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A Popular History of France Vol 4
CHAPTER XXVIII. FRANCIS I. AND CHARLES V.
by Guizot, Francois Pierre Guillaume


The closer the study and the wider the contemplation a Frenchman bestows upon his country's history, the deeper will be his feelings of patriotic pride, dashed with a tinge of sadness. France, in respect of her national unity, is the most ancient amongst the states of Christian Europe. During her long existence she has passed through very different regimens, the chaos of barbarism, the feudal system, absolute monarchy, constitutional monarchy, and republicanism. Under all these regimens she has had no lack of greatness and glory, material power and intellectual lustre, moral virtues and the charms of social life. Her barbarism had its Charlemagne; her feudal system St. Louis, Joan of Arc, and Bayard; her absolute monarchy Henry IV. and Louis XIV. Of our own times we say nothing. France has shone in war and in peace, through the sword and through the intellect: she has by turns conquered and beguiled, enlightened and troubled Europe; she has always offered to the foreigner a spectacle or an abode full of the curious and the attractive, of noble pleasures and of mundane amusements. And still, after so many centuries of such a grand and brilliant career, France has not yet attained the end to which she ever aspired, to which all civilized communities aspire, and that is, order in the midst of movement, security and liberty united and lasting. She has had shortcomings which have prevented her from reaping the full advantage of her merits; she has committed faults which have involved her in reverses. Two things, essential to political prosperity amongst communities of men, have hitherto been to seek in her; predominance of public spirit over the spirit of caste or of profession, and moderation and fixity in respect of national ambition both at home and abroad. France has been a victim to the personal passions of her chiefs and to her own reckless changeability.

We are entering upon the history of a period and a reign during which this intermixture of merits and demerits, of virtues and vices, of progress and backsliding, was powerfully and attractively exhibited amongst the French. Francis I., his government and his times commence the era of modern France, and bring clearly to view the causes of her greatnesses and her weaknesses.

Francis I. had received from God all the gifts that can adorn a man: he was handsome and tall and strong; his armor, preserved in the Louvre, is that of a man six feet high; his eyes were brilliant and soft, his smile was gracious, his manners were winning. From his very childhood he showed that he had wits, enterprise, skill, and boldness. He was but seven years old when, "on the day of the conversion of St. Paul, January 25, 1501, about two P. M., my king, my lord, my Caesar, and my son, was run away with, near Amboise, by a hackney which had been given him by Marshal de Gye; and so great was the danger that those who were present thought it was all over; howbeit God, the protector of widowed women and the defender of orphans, foreseeing things to come, was pleased not to forsake me, knowing that, if accident had so suddenly deprived me of my love, I should have been too utter a wretch." Such is the account given of this little incident by his mother, Louise of Savoy, who was at that time habitually kept, by Anne of Brittany's jealousy, at a distance from Paris and the court. [Journal de Louise de Savoie in the Petitot collection of Memoires sur l'Histoire de France, Series I. t. xvi. p. 390.] Some years later the young prince, who had become an ardent huntsman, took the fancy into his head one day to let loose in the courtyard of the castle of Amboise a wild boar which he had just caught in the forest. The animal came to a door, burst it open with a blow of his snout, and walked up into the apartments. Those who were there took to their heels; but Francis went after the boar, came up with him, killed him with a swordthrust, and sent him rolling down the staircase into the courtyard. When, in 1513, Louis XII. sent for the young Duke of Angouleme and bade him go and defend Picardy against the English, Francis had scarcely done anything beyond so employing his natural gifts as to delight the little court of which he was the centre; an estimable trait, but very insufficient for the government of a people.

When, two years afterwards, on the 1st of January, 1515, he ascended the throne before he had attained his one and twentieth year, it was a brilliant and brave but spoiled child that became king. He had been under the governance of Artus Gouffier, Sire de Boisy, a nobleman of Poitou, who had exerted himself to make his royal pupil a loyal knight, well trained in the moral code and all the graces of knighthood, but without drawing his attention to more serious studies or preparing him for the task of government. The young Francis d'Angouleme lived and was moulded under the influence of two women, his mother, Louise of Savoy, and his eldest sister, Marguerite, who both of them loved and adored him with passionate idolatry. It has just been shown in what terms Louise of Savoy, in her daily collection of private memoranda, used to speak to herself of her son, "My king, my lord, my Caesar, and my son!" She was proud, ambitious, audacious, or pliant at need, able and steadfast in mind, violent and dissolute in her habits, greedy of pleasure and of money as well as of power, so that she gave her son neither moral principles nor a moral example: for him the supreme kingship, for herself the rank, influence, and wealth of a queen-mother, and, for both, greatness that might subserve the gratification of their passions—this was all her dream and all her aim as a mother. Of quite another sort were the character and sentiments of Marguerite de Valois. She was born on the 11th of April, 1492, and was, therefore, only two years older than her brother Francis; but her more delicate nature was sooner and more richly cultivated and developed. She was brought up with strictness by a most excellent and most venerable dame, in whom all the virtues, at rivalry one with another, existed together. [Madame de Chatillon, whose deceased husband had been governor to King Charles VIII.] As she was discovered to have rare intellectual gifts and a very keen relish for learning, she was provided with every kind of preceptors, who made her proficient in profane letters, as they were then called. Marguerite learned Latin, Greek, philosophy, and especially theology. "At fifteen years of age," says a contemporary, "the spirit of God began to manifest itself in her eyes, in her face, in her walk, in her speech, and. generally in all her actions." "She had a heart," says Brantome, "mighty devoted to God, and she loved mightily to compose spiritual songs. . . . She also devoted herself to letters in her young days, and continued them as long as she lived, loving and conversing with, in the time of her greatness, the most learned folks of her brother's kingdom, who honored her so that they called her their Maecenas." Learning, however, was far from absorbing the whole of this young soul. "She," says a contemporary, "had an agreeable voice of touching tone, which roused the tender inclinations that there are in the heart." Tenderness, a passionate tenderness, very early assumed the chief place in Marguerite's soul, and the first object of it was her brother Francis. When mother, son, and sister were spoken of, they were called a Trinity, and to this Marguerite herself bore witness when she said, with charming modesty,—
   "Such boon is mine, to feel the amity
   That God hath putten in our trinity,
   Wherein to make a third, I, all unfitted
   To be that number's shadow, am admitted."
Marguerite it was for whom this close communion of three persons had the most dolorous consequences: we shall fall in with her more than once in the course of this history; but, whether or no, she was assuredly the best of this princely trio, and Francis I. was the most spoiled by it. There is nothing more demoralizing than to be an idol.

The first acts of his government were sensible and of good omen. He confirmed or renewed the treaties or truces which Louis XII., at the close of his reign, had concluded with the Venetians, the Swiss, the pope, the King of England, the Archduke Charles, and the Emperor Maximilian, in order to restore peace to his kingdom. At home Francis I. maintained at his council the principal and most tried servants of his predecessor, amongst others the finance-minister, Florimond Robertet; and he raised to four the number of the marshals of France, in order to confer that dignity on Bayard's valiant friend, James of Chabannes, Lord of La Palice, who even under Louis XII. had been entitled by the Spaniards "the great marshal of France." At the same time he exalted to the highest offices in the state two new men, Charles, Duke of Bourbon, who was still a mere youth, but already a warrior of renown, and Anthony Duprat, the able premier president of the Parliament of Paris; the former he made constable, and the latter chancellor of France. His mother, Louise of Savoy, was not unconcerned, it is said, in both promotions; she was supposed to feel for the young constable something more than friendship, and she regarded the veteran magistrate, not without reason, as the man most calculated to unreservedly subserve the interests of the kingly power and her own.

These measures, together with the language and the behavior of Francis I., and the care he took to conciliate all who approached him, made a favorable impression on France and on Europe. In Italy, especially, princes as well as people, and Pope Leo X. before all, flattered themselves, or were pleased to appear as if they flattered themselves, that war would not come near them again, and that the young king had his heart set only on making Burgundy secure against sudden and outrageous attacks from the Swiss. The aged King of Spain, Ferdinand the Catholic, adopting the views of his able minister, Cardinal Ximenes, alone showed distrust and anxiety. "Go not to sleep," said he to his former allies; "a single instant is enough to bring the French in the wake of their master whithersoever he pleases to lead them; is it merely to defend Burgundy that the King of France is adding fifteen hundred lances to his men-at-arms, and that a huge train of artillery is defiling into Lyonness, and little by little approaching the mountains?"

Ferdinand urged the pope, the Emperor Maximilian, the Swiss, and Maximilian Sforza, Duke of Milan, to form a league for the defence of Italy; but Leo X. persisted in his desire of remaining or appearing neutral, as the common father of the faithful. Meanwhile the French ambassador at Rome, William Bude, "a man," says Guicciardini, "of probably unique erudition amongst the men of our day," and, besides, a man of keen and sagacious intellect, was unfolding the secret working of Italian diplomacy, and sending to Paris demands for his recall, saying, "Withdraw me from this court full of falsehoods; this is a residence too much out of my element." The answer was, that he should have patience, and still negotiate; for France, meeting ruse by ruse, was willing to be considered hoodwinked, whilst the eyes of the pope, diverted by a hollow negotiation, were prevented from seeing the peril which was gathering round the Italian league and its declared or secret champions. [Gaillard, Histoire de Francois 1er, t. i. p. 208.]

Neither the king nor the pope had for long to take the trouble of practising mutual deception. It was announced at Rome that Francis I., having arrived at Lyons in July, 1515, had just committed to his mother, Louise, the regency of the kingdom, and was pushing forward towards the Alps an army of sixty thousand men and a powerful artillery. He had won over to his service Octavian Fregoso, Doge of Genoa; and Barthelemy d'Alviano, the veteran general of his allies the Venetians, was encamped with his troops within hail of Verona, ready to support the French in the struggle he foresaw. Francis I., on his side, was informed that twenty thousand Swiss, commanded by the Roman, Prosper Colonna, were guarding the passes of the Alps in order to shut him out from Milaness. At the same time he received the news that the Cardinal of Sion, his most zealous enemy in connection with the Roman Church, was devotedly employing, with the secret support of the Emperor Maximilian, his influence and his preaching for the purpose of raising in Switzerland a second army of from twenty to five and twenty thousand men, to be launched against him, if necessary, in Italy. A Spanish and Roman army, under the orders of Don Raymond of Cardone, rested motionless at some distance from the Po, waiting for events and for orders prescribing the part they were to take. It was clear that Francis I., though he had been but six months king, was resolved and impatient to resume in Italy, and first of all in Milaness, the war of invasion and conquest which had been engaged in by Charles VIII. and Louis XII.; and the league of all the states of Italy save Venice and Genoa, with the pope for their half-hearted patron, and the Swiss for their fighting men, were collecting their forces to repel the invader.

It was the month of August; the snow was diminishing and melting away among the Alps; and the king, with the main body of the army, joined at Embrun the Constable de Bourbon, who commanded the advance-guard. But the two passes of Mount Cenis and Mount Ginevra were strongly guarded by the Swiss, and others were sought for a little more to the south. A shepherd, a chamois-hunter, pointed out one whereby, he said, the mountains might be crossed, and a descent made upon the plains of the marquisate of Saluzzo. The young constable went in person to examine the spots pointed out by the shepherd; and, the statement having been verified, it did not seem impossible to get the whole army over, even the heavy artillery; and they essayed this unknown road. At several points, abysses had to be filled up, temporary bridges built, and enormous rocks pierced; the men-at-arms marched on foot, with great difficulty dragging their horses; with still greater difficulty the infantry hauled the cannon over holes incompletely stopped and fragments of yawning rock. Captains and soldiers set to work together; no labor seems too hard to eager hope; and in five days the mountain was overcome, and the army caught sight of the plain where the enemy might be encountered. A small body of four hundred men-at-arms, led by Marshal de Chabannes, were the first to descend into it; and among them was Bayard. "Marshal," said he to Chabannes, "we are told that over the Po yonder is Sir Prosper Colonna, with two thousand horse, in a town called Villafranca, apprehending nought and thinking of nought but gaudies. We must wake up his wits a little, and this moment get into the saddle with all our troops, that he be not warned by any." "Sir Bayard," said the marshal, "it is right well said; but how shall we cross the River Po, which is so impetuous and broad?" "Sir," said Bayard, "here is my Lord de Morette's brother, who knows the ford; he shall cross first, and I after him." So they mounted their horses, crossed the Po, and "were soon there, where Sir Prosper Colonna was at table and was dining, as likewise were all his folk." Bayard, who marched first, found the archers on guard in front of the Italian leader's quarters. "Yield you and utter no sound," cried he, "else you are dead men." Some set about defending themselves; the rest ran to warn Colonna, saying, "Up, sir; for, here are the French in a great troop already at this door." "Lads," said Colonna to them, "keep this door a little till we get some armor on to defend ourselves." But whilst the fight was going on at the door Bayard had the windows scaled, and, entering first, cried out, "Where are you, Sir Prosper? Yield you; else you are a dead man." "Sir Frenchman, who is your captain?" asked Colonna. "I am, sir." "Your name, captain?" "Sir, I am one Bayard of France, and here are the Lord of La Palice, and the Lords d'Aubigny and d'Himbercourt, the flower of the captains of France." Colonna surrendered, cursing Fortune, "the mother of all sorrow and affliction, who had taken away his wits, and because he had not been warned of their coming, for he would at least have made his capture a dear one;" and he added, "It seems a thing divinely done; four noble knights at once, with their comrades at their backs, to take one Roman noble!"

Francis I. and the main body of his army had also arrived at the eastern foot of the Alps, and were advancing into the plains of the country of Saluzzo and Piedmont. The Swiss, dumbfounded at so unexpected an apparition, fell back to Novara, the scene of that victory which two years previously had made them so proud. A rumor spread that negotiation was possible, and that the question of Milaness might be settled without fighting. The majority of the French captains repudiated the idea, but the king entertained it. His first impulses were sympathetic and generous. "I would not purchase," said he to Marshal de Lautrec, "with the blood of my subjects, or even with that of my enemies, what I can pay for with money." Parleys were commenced; and an agreement was hit upon with conditions on which the Swiss would withdraw from Italy and resume alliance with the French. A sum of seven hundred thousand crowns, it was said, was the chief condition; and the king and the captains of his army gave all they had, even to their plate, for the first instalment which Lautrec was ordered to convey to Bufalora, where the Swiss were to receive it. But it was suddenly announced that the second army of twenty thousand Swiss, which the Cardinal of Sion had succeeded in raising, had entered Italy by the valley of the Ticino. They formed a junction with their countrymen; the cardinal recommenced his zealous preaching against the French; the newcomers rejected the stipulated arrangements; and, confident in their united strength, all the Swiss made common accord. Lautrec, warned in time, took with all speed his way back to the French army, carrying away with him the money he had been charged to pay over; the Venetian general, D'Alviano, went to the French camp to concert with the king measures for the movements of his troops; and on both sides nothing was thought of but the delivery of a battle.

On the 13th of September, 1515, about midday, the Constable de Bourbon gave notice to the king, encamped at Melegnano (a town about three leagues from Milan), that the Swiss, sallying in large masses from Milan, at the noisy summons of the bull of Uri and the cow of Unterwalden, were advancing to attack. "The king, who was purposing to sit down to supper, left it on the spot, and went off straight towards the enemy, who were already engaged in skirmishing, which lasted a long while before they were at the great game. The king had great numbers of lanzknechts, the which would fain have done a bold deed in crossing a ditch to go after the Swiss; but these latter let seven or eight ranks cross, and then thrust you them back in such sort that all that had crossed got hurled into the ditch. The said lanzknechts were mighty frightened; and but for the aid of a troop of men-at-arms, amongst the which was the good knight Bayard, who bore down right through the Swiss, there had been a sad disaster there, for it was now night, and night knows no shame. A band of Swiss came passing in front of the king, who charged them gallantly. There was heavy fighting there and much danger to the king's person, for his great buffe [the top of the visor of his helmet] was pierced, so as to let in daylight, by the thrust of a pike. It was now so late that they could not see one another; and the Swiss were, for this evening, forced to retire on the one side, and the French on the other. They lodged as they could; but well I trow that none did rest at ease. The King of France put as good a face on matters as the least of all his soldiers did, for he remained all night a-horseback like the rest (according to other accounts he had a little sleep, lying on a gun-carriage).

On the morrow at daybreak the Swiss were for beginning again, and they came straight towards the French artillery, from which they had a good peppering. Howbeit, never did men fight better, and the affair lasted three or four good hours. At last they were broken and beaten, and there were left on the field ten or twelve thousand of them. The remainder, in pretty good order along a high road, withdrew to Milan, whither they were pursued sword-in-hand." [Histoire du bon Chevalier sans Peur et sans Reproehe, t. ii. pp. 99-102.]

The very day after the battle Francis I. wrote to his mother the regent a long account, alternately ingenuous and eloquent, in which the details are set forth with all the complacency of a brave young man who is speaking of the first great affair in which he has been engaged and in which he did himself honor. The victory of Melegnano was the most brilliant day in the annals of this reign. Old Marshal Trivulzio, who had taken part in seventeen battles, said that this was a strife of giants, beside which all the rest were but child's play. On the very battle-field, "before making and creating knights of those who had done him good service, Francis I. was pleased to have himself made knight by the hand of Bayard. 'Sir,' said Bayard, 'the king of so noble a realm, he who has been crowned, consecrated and anointed with oil sent down from heaven, he who is the eldest son of the church, is knight over all other knights.' 'Bayard, my friend,' said the king, 'make haste; we must have no laws or canons quoted here; do my bidding.' 'Assuredly, sir,' said Bayard, 'I will do it, since it is your pleasure;' and, taking his sword, 'Avail it as much,' said he, 'as if I were Roland or Oliver, Godfrey or his brother Baldwin; please God, sir, that in war you may never take flight!' and, holding up his sword in the air, he cried, 'Assuredly, my good sword, thou shalt be well guarded as a relic and honored above all others for having this day conferred upon so handsome and puissant a king the order of chivalry; and never will I wear thee more if it be not against Turks, Moors, and Saracens!' Whereupon he gave two bounds and thrust his sword into the sheath." [Les testes et la Vie du Chevalier Bayard, by Champier, in the Archives curieuses de l'Histoire de France, Series I. t. ii. p. 160.]

The effect of the victory of Melegnano was great, in Italy primarily, but also throughout Europe. It was, at the commencement of a new reign and under the impulse communicated by a young king, an event which seemed to be decisive and likely to remain so for a long while. Of all the sovereigns engaged in the Italian league against Francis I., he who was most anxious to appear temperate and almost neutral, namely, Leo X., was precisely he who was most surprised and most troubled by it. When he knew that a battle was on the eve of being fought between the French and the Swiss, he could not conceal his anxiety and his desire that the Swiss might be victorious. The Venetian ambassador at Rome, Marino Giorgi, whose feelings were quite the other way, took, in his diplomatic capacity, a malicious pleasure in disquieting him. "Holy father," said he, "the Most Christian King is there in person with the most warlike and best appointed of armies; the Swiss are afoot and ill armed, and I am doubtful of their gaining the day." "But the Swiss are valiant soldiers, are they not?" said the pope. "Were it not better, holy father," rejoined the ambassador, "that they should show their valor against the infidel?" When the news of the battle arrived, the ambassador, in grand array, repaired to the pope's; and the people who saw him passing by in such state said, "The news is certainly true." On reaching the pope's apartment the ambassador met the chamberlain, who told him that the holy father was still asleep. "Wake him," said he; but the other refused. "Do as I tell you," insisted the ambassador. The chamberlain went in; and the pope, only half dressed, soon sallied from his room. "Holy father," said the Venetian, "your Holiness yesterday gave me some bad news which was false; to-day I have to give you some good news which is true: the Swiss are beaten." The pope read the letters brought by the ambassador, and some other letters also. "What will come of it for us and for you?" asked the pope. "For us," was the answer, "nothing but good, since we are with the Most Christian king; and your Holiness will not have aught of evil to suffer." "Sir Ambassador," rejoined the pope, "we will see what the Most Christian king will do; we will place ourselves in his hands, demanding mercy of him." "Holy father, your Holiness will not come to the least harm, any more than the holy See: is not the Most Christian king the church's own son?" And in the account given of this interview to the Senate of Venice the ambassador added, "The holy father is a good sort of man, a man of great liberality and of a happy disposition; but he would not like the idea of having to give himself much trouble."

Leo X. made up his mind without much trouble to accept accomplished facts. When he had been elected pope, he had said to his brother, Julian de' Medici, "Enjoy we the papacy, since God hath given it us" [Godiamoci il papato, poiche Dio ci l' ha dato]. He appeared to have no further thought than how to pluck from the event the advantages he could discover in it. His allies all set him an example of resignation. On the 15th of September, the day after the battle, the Swiss took the road back to their mountains. Francis I. entered Milan in triumph. Maximilian Sforza took refuge in the castle, and twenty days afterwards, on the 4th of October, surrendered, consenting to retire to France with a pension of thirty thousand crowns, and the promise of being recommended for a cardinal's hat, and almost consoled for his downfall "by the pleasure of being delivered from the insolence of the Swiss, the exactions of the Emperor Maximilian, and the rascalities of the Spaniards." Fifteen years afterwards, in June, 1530, he died in oblivion at Paris. Francis I. regained possession of all Milaness, adding thereto, with the pope's consent, the duchies of Parma and Piacenza, which had been detached from it in 1512. Two treaties, one of November 7, 1515, and the other of November 29, 1516, re-established not only peace, but perpetual alliance, between the King of France and the thirteen Swiss cantons, with stipulated conditions in detail. Whilst these negotiations were in progress, Francis I. and Leo X., by a treaty published at Viterbo on the 13th of October, proclaimed their hearty reconciliation. The pope guaranteed to Francis I. the duchy of Milan, restored to him those of Parma and Piacenza, and recalled his troops which were still serving against the Venetians; being careful, however, to cover his concessions by means of forms and pretexts which gave them the character of a necessity submitted to rather than that of an independent and definite engagement. Francis I., on his side, guaranteed to the pope all the possessions of the church, renounced the patronage of the petty princes of the ecclesiastical estate, and promised to uphold the family of the Medici in the position it had held at Florence since, with the King of Spain's aid, in 1512, it had recovered the dominion there at the expense of the party of republicans and friends of France.

The King of France and the pope had to discuss together questions far more important on both sides than those which had just been thus settled by their accredited agents. When they signed the treaty of Viterbo, it was agreed that the two sovereigns should have a personal interview, at which they should come to an arrangement upon points of which they had as yet said nothing. Rome seemed the place most naturally adapted for this interview; but the pope did not wish that Francis I. should go and display his triumph there. Besides, he foresaw that the king would speak to him about the kingdom of Naples, the conquest of which was evidently premeditated by the king; and when Francis I., having arrived at Rome, had already done half the journey, Leo X. feared that it would be more difficult to divert him. He resolved to make to the king a show of deference to conceal his own disquietude; and offered to go and meet him at Bologna, the town in the Roman States which was nearest to Milaness. Francis accepted the offer. The pope arrived at Bologna on the 8th of December, 1515, and the king the next day. After the public ceremonies, at which the king showed eagerness to tender to the pope acts of homage which the pope was equally eager to curtail without repelling them, the two sovereigns conversed about the two questions which were uppermost in their minds. Francis did not attempt to hide his design of reconquering the kingdom of Naples, which Ferdinand the Catholic had wrongfully usurped, and he demanded the pope's countenance. The pope did not care to refuse, but he pointed out to the king that everything foretold the very near death of King Ferdinand; and "Your majesty," said he, "will then have a natural opportunity for claiming your rights; and as for me, free, as I shall then be, from my engagements with the King of Arragon in respect of the crown of Naples, I shall find it easier to respond to your majesty's wish." The pope merely wanted to gain time. Francis, setting aside for the moment the kingdom of Naples, spoke of Charles VII.'s Pragmatic Sanction, and the necessity of putting an end to the difficulties which had arisen on this subject between the court of Rome and the Kings of France, his predecessors. "As to that," said the pope, "I could not grant what your predecessors demanded; but be not uneasy; I have a compensation to propose to you which will prove to you how dear your interests are to me." The two sovereigns had, without doubt, already come to an understanding on this point, when, after a three days' interview with Leo X., Francis I. returned to Milan, leaving at Bologna, for the purpose of treating in detail the affair of the Pragmatic Sanction, his chancellor, Duprat, who had accompanied him during all this campaign as his adviser and negotiator.

In him the king had, under the name and guise of premier magistrate of the realm, a servant whose bold and complacent abilities he was not slow to recognize and to put in use. Being irritated "for that many, not having the privilege of sportsmen, do take beasts, both red and black, as hares, pheasants, partridges, and other game, thus frustrating us of our diversion and pastime that we take in the chase," Francis I. issued, in March, 1516, an ordinance which decreed against poachers the most severe penalties, and even death, and which "granted to all princes, lords, and gentlemen possessing forests or warrens in the realm, the right of upholding therein by equally severe punishments the exclusive privileges of their preserves." The Parliament made remonstrances against such excessive rigor, and refused to register the ordinance. The chancellor, Duprat, insisted, and even threatened. "To the king alone," said he, "belongs the right of regulating the administration of his state obey, or the king will see in you only rebels, whom he will know how to chastise." For a year the Parliament held out; but the chancellor persisted more obstinately in having his way, and, on the 11th of February, 1517, the ordinance was registered under a formal order from the king, to which the name was given of "letters of command."

