influences of the localities that he or
she frequents. It should be generally known that sympathies will not
group, that the current of thought will not flow freely when a table is
unfavourably placed for the seating of society expected to converse.

Three hundred years ago the creator of the first French salon
discovered this fact, and her discovery marked a date in the history of
our social life.

Mme. de Rambouillet owned a dilapidated mansion standing between the
Tuileries and the courtyard of the Louvre, near the site of the now
existing Pavillon de Rohan.[47] She had determined to rebuild the
house, and no one could draw a plan suited to her ideas. Her mind was
incessantly busy with her architectural scheme, and one evening when
she had been sitting alone deep in meditation she cried out! "Quick!
A pencil! paper! I have found a way to build my house."[48] She drew
her plan at once, and the arrangement was so superior to all known
architectural designs that houses were built according to "the plans of
Mme. de Rambouillet all over France." Tallemant says:

    They learned from Mme. de Rambouillet how to place stairways at the
    sides of houses so that they might form great suites of rooms[49]
    and they also learned from her how to raise floors and to make high
    and broad windows, placed one opposite another so that the air
    might circulate with freedom; this is all so true that when the
    Queen-mother ordered the rebuilding of the Luxembourg she sent the
    architects to glean ideas from the Hôtel de Rambouillet.

Until that time the interiors of houses had been painted red or tan
colour. Mme. de Rambouillet was the first to adopt another colour and
her innovation gave the "Blue Room" its name. The famous Blue Room in
which the seventeenth century acquired the even and correct tone of
conversation was disposed with a skilful and scientific tact which has
survived the rack of three hundred years of changes, and to-day it
stands as the perfect type of a temple fully adequate to the exigencies
of intellectual intercourse.

In it all spaces were measured and the seats were systematically
counted and distributed to the best advantage; there were eighteen
seats; neither more nor less. Screens shut off certain portions of the
room and facilitated the formation of intimately confidential groups;
flowers perfumed the air; objects of art caressed the vision, and,
taken all together, so perceptible a spirit of the sanctuary enshrining
thought was present that the habitués of the Salon de Rambouillet
always spoke of it as "the Temple." Even La Grande Mademoiselle, the
irrepressible, felt the subtle influences of that calm retreat of the
mind, and when she entered the Blue Room she repressed her Cossack
gestures and choked back her imprecations. She knew that she could
not evade the restraining influence of the hushed tranquillity which
pervaded "the Temple," and she drooped her sparkling eyes, and accepted
her discipline with the universally prevalent docility. In her own
words, Mme. de Rambouillet was "adorable."

    I think [wrote Mademoiselle in 1659], that I can see her now in
    that shadowy recess,--which the sun never entered, though the place
    was never left in darkness,--surrounded by great crystal vases
    full of beautiful spring flowers which were made to bloom at all
    seasons in the gardens near her temple, so that she might look upon
    the things that she loved. Around her were the pictures of her
    friends, and the looks that she gave them called down blessings on
    the absent. There were many books on the tables in her grotto and,
    as one may imagine, they treated of nothing common. Only two, or at
    most three persons were permitted to enter that place at the same
    time, because confusion displeased her and noise was adverse to the
    goddess whose voice was loud only in wrath. Our goddess was never
    angry. She was gentleness itself.

According to the inscription on a stone preserved in the Musée Cluny
the Hôtel de Rambouillet was rebuilt in 1618. The mistress of the house
consumed ten industriously filled years constituting, installing, and
habituating the intellectual groups of her salon; but when she had
perfected her arrangements she maintained them in their splendour until
the Fronde put an end to all intellectual effort.

When the Hôtel de Rambouillet was in its apogee La Grande Mademoiselle
was in the flush of early youth. She was born in 1627. Mme. de Sévigné
was Mademoiselle's elder by one year.

When we consider the social and intellectual condition of the times
we must regard many features of the enterprise of "fair Arthénice" as
wonderful, but its most characteristic feature was the opportunity and
the advancement it accorded to men of letters. Whatever "literary" men
were elsewhere, they were received as the equals of the nobility in
the Salon de Rambouillet. Such a sight had never been seen! Superior
minds had always been regarded leniently. They had had their periods
of usefulness, when the quality had been forced to recognise their
existence, but the possessors of those minds had been treated--well,
to speak clearly, they had been treated as they had expected to be
treated; for how could the poor fellows have hoped for anything
better when they knew that they passed two thirds of their time with
spines humbly curved and with palms outstretched soliciting equivocal
complaisancies, or inviting écus, or struggling to secure a seat at the
lower end of dinner tables by means of heartrending dedications?

Alack! how many Sarrazins and Costars there were to one Balzac, or to
one d'Urfé! how numerous were the natural parasites, piteous leeches!
whose wit went begging for a discarded bone! How many were condemned
by their vocation to die of hunger;--and there was no help for them!
Had their talent been ten times greater than it was it would have been
equally impossible for them to introduce dignity into their existence.
There were no journals, no reviews where an author could present his
stuff or his stories for inspection; no one had ever heard of authors'
rights; and however successful a play, the end of the dramatist was the
same; he was allowed no literary property. How then could he live if
not by crooked ways and doubtful means? If a certain amount of respect,
not to say honour, were due to his profession, by what means could he
acquire his share of it? Any yeoman--the first country squire--could,
when so it pleased him, have a play stricken from the roll; if so it
pleased him could have the rod laid over the author's back, amidst
the plaudits of the contingent which we should call the _claque_. Was
it any wonder that authors were pedants to the marrow of their bones
when pedantry was the only paying thing in their profession? Writers
who chanted their own praises did good unto themselves and enjoyed
the reputation of the erudite. They were regarded as professors of
mentality, they reflected credit upon the men who lodged and nourished
them. For that reason,--and very logically,--when a man knew that
he was being lodged and nourished for the sake of his _bel esprit_
if there was any manhood in him he entered heart and soul into his
pretensions; and sleeping or waking, night or day, from head to foot,
and without one hour of respite, played the part of "man of letters";
he mouthed his words, went about with brows knit, talked from his
chest, and, in short, did everything to prove to the world that he was
wise beyond his generation; his every effort was bent to manifest his
ability; and his manners, his costumes, and his looks, all proved him
to be a student of books. And when this was proven his master--the
man who lodged and nourished him--was able to get his full money's
worth and to stand up before the world revealed in the character of
benefactor and protector of Belles Lettres. In our day things wear a
different aspect. The author has reached his pinnacle, and in some
cases it may even be possible that his merits are exaggerated.

Knowing this, it is difficult for us to appreciate the conditions
existing when the Salon of the Hôtel de Rambouillet was opened. We know
that there is nothing essentially admirable in putting black marks
on white paper, and we know that a good shoemaker is a more useful
citizen than can be made of an inferior writer, and knowing these
facts, and others of the same sort, we can hardly realise that only
three hundred years ago there were honest boys who entered upon the
career of Letters when they might have earned a living selling tallow.

The Hôtel de Rambouillet regulated the scale of social values and
diminished the distance between the position accorded to science,
intellect, and genius and the position accorded to birth. For the first
time within the memory of Frenchmen Men of Letters tasted the sweets
of consideration; their eloquence was not forced back, nor was it
drawn out by the imperious demands of hunger; authors were placed on a
footing with their fellow-men; they were still expected to discourse,
but as their wit was the result of normal conditions, it acquired the
quality of order and the flavour of nature. In the Blue Room the weary
writers were allowed to rest. They were not called upon to give proofs
of their intellect; they were led gently forward, placed at a distance
that made them appear genial, persuaded to discard their dogmatism,
and by inferences and subtle influences taught to be indulgent and
to distribute their wisdom with the philosophical civility which was
then called "the spirit of the Court,"--and the term was a just one; a
great gulf lay between the incisive rushing expression of the thought
of Condé, the pupil of Mme. de Rambouillet, and the laboured facitiæ
of Voiture and the Academician, Jacques Esprit, although Voiture and
Esprit were far in advance of their predecessors. Under the beneficent
treatment of the Hôtel de Rambouillet the Men of Letters gradually
lost their stilted and pedagogic airs. The fair reformers of "the
circle" found many a barrier in their path; the gratitude of the
pedants was not exhilarating, the leopards' spots long retained their
colour,--Trissotin proved that,--but by force of repeated "dippings"
the dye was eventually compelled to take and the stains that it left
upon the fingers of "fair Arthénice" were not disfiguring.

A glance at Racine or at Boileau shows us the long road traversed after
the Salon de Rambouillet instituted the recognition of merit regardless
of rank and fortune. Love of intellectual pleasures, courage, and
ambitious determination had ordered a march resumed after forced halts;
and at last, when the ardent innovators reached the port from which
they were to launch their endeavour, recognition of merit had become a
custom, and the first phase of democratic evolution was an accomplished
fact. Our own day shows further progress; the same evolution in its
untrammelled freedom tends to cast suspicion upon personal merit
because it unhinges the idea of equality.

       *       *       *       *       *

"All Paris" of that day filed through the portals of the Hôtel de
Rambouillet and passed in review before the Blue Room. Malherbe was
one of the most faithful attendants of the Salon whose Laureate he
remained until he died (1628). Yet according to Tallemant and to many
others he was boorish and uncivil. He was abrupt in conversation, but
he wrote excellent poetry and never said a word that did not reach
its mark. When he visited the Salon he was very amiable; and his grey
beard made him a creditable dean for the circle of literary companions.
He wrote pretty verses in honour of Arthénice, he was diverting and
instructive--in a word, he made himself necessary to the Salon. But he
was too old to change either his character or his appearance, and his
attempts to conform to the fashions of the hour made him ridiculous. He
was "a toothless gallant, always spitting."

He had been in the pay of M. de Bellegarde, from whom he had received
a salary of one thousand livres, table and lodging, and board and
lodging for one lackey and one horse. He drew an income from a
pension of five hundred écus granted by Marie de Médicis; he was in
possession of numerous gratuities, perquisites, and "other species of
gifts" which he had secretly begged by the sweat of his brow. Huet,
Archbishop of Avranche, wrote: "Malherbe is trying his best to increase
his fortunes, and his poetry, noble though it be, is not always nobly
employed." M. d'Yveteaux said that Malherbe "demanded alms sonnet in
hand." The greedy poet had one rival at the Hôtel de Rambouillet; a
very brilliant Italian addicted to flattery, whom all the ladies
loved. Women were infatuated by him, as they are always infatuated by
any foreign author--be he good or bad! Marini--in Paris they called
him "Marin"--conversed in long sentences joined by antitheses. In his
hours of relaxation when his thoughts were supposed to be in literary
undress, he called the rose "the eye of the springtide."[50] At the
time of which I now speak he was labouring upon a poem of forty-five
thousand verses, entitled _Adonis_. Every word written or uttered
by him was calculated to produce its effect. "The Circle," to the
disgust of Malherbe, lay at the feet of the Italian pedant, swooning
with ecstasy. "Marin's" influence over the first Salon of France
was deplorable, and a contemporary chronicler recorded his progress
with evident dejection[51]; "In time he relieved the country of his
presence; but he had remained in it long enough to deposit in fruitful
soil the germs of his factitious preciosity."

Chapelain was of other metal. He began active life as a teacher. M.
de Longueville, who was the first to appreciate his merits, granted
him his first pension (two thousand livres). Chapelain was fond of
his work, a natural writer, industrious, and frugal. He went into
retirement, lived upon his little pension, and brought forth _La
Pucelle_. De Longueville was delighted by the zeal and the talent of
his protégé and he added one thousand livres to his pension. Richelieu
also granted Chapelain a pension (one thousand livres) and when Mazarin
came to power he supplemented the gift of his predecessor by a pension
of five hundred écus.

It was not a common thing for authors to make favourable arrangements
with a publisher, but Chapelain had made excellent terms for that
epoch. _La Pucelle_ had sold for three thousand livres. He (Chapelain)
was in easy circumstances, but his unique appearance excited unique
criticisms. He was described as "one of the shabbiest, dirtiest,
most shambling, and rumpled of gallows-birds, and one of the most
affectedly literary characters from head to heels who ever set foot
in the Blue Room." It was said he was "a complete caricature of his
idea." Though Mme. de Rambouillet was accustomed to the aspect of Men
of Letters, she was struck dumb when Chapelain first appeared. As his
mind was not visible, she saw nothing but an ugly little man in a
pigeon-breast satin habit of antique date, covered with different kinds
of ill-assorted gimp. His boots were not matched (each being eccentric
in its own peculiar way). On his head was an old wig and over the wig
hovered a faded hat. Mme. de Rambouillet regained her self-command
and decided to close her eyes to his exterior. His conversation
pleased her, and before he had left her presence he had impressed her
favourably. In truth Chapelain merited respect and friendship. He was
full of delicacy of feeling, extremely erudite, and impassioned in his
love for things of the mind. His keen, refined, critical instinct had
made him an authority on all subjects. His correspondence covered
all the literary and learned centres of Europe, and he was consulted
as an oracle by the savants of all countries. He was interested in
everything. His mind was singularly broad, modest, frank, and open to
conviction; and while his nature was essentially French, his mental
curiosity, with its innumerable outstretching and receptive channels,
made him a representative of cosmopolitan enlightenment.

Chapelain was one of the pillars of the Salon,--or, to speak better,
he was the pendentive of the Salon's literary architecture. After
a time repeated frequentation of the Salon amended his "exterior"
to some extent. He changed his fanciful attire for the plain black
costumes worn by Vadius and by Trissotin, but his transformation was
accomplished invisibly, and during the transition period he did not
cease to be shabby and of a suspiciously neglected aspect, even for
one hour. "I believe," said Tallemant, "that Chapelain has never had
anything absolutely new."

Ménage, another pillar of the Salon de Rambouillet, was one of the rare
literary exceptions to the rule of the solid provincial bourgeoisie.
He was the _rara avis_ of his country, and not only a pedant but the
pedant _par excellence_, the finished type of the "litterateur" who
"sucks ink and bursts with pride at his achievement." He was always
spreading his feathers and bristling like a turkeycock if he was not
appreciated according to his estimate of himself. From him descended
some of the "literary types" still in existence, who cross-question
a man in regard to what he knows of their literary "work." No matter
what people were talking about, Ménage would interrupt them with his
patronising smile and "Do you remember what I said upon that subject?"
he would ask. Naturally no one remembered anything that he had written,
and when they confessed that they had forgotten he would cry out all
sorts of piquancies and coarseness. Every one knew what he was. Molière
used him as a model for Vadius, and the likeness was striking. He was
dreaded, and people loved literature to madness and accepted all its
excrescences before they consented to endure his presence. "I have
seen him," said Tallemant, "in Mme. de Rambouillet's alcove cleaning
the insides of his teeth with a very dirty handkerchief, and that was
what he was doing during the whole visit." He considered his fine
manners irresistible. He pursued Mme. de Rambouillet, bombarding her
incessantly with declarations. A pernicious vanity was one of his chief
failings. It was his habit to give people to understand that he was on
intimate terms with women like Mme. de Lafayette and Mme. de Sévigné;
but Mme. de Sévigné did not permit him to carry his boasts to Paradise.
One day after she had heard of his reports she invited him to accompany
her alone in her carriage. She told him that she was "not afraid that
any one would gossip over it." Ménage, whose feelings were outraged by
her contempt, burst into a flood of reproaches. "_Get into my carriage
at once!_" she answered. "_If you anger me I will visit you in your own

People tolerated Ménage because he was extraordinarily wise, and
because his sense of justice impelled him to admirably generous deeds.
The Ministers, Mazarin and Colbert, always sent to him for the names
of the people who were worthy of recompence, and Ménage frequently
nominated the men who had most offended him. Justice was his passion.
Under the vulgar motley of the pedant lay many excellent qualities,
among them intense devotion to friends. Throughout his life he rendered
innumerable services and was kind and helpful to many people. Ménage
had a certain amount of money, nevertheless he gave himself into the
hands of Retz, and Retz lodged and nourished him as he lodged and
nourished his own lackey. Ménage lived with Retz, berating him as
he berated every one; and Retz cared for him, endured his fits of
anger, and listened to his scoldings ten years. Ménage "drew handsome
pecuniary benefits from some other source," saved money, set out
for himself, and founded a branch Blue Room in his own house. His
receptions, which were held weekly on Wednesday, were in high esteem.
The people who had free access to good society considered it an honour
to be named as his guests.

Quite another story was "little Voiture," a delicate pigmy who had
"passed forty years of his life at death's door." He was an invalid
even in early youth. When very young he wrote to Mme. de Rambouillet
from Nancy:

    Since I have not had the honour of seeing you, madame, I have
    endured ills which cannot be described. As I traversed Epernay I
    visited Marechal Strozzi for your sake, and his tomb appeared so
    magnificent, and the place so calculated to give repose, that as I
    was in such condition and so fit for burial, I longed to be laid
    beside him; but as they found that there was still some warmth in
    me, they made difficulties about acceding to my wishes. Then I
    resolved to have my body carried as far as Nancy, where, at last,
    madame, it has arrived, so meagre and so wasted, that I do assure
    you that there will be very little for them to lay in the ground.

Ten years later he drew the following sketch of himself:

"My head is handsome enough; I have many grey hairs. My eyes are
soft, but a little distraught.... My expression is stupid, but to
counterbalance this discrepancy, _I am the best boy in the world_."[53]

Voiture was called "the dwarf king." He was a charming
conversationalist; he was a precursor of the Parisian of the eighteenth
century, of whom his winged wit and foaming gayety made him a fair
antetype; he was "the life and the soul" of the Hôtel de Rambouillet,
and when the ponderous minds had left the Salon, after he had helped
the naturally gay ladies to lift the helmet of Minerva from their
heads--and the weights from their heels--he taught them the light
laughter which sits so well on "airy nothings." But he had his defects,
defects so grave that the critics said: "If Voiture were of our
condition it would be impossible to endure him!" He was a dangerous
little gossip, constantly taking liberties and forcing people to
recall him to his place. Though he was a child in size, he was a man
of mature years, and the parents and guardians of young girls were
forced to watch him, though it is probable that his intentions were
innocent enough. One day, when he was on a visit, he attempted to press
his lips to the arm of one of the daughters of the house. That time
he "caught it on his fingers"; he begged pardon for his sin; but he
did not correct his faults; vanity forbade him to do that, and vanity
made him very jealous and hot tempered. Mlle. de Scudéry (who was
not censorious) called him "untrustworthy." His literature was like
his person and his character. Everything that he wrote was delicate,
coquettish, and very graceful, but often puerile. His literary taste
was not keen; when the Circle sat wrapt in admiration just after
Corneille had read them _Polyeucte_, Voiture hurried to the author's
side and told him that he "would better go home and lock that drama up
in his bureau drawer."

Toward the end of his life Voiture dyed both hair and beard, and his
manner was just what it had been in his youth; he could not realise
that he was not a boy; it was said that he was "tiresome, because he
did not know how to grow old."

His irritable disposition made him a trying companion, but to his last
day he was the "spoiled child" of Madame de Rambouillet and all the
society of the Salon; he was gay, simple, boyish, and natural, and the
Circle loved him "because he had none of the affected gravity and the
importance of the other men of letters, and because his manners were
not precise." More than thirty years after his death Mme. de Sévigné
recalled "his free wit and his charming ways" with delight. ("So much
the worse," she said, "for them who do not understand such things!"[54])

Voiture might have lived independently and dispensed with the favours
and the benefits which he solicited. His father was a very successful
business man (he dealt in wines), but in those days it was customary
for literary men to depend upon other men, and "little Voiture,"
thinking that it was a part of his glory to take his share of the
general cake, profited by his social relations, and stretched his hands
out in all directions, receiving such pensions, benefits, and "offices"
as were bestowed upon all prominent men of letters. His income was
large, and as he was nourished and cared for by Madame de Rambouillet,
he had few expenses.

Valentin Conrart, the first perpetual Secretary of the _Académie
Française_, was the most useful, if not the most brilliant member of
the Salon; he was the common sense of the Blue Room: the wise and
discreet friend to whom the most delicate secrets were fearlessly
confided, the unfailing referee to whom the members of the Circle
applied for decisions of all kinds, from the question of a debated
signification to the pronunciation of a word; naturally he was somewhat
pedagogical; incessant correction of the works of others had impressed
him with the instincts and the manners of a teacher; to the younger
members of the Circle he was a most awe-inspiring wiseacre. Conrart
bore the mark of a deep-seated consciousness of Protestantism, and
whether he was speaking, walking, or engaged in his active duties
it was evident that he was absorbed in reflections concerning his
religious origin; people who had seen him when he was asleep affirmed
that he wore an alert air of cogitation when wrapt in slumber, and
when he was rhyming his little verses to _Alphise_ or to _Lycoris_ his
aspect was the same. His attitude was logical: he knew that he was a
Protestant; he knew that that fact was a thing that no man could be
expected to forget. In 1647 he wrote to a fellow coreligionist[55]:
"As the world regards it, what a disadvantage it is to be a Huguenot!"
The Académie Française emanated from social meetings held in Conrart's
house and the serious association could not have had a more suitable

It is a pleasure to think of that easy and independent home, where
guests were met with outstretched hands, where wisdom was dispensed
without thought of recompense. Conrart was generous and just, a loyal
and indulgent friend who did good for the love of goodness. The wife of
Conrart was an excellent and worthy creature, who received dukes and
peers and the ladies of the Court as simply as she received the friends
of her youth; she was not a respecter of persons and she saw no reason
for embarrassment when the Marquise de Rambouillet wished to dine with
her. She took pride in "pastelles," cordials, and other household
delicacies, which she made and offered to her husband's friends with
her own hands.

Vaugelas was timid and innocent; misfortune was his habit; he had
always been unfortunate, and no one expected him to be anything else.
He was very poor; he had been stripped of everything (even to the
pension given him by the King) as punishment for following Gaston
d'Orléans. Everything that he did turned against him. One day when he
was in great need Mme. de Carignan told him that she would hire him as
tutor; she had two sons whom she aspired to educate according to the
methods of the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Naturally the impecunious Vaugelas
thanked God for his rescue. When his pupils were presented to him he
found that one of them was deaf and dumb, the other was a phenomenal
stutterer, barely able to articulate his name. Vaugelas had been so
uniformly unfortunate that his woes had created a nervous tension in
the minds of the Circle, and every new report of his afflictions called
forth an outburst of hysterical laughter from his sympathisers. The
Hôtel de Rambouillet knew his intrinsic value. Fair Arthénice and her
company essayed to bring him forward, and failed; he was bashful, an
inveterate listener, obstinately silent; in the Salon he sat with
head drooping and with lips half open, eagerly listening to catch the
delicately turned phrases of the quality, or to surprise some noble
error; a grammatical _lapsus_ stung his keen perceptions, and he was
frequently seen writhing as if in agony, no one knew why. In a word
he was worthless in a salon,--and the same must be said of Corneille.
Corneille felt that he was not brilliant, and he never attended the
Salon unless he had written something new; he read his plays to "the
Circle" before he offered them to the publishers. Men of genius are
not always creditable adjuncts to a salon; Corneille was known in the
fine world as "that fellow Corneille." As far as his capacity for
furnishing the amount of amusement which all men individually owe it
to their fellows to provide is concerned, it is enough to say that he
was one of the churchwardens in his parochial district; this fact,
like the accident of birth, may pass as a circumstance extenuating his
involuntary evil. Speaking of the Salon la Bruyère wrote: "Corneille,
another one who is seen there, is simple, timid, and--when he talks--a
bore; he mistakes one word for another, and considers his plays good or
bad in proportion to the money he gains by them. He does not know how
to recite poetry, and he cannot read his own writing."

In a club of pretty women ten Corneilles would not have been worth
one Antoine Godeau. Godeau was as diminutive in his verse as in his
person; but he was a fiery fellow and a dashing gallant, always in
love. When he was studying philosophy the German students in his
boarding-house so attached themselves to his lively ways that they
could not live away from him. The gravest of the bookworms thought that
they could study better in his presence, and his chambers presented
the appearance of a class-room. He sat enthroned at his table, and the
Germans sat cross-legged around him blowing clouds from their china
pipes and roaring with laughter at his sallies. He sang, he rhymed, he
drank; he was always cracking his funny jokes. He was born to love,
and as he was naturally frivolous, his dulcineas were staked out all
over the country awaiting his good pleasure. Presented to the Circle
of the Hôtel de Rambouillet when he was very young, he paled the star
of "little Voiture." When Voiture was at a distance from Paris Mlle.
de Rambouillet wrote to him: "There is a man here now who is a head
shorter than you are, and who is, I swear to you, a thousand times more

Godeau was a conqueror; he had "entrapped all the successes." Every one
was amazed when it was discovered that he was a bishop, and they had
barely recovered from their amazement when it was learned that he was
not only a bishop but a good bishop. He had other titles to distinction
(of one kind or another), "and withal he still remained" (as Sainte
Beuve said) "the foppish spark of all that world." The only passport
required by the Hôtel de Rambouillet was intellect. The Circle caressed
Sarrazin, despite his baseness, his knavery, his ignoble marriages,
and his ridiculous appearance, because he was capable of a pleasant
repartee when in general conversation. George de Scudéry, a "species
of captain," was protected by the Circle because he was an author.
Scudéry was intolerable! his brain cells were clogged by vanity, he
was humming from morning till night with his head high in the clouds,
beating his ancestors about the ears of any one who would listen to
him, and prating of his "glory," his tragic comedies, and his epic
poem _Alaric_. He was on tiptoe with delight because he had eclipsed
Corneille. The Hôtel de Rambouillet smiled upon Colletet, the clever
drunkard who had taken his three servants to wife, one after the other,
and who had not talent enough to counterbalance his gipsy squalor.
But all passed who could hold a pen. Many a scruple and many a qualm
clamoured in vain for recognition when the fair creator of the Circle
organised the Salon. Nothing can be created--not even a salon--without
some sacrifice, and Mme. de Rambouillet laid a firm hand upon her
predilections and made literary merit the only title to membership in
the Salon. Every one knew the way to the Hôtel de Rambouillet. Every
one but Balzac was seen there. Balzac lived in a distant department (la
Charente), so it is probable that he knew Mme. de Rambouillet only by
letter, though he is named as an attendant of the Salon. Had the Salon
existed in this day it is possible that our moderns, who demand a finer
mortar, would have left the coarser pebbles in the screen, but Mme.
de Rambouillet closed her eyes, put forth her hand, and as blindly as
Justice drew authors out of their obscure corners and placed them on a
footing with the fine flower of the Court and the choice spirits of the
city, with all that was gay or witty, with all who were possessed of
curiosity concerning the things of the mind. She forced the frivolous
to habituate themselves to serious things, she compelled the pedants
to toss their caps to the thistles, to cast aside their pretensions
and their long-drawn-out phrases, and to stand forth as men. No one
carried the accoutrements of his authorship into the Blue Room, no one
was permitted to play the part of "pedant pedantising"; all was light,
rapid, ephemeral; the atmosphere was fine and clear, and to add to the
tranquil aspect of the scene, several very youthful ladies (the young
daughters of Mme. de Rambouillet and "la pucelle Priande" among others)
were permitted to pass like butterflies among the thoughtful groups;
their presence completed the illusion of pastoral festivity. Before
that time young girls had never mingled freely with their elders.

As mixed as the gatherings were, and as radical as was the social
revolution of the Salon, the presence of innocent youth imposed the
tone of careful propriety. I am not counting "La Belle Paulet" as an
innocent young girl, though she too was of the Salon. Paulet was called
"the lioness" because of the ardent blonde colour of her hair; she was
young enough, and amiable even to excess, but she had had too much
experience. She was "a bit of driftwood," one of several of her kind
whom Mme. de Rambouillet had fished from the vortex, dried, catechised,
absolved, and restored to regular conduct and consideration. Neither
do I class "the worthy Scudéry" among young girls. She could not
have been called "young" at any age. She was (to quote one of her
contemporaries) "a tall, black, meagre person, with a very long face,
prolix in discourse, with a tone of voice like a schoolmaster, which
is not at all agreeable." Although Tallemant drew this picture, its
lines are not exaggerated. It is impossible to regard Mlle. de Scudéry
as a young girl. When I say that there were young girls in the Salon,
I have in mind the daughters of the house, from whom emanated excess
of delicacy, precocity, and decadence, Julie d'Angennes, for whom was
created "the garland of Julie," who became Mme. Montausier, Angélique
de Rambouillet,--the first of de Grignan's three wives,--and Mlle.
de Bourbon, who married de Longueville, and at a later day was known
as the heroine of the Hôtel-de-Ville. We must not imagine that a
reception at the Hôtel de Rambouillet was a convocation like a seance
at the Institute of France. At such an assembly a de Sévigné, a Paulet,
a Lafayette would have been out of place, nor would they have consented
to sit like students in class discussing whether it were better to
say _avoine_ and _sarge_ (the pronunciation given by the Court) or
_aveine_ and _serge_ (the pronunciation used by the grain-handlers in
the hay-market). Neither would it have been worth while to collect such
spirits had the sole object been a discussion of the last new book, or
the last new play; but literary and grammatical questions were rocks in
the seas on which the brilliant explorer of the Blue Room had set sail
and on the rocks she had planted her buoys. She navigated sagaciously,
taking the sun, sounding and shaping her course to avoid danger.
"Assaults of eloquence," however important, were cut short before
they resembled the lessons of the schoolroom. Before the innovation
of the Salon, the critics had dealt out discipline with heavy hands.
We are confounded by the solemnity with which Conrart informed Balzac
of a "tournament" between Voiture and Chapelain on the subject of one
of Ariosto's comedies, when "decisions" were rendered with all the
precision of legal sentences by "the hermit of Angoumois."[56] So
manifest a waste of energy proved that it was time for the world's
people to interfere, to restrain the savants from taking to heart
things which were not worth their pains.

The authors produced their plays or their poems and carried their
manuscripts to the Hôtel de Rambouillet, where they read them in the
presence of the company, and the Circle listened, approved, criticised,
and exchanged opinions. All of Corneille's masterpieces cleared that
port in disguise; their creator presenting them as the works of a
strange author. When he read _Polyeucte_ the Salon supposed that the
drama was the work of a person unknown to them; all listened intently
and criticised freely. No one suspected the real author, and when
the last word was read, Voiture made haste to warn Corneille that
he "would better lock up the play." When the Circle first heard the
_Cid_ they acclaimed it, and declared that it was the work of genius.
Richelieu objected to it, and the Salon defended it against him.
Books and plays were not the only subjects of discussion; in the Blue
Room letters from the absent were read to the company, verses were
improvised and declaimed, plays were enacted, and delicately refined
expressions were sought with which to clothe the sentiment and the
passion of love. Great progress was made in the exercise of wit, and
at times the Circle, excited by the clash of mind with mind, exhibited
the effervescent joy of children at play when fun runs riot in the
last moment of recess, before the bell rings to recall them to the
schoolroom. At such a time the members of the Circle were marshalled
back to order and set down before the savants to contemplate the
"ologies." Such was the first period of the reign of the _Précieuses_,
a period whose history La Bruyère gathered from the recitals of the old
men of that day.

Voiture and Sarrazin were born for their century, and they appeared
just at the time when they might have been expected; had they come
forward with less precipitation they would have been too late; it is
probable that had they come in our day they would have been just what
they were at their own epoch. When they came upon the stage the light,
sparkling conversations, the "circles" of meditative and critical
groups convened to argue the literary and æsthetic questions of the
day, had vanished, with the finely marked differences, the spiritual
jests, the coquettish meanings hidden amidst the overshadowing gravity
of serious discussion.

The Circle no longer formed little parties admitting only the men who
had proved their title to intellect; but the fame of the first Salon de
Rambouillet--or, to speak better, the fame of the ideal Salon of the
world--still clung to its successor. As children listen to tales told
by their grandfathers, the delicate mind of Voiture listened to the
story of those first days; Sarrazin the Gross might scoff, but Voiture
gloried in the thought that it had all been true; the lights, the
music, the merry jests, the spring flowers growing in the autumn, the
flashing lances of the spirit, the gay letters from the absent.... And
well might he glory! there had, in truth, been one supreme moment in
the literary life of France, a moment as rapid, as fleeting as a smile,
lost even as it came, never to appear again until long after the pigmy
body which enshrined the winged soul that loved to dream of it had
turned to dust.

The memory of that first Salon was still so vivid that Saint Simon
wrote: "The Hôtel de Rambouillet was the trysting-place of all then
existent of knowledge and of wit; it was a redoubtable tribunal, where
the world and the Court were brought to judgment."

       *       *       *       *       *

But the followers of Arthénice did not shrink from mundane pleasures.
In the gracious presence of their hostess the young people danced
from love of action, laughed from love of laughter, and, dressed to
represent the heroes and the heroines of _Astrée_, or to represent
the tradesmen of Paris, went into the country on picnics, and enacted
plays for the amusement of their guests, playing all the pranks of
collegians in vacation. One day when they were all at the Château de
Rambouillet the Comte de Guiche ate a great many mushrooms. In the
night one of the gay party stole into his room and "took in" all the
seams in his garments. In the morning it was impossible for de Guiche
to dress; everything was too narrow to be buttoned; in vain he tugged
at the edges of his garments,--nothing would come together; the Comte
was racked by anxiety. "Can it be," he asked anxiously, "because I
ate too many mushrooms? Can it be possible that I am bloated?" His
friends answered that it might well be possible. "You know," said they,
"that you ate till you were fit to burst." De Guiche hurried to his
mirror, and when he saw his apparently swollen body and the gaps in his
clothing, he trembled, and declared that he was dying; as he was livid
and about to swoon, his friends, thinking that the jest had gone far
enough, undeceived him. Mme. de Rambouillet was very fond of inventing
surprises for her friends, but her jests were of a more gallant
character. One day while they were at the Château de Rambouillet she
proposed to the Bishop de Lisieux, who was one of her guests, to walk
into the fields adjoining the château, where there was, as she said,
a circle of natural rocks set among great trees. The Bishop accepted
her invitation, and history tells us that "when he was so near the
rocks that he could distinguish them through the trees, he perceived
in various places, as if scattered about--[I hardly know how to tell
it]--objects fairly white and glistening! As he advanced it seemed to
him that he could discern figures of women in the guise of nymphs.
The Marquise insisted that she could not see anything but trees and
rocks, but on advancing to the spot they found--Mlle. de Rambouillet
and the other young ladies of the house arrayed, and very effectively,
as nymphs; they were seated upon the rocks, where they made the most
agreeable of pictures." The good fellow was so charmed with the
pleasantry that thereafter he never saw "fair Arthénice" without
speaking of "the Rocks of Rambouillet."[57] The Bishop de Lisieux was
an excellent priest; decorum did not oppose such surprises, even when
the one surprised was a bishop. One day when the ladies were disguised
to represent shepherdesses, de Richelieu's brother, the Archbishop of
Lyons, appeared among them in the dress of a shepherd.

One of the most agreeable of Voiture's letters (addressed to a
cardinal)[58] contains an account of a trip that he had made into the
country with the Demoiselles de Rambouillet and de Bourbon, chaperoned
by "Madame the Princess," mother of the great Condé; Mlle. Paulet (the
bit of driftwood) and several others were of the party.

    We departed from Paris about six o'clock in the evening, [wrote
    Voiture], to go to La Barre,[59] where Mme. de Vigean was to give
    collation to Madame the Princess.... We arrived at La Barre and
    entered an audience-room in which there was nothing but a carpet
    of roses and of orange blossoms for us to walk upon. After having
    admired this magnificence, Madame the Princess wished to visit
    the promenade halls while we were waiting for supper. The sun was
    setting in a cloud of gold and azure, and there was only enough of
    it left to give a soft and misty light. The wind had gone down, it
    was cool and pleasant, and it seemed to us that earth and heaven
    had met to favour Mme. de Vigean's wish to feast the most beautiful
    Princess in the world.

    Having passed a large parterre, and great gardens, all full of
    orange trees, we arrived at a wood which the sunlight had not
    entered in more than an hundred years, until it entered there (in
    the person of Madame). At the foot of an avenue so long that we
    could not fathom its vista with our eyes until we had reached the
    end of it, we found a fountain which threw out more water than was
    ever thrown by all the fountains of Tivoli put together. Around the
    fountain were ranged twenty-four violinists with their violins, and
    their music was hardly able to cover the music of the fountain.
    When we drew near them we discovered a niche in the palisado, and
    in the niche was a Diana eleven or twelve years old, more beautiful
    than any goddess of the forests of Greece or of Thessaly. She
    bore her arrows in her eyes, and all the rays of the halo of her
    brother surrounded her. In another niche was one of Diana's nymphs,
    beautiful and sweet enough to attend Diana. They who doubt fables
    said that the two visions were only Mlle. de Bourbon and la Pucelle
    Priande; and, to tell the truth, there was some ground for their
    belief, for even we who have always put faith in fables, we who
    knew that we were looking upon a supernatural vision, recognised
    a close resemblance. Every one was standing motionless and
    speechless, with admiration for all the objects so astonishing both
    to ear and to eye, when suddenly the goddess sprang from her niche
    and with grace that cannot be described, began a dance around the
    fountain which lasted some time, and in which every one joined.

(Here Voiture, who was under obligations to his correspondent, Cardinal
de La Valette, represents himself as having wept because the Cardinal
was not there. According to Voiture's account he communicated his grief
to all the company.)

    ... And I should have wept, and, in fact, we all should have
    mourned too long, had not the violins quickly played a saraband so
    gay that every one sprang up and danced as joyously as if there
    had been no mourning; and thus, jumping, dancing, whirling,
    pirouetting, and capering, we arrived at the house, where we found
    a table dressed as delicately as if the faëries had served it. And
    now, Monseigneur, I come to a part of the adventure which cannot be
    described! Truly, there are no colours nor any figures of rhetoric
    to represent the six kinds of luscious soups, all different, which
    were first placed before us before anything else was served. And
    among other things were twelve different kinds of meats, under
    the most unimaginable disguises, such as no one had ever heard
    of, and of which not one of us has learned the name to this day!
    As we were leaving the table the music of the violins called us
    quickly up the stairs, and when we reached the upper floor we found
    an audience-room turned into a ball-room, so well lighted that it
    seemed to us that the sun, which had entirely disappeared from
    earth, had gone around in some unknown way and climbed up there to
    shine upon us and to make it as bright as any daylight ever seen.
    There the dance began anew, and even more perfectly than when we
    had danced around the fountain; and more magnificent than all else,
    Monseigneur, is this, that _I danced there!_ Mlle. de Bourbon said
    that, truth to tell, I danced badly, but that doubtless I should
    make an excellent swordsman, because, at the end of every cadence,
    I straightened as if to fall back on guard.

The fête ended in a display of fireworks, after which the company
"took the road" for Paris by the light of twenty flambeaux, singing
with all the strength of their lungs. When they reached the village of
La Villette they caught up with the violinists, who had started for
the city as soon as the dance was ended and before the party left the
château. One of the gayest of the company insisted that the violinists
should play, and that they should dance right there in the street of
the village. It was between two and three o'clock in the morning and
Voiture was tired out; he "blessed Heaven" when it was discovered that
the violins had been left at La Barre.

    At last [Voiture wrote to the Cardinal] we reached Paris....
    Impenetrable darkness wrapped the city, silence and solitude lay on
    every hand, the streets were deserted, and we saw no people, but
    now and then small animals, frightened by the glaring flames of
    our torches, fled before us, and we saw them hiding on the shadowy

We learn from this letter how the companions of the Hôtel de
Rambouillet passed their evenings.

In Paris and in the distant provinces there were many imitations of
the Salon; the germs of the enterprise had taken root all over France
with literary results, which became the subject of serious study.
The political consequences of the literary and social innovations
claimed less attention. The domestication of the nobility originated
in the Salon. When delicacy of manner was introduced as obligatory,
the nobleman was in full possession of the rights of power; he could
hunt and torture animals and inferior men, he could make war upon
his neighbours, he could live in egotistical isolation, enjoying the
luxuries bestowed by his seigniory, while the lower orders died of
hunger at his door, because his rank was manifested by his freedom
from rules which bound classes below his quality. The diversions
introduced at the Salon de Rambouillet exacted sacrifice of self to the
convenience of others. In the abstract this was an excellent thing, but
its reaction was felt by the aristocracy; from restraining their
selfishness the gallant courtiers passed on to the self-renunciation
of the ancient Crusaders, and when Louis XIV. saw fit (for his own
reasons) to turn his nobles into peaceful courtiers and grand barons
of the ante-chamber, he found that his work had all been done; it was
not possible to convert his warriors into courtiers, for he had no
warriors; all the warriors had turned to knights of the carpet; their
swords were wreathed with roses, and the ringing notes which had called
men to arms had changed to the sighing murmurs of Durandarte; every
man sat in a perfumed bower busily employed in making "sonnets to his
mistress's eyebrows." Louis XIV. fumed because his Court resembled a
salon; the incomparable Arthénice had given the restless cavaliers a
taste for fine conversation and innocent pleasures, and by doing so she
had minced the King's spoonmeat too fine; the absolute monarch could
only modify a transformation accomplished independent of his will.



We have now to determine how much of their false exalted sentiment and
their false ambition the princes, the chevaliers of the Fronde, and all
the gallants of the quality owed to the dramatic theatre of their day;
that estimated, we shall have gained a fair idea of the chief elements
of the social body idealised by Corneille,--of all the elements save
one, the element of Religion; that was a thing apart, to be considered
especially and in its own time.


[Footnote 27: _Relation de ce que c'est passé en l'affaire de la reyne
au mois d'août, 1637, sui le sujet de la Porte et de l'Abbesse du
Val-de-Grâce._ See document in the Bibliothèque National.]

[Footnote 28: The first part appeared in 1610, or perhaps [says M.
Brunetière], in 1618. The rest followed at long intervals. The four
last volumes bear date 1627 and consequently are posthumous. The part
written by d'Urfé cannot be distinguished from the part written by
Baro, who continued the work begun by d'Urfé.]

[Footnote 29: _Manuel de l'histoire de la littérature française_,
by M. Ferdinand Brunetière. Cf. _En Bourbonnais et en Forez_, by
Emile Montégut, and _Le roman_ (XVII. Century) by Paul Morillot in
_L'histoire de la langue et de la littérature française_, published
under the direction of M. Petit de Julleville. _Les vendanges de
Suresnes_, by Pierre du Ryer.]

[Footnote 30: Waliszeffski: _Marysienka_.]

[Footnote 31: Paul Morillot, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 32: In the Dedication of _Place Royale_.]

[Footnote 33: In the Dedication of _Place Royale_.]

[Footnote 34: M. Lemaître's address, delivered at Port Royal. (Racine's

[Footnote 35: _Histoire de l'art, pendant la renaissance._]

[Footnote 36: Sauval, _Les antiquités de Paris_.]

[Footnote 37: Dulaure, _Environs de Paris_.]

[Footnote 38: _Astrée._]

[Footnote 39: Montégut, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 40: Somaize's _Dictionnaire des Précieuses_.]

[Footnote 41: _Mémoires_, Conrart.]

[Footnote 42: _Gazette de Loret._ (Letter bearing date August 13,

[Footnote 43: Tallemant.]

[Footnote 44: _Mémoires_, de Richelieu.]

[Footnote 45: Young Louvigny was killed in a duel in 1629; he was
entering his twenty-first year.]

[Footnote 46: Vicomte d'Avenel, _Richelieu et la Monarchie absolue_.]

[Footnote 47: See Gamboust's map, _Paris en 1652_.]

[Footnote 48: Tallemant.]

[Footnote 49: In one of the angles at the end of the courtyard

[Footnote 50: M. Bourciez _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 51: _Ibid._]

[Footnote 52: Bussy-Rabutin, _Histoire amoreuse des Gaules_.]

[Footnote 53: Oh, no! not such a good boy as all that!--Arvède Barine.]

[Footnote 54: Mme. de Sévigné.]

[Footnote 55: _Valentin Conrart_, Réné Kerviler and Ed. de Barthélemy.]

[Footnote 56: Mme. de Kerviler and Ed. de Barthélemy, _loc. cit._]

[Footnote 57: Tallemant.]

[Footnote 58: Cardinal La Valette.]

[Footnote 59: Near Enghien.]


    I. The Earliest Influences of the Theatre--II. Mademoiselle and
    the School of Corneille--III. Marriage Projects--IV. The Cinq-Mars
    Affair--Close of the Reign.


La Grande Mademoiselle and her companions cherished the still existent
passion for the theatre, which is a characteristic of the French
people. The great received comedians, or actors, in their palaces;
the palace had audience-rooms prepared to permit of the presentation
of theatrical plays; in the summer, when the social world went into
the country, the comedians accompanied or followed them to their
châteaux. Society required the diversion of the play when it journeyed
either for pleasure or for duty, and play-acting, whatever its quality
and whatever the subject of its action, elicited the indulgent
satisfaction and the applause that it elicits to-day, be its subject
and its quality good or bad. At the end of the sixteenth century,
play-actors superseded the magicians who until that time had afforded
public amusement; the people hailed the change with enthusiasm; and
the innovation prevailed. The courtiers loved the spectacle, and
from the beginning of the reign of Louis XIII. the Court and the
comedy were inseparable. Louis XIII. had witnessed the play in early
infancy. In 1614, when the King and the Court went upon a journey they
lingered upon the road between Paris and Nantes six weeks, halting to
witness the plays then being given in the cities along their route,
and receiving their favourite actors in their own lodgings. The King
was less than thirteen years old, yet it is stated in the journal
kept by Hérouard, the King's physician, that the child was regaled
with theatrical plays throughout his journey. At Tours he was taken
to the Abbey of Saint Julian to witness the French comedy given by de
Courtenvaut, who lodged at the abbey. At Paris the little King went
to the palace with the Queen to see a play given by the pupils of the
Jesuit Brothers. At Loudun the King ordered a play, and it was given in
his own house; at La Flèche he attended three theatrical entertainments
in one day. To quote from the doctor's (Hérouard's) journal:

    The King attended mass and from mass he went to the Jesuits'
    college, where he saw the collegians play and recite a pastoral.
    After dinner he returned to the college of the Jesuits, where
    in the great hall, the tragedy of _Godefroy de Bouillon_ was
    represented; then in the grand alley of the park, at four o'clock,
    the comedy of _Clorínde_ was played before the Queen.

When Gaston d'Orléans took his young wife to Chantilly immediately
after his marriage, he sent for a troupe of comedians, who went to
the château with their band and with violins,--"thus," reports a
contemporary, "rendering the little journey very diverting." On the
occasion already mentioned, when the same Prince conducted his daughter
to Tours so that he might present Louison Roger to her, he did not
permit the little Princess to languish for the theatre. "Monsieur
sent for the comedians," wrote Mademoiselle, "and we had the comedy
nearly every day."[60] When Monsieur returned to his château in Blois
his troupe followed him. When Mademoiselle returned to the Tuileries
(November, 1637) she found a private theatre in every house to which
she was invited.

Actors worked without respite; they had no vacations; they played in
the French, in the Spanish, and in the Italian languages; and English
comedy also, played by English actors, was seen in Paris. Richelieu's
theatre in the Hôtel de Richelieu[61] "was provided with two audience
halls,--one large, the other small. Both were luxuriously mounted. The
decorations and the costumes of the actors displayed such magnificence
that the audience murmured with delight."

The _Gazette de France_, which bestowed nothing but an occasional
casual notice upon the royal theatre of the King's palace, dilated
admiringly upon the Théâtre de Richelieu and the marvels with which the
Cardinal regaled his guests. The _Gazette_ reported the occasion of the
presentation of "the excellent comedy written by Sieur Baro," and the
ballet which followed it.

    The ballet was interlaced by a double collation. One part of the
    collation was composed of the rarest and most delicious of fruits;
    the other part was composed of confitures in little baskets,
    which eighteen dancing pages presented to the guests. The baskets
    were all trimmed with English ribands and with golden and silvern
    tissue. The pages presented the baskets to the lords and then the
    lords distributed them among the ladies.

Mademoiselle was one of the company, and she received her basket with
profound satisfaction. Three days after the first comedy of Baro was
played the Court again visited the Cardinal's theatre to witness a
second play by the same author. Baro was a well-known literary hack. He
had been d'Urfé's secretary and had continued _Astrée_ when d'Urfé laid
down his pen. The success of the second representation was phenomenal.

    The ornamentation of the theatre [commented the _Gazette_], the
    pretty, ingenious tricks invented by the author, the excellences of
    the verse ... the ravishing concert of the lutes, the harpsichords,
    and the other instruments, the elocution, the gestures, and the
    costumes of the actors compromised the honour of all the plays that
    have been seen either in past centuries or in our own century.

We consider Baro's plays insipid, but they were very successful in
their day.

February 19th was a gala day at the Théâtre de Richelieu. A fête was
given in honour of the Duke of Parma. First of all they gave a very
fine comedy, with complete change of play, with interludes; lutes,
spinnets, viols, and violins were played.

The _Gazette de France_ tells us that there was a ballet, and then a
supper, at which the guests saw "the fine buffet, all of white silver,"
which the Cardinal gave to the King some years later. Though the
theatre was the chief amusement in 1636, the theatrical representations
and ballets, "interlaced by collations" and by interludes, were
considered a good deal of dancing and a good deal of play-acting for a
priest, even when disseminated over a period of three weeks.

The conclusion of the report in the _Gazette_ proved that Richelieu was
conscious of his acts, and that he did not disdain to justify himself.
"Without flattering his Eminence," said the _Gazette_, "it may be said
that all which takes place by his orders is always in conformity with
reason and with right, and that the duties which he renders to the
State never conflict with those that all Christians owe--and which he,
in particular, owes--to the Church." Mademoiselle attended all the
fêtes, and she was less than ten years old. She, herself, gave a ball
and a comedy in honour of the Queen in the palace of the Tuileries.

In that day children in their nurses' arms were taken to see the play.
A contemporary engraving depicts the royal family at the theatre in
Richelieu's palace. The "hall" is in the form of an immense salon much
longer than it is broad; at one end is the stage, raised by five
steps; along the walls are two ranks of galleries for the invited
guests. The women sit in the lower gallery, the men sit above them;
seats have been brought into the centre of the hall, and on them sit
Louis XIII. and his family. In the picture Monsieur is sitting on
the King's left hand. On Anne of Austria's right hand, in a little
arm-chair made for a child, sits the Dauphin, who must have been three,
or possibly four, years old at that time. On the right hand of the
Queen, beyond the Dauphin, stands a woman holding a great doll-like
infant, the brother of the Dauphin.

The playgoing infantine assiduity, the custom of carrying children in
swaddling bands to the theatre to witness comedies of every species,
good or bad, assured the theatre of a position in public education; the
children of the aristocracy drank in the drama with eye and ear--if I
dare express myself thus--and at an age when reason was not present to
correct the effect of impressions. The repertory of the theatre was one
of the most dramatically romantic and sentimental ever known to France
and the one of all others best fitted to turn a generation from sound
reality to false and fantastic visions.

The general movement of that day may be classed as an aberration due
to the fact that the drama was a new pleasure; the inconveniences
attendant upon its influences had not been recognised, but it is
probable that some of the condemnations uttered by the moralists and
by the preachers of the seventeenth century in the name of religion
and of decency were called forth by the presence of children at the
play; the men who were most bitter in denunciations which amaze us by
the excess of their hostility spoke from experience and had reason for
their bitterness. The Prince de Conti, the brother of the great Condé,
might have furnished unique commentaries on the criticisms of the day,
had he cared to recall a treatise which he wrote (_The Plays of the
Theatre, and Spectacles_) when he was emerging from a youth far from

The treatise was written for the benefit of light-minded people, who
saw no harm in playgoing. In the beginning of his work the Prince
said: "I hope to prove that comedy in its present condition is not the
innocent amusement that it is considered; I hope to prove that a true
Christian must regard it as an evil." As his treatise progressed it
became explicit; his arraignment was animated by _Astrée_; he declared
that a play free from the sentimentality and the passions of love and
from the thoughts and the actions of lovers was not acceptable to the
public. Love forms the foundation of the play, and therefore it must
be discussed freely from its first principles. Now a play, however
fine its dramatic composition may be, can have no other effect than
to disgust refined minds and to ruin the reputations of its actors,
unless the love on which it is based is represented delicately, and
in a tenderly impassioned manner. And as few actors are capable of
producing a perfect representation of the most subtle and many-sided
of passions, the general effect of our comedy is deteriorating. As its
basis and its structure depend upon one single subject, it can have
but one subject of interest. Our comedies are considered commendable
according to their manners of discussing love; the divers beauties of
our dramas consist in their various exposures of the intimate effects
of love. Love is the theme, and the mind must either accept it and
work upon it or rest unemployed; there is no choice; no other theme
is given. When love is not the chief agent, it serves as an irritant
to draw out some other passion and to make sensuous display not only
possible but cogent, if not imperatively necessary; be the play what
it may, love is represented as the "passion ruling the heart." Conti
opposed to the popular "corruption of the drama" the grave lessons
offered by the great tragedies. Segrais treated the subject in the same
way; he said: "During more than forty years nearly all of the subjects
of our plays have been drawn from _Astrée_, and, generally speaking,
the dramatists have been satisfied with their work if they have changed
to verse the phrases which d'Urfé put in the mouths of his characters
in plain prose."

Segrais exaggerated. _Astrée_ did not furnish "nearly all" of the
subjects of the plays; but the extraordinary importance of stage love
and of stage lovers was drawn from _Astrée_, and, despite the temporary
reaction due to Corneille, _Astrée_ persuaded the great body of French
society that there was nothing pathetic in the world but love, and
neither our dramatists nor our moralists have been able to break away
from an error which singularly circumscribes their art. Love is now the
subject of the romance and of the play, as it was in the early days of
La Grande Mademoiselle.

