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

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dangerous it is to talk disrespectfully of men in high positions; for it
was carried to Cromwell, who remembered it with a great deal of
resentment on an occasion which I shall mention hereafter, and said to M.
de Bourdeaux, Ambassador of France, then in England, "I know but one man
in the world who despises me, and that is Cardinal de Retz." This
opinion of him was likely to have cost me very dear. I return from this

On the 31st, Melayer, valet de chambre to the Cardinal, arrived with a
despatch to the Queen, in which were these words: "Give the Prince de
Conde all the declarations of his innocence that he can desire, provided
you can but amuse him and hinder him from giving you the slip."

On the 4th the Prince de Conde insisted in Parliament on a formal decree
for declaring his innocence, which was granted, but deferred to be
published till the 7th of September (the day that the King came of age),
on pretence of rendering it more authentic and solemn by the King's
presence, but really to gain time, and see what influence the splendour
of royalty, which was to be clothed that day with all the advantages of
pomp, would have upon the minds of the people.

But the Prince de Conde, who had reason to distrust both the Fronde and
the Court, did not appear at the ceremony, and sent the Prince de Conti
to the King to desire to be excused, because the calumnies and
treacheries of his enemies would not suffer him to come to the Palace;
adding that he kept away out of pure respect to his Majesty. This last
expression, which seemed to intimate that otherwise he might have gone
thither without danger, provoked the Queen to that degree that she said,
"The Prince or I must perish."

The Prince de Conde retired to Bourges,--further from Court. He was
naturally averse to a civil war, nor would his adherents have been more
forward than himself if they had found their interests in his
reconciliation to the Court; but this seemed impracticable, and therefore
they agreed upon a civil war, because none of them believed themselves
powerful enough to conclude a peace. They know nothing of the nature of
faction who imagine the head of a party to be their master. His true
interest is most commonly thwarted by the imaginary interests even of his
subalterns, and the worst of it is that his own honour sometimes, and
generally prudence, joins with them against himself. The passions and
discontent which reigned then among the friends of the Prince de Conde
ran so high that they were obliged to abandon him and form a third party,
under the authority of the Prince de Conti, in case the Prince
accomplished his reconciliation to the Court, according to a proposition
then made to him in the name of the Duc d'Orleans. The subdivision of
parties is generally the ruin of all, especially when it is introduced by
cunning views, directly contrary to prudence; and this is what the
Italians call, in comedy, a "plot within a plot," or a "wheel within a


In December, 1651, the Parliament agreed to the following resolution: To
send a deputation to the King to inform him of the rumours of Mazarin's
return, and to beseech him to confirm the royal promise which he had made
to his people upon that head; to forbid all governors to give the
Cardinal passage; to desire the King to acquaint the Pope and other
Princes with the reasons that had obliged him to remove the Cardinal; and
to send to all the Parliaments of the kingdom to make the like decree.

Somebody making a motion that a price might be set upon the Cardinal's
head, I and the rest of the spiritual councillors retired, because
clergymen are forbidden by the canon law to give their vote in cases of
life and death.

They agreed also to send deputies to the King to entreat him to write to
the Elector of Cologne to send the Cardinal out of his country, and to
forbid the magistrates of all cities to entertain any troops sent to
favour his return or any of his kindred or domestics. A certain
councillor who said, very judiciously, that the soldiers assembling for
Mazarin upon the frontiers would laugh at all the decrees of Parliament
unless they were proclaimed to them by good musketeers and pikemen, was
run down as if he had talked nonsense, and all the clamour was that it
belonged only to the King to disband soldiers.

The Duc d'Orleans acquainted the House, on the 29th, that Cardinal
Mazarin had arrived at Sedan; that Marechals de Hoquincourt and de la
Ferte were gone to join him with their army to bring him to Court; and
that it was high time to oppose his designs. Upon this it was
immediately resolved that deputies should be despatched forthwith to the
King; that the Cardinal and all his adherents should be declared guilty
of high treason; that the common people should be commanded to treat them
as such wherever they met them; that his library and all his household
goods should be sold, and that 150,000 livres premium should be given to
any man who should deliver up the said Cardinal, either dead or alive.
Upon this expression all the ecclesiastics retired, for the reason above

A new decree was passed on the 2d of January, 1652, wherein it was
decided that all the Parliaments of France should be invited to issue
their decrees against Mazarin, conformable to the last; that two more
councillors should be added to the four sent to guard the rivers and to
arm the common people; and that the troops of the Duc d'Orleans should
oppose the march of Mazarin.

On the 24th the deputies who had been to Poitiers to remonstrate with the
King against the return of the Cardinal, made their report in Parliament,
to the effect that his Majesty, after having consulted with the Queen and
her Council, returned for answer, that without doubt, when the Parliament
issued their late decrees, they did not know that Cardinal Mazarin had
made no levy of soldiers but by his Majesty's express orders; that it was
he who commanded him to enter France with his troops, and that therefore
the King did not resent what the company had done; but that, on the other
hand, he did not doubt that when they had heard the circumstances he had
just mentioned, and knew, moreover, that Cardinal Mazarin only desired an
opportunity to justify himself, they would not fail to give all his
subjects an exemplary proof of the obedience they owed to him. The
Parliament was highly provoked, and next day resolved to admit no more
dukes, peers, nor marshals of France till the Cardinal had left the

Mazarin, arriving at Court again, persuaded the King to go to Saumur,
though others advised him to march to Guienne against the Prince de
Conde, with whom the Duc d'Orleans was now resolved to join forces. The
King went from Saumur to Tours, where the Archbishop of Rouen carried
complaints to the King, in the name of the bishops there, against the
decrees of Parliament relating to the Cardinal.

The Duc d'Orleans complained in Parliament against the inconsistency of
their proceedings, and said the King had sent him carte blanche in order
to oblige him to consent to the restoration of the Cardinal, but that
nothing would ever cause him to do it, nor to act apart from the
Parliament. Yet their unaccountable proceedings perplexed him beyond
expression, so that he commanded, or rather permitted, M. de Beaufort to
put his troops in action. And because I told him that, considering the
declarations he had so often repeated against Mazarin, I thought his
conduct in setting his troops in motion against him did not add so much
to the measure of the disgust he had already given to the Court that he
need to apprehend much from it, he gave me for answer these memorable
words which I have reflected upon a thousand times: "If you," said he,
"had been born a Son of France, an Infante of Spain, a King of Hungary,
or a Prince of Pales, you would not talk as you do. You must know that,
with us Princes, words go for nothing, but that we never forget actions.
By to-morrow noon the Queen would not remember my declarations against
the Cardinal if I would admit him tomorrow morning; but if my troops were
to fire a musket she would not forgive me though we were to live two
thousand years hence."

In February, 1652, I was made a cardinal, and was to receive the hat, as
all French cardinals do, from the King. My enemies, who thought to ruin
my credit with the Duc d'Orleans, gave out that I had been obliged to the
Court for my dignity, attacked me in form as a secret favourer of
Mazarin, and, while their emissaries gained over such of the dregs of the
people as they could corrupt by money, they were supported by all the
intrigues of the Cabinet. But the Duke, who knew better, only laughed at
them; so that they confirmed me in his good opinion, instead of
supplanting me, because in cases of slander every reflection that does
not hurt the person attacked does him service. I said to the Duke that I
wondered he was not wearied out with the silly stories that were told him
every day against me, since they all harped upon one string; but he said,
"Do you take no account of the pleasure one takes every morning in
hearing how wicked men are under the cloak of religious zeal, and every
night how silly they are under the mask of politicians?"

