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A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times
Regency Of Mary de' Medici. (1610-1617.)
by Guizot, M.

On the death of Henry IV. there was extreme disquietude as well as grief in France. To judge by appearances, however, there was nothing to justify excessive alarm. The edict of Nantes (April 13, 1598) had put an end, so far as the French were concerned, to religious wars. The treaty of Vervins (May 2, 1598) between France and Spain, the twelve years' truce between Spain and the United Provinces (April 9, 1609), the death of Philip II. (September 13, 1598), and the alliance between France and England seemed to have brought peace to Europe. It might have been thought that there remained no more than secondary questions, such as the possession of the marquisate of Saluzzo and the succession to the duchies of Cleves and Juliers. But the instinct of peoples sees further than the negotiations of diplomats. In the public estimation of Europe Henry IV. was the representative of and the security for order, peace, national and equitable policy, intelligent and practical ideas. So thought Sully when, at the king's death, he went, equally alarmed and disconsolate, and shut himself up in the arsenal; and the people had grounds for being of Sully's opinion. Public confidence was concentrated upon the king's personality. Spectators pardoned, almost with a smile, those tender foibles of his which, nevertheless, his proximity to old age rendered still more shocking. They were pleased at the clear-sighted and strict attention he paid to the education of his son Louis, the dauphin, to whose governess, Madame de Montglas, he wrote, "I am vexed with you for not having sent me word that you have whipped my son, for I do wish and command you to whip him every time he shows obstinacy in anything wrong, knowing well by my own case that there is nothing in the world that does more good than that." And to Mary de' Medici herself he added, "Of one thing I do assure you, and that is, that, being of the temper I know you to be of, and foreseeing that of your son, you stubborn, not to say headstrong, madame, and he obstinate, you will verily have many a tussle together."

Henry IV. saw as clearly into his wife's as into his son's character. Persons who were best acquainted with the disposition of Mary de' Medici, and were her most indulgent critics, said of her, in 1610, when she was now thirty-seven years of age, "that she was courageous, haughty, firm, discreet, vain, obstinate, vindictive and mistrustful, inclined to idleness, caring but little about affairs, and fond of royalty for nothing beyond its pomp and its honors." Henry had no liking for her or confidence in her, and in private had frequent quarrels with her. He had, nevertheless, had her coronation solemnized, and had provided by anticipation for the necessities of government. On the king's death, and at the imperious instance of the Duke of Epernon, who at once introduced the queen, and said in open session, as he exhibited his sword, "It is as yet in the scabbard; but it will have to leap therefrom unless this moment there be granted to the queen a title which is her due according to the order of nature and of justice," the Parliament forthwith declared Mary regent of, the kingdom. Thanks to Sully's firm administration, there were, after the ordinary annual expenses were paid, at that time in the vaults of the Bastille or in securities easily realizable, forty-one million three hundred and forty-five thousand livres, and there was nothing to suggest that extraordinary and urgent expenses would come to curtail this substantial reserve. The army was disbanded, and reduced to from twelve to fifteen thousand men, French or Swiss. For a long time past no power in France had, at its accession, possessed so much material strength and so much moral authority.

But Mary de' Medici had, in her household and in her court, the wherewithal to rapidly dissipate this double treasure. In 1600, at the time of her marriage, she had brought from Florence to Paris her nurse's daughter, Leonora Galigai, and Leonora's husband, Concino Concini, son of a Florentine notary, both of them full of coarse ambition, covetous, vain, and determined to make the best of their new position so as to enrich themselves, and exalt themselves beyond measure, and at any price. Mary gave them, in that respect, all the facilities they could possibly desire; they were her confidants, her favorites, and her instruments, as regarded both her own affairs and theirs. These private and subordinate servants were before long joined by great lords, court-folks, ambitious and vain likewise, egotists, mischief-makers, whom the strong and able hand of Henry IV. had kept aloof, but who, at his death, returned upon the scene, thinking of nothing whatever but their own fortunes and their rivalries. They shall just be named here pell-mell, whether members or relatives of the royal family or merely great lords the Condes, the Contis, the Enghiens, the Dukes of Epernon, Guise, Elbeuf, Mayenne, Bouillon, and Nevers, great names and petty characters encountered at every step under the regency of Mary de' Medici, and, with their following, forming about her a court-hive, equally restless and useless. Time does justice to some few men, and executes justice on the ruck: one must have been of great worth indeed to deserve not to be forgotten. Sully appeared once more at court after his momentary retreat to the arsenal; but, in spite of the show of favor which Mary de' Medici thought it prudent and decent to preserve towards him for some little time, he soon saw that it was no longer the place for him, and that he was of as little use there to the state as to himself; he sent in, one after the other, his resignation of all his important offices, and terminated his life in regular retirement at Rosny and Sully-sur-Loire. Du Plessis-Mornay attempted to still exercise a salutary influence over his party.

"Let there be no more talk amongst us," said he, "of Huguenots or Papists; those words are prohibited by our edicts. And, though there were no edict at all, still if we are French, if we love our country, our families, and even ourselves, they ought henceforth to be wiped out of our remembrance. Whoso is a good Frenchman, shall to me be a citizen, shall to me be a brother." This meritorious and patriotic language was not entirely without moral effect, but it no longer guided, no longer inspired the government; egotism, intrigue, and mediocrity in ideas as well as in feelings had taken the place of Henry IV. Facts, before long, made evident the sad result of this. All the parties, all the personages who walked the stage and considered themselves of some account, believed that the moment had arrived for pushing their pretensions, and lost no time about putting them forward. Those persons we will just pass in review without stopping at any one of them. History has no room for all those who throng about her gates without succeeding in getting in and leaving traces of their stay. The reformers were the party to which the reign of Henry IV. had brought most conquests, and which was bound to strive above everything to secure the possession of them by extracting from them every legitimate and practicable consequence. Mary de' Medici, having been declared regent, lost no time about confirming, on the 22d of May, 1610, the edict of Nantes and proclaiming religious peace as the due of France. "We have nothing to do with the quarrels of the grandees," said the people of Paris; "we have no mind to be mixed up with them." Some of the preachers of repute and of the party's old leaders used the same language. "There must be nought but a scarf any longer between us," Du Plessis-Mornay would say. Two great Protestant names were still intact at this epoch: one, the Duke of Sully, without engaging in religious polemics, had persisted in abiding by the faith of his fathers, in spite of his king's example and attempts to bring him over to the Catholic faith: the other, Du Plessis-Mornay, had always striven, and was continuing to strive, actively for the Protestant cause. These two illustrious champions of the Reformed party were in agreement with the new principles of national right, and with the intelligent instincts of their people, whose confidence they deserved and seemed to possess.

