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Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe by Various

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Produced by Robert J. Hall


TO PLAY AT HER COURT. _From the painting by V. de Paredes._]


_Queen of France, Wife of Henri IV_


_Of the Court of Louis XV_


_Queen of France, Wife of Henri II_



Introduction.--Anecdotes of Marguerite's Infancy.--Endeavours
Used to Convert Her to the New Religion.--She Is Confirmed in
Catholicism.--The Court on a Progress.--A Grand Festivity Suddenly
Interrupted.--The Confusion in Consequence


Message from the Duc d'Anjou, Afterwards Henri III., to King
Charles His Brother and the Queen-mother.--Her Fondness for Her
Children.--Their Interview.--Anjou's Eloquent Harangue.--The
Queen-mother's Character.--Discourse of the Duc d'Anjou with
Marguerite.--She Discovers Her Own Importance.--Engages to Serve
Her Brother Anjou.--Is in High Favour with the Queen-mother


Le Guast.--His Character.--Anjou Affects to Be Jealous of the
Guises.--Dissuades the Queen-mother from Reposing Confidence
in Marguerite.--She Loses the Favour of the Queen-mother and
Falls Sick.--Anjou's Hypocrisy.--He Introduces De Guise into
Marguerite's Sick Chamber.--Marguerite Demanded in Marriage by
the King of Portugal.--Made Uneasy on That Account.--Contrives
to Relieve Herself.--The Match with Portugal Broken off


Death of the Queen of Navarre.--Marguerite's Marriage with Her
Son, the King of Navarre, Afterwards Henri IV. of France.--The
Preparations for That Solemnisation Described.--The Circumstances
Which Led to the Massacre of the Huguenots on St. Bartholomew's


The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day


Henri, Duc d'Anjou, Elected King of Poland, Leaves France.--Huguenot
Plots to Withdraw the Duc d'Alencon and the King of Navarre from
Court.--Discovered and Defeated by Marguerite's Vigilance.--She
Draws Up an Eloquent Defence, Which Her Husband Delivers before a
Committee from the Court of Parliament.--Alencon and Her Husband,
under a Close Arrest, Regain Their Liberty by the Death of Charles


Accession of Henri III.--A Journey to Lyons.--Marguerite's Faith
in Supernatural Intelligence


What Happened at Lyons


Fresh Intrigues.--Marriage of Henri III.--Bussi Arrives at Court
and Narrowly Escapes Assassination


Bussi Is Sent from Court.--Marguerite's Husband Attacked with a
Fit of Epilepsy.--Her Great Care of Him.--Torigni Dismissed from
Marguerite's Service.--The King of Navarre and the Duc d'Alencon
Secretly Leave the Court


Queen Marguerite under Arrest.--Attempt on Torigni's Life.--Her
Fortunate Deliverance


The Peace of Sens betwixt Henri III. and the Huguenots


The League.--War Declared against the Huguenots.--Queen Marguerite
Sets out for Spa


Description of Queen Marguerite's Equipage.--Her Journey to Liege
Described.--She Enters with Success upon Her Mission.--Striking
Instance of Maternal Duty and Affection in a Great Lady.--Disasters
near the Close of the Journey


The City of Liege Described.--Affecting Story of Mademoiselle
de Tournon.--Fatal Effects of Suppressed Anguish of Mind


Queen Marguerite, on Her Return from Liege, Is In Danger of Being
Made a Prisoner.--She Arrives, after Some Narrow Escapes, at La


Good Effects of Queen Marguerite's Negotiations in Flanders.--She
Obtains Leave to Go to the King of Navarre Her Husband, but Her
Journey Is Delayed.--Court Intrigues and Plots.--The Duc d'Alencon
Again Put under Arrest


The Brothers Reconciled.--Alencon Restored to His Liberty


The Duc d'Alencon Makes His Escape from Court.--Queen Marguerite's
Fidelity Put to a Severe Trial


Queen Marguerite Permitted to Go to the King Her Husband.--Is
Accompanied by the Queen-mother.--Marguerite Insulted by Her
Husband's Secretary.--She Harbours Jealousy.--Her Attention to the
King Her Husband during an Indisposition.--Their Reconciliation.--The
War Breaks Out Afresh.--Affront Received from Marechal de Biron


Situation of Affairs in Flanders.--Peace Brought About by Duc
d'Alencon's Negotiation.--Marechal de Biron Apologises for Firing
on Nerac.--Henri Desperately in Love with Fosseuse.--Queen Marguerite
Discovers Fosseuse to Be Pregnant, Which She Denies.--Fosseuse in
Labour.--Marguerite's Generous Behavior to Her.--Marguerite's
Return to Paris


The _Secret Memoirs_ of Henry of Navarre's famous queen possess
a value which the passage of time seems but to heighten. Emanating
as they undoubtedly do from one of the chief actors in a momentous
crisis in French history, and in the religious history of Europe
as well, their importance as first-hand documents can hardly
be overestimated. While the interest which attaches to their
intimate discussions of people and manners of the day will appeal
to the reader at the outset.

Marguerite de Valois was the French contemporary of Queen Elizabeth
of England, and their careers furnish several curious points of
parallel. Marguerite was the daughter of the famous Catherine
de Medicis, and was given in marriage by her scheming mother
to Henry of Navarre, whose ascendant Bourbon star threatened
to eclipse (as afterwards it did) the waning house of Valois.
Catherine had four sons, three of whom successively mounted the
throne of France, but all were childless. Although the king of
the petty state of Navarre was a Protestant, and Catherine was
the most fanatical of Catholics, she made this marriage a pretext
for welding the two houses; but actually it seems to have been
a snare to lure him to Paris, for it was at this precise time
that the bloody Massacre of St. Bartholomew's day was ordered.
Henry himself escaped--it is said, through the protection of
Marguerite, his bride,--but his adherents in the Protestant party
were slain by the thousands. A wedded life begun under such
sanguinary auspices was not destined to end happily. Indeed, their
marriage resembled nothing so much as an armed truce, peaceable,
and allowing both to pursue their several paths, and finally
dissolved by mutual consent, in 1598, when Queen Marguerite was
forty-five. The closing years of her life were spent in strict
seclusion, at the Castle of Usson, in Auvergne, and it was at
this time that she probably wrote her _Memoirs_.

In the original, the _Memoirs_ are written in a clear vigorous
French, and in epistolary form. Their first editor divided them into
three sections, or books. As a whole they cover the secret history
of the Court of France from the years 1565 to 1582--seventeen years
of extraordinary interest, comprising, as they do, the Massacre of
St. Bartholomew, already referred to, the formation of the famous
League, the Peace of Sens, and the bitter religious persecutions
which were at last ended by the Edict of Nantes issued after Henry
of Navarre became Henry IV. of France. Besides the political
bearing of the letters, they give a picturesque account of Court
life at the end of the 16th century, the fashions and manners
of the time, piquant descriptions, and amusing gossip, such as
only a witty woman--as Marguerite certainly was--could inject
into such subjects. The letters, indeed, abound in sprightly
anecdote and small-talk, which yet have their value in lightening
up the whole situation.

The period covered coincides very nearly with the first half
of Marguerite's own life. Incidents of her girlhood are given,
leading to more important matters, personal and political, up
to the twenty-ninth year of her age. The letters end, therefore,
some seven years prior to the death of her brother, Henry III.
of France, and while she was still merely Queen of Navarre. It
will always be a matter of regret that the latter half of her
life was not likewise covered.

These _Memoirs_ first appeared in printed form in 1628, thirteen
years after their author's death. They enjoyed great popularity,
and in 1656 were translated into English and published in London,
with the following erroneous title: "The grand Cabinet Counsels
unlocked; or, the most faithful Transaction of Court Affairs and
Growth and Continuance of the Civil Wars in France, during the
Reigns of Charles the last, Henry III., and Henry IV., commonly
called the Great. Most excellently written, in the French Tongue,
by Margaret de Valois, Sister to the two first Kings, and Wife of
the last. Faithfully translated by Robert Codrington, Master of
Arts." Two years later the work was again translated, this time
under the title of "Memorials of Court Affairs." The misleading
portion of Codrington's title is in regard to the reign of Henry
IV. As already shown, the letters cease before that time, although
chronicling many events of his early career. The present careful
translation has been made direct from the original, adhering
as closely as permissible to the rugged but clear-cut verbal
expressions of 16th century France.

Queen Marguerite herself is described by historians and novelists
as a singularly attractive woman, both physically and mentally.
Of a little above the average height, her figure was well-rounded
and graceful, her carriage dignified and commanding. One writer
thus describes her: "Her eyes were full, black, and sparkling;
she had bright, chestnut-coloured hair, and complexion fresh and
blooming. Her skin was delicately white, and her neck admirably
well formed; and this so generally admired beauty, the fashion
of dress, in her time, admitted of being fully displayed." To
her personal charms were added a ready wit and polished manners.
Her thoughts, whether spoken or written, were always clearly
and gracefully expressed. In her retirement, at the close of
her life, she often amused herself by writing verses which she
set to music and afterwards sang, accompanying herself upon the
lute, which she performed upon skilfully.

Regarding her personal character there has been diversity of
opinion--as, indeed, there has been in the case of nearly every
exalted personage. After her separation from the king, she was the
subject of a scandalous attack, entitled _Le Divorce Satyrique, ou
les Amours de la Reyne Marguerite de Valois_; but this anonymous
libel was never seriously considered. M. Pierre de Bourdeville,
Sieur de Brantome (better known by the final name), who gives
many facts concerning her later life in his _Anecdotes des Rois
de France_, is a staunch adherent of hers. Ronsard, the Court
poet, is also extravagant in his praises of her, but chiefly of
her beauty. Numerous other poets and romancers have found her
life a favourite subject. Meyerbeer's opera, _Les Huguenots_,
is based upon her wedding, and the ensuing Massacre. Dumas's
well-known novel, _Marguerite de Valois_, gives her a somewhat
dubious reputation, as half-tool, half-agent for Catherine, and
as the mistress of the historical La Mole. This doubtful phase,
however, if true, was but in keeping with the fashion of the
times. It is mentioned merely as a possible line completing the
portrait of this brilliant woman, who lives again for us in the
pages of her _Memoirs_.



