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The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, Complete by Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

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into a passion in order to catch at some expression that might bear an
exception in law.

On Christmas Day I preached such a sermon on Christian charity, without
mentioning the present affairs, that the women even wept for the unjust
persecution of an archbishop who had so great a tenderness for his very

On the 29th M. de Beaufort and I went to the Parliament House,
accompanied by a body of three hundred gentlemen, to make it appear that
we were more than tribunes of the people, and to screen ourselves from
the insults of the Court party. We posted ourselves in the Fourth
Chamber of the Inquests, among the courtiers, with whom we conversed very
frankly, yet upon the least noise, when the debates ran high in the Great
Chamber, we were ready to cut one another's throats eight or ten times
every morning. We were all distrustful of one another, and I may venture
to say there were not twenty persons in the House but were armed with
daggers. As for myself, I had resolved to take none of those weapons
inconsistent with my character, till one day, when it was expected the
House would be more excited than usual, and then M. de Beaufort, seeing
one end of the weapon peeping out of my pocket, exposed it to M. le
Prince's captain of the guards and others, saying, "See, gentlemen, the
Coadjutor's prayer-book." I understood the jest, but really I could not
well digest it. We petitioned the Parliament that the First President,
being our sworn enemy, might be expelled the House, but it was put to the
vote and carried by a majority of thirty-six that he should retain his
station of judge.

Paris narrowly escaped a commotion at the time of the imprisonment of
Belot, one of the syndics of the Hotel de Ville annuitants, who, being
arrested without a decree, President de la Grange made it appear that
there was nothing more contrary to the declaration for which they had
formerly so exerted themselves. The First President maintaining the
legality of his imprisonment, Daurat, a councillor of the Third Chamber,
told him that he was amazed that a gentleman who was so lately near being
expelled could be so resolute in violating the laws so flagrantly.
Whereupon the First President rose in a passion, saying that there was
neither order nor discipline in the House, and that he would resign his
place to another for whom they had more respect. This motion put the
Great Chamber all in a ferment, which was felt in the Fourth, where the
gentlemen of both parties hastened to support their respective sides, and
if the most insignificant lackey had then but drawn a sword, Paris would
have been all in an uproar.

We solicited very earnestly for our trial, which they delayed as much as
it was in their power, because they could not choose but acquit us and
condemn the Crown witnesses. Various were the pretences for putting it
off, and though the informations were not of sufficient weight to hang a
dog, yet they were read over and over at every turn to prolong the time.

The public began to be persuaded of our innocence, as also the Prince de
Conde, and M. de Bouillon told me that he very much suspected it to be a
trick of the Cardinal's.

On the 1st of January, 1650, Madame de Chevreuse, having a mind to visit
the Queen, with whom she had carried on in all her disgrace an
unaccountable correspondence, went to the King's Palace. The Cardinal,
taking her aside in the Queen's little cabinet, said to her:

"You love the Queen. Is it not possible for you to make your friends
love her?"

"How can that be?" said she; "the Queen is no more a Queen, but a humble
servant to M. le Prince."

"Good God!" replied the Cardinal; "we might do great things if we could
get some men into our interest. But M. de Beaufort is at the service of
Madame de Montbazon, and she is devoted to Vigneul and the Coadjutor; "
at the mention of which he smiled. "I take you, monsieur," said Madame
de Chevreuse; "I will answer for him and for her."

Thus the conversation began, and the Cardinal making a sign to the Queen,
Madame de Chevreuse had a long conference that night with her Majesty,
who gave her this billet for me, written and signed with her own hand:

Notwithstanding what has passed and what is now doing, I cannot but
persuade myself that M. le Coadjuteur is in my interest. I desire to see
him, and that nobody may know it but Madame and Mademoiselle de
Chevreuse. This name shall be your security. ANNE

Being convinced that the Queen was downright angry with the Prince de
Conde on account of a rumour spread abroad that he had some intriguing
gallantries with her Majesty, I weighed all circumstances and returned
the answer to the Queen:

Never was there one moment of my life wherein I was not devoted to your
Majesty. I am so far from consulting my own safety that I would gladly
die for your service . . . I will go to any place your Majesty shall
order me.

My answer, with the Queen's letter enclosed, was carried back by Madame
de Chevreuse and well received. I went immediately to Court, and was
taken up the back staircase by the Queen's train-bearer to the petit
oratoire, where her Majesty was shut up all alone. She showed me as much
kindness as she could, considering her hatred against M. le Prince and
her friendship for the Cardinal, though the latter seemed the more to
prevail, because in speaking of the civil wars and of the Cardinal's
friendship for me she called him "the poor Cardinal" twenty times over.
Half an hour after, the Cardinal came in, who begged the Queen to
dispense with the respect he owed her Majesty while he embraced me in her
presence. He was pleased to say he was very sorry that he could not give
me that very moment his own cardinal's cap. He talked so much of
favours, gratifications, and rewards that I was obliged to explain
myself, knowing that nothing is more destructive of new reconciliations
than a seeming unwillingness to be obliged to those to whom you are
reconciled. I answered that the greatest recompense I could expect,
though I had saved the Crown, was to have the honour of serving her
Majesty, and I humbly prayed the Queen to give me no other recompense,
that at least I might have the satisfaction to make her Majesty sensible
that this was the only reward I valued.

The Cardinal desired the Queen to command me to accept of the nomination
to the cardinalate, "which," said he, "La Riviere has snatched with
insolence and acknowledged with treachery." I excused myself by saying
that I had taken a resolution never to accept of the cardinalship by any
means which seemed to have relation to the civil wars, to the end that I
might convince the Queen that it was the most rigid necessity which had
separated me from her service. I rejected upon the same account all the
other advantageous propositions he made me, and, he still insisting that
the Queen could do no less than confer upon me something that was very
considerable for the signal service I was likely to do her Majesty, I

"There is one point wherein the Queen can do me more good than if she
gave me a triple crown. Her Majesty told me just now that she will cause
M. le Prince to be apprehended. A person of his high rank and merit
neither can nor ought to be always shut up in prison, for when he comes
abroad he will be full of resentment against me, though I hope my dignity
will be my protection. There are a great many gentlemen engaged with me
who, in such a juncture, would be ready to serve the Queen. And if it
seemed good to your Majesty to entrust one of them with some important
employment, I should be more pleased than with ten cardinals' hats."

The Cardinal told the Queen that nothing was more just, and the affair
should be considered between him and me.

We had several conferences, at which we agreed on gratifications for some
of our friends and to arrest the Prince de Conde, the Prince de Conti,
and the Duc de Longueville.

The Cardinal took occasion to speak of the treachery of La Riviere. "This
man," said he, "takes me to be the most stupid creature living, and
thinks he shall be to-morrow a cardinal. I diverted myself to-day with
letting him try on some scarlet cloth I lately received from Italy, and I
put it near his face to know whether a scarlet colour or carnation became
him best."

I heard from Rome that his Eminence was not behindhand with La Riviere
upon the score of treachery. For on the very day he got him nominated by
the King, he wrote a letter to Cardinal Sachelli more fit to recommend
him to a yellow cap than to a red one. This letter, nevertheless, was
full of tenderness for La Riviere, which Mazarin knew was the only way to
ruin him with Pope Innocent, who hated Mazarin and all his adherents.

Madame de Chevreuse undertook to see how the Duc d'Orleans would relish
the design of imprisoning the Princes. She told him that, though the
Queen was not satisfied with M. le Prince, yet she could not form a
resolution of apprehending him without the concurrence of his Royal
Highness. She magnified the advantages of bringing over to the King's
service the powerful faction of the Fronde, and the daily dangers Paris
was exposed to, both by fire and sword. This last reason touched him as
much or more than all, for he trembled every time he came to the
Parliament; M. le Prince very often could not prevail upon him to go at
all, and a fit of colic was generally assigned as the reason of his
absence. At length he consented, and on the 18th of January the three
Princes were put under arrest by three officers of the Queen's Guards.

The people having a notion that M. de Beaufort was apprehended, ran to
their arms, which I caused to be laid down immediately, by marching
through the streets with flambeaux before me. M. de Beaufort did the
like, and the night concluded with bonfires.

The Queen sent a letter from the King to the Parliament with the reasons,
which were neither strong nor well set out, why the Prince de Conde was
confined. However, we obtained a decree for our absolution.

The Princesses were ordered to retire to Chantilly. Madame de
Longueville went towards Normandy, but found no sanctuary there, for the
Parliament of Rouen sent her a message to desire her to depart from the
city. The Duc de Richelieu would not receive her into Havre, and from
there she retired to Dieppe.

M. de Bouillon, who after the peace was strongly attached to the Prince
de Conde, went in great haste to Turenne; M. de Turenne got into Stenai;
M. de La Rochefoucault, then Prince de Marsillac, returned home to
Poitou; and Marechal de Breze, father-in-law to the Prince de Conde, went
to Saumur.

There was a declaration published and registered in Parliament against
them, whereby they were ordered to wait on the King within fifteen days,
upon pain of being proceeded against as disturbers of the public peace
and guilty of high treason.

The Court carried all before them. Madame de Longueville, upon the King
going into Normandy, escaped by sea into Holland, whence she went
afterwards to Arras, to try La Tour, one of her husband's pensioners, who
offered her his person, but refused her the place. She repaired at last
to Stenai, whither M. de Turenne went to meet her, with all the friends
and servants of the confined Princes that he could muster. The King went
from Normandy to Burgundy, and returned to Paris crowned with laurels of

The Princess-dowager, who had been ordered to retire to Bourges, came
with a petition to Parliament, praying for their protection to stay in
Paris, and that she might have justice done her for the illegal
confinement of the Princes her children. She fell at the feet of the Duc
d'Orleans, begged the protection of the Duc de Beaufort, and said to me
that she had the honour to be my kinswoman. M. de Beaufort was very much
perplexed what to do, and I was nearly ready to die for shame; but we
could do nothing for her, and she was obliged to go to Valery.

Several private annuitants, who had made a noise in the assemblies at the
Hotel de Ville, were afraid of being called to account, and therefore,
after M. le Prince was arrested, they desired me to procure a general
amnesty. I spoke about it to the Cardinal, who seemed very pliable, and,
showing me his hatband, which was 'a la mode de la Fronde', said he hoped
himself to be comprised in that amnesty; but he shuffled it off so long
that it was not published and registered in Parliament till the 12th of
May, and it would not have been obtained then had not I threatened
vigorously to prosecute the Crown witnesses, of which they were mightily
apprehensive, being so conscious of the heinousness of their crime that
two of them had already made their escape.

The present calm hardly deserved that name, for the storm of war began to
rise again in several places at once.

Madame de Longueville and M. de Turenne made a treaty with the Spaniards,
and the latter joined their army, which entered Picardy and besieged
Guise, after having taken Catelet; but for want of provisions the
Archduke was obliged to raise the siege. M. de Turenne levied troops
with Spanish money, and was joined by the greater part of the officers
commanding the soldiers that went under the name of the Prince's troops.

The wretched conduct of M. d'Epernon had so confounded the affairs of
Guienne that nothing but his removal could retrieve them.

One of the greatest mischiefs which the despotic authority of ministers
has occasioned in the world in these later times is a practice,
occasioned by their own private mistaken interests, of always supporting
superiors against their inferiors. It is a maxim borrowed from
Machiavelli, whom few understand, and whom too many cry up for an able
man because he was always wicked. He was very far from being a complete
statesman, and was frequently out in his politics, but I think never more
grossly mistaken than in this maxim, which I observed as a great weakness
in Mazarin, who was therefore the less qualified to settle the affairs of
Guienne, which were in so much confusion that I believe if the good sense
of Jeannin and Villeroi had been infused into the brains of Cardinal de
Richelieu, it would not have been sufficient to set them right.