But the passions, the usages, and the suspicions of the party were not slow in reappearing. The Protestants were highly displeased to see the Catholic worship and practices re-established in Bearn, whence Queen Jeanne of Navarre had banished them; the rights of religious liberty were not yet powerful enough with them to surmount their taste for exclusive domination. As a guarantee for their safety, they had been put in possession of several strong places in France; neither the edict of Nantes nor its confirmation by Mary de' Medici appeared to them a sufficient substitute for this guarantee; and they claimed its continuance, which was granted them for five years. After Henry IV.'s conversion to Catholicism, his European policy had no longer been essentially Protestant; he had thrown out feelers and entered into negotiations for Catholic alliances; and these, when the king's own liberal and patriotic spirit was no longer there to see that they did not sway his government, became objects of great suspicion and antipathy to the Protestants. Henry had constantly and to good purpose striven against the spirit of religious faction and civil war; anxious, after his death, about their liberty and their political importance, the Reformers reassumed a blind confidence in their own strength, and a hope of forming a small special state in the midst of the great national state. Their provincial assemblies and their national synods were, from 1611 to 1621, effective promoters of this tendency, which before long became a formal and organized design; at Saumur, at Tonneins, at Privas, at Grenoble, at Loudun, at La Rochelle, the language, the movements, and the acts of the party took more and more the character of armed resistance, and, ere long, of civil war; the leaders, old and new.

Duke Henry of Rohan as well as the Duke of Bouillon, the Marquis of La Force as well as the Duke of Lesdiguieres, more or less timidly urged on the zealous Protestants in that path from which the ancient counsels of Sully and Mornay were not successful in deterring them. On the 10th of May, 1621, in the assembly at La Rochelle, a commission of nine members was charged to present and get adopted a, plan of military organization whereby Protestant France, Warn included, was divided into eight circles, having each a special council composed of three deputies at the general assembly, under a chief who had the disposal of all the military forces; with each army-corps there was a minister to preach; the royal moneys, talliages, aid and gabel, were to be seized for the wants of the army; the property of the Catholic church was confiscated, and the revenues therefrom appropriated to the expenses of war and the pay of the ministers of the religion. It was a Protestant republic, organized on the model of the United Provinces, and disposed to act as regarded the French kingship with a large measure of independence. When, after thus preparing for war, they came to actually make it, the Protestants soon discovered their impotence; the Duke of Bouillon, sixty-five years of age and crippled with gout, interceded for them in his letters to Louis XIII., but did not go out of Sedan; the Duke of Lesdiguieres, to whom the assembly had given the command of the Protestants of Burgundy, Provence, and Dauphiny, was at that very moment on the point of abjuring their faith and marching with their enemies. Duke Henry of Rohan himself, who was the youngest, and seemed to be the most ardent, of their new chiefs, was for doing nothing and breaking up. "If you are not disposed to support the assembly," said the Marquis of Chateauneuf, who had been sent to him to bring him to a decision, "it will be quite able to defend itself without you." "If the assembly," said Rohan, feeling his honor touched, "does take resolutions contrary to my advice, I shall not sever myself from the interest of our churches;" and he sacrificed his better judgment to the popular blindness. The Dukes of La Tremoille and of Soubise, and the Marquises of La Force and of Chatillon followed suit. As M. de Sismondi says, to these five lords and to a small number of towns was the strength reduced of the party which was defying the King of France.

Thus, since the death of Henry IV., the king and court of France were much changed: the great questions and the great personages had disappeared. The last of the real chiefs of the League, the brother of Duke Henry of Guise, the old Duke of Mayenne, he on whom Henry, in the hour of victory, would wreak no heavier vengeance than to walk him to a stand-still, was dead. Henry IV.'s first wife, the sprightly and too facile Marguerite de Valois, was dead also, after consenting to descend from the throne in order to make way for the mediocre Mary de' Medici. The Catholic champion whom Henry IV. felicitated himself upon being able to oppose to Du Plessis-Mornay in the polemical conferences between the two communions, Cardinal de Perron, was at the point of death. The decay was general, and the same amongst the Protestants as amongst the Catholics; Sully and Mornay held themselves aloof or were barely listened to. In place of these eminent personages had come intriguing or ambitious subordinates, who were either innocent of or indifferent to anything like a great policy, and who had no idea beyond themselves and their fortunes. The husband of Leonora Galigai, Concini, had amassed a great deal of money and purchased the Marquisate of Ancre; nay, more, he had been created Marshal of France, and he said to the Count of Bassompiere, "I have learned to know the world, and I am aware that a man, when he has arrived at a certain pitch of prosperity, comes down with a greater run the higher he has mounted. When I came to France, I was not worth a son, and I owed more than eight thousand crowns. My marriage and the queen's kind favor has given me much advancement, office, and honor; I have worked at making my fortune, and I pushed it forward as long as I saw the wind favorable. So soon as I felt it turning, I thought about beating a retreat and enjoying in peace the large property we have acquired. It is my wife who is opposed to this desire. At every crack of the whip we receive from Fortune, I continue to urge her. God knows whether warnings have been wanting. My daughter's death is the last, and, if we do not heed it, our downfall is at hand." Then he quietly made out an abstract of all his property, amounting to eight millions, with which he purposed to buy from the pope the usufruct of the duchy of Ferrara, and leave his son, besides, a fine inheritance. But his wife continued her opposition; it would be cowardly and ungrateful, she said, to abandon the queen: "So that," cried he, "I see myself ruined without any help for it; and, if it were not that I am under so much obligation to my wife, I would leave her and go some whither where neither grandees nor common folk would come to look after me."

This modest style of language did not prevent Marshal d'Ancre from occasionally having strange fits of domineering arrogance. "By God, sir," he wrote to one of his friends, "I have to complain of you; you treat for peace without me; you have caused the queen to write to me that, for her sake, I must give up the suit I had commenced against M. de Montbazon to get paid what he owes me. In all the devils' names, what do the queen and you take me for? I am devoured to my very bones with rage." In his dread lest influence opposed to his own should be exercised over the young king, he took upon himself to regulate his amusements and his walks, and prohibited him from leaving Paris. Louis XIII. had amongst his personal attendants a young nobleman, Albert de Luynes, clever in training little sporting birds, called butcher-birds (pies grieches, or shrikes), then all the rage; and the king made him his falconer and lived on familiar terms with him. Playing at billiards one day, Marshal d'Ancre, putting on his hat, said to the king, "I hope your Majesty will allow me to be covered." The king allowed it, but remained surprised and shocked. His young page, Albert de Luynes, observed his displeasure, and being anxious, himself also, to become a favorite, he took pains to fan it.

A domestic plot was set hatching against Marshal d'Ancre. What was its extent and who were the accomplices in it? This is not clear. However it may have been, on the 24th of April, 1617, M. de Vitry, captain of the guard (capitaine de quartier) that day in the royal army which was besieging Soissons, ordered some of his officers to provide themselves with a pistol each in their pockets, and he himself went to that door of the Louvre by which the king would have to go to the queenmother's. When Marshal d'Ancre arrived at this door, "There is the marshal," said one of the officers; and Vitry laid hands upon him, saying, "Marshal, I have the king's orders to arrest you." "Me!" said the marshal in surprise, and attempting to resist.