The servants of the Prince de Conde gave out such stories against me
among the populace as were likely to have done me much more mischief.
They had a pack of brawling fellows in their pay who were more
troublesome to me now than formerly, when they did not dare to appear
before the numerous retinue of gentlemen and liverymen that accompanied
me, for as I had not yet had the hat, I was obliged, wherever I went, to
go incognito, according to the rules of the ceremonial. Those fellows
said that I had betrayed the Duc d'Orleans, and that they would be the
death of me. I told the Duke, who was afraid they would murder me, that
he should soon see how little those hired mobs ought to be regarded. He
offered me his guards, but though Marechal d'Estampes fell on his knees
in my way to stop me, I went down-stairs with only two persons in
company, and made directly towards the ruffians, demanding who was their
leader. Upon which a beggarly fellow, with an old yellow feather in his
hat, answered me, insolently, "I am." Then I called out to the guards at
the gate, saying, "Let me have this rascal hanged up at these grates."
Thereupon he made me a very low bow, and said that he did not mean to
affront me; that he only came with his comrades to tell me of the report
that I designed to carry the Duc d'Orleans to Court, and reconcile him
with Mazarin; that they did not believe it; that they were at my service,
and ready to venture their lives for me, provided I would but promise
them to be always an honest Frondeur.

The Duc d'Orleans took such delight in conversing with me that, on De
Goulas, one of his secretaries, telling him that all the foreign officers
took mighty umbrage at it, he pulled him up very sharply, and said, "Go
to the devil, you and your foreign officers. If they were as good
Frondeurs as Cardinal de Retz, they would be at their posts, and not
tippling in the taverns of Paris." There was such a strong faction in
the city of Orleans for the Court that his presence there was very
necessary; but as it was much more so at Paris, the Duke was prevailed
upon by his Duchess to let her go thither. M. Patru was pleased to say
that as the gates of Jericho fell at the sound of trumpets, those of
Orleans would open at the sound of fiddles, of which M. de Rohan was a
very great admirer. But, in fact, though the King was just at hand with
the troops, and though M. Mold, Keeper of the Seals, was at the gate
demanding entrance for the King, the Duchess crossed the river in a
barge, made the watermen break down a little postern, which had been
walled up for a long time, and marched, with the acclamations of
multitudes of the people, directly to the Hotel de Ville, where the
magistrates were assembled to consider if they should admit the Keeper of
the Seals. By this means she turned the scale, and MM. de Beaufort and
de Nemours joined her.

The Prince de Conde arriving at Paris from Guienne on the 11th of April,
the magistrates had a meeting in the Hotel de Ville, in which they
resolved that the Governor should wait on his Royal Highness, and tell
him that the company thought it contrary to order to receive him into the
city before he had cleared himself from the King's declaration, which had
been verified in Parliament against him.

The Duc d'Orleans, who was overjoyed at this speech, said that the Prince
had only come to discourse with him about private affairs, and that he
would stay but twenty-four hours at Paris. M. de Chavigni informed the
Duke that the Prince was able to stand his ground as long as he pleased,
without being obliged to anybody; and he gathered together a mob of
scoundrels upon the Pont-Neuf, whose fingers itched to be plundering the
house of M. du Plessis Guenegaut, and by whom the Duke was frightened to
a great degree.

The reflections I had leisure to make upon my new dignity obliged me to
take great care of my hat, whose dazzling flame of colour turns the heads
of many that are honoured with it. The most palpable of those delusions
is the claiming precedence of Princes of the blood, who may become our
masters the next moment, and who at the same time are generally the
masters of all our kindred. I have a veneration for the cardinals of my
family, who made me suck in humility after their example with my mother's
milk, and I found a very happy opportunity to practise it on the very day
that I received the news of my promotion. Chateaubriant said to me,
before a vast number of people at my levee, "Now we will pay our respects
no more to the best of them," which he said because, though I was upon
ill terms with the Prince de Conde, and though I always went well
attended, I yet saluted him wherever I met him with all the respect due
to him on the score of so many titles. I said to him:

"Pray pardon me, monsieur; we shall pay our respects to the great men
with greater complaisance than ever. God forbid that the red hat should
turn my head to that degree as to make me dispute precedence with the
Princes of the blood. It is honour enough for a gentleman to walk side
by side with them." This expression, I verily believe, afterwards
secured the rank of precedence to the hat in the kingdom of France, by
the courtesy of the Prince de Conde, and his friendship for me.

Mademoiselle de Chevreuse, the most fantastical lady upon earth,
suspecting that I held a secret correspondence with the Queen, could not
forbear murmuring and threatening what she would do. She said I had
declared to her a thousand times that I could not imagine how it was
possible for anybody to be in love with that Swiss woman. In short, she
said this so often that the Queen had a notion from somebody or other
that I had called her by that name. She never forgave me for it, as you
will perceive in the sequel. You may easily conceive that this
circumstance, which gave me no encouragement to hope for a very gracious
reception at Court for the time to come, did not weaken those resolutions
which I had already taken to retire from public business. The place of
my retreat was agreeable enough: the shadow of the towers of Notre-Dame
was a refreshment to it; and, moreover, the Cardinal's hat sheltered it
from bad weather. I had fine ideas of the sweetness of such a
retirement, and I would gladly have laid hold of it, but my stars would
not have it so. I return to my narrative.

On the 12th of April the Duc d'Orleans took the Prince de Conde with him
to the Parliament, assuring them that he had not, nor ever would have,
any other intention than to serve his King and country; that he would
always follow the sentiments of the Parliament; and that he was willing
to lay down his arms as soon as the decrees against Cardinal Mazarin were
put into execution.

The President Bailleul said that the members always thought it an honour
to see the Prince de Conde in his place, but that they could not
dissemble their real concern to see his hands stained with the blood of
the King's soldiers who were killed at Bleneau. Upon this a storm arose
from the benches, which fell with such fury upon the poor President that
he had scarcely room to put in a word for himself, for fifty or sixty
voices disowned him at one volley.

On the 13th the Parliament agreed that the declaration made by the Duc
d'Orleans and the Prince should be carried to the King; that the
remonstrances they had sent to the King should likewise be sent to all
the sovereign companies of Paris, and to all the Parliaments of the
kingdom, to invite them also to send a deputation on their own behalf;
and that a general assembly should be immediately held at the Hotel de
Ville, to which the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince should be invited to
make the same declarations as they made to the Parliament; and that, in
the meantime, the King's declaration against Cardinal Mazarin, and all
the decrees passed against him, should be put into execution.

On the 13th of May a councillor of Parliament and captain of his ward,
having brought his company to the Palace to act as ordinary guard, was
abandoned by all the burghers that composed it, who said they were not
created to guard Mazarins.

The mob, who at the same time appeared ready enough to murder some of the
magistrates in the streets, had nothing in their mouths but the names and
services of the Princes, who next day disowned their humble servants in
the assemblies of the several courts. Though this conduct gave occasion
to severe decrees, which the Parliament issued at every turn against the
seditious, it did not hinder the same Parliament from believing that
those who disowned the sedition were the authors of it, and consequently
did not lessen the hatred which many private men conceived against them.
Such were the various and complicated views every one had concerning the
then position of affairs, that I wrapped myself up, as one may say, in my
great dignities, to which I abandoned the hopes of my fortune; and I
remember one day the President Bellievre telling me that I ought not to
be so indolent. I answered him: "We are in a great storm, where,
methinks, we all row against the wind. I have two good oars in my hand,
one of which is the Cardinal's dignity, and the other the Archiepiscopal.
I am not willing to break them; and all I have to do now is to support

At the same time I had other disquietings of a more private nature.
Mademoiselle de Chevreuse fell in love with my rival, the Abbe Fouquet.
Little De Roye, who was a very, pretty German lass at her house, informed
me of it, and made me amends for the infidelity of the mistress, whose
choice, to tell you the truth, did not mortify me much, because she had
nothing but beauty, which cloys when it comes alone. She cared for
nobody besides him she loved; but as she was never long in love, so
neither was it long that she was in good temper. She used her cast-off
lovers as she did her old clothes, which other women lay aside, but she
burnt, so that her daughters had much ado to save a petticoat,
head-dress, gloves, or Venice point. And I verily believe that if she
could have committed her lovers to the flames when she left them off, she
would have done it with all her heart. Madame her mother, who
endeavoured to set her at variance with me when she was resolved to unite
herself entirely with the Court, could not succeed, though she went so
far that Madame de Guemenee caused a letter to be read to her in my
handwriting, whereby I devoted myself body and soul to her, as witches
give themselves to the devil.