Senneterre, perceiving that Cardinal Mazarin and I were not cordial
friends, undertook to reconcile us, and for that end took me to the
Cardinal, who embraced me very tenderly, said he laid his heart upon the
table, that was one of his usual phrases,--and protested he would talk as
freely to me as if I were his own son. I did not believe a word of what
he said, but I assured his Eminence that I would speak to him as if he
were my father, and I was as good as my word. I told him I had no
personal interest in view but to disengage myself from the public
disturbances without any private advantage, and that for the same reason
I thought myself obliged to come off with reputation and honour. I
desired him to consider that my age and want of skill in public affairs
could not give him any jealousy that I aimed to be the First Minister. I
conjured him to consider also that the influence I had over the people of
Paris, supported by mere necessity, did rather reflect disgrace than
honour upon my dignity, and that he ought to believe that this one reason
was enough to make me impatient to be rid of all these public broils,
besides a thousand other inconveniences arising every moment, which
disgusted me with faction. And as for the dignity of cardinal, which
might peradventure give him some umbrage, I could tell him very sincerely
what had been and what was still my notion of this dignity, which I once
foolishly imagined would be more honourable for me to despise than to
enjoy. I mentioned this circumstance to let him see that in my tender
years I was no admirer of the purple, and not very fond of it now,
because I was persuaded that an Archbishop of Paris could hardly miss
obtaining that dignity some time or other, according to form, by actions
purely ecclesiastical; and that he should be loth to use any other means
to procure it.

I said that I should be extremely sorry if my purple were stained with
the least drop of blood spilt in the civil wars; that I was resolved to
clear my hands of everything that savoured of intrigue before I would
make or suffer any step which had any tendency that way; that he knew
that for the same reason I would neither accept money nor abbeys, and
that, consequently, I was engaged by the public declarations I had made
upon all those heads to serve the Queen without any interest; that the
only end I had in view, and in which I never wavered, was to come off
with honour, so that I might resume the spiritual functions belonging to
my profession with safety; that I desired nothing from him but the
accomplishment of an affair which would be more for the King's service
than for my particular interest; that he knew that the day after the
arrest of the Prince he sent me with his promise to the annuitants of the
Hotel de Ville, and that for want of performance those men were persuaded
that I was in concert with the Court to deceive them. Lastly, I told him
that the access I had to the Duc d'Orleans might perhaps give him
umbrage, but I desired him to consider that I never sought that honour,
and that I was very sensible of the inconveniences attending it. I
enlarged upon this head, which is the most difficult point to be
understood by Prime Ministers, who are so fond of being freely admitted
into a Prince's presence that, notwithstanding all the experience in the
world, they cannot help thinking that therein consists the essence of

When truth has come to a certain point, it darts such powerful rays of
light as are irresistible, but I never knew a man who had so little
regard for truth as Mazarin. He seemed, however, more regardful of it
than usual, and I laid hold of the occasion to tell him of the dangerous
consequences of the disturbances of Guienne, and that if he continued to
support M. d'Epernon, the Prince's faction would not let this opportunity
slip; that if the Parliament of Bordeaux should engage in their party, it
would not be long before that of Paris would do the same; that, after the
late conflagration in this metropolis, he could not suppose but that
there was still some fire hidden under the ashes; and that the factious
party had reason to fear the heavy punishment to which the whole body of
them was liable, as we ourselves were two or three months ago. The
Cardinal began to yield, especially when he was told that M. de Bouillon
began to make a disturbance in the Limousin, where M. de La Rochefoucault
had joined him with some troops.

To confirm our reconciliation, a marriage was proposed between my niece
and his nephew, to which he, gave his consent; but I was much averse to
it, being not yet resolved to bury my family in that of Mazarin, nor did
I set so great a value on grandeur as to purchase it with the public
odium. However, it produced no animosity on either side, and his friends
knew that I should be very glad to be employed in making a general peace;
they acted their parts so well that the Cardinal, whose love-fit for me
lasted about a fortnight, promised me, as it were of his own accord, that
I should be gratified.

News came about this time from Guienne that the Ducs de Bouillon and de
La Rochefoucault had taken Madame la Princesse into Bordeaux, together
with M. le Duc, her son. The Parliament was not displeased with the
people for receiving into their city M. le Duc, yet they observed more
decorum than could be expected from the inhabitants of Gascogne, so
irritated as they were against M. d'Epernon. They ordered that Madame la
Princesse, M. le Duc, MM. de Bouillon and de La Rochefoucault should have
liberty to stay in Bordeaux, provided they would promise to undertake
nothing against the King's service, and that the petition of Madame la
Princesse should be sent to the King with a most humble remonstrance from
the Parliament against the confinement of the Princes.

At the same time, one of the Presidents sent word to Senneterre that the
Parliament was not so far enraged but that they would still remember
their loyalty to the King, provided he did but remove M. d'Epernon. But
in case of any further delay he would not answer for the Parliament, and
much less for the people, who, being now managed and supported by the
Prince's party, would in a little time make themselves masters of the
Parliament. Senneterre did what he could to induce the Cardinal to make
good use of this advice, and M. de Chateauneuf, who was now Chancellor,
talked wonderfully well upon the point, but seeing the Cardinal gave no
return to his reasons but by exclaiming against the Parliament of
Bordeaux for sheltering men condemned by the King's declaration, he said
to him very plainly, "Set out to-morrow, monsieur, if you do not arrange
matters to-day; you should have been by this time upon the Garonne."

The event proved that Chateauneuf was in the right, for though the
Parliament was very excited, they stood out a long time against the
madness of the people, spurred on by M. de Bouillon, and issued a decree
ordering an envoy of Spain, who was sent thither to commence a treaty
with the Duc de Bouillon, to depart the city, and forbade any of their
body to visit such as had correspondence with Spain, the Princess herself
not excepted. Moreover, the mob having undertaken to force the
Parliament to unite with the Princes, the Parliament armed the
magistracy, who fired upon the people and made them retire.

A little time before the King departed for Guienne, which was in the
beginning of July, word came that the Parliament of Bordeaux had
consented to a union with the Princes, and had sent a deputy to the
Parliament of Paris, who had orders to see neither the King nor the
ministers, and that the whole province was disposed for a revolt. The
Cardinal was in extreme consternation, and commended himself to the
favour of the meanest man of the Fronde with the greatest suppleness

As soon as the King came to the neighbourhood of Bordeaux the deputies of
Parliament, who went to meet the Court at Lebourne, were peremptorily
commanded to open the gates of the city to the King and to all his
troops. They answered that one of their privileges was to guard the King
themselves while he was in any of their towns. Upon this, Marechal de La
Meilleraye seized the castle of Vaire, in the command of Pichon, whom the
Cardinal ordered to be hanged; and M. de Bouillon hanged an officer in
Meilleraye's army by way of reprisal.

After that the Marshal besieged the city in form, which, despairing of
succour from Spain, was forced to capitulate upon the following terms:

That a general pardon should be granted to all who had taken up arms and
treated with Spain, that all the soldiers should be disbanded except
those whom the King had a mind to keep in his pay, that Madame la
Princesse and the Duke should be at liberty to reside either in Anjou or
at Mouzon, with no more than two hundred foot and sixty horse, and that
M. d'Epernon should be recalled from the government of Guienne.

The Princess had an interview with both the King and Queen, at which
there were great conferences between the Cardinal and the Ducs de
Bouillon and de La Rochefoucault.

The deputy from Bordeaux, arriving at Paris soon after the King's
departure, went immediately, to Parliament, and, after an eloquent
harangue, presented a letter from the Parliament of Bordeaux, together
with their decrees, and demanded a union between the two Parliaments.
After some debates it was resolved that the deputy should deliver his
credentials in writing, which should be presented to his Majesty by the
deputies of the Parliament of Paris, who would, at the same time, most
humbly beseech the Queen to restore peace to Guienne.

The Duc d'Orleans was against debating about the petition to the Queen
for the liberation of the Priuces and the banishment of Cardinal Mazarin;
nevertheless, many of the members voted for it, upon a motion made by the
President Viole, who was a warm partisan of the Prince de Conde, not
because he had hopes of carrying it, but on purpose to embarrass M. de
Beaufort and myself upon a subject of which we did not care to speak, and
yet did not dare to be altogether silent about, without passing in some
measure for Mazarinists. President Viole did the Prince a great deal of
service on this occasion, for Bourdet a brave soldier, who had been
captain of the Guards and was attached to the interest of the
Prince--performed an action which emboldened the party very much, though
it had no success. He dressed himself and fourscore other officers of
his troops in mason's clothes, and having assembled many of the dregs of
the people, to whom he had distributed money, came directly to the Duc
d'Orleans as he was going out, and cried, "No Mazarin! God bless the
Princes!" His Royal Highness, at this apparition and the firing of a
brace of pistols at the same time by Bourdet, ran to the Great Chamber;
but M. de Beaufort stood his ground so well with the Duke's guards and
our men, that Bourdet was repulsed and thrown down the Parliament stairs.

But the confusion in the Great Chamber was still worse. There were daily
assemblies, wherein the Cardinal was severely attacked, and the Prince's
party had the pleasure of exposing us as his accomplices. What is very
strange is that at the same time the Cardinal and his friends accused us
of corresponding with the Parliament of Bordeaux, because we maintained,
in case the Court did not adjust affairs there, we would infallibly bring
the Parliament of Paris into the interest of the Prince. If I were at
the point of death I should have no need to be confessed on account of my
behaviour on this occasion. I acted with as much sincerity in this
juncture as if I had been the Cardinal's nephew, though really it was not
out of any love to him, but because I thought myself obliged in prudence
to oppose the progress of the Prince's faction, owing to the foolish
conduct of his enemies; and to this end I was obliged to oppose the
flattery of the Cardinal's tools as much as the efforts made by those who
were in the service of the Prince.

On the 3d of September President Bailleul returned with the other
deputies, and made a report in Parliament of his journey to Court; it
was, in brief, that the Queen thanked the Parliament for their good
intentions, and had commanded them to assure the Parliament in her name
that she was ready to restore peace to Guienne, and that it would have
been done before now had not M. de Bouillon, who had treated with the
Spaniards, made himself master of Bordeaux, and thereby cut off the
effects of his Majesty's goodness.

The Duc d'Orleans informed the House that he had received a letter from
the Archduke, signifying that the King of Spain having sent him full
powers to treat for a general peace, he desired earnestly to negotiate it
with him. But his Royal Highness added that he did not think it proper
to return him any answer till he had the opinion of the Parliament. The
trumpeter who brought the letter gathered a party at Tiroir cross, and
spoke very seditious words to the people. The next day they found libels
posted up and down the city in the name of M. de Turenne, setting forth
that the Archduke was coming with no other disposition than to make
peace, and in one of them were these words: "It is your business,
Parisians, to solicit your false tribunes, who have turned at last
pensioners and protectors of Mazarin, who have for so long a time sported
with your fortunes and repose, and spurred you on, kept you back, and
made you hot or cold, according to the caprices and different progress of
their ambition."

You see the state and condition the Frondeurs were in at this juncture,
when they could not move one step but to their own disadvantage. The Duc
d'Orleans spoke to me that night with a, great deal of bitterness against
the Cardinal, which he had never done before, and said he had been
tricked by him twice, and that he was ruining himself, the State, and all
of us, and would, by so doing, place the Prince de Conde upon the throne.
In short, Monsieur owned that it was not yet time to humble the Cardinal.
"Therefore," said M. Bellievre, "let us be upon our guard; this man can
give us the slip any moment."

Next day a letter was sent from the Prince de Conde, by the Baron de
Verderonne, to the Archduke, desiring him to name the time, place and
persons for a treaty. The Baron returned with a letter from the Archduke
to his Royal Highness, desiring that the conferences might be held
between Rheims and Rhetel, and that they might meet there personally,
with such others as they should think fit to bring with them. The Court
was surprised, but, however, did not think fit to delay sending full
powers to his Royal Highness to treat for peace on such terms as he
thought reasonable and advantageous for the King's service; and there
were joined with him, though in subordination, MM. Mole, the First
President, d'Avaux, and myself, with the title of Ambassadors
Extraordinary and Plenipotentiaries. M. d'Avaux obliged me to assure Don
Gabriel de Toledo, in private, that if the Spaniards would but come to
reasonable terms, we would conclude a peace with them in two days' time.
And his Royal Highness said that Don Gabriel being a lover of money, I
should promise him for his part 100,000 crowns if the conference that was
proposed ended in a peace, and bid him tell the Archduke that, if the
Spaniards proposed reasonable terms, he would sign and have them
registered in Parliament before Mazarin should know anything of the

Don Gabriel received the overture with joy; he had some particular
fancies, but Fuensaldagne, who had a particular kindness for him, said
that he was the wisest fool he ever saw in his life. I have remarked
more than once that this sort of man cannot persuade, but can insinuate
perfectly well, and that the talent of insinuation is of more service
than that of persuasion, because one may insinuate to a hundred where one
can hardly persuade five.

