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A Popular History of France Vol 5
by Guizot, Francois Pierre Guillaume

Cardinal Richelieu has often been accused of indifference towards the Catholic church; the ultramontanes called him the Huguenots' cardinal; in so speaking there was either a mistake or a desire to mislead; Richelieu was all his life profoundly and sincerely Catholic; not only did no doubt as to the fundamental doctrines of his church trouble his mind, but he also gave his mind to her security and her aggrandizement. He was a believer on conviction, without religious emotions and without the mystic's zeal; he labored for Catholicism whilst securing for himself Protestant alliances, and if the independence of his mind caused him to feel the necessity for a reformation, it was still in the church and by the church that he would have had it accomplished.

Spirits more fervent and minds more pious than Richelieu's felt the same need. On emerging from the violent struggles of the religious wars, the Catholic church had not lost her faith, but she had neglected sweetness and light. King Henry IV.'s conversion had secured to her the victory in France, but she was threatened with letting it escape from her hands by her own fault. God raised up for her some great servents who preserved her from this danger.

The oratorical and political brilliancy of the Catholic church in the reign of Louis XIV. has caused men to forget the great religious movement in the reign of Louis XIII. Learned and mystic in the hands of Cardinal Berulle, humane and charitable with St. Vincent de Paul, bold and saintly with M. de Saint Cyran, the church underwent from all quarters quickening influences which roused her from her dangerous lethargy.

The effort was attempted at all points at once. The priests had sunk into an ignorance as perilous as their lukewarmness. Mid all the diplomatic negotiations which he undertook in Richelieu's name, and the intrigues he, with the queen-mother, often hatched against him, Cardinal Berulle founded the congregation of the Oratory, designed to train up well-informed and pious young priests with a capacity for devoting themselves to the education of children as well as the edification of the people. "It is a body," said Bossizet, "in which everybody obeys and nobody commands." No vow fettered the members of this celebrated congregation, which gave to the world Malebranche and Massillon. It was, again, under the inspiration of Cardinal Berulle, renowned for the pious direction of souls, that the order of Carmelites, hitherto confined to Spain, was founded in France. The convent in Rue St. Jacques soon numbered amongst its penitents women of the highest rank.

The labors of Mgr. de Berulle tended especially to the salvation of individual souls; those of St. Vincent de Paul embraced a vaster field, and one offering more scope to Christian humanity. Some time before, in 1610, St. Francis de Sales had founded, under the direction of Madame de Chantal, the order of Visitation, whose duty was the care of the sick and poor; he had left the direction of his new institution to M. Vincent, as was at that time the appellation of the poor priest without birth and without fortune, who was one day to be celebrated throughout the world under the name of St. Vincent de Paul. This direction was not enough to satisfy his zeal for charity; children and sick, the ignorant and the convict, all those who suffered in body or spirit, seemed to summon M. Vincent to their aid; he founded in 1617, in a small parish of Bresse, the charitable society of Servants of the poor, which became in 1633, at Paris, under the direction of Madame Legras, niece of the keeper of the seals Marillac, the sisterhood off Servants of the sick poor, and the cradle of the Sisters of Charity. "They shall not have, as a regular rule," said St. Vincent, "any monastery but the houses of the sick, any chapel but their parish-church, any cloister but the streets of the town and the rooms of the hospitals, any enclosure but obedience, any grating but the fear of God, or any veil but the holiest and most perfect modesty." Eighteen thousand daughters of St. Vincent de Paul, of whom fourteen thousand are French, still testify at this day to the far-sighted wisdom of their founder; his regulations have endured like his work and the necessities of the poor.

It was to the daughters of Charity that M. Vincent confided the work in connection with foundlings, when his charitable impulses led him, in 1638, to take up the cause of the poor little abandoned things who were perishing by heaps at that time in Paris. Appealing for help, on their account, to the women of the world, one evening when he was in want of money, he exclaimed at the house of the Duchess of Aiguillon, Cardinal Richelieu's niece, "Come now, ladies; compassion and charity have made you adopt these, little creatures as your own children; you have been their mothers according to grace, since their mothers according to nature have abandoned them. Consider, then, whether you too will abandon them; their life and their death are in your hands; it is time to pronounce their sentence, and know whether you will any longer have pity upon them. They will live if you continue to take a charitable care of them; they will die and perish infallibly if you abandon them." St. Vincent de Paul had confidence in human nature, and everywhere on his path sprang up good works in response to his appeals; the foundation of Mission-priests or Lazarists, designed originally to spread about in the rural districts the knowledge of God, still testifies in the East, whither they carry at one and the same time the Gospel and the name of France, to that great awakening of Christian charity which signalized the reign of Louis XIII. The same inspiration created the seminary of St. Sulpice, by means of M. Olier's solicitude, the brethren of Christian Doctrine and the Ursulines, devoted to the education of childhood, and so many other charitable or pious establishments, noble fruits of devoutness and Christian sacrifice.

Nowhere was this fructuating idea of the sacrifice, the immolation of man for God and of the present in prospect of eternity, more rigorously understood and practised than amongst the disciples of John du Vergier de Hauranne, Abbot of St. Cyran. More bold in his conceptions than Cardinal Berulle and St. Vincent de Paul, of a nature more austere and at the same time more ardent, he had early devoted himself to the study of theology. Connected in his youth with a Fleming, Jansen, known under the name of Jansenius and afterwards created Bishop of Ypres, he adopted with fervor the doctrines as to the grace of God which his friend had imbibed in the school of St. Augustin, and employing in the direction of souls that zealous ardor which makes conquerors, he set himself to work to regenerate the church by penance, sanctity, and sacrifice; God supreme, reigning over hearts subdued, that was his ultimate object, and he marched towards it without troubling himself about revolts and sufferings, certain that he would be triumphant with God and for Him.

Victories gained over souls are from their very nature of a silent sort: but M. de St. Cyran was not content with them. He wrote also, and his book "Petrus Aurelius," published under the veil of the anonymous, excited a great stir by its defence of the rights of the bishops against the monks, and even against the pope. The Gallican bishops welcomed at that time with lively satisfaction, its eloquent pleadings in favor of their cause. But, at a later period, the French clergy discovered in St. Cyran's book free-thinking concealed under dogmatic forms. "In case of heresy any Christian may become judge," said Petrus Aurelius. Who, then, should be commissioned to define heresy? So M. de St. Cyran was condemned.

He had been already by an enemy more formidable than the assemblies of the clergy of France. Cardinal Richelieu, naturally attracted towards greatness as he was at a later period towards the infant prodigy of the Pascals, had been desirous of attaching St. Cyran to himself. "Gentlemen," said he one day, as he led back the simple priest into the midst of a throng of his courtiers, "here you see the most learned man in Europe." But the Abbot of St. Cyran would accept no yoke but God's: he remained independent, and perhaps hostile, pursuing, without troubling himself about the cardinal, the great task he had undertaken. Having had, for two years past, the spiritual direction of the convent of Port Royal, he had found in Mother Angelica Arnauld, the superior and reformer of the monastery, in her sister, Mother Agnes, and in the nuns of their order, souls worthy of him and capable of tolerating his austere instructions.

Before long he had seen forming, beside Port Royal and in the solitude of the fields, a nucleus of penitents, emulous of the hermits of the desert. M. Le Maitre, Mother Angelica's nephew, a celebrated advocate in the Parliament of Paris, had quitted all "to have no speech but with God." A howling (rugissant) penitent, he had drawn after him his brothers, MM. de Sacy and de Sericourt, and, ere long, young Lancelot, the learned author of Greek roots: all steeped in the rigors of penitential life, all blindly submissive to M. de St. Cyran and his saintly requirements. The director's power over so many eminent minds became too great. Richelieu had comprehended better than the bishops the tendency of M. de St. Cyran's ideas and writings. "He continued to publish many opinions, new and leading to dangerous conclusions," says Father Joseph in his Memoires, "in such sort that the king, being advertised, commanded him to be kept a prisoner in the Bois de Vincennes." "That man is worse than six armies," said Cardinal Richelieu; "if Luther and, Calvin had been shut up when they began to dogmatize, states would have been spared a great deal of trouble."