At the commencement of the war for the conquest of Milaness there was a want of money, and Francis I. hesitated to so soon impose new taxes. Duprat gave a scandalous extension to a practice which had been for a long while in use, but had always been reprobated and sometimes formally prohibited, namely, the sale of public appointments or offices: not only did he create a multitude of financial and administrative offices, the sale of which brought considerable sums into the treasury, but he introduced the abuse into the very heart of the judicial body; the tribunals were encumbered by newly-created magistrates. The estates of Languedoc complained in vain. The Parliament of Paris was in its turn attacked. In 1521, three councillors, recently nominated, were convicted of having paid, one three thousand eight hundred livres, and the two others six thousand livres. The Parliament refused to admit them. Duprat protested. The necessities of the state, he said, made borrowing obligatory; and the king was free to prefer in his selections those of his subjects who showed most zeal for his service. Parliament persisted in its refusal. Duprat resolved to strike a great blow. An edict of January 31, 1522, created within the Parliament a fourth chamber, composed of eighteen councillors and two presidents, all of fresh, and, no doubt, venal appointment, though the edict dared not avow as much. Two great personages, the Archbishop of Aix and Marshal de Montmorenci, were charged to present the edict to Parliament and require its registration. The Parliament demanded time for deliberation. It kept an absolute silence for six weeks, and at last presented an address to the queen-mother, trying to make her comprehend the harm such acts did to the importance of the magistracy and to her son's government. Louise appeared touched by these representations, and promised to represent their full weight to the king, "if the Parliament will consent to point out to me of itself any other means of readily raising the sum of one hundred and twenty thousand livres, which the king absolutely cannot do without." The struggle was prolonged until the Parliament declared "that it could not, without offending God and betraying its own conscience, proceed to the registration; but that if it were the king's pleasure to be obeyed at any price, he had only to depute his chancellor or some other great personage, in whose presence and on whose requirement the registration should take place." Chancellor Duprat did not care to undertake this commission in person. Count de St. Pol, governor of Paris, was charged with it, and the court caused to be written at the bottom of the letters of command, "Read and published in presence of Count de St. Pol, specially deputed for this purpose, who ordered viva voce, in the king's name, that they be executed."

Thus began to be implanted in that which should be the most respected and the most independent amongst the functions of government, namely, the administration of justice, not only the practice, but the fundamental maxim, of absolute government. "I am going to the court, and I will speak the truth; after which the king will have to be obeyed," was said in the middle of the seventeenth century by the premier president Mold to Cardinal de Retz. Chancellor Duprat, if we are not mistaken, was, in the sixteenth century, the first chief of the French magistracy to make use of language despotic not only in fact, but also in principle. President Mole was but the head of a body invested, so far as the king was concerned, with the right of remonstrance and resistance; when once that right was exercised, he might, without servility, give himself up to resignation. Chancellor Duprat was the delegate, the organ, the representative of the king; it was in the name of the king himself that he affirmed the absolute power of the kingship and the absolute duty of submission. Francis I. could not have committed the negotiation with Leo X. in respect of Charles VII.'s Pragmatic Sanction to a man with more inclination and better adapted for the work to be accomplished.

The Pragmatic Sanction had three principal objects:—

1. To uphold the liberties and the influence of the faithful in the government of the church, by sanctioning their right to elect ministers of the Christian faith, especially parish priests and bishops;

2. To guarantee the liberties and rights of the church herself in her relations with her head, the pope, by proclaiming the necessity for the regular intervention of councils and their superiority in regard to the pope;

3. To prevent or reform abuses in the relations of the papacy with the state and church of France in the matter of ecclesiastical tribute, especially as to the receipt by the pope, under the name of annates, of the first year's revenue of the different ecclesiastical offices and benefices.

In the fifteenth century it was the general opinion in France, in state and in church, that there was in these dispositions nothing more than the primitive and traditional liberties and rights of the Christian church. There was no thought of imposing upon the papacy any new regimen, but only of defending the old and legitimate regimen, recognized and upheld by St. Louis in the thirteenth century as well as by Charles VII. in the fifteenth.

The popes, nevertheless, had all of them protested since the days of Charles VII. against the Pragmatic Sanction as an attack upon their rights, and had demanded its abolition. In 1461, Louis XI., as has already been shown, had yielded for a moment to the demand of Pope Pius II., whose countenance he desired to gain, and had abrogated the Pragmatic; but, not having obtained what he wanted thereby, and having met with strong opposition in the Parliament of Paris to his concession, he had let it drop without formally retracting it, and, instead of engaging in a conflict with Parliament upon the point, he thought it no bad plan for the magistracy to uphold in principle and enforce in fact the regulations of the Pragmatic Sanction. This important edict, then, was still vigorous in 1515, when Francis I., after his victory at Melegnano and his reconciliation with the pope, left Chancellor Duprat at Bologna to pursue the negotiation reopened on that subject. The compensation, of which Leo X., on redemanding the abolition of the Pragmatic Sanction, had given a peep to Francis I., could not fail to have charms for a prince so little scrupulous, and for his still less scrupulous chancellor. The pope proposed that the Pragmatic, once for all abolished, should be replaced by a Concordat between the two sovereigns, and that this Concordat, whilst putting a stop to the election of the clergy by the faithful, should transfer to the king the right of nomination to bishoprics and other great ecclesiastical offices and benefices, reserving to the pope the right of presentation of prelates nominated by the king. This, considering the condition of society and government in the sixteenth century, in the absence of political and religious liberty, was to take away from the church her own existence, and divide her between two masters, without giving her, as regarded either of them, any other guarantee of independence than the mere chance of their dissensions and quarrels.

Egotism, even in kings, has often narrow and short-sighted views. It was calculated that there were in France at this period ten archbishoprics, eighty-three bishoprics, and five hundred and twenty-seven abbeys. Francis I. and his chancellor saw in the proposed Concordat nothing but the great increment of influence it secured to them, by making all the dignitaries of the church suppliants at first and then clients of the kingship. After some difficulties as to points of detail, the Concordat was concluded and signed on the 18th of August, 1516. Five months afterwards, on the 5th of February, 1517, the king repaired in person to Parliament, to which he had summoned many prelates and doctors of the University. The chancellor explained the points of the Concordat, and recapitulated all the facts which, according to him, had made it necessary. The king ordered its registration, "for the good of his kingdom and for quittance of the promise he had given the pope." Parliament on one side, and the prelates and doctors of the University on the other, deliberated upon this demand. Their first answer was that, as the matter concerned the interest of the whole Gallican church, they could not themselves decide about it, and that the church, assembled in national council, alone had the right of pronouncing judgment. "Oho! so you cannot," said the king; "I will soon let you see that you can, or I will send you all to Rome to give the pope your reasons." To the question of conscience the Parliament found thenceforth added the question of dignity. The magistrates raised difficulties in point of form, and asked for time to discuss the matter fundamentally; and deputies went to carry their request to the king. He admitted the propriety of delay, but with this comment: "I know that there are in my Parliament good sort of men, wise men; but I also know that there are turbulent and rash fools; I have my eye upon them; and I am informed of the language they dare to hold about my conduct. I am king as my predecessors were; and I mean to be obeyed as they were. You are constantly vaporing to me about Louis XII. and his love of justice; know ye that justice is as dear to me as it was to him; but that king, just as he was, often drove out from the kingdom rebels, though they were members of Parliament; do not force me to imitate him in his severity." Parliament entered upon a fundamental examination of the question; their deliberations lasted from the 13th to the 24th of July, 1517; and the conclusion they came to was, that Parliament could not and ought not to register the Concordat; that, if the king persisted in his intention of making it a law of the realm, he must employ the same means as Charles VII. had employed for establishing the Pragmatic Sanction, and that, therefore, he must summon a general council. On the 14th of January, 1518, two councillors arrived at Amboise, bringing to the king the representations of the Parliament. When their arrival was announced to the king, "Before I receive them," said he, "I will drag them about at my heels as long as they have made me wait." He received them, however, and handed their representations over to the chancellor, bidding him reply to them. Duprat made a learned and specious reply, but one which left intact the question of right, and, at bottom, merely defended the Concordat on the ground of the king's good pleasure and requirements of policy. On the last day of February, 1518, the king gave audience to the deputies, and handed them the chancellor's reply. They asked to examine it. "You shall not examine it," said the king; "this would degenerate into an endless process. A hundred of your heads, in Parliament, have been seven months and more painfully getting up these representations, which my chancellor has blown to the winds in a few days. There is but one king in France; I have done all I could to restore peace to my kingdom; and I will not allow nullification here of that which I brought about with so much difficulty in Italy. My Parliament would set up for a Venetian Senate; let it confine its meddling to the cause of justice, which is worse administered than it has been for a hundred years; I ought, perhaps, to drag it about at my heels, like the Grand Council, and watch more closely over its conduct." The two deputies made an attempt to prolong their stay at Amboise: but, "If before six to-morrow morning," said the king, "they be not gone, I will send some archers to take them and cast them into a dungeon for six months; and woe to whoever dares to speak to me for them!"

On returning to Paris the deputies were beginning to give their fellows an account of how harsh a reception they met with, when Louis de la Tremoille, the most respected amongst the chiefs of the army, entered the hall. He came by order of the king to affirm to the Parliament that to dismiss the Concordat was to renew the war, and that it must obey on the instant or profess open rebellion. Parliament upheld its decision of July 24, 1517, against the Concordat, at the same time begging La Tremoille to write to the king to persuade him, if he insisted upon registration, to send some person of note or to commission La Tremoille himself to be present at the act, and to see indorsed upon the Concordat, "Read, published, and registered at the king's most express command several times repeated, in presence of . . . , specially deputed by him for that purpose." Tremoille hesitated to write, and exhibited the letters whereby the king urged him to execute the strict orders laid upon him. "What are those orders, then?" asked the premier president. "That is the king's secret," answered La Tremoille: "I may not reveal it; all that I can tell you is, that I should never have peace of mind if you forced me to carry them out." The Parliament in its excitement begged La Tremoille to withdraw, and sent for him back almost immediately. "Choose," said the premier president to him, "between Saturday or Monday next to be present at the registration." La Tremoille chose Monday, wishing to allow himself time for an answer even yet from the king. But no new instructions came to him; and on the 22d of March, 1518, Parliament proceeded to registration of the Concordat, with the forms and reservations which they had announced, and which were evidence of compulsion. The other Parliaments of France followed with more or less zeal, according to their own particular dispositions, the example shown by that of Paris. The University was heartily disposed to push resistance farther than had been done by Parliament: its rector caused to be placarded on the 27th of March, 1518, in the streets of Paris, an order forbidding all printers and booksellers to print the Concordat on pain of losing their connection with the University. The king commanded informations to be filed against the authors and placarders of the order, and, on the 27th of April, sent to the Parliament an edict, which forbade the University to meddle in any matter of public police, or to hold any assembly touching such matters, under pain, as to the whole body, of having its privileges revoked, and, as to individuals, of banishment and confiscation. The king's party demanded of Parliament registration of this edict. Parliament confined itself to writing to the king, agreeing that the University had no right to meddle in affairs of government, but adding that there were strong reasons, of which it would give an account whenever the king should please to order, why it, the Parliament, should refuse registration of the edict. It does not appear that the king ever asked for such account, or that his wrath against the University was more obstinately manifested. The Concordat was registered, and Francis I., after having achieved an official victory over the magistrates, had small stomach for pursuing extreme measures against the men of letters.

We have seen that in the course of the fifteenth century, there were made in France two able and patriotic attempts; the Pragmatic Sanction, in 1458, under Charles VII., and the States General of 1484, under Charles VIII. We do not care to discuss here all the dispositions of those acts; some of them were, indeed, questionable; but they both of them, one in respect of the church and the other of the state, aimed at causing France to make a great stride towards a national, free and legalized regimen, to which French feudal society had never known how or been willing to adjust itself. These two attempts failed. It would be unjust to lay the blame on the contemporary governments. Charles VII. was in earnest about the Pragmatic Sanction which he submitted to the deliberations and votes of a national council; and Louis XI., after having for a while given it up to the pope, retraced his steps and left it in force. As to the States General of 1484, neither the regent, Anne de Beaujeu, nor Charles VIII., offered the slightest hinderance to their deliberations and their votes; and if Louis XII. did not convoke the States afresh, he constantly strove in the government of his kingdom to render them homage and give them satisfaction. We may feel convinced that, considering the social and intellectual condition of France at this time, these two patriotic attempts were premature; but a good policy, being premature, is not on that account alone condemned to failure; what it wants is time to get itself comprehended, appreciated, and practised gradually and consistently. If the successors of Louis XII. had acted in the same spirit and with the same view as their predecessor, France would probably have made progress in this salutary path. But exactly the contrary took place. Instead of continuing a more and more free and legal regimen, Francis I. and his chancellor, Duprat, loudly proclaimed and practised the maxims of absolute power; in the church, the Pragmatic Sanction was abolished; and in the state, Francis I., during a reign of thirty-two years, did not once convoke the States General, and labored only to set up the sovereign right of his own sole will. The church was despoiled of her electoral autonomy; and the magistracy, treated with haughty and silly impertinence, was vanquished and humiliated in the exercise of its right of remonstrance. The Concordat of 1516 was not the only, but it was the gravest pact of alliance concluded between the papacy and the French kingship for the promotion mutually of absolute power.

Whilst this question formed the subject of disputes in France between the great public authorities, there was springing up, outside of France, between the great European powers another not more grave in regard to a distant future, but more threatening in regard to the present peace of nations. King Ferdinand the Catholic had died on the 23d of January, 1516; and his grandson and successor, Archduke Charles, anxious to go and take possession of the throne of Spain, had hastily concluded with Francis I., on the 13th of August, 1516, at Noyon, a treaty intended to settle differences between the two crowns as to the kingdoms of Naples and Navarre. The French and Spanish plenipotentiaries, Sires de Boisy and de Chievres, were still holding meetings at Montpellier, trying to come to an understanding about the execution of this treaty, when the death of Emperor Maximilian at Wels, in Austria, on the 12th of January, 1519, occurred to add the vacant throne of a great power to the two second-rate thrones already in dispute between two powerful princes. Three claimants, Charles of Austria, who was the new King of Spain, Francis I., and Henry VIII., King of England, aspired to this splendid heritage. In 1517, Maximilian himself, in one of his fits of temper and impecuniosity, had offered to abdicate and give up the imperial dignity to Henry VIII. for a good round sum; but the King of England's envoy, Dr. Cuthbert Tunstall, a stanch and clearsighted servant, who had been sent to Germany to deal with this singular proposal, opened his master's eyes to its hollowness and falsehood, and Henry VIII. held himself aloof. Francis I. remained the only rival of Charles of Austria; Maximilian labored eagerly to pave the way for his grandson's success; and at his death the struggle between the two claimants had already become so keen that Francis I., on hearing the news, exclaimed, "I will spend three millions to be elected emperor, and I swear that, three years after the election, I will be either at Constantinople or dead."

The Turks, who had been since 1453 settled at Constantinople, were the terror of Christian Europe; and Germany especially had need of a puissant and valiant defender against them. Francis I. calculated that the Christians of Germany and Hungary would see in him, the King of France and the victor of Melegnano, their most imposing and most effectual champion.

Having a superficial mind and being full of vain confidence, Francis I. was mistaken about the forces and chances on his side, as well as about the real and natural interests of France, and also his own. There was no call for him to compromise himself in this electoral struggle of kings, and in a distant war against triumphant Islamry. He miscalculated the strong position and personal valor of the rival with whom he would have to measure swords. Charles of Austria was but nineteen, and Francis I. was twenty-three, when they entered, as antagonists, into the arena of European politics. Charles had as yet gained no battle and won no renown; while Francis I. was already a victorious king and a famous knight. But the young archduke's able governor, William de Croy, Lord of Chievres, "had early trained him," says M. Mignet, "to the understanding and management of his various interests; from the time that he was fifteen, Charles presided every day at his council; there he himself read out the contents of despatches which were delivered to him the moment they arrived, were it even in the dead of night; his council had become his school, and business served him for books. . . . Being naturally endowed with superior parts, a penetrating intellect and rare firmness of character, he schooled himself to look Fortune in the face without being intoxicated by her smiles or troubled at her frowns, to be astonished by nothing that happened, and to make up his mind in any danger. He had even now the will of an emperor and an overawing manner. 'His dignity and loftiness of soul are such,' says a contemporary writer, 'that he seems to hold the universe under his feet.'" Charles's position in Germany was as strong as the man himself; he was a German, a duke of Austria, of the imperial line, as natural a successor of his grandfather Maximilian at Frankfort as of his grandfather Ferdinand at Madrid. Such was the adversary, with such advantages of nationality and of person, against whom Francis I., without any political necessity, and for the sole purpose of indulging an ambitious vision and his own kingly self-esteem, was about to engage in a struggle which was to entail a heavy burden on his whole life, and bring him not in triumph to Constantinople, but in captivity to Madrid.

Before the death of Maximilian, and when neither party had done more than foresee the struggle and get ready for it, Francis I. was for some time able to hope for some success. Seven German princes, three ecclesiastical and four laic, the Archbishops of Mayence, Cologne, and Troves, and the Duke of Saxony, the Margrave of Brandenburg, the Count Palatine of the Rhine, and the King of Bohemia, had the sole power of electing the emperor. Four of them, the Archbishops of Troves and of Cologne, the Count Palatine of the Rhine and the Margrave of Brandenburg, had favorably received the overtures of Francis I., and had promised him their suffrages. His devoted servant, Robert de la Marck, Lord of Fleuranges, had brought to him at Amboise a German gentleman from the Palatinate, Franz von Sickingen, "of very petty family, but a very gentle companion," says Fleuranges, "the most beautiful talker that I think I ever saw in my life, and in so much that there was no gentleman in Germany, prince or man of war, who would not have been glad to do him pleasure." Francis I. had received him with very chivalrous grace, and had given him a pension of three thousand livres and handsome presents for his comrades in adventure; and Sickingen was so charmed that he said to Fleuranges on leaving Amboise, "The king did not open his heart to me on the subject of the empire; however, I know all about it, and I beg you to tell him that I will do his service and keep the oath I gave him." A more important personage than Sickingen, Leo X., would have been very glad to have for emperor in Germany neither the King of France nor the King of Spain, both of them being far too powerful in Europe and far too emulous in Italy not to be dangerous enemies or inconvenient allies for him; and he tried to dissuade Francis I. from making any claim to the empire, and to induce him to employ his influence in bringing about the election of a second-rate German prince, Frederick the Wise, Duke of Saxony, who was justly popular in Germany, and who would never be in a condition to do France any harm. It was judicious advice and a policy good for France as well as for Europe in general; but Francis I., infatuated by his desire and his hope, did not relish it at all; and Leo X., being obliged to choose between the two great claimants, declared for Francis I., without any pleasure or confidence, but also without any great perplexity, for he had but little faith in the success which he made a show of desiring. Francis, deceived by these appearances and promises, on the part both of ecclesiastics and laics, held language breathing a gallant and almost careless confidence. "We are not enemies, your master and I," he said to the ambassadors of Spain; "we are two lovers courting the same mistress: whichever of the two she may prefer, the other will have to submit, and harbor no resentment." But when, shortly after Maximilian's death, the struggle became closer and the issue nearer, the inequality between the forces and chances of the two rivals became quite manifest, and Francis I. could no longer affect the same serenity. He had intrusted the management of his affairs in Germany to a favorite comrade of his early youth, Admiral de Bonnivet, a soldier and a courtier, witty, rash, sumptuous, eager to display his master's power and magnificence. Charles of Austria's agents, and at their head his aunt Margaret, who had the government of the Low Countries in his absence, were experienced, deliberate, discreet, more eager to succeed in their purpose than to make a brilliant appearance, and resolved to do quietly whatever was necessary for success. And to do so they were before long as fully authorized as they were resolved. They discovered that Francis I. had given Bonnivet four hundred thousand crowns in gold that he might endeavor to bribe the electors; it was, according to report, double the sum Charles of Austria had promised for the same object; and his agents sent him information of it, and received this answer: "We are wholly determined to spare nothing and to stake all for all upon it, as the matter we most desire and have most at heart in this world. . . . The election must be secured, whatever it may cost me." The question before the seven elective princes who were to dispose of the empire was thenceforth merely which of the two claimants would be the higher and the safer bidder. Francis I. engaged in a tussle of wealth and liberality with Charles of Austria. One of his agents wrote to him, "All will go well if we can fill the maw of the Margrave Joachim of Brandenburg; he and his brother the elector from Mayence fall every day into deeper depths of avarice; we must hasten to satisfy them with speed, speed, speed." Francis I. replied, "I will have Marquis Joachim gorged at any price;" and he accordingly made over to him in ready money and bills of short dates all that was asked for by the margrave, who on the 8th of April, 1519, gave a written undertaking to support the candidature "of the most invincible and Most Christian prince, Francis, by the grace of God King of the French, Duke of Milan, and Lord of Genoa, who, what with his vigorous age, his ability, his justice, his military experience, the brilliant fortune of his arms, and all other qualities required for war and the management of the commonwealth, surpasses, in the judgment of every one, all other Christian princes." But Charles of Austria did not consider himself beaten because two of the seven electors displayed avarice and venality. His aunt Margaret and his principal agent in Germany, the Chamberlain Armerstoff, resumed financial negotiations with the Archbishop of Mayence, for his brother the margrave as well as for himself, and the archbishop, without any formal engagement, accepted the Austrian over-bid. "I am ashamed at his shamelessness," wrote Armerstorff to Charles. Alternate and antagonistic bargaining went on thus for more than two months. The Archbishop of Cologne, Hermann von Wied, kept wavering between the two claimants; but he was careful to tell John d'Albret, Francis I.'s agent, that "he sincerely hoped that his Majesty would follow the doctrine of God, who gave as much to those who went to work in His vineyard towards the middle of the day as to those who had been at it all the morning." Duke Frederick of Saxony was the only one of the seven electors who absolutely refused to make any promise, as well as to accept any offer, and preserved his independence, as well as his dignity. The rumor of all these traffickings and these uncertainties rekindled in Henry VIII., King of England, a fancy for placing himself once more in the ranks; but his agent, Richard Pace, found the negotiations too far advanced and the prices too high for him to back up this vain whim of his master's; and Henry VIII. abandoned it. The diet had been convoked for the 17th of June at Frankfort. The day was drawing near; and which of the two parties had the majority was still regarded as, uncertain. Franz von Sickingen appeared in the outskirts of Frankfort with more than twenty thousand men of the German army, "whereat marvellously astonished," says Fleuranges, "were they who wished well to the King of France and very mightily rejoiced they who wished well to the Catholic king." The gentleman-adventurer had not been less accessible than the prince-electors to bribery. The diet opened on the 18th of June. The Archbishop of Mayence made a great speech in favor of Charles of Austria; and the Archbishop of Troves spoke in favor of Francis I., to whom he had remained faithful. Rival intrigues were kept up; Sickingen and his troops were a clog upon deliberation; the electors were embarrassed and weary of their dissensions; and the Archbishop of Troves proposed by way of compromise the election of the Duke of Saxony, Frederick the Wise, who, at this crisis so shameful for his peers, had just given fresh proofs of his sound judgment, his honesty, and his patriotic independence. But Frederick declined the honor it was intended to do him, and which he considered beyond his powers to support; and he voted for Archduke Charles, "a real German prince," said he, "the choice of whom seemed to him most natural in point of right and most suitable in point of fact under the present circumstances of Europe." The six other electors gave in to his opinion, and that same day, June 18, 1519, unanimously elected the King of Spain, Charles, King of the Romans and Emperor of Germany, with the title of Charles V.

Whatever pains were taken by Francis I. to keep up a good appearance after this heavy reverse, his mortification was profound, and he thought of nothing but getting his revenge. He flattered himself he would find something of the sort in a solemn interview and an appearance of alliance with Henry VIII., King of England, who had, like himself, just undergone in the election to the empire a less flagrant but an analogous reverse. It had already, in the previous year and on the occasion of a treaty concluded between the two kings for the restitution of Tournai to France, been settled that they should meet before long in token of reconciliation. Allusion had even been made, at that period, to a much more important restitution, of Calais in fact, for which Francis I., at what price we know not, had obtained the advocacy of Cardinal Wolsey, who was then all-powerful with Henry VIII. "Of what use to Us," Wolsey had said, "is this town of Calais, where in time of peace as well as of war we have to keep up such numerous garrisons, which costs us so much money, and which so often forces us to measures contrary to the real interests of England?" But this idea was vehemently scouted by the English, and the coming interview between the two kings remained the sole accessory of the treaty of 1518. After Charles V.'s election to the empire, Francis I. was eager to claim this interview, which was sure to cause in Europe the impression of a close understanding between the two kings before the very eyes of their common rival. A convention, signed on the 26th of March, 1520, regulated its details. It was stipulated that the two kings should meet in Picardy between Guines, an English possession in the neighborhood of Calais, and Ardres, which belonged to France. But, so soon as Charles V., at that time in Spain, was informed of this design, he used all his efforts to make it abortive. Henry, however, stood firm; not that he had resolved to knit himself closely with Francis I. against the new emperor, whom, a few months previously, he had shown alacrity in felicitating upon his accession to the empire, but he was unwilling to fail in his promise to the King of France, and he liked to assume in respect of the two rivals the part of an arbiter equally courted by both. Charles V., still actively working against the interview, entered into secret negotiation with Cardinal Wolsey to obtain for himself also an interview with Henry VIII., which would destroy the effect of that in course of arrangement between the Kings of France and England. In writing to Wolsey he called him his "very dear friend," and guaranteed him a pension of seven thousand ducats, secured upon two Spanish bishoprics; and on the 26th of May, 1520, Henry VIII. received at Canterbury, as he was passing by on his way to embark at Dover for the interview in France, the as it were unexpected information that Charles V. had just arrived with his fleet at the port of Hythe. The king immediately sent Wolsey to meet the emperor, who disembarked at Dover, whither Henry went to visit him; and the two sovereigns repaired together to Canterbury, where they went in state to the cathedral, "resplendent," says Erasmus, "with all the precious gifts it had received for so many centuries, especially with the most precious of all, the chest containing the remains of Thomas a-Becket, so magnificent that gold was the least of its ornaments." There they passed three days, treating of their affairs in the midst of galas, during which Charles V. completely won over Wolsey by promising to help him to become pope. On the 31st of May, 1520, Charles, quite easy about the interview in France, embarked at Sandwich for his Flemish possessions, and Henry VIII. made sail for Calais, his point of departure to the place agreed upon for Francis to meet him, and where they had made up their minds, both of them, to display all the splendors of their two courts.

