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The Historic Court Memoirs of France, complete

Part 6 out of 62

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this formed by your Highness, and, in my humble opinion, there never were
such weak reasons as those you have now urged to hinder its execution;
for I take this to be the weakest of all, which, perhaps, you think a
very strong one, namely, that if Mazarin miscarries in his designs you
may be ruined along with him; and if he does succeed he will destroy you
by the very means which you took to raise him."

It had not the intended effect on the Prince, who was already
prepossessed, and who only answered me in general terms. But heroes have
their faults as well as other men, and so had his Highness, who had one
of the finest geniuses in the world, but little or no forethought. He
did not seek to aggravate matters in order to render himself necessary at
Court, or with a view to do what he afterwards did for the Cardinal, nor
was he biassed by the mean interests of pension, government, and
establishment. He had most certainly great hopes of being arbiter of the
Cabinet. The glory of being restorer of the public peace was his first
end in view, and being the conservator of the royal authority the second.
Those who labour under such an imperfection, though they see clearly the
advantages and disadvantages of both parties, know not which to choose,
because they do not weigh them in the same balance, so that the same
thing appears lightest today which they will think heaviest to-morrow.
This was the case of the Prince, who, it must be owned, if he had carried
on his good design with prudence, certainly would have reestablished the
Government upon a lasting foundation.

He told me more than once, in an angry mood, that if the Parliament went
on at the old rate he would teach them that it would be no great task to
reduce them to reason. I perceived by his talk that the Court had
resumed the design of besieging Paris; and to be the more satisfied of it
I told him that the Cardinal might easily be disappointed in his
measures, and that he would find Paris to be a very tough morsel.

"It shall not be taken," he said, "like Dunkirk, by mines and storming;
but suppose its bread from Gonesse should be cut off for eight days

I took this statement then for granted, and replied that the stopping of
that passage would be attended with difficulties.

"What difficulties?" asked the Prince, very briskly. "The citizens?
Will they come out to give battle?"

"If it were only citizens, monseigneur," I said, "the battle would not be
very sharp."

"Who will be with them?" he replied; "will you be there yourself?"

"That would be a very bad omen," I said; "it would look too much like the
proceedings of the League."

After a little pause, he said, "But now, to be serious, would you be so
foolish as to embark with those men?"

"You know, monseigneur," I said, "that I am engaged already; and that,
moreover, as Coadjutor of Paris, I am concerned both by honour and
interest in its preservation. I shall be your Highness's humble servant
as long as I live, except in this one point."

I saw he was touched to the quick, but he kept his temper, and said these
very words: "When you engage in a bad cause I will pity you, but shall
have no reason to complain of you. Nor do you complain of me; but do me
that justice you owe me, namely, to own that all I promised to Longueil
and Broussel is since annulled by the conduct of the Parliament."

He afterwards showed me many personal favours, and offered to make my
peace with the Court. I assured him of my obedience and zeal for his
service in everything that did not interfere with the engagements I had
entered into, which, as he himself owned, I could not possibly avoid.

After we parted I paid a visit to Madame de Longueville, who seemed
enraged both against the Court and the Prince de Conde. I was pleased to
think, moreover, that she could do what she would with the Prince de
Conti, who was little better than a child; but then I considered that
this child was a Prince of the blood, and it was only a name we wanted to
give life to that which, without one, was a mere embryo. I could answer
for M. de Longueville, who loved to be the first man in any public
revolution, and I was as well assured of Marechal de La Mothe,--[Philippe
de La Mothe-Houdancourt, deceased 1657.]--who was madly opposed to the
Court, and had been inviolably attached to M. de Longueville for twenty
years together. I saw that the Duc de Bouillon, through the injustice
done him by the Court and the unfortunate state of his domestic affairs,
was very much annoyed and almost desperate. I had an eye upon all these
gentlemen at a distance, but thought neither of them fit to open the
drama. M. de Longueville was only fit for the second act; the Marechal
de La Mothe was a good soldier, but had no headpiece, and was therefore
not qualified for the first act. M. de Bouillon was my man, had not his
honesty been more problematic than his talents. You will not wonder that
I was so wavering in my choice, and that I fixed at last upon the Prince
de Conti, of the blood of France.

As soon as I gave Madame de Longueville a hint of what part she was to
act in the intended revolution, she was perfectly transported, and I took
care to make M. de Longueville as great a malcontent as herself. She had
wit and beauty, though smallpox had taken away the bloom of her pretty
face, in which there sat charms so powerful that they rendered her one of
the most amiable persons in France. I could have placed her in my heart
between Mesdames de Gudmenee and Pommereux, and it was not the despair of
succeeding that palled my passion, but the consideration that the
benefice was not yet vacant, though not well served,--M. de La
Rochefoucault was in possession, yet absent in Poitou. I sent her three
or four billets-doux every day, and received as many. I went very often
to her levee to be more at liberty to talk of affairs, got extraordinary
advantages by it, and I knew that it was the only way to be sure of the
Prince de Conti.

Having settled a regular correspondence with Madame de Longueville, she
made me better acquainted with M. de La Rochefoucault, who made the
Prince de Conti believe that he spoke a good word for him to the lady,
his sister, with whom he was in, love. And the two so blinded the Prince
that he did not suspect anything till four years after.

When I saw that the Court would act upon their own initiative, I resolved
to declare war against them and attack Mazarin in person, because
otherwise we could not escape being first attacked by him.

It is certain that he gave his enemies such an advantage over him as no
other Prime Minister ever did. Power commonly keeps above ridicule, but
everybody laughed at the Cardinal because of his silly sayings and
doings, which those in his position are seldom guilty of. It was said
that he had lately asked Bougeval, deputy of the Grand Council, whether
he did not think himself obliged to have no buttons to the collar of his
doublet, if the King should command it,--a grave argument to convince the
deputies of an important company of the obedience due to kings, for which
he was severely lampooned both in prose and verse.

The Court having attempted to legalise excessive usury,--I mean with
respect to the affair of loans,--my dignity would not permit me to
tolerate so public and scandalous an evil. Therefore I held an assembly
of the clergy, where, without so much as mentioning the Cardinal's name
in the conferences, in which I rather affected to spare him, yet in a
week's time I made him pass for one of the most obstinate Jews in Europe.

At this very time I was sent for, by a civil letter under the Queen's own
hand, to repair to Saint Germain, the messenger telling me the King was
just gone thither and that the army was commanded to advance. I made him
believe I would obey the summons, but I did not intend to do so.

I was pestered for five hours with a parcel of idle rumours of ruin and
destruction, which rather diverted than alarmed me, for though the Prince
de Conde, distrusting his brother the Prince de Conti, had surprised him
in bed and carried him off with him to Saint Germain, yet I did not
question but that, as long as Madame de Longueville stayed in Paris, we
should see him again, the rather because his brother neither feared nor
valued him sufficiently to put him under arrest, and I was assured that
M. de Longueville would be in Paris that evening by having received a
letter from himself.

The King was no sooner gone than the Parliament met, frightened out of
their senses, and I know not what they could have done if we had not
found a way to change their fears into a resolution to make a bold stand.
I have observed a thousand times that there are some kinds of fear only
to be removed by higher degrees of terror. I caused it to be signified
to the Parliament that there was in the Hotel de Ville a letter from his
Majesty to the magistrates, containing the reasons that had obliged him
to leave his good city of Paris, which were in effect that some of the
officers of the House held a correspondence with the enemies of the
Government, and had conspired to seize his person.

The Parliament, considering this letter and that the President le Feron,
'prevot des marchands', was a creature of the Court, ordered the citizens
to arms, the gates to be secured, and the 'prevot des marchands' and the
'lieutenant de police' to keep open the necessary passages for

Having thought it good policy that the first public step of resistance
should be taken by the Parliament to justify the disobedience of private
persons, I then invented this stratagem to render me the more excusable
to the Queen for not going to Saint Germain. Having taken leave of all
friends and rejected all their entreaties for my stay in Paris, I took
coach as if I were driving to Court, but, by good luck, met with an
eminent timber-merchant, a very good friend of mine, at the end of Notre-
Dame Street, who was very much out of humour, set upon my postilion, and
threatened my coachman. The people came and overturned my coach, and the
women, shrieking, carried me back to my own house.

I wrote to the Queen and Prince, signifying how sorry I was that I had
met with such a stoppage; but the Queen treated the messenger with scorn
and contempt. The Prince, at the same time that he pitied me, could not
help showing his anger. La Riviere attacked me with railleries and
invectives, and the messenger thought they were sure of putting the rope
about all our necks on the morrow.

I was not so much alarmed at their menaces as at the news I heard the
same day that M. de Longueville, returning from Rouen, had turned off to
Saint Germain. Marechal de La Mothe told me twenty times that he would
do everything to the letter that M. de Longueville would have him do for
or against the Court. M. de Bouillon quarrelled with me for confiding in
men who acted so contrary to the repeated assurances I had given him of
their good behaviour. And besides all this, Madame de Longueville
protested to me that she had received no news from M. de La
Rochefoucault, who went soon after the King, with a design to fortify the
Prince de Conti in his resolution and to bring him back to Paris. Upon
this I sent the Marquis de Noirmoutier to Saint Germain to learn what we
had to trust to.

On the 7th of January, 1649, an order was sent from the King to the
Parliament to remove to Montargis, to the Chamber of Accounts to adjourn
to Orleans and to the Grand Council to retire to Mantes. A packet was
also sent to the Parliament, which they would not open, because they
guessed at the contents and were resolved beforehand not to obey.
Therefore they returned it sealed up as it came, and agreed to send
assurances of their obedience to the Queen, and to beg she would give
them leave to clear themselves from the aspersion thrown upon them in the
letter above mentioned sent to the chief magistrate of the city. And to
support the dignity of Parliament it was further resolved that her
Majesty should be petitioned in a most humble manner to name the
calumniators, that they might be proceeded against according to law. At
the same time Broussel, Viole, Amelot, and seven others moved that it
might be demanded in form that Cardinal Mazarin should be removed; but
they were not supported by anybody else, so that they were treated as
enthusiasts. Although this was a juncture in which it was more necessary
than ever to act with vigour, yet I do not remember the time when I have
beheld so much faintheartedness.

The Chamber of Accounts immediately set about making remonstrances; but
the Grand Council would have obeyed the King's orders, only the city
refused them passports. I think this was one of the most gloomy days I
had as yet seen. I found the Parliament had almost lost all their
spirit, and that I should be obliged to bow my neck under the most
shameful and dangerous yoke of slavery, or be reduced to the dire
necessity of setting up for tribune of the people, which is the most
uncertain and meanest of all posts when it is not vested with sufficient

The weakness of the Prince de Conti, who was led like a child by his
brother, the cowardice of M. de Longueville, who had been to offer his
service to the Queen, and the declaration of MM. de Bouillon and de La
Mothe had mightily disfigured my tribuneship. But the folly of Mazarin
raised its reputation, for he made the Queen refuse audience to the
King's Council, who returned that night to Paris, fully convinced that
the Court was resolved to push things to extremity.

I was informed from Saint Germain that the Prince had assured the Queen
he would take Paris in a fortnight, and they hoped that the
discontinuance of two markets only would starve the city into a
surrender. I carried this news to my, friends, who began to see that
there was no possibility, of accommodation.

The Parliament was no sooner acquainted that the King's Council had been
denied audience than with one voice--Bernai excepted, who was fitter for
a cook than a councillor--they passed that famous decree of January 8th,
1649, whereby Cardinal Mazarin was declared an enemy to the King and
Government, a disturber of the public peace, and all the King's subjects
were enjoined to attack him without mercy.

In the afternoon there was a general council of the deputies of
Parliament, of the Chamber of Accounts, of the Court of Aids, the chief
magistrates of Paris, and the six trading companies, wherein it was
resolved that the magistrates should issue commissions for raising 4,000
horse and 10,000 foot. The same day the Chamber of Accounts, the Court
of Aids, and the city sent their deputies to the Queen, to beseech her
Majesty to bring the King back to Paris, but the Court was obdurate. The
Prince de Conde flew out against the Parliament in the Queen's presence;
and her Majesty told them all that neither the King nor herself would
ever come again within the walls of the city till the Parliament was gone
out of it.