It was at that time that Madame de Chevreuse, seeing herself neglected at
Paris, resolved to retire to Dampierre, where, depending upon what had
been told her from Court, she hoped to be well received. I gave vent to
my passion, which, in truth, was not very great, to Mademoiselle de
Chevreuse, and I took care to have both the mother and daughter
accompanied out of Paris, quite to Dampierre, by all the nobility and
gentlemen I had with me.

I cannot finish this slight sketch of the condition I was in at Paris
without acknowledging the debt I owe to the generosity of the Prince de
Conde, who, finding that a person was come from the Prince de Conti, at
Bordeaux, with a design to attack me, told him that he would have him
hanged if he did not go back to his master in two hours' time.

Marigny told me, almost at the same time, that, observing the Prince de
Conde to be very intent upon reading a book, he took the liberty to tell
him that it must needs be a very choice one, because he took such delight
in it; and that the Prince answered him, "It is true I am very fond of
it, for it shows me my faults, which nobody has the courage to tell me."
This book was entitled "The Right and False Steps of the Prince de Conde
and of the Cardinal de Retz."

There were divers negotiations between the parties, during which Mazarin
gave himself the pleasure of letting the public see MM. de Rohan, de
Chavigni, and de Goulas conferring with him, before the King as well as
in private, at that very instant when the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de
Conde said publicly, in the assembly of the Chambers, that it ought to be
the preliminary of all treaties to have nothing to do with Mazarin. He
acted a perfect comedy in their presence, pretending to be forcibly
detained by the King, whom he begged with folded hands to let him return
to Italy.

On the 30th of April there was so great a murmuring in Parliament that
the Duc d'Orleans said they should never see him there again until the
Cardinal was gone.

On the 6th of May the remonstrances of the Parliament and the Chamber of
Accounts were carried to the King by a large deputation, as were, on the
7th, those of the Court of Aids and the city. The King's answer to both
was that he would cause his troops to retire when those of the Princes
were gone.

On the 10th it was resolved that the King's Council should be sent to
Saint Germain for a further answer touching the removal of Cardinal
Mazarin from the Court and kingdom, and the armies from the neighbourhood
of Paris.

On the 14th there was a great uproar again in the Parliament, where there
was a confused clamour for taking into consideration the best means for
hindering the riots and disorders daily committed in the city and in the
hall of the Palace; upon which the Duc d'Orleans, who was afraid that
under this pretence the Mazarinists should make the House take some steps
contrary to their interests, came to the Palace on a sudden, and proposed
that they should grant him full power.

The 29th being the day that the deputies of the Court of Inquiry desired
the Parliament to consider the ways and means for raising the 150,000
livres promised to him who should bring Cardinal Mazarin to justice, and
the Archbishop's Grand Vicar coming up at that moment to the bar of the
King's Council to confer about the descent of the shrine of Sainte
Genevieve, a member said, very pleasantly, "We are this day engaged in
devotion for a double festival: we are appointing processions, and
contriving how to murder a Cardinal."

On the 20th of June the King's answer to the Parliament's remonstrances
was reported in substance as follows: That though his Majesty was
sensible that the demand for the removal of Cardinal Mazarin was but a
pretence, yet, he was willing to grant it after justice was done to the
Cardinal's honour by such reparations as were due to his innocence,
provided the Princes would give him good security for the performance of
their proposals upon the removal of the said Cardinal. That therefore
his Majesty, desired to know: 1. Whether, in this case, they will
renounce all leagues and associations with foreign princes? 2. Whether
they will not form new pretensions? 3. Whether they will come to Court?
4. Whether they will dismiss all the foreigners that are in the kingdom?
5. Whether they will disband their forces? 6. Whether Bordeaux will
return to its duty, as well as the Prince de Conti and Madame de
Longueville? 7. Whether the places which the Prince de Conde has
fortified shall be put into the condition they were in before the breach?

The Duc d'Orleans, provoked at these propositions, said that a Son of
France and a Prince of the blood were never known to have been treated
like common criminals, and that the declaration which both had made was
more than sufficient to satisfy the Court.

On the 21st it was moved in Parliament that an inventory should be taken
of what remained of Mazarin's furniture. There having been in the
morning a great commotion at the Palace, when the President and some
others had run a risk of being killed by the mob, M. de Beaufort invited
his friends to meet him in the afternoon in the Palais Royal, and having
got together four or five thousand beggars, he harangued them as to the
obedience which they owed to the Parliament. But two or three days after
this fine sermon of his, the sedition was more violent than ever.

On the 25th the Princes declared in Parliament that, as soon as the
Cardinal had departed the kingdom, they would faithfully execute all the
articles contained in the King's answer, and immediately send deputies to
complete the rest.

On the 4th of July a mob assembled, who forced all that went by to put a
handful of straw in their hats, upon which the Duc d'Orleans and the
Prince de Conde went to the Hotel de Ville and convinced the assembly of
the necessity they were under of defending themselves against Mazarin.
Upon a trumpeter arriving from his Majesty with orders to adjourn the
assembly for a week, the people were much incensed, and called out to the
citizens to unite strictly with the Princes. They fell upon the first
thing they met in their way, threw stones into the windows of the Hotel
de Ville, set fire to its gates, and, entering with drawn swords,
murdered M. Le Gras, the Master of Requests, and the Master of Accounts,
and twenty or thirty citizens perished in the tumult. There was a
general consternation all over the city; all the shops were shut in an
instant, and in some parts they set up barricades to stop the rioters,
who had almost overrun the whole town. It was observed that the
appearance of the Duchesse de Beaufort prevailed more with the mob in
causing them to disperse than the exposing of the Host by the cure of St.

The late riot had such an effect on the Parliament that the President
Mortier and many of the councillors kept away from the public assemblies
for fear, notwithstanding they were enjoined, by a special decree, to
come and take their places. The magistrates, for the same reason, did
not go to the Hotel de Ville.

On the 18th the deputies of Parliament being ordered to follow the King
to Pontoise, the House passed a decree for their immediate return to
Parliament, and the Prince de Conde and the Duke de Beaufort brought them
into town with twelve hundred horse.

The Court in the meantime passed decrees of Council, annulling those of
the Parliament and the transactions of the assembly at the Hotel de

On the 20th the Parliament declared by a decree that, the King being
prisoner to Cardinal Mazarin, the Duc d'Orleans should be desired to take
upon him the office of Lieutenant-General of his Majesty, and the Prince
to take upon him the command of the army as long as Mazarin should
continue in the kingdom, and that a copy of the said decree should be
sent to all the Parliaments of the kingdom, who should be desired to
publish the like; but not one complied, except that of Bordeaux. Nor was
the Duke better obeyed by the several governors of the provinces, for but
one vouchsafed him an answer when he acquainted them with his new
dignity, the Court having put them in mind of their duty by an order of
Council, published to annul that of the Parliament for establishing the
said lieutenancy; and in Paris itself the Duke's authority was despised,
for two wretches having been condemned for setting fire to the Hotel de
Ville, the citizens who were ordered to take charge of the execution
refused to obey.

On the 24th it was ordered that a general assembly should be held at the
Hotel de Ville, to consider the ways and means to raise money for
supporting the troops, and that the statues at Mazarin's palace should be
sold to make up the sum set upon the Cardinal's head.

On the 29th it was resolved in the Hotel de Ville to raise 800,000 livres
for augmenting his Royal Highness's troops, and to exhort all the great
towns of the kingdom to unite with the metropolis.

On the 6th of August the King sent a declaration signifying the removal
of the Parliament to Pontoise. There was a great commotion in the House,
who agreed not to register it till the Cardinal had left the kingdom. As
for the Parliament of Pontoise, which consisted of but fourteen officers,
with three Presidents at their head, who had a little before retired in
disguise from Paris, they made remonstrances likewise to the King for
removing Cardinal Mazarin. The King granted what was desired of him, and
that upon the solicitations of that honest, disinterested minister, who
withdrew from Court to Bouillon. This comedy, so unworthy the dignity of
a king, was accompanied with circumstances that rendered it still more
ridiculous:--The two Parliaments fulminated severe decrees against one
another, and that of Paris made an order that whosoever sat in the
assembly at Pontoise should be struck off the register.