The King of England, after having lost the battle of Worcester, arrived
in Paris the day that Don Gabriel set out, the 13th of September, 1651.
My Lord Taff was his great chamberlain, valet de chambre, clerk of the
kitchen, cup-bearer, and all,--an equipage answerable to his Court, for
his Majesty had not changed his shirt all the way from England. Upon his
arrival at Paris, indeed, he had one lent him by my Lord Jermyn; but the
Queen, his mother, had not money to buy him another for the next day. The
Duc d'Orleans went to compliment his Majesty upon his arrival, but it was
not in my power to persuade his Royal Highness to give his nephew one
penny, because, said he, "a little would not be worth his acceptance, and
a great deal would engage me to do as much hereafter." This leads me to
make the following digression: that there is nothing so wretched as to be
a minister to a Prince, and, at the same time, not his favourite; for it
is his favour only that gives one a power over the more minute concerns
of the family, for which the public does, nevertheless, think a minister
accountable when they, see he has power over affairs of far greater

Therefore I was not in a condition to oblige his Royal Highness by
assisting the King of England with a thousand pistoles, for which I was
horridly, ashamed, both upon his account anal my own; but I borrowed
fifteen hundred for him from M. Morangis, and carried them to my Lord
Taff.--[Lord Clarendon extols the civilities of Cardinal de Retz to King
Charles II., and has reported a curious conversation which the Cardinal
had with that Prince.]--It is remarkable that the same night, as I was
going home, I met one Tilney, an Englishman whom I had formerly known at
Rome, who told me that Vere, a great Parliamentarian and a favourite of
Cromwell, had arrived in Paris and had orders to see me. I was a little
puzzled; however, I judged it would be improper to refuse him an
interview. Vere gave me a brief letter from Cromwell in the nature of
credentials, importing that the sentiments I had enunciated in the
"Defence of Public Liberty" added to my reputation, and had induced
Cromwell to desire to enter with me into the strictest friendship. The
letter was in the main wonderfully civil and complaisant. I answered it
with a great deal of respect, but in such a manner as became a true
Catholic and an honest Frenchman. Vere appeared to be a man of
surprising abilities.

I now return to our own affairs. I was told as a mighty secret that
Tellier had orders from the Cardinal to remove the Princes from the Bois
de Vincennes if the enemy were likely to come near the place, and that he
should endeavour by all means to procure the consent of the Duc d'Orleans
for that end; but that, in case of refusal, these orders should be
executed notwithstanding, and that he should endeavour to gain me to
these measures by the means of Madame de Chevreuse. When Tellier came to
me I assured him that it was all one, both to me and the Duc d'Orleans,
whether the Princes were removed or not, but since my opinion was
desired, I must declare that I think nothing can be more contrary to the
true interest of the King; "for," said I, "the Spaniards must gain a
battle before they can come to Vincennes, and when there they must have a
flying camp to invest the place before they can deliver the Princes from
confinement, and therefore I am convinced that there is no necessity for
their removal, and I do affirm that all unnecessary changes in matters
which are in themselves disagreeable are pernicious, because odious. I
will maintain, further, that there is less reason to fear the Duc
d'Orleans and the Frondeurs than to dread the Spaniards. Suppose that
his Royal Highness is more disaffected towards the Court than anybody;
suppose further that M. de Beaufort and I have a mind to relieve the
Princes, in what way could we do it? Is not the whole garrison in that
castle in the King's service? Has his Royal Highness any regular troops
to besiege Vincennes? And, granting the Frondeurs to be the greatest
fools imaginable, will they expose the people of Paris at a siege which
two thousand of the King's troops might raise in a quarter of an hour
though it consist of a hundred thousand citizens? I therefore conclude
that the removal would be altogether impolitic. Does it not look rather
as if the Cardinal feigns apprehension of the Spaniards only as a
pretence to make himself master of the Princes, and to dispose of their
persons at pleasure? The generality of the people, being Frondeurs, will
conclude you take the Prince de Conde out of their hands,--whom they look
upon to be safe while they see him walking upon the battlements of his
prison,--and that you will give him his liberty when you please, and thus
enable him to besiege Paris a second time. On the other hand, the
Prince's party will improve this removal very much to their own advantage
by the compassion such a spectacle will raise in the people when they see
three Princes dragged in chains from one prison to another. I was really
mistaken just now when I said the case was all one to me, for I see that
I am nearly concerned, because the people--in which word I include the
Parliament will cry out against it; I must be then obliged, for my own
safety, to say I did not approve of the resolution. Then the Court will
be informed that I find fault with it, and not only that, but that I do
it in order to raise the mob and discredit the Cardinal, which, though
ever so false; yet in consequence the people will firmly believe it, and
thus I shall meet with the same treatment I met with in the beginning of
the late troubles, and what I even now experience in relation to the
affairs of Guienne. I am said to be the cause of these troubles because
I foretold them, and I was said to encourage the revolt at Bordeaux
because I was against the conduct that occasioned it."

Tellier, in the Queen's name, thanked me for my unresisting disposition,
and made the same proposal to his Royal Highness; upon which I spoke, not
to second Tellier, who pleaded for the necessity of the removal, to which
I could by no means be reconciled, but to make it evident to his Royal
Highness that he was not in any way concerned in it in his own private
capacity, and that, in case the Queen did command it positively, it was
his duty to obey. M. de Beaufort opposed it so furiously as to offer the
Duc d'Orleans to attack the guards which were to remove him. I had solid
reasons to dissuade him from it, to the last of which he submitted, it
being an argument which I had from the Queen's own mouth when she set out
for Guienne, that Bar offered to assassinate the Princes if it should
happen that he was not in a condition to hinder their escape. I was
astonished when her Majesty trusted me with this secret, and imagined
that the Cardinal had possessed her with a fear that the Frondeurs had a
design to seize the person of the Prince de Conde. For my part, I never
dreamed of such a thing in my life. The Ducs d'Orleans and de Beaufort
were both shocked at the thought of it, and, in short, it was agreed that
his Royal Highness should give his consent for the removal, and that M.
de Beaufort and myself should not give it out among the people that we
approved of it.

The day that the Princes were removed to Marcoussi, President Bellievre
told the Keeper of the Seals in plain terms, that if he continued to
treat me as he had done hitherto, he should be obliged in honour to give
his testimony to the truth. To which the Keeper of the Seals returned
this blunt answer: "The Princes are no longer in sight of Paris; the
Coadjutor must not therefore talk so loud."

I return now to the Parliament, which was so moderate at this time that
the Cardinal was hardly mentioned, and they agreed, 'nemine
contradicente', that the Parliament should send deputies to Bordeaux to
know once for all if that Parliament was for peace or not.

Soon after this the Parliament of Toulouse wrote to that of Paris
concerning the disturbances in Guienne, part whereof belonged to their
jurisdiction, and expressly demanded a decree of union. But the Duc
d'Orleans warded off the blow very dexterously, which was of great
consequence, and, more by his address than by his authority, brought the
Parliament to dismiss the deputies with civil answers and insignificant
expressions, upon which President Bellievre said to me, "What pleasure
should we not take in acting as we do if it were for persons that had but
the sense to appreciate it!"

The Parliament did not continue long in that calm. They passed a decree
to interrogate the State prisoners in the Bastille, broke out sometimes
like a whirlwind, with thunder and lightning, against Cardinal Mazarin;
at other times they complained of the misapplication of the public funds.
We had much ado to ward off the blows, and should not have been able to
hold out long against the fury of the waves but for the news of the Peace
of Bordeaux, which was registered there on October the 1st, 1650, and put
the Prince de Conde's party into consternation.

One mean artifice of Cardinal Mazarin's polity was always to entertain
some men of our own party, with whom, half reconciled, he played fast and
loose before our eyes, and was eternally negotiating with them, deceiving
and being deceived in his turn. The consequence of all this was a great,
thick cloud, wherein the Frondeurs themselves were at last involved; but
which they burst with a thunderclap.

The Cardinal, being puffed up with his success in settling the troubles
of Guienne, thought of nothing else than crowning his triumph by
chastising the Frondeurs, who, he said, had made use of the King's
absence to alienate the Duc d'Orleans from his service, to encourage the
revolt at Bordeaux, and to make themselves masters of the persons of the
Princes. At the same time, he told the Princess Palatine that he
detested the cruel hatred I bore to the Prince de Conde, and that the
propositions I made daily to him on that score were altogether unworthy
of a Christian. Yet he suggested to the Duc d'Orleans that I made great
overtures to him to be reconciled to the Court, but that he could not
trust me, because I was from morning to night negotiating with the
friends of the Prince de Conde. Thus the Cardinal rewarded me for what I
did with incredible application and, I must say, uncommon sincerity for
the Queen's service during the Court's absence. I do not mention the
dangers I was in twice or thrice a day, surpassing even those of soldiers
in battles. For imagine, I beseech you, what pain and anguish I must
have been in at hearing myself called a Mazarinist, and at having to bear
all the odium annexed to that hateful appellation in a city where he made
it his business to destroy me in the opinion of a Prince whose nature it
was to be always in fear and to trust none but such as hoped to rise by
my fall.

The Cardinal gave himself such airs after the peace at Bordeaux that some
said my best way would be to retire before the King's return.

Cardinal Mazarin had been formerly secretary to Pancirole, the Pope's
nuncio for the peace of Italy, whom he betrayed, and it was proved that
he had a secret correspondence with the Governor of Milan. Pancirole,
being created cardinal and Secretary of State to the Church, did not
forget the perfidiousness of his secretary, now created cardinal by Pope
Urban, at the request of Cardinal de Richelieu, and did not at all
endeavour to qualify the anger which Pope Innocent had conceived against
Mazarin after the assassination of one of his nephews, in conjunction
with Cardinal Anthony.

[Anthony Barberini, nephew to Urban VIII., created Cardinal 1628, made
Protector of the Crown of France 1633, and Great Almoner of the Kingdom
1653. He was afterwards Bishop of Poitiers, and, lastly, Archbishop of
Rheims in 1657. Died 1671.]

Pancirole, who thought he could not affront Mazarin more than by
contributing to make me cardinal, did me all the kind offices with Pope
Innocent, who gave him leave to treat with me in that affair.

Madame de Chevreuse told the Queen all that she had observed in my
conduct in the King's absence, and what she had seen was certainly one
continued series of considerable services done to the Queen.

She recounted at last all the injustice done me, the contempt put upon
me, and the just grounds of my diffidence, which, she said, of necessity
ought to be removed, and that the only means of removing it was the hat.
The Queen was in a passion at this. The Cardinal defended himself, not
by an open denial, for he had offered it me several times, but by
recommending patience, intimating that a great monarch should be forced
to nothing. Monsieur, seconding Madame de Chevreuse in her attack,
assailed the Cardinal, who, at least in appearance, gave way, out of
respect for his Royal Highness. Madame de Chevreuse, having brought them
to parley, did not doubt that she should also bring them to capitulate,
especially when she saw the Queen was appeased, and had told his Royal
Highness that she was infinitely obliged to him, and would do what her
Council judged most proper and reasonable. This Council, which was only
a specious name, consisted only of the Cardinal, the Keeper of the Seals,
Tellier, and Servien.

The matter was proposed to the Council by the Cardinal with much
importunity, concluding with a most submissive petition to the Queen to
condescend to the demand of the Duc d'Orleans, and to what the services
and merits of the Coadjutor demanded. The proposition was rejected with
such resolution and contempt as is very unusual in Council in opposition
to a Prime Minister. Tellier and Servien thought it sufficient not to
applaud him; but the Keeper of the Seals quite forgot his respect for the
Cardinal, accused him of prevarication and weakness, and threw himself at
her Majesty's feet, conjuring her in the name of the King her son, not to
authorise, by an example which he called fatal, the insolence of a
subject who was for wresting favours from his sovereign, sword in hand.
The Queen was moved at this, and the poor Cardinal owned he had been too
easy and pliant.

I had myself given a very natural handle to my adversaries to expose me
so egregiously. I have been guilty of many blunders, but I think this is
the grossest that I ever was guilty of in all my life. I have frequently
made this observation, that when men have, through fear of miscarriage,
hesitated a long time about any undertaking of consequence, the remaining
impressions of their fear commonly push them afterwards with too much
precipitancy upon the execution of their design. And this was my case.
It was with the greatest reluctance that I determined to accept the
dignity of a cardinal, because I thought it too mean to form a pretension
to it without certainty of success; and no sooner was I engaged in the
pursuit of it but the impression of the former fearful ideas hurried me
on, as it were, to the end, that I might get as soon as possible out of
the disagreeable state of uncertainty.