Invitations to the Louvre or to the homes of the great were not too
easy to procure, and there were many people who never entered the
private theatres; but there were two "paying theatres," or theatres to
which the public were admitted on paying a fixed price; one of the two
houses was the Hôtel de Bourgogne, which stood in the rue Mauconseil,
between the rue Montmartre and the rue Saint Denis; the other was the
Théâtre du Marais, in the Veille rue du Temple. The Marais was then
an out-of-the-way quarter, very dangerous after nightfall. I have not
spoken of this place until now, because it was almost impossible for
any one in the polite society of which I have written to visit it. No
woman dared to enter the Marais unless she lived there. The woman of
quality could not even think of entering it except on gala days, when
the Court of France went in a body to visit the play-actors in their
own quarter. At ordinary times the Hôtel de Bourgogne "was neither a
good place nor a safe place." In form and arrangement the audience
hall was like the hall of the Théâtre de Richelieu; two galleries, one
above the other, ran the whole length of the walls, and in certain
places the walls were connected with the gallery to form stalls or
boxes. The parterre was a vast space in which people watched the play
standing. In that part of the theatre there were no seats. An hour,
or perhaps two hours, before the play began the great unclean space
was filled with the most boisterous and ungovernable representatives
of the dregs of Paris and with all the active members of the lesser
classes[62]: students, pages, lackeys, artisans, drunkards, the scum
of the canaille, and professional thieves; and there, on the floor of
the parterre, they gambled, lunched, drank, and fought each other with
stones, with swords, or with any weapon which came to hand; and as
they gratified their appetites or abused their neighbours, all strove
in the way best known to them to protect their purses and to keep the
thieves from carrying off their cloaks. The air resounded with shouts,
shrieks, songs, and obscene apostrophes. Contemporary writers regarded
everything as fit for the record, and therefore in all our researches
we come upon heartrending evidences of inenarrable depravity. The
charivari of the assistants of the pit continued throughout the
performance, ending only when the vociferous throngs were turned into
the streets so that the theatre might be locked for the night. At their
quietest the spectators of the parterre were noisy and obstreperous. To
quote one of their chroniclers[63]:

"In their most perfect repose they continued to talk, to whistle, and
to scream without ceasing; they did not care at all to hear what the
comedians were saying." We differ from the chroniclers as to this last
opinion; it is probable that they cared only too much; it was to please
the rabble that abominably gross farces were played in the paying
theatres. Tragedy was relished only by the higher classes.

An eye-witness, the Abbé d'Aubignac,[64] wrote: "We see that tragedies
are liked better than comedies at the Court of France; while among the
lesser people comedies, and even farces and unclean buffooneries are
considered more amusing than tragedies." The same d'Aubignac wrote in
or about the year 1666: "Fifty years ago an honest woman dared not go
to the theatre."[65] Between the universally ardent desire to enjoy the
fashionable form of pleasure and the efforts to make the stage less
licentious the purification of the drama was accomplished.

The increasing delicacy of the public taste demanded a reform, and in
deference to it the moral atmosphere of both of the popular theatres
was renewed at the same time; a new and decent repertory was adopted,
and the foul programme of the past was cast away. Popular feeling
acclaimed the change and hastened the accomplishment of the reformation.

At the time when the _Cid_[66] was played the lower classes had
ceased to rule the paying theatres; the masses went out of Paris for
their pleasure; to the fairs of Saint Laurent and Saint Germain, and
to the entertainments on the Pont-Neuf or the Place Dauphine; they
crowded around the trestled planks, they hung about the stands of the
charlatans, the buffoons, and the trick players. The paying theatres
were filled by the upper middle classes. Women who had not dared to
go to the play in 1620 attended the theatre of the Hôtel de Bourgogne
as freely as they would have attended or as they did attend the
Luxembourg.[67] The fine world of the quality had found its way to
the theatre of the Marais; the _Cid_ was in course of representation
when the stage of the Marais and the courtiers thronged to the obscure
quarter to witness its marvels. The _Cid_ was played in the private
theatres as well as in the Hôtel de Bourgogne. M. Lanson tells us that
the comedians were summoned to the Louvre three times and twice to the
Hôtel de Richelieu, but the great were too impatient to wait for the
play to come to them, they ran to meet it; every one longed to see it
not at a future time but on the instant, and therefore they flocked to
the Veille rue du Temple.

In 1637 (18th January) Mondory, the actor, who played the part of
_Rodrigue_, wrote to Balzac:

    Last night they who are usually seen in the Gold Room and on seats
    bearing the fleur-de-lys, were visible upon our benches not singly
    but in groups. At our doors the crowd was so great, and our place
    was so small, that the nooks which ordinarily serve as recesses for
    the pages, were reserved for the Knights of the Saint Esprit; and
    the whole scene was bedight with Chevaliers of the Order.

All women could attend the play at will; and they all ardently wished
to attend it, not once but always. They who saw it at Court, or at
the houses of the great, were none the less anxious to frequent the
paying theatres, where, though the scene had been purged of many of its
abuses, the spectacle differed essentially from that presented to the
great. Many distinct peculiarities of the old plays had been retained;
added to that was the novelty of the place, and the lack of courtly
ceremony, and the diversion afforded two different spectacles: the play
and the audience. Like the children of the great, the wives and the
daughters of the inferior classes abused their privilege and visited
the theatre incessantly and the rich and the poor suffered from the
influences of the superficial amusement. The play tended to deceive the
mind, and to give a false impression of the aims and the needs of life.
The majority of women were ignorant; they had never learned anything.
If they could read they read works of fiction, and their literature
was calculated to foster illusions. Exaltedly idealistic as _Astrée_
had been, the writings of La Calprenède, de Gomberville, and others
of their school were still more sentimentally romantic; compared
with his successors, Honoré d'Urfé was a realist. The influence of
the theatre was shown in the intellectual development of woman, the
imagination of all classes was encouraged, the more useful mental
agents were neglected, and the minds of the people were visibly weak
and ill-balanced; the general impulse was to seek adventures on any
road and at any price. The thirst for unknown sensations was a fully
developed desire in their day, so we cannot with justice class it as a
"curiosity" emanating from the inventive imaginations of the decadents.

The writer, Pierre Costar, wilfully lingered three weeks in a tertian
fever so that he might enjoy the sickly dreams which accompanied the
recurrent paroxysms of the disease. In our day Pierre Costar would be
an opium-eater, or a morphinomaniac.


La Grande Mademoiselle owed much of her turn of mind to the dramatic
plays that she had watched from infancy. I doubt if she was given any
lessons in history, or that she had any lessons of the kind before she
reached her twenty-fifth year, when she acquired a taste for reading.
All that she knew of history had been gleaned by her from the tragedies
that she had seen at the theatre, and as she was refractory to the
sentiment of _Astrée_, it cannot be inferred that she had learned much
from d'Urfé; so it may be said that Corneille was her teacher in all
branches of learning, that no one of that time was in deeper debt to
the influence that he exerted over minds, and that no one so plainly
manifested his influence. From the education afforded by Corneille
came good and evil mingled. As we follow the course of Mademoiselle's
life we are forced to admit that however high and noble were the
ideas sown broadcast by Corneille, they were not always devoid of
inconveniences when they fell among people whose experimental knowledge
and practicality were inferior to their susceptibility to impressions.

In the years which followed the advent of the _Cid_ Corneille was the
literary head of France; he had discovered the French scene through the
influence of d'Urfé, but his power was his own, and it was an inherent
power; he was the creator of a tendency.

The unclean farce, which delighted the lockpickers and the gamblers of
the Paris of those days, has no place here, because it has no place in
literature. When "good company" invaded the paying theatres the farce
followed the canaille and took its place upon the trestled stages of
the Pont-Neuf. The farce played a part of its own, in a world unknown
to Mademoiselle; but the pastoral demands our attention, not only
because it was in high favour in Mademoiselle's society, but because
Corneille exerted his influence against it.

[Illustration: CORNEILLE


In the pastoral, love took possession of the stage, as it had been
announced to do, in the play which opened the way for its successors,
Tasso's _Aminta_.[68] In the prologue the son of Venus appeared
disguised as a shepherd, and declaimed, for the benefit of the other
shepherds, a discourse which, little by little, became the programme of
all imaginative literature:

    To-day these forests shall he heard speaking of love in a new
    way.... I will inspire gross hearts with noble sentiments; I will
    subdue their language and make soft their voices; for, wherever I
    may be, I still am Love; in shepherds as in heroes. I establish, if
    so it please me, equality in all conditions, no matter how unequal;
    and my supreme glory, and the miracle of all my power, is to change
    the rustic musettes into sounding lyres.

Modern poets and novelists do not insist that all men are equal in
passion as they are equal in suffering and in death; but the people of
the nineteenth century fully believed in such equality. George Sand
expresses her real feelings in _La Petite Fadette_; and Pouvillon meant
all that he said in _Les Antibel_. The contemporaries of Louis XIII.
looked askance upon such theories; in their opinion the love, like the
suffering, of the inferior was below the conception of the quality, a
thing as hard for the noble mind to grasp as the invisible movement of
life in an atom; to be ignorant of the needs, the hopes, the anguish
of inferiors was one of the first proofs of exalted nobility. But the
nobles knew that the shepherds of the dramatic stage were gentlemen
travestied, and, therefore, they bestowed the interest formerly
accorded to the heroes of the heroic drama upon the woes of the mimic
Celadons of the comedy. Love would have become the dramatic pivot had
it not been for Corneille's plays; d'Urfé's characters were "sighing
like a furnace" when Corneille took command and gave the posts of
honour to "the manly passions"; but not even Corneille could reach such
a point at a bound; he attained it by strenuous effort. He began his
literary career by writing comedies in verse. Before he produced the
_Cid_, between the years 1629 and 1636, he wrote six plays; an inferior
serio-comedy, _Clitandre; or, Innocence Delivered_, and a tragedy,
_Médée_. To quote M. Lemaître:

    We now enter a world which is superficial, because its people
    have but one object in living: their only occupation, their only
    pleasure, their only interest is love; all else, all the interests
    of social life are eliminated.... To love.... To be loved, ...
    this is the only earthly object, according to the teachings of the
    drama, and truly, in the long run it becomes tiresome! Such a world
    must be impossible, because it is artificial; in it hearts are
    the subjects of all the quarrels; men fight for them, lose them,
    find them; they are stolen, they are restored to their owners,
    they are tossed like shuttlecocks through five acts of a play. As
    they "chassay" to and fro before the reader he loses all sense of
    their identity, and takes one for the other; in the end the mind is
    wearied. Excessive handling exhausts the vitality of the subject,
    and leaves an impression as of something vapid and unsavoury. But
    Corneille was Cornélien even when he wrote rhymed comedy--he could
    not have been anything else--and he never would have fallen into
    rhyme had he not wished to make concessions to the prevailing

Even when engaged in the most absorbing of intrigues his lovers
pretend that they are their own masters, and that they feel only such
sentiments as they have elected to feel. At that early day--when
_Médée_ and _Clitandre_ were written--the culte of the will had
germinated; and time proved that it was predestined to become the chief
director of Corneille's work. In _La Place Royale_ Alidor says of

    Je veux la liberté dans le milieu des fers,
    Il ne faut pas servir d'objet, qui nous possède.
    Il ne faut point nouirrir d'amour qui ne nous cède,
    Je le hais s'il me force, et, quand j'aime, je veux
    Que de ma volonté dépendent tous mes voeux,
    Que mon feu m'obéisse au lieu de me contraindre,
    Que je puisse, à mon gré, l'enflammer ou l'éteindre,
    Et toujours en état de disposer de moi,
    Donner quand il me plaît et retirer ma foi.

In Corneille's plays young girls are raised to believe that they
can love, or cease to love, at will; and their pride is interested.
Ambition demands that they remain in command of their affections. When
old Pleirante perceives that his daughter Célidée is fond of Lysandre
he lets her know that he has divined her secret and that he approves of
her choice, but Célidée answers proudly:

    "Monsieur, il est tout, vrai, Son légitime ardor
    A tant gagné sur moi que j'en fais de l'estime . . .
    J'aime son entretien, je cheris sa présence;
    Mais cela n'est enfin qu'un peu de complaisance,
    Qu'un mouvement léger qui passe en moins d'un jour,
    'Vos seuls commandements produiront mon amour.'"

    --_Galerie du Palace._

Another ingenuous daughter answers, in an offended tone, when her mother
intimates that she seems to be in love with Alcidon, that she

    "_Knows that appearances are against her!_ But," she adds, "my
    heart has gone only as far as I willed that it should go. It
    is always free; and it holds in reserve a sincere regard for
    everything that my mother prescribes for me.... My wish is yours,
    do with me what you will."--_La Veuve._

The public approved this language. It commended people who married
their daughters without consulting their hearts. And who shall say that
this way was not the one best fitted for their times? Faith added to
necessity engenders miracles, and miracles are what morality demands.

In the great world, the world of the great and the noble, love was
mentioned only as Corneille regarded it in his plays. Every one was in
love,--or feigned to be in love; on all hands were heard twitterings
as of birds in the springtime; but the pretty music ceased when
marriage was suggested, for no one had thought of founding a domestic
hearth on a sentiment as personal and as ephemeral as love. It was
understood that the collective body came first, that the youth--man
or maid--belonged to the family, not to self. Contrary to our way of
looking at things, it was considered meet and right for the individual
to subject himself to a species of public discipline in everything
relating to the essential actions of private life; the demand for
the public discipline of individuals was based upon the interests
of the community. This law--or social tyranny, if you will--covered
marriage, and upon occasion Parliament did police duty and enforced
it. Parliament forbade the aged Mme. de Pibrac to marry a seventh
time--although her six marriages had all been accomplished under normal
conditions--because it was supposed that a seventh marriage might
entail ridicule. The reason given by Parliament when it forbade Mme. de
Limoges to permit her daughter to marry a very honourable man of whom
she was fond, and who was supposed to be fond of her, was this: that
her guardian and tutor "did not approve of the marriage." The history
of this subject of marriage shows us that our great grandmothers did
not bear malice against destiny; they were truly Cornéliennes in
their conviction that a decorous control of the will constrained the
sentiments of an high-born soul, and they married their daughters
without scruple, and without anxiety, as freely and as carelessly as
they had married themselves. Religion was always close at hand, waiting
to staunch the wounds which social exigencies and family selfishness
made in the hearts of the unfortunate lovers.

The understanding between Corneille and his readers was perfect; all
that he did pleased the playgoers, and when, as he was searching
for what we should call "the realistic," he came upon the idea that
he might tempt the public taste by presenting a play with a Spanish
setting, his critics were well pleased. He wrote the _Cid_ and it was
an unqualified success; but its exotic sentiments and the generous
breadth of its morals excited vigorous protestations; the piece was met
by resistance like that which greeted the appearance of Ibsen's _Doll's

    It is known [said Jules Lemaître] that despite the fact that the
    popular enthusiasm was prodigious the critics were implacable.
    Perhaps the criticisms were not all inspired by base envy of the
    author. I believe in the good faith of the Academy, and to my
    mind, it seems possible that the criticisms of the Academy were
    not considered either partial or unjust by every one in France; it
    may be that there were many thinkers who shared the opinions of
    Cardinal de Richelieu and the majority of the Academy.

These lines are truth itself; the _Cid_ was an immoral play because
it was the apotheosis of passionate love, whose rights it proclaimed
at the expense of the most imperious duties. There was enough in the
_Cid_ to shock any social body holding firmly fixed opinions adverse to
the public exhibition of intimate personal feelings; there were such
bodies--the Academy was one of them--they made their own conditions,
and the license of the prevailing morals was insignificant to them. The
national idea of the superior rights of the family was well-grounded,
and when the Academy reproached Chimène because she was "too sensible
of the feelings of the lover--too conscious of her love ... too
unnatural a daughter"--it did no more than echo a large number of

Until he wrote the _Cid_ Corneille was more exigeant than the Academy.
The only thing required of lovers by the Academy was that they, the
lovers, should govern their feelings and love, or not love, according
to the commands of their families or their notaries. The Academy asked
nothing of them but to control their actions regardless of their
hearts; surely that was indulgence; beyond that there remained but one
thing more,--to suppress the mind.

    We do not consider it essential [said _Sentiments Sur le Cid_]
    to condemn Chimène because she loved her father's murderer; her
    engagement to Rodrigue had preceded the murder, and it is not
    within the power of a person to cease loving at will. We blame
    her because, while she was pursuing Rodrigue, ostensibly to his
    disadvantage, she was making vows and besieging Heaven in his
    favour; this was a too evident betrayal of her natural obligations
    in favour of her passion; it was too openly searching for a cloak
    to cover her wishes, and making less of the daughter than of
    the daughter's power to love her lover; in other words, it was
    cheapening the natural character of the daughter to the advantage
    of the lover.

The example was especially pernicious, because the genius of the
author had rendered it seductive, and because the part which Chimène
played assured her of the sympathy of the audience. Corneille was
very sensitive to the criticisms of the Academy, and after the _Cid_
appeared something more serious than synthetic form was placed under
the knives of the literary doctors; either because the denunciations
of his friends bore fruit, or because, in the depths of his heart, he
harboured the feelings which the unbridled ardour of the _Cid_ had
aroused in the Academy and in the other honest people "who upbraided
him, he retreated from the field of sentimental romanticism, and turned
his talents in another direction.... Nature's triumph over a social
convention was never given another occasion to display its graces or to
celebrate its truths under his auspices and the love passion was not
heard of again until it came forth in _Horace_ (Camille), to be very
severely dealt with."

We are led to believe that had Corneille met the subject of the _Cid_
fifteen years later, he would never have granted Chimène and Rodrigue
a marriage license.[71] Nor is this all. Having reformed, he was as
fanatical as the rest of the reformers; having become Catholic, he was
more Catholic than the Pope. He disclaimed love, and would have none of
it; he affirmed that it was unworthy of a place in tragedy. In his own
words, written some time later:

    The dignity of tragedy demands for its subject some great interest
    of the State, ... or some passion more manly than love; as, for
    instance, ambition or vengeance. If fear is permitted to enter such
    a work it should be a fear less puerile than that inspired by the
    loss of a mistress. It is proper to mingle a little love with the
    more important elements, because love is always very pleasing, and
    it may serve as a foundation for the other interests and passions
    that I have named. But if love is permitted to enter tragedy it
    must be content to take the second rank in the poem, and to leave
    the first places to the capital passions.

Having chosen his bone in this high-handed fashion, Corneille gnawed
at it continually; he could never get enough of it. Love had triumphed
in the _Cid_, but that day was past; in _Horace_ it struggled for
existence; in _Polyeucte_ it was vanquished, though not before it
had opposed sturdy resistance. It was weak enough in _Cinna_. After
the arrival of _Pompée_ it gave up the struggle, though it was heard
piteously murmuring at intervals. When _Pompée_ appeared the ladies
disappeared from the drama as if by magic; hardly a woman worthy of the
name could be found in literature: a few beings there were draped with
the time-worn title, but they were as virile as wild Indians.

    _A little hardness sets so well upon great souls!_

Nothing could be seen but ambition, blood, thirst for power, and Fury,
cup-bearer to the God of Vengeance. There was no more love-passion,
the manly passions ramped upon the stage like lions, and, with few
exceptions, all, male and female, were monsters of the Will.

Long years passed before anything but the Will was heard of. After a
long reign the "monsters" disappeared. But they have reappeared in the
literature of our century. The worship of the Will, which originated
with Corneille, was recently revived by Nietzsche, whose famous
"Sur-homme" bears a very strong family resemblance to the Cornélien
heroes. "Life," said Nietzsche, "is that which ought always to surpass
and to exceed itself." Corneille's personages kept all the springs of
their will well in hand. They intended to succeed, to surpass, and to
get ahead of themselves if the thing was to be done; and when they were
convinced that to surpass themselves was impossible their future looked
very dark, and they sold their lives at cut prices,--or threw them in
for nothing--letting them go to any one who would carry them away. In
the fifth act of the play Horace became very anxious to die because, as
he expressed it, he feared that, after what he had done, he should be
unable to "surpass himself."

    "Votre Majesté, Sire, à vu mes trois combats;
    Il est bien malaisé qu'un pareil les seconde,
    Qu'une autre occasion à celle-ci réponde,
    Et que tout mon courage, après de si grands coups,
    Parvienne à des succès qui n'aillent au dessous;
    Si bien que pour laisser une illustre mémoire,
    La mort seule aujourd'hui peut conserver ma gloire."

The analogy between the "Sur-homme" and the Cornélien heroes does not
end here; logic would not permit that; nothing weakens and enslaves the
firm and exalted will as effectually as the sentiment of pity, and both
Corneille and Nietzsche enfranchised their ideal humanity. Corneille
makes some one assure Horace that there is no great merit in exposing
himself to death, but that concession to weakness is of an early
period; the advanced man--the man out of the common order--is easily
recognised by the fact that he does not hesitate to bring the greatest
sufferings upon the beings who are dearest to him.

    Combattre un ennemi pour le salut de tous,
    Et contre un inconnu s'exposer seul aux coups,
    D'une simple vertu c'est l'effet ordinaire ...
    Mais vouloir au public immoler ce qu' on aime,
    S'attacher au combat contre un autre soi-même ...
    Une telle vertu n'appartenait qu' à nous.

The lines which follow were written by Nietzsche, and they seem a
paraphrase of the discourse of Horace:

    To know how to suffer is nothing; feeble women, even slaves, may be
    past masters in this art. But to stand firm against the assaults
    of the pain of doubt, to withstand the weakness of remorse when
    we inflict torment,--this is to be a hero; this is the height of
    courage; in this lies the first condition of all grandeur.

Corneille's contempt for pity was shared by his contemporaries, and
so were his views of marriage as expressed in his first comedies.
The seigniors whom he met at the Hôtel de Rambouillet would have
blushed to feel compassion. They left the womanish weakness of pity
to the inferior beings of the lower orders. The great had always been
convinced that elevation in rank raised man above the consciousness
of the sufferings of beings of an inferior order; and in the day of
Corneille they were fully persuaded that noblemen ought to find higher
reasons for justice and for generosity than the involuntary emotions
which we of this later day have learned to recognise as symptoms of
"nervous disturbance."

    I am very little sensible of pity [wrote La Rochefoucauld], and I
    would prefer not to feel it at all. Nevertheless there is nothing
    that I would not do for the afflicted, and I believe that I ought
    to do what I can for them--even to expressing compassion for their
    woes, for the wretches are so stupid that it does them the greatest
    good in the world to receive sympathy; but I believe that we ought
    to confine ourselves to expressing pity; we ought to take great
    care not to feel it; pity is a passion which is good for nothing
    in a well-made soul; when entertained it weakens the heart, and
    therefore we ought to relegate it to beings who need passions to
    incite them to do things because they are incapable of acting by

The manly characters in Corneille's heroic comedies never lower
themselves to the plane of the common people, nor to a plane where they
can think as the people think. Corneille was "of the Court" by all his
feelings and by all his prejudices, and he shared Mademoiselle's belief
that there is a natural difference between the man of quality and the
man below the quality, because generous virtues are mingled with the
blood which runs in noble veins, while the blood of the man of lower
birth is mingled with lower passions. Being a true courtier, Corneille
believed that above the two varieties of the human kind--the quality
and the lesser people--Providence set the order of Princes who are of
an essence apart, elect, and quasi-divine.

In _Don Sancho d'Aragon_ Carlos did his best to prove that he was
the son of a fisherman. His natural splendour gave the lie to his
pretence. "Impossible that he could have sprung from blood formed by
Heaven of nothing but clay."

Don Lope affirms that it cannot be true.

    Non, le fils d'un pêcheur ne parle point ainsi ...
    Je le soutien, Carlos, vous n'êtes point son fils,
    La justice du ciel ne peut l'avoir permis,
    Les tendresses du sang vous font une imposture,
    Et je démens pour vous la voix de la nature.

He discovers that Carlos is the son of a King of Aragon. His
extraordinary merit is explained and consistency is satisfied. On the
whole Corneille did nothing but develop the maxims and idealise the
models offered to his observation on all sides; as much may be said of
the plots of his great plays. His subjects were suggested by the events
of the day. Had there been no Mme. de Chevreuse and no conspiracies
against Richelieu there could have been no _Cinna_. And it is possible
that there might not have been such a work as _Polyeucte_ had there
been no Jansenism.[72]

Corneille did not understand actuality as we understand it. His tragedy
is never a report of real occurrences, that is evident. But he was
besieged, encompassed, possessed, by the life around him, and it left
impressions in his mind which worked out and mingled with every subject
upon which he entered. He was guided by his impressions,--though he did
not know it,--and by their influence he was enabled to find a powerful
tragedy in a few indifferent lines dropped by a mediocre historian,
or by an inferior narrator of insignificant events. His surroundings
furnished him with precise representations, made real to his mind by
the vague abstractions of history. In the forms and conditions of the
present he saw and felt all the past.[73]

[Illustration: RACINE


His constant contact with the world of his times favoured the action
of his mind upon the minds of his auditors. He exhibited to them
their passions, their thoughts, their feelings, their different
ways of looking upon social duty, upon politics, and upon the part
played, or to be played, by the aristocracy in the general movement.
The people of Paris loved the play because it exhibited openly, in
different, but always favourable lights, everything in which they had
any interest. In it they saw their own life, their aims, their needs,
their longing to be great and admirable in all things.[74] They saw
depicted all that they had dreamed of being, all that they had wished
to be; and something more vital than love of literature animated their
transports and lighted the fond glances fixed on the magic mirror
reflecting the ideals they so ardently caressed. The people listened to
Corneille's plays and trembled as they now tremble at the sound of _La
Marseillaise_. It has been said that they did not understand Racine;
if they did not, their lack of comprehension was natural. Racine was
of another generation, and he was not in sympathy with his forerunner.
Mme. de Sévigné was accused of false judgment in her criticism of
_Bejazet_,[75] but she also was of another school. She had little
sympathy for Racine's heroes. She understood Corneille's heroes, and
could not listen to his verses without the tremor of the heart which
we all feel when something recalls the generous fancies of our youth.
The general impression was that Corneille was inspired by the image of
Mlle. de Montpensier when he wrote _Pulcherie_ (1672), an heroic comedy
in which an empress stifles the cries of her heart that she may listen
to the voice of glory.

    _The throne lifts the soul above all tenderness._

It is not impossible that Corneille had some such thought in his mind.
Certainly Mademoiselle was a model close at hand. One day when her
bold poltroon of a father told her, in the course of a sharp reproof,
that she was compromising her house for the pleasure of "playing the
heroine," she answered haughtily and truthfully:

    "I do not know what it is to be anything _but_ a heroine! I am of
    birth so high that no matter what I might do, I never could be
    anything but great and noble. And they may call it what they like,
    _I_ call it following my inclination and taking my own road. I was
    born to take no other!"

Given such inclinations, and living in the Louvre, where Corneille's
plays were constantly enacted by Queen Anne's order, Mademoiselle
was accustomed to regard certain actions as the reverse of common and
ignoble, and to consider certain other actions "illustrious."

The justice of super-exalted sentiments was proclaimed by nobility,
and they who were disposed to closely imitate the examples set by
the literary leader of the day ran the risk of losing all sense of
proportions and of substance. Mademoiselle did lose that sense, nor was
she the only one to do so among all the children of quality who were
permitted to abuse their right to see the play. Through the imprudent
fashion of taking young children to the theatre, the honest Corneille,
who taught the heroism of duty, the poetry of sacrifice, the value of
strong will and self-control, was not absolutely innocent of the errors
in judgment and in moral sense by which the wars of the Fronde were
made possible. When he attempted to lift the soul of France above its
being, he vitiated a principle in the unformed national brain.


Mademoiselle had grown tall. She had lost her awkward ways; she was
considered pretty--although the Bourbon type might, at any moment,
become too pronounced. She had remained simple and insignificantly
innocent and childish, in a world where even the children discussed
politics and expressed opinions on the latest uprising. Side by side
with all her infantine pleasures were two serious cares which had
accompanied her from her cradle, one: her marriage; the other, the
honour of her house. The two cares were one, as the two objects were
one, because in that day a princess knew her exalted duty and accepted
her different forms of servitude without a frown, and certainly the
most painful of all those forms was the marriage in which the wife was
less than nothing; a being helpless in her inferiority, so situated
that she was unable to claim any share of the general domestic
happiness. The noble princesses had consented to drink their cup to the
dregs because it was part of their caste to do so, and many were they
who went to the altar as Racine's "Iphigénie" went to the sacrifice.
The idea that woman is a creature possessing a claim upon herself, with
the right to love, to be happy, and to seat herself upon the steps of
the throne, or even upon the throne, is a purely modern conception. The
day when that mediocre thought first germinated in the brain of the
noblewoman marked a date in the history of royalty, and it may be that
no surer sign was given to warn the nations of contemporary Europe of
the decay of the monarchical idea.

La Grande Mademoiselle had faith in the old traditions. She had always
been used to the idea that life would be full enough when she had
accomplished her high destiny and perpetuated the noble name borne
by her ancestors and she was fully satisfied with the idea that her
husband should see in her nothing but the "granddaughter of France,"
and accept her and her princely estates as he would accept any of
the other gifts directly bestowed on noblemen by Divine Providence.
Her husband had been ordained her husband from all time; and she was
prepared to yield her all to him without a murmur. What though he
should be ugly, gouty, doddering--or a babe in arms, "brutal," or
an "honest man"? Such details were for the lower orders, they were
puerile; unworthy of the attention of a great Princess. He would be the
_husband of Mlle. de Montpensier, niece of Louis XIII._, and that would
be enough. But in spite of herself she felt a lurking curiosity as to
who he should be. What was to be his name.... His Majesty, was he to be
a king, "_His Highness_," or simply "_Monseigneur_?" there lay the root
of the whole matter.

Of what rank were the wives whose right it was to remain seated in the
King's presence, ... and on what did they sit, arm-chairs or armless

_That was the question_, the only consideration of any importance.

We should prefer to think that Mademoiselle mourned because she was
reduced by her condition to forget that however princely a marriage
may be it must entail a husband, but we are the slaves of truth, we
must take our history as we find it, and be the fact pleasing or
painful,--here it is: Mademoiselle knew that she should marry the first
princely aspirant to her hand, and she was well content to let it be

The first to arouse her imagination was one of her mother's ancient
lovers, Comte de Soissons, a brilliant soldier, but a man of very
ordinary intellect. "M. le Comte" had not only aspired to the favour
of Anne-Marie's mother, but he had also addressed her cousin Marie,
Duchesse de Montpensier, and so lively had been the wooing that there
had been some talk of an abduction. Then Gaston had entered the field
and carried off the Duchess, and, gnawed by spite and jealous fury,
Soissons had quarrelled with him.

Less than a year later the unexpected death of Madame brought about a
reconciliation between the rivals. Monsieur, wifeless, charged with
an infant daughter, who was the sole heiress to almost incalculable
wealth, clasped hands with Soissons, under circumstances favourable
to the brightest dreams. Madame's timely death had restored intact a
flattering prospect. M. le Comte again and for the third time announced
pretensions to the hand of a Montpensier, and Gaston smiled approval.
He considered it all very natural; given a like occasion, he would have
followed a like course.

So, as far back as her youthful memory could travel, Mlle.
Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans found along her route traces of the
assiduous attentions of the even-then ripe cousin, who had regaled her
with sugared almonds through the medium of a gentleman named Campion,
accredited and charged with the mission of rendering his master
pleasing to Mademoiselle, the infant Princess of the Tuileries. M.
le Comte sent Campion to Court with sugared almonds, because he, the
Comte de Soissons, rarely set foot in Paris at any time, and at the
time which we are now considering a private matter of business (an
assassination which he and Gaston had planned together), had definitely
retired him from Court.

All this happened about the year 1636. Gaston was living in an obscure
way, not to say in hiding; for it would have been difficult to hide so
notable a personage,--nor would there have been any logic in hiding
him, after all that had passed,--but he was living a sheltered, and, so
to speak, a harmless life. He was supposed to be in Blois, but he was
constantly seen gliding about the Louvre, tolerated by the King, who
practised his dancing steps with him, and treated by Richelieu with all
the contempt due to his character. The Cardinal made free with Gaston's
rights; he changed and dismissed his servants without consulting their
master; and more than one of the fine friends of Monsieur learned the
way to the Bastille.

At times Richelieu gave Gaston presents, hoping to tempt the
light-minded Prince to reflect upon the advantages attending friendly
relations with the Court. Richelieu had tried in vain to force Gaston
to consent to the dissolution of his marriage with Marguerite de
Lorraine. He had never permitted Gaston to present his wife at Court,
but Gaston had always hoped to obtain the permission and the anxious
lady had remained just outside of France awaiting the signal to enter.
She was generally supposed to be within call of her husband.

The time has come when justice of a new kind must be done to Monsieur,
and probably it is the only time when a creditable fact will be
recorded in his history. He stood firm in his determination to maintain
his marriage. Try as the Cardinal might, and by all the means familiar
to him from habitual use, he could not force Monsieur to relax his
fidelity to his consort. D'Orléans was virtuous on this one point, but
his manner of virtue was the manner of Gaston; there are different
ways of sustaining the marriage vows, and Monsieur's way was not
praiseworthy. His experience had passed as a veil blown away by the
wind. His passion for intrigue still held sway, he always had at least
one plot in process of infusion, and his results were fatal to his
assistants. In the heat of his desire to rid himself of the Cardinal,
he simulated change of heart so well that the Cardinal was deceived.
Suspicious at first of the sincerity of Gaston's professions, after
long and close observation he became convinced that the Prince was,
in truth, repentant. It was at that epoch, when free exercise of an
undisciplined will was made possible by Richelieu's conviction of his
own security, that Monsieur laid his plan of assassination with de
Soissons; at that time there was but opinion in France--de Richelieu
was a tyrant, there could be no hope of pleasure while he lived. Let
him die, let France hear that he was dead, and all the world could be
happy and free to act, not according to the dogmas of an egotist by
the grace of God, but by the rule of the greatest good to the greatest

The conspirators had found a time and a place favourable to their
enterprise. It was during the siege of Corbie. The King was there
attended by his Minister. Monsieur and the Count were there; so were
the men whom they had engaged to kill the Cardinal. Culpable as the two
scoundrels had always been, when the whole country was in arms it was
impossible to find a reasonable excuse for refusing them commands, so
they were at the front with all the representative men of the country,
and they had good reason for supposing that one murder--a movement
calculated to relieve the nation--might pass unnoticed in the general
noise and motion of the siege. The time was ripe; Monsieur and Soissons
had put their heads together and decided that the moment had come to
strike the blow and rid the country of the Cardinal.

Their plans were well laid. A council of war had been called. De
Richelieu was to pass a certain staircase on his way to it; de Soissons
was to accompany Richelieu and distract his attention; Gaston was
to be waiting at the foot of the stairs to give the signal to the
assassins. But Monsieur had not changed since the days of Chalais, and
he could not control his nerves. He was a slave to ungovernable panics.
According to his plans the part which he had to play was easy. He had
nothing to do but to give the signal; all the accomplices were ready;
the assassins were awaiting the word; he himself was at his post;
but when the Cardinal passed, haughty and calm, to take his place in
his carriage, terror seized Monsieur and he turned and sprang up the
stairway. As he fled one of his accomplices, thinking to hold him back,
seized him by his cloak, and Gaston, rushing forward, dragged him after

The affrighted Prince and his astonished follower reached the first
landing with the speed of lightning; and then, carried away by emotion,
Monsieur, still dragging his companion, fled into an inner room, where
he stopped, dazed; he did not know where he was, nor what he was doing,
and when he tried to speak he babbled incoherent words which died in
his throat. De Soissons was waiting in the courtyard; he had spoken
so calmly that Richelieu had passed on unconscious of the unusual
excitement among the courtiers.

Though the plot had failed, there had been no exposure; but the fact
that the accomplices held the secret and that they had much to gain
from the Cardinal by a denunciation of their principals made it
unsafe for the conspirators to remain in Paris; before the Cardinal's
policemen were warned they fled, Monsieur to Blois and de Soissons
to Sedan. Not long after their flight the story was in the mouths of
the gossips, and Mademoiselle knew that she could not hope for the
Cardinal's assistance in the accomplishment of her marriage; so the
child of the Tuileries advanced to maidenhood while her ambitious
cousin (Soissons) turned grey at Sedan. When Anne-Marie-Louise reached
her fourteenth year the Comte thought that the time had come to bring
matters to a crisis. He was not a coward, and as there was no reason
for hypocrisy or secrecy, he boldly joined the enemies of his country
and invaded France with the armies of de Bouillon and de Guise. Arrived
in France, he charged one of his former mistresses, Mme. de Montbazon,
to finish the work begun by Campion. Mme. de Montbazon lent her best
energies to the work, and right heartily.

    I took great interest in M. le Comte de Soissons, [wrote
    Mademoiselle]; his health was failing. The King went to Champagne
    to make war upon him; and while he was on the journey, Mme. de
    Montbazon--who loved the Count dearly and who was dearly loved by
    him--used to come to see me every day, and she spoke of him with
    much affection; she told me that she should feel extreme joy if
    I would marry him, that they would never be lonely or bored at
    the Hôtel de Soissons were I there; that they would not think of
    anything but to amuse me, that they would give balls in my honour,
    that we should take fine walks, and that the Count would have
    unparalleled tenderness and respect for me. She told me everything
    that would be done to render my condition happy, and of all that
    could be done to make things pleasant for a personage of my age. I
    listened to her with pleasure and I felt no aversion for the person
    of M. le Comte.... Aside from the difference between my age and
    his my marriage with him would have been feasible. He was a very
    honest man, endowed with grand qualities; and although he was the
    youngest of his house he had been accorded[76] with the Queen of

Having been unable to acquire the mother, de Soissons turned his
attention to the daughter. Mademoiselle recorded:

    M. le Comte sent M. le Comte de Fiesque to Monsieur to remind him
    of the promise that he had made concerning me, and to remind him
    that affairs were then in such a condition that they might be
    terminated. M. le Comte de Fiesque very humbly begged Monsieur to
    find it good that de Soissons should abduct me, because in that way
    only could the marriage be accomplished. Monsieur would not consent
    to that expedient at all, and so the answer that M. le Comte de
    Fiesque carried back touched M. le Comte very deeply.

Not long after this episode the Comte de Soissons was killed at Marfée
(6th July, 1641), and Mademoiselle's eyes were opened to the fact that
she and M. le Comte "had not been created for each other." She wrote of
his death as follows:

"I could not keep from weeping when he died, and when I went to see
Madame his mother at Bagnolet, M. and Mlle. de Longueville and the
whole household did nothing but manifest their grief by their continual

Mademoiselle had desired with earnest sincerity to become the Comtesse
de Soissons; it is difficult to imagine why,--unless, perhaps, because
at her age girls build air-castles with all sorts of materials.

M. le Comte had been wept over and buried and sentiment had nothing
more to do with Mademoiselle's dreams of establishment. Her fancy
hovered over Europe and swooped down upon the princes who were
bachelors or widowers, and upon the married nobles who were in a fair
way to become widowers; more than once she was seen closely following
the current reports when some princess was taken by sickness; and
she abandoned or developed her projects, according to the turn taken
by the diseases of the unfortunate ladies. The greater number of the
hypothetical postulants upon whom she successively fixed her mind were
strangers whom she had never seen, and among them were several who
had never thought of her, and who never did think of her at any time;
but she pursued her way with unflagging zeal, permitting indiscreet
advances when she did not encourage them; she considered herself more
or less the Queen or the Empress of France, of Spain, or of Hungary,
as the prospect of the speedy bereavement of the incumbents of the
different thrones brightened. La Grande Mademoiselle had not entered
the world as the daughter of a degenerate with impunity; there were
subjects upon which she was incapable of reasoning; in the ardour of
her faith in the mystical virtues of the Blood she surpassed Corneille.
She believed that the designs of princes ranked with the designs
of God, and that they should be regarded as the devout regard the
mysteries of religion. To quote her own words: "The intuitions of the
great are like the mysteries of the Faith; it is not for men to fathom
them! they ought to revere them; they ought to know that the thoughts
of the great are given to their possessors for the well-being and for
the salvation of the country."

Mademoiselle surpassed the Corneille of Tragedy in her disdainful
rejection of love; Corneille was content to station love in the
rear rank, and he placed it far below the manly passions in his
classification of "the humanities." It will be remembered that by his
listings the "manly passions" were Ambition, Vengeance, Pride of Blood,
and "Glory." Mademoiselle believed that love could not exist between
married people of rank; she considered it one of the passions of the
inferior classes.

    Le trône met une âme au dessus des tendresses.


When we examine the subject we see that it was not remarkable that
Mademoiselle recognised illegitimate love, although her own virtue was
unquestionable. She liked lovers, and accepted the idea of love in
the abstract; she repudiated the idea of love legalised because she
was logical; she thought that married love proclaimed false ideas and
gave a bad example. If married people loved each other and were happy
together because of their common love, young noble girls would long
to marry for love and to be happy in marriage because of love, and
the time would come when there would be no true quality, because the
nobles would have followed their desires or their weaker sentiments and
formed haphazard unions brought about by natural selection. Man or maid
would "silence the voice of glory in order to listen to the voice of
love," should the dignity of hierarchical customs be brought down to
the level of the lower passions. So Mademoiselle reasoned, and from her
mental point of view her reasoning was sound. She was strong-minded;
she realised the danger of permitting the heart to interfere in the
marriage of the Elect.

The year 1641 was not ended when Mademoiselle appeared in spiritual
mourning for a suitor who seems to us to have been nothing but a
vision, the first vision of a series. Anne of Austria had never
forgotten the Cardinal's cruel rebuke when he found Mademoiselle
playing at man and wife with a child in long clothes. She had tried to
console the little girl, and her manner had always been motherly and
gentle. "It is true," she had said, "the Cardinal told the truth; my
son is too small; you shall marry my brother!" When she had spoken thus
she had referred to the Cardinal Infant,[77] who was in Flanders acting
as Captain-General of the country and commanding the armies of the King
of Spain.

The Prince was Archbishop of Toledo. He had not received Holy
Orders. In that day it was not considered necessary to take orders
before entering the Episcopate. "They taxed revenues, they delegated
vicars-general for judicial action, and when the power of the Church
was needed they delegated bishops. There were many prelates who were
not priests." Henri de Lorraine II., Duc de Guise (born in 1614), was
only fifteen years old when he received the Archbishopric of Rheims; he
never received Holy Orders. In priestly vestments he presented every
appearance of the most pronounced type of the ecclesiastical hybrid; he
was an excellent Catholic, and a gallant and dashing pontiff-cavalier.
His life as layman was far from religious. When he was twenty-seven
years old he met a handsome widow, Mme. de Bossut. He married her on
the spot without drum or cannon; and then, because some formality
had been omitted, the marriage was confirmed by the Archbishop of
Malines. The Church saw no obstacle to the marriage. Nicolas-François
de Lorraine, Bishop of Toul, and Cardinal, was another example;
"without being engaged in orders" he became "Duc de Lorraine" (1634)
by the abdication of his brother Charles. He had political reasons for
marrying his cousin "Claude" without delay, but he was stopped by an
obstacle which did not emanate from his bishopric. Claude was his own
cousin, and the prohibitions of the Church made it necessary for him to
get a dispensation from Rome.

François visited his cousin and made his proposals. As a layman he
needed a publication of his bans, and as a Catholic, in order to
marry his cousin, he needed a dispensation from the Pope. Therefore
he re-assumed the character of Bishop and issued a dispensation
eliminating his bans, then, in the name of the Pope, he issued a
dispensation making it spiritually lawful for him to marry his cousin
to himself; that accomplished, he cast off the character of Bishop
and was married by a regularly ordained priest like an ordinary
mortal. In those days there was no abyss between the Church and the
world. At most there was only a narrow ditch which the great lords
crossed and recrossed at will, as caprice or interest moved them. In
their portraits this species of oscillation, which was one of their
distinguishing movements, is distinctly recorded and made evident even
to the people of this century.

In the gallery of the Louvre we see a picture due to the brush of the
Le Nain brothers, entitled, _Procession in a Church_. That part of the
procession which is directly in front of the spectator is composed
of members of the clergy, vested with all their churchly ornaments.
The superb costumes are superbly worn by men of proud and knightly
bearing. The portraits betray the true characters of their originals.
These men are courtiers, utterly devoid of the collected and meditative
tranquillity found in the legions of the Church. In the Le Nain
brothers' picture the most notable figures are two warlike priests, who
stand, like Norse kings, at the head of the procession, transfixing
us with their look of bold assurance. No priests in ordinary, these,
but natural soldiers, ready to die for a word or an idea! Their curled
moustachios are light as foam; their beards are trimmed to a point,
and under the embroidered dalmatica the gallant mien of the worldling
frets as visibly as a lion in its cage. It is impossible to doubt it:
these are soldiers; cavaliers who have but assumed the habit; who will
take back the doublet and the sword, and with them the customs and the
thoughts of men of war. Whatever their rank in the Church, hazard and
birth alone have placed them there; and thus are they working out the
sentence imposed by the ambition of their families; giving the lie to a
calling for which they have neither taste nor capacity. The will of a
strong man can defeat even pre-natal influences, and, knowing it, they
make no hypocritical attempt to hide their character. They were not
meant for priests, and every look and every action shows it.

The Cardinal-Infant, Archbishop of Toledo, was only a deacon, so there
was nothing extraordinary in the thought that he might marry. I cannot
say that he ever thought of marrying Mademoiselle; I have never found
any proof that he entertained such a thought; the only thing absolutely
certain in the whole affair is that Mademoiselle never doubted that he
intended, or had intended, to marry her. Here is her own account of it,
somewhat abridged and notably incoherent:

    The Cardinal-Infant died of a tertian fever (9th November 1641),
    which had not hindered his remaining in the army all through
    the campaign.... His malady had not appeared very dangerous;
    nevertheless he died a few days after he came back from Brussels;
    which made them say that the Spaniards had poisoned him because
    they were afraid that by forming an alliance with France he would
    render himself master of Flanders,[78] and, in fact, that was his
    design. The Queen told me that after the King died she found in his
    strong-box memoranda showing that my marriage with that Prince had
    been decided upon. She told me nothing but that ... when this loss
    came upon them the King said to the Queen ... and he said it very
    rudely--"Your brother is dead." That news, so coarsely announced,
    added to her grief ... and for my own part, when I reflected
    upon my interests I was very deeply grieved; because that would
    have been the most agreeable establishment in the world for me,
    because of the beauty of the country, lying as it does so near this
    country, and because of the way in which they live there. As for
    the qualities of his person, though I esteemed him much, that was
    the least that I thought of.

The disappearance of the Cardinal-Infant was followed by events so
tragic and so closely connected with Mademoiselle's life that her mind
was distracted from her hunt for a husband. Despite her extreme youth,
the affair Cinq-Mars constrained her to judge her father, and to the
child to whom nothing was as dear as honour the revelation of his
treachery was crushing.


The death of Cinq-Mars was the dénouement of a great and tragic
passion. Henry d'Effiat, Marquis de Cinq-Mars, was described as a
handsome youth with soft, caressing eyes, marvellously graceful in all
his movements.[79]

His mother was ambitious; she knew that men had risen to power by
the friendship of kings. Richelieu's schemes required a thousand
complicated accessories. So it was decided by the Cardinal and by
Cinq-Mars's mother to present the child to the King and to place him in
the royal presence to minister to the King's pleasure for an hour, as a
beautiful flower is given to be cherished for a time, then cast away.
The King was capricious and childish and, as Richelieu said, "he must
always have his toy"; but elderly children, like very young children,
soon tire of their toys and when they tire of them they destroy them;
Louis XIII. had broken everything that he had played with, and his
admiration inspired terror. Cinq-Mars was determined that he would not
be a victim. Though very young, he knew the ways of the world and he
had formed plans for his future. He was fond of the world and fond of
pleasure. He was a natural lover, always sighing at the feet of women.
He was brave and he had counted upon a military career. The thought of
imprisonment in the Château of Saint Germain with a grumbling invalid
whose ennui no one could vanquish was appalling; but after two years
of resistance he yielded and entered the royal apartment as officer
nearest to the King. It has been said that he lacked energy, but as he
resisted two whole years before he gave up the struggle, and as the
will which he opposed was the will of Richelieu, it is difficult to
believe that he was not energetic.

History tells us that he was very nervous and that, although his will
was feeble, he was subject to fits of anger. In 1638 he was in the
King's household as Master of the Robes. He was eighteen years old.
It was his business to select and order the King's garments, and the
King was wont to reject whatever the boy selected because it was
"too elegant." When Cinq-Mars was first seen in the King's apartment
he was silent and very sad; the King's displeasure cowed him; the
beautiful and gentle face and the appealing glance of the soft eyes
irritated the sickly fancies of the monarch and he never noticed or
addressed Cinq-Mars when he could avoid it. Cinq-Mars hated Saint
Germain, and, truth to tell, even to an older and graver person, the
lugubrious château would have seemed a prison. Sick at heart, weak
in mind, tortured by fleshly ills, Louis XIII., sinking deeper into
insignificance as the resplendent star of his Prime Minister rose, was
but sorry company for any one.

Richelieu was the real ruler of France. Ranke, who used his relations
with ambassadors as a means for increasing his store of personal and
political data, said:

    Dating our observations from the year 1629, we see a crowd of
    soldiers and other attentive people thronging Richelieu's house and
    even standing in the doors of his apartments. When he passes in his
    litter he is saluted respectfully; one kneels, another presents
    a petition, a third tries to kiss his vestments; all are happy
    who succeed in obtaining a glance from him. It is as if all the
    business of the country were already in his hands; he has assumed
    the highest responsibilities ever borne by a subject....

As time went on his success augmented his power. He lived in absolute
seclusion at Rueil. He was difficult of approach, and if an ambassador
succeeded in gaining admission to his presence it was because he had
been able to prove that he had something to communicate to Richelieu
which it was of essential interest to the State, or to the Cardinal
personally, to know. All the national business was in his hands. He was
the centre of all State interests, the King frequently attended his
councils. If Richelieu visited the King he was surrounded by a guard;
he hired his guard himself, selecting his men with great care and
paying them out of his own pocket, so that he might feel that he was
safe from his enemies even in the King's presence.

The officers of his personal service were numerous, young and very
exalted nobles. His stables were in keeping with his importance; and
his house was more magnificent and his table better served than the
King's. When in Paris he lived in the Palais Cardinal (now the Palais
Royal) surrounded by princely objects, all treasures in themselves; his
train was the train of an emperor. The Louvre, the King's residence,
was a simple palace, but the Cardinal's palace, called in Court
language the "Hôtel de Richelieu," was the symbol of the luxury and
the art of France, toward which the eyes of the people of France and
of all other lands were turned. In the Hôtel de Richelieu there were
cabinets where the high officials sat in secret discussion, boudoirs
for the fair ladies, ball-rooms, treasure galleries where works of
art were lavishly displayed, a chapel, and two theatres. The basis of
the Cardinal's library was the public library of Rochelle, which had
been seized after the siege. The chapel was one of the chief sights of
Paris. Everything used in the ceremonial of worship was of solid gold,
ornamented with great diamonds. Among the precious objects in use were
two church chandeliers,[80] all of massive gold, enamelled and enriched
with two thousand five hundred and sixteen diamonds. The vases used in
the service of the Mass were of fine, richly enamelled gold, and in
them were set two hundred and sixty-two diamonds. The cross, which was
between twenty and twenty-one inches high, bore a figure of Christ of
massive gold and the crown of thorns and the loin-cloth were studded
with diamonds.



The Book of Prayer used by the Cardinal was bound in fine morocco
leather; each side of the cover was enwreathed with sprigs of gold. On
one side of the cover was a golden medallion, on which the Cardinal was
depicted, like an emperor, holding the globe of the world in his hand;
from the four corners of the cover angels were descending to crown
his head with flowers. Beneath the device ran the Latin inscription,
"_Cadat_." The ceiling of the grand gallery of the palace (destroyed
under Louis XIV.) bore one of Philip de Champagne's masterpieces--a
picture representing the glorious exploits of the Cardinal. One of the
picture galleries called the "Gallery of Illustrious Men" contained
twenty-five full-length portraits of the great men of France, chosen
according to the Cardinal's estimate of greatness. At the foot of
each portrait was a little "key," or historical representation of
the principal acts of the original of the portrait, arranged as Fra
Angelico and Giotto arranged the portraits of Saint Dominick and Saint
François d'Assisi. Richelieu, who was not afflicted with false modesty,
had placed his own portrait among the portraits in his gallery of
the great men of France. Although he had amassed so many monuments
of pride, he had passed a large portion of his life in relative
poverty. He had travelled from the humble Episcopate to the steps of
the throne of France on an income of 25,000 livres. When he died his
income was nearly three millions of livres per annum,--the civil list
of a powerful monarch. He was not an expert hoarder of riches, like
Mazarin; he scattered money with full hands, while his master, the
King, netted game-bags in a corner, cooked, or did other useful work,
or gave himself up to his frugal pleasures.

According to Mme. de Motteville:

    The King found himself reduced to the most miserable of earthly
    lives, without a suite, without a Court, without power, and
    consequently without pleasure and without honour. Thus a part of
    his life passed at Saint Germain, where he lived like a private
    individual; and while his enemies captured cities and won battles,
    he amused himself by catching birds. That Prince was unhappy in all
    manners, for he had not even the comfort of domestic life; he did
    not love the Queen at all.... He was jealous of the grandeur of
    his Minister ... whom he began to hate as soon as he perceived the
    extreme authority which the Cardinal wielded in the kingdom ... and
    as he was no happier without him than he was with him, he could not
    be happy at all.

Cinq-Mars entered the King's service under the auspices of the
Cardinal. When the King saw the new face in his apartment he retired
into his darkest humour.

Cinq-Mars was very patient; he was attentive and modest, but the sound
of his voice and the sight of his face irritated the sickly monarch.
Days passed before the King addressed his new Master of the Robes.
One day he caught the long appealing look of the gentle eyes; he
answered it with a stare,--frowned, and looked again. That night he
could not sleep; he longed for the morning. When Cinq-Mars entered the
bed-chamber the King drew him to his side "and suddenly he loved him
violently and fatally, as in former times he loved young Baradas."

       *       *       *       *       *

The courtiers were accustomed to the King's fancies, but his passion
for Cinq-Mars astonished them; it surpassed all that had preceded it.

It was an appalling and jealous love; exacting, suspicious, bitter,
stormy, and fruitful in tears and quarrels. Louis XIII. overwhelmed his
favourite with tokens of his tenderness; had it been possible he would
have chained the boy to his side. When Cinq-Mars was away from him he
was miserable.

Cinq-Mars was obliged to assist him in his new trade (he was
learning to be a carpenter), to stand at the bench holding tools and
taking measurements; and to listen to long harangues on dogs and on
bird-training. The King and his new favourite were seen together
constantly, driving the foxes to their holes and running in the snowy
fields catching blackbirds in the King's sweep-net; they hunted with a
dozen sportsmen who were said to be "low people and very bad company."

When they returned to the palace the King supped; when he had
finished his supper he went to bed, and then Cinq-Mars, "fatigued to
exasperation by the puerile duties of the day, cared for nothing but
to escape from his gloomy prison, and to forget the long, yellow face
and the interminable torrent of hunting stories." Stealing from the
château, he mounted his horse and hurried to Paris. He passed the
night as he pleased and returned to the château early in the morning,
worn out, haggard, and with nerves unstrung. Although he left the
château after the King retired to his bed, and returned from Paris
early in the morning, before the King awoke, Louis XIII. knew where he
had been and what he had been doing. Louis employed spies who watched
and listened. He was particularly jealous of Cinq-Mars's young friends;
he "made scenes" and reproached Cinq-Mars and the tormented boy
answered him hotly; then with cries, weeping bitterly, they quarrelled,
and the King went to Richelieu to complain of "M. le Grand." Richelieu
was State Confidant, and to him the King entrusted the reconciliations.
In 1639 (27th November) Louis wrote to the Cardinal:

    You will see by the certificate that I send you, in what condition
    is the reconciliation that you effected yesterday. When you put
    your hand to an affair it cannot but go well. I give you good-day.