At the same time that of Pontoise registered the King's declaration,
which contained an injunction to the Parliament of Paris, the Chamber of
Accounts, and the Court of Aids, that, since Cardinal Mazarin was
removed, they should now lay down their arms on condition that his
Majesty would grant an amnesty, remove his troops from about Paris,
withdraw those that were in Guienne, allow a free and safe passage to the
Spanish troops, and give the Princes permission to send to his Majesty
persons to confer with his ministers concerning what remained to be
adjusted. This same Parliament resolved to return their thanks to his
Majesty for removing Cardinal Mazarin, and most humbly to entreat the
King to return to his good city of Paris.

On the 26th they also registered the King's amnesty, or royal pardon,
granted to all that had taken up arms against him, but with such
restrictions that very few could think themselves safe by it.

The King acquainted the Duc d'Orleans that he wondered that, since
Mazarin was removed, he should delay, according to his own declaration
and promise, to lay down his arms, to renounce all associations and
treaties, and to cause the foreign troops to withdraw; and that when this
was done, those deputies that should come to his Majesty from him should
be very welcome.

On the 3d of September the Parliament resolved that their deputies should
wait upon the King with their thanks for removing Cardinal Mazarin, and
to beseech his Majesty to return to Paris; that the Duc d'Orleans and the
Prince de Conde should be desired to write to the King and assure him
they would lay down their arms as soon as his Majesty would be pleased to
send the passports for the safe retreat of the foreigners, together with
an amnesty in due form, registered in all the Parliaments of the kingdom;
and that his Majesty should be petitioned to receive the deputies of the

Pray indulge me with a short pause here to consider the scandalous arts
which ministers palliate with the name and sacred word of a great King,
and with which the most august Parliament of the kingdom--the Court of
Peers--expose themselves to ridicule by such manifest inconsistencies as
are more becoming the levity of a college than the majesty of a senate.
In short, persons are not sensible of what they do in these State
paroxysms, which savour somewhat of frenzy. I knew in those days some
very honest men, who were so fully satisfied of the justice of the cause
of the Princes that, upon occasion, they would have laid down their lives
for it; and I also knew some eminently virtuous and disinterested men who
would as gladly have been martyrs for the Court. The ambition of great
men manages such dispositions just as it suits their own interests; they
help to blind the rest of mankind, and they even become blinder
themselves than other people.

Honest M. de Fontenay, who had been twice ambassador at Rome, a man of
great experience and good sense and a hearty well-wisher to his country,
daily condoled with me on the lethargy into which the intestine divisions
had lulled the best citizens and patriots. We saw the Spanish colours
and standards displayed upon the Pont-Neuf; the yellow sashes of Lorraine
appeared at Paris with the same liberty as the Isabelles and blue ones.
People were so accustomed to these spectacles and to the news of
provinces, towns, and battles lost, that they were become insolent and
stupid. Several of my friends blamed my inactivity, and desired me to
bestir myself. They bid me save the kingdom, save the city, or else I
should fall from the greatest love to the greatest hatred of the people.
The Frondeurs suspected me of favouring Mazarin's party, and the Mazarins
thought I was too partial to the Frondeurs.

I was touched to the quick with a pathetic speech made to me by M. de
Fontenay. "You see," said he, "that Mazarin, like a Jack-in-the-bog,
plays at Bo-peep; but you see that, whether he appears or disappears, the
wire by which the puppet is drawn on or off the stage is the royal
authority, which is not likely to be broken by the measures now on foot.
Abundance of those that appear to be his greatest opponents would be very
sorry to see him crushed; many others would be very glad to see him get
off; not one endeavours to ruin him entirely. You may get clear of the
difficulty that embarrasses you by a door which opens into a field of
honour and liberty. Paris, whose archbishop you are, groans under a
heavy load. The Parliament there is but a mere phantom, and the Hotel de
Ville a desert. The Duc d'Orleans and the Prince have no more authority
than what the rascally mob is pleased to allow them. The Spaniards,
Germans, and Lorrainers are in the suburbs laying waste the very gardens.
You that have rescued them more than once, and are their pastor, have
been forced to keep guards in your own house for three weeks. And you
know that at this day your friends are under great apprehension if they
see you in the streets without arms. Do you count it a slight thing to
put an end to all these miseries? And will you neglect the only
opportunity Providence puts a into your hands to obtain the honour of it?
Take your clergy with you to Compiegne, thank the King for removing
Mazarin, and beg his Majesty to return to Paris. Keep up a good
correspondence with those bodies who have no other design but the common
good, who are already almost all your particular friends, and who look
upon you as their head by reason of your dignity. And if the King
actually returns to the city, the people of Paris will be obliged to you
for it; if you meet with a refusal, you will have still their
acknowledgments for your good intention. If you can get the Duc
d'Orleans to join with you, you will save the realm; for I am persuaded
that if he knew how to act his part in this juncture it would be in his
power to bring the King back to Paris and to prevent Mazarin ever
returning again. You are a cardinal; you are Archbishop of Paris; you
have the good-will of the public, and are but thirty-seven years old:
Save the city, save the kingdom."

In short, the Duc d'Orleans approved of my scheme, and ordered me to
convene a general assembly of the ecclesiastical communities, and to get
deputies chosen out of them all, and go with them to Court, there to
present the deputation, which should request the King to give peace to
his people and return to his good city of Paris. I was also to endeavour
by the aid of my friends to induce the other corporate bodies of the city
to do likewise. I was to tell the Queen that she could not but be
sensible that the Duke was in good earnest for peace, which the public
engagements he was under to oppose Mazarin had not suffered him to
conclude, or even to propose, while the Cardinal continued at Court; that
he renounced all private views and interests with relation to himself or
friends; that he desired nothing but the security of the public; and that
after he had the satisfaction of seeing the King at the Louvre he would
then with joy retire to Blois, fully resolved to live in peace and
prepare for eternity.

I set out immediately with the deputies of all the ecclesiastical bodies
of Paris, nearly two hundred gentlemen, accompanied by fifty men of the
Duke's Guards. The number of my attendants gave such umbrage at Court,
where it was ridiculously exaggerated, that the Queen sent me word I
should only have accommodation for eighty horses, whereas I had no less
than one hundred and twelve for the coaches alone. If I had known as
much when I went as I heard after I returned, I should have hesitated
about going, for I was told that some moved for arresting me, and others
for killing me. However, the Queen received me very well; the King gave
me the cardinal's hat and a public audience.

I told the Queen, in a private audience, that I was not come only as a
deputy from the Church of Paris, but that I had another commission which
I valued much more, because I took it to be more for her service than the
other,--that of an envoy from the Duc d'Orleans, who had charged me to
assure her Majesty that he was resolved to serve her effectually and
without delay, as he had promised by a note under his own hand, which I
then pulled out of my pocket. The Queen expressed a great deal of joy,
and said, "I knew very well, M. le Cardinal, that you would at last give
some particular marks of your affection for me."

The Queen told me that she thanked the Duke, and was very much obliged to
him; that she hoped and desired he would contribute towards making the
necessary dispositions for the King's return to Paris, and that she would
not take one step but in concert with him. At the same time I heard that
the Queen spoke disdainfully of me, whom she dreaded, to my enemies at
Court; pretended that I had owned Mazarin was an honest man, and
ridiculed me for the expense I had put myself to on the journey, which,
indeed, was immense for so short a time, because I kept seven open
tables, and spent 800 crowns a day.

When I returned to Paris I was received with incredible applause. The
King also came thither on the 21st of October, and was welcomed by the
acclamations of the people. The Queen received me with wonderful
respect, and bade the King embrace me, as one to whom he chiefly owed his
return to Paris; but orders were sent to the Duc d'Orleans to retire next
morning to Limours.

