Графични страници
PDF файл

villages should send in lists of the high price for the gratification it affordmen in their parishes capable of bear, ed him. A new edict having left the reing arms, &c. &c.

formed in the peaceable practice of their “The Queen-Mother must recall her religion, and the King and his favour. misled son,* whom she will easily ites to the enjoyment of their usual persuade to return to the King, and amusements, some violent disputes accompany him to the convocation at among the courtiers, (the unhappy reBlois. She must also strive to draw sult of liberty and leisure in ungovernover the King of Navarre and Prince ed spirits,) were extinguished in the of Condé, by proving to them, that if blood of three of the particular friends they do not present themselves before of the King. Vengeance was muttered the States, they will be declared rebels against D’Entragues, the conqueror of and traitors; and, in order to take Caylus, by the royal party, in case of from them all excuse of doubt or fear, the demise of the wounded favourite; the Duke of Guise, and his brothers, but it was a vengeance which was shall absent themselves froin court as confined to threatenings only, for the malcontent.

Duke of Guise protected D'Entragues; To destroy the ordinary succession, and upon the dreaded death of Caylus, as settled by Hugh Capet, the cap- the offender remained in perfect safety, tains of the provinces shall assemble for it was remembered that the Duke in the field with their forces, and each had defended his conduct, and declared in his own district fall upon the he- that his sword, which, as he observed, retics, their friends, and adherents, cut deeply, should avenge any wrong and put them all to the sword. offered to the person of his friend.

“Finally, by the advice and permis- The King was obliged to chew this sion of his holiness, he shall shut up bitter cud in silence; but it was not the King and Queen in a monastery, long ere a delicious tribute to his haas Pepin his ancestor had confined tred of Guise was presented by the unChilderic.”

thinking vanity of St Megrin, another

of his worthless favourites, who boastIt is a singular proof of the careless- ed of his intimacy with the Duchess ness of the King, that the first intima- of Guise, and made, by desire of the tion he received of the association of King, his successes so public, that the the Holy League, was from a memo- report at length reached the ear of the rial transmitted to him by his am- fainily, whose vengeance (though the bassador at Madrid, and his conduct, Duke himself appeared to disbelieve in consequence, sufficiently marks the and disdain) was only satisfied by the timidity and negligence of his charac- life of the unhappy offender. The conter. He declared himself chief of the duct of Guise upon this trying occaparty, and thus bound himself to ful- sion, both towards St Megrin and his fil their views, without foreseeing, that Duchess, are strong proofs of the firmwhile he possessed the empty name of ness and prudence of his character ; leader, the Duke of Guise alone would but it is too generally known to redispose of the resources, zeal, and quire a repetition here. energy of the Leaguers. This painful While the King was occupied with truth was soon made apparent to the religious processions and mourning King, who, too weak and too listless ceremonies over his slaughtered fato attempt at lessening the power vourites, the Leaguers busied themwhich he dreaded, submitted in silence selves in forging a title for their idol to the wrong which he could not re- to the crown, which gave him a more medy; and, while brooding over his legitimate claim than that even of the meditated revenge, indulged his ha- reigning family. They found out and tred, by seizing every possible occa- asserted, that the family of Lorraine sion of humiliating and mortifying the was descended from Charles, the last high spirit of his too popular rival. of the Carlovingian race, from whose An opportunity unfortunately offered brow the strong band of Hugh Capet itself too soon, us, though the King did had rent the diadem of the Lilies. It not neglect it, he was doomed to pay a was the first time any posterity of this

The Duke of Alençon.

monarch had been heard of or men- opposite party, to decide the dispute tioned ; but the story gained credit, by single and mortal combat; but for and the King himself did not disdain this extravagance the Duke was too to refute the assertion, and suppress politic. Of his courage, no one could the huge folio which was written to harbour a doubt, and he was therefore support it. The death of the Duke of very generally believed, when he asAnjou, the last brother of the King, serted, that regard for Henry's person gave still more energy to these visions and respect to his high station, alone of greatness. Guise thought, or pre- prevented his acceptance of a chaltended to think, it would not be diffi. lenge which did him so much honour cult to crush the more distant, and in the eye of the world. Of his friend. (on account of his religious opinions) ship for Henry, there was indeed little somewhat unpopular claims of the reason to doubt-they had each bold King of Navarre ; but not as yet da- and enterprizing feelings in common, ring to direct the pointing finger of and we are assured, both by Serres, popularity towards his own person, he and De Thou, that each had at differaffected to consider the old Cardinal ent times driven men from their preof Bourbon as presumptive heir; his sence, who, either from zeal, hatred, own real sentiments were carefully or policy, had offered to the one to asconcealed from all with whom he con- sassinate the other. versed; he had a secret to entrust, opi. The Queen-Mother herself at last nions to demand, and a project to dis- became convinced of the necessity of cuss; and the Queen Mother, the King conciliating the King of Navarre. The of Spain, and the Cardinal of Lorraine, insolence of Guise, who, at the head of were all alternately deceived and amu- the Leaguers, made war upon his own sed by his calmness and ingenuity. authority, and had just taken Rocroi