Dear native land! and you, proud castles! say
(Where grandsire,[1] father,[2] and three brothers[3] lay,
Who each, in turn, the crown imperial wore),
Me will you own, your daughter whom you bore?
Me, once your greatest boast and chiefest pride,
By Bourbon and Lorraine,[4] when sought a bride;
Now widowed wife,[5] a queen without a throne,
Midst rocks and mountains[6] wander I alone.
Nor yet hath Fortune vented all her spite,
But sets one up,[7] who now enjoys my right,
Points to the boy,[8] who henceforth claims the throne
And crown, a son of mine should call his own.
But ah, alas! for me 'tis now too late[9]
To strive 'gainst Fortune and contend with Fate;
Of those I slighted, can I beg relief?[10]
No; let me die the victim of my grief.
And can I then be justly said to live?
Dead in estate, do I then yet survive?
Last of the name, I carry to the grave
All the remains the House of Valois have.

[Footnote 1: Francois I.]

[Footnote 2: Henri II.]

[Footnote 3: Francois II., Charles IX., and Henri III.]

[Footnote 4: Henri, King of Navarre, and Henri, Duc de Guise.]

[Footnote 5: Alluding to her divorce from Henri IV.]

[Footnote 6: The castle of Usson.]

[Footnote 7: Marie de' Medici, whom Henri married after his divorce
from Marguerite.]

[Footnote 8: Louis XIII., the son of Henri and his queen, Marie
de' Medici.]

[Footnote 9: Alluding to the differences betwixt Marguerite and
Henri, her husband.]

[Footnote 10: This is said with allusion to the supposition that
she was rather inclined to favour the suit of the Duc de Guise
and reject Henri for a husband.]



I should commend your work much more were I myself less praised
in it; but I am unwilling to do so, lest my praises should seem
rather the effect of self-love than to be founded on reason and
justice. I am fearful that, like Themistocles, I should appear
to admire their eloquence the most who are most forward to praise
me. It is the usual frailty of our sex to be fond of flattery. I
blame this in other women, and should wish not to be chargeable
with it myself. Yet I confess that I take a pride in being painted
by the hand of so able a master, however flattering the likeness
may be. If I ever were possessed of the graces you have assigned
to me, trouble and vexation render them no longer visible, and
have even effaced them from my own recollection, So that I view
myself in your Memoirs, and say, with old Madame de Rendan, who,
not having consulted her glass since her husband's death, on
seeing her own face in the mirror of another lady, exclaimed, "Who
is this?". Whatever my friends tell me when they see me now, I am
inclined to think proceeds from the partiality of their affection.
I am sure that you yourself, when you consider more impartially
what you have said, will be induced to believe, according to
these lines of Du Bellay:

"C'est chercher Rome en Rome,
Et rien de Rome en Rome ne trouver."

('Tis to seek Rome, in Rome to go,
And Rome herself at Rome not know.)

But as we read with pleasure the history of the Siege of Troy,
the magnificence of Athens, and other splendid cities, which
once flourished, but are now so entirely destroyed that scarcely
the spot whereon they stood can be traced, so you please yourself
with describing these excellences of beauty which are no more,
and which will be discoverable only in your writings.

If you had taken upon you to contrast Nature and Fortune, you
could not have chosen a happier theme upon which to descant,
for both have made a trial of their strength on the subject of
your Memoirs. What Nature did, you had the evidence of your own
eyes to vouch for, but what was done by Fortune, you know only
from hearsay; and hearsay, I need not tell you, is liable to
be influenced by ignorance or malice, and, therefore, is not
to be depended on. You will for that reason, I make no doubt,
be pleased to receive these Memoirs from the hand which is most
interested in the truth of them.

I have been induced to undertake writing my Memoirs the more
from five or six observations which I have had occasion to make
upon your work, as you appear to have been misinformed respecting
certain particulars. For example, in that part where mention is
made of Pau, and of my journey in France; likewise where you
speak of the late Marechal de Biron, of Agen, and of the sally
of the Marquis de Camillac from that place.

These Memoirs might merit the honourable name of history from the
truths contained in them, as I shall prefer truth to embellishment.
In fact, to embellish my story I have neither leisure nor ability;
I shall, therefore, do no more than give a simple narration of
events. They are the labours of my evenings, and will come to
you an unformed mass, to receive its shape from your hands, or
as a chaos on which you have already thrown light. Mine is a
history most assuredly worthy to come from a man of honour, one
who is a true Frenchman, born of illustrious parents, brought
up in the Court of the Kings my father and brothers, allied in
blood and friendship to the most virtuous and accomplished women
of our times, of which society I have had the good fortune to
be the bond of union.

I shall begin these Memoirs in the reign of Charles IX., and
set out with the first remarkable event of my life which fell
within my remembrance. Herein I follow the example of geographical
writers, who having described the places within their knowledge,
tell you that all beyond them are sandy deserts, countries without
inhabitants, or seas never navigated. Thus I might say that all
prior to the commencement of these Memoirs was the barrenness of
my infancy, when we can only be said to vegetate like plants,
or live, like brutes, according to instinct, and not as human
creatures, guided by reason. To those who had the direction of
my earliest years I leave the task of relating the transactions
of my infancy, if they find them as worthy of being recorded as
the infantine exploits of Themistocles and Alexander,--the one
exposing himself to be trampled on by the horses of a charioteer,
who would not stop them when requested to do so, and the other
refusing to run a race unless kings were to enter the contest
against him. Amongst such memorable things might be related the
answer I made the King my father, a short time before the fatal
accident which deprived France of peace, and our family of its
chief glory. I was then about four or five years of age, when
the King, placing me on his knee, entered familiarly into chat
with me. There were, in the same room, playing and diverting
themselves, the Prince de Joinville, since the great and unfortunate
Duc de Guise, and the Marquis de Beaupreau, son of the Prince
de la Roche-sur-Yon, who died in his fourteenth year, and by
whose death his country lost a youth of most promising talents.
Amongst other discourse, the King asked which of the two Princes
that were before me I liked best. I replied, "The Marquis." The
King said, "Why so? He is not the handsomest." The Prince de
Joinville was fair, with light-coloured hair, and the Marquis
de Beaupreau brown, with dark hair. I answered, "Because he is
the best behaved; whilst the Prince is always making mischief,
and will be master over everybody."

This was a presage of what we have seen happen since, when the
whole Court was infected with heresy, about the time of the
Conference of Poissy. It was with great difficulty that I resisted
and preserved myself from a change of religion at that time.
Many ladies and lords belonging to Court strove to convert me to
Huguenotism. The Duc d'Anjou, since King Henri III. of France,
then in his infancy, had been prevailed on to change his religion,
and he often snatched my "Hours" out of my hand, and flung them
into the fire, giving me Psalm Books and books of Huguenot prayers,
insisting on my using them. I took the first opportunity to give
them up to my governess, Madame de Curton, whom God, out of his
mercy to me, caused to continue steadfast in the Catholic religion.
She frequently took me to that pious, good man, the Cardinal
de Tournon, who gave me good advice, and strengthened me in a
perseverance in my religion, furnishing me with books and chaplets
of beads in the room of those my brother Anjou took from me and

Many of my brother's most intimate friends had resolved on my
ruin, and rated me severely upon my refusal to change, saying
it proceeded from a childish obstinacy; that if I had the least
understanding, and would listen, like other discreet persons, to
the sermons that were preached, I should abjure my uncharitable
bigotry; but I was, said they, as foolish as my governess. My
brother Anjou added threats, and said the Queen my mother would
give orders that I should be whipped. But this he said of his
own head, for the Queen my mother did not, at that time, know of
the errors he had embraced. As soon as it came to her knowledge,
she took him to task, and severely reprimanded his governors,
insisting upon their correcting him, and instructing him in the
holy and ancient religion of his forefathers, from which she
herself never swerved. When he used those menaces, as I have
before related, I was a child seven or eight years old, and at
that tender age would reply to him, "Well, get me whipped if
you can; I will suffer whipping, and even death, rather than be

I could furnish you with many other replies of the like kind,
which gave proof of the early ripeness of my judgment and my
courage; but I shall not trouble myself with such researches,
choosing rather to begin these Memoirs at the time when I resided
constantly with the Queen my mother.

Immediately after the Conference of Poissy, the civil wars commenced,
and my brother Alencon and myself, on account of pur youth, were
sent to Amboise, whither all the ladies of the country repaired
to us. With them came your aunt, Madame de Dampierre, who entered
into a firm friendship with me, which was never interrupted until
her death broke it off. There was likewise your cousin, the Duchesse
de Rais, who had the good fortune to hear there of the death
of her brute of a husband, killed at the battle of Dreux. The
husband I mean was the first she had, named M. d'Annebaut, who
was unworthy to have for a wife so accomplished and charming a
woman as your cousin. She and I were not then so intimate friends
as we have become since, and shall ever remain. The reason was
that, though older than I, she was yet young, and young girls
seldom take much notice of children, whereas your aunt was of an
age when women admire their innocence and engaging simplicity.

I remained at Amboise until the Queen my mother was ready to
set out on her grand progress, at which time she sent for me to
come to her Court, which I did not quit afterwards.

Of this progress I will not undertake to give you a description,
being still so young that, though the whole is within my
recollection, yet the particular passages of it appear to me
but as a dream, and are now lost. I leave this task to others,
of riper years, as you were yourself. You can well remember the
magnificence that was displayed everywhere, particularly at the
baptism of my nephew, the Duc de Lorraine, at Bar-le-Duc; at
the meeting of M. and Madame de Savoy, in the city of Lyons;
the interview at Bayonne betwixt my sister, the Queen of Spain,
the Queen my mother, and King Charles my brother. In your account
of this interview you would not forget to make mention of the
noble entertainment given by the Queen my mother, on an island,
with the grand dances, and the form of the _salon_, which seemed
appropriated by nature for such a purpose, it being a large meadow
in the middle of the island, in the shape of an oval, surrounded
on every side by tall spreading trees. In this meadow the Queen
my mother had disposed a circle of niches, each of them large
enough to contain a table of twelve covers. At one end a platform
was raised, ascended by four steps formed of turf. Here their
Majesties were seated at a table under a lofty canopy. The tables
were all served by troops of shepherdesses dressed in cloth of
gold and satin, after the fashion of the different provinces of
France. These shepherdesses, during the passage of the superb
boats from Bayonne to the island, were placed in separate bands,
in a meadow on each side of the causeway, raised with turf; and
whilst their Majesties and the company were passing through the
great _salon_, they danced. On their passage by water, the barges
were followed by other boats, having on board vocal and instrumental
musicians, habited like Nereids, singing and playing the whole
time. After landing, the shepherdesses I have mentioned before
received the company in separate troops, with songs and dances,
after the fashion and accompanied by the music of the provinces they
represented,--the Poitevins playing on bagpipes; the Provencales
on the viol and cymbal; the Burgundians and Champagners on the
hautboy, bass viol, and tambourine; in like manner the Bretons
and other provincialists. After the collation was served and the
feast at an end, a large troop of musicians, habited like satyrs,
was seen to come out of the opening of a rock, well lighted up,
whilst nymphs were descending from the top in rich habits, who,
as they came down, formed into a grand dance,--when, lo! fortune
no longer favouring this brilliant festival, a sudden storm of
rain came on, and all were glad to get off in the boats and make
for town as fast as they could. The confusion in consequence of
this precipitate retreat afforded as much matter to laugh at
the next day as the splendour of the entertainment had excited
admiration. In short, the festivity of this day was not forgotten,
on one account or the other, amidst the variety of the like nature
which succeeded it in the course of this progress.


