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The Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois, v2 by Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre

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This etext was produced by David Widger

[NOTE: There is a short list of bookmarks, or pointers, at the end of the
file for those who may wish to sample the author's ideas before making an
entire meal of them. D.W.]


Written by Herself

Being Historic Memoirs of the Courts of France and Navarre


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

The cavalcade that attended me excited great curiosity as it passed
through the several towns in the course of my journey, and reflected no
small degree of credit on France, as it was splendidly set out, and made
a handsome appearance. I travelled in a litter raised with pillars. The
lining of it was Spanish velvet, of a crimson colour, embroidered in
various devices with gold and different coloured silk thread.

The windows were of glass, painted in devices. The lining and windows
had, in the whole, forty devices, all different and alluding to the sun
and its effects. Each device had its motto, either in the Spanish or
Italian language. My litter was followed by two others; in the one was
the Princesse de Roche-sur-Yon, and in the other Madame de Tournon, my
lady of the bedchamber. After them followed ten maids of honour, on
horseback, with their governess; and, last of all, six coaches and
chariots, with the rest of the ladies and all our female attendants.

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

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

Although the city of Cambray is not so well built as some of our towns in
France, I thought it, notwithstanding, far more pleasant than many of
these, as the streets and squares are larger and better disposed. The
churches are grand and highly ornamented, which is, indeed, common to
France; but what I admired, above all, was the citadel, which is the
finest and best constructed in Christendom.

The Spaniards experienced it to be strong whilst my brother had it in his
possession. The governor of the citadel at this time was a worthy
gentleman named M. d'Ainsi, who was, in every respect, a polite and well-
accomplished man, having the carriage and behaviour of one of our most
perfect courtiers, very different from the rude incivility which appears
to be the characteristic of a Fleming.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

He was constantly attended by his chapter, with several of his canons,
who are all sons of dukes, counts, or great German lords. The bishopric
is itself a sovereign State, which brings in a considerable revenue, and
includes a number of fine cities. The bishop is chosen from amongst the
canons, who must be of noble descent, and resident one year. The city is
larger than Lyons, and much resembles it, having the Meuse running
through it. The houses in which the canons reside have the appearance of
noble palaces.

The streets of the city are regular and spacious, the houses of the
citizens well built, the squares large, and ornamented with curious
fountains. The churches appear as if raised entirely of marble, of which
there are considerable quarries in the neighbourhood; they are all of
them ornamented with beautiful clocks, and exhibit a variety of moving

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The name of the Comte de Lalain produced an instant effect, much more
than if I had mentioned all the sovereign princes I was related to.
The principal person amongst them asked me, with some hesitation and
stammering, if I was really a particular friend of the Count's.
Perceiving that to claim kindred with the Count would do me more service
than being related to all the Powers in Christendom, I answered that I
was both a friend and a relation. They then made me many apologies and
conges, stretching forth their hands in token of friendship; in short,
they now behaved with as much civility as before with rudeness.

They begged my pardon for what had happened, and promised that the good
old man, the grand master of the Bishop's household, should be no more
insulted, but be suffered to leave the city quietly, the next morning,
with me.

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

Thus had they concerted a double plot; the one to get possession of the
town, the other of my person. I saw through the whole design, and
consulted with the Cardinal de Lenoncourt, communicating to him my
suspicions. The Cardinal was as unwilling to fall into the hands of the
Spaniards as I could be; he therefore thought it advisable to acquaint
the townspeople with the plot, and make our escape from the city by
another road, in order to avoid meeting Barlemont's troop. It was agreed
betwixt us that the Cardinal should keep Du Bois in discourse, whilst I
consulted the principal citizens in another apartment.

Accordingly, I assembled as many as I could, to whom I represented that
if they admitted Barlemont and his troop within the town, he would most
certainly take possession of it for Don John. I gave it as my advice.
to make a show of defence, to declare they would not be taken by
surprise, and to offer to admit Barlemont, and no one else, within their
gates. They resolved to act according to my counsel, and offered to
serve me at the hazard of their lives. They promised to procure me a
guide, who should conduct me by a road by following which I should put
the river betwixt me and Don John's forces, whereby I should be out of
his reach, and could be lodged in houses and towns which were in the
interest of the States only.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Brothers Reconciled.--Alencon Restored to His Liberty.

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

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

Coming into my brother's apartments, I found him not at all affected by
what had happened; for such was the constancy of his mind, that his
arrest had wrought no change, and he received me with his usual
cheerfulness. He ran to meet me, and taking me in his arms, he said,
"Queen! I beg you to dry up your tears; in my present situation, nothing
can grieve me so much as to find you under any concern; for my own part,
I am so conscious of my innocence and the integrity of my conduct, that I
can defy the utmost malice of my enemies. If I should chance to fall the
victim of their injustice, my death would prove a more cruel punishment
to them than to me, who have courage sufficient to meet it in a just
cause. It is not death I fear, because I have tasted sufficiently of the
calamities and evils of life, and am ready to leave this world, which I
have found only the abode of sorrow; but the circumstance I dread most
is, that, not finding me sufficiently guilty to doom me to death, I shall
be condemned to a long, solitary imprisonment; though I should even
despise their tyranny in that respect, could I but have the assurance of
being comforted by your presence."

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

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

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

L'Archant, the general of the guard, had received the King's commands to
make a search in the Louvre for him and Simier, and put them both under
arrest. He entered upon this business with great unwillingness, as he
was intimate with Bussi, who was accustomed to call him "father."
L'Archant, going to Simier's apartment, arrested him; and though he
judged Bussi was there too, yet, being unwilling to find him, he was
going away. Bussi, however, who had concealed himself under the bed,
as not knowing to whom the orders for his arrest might be given, finding
he was to be left there, and sensible that he should be well treated by
L'Archant, called out to him, as he was leaving the room, in his droll
manner: "What, papa, are you going without me? Don't you think I am as
great a rogue as that Simier?"

"Ah, son," replied L'Archant, "I would much rather have lost my arm than
have met with you!"

Bussi, being a man devoid of all fear, observed that it was a sign that
things went well with him; then, turning to Simier, who stood trembling
with fear, he jeered him upon his pusillanimity. L'Archant removed them
both, and set a guard over them; and, in the next place, proceeded to
arrest M. de la Chastre, whom he took to the Bastille.

