Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Free Classic E-books

Memoirs And Historical Chronicles Of The Courts Of Europe by Various

Part 2 out of 6

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.7 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

apartments of the ladies whom he was accustomed to visit. He was
nowhere to be found. There was now a general alarm. The King
flew into a great passion, and began to threaten me. He then
sent for all the Princes and the great officers of the Court;
and giving orders for a pursuit to be made, and to bring him
back, dead or alive, cried out: "He is gone to make war against
me; but I will show him what it is to contend with a king of
my power."

Many of the Princes and officers of State remonstrated against
these orders, which they observed ought to be well weighed. They
said that, as their duty directed, they were willing to venture
their lives in the King's service; but to act against his brother
they were certain would not be pleasing to the King himself; that
they were well convinced his brother would undertake nothing
that should give his Majesty displeasure, or be productive of
danger to the realm; that perhaps his leaving the Court was owing
to some disgust, which it would be more advisable to send and
inquire into. Others, on the contrary, were for putting the King's
orders into execution; but, whatever expedition they could use,
it was day before they set off; and as it was then too late to
overtake my brother, they returned, being only equipped for the

I was in tears the whole night of my brother's departure, and
the next day was seized with a violent cold, which was succeeded
by a fever that confined me to my bed.

Meanwhile my husband was preparing for his departure, which took
up all the time he could spare from his visits to Madame de Sauves;
so that he did not think of me. He returned as usual at two or
three in the morning, and, as we had separate beds, I seldom
heard him; and in the morning, before I was awake, he went to
my mother's levee, where he met Madame de Sauves, as usual.

This being the case, he quite forgot his promise to my brother
of speaking to me; and when he went away, it was without taking
leave of me.

The King did not show my husband more favour after my brother's
evasion, but continued to behave with his former coolness. This
the more confirmed him in the resolution of leaving the Court,
so that in a few days, under the pretence of hunting, he went


The King, supposing that I was a principal instrument in aiding
the Princes in their desertion, was greatly incensed against
me, and his rage became at length so violent that, had not the
Queen my mother moderated it, I am inclined to think my life
had been in danger. Giving way to her counsel, he became more
calm, but insisted upon a guard being placed over me, that I
might not follow the King my husband, neither have communication
with any one, so as to give the Princes intelligence of what
was going on at Court. The Queen my mother gave her consent to
this measure, as being the least violent, and was well pleased
to find his anger cooled in so great a degree. She, however,
requested that she might be permitted to discourse with me, in
order to reconcile me to a submission to treatment of so different
a kind from what I had hitherto known. At the same time she advised
the King to consider that these troubles might not be lasting;
that everything in the world bore a double aspect; that what
now appeared to him horrible and alarming, might, upon a second
view, assume a more pleasing and tranquil look; that, as things
changed, so should measures change with them; that there might
come a time when he might have occasion for my services; that,
as prudence counselled us not to repose too much confidence in
our friends, lest they should one day become our enemies, so was
it advisable to conduct ourselves in such a manner to our enemies
as if we had hopes they should hereafter become our friends.
By such prudent remonstrances did the Queen my mother restrain
the King from proceeding to extremities with me, as he would
otherwise possibly have done.

Le Guast now endeavoured to divert his fury to another object,
in order to wound me in a most sensitive part. He prevailed on
the King to adopt a design for seizing Torigni, at the house
of her cousin Chastelas, and, under pretence of bringing her
before the King, to drown her in a river which they were to cross.
The party sent upon this errand was admitted by Chastelas, not
suspecting any evil design, without the least difficulty, into
his house. As soon as they had gained admission they proceeded
to execute the cruel business they were sent upon, by fastening
Torigni with cords and locking her up in a chamber, whilst their
horses were baiting. Meantime, according to the French custom,
they crammed themselves, like gluttons, with the best eatables
the house afforded. Chastelas, who was a man of discretion, was
not displeased to gain time at the expense of some part of his
substance, considering that the suspension of a sentence is a
prolongation of life, and that during this respite the King's
heart might relent, and he might countermand his former orders.
With these considerations he was induced to submit, though it
was in his power to have called for assistance to repel this
violence. But God, who hath constantly regarded my afflictions
and afforded me protection against the malicious designs of my
enemies, was pleased to order poor Torigni to be delivered by
means which I could never have devised had I been acquainted
with the plot, of which I was totally ignorant. Several of the
domestics, male as well as female, had left the house in a fright,
fearing the insolence and rude treatment of this troop of soldiers,
who behaved as riotously as if they were in a house given up
to pillage. Some of these, at the distance of a quarter of a
league from the house, by God's providence, fell in with Ferte
and Avantigni, at the head of their troops, in number about two
hundred horse, on their march to join my brother. Ferte, remarking
a labourer, whom he knew to belong to Chastelas, apparently in
great distress, inquired of him what was the matter, and whether
he had been ill-used by any of the soldiery. The man related
to him all he knew, and in what state he had left his master's
house. Hereupon Ferte and Avantigni resolved, out of regard to
me, to effect Torigni's deliverance, returning thanks to God for
having afforded them so favourable an opportunity of testifying
the respect they had always entertained towards me.

Accordingly, they proceeded to the house with all expedition, and
arrived just at the moment these soldiers were setting Torigni on
horseback, for the purpose of conveying her to the river wherein
they had orders to plunge her. Galloping into the courtyard,
sword in hand, they cried out: "Assassins, if you dare to offer
that lady the least injury, you are dead men!" So saying, they
attacked them and drove them to flight, leaving their prisoner
behind, nearly as dead with joy as she was before with fear and
apprehension. After returning thanks to God and her deliverers for
so opportune and unexpected a rescue, she and her cousin Chastelas
set off in a carriage, under the escort of their rescuers, and
joined my brother, who, since he could not have me with him,
was happy to have one so dear to me about him. She remained under
my brother's protection as long as any danger was apprehended,
and was treated with as much respect as if she had been with

Whilst the King was giving directions for this notable expedition,
for the purpose of sacrificing Torigni to his vengeance, the
Queen my mother, who had not received the least intimation of
it, came to my apartment as I was dressing to go abroad, in order
to observe how I should be received after what had passed at
Court, having still some alarms on account of my husband and
brother. I had hitherto confined myself to my chamber, not having
perfectly recovered my health, and, in reality, being all the
time as much indisposed in mind as in body.

My mother, perceiving my intention, addressed me in these words:
"My child, you are giving yourself unnecessary trouble in dressing
to go abroad. Do not be alarmed at what I am going to tell you.
Your own good sense will dictate to you that you ought not to
be surprised if the King resents the conduct of your brother
and husband, and as he knows the love and friendship that exist
between you three, should suppose that you were privy to their
design of leaving the Court. He has, for this reason, resolved
to detain you in it, as a hostage for them. He is sensible how
much you are beloved by your husband, and thinks he can hold
no pledge that is more dear to him. On this account it is that
the King has ordered his guards to be placed, with directions
not to suffer you to leave your apartments. He has done this
with the advice of his counsellors, by whom it was suggested
that, if you had your free liberty, you, might be induced to
advise your brother and husband of their deliberations. I beg
you will not be offended with these measures, which, if it so
please God, may not be of long continuance. I beg, moreover,
you will not be displeased with me if I do not pay you frequent
visits, as I should be unwilling to create any suspicions in the
King's mind. However, you may rest assured that I shall prevent
any further steps from being taken that may prove disagreeable
to you, and that I shall use my utmost endeavours to bring about
a reconciliation betwixt your brothers."

I represented to her, in reply, the great indignity that was
offered to me by putting me under arrest; that it was true my
brother had all along communicated to me the just cause he had to
be dissatisfied, but that, with respect to the King my husband,
from the time Torigni was taken from me we had not spoken to
each other; neither had he visited me during my indisposition,
nor did he even take leave of me when he left Court. "This,"
says she, "is nothing at all; it is merely a trifling difference
betwixt man and wife, which a few sweet words, conveyed in a
letter, will set to rights. When, by such means, he has regained
your affections, he has only to write to you to come to him,
and you will set off at the very first opportunity. Now, this
is what the King my son wishes to prevent."


The Queen my mother left me, saying these words. For my part, I
remained a close prisoner, without a visit from a single person,
none of my most intimate friends daring to come near me, through
the apprehension that such a step might prove injurious to their
interests. Thus it is ever in Courts. Adversity is solitary,
while prosperity dwells in a crowd; the object of persecution
being sure to be shunned by his nearest friends and dearest
connections. The brave Grillon was the only one who ventured
to visit me, at the hazard of incurring disgrace. He came five
or six times to see me, and my guards were so much astonished
at his resolution, and awed by his presence, that not a single
Cerberus of them all would venture to refuse him entrance to
my apartments.

Meanwhile, the King my husband reached the States under his
government. Being joined there by his friends and dependents,
they all represented to him the indignity offered to me by his
quitting the Court without taking leave of me. They observed
to him that I was a princess of good understanding, and that
it would be for his interest to regain my esteem; that, when
matters were put on their former footing, he might derive to
himself great advantage from my presence at Court. Now that he
was at a distance from his Circe, Madame de Sauves, he could
listen to good advice. Absence having abated the force of her
charms, his eyes were opened; he discovered the plots and
machinations of our enemies, and clearly perceived that a rupture
could not but tend to the ruin of us both.

Accordingly, he wrote me a very affectionate letter, wherein he
entreated me to forget all that had passed betwixt us, assuring
me that from thenceforth he would ever love me, and would give
me every demonstration that he did so, desiring me to inform
him of what was going on at Court, and how it fared with me and
my brother. My brother was in Champagne and the King my husband
in Gascony, and there had been no communication betwixt them,
though they were on terms of friendship.

I received this letter during my imprisonment, and it gave me
great comfort under that situation. Although my guards had strict
orders not to permit me to set pen to paper, yet, as necessity
is said to be the mother of invention, I found means to write
many letters to him.

Some few days after I had been put under arrest, my brother had
intelligence of it, which chagrined him so much that, had not
the love of his country prevailed with him, the effects of his
resentment would have been shown in a cruel civil war, to which
purpose he had a sufficient force entirely at his devotion. He
was, however, withheld by his patriotism, and contented himself
with writing to the Queen my mother, informing her that, if I was
thus treated, he should be driven upon some desperate measure.
She, fearing the consequence of an open rupture, and dreading
lest, if blows were once struck, she should be deprived of the
power of bringing about a reconciliation betwixt the brothers,
represented the consequences to the King, and found him well
disposed to lend an ear to her reasons, as his anger was now
cooled by the apprehensions of being attacked in Gascony, Dauphiny,
Languedoc, and Poitou, with all the strength of the Huguenots
under the King my husband.