When I went to see him, he was panic-struck, and imagined it was only a
feint to try his temper. He was in an inconceivable agony, and fancied
that every musket which was let off by way of rejoicing for his Majesty's
return was fired by the soldiers coming to invest his palace. Every
messenger that he sent out brought him word that all was quiet, but he
would believe nobody, and looked continually out of the window to hear if
the drums were beating the march. At last he took courage to ask me if I
was firm to him, and after I had assured him of my fidelity he desired
that, as a proof of my attachment and affection for him, I would be
reconciled to M. de Beaufort. "With all my heart," said I. Whereupon he
embraced me, then opened the gallery door by his bedchamber, and out came
M. de Beaufort, who threw himself about my neck, and said, "Pray ask his
Royal Highness what I have been saying to him concerning you. I know who
are honest men. Come on, monsieur, let us drive all the Mazarins away
for good and all." He endeavoured to show both the necessity and the
possibility of it, and advised the raising of barricades next morning, by
break of day, in the market-places.

The Duc d'Orleans turned to me and said, as they do in Parliament, "Your
opinion, M. Dean." I replied: "If I must give it as Dean, there never
was more occasion for the forty hours' prayers than now. I myself stand
in need of them more than anybody, because I can give no advice but what
must appear very cruel and be attended with horrid inconveniences. If I
should advise you to put up with the injurious treatment you undergo,
will not the public, who always make the worst of everything, have a
handle to say I betray your interest, and that my advice was but a
necessary consequence of all those obstacles I threw in the Princes' way?
And if I give it as my opinion that your Royal Highness should follow the
measures which M. de Beaufort proposes, shall I not be accounted one who
blows hot and cold in a breath?--who is for peace when he thinks to gain
his advantages by the treaty, but for war when he is not permitted to
negotiate?--one who is for destroying Paris with fire and sword, and for
carrying the flames to the gates of the Louvre by attacking the very
person of the King? If you obey, you will be responsible to the public
for all it may suffer afterwards. I am no competent judge of what it may
suffer in particular; for who can foresee events depending on the
caprices of a cardinal, on the stormings of Ondedei, the impertinence of
the Abbe Fouquet, and the violence of Servien? But you will have to
answer for all, because the public will be persuaded that you might have
prevented it. If you do not obey, you may go near to overturn the

Here the Duke interrupted me eagerly, and said, "This is not to the
purpose; the question is whether I am in a condition, that is, if it is
in my power, to disobey."

"I believe so," I said; "for I do not see how the Court can oblige you to
obey, unless the King himself should march to Luxembourg, which would be
a matter of great importance."

"Nay," said M. de Beaufort, "it would be impossible."

I then perceived that the Duke began to think so too, for it fitted his
humour, as he could not endure taking any pains, and, upon this
supposition, resolved to stay at home with his arms folded. I said:

"You are able to do anything to-night and tomorrow morning, but I cannot
answer how it may be in the evening."

M. de Beaufort, who thought that I was going to argue for the offensive,
fell in roundly with me to second me; but I stopped him short by telling
him he mistook my meaning.

"I shall never presume," said I, "to give advice in the condition things
are now in. The Duke himself must decide, and even propose, too, and it
is our business to perform his commands."

Then he said, "If I should resolve to brave it out, will you declare for

"Yes," I said, "it is what I ought in duty to do. I am attached to your
service, in which I shall certainly not be wanting, and you need only to
command me. But I am very much grieved that, considering the present
state of affairs, an honest man cannot act the honest part, do what he

The Duke, who was by nature good, but not very tender, could not help
being moved at what I said; the tears came into his eyes, he embraced me,
and asked me if I thought he could secure the King's person. I told him
that nothing was more impossible. I found at length that he was inclined
to obey, but he bade us keep our friends together in readiness, and to be
with him at break of day. However, he set out for Limours an hour sooner
than he had told us, and left word that he had his reasons for so doing,
which we should know another day, advising us, if possible, to make our
peace with the Court.

On the 22d the King held his Bed of Justice, at the Louvre, where he
published the amnesty, as also an order for reestablishing the Parliament
at Paris, in which there was a clause forbidding them to meddle with
State affairs. At the same time he caused a declaration to be published
ordering MM. de Beaufort, Rohan, Viole, de Thou, Broussel, Portail,
Bitaud, Croissi, Machaut, Fleury, Martineau, and Perraut to depart the

The Court now began to offer me terms of reconciliation. I was desirous
that as many of my friends as possible should be included; but Caumartin,
who was in the secret of affairs, told me there were no hopes of
procuring any advantages for particular persons; that all that could be
done was to save the ship for another voyage, and that this ship, which
was myself, could be saved in no other way, in the condition into which
our affairs were fallen by the Duc d'Orleans's want of resolution, but by
launching out into the main, and steering towards Rome. "You stand,"
said he, "as it were, on the point of a needle, and if the Court knew
their strength they would rout you as they do the rest; your courage
gives you an air that both deceives and disquiets them. Make use of the
present opportunity for obtaining what may be serviceable to you in your
employ at Rome, for the Court will deny you nothing."

Montresor, hearing of it, said to me afterwards, with an oath, "He is a
villain who says your Eminence can make your peace honourably without
making terms for your friends; he who affirms the contrary does it for
his own private ends." Therefore I refused the offers made me by
Servien, which were that the King would resign his affairs in Italy to my
care, and allow me a pension of 50,000 crowns; that I should have 100,000
crowns towards paying off my debts, and 50,000 in hand towards furniture;
that I should continue three years at Rome, and then return to resume my
functions at Paris.

The Princess Palatine told me I ought either to accept or else treat with
the Cardinal, since all the subalterns were against me. Madame de
Lesdiguieres advised me to preserve my equanimity and keep within doors,
adding that the Cardinal, who was impatient to return to Paris, but durst
not as long as I stayed, would make me a bridge of gold to go out and
agree to whatever I demanded. Accordingly, I sent my proposals to the
Cardinal, who was then lurking in Turenne's army upon the frontiers, and
desired such and such posts for my friends. Meantime Servien and the
Abbe Fouquet endeavoured to exasperate the Queen by telling her that I
was continually caballing with the annuitants and officers of the
militia; and because I refused to go to Parliament, in obedience to the
King's orders, when he held his Court of Justice there to register the
declaration of high treason against the Prince de Conde, the Queen was
made to believe that I was intriguing for the Prince, and therefore
resolved to ruin me, cost what it would. One officer posted men in a
house near Madame de Pommereux's, to attack me; another was employed to
get intelligence at what time of night I was in the habit of visiting
her; a third had an order, signed by the King, to attack me in the street
and bring me off dead or alive. An unknown person advised me not to go
that day to Rambouillet; but I went with two hundred gentlemen, and found
a great many officers of the Guards, who, whatever were their orders,
were in no condition to attack me, and received me with reverence; but I
blamed myself for it afterwards, because it only tended to incense the
Court the more against me.

Upon All Saints' Day I preached at Saint Germain, which is the King's
parish, where their Majesties did me the honour to be present, for which
I went next day to return them thanks; but finding that the cautions sent
me from all quarters multiplied very fast, I did not go to the Louvre
till the 19th of December, when I was arrested in the Queen's antechamber
by the captain of the Guards then in waiting, who carried me into an
apartment where the officers of the kitchen brought me dinner, of which I
ate heartily, to the mortification of the base courtiers, though I did
not take it kindly to see my pockets turned inside out as if I had been a
cutpurse. This ceremony, which is not common, was performed by the
captain; but he found nothing except a letter from the King of England,
desiring me to try if the Court of Rome would assist him with money. When
this letter came to be talked of, it was maliciously reported that it
came from the Protector. I was carried in one of the King's coaches,
under guard, to Vincennes. As we passed we found at several of the gates
a battalion of Swiss with their pikes presented towards the city, where
everybody was quiet, though their sorrow and consternation were visible
enough. I was afterwards informed, however, that all the butchers in the
veal market were going to take up arms, and that they might have made
barricades there with all the ease in the world, only they were
restrained for fear that I should have paid for their tumult with the
loss of my life; so that the women remained in tears, and the men stood
stock-still in a fright. I was confined at Vincennes for a fortnight
together, in a room as big as a church, without any firing. My guards
pilfered my, linen, apparel, shoes, etc., so that sometimes I was forced
to lie in bed for a week or ten days together for want of clothes to
dress myself. I could not but think that such treatment had been ordered
by the higher powers on purpose to break my heart; but I resolved not to
die that way, and though my guard said all he could to vex me, I affected
to take no notice.