Meanwhile M. de l'Oste was appointed to the command of the guard which
was set over my brother. This was a good sort of old man, who had been
appointed governor to the King my husband, and loved me as if I had been
his own child. Sensible of the injustice done to my brother and me, and
lamenting the bad counsel by which the King was guided, and being,
moreover, willing to serve us, he resolved to deliver my, brother from
arrest. In order to make his intention known to us he ordered the
Scottish archers to wait on the stairs without, keeping only, two whom he
could trust in the room. Then taking me aside, he said:

"There is not a good Frenchman living who does not bleed at his heart to
see what we see. I have served the King your father, and I am ready to
lay down my life to serve his children. I expect to have the guard of
the Prince your brother, wherever he shall chance to be confined; and,
depend upon it, at the hazard of my life, I will restore him to his
liberty. But," added he, "that no suspicions may arise that such is my
design, it will be proper that we be not seen together in conversation;
however, you may, rely upon my word."

This afforded me great consolation; and, assuming a degree of courage
hereupon, I observed to my brother that we ought not to remain there
without knowing for what reason we were detained, as if we were in the
Inquisition; and that to treat us in such a manner was to consider us as
persons of no account. I then begged M. de l'Oste to entreat the King,
in our name, if the Queen our mother was not permitted to come to us, to
send some one to acquaint us with the crime for which we were kept in

M. de Combaut, who was at the head of the young counsellors, was
accordingly sent to us; and he, with a great deal of gravity, informed
us that he came from the King to inquire what it was we wished to
communicate to his Majesty. We answered that we wished to speak to some
one near the King's person, in order to our being informed what we were
kept in confinement for, as we were unable to assign any reason for it
ourselves. He answered, with great solemnity, that we ought not to ask
of God or the King reasons for what they did; as all their actions
emanated from wisdom and justice. We replied that we were not persons to
be treated like those shut up in the Inquisition, who are left to guess
at the cause of their being there.

We could obtain from him, after all we said, no other satisfaction than
his promise to interest himself in our behalf, and to do us all the
service in his power. At this my brother broke out into a fit of
laughter; but I confess I was too much alarmed to treat his message with
such indifference, and could scarcely, refrain from talking to this
messenger as he deserved.

Whilst he was making his report to the King, the Queen my mother kept her
chamber, being under great concern, as may well be supposed, to witness
such proceedings. She plainly foresaw, in her prudence, that these
excesses would end fatally, should the mildness of my brother's
disposition, and his regard for the welfare of the State, be once wearied
out with submitting to such repeated acts of injustice. She therefore
sent for the senior members of the Council, the chancellor, princes,
nobles, and marshals of France, who all were greatly scandalised at the
bad counsel which had been given to the King, and told the Queen my
mother that she ought to remonstrate with the King upon the injustice of
his proceedings. They observed that what had been done could not now be
recalled, but matters might yet be set upon a right footing. The Queen
my mother hereupon went to the King, followed by these counsellors, and
represented to him the ill consequences which might proceed from the
steps he had taken.

The King's eyes were by this time opened, and he saw that he had been ill
advised. He therefore begged the Queen my mother to set things to
rights, and to prevail on my brother to forget all that had happened, and
to bear no resentment against these young men, but to make up the breach
betwixt Bussi and Quelus.

Things being thus set to rights again, the guard which had been placed
over my brother was dismissed, and the Queen my mother, coming to his
apartment, told him he ought to return thanks to God for his deliverance,
for that there had been a moment when even she herself despaired of
saving his life; that since he must now have discovered that the King's
temper of mind was such that he took the alarm at the very imagination of
danger, and that, when once he was resolved upon a measure, no advice
that she or any other could give would prevent him from putting it into
execution, she would recommend it to him to submit himself to the King's
pleasure in everything, in order to prevent the like in future; and, for
the present, to take the earliest opportunity of seeing the King, and to
appear as if he thought no more about the past.

We replied that we were both of us sensible of God's great mercy in
delivering us from the injustice of our enemies, and that, next to God,
our greatest obligation was to her; but that my brother's rank did not
admit of his being put in confinement without cause, and released from it
again without the formality of an acknowledgment. Upon this, the Queen
observed that it was not in the power even of God himself to undo what
had been done; that what could be effected to save his honour, and give
him satisfaction for the irregularity of the arrest, should have place.
My brother, therefore, she observed, ought to strive to mollify the King
by addressing him with expressions of regard to his person and attachment
to his service; and, in the meantime, use his influence over Bussi to
reconcile him to Quelus, and to end all disputes betwixt them. She then
declared that the principal motive for putting my brother and his
servants under arrest was to prevent the combat for which old Bussi, the
brave father of a brave son, had solicited the King's leave, wherein he
proposed to be his son's second, whilst the father of Quelus was to be
his. These four had agreed in this way to determine the matter in
dispute, and give the Court no further disturbance.

My brother now engaged himself to the Queen that, as Bussi would see he
could not be permitted to decide his quarrel by combat, he should, in
order to deliver himself from his arrest, do as she had commanded.

The Queen my mother, going down to the King, prevailed with him to
restore my brother to liberty with every honour. In order to which the
King came to her apartment, followed by the princes, noblemen, and other
members of the Council, and sent for us by M. de Villequier. As we went
along we found all the rooms crowded with people, who, with tears in
their eyes, blessed God for our deliverance. Coming into the apartments
of the Queen my mother, we found the King attended as I before related.
The King desired my brother not to take anything ill that had been done,
as the motive for it was his concern for the good of his kingdom, and not
any bad intention towards himself. My brother replied that he had, as he
ought, devoted his life to his service, and, therefore, was governed by
his pleasure; but that he most humbly begged him to consider that his
fidelity and attachment did not merit the return he had met with; that,
notwithstanding, he should impute it entirely to his own ill-fortune,
and should be perfectly satisfied if the King acknowledged his innocence.
Hereupon the King said that he entertained not the least doubt of his
innocence, and only desired him to believe he held the same place in his
esteem he ever had. The Queen my mother then, taking both of them by the
hand, made them embrace each other.

Afterwards the King commanded Bussi to be brought forth, to make a
reconciliation betwixt him and Quelus, giving orders, at the same time,
for the release of Simier and M. de la Chastre. Bussi coming into the
room with his usual grace, the King told him he must be reconciled with
Quelus, and forbade him to say a word more concerning their quarrel.
He then commanded them to embrace. "Sire," said Bussi, "if it is your
pleasure that we kiss and are friends again, I am ready to obey your
command;" then, putting himself in the attitude of Pantaloon, he went up
to Queus and gave him a hug, which set all present in a titter,
notwithstanding they had been seriously affected by the scene which had
passed just before.