Besides the many strong places held by the Huguenots, my brother
had an army with him in Champagne, composed chiefly of nobility,
the bravest and best in France. The King found, since my brother's
departure, that he could not, either by threats or rewards, induce
a single person among the princes and great lords to act against
him, so much did everyone fear to intermeddle in this quarrel,
which they considered as of a family nature; and after having
maturely reflected on his situation, he acquiesced in my mother's
opinion, and begged her to fall upon some means of reconciliation.
She thereupon proposed going to my brother and taking me with
her. To the measure of taking me, the King had an objection, as
he considered me as the hostage for my husband and brother. She
then agreed to leave me behind, and set off without my knowledge
of the matter. At their interview, my brother represented to the
Queen my mother that he could not but be greatly dissatisfied
with the King after the many mortifications he had received at
Court; that the cruelty and injustice of confining me hurt him
equally as if done to himself; observing, moreover, that, as
if my arrest were not a sufficient mortification, poor Torigni
must be made to suffer; and concluding with the declaration of
his firm resolution not to listen to any terms of peace until
I was restored to my liberty, and reparation made me for the
indignity I had sustained. The Queen my mother being unable to
obtain any other answer, returned to Court and acquainted the
King with my brother's determination. Her advice was to go back
again with me, for going without me, she said, would answer very
little purpose; and if I went with her in disgust, it would do
more harm than good. Besides, there was reason to fear, in that
case, I should insist upon going to my husband. "In short," says
she, "my daughter's guard must be removed, and she must be satisfied
in the best way we can."

The King agreed to follow her advice, and was now, on a sudden,
as eager to reconcile matters betwixt us as she was herself.
Hereupon I was sent for, and when I came to her, she informed
me that she had paved the way for peace; that it was for the
good of the State, which she was sensible I must be as desirous
to promote as my brother; that she had it now in her power to
make a peace which would be as satisfactory as my brother could
desire, and would put us entirely out of the reach of Le Guast's
machinations, or those of any one else who might have an influence
over the King's mind. She observed that, by assisting her to
procure a good understanding betwixt the King and my brother, I
should relieve her from that cruel disquietude under which she
at present laboured, as, should things come to an open rupture,
she could not but be grieved, whichever party prevailed, as they
were both her sons. She therefore expressed her hopes that I
would forget the injuries I had received, and dispose myself to
concur in a peace, rather than join in any plan of revenge. She
assured me that the King was sorry for what had happened; that
he had even expressed his regret to her with tears in his eyes,
and had declared that he was ready to give me every satisfaction.
I replied that I was willing to sacrifice everything for the
good of my brothers and of the State; that I wished for nothing
so much as peace, and that I would exert myself to the utmost
to bring it about.

As I uttered these words, the King came into the closet, and, with
a number of fine speeches, endeavoured to soften my resentment
and to recover my friendship, to which I made such returns as
might show him I harboured no ill-will for the injuries I had
received. I was induced to such behaviour rather out of contempt,
and because it was good policy to let the King go away satisfied
with me.

Besides, I had found a secret pleasure, during my confinement,
from the perusal of good books, to which I had given myself up
with a delight I never before experienced. I consider this as an
obligation I owe to fortune, or, rather, to Divine Providence,
in order to prepare me, by such efficacious means, to bear up
against the misfortunes and calamities that awaited me. By tracing
nature in the universal book which is opened to all mankind, I
was led to the knowledge of the Divine Author. Science conducts
us, step by step, through the whole range of creation, until we
arrive, at length, at God. Misfortune prompts us to summon our
utmost strength to oppose grief and recover tranquillity, until
at length we find a powerful aid in the knowledge and love of
God, whilst prosperity hurries us away until we are overwhelmed
by our passions. My captivity and its consequent solitude afforded
me the double advantage of exciting a passion for study, and an
inclination for devotion, advantages I had never experienced
during the vanities and splendour of my prosperity.

As I have already observed, the King, discovering in me no signs
of discontent, informed me that the Queen my mother was going
into Champagne to have an interview with my brother, in order
to bring about a peace, and begged me to accompany her thither
and to use my best endeavours to forward his views, as he knew
my brother was always well disposed to follow my counsel; and
he concluded with saying that the peace, when accomplished, he
should ever consider as being due to my good offices, and should
esteem himself obliged to me for it. I promised to exert myself
in so good a work, which I plainly perceived was both for my
brother's advantage and the benefit of the State.

The Queen my mother and I set off for Sens the next day. The
conference was agreed to be held in a gentleman's chateau, at
a distance of about a league from that place. My brother was
waiting for us, accompanied by a small body of troops and the
principal Catholic noblemen and princes of his army. Amongst
these were the Duc Casimir and Colonel Poux, who had brought
him six thousand German horse, raised by the Huguenots, they
having joined my brother, as the King my husband and he acted
in conjunction.

The treaty was continued for several days, the conditions of
peace requiring much discussion, especially such articles of it
as related to religion. With respect to these, when at length
agreed upon, they were too much to the advantage of the Huguenots,
as it appeared afterwards, to be kept; but the Queen my mother
gave in to them, in order to have a peace, and that the German
cavalry before mentioned might be disbanded. She was, moreover,
desirous to get my brother out of the hands of the Huguenots;
and he was himself as willing to leave them, being always a very
good Catholic, and joining the Huguenots only through necessity.

One condition of the peace was, that my brother should have a
suitable establishment. My brother likewise stipulated for me,
that my marriage portion should be assigned in lands, and M. de
Beauvais, a commissioner on his part, insisted much upon it.
My mother, however, opposed it, and persuaded me to join her in
it, assuring me that I should obtain from the King all I could
require. Thereupon I begged I might not be included in the articles
of peace, observing that I would rather owe whatever I was to
receive to the particular favour of the King and the Queen my
mother, and should, besides, consider it as more secure when
obtained by such means.

The peace being thus concluded and ratified on both sides, the
Queen my mother prepared to return. At this instant I received
letters from the King my husband, in which he expressed a great
desire to see me, begging me, as soon as peace was agreed on, to
ask leave to go to him. I communicated my husband's wish, to the
Queen my mother, and added my own entreaties. She expressed herself
greatly averse to such a measure, and used every argument to set
me against it. She observed that, when I refused her proposal
of a divorce after St. Bartholomew's Day, she gave way to my
refusal, and commended me for it, because my husband was then
converted to the Catholic religion; but now that he had abjured
Catholicism, and was turned Huguenot again, she could not give
her consent that I should go to him. When I still insisted upon
going, she burst into a flood of tears, and said, if I did not
return with her, it would prove her ruin; that the King would
believe it was her doing; that she had promised to bring me back
with her; and that, when my brother returned to Court, which
would be soon, she would give her consent.

We now returned to Paris, and found the King well satisfied that
we had made a peace; though not, however, pleased with the articles
concluded in favour of the Huguenots. He therefore resolved within
himself, as soon as my brother should return to Court, to find
some pretext for renewing the war. These advantageous conditions
were, indeed, only granted the Huguenots to get my brother out
of their hands, who was detained near two months, being employed
in disbanding his German horse and the rest of his army.


At length my brother returned to Court, accompanied by all the
Catholic nobility who had followed his fortunes. The King received
him very graciously, and showed, by his reception of him, how
much he was pleased at his return. Bussi, who returned with my
brother, met likewise with a gracious reception. Le Guast was
now no more, having died under the operation of a particular
regimen ordered for him by his physician. He had given himself
up to every kind of debauchery; and his death seemed the judgment
of the Almighty on one whose body had long been perishing, and
whose soul had been made over to the prince of demons as the price
of assistance through the means of diabolical magic, which he
constantly practised. The King, though now without this instrument
of his malicious contrivances, turned his thoughts entirely upon
the destruction of the Huguenots. To effect this, he strove to
engage my brother against them, and thereby make them his enemies;
and that I might be considered as another enemy, he used every
means to prevent me from going to the King my husband. Accordingly
he showed every mark of attention to both of us, and manifested
an inclination to gratify all our wishes.

After some time, M. de Duras arrived at Court, sent by the King
my husband to hasten my departure. Hereupon, I pressed the King
greatly to think well of it, and give me his leave. He, to colour
his refusal, told me he could not part with me at present, as
I was the chief ornament of his Court; that he must keep me a
little longer, after which he would accompany me himself on my
way as far as Poitiers. With this answer and assurance, he sent
M. de Duras back. These excuses were purposely framed in order
to gain time until everything was prepared for declaring war
against the Huguenots, and, in consequence, against the King my
husband, as he fully designed to do.

As a pretence to break with the Huguenots, a report was spread
abroad that the Catholics were dissatisfied with the Peace of Sens,
and thought the terms of it too advantageous for the Huguenots.
This rumour succeeded, and produced all that discontent amongst
the Catholics intended by it. A league was formed in the provinces
and great cities, which was joined by numbers of the Catholics.
M. de Guise was named as the head of all. This was well known to
the King, who pretended to be ignorant of what was going forward,
though nothing else was talked of at Court.

The States were convened to meet at Blois. Previous to the opening
of this assembly, the King called my brother to his closet, where
were present the Queen my mother and some of the King's counsellors.
He represented the great consequence the Catholic league was
to his State and authority, even though they should appoint De
Guise as the head of it; that such a measure was of the highest
importance to them both, meaning my brother and himself; that the
Catholics had very just reason to be dissatisfied with the peace,
and that it behoved him, addressing himself to my brother, rather
to join the Catholics than the Huguenots, and this from conscience
as well as interest. He concluded his address to my brother with
conjuring him, as a son of France and a good Catholic, to assist
him with his aid and counsel in this critical juncture, when his
crown and the Catholic religion were both at stake. He further
said that, in order to get the start of so formidable a league,
he ought to form one himself, and become the head of it, as well
to show his zeal for religion as to prevent the Catholics from
uniting under any other leader. He then proposed to declare himself
the head of a league, which should be joined by my brother, the
princes, nobles, governors, and others holding offices under
the Government. Thus was my brother reduced to the necessity
of making his Majesty a tender of his services for the support
and maintenance of the Catholic religion.

The King, having now obtained assurances of my brother's assistance
in the event of a war, which was his sole view in the league
which he had formed with so much art, assembled together the
princes and chief noblemen of his Court, and, calling for the
roll of the league, signed it first himself, next calling upon
my brother to sign it, and, lastly, upon all present.

The next day the States opened their meeting, when the King,
calling upon the Bishops of Lyons, Ambrune, Vienne, and other
prelates there present, for their advice, was told that, after
the oath taken at his coronation, no oath made to heretics could
bind him, and therefore he was absolved from his engagements
with the Huguenots.

This declaration being made at the opening of the assembly, and
war declared against the Huguenots, the King abruptly dismissed
from Court the Huguenot, Genisac, who had arrived a few days
before, charged by the King my husband with a commission to hasten
my departure. The King very sharply told him that his sister had
been given to a Catholic, and not to a Huguenot; and that if
the King my husband expected to have me, he must declare himself
a Catholic.

