Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Scotland in the month of April, 1566, and his dexterity in managing rude minds, his loyal and disinterested mediation, were the means of restoring peace without sacrifice of authority, or peril to the nation." His fourth embassy, in July, was also crowned with success, however transient. In October a permanent ambassador was sent to represent France in Scotland, in the person of Du Croc; within a few months of whose arrival, Darnley was murdered, Mary wedded by the murderer, and all Scotland in commotion.

The subsequent disasters of Mary Stuart gave Catherine little concern. They excited interest and pity, however, in France; and French politicians began to moralise on the fatal results likely to ensue from the rupture of the Scottish alliance. Many, too, were incredulous about Mary's guilt : were not the crimes imputed to her an invention of English hatred, a calumny trumped up by Huguenot malice ? Others, who believed her guilty, could not repress a feeling of compassion for her woes. “ French generosity, the chivalric spirit of the noblesse, revolted at the thought of a Queen of France taken prisoner by the English.” The stress of public opinion, together, perhaps, with some uneasiness at Elizabeth's growing success, induced Catherine to employ embassies in Mary's behalf

, with due cautions at the same time not to exalt Philip II. at England's expense. The Spanish government, after compromising Mary Stuart and the Catholic party in England, gave them up to Elizabeth's vengeance, which, says M. Chéruel, was speedy and sanguinary. " At the

very moment when Ridolfi was developing his plans before the Council of Spain, Norfolk's agents in England were seized (July, 1571); the Spanish ambassador, Gueraldo de Espès, was expelled from London; Norfolk confined in the Tower, and Mary subjected to a capital charge. Elizabeth lost no time in sending Thomas Smith to France, to lay before Catherine de Medicis and Charles IX. the authentic proofs of the plot, and especially the despatches in which Mary Stuart had given expression to a mistrust highly insulting to France. This evidence was unanswerable, and Catherine de Medicis availed herself of it in order to abandon the cause of the Queen of Scotland, and so to improve her relations with England, as to be able to oppose a close alliance with that country to the aggressive policy of Philip II. Unquestionably the successes of the Duke of Alba in the Low Countries, the enslavement or expulsion of the Moors from Granada, the victory of Lepanto, and the conquests on the African coasts, were every day placing the Spanish monarchy in a more and more threatening attitude. The union of France and England seemed the only means of checking these aggressions. The two powers became reconciled; a proposition of marriage between Elizabeth and the Duke of Anjou was entertained; with all solemnity an embassy was commissioned to London, in which Montmorency and Paul de Foix bore a part. The marriage did not take place, but a treaty of alliance was signed at Blois, between France and England (29th April, 1572). No mention was made in it of Mary Stuart. Of this the reine délaissée complained bitterly; she asserted, not without probability, that Elizabeth's only aim was to deceive France and keep it slumbering while she made herself mistress of Scotland; and Mary concluded by insisting on being included in the treaty. The French ambassadors made some timid reclamations in her behalf.' Cecil harshly rejected them; and so far from

was the

softening the captivity of Mary Stuart, these proceedings served only to aggravate it, and render the captive's lot more irksome still." But this

year of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew. “Good-by now to the league with England," said Cardinal Granvelle, when he heard the news. As for Catherine, while she made a merit of the Massacre in her letter to Philip II. (“ce service, tout à l'honneur de Dieu, est un témoignage de mes bonnes et droites intentions,” &c. &c.), with England she held quite another tone. She was anxious not to break off the treaty of Blois, and notwithstanding the violent indignation of the English court against the authors of this butchery, and against the government which had approved or allowed of it, Elizabeth eventually accepted the equivocal explanations of La Mothe-Fénelon, and Michel de Castelnau was directed to go and remove the last vestiges of her resentment.

Accordingly, the St. Bartholomew crime scarcely shook the alliance which had checked the ambition of Philip II. and sacrificed Mary Stuart. Catherine de Medicis, after yielding to faction and perhaps also to personal resentments, had come round again to the side she preferred. Meanwhile the poor captive's sympathies with the Guises and Spain, grew with the growth of her great sorrow, and strengthened with the strength of her wrongs. On Elizabeth's perfidy and on Catherine's guilty neglect she laid the charge of her overwhelming misfortunes.