The Cardinal would have paid my debts, given me the place of Grand
Almoner, etc.; but if he had added twelve cardinals' hats into the
bargain, I should have begged his excuse. I was now engaged with
Monsieur, who had, meanwhile, resolved upon the release of the Princes
from their confinement.

Cardinal Mazarin, after his return to Paris, made it his chief study to
divide the Fronde. He thought to materially weaken my interest with
Monsieur by detaching from me Madame de Chevreuse, for whom he had a
natural tenderness, and to give me a mortal blow by embroiling me with
Mademoiselle her daughter. To do this effectually he found a rival, who,
he hoped, would please her better, namely, M. d'Aumale, handsome as
Apollo, and one who was very likely to suit the temper of Mademoiselle de
Chevreuse. He had entirely devoted himself to the Cardinal's interest,
looked upon himself as very much honoured by this commission, and haunted
the Palace of Chevreuse so diligently that I did not doubt but that he
was sent thither to act the second part of the comedy which had
miscarried so shamefully in the hands of M. de Candale. I watched all
his movements, and complained to Mademoiselle de Chevreuse, but she gave
me indirect answers. I began to be out of humour, and was soon appeased.
I grew peevish again; and Mademoiselle de Chevreuse saying in his
presence, to please me and to sting him, that she could not imagine how
it was possible to bear a silly fellow, "Pardon me, mademoiselle,"
replied I, "we suffer fops sometimes very patiently for the sake of their
extravagances." This man was notoriously foppish and extravagant. My
answer pleased, and we soon got rid of him at the Palace of Chevreuse.
But he thought to have despatched me, for he hired one Grandmaison, a
ruffian, to assassinate me, who apprised me of his design. The first
time I met M. d'Aumale, which was at the Duc d'Orleans's house, I did not
fail to let him know it; but I told it him in a whisper, saying that I
had too much respect for the House of Savoy to publish it to the world.
He denied the fact, but in such a manner as to make it more evident,
because he conjured me to keep it secret. I gave him my word, and I kept

Madame de Guemenee, with whom I had several quarrels, proposed to the
Queen likewise to despatch me, by shutting me up in a greenhouse in her
garden, which she might easily have done, because I often went to her
alone by night; but the Cardinal, fearing that the people would have
suspected him as the author of my sudden disappearance, would not enter
into the project, so it was dropped.

To return to our negotiations for the freedom of the Princes. The Duc
d'Orleans was with much difficulty induced to sign the treaty by which a
marriage was stipulated between Mademoiselle de Chevreuse and the Prince
de Conti, and to promise not to oppose my promotion to the dignity of a
cardinal. The Princes were as active in the whole course of these
negotiations as if they had been at liberty. We wrote to them, and they
to us, and a regular correspondence between Paris and Lyons was never
better established than ours. Bar,

[Bar was, according to M. Joly, an unsociable man, who was for raising
his fortune by using the Princes badly, and who, on this account, was
often the dupe of Montreuil, secretary to the Prince de Conti.--See
JOLY'S "Memoirs," vol. i., p. 88.]

their warder, was a very shallow fellow; besides, men of sense are
sometimes outwitted.

Cardinal Mazarin, upon his return with the King from Guienne, was greatly
pleased with the acclamations of the mob, but he soon grew weary of them,
for the Frondeurs still kept the wall.

The Cardinal being continually provoked at Paris by the Abbe Fouquet, who
sought to make himself necessary, and being so vain as to think himself
qualified to command an army, marched abruptly out of Paris for
Champagne, with a design to retake Rhetel and Chateau-Portien, of which
the enemy were possessed, and where M. de Turenne proposed to winter.

On the feast of Saint Martin, the First President and the
Attorney-General Talon exhorted the Parliament to be peaceable, that the
enemies of the State might have no advantage. A petition was read from
Madame la Princesse, desiring that the Princes should be brought to the
Louvre and remain in the custody, of one of the King's officers, and that
the Solicitor-General be sent for to say what he had to allege against
their innocence, and that in case he should have nothing solid to offer
they be set at liberty.

The Chambers, being assembled on the 7th of December, to take the affair
into consideration, Talon, the Attorney-General, informed the House that
the Queen had sent for the King's Council, and ordered them to let the
Parliament know that it was her pleasure that the House should not take
any cognisance of the Princess's petition, because everything that had
relation to the confinement of the Princes belonged to the royal
authority. Talon made a motion that the Parliament should depute some
members to carry the petition to the Queen, and to beseech her Majesty to
take it into her consideration. At the same time another petition was
presented from Mademoiselle de Longueville, for the liberty of the Duke
her father, and that she might have leave to stay in Paris to solicit it.

No sooner was this petition read than a letter from the three Princes was
presented and read, praying that they might be brought to trial or set at

On the 9th day of the month an order was brought to the Parliament from
the King, commanding the House to suspend all deliberations on this
subject till they had first sent their deputies to Court to know his
Majesty's pleasure.

Deputies were sent immediately, to whom, accordingly, the Queen gave
audience in bed, telling them that she was very much indisposed. The
Keeper of the Seals added that it was the King's pleasure that the
Parliament should not meet at all until such time as the Queen his mother
had recovered her health.

On the 10th the House resolved to adjourn only to the 14th, and on that
day a general procession was proposed to the Archbishop by the Dean of
Parliament, to beg that God would inspire them with such counsels only as
might be for the good of the public.

On the 14th they received the King's letter, forbidding their debates,
and informing them that the Queen would satisfy them very speedily about
the affair of the Princes; but this letter was disregarded. They sent a
deputation to invite the Duc d'Orleans to come to the House, but, after
consulting with the Queen, he told the deputies that he did not care to
go, that the Assembly was too noisy, that he could not divine what they
would be at, that the affairs in debate were never known to fall under
their cognisance, and that they had nothing else to do but to refer the
said petitions to the Queen.

On the 18th news came that Marechal du Plessis had gained a signal
victory over M. de Turenne, who was coming to succour Rhetel, but found
it already surrendered to Marechal du Plessis; and the Spanish garrison,
endeavouring to retreat, was forced to an engagement on the plains of
Saumepuis; that about 2,000 men were killed upon the spot, among the rest
a brother of the Elector Palatine, and six colonels, and that there were
nearly 4,000 prisoners, the most considerable of whom were several
persons of note, and all the colonels, besides twenty colours and
eighty-four standards. You may easily guess at the consternation of the
Princes' party; my house was all night filled with the lamentations of
despairing mourners, and I found the Duc d'Orleans, as it were, struck

On the 19th, as I went to the Parliament House, the people looked
melancholy, dejected, and frightened out of their wits. The members were
afraid to open their mouths, and nobody would mention the name of Mazarin
except Menardeau Champre, who spoke of him with encomiums, by giving him
the honour of the victory of Rhetel, and then he moved the House to
entreat the Queen to put the Princes into the hands of that good and wise
Minister, who would be as careful of them as he had been hitherto of the
State. I wondered most of all that this man was not hissed in the House,
and especially as he passed through the Great Hall. This circumstance,
together with what I saw that afternoon in every street, convinced me how
much our friends were dispirited, and I therefore resolved next day to
raise their courage. I knew the First President to be purblind, and such
men greedily swallow every new fact which confirms them in their first
impression. I knew likewise the Cardinal to be a man that supposed
everybody had a back door. The only way of dealing with men of that
stamp is to make them believe that you design to deceive those whom you
earnestly endeavour to serve.

For this reason, on the 20th, I declaimed against the disorders of the
State, and showed that it having pleased Almighty God to bless his
Majesty's arms and to remove the public enemy from our frontiers by the
victory gained over them by Marechal du Plessis, we ought now to apply
ourselves seriously to the healing of internal wounds of the State, which
are the more dangerous because they are less obvious. To this I thought
fit to add that I was obliged to mention the general oppression of the
subjects at a time when we had nothing more to fear from the lately
routed Spaniards; that, as one of the props of the public safety was the
preservation of the royal family, I could not without the utmost concern
see the Princes breathe the unwholesome air of Havre-de-Grace, and that I
was of opinion that the House should humbly entreat the King to remove
them, at least to some place more healthy. At this speech everybody
regained their courage and concluded that all was not yet lost. It was
observed that the people's countenances were altered. Those in the Great
Hall resumed their former zeal, made the usual acclamations as we went
out, and I had that day three hundred carriages of visitors.

On the 22d the debate was continued, and it was more and more observed
that the Parliament did not follow the triumphant chariot of Cardinal
Mazarin, whose imprudence in hazarding the fate of the whole kingdom in
the last battle was set off with all the disadvantages that could be
invented to tarnish the victory.

The 30th crowned the work, and produced a decree for making most humble
remonstrances to the Queen for the liberty of the Princes and for
Mademoiselle de Longueville staying in Paris.

It was further resolved to send a deputation to the Duc d'Orleans, to
desire his Royal Highness to use his interest on this occasion in favour
of the said Princes.

The King's Council having waited on her Majesty with the remonstrances
aforesaid, she pretended to be under medical treatment, and put off the
matter a week longer. The Duc d'Orleans also gave an ambiguous answer.
The Queen's course of treatment continued eight or ten days longer than
she imagined, or, rather, than she said, and consequently the
remonstrances of the Parliament were not made till the 20th of January,

On the 28th the First President made his report, and said the Queen had
promised to return an answer in a few days.

It happened very luckily for us at this time that the imprudence of the
Cardinal was greater than the inconstancy of the Duc d'Orleans, for a
little before the Queen returned an answer to the remonstrances, he
talked very roughly to the Duke in the Queen's presence, charging him
with putting too much confidence in me. The very day that the Queen made
the aforesaid answer he spoke yet more arrogantly to the Duke in her
Majesty's apartment, comparing M. de Beaufort and myself to Cromwell and
Fairfax in the House of Commons in England, and exclaimed furiously in
the King's presence, so that he frightened the Duke, who was glad he got
out of the King's Palace with a whole skin, and who said that he would
never put himself again in the power of that furious woman, meaning the
Queen, because she had improved on what the Cardinal had said to the
King. I resolved to strike the iron while it was hot, and joined with M.
de Beaufort to persuade his Royal Highness to declare himself the next
day in Parliament. We showed him that, after what had lately passed,
there was no safety for his person, and if the King should go out of
Paris, as the Cardinal designed, we should be engaged in a civil war,
whereof he alone, with the city of Paris, must bear the heavy load; that
it would be equally scandalous and dangerous for his Royal Highness
either to leave the Princes in chains, after having treated with them,
or, by his dilatory proceedings, suffer Mazarin to have all the honour of
setting them at liberty, and that he ought by all means to go to the
Parliament House.

The Duchess, too, seconded us, and upon his Highness saying that if he
went to the House to declare against the Court the Cardinal would be sure
to take his Majesty out of Paris, the Duchess replied, "What, monsieur,
are you not Lieutenant-General of France? Do not you command the army?
Are you not master of the people? I myself will undertake that the King
shall not go out of Paris." The Duke nevertheless remained inflexible,
and all we could get out of him was that he would consent to my telling
the Parliament, in his name, what we desired he should say himself. In a
word, he would have me make the experiment, the success of which he
looked upon to be very uncertain, because he thought the Parliament would
have nothing to say against the Queen's answer, and that if I succeeded
he should reap the honour of the proposition. I readily accepted the
commission, because all was at stake, and if I had not executed it the
next morning I am sure the Cardinal would have eluded setting the Princes
at liberty a great while longer, and the affair have ended in a
negotiation with them against the Duke.

The Duchess, who saw that I exposed myself for the public good, pitied me
very much. She did all she could to persuade the Duke to command me to
mention to the Parliament what the Cardinal had told the King with
relation to Cromwell, Fairfax and the English Parliament, which, if
declared in the Duke's name, she thought would excite the House the more
against Mazarin; and she was certainly in the right. But he forbade me

I ran about all night to incite the members at their first meeting to
murmur at the Queen's answer, which in the main was very plausible,
importing that, though this affair did not fall within the cognisance of
Parliament, the Queen would, however, out of her abundant goodness, have
regard to their supplications and restore the Princes to liberty.
Besides, it promised a general amnesty to all who had borne arms in their
favour, on condition only that M. de Turenne should lay down his arms,
that Madame de Longueville should renounce her treaty with Spain, and
that Stenai and Murzon should be evacuated.