Every preparation for war was made, and nothing else talked of
at Court; and, to make my brother still more obnoxious to the
Huguenots, he had the command of an army given him. Genisac came
and informed me of the rough message he had been dismissed with.
Hereupon I went directly to the closet of the Queen my mother,
where I found the King. I expressed my resentment at being deceived
by him, and at being cajoled by his promise to accompany me from
Paris to Poitiers, which, as it now appeared, was a mere pretence.
I represented that I did not marry by my own choice, but entirely
agreeable to the advice of King Charles, the Queen my mother,
and himself; that, since they had given him to me for a husband,
they ought not to hinder me from partaking of his fortunes; that
I was resolved to go to him, and that if I had not their leave,
I would get away how I could, even at the hazard of my life.
The King answered: "Sister, it is not now a time to importune
me for leave. I acknowledge that I have, as you say, hitherto
prevented you from going, in order to forbid it altogether. From
the time the King of Navarre changed his religion, and again
became a Huguenot, I have been against your going to him. What the
Queen my mother and I are doing is for your good. I am determined
to carry on a war of extermination until this wretched religion
of the Huguenots, which is of so mischievous a nature, is no
more. Consider, my sister, if you, who are a Catholic, were once
in their hands, you would become a hostage for me, and prevent
my design. And who knows but they might seek their revenge upon
me by taking away your life? No, you shall not go amongst them;
and if you leave us in the manner you have now mentioned, rely
upon it that you will make the Queen your mother and me your
bitterest enemies, and that we shall use every means to make
you feel the effects of our resentment; and, moreover, you will
make your husband's situation worse instead of better."

I went from this audience with much dissatisfaction, and, taking
advice of the principal persons of both sexes belonging to Court
whom I esteemed my friends, I found them all of opinion that it
would be exceedingly improper for me to remain in a Court now
at open variance with the King my husband. They recommended me
not to stay at Court whilst the war lasted, saying it would be
more honourable for me to leave the kingdom under the pretence
of a pilgrimage, or a visit to some of my kindred. The Princesse
de Roche-sur-Yon was amongst those I consulted upon the occasion,
who was on the point of setting off for Spa to take the waters

My brother was likewise present at the consultation, and brought
with him Mondoucet, who had been to Flanders in quality of the
King's agent, whence he was just returned to represent to the King
the discontent that had arisen amongst the Flemings on account
of infringements made by the Spanish Government on the French
laws. He stated that he was commissioned by several nobles, and
the municipalities of several towns, to declare how much they
were inclined in their hearts towards France, and how ready they
were to come under a French government. Mondoucet, perceiving
the King not inclined to listen to his representation, as having
his mind wholly occupied by the war he had entered into with
the Huguenots, whom he was resolved to punish for having joined
my brother, had ceased to move in it further to the King, and
addressed himself on the subject to my brother. My brother, with
that princely spirit which led him to undertake great achievements,
readily lent an ear to Mondoucet's proposition, and promised to
engage in it, for he was born rather to conquer than to keep
what he conquered. Mondoucet's proposition was the more pleasing
to him as it was not unjust,--it being, in fact, to recover to
France what had been usurped by Spain.

Mondoucet had now engaged himself in my brother's service, and
was to return to Flanders under a pretence of accompanying the
Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon in her journey to Spa; and as this
agent perceived my counsellors to be at a loss for some pretence
for my leaving Court and quitting France during the war, and
that at first Savoy was proposed for my retreat, then Lorraine,
and then Our Lady of Loretto, he suggested to my brother that I
might be of great use to him in Flanders, if, under the colour
of any complaint, I should be recommended to drink the Spa waters,
and go with the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon. My brother acquiesced
in this opinion, and came up to me, saying: "Oh, Queen! you need
be no longer at a loss for a place to go to. I have observed
that you have frequently an erysipelas on your arm, and you must
accompany the Princess to Spa. You must say your physicians had
ordered those waters for the complaint; but when they did so, it
was not the season to take them. That season is now approaching,
and you hope to have the King's leave to go there."

My brother did not deliver all he wished to say at that time,
because the Cardinal de Bourbon was present, whom he knew to
be a friend to the Guises and to Spain. However, I saw through
his real design, and that he wished me to promote his views in

The company approved of my brother's advice, and the Princesse
de Roche-sur-Yon heard the proposal with great joy, having a
great regard for me. She promised to attend me to the Queen my
mother when I should ask her consent.

The next day I found the Queen alone, and represented to her the
extreme regret I experienced in finding that a war was inevitable
betwixt the King my husband and his Majesty, and that I must
continue in a state of separation from my husband; that, as long
as the war lasted, it was neither decent nor honourable for me
to stay at Court, where I must be in one or other, or both, of
these cruel situations: either that the King my husband should
believe that I continued in it out of inclination, and think me
deficient in the duty I owed him; or that his Majesty should
entertain suspicions of my giving intelligence to the King my
husband. Either of these cases, I observed, could not but prove
injurious to me. I therefore prayed her not to take it amiss
if I desired to remove myself from Court, and from becoming so
unpleasantly situated; adding that my physicians had for some
time recommended me to take the Spa waters for an erysipelas--to
which I had been long subject--on my arm; the season for taking
these waters was now approaching, and that if she approved of
it, I would use the present opportunity, by which means I should
be at a distance from Court, and show my husband that, as I could
not be with him, I was unwilling to remain amongst his enemies.
I further expressed my hopes that, through her prudence, a peace
might be effected in a short time betwixt the King my husband
and his Majesty, and that my husband might be restored to the
favour he formerly enjoyed; that whenever I learned the news of
so joyful an event, I would renew my solicitations to be permitted
to go to my husband. In the meantime, I should hope for her
permission to have the honour of accompanying the Princesse de
Roche-sur-Yon, there present, in her journey to Spa.

She approved of what I proposed, and expressed her satisfaction
that I had taken so prudent a resolution. She observed how much
she was chagrined when she found that the King, through the evil
persuasions of the bishops, had resolved to break through the
conditions of the last peace, which she had concluded in his
name. She saw already the ill effects of this hasty proceeding,
as it had removed from the King's Council many of his ablest
and best servants. This gave her, she said, much concern, as
it did likewise to think I could not remain at Court without
offending my husband, or creating jealousy and suspicion in the
King's mind. This being certainly what was likely to be the
consequence of my staying, she would advise the King to give me
leave to set out on this journey.

She was as good as her word, and the King discoursed with me on
the subject without exhibiting the smallest resentment. Indeed,
he was well pleased now that he had prevented me from going to
the King my husband, for whom he had conceived the greatest

He ordered a courier to be immediately despatched to Don John of
Austria,--who commanded for the King of Spain in Flanders,--to
obtain from him the necessary passports for a free passage in
the countries under his command, as I should be obliged to cross
a part of Flanders to reach Spa, which is in the bishopric of

All matters being thus arranged, we separated in a few days after
this interview. The short time my brother and I remained together
was employed by him in giving me instructions for the commission
I had undertaken to execute for him in Flanders. The King and
the Queen my mother set out for Poitiers, to be near the army of
M. de Mayenne, then besieging Brouage, which place being reduced,
it was intended to march into Gascony and attack the King my

My brother had the command of another army, ordered to besiege
Issoire and some other towns, which he soon after took.

For my part, I set out on my journey to Flanders accompanied by
the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, Madame de Tournon, the lady of
my bedchamber, Madame de Mouey of Picardy, Madame de Chastelaine,
De Millon, Mademoiselle d'Atric, Mademoiselle de Tournon, and
seven or eight other young ladies. My male attendants were the
Cardinal de Lenoncourt, the Bishop of Langres, and M. de Mouey,
Seigneur de Picardy, at present father-in-law to the brother of
Queen Louise, called the Comte de Chaligny, with my principal
steward of the household, my chief esquires, and the other gentlemen
of my establishment.


The cavalcade that attended me excited great curiosity as it
passed through the several towns in the course of my journey,
and reflected no small degree of credit on France, as it was
splendidly set out, and made a handsome appearance. I travelled
in a litter raised with pillars. The lining of it was Spanish
velvet, of a crimson colour, embroidered in various devices with
gold and different coloured silk thread. The windows were of
glass, painted in devices. The lining and windows had, in the
whole, forty devices, all different and alluding to the sun and
its effects. Each device had its motto, either in the Spanish
or Italian language. My litter was followed by two others; in
the one was the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, and in the other
Madame de Tournon, my lady of the bedchamber. After them followed
ten maids of honour, on horseback, with their governess; and, last
of all, six coaches and chariots, with the rest of the ladies
and all our female attendants.

I took the road of Picardy, the towns in which province had received
the King's orders to pay me all due honours. Being arrived at
Le Catelet, a strong place, about three leagues distant from
the frontier of the Cambresis, the Bishop of Cambray (an
ecclesiastical State acknowledging the King of Spain only as
a guarantee) sent a gentleman to inquire of me at what hour I
should leave the place, as he intended to meet me on the borders
of his territory.

Accordingly I found him there, attended by a number of his people,
who appeared to be true Flemings, and to have all the rusticity
and unpolished manners of their country. The Bishop was of the
House of Barlemont, one of the principal families in Flanders.
All of this house have shown themselves Spaniards at heart, and
at that time were firmly attached to Don John. The Bishop received
me with great politeness and not a little of the Spanish ceremony.

Although the city of Cambray is not so well built as some of our
towns in France, I thought it, notwithstanding, far more pleasant
than many of these, as the streets and squares are larger and
better disposed. The churches are grand and highly ornamented,
which is, indeed, common to France; but what I admired, above
all, was the citadel, which is the finest and best constructed
in Christendom. The Spaniards experienced it to be strong whilst
my brother had it in his possession. The governor of the citadel
at this time was a worthy gentleman named M. d'Ainsi, who was,
in every respect, a polite and well-accomplished man, having
the carriage and behaviour of one of our most perfect courtiers,
very different from the rude incivility which appears to be the
characteristic of a Fleming.

The Bishop gave us a grand supper, and after supper a ball, to
which he had invited all the ladies of the city. As soon as the ball
was opened he withdrew, in accordance with the Spanish ceremony; but
M. d'Ainsi did the honours for him, and kept me company during the
ball, conducting me afterwards to a collation, which, considering
his command at the citadel, was, I thought, imprudent. _I speak
from experience, having been taught, to my cost, and contrary to
my desire, the caution and vigilance necessary to be observed
in keeping such places._ As my regard for my brother was always
predominant in me, I continually had his instructions in mind,
and now thought I had a fair opportunity to open my commission
and forward his views in Flanders, this town of Cambray, and
especially the citadel, being, as it were, a key to that country.
Accordingly I employed all the talents God had given me to make
M. d'Ainsi a friend to France, and attach him to my brother's
interest. Through God's assistance I succeeded with him, and so
much was M. d'Ainsi pleased with my conversation that he came to
the resolution of soliciting the Bishop, his master, to grant him
leave to accompany me as far as Namur, where Don John of Austria
was in waiting to receive me, observing that he had a great desire
to witness so splendid an interview. This _Spanish_ Fleming,
the Bishop, had the weakness to grant M. d'Ainsi's request, who
continued following in my train for ten or twelve days. During
this time he took every opportunity of discoursing with me, and
showed that, in his heart, he was well disposed to embrace the
service of France, wishing no better master than the Prince my
brother, and declaring that he heartily despised being under the
command of his Bishop, who, though his sovereign, was not his
superior by birth, being born a private gentleman like himself,
and, in every other respect, greatly his inferior.

Leaving Cambray, I set out to sleep at Valenciennes, the chief
city of a part of Flanders called by the same name. Where this
country is divided from Cambresis (as far as which I was conducted
by the Bishop of Cambray), the Comte de Lalain, M. de Montigny
his brother, and a number of gentlemen, to the amount of two
or three hundred, came to meet me.