This meeting has remained celebrated in history far more for its royal pomp, and for the personal incidents which were connected with it, than for its political results. It was called The Field of Cloth of Gold; and the courtiers who attended the two sovereigns felt bound to almost rival them in sumptuousness, "insomuch," says the contemporary Martin du Bellay, "that many bore thither their mills, their forests, and their meadows on their backs." Henry VIII. had employed eleven hundred workmen, the most skilful of Flanders and Holland, in building a quadrangular palace of wood, one hundred and twenty-eight feet long every way; on one side of the entrance-gate was a fountain, covered with gilding, and surmounted by a statue of Bacchus, round which there flowed through subterranean pipes all sorts of wines, and which bore in letters of gold the inscription, "Make good cheer, who will;" and on the other side a column, supported by four lions, was surmounted by a statue of Cupid armed with bow and arrows. Opposite the palace was erected a huge figure of a savage wearing the arms of his race, with this inscription, chosen by Henry VIII.: "He whom I back wins." The frontage was covered outside with canvas painted to represent freestone; and the inside was hung with rich tapestries. Francis I., emulous of equalling his royal neighbor in magnificence, had ordered to be erected close to Ardres an immense tent, upheld in the middle by a colossal pole firmly fixed in the ground and with pegs and cordage all around it. Outside, the tent, in the shape of a dome, was covered with cloth of gold; and, inside, it represented a sphere with a ground of blue velvet and studded with stars, like the firmament. At each angle of the large tent there was a small one equally richly decorated. But before the two sovereigns exchanged visits, in the midst of all these magnificent preparations, there arose a violent hurricane, which tore up the pegs and split the cordage of the French tent, scattered them over the ground, and forced Francis I. to take up his quarters in an old castle near Ardres. When the two kings' two chief councillors, Cardinal Wolsey on one side and Admiral Bonnivet on the other, had regulated the formalities, on the 7th of June, 1520, Francis I. and Henry VIII. set out on their way, at the same hour and the same pace, for their meeting in the valley of Ardres, where a tent had been prepared for them. As they drew near, some slight anxiety was manifested by the escort of the King of England, amongst whom a belief prevailed that that of the King of France was more numerous; but it was soon perceived to be nothing of the sort. The two kings, mounted upon fine horses and superbly dressed, advanced towards one another; and Henry VIII.'s horse stumbled, which his servants did not like. The two kings saluted each other with easy grace, exchanged embraces without getting off their horses, dismounted, and proceeded arm-in-arm to the tent where Wolsey and De Bonnivet were awaiting them. "My dear brother and cousin," immediately said Francis with his easy grace, "I am come a long way, and not without trouble, to see you in person. I hope that you hold me for such as I am, ready to give you aid with the kingdoms and lordships that are in my power." Henry, with a somewhat cold reserve, replied, "It is not your kingdoms or your divers possessions that I regard, but the soundness and loyal observance of the promises set down in the treaties between you and me. My eyes never beheld a prince who could be dearer to my heart, and I have crossed the seas at the extreme boundary of my kingdom to come and see you." The two kings entered the tent and signed a treaty whereby the Dauphin of France was to marry Princess Mary, only daughter at that time of Henry VIII., to whom Francis I. undertook to pay annually a sum of one hundred thousand livres [two million eight hundred thousand francs, or one hundred and twelve thousand pounds in the money of our day], until the marriage was celebrated, which would not be for some time yet, as the English princess was only four years old. The two kings took wine together, according to custom, and reciprocally presented the members of their courts. "King Francis," says Henry VIII.'s favorite chronicler, Edward Hall, who was there, "is an amiable prince, proud in bearing and gay in manner, with a brown complexion, large eyes, long nose, thick lips, broad chest and shoulders, short legs, and big feet." Titian's portrait gives a loftier and more agreeable idea of Francis I.

When the two kings proceeded to sign, in their tent, the treaty they had just concluded, "the King of England," according to Fleuranges' Memoires, "himself took up the articles and began to read them. When he had read those relating to the King of France, who was to have the priority, and came to speak of himself, he got as far as, 'I, Henry, King' . . . (he would have said of France and England), but he left out the title as far as France was concerned, and said to King Francis, 'I will not put it in as you are here, for I should lie;' and he said only, 'I Henry, King of England.'" But, as M. Mignet very properly says, "if he omitted the title in his reading, he left it in the treaty itself, and, shortly afterwards, was ambitious to render it a reality, when he invaded France and wished to reign over it."

After the diplomatic stipulations were concluded, the royal meeting was prolonged for sixteen days, which were employed in tourneys, jousts, and all manner of festivals. The personal communication of the two kings was regulated with all the precautions of official mistrust and restraint; and when the King of England went to Ardres to see the Queen of France, the King of France had to go to Guines to see the Queen of England, for the two kings were hostages for one another. "The King of France, who was not a suspicious man," says Fleuranges, "was mighty vexed at there being so little confidence in one another. He got up one morning very early, which is not his habit, took two gentlemen and a page, the first three he could find, mounted his horse, and went to visit the King of England at the castle of Guines. When he came on to the castle-bridge, all the English were mighty astonished. As he rode amongst them, the king gayly called upon them to surrender to him, and asked them the way to the chamber of the king his brother, the which was pointed out to him by the governor of Guines, who said to him, 'Sir, he is not awake.' But King Francis passed on all the same, went up to the said chamber, knocked at the door, awoke the King of England, and walked in.

Never was man more dumbfounded than King Henry, who said to King Francis, 'Brother, you have done me a better turn than ever man did to another, and you show me the great trust I ought to have in you. I yield myself your prisoner from this moment, and I proffer you my parole.' He undid from his neck a collar worth fifteen thousand angels, and begged the King of France to take it and wear it that very day for his prisoner's sake. And, lo, the king, who wished to do him the same turn, had brought with him a bracelet which was worth more than thirty thousand angels, and begged him to wear it for his sake, which thing he did, and the King of France put what had been given him on his neck. Thereupon the King of England was minded to get up, and the King of France said that he should have no other chamber-attendant but himself, and he warmed his shirt and handed it to him when he was up. The King of France made up his mind to go back, notwithstanding that the King of England would have kept him to dinner; but, inasmuch as there was to be jousting after dinner, he mounted his horse and went back to Ardres. He met a many good folk who were coming to meet him, amongst the rest l'Aventureux [a name given to Fleuranges himself], who said to him, 'My dear master, you are mad to have done what you have done; I am very glad to see you back here, and devil take him who counselled you.' Whereupon the king said that never a soul had counselled him, and that he knew well that there was not a soul in his kingdom who would have so counselled him; and then he began to tell what he had done at the said Guines, and so returned, conversing, to Ardres, for it was not far."

"Then began the jousts, which lasted a week, and were wondrous fine, both a-foot and a-horseback. After all these pastimes the King of France and the King of England retired to a pavilion, where they drank together. And there the King of England took the King of France by the collar, and said to him, 'Brother, I should like to wrestle with you,' and gave him a feint or two; and the King of France, who is a mighty good wrestler, gave him a turn and threw him on the ground. And the King of England would have had yet another trial; but all that was broken off, and it was time to go to supper. After this they had yet three or four jousts and banquets, and then they took leave of one another [on the 24th of June, 1520], with the greatest possible peace between the princes and princesses. That done, the King of England returned to Guines, and the King of France to France; and it was not without giving great gifts at parting, one to another." [Memoires de Fleuranges, pp. 349-363.]

Having left the Field of Cloth of Gold for Amboise, his favorite residence, Francis I. discovered that Henry VIII., instead of returning direct to England, had gone, on the 10th of July, to Gravelines, in Flanders, to pay a visit to Charles V., who had afterwards accompanied him to Calais. The two sovereigns had spent three days there, and Charles V., on separating from the King of England, had commissioned him to regulate, as arbiter, all difficulties that might arise between himself and the King of France. Assuredly nothing was less calculated to inspire Francis I. with confidence in the results of his meeting with Henry VIII. and of their mutual courtesies. Though he desired to avoid the appearance of taking the initiative in war, he sought every occasion and pretext for recommencing it; and it was not long before he found them in the Low Countries, in Navarre, and in Italy. A trial was made of Henry VIII.'s mediation and of a conference at Calais; and a discussion was raised touching the legitimate nature of the protection afforded by the two rival sovereigns to their petty allies. But the real fact was, that Francis I. had a reverse to make up for and a passion to gratify; and the struggle recommenced in April, 1521, in the Low Countries. Charles V., when he heard that the French had crossed his frontier, exclaimed, "God be praised that I am not the first to commence the war, and that the King of France is pleased to make me greater than I am, for, in a little while, either I shall be a very poor emperor or he will be a poor King of France." The campaign opened in the north, to the advantage of France, by the capture of Hesdin; Admiral Bonnivet, who had the command on the frontier of Spain, reduced some small forts of Biscay and the fortress of Fontarabia; and Marshal de Lautrec, governor of Milaness, had orders to set out at once to go and defend it against the Spaniards and Imperialists, who were concentrating for its invasion.

Lautrec was but little adapted for this important commission. He had been made governor of Milaness in August, 1516, to replace the Constable de Bourbon, whose recall to France the queen-mother, Louise of Savoy, had desired and stimulated. Lautrec had succeeded ill in his government. He was active and brave, but he was harsh, haughty, jealous, imperious, and grasping; and he had embroiled himself with most of the Milanese lords, amongst others with the veteran J. J. Trivulzio, who, under Charles VIII. and Louis XII., had done France such great service in Italy. Trivulzio, offensively treated at Milan, and subjected to accusations at Paris, went, at eighty-two years of age, to France to justify himself before the king; but Francis I. gave him a cold reception, barely spoke to him, and declined his explanations. One day, at Arpajon, Trivulzio heard that the king was to pass on horseback through the town; and, being unable to walk, had himself carried, ill as he was, in his chair to the middle of the street. The king passed with averted head, and without replying to Trivulzio, who cried, "Sir, ah! sir, just one moment's audience!" Trivulzio, on reaching home, took to his bed, and died there a month afterwards, on the 5th of December, 1518, having himself dictated this epitaph, which was inscribed on his tomb, at Milan, "J. J. Trivulzio, son of Anthony: he who never rested, rests. Hush!" [J. J. Trivultius, Antonii filius, qui nunquam quievit, quiescit. Tace!]

Francis I., when informed that Trivulzio was near his end, regretted, it is said, his harsh indifference, and sent to express to him his regret; but, "It is too late," answered the dying man. In the king's harshness there was something more than ungrateful forgetfulness of a veteran's ancient services. While Francis was bringing about a renewal of war in Italy, in the Low Countries, and on the frontier of Spain, he was abandoning himself at Paris, Tours, Amboise, and wherever he resided, to all the diversions and all the enticements of the brilliant court which was gathered around him. Extravagance and pleasure were a passion with him. "There has been talk," says Brantome, "of the great outlay, magnificence, sumptuousness and halls of Lucullus; but in nought of that kind did he ever come near our king . . . and what is most rare is, that in a village, in the forest, at the meet, there was the same service as there would have been in Paris. . . . One day, when the king was expecting the Emperor Charles to dinner, word came that he had slipped away, and had gone to give a sudden surprise to the constable, just as he was sitting down to table, and to dine with him and all his comrades comradewise. He found this table as well furnished and supplied, and laden with victuals as well cooked and flavored, as if they had been in Paris or some other good city of France; whereat the emperor was so mightily astonished that he said that there was no such grandeur in the world as that of such a King of France. . . . In respect of ladies, of a surety it must be confessed that before the time of King Francis they set foot in and frequented the court but little and in but small numbers. It is true that Queen Anne (of Brittany) began to make her ladies' court larger than it had been under former queens; and, without her, the king her husband (Louis XII.) would have taken no trouble about it. But Francis I., coming to reign, and considering that the whole grace of the court was the ladies, was pleased to fill it up with them more than had been the ancient custom. Since, in truth, a court without ladies is a garden without any pretty flowers, and more resembles a Satrap's or a Turk's court than that of a great Christian king. . . . As for me, I hold that there was never anything better introduced than the ladies' court. Full often have I seen our kings go to camp, or town, or elsewhither, remain there and divert themselves for some days, and yet take thither no ladies. But we were so bewildered, so lost, so moped, that for the week we spent away from them and their pretty eyes it appeared to us a year; and always a-wishing, 'When shall we be at the court?' Not, full often, calling that the court where the king was, but that where the queen and ladies were." [OEuvres de Brantome, edition of the Societe de l'Histoire de France, t. iii. pp. 120-129.]

Now, when so many fair ladies are met together in a life of sumptuousness and gayety, a king is pretty sure to find favorites, and royal favorites rarely content themselves with pleasing the king; they desire to make their favor serviceable their family and their friends. Francis I. had made choice one, Frances de Foix, countess of Chateaubriant, beautiful ambitious, dexterous, haughty, readily venturing upon rivalry with even the powerful queen-mother. She had three brothers; Lautrec was one of the three, and she supported him in all his pretensions and all his trials of fortune. When he set out to go and take the command in Italy, he found himself at the head of an army numerous indeed, but badly equipped, badly paid, and at grips with Prosper Colonna, the most able amongst the chiefs of the coalition formed at this juncture between Charles V. and Pope Leo X. against the French. Lautrec did not succeed in preventing Milan from falling into the hands of the Imperialists, and, after an uncertain campaign of some months' duration, he lost at La Bicocca, near Monza, on the 27th of April, 1522, a battle, which left in the power of Francis I., in Lombardy, only the citadels of Milan, Cremona, and Novara. At the news of these reverses, Francis I. repaired to Lyons, to consult as to the means of applying a remedy. Lautrec also arrived there. "The king," says Martin du Bellay, "gave him a bad reception, as the man by whose fault he considered he had lost his duchy of Milan, and would not speak to him." Lautrec found an occasion for addressing the king, and complained vehemently of "the black looks he gave him." "And good reason," said the king, "when you have lost me such a heritage as the duchy of Milan." "'Twas not I who lost it," answered Lautrec; "'twas your Majesty yourself: I several times warned you that, if I were not helped with money, there was no means of retaining the men-at-arms, who had served for eighteen months without a penny, and likewise the Swiss, who forced me to fight at a disadvantage, which they would never have done if they had received their pay." "I sent you four hundred thousand crowns when you asked for them." "I received the letters in which your Majesty notified me of this money, but the money never." The king sent at once for the superintendent-general of finance, James de Beaune, Baron of Semblancay, who acknowledged having received orders on the subject from the king, but added that at the very moment when he was about to send this sum to the army, the queen-mother had come and asked him for it, and had received it from him, whereof he was ready to make oath. Francis I. entered his mother's room in a rage, reproaching her with having been the cause of losing him his duchy of Milan. "I should never have believed it of you," he said, "that you would have kept money ordered for the service of my army." The queen-mother, somewhat confused at first, excused herself by saying, that "those were moneys proceeding from the savings which she had made out of her revenues, and had given to the superintendent to take care of." Semblancay stuck to what he had said. The question became a personal one between the queen-mother and the minister; and commissioners were appointed to decide the difference. Chancellor Duprat was the docile servant of Louise of Savoy and the enemy of Semblancay, whose authority in financial matters he envied; and he chose the commissioners from amongst the mushroom councillors he had lately brought into Parliament. The question between the queen-mother and the superintendent led to nothing less than the trial of Semblancay. The trial lasted five years, and, on the 9th of April, 1527, a decree of Parliament condemned Semblancay to the punishment of death and confiscation of all his property; not for the particular matter which had been the origin of the quarrel, but "as attained and convicted of larcenies, falsifications, abuses, malversations, and maladministration of the king's finances, without prejudice as to the debt claimed by the said my lady, the mother of the king." Semblancay, accordingly, was hanged on the gibbet of Montfaucon, on the 12th of August. In spite of certain ambiguities which arose touching some acts of his administration and some details of his trial, public feeling was generally and very strongly in his favor. He was an old and faithful servant of the crown; and Francis I. had for a long time called him "his father." He was evidently the victim of the queen-mother's greed and vengeance. The firmness of his behavior, at the time of his execution, became a popular theme in the verses of Clement Marot:—
		When Maillart, officer of hell, escorted
		To Montfaucon Semblancay, doomed to die,
		Which, to your thinking, of the twain supported
		The better havior?  I will make reply:
		Maillart was like the man to death proceeding;
		And Semblancay so stout an ancient looked,
		It seemed, forsooth, as if himself were leading
		Lieutenant Maillard—to the gallows booked!
It is said that, at the very moment of execution, Semblancay, waiting on the scaffold for at least a commutation of the penalty, said, "Had I served God as I have served the king, He would not have made me wait so long." Nearly two centuries later, in 1683, a more celebrated minister than Semblancay, Colbert, in fact, as he was dying tranquilly in his bed, after having for twenty years served Louis XIV., and in that service made the fortune of his family as well as his own, said also, "Had I done for God what I have done for yonder man, I had been twice saved; and now I know not what will become of me." A striking similarity in language and sentiment, in spite of such different ends, between two great councillors of kings, both devoted during their lives to the affairs of the world, and both passing, at their last hour, this severe judgment, as Christians, upon the masters of the world and upon themselves.

About the same time the government of Francis I. was involved, through his mother's evil passions, not in an act more morally shameful, but in an event more politically serious, than the execution of Semblancay. There remained in France one puissant prince, the last of the feudal semi-sovereigns, and the head of that only one of the provincial dynasties sprung from the dynasty of the Capetians which still held its own against the kingly house. There were no more Dukes of Burgundy, Dukes of Anjou, Counts of Provence, and Dukes of Brittany; by good fortune or by dexterous management the French kingship had absorbed all those kindred and rival states. Charles II., Duke of Bourbon, alone was invested with such power and independence as could lead to rivalry. He was in possession of Bourbonness, of Auvergne, of Le Forez, of La Marche, of Beaujolais, and a large number of domains and castles in different parts of France. Throughout all these possessions he levied taxes and troops, convoked the local estates, appointed the officers of justice, and regulated almost the whole social organism. He was born on the 10th of February, 1490, four years before Francis I.; he was the head of the younger branch of the Bourbons-Montpensier; and he had married, in 1515, his cousin, Suzanne of Bourbon, only daughter of Peter II., head of the elder branch, and Anne of France, the able and for a long while puissant daughter of Louis XI. Louis XII. had taken great interest in this marriage, and it had been stipulated in the contract "that the pair should make a mutual and general settlement of all their possessions in favor of the survivor." Thus the young duke, Charles, had united all the possessions of the house of Bourbon; and he held at Moulins a brilliant princely court, of which he was himself the most brilliant ornament. Having been trained from his boyhood in all chivalrous qualities, he was an accomplished knight before becoming a tried warrior; and he no sooner appeared upon the field of battle than he won renown not only as a valiant prince, but as an eminent soldier. In 1509, at the battle of Agnadello, under the eye of Louis XII. himself, he showed that he was a worthy pupil of La Tremoille, of La Palice, and of Bayard; and in 1512, at that of Ravenna, his reputation was already so well established in the army that, when Gaston de Foix was killed, they clamored for Duke Charles of Bourbon, then twenty-two years old, as his successor. Louis XII. gave him full credit for his bravery and his warlike abilities; but the young prince's unexpansive character, haughty independence, and momentary flashes of audacity, caused the veteran king some disquietude. "I wish," said he, "he had a more open, more gay, less taciturn spirit; stagnant water affrights me." In 1516, the year after Louis XII.'s death, Andrew Trevisani, Venetian ambassador at Milan, wrote to the Venetian council, "This Duke of Bourbon handles a sword most gallantly and successfully; he fears God, he is devout, humane, and very generous; he has a revenue of one hundred and twenty thousand crowns, twenty thousand from his mother-in-law, Anne of France, and two thousand a month as constable of France; and, according to what is said by M. de Longueville, governor of Paris, he might dispose of half the king's army for any enterprise he pleased, even if the king did not please."

Scarcely had Francis I. ascended the throne, on the 12th of January, 1515, when he made the Duke of Bourbon's great position still greater by creating him constable of France. Was it solely to attach to himself the greatest lord and one of the most distinguished soldiers of the kingdom, or had, perhaps, as has already been hinted, the favor of the queen-mother something to do with the duke's speedy elevation? The whole history of Charles of Bourbon tends to a belief that the feelings of Louise of Savoy towards him, her love or her hate, had great influence upon the decisive incidents of his life. However that may be, the young constable, from the moment of entering upon his office, fully justified the king's choice.

He it was who, during the first campaign in Italy, examined in person, with the shepherd who had pointed it out, an unknown passage across the Alps; and, on the 13th and 14th of September, he contributed greatly to the victory of Melegnano. "I can assure you," wrote Francis I. to his mother, the regent, "that my brother the constable and M. de St. Pol splintered as many lances as any gentlemen of the company whosoever; and I speak of this as one who saw; they spared themselves as little as if they had been wild boars at bay." On returning to France the king appointed the constable governor of conquered Milaness; and to give him a further mark of favor, "he granted him the noble privilege of founding trades in all the towns of the kingdom. This, when the Parliament enregistered the king's letters patent, was expressly stated to be in consideration of Bourbon's extraordinary worth, combined with his quality as a prince of the blood, and not because of his office of constable." [Histoire de la Maison de Bourbon, by M. Desormeaux, t. ii. p. 437.] The constable showed that he was as capable of governing as of conquering. He foiled all Emperor Maximilian's attempts to recover Milaness; and, not receiving from the king money for the maintenance and pay of his troops, he himself advanced one hundred thousand livres, opened a loan-account in his own name, raised an army-working-corps of six thousand men to repair the fortifications of Milan, and obtained from the Swiss cantons permission to enlist twelve thousand recruits amongst them. His exercise of authority over the Lombard population was sometimes harsh, but always judicious and efficient. Nevertheless, in the spring of 1516, eight months after the victory of Melegnano and but two months after he had driven Emperor Maximilian from Milaness, the Duke of Bourbon was suddenly recalled, and Marshal de Lautrec was appointed governor in his place. When the constable arrived at Lyons, where the court then happened to be, "the king," says Fleuranges in his Memoires, "gave him marvellously good welcome;" but kings are too ready to imagine that their gracious words suffice to hide or make up for their acts of real disfavor; and the Duke of Bourbon was too proud to delude himself. If he had any desire to do so, the way in which the king's government treated him soon revealed to him his real position: the advances he had made and the debts he had contracted for the service of the crown in Milaness, nay, his salary as constable and his personal pensions, were unpaid. Was this the effect of secret wrath on the part of the queen-mother, hurt because he seemed to disdain her good graces, or an act arising may be from mistrust and may be from carelessness on the king's part, or merely a result of the financial disorder into which the affairs of Francis I. were always falling? These questions cannot be solved with certainty. Anyhow the constable, though thus maltreated, did not cry out; but his royal patroness and mother-in-law, Anne of France, daughter of Louis XI., dowager-duchess of the house of Bourbon, complained of these proceedings to the king's mother, and uttered the word ingratitude. The dispute between the two princesses grew rancorous; the king intervened to reconcile them; speedy payment was promised of all that was due to the constable, but the promise was not kept. The constable did not consider it seemly to wait about; so he quitted the court and withdrew into his own duchy, to Moulins, not openly disgraced, but resolved to set himself, by his proud independence, above the reach of ill-will, whether on the king's part or his mother's.

Moulins was an almost kingly residence. "The dukes," said the Venetian traveller Andrew Navagero, in 1528, "have built there fortress-wise a magnificent palace, with beautiful gardens, groves, fountains, and all the sumptuous appliances of a prince's dwelling." No sooner did the constable go to reside there than numbers of the nobility flocked thither around him. The feudal splendor of this abode was shortly afterwards enhanced by an auspicious domestic incident. In 1517 the Duchess of Bourbon was confined there of a son, a blessing for some time past unhoped for. The delighted constable determined to make of the child's baptism a great and striking event; and he begged the king to come and be godfather, with the dowager Duchess of Bourbon as godmother. Francis I. consented and repaired to Moulins with his mother and nearly all his court. The constable's magnificence astonished even the magnificent king "five hundred gentlemen, all clad in velvet, and all wearing a chain of gold going three times round the neck," were in habitual attendance upon the duke; "the throng of the invited was so great that neither the castle of Moulins nor the town itself sufficed to lodge them; tents had to be pitched in the public places, in the streets, in the park." Francis I. could not refrain from saying that a King of France would have much difficulty in making such a show; the queen-mother did not hide her jealousy; regal temper came into collision with feudal pride. Admiral Bonnivet, a vassal of the constable and a favorite of the king, was having built, hard by Chatellerault, a castle so vast and so magnificent, "that he seemed," says Brantome, "to be minded to ride the high horse over the house of M. de Bourbon, in such wise that it should appear only a nest beside his own." Francis I., during a royal promenade, took the constable one day to see the edifice the admiral was building, and asked him what he thought of it. "I think," said Bourbon, "that the cage is too big and too fine for the bird." "Ah!" said the king, "do you not speak with somewhat of envy?" "I!" cried the constable; "I feel envy of a gentleman whose ancestors thought themselves right happy to be squires to mine!" In their casual and familiar conversations the least pretext would lead to sharp words between the Duke of Bourbon and his kingly guest. The king was rallying him one day on the attachment he was suspected of having felt for a lady of the court. "Sir," said the constable, "what you have just said has no point for me, but a good deal for those who were not so forward as I was in the lady's good graces." [At this period princes of the blood, when speaking to the king, said Monsieur; when they wrote to him, they called him Monseigneur.] Francis I., to whom this scarcely veiled allusion referred, was content to reply, "Ah! my dear cousin, you fly out at everything, and you are mighty short-tempered." The nickname of short-tempered stuck to the constable from that day, and not without reason. With anybody but the king the constable was a good deal more than short-tempered the chancellor, Duprat, who happened to be at Moulins, and who had a wish to become possessed of two estates belonging to the constable, tried to worm himself into his good graces; but Bourbon gave him sternly to understand with what contempt he regarded him, and Duprat, who had hitherto been merely the instrument of Louise of Savoy's passions, so far as the duke was concerned, became henceforth his personal enemy, and did not wait long for an opportunity of making the full weight of his enmity felt. The king's visit to Moulins came to an end without any settlement of the debts due from the royal treasury to the constable. Three years afterwards, in 1520, he appeared with not a whit the less magnificence at the Field of Cloth of Gold, where he was one of the two great lords chosen by Francis I. to accompany him at his interview with Henry VIII.; but the constable had to put up with the disagreeableness of having for his associate upon that state occasion Admiral Bonnivet, whom he had but lately treated with so much hauteur, and his relations towards the court were by no means improved by the honor which the king conferred upon him in summoning him to his side that day. Henry VIII., who was struck by this vassal's haughty bearing and looks, said to Francis I., "If I had a subject like that in my kingdom, I would not leave his head very long on his shoulders."