The next day the city received a letter from the King commanding them to
oblige the Parliament to remove to Montargis. The governor, one of the
sheriffs, and four councillors of the city carried the letter to
Parliament, protesting at the same time that they would obey no other
orders than those of the Parliament, who that very morning settled the
necessary funds for raising troops. In the afternoon there was a general
council, wherein all the corporations of the city and all the colonels
and captains of the several quarters entered into an association,
confirmed by an oath, for their mutual defence. In the meantime I was
informed by the Marquis de Noirmoutier that the Prince de Conti and M. de
Longueville were very well disposed, and that they stayed at Court the
longer to have a safer opportunity of coming away. M. de La
Rochefoucault wrote to the same purpose to Madame de Longueville.

The same day I had a visit from the Duc d'Elbeuf,--[Charles de Lorraine,
the second of that name, who died 1657.]--who, as they said, having
missed a dinner at Court, came to Paris for a supper. He addressed me
with all the cajoling flattery of the House of Guise, and had three
children with him, who were not so eloquent, but seemed to be quite as
cunning as himself. He told me that he was going to offer his service to
the Hotel de Ville; but I advised him to wait upon the Parliament. He
was fixed in his first resolution, yet he came to assure me he would
follow my advice in everything. I was afraid that the Parisians, to whom
the very name of a Prince of Lorraine is dear, would have given him the
command of the troops. Therefore I ordered the clergy over whom I had
influence to insinuate to the people that he was too influential with the
Abbe de La Riviere, and I showed the Parliament what respect he had for
them by addressing himself to the Hotel de Ville in the first place, and
that he had not honour enough to be trusted. I was shown a letter which
he wrote to his friend as he came into town, in which were these words:
"I must go and do homage to the Coadjutor now, but in three days' time he
shall return it to me." And I knew from other instances that his
affection for me was of the feeblest.

While I was reflecting what to do, news was brought to me before daylight
that the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville were at the gate of Saint
Honord and denied entrance by the people, who feared they came to betray
the city. I immediately fetched honest Broussel, and, taking some
torches to light us, we posted to the said gate through a prodigious
crowd of people; it was broad daylight before we could persuade the
people that they might safely let them in.

The great difficulty now was how to manage so as to remove the general
distrust of the Prince de Conti that existed among the people. That
which was practicable the night before was rendered impossible and even
ruinous the next day, and this same Duc d'Elbeuf, whom I thought to have
driven out of Paris on the 9th, was in a fair way to have compelled me to
leave on the 10th if he had played his game well, so suspected was the
name of Conde by the people. As there wanted a little time to reconcile
them, I thought it was our only way to keep fair with M. d'Elbeuf and to
convince him that it would be to his interest to join with the Prince de
Conti and M. de Longueville. I accordingly sent to acquaint him that I
intended him a visit, but when I arrived he was gone to the Parliament,
where the First President, who was against removing to Montargis and at
the same time very averse to a civil war, embraced him, and, without
giving the members time to consider what was urged by Broussel, Viole,
and others to the contrary, caused him to be declared General, with a
design merely to divide and weaken the party.

Upon this I made haste to the Palace of Longueville to persuade the
Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville to go that very instant to the
Parliament House. The latter was never in haste, and the Prince having
gone tired to bed, it was with much ado I prevailed on him to rise. In
short, he was so long in setting out that the Parliament was up and M.
d'Elbeuf was marching to the Hotel de Ville to be sworn and to take care
of the commissions that were to be issued. I thereupon persuaded the
Prince de Conti to go to the Parliament in the afternoon and to offer
them his service, while I stayed without in the hall to observe the
disposition of the people.

He went thither accordingly in my coach and with my grand livery, by
which he made it appear that he reposed his confidence entirely in the
people, whom there is a necessity of managing with a world of precaution
because of their natural diffidence and instability. When we came to the
House we were saluted upon the stairs with "God bless the Coadjutor!"
but, except those posted there on purpose, not a soul cried, "God bless
the Prince de Conti!" from which I concluded that the bulk of the people
were not yet cured of their diffidence, and therefore I was very glad
when I had got the Prince into the Grand Chamber. The moment after, M.
d'Elbeuf came in with the city guards, who attended him as general, and
with all the people crying out, "God bless his Highness M. d'Elbeuf!"
But as they cried at the same time "God save the Coadjutor!" I addressed
myself to him with a smile and said, "This is an echo, monsieur, which
does me a great deal of honour."--"It is very kind of you," said he, and,
turning to the guards, bade them stay at the door of the Grand Chamber.
I took the order as given to myself, and stayed there likewise, with a
great number of my friends. As soon as the House was formed, the Prince
de Conti stood up and said that, having been made acquainted at Saint
Germain with the pernicious counsels given to the Queen, he thought
himself obliged, as Prince of the blood, to oppose them. M. d'Elbeuf,
who was proud and insolent, like all weak men, because he thought he had
the strongest party, said he knew the respect due to the Prince de Conti,
but that he could not forbear telling them that it was himself who first
broke the ice and offered his service to the Parliament, who, having
conferred the General's baton upon him, he would never part with it but
with his life.

The generality of the members, who were as distrustful of the Prince de
Conti as the people, applauded this declaration, and the Parliament
passed a decree forbidding the troops on pain of high treason to advance
within twenty miles of Paris. I saw that all I could do that day was to
reconduct the Prince de Conti in safety to the palace of Longueville, for
the crowd was so great that I was fain to carry him, as it were, in my
arms out of the Grand Chamber.

M. d'Elbeuf, who thought the day was all his own, hearing my name joined
with his in the huzzas of the people, said to me by way of reprisal,
"This, monsieur, is an echo which does me a great deal of honour," to
which I replied, as he did to me before, "Monsieur, it is very kind of
you." Meantime he was not wise enough to improve the opportunity, and I
foresaw that things would soon take another turn, for reputation of long
standing among the people never fails to blast the tender blossoms of
public good-will which are forced out of due season.

I had news sent to me from Madame de Lesdiguieres at Saint Germain, that
M. d'Elbeuf, an hour after he heard of the arrival of the Prince de Conti
and M. de Longueville at Paris, wrote a letter to the Abbe de la Riviere
with these words: "Tell the Queen and the Duc d'Orleans that this
diabolical Coadjutor is the ruin of everything here, and that in two days
I shall have no power at all, but that if they will be kind to me I will
make them sensible. I am not come hither with so bad a design as they
imagine." I made a very good use of this advice, and, knowing that the
people are generally fond of everything that seems mysterious, I imparted
the secret to four or five hundred persons. I had the pleasure to hear
that the confidence which the Prince had reposed in the people by going
about all alone in my coach, without any attendance, had won their

At midnight M. de Longueville, Marechal de La Mothe, and myself went to
M. de Bouillon, whom we found as wavering as the state of affairs, but
when we showed him our plan, and how easily it might be executed, he
joined us immediately. We concerted measures, and I gave out orders to
all the colonels and captains of my acquaintance.

The most dangerous blow that I gave to M. d'Elbeuf was by making the
people believe that he held correspondence with the King's troops, who on
the 9th, at night, surprised Charenton. I met him on the first report of
it, when he said, "Would you think there are people so wicked as to say
that I had a hand in the capture of Charenton?" I said in answer, "Would
you think there are people vile enough to report that the Prince de Conti
is come hither by concert with the Prince de Conde?"

When I saw the people pretty well cured of their diffidence, and not so
zealous as they were for M. d'Elbeuf, I was for mincing the matter no
longer, and thought that ostentation would be as proper to-day as reserve
was yesterday. The Prince de Conti took M. de Longueville to the
Parliament House, where he offered them his services, together with all
Normandy, and desired they would accept of his wife, son, and daughter,
and keep them in the Hotel de Ville as pledges of his sincerity. He was
seconded by M. de Bouillon, who said he was exceedingly glad to serve the
Parliament under the command of so great a Prince as the Prince de Conti.
M. d'Elbeuf was nettled at this expression, and repeated what he had said
before, that he would not part with the General's staff, and he showed
more warmth than judgment in the whole debate. He spoke nothing to the
purpose. It was too late to dispute, and he was obliged to yield, but I
have observed that fools yield only when they cannot help it. We tried
his patience a third time by the appearance of Marechal de La Mothe, who
passed the same compliment upon the company as De Bouillon had done. We
had concerted beforehand that these personages should make their
appearance upon the theatre one after the other, for we had remarked that
nothing so much affects the people, and even the Parliament, among whom
the people are a majority, as a variety of scenes.

I took Madame de Longueville and Madame de Bouillon in a coach by way of
triumph to the Hotel de Ville. They were both of rare beauty, and
appeared the more charming because of a careless air, the more becoming
to both because it was unaffected. Each held one of her children,
beautiful as the mother, in her arms. The place was so full of people
that the very tops of the houses were crowded; all the men shouted and
the women wept for joy and affection. I threw five hundred pistoles out
of the window of the Hotel de Ville, and went again to the Parliament
House, accompanied by a vast number of people, some with arms and others
without. M. d'Elbeuf's captain of the guards told his master that he was
ruined to all intents and purposes if he did not accommodate himself to
the present position of affairs, which was the reason that I found him
much perplexed and dejected, especially when M. de Bellievre, who had
amused him hitherto designedly, came in and asked what meant the beating
of the drums. I answered that he would hear more very soon, and that all
honest men were quite out of patience with those that sowed divisions
among the people. I saw then that wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing
without courage. M. d'Elbeuf had little courage at this juncture, made a
ridiculous explanation of what he had said before, and granted more than
he was desired to do, and it was owing to the civility and good sense of
M. de Bouillon that he retained the title of General and the precedence
of M. de Bouillon and M. de La Mothe, who were equally Generals with
himself under the Prince de Conti, who was from that instant declared
Generalissimo of the King's forces under the direction of the Parliament.

There happened at this time a comical scene in the Hotel de Ville, which
I mention more particularly because of its consequence. De Noirmoutier,
who the night before was made lieutenant-general, returning by the Hotel
de Ville from a sally which he had made into the suburbs to drive away
Mazarin's skirmishers, as they were called, entered with three officers
in armour into the chamber of Madame de Longueville, which was full of
ladies; the mixture of blue scarfs, ladies, cuirassiers, fiddlers, and
trumpeters in and about the hall was such a sight as is seldom met with
but in romances. De Noirmoutier, who was a great admirer of Astrea, said
he imagined that we were besieged in Marcilli. "Well you may," said I;
"Madame de Longueville is as fair as Galatea, but Marsillac (son of M. de
La Rochefoucault) is not a man of so much honour as Lindamore." I fancy
I was overheard by one in a neighbouring window, who might have told M.
de La Rochefoucault, for otherwise I cannot guess at the first cause of
the hatred which he afterwards bore me.

Before I proceed to give you the detail of the civil war, suffer me to
lead you into the gallery where you, who are an admirer of fine painting,
will be entertained with the figures of the chief actors, drawn all at
length in their proper colours, and you will be able to judge by the
history whether they are painted to the life. Let us begin, as it is but
just, with her Majesty.

Character of the Queen.

The Queen excelled in that kind of wit which was becoming her circle, to
the end that she might not appear silly before strangers; she was more
ill-natured than proud, had more pride than real grandeur, and more show
than substance; she loved money too well to be liberal, and her own
interest too well to be impartial; she was more constant than passionate
as a lover, more implacable than cruel, and more mindful of injuries than
of good offices. She had more of the pious intention than of real piety,
more obstinacy than well-grounded resolution, and a greater measure of
incapacity than of all the rest.

Character of the Duc d' Orleans.

The Duc d'Orleans possessed all the good qualities requisite for a man of
honour except courage, but having not one quality eminent enough to make
him notable, he had nothing in him to supply or support the weakness
which was so predominant in his heart through fear, and in his mind
through irresolution, that it tarnished the whole course of his life.
He engaged in all affairs, because he had not power to resist the
importunities of those who drew him in for their own advantage, and came
off always with shame for want of courage to go on. His suspicious
temper, even from his childhood, deadened those lively, gay colours which
would have shone out naturally with the advantages of a fine, bright
genius, an amiable gracefulness, a very honest disposition, a perfect
disinterestedness, and an incredible easiness of behaviour.