The certificate read as follows:

    We, the undersigned, certify to all to whom these presents may
    come, that we are very glad and well-satisfied with one another,
    and that we have never been in such perfect unison as at present.
    In faith of which we have signed the present certificate.

    (signed) LOUIS; and by my order:

    (signed) EFFIAT DE CINQ-MARS.

The laboured reconciliations were not durable; the months which
followed the signing of the certificate were one long tempest. The
objects of the King's bitterest jealousy were young men who formed
a society called _Les messieurs du Marais_ because they met every
evening at Mme. de Rohan's in the Palais Royal (the King then lived at
the Louvre). Louis could not be silent; he exposed his spite on all
occasions. January 5, 1640, he wrote to the Cardinal:

    I am sorry to have to tell you again of the ill-humour of M. le
    Grand. On his return from Rueil he gave me the packet which you
    sent to me. I opened it and read it. Then I said to him:

    "Monsieur, the Cardinal informs me that you have manifested great
    desire to please me in all things; nevertheless you evince no wish
    to please me in regard to that which I begged the Cardinal to speak
    of: namely, your laziness." He answered that you did speak to him
    of it, but that he could not change his character, and that in that
    respect he should not do any better than he had been in the habit
    of doing. That discourse angered me. I said to him that a man of
    his condition ought to take some steps toward rendering himself
    worthy to command armies (since he had told me that it was his
    intention to lead armies). I told him that laziness was contrary
    to military action. He answered me brusquely that he had never had
    such an intention and that he had never pretended to have it. I
    answered, "_Que si! You have!_" I did not wish to go any deeper
    into the discourse (you know well what I mean). I then took up the
    discourse on laziness. I told him that vice renders a man incapable
    of doing anything good, and that he is good for nothing but the
    society of the people of the Marais where he was nourished,--people
    who have given themselves up to pleasure! I told him that if he
    wishes to continue the life that he is now living among his old
    friends, he may return to the place whence he came. He answered
    arrogantly that he should be quite ready to do so!

    I answered him: "If I were not wiser than you I know what I should
    answer to that!" ... After that I said to him that he ought not
    to speak to me in such fashion. He answered after the manner of
    his usual discourse that at present his only duty appeared to be
    to do good to me and to be agreeable to me and that as to such
    business he could get along very well without it! He said that he
    would as willingly be Cinq-Mars as to be M. le Grand; and that as
    to changing his ways and his manner of life, he could not do it!
    ... And so it went! he pecking at me and I pecking at him until we
    reached the courtyard; when I said to him that as he was in such
    a humour he would do me pleasure if he would refrain from showing
    himself before me any more. He bore witness that he would do that
    same right willingly! I have not seen him since then.

    Precisely as I have told you all that passed, in the presence of



    I have shown Gordes this memorandum before sending it, and he has
    told me that there is nothing in it but the truth, exactly as he
    heard it and saw it pass.

Cinq-Mars sulked and the King sulked, and as the quarrel promised to
endure indefinitely, Richelieu bestirred himself, left his quiet home
in Rueil and travelled to the house of the King to make peace between
the ill-assorted pair.



Peace restored, Louis became joyful; he could not refuse his favourite
anything. Cinq-Mars made the most of his opportunity. But he could not
go far; the Cardinal barred his way. Cinq-Mars aspired to the peerage;
he aimed to be a duke, to marry a princess, and to sit among the
King's counsellors. Richelieu checked him, gave him rude orders,
scolded him as he scolded his valet, called him an "insolent little
fellow," and threatened to put him in a place "still lower" than the
place from which he had raised him.[81] One day, when Richelieu was
berating the favourite, he told him that he had appointed him to his
office in the King's house so that he (Richelieu) might have a reliable
spy, and that as he had been appointed for no other purpose, it would
be advisable for him to begin to do the work that he was expected to do.

The revelation was a cruel blow to the proud and sensitive boy, and in
the first moment of his anguish he conceived a ferocious hatred. It is
probable that the knowledge that the Cardinal had placed him near the
King's person against his will and in spite of his long and determined
resistance solely to the end that he might be degraded to an ignoble
office was the first cause of the Cinq-Mars conspiracy.

De Richelieu's ministry had never appeared more impregnable than it
appeared at that time. Far and near its policy had been triumphant.
Speaking of the position France had taken in Europe through the
guidance of Richelieu, an impartial foreigner said:

    What a difference between the French Government as it was when
    Richelieu received it from the kingdom and the state to which his
    efforts raised it! Before his day the Spaniards were in progress
    on all the frontiers; no longer advancing by impetuous attacks,
    but entering calmly and steadily by systematic invasion. Richelieu
    changed all that, and, led by him, France forced the Spaniards
    beyond the frontier.

Until the Cardinal assumed command the united forces of the Empire, the
Catholic League and the Spanish armies, held not only the left bank
of the Rhine but all the land divided by that great central artery of
European life. By Richelieu's wise policy France regained dominion in
Alsace and in the greater part of the Rhenish country, the armies of
France took possession of central Germany, the Italian passes, which
had been closed to the men of France, were opened to them, and large
territories in upper Italy were seized and placed under French control;
and the changes were wrought, not by a temporary invasion, but by
orderly and skilfully planned campaigns.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Cardinal's power had been made manifest everywhere. His rule had
been to the glory of France. Among other important results were the
triumphs of the French navies; the fleets, having proved their strength
in the Ligurian Sea, had menaced the ports of Spain. The Ligurian
Peninsula had been rent asunder by the revolt of two large provinces,
one of which had arisen proclaiming its independent rights as a
kingdom. There was, there had been, no end to Richelieu's diplomatic
improvements; his victories had carried ruin to the enemy; the
skirmishers of France had advanced to a point within two leagues of
Madrid. The Croquemitaine of France, who held in terror both the Court
and the canaille, had assured the Bourbons of an important place among
the empires of the world. The day of Spain was past; the day of France
was come.

[Illustration: MARQUIS DE CINQ MARS]

A great fête marked this period of power and glory.

Richelieu was a man of many ambitions, and he aspired to the admiration
of all of the population; he had extended his protecting arms over
literature and the lettered; he had founded the French Academy; but
he was not content; he was a man of too much independence and of too
enterprising a mind to leave all the literary honours to the doctors of
the law or to his mediums, Corneille and Rotrou, whose lines of work
he fixed to follow a plan outlined to suit his own ideas. Usually,
Richelieu's intellectual ambitions were quiescent, but at times the
pedant, dormant in his hard nature, awoke and impelled him to add
a few personal touches to the work of his agents. When under the
influence of his afflatus he collaborated with Desmarets, the author
of a dramatic poem entitled _Clovis_, and by the united efforts of
the unique literary team the tragedy _Mirame_ was delivered to the
world. Its first appearance was a Parisian event. None of the King's
armies had been mounted with such solicitude and prodigality, The
grand audience-room of the Palais Cardinal was built for _Mirame_;
it was spaced to hold three thousand spectators; the stage material
had been ordered from Italy by "Sieur Mazarini," ex-Papal Nuncio at
Paris. Richelieu himself had chosen the costumes and the decorations;
and he in person directed the rehearsals, and, as he supposed,
superintended the listing of all the invitations. The play was ready
for representation early in the year (1641).

First of all there was a general rehearsal for the critics, who were
represented by the men of letters and the comedians. The rehearsal took
place before the Court and the social world of all Paris. The invited
guests were seated by the Bishop of Chartres and by a president of the
Parliament of France. Though too new and too fresh in its magnificence,
the Audience Hall pleased the people exceedingly; when the curtain rose
they could hardly repress cries of admiration. The stage was lined on
both sides by splendid palaces and in the open space between the abodes
of luxury were most delicious gardens adorned with grottoes, statues,
fountains, and grand parterres of flowers descending terrace upon
terrace to the sea, which lifted its waves with an agitation as natural
as the movements of the real tide of a real ocean; on the broad waters
passed two great fleets; one of them appeared as if two leagues away.
Both fleets moved calmly on, passing like living things before the

The same decorations and scenery served the five acts of the play; but
the sky was changed in each act, when the light faded, when the sun set
or rose, and when the moon and the stars appeared to mark the flight
of the hours. The play was composed according to the accepted formulas
of the day, and it was neither better nor worse than its fellows. In
its course the actors fought, poisoned each other, died, came to life,
and quarrelled over a handsome princess; and while the scene-shifters
manipulated the somewhat crude inventions of the stage scenery, and
while the actors did their utmost to develop the plot to the best
advantage, the master of the palace acted as chief of the _Claque_
and tried by every means in his power to arouse the enthusiasm of the
audience. He stood in the front of his box and, leaning forward into
space, manifested his pleasure by his looks; at times he called the
attention of the people and imposed silence so that the finer passages
might be heard.[82]

At the end of the play a curtain representing clouds fell upon the
scene, and a golden bridge rolled like a tide to the feet of Anne of
Austria. The Queen arose, crossed the bridge, and found herself in a
magnificent ball-room; then, with the Prince and the Princess, she
danced an impetuously ardent and swinging figure, and when that dance
was over, the Bishop of Chartres, in Court dress, and baton in hand,
like a _maître d'hôtel_, led the way to a fine collation. Later in the
year the serviceable Bishop was made Archbishop of Rheims.

Politics interfered with _Mirame_. The play was assailed by
difficulties similar to those which met Napoleon's _Vie de César_ under
the Second Empire. The Opposition eagerly seized the occasion to annoy
"Croquemitaine"; open protestations were circulated to the effect that
the play was not worth playing. Some, rising above the question of
literary merit, said that the piece was morally objectionable because
it contained allusions to Anne of Austria's episode with Buckingham.
Richelieu became the scapegoat of the hour; even the King had something
to say regarding his Minister's literary venture. Louis was not gifted
with critical discrimination; he knew it, and his timid pride and his
prudence restrained him from launching into observations upon subjects
with which he was not fitted to cope; but guided by the cherub detailed
to protect the mentally incompetent, he struck with instinctive
subtlety at the one vulnerable point in the Cardinal's armour and
declared that he had nothing to say regarding the preciosity of the
play, but that he had been "shocked by the questionable composition
of the audience." It relieved the King's consciousness of his own
inferiority to "pinch the Cardinal." He told Monsieur that he had
been "shocked" when he realised "what species of society" he had been
invited to meet. Monsieur, seizing the occasion to strike his enemy,
answered that, to speak "frankly," he also had "been shocked" when he
perceived "little Saint Amour among the Cardinal's guests." The royal
brothers turned the subject in every light, and the more they studied
it the darker grew its aspect. They agreed in thinking that the King's
delicacy had been grossly outraged; they worked upon the fact until
it assumed the proportions of a personal insult. Richelieu, visited
by the indignant pair, was galvanised by the double current of their
wrath. He knew that Saint Amour had not been in any earthly locality by
his will; tact, if not religious prejudice, would have forbidden the
admission of a personage of the doubtful savour of Saint Amour to the
presence of the King. But Monsieur and the King had seen with their
own eyes, and as no one would have dared to enter the Palais Cardinal
uninvited, it was an undisputable fact that some one had tampered with
the invitations. Richelieu's detectives were put upon the scent and
they discovered that an Abbé who "could not refuse a woman anything"
had been entrusted with the invitations-list.

Richelieu could not punish the amiable lady who had unconsciously
sealed the Abbé's doom; but justice was wrought, and absolute ignorance
of facts permits us to hope that it fell short of the justice meted
out to Puylaurens. It was said that the Abbé had been sent back to his
village. Wherever he was "sent," Louis XIII. refused to be comforted,
and to the end of his days he told the people who surrounded him that
the Cardinal had invited him to his palace to meet Saint Amour.

Richelieu's life was embittered by the incident, and to the last he was
tormented by a confused impression of the fête which he had believed
was to be the coming glory of his career. But an isolated detail could
not alter facts, and it was universally known that his importance was
"of all the colours." _Mirame_ had given the people an idea of the
versatility of Richelieu's grandeur and of the composite quality of his
power, and M. le Grand knew what he might expect should he anger the
Cardinal. Cinq-Mars was always at the King's heels, and he knew the
extent of Louis's docility.

The Cinq-Mars Conspiracy took shape in the months which immediately
followed the presentation of _Mirame_. As the details of the conspiracy
may be found in any history, I shall say only this: When an enterprise
is based upon sentiments like the King's passion for his Grand
Equerry[83] and the general hatred of Richelieu, it is not necessary to
search for reasonable causes.

When the first steps in the conspiracy were taken Louis XIII., in
his tenderness for Cinq-Mars and his bitter jealousy of Richelieu,
unconsciously played the part of instigator.

It soothed the wounded pride of the monarch to hear his tyrant
ridiculed, and he incited his "dear friend," the Marquis d'Effiat,
to scoff at the Cardinal. Cinq-Mars and all the others were taken
red-handed; doubt was impossible. In the words of Mme. de Motteville:
"It was one of the most formidable, and at the same time one of the
most extraordinary plots found in history; for the King was, tacitly,
the chief of the conspirators." Monsieur enthusiastically entered into
the plot; he ran to the Queen with the whole story; he told her the
names of the conspirators, and urged her to take part in the movement.

"It must be innocent," he insisted; "if it were not the King would not
be engaged in it."[84]

Richelieu's peaceful days were over. He was restless and suspicious.
Suddenly, in June, 1642, when Louis XIII. was sick in Narbonne (and
when Richelieu was sick in Tarascon) M. le Grand was arrested and
delivered to the Cardinal for the crime of high treason. He deserved
his fate. He had led Monsieur to treat with Spain; but the real cause
of his death--if not of his disgrace--lay in the fact that he had lost
his hold upon the King's love.

"The King had ceased to love him," said a contemporary. The end came
suddenly and without a note of warning. The King, awaking as from a
dream, remembered all the services that Richelieu had rendered unto
France. He was so grateful that he hastened to Tarascon and begged
Richelieu's pardon for having wished "to lose him," in other words, for
having wished to accomplish his fall. The King was ashamed, and despite
his sickness he ordered his bearers to carry him into Richelieu's
bed-chamber where the two gentlemen passed several hours together,
each in his own bed, effecting a reconciliation.

But their hearts were not in their words; wrongs like those in question
between the Cardinal and the King cannot be forgotten.[85] The King had
abetted a conspiracy against the Cardinal's life, and had the Cardinal
been inclined to forget it, the King's weak self-reproach would have
kept it in the mind of his contemplated victim. Louis could not refrain
from harking back to his sin; he humiliated himself, he begged the
Cardinal to forgive him; he gave up everything, including the amiable
young criminal who, in Scriptural language, had lain in his bosom and
been to him as a daughter. The judgment of the moralist is disarmed by
the fact that Louis was, and always had been, a physical wreck, morally
handicapped by the essence of his being. He had loved Cinq-Mars with
unreasoning passion; he was forced by circumstances to sacrifice him;
but we need not pity him; there was much of the monster in him, and
before the head of Cinq-Mars fell, all the King's love for his victim
had passed away.

Louis XIII. was of all the sovereigns of France the one most notably
devoted to the public interest; in crises his self-sacrifice resembled
the heroism of the martyr; but the defects of his qualities were of
such a character that he would have been incomprehensible had he not
been sick in body and in mind.

During the crisis which followed the exposure of Cinq-Mars's conspiracy
Monsieur surpassed himself; he was alternately trembler, liar,
sniveller, and informer; his behaviour was so abject that the echoes
of his shame reverberated throughout France and, penetrating the walls
of the Tuileries, reached the ears of his daughter. Monsieur shocked
Mademoiselle's theological conception of Princes of the Blood; she
could not understand how a creature partaking of the nature of the
Deity could be so essentially contemptible; she was crushed by the
enigma presented by her father.

The close of the reign resembled the dramatic tragedies in which the
chief characters die in the fifth act; all the principal personages
departed this life within a period of a few months. Marie de Médicis
was the first to go. She died at Cologne 3d July, 1642, not, as was
reported, in a garret, or in a hovel, but in a house in which Rubens
had lived. If we may judge by the names of her legatees, she died
surrounded by at least eighty servants. It is true that she owed debts
to the tradesmen who furnished her household with the necessaries of
life, and it is true that her people had advanced money when their
living expenses required such advances; but the two facts prove no
more than that royal households in which there is no order closely
resemble the disorderly households of the ordinary classes. People of
respectability in our own midst are now living regardless of system,
devoid of economy, and indebted to their tradesmen, as the household
of Marie de Médicis lived in the seventeenth century. To the day of
her death the aged Queen retained possession of silver dishes of all
kinds, and had her situation justified the rumours of extreme poverty
which have been circulated since then she would have pawned them or
sold them. We may be permitted to trust that Marie de Médicis did
not end her days tormented by material necessities. She died just
at the time when she had begun to resort to expedients. The old and
corpulent sovereign had lived an agitated life; her chief foes were
of her own temperament. She was the victim of paroxysmal wrath and
it was generally known that she had made at least one determined
though unfruitful attempt to whip her husband, the heroic Henry IV.,
Conqueror of Paris. Her life had not been of a character to inspire
the love of the French people, and when she died no one regretted
her. Had not the Court been forced by the prevailing etiquette to
assume mourning according to the barbarous and complicated rites of
the ancient monarchy, her death would have passed unperceived. The
customs of the old regimen obliged Mademoiselle to remain in a darkened
room, surrounded by such draperies as were considered essential to the
manifestation of royal grief. The world mourned for the handsome boy
who had been forced to enter the King's house, and to act as the King's
favourite against his will, to die upon the scaffold. Monsieur was
despised for his part in Cinq-Mars's death. Mademoiselle was shunned
because she was her father's daughter and her obligatory mourning
was a convenient veil. Her own record of the death of the Queen is a
frankly sorrowful statement of her appreciation of the facts in the
case, and of her knowledge of her father's guilt:

    I observed the retreat which my mourning imposed upon me with all
    possible regularity and rigour. If any one had come to see me it
    would not have been difficult for me to refuse to receive them;
    however, my case was the case of all who are undergoing misfortune;
    no one called for me.

Three months after the conspiracy against de Richelieu was exposed,
Cinq-Mars was beheaded (12th September), and the Lyonnais, who had
assembled in the golden mists of the season of the vintage to see him
die, cried out against his death and said that it was "a sin against
the earth to take the light from his gentle eyes." De Thou, Cinq-Mars's
friend, was beheaded also. The victims faced death like tried soldiers;
their attitude as they halted upon the confines of eternity elicited
the commendation of the people. The fact that the people called their
manner of leaving the world "beautiful and admirable" proves that
simplicity in man's conduct, as in literature and in horticultural
architecture, was out of date.

When the condemned were passing out of the tribunal they met the judges
who had but just pronounced their sentence. Both Cinq-Mars and de Thou
"embraced the judges and offered them fine compliments."

The people of Lyons--civilians and soldiers--were massed around the
Court House and in the neighbourhood. Cinq-Mars and de Thou bowed low
to them all, then mounted into the tumbrel, with faces illumined by
spiritual exaltation. In the tumbrel they joyfully embraced and crying
"_Au revoir_," promised to meet in Paradise. They saluted the multitude
like conquerors. De Thou clapped his hands when he saw the scaffold;
Cinq-Mars ascended first; he turned, took one step forward, and stopped
short; his eyes rested fondly upon the people; then with a bright smile
he saluted them; after they covered his head he stood for an instant
poised as if to spring from earth to heaven, one foot advanced, his
hand upon his side. His wide, pathetic glance embraced the multitude,
then calmly and without fear, again firmly pacing the scaffold, he went
forward to the block.

At the present time it is the fashion to die with less ostentation,
but revolutions in taste ought not to prevent our doing justice to the
victims of the Cinq-Mars Conspiracy. They were heroically brave to the
last, and the people could not forget them. Mademoiselle's grief was
fostered by the general sympathy for the unfortunate boy who had paid
so dearly for his familiarity with the King. As all her feelings were
recorded by her own hand, we are in possession of her opinions on the
subjects which were of interest in her day. Of the matter of Cinq-Mars
and de Thou she said:

    I regretted it deeply, because of my consideration for them, and
    because, unfortunately, Monsieur was involved in the affair through
    which they perished. He was so involved that it was even believed
    that the single deposition made by him was the thing which weighed
    most heavily upon them and caused their death. The memory of it
    renews my grief so that I cannot say any more.

Mademoiselle was artless enough to believe that her father would be
sorrowful and embarrassed when he returned.

She did not know him.

In the winter after Cinq-Mars died, Gaston returned to the Luxembourg
radiant with roguish smiles; he was delighted to be in Paris.

    He came to my house, [reported Mademoiselle,] he supped at my
    house, where there were twenty-four violins. He was as gay as if
    Messieurs Cinq-Mars and de Thou had not been left by the roadside.
    I avow that I could not see him without thinking of them, and that
    through all my joy of seeing him again I felt that his joy gave me

Not long after she thus recorded her impressions she found, to her
cost, how little reliance she could place upon her father, and all her
filial illusions vanished.

Richelieu was the next to disappear from the scene. He had long been
sick; his body was paralysed and putrid with abscesses and with
ulcers. Master and Man, Richelieu and Louis were intently watching to
see which should be the first to die. Each one of them was forming
projects for a time when, freed from the arbitration of the other, he
should be in a position to act his independent will and to turn the
remnant of his fleeting life to pleasurable profit. In that, his final
state, the Cardinal offered the people of France a last and supreme
spectacle, and of all the dramas that he had shown them, it was the
most original and the most impressive. The day after the execution
of Cinq-Mars, Richelieu, who had remained to the last hour in Lyons,
entered his portable room and set out for Paris. His journey covered
a period of six weeks, and the people who ran to the highway from
all directions to see him pass were well regaled. In those last days
when the Cardinal travelled he was carried in procession. First of
all were heavy wains hauling the material of an inclined plane; at a
short distance behind the wains followed a small army corps escorting
the Cardinal's travelling room; the room was always transported by
twenty-four men of the Cardinal's body-guard, who marched through sun
and rain with heads uncovered. In the portable room were three pieces
of furniture, a chair, a table, and a splendid bed--and on the bed lay
a sick man!--better still for the sightseers, a sick Cardinal! The
crowds pressed close to the roadside. They who were masters of the art
of death looked on disease with curiosity; they knew that they could
lop off the heads of the fine lords whose grandeur embittered the lives
of the peasants and the workmen as easily as they could beat down nuts
from trees; yet there lay the real King of France in his doll's house,
and he could neither live nor die,--that was droll!

       *       *       *       *       *

The chair in the little room stood ready for the visitors who paid
their respects to the sick man when the travellers halted.

The table was carried for the convenience of the secretary, who wrote
upon it, sorted his papers, dusted his ink with scented gold-powder,
and pasted great wafers over the silken floss and the English ribands
which tied his private correspondence.

Richelieu, as he travelled, dictated army orders and diplomatic
despatches. When the little procession arrived at a halting-place,
everything was ready for its reception; the house in which the Cardinal
was to lodge had been prepared, the entire floor to be occupied by him
had been gutted so that no inner partitions could interfere with his
progress. The wains stopped, the inclined plane was set in position
against the side of the house, and the heavy machine bearing the
sick-room was rolled slowly into the breach and engulfed without a

When it was possible the room was drawn aboard a boat and the Cardinal
was transported by water; in that case when he reached home he was
disembarked opposite his palace near the Port au Foin, and borne
through the crowd of people, who struggled and crushed each other so
that they might know how a Cardinal-Minister looked, lying in his bed
and entering Paris, dying, yet triumphant, after he had vanquished all
his enemies.

Richelieu saw all that passed; his perceptions were as keen and his
judgment was as just as in the days of his vigorous manhood. Entering
Paris in his bed on his return from Lyons, he saw among the prostrate
courtiers of his own party a man who had been compromised by the
conspiracy, and then and there he summoned him from his knees and
ordered him to present himself at the palace and give an account of
his actions. Richelieu's word was law; no one questioned it. The weeks
which followed the return from Lyons were tedious. After the exposure
of the conspiracy the Cardinal suspected every one, the King included.
His tired eyes searched the corners of the King's bed-chamber for
assassins. He strove to force the King to dismiss some of the officers
of his guard, but at that Louis revolted.

After violent discussions and long recriminative dialogues the Cardinal
resorted to heroic means. He shut himself up in his palace, refused
to receive the King's ambassadors, and threatened to send in his
resignation. Then the King yielded, and peace was made.

The two moribunds were together when the precautions for the national
safety were taken against Gaston d'Orléans. In his declaration Louis
told the deputies that he had forgiven his brother five separate and
distinct times, and that he should forgive him once more and once
only. The declaration made it plain that the King was firm in his
determination to protect himself against his brother. Gaston was to be
stripped of all power and to be deprived of the government of Auvergne;
his gendarmerie and his light cavalry were to be suppressed. The King
made the declaration to Mathieu Molé, December 1, 1642. That same day
the Cardinal passed a desperate crisis, and it was known that he must

He prepared for death with the firmness befitting a man of his calibre.
When his confessor asked him if he had forgiven his enemies, he
answered that he had "no enemies save the enemies of the state."[86]
There was some truth in the answer, and in that truth lay his title
to glory. At home or abroad, in France or in foreign lands, Richelieu
received the first force of every blow aimed at France. He was the
Obstacle, and all hostility used him as a mark. He was the shield
as well as the sword of the State. His policy was governed by two
immutable ideas: 1. His own will by the will of the King; 2. France.
His object was to subject all individual wills to the supreme royal
will, and to develop French influence throughout Europe. We have
seen the position which France had taken under his direction; he
had accomplished work fully as important in the State. "The idea of
monarchical power was akin to a religious dogma," said Ranke, "and he
who rejected the idea expected to be pursued with the same rigour, and
with nearly the same formalities, with which national justice pursued
the heretic. The time for an absolute monarchy was ripe. Louis XIV.
might come; he would find his bed ready.

Richelieu gave up the ghost December 4, 1642. The news was immediately
carried to the King, who received it with the comment, "A great
politician is dead."

In France the feeling of relief was general. No one doubted that the
Cardinal's death would change everything. The exiles expected to be
recalled; the prisoners expected to be set free; the Opposition looked
forward to taking the reins of State, and the great, who in spite of
their greatness were probably more or less badly fed, dreamed of an
Abbey of Thélème. The mass of Frenchmen loved change for the sake of

The Parisians had hoped for the spectacle of a fine funeral, and they
were not disappointed. Richelieu's body lay in state in its Cardinal's
robes, and so many people visited him that the procession consumed
one whole day and night passing his bier. The parade lasted nearly a
week. The burial took place the thirteenth day of December. It was a
public triumph. The funeral car, drawn by six horses, was considered
remarkable. But the changes hoped for did not arrive. La Grande
Mademoiselle was the first to recognise the fact that Louis XIII. had
given the kingdom false hopes. It had been supposed that the Cardinal's
demise would give the King power to make the people happy. The Cardinal
was dead, and there had been no change. Despite all that Gaston had
done, Mademoiselle loved him; she could not separate him from her idea
of the glory of her house. She noted in her memoirs the visit made to
the Louvre in his behalf:

    As soon as I knew that Richelieu was dead I went to the King to beg
    him to show some kindness to Monsieur. I thought that I had taken
    a very favourable occasion for moving him to pity, but he refused
    to do what I asked him, and the next day he went to the palace to
    register the declaration against Monsieur (as the subject of it is
    known I need not mention it or explain it here). When he entered
    Parliament I wished to throw myself at his feet; I wished to beg of
    him not to go to that extremity against Monsieur; but some one had
    warned him of my intention and he sent word to me forbidding me to
    appear. Nothing could make him swerve from his injurious designs.

The 4th December, after Mademoiselle made her unsuccessful visit, Louis
XIII. summoned Mazarin to finish the work that Richelieu had begun.

The 5th December Louis sent out a circular letter announcing the death
of Richelieu; he cut short the rumours of a political crisis by stating
that he was resolved to maintain all the establishments by him decreed
in Council with the late Prime Minister, and he further stated that to
advance the foreign affairs of France and also to advance the internal
interests of the State,--as he had always advanced them,--he should
maintain the existent national policy.

The riches amassed by the Cardinal passed into the hands of his heirs,
and the King supplemented the legacies by the distribution of a few
official appointments. Richelieu was gone from earth, but his spirit
still governed France. "All the Cardinal's evils are right here!" cried
Mademoiselle; "when he went, they remained."

Montglat said that they "found it difficult to announce the Cardinal's
death. No one was willing to take the first step. They spoke in
whispers. It was as if they were afraid that his soul would come back
to punish them for saying that he could die." It was said that "even
the King had so respected the Cardinal when he was alive, that he
feared him when he was dead."

Under such conditions it was difficult to make a change of any kind;
nevertheless, after weeks had passed--when the King had accustomed
himself to independent action--a few changes came about gradually and
stealthily, one by one.

The thirteenth day of January, 1643, Monsieur was given permission
to call at Saint Germain and pay his respects to the King. The 19th,
Bassompierre and two other lords emerged from the Bastille.

In February the Vendômes returned from exile. Old Mme. de Guise also
took the road to Paris, and when she arrived her granddaughter, La
Grande Mademoiselle, received her with open arms, and gave her a ball
and a comedy, and collations composed of confitures, and fruits trimmed
with English ribands; and when the ball was over and the guests were
departing in the grey fog of early morning, old Madame and young
Mademoiselle laid their light heads upon the same pillow and dreamed
that Cardinals were always dying and exiles joyfully returning to their

As time went on the King's clemency increased and he issued pardons
freely. The reason was too plain to every one; the end was at hand.
Paris had acquired a taste for her kindly sovereign. Louis knew that
he was nearing the tideless sea,--he spoke constantly of his past; he
exhibited his skeleton limbs covered with great white scars to his
family and his familiar friends; he told the story of his wrongs.
He told how he had been brought to the state that he was in by his
"executioners of doctors" and by "the tyranny of the Cardinal." He said
that the Cardinal had never permitted him to do things as he had wished
to do them, and that he had compelled him to do things which had been
repugnant to him, so that at last _even he_ "whom Heaven had endowed
with all the endurances," had succumbed under the load that had been
heaped upon him. His friends listened and were silent.

To the last Louis XIII. was faithful to the sacraments and to France.
He performed all his secular duties. When he lay upon his death-bed he
summoned his deputies so that they might hear him read the declaration
bestowing the title of Regent upon Anne of Austria and delivering the
actual power of the Crown into the hands of a prospective Council duly

Louis XIII. had put his house in order: he had nothing more to do on
earth. His sickness was long and tedious, and attended by all that
makes death desirable; by cruel pains, by distressful nausea, and by
all the torments of a death by inches. The unhappy man was long in
dying; now rallying, now sinking, with fluctuations which deranged the
intrigues of the Court and agitated Saint Germain.

The King lay in the new château (the one built by his father); nothing
remains of it but the "Pavillon Henri IV". Anne of Austria lived with
the Court in the old château (the one familiar to all Parisians of the
present day).

On "good days" the arrangement afforded the sufferer relative repose;
but on "bad days," when he approached a crisis, the etiquette of the
Court was torment. The courtiers hurried over to the new château to
witness the death-agony. They crowded the sick-room and whispered with
the celebrities who travelled daily from Paris to Saint Germain to
visit the dying King. In the courtyard of the château the travellers'
horses neighed and pawed the ground. Confused sounds and tormenting
light entered by the windows; the air of the room was stifling and
Louis begged his guests, in the name of mercy, to withdraw from his bed
and let him breathe.

The crowds assembled in the courtyard hissed or applauded as the
politicians entered or drove away. On the highway before the château
the idle people stood waiting to receive the last sigh of the King, to
be in at the death, or to make merry at the expense of celebrated men.

While the masters visited the dying King the coachmen, footmen,
on-hangers, and other tributaries sat upon the carriage boxes, declared
their politics, and issued their manifestos, and their voices rose
above the neighing of the horses and ascended to the sick-room. When
the tantalising periodically recurrent crises which kept the Court and
country on foot were past, the celebrities and men of Parliament, with
many of the courtiers, fled to Paris, where they forgot the sights and
the sounds of the sick-room in the perfumed air of the Parisian salons.

Mademoiselle wrote of that time: "There never were as many balls as
there were that year; and I went to them all."

The final crisis came the thirteenth day of May. Immediately after the
King gave up the ghost, the Queen and all the Court retired from the
death-chamber and made ready to depart from Saint Germain early in the
morning. The moving was like breaking camp. At daybreak long files of
baggage wagons laden with furniture and with luggage began to descend
the hill of Saint Germain, and soon afterward crowded chariots, drawn
by six horses, and groups of cavaliers, joined the lumbering wains. The
suppressed droning of many voices accompanied the procession. At eleven
o'clock silence fell upon the long, writhing line, and an army corps
surrounding the royal mourners passed, escorted by the Marshals of
France, dukes and peers, and the gentlemen of the Court,--all mounted.

The last of the battalions filed by the van of the procession, and the
chariots and the wains moved on, mingling with the servitors and men of
all trades, who in that day followed in the train of all the great.

       *       *       *       *       *

Saint Germain was vacant. The last errand boy vanished, the murmur of
the moving throng died in the distance; the shroud of silence wrapped
the new château, and the curtain fell upon the fifth act of the reign
of Louis XIII. There remained upon the stage only a corpse, light as a
plume, watched by a lieutenant and his guard.


[Footnote 60: Mademoiselle was ten years old at that time.]

[Footnote 61: The Palais-Royal of to-day.]

[Footnote 62: _Alex. Hardy et le théâtre français_, Eugène Rigal.]

[Footnote 63: Sorel, _La maison des jeux_. The book was published in
1642, but M. E. Rigal supposes that the disorders and the complaints
cited in it date from a previous epoch.]

[Footnote 64: _La pratique du théâtre._]

[Footnote 65: Certainly the desire was not lacking.--AUTHOR.]

[Footnote 66: _Le théâtre au temps du Corneille_, Gustave Reynier. The
first representation of the _Cid_ took place either in December, 1636,
or in January, 1637.]

[Footnote 67: See dedicatory letter accompanying a comedy played in
1632 and published in 1636. _Galanteries du duc d'Ossonne._ Mairet.]

[Footnote 68: _Aminta_ was played in 1573, but it was not imprinted
until 1581, when it was first known outside of Italy.]

[Footnote 69: _Pierre Corneille_, Petit de Julleville.]

[Footnote 70: _Pierre Corneille_, Petit de Julleville.]

[Footnote 71: Jules Lemaître.]

[Footnote 72: _Manual de l'histoire de la littérature française._ F.

[Footnote 73: _Corneille_, Lanson.]

[Footnote 74: _Cyrano de Bergerac_, E. Rostand.]

[Footnote 75: "There are agreeable things in _Bejazet_, but there is
nothing perfectly beautiful in it, nothing to carry you away in spite
of yourself, none of the tirades which make you shiver when you read
Corneille. My daughter, take good care not to compare Racine to him.
Distinguish the difference between them" (16th March, 1672).]

[Footnote 76: Henriette, third daughter of Henry IV., was "accorded
with" or promised in betrothal to Comte de Soissons a few months after
her birth; the Comte was between five and six years old. Marie de
Médicis did not consider the infantile betrothal binding; when she saw
fit to marry her daughter she bestowed her hand upon Charles I., the
King of England (1625).]

[Footnote 77: Ferdinand, third son of Philip III.]

[Footnote 78: The Cardinal-Infant had been forced to leave his camp and
go to Brussels to recover his health. He died in Brussels soon after
his arrival, more beloved by the French people--so it was said--than
was becoming to a King of Spain. (See _l'Histoire de la France sous
Louis XIII_. A. Bazin.)]

[Footnote 79: _Mémoires de Michel de Marolles_ (Abbé de Villeloin); _La
Conspiration Cinq-Mars_ (Mlle. J. P. Basserie).]

[Footnote 80: Dulaure's _Histoire de Paris_.]

[Footnote 81: _Mémoires_, Montglat.]

[Footnote 82: Fontenelle's _Vie de Pierre Corneille_.]

[Footnote 83: Cinq-Mars had been promoted to the position of Grand

[Footnote 84: Motteville.]

[Footnote 85: Motteville.]

[Footnote 86: Montglat.]


    I. The Regency--The Romance of Anne of Austria and
    Mazarin--Gaston's Second Wife.--II. Mademoiselle's New Marriage
    Projects.--III. Mademoiselle Would Be a Carmelite Nun--The Catholic
    Renaissance under Louis XIII. and the Regency.--IV. Women Enter
    Politics. The Rivalry of the Two Junior Branches of the House of
    France--Continuation of the Royal Romance.


The day after the death of Louis XIII. Paris was in a tumult. The
people were on duty, awaiting their young King, Louis XIV., a boy less
than five years old.

The country had been notified that the King would enter Paris by the
Chemin du Roule and the Faubourg Saint Honoré. Some of the people had
massed in the streets through which the procession was to pass; the
others were hurrying forward toward the bridge of Neuilly. "Never did
so many coaches and so many people come out of Paris," said Olivier
d'Ormesson, who, with his family, spent the day at a window in the
Faubourg Saint Honoré, watching to see who would follow and who would
not follow in the train of Anne of Austria.

Ormesson and his friends were close observers, who drew conclusions
from the general behaviour; they believed that they could read the fate
of the country in the faces of the courtiers. France hoped that the
Queen would give the nation the change of government which had been
vainly looked for when Richelieu died.

Anne of Austria was a determined, self-contained woman, an enigma to
the world. No one could read her thoughts, but the courtiers were sure
of one thing: she would have no prime minister. She had suffered too
deeply from the tyranny of Richelieu. She would keep her hands free!
There was enough in that thought to assure to the Queen the sympathy of
the people, and to arouse all the ambitious hopes of the nobility.

The Parisian flood met the royal cortège at Nanterre and, turning,
accompanied it and hindered its progress. "From Nanterre to the gates
of the city the country was full of wains and chariots," wrote Mme. de
Motteville, "and nothing was heard but plaudits and benedictions." When
the royal mourners surrounded by the multitude entered the Chemin du
Roule the first official address was delivered by the Provost of the
Merchants. The Regent answered briefly that she should instruct her
son "in the benevolence which he ought to show to his subjects."[87]
The applause was deafening. The cortège advanced so slowly that it was
six o'clock in the evening when Anne of Austria ascended the staircase
of the Louvre, saying that she could endure no more, and that she must
defer the reception of condolences until the following day.

Saturday, the 16th, was devoted to hearing addresses and to receiving
manifestations of reverence. The following Monday the Queen led her son
to Parliament, where, contrary to the intention expressed in the last
will and testament of Louis XIII., she, Anne of Austria, was declared
Regent "with full, entire, and absolute authority."

The evening of that memorable day a radiant throng filled the stifling
apartments of the Louvre. The great considered themselves masters of
France. Some of the courtiers were gossiping in a corner; all were
happy. Suddenly a rumour, first whispered, then spoken aloud, ran
through the rooms, _Mazarin had been made Chief of Council! The Queen
had appointed him immediately after she returned to her palace from

The courtiers exchanged significant glances. Some were astounded,
others found it difficult to repress their smiles. The great had
helped Anne of Austria to seize authority because they had supposed
that she would be incapable of using it. Now that it was too late for
them to protect themselves she had come forth with the energy and
the initiative of a strong woman. In reality, though possessed of
reticence, she was a weak woman, acting under a strong influence, but
that fact was not evident.

The Queen-mother was forty-one years old. Her hair was beautiful; her
eyes were beautiful; she had beautiful hands, a majestic mien, and
natural wit. Her education had been as summary as Mademoiselle's; she
knew how to read and how to write. She had never opened a book; when
she first appeared in Council she was a miracle of ignorance. She had
always been conversant with the politics of France because her natural
love of intrigue had taught her many things concerning many people. She
had learned the lessons of life and the world from the plays presented
at the theatre, and from the witty and erudite frequenters of the
salons. She was enamoured of intellect, she delighted in eloquence, she
was a serious woman and a devoted mother. While Louis XIII. lived she
was considered amiable and indulgent to the failings of "low people,"
because her indifference made her appear complaisant. As soon as she
assumed the Regency her manner changed and her real nature came to
the surface. She astonished her deputies by the breathless resistance
which she opposed to any hint of a suggestion adverse to her mandates.
After the royal scream first startled Parliament there was hardly a man
of the French State who did not shrink at sight of the Regent's fair
flushed face and the determined glitter of her eye. Anne of Austria was
acting under guidance; the delicate hand of the woman lay under the
firm hand of a master, and her lover's will, not the judgment of the
deputies, was her law.

The people had received false impressions of the character of the
Queen; some had judged her too favourably (Mme. de Motteville
considered her beautiful); others--Retz among them--failed to do her

Anne of Austria was neither a stupid woman nor a great Queen, although
she was called both "great" and "foolish." She was born a Spaniard,
and in thought and in feeling she was a Spaniard to the end of her
life. Like all her race, she was imaginative; she indulged in dreams
and erected altars to her ideals. Her life had betrayed her illusions,
therefore she longed for vengeance; and as she was romantic, her
vengeance took a sentimental form. A study of her nature, as furnished
by the histories of her early years, makes her after-life and her
administration of the Regency comprehensible. Despite the latitude
of her morals she exhibited piety so detailed and so persistent that
the Parisians were displeased; one of her friends commented upon it
sharply. "She partakes of the communion too often, she reveres the
relics of the saints, she is devoted to the Virgin, and she offers the
presents and the novenas which the devout consider effectual when they
are trying to obtain favours from Heaven." This from a Parisian was
critical judgment.

As the Queen was born to rule, she could not comprehend any form of
government but absolute monarchy. Her Parliament was shocked when she
interrupted its Councils by shrill screams of "_Taisez-vous!_" But her
behaviour was consistent; she believed that she expressed the authority
of her son's kingship when she raised her high falsetto and shouted to
her deputies to hold their tongues.

The new Minister, Mazarin, was of Sicilian origin, and forty years
of age. In Paris, where he had officiated two years (1634-1636), as
Papal Nuncio, he was known by his original Italian name, Mazarini.
When he was first seen at Court he entered without ceremony and
installed himself with the natural ease of an habitué returned after
a forced absence. No one knew by what right he made himself at home.
Richelieu profited by his versatility and made use of him in various
ways. Mazarin was gifted with artistic taste, and he wielded a fluent
pen. His appointment as representative of the Holy See had proved
his capacity and blameless character. Paris knew that Richelieu had
written to him from his death-bed: "I give my book into your hands
with the approbation of our good Master, so that you may conduct it to

Almost immediately after de Richelieu breathed his last the King called
Mazarin to the palace, where he remained hard at work as long as the
King lived. He had no special duties, but he lived close to the royal
invalid, did everything that de Richelieu had done, and made himself in
every way indispensable. To the wounds of the tired spirit whose peace
the scorching splendour of the great Cardinal had withered the calm
presence of the lesser Cardinal was balm. Mazarin employed his leisure
as he saw fit; how he employed it the world knew later. He was seldom
seen either in the palace or out of it. When Louis XIII. died and the
people, little and great, thronged the streets and the highways
and flocked to Parliament to witness the establishment of the Regent,
Mazarin was not in evidence. When the Provost's address and the other
addresses were read, and when the people welcomed their young King,
Mazarin was not seen, and as he was not at the funeral of the King, and
as no one had heard from him since the King's death, it was believed
that he had returned to his own country.

[Illustration: ANNE OF AUSTRIA]

Prominent Parisians who knew everything and every one had formed no
opinion of Mazarin's character or of his personal appearance. He had
been Nuncio; that was all that they knew of him. Olivier d'Ormesson,
who went everywhere, knew every one of any importance in Paris, yet
when Mazarin had been Prime Minister six months, d'Ormesson spoke of
him as if he had seen him but once. In d'Ormesson's _Journal_ we read:

    Saturday morning, 4 November (1643). M. le Cardinal, Mazarin, came
    to the Council to-day. He was late. The Chancellor had been waiting
    for him half an hour. Cardinal Mazarin took his place as Chief
    of Council and was the first to sign the resolutions; he wrote:
    Cardinal _Massarini_. At first, as he knew neither the order of
    the Court nor the names of the members, he was somewhat confused.
    Judging by appearances he knows nothing of financial affairs. He
    is tall, he carries himself well, he is handsome. His eyes are
    clear and spiritual, the colour of his hair is chestnut brown;
    the expression of his face is very gentle and sweet. Monsieur the
    Chancellor instructed him in the Parliamentary procedure and then
    every one addressed him directly and before they addressed any one

The new Chief of Council was as modest as the unobtrusive Cardinal who
assumed the duties of the great de Richelieu. Mazarin found better
employment for his talents than the exhibition of his pomp. His design
was to render his position impregnable, and we know what means he
selected for its achievement. In his pocket diary (which the National
Library preserves) he employed three languages, French, Spanish, and
Italian. Whenever the Queen is mentioned the language is Spanish. The
ingenuous frankness with which the writer of the strange notes recorded
his intentions enables us to follow him step by step through all the
labyrinths of his relations with royalty. His reflections make it clear
that his aim was the Queen's heart: in the record dated August, 1634,
we read: "If I could believe what they tell me--that her Majesty is
making use of me because she needs my services, and that she has no
inclination for me,--I would not stay here three days."

Apropos of his enemies he wrote: "Well, they are laying their heads
together and planning a thousand intrigues to lessen my chances with
her Majesty."

(The Queen's friends had warned her that her Minister would compromise

"The Abbess of the Carmelites has been talking to her Majesty. When she
talked the Queen wept. She told the Abbess that in case the subject
should be mentioned again she would not visit the convent."

Mazarin's diary conveys the impression that the man who edited it so
carefully feared that he might forget something that he wished to say
to the Queen. He made a note of everything that he meant to advise her
to do, and of all the appeals and all the observations that he intended
to make.

Following is a very simple reminder of words to be used when next he
should see the Queen alone.

    They tell me that her Majesty is forced to make excuses for her
    manifestations of regard for me.... This is such a delicate subject
    that her Majesty ought to pity me ... ought to take compassion
    on me, even if I speak of it often ... I have no right to doubt,
    since, in the excess of her kindness, her Majesty has assured me
    that nothing can ever lower me from the place in her favour which
    she has deigned to give me ... but in spite of everything because
    Fear is the inseparable attendant of Love ... etc.

The "memorandum" which follows this last note gave proof of the
speed of his wooing, and of his progress: "The jaundice caused by an
excessive love...."

That Mazarin felt that he was strong was shown by the fact that he
made suggestions to the Queen and offered her advice of a peculiarly
intimate character. The note which follows covers the ground of one of
the lines of argument used by him for the subjection of his royal lady
and mistress:

"Her Majesty ought to apply herself to the winning over of all hearts
to my cause; she should do so by making me the agent from whose hand
they receive all the favours that she grants them."

After Anne of Austria qualified the Cardinal by the exequatur of her
love, Mazarin dictated the language of the State. In his diary we find,
verbatim, the diplomatic addresses and suggestions which were to be
delivered by the Queen.

While the Queen's lover was engaged in maintaining his position
against determined efforts to displace him, France enjoyed a few
delightful moments. The long-continued anxiety had passed, the tension
of the nation's nerves had yielded to the beneficent treatment of
the conscientious counsellors, and the peaceful quiet of a temporary
calm gave hope to the light-minded and strength and courage to the
far-sighted, who foresaw the coming storm. To the majority of the
people the resplendent victory of Rocroy (19th May, 1643), which
immediately followed the death of Louis XIII., seemed a proof that God
had laid His protecting hand upon the infant King and upon his mother.

This belief was daily strengthened. War had been carried to a foreign
country, and the testimony of French supremacy had come back from
many a battle-field. In the eyes of the world we occupied a brilliant
position. Success had followed success in our triumphant march from
Rocroy to the Westphalian treaties. Our diplomacy had equalled our
military strategy and the strength of our arms; and a part of our glory
had been the result of the efforts of the Prime Minister who ruled our
armies and the nation. In the opinion of our foreign enemies Mazarin
had fully justified Richelieu's confidence and the choice of Anne of

His selection of agents had shown that he was in possession of all his
senses; he had divined the value of the Duc d'Enghien and appointed him
General-in-chief, though the boy was but twenty-two years old; he had
sounded the character of Turenne; he had judiciously listed the names
of the men to be appointed for the diplomatic missions, and he had
proved that he knew the strength of France by ordering the ministers
to hold their ground, to "stand firm," and not to concern themselves
either with the objections or the resistance of other nations. The
majority of the French people failed to recognise Cardinal Mazarin's
services until the proper time for their recognition had passed, but
Retz distinctly stated that Mazarin was popular in Paris during the
first months of his ministry:

    France saw a gentle and benignant Being sitting on the steps of
    the throne where the harsh and redoubtable Richelieu had blasted,
    rather than governed men. The harassed country rejoiced in its new
    leader,[88] who had no personal wishes and whose only regret was
    that the dignity of his episcopal office forbade him to humiliate
    himself before the world as he would have been glad to do. He
    passed through the streets with little lackeys perched behind his
    carriage; his audiences were unceremonious, access to his presence
    was absolutely free, and people dined with him as if he had been a
    private person.

The arrest of the Duc de Beaufort and the dispersion of the Importants
astonished the people, but did not affright them. Hope was the anchor
of the National Soul. They who had formed the party of Marie de Médicis
and the party of Anne of Austria hoped to bring about the success of
their former projects, and to enforce peace everywhere; they hoped
to substitute a Spanish alliance for the Protestant alliance. The
great families hoped to regain their authority at the expense of the
authority of the King. Parliament hoped to play a great political part.
The people hoped for peace; they had been told that the Queen had
taken a Minister solely for the purpose of making peace. The entire
Court from the first Prince of the Blood to the last of the lackeys
lived in hope of some grace or some favour, and as to that they were
rarely disappointed, for the Administration "refused nothing." Honours,
dignities, positions, and money were freely dispensed, not only to
those who needed them, but to those who were already provided with
them. La Feuillade said that there were but four words in the French
language: "_The Queen is good!_"

So many cases of private and individual happiness gave the impression
of public and general happiness. Paris expressed its satisfaction by
entering heart and soul into its amusements. It played by day and it
played by night, exhibiting the extraordinary appetite for pleasure
which has always distinguished it.

"All, both the little and the great, are happy," said Saint Evremond;
"the very air they breathe is charged with amusement and with love."
Mademoiselle preserved a grateful memory of that period of joyous
intoxication. "The first months of the Regency," she said in her
memoirs, "were the most beautiful that one could have wished. It was
nothing but perpetual rejoicing everywhere. Hardly a day passed that
there were not serenades at the Tuileries or in the place Royale."

The mourning for the late King hindered no one, not even the King's
widow, who passed her evenings in Renard's garden,[89] where she
frequently supped with her friends. Though the return of winter drove
the people from the public walks, the universal amusements went on.
"They danced everywhere," said Mademoiselle, "and especially at
my house, although it was not at all according to decorum to hear
violins in a room draped with mourning." We note here that at the time
Mademoiselle wrote thus she was regarded as a victim. It was rumoured
in Paris that her liberty and her pleasures were restricted, and the
indignation of the people seethed at thought of it. Mademoiselle
had lost her indulgent friend and governess, Mme. de Saint Georges.
Her new governess, Mme. de Fiésque, a woman of firm will who looked
with disfavour upon her pupil's untrammelled ways, made attempts to
discipline her. When Mme. de Fiésque exerted her authority the canaille
formed groups and threatened the palace of the Tuileries. Mademoiselle
was sixteen years old and the whole world knew it. The people thought,
as she thought, that she was too old to be imprisoned like a child. She
was quick to avenge her outraged dignity; the governess was headstrong.
Slap answered slap and, after the combat, Mademoiselle was under lock
and key six days.

But all that was forgotten.

Mademoiselle had in mind something more important than her childish
punishment. The death of Louis XIII. had enabled Gaston to send for his
wife. The Regency made but one condition,--the married pair were to be
remarried in France. The Princess Gaston was on the way, travelling
openly, entering France with the reputation of a heroine of romance.
Mademoiselle revelled in the thought of a step-mother as young and as
beautiful as an houri. They would dance together; they would run about
like sisters!

Twelve years previous to the death of Louis XIII., when Marguerite
de Lorraine committed the so-called "crime" which Richelieu's
jurisconsults qualified by a name for which we shall substitute the
less discouraging term "abduction," events separated the wedded pair at
the church door. The sacrament of marriage had just been administered.

Madame fled before the minions of the law reached Nancy and found
her way cut off by the French army. She donned the wig and garments
of a man, besmirched her face with suet, crossed the French line in
a cardinal's coach, covered twenty leagues on horseback, and joined
Monsieur in Flanders. The world called her courageous, and when she
exercised her impeccancy during a nine years' separation from her
husband, conjugal fidelity rare enough at any time, and especially
rare at that time, definitely ranged her among spectacular examples of

Handsome, brave, free from restraint, and virtuous! Paris was curious
to see her.

At Meudon (27th May, 1643) the people made haste to reach the spot
before she alighted from her carriage. They were eager to witness her
meeting with the light-minded husband with whom France was at last to
permit her to cast her lot and from whom she had been separated so
long. Mademoiselle wrote:

    I ran on ahead of them all so that I might be at Gonesse when she
    arrived. From Gonesse she proceeded to Meudon without passing
    through Paris. She did not wish to stop in Paris because she was
    not in a condition to salute their Majesties. In fact, she could
    not salute them, because she was not dressed in mourning. We
    arrived at Meudon late, where Monsieur--having gone there to be
    on the spot when she arrived--found her waiting in the courtyard.
    Their first meeting took place in the presence of all who had
    accompanied them. Every one was astonished to see the coldness with
    which they met. It seemed strange! Monsieur had endured so much
    persecution from the King, and from Richelieu, solely on account of
    his marriage; and all his suffering had only seemed to confirm his
    constancy to Madame, therefore coldness seemed unexpected.

Both Monsieur and Madame were much embarrassed; it was a trying thing
to meet after a separation of nine years.

Monsieur had not materially changed, although he had acquired a habit
of the gout which hindered him when he attempted to pirouette. Madame
appeared faded and ill-attired, but that was but a natural consequence
of the separation; it was to be expected.

When their marriage had been duly regulated and recorded in the Parish
Register, the couple established themselves in Gaston's palace, and the
Court found that it had acquired an hypochondriac. The romantic type of
constancy habitually hung upon the gate of Death. Mme. de Motteville

    She rarely left her home; she affirmed that the least excitement
    brought on a swoon. Several times I saw Monsieur mock her; he told
    the Queen that Madame would receive the sacrament in bed rather
    than to go into her chapel, although the chapel was close by,--and
    all that "though she had no ailment of any importance."