The influence of the clergy of Paris obliged the Court to explain itself
concerning the causes of my imprisonment, by the mouth of the Chancellor,
who, in the presence of the King and Queen, acquainted them that his
Majesty had caused me to be arrested for my own good, and to prevent me
from putting something that I designed into execution. The chapter of
Notre-Dame had an anthem sung every day for my deliverance. The Sorbonne
and many of the a religious orders distinguished themselves by declaring
for me. This general stir obliged the Court to treat me somewhat better
than at first. They let me have a limited number of books, but no ink
and paper, and they allowed me a 'valet de chambre' and a physician.

During my confinement at Vincennes, which lasted fifteen months, I
studied both day and night, especially the Latin tongue, on which I
perceive one cannot bestow too much pains, since it takes in all other
studies. I dived into the Greek also, and read again the ninth decade of
Livy, which I had formerly delighted in, and found as pleasant as ever. I
composed, in imitation of Boetius, a treatise, which I entitled
"Consolation de la Theologie," in which I proved that every prisoner
ought to endeavour to be 'vinctus in Christo' (in the bonds of Christ),
mentioned by Saint Paul. I also compiled "Partus Vincennarum," which was
a collection of the Acts of the Church of Milan for the use of the Church
of Paris.

My guard omitted nothing he could invent to make my life uneasy and
disturb my studies. One day he came and told me that he had received
orders from the King to give me an airing on the top of the donjon; and
when he perceived that I took a pleasure in walking there, he informed
me, with joy in his looks, that he had orders to the contrary. I told
him that they were come in good time, for the air, which was too sharp
there, had made my head ache. Afterwards he offered to take me down into
the tennis-court to see my guards at play. I desired him to excuse me,
because I thought the air would be too piercing for me; but he made me
go, telling me that the King, who took more care of my health than I
fancied, had ordered that he should give me some exercise. Soon after he
desired me to excuse him for not bringing me down again, "for reasons,"
said he, "which I must not tell." The truth was, I was so much above
these chicaneries that I despised them; but I must own that I used to
think within myself that, in the main, to be a prisoner of State was of
all others the most afflicting. All the relaxation I had from my studies
was to divert myself with some rabbits on the top of the donjon, and some
pigeons in the turrets, for which I was indebted to the continual
solicitations of the Church of Paris. I had not been a prisoner above
nine days when one of my guards, while his comrade who watched me was
asleep, came and slipped a note into my hand from Madame de Pommereux, in
which were only these words: "Let me have your answer; you may safely
trust the bearer." The bearer gave me a pencil and a piece of paper, on
which I wrote that I had received her letter.

Notwithstanding that three sergeants and twenty-four Life-guards relieved
one another every day, our correspondence was not interrupted. Madame de
Pommereux, M. de Caumartin, and M. de Raqueville wrote me letters twice a
week constantly about the means to effect my escape, which I attempted
twice, but in vain.

The Abbe Charier, who set out for Rome the day after I was arrested,
found Pope Innocent incensed to the highest degree, and ready to throw
his thunder upon the heads of the authors of it. He spoke of it to the
French Ambassador with great resentment, and sent the Archbishop of
Avignon, with the title of Nuncio Extraordinary, on purpose to solicit my
release. The King was in a fury, and forebade the Nuncio to pass Lyons.
The Pope told the Abbe Charier that he was afraid to expose his and the
Church's authority to the fury of a madman, and said, "Give me but an
army, and I will furnish you with a legate." It was a difficult matter
indeed to get him that army, but not impossible, if those that should
have stood my friends had not left me in the lurch.

In the meantime Noirmoutier and Bussi Lamet wrote a letter to Mazarin,
declaring they could not help proceeding to extremities if I were
detained any longer in prison. The Prince de Conde declared he would do
anything, without exception, which my friends desired, for my liberty,
and offered to march all the Spanish forces to their assistance; but the
misfortune was that there was nobody to form the proper schemes; and
Noirmoutier, who was the most enterprising man of them all, was hindered
from action by Madame de Chevreuse and De Laigues, who, the Cardinal
said, would be accountable for the actions of their friends, and that if
they fired one pistol-shot they must expect what would follow. Therefore
Noirmoutier was glad to elude all the propositions of the Prince de
Conde, and to be content with only writing and speaking in my favour, and
firing the cannon at the drinking of my health.

M. de Pradello, who commanded the French and Swiss Guards in the castle,
came one day to tell me of the happy return of Cardinal Mazarin to Paris,
and of his magnificent reception at the Hotel de Ville; and he informed
me that the Cardinal had sent him to assure me of his most humble
services, and to beg of me to be persuaded that he would forget nothing
that might be for my service. I made as if I did not heed the
compliment, and was for talking of something else; but as he pressed me
for a direct answer, I told him that I should have been ready at the
first word to show him my acknowledgments were I not persuaded that the
duty of a prisoner to the King did not permit him to explain himself in
anything relating to his release, till his Majesty had been graciously
pleased to grant it him. He understood my meaning, and endeavoured to
persuade me to return a more civil answer to the Cardinal, which I
declined to do.

The Cardinal was so pestered with complaints from Rome, and so disturbed
with the discontent which prevailed in Poitou and Paris, on account of my
imprisonment, that he sent me an offer of my liberty and great
advantages, on condition that I would resign the coadjutorship of Paris.

The solicitations of the chapter of Notre-Dame prevailed on the Court to
consent that one of their body might be always with me, who, though he
came gladly for my sake, fell into a deep melancholy. He could not,
however, be prevailed upon to go out; and being soon after seized with a
fever, he cut his own throat. My uncle dying soon after, possession was
taken of the archbishopric in my name by my proxy, and Tellier, who was
sent to Notre-Dame Church to oppose it on the part of the King, was
mortified with the thunder of my bulls from Rome. The people were
surprised to see all the formalities observed to a nicety, at a juncture
when they thought there was no possibility of observing one. The cures
waxed warmer than ever, and my friends fanned the flame. The Nuncio,
thinking himself slighted by the Court, spoke in dignified terms, and
threatened his censures. A little book was published, showing the
necessity of shutting up the churches, which aroused the Cardinal's
apprehensions, and his apprehensions naturally led him into negotiation.
He amused me with hundreds of fine prospects of church livings,
governments, etc., and of being restored to the good graces of the King
and to the strictest friendship with his Prime Minister.

I had more liberty than before. They always carried me up to the top of
the donjon whenever it was fair overhead; but my friends, who did not
doubt that all the Court wanted was to get some expression from me of my
inclination to resign, in order to discredit me with the public, charged
me to guard warily my words, which advice I followed; so that when a
captain of the Guards came from the King to discourse with me upon this
head, who, by Mazarin's direction, talked to me more like a captain of
the Janissaries than like an officer of the most Christian King, I
desired leave to give him my answer in writing, expressing my contempt
for all threats and promises, and an inviolable resolution not to give up
the archbishopric of Paris.