Many persons of discretion thought what had been done was too slight a
reparation for the injuries my brother had received. When all was over,
the King and the Queen my mother, coming up to me, said it would be
incumbent on me to use my utmost endeavours to prevent my brother from
calling to mind anything past which should make him swerve from the duty
and affection he owed the King. I replied that my brother was so
prudent, and so strongly attached to the King's service, that he needed
no admonition on that head from me or any one else; and that, with
respect to myself, I had never given him any other advice than to conform
himself to the King's pleasure and the duty he owed him.


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

It was now three o'clock in the afternoon, and no one present had yet
dined. The Queen my mother was desirous that we should eat together,
and, after dinner, she ordered my brother and me to change our dress (as
the clothes we had on were suitable only to our late melancholy
situation) and come to the King's supper and ball. We complied with her
orders as far as a change of dress, but our countenances still retained
the impressions of grief and resentment which we inwardly felt.

I must inform you that when the tragi-comedy I have given you an account
of was over, the Queen my mother turned round to the Chevalier de Seurre,
whom she recommended to my brother to sleep in his bedchamber, and in
whose conversation she sometimes took delight because he was a man of
some humour, but rather inclined to be cynical.

"Well," said she, "M. de Seurre, what do you think of all this?"

"Madame, I think there is too much of it for earnest, and not enough for

Then addressing himself to me, he said, but not loud enough for the Queen
to hear him: "I do not believe all is over yet; I am very much mistaken
if this young man" (meaning my brother) "rests satisfied with this."
This day having passed in the manner before related, the wound being only
skinned over and far from healed, the young men about the King's person
set themselves to operate in order to break it out afresh.

These persons, judging of my brother by themselves, and not having
sufficient experience to know the power of duty over the minds of
personages of exalted rank and high birth, persuaded the King, still
connecting his case with their own, that it was impossible my brother
should ever forgive the affront he had received, and not seek to avenge
himself with the first opportunity. The King, forgetting the ill-judged
steps these young men had so lately induced him to take, hereupon
receives this new impression, and gives orders to the officers of the
guard to keep strict watch at the gates that his brother go not out,
and that his people be made to leave the Louvre every evening, except
such of them as usually slept in his bedchamber or wardrobe.

My brother, seeing himself thus exposed to the caprices of these
headstrong young fellows, who led the King according to their own
fancies, and fearing something worse might happen than what he had yet
experienced, at the end of three days, during which time he laboured
under apprehensions of this kind, came to a determination to leave the
Court, and never more return to it, but retire to his principality and
make preparations with all haste for his expedition to Flanders.
He communicated his design to me, and I approved of it, as I considered
he had no other view in it than providing for his own safety, and that
neither the King nor his government were likely to sustain any injury by

When we consulted upon the means of its accomplishment, we could find no
other than his descending from my window, which was on the second story
and opened to the ditch, for the gates were so closely watched that it
was impossible to pass them, the face of every one going out of the
Louvre being curiously examined. He begged of me, therefore, to procure
for him a rope of sufficient strength and long enough for the purpose.
This I set about immediately, for, having the sacking of a bed that
wanted mending, I sent it out of the palace by a lad whom I could trust,
with orders to bring it back repaired, and to wrap up the proper length
of rope inside.

When all was prepared, one evening, at supper-time, I went to the Queen
my mother, who supped alone in her own apartment, it being fast-day and
the King eating no supper. My brother, who on most occasions was patient
and discreet, spurred on by the indignities he had received, and anxious
to extricate himself from danger and regain his liberty, came to me as I
was rising from table, and whispered to me to make haste and come to him
in my own apartment. M. de Matignon, at that time a marshal, a sly,
cunning Norman, and one who had no love for my brother, whether he had
some knowledge of his design from some one who could not keep a secret,
or only guessed at it, observed to the Queen my mother as she left the
room (which I overheard, being near her, and circumspectly watching every
word and motion, as may well be imagined, situated as I was betwixt fear
and hope, and involved in perplexity) that my brother had undoubtedly an
intention of withdrawing himself, and would not be there the next day;
adding that he was assured of it, and she might take her measures

I observed that she was much disconcerted by this observation, and I had
my fears lest we should be discovered. When we came into her closet, she
drew me aside and asked if I heard what Matignon had said.

I replied: "I did not hear it, Madame, but I observe that it has given
you uneasiness."

"Yes," said she, "a great deal of uneasiness, for you know I have pledged
myself to the King that your brother shall not depart hence, and Matignon
has declared that he knows very well he will not be here to-morrow."

I now found myself under a great embarrassment; I was in danger either of
proving unfaithful to my brother, and thereby bringing his life into
jeopardy, or of being obliged to declare that to be truth which I knew to
be false, and this I would have died rather than be guilty of.

In this extremity, if I had not been aided by God, my countenance,
without speaking, would plainly have discovered what I wished to conceal.
But God, who assists those who mean well, and whose divine goodness was
discoverable in my brother's escape, enabled me to compose my looks and
suggested to me such a reply as gave her to understand no more than I
wished her to know, and cleared my conscience from making any declaration
contrary to the truth. I answered her in these words:

"You cannot, Madame, but be sensible that M. de Matignon is not one of my
brother's friends, and that he is, besides, a busy, meddling kind of man,
who is sorry to find a reconciliation has taken place with us; and, as to
my brother, I will answer for him with my life in case he goes hence, of
which, if he had any design, I should, as I am well assured, not be
ignorant, he never having yet concealed anything he meant to do from me."

All this was said by me with the assurance that, after my brother's
escape, they would not dare to do me any injury; and in case of the
worst, and when we should be discovered, I had much rather pledge my life
than hazard my soul by a false declaration, and endanger my brother's
life. Without scrutinising the import of my speech, she replied:
"Remember what you now say,--you will be bound for him on the penalty of
your life."

I smiled and answered that such was my intention. Then, wishing her a
good night, I retired to my own bedchamber, where, undressing myself in
haste and getting into bed, in order to dismiss the ladies and maids of
honour, and there then remaining only my chamber-women, my brother came
in, accompanied by Simier and Cange. Rising from my bed, we made the
cord fast, and having looked out, at the window to discover if any one
was in the ditch, with the assistance of three of my women, who slept in
my room, and the lad who had brought in the rope, we let down my brother,
who laughed and joked upon the occasion without the least apprehension,
notwithstanding the height was considerable. We next lowered Simier into
the ditch, who was in such a fright that he had scarcely strength to hold
the rope fast; and lastly descended my brother's valet de chambre, Cange.