When Madame visited the Queen, as she did once in twenty-four months,
she was carried in a sedan chair, as other ladies of her quality were
carried, but her movements were attended by such distress and by so
much bustle that her arrival conveyed the impression of a miracle.
Frequently, when she had started upon a journey, or to pay a visit
to the Queen, before she had gone three yards she declared that she
had been suddenly seized by faintness, or by some other ill; then her
bearers were forced to make haste to return her to the house. She
lived in Gaston's palace in the Luxembourg. Mademoiselle's palace was
in the Tuileries, and the royal family lived either in the palace of
the Louvre, in the Palais Royal, or in the Château of Saint Germain.

Madame declared that her life had been one continuous agony. She
announced her evils not singly but in clusters, and although none
of them were evident to the disinterested observer, her diagnoses
displayed so thorough a knowledge of their essential character that to
harbour a doubt of their reality would be to confess a consciousness of
uncertainty akin to the skepticism of the ignorant.

At the advent of Madame the spiritual atmosphere of the Luxembourg
changed. The Princess was a moralist, and either because of her nervous
anxiety for his welfare, or for some other reason, she harangued her
husband day and night. The irresponsible Gaston was a signal example of
marital patience; he carried his burden bravely, listened attentively
to his wife's rebukes, sang and laughed, whistled and cut capers,
pulled his elf-locks in mock despair, and, clumsily whirling upon
his gouty heels, "made faces" behind Madame's drooping shoulders;
but he bore her plaintive polemics without a murmur, and although he
freely ridiculed her, he never left her side. "Madame loved Monsieur
ardently," and Monsieur returned Madame's love in the disorderly manner
in which he did everything. "One may say that he loved her, but that
he did not love her often," wrote Mme. de Motteville. The public soon
lost its interest in the spectacular household; Madame was less heroic
than her reputation. Mademoiselle despaired when Madame urged Monsieur
to be prudent; to her mind her father's prudence had invariably
exceeded the proportions of virtue. Generally speaking, Madame's first
relations with her step-daughter were cordial, but they were limited to
a purely conventional exchange of civilities. Speaking of that epoch,
Mademoiselle said: "I did all that I possibly could to preserve her
good graces, which I should not have lost had she not given me reason
to neglect them." Mademoiselle could not have loved her step-mother,
nor could she have been loved by her; Madame and Mademoiselle were of
different and distinct orders.




The routine requirements of Mademoiselle's periods of mourning diverted
her mind from her marriage projects, but she soon resumed her efforts.
She had no adviser, and no one cared for her establishment; Gaston was
too well employed in spending her money to concern himself with her
future, and, as the duties of daily life fatigued Madame, Mademoiselle
could not hope for assistance from her step-mother; the Queen was her
only hope, and the Queen's executor was jealously guarding her fine
principalities and keeping close watch over her person. In 1644 the
King of Spain, Philippe IV., the brother of Anne of Austria, became
a widower. He was the enemy of France, and it would have been folly to
give him a right to any portion of French territory; but Mademoiselle
did not consider that fact; her political intuitions were not keen.
All that she could see was that the King had a crown, and that it was
such a crown as would adorn the title of her own nobility. For some
occult reason which, as no one has ever located it, will probably
remain enigmatical, Mademoiselle imagined that Philippe IV. desired
to espouse her; and she passed her time forming plans and waiting for
the Spanish envoy who was to come to France to ask her father for her
hand. As it is difficult to believe that she ever could have dreamed
the story that she tells in her memoirs, we must suppose that there
was some foundation for her hopes. Possibly the expectations upon
which she artlessly dilated sprang from the intriguing designs of her

    The Queen bore witness to me that she passionately wished for the
    marriage, and Cardinal Mazarin spoke of it in the same way; more
    than that, he told me that he had received news from Spain which
    had shown him that the affair was desired in that country. Both the
    Queen and the Cardinal spoke of it repeatedly, not only to me but
    to Monsieur. By feigned earnestness they impressed us with the idea
    that they wished for the marriage. They lured us with that honour,
    though they had no intention of obliging us; and our good faith was
    such that we did not perceive their lack of sincerity. As we had
    full belief in them, it was easy for them to elude the obligations
    incurred by them when they aroused our expectations, and, in fact,
    that was just what they did; having talked freely of it to us
    during a certain period, they suddenly ceased to speak of it, and
    everything thereafter was as it would have been had there been no
    question of the marriage.

Mademoiselle's anxieties and hopes were fed alternately. To add to
her distress, a Spaniard was caught on French soil and cast into the
Bastille. Mademoiselle grieved bitterly over his fate; she supposed
that the prisoner had been sent by the Spanish King to negotiate
the marriage; it was her belief that Mazarin's spies had warned him
(Mazarin) of the arrival of the envoy, and that the Cardinal had
ordered the arrest to prevent the envoy from delivering his despatches;
the interpretation was chimerical. Our knowledge is confined to the
fact that nothing more was said of Mademoiselle's marriage, and that
when the King was ready to marry he married an Austrian.

The troubles of England provided Mademoiselle with a more serious
suitor. Queen Henriette, the daughter of Henry of Navarre, had fled to
France, and France, in the person of the Regent, had installed her in
the Louvre. Before that time Anne of Austria had moved from the Louvre
to the Palais Royal, which was a more commodious residence, well fitted
to the prevailing taste. Queen Henriette was ambitious, and she began
to form projects for an alliance with France before she recovered from
the fatigue of her journey.

Mademoiselle was a spirited Princess, very handsome, witty, and
an ardent partisan. Such a wife would be a credit to any king, and
the Montpensier estates were needed by the throne of England. Queen
Henriette was sanguine; she ignored the fact that her son's future
was dark and threatening. She made proposals to Mademoiselle and
Mademoiselle received them coldly. Her ideas of propriety were shocked
by the thought of such an alliance. The Queen of England was a refugee,
dependent upon the bounty of France. There could be no honour or profit
in marriage to her son!

Queen Henriette was the first of a series of exiled monarchs to whom
France gave hospitality, and it must be said that her manner of opening
a series was not a happy one. The sovereigns of former times were not
familiar with revolutions, and their ignorance made them fearless; they
despised precautions; they were improvident, they saved nothing for
a rainy day; they scorned foreign stocks; they avoided business, and
looked with contempt upon foreign bankers. If they lost their thrones
they fled to foreign countries and sought refuge in the kingdoms of
their friends, and there their comfort and their respectability were
matters of chance; their friends might be in easy circumstances, and
they might be on the verge of bankruptcy; a king's crown was not always
accompanied by a full purse.

When Queen Henriette arrived in Paris she was received with honours and
with promises. The courtiers donned their festive robes "broidered
with gold and with silver,"[91] and went to Montrouge to meet her and
escort her into Paris. Anne of Austria received her affectionately
and seated her at her right hand at banquets. Mazarin announced that
she was to draw a salary of twelve hundred francs per diem; in short,
everything was done to flatter the English guest. The credulous
Henriette accepted the flattery and the promises literally and she was
dazed, when, awaking to the truth, she found that she was a beggar.
Recording the history of that epoch, Mademoiselle said:

    "The Queen of England had appeared everywhere in Paris attended
    like a Queen, and with a Queen's equipage. With her we had always
    seen her many ladies of quality, chariots, guards, and footmen.
    Little by little all that disappeared and the time came when
    nothing was more lacking to her dignity than her retinue and all
    the pomps to which she had been accustomed."

Queen Henriette was obliged to sell her jewels and her silver dishes;
debts followed debts, and the penniless sovereign had no way to meet
them. The little court of the Louvre owed the baker and could not
pay its domestic servants. Mme. de Motteville visited the Louvre and
found Queen Henriette practically alone. She was sitting, dejectedly
meditating, in one of the great empty salles; her unpaid servitors had
abandoned her and her suite had gone where they could find nourishment.



In her account of her visit Mme. de Motteville said:

    She showed us a little golden cup, from which she habitually drank,
    and she swore to us that that was all the gold of any kind that had
    been left in her possession. She said that, more than that, all her
    servants had demanded their wages and said that they would leave
    her service if she refused to satisfy their demands; and she said
    she had not been able to pay them.

The spectacle of royal poverty and the tragical turn taken by English
affairs gave Mademoiselle cause for serious thought. She saw that
whatever the Prince might be in the future, he was not a desirable
suitor at the epoch existent; and she spoke freely:

    Were I to marry that boy I should have to sell everything that
    I might possess and go to war! I should not be able to help it.
    I could not rest until I had staked my all on the chance of
    reconquering his kingdom! But as I had always lived in luxury, and
    as I had been free from care, the thought of such an uncertain
    condition troubled me.

Had the Prince of Wales been a hero of the type of the _Cid_,
Mademoiselle would have thrown prudence to the winds. Personal
attraction, the magnetism of love, the arguments used by Lauzun would
have called her from her dreams of the pomp becoming her rank, and
she would have confronted poverty gaily; her whole career proved that
she was not of a calculating mind. The Prince of Wales was by three
years her junior; he was awkward and bashful, and so ignorant that
he had no conception of his own affairs. He lounged distractedly
through the vast, empty Louvre, absorbed in purposeless thought, and,
goaded by his mother, he frequented the Tuileries and besieged the
heart of his cousin, whom he amazed by the sluggish obstinacy of his
attentions. He paid his court with the inconsequent air of a trained
parrot; the details of his love-making were ordered by his mother, and
when, tormented by personal anxieties, the Queen of England forgot to
dictate his discourse, he sat before Mademoiselle with lips closed. He
talked so little that it was said he "opened his teeth only to devour
fat meat." At one of the banquets of the Queen of France he refused to
touch the ortolans, and falling upon an enormous piece of beef and upon
a shoulder of mutton he "ate as if there had been nothing else in the
world, and as if he had never eaten before."

"His taste," mused Mademoiselle, "appeared to me to be somewhat
indelicate; I was ashamed because he was not as good in other respects
as he bore witness that he was in his feeling for me."

After the banquet at which the Prince refused the ortolans, the cousins
were left alone, and, commenting upon the fact later, Anne-Marie-Louise
said: "It pleases me to believe that on that occasion his silence
resulted from an excess of respect for me rather than from lack of
tenderness; but I will avow the truth; I would have been better pleased
had he shown less stolidity and less deficiency in the transports
of the love-passion." It is but fair to say in behalf of the timid
suitor that, according to his feeble light, he acquitted himself
conscientiously; he gazed steadfastly in his cousin's pretty face,
he held the candle when her hair-dresser coiffed her hair; but as he
was only a great boy, just at the age of dumb stupidity, he had few
thoughts which were not personal, and few words to express even those.
He was neither _Chérubin_, _Fortunio_, nor _Rodrigue_. "He had not an
iota of sweetness," declared Mademoiselle. Worse than that, he had none
of the exalted sentiments by means of which the heroes of Corneille
manifested their identity, and to Mademoiselle that was a serious
matter. As the awkward suitor became more insistent Mademoiselle was
seized by a determination to be rid of him. Her records fix the date of
her adverse inspiration. "In 1647 toward the end of winter[92] a play
followed by a ball was given at the Palais Royal [the trago-comedy,
_Orpheus_, in music and Italian verse]." Anne of Austria, who had no
confidence in her niece's taste, insisted that the young lady should be
coiffed and dressed under her own eye. Mademoiselle said:

    They were engaged three whole days arranging my coiffure; my robe
    was all trimmed with diamonds and with white and black carnation
    tufts. I had upon me all the stones of the Crown, and all the
    jewels owned by the Queen of England [at that time she still
    possessed a few]. No one could have been more magnificently bedight
    than I was for that occasion, and I did not fail to find many
    people to tell me of my splendour and to talk about my pretty
    figure, my graceful and agreeable bearing, my whiteness, and the
    sheen of my blonde hair, which they said adorned me more than all
    the riches which glittered upon my person.

After the play a ball was given on a great, well-lighted stage. At the
end of the stage was a throne raised three steps high and covered by a
dais; according to Mademoiselle's account:

    Neither the King nor the Prince of Wales would sit upon the throne,
    and as I, alone, remained upon it, I saw the two Princes and all
    the Princesses of the Court at my feet. I did not feel awkward or
    ill at ease, and no one of all those who saw me failed to tell me
    that I had never seemed less constrained than then, that I was of a
    race to occupy the throne, and that I should occupy my own throne
    still more freely and more naturally when the time came for me to
    remain upon it.

Seen from the height of the throne, the Prince of Wales seemed less of
a man than he had ever seemed before, and from that day Mademoiselle
spoke of him as "that poor fellow." She said: "I pitied him. My heart
as well as my eyes looked down upon him, and the thought entered
my mind that I should marry an emperor." The thought of an emperor
entered her mind the previous year when Ferdinand III. became a
widower. Monsieur's favourite, the Abbé Rivière,--with a view to
his own interests, and possibly with some hope of adding to his
income,--announced the welcome tidings of the Empress's death as soon
as he received them; and Mademoiselle said:

"M. de la Rivière told me that I must marry either the Emperor or his
brother. I told him that I should prefer the Emperor."

Paris heard of the project that same evening. Mademoiselle did not
receive proposals from the Emperor at that time or at any other time,
but the idea that she was to be an Empress haunted her mind, and as she
was very frank, she told her hopes freely. La Rivière and others like
him, taking advantage of her public position and of her accessibility,
told her flattering tales and suggested alliances; she was informed
that the Court of Vienna, the Court of Germany, and in fact all the
Courts, desired alliance with her, and she believed all that was said.
The evening of the ball, Anne of Austria declared, by Mademoiselle's
own account, that she "wished passionately that the marriage with the
Emperor might be arranged, and that she should do all that lay in her
power to bring it about." Mademoiselle did not believe in the Regent's
promises, but she listened to them and shaped her course by them.
Gaston told her (in one of the rare moments when he remembered that
she was his daughter) that the Emperor was "too old," and that she
would not be happy in his country. Mademoiselle answered that she cared
more for her establishment than for the person of her suitor. Gaston
reflected upon the statement and promised to do everything possible
for the furtherance of her schemes. Mademoiselle recorded his promise
with the comment: "So after that I thought of the marriage continually
and my dream of the Empire so filled my mind that I considered the
Prince of Wales only as an object of pity." This folly, while it gave
free play to other and similar follies, clung to her mind with strange
tenacity, and long after the Emperor married the Austrian Mademoiselle
said archly: "The Empress is _enceinte_; she will die when she is
delivered, and then--." The Empress did die, either at the moment of
her deliverance or at some other moment, and Mademoiselle took the
field, determined to march on to victory. One of her gentlemen (of the
name of Saujon) whom she fancied "because he was half crazy," secretly
placed in her hand a regularly organised correspondence treating of her
marriage. Mademoiselle received all the letters, read them, approved
of them, and appointed Saujon chargé of her affairs. By her order
Saujon travelled to Germany to bring about the marriage. No one had
ever heard of a royal or a quasi-royal alliance negotiated by a private
individual, but Saujon boldly entered upon his mission. Incidentally
he revised Mademoiselle's despatches; adding and eliminating sentences
according to his own idea of the exigencies of the case. One of his
letters was intercepted and he was arrested and cast into prison. It
was rumoured that he had made an attempt to abduct the Princess so that
she might marry the Archduke Leopold.

At first Mademoiselle laughed at the rumours. She declared that people
knew her too well to think that she could do anything so ridiculous.

Mazarin cross-questioned Saujon,--and no one knew better than he how to
conduct an inquest,--but turn his victim as he might the Cardinal could
not wring from Saujon anything but the truth. Saujon insisted that
Mademoiselle had not known anything concerning the intercepted letter.

Anne of Austria, seconded by Monsieur, feigned to take the affair
seriously, and a violent scene ensued.

One evening (May 6, 1648, according to d'Ormesson) the Abbé de la
Rivière met Mademoiselle in the corridor of the Palais Royal, and
casually informed her that the Queen and Monsieur were angry. Almost at
the same instant Monsieur issued from the room adjoining the corridor
and ordered his daughter to enter the Queen's room.

    Then [said Mademoiselle] I went into the Queen's gallery. Mlle.
    de Guise, who was with me, would have followed me, but Monsieur
    furiously shut the door in her face. Had not my mind been free from
    all remorse I should have been frightened, but I knew that I was
    innocent, and I advanced toward the Queen, who greeted me angrily.
    She said to the Cardinal: "We must wait until her father comes; he
    must hear it!" I went to the window, which was higher than the rest
    of the gallery, and I listened with all the pride possible to one
    who feels that her cause is just. When Monsieur arrived the Queen
    said to me sharply: "Your father and I know all about your dealings
    with Saujon. We know all your plans!" I answered that I did not
    know to what plans she had reference, and that I was somewhat
    curious to know what her Majesty meant.

Anne of Austria was angry, and her shrill falsetto conveyed an
impression of vulgarity. Mademoiselle, calmly contemptuous, on foot and
very erect, stood in the embrasure of the long window; Monsieur, who
dreaded his daughter's anger, had drawn close to the Queen; directly
behind Monsieur was Mazarin, visibly amused.

Mademoiselle listened to her accusers, and answered with a sneer that
she had nothing to do with it, that she was not interested in it, that
such a scheme was worthy of low people.

    "This concerns my honour," she said coldly; "it is not a question
    of the head of Cinq-Mars, nor of Chalais, whom Monsieur delivered
    to death. No; nor is it an affair to be classed with the
    examinations to which Richelieu subjected your Majesty!"

    "It is a fine thing," screamed Anne of Austria, "to recompense a
    man for his attachment to your service by putting his head upon the

    "It would not be the first head that had visited the block, but it
    would be the first one that I had put there," retorted Mademoiselle.

    "Will you answer what you are asked?" demanded the Queen. I
    obeyed [said Mademoiselle]. I told her that as I had never been
    questioned, I should be embarrassed to answer. Cardinal Mazarin
    listened to all that I said, and he laughed.... The discussion
    seemed long to me. Repetitions which are not agreeable always
    produce that effect. The conversation had lasted an hour and a
    half. It bored me, and as I saw that it would never end if I did
    not go away, I said to the Queen: "I believe that your Majesty
    has nothing more to say to me." She replied that she had not. I
    curtsied and went out from the combat, victorious, but very angry.
    As I abandoned the field, the Abbé de la Rivière tried to address
    me. I halted, and discharged my anger at him; then I went to my
    room, where I was seized by fever.

Before she "abandoned the field" Mademoiselle rated Monsieur, who had
imprudently attempted to interpose a word in favour of the Queen.
Mme. de Motteville, to whom Anne of Austria told the story, reported
that Mademoiselle reproached her father bitterly because he had not
married her to the Emperor, when he "might easily have done so." She
told him that it was shameful for a man not to defend his daughter
"when her glory appeared to be attacked." The courtiers assembled in
the adjoining room, though unable to distinguish the words of the
discussion, had listened with curiosity. Mme. de Motteville said:

    We could not hear what they were saying, but we heard the noise
    of the accusations and we heard Mademoiselle's calm defence. The
    Queen's Minister avoided showing that he was interested in it in
    any way. Although there were but three voices there was so great
    a clamour that we were anxious to know the result and the meaning
    of the quarrel. Mademoiselle came out of the gallery looking more
    haughty than ashamed, and her eyes shone with anger rather than
    with repentance. That evening the Queen did me the honour to tell
    me that had she been possessed of a daughter who had treated her as
    Mademoiselle had treated Monsieur, she would have banished her and
    never permitted her to return,--and that she should have shut her
    up in a convent.

The day after the discussion guards were mounted at the door of
Mademoiselle's apartments. The Abbé de la Rivière visited Mademoiselle
to tell her that her father forbade her to receive any one--_no matter
whom_--until she was ready to confess what she knew of the intercepted
letter. Mademoiselle remained firm in her denial of any knowledge of it.

Though sick from grief, she held her ground ten days. Murmurs were
heard among the canaille, and little groups approached the palace,
looked threateningly into the courtyard, and gazed at Mademoiselle's
closed windows. It was known that Mademoiselle was in prison and the
people resented it. How long could she hold out? How would it end? "It
was known," wrote Olivier d'Ormesson, "that the Queen had called her
'an insolent girl' in the presence of her own father, and it was known
that she had indignantly repudiated all knowledge of the intercepted
letter; it was known that she had defended herself bravely." As the
hours passed the people's murmurs increased, the aspect of the canaille
became so menacing that the terrified Gaston sought counsel of Mazarin.
Mazarin favoured clemency; he believed that Mademoiselle had been
disciplined enough. By the advice of the angry Queen, Monsieur waited
one day longer; then word was sent to Mademoiselle that she was free
and that she might receive visits, and in an hour all the people of the
under-world of Paris were hurrying to the palace, laughing, shouting,
crying to each other in broken voices. They surged past the sentinel
and entered the courtyard; men wept, women, holding their children
above their heads, pointed to the open window where Mademoiselle,
emaciated by her ten days' trial, but still haughty and determined,
looking down into the upturned faces, smiled a welcome. Public sympathy
and the sympathy of both the Court and the city endorsed Mademoiselle's
conduct and condemned the conduct of Monsieur. According to
contemporary judgment Monsieur had betrayed his own flesh and blood: he
had been given an opportunity to prove himself a man and he had refused
it. Innocent or culpable, the custom of the day commanded the father to
defend his child.

    I said to the Queen [said the worthy Motteville] that Mademoiselle
    was justified in refusing to avow it. I said that, whether it were
    true or untrue, Monsieur had not the right to forsake her. A girl
    is not to blame for thinking of her establishment, but it is not
    right to let it be known that she is thinking of it, nor is it
    proper to confess that she is working to accomplish it.

All Monsieur's motives were known and they increased the contempt of
the people. When Mademoiselle attained her majority she expressed a
wish to take possession of her inheritance. She asked her father for
an accounting and her father accused her of indelicacy and undutiful
conduct. He continued to administer her fortune and to give her such
sums as he considered suitable for the maintenance of her home. In
justification of his conduct he alleged that he had no money of his
own, and that it was impossible to turn her property into funds.
"Several times," said Mme. de Motteville, "I have heard him say that
he had not a sou that his daughter did not give him. 'My daughter
possesses great wealth,' he used to ejaculate; 'were it not for that I
should not know where to go for bread.'" People remembered that he had
received a million of revenue when he married[93] and they judged his
conduct severely, but they were not astonished. "No one can hope much
from the conduct of Monsieur," wrote Olivier d'Ormesson.

After the quarrel the first meeting between father and daughter took
place in the gallery of the Luxembourg. Monsieur hung his head.

    He changed colour [wrote Mademoiselle]; he appeared abashed; he
    tried to reprimand me; he began as people begin such things, but he
    knew that he ought to apologise to me rather than to blame me; and
    in truth that was what he did; he apologised,--though he did not
    seem to know that he was doing it.

As they talked Monsieur's eyes filled with tears and Mademoiselle wept
freely. To all appearances they were on the best of terms when they

Having appeased her father, Mademoiselle went to the Palais Royal
hoping to pacify the Queen. Anne of Austria greeted her with icy
reserve and Mademoiselle never could forget it. She had looked upon
Anne of Austria as children look upon an elder sister. Thenceforth,
feeling that she had no hope of support from her own family, she bent
every effort to the difficult task of finding a suitable husband and
of establishing her life on a firm and independent basis. Mazarin's
unswerving determination to prevent Mademoiselle's marriage was classed
among the most important of the causes which contributed to the
Fronde. The dangers attendant upon his conduct were real and serious;
practically he was Mademoiselle's only guardian, and Mademoiselle was
not only the favorite of the people but the Princess of the reigning
house. As the director of a powerful nation Mazarin had duties which no
State's minister is justified in ignoring. There were times when many
of his other errors were so represented as to appear pardonable, but
there never was a time when he was not blamed for the humiliation of
the haughty Princess who, by no fault of her own, had been left upon
the shores of life, isolated, hopeless of establishment, an object of
ridicule to the unobservant who failed to see the pathetic loneliness
of her position. The Parisians, high and low, thought that the Queen's
Minister had done Mademoiselle an irreparable wrong, and it was thought
that she knew that he had done her a wrong. It was believed that she
would be a dangerous adversary in the day when the French people called
him to account.

Mademoiselle knew her power and talked openly of what she could do. "I
am," she said, "a very bad enemy; hot-tempered, strong in anger; and
that, added to my birth, may well make my enemies tremble." She could
say it without boasting: she was a Free Lance and the great French
People was her clan.


Two years[94] previous to the serio-comic scene in the Palais Royal,
Emperor Ferdinand III. had barely escaped causing a catastrophe. Had
the catastrophe been effected the victim would have been the Princess
of a reigning house. This is a very roundabout way of saying that
Mademoiselle's anxiety to marry the Emperor led her to prepare for the
alliance by practising religion; and that once engaged in the practice,
she was seized by the desire to become a nun.

The turbulent Princess who so ardently aspired to the throne of
Ferdinand III. was as free in spirit as she was independent in action,
and being hampered by no religion but the religion of culture, she
followed her fancies and adopted a line of conduct in singular
opposition to her natural behaviour and inclinations. Lured by
ambitious policy to affect the attitude of religious devotion, she
fell into her own net and was so deceived by her feelings that she
supposed that she wished to take the veil. The fact that at heart her
wishes tended in a diametrically opposite direction furnished the most
striking proof of the power of hypnotic auto-suggestion. I am speaking
now of a time previous to Saujon's mission to Germany. In her own

    The desire to be an empress followed me wherever I journeyed, and
    the effects of my wishes seemed to be so close at hand that I was
    led to believe that it would be well for me to form habits best
    suited to the habits and to the humour of the Emperor. I had heard
    it said that he was very devout, and by following his example I
    became so worshipful that after I had feigned the appearance of
    devotion a while I longed to be a nun. I never breathed a word of
    it to any one; but during the whole of eight days I was inspired by
    a desire to become a Carmelite. I was so engrossed by this feeling
    that I could neither eat nor sleep. And I was so beset by that
    anxiety added to my natural anxiety, that they feared lest I should
    fall ill. Every time that the Queen went into the convents--which
    happened often--I remained in the church alone; and thinking of
    all the persons who loved me and who would regret my retreat from
    the world, I wept. So that which appeared to be a struggle with my
    religious desire to break away from my worldly self was in reality
    a struggle progressing in my heart between my wish to enter the
    convent and my horror of leaving all whom I loved, and breaking
    away from all my tenderness for them. I can say only this: during
    these eight days the Empire was nothing to me. But I must avow that
    I felt a certain amount of vanity because I was to leave the world
    under such important circumstances.

Mademoiselle had hung out the sign-board of religion--if I may use such
a term--and she multiplied all the symptoms of religious conversion. To
quote her own words:

    I did not appear at Court. I did not wear my patches, I did not
    powder my hair,--in fact, I neglected my hair until it was so long
    and so dusty that it completely disguised me. I used to wear three
    kerchiefs around my neck,--one over the other,--and they muffled
    me so that in warm weather I nearly smothered. As I wished to look
    like a woman forty years old, I never wore any coloured riband.
    As for pleasure, I took pleasure in nothing but in reading and
    re-reading the life of Saint Theresa.

No one was astonished by religious demonstrations of that kind. Custom
did not oppose the admission of the public to the spectacle of intimate
mental or spiritual crises which it is now considered proper to
conceal. The only thing astonishing was that Mademoiselle had harboured
the idea of forsaking the world. Her friends ridiculed her, and, stung
by their raillery, she recanted. Speaking of it later, she said: "I
wondered at my ideas; I scoffed at my infatuation. I made excuses
because I had ever dreamed of such a project."

Monsieur was more surprised than his neighbours, and his surprise
assumed a more virulent form; when his daughter begged to be permitted
to enter a convent, when she declared that she would "better love to
serve God than to wear the royal crowns of all the world," he gave
way to a violent outburst of fury. Mademoiselle did not repeat her
petition; she begged him to let the subject drop; and thus ended the

In any other quarter curiosity regarding details would have been
the only sentiment aroused by such a project. The daughters of many
noble families and the daughters of families beyond the pale of the
nobility entered convents. In the spiritual slough in which France
floundered toward the close of the sixteenth and the beginning of the
seventeenth century, the nun's veil and the monk's habit were the
only suitable coverings for mental distress, and in many cases the
convent and the monastery were the sole places of refuge in a world so
lamentable that Bérulle[95] and Vincent de Paul contemplated it with
anguish. The convent was the only safe shelter for souls in which the
germs of religious life had resisted the inroads of spiritual disease.
In certain parts of the country, the annihilation of the Christian
principle had resulted in the degradation of the Sacred Office and in
the increase of the number of skeptics in the higher classes.

Saving a few exceptions, who were types of the Temple of the Holy
Ghost, the Church set the example of every form and every degree of
contempt for its corporate body, for its individual members, and for
its consecrated accessories. I have already spoken of the elegant
cavaliers, who, in their leisure moments, played the part of priests.
In their eyes a bishopric was a sinecure like another sinecure.
The office of the priesthood entailed no special conduct, nor any
special duty. In general, priests were shepherds who passed their
lives at a distance from their flocks, revelling in luxury and in
pleasure. "Turning abruptly," said an ecclesiastical writer, "from
the pleasures of the Court to the austere duties of the priesthood,
without any preparation save the royal ordinance,--an ordinance,
peradventure, due to secret and unavowable solicitations,--men assumed
the office and became bishops before they had received Holy Orders.
Naturally, such haphazard bishops brought to the Episcopate minds
far from ecclesiastical." In that day cardinals and bishops were
seen distributing the benefits of their dioceses among their lower
domestic tributaries. Thus valets, cooks, barbers, and lackeys were
covered with the sacred vestments, and called to serve the altar.[96]
Being abandoned to their own devices, the lesser clergy--heirs to
all the failings and all the weaknesses of the lower classes of the
people--grovelled in ignorance and in disorder. The continually
augmenting evil was aggravated by the way in which the Church recruited
the rank and file of her legions. As a rule, the cure, or living of
the curé, was in the gift of the abbot. No one but the abbot had a
right to appoint a curé. The abbot's power descended to his successor.
That would have been well enough, had the abbot's virtues and good
judgment--if such there had been--descended to the man immediately
following him in office, but the abbot thus empowered to appoint the
curé was seldom capable of making a good choice or even a decent choice.

The Court bestowed the abbeys on infants in the cradle, and the
titulars were generally the illegitimate children of the princes,
younger sons of great seigniors, notably gallant soldiers, and
notoriously "gallant" women. The abbots were laical protégés of every
origin, of every profession, and of every character. Henry IV.
bestowed abbeys indiscriminately. Among other notables who received the
office of abbot at his hands were a certain number of Protestants and
an equally certain number of women. Sully possessed four abbeys: "the
fair Corisande" possessed an abbey (the Abbey of Chatillon-sur-Seine,
where Saint Bernard had been raised). The fantastic abbots did not
exert themselves to find suitable curés, and even had they been
disposed to do so, where could they have gone to look for them? There
were no clerical nursery-gardens in which to sow choice seed and to
root cuttings for the parterres of the Church, and this was the chief
cause of the prevailing evil. As there were no seminaries, and as the
presbyterial schools were in decay, there were no places where men
could make serious preparation for the Episcopate. As soon as the
youth destined for Orders had learned so much Latin that he could
explain the gospels used in the service of the Mass, and translate
his breviary well enough to say his Office, he was considered fit for
the priesthood. It is not difficult to imagine what became of the
sacraments of the Church when they fell into such hands. There were
priests who eliminated all pretence of unction from Baptism. Others,
though they had received no sacerdotal authority, joined men and
women in marriage, and sent them away rejoicing at their escape from
a more binding formality. Some of the priests were ignorant of the
formula of Absolution, and in their ignorance they changed, abridged,
and transposed to suit their own taste the august words of the most
redoubtable of mysteries. Dumb as cattle, the ignoble priests deserted
the pulpit, so there were no more sermons; there was no catechism, and
the people, deprived of all instruction, were more benighted than their
pastors. In some parishes there were men and women who were ignorant of
the existence of God.[97]

The people had no teachers, and their manners were as neglected as
their spiritual education. With rare exceptions, the provincial priest
went to the wine-shops with his parishioners; if he saw fit, he went
without taking off his surplice,--nor was that the worst; in every
respect, and everywhere, and always, he set lamentable examples for his
people. "One may say with truth and with horror," cried the austere
Bourdoise, the friend of Père Bérulle, "that of all the evil done in
the world, the part done by the ecclesiastics is the worst." Père
Amelotte expressed his opinion with still more energy: "The name of
priest," he cried, "has become the synonym of ignorance and debauchery!"

After the religious wars there were neither churches nor presbyteries,
and therefore there were thousands of villages where there were no
priests, but it is to be doubted whether such villages were more
pitiable than those in which by their daily conduct the priests
constantly provoked the people to despise the earthly representative
of God. The abandoned villages were not plunged in thicker moral and
religious darkness, or in grosser or more abominable superstition, than
that into which the ignoble pastors led their flocks. In one half of
the total number of the provinces of France, the work that the first
missionaries to the Gauls had accomplished had all to be begun again.

In the world of the aristocracy the condition of Catholicism was little
better. When Vincent de Paul--by a mischance which was not to be the
only one in his career--was appointed Almoner to Queen Marguerite,
first wife of Henry IV., he was overwhelmed by what he saw and heard.
The Court was two thirds pagan.[98] A loose and reckless line of
thought, a moral libertinage, was considered a mark of elegance, and
that opinion obtained until the seventeenth century. The _jeunesse
dorée_, the "gilded youths" of the day, imitated the atheists and
gloried in manifesting their contempt for the "superstitions of
religion." They repeated after Vanini that "man ought to obey the
natural law," that "vice and virtue should be classed as products of
climate, of temperament, and of alimentation," that "children born with
feeble intellects are best fitted to develop into good Christians."
Among the higher classes, piety was not entirely extinct; that was
proven in the days of the triumphant Renaissance, when the Catholicism
of Bossuet and of Bourdaloue flamed with all the strength of a newly
kindled fire from the dying embers of the old religion. But the belief
in God and in the things of God was not to be avowed among people of
intellect. In a certain elegant, frivolous, and corrupt world, impiety
and wit marched hand in hand. A man was not absolutely perfect in
tone and manners unless he seasoned his conversation with a grain
of atheism.[99] Under Louis XIII. in the immediate neighbourhood of
royalty the tone changed, because the King's bigotry kept close watch
over the appearance of religion. Men knew that they could not air their
smart affectation of skepticism with impunity when their chief not
only openly professed and practised religion, but frowned upon those
who did not. All felt that the only way to be popular at Court was to
follow the example of the King, and all slipped their atheism up their
sleeves and bowed the knee with grace and dexterity, pulling on long
faces and praying as visibly as Louis himself. But many years passed
before the practice of religion expressed the feelings of the heart.
Richelieu[100] had several intimate friends who were openly confessed
infidels, and proud of their infidelity. While they were intellectual
and witty and devoted to the Cardinal's interests, they were permitted
to think as they pleased.

Long after the day of Richelieu,--in the reign of Louis XIV.,--the
great Condé and Princess Anne de Gonzague made vows to the "marvellous
victories of grace,"[101] but while they were "waiting for the
miracle," the more miscreant of the Court amused themselves by throwing
a piece of the wood of the true cross into the fire "to see whether it
would burn."

The current of moral libertinage, though it appeared sluggish after
the Fronde, had not run dry, and it was seen in the last third of the
seventeenth century and in the following century shallow, but flowing

Whatever the general condition, the city was always better fortified
against spiritual libertinage than the Court, because it contained
stronger elements, and because it lacked the frivolity of the social
bodies devoted to pleasure. In the city mingled with the higher
bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie were nobles of excellent stock
who did not visit the Louvre or the Palais Royal because, as they had
no title or position at Court, they could not claim the rank to which
their quality gave them right; to cite an instance: Mme. de Sévigné was
not of the Court; she was always of the city.

Taken altogether, the Parliamentary world, which had one foot at Court
and the other foot in the city, had preserved a great deal of religion
and morality. Olivier d'Ormesson's journal shows us the homes of the
serious and intellectual people of the great metropolitan centres to
whom piety and gravity had descended from their fathers.

The Parliamentary world of the provinces was notable for its moral
attitude and for its love of religion. Taken all in all the French
bourgeoisie had not felt the inroads of free thought, although there
had been a few cases of visible infiltration. In the country districts
the people practised religion more or less fervently.

Despite the few exceptions serving as luminous points in the universal
darkness, in the reign of Louis XIII. the situation was well fitted to
inspire creatures of ardent faith and exalted mysticism with horror.
There were many such people in Paris then, as there have been always.
Discouraged, hopeless of finding anything better in a world abandoned
to blasphemy and vice, the naturally pious fled to the cloisters
and too often they found within the walls of their refuges the same
scandals that had driven them from their homes. The larger number of
the monasteries were given over to depravity[103] and the monks were
like the people of the world. As we have seen, a few prelates of rare
faith and devotion furnished the exceptions to the rule, but set, as
they were, wide distances apart in the swarming mass of vociferous
immorality, they excited a pity which swallowed up all appreciation of
their importance.

Divers questions which were not connected either with belief as a
whole or with the principle of belief combined to make the Protestant
minority by far more moral than the Catholic majority. Perhaps the
social disadvantage attached to Protestantism was the strongest
reason for its superiority. When a practically powerless minority is
surrounded and kept under surveillance by a powerful majority, unless
pride and vanity have blinded its prudence the minority keeps careful
watch of its actions. By a natural process minorities of agitators
cast cowardly and selfish members out of their ranks; in other words,
they weed out the useless, the feeble, the derogatory elements, and
the elements which, being dependent upon the favour of the public, or
susceptible to public criticism, flinch if subjected to unfavourable
judgment. The Protestant minority eliminated all who, fearing the
ridicule or the animosity of the Court, shrank from standing shoulder
to shoulder with the men in the fighting ranks of Protestantism.
Impelled by personal interest, the converts to the reform movement went
back to the Catholic majority. There were so many advantages attendant
upon the profession of Catholicism that with few exceptions the great
lords declared their faith in the religion powerful to endow them with
military commands and with governmental and other lucrative positions.
The Protestant ranks were thinned, but the few who stood their ground
were the picked men of the reform movement. The ranks of the Catholics
were swelled by the hypocrites and the turncoats who had deserted
from the army of the Protestants. The Protestants gained morally by
the defection of their converts, and the Catholics lost; the few who
sustained Protestantism were sincere; the fact of their profession
proved it.

The Protestant pastor had no selfish reason for his profession; he
had nothing to hope for; he was lured by no promise of an abbey,
nor could he expect to be rewarded for his open revolt against the
King's church. Looking at it in its most illusive light, his was a
bad business; there was nothing in it to tempt the favourites of the
great; not even a lackey could find advantage in appointment to the
Protestant ministry, and no man entered upon the painful life of the
Protestant pastor unless forced by an all-mastering vocation. The
cause of the Reformation was safe because it was in the hands of men
who boasted of "a judge that no king could corrupt," and who believed
that they had armed themselves with "the panoply of God." The pastors
laboured with unfailing zeal, first to kindle the spark of a faith
separated from all earthly interests; next to nourish sincere belief
in God as the vital principle of religious life. Under their influence
the Protestants of the upper middle classes and the Protestants of
the lower classes--there were still fewer of the latter than of the
former--not only practised, but lived their religion, giving an example
of good conduct and of intelligent appreciation of the name and the
meaning of their profession. Their adversaries were forced to render
them the homage due to their efforts and their sincerity. They, the
Protestants, were charitable in the true sense of the term; they loved
the brethren; they cared for the bodies as well as for the souls of the
poor; they proved their love for their fellows by guarding the public
welfare; they kept the laws and, whenever it was possible, enforced
them. The pastors knew that they must practise what they preached, and,
profiting by the examples of the ignoble priests, they set a guard upon
their words and movements, lest their disciples should question their
sincerity. They were austere, energetic, and devoted to their people
and to their cause. They were convinced that they were warders of the
inheritance of the saints, and they patrolled their circuit, and went
about in the name of Christ proclaiming the mercy of God and warning
men of Eternity and of The Judgment.

Let us be loyal to our convictions and give to those early pastors the
credit due to their candour and to their efforts; they surpassed us
in many ways. They were learned; they were versed in science, kind to
strangers, strict in morality, brotherly to the poor.

François de Sales said of them: "The Protestants were Christians;
Catholicism was not Christian."[104]

So matters stood--the churches ruined and abandoned, Religion mocked
and the priests despised[105]--when a little phalanx of devoted men
arose to rescue the wrecked body of the French Clergy. They organised
systematically, but their plan of action was independent. François de
Sales was among the first who broke ground for the difficult work. He
was a calm, cool man, indifferent to abuse, firm in the conviction
that his power was from God. There were many representatives of the
Church, but few like him. One of his chroniclers dwelt upon his
"exalted indifference to insult" another, speaking of his "supernatural
patience," said:

"A Du Perron could not have stopped short in an argument with a
heretic, but, on the other hand, a Du Perron would not have converted
the heretic by the ardour of his forbearing kindness." Strowski said
of de Sales that he "saw as the wise see, and lived among men not as
a nominal Christian but as a man of God, gifted with omniscience." By
living in the world de Sales had learned that a germ of religion was
still alive in many of the abandoned souls; he knew that there were a
few who were truly Catholic; he knew that those few were cherishing
their faith, but he saw that they lived isolated lives, away from
the world, and he believed that the limitations of their spiritual
hermitage hindered their usefulness. De Sales believed in a community
of religion and Christian love. The few who cherished their religion
were a class by themselves. They knew and respected each other, they
theorised abstractly upon the prevailing evils, but they had no thought
of bettering man's condition. Their sorrows had turned their thoughts
to woeful contemplation of their helplessness, and all their hopes
were straining forward toward the peaceful cloister and the silent
intimacy of monachism. For them the uses of life were as a tale that
is told. They had no thought of public service, they were timid, they
abhorred sin and shrank from sinners, their isolation had developed
their tendency to mysticism, and the best efforts of their minds were
concentrated upon hypotheses.

Père François believed that they and all who loved God could do good
work in the world. He did not believe in controversy, he did not
believe in silencing skeptics with overwhelming arguments. He used
his own means in his own way; but his task was hard and his progress
slow, and months passed before he was able to form a working plan. His
idea was to revive religious feeling and spiritual zeal, to increase
the piety of life in community, to exemplify the love which teaches
man to live at peace with his brother, to fulfil his mission as the
son of man made in the likeness of God, and to act his part as an
intelligent member of an orderly solidarity. De Sales's first work was
difficult, but not long after his mission-house was established he saw
that his success was sure, and he then appointed deputies and began
his individual labour for the revival of religious thought. He knew
that the people loved to reason, and he had resolved to develop their
intelligence and to open their minds to Truth: the strong principle of
all reform. His doubt of the utility of controversy had been confirmed
by the spectacle of the recluses of the Church. Study had convinced him
that theologians had taken the wrong road and exaggerated the spiritual
influence of the "power of piety." He believed in the practical piety
of Charity, and he accepted as his appointed task the awakening of
Christian love. His impelling force was not the bigotry which

        proves religion orthodox
    By apostolic blows and knocks,

nor was it the contemplative faith which, by living in convents,
deprives the world of the example of its fervour; it was that practical
manifestation of the grace of God "which fits the citizen for civil
life and forms him for the world."

In the end Père François's religion became purely practical and he had
but one aim: the awakening of the soul.

His critics talked of his "dreams," his "visions," and his
"religio-sentimental revival." His piety was expressed in the saying:
"Religious life is not an attitude, nor can the practice of religion
save a man; the true life of the Christian springs from a change
of heart, from the intimate and profound transformation of his
personality." We know with what ardour Père François went forward to
his goal, manifesting his ideals by his acts. By his words and by his
writings he worked a revolution in men's souls. His success equalled
the success of Honoré d'Urfé; few books have reached the number of the
editions of the _Introduction à la vie dévote_.[106]

In Paris de Sales had often visited a young priest named Pierre de
Bérulle, who also was deeply grieved by the condition of Catholicism,
and who was ambitious to work a change in the clergy and in the Church.
Père Bérulle had discussed the subject with Vincent de Paul, de Sales,
Bourdoise, and other pious friends, and after serious reflection,
he had determined to undertake the stupendous work of reforming the
clergy. In 1611 he founded a mission-house called the Oratoire. "The
chief object of the mission was to put an end to the uselessness of
so many ecclesiastics." The missionaries began their work cautiously
and humbly, but their progress was rapid. Less than fifteen months
after the first Mass was offered upon the altar of the new house, the
Oratoire was represented by fifty branch missions. The brothers of the
company were seen among all classes; their aim, like the individual
aim of Père François, was to make the love of God familiar to men by
habituating man to the love of his brother. They turned aside from
their path to help wherever they saw need; they nursed the sick,
they worked among the common people, they lent their strength to the
worn-out labourer.

They were as true, as simple, and as earnest as the men who walked with
the Son of Mary by the Lake of Galilee. Bound by no tie but Christian
Charity, free to act their will, they manifested their faith by their
piety, and it was impossible to deny the beneficence of their example.
From the mother-house they set out for all parts of France, exhorting,
imploring the dissolute to forsake their sin, and proclaiming the love
of Christ. Protestants were making a strong point of the wrath of
God; the Oratorians talked of God's mercy. They passed from province
to province, they searched the streets and the lanes of the cities,
they laboured with the labourers, they feasted with the bourgeois.
Dispensing brotherly sympathy, they entered the homes of the poor as
familiar friends, confessing the adults, catechising the children,
and restoring religion to those who had lost it or forgotten it. They
demanded hospitality in the provincial presbyteries, aroused the
slothful priests to repentant action, and, raising the standard of the
Faith before all eyes, they pointed men to Eternal Life and lifted the
fallen brethren from the mire.

Shoulder to shoulder with the three chevaliers of the Faith, de Sales,
de Bérulle, and Père Vincent, was the stern Saint Cyran (Jean Duvergier
de Hauranne) who lent to the assistance of the Oratorians the powerful
influence of his magnetic fervour. The impassioned eloquence of the
author of _Lettres Chrétiennes et Spirituelles_ was awe-inspiring. The
members of the famous convent (Port Royal des Champs) were equally
devoted; their fervour was gentler, but always grave and salutary.
Saint Cyran's characteristics were well defined in Joubert's _Pensée_.

    The Jansenists carried into their religious life more depth of
    thought and more reflection; they were more firmly bound by
    religion's sacred liens; there was an austerity in their ideas and
    in their minds, and that austerity incessantly circumscribed their
    will by the limitations of duty.

They were pervaded, even to their mental habit, by their uncompromising
conception of divine justice; their inclinations were antipathetic to
the lusts of the flesh. The companions of the community of Port Royal
were as pure in heart as the Oratorians, but they were childlike in
their simplicity; they delighted in the beauties of nature and in the
society of their friends; they indulged their humanity whenever such
indulgence accorded with their vocation; they permitted "the fêtes of
Christian love," to which we of the present look back in fancy as to
visions of the first days of the early Church. Jules Lemaître said in
his address at Port Royal:[107]

    Port Royal is one of the most august of all the awe-inspiring
    refuges of the spiritual life of France. It is holy ground; for
    in this vale was nourished the most ardent inner life of the
    nation's Church. Here prayed and meditated the most profound of
    thinkers, the souls most self-contained, most self-dependent, most
    absorbed by the mystery of man's eternal destiny. None caught in
    the whirlpool of earthly life ever seemed more convinced of the
    powerlessness of human liberty to arrest the evolution of the
    inexorable Plan, and yet none ever manifested firmer will to battle
    and to endure than those first heralds of the resurrection of

François de Sales loved the convent of Port Royal; he called it his
"place of dear delight"! In its shaded cloisters de Bérulle, Père
Vincent, and Saint Cyran laboured together to purify the Church, until
the time came when the closest friends were separated by dogmatic
differences; and even then the tempest that wrecked Port Royal could
not sweep away the memory of the peaceful days when the four friends
lent their united efforts to the work which gave the decisive impulsion
to the Catholic Renaissance.

Whenever the Church established religious communities, men were called
to direct them from all the branches of de Bérulle's Oratoire, because
it was generally known that the Oratorians inspired the labourers of
the Faith with religious ardour, and in time the theological knowledge
gained in the Oratoire and in its branches was considered essential
to the true spiritual establishment of the priest. Men about to
enter the service of the Church went to the Oratoire to learn how to
dispense the sacramental lessons with proper understanding of their
meaning; new faces were continually appearing, then vanishing aglow
with celestial fire. Once when an Oratorian complained that too many of
their body were leaving Paris, de Bérulle answered: "I thank God for
it! This congregation was established for nothing else; its mission is
to furnish worthy ministers and workmen fitted for the service of the

[Illustration: ST. VINCENT DE PAUL


De Bérulle knew that, were he to give all the members of his community,
their number would be too feeble to regenerate the vast and vitiated
body of the French clergy. He could not hope to reap the harvest, but
he counted it as glory to be permitted to sow the seed.

Vincent de Paul was the third collaborator of the company. It was
said of him that he was "created to fill men's minds with love of
spiritual things and with love for the Creator." Père Vincent was a
simple countryman. In appearance he resembled the disciples of Christ,
as represented in ancient pictures. His rugged features rose above a
faded and patched soutane, but his face expressed such kindness and
such sympathy that, like his heavenly Ensample, he drew men after him.
Bernard of Cluny deplored the evil days; but the time of Louis XIII.
was worse than the time of Bernard. The mercy proclaimed by the Gospel
had been effaced from the minds of men, and the Charity of God had
been dishonoured even by the guides sent to make it manifest. Mercy
and Charity incarnate entered France with Père Vincent, and childlike
fondness and gentle patience crept back into human relations--not
rapidly--the influences against them were too strong--but steadily and
surely. Père Vincent was amusing; it was said of him that he was "like
no one else"; the courtiers first watched and ridiculed, then imitated
him. When they saw him lift the fallen and attach importance to the
sufferings of the common people, and when they heard him insist that
criminals were men and that they had a right to demand the treatment
due to men, they shrugged their shoulders, but they knew that through
the influence of the simple peasant-priest something unknown and very
sweet had entered France.

Vincent de Paul was a worker. He founded the Order of the Sisters of
Charity, the Convicts' Mission-Refuge, a refuge for the unfortunate,
the Foundling Hospital, and a great general hospital and asylum where
twenty thousand men and women were lodged and nourished. To the
people of France Père Vincent was a man apart from all others, the
impersonation of human love and the manifestation of God's mercy. By
the force of his example pity penetrated and pervaded a society in
which pity had been unknown, or if known, despised. The people whose
past life had prepared them for anything but good works sprang with
ardour upon the road opened by the gentle saint who had taught France
the way of mercy. Even the great essayed to be like Père Vincent;
every one, high and low, each in his own way and to the extent of his
power, followed the unique example. Saint Vincent became the national
standard; the nobles pressed forward in his footsteps, concerning
themselves with the sick and the poor and trying to do the work of
priests. They laboured earnestly lavishing their money and their time,
and, fired by the strength of their purpose, they came to love their
duty better than they had loved their pleasure. They imitated the
Oratorians as closely as they had imitated the shepherds of _Astrée_,
and "the monsters of the will," Indifference, Infidelity, and Licence,
hid their heads for a time, and Charity became the fashion of the day.

Père Vincent's religious zeal equalled his brotherly tenderness; he
was de Bérulle's best ally. A special community, under his direction,
assisted in the labours of the Oratoire. The chief purpose of the
mother-house and its branches was the purification of the priesthood
and the increase of religion. When a young priest was ready to be
ordained he was sent to Père Vincent's mission, where, by means of
systematic retreats, he received the deep impression of the spiritual
devotion and the charity peculiar to the Oratorians.

Bossuet remembered with profound gratitude the retreats that he made
in Père Vincent's Oratoire. But there was one at Court to whom the
piety of Père Vincent was a thorn in the flesh. We have seen that
de Bérulle's work was the purification of the clergy, and that Père
Vincent was de Bérulle's chief ally. Mazarin was the Queen's guardian,
and the Queen held the list of ecclesiastical appointments. A Council
called the _Conseil de Conscience_ had been instituted to guide the
Regent in her "Collation of Benefices." The nominees were subject to
the approbation of the Council. When their names were read the points
in their favour and against them were discussed. In this _Conseil
de Conscience_ Père Vincent confronted Mazarin ten years. Before
Père Vincent appeared men were appointed abbots regardless of their
characters. Chantelauze says in _Saint Vincent de Paul et les Gondis_
that "Mazarin raised Simony to honour." The Cardinal gave the benefices
to people whom he was sure of: people who were willing to devote
themselves, body and soul, to his purposes. Père Vincent had awakened
the minds of many influential prelates, and a few men and women
prominent at Court had been aroused to a sense of the condition of the
Church. These few priests and laymen were called the "Saints' Party."

They sat in the Council convened for the avowed purpose of purifying
the Church. When Mazarin made an ignoble appointment, Père Vincent
objected, and the influential prelates and the others of their party
echoed his objections. Through the energy of the "Saints," as they
were flippantly called by the courtiers, many scandalous appointments
were prevented, and gradually the church positions were filled by
sincere and devoted men. The determined and earnest objections of so
many undeniably disinterested, well-known, and unimpeachable people
aroused the superstitious scruples of the Queen, and when her scruples
were aroused, she was obstinate. Mazarin knew this. He knew that Anne
of Austria was a peculiar woman, he knew that she had been a Queen
before he had had any hold upon her, and he knew that he had not been
her first favourite. He was quick, keen-sighted, flexible. He was
cautious. He had no intention of changing the sustained coo of his
turtle-dove for the shrill "_Tais-toi!_" of the Regent of France.
But he was not comfortable. His little diaries contain many allusions
to the distress caused by his inability to digest the interference
of the "Saints." He looked forward to the time when he should be so
strong that it would be safe for him to take steps to free himself
from the obsessions of the _Conseil de Conscience_. He was amiable
and indulgent in his intercourse with all the cabals and with all the
conflicting agitations; he studied motives and forestalled results; he
brought down his own larks with the mirrors of his enemies. He had a
thousand different ways of working out the same aims. He did nothing
to actively offend, but there was a persistence in his gentle tenacity
which exasperated men like Condé and disheartened the frank soldiers
of the Faith of the mission of Port Royal and the Oratoire. He foresaw
a time when he could dispose of benefices and of all else. A few years
later the _Conseil de Conscience_ was abolished, and Père Vincent was
ignominiously vanquished. Père Vincent lacked the requisites of the
courtier; he was artless, and straightforward, and intriguers found
it easy to make him appear ridiculous in the eyes of the Queen.[108]
Mazarin watched his moment, and when he was sure that Anne of Austria
could not refuse him anything, he drew the table of benefices from
her hand. From that time "pick and choose" was the order of the day.
"Monsieur le Cardinal" visited the appointments secretly, and secured
the lion's share for himself. When he had made his choice, the men who
offered him the highest bids received what he had rejected. In later
years Mazarin was, by his own appointment, Archbishop of Metz and the
possessor of thirty fat benefices. His revenues were considerable.