More serious causes of resentment came to aggravate a situation already so uncomfortable. The war, which had been a-hatching ever since the imperial election at Frankfort, burst out in 1521, between Francis I. and Charles V. Francis raised four armies in order to face it on all his frontiers, in Guienne, in Burgundy, in Champagne, and in Picardy, "where there was no army," says Du Bellai, "however small." None of these great commands was given to the Duke of Bourbon; and when the king summoned him to the army of Picardy, whither he repaired in all haste with six thousand foot and three hundred men-at-arms raised in his own states, the command of the advance-guard, which belonged to him by right of his constableship, was given to the Duke of Alencon, who had nothing to recommend him beyond the fact that he was the husband of Marguerite de Valois and brother-in-law of the king. Bourbon deeply resented this slight; and it was remarked that he frequently quoted with peculiar meaning a reply made by a Gascon gentleman to King Charles VII., who had asked him if anything could shake his fidelity, "Nothing, sir, nothing; not even an offer of three such kingdoms as yours; but an affront might." The constable did not serve a whit the less valiantly and brilliantly in this campaign of Picardy; he surprised and carried the town of Hesdin, which was defended by a strong garrison; but after the victory he treated with a generosity which was not perhaps free from calculation the imperialist nobility shut up in the castle; he set all his prisoners at large, and paid particular attention to the Countess de Roeux, of the house of Croy, whom he knew to have influence with Charles V. He was certainly not preparing just then to abandon the King of France and go over to the camp of the emperor; but he was sufficiently irritated against Francis I. to gladly seize an opportunity of making new friends on the rival side.

Meanwhile there occurred the event which was to decide his conduct and his destiny. His wife, Suzanne of Bourbon, died at Chatellerault, in April, 1521, after having lost the son whose birth had been celebrated with such brilliancy at Moulins, and having confirmed by her will the settlement upon her husband of all her possessions, which had already been conferred upon him by their marriage contract. From whom came the first idea of the proposal to which this death was ere long to lead? Was it the chancellor, Duprat, who told the mother of Francis I. that the will and the settlement might be disputed at law, and that she would then enter into possession of a great part of what belonged to the House of Bourbon? Was it Louise of Savoy herself who conceived the hope of satisfying at one and the same time her cupidity and the passion she felt for the constable, by having an offer made to him of her hand, with the retention secured to him of those great possessions which, otherwise, would be disputed, and which a decree of Parliament might take away from him? Between these two explanations of what occurred at that time, there is no certain choice afforded by historical documents; but the more reasonable conviction is, that the passion of Louise of Savoy was the first and the decisive cause of the proposal made to the constable. He was then thirty years old; Louise of Savoy was forty-five, but she was still beautiful, attractive, and puissant; she had given the constable unmistakable proofs of her inclination for him and of the influence which his inclinations exercised over her: she might well flatter herself that he would be attracted by the prospect of becoming the king's step-father and almost a sharer in the kingly power, whilst retaining that of the great feudal lord. The chancellor, Duprat, full of ability and servility, put all his knowledge, all his subtlety in argument, and all his influence in the Parliament at the disposal of Madame Louise, who, as a nearer relative than the constable, claimed the possessions left by his wife, Suzanne of Bourbon. Francis I., in the name of the crown, and in respect of the constable's other possessions, joined his claims to those of his mother. Thus the lawsuit with which the duke was threatened affected him in every part of his fortune. It was in vain that more or less direct overtures, on behalf of Madame Louise and of the king himself, were made to induce him to accept the bargain offered: his refusal was expressed and given with an open contempt that verged upon coarseness. "I will never," said he, "marry a woman devoid of modesty."

The lawsuit was begun and prosecuted with all the hatred of a great lady treated with contempt, and with all the knowingness of an unscrupulous lawyer eager to serve, in point of fact, his patroness, and to demonstrate, in point of law, the thesis he had advanced. Francis I., volatile, reckless, and ever helpless as he was against the passions of his mother, who whilst she adored, beguiled him, readily lent himself to the humiliation of a vassal who was almost his rival in puissance, and certainly was in glory. Three lawyers of renown entered upon the struggle. Poyet maintained the pretensions of the queen-mother; Lizet developed Duprat's argument in favor of the king's claims; Montholon defended the constable. The Parliament granted several adjournments, and the question was in suspense for eleven months. At last, in August, 1523, the court interest was triumphant; Parliament, to get rid of direct responsibility, referred the parties, as to the basis of the question, to the king's council; but it placed all the constable's possessions under sequestration, withdrawing the enjoyment of them wholly from him. A few years afterwards Poyet became chancellor, and Lizet premier-president of Parliament. "Worth alone," say the historians, "carved out for Montholon at a later period the road to the office of keeper of the seals."

The constable's fall and ruin were complete. He at an early stage had a presentiment that such would be the issue of his lawsuit, and sought for safeguards away from France. The affair was causing great stir in Europe. Was it, however, Charles V. who made the first overtures as the most efficient supporter the constable could have? Or was it the constable himself who, profiting by the relations he had established after the capture of Hesdin with the Croys, persons of influence with the emperor, made use of them for getting into direct communication with Charles V., and made offer of his services in exchange for protection against his own king and his own country? In such circumstances and in the case of such men the sources of crime are always surrounded with obscurity. One is inclined to believe that Charles V., vigilant and active as he was, put out the first feelers. As soon as he heard that Bourbon was a widower, he gave instructions to Philibert Naturelli, his ambassador in France, who said, "Sir, you are now in a position to marry, and the emperor, my master, who is very fond of you, has a sister touching whom I have orders to speak to you if you will be pleased to hearken." It was to Charles V.'s eldest sister, Eleanor, widow of Manuel the Fortunate, King of Portugal, that allusion was made. This overture led to nothing at the time; but the next year, in 1522, war was declared between Francis I. and Charles V.; the rupture between Francis I. and the Duke of Bourbon took place; the Bourbon lawsuit was begun; and the duke's mother-in-law, Anne of France, daughter of Louis XI., more concerned for the fate of her House than for that of her country, and feeling herself near her end, said one day to her son-in-law, "My son, reflect that the House of Bourbon made alliance with the House of Burgundy, and that during that alliance it always prospered. You see at the present moment what is the state of our affairs, and the lawsuit in which you are involved is proceeded with only for want of alliances. I do beg and command you to accept the emperor's alliance. Promise me to use thereto all the diligence you can, and I shall die more easy." She died on the 14th of November, 1522, bequeathing all her possessions to the constable, who was day by day more disposed to follow her counsels. In the summer of 1522, he had, through the agency of Adrian de Croy, Lord of Beaurain, entered into negotiations not only with Charles V., but also with Henry VIII., King of England, deploring the ill behavior of Francis I. and the enormity of existing abuses, and proposing to set on foot in his own possessions a powerful movement for the reformation of the kingdom and the relief of the poor people, if the two sovereigns would send "persons of trust and authority into the vicinity of his principality of Dombes, to Bourg-en-Bresse, whither he on his side would send his chancellor to come to an agreement with them and act in common." In the month of March, 1523, whilst the foreign negotiations thus commenced and the home-process against the constable were pursuing a parallel course, Bourbon one day paid a visit to Queen Claude of France at the hour when she was dining alone. She was favorably disposed towards him, and would have liked to get him married to her sister Renee, who subsequently became Duchess of Ferrara. She made him sit down. Francis I., who was at dinner in an adjacent room, came in. Bourbon rose to take leave. "Nay, keep your seat," said the king; "and so it is true that you are going to be married?" "Not at all, sir." "O, but I know it; I am sure of it; I know of your dealings with the emperor. And bear well in mind what I have to say to you on the subject." "Sir! is this a threat, pray? I have not deserved such treatment." After dinner he departed and went back to his hotel hard by the Louvre; and many gentlemen who happened to be at court accompanied him by way of escort. He was as yet a powerful vassal, who was considered to be unjustly persecuted.

Charles V. accepted eagerly the overtures made to him by Bourbon in response to his own; but, before engaging in action, he wished to be certified about the disposition of Henry VIII., King of England, and he sent Beaurain to England to take accurate soundings. Henry at first showed hesitation. When, Beaurain set before him all the advantages that would accrue to their coalition from the Duke of Bourbon's alliance: "And I," said the king, brusquely, "what, pray, shall I get?" "Sir," answered Beaurain, "you will be King of France." "Ah!" rejoined Henry, "it will take a great deal to make M. de Bourbon obey me." Henry remembered the cold and proud bearing which the constable had maintained towards him at the Field of Cloth of Gold. He, nevertheless, engaged to supply half the expenses and a body of troops for the projected invasion of France. Charles V. immediately despatched Beaurain to the Duke of Bourbon, who had removed to Montbrison, in the most mountainous part of his domains, on pretext of a pilgrimage to Notre-Dame du Puy. Beaurain was conducted thither, in great secrecy, on the 17th July, 1523, by two of the duke's gentlemen, and passed two days there shut up in a room adjoining the constable's apartment, never emerging save at night to transact business with him. On the 18th of July, in the evening, he put into Bourbon's hands his letters of credit, running thus: "My dear cousin, I send to you Sieur de Beaurain, my second chamberlain. I pray you to consider him as myself, and, so doing, you will find me ever your good cousin and friend." The negotiation was speedy. Many historians have said that it was confined to verbal conventions, and that there was nothing in writing between the two contracting parties. That is a mistake. A treaty was drawn up in brief terms by Beaurain's secretary, and two copies were made, of which one was to be taken to Charles V. and the other to be left with the Duke of Bourbon. It stipulated the mutual obligations of the three contracting parties in their offensive and defensive league. Bourbon engaged to attack Francis I. but he would not promise to acknowledge Henry VIII. as King of France. "I am quite willing to be his ally," he said, "but his subject, his vassal, no! All I can do is to leave myself, as to my relations towards him, in the emperor's hands." A strange and noble relic of patriotism in that violent and haughty soul, more concerned for its rights than its duties, and driven to extremity by the acts of ungrateful and unthoughtful injustice, to which the great lord and the valiant warrior had been subjected. The treaty having been signed with this reservation, Bourbon sent, about midnight, for Saint-Bonnet, Lord of Branon, whom he intended to despatch to Charles V., and, after having sworn him, "I send you," said he, "to the emperor, to whom you will say that I commend myself humbly to his good graces, that I beg him to give me his sister in marriage, and that, doing me this honor, he will find me his servant, his good brother, and friend."

The fatal step was taken. Bourbon was now engaged in revolt against his king and his country, as well as in falsehood and treason—preliminary conditions of such a course. He needed tools and accomplices; and though he had a numerous and devoted following, he could not feel sure of them all for such a purpose. The very day after the conclusion of his treaty with Charles V., one of his most intimate and important confidants, John of Poitiers, Lord of St. Vallier, who was present at Montbrison during the negotiation of the treaty, said to him in the morning, "Sir, it was your wish; I heard all; and I spent the whole night thinking about it; tell me, I pray you, do you feel sure of your friend?" "I was not more fond of the brother I lost at Melegnano," said the constable; "I should not have felt more sure of him." "Well, then," rejoined St. Vallier, "fancy that it is that brother who is speaking to you, and take in good part what he is about to say to you. This alliance which is offered to you will bring upon France the Germans, the Spaniards, and the English; think of the great mischief which will ensue—human bloodshed, destruction of towns, of good families and of churches, violation of women, and other calamities that come of war. Reflect also on the great treason you are committing; when the king has started for Italy and left you in France, putting his trust in you, you will go and stab him in the back, and destroy him as well as his kingdom. You belong to the House of France, and are one of the chief princes of the country, so beloved and esteemed by all that everybody is gladdened at the very sight of you. If you should come to be the cause of so great ruin, you will be the most accursed creature that ever was, accursed for a thousand years after your death. For the love of God consider all this; and if you have no regard for the king and Madame his mother, who, you say, are treating you wrongfully, at least have some regard for the queen and the princes her children, and do not wilfully cause the perdition of this kingdom, whose enemies, when you have let them into it, will drive you out of it yourself." "But, cousin," said the constable, quite overcome, "what would you have me to do? The king and Madame mean to destroy me; they have already taken away a part of my possessions." "Sir," replied Saint-Vallier, "give up, I pray you, all these wicked enterprises; commend yourself to God, and speak frankly to the king." If we are to believe Saint-Vallier's deposition, when, six months afterwards, he was put on his trial and convicted for his participation in the plot and treason, the constable was sufficiently affected by his representations to promise that he would abandon his design and make his peace with the king: but facts refute this assertion. In the latter months of 1523, the stipulations of the treaty concluded at Montbrison on the 18th of July were put into execution by all the contracting parties; letters of exchange from Henry VIII. were sent to Bale for the German lanzknechts he was to pay; the lanzknechts crossed the Rhine on the 26th of August, and marched through Franche-Comte in spite of its neutrality; the English landed at Calais between the 23d and 30th of August, to co-operate with the Flemings; the Spaniards began the campaign, on the 6th of September, in the direction of the Pyrenees; and the Duke, of Bourbon on his side took all the necessary measures for forming a junction with his allies, and playing that part in the coalition which had been assigned to him.

According to what appears, he had harbored a design of commencing his enterprise with a very bold stroke. Being informed that Francis I. was preparing to go in person and wage war upon Italy, he had resolved to carry him off on the road to Lyons, and, when once he had the king in his hands, he flattered himself he would do as he pleased with the kingdom. If his attempt were unsuccessful, be would bide his time until Francis I. was engaged in Milaness, Charles V. had entered Guienne, and Henry VIII. was in Picardy: he would then assemble a thousand men-at-arms, six thousand foot and twelve thousand lanzknechts, and would make for the Alps to cut the king off from any communication with France. This plan rested upon the assumption that the king would, as he had announced, leave the constable in France with an honorable title and an apparent share in the government of the kingdom, though really isolated and debarred from action. But Francis had full cognizance of the details of the conspiracy through two Norman gentlemen whom the constable had imprudently tried to get to join in it, and who, not content with refusing, had revealed the matter at confession to the Bishop of Lisieux, who had lost no time in giving information to Sire de Breze, grand seneschal of Normandy. Breze at once reported it to the king, and his letter ran: "Sir, there is need also to take care of yourself, for there has been talk of an attempt to carry you off between here and Lyons, and conduct you to a strong place in the Bourbon district or on the borders of Auvergne." Being at last seriously disquieted for the consequences of his behavior towards the constable, Francis took two resolutions: one was, not to leave him in France during his own absence; the other was, to go and see him at Moulins, at the same time taking all necessary precautions for his own safety, and win him over once more by announcing an intention of taking him off to Italy and sharing with him the command of the army. On approaching Moulins the king recalled the lanzknechts who had already passed the town, entered it himself surrounded by his guards, and took up his quarters in the castle, of which he seized the keys. At his first interview with the constable, who was slightly indisposed and pretended to be very much so, "I know," said he, "that you are keeping up a connection with the emperor, and that he is trying to turn your discontent to advantage, so as to beguile you; but I have faith in you; you are of the House of France and of the line of Bourbon, which has never produced a traitor." "It is true, sir," said the constable, without any confusion; "the emperor, informed by public rumor of the position to which I am reduced, sent Beaurain to offer me an asylum in his dominions and a fortune suitable to my birth and my rank; but I know the value of empty compliments. Hearing that your Majesty was to pass by Moulins, I thought it my duty to wait and disclose this secret to you myself rather than intrust it to a letter." The king showed signs of being touched. "I have an idea of taking you away with me to Italy," said he: "would you come with me willingly?" "Not only to Italy," was the answer, "but to the end of the world. The doctors assure me that I shall soon be in a condition to bear the motion of a litter; I already feel better; your Majesty's kindnesses will soon complete my cure." Francis testified his satisfaction. Some of his advisers, with more distrust and more prevision, pressed him to order the arrest of so dangerous a man, notwithstanding his protestations; but Francis refused. According to what some historians say, if he had taken off the sequestration laid upon the constable's possessions, actually restored them to him, as well as discharged the debts due to him and paid his pensions, and carried him off to Italy, if, in a word, he had shown a bold confidence and given back to him at once and forever the whole of his position, he would, perhaps, have weaned him from his plot, and would have won back to himself and to France that brave and powerful servant. But Francis wavered between distrust and hope; he confined himself to promising the constable restitution of his possessions if the decree of Parliament was unfavorable to him; he demanded of him a written engagement to remain always faithful to him and to join him in Italy as soon as his illness would allow him; and, on taking leave of him, left with him one of his own gentlemen, Peter de Brentonniere, Lord of Warthy, with orders to report to the king as to his health. In this officer Bourbon saw nothing more or less than a spy, and in the king's promises nothing but vain words dependent as they were upon the issue of a lawsuit which still remained an incubus upon him. He had no answer for words but words; he undertook the engagements demanded of him by the king without considering them binding; and he remained ill at Moulins, waiting till events should summon him to take action with his foreign allies.

This state of things lasted far nearly three weeks. The king remained stationary at Lyons waiting for the constable to join him; and the constable, saying he was ready to set out and going so far as to actually begin his march, was doing his three leagues a day by litter, being always worse one day than he was the day before. Peter de Warthy, the officer whom the king had left with him, kept going and coming from Lyons to Moulins and from Moulins to Lyons, conveying to the constable the king's complaints and to the king the constable's excuses, without bringing the constable to decide upon joining the king at Lyons and accompanying him into Italy, or the king upon setting out for Italy without the constable. "I would give a hundred thousand crowns," the king sent word to Bourbon, "to be in Lombardy." "The king will do well," answered Bourbon, "to get there as soon as possible, for despatch is needful beyond everything." When Warthy insisted strongly, the constable had him called up to his bedside; and "I feel myself," said he, "the most unlucky man in the world not to be able to serve the king; but if I were to be obstinate, the doctors who are attending me would not answer for my life, and I am even worse than the doctors think. I shall never be in a condition to do the king service any more. I am going back to my native air, and, if I recover a day's health, I will go to the king." "The king will be terribly put out," said Warthy; and he returned to Lyons to report these remarks of the real or pretended invalid. While he was away, the constable received from England and Spain news which made him enter actively upon his preparations; he heard at the same time that the king was having troops marched towards Bourbonness so as to lay violent hands on him if he did not obey; he, therefore, decided to go and place himself in security in his strong castle of Chantelle, where he could await the movements of his allies; he mounted his horse, did six leagues at one stretch, and did not draw bridle until he had entered Chantelle. Warthy speedily came and rejoined him. He found the constable sitting on his bed, dressed like an invalid and with his head enveloped in a night-cap. "M. de Warthy," said Bourbon, "you bring your spurs pretty close after mine." "My lord," was the reply, "you have better ones than I thought." "Think you," said Bourbon, "that I did not well, having but a finger's breadth of life, to put it as far out of the way as I could to avoid the king's fury?" "The king," said Warthy, "was never furious towards any man; far less would he be so in your case." "Nay, nay," rejoined the constable, "I know that the grand master and Marshal de Chabannes set out from Lyons with the archers of the guard and four or five thousand lanzknechts to seize me; and that is what made me come to this house whilst biding my time until the king shall be pleased to hear me." He demanded that the troops sent against him should be ordered to halt till the morrow, promising not to stir from Chantelle without a vindication of himself. "Whither would you go, my lord?" said Warthy: "if you wished to leave the kingdom, you could not; the king has provided against that everywhere."

"Nay," said Bourbon, "I have no wish to leave the kingdom; I have friends and servants there." Warthy went away from Chantelle in company with the Bishop of Autun, Chiverny, who was one of the constable's most trusted friends, and who was bearer to the king of a letter which ran thus: "Provided it please the king to restore to him his possessions, my lord of Bourbon promises to serve him well and heartily, in all places and at all times at which it shall seem good to him. In witness whereof, he has signed these presents, and begs the king to be pleased to pardon those towards whom he is ill disposed on account of this business. CHARLES." In writing this letter the constable had no other object than to gain a little time, for, on bidding good by to the Bishop of Autun, he said to him, "Farewell, my dear bishop; I am off to Carlat, and from Carlat I shall slip away with five or six horses on my road to Spain." On the next day but one, indeed, the 8th of September, 1523, whilst the Bishop of Autun was kept prisoner by the troops sent forward to Chantelle, the constable sallied from it about one in the morning, taking with him five-and-twenty or thirty thousand crowns of gold sewn up in from twelve to fifteen jackets, each of which was intrusted to a man in his train. For a month he wandered about Bourbonness, Auvergne, Burgundy, Beaujolais, Vienness, Languedoc, and Dauphiny, incessantly changing his road, his comrades, his costume, and his asylum, occasionally falling in with soldiers of the king who were repairing to Italy, and seeking for some place whence he might safely concert with and act with his allies. At last, in the beginning of October, he arrived at Saint-Claude, in Franche-Comte, imperial territory, and on the 9th of October he made his entry into Besancon, where there came to join him some of his partisans who from necessity or accident had got separated from him, without his having been able anywhere in his progress to excite any popular movement, form any collection of troops, or intrench himself strongly in his own states. To judge from appearances, he was now but a fugitive conspirator, without domains and without an army.

Such, however, were his fame and importance as a great lord and great warrior, that Francis I., as soon as he knew him to be beyond his reach and in a fair way to co-operate actively with his enemies, put off his departure for Italy, and "offered the redoubtable fugitive immediate restitution of his possessions, reimbursement from the royal treasury of what was due to him, renewal of his pensions and security that they would be paid him with punctuality." Bourbon refused everything. "It is too late," he replied. Francis I.'s envoy then asked him to give up the sword of constable and the collar of the order of St. Michael. "You will tell the king," rejoined Bourbon, "that he took from me the sword of constable on the day that he took from me the command of the advance-guard to give it to M. d'Alencon. As for the collar of his order, you will find it at Chantelle under the pillow of my bed." Francis I., in order to win back Bourbon, had recourse to his sister, the Duchess of Lorraine [Renee de Bourbon, who had married, in 1515, Antony, called the Good, Duke of Lorraine, son of Duke Rend II. and his second wife, Philippine of Gueldres]: but she was not more successful. After sounding him, she wrote to Francis I. that the duke her brother "was determined to go through with his enterprise, and that he proposed to draw off towards Flanders by way of Lorraine with eighteen hundred horse and ten thousand foot, and form a junction with the King of England." [M. Mignet, Etude sur le Connetable de Bourbon, in the Revue des Deux Mondes of January 15, 1854, and March 15 and April 1, 1858.]

Under such grave and urgent circumstances, Francis I. behaved on the one hand with more prudence and efficiency than he had yet displayed, and on the other with his usual levity and indulgence towards his favorites. Abandoning his expedition in person into Italy, he first concerned himself for that internal security of his kingdom, which was threatened on the east and north by the Imperialists and the English, and on the south by the Spaniards, all united in considerable force and already in motion. Francis opposed to them in the east and north the young Count Claude of Guise, the first celebrity amongst his celebrated race, the veteran Louis de La Tremoille, the most tried of all his warriors, and the Duke of Vendome, head of the younger branch of the House of Bourbon. Into the south he sent Marshal de Lautrec, who was more brave than successful, but of proved fidelity. All these captains acquitted themselves honorably. Claude of Guise defeated a body of twelve thousand lanzknechts who had already penetrated into Champagne; he hurled them back into Lorraine, and dispersed them beneath the walls of the little town of Neufchateau, where the princesses and ladies of Lorraine, showing themselves at the windows, looked on and applauded their discomfiture. La Tremoille's only forces were very inferior to the thirty-five thousand Imperialists or English who had entered Picardy; but he managed to make of his small garrisons such prompt and skilful use that the invaders were unable to get hold of a single place, and advanced somewhat heedlessly to the very banks of the Oise, whence the alarm spread rapidly to Paris. The Duke of Vendome, whom the king at once despatched thither with a small body of men-at-arms, marched night and day to the assistance of the Parisians, harangued the Parliament and Hotel de Ville vehemently on the conspiracy of the Constable de Bourbon, and succeeded so well in reassuring them that companies of the city militia eagerly joined his troops, and the foreigners, in dread of finding themselves hemmed in, judged it prudent to fall back, leaving Picardy in a state of equal irritation and devastation. In the south, Lautrec, after having made head for three days and three nights against the attacks of a Spanish army which had crossed the Pyrenees under the orders of the Constable of Castille, forced it to raise the siege and beat a retreat. Everywhere, in the provinces as well as at the court, the feudal nobility, chieftains and simple gentlemen, remained faithful to the king; the magistrates and the people supported the military; it was the whole nation that rose against the great lord, who, for his own purposes, was making alliance with foreigners against the king and the country.

In respect of Italy, Francis I. was less wise and less successful. Not only did he persist in the stereotyped madness of the conquest of Milaness and the kingdom of Naples, but abandoning for the moment the prosecution of it in person, he intrusted it to his favorite, Admiral Bonnivet, a brave soldier, alternately rash and backward, presumptuous and irresolute, who had already lost credit by the mistakes he had committed and the reverses he had experienced in that arena. At the very juncture when Francis I. confided this difficult charge to Bonnivet, the Constable de Bourbon, having at last got out of France, crossed Germany, repaired to Italy, and halted at Mantua, Piacenza, and Genoa; and, whilst waiting for a reply from Charles V., whom he had informed of his arrival, he associated with the leaders of the imperial armies, lived amongst the troops, inoculated them with his own ardor as well as warlike views, and by his natural superiority regained, amongst the European coalition, the consideration and authority which had been somewhat diminished by his ill-success in his own country and his flight from it. Charles V. was some time about sending an answer; for, in his eyes also, Bourbon had fallen somewhat. "Was it prudent," says the historian of Bourbon himself, "to trust a prince who, though born near the throne, had betrayed his own blood and forsworn his own country? Charles V. might no doubt have insured his fidelity, had he given him in marriage Eleanor of Austria, who was already affianced to him; but he could not make up his mind to unite the destiny of a princess, his own sister, with that of a prince whose position was equally pitiable and criminal. At last, however, he decided to name him his lieutenant-general in Italy; but he surrounded him with so many colleagues and so much surveillance that he had nothing to fear from his remorse and repentance." [Histoire de la Maison de Bourbon, t. ii. p. 531.] Bourbon, however, though thus placed in a position of perplexity and difficulty, was none the less an adversary with whom Bonnivet was not in a condition to cope.