Through God's providence my brother got off undiscovered, and going to
Ste. Genevieve, he found Bussi waiting there for him. By consent of the
abbot, a hole had been made in the city wall, through which they passed,
and horses being provided and in waiting, they mounted, and reached
Angers without the least accident.

Whilst we were lowering down Cange, who, as I mentioned before, was the
last, we observed a man rising out of the ditch, who ran towards the
lodge adjoining to the tennis-court, in the direct way leading to the
guard-house. I had no apprehensions on my own account, all my fears
being absorbed by those I entertained for my brother; and now I was
almost dead with alarm, supposing this might be a spy placed there by
M. de Matignon, and that my brother would be taken. Whilst I was in this
cruel state of anxiety, which can be judged of only by those who have
experienced a similar situation, my women took a precaution for my safety
and their own, which did not suggest itself to me. This was to burn the
rope, that it might not appear to our conviction in case the man in
question had been placed there to watch us. This rope occasioned so
great a flame in burning, that it set fire to the chimney, which, being
seen from without, alarmed the guard, who ran to us, knocking violently
at the door, calling for it to be opened.

I now concluded that my brother was stopped, and that we were both
undone. However, as, by the blessing of God and through his divine mercy
alone, I have, amidst every danger with which I have been repeatedly
surrounded, constantly preserved a presence of mind which directed what
was best to be done, and observing that the rope was not more than half
consumed, I told my women to go to the door, and speaking softly, as if I
was asleep, to ask the men what they wanted. They did so, and the
archers replied that the chimney was on fire, and they came to extinguish
it. My women answered it was of no consequence, and they could put it
out themselves, begging them not to awake me. This alarm thus passed off
quietly, and they went away; but, in two hours afterward, M. de Cosse
came for me to go to the King and the Queen, my mother, to give an
account of my brother's escape, of which they had received intelligence
by the Abbot of Ste. Genevieve.

It seems it had been concerted betwixt my brother and the abbot, in order
to prevent the latter from falling under disgrace, that, when my brother
might be supposed to have reached a sufficient distance, the abbot should
go to Court, and say that he had been put into confinement whilst the
hole was being made, and that he came to inform the King as soon as he
had released himself.

I was in bed, for it was yet night; and rising hastily, I put on my
night-clothes. One of my women was indiscreet enough to hold me round
the waist, and exclaim aloud, shedding a flood of tears, that she should
never see me more. M. de Cosse, pushing her away, said to me: "If I were
not a person thoroughly devoted to your service, this woman has said
enough to bring you into trouble. But," continued he, "fear nothing.
God be praised, by this time the Prince your brother is out of danger."

These words were very necessary, in the present state of my mind, to
fortify it against the reproaches and threats I had reason to expect from
the King. I found him sitting at the foot of the Queen my mother's bed,
in such a violent rage that I am inclined to believe I should have felt
the effects of it, had he not been restrained by the absence of my
brother and my mother's presence. They both told me that I had assured
them my brother would not leave the Court, and that I pledged myself for
his stay. I replied that it was true that he had deceived me, as he had
them; however, I was ready still to pledge my life that his departure
would not operate to the prejudice of the King's service, and that it
would appear he was only gone to his own principality to give orders and
forward his expedition to Flanders.

The King appeared to be somewhat mollified by this declaration, and now
gave me permission to return to my own apartments. Soon afterwards he
received letters from my brother, containing assurances of his
attachment, in the terms I had before expressed. This caused a cessation
of complaints, but by no means removed the King's dissatisfaction, who
made a show of affording assistance to his expedition, but was secretly
using every means to frustrate and defeat it.


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

I now renewed my application for leave to go to the King my husband,
which I continued to press on every opportunity. The King, perceiving
that he could not refuse my leave any longer, was willing I should depart
satisfied. He had this further view in complying with my wishes, that by
this means he should withdraw me from my attachment to my brother.
He therefore strove to oblige me in every way he could think of, and,
to fulfil the promise made by the Queen my mother at the Peace of Sens,
he gave me an assignment of my portion in territory, with the power of
nomination to all vacant benefices and all offices; and, over and above
the customary pension to the daughters of France, he gave another out of
his privy purse.

He daily paid me a visit in my apartment, in which he took occasion to
represent to me how useful his friendship would be to me; whereas that of
my brother could be only injurious,--with arguments of the like kind.

However, all he could say was insufficient to prevail on me to swerve
from the fidelity I had vowed to observe to my brother. The King was
able to draw from me no other declaration than this: that it ever was,
and should be, my earnest wish to see my brother firmly established in
his gracious favour, which he had never appeared to me to have forfeited;
that I was well assured he would exert himself to the utmost to regain it
by every act of duty and meritorious service; that, with respect to
myself, I thought I was so much obliged to him for the great honour he
did me by repeated acts of generosity, that he might be assured, when I
was with the King my husband I should consider myself bound in duty to
obey all such commands as he should be pleased to give me; and that it
would be my whole study to maintain the King my husband in a submission
to his pleasure.

My brother was now on the point of leaving Alencon to go to Flanders; the
Queen my mother was desirous to see him before his departure. I begged
the King to permit me to take the opportunity of accompanying her to take
leave of my brother, which he granted; but, as it seemed, with great
unwillingness. When we returned from Alencon, I solicited the King to
permit me to take leave of himself, as I had everything prepared for my
journey. The Queen my mother being desirous to go to Gascony, where her
presence was necessary for the King's service, was unwilling that I
should depart without her. When we left Paris, the King accompanied us
on the way as far as his palace of Dolinville. There we stayed with him
a few days, and there we took our leave, and in a little time reached
Guienne, which belonging to, and being under the government of the King
my husband, I was everywhere received as Queen. My husband gave the
Queen my mother a meeting at Wolle, which was held by the Huguenots as a
cautionary town; and the country not being sufficiently quieted, she was
permitted to go no further.

It was the intention of the Queen my mother to make but a short stay; but
so many accidents arose from disputes betwixt the Huguenots and
Catholics, that she was under the necessity of stopping there eighteen
months. As this was very much against her inclination, she was sometimes
inclined to think there was a design to keep her, in order to have the
company of her maids of honour. For my husband had been greatly smitten
with Dayelle, and M. de Thurene was in love with La Vergne. However, I
received every mark of honour and attention from the King that I could
expect or desire. He related to me, as soon as we met, the artifices
which had been put in practice whilst he remained at Court to create a
misunderstanding betwixt him and me; all this, he said, he knew was with
a design to cause a rupture betwixt my brother and him, and thereby ruin
us all three, as there was an exceeding great jealousy entertained of the
friendship which existed betwixt us.