The officer fired upon him, and so did several others. It was never known, or, at any rate, never told, whose shot it was that hit him; but, "Sir," said Colonel d'Ornano, going up to the young king, "you are this minute King of France: Marshal d'Ancre is dead." And the young king, before the assembled court, repeated with the same tone of satisfaction, "Marshal d'Ancre is dead." Baron de Vitry was appointed Marshal of France in the room of the favorite whom he had just murdered. The day after the murder, the mob rushed into the church of St. German-l'Auxerrois, where the body of Marshal d'Ancre had been interred; they heaved up the slabs, hauled the body from the ground, dragged it over the pavement as far as the Pont-Neuf, where they hanged it by the feet to a gallows; and they afterwards tore it in pieces, which were sold, burned, and thrown into the Seine. The ferocious passions of the populace were satisfied; but court-hatred and court-envy were not; they attacked the marshal's widow, Leonora Galigai. She resided at the Louvre, and, at the first rumor of what had happened, she had sent to demand asylum with the queen-mother. Meeting with a harsh refusal, she had undressed herself in order to protect with her body her jewels which she had concealed in her mattresses. The moment she was discovered, she was taken to the Bastille and brought before the Parliament. She began by throwing all the blame upon her husband; it was he, she said, who had prevented her from retiring into Italy, and who had made every attempt to push his fortunes farther. When she was sentenced to death, Leonora recovered her courage and pride. "Never," said a contemporary, "was anybody seen of more constant and resolute visage." "What a lot of people to look at one poor creature!" said she at sight of the crowd that thronged upon her passage. There is nothing to show that her firmness at the last earned her more of sympathy than her weaknesses had brought her of compassion. The mob has its seasons of pitilessness. Leonora Galigai died leaving one child, a son, who was so maltreated that he persisted in refusing all food, and, at last, would take nothing but the sweetmeats that the young queen, Anne of Austria, married two years before to Louis XIII., had the kindness to send him.

We encounter in this very insignificant circumstance a trace of one of those important events which marked the earliest years of Mary de' Medici's regency and the influence of her earliest favorites. Concini and his wife, both of them, probably, in the secret service of the court of Madrid, had promoted the marriage of Louis XIII. with the Infanta Anne of Austria, eldest daughter of Philip III., King of Spain, and that of Philip, Infante of Spain, who was afterwards Philip IV., with Princess Elizabeth of France, sister of Louis XIII. Henry IV., in his plan for the pacification of Europe, had himself conceived this idea, and testified a desire for this double marriage, but without taking any trouble to bring it about. It was after his death that, on the 30th of April, 1612, Villeroi, minister of foreign affairs in France, and Don Inigo de Caderiias, ambassador of the King of Spain, concluded this double union by a formal deed. They signed on the same day, at Fontainebleau, between the King and Queen-regent of France on one side and the King, of Spain on the other, a treaty of defensive alliance to the effect "that those sovereigns should give one another mutual succor against such as should attempt anything against their kingdoms or revolt against their authority; that they should, in such case, send one to the other, at their own expense for six months, a body of six thousand foot and twelve hundred horse; that they should not assist any criminal charged with high treason, and should even give them over into the hands of the ambassadors of the king who claimed them." It is quite certain that Henry IV. would never have let his hands be thus tied by a treaty so contrary to his general policy of alliance with Protestant powers, such as England and the United Provinces; he had no notion of servile subjection to his own policy, but he would have taken good care not to abandon it; he was of those, who, under delicate circumstances, remain faithful to their ideas and promises without systematic obstinacy and with a due regard for the varying interests and requirements of their country and their age. The two Spanish marriages were regarded in France as an abandonment of the national policy; France was, in a great majority, Catholic, but its Catholicism differed essentially from the Spanish Catholicism: it affirmed the entire separation of the temporal power and the spiritual power, and the inviolability of the former by the latter; it refused assent, moreover, to certain articles of the council of Trent. It was Gallican Catholicism, determined to keep a pretty large measure of national independence, political and moral, as opposed to Spanish Catholicism, essentially devoted to the cause of the papacy and of absolutist Austria. Under the influence of this public feeling, the two Spanish marriages and the treaty which accompanied them were unfavorably regarded by a great part of France: a remedy was desired; it was hoped that one would be found in the convocation of the states-general of the kingdom, to which the populace always looked expectantly; they were convoked first for the 16th of September, 1614, at Sens; and, afterwards, for the 20th of October following, when the young king, Louis XIII., after the announcement of his majority, himself opened them in state. Amongst the members there were one hundred and forty of the clergy, one hundred and thirty-two of the noblesse, and one hundred and ninety-two of the third estate. The clergy elected for their president Cardinal de Joyeuse who had crowned Mary de' Medici; the noblesse Henry de Bauffremont, Baron of Senecey, and the third estate Robert Miron, provost of the tradesmen of Paris.

These elections were not worth much, and have left no trace on history. The chief political fact connected with the convocation of the, states-general of 1614, was the entry into their ranks of the youthful Bishop of Lucon, Armand John dot Plessis de Richelieu, marked out by the finger of God to sustain, after the powerful reign of Henry IV. and the incapable regency of Mary de' Medici, the weight of the government of France. He was in, two cases elected to the states-general, by the clergy of Loudun and by that of Poitou. As he was born on the 5th of September, 1585, he was but twenty-eight years old in 1614. He had not been destined for the church, and he was pursuing a layman's course of study at the college of Navarre, under the name of the Marquis de Chillon, when his elder brother, Alphonse Louis du Plessis de Richelieu, became disgusted with ecclesiastical life, turned Carthusian, and resigned the unpretending bishopric of Lucon in favor of his brother Armand, whom Henry IV. nominated to it in 1605, instructing Cardinal du Perron, at that time his charge d'affaires at Rome, to recommend to Pope Paul V. that election which he had very much at heart. The young prelate betook himself with so much ardor to his theological studies, that at twenty years of age he was a doctor, and maintained his theses in rochet and camail as bishop-nominate. At Rome some objection was still made to his extreme youth; but he hastened thither, and delivered before the pope a Latin harangue, which scattered all objections to the wind. After consecration at Rome, in 1607, he returned to Paris, and hastened to take possession of his see of Lucon, "the poorest and the nastiest in France," as he himself said. He could support poverty, but he also set great store by riches, and he was seriously anxious for the expenses of his installation. "Taking after you, that is, being a little vain," he wrote to one of his fair friends, Madame de Bourges, with whom he was on terms of familiar correspondence about his affairs, "I should very much like, being more easy in my circumstances, to make more show: but what can I do? No house; no carriage; furnished apartments are inconvenient; I must borrow a coach, horses, and a coachman, in order to at least arrive at Lucon with a decent turn-out." He purchased second-hand the velvet bed of one Madame de Marconnay, his aunt; he made for himself a muff out of a portion of his uncle the Commander's martenskins. Silver-plate he was very much concerned about. "I beg you," he wrote to Madame de Bourges, "to send me word what will be the cost of two dozen silver dishes of fair size, as they are made now; I should very much like to get them for five hundred crowns, for my resources are not great. I am quite sure that for a matter of a hundred crowns more, you would not like me to have anything common. I am a beggar, as you know; in such sort that I cannot do much in the way of playing the opulent; but at any rate, when I have silver dishes, my nobility will be considerably enhanced."