It was not long before this was proved by facts. The campaign of 1524 in Italy, brilliant as was its beginning, what with the number and the fine appearance of the troops under Bonnivet's orders, was, as it went on, nothing but a series of hesitations, contradictory movements, blunders, and checks, which the army itself set down to its general's account. Bonnivet, during his investment of Milan, had posted Bayard with a small corps in the village of Rebec. "The good knight, who was never wont to murmur at any commission given him, said, 'Sir Admiral, you would send me to a village hard by the enemy, the which is without any fortress, and would need four times so many men as I have, for to be in safety and to hold it.' 'Sir Bayard,' said the admiral, 'go in peace; on my faith I promise you that within three days I will send you plenty of men with you for to hold Rebec, since I well know that it is not to be held with so few men; but never you mind; there shall not a mouse get out of Milan without you have notice of it.' And so much did he say of one sort and another that the good knight, with great disgust, went away with the men told off to him to his post in Rebec. He wrote many times to the admiral that he was in very dangerous plight, and that, if he would have them hold out long, he should send him aid; but he got no answer. The enemies who were inside Milan were warned that the good knight was in Rebec with very little company; so they decided on a night to go and surprise and defeat him. And the good knight, who was ever on his guard, set nearly every night half his men to watch and to listen, and himself passed two or three nights at it, in such sort that he fell ill, as much from melancholy as from cold, and far more than he let it appear; howbeit he was forced to keep his room that day. When it came on towards night, he ordered some captains who were with him to go on the watch. They went, or made show of going; but, because it rained a little, back went all those who were on the watch, save three or four poor archers, the which, when the Spaniards approached within bow-shot of the village, made no resistance, but took to flight, shouting, 'Alarm alarm!' The good knight, who in such jeopardy never slept but with his clothes on, rose at once, had the bridle put on a charger that was already saddled, and went off with five or six men-at-arms of his, straight to the barrier whither incontinently came up Captain Lorges and a certain number of his foot, who bore themselves mighty well. The uproar was great and the alarm was hot. Then said the good knight to Captain Lorges, 'Lorges, my friend, this is an unequal sort of game; if they pass this barrier we are cooked. I pray you, retire your men, keep the best order you can, and march straight to the camp at Abbiate-Grasso; I, with the horse I have, will remain in the rear. We must leave our baggage to the enemy; there is no help for it. Save we the lives if possible.' . . . The enemy sought on all sides for the good knight, but he had already arrived at Abbiate-Grasso, where he had some unpleasant words with the admiral; howbeit, I will not make any mention of them; but if they had both lived longer than they did live, they would probably have gone a little farther. The good knight was like to die of grief at the mishap that had befallen him, even though it was not his fault; but in war there is hap and mishap more than in all other things." [Histoire du bon Chevalier sans Peur et sans Reproche, t. ii. pp. 120-123. Les Gestes et la Vie du Chevalier Bayard, by Champier, pp. 171-174.]

The situation of the French army before Milan was now becoming more and more, not insecure only, but critical. Bonnivet considered it his duty to abandon it and fall back towards Piedmont, where he reckoned upon finding a corps of five thousand Swiss who were coming to support their compatriots engaged in the service of France. Near Romagnano, on the banks of the Sesia, the retreat was hotly pressed by the imperial army, the command of which had been ultimately given by Charles V. to the Constable de Bourbon, with whom were associated the Viceroy of Naples, Charles de Lannoy, and Ferdinand d'Avalos, Marquis of Pescara, the most able amongst the Neapolitan officers. On the 30th of April, 1524, some disorder took place in the retreat of the French; and Bonnivet, being severely wounded, had to give up the command to the Count of St. Pol and to Chevalier Bayard. Bayard, last as well as first in the fight, according to his custom, charged at the head of some men-at-arms upon the Imperialists, who were pressing the French too closely, when he was himself struck by a shot from an arquebuse, which shattered his reins. "Jesus, my God," he cried, "I am dead!" He then took his sword by the handle, and kissed the cross-hilt of it as the sign of the cross, saying aloud as he did so, "Have pity on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy" (Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam); thereupon he became incontinently quite pale, and all but fell; but he still had heart enough to grasp the pommel of the saddle, and remained in that condition until a young gentleman, his own house-steward, helped him to dismount and set him down under a tree, with his face to the enemy. The poor gentleman burst into tears, seeing his good master so mortally hurt that remedy there was none; but the good knight consoled him gently, saying, "Jacques, my friend, leave off thy mourning; it is God's will to take me out of this world; by His grace I have lived long therein, and have received therein blessings and honors more than my due. All the regret I feel at dying is that I have not done my duty so well as I ought. I pray you, Jacques, my friend, let them not take me up from this spot, for, when I move, I feel all the pains that one can feel, short of death, which will seize me soon." The Constable de Bourbon, being informed of his wound, came to him, saying, "Bayard, my friend, I am sore distressed at your mishap; there is nothing for it but patience; give not way to melancholy; I will send in quest of the best surgeons in this country, and, by God's help, you will soon be healed." "My lord," answered Bayard, "there is no pity for me; I die having done my duty; but I have pity for you, to see you serving against your king, your country, and your oath." Bourbon withdrew without a word. The Marquis of Pescara came passing by. "Would to God, gentle Sir Bayard," said he, "that it had cost me a quart of my blood, without meeting my death, that I had been doomed not to taste meat for two years, and that I held you safe and sound my prisoner, for by the treatment I showed you, you should have understanding of how much I esteemed the high prowess that was in you." He ordered his people to rig up a tent over Bayard, and to forbid any noise near him, so that he might die in peace. Bayard's own gentlemen would not, at any price, leave him. "I do beseech you," he said to them, "to get you gone; else you might fall into the enemy's hands, and that would profit me nothing, for all is over with me. To God I commend ye, my good friends; and I recommend to you my poor soul; and salute, I pray you, the king our master, and tell him that I am distressed at being no longer able to do him service, for I had good will thereto. And to my lords the princes of France, and all my lords my comrades, and generally to all gentlemen of the most honored realm of France when ye see them."

"He lived for two or three hours yet. There was brought to him a priest, to whom he confessed, and then he yielded up his soul to God; whereat all the enemy had mourning incredible. Five days after his death, on the 5th of May, 1524, Beaurain wrote to Charles V., 'Sir, albeit Sir Bayard was your enemy's servant, yet was it pity of his death, for 'twas a gentle knight, well beloved of every one, and one that lived as good a life as ever any man of his condition. And in truth he fully showed it by his end, for it was the most beautiful that I ever heard tell of.' By the chiefs of the Spanish army certain gentlemen were commissioned to bear him to the church, where solemn service was done for him during two days. Then, by his own servitors was he carried into Dauphiny, and, on passing through the territory of the Duke of Savoy, where the body was rested, he did it as many honors as if it had been his own brother's. When the news of his death was known in Dauphiny, I trow that never for a thousand years died there gentleman of the country mourned in such sort. He was borne from church to church, at first near Grenoble, where all my lords of the parliament court of Dauphiny, my lords of the Exchequer, pretty well all the nobles of the country and the greater part of all the burgesses, townsfolk, and villagers came half a league to meet the body: then into the church of Notre-Dame, in the aforesaid Grenoble, where a solemn service was done for him; then to a house of Minimes, which had been founded aforetime by his good uncle the bishop of Grenoble, Laurens Alment; and there he was honorably interred. Then every one withdrew to his own house; but for a month there was a stop put to festivals dances, banquets, and all other pastimes. 'Las! they had good reason; for greater loss could not have come upon the country." [Histoire du bon Chevalier sans Peur et sans Reproche, t. ii. pp. 125-132.]

It is a duty and an honor for history to give to such lives and such deaths, as remarkable for modesty as for manly worth, the full place which they ought to occupy in the memory of mankind.

The French army continued its retreat under the orders of the Count of St. Pol, and re-entered France by way of Suza and Briancon. It was Francis I.'s third time of losing Milaness. Charles V., enchanted at the news, wrote on the 24th of May to Henry VIII., "I keep you advertised of the good opportunity it has pleased God to offer us of giving a full account of our common enemy. I pray you to carry into effect on your side that which you and I have for a long while desired, wherein I for my part will exert myself with all my might." Bourbon proposed to the two sovereigns a plan well calculated to allure them. He made them an offer to enter France by way of Provence with his victorious army, to concentrate there all the re-enforcements promised him, to advance up the Rhone, making himself master as he went of the only two strong places, Monaco and Marseilles, he would have to encounter, to march on Lyons from the side on which that city was defenceless, and be in four months at Paris, whether or no he had a great battle to deliver on the march. "If the king wishes to enter France without delay," said he to Henry VIII.'s ambassador, "I give his Grace leave to pluck out my two-eyes if I am not master of Paris before All Saints. Paris taken, all the kingdom of France is in my power. Paris in France is like Milan in Lombardy; if Milan is taken, the duchy is lost; in the same way, Paris taken, the whole of France is lost." By this plan Bourbon calculated on arriving victorious at the centre of France, in his own domains, and there obtaining, from both nobles and people, the co-operation that had failed him at the outset of his enterprise. The two sovereigns were eager to close with the proposal of the Frenchman, who was for thus handing over to them his country; a new treaty was concluded between them on the 25th of May, 1524, regulating the conditions and means of carrying out this grand campaign; and it was further agreed that Provence and Dauphiny should be added to the constable's old possessions, and should form a state, which Charles V. promised to raise to a kingdom. There was yet a difficulty looming ahead. Bourbon still hesitated to formally acknowledge Henry VIII. as King of France, and promise him allegiance. But at last his resistance was overcome. At the moment of crossing the frontier into France, and after having taken the communion, he said to the English ambassador, Sir Richard Pace, in the presence of four of his gentlemen, "I promise you, on my faith, to place the crown, with the help of my friends, on the head of our common master." But, employing a ruse of the old feudal times, the last gasp of a troubled conscience, Bourbon, whilst promising allegiance to Henry VIII., persisted in refusing to do him homage. Sir Richard Pace none the less regarded the question as decided; and, whilst urging Cardinal Wolsey to act swiftly and resolutely in the interests of their master, he added, "If you do not pay regard to these matters, I shall set down to your Grace's account the loss of the crown of France."

Bourbon entered Provence on the 7th of July, 1524, with an army of eighteen thousand men, which was to be joined before long by six or seven thousand more. He had no difficulty in occupying Antibes, Frejus, Draguignan, Brignoles, and even Aix; and he already began to assume the title of Count of Provence, whilst preparing for a rapid march along by the Rhone and a rush upon Lyons, the chief aim of the campaign; but the Spanish generals whom Charles V. had associated with him, and amongst others the most eminent of them, the Marquis of Pescara, peremptorily insisted that, according to their master's order, he should besiege and take Marseilles. Charles V. cared more for the coasts of the Mediterranean than for those of the Channel; he flattered himself that he would make of Marseilles a southern Calais, which should connect Germany with Spain, and secure their communications, political and commercial. Bourbon objected and resisted; it was the abandonment of his general plan for this war and a painful proof how powerless he was against the wishes of the two sovereigns, of whom he was only the tool, although they called him their ally. Being forced to yield, he began the siege of Marseilles on the 19th of August. The place, though but slightly fortified and ill supplied, made an energetic resistance; the name and the presence of Bourbon at the head of the besiegers excited patriotism; the burgesses turned soldiers; the cannon of the besiegers laid open their walls, but they threw up a second line, an earthen rampart, called the ladies' rampart, because all the women in the city had worked at it. The siege was protracted; the re-enforcements expected by Bourbon did not arrive; a shot from Marseilles penetrated into Pescara's tent, and killed his almoner and two of his gentlemen. Bourbon rushed up. "Don't you see?" said Pescara to him, ironically, "here are the keys sent to you by the timid consuls of Marseilles." Bourbon resolved to attempt an assault; the lanzknechts and the Italians refused; Bourbon asked Pescara for his Spaniards, but Pescara would only consent on condition that the breach was reconnoitered afresh. Seven soldiers were told off for this duty; four were killed and the other three returned wounded, reporting that between the open breach and the intrenchment extended a large ditch filled with fireworks and defended by several batteries. The assembled general officers looked at one another in silence. "Well, gentlemen," said Pescara, "you see that the folks of Marseilles keep a table well spread for our reception; if you like to go and sup in paradise, you are your own masters so far; as for me, who have no desire to go thither just yet, I am off. But believe me," he added seriously, "we had best return to Milaness; we have left that country without a soldier; we might possibly find our return cut off." Whereupon Pescara got up and went out; and the majority of the officers followed him. Bourbon remained almost alone, divided between anger and shame. Almost as he quitted this scene he heard that Francis I. was advancing towards Provence with an army. The king had suddenly decided to go to the succor of Marseilles, which was making so good a defence. Nothing could be a bitterer pill for Bourbon than to retire before Francis I., whom he had but lately promised to dethrone; but his position condemned him to suffer everything, without allowing him the least hesitation; and on the 28th of September, 1524, he raised the siege of Marseilles and resumed the road to Italy, harassed even beyond Toulon by the French advance-guard, eager in its pursuit of the traitor even more than of the enemy.

In the course of this year, 1524, whilst Bourbon was wandering as a fugitive, trying to escape from his country, then returning to it, after a few months, as a conqueror, and then leaving it again at the end of a few weeks of prospective triumph, pursued by the king he had betrayed, his case and that of his accomplices had been inquired into and disposed of by the Parliament of Paris, dispassionately and almost coldly, probably because of the small esteem in which the magistrates held the court of Francis I., and of the wrong which they found had been done to the constable. The Parliament was not excited by a feeling of any great danger to the king and the country; it was clear that, at the core, the conspiracy and rebellion were very circumscribed and impotent; and the accusations brought by the court party or their servants against the conspirators were laughable from their very outrageousness and unlikelihood; according to them, the accomplices of the constable meant not only to dethrone, and, if need were, kill the king, but "to make pies of the children of France." Parliament saw no occasion to proceed against more than a half score of persons in confinement, and, except nineteen defaulters who were condemned to death together with confiscation of their property, only one capital sentence was pronounced, against John of Poitiers, Lord of Saint-Vallier, the same who had exerted himself to divert the constable from his plot, but who had nevertheless not refrained from joining it, and was the most guilty of all the accomplices in consequence of the confidential post he occupied near the king's person. The decree was not executed, however; Saint-Vallier received his reprieve on the scaffold itself. Francis I. was neither rancorous nor cruel; and the entreaties, or, according to some evil-speakers of the day, the kind favors, of the Lady de Brew, Saint-Vallier's daughter and subsequently the celebrated Diana of Poitiers, obtained from the king her father's life.

Francis I., greatly vexed, it is said, at the lenity of the Parliament of Paris, summoned commissions chosen amongst the Parliaments of Rouen, Dijon, Toulouse, and Bordeaux, and made them reconsider the case. The provincial Parliaments decided as that of Paris had. The procedure against the principal culprit was several times suspended and resumed according to the course of events, and the decree was not pronounced so long as the Duke of Bourbon lived. It was abroad and in his alliance with foreign sovereigns that all his importance lay.

After Bourbon's precipitate retreat, the position of Francis I. was a good one. He had triumphed over conspiracy and invasion; the conspiracy had not been catching, and the invasion had failed on all the frontiers. If the king, in security within his kingdom, had confined himself to it, whilst applying himself to the task of governing it well, he would have obtained all the strength he required to make himself feared and deferred to abroad. For a while he seemed to have entertained this design: on the 25th of September, 1523, he published an important ordinance for the repression of disorderliness and outrages on the part of the soldiery in France itself; and, on the 28th of December following, a regulation as to the administration of finances established a control over the various exchequer-officers, and announced the king's intention of putting some limits to his personal expenses, "not including, however," said he, "the ordinary run of our little necessities and pleasures." This singular reservation was the faithful exponent of his character; he was licentious at home and adventurous abroad, being swayed by his coarse passions and his warlike fancies. Even far away from Paris, in the heart of the provinces, the king's irregularities were known and dreaded. In 1524, some few weeks after the death [at Blois, July 20, 1524] of his wife, Queen Claude, daughter of Louis XII., a virtuous and modest princess more regretted by the people than by her husband, Francis made his entry into Manosque, in Provence. The burgesses had the keys of their town presented to him by the most beautiful creature they could find within their walls; it was the daughter of Antony Voland, one of themselves. The virtuous young girl was so frightened at the king's glances and the signs he made to his gentry, evidently alluding to her, that, on returning home, she got some burning sulphur and placed herself for a long while under the influence of its vapor, in order to destroy the beauty which made her run the risk of being only too pleasing to the king. Francis, who was no great or able captain, could not resist the temptations of war any more than those of the flesh. When Bourbon and the imperial army had evacuated Provence, the king loudly proclaimed his purpose of pursuing them into Italy, and of once more going forth to the conquest of Milaness, and perhaps also of the kingdom of Naples, that incurable craze of French kings in the sixteenth century. In vain did his most experienced warriors, La Tremoille and Chabannes, exert themselves to divert him from such a campaign, for which he was not prepared; in vain did his mother herself write to him, begging him to wait and see her, for that she had important matters to impart to him. He answered by sending her the ordinance which conferred upon her the regency during his absence; and, at the end of October, 1524, he had crossed the Alps, anxious to go and risk in Milaness the stake he had just won in Provence against Charles V.

Arriving speedily in front of Milan, he there found the imperial army which had retired before him; there was a fight in one of the outskirts; but Bourbon recognized the impossibility of maintaining a siege in a town of which the fortifications were in ruins, and with disheartened troops. On the line of march which they had pursued, from Lodi to Milan, there was nothing to be seen but cuirasses, arquebuses tossed hither and thither, dead horses, and men dying of fatigue and scarcely able to drag themselves along. Bourbon evacuated Milan, and, taking a resolution as bold as it was singular, abruptly abandoned, so far as he was personally concerned, that defeated and disorganized army, to go and seek for and reorganize another at a distance. Being informed that Charles III., Duke of Savoy, hitherto favorable to France, was secretly inclining towards the emperor, he went to Turin, made a great impression by his confidence and his grand spirit in the midst of misfortune upon both the duke and his wife, Beatrix of Portugal, and obtained from them not only a flattering reception, but a secret gift of their money and their jewelry; and, equipped with these resources, he passed into Germany to recruit soldiers there. The lanzknechts, who had formerly served under him in France, rushed to him in shoals; he had received from nature the gifts most calculated to gain the hearts of campaigners: kind, accessible, affable and even familiar with the common soldier, he entered into the details of his wants and alleviated them. His famous bravery, his frankness, and his generosity gained over those adventurers who were weary of remaining idle; their affection consoled Bourbon and stood him in stead of all: his army became his family and his camp his country. Proscribed and condemned in France, without any position secured to him in the dominions of Charles V., envied and crossed by that prince's generals, he had found full need of all the strong tempering of his character and of his warlike genius to keep him from giving way under so many trials. He was beginning to feel himself near recovery: he had an army, an army of his own; he had chosen for it men inured to labor and fatigue, accustomed to strict discipline; and thereto he added five hundred horsemen from Franche-Comte for whose devotion and courage he could answer: and he gave the second command in this army to George of Freundsberg, an old captain of lanzknechts and commandant of the emperor's guard, the same who, three years before, on seeing Luther boldly enter Worms, said to him, with a slap on the shoulder, "Little monk, this is a daring step thou art going to take! Nor I, nor any captain of us, ever did the like. If thy cause is good, and if thou have faith in thy cause, forward! little monk, in God's name forward!" With such comrades about him, Bourbon re-entered Milaness at the head of twelve or thirteen thousand fighting men, three months after having left it, alone and moneyless. His rivals about the person of Charles V., Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, and the Marquis of Pescara, could not help admiring him, and he regained in the imperial camp an ascendency which had but lately been very much shaken.

He found the fresh campaign begun in earnest. Francis I.'s veteran generals, Marshals La Tremoille and Chabannes, had advised him to pursue without pause the beaten and disorganized imperial army, which was in such plight that there was placarded on the statue of Pasquin at Rome, "Lost—an army—in the mountains of Genoa; if anybody knows what has become of it, let him come forward and say: he shall be well rewarded." If the King of France, it was said, drove back northward and forced into the Venetian dominions the remnants of this army, the Spaniards would not be able to hold their own in Milaness, and would have to retire within the kingdom of Naples. But Admiral Bonnivet, "whose counsel the king made use of more than of any other," says Du Bellay, pressed Francis I. to make himself master, before everything, of the principal strong places in Lombardy, especially of Pavia, the second city in the duchy of Milan. Francis followed this counsel, and on the 26th of August, 1524, twenty days after setting out from Aix in Provence, he appeared with his army in front of Pavia. On learning this resolution, Pescara joyously exclaimed, "We were vanquished; a little while and we shall be vanquishers." Pavia had for governor a Spanish veteran, Antony de Leyva, who had distinguished himself at the battle of Ravenna, in 1512, by his vigilance and indomitable tenacity: and he held out for nearly four months, first against assaults, and then against investment by the French army. Francis I. and his generals occasionally proceeded during this siege to severities condemned by the laws and usages of war. A small Spanish garrison had obstinately defended a tower situated at the entrance of a stone bridge which led from an island on the Ticino into Pavia. Marshal de Montmorency at last carried the tower, and had all the defenders hanged "for having dared," he said, "to offer resistance to an army of the king's in such a pigeon-hole." Antony de Leyva had the bridge forthwith broken down, and De Montmorency was stopped on the borders of the Ticino. In spite of the losses of its garrison in assaults and sorties, and in spite of the sufferings of the inhabitants from famine and from lack of resources of all sorts, Pavia continued to hold out. There was a want of wood as well as of bread; and they knocked the houses to pieces for fuel. Antony de Leyva caused to be melted down the vessels of the churches and the silvern chandeliers of the university, and even a magnificent chain of gold which he habitually wore round his neck. He feared he would have to give in at last, for want of victuals and ammunition, when, towards the end of January, 1525, he saw appearing, on the northern side, the flags of the imperial army: it was Bourbon, Lannoy, and Pescara, who were coming up with twenty thousand foot, seven hundred men-at-arms, a troop of Spanish arquebusiers, and several pieces of cannon. Bourbon, whilst on the march, had written, on the 5th of January, to Henry VIII., and, after telling him what he meant to do, had added, "I know through one of my servants that the French have said that I retired from Provence shamefully. I remained there a space of three months and eight days, waiting for battle. I hope to give the world to know that I have no fear of King Francis, for, please God, we shall place ourselves so close together that we shall have great trouble to get disentangled without battle, and I shall so do that neither he nor they who have held such talk about me shall say that I was afraid of being there." The situation was from that moment changed. The French army found themselves squeezed between the fortress which would not surrender and the imperial army which was coming to relieve it. Things, however, remained stationary for three weeks. Francis I. intrenched himself strongly in his camp, which the Imperialists could not attack without great risk of unsuccess. "Pavia is doomed to fall," wrote Francis to his mother the regent on the 3d of February, "if they do not reenforce it somehow; and they are beating about to make it hold on to the last gasp, which, I think, will not be long now, for it is more than a month since those inside have had no wine to drink and neither meat nor cheese to eat; they are short of powder even." Antony de Leyva gave notice to the Imperialists that the town was not in a condition for further resistance. On the other hand, if the imperial army put off fighting, they could not help breaking up; they had exhausted their victuals, and the leaders their money; they were keeping the field without receiving pay, and were subsisting, so to speak, without resources. The prudent Marquis of Pescara himself was for bringing on a battle, which was indispensable. "A hundred years in the field," said he, in the words of an old Italian proverb, "are better than one day of fighting, for one may lose in a doubtful melley what one was certain of winning by skilful manoeuvres; but when one can no longer keep the field, one must risk a battle, so as not to give the enemy the victory without a fight." The same question was being discussed in the French camp. The veteran captains, La Tremoille and Chabannes, were of opinion that by remaining in the strong position in which they were encamped they would conquer without fighting. Bonnivet and De Montmorency were of the contrary opinion. "We French," said Bonnivet, "have not been wont to make war by means of military artifices, but handsomely and openly, especially when we have at our head a valiant king, who is enough to make the veriest dastards fight. Our kings bring victory with them, as our little king Charles VIII. did at the Taro, our king Louis XII. at Agnadello, and our king who is here present at Melegnano." Francis I. was not the man to hold out against such sentiments and such precedents; and he decided to accept battle as soon as it should be offered him. The imperial leaders, at a council held on the 23d of February, determined to offer it next day. Bourbon vigorously supported the opinion of Pescara.

Antony de Leyva was notified the same evening of their decision, and was invited to make, as soon as he heard two cannon-shots, a sortie which would place the French army between two fires. Pescara, according to his custom, mustered the Spaniards; and, "My lads," said he, "fortune has brought you to such extremity that on the soil of Italy you have for your own only that which is under your feet. All the emperor's might could not procure for you to-morrow morning one morsel of bread. We know not where to get it, save in the Frenchman's camp, which is before your eyes. There they have abundance of everything, bread, meat, trout and carp from the Lake of Garda. And so, my lads, if you are set upon having anything to eat tomorrow, march we down on the Frenchmen's camp." Freundsberg spoke in the same style to the German lanzknechts. And both were responded to with cheers. Eloquence is mighty powerful when it speaks in the name of necessity.