We remained in the disagreeable situation I have before described all the
time the Queen my mother stayed in Gascony; but, as soon as she could
reestablish peace, she, by desire of the King my husband, removed the
King's lieutenant, the Marquis de Villars, putting in his place the
Marechal de Biron. She then departed for Languedoc, and we conducted her
to Castelnaudary; where, taking our leave, we returned to Pau, in Bearn;
in which place, the Catholic religion not being tolerated, I was only
allowed to have mass celebrated in a chapel of about three or four feet
in length, and so narrow that it could scarcely hold seven or eight
persons. During the celebration of mass, the bridge of the castle was
drawn up to prevent the Catholics of the town and country from coming to
assist at it; who having been, for some years, deprived of the benefit of
following their own mode of worship, would have gladly been present.
Actuated by so holy and laudable a desire, some of the inhabitants of
Pau, on Whitsunday, found means to get into the castle before the bridge
was drawn up, and were present at the celebration of mass, not being
discovered until it was nearly over. At length the Huguenots espied
them, and ran to acquaint Le Pin, secretary to the King my, husband, who
was greatly in his favour, and who conducted the whole business relating
to the new religion. Upon receiving this intelligence, Le Pin ordered
the guard to arrest these poor people, who were severely beaten in my
presence, and afterwards locked up in prison, whence they were not
released without paying a considerable fine.

This indignity gave me great offence, as I never expected anything of the
kind. Accordingly, I complained of it to the King my husband, begging
him to give orders for the release of these poor Catholics, who did not
deserve to be punished for coming to my chapel to hear mass,
a celebration of which they had been so long deprived of the benefit.
Le Pin, with the greatest disrespect to his master, took upon him to
reply, without waiting to hear what the King had to say. He told me that
I ought not to trouble the King my husband about such matters; that what
had been done was very right and proper; that those people had justly
merited the treatment they met with, and all I could say would go for
nothing, for it must be so; and that I ought to rest satisfied with being
permitted to have mass said to me and my servants. This insolent speech
from a person of his inferior condition incensed me greatly, and I
entreated the King my husband, if I had the least share in his good
graces, to do me justice, and avenge the insult offered me by this low

The King my husband, perceiving that I was offended, as I had reason to
be, with this gross indignity, ordered Le Pin to quit our presence
immediately; and, expressing his concern at his secretary's behaviour,
who, he said, was overzealous in the cause of religion, he promised that
he would make an example of him. As to the Catholic prisoners, he said
he would advise with his parliament what ought to be done for my

Having said this, he went to his closet, where he found Le Pin, who,
by dint of persuasion, made him change his resolution; insomuch that,
fearing I should insist upon his dismissing his secretary, he avoided
meeting me. At last, finding that I was firmly resolved to leave him,
unless he dismissed Le Pin, he took advice of some persons, who, having
themselves a dislike to the secretary, represented that he ought not to
give me cause of displeasure for the sake of a man of his small
importance,--especially one who, like him, had given me just reason to be
offended; that, when it became known to the King my brother and the Queen
my mother, they would certainly take it ill that he had not only not
resented it, but, on the contrary, still kept him near his person.

This counsel prevailed with him, and he at length discarded his
secretary. The King, however, continued to behave to me with great
coolness, being influenced, as he afterwards confessed, by the counsel of
M. de Pibrac, who acted the part of a double dealer, telling me that I
ought not to pardon an affront offered by such a mean fellow, but insist
upon his being dismissed; whilst he persuaded the King my husband that
there was no reason for parting with a man so useful to him, for such a
trivial cause. This was done by M. de Pibrac, thinking I might be
induced, from such mortifications, to return to France, where he enjoyed
the offices of president and King's counsellor.

I now met with a fresh cause for disquietude in my present situation,
for, Dayelle being gone, the King my husband placed his affections on
Rebours. She was an artful young person, and had no regard for me;
accordingly, she did me all the ill offices in her power with him.
In the midst of these trials, I put my trust in God, and he, moved with
pity by my tears, gave permission for our leaving Pau, that "little
Geneva;" and, fortunately for me, Rebours was taken ill and stayed
behind. The King my husband no sooner lost sight of her than he forgot
her; he now turned his eyes and attention towards Fosseuse. She was much
handsomer than the other, and was at that time young, and really a very
amiable person.

Pursuing the road to Montauban, we stopped at a little town called Eause,
where, in the night, the King my husband was attacked with a high fever,
accompanied with most violent pains in his head. This fever lasted for
seventeen days, during which time he had no rest night or day, but was
continually removed from one bed to another. I nursed him the whole
time, never stirring from his bedside, and never putting off my clothes.
He took notice of my extraordinary tenderness, and spoke of it to several
persons, and particularly to my cousin M-----, who, acting the part of an
affectionate relation, restored me to his favour, insomuch that I never
stood so highly in it before. This happiness I had the good fortune to
enjoy during the four or five years that I remained with him in Gascony.

Our residence, for the most part of the time I have mentioned, was at
Nerac, where our Court was so brilliant that we had no cause to regret
our absence from the Court of France. We had with us the Princesse de
Navarre, my husband's sister, since married to the Duc de Bar; there were
besides a number of ladies belonging to myself. The King my husband was
attended by a numerous body of lords and gentlemen, all as gallant
persons as I have seen in any Court; and we had only to lament that they
were Huguenots. This difference of religion, however, caused no dispute
among us; the King my husband and the Princess his sister heard a sermon,
whilst I and my servants heard mass. I had a chapel in the park for the
purpose, and, as soon as the service of both religions was over, we
joined company in a beautiful garden, ornamented with long walks shaded
with laurel and cypress trees. Sometimes we took a walk in the park on
the banks of the river, bordered by an avenue of trees three thousand
yards in length. The rest of the day was passed in innocent amusements;
and in the afternoon, or at night, we commonly had a ball.

The King was very assiduous with Fosseuse, who, being dependent on me,
kept herself within the strict bounds of honour and virtue. Had she
always done so, she had not brought upon herself a misfortune which has
proved of such fatal consequence to myself as well as to her.

But our happiness was too great to be of long continuance, and fresh
troubles broke out betwixt the King my husband and the Catholics, and
gave rise to a new war. The King my husband and the Marechal de Biron,
who was the King's lieutenant in Guienne, had a difference, which was
aggravated by the Huguenots. This breach became in a short time so wide
that all my efforts to close it were useless. They made their separate
complaints to the King. The King my husband insisted on the removal of
the Marechal de Biron, and the Marshal charged the King my husband, and
the rest of those who were of the pretended reformed religion, with
designs contrary to peace. I saw, with great concern, that affairs were
likely soon to come to an open rupture; and I had no power to prevent it.