He succeeded, no doubt, in getting his silver dishes and his well-appointed episcopal mansion; for when, in 1614, he was elected to the states-general, he had acquired amongst the clergy and at the court of Louis XIII. sufficient importance to be charged with the duty of speaking, in presence of the king, on the acceptance of the acts of the council of Trent, and on the restitution of certain property belonging to the Catholic church in Warn. He made skilful use of the occasion for the purpose of still further exalting and improving the question and his own position. He complained that for a long time past ecclesiastics had been too rarely summoned to the sovereign's councils, "as if the honor of serving God," he said, "rendered them incapable of serving the king;" he took care at the same time to make himself pleasant to the mighty ones of the hour; he praised the young king for having, on announcing his majority, asked his mother to continue to watch over France, and "to add to the august title of mother of the king that of mother of the kingdom." The post of almoner to the queen-regnant, Anne of Austria, was his reward. He carried still further his ambitious foresight; in February, 1615, at the time when the session of the states-general closed, Marshal d'Ancre and Leonora Galigai were still favorites with the queen-mother; Richelieu laid himself out to be pleasant to them, and received from the marshal in 1616 the post of secretary of state for war and foreign affairs. Marshal d'Ancre was at that time looking out for supports against his imminent downfall. When, in 1617, he fell and was massacred, people were astonished to find Richelieu on good terms with the marshal's court-rival Albert de Luynes, who pressed him to remain in the council at which he had sat for only five months. To what extent was the Bishop of Lucon at that time on terms of understanding with the victor? There is no saying; but to accept the responsibility of the new favorite's accession was a compromising act. Richelieu judged it more prudent to remain Bishop of Lucon and to wear the appearance of defeat by following Mary de' Medici to Blois, whither, since the fall of her favorites, she had asked leave to retire. He would there, he said, be more useful to the government of the young king; for, remaining at the side of Mary de' Medici, he would be able to advise her and restrain her. He so completely persuaded Louis XIII. and Albert de Luynes, that he received orders to set out for Blois with the queen-mother, which he did on the 4th of May, 1617. The Bishop of Lucon, though still young, was already one of the ambitious sort who stake their dignity upon the ultimate success of their fortunes, success gained no matter at what price, by address or by hardihood, by complaisance or by opposition, according to the requirements of facts and times. Dignity apart, the young bishop had accurately measured the expediency of the step he was taking in the interest of his future, high-soaring ambition.

On arriving at Blois with the queen-mother, he began by dividing his life between that petty court in disgrace and his diocese of Lucon. He wished to set Albert de Luynes at rest as to his presence at the court of Mary de' Medici, the devotion he showed her, and the counsels he gave her. He had but small success, however. The new favorite was suspicious and anxious. Richelieu appeared to be occupied with nothing but the duties of his office; he presided at conferences; and he published, against the Protestants, a treatise entitled The Complete Christian (De la Perfection du Chretien). Luynes was not disposed to believe in these exclusively religious preoccupations; he urged upon the king that Richelieu should not live constantly in the queen-mother's neighborhood, and in June, 1617, he had orders given him to retire to the courtship of Avignon. Pope Paul V. complained that the Bishop of Lucon was exiled from his diocese. "What is to be done about residence," said he, "which is due to his bishopric? and what will the world say at seeing him prohibited from going whither his duty binds him to go?" The king answered that he was surprised at the pope's complaint. "An ecclesiastic," said he, "could not possibly be in any better place than Avignon, church territory; my lord the Bishop of Lucon is far from finding time for nothing but the exercises of his profession; I have discovered that he indulged in practices prejudicial to my service. He is one of those spirits that are carried away far beyond their duty, and are very dangerous in times of public disorder."

Richelieu obeyed without making any objection; he passed two years at Avignon, protesting that he would never depart from it without the consent of Luynes and without the hope of serving him. The favor and fortune of the young falconer went on increasing every day. He had, in 1617, married the daughter of the Duke of Montbazon, and, in 1619, prevailed upon the king to have the estate of Maille raised for him to a duchy-peerage under the title of Luynes. In 1621 he procured for himself the dignity of constable, to which he had no military claim. Louis XIII. sometimes took a malicious pleasure in making fun of his favorite's cupidity and that of his following. "I never saw," said he, "one person with so many relatives; they come to court by ship-loads, and not a single one of them with a silk dress." "See," said he one day to the Count of Bassompierre, pointing to Luynes surrounded by a numerous following: "he wants to play the king, but I shall know how to prevent it; I will make him disgorge what he has taken from me." Friends at court warned Luynes of this language; and Luynes replied with a somewhat disdainful impertinence, "It is good for me to cause the king a little vexation from time to time: it revives the affection he feels for me." Richelieu kept himself well informed of court-rumors, and was cautious not to treat them with indifference. He took great pains to make himself pleasant to the young constable. "My lord," he wrote to him in August, 1621, "I am extremely pleased to have an opportunity of testifying to you, that I shall never have any possession that I shall not be most happy to employ for the satisfaction of the king and yourself. The queen did me the honor of desiring that I should have the abbey of Redon; but the moment I knew that the king and you, my lord, were desirous of disposing of it otherwise, I gave it up with very good cheer, in order that being in your hands you might gratify therewith whomsoever you pleased; assuring you, my lord, that I have more contentment in testifying to you thereby that which you will on every occasion recognize in me, than I should have had by an augmentation of four thousand crowns' income. The queen is very well, thank God. I think it will be very meet that from time to time, by means of those who are passing, you should send her news of the king and of you and yours, which will give her great satisfaction " (Letters of Cardinal Richelieu, t. i. p. 690).