The consciences of men and the ardor of their souls are not so easily stifled by prison or exile. The Abbot of St. Cyran, in spite of the entreaties of his powerful friends, remained at Vincennes up to the death of Cardinal Richelieu; the seclusionists of Port Royal were driven from their retreat and obliged to disperse; but neither the severities of Richelieu, nor, at a later period, those of Louis XIV., were the true cause of the ultimate powerlessness of Jansenism to bring about that profound reformation of the church which had been the dream of the Abbot of St. Cyran. He had wished to immolate sinful man to God, and he regarded sanctity as the complete sacrifice of human nature corrupt to its innermost core. Human conscience could not accept this cruel yoke; its liberty revolted against so narrow a prison; and the Protestant reformation, with a doctrine as austere as that of M. de St. Cyran, but more true and more simple in its practical application, offered strong minds the satisfaction of direct and personal relations between God and man; it saw the way to satisfy them without crushing them; and that is why the kingly power in France succeeded in stifling Jansenism without having ever been able to destroy the Protestant faith.

Cardinal Richelieu dreaded the doctrines of M. de St. Cyran, and still more those of the reformation, which went directly to the emancipation of souls; but he had the wit to resist ecclesiastical encroachments, and, for all his being a cardinal, never did minister maintain more openly the independence of the civil power. "The king, in things temporal, recognizes no sovereign save God." That had always been the theory of the Gallican church. "The church of France is in the kingdom, and not the kingdom in the church," said the jurisconsult Loyseau, thus subjecting ecclesiastics to the common law of all citizens.

The French clergy did not understand it so; they had recourse to the liberties of the Gallican church in order to keep up a certain measure of independence as regarded Rome, but they would not give up their ancient privileges, and especially the right of taking an independent share in the public necessities without being taxed as a matter of law and obligation. Here it was that Cardinal Richelieu withstood them: he maintained that, the ecclesiastics and the brotherhoods not having the right to hold property in France by mortmain, the king tolerated their possession, of his grace, but he exacted the payment of seignorial dues. The clergy at that time possessed more than a quarter of the property in France; the tax to be paid amounted, it is said, to eighty millions. The subsidies further demanded reached a total of eight millions six hundred livres.

The clergy in dismay wished to convoke an assembly to determine their conduct; and after a great deal of difficulty it was authorized by the cardinal. Before long he intimated to the five prelates who were most hostile to him that they must quit the assembly and retire to their dioceses. "There are," said the Bishop of Autun, who was entirely devoted to Richelieu, "some who show great delicacy about agreeing to all that the king demands, as if they had a doubt whether all the property of the church belonged to him or not, and whether his Majesty, leaving the ecclesiastics wherewithal to provide for their subsistence and a moderate establishment, could not take all the surplus." That sort of doctrine would never do for the clergy; still they consented to pay five millions and a half, the sum to which the minister lowered his pretensions. "The wants of the state," said Richelieu, "are real; those of the church are fanciful and arbitrary; if the king's armies had not repulsed the enemy, the clergy would have suffered far more."

Whilst the cardinal imposed upon the French clergy the obligations common to all subjects, he defended the kingly power and majesty against the Ultramoutanes, and especially against the Jesuits. Several of their pamphlets had already been censured by his order when Father Sanctarel published a treatise on heresy and schism, clothed with the pope's approbation, and containing, amongst other dangerous propositions, the following: "The pope can depose emperor and kings for their iniquities or for personal incompetence, seeing that he has a sovereign, supreme, and absolute power." The work was referred to the Parliament, who ordered it to be burned in Place de Greve; there was talk of nothing less than the banishment of the entire order.

Father Cotton, superior of the French Jesuits, was summoned to appear before the council; he gave up Father Sanctarel unreservedly, making what excuse he best could for the approbation of the pope and of the general of the Jesuits. The condemnation of the work was demanded, and it was signed by sixteen French fathers. The Parliament was disposed to push the matter farther, when Richelieu, always as prudent as he was firm in his relations with this celebrated order, represented to the king that there are "certain abuses which are more easily put down by passing them over than by resolving to destroy them openly, and that it was time to take care lest proceedings should be carried to a point which might be as prejudicial to his service as past action had been serviceable to it." The Jesuits remained in France, and their college at Clermont was not closed; but they published no more pamphlets against the cardinal. They even defended him at need.

Richelieu's grand quarrel with the clergy was nearing its end when the climax was reached of a disagreement with the court of Rome, dating from some time back. The pope had never forgiven the cardinal for not having accepted his mediation in the affair with Spain on the subject of the Valteline; he would not accede to the desire which Richelieu manifested to become legate of the Holy See in France, as Cardinal d'Amboise had been; and when Marshal d'Estrees arrived as ambassador at Rome, his resolute behavior brought the misunderstanding to a head: the pope refused the customary funeral honors to Cardinal La Valette, who had died in battle, without dispensation, at the head of the king's army in Piedmont. Richelieu preserved appearances no longer; the king refused to receive the pope's nuncio, and prohibited the bishops from any communication with him. The quarrel was envenomed by a pamphlet called Optatus Gallus. The cardinal's enemies represented him as a new Luther ready to excite a schism and found a patriarchate in France. Father Rabardeau, of the Jesuits' order, maintained, in reply, that the act would not be schismatical, and that the consent of Rome would be no more necessary to create a patriarchate in France than it had been to establish those of Constantinople and Jerusalem.

Urban VIII. took fright; he sent to France Julius Mazarin, at that time vice-legate, and already frequently employed in the negotiations between the court of Rome and Cardinal Richelieu, who had taken a great fancy to him. The French clergy had just obtained authority to vote the subsidy in an assembly; and the pope contented himself with this feeble concession. Mazarin put the finishing touch to the reconciliation, and received as recompense the cardinal's hat. In fact, the victory of the civil power was complete, and the independence of the crown clearly established. "His Holiness," said the cardinal, "ought to commend the zeal shown by his Majesty for the welfare of the church, and to remain satisfied with the respect shown him by an appeal to his authority which his Majesty might have dispensed with in this matter, having his Parliaments to fall back upon for the chastisement of those who lived evilly in his kingdom." In principle, the supreme question between the court of Rome and the kingly power remained undecided, and it showed wisdom on the part of Urban VIII., as well as of Cardinal Richelieu, never to fix fundamentally and within their exact limits the rights and pretensions of the church or the crown.

Cardinal Richelieu had another battle to deliver, and another victory, which was to be more decisive, to gain. During his exile at Avignon, he had written against the Reformers, violently attacking their doctrines and their precepts; he was, therefore, personally engaged in the theological strife, and more hotly than has been made out; but he was above everything a great politician, and the rebellion of the Reformers, their irregular political assemblies, their alliances with the foreigner, occupied him, far more than their ministers' preaching. It was state within state that the reformers were seeking to found, and that the cardinal wished to upset. Seconded by the Prince of Conde, the king had put an end to the war which cost the life of the constable De Luynes, but the peace concluded at Montpellier on the 19th of November, 1622, had already received many a blow; pacific counsels amongst the Reformers were little by little dying out together with the old servants of Henry IV.; Du Plessis-Mornay had lately died (November 11, 1623) at his castle of Foret-sur-Sevres, and the direction of the party fell entirely into the hands of the Duke of Rohan, a fiery temper and soured by misfortunes as well as by continual efforts made on the part of his brother, the Duke of Soubise, more restless and less earnest than he. Hostilities broke out afresh at the beginning of the year 1625. The Reformers complained that, instead of demolishing Fort Louis, which commanded La Rochelle, all haste was being made to complete the ramparts they had hoped to see razed to the ground: a small royal fleet mustered quietly at Le Blavet, and threatened to close the sea against the Rochellese. The peace of Montpellier had left the Protestants only two surety-places, Montauban and La Rochelle; and they clung to them with desperation. On the 6th of January, 1625, Soubise suddenly entered the harbor of Le Blavet with twelve vessels, and seizing without a blow the royal ships, towed them off in triumph to La Rochelle—a fatal success, which was to cost that town dear.