At first the Parliament seemed to be dazzled with it, but next day, the
1st of February, the whole House was undeceived, and wondered how it had
been so deluded. The Court of Inquests began to murmur; Viole stood up
and said that the Queen's answer was but a snare laid for the Parliament
to beguile them; that the 12th of March, the time fixed for the King's
coronation, was just at hand; and that as soon as the Court was out of
Paris they, would laugh at the Parliament. At this discourse the old and
new Fronde stood up, and when I saw they, were greatly excited I waved
my, cap and said that the Duke had commanded me to inform the House that
the regard he had for their sentiments having confirmed him in those he
always naturally, entertained of his cousins, he was resolved to concur
with them for procuring their liberty, and to contribute everything in
his power to effect it; and it is incredible what influence these few
words had upon the whole assembly. I was astonished at it myself. The
wisest senators seemed as mad as the common people, and the people madder
than ever. Their acclamations exceeded anything you can imagine, and,
indeed, nothing less was sufficient to give heart to the Duke, who had
all night been bringing forth new projects with more sorrowful pangs and
throes (as the Duchess expressed it) than ever she had felt when in
labour with all her children.

When he was fully informed of the good success of his declaration, he
embraced me several times before all the company, and M. Tellier going to
wait upon him from the Queen, to know if he acknowledged what I had said
in his name in the House, "Yes," replied he, "I own, and always will own,
all that he shall say or act in my name." We thought that after a solemn
declaration of this nature the Duke would not scruple to take all the
necessary precautions to prevent the Cardinal carrying away the King, and
to that end the Duchess did propose to have all the gates of the city
well guarded, under pretence of some popular tumults. But he was deaf to
all she said, pretending that he was loth to make his King a prisoner.

On the 2d of February, 1651, the Duke, urged very importunately by the
Princes' party informing him that their liberty depended on it, told them
that he was going to perform an action which would remove all their
diffidence. He sent immediately for the Keeper of the Seals, Marechal
Villeroi; and Tellier, and bade them tell the Queen that he would never
come to the Palais Royal as long as Mazarin was there, and that he could
no longer treat with a man that ruined the State. And, then, turning
towards Marechal Villeroi, "I charge you," said he, "with the King's
person; you shall be answerable for him to me." I was sadly afraid this
would be a means to hasten the King's departure, which was what we
dreaded most of all, and I wondered that the Cardinal did not remove
after such a declaration. I thought his head was turned, and indeed I
was told that he was beside himself for a fortnight together.

The Duke having openly declared against Mazarin, and being resolved to
attack and drive him out of the kingdom, bade me inform the House next
day, in his name, how the Cardinal had compared their body to the Rump
Parliament in England, and some of their members to Cromwell and Fairfax.
I improved upon this as much as possible, and I daresay that so much heat
and ferment was never seen in any society before. Some were for sending
the Cardinal a personal summons to appear on the spot, to give an account
of his administration; but the most moderate were for making most humble
remonstrances to the Queen for his removal. You may easily guess what a
thunderclap this must have been to the Court. The Queen asked the Duke
whether she might bring the Cardinal to his Royal Highness. His answer
was that he did not think it good for the safety of his own person. She
offered to come alone to confer with his Highness at the Palais
d'Orleans, but he excused himself with a great deal of respect.

He sent orders an hour after to the Marshals of France to obey him only,
as Lieutenant-General of the State, and likewise to the 'prevots des
marchands' not to take up arms except by his authority. You will wonder,
without doubt, that after all this noise no care was taken of the gates
of Paris to prevent the King's departure. The Duchess, who trembled at
the thoughts of it, daily redoubled her endeavours to induce the Duke to
secure the gates of the city, but all to no purpose; for weak minds are
generally deficient in some respect or other.

On the 4th the Duke came to the Parliament and assured the assembly of
his concurrence in everything to reform the State and to procure the
liberty of the Princes and the Cardinal's removal. As soon as his Royal
Highness had done speaking, the Master of the Ceremonies was admitted
with a letter from the King, which was read, and which required the House
to separate, and to send as many deputies as they could to the Palais
Royal to hear the King's will and pleasure. Deputies were accordingly
sent immediately, for whose return the bulk of the members stayed in the
Great Chamber. I was informed that this was one trick among others
concerted to ruin me, and, telling the Duc d'Orleans of it, he said that
if the old buffoon, the Keeper of the Seals, was concerned in such a
complication of folly and knavery, he deserved to be hanged by the side
of Mazarin. But the sequel showed that I was not out in my information.

As soon as the deputies were come to the Palais Royal, the First
President told the Queen that the Parliament was extremely concerned that
the Princes were still confined, notwithstanding her royal promise for
setting them at liberty. The Queen replied that Marchal de Grammont was
sent to release them and to see to their necessary security for the
public tranquillity, but that she had sent for them in relation to
another affair, which the Keeper of the Seals would explain to them, and
which he couched in a sanguinary manifesto, in substance as follows:

"All the reports made by the Coadjutor in Parliament are false, and
invented by him. He lies!" (This is the only word the Queen added to
what was already written). "He is a very wicked, dangerous man, and
gives the Duke very pernicious advice; he wants to ruin the State because
we have refused to make him cardinal, and has publicly boasted that he
will set fire to the four corners of the kingdom, and that he will have
100,000 men in readiness to dash out the brains of those that shall
attempt to put it out." These expressions were very harsh, and I am sure
that I never said anything like that; but it was of no use at this time
to make the cloud which was gathering over the head of Mazarin fall in a
storm upon mine. The Court saw that Parliament was assembled to pass a
decree for setting the Princes at liberty, and that the Duke in person
was declaring against Mazarin in the Grand Chamber, and therefore they
believed that a diversion would be as practicable as it was necessary,
namely, to bring me upon my trial in such a manner that the Parliament
could not refuse nor secure me from the railleries of the most
inconsiderable member. Everything that tended to render the attack
plausible was made use of, as well as everything that might weaken my
defence. The writing was signed by the four Secretaries of State, and,
the better to defeat all that I could say in my justification, the Comte
de Brienne was sent at the heels of the deputies with an order to desire
the Duc d'Orleans to come to a conference with the Queen in relation to
some few difficulties that remained concerning the liberty of the

When the deputies had returned to Parliament, the First President began
with reading the paper which had been delivered to him against me, upon
which you might have read astonishment in every face. Menardeau, who was
to open the trenches against me, was afraid of a salvo from the Great
Hall, where he found such a crowd of people, and heard so many
acclamations to the Fronde, and so many imprecations against Mazarin,
that he durst not open his mouth against me, but contented himself with a
pathetic lamentation of the division that was in the State, and
especially in the royal family. The councillors were so divided that
some of them were for appointing public prayers for two days; others
proposed to desire his Royal Highness to take care of the public safety.
I resolved to treat the writing drawn up against me by the Cardinal as a
satire and a libel, and, by some ingenious, short passage, to arouse the
minds of my hearers. As my memory did not furnish me with anything in
ancient authors that had any relation to my subject, I made a small
discourse in the best Latin I was capable of, and then spoke thus:

"Were it not for the profound respect I bear to the persons who have
spoken before me, I could not forbear complaining of their not crying out
against such a scurrilous, satirical paper, which was just now read,
contrary to all forms of proceeding, and written in the same style as
lately profaned the sacred name of the King, to encourage false witnesses
by letters-patent. I believe that those persons thought this paper,
which is but a sally of the furious Mazarin, to be much beneath
themselves and me. And that I may conform my opinion to theirs, I will
answer only by repeating a passage from an ancient author: 'In the worst
of times I did not forsake the city, in the most prosperous I had no
particular views, and in the most desperate times of all I feared
nothing.' I desire to be excused for running into this digression. I
move that you would make humble remonstrances to the King, to desire him
to despatch an order immediately for setting the Princes at liberty, to
make a declaration in their favour, and to remove Cardinal Mazarin from
his person and Councils."

My opinion was applauded both by the Frondeurs and the Prince's party,
and carried almost 'nemine contradicente'.

Talon, the Attorney-General, did wonders. I never heard or read anything
more eloquent or nervous. He invoked the names of Henri the Great, and
upon his knees recommended the kingdom of France in general to the
protection of Saint Louis.

Brienne, who had been sent by the Queen to desire an interview with the
Duc d'Orleans, was dismissed with no other answer than that the Duke
would come to pay his humble duty to the Queen as soon as the Princes
were at liberty, and Cardinal Mazarin removed from the King's person and

On the 5th of February there was an assembly of the, nobility at Nemours
for recovering their privileges. I opposed it to the utmost of my power,
for I had experienced more than once that nothing can be more pernicious
to a party than to engage without any necessity in such affairs as have
the bare appearance of faction, but I was obliged to comply. This
assembly, however, was so terrifying to the Court that six companies of
the Guards were ordered to mount, with which the Duc d'Orleans was so
offended that he sent word to the officers, in his capacity of
Lieutenant-General of the State, to receive no orders but from himself.
They answered very respectfully, but as men devoted to the Queen's

On the 6th, the Duke having taken his place in the Parliament, the King's
Council acquainted the House that, having been sent to wait on her
Majesty with the remonstrances, her Majesty's answer was that no person
living wished more for the liberty of the Princes than herself, but that
it was reasonable at the same time to consult the safety of the State;
that as for Cardinal Mazarin, she was resolved to retain him in her
Council as long as she found his assistance necessary for the King's
service; and that it did not belong to the Parliament to concern
themselves with any of her ministers.

The First President was shrewdly attacked in the House for not being more
resolute in speaking to the Queen. Some were for sending him back to
demand another audience in the afternoon; and the Duc d'Orleans having
said that the Marshals of France were dependent on Mazarin, it was
resolved immediately that they should obey none but his Royal Highness.

I was informed that very evening that the Cardinal had made his escape
out of Paris in disguise, and that the Court was in a very great

The Cardinal's escape was the common topic of conversation, and different
reasons were assigned to it, according to the various interests of
different parties. As for my part, I am very well persuaded that fear
was the only reason of his flight, and that nothing else hindered him
from taking the King and the Queen along with him. You will see in the
sequel of this history that he endeavoured to get their Majesties out of
Paris soon after he had made his escape, and that it was concerted in all
probability before he left the Court; but I could never understand why he
did not put it into execution at a time when he had no reason to fear the
least opposition.

On the 17th the Parliament ordered the thanks of the House to be returned
to the Queen for removing the Cardinal, and that she should be humbly
asked to issue an order for setting the Princes at liberty, and a
declaration for excluding all foreigners forever from the King's Council.
The First President being deputed with the message, the Queen told him
that she could return him no answer till she had conferred with the Duc
d'Orleans, to whom she immediately deputed the Keeper of the Seals,
Marechal Villeroi, and Tellier; but he told them that he could not go to
the Palais Royal till the Princes were set at liberty and the Cardinal
removed further from the Court. For he observed to the House that the
Cardinal was no further off than at Saint Germain, where he governed all
the kingdom as before, that his nephew and his nieces were yet at Court;
and the Duke proposed that the Parliament should humbly beseech the Queen
to explain whether the Cardinal's removal was for good and all. If I had
not seen it, I could not have imagined what a heat the House was in that
day. Some were for an order that there should be no favourites in France
for the future. They became at length of the opinion of his Royal
Highness, namely, to address the Queen to ask her to explain herself with
relation to the removal of Cardinal Mazarin and to solicit orders for the
liberty, of the Princes.

On the same day the Queen sent again to desire the Duc d'Orleans to come
and take his place in the Council, and to tell him that, in case he did
not think it convenient, she would send the Keeper of the Seals to
concert necessary measures with him for setting the Princes at liberty.
His Royal Highness accepted the second, but rejected the first proposal,
and treated M. d'Elbeuf roughly, because he was very pressing with his
Royal Highness to go to the King's Palace. The messengers likewise
acquainted the Duke that they were ordered to assure him that the removal
of the Cardinal was forever. You will see presently that, in all
probability, had his Royal Highness gone that day to Court, the Queen
would have left Paris and carried the Duke along with her.

On the 19th the Parliament decreed that, in pursuance of the Queen's
declaration, the Cardinal should, within the space of fifteen days,
depart from his Majesty's dominions, with all his relations and foreign
servants; otherwise, they should be proceeded against as outlaws, and it
should be lawful for anybody to despatch them out of the way.