Whilst Richelieu was thus behaving towards the favorite with complaisance and modesty, Mary de' Medici, whose mouthpiece he appeared to be, assumed a different posture, and used different language; she complained bitterly of the slavery and want of money to which she was reduced at Blois; a plot, on the part of both aristocrats and domestics, were contrived by those about her to extricate her; she entered into secret relations with a great, a turbulent, and a malcontent lord, the Duke of Epernon; two Florentine servants, Ruccellai and Vincenti Ludovici, were their go-betweens; and it was agreed that she should escape from Blois and take refuge at Angouleme, a lordship belonging to the Duke of Epernon. She at the same time wrote to the king to plead for more liberty. He replied, "Madame, having understood that you have a wish to visit certain places of devotion, I am rejoiced thereat. I shall be still more pleased if you take a resolution to move about and travel henceforward more than you have done in the past; I consider that it will be of great service to your health, which is extremely precious to me. If business permitted me to be of the party, I would accompany you with all my heart." Mary replied to him with formal assurances of fidelity and obedience; she promised before God and His angels "to have no correspondence which could be prejudicial to the king's service, to warn him of all intrigues, which should come to her knowledge, that were opposed to his will, and to entertain no design of returning to court save when it should please the king to give her orders to do so." There was between the king, the queen-mother, Albert de Luynes, the Duke of Epernon and their agents, an exchange of letters and empty promises which deceived scarcely anybody, and which destroyed all confidence as well as all truthfulness between them. The Duke of Epernon protested that he had no idea of disobeying the king's commands, but that he thought his presence was more necessary for the king's service in Angoumois than at Metz. He complained at the same time that for two years past he had received from the court only the simple pay of a colonel at ten months for the year, which took it out of his power to live suitably to his rank. He set out for Metz at the end of January, 1619, saying, "I am going to take the boldest step I ever took in my life."

The queen-mother made her exit from Blois on the night between the 21st and 22d of February, 1619, by her closet window, against which a ladder had been placed for the descent to the terrace, whence a second ladder was to enable her to descend right down. On arriving at the terrace she found herself so fatigued and so agitated, that she declared it would be impossible to avail herself of the second ladder; she preferred to have herself let down upon a cloak to the bottom of the terrace, which had a slight slant. Her two equeries escorted her along the faubourg to the end of the bridge. Some officers of her household saw her pass without recognizing her, and laughed at meeting a woman between two men, at night and with a somewhat agitated air. "They take me for a bona roba," said the queen. On arriving at the end of the faubourg of Blois, she did not find her carriage, which was to have been waiting for her there. When she had come up with it, there was a casket missing which contained her jewels; there was a hundred thousand crowns' worth in it; the casket had fallen out two hundred paces from the spot; it was recovered, and the queen-mother got into her carriage and took the road to Loches, where the Duke of Epernon had been waiting for her since the day before. He came to meet her with a hundred and fifty horsemen. Nobody in the household of Mary de'Medici had observed her departure.

Great was the rumors when her escape became known, and greater still when it was learned in whose hands she had placed herself. It was civil war, said everybody. At the commencement of the seventeenth century, there were still two possible and even probable chances of civil war in France; one between Catholics and Protestants, and the other between what remained of the great feudal or quasi-feudal lords and the kingship. Which of the two wars was about to commence? Nobody knew; on one side there was hesitation; the most contradictory moves were made. Louis XIII., when he heard of his mother's escape, tried first of all to disconnect her from the Duke of Epernon. "I could never have imagined," said be, "that there was any man who, in time of perfect peace, would have had the audacity, I do not say to carry out, but to conceive the resolution of making an attempt upon the mother of his king . . . ; in order to release you from the difficulty you are in, Madame, I have determined to take up arms to put you in possession of the liberty of which your enemies have deprived you." And he marched troops and cannon to Angoumois. "Many men," says Duke Henry of Rohan, "envied the Duke of Epernon his gallant deed, but few were willing to submit themselves to his haughty temper, and everybody, having reason to believe that it would all end in a peace, was careful not to embark in the affair merely to incur the king's hatred, and leave to others the honors of the enterprise." The king's troops were well received wherever they showed themselves; the towns opened their gates to them. "It needs," said a contemporary, "mighty strong citadels to make the towns of France obey their governors when they see the latter disobedient to the king's. will." Several great lords held themselves carefully aloof; others determined to attempt an arrangement between the king and his mother; it was known what influence over her continued to be preserved by the Bishop of Lucon, still in exile at Avignon; he was pressed to return; his confidant, Father Joseph du Tremblay, was of opinion that he should; and Richelieu, accordingly, set out. The governor of Lyons had him arrested at Vienne in Dauphiny, and was much surprised to find him armed with a letter from the king, commanding that he should be allowed to pass freely everywhere. Richelieu was prepared to advise a reconciliation between king and queen-mother, and the king was as much disposed to exert himself to that end as the queen-mother's friends. At Limoges the Bishop of Lucon was obliged to carefully avoid Count Schomberg, commandant of the royal troops, who was not at all in the secret of the negotiation. When he arrived at Angers a fresh difficulty supervened. The most daring, of the queen-mother's domestic advisers, Ruccellai, had conceived a hatred of the bishop, and tried to exclude him from the privy council. Richelieu let be, "Certain," as he said, "that they would soon fall back upon him." He was one of the patient as well as ambitious, who can calculate upon success, even afar off, and wait for it. The Duke of Epernon supported him; Ruccellai, defeated, left the queen-mother, taking with him some of her most warmly attached servants. When the subordinates were gone, recourse was had, accordingly, to Richelieu. On the 10th of August, 1619, he concluded at Angouleme between the king and his mother a treaty, whereby the king promised to consign to oblivion all that had passed since Blois; the queen-mother consented to exchange her government of Touraine against that of Anjou; and the Duke of Epernon received from the town of Boulogne fifty thousand crowns in recompense for what he had done, and he wrote to the king to protest his fidelity. The queen-mother still hesitated to see her son; but, at his entreaty, she at last sent off the Bishop of Lucon from Angouleme to make preparations for the interview, and, five days afterwards, she set out herself, accompanied by the Duke of Epernon, who halted at the limits of his own government, not caring to come to any closer quarters with so recently reconciled a court. The king received his mother, according to some, in the little town of Cousieres, and, according to others, at Tours or Amboise. They embraced, with tears. "God bless me, my boy, how you are grown!" said the queen. "In order to be of more service to you, mother," answered the king. The cheers of the people hailed their reconciliation; not without certain signs of disquietude on the part of the favorite, Albert de Luynes, who was an eye-witness. After the interview, the king set out for Paris again; and Mary de' Medici returned to her government of Anjou to take possession of it, promising, she said, to rejoin her son subsequently at Paris. Du Plessis-Mornay wrote to one of his friends at court, "If you do not get the queen along with you, you have done nothing at all; distrust will increase with absence; the malcontents will multiply; and the honest servants of the king will have no little difficulty in managing to live between them."