The royal marine had hardly an existence; after the capture made by Soubise, help had to be requested from England and Holland; the marriage of Henrietta of France, daughter of Henry IV., with the Prince of Wales, who was soon to become Charles I., was concluded; the English promised eight ships; the treaties with the United Provinces obliged the Hollanders to supply twenty, which they would gladly have refused to send against their brethren, if they could; the cardinal even required that the ships should be commanded by French captains. "One lubber may ruin a whole fleet," said he, "and a captain of a ship, if assured by the enemy of payment for his vessel, may undertake to burn the whole armament, and that the more easily inasmuch as he would think he was making a grand sacrifice to God, for the sake of his religion."

Meanwhile, Soubise had broken through the feeble obstacles opposed to him by the Duke of Vendome, and, making himself master of all the trading-vessels he encountered, soon took possession of the Islands of Re and Oleron and effected descents even into Medoc, whilst the Duke of Rohan, leaving the duchess his wife, Sully's daughter, at Castres, where he had established the seat of his government, was scouring Lower Languedoc and the Cevennes to rally his partisans. The insurrection was very undecided, and the movement very irregular. Nimes, Uzes, and Alais closed their gates; even Montauban hesitated a long while before declaring itself. The Duke of Epernon ravaged the outskirts of that place. "At night," writes his secretary, "might be seen a thousand fires. Wheat, fruit trees, vines, and houses were the food that fed the flames." Marshal Themine did the same all round Castres, defended by the Duchess of Rohan.

There were negotiations, nevertheless, already. Rohan and Soubise demanded to be employed against Spain in the Valteline, claiming the destruction of Fort Louis; parleys mitigated hostilities; the Duke of Soubise obtained a suspension of arms from the Dutch Admiral Haustein, and then, profiting by a favorable gust of wind, approached the fleet, set fire to the admiral's ship, and captured five vessels, which he towed off to the Island of Re. But he paid dear for his treachery: the Hollanders, in their fury, seconded with more zeal the efforts of the Duke of Montmorency, who had just taken the command of the squadron; the Island of Re was retaken and Soubise obliged to retreat in a shallop to Oleron, leaving for "pledge his sword and his hat, which dropped off in his flight." Nor was the naval fight more advantageous for Soubise. "The battle was fierce, but the enemy had the worst," says Richelieu in his Memoires: "night coming on was favorable to their designs; nevertheless, they were so hotly pursued, that on the morrow, at daybreak, eight of their vessels were taken." Soubise sailed away to England with the rest of his fleet, and the Island of Oleron surrendered.

The moment seemed to have come for crushing La Rochelle, deprived of the naval forces that protected it; but the cardinal, still at grips with Spain in the Valteline, was not sure of his allies before La Rochelle. In Holland all the churches echoed with reproaches hurled by the preachers against states that gave help against their own brethren to Catholics; at Amsterdam the mob had besieged the house of Admiral Haustein; and the Dutch fleet had to be recalled. The English Protestants were not less zealous; the Duke of Soubise had been welcomed with enthusiasm, and, though Charles I., now King of England and married, had refused to admit the fugitive to his presence, he would not restore to Louis XIII. the vessels, captured from that king and his subjects, which Soubise had brought over to Portsmouth.

The game was not yet safe; and Richelieu did not allow himself to be led astray by the anger of fanatics who dubbed him State Cardinal. "The cardinal alone, to whom God gave the blessedness of serving the king and restoring to his kingdom its ancient lustre, and to his person the power and authority meet for royal Majesty which is the next Majesty after the divine, saw in his mind the means of undoing all those tangles, clearing away all those mists, and emerging to the honor of his master from all those confusions." [Memoires de Richelieu, t. iv. p. 2.]

Marshal Bassompierre was returning from his embassy to Switzerland, having secured the alliance of the Thirteen Cantons in the affair of the Valteline, when it was noised abroad that peace with Spain was signed. Count du Fargis, it was said, had, in an excess of zeal, taken upon himself to conclude without waiting for orders from Paris. Bassompierre was preparing a grand speech against this unexpected peace, but during the night he reflected that the cardinal had perhaps been not so much astonished as he would have made out. "I gave up my speech," says he, "and betook myself to my jubilee."

The Huguenots, on their side, yielded at the entreaties of the ambassadors who had been sent by the English to France, "with orders to beg the Rochellese to accept the peace which the king had offered them," and who omitted neither arguments nor threats in order to arrive at that conclusion; whence it came to pass that, by a course of conduct full of unwonted dexterity, the Huguenots were brought to consent to peace for fear of that with Spain, and the Spaniards to make peace for fear of that with the Huguenots.

The greatest difficulty the cardinal had to surmount was in the king's council; he was not ignorant that by getting peace made with the Huguenots, and showing him that he was somewhat inclined to favor their cause with the king, he might expose himself to the chance of getting into bad odor at Rome. But in no other way could he arrive at his Majesty's ends. His cloth made him suspected by the Huguenots; it was necessary, therefore, to behave so that they should think him favorable to them, for by so doing he found means of waiting more conveniently for an opportunity of reducing them to the terms to which all subjects ought to be reduced in a state, that is to say, inability to form any separate body, and liability to accept their sovereign's wishes.

"It was a grievous thing for him to bear, to see himself so unjustly suspected at the court of Rome, and by those who affected the name of zealous Catholics; but he resolved to take patiently the rumors that were current about him, apprehending that if he had determined to clear himself of them effectually, he might not find that course of advantage to his master or the public."

The cardinal, in fact, took it patiently, revising and then confirming the treaty with Spain, and imposing on the Huguenots a peace so hard, that they would never have accepted it but for the hope of obtaining at a later period some assuagements, with the help of England, which refused formally to help them to carry on the war. At the first parleys the king had said, "I am disposed enough towards peace; I am willing to grant it to Languedoc and the other provinces. As for La Rochelle, that is another thing." [Memoires de Richelieu, t. iii.] It was ultimately La Rochelle that paid the expenses of the war, biding the time when the proud city, which had resisted eight kings in succession, would have to succumb before Louis XIII. and his all-powerful minister. Already her independence was threatened on all sides; the bastions and new fortifications had to be demolished; no armed vessel of war might be stationed in her harbor. "The way was at last open," said the cardinal, "to the extermination of the Huguenot party, which, for a hundred years past, had divided the kingdom." [Memoires de Richelieu, t. iii. p. 17.]

The peace of 1626, then, was but a preliminary to war. Richelieu was preparing for it by land and sea; vessels of war were being built, troops were being levied; and the temper of England furnished a pretext for commencing the struggle. King Charles I., at the instigation of his favorite the Duke of Buckingham, had suddenly and unfeelingly dismissed the French servants of the queen his wife, without giving her even time to say good by to them, insomuch that "the poor princess, hearing their voices in the court-yard, dashed to the window, and, breaking the glass with her head, clung with her hands to the bars to show herself to her women and take the last look at them. The king indignantly dragged her back with so great an effort that he tore her hands right away." Louis XIII. had sent Marshal Bassompierre to England to complain of the insult done to his sister; the Duke of Buckingham wished to go in person to France to arrange the difference, but the cardinal refused. "Has Buckingham ever undertaken any foreign commission without going away dissatisfied and offended with the princes to whom he was sent?" said Cardinal Richelieu to the king. So the favorite of Charles I. resolved to go to France "in other style and with other attendants than he had as yet done; having determined to win back the good graces of the Parliament and the people of England by the succor he was about to carry to the oppressed Protestant churches," he pledged his property; he sold the trading-vessels captured on the coasts of France; and on the 17th of July, 1627, he set sail with a hundred and twenty vessels, heading for La Rochelle. Soubise was on board his ship; and the Duke of Rohan, notified of the enterprise, had promised to declare himself the moment the English set foot in France. Already he was preparing his manifesto to the churches, avowing that he had summoned the English to his legitimate defence, and that, since the king had but lately been justified in employing the arms of the Hollanders to defeat them, much more reasonably might he appeal to those of the English their brethren for protection against him.