Nowhere did the Oratorians meet as determined opposition as at Court.
The courtiers had gone to Mass because they lost the King's favour if
they did not go to Mass, but to be inclined to skepticism was generally
regarded as a token of elegance. Men thought that they were evincing
superior culture when they braved God, the Devil, and the King, at one
and the same time, by committing a thousand blasphemies. Despite the
pressure of the new ideas, the "Saints' Party" had been difficult to
organise. It was a short-lived party because Mazarin was not a man to
tolerate rivals who were liable to develop power enough to counteract
his influence over Anne of Austria concerning subjects even more vital
than the distribution of the benefices. The petty annoyances to which
the Prime Minister subjected the "Saints' Party" convinced people that
when a man was of the Court, if he felt the indubitable touch of the
finger of Grace, the only way open to him was the road to the cloister.
It was known that wasps sting, and that they are not meet adversaries
for the sons of God, and the wasps were there in swarms. François de
Sales called the constantly recurring annoyances, "that mass of wasps."
As there was no hope of relief in sight, it was generally supposed
that the most prudent and the wisest course for labourers in the
vineyard of the Lord was to enter the hive and take their places in the
cells, among the manufacturers of honey. So when La Grande Mademoiselle
looked upon the convent as her natural destination, she was carrying
out the prevalent idea that retreat from the world was the natural
result of conversion to true religion. It was well for her and for the
convent which she had decided to honour with her presence that just
at the moment when she laid her plans her father had one of his rare
attacks of common sense--yes, well for her and well for the convent!


Mademoiselle's crisis covered a period of six months; when she
reappeared patches adorned her face and powder glistened in her hair.
She said of her awakening: "I recovered my taste for diversions, and I
attended the play and other amusements with pleasure, but my worldly
life did not obliterate the memory of my longings; the excessive
austerity to which I had reduced myself was modified, but I could
not forget the aspirations which I had supposed would lead me to the
Carmelites!" Not long after she emerged from her religious retreat
politics called her from her frivolity. Political life was the arena
at that hour, and it is not probable that the most radical of the
feministic codes of the future will restore the power which women then
possessed by force of their determined gallantry, their courage, their
vivacity, their beauty, and their coquetry. The women of the future
will lack such power because their rights will be conferred by laws;
legal rights are of small importance compared to rights conferred and
confirmed by custom. The women of Mademoiselle's day ordered the march
of war, led armies, dictated the terms of peace, curbed the will of
statesmen, and signed treaties with kings, not because they had a right
to do so, but because they possessed invincible force. Richelieu, who
had a species of force of his own, and at times wielded it to their
temporary detriment, planned his moves with deference to their tactics,
and openly deplored their importance. Mazarin, who dreaded women, wrote
to Don Luis del Haro: "We have three such amazons right here in France,
and they are fully competent to rule three great kingdoms; they are the
Duchesse de Longueville, the Princesse Palatine, and the Duchesse de
Chevreuse." The Duchesse de Chevreuse, having been born in the early
century, was the veteran of the trio. "She had a strong mind," said
Richelieu,[109] "and powerful beauty, which, as she knew well how to
use it, she never lowered by any disgraceful concessions. Her mind was
always well balanced."


Retz completed the portrait: "She loved without any choice of objects
for the simple reason that it was necessary for her to love some one;
and when once the plan was laid it was not difficult to give her a
lover. But from the moment when she began to love her lover, she loved
him faithfully,--and she loved no one else." She was witty, spirited,
and of a very vigorous mind. Some of her ideas were so brilliant that
they were like flashes of lightning; and some of them were so wise
and so profound that the wisest men known to history might have been
proud to claim them. Rare genius and keen wits which she had trained
to intrigue from early youth had made her one of the most dangerous
politicians in France. She had been an intimate friend of Anne of
Austria, and the chief architect of the Chalais conspiracy. After the
exposure of the conspiracy, Richelieu sentenced her to banishment for
a term of twenty-five years, and no old political war-horse could have
taken revenge sterner than hers. She did not rest on her wrongs; her
entrance upon foreign territory was marked by the awakening of all
the foreign animosities. Alone and single-handed, the unique Duchess
formed a league against France, and when events reached a crisis she
had attained such importance in the minds of the allies that England,
though vanquished and suing for peace, made it a condition of her
surrender that the Duchesse de Chevreuse, "a woman for whom the King
of England entertained a particular esteem," should be recalled to
France. Richelieu yielded the point instantly; he was too wise to
invest it with the importance of a parley; he recalled the woman who
had convened a foreign league against her own people, and eliminated
the banishment of powerful women from his list of penalties. He had
learned an important political lesson; thereafter the presence of the
Duchesse de Chevreuse was considered in high diplomatic circles the one
thing needful for the even balance of the State of France. After the
Spanish intrigue, which ended in Val de Grâce, the Cardinal, fearing
another "league," made efforts to keep the versatile Duchess under his
hand, but she slipped through his fingers and was seen all over France
actively pursuing her own peculiar business. (1637.)

The Duchesse de Chevreuse once traversed France on horseback, disguised
as a man, and she used to say that nothing had ever amused her as well
as that journey. She must have been a judge of amusements, as she had
tried them all. When she ran away disguised as a man, her husband and
Richelieu both ran after her, to implore her to remain in France,
and, in her efforts to escape her pursuers, she was forced to hide
in many strange places, and to resort to stratagems of all kinds. In
one place where she passed the night, her hostess, considering her a
handsome boy, made her a declaration of love. Her guides, deceived by
her appearance gave her a fair idea of the manners worn by a certain
class of men when they think that they are among men and free from
the constraint of woman's presence. On her journeys through Europe,
she slept one night or more in a barn, on a pile of straw, the next
night in a field, under a hedge, or in one of the vast beds in which
our fathers bedded a dozen persons at once without regard to their
circumstances. Alone, or in close quarters, the Duchesse de Chevreuse
maintained her identity. Hers was a resolute spirit; she kept her
own counsel, and she feared neither man nor devil. Thus, in boys'
clothes, in company with cavaliers who lisped the language of the
_Précieuses_, or with troopers from whose mouths rushed the fat oaths
of the Cossacks, sleeping now on straw and now with a dozen strangers,
drunk and sober, she crossed the Pyrenees and reached Madrid, where she
turned the head of the King of Spain and passed on to London, where she
was fêted as a powerful ally, and where, incidentally, she became the
chief official agent of the enemies of Richelieu.

When Louis XIII. was dying he rallied long enough to enjoin the
Duchesse de Chevreuse from entering France.[110] Standing upon the
brink of Eternity, he remembered the traitress whom he had not seen in
ten years. The Duchesse de Chevreuse was informed of his commands, and,
knowing him to be in the agonies of death, she placed her political
schemes in the hands of agents and hurried back to France to condole
with the widow and to assume the control of the French nation as the
deputy of Anne of Austria. She entered the Louvre June 14, 1643,
thinking that the ten years which had passed since she had last seen
her old confidante had made as little change in the Queen as in her
own bright eyes. She found two children at play together,--young Louis
XIV. and little Monsieur, a tall proud girl with ash-blonde hair: La
Grande Mademoiselle, and a mature and matronly Regent who blushed when
she saluted her. One month to a day had passed since Louis XIII. had
yielded up the ghost.

The Duchesse de Chevreuse installed herself in Paris in her old
quarters and bent her energies to the task of dethroning Mazarin.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Palatine Princess, Anne de Gonzague, was a ravishingly beautiful
woman endowed with great executive ability. "I do not think," said
Retz, "that Elizabeth of England had more capacity for conducting a
State." Anne de Gonzague did not begin her career by politics. When, as
a young girl, she appeared in the world of the Court, she astonished
France by the number and by the piquancy of her adventures. She was
another of the exalted dames who ran upon the highways disguised as
cavaliers or as monks. No one was surprised no matter when or where he
saw Anne de Gonzague, though she was often met far beyond the limits
of polite society. Fancy alone--and their own sweet will--ruled the
fair ladies of those heroic days. During five whole years Anne de
Gonzague[111] gave the world to understand that she was "Mme. de Guise,
wife of Henri de Guise, Archbishop of Rheims" (the same Henri de Guise
who afterward married Mme. de Bossut).

Having passed for "Mme. de Guise" sixty months, the Lady Anne appeared
at Court under her own name "as if nothing had happened," reported
Mademoiselle. Whatever may have here "happened," Anne de Gonzague
reappeared at Court as alluring as in the flower of her first youth;
and, as the _Chronicle_ expressed it: "had the talent to marry
herself--between two affairs of womanly gallantry--to the Prince
Palatine,[112] one of the most rabidly jealous of gentlemen," because,
as the pious and truthful Bossuet justly remarked, "everything gave way
before the secret charm of her conversation." When nearly thirty years
of age she obeyed the instincts of her genius and engaged in politics,
with other politically inclined ladies, including Mme. de Longueville,
whose only talent lay in her blonde hair and charming eyes.

Despite the poverty of her mental resources, Mme. de Longueville was
a natural director of men, and she was but one of a very brilliant
coterie. The prominent and fiery amazons of the politics of that epoch
are too historically known to require detailed mention. They were: the
haughty, dazzlingly superb, but too vicious and too practical in vice,
Montbazon; the Duchesse de Chatillon (the imperious beauty who had her
hand painted upon a painted lion whose face was the face of the great
Condé), and many others who to the measure of their ability played
with the honour and the lives of men, with Universal Suffrage, and with
the stability of France, and who, like La Grande Mademoiselle, were
called from their revelries by the dangers which threatened them.

The daughter of Gaston d'Orléans had grown up firmly convinced that
the younger branch of the House of Paris (her own branch) could do
anything. That had been the lesson taught for more than a century
of history. From Charles VIII. to Louis XIII. the throne had been
transmitted from father to son but three times; in all other cases it
had passed to brothers or to cousins. The collaterals of the royal
family had become accustomed to think of themselves as very near the
throne, and at times that habit of thought had been detrimental to the
country. Before the birth of Louis XIV. Gaston d'Orléans had touched
the crown with the tips of his fingers, and he had made use of his
title as heir-presumptive to work out some very unsavoury ends. After
the birth of his nephews he had lived in a dream of possible results;
he had waited to see what "his star" would bring him, and his hopes
had blazed among their ashes at the first hint of the possibility of
a change. When Louis XIV. was nine years old he was very sick and
his doctors expected him to die; he had the smallpox. Monsieur was
jubilant: he exhibited his joy publicly, and the courtiers drank to the
health of "Gaston I." Olivier d'Ormesson stated that the courtiers
distributed all the offices in the King's gift and planned to dispose
of the King's brother. Anne of Austria, agonising in prayer for the
life of the King, was horrified to learn that a plot was on foot
to abduct little Monsieur. She was warned that the child was to be
stolen some time in the night between Saturday and Sunday. Maréchal
de Schomberg passed that night on his horse, accompanied by armed men
who watched all the windows and doors of the palace. When the King
recovered Monsieur apologised for his conduct, and the sponge of the
royal forgiveness was passed over that episode as it had been over many
others. Under the Regency of Anne of Austria the Court was called upon
to resist the second junior branch, whose inferiority of pretensions
was more than balanced by its intelligence and audacity.

The pretensions of the Condés had been the cause of one of Mazarin's
first anxieties. They were vast pretensions, they were unquestionably
just, and they were ably sustained by the father of the great Condé,
"Monsieur le Prince," a superior personage whose appearance belied his
character. People of his own age remembered him as a handsome man; but
debauchery, avarice, and self-neglect had changed the distinguished
courtier and made him a repulsive old man, "dirty and ugly."[113] He
was stoop-shouldered and wrinkled, with great, red eyes, and long,
greasy hair, which he wore passed around his ears in "love-locks." His
aspect was formidable. Richelieu was obliged to warn him that he must
make a serious attempt to cleanse his person, and that he must change
his shoes before paying his visits to the King.[114] His spirit was as
sordid as his body. "Monsieur le Prince" was of very doubtful humour;
he was dogged, snappish, peevish, coarse, contrary, and thoroughly
rapacious. He had begun life with ten thousand livres of income, and he
had acquired a million, not counting his appointments or his revenues
from the government.[115] His friends clutched their pockets when
they saw him coming; but their precautions were futile; he had a way
of getting all that he desired. Everything went into his purse and
nothing came out of it; but where his purse was not concerned Monsieur
le Prince was a different man; there he "loved justice and followed
that which was good."[116] He was a rigorous statesman; he defended
the national Treasury against the world. His keen sense of equity made
him a precious counsellor and he was an eminent and upright judge.
His knowledge of the institutions of the kingdom made him valuable
as State's reference; he knew the origins, the systems, and the
supposititious issues of the secret aims of all the parties.

The laws of France were as chaotic as the situation of the parties,
and no one but a finished statesman could find his way among them; but
to Monsieur le Prince they were familiar ground. Considerable as were
his attainments, his children were his equals. Mme. de Longueville,
though shallow, was as keen a diplomat as her father, and by far more
dangerous; the Duc d'Enghien was an astute and accomplished politician.
The world considered the Condés as important as the d'Orléans', and
fully able to meet the d'Orléans' on the super-sacred footing of
etiquette. We shall see to what the equality of the two families
conducted them. Struggles between them were always imminent; their
quarrels arose from the exigencies of symbolical details: the manner of
the laying of a carpet, the bearing of the train of a State robe, et
cetera. Such details seem insignificant to us, but that they do so is
because we have lost the habit of monarchical traditions. When things
are done according to hierarchical custom, details are very important.
At every session of the King's Council "peckotings" passed between
Gaston d'Orléans and Monsieur le Prince and an attentive gallery looked
on and listened. But something of sterner stuff than "peckotings" was
the order of the day when the Court met for a ceremonious function;
material battles marked the meetings between Mlle. de Montpensier
and Mme. la Princesse de Condé; Mme. de Longueville was brave, and
La Grande Mademoiselle was not only brave, but fully determined to
justify her title and defend her honour as the Granddaughter of France.
The two princely ladies entered the lists with the same ardour, and
they were as heroic as they were burlesque. The 5th December the
Court was scheduled to attend a solemn Mass at Notre Dame, and by
the law of precedence Mademoiselle was to be followed by Mme. la
Princesse de Condé. The latter summoned her physician who bled her in
order to enable her to be physically incapable of taking her place
behind Mademoiselle. Gossips told Anne-Marie-Louise of her cousin's
stratagem, and Mademoiselle resorted to an equally efficient, though
entirely different, means of medical art calculated to make bodily
motion temporarily undesirable, if not impossible. Mademoiselle was
determined that she would not humiliate her quality by appearing at
Mass without her attendant satellite (Saint Simon would have applauded
the sufferings of both of the heroic ladies, for like them he had been
gifted by nature with a subtle appreciation of the duties and the
privileges of rank), but the incident was not closed. By a strange
fatality, at that instant Church came in conflict with State. Cardinal
Mazarin, representing the Church, inspired Queen Anne to resent her
niece's indisposition. The Queen became very angry at Mademoiselle,
and impelled by her anger, Monsieur commanded his daughter to set out
immediately for Notre Dame; he told her rudely that if she was too sick
to walk, she had plenty of people to carry her. "You will either go or
be carried!" he cried violently, and Mademoiselle, much the worse for
her stratagem, was forced to yield. She deplored her fate, and wept
because she had lost her father's sympathy.

The reciprocal acidity of the junior branches was constantly manifested
by fatalities like the event just noted, and by episodes like the
affair of "the fallen letters" (August, 1643). Although all the
writers of that day believed that the reaction of that puerile matter
was felt in the Fronde, the quarrel, like all the other quarrels,
was of so senseless a character that it awakened the shame of the
nation. The story is soon told: Mme. de Montbazon picked up--no one
knew where--some love letters in which, as she said, she recognised
the writing of Mme. de Longueville. Her story was false, and Anne of
Austria, who frowned upon the gossip and the jealousies of the Court,
condemned Mme. Montbazon to go to the Hôtel de Condé and make apologies
for the wrong that she had done the Princess. All the friends of the
House of Condé were expected to be present to hear and to witness the
vindication of Mme. la Princesse.

    Monsieur was there [wrote Mademoiselle], and for my part I could
    not stay away. I had no friendship for Mme. la Princesse, or for
    any of her friends, but on that occasion I could not have taken a
    part contrary to hers with decorum; to be present there was one of
    the duties of relationship which one cannot neglect.

On that occasion the relatives of the family were all in the Hôtel de
Condé, but their hearts were not in their protestations, and the Condés
were not deceived. The petty scandal of the letters fed the flame of
enmity, which Mazarin watched and nourished because he knew that it
was to his interest and to the interest of the State to foment the
quarrel between the rival cousins. An anonymous collection of "memoirs"

    Seeing that he was pressed from all sides, the Cardinal thought
    that the safety of his position required him to keep the House of
    Orleans separate from the House of Bourbon, so that by balancing
    one by the other he could remain firmly poised between the two and
    make himself equally necessary to both. It was as if Heaven itself
    had dropped the affair of the fallen letters into his hands, and he
    turned his celestial windfall to such account that the Luxembourg
    and the Hôtel de Bourbon found it difficult to maintain a decent
    composure; at heart they were at daggers' points. The Duc d'Orléans
    and the Duc d'Enghien were regarded as the chiefs of the two
    hostile parties, and the courtiers rallied to the side of either as
    their interests or their inclinations led them![117]

Apparently Mazarin's position was impregnable. The world would have
been blind had it failed to see that the arguments used by the Prime
Minister when he conferred with his sovereign were of a character
essentially differing from the arguments generally used by politicians,
but it was believed that the Cardinal's method was well fitted to his
purpose, and that to any woman--and particularly to a woman who had
passed maturity--it would be, by force of nature, more acceptable and
more weighty than the abstract method of a purely political economist,
and more convincing than the reasons given by statesmen,--or, in fact,
any reason.

Anne of Austria had not been a widow four months when Olivier
d'Ormesson noted, in his journal, that the Cardinal "was recognised as
the All-Powerful." For his sake the Queen committed the imprudences
of a love-sick schoolgirl. She began by receiving his visits in the
evening. The doors were left open, and the Queen said that the Cardinal
visited her for the purpose of giving her instructions regarding
the business of the State. As time went on the Cardinal's visits
lengthened; after a certain time the doors were closed, and, to the
scandal of the Court, they remained closed. At Rueil the Queen tried
to make Mazarin sit with her in her little garden carriage. Mazarin
"had the wisdom to resist her wish, but he had the folly to accompany
her with his hat upon his head." As no one ever approached the Queen
with head covered, the spectacle of the behatted minister astonished
the public. (September, 1644.) A few weeks later every one in Paris
knew that an apartment or suite of rooms in the Palais Royal, was being
repaired, and that it was to be connected with the Queen's apartments
by a secret passage. The public learned gradually, detail by detail,
that Mazarin was to occupy the repaired apartment, and that the secret
passage had been prepared so that the Prime Minister might "proceed
commodiously" to the royal apartments to hold political conferences
with the Queen. When everything was ready, the _Gazette_ (19th
November) published the following announcement:

    The Queen in full Council made it plain that, considering the
    indisposition of Cardinal Mazarin, and considering that he is
    forced, with great difficulty, to cross the whole length of the
    great garden of the Palais Royal,[118] and considering that some
    new business is constantly presenting itself to him, and demanding
    to be communicated to the Queen, the Queen deems it appropriate to
    give the Cardinal an apartment in the Palais Royal, so that she
    may confer with him more conveniently concerning her business. Her
    Majesty's intention has been approved by Messieurs, her ministers,
    and with applause, so that next Monday (21st November), his
    Eminence will take possession of his new residence.

The Queen's indiscretion won the heart of the favourite, and he longed
for her presence. Twice, once at Rueil and once at Fontainebleau, he
displaced La Grande Mademoiselle and installed himself in her room at
the Queen's house. The first time that Mazarin supplanted Mademoiselle,
the haughty Princess swallowed the affront and found a lodging in the
village, but the second time she lost her patience. "It is rumoured in
Paris," wrote d'Ormesson, "that Mademoiselle spoke to the Queen boldly,
because the Cardinal wished to take her room in order to be near her
Majesty." (September, 1645.)

Some historians have inferred that the Queen had been secretly married
to her Minister. We have no proof of any such thing, unless we accept
as proof the very ambiguous letter which the Cardinal wrote to the
Queen when he was in exile. In that letter he spoke of people who tried
to injure him in the Queen's mind. "They will gain nothing by it,"
wrote Mazarin; "_the heart of the Queen and the heart of Mazarin are
joined_[119] by liens which cannot be broken either by time or by any
effort,--as you yourself have agreed with me more than once." In the
same letter he implores the Queen to pity him: "for I deserve pity! it
is so strange for this child to be married, then, at the same time,
separated from ... and always pursued by them to whom I am indebted for
the obstacles to my marriage." (27th October, 1651.) These words are
of obscure meaning, and they may as easily be interpreted figuratively
as literally. They who believed that the Queen had married Mazarin
secretly must have drawn their conclusions from the intimate fondness
of her manner. Anne of Austria was infatuated, and her infatuation made
it impossible for her to guard her conduct; her behaviour betrayed the
irregularity of the situation, and it is probable that her friends were
loth to believe that anything less than marriage could induce such
familiarity. However that may have been, Mazarin's letters give no
proof of marriage, nor has it ever been proved that he claimed that he
had married the Queen.

When judgment is rendered according to evidence deduced from personal
manners, changes in time and in the differences of localities should be
considered. Our consideration of the Queen's romance dates from the
period of the legitimate, or illegitimate, honeymoon. (August, 1643, or
within six weeks of that time.)

The public watched the royal romance with irritation. Having greeted
the Mazarin ministry with a good grace, they (the people) were
unanimously seized by a feeling of shame and hatred for the handsome
Italian who made use of woman's favour to attain success. The friends
of the Queen redoubled their warnings, and retired from the royal
presence in disgrace. One of her oldest servitors, who had given
unquestionable proof of his devotion,[120] dared to tell her to her
face that "all the world was talking about her and about his Eminence,
and in a way which ought to make her reflect upon her position." ...
"She asked me," said La Porte, 'Who said that?' I answered, 'Everybody!
it is so common that no one talks of anything else.' She reddened and
became angry."[121] Mme. de Brienne, wife of the Secretary of State,
who had spoken to the Queen on the same subject, told her friends that
"More than once the Queen had blushed to the whites of her eyes."[122]
Every one wrote to the Queen; she found anonymous letters even in her
bed. When she went through the streets she heard people humming songs
whose meaning she knew only too well. Her piety and her maternity had
endeared her to the common people, and they, the people, had looked
indulgently upon her passing weaknesses; but now things had come to a
crisis. One day, when the Regent was attending a service in Notre Dame,
she was surprised by a band of women of the people, who surrounded her
and fell at her feet crying that she was dissipating the fortune of
her ward. "_Queen_," they cried, "_you have a man in your house who is
taking everything!_"[123]

The fact that the young King was being despoiled was a greater grief
to the people than the abasement of the Queen. It must be avowed that
Mazarin was the most shameless thief who ever devoured a kingdom in
the name of official duty and under the eyes and by the favour of a
sovereign. His cry was the cry of the daughters of the horseleech. It
was understood that Mazarin would not grant a service, or a demand
of any kind, until his price had been put down, and in some cases
the commission was demanded and paid twice. Bussy-Rabutin received a
letter commanding him to "pay over and without delay" the sum of seven
hundred livres. The letter is still in existence. Condé wrote it and
despatched it, but it bears his personal endorsement to the effect that
he had been "ordered" to write it. Montglat states that Anne of Austria
asked for a fat office for one of her creatures, that the office was
immediately granted, and that the appointee was taxed one hundred
thousand écus. Anne of Austria was piqued: she had supposed that her
position exempted her from the requirements of the ministerial tariff;
she expostulated, but the Cardinal-Minister was firm; he made it clear,
even to the dim perceptions of his royal lady, that the duties of
the director of the French nation ranked the tender impulses of the
lover. Patriotic duty nerved his hand, and the Queen, recognising the
futility of resistance, trembling with excitement, and watering her
fevered persuasions with her tears, opened her purse and paid Mazarin
his commission. By a closely calculated policy the State's coffers were
subjected to systematic drainage, the national expenses were cut, and
millions, diverted from their regular channels, found their way into
the strong box of the favourite. The soldiers of France were dying of
starvation on the frontiers, the State's creditors were clamouring
for their money, the Court was in need of the comforts of life[124];
the country had been ravaged by passing armies, pillaged by thieving
politicians, harrowed by abuses of all kinds. The taxes were wrung from
the beggared people by armed men; yet "poor Monsieur, the Cardinal,"
as the Queen always called him, gave insolently luxurious fêtes and
expended millions upon his extravagant fancies. No one cared for his
foreign policy. Would political triumphs bring back the dead, feed
the starving, rehabilitate the dishonoured wives and daughters of the
peasants, restore verdure to the ruined farms?

The Queen's anxiety to create an affection strong enough to blind the
eyes of her courtiers to her intimacy with Mazarin had inspired her
with a desire to lavish gifts. "The Queen gives everything" had become
a proverb; the courtiers knew the value of their complaisancy, and
they flocked to the Palais Royal with petitions; offices, benefices,
privileges, monopolies either to exploit, to concede, or to sell were
freely bestowed upon all who demanded them. Each courtier had some new
and unheard-of fancy to gratify, either for his own pleasure or for the
pleasure of his friends; anything that could be made visible, anything
that could be so represented as to appear visible to the imagination,
was scheduled in the minds of the courtiers as dutiable and some one
drew revenues from it. One of the ladies of the Court obtained from the
Queen the right to tax all the Masses said in Paris.[125] "The 13th
January, 1644, the Council of the King employed part of its session
in refusing 'a quantity of gifts' which the Queen had accorded, and
which were all of a character to excite laughter." The royal horn had
ceased to pour; the Queen's strong-box was empty. The courtiers knew
that there was nothing more to gain; one and all they raised their
voices, and the threatening growl of the people of Paris echoed them.
The day of reckoning was at hand; had Anne of Austria possessed all
that she had given to buy the indulgence of her world, and had she
willed to give it all again, she could not have stilled the tumult;
to quote Mme. de Motteville's record: "The people's love for the Queen
had diminished; the absolute power which the Queen had placed in the
hand of Mazarin had destroyed her own influence, and from too fondly
desiring that the Parisians should love her lover she had made them
hate him." In the beginning of the Regency Mazarin had been popular;
after a time the people had lost confidence in him, and the hatred
which followed their distrust was mingled with contempt.

Mazarin had emptied the treasury of France. No better statement of
his conduct was ever given than Fénelon gave his pupil, the Duc de
Bourgogne, in his _Dialogues des Morts_. Mazarin and Richelieu are the
persons speaking. Each makes known the value of his own work; each
criticises the work of the other. Mazarin reproaches Richelieu for his
cruelty and thirst for blood; Richelieu answers:

    "You did worse to the French than to spill their blood. You
    corrupted the deep sources of their manners and their life. You
    made probity a mask. I laid my hand upon the great to repress their
    insolence; you beat them down and trampled upon their courage.
    You degraded nobility. You confounded conditions. You rendered
    all graces venal. You were afraid of the influence of merit. You
    permitted no man to approach you unless he could give you proof of
    a low, supple nature,--a nature complaisant to the solicitations
    of mischievous intrigue. You never received a true impression. You
    never had any real knowledge of men. You never believed anything
    but evil. You saw the worst in a man and drew your profit from it.
    To your base mind honour and virtue were fables. You needed
    knaves who could deceive the dupes whom you entrapped in business;
    you needed traffickers to consummate your schemes. So your name
    shall be reviled and odious."

[Illustration: CARDINAL MAZARIN]

This is a fair portrayal, as far as it goes; but it shows only one side
(the worst side) of Mazarin's character. The portrait is peculiarly
interesting from the fact that it was especially depicted and set
forth for the instruction of the great-grandson of the woman who loved

It is probable that stern appreciation of the duty of the
representative of Divine Justice primed the virulence of the pious
Fénelon, when he seated himself to point out an historical moral for
the descendant of the weak Queen who sacrificed the prosperity of
France on the altar of an insensate passion.

La Grande Mademoiselle was one of Mazarin's most hostile enemies, and
her memoirs evince unbending severity. The weakness of her criticism
detracts from the importance of a work otherwise valuable as a
contemporary chronicle. She regarded Mazarin's "lack of intelligence"
as his worst fault. She was convinced that he possessed neither
capacity nor judgment "because he acted from the belief that he could
reject the talents of a Gaston d'Orléans with impunity. His conduct
to Princes of the Blood proved that he lacked wisdom; he stinted the
junior branches of their legitimate influence; he would not yield to
the pillars of the throne the power that belonged to them by right; he
thrust aside the heirs-presumptive, when he might have leaned upon
them! Manifestly he was witless, stupid, unworthy the consideration of
a prince."

Mademoiselle asserted that Mazarin deserved the worst of fates and
the scorn of the people. She believed that many evils could have been
averted had Monsieur been consulted in regard to the government of the
kingdom. She affirmed that it was her conviction that all good servants
of the Crown owed it to their patriotism to arm and drive the Cardinal
across the frontier of France. That was her conception of duty, and it
smiled upon her from all points of the compass.

Not long before the beginning of the Fronde, the fine world of Paris,
stirred to action by the spectacle of the royal infatuation and by the
subjection of the national welfare to the suppositive exigencies of
"the foreigner," embraced the theory of Opposition, and to be of the
Opposition was the fashion of the hour. All who aspired to elegance
wore their rebellion as a badge, unless they had private reasons for
appearing as the friends of Mazarin. The women who were entering
politics found it to their interest to join the opposing body.

Politics had become the favourite pastime of the highways and the
little streets. Men and women, not only in Paris, but in the châteaux
and homes of the provinces, and children--boys and girls--began to
express political opinions in early youth.

"Come, then, Grandmamma," said little Montausier to Mme. de
Rambouillet, "now that I am five years old, let us talk about affairs
of State." Her grandmother could not have reproved with a good
grace, because her own "Blue Room" had been one of the chief agents
responsible for the new diversion just before the Fronde. A mocking but
virile force arose in the Opposition to check the ultra-refinements of
the high art, the high intellectual ability, and the other superfine
characteristics of the school of Arthénice. The mockery of the
Opposition was as keen and its irony was as effective as the mental
sword-play of the literary extremists. Wit was its chief weapon and its
barbed words, and merry yet sarcastic thrusts had power to overthrow a
ministry. The country knew it and gloried in it. The people of France
would have entered upon revolution before they would have renounced
their "spirituality." In the polemics of the new party the turn of a
sentence meant a dozen things at once; a syllable stung like a dagger.
Frenchmen are the natural artists of conversation, and they never
found field more favourable to their art than the broad plains of the
Opposition. Avowed animosity to the pretensions of the pedants and
light mockery of the preciosity of the _Précieuses_ offered a varied
choice of subjects and an equally varied choice of accessories for
their work. The daring cavaliers of the Opposition passed like wild
huntsmen over the exhausted ground, with eyes bent upon the trail,
and found delicate and amusing shades of meaning in phrases scorned
and stigmatised as "common" by the hyper-spiritual enthusiasts of the

In the exercise of free wit, the women of the new political school
found an influence which before their day had been monopolised
by the polemists of the State's Councils. They--the women of the
Opposition--swept forward and seized positions previously held by men,
and since then, either from deep purpose or from pure conviction,
they have held their ground and exercised their right to share,
or to attempt to share, in the creation and in the destruction of
governments. Mademoiselle followed the fashion of the day when she
frequented the society of people who were in disgrace at Court. She
ridiculed the King's Minister, and as she was influential and popular,
outspoken and eager to declare her principles, she was called an
agitator, though in the words of Mme. de Motteville, "she was not quite
sure what she was trying to do." Mazarin, whom Mademoiselle considered
"stupid," had entangled the wires of the cabals and confused the minds
of the pretenders with such consummate art that the keenest intriguers
gazed in bewilderment upon their own interests, and doubted their
truest friends. For instance, Monsieur, who had mind and wit "to burn,"
could not explain, even to himself, why he repudiated Mademoiselle
when she quarrelled with the second junior branch. He knew that he was
jealous of his rights and of all that belonged to him; he knew that the
power of the Condés was a menace, that his daughter was a powerful
ally for any party, that her championship was, and always had been, his
strongest arm against an unappreciative world, and after one of the
senseless exhibitions of anger against Mademoiselle to which Anne of
Austria, impelled by Mazarin, frequently incited him, he asked himself
why he maltreated his daughter when she resisted the usurpations of his
hated cousins, the Condés.



"Why," he queried piteously, "should I plunge the knife into my own

Why he did so, and why many another as astute as he moved heaven and
earth to effect his own downfall was the secret of Mazarin.

Mademoiselle wept bitter tears for the loss of her father's friendship;
then she arose in her pride, resolved to tread the path of life
alone, according to her independent will. She was twenty years old
and in the fulness of her beauty. She described her appearance with

    I am tall; I am neither fat nor lean; I have a graceful and freely
    moving figure, and my bearing is natural and easy. My bust is well
    formed. My hands and feet are not beautiful, but there is great
    beauty in their flesh, and the flesh of my throat is also very
    pretty. My leg is straight, and my foot is well formed. My hair is
    a beautiful ash-blonde. My face is long, and its contour is fine.
    The nose is large and aquiline. The mouth neither large nor little,
    but distinctly outlined and of a very agreeable form. The lips are
    the colour of vermilion. My teeth are not handsome, but neither
    are they horrible. My eyes are blue, neither large nor small, but
    brilliant, gentle, and proud, like my mien. I have a haughty, but
    not self-glorified air; I am polite and familiar, but of a manner
    to excite respect rather than to attract the lack of it. I am
    indeed very indifferent about my dress, but my negligence does not
    go as far as untidiness. I hate that! I am neat, and whether I am
    laced or loosely robed, everything that I wear looks well. This is
    not because I do not look incomparably better with tightly fitting
    garments, but it is because negligence and loose garments sit less
    ill upon me than upon another, for I may say, without boasting,
    that I become whatever I put on better than anything that I put
    on becomes me.... God ... has given me unparalleled health and
    strength. Nothing breaks me down; nothing fatigues me; and it is
    difficult to judge of the events and the changes in my fortunes by
    my face, for my face rarely shows any change. I had forgotten to
    say that I have a healthy complexion, which is in accord with what
    I have just said. My tint is not delicate, but it is fair, and very
    bright and clear.

Before the lessons of experience and evil fortune changed
Mademoiselle's handsome face, she was thus vivaciously described by an
anonymous contemporary:

    This Princess of the blood of kings and of princes is haughty,
    daring, and of a courage much more like the courage of a man than
    is commonly found in woman. It may be said with truth that she is
    an amazon, and that she is better fitted to carry a lance than to
    hold a distaff. She is proud, enterprising, adventurous, quick, and
    free of speech. She cannot bear to hear anything contrary to her
    own opinion. As she has never loved either the King's ministers
    or her father's ministers, she has avoided them; because had she
    received them in her home, or frequented their society, civility
    would have constrained her to show them deference. Her humour is
    impatient, her mind is active, and her heart is ardently set upon
    whatever she undertakes. As to dissimulation, she does not know
    the meaning of the term. She tells what she thinks, careless of the
    opinion of the world.

She was described in divers ways, according to the impressions of
her associates. One said that her manner gave evidence of serious
reflection; another called her too vivacious. It was supposed that she
had been the first to assert that the soul ought not to be susceptible
to love, and therefore her admirers sang to her of the aversion felt by
Pallas for the allurements of Venus. Mademoiselle had said:

    "_Je n'ai point l'âme tendre._"

and she had meant what she said, and been glad to have it known that
she was heart-free.

She was blamed for her rude manners and for her outbursts of anger.
When she declared that she longed to go to war with the soldiers her
critics laughed at her pretensions. It was generally believed that her
faults were numerous, and that she had few of the qualities considered
desirable in woman; but no one ever called her petty, cowardly, or
false. La Grande Mademoiselle was never a liar; she never betrayed
friend or foe. She was brave and generous; and it was not her fault if
when nature placed her soul in the form of a woman it gave her the mien
and the inclinations of a man.


[Footnote 87: _Registres de l'Hôtel de Ville_ (Collection Danjou).]

[Footnote 88: _Mémoire du roi au plénipotentiaires_ (6th January,
1644). ("Il ne faut pas s'étonner de tout ce que disent nos enemies;
C' est à nous de tenir: il est indubitable qu'ils se rangeront peu à

[Footnote 89: The first of our casinos.]

[Footnote 90: _Mémoires_ of Mademoiselle.]

[Footnote 91: Olivier d'Ormesson.]

[Footnote 92: Mademoiselle erred as to the date; the _Gazette de
France_ fixes it March 8th.]

[Footnote 93: About six millions of francs.]

[Footnote 94: Mademoiselle errs in supposing (in her memoirs) that it
was but one year. Such errors are frequent in her writings.]

[Footnote 95: _Père de Bérulle et l'Oratoire de Jésus_, M. l'Abbé

[Footnote 96: _Saint François de Sales_, Fortunat Strowski.]

[Footnote 97: The Abbé Houssaye, _loc cit._]

[Footnote 98: _Saint Vincent de Paul et les Gondis_, Chantelauze.]

[Footnote 99: _Le Cardinal de Bérulle et Richelieu_, the Abbé Houssaye.]

[Footnote 100: _Les Libertins en France au XVII. Siècle_, F. T.

[Footnote 101: _Oraison funèbre d'Anne de Gonzague_, Bossuet.]

[Footnote 102: _Port Royal_, Sainte Beuve.]

[Footnote 103: _Bérulle et l'Oratoire_, the Abbé Houssaye.]

[Footnote 104: Fortunat Strowski.]

[Footnote 105: Their uselessness, their ignorance have made us despise

[Footnote 106: _Manuel de l'histoire de la littérature française_, F.

The first edition of _La vie dévote_ appeared in 1688, the _Traité de
l'amour de Dieu_ appeared in 1612.]

[Footnote 107: The address delivered on the occasion of Racine's
Centennial, 26th April 1899.]

[Footnote 108: Motteville.]

[Footnote 109: _Mémoires._]

[Footnote 110: _Declaration pour la Régence_ (21st April, 1643).]

[Footnote 111: Born in 1616.]

[Footnote 112: Édouard, Prince Palatine, a younger son of the Elector
Palatine, Frédéric V.]

[Footnote 113: Motteville.]

[Footnote 114: Duc d'Aumale's _Histoire des princes de Condé_.]

[Footnote 115: Among other emoluments he had 800,000 livres.]

[Footnote 116: _Mémoires_ of Lenet.]

[Footnote 117: Manuscript _Mémoires_ published in fragments with
Olivier d'Ormesson's Journal, by M. Chervel (who appears to have been a
member of the House of Condé).]

[Footnote 118: Mazarin lived in a palace which became the Bibliothèque

[Footnote 119: In Mazarin's letters the words in italics are either
in cipher or in words which he had agreed upon with the Queen when
arranging the details of his absence; in this instance we have used the
translation given by M. Ravenel in his _Lettres du Cardinal Mazarin à
la Reine_, etc.]

[Footnote 120: La Porte.]

[Footnote 121: _Mémoires_ of La Porte.]

[Footnote 122: _Mémoires_ of de Brienne, junior.]

[Footnote 123: See the journal of Olivier d'Ormesson. This scene took
place March 19, 1645.]

[Footnote 124: Motteville.]

[Footnote 125: _La misère au temps de la Fronde_ (quoted from the
records of the Council).]

[Footnote 126: _La Galerie des portraits de Mlle. de Montpensier._ (New
edition.) Édouard de Barthélemy.]


    I. The Beginning of Trouble--Paris and the Parisians in
    1648--II. The Parliamentary Fronde--Mademoiselle Would Be Queen
    of France--III. The Fronde of the Princes and the Union of the
    Frondes--Projects for an Alliance with Condé--IV. La Grande
    Mademoiselle's Heroic Period--The Capture of Orleans--The Combat in
    the Faubourg Saint Antoine--The End of the Fronde.


Few political crises have left, either upon participants or upon
witnesses, impressions as diverse as the impressions left by the
Fronde. As examples of this fact take Retz (whose _Mémoires_ are the
epopee of revolutionary Paris), Omer Talon, the Queen's friend, M.
de Motteville, La Rochefoucauld, duke and peer, Gaston d'Orléans, de
Beaufort, Anne de Gonzague, Mme. de Chevreuse, and all the messieurs
and mesdames whose ways of thinking we know. They furnished the divers
views of the Fronde from which we gain our knowledge of that event,
and as they deduced their impressions from the effect which the Fronde
had upon their personal interests or sympathies, and from their mental
conditions, it is difficult to form an independent or a just idea.
Versatile and brilliant imaginations have left kaleidoscopic visions
of a limited number of very plain realities, and as the only means of
giving uniformity and sequency to a narrative which, though it covers
various periods, is circumscribed by certain limits, is to make a
selection from the many means of study furnished by a voluminous mass
of documents, I have detached from history nothing but the facts which
were connected with the life of the person around whom I have woven
this narrative.

By relating everything concerning La Grande Mademoiselle and by showing
her actively engaged in her daily pursuits when the Fronde took shape
and during the war, I have hoped to make visible to the reader at least
one figure of the most confused of all the harassed epochs of our
modern history.

Mademoiselle's point of view may not have been one of the best, but it
had at least one merit: it was not the point of view of an ordinary
observer. The Fronde was La Grande Mademoiselle's heroic period,
and her reasons for embracing the cause were fit for the fabric of
a romance. She intended to marry, and a marriage appropriate to her
high station required the veiling smoke of the battle-field and the
booming music of great guns. She entered the army and played her part
with such spirit that, according to her own story, she wondered to the
end of her days how she could have committed so many follies. These
pages are written to explain the mental condition which evolved not
only La Grande Mademoiselle's follies but the follies of many of her

It is evident from the memoirs on record that Mademoiselle did not
expect a revolution, but in that respect she was as clear-sighted as
her contemporaries; no one looked for any change. Four years had passed
since the people raised the barricades, and all that time Paris had
growled its discontent. Neither the Regent nor the courtiers had cared
to ask what the canaille were thinking. The curés had been driven
from the devastated country parishes to beg bread and shelter in the
monasteries, and the industrious French people who had always been neat
and merry lay in rags on their sordid beds, dying of famine because the
usurers of the State--the national note-holders--had seized their tools
and confiscated all means of paying the labourer.

In 1644 the people invaded the Palais de Justice and noisily protested
against the new tax. They ordered Parliament to take their threats to
the Queen. The Queen refused to remit the tax, and the city immediately
assumed the aspect which it habitually wore on the eve of revolution.
Groups of men and women stood about the streets, the people were
eager and excited,--they knew not why. Business was suspended. The
shopkeepers stood on their doorsteps. The third night after the Queen
refused to listen to the appeal of the people, the milk-soup boiled
over! Bands of men armed with clubs descended from the faubourgs,
crowded the streets of Paris, and, to quote an eye-witness, "they gave
fright enough to the city where fear and like emotions were unknown."
After a few hours the crowd dispersed and the city became calm. But
the road was clear, the canaille had found the way; they knew that
it was possible to arm with clubs, or with anything that they could
handle, and surge into the streets against the Crown. From that hour
forerunners of the approaching storm multiplied. Parliament openly
sustained the demands of the people. In Parliament there were natural
orators whose denunciations of the causes of the prevailing misery
were brilliant and terrible. The people's envoys accused the Regency
of permitting the abuses, the injustice, and the oppression which had
wrecked the peace of France. They persisted in their protestations,
and the Majesty of the Throne could not silence them. At the solemn
sessions of the beds of justice and in the Queen's own chambers they
presented their arguments, and with voices hoarse with indignation,
and with hands raised threateningly toward heaven they cried their
philippics in the Queen's ears. Seated beside his mother the child-king
looked on and listened. He could not understand the meaning of all the
vehement words, but he never pardoned the voices which uttered them.
The Court listened, astonished.

Mademoiselle weighed the words of the people, she paid close attention,
but her memoirs do not speak of the revolts of public opinion. She was
as unconscious of their meaning as the Queen,--and to say that is to
tell the whole story. Only sixty years before that time the barricades
of the League had closed the streets of Paris, and only ten years
before the theatre lovers had witnessed a comedy called _Alizon_, in
which one of the ancient leaguers had fixed such eyes upon the King
as our Communardes fixed upon the Versaillais. No one had forgotten
anything! The Parisians had kept their old arms bright; they were
looking forward to a time when arms would be needed; yet the Regent
thought that when she had issued an order commanding the people not to
talk politics she had provided against everything.

The nation's depths, as represented by the middle classes, had found
a new apostle in the person of a member of the Parliament, "President
Barillon." Barillon had been a pillar of the Government, but his
feelings had changed. Mme. de Motteville, who was in warm sympathy with
the Regent, wrote bitterly of his new opinions. She said:

    That man has a little of the shade of feeling which colours the
    actions of some of the men of our century who always hate the happy
    and the powerful. Such men think that they prove their greatness
    of heart by loving only the unfortunate, and that idea incessantly
    involves them in parties, and makes them do things adverse to the

The Court was as blind as the Queen's friend; it could not see that
the day was coming when the determination to abolish abuses would
sweep away the ancient social forms before their eyes. In the opinion
of the Queen the criticisms and the ideas of the King's subjects
constituted felony, and it was Barillon's fate to go down. Barillon had
been the Queen's devoted friend and champion. After the King died he
had worked hard to seat the royal widow on the throne. He believed--no
one knew what excuse he had for believing such a thing--that the Queen
shared his ideas of the rights of the poor and the humble, and that
she believed as he believed: that kings owed certain duties to their
subjects. Barillon was not forced to wait long for his enlightenment.
Anne of Austria was a woman of short patience, and advice irritated
her. As soon as the President's eyes were opened to the truth he rushed
headlong into the arms of the Opposition. Anne of Austria scorned "his
treachery to the Crown." His impassioned thoughts of divine justice
were enigmatical to the sovereign understanding. She was enraged by
the obstinacy of her old friend, and by her orders he was cast into
the prison of Saint Piguerol, where he died, as the just Motteville
said, "regretted by every one." Barillon was the precursor of the
"Idealogues" of the eighteenth century and of the Socialists of our own

The Queen was one of the people who seem to have received eyes because
they could not be blind without eyes. The King's porringer was empty
because the King had no money. The Queen, his mother, had pawned the
jewels of the crown to appease her creditors, yet she was indignant
when the bourgeois said that France was bankrupt. She did not attach
any importance to "that canaille,"--as she called the Parliament,--but
she regarded criticism or disapproval as an attempt upon the authority
of her son. As she expressed her exotic ideas freely, the bourgeois
knew what she thought of them, and her abusive epithets were scored to
the credit of the Opposition. As much from interest as from sympathy
the Opposition invariably sustained the claims of the people. "The
bourgeois were all infected with love for the public welfare," said
the gentle Motteville bitterly. So the Court knew that in case of
difficulty it could not count upon "that canaille."

Neither could Parliament count upon itself. There were too many
counter-currents in its channels, too many individual interests, too
many ambitions, too many selfish intrigues, to say nothing of the
instinct of self-preservation which had turned the thoughts of the
nobles toward a last desperate attempt to prevent the establishment of
the absolute monarchy. They had resolved to make the attempt, and by it
they hoped to save the remnant of their ancient privileges. They would
have been justified in saving anything that they could lay their hands
on, for no man is morally bound to commit suicide. In point of fact the
only thing which they were morally bound to do was to remember that
duty to country precedes all other duties, but in that day people had a
very dim idea of duty to country. La Grande Mademoiselle believed that
the King's right was divine, but she did not hesitate to act against
the Court when her personal interests or the interests of her house
demanded such action. After the "Affair Saujon,[127]" she practically
retired from Court. Alluding to that fact, she said: "I did not think
that the presence of a person whom the Queen had so maltreated could be
agreeable to her Majesty."

She made long visits at her château of Bois-le-Vicomte, near Meaux.
Her little court knew her prejudices and respected her feelings. She
regarded the success of the French arms as a personal misfortune,
because a French victory conferred more glory upon Monsieur le Prince.
The death of the elder Condé had not lessened the insolent pretensions
of the second junior branch, and the honours claimed by the hawk-eyed
general afflicted the haughty Princess d'Orléans, who had no valiant
soldier to add glory to her name.

Referring to the battle of Lens Mademoiselle said:

    No one dared to tell me of it; the paper containing the account of
    it was sent to me from Paris, and they placed it on my table, where
    I saw it as soon as I arose. I read it with astonishment and grief.
    On that occasion I was less of a good Frenchman than an enemy.

This avowal is worthy of note because it furnishes a key to the
approaching national crisis. Mademoiselle's treason was the crime of
architects of the Fronde; of the Nobility first, afterward of all
France. Mademoiselle wept over the battle of Lens, and when her father
commanded her to return to Paris to appear with the Queen and to join
in the public rejoicings her grief knew no bounds. The scene in the
Palais Royal had destroyed her confidence and her sympathy, and she
could not have "rejoiced with the Queen" on any occasion; but her
father's commands were formal, and she was forced to assist with the
Court (August 26th) at Notre Dame, when the _Te Deum_ was chanted in
thanksgiving for the victory of France.

    On that occasion [said Mademoiselle] I placed myself beside
    Cardinal Mazarin, and as he was in a good humour I spoke to him of
    liberating Saujon. He promised me to do all in his power. He said
    that he should try to influence the Queen. I left them all at the
    Palais Royal and went away to get my dinner, and when I arrived I
    was informed of the clamour in the city; the bourgeois had taken

The bourgeois had taken arms because of the unexpected arrest of two
members of Parliament. "Old Broussel" was one of the two, and to the
people he personified the democratic and humanitarian doctrines of
President Barillon, who had died in his prison because he had angered
the Queen by pleading the people's cause. The news of his arrest
fell like a thunderbolt, and the people sprang to arms. The general
excitement dispelled Mademoiselle's grief; she was not sorry for the
uprising. She could not see anything to regret in the disturbance of
the monarchy. Monsieur and the Queen had shown her that her interests
were not theirs, they had tormented and humiliated her, and it pleased
her wounded pride to think that her enemies were to be punished. The
Tuileries were admirably situated for the occasion. Should there be a
revolution it could not fail to take place under her windows, and even
were she to be imprisoned--as she had been before--she could still
amuse herself and witness the uprising at her ease. At that time there
were no boulevards; the Seine was the centre of the capital. It was
the great street and the great open hall in which the Parisians gave
their fêtes. Entering Paris either from Rouen or from Dijon, travellers
knew by the animation on the water when they were near the city. From
the Cours la Reine to the little isle Saint Louis the river was edged
with open-air shops and markets. On the river were barges laden with
merchandise, with rafts, with water-coaches (which looked like floating
houses), and with all the objects that man sets in the public view to
tempt his fellows and to offer means of conveyance either to business
or to pleasure. At various points the bargees and other river-men held
jousts. All through the city there were exhibitions of fireworks and
"water serenades," and along the shore, or moving swiftly among the
delicate shallops and the heavy barges were gilded pleasure galleys
with pennants flying in the wind.

The light, mirrored by the water, danced upon the damp walls of the
streets which opened upon the quays.

The Seine was the light and the joy of Paris, the pride of the public
life. Its arms enveloped Notre Dame, the mass of buildings called
"the Palais," the Houses of the Parliament and the Bourse, an immense
bazar whose galleried shops were the meeting-place of strollers and
of gossips. A little below the Palais stretched the Pont-Neuf, with
its swarms of street peddlers, jugglers, charlatans, and idlers who
passed their days watching the parade of the people of Paris. "The
disinherited," unfortunate speculators in the public bounty, sat apart
from the stream of travellers, preparing for their business by slipping
glass eyes into their heads, or by drawing out their teeth the better
to amuse the public and to solicit alms.

All the emotions of the people were manifested first upon the river.
The Seine was a queen; we have made it a sewer.

Even then Paris was a great cosmopolitan city, capable of receiving the
people of the world; it was the only place in Europe where a palace
could be made ready for guests in less than two hours. In less than one
hour the hosts of the inns prepared dinner for one hundred guests at
twenty écus a cover.

Yet in many respects the powerful city was in a barbarous condition; it
was neither lighted nor swept, and as its citizens threw everything out
of their windows, the streets were paved with black and infected mud.
There was little or nothing like a police system, and the city was sown
with "places of refuge" (a survival of the Middle Ages), which served
as hiding-places for highwaymen and other malefactors, who enshrined
themselves among the shadows and lay in wait for the weak or the unwary.

At that time the Duc d'Angoulême, the illegitimate son of Charles IX.,
used to send his servants into the streets to collect their wages
from the passers-by. Having collected their money, the clever fellows
returned to the ducal palace. The Duc d'Angoulême possessed the right
of shelter, and his palace was vested with all the power of the horns
of the altar: once within his gates, the criminal was in safety and

The Duc de Beaufort used to send his servants out into the streets to
rob travellers for his personal benefit. When the robbers were arrested
their proprietor demanded their release and made great talk of an

The excessively mobile Parisian character has changed many times since
the day of the Duc de Beaufort; but the people of the present are
counterparts of the people of the times[128] of Louis XIII. and the
Regency. One of Mademoiselle's contemporaries said: "The true Parisians
love to work; they love the novelty of things; they love changes in
their habits; they even love changes in their business. They are very
pious, and very--credulous. They are not in the least drunkards; they
are polite to strangers."

Subtract the piety and add absinthe, the mother of Folly, and we
have the Parisians of our own day. They too are industrious; they are
always changing something; they are changeable in themselves; they
are credulous; they call religion "superstition," but they believe
in "systems," in "panaceas," in high-sounding words, and in "great
men"--men truly great, or spuriously great; they still cherish a belief
in revolutions. They are as ready now as they were centuries ago to die
for an idea, for a Broussel, and for much less than a Broussel. Just
such Parisians as we meet in our daily walks raised the barricades in
1648. Broussel's windows looked out upon the river; the boatmen and
the people of the water were the first to hear of his arrest, and they
rushed crying into the streets; the people of the _Halles_ joined them;
and the "good bourgeoisie" followed the people's lead. The tradesmen
closed their shops, the chains were drawn across the streets; and in
the twinkling of an eye Paris bristled with antiquated firearms like an
historical procession.

Mademoiselle, who heard the noise, ordered her carriage, and went
out to pass the barricades. She had never seen the mob as she saw it
then. The people swayed forward to meet the insolent noble who dared
to defy them; but when they recognised their Princess, their hoarse
cries turned to shouts of welcome, and eager hands raised the chains.
Then, haughtily ignoring their fond smiles, Mademoiselle passed and the
chains fell behind her.