Next day President Bellievre came to me on the part of the King, with an
offer of seven abbeys, provided I would quit my archbishopric; but he
opened his mind to me with entire freedom, and said he could not but
think what a fool the Sicilian was to send him on such an errand. "Most
of your friends," said Bellievre, "think that you need only to stand out
resolutely, and that the Court will be glad to set you at liberty and
send you to Rome; but it is a horrid mistake, for the Court will be
satisfied with nothing but your resignation. When I say the Court, I
mean Mazarin; for the Queen will not bear the thought of giving you your
liberty. The chief thing that determines Mazarin to think of your
liberty is his fear of the Nuncio, the chapter, the cures, and the
people. But I dare affirm that the Nuncio will threaten mightily, but do
nothing; the chapter may perhaps make remonstrances, but to no purpose;
the cures will preach, and that is all; the people will clamour, but take
up no arms. The consequence will be your removal to Brest or
Havre-de-Grace, and leaving you in the hands of your enemies, who will
use you as they please. I know that Mazarin is not bloodthirsty, but I
tremble to think of what Noailles has told you, that they are resolved to
make haste and take such methods as other States have furnished examples
of. You may, perhaps, infer from my remarks that I would have you
resign. By no means. I have come to tell you that if you resign you
will do a dishonourable thing, and that it behooves you on this occasion
to answer the great expectation the world is now in on your account, even
to the hazarding of your life, and of your liberty, which I am persuaded
you value more than life itself. Now is the time for you to put forward
more than ever those maxims for which we have so much combated you: 'I
dread no poison nor sword! Nothing can hurt me but what is within me!
It matters not where one dies!' Thus you ought to answer those who speak
to you about your resignation."

I was carried from Vincennes, under guard, to Nantes, where I had
numerous visits and diversions, and was entertained with a comedy almost
every night, and the company of the ladies, particularly the charming
Mademoiselle de La Vergne, who in good truth did not approve of me,
either because she had no inclination for me, or else because her friends
had set her against me by telling her of my inconstancy and different
amours. I endured her cruelty with my natural indifference, and the full
liberty Marechal de La Meilleraye allowed me with the city ladies gave me
abundance of comfort; nevertheless I was kept under a very strict guard.
As I had stipulated with Mazarin that I should have my liberty on
condition that I would resign my archbishopric at Vincennes, which I knew
would not be valid, I was surprised to hear that the Pope refused to
ratify it; because, though it would not have made my resignation a jot
more binding, yet it would have procured my liberty. I proposed
expedients to the Holy See by which the Court might do it with honour,
but the Pope was inflexible. He thought it would damage his reputation
to consent to a violence so injurious to the whole Church, and said to my
friends, who begged his consent with tears in their eyes, that he could
never consent to a resignation extorted from a prisoner by force.

After several consultations with my friends how to make my escape, I
effected it on August the 8th, at five o'clock in the evening. I let
myself down to the bottom of the bastion, which was forty feet high, with
a rope, while my valet de chambre treated the guards with as much liquor
as they could drink. Their attention, was, moreover, taken up with
looking at a Jacobin friar who happened to be drowned as he was bathing.
A sentinel, seeing me, was taking up his musket to fire, but dropped it
upon my threatening to have him hanged; and he said, upon examination,
that he believed Marechal de La Meilleraye was in concert with me. Two
pages who were washing themselves, saw me also, and called out, but were
not heard. My four gentlemen waited for me at the bottom of the ravelin,
on pretence of watering their horses, so that I was on horseback before
the least notice was taken; and, having forty fresh horses planted on the
road, I might have reached Paris very soon if my horse had not fallen and
caused me to break my shoulder bone, the pain of which was so extreme
that I nearly fainted several times. Not being able to continue my
journey, I was lodged, with only one of my gentlemen, in a great
haystack, while MM. de Brissac and Joly went straight to Beaupreau, to
assemble the nobility, there, in order to rescue me. I lay hid there for
over seven hours in inexpressible misery, for the pain from my injury
threw me into a fever, during which my thirst was much augmented by the
smell of the new hay; but, though we were by a riverside, we durst not
venture out for water, because there was nobody to put the stack in order
again, which would very probably have occasioned suspicion and a search
in consequence. We heard nothing but horsemen riding by, who, we were
afterwards informed, were Marechal de La Meilleraye's scouts. About two
o'clock in the morning I was fetched out of the stack by a Parisian of
quality sent by my friend De Brissac, and carried on a hand-barrow to a
barn, where I was again buried alive, as it were, in hay for seven or
eight hours, when M. de Brisac and his lady came, with fifteen or twenty
horse, and carried me to Beaupreau. From thence we proceeded, almost in
eight of Nantes, to Machecoul, in the country of Retz, after having had
an encounter with some of Marechal de La Meilleraye's guards, when we
repulsed them to the very barrier.

Marechal de La Meilleraye was so amazed at my escape that he threatened
to destroy the whole country with fire and sword, for which reason I was
an unwelcome guest to Madame de Retz and her father, who rallied me very
uncharitably on my disobedience to the King. We therefore thought fit to
leave the country, and went aboard a ship for Belle Isle, whence, after a
very short stay there, we escaped to San Sebastian.

Upon my arrival there I sent a letter to the King of Spain requesting
leave to pass through his dominions to Rome. The messenger was received
at Court with civilities beyond expression, and sent back next day with
the present of a gold chain worth 800 crowns. I had also one of the
King's litters sent me, and an invitation to go to Madrid, but I desired
to be excused; and though I also refused immense offers if I would but go
to Flanders and treat with the Prince de Conde, etc., for the service of
Spain, yet I had a velvet coffer sent me with 40,000 crowns in it, which
I likewise thought fit to refuse. As I had neither linen nor apparel,
either for myself or servants, and as the 400 crowns which we got by the
sale of pilchards on board the barque in which we came from Belle Isle
were almost all spent, I borrowed 400 crowns of the Baron de Vateville,
who commanded for the King of Spain in Guipuzcoa, and faithfully repaid

From San Sebastian I travelled incognito to Tudela, where I was met by
the King's mule drivers and waited on by the alcade, who left his wand at
my chamber door and at his, entrance knelt and kissed the hem of my
garment. From thence I was conducted to Comes by fifty musketeers riding
upon asses, who were sent me by the Governor of Navarre. At Saragossa I
was taken for the King of England, and a large number of ladies, in over
two hundred carriages, came to pay me their respects. Thence I proceeded
to Vivaros, where I had rich presents from the Governor of Valencia. And
thence I sailed to Majorca, whose Governor met me with above one hundred
coaches of the Spanish nobility, and carried me to mass at the Cathedral,
where I saw thirty or forty ladies of quality of more than common charms;
and, to speak the truth, the women there in general are of rare beauty,
having a graceful tincture both of the lily and the rose, and wear a
head-dress which is exceedingly pretty. The Governor, after having
treated me with a magnificent dinner under a tent of gold brocade near
the seaside, carried me to a concert of music in a convent, where I found
the nuns not inferior in beauty to the ladies of the town. The Governor
carried me to see his lady, who was as ugly as a witch, and was seated
under a great canopy sparkling with precious stones, which gave a
wonderful lustre to about sixty ladies with her, who were the handsomest
in the whole town. I was reconducted on board my galley with music and a
discharge of the artillery, and sailed to Port Mahon, and thence through
the Gulf of Lyons to the canal between Corsica and Sardinia, where our
ship was very nearly cast away upon a sandbank; but with great difficulty
we got her off and reached Porto Longone. There we quitted the galley,
and went by land to Piombino.


I travelled from Piombino to Florence, where I had great honours and vast
offers from the Grand Duke, though Mazarin had threatened him, in the
King's name, with a rupture if he granted me passage through his
dominions; but the Grand Duke sent to desire the Cardinal to let him know
whether there was any possibility of refusing it without disobliging the
Pope and the Sacred College. As I was travelling through the Duke's
country, my mules, being frightened by a clap of thunder, ran with my
litter into a brook, where I narrowly escaped being drowned.

As soon as I arrived at Rome the Pope sent me 4,000 crowns in gold. I
was immediately informed that a strong faction was formed there against
me by the Court of France; that the Cardinal d'Est, representative of
that nation, had terrible orders from the King; and that they were
resolved to send me packing from Rome, cost what it would. I had my old
scruples upon me, and said I would die a thousand deaths rather than make
resistance; but I thought it would be too disrespectful in a cardinal to
come so near the Pope and to go away without kissing his feet, and I
resolved to leave the rest to the providence of God.