This time the cardinal was ready; he had concluded an alliance with Spain against England, "declaring merely to the King of Spain that he was already at open war with England, and that he would put in practice with all the power of his forces against his own states all sorts of hostilities permissible in honorable warfare, which his Majesty also promised to do by the month of June, 1628, at the latest." The king set out to go and take in person the command of the army intended to give the English their reception. He had gone out ill from the Parliament, where he had been to have some edicts enregistered. "I did nothing but tremble all the time I was holding my bed of justice," he said to Bassompierre. "It is there, however, that you make others tremble," replied the marshal. Louis XIII. was obliged to halt at Villeroy, where the cardinal remained with him, "being all day at his side, and most frequently not leaving him at night; he, nevertheless, had his mind constantly occupied with giving orders, taking care above everything to let it appear before the king that he had no fear; he preferred to put himself in peril of being blamed or ruined in well-doing, rather than, in order to secure himself, to do anything which might be a cause of illness to his Majesty." In point of fact, Richelieu was not without anxiety, for Sieur de Toiras, a young favorite of the king's, to whom he had entrusted the command in the Island of Re, had not provided for the defence of that place so well as had been expected; Buckingham had succeeded in effecting his descent. The French were shut up in the Fort of St. Martin, scarcely finished as it was, and ill-provisioned. The cardinal "saw to it directly, sending of his own money because that of the king was not to be so quickly got at, and because he had at that time none to spare; he despatched Abbe Marcillac, who was in his confidence, to see that everything was done punctually and no opportunity lost. He did not trouble himself to make reports of all the despatches that passed, and all the orders that were within less than a fortnight given on the subject of this business during the king's illness, in order to provide for everything that was necessary, and to prepare all things in such wise that the king and France might reap from them the fruit which was shortly afterwards gathered in."

Meanwhile La Rochelle had closed her gates to the English, and the old Duchess of Rohan had been obliged to leave the town in order to bring Soubise in with her. "Before taking any resolution," replied the Rochellese authorities to the entreaties of the duke, who was pressing them to lend assistance to the English, "we must consult the whole body of the religion of which La Rochelle is only one member." An assembly was already convoked to that end at Uzes; and when it met, on the 11th of September, the Duke of Rohan communicated to the deputies from the churches the letter of the inhabitants of La Rochelle, "not such an one," he said, "as he could have desired, but such as he must make the best of." The King of England had granted his aid and promised not to relax until the Reformers had firm repose and solid contentment, provided that they seconded his efforts. "I bid you thereto in God's name," he added, "and for my part, were I alone, abandoned of all, I am determined to prosecute this sacred cause even to the last drop of my blood and to the last gasp of my life." The assembly fully approved of their chief's behavior, accepting "with gratitude the King of England's powerful intervention, without, however, loosing themselves from the humble and inviolable submission which they owed to their king." The consuls of the town of Milhau were bolder in their reservations. "We have at divers time experienced," they wrote to the Duke of Rohan, whilst refusing to join the movement, "that violence is no certain means of obtaining observation of our edicts, for force extorts many promises, but the hatred it engenders prevents them from taking effect." The duke was obliged to force an entrance into this small place. La Rochelle had just renounced her neutrality and taken sides with the English, "flattering ourselves," they said in their proclamation, "that, having good men for our witnesses and God for our judge, we shall experience the same assistance from His goodness as our fathers had aforetime."

M. de La Milliere, the agent of the Rochellese, wrote to one of his friends at the Duke of Rohan's quarters, "Sir, I am arrived from Villeroy, where the English are not held as they are at Paris to be a mere chimera. Only I am very apprehensive of the September tides, and lest the new grapes should kill us off more English than the enemy will. I am much vexed to hear nothing from your quarter to second the exploits of the English, being unable to see without shame foreigners showing more care for our welfare than we ourselves show. I know that it will not be M. de Rohan's fault nor yours that nothing good is done.

"I forgot to tell you that the cardinal is very glad that he is no longer a bishop, for he has put so many rings in pawn to send munitions to the islands, that he has nothing remaining wherewith to give the episcopal benediction. The most zealous amongst us pray God that the sea may swallow up his person as it has swallowed his goods. As for me, I am not of that number, for I belong to those who offer incense to the powers that be." It was as yet a time when the religious fatherland was dearer than the political; the French Huguenots naturally appealed for aid to all Protestant nations. It was even now an advance in national ideas to call the English who had come to the aid of La Rochelle foreigners.

Toiras, meanwhile, still held out in the Fort of St. Martin, and Buckingham was beginning to "abate somewhat of the absolute confidence he had felt about making himself master of it, having been so ill-advised as to write to the king his master that he would answer for it." The proof of this was that a burgess of La Rochelle, named Laleu, went to see the king with authority from the Duke of Angouleme, who commanded the army in his Majesty's absence, and that he proposed that the English should retire, provided that the king would have Fort Louis dismantled. The Duke of Angouleme was inclined to accept this proposal, but the cardinal forcibly represented all the reasons against it: "It will be said, perhaps, that if the Island of Re be lost, it will be very difficult to recover it;" this he allowed, but he put forward, to counterbalance this consideration, another, that, if honor were lost, it would never be recovered, and that, if the Island of Re were lost, he considered that his Majesty was bound to stick to the blockade of Rochelle, and that he might do so with success. Upon this, his Majesty resolved to push the siege of Rochelle vigorously, and to give the command to Mylord his brother; "but Monsieur was tardy as usual, not wanting to serve under the king when the health of his Majesty might permit him to return to his army, so that the cardinal wrote to President Le Coigneux, one of the favorite counsellors of the Duke of Orleans, to say that if imaginary hydras of that sort were often taking shape in the mind of Monsieur, he had nothing more to say than that there would be neither pleasure nor profit in being mixed up with his affairs. As for himself, he would always do his duty." Monsieur at last made up his mind to join the army, and it was resolved to give aid to the forts in the Island of Re.

It was a bold enterprise that was about to be attempted to hold La Rochelle invested and not quit it, and, nevertheless, to send the flower of the force to succor a citadel considered to be half lost; to make a descent upon an island blockaded by a large naval armament; "to expose the best part of the army to the mercy of the winds and the waves of the sea, and of the English cannons and vessels, in a place where there was no landing in order and under arms." [Memoires de Richelieu, t. iii. p. 361]; but it had to be resolved upon or the Island of Re lost. Toiras had already sent to ask the Duke of Buckingham if he would receive him to terms.

On the 8th of October, at eight A. M., the Duke of Buckingham was preparing to send a reply to the fort, and he was already rejoicing "to see his felicity and the crowning of his labors," when, on nearing the citadel, "there were exhibited to him at the ends of pikes lots of bottles of wine, capons, turkeys, hams, ox-tongues, and other provisions, and his vessels were saluted with lots of cannonades, they having come too near in the belief that those inside had no more powder." During the night, the fleet which was assembled at Oleron, and had been at sea for two days past, had succeeded in landing close to the fort, bringing up re-enforcements of troops, provisions, and munitions. At the same time the king and the cardinal had just arrived at the camp before La Rochelle.