But the insolence with which the without any orders from the King, order of the succession was discussed, hastened the negociations. Many were at length opened the eyes of the mo- the meetings, but little success attend. narch, and made him sensible of the ed them, for Henry of Navarre, aware necessity of uniting himself with the of the character of Catherine, underreal heir of his crown. Unfortunately stood that her aim was the balancing the King of Navarre had just accepted of parties for her own interest, not his the order of the garter from a Queen establishment as heir of the throne. of the reformed faith, and this raised The conversation which passed at one a new outcry against his possible in- of these meetings we translate with tentions, and the probable destruction pleasure for our readers, as being little of the Catholic faith, should he ascend known and sufficiently curious to methe throne. The Duke of Guise rit the attention of those who like to strengthened and animated this opi- see the sentiments of such remarkable nion, and encouraged by Sixtus, who personages, delivered in their own parabout this time fulminated his famous ticular phrase. The conversation took bull against the King of Navarre and place at St Brix, and this account is his party, assembled his troops, and extracted from the manuscript in the prepared to oppose both the court and King's Library at Paris. the reformed. Again was the unfortu- After many courtesies," says the nate Henry of France compelled to MS. “ on both sides, the Queen-Mooffer terms to his formidable subjects, ther said to the King of Navarre, and barter, as the price of their ac- Well, my son, shall we do any good ? ceptance, his solemn word of honour, The King. It does not depend upon pledged to his Protestant people, to me, Madame, but it is certainly what I allow them the free exercise of their desire. faith; but Catherine had so willed it, Queen. Tell us then what you wish. and it was well known the sovereign King. My wishes, Madame, are those of the most powerful monarchy in of your Majesties. Europe dared not disobey his mother. Queen. Å truce with these comThe Huguenots were obliged to sub- pliments, my son, which are useless mit, and their gallant leader, Henry--what do you require ? of Navarre, wearied out with the per- King. Madame, I require nothing of petual promises, deceptions, and quar- you, and I only came hither to receive rels of the court, at length challenged your commands. the Duke of Guise as the head of the Queen. Make some proposal then.


King. Madame, I have no proposal hunbly. I shall never forget the duty to make.

which I owe to your Majesties. Queen. What ! you are deterinined Queen. Well, but will you say noto be the ruin of this kingdom, in thing more? which, next to the King, you have the King. Have I not said a great deal, greatest interest?

Madame? | King. Neither you nor he, Madame, Queen. You are the cause of the can make it appear so, having raised disasters of this kingdom. Are you eight armies solely to ruin me. not afraid that the displeasure of the

Queen. What armies, my son? you King will effect the total ruin of your are deceived; do you imagine the King' interest ? could not have destroyed you had it King. No, Madame, I know that it been his pleasure ?

cannot be so totally ruined, but there King. It was neither in the King's will still remain some rallying point power, nor in yours, Madame, to de- for me. stroy me.

Queen. But leaving all this, tell me Queen. Are you ignorant, then, of why, under the false pretenee of the the King's power, and of what he can Leaguers, having obliged the King to do?

break through his own edict, and deKing. No, Madame, we know well ny you the liberty of exercising your enough what he can do, but we also religion, you are continually complainknow what he cannot do.

ing against his authority ? Queen. You will not then obey the King. Madame, do you wish me to King ?

repeat what you are saying to the King. Madame, I have always en- princes and gentlemen who are with deavoured to do so, and have exerted me? myself to make it appear so by my Queen. No, no, I do not wish that; actions, having frequently written to but will you not obey the King ? him to beg he would honour me with King. Madame, I must speak the his commands, that, under his autho- truth. I have not obeyed the King rity, I might oppose the League which these eighteen months. has arisen in his kingdom to the pre- Queen. Do not say so, my son. judice of his own edicts, and the de- King. Madame, I must say so; for struction of his tranquillity and re- the King, who should have been a fapose.