The Pope having ordered his guards to be ready, in case the French
faction should offer to rise, the Cardinal d'Est was so good as to let me
alone. His Holiness gave me an audience of four hours, condescended to
beg my forgiveness for not having acted with more vigour for my liberty;
and said, with tears in his eyes: "God forgive those who delayed to give
me timely notice of your imprisonment, and who made us believe that you
had been guilty, of an attempt upon the King's person. The Sacred
College took fire at the news; but the French Ambassador being at
liberty, to give out what he chose, because nobody, appeared here on your
part to contradict him, Mazarin extinguished it, and half the Sacred
College thought you were abandoned by the whole kingdom." In short, the
Pope was so well disposed to me that he thought of adopting me as his
nephew, but he sickened soon after and died.

The conclave chose Cardinal Chigi (who was called Alexander VIII.) for
his successor, in whose election I had such a share that when it came to
my turn, at the adoration of the cardinals, to kiss his feet, he embraced
me, saying, "Signor Cardinal de Retz, 'ecce opus manuum tuarum'" ("Behold
the work of your own hands"). I went home accompanied with one hundred
and twenty coaches of gentlemen, who did not doubt that I should govern
the Pontificate.

My friends in France, who commonly judge of other nations by their own,
imagined that a persecuted cardinal might, nay, ought to live like a
private man even at Rome, and advised me not to spend much money, because
my revenues in France were all seized, and said that such exemplary
modesty would have an admirable effect upon the clergy of Paris. But
Cardinal Chigi talked after another manner: "When you are reestablished
in your see you may live as you please, because you will be in a country
where everybody will know what you are or are not able to do. You are
now at Rome, where your enemies say every day that you have lost your
credit in France, and you are under a necessity to make it appear that
what they say is false. You are not a hermit, but a cardinal, and a
cardinal, too, of the better rank. At Rome there are many people who
love to tread upon men when they are down. Dear sir, take care you do
not fall, and do but consider what a figure you will make in the streets
with six vergers attending you; otherwise every pitiful citizen of Paris
that meets you will be apt to jostle you, in order to make his court to
the Cardinal d'Est. You ought not to have come to Rome if you had not
had resolution and the means to support your dignity. I presume you do
not make it a point of Christian humility to debase yourself. And let me
tell you that I, the poor Cardinal Chigi, who have but 5,000 crowns
revenue, and am one of the poorest in the College, and though I am sure
to meet nobody in the streets who will be wanting in the respect due to
the purple, yet I cannot go to my functions without four coaches in
livery to attend me."

Therefore I hired a palace, kept a great table, and entertained fourscore
persons in liveries. The Cardinal d'Est, the very day after the creation
of the new Pope, forbade all Frenchmen to give me the way in the streets,
and charged the superiors of the French churches not to admit me. M. de
Lionne, who resided here as a sort of private secretary to Mazarin, was
so nettled because the new Pope had granted me the pallium for my
archbishopric that he told him the King would never own me, insinuated
that there would be a schism among the clergy of France, and that the
Pope must expect to be excluded from the congress for a general peace.
This so frightened his Holiness that he made a million of mean excuses,
and said, with tears in his eyes, that I had imposed upon him, and that
he would take the first opportunity to do the King justice. Upon this M.
de Lionne sent word to the Cardinal that he hoped very shortly to
acquaint him of my being prisoner in the Castle of Saint Angelo, and that
the Cardinal would be no better off for his Majesty's amnesty, because
the Pope said none but he could absolve or condemn cardinals. Meantime
all my domestics who were subjects of the King of France were ordered to
quit my service, on pain of being treated as rebels and traitors. I
could have little hope of protection from the Pope, for he was become
quite another man, never spoke one word of truth, and continually amused
himself with mere trifles, insomuch that one day he proposed a reward for
whoever found out a Latin word for "calash," and spent seven or eight
days in examining whether "mosco" came from "muses," or "musts" from
"mosco." All his piety consisted in assuming a serious air at church, in
which, nevertheless, there was a great mixture of pride, for he was vain
to the last degree, and envious of everybody. The work entitled
"Sindicato di Alexandro VII." gives an account of his luxury and of
several pasquinades against the said Pope, particularly that one day
Marforio asking Pasquin what he had said to the cardinals upon his
death-bed, Pasquin answered, "Maxima de aeipso, plurima de parentibus,
parva de principibus, turpia de cardinalibus, pauca de Ecclesia, de Deo
nihil." ("He said fine things of himself, a great many things of his
kindred, some things of princes, nothing good of the cardinals, but
little of the Church, and nothing at all of God"). His Holiness, in a
consistory, laid claim to the merit of the conversion of Christina, Queen
of Sweden, though everybody knew to the contrary, and that she had
abjured heresy a year and a half before she came to Rome.

Having heard that Bussiere, who is Chamberlain to the Ambassadors at
Rome, had declared I should not have a place in Saint Louis's church on
the festival of that saint, I was not discouraged from going thither. At
my entrance he snatched the holy water stick from the cure just as he was
going to sprinkle me; nevertheless, I took my place, and was resolved to
keep up the status and dignity of a French cardinal. This was my
condition at Rome, where it was my fate to be a refugee, persecuted by my
King and abused by the Pope. All my revenues were seized, and the French
bankers forbidden to serve me; nay, those who had an inclination to
assist me were forced to promise they would not. Two of the Abbe
Fouquet's bastards were publicly maintained out of my revenues, and no
means were left untried to hinder the farmers from relieving me, or my
creditors from harassing me with vexatious and expensive lawsuits.


Always judged of actions by men, and never men by their actions
Always to sacrifice the little affairs to the greater
Arms which are not tempered by laws quickly become anarchy
Associating patience with activity
Assurrance often supplies the room of good sense
Blindness that make authority to consist only in force
Bounty, which, though very often secret, had the louder echo
Buckingham had been in love with three Queens
By the means of a hundred pistoles down, and vast promises
Civil war as not powerful enough to conclude a peace
Civil war is one of those complicated diseases
Clergy always great examples of slavish servitude
Confounded the most weighty with the most trifling
Contempt--the most dangerous disease of any State
Dangerous to refuse presents from one's superiors
Distinguished between bad and worse, good and better
Fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive tomorrow
False glory and false modesty
Fool in adversity and a knave in prosperity
Fools yield only when they cannot help it
Good news should be employed in providing against bad
He weighed everything, but fixed on nothing
He knew how to put a good gloss upon his failings
He had not a long view of what was beyond his reach
Help to blind the rest of mankind, and they even become blinder
His ideas were infinitely above his capacity
His wit was far inferior to his courage
Impossible for her to live without being in love with somebody
Inconvenience of popularity
Insinuation is of more service than that of persuasion
Is there a greater in the world than heading a party?
Kinds of fear only to be removed by higher degrees of terror
Laws without the protection of arms sink into contempt
Man that supposed everybody had a back door
Maxims showed not great regard for virtue
Mazarin: embezzling some nine millions of the public money
Men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures
More ambitious than was consistent with morality
My utmost to save other souls, though I took no care of my own
Need of caution in what we say to our friends
Neither capable of governing nor being governed
Never had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies
Nothing is so subject to delusion as piety
Oftener deceived by distrusting than by being overcredulous
One piece of bad news seldom comes singly
Only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them
Passed for the author of events of which I was only the prophet
Poverty so well became him
Power commonly keeps above ridicule
Pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his share
Queen was adored much more for her troubles than for her merit
She had nothing but beauty, which cloys when it comes alone
So indiscreet as to boast of his successful amours
Strongest may safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit
The subdivision of parties is generally the ruin of all
The wisest fool he ever saw in his life
Those who carry more sail than ballast
Thought he always stood in need of apologies
Transitory honour is mere smoke
Treated him as she did her petticoat
Useful man in a faction because of his wonderful complacency
Vanity to love to be esteemed the first author of things
Verily believed he was really the man which he affected to be
Virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one
We are far more moved at the hearing of old stories
Weakening and changing the laws of the land
Who imagine the head of a party to be their master
Whose vivacity supplied the want of judgment
Wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing without courage
With a design to do good, he did evil
Yet he gave more than he promised
You must know that, with us Princes, words go for nothing

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