Before long the English could not harbor a doubt but that the king's army had recovered its real heads: a grand expedition was preparing to attack them in the Island of Re, and the cardinal had gone in person to Oleron and to Le Brouage in order to see to the embarkation of the troops. "The nobility of the court came up in crowds to take leave of his Majesty, and their looks were so gay that it must be allowed that to no nation but the French is it given to march so freely to death for the service of their king or for their own honor as to make it impossible to remark any difference between him that inflicts it and him that receives." [Memoires de Richelieu, t. iii. p. 398.] Marshal Schomberg took the road to Marennes, whence he sent to the cardinal for boats to carry over all his troops. "This took him greatly by surprise, and as his judgments are always followed by the effect he intended, he thought that this great following of nobility might hinder the said sir marshal from executing his design so promptly. However, by showing admirable diligence, doubling both his vessels and his provisions, he found sufficient to embark the whole." [Siege de La Rochelle. Archives curieuses de l'Histoire de France, t. iii. p. 76.] By this time the king's troops, in considerable numbers, had arrived in the island without the English being able to prevent their disembarkation; the enemy therefore took the resolution of setting sail, in spite of the entreaties which the Duke of Soubise sent them on the part of the Rochellese, those latter promising great assistance in men and provisions, more than they could afford. To satisfy them, the Duke of Buckingham determined to deliver a general assault before he departed.

The assault was delivered on the 5th and 6th of November, and everywhere repulsed, exhausted as the besieged were. "Those who were sick and laid up in their huts appeared on the bastions. There were some of them so weak that, unable to fight, they loaded their comrades' muskets; and others, having fought beyond their strength, being able to do no more, said to their comrades, 'Friend, here are my arms for thee; prithee, make my grave;' and, thither retiring, there they died." The Duke of Buckingham wrote to M. de Fiesque, who was holding Fort La Pree, that he was going to embark, without waiting for any more men to make their descent upon the island; but the king, who trusted not his enemies, and least of all the English, from whom, even when friends, he had received so many proofs of faithlessness and falsehood, besides that he knew Buckingham for a man who, from not having the force of character to decide on such an occasion, did not know whether to fight or to fly, continued in his first determination to transport promptly all those who remained, in order to encounter the enemy on land, fight them, and make them for the future quake with fear if it were proposed to them to try another descent upon his dominions.

Marshal Schomberg, thwarted by bad weather, had just rallied his troops which had been cast by the winds on different parts of the coast, when it was perceived that the enemy had sheered off. M. De Toiras, issuing from his fortress to meet the marshal, would have pursued them at once to give them battle; but Schomberg refused, saying, "I ought to make them a bridge of gold rather than a barrier of iron;" and he contented himself with following the English, who retreated to a narrow causeway which led to the little Island of Oie. There, a furious charge of French cavalry broke the ranks of the enemy, disorder spread amongst them, and when night came to put an end to the combat, forty flags remained in the hands of the king's troops, and he sent them at once to Notre-Dame, by Claude de St. Simon, together with a quantity of prisoners, of whom the King made a present to his sister, the Queen of England.

"Such," says the Duke of Rohan, in his Hemoires, "was the success of the Duke of Buckingham's expedition, wherein he ruined the reputation of his nation and his own, consumed a portion of the provisions of the Rochellese, and reduced to despair the party for whose sake he had come to France. The Duke of Rohan first learned this bad news by the bonfires which all the Roman Catholics lighted for it all through the countship of Foix, and, later on, by a despatch from the Duke of Soubise, who exhorted him not to lose courage, saying that he hoped to come back next spring in condition to efface the affront received." This latter prince had not covered himself with glory in the expedition. "As recompense and consolation for all their losses," says the cardinal, "they carried off Soubise to England. He has not been mentioned all through this siege, because, whenever there was any question of negotiation, no one would apply to him, but only to Buckingham. When there was nothing for it but to fight, he would not hear of it. On the day the English made their descent, he was at La Rochelle; nobody knows where he was at the time of the assault, but he was one of the first and most forward in the rout."

Soubise had already been pronounced guilty of high-treason by decree of the Parliament of Toulouse; but the Duke of Rohan had been degraded from his dignities, and "a title offered to those who would assassinate him, which created an inclination in three or four wretches to undertake it, who had but a rope or the wheel for recompense, it not being in any human power to prolong or shorten any man's life without the permission of God." The Prince of Conde had been commissioned to fight the valiant chief of the Huguenots, "for that he was their sworn enemy," says the cardinal. In the eyes of fervent Catholics the name of Conde had many wrongs for which to obtain pardon.

The English were ignominiously defeated; the king was now confronted by none but his revolted subjects; he resolved to blockade the place at all points, so that it could not be entered by land or sea; and, to this end, he claimed from Spain the fleet which had been promised him, and which did not arrive. "The whole difficulty of this enterprise," said the cardinal to the king, "lies in this, that the majority will only labor therein in a perfunctory manner."

His ordinary penetration did not deceive him: the great lords intrusted with commands saw with anxiety the increasing power of Richelieu. "You will see," said Bassompierre, "that we shall be mad enough to take La Rochelle." "His Majesty had just then many of his own kingdom and all his allies sworn together against him, and so much the more dangerously in that it was secretly. England at open war, and with all her maritime power but lately on our coasts; the King of Spain apparently united to his Majesty, yet, in fact, not only giving him empty words, but, under cover of the emperor's name, making a diversion against him in the direction of Germany. Nevertheless the king held firm to his resolve; and then the siege of La Rochelle was undertaken with a will."

The old Duchess of Rohan (Catherine de Parthenay Larcheveque) had shut herself up in La Rochelle with her daughter Anne de Rohan, as pious and as courageous as her mother, and of rare erudition into the bargain; she had hitherto refused to leave the town; but, when the blockade commenced, she asked leave to retire with two hundred women. The town had already been refused permission to get rid of useless mouths. "All the Rochellese shall go out together," was the answer returned to Madame de Rohan. She determined to undergo with her brethren in the faith all the rigors of the siege. "Secure peace, complete victory, or honorable death," she wrote to her son the Duke of Rohan: the old device of Jeanne d'Albret, which had never been forgotten by the brave chief of the Huguenots.

At the head of the burgesses of La Rochelle, as determined as the Duchess of Rohan to secure their liberties or perish, was the president of the board of marine, soon afterwards mayor of the town, John Gutton, a rich merchant, whom the misfortunes of the times had wrenched away from his business to become a skilful admiral, an intrepid soldier, accustomed for years past to scour the seas as a corsair. "He had at his house," says a narrative of those days, "a great number of flags, which he used to show one after another, indicating the princes from whom he had taken them." When he was appointed mayor, he drew his poniard and threw it upon the council-table. "I accept," he said, "the honor you have done me, but on condition that yonder poniard shall serve to pierce the heart of whoever dares to speak of surrender, mine first of all, if I were ever wretch enough to condescend to such cowardice." Of indomitable nature, of passionate and proud character, Guiton, in fact, rejected all proposals of peace. "My friend, tell the cardinal that I am his very humble servant," was his answer to insinuating speeches as well as to threats; and he prepared with tranquil coolness for defence to the uttermost. Two municipal councillors, two burgesses, and a clergyman were commissioned to judge and to punish spies and traitors; attention was concentrated upon getting provisions into the town; the country was already devastated, but reliance was placed upon promises of help from England; and religious exercises were everywhere multiplied. "We will hold out to the last day," reiterated the burgesses.

It was the month of December; bad weather interfered with the siege-works; the king was having a line of circumvallation pushed forward to close the approaches to the city on the land side; the cardinal was having a mole of stone-work, occupying the whole breadth of the roads, constructed; the king's little fleet, commanded by M. de Guise, had been ordered up to protect the laborers; Spain had sent twenty-eight vessels in such bad condition that those which were rolled into the sea laden with stones were of more value. "They were employed Spanish-fashion," says Richelieu, "that is, to make an appearance so as to astound the Rochellese by the union of the two crowns." A few days after their arrival, at the rumor of assistance coming from England, the Spanish admiral, who had secret orders to make no effort for France, demanded permission to withdraw his ships. "It was very shameful of them, but it was thought good to let them go without the king's consent, making believe that he had given them their dismissal, and desired them to go and set about preparing, one way or another, a large armament by the spring." The Rochellese were rejoicing over the treaty they had just concluded with the King of England, who promised "to aid them by land and sea, to the best of his kingly power, until he should have brought about a fair and secure peace." The mole was every moment being washed away by the sea; and, "whilst the cardinal was employing all the wits which God had given him to bring to a successful issue the siege of La Rochelle to the glory of God and the welfare of the state, and was laboring to that end more than the bodily strength granted to him by God seemed to permit, one would have said that the sea and the winds, favoring the English and the islands, were up in opposition and thwarting his designs."