ther to me, instead of treating me like Queen. Do not deceive yourself, my a son, has made war upon me like a son; they are not leagued against the wolf; and you yourself, Madam, have kingdom; the King himself approves played the lioness towards me, and it. There is no confederacy,—those given me a scratch when I was weakwho, you imagine, are of it, are the est. Now I am more powerful than best Catholics-in short, the King is you are, but still I fear your artifices, satisfied with all they have done. But which do me more harm than all the let us not mind this; ask all you wish, armies which could be brought against the King will grant it,—but ask only me. for yourself. Can you think the mem- Queen. Have I not always been a bers of this pretended religion love friend and mother to you?

King. Madame, you were indeed a King. Madame, I shall ask nothing tender mother when I was very young, of you ; but if you will make some till I was fifteen years old, and for proposal, I will lay it before the princes this I am grateful to you ; but during and the gentlemen, both within and the last six years, your conduct towithout the kingdom, to whom I am wards me has entirely changed. bound by oath, and without whom I Queen. Believe me, the King and will neither act nor negociate. myself are only desirous of serving

Queen. Well, my son, I see you you. will not say any thing. I assure you King. Excuse me, Madame, but I the King, my son, loves and honours know quite the contrary. you, desiring nothing more than to Queen. Never mind that. Do you embrace you as his good brother and wish that all the trouble I have taken subject, and to give you the next rank during the last six months should be to himself.

fruitless, after having so long trifled King. Madame, I thank him very with me?



King. Madame, it is not my fault; treating homewards, when the Duke, on the contrary, it is your own. I do insolently braving his sovereign, and not prevent your sleeping quietly in in defiance of the treaty just agreed on, your bed, but during the last eighteen attacked, defeated, and dispersed the months you have effectually hindered peaceable strangers, under the pretenice me from lying down in mine. that the King had a secret understand

Queen. Must I then always be in ing with the enemies of his country. troubles when I am so anxious for For this ungovernable sally the Duke rest?

was loaded with encomiums; the King. Madame, these troubles are churches rung with the commendayour pleasures, your nourishment; if tions of the priests, who did not hesiyou were at peace you would not live. tate to apply the words of Scripture

Queen. How is this? I have always for the purposes of treason, and “Saul seen you calm and tractable, now you has slain his thousands, and David his are overcome by passion.

ten thousands," became the favourite King. Madame, it is true; but mis- text of the day. The leaguers londly fortunes and the ill treatment I have demanded the presence of their idol in received at your hands, have changed Paris. The King forbid his approach ; my natural disposition.

yet he dared disobey the positive orders Queen. Well, since you cannot act of his sovereign, and, returning to the of yourself, we will endeavour to get capital, demanded an audience of his a truce for a short time, during which offended master. The King, on recei. you may confer with the churchmen, ving the intimation of this effrontery, and your other associates, in order to remained for some moments motionmake as good a peace as we can, in the less with surprise and vexation; on manner which shall seem to you most recovering his

recollection, he consultexpedient.

ed with Alphonso D'Ornano, what was King. Very well, Madame, I will do to be done in so momentous a crisis.

“Sire," replied the Sicilian,“ do you Queen. Ah! my son, you deceive regard the Duke of Guise as a friend yourself; you imagine you have troops, or as an enemy?” The King replied and you have none.

by a significant gesture, and the courKing. Madame, I did not come here tier added, " If you will commit the to hear news of my troops from you." execution of this business to me, I

will this day throw the head of the From the sulky answers of the good Duke of Guise at your feet.” But the Bearnois to his politic mother-in-law, King shrunk from the proposal, and it is evident he strongly distrusted her dared not refuse the demanded auhonesty. Nothing was effected in con- dience to his audacious enemy, who sequence; and the.march of the Ger- came to the Louvre with the whole man troops to the assistance of their city in his train, filling the air with brethren in France, still farther alien- the shouts of “Guise ! Guise ! Long ated the mind of the King from his live the pillar of the church !” The cousin of Navarre. The distress of his King received him coldly; the Duke situation was greatly increased by the endeavoured to justify his conduct, establishment of the Council of Six and then retired amid the acclamations teen, an association in Paris con- of the people to his palace. Emboldsisting of persons, distributed in the ened by the weakness of the King, sixteen wards of the city, who entirely and the presence of their chief, the engrossed the management of affairs, Leaguers next ventured to appear in were devoted servants to the Duke of arms in the city of Paris ; and the day Guise, and insolent opposers of the of the “ Barricades” (so named from regal authority. The fight of the their closing the streets with cannon King of Navarre and his party to join and chains against all passengers exhis German auxiliaries, induced the cept their own party) beheld an attack King, now heartily desirous of peace, upon the King's troops, and the blood and wearied and disgusted with the of the royalists shed without pity or insolence of Guise, to offer terms to remorse by the infuriated Leaguers. the strangers. A treaty was made be- The prayers and entreaties of the tween them, (they had already refu. Queen-Mother alone prevailed upon sed to fight against the King of France the Duke (who was quietly regarding in person ;) and they were quietly re- the spectacle) to exert his authority, Vol. XI.