Character of the Prince de Conde.

The Prince de Conde was born a general, an honour none could ever boast
of before but Caesar and Spinola; he was equal to the first, but superior
to the second. Intrepidity was one of the least parts of his character.
Nature gave him a genius as great as his heart. It was his fortune to be
born in an age of war, which gave him an opportunity to display his
courage to its full extent; but his birth, or rather education, in a
family submissively attached to the Cabinet, restrained his noble genius
within too narrow bounds. There was no care taken betimes to inspire him
with those great and general maxims which form and improve a man of
parts. He had not time to acquire them by his own application, because
he was prevented from his youth by the unexpected revolution, and by a
constant series of successes. This one imperfection, though he had as
pure a soul as any in the world, was the reason that he did things which
were not to be justified, that though he had the heart of Alexander so he
had his infirmities, that he was guilty of unaccountable follies, that
having all the talents of Francois de Guise, he did not serve the State
upon some occasions as well as he ought, and that having the parts of
Henri de Conde, his namesake, he did not push the faction as far as he
might have done, nor did he discharge all the duties his extraordinary
merit demanded from him.

Character of the Duc de Longueville.

M. de Longueville, though he had the grand name of Orleans, together with
vivacity, an agreeable appearance, generosity, liberality, justice,
valour, and grandeur, yet never made any extraordinary figure in life,
because his ideas were infinitely above his capacity. If a man has
abilities and great designs, he is sure to be looked upon as a man of
some importance; but if he does not carry them out, he is not much
esteemed, which was the case with De Longueville.

Character of the Duc de Beaufort.

M. de Beaufort knew little of affairs of moment but by hearsay and by
what he had learned in the cabal of "The Importants," of whose jargon he
had retained some smattering, which, together with some expressions he
had perfectly acquired from Madame de Vendome, formed a language that
would have puzzled a Cato. His speech was short and stupidly dull, and
the more so because he obscured it by affectation. He thought himself
very sufficient, and pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his
share. He was brave enough in his person, and outdid the common Hectors
by being so upon all occasions, but never more 'mal a propos' than in
gallantry. And he talked and thought just as the people did whose idol
he was for some time.

Character of the Dice d'Elbeuf.

M. d'Elbeuf could not fail of courage, as he was a Prince of the house of
Lorraine. He had all the wit that a man of abundantly more cunning and
good sense could pretend to. He was a medley of incoherent flourishes.
He was the first Prince debased by poverty; and, perhaps, never man was
more at a loss than he to raise the pity of the people in misery. A
comfortable subsistence did not raise his spirits; and if he had been
master of riches he would have been envied as a leader of a party.
Poverty so well became him that it seemed as if he had been cut out for a

Character of the Duc de Bouillon.

The Duc de Bouillon was a man of experienced valour and profound sense.
I am fully persuaded, by what I have seen of his conduct, that those who
cry it down wrong his character; and it may be that others had too
favourable notions of his merit, who thought him capable of all the great
things which he never did.

Character of M. de Turenne.

M. de Turenne had all the good qualities in his very nature, and acquired
all the great ones very early, those only excepted that he never thought
of. Though almost all the virtues were in a manner natural to him, yet
he shone out in none. He was looked upon as more proper to be at the
head of an army than of a faction, for he was not naturally enterprising.
He had in all his conduct, as well as in his way of talking, certain
obscurities which he never explained but on particular occasions, and
then only for his own honour.

Character of Marechal de La Mothe.

The Marechal de La Mothe was a captain of the second rank, full of
mettle, but not a man of much sense. He was affable and courteous in
civil life, and a very useful man in a faction because of his wonderful

Character of the Prince de Conti.

The Prince de Conti was a second Zeno as much as he was a Prince of the
blood. That is his character with regard to the public; and as to his
private capacity, wickedness had the same effect on him as weakness had
on M. d'Elbeuf, and drowned his other qualities, which were all mean and
tinctured with folly.

Character of M. de La Rochefoucault.

M. de La Rochefoucault had something so odd in all his conduct that I
know not what name to give it. He loved to be engaged in intrigues from
a child. He was never capable of conducting any affair, for what reasons
I could not conceive; for he had endowments which, in another, would have
made amends for imperfections . . . . He had not a long view of what
was beyond his reach, nor a quick apprehension of what was within it; but
his sound sense, very good in speculation, his good-nature, his engaging
and wonderfully easy behaviour, were enough to have made amends more than
they did for his want of penetration. He was constantly wavering in his
resolution, but what to attribute it to I know not, for it could not come
from his fertile imagination, which was lively. Nor can I say it came
from his barrenness of thought, for though he did not excel as a man of
affairs, yet he had a good fund of sense. The effect of this
irresolution is very visible, though we do not know its cause. He never
was a warrior, though a true soldier. He never was a courtier, though he
had always a good mind to be one. He never was a good party man, though
his whole life was engaged in partisanship. He was very timorous and
bashful in conversation, and thought he always stood in need of
apologies, which, considering that his "Maxims" showed not great regard
for virtue, and that his practice was always to get out of affairs with
the same hurry as he got into them, makes me conclude that he would have
done much better if he had contented himself to have passed, as he might
have done, for the politest courtier and the most cultivated gentlemen of
his age.

Character of Madame de Longueville.

Madame de Longueville had naturally a great fund of wit, and was,
moreover, a woman of parts; but her indolent temper kept her from making
any use of her talents, either in gallantries or in her hatred against
the Prince de Conde. Her languishing air had more charms in it than the
most exquisite beauty. She had few or no faults besides what she
contracted in her gallantry. As her passion of love influenced her
conduct more than politics, she who was the Amazon of a great party
degenerated into the character of a fortune-hunter. But the grace of God
brought her back to her former self, which all the world was not able to

Character of Madame de Chevreuse.

Madame de Chevreuse had not so much as the remains of beauty when I knew
her; she was the only person I ever saw whose vivacity supplied the want
of judgment; her wit was so brilliant and so full of wisdom that the
greatest men of the age would not have been ashamed of it, while, in
truth, it was owing to some lucky opportunity. If she had been born in
time of peace she would never have imagined there could have been such a
thing as war. If the Prior of the Carthusians had but pleased her, she
would have been a nun all her lifetime. M. de Lorraine was the first
that engaged her in State affairs. The Duke of Buckingham--[George
Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, assassinated when preparing to succour
Rochelle.]--and the Earl of Holland (an English lord, of the family of
Rich, and younger son of the Earl of Warwick, then ambassador in France)
kept her to themselves; M. de Chateauneuf continued the amusement, till
at last she abandoned herself to the pleasing of a person whom she loved,
without any choice, but purely because it was impossible for her to live
without being in love with somebody. It was no hard task to give her one
to serve the turn of the faction, but as soon as she accepted him she
loved him with all her heart and soul, and she confessed that, by the
caprice of fortune, she never loved best where she esteemed most, except
in the case of the poor Duke of Buckingham. Notwithstanding her
attachment in love, which we may, properly call her everlasting passion,
notwithstanding the frequent change of objects, she was peevish and
touchy almost to distraction, but when herself again, her transports were
very agreeable; never was anybody less fearful of real danger, and never
had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies.

Character of Mademoiselle de Chevreuse.

Mademoiselle de Chevreuse was more beautiful in her person than charming
in her carriage, and by nature extremely silly; her amorous passion made
her seem witty, serious, and agreeable only to him whom she was in love
with, but she soon treated him as she did her petticoat, which to-day she
took into her bed, and to-morrow cast into the fire out of pure aversion.

Character of the Princess Palatine.

The Princess Palatine' had just as much gallantry as gravity. I believe
she had as great a talent for State affairs as Elizabeth, Queen of
England. I have seen her in the faction, I have seen her in the Cabinet,
and found her everywhere equally sincere.

Character of Madame de Montbazon.

Madame de Montbazon was a very great beauty, only modesty was visibly
wanting in her air; her grand air and her way of talking sometimes
supplied her want of sense. She loved nothing more than her pleasures,
unless it was her private interest, and I never knew a vicious person
that had so little respect for virtue.

Character of the First President.

If it were not a sort of blasphemy to say that any mortal of our times
had more courage than the great Gustavus Adolphus and the Prince de
Conde, I would venture to affirm it of M. Mole, the First President, but
his wit was far inferior to his courage. It is true that his enunciation
was not agreeable, but his eloquence was such that, though it shocked the
ear, it seized the imagination. He sought the interest of the public
preferably to all things, not excepting the interest of his own family,
which yet he loved too much for a magistrate. He had not a genius to see
at times the good he was capable of doing, presumed too much upon his
authority, and imagined that he could moderate both the Court and
Parliament; but he failed in both, made himself suspected by both, and
thus, with a design to do good, he did evil. Prejudices contributed not
a little to this, for I observed he was prejudiced to such a degree that
he always judged of actions by men, and scarcely ever of men by their

To return to our history. All the companies having united and settled
the necessary funds, a complete army was raised in Paris in a week's
time. The Bastille surrendered after five or six cannon shots, and it
was a pretty sight to see the women carry their chairs into the garden,
where the guns were stationed, for the sake of seeing the siege, just as
if about to hear a sermon.

M. de Beaufort, having escaped from his confinement, arrived this very
day in Paris. I found that his imprisonment had not made him one jot the
wiser. Indeed, it had got him a reputation, because he bore it with
constancy and made his escape with courage. It was also his merit not to
have abandoned the banks of the Loire at a time when it absolutely
required abundance of skill and courage to stay there. It is an easy
matter for those who are disgraced at Court to make the best of their own
merit in the beginning of a civil war. He had a mind to form an alliance
with me, and knowing how to employ him advantageously, I prepossessed the
people in his favour, and exaggerated the conspiracy which the Cardinal
had formed against him by means of Du Hamel.

As my friendship was necessary to him, so his was necessary to me; for my
profession on many occasions being a restraint upon me, I wanted a man
sometimes to stand before me. M. de La Mothe was so dependent on M. de
Longueville that I could not rely on him; and M. de Bouillon was not a
man to be governed.

We went together to wait on the Prince de Conti; we stopped the coach in
the streets, where I proclaimed the name of M. de Beaufort, praised him
and showed him to the people; upon which the people were suddenly fired
with enthusiasm, the women kissed him, and the crowd was so great that we
had much ado to get to the Hotel de Ville. The next day he offered a
petition to the Parliament desiring he might have leave to justify
himself against the accusation of his having formed a design against the
life of the Cardinal, which was granted; and he was accordingly cleared
next day, and the Parliament issued that famous decree for seizing all
the cash of the Crown in all the public and private receipt offices of
the kingdom and employing it in the common defence.

The Prince de Conde was enraged at the declaration published by the
Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville, which cast the Court, then at
Saint Germain, into such a despair that the Cardinal was upon the point
of retiring. I was abused there without mercy, as appeared by a letter
sent to Madame de Longueville from the Princess, her mother, in which I
read this sentence: "They rail here plentifully against the Coadjutor,
whom yet I cannot forbear thanking for what he has done for the poor
Queen of England." This circumstance is very curious. You must know
that a few days before the King left Paris I visited the Queen of
England, whom I found in the apartment of her daughter, since Madame
d'Orleans. "You see, monsieur," said the Queen, "I come here to keep
Henriette company; the poor child has lain in bed all day for want of a
fire." The truth is, the Cardinal having stopped the Queen's pension six
months, tradesmen were unwilling to give her credit, and there was not a
chip of wood in the house. You may be sure I took care that a Princess
of Great Britain should not be confined to her bed next day, for want of
a fagot; and a few days after I exaggerated the scandal of this
desertion, and the Parliament sent the Queen a present of 40,000 livres.
Posterity will hardly believe that the Queen of England, granddaughter of
Henri the Great, wanted a fagot to light a fire in the month of January,
in the Louvre, and at the Court of France.