I suspected that the King would leave Paris that very day, and I was
almost asleep when I was sent for to go to the Duc d'Orleans, whom
Mademoiselle de Chevreuse went to awaken in the meantime; and, while I
was dressing, one of her pages brought me a note from her, containing
only these few words:

"Make haste to Luxembourg, and be upon your guard on the way." I found
Mademoiselle de Chevreuse in his chamber, who acquainted me that the King
was out of bed, and had his boots on ready for a journey from Paris.

I waited on the Duke, and said, "There is but one remedy, which is, to
secure the gates of Paris." Yet all that we could obtain of him was to
send the captain of the Swiss Guards to wait on the Queen and desire her
Majesty to weigh the consequences of an action of that nature. His
Duchess, perceiving that this expedient, if not supported effectually,
would ruin all, and that his Royal Highness was still as irresolute as
ever, called for pen and ink that lay upon the table in her cabinet, and
wrote these words on a large sheet of paper:

M. le Coadjuteur is ordered to take arms to hinder the adherents of
Cardinal Mazarin, condemned by the Parliament, from carrying the King out

Des Touches, who found the Queen bathed in tears, was charged by her
Majesty to assure the Duc d'Orleans that she never thought of carrying
away the King, and that it was one of my tricks.

The Duc d'Orleans saying at the House next day that orders for the
Princes' liberty would be despatched in two hours' time, the First
President said, with a deep sigh, "The Prince de Conde is at liberty, but
our King, our sovereign Lord and King, is a prisoner." The Duc
d'Orleans, being now not near so timorous as before, because he had
received more acclamations in the streets than ever, replied, "Truly the
King has been Mazarin's prisoner, but, God be praised, he is now in
better hands."

The Cardinal, who hovered about Paris till he heard the city had taken up
arms, posted to Havre-de-Grace, where he fawned upon the Prince de Conde
with a meanness of spirit that is hardly to be imagined; for he wept, and
even fell down on his knees to the Prince, who treated him with the
utmost contempt, giving him no thanks for his release.

On the 16th of February the Princes, being set at liberty, arrived in
Paris, and, after waiting on the Queen, supped with M. de Beaufort and
myself at the Duc d'Orleans's house, where we drank the King's health and
"No Mazarin!"

On the 17th his Royal Highness carried them to the Parliament House, and
it is remarkable that the same people who but thirteen months before made
bonfires for their confinement did the same now for their release.

On the 20th the declaration demanded of the King against the Cardinal,
being brought to be registered in Parliament, was sent back with
indignation because the reason of his removal was coloured over with so
many encomiums that it was a perfect panegyric. Honest Broussel, who
always went greater lengths than anybody, was for excluding all cardinals
from the Ministry, as well as foreigners in general, because they swear
allegiance to the Pope. The First President, thinking to mortify me,
lauded Broussel for a man of admirable good sense, and espoused his
opinion; and the Prince de Conde, too, seemed to be overjoyed, saying,
"It is a charming echo." Indeed, I might well be troubled to think that
the very day after a treaty wherein the Duc d'Orleans declared that he
was resolved to make me a cardinal, the Prince should second a
proposition so derogatory to that dignity. But the truth is, the Prince
had no hand in it, for it came naturally, and was supported for no other
reason but because nothing that was brought as an argument against
Mazarin could then fail of being approved at the same time. I had some
reason to think that the motion was concerted beforehand by my enemies,
to keep me out of the Ministry. Nevertheless, I was not offended with
the Parliament, the bulk of whom I knew to be my friends, whose sole aim
was to effectually demolish Mazarin, and I acquiesced in the solid
satisfaction which I had in being considered in the world as the expeller
of Mazarin, whom everybody hated, and the deliverer of the Princes, who
were as much their darlings.

The continual chicanery of the Court provoked the Parliament of Paris to
write to all the Parliaments of France to issue decrees against Cardinal
Mazarin, which they did accordingly. The Parliament obliged the Court to
issue a declaration setting forth the innocence of the Princes, and
another for the exclusion of cardinals--French as well as
foreigners--from the King's Council, and the Parliament had no rest till
the Cardinal retired from Sedan to Breule, a house belonging to the
Elector of Cologne.

I had advice sent me from the Duchesse d'Orleans to be upon my guard, and
that she was on the point of dying with fear lest the Duke should be
forced by the daily menaces of the Court to abandon me. I thereupon
waited on the Duke, and told him that, having had the honour and
satisfaction of serving his Royal Highness in the two affairs which he
had most at heart,--namely, the expelling of Mazarin and the releasing of
the Princes his cousins,--I found myself now obliged to reassume the
functions of my profession; that the present opportunity seemed both to
favour and invite my retreat, and if I neglected it I should be the most
imprudent man living, because my presence for the future would not only
be useless but even prejudicial to his Royal Highness, whom I knew to be
daily importuned and irritated by the Court party merely upon my account;
and therefore I conjured him to make himself easy, and give me leave to
retire to my cloister. The Duke spared no kind words to retain me in his
service, promised never to forsake me, confessed that he had been urged
to it by the Queen, and that, though his reunion with her Majesty and the
Princes obliged him to put on the mask of friendship, yet he could never
forget the great affronts and injuries which he had received from the
Court. But all this could not dissuade me, and the Duke at last gave his
approbation, with repeated assurances to allow me a place next his heart
and to correspond with me in secret.

Having taken my leave of the Princes, I retired accordingly to my
cloister of Notre-Dame, where I did not trust Providence so far as to
omit the use of human means for defending myself against the insults of
my enemies.

Except the visits which I paid in the night-time to the Hotel de
Chevreuse, I conversed with none but canons and cures. I was the object
of raillery both at Court and at the Palace of Conde; and because I had
set up a bird-cage at a window, it became a common jest that "the
Coadjutor whistled to the linnets." The disposition of Paris, however,
made amends for the raillery of the Court. I found myself very secure,
while other people were very uneasy. The cures, parish priests, and even
the mendicants, informed themselves with diligence of the negotiations of
the Prince de Conde. I gave M. de Beaufort a thrust now and then, which
he knew not how to parry with all his cunning, and the Duc d'Orleans, who
in his heart was enraged against the Court, continued his correspondence
with me very faithfully.

Soon after, the Marechal du Plessis came to me at midnight and embraced
me, saying, "I greet you as our Prime Minister." When he saw that I
smiled, he added, "I do not jest; you may be so if you please. The Queen
has ordered me to tell you that she puts the King and Crown into your
hands." He showed me a letter written in the Cardinal's own hand to the
Queen, which concluded thus:

"You know, madame, that the greatest enemy I have in the world is the
Coadjutor. Make use of him rather than treat with the Prince upon those
conditions he demands. Make him a cardinal, give him my place, and lodge
him in my apartments. Perhaps he will be still more attached to the Duc
d'Orleans than to your Majesty; but the Duke is not for the ruin of the
State. His intentions in the main are not bad. In a word, madame, do
anything rather than grant the Prince his demand to have the government
of Provence added to that of Guienne."

I told the Marshal that I could not but be highly obliged to his
Eminence, and that I was under infinite obligations to the Queen; and to
show my gratitude, I humbly begged her Majesty to permit me to serve her
without any private interest of my own; said that I was very incapable
for the place of Prime Minister upon many accounts, and that it was not
consistent with her Majesty's dignity to raise a man to that high post
who was still reeking, as it were, with the fumes of faction.

"But," said the Marshal, "the place must be filled by somebody, and as
long as it is vacant the Prince will be always urging that Cardinal
Mazarin is to have it again."

"You have," said I, "persons much fitter for it than I." Then he showed
me a letter signed by the Queen, promising me all manner of security if I
would come to Court. I went thither at midnight, according to agreement,
and the Marshal, who introduced me to the Queen by the back stairs,
having withdrawn, her Majesty used all the arguments she could to
persuade me to accept the place of Prime Minister, which I was determined
to refuse, because I found that she had the Cardinal at heart more than
ever; for, as soon as she saw I would not accept the post of Prime
Minister, she offered me the cardinal's hat, but with this proviso, that
I would use my utmost endeavours towards the restoration of Cardinal
Mazarin. Then I judged it high time for me to speak my mind, which I did
as follows:

"It is a great affliction to me, madame, that public affairs are reduced
to such a pass as not only warrants, but even commands a subject to speak
to his sovereign in the style in which I am now about to address your
Majesty. It is well known to you that one of my worst crimes in the
Cardinal's opinion is that I foretold all these things, and that I have
passed for the author of events of which I was only the prophet. Your
Majesty would fain extricate yourself with honour, and you are in the
right; but permit me to tell you, as my opinion, that it can never be
effected so long as your Majesty entertains any thoughts of
reestablishing Mazarin. I should fail in the respect I owe to your
Majesty if I pretended to thwart your Majesty's opinion with regard to
the Cardinal in any other way than with my most humble remonstrances; but
I humbly conceive I do but discharge my bounden duty while I respectfully
represent to your Majesty wherein I may be serviceable or useless to you
at this critical juncture. Your Majesty has the Prince to cope with,
who, indeed, is for the restoration of the Cardinal, but upon condition
that you give him such powers beforehand as will enable him to ruin him
at pleasure. To resist the Prince you want the Duc d'Orleans, who is
absolutely against the Cardinal's reestablishment, and who, provided he
be excluded, will do what your Majesty pleases to command him. You will
neither satisfy the Prince nor the Duke. I am extremely desirous to
serve your Majesty against the one and with the other, but I can do
neither the one nor the other without making use of proper means for
obtaining those two different ends."

"Come over to me," said she, "and I shall not care a straw for all the
Duke can do."

I answered, "Should I do so, and should it appear never so little that I
was on terms of reconciliation with the Cardinal, I could serve your
Majesty with neither the Duke nor the people, for both would hate me
mortally, and I should be as useless to your Majesty as the Bishop of

At this the Queen was very angry, and said, "Heaven bless my son the
King, for he is deserted by all the world! I do all I can for you, I
offer you a place in my Council, I offer you the cardinalship; pray what
will you do for me?"

I said that I did not come to receive favours, but to try to merit them.

At this the Queen's countenance began to brighten, and she said, very
softly, "What is it, then, that you will do?"

"Madame," said I, "I will oblige the Prince, before a week is at an end,
to leave Paris; and I will detach the Duke from his interest to-morrow."

The Queen, overjoyed, held out her hand and said, "Give me yours, and I
promise you that you shall be cardinal the next day, and the second man
in my friendship." She desired also that Mazarin and I might be good
friends; but I answered that the least touch upon that string would put
me out of tune and render me incapable of doing her any service;
therefore I conjured her to let me still enjoy the character of being his

"Was anything," said the Queen, "ever so strange and unaccountable? Can
you not possibly serve me without being the enemy of him in whom I most

I told her it must needs be so. "Madame," I said, "I humbly beseech your
Majesty to let me tell you that, as long as the place of Prime Minister
is not filled up, the Prince will increase in power on pretence that it
is kept vacant to receive the Cardinal by a speedy restoration."

"You see," said her Majesty, "how the Prince treats me; he has insulted
me ever since I disowned my two traitors,--Servien and Lionne." I took
the opportunity while she was flushed with anger to make my court to her
by saying that before two days were at an end the Prince should affront
her no longer. But the tenderness she had for her beloved Cardinal made
her unwilling to consent that I should continue to exclaim against his
Eminence in Parliament, where one was obliged to handle him very roughly
almost every quarter of an hour. She bade me remember that it was the
Cardinal who had solicited my nomination. I answered that I was highly
obliged to his Eminence upon that score, and that I was ready to give him
proofs of my acknowledgment in anything wherein my honour was not
concerned, but that I should be a double-dealer if I promised to
contribute to his reestablishment. Then she said, "Go! you are a very
devil. See Madame Palatine, and let me hear from you the night before
you go to the Parliament."

I do not think I was in the wrong to refuse her offer. We must never
jest with proffered service; for if it be real, we can never embrace it
too much; but if false, we can never keep at too great a distance. I
lamented to the public the sad condition of our affairs, which had
obliged me to leave my dear retirement, where, after so much disturbance
and confusion, I hoped to enjoy comfortable rest; that we were falling
into a worse condition than we were in before, because the State suffered
more by the daily negotiations carried on with Mazarin than it had done
by his administrations; and that the Queen was still buoyed up with hopes
of his reestablishment.