So, with the canaille hailing her, she reached the Luxembourg, turned
and recrossed the river, firm in her power as the Princess of the
people. She had seen the barricades, and the sight was to influence her

       *       *       *       *       *

She returned to the Tuileries in a glow not of triumph,--she had never
doubted the people,--but she had passed the barriers raised by the
people against her enemies, and the people had confirmed her right to
rule, while the Regent trembled!

The Granddaughter of France was the real head of the people, and as
the faëries had been present at her baptism, obstacles and monsters
vanished at her approach.

With tender pride the people watched her progress; their favour was
never based upon reason; they did not ask why they loved the haughty
Princess who called them "Knaves" and considered them fit for the
scaffold or the fagots. She was their goddess, and whenever she
appeared they fell at her feet and worshipped her.

The Court did not approve of Mademoiselle's democratic popularity. When
she arrived at the Tuileries she was imprisoned in her room; but as the
whole Court was imprisoned, and as no one dared to cross his threshold,
she was not inclined to murmur. Upon the whole the situation pleased
her. She watched the pale, frightened faces of the courtiers with
secret joy. Until then the Court had taken the people's threats for
jests, but the barricades had opened their eyes to the danger of their
position; the mob was at the palace gates, and no one knew how soon
it would be in the palace! Mademoiselle was in high spirits. Standing
at her open window, she watched the people; they were massed upon the
quays eating and drinking by the light of little bonfires; many of them
stretched out upon the ground where they could watch her and slept
there until morning.

The night was calm, but Mademoiselle said of the day which followed it:

    Early in the morning I was awakened by the Long Roll; the troops
    were starting to take back the Tour-de-Nesle, which some of the
    wretches had captured. I sprang from my bed and looked out of my
    window; it was not long before they came back; some of them were
    wounded, and I was seized with great fear and pity.

The canaille crowded the rue des Tuileries; the men carried swords, and
they did it so awkwardly that Mademoiselle laughed at them.

The courtiers were prisoners; all the streets were barricaded with
wine-butts filled with earth and with manure. Given time, skilled
workmen could not have raised a more effective obstacle; it was good
work, well done, and as a symbol of the strength and the intention of
the people it was redoubtable.

[Illustration: THE TOWER OF NESLE


The barricades of the Fronde, floating the old banners of the League,
had evoked the past and touched the revolutionary current in the
abandoned souls of the Parisians. Retz claimed that his hand fired
the powder, and to do him justice, though his Memoirs make a great
deal of the part that he played in the Fronde, they tell less than
the truth. He might have said without boasting that he held Paris in
the hollow of his hand. He had worked hard to acquire the power by
which he bent the people to his will. Vincent de Paul had been his
tutor, and Retz had been an unworthy pupil; he had remembered but one
of Père Vincent's many lessons of brotherly love. His mind had seized
the warning: "Know that the people is a Being, to be considered; not
an inanimate object to be ignored," and from that simple precept he
had deduced utilitarian conclusions fitted for his personal service,
and drawn from them a plan for his own conduct. The principle of
man's humanity had given him his idea. He had based his system on the
susceptibility of men to the influence of intelligent suggestion, and
by the judicious warmth of his sympathy he had surrounded himself with
just such elements as his plan required.

This young Abbé Retz was the coadjutor of his uncle, the Archbishop
of Paris. He was of an excellent family. He was astute, and, having
decided to turn the people to account, he applied his mind to the task
of learning the opinions of the lockpickers and ruffians of the city.
His office gave him the right to go everywhere and to be seen in all
company. He frequented the cellars and the garrets, he fraternised
with the cut-throats, he distributed alms, and as equivalent for
what he gave received instruction in the magic vocabulary of the men
who shut the streets of a city as easily as a warder shuts a door; he
studied the ways of the canaille seven years, living hand-in-glove
and cheek-by-jole with the men of the dens; he studied his world as
he studied the policy of the ministry and the face of the Queen; and
when he felt that the footing of the Court was insecure he broke away
from Royalty and put into action the science of the cut-throats. To act
the part of Marius or Coriolanus before the people was to satisfy an
ambition which had haunted him since he had first read Plutarch. Retz
was the type of the hero of romance at a time when Corneille met his
models in the public streets.

He cared more to excite the admiration of the masses than to acquire
position or money; he was influenced more by passionate love of
brilliant and extraordinary exploits than by ambition, because he
knew that his exploits made the people admire him. In his opinion an
out-and-out adventure was worth more than all else, and no condition
seemed to him as desirable as the life of a conspirator. He was called
_le petit Catilina_, and the title pleased him better than any other.
His "popolo," collectively and individually, gloried in him, understood
him, trusted him, and sympathised with him in all his longings. He was
at home and at ease and as safe as in the archiepiscopal palace in the
most dangerous of their dens.

[Illustration: CARDINAL DE RETZ]

He was the subject of all species of critical judgments; La
Rochefoucauld and Saint Simon spoke admiringly of his "prodigious
genius." Anne of Austria called him a "factionist." Mazarin, who as
he loved neither virtue nor vice, could not judge justly of one of
Plutarch's heroes, did not like Retz; but he feared him. Mademoiselle
said in her memoirs: "The Cardinal tells me that he believes that
Retz has a black soul." People who knew no better laughed at the
Archbishop's nephew, and Retz involuntarily fostered their delusion.
His swarthy face, crooked legs, and near-sighted awkwardness were well
fitted to call forth the gayety of light-minded courtiers. To add to
his questionable appearance, he robed himself in the costumes of a
cavalier; his doublets and other garments were of gaudy stuffs, belaced
and bedecked with baubles which were in all respects, and without
any qualifying reservation, beneath the notice of a serious or an
appreciative gentleman. His personal carriage (a prancing and tiptoeing
swagger) impressed strangers with the idea that he was an unfortunate
ballet-master whose troubles had dethroned his reason. But there are
men upon the earth who are so constituted that they can support all the
ridicule that can be heaped upon them; Retz was one of them; the fact
that he was pleasing to women proves it.

While this enterprising episcopal agitator was engaged in earnest
contemplation of the first effects of the mischief that he had made
in his own quarter (the quarter of Notre Dame) the Parisians were
preparing for battle; the fathers were polishing their muskets,
the children were sharpening their pocket-knives. But Paris was
calm, the rioters had gone back to the faubourgs. The streets were
clear between the Tuileries and the Palais Royal, and Mademoiselle
paid a visit to the Queen. She was in the Queen's salon when the
Parliamentary deputation arrived, acting under stern orders from "the
nation's depths," to demand the release of Broussel. Anne of Austria
was angry; she refused the demand and the deputies went back to the
bourgeoisie. They were not gone long; Mademoiselle was still with the
Queen when they returned with the people's ultimatum: _The people
will have Monsieur Broussel!_ Anne of Austria was not dull and every
possible contingency had been covered by her astute mentor. She ordered
Broussel's release and the deputies departed, calm but triumphant.

Mathieu Molé negotiated the release, and while he talked to the Queen
a member of Parliament, accompanying him, explained the political
situation to Mademoiselle. The deputy's discourse was a clear statement
of ugly facts and their consequences; it gave Mademoiselle an insight
into the reasons and the secret views of the magistrates. The canaille
spoke so loud that all the world could hear; the people's messengers
held their heads as high as the nobles. As Mademoiselle watched "the
long robes" file out of the royal presence she realised that all the
riots and all the menaces had been but the beginning; she knew that
the time was coming when, married or not married, every woman in France
would be given her chance to do her duty.

When Broussel returned to the people the barricades disappeared; but
the canaille was still nervous; a practical joker cried out that the
Queen was preparing another Massacre of Saint Bartholomew, and the old
muskets followed by the pocket-knives rushed into the streets. Another
joker said that the Queen of Sweden with her army was at the gates of
Saint Denis, and a prolonged roar was heard and the mob filled the
streets and began to pillage. So, amidst alarms and alternations of
hope and fear, the days passed for a time. The people of Paris rioted,
then returned to their wretched homes. Whatever the day had been,
the night brought vigilance. All slept dressed, ready for action.
Mademoiselle, who was everywhere at once, was not afraid. When the
canaille growled the loudest she went her way. She was happy; she
revelled in sound and in movement and in the fears of the Court. At
a ball in the rue Saint Antoine she heard shots fired all night and
"danced to the music of the guns."

The Queen was anxious to be far from Paris; Mazarin too craved rest;
but the royal habit of carrying about all the furniture of the
household made secret escape difficult. The people were watching the
Palais Royal; they were determined that the Queen should not leave
them. Nevertheless the Court decided to make the attempt.

Apparently there had been no change at the royal palace; the
roast-hasteners and the soup-skimmers were in their places, and all
the mouth-servants were watching with ears pricked to hear the first
whisper of an order, ready to hand water or to run at the beck and call
of the myrmidons of the myrmidons. In the streets around the palace
lounged the people, silent and sullen, giving vent to angry criticisms
or watching for "tall Mademoiselle." Mademoiselle appeared frequently
at her windows, and the people greeted her with friendly cries. Paris
was calm; the silent river, bearing its gilded galleys, its charlatans,
jugglers, serenaders, and shouting and singing river-men, ran by under
its bridges as it had always run; the Parisians laughed at their own
suspicions; one group left its post, then another, and thus, gradually
relaxing their vigilance, the King's warders returned to their homes.
The 12th September, before daylight, a few wains loaded with furniture
crept away from the Palais Royal and took the road to Rueil. At
daybreak the more suspicious of the Parisians approached the palace and
watched and listened. Evidently the royal life was still progressing in
regular order. The following morning before Paris was awake the young
King was drawn from his bed, dressed, carried out into the courtyard,
hidden in a coach, and set upon the road taken by the furniture.
Mazarin accompanied him. Anne of Austria, "as the most valiant" (to
quote the words of Mme. de Motteville) remained in the palace to cover
the retreat of her Minister. In the course of the morning she was seen
in various parts of Paris; that evening she vanished as the King and
the Cardinal had done before her.


The royal flight deflected Paris. The members of Parliament reproached
themselves for their excess of severity. They made overtures to the

It was believed that Anne of Austria, assured of the safety of her
little brood, would reopen some of her old foreign correspondence and
attempt to avenge her wrongs. Broussel had been released against her
will--the city had raised the barricades--the Minister was an Italian
and the Queen was anything but French! Paris prepared for the worst.
Whence would the trouble come, from Spain or from England?

Parliament continued to send deputies to Saint Germain, but the Queen
was obdurate. All business was suspended; people slept in their
clothes; the bourgeois hid their money. The courtiers, who had remained
in their palaces, hurried away followed by their furniture; and the
evil faces which appear in Paris on the eve of a revolution were seen
all over the city. The wains carrying the courtiers' furniture were
pillaged, and the pillagers sacked the bakeries. Parliament had seized
the reins of State, but the Parliamentary sessions resembled the stormy
meetings of the existing Chamber. Personal interests and the interests
of the coteries had entered politics. After a deplorable day in
Parliament Olivier d'Ormesson noted sadly in his journal: "The public
welfare is now used only as a pretext for avenging private wrongs."

Mademoiselle's feelings in regard to the events of the day were varied;
they could not be wholly pleasant, for there was nothing in the revolt
of the people to tempt the imagination of a personage fully convinced
that the King was the deputy of God. The first Fronde was an outburst
of despair provoked by an excess of public anguish. Yet Mademoiselle
considered it the adventure of a party of agitators. The preceding
century France had been an exceedingly rich country. Under Richelieu
Monsieur had depicted it in a state of famine, and in the early days
of the Regency, and later, when foreign nations were lauding Mazarin's
diplomacy, the people of Paris were perishing from every form of
squalid misery. The State paid out its moneys without counting them,
lent at usurious interest, and gave the notes of its creditors to its
note-holders, the bankers; the note-holders fell upon the debtors
like brigands; the taxes were collected by armed men. Wherever the
tax-gatherer had passed the land was bare, cattle, tools, carts,
household furniture, and all the personal property of the victims of
the State had been seized; the farmers had nothing to eat, nothing to
sleep on, no shelter; they were homeless and hopeless; they had but one
alternative: to go out upon the highways, and, in their turn, force
a living from the passers-by at the point of the knife. Through the
brigandage of the note-holders every year added a strip of abandoned
ground to the waste lands of France.

The nation had turned honest men into thieves and pariahs.

Barillon raised his voice and the grave opened to receive him. Broussel
was saved, but his salvation precipitated the catastrophe. The Queen
had fled, abducting the King. The national Treasury was empty; affairs
were desperate, and Parliament, its honour menaced, decided upon a
measure which, had it been successfully effected, would have changed
the course of French history.

England had inaugurated a successful political method by giving the
nation a Constitution, and by introducing in France the orderly
system with which the House of Commons had endowed England. With that
end in view the magistrates and all the officials, who had paid for
their offices, tried to seize the legislative and financial power
of the State. They thought that by that means they could bring the
royal authority to terms, and make the national Government an honest
executive and guardian of the people's rights,--in the words of
the reformers, "make it what it should be, to reign as it ought to

The nation, individually, approved the Parliamentary initiative. Each
citizen, courtier, or man of the lower order urged on the scheme. Some
applauded because they wished for the good of France. Others looked
forward to "fishing in troubled waters." All knew that a great deal of
business could be done under cover of the excitement attendant upon
national disturbances. They who had no need of money and no thought
of financial speculation hoped that their personal schemes might be
advanced by a national crisis. Mademoiselle was of the latter class.
She had decided to unite her acres and her millions with the fortunes
of the King of France. Louis XIV. was ten years old. Anne-Marie-Louise
was one and twenty, and she looked her age; her beauty was of the
robust type which, mildly speaking, is not of a character to make a
woman look younger than her years. Her manners were easy and assured.
To the child who had so recently been dandled upon her knee the tall
cousin was neither more nor less than the dreaded though respectable
daughter of his uncle; the young King shrank from her. Mademoiselle
suspected that he feared rather than loved her, and although her
flatterers had told her that age was not an obstacle among people of
her rank,[130] she was troubled by a presentiment that she should not
be able to capture that particular husband unless she could carry him
off by force; the thought unhinged all her political convictions; but
the enterprises of Parliament gave promise of utility. Her memoirs
show that she studied the situation from every point of view, and
that a conflict raged within her breast. At times she believed that a
public disturbance would be favourable to her interests; at other times
she was worried by the thought of the inconveniences attendant upon
war. One day she approved the designs of Parliament; the next day she
indignantly denounced the subjects who had attempted to circumscribe
the authority of the King. She adapted to the royal situation all the
maxims derived from the "Divine Right," yet she rejoiced at all the
errors of the Court.

She had errors in plenty to sustain her courage; the situation was so
false that anything but error would have been impossible. Married or
not married, Anne of Austria allowed herself a dangerous latitude;
Mazarin did not protect her, she protected and defended him; to her
mind all that he did was charming; she glanced knowingly at her
courtiers if he opened his mouth or if he moved his hand. Her eyes
beamed upon him with familiar meaning, and while he talked her arch
smiles asked the Court if her Chief of Council was not a prince
among men and the flower of ministers. She would have been happy
in a hovel had she been able to fix him stably among his precious
ancient draperies and the thousands of rare objects with which he
had surrounded his handsome form. Mazarin had feathered his nest _à
l'Italien_, and the style was by far too superfine for the times and
for the taste of France. The gossips of the royal domestic offices had
circulated the intimate details of the royal life. The public knew all
about the favourite; they knew what he wore, what he ate, and what he
did; and they thought of him as always at play with small, strangely
rare animals, as graceful, as handsome, and as highly perfumed as their
master. In imagination they saw Mazarin steeped in sloth, battening on
the public funds, and nourishing his soft beauty by the aid of secrets
of the toilet of his own invention. Anne of Austria did not care what
the people thought. She delighted in Mazarin. She was happy because she
had been able to lay the nation at his feet. The people said that she
had laid them under his feet, and they declared with curses that it
should not be.

Mazarin had rendered France incalculable services, but no one thanked
him or did him justice. No one understood the work that he had
accomplished. Paris knew nothing of foreign affairs. The people's minds
were engrossed by the local misery, and so little interest was taken
in politics that when the Peace of Westphalia was signed no one in
France noticed it although the world classed it among great historical

Paris knew more of the King's scullions than of Mazarin's diplomacy.
The King's cousin: Mademoiselle la Princesse Anne-Marie-Louise
d'Orléans,--fit bride for any king! must remain upon the stocks to
pleasure "the Queen's thief."

The King, also, was the victim of the foreigner.

There was little in the royal larder, and that little was not equally
distributed; the cohorts of the kitchen had made more than one strong
personal drive in the King's interest. The wilful head with its
floating veil of curls, the pouting mouth and tear-dimmed eyes were
the oriflamme of the cooks' pantries. "Monsieur le Cardinal had forty
little fishes[132] on his platter! I only had two on mine!" wailed
the young monarch, and the cooks' corps rose in a body to defend the
"Divine Right."

"_Ma foi!_" growled the bourgeois, "but he has _toupet_, that one! he
makes himself master of the King's mother, takes the food out of the
King's mouth, and sets up his pomade-pots in the King's house!" The
people knew that, if they knew nothing of Westphalia; the handsome fop
had eclipsed the diplomatist.

The people called Mazarin "the pomade inventor" and "moustache of the
paste-pots" (not to cite their grosser expressions). When the mob
cried: _Vive le Roi!_ Retz heard echo answer: _Mais point de Mazarin!_
The Queen was like all women deep in love; she wondered why people
blamed her.

Her anger embittered the situation, but after making many futile
attempts Parliament persuaded her to resume her duties and (the last
day of October) the King, the Queen, the Court, and the retinue,
followed by loaded vans, passed through the suburbs homeward bound.
Before they reached the city they saw that public feeling had changed.
The people had lost their respect for the Court. No one cared either
for the Queen or for her Minister. The canaille hummed significant
songs and cast bold glances at the mature lovers; the courtiers' eyes
furtively lingered upon the walls where coarsely worded posters accused
the Queen of her delinquencies. Anne of Austria was brave. She entered
Paris with cheeks aflame but with head high. She would change all that!
Parliament had urged her to return....

Time passed and the general attitude retained its flippancy. At Court
all were counting the cost and planning how they could best turn the
coming misfortunes of the Crown to their own profit; écus, dignities,
offices, benefits of all kinds, would be within the gift of the new
administration. The great were prepared for the emergency. Retz had
driven his curés over to the opposition. La Rochefoucauld had urged
Mme. de Longueville after the clerical sheep and Conti after her. Anne
of Austria's patience was at an end; she had no one to advise her;
after she had assured herself that the Condés would sustain her, she
set out to the Luxembourg. Monsieur was in the agonies of one of the
diplomatic attacks to which he was subject; no one knew whether his
pains were real or feigned. He was in bed. He had not changed since the
days of Richelieu; he was the same light-hearted, nervous, and bold
poltroon, but his intellect was keen, he charmed strangers, he was
pleasing even to those who knew him best. Though the Queen was used to
his arts, she was dazed by the flood of words with which he welcomed
her. From tender anxiety for her well-being he passed to the real
anxiety of well-defined personal terror. Then, without stopping to take
breath, he gave vent to such sentimental emotions that when Anne of
Austria told her errand he had neither the face nor the force to refuse
her prayer. She begged him to conduct the King out of Paris secretly,
and--"_By the faith of Monsieur!_" he swore that he would do it.

This second flight was fixed for the night between the 5th-6th January.
It was agreed that they should retire to Saint Germain, although
there was no furniture in the château. Nothing could be sent out this
time--the palace was full of spies--the people were on the watch! Let
the furniture follow! Fatality must see to that! Mazarin bought two
small camp-beds and sent them to Saint Germain; he left to Providence
the task of providing for the rest.

The night of the 5th January Anne of Austria went to bed at her
habitual hour for retiring. When she was assured that all the people
of the palace were asleep she arose and confided her secret to her
_femme-de-chambre_ who awakened the servants, whom she could not do
without. At three o'clock they took the King and little Monsieur from
their beds and dressed them in their warmest garments. The Queen then
led the children down an abandoned flight of steps which opened on the
garden. It was moonlight and the cold was stinging. The royal family,
followed by one _femme-de-chambre_ and a few officers, passed out of
the garden by the small door opening into the rue Richelieu. In the
street they found two coaches waiting for them. They reached the Cours
la Reine, which had been chosen for the general meeting-place, without
difficulty; no one had arrived, and they waited. Mazarin had passed the
evening at a soirée; at the appointed hour he entered his carriage and
drove straight to the Cours la Reine. Monsieur and Condé had been with
Mazarin all the evening, but instead of going directly to the Cours
they hurried to their homes to prepare their unconscious families. Mme.
de Longueville refused to leave her bed; she declared that she would
never abandon Paris. Monsieur awakened his wife; she believed that
she was dying, and her cries aroused the children; Monsieur had three
infant daughters,[133] the eldest was two years and six months old; the
youngest had attained the age of two months and fifteen days. The young
Lorraines were vociferous, and mother and babes wept together; Gaston
sang and whistled, laughed and grimaced. Finally when all the buckles
had been adjusted, when the last limp arm had been introduced into its
warm sleeve, the four helpless beings, struggling against the efforts
of their natural leader, moved painfully through the dark passages of
the Luxembourg into the little streets, and across the river. As the
murmuring band passed the Tuileries a light struck in Mademoiselle's
apartment illumined all the windows. Mademoiselle was rising at her own
time! No need of haste for her, no need of secrecy! Her will was the
people's law. At sight of the lighted windows the tears of the feeble
wife flowed afresh.

Beyond the Tuileries all was confusion. At the last moment the Queen
had despatched messengers to summon the courtiers and the courtiers
had sent messengers to warn their relatives that the Court was on
the march; all had hurried from their homes, and lord and lady were
pressing forward toward the Cours la Reine, the gentlemen fastening
their garments askew, or wrong side out as they went; the ladies,
still in their nightcaps, moving wearily, soothing or upbraiding their
weeping children. All wondered what it meant, all asked what the
Canaille had done to force the Court to flee.

Mademoiselle was the last to reach the Cours. To quote her own words,
she had been "all troubled with joy" when ordered to prepare for
flight, because she had believed that her enemies were about to take a
step which would force them to look upon the effects of their folly;
but the misery of the sudden flitting, the indecent haste, the broken
rest, the consciousness of bodily weakness had swallowed up her glee,
and she arrived at the Cours in an ugly humour. She ached with cold;
she was crowded in the coach; she sought excuses for intimating that
the Queen had brought a useless flight upon the Court. The children
voiced their woes. Numb with the cold, worn out and querulous, the
ladies chided their husbands and the husbands rudely answered. The moon
went down upon the wretched exiles; day had not dawned and black night
hid the general woe.

They fled in the darkness, _cahin-caha_, the children sobbing, the
women expressing their sufferings in ways equally tempestuous. The
Queen was gay; she was running away with Mazarin! "Never," said
Mademoiselle, "had I seen a creature as gay as she was! had she won
a battle, taken Paris and had all who displeased her put to death,
she could not have been happier." They found Saint Germain bare; they
had neither furniture nor clothing; they were worn out and anxious,
and the château furnished no means of rest or refreshment; the exiles
stood at the gates all day watching the highway and questioning the
passers-by. No one had seen the luggage or the furniture. Toward night
news arrived from Paris; the wains were not coming; the people were
angry because the Queen had run away; they had fallen upon the loads;
they had broken the courtiers' furniture. Only one load was on the
road,--Mademoiselle's; the King's loads had been respected, but they
were not to leave Paris.

Mademoiselle had left the bulk of her commodities to be sent out at a
later day; only one load belonging to her had started to leave Paris;
the people had examined that tenderly and then despatched it for Saint

No need to watch longer for the loaded wains! The tired courtiers made
the best of a bad business; half a dozen of the highest of the Great
"shared the Cardinal's two camp-beds"; the quilts on which the children
had been bedded on the way from Paris were spread upon the floor. Those
who had no mattresses lay upon straw or upon bare boards. The ladies
fared worst of all; they had been used to the tender cares of their

       *       *       *       *       *

Mademoiselle's spirits rose; she had always boasted that she was "a
creature superior to trifles," and the general difficulty had put her
on her mettle. Monsieur's wife wept feebly; she told the courtiers of
the luxury of her early life, and of her present sufferings. Monsieur's
little daughters were restless and displeased. Mademoiselle noted this
adventure in her memoirs:

    I slept in a vast and finely gilded room, but there was very little
    fire in it, and it had neither window-panes nor windows, which, as
    the month was January, was not agreeable. My mattress was on the
    floor, and my sister, who had no mattress, slept with me. I had to
    sing to her to put her to sleep; she greatly troubled my sleep. She
    turned, and re-turned; then, feeling me close to her, she cried
    out that she "saw the beast," and then I had to sing to her again,
    and thus the night passed. I had no underclothing to change, and
    they washed my nightdress during the day and my day-chemise during
    the night. I had not my women to comb my hair and to dress me, and
    that was very inconvenient. I ate with Monsieur, who made very bad
    cheer.... I lived in that way ten days, then my equipage arrived,
    and I was very glad to have all my commodities.

Louis XIV. and little Monsieur played about Saint Germain in the wintry
weather, and as the days passed their garments acquired the marks
of use. The King's furniture did not arrive, neither did his boxes;
the Parisians would not permit them to leave the city. All the gates
of Paris were guarded; no one was passed without papers. It was so
difficult for people of quality to obtain passports that the ladies ran
away in the garb of monks, or disguised in some other way. The Marquise
d'Huxelles went through the gates in the uniform of a soldier, with
an "iron pot" on her head.[134] Paris had never refused its favourite
anything, and Mademoiselle's chariots went and came and no one asked
what they contained; the belongings of her friends were transported
as freely as her own if they were in her boxes or in her wains. In
after life she used to call those days "the time of plenty." "I had
everything!" she wrote exultantly; "they gave me passports for all
that I wished taken out, and not only that, but they watched over and
escorted my chariots! nothing equalled the civilities that they showed

Time passed; the royal garments were unfit for wear and the Queen,
reduced to extremities, begged Mademoiselle to smuggle for her.
Mademoiselle granted her request with joy. She recorded the event
exultantly: "One has enough of it,--when one is in condition to render
services to such people, and when one sees that one is of importance!"

The Parisians had given their favourite a convincing token of their
love, and she regarded it as a proof that she was the one best fitted
to share the throne of France.

As the Parisians slept well on the night of the Queen's second flight,
they were not conscious of their separation from royalty until the
morning of the 6th January. The first emotion felt was consternation.
Parliament made overtures to the Queen; the Queen rudely repulsed
the overtures, and Parliament issued an edict of expulsion against
Mazarin. Mazarin expelled, Parliament raised money, and set about
recruiting an army. The Council of the Hôtel de Ville, representing
Parisian commerce, sent a delegation to the King. Arrived in the royal
presence, the deputies fell at the King's feet. They portrayed the
horrors of civil war, they explained to the child that to be driven to
attack Paris would be abominable. In the midst of his supplications
the chief speaker, choked by sobs, cut short his plea. His emotion was
more effective than any argument; his tears proved the solemnity of
the hour. The King wept bitterly, and, in fact, every one wept but the
Queen and Condé, who surveyed the general distress dry-eyed.

When calm was restored Anne of Austria refused to yield. The die was
cast; civil war was inevitable. After long deliberation the Hôtel de
Ville declared for resistance. The masses of the people were defiant;
they accused the royal family of treason; they demanded vengeance.[135]

At that moment, when the nation stood alone, without a king, when a
mob, driven mad by despair, clamoured for justice from the nobles,
Mme. de Longueville entered the political field. Nature had not
intended Mme. la Duchesse de Longueville for a business career; she
was the impersonation of the soft graces of elegant leisure; and even
in her grave she charmed men, as she will always charm them while
there exists a portrait of her pale hair and angelic eyes, or an
historian to recount "the delights of her calm mind illumined by the
reflection of celestial light."[136] The fashionable education of the
day had been her ruin; the little court of the Hôtel de Condé, long
sojourns at Chantilly, where people lived as the heroes and heroines
lived in _Astrée_,[137] excessive novel-reading and frequent and
subtle discussions of "love" had made Mme. de Longueville a finished
sentimentalist; and in her path she had found waiting for her a man
well disposed and well fitted to exploit her sentimentalism, and bold
enough to avow the part played by him in her career.

La Rochefoucauld's ambition was to augment the grandeur of his house,
and he could not see why he should not put France to fire and sword,
if by doing so he could seat his wife on a tabouret close to the
Queen.[138] Under his guidance, Mme. de Longueville cast off her sloth
and sacrificing her indolence to what she was assured was her "glory,"
became a political centre and acquired an influence as romantic as
herself. Many of the lords who, after the flight of the Court, offered
their swords to Parliament "for the service of the oppressed King"
(that was the formula), were urged to that action by the persuasive
Mme. de Longueville. M. de Longueville was her first recruit, the
Prince de Conti was her second.

As soon as it was known that France was preparing for civil war,
Mesdames de Longueville and de Bouillon started for Paris. The day
after they arrived at their destination they presented themselves at
the Hôtel de Ville, saying that they had come "to live right there, in
the Town Hall, under the eye of the municipality, as hostages for the
fidelity of their husbands."

    Imagine [said Retz] these two ladies seated in the portico of the
    Hôtel de Ville, all the more beautiful because they had arranged
    themselves as if they had not cared for their appearance, though,
    in fact, they had taken great pains with it. Each held one of her
    children in her arms; and the children were as beautiful as their
    mothers. The Grève was full of people, even to the roofs. All the
    men shouted with joy, and all the women wept their tenderness.
    Having been gently led into the street by the aldermen, the
    Duchesses timidly returned to the portico and seated themselves
    in their old places. The city authorities then abandoned a vacant
    room to them, and in a few hours, with furniture and with other
    articles, they turned the concession into a luxurious salon, where
    they received the visits of the Parisians that same evening. Their
    salon was full of people of the fine world; the women were in full
    evening dress, the men were in war harness; violins were played in
    a corner, trumpets sounded an answer from the street, and people
    who loved romance were able to fancy that they were at the home of
    "Galatée" in _Astrée_.

So the Parisians were duped in the first days of the Fronde. "Galatée"
reigned, and the reign of nymphs is expensive. The Court of the nymphs
was daily augmented by general officers who offered themselves to the
cause amidst the artless plaudits of the people. The generals were as
expensive as the nymphs; they demanded money for themselves and for
their soldiers; they exacted from Parliament a promise which Parliament
agreed to put into effect whenever it could make terms with the Regent.
M. le Prince de Conti demanded an important place at Court, money, and
favours for his friends. M. de Beaufort demanded an important position,
the government of a province for his father, money and pensions for
himself, favours for his friends.

The Duc de Beaufort was a jolly dog whom the people loved. He was
called "the King of the Halles," a title which expressed his popularity
with the fish-wives, rabbit-pullers, agents of the abattoirs,
strong-porters, sellers of mortuary wreaths, cheese merchants, and
all the rest. He lounged through the markets and the slums tossing
his sumptuous head like a Phœbus-Apollo. He affected the _argot_ of
the canaille. His good nature was infectious and although he was an
Harpagon and a brigand by proxy, he was a very agreeable courtier.



The Maréchal de la Motte demanded a colonelcy for himself and favours
for his friends. Every one wanted something, and all felt that whatever
was to be had must be had at once; the time was coming when the nation
would have nothing to bestow.

A document now before me contains sixteen names; the greatest names of
France.[139] The owners of those names betrayed the King for the people
because they hoped to gain honours and benefits by their treason. They
would have betrayed the people for the King had they hoped to gain more
from the King than from the people. The nobility had taken the position
held by certain modern agitators; they resorted to base means because
they were at an extremity. Like the farmers of France, the nobles had
been ruined by the egotism of the royal policy.

They had been taught to think that they could not stand alone.
Richelieu had prepared for an absolute monarchy by making them
dependent upon the King's bounty; he had habituated them to look for
gifts. This fact does not excuse the sale of their signatures, but it
explains it. They knew that they had lost everything, they knew that
the time was at hand when, should all go, as they had every reason
of believing that it would go, the Government would have favours to
bestow; they knew that their only means of speculation lay in their
signatures. They were not base hirelings,--their final struggle was
proof of that! they were the "fools of habit"; Richelieu had taught
them to beg and they begged clamorously with outstretched hands, and
not only begged but trafficked.

When they demanded honours and favours they did nothing more than their
hierarchical head had habituated them to do. So much for their sale of
signatures. The fact that they had resolved to make a supreme fight,
not for independence,--they had no conception of independence,--but
against an absolute monarchy,[140] explains the Fronde of the Princes.
At the other end of the social ladder the mobility, or riff-raff, had
taken the upper hand, dishonoured the people's cause, and made the
Parisians ridiculous.

Driven to arms by their wrongs, lured by the magnetic eloquence of the
skilled agents of political egotists, led by a feverish army of men who
held their lives in their hands, and commanded by women who played with
war as they played with love, the soldiers of the Fronde wandered over
the country encamping with gaily attired and ambitious coquettes, and
with ardent cavaliers whose gallant examples fretted their own enforced
inaction. They were practical philosophers, moved by the instinct which
sends the deer to its sanctuary. "Country" and "Honour" had come to be
but shibboleths: they, the Frondeurs, were of a race apart from the
stern regulars who blocked the capital under Condé, and when the time
to fight came they ran, crying their disgust so loud that the whole
country halted to listen. The public shame was unquestionable, and the
national culpability, like the culpability of the individual, was well
understood; the cry of "treason" aroused a general sense of guilt.
Certain of the men of France had been faithful to the country from the
beginning; the nation's statesmen, notably the magistrates, had acted
for the public good; but in the general accusation Parliament, like
all the other factors of the Government, was branded; its motives were
questioned, and the names of honest men were made a by-word.

Passing and repassing, in and out of all the groups and among all the
coteries, glided the Archbishop's coadjutor; now in the costume of
a cavalier, bedizened with glittering tinsel, now in the lugubrious
habit of his office. When dressed to represent the Church he harangued
the people wherever he chanced to meet them; the night-hawks saw him
disguised and masked running to the dens of his conspirators. Whatever
else he was doing, he found time to preach religion, and he never
missed a gathering of pretty women.

       *       *       *       *       *

Meanwhile the price of bread had tripled; the Revolution had reached
the provinces, and the generals had signed a treaty of alliance with
Spain. This was paying dear for the violins of the heroines of the
Hôtel de Ville!

In Parliament the magistrates, the solid men of France, revolted
against the seigniors as they had revolted against the barricades. They
knew what influences had been brought to bear upon individuals, they
had seen the royal power exercised to the ruin of the country, they
knew the strength of the mobility, and their own honour had been called
in question; but their action was the result of an unselfish impulse.
National affection, a natural patriotism, had raised them above fear
and above rancour. They were determined to rescue the country, and they
had lost faith in all intentions save their own.

Acting on their own counsel and on their own responsibility, they
hastened to conclude the peace negotiations of Rueil (11th March,
1649). Their action irritated the generals. Peace thus arranged was not
in their plan; it brought them no profit: they argued and bargained.

To quote Mme. de Motteville, they "demanded all France" in payment
for their part in the treaty. They made it plain that if they should
give their signatures it would be because they had been paid for
them. Shameless haggling marked this period of the Fronde. After all
those who had influence or signatures to dispose of had plucked the
many-membered monarchy even to its pin-feathers, and after each of
the assistants had taken a leg or a wing for himself, the generals
consented to lay down their arms, and peace was proclaimed to the sound
of trumpets.

The day after the proclamation was issued, Mademoiselle asked her
father and the Queen for permission to return to Paris.

She wished to see how the Parisians regarded her and how they would
receive her. She set out from Saint Germain across the devastated
country. The soldiers of both parties had burned the houses, cut down
the trees, and massacred or put to flight the inhabitants. It was
April, the time when all the orchards are in flower, but the suburbs
within six miles of Paris were bare and black; the ground was as
lifeless as a naked rock.


"Monday, 8th April," noted a contemporary, "Mlle. d'Orléans arrived
at her lodgings in the Tuileries, amidst the great applause of the
Parisians. Tuesday, the 9th, every one called on Mademoiselle."

Mademoiselle wrote: "As soon as I was in my lodgings every one came
to see me; all Paris came, the highest and the lowest of the party.
During my three days' stay in Paris my house was never empty." A second
visit to the Tuileries was equally triumphant, and Mademoiselle was
confirmed in her determination to accomplish her destiny by marrying
the King of France. The project was public property; the capital of the
kingdom approved it, and the people were ready to barricade the streets
in case the King, the Queen, or the Italian objected to it.

_Mademoiselle should sit upon the throne! the People willed it!_

       *       *       *       *       *

At that time a comedy equal to any presented upon the stages of the
theatres was played at Saint Germain, and the Queen was leading
lady. The chiefs of the Fronde, generals, members of Parliament,
representatives of all the corporate bodies and of all the
classes--even the humblest--visited the château and assured the Queen
of their allegiance. As Mademoiselle said: "No one would confess that
he had ever harboured an intention against the King; it was always some
one else whom he or she had opposed." The Queen received every one.
She was as gracious to the shop-keeper as to the duke and peer. Anne
of Austria appeared to believe all the professions that the courtiers
made; and all alike, high and low, went away with protestations of joy
and love.[141] The only one who lost her cue in this courtly comedy
was Mme. de Longueville. Her position was so false that though she
was artful she quailed; she was embarrassed, she blushed, stammered,
and left the royal presence furiously angry at the Queen, although,
to quote an ingenuous chronicler,[142] "the Queen had done nothing to
intimidate her."

Saint Germain returned the visits made by the city, and each courtier
was received in a manner appropriate to his deserts. Condé was saluted
with hoots and hisses. The Parisians had not forgotten the part that
he had played in the suburbs. The other members of the Court were well
received, and when the Queen, seated in her coach, appeared, holding
the little King by her hand, the people's enthusiasm resembled an
attack of hysteria. The city had ordered a salute, and the gunners
were hard at work, but the public clamour was so great that it drowned
the booming of the cannon, and the aldermen fumed because, as they
supposed, their orders to fire the salute had been ignored.[143]
Exclamations and plaudits hailed the procession at every step. The
canaille thrust their heads through the doors of the royal carriage and
smiled upon the King; they voiced their praises with vehemence. Mazarin
was the success of the day; the women thought him beautiful, and they
told him so; the men clasped his hands. Mazarin eclipsed Mademoiselle,
and Mademoiselle, neglected by the people, found the time very long.

Speaking of that hour she said, "Never was I bored as I was that day!"

The beauty of the Queen's favourite won the hearts of the people of
the Halles, and the royal party entered the palace in triumph. When
Anne of Austria first left her palace, after her return from exile, the
women who peddled herrings fell upon her in a mass and with streaming
eyes begged her to forgive them for opposing her. Anne of Austria was
bewildered by the transports of their admiration. They approved of her
choice of a lover; they sympathised with her in her love, and they were
determined to make her understand it. The Queen's delicacy was wounded
by the latitude of their protestations.

Paris had made the first advances and royalty had accepted them. As
there were no public "journals," to speak to the country, a ball was
given to proclaim that peace had been made, and the ball and the
fireworks which followed--and which depicted a few essential ideas upon
the sky by means of symbolical figures--acted as official notices. The
fête took place with great magnificence the 5th September.

Louis XIV. was much admired, and his tall cousin almost as much so.
"In the first figure the King led Mademoiselle," said the _Chronicle_
"and he did it so lightly and with such delicacy that he might have
been taken for a cupid dancing with one of the graces." The guests of
the Hôtel de Ville, the little and the large Bourgeoisie, men, wives,
and daughters, contemplated the spectacle from the tribunes; they were
not permitted to mingle with the Court. Anne of Austria watched them
intently; she was unable to conceal her surprise at their appearance.
The wives of the bourgeois displayed a luxury equal to that of the
wives of the nobles. Apparently their costumes were the work of a Court
dressmaker. Their diamonds were superb. Anne of Austria had assisted at
all the official fêtes of thirty years, and she had never seen such a

The French Bourgeoisie was to be counted; not ignored. The appearance
of the bourgeoises was a warning, but the quality either could not, or
would not seize it.

When Paris had wept all the tears of its tenderness it returned to its
former state of discontent. The whole country was restless; news of
revolts came from the provinces. Condé was hated; he was imperious and
exacting; he was in bad odour at Court; he had offended the Queen. As
Mazarin was in the way of his plans, he had attempted to present the
Queen with another favourite. Jarzé, a witless popinjay, was the man
chosen by Condé to supplant the accomplished successor of de Richelieu.
Jarzé was a human starling; he was giddy, stupid, and in every way
ill-fitted to enter the lists with a rival armed with the gravity, the
personal beauty, and the subtlety of Mazarin. Jarzé had full confidence
in his own powers; he believed that to win his amorous battles he had
only to have his hair frizzed and storm the fort. Anne of Austria was
sedate and modest and she was deep in love. Jarzé had hardly opened the
attack when she ordered him from her presence. Condé, stunned by the
effect of his diplomacy, wavered an instant upon the field, but a sharp
order from the Queen sent him after his protégé. Anne of Austria felt
the outrage, and she vowed eternal anger to Condé.

       *       *       *       *       *

Condé's lack of tact, coupled with his determination to work miracles,
led him into many false positions. He had no political wit, and nothing
could have been less like the great Condé of the battle-field than the
awkward and insignificant Condé of civil life. In battle he acted as
by inspiration. He surged before his armies like the god of war; he
was calm, indifferent to danger, impetuous, and terrible; face to face
with death, his mind developed and he could give a hundred orders to a
hundred persons at once.[144] In Parliament, or with the chiefs of his
political party, he was as nervous as a woman; he stood trembling, with
face paling or reddening, laughing when he ought to weep, and bursting
into fits of anger when the occasion called for joy. There was nothing
fixed, or stable, in his whole make-up, except his overweening pride
and an "invincible immoderation,"[145] which eventually precipitated
him into the abyss. No one had as much natural wit, yet no one was as
fantastic in tastes and in behaviour. He adored literature: sobbed
over _Cinna_ and thought Gomberville's _Polexandre_ admirable. He
swooned when he parted with Mlle. de Vigean, a few days later he--as
Mademoiselle termed it--"forgot her all at one blow." He was a great
genius but a crackbrain; a complicated being, full of contrasts and
contradictions, but singularly interesting. He has been described as a
"lank prince, with unkempt, dusty hair, a face like a bird-of-prey, and
a flaming eye whose look tried men's souls."

The summer was barely over when Condé forced the Cardinal to sign
a promise not to do any thing without his (Condé's) permission.
Condé's imperious nature had driven him head long, and at that moment
Monsieur's position depended upon his own activity. He had it in his
power to sell support to the Crown; the Queen was on Change as a
buyer. One step more and it would be d'Orléans against Condé with the
Throne of France at his back! Monsieur's wife and Mademoiselle seldom
agreed upon any subject, but they united in urging Monsieur to seize
his opportunity. As usual, the household spies informed the people
of the family discussions, and the popular balladists celebrated the
aspirations of the ladies d'Orléans by a song which was sung all over
Paris. France was represented as imploring Monsieur to save her from
Condé, and Gaston was represented as answering:

    ... "I am sleepy! I would pass my life in sleep,
    Never have I a wish to be awakened:
    My wife, my daughter, you plead in vain,
                          I sleep."[146]

    Monsieur trembled with fear [wrote Retz]; at times it was
    impossible to persuade him to go to Parliament; he would not go
    even with Condé for an escort; the bare thought of it terrified
    him. When a paroxysm of fear seized him it was said that his Royal
    Highness was suffering from another attack of colic.

One day when several of his friends had, by their united efforts
succeeded in getting him as far as the Saint Chapelle, he turned and
ran back to his palace with the precipitation and the grimaces of a
client of M. Purgon.[147]

Nothing could be done with Gaston; his conduct made Mademoiselle
heart-sick. When the second or new Fronde took shape she had no part
in it. She looked, on as a listless spectator, while Mazarin spun
his web around his enemies and worked his way toward the old Fronde.
Condé was marching on to a species of dictatorship when the King's
minions brought him to a halt. He was arrested and cast into prison
and the Parisians celebrated his disgrace by building bonfires (18th
January). A great political party composed of women from all parts of
France arose to champion Condé, and still the bravest of all women, La
Grande Mademoiselle, sat with head bowed, deep in grief; her father's
cowardice had drained life of its joy.

Having aroused the wrath of France by adventures which were the scandal
of their hour, Mme. de Longueville had taken refuge in a foreign land
and formed an alliance with Spain. France looked on bewildered by the
turn of events; Mme. de Chevreuse and the Princess Palatine were in
active life regarded as equals of men of State, consulted, and obeyed.
Mme. de Montbazon had her own sphere of action; Mme. de Chatillon had
hers[148]; both ladies were powerful and dangerous politicians. Others,
by the dozen, and from one end of the kingdom to the other, were
engaged in directing affairs of State.

Even the insignificant wife of Condé whom no one--not even her
husband--had counted as worthy of notice, had reached the front rank at
a bound by the upheaval of Bordeaux; yet La Grande Mademoiselle, who
possessed the spirit and the energy of a man, was peremptorily ordered
by her father and forced to follow Anne of Austria from province to
province suppressing insurrections.

In the many months which Mademoiselle considered as unworthy of note in
her memoirs, the only period of time well employed by her was passed in
an attack of smallpox, which she received so kindly that it embellished
her; she said of it: "Before then my face was all spotted; the smallpox
took that all away."

       *       *       *       *       *

Mme. de Longueville's alliance with Spain had cost France the invasion
of the Archduke Leopold and de Turenne. In 1650 the Court went to the
siege of Bordeaux and Mademoiselle was compelled to accompany the Queen
and to appear as an adherent of the King's party; but before she set
out upon her distasteful journey she wrote a letter to the invader
(the Archduke Leopold) which she was not ashamed to record and which
contained a frank statement of her opinion:

    Your troops are more capable of causing joy than fear. The whole
    Court takes your arrival in good part, and your enterprises will
    never be regarded as suspicious. Do all that it pleases you to do;
    the victories that you are to win will be victories of benevolence
    and affection.[149]

Let us remember the nature of those victories of "benevolence and
affection" before we form an opinion. Time has veiled with romance the
manœuvres which the amazons of the Fronde made to excite the masses to
rebellion, but the legend loses its glamour when we consider the brutal
ferocity of the armies of the seventeenth century and the abominations
practised in the name of glory. The women who shared the life of the
generals of the Fronde were travesties of heroines, devoid of the
gentler instincts of woman; there was nothing good in them; their
imaginations were perverted, they incited their followers to cruelty,
and playing with tigerish grace with the love of men, they babbled
musically, in artful and well-turned sentences, of the questions of
the day, and mocked and wreathed their arms above their heads when
their victims were dying.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Court arrived at Libourne 1st August and remained there thirty
days. The weather was very warm, and the Queen secluded herself in her
apartment and forced Mademoiselle to sit at her side working on her
tapestry. Mademoiselle fumed; she was imprisoned like a child while
all the ladies of France were engaged in military service. To add to
her mortification, she felt that the Queen had taken a false step and
that all Paris was laughing at the Court. Sitting in the Queen's close
rooms, Mademoiselle reflected bitterly on her position. She had again
entered into collusion with Saujon. The Emperor was for the second time
a widower, and Mademoiselle had re-employed the services of her old
ambassador. She had sent Saujon to the Emperor to make a second attempt
to arrange a marriage. But she had not renounced the King of France,
and one of her confidential friends had opened her eyes to the real
character of her enterprise. Until then it had seemed natural enough
that she should make efforts to establish herself in life; but through
the officious indelicacy of her friend she had learned that she was
pursuing two husbands at once. One of the objects of her pursuit was
a man of ripe age, doubly widowed, the husband of two dead wives; the
other a child of tender years,--and neither one nor the other would
consent to marry her. She was glad to be far from Paris, where every
one knew and pitied her. She burned incense to all her gods and prayed
that civil war might keep the Parisians too busy to remember her. Her
grief and shame were at their height when the scene changed. Monsieur
awoke; Retz had worked a miracle. By means of his peculiar method,
acting upon the principle of humanity's susceptibility to intelligent
suggestion, Retz had persuaded Monsieur that he, Monsieur, was the only
man in France fit to mediate between the parties; after long-continued
series of efforts his clerical insinuations had aroused Gaston from
his torpor, and one evening when the Queen, flushed and irritable, and
Mademoiselle, dejected but defiant, sat at their needlework Gaston
entered the dim salon and announced his importance. The trickster of
the pulpit and of the slums had managed to infuse a little of his own
spirit into the royal poltroon, and for the first time in his political
career Gaston displayed some of the characteristics of a man. In an
hour Bordeaux knew that the Prince d'Orléans had arrived in Libourne as
the accredited mediator of the parties. The politicians fawned at his
feet, and Anne of Austria rose effusively to do honour to Monsieur le
Prince d'Orléans. By order of the Regent all despatches were submitted
to Gaston, who passed upon them as best he could.

Mazarin rose to meet the situation; he was not bewildered by Retz's
tactics; he affected to believe that Monsieur must be consulted upon
all matters, and by his orders Monsieur's tables were littered with
documents. Mazarin multiplied occasions for displaying his allegiance
to the royal arbiter. Mademoiselle met the change in her situation
joyfully, but calmly. It was the long-expected first smile of fortune;
it was the natural consequence of her birth; things were entering
their natural order; but she was observant and her mémoirs show us
that she valued her incense at its real worth. While the political
world bent the knee before Monsieur Mazarin fortified his own position.
He sat with the ladies in the Queen's salon, he betrayed a fatherly
solicitude in Mademoiselle's future and, as he acted his part, his
enthusiasm increased. One day when he was alone with Mademoiselle he
assured her that he had prayed long and earnestly for her establishment
upon one of the thrones of the world. Sitting at her tapestry,
Mademoiselle listened and averted her head to hide her anger. Mazarin,
supposing that he had aroused her gratitude, exposed all his anxiety.
Mademoiselle did not answer. At last, astonished by her silence, he
cut short his declamation. Mademoiselle counted her stitches and
snipped her threads; Mazarin watched her impassive face. After a long
silence she arose, pushed aside her embroidery frame, and turning to
enter her own apartment, she said calmly: "There is nothing upon earth
so base that you have not thought of it this morning." Mazarin was
alone; he sat with eyes fixed upon the floor, smiling indulgently,
wrapt in thought; he was not angry,--he was never visibly excited to
anger; but he did not return to the subject. Mademoiselle had resented
his overtures because she had made known her projects freely and he
had promised her a king, not an emperor. She reported the Cardinal's
conduct to Lenet: "The Cardinal has promised me, a hundred times, that
he would arrange to have me marry the King[150]--but the Cardinal is
a knave!" The Queen said with truth that Mademoiselle was becoming
a rabid Frondeuse. Mademoiselle had her own corps of couriers, who
carried her the latest news from Paris; her court was larger than the
Regent's. When Bordeaux was taken the people saw nothing and talked of
nothing but Monsieur's daughter. Mademoiselle exultantly recorded her

"No one went to the Queen's, and when she passed in the streets no one
cared at all for her. I do not know that it was very agreeable to her
to hear that my court was large and that no one was willing to leave my
house, when so few cared to go to her house."

While the Regent languished in solitude waiting for visitors who
did not arrive her Minister received the rebuffs of the people of
Bordeaux. The Queen was sick from chagrin, and as soon as arrangements
could be made she returned to Paris. On the way to Paris the Court
stopped at Fontainebleau. Gaston descended brusquely from his coach
and as his foot touched the ground gave way to a violent outburst
of nervous anger. Mazarin was the object of his fury; in some occult
way the Cardinal had wounded his feelings. He fled to his room and
locked his door, refusing to see either Mazarin or the Queen. As he
stood his ground, and as no one could approach him, the Queen implored
Mademoiselle to pacify him; and Mademoiselle, carrying her olive
branch with a very bad grace, set out to play the part of dove in the
ark. After many goings and comings, Monsieur consented to receive the
Queen; but the Queen acidulated rather than sweetened the royal broth,
and Monsieur broke away from her in a passion of fury. From that time
all that Anne of Austria attempted to do failed; her evil hour was
approaching. Mazarin had thought of two alternatives: he believed that
he might buy Retz by making him a cardinal; or that he might win the
good-will of Mademoiselle by marrying her to the King. But could he do
either one thing or the other? Could he mortify his own soul by doing
anything to give Retz pleasure? Retz was hateful to him.

Despite his powerful diplomatic capacity, Mazarin was not a politician,
and some of his instincts bore a curious family resemblance to the
characteristic instincts of the average woman; so although he believed
that it would be possible to buy Retz with a red hat the thought of
giving him the hat distressed him. So much for one of his alternatives!

As to marrying Mademoiselle to the King of France,--that would be
difficult, if not impossible; the thought of such a marriage was
repugnant to the King. Louis XIV. was wilful and the Queen was an
indulgent mother. She pampered her children; she excused the King's
failings. Mazarin was patient, but he had often considered Anne of
Austria adverse to reason when the King was in question. The Cardinal
was master of the Queen, but he was not, he never had been, he never
could be, master of the Queen-mother.

In his extremity he resorted to his usual means,--intrigue; but he
found that his power had waned. There were people who might have helped
him, and who would have helped him in former times, but they had ceased
to fear him; they demanded pay and refused to work without it. Mazarin
was too normally natural a man to act against nature; he clung to his
economies and as his supposititious agents refused to take their pay in
"blessed water," his plans failed. His attempts were reported to his
intended victims and before the sun set Mademoiselle of the Court and
of the people, and the Abbé Retz of the Archbishopric and of the slums
had arisen in their might against "the foreigner." Both of the leaders
of the masses were implacable; each was powerful in his own way; both
believed that they had been duped by the Archbishop's coadjutor; Retz
had expected a hat; Mademoiselle had expected a husband; both, vowing
vengeance to the death, turned their backs upon Mazarin. Mademoiselle
had acquired the habit of suspicion; politics had given her new
ideas; Retz had always been suspicious and he had prepared for every
emergency. Mazarin, sitting in his perfumed bower, felt that the end
was near. What was he? What had they always called him? "The stranger."
... The whole world was against him ... the nobles, the Parliaments
... the old Fronde, the Fronde of the Princes! ... Retz with his
adjutants of the mobility! To crown his imprudence and to prove that
he was more powerful as a lover than as a politician, Mazarin took the
field at Rethel (15th December, 1650) and won the day; Turenne and
his foreigners were beaten, and fear seized the people of France. An
intriguer of that species could do anything! France was not safe in his
presence; he must be driven out! During the Fronde it was common for
women to dictate the terms of treaties. Anne de Gonzague, the Palatine
Princess, whose only mandate lay in her eyes, her wit, and her bold
spirit, drew up the treaty which followed Rethel, and the principal
articles were liberty for the princes and exile for Mazarin.