There are many passages in history less monstrous than this which make us
shudder, and this mean action of the Court made so little impression upon
the minds of the generality of the people at that time that I have
reflected a thousand times since that we are far more moved at the
hearing of old stories than of those of the present time; we are not
shocked at what we see with our own eyes, and I question whether our
surprise would be as great as we imagine at the story of Caligula's
promoting his horse to the dignity of a consul were he and his horse now

To return to the war. A cornet of my regiment being taken prisoner and
carried to Saint Germain, the Queen immediately ordered his head to be
cut off, but I sent a trumpeter to acquaint the Court that I would make
reprisals upon my prisoners, so that my cornet was exchanged and a cartel

As soon as Paris declared itself, all the kingdom was in a quandary, for
the Parliament of Paris sent circular letters to all the Parliaments and
cities in the kingdom exhorting them to join against the common enemy;
upon which the Parliaments of Aix and Rouen joined with that of Paris.
The Prince d'Harcourt, now Duc d'Elbeuf, and the cities of Rheims, Tours,
and Potiers, took up arms in its favour. The Duc de La Tremouille raised
men for them publicly. The Duc de Retz offered his service to the
Parliament, together with Belle Isle. Le Mans expelled its bishop and
all the Lavardin family, who were in the interest of the Court.

On the 18th of January, 1649, I was admitted to a seat and vote in
Parliament, and signed an alliance with the chief leaders of the party:
MM. de Beaufort, de Bouillon, de La Mothe, de Noirmoutier, de Vitri, de
Brissac, de Maure, de Matha, de Cugnac, de Barnire, de Sillery, de La
Rochefoucault, de Laigues, de Sevigny, de Bethune, de Luynes, de
Chaumont, de Saint-Germain, d'Action, and de Fiesque.

On the 9th of February the Prince de Conde attacked and took Charenton.
All this time the country people were flocking to Paris with provisions,
not only because there was plenty of money, but to enable the citizens to
hold out against the siege, which was begun on the 9th of January.

On the 12th of February a herald came with two trumpeters from the Court
to one of the city gates, bringing three packets of letters, one for the
Parliament, one for the Prince de Conti, and the third for the Hotel de
Ville. It was but the night before that a person was caught in the halls
dropping libels against the Parliament and me; upon which the Parliament,
Princes, and city supposed that this State visit was nothing but an
amusement of Cardinal Mazarin to cover a worse design, and therefore
resolved not to receive the message nor give the herald audience, but to
send the King's Council to the Queen to represent to her that their
refusal was out of pure obedience and respect, because heralds are never
sent but to sovereign Princes or public enemies, and that the Parliament,
the Prince de Conti, and the city were neither the one nor the other.
At the same time the Chevalier de Lavalette, who distributed the libels,
had formed a design to kill me and M. de Beaufort upon the Parliament
stairs in the great crowd which they expected would attend the appearance
of the herald. The Court, indeed, always denied his having any other
commission than to drop the libels, but I am certain that the Bishop of
Dole told the Bishop of Aire, but a night or two before, that Beaufort
and I should not be among the living three days hence.

The King's councillors returned with a report how kindly they had been
received at Saint Germain. They said the Queen highly approved of the
reasons offered by the Parliament for refusing entrance to the herald,
and that she had assured them that, though she could not side with the
Parliament in the present state of affairs, yet she received with joy the
assurances they had given her of their respect and submission, and that
she would distinguish them in general and in particular by special marks
of her good-will. Talon, Attorney-General, who always spoke with dignity
and force, embellished this answer of the Queen with all the ornaments he
could give it, assuring the Parliament in very pathetic terms that, if
they should be pleased to send a deputation to Saint Germain, it would be
very kindly received, and might, perhaps, be a great step towards a

When I saw that we were besieged, that the Cardinal had sent a person
into Flanders to treat with the Spaniards, and that our party was now so
well formed that there was no danger that I alone should be charged with
courting the alliance of the enemies of the State, I hesitated no longer,
but judged that, as affairs stood, I might with honour hear what
proposals the Spaniards would make to me for the relief of Paris; but I
took care not to have my name mentioned, and that the first overtures
should be made to M. d'Elbeuf, who was the fittest person, because during
the ministry of Cardinal de Richelieu he was twelve or fifteen years in
Flanders a pensioner of Spain. Accordingly Arnolfi, a Bernardin friar,
was sent from the Archduke Leopold, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands
for the King of Spain, to the Duc d'Elbeuf, who, upon sight of his
credentials, thought himself the most considerable man of the party,
invited most of us to dinner, and told us he had a very important matter
to lay before us, but that such was his tenderness for the French name
that he could not open so much as a small letter from a suspected
quarter, which, after some scrupulous and mysterious circumlocutions, he
ventured to name, and we agreed one and all not to refuse the succours
from Spain, but the great difficulty was, which way to get them.
Fuensaldagne, the general, was inclined to join us if he could have been
sure that we would engage with him; but as there was no possibility of
the Parliaments treating with him, nor any dependence to be placed upon
the generals, some of whom were wavering and whimsical, Madame de
Bouillon pressed me not to hesitate any longer, but to join with her
husband, adding that if he and I united, we should so far overmatch the
others that it would not be in their power to injure us.

M. de Bouillon and I agreed to use our interest to oblige the Parliament
to hear what the envoy had to say. I proposed it to the Parliament, but
the first motion of it was hissed, in a manner, by all the company as
much as if it had been heretical. The old President Le Coigneux, a man
of quick apprehension, observing that I sometimes mentioned a letter from
the Archduke of which there had been no talk, declared himself suddenly
to be of my opinion. He had a secret persuasion that I had seen some
writings which they knew nothing of, and therefore, while both sides were
in the heat of debate, he said to me:

"Why do you not disclose yourself to your friends? They would come into
your measures. I see very well you know more of the matter than the
person who thinks himself your informant." I vow I was terribly ashamed
of my indiscretion. I squeezed him by the hand and winked at MM. de
Beaufort and de La Mothe. At length two other Presidents came over to my
opinion, being thoroughly convinced that succours from Spain at this time
were a remedy absolutely necessary to our disease, but a dangerous and
empirical medicine, and infallibly mortal to particular persons if it did
not pass first through the Parliament's alembic.

The Bernardin, being tutored by us beforehand what to say when he came
before the Parliament, behaved like a man of good sense.

When he desired audience, or rather when the Prince de Conti desired it
for him, the President de Mesmes, a man of great capacity, but by fear
and ambition most slavishly attached to the Court, made an eloquent and
pathetic harangue, preferable to anything I ever met with of the kind in
all the monuments of antiquity, and, turning about to the Prince de
Conti, "Is it possible, monsieur," said he, "that a Prince of the blood
of France should propose to let a person deputed from the most bitter
enemy of the fleurs-de-lis have a seat upon those flowers?" Then turning
to me, he said, "What, monsieur, will you refuse entrance to your
sovereign's herald upon the most trifling pretexts?" I knew what was
coming, and therefore I endeavoured to stop his mouth by this answer:
"Monsieur, you will excuse me from calling those reasons frivolous which
have had the sanction of a decree." The bulk of the Parliament was
provoked at the President's unguarded expression, baited him very
fiercely, and then I made some pretence to go out, leaving Quatresous, a
young man of the warmest temper, in the House to skirmish with him in my
stead, as having experienced more than once that the only way to get
anything of moment passed in Parliamentary or other assemblies is to
exasperate the young men against the old ones.

In short, after many debates, it was carried that the envoy should be
admitted to audience. Being accordingly admitted, and bidden to be
covered and sit down, he presented the Archduke's credentials, and then
made a speech, which was in substance that his master had ordered him to
acquaint the company with a proposal made him by Cardinal Mazarin since
the blockade of Paris, which his Catholic Majesty did not think
consistent with his safety or honour to accept, when he saw that, on the
one hand, it was made with a view to oppress the Parliament, which was
held in veneration by all the kingdoms in the world, and, on the other,
that all treaties made with a condemned minister would be null and void,
forasmuch as they were made without the concurrence of the Parliament,
to whom only it belonged to register and verify treaties of peace in
order to make them authoritative; that the Catholic King, who proposed to
take no advantage from the present state of affairs, had ordered the
Archduke to assure the Parliament, whom he knew to be in the true
interest of the most Christian King, that he heartily acknowledged them
to be the arbiters of peace, that he submitted to their judgment, and
that if they thought proper to be judges, he left it to their choice to
send a deputation out of their own body to what place they pleased.
Paris itself not excepted, and that his Catholic Majesty would also,
without delay, send his deputies thither to meet and treat with them;
that, meanwhile, he had ordered 18,000 men to march towards their
frontiers to relieve them in case of need, with orders nevertheless to
commit no hostilities upon the towns, etc., of the most Christian King,
though they were for the most part abandoned; and it being his resolution
at this juncture to show his sincere inclination for peace, he gave them
his word of honour that his armies should not stir during the treaty; but
that in case his troops might be serviceable to the Parliament, they were
at their disposal, to be commanded by French officers; and that to
obviate all the reasonable jealousies generally, attending the conduct of
foreigners, they, were at liberty to take all other precautions they
should think proper.

Before his admission the Prdsident de Mesmes had loaded me with
invectives, for secretly corresponding with the enemies of the State, for
favouring his admission, and for opposing that of my sovereign's herald.

I had observed that when the objections against a man are capable of
making greater impression than his answers, it is his best course to say
but little, and that he may talk as much as he pleases when he thinks his
answers of greater force than the objections. I kept strictly to this
rule, for though the said President artfully pointed his satire at me,
I sat unconcerned till I found the Parliament was charmed with what the
envoy had said, and then, in my turn, I was even with the President by
telling him in short that my respect for the Parliament had obliged me to
put up with his sarcasms, which I had hitherto endured; and that I did
not suppose he meant that his sentiments should always be a law to the
Parliament; that nobody there had a greater esteem for him, with which I
hoped that the innocent freedom I had taken to speak my mind was not
inconsistent; that as to the non-admission of the herald, had it not been
for the motion made by M. Broussel, I should have fallen into the snare
through overcredulity, and have given my vote for that which might
perhaps have ended in the destruction of the city, and involved myself in
what has since fully proved to be a crime by the Queen's late solemn
approbation of the contrary conduct; and that, as to the envoy, I was
silent till I saw most of them were for giving him audience, when I
thought it better to vote the same way than vainly to contest it.

This modest and submissive answer of mine to all the scurrilities heaped
upon me for a fortnight together by the First President and the President
de Mesmes had an excellent effect upon the members, and obliterated for a
long time the suspicion that I aimed to govern them by my cabals. The
President de Mesmes would have replied, but his words were drowned in the
general clamour. The clock struck five; none had dined, and many had not
broken their fast, which the Presidents had, and therefore had the
advantage in disputation.

The decree ordering the admission of the Spanish envoy to audience
directed that a copy of what he said in Parliament, signed with his own
hand, should be demanded of him, to the end that it might be registered,
and that, by a solemn deputation, it should be sent to the Queen, with an
assurance of the fidelity of the Parliament, beseeching her at the same
time to withdraw her troops from the neighbourhood of Paris and restore
peace to her people. It being now very late, and the members very
hungry,--circumstances that have greater influence than can be imagined
in debates, they were upon the point of letting this clause pass for want
of due attention. The President Le Coigneux was the first that
discovered the grand mistake, and, addressing himself to a great many
councillors, who were rising up, said, "Gentlemen, pray take your places
again, for I have something to offer to the House which is of the highest
importance to all Europe." When they had taken their places he spoke as

"The King of Spain takes us for arbiters of the general peace; it may be
he is not in earnest, but yet it is a compliment to tell us so. He
offers us troops to march to our relief, and it is certain he does not
deceive us in this respect, but highly obliges us. We have heard his
envoy, and considering the circumstances we are in, we think it right so
to do. We have resolved to give an account of this matter to the King,
which is but reasonable; some imagine that we propose to send the
original decree, but here lies the snake in the grass. I protest,
monsieur," added he, turning to the First President, "that the members
did not understand it so, but that the copy only should be carried to
Court, and the original be kept in the register. I could wish there had
been no occasion for explanation, because there are some occasions when
it is not prudent to speak all that one thinks, but since I am forced to
it, I must say it without further hesitation, that in case we deliver up
the original the Spaniards will conclude that we expose their proposals
for a general peace and our own safety to the caprice of Cardinal
Mazarin; whereas, by delivering only a copy, accompanied with humble
entreaties for a general peace, as the Parliament has wisely ordered,
all Europe will see that we maintain ourselves in a condition capable
of doing real service both to our King and country, if the Cardinal is
so blind as not to take a right advantage of this opportunity."