How to live between mother and son without being committed to one or the other, was indeed the question. A difficult task. For three months the courtiers were equal to it; from May to July, 1619, the court and the government were split in two; the king at Paris or at Tours, the queen-mother at Angers or at Blois. Two eminent men, Richelieu amongst the Catholics and Du Plessis-Mornay amongst the Protestants, advised them strongly and incessantly to unite again, to live and to govern together. "Apply yourself to winning the king's good graces," said Richelieu to the queen-mother: "support on every occasion the interests of the public without speaking of your own; take the side of equity against that of favor, without attacking the favorites and without appearing to envy their influence." Mornay used the same language to the Protestants. "Do not wear out the king's patience," he said to them: "there is no patience without limits." Louis XIII. listened to them without allowing himself to be persuaded by them; the warlike spirit was striving within the young man; he was brave, and loved war as war rather than for political reasons. The grand provost of Normandy was advising him one day not to venture in person into his province, saying, "You will find there nothing but revolt and disagreeables." "Though the roads were all paved with arms," answered the king, "I would march over the bellies of my foes, for they have no cause to declare against me, who have offended nobody. You shall have the pleasure of seeing it; you served the late king my father too well not to rejoice at it." The queenmother, on her side, was delighted to see herself surrounded at Angers by a brilliant court; and the Dukes of Longueville, of La Tremoille, of Retz, of Rohan, of Mayenne, of Epernon, and of Nemours, promised her numerous troops and effectual support. She might, nevertheless, have found many reasons to doubt and wait for proofs. The king moved upon Normandy; and his quartermasters came to assign quarters at Rouen. "Where have you left the king?" asked the Duke of Longueville. "At Pontoise, my lord; but he is by this time far advanced, and is to sleep to-night at Magny." "Where do you mean to quarter him here?" asked the duke. "In the house where you are, my lord." "It is right that I yield him place," said the duke, and the very same evening took the road back to the district of Caux. It was under this aspect of public feeling that an embassy from the king and a pacific mission from Rome came, without any success, to Rangers, and that on the 4th of July, 1619, a fresh civil war between the king and the partisans of the queen-mother was declared.

It was short and not very bloody, though pretty vigorously contested. The two armies met at Ponts de Ce; they had not, either of them, any orders or any desire to fight; and pacific negotiations were opened at La Fleche. The queen-mother declared that she had made up her mind to live henceforth at her son's court, and that all she desired was to leave honorably the party with which she was engaged. That was precisely the difficulty. The king also declared himself resolved to receive his mother affectionately; but he required her to abandon the lords of her party, and that was what she could not make up her mind to do. In the unpremeditated conflict that took place at Ponts de Ce, the troops of the queen-mother were beaten. "They had two hundred men killed or drowned," says Bassompierre, "and about as many taken prisoners." This reverse silenced the queen's scruples; there was clearly no imperative cause for war between her and the king, and the queen's partisans could not be blind to the fact that, if the struggle were prolonged, they would be beaten.

The kingship had the upper hand in the country, and a consent was given to the desired arrangements. "Assure the king that I will go and see him to-morrow at Brissac," said the queen-mother. "I am perfectly satisfied with him, and all I think of is to please him, and pray God for him personally, and for the prosperity of his kingdom." A treaty was concluded at Angers on the 10th of August, 1620; the queen-mother returned to Paris; and the civil war at court was evidently, not put an end to never to recur, but stricken with feebleness and postponed.

Two men of mark, Albert de Luynes and Richelieu, came out of this crisis well content. The favorite felicitated himself on the king's victory over the queen-mother, for he might consider the triumph as his own; he had advised and supported the king's steady resistance to his mother's enterprises. Besides, he had gained by it the rank and power of constable; it was at this period that he obtained them, thanks to the retirement of Lesdiguieres, who gave them up to assume the title of marshal-general of the king's camps and armies. The royal favor did not stop there for Luynes; the keeper of the seals, Du Vair, died in 1621; and the king handed over the seals to the new constable, who thus united the military authority with that of justice, without being either a great warrior or a great lawyer. All he had to do was to wait for an opportunity of displaying his double power. The defaults of the French Protestants soon supplied one. In July, 1567, Henry IV.'s mother, Jeanne d'Albret, on becoming Queen of Navarre, had, at the demand of the Estates of Bearn, proclaimed Calvinism as the sole religion of her petty kingdom; all Catholic worship was expressly forbidden there; religious liberty, which Protestants everywhere invoked, was proscribed in Bearn; moreover, ecclesiastical property was confiscated there. The Catholics complained, loudly; the Kings of France were supporters of their plaint; it had been for a long time past repudiated or eluded; but on the 13th of August, 1620, Louis XIII. issued two edicts for the purpose of restoring in Bearn free Catholic worship, and making restitution of their property to the ecclesiastical establishments. The council of Pau, which had at first repudiated them, hastened to enregister these edicts in the hope of retarding at least their execution; but the king said, "In two days I shall be at Pau; you want me there to assist your weakness." He was asked how he would be received at Pau. "As sovereign of Warn," said he. "I will dismount first of all at the church, if there be one; but, if not, I want no canopy or ceremonial entry; it would not become me to receive honors in a place where I have never been, before giving thanks to God, from whom I hold all my dominions and all my power." Religious liberty was thus reestablished at Pau. "It is the king's intention," said the Duke of Montmorency to the Protestants of Villeneuve-de-Berg, who asked that they might enjoy the liberty promised them by the edicts, "that all his subjects, Catholic or Protestant, be equally free in the exercise of their religion; you shall not be hindered in yours, and I will take good care that you do not hinder the Catholics in theirs." The Duke of Montmorency did not foresee that the son and successor of the king in whose name he was so energetically proclaiming religious liberty, Louis XIV., would abolish the edict of Nantes whereby his grandfather, Henry IV., had founded it. Justice and iniquity are often all but contemporary.

It has just been said that not only Luynes, but Richelieu too, had come well content out of the crisis brought about by the struggle between Louis XIII. and the queen-mother. Richelieu's satisfaction was neither so keen nor so speedy as the favorite's. Pope Paul V. had announced, for the 11th of January, 1621, a promotion of ten cardinals. At the news of this, the queen-mother sent an express courier to Rome with an urgent demand that the Bishop of Lucon should be included in the promotion. The Marquis of Coeuvres, ambassador of France at Rome, insisted rather strongly, in the name of the queen-mother and of the Duke of Luynes, from whom he showed the pope some very pressing letters. The pope, in surprise, gave him a letter to read in the handwriting of King Louis XIII., saying that he did not at all wish the Bishop of Lucon to become cardinal, and begging that no notice might be taken of any recommendations which should be forwarded on the subject. The ambassador, greatly surprised in his turn, ceased to insist. It was evidently the doing of the Duke of Luynes, who, jealous of the Bishop of Lucon and dreading his influence, had demanded and obtained from the king this secret measure. It was effectual; and, at the beginning of the year 1621, Richelieu had but a vague hope of the hat. He had no idea, when he heard of this check, that at the end of a few months Luynes would undergo one graver still, would die almost instantaneously after having practised a policy analogous to that which Richelieu was himself projecting, and would leave the road open for him to obtain the cardinal's hat, and once more enter into the councils of the king, who, however, said to the queen-mother, "I know him better than you, madame; he is a man of unbounded ambition."