The death of Charles IX., in 1574, led Mary to hope for a favourable change. Of her royal brothers-in-law, it was Henry III., the new king of France, who loved her the best. But this effeminate prince gave up the reins of authority to Catherine de Medicis, and little she cared for her daughter-in-law. Not but that Catherine would fain have strengthened French influence in Scotland, where, in fact, France had lost all credit, or nearly so, since the flight of Mary Stuart. The four regents, Murray, Lennox, Mar, and Morton, who had governed Scotland from 1568 to 1575, belonged to the faction which Elizabeth upheld. But Catherine could not see her way, without detriment to collateral and more important issues. France was exhausted by four civil wars, and was aware that it depended on Elizabeth to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of warto lancer upon her a whole pack of reîtres and lansquenets, the palatine Casimir and all those German mercenaries whose sword was their daily bread. “ Elle leur faisait des pieds de son argent,” as La Mothe-Fénelon reproachfully said. Quiet and safe in her island-home, she put in practice that “continental system, which her successors were to make so formidable.” Hence the care of Catherine's envoys to keep Elizabeth in good humour, to flatter her vanity, to give scope to her coquetry, and by maintaining intimate liaisons with Walsingham, to keep the English from fomenting the civil war in France.

Notwithstanding so inany baffled expectations, and that hope deferred that maketh the heart sick, Mary Stuart resigned herself more and more to the Spanish faction. In Don John of Austria she saw not only the conqueror of Granada, Lepanto, and Tunis, but the hero who made Protestant England tremble, and cheered the hearts of the faithful on both sides the Tweed. She saw in him an avenger, possibly a husband. In 1577 she drew up her will, bequeathing her rights to the King of Spain, provided her son failed to embrace his mother's faith. The death of Don John put an end to one part of her speculations. But Philip II.

kept on promising a fleet and army for the invasion of England, to break off the royal prisoner's chains, and place her on the throne from which it was his purpose to hurl the insolent Tudor. Philip coveted Portugal too, and was in a fume about subduing the Low Countries, and had ugly designs, it was believed, on Sclavonia and Scandinavia: the talk in France was about these aspirations to universal monarchy, and a compact alliance between France and England was, more than ever, deemed the alone means of foiling this greedy grasp-all. Again a marriage scheme was mooted, between Elizabeth and another of the French princes—the Duke of Alençon, this time. But the last of the Tudors was to die an old maid.

Castelnau appears to have laboured earnestly and honestly in Mary's behalf

, during the intricacies and embroilments of succeeding years. His embassy in England lasted till the autumn of 1585,-a critical period, for Spain at the head of the Catholic powers, and England, rallying the Protestants, were making ready for a deadly strife, while France was destroying herself, and the execution of Mary Stuart was close at hand. Castelnau's successor, the Baron d’Esneval, 'made “laudable efforts” to renew and reinvigorate the ancient alliance of his country with Scotland, nor were his endeavours observed with indifference by Elizabeth. James VI. listened to D’Esneval's representations with an air of docility and conviction; but in his private conferences with Elizabeth's agent, Thomas Randolph, the pawky, gawky young prince made game of the French ambassador's “ inexperience, and protested his entire devotedness to England and the Protestant religion. The treaty of Berwiek (July, 1586) sacrificed the union of Scotland and France to the “amity" of England; Mary Stuart was abandoned by her son-she was now reine sans sujets et mère sans fils. D’Esneval had no longer an object to gain by remaining in Scotland, and took his departure accordingly,– not without first urging on James not to aid the French Protestants, and getting his royal word to be wisely neutral towards them, and to cultivate an entente cordiale with France.

In December of the same year, Pomponne de Bellièvre, whose embassy has been the theme of much historical controversy, arrived in London. He soon had occasion to apprise his master of the imminent danger in which Mary was placed. His stay was brief. For five weeks after his departure, Henry III. received no fresh tidings from his resident ambassador in London. But on the 27th of February (1587), Chateauneuf sent him news that all was over-the axe and the block had done their work, Mary Stuart was dead. Cries of vengeance resounded in France; but Henry III. had enough to do to take care of himself, and the relations between him and Elizabeth were hardly ruffled on the surface. 1588 was the year of the Barricades, and who had time to think of Scottish interests then ? Even the death of Catherine de Medicis, in January, 1589,--of her who so long had administered French politics, was scarcely remarked. And at length the assassination of Henry III., the accession of Henry IV., his struggle against the League and Spain, and the reunion of the English and Scottish crowns on a single head, for ever destroyed for France an alliance of eight centuries, which had been strengthened by common interests and common perils, weakened by religious differences and the political intolerance of the Guises, restored for

a while by the tact and zeal of Castelnau, and definitely broken up by the craft of Elizabeth and the weakness of Henry III.