This discourse was received with the approbation of all the members, who
cried out from all corners of the House that this was the meaning of the
House. The gentlemen of the Court of Inquests did not spare the
Presidents. M. Martineau said publicly that the tenor of this decree was
that the envoy of Spain should be made much of till they received an
answer from Saint Germain, which would prove to be another taunt of the
Cardinal's. Pontcarre said he was not so much afraid of a Spaniard as of
a Mazarin. In short, the generals had the satisfaction to see that the
Parliament would not be sorry for any advances they should make towards
an alliance with Spain.

We sent a courier to Brussels, who was guarded ten leagues out of Paris
by 500 horse, with an account of everything done in Parliament, of the
conditions which the Prince de Conti and the other generals desired for
entering into a treaty with Spain, and of what engagement I could make in
my own private capacity.

After he had gone I had a conference with M. de Bouillon and his lady
about the present state of affairs, which I observed was very ticklish;
that if we were favoured by the general inclination of the people we
should carry all before us, but that the Parliament, which was our chief
strength in one sense, was in other respects our main weakness; that they
were very apt to go backward; that in the very last debate they were on
the point of twisting a rope for their own necks, and that the First
President would show Mazarin his true interests, and be glad to amuse us
by stipulating with the Court for our security without putting us in
possession of it, and by ending the civil war in the confirmation of our
slavery. "The Parliament," I said, "inclines to an insecure and
scandalous peace. We can make the people rise to-morrow if we please;
but ought we to attempt it? And if we divest the Parliament of its
authority, into what an abyss of disorders shall we not precipitate
Paris? But, on the other hand, if we do not raise the people, will the
Parliament ever believe we can? Will they be hindered from taking any
further step in favour of the Court, destructive indeed to their own
interest, but infallibly ruinous to us first?"

M. de Bouillon, who did not believe our affairs to be in so critical a
situation, was, together with his lady, in a state of surprise. The mild
and honourable answer which the Queen returned to the King's councillors
in relation to the herald, her protestations that she sincerely forgave
all the world, and the brilliant gloss of Talon upon her said answer,
in an instant overturned the former resolutions of the Parliament; and if
they regained sometimes their wonted vigour, either by some intervening
accidents or by the skilful management of those who took care to bring
them back to the right way, they had still an inclination to recede.
M. de Bouillon being the wisest man of the party, I told him what I
thought, and with him I concerted proper measures. To the rest, I put on
a cheerful air, and magnified every little circumstance of affairs to our
own advantage.

M. de Bouillon proposed that we should let the Parliament and the Hotel
de Ville go on in their own way, and endeavour all we could clandestinely
to make them odious to the people, and that we should take the first
opportunity to secure, by banishment or imprisonment, such persons as we
could not depend upon. He added that Longueville, too, was of opinion
that there was no remedy left but to purge the Houses. This was exactly
like him, for never was there a man so positive and violent in his
opinion, and yet no man living could palliate it with smoother language.
Though I thought of this expedient before M. de Bouillon, and perhaps
could have said more for it, because I saw the possibility of it much
clearer than he, yet I would not give him to understand that I had
thought of it, because I knew he had the vanity to love to be esteemed
the first author of things, which was the only weakness I observed in his
managing State affairs. I left him an answer in writing, in substance as

"I confess the scheme is very feasible, but attended with pernicious
consequences both to the public and to private persons, for the same
people whom you employ to humble the magistracy will refuse you obedience
when you demand from them the same homage they paid to the magistrates.
This people adored the Parliament till the beginning of the war; they are
still for continuing the war, and yet abate their friendship for the
Parliament. The Parliament imagines that this applies only to some
particular members who are Mazarined, but they are deceived, for their
prejudice extends to the whole company, and their hatred towards
Mazarin's party supports and screens their indifference towards all the
rest. We cheer up their spirits by pasquinades and ballads and the
martial sound of trumpets and kettle-drums, but, after all, do they pay
their taxes as punctually as they did the first few weeks? Are there
many that have done as you and I, monsieur, who sent our plate to the
mint? Do you not observe that they who would be thought zealous for the
common cause plead in favour of some acts committed by those men who are,
in short, its enemies? If the people are so tired already, what will
they be long before they come to their journey's end?

"After we have established our own authority upon the ruin of the
Parliament's, we shall certainly fall into the same inconveniences and be
obliged to act just as they do now. We shall impose taxes, raise moneys,
and differ from the Parliament only in this, that the hatred and envy
they have contracted by various ways from one-third part of the people,--
I mean the wealthy citizens,--in the space of six weeks will devolve upon
us, with that of the other two-thirds of the inhabitants, and will
complete our ruin in one week. May not the Court to-morrow put an end to
the civil war by the expulsion of Mazarin and by raising the siege of
Paris? The provinces are not yet sufficiently inflamed, and therefore we
must double our application to make the most of Paris. Besides the
necessity of treating with Spain and managing the people, there is
another expedient come into my head capable of rendering us as
considerable in Parliament as our affairs require.

"We have an army in Paris which will be looked upon as the people so long
as it continues within its walls. Every councillor of inquest is
inclined to believe his authority among the soldiers to be equal to that
of the generals. But the leaders of the people are not believed to be
very powerful until they make their power known by its execution. Pray
do but consider the conduct of the Court upon this occasion. Was there
any minister or courtier but ridiculed all that could be said of the
disposition of the people in favour of the Parliament even to the day of
the barricades? And yet it is as true that every man at Court saw
infallible marks of the revolution beforehand. One would have thought
that the barricades should have convinced them; but have they been
convinced? Have they been hindered from besieging Paris on the slight
supposition that, though the caprice of the people might run them into a
mutiny, yet it would not break out into a civil war? What we are now
doing might undeceive them effectually; but are they yet cured of their
infatuation? Is not the Queen told every day that none are for the
Parliament but hired mobs, and that all the wealthy burghers are in her
Majesty's interests?

"The Parliament is now as much infatuated as the Court was then. This
present disturbance among the people carries in it all the marks of power
which, in a little time, they will feel the effects of, and which, as
they cannot but foresee, they ought to prevent in time, because of the
murmurs of the people against them and their redoubled affection for M.
de Beaufort and me. But far from it, the Parliament will never open its
eyes until all its authority is quashed by a sudden blow. If they see we
have a design against them they will, perhaps, have so inconsiderable an
opinion of it that they will take courage, and if we should but flinch,
they will bear harder still upon us, till we shall be forced to crush
them; but this would not turn to our account; on the contrary, it is our
true interest to do them all the good we can, lest we divide our own
party, and to behave in such a manner as may convince them that our
interest and theirs are inseparable. And the best way is to draw our
army out of Paris, and to post it so as it may be ready to secure our
convoys and be safe from the insults of the enemy; and I am for having
this done at the request of the Parliament, to prevent their taking
umbrage, till such time at least as we may find our account in it. Such
precautions will insensibly, as it were, necessitate the Parliament to
act in concert with us, and our favour among the people, which is the
only thing that can fix us in that situation, will appear to them no
longer contemptible when they see it backed by an army which is no longer
at their discretion."

M. de Bouillon told me that M. de Turenne was upon the point of declaring
for us, and that there were but two colonels in all his army who gave him
any uneasiness, but that in a week's time he would find some way or other
to manage them, and that then he would march directly to our assistance.
"What do you think of that?" said the Duke. "Are we not now masters both
of the Court and Parliament?"

I told the Duke that I had just seen a letter written by Hoquincourt to
Madame de Montbazon, wherein were only these words: "0 fairest of all
beauties, Peronne is in your power." I added that I had received another
letter that morning which assured me of Mazieres. Madame de Bouillon
threw herself on my neck; we were sure the day was our own, and in a
quarter of an hour agreed upon all the preliminary precautions.

M. de Bouillon, perceiving that I was so overjoyed at this news that I,
as well as his lady, gave little attention to the methods he was
proposing for drawing the army out of Paris without alarming the
Parliament, turned to me and spoke thus, very hastily: "I pardon my wife,
but I cannot forgive you this inadvertence. The old Prince of Orange
used to say that the moment one received good news should be employed in
providing against bad."

The 24th of February, 1649, the Parliament's deputies waited on the Queen
with an account of the audience granted to the envoy of the Archduke.
The Queen told them that they should not have given audience to the
envoy, but that, seeing they had done it, it was absolutely necessary to
think of a good peace,--that she was entirely well disposed; and the Duc
d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde promised the deputies to throw open all
the passages as soon as the Parliament should name commissioners for the

Flamarin being sent at the same time into the city from the Duc d'Orleans
to condole with the Queen of England on the death of her husband (King
Charles I.), went, at La Riviere's solicitation, to M. de La
Rochefoucault, whom he found in his bed on account of his wounds and
quite wearied with the civil war, and persuaded him to come over to the
Court interest. He told Flamarin that he had been drawn into this war
much against his inclinations, and that, had he returned from Poitou two
months before the siege of Paris, he would have prevented Madame de
Longueville engaging in so vile a cause, but that I had taken the
opportunity of his absence to engage both her and the Prince de Conti,
that he found the engagements too far advanced to be possibly dissolved,
that the diabolical Coadjutor would not bear of any terms of peace, and
also stopped the ears of the Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville,
and that he himself could not act as he would because of his bad state of
health. I was informed of Flamarin's negotiations for the Court
interest, and, as the term of his passport had expired, ordered the
'prevot des marchands' to command him to depart from the city.

On the 27th the First President reported to the Parliament what had
occurred at Saint Germain. M. de Beaufort and I had to hinder the people
from entering the Great Chamber, for they threatened to throw the
deputies into the river, and said they had betrayed them and had held
conferences with Mazarin. It was as much as we could do to allay the
fury of the people, though at the same time the Parliament believed the
tumult was of our own raising. This shows one inconvenience of
popularity, namely, that what is committed by the rabble, in spite of all
your endeavours to the contrary, will still be laid to your charge.

Meanwhile we met at the Duc de Bouillon's to consider what was best to be
done at this critical juncture between a people mad for war, a Parliament
for peace, and the Spaniards either for peace or war at our expense and
for their own advantage. The Prince de Conti, instructed beforehand by
M. de La Rochefoucault, spoke for carrying on the war, but acted as if he
were for peace, and upon the whole I did not doubt but that he waited for
some answer from Saint Germain. M. d'Elbeuf made a silly proposal to
send the Parliament in a body to the Bastille. M. de Beaufort, whom we
could not entrust with any important secret because of Madame de
Montbazon, who was very false, wondered that his and my credit with the
people was not made use of on this occasion.

It being very evident that the Parliament would greedily catch at the
treaty of peace proposed by the Court, it was in a manner impossible to
answer those who urged that the only way to prevent it was to hinder
their debates by raising tumults among the people. M. de Beaufort held
up both his hands for it. M. d'Elbeuf, who had lately received a letter
from La Riviere full of contempt, talked like an officer of the army.
When I considered the great risk I ran if I did not prevent a tumult,
which would certainly be laid at my door, and that, on the other hand, I
did not dare to say all I could to stop such commotion, I was at a loss
what to do. But considering the temper of the populace, who might have
been up in arms with a word from a person of any credit among us, I
declared publicly that I was not for altering our measures till we knew
what we were to expect from the Spaniards.