The Marshal advised the King to come to Guienne himself, saying that in
his presence matters might be settled. The Huguenots, hearing of this
proposal, supposed the King would take possession of their towns, and,
thereupon, came to a resolution to take up arms. This was what I feared;
I was become a sharer in the King my husband's fortune, and was now to be
in opposition to the King my brother and the religion I had been bred up
in. I gave my opinion upon this war to the King my husband and his
Council, and strove to dissuade them from engaging in it. I represented
to them the hazards of carrying on a war when they were to be opposed
against so able a general as the Marechal de Biron, who would not spare
them, as other generals had done, he being their private enemy. I begged
them to consider that, if the King brought his whole force against them,
with intention to exterminate their religion, it would not be in their
power to oppose or prevent it. But they were so headstrong, and so
blinded with the hope of succeeding in the surprise of certain towns in
Languedoc and Gascony, that, though the King did me the honour, upon all
occasions, to listen to my advice, as did most of the Huguenots, yet I
could not prevail on them to follow it in the present situation of
affairs, until it was too late, and after they had found, to their cost,
that my counsel was good. The torrent was now burst forth, and there was
no possibility of stopping its course until it had spent its utmost

Before that period arrived, foreseeing the consequences, I had often
written to the King and the Queen my mother, to offer something to the
King my husband by way of accommodating matters. But they were bent
against it, and seemed to be pleased that matters had taken such a turn,
being assured by Marechal de Biron that he had it in his power to crush
the Huguenots whenever he pleased. In this crisis my advice was not
attended to, the dissensions increased, and recourse was had to arms.

The Huguenots had reckoned upon a force more considerable than they were
able to collect together, and the King my husband found himself
outnumbered by Marechal de Biron. In consequence, those of the pretended
reformed religion failed in all their plans, except their attack upon
Cahors, which they took with petards, after having lost a great number of
men, M. de Vezins, who commanded in the town, disputing their entrance
for two or three days, from street to street, and even from house to
house. The King my husband displayed great valour and conduct upon the.
occasion, and showed himself to be a gallant and brave general. Though
the Huguenots succeeded in this attempt, their loss was so great that
they gained nothing from it. Marechal de Biron kept the field, and took
every place that declared for the Huguenots, putting all that opposed him
to the sword.

From the commencement of this war, the King my husband doing me the
honour to love me, and commanding me not to leave him, I had resolved to
share his fortune, not without extreme regret, in observing that this war
was of such a nature that I could not, in conscience, wish success to
either side; for if the Huguenots got the upper hand, the religion which
I cherished as much as my life was lost, and if the Catholics prevailed,
the King my husband was undone. But, being thus attached to my husband,
by the duty I owed him, and obliged by the attentions he was pleased to
show me, I could only acquaint the King and the Queen my mother with the
situation to which I was reduced, occasioned by my advice to them not
having been attended to. I, therefore, prayed them, if they could not
extinguish the flames of war in the midst of which I was placed, at least
to give orders to Marechal de Biron to consider the town I resided in,
and three leagues round it, as neutral ground, and that I would get the
King my husband to do the same. This the King granted me for Nerac,
provided my husband was not there; but if he should enter it, the
neutrality was to cease, and so to remain as long as he continued there.
This convention was observed, on both sides, with all the exactness I
could desire. However, the King my husband was not to be prevented from
often visiting Nerac, which was the residence of his sister and me.
He was fond of the society of ladies, and, moreover, was at that time
greatly enamoured with Fosseuse, who held the place in his affections
which Rebours had lately occupied. Fosseuse did me no ill offices, so
that the King my husband and I continued to live on very good terms,
especially as he perceived me unwilling to oppose his inclinations.

Led by such inducements, he came to Nerac, once, with a body of troops,
and stayed three days, not being able to leave the agreeable company he
found there. Marechal de Biron, who wished for nothing so much as such
an opportunity, was apprised of it, and, under pretence of joining M. de
Cornusson, the seneschal of Toulouse, who was expected with a
reinforcement for his army, he began his march; but, instead of pursuing
the road, according to the orders he had issued, he suddenly ordered his
troops to file off towards Nerac, and, before nine in the morning, his
whole force was drawn up within sight of the town, and within cannon-shot
of it.

The King my husband had received intelligence, the evening before, of the
expected arrival of M. de Cornusson, and was desirous of preventing the
junction, for which purpose he resolved to attack him and the Marshal
separately. As he had been lately joined by M. de La Rochefoucauld, with
a corps of cavalry consisting of eight hundred men, formed from the
nobility of Saintonge, he found himself sufficiently strong to undertake
such a plan. He, therefore, set out before break of day to make his
attack as they crossed the river. But his intelligence did not prove to
be correct, for De Cornusson passed it the evening before. My husband,
being thus disappointed in his design, returned to Nerac, and entered at
one gate just as Marechal de Biron drew up his troops before the other.
There fell so heavy a rain at that moment that the musketry was of no
use. The King my husband, however, threw a body of his troops into a
vineyard to stop the Marshal's progress, not being able to do more on
account of the unfavourableness of the weather.

In the meantime, the Marshal continued with his troops drawn up in order
of battle, permitting only two or three of his men to advance, who
challenged a like number to break lances in honour of their mistresses.
The rest of the army kept their ground, to mask their artillery, which,
being ready to play, they opened to the right and left, and fired seven
or eight shots upon the town, one of which struck the palace. The
Marshal, having done this, marched off, despatching a trumpeter to me
with his excuse. He acquainted me that, had I been alone, he would on no
account have fired on the town; but the terms of neutrality for the town,
agreed upon by the King, were, as I well knew, in case the King my
husband should not be found in it, and, if otherwise, they were void.
Besides which, his orders were to attack the King my husband wherever he
should find him.

I must acknowledge on every other occasion the Marshal showed me the
greatest respect, and appeared to be much my friend. During the war my
letters have frequently fallen into his hands, when he as constantly
forwarded them to me unopened. And whenever my people have happened to
be taken prisoners by his army, they were always well treated as soon as
they mentioned to whom they belonged.

I answered his message by the trumpeter, saying that I well knew what he
had done was strictly agreeable to the convention made and the orders he
had received, but that a gallant officer like him would know how to do
his duty without giving his friends cause of offence; that he might have
permitted me the enjoyment of the King my husband's company in Nerac for
three days, adding, that he could not attack him, in my presence, without
attacking me; and concluding that, certainly, I was greatly offended by
his conduct, and would take the first opportunity of making my complaint
to the King my brother.