The Prince de Conde having inflamed the Parliament, to make himself more
formidable to the Queen and Court, some new scenes were opened every day.
At one time they sent to the provinces to inform against the Cardinal; at
another time they made search after his effects at Paris.

I went one day with four hundred men in my company to the Parliament
House, where the Prince de Conde inveighed against the exportation of
money out of the kingdom by the Cardinal's banker. But afterwards I
absented myself for awhile from Parliament, which made me suspected of
being less an enemy to the Cardinal, and I was pelted with a dozen or
fifteen libels in the space of a fortnight, by a fellow whose nose had
been slit for writing a lampoon against a lady of quality. I composed a
short but general answer to all, entitled "An Apology for the Ancient and
True Fronde." There was a strong paper war between the old and new
Fronde for three or four months, but afterwards they united in the attack
on Mazarin. There were about sixty volumes of tracts written during the
civil war, but I am sure that there are not a hundred sheets worth

I was sent for again to another private conference with the Queen, who,
dreading an arrangement with the Prince de Conde, was for his being
arrested, and advised me to consider how it might be done. It seems that
M. Hoquincourt had offered to kill him in the street, as the shortest way
to be rid of him, for she desired me to confer about it with Hoquincourt,
"who will," said she, "show you a much surer way." The Queen,
nevertheless, would not own she had ever such a thought, though she was
heard to say, "The Coadjutor is not a man of so much courage as I took
him for."

The next day I was informed that the Queen could endure the Prince no
longer, and that she had advices that he had formed a design to seize the
King; that he had despatched orders to Flanders to treat with the
Spaniards, and that either he or she must be ruined; that she was not for
shedding blood, and that what Hoquincourt proposed was far from it,
because he promised to secure the Prince without striking a blow if I
would answer for the people.

The Parliament continued to prosecute Mazarin, who was convicted of
embezzling some nine millions of the public money. The Prince assembled
the Chambers, and persuaded them to issue a new decree against all those
of the Court party who held correspondence with the said Cardinal.

The Prince de Conde, being uneasy at seeing Mazarin's creatures still at
Court, retired to Saint Maur on the 6th of July, 1651. On the 7th the
Prince de Conti acquainted the Parliament with the reasons for his
departure, and talked in general of the warnings he had received from
different hands of a design the Court had formed against his life, adding
that his brother could not be safe at Court as long as Tellier, Servien,
and Lionne were not removed. There was a very hot debate in the ensuing
session between the Prince de Conti and the First President. The latter
talked very warmly against his retreat to Saint Maur, and called it a
melancholy prelude to a civil war. He hinted also that the said Prince
was the author of the late disturbances, upon which the Prince de Conti
threatened that had he been in any other place he would have taught him
to observe the respect due to Princes of the blood. The First President
said that he did not fear his threats, and that he had reason to complain
of his Royal Highness for presuming to interrupt him in a place where he
represented the King's person. Both parties were now in hot blood, and
the Duke, who was very glad to see it, did not interpose till he could
not avoid it, and then he told them both that they should endeavour to
keep their temper.

On the 14th of July a decree was passed, upon a motion made by the Duc
d'Orleans, that the thanks of the Parliament should be presented to her
Majesty for her gracious promise that the Cardinal should never return;
that she should be most humbly entreated to send a declaration to
Parliament, and likewise to give the Prince de Conde all the necessary
securities for his return; and that those persons who kept up
correspondence with Mazarin should be immediately prosecuted.

On the 18th the First President carried the remonstrances of the
Parliament to the Queen, and though he took care to keep within the terms
of the decree, by not naming the under ministers, yet he pointed them out
in such a manner that the Queen complained bitterly, saying that the
First President was "an unaccountable man, and more vexatious than any of
the malcontents."

When I took the liberty to show her that the representative of an
assembly could not, without prevarication, but deliver the thoughts of
the whole body, though they might be different from his own, she replied,
very angrily, "These are mere republican maxims."

I will give you an account of the success of the remonstrances after I
have related an adventure to you which happened at the Parliament House
during these debates.

The importance of the subject drew thither a large number of ladies who
were curious to hear what passed. Madame and Mademoiselle de Chevreuse,
with many other ladies, were there the evening before the decree was
passed; but they were singled out from the rest by one Maillard, a
brawling fellow, hired by the Prince's party. As ladies are commonly
afraid of a crowd, they stayed till the Duc d'Orleans and the rest were
gone out, but when they came into the hall they were hooted by twenty or
thirty ragamuffins of the same quality as their leader, who was a
cobbler. I knew nothing of it till I came to the Palace of Chevreuse,
where I found Madame de Chevreuse in a rage and her daughter in tears. I
endeavoured to comfort them by the assurance that I would take care to
get the scoundrels punished in an exemplary manner that very day. But
these were too inconsiderable victims to atone for such an affront, and
were therefore rejected with indignation. The blood of Bourbon only
could make amends for the injury done to that of Lorraine. These were
the very words of Madame de Chevreuse. They resolved at last upon this
expedition,--to go again next morning to the House, but so well
accompanied as to be in a condition of making themselves respected, and
of giving the Prince de Conti to understand that it was to his interest
to keep his party for the future from committing the like insolence.
Montresor, who happened to be with us, did all he could to convince the
ladies how dangerous it was to make a private quarrel of a public one,
especially at a time when a Prince of the blood might possibly lose his
life in the fray. When he found that he could not prevail upon them, he
used all means to persuade me to put off my resentment, for which end he
drew me aside to tell me what joy and triumph it would be to my enemies
to suffer myself to be captivated or led away by the violence of the
ladies' passion. I made him the following answer: "I am certainly to
blame, both with regard to my profession and on account of my having my
hands full, to be so far engaged with Mademoiselle de Chevreuse; but,
considering the obligation I am under to her, and that it is too late to
recede from it, I am in the right in demanding satisfaction in this
present juncture. I will not by any means assassinate the Prince de
Conti; but she may command me to do anything except poisoning or
assassinating, and therefore speak no more to me on this head."

The ladies went again, therefore, next day, being accompanied by four
hundred gentlemen and above four thousand of the most substantial
burghers. The rabble that was hired to make a clamour in the Great Hall
sneaked out of sight, and the Prince de Conti, who had not been apprised
of this assembly, which was formed with great secrecy, was fain to pass
by Madame and Mademoiselle de Chevreuse with demonstrations of the
profoundest respect, and to suffer Maillard, who was caught on the stairs
of the chapel, to be soundly cudgelled.

I return to the issue of the remonstrances. The Queen told the deputies
that she would next morning send to the House a declaration against
Cardinal Mazarin.

On the 21st the Prince de Conde came to Parliament accompanied by M. de
La Rochefoucault and fifty or sixty gentlemen, and congratulated them
upon the removal of the ministers, but said that it could not be
effectual without inserting an article in the declaration which the Queen
had promised to send to the Parliament. The First President said that it
would be both unjust and inconsistent with the respect due to the Queen
to demand new conditions of her every day; that her Majesty's promise, of
which she had made the Parliament a depositary, was a sufficient
security; that it was to be wished that the Prince had shown a due
confidence therein by repairing to the Palais Royal rather than to a
court of justice; and that the post he was in obliged him to express his
surprise at such conduct. The Prince replied that the First President
had no reason to wonder at his great precautions, since he (the Prince)
knew by recent woeful experience what it was to live in a prison; and
that it was notorious that the Cardinal ruled now in the Cabinet more
absolutely than ever he did before.

The Duc d'Orleans, who was gone to Limours on pretence of taking the air,
though on purpose to be absent from Parliament, being informed that the
very women cried at the King's coach "No Mazarin!" and that the Prince de
Conde, as well attended as his Majesty, had met the King in the park, was
so frightened that he returned to Paris, and on the 2d of August went to
Parliament, where I appeared with all my friends and a great number of
wealthy citizens. The First President mightily extolled the Queen's
goodness in making the Parliament the depositary of her promise for the
security of the Prince, who, being there present, was asked by the First
President if he had waited on the King? The Prince said he had not,
because he knew there would be danger in it, having been well informed
that secret conferences had been held to arrest him, and that in a proper
time and place he would name the authors. The Prince added that
messengers were continually going and coming betwixt the Court and
Mazarin at Breule, and that Marechal d'Aumont had orders to cut to pieces
the regiments of Conde, Conti, and Enghien, which was the only reason
that had hindered them from joining the King's army.

The First President told him that he was sorry to see him there before he
had waited on the King, and that it seemed as if he were for setting up
altar against altar. This nettled the Prince to that degree that he said
that those who talked against him had only self-interests in view. The
First President denied that he had any such aim, and said that he was
accountable to the King only for his actions. Then he exaggerated the
danger of the State from the unhappy division of the royal family.

Finally it was resolved, 'nemine contradicente', that the
Solicitor-General should be commissioned to prosecute those who had
advised the arrest of the Prince de Conde; that the Queen's promise for
the safety of the Prince should be registered; that his Royal Highness
should be desired by the whole assembly to go and wait on the King; and
that the decrees passed against the servitors of Mazarin should be put
into execution. The Prince, who seemed very well satisfied, said that
nothing less than this could assure him of his safety. The Duc d'Orleans
carried him to the King and the Queen, from whom he met with but a cold

At the close of this session the declaration against the Cardinal was
read and sent back to the Chancellor, because it was not inserted that
the Cardinal had hindered the Peace of Munster, and advised the King to
undertake the journey and siege of Bordeaux, contrary to the opinion of
the Duc d'Orleans.

The Queen, provoked by the conduct of the Prince de Conde, who rode
through the streets of Paris better attended than the King, and also by
that of the Duke, whom she found continually given to change, resolved,
in a fit of despair, to hazard all at once. M. de Chateauneuf flattered
her inclination on that point, and she was confirmed in it by a fiery
despatch from Mazarin at Bruele. She told the Duc d'Orleans plainly that
she could no longer continue in her present condition, demanded his
express declaration for or against her, and charged me, in his presence,
to keep the promise I had made her, to declare openly against the Prince
if he continued to go on as he had begun.

Her Majesty was convinced that I acted sincerely for her service, and
that I made no scruple to keep my promise; and she condescended to make
apologies for the distrust she had entertained of my conduct, and for the
injustice she owned she had done me.

On the 19th, the Prince de Conde having taxed me with being the author of
a paper against him, which was read that day in the House, said he had a
paper, signed by the Duc d'Orleans, which contained his justification,
and that he should be much obliged to the Parliament if they would be
pleased to desire her Majesty to name his accusers, against whom he
demanded justice. As to the paper of which he charged me with being the
author, he said it was a composition worthy of a man who had advised the
arming of the Parisians and the wresting of the seals from him with whom
the Queen had entrusted them.

The Prince de Conti was observed to press his brother to resent what I
said in my defence, but he kept his temper; for though I was very well
accompanied, yet he was considerably superior to me in numbers, so that
if the sword had been drawn he must have had the advantage. But I
resolved to appear there the next day with a greater retinue. The Queen
was transported with joy to hear that there were men who had the
resolution to dispute the wall with the Prince.

["The Queen," says M. de La Rochefoucault in his Memoirs, "was overjoyed
to see two men at variance whom in her heart she hated almost equally....
Nevertheless, she seemed to protect the Coadjutor."]

She ordered thirty gendarmes and as many Light-horse to be posted where I
pleased; I had forty men sent me, picked out of the sergeants and bravest
soldiers of one of the regiments of Guards, and some of the officers of
the city companies, and assembled a great number of substantial burghers,
all of whom had pistols and daggers under their cloaks. I also sent many
of my men to the eating-houses thereabouts, so that the Great Hall was,
as it were, invested on every side with my friends. I posted thirty
gentlemen as a reserve in a convenient chamber, who, in case of an
attack, were to assault the party of the Prince in flank and rear. I had
also laid up a store of grenades. In a word, my measures were so nicely
concerted, both within and without the Parliament House, that Pont
Notre-Dame and Pont Saint Michel, who were passionately in my, interest,
only waited for the signal; so that in all likelihood I could not fail of
being conqueror.