I experienced on this occasion that civil wars are attended with this
great inconvenience, that there is more need of caution in what we say to
our friends than in what we do against our enemies. I did not fail to
bring the company to my mind, especially when supported by M. de
Bouillon, who was convinced that the confusion which would happen in such
a juncture would turn with vengeance upon the authors. But when the
company was gone he told me he was resolved to free himself from the
tyranny, or, rather, pedantry of the Parliament as soon as the treaty
with Spain was concluded, and M. de Turenne had declared himself
publicly, and as soon as our army was without the walls of Paris.
I answered that upon M. de Turenne's declaration I would promise him my
concurrence, but that till then I could not separate from the Parliament,
much less oppose them, without the danger of being banished to Brussels;
that as for his own part, he might come off better because of his
knowledge of military affairs, and of the assurances which Spain was able
to give him, but, nevertheless, I desired him to remember M. d'Aumale,
who fell into the depth of poverty as soon as he had lost all protection
but that of Spain, and, consequently, that it was his interest as well as
mine to side with the Parliament till we ourselves had secured some
position in the kingdom; till the Spanish army, was actually on the march
and our troops were encamped without the city; and till the declaration
of M. de Turenne was carried out, which would be the decisive blow,
because it would strengthen our party with a body of troops altogether
independent of strangers, or rather it would form a party perfectly
French, capable by its own strength to carry on our cause.

This last consideration overjoyed Madame de Bouillon, who, however, when
she found that the company was gone without resolving to make themselves
masters of the Parliament, became very angry, and said to the Duke:

"I told you beforehand that you would be swayed by the Coadjutor."

The Duke replied: "What! madame, would you have the Coadjutor, for our
sakes only, run the risk of being no more than chaplain to Fuensaldagne?
Is it possible that you cannot comprehend what he has been preaching to
you for these last three days?"

I replied to her with a great deal of temper, and said, "Don't you think
that we shall act more securely when our troops are out of Paris, when we
receive the Archduke's answer, and when Turenne has made a public

"Yes, I do," she said, "but the Parliament will take one step to-morrow
which will render all your preliminaries of no use."

"Never fear, madame," said I, "I will undertake that, if our measures
succeed, we shall be in a condition to despise all that the Parliament
can do."

"Will you promise it?" she asked.

"Yes," said I, "and, more than that, I am ready to seal it with my

She took me at my word, and though the Duke used all the arguments with
her which he could think of, she bound my thumb with silk, and with a
needle drew blood, with which she obliged me to sign a promissory note as
follows: "I promise to Madame la Duchesse de Bouillon to continue united
with the Duke her husband against the Parliament in case M. de Turenne
approaches with the army under his command within twenty leagues of Paris
and declares for the city." M. de Bouillon threw it into the fire, and
endeavoured to convince the Duchess of what I had said, that if our
preliminaries should succeed we should still stand upon our own bottom,
notwithstanding all that the Parliament could do, and that if they did
miscarry we should still have the satisfaction of not being the authors
of a confusion which would infallibly cover me with shame and ruin, and
be an uncertain advantage to the family of De Bouillon.

During this discussion a captain in M. d'Elbeuf's regiment of Guards was
seen to throw money to the crowd to encourage them to go to the
Parliament House and cry out, "No peace!" upon which M. de Bouillon and
I agreed to send the Duke these words upon the back of a card: "It will
be dangerous for you to be at the Parliament House to-morrow."
M. d'Elbeuf came in all haste to the Palace of Bouillon to know the
meaning of this short caution. M. de Bouillon told him he had heard that
the people had got a notion that both the Duke and himself held a
correspondence with Mazarin, and that therefore it was their best way not
to go to the House for fear of the mob, which might be expected there
next day.

M. d'Elbeuf, knowing that the people did not care for him, and that he
was no safer in his own house than elsewhere, said that he feared his
absence on such an occasion might be interpreted to his disadvantage.
M. de Bouillon, having no other design but to alarm him with imaginary
fears of a public disturbance, at once made himself sure of him another
way, by telling him it was most advisable for him to be at the
Parliament, but that he need not expose himself, and therefore had best
go along with me.

I went with him accordingly, and found a multitude of people in the Great
Hall, crying, "God bless the Coadjutor! no peace! no Mazarin!" and
M. de Beaufort entering another way at the same time, the echoes of our
names spread everywhere, so that the people mistook it for a concerted
design to disturb the proceedings of Parliament, and as in a commotion
everything that confirms us in the belief of it augments likewise the
number of mutineers, we were very near bringing about in one moment what
we had been a whole week labouring to prevent.

The First President and President de Mesmes having, in concert with the
other deputies, suppressed the answer the Queen made them in writing,
lest some harsh expressions contained therein should give offence, put
the best colour they could upon the obliging terms in which the Queen had
spoken to them; and then the House appointed commissioners for the
treaty, leaving it to the Queen to name the place, and agreed to send
the King's Council next day to demand the opening of the passages,
in pursuance of the Queen's promise. The President de Mesmes, surprised
to meet with no opposition, either from the generals or myself, said to
the First President, "Here is a wonderful harmony! but I fear the
consequences of this dissembled moderation." I believe he was much more
surprised when the sergeants came to acquaint the House that the mob
threatened to murder all that were for the conference before Mazarin was
sent out of the kingdom. But M. de Beaufort and I went out and soon
dispersed them, so that the members retired without the least danger,
which inspired the Parliament with such a degree of boldness afterwards
that it nearly proved their ruin.

On the 2d of March, 1649, letters were brought to the Parliament from the
Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde, expressing a great deal of joy at
what the Parliament had done, but denying that the Queen had promised to
throw open the passages, upon which the Parliament fell into such a rage
as I cannot describe to you. They sent orders to the King's Council,
who were gone that morning to Saint Germain to fetch the passports for
the deputies, to declare that the Parliament was resolved to hold no
conference with the Court till the Queen had performed her promise made
to the First President. I thought it a very proper time to let the Court
see that the Parliament had not lost all its vigour, and made a motion,
by Broussel, that, considering the insincerity of the Court, the levies
might be continued and new commissions given out. The proposition was
received with applause, and the Prince de Conti was desired to issue
commissions accordingly.

M. de Beaufort, in concert with M. de Bouillon, M. de La Mothe and
myself, exclaimed against this contravention, and offered, in the name of
his colleagues and his own, to open all the passages themselves if the
Parliament would but take a firm resolution and be no more beguiled by
deceitful proposals, which had only served to keep the whole nation in
suspense, who would otherwise have declared by this time in favour of its
capital. It is inconceivable what influence these few words had upon the
audience, everybody concluded that the treaty was already broken off; but
a moment after they thought the contrary, for the King's Council returned
with the passports for the deputies, and instead of an order for opening
the passages, a grant--such a one as it was--of 500 quarters of corn per
diem was made for the subsistence of the city. However, the Parliament
took all in good part; all that had been said and done a quarter of an
hour before was buried in oblivion, and they made preparations to go next
day to Ruel, the place named by the Queen for the conference.

The Prince de Conti, M. de Beaufort, M. d'Elbeuf, Marechal de La Mothe,
M. de Brissac, President Bellievre, and myself met that night at M. de
Bouillon's house, where a motion was made for the generals of the army
to send a deputation likewise to the place of conference; but it was
quashed, and indeed nothing would have been more absurd than such a
proceeding when we were upon the point of concluding a treaty with Spain;
and, considering that we told the envoy that we should never have
consented to hold any conference with the Court were we not assured that
it was in our power to break it off at pleasure by means of the people.

The Parliament having lately reproached both the generals and troops with
being afraid to venture without the gates, M. de Bouillon, seeing the
danger was over, proposed at this meeting, for the satisfaction of the
citizens, to carry them to a camp betwixt the Marne and the Seine, where
they might be as safe as at Paris. The motion was agreed to without
consulting the Parliament, and, accordingly, on the 4th of March, the
troops marched out and the deputies of Parliament went to Ruel.

The Court party flattered themselves that, upon the marching of the
militia out of Paris, the citizens, being left to themselves, would
become more tractable, and the President de Mesmes made his boast of
what he said to the generals, to persuade them to encamp their army.
But Senneterre, one of the ablest men at Court, soon penetrated our
designs and undeceived the Court. He told the First President and
De Mesmes that they were beguiled and that they would see it in a little
time. The First President, who could never see two different things at
one view, was so overjoyed when he heard the forces had gone out of Paris
that he cried out:

"Now the Coadjutor will have no more mercenary brawlers at the Parliament

"Nor," said the President de Mesmes, "so many cutthroats."

Senneterre, like a wise man, said to them both:

"It is not the Coadjutor's interest to murder you, but to bring you
under. The people would serve his turn for the first if he aimed at it,
and the army is admirably well encamped for the latter. If he is not a
more honest man than he is looked upon to be here, we are likely to have
a tedious civil war."

The Cardinal confessed that Senneterre was in the right, for, on the
one hand, the Prince de Conde perceived that our army, being so
advantageously posted as not to be attacked, would be capable of giving
him more trouble than if they were still within the walls of the city,
and, on the other hand, we began to talk with more courage in Parliament
than usual.

The afternoon of the 4th of March gave us a just occasion to show it.
The deputies arriving at Ruel understood that Cardinal Mazarin was one
of the commissioners named by the Queen to assist at the conference.
The Parliamentary deputies pretended that they could not confer with a
person actually condemned by Parliament. M. de Tellier told them in the
name of the Duc d'Orleans that the Queen thought it strange that they
were not contented to treat upon an equality with their sovereign, but
that they should presume to limit his authority by excluding his
deputies. The First President and the Court seeming to be immovable, we
sent orders to our deputies not to comply, and to communicate, as a great
secret, to President de Mesmes and M. Menardeau, both creatures of the
Court, the following postscript of a letter I wrote to Longueville:

"P.S.--We have concerted our measures, and are now capable to speak
more to the purpose than we have been hitherto, and since I finished
this letter I have received a piece of news which obliges me to tell
you that if the Parliament do not behave very prudently, they will
certainly be ruined."

Upon this the deputies were resolved to insist upon excluding the
Cardinal from the conference, a determination which was so odious to the
people that, had we permitted it, we should certainly have lost all our
credit with them, and been obliged to shut the gates against our deputies
upon their return.

When the Court saw that the deputies desired a convoy to conduct them
home, they found out an expedient, which was received with great joy;
namely, to appoint two deputies on the part of the Parliament, and two on
the part of the King, to confer at the house of the Duc d'Orleans,
exclusive of the Cardinal, who was thereupon obliged to return to Saint
Germain with mortification.

On the 5th of March, Don Francisco Pisarro, a second envoy from the
Archduke, arrived in Paris, with his and Count Fuensaldagne's answer to
our former despatches by Don Jose d'Illescas, and full powers for a
treaty; instructions for M. de Bouillon, an obliging letter from the
Archduke to the Prince de Conti, and another to myself, from Count
Fuensaldagne, importing that the King, his master, would not take my
word, but would depend upon whatever I promised Madame de Bouillon.

The Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville, prompted by M. de La
Rochefoucault, were for an alliance with Spain, in a manner without
restriction. M. d'Elbeuf aimed at nothing but getting money. M. de
Beaufort, at the persuasion of Madame de Montbazon, who was resolved to
sell him dear to the Spaniards, was very scrupulous to enter into a
treaty with the enemies of the State; Marechal de La Mothe declared he
could not come to any resolution till he saw M. de Longueville, and
Madame de Longueville questioned whether her husband would come into it;
and yet these very persons but a fortnight before unanimously wrote to
the Archduke for full powers to treat with him.

M. de Bouillon told them that he thought they were absolutely obliged to
treat with Spain, considering the advances they had already made to the
Archduke to that end, and desired them to recollect how they had told his
envoy that they waited only for these full powers and instructions to
treat with him; that the Archduke had now sent his full powers in the
most obliging manner; and that, moreover, he had already gone out of
Brussels, to lead his army himself to their assistance, without staying
for their engagement. He begged them to consider that if they took the
least step backwards, after such advances, it might provoke Spain to take
such measures as would be both contrary to our security and to our
honour; that the ill-concerted proceedings of the Parliament gave us just
grounds to fear being left to shift for ourselves; that indeed our army
was now more useful than it had been before, but--yet not strong enough
to give us relief in proportion to our necessities, especially if it were
not, at least in the beginning, supported by a powerful force; and that,
consequently, a treaty was necessary to be entered into and concluded
with the Archduke, but not upon any mean conditions; that his envoys had
brought carte blanche, but that we ought to consider how to fill it up;
that he promised us everything, but though in treaties the strongest may
safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit, it is certain he cannot
perform everything, and therefore the weakest should be very wary.