Mademoiselle approved both articles before the treaty was signed. The
times were full of possibilities for her; her visions of a marriage
with Louis XIV. had been blurred by a sudden apparition. Condé had
arisen in her dreams with a promise of something better. Might it not
be wiser policy to unite the junior branches of the House of France?
Might it not be more practical, more fruitful in results, to marry M.
le Prince de Condé than to wage war against him? That he was a married
man was of small importance. His wife, the heroine of Bordeaux, was
in delicate health and as liable to die as any mortal; in the event
of her death the dissent of the Opposition would be the only serious
obstacle. Mademoiselle confided all her perplexities to her memoirs;
she foresaw that the dissent of the Opposition would be ominous for
the royal authority, and therefore ominous for the public peace. She
reflected; Condé was a strong man; and who was stronger than the
Granddaughter of France? She decided that they two, she and Condé,
made one by marriage, might defy the obstacle. Mazarin knew all her
thoughts, and he felt that the earth was crumbling under his feet; to
quote Mademoiselle's own words: "He was quasi-on-his-knees" before her,
offering her the King of France; but he made one condition: she must
prevent her father's adhesion to the cause of M. le Prince.[151] Anne
of Austria, with eyes swimming in tears, presented herself humbly,
imploring Mademoiselle, in the name of their ancient friendship, to
soften Monsieur's heart to "Monsieur le Cardinal." The Queen begged
Mademoiselle to make her father understand that she, the Queen, "could
not refuse Monsieur anything should he render her such service."
Mademoiselle was ready to burst with pride when she repeated the
Queen's promise. A future as bright as the stars lay before her; for
the first time and for the last time she had a reason for her dreams.

Monsieur was the recognised chief of the coalition against Mazarin, but
he was afraid to act; he did not like to leave compromising traces;
he resisted when it was necessary to sign his name. Knowing that the
treaty uniting the two Frondes must be signed and that he must sign it,
his political friends went in a body to the Luxembourg treaty in hand.
Gaston saw them coming and tried to escape, but they caught him in the
opening of a double door, and closing the two sides of the door upon
his body, squeezing him as in a vise, they thrust a pen between his
fingers; then holding a hat before him for the treaty to rest on, they
compelled him to sign his name. An eye-witness said that "he signed it
as he would have signed a compact with the devil had he feared to be
interrupted by his good angel." A few weeks later Parliament demanded
the release of the princes and the exile of Mazarin. Then Mademoiselle
was given a vision which filled her cup of joy to overflowing.

    I had intended [she wrote in her memoirs] to go to bed very early,
    because I had arisen very early that morning; but I did not do
    it, because just as I was undressing they came to tell me of a
    rumour in the city. My curiosity led me out upon the terrace of
    the Tuileries. The terrace looked out upon several sides. It was
    a very beautiful moonlight night and I could see to the end of
    the street.[152] On the side toward the water was a barrier; some
    cavaliers were guarding the barrier to favour the departure of M.
    le Cardinal, who was leaving by way of La Conférence; the boatmen
    were crying out against his getting away; there were many valets
    and my violin players, who are soldiers, although that is not their
    profession. They were all trying to drive away the cavaliers, who
    were helping Mazarin to escape. Some pretty hot shots were fired.

       *       *       *       *       *

At that same hour the Palais Royal was the scene of a drama. Mazarin
was taking leave, and the Queen thought that she was looking upon him
for the last time. The lovers who shared so many memories, and who must
have had so many things to say before they parted, dared not, even for
a moment, evade the hundreds of eyes fixed upon them. Mazarin could not
conceal his grief; the Queen, though calm, was very grave. To the last
moment the unhappy pair were forced to speak in such a way that the
courtiers could not judge of their sorrow by their looks. At last it
was over; the door closed upon Mazarin, and the wretched Queen was left
among her courtiers. Mazarin hurried to his rooms, disguised himself
as a cavalier, and went on foot out of the Palais Royal. Finding that
the cavaliers and river-men were fighting on the quay, he turned into
the rue de Richelieu and went away unmolested. It is known that before
going to Germany he went to the prison of Havre and set the princes
free. Eleven days after Mazarin took leave of the Queen Paris learned
that Condé was _en route_ and that he was to sup at the Luxembourg the
following day. Mademoiselle knew that her new projects depended upon
her first meeting with M. le Prince. She had sent the olive branch to
his prison, but she did not know how he had received it. She awaited
his coming at the Luxembourg. She said of that first interview:

    Messieurs the Princes came into Madame's salon, where I was,
    and after they saluted they came to me and paid me a thousand
    compliments. M. le Prince bore witness in particular that he had
    been very much pleased when Guiteau assured him of my repentance
    for the great repugnance that I had felt for him. The compliments
    ended, we avowed the aversion that we had felt for one another.
    He confessed that he had been delighted when I fell sick of
    the smallpox, that he had passionately wished that I might be
    disfigured by it, and that I might be left with some deformity,--in
    short, he said that nothing could have added to the hatred that
    he felt for me. I avowed to him that I had never felt such joy as
    I felt when he was put in prison, that I had strongly wished that
    he might be kept there, and that I had thought of him only to wish
    him evil. This reciprocal enlightenment lasted a long time, and it
    cheered and amused the company and ended in mutual assurances of

During the interview the tumult of a great public fête was heard. At
sight of Condé Paris had been seized by one of her sudden infatuations.

At the gates of the Palais Royal the masses mounted guard night and day
to prevent the abduction of the King. It was generally supposed that
the Queen would try to follow the Cardinal.

The Frondeurs were masters of Paris; their hour had come, and they held
it in their power to prove that they had led France into adventures
because they had formed a plan which they considered better than the
old plan. But if there were any among them who were thinking of
reform, their good intentions were not perceptible. The people of the
past resembled the people of our day; they thought little of the public
suffering. Interest in the actions of the great, or in the actions
of the people whose positions gave them relative greatness, excluded
interest in the general welfare. The rivalries and the personal efforts
of the higher classes were the public events of France. Parliament
was working along its own lines, hoping to gain control of the State,
to hold a monopoly of reforms, and to break away from the nobility.
The nobility, jealous of the "long robes," had directly addressed the
nation's depths: the bourgeoisie and the mobility.

Retz had supreme hope: to be a Cardinal. Condé hoped to be Prime
Minister. Gaston had staked a throw on all the games. Mme. de
Longueville dreamed of new adventures; and the Queen, still guided by
her far-off lover, laboured in her own blind way upon a plan to benefit
her little brood. She looked upon France, upon the people, and upon
the Court as enemies; she had concentrated her mind upon one object;
she meant to deceive them all and turn events to her own advantage.
By the grace of the general competition of egotism, falsehood, broken
promises, and treason, the autumn of 1651 found the Spaniards in the
East, civil war in the West, the Court in hot pursuit of the rebels,
want and disease stalking the land, and La Grande Mademoiselle still
in suspense. In the spring during a period of thirty-six hours she
had supposed that she was about to marry Condé. Condé's wife had been
grievously sick from erysipelas in the head; to quote Mademoiselle's
words: "The disease was driven inward, which gave people reason for
saying that were she to die I might marry M. le Prince."

At that critical moment Mademoiselle freely unfolded her hopes and
fears; she said:

    Madame la Princesse lingered in that extremity three days,
    and during all that time the marriage was the subject of my
    conversation with Préfontaine. We did not speak of anything else.
    We agitated all those questions. What gave me reason to speak of
    them was that, to add to all that I heard said, M. le Prince came
    to see me every day. But the convalescence of Madame la Princesse
    closed the chapter for the time being and no one thought of it any

In the course of the summer the Princess Palatine, who supposed that
she could do anything because she had effected, or to say the least
concluded the union of the Frondes, offered to marry Mademoiselle
to the King "before the end of September." Mme. de Choisy, another
prominent politician, exposed the conditions of the bargain to
Mademoiselle, who recorded them in the following lucid terms:

    Mme. de Choisy said to me: "The Princess Palatine is such a
    blatant beggar that you will have to promise her three hundred
    écus in case she makes your affair a success." I said "yes" to
    everything. "And," pursued Mme. de Choisy, "I wish my husband to
    be your Chancellor. We shall pass the time so agreeably, because
    la Palatine will be your steward; you will give her a salary of
    twenty thousand écus; she will sell all the offices in the gift of
    your house,--so you may imagine that it will be to her interest to
    make your affair succeed. We will have a play given at the Louvre
    every day. She will rule the King." Those were the words she used!
    One may guess how charmed I was at the idea of being in such a
    state of dependence! Evidently she thought that she was giving me
    the greatest pleasure in the world.

Although Mademoiselle did not go as far as to say "no," she ceased to
say "yes" to everything. Her reason for doing so was baseless. She
had acquired the conviction that the young King, Louis XIV., loved
the tall cousin who seemed so old to his thirteen-year mind.[153] La
Grande Mademoiselle appalled him; her abrupt ways and her explosions
of anger drove back his timid head into its tender shell; but she had
persuaded herself that he wished to marry her. And she was so sure of
her facts that she dropped the oars provided by Mme. de Choisy, and
sat up proudly in her rudderless bark, without sail or compass. She
believed that the King loved her, she was thankful to be at rest, and
she left to her supposed lover the care of the royal betrothal; she
sighed ingenuously: "That way of becoming Queen would have pleased me
more than the other." That is easily understood; however, nothing came
of it. Anne of Austria had sworn to her niece that she would give her
the King; but when Mademoiselle's back was turned she, the Queen, said
stiffly: "He would not be for her nose even were he well grown!"[154]

Mazarin had done well in supposing that there would be some advantage
in intermarrying the junior branches as a means of ending the family

    I have learned from different sources [he wrote to the Queen] that
    Mademoiselle's marriage to the King would arrange everything. Le
    Tellier[155] came expressly to see me; he came from Retz and the
    Princess Palatine and for that very purpose. And the others also
    have written to me about it; but if the King and the Queen have the
    same feeling in regard to that matter that they did have, I do not
    think that it would be easy to arrange it (7th January, 1652).

Mazarin dared not insist; he felt that he was no longer in a posture
where he could indulge in displeasing exactions. While Parliament was
rendering decisions against Mazarin, the people close to the Queen were
working to obliterate his image from her heart, and their efforts were
successful.[156] They occupied the Queen's mind with other friends,
the thought of whom filled Mazarin with the torments of jealousy. He
was in retreat in Brühl. May 11th he wrote to the Queen: "I wish that
I could express the hatred that I feel for the mischief-makers who are
unceasingly working to make you forget me so that we shall never meet

The 6th July Mazarin had heard that Lyonne had boasted that he pleased
the Queen, and he wrote:

    If they could make me believe such a thing either I should die of
    grief or I should go away to the end of the world. If you could see
    me you would pity me ... there are so many things to torment me
    so that I can hardly bear it. For instance, I know that you have
    several times asked Lyonne _why he does not take the Cardinal's
    apartments_,[157] showing your tenderness for him because he gets
    wet passing through the court. I have endured the horrors of two
    sleepless nights because of that!

Mazarin spoke passionately of his love; he told the Queen that he was
"dying" for her; that his only joy was to read and re-read her letters,
and that he "wept tears of blood" when they seemed cold; although, as
he said, he knew that no one on earth could break the tie that bound
them. We have none of the Queen's answers, but we know that they called
forth Mazarin's despairing declaration that he should return to Rome.
Three weeks later the Queen caused the King to sign a declaration which
the betrayed lover answered by a pathetic letter.

    26th September. I have taken my pen ten times to write to you
    ... I could not ... I could not ... I am so wretched ... I am so
    beside myself at the mortal blow that you have given me, that
    I do not know that there will be any sense in what I say. By
    an authenticated act the King and the Queen have declared me a
    traitor, a public thief, a being inadequate to his office, an
    enemy to the repose of Christianity.... Even now that declaration
    is sounding all over Europe, and the most faithful, the most
    devoted Minister, is held up before the world as a scoundrel ...
    an infamous villain. I no longer hope for happiness or for rest.
    I ask for nothing but my honour. Give that back to me and let them
    take the rest.... Let them strip me, even to my shirt ... I will
    renounce all--cardinalates--benefices,--everything! if I can stand
    with sustained honour ... as I was before I dreamed of your love.

Time passed, and Mazarin regained his senses, "made arrows of all sorts
of wood," raised an army, and entered France. As he drew near Poitiers,
where the Court was staying, the Queen's heart softened, and when he
arrived she had been at her window an hour watching for him.


In 1651 Mademoiselle was busy. She attended all the sessions of
Parliament and all the seditious soirées of the Luxembourg. She urged
the Frondeurs to violence, and as she was a magnetic speaker, her
influence was great. Her leisure was given to the pleasures which Paris
offers even in time of revolution. She accompanied the King in his
walks and drives; she rode with him to the hunt; whenever he was in
Paris they were together. Mademoiselle had again refused the hand of
Charles II. of England. Charles was still waiting for his kingdom, but
his interest in his future had been awakened; his mind had developed,
and he had determined to enter into possession of his States.

Mademoiselle was courted and ardently admired. The people worshipped
her, the popular voice echoed the spirit of the "Mazarinades" sung by
the street singers. Paris was determined to place her upon the Throne
of France. Well employed though her time had been, she had done nothing
to distinguish herself, nothing to give her a place among heroines
like the Princesse de Condé and the enticing Mme. de Longueville. But
the year 1652 was on its way, and it was to bring her her long-awaited

After an unsuccessful attempt to make peace, Condé had again taken
the field and called his allies, the Spaniards, to his assistance. He
had carried on his parleys as he had carried on his chastisement of
the suburbs, and his exactions had confirmed hostilities. Maddened by
his failure, he had set out with eyes flaming to break the spirit of
the people and to turn the absolute power instituted by Richelieu to
his own account. Monsieur sustained him against the King. Retz and a
party of Frondeurs were trying to make an alliance with the Queen; they
were ready to consent to everything, even to the return of Mazarin.
Parliament was working for France upon its own responsibility; it
opposed Condé as it opposed Mazarin. Mazarin had bought Turenne and led
the army into the West to fight the rebels. Monsieur's appanage, the
city of Orléans, was menaced by both parties, and it had called its
Prince to its assistance. The people of Orléans had sent word to Paris
that either Monsieur or Mademoiselle must go to Orléans at once: "If
Monsieur could not go Mademoiselle must take his place." Mademoiselle
heard the news and went to the Luxembourg to see her father. She
reported her visit thus:

"I found Monsieur very restless. He complained to me that M. le
Prince's friends were persecuting him by trying to send him to Orléans;
he assured me that to abandon Paris would be to lose our cause. He
declared that he would not go."

[Illustration: VICOMTE DE TURENNE]

The evening of the day of the visit thus reported when Mademoiselle was
at supper in her own palace, an officer approached her and said in a
low voice: "Mademoiselle, we are too happy! it is you who are coming
with us to Orléans."

Mademoiselle's joy knew no bounds. She passed the greater part of
the night preparing for the journey. In the morning she implored
the blessing of God upon her enterprise; and that done, went to the
Luxembourg to take leave of her father. She appeared before Monsieur
dressed for the campaign and followed by her staff. Under the helmets
of her field marshals appeared the bright eyes of women. Inquisitive
people, all eager to see Mademoiselle depart for war, had assembled
in and around the Luxembourg. Some of Monsieur's friends applauded;
others shrugged their shoulders. Monsieur was of too alert a mind to be
blind to the ridiculous side of his daughter's chivalry, and though his
affections were sluggish, he realised that he had set loose a dangerous
spirit. He knew that Mademoiselle was an ardent enemy, that she was
impetuous; that she cared nothing for public opinion; when once started
what could arrest her progress? His paternalism overcame his prudence,
and in a loud, commanding voice he ordered the astonished generals to
obey Mademoiselle _as if she were himself_; then, dragging the most
serious officers of his staff into a far corner of the room where
Mademoiselle could not hear him, he commanded them to hold his daughter
in leash and prevent her from doing anything important "without
explicit orders from her father."

Mademoiselle was in high spirits; her fair hair was coiled under her
helmet, her cheeks glowed, and her eyes blazed; the records of the
day tell us that she was "every inch a handsome queen and soldier,"
that she was "dressed in grey," and that her habit was "all covered
with military lace of pure gold." She took leave of her father amidst
the hurrahs of the people, and all through the city her subjects
wished her joy, called upon God to bless her arms, or blasphemously
proclaimed that such a goddess had no need of the god of the priests.
The day following her departure she was met by the escort sent forward
in advance of her departure by the generals of the Fronde. She was
received by them as chief of the army, and long after that time had
passed with all its triumphs, she proudly noted the fact in her memoirs:

"They were in the field and they all saluted me as their leader!"

To prove her authority she arrested the couriers and seized and read
their despatches. At Toury, where the greater part of the army of
the Fronde was encamped, she presided over the council of war. The
council was all that she could have wished it to be, and her advice
was considered admirable. After the council Mademoiselle gave orders
for the march. In vain the generals repeated her father's last
instructions; in vain they begged her to "await the consent of his
Royal Highness." She laughed in their faces; she cried "_En avant!_"
with the strength of her young lungs. All the trumpets of her army
answered her; the batons of the tambour majors danced before high
Heaven; and, fired by such enthusiasm as French soldiers never knew
again until the Little Corporal called them to glory, the army of
the Fronde took the road, lords, ladies, gallant gentlemen, and raw

Night saw them gaily marching; the next morning they thundered at the
gates of Orléans (27th March, 1652).

Mademoiselle announced her presence, but the gates did not open. From
the parapet of the ramparts the garrison rendered her military honours;
she threatened, and the Governor of the city sent her bonbons. The
people locked in the city hailed her with plaudits, but not a hinge
turned. The authorities feared that to let in Mademoiselle would be to
open the city to the entire army. Tired of awaiting the pleasure of the
provost of the merchants, Mademoiselle, followed by Mesdames de Fiésque
and de Frontenac, her field marshals, went round the city close to
the walls, searching for some unguarded or weak spot where she might
enter. All Orleans climbed upon the walls to watch the progress of the
gallant and handsome cavalier-maiden and her aids. It was an adventure!
Mademoiselle was happy; she looked up at the people upon the walls and
cried merrily, "I may have to break down the gates, or scale the walls,
but I will enter!"

Thus, skirting the city close to the walls, the three ladies reached
the banks of the river Loire, and the river-men ran up from their boats
to meet them, and offered to break in a city gate which opened upon the
quay. Mademoiselle thanked them, gave them sums of money, told them to
begin their work, and the better to see them climbed upon a wine-butt.
She recorded that feat, as she recorded all her feats, for the benefit
of posterity: "I climbed the wine-butt like a cat; I caught my hands
on all the thorns, and I leaped all the hedges." Her gentlemen, who
had followed her closely, surrounded her and implored her to return
to her staff. Their importunities exasperated her, and she ordered
them back to their places before the principal gates. She animated the
river-men to do their best, and they worked with a will. The people
within the walls had become impatient, and while the river-men battered
at the outside of the gates they battered at the inside. Gangs of
men, reinforced by women, formed living wedges to help on the good
work. Suddenly a plank gave way and an opening was made. Mademoiselle
descended from her lookout, and the river-men gently carried her
forward and helped her to enter the city. To quote her own words:

    As there was a great deal of very bad dirt on the ground, a
    _valet-de-pied_ lifted me from the ground and urged me through
    the opening; and as soon as my head appeared the people began to
    beat the drums.... I heard cries ... "_Vive le Roi!_" "_Vive les
    Princes!_" ... "_Point de Mazarin!_" Two men seated me on a wooden
    chair, and so glad was I ... so beside myself with joy, that I did
    not know whether I was in the chair or on the arm of it! Every one
    kissed my hands, and I nearly swooned with laughter to find myself
    in such a pleasant state!

The people were transported with delight; they carried her in
procession; a company of soldiers, with drums beating, marched before
the procession to clear the way. Mmes. de Fiésque and de Frontenac
trudged after their leader through the "quantity of very bad dirt,"
surrounded by the people, who did not cease to caress them because, as
is explicitly stated, "they looked upon the two fairly beautiful ladies
as curiosities." The local contemporary chronicles lead us to suppose
that the people were not the only ones who indulged in kisses on that
occasion; the beautiful Comtesse de Fiésque is said to have kissed the
river-men; she was in gallant spirits; la Frontenac finished the last
half of her promenade with "one shoe off and one shoe on," though the
legendary dumpling supposed to attend a parade in "stocking feet" was

After events had resumed their regular course, the people wrote and
sung a song which was known all over France:

    Deux jeunes et belles comtesses,
      Ses deux maréchales de camp,
    Suiverent sa royale altesse
      Dont on faisait un grand cancan.

    Fiésque, cette bonne comtesse!
      Allait baisant les bateliers;
    Et Frontenac (quelle detresse!)
      Y perdit un de ses souliers.

On the way to the Hôtel de Ville the procession met the city
authorities, who stood speechless before them. Mademoiselle feigned
to believe that they had started to open the gates. She greeted them
blandly, listened to their addresses, returned their greetings, and
closed a very successful day by sending a triumphant message to her
father. One by one her staff had entered by the broken gate, and the
generals saluted her with heads low; they were abashed; they had taken
no part in the capture of Orleans.

The Orleanists were firm in their refusal to let the army enter the
city, and the young general, accepting the situation, ordered her
troops to encamp where they were, outside of the chief gates of the
city. The following day at seven o'clock in the morning, Mademoiselle,
enthroned upon the summit of one of the city's towers, looked down
scornfully upon "a quantity of people of the Court" who had hurried
after her hoping to share her victory. The people of Orleans were quick
to catch the spirit of their Princess; they climbed upon the city walls
and jeered at the wornout laggards, and Mademoiselle's cup of joy was
full. She looked with delight upon the discomfiture of the belated
courtiers and upon the envious tears of the travel-stained ladies.

That day she made her first appearance as an orator. Her memoirs tell
us that at first she was "as timid as a girl"; then, regaining her
self-possession, she expounded the theories of the Fronde and told
the people why the nobles had arisen to deliver the country from the
foreigner. When she had said all that she had to say she returned to
her quarters. In her absence the Duc de Beaufort had sallied out,
attacked a city, and been repulsed. Mademoiselle was indignant; she
had not given de Beaufort orders to leave the camp. She called a
court-martial to try him for insubordination and breach of discipline.
Court was convened very early in the morning, in a wine-shop outside
of the city. Despite the long skirts of the field marshals, it was a
stormy meeting. Messieurs de Beaufort and de Nemours came to words,
and from words to blows. They tore off each other's wigs; they drew
their swords. Mademoiselle's hands were full. She passed that day and
the night which followed it in strenuous efforts to calm the tumult.
All the people within hearing of the mêlée had hastened to the field
of action, and being on the spot and in fighting trim, every man had
seized his occasion and settled his difficulty with his neighbour, and
all, civil and military, had fought equally well.

The 30th, letters of congratulation arrived from Paris. Monsieur wrote:
"My daughter, you have saved my appanage, you have assured the peace of
Paris; this is the cause of public rejoicing. You are in the mouths of
the people. All say that your act did justice to the Granddaughter of
Henry the Great." This, from her father, was praise. Condé supplemented
it: "It was your work and due to you alone, and it was a move of the
utmost importance."

Mademoiselle's officers assured her that she had "the eye of a
general," and she accepted as truth all that they told her and
considered it all her due. About that time she wrote to some one at
Court a letter which she intended for the eyes of the Queen, and in the
letter she said in plain words that she intended to espouse the King of
France, and that any one--no matter who it might be--would be unwise to
attempt to thwart her wishes, because she, Mademoiselle, held it in her
power to put affairs in such a state that people would be compelled to
beg favours of her on their knees.[158] Anne of Austria read the letter
and scoffed at it.

Despite her brilliant débuts, Mademoiselle was tired of life. The
authorities of Orleans considered her a girl, and no one in the city
government honoured her orders. Her account of those days is a record
of paroxysms: "I was angry!... I flew into a passion.... I was in a
rage.... I berated them furiously.... I was so angry that I wept!"

Yes, Mademoiselle, whose will had been law to the people of Paris,
could not make the people of Orleans obey her. In answer to her
commands the town authorities sent her sweetmeats, bonbons, and fair
words. When Mademoiselle commanded them, they answered: "Just what
Mademoiselle pleases we shall do!" and having given their answer,
they acted to please themselves. The general commanding the army of
the Fronde was ill-at-ease, sick for Paris, tired of Orleans. She
begged to be permitted to leave Orleans, but her father commanded her
to remain. He enjoyed her absence. She had tried in vain to persuade
him to relieve her of her command; human nature could endure no more;
forgetting her first duty as a soldier, she disobeyed orders and joined
the army of the Fronde at Étampes (May 2d). The weather was perfect;
she had escaped from Orleans, she was on her horse, surrounded by her
ladies. All the generals and "a quantity of officers" had gone on
before, and she could see them, as in a vision, in the golden dust
raised by the feet of their horses; the cannon of the fortified towns
thundered, the drums of her own army rolled; she was in her element;
she was a soldier! Condé once told her, when speaking of a march which
she had ordered, that Gustavus Adolphus could not have done better.

The morning after her arrival at Étampes she went to Mass on foot,
preceded by a military band.[159] After Mass she presided at a council
of war, mounted. After the council she rode down the line and her
troops implored her to lead them to battle.

The review over, she turned her horse toward Paris, not knowing that
Turenne had planned to circumvent the army of the Fronde. Turenne
knew that the presence of the Amazons distracted the young generals,
and he considered the moment favourable to his advance. Near Bourg
la Reine Condé appeared, followed by his staff. Immediately after
his return from the South he had set out for Étampes to salute the
General-in-Chief of the army of the Fronde.

The people had missed their Princess. In her absence they had rehearsed
the sorrows of her life, and she had become doubly dear to them; they
had magnified her trials and idealised her virtues; they had gloried
in her exploits. Relaying one another along the road beyond the city's
gates, they had waited for her coming. At last, after many days, the
outposts of the canaille descried the upright grey figure followed by
the glittering general staff and guarded by the staff of Condé.

The beloved of the people, insulted by the Queen, despoiled by the
Queen's lover of the right of woman to a husband, imprisoned and
forsaken by her father in her hour of need, had risen above humanity!
She had been a heroine, she had forgiven all her enemies, had captured
Orleans, had assured the safety of her own city,--and now she had come
home! They laid their cheeks to the flanks of her horse; they clasped
the folds of her habit; and a cry arose from their wasted throats
that scared the wild doves in the blighted woods along the highway.
Mademoiselle had come home! "_Vive Anne-Marie-Louise, la petite-fille
de la France!_"

       *       *       *       *       *

Anne-Marie-Louise d'Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier, who had taken a
stronghold unaided save by a few boatmen, heard thanksgiving on all
hands, and to crown her joy--for she loved to dance--the city gave a
great fête in her honour. But there was one bitter drop in her cup: her
father had been made sick by her arrival. He dared not punish her in
the face of the people's joy; but he retired to his bed and abandoned
himself to the pangs of colic and, when Mademoiselle, flushed with
pride, arrived at the Luxembourg, he refused to see her; he sent word
to her to "Begone!" he was "too sick to talk of affairs of State."

       *       *       *       *       *

Monsieur had cares of various species. Condé and his associates had
forced him to take a prominent position in politics, and his terror
of possible consequences made his life a torment. Condé was deep in
treasonable plots. He had returned from his Southern expedition
flaming with anger; he had goaded the people to the verge of fury, and
reduced Parliament to such a state that it had adjourned its assemblies
without mention of further sessions. He had made all possible
concessions to the foreigners; he had so terrified Monsieur that the
unhappy Prince saw an invasion in every corner. But Gaston had still
another master; he had fallen a victim to the machinations of the wily
Retz. For reasons of his own, the Archbishop's coadjutor had found it
expedient to familiarise Monsieur with the canaille, and he had so
impressed the people with the idea that "d'Orléans" sympathised with
them that they fawned upon Gaston and dogged his footsteps. An incoming
and outgoing tide of ignoble people thronged the Luxembourg. Monsieur's
visitors were the lowest of the mobility, and they forced their way
even into his bed-chamber. They sat by him while his _coiffeur_ dressed
his hair, they assisted at his colics, and officiously dropped sugar
in his _café-au-lait_. Among his visitors were ex-convicts, half-grown
daughters of the pavement, and street urchins, and they all offered him
advice, sympathised with him, urged him to take courage, and assured
him of their protection, until Gaston, helpless in his humiliation,
writhed in his bed. When he had been alone and free from the sharp
scrutiny of his natural critic, his daughter, his lot had been hard,
but with Mademoiselle at hand it was torment. Mademoiselle was a
general of the army; she had taken her father's place; she felt that
her exploits had given her the right to speak freely, and one day when
she visited Madame (she told the story herself), she "rated her like
a dog." Madame was in her own apartment; she studied her complaints,
sipped her "tisanes," swathed her head in aromatised linen, and neither
saw nor heard the droning of the throngs who buzzed like flies about
her husband.



It is worthy of note that the princes did not forecast the future.
Reason ought to have shown them that the revolution would sweep them
away as it swept all else should not Royalty intervene in their behalf.
The Canaille was mistress of the streets, and her means was always
violent. Her leaders were strong men. In 1651 she had her Marats and
her Héberts, who used their pens to incite France to massacre; and her
Maillards, who urged her on to pillage the homes of the nobility and
to fell, as an ox is felled in the shambles, all, however innocent,
whom it served their purpose to call suspicious. Such men did bloody
work, and they did not ask what the nobles thought of it. Insolent, on
fire with hate, lords of a day! they sprang from the slimy ooze with
the first menace of Revolution to vanish with the Revolution when the
last head rolled in the sawdust; cruel, but useful instruments, used by
immutable Justice to avenge the wrongs of a tormented people!

       *       *       *       *       *

When Mademoiselle returned from Orleans Paris wore the aspect of the
early days of the Terror. Even the peaceable and naturally thrifty sat
in idleness, muttering prayers for help or for vengeance, either to God
or to the devil. All were afraid. The people of the Bourgeoisie had
set their faces against the entrance of Condé's troops. The devastated
suburbs were still in evidence; it was supposed that Condé would bring
with him drunkenness, rapine, fire, and all the other horrors of a
military possession. So matters stood when the army of the King and the
army of the Fronde, after divers combats for divers issues, fought the
fight which gave Mademoiselle her glory.

She was then the Queen of Paris. Her palace was the political centre as
well as the social centre of France. Of those days she said:

"I was honoured to the last point. I was held in great consideration."
Yes, she was "honoured," but the honour was in name only; the
ceremonial was all that there was of it and--worst of all for her proud
heart--she knew that it was so. It was the affair of Orleans over
again. In Orleans, when she had issued orders, the city government had
sent her bonbons, paid her compliments, and followed their own counsel.
They had answered blandly, "As Mademoiselle pleases"; but, in point of
fact, Mademoiselle was of no practical importance. To her, flattery and
fine words; to others, confidence and influence. The statesmen thought
that she was neither discreet nor capable of wise counsel. She was too
frank and too upright to be useful as a politician. Monsieur hid his
secrets from her. Condé's manner told her everything, but he never gave
her the assurance which would have established her on firm ground; and,
looking practically upon that matter, what assurance could he have
given her? What, in honour, was he free to say?

The Prince de Condé, who was continually spoken of as Mademoiselle's
possible husband, paid hypothetical court to Mademoiselle, but when he
had serious subjects to discuss he carried them to the salon of the
beautiful Duchesse de Chatillon, who was then the rising star of the
political world of Paris. Mesdames de Longueville and de Chevreuse were
setting suns, and very close to the horizon. Ignoring Mademoiselle,
they had made an independent attempt to reconcile the princes and
restore them to the good graces of the Court; their attempt had
failed. The Duchesse de Montpensier was the only one at Court who had
maintained friendly relations with the princes.

       *       *       *       *       *

One night, in the Cours la Reine, Mademoiselle found herself close to a
marching army. Condé's troops, pressed by Turenne, were hurrying into
Paris close to the ramparts (which then stood where we now see the
Place de la Concorde and the great boulevards).

Mademoiselle was mounted; she was talking with an officer. She watched
the winding line of the troops thoughtfully, and when the Cours hid
it from view she went into Renard's garden, where she could watch it
out of sight. Her heart ached with forebodings; the army had marched in
disorder at the pace of utter rout and with flank exposed. She wrote in
her memoirs:

    All the troops passed the night beside the moat[160], and as there
    were no buildings between them and my lodgings, I could hear their
    trumpets distinctly. As I could distinguish the different calls,
    I could see the order in which they were moving. I remained at
    my window two hours after the bells rang midnight, hearing them
    pass,--and with grief enough I listened! because I was thinking of
    all that might happen. But in all my grief I had, I know not what
    strange presentiment,--I knew that I should help to draw them out
    of their trouble.

Mademoiselle had intended to take a medicine which she considered
necessary, but as she thought that it might interfere with her
usefulness, she countermanded the doctor's orders. On what a slender
thread hangs glory!

July 2d, at six o'clock in the morning, some one knocked at
Mademoiselle's door, and Mademoiselle sprang from her bed but half
awake. Condé had sent to ask for help. He was with his army held at bay
against the closed gates of Paris attacked by the army of de Turenne.
The messenger had been sent to Monsieur, but Monsieur, declaring that
he was in agony, had refused to see him. On that answer the messenger
sped to the palace of the Tuileries. Mademoiselle dressed and hurried
to the Luxembourg. As she entered the palace Monsieur came down the
stairs, and Mademoiselle attacked him angrily; she accused him of
disloyalty, and reproached him for his pretence of sickness. Gaston
assured her calmly: "I _am_ sick; I am not sick enough to be in bed,
but I am too sick to leave this house."

"Either mount your horse or go to bed!" cried Mademoiselle. She
stormed, she wept, all in a breath (as she always did when she could
not force her father to do his duty), but Monsieur was a coward and
nature was too strong to be controlled; she could not move him. Retz
had worked upon Gaston's cowardice as a means of furthering his own
plans; his plans included the death of Condé and the failure of the
Fronde; therefore tortures would not have drawn Gaston from his house
upon that occasion, even had he favoured intervention in behalf of

       *       *       *       *       *

Long before the messenger of Monsieur le Prince had knocked at the door
of the Tuileries, the army of the Fronde, at bay against the wall of
the city, had awaited the word required to open the gates of Paris.
Still another hour had passed and Mademoiselle's endeavour had been
vain. Years after she recorded the fact with sorrow: "I had begged
an hour, and I knew that in that time all my friends might have been
killed--Condé as well as the others! ... and no one cared; that seemed
to me hard to bear!"

       *       *       *       *       *

While Mademoiselle was imploring her father to help her Condé's friends
arrived; they beset Gaston and commanded him to send help at once to
the Faubourg Saint Antoine. Condé and his men were fighting for their
lives; the people of the Faubourg had mounted the heights to see the

Gaston was exasperated, and to rid himself of the importunities of his
party he ordered his daughter to go to the Hôtel de Ville and tell the
authorities that he commanded them to issue an order to open the gates.
As Mademoiselle ran through the streets the bourgeois, who had gathered
in groups to give each other countenance, begged her for passports;
they were ready to leave the city.

A half-starved, ragged mob filled the Place de Grève; the canaille
blocked the adjoining streets. The palace was like an abandoned
barrack. The sunlight fell upon the polished locks of the old muskets
of the League, and not a head dared approach the windows. Mademoiselle
ran through the mob and entered the Hôtel de Ville. Let her tell her
errand in her own way:

    They were all there; the provost of the merchants, the aldermen,
    the Maréchal de l'Hôpital, the Governor ... and I cried to them:
    "Monsieur le Prince is in peril of death in our faubourgs! What
    grief, what eternal shame it would be to us were he to perish for
    lack of our assistance! You have it in your power to help him! Do
    it then, and quickly!"



They went into the council-room. Mademoiselle fell upon her knees at
the open window, and, in silence, the people watched her; they were on
guard, waiting for her orders. In the church of Saint Gervais priests
were offering the Mass; she could hear them and she tried to pray.
Minutes had passed and nothing had been done. She arose from her knees
and, entering the council-room, urged the men to act; she implored,
she threatened; then, hurrying back to the window, she fell upon her
knees. Rising for the last time, pale and resolute, she entered the
council-room; she pointed to the Grève where the people stood with eyes
fixed upon the windows, then, stretching her arm high above her head,
she cried violently: "Sign that order! or--_I swear it by my Exalted
Name!_ I will call in my people and let them teach you what to do!"

       *       *       *       *       *

They fell upon the paper like wolves upon a lamb, and an instant later
Mademoiselle, grasping the order, hurried up the rue Saint Antoine to
open the city's gates.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not far from the Hôtel de Ville a cavalier in a blood-stained doublet,
blinded by blood from a wound in his forehead, passed her, led like a
child between two soldiers; both of the soldiers were weeping: it was
La Rochefoucauld.

Mademoiselle called his name, but he did not answer. At the entrance to
the rue Saint Antoine another wounded man appeared, bareheaded, with
blood-stained raiment; a man walking beside him held him on his horse.
Mademoiselle asked him: "Shalt thou die of thy wounds?" he tried to
move his head as he passed on. He was "little Guiteau," Mademoiselle's
friend who had carried the "olive branch" to Condé's prison. But they
were coming so fast that it was hard to count them--another--then
another! Mademoiselle said: "I found them in the rue Saint Antoine
at every step! and they were wounded everywhere ... head ... arms
... legs! ... they were on horse--on foot--on biers--on ladders--on
litters! Some of them were dead."

An aristocratic procession! The quality of France, sacrificed in the
supreme attempt against man's symbol of God's omnipotence: the Royalty
of the King!

By the favour of the leader of the tradesmen the gates of Paris had
opened to let pass the high nobility. Paris enjoyed the spectacle. The
ramparts swarmed with sightseers; and Louis XIV., guarded by Mazarin,
looked down upon them all from the heights of Charonne.

       *       *       *       *       *

The soldiers of the Fronde had had enough! Crying, "_Let the chiefs
march!_" they broke ranks. So it came to pass that all who fought that
day were nobles. The faubourg saw battalions formed of princes and
seigniors, and the infantry who manned the barricades bore the mighty
names of ancient France. Condé was their leader and, culpable though he
had been, that day he purged his crimes against the country by giving
France one of the visions of heroism which exalt the soul.

       *       *       *       *       *

Condé was everywhere! "A demon!" said the soldiers of the King;
"superhuman" his own men called him. Like the _preux chevaliers_ of
the legends, he plunged into the fray, went down and rose with cuirass
dented and red with blood, to plunge and to come forth again.

The friends dearest to his heart fell at his feet, and still he bore
his part. He fought with all-mastering courage; he inspired his men;
and the stolid bourgeois and the common people upon the ramparts, moved
to great pity, cried out with indignation that it was a shame to France
to leave such a man to perish. That combat was like a dream to the
survivors. Condé's orders were so sharp and clear that they rang like
the notes of a trumpet; his action was miraculous, and in after years,
when his officers talked of Roland or of Rodrigue, they asserted, to
the astonishment of their hearers, that they had known both those
redoubtable warriors and fought in their company on many a hard won,
or a hard lost, field. To their minds there was neither _Rodrigue nor
Roland_; they knew but one hero, and he was "Condé."

       *       *       *       *       *

That day in the Faubourg Saint Antoine, at the gates of Paris, bathed
with the blood and the sweat of the combat, when he had all but swooned
in his cuirass, he rushed from the field, stripped, and rolled in the
grass as a horse rolls; then slipped into his war harness and took
his place at the head of his army, as fresh as he had been before the

But neither his courage nor his strength could have saved him, and he,
and all his men, would have perished by the city ditch if Mademoiselle
had not forced Paris to open the gates.

Some one living in the rue Saint Antoine offered Mademoiselle shelter,
and she retired an instant from the field. Soon after she entered her
refuge Condé visited her and she thus recorded her impressions of the

    As soon as I entered the house M. le Prince came in to see me. He
    was in piteous case. His face was covered with dust two inches
    deep; his hair was tangled, and although he had not been wounded,
    his collar and shirt were full of blood. His cuirass was dented;
    he held his bare sword in his hand; he had lost the scabbard. He
    gave his sword to my equerry and said to me: "You see before you
    a despairing man! I have lost all my friends!" ... Then he fell
    weeping upon a chair and begged me to forgive him for showing his
    sorrow,--and to think that people say that Condé cannot love! I
    have always known that he can love, and that when he loves he is
    fond and gentle.

[Illustration: PRINCE DE CONDÉ]

Mademoiselle spoke to Condé of the battle. They agreed upon a plan
for ending it, and Condé returned to the field to lead the retreat.
Mademoiselle went to the window to watch the men take out the baggage
and make ready for the march. She could see the guns. The people of
the faubourgs carried drink to the men in the ranks and tried to help
the wounded; and she who had been taught to ignore the emotions and the
actions of inferiors wept when she saw the famished people of the lower
orders depriving themselves to comfort the men who had laid waste the
suburbs; Condé and his troops were well known to them all.

Disgust for the prevailing disorder had turned the thoughts of the
bourgeois toward Mazarin, whose earlier rule had given the nation
a taste of peace. Mademoiselle, who knew nothing of the bourgeois,
was aghast at their indifference to the sufferings of the wounded.
The men of peace looked with curiosity upon the battle; some laughed
aloud; others stood upon the ramparts and fired upon the retreating
Frondeurs. Mademoiselle left her window but once; then she ran through
the rue Saint Antoine to the Bastille, and, climbing to the summit
of the tower, looked through the glass. The battle was raging; she
saw the order given to cut off Condé, and, commanding the gunners to
train their guns on the King's army, she returned to her post, veiled
by smoke and choked by powder, to enjoy her glory; and it was glory
enough. Twice in the same day she had saved M. le Prince. As one man
the retreating army of the Fronde turned to salute her, and all cried:
"_You have delivered us!_" Condé was so grateful that his voice failed

       *       *       *       *       *

That evening at the Luxembourg, and the evening following, at the
Tuileries, after a night robbed of sleep by thoughts of the dead and
the wounded of her army, Mademoiselle heard praise which called her
back to the demands of life.

Her father did not address her, and his manner repelled her advances.
Toward evening, when he supposed that all danger had passed, he went
to congratulate Condé. His bearing was gay and pleasant and his face
was roguish and smiling. In the evening his expression changed, and
Mademoiselle noted the change and explained it to his credit; she said:
"I attributed that change to his repentance. He was thinking that he
had let me do what he ought to have done." We know that Gaston was not
given to repentance; all that he regretted was that he had permitted
his daughter to take an important place among the active agents of the
Fronde; he was envious and spiteful; but neither envy nor spite could
have been called his ruling failing; his prevailing emotion was fear.

The 4th July the bourgeois of Paris met in the Hôtel de Ville to
decide upon future action. The city was without a government. The
princes, Monsieur, and Condé attended the meeting; they supposed that
the Assembly would appoint them Directors of Public Affairs. The
supposition was natural enough. However, the Assembly ignored them and
discussed plans for a reconciliation with the Regency, and they, the
princes, retired from the meeting furiously angry. When they went out
the Grève was full of people; in the crowd were officers of the army,
soldiers, and priests.[161]

[Illustration: DUC D'ORLÉANS]

Several historians have said that the princes, or their following,
incited the people to punish the bourgeois for the slight offered by
them to their natural directors. No one knew how it began. As Monsieur
and Condé left the Grève and crossed the river, shots were fired
behind them. They went their way without looking back. Mademoiselle
was awaiting them at the Luxembourg. Her account of the night's work

    As it was very warm, Monsieur entered his room to change his shirt.
    The rest of the company were talking quietly when a bourgeois came
    in all out of breath; he could hardly speak, he had come so fast
    and in such fear. He said to us: "The Hôtel de Ville is burning
    and they are firing guns; they are killing each other." Condé went
    to call Monsieur, and Monsieur, forgetting the disorder in which
    he was, came into the room in his shirt, before all the ladies.
    Monsieur said to Condé: "Cousin, do you go over to the Hôtel de
    Ville." But Condé refused to go, and when he would not go to quiet
    the disturbance people had reason to say that he had planned the
    whole affair and paid the assassins.

That was what was unanimously declared. It was the most barbarous
action known since the beginning of the Monarchy.[162] Outraged in his
pride and in his will because the bourgeois had dared to offer him
resistance, the splendid hero of the Faubourg Saint Antoine, at the
fatal moment, fell to the level of Septembrist; and as Monsieur must
have known all about it, and as he did nothing to prevent it, he was
Condé's accomplice.

       *       *       *       *       *

As de Beaufort was on excellent terms with the mob, the princes
sent him to the Hôtel de Ville; he set out upon his mission and
Mademoiselle, who had followed close upon his heels, loitered and
listened to the comments of the people. When she returned and told her
father what she had heard Gaston was terrified; he ordered her to go
back to the Hôtel de Ville and reconnoitre.

It was long past midnight, and the streets were deserted. The Hôtel de
Ville was a ruin; the doors and windows were gone, and the flames were
still licking the charred beams; the interior had been pillaged. "I
picked my way," said Mademoiselle, "among the planks; they were still
flaming. I had never seen such a desolate place; we looked everywhere,
but we could see no one." They were about to leave the ruins when the
provost of the merchants emerged from his hiding-place (probably in the
cellar) with the men who had been with him.

Mademoiselle found them a safe lodging and went back to her palace.
Day had dawned; people were gathering in the Place de Grève; some were
trying to identify the dead. Among the dead were priests, members of
Parliament, and between thirty and forty bourgeois. Many had been

The people blessed Mademoiselle, but she turned sorrowfully away. She
thought that nothing could atone for such a murder. She said of the

    People spoke of that affair in different ways; but however they
    spoke, they all agreed in blaming his Royal Highness and M. le
    Prince. I never mentioned it to either of them, and I am very glad
    not to know anything about it, because if they did wrong I should
    be sorry to know it; and that action displeased me so that I could
    not bear to think that any one so closely connected with me could
    not only tolerate the thought of such a thing, but do it. That blow
    was the blow with the club; it felled the party.

       *       *       *       *       *

Immediately after the fire, when the city was panic-stricken, M. le
Prince's future promised success; he had every reason to hope. Many
of the political leaders had left Paris, and taking advantage of that
fact, and of the general fear, Condé marshalled the débris of the
Parliament, and they nominated a cabinet. Gaston was the nominal head;
Condé was generalissimo. The Hôtel de Ville had been repaired, the
cabinet was installed there, and Broussel was provost of merchants,
but the knock-down "blow with the club" had made his power illusory.
Generally the public conscience was callous enough where murders were
concerned, but it rebelled against the murder of 4th July. The common
saying in Paris was that the affair was a cowardly trap, deliberately
set. Public opinion was firm, and the Condé party fell. Before the
massacre the country had been tired of civil war. After the massacre
it abhorred it. The people saw the Fronde in its true light. With the
exception of a few members of Parliament,--patriots and would-be
humanitarians,--who had thought of France? The two junior branches,
or the nobility? They had called the Spaniards to an alliance against
Frenchmen, and, to further their selfish interests, they had led their
own brothers into a pitfall.

Who had cared for the sufferings of the people? The Fronde had been a
deception practised upon the country; a systematic scheme fostered by
men and women for personal benefit. To the labourer hunted from his
home to die in the woods, to the bourgeois whose business had been tied
up four years, what mattered it that the wife of La Rochefoucauld was
seated before the Queen? Was it pleasure to the people dying of famine
to know that M. de Longueville was drawing a salary as Governor of Pont
de l'Arche? A fine consolation, truly! it clothed and fed the children,
it brought back the dead, to maintain a camp of tinselled merry-makers,
"among whom nothing could be seen but collations of gallantry to women."

Those were not new reflections, but they had acquired a force which
acted directly upon the currents established by Mazarin; and just
at the moment when the people awoke to their meaning, the Queen's
clairvoyant counsellor removed the last scruple from the public
conscience by voluntarily returning to his exile (19th August).

Then came the general break-up. Every man of any importance in Paris
raised his voice; deputies were sent to ask the King to recall Mazarin.
Retz, whose manners had accommodated themselves to his hat, was
among the first to demand the recall, and his demand was echoed by
his clergy. Monsieur (and that was a true sign) judged that the time
had come to part company with his associates; he engaged in private
negotiations with the Court. The soldiers vanished; Condé, feeling that
his cause was lost, essayed to make peace, and failed, as he always
failed, because no one could accept such terms as he offered. As his
situation was critical, his friends shunned him. Mademoiselle still
clung to him, and she was loved and honoured; but, as it was known that
she lacked judgment, her fondness for him did not prove anything in his

Mademoiselle was convinced of her own ability; she knew that she was a
great general. She formed insensate projects. One of her plans was to
raise, to equip, and to maintain an army at her own expense: "The Army
of Mademoiselle." Such an army would naturally conquer difficulties.
Some foreign Power would surrender a strong city,--or even two strong
cities; and then the King of France would recognise his true interests,
and capitulate to the tall cousin who had twice saved Condé and taken
Orleans single-handed,--and at last, after all her trials, having done
her whole duty, she would drain the last drops of her bitter draught,
and find the closed crown lying at the bottom of her cup,--unless--.
There was a very powerful alternative. Mademoiselle's mind vacillated
between the King of France and the great French hero: M. le Prince de
Condé. An alliance with Condé was among the possibilities. The physical
condition of Condé's wife permitted a hope,--twice within a period of
two weeks she had been at death's door. On the last occasion Paris had
been informed of her condition in the evening.

    I was at Renard's Garden [wrote Mademoiselle]. M. le Prince was
    with me. We strolled twice through the alleys without speaking one
    word. I thought that probably he was thinking that every one was
    watching him,--and I believed that I was thinking of just what he
    was thinking,--so we were both very much embarrassed.

That night the courtiers paid court to Mademoiselle,--they spoke freely
of the re-marriage of M. le Prince,--in short, they did everything but
congratulate her in plain words.

Though Mademoiselle knew that her fairy tales were false, she half
believed in them. In her heart she felt that her heroinate--if I may
use the term--was drawing to a close, and she desired to enjoy all that
remained to her to the full. In her ardour she made a spectacle of
herself. She appeared with her troops before Paris, playing with her
army as a child plays with leaden soldiers. She loved to listen to the
drums and trumpets, and to look upon the brilliant uniforms. One night
M. le Prince invited her to dine at his headquarters, and she arrived,
followed by her staff. She never forgot that evening. "The dirtiest man
in the world" had had his hair and his beard trimmed, and put on white
linen in her honour,--"which made great talk." Condé and his staff
drank to her health kneeling, while the trumpets blared and the cannon
thundered. She reviewed the army and pressed forward as far as the
line of the royal pickets. Of that occasion she said: "I spoke to the
royal troops some time, then I urged my horse forward, for I had great
longing to enter the camp of the enemy. M. le Prince dashed on ahead of
me, seized my horse's bridle, and turned me back."

That evening she published the orders of the day, did anything and
everything devolving upon any and all of the officers on duty, and
proved by look and by word that she was a true soldier. When it was all
over she rode back to Paris in the moonlight, followed by her staff and
escorted by Condé and his general officers. The evening ended with a
gay supper at the Tuileries.

That visit went to her head, and a few days later she besought her
father to hang the chiefs of the Reaction. "Monsieur lacked vigour."
That was the construction which Mademoiselle put upon his refusal to
hang her enemies, and it was well for her that he did, for the hour
of the accounting was at hand. The 13th October she was intoxicated
for the last time with the sound of clanking arms and the glitter of
uniforms. M. le Prince with all his army visited her to say "farewell."
The Prince was to lead his army to the East; no one knew to what
fortune. She wrote mournfully:

    It was so beautiful to see the great alley of the Tuileries full
    of people all finely dressed! M. le Prince wore a very handsome
    habit of the colour of iron, of gold, of silver, and of black
    over grey, and a blue scarf, which he wore as the Germans wear
    theirs,--under a close-coat, which was not buttoned. I felt great
    regret to see them go, and I avow that I wept when I bade them
    adieu ... it was so lonely ... it was so strange ... not to see
    them any more ... it hurt me so! And all the rumours gave as reason
    for thinking that the King was coming and that we all should be
    turned out.

The princes left Paris on Sunday. The following Saturday, in the
morning, when Mademoiselle was in the hands of her hair-dresser, she
received a letter from the King notifying her that, as he should
arrive in Paris to remain permanently, and as he had no palace but
the Tuileries in which to lodge his brother, he should require her to
vacate the Tuileries before noon on the day following. Mademoiselle was
literally turned out of the house, and on notice so short that anything
like orderly retreat was impossible. Borne down by the weight of her
chagrin, she sought shelter where best she could. We are told that she
"hid her face at the house of one of her friends," and it is probable
that to say that she hid her face but feebly expresses the bitterness
of the grief with which she turned from the only home that she had ever
known, in which she had lived with her princely retinue, and which
she had thought to leave only to enter the King's palace as Queen of
France. She was brave; she talked proudly of her power to overthrow
royalty, and to carry revolution to the gates of the Palais Royal, and
until the people saw their young King her boasts were not vain; but
her better nature triumphed, and in the end her wrath was drowned in
tears. The day after she received notice to vacate the palace she was
informed that her father had been exiled. She went to the Luxembourg to
condole with him. On the way she saw the King. She passed him unseen by
him. He had grown tall; he saluted the people gracefully and with the
air of a king; he was a bright, handsome boy. The people applauded him
with frenzy.

Mademoiselle found her father bristling with fury; his staring eyes
transfixed her. At sight of her he cried angrily that he had no account
to render to her; then, to quote Mademoiselle's words, "Each told the
other his truths." Monsieur reminded her that she had "put herself
forward with unseemly boldness," and that she had compromised the name
of d'Orléans by her anxiety to "play the heroine." She answered as she
thought it just and in accordance with the rights of her quality to
answer. She demonstrated to her father that there were "characters"
upon earth who refused to give written orders because they feared to be
confronted by their signatures when personal safety required a denial
of the truth. She explained the principle of physical timidity and
incidentally rehearsed all the grievances of her life. Gaston answered
her. The quarrel ended, Mademoiselle piteously begged her father to let
her live under his protection. She recorded his answer word for word,
with all the incidents of the interview:

    He answered me: "I have no vacant lodging." I said that there
    was no one in that house who was not indebted to me, and that I
    thought that no one had a better right to live there than I had. He
    answered me tartly: "All who live under my roof are necessary to
    me, and they will not be dislodged." I said to him: "As your Royal
    Highness will not let me live with you, I shall go to the Hôtel
    Condé, which is vacant; no one is living there at present." He
    answered: "That I will not permit!" I asked: "Where, then, do you
    wish me to go, sir?" He answered: "Where you please!" and he turned

The day after that interview, at a word from the King, all the
Frondeurs left Paris. The highways were crowded with great lords in
penance and with heroines "retired." Poor broken idols! the people
of Paris were still chanting their glory! Monsieur departed, bag and
baggage, at break of day,

    Avec une extreme vitesse.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Mademoiselle son ainée
    Disparut la même journée.[163]

The daughter of the victim of degeneracy had developed her father's
weakness. Although Mademoiselle was in safety, she trembled. She who
had challenged death in the last combat of the Fronde, laughing merrily
as she trained the guns on the King of France, thrilled with terror
when letter followed letter warning her to leave Paris, and giving her
the names of people destined for the Bastille. All the letters, were
anonymous, and all were in different and unknown hands.