Valenciennes is a town inferior to Cambray in point of strength,
but equal to it for the beauty of its squares, and churches,--the
former ornamented with fountains, as the latter are with curious
clocks. The ingenuity of the Germans in the construction of their
clocks was a matter of great surprise to all my attendants, few
amongst whom had ever before seen clocks exhibiting a number
of moving figures, and playing a variety of tunes in the most
agreeable manner.

The Comte de Lalain, the governor of the city, invited the lords
and gentlemen of my train to a banquet, reserving himself to give
an entertainment to the ladies on our arrival at Mons, where
we should find the Countess his wife, his sister-in-law Madame
d'Aurec, and other ladies of distinction. Accordingly the Count,
with his attendants, conducted us thither the next day. He claimed
a relationship with the King my husband, and was, in reality,
a person who carried great weight and authority. He was much
dissatisfied with the Spanish Government, and had conceived a
great dislike for it since the execution of Count Egmont, who
was his near kinsman.

Although he had hitherto abstained from entering into the league
with the Prince of Orange and the Huguenots, being himself a
steady Catholic, yet he had not admitted of an interview with
Don John, neither would he suffer him, nor anyone in the interest
of Spain, to enter upon his territories. Don John was unwilling
to give the Count any umbrage, lest he should force him to unite
the Catholic League of Flanders, called the League of the States,
to that of the Prince of Orange and the Huguenots, well foreseeing
that such a union would prove fatal to the Spanish interest, as
other governors have since experienced. With this disposition of
mind, the Comte de Lalain thought he could not give me sufficient
demonstrations of the joy he felt by my presence; and he could
not have shown more honour to his natural prince, nor displayed
greater marks of zeal and affection.

On our arrival at Mons, I was lodged in his house, and found
there the Countess his wife, and a Court consisting of eighty
or a hundred ladies of the city and country. My reception was
rather that of their sovereign lady than of a foreign princess.
The Flemish ladies are naturally lively, affable, and engaging.
The Comtesse de Lalain is remarkably so, and is, moreover, a woman
of great sense and elevation of mind, in which particular, as well
as in air and countenance, she carries a striking resemblance
to the lady your cousin. We became immediately intimate, and
commenced a firm friendship at our first meeting. When the supper
hour came, we sat down to a banquet, which was succeeded by a
ball; and this rule the Count observed as long as I stayed at
Mons, which was, indeed, longer than I intended. It had been
my intention to stay at Mons one night only, but the Count's
obliging lady prevailed on me to pass a whole week there. I strove
to excuse myself from so long a stay, imagining it might be
inconvenient to them; but whatever I could say availed nothing
with the Count and his lady, and I was under the necessity of
remaining with them eight days. The Countess and I were on so
familiar a footing that she stayed in my bedchamber till a late
hour, and would not have left me then had she not imposed upon
herself a task very rarely performed by persons of her rank,
which, however, placed the goodness of her disposition in the
most amiable light. In fact, she gave suck to her infant son;
and one day at table, sitting next me, whose whole attention was
absorbed in the promotion of my brother's interest,--the table
being the place where, according to the custom of the country,
all are familiar and ceremony is laid aside,--she, dressed out in
the richest manner and blazing with diamonds, gave the breast to
her child without rising from her seat, the infant being brought
to the table as superbly habited as its nurse, the mother. She
performed this maternal duty with so much good humour, and with a
gracefulness peculiar to herself, that this charitable office--which
would have appeared disgusting and been considered as an affront
if done by some others of equal rank--gave pleasure to all who
sat at table, and, accordingly, they signified their approbation
by their applause.

The tables being removed, the dances commenced in the same room
wherein we had supped, which was magnificent and large. The Countess
and I sitting side by side, I expressed the pleasure I received
from her conversation, and that I should place this meeting amongst
the happiest events of my life. "Indeed," said I, "I shall have
cause to regret that it ever did take place, as I shall depart
hence so unwillingly, there being so little probability of our
meeting again soon. Why did Heaven deny our being born in the
same country!"

This was said in order to introduce my brother's business. She
replied: "This country did, indeed, formerly belong to France,
and our lawyers' now plead their causes in the French language.
The greater part of the people here still retain an affection
for the French nation. For my part," added the Countess, "I have
had a strong attachment to your country ever since I have had
the honour of seeing you. This country has been long in the
possession of the House of Austria, but the regard of the people
for that house has been greatly weakened by the death of Count
Egmont, M. de Horne, M. de Montigny, and others of the same party,
some of them our near relations, and all of the best families
of the country. We entertain the utmost dislike for the Spanish
Government, and wish for nothing so much as to throw off the
yoke of their tyranny; but, as the country is divided betwixt
different religions, we are at a loss how to effect it. If we
could unite, we should soon drive out the Spaniards; but this
division amongst ourselves renders us weak. Would to God the
King your brother would come to a resolution of reconquering
this country, to which he has an ancient claim! We should all
receive him with open arms."

This was a frank declaration, made by the Countess without
premeditation, but it had been long agitated in the minds of
the people, who considered that it was from France they were to
hope for redress from the evils with which they were afflicted.
I now found I had as favourable an opening as I could wish for to
declare my errand. I told her that the King of France my brother
was averse to engaging in foreign war, and the more so as the
Huguenots in his kingdom were too strong to admit of his sending
any large force out of it. "My brother Alencon," said I, "has
sufficient means, and might be induced to undertake it. He has
equal valour, prudence, and benevolence with the King my brother
or any of his ancestors. He has been bred to arms, and is esteemed
one of the bravest generals of these times. He has the command
of the King's army against the Huguenots, and has lately taken
a well-fortified town, called Issoire, and some other places
that were in their possession. You could not invite to your
assistance a prince who has it so much in his power to give it;
being not only a neighbour, but having a kingdom like France at
his devotion, whence he may expect to derive the necessary aid
and succour. The Count your husband may be assured that if he
do my brother this good office he will not find him ungrateful,
but may set what price he pleases upon his meritorious service.
My brother is of a noble and generous disposition, and ready to
requite those who do him favours. He is, moreover, an admirer
of men of honour and gallantry, and accordingly is followed by
the bravest and best men France has to boast of. I am in hopes
that a peace will soon be reestablished with the Huguenots, and
expect to find it so on my return to France. If the Count your
husband think as you do, and will permit me to speak to him on the
subject, I will engage to bring my brother over to the proposal,
and, in that case, your country in general, and your house in
particular, will be well satisfied with him. If, through your
means, my brother should establish himself here, you may depend
on seeing me often, there being no brother or sister who has
a stronger affection for each other."

The Countess appeared to listen to what I said with great pleasure,
and acknowledged that she had not entered upon this discourse
without design. She observed that, having perceived I did her
the honour to have some regard for her, she had resolved within
herself not to let me depart out of the country without explaining
to me the situation of it, and begging me to procure the aid
of France to relieve them from the apprehensions of living in
a state of perpetual war or of submitting to Spanish tyranny.
She thereupon entreated me to allow her to relate our present
conversation to her husband, and permit them both to confer with
me on the subject the next day. To this I readily gave my consent.

Thus we passed the evening in discourse upon the object of my
mission, and I observed that she took a singular pleasure in
talking upon it in all our succeeding conferences when I thought
proper to introduce it. The ball being ended, we went to hear
vespers at the church of the Canonesses, an order of nuns of
which we have none in France. These are young ladies who are
entered in these communities at a tender age, in order to improve
their fortunes till they are of an age to be married. They do not
all sleep under the same roof, but in detached houses within an
enclosure. In each of these houses are three, four, or perhaps six
young girls, under the care of an old woman. These governesses,
together with the abbess, are of the number of such as have never
been married. These girls never wear the habit of the order but
in church; and the service there ended, they dress like others,
pay visits, frequent balls, and go where they please. They were
constant visitors at the Count's entertainments, and danced at
his balls.

The Countess thought the time long until the night, when she
had an opportunity of relating to the Count the conversation she
had with me, and the opening of the business. The next morning
she came to me, and brought her husband with her. He entered
into a detail of the grievances the country laboured under, and
the just reasons he had for ridding it of the tyranny of Spain.
In doing this, he said, he should not consider himself as acting
against his natural sovereign, because he well knew he ought to
look for him in the person of the King of France. He explained to
me the means whereby my brother might establish himself in Flanders,
having possession of Hainault, which extended as far as Brussels.
He said the difficulty lay in securing the Cambresis. which is
situated betwixt Hainault and Flanders. It would, therefore,
be necessary to engage M. d'Ainsi in the business. To this I
replied that, as he was his neighbour and friend, it might be
better that he should open the matter to him; and I begged he
would do so. I next assured him that he might have the most perfect
reliance on the gratitude and friendship of my brother, and be
certain of receiving as large a share of power and authority as
such a service done by a person of his rank merited. Lastly, we
agreed upon an interview betwixt my brother and M. de Montigny,
the brother of the Count, which was to take place at La Fere,
upon my return, when this business should be arranged. During
the time I stayed at Mons, I said all I could to confirm the
Count in this resolution, in which I found myself seconded by
the Countess.

The day of my departure was now arrived, to the great regret of
the ladies of Mons, as well as myself. The Countess expressed
herself in terms which showed she had conceived the warmest
friendship for me, and made me promise to return by way of that
city. I presented the Countess with a diamond bracelet, and to
the Count I gave a riband and diamond star of considerable value.
But these presents, valuable as they were, became more so, in
their estimation, as I was the donor.

Of the ladies, none accompanied me from this place, except Madame
d'Aurec. She went with me to Namur, where I slept that night,
and where she expected to find her husband and the Duc d'Arscot,
her brother-in-law, who had been there since the peace betwixt
the King of Spain and the States of Flanders. For though they
were both of the party of the States, yet the Duc d'Arscot, being
an old courtier and having attended King Philip in Flanders and
England, could not withdraw himself from Court and the society
of the great. The Comte de Lalain, with all his nobles, conducted
me two leagues beyond his government, and until he saw Don John's
company in the distance advancing to meet me. He then took his
leave of me, being unwilling to meet Don John; but M. d'Ainsi
stayed with me, as his master, the Bishop of Cambray, was in
the Spanish interest.

This gallant company having left me, I was soon after met by Don
John of Austria, preceded by a great number of running footmen,
and escorted by only twenty or thirty horsemen. He was attended
by a number of noblemen, and amongst the rest the Duc d'Arscot,
M. d'Aurec, the Marquis de Varenbon, and the younger Balencon,
governor, for the King of Spain, of the county of Burgundy. These
last two, who are brothers, had ridden post to meet me. Of Don
John's household there was only Louis de Gonzago of any rank. He
called himself a relation of the Duke of Mantua; the others were
mean-looking people, and of no consideration. Don John alighted
from his horse to salute me in my litter, which was opened for
the purpose. I returned the salute after the French fashion to
him, the Duc d'Arscot, and M. d'Aurec. After an exchange of
compliments, he mounted his horse, but continued in discourse
with me until we reached the city, which was not before it grew
dark, as I set off late, the ladies of Mons keeping me as long
as they could, amusing themselves with viewing my litter, and
requiring an explanation of the different mottoes and devices.
However, as the Spaniards excel in preserving good order, Namur
appeared with particular advantage, for the streets were well
lighted, every house being illuminated, so that the blaze exceeded
that of daylight.