The Duke added that the Spaniards, of all people, expected honourable
usage at the beginning of treaties, and he conjured them to leave the
management of the Spanish envoys to himself and the Coadjutor, "who,"
said he, "has declared all along that he expects no advantage either from
the present troubles or from any arrangement, and is therefore altogether
to be depended upon."

This discourse was relished by all the company, who accordingly engaged
us to compare notes with the envoys of Spain, and make our report to the
Prince de Conti and the other generals.

M. de Bouillon assured me that the Spaniards would not enter upon French
ground till we engaged ourselves not to lay down our arms except in
conjunction with them; that is, in a treaty for a general peace; but our
difficulty was how to enter into an engagement of that nature at a time
when we could not be sure but that the Parliament might conclude a
particular peace the next moment. In the meantime a courier came in from
M. de Turenne, crying, "Good news!" as he entered into the court. He
brought letters for Madame and Mademoiselle de Bouillon and myself, by
which we were assured that M. de Turenne and his army, which was without
dispute the finest at that time in all Europe, had declared for us; that
Erlach, Governor of Brisac, had with him 1,000 or 1,200 men, who were all
he had been able to seduce; that my dear friend and kinsman, the Vicomte
de Lamet, was marching directly to our assistance with 2,000 horse; and
that M. de Turenne was to follow on such a day with the larger part of
the army. You will be surprised, without doubt, to hear that M. de
Turenne, General of the King's troops, one who was never a party man,
and would never hear talk of party intrigues, should now declare against
the Court and perform an action which, I am sure, Le Balafre--

[Henri de Lorraine, first of that name, Duc de Guise, surnamed Le
Balafre, because of a wound he received in the left cheek at the
battle of Dormans, the scar of which he carried to his grave. He
formed the League, and was stabbed at an assembly of the States of
Blois in 1588.]

and Amiral de Coligny would not have undertaken without hesitation.
Your wonder will increase yet more when I tell you that the motive of
this surprising conduct of his is a secret to this day. His behaviour
also during his declaration, which he supported but five days, is equally
surprising and mysterious. This shows that it is possible for some
extraordinary characters to be raised above the malice and envy of vulgar
souls; for the merit of any person inferior to the Marshal must have been
totally eclipsed by such an unaccountable event.

Upon the arrival of this express from Turenne I told M. de Bouillon it
was my opinion that, if the Spaniards would engage to advance as far as
Pont-a-Verre and act on this side of it in concert only with us, we
should make no scruple of pledging ourselves not to lay down our arms
till the conclusion of a general peace, provided they kept their promise
given to the Parliament of referring themselves to its arbitration.
"The true interest of the public," said I, "is a general peace, that of
the Parliament and other bodies is the reestablishment of good order,
and that of your Grace and others, with myself, is to contribute to the
before-mentioned blessings in such manner that we may be esteemed the
authors of them; all other advantages are necessarily attached to this,
and the only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them.
You know that I have frequently vowed I had no private interest to serve
in this affair, and I will keep my vow to the end. Your circumstances
are different from mine; you aim at Sedan, and you are in the right.
M. de Beaufort wants to be admiral, and I cannot blame him.
M. de Longueville has other demands--with all my heart. The Prince de
Conti and Madame de Longueville would be, for the future, independent of
the Prince de Conde; that independence they shall have.

"Now, in order to attain to these ends, the only means is to look another
way, to turn all our thoughts to bring about a general peace, and to sign
to-morrow the most solemn and positive engagement with the enemy, and,
the better to please the public, to insert in the articles the expulsion
of Cardinal Mazarin as their mortal enemy, to cause the Spanish forces to
come up immediately to Pont-a-Verre, and those of M. de Turenne to
advance into Champagne, and to go without any loss of time to propose to
the Parliament what Don Josh d'Illescas has offered them already in
relation to a general peace, to dispose them to vote as we would have
them, which they will not fail to do considering the circumstances we are
now in, and to send orders to our deputies at Ruel either to get the
Queen to nominate a place to confer about a general peace or to return
the next day to their seats in Parliament. I am willing to think that
the Court, seeing to what an extremity they are reduced, will comply,
than which what can be more for our honour?

"And if the Court should refuse this proposition at present, will they
not be of another mind before two months are at an end? Will not the
provinces, which are already hesitating, then declare in our favour?
And is the army of the Prince de Conde in a condition to engage that of
Spain and ours in conjunction with that of M. de Turenne? These two
last, when joined, will put us above all the apprehensions from foreign
forces which have hitherto made us uneasy; they will depend much more on
us than we on them; we shall continue masters of Paris by our own
strength, and the more securely because the intervening authority of
Parliament will the more firmly unite us to the people. The declaration
of M. de Turenne is the only means to unite Spain with the Parliament for
our defence, which we could not have as much as hoped for otherwise;
it gives us an opportunity to engage with Parliament, in concert with
whom we cannot act amiss, and this is the only moment when such an
engagement is both possible and profitable. The First President and
De Mesmes are now out of the way, and it will be much easier for us to
obtain what we want in Parliament than if they were present, and if what
is commanded in the Parliamentary decree is faithfully executed, we shall
gain our point, and unite the Chambers for that great work of a general
peace. If the Court still rejects our proposals, and those of the
deputies who are for the Court refuse to follow our motion or to share in
our fortune, we shall gain as much in another respect; we shall keep
ourselves still attached to the body of the Parliament, from which they
will be deemed deserters, and we shall have much greater weight in the
House than now.

"This is my opinion, which I am willing to sign and to offer to the
Parliament if you seize this, the only opportunity. For if M. de Turenne
should alter his mind before it be done, I should then oppose this scheme
with as much warmth as I now recommend it."

The Duke said in answer: "Nothing can have a more promising aspect than
what you have now proposed; it is very practicable, but equally
pernicious for all private persons. Spain will promise all, but perform
nothing after we have once promised to enter into no treaty, with the
Court but for a general peace. This being the only thing the Spaniards
have in view, they will abandon us as soon as they, can obtain it, and if
we urge on this great scheme at once, as you would have us, they would
undoubtedly obtain it in a fortnight's time, for France would certainly
make it with precipitation, and I know the Spaniards would be glad to
purchase it on any terms. This being the case, in what a condition shall
we be the next day after we have made and procured this general peace?
We should indeed have the honour of it, but would this honour screen us
against the hatred and curses of the Court? Would the house of Austria
take up arms again to rescue you and me from a prison? You will say,
perhaps, we may stipulate some conditions with Spain which may secure us
from all insults of this kind; but I think I shall have answered this
objection when I assure you that Spain is so pressed with home troubles
that she would not hesitate, for the sake of peace, to break the most
solemn promises made to us; and this is an inconvenience for which I see
no remedy.

"If Spain should be worse than her word with respect to the expulsion of
Mazarin, what will become of us? And will the honour of our contributing
to the general peace atone for the preservation of a minister to get rid
of whom they took up arms? You know how they abhor the Cardinal; and,
suppose the Cardinal be excluded from the Ministry, according to promise,
shall we not still be exposed to the hatred of the Queen, to the
resentment of the Prince de Conde, and to all the evil consequences that
may be expected from an enraged Court for such an action? There is no
true glory but what is durable; transitory honour is mere smoke. Of this
sort is that which we shall acquire by this peace, if we do not support
it by such alliances as will gain us the reputation of wisdom as well as
of honesty. I admire your disinterestedness above all, and esteem it,
but I am very well assured that if mine went the length of yours you
would not, approve of it. Your family is settled; consider mine, and
cast your eyes on the condition of this lady and on that of both the
father and children."

I answered: "The Spaniards must needs have great regard for us, seeing us
absolute masters of Paris, with eight thousand foot and three thousand
horse at its gates, and the best disciplined troops in the world marching
to our assistance." I did all I could to bring him over to my opinion,
and he strove as much to persuade me to enter into his measures; namely,
to pretend to the envoys that we were absolutely resolved to act in
concert with them for a general peace, but to tell them at the same time
that we thought it more proper that the Parliament should likewise be
consulted; and, as that would require some time, we might in the
meanwhile occupy the envoys by signing a treaty with them, previous to
coming to terms with. The Parliament, which by its tenor would not tie
us up to conclude anything positively in relation to the general peace;
"yet this," said he, "would be a sufficient motive to cause them to
advance with their army, and that of my brother will come up at the same
time, which will astonish the Court and incline them to an arrangement.
And forasmuch as in our treaty with Spain we leave a back door open by
the clause which relates to the Parliament, we shall be sure to make good
use of it for the advantage of the public and of ourselves in case of the
Court's noncompliance."

These considerations, though profoundly wise, did not convince me,
because I thought his inference was not well-grounded. I saw he might
well enough engage the attention of the envoys, but I could not imagine
how he could beguile the Parliament, who were actually treating with the
Court by their deputies sent to Ruel, and who would certainly run madly
into a peace, notwithstanding all their late performances. I foresaw
that without a public declaration to restrain the Parliament from going
their own lengths we should fall again, if one of our strings chanced to
break, into the necessity of courting the assistance of the people, which
I looked upon as the most dangerous proceeding of all.

M. de Bouillon asked me what I meant by saying, "if one of our strings
chanced to break." I replied, "For example, if M. de Turenne should be
dead at this juncture, or if his army has revolted, as it was likely to
do under the influence of M. d'Erlach, pray what would become of us if we
should not engage the Parliament? We should be tribunes of the people
one day, and the next valets de chambre to Count Fuensaldagne.
Everything with the Parliament and nothing without them is the burden of
my song."

After several hours' dispute neither of us was convinced, and I went away
very much perplexed, the rather because M. de Bouillon, being the great
confidant of the Spaniards, I doubted not but he could make their envoys
believe what he pleased.

I was still more puzzled when I came home and found a letter from Madame
de Lesdiguieres, offering me extraordinary advantages in the Queen's name
the payment of my debts, the grant of certain abbeys, and a nomination to
the dignity of cardinal. Another note I found with these words: "The
declaration of the army of Germany has put us all into consternation."
I concluded they would not fail to try experiments with others as well as
myself, and since M. de Bouillon began to think of a back door when all
things smiled upon us, I guessed the rest of our party would not neglect
to enter the great door now flung open to receive them by the declaration
of M. de Turenne. That which afflicted me most of all was to see that
M. de Bouillon was not a man of that judgment and penetration I took him
for in this critical and decisive juncture, when the question was the
engaging or not engaging the Parliament. He had urged me more than
twenty times to do what I now offered, and the reason why I now urged
what I before rejected was the declaration of M. de Turenne, his own
brother, which should have made him bolder than I; but, instead of this,
it slackened his courage, and he flattered himself that Cardinal Mazarin
would let him have Sedan. This was the centre of all his views, and he
preferred these petty advantages to what he might have gained by
procuring peace to Europe. This false step made me pass this judgment
upon the Duke: that, though he was a person of very great parts, yet I
questioned his capacity for the mighty things which he has not done, and
of which some men thought him very capable. It is the greatest
remissness on the part of a great man to neglect the moment that is to
make his reputation, and this negligence, indeed, scarcely ever happens
but when a man expects another moment as favourable to make his fortune;
and so people are commonly deceived both ways.

The Duke was more nice than wise at this juncture, which is very often
the case. I found afterwards that the Prince de Conti was of his
opinion, and I guessed, by some circumstances, that he was engaged in
some private negotiation. M. d'Elbeuf was as meek as a lamb, and seemed,
as far as he dared, to improve what had been advanced already by M. de
Bouillon. A servant of his told me also that he believed his master had
made his peace with the Court. M. de Beaufort showed by his behaviour
that Madame de Montbazon had done what she could to cool his courage, but
his irresolution did not embarrass me very much, because I knew I had her
in my power, and his vote, added to that of MM. de Brissac, de La Mothe,
de Noirmoutier and de Bellievre, who all fell in with my sentiments,
would have turned the balance on my side if the regard for M. de Turenne,
who was now the life and soul of the party, and the Spaniards' confidence
in M. de Bouillon, had not obliged me to make a virtue of necessity.