The ancient allies of France-continues M. Chéruel in his summary of subsequent events*—ended by closely uniting themselves with England, and nothing remained for the kings of France but the extreme, and not very honourable resource, of exciting the subject against his legimate sovereign. Thus, in 1635, Richelieu, who had to resent Buckingham's insults and the attack directed against the Ile de Rhé, entered into engagements with the Scotch malcontents. The Scotch sent a gentleman named Colvil to Louis XIII., to implore his aid against the tyranny of Charles I.” France continued to foment those troubles in the north which were the prelude to our Great Rebellion. In vain she tried to check them, when the Rebellion came to its height. After the Revolution, when Dundee attempted a diversion in favour of James II., the Scottish insurgents invoked the aid of Louis XIV., fruitlessly enough. In 1708, when many in Scotland were indignant at the suppression of the national parliament, a French fleet sailed from Dunkirk, and conveyed the Pretender to the coasts of Scotland—but, finding little sympathy, withdrew after an empty demonstration. France took no part in the rising of 1715, being then, under the Orleans Regency, the ally of England. But in 1745, it was in the name of the King of France that Voltaire drew up a manifesto to vindicate the rights of Charles Edward to the throne of England and Scotland. A representative of Louis XV., Boyer, Marquis d'Aiguilles, set off to meet the young Pretender at Holyrood Palace; the French who accompanied him were continually, says M. Chéruel, finding traces of their ancestors in this land of their ancestral alliance : “A quelques milles d'Edinbourg, un village portait le nom de Petite France; un autre, celui de Montpellier.But with the fortune of Charles Edward disappeared all French influence in Scotland. And no loss either, to the latter, M. Chéruel candidly acknowledges, in the closing paragraph of his history, descriptive of the progress Scotland has made since the Union. His last words are emphatic: “ Une alliance de moins pour la France, une province de plus pour l'Angleterre, voilà le résultat d'une politique tour à tour faible ou passionnée, fanatique ou indifférente.”

More than half his volume consists of Pièces Justificatives, in the form of Lettres Diplomatiques, chiefly written by Michel de Castelnau, and unquestionably valuable for the light they throw on those troublous times.

* Pp. 173-75.

54

EUGÈNE SUE: HIS LIFE AND WORKS.

The family of Sue came originally from the little seaport of La Calle, situated some fifteen miles from Grasse. They are said to still constitute nearly one-half of the population of the place. One of this family went to Paris to study medicine towards the end of the reign of Louis XV., and having afterwards obtained success as a practitioner, he invited his nephews to the metropolis. Two of these earned great subsequent distinction : one was Pierre Sue, who became professor of medical jurisprudence and librarian to the School of Medicine ; the other Jean Sue, who was surgeon to La Charité, professor of anatomy at the School of Fine Arts, and surgeon to King Louis XVI.

The latter was succeeded by Jean-Joseph Sue, who, besides the place at the School of Fine Arts, which he inherited from his father, was also surgeon to the Royal Guard and to the military household of the king. It was this Jean Sue, father of Eugène Sue, who sustained the memorable discussion against Cabanis on the guillotine, when its inventor, Dr. Guillotin, assured the members of the Assemblée Nationale that those who were decapitated by it would suffer no pain whatsoever. JeanJoseph Sue, however, argued that there could be pain after the separation of the head, and he supported his arguments by an extended knowledge of human and comparative anatomy.

Eugène Sue, the novelist, was born in 1803; when he died he was a few days older than Victor Hugo, and five months younger than Alexandre Dumas—his biographer. He had Prince Eugene for godfather and the Empress Joséphine for godmother. Hence his name of Eugène. He was brought up on goat's milk, and is said to have preserved for a long time the abrupt, unsteady manners of his nurse. His father, Dr. Sue, had been three times married, and was very wealthy. He resided in the Rue du Rempart, which has disappeared, but was situated behind the Madeleine. His sister, mother of Ferdinand Langlé, since a distinguished writer of vaudevilles, lived with him, and the two cousins were sent together to the Collége Bourbon. Eugène had also a tutor at homePère Delteil, as he was called—and with whom the future romancer played all kinds of tricks. Like most persons who are destined to acquire a name for originality, Eugène appears to have been a wayward, idle, and rebellious pupil and scholar.

Eugène Sue entered the profession as sub-assistant-surgeon to the hospital of the king's household under the auspices of his father, and where he was associated with his cousin, Ferdinand Langlé, and Louis Véron-pot one of the three destined to adhere to their vocation, except it were in the sale of lozenges, or, as has been said of Dr. Véron, “not to be literary, but to be the cause of literature in others." Eugène Sue, his cousin Langlé, and another student, Delattre by name, were also employed at home in making anatomical and other preparations, chiefly for a course of natural history, which the doctor gave at that time “ à l'usage des gens du monde," or, as we would say, “ popular lectures.” They had two other helps—Achille Petit and James Rousseau. The last named was an intimate friend of Alexandre Dumas, and it is pro

« ПредишнаНапред »