3 Z

and close the abominable contest. Un- marks, pretenders to the throne find armed, he appeared among the Lea- all steps easy of ascent to it except the guers, and their instant obedience to last, which is always too high to be his word, their unbounded devotion mounted. The Duke was silently and to his person, was more convincing to secretly opposed in this great project the King of the danger of his own si- by his own family, who did not wish tuation, than all the former insolence to see him King of France. Charles of the haughty Lorraine. He took the Duke of Mayenne, bisbrother, Charles first opportunity of making bis escape Duke of Nevers, Charles Duke of Elfrom Paris, leaving the Duke absolute beuf, and Charles Duke of Aumale, master of the capital and its resources ; his cousins, although united to supand when at a distance from its towers, port the power and dignity of their he turned back for a moment, and house, would not become his accomthrowing a look of vengeance upon plices in treason. Separating themthe city which he was destined never selves, therefore, from the private plan again to behold, declared, with a so- of the Duke, but still continuing their lemn oath, that he would never enter union with the League, they formed, it again, except through a breach.(6) under the name of the Caroline party,

But when the ardent spirits of the a fourth faction in the distracted king. multitude began to calm, they sit- dom; but, preserving their loyalty, cerely regretted the step they had thus they gave information to the unhappy compelled their monarch to take, and Henry, by Alphonso D'Ornano, of the every art was put in practice to make designs of the Dukeof Guise against his him break his resolution of returning crown, with the solemn assurance of to them no more; but petitions and their non-participation in his guilty negociations were of no avail, even projects.(8) In the memorial given by processions had lost their charm in the King to M. Maisse, it is stated, the eyes of the monarch—he contin that the Duke of Mayenne desired nued firm to his determination ; and the King to take care of himself, and although he received and heard them added, “ that the enterprize against with kindness, yet with the humble him was so near its execution, that he request of his “good city” he abso- almost feared the notice would be too lutely refused to comply. To put an late ;" and Peter le Maitre, one of the end to their useless entreaties, he sum- witnesses afterwards examined in Pamoned a meeting of the states at Blois, ris, asserted, that the King declared where, as before, to his infinite vexas he was obliged to act resolutely, both tion, the elections fell entirely upon for the safety of his own person and the creatures of the Guises, who, at- the tranquillity of the state, both of tending the convocation, gave law to which were threatened by the plots of the monarch, and by their organ, the the Duke of Guise. council, compelled him again to re- But as it was not in the power of voke the indulgences granted to the the King of France to bring his daring reformed, and to declare Henry of Na- enemy to the stroke of public justice, varre, the real heir of his crown, a other methods were therefore to be retraitor, heretic, excommunicated, and sorted to, and the dagger of the assassin incapable of the succession, which they was destined to free the monarch from adjudged to be the right of the old his fears, and the kingdom from farCardinal of Bourbon.

ther miseries. It was determined in Dictating to his sovereign, named a council of Henry's friends, that the general-in-chief of the armies, recei. Duke should fall by their daggers on ving from the people bonours due only the morning of the following Friday, to the monarch, () the Duke of Guise the 23d of December, and bis own inwas making rapid advances to the solent security, and utter contempt throne; but, as Montaigne justly re- for the King, hurried him on to the

(6) The author of the “ Martyrdom of the Brothers,” from whom we shall quote more largely hereafter, mentions this circumstance with his usual exaggeration. “ From the top of a hill,” says he, “Henry looked upon the city, and swore that he would so deal by it, that posterity should say, there stood Paris, and that he should never be satisfied till bathed in the blood of its inhabitants."

(7) D'Aubigné.
(8) De Thou-Serres.

« ПредишнаНапред »