Our supper was served to us in our respective apartments, Don
John being unwilling, after the fatigue of so long a journey,
to incommode us with a banquet. The house in which I was lodged
had been newly furnished for the purpose of receiving me. It
consisted of a magnificent large _salon_, with a private apartment,
consisting of lodging rooms and closets, furnished in the most
costly manner, with furniture of every kind, and hung with the
richest tapestry of velvet and satin, divided into compartments
by columns of silver embroidery, with knobs of gold, all wrought
in the most superb manner. Within these compartments were figures
in antique habits, embroidered in gold and silver.

The Cardinal de Lenoncourt. a man of taste and curiosity, being
one day in these apartments with the Duc d'Arscot, who, as I have
before observed, was an ornament to Don John's Court, remarked
to him that this furniture seemed more proper for a great king
than a young unmarried prince like Don John. To which the Duc
d'Arscot replied that it came to him as a present, having been
sent to him by a bashaw belonging to the Grand Seignior, whose
sons he had made prisoners in a signal victory obtained over
the Turks. Don John having sent the bashaw's sons back without
ransom, the father, in return, made him a present of a large
quantity of gold, silver, and silk stuffs, which he caused to be
wrought into tapestry at Milan, where there are curious workmen
in this way; and he had the Queen's bedchamber hung with tapestry
representing the battle in which he had so gloriously defeated
the Turks.

The next morning Don John conducted us to chapel, where we heard
mass celebrated after the Spanish manner, with all kinds of music,
after which we partook of a banquet prepared by Don John. He
and I were seated at a separate table, at a distance of three
yards from which stood the great one, of which the honours were
done by Madame d'Aurec. At this table the ladies and principal
lords took their seats. Don John was served with drink by Louis
de Gonzago, kneeling. The tables being removed, the ball was
opened, and the dancing continued the whole afternoon. The evening
was spent in conversation betwixt Don John and me, who told me
I greatly resembled the Queen his mistress, by whom he meant
the late Queen my sister, and for whom he professed to have
entertained a very high esteem. In short, Don John manifested,
by every mark of attention and politeness, as well to me as to
my attendants, the very great pleasure he had in receiving me.

The boats which were to convey me upon the Meuse to Liege not all
being ready, I was under the necessity of staying another day.
The morning was passed as that of the day before. After dinner,
we embarked on the river in a very beautiful boat, surrounded by
others having on board musicians playing on hautboys, horns,
and violins, and landed at an island where Don John had caused
a collation to be prepared in a large bower formed with branches
of ivy, in which the musicians were placed in small recesses,
playing on their instruments during the time of supper. The tables
being removed, the dances began, and lasted till it was time to
return, which I did in the same boat that conveyed me thither,
and which was that provided for my voyage.

The next morning Don John conducted me to the boat, and there
took a most polite and courteous leave, charging M. and Madame
d'Aurec to see me safe to Huy, the first town belonging to the
Bishop of Liege, where I was to sleep. As soon as Don John had
gone on shore, M. d'Ainsi, who remained in the boat, and who
had the Bishop of Cambray's permission to go to Namur only, took
leave of me with many protestations of fidelity and attachment
to my brother and myself.

But Fortune, envious of my hitherto prosperous journey, gave me
two omens of the sinister events of my return.

The first was the sudden illness which attacked Mademoiselle
de Tournon, the daughter of the lady of my bedchamber, a young
person, accomplished, with every grace and virtue, and for whom
I had the most perfect regard. No sooner had the boat left the
shore than this young lady was seized with an alarming disorder,
which, from the great pain attending it, caused her to scream in
the most doleful manner. The physicians attributed the cause to
spasms of the heart, which, notwithstanding the utmost exertions
of their skill, carried her off a few days after my arrival at
Liege. As the history of this young lady is remarkable, I shall
relate it in my next letter.

The other omen was what happened to us at Huy, immediately upon our
arrival there. This town is built on the declivity of a mountain,
at the foot of which runs the river Meuse. As we were about to
land, there fell a torrent of rain, which, coming down the steep
sides of the mountain, swelled the river instantly to such a
degree that we had only time to leap out of the boat and run
to the top, the flood reaching the very highest street, next
to where I was to lodge. There we were forced to put up with
such accommodation as could be procured in the house, as it was
impossible to remove the smallest article of our baggage from
the boats, or even to stir out of the house we were in, the whole
city being under water. However, the town was as suddenly relieved
from this calamity as it had been afflicted with it, for, on
the next morning, the whole inundation had ceased, the waters
having run off, and the river being confined within its usual

Leaving Huy, M. and Madame d'Aurec returned to Don John at Namur,
and I proceeded, in the boat, to sleep that night at Liege.


The Bishop of Liege, who is the sovereign of the city and province,
received me with all the cordiality and respect that could be
expected from a personage of his dignity and great accomplishments.
He was, indeed, a nobleman endowed with singular prudence and
virtue, agreeable in his person and conversation, gracious and
magnificent in his carriage and behaviour, to which I may add
that he spoke the French language perfectly.

He was constantly attended by his chapter, with several of his
canons, who are all sons of dukes, counts, or great German lords.
The bishopric is itself a sovereign State, which brings in a
considerable revenue, and includes a number of fine cities. The
bishop is chosen from amongst the canons, who must be of noble
descent, and resident one year. The city is larger than Lyons,
and much resembles it, having the Meuse running through it. The
houses in which the canons reside have the appearance of noble
palaces. The streets of the city are regular and spacious, the
houses of the citizens well built, the squares large, and ornamented
with curious fountains. The churches appear as if raised entirely
of marble, of which there are considerable quarries in the
neighbourhood; they are all of them ornamented with beautiful
clocks, and exhibit a variety of moving figures.

The Bishop received me as I landed from the boat, and conducted me
to his magnificent residence, ornamented with delicious fountains
and gardens, set off with galleries, all painted, superbly gilt,
and enriched with marble, beyond description.

The spring which affords the waters of Spa being distant no more
than three or four leagues from the city of Liege, and there
being only a village, consisting of three or four small houses,
on the spot, the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon was advised by her
physicians to stay at Liege and have the waters brought to her,
which they assured her would have equal efficacy, if taken after
sunset and before sunrise, as if drunk at the spring. I was well
pleased that she resolved to follow the advice of the doctors,
as we were more comfortably lodged and had an agreeable society;
for, besides his Grace (so the bishop is styled, as a king is
addressed his Majesty, and a prince his Highness), the news of
my arrival being spread about, many lords and ladies came from
Germany to visit me. Amongst these was the Countess d'Aremberg,
who had the honour to accompany Queen Elizabeth to Mezieres, to
which place she came to marry King Charles my brother, a lady
very high in the estimation of the Empress, the Emperor, and
all the princes in Christendom. With her came her sister the
Landgravine, Madame d'Aremberg her daughter, M. d'Aremberg her
son, a gallant and accomplished nobleman, the perfect image of
his father, who brought the Spanish succours to King Charles my
brother, and returned with great honour and additional reputation.
This meeting, so honourable to me, and so much to my satisfaction,
was damped by the grief and concern occasioned by the loss of
Mademoiselle de Tournon, whose story, being of a singular nature,
I shall now relate to you, agreeably to the promise I made in
my last letter.

I must begin with observing to you that Madame de Tournon, at
this time lady of my bedchamber, had several daughters, the eldest
of whom married M. de Balencon, governor, for the King of Spain,
in the county of Burgundy. This daughter, upon her marriage,
had solicited her mother to admit of her taking her sister, the
young lady whose story I am now about to relate, to live with
her, as she was going to a country strange to her, and wherein
she had no relations. To this her mother consented; and the young
lady, being universally admired for her modesty and graceful
accomplishments, for which she certainly deserved admiration,
attracted the notice of the Marquis de Varenbon. The Marquis,
as I before mentioned, is the brother of M. de Balencon, and
was intended for the Church; but, being violently enamoured of
Mademoiselle de Tournon (who, as he lived in the same house, he
had frequent opportunities of seeing), he now begged his brother's
permission to marry her, not having yet taken orders. The young
lady's family, to whom he had likewise communicated his wish,
readily gave their consent, but his brother refused his, strongly
advising him to change his resolution and put on the gown.

Thus were matters situated when her mother, Madame de Tournon, a
virtuous and pious lady, thinking she had cause to be offended,
ordered her daughter to leave the house of her sister, Madame
de Balencon, and come to her. The mother, a woman of a violent
spirit, not considering that her daughter was grown, up and merited
a mild treatment, was continually scolding the poor young lady,
so that she was for ever with tears in her eyes. Still, there
was nothing to blame in the young girl's conduct, but such was
the severity of the mother's disposition. The daughter, as you
may well suppose, wished to be from under the mother's tyrannical
government, and was accordingly delighted with the thoughts of
attending me in this journey to Flanders, hoping, as it happened,
that she should meet the Marquis de Varenbon somewhere on the road,
and that, as he had now abandoned all thoughts of the Church,
he would renew his proposal of marriage, and take her from her

I have before mentioned that the Marquis de Varenbon and the
younger Balencon joined us at Namur. Young Balencon, who was
far from being so agreeable as his brother, addressed himself
to the young lady, but the Marquis, during the whole time we
stayed at Namur, paid not the least attention to her, and seemed
as if he had never been acquainted with her.

The resentment, grief, and disappointment occasioned by a behaviour
so slighting and unnatural was necessarily stifled in her breast,
as decorum and her sex's pride obliged her to appear as if she
disregarded it; but when, after taking leave, all of them left the
boat, the anguish of her mind, which she had hitherto suppressed,
could no longer be restrained, and, labouring for vent, it stopped
her respiration, and forced from her those lamentable outcries
which I have already spoken of. Her youth combated for eight days
with this uncommon disorder, but at the expiration of that time
she died, to the great grief of her mother, as well as myself.
I say of her mother, for, though she was so rigidly severe over
this daughter, she tenderly loved her.

The funeral of this unfortunate young lady was solemnized with
all proper ceremonies, and conducted in the most honourable manner,
as she was descended from a great family, allied to the Queen my
mother. When the day of interment arrived, four of my gentlemen
were appointed bearers, one of whom was named La Boessiere. This
man had entertained a secret passion for her, which he never durst
declare on account of the inferiority of his family and station.
He was now destined to bear the remains of her, dead, for whom
he had long been dying, and was now as near dying for her loss
as he had before been for her love. The melancholy procession
was marching slowly along, when it was met by the Marquis de
Varenbon, who had been the sole occasion of it. We had not left
Namur long when the Marquis reflected upon his cruel behaviour
towards this unhappy young lady; and his passion (wonderful to
relate) being revived by the absence of her who inspired it,
though scarcely alive while she was present, he had resolved to
come and ask her of her mother in marriage. He made no doubt,
perhaps, of success, as he seldom failed in enterprises of love;
witness the great lady he has since obtained for a wife, in
opposition to the will of her family. He might, besides, have
flattered himself that he should easily have gained a pardon from
her by whom he was beloved, according to the Italian proverb,
"Che la forza d'amore non riguarda al delitto" (Lovers are not
criminal in the estimation of one another). Accordingly, the
Marquis solicited Don John to be despatched to me on some errand,
and arrived, as I said before, at the very instant the corpse
of this ill-fated young lady was being borne to the grave. He
was stopped by the crowd occasioned by this solemn procession.
He contemplates it for some time. He observes a long train of
persons in mourning, and remarks the coffin to be covered with a
white pall, and that there are chaplets of flowers laid upon the
coffin. He inquires whose funeral it is. The answer he receives
is, that it is the funeral of a young lady. Unfortunately for
him, this reply fails to satisfy his curiosity. He makes up to
one who led the procession, and eagerly asks the name of the
young lady they are proceeding to bury. When, oh, fatal answer!
Love, willing to avenge the victim of his ingratitude and neglect,
suggests a reply which had nearly deprived him of life. He no
sooner hears the name of Mademoiselle de Tournon pronounced than
he falls from his horse in a swoon. He is taken up for dead,
and conveyed to the nearest house, where he lies for a time
insensible; his soul, no doubt, leaving his body to obtain pardon
from her whom he had hastened to a premature grave, to return
to taste the bitterness of death a second time.