The two victories won in 1620 by the Duke of Luynes, one over the Protestants by the re-establishment in Warn of free worship for the Catholics, and the other over his secret rival Richelieu, by preventing him from becoming cardinal, had inspired him with great confidence in his good fortune. He resolved to push it with more boldness than he had yet shown. He purposed to subdue the Protestants as a political party whilst respecting their religious creed, and to reduce them to a condition of subjection in the state whilst leaving them free, as Christians, in the church. A fundamentally contradictory problem; for the different liberties are closely connected, one with another, and have need to be security one for another; but, at the commencement of the seventeenth century, people were not so particular in point of consequence, and it was thought possible to give religious liberty its guarantees whilst refusing them to general political liberty. That is what the Duke of Luynes attempted to do; to all the towns to which Henry IV. had bound himself by the edict of Nantes, he made a promise of preserving to them their religious liberties, and he called upon them at the same time to remain submissive and faithful subjects of the sovereign kingship. La Rochelle, Montauban, Saumur, Sancerre, Charite-sur-Loire, and St. Jean d'Angely were in this category; and it was to Montauban, as one of the most important of those towns, that Louis XIII. first addressed his promise and his appeal, inconsistent one with the other.

Some years previously, in May, 1610, amidst the grief and anxiety awakened by the assassination of Henry IV. by Ravaillac, the population of Montauban had maintained and testified a pacific and moderate disposition. The synod was in assembly when the news of the king's death arrived there. We read in the report of the town-council, under date of May 19, 1610,

"The ecclesiastics (Catholic) having come to the council, the consuls gave them every assurance for their persons and property, and took them under the protection and safeguard of the king and the town, without suffering or permitting any hurt, wrong, or displeasure to be done them. . . . The ecclesiastics thanked them, and protested their desire to live and die in that town, as good townsmen and servants of the king . ." On the 22d of May, in a larger council-general, the council gives notice to the Parliament of Toulouse that everything shall remain peaceable. . . . Consul Beraud moves that "every one take forthwith the oath of fidelity we owe to his Majesty, and that every one also testify, by acclamation, his wishes and desires for the prosperity and duration of his reign."

Ten years later, in 1620, the disposition of the Protestants was very much changed; distrust and irritation had once more entered into their hearts. Henry IV. was no longer there to appease them or hold them in. The restoration of the freedom of Catholic worship in Warn had alarmed and offended them as a violation of their own exclusive right proclaimed by Jeanne d'Albret. In January, 1621, during an assembly held at La Rochelle, they exclaimed violently against what they called "the woes experienced by their brethren of Warn." Louis XIII. considered their remonstrances too arrogant to be tolerated. On the 24th of April, 1621, by a formal declaration, he confirmed all the edicts issued in favor of the liberty of Protestants, but with a further announcement that he would put down with all the rigor of the laws those who did not remain submissive and tranquil in the enjoyment of their own rights. This measure produced amongst the Protestants a violent schism. Some submitted, and their chiefs gave up to the king the places they commanded. On the 10th of May, 1621, Saumur opened her gates to him. Others, more hot-tempered and more obstinate, persisted in their remonstrances. La Rochelle, Montauban, and St. Jean d'Angely took that side. Duke Henry of Rohan and the Duke of Soubise, his brother, supported them in their resistance. Rohan went to Montauban, and, mounting into the pulpit, said to the assembly, "I will not conceal from you that the most certain conjecture which can be formed from the current news is, that in a short time the royal army will camp around your walls, since St. Jean d'Angely is surrendered, and all that remains up to here is weakened, broken down, and ready to receive the yoke, through the factions of certain evil spirits. I have no fear lest the consternation and cowardice of the rest should reach by contagion to you. In days past you swore in my presence the union of the churches. Of a surety we will get peace restored to you here. I pray you to have confidence in me, that on this occasion I will not desert you, whatever happen. Though there should be but two men left of my religion, I will be one of the two. My houses and my revenues are seized, because I would not bow beneath the proclamation. I have my sword and my life left. Three stout hearts are better than thirty that quail."

The whole assembly vehemently cheered this fiery speech. The premier consul of Montauban, Dupuy, swore to live and die in the cause of union of the churches. "The Duke of Rohan exerted himself to place Montauban in a position to oppose a vigorous resistance to the royal troops. Consul Dupuy, for his part, was at the same time collecting munitions and victuals." It was announced that the king's army was advancing; and reports were spread, with the usual exaggeration, of the deeds of violence it was already committing. At the news thereof, every nerve is strained to advance the fortifications "there is none that shirks, of whatever age, or sex, or condition; every other occupation ceases; night serves to render the day's work bigger; the inhabitants are all a-sweat, soiled with dust, laden with earth." Whilst the multitude was thus working pell-mell to put the town substantially in a state of defence, the warlike population, gentlemen and burgesses, were arming and organizing for the struggle. They had chosen for their chief a younger son of Sully's, Baron d'Orval, devoted to the Protestant cause, even to the extent of rebellion, whilst his elder brother, the Marquis of Rosny, was serving in the royal army. Their aged father, Sully, went to Montauban to counsel peace; not that he exactly blamed the resistance, but he said that it would be vain, and that a peace on good terms was possible. He was listened to with respect, though he was not believed, and though the struggle was all the while persisted in. The royal army, with a strength of twenty thousand men, and commanded by the young Duke of Mayenne, son of the great Leaguer, came up on the 18th of August, 1621, to besiege Montauban, with its population of from fifteen thousand to twenty thousand. Besiegers and besieged were all of them brave; the former the more obstinate, the latter the more hare-brained and rash. The siege lasted two months and a half with alternate successes and reverses. The people of the town were directed and supported by commissions charged with the duty of collecting meal, preparing quarters for the troops, looking after the sick and wounded, and distributing ammunition. "Day and night, from hour to hour, one of the consuls went to inspect these services. All was done without confusion, without a murmur." Ministers of the Reformed church, to the number of thirteen, were charged to keep up the enthusiasm with chants, psalms, and prayers. One of them, the pastor Chamier, was animated by a zealous and bellicose fanaticism; he was never tired of calling to mind the calamities undergone by the towns that had submitted to the royal army; he was incessantly comparing Montauban to Bethulia, Louis XIII. to Nabuchodonosor, the Duke of Mayenne to Holofernes, the Montalbanese to the people of God, and the Catholics to the Assyrians. The indecision and diversity of views in the royal camp formed a singular contrast to the firm resolution, enthusiasm, and union which prevailed in the town. On the 16th and 17th of August the king passed his army in review; several captains were urgent in dissuading him from prosecuting the siege; they proposed to build forts around Montauban, and leave there the Duke of Mayenne "to harass the inhabitants, make them consume both their gunpowder and their tooth-powder, and, peradventure, bring them to a composition." But the self-respect of the king and of the army was compromised; the Duke of Luynes ardently desired to change his name for that of Duke of Montauban; there was promise of help from the Prince of Conde and the Duke of Vendome, who were commanding, one in Berry and the other in Brittany. These personal interests and sentiments carried the day; the siege was pushed forward with ardor, although without combined effort; the Duke of Mayenne was killed there on the 16th of September, 1621; and, amongst the insurgents, the preacher Chamier met, on the 17th of October, the same fate. It was in the royal army and the government that fatigue and the desire of putting a stop to a struggle so costly and of such doubtful issue first began to be manifested. And, at the outset, in the form of attempts at negotiation. The Duke of Luynes himself had a proposal made to the Duke of Rohan, who was in residence at Castres, for an interview, which Rohan accepted, notwithstanding the mistrust of the people of Castres, and of the majority of his friends. The conference was held at a league's distance from Montauban. After the proper compliments, Luynes drew Rohan aside into an alley alone, and, "I thank you," he said, "for having put trust in me; you shall not find it misplaced; your safety is as great here as in Castres. Having become connected with you, I desire your welfare; but you deprived me, whilst my favor lasted, of the means of procuring the greatness of your house. You have succored Montauban in the very teeth of your king. It is a great feather in your cap; but you must not make too much of it. It is time to act for yourself and your friends. The king will make no general peace; treat for them who acknowledge you. Represent to them of Montauban that their ruin is but deferred for a few days; that you have no means of helping them. For Castres and other places in your department, ask what you will, and you shall obtain it. For your own self, anything you please (carte blanche) is offered you. . . . If you will believe me, you will get out of this miserable business with glory, with the good graces of the king, and with what you desire for your own fortunes, which I am anxious to promote so as to be a support to mine."