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

The war lasted some time longer, but with disadvantage to the Huguenots.
The King my husband at length became desirous to make a peace. I wrote
on the subject to the King and the Queen my mother; but so elated were
they both with Marechal de Biron's success that they would not agree to
any terms.

About the time this war broke out, Cambray, which had been delivered up
to my brother by M. d'Ainsi, according to his engagement with me, as I
have before related, was besieged by the forces of Spain. My brother
received the news of this siege at his castle of Plessis-les-Tours,
whither he had retired after his return from Flanders, where, by the
assistance of the Comte de Lalain, he had been invested with the
government of Mons, Valenciennes, and their dependencies.

My brother, being anxious to relieve Cambray, set about raising an army,
with all the expedition possible; but, finding it could not be
accomplished very speedily, he sent forward a reinforcement under the
command of M. de Balagny, to succour the place until he arrived himself
with a sufficient force to raise the siege. Whilst he was in the midst
of these preparations this Huguenot war broke out, and the men he had
raised left him to incorporate themselves with the King's army, which had
reached Gascony.

My brother was now without hope of raising the siege, and to lose Cambray
would be attended with the loss of the other countries he had just
obtained. Besides, what he should regret more, such losses would reduce
to great straits M. de Balagny and the gallant troops so nobly defending
the place.

His grief on this occasion was poignant, and, as his excellent judgment
furnished him with expedients under all his difficulties, he resolved to
endeavour to bring about a peace. Accordingly he despatched a gentleman
to the King with his advice to accede to terms, offering to undertake the
treaty himself. His design in offering himself as negotiator was to
prevent the treaty being drawn out to too great a length, as might be the
case if confided to others. It was necessary that he should speedily
relieve Cambray, for M. de Balagny, who had thrown himself into the city
as I have before mentioned, had written to him that he should be able to
defend the place for six months; but, if he received no succours within
that time, his provisions would be all expended, and he should be obliged
to give way to the clamours of the inhabitants, and surrender the town.

By God's favour, the King was induced to listen to my brother's proposal
of undertaking a negotiation for a peace. The King hoped thereby to
disappoint him in his expectations in Flanders, which he never had
approved. Accordingly he sent word back to my brother that he should
accept his proffer of negotiating a peace, and would send him for his
coadjutors, M. de Villeroy and M. de Bellievre. The commission my
brother was charged with succeeded, and, after a stay of seven months in
Gascony, he settled a peace and left us, his thoughts being employed
during the whole time on the means of relieving Cambray, which the
satisfaction he found in being with us could not altogether abate.

The peace my brother, made, as I have just mentioned, was so judiciously
framed that it gave equal satisfaction to the King and the Catholics, and
to the King my husband and the Huguenots, and obtained him the affections
of both parties. He likewise acquired from it the assistance of that
able general, Marechal de Biron, who undertook the command of the army
destined to raise the siege of Cambray. The King my husband was equally
gratified in the Marshal's removal from Gascony and having Marechal de
Matignon in his place.

Before my brother set off he was desirous to bring about a reconciliation
betwixt the King my husband and Mareohal de Biron, provided the latter
should make his apologies to me for his conduct at Nerac. My brother had
desired me to treat him with all disdain, but I used this hasty advice
with discretion, considering that my brother might one day or other
repent having given it, as he had everything to hope, in his present
situation, from the bravery of this officer.

My brother returned to France accompanied by Marechal de Biron. By his
negotiation of a peace he had acquired to himself great credit with both
parties, and secured a powerful force for the purpose of raising the
siege of Cambray. But honours and success are followed by envy. The
King beheld this accession of glory to his brother with great
dissatisfaction. He had been for seven months, while my brother and I
were together in Gascony, brooding over his malice, and produced the
strangest invention that can be imagined. He pretended to believe (what
the King my husband can easily prove to be false) that I instigated him
to go to war that I might procure for my brother the credit of making
peace. This is not at all probable when it is considered the prejudice
my brother's affairs in, Flanders sustained by the war.

But envy and malice are self-deceivers, and pretend to discover what no
one else can perceive. On this frail foundation the King raised an altar
of hatred, on which he swore never to cease till he had accomplished my
brother's ruin and mine. He had never forgiven me for the attachment I
had discovered for my brother's interest during the time he was in Poland
and since.

Fortune chose to favour the King's animosity; for, during the seven
months that my brother stayed in Gascony, he conceived a passion for
Fosseuse, who was become the doting piece of the King my husband, as I
have already mentioned, since he had quitted Rebours. This new passion
in my brother had induced the King my husband to treat me with coldness,
supposing that I countenanced my brother's addresses. I no sooner
discovered this than I remonstrated with my brother, as I knew he would
make every sacrifice for my repose. I begged him to give over his
pursuit, and not to speak to her again. I succeeded this way to defeat
the malice of my ill-fortune; but there was still behind another secret
ambush, and that of a more fatal nature; for Fosseuse, who was
passionately fond of the King my husband, but had hitherto granted no
favours inconsistent with prudence and modesty, piqued by his jealousy of
my brother, gave herself up suddenly to his will, and unfortunately
became pregnant. She no sooner made this discovery, than she altered her
conduct towards me entirely from what it was before. She now shunned my
presence as much as she had been accustomed to seek it, and whereas
before she strove to do me every good office with the King my husband,
she now endeavoured to make all the mischief she was able betwixt us.
For his part, he avoided me; he grew cold and indifferent, and since
Fosseuse ceased to conduct herself with discretion, the happy moments
that we experienced during the four or five years we were together in
Gascony were no more.

Peace being restored, and my brother departed for France, as I have
already related, the King my husband and I returned to Nerac. We were
no sooner there than Fosseuse persuaded the King my husband to make a
journey to the waters of Aigues-Caudes, in Bearn, perhaps with a design
to rid herself of her burden there. I begged the King my husband to
excuse my accompanying him, as, since the affront that I had received at
Pau, I had made a vow never to set foot in Bearn until the Catholic
religion was reestablished there. He pressed me much to go with him,
and grew angry at my persisting to refuse his request. He told me that
his little girl (for so he affected to call Fosseuse) was desirous to go
there on account of a colic, which she felt frequent returns of. I
answered that I had no objection to his taking her with him. He then
said that she could not go unless I went; that it would occasion scandal,
which might as well be avoided. He continued to press me to accompany
him, but at length I prevailed with him to consent to go without me, and
to take her with him, and, with her, two of her companions, Rebours and
Ville-Savin, together with the governess. They set out accordingly, and
I waited their return at Baviere.