The king was growing tired, and wished to go to Paris; but this was not the advice of the cardinal, and "the truths he uttered were so displeasing to the king that he fell somehow into disgrace. The dislike the king conceived for him was such that he found fault with him about everything." The king at last took his departure, and the cardinal, who had attended him "without daring, out of respect, to take his sunshade to protect him against the heat of the sun, which was very great that day," was on his return taken ill with fever. "I am so downhearted that I cannot express the regret I feel at quitting the cardinal, fearing lest some accident may happen to him," the king had said to one of his servants: "tell him from me to take care of himself, to think what a state my affairs would be in if I were to lose him." When the king returned to La Rochelle on the 10th of April, he found his army strengthened, the line of circumvallation finished, and the mole well advanced into the sea; the assault was becoming possible, and the king summoned the place to surrender. [Siege de La Rochelle. Archives eurieuses de l'Histoire de France, t. iii. p. 102.] "We recognize no other sheriffs and governors than ourselves," answered the sergeant on guard to the improvised herald sent by the king; "nobody will listen to you; away at once!" It was at last announced that the re-enforcements so impatiently expected were coming from England. "The cardinal, who knew that there was nothing so dangerous as to have no fear of one's enemy, had a long while before set everything in order, as if the English might arrive any day." Their fleet was signalled at sea; it numbered thirty vessels, and had a convoy of twenty barks laden with provisions and munitions, and it was commanded by the Earl of Denbigh, Buckingham's brother-in-law. The Rochellese, transported with joy, "had planted a host of flags on the prominent points of their town." The English came and cast anchor at the tip of the Island of Re. The cannon of La Rochelle gave them a royal salute. A little boat with an English captain on board found means of breaking the blockade; and "Open a passage," said the envoy to the Rochellese, "as you sent notice to us in England, and we will deliver you." But the progress made in the works of the mole rendered the enterprise difficult; the besieged could not attempt anything; they waited and waited for Lord Denbigh to bring on an engagement; on the 19th of May, all the English ships got under sail and approached the roads. The besieged hurried on to the ramparts; there was the thunder of one broadside, and one only; and then the vessels tacked and crowded sail for England, followed by the gaze "of the king's army, who returned to make good cheer without any fear of the enemy, and with great hopes of soon taking the town."

Great was the despair in La Rochelle: "This shameful retreat of the English, and their aid which had only been received by faith, as they do in the Eucharist," wrote Cardinal Richelieu, "astounded the Rochellese so mightily that they would readily have made up their minds to surrender, if Madame de Rohan, the mother, whose hopes for her children were all centred in the preservation of this town, and the minister Salbert, a very seditious fellow, had not regaled them with imaginary succor which they made them hope for." The cardinal, when he wrote these words, knew nothing of the wicked proposals made to Guiton and to Salbert. "Couldn't the cardinal be got rid of by the deed of one determined man?" it was asked: but the mayor refused; and, "It is not in such a way that God willeth our deliverance," said Salbert; "it would be too offensive to His holiness." And they suffered on.

Meanwhile, on the 24th of May, the posterns were observed to open, and the women to issue forth one after another, with their children and the old men; they came gliding towards the king's encampment, but "he ordered them to be driven back by force; and further, knowing that they had sown beans near the counterscarps of their town, a detachment was sent out to cut them down as soon as they began to come up, and likewise a little corn that they had sown in some dry spots of their marshes." Louis the Just fought the Rochellese in other fashion than that in which Henry the Great had fought the Parisians.

The misery in the place became frightful; the poor died of hunger, or were cut down by the soldiery when they ventured upon shore at low tide to look for cockles; the price of provisions was such that the richest alone could get a little meat to eat; a cow fetched two thousand livres, and a bushel of wheat eight hundred livres. Madame de Rohan had been the first to have her horses killed, but this resource was exhausted, and her cook at last "left the town and allowed himself to be taken, saying that he would rather be hanged than return to die of hunger." A rising even took place amongst the inhabitants who were clamorous to surrender, but Guiton had the revolters hanged. "I am ready," said he, "to cast lots with anybody else which shall live or be killed to feed his comrade with his flesh. As long as there is one left to keep the gates shut, it is enough." The mutineers were seized with terror, and men died without daring to speak. "We have been waiting three months for the effect of the excellent letters we received from the King of Great Britain," wrote Guiton on the 24th of August, to the deputies from La Rochelle who were in London, "and, meanwhile, we cannot see by what disasters it happens that we remain here in misery without seeing any sign of succor; our men can do no more, our inhabitants are dying of hunger in the streets, and all our families are in a fearful state from mourning, want, and perplexity; nevertheless, we will hold out to the last day, but in God's name delay no longer, for we perish." This letter never reached its destination; the watchmaker, Marc Biron; who had offered to convey it to England, was arrested whilst attempting to pass the royal lines, and was immediately hanged. La Rochelle, however, still held out. "Their rabid fury," says the cardinal, "gave them new strength, or rather the avenging wrath of God caused them to be supplied therewith in extraordinary measure by his evil spirit, in order to prolong their woes; they were already almost at the end thereof, and misery found upon them no more substance whereon it could feed and support itself; they were skeletons, empty shadows, breathing corpses, rather than living men." At the bottom of his heart, and in spite of the ill temper their resistance caused in him, the heroism of the Rochellese excited the cardinal's admiration. Buckingham had just been assassinated. "The king could not have lost a more bitter or a more idiotic enemy; his unreasoning enterprises ended unluckily, but they, nevertheless, did not fail to put us in great peril and cause us much mischief," says Richelieu "the idiotic madness of an enemy being more to be feared than his wisdom, inasmuch as the idiot does not act on any principle common to other men, he attempts everything and anything, violates his own interests, and is restrained by impossibility alone."

It was this impossibility of any aid that the cardinal attempted to impress upon the Rochellese by means of letters which he managed to get into the town, representing to them that Buckingham, their protector, was dead, and that they were allowing themselves to be unjustly tyrannized over by a small number amongst them, who, being rich, had wheat to eat, whereas, if they were good citizens, they would take their share of the general misery. These manoeuvres did not remain without effect: the besieged resolved to treat, and a deputation was just about to leave the town, when a burgess who had broken through the lines arrived in hot haste, on his return from England; he had seen, he said, the armament all ready to set out to save them or perish; it must arrive within a week; the public body of La Rochelle had promised not to treat without the King of England's participation; he was not abandoning his allies; and so the deputies returned home, and there was more waiting still.

On the 29th of September, the English flag appeared before St. Martin de Re; it was commanded by the Earl of Lindsay, and was composed of a hundred and forty vessels, which carried six thousand soldiers, besides the crews; the French who were of the religion were in the van, commanded by the Duke of Soubise and the Count of Laval, brother of the Duke of La Tremoille, who had lately renounced his faith in front of La Rochelle, being convinced of his errors by a single lesson from the cardinal. "This armament was England's utmost effort, for the Parliament which was then being holden had granted six millions of livres to fit it out to avenge the affronts and ignominy which the English nation had encountered on the Island of Re, and afterwards by the shameful retreat of their armament in the month of May." But it was too late coming; the mole was finished, and the opening in it defended by two forts; and a floating palisade blocked the passage as well. The English sent some petards against this construction, but they produced no effect; and when, next day, they attacked the royal fleet, the French crews lost but twenty-eight men; "the fire-ships were turned aside by men who feared fire as little as water." Lord Lindsay retired with his squadron to the shelter of the Island of Aix, sending to the king "Lord Montagu to propose some terms of accommodation." He demanded pardon for the Rochellese, freedom of conscience, and quarter for the English garrison in La Rochelle; the answer was, "that the Rochellese were subjects of the king, who knew quite well what he had to do with them, and that the King of England had no right to interfere. As for the English, they should meet with the same treatment as was received by the French whom they held prisoners." Montagu set out for England to obtain further orders from the king his master.