I found both the Archduke's envoys quite of an other mind; indeed, they
were still desirous of an agreement for a general peace, but they would
have it after the manner of M. de Bouillon, at two separate times, which
he had made them believe would be more for their advantage, because
thereby we should bring the Parliament into it. I saw who was at the
bottom of it, and, considering the orders they had to follow his advice
in everything, all I could allege to the contrary would be of no use. I
laid the state of affairs before the President de Bellievre, who was of
my opinion, and considered that a contrary course would infallibly prove
our ruin, thinking, nevertheless, that compliance would be highly
convenient at this time, because we depended absolutely on the Spaniards
and on M. de Turenne, who had hitherto made no proposals but such as were
dictated by M. de Bouillon.

When I found that all M. de Bellievre and I said could not persuade M. de
Bouillon, I feigned to come round to his opinion, and to submit to the
authority of the Prince de Conti, our Generalissimo. We agreed to treat
with the Archduke upon the plan of M. de Bouillon; that is, that he
should advance his army as far as Pont-A-Verre, and further, if the
generals desired it; who, on their part, would omit nothing to oblige the
Parliament to enter into this treaty, or rather, to make a new one for a
general peace; that is to say, to oblige the King to treat upon
reasonable conditions, the particulars whereof his Catholic Majesty would
refer to the arbitration of the Parliament. M. de Bouillon engaged to
have this treaty 'in totidem verbis' signed by the Spanish ministers, and
did not so much as ask me whether I would sign it or no. All the company
rejoiced at having the Spaniards' assistance upon such easy terms, and at
being at full liberty to receive the propositions of the Court, which
now, upon the declaration of M. de Turenne, could not fail to be very

The treaty was accordingly signed in the Prince de Conti's room at the
Hotel de Ville, but I forbore to set my hand to it, though solicited by
M. de Bouillon, unless they would come to some final resolution; yet I
gave them my word that, if the Parliament would be contented, I had such
expedients in my power as would give them all the time necessary to
withdraw their troops. I had two reasons for what I said: first, I knew
Fuensaldagne to be a wise man, that he would be of a different opinion
from his envoys, and that he would never venture his army into the heart
of the kingdom with so little assurance from the generals and none at all
from me; secondly, because I was willing to show to our generals that I
would not, as far as it lay in my power, suffer the Spaniards to be
treacherously surprised or insulted in case of an arrangement between the
Court and the Parliament; though I had protested twenty times in the same
conference that I would not separate myself from the Parliament.

M. d'Elbeuf said, "You cannot find the expedients you talk of but in
having recourse to the people."

"M. de Bouillon will answer for me," said I, "that it is not there that I
am to find my expedients."

M. de Bouillon, being desirous that I should sign, said, "I know that it
is not your intent, but I am fully persuaded that you mean well, that you
do not act as you would propose, and that we retain more respect for the
Parliament by signing than you do by refusing to sign; for, "speaking
very low, that he might not be heard by the Spanish ministers, "we keep a
back door open to get off handsomely with the Parliament."

"They will open that door," said I, "when you could wish it shut, as is
but too apparent already, and you will be glad to shut it when you
cannot; the Parliament is not a body to be jested with."

After the signing of the treaty, I was told that the envoys had given
2,000 pistoles to Madame de Montbazon and as much to M. d'Elbeuf.

De Bellievre, who waited for me at home, whither I returned full of
vexation, used an expression which has been since verified by the event:
"We failed, this day," said he, "to induce the Parliament, which if we
had done, all had been safe and right. Pray God that everything goes
well, for if but one of our strings fails us we are undone."

As for the conferences for a peace with the Court at Ruel, it was
proposed on the Queen's part that the Parliament should adjourn their
session to Saint Germain, just to ratify the articles of the peace,
and not to meet afterwards for two or three years; but the deputies of
Parliament insisted that it was their privilege to assemble when and
where they pleased. When these and the like stories came to the ears of
the Parisians they were so incensed that the only talk of the Great
Chamber was to recall the deputies, and the generals seeing themselves
now respected by the Court, who had little regard for them before the
declaration of M. de Turenne, thought that the more the Court was
embarrassed the better, and therefore incited the Parliament and people
to clamour, that the Cardinal might see that things did not altogether
depend upon the conference at Ruel. I, likewise, contributed what lay in
my power to moderate the precipitation of the First President and
President de Mesmes towards anything that looked like an agreement.

On the 8th of March the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that M. de
Turenne offered them his services and person against Cardinal Mazarin,
the enemy of the State. I said that I was informed a declaration had
been issued the night before at Saint Germain against M. de Turenne, as
guilty of high treason. The Parliament unanimously passed a decree to
annul it, to authorise his taking arms, to enjoin all the King's subjects
to give him free passage and support, and to raise the necessary funds
for the payment of his troops, lest the 800,000 livres sent from Court to
General d'Erlach should corrupt the officers and soldiers. A severe
edict was issued against Courcelles, Lavardin, and Amilly, who had levied
troops for the King in the province of Maine, and the commonalty were
permitted to meet at the sound of the alarm-bell and to fall foul of all
those who had held assemblies without order of Parliament.

On the 9th a decree was passed to suspend the conference till all the
promises made by the Court to allow the entry of provisions were
punctually executed.

The Prince de Conti informed the House the same day that he was desired
by M. de Longueville to assure them that he would set out from Rouen on
the 15th with 7,000 foot and 3,000 horse, and march directly to Saint
Germain; the Parliament was incredibly overjoyed, and desired the Prince
de Conti to press him to hasten his march as much as possible.

On the 10th the member for Normandy told the House that the Parliament of
Rennes only stayed for the Duc de la Tremouille to join against the
common enemy.

On the 11th an envoy from M. de la Tremouille offered the Parliament,
in his master's name, 8,000 foot and 2,000 horse, who were in a condition
to march in two days, provided the House would permit his master to seize
on all the public money at Poitiers, Niort, and other places whereof he
was already master. The Parliament thanked him, passed a decree with
full powers accordingly, and desired him to hasten his levies with all

Posterity will hardly believe that, notwithstanding all this heat in the
party, which one would have thought could not have immediately
evaporated, a peace was made and signed the same day; but of this more by
and by.

While the Court, as has been before hinted, was tampering with the
generals, Madame de Montbazon promised M. de Beaufort's support to the
Queen; but her Majesty understood that it was not to be done if I were
not at the market to approve of the sale. La Riviere despised M.
d'Elbeuf no longer. M. de Bouillon, since his brother's declaration,
seemed more inclined than before to come to an arrangement with the
Court, but his pretentions ran very high, and both the brothers were in
such a situation that a little assistance would not suffice, and as to
the offers made to myself by Madame de Lesdiguieres, I returned such an
answer as convinced the Court that I was not so easily to be moved.

In short, Cardinal Mazarin found all the avenues to a negotiation either
shut or impassable. This despair of success in the Court was eventually
more to the advantage of the Court than the most refined politics, for it
did not hinder them from negotiating, the Cardinal's natural temper not
permitting him to do otherwise; but, however, he could not trust to the
carrying out of negotiations, and therefore beguiled our generals with
fair promises, while he remitted 800,000 livres to buy off the army of
M. de Turenne, and obliged the deputies at Ruel to sign a peace against
the orders of the Parliament that sent them. The President de Mesmes
assured me several times since that this peace was purely the result of a
conversation he had with the Cardinal on the 8th of March at night, when
his Eminence told him he saw plainly that M. de Bouillon would not treat
till he had the Spaniards and M. de Turenne at the gates of Paris; that
is, till he saw himself in the position to seize one-half of the kingdom.
The President made him this answer:

"There is no hope of any security but in making the Coadjutor
a cardinal."

To which Mazarin answered: "He is worse than the other, who at least
seemed once inclined to treat, but he is still for a general peace, or
for none at all."

President de Mesmes replied: "If things are come to this pass we must be
the victims to save the State from perishing--we must sign the peace.
For after what the Parliament has done to-day there is no remedy, and
perhaps tomorrow we shall be recalled; if we are disowned in what we do
we are ruined, the gates of Paris will be shut against us, and we shall
be prosecuted and treated as prevaricators and traitors. It is our
business and concern to procure such conditions as will give us good
ground to justify our proceedings, and if the terms are but reasonable,
we know how to improve them against the factions; but make them as you
please yourself, I will sign them all, and will go this moment to
acquaint the First President that this is the only expedient to save the
State. If it takes effect we have peace, if we are disowned by the
Parliament we still weaken the faction, and the danger will fall upon
none but ourselves." He added that with much difficulty he had persuaded
the First President.

The peace was signed by Cardinal Mazarin, as well as by the other
deputies, on the part of the King. The substance of the articles was
that Parliament should just go to Saint Germain to proclaim the peace,
and then return to Paris, but hold no assembly that year; that all their
public decrees since the 6th of January should be made void, as likewise
all ordinances of Council, declarations and 'lettres de cachet'; that as
soon as the King had withdrawn his troops from Paris, all the forces
raised for the defence of the city should be disbanded, and the
inhabitants lay down their arms and not take them up again without the
King's order; that the Archduke's deputy should be dismissed without an
answer, that there should be a general amnesty, and that the King should
also give a general discharge for all the public money made use of, as
also for the movables sold and for all the arms and ammunition taken out
of the arsenal and elsewhere.

M. and Madame de Bouillon were extremely surprised when they heard that
the peace was signed. I did not expect the Parliament would make it so
soon, but I said frequently that it would be a very shameful one if we
should let them alone to make it. M. de Bouillon owned that I had
foretold it often enough. "I confess," said he, "that we are entirely to
blame," which expression made me respect him more than ever, for I think
it a greater virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one.
The Prince de Conti, MM. d'Elbeuf, de Beaufort, and de La Mothe were very
much surprised, too, at the signing of the peace, especially because
their agent at Saint Germain had assured them that the Court was fully
persuaded that the Parliament was but a cipher, and that the generals
were the men with whom they must negotiate. I confess that Cardinal
Mazarin acted a very wily part in this juncture, and he is the more to be
commended because he was obliged to defend himself, not only against the
monstrous impertinences of La Riviere, but against the violent passion of
the Prince de Conde.

We held a council at the Duc de Bouillon's, where I persuaded them that
as our deputies were recalled by an order despatched from Parliament
before the treaty was signed, it was therefore void, and that we ought to
take no notice of it, the rather because it had not been communicated to
Parliament in form; and, finally, that the deputies should be charged to
insist on a general treaty of peace and on the expulsion of Mazarin; and,
if they did not succeed, to return forthwith to their seats in
Parliament. But I added that if the deputies should have time to return
and make their report, we should be under the necessity of protesting,
which would so incense the people against them that we should not be able
to keep them from butchering the First President and the President de
Mesmes, so that we should be reputed the authors of the tragedy, and,
though formidable one day, should be every whit as odious the next.
I concluded with offering to sacrifice my coadjutorship of Paris to the
anger of the Queen and the hatred of the Cardinal, and that very
cheerfully, if they would but come into my measures.

M. de Bouillon, after having opposed my reasons, concluded thus: "I know
that my brother's declaration and my urging the necessity of his
advancing with the army before we come to a positive resolution may give
ground to a belief that I have great views for our family. I do not deny
but that I hope for some advantages, and am persuaded it is lawful for me
to do so, but I will be content to forfeit my reputation if I ever agree
with the Court till you all say you are satisfied; and if I do not keep
my word I desire the Coadjutor to disgrace me."

After all I thought it best to submit to the Prince de Conti and the
voice of the majority, who resolved very wisely not to explain themselves
in detail next morning in Parliament, but that the Prince de Conti should
only say, in general, that it being the common report that the peace was
signed at Ruel, he was resolved to send deputies thither to take care of
his and the other generals' interests.

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