At the time my magnanimous brother Charles reigned over France, and
some few years after our return from the grand progress mentioned in
my last letter, the Huguenots having renewed the war, a gentleman,
despatched from my brother Anjou (afterwards Henri III. of France),
came to Paris to inform the King and the Queen my mother that
the Huguenot army was reduced to such an extremity that he hoped
in a few days to force them to give him battle. He added his
earnest wish for the honour of seeing them at Tours before that
happened, so that, in case Fortune, envying him the glory he
had already achieved at so early an age, should, on the so much
looked-for day, after the good service he had done his religion
and his King, crown the victory with his death, he might not have
cause to regret leaving this world without the satisfaction of
receiving their approbation of his conduct from their own mouths,--a
satisfaction which would be more valuable, in his opinion, than
the trophies he had gained by his two former victories.

I leave to your own imagination to suggest to you the impression
which such a message from a dearly beloved son made on the mind
of a mother who doted on all her children, and was always ready to
sacrifice her own repose, nay, even her life, for their happiness.

She resolved immediately to set off and take the King with her.
She had, besides myself, her usual small company of female
attendants, together with Mesdames de Rais and de Sauves. She
flew on the wings of maternal affection, and reached Tours in
three days and a half. A journey from Paris, made with such
precipitation, was not unattended with accidents and some
inconveniences, of a nature to occasion much mirth and laughter.
The poor Cardinal de Bourbon, who never quitted her, and whose
temper of mind, strength of body, and habits of life were ill
suited to encounter privations and hardships, suffered greatly
from this rapid journey.

We found my brother Anjou at Plessis-les-Tours, with the principal
officers of his army, who were the flower of the princes and
nobles of France. In their presence he delivered a harangue to
the King, giving a detail of his conduct in the execution of his
charge, beginning from the time he left the Court. His discourse
was framed with so much eloquence, and spoken so gracefully, that
it was admired by all present. It appeared matter of astonishment
that a youth of sixteen should reason with all the gravity and
powers of an orator of ripe years. The comeliness of his person,
which at all times pleads powerfully in favour of a speaker,
was in him set off by the laurels obtained in two victories. In
short, it was difficult to say which most contributed to make
him the admiration of all his hearers.

It is equally as impossible for me to describe in words the feelings
of my mother on this occasion, who loved him above all her children,
as it was for the painter to represent on canvas the grief of
Iphigenia's father. Such an overflow of joy would have been
discoverable in the looks and actions of any other woman, but
she had her passions so much under the control of prudence and
discretion that there was nothing to be perceived in her countenance,
or gathered from her words, of what she felt inwardly in her mind.
She was, indeed, a perfect mistress of herself, and regulated
her discourse and her actions by the rules of wisdom and sound
policy, showing that a person of discretion does upon all occasions
only what is proper to be done. She did not amuse herself on
this occasion with listening to the praises which issued from
every mouth, and sanction them with her own approbation; but,
selecting the chief points in the speech relative to the future
conduct of the war, she laid them before the Princes and great
lords, to be deliberated upon, in order to settle a plan of

To arrange such a plan a delay of some days was requisite. During
this interval, the Queen my mother walking in the park with some
of the Princes, my brother Anjou begged me to take a turn or two
with him in a retired walk. He then addressed me in the following
words: "Dear sister, the nearness of blood; as well as our having
been brought up together, naturally, as they ought, attach us
to each other. You must already have discovered the partiality
I have had for you above my brothers, and I think that I have
perceived the same in you for me. We have been hitherto led to
this by nature, without deriving any other advantage from it
than the sole pleasure of conversing together. So far might be
well enough for our childhood, but now we are no longer children.
You know the high situation in which, by the favour of God and
our good mother the Queen, I am here placed. You may be assured
that, as you are the person in the world whom I love and esteem
the most, you will always be a partaker of my advancement. I know
you are not wanting in wit and discretion, and I am sensible
you have it in your power to do me service with the Queen our
mother, and preserve me in my present employments. It is a great
point obtained for me, always to stand well in her favour. I
am fearful that my absence may be prejudicial to that purpose,
and I must necessarily be at a distance from Court. Whilst I am
away, the King my brother is with her, and has it in his power
to insinuate himself into her good graces. This I fear, in the
end, may be of disservice to me. The King my brother is growing
older every day. He does not want for courage, and, though he now
diverts himself with hunting, he may grow ambitious, and choose
rather to chase men than beasts; in such a case I must resign to
him my commission as his lieutenant. This would prove the greatest
mortification that could happen to me, and I would even prefer death
to it. Under such an apprehension I have considered of the means
of prevention, and see none so feasible as having a confidential
person about the Queen my mother, who shall always be ready to
espouse and support my cause. I know no one so proper for that
purpose as yourself, who will be, I doubt not, as attentive to
my interest as I should be myself. You have wit, discretion, and
fidelity, which are all that are wanting, provided you will be
so kind as to undertake such a good office. In that case I shall
have only to beg of you not to neglect attending her morning and
evening, to be the first with her and the last to leave her.
This will induce her to repose a confidence and open her mind to
you. To make her the more ready to do this, I shall take every
opportunity to commend your good sense and understanding, and to
tell her that I shall take it kind in her to leave off treating
you as a child, which, I shall say, will contribute to her own
comfort and satisfaction. I am well convinced that she will listen
to my advice. Do you speak to her with the same confidence as
you do to me, and be assured that she will approve of it. It
will conduce to your own happiness to obtain her favour. You may
do yourself service whilst you are labouring for my interest;
and you may rest satisfied that, after God, I shall think I owe
all the good fortune which may befall me to yourself."

This was entirely a new kind of language to me. I had hitherto
thought of nothing but amusements, of dancing, hunting, and the
like diversions; nay, I had never yet discovered any inclination
of setting myself off to advantage by dress, and exciting an
admiration of my person and figure. I had no ambition of any
kind, and had been so strictly brought up under the Queen my
mother that I scarcely durst speak before her; and if she chanced
to turn her eyes towards me I trembled, for fear that I had done
something to displease her. At the conclusion of my brother's
harangue, I was half inclined to reply to him in the words of
Moses, when he was spoken to from the burning bush: "Who am I,
that I should go unto Pharaoh? Send, I pray thee, by the hand
of him whom thou wilt send."

However, his words inspired me with resolution and powers I did
not think myself possessed of before. I had naturally a degree
of courage, and, as soon as I recovered from my astonishment, I
found I was quite an altered person. His address pleased me, and
wrought in me a confidence in myself; and I found I was become of
more consequence than I had ever conceived I had been. Accordingly,
I replied to him thus: "Brother, if God grant me the power of
speaking to the Queen our mother as I have the will to do, nothing
can be wanting for your service, and you may expect to derive all
the good you hope from it, and from my solicitude and attention
for your interest. With respect to my undertaking such a matter
for you, you will soon perceive that I shall sacrifice all the
pleasures in this world to my watchfulness for your service. You
may perfectly rely on me, as there is no one that honours or
regards you more than I do. Be well assured that I shall act
for you with the Queen my mother as zealously as you would for

These sentiments were more strongly impressed upon my mind than
the words I made use of were capable of conveying an idea of.
This will appear more fully in my following letters.

As soon as we were returned from walking, the Queen my mother
retired with me into her closet, and addressed the following
words to me: "Your brother has been relating the conversation
you have had together; he considers you no longer as a child,
neither shall I. It will be a great comfort to me to converse
with you as I would with your brother. For the future you will
freely speak your mind, and have no apprehensions of taking too
great a liberty, for it is what I wish." These words gave me
a pleasure then which I am now unable to express. I felt a
satisfaction and a joy which nothing before had ever caused me
to feel. I now considered the pastimes of my childhood as vain
amusements. I shunned the society of my former companions of
the same age. I disliked dancing and hunting, which I thought
beneath my attention. I strictly complied with her agreeable
injunction, and never missed being with her at her rising in
the morning and going to rest at night. She did me the honour,
sometimes, to hold me in conversation for two and three hours
at a time. God was so gracious with me that I gave her great
satisfaction; and she thought she could not sufficiently praise
me to those ladies who were about her. I spoke of my brother's
affairs to her, and he was constantly apprised by me of her
sentiments and opinion; so that he had every reason to suppose
I was firmly attached to his interest.


I continued to pass my time with the Queen my mother, greatly
to my satisfaction, until after the battle of Moncontour. By
the same despatch that brought the news of this victory to the
Court, my brother, who was ever desirous to be near the Queen
my mother, wrote her word that he was about to lay siege to St.
Jean d'Angely, and that it would be necessary that the King should
be present whilst it was going on. She, more anxious to see him
than he could be to have her near him, hastened to set out on
the journey, taking me with her, and her customary train of
attendants. I likewise experienced great joy upon the occasion,
having no suspicion that any mischief awaited me. I was still
young and without experience, and I thought the happiness I enjoyed
was always to continue; but the malice of Fortune prepared for
me at this interview a reverse that I little expected, after
the fidelity with which I had discharged the trust my brother
had reposed in me.

Soon after our last meeting, it seems, my brother Anjou had taken
Le Guast to be near his person, who had ingratiated himself so
far into his favour and confidence that he saw only with his
eyes, and spoke but as he dictated. This evil-disposed man, whose
whole life was one continued scene of wickedness, had perverted
his mind and filled it with maxims of the most atrocious nature.
He advised him to have no regard but for his own interest; neither
to love nor put trust in anyone; and not to promote the views or
advantage of either brother or sister. These and other maxims
of the like nature, drawn from the school of Machiavelli, he was
continually suggesting to him. He had so frequently inculcated
them that they were strongly impressed on his mind, insomuch
that, upon our arrival, when, after the first compliments, my
mother began to open in my praise and express the attachment I
had discovered for him, this was his reply, which he delivered
with the utmost coldness: "He was well pleased," he said, "to have
succeeded in the request he had made to me; but that prudence
directed us not to continue to make use of the same expedients, for
what was profitable at one time might not be so at another." She
asked him why he made that observation. This question afforded the
opportunity he wished for, of relating a story he had fabricated,
purposely to ruin me with her.