She did not wait to ask who wrote the letters; she did not listen to
her faithful Préfontaine, who assured her that there was no danger and
begged her to be calm.

La Grande Mademoiselle, appalled, beside herself, unmindful of her
glory and her dignity, crying out wild orders to the people who blocked
her way, fled from Paris in a hired coach driven by a common coachman.
She did not breathe freely until the scene of her triumphs lay far
behind her, and even then, the appearance of a cavalier, however
peaceable, caused her new terror; she prayed, she trembled; a more
piteous retreat was never made!

But the adventures of the route distracted her thoughts. She was
masked, travelling as "Mme. Dupré," a woman of an inferior order. She
dined with her fellow-travellers in public rooms, talked freely with
common people, and faced life on an equality with the canaille. For a
royal personage such experience had savour. One day in the kitchen of
an inn a monk talked to her long and earnestly of the events of the
day and of Mademoiselle, the niece of Louis XIII., and her high feats.
"Yes!" said the priest, "she is a brave girl; a brave girl indeed! She
is a girl who could carry a spear as easily as she could wear a mask!"

Mademoiselle's journey ended at the château of a friend, who welcomed
her and concealed her with romantic satisfaction; being as sentimental
as the shepherdesses of _Astrée_, it pleased the chatelaine to fancy
that her guest was in peril of death and that a price was set upon
her head. She surrounded Mademoiselle with impenetrable mystery. A few
tried friends fetched and carried the heroine's correspondence with
Condé. Condé implored her to join the legion on the frontier; he wrote
to her: "I offer you my places and my army. M. de Lorraine offers you
his quarters and his army, and Fuensaldagne[164] offers you the same."

Mademoiselle was wise enough to refuse their offers; but she was
homeless; she knew that she must make some decisive move; she could
not remain in hiding, like the princess of a romance. Monsieur was at
Blois, but he was fully determined that she should not live with him.

When Préfontaine begged him not to refuse his daughter a father's
protection, he answered furiously: "I will not receive her! If she
comes here I will drive her back!"

Mademoiselle determined to face her destiny. She was alone; they who
loved her had no right to protect her. She had a château at Saint
Fargeau, and she looked upon it as a refuge.

Again the heroine took the road, and she had hardly set foot upon the
highway when the King's messenger halted her and delivered a letter
from his royal master.

Louis XIV. guaranteed her "all surety and freedom in any place in which
she might elect to live." Mademoiselle, who had trembled with fear when
the King's messenger appeared, read her letter with vexation; she had
revelled in the thought that the Court was languishing in ignorance of
her whereabouts.

She had gone fast and far and accomplished twenty leagues without a
halt, when such a fit of terror seized her that she hid her head. Had
she been in Paris, the courtiers would have called her seizure "one of
the attacks of Monsieur." It was an ungovernable panic; despite the
King's warrant she thought that the royal army was at her heels, and
that the walls of a dungeon confronted her. Her attendants could not
calm her. The heroine was dead and a despairing, half-distracted woman
entered the Château of Saint Fargeau. She said of her arrival:

"The bridge was broken and the coach could not cross it, so I was
forced to go on foot. It was two o'clock in the morning. I entered an
old house--my home--without doors or windows; and in the court the
weeds were knee-high.... Fear, horror, and grief seized me, and I wept."

Let her weep. It was no more than she deserved to do as penalty for
all the evil that she had brought about by the Fronde. Four years
of a flagitious war, begun as the effort of conscientious patriots,
under pressure of the general interest, then turned to a perambulating
exhibition of selfish vanities and a hunt for écus which wrecked the
peace and the prosperity of France!

In one single diocese (Laon) more than twenty curés were forced to
desert their villages because they had neither parishioners nor
means of living. Throughout the kingdom men had been made servile by
physical and moral suffering and by the need of rest; borne down by
the imperious demands of worn-out nature, they loathed action. The
heroes of Corneille (of the ideal "superhuman" type of the heroes of
Nietzsche) had had their day and the hour of the natural man--human,
not superhuman--had come.

Five years later, when Mademoiselle returned to Paris, she found a
new world, with manners in sharp contrast with her own. It was her
fate to yield to the influence of the new ideal, when, forgetting
that a certain degree of quality "lifts the soul above tenderness,"
she yielded up her soul to Lauzun in romantic love. Some day, not far
distant, we shall meet her in her new sphere.


[Footnote 127: May, 1648.]

[Footnote 128: Gamboust.]

[Footnote 129: André d'Ormesson. (See note accompanying Olivier
d'Ormesson's journal.)]

[Footnote 130: Lenet's _Mémoires_.]

[Footnote 131: See official documents. (Paris, 31st October, 1648.)]

[Footnote 132: Forty sole. (See Olivier de Ormesson's journal.)]

[Footnote 133: Monsieur's second marriage had endowed him with five
heirs, three of whom (daughters) had lived.]

[Footnote 134: _Journal des guerres civiles_, Dubuisson-Aubenay.]

[Footnote 135: Retz.]

[Footnote 136: Unpublished and anonymous memoirs cited by Chévruel.]

[Footnote 137: _La jeunesse de Mme. de Longueville_, Cousin.]

[Footnote 138: _La Rochefoucauld_, J. Bourdeau.]

[Footnote 139: _Demandes des princes et Seigneurs qui ont pris les
armes avec le Parlement et Peuple de Paris_ (15th March, 1649.) See
_Choix de Mazarinades_, M. C. Moreau.]

[Footnote 140: For a study of the complicated causes of the fall of the
nobility see _Richelieu et la Monarchie absolue_, G. d'Avenel.]

[Footnote 141: d'Ormesson.]

[Footnote 142: _Registres de l'Hôtel de Ville pendant la Fronde._]

[Footnote 143: _Registres de l'Hôtel de Ville pendant la Fronde._]

[Footnote 144: _Segraisiana._]

[Footnote 145: _Mémoires_ of La Rochefoucauld.]

[Footnote 146:

        . . . "_Je veux dormir,
    Je naquis en dormant, j'y veux passer ma vie.
    Jamais de m'éveillen il ne me prit envie,
    Toi, ma femme et ma fille, y perdez vos efforts,
                  Je dors._"

[Footnote 147: _Le Journal de Dubuisson-Aubenay._]

[Footnote 148: _La jeunesse du Mareschal du Luxembourg_, Pierre de

[Footnote 149: M. Feillet cites this letter in _La misére au temps de
la Fronde_, but he does not give its date.]

[Footnote 150: Lenet's _Mémoires_.]

[Footnote 151: Motteville.]

[Footnote 152: The street separating the terrace from the garden, rue
des Tuileries.]

[Footnote 153: He was less than thirteen years old.]

[Footnote 154: _Mémoires_, La Porte.]

[Footnote 155: This name is of doubtful authenticity; Mazarin's letters
to the Queen are in cipher in some parts. In this book I have followed
the text of M. Ravenel, _Lettres du Cardinal Mazarin à la Princesse
Palatine_, etc. (1651-1652).]

[Footnote 156: _Les Mémoires_ of Guy Joly and of Mme. de Nemours.]

[Footnote 157: Mazarin's apartments in the Palais Royal, next to the
Queen's apartments. Lyonne lodged in the _rue Vivienne_.]

[Footnote 158: Motteville.]

[Footnote 159: Mademoiselle's memoirs.]

[Footnote 160: The city ditch.]

[Footnote 161: _Mémoires_ of Conrart and the _Registres de l'Hôtel de

[Footnote 162: Omer Talon.]

[Footnote 163: _La muse historique_, de Loret.]

[Footnote 164: Governor of the Spanish Low Countries.]



    Absinthe and Folly, 339, 340

    Absolute monarchy, the, 229, 230

    Absolution, 277

    Académie l' Française (_see_ Conrart and Corneille)

    "Academy," the, 38, 39, 41

    Adamas (the druid), 104

    Administration, 248

    Adolphus, Gustavus, 33, 34

    Adonis, 129

    Æstheticism, 107

    Alaric, 141

    Alcidon, 172

    Alençon, d', 6

    Alidor, 171

    _Alizon_, 332

    _Alphise_, 137

    Amazons, 31, 408

    Amelotte, Père, 278

    _Aminta_, Tasso's, 168

    Ancestors, 4

    Andilly, d', Arnauld, 31, 35, 37

    Andrieux, d', the Chevalier, 117

    Angelieo, Fra, 205

    Angennes, d', Julie (Mme. Moutausier), 42

    Angoulême, d', Duc, 339

    Angoumois, the hermit of, 144

    Anjou, 116

    Anne of Austria, her appearance, 14;
      Louis XIII. accuses her of love for Monsieur, 19;
      her retort, 20;
      her visits to Renard's Garden, her retinue, 25-27;
      her disgrace, and her appeal to La Rochefoucauld, 35;
      her kindness to Mademoiselle, 59;
      her detestation of de Richelieu and de Richelieu's revenge, 83;
      her hopes and
      rehabilitation, 86, 87;
      her lack of jealousy, 86;
      her promise to Mademoiselle, 89;
      the attentions of the Duc de Bellegarde, 96, 97;
      her patronage of the drama, 183, 184;
      her second promise to Mademoiselle, 196;
      her widowhood, 235;
      return to Paris, 238;
      appointment to the Regency, 239;
      her pretensions and promises to Mademoiselle, 255;
      quarrel with Mademoiselle, 266;
      her anger, 270;
      her visits to convents (extract), 273;
      condemnation of Barillon, 333;
      her poverty and her indifference to public opinion, 333;
      the people's demand for Broussel and her refusal and forced consent,
      her flight, 349;
      her folly, 353-355;
      return to Paris, 356;
      second flight, 357, 358, 360;
      reception at Saint Germain, 372;
      return to Paris, indignant rejection of Jarzé, 373-376;
      at Libourne, 381-384;
      the evil day, 388-390;
      her letters from Mazarin, 395-397;
      Lyonne, 396, 397;
      renewal of her relations with Mazarin (overtures to Lyonne,
       _see_ Mazarin's letters), 396, 397

    Aragon (_Don Sancho_)--a play--180, 181

    Ariosto, 144

    Aristotle, 39

    Arnauld, Mothe, de la (Claude), 36

    Arquien, d', Marie, 94

    Artagnan, d', 40

    Arthénice ("the Fair"), 123, 127, 128, 139, 147, 149, 153, 323

    Assisi, d' (or Assise d'), François ("Père François"), 205
      (_see_ Catholic Renaissance)

    _Astrée_, 92, 99-101, 103-106, 108-111, 147, 157, 160, 161, 166,
      167, 294, 364, 366, 433

    Aubignac, d' (the Abbé), 164

    Auchy, d', Vicomtesse, 55, 114

    Auvergne, 229

    Avenel, d', Vicomte, 38 (note), 120, 368

    Avesnes, 67

    Avranches, 95 (_see_ Huet)


    Bagnolet, 193

    Baladins, 28

    Balagny, 117, 118

    Baltic Sea, the, 33

    Balzac, 124, 142, 144, 165

    Baradas, young, 207

    Barillon, 332, 333, 336, 351

    Barine, Arvède, 134

    Baro, Sieur, 93, 157

    Barricades, 340-342

    Barthélemy, E., 137, 144, 325

    Basserie, I. P., Mlle., 201

    Bassompierre, 38, 232

    Bastille, the, 232, 256, 421

    Battle, the last, 415-421

    Bazin, 200

    Bearnais, the, III. (_see_ Henry IV.)

    Beaufort, de, Duc, 248, 328, 339, 366, 367, 405, 424

    Beaupré, de, 118

    Bélésis, 24, 25

    _Belle-au-Bois-dormant_, 57, 58

    Bellegarde, de, Duc, 96, 97, 107, 128

    Belles Lettres, 125, 126

    Berthod, Père (_see Mémoires_)

    Bérulle, de, Pierre, 275, 280, 289, 290, 292, 295

    Béziers, 71, 72

    Bibliothèque Nationale, 83

    Bird House, 23

    Blasphemy and Vice, 282

    Blois, 7, 74, 76, 156, 188, 191, 434

    Blood, Princes of the, 221, 248, 321

    Blue Room, the, 121, 122, 126, 127, 130, 133, 137, 142, 144, 145, 323

    Boileau, 126

    Bois-de-Boulogne, 25

    Bois-le-Vicomte, 335

    Books and writings, 38

    Book of _Edification_, 115

    Bordeaux, "the heroine of," wife of Condé, 379;
      siege of, 380;
      Monsieur arrives as mediator, 382

    Bordeaux, the Archbishop of, 116

    Bossuet, 279, 281, 285, 295, 305

    Bossut, de, Mme., 197, 305

    Bouillon, de, army of, 192;
      _Godefroy de Bouillon_, 155;
      Mme., 365

    Bourbon, de, Marie (Wife and Madame (1) of Gaston),
      Duchesse d'Orléans, 3, 12, 60, 187 (_see_ Marie, Duchesse
      de Montpensier, cousin of Madame (1), and object of the
     first of the Bourbonic aspirations of de Soissons);
      (_see_ de Soissons and Campion, 187)

    Bourbon, de, Mlle. (Mme. de Longueville), 143, 149-151

    Bourbon, de, House of, 312; Hôtel de, 312

    Bourdaloue, 279

    Bourdoise, 278, 289

    Bourg la Reine, 408

    Bourgeois, the wives of the, 18;
      sons of, 37;
      meet to appoint a government, 422;
      (mention of the bourgeois), 333, 334, 336, 355, 375, 416, 421,
      422-424, 426

    Bourgeoisie, 281, 282, 340, 371, 374, 375, 412

    Bourges, 39

    Bourgogne, Hôtel de (_see_ Theatres)

    Bourse, the, 338

    Bouvard (the leech), 15

    Brégis, de, Comte, 114

    Brégy, de, Mme., 50

    Brienne, de, Mme., 316;
      (mention of de Brienne, Jr.), 316

    Brissac, Hôtel de, 77

    "Broussel, Monsieur," Provost of Merchants, 336, 340, 346, 347,
      349, 351, 425

    Brühl, 395

    Brunetière, F., 93, 95, 181, 289

    Brussels, 35, 200

    Buckingham, 216

    Burgundy, 116

    Bussy-Rabutin, 133, 317


    Cabals, the, 85, 324

    Campion, 187, 188, 192

    Canaille, the, visit their goddess, 268;
      arm with clubs, 331, 334, 346, 347, 359, 397, 408, 410, 411, 416, 433

    Cardinal-Infant, the, 196, 199, 200

    Carignan, de, Mme., 138

    Carlos, 180, 181

    Carmelite, Mademoiselle's desire to be a, 299

    _Carrousel_, the, 22

    _Cas de Conscience_ (_les_), 39

    Case, de la, Marquis, 114

    Cassandane, Princess, 79

    Castelnaudary, 71

    Catholic League, 212

    Catholic Renaissance, 283, 299

    Cavalier, French, 102

    Celadon, 94, 99, 100, 104, 169

    Célidée, 171

    Centennial (Racine's), 291

    Chaillot, 24, 25

    Chalais, 5, 8, 73, 190, 266, 301

    Champagne, 192

    Champagne, de, Philip, 205

    Champs-Élysées, 23, 25

    Chancellor, the, 243

    Chantel, de, Mlle., 54

    Chantelauze, 295

    Chantilly, 81, 82, 155, 364

    Chapelain, 54, 129, 130, 131, 144

    Charente, la, 142

    _Chargés, grandes_ (Court chancellors, _chevaliers d'honneur_,
      etc.), 27

    Charity (Order of the Sisters of), 294

    Charles I., King of England, 193

    Charles II., 397

    Charles V., 13

    Charles VIII., 306

    Charonne, 418

    Chartres, 7;
      Bishop of, 214, 215

    Chateaumorand, de, Diane, 94

    Châtellerault, 21

    Chatillon-sur-Seine, 277

    Chatillon, de, Mme. la Duchesse, 305, 379, 413

    Chaussée d'Antin (rue de la), 25

    Chenonceaux, 109

    _Chérubin_ (Cherubino), 261

    Chevaliers of the Order, 62, 166

    Chevreuse, de, Mme. la Duchesse, her hotel, 22, 181, 300-304, 328,
      379, 413

    Chief of Council (_see_ Mazarin)

    Chief General of the Armies of France (_see_ Enghien, d', Louis, duc)

    Chimène, 174-176

    Choisy, 7-9

    Choisy, de, Mme., 393

    Chronicles (contemporary), 7, 305, 374

    Church, the, 63, 158, 197-199, 275-277, 286, 288, 289, 291, 292, 296,

    _Cid_, the (_see_ Corneille)

    _Cinna_, 177, 181;
      effect upon Condé, 377

    Cinq-Mars, Henry, Marquis d'Effiat, 200-202, 206-210, 218, 220, 221,
      his mother, 201

    "Circle, the" (_see_ Salon Rambouillet)

    Claque, the, 215

    Claude, cousin and bride of the Cardinal-Bishop, 197

    Clarinte, 53

    Cléonville, de, Sieur, 70

    _Clitandre_, 170, 171

    _Clorinde_, 155

    _Clovis_, Desmarets's dramatic poem, 213

    Cluny, Bernard of, 293

    Cluny, Musée, 123

    Colbert, 78, 133

    "Collation of Benefices," 295

    Colietet, the seeker for domestic comfort, 141

    Cologne, 221

    Combalet, de, Mlle. (Mme. d'Aguillon), 64

    Comedy, the dramatic play, and theatre, 44, 158

    Communardes, the, 332

    Compiègne, 67

    Concorde, Place de la, 23, 413

    Concorde, Pont de la, 23

    Condé, the great, 34, 39, 57, 126, 297, 306-309, 317, 335, 358, 363,
      373, 375-379, 387, 388, 390-393, 398, 406-409, 412-416, 418-425,
      427-429, 434

    Condé (Père), 115, 335

    Condé, de, Mme. la Princesse (mother of the great), 149, 150

    Condé, de, Mme. la Princesse (wife of the great), the heroine of
      Bordeaux, 309, 310, 379, 393, 398

    Condé, Hôtel de, 311, 364, 432

    Condé, de, House of, 311, 324, 325

    Conférence Library (_see_ Vicomtesse d'Auchy), 56

    Conférence, quai de la, 390 (Mazarin's departure)

    Conrart, Valentin, 136-138, 144, 423;
      Madame, wife of, 138

    _Conseil de Conscience_, 295, 297

    Contes de Perrault, les, 57, 58

    Conti, de, Prince (his treatise), 60, 61

    Corbie, the siege of, 190

    _Cordons Bleus_, 63 (Order of the Saint Esprit)

    Coriolanus, 344

    Corisande, the fair, 277

    Corneille, Preface, iv., v.; 1, 56, 105, 106, 135, 139, 141, 145,
      153, 161, 167, 168, 170-184, 194, 195, 213, 215, 344, 436

    Corporal, "the Little," 401

    Corps, army (escorting the royal mourners), 235

    Cossack, natural investiture of, 113;
      gestures of, 122;
      oaths of, 303

    Costar, Pierre, 124, 167

    Coulanges, de (the Abbé), 54, 55

    Council, the, 231, 240, 243;
      Chief of, 239, 244

    Councils of Finance, 37

    Cours la Reine, 24, 25, 337, 358, 359, 413

    Court of Catherine de Médicis (Mlle. de Senterre), 97

    Court of France, the requirements of, 27;
      spirit of, 126

    Court of Germany, the, 263

    Court of _le Grand Envie_, 94

    Court of Henry IV., 97

    Court of Miracles, the, 23

    Court of the Valois, the, 97

    Court of Vienna, the, 263

    Courtenvaut, 155

    "Croquemitaine," 60, 90, 213, 216

    Cross, the true, 281

    Crusaders, the, 4, 153

    Cures, Curés, abbeys, and abbots (_see_ Catholic Renaissance)

    Cyrus le Grand, 42, 47


    Damophile, 47-49, 55

    Dauphin, 40, 89, 90, 159

    Dauphine (place), 165

    _Débats_ (_Journal des_), 65

    Declaration against Monsieur, 229

    Declaration for the appointment of an Executive Council, and for a
      nominal Regent, 233

    Dedalus, 23, 107

    Des Jardins, de, Mlle., 56

    Desmarets, 213

    _Dialogues des Morts_, 320

    Diana, 150

    _Dictionnaire des Précieuses_, 79, 113

    Dijon, 337

    Diodée, Mlle., 56

    Divers pieces, etc., 66, 68, 70, 71

    _Doll's House_ (Ibsen's), 174

    Dombes, 21

    Dôme, le (pavillon de l'Horlage), 22

    Don Lope, 181

    _Don Sancho d'Aragon_, 180

    Drama, the, 177

    Dubuisson-Aubenay, 362, 378

    Dulaure, 108

    Du Perron, 286

    _Dupes, Journée des_, 60

    Dupré, Mme., 433

    Durandarte, 153


    Echo, the, 23

    _Edification_ (book of), 115

    Education, Fénelon on, 30, 31

    Effiat, d', Henry (_see_ Cinq-Mars)

    Elbœuf, d', duc, 62

    Elect, the, 196

    Elector Palatine, Frederick V., 305

    Element, religious, the (_see_ Catholic Renaissance)

    Eloquence, 71

    Emerson, iii., Preface

    Emperor (Ferdinand III.), 263, 264, 267, 272;
      wife of, 262, 264

    Empire, 212, 264, 273;
      Second Empire, 216

    Enghien, d' (Louis), duc, 247, 309, 312

    England, 256

    England, King of, Charles I., 193

    England, King of (Prince of Wales), 259

    England, Queen Henriette of, 193;
      throne of, 257;
      Elizabeth of, 304

    Epernay, 134

    Épernon, d', duc, 116

    Episcopate, the, 197, 205, 276, 277

    _Epistles of St. Paul_ (_Homilies on the_), 56

    Erinne, 50

    Erudition, 71

    Esprit, Jacques, 127

    Étampes, 407, 408

    Europe, 131, 194, 211, 229 (contemporary Europe, 185)

    Exile (_see_ Saint Fargeau), 434, 435


    Farce, the, 168

    Father Joseph, 65

    Favourite (Monsieur's), Abbé de la Rivière, 262, 263, 265-267

    Favourites of Louis XIII., young Baradas and Cinq-Mars
      (_see_ Cinq-Mars)

    Feminist leaders(_see_ de Chevreuse, de Chatillon, de Gonzague,
      and de Longueville)

    _Femmes Savantes, les_, 45

    Fénelon, 30;
      sketch of Mazarin, 320, 321

    Ferdinand III. (_see_ Cardinal-Infant, and 273)

    Feuillade, de la, 248

    Fiésque, de (belle Comtesse), 401

    Fiésque, de, Mme., 249

    Fiésque, de, M. le Comte, 193

    Finance (Councils of), 37

    Flanders, 196, 200, 251

    Flèche, la, 155

    Fontainebleau, 13, 61, 62, 314, 384

    Fontenelle, 215

    Force, de la, Piganiol, 23

    Foreign Affairs, Department of, 5

    Forez, 95

    _Fortunio_, 261

    Foundlings' Hospital, 294

    France, progress under Richelieu, 212

    France, woods and gardens of, 109

    Fra Angelico, 205

    French clergy, the, 286, 293

    Fronde, the crime of the architects of the, 335

    Fronde, the last battle of the, 414-421

    Frondeurs, their opportunity as masters of Paris, 391

    Frontenac, de, 401, 403

    Fuensaldagne, 434


    Galatée, Queen Marguerite, 94, 108, 366

    Galilee, Lake of, 290

    Gamboust, 23, 120

    Garden, Renard's, 23-25, 414, 428

    _Garenne, La_, 23

    Gassau, Jean, 28

    Gassion, de, Jean, 31-34

    Gauls, the, 279

    _Gazette, la_ (de France), 261, 313

    _Gazette, la_ (de Loret), 114

    _Gazette, la_ (de Renaudot), 64, 65, 75, 78

    Gendarmerie and light cavalry (Gaston's), 229

    German students, 140

    Germany, 59, 94, 212, 264, 272, 390

    Gesvres, des, duc, 50

    Giotto, 205

    Godeau, Antoine, 140

    "Gold Room," 166

    Gondis, les, 107

    Gonesse, 251

    Gonzague, de, Anne, "wife of Henry de Guise," Archbishop of Rheims,
      281, 304, 305, 328, 379, 387, 393, 395

    Gordes, 210

    Gournay, "the worthy," 55

    Government, the, 61, 64, 211, 332, 351, 368, 369

    Governor of Orleans, the, 401

    Gramont, de, Maréchal, 117

    _Grand Cyrus, Le_, 42, 47

    Greece, 150;
      language, 35, 37, 55, 79


    Halles, the, 340, 366, 374

    Hardy, Alexander, 163

    Haro, del, Don Louis, 300

    Harpagon, de, 367

    Hauranne, de, Jean Duvergier (_see_ St. Cyran), 290

    Hautefort, de (Madame de or Mlle. de), 35, 85-88, 90, 114

    Havre, the prison of, 390

    Hébert, 411

    Helmet of Minerva, 134

    Henry III., 96

    Henry IV., 13, 91, 94, 101, 222, 406

    Henry IV., the Court of, 97

    Hermes Trismegistus, 56

    Hermogène, 24

    Heroinate, the, 399, 430

    Hérouard, 15, 155

    Hesiod, 49

    Hippocrates, 39

    Hocquincourt, d', 118

    Hohenzollern, 16

    Holy Orders, 196, 197

    Holy See, 242

    _Homilies on St. Paul's Epistles_, 36

    Hôpital, l', de Maréchal (threatened by Mademoiselle), 113;
      in Council, 416

    Horace (Camille), 176-179

    Hôtel-de-Ville, 18, 143, 363-365, 370, 374;
      Orleans, 404, 416, 417, 422, 423;
      fire (Condé's revenge), 424, 425

    Houri, the, 250

    House of Commons, 351

    Houssaye (the Abbé), 275, 278

    Huet (the ecclesiastical head of Avranches), 95, 128

    Huguenot, a, 137

    _Humanities_, the, 195

    Hungary, 194

    Huxelles, d', Marquise, 362


    Ibsen's _Doll's House_, 174

    Idea, the innate, 55;
      (the monarchical), 185

    Idealogues, 333

    l'Ile, Saint Louis, 337

    Importants, the, 248

    Indifference, Infidelity, and Licence, 295

    Infant-Cardinal, 196, 199, 200

    _Iphigénie_ (Racine's), 185

    Installation, Mademoiselle's first, 25

    Institute of France, 144

    Intrigue, Spanish (Duchesse de Chevreuse and Val-de-Grâce), 302

    Italy, gardens of, 109


    Jacob, 75

    Jansenism, 106, 181

    Jansenists, 291

    Jarzé, 375, 376

    Jesuit Brothers, 155

    _Jeunesse dorée_ (la), 279

    Jewels, silver dishes, debts, etc., 258

    Joly, Guy, 395

    Joseph, Père ("Father Joseph"), 65

    Joubert, 291

    _Journal des Débats_, 65

    _Journée der Dupes_, 60

    Judas, 11

    Julleville, de, Petit, 93, 170, 171

    Jurisconsults (Richelieu's), 250

    Justice, Palais, de (invaded by the people), 330


    Kerviler, Mme., 144

    Kerviler, René, 137


    La Barre, 149, 152

    "La Belle Paulet," 143, 144, 149

    La Bruyère, 139, 146

    La Calprenède, 1, 166

    Lafayette, de, Mlle., 88, 132, 144

    La Flèche, 155

    Lanson, 165

    Laon, diocese of, 435

    La Porte, 316

    _La Pucelle_, 129, 130

    "La Pucelle Priande," 142, 150

    La Rochefoucauld, 328, 345, 356, 365, 376, 417, 426

    Latin (required by the priest), 277

    Lauzun, 2, 436

    La Valette, de, Cardinal, 149, 150, 152

    La Villette, 151

    League, the, 98; the banners of, 342

    Le Maître, Antoine, 37

    Lemaître, Jules, 106, 170, 174, 176, 291

    Lenet, 40, 308, 352, 354

    Lenôtre, 109

    Lens, battle of, 335, 336

    Leopold, Archduke, 264

    Le petit Catilina ("Little Catiline"),344

    _Les cas de Conscience_, 39

    _Les Femmes Savantes_, 45

    "Le Tellier," 395

    Letters, men of, 126, 127 (_see_ Hôtel de Rambouillet)

    Libourne, 381, 382

    Library (National), 244.

    Library of the _Conférence_ (founded by the Vicomtesse d'Auchy), 56

    Lignon, Academy of, 94

    Lignon (river), 100

    Lignon, shepherds of, 95

    Ligurian peninsula and sea, 212

    Limoges, de, Mme., 173

    Lisieux, de, Bishop, 148, 149

    _Litterateur_, the, 131

    Little Corporal, the, 401

    Little Monsieur, 304, 307, 362

    _Livre, d'Or_, the, 113

    Loire (river), 402;
      men of the river, 403

    Longueville, de, M. and Mme., 129, 300, 305, 309, 311, 356, 358, 365,
      366, 372, 379, 380, 392, 413

    Longueville, de, M. and Mlle., of Bagnolet,--family of de Soissons, 193

    Lope, Don, 181

    Lorraine, de, Charles, 434

    Lorraine, de, Henry II. (Duc de Guise), 197

    Lorraine, de, Marguerite (the Princesse Gaston), 64, 188

    Lorraine, Nicholas François, 197, 198

    Loudun, 155

    Louis XIII., his palace, 13, 14;
      his sickly youth, 15;
      his kennels, 23;
      his quarrels, 66;
      his personal literature, 66, 242;
      his exhibition of his scars, 233;
      his care for France, 233;
      his death, 235

    Louis XIV., 304, 306, 317, 331, 333, 348, 349, 351-354;
      the King's scullions, 354;
      a hungry cherub, 355;
      looks down from Charonne upon the last battle of the Fronde, 418;
      returns to Paris, 431;
      his message to La Grande Mademoiselle, 434

    Love, Christian, 286, 288, 291;
      of man for woman (_see Astrée_)

    Luxembourg, the (home of Gaston d'Orléans), visited by the mobility,

    Lycoris, 137

    Lyonne (_see_ Letters of Jules Mazarin to Anne of Austria)

    Lyons, Archbishop of, 149;
      city and people of, 223, 226, 228

    Lysandre, 171


    Madame (1), wife of Monsieur (Gaston d'Orléans), 12, 14, 20

    Madame (2), wife of Monsieur (Gaston d'Orléans,) (Marguerite de
      Lorraine), 62, 250-254

    Madame (mother of Comte de Soissons), 193

    Madrid, 303

    Maillard, 411

    Maillé-Brézé, de, Mlle., 57

    Maintenon, de, Mme., 30

    Mairet, 165

    Malines, Archbishop of, 197

    Malherbe, 114, 127-129

    "Mandragora, old" (cave of), 108

    Marais, the (theatre of), 162;
      Les Messieurs du, 209

    Marat, 411

    Maréchal de l'Hôpital, the, 416

    Marfée, 193

    Marguerite de Lorraine, Madame (2) (wife of Gaston), 62;
      her crime, 250;
      her complaints, 253;
      her advent and effect upon the spiritual atmosphere, 253

    Marillac, de, Maréchal, 118

    "Marin" (Marini), 129

    Marius, 344

    Marivaux, 95

    Marolles (Abbé de Villeloin), 201

    Marsan, pavillon de, 22

    _Marseillaise, La_, 182

    Marshals of France, 235

    Mascarelle, 24

    Massacre of Saint Bartholomew, 101

    Massarini, Jules, diary of, 365-397

    Matton, Ursule, 28

    Mauconseil (rue), 162

    Mauny, de, Maréchal, 116

    Mazarin (Massarini), first known in Paris as Papal Nuncio, called by
      Louis XIII. to assume the duties of de Richelieu, 242;
      his invisibility, 242, 243;
      his appointment as Chief of Council, 243;
      his modesty, 247;
      his "methods," 312;
      his avidity, 317;
      his foreign policy, 318;
      Fénelon's sketch of his character, 320;
      his promise to Mademoiselle, 336;
      carries the King from Paris (in flight), 348;
      the popular idea of Mazarin, 354;
      his services in France mentioned as of incalculable value, 354;
      his "forty little fishes," 355;
      names given by the people, 355;
      his return to Paris, 355, 356;
      his second flight and his provisions for his stay at Saint Germain,
      Parliament threatens expulsion, 363;
      his would-be rival, Jarzé, 375;
      Mazarin as a weaver, 378;
      buffeted by the people of Bordeaux, 384;
      repulsed by Gaston, 385;
      his feelings in regard to de Retz, 385;
      his inclination toward intrigue, 386;
      his foolhardy victory at Rethel, 387;
      Mazarin sues for Mademoiselle's aid, 388;
      _Farewell!_ 390;
      love-letters, 395-397;
      enters France and again reduces royalty, 397;
      with the King views the last battle of the Fronde, voluntarily
       returns to exile, 426

    Mazarinades, the, 397

    Médée, 170, 171

    Médicis, de, Catherine, 96, 97

    Médicis, de, Marie, defence of Richelieu, 17;
      her music, 17;
      her death, 221

    Ménage, 131-133

    Merchants, Provost of, 416

    _Mercure Française_, the, 64

    Metz, Mazarin, Archbishop of, 298

    Meudon, 251

    Michelet, 17, 82

    Middle Ages, vestiges of the, 28

    Minerva, the Helmet of, 134

    Miracles, the Court of, 23

    Miracles (tools requisite for the working of), 172

    Moderation, 71

    Molé, Mathieu, 229, 346

    Molière, 24, (Mascarelles) 45, 132

    Monarchy, absolute, 187, 229, 230

    Mondory, 165

    Money, Spanish, 62

    Monsieur ("d'Orléans"), his constancy and patience, 189, 253;
      receives the sympathy and the encouragement of the people, 410

    Montaigne, 55, 112

    Montausier, de, M., 42;
      "Little Montausier," 322, 323

    Montbazon, de, Mme., 192, 305, 311, 379

    Montegut, Émile, 93, 94, 95, 98

    Montglat, 229, 232, 317

    Montmartre, rue, 162

    Montmorency, de, Constable, 38;
      Duke, 62, 71;
      Marshal (son of the Constable), 41

    Montpensier, duchy of, 7, 21;
       estates of, 257

    Montpensier, de, Mlle. (Marie de Bourbon), 5, 187;
      Montrouge, 258

    Montsoreau, de, Comte, 116

    Morillot, Paul, 93, 99

    Motte, de la, Maréchal, 367

    Motteville, de, Mme., 10, 28, 82, 96, 206, 218, 220, 238, 240, 252,
      254, 258, 259, 267 (269 the Worthy Motteville on Truth), 297, 307,
      318, 320, 324, 328, 332-334, 370, 388, 406

    Mousaux, the captaincy of, 51

    Muntz, Eugene, 107

    Musée Cluny, 123


    Nancy, 134, 250

    Nanterre, 238

    Nantes, 155

    Napoleon, _La Vie de César_, 216

    Narbonne, 219

    National Soul, the, 248

    Nation's statesmen, the, 37

    Navarre, 32

    Nemours, de, duc, 405

    Nerval, de, Gérard, 19

    Nesle, Tour de, 342

    Neuilly, bridge of, 237

    Nicanor, 49

    Nietzsche, 177-179, 436

    Notre Dame, 310, 317, 336, 338, 346


    "Obstacle, the," 229

    Office (profession of the Episcopate), 275;
      personal service of prayer and meditation required of the priest
       of the Latin Church, 277

    Old Madame de Guise, 232

    Old Mandragora (cave of), 108

    Opposition, the, 216, 230, 322-324, 333, 334, 388

    _Orasie_, 97

    Oratoire, l', 289, 292, 295, 297

    Oratorians, the, 290-292, 294, 295, 298

    "Order, the," 166

    Orléans, 398, 399, 401, 402, 404-407, 409, 411, 412, 427

    Orléans, d', Gaston, duc, 189

    Orléans, d', Madam (1) (Marie de Bourbon) 5, 12-20

    Orléans, d', Madame (2) (_see_ Marguerite de Lorraine)

    Ormesson, d', André, 351

    Ormesson, d', Olivier, 258, 268, 270, 281, 306, 312-314, 317, 350,
      351, 355, 372

    Ornano d', Maréchal, 7, 8

    Orpheus, 261

    Ortolans (_see_ Charles, Prince of Wales)

    Ossonne, d', duc, 165, 243


    Padadin, 34

    Palais, Cardinal, 204, 205, 213-215

    Palais de Justice, 330

    Palais Royal, 156, 281, 313, 314, 319, 336, 346, 348, 390, 391, 396,
      430, 432

    Pallas and Venus, 327

    Pan (the god), 108

    Papal Nuncio, 242, 243

    Paradise, 132, 224

    Paris, Archbishop of, 343

    Paris, 7, 12;
      streets of, 19, 24, 37, 50, 51, 60;
      people of, 61, 70, 74,77, 86, 91, 127, 129, 140, 147, 149, 151,
        156, 182;
      dregs of, 163, 165,168, 188, 191, 203, 207, 208, 213, 225-228,
        232, 234

    Parliament, establishment of the Regent, 243, 330, 331, 334;
      demands for the release of Broussel, 346;
      overtures made to the Queen, 349;
      stormy sessions, 349;
      the Magistrates and their sincerity and worth, 370;
      débris of Parliament, 425;
      patriots and would-be humanitarians, 426
      (general mention from pages 91 to 426)

    Parma, Duke of, 78, 157

    Pastoral, 168

    Pau, 32

    Paul de Vincent, 275, 279, 289, 290, 292-297

    Paulet ("La Belle"), 143, 144, 149

    Pauline, v., Preface

    Pavillon de Flore, 22

    Pavillon de l'Horloge, 22

    Pavillon de l'Marsan, 22

    Pavillon de Rohan, 120

    Paying theatres, the, 162, 165

    Pellisson, 95

    Perrault, 58

    Petits Champs, rue des, 118

    Phédre, v., Preface

    Philamente, 45

    Philippe Augustus, the old fortress of, 13

    Pibrac, de, Mme. ("the Aged"), 173

    Pity, 71

    Place de la Concorde, 23

    Place Dauphine, 165

    _Place Royale_, play, 104, 105, 171;
      the place Royale, 249, 252

    Pleirante, old, 171

    Plutarch, 344, 345

    Poitiers, 397

    Poland, 94

    _Polexandre_, 377

    _Polyeucte_, 135, 144, 177

    _Pompée_, 177

    Pont de l'Arche, 426

    Pont-Neuf, 165, 168, 338

    Pontis, de, Louis, 38, 40, 41

    Pontoise, 89

    Pope, the, reference to him in Richelieu's dying charge to Mazarin
      ("Our Good Master"), 242

    Port-au-Foin, 227

    Port Royal, 30, 40, 106, 281

    Pouvillon, _Les Antibel_, 169

    Power, contemporary, 197

    Prayer Book, de Richelieu's _Hours_, 204;
      de Richelieu's picture gallery, 205

    _Précieuses, les_, 47, 50, 79, 109-113, 115, 119, 146, 303, 323

    Préfontaine, 393, 433, 434

    Press, the, 64

    Prévost (Abbé, the), 95

    "Priande, Pucelle La," 142, 150

    Prime Minister, 243, 244, 246

    "Prince Charming," 11

    Prince Palatine, 305

    Prince of Wales, the, 259, 262, 264

    Princes, the Order of, 180

    Protestant Alliance, 248

    Protestants, 277 (_see_ Catholic Renaissance)

    Provost, the (of the merchants of Paris), 238, 416

    _Pucelle, la_, 129, 130

    _Pulcherie_, 183

    "Purgon, M.," 378

    Puylaurens, 75, 217

    Puymorin, 117, 118

    Pyrenees, 109, 303


    Rabbit Warren, 23

    Racine (IV.), 95, 127, 182, 183, 185

    Rambouillet de, Château, 147, 148

    Rambouillet, de, Hôtel, 22, 42, 47, 110, 113, 121, 123, 126-128, 134,
      138-142, 144, 145, 147, 152, 179

    Rambouillet, de, Madame, 114, 119-122, 126, 130, 132, 134, 136, 138,
      141-143, 148, 323

    Rambouillet, de, Mlle., 140, 148, 149

    Rambouillet, de, _née_, Angélique de Grignan, 143

    Ranke, Leopold, 229

    Reaction, 429

    Réaux, des Tallemant, 42, 56, 114, 118, 119, 121, 131, 132, 149

    _Recueil de divers pièces_ (_see_ "personal literature" under King),
       66, 68, 70, 71

    Reformation, 284

    Regency, 117, 240, 241, 249, 250, 307, 320, 331, 339, 350, 422

    Regent, 14, 87, 233-238, 240, 243, 256, 263, 295, 296, 304, 317, 330,
      332, 341, 366, 382, 384

    Register, Parish, 252

    Religion, 153

    Religious element (_see_ Catholic Renaissance)

    Renard, the garden of, 23-25

    Renaudot (_Gazette_, the), 64, 65

    Rethel, 387

    Retz de Cardinal (ex-Abbé), 10, 75, 83, 133, 240, 247, 300, 426

    Reynier, Gustave, 165

    Rheims, Archbishopric, 197

    Richelieu de, considered necessary to France, 16;
      his enemies at Court, his relations at Court, the portly
        quadragenarian, etc., his lute-playing, 17;
      his jealousy, 35;
      his persecution of Anne of Austria, 35;
      his struggles with the high powers of France, 59;
      his discipline of Monsieur (Mademoiselle's knowledge of it), 60, 61;
      the banquet of the _Knights of the Saint-Esprit_, his present from
        the King, 63;
      his appreciation of the power of the so-called "Press," 64;
      his editorship, 65;
      Monsieur's accusation of (Gaston's letters to the King), 68;
      (the King's eulogy, etc.), his polemics in the _Recueil_, his
        self-praise, 71;
      his victims (Gaston's associates), the death of Puylaurens, 74;
      acts as godfather, 75;
      his riches, genius, cruelty, and ambition, his declaration of love
        to Anne of Austria, his heart, etc., Val-de-Grâce, 82-84;
      his rebuke of Mademoiselle, 90;
      conspiracy of Monsieur and de Soissons, 190, 191;
      introduction of Cinq-Mars to the King, 201;
      the Star of Richelieu, 202;
      his pomp, his bodyguard, 203;
      his palace (hotel and theatre), 204, 205;
      his part as peacemaker, his work for France, 211-213;
      his grand fête, _Mirame_, 213-216;
      his disgrace _Le petit Saint-Amour_, etc., 217, 218;
      his attempt to corrupt Cinq-Mars, his insult offered to Cinq-Mars,
       Cinq-Mars's anger, his conspiracy, de Richelieu's revenge, his
       travelling room, his closing days, his death and funeral, 218-230;
      various references to, 231, 232, 238, 242, 243, 247, 266, 280

    Richelieu, de (brother of the Cardinal), Archbishop of Lyons, 149

    Richelieu, rue, 358, 390

    Rigol, Eugène (_see_ works cited)

    Rivière, de la, Abbé, Monsieur's favourite, 262, 263, 265-267

    Roche-sur-Yon, 21

    Rocroy, 34, 246

    _Rodrigue_, 165, 175, 176, 261, 419

    Roger, "Louison," 76, 77, 156

    Rohan, de, Pavillon (Palais de Rohan, Place Royale), 209

    Roland, 419

    Rome, 197, 396

    Ronsard, 112

    Rotrou, 213

    Rouen, 337

    Roule (chemin de), 237, 238

    Rousseau, J. J., 95

    Rubens, 221

    Rueil, 73, 74, 90, 203, 209, 210, 313,314, 348, 370;
      artificial cascades of, 108

    Ryer, de, Pierre, 93


    Sablé, de, Marquise, 50

    Saint Amour, "Little," 216, 217

    Saint Antoine, rue, 347, 417 418, 420, 421;
      faubourg, 416, 419, 423

    Saint Augustine, 53

    Saint Bartholomew, 347

    Saint Bernard, 277

    Sainte-Beuve, 141, 281

    Sainte Chapelle, la, 378

    Saint Cloud, 50, 107

    Saint Denis, Carmelite nuns of, 57;
      rue de, 162;
      gate of 347

    Saint Dominick, 205

    _Saint Esprit_ (chevaliers of the Order of the), 63, 166

    Saint Evremond, 249

    Saint Fargeau, 21, 434, 435

    Saint François de Sales, 276

    Saint Georges, de, Mme., 29, 77, 84, 249

    Saint Germain l'Auxerrois, 13

    Saint Germaine, 90, 91, 108, 201, 202, 206, 232-236, 253, 349;
      fairs of, 165

    Saint Gervais, church of, 417

    Saint Honoré, rue, 118;
      market of, 29;
      faubourg, 237

    Saint Julian, abbey of 155

    Saint Laurent, fair of, 165

    Saint Piguerol, prison of, 333

    Saint Simon, 116, 147. 310, 345

    "Saints' Party," the, 296, 298

    Saint Theresa, 274

    Sales, de, François, 98

    Salon, the Blue Room, 118, 119, 121-123, 125, 127-129, 131, 134, 136,
      141-147, 152

    Sand, George, 95

    _Sapho_, 42, 47-50

    Sarrazin, 124, 141, 146

    Saujon, 264, 265, 272, 335, 336, 381

    Sauval, 23, 108

    "Savante," a, 46, 47, 49, 53, 56, 79

    Savoy, 33

    Scapin, 24

    Schomberg, de, Maréchal, 307

    Scudery, de, Mlle., 1, 24, 42, 47, 49, 50-53, 55, 57, 135, 143

    Sedan, 191, 192

    See, Holy, 242

    Segrais, Sieur, 79, 161

    Seine, the, 22, 23 337, 338

    Seminaries (ecclesiastical), 277

    Senneterre, de, Mlle., 97

    Septembrist, 423

    Sévigné, de, Mme., 53, 54, 95, 123, 132, 136, 144;
      her criticism of _Bajazet_, 183, 281

    Sisters of Charity, 294

    Sobieski, John, 94

    Soissons de, Comte, 187-194

    Soissons, de, Comtesse, 77

    Soissons, Madame, mother of M. le Comte, 193

    Somaize, 113

    Sons of the nobility, the, 37, 38

    Sorbonne, the, 56

    Soul of the nation (national soul), 248

    Spain, 81, 83, 194, 212, 213, 219, 255;
      literature of, 98, 156;
      influence upon the Court of France, 111;
      alliance with, 248;
      "Envoy" of, 255;
      King of, 303, 379, 380

    "Spanish money," 62

    State, the, 17;
      importance of women in, 44;
      "the obstacle," the French cavalier's opinion of, 102;
      shield and the sword of, 229;
      credits of, 318;
      magistrates attempt to pacify, 351

    Statesmen, the nation's, 37

    Strowski, Fortunat, 285

    Strozzi, Maréchal, 134

    Students of Philosophy (_see_ Antoine Godeau)

    Success, 246

    Supervisor (of the national finances), 37

    "Sur-homme," 178

    Suze, 25

    Swans' Pond, 23

    Sweden, King of, 33, 34, 407

    Sweden, Queen of, 347


    Tacitus, 54

    Tallemant des Réaux, 114, 118, 119, 121, 128, 131, 132, 143, 149

    Talon, Omer, 31, 37, 328, 423

    Tarascon, 219

    _Te Deum_, 76, 336

    "Temple, the" (_see_ Salon Rambouillet)

    Theatre (the comedy or play), 155, 156, 164, 165, 168

    "The Elect," 196

    "The Humanities," 195

    The indulgent Abbé, 217

    The Innate Idea (_see_ Vicomtesse d'Auchy)

    Thélème, the Abbey of, 230

    "The Manly Passions" and "Monsters of the Will" (_see_ Corneille and
       Nietzsche and 195)

    The Press, 64

    Thesssaly, 150

    The Terror, 412

    Thou, de, François August, born 1607, died 1642, son of Thou the
      historian, friend of Henry d'Effiat de Cinq-Mars, and Confidant
      of Madame la Duchesse de Chevreuse, 223-225

    Tivoli, fountains of, 150

    Toledo (Bishop of), 196

    Tour de Nesle, 342

    Tours, 76, 155, 156

    Toury, 400

    Treasury, the National, 308, 351

    Treatise on the dramatic play (Prince de Conti), 160, 161

    Treaty, peace (the Peace of Westphalia), 354, 355

    Trissotin, 47, 127

    Tuileries, the, 13, 22, 23, 29, 60, 78, 156, 158, 221, 249, 253, 260

    Turenne, de, 247, 380, 387, 398, 408, 413, 414


    Urfé d'Honoré, 92-95, 98-101, 104, 106, 109-111, 124, 157, 167, 168,
      170, 288, 289

    Usson, d', Château, 108


    Vadius, 131, 132

    Val-de-Grâce, 81, 83, 84

    Valette, de la, Cardinal, 149, 150, 152

    Valois, the, 13, 96, 97

    Vanini, 279

    Vaugelas, 138

    Veille rue du Temple, 165

    Vendômes, the, 232

    Vengeance, 177

    Venus, son of, 168

    Verdue, de, Mme., 113, 114

    Versaillais, the, 332

    Versailles, 92;
      the Minerva of, 2

    Vice and Virtue, 279

    Vieuville, de, Marquis, 62

    Vigeau, de, Mlle., 149, 377

    Ville l'Evêque, 25

    Villepreau, 118

    Villette, la, 151

    Vincennes, 13;
      Wood of, 74

    Virgil, 54

    Virtue, 254

    Vivienne, rue, 396

    Voiture, "Little," 133-136, 140, 144-146, 150, 152


    Warren, Rabbit, 23

    Westphalia, Peace of, 246, 354, 355

    Wisdom, 71

    Wives (of the Bourgeoisie), 375

    "Wives, Fish," (of the Halles), 374


    Yveteaux, de, M. ("d'Yveteaux"), 128


    Zoroaster, 56



    By FRANCES ELLIOT. Illustrated with portraits and with views of the
    old châteaux. 2 vols., 8º, $4.00. Half-calf extra, gilt tops   $8.00

    "Mrs. Elliot's is an anecdotal history of the French Court from
    Francis I. to Louis XIV. She has conveyed a vivid idea of the
    personalities touched upon, and her book contains a great deal of
    genuine vitality."--_Detroit Free Press._



    By JULIA KAVANAGH, author of "Madeline," Illustrated with
    portraits on steel. 2 vols., 8º, $4.00. Half-calf extra, gilt tops,

    "Miss Kavanagh has studied her material so carefully, and has
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    of the revolutionary period, with an understanding and a sobriety
    that make it practically new to English readers."--_Detroit Free


    By James Breck Perkins. With a Sketch of the Administration of
    Richelieu. Portraits of Mazarin, Richelieu, Louis XIII., Anne of
    Austria, and Condé. 2 vols., 8º                                $4.00

    "A brilliant and fascinating period that has been skipped,
    slighted, or abused by the ignorance, favoritism, or prejudice
    of other writers is here subjected to the closest scrutiny of an
    apparently judicial and candid student...."--_Boston Literary


    From his unpublished correspondence. Edited by J. J. JUSSERAND.
    With 10 illustrations, 5 being photogravures. 8º               $3.50

    "M. Jusserand has chosen a topic peculiarly fitted to his genius,
    and Heated it with all the advantage to be derived on he one hand,
    from his wide knowledge of English literature and English social
    life, and on the other, from his diplomatic experience and his
    freedom of access of the archives of the French Foreign Office....
    We get a new and vivid picture of his (Cominges') life at the Court
    of Charles II.... There is not a dull page in the book."--_London


    =By ALBERT D. VANDAM, author of "An Englishman in Paris," etc. 8º.

    "Mr. Vandam is an Englishman, long resident in Paris, and thereby
    thoroughly Gallicized in his intellectual atmosphere and style
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    is a valuable contribution to the history of that time."--_The



    =By Joseph McCabe, author of "Twelve Years in a Monastery," etc.
    Octavo. Net, $2.00. (By mail, $2.20)=

    "A virile and dramatic piece of biographical

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    =By Joseph McCabe, author of "Peter Abelard," etc. With Portrait.
    Octavo. Uniform with "Peter Abelard." Net, $2.00. (By mail, $2.20)=

Mr. McCabe, the scholarly author of "Peter Abelard," brings to bear the
same thoroughness of research, the same vigor of reasoning, and the
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this latest work. He is especially fitted for the task by reason of his
ecclesiastic and scholastic training.


    =By A. MacDonell. With eight full-page illustrations. Octavo, cloth,
    net, $3.50.=

Mr. MacDonell presents in a fascinating story the record of the
disciples of Francis of Assisi, in which the reader will find many
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in their interest. The plates have been prepared from noteworthy
originals which rank among the great works of art of the period.

New York--G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS--London

    |                       Transcriber notes:                         |
    |                                                                  |
    | P.6. 'MEDIC S' changed to 'MEDICIS'.                             |
    | p.50. 'aujourd'huy' changed to 'aujourd'hui'.                    |
    | P.83. Footnote 'National' changed to 'Nationale'.                |
    | P.95. 'inaginative' changed to 'imaginative'.                    |
    | P.114. 's'aecrut' changed to 's'accrut'.                         |
    | P.138. 'phenominal' changed to 'phenomenal'.                     |
    | P.160. 'aud' changed to 'and'.                                   |
    | P.163. 'française' changed to 'français'.                        |
    | P.181. 'nêtes' changed to 'n'êtes'.                              |
    | P.181. 'Je le soutien, Carlos, vous nêtes point son fils'        |
    | l think should read 'Je le soutiens, Carlos, vous n'êtes pas     |
    |   son fils'.                                                     |
    | P.183. 'It it' changed to 'It is'.                               |
    | P.228. 'dualogues' changed to 'dialogues'.                       |
    | P.247. Footnote #  'ennemies' changed to 'enemies'.              |
    | P.287. 'woful' changed to 'woeful'.                              |
    | P.315. Footnote # 'Lettres des' changed to Lettres du'.          |
    |                                        |
    | P.345. 'aud' changed to 'and'.                                   |
    | P.367. Footnote # 'Parlementet' changed to 'Parlement'.          |
    | P.377. 'imperi-ious' should be 'imperious', changed.             |
    | P.391. Added 'I' to 'where I was'.                               |
    | P.423. Footnote 1 'del' Hôtel' changed to 'de l'Hôtel'.          |
    | Adds: added . after dollar amount--various.                      |
    | Fixed various punctuation.                                       |
    | Note: underscores to surround _italic text_, and = around        |
    |   =bold text=.                                                   |
    |                                                                  |

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "La Grande Mademoiselle - 1627 - 1652" ***

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