All hope of effectual aid was gone, and the Rochellese felt it; the French who were on board the English fleet had taken, like them, a resolution to treat; and they had already sent to the cardinal when, on the 29th of October, the deputies from La Rochelle arrived at the camp. "Your fellows who were in the English army have already obtained grace," said the cardinal to them; and when they were disposed not to believe it, the cardinal sent for the pastors Vincent and Gobert, late delegates to King Charles I. "they embraced with tears in their eyes, not daring to speak of business, as they had been forbidden to do so on pain of death."

The demands of the Rochellese were more haughty than befitted their extreme case. "Though they were but shadows of living men, and their life rested solely on the king's mercy, they actually dared, nevertheless, to propose to the cardinal a general treaty on behalf of all those of their party, including Madame de Rohan and Monsieur de Soubise, the maintenance of their privileges, of their governor, and of their mayor, together with the right of those bearing arms to march out with beat of drum and lighted match" [with the honors of war].

The cardinal was amused at their impudence, he writes in his Memoires, and told them that they had no right to expect anything more than pardon, which, moreover, they did not deserve. "He was nevertheless anxious to conclude, wishing that Montagu should find peace made, and that the English fleet should see it made without their consent, which would render the rest of the king's business easier, whether as regarded England or Spain, or the interior of the kingdom." On the 28th the treaty, or rather the grace, was accordingly signed, "the king granting life and property to those of the inhabitants of the town who were then in it, and the exercise of the religion within La Rochelle." These articles bore the signature of a brigadier-general, M. de Marillac, the king not having thought proper to put his name at the bottom of a convention made with his subjects.

Next day, twelve deputies issued from the town, making a request for horses to Marshal de Bassompierre, whose quarters were close by, for they had not strength to walk. They dismounted on approaching the king's quarters, and the cardinal presented them to his Majesty. "Sir," said they, "we do acknowledge our crimes and rebellions, and demand mercy; promising to remain faithful for the future, if your Majesty deigns to remember the services we were able to render to the king your father."

The king gazed upon these suppliants kneeling at his feet, deputies from the proud city which had kept him more than a year at her gates; fleshless, almost fainting, they still bore on their features the traces of the haughty past. They had kept the lilies of France on their walls, refusing to the last to give themselves to England. "Better surrender to a king who could take Rochelle, than to one who couldn't succor her," said the mayor, John Guiton, who was asked if he would not become an English subject. "I know that you have always been malignants," said the king at last, "and that you have done all you could to shake off the yoke of obedience to me; I forgive you, nevertheless, your rebellions, and will be a good prince to you, if your actions conform to your protestations." Thereupon he dismissed them, not without giving them a dinner, and sent victuals into the town; without which, all that remained would have been dead of hunger within two days.

The fighting men marched out, "the officers and gentlemen wearing their swords and the soldiery with bare (white) staff in hand," according to the conventions; as they passed they were regarded with amazement, there not being more than sixty-four Frenchmen and ninety English: all the rest had been killed in sorties or had died of want. The cardinal at the same time entered this city, which he had subdued by sheer perseverance; Guiton came to meet him with six archers; he had not appeared during the negotiations, saying that his duty detained him in the town. "Away with you!" said the cardinal, "and at once dismiss your archers, taking care not to style yourself mayor any more on pain of death." Guiton made no reply, and went his way quietly to his house, a magnificent dwelling till lately, but now lying desolate amidst the general ruin. He was not destined to reside there long; the heroic defender of La Rochelle was obliged to leave the town and retire to Tournay-Boutonne. He returned to La Rochelle to die, in 1656.

The king made his entry into the subjugated town on the 1st of November, 1628: it was full of corpses in the chambers, the houses, the public thoroughfares; for those who still survived were so weak that they had not been able to bury the dead. Madame de Rohan and her daughter, who had not been included in the treaty, were not admitted to the honor of seeing his Majesty. "For having been the brand that had consumed this people," they were sent to prison at Niort; "there kept captive, without exercise of their religion, and so strictly that they had but one domestic to wait upon them, all which, however, did not take from them their courage or wonted zeal for the good of their party. The mother sent word to the Duke of Rohan, her son, that he was to put no faith in her letters, since she might be made to write them by force, and that no consideration of her pitiable condition should make her flinch to the prejudice of her party, whatever harm she might be made to suffer." [Memoires du Duc de Rohan, t. i. p. 395.] Worn out by so much suffering, the old Duchess of Rohan died in 1631 at her castle Du Pare: she had been released from captivity by the pacification of the South.

With La Rochelle fell the last bulwark of religious liberties. Single-handed, Duke Henry of Rohan now resisted at the head of a handful of resolute men. But he was about to be crushed in his turn. The capture of La Rochelle had raised the cardinal's power to its height; it had, simultaneously, been the death-blow to the Huguenot party and to the factions of the grandees. "One of them was bold enough to say," on seeing that La Rochelle was lost, "Now we may well say that we are all lost." [Memoires de Richelieu]

Upper Languedoc had hitherto refused to take part in the rising, and the Prince of Conde was advancing on Toulouse when the Duke of Rohan attempted a bold enterprise against Montpellier. He believed that he was sure of his communications with the interior of the town; but when the detachment of the advance-guard got a footing on the draw-bridge the ropes that held it were cut, and "the soldiers fell into a ditch, where they were shot down with arquebuses, at the same time that musketry played upon them from without." The lieutenant fell back in all haste upon the division of the Duke of Rohan, who retreated "to the best Villages between Montpellier and Lunel, without ever a man from Montpellier going out to follow and see whither he went." The war was wasting Languedoc, Viverais, and Rouergue; the Dukes of Montmorency and Ventadour, under the orders of the Prince of Conde, were pursuing the troops of Rohan in every direction; the burgesses of Montauban had declared for the Reformers, and were ravaging the lands of their Catholic neighbors in return for the frightful ruin everywhere caused by the royal troops. The wretched peasantry laid the blame on the Duke of Rohan, "for one of the greatest misfortunes connected with the position of party-chiefs is this necessity they lie under of accounting for all their actions to the people, that is, to a monster composed of numberless heads, amongst which there is scarcely one open to reason." [Memoires de Montmorency.] "Whoso has to do with a people that considers nothing difficult to undertake, and, as for the execution, makes no sort of provision, is apt to be much hampered," writes the Duke of Rohan in his Memoires (t. i. p. 376). It was this extreme embarrassment that landed him in crime. One of his emissaries, returning from Piedmont, where he had been admitted to an interview with the ambassador of Spain, made overtures to him on behalf of that power "which had an interest, he said, in a prolongation of the hostilities in France, so as to be able to peaceably achieve its designs in Italy. The great want of money in which the said duke then found himself, the country being unable to furnish more, and the towns being unwilling to do anything further, there being nothing to hope from England, and nothing but words without deeds having been obtained from the Duke of Savoy, absolutely constrained him to find some means of raising it in order to subsist." And so, in the following year, the Duke of Rohan treated with the King of Spain, who promised to allow him annually three hundred thousand ducats for the keep of his troops and forty thousand for himself. In return the duke, who looked forward to "the time when he and his might make themselves sufficiently strong to canton themselves and form a separate state," promised, in that state, freedom and enjoyment of their property to all Catholics. A piece of strange and culpable blindness for which Rohan was to pay right dearly.