He began with observing to her that I was grown very handsome,
and that M. de Guise wished to marry me; that his uncles, too,
were very desirous of such a match; and, if I should entertain a
like passion for him, there would be danger of my discovering to
him all she said to me; that she well knew the ambition of that
house, and how ready they were, on all occasions, to circumvent
ours. It would, therefore, be proper that she should not, for the
future, communicate any matter of State to me, but, by degrees,
withdraw her confidence.

I discovered the evil effects proceeding from this pernicious
advice on the very same evening. I remarked an unwillingness
on her part to speak to me before my brother; and, as soon as
she entered into discourse with him, she commanded me to go to
bed. This command she repeated two or three times. I quitted her
closet, and left them together in conversation; but, as soon as
he was gone, I returned and entreated her to let me know if I had
been so unhappy as to have done anything, through ignorance, which
had given her offence. She was at first inclined to dissemble with
me; but at length she said to me thus: "Daughter, your brother
is prudent and cautious; you ought not to be displeased with
him for what he does, and you must believe what I shall tell
you is right and proper." She then related the conversation she
had with my brother, as I have just written it; and she then
ordered me never to speak to her in my brother's presence.

These words were like so many daggers plunged into my breast.
In my disgrace, I experienced as much grief as I had before joy
on being received into her favour and confidence. I did not omit
to say everything to convince her of my entire ignorance of what
my brother had told her. I said it was a matter I had never heard
mentioned before; and that, had I known it, I should certainly
have made her immediately acquainted with it. All I said was to
no purpose; my brother's words had made the first impression; they
were constantly present in her mind, and outweighed probability
and truth. When I discovered this, I told her that I felt less
uneasiness at being deprived of my happiness than I did joy when
I had acquired it; for my brother had taken it from me, as he
had given it. He had given it without reason; he had taken it
away without cause. He had praised me for discretion and prudence
when I did not merit it, and he suspected my fidelity on grounds
wholly imaginary and fictitious. I concluded with assuring her
that I should never forget my brother's behaviour on this occasion.

Hereupon she flew into a passion and commanded me not to make
the least show of resentment at his behaviour. From that hour
she gradually withdrew her favour from me. Her son became the
god of her idolatry, at the shrine of whose will she sacrificed

The grief which I inwardly felt was very great and overpowered
all my faculties, until it wrought so far on my constitution as
to contribute to my receiving the infection which then prevailed
in the army. A few days after I fell sick of a raging fever,
attended with purple spots, a malady which carried off numbers,
and, amongst the rest, the two principal physicians belonging
to the King and Queen, Chappelain and Castelan. Indeed, few got
over the disorder after being attacked with it.

In this extremity the Queen my mother, who partly guessed the
cause of my illness, omitted nothing that might serve to remove
it; and, without fear of consequences, visited me frequently.
Her goodness contributed much to my recovery; but my brother's
hypocrisy was sufficient to destroy all the benefit I received
from her attention, after having been guilty of so treacherous a
proceeding. After he had proved so ungrateful to me, he came and
sat at the foot of my bed from morning to night, and appeared as
anxiously attentive as if we had been the most perfect friends.
My mouth was shut up by the command I had received from the Queen
our mother, so that I only answered his dissembled concern with
sighs, like Burrus in the presence of Nero, when he was dying by
the poison administered by the hands of that tyrant. The sighs,
however, which I vented in my brother's presence, might convince
him that I attributed my sickness rather to his ill offices than
to the prevailing contagion.

God had mercy on me, and supported me through this dangerous
illness. After I had kept my bed a fortnight, the army changed
its quarters, and I was conveyed away with it in a litter. At
the end of each day's march, I found King Charles at the door of
my quarters, ready, with the rest of the good gentlemen belonging
to the Court, to carry my litter up to my bedside. In this manner
I came to Angers from St. Jean d'Angely, sick in body, but more
sick in mind. Here, to my misfortune, M. de Guise and his uncles
had arrived before me. This was a circumstance which gave my good
brother great pleasure, as it afforded a colourable appearance
to his story. I soon discovered the advantage my brother would
make of it to increase my already too great mortification; for
he came daily to see me, and as constantly brought M. de Guise
into my chamber with him. He pretended the sincerest regard for
De Guise, and, to make him believe it, would take frequent
opportunities of embracing him, crying out at the same time;
"Would to God you were my brother!" This he often put in practice
before me, which M. de Guise seemed not to comprehend; but I,
who knew his malicious designs, lost all patience, yet did not
dare to reproach him with his hypocrisy.

As soon as I was recovered, a treaty was set on foot for a marriage
betwixt the King of Portugal and me, an ambassador having been
sent for that purpose. The Queen my mother commanded me to prepare
to give the ambassador an audience; which I did accordingly. My
brother had made her believe that I was averse to this marriage;
accordingly, she took me to task upon it, and questioned me on
the subject, expecting she should find some cause to be angry
with me. I told her my will had always been guided by her own,
and that whatever she thought right for me to do, I should do
it. She answered me, angrily, according as she had been wrought
upon, that I did not speak the sentiments of my heart, for she
well knew that the Cardinal de Lorraine had persuaded me into
a promise of having his nephew. I begged her to forward this
match with the King of Portugal, and I would convince her of my
obedience to her commands. Every day some new matter was reported
to incense her against me. All these were machinations worked up
by the mind of Le Guast. In short, I was constantly receiving
some fresh mortification, so that I hardly passed a day in quiet.
On one side, the King of Spain was using his utmost endeavours to
break off the match with Portugal, and M. de Guise, continuing
at Court, furnished grounds for persecuting me on the other.
Still, not a single person of the Guises ever mentioned a word
to me on the subject; and it was well known that, for more than
a twelvemonth, M. de Guise had been paying his addresses to the
Princesse de Porcian; but the slow progress made in bringing
this match to a conclusion was said to be owing to his designs
upon me.

As soon as I made this discovery I resolved to write to my sister,
Madame de Lorraine, who had a great influence in the House of
Porcian, begging her to use her endeavours to withdraw M. de Guise
from Court, and make him conclude his match with the Princess,
laying open to her the plot which had been concerted to ruin
the Guises and me. She readily saw through it, came immediately
to Court, and concluded the match, which delivered me from the
aspersions cast on my character, and convinced the Queen my mother
that what I had told her was the real truth. This at the same
time stopped the mouths of my enemies and gave me some repose.

At length the King of Spain, unwilling that the King of Portugal
should marry out of his family, broke off the treaty which had
been entered upon for my marriage with him.


Some short time after this a marriage was projected betwixt the
Prince of Navarre, now our renowned King Henri IV., and me.

The Queen my mother, as she sat at table, discoursed for a long
time upon the subject with M. de W Meru, the House of Montmorency
having first proposed the match. After the Queen had risen from
table, he told me she had commanded him to mention it to me.
I replied that it was quite unnecessary, as I had no will but
her own; however, I should wish she would be pleased to remember
that I was a Catholic, and that I should dislike to marry any
one of a contrary persuasion.

Soon after this the Queen sent for me to attend her in her closet.
She there informed me that the Montmorencys had proposed this match
to her, and that she was desirous to learn my sentiments upon it.
I answered that my choice was governed by her pleasure, and that
I only begged her not to forget that I was a good Catholic.

This treaty was in negotiation for some time after this conversation,
and was not finally settled until the arrival of the Queen of
Navarre, his mother, at Court, where she died soon after.

Whilst the Queen of Navarre lay on her death-bed, a circumstance
happened of so whimsical a nature that, though hot of consequence
to merit a place in the history, it may very well deserve to be
related by me to you. Madame de Nevers, whose oddities you well
know, attended the Cardinal de Bourbon, Madame de Guise, the
Princesse de Conde, her sisters, and myself to the late Queen
of Navarre's apartments, whither we all went to pay those last
duties which her rank and our nearness of blood demanded of us.
We found the Queen in bed with her curtains undrawn, the chamber
not disposed with the pomp and ceremonies of our religion, but
after the simple manner of the Huguenots; that is to say, there
were no priests, no cross, nor any holy water. We kept ourselves
at some distance from the bed, but Madame de Nevers, whom you
know the Queen hated more than any woman besides, and which she
had shown both in speech and by actions,--Madame de Nevers, I
say, approached the bedside, and, to the great astonishment of
all present, who well knew the enmity subsisting betwixt them,
took the Queen's hand, with many low curtseys, and kissed it;
after which, making another curtsey to the very ground, she retired
and rejoined us.

A few months after the Queen's death, the Prince of Navarre, or
rather, as he was then styled, the King, came to Paris in deep
mourning, attended by eight hundred gentlemen, all in mourning
habits. He was received with every honour by King Charles and the
whole Court, and, in a few days after his arrival, our marriage was
solemnised with all possible magnificence; the King of Navarre and
his retinue putting off their mourning and dressing themselves in
the most costly manner. The whole Court, too, was richly attired;
all which you can better conceive than I am able to express.
For my own part, I was set out in a most royal manner; I wore a
crown on my head with the _coet_, or regal close gown of ermine,
and I blazed in diamonds. My blue-coloured robe had a train to it
of four ells in length, which was supported by three princesses.
A platform had been raised, some height from the ground, which
led from the Bishop's palace to the Church of Notre-Dame. It was
hung with cloth of gold; and below it stood the people in throngs
to view the procession, stifling with heat. We were received at
the church door by the Cardinal de Bourbon, who officiated for
that day, and pronounced the nuptial benediction. After this we
proceeded on the same platform to the tribune which separates the
nave from the choir, where was a double staircase, one leading
into the choir, the other through the nave to the church door.
The King of Navarre passed by the latter and went out of church.

But fortune, which is ever changing, did not fail soon to disturb
the felicity of this union. This was occasioned by the wound
received by the Admiral, which had wrought the Huguenots up to
a degree of desperation. The Queen my mother was reproached on
that account in such terms by the elder Pardaillan and some other
principal Huguenots, that she began to apprehend some evil design.
M. de Guise and my brother the King of Poland, since Henri III.
of France, gave it as their advice to be beforehand with the
Huguenots. King Charles was of a contrary opinion. He had a great
esteem for M. de La Rochefoucauld, Teligny, La Noue, and some
other leading men of the same religion; and, as I have since
heard him say, it was with the greatest difficulty he could be
prevailed upon to give his consent, and not before he had been
made to understand that his own life and the safety of his kingdom
depended upon it.

The King having learned that Maurevel had made an attempt upon
the Admiral's life, by firing a pistol at him through a window,--in
which attempt he failed, having wounded the Admiral only in the
shoulder,--and supposing that Maurevel had done this at the instance
of M. de Guise, to revenge the death of his father, whom the
Admiral had caused to be killed in the same manner by Poltrot,
he was so much incensed against M. de Guise that he declared
with an oath that he would make an example of him; and, indeed,
the King would have put M. de Guise under an arrest, if he had
not kept out of his sight the whole day. The Queen my mother used
every argument to convince King Charles that what had been done
was for the good of the State; and this because, as I observed
before, the King had so great a regard for the Admiral, La Noue,
and Teligny, on account of their bravery, being himself a prince
of a gallant and noble spirit, and esteeming others in whom he
found a similar disposition. Moreover, these designing men had
insinuated themselves into the King's favour by proposing an
expedition to Flanders, with a view of extending his dominions
and aggrandising his power, propositions which they well knew
would secure to themselves an influence over his royal and generous

Upon this occasion, the Queen my mother represented to the King
that the attempt of M. de Guise upon the Admiral's life was excusable
in a son who, being denied justice, had no other means of avenging
his father's death. Moreover, the Admiral, she said, had deprived
her by assassination, during his minority and her regency, of
a faithful servant in the person of Charri, commander of the
King's body-guard, which rendered him deserving of the like

Notwithstanding that the Queen my mother spoke thus to the King,
discovering by her expressions and in her looks all the grief which
she inwardly felt on the recollection of the loss of persons who
had been useful to her; yet, so much was King Charles inclined
to save those who, as he thought, would one day be serviceable
to him, that he still persisted in his determination to punish
M. de Guise, for whom he ordered strict search to be made.

At length Pardaillan, disclosing by his menaces, during the supper
of the Queen my mother, the evil intentions of the Huguenots, she
plainly perceived that things were brought to so near a crisis,
that, unless steps were taken that very night to prevent it, the
King and herself were in danger of being assassinated. She,
therefore, came to the resolution of declaring to King Charles
his real situation. For this purpose she thought of the Marechal
de Rais as the most proper person to break the matter to the
King, the Marshal being greatly in his favour and confidence.

Accordingly, the Marshal went to the King in his closet, between
the hours of nine and ten, and told him he was come as a faithful
servant to discharge his duty, and lay before him the danger in
which he stood, if he persisted in his resolution of punishing
M. de Guise, as he ought now to be informed that the attempt
made upon the Admiral's life was not set on foot by him alone,
but that his (the King's) brother the King of Poland, and the
Queen his mother, had their shares in it; that he must be sensible
how much the Queen lamented Charri's assassination, for which
she had great reason, having very few servants about her upon
whom she could rely, and as it happened during the King's
minority,--at the time, moreover, when France was divided between
the Catholics and the Huguenots, M. de Guise being at the head
of the former, and the Prince de Conde of the latter, both alike
striving to deprive him of his crown; that through Providence,
both his crown and kingdom had been preserved by the prudence
and good conduct of the Queen Regent, who in this extremity found
herself powerfully aided by the said Charri, for which reason
she had vowed to avenge his death; that, as to the Admiral, he
must be ever considered as dangerous to the State, and whatever
show he might make of affection for his Majesty's person, and
zeal for his service in Flanders, they must be considered as mere
pretences, which he used to cover his real design of reducing
the kingdom to a state of confusion.

The Marshal concluded with observing that the original intention
had been to make away with the Admiral only, as the most obnoxious
man in the kingdom; but Maurevel having been so unfortunate as
to fail in his attempt, and the Huguenots becoming desperate
enough to resolve to take up arms, with design to attack, not
only M. de Guise, but the Queen his mother, and his brother the
King of Poland, supposing them, as well as his Majesty, to have
commanded Maurevel to make his attempt, he saw nothing but cause
of alarm for his Majesty's safety,--as well on the part of the
Catholics, if he persisted in his resolution to punish M. de
Guise, as of the Huguenots, for the reasons which he had just
laid before him.


King Charles, a prince of great prudence, always paying a particular
deference to his mother, and being much attached to the Catholic
religion, now convinced of the intentions of the Huguenots, adopted
a sudden resolution of following his mother's counsel, and putting
himself under the safeguard of the Catholics. It was not, however,
without extreme regret that he found he had it not in his power
to save Teligny, La Noue; and M. de La Rochefoucauld.

He went to the apartments of the Queen his mother, and sending
for M. de Guise and all the Princes and Catholic officers, the
"Massacre of St. Bartholomew" was that night resolved upon.

Immediately every hand was at work; chains were drawn across the
streets, the alarm-bells were sounded, and every man repaired
to his post, according to the orders he had received, whether
it was to attack the Admiral's quarters, or those of the other
Huguenots. M. de Guise hastened to the Admiral's, and Besme, a
gentleman in the service of the former, a German by birth, forced
into his chamber, and having slain him with a dagger, threw his
body out of a window to his master.

I was perfectly ignorant of what was going forward. I observed
everyone to be in motion: the Huguenots, driven to despair by
the attack upon the Admiral's life, and the Guises, fearing they
should not have justice done them, whispering all they met in
the ear.

The Huguenots were suspicious of me because I was a Catholic,
and the Catholics because I was married to the King of Navarre,
who was a Huguenot. This being the case, no one spoke a syllable
of the matter to me.

At night, when I went into the bedchamber of the Queen my mother,
I placed myself on a coffer, next my sister Lorraine, who, I
could not but remark, appeared greatly cast down. The Queen my
mother was in conversation with some one, but, as soon as she
espied me, she bade me go to bed. As I was taking leave, my sister
seized me by the hand and stopped me, at the same time shedding
a flood of tears: "For the love of God," cried she, "do not stir
out of this chamber!" I was greatly alarmed at this exclamation;
perceiving which, the Queen my mother called my sister to her,
and chid her very severely. My sister replied it was sending me
away to be sacrificed; for, if any discovery should be made, I
should be the first victim of their revenge. The Queen my mother
made answer that, if it pleased God, I should receive no hurt,
but it was necessary I should go, to prevent the suspicion that
might arise from my staying.

I perceived there was something on foot which I was not to know,
but what it was I could not make out from anything they said.

The Queen again bade me go to bed in a peremptory tone. My sister
wished me a good night, her tears flowing apace, but she did not
dare to say a word more; and I left the bedchamber more dead
than alive.

As soon as I reached my own closet, I threw myself upon my knees
and prayed to God to take me into his protection and save me; but
from whom or what, I was ignorant. Hereupon the King my husband,
who was already in bed, sent for me. I went to him, and found the
bed surrounded by thirty or forty Huguenots, who were entirely
unknown to me; for I had been then but a very short time married.
Their whole discourse, during the night, was upon what had happened
to the Admiral, and they all came to a resolution of the next
day demanding justice of the King against M. de Guise; and, if
it was refused, to take it themselves.

For my part, I was unable to sleep a wink the whole night, for
thinking of my sister's tears and distress, which had greatly
alarmed me, although I had not the least knowledge of the real
cause. As soon as day broke, the King my husband said he would
rise and play at tennis until King Charles was risen, when he
would go to him immediately and demand justice. He left the
bedchamber, and all his gentlemen followed.

As soon as I beheld it was broad day, I apprehended all the danger
my sister had spoken of was over; and being inclined to sleep, I
bade my nurse make the door fast, and I applied myself to take
some repose. In about an hour I was awakened by a violent noise
at the door, made with both hands and feet, and a voice calling
out, "Navarre! Navarre!" My nurse, supposing the King my husband
to be at the door, hastened to open it, when a gentleman, named
M. de Teian, ran in, and threw himself immediately upon my bed.
He had received a wound in his arm from a sword, and another by
a pike, and was then pursued by four archers, who followed him
into the bedchamber. Perceiving these last, I jumped out of bed,
and the poor gentleman after me, holding me fast by the waist.
I did not then know him; neither was I sure that he came to do me
no harm, or whether the archers were in pursuit of him or me. In
this situation I screamed aloud, and he cried out likewise, for
our fright was mutual. At length, by God's providence, M. de
Nancay, captain of the guard, came into the bedchamber, and,
seeing me thus surrounded, though he could not help pitying me,
he was scarcely able to refrain from laughter. However, he
reprimanded the archers very severely for their indiscretion,
and drove them out of the chamber. At my request he granted the
poor gentleman his life, and I had him put to bed in my closet,
caused his wounds to be dressed, and did not suffer him to quit
my apartment until he was perfectly cured. I changed my shift,
because it was stained with the blood of this man, and, whilst
I was doing so, De Nancay gave me an account of the transactions
of the foregoing night, assuring me that the King my husband was
safe, and actually at that moment in the King's bed-chamber.
He made me muffle myself up in a cloak, and conducted me to the
apartment of my sister, Madame de Lorraine, whither I arrived
more than half dead. As we passed through the antechamber, all
the doors of which were wide open, a gentleman of the name of
Bourse, pursued by archers, was run through the body with a pike,
and fell dead at my feet. As if I had been killed by the same
stroke, I fell, and was caught by M. de Nancay before I reached
the ground. As soon as I recovered from this fainting-fit, I
went into my sister's bedchamber, and was immediately followed
by M. de Mioflano, first gentleman to the King my husband, and
Armagnac, his first _valet de chambre_, who both came to beg me
to save their lives. I went and threw myself on my knees before
the King and the Queen my mother, and obtained the lives of both
of them.

Five or six days afterwards, those who were engaged in this plot,
considering that it was incomplete whilst the King my husband
and the Prince de Conde remained alive, as their design was not
only to dispose of the Huguenots, but of the Princes of the blood
likewise; and knowing that no attempt could be made on my husband
whilst I continued to be his wife, devised a scheme which they
suggested to the Queen my mother for divorcing me from him.
Accordingly, one holiday, when I waited upon her to chapel, she
charged me to declare to her, upon my oath, whether I believed
my husband to be like other men. "Because," said she, "if he
is not, I can easily procure you a divorce from him." I begged
her to believe that I was not sufficiently competent to answer
such a question, and could only reply, as the Roman lady did
to her husband, when he chid her for not informing him of his
stinking breath, that, never having approached any other man
near enough to know a difference, she thought all men had been
alike in that respect. "But," said I, "Madame, since you have
put the question to me, I can only declare I am content to remain
as I am;" and this I said because I suspected the design of
separating me from my husband was in order to work some mischief
against him.


We accompanied the King of Poland as far as Beaumont. For some
months before he quitted France, he had used every endeavour
to efface from my mind the ill offices he had so ungratefully
done me. He solicited to obtain the same place in my esteem which
he held during our infancy; and, on taking leave of me, made me
confirm it by oaths and promises. His departure from France,
and King Charles's sickness, which happened just about the same
time, excited the spirit of the two factions into which the kingdom
was divided, to form a variety of plots. The Huguenots, on the
death of the Admiral, had obtained from the King my husband, and
my brother Alencon, a written obligation to avenge it. Before St.
Bartholomew's Day, they had gained my brother over to their party,
by the hope of securing Flanders for him. They now persuaded my
husband and him to leave the King and Queen on their return,
and pass into Champagne, there to join some troops which were
in waiting to receive them.

M. de Miossans, a Catholic gentleman, having received an intimation
of this design, considered it so prejudicial to the interests
of the King his master, that he communicated it to me with the
intention of frustrating a plot of so much danger to themselves
and to the State. I went immediately to the King and the Queen
my mother, and informed them that I had a matter of the utmost
importance to lay before them; but that I could not declare it
unless they would be pleased to promise me that no harm should
ensue from it to such as I should name to them, and that they
would put a stop to what was going forward without publishing
their knowledge of it. Having obtained my request, I told them
that my brother Alencon and the King my husband had an intention,
on the very next day, of joining some Huguenot troops, which
expected them, in order to fulfil the engagement they had made
upon the Admiral's death; and for this their intention, I begged
they might be excused, and that they might be prevented from
going away without any discovery being made that their designs
had been found out. All this was granted me, and measures were
so prudently taken to stay them, that they had not the least
suspicion that their intended evasion was known. Soon after, we
arrived at St. Germain, where we stayed some time, on account
of the King's indisposition. All this while my brother Alencon
used every means he could devise to ingratiate himself with me,
until at last I promised him my friendship, as I had before done
to my brother the King of Poland. As he had been brought up at a
distance from Court, we had hitherto known very little of each
other, and kept ourselves at a distance. Now that he had made
the first advances, in so respectful and affectionate a manner,
I resolved to receive him into a firm friendship, and to interest
myself in whatever concerned him, without prejudice, however,
to the interests of my good brother King Charles, whom I loved
more than any one besides, and who continued to entertain a great
regard for me, of which he gave me proofs as long as he lived.

Meanwhile King Charles was daily growing worse, and the Huguenots
constantly forming new plots. They were very desirous to get
my brother the Duc d'Alencon and the King my husband away from
Court. I got intelligence, from time to time, of their designs;
and, providentially, the Queen my mother defeated their intentions
when a day had been fixed on for the arrival of the Huguenot
troops at St. Germain. To avoid this visit, we set off the night
before for Paris, two hours after midnight, putting King Charles
in a litter, and the Queen my mother taking my brother and the
King my husband with her in her own carriage.

They did not experience on this occasion such mild treatment
as they had hitherto done, for the King going to the Wood of
Vincennes, they were not permitted to set foot out of the palace.
This misunderstanding was so far from being mitigated by time,
that the mistrust and discontent were continually increasing,
owing to the insinuations and bad advice offered to the King by
those who wished the ruin and downfall of our house. To such a
height had these jealousies risen that the Marechaux de Montmorency
and de Cosse were put under a close arrest, and La Mole and the
Comte de Donas executed. Matters were now arrived at such a pitch
that commissioners were appointed from the Court of Parliament
to hear and determine upon the case of my brother and the King
my husband.

My husband, having no counsellor to assist him, desired me to
draw up his defence in such a manner that he might not implicate
any person, and, at the same time, clear my brother and himself
from any criminality of conduct. With God's help I accomplished
this task to his great satisfaction, and to the surprise of the
commissioners, who did not expect to find them so well prepared
to justify themselves.

As it was apprehended, after the death of La Mole and the Comte
de Donas, that their lives were likewise in danger, I had resolved
to save them at the hazard of my own ruin with the King, whose
favour I entirely enjoyed at that time. I was suffered to pass
to and from them in my coach, with my women, who were not even
required by the guard to unmask, nor was my coach ever searched.
This being the case, I had intended to convey away one of them
disguised in a female habit. But the difficulty lay in settling
betwixt themselves which should remain behind in prison, they
being closely watched by their guards, and the escape of one
bringing the other's life into hazard. Thus they could never
agree upon the point, each of them wishing to be the person I
should deliver from confinement.

But Providence put a period to their imprisonment by a means
which proved very unfortunate for me. This was no other than
the death of King Charles, who was the only stay and support of
my life,--a brother from whose hands I never received anything
but good; who, during the persecution I underwent at Angers,
through my brother Anjou, assisted me with all his advice and
credit. In a word, when I lost King Charles, I lost everything.


After this fatal event, which was as unfortunate for France as
for me, we went to Lyons to give the meeting to the King of Poland,
now Henri III. of France. The new King was as much governed by
Le Guast as ever, and had left this intriguing, mischievous man
behind in France to keep his party together. Through this man's
insinuations he had conceived the most confirmed jealousy of my
brother Alencon. He suspected that I was the bond that connected
the King my husband and my brother, and that, to dissolve their
union, it would be necessary to create a coolness between me and
my husband, and to work up a quarrel of rivalship betwixt them
both by means of Madame de Sauves, whom they both visited. This
abominable plot, which proved the source of so much disquietude
and unhappiness, as well to my brother as myself, was as artfully
conducted as it was wickedly designed.

Many have held that God has great personages more immediately
under his protection, and that minds of superior excellence have
bestowed on them a good genius, or secret intelligencer, to apprise
them of good, or warn them against evil. Of this number I might
reckon the Queen my mother, who has had frequent intimations
of the kind; particularly the very night before the tournament
which proved so fatal to the King my father, she dreamed that she
saw him wounded in the eye, as it really happened; upon which she
awoke, and begged him not to run a course that day, but content
himself with looking on. Fate prevented the nation from enjoying so
much happiness as it would have done had he followed her advice.
Whenever she lost a child, she beheld a bright flame shining before
her, and would immediately cry out, "God save my children!" well
knowing it was the harbinger of the death of some one of them,
which melancholy news was sure to be confirmed very shortly after.
During her very dangerous illness at Metz, where she caught a
pestilential fever, either from the coal fires, or by visiting
some of the nunneries which had been infected, and from which
she was restored to health and to the kingdom through the great
skill and experience of that modern AEsculapius, M. de Castilian her
physician--I say, during that illness, her bed being surrounded by
my brother King Charles, my brother and sister Lorraine, several
members of the Council, besides many ladies and princesses, not
choosing to quit her, though without hopes of her life, she was
heard to cry out, as if she saw the battle of Jarnac: "There!
see how they flee! My son, follow them to victory! Ah, my son
falls! O my God, save him! See there! the Prince de Conde is
dead!" All who were present looked upon these words as proceeding
from her delirium, as she knew that my brother Anjou was on the
point of giving battle, and thought no more of it. On the night
following, M. de Losses brought the news of the battle; and, it
being supposed that she would be pleased to hear of it, she was
awakened, at which she appeared to be angry, saying: "Did I not
know it yesterday?" It was then that those about her recollected
what I have now related, and concluded that it was no delirium,
but one of those revelations made by God to great and illustrious
persons. Ancient history furnishes many examples of the like
kind amongst the pagans, as the apparition of Brutus and many
others, which I shall not mention, it not being my intention to
illustrate these Memoirs with such narratives, but only to relate
the truth, and that with as much expedition as I am able, that
you may be the sooner in possession of my story.

I am far from supposing that I am worthy of these divine admonitions;
nevertheless, I should accuse myself of ingratitude towards my God
for the benefits I have received, which I esteem myself obliged
to acknowledge whilst I live; and I further believe myself bound
to bear testimony of his goodness and power, and the mercies he
hath shown me, so that I can declare no extraordinary accident
ever befell me, whether fortunate or otherwise, but I received
some warning of it, either by dream or in some other way, so
that I may say with the poet--

"De mon bien, ou mon mal,
Mon esprit m'est oracle."

(Whate'er of good or ill befell,
My mind was oracle to tell.)

And of this I had a convincing proof on the arrival of the King
of Poland, when the Queen my mother went to meet him. Amidst
the embraces and compliments of welcome in that warm season,
crowded as we were together and stifling with heat, I found a
universal shivering come over me, which was plainly perceived
by those near me. It was with difficulty I could conceal what
I felt when the King, having saluted the Queen my mother, came
forward to salute me. This secret intimation of what was to happen
thereafter made a strong impression on my mind at the moment, and
I thought of it shortly after, when I discovered that the King
had conceived a hatred of me through the malicious suggestions
of Le Guast, who had made him believe, since the King's death,
that I espoused my brother Alencon's party during his absence,
and cemented a friendship betwixt the King my husband and him.


An opportunity was diligently sought by my enemies to effect their
design of bringing about a misunderstanding betwixt my brother
Alencon, the King my husband, and me, by creating a jealousy of
me in my husband, and in my brother and husband, on account of
their mutual love for Madame de Sauves.

One afternoon, the Queen my mother having retired to her closet
to finish some despatches which were likely to detain her there
for some time, Madame de Nevers, your kinswoman, Madame de Rais,
another of your relations, Bourdeille, and Surgeres asked me
whether I would not wish to see a little of the city. Whereupon
Mademoiselle de Montigny, the niece of Madame Usez, observing to
us that the Abbey of St. Pierre was a beautiful convent, we all
resolved to visit it. She then begged to go with us, as she said
she had an aunt in that convent, and as it was not easy to gain
admission into it, except in the company of persons of distinction.
Accordingly, she went with us; and there being six of us, the
carriage was crowded. Over and above those I have mentioned,
there was Madame de Curton, the lady of my bed-chamber, who always
attended me. Liancourt, first esquire to the King, and Camille
placed themselves on the steps of Torigni's carriage, supporting
themselves as well as they were able, making themselves merry
on the occasion, and saying they would go and see the handsome
nuns, too. I look upon it as ordered by Divine Providence that I
should have Mademoiselle de Montigny with me, who was not well
acquainted with any lady of the company, and that the two gentlemen
just mentioned, who were in the confidence of King Henri, should
likewise be of the party, as they were able to clear me of the
calumny intended, to be fixed upon me.

Whilst we were viewing the convent, my carriage waited for us in
the square. In the square many gentlemen belonging to the Court
had their lodgings. My carriage was easily to be distinguished,
as it was gilt and lined with yellow velvet trimmed with silver.
We had not come out of the convent when the King passed through
the square on his way to see Quelus, who was then sick. He had
with him the King my husband, D'O----, and the fat fellow Ruffe.

The King, observing no one in my carriage, turned to my husband
and said: "There is your wife's coach, and that is the house
where Bide lodges. Bide is sick, and I will engage my word she
is gone upon a visit to him. Go," said he to Ruffe, "and see
whether she is not there." In saying this, the King addressed
himself to a proper tool for his malicious purpose, for this
fellow Ruffe was entirely devoted to Le Guast. I need not tell you
he did not find me there; however, knowing the King's intention,
he, to favour it, said loud enough for the King my husband to
hear him: "The birds have been there, but they are now flown."
This furnished sufficient matter for conversation until they
reached home.

Upon this occasion, the King my husband displayed all the good
sense and generosity of temper for which he is remarkable. He
saw through the design, and he despised the maliciousness of
it. The King my brother was anxious to see the Queen my mother
before me, to whom he imparted the pretended discovery, and she,
whether to please a son on whom she doted, or whether she really
gave credit to the story had related it to some ladies with much
seeming anger.

Soon afterwards I returned with the ladies who had accompanied
me to St. Pierre's, entirely ignorant of what had happened. I
found the King my husband in our apartments, who began to laugh
on seeing me, and said: "Go immediately to the Queen your mother,
but I promise you you will not return very well pleased." I asked
him the reason, and what had happened. He answered: "I shall
tell you nothing; but be assured of this, that I do not give
the least credit to the story, which I plainly perceive to be
fabricated in order to stir up a difference betwixt us two, and
break off the friendly intercourse between your brother and me."

Finding I could get no further information on the subject from
him, I went to the apartment of the Queen my mother. I met M. de
Guise in the antechamber, who was not displeased at the prospect
of a dissension in our family, hoping that he might make some
advantage of it. He addressed me in these words: "I waited here
expecting to see you, in order to inform you that some ill office
has been done you with the Queen." He then told me the story he
had learned of D'O----, who, being intimate with your kinswoman,
had informed M. de Guise of it, that he might apprise us.

I went into the Queen's bedchamber, but did not find my mother
there. However, I saw Madame de Nemours, the rest of the princesses,
and other ladies, who all exclaimed on seeing me: "Good God! the
Queen your mother is in such a rage; we would advise you, for
the present, to keep out of her sight."

"Yes," said I, "so I would, had I been guilty of what the King
has reported; but I assure you all I am entirely innocent, and
must therefore speak with her and clear myself."

I then went into her closet, which was separated from the bedchamber
by a slight partition only, so that our whole conversation could
be distinctly heard. She no sooner set eyes upon me than she
flew into a great passion, and said everything that the fury
of her resentment suggested. I related to her the whole truth,
and begged to refer her to the company which attended me, to
the number of ten or twelve persons, desiring her not to rely
on the testimony of those more immediately about me, but examine
Mademoiselle Montigny, who did not belong to me, and Liancourt
and Camille, who were the King's servants.

She would not hear a word I had to offer, but continued to rate
me in a furious manner; whether it was through fear, or affection
for her son, or whether she believed the story in earnest, I know
not. When I observed to her that I understood the King had done
me this ill office in her opinion, her anger was redoubled, and
she endeavoured to make me believe that she had been informed of
the circumstance by one of her own _valets de chambre_, who had
himself seen me at the place. Perceiving that I gave no credit
to this account of the matter, she became more and more incensed
against me.

All that was said was perfectly heard by those in the next room.
At length I left her closet, much chagrined; and returning to
my own apartments, I found the King my husband there, who said
to me: "Well, was it not as I told you?"

He, seeing me under great concern, desired me not to grieve about
it, adding that "Liancourt and Camille would attend the King
that night in his bedchamber, and relate the affair as it really
was; and to-morrow," continued he, "the Queen your mother will
receive you in a very different manner."

"But, monsieur," I replied, "I have received too gross an affront
in public to forgive those who were the occasion of it; but that
is nothing when compared with the malicious intention of causing
so heavy a misfortune to befall me as to create a variance betwixt
you and me."

"But," said he, "God be thanked, they have failed in it."

"For that," answered I, "I am the more beholden to God and your
amiable disposition. However," continued I, "we may derive this
good from it, that it ought to be a warning to us to put ourselves
upon our guard against the King's stratagems to bring about a
disunion betwixt you and my brother, by causing a rupture betwixt
you and me."

Whilst I was saying this, my brother entered the apartment, and
I made them renew their protestations of friendship. But what
oaths or promises can prevail against love! This will appear
more fully in the sequel of my story.

An Italian banker, who had concerns with my brother, came to him
the next morning, and invited him, the King my husband, myself,
the princesses, and other ladies, to partake of an entertainment
in a garden belonging to him. Having made it a constant rule,
before and after I married, as long as I remained in the Court
of the Queen my mother, to go to no place without her permission,
I waited on her, at her return from mass, and asked leave to be
present at this banquet. She refused to give any leave, and said
she did not care where I went. I leave you to judge, who know my
temper, whether I was not greatly mortified at this rebuff.

Whilst we were enjoying this entertainment, the King, having
spoken with Liancourt, Camille, and Mademoiselle Montigny, was
apprised of the mistake which the malice or misapprehension of
Ruffe had led him into. Accordingly, he went to the Queen my
mother and related the whole truth, entreating her to remove
any ill impressions that might remain with me, as he perceived
that I was not deficient in point of understanding; and feared
that I might be induced to engage in some plan of revenge.

When I returned from the banquet before mentioned, I found that
what the King my husband had foretold was come to pass; for the
Queen my mother sent for me into her back closet, which was adjoining
the King's, and told me that she was now acquainted with the
truth, and found I had not deceived her with a false story. She
had discovered, she said, that there was not the least foundation
for the report her _valet de chambre_ had made, and should dismiss
him from her service as a bad man. As she perceived by my looks
that I saw through this disguise, she said everything she could
think of to persuade me to a belief that the King had not mentioned
it to her. She continued her arguments, and I still appeared
incredulous. At length the King entered the closet, and made
many apologies, declaring he had been imposed on, and assuring
me of his most cordial friendship and esteem; and thus matters
were set to rights again.


After staying some time at Lyons, we went to Avignon. Le Guast,
not daring to hazard any fresh imposture, and finding that my
conduct afforded no ground for jealousy on the part of my husband,
plainly perceived that he could not, by that means, bring about
a misunderstanding betwixt my brother and the King my husband.
He therefore resolved to try what he could effect through Madame
de Sauves. In order to do this, he obtained such an influence
over her that she acted entirely as he directed; insomuch that,
by his artful instructions, the passion which these young men
had conceived, hitherto wavering and cold, as is generally the
case at their time of life, became of a sudden so violent that
ambition and every obligation of duty were at once absorbed by
their attentions to this woman.

This occasioned such a jealousy betwixt them that, though her
favours were divided with M. de Guise, Le Guast, De Souvray,
and others, anyone of whom she preferred to the brothers-in-law,
such was the infatuation of these last, that each considered
the other as his only rival.

To carry on De Guast's sinister designs, this woman persuaded the
King my husband that I was jealous of her, and on that account
it was that I joined with my brother. As we are ready to give
ear and credit to those we love, he believed all she said. From
this time he became distant and reserved towards me, shunning my
presence as much as possible; whereas, before, he was open and
communicative to me as to a sister, well knowing that I yielded to
his pleasure in all things, and was far from harbouring jealousy
of any kind.

What I had dreaded, I now perceived had come to pass. This was
the loss of his favour and good opinion; to preserve which I
had studied to gain his confidence by a ready compliance with
his wishes, well knowing that mistrust is the sure forerunner
of hatred.

I now turned my mind to an endeavour to wean my brother's affection
from Madame de Sauves, in order to counterplot Le Guast in his
design to bring about a division, and thereby to effect our ruin.
I used every means with my brother to divert his passion; but
the fascination was too strong, and my pains proved ineffectual.
In anything else, my brother would have suffered himself to be
ruled by me; but the charms of this Circe, aided by that sorcerer,
Le Guast, were too powerful to be dissolved by my advice. So far
was he from profiting by my counsel that he was weak enough to
communicate it to her. So blind are lovers!

Her vengeance was excited by this communication, and she now
entered more fully into the designs of Le Guast. In consequence,
she used all her art to make the King my husband conceive an
aversion for me; insomuch that he scarcely ever spoke with me.
He left her late at night, and, to prevent our meeting in the
morning, she directed him to come to her at the Queen's levee,
which she duly attended; after which he passed the rest of the
day with her. My brother likewise followed her with the greatest
assiduity, and she had the artifice to make each of them think
that he alone had any place in her esteem. Thus was a jealousy
kept up betwixt them, and, in consequence, disunion and mutual

We made a considerable stay at Avignon, whence we proceeded through
Burgundy and Champagne to Rheims, where the King's marriage was
celebrated. From Rheims we came to Paris, things going on in
their usual train, and Le Guast prosecuting his designs with
all the success he could wish. At Paris my brother was joined
by Bussi, whom he received with all the favour which his bravery
merited. He was inseparable from my brother, in consequence of
which I frequently saw him, for my brother and I were always
together, his household being equally at my devotion as if it
were my own. Your aunt, remarking this harmony betwixt us, has
often told me that it called to her recollection the times of
my uncle, M. d'Orleans, and my aunt, Madame de Savoie.

Le Guast thought this a favourable circumstance to complete his
design. Accordingly, he suggested to Madame de Sauves to make my
husband believe that it was on account of Bussi that I frequented
my brother's apartments so constantly.

The King my husband, being fully informed of all my proceedings
from persons in his service who attended me everywhere, could
not be induced to lend an ear to this story. Le Guast, finding
himself foiled in this quarter, applied to the King, who was well
inclined to listen to the tale, on account of his dislike to my
brother and me, whose friendship for each other was unpleasing
to him.

Besides this, he was incensed against Bussi, who, being formerly
attached to him, had now devoted himself wholly to my brother,--an
acquisition which, on account of the celebrity of Bussi's fame
for parts and valour, redounded greatly to my brother's honour,
whilst it increased the malice and envy of his enemies.

The King, thus worked upon by Le Guast, mentioned it to the Queen
my mother, thinking it would have the same effect on her as the
tale which was trumped up at Lyons. But she, seeing through the
whole design, showed him the improbability of the story, adding
that he must have some wicked people about him, who could put
such notions in his head, observing that I was very unfortunate
to have fallen upon such evil times. "In my younger days," said
she, "we were allowed to converse freely with all the gentlemen
who belonged to the King our father, the Dauphin, and M. d'Orleans,
your uncles. It was common for them to assemble in the bedchamber
of Madame Marguerite, your aunt, as well as in mine, and nothing
was thought of it. Neither ought it to appear strange that Bussi
sees my daughter in the presence of her husband's servants. They
are not shut up together. Bussi is a person of quality, and holds
the first place in your brother's family. What grounds are there
for such a calumny? At Lyons you caused me to offer her an affront,
which I fear she will never forget."

The King was astonished to hear his mother talk in this manner,
and interrupted her with saying: "Madame, I only relate what
I have heard."

"But who is it," answered she, "that tells you all this? I fear
no one that intends you any good, but rather one that wishes
to create divisions amongst you all."

As soon as the King had left her she told me all that had passed,
and said: "You are unfortunate to live in these times." Then calling
your aunt, Madame de Dampierre, they entered into a discourse
concerning the pleasures and innocent freedoms of the times they
had seen, when scandal and malevolence were unknown at Court.

Le Guast, finding this plot miscarry, was not long in contriving
another. He addressed himself for this purpose to certain gentlemen
who attended the King my husband. These had been formerly the
friends of Bussi, but, envying the glory he had obtained, were
now become his enemies. Under the mask of zeal for their master,
they disguised the envy which they harboured in their breasts.
They entered into a design of assassinating Bussi as he left
my brother to go to his own lodgings, which was generally at
a late hour. They knew that he was always accompanied home by
fifteen or sixteen gentlemen, belonging to my brother, and that,
notwithstanding he wore no sword, having been lately wounded in
the right arm, his presence was sufficient to inspire the rest
with courage.

In order, therefore, to make sure work, they resolved on attacking
him with two or three hundred men, thinking that night would
throw a veil over the disgrace of such an assassination.

Le Guast, who commanded a regiment of guards, furnished the requisite
number of men, whom he disposed in five or six divisions, in the
street through which he was to pass. Their orders were to put
out the torches and _flambeaux_, and then to fire their pieces,
after which they were to charge his company, observing particularly
to attack one who had his right arm slung in a scarf.

Fortunately they escaped the intended massacre, and, fighting
their way through, reached Bussi's lodgings, one gentleman only
being killed, who was particularly attached to M. de Bussi, and
who was probably mistaken for him, as he had his arm likewise
slung in a scarf.

An Italian gentleman, who belonged to my brother, left them at
the beginning of the attack, and came running back to the Louvre.
As soon as he reached my brother's chamber door, he cried out
aloud: "Bussi is assassinated!" My brother was going out, but
I, hearing the cry of assassination, left my chamber, by good
fortune not being undressed, and stopped my brother. I then sent
for the Queen my mother to come with all haste in order to prevent
him from going out, as he was resolved to do, regardless of what
might happen. It was with difficulty we could stay him, though the
Queen my mother represented the hazard he ran from the darkness
of the night, and his ignorance of the nature of the attack,
which might have been purposely designed by Le Guast to take
away his life. Her entreaties and persuasions would have been
of little avail if she had not used her authority to order all
the doors to be barred, and taken the resolution of remaining
where she was until she had learned what had really happened.

Bussi, whom God had thus miraculously preserved, with that presence
of mind which he was so remarkable for in time of battle and
the most imminent danger, considering within himself when he
reached home the anxiety of his master's mind should he have
received any false report, and fearing he might expose himself
to hazard upon the first alarm being given (which certainly would
have been the case, if my mother had not interfered and prevented
it), immediately despatched one of his people to let him know
every circumstance.

The next day Bussi showed himself at the Louvre without the least
dread of enemies, as if what had happened had been merely the
attack of a tournament. My brother exhibited much pleasure at
the sight of Bussi, but expressed great resentment at such a
daring attempt to deprive him of so brave and valuable a servant,
a man whom Le Guast durst not attack in any other way than by
a base assassination.


The Queen my mother, a woman endowed with the greatest prudence
and foresight of any one I ever knew, apprehensive of evil
consequences from this affair, and fearing a dissension betwixt
her two sons, advised my brother to fall upon some pretence for
sending Bussi away from Court. In this advice I joined her, and
through our united counsel and request, my brother was prevailed
upon to give his consent. I had every reason to suppose that
Le Guast would take advantage of the rencounter to foment the
coolness which already existed betwixt my brother and the King
my husband into an open rupture: Bussi, who implicitly followed
my brother's directions in everything, departed with a company
of the bravest noblemen that were about the latter's person.

Bussi was now removed from the machinations of Le Guast, who
likewise failed in accomplishing a design he had long projected,--to
disunite the King my husband and me.

One night my husband was attacked with a fit, and continued
insensible for the space of an hour,--occasioned, I supposed,
by his excesses with women, for I never knew anything of the
kind to happen to him before. However, as it was my duty so to
do, I attended him with so much care and assiduity that, when
he recovered, he spoke of it to everyone, declaring that, if
I had not perceived his indisposition and called for the help
of my women, he should not have survived the fit.

From this time he treated me with more kindness, and the cordiality
betwixt my brother and him was again revived, as if I had been
the point of union at which they were to meet, or the cement
that joined them together.

Le Guast was now at his wit's end for some fresh contrivance to
breed disunion in the Court.

He had lately persuaded the King to remove from about the person
of the Queen-consort, a princess of the greatest virtue and most
amiable qualities, a female attendant of the name of Changi,
for whom the Queen entertained a particular esteem, as having
been brought up with her. Being successful in this measure, he
now thought of making the King my husband send away Torigni,
whom I greatly regarded.

The argument he used with the King was, that young princesses
ought to have no favourites about them.

The King, yielding to this man's persuasions, spoke of it to
my husband, who observed that it would be a matter that would
greatly distress me; that if I had an esteem for Torigni it was
not without cause, as she had been brought up with the Queen
of Spain and me from our infancy; that, moreover, Torigni was
a young lady of good understanding, and had been of great use
to him during his confinement at Vincennes; that it would be
the greatest ingratitude in him to overlook services of such a
nature, and that he remembered well when his Majesty had expressed
the same sentiments.

Thus did he defend himself against the performance of so ungrateful
an action. However, the King listened only to the arguments of
Le Guast, and told my husband that he should have no more love
for him if he did not remove Torigni from about me the very next

He was forced to comply, greatly contrary to his will, and, as
he has since declared to me, with much regret. Joining entreaties
to commands, he laid his injunctions on me accordingly.

How displeasing this separation was I plainly discovered by the
many tears I shed on receiving his orders. It was in vain to
represent to him the injury done to my character by the sudden
removal of one who had been with me from my earliest years, and
was so greatly in my esteem and confidence; he could not give
an ear to my reasons, being firmly bound by the promise he had
made to the King.

Accordingly, Torigni left me that very day, and went to the house
of a relation, M. Chastelas. I was so greatly offended with this
fresh indignity, after so many of the kind formerly received,
that I could not help yielding to resentment; and my grief and
concern getting the upper hand of my prudence, I exhibited a
great coolness and indifference towards my husband. Le Guast and
Madame de Sauves were successful in creating a like indifference
on his part, which, coinciding with mine, separated us altogether,
and we neither spoke to each other nor slept in the same bed.

A few days after this, some faithful servants about the person
of the King my husband remarked to him the plot which had been
concerted with so much artifice to lead him to his ruin, by creating
a division, first betwixt him and my brother, and next betwixt
him and me, thereby separating him from those in whom only he
could hope for his principal support. They observed to him that
already matters were brought to such a pass that the King showed
little regard for him, and even appeared to despise him.

They afterwards addressed themselves to my brother, whose situation
was not in the least mended since the departure of Bussi, Le
Guast causing fresh indignities to be offered him daily. They
represented to him that the King my husband and he were both
circumstanced alike, and equally in disgrace, as Le Guast had
everything under his direction; so that both of them were under
the necessity of soliciting, through him, any favours which they
might want of the King, and which, when demanded, were constantly
refused them with great contempt. Moreover, it was become dangerous
to offer them service, as it was inevitable ruin for anyone to
do so.

"Since, then," said they, "your dissensions appear to be so likely
to prove fatal to both, it would be advisable in you both to unite
and come to a determination of leaving the Court; and, after
collecting together your friends and servants, to require from the
King an establishment suitable to your ranks." They observed to
my brother that he had never yet been put in possession of his
appanage, and received for his subsistence only some certain
allowances, which were not regularly paid him, as they passed
through the hands of Le Guast, and were at his disposal, to be
discharged or kept back, as he judged proper. They concluded
with observing that, with regard to the King my husband, the
government of Guyenne was taken out of his hands; neither was
he permitted to visit that or any other of his dominions.

It was hereupon resolved to pursue the counsel now given, and that
the King my husband and my brother should immediately withdraw
themselves from Court. My brother made me acquainted with this
resolution, observing to me, as my husband and he were now friends
again, that I ought to forget all that had passed; that my husband
had declared to him that he was sorry things had so happened, that
we had been outwitted by our enemies, but that he was resolved,
from henceforward, to show me every attention and give me every
proof of his love and esteem, and he concluded with begging me
to make my husband every show of affection, and to be watchful
for their interest during their absence.

It was concerted betwixt them that my brother should depart first,
making off in a carriage in the best manner he could; that, in
a few days afterwards, the King my husband should follow, under
pretence of going on a hunting party. They both expressed their
concern that they could not take me with them, assuring me that
I had no occasion to have any apprehensions, as it would soon
appear that they had no design to disturb the peace of the kingdom,
but merely to ensure the safety of their own persons, and to
settle their establishments. In short, it might well be supposed
that, in their present situation, they had reason to apprehend
danger to themselves from such as had evil designs against their

Accordingly, as soon as it was dusk and before the King's
supper-time, my brother changed his cloak, and concealing the
lower part of his face to his nose in it, left the palace, attended
by a servant who was little known, and went on foot to the gate
of St. Honore, where he found Simier waiting for him in a coach,
borrowed of a lady for the purpose.

My brother threw himself into it, and went to a house about a
quarter of a league out of Paris, where horses were stationed
ready; and at the distance of about a league farther, he joined
a party of two or three hundred horsemen of his servants, who
were awaiting his coming. My brother was not missed till nine
o'clock, when the King and the Queen my mother asked me the reason
he did not come to sup with them as usual, and if I knew of his
being indisposed. I told them I had not seen him since noon.
Thereupon they sent to his apartments. Word was brought back
that he was not there. Orders were then given to inquire at the

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