Having performed the last offices to the remains of this poor
young lady, I was unwilling to discompose the gaiety of the society
assembled here on my account by any show of grief. Accordingly, I
joined the Bishop, or, as he is called, his Grace, and his canons,
in their entertainments at different houses, and in gardens,
of which the city and its neighbourhood afforded a variety. I
was every morning attended by a numerous company to the garden,
in which I drank the waters, the exercise of walking being
recommended to be used with them. As the physician who advised
me to take them was my own brother, they did not fail of their
effect with me; and for these six or seven years which are gone
over my head since I drank them, I have been free from any complaint
of erysipelas on my arm. From this garden we usually proceeded
to the place where we were invited to dinner. After dinner we
were amused with a ball; from the ball we went to some convent,
where we heard vespers; from vespers to supper, and that over,
we had another ball, or music on the river.


In this manner we passed the six weeks, which is the usual time
for taking these waters, at the expiration of which the Princesse
de Roche-sur-Yon was desirous to return to France; but Madame
d'Aurec, who just then returned to us from Namur, on her way to
rejoin her husband in Lorraine, brought us news of an extraordinary
change of affairs in that town and province since we had passed
through it.

It appeared from this lady's account that, on the very day we
left Namur, Don John, after quitting the boat, mounted his horse
under pretence of taking the diversion of hunting, and, as he
passed the gate of the castle of Namur, expressed a desire of
seeing it; that, having entered, he took possession of it,
notwithstanding he held it for the States, agreeably to a convention.
Don John, moreover, arrested the persons of the Duc d'Arscot
and M. d'Aurec, and also made Madame d'Aurec a prisoner. After
some remonstrances and entreaties, he had set her husband and
brother-in-law at liberty, but detained her as a hostage for
them. In consequence of these measures, the whole country was
in arms. The province of Namur was divided into three parties:
the first whereof was that of the States, or the Catholic party
of Flanders; the second that of the Prince of Orange and the
Huguenots; the third, the Spanish party, of which Don John was
the head.

By letters which I received just at this time from my brother,
through the hands of a gentleman named Lescar, I found I was in
great danger of falling into the hands of one or other of these

These letters informed me that, since my departure from Court,
God had dealt favourably with my brother, and enabled him to
acquit himself of the command of the army confided to him, greatly
to the benefit of the King's service; so that he had taken all the
towns and driven the Huguenots out of the provinces, agreeably
to the design for which the army was raised; that he had returned
to the Court at Poitiers, where the King stayed during the siege
of Brouage, to be near to M. de Mayenne, in order to afford him
whatever succours he stood in need of; that, as the Court is a
Proteus, forever putting on a new face, he had found it entirely
changed, so that he had been no more considered than if he had
done the King no service whatever; and that Bussi, who had been
so graciously looked upon before and during this last war, had
done great personal service, and had lost a brother at the storming
of Issoire, was very coolly received, and even as maliciously
persecuted as in the time of Le Guast; in consequence of which
either he or Bussi experienced some indignity or other. He further
mentioned that the King's favourites had been practising with
his most faithful servants, Maugiron, La Valette, Mauleon, and
Hivarrot, and several other good and trusty men, to desert him,
and enter into the King's service; and, lastly, that the King
had repented of giving me leave to go to Flanders, and that,
to counteract my brother, a plan was laid to intercept me on
my return, either by the Spaniards, for which purpose they had
been told that I had treated for delivering up the country to
him, or by the Huguenots, in revenge of the war my brother had
carried on against them, after having formerly assisted them.

This intelligence required to be well considered, as there seemed
to be an utter impossibility of avoiding both parties. I had,
however, the pleasure to think that two of the principal persons
of my company stood well with either one or another party. The
Cardinal de Lenoncourt had been thought to favour the Huguenot
party, and M. Descartes, brother to the Bishop of Lisieux, was
supposed to have the Spanish interest at heart. I communicated
our difficult situation to the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon and
Madame de Tournon, who, considering that we could not reach La
Fere in less than five or six days, answered me, with tears in
their eyes, that God only had it in his power to preserve us,
that I should recommend myself to his protection, and then follow
such measures as should seem advisable. They observed that, as
one of them was in a weak state of health, and the other advanced
in years, I might affect to make short journeys on their account,
and they would put up with every inconvenience to extricate me
from the danger I was in.

I next consulted with the Bishop of Liege, who most certainly
acted towards me like a father, and gave directions to the grand
master of his household to attend me with his horses as far as
I should think proper. As it was necessary that we should have
a passport from the Prince of Orange, I sent Mondoucet to him to
obtain one, as he was acquainted with the Prince and was known
to favour his religion. Mondoucet did not return, and I believe
I might have waited for him until this time to no purpose. I
was advised by the Cardinal de Lenoncourt and my first esquire,
the Chevalier Salviati, who were of the same party, not to stir
without a passport; but, as I suspected a plan was laid to entrap
me, I resolved to set out the next morning.

They now saw that this pretence was insufficient to detain me;
accordingly, the Chevalier Salviati prevailed with my treasurer,
who was secretly a Huguenot, to declare he had not money enough
in his hands to discharge the expenses we had incurred at Liege,
and that, in consequence, my horses were detained. I afterwards
discovered that this was false, for, on my arrival at La Fere,
I called for his accounts, and found he had then a balance in
his hands which would have enabled him to pay the expenses of my
family for six or seven weeks. The Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon,
incensed at the affront put upon me, and seeing the danger I
incurred by staying, advanced the money that was required, to
their great confusion; and I took my leave of his Grace the Bishop,
presenting him with a diamond worth three thousand crowns, and
giving his domestics gold chains and rings. Having thus taken
our leave, we proceeded to Huy, without any other passport than
God's good providence.

This town, as I observed before, belongs to the Bishop of Liege,
but was now in a state of tumult and confusion, on account of
the general revolt of the Low Countries, the townsmen taking
part with the Netherlanders, notwithstanding the bishopric was
a neutral State. On this account they paid no respect to the
grand master of the Bishop's household, who accompanied us, but,
knowing Don John had taken the castle of Namur in order, as they
supposed, to intercept me on my return, these brutal people, as
soon as I had got into my quarters, rang the alarm-bell, drew
up their artillery, placed chains across the streets, and kept
us thus confined and separated the whole night, giving us no
opportunity to expostulate with them on such conduct. In the
morning we were suffered to leave the town without further
molestation, and the streets we passed through were lined with
armed men.

From there we proceeded to Dinant, where we intended to sleep;
but, unfortunately for us, the townspeople had on that day chosen
their burghermasters, a kind of officers like the consuls in
Gascony and France. In consequence of this election, it was a
day of tumult, riot, and debauchery; every one in the town was
drunk, no magistrate was acknowledged. In a word, all was in
confusion. To render our situation still worse, the grand master
of the Bishop's household had formerly done the town some ill
office, and was considered as its enemy. The people of the town,
when in their sober senses, were inclined to favour the party
of the States, but under the influence of Bacchus they paid no
regard to any party, not even to themselves.

As soon as I had reached the suburbs, they were alarmed at the
number of my company, quitted the bottle and glass to take up
their arms, and immediately shut the gates against me. I had
sent a gentleman before me, with my harbinger and quartermasters,
to beg the magistrates to admit me to stay one night in the town,
but I found my officers had been put under an arrest. They bawled
out to us from within, to tell us their situation, but could not
make themselves heard. At length I raised myself up in my litter,
and, taking off my mask, made a sign to a townsman nearest me,
of the best appearance, that I was desirous to speak with him.
As soon as he drew near me, I begged him to call out for silence,
which being with some difficulty obtained, I represented to him
who I was, and the occasion of my journey; that it was far from
my intention to do them harm; but, to prevent any suspicions of
the kind, I only begged to be admitted to go into their city
with my women, and as few others of my attendants as they thought
proper, and that we might be permitted to stay there for one
night, whilst the rest of my company remained within the suburbs.

They agreed to this proposal, and opened their gates for my
admission. I then entered the city with the principal persons
of my company, and the grand master of the Bishop's household.
This reverend personage, who was eighty years of age, and wore a
beard as white as snow, which reached down to his girdle,--this
venerable old man, I say, was no sooner recognized by the drunken
and armed rabble than he was accosted with the grossest abuse, and
it was with difficulty they were restrained from laying violent
hands upon him. At length I got him into my lodgings, but the
mob fired at the house, the walls of which were only of plaster.
Upon being thus attacked, I inquired for the master of the house,
who, fortunately, was within. I entreated him to speak from the
window, to some one without, to obtain permission for my being
heard. I had some difficulty to get him to venture doing so. At
length, after much bawling from the window, the burghermasters
came to speak to me, but were so drunk that they scarcely knew
what they said. I explained to them that I was entirely ignorant
that the grand master of the Bishop's household was a person
to whom they had a dislike, and I begged them to consider the
consequences of giving offence to a person like me, who was a
friend of the principal lords of the States, and I assured them
that the Comte de Lalain, in particular, would be greatly displeased
when he should hear how I had been received there.

The name of the Comte de Lalain produced an instant effect, much
more than if I had mentioned all the sovereign princes I was
related to. The principal person amongst them asked me, with
some hesitation and stammering, if I was really a particular
friend of the Count's. Perceiving that to claim kindred with
the Count would do me more service than being related to all
the Powers in Christendom, I answered that I was both a friend
and a relation. They then made me many apologies and _conges_,
stretching forth their hands in token of friendship; in short,
they now behaved with as much civility as before with rudeness.
They begged my pardon for what had happened, and promised that
the good old man, the grand master of the Bishop's household,
should be no more insulted, but be suffered to leave the city
quietly, the next morning, with me.

As soon as morning came, and while I was preparing to go to hear
mass, there arrived the King's agent to Don John, named Du Bois,
a man much attached to the Spanish interest. He informed me that
he had received orders from the King my brother to conduct me
in safety on my return. He said that he had prevailed on Don
John to permit Barlemont to escort me to Namur with a troop of
cavalry, and begged me to obtain leave of the citizens to admit
Barlemont and his troop to enter the town, that they might receive
my orders.