The two armies were of pretty equal strength: they had each from twenty to five and twenty thousand infantry, French, Germans, Spaniards, lanzknechts, and Swiss. Francis I. had the advantage in artillery and in heavy cavalry, called at that time the gendarmerie, that is to say, the corps of men-at-arms in heavy armor with their servants; but his troops were inferior in effectives to the Imperialists, and Charles V.'s two generals, Bourbon and Pescara, were, as men of war, far superior to Francis I. and his favorite Bonnivet. In the night between the 23d and 24th of February they opened a breach of forty or fifty fathoms in the wall around the park of Mirabello, where the French camp was situated; a corps immediately passed through it, marching on Pavia to re-enforce the garrison, and the main body of the imperial army entered the park to offer the French battle on that ground. The king at once set his army in motion; and his well-posted artillery mowed down the corps of Germans and Spaniards who had entered the park. "You could see nothing," says a witness of the battle, "but heads and arms flying about." The action seemed to be going ill for the Imperialists; Pescara urged the Duke of Bourbon and Lannoy, the Viceroy of Naples, to make haste and come up; Lannoy made the sign of the cross, and said to his men, "There is no hope but in God; follow me and do every one as I do." Francis I., on his side, advanced with the pick of his men-at-arms, burst on the advance-guard of the enemy, broke it, killed with his own hand the Marquis of Civita-San-Angelo, and dispersed the various corps he found in his way. In the confidence of his joy he thought the victory decided, and, turning to Marshal de Foix, who was with him, "M. de Lescun," said he, "now am I fain to call myself Duke of Milan." But Bourbon and Pescara were not the men to accept a defeat so soon; they united all their forces, and resumed the offensive at all points; the French batteries, masked by an ill-considered movement on the part of their own troops, who threw themselves between them and the enemy, lost all serviceability; and Pescara launched upon the French gendarmerie fifteen hundred Basque arquebusiers, whom he had exercised and drilled to penetrate into the midst of the horses, shoot both horses and riders, and fall back rapidly after having discharged their pieces. Being attacked by the German lanzknechts of Bourbon and Freundsberg, the Swiss in the French service did not maintain their renown, and began to give way. "My God, what is all this!" cried Francis I., seeing them waver, and he dashed towards them to lead them back into action; but neither his efforts, nor those of John of Diesbach and the Lord of Fleuranges, who were their commanders, were attended with success. The king was only the more eager for the fray; and, rallying around him all those of his men-at-arms who would neither recoil nor surrender, he charged the Imperialists furiously, throwing himself into the thickest of the melley, and seeking in excess of peril some chance of victory; but Pescara, though wounded in three places, was none the less stubbornly fighting on, and Antony de Leyva, governor of Pavia, came with the greater part of the garrison to his aid. At this very moment Francis I. heard that the first prince of the blood, his brother-in-law the Duke of Alencon, who commanded the rear-guard, had precipitately left the field of battle. The oldest and most glorious warriors of France, La Tremoille, Marshal de Chabannes, Marshal de Foix, the grand equerry San Severino, the Duke of Suffolk, Francis of Lorraine, Chaumont, Bussy d'Amboise, and Francis de Duras fell, here and there, mortally wounded. At this sight Admiral Bonnivet in despair exclaimed, "I can never survive this fearful havoc;" and raising the visor of his helmet, he rushed to meet the shots which were aimed at him, and in his turn fell beside his comrades in arms. Bourbon had expressly charged his men to search everywhere in the melley for the admiral, and bring him in a prisoner. When, as he passed along that part of the battle-field, he recognized the corpse, "Ah! wretch," he cried, as he moved away, "it is thou who hast caused the ruin of France and of me!" Amidst these dead and dying, Francis still fought on; wounded as he was in the face, the arms, and the legs, he struck right and left with his huge sword, and cut down the nearest of his assailants; but his horse, mortally wounded, dragged him down as it fell; he was up again in an instant, and, standing beside his horse, he laid low two more Spaniards who were pressing him closely; the ruck of the soldiers crowded about him; they did not know him, but his stature, his strength, his bravery, his coat of mail studded with golden lilies, and his helmet overshadowed by a thick plume of feathers pointed him out to all as the finest capture to make; his danger was increasing every minute, when one of Bourbon's most intimate confidants, the Lord of Pomperant, who, in 1523, had accompanied the constable in his flight through France, came up at this critical moment, recognized the king, and, beating off the soldiers with his sword, ranged himself at the king's side, represented to-him the necessity of yielding, and pressed him to surrender to the Duke of Bourbon, who was not far off. "No," said the king, "rather die than pledge my faith to a traitor where is the Viceroy of Naples?" It took some time to find Lannoy; but at last he arrived and put one knee on the ground before Francis I., who handed his sword to him. Lannoy took it with marks of the most profound respect, and immediately gave him another. The battle was over, and Francis I. was Charles V.'s prisoner.

He had shown himself an imprudent and unskilful general, but at the same time a hero. His conquerors, both officers and privates, could not help, whilst they secured his person, showing their admiration for him. When he sat down to table, after having had his wounds, which were slight, attended to, Bourbon approached him respectfully and presented him with a dinner-napkin; and the king took it without embarrassment and with frigid and curt politeness. He next day granted him an interview, at which an accommodation took place with due formalities on both sides, but nothing more. All the king's regard was for the Marquis of Pescara, who came to see him in a simple suit of black, in order, as it were, to share his distress. "He was a perfect gentleman," said Francis I., "both in peace and in war." He heaped upon him marks of esteem and almost of confidence. "How do you think," he asked, "the emperor will behave to me?" "I think," replied Pescara, "I can answer for the emperor's moderation; I am sure that he will make a generous use of his victory. If, however, he were capable of forgetting what is due to your rank, your merits, and your misfortunes, I would never cease to remind him of it, and I would lose what little claim upon him my services may have given me, or you should be satisfied with his behavior." The king embraced him warmly. He asked to be excused from entering Pavia, that he might not be a gazing-stock in a town that he had so nearly taken. He was, accordingly, conducted to Pizzighittone, a little fortress between Milan and Cremona. He wrote thence two letters, one to his mother the regent and the other to Charles V., which are here given word for word, because they so well depict his character and the state of his mind in his hour of calamity:—
1. "To the Regent of France: Madame, that you may know how stands the rest of my misfortune: there is nothing in the world left to me but honor and my life, which is safe. And in order that, in your adversity, this news might bring you some little comfort, I prayed for permission to write you this letter, which was readily granted me; entreating you, in the exercise of your accustomed prudence, to be pleased not to do anything rash, for I have hope, after all, that God will not forsake me. Commending to you my children your grandchildren, and entreating you to give the bearer a free passage, going and returning, to Spain, for he is going to the emperor to learn how it is his pleasure that I should be treated."

2. "To the Emperor Charles V.: If liberty had been sooner granted me by my cousin the viceroy, I should not have delayed so long to do my duty towards you, according as the time and the circumstances in which I am placed require; having no other comfort under my misfortune than a reliance on your goodness, which, if it so please, shall employ the results of victory with honorableness towards me; having steadfast hope that your virtue would not willingly constrain me to anything that was not honorable; entreating you to consult your own heart as to what you shall be pleased to do with me; feeling sure that the will of a prince such as you are cannot be coupled with aught but honor and magnanimity. Wherefore, if it please you to have so much honorable pity as to answer for the safety which a captive King of France deserves to find, whom there is a desire to render friendly and not desperate, you may be sure of obtaining an acquisition instead of a useless prisoner, and of making a King of France your slave forever."
The former of these two letters has had its native hue somewhat altered in the majority of histories, in which it has been compressed into those eloquent words, "All is lost save honor." The second needs no comment to make apparent what it lacks of kingly pride and personal dignity. Beneath the warrior's heroism there was in the qualities of Francis I. more of what is outwardly brilliant and winning than of real strength and solidity.

But the warrior's heroism, in conjunction with what is outwardly brilliant and winning in the man, exercises a great influence over people. The Viceroy of Naples perceived and grew anxious at the popularity of which Francis I. was the object at Pizzighittone. The lanzknechts took an open interest in him and his fortunes; the Italians fixed their eyes on him; and Bourbon, being reconciled to him, might meditate carrying him off. Lannoy resolved to send him to Naples, where there would be more certainty of guarding him securely. Francis made no objection to this design. On the 12th of May, 1525, he wrote to his mother, "Madame, the bearer has assured me that he will bring you this letter safely; and, as I have but little time, I will tell you nothing more than I shall be off to Naples on Monday—, and so keep a lookout at sea, for we shall have only fourteen galleys to take us and eighteen hundred Spaniards to man them; but those will be all their arquebusiers. Above all, haste: for, if that is made, I am in hopes that you may soon see your most humble and most obedient son." There was no opportunity for even attempting to carry off the king as he went by sea to Naples; instead of taking him to Naples, Lannoy transported him straight to Spain, with the full assent of the king and the regent themselves, for it was in French galleys manned by Spanish troops that the voyage was made. Instead of awaiting the result of such doubtful chances of deliverance as might occur in Italy, Francis I., his mother, and his sister Margaret, entertained the idea that what was of the utmost importance for him was to confer and treat in person with Charles V., which could not be done save in Spain itself. In vain did Bourbon and Pescara, whose whole influence and ambitious hopes lay in Italy, and who, on that stage, regarded Francis I. as their own prisoner rather than Charles V.'s, exert themselves to combat this proposal; the Viceroy of Naples, in concert, no doubt, with Charles V. himself as well as with Francis I. and his mother, took no heed of their opposition; and Francis I., disembarking at the end of June at Barcelona first and then at Valentia, sent, on the 2d of July, to Charles V. the Duke de Montmorency, with orders to say that he had desired to approach the emperor, "not only to obtain peace and deliverance in his own person, but also to establish and confirm Italy in the state and fact of devotion to the emperor, before that the potentates and lords of Italy should have leisure to rally together in opposition." The regent, his mother, and his sister Margaret congratulated him heartily on his arrival in Spain, and Charles V. himself wrote to him, "It was a pleasure to me to hear of your arrival over here, because that, just now, it will be the cause of a happy general peace for the great good of Christendom, which is what I most desire."

It is difficult to understand how Francis I. and Charles V. could rely upon personal interviews and negotiations for putting an end to their contentions and establishing a general peace. Each knew the other's pretensions, and they knew how little disposed they were, either of them, to abandon them. On the 28th of March, 1525, a month after the battle of Pavia, Charles V. had given his ambassadors instructions as to treating for the ransom and liberation of the King of France. His chief requirements were, that Francis I. should renounce all attempts at conquest in Italy, that he should give up the suzerainty of the countships of Flanders and Artois, that he should surrender to Charles V. the duchy of Burgundy with all its dependencies, as derived from Mary of Burgundy, daughter of the last duke, Charles the Rash; that the Duke of Bourbon should be reinstated in possession of all his domains, with the addition thereto of Provence and Dauphiny, which should form an independent state; and, lastly, that France should pay England all the sums of money which Austria owed her. Francis I., on hearing, at Pizzighittone, these proposals read out, suddenly drew his sword as if to stab himself, saying, "It were better for a king to end thus." His custodian, Alancon, seized his arm, whilst recalling him to his senses. Francis recovered calmness, but without changing his resolution; he would rather, he said, bury himself in a prison forever than subscribe to conditions destructive of his kingdom, and such as the States General of France would never accept. When Francis I. was removed to Spain he had made only secondary concessions as to these requirements of Charles V., and Charles V. had not abandoned any one of his original requirements. Marshal de Montmorency, when sent by the king to the emperor on the 2d of July, 1525, did not enter at all into the actual kernel of the negotiation; after some conventional protestations of a pacific kind, he confined himself to demanding "a safe conduct for Madame Marguerite of France, the king's only sister, Duchess of Alencon and Berry, who would bring with her such and so full powers of treating for peace, the liberation of the king, and friendly alliance to secure the said peace, that the emperor would clearly see that the king's intentions were pure and genuine, and that he would be glad to conclude and decide in a month what might otherwise drag on for a long while to the great detriment of their subjects." The marshal was at the same time to propose the conclusion of a truce during the course of the negotiations.

Amongst the letters at that time addressed to Francis I., a prisoner of war, is the following, dated March, 1525, when he was still in Italy:—
"My lord, the joy we are still feeling at the kind letters which you were pleased to write yesterday to me and to your mother, makes us so happy with the assurance of your health, on which our life depends, that it seems to me that we ought to think of nothing but of praising God and desiring a continuance of your good news, which is the best meat we can have to live on. And inasmuch as the Creator bath given us grace that our trinity should be always united, the other two do entreat you that this letter, presented to you, who are the third, may be accepted with the same affection with which it is cordially offered you by your most humble and most obedient servants, your mother and sister— LOUISE, MARGUERITE."
This close and tender union of the three continued through all separations and all trials; the confidence of the captive king was responsive to the devotion of his mother the regent and of his sister who had become his negotiatrix. When the news came of the king's captivity, the regency threatened for a moment to become difficult and stormy; all the ambition and the hatred that lay dormant in the court awoke; an attempt was made to excite in the Duke of Vendome, the head of the younger branch of the House of Bourbon, a desire to take the regent's place; the Parliament of Paris attacked the chancellor, Duprat, whom they hated—not without a cause; but the Duke of Vendome was proof against the attempts which were made upon him, and frankly supported the regent, who made him the chief of her council; and the regent supported the chancellor. She displayed, in these court-contentions, an ability partaking both of firmness and pliancy. The difficulties of foreign policy found her equally active and prudent. The greatest peril which France could at that time incur arose from the maintenance of the union between the King of England and Charles V. At the first news of the battle of Pavia, Henry VIII. dreamed for a moment of the partition of France between Charles and himself, with the crown of France for his own share; demonstrations of joy took place at the court of London; and attempts were made to levy, without the concurrence of Parliament, imposts capable of sufficing for such an enterprise. But the English nation felt no inclination to put up with this burden and the king's arbitrary power in order to begin over again the Hundred Years' War. The primate, Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote to Cardinal Wolsey, "It is reported to me that when the people had orders to make bonfires for the capture of the King of France, many folks said that it was more reason for weeping than for rejoicing. Others openly expressed their desire that the King of France might be set at liberty, that a happy peace might be concluded, and that the king might not attempt to conquer France again, a conquest more burdensome than profitable, and more difficult to keep than to make." Wolsey himself was cooled towards Charles V., who, instead of writing to him as of old, and signing with his own hand, "your son and cousin," now merely put his name, Charles. The regent, Louise of Savoy, profited ably by these feelings and circumstances in England; a negotiation was opened between the two courts; Henry VIII. gained by it two millions of crowns payable by annual instalments of fifty thousand crowns each, and Wolsey received a pension of a hundred thousand crowns. At first a truce for four months, and then an alliance, offensive and defensive, were concluded on the 30th of August, 1525, between France and England; and the regent, Louise of Savoy, had no longer to trouble herself about anything except the captivity of the king her son and the departure of her daughter Margaret to go and negotiate for the liberation of the prisoner.

The negotiation had been commenced, as early as the 20th of July, at Toledo, between the ambassadors of Francis I. and the advisers of Charles V., but without any symptom of progress. Francis I., since his arrival in Spain, had been taken from strong castle to strong castle, and then removed to Madrid, everywhere strictly guarded, and leading a sad life, without Charles V.'s coming to visit him or appointing him any meeting-place. In vain did the emperor's confessor, the Bishop of Osma, advise him to treat Francis I. generously, and so lay upon him either the obligation of thankfulness or the burden of ingratitude; the majority of his servants gave him contrary counsel. "I know not what you mean to do," wrote his brother, the Archduke Ferdinand; "but, if I were wise enough to know how to give you good counsel, it seems to me that such an opportunity should not be lost, but that you should follow up your good fortune and act in such wise that neither the King of France nor his successors should have power hereafter to do harm to you or yours." That, too, was Charles V.'s own way of thinking; but, slow and patient as he was by nature, he relied upon the discomforts and the wearisomeness of prolonged captivity and indecision for tiring out Francis I. and overcoming his resistance to the harsh conditions he would impose upon him. The regent, Louise, made him an offer to go herself and treat with him, at Perpignan, for the king's liberation; but he did not accept that overture. The Duke of Alencon, son-in-law of Louise, had died at Lyons, unable to survive the shame of his flight at the battle of Pavia; and the regent hinted that her daughter Marguerite, three months a widow, "would be happy if she could be agreeable to his Imperial Majesty," but Charles let the hint drop without a reply. However, at the end of August, 1525, he heard that Francis I. was ill: "from great melancholy he had fallen into a violent fever." The population of Madrid was in commotion; Francis I. had become popular there; many people went to pray for him in the churches; the doctors told the emperor that there was fear for the invalid's life, and that he alone could alleviate the malady by administering some hope. Charles V. at once granted the safe-conduct which had been demanded of him for Marguerite of France, and on the 18th of September he himself went to Madrid to pay a visit to the captive. Francis, on seeing him enter the chamber, said, "So your Majesty has come to see your prisoner die?" "You are not my prisoner," answered Charles, "but my brother and my friend: I have no other purpose than to give you your liberty and every satisfaction you can desire." Next day Marguerite arrived; her mother, the regent, had accompanied her as far as Pont-Saint-Esprit; she had embarked, on the 27th of August, at Aigues-Mortes, and, disembarking at Barcelona, had gone to Madrid by litter; in order to somewhat assuage her impatience she had given expression to it in the following tender stanzas:
   "For the bliss that awaits me so strong
   Is my yearning that yearning is pain;
   One hour is a hundred years long;
   My litter, it bears me in vain;
   It moves not, or seems to recede;
   Such speed would I make if I might:
   O, the road, it is weary indeed,
   Where lies—at the end—my delight!

   "I gaze all around me all day
   For some one with tidings to bring,
   Not ceasing—ne'er doubt me—to pray
   Unto God for the health of my king
   I gaze; and when none is descried,
   Then I weep; and, what else? if you ask,
   To my paper my grief I confide
   This, this is my sorrowful task.

   "O, welcome be he who at length
   Shall tap at my door and shall cry,
   'The king to new health and new strength
   Is returning; the king will not die!'
   Then she, who were now better dead,
   Will run, the news-bearer to see,
   And kiss him for what he hath said,
   That her brother from danger is free."
Francis was not "free from danger" when his sister arrived; she took her post at his side; on the 25th of September a serious crisis came on; and he remained for some time "without speaking, or hearing, or seeing." Marguerite had an altar set up in her chamber; and all the French, of the household, great lords and domestics, knelt beside the sick man's sister, and received the communion from the, hands of the Archbishop of Embrun, who, drawing near the bed, entreated the king to turn his eyes to the holy sacrament. Francis came out of his lethargy, and asked to communicate likewise, saying, "God will cure me, soul and body." He became convalescent, and on the 20th of October he was sufficiently recovered for Marguerite to leave Madrid, and go and resume negotiations at Toledo, whither Charles V. had returned.

The day but one after her arrival she wrote to the king, "The emperor gave me courteous and kind reception, and, after coming to meet me at the entrance of this house, he used very kind and courteous language to me. He desired that he and I should be alone in the same room, and one of my women to keep the door. This evening I will send you word of what has been done; entreating you, my lord, to put on before Sieur Alancon (the king's custodian) an air of weakness and weariness, for your debility will strengthen me and will hasten my despatch, which seems to me slower than I can tell you; as well for the sake of seeing you liberated, which you will be by God's help, as of returning and trying whether your dear hand can be of any use to you." Marguerite was impressed by the good-will she discovered at the court of Toledo in respect of the King of France, his liberation, and the establishment of peace; she received from the people in the streets, as well as from the great lords in their houses, the most significant proofs of favor. Charles V. took umbrage at it, and had the Duke of Infantado, amongst others, informed that, if he wished to please the emperor, neither he nor his sons must speak to Madame d'Alencon. "But," said she, "I am not tabooed to the ladies, to whom I will speak double." She contracted a real intimacy with even the sister of Charles V., Eleanor, widow of the King of Portugal, whom Charles had promised to the Duke of Bourbon, and between whom and her brother, King Francis, Marguerite set brewing a marriage, which was not long deferred. But, in spite of her successes at the court, and even in the family of the emperor, Marguerite had no illusions touching the small chance of bringing her grand object of negotiation to a happy issue. "Every one tells me," she wrote, "that he loves the king; but there is small experience of it. . . . If I had to do with good sort of people, who understand what honor is, I would not care; but the contrary is the case." She did not lose courage, however: "she spoke to the emperor so bravely and courteously," says Brantome, "that he was quite astounded, and she said still worse to those of his council, at which she had audience; there she had full triumph of her good speaking and haranguing, with an easy grace in which she was not deficient; and she did so well with her fine speaking that she made herself rather agreeable than hateful or tiresome, that her reasons were found good and pertinent, and that she remained in high esteem with the emperor, his council, and his court."

But neither good and pertinent reasons, nor the charm of eloquence in the mouth of a pleasing and able woman, are sufficient to make head against the passions and interests of the actors who are at a given moment in possession of the political arena; it needs time, a great deal of time, before the unjust or unreasonable requirements and determinations of a people, a generation, and the chief of a state become acknowledged as such and abandoned. At the negotiations entered upon, in 1525, between Francis I. and Charles V., Francis I. was prompt in making large and unpalatable concessions: he renounced his pretensions, so far as Italy was concerned, to the duchy of Milan, to Genoa, and to the kingdom of Naples; his suzerainty over the countships of Flanders and Artois, and possession of Hesdin and Tournay; he consented to reinstate Duke Charles of Bourbon in all his hereditary property and rights, and to pay three millions of crowns in gold for his own ransom; but he refused to cede Provence and Dauphiny to the Duke of Bourbon as an independent state, and to hand over the duchy of Burgundy to Charles V., as heir of his grandmother, Mary of Burgundy, only daughter of Charles the Rash. Charles V., after somewhat lukewarmly persisting, gave up the demand he had made on behalf of the Duke of Bourbon, for having Provence and Dauphiny erected into an independent state; but he insisted absolutely, on his own behalf, in his claim to the duchy of Burgundy as a right and a condition, sine qua non, of peace. The question at the bottom of the negotiations between the two sovereigns lay thus: the acquisition of Burgundy was for Charles V. the crowning-point of his victory and of his predominance in Europe; the giving up of Burgundy was for Francis I. a lasting proof of his defeat and a dismemberment of his kingdom: one would not let his prisoner go at any price but this, the other would not purchase at this price even his liberty and his restoration to his friends. In this extremity Francis I. took an honorable and noble resolution; in October, 1525, he wrote to Charles V., "Sir, my brother, I have heard from the Archbishop of Embrun and my premier-president at Paris of the decision you have expressed to them as to my liberation, and I am sorry that what you demand of me is not in my power. But feeling that you could not take a better way of telling me that you mean to keep me prisoner forever than by demanding of me what is impossible on my part, I have made up my mind to put up with imprisonment, being sure that God, who knows that I have not deserved a long one, being a prisoner of fair war, will give me strength to bear it patiently. And I can only regret that your courteous words, which you were pleased to address to me in my illness, should have come to nothing." [Documents inedits sur l'Histoire de France. Captivite du roi Francois I., p. 384.]

The resolution announced in this letter led before long to the official act which was certain to be the consequence of it. In November, 1525, by formal letters patent, Francis I., abdicating the kingship which he could not exercise, ordered that his eldest son, the dauphin Francis, then eight years old, should be declared, crowned, anointed, and consecrated Most Christian King of France, and that his grandmother, Louise of Savoy, Duchess of Angouleme, or, in default of her, his aunt Marguerite, Duchess of Alencon, should be regent of the kingdom: "If it should please God that we should recover our personal liberty, and be able to proceed to the government and conduct of our kingdom, in that case our most dear and most beloved son shall quit and give up to us the name and place of king, all things re-becoming just as they were before our capture and captivity." The letters patent ordered the regent "to get together a number of good and notable personages from the three estates in all the districts, countries, and good towns of France, to whom, either in a body or separately, one after another, she should communicate the said will of the king, as above, in order to have their opinion, counsel, and consent." Thus, during the real king's very captivity, and so, long as it lasted, France was again about to have a king whom the States General of France would be called upon to support with their counsels and adhesion.

This resolution was taken and these letters patent prepared just at the expiry of the safe-conduct granted to the Princess Marguerite, and, consequently, just when she would have to return to France. Charles V. was somewhat troubled at the very different position in which he was about to find himself, when he would have to treat no longer at Madrid with a captive king, but at Paris with a young king out of his power and with his own people about him. Marguerite fully perceived his embarrassment. From Toledo, where she was, she wrote to her brother, "After having been four days without seeing the emperor, when I went to take leave I found him so gracious that I think he is very much afraid of my going; those gentry yonder are in a great fix, and, if you will be pleased to hold firm, I can see them coming round to your wishes. But they would very much like to keep me here doing nothing, in order to promote their own affairs, as you will be pleased to understand." Charles V., in fact, signified to the king his desire that the negotiations should be proceeded with at Madrid or Toledo, never ceasing to make protestations of his pacific intentions. Francis I. replied that, for his part, "he would not lay any countermand on the duchess, that he would willingly hear what the emperor's ambassadors had to say, but that, if they did not come to any conclusion as to a peace and his own liberation, he would not keep his own ambassadors any longer, and would send them away." Marguerite set out at the end of November; she at first travelled slowly, waiting for good news to reach her and stop her on the road; but, suddenly, she received notice from Madrid to quicken her steps; according to some historians, it was the Duke of Bourbon who, either under the influence of an old flame or in order to do a service to the king he had betrayed, sent word to the princess that Charles V., uneasy about what she was taking with her to France, had an idea of having her arrested the moment her safe-conduct had expired. According to a more probable version, it was Francis I. himself who, learning that three days after Marguerite's departure Charles V. had received a copy of the royal act of abdication, at once informed his sister, begging her to make all haste. And she did so to such purpose that, "making four days' journey in one," she arrived at Salces, in the Eastern Pyrenees, an hour before the expiry of her safe-conduct. She no doubt took to her mother, the regent, the details of the king's resolutions and instructions; but the act itself containing them, the letters patent of Francis I., had not been intrusted to her; it was Marshal de Montmorency who, at the end of December, 15225, was the first bearer of them to France.