I had every day news from Rebours, informing me how matters went. This
Rebours I have mentioned before to have been the object of my husband's
passion, but she was now cast off, and, consequently, was no friend to
Fosseuse, who had gained that place in his affection she had before held.
She, therefore, strove all she could to circumvent her; and, indeed, she
was fully qualified for such a purpose, as she was a cunning, deceitful
young person. She gave me to understand that Fosseuse laboured to do me
every ill office in her power; that she spoke of me with the greatest
disrespect on all occasions, and expressed her expectations of marrying
the King herself, in case she should be delivered of a son, when I was to
be divorced. She had said, further, that when the King my husband
returned to Baviere, he had resolved to go to Pau, and that I should go
with him, whether I would or not.

This intelligence was far from being agreeable to me, and I knew not what
to think of it. I trusted in the goodness of God, and I had a reliance
on the generosity of the King my husband; yet I passed the time I waited
for his return but uncomfortably, and often thought I shed more tears
than they drank water. The Catholic nobility of the neighbourhood of
Baviere used their utmost endeavours to divert my chagrin, for the month
or five weeks that the King my husband and Fosseuse stayed at Aigues-

On his return, a certain nobleman acquainted the King my husband with the
concern I was under lest he should go to Pau, whereupon he did not press
me on the subject, but only said he should have been glad if I had
consented to go with him. Perceiving, by my tears and the expressions
I made use of, that I should prefer even death to such a journey, he
altered his intentions and we returned to Nerac.

The pregnancy of Fosseuse was now no longer a secret. The whole Court
talked of it, and not only the Court, but all the country. I was willing
to prevent the scandal from spreading, and accordingly resolved to talk
to her on the subject. With this resolution, I took her into my closet,
and spoke to her thus: "Though you have for some time estranged yourself
from me, and, as it has been reported to me, striven to do me many ill
offices with the King my husband, yet the regard I once had for you, and
the esteem which I still entertain for those honourable persons to whose
family you belong, do not admit of my neglecting to afford you all the
assistance in my power in pour present unhappy situation. I beg you,
therefore, not to conceal the truth, it being both for your interest and
mine, under whose protection you are, to declare it. Tell me the truth,
and I will act towards you as a mother. You know that a contagious
disorder has broken out in the place, and, under pretence of avoiding it,
I will go to Mas-d'Agenois, which is a house belonging to the King my
husband, in a very retired situation. I will take you with me, and such
other persons as you shall name. Whilst we are there, the King will take
the diversion of hunting in some other part of the country, and I shall
not stir thence before your delivery. By this means we shall put a stop
to the scandalous reports which are now current, and which concern yon
more than myself."

So far from showing any contrition, or returning thanks for my kindness,
she replied, with the utmost arrogance, that she would prove all those to
be liars who had reported such things of her; that, for my part, I had
ceased for a long time to show her any marks of regard, and she saw that
I was determined upon her ruin. These words she delivered in as loud a
tone as mine had been mildly expressed; and, leaving me abruptly, she
flew in a rage to the King my husband, to relate to him what I had said
to her. He was very angry upon the occasion, and declared he would make
them all liars who had laid such things to her charge. From that moment
until the hour of her delivery, which was a few months after, he never
spoke to me.

She found the pains of labour come upon her about daybreak, whilst she
was in bed in the chamber where the maids of honour slept. She sent for
my physician, and begged him to go and acquaint the King my husband that
she was taken ill. We slept in separate beds in the same chamber, and
had done so for some time.

The physician delivered the message as he was directed, which greatly
embarrassed my husband. What to do he did not know. On the one hand,
he was fearful of a discovery; on the other, he foresaw that, without
proper assistance, there was danger of losing one he so much loved. In
this dilemma, he resolved to apply to me, confess all, and implore my aid
and advice, well knowing that, notwithstanding what had passed, I should
be ready to do him a pleasure. Having come to this resolution, he
withdrew my curtains, and spoke to me thus: "My dear, I have concealed a
matter from you which I now confess. I beg you to forgive me, and to
think no more about what I have said to you on the subject. Will you
oblige me so far as to rise and go to Fosseuse, who is taken very ill?
I am well assured that, in her present situation, you will forget
everything and resent nothing. You know how dearly I love her, and I
hope you will comply with my request." I answered that I had too great a
respect for him to be offended at anything he should do, and that I would
go to her immediately, and do as much for her as if she were a child of
my own. I advised him, in the meantime, to go out and hunt, by which
means he would draw away all his people, and prevent tattling.

I removed Fosseuse, with all convenient haste, from the chamber in which
the maids of honour were, to one in a more retired part of the palace,
got a physician and some women about her, and saw that she wanted for
nothing that was proper in her situation. It pleased God that she should
bring forth a daughter, since dead. As soon as she was delivered I
ordered her to be taken back to the chamber from which she had been
brought. Notwithstanding these precautions, it was not possible to
prevent the story from circulating through the palace. When the King my
husband returned from hunting he paid her a visit, according to custom.
She begged that I might come and see her, as was usual with me when any
one of my maids of honour was taken ill. By this means she expected to
put a stop to stories to her prejudice. The King my husband came from
her into my bedchamber, and found me in bed, as I was fatigued and
required rest, after having been called up so early.

He begged me to get up and pay her a visit. I told him I went according
to his desire before, when she stood in need of assistance, but now she
wanted no help; that to visit her at this time would be only exposing her
more, and cause myself to be pointed at by all the world. He seemed to
be greatly displeased at what I said, which vexed me the more as I
thought I did not deserve such treatment after what I had done at his
request in the morning; she likewise contributed all in her power to
aggravate matters betwixt him and me.

In the meantime, the King my brother, always well informed of what is
passing in the families of the nobility of his kingdom, was not ignorant
of the transactions of our Court. He was particularly curious to learn
everything that happened with us, and knew every minute circumstance that
I have now related. Thinking this a favourable occasion to wreak his
vengeance on me for having been the means of my brother acquiring so much
reputation by the peace he had brought about, he made use of the accident
that happened in our Court to withdraw me from the King my husband, and
thereby reduce me to the state of misery he wished to plunge me in. To
this purpose he prevailed on the Queen my mother to write to me, and
express her anxious desire to see me after an absence of five or six
years. She added that a journey of this sort to Court would be
serviceable to the affairs of the King my husband as well as my own;
that the King my brother himself was desirous of seeing me, and that if I
wanted money for the journey he would send it me. The King wrote to the
same purpose, and despatched Manique, the steward of his household, with
instