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BY THE AUTHOR OF THE LADY OF LYONS,'
“PELHAM," THE DISOWNED
* HARPER & BROTHERS, 82 CLIFF-ST.
“Le Comte de Soissons, et le Duc de Bouillon, avaient une bonne armée, et ils savaient la conduire ; et pour plus grande sureté, tandis que cette armée devait s'avancer, on devait assassiner le cardinal et faire soulever Paris
: Les conjurés faisaient un traité avec l'Espagne pour introduire des troupes en France, et pour y. mettre tout en confusion dans une régence qu'on croyait prochaine, et dont chacun esperait profiter
Richelieu avait perdu toute sa faveur, et ne conservait que l'avantage d'être nécessaire. Le oonheur du cardinal voulat encore que le complot fut decouvert, et qu’une copie du traité lui tombât entre les mains."--VOLTAIRE, Hist. Gen.
PREFACE TO RICHELIEU.
The administration of Cardinal Richelieu, whom (despite all his darker qualities) Voltaire and history justly consider the true architect of the French mon. archy and the great parent of French civilization, is characterized by features alike tragic and comic. A weak king, an ambitious favourite ; a despicable con. spiracy against the minister, nearly always associated with a dangerous treason against the state : these, with little variety of names and dates, constitute the event. ful cycle through which, with a dazzling ease and an arrogant confidence, the great luminary fulfilled its destinies. Blended together in startling contrast, we see the grandest achievements and the pettiest agents ; the spy, the mistress, the Capuchin; the destruction of feudalism ; the humiliation of Austria ; the dismember. ment of Spain.
Richelieu himself is still what he was in his own day, a man of two characters. If, on the one hand, he is justly represented as inflexible and vindictive, crafty and unscrupulous; so, on the other, it cannot be de. nied that he was placed in times in which the long im. punity of every license required stern examples ; that he was beset by perils and intrigues, which gave a certain excuse to the subtlest inventions of self-defence; that his ambition was inseparably connected with a passionate love for the glory of his country; and that, if he was her dictator, he was not less her benefactor. It has been fairly remarked by the most impartial historians, that he was no less generous to merit than severe to crime ; that, in the various de. partments of the state, the army, and the church, he selected and distinguished the ablest aspirants; that