It was in the midst of this cruel partisan war that the duke heard of the fall of La Rochelle; he could not find fault "with folks so attenuated by famine that the majority of them could not support themselves without a stick, for having sought safety in capitulation;" but to the continual anxiety felt by him for the fate of his mother and sister was added disquietude as to the effect that this news might produce on his troops. "The people, weary of and ruined by the war, and naturally disposed to be very easily cast down by adversity; the tradesmen annoyed at having no more chance of turning a penny; the burgesses seeing their possessions in ruins and uncultivated; all were inclined for peace at any price whatever." The Prince of Conde, whilst cruelly maltreating the countries in revolt, had elsewhere had the prudence to observe some gentle measures towards the peaceable Reformers in the hope of thus producing submission. He made this quite clear himself when writing to the Duke of Rohan: "Sir, the king's express commands to maintain them of the religion styled Reformed in entire liberty of conscience have caused me to hitherto preserve those who remain in due obedience to his Majesty in all Catholic places, countries as well as towns, in entire liberty. Justice has run its free course, the worship continues everywhere, save in two or three spots where it served not for the exercise of religion, but to pave the way for rebellion. The officers who came out of rebel cities have kept their commissions; in a word, the treatment of so-styled Reformers, when obedient, has been the same as that of Catholics faithful to the king . . ." To which Henry de Rohan replied, "I confess to have once taken up arms unadvisedly, in so far as it was not on behalf of the affairs of our religion, but of those of yourself personally, who promised to obtain us reparation for the infractions of our treaties, and you did nothing of the kind, having had thoughts of peace before receiving news from the general assembly. Since that time everybody knows that I have had arms in my hands only from sheer necessity, in order to defend our properties, our lives, and the freedom of our consciences. I seek my repose in heaven, and God will give me grace to always find that of my conscience on earth. They say that in this war you have, not made a bad thing of it. This gives me some assurance that you will leave our poor Uvennes at peace, seeing that there are more hard knocks than pistoles to be got there." The Prince of Conde avenged himself for this stinging reply by taking possession, in Brittany, of all the Duke of Rohan's property, which had been confiscated, and of which the king had made him a present. There were more pistoles to be picked up on the duke's estates than in the Cevennes.

The king was in Italy, and the Reformers hoped that his affairs would detain him there a long while; but "God, who had disposed it otherwise, breathed upon all those projects," and the arms of Louis XIII. were everywhere victorious; peace was concluded with Piedmont and England, without the latter treaty making any mention of the Huguenots. The king then turned his eyes towards Languedoc, and, summoning to him the Dukes of Montmorency and Schomberg, he laid siege to Privas. The cardinal soon joined him there, and it was on the day of his arrival that the treaty with England was proclaimed by heralds beneath the walls. The besieged thus learned that their powerful ally had abandoned them without reserve; at the first assault the inhabitants fled into the country, the garrison retired within the forts, and the king's-soldiers, penetrating into the deserted streets, were able, without resistance, to deliver up the town to pillage and flames. When the affrighted inhabitants came back by little and little within their walls, they found the houses confiscated to the benefit of the king, who invited a new population to inhabit Privas.

Town after town, "fortified Huguenot-wise," surrendered, opening to the royal armies the passage to the Uvennes. The Duke of Rohan, who had at first taken position at Nimes, repaired to Anduze for the defence of the mountains, the real fortress of the Reformation in Languedoc. Alais itself had just opened its gates. Rohan saw that he could no longer impose the duty of resistance upon a people weary of suffering, "easily believing ill of good folks, and readily agreeing with those whiners who blame everything and do nothing." He sent "to the king, begging to be received to mercy, thinking it better to resolve on peace, whilst he could still make some show of being able to help it, than to be forced, after a longer resistance, to surrender to the king with a rope round his neck." The cardinal advised the king to show the duke grace, "well knowing that, together with him individually, the other cities, whether they wished it or not, would be obliged to do the like, there being but little resolution and constancy in people deprived of leaders, especially when they are threatened with immediate harm, and see no door of escape open."

The general assembly of the Reformers, which was then in meeting at Nimes, removed to Anduze to deliberate with the Duke of Rohan; a wish was expressed to have the opinion of the province of the Cevennes, and all the deputies repaired to the king's presence. No more surety-towns; fortifications everywhere razed, at the expense and by the hands of the Reformers; the Catholic worship re-established in all the churches of the Reformed towns; and, at this price, an amnesty granted for all acts of rebellion, and religious liberties confirmed anew,—such were the conditions of the peace signed at Alais on the 28th of June, 1629, and made public the following month at Nimes, under the name of Edict of Grace. Montauban alone refused to submit to them.

The Duke of Rohan left France and retired to Venice, where his wife and daughter were awaiting him. He had been appointed by the Venetian senate generalissimo of the forces of the republic, when the cardinal, who had no doubt preserved some regard for his military talents, sent him an offer of the command of the king's troops in the Valteline. There he for several years maintained the honor of France, being at one time abandoned and at another supported by the cardinal, who ultimately left him to bear the odium of the last reverse. Meeting with no response from the court, cut off from every resource, he brought back into the district of Gex the French troops driven out by the Grisons themselves, and then retired to Geneva. Being threatened with the king's wrath, he set out for the camp of his friend Duke Bernard of Saxe-Weimar; and it was whilst fighting at his side against the imperialists that he received the wound of which he died in Switzerland, on the 16th of April, 1638. His body was removed to Geneva amidst public mourning. A man of distinguished mind and noble character, often wild in his views and hopes, and so deeply absorbed in the interests of his party and of his church, that he had sometimes the misfortune to forget those of his country.

Meanwhile the king had set out for Paris, and the cardinal was marching on Montauban. Being obliged to halt at Pezenas because he had a fever, he there received a deputation from Montauban, asking to have its fortifications preserved. On the minister's formal refusal, supported by a movement in advance on the part of Marshal Bassompierre with the army, the town submitted unreservedly. "Knowing that the cardinal had made up his mind to enter in force, they found this so bitter a pill that they could scarcely swallow it;" they, nevertheless, offered the dais to the minister, as they had been accustomed to do to the governor, but he refused it, and would not suffer the consuls to walk on foot beside his horse. Bassompierre set guards at the doors of the meeting-house, that things might be done without interruption or scandal; it was ascertained that the Parliament of Toulouse, "habitually intractable in all that concerned religion," had enregistered the edict without difficulty; the gentlemen of the neighborhood came up in crowds, the Reformers to make their submission and the Catholics to congratulate the cardinal; on the day of his departure the pickaxe was laid to the fortifications of Montauban; those of Castres were already beginning to fall; and the Huguenot party in France was dead. Deprived of the political guarantees which had been granted them by Henry IV., the Reformers had nothing for it but to retire into private life. This was the commencement of their material prosperity; they henceforth transferred to commerce and, industry all the intelligence, courage, and spirit of enterprise that they had but lately displayed in the service of their cause, on the battle-field or in the cabinets of kings.

"From that time," says Cardinal Richelieu, "difference in religion never prevented me from rendering the Huguenots all sorts of good offices, and I made no distinction between Frenchmen but in respect of fidelity." A grand assertion, true at bottom, in spite of the frequent grievances that the Reformers had often to make the best of; the cardinal was more tolerant than his age and his servants; what he had wanted to destroy was the political party; he did not want to drive the Reformers to extremity, nor force them to fly the country; happy had it been if Louis XIV. could have listened to and borne in mind the instructions given by Richelieu to Count de Sault, commissioned to see after the application in Dauphiny of the edicts of pacification: "I hold that, as there is no need to extend in favor of them of the religion styled Reformed that which is provided by the edicts, so there is no ground for cutting down the favors granted them thereby; even now, when, by the grace of God, peace is so firmly established in the kingdom, too much precaution cannot be used for the prevention of all these discontents amongst the people. I do assure you that the king's veritable intention is to have all his subjects living peaceably in the observation of his edicts, and that those who have authority in the provinces will do him service by conforming thereto." The era of liberty passed away with Henry IV.; that of tolerance, for the Reformers, began with Richelieu, pending the advent with Louis XIV. of the day of persecution.


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