Thus had they concerted a double plot; the one to get possession
of the town, the other of my person. I saw through the whole design,
and consulted with the Cardinal de Lenoncourt, communicating to
him my suspicions. The Cardinal was as unwilling to fall into
the hands of the Spaniards as I could be; he therefore thought it
advisable to acquaint the townspeople with the plot, and make our
escape from the city by another road, in order to avoid meeting
Barlemont's troop. It was agreed betwixt us that the Cardinal
should keep Du Bois in discourse, whilst I consulted the principal
citizens in another apartment. Accordingly, I assembled as many
as I could, to whom I represented that if they admitted Barlemont
and his troop within the town, he would most certainly take
possession of it for Don John. I gave it as my advice to make a
show of defence, to declare they would not be taken by surprise,
and to offer to admit Barlemont, and no one else, within their
gates. They resolved to act according to my counsel, and offered
to serve me at the hazard of their lives. They promised to procure
me a guide, who should conduct me by a road by following which I
should put the river betwixt me and Don John's forces, whereby
I should be out of his reach, and could be lodged in houses and
towns which were in the interest of the States only.

This point being settled, I despatched them to give admission
to M. de Barlemont, who, as soon as he entered within the gates,
begged hard that his troop might come in likewise. Hereupon,
the citizens flew into a violent rage, and were near putting
him to death. They told him that if he did not order his men
out of sight of the town, they would fire upon them with their
great guns. This was done with design to give me time to leave the
town before they could follow in pursuit of me. M. de Barlemont
and the agent, Du Bois, used every argument they could devise
to persuade me to go to Namur, where they said Don John waited
to receive me.

I appeared to give way to their persuasions, and, after hearing
mass and taking a hasty dinner, I left my lodgings, escorted
by two or three hundred armed citizens, some of them engaging
Barlemont and Du Bois in conversation. We all took the way to
the gate which opens to the river, and directly opposite to that
leading to Namur. Du Bois and his colleague told me I was not
going the right way, but I continued talking, and as if I did
not hear them. But when we reached the gate I hastened into the
boat, and my people after me. M. de Barlemont and the agent Du
Bois, calling out to me from the bank, told me I was doing very
wrong and acting directly contrary to the King's intention, who
had directed that I should return by way of Namur.

In spite of all their remonstrances we crossed the river with
all possible expedition, and, during the two or three crossings
which were necessary to convey over the litters and horses, the
citizens, to give me the more time to escape, were debating with
Barlemont and Du Bois concerning a number of grievances and
complaints, telling them, in their coarse language, that Don
John had broken the peace and falsified his engagements with
the States; and they even rehearsed the old quarrel of the death
of Egmont, and, lastly, declared that if the troop made its
appearance before their walls again, they would fire upon it with
their artillery.

I had by this means sufficient time to reach a secure distance,
and was, by the help of God and the assistance of my guide, out
of all apprehensions of danger from Batlemont and his troop.

I intended to lodge that night in a strong castle, called Fleurines,
which belonged to a gentleman of the Party of the States, whom
I had seen with the Comte de Lalain. Unfortunately for me, the
gentleman was absent, and his lady only was in the castle. The
courtyard being open, we entered it, which put the lady into
such a fright that she ordered the bridge to be drawn up, and
fled to the strong tower. Nothing we could say would induce her
to give us entrance. In the meantime, three hundred gentlemen,
whom Don John had sent off to intercept our passage, and take
possession of the castle of Fleurines, judging that I should take
up my quarters there, made their appearance upon an eminence, at
the distance of about a thousand yards. They, seeing our carriages
in the courtyard, and supposing that we ourselves had taken to
the strong tower, resolved to stay where they were that night,
hoping to intercept me the next morning.

In this cruel situation were we placed, in a courtyard surrounded
by a wall by no means strong, and shut up by a gate equally as
weak and as capable of being forced, remonstrating from time
to time with the lady, who was deaf to all our prayers and

Through God's mercy, her husband, M. de Fleurines, himself appeared
just as night approached. We then gained instant admission, and the
lady was greatly reprimanded by her husband for her incivility and
indiscreet behaviour. This gentleman had been sent by the Comte de
Lalain, with directions to conduct me through the several towns
belonging to the States, the Count himself not being able to
leave the army of the States, of which he had the chief command,
to accompany me.

This was as favourable a circumstance for me as I could wish;
for, M. de Fleurines offering to accompany me into France, the
towns we had to pass through being of the party of the States,
we were everywhere quietly and honourably received. I had only
the mortification of not being able to visit Mons, agreeably to
my promise made to the Comtesse de Lalain, not passing nearer
to it than Nivelle, seven long leagues distant from it. The Count
being at Antwerp, and the war being hottest in the neighbourhood
of Mons, I thus was prevented seeing either of them on my return.
I could only write to the Countess by a servant of the gentleman
who was now my conductor. As soon as she learned I was at Nivelle,
she sent some gentlemen, natives of the part of Flanders I was
in, with a strong injunction to see me safe on the frontier of

I had to pass through the Cambresis, partly in favour of Spain
and partly of the States. Accordingly, I set out with these
gentlemen, to lodge at Cateau-Cambresis. There they took leave of
me, in order to return to Mons, and by them I sent the Countess
a gown of mine, which had been greatly admired by her when I
wore it at Mons; it was of black satin, curiously embroidered,
and cost nine hundred crowns.

When I arrived at Cateau-Cambresis, I had intelligence sent me
that a party of the Huguenot troops had a design to attack me
on the frontiers of Flanders and France. This intelligence I
communicated to a few only of my company, and prepared to set off
an hour before daybreak. When I sent for my litters and horses,
I found much such a kind of delay from the Chevalier Salviati as
I had before experienced at Liege, and suspecting it was done
designedly, I left my litter behind, and mounted on horseback,
with such of my attendants as were ready to follow me. By this
means, with God's assistance, I escaped being waylaid by my enemies,
and reached Catelet at ten in the morning. From there I went to
my house at La Fere, where I intended to reside until I learned
that peace was concluded upon.

At La Fere I found a messenger in waiting from my brother, who
had orders to return with all expedition, as soon as I arrived,
and inform him of it. My brother wrote me word, by that messenger,
that peace was concluded, and the King returned to Paris; that,
as to himself, his situation was rather worse than better; that
he and his people were daily receiving some affront or other,
and continual quarrels were excited betwixt the King's favourites
and Bussi and my brother's principal attendants. This, he added,
had made him impatient for my return, that he might come and
visit me.

I sent his messenger back, and immediately after, my brother
sent Bussi and all his household to Angers, and, taking with
him fifteen or twenty attendants, he rode post to me at La Fere.
It was a great satisfaction to me to see one whom I so tenderly
loved and greatly honoured, once more. I considered it amongst
the greatest felicities I ever enjoyed, and, accordingly, it
became my chief study to make his residence here agreeable to
him. He himself seemed delighted with this change of situation,
and would willingly have continued in it longer had not the noble
generosity of his mind called him forth to great achievements.
The quiet of our Court, when compared with that he had just left,
affected him so powerfully that he could not but express the
satisfaction he felt by frequently exclaiming, "Oh, Queen! how
happy I am with you. My God! your society is a paradise wherein
I enjoy every delight, and I seem to have lately escaped from
hell, with all its furies and tortures!"


We passed nearly two months together, which appeared to us only
as so many days. I gave him an account of what I had done for him
in Flanders, and the state in which I had left the business. He
approved of the interview with the Comte de Lalain's brother in
order to settle the plan of operations and exchange assurances.
Accordingly, the Comte de Montigny arrived, with four or five
other leading men of the county of Hainault. One of these was
charged with a letter from M. d'Ainsi, offering his services
to my brother, and assuring him of the citadel of Cambray. M.
de Montigny delivered his brother's declaration and engagement
to give up the counties of Hainault and Artois, which included a
number of fine cities. These offers made and accepted, my brother
dismissed them with presents of gold medals, bearing his and my
effigies, and every assurance of his future favour; and they
returned to prepare everything for his coming. In the meanwhile
my brother considered on the necessary measures to be used for
raising a sufficient force, for which purpose he returned to
the King, to prevail with him to assist him in this enterprise.

As I was anxious to go to Gascony, I made ready for the journey,
and set off for Paris, my brother meeting me at the distance
of one day's journey.

At St. Denis I was met by the King, the Queen my mother, Queen
Louise, and the whole Court. It was at St. Denis that I was to
stop and dine, and there it was that I had the honour of the
meeting I have just mentioned.

I was received very graciously, and most sumptuously entertained.
I was made to recount the particulars of my triumphant journey
to Liege, and perilous return. The magnificent entertainments
I had received excited their admiration, and they rejoiced at
my narrow escapes. With such conversation I amused the Queen
my mother and the rest of the company in her coach, on our way
to Paris, where, supper and the ball being ended, I took an
opportunity, when I saw the King and the Queen my mother together,
to address them.

I expressed my hopes that they would not now oppose my going to
the King my husband; that now, by the peace, the chief objection
to it was removed, and if I delayed going, in the present situation
of affairs, it might be prejudicial and discreditable to me. Both
of them approved of my request, and commended my resolution. The
Queen my mother added that she would accompany me on my journey, as
it would be for the King's service that she did so. She said the
King must furnish me with the necessary means for the journey,
to which he readily assented. I thought this a proper time to
settle everything, and prevent another journey to Court, which
would be no longer pleasing after my brother left it, who was now
pressing his expedition to Flanders with all haste. I therefore
begged the Queen my mother to recollect the promise she had made
my brother and me as soon as peace was agreed upon, which was
that, before my departure for Gascony, I should have my marriage
portion assigned to me in lands. She said that she recollected
it well, and the King thought it very reasonable, and promised
that it should be done. I entreated that it might be concluded
speedily, as I wished to set off, with their permission, at the
beginning of the next month. This, too, was granted me, but granted
after the mode of the Court; that is to say, notwithstanding
my constant solicitations, instead of despatch, I experienced
only delay; and thus it continued for five or six months in

My brother met with the like treatment, though he was continually
urging the necessity for his setting out for Flanders, and
representing that his expedition was for the glory and advantage
of France,--for its glory, as such an enterprise would, like
Piedmont, prove a school of war for the young nobility, wherein
future Montlucs, Brissacs, Termes, and Bellegardes would be bred,
all of them instructed in these wars, and afterwards, as
field-marshals, of the greatest service to their country; and it
would be for the advantage of France, as it would prevent civil
wars; for Flanders would then be no longer a country wherein
such discontented spirits as aimed at novelty could assemble to
brood over their malice and hatch plots for the disturbance of
their native land.

These representations, which were both reasonable and consonant
with truth, had no weight when put into the scale against the
envy excited by this advancement of my brother's fortune.
Accordingly, every delay was used to hinder him from collecting
his forces together, and stop his expedition to Flanders. Bussi
and his other dependents were offered a thousand indignities. Every
stratagem was tried, by day as well as by night, to pick quarrels
with Bussi,--now by Quelus, at another time by Grammont,--with
the hope that my brother would engage in them. This was unknown
to the King; but Maugiron, who had engrossed the King's favour,
and who had quitted my brother's service, sought every means to
ruin him, as it is usual for those who have given offence to
hate the offended party.