Did Francis I. flatter himself that his order to have his son the dauphin declared and crowned king, and the departure of his sister Marguerite, who was going, if not to carry the actual text of the resolution, at any rate to announce it to the regent and to France, would embarrass Charles V. so far as to make him relax in his pretensions to the duchy of Burgundy and its dependencies? There is nothing to show that he was allured by such a hope; any how, if it may have for a moment arisen in his mind, it soon vanished. Charles V. insisted peremptorily upon his requirements; and Francis I. at once gave up his attitude of firmness, and granted, instead, the concession demanded of him, that is, the relinquishment of Burgundy and its dependencies to Charles V., "to hold and enjoy with every right of supremacy until it hath been judged, decided, and determined, by arbiters elected on the emperor's part and our own, to whom the said duchy, countships, and other territories belong. . . . And for guarantee of this concession, the dauphin, the king's eldest son, and his second son, Henry, Duke of Orleans, or other great personages, to the number of twelve, should be sent to him and remain in his keeping as hostages." The regent, Louise, was not without a hand in this determination of the king; her maternal affection took alarm at the idea of her son's being for an indefinite period a prisoner in the hands of his enemy. Besides, in that case, war seemed to her inevitable; and she dreaded the responsibility which would be thrown upon her. Charles V., on his side, was essentially a prudent man; he disliked remaining, unless it were absolutely necessary, for a long while in a difficult position. His chancellor, Gattinera, refused to seal a treaty extorted by force and violated, in advance, by lack of good faith. "Bring the King of France so low," he said, "that he can do you no harm, or treat him so well that he can wish you no harm, or keep him a prisoner: the worst thing you can do is to let him go half satisfied." Charles V. persisted in his pacific resolution. There is no knowing whether he was tempted to believe in the reality of Francis I.'s concession, and to regard the guarantees as seriously meant; but it is evident that Francis I. himself considered them a mere sham; for four months previously, on the 22d of August, 1525, at the negotiations entered into on this subject, he had taken care to deposit in the hands of his negotiators a nullifying protest "against all pacts, conventions, renunciations, quittances, revocations, derogations, and oaths that he might have to make contrary to his honor and the good of his crown, to the profit of the said emperor or any other whosoever." And on the 13th of January, 1526, four weeks after having given his ambassadors orders to sign the treaty of Madrid containing the relinquishment of Burgundy and its dependencies, the very evening before the day on which that treaty was signed, Francis I. renewed, at Madrid itself, and again placed in the hands of his ambassadors, his protest of the 22d of August preceding against this act, declaring "that it was through force and constraint, confinement and length of imprisonment, that he had signed it, and that all that was contained in it was and should remain null and of no effect." We may not have unlimited belief in the scrupulosity of modern diplomats; but assuredly they would consider such a policy so fundamentally worthless that they would be ashamed to practise it. We may not hold sheer force in honor; but open force is better than mendacious weakness, and less debasing for a government as well as for a people.

"As soon as the treaty of Madrid was signed, the emperor came to Madrid to see the king; then they went, both in one litter, to see Queen Eleanor, the emperor's sister and the king of Portugal's widow, whom, by the said treaty, the king was to espouse before he left Spain, which he did." [Memoires de Martin Du Bellay, t. ii. p. 15.] After which Francis was escorted by Lannoy to Fontarabia, whilst, on the other hand, the regent Louise, and the king's two sons who were to go as hostages to Spain, were on their way to Bayonne. A large bark was anchored in the middle of the Bidassoa, the boundary of the two kingdoms, between Irun and Andaye. Lannoy put the king on board, and received in exchange, from the hands of Marshal Lautrec, the little princes Francis and Henry. The king gave his children his blessing, and reached the French side whilst they were being removed to the Spanish; and as soon as he set foot on shore, he leaped upon a fine Turkish horse, exclaiming, as he started at a gallop for Bayonne, where his mother and his sister awaited him, "So now I am king again!"

On becoming king again, he fell under the dominion of three personal sentiments, which exercised a decisive influence upon his conduct, and, consequently, upon the destiny of France joy at his liberation, a thirsting for revenge, we will not say for vengeance, to be wreaked on Charles V., and the burden of the engagement he had contracted at Madrid in order to recover his liberty, alternately swayed him. From Bayonne he repaired to Bordeaux, where he reassembled his court, and thence to Cognac, in Saintonge, where he passed nearly three months, almost entirely abandoning himself to field-sports, galas, diversions, and pleasures of every kind, as if to indemnify himself for the wearisomeness and gloom in which he had lived at Madrid. "Age subdues the blood, adversity the mind, risks the nerve, and the despairing monarch has no hope but in pleasures," says Tavannes in his Memoires: "such was Francis I., smitten of women both in body and mind. It is the little circle of Madame d'Etampes that governs." One of the regent's maids of honor, Anne d'Heilly, whom Frances I. made Duchess of Etampes, took the place of the Countess of Chateaubriant as his favorite. With strange indelicacy Francis demanded back from Madame de Chateaubriant the beautiful jewels of gold which he had given her, and which bore tender mottoes of his sister Marguerite's composition. The countess took time enough to have the jewels melted down, and said to the king's envoy, "Take that to the king, and tell him that, as he has been pleased to recall what he gave me, I send it back to him in metal. As for the mottoes, I cannot suffer any one but myself to enjoy them, dispose of them, and have the pleasure of them." The king sent back the metal to Madame de Chateaubriant; it was the mottoes that he wished to see again, but he did not get them.

At last it was absolutely necessary to pass from pleasure to business. The envoys of Charles V., with Lannoy, the Viceroy of Naples, at their head, went to Cognac to demand execution of the treaty of Madrid. Francis waited, ere he gave them an answer, for the arrival of the delegates from the estates of Burgundy, whom he had summoned to have their opinion as to the cession of the duchy. These delegates, meeting at Cognac in June, 1527, formally repudiated the cession, being opposed, they said, to the laws of the kingdom, to the rights of the king, who could not by his sole authority alienate any portion of his dominions, and to his coronation-oath, which superseded his oaths made at Madrid. Francis invited the envoys of Charles V. to a solemn meeting of his court and council present at Cognac, at which the delegates from Burgundy repeated their protest. Whilst availing himself of this declaration as an insurmountable obstacle to the complete execution of the treaty of Madrid, Francis offered to give two million crowns for the redemption of Burgundy, and to observe the other arrangements of the treaty, including the relinquishment of Italy and his marriage with the sister of Charles V. Charles formally rejected this proposal. "The King of France," he said, "promised and swore, on the faith of an honest king and prince, that, if he did not carry out the said restitution of Burgundy, he would incontinently come and surrender himself prisoner to H. M. the emperor, wherever he might be, to undergo imprisonment in the place where the said lord the emperor might be pleased to order him, up to and until the time when this present treaty should be completely fulfilled and accomplished. Let the King of France keep his oath." [Traite de Madrid, 14th of January, 1526: art. vi.]

However determined he was, at bottom, to elude the strict execution of the treaty of Madrid, Francis was anxious to rebut the charge of perjury by shifting the responsibility on to the shoulders of the people themselves and their representatives. He did not like to summon the states-general of the kingdom, and recognize their right as well as their power; but, after the meeting at Cognac, he went to Paris, and, on the 12th of December, 1527, the Parliament met in state with the adjunct of the princes of the blood, a great number of cardinals, bishops, noblemen, deputies from the Parliaments of Toulouse, Bordeaux, Rouen, Dijon, Grenoble, and Aix, and the municipal body of Paris. In presence of this assembly the king went over the history of his reign, his expeditions in Italy, his alternate successes and reverses, and his captivity. "If my subjects have suffered," he said, "I have suffered with them." He then caused to be read the letters patent whereby he had abdicated and transferred the crown to his son the dauphin, devoting himself to captivity forever. He explained the present condition of the finances, and what he could furnish for the ransom of his sons detained as hostages; and he ended by offering to return as a prisoner to Spain if no other way could be found out of a difficult position, for he acknowledged having given his word, adding, however, that he had thought it pledged him to nothing, since it had not been given freely.

This last argument was of no value morally or diplomatically; but in his bearing and his language Francis I. displayed grandeur and emotion. The assembly also showed emotion; they were four days deliberating; with some slight diversity of form the various bodies present came to the same conclusion; and, on the 16th of December, 1527, the Parliament decided that the king was not bound either to return to Spain or to execute, as to that matter, the treaty of Madrid, and that he might with full sanction and justice levy on his subjects two millions of crowns for the ransom of his sons and the other requirements of the state.

Before inviting such manifestations Francis I. had taken measures to prevent them from being in vain. Since the battle of Pavia and his captivity at Madrid the condition and disposition of Europe, and especially of Italy, had changed. From 1513 to 1523, three popes, Leo X., Adrian VI., and Clement VII. had occupied the Holy See. Adrian VI. alone embraced the cause of Charles V., whose preceptor he had been; but he reigned only one year, eight months, and five days; and even during that short time he made only a timid use of his power on his patron's behalf. His successor, Clement VII., was a Florentine and a Medici, and, consequently, but little inclined to favor the emperor's policy. The success of Charles V. at Pavia and the captivity of Francis I. inspired the pope and all Italy with great dread of the imperial pretensions and predominance. A league was formed between Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan for the maintenance of Italian independence; and, as the pope was at its head, it was called the Holy League. Secret messages and communications were interchanged between these Italian states, the regent Louise of Savoy at Paris, and King Henry VIII. in London, to win them over to this coalition, not less important, it was urged, for the security of Europe than of Italy. The regent of France and the King of England received these overtures favorably; promises were made on either side and a commencement was even made of preparations, which were hastily disavowed both at Paris and in London, when Charles V. testified some surprise at them. But when Francis I. was restored to freedom and returned to his kingdom, fully determined in his own mind not to execute the treaty of Madrid, the negotiations with Italy became more full of meaning and reality. As early as the 22d of May, 1526, whilst he was still deliberating with his court and Parliament as to how he should behave towards Charles V. touching the treaty of Madrid, Francis I. entered into the Holy League with the pope, the Venetians, and the Duke of Milan for the independence of Italy; and on the 8th of August following Francis I. and Henry VIII. undertook, by a special treaty, to give no assistance one against the other to Charles V., and Henry VIII. promised to exert all his efforts to get Francis I.'s two sons, left as hostages in Spain, set at liberty. Thus the war between Francis I. and Charles V., after fifteen months' suspension, resumed its course.

It lasted three years in Italy, from 1526 to 1529, without interruption, but also without result; it was one of those wars which are prolonged from a difficulty of living in peace rather than from any serious intention, on either side, of pursuing a clear and definite object. Bourbon and Lannoy commanded the imperial armies, Lautrec the French army. Only two events, one for its singularity and the other for its tragic importance, deserve to have the memory of them perpetuated in history.

After the battle of Pavia and whilst Francis I. was a captive in Spain, Bourbon, who had hitherto remained in Italy, arrived at Madrid on the 13th of November, 1525, almost at the same time at which Marguerite de Valois was leaving it for France. Charles V. received the hero of Pavia with the strongest marks of consideration and favor; and the Spanish army were enthusiastic in their attachment to him. Amongst the great Spanish lords there were several who despised him as a traitor to his king and country. Charles V. asked the Marquis de Villena to give him quarters in his palace. "I can refuse the king nothing," said the marquis; "but as soon as the traitor is out of the house, I will fire it with my own hand; no man of honor could live in it any more." Holding this great and at the same time doubtful position, Bourbon remained in Spain up to the moment when the war was renewed between Francis I. and Charles V. The latter could not at that time dispense with his services in Italy for the only soldier who could have taken his place there, the Marquis of Pescara, had died at Milan on the 30th of November, 1525, aged thirty-six. Charles V. at once sent Bourbon to take the command of the imperial armies in Italy. On arriving at Milan in July, 1527, Bourbon found not only that town, but all the emperor's party in Italy, in such a state of disorder, alarm, and exhaustion as to render them incapable of any great effort. In view of this general disturbance, Bourbon, who was as ambitious as able, and had become the chief of the great adventurers of his day, conceived the most audacious hopes. Charles V. had promised him the duchy of Milan; why should he not have the kingdom of Naples also, and make himself independent of Charles V.? He had immense influence over his Spanish army; and he had recruited it in Germany with from fourteen to fifteen thousand lanzknechts, the greater part of them Lutherans, and right glad to serve Charles V., then at war with the pope. Their commander, Freundsberg, a friend of Bourbon's, had got made a handsome gold chain, "expressly," he said, "to hang and strangle the pope with his own hand, because 'honor to whom honor is due;' and since the pope called himself premier in Christendom, he must be deferred to somewhat more than others." [Brantome, t. i. p. 354.] On the 30th of January, 1527, at Piacenza, Bourbon, late Constable of France, put himself at the head of this ruck of bold and greedy adventurers. "I am now," said he to them, "nothing but a poor gentleman, who hasn't a penny to call his own any more than you have; but, if you will have a little patience, I will make you all rich or die in the attempt;" and, so saying, he distributed amongst them all he had left of money, rings, and jewels, keeping for himself nothing but his clothes and a jacket of silver tissue to put on over his armor. "We will follow you everywhere, to the devil himself!" shouted the soldiers; "no more of Julius Caesar, Hannibal, and Scipio! Hurrah! for the fame of Bourbon!" Bourbon led this multitude through Italy, halting before most of the towns, Bologna and Florence even, which he felt a momentary inclination to attack, but, after all, continuing his march until, having arrived in sight of Rome on the 5th of March, 1527, in the evening, he had pitched his camp, visited his guards, and ordered the assault for the morrow. "The great chances of our destiny," said he to his troops, "have brought us hither to the place where we desired to be, after traversing so many bad roads, in midwinter, with snows and frosts so great, with rain, and mud, and encounters of the enemy, in hunger and thirst, and without a halfpenny. Now is the time to show courage, manliness, and the strength of your bodies. If this bout you are victorious, you will be rich lords and mighty well off; if not, you will be quite the contrary. Yonder is the city whereof, in time past, a wise astrologer prophesied concerning me, telling me that I should die there; but I swear to you that I care but little for dying there, if, when I die, my corpse be left with endless glory and renown throughout the world." Afterwards he gave the word for retiring, some to rest, and some on guard, and for every one to be ready to assault on the morrow early. . . . "After that the stars became obscured by the greater resplendency of the sun and the flashing arms of the soldiers who were preparing for the assault, Bourbon, clad all in white that he might be better known and seen (which was not the sign of a coward), and armor in hand, marched in front close up to the wall, and, when he had mounted two rungs of his ladder, just as he had said the night before, so did it happen to him, that envious, or, to more properly speak, traitorous Fortune would have an arquebuse-shot to hit him full in the left side and wound him mortally. And albeit she took from him his being and his life, yet could she not in one single respect take away his magnanimity and his vigor so long as his body had sense, as he well showed out of his own mouth, for, having fallen when he was hit, he told certain of his most faithful friends who were nigh him, and especially the Gascon captain, Jonas, to cover him with a cloak and take him away, that his death might not give occasion to the others to leave an enterprise so well begun. . . . Just then, as M. de Bourbon had recommended,—to cover and hide his body,—so did his men; in such sort that the escalade and assault went on so furiously that the town, after a little resistance, was carried; and the soldiers, having by this time got wind of his death, fought the more furiously that it might be avenged, the which it certainly was right well, for they set up a shout of, 'Slay, slay! blood, blood! Bourbon, Bourbon!'" [Brantome, t. i. pp. 262-269.]

The celebrated artist-in-gold, Benvenuto Cellini, says, in his Life written by himself, that it was he who, from the top of the wall of the Campo Santo at Rome, aiming his arquebuse at the midst of a group of besiegers, amongst whom he saw one man mounted higher than the rest, hit him, and that he then saw an extraordinary commotion around this man, who was Bourbon, as he found out afterwards. [Vita di Benvenuto Cellini, ch. xvii. pp. 157-159.] "I have heard say at Rome," says Brantome on the contrary, "that it was held that he who fired that wretched arquebuse-shot was a priest." [Brantome, t. ii. p. 268.]

Whatever hand it was that shot down Bourbon, Rome, after his death, was plundered, devastated and ravaged by a brutal, greedy, licentious, and fanatical soldiery. Europe was moved at the story of the sack of Rome and the position of the pope, who had taken refuge in the castle of St. Angelo. Francis I. and Henry VIII. renewed their alliance; and a French army under the command of Lautrec advanced into Italy. Charles V., fearing lest it should make a rapid march to Rome and get possession of the pope whilst delivering him from captivity, entered into negotiations with him; and, in consideration of certain concessions to the emperor, it was arranged that the pope should be set at liberty without delay. Clement VII. was so anxious to get out of his position, lately so perilous and even now so precarious, that he slank out of the castle of St. Angelo in the disguise of a tradesman the very night before the day fixed by the emperor for his liberation; and he retired to Orvieto, on the territory occupied by the French army. During this confusion of things in Italy, Charles V. gave orders for arresting in Spain the ambassadors of Francis I. and of Henry VIII., who were in alliance against him, and who, on their side, sent him two heralds-at-arms to declare war against him. Charles V. received them in open audience at Burgos, on the 22d of January, 1528. "I am very much astonished," said he to the French envoy, "to find the King of France declaring against me a war which he has been carrying on for seven years; he is not in a position to address to me such a declaration; he is my prisoner. Why has he taken no notice of what I said to his ambassador immediately after his refusal to execute the treaty of Madrid?" Charles V. now repeated, in the very terms addressed to the French ambassador, the communication to which he alluded: "The king your master acted like a Bastard and a scoundrel in not keeping his word that he gave me touching the treaty of Madrid; if he likes to say to the contrary, I will maintain it against him with my body to his." When these words were reported to Francis I., he summoned, on the 27th of March, 1528, the princes of the blood, the cardinals, the prelates, the grandees of the kingdom, and the ministers from foreign courts, and, after having given a vivid account of his relations with Charles V., "I am not the prisoner of Charles," he said: "I have not given him my word; we have never met with arms in our hands." He then handed his herald, Guyenne, a cartel written with his own hand, and ending with these words addressed to Charles V.: "We give you to understand that, if you have intended or do intend to charge us with anything that a gentleman loving his honor ought not to do, we say that you have lied in your throat, and that, as often as you say so, you will lie. Wherefore for the future write us nothing at all; but appoint us the time and place of meeting, and we will bring our sword for you to cross; protesting that the shame of any delay in fighting shall be yours, seeing that, when it comes to an encounter, there is an end of all writing." Charles V. did not receive Francis I.'s challenge till the 8th of June; when he, in his turn, consulted the grandees of his kingdom, amongst others the Duke of Infantado, one of the most considerable in rank and character, who answered him in writing: "The jurisdiction of arms extends exclusively to obscure and foggy matters in which the ordinary rules of justice are at a discount; but, when one can appeal to oaths and authentic acts, I do not think that it is allowable to come to blows before having previously tried the ordinary ways of justice. . . It seems to me that this law of honor applies to princes, however great they may be, as well as to knights. It would be truly strange, my lord, that a debt so serious, so universally recognized, as that contracted by the King of France, should be discharged by means of a personal challenge." Charles V. thereupon sent off his herald, Burgundy, with orders to carry to Francis I. "an appointment for a place of meeting between Fontarabia and Andaye, in such a spot as by common consent should be considered most safe and most convenient by gentlemen chosen on each side;" and this offer was accompanied by a long reply which the herald was at the same time to deliver to the King of France, whilst calling on him to declare his intention within forty days after the delivery of that letter, dated the 24th of June, "in default whereof," said Charles, "the delay in fighting will be yours."

On arriving at the frontier of France the Spanish herald demanded a safe-conduct. He was made to wait seven weeks, from the 30th of June to the 19th of August, without the king's cognizance, it is said. At last, on the 19th of September, 1528, Burgundy entered Paris, and was conducted to the palace. Francis I. received him in the midst of his court; and, as soon as he observed the entrance of the herald, who made obeisance preliminary to addressing him, "Herald," cried the king, "all thy letters declare that thou bringest appointment of time and place; dost thou bring it?" "Sir," answered the Spaniard, "permit me to do my office, and say what the emperor has charged me to say." "Nay, I will not listen to thee," said Francis, "if thou do not first give me a patent signed by thy master, containing an appointment of time and place." "Sir, I have orders to read you the cartel, and give it you afterwards." "How, pray!" cried the king, rising up angrily: "doth thy master pretend to introduce new fashions in my kingdom, and give me laws in my own court?" Burgundy, without being put out, began again: "Sir, . . . " "Nay," said Francis, "I will not suffer him to speak to me before he has given me appointment of time and place. Give it me, or return as thou hast come." "Sir, I cannot, without your permission, do my office; if you will not deign to grant it to me, let me have your refusal handed me, and your ratification I of my safe-conduct for my return." "I am quite willing," said the king; "let him have it!" Burgundy set off again for Madrid, and the incident was differently reported by the two courts; but there was no further question of a duel between the two kings.

One would not think of attempting to decide, touching this question of single combat, how far sincerity was on the side of Francis or of Charles. No doubt they were both brave; the former with more brilliancy than his rival, the latter, at need, with quite as much firmness. But in sending challenges one to the other, as they did on this occasion, they were obeying a dying-out code, and rather attempting to keep up chivalrous appearances than to put seriously in practice the precedents of their ancestors. It was no longer a time when the fate of a people could be placed in the hands of a few valiant warriors, such as the three Horatii and the three Curiatii, or the thirty Bretons and thirty English. The era of great nations and great contests was beginning, and one is inclined to believe that Francis I. and Charles V. were themselves aware that their mutual challenges would not come to any personal encounter. The war which continued between them in Italy was not much more serious or decisive; both sides were weary of it, and neither one nor the other of the two sovereigns espied any great chances of success. The French army was wasting itself, in the kingdom of Naples, upon petty, inconclusive engagements; its commander, Lautrec, died of the plague on the 15th of August, 1528; a desire for peace became day by day stronger; it was made, first of all, at Barcelona, on the 20th of June, 1529, between Charles V. and Pope Clement VII.; and then a conference was opened at Cambrai for the purpose of bringing it about between Charles V. and Francis I. likewise. Two women, Francis I.'s mother and Charles V.'s aunt, Louise of Savoy and Margaret of Austria, had the real negotiation of it; they had both of them acquired the good sense and the moderation which come from experience of affairs and from difficulties in life; they did not seek to give one another mutual surprises and to play-off one another reciprocally; they resided in two contiguous houses, between which they had caused a communication to be made on the inside, and they conducted the negotiation with so much discretion, that the petty Italian princes who were interested in it did not know the results of it until peace was concluded on the 5th of August, 1529. Francis I. yielded on all the Italian and Flemish questions; and Charles V. gave up Burgundy, and restored to liberty the King of France's two sons, prisoners at Madrid, in consideration of a ransom put at two millions of crowns and of having the marriage completed between his sister Eleanor and Francis I. King Henry VIII. complained that not much account had been made of him, either during the negotiations or in the treaty; but his discontent was short-lived, and he none the less came to the assistance of Francis I. in the money-questions to which the treaty gave rise. Of the Italian states, Venice was most sacrificed in this accommodation between the kings. "The city of Cambrai," said the doge, Andrew Gritti, "is the purgatory of the Venetians; it is the place where emperors and kings of France make the Republic expiate the sin of having ever entered into alliance with them." Francis went to Bordeaux to meet his sons and his new wife. At Bordeaux, Cognac, Amboise, Blois, and Paris, galas, both at court and amongst the people, succeeded one another for six months; and Europe might consider itself at peace.

The peace of Cambrai was called the ladies' peace, in honor of the two princesses who had negotiated it. Though morally different and of very unequal worth, they both had minds of a rare order, and trained to recognize political necessities, and not to attempt any but possible successes. They did not long survive their work: Margaret of Austria died on the 1st of December, 1530, and Louise of Savoy on the 22d of September, 1531. All the great political actors seemed hurrying away from the stage, as if the drama were approaching its end. Pope Clement VII. died on the 26th of September, 1534. He was a man of sense and moderation; he tried to restore to Italy her independence, but he forgot that a moderate policy is, above all, that which requires most energy and perseverance. These two qualities he lacked totally; he oscillated from one camp to the other without ever having any real influence anywhere. A little before his death he made France a fatal present; for, on the 28th of October, 1533, he married his niece Catherine de' Medici to Francis I.'s second son, Prince Henry of Valois, who by the death of his elder brother, the Dauphin Francis, soon afterwards became heir to the throne. The chancellor, Anthony Duprat, too, the most considerable up to that time amongst the advisers of Francis I., died on the 9th of July, 1535. According to some historians, when he heard, in the preceding year, of Pope Clement VII.'s death, he had conceived a hope, being already Archbishop of Sens, and a cardinal, of succeeding him; and he spoke to the king about it. "Such an election would cost too dear," said Francis I.; "the appetite of cardinals is insatiable; I could not satisfy it." "Sir," replied Duprat, "France will not have to bear the expense; I will provide for it; there are four hundred thousand crowns ready for that purpose." "Where did you get all that money, pray?" asked Francis, turning his back upon him; and next day he caused a seizure to be made of a portion of the chancellor-cardinal's property. "This, then," exclaimed Duprat, "is the king's gratitude towards the minister who has served him body and soul!" "What has the cardinal to complain of?" said the king: "I am only doing to him what he has so often advised me to do to others." [Trois Magestrats Francais du Seizieme Siecle, by Edouard Faye de Brys, 1844, pp. 77-79.] The last of the chancellor's biographers, the Marquis Duprat, one of his descendants, has disputed this story. [Vie d'Antoine Duprat, 1857, p. 364.] However that may be, it is certain that Chancellor Duprat, at his death, left a very large fortune, which the king caused to be seized, and which he partly appropriated. We read in the contemporary Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris [published by Ludovic Lalanne, 1854, p. 460], "When the chancellor was at the point of death, the king sent M. de Bryon, Admiral of France, who had orders to have everything seized and all his property placed in the king's hands. . . . They found in his place at Nantouillet eight hundred thousand crowns, and all his gold and silver plate . . . and in his Hercules-house, close to the Augustins', at Paris, where he used to stay during his life-time, the sum of three hundred thousand livres, which were in coffers bound with iron, and which were carried off by the king for and to his own profit." In the civil as well as in the military class, for his government as well as for his armies, Francis I. had, at this time, to look out for new servants.