Rohan replied, "I should be my own enemy if I did not desire my king's good graces and your friendship. I will never refuse from my king benefits and honors, or from you the offices of a kind connection. I do well consider the peril in which I stand; but I beg you also to look at yours. You are universally hated, because you alone possess what everybody desires. Wars against them of the religion have often commenced with great disadvantages for them; but the restlessness of the French spirit, the discontent of those not in the government, and the influence of foreigners have often retrieved them. If you manage to make the king grant us peace, it will be to his great honor and advantage, for, after having humbled the party, without having received any check, and without any appearance of division within or assistance from without, he will have shown that he is not set against the religion, but only against the disobedience it covers, and he will break the neck of other parties without having met with anything disagreeable. But, if you push things to extremity, and the torrent of your successes does not continue,—and you are on the eve of seeing it stopped in front of Montauban,—every one will recover his as yet flurried senses, and will give you a difficult business to unravel. Bethink you that you have gathered in the harvest of all that promises mingled with threats could enable you to gain, and that the remnant is fighting for the religion in which it believes. For my own part, I have made up my mind to the loss of my property and my posts; if you have retarded the effects thereof on account of our connection, I am obliged to you for it; but I am quite prepared to suffer everything, since my mind is made up, having solemnly promised it and my conscience so bidding me, to hear of nothing but a general peace."

The reply was worthy of a great soul devoted to a great cause, a soul that would not sacrifice to the hopes of fortune either friends or creed. It was a mark of Duke Henry of Rohan's superior character to take account, before everything, of the general interests and the moral sentiments of his party. The chief of the royal party, the Duke of Luynes, was, on the contrary, absorbed in the material and momentary success of his own personal policy; he refused to treat for a general peace with the Protestants, and he preferred to submit to a partial and local defeat before Montauban, rather than be hampered with the difficulties of national pacification. At a council held on the 26th of October, 1621, it was decided to publicly raise the siege. The king and the royal army departed in November from the precincts of Montauban, which they purposed to attack afresh on the return of spring: the king was in a hurry to go and receive at Toulouse the empty acclamations of the mob, and he ordered Luynes to go and take, on the little town of Monheur, in the neighborhood of Toulouse, a specious revenge for his check before Montauban. Monheur surrendered on the 11th of December, 1621. Another little village in the neighborhood, Negrepelisse, which offered resistance to the royal army, was taken by assault, and its population infamously massacred. But in the midst of these insignificant victories, on the 14th of December, 1621, the royal favorite, the constable, interim keeper of the seals, Duke Albert of Luynes, had an attack of malignant fever, and died in three days at the camp of Longueville. "What was marvellously surprising, and gave a good idea of the world and its vanity," says his contemporary, the Marquis of Fontaine Mareuil, "was that this man, so great and so powerful, found himself, nevertheless, to such a degree abandoned and despised, that for two days, during which he was in agony, there was scarcely one of his people who would stay in his room, the door being open all the time, and anybody who pleased coming in, as if he had been the most insignificant of men; and when his body was taken to be interred, I suppose, to his duchy of Luynes, instead of priests to pray for him, I saw some of his valets playing piquet on his bier whilst they were having their horses baited."

It was not long before magnificence revisited the favorite's bier. "On the 11th of January, 1622, his mortal remains having arrived at Tours, all the religious bodies went out to receive it; the constable was placed in a chariot drawn by six horses, accompanied by pages, Swiss, and gentlemen in mourning. He was finally laid in the cathedral-church, where there took place a service which was attended by Marshal de Lesdiguieres, the greatest lords of the court, the judicature, and the corporation." It is a contemporary sheet, the Mercure Francais, which has preserved to us these details as to the posthumous grandeur of Albert de Luynes, after the brutal indifference to which he had been subjected at the moment of his death.

His brothers after him held a high historical position, which the family have maintained, through the course of every revolution, to the present day; a position which M. Cousin took pleasure in calling to mind, and which the last duke but one of Luynes made it a point of duty to commemorate by raising to Louis XIII. a massive silver statue almost as large as life, the work of that able sculptor, M. Rudde, which figured at the public exhibition set on foot by Count d'Haussonville, in honor of the Alsace-Lorrainers whom the late disasters of France drove off in exile to Algeria.

Richelieu, when he had become cardinal, premier minister of Louis XIII. and of the government of France, passed a just but severe judgment upon Albert de Luynes. "He was a mediocre and timid creature," he said, "faithless, ungenerous, too weak to remain steady against the assault of so great a fortune as that which ruined him incontinently; allowing himself to be borne away by it as by a torrent, without any foothold, unable to set bounds to his ambition, incapable of arresting it, and not knowing what he was about, like a man on the top of a tower, whose head goes round and who has no longer any power of discernment. He would fain have been Prince of Orange, Count of Avignon, Duke of Albret, King of Austrasia, and would not have refused more if he had seen his way to it." [Memoires de Richelieu, p. 169, in the Petitot Collection, Series v., t. xxii.]

This brilliant and truthful portrait lacks one feature which was the merit of the Constable de Luynes: he saw coming, and he anticipated, a long way off and to little purpose, but heartily enough, the government of France by a supreme kingship, whilst paying respect, as long as he lived, to religious liberty, and showing himself favorable to intellectual and literary liberty, though he was opposed to political and national liberty. That was the government which, after him, was practised with a high hand and rendered triumphant by Cardinal Richelieu to the honor, if not the happiness, of France.


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