Thus did this man take every occasion to brave and insult my
brother; and relying upon the countenance and blind affection
shown him by the King. had leagued himself with Quelus, Saint-Luc,
Saint-Maigrin, Grammont, Mauleon, Hivarrot, and other young men
who enjoyed the King's favour. As those who are favourites find
a number of followers at Court, these licentious young courtiers
thought they might do whatever they pleased. Some new dispute
betwixt them and Bussi was constantly starting. Bussi had a degree
of courage which knew not how to give way to anyone; and my brother,
unwilling to give umbrage to the King, and foreseeing that such
proceedings would not forward his expedition, to avoid quarrels
and, at the same time, to promote his plans, resolved to despatch
Bussi to his duchy of Alencon, in order to discipline such troops
as he should find there. My brother's amiable qualities excited
the jealousy of Maugiron and the rest of his cabal about the
King's person, and their dislike for Bussi was not so much on his
own account as because he was strongly attached to my brother.
The slights and disrespect shown to my brother were remarked by
everyone at Court; but his prudence, and the patience natural
to his disposition, enabled him to put up with their insults, in
hopes of finishing the business of his Flemish expedition, which
would remove him to a distance from them and their machinations.
This persecution was the more mortifying and discreditable as
it even extended to his servants, whom they strove to injure by
every means they could employ. M. de la Chastre at this time had
a lawsuit of considerable consequence decided against him, because
he had lately attached himself to my brother. At the instance
of Maugiron and Saint-Luc, the King was induced to solicit the
cause in favour of Madame de Senetaire, their friend. M. de la
Chastre, being greatly injured by it, complained to my brother
of the injustice done him, with all the concern such a proceeding
may be supposed to have occasioned.

About this time Saint-Luc's marriage was celebrated. My brother
resolved not to be present at it, and begged of me to join him
in the same resolution. The Queen my mother was greatly uneasy
on account of the behaviour of these young men, fearing that,
if my brother did not join them in this festivity, it might be
attended with some bad consequence, especially as the day was
likely to produce scenes of revelry and debauch; she, therefore,
prevailed on the King to permit her to dine on the wedding-day
at St. Maur, and take my brother and me with her. This was the
day before Shrove Tuesday; and we returned in the evening, the
Queen my mother having well lectured my brother, and made him
consent to appear at the ball, in order not to displease the

But this rather served to make matters worse than better, for
Maugiron and his party began to attack him with such insolent
speeches as would have offended any one of far less consequence.
They said he needed not to have given himself the trouble of
dressing, for he was not missed in the afternoon; but now, they
supposed, he came at night at the most suitable time; with other
allusions to the meanness of his figure and smallness of stature.
All this was addressed to the bride, who sat near him, but spoken
out on purpose that he might hear it. My brother, perceiving this
was purposely said to provoke an answer and occasion his giving
offence to the King, removed from his seat full of resentment;
and, consulting with M. de la Chastre, he came to the resolution
of leaving the Court in a few days on a hunting party. He still
thought his absence might stay their malice, and afford him an
opportunity the more easily of settling his preparations for
the Flemish expedition with the King. He went immediately to the
Queen my mother, who was present at the ball, and was extremely
sorry to learn what had happened, and imparted her resolution,
in his absence, to solicit the King to hasten his expedition to
Flanders. M. de Villequier being present, she bade him acquaint
the King with my brother's intention of taking the diversion of
hunting a few days; which she thought very proper herself, as
it would put a stop to the disputes which had arisen betwixt
him and the young men, Maugiron, Saint-Luc, Quelus, and the rest.

My brother retired to his apartment, and, considering his leave
as granted, gave orders to his domestics to prepare to set off
the next morning for St. Germain, where he should hunt the stag
for a few days. He directed the grand huntsman to be ready with
the hounds, and retired to rest, thinking to withdraw awhile from
the intrigues of the Court, and amuse himself with the sports
of the field. M. de Villequier, agreeably to the command he had
received from the Queen my mother, asked for leave, and obtained
it. The King, however, staying in his closet, like Rehoboam, with
his council of five or six young men, they suggested suspicions
in his mind respecting my brother's departure from Court. In
short, they worked upon his fears and apprehensions so greatly,
that he took one of the most rash and inconsiderate steps that
was ever decided upon in our time; which was to put my brother
and all his principal servants under an arrest. This measure
was executed with as much indiscretion as it had been resolved
upon. The King, under this agitation of mind, late as it was,
hastened to the Queen my mother, and seemed as if there was a
general alarm and the enemy at the gates, for he exclaimed on
seeing her: "How could you, Madame, think of asking me to let
my brother go hence? Do you not perceive how dangerous his going
will prove to my kingdom? Depend upon it that this hunting is
merely a pretence to cover some treacherous design. I am going
to put him and his people under an arrest, and have his papers
examined. I am sure we shall make some great discoveries."

At the time he said this he had with him the Sieur de Cosse,
captain of the guard, and a number of Scottish archers. The Queen
my mother, fearing, from the King's haste and trepidation, that
some mischief might happen to my brother, begged to go with him.
Accordingly, undressed as she was, wrapping herself up in a
night-gown, she followed the King to my brother's bedchamber.
The King knocked at the door with great violence, ordering it to
be immediately opened, for that he was there himself. My brother
started up in his bed, awakened by the noise, and, knowing that
he had done nothing that he need fear, ordered Cange, his _valet
de chambre_, to open the door. The King entered in a great rage,
and asked him when he would have done plotting against him. "But
I will show you," said he, "what it is to plot against your
sovereign." Hereupon he ordered the archers to take away all
the trunks, and turn the _valets de chambre_ out of the room. He
searched my brother's bed himself, to see if he could find any
papers concealed in it. My brother had that evening received a
letter from Madame de Sauves, which he kept in his hand, unwilling
that it should be seen. The King endeavoured to force it from him.
He refused to part with it, and earnestly entreated the King
would not insist upon seeing it. This only excited the King's
anxiety the more to have it in his possession, as he now supposed
it to be the key to the whole plot, and the very document which
would at once bring conviction home to him. At length, the King
having got it into his hands, he opened it in the presence of
the Queen my mother, and they were both as much confounded, when
they read the contents, as Cato was when he obtained a letter
from Caesar, in the Senate, which the latter was unwilling to
give up; and which Cato, supposing it to contain a conspiracy
against the Republic, found to be no other than a love-letter
from his own sister.

But the shame of this disappointment served only to increase
the King's anger, who, without condescending to make a reply
to my brother, when repeatedly asked what he had been accused
of, gave him in charge of M. de Cosse and his Scots, commanding
them not to admit a single person to speak with him.

It was one o'clock in the morning when my brother was made a
prisoner in the manner I have now related. He feared some fatal
event might succeed these violent proceedings, and he was under
the greatest concern on my account, supposing me to be under
a like arrest. He observed M. de Cosse to be much affected by
the scene he had been witness to, even to shedding tears. As
the archers were in the room he would not venture to enter into
discourse with him, but only asked what was become of me. M. de
Cosse answered that I remained at full liberty. My brother then
said it was a great comfort to him to hear that news; "but,"
added he, "as I know she loves me so entirely that she would
rather be confined with me than have her liberty whilst I was
in confinement, I beg you will go to the Queen my mother, and
desire her to obtain leave for my sister to be with me." He did
so, and it was granted.

The reliance which my brother displayed upon this occasion in
the sincerity of my friendship and regard for him conferred so
great an obligation in my mind that, though I have received many
particular favours since from him, this has always held the foremost
place in my grateful remembrance.

By the time he had received permission for my being with him,
daylight made its appearance. Seeing this, my brother begged
M. de Cosse to send one of his archers to acquaint me with his
situation, and beg me to come to him.


I was ignorant of what had happened to my brother, and when the
Scottish archer came into my bedchamber, I was still asleep. He
drew the curtains of the bed, and told me, in his broken French,
that my brother wished to see me. I stared at the man, half awake
as I was, and thought it a dream. After a short pause, and being
thoroughly awakened, I asked him if he was not a Scottish archer.
He answered me in the affirmative. "What!" cried I, "has my brother
no one else to send a message by?" He replied he had not, for all
his domestics had been put under an arrest. He then proceeded
to relate, as well as he could explain himself, the events of
the preceding night, and the leave granted my brother for my
being with him during his imprisonment.

The poor fellow, observing me to be much affected by this
intelligence, drew near, and whispered me to this purport: "Do
not grieve yourself about this matter; I know a way of setting
your brother at liberty, and you may depend upon it, that I will
do it; but, in that case, I must go off with him." I assured
him that he might rely upon being as amply rewarded as he could
wish for such assistance, and, huddling on my clothes, I followed
him alone to my brother's apartments. In going thither, I had
occasion to traverse the whole gallery, which was filled with
people, who, at another time, would have pressed forward to pay
their respects to me; but, now that Fortune seemed to frown upon
me, they all avoided me, or appeared as if they did not see me.

Coming into my brother's apartments, I found him not at all affected
by what had happened; for such was the constancy of his mind,
that his arrest had wrought no change, and he received me with
his usual cheerfulness. He ran to meet me, and taking me in his
arms, he said:

"Queen! I beg you to dry up your tears; in my present situation,
nothing can grieve me so much as to find you under any concern; for
my own part, I am so conscious of my innocence and the integrity
of my conduct, that I can defy the utmost malice of my enemies.
If I should chance to fall the victim of their injustice, my
death would prove a more cruel punishment to them than to me,
who have courage sufficient to meet it in a just cause. It is
not death I fear, because I have tasted sufficiently of the
calamities and evils of life, and am ready to leave this world,
which I have found only the abode of sorrow; but the circumstance
I dread most is, that, not finding me sufficiently guilty to
doom me to death, I shall be condemned to a long, solitary
imprisonment; though I should even despise their tyranny in that
respect, could I but have the assurance of being comforted by
your presence."

These words, instead of stopping my tears, only served to make
them stream afresh. I answered, sobbing, that my life and fortune
were at his devotion; that the power of God alone could prevent
me from affording him my assistance under every extremity; that,
if he should be transported from that place, and I should be
withheld from following him, I would kill myself on the spot.

Changing our discourse, we framed a number of conjectures on
what might be the probable cause of the King's angry proceedings
against him, but found ourselves at a loss what to assign them

Whilst we were discussing this matter the hour came for opening
the palace gates, when a simple young man belonging to Bussi
presented himself for entrance. Being stopped by the guard and
questioned as to whither he was going, he, panic-struck, replied
he was going to M. de Bussi, his master. This answer was carried
to the King, and gave fresh grounds for suspicion. It seems my
brother, supposing he should not be able to go to Flanders for
some time, and resolving to send Bussi to his duchy of Alencon
as I have already mentioned, had lodged him in the Louvre, that
he might be near him to take instructions at every opportunity.

L'Archant, the general of the guard, had received the King's
commands to make a search in the Louvre for him and Simier, and
put them both under arrest. He entered upon this business with
great unwillingness, as he was intimate with Bussi, who was
accustomed to call him "father." L'Archant, going to Simier's
apartment, arrested him; and though he judged Bussi was there
too, yet being unwilling to find him, he was going away. Bussi,
however, who had concealed himself under the bed, as not knowing
to whom the orders for his arrest might be given, finding he was

Book of the day:
Facebook Google Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter Pinterest