He did not find such as have deserved a place in history. After the deaths of Louise of Savoy, of Chancellor Duprat, of La Tremoille, of La Palice, and of all the great warriors who fell at the battle of Pavia, it was still one more friend of Francis I.'s boyhood, Anne de Montmorency, who remained, in council as well as army, the most considerable and the most devoted amongst his servants. In those days of war and discord, fraught with violence, there was no man who was more personally rough and violent than Montmorency. From 1521 to 1541, as often as circumstances became pressing, he showed himself ready for anything and capable of anything in defence of the crown and the re-establishment of order. "Go hang me such a one," he would say, according to Brantome. "Tie you fellow to this tree; give yonder one the pike or arquebuse, and all before my eyes; cut me in pieces all those rascals who chose to hold such a clock-case as this against the king; burn me this village; set me everything a-blaze, for a quarter of a league all round." In 1548, a violent outbreak took place at Bordeaux on account of the gabel or salt-tax; and the king's lieutenant was massacred in it. Anne de Montmorency, whom the king had made constable in 1538, the fifth of his family invested with that dignity, repaired thither at once. "Aware of his coming," says Brantome, "MM. de Bordeaux went two days' journey to meet him and carry him the keys of their city: 'Away, away,' said he, 'with your keys; I will have nothing to do with them; I have others which I am bringing with me, and which will make other sort of opening than yours (meaning his cannon); I will have you all hanged; I will teach you to rebel against your king, and kill his governor and lieutenant.' Which he did not fail to do," adds Brantome, "and inflicted exemplary punishment, but not so severe assuredly as the case required." The narrator, it will be seen, was not more merciful than the constable. Nor was the constable less stern or less thorough in battles than in outbreaks. In 1562, at the battle of Dreux, he was aged and so ill that none expected to see him on horseback. "But in the morning," says Brantome, "knowing that the enemy was getting ready, he, brimful of courage, gets out of bed, mounts his horse, and appears at the moment the march began; whereof I do remember me, for I saw him and heard him, when M. de Guise came forward to meet him to give him good day, and ask how he was. He, fully armed, save only his head, answered him, 'Right well, sir: this is the real medicine that hath cured me for the battle which is toward and a-preparing for the honor of God and our king.'" In spite of this indomitable aptness for rendering the king everywhere the most difficult, nay, the most pitiless services, the Constable de Montmorency none the less incurred, in 1541, the disfavor of Francis I.; private dissensions in the royal family, the intrigues of rivals at court, and the enmity of the king's mistress, the Duchess of Etampes, effaced the remembrance of all he had done and might still do. He did accept his disgrace; he retired first to Chantilly, and then to Ecouen; and there he waited for the dauphin, when he became King Henry II., to recall him to his side and restore to him the power which Francis I., on his very death-bed, had dissuaded his son from giving back. The ungratefulnesses of kings are sometimes as capricious as their favors.

The ladies' peace, concluded at Cambrai in 1529, lasted up to 1536; incessantly troubled, however, by far from pacific symptoms, proceedings, and preparations. In October, 1532, Francis I. had, at Calais, an interview with Henry VIII., at which they contracted a private alliance, and undertook "to raise between them an army of eighty thousand men to resist the Turk, as true zealots for the good of Christendom." The Turks, in fact, under their great sultan, Soliman II., were constantly threatening and invading Eastern Europe. Charles V., as Emperor of Germany, was far more exposed to their attacks and far more seriously disquieted by them than Francis I. and Henry VIII. were; but the peril that hung over him in the East urged him on at the same time to a further development of ambition and strength; in order to defend Eastern Europe against the Turks he required to be dominant in Western Europe; and in that very part of Europe a large portion of the population were disposed to wish for his success, for they required it for their own security. "To read all that was spread abroad hither and thither," says William du Bellay, "it seemed that the said lord the emperor was born into this world to have fortune at his beck and call." Two brothers, Mussulman pirates, known under the name of Barbarossa, had become masters, one of Algiers and the other of Tunis, and were destroying, in the Mediterranean, the commerce and navigation of Christian states. It was Charles V. who tackled them. In 1535 he took Tunis, set at liberty twenty thousand Christian slaves, and remained master of the regency. At the news of this expedition, Francis I., who, in concert with Henry VIII., was but lately levying an army to "offer resistance," he said, "to the Turk," entered into negotiations with Soliman II., and concluded a friendly treaty with him against what was called the common enemy. Francis had been for some time preparing to resume his projects of conquest in Italy; he had effected an interview at Marseilles, in October, 1533, with Pope Clement VII., who was almost at the point of death, and it was there that the marriage of Prince Henry of France with Catherine de' Medici was settled. Astonishment was expressed that the pope's niece had but a very moderate dowry. "You don't see, then," said Clement VII.'s ambassador, "that she brings France three jewels of great price, Genoa, Milan, and Naples?" When this language was reported at the court of Charles V., it caused great irritation there. In 1536 all these combustibles of war exploded; in the month of February, a French army entered Piedmont, and occupied Turin; and, in the month of July, Charles V. in person entered Provence at the head of fifty thousand men. Anne de Montmorency having received orders to defend southern France, began by laying it waste in order that the enemy might not be able to live in it; officers had orders to go everywhere and "break up the bake-houses and mills, burn the wheat and forage, pierce the wine-casks, and ruin the wells by throwing the wheat into them to spoil the water." In certain places the inhabitants resisted the soldiers charged with this duty; elsewhere, from patriotism, they themselves set fire to their corn-ricks and pierced their casks. Montmorency made up his mind to defend, on the whole coast of Provence, only Marseilles and Arles; he pulled down the ramparts of the other towns, which were left exposed to the enemy. For two months Charles V. prosecuted this campaign without a fight, marching through the whole of Provence an army which fatigue, shortness of provisions, sickness, and ambuscades were decimating ingloriously. At last he decided upon retreating. "From Aix to Frejus, where the emperor at his arrival had pitched his camp, all the roads were strewn with the sick and the dead pell-mell, with harness, lances, pikes, arquebuses, and other armor of men and horses gathered in a heap. I say what I saw," adds Martin du Bellay, "considering the toil I had with my company in this pursuit." At the village of Mery, near Frejus, some peasants had shut themselves up in a tower situated on the line of march; Charles V. ordered one of his captains to carry it by assault; from his splendid uniform the peasants, it is said, took this officer for the emperor himself, and directed their fire upon him; the officer, mortally wounded, was removed to Nice, where he died at the end of a few days. It was Garcilaso de la Vega, the prince of Spanish poesy, the Spanish Petrarch, according to his fellow-countrymen. The tower was taken, and Charles V. avenged his poet's death by hanging twenty-five of these patriot-peasants, being all that survived of the fifty who had maintained the defence.

On returning from his sorry expedition, Charles V. learned that those of his lieutenants whom he had charged with the conduct of a similar invasion in the north of France, in Picardy, had met with no greater success than he himself in Provence. Queen Mary of Hungary, his sister and deputy in the government of the Low Countries, advised a local truce; his other sister, Eleanor, the Queen of France, was of the same opinion; Francis I. adopted it; and the truce in the north was signed for a period of three months. Montmorency signed a similar one for Piedmont. It was agreed that negotiations for a peace should be opened at Locate in Roussillon, and that, to pursue them, Francis should go and take up his quarters at Montpellier, and Charles V. at Barcelona. Pope Paul III. (Alexander Farnese), who, on the 13th of October, 1534, had succeeded Clement VII., came forward as mediator. He was a man of capacity, who had the gift of resolutely continuing a moderate course of policy, well calculated to gain time, but insufficient for the settlement of great and difficult questions. The two sovereigns refused to see one another officially; they did not like the idea of discussing together their mutual pretensions, and they were so different in character that, as Marguerite de Valois used to say, "to bring them to accord, God would have had to re-make one in the other's image." They would only consent to treat by agents; and on the 15th of June, 1538, they signed a truce for ten years, rather from weariness of a fruitless war than from any real desire of peace; they, both of them, wanted time to bring them unforeseen opportunities for getting out of their embarrassments. But for all their refusal to take part in set negotiations, they were both desirous of being personally on good terms again, and to converse together without entering into any engagement. Charles V. being forced by contrary winds to touch at the Island of Sainte-Marie, made a proposal to Francis I. for an interview at Aigues Mortes; Francis repaired thither on the 14th of July, 1538, and went, the very same day, in a small galley, to pay a visit to the emperor, who stepped eagerly forward, and held out a hand to him to help him on to the other vessel. Next day, the 15th of July, Charles V., embarking on board one of the king's frigates, went and returned the visit at Aigues-Mortes, where Francis, with his whole court, was awaiting him; after disembarkation at the port they embraced; and Queen Eleanor, glad to see them together, "embraced them both," says an eyewitness, "a round the waist." They entered the town amidst the roar of artillery and the cheers of the multitude, shouting, "Hurrah! for the emperor and the king!" The dauphin, Henry, and his brother Charles, Duke of Orleans, arriving boot and spur from Provence, came up at this moment, shouting likewise, "Hurrah! for the emperor and the king!" "Charles V. dropped on his knees," says the narrator, and embraced the two young princes affectionately. They all repaired together to the house prepared for their reception, and, after dinner, the emperor, being tired, lay down to rest on a couch. Queen Eleanor, before long, went and tapped at his door, and sent word to the king that the emperor was awake. Francis, with the Cardinal de Lorraine and the Constable de Montmorency, soon arrived. On entering the chamber, he found the emperor still lying down and chatting with his sister the queen, who was seated beside him on a chair. At sight of the king Charles V. sprang from the couch and went towards him without any shoes on. "Well, brother," said the king, "how do you feel? Have you rested well?" "Yes," said Charles; "I had made such cheer that I was obliged to sleep it off." "I wish you," said Francis, "to have the same power in France as you have in Flanders and in Spain;" whereupon he gave him, as a mark of affection, a diamond valued at thirty thousand crowns, and having on the ring in which it was set this inscription: "A token and proof of affection" (Dilectionis testis et exemplum). Charles put the ring on his finger; and, taking from his neck the collar of the order (the Golden Fleece) he was wearing, he put it upon the king's neck. Francis did the converse with his own collar. Only seven of the attendants remained in the emperor's chamber; and there the two sovereigns conversed for an hour, after which they moved to the hall, where a splendid supper awaited them. After supper the queen went in person to see if the emperor's room was ready; she came back to tell him when it was, and Charles V. retired. Next morning, July 16, Francis went to see him again in his room; they heard mass together; Charles re-embarked the same day for Spain; Francis I. went and slept, on the 17th, at Nimes; and thus ended this friendly meeting, which left, if not the principal actors, at any rate the people all around, brimful of satisfaction, and feeling sure that the truce concluded in the previous month would really at last be peace. The people are easily deceived; and whenever they are pleased with appearances they readily take them for realities.

An unexpected event occurred to give this friendly meeting at Aigues-Mortes a value which otherwise it would probably never have attained. A year afterwards, in August, 1539, a violent insurrection burst out at Ghent. The fair deputy of the Low Countries had obtained from the estates of Flanders a gratuitous grant of twelve hundred thousand florins for the assistance of her brother the emperor, whom his unfortunate expedition in Provence had reduced to great straits for want of money; and the city of Ghent had been taxed, for its share, to the extent of four hundred thousand florins. The Ghentese pleaded their privilege of not being liable to be taxed without their own consent. To their plea Charles V. responded by citing the vote of the estates of Flanders and giving orders to have it obeyed. The Ghentese drove out the officers of the emperor, entered upon open rebellion, incited the other cities of Flanders, Ypres and Bruges amongst the rest, to join them, and, taking even more decisive action, sent a deputation to Francis I., as their own lord's suzerain, demanding his support, and offering to make him master of the Low Countries if he would be pleased to give them effectual assistance. The temptation was great; but whether it were from prudence or from feudal loyalty, or in consequence of the meeting at Aigues-Mortes, and of the prospects set before him by Charles of an arrangement touching Milaness, Francis rejected the offer of the Ghentese, and informed Charles V. of it. The emperor determined resolutely upon the course of going in person and putting down the Ghentese; but how to get to Ghent? The sea was not safe; the rebels had made themselves masters of all the ports on their coasts; the passage by way of Germany was very slow work, and might be difficult by reason of ill-will on the part of the Protestant states which would have to be traversed. France was the only direct and quick route. Charles V. sent to ask Francis I. for a passage, whilst thanking him for the loyalty with which he had rejected the offers of the Ghentese, and repeating to him the fair words that had been used as to Milaness. Francis announced to his council his intention of granting the emperor's request. Some of his councillors pressed him to annex some conditions, such, at the least, as a formal and written engagement instead of the vague and verbal promises at Aigues-Mortes. "No," said the king, with the impulsiveness of his nature, "when you do a generous thing, you must do it completely and boldly." On leaving the council he met his court-fool Triboulet, whom he found writing in his tablets, called Fools' Diary, the name of Charles V., "A bigger fool than I," said he, "if he comes passing through France." "What wilt thou say, if I let him pass?" said the king. "I will rub out his name and put yours in its place." Francis I. was not content with letting Charles V. pass; he sent his two sons, the dauphin and the Duke of Orleans, as far as Bayonne to meet him, went in person to receive him at Chatellerault, and gave him entertainments at Amboise, at Blois, at Chambord, at Orleans, and Fontainebleau, and lastly at Paris, which they entered together on the 1st of January, 1540. Orders had been sent everywhere to receive him "as kings of France are received on their joyous accession." "The king gave his guest," says Du Bellay, "all the pleasures that can be invented, as royal hunts, tourneys, skirmishes, fights a-foot and a-horseback, and in all other sorts of pastimes." Some petty incidents, of a less reassuring kind, were intermingled with these entertainments. One day the Duke of Orleans, a young prince full of reckless gayety, jumped suddenly on to the crupper of the emperor's horse, and threw his arms round Charles, shouting, "Your Imperial Majesty is my prisoner." Charles set off at a gallop, without turning his head.

Another day the king's favorite, the Duchess of Etampes, was present with the two monarchs. "Brother," said Francis, "you see yonder a fair dame who is of opinion that I should not let you out of Paris without your having revoked the treaty of Madrid." "Ah! well," said Charles, "if the opinion is a good one, it must be followed." Such freedom of thought and speech is honorable to both sovereigns. Charles V., impressed with the wealth and cheerful industry that met his eye, said, according to Brantome, "There is not in the world any greatness such as that of a King of France." After having passed a week at Paris he started for the Low Countries, halted at Chantilly, at the Constable de Montmorency's, who, as well as the king's two sons, the dauphin and the Duke of Orleans, was in attendance upon him, and did not separate from his escort of French royalty until he arrived at Valenciennes, the first town in his Flemish dominions. According to some historians there had been at Chantilly, amongst the two young princes and their servants, some idea of seizing the emperor and detaining him until he had consented to the concessions demanded of him; others merely say that the constable, before leaving him, was very urgent with him that he should enter into some positive engagement as to Milaness. "No," said Charles, "I must not bind myself any more than I have done by my words as long as I am in your power; when I have chastised my rebellious subjects I will content your king."

He did chastise, severely, his Flemish subjects, but he did not content the King of France. Francis I. was not willing to positively renounce his Italian conquests, and Charles V. was not willing to really give them up to him. Milaness was still, in Italy, the principal object of their mutual ambition. Navarre, in the south-east of France, and the Low Countries in the north, gave occasion for incessantly renewed disputes between them. The two sovereigns sought for combinations which would allow them to make, one to the other, the desired concessions, whilst still preserving pretexts for and chances of recovering them. Divers projects of marriage between their children or near relatives were advanced with that object, but nothing came of them; and, after two years and a half of abortive negotiations, another great war, the fourth, broke out between Francis I. and Charles V., for the same causes and with the same by-ends as ever. It lasted two years, from 1542 to 1544, with alternations of success and reverse on either side, and several diplomatic attempts to embroil in it the different European powers. Francis I. concluded an alliance in 1543 with Sultan Soliman II., and, in concert with French vessels, the vessels of the pirate Barbarossa cruised about and made attacks upon the shores of the Mediterranean. An outcry was raised against such a scandal as this. "Sir Ambassador," said Francis I. to Marino Giustiniano, ambassador from Venice, "I cannot deny that I eagerly desire to see the Turk very powerful and ready for war; not on his own account, for he is an infidel and all we are Christians, but in order to cripple the power of the emperor, to force him into great expense, and to give all other governments security against so great an enemy." "As for me," says the contemporary Montluc in his Memoires, "if I could summon all the spirits of hell to break the head of my enemy who would fain break mine, I would do it with all my heart, God forgive me!" On the other hand, on the 11th of February, 1543, Charles V. and Henry VIII., King of England, concluded an alliance against Francis I. and the Turks. The unsuccess which had attended the grand expedition conducted by Charles V. personally in 1541, with the view of attacking Barbarossa and the Mussulmans in Algiers itself, had opened his eyes to all the difficulty of such enterprises, and he wished to secure the co-operation of a great maritime power before engaging therein afresh. He at the same time convoked a German diet at Spires in order to make a strong demonstration against the alliance between Francis I. and the Turks, and to claim the support of Germany in the name of Christendom. Ambassadors from the Duke of Savoy and the King of Denmark appeared in support of the propositions and demands of Charles V. The diet did not separate until it had voted twenty-four thousand foot and four thousand horse to be employed against France, and had forbidden Germans, under severe penalties, to take service with Francis I. In 1544 the war thus became almost European, and in the early days of April two armies were concentrated in Piedmont, near the little town of Ceresole, the Spanish twenty thousand strong and the French nineteen thousand; the former under the orders of the Marquis del Guasto, the latter under those of the Count d'Enghien; both ready to deliver a battle which was, according to one side, to preserve Europe from the despotic sway of a single master, and, according to the other, to protect Europe against a fresh invasion of Mussulmans.

Francis of Bourbon, Count d'Enghien, had received from the king a prohibition to give battle. He was believed to be weaker than the Marquis del Guasto, who showed eagerness to deliver it. Convinced that such a position was as demoralizing as it was disagreeable for him, the young Count d'Enghien sent a valiant and intelligent gentleman, Blaise de Montluc, who had already had experience in the great wars of the reign, to carry his representations to the king. Francis I. summoned the messenger to a meeting of the council, at which the dauphin, Henry, stood behind his father's chair. "Montluc," said the king, "I wish you to return and report my deliberation and the opinion of my council to M. d'Enghien, and to listen here to the difficulty that stands in the way of our being able to grant him leave to give battle, as he demands." The Count de St. Pol spoke and set forth the reasons the king had for not desiring battle; and the end of them all was that there was a chance of losing, which would be a matter for regret beyond all comparison with the advantage to be gained from winning. "I stamped with impatience to speak," says Montluc, "and would have broken in; but M. de St. Pol made me a sign with his hand, saying, 'Quiet! quiet!' which made me hold my tongue, and I saw that the king set on a-laughing. Then he told me that he wished me to say freely what I thought about it. 'I consider myself most happy, sir,' said I, 'for when you were dauphin, and before you were called to this great charge which God hath given you, you tried the fortune of war as much as any king that ever hath been in France, without sparing your own person any more than the meanest gentleman. Well, a soldier-king is the only one I can address.' The dauphin, who was facing me," continued Montluc, "made me a sign with his head, which caused me to think that he wished me to speak boldly. Then said I, 'Sir, I count that there will be forty-five hundred or forty-six hundred of us Gascons, all told; and all of us, captains and soldiers, will give you our names and the places whence we come, and will stake our heads that we will fight on the day of battle, if it should please you to grant it. It is a matter that we have been awaiting and desiring this long while, without much taking of counsel; be assured, sir, there are not more resolute soldiers than yonder. There are, besides, thirteen companies of Swiss, who will give you the same pledge as we who are your subjects; and we will hand in to you the names of them all for to be sent to their cantons in order that, if there be any who shall not do his duty, he may die. You have thus nine thousand men and more of whom you may be certain that they will fight to the last gasp of their lives. As for the Italians and Provencals, I will not answer to you for them; but perhaps they will all do as well as we, when they see us getting to work;' and then I raised my arm up, as if to strike, whereat the king smiled. Sir,' said I, 'I have heard from wise captains that it is not the great number that wins, but the stout heart; on a day of battle, a moiety doth not fight at all. We desire no more; leave it to us.' The king, who had very favorably listened to me, and who took pleasure in seeing my impatience, turned his eyes towards M. de St. Pol, who said, 'Sir, would you change your opinion at the words of this madcap, who has no thought for the calamity it would be if we were to lose the battle? It is a matter too important to be left for settlement to the brains of a young Gascon.' I answered him, 'Sir, let me assure you that I am no braggart, nor so hare-brained as you consider me. All we have to do is not to go and attack the enemy in a stronghold, as we did at La Bicocca; but M. d'Enghien has too many good and veteran captains about him to commit such an error. The only question will be to find means of coming at them in open country, where there is neither hedge nor ditch to keep us from setting to work; and then, sir, you shall hear talk of the most furious fights that ever were. I do entreat you most humbly, sir, to admit no thought of anything but a victory.' The dauphin," continues Montluc, "went on more and more smiling, and making signs to me, which gave me still greater boldness in speaking. All the rest spoke and said that the king must not place any reliance upon my words. Admiral d'Annebaut said not a syllable, but smiled; I suppose he had seen the signs the dauphin was making to me. M. de St. Pol turns to speak to the king, and says, 'How, sir! You seem disposed to change your opinion, and listen to the words of this rabid madman!' To whom the king replied, 'On my honor as a gentleman, cousin, he has given me such great and clear reasons, and has represented to me so well the good courage of my men, that I know not what to do.' 'I see quite well,' said the Lord of St. Pol, 'that you have already turned round.' Whereupon the king, addressing the admiral, asked him what he thought about it. 'Sir,' answered the admiral, 'you have a great mind to give them leave to fight. I will not be surety to you, if they fight, for gain or loss, since God alone can know about that; but I will certainly pledge you my life and my honor that all they whom he has mentioned to you will fight, and like good men and true, for I know what they are worth from having commanded them. Only do one thing; we know well that you are half brought round and inclined rather to fighting than the contrary; make, then, your prayer to God, and entreat Him to be pleased this once to aid you and counsel you as to what you ought to do.' Then the king lifted his eyes towards heaven, and, clasping his hands and throwing his cap upon the table, said, 'O God, I entreat Thee that it may please Thee to this day give me counsel as to what I ought to do for the preservation of my kingdom, and that all may be to Thy honor and glory!' Whereupon the admiral asked him, 'Sir, what opinion occurs to you now?' The king, after pausing a little, turned towards me, saying, with a sort of shout, 'Let them fight! let them fight!' 'Well, then, there is no more to be said,' replied the admiral; 'if you lose, you alone will be the cause of the loss; and, if you win, in like manner; and you, all alone, will have the satisfaction of it, you alone having given the leave.' Then the king and every one rose up, and, as for me, I tingled with joy. His Majesty began talking with the admiral about my despatch and about giving orders for the pay which was in arrears. And M. de St. Pol accosted me, saying with a laugh, 'Rabid madman, thou wilt be cause of the greatest weal that could happen to the king, or of the greatest woe.'"

Montluc's boldness and Francis I.'s confidence in yielding to it were not unrewarded. The battle was delivered at Ceresole on the 14th of April, 1544; it was bravely disputed and for some time indecisive, even in the opinion of the anxious Count d'Enghien, who was for a while in an awkward predicament; but the ardor of the Gascons and the firmness of the Swiss prevailed, and the French army was victorious. Montluc was eagerly desirous of being commissioned to go and carry to the king the news of the victory which he had predicted and to which he had contributed; but another messenger had the preference; and he does not, in his Memoires, conceal his profound discontent; but he was of those whom their discontent does not dishearten, and he continued serving his king and his country with such rigorous and stubborn zeal as was destined hereafter, in the reign of Henry III., to make him Marshal of France at last. He had to suffer a disappointment more serious than that which was personal to himself; the victory of Ceresole had not the results that might have been expected. The war continued; Charles V. transferred his principal efforts therein to the north, on the frontiers of the Low Countries and France, having concluded an alliance with Henry VIII. for acting in concert and on the offensive. Champagne and Picardy were simultaneously invaded by the Germans and the English; Henry VIII. took Boulogne; Charles V. advanced as far as Chateau-Thierry and threatened Paris. Great was the consternation there; Francis I. hurried up from Fontainebleau and rode about the streets, accompanied by the Duke of Guise, and everywhere saying, "If I cannot keep you from fear, I will keep you from harm." "My God," he had exclaimed, as he started from Fontainebleau, "how dear Thou sellest me my kingdom!" The people recovered courage and confidence; they rose in a body; forty thousand armed militiamen defiled, it is said, before the king. The army arrived by forced marches, and took post between Paris and Chateau-Thierry.

Charles V. was not rash; he fell back to Crespy in Laonness, some few leagues from his Low Countries. Negotiations were opened; and Francis I., fearing least Henry VIII., being master of Boulogne, should come and join Charles V., ordered his negotiator, Admiral d'Annebaut, to accept the emperor's offers, "for fear lest he should rise higher in his demands when he knew that Boulogne was in the hands of the King of England." The demands were hard, but a little less so than those made in 1540; Charles V. yielded on some special points, being possessed beyond everything with the desire of securing Francis I.'s co-operation in the two great contests he was maintaining, against the Turks in eastern Europe and against the Protestants in Germany. Francis I. conceded everything in respect of the European policy in order to retain his rights over Milaness and to recover the French towns on the Somme. Peace was signed at Crespy on the 18th of September, 1544; and it was considered so bad an one that the dauphin thought himself bound to protest, first of all secretly before notaries and afterwards at Fontainebleau, on the 12th of December, in the presence of three princes of the royal house. This feeling was so general that several great bodies, amongst others the Parliament of Toulouse (on the 22d of January, 1545), followed the dauphin's example.

Francis I. was ill, saddened, discouraged, and still he thought of nothing but preparing for a fifth great campaign against Charles V. Since his glorious victory at Melegnano in the beginning of his reign, fortune had almost invariably forsaken his policy and all his enterprises, whether of war or of diplomacy; but, falling at one time a victim to the defects of his mind and character, and being at another hurried away by his better qualities and his people's sympathy, he took no serious note of the true causes or the inevitable consequences of his reverses, and realized nothing but their outward and visible signs, whilst still persisting in the same hopeful illusions and the same ways of government. Happily for the lustre of his reign and the honor of his name, he had desires and tastes independent of the vain and reckless policy practised by him with such alternations of rashness and feebleness as were more injurious to the success of his designs than to his personal renown, which was constantly recovering itself through the brilliancy of his courage, the generous though superficial instincts of his soul, and the charm of a mind animated by a sincere though ill-regulated sympathy for all the beautiful works of mankind in literature, science, and art, and for all that does honor and gives embellishment to the life of human beings.

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