On the morning of the 21st all the Prince de Conde's humble servants
repaired to his house, and my friends did the like to mine, particularly
the Marquises of Rouillac and Camillac, famous both for their courage and
extravagances. As soon as the latter saw Rouillac, he made me a low bow
in a withdrawing posture, saying, "Monsieur, I came to offer you my
service, but it is not reasonable that the two greatest fools in the
kingdom should be of the same side." The Prince came to the House with a
numerous attendance, and though I believe he had not so many as I, he had
more persons of quality, for I had only the Fronde nobility on my side,
except three or four who, though in the Queen's interest, were
nevertheless my particular friends; this disadvantage, however, was
abundantly made up by the great interest I had among the people and the
advantageous posts I was possessed of. After the Prince had taken his
place, he said that he was surprised to see the Parliament House look
more like a camp than a temple of justice; that there were posts taken,
and men under command; and that he hoped there were not men in the
kingdom so insolent as to dispute the precedence with him. Whereupon I
humbly begged his pardon, and told him that I believed there was not a
man in France so insolent as to do it; but that there were some who could
not, nor indeed ought not, on account of their dignity, yield the
precedence to any man but the King. The Prince replied that he would
make me yield it to him. I told him he would find it no easy matter.
Upon this there was a great outcry, and the young councillors of both
parties interested themselves in the contest, which, you see, began
pretty warmly. The Presidents interposed between us, conjuring him to
have some regard to the temple of justice and the safety of the city, and
desiring that all the nobility and others in the hall that were armed
might be turned out. He approved of it, and bade M. de La Rochefoucault
go and tell his friends so from him. Upon which I said, "I will order my
friends to withdraw also." Young D'Avaux, now President de Mesmes, then
in the Prince's interest, said, "What! monsieur, are you
armed?"--"Without doubt," I said; though I had better have held my,
tongue, because an inferior ought to be respectful in words to his
superior, though he may equal him in actions. Neither is it allowable in
a Churchman when armed to confess it. There are some things wherein men
are willing to be deceived. Actions very often vindicate men's
reputations in what they do against the dignity of their profession, but
nothing can justify words that are inconsistent with their character.

As I had desired my friends to withdraw, and was entering into the Court
of Judicature, I heard an uproar in the hall of people crying out "To
arms!" I had a mind to go back to see what was the matter; but I had not
time to do it, for I found myself caught by the neck between the folding
doors, which M. de La Rochefoucault had shut on me, crying out to MM.
Coligny and Ricousse to kill me.

[This action is very much disguised and softened in the Memoirs of
Rochefoucault. M. Joly, in his Memoirs, vol. i., p. 155, tells it almost
in... the same manner as the Cardinal de Retz.]

The first thought he was not in earnest, and the other told him he had no
such order from the Prince. M. Champlatreux, running into the hall and
seeing me in that condition, vigorously pushed back M. de La
Rochefoucault, telling him that a murder of that nature was horrible and
scandalous. He opened the door and let me in. But this was not the
greatest danger I was in, as you will see after I have told you the
beginning and end of it.

Two or three of the Prince de Conde's mob cried out, as soon as they saw
me, "A Mazarin!" Two of the Prince's soldiers drew their swords, those
next to them cried out, "To your arms!" and in a trice all were in a
fighting posture. My friends drew their swords, daggers, and pistols,
and yet, as it were by a miracle, they stopped their hands on a sudden
from action; for in that very instant of time, Crenan, one of my old
friends, who commanded a company of the Prince de Conti's gendarmes, said
to Laigues, "What are we doing? Must we let the Prince de Conde and the
Coadjutor be murdered? Whoever does not put up his sword is a rascal!"
This expression coming from a man of great courage and reputation, every
one did as he bade them. Nor is Argenteuil's courage and presence of
mind to be less admired. He being near me when I was caught by the neck
between the folding doors, and observing one Peche,--[Joly calls him "The
great clamourer of the Prince." See his Memoirs, p. 157.]--a brawling
fellow of the Prince's party, looking for me with a dagger in his hand,
screened me with his cloak, and thereby saved my life, which was in the
more danger because my friends, who supposed I was gone into the Great
Chamber, stayed behind to engage with the Prince de Conde's party. The
Prince told me since that it was well I kept on the defensive, and that
had the noise in the hall continued but a minute longer, he would himself
have taken me by the throat and made me pay for all; but I am fully
persuaded that the consequences would have been fatal to both parties,
and that he himself had had a narrow escape.

As soon as I reentered the Great Chamber I told the First President that
I owed my life to his son, who on that occasion did the most generous
action that a man of honour was capable of, because he was passionately
attached to the Prince de Conde, and was persuaded, though without a
cause, that I was concerned in above twenty editions against his father
during the siege of Paris. There are few actions more heroic than this,
the memory of which I shall carry to my grave. I also added that M. de
La Rochefoucault had done all he could to murder me.'

[The Duke answered, as he says himself in his Memoirs, that fear had
disturbed his judgment, etc. See in the Memoirs of M. de La
Rochefoucault, the relation of what passed after the confinement of the

He answered me these very words: "Thou traitor, I don't care what becomes
of thee." I replied, "Very well, Friend Franchise" (we gave him that
nickname in our party); "you are a coward" (I told a lie, for he was
certainly a brave man), "and I am a priest; but dueling is not allowed
us." M. de Brissac threatened to cudgel him, and he to kick Brissac. The
President, fearing these words would end in blows, got between us. The
First President conjured the Prince pathetically, by the blood of Saint
Louis, not to defile with blood that temple which he had given for the
preservation of peace and the protection of justice; and exhorted me, by
my sacred character, not to contribute to the massacre of the people whom
God had committed to my charge. Both the Prince and I sent out two
gentlemen to order our friends and servants to retire by different ways.
The clock struck ten, the House rose, and thus ended that morning's work,
which was likely to have ruined Paris.

You may easily guess what a commotion Paris was in all that morning.
Tradesmen worked in their shops with their muskets by them, and the women
were at prayers in the churches. Sadness sat on the brows of all who
were not actually engaged in either party. The Prince, if we may believe
the Comte de Fiesque, told him that Paris narrowly escaped being burnt
that day. "What a fine bonfire this would have been for the Cardinal,"
said he; "especially to see it lighted by the two greatest enemies he

The Duc d'Orleans, quite tired out with the cries of the people, who ran
affrighted to his palace, and fearing that the commotion would not stop
at the Parliament House, made the Prince promise that he would not go
next day to the Parliament with above five in company, provided I would
engage to carry no more. I begged his Royal Highness to excuse me if I
did not comply, because I should be wanting in my respect to the Prince,
with whom I ought not to make any comparison, and because I should be
still exposed to a pack of seditious brawlers, who cried out against me,
having no laws nor owning any chief. I added that it was only against
this sort of people that I armed; that there was so little comparison
between a private gentleman and his Highness that five hundred men were
less to the Prince than a single lackey to me. The Duke, who owned I was
in the right, went to the Queen to represent to her the evil consequences
that would inevitably attend such measures.

The Queen, who neither feared nor foresaw dangers, made no account of his
remonstrances, for she was glad in the main of the dangers which seemed
to be so near at hand. When Bertet and Brachet, who crept up to the
garrets of the Palais Royal for fear of having their throats cut in the
general commotion, had made her sensible that if the Prince and myself
should perish in such a juncture it would occasion such a confusion that
the very name of Mazarin might become fatal to the royal family, she
yielded rather to her fears than to her convictions, and consented to
send an order in the King's name to forbid both the Prince and me to go
to the House. The First President, who was well assured that the Prince
would not obey an order of that nature, which could not be forced upon
him with justice, because his presence was necessary in the Parliament,
went to the Queen and made her sensible that it would be against all
justice and equity to forbid the Prince to be present in an assembly
where he went only to clear himself from a crime laid to his charge. He
showed her the difference between the first Prince of the blood, whose
presence would be necessary in that conjuncture, and a Coadjutor of
Paris, who never had a seat in the Parliament but by courtesy.

The Queen yielded at last to these reasons and to the entreaties of all
the Court ladies, who dreaded the noise and confusion which was likely to
occur next day in the Parliament House.

The Parliament met next day, and resolved that all the papers, both of
the Queen, the Duc d'Orleans, and the Prince de Conde, should be carried
to the King and Queen, that her Majesty should be humbly entreated to
terminate the affair, and that the Duc d'Orleans should be desired to
make overtures towards a reconciliation.

As the Prince was coming out of the Parliament House, attended by a
multitude of his friends, I met him in his coach as I was at the head of
a procession of thirty or forty cures of Paris, followed by a great
number of people. Upon my approach, three or four of the mob following
the Prince cried out, "A Mazarin!" but the Prince alighted and silenced

[M. de La Rochefoucault, in his Memoirs, says that the people abused the
Coadjutor with scurrilous language, and would have torn him in pieces if
the prince had not ordered his men to appease the tumult.]

He then fell on his knees to receive my blessing, which I gave him with
my hat on, and then pulled it off in obeisance.

The Queen was so well pleased with my prudent conduct that I can truly
say I was a favourite for some days. Madame de Carignan was telling her
one day that I was very homely, to which the Queen replied, "He has a
very fine set of teeth, and a man cannot be called homely who has this
ornament." Madame de Chevreuse remembered that she had often heard the
Queen say that the beauty of a man consisted chiefly in his teeth,
because it was the only beauty which was of any use. Therefore she
advised me to act my part well, and she should not despair of success.
"When you are with the Queen," said she, "be serious; look continually on
her hands, storm against the Cardinal, and I will take care of the rest"
I asked two or three audiences of the Queen upon very trifling occasions,
followed Madame de Chevreuse's plan very closely, and carried my
resentment and passion against the Cardinal even to extravagance. The
Queen, who was naturally a coquette, understood those airs, and
acquainted Madame de Chevreuse therewith, who pretended to be surprised,
saying, "Indeed, I have heard the Coadjutor talk of your Majesty whole
days with delight; but if the conversation happened to touch upon the
Cardinal, he was no longer the same man, and even raved against your
Majesty, but immediately relented towards you, though never towards the

Madame de Chevreuse, who was the Queen's confidante in her youth, gave me
such a history of her early days as I cannot omit giving you, though I
should have done it sooner. She told me that the Queen was neither in
body nor mind truly Spanish; that she had neither the temperament nor the
vivacity of her nation, but only the coquetry of it, which she retained
in perfection; that M. Bellegarde, a gallant old gentleman, after the
fashion of the Court of Henri III., pleased her till he was going to the
army, when he begged for one favour before his departure, which was only
to put her hand to the hilt of his sword, a compliment so insipid that
her Majesty was out of conceit with him ever after. She approved the
gallant manner of M. de Montmorency much more than she loved his person.
The aversion she had to the pedantic behaviour of Cardinal de Richelieu,
who in his amours was as ridiculous as he was in other things excellent,
made her irreconcilable to his addresses. She had observed from the
beginning of the Regency a great inclination in the Queen for Mazarin,
but that she had not been able to discover how far that inclination went,
because she (Madame de Chevreuse) had been banished from the Court very
soon after; and that upon her return to France, after the siege of Paris,
the Queen was so reserved at first with her that it was impossible for
her to dive into her secrets. That since she regained her Majesty's
favour she had sometimes observed the same airs in her with regard to
Cardinal Mazarin as she used to display formerly in favour of the Duke of
Buckingham; but at other times she thought that there was no more between
them than a league of friendship. The chief ground for her conjecture
was the impolite and almost rude way in which the Cardinal conversed with
her Majesty. "But, however," said Madame de Chevreuse, "when I reflect
on the Queen's humour, all this may admit of another interpretation.
Buckingham used to tell me that he had been in love with three Queens,
and was obliged to curb all the three; therefore I cannot tell what to
think of the matter."

To resume the history of more public affairs. I did not so far please
myself with the figure I made against the Prince (though I thought it
very much for my honour), but I saw clearly that I stood on a dangerous

"Whither are we going?" I said to M. Bellievre, who seemed to be
overjoyed that the Prince had not been able to devour me; for whom do we
labour? I know that we are obliged to act as we do; I know, too, that we
cannot do better; but should we rejoice at the fatal necessity which
pushes us on to exert an action comparatively good and which will
unavoidably end in a superlative evil?"

"I understand you," said the President, "and will interrupt you for one
moment to tell you what I learned of Cromwell" (whom he had known in
England). "He told me one day that it is then we are mounting highest
when we ourselves do not know whither we are going."

"You know, monsieur," said I to Bellievre, "that I abhor Cromwell; and
whatever is commonly reported of his great parts, if he is of this
opinion, I must pronounce him a fool."

I mentioned this dialogue for no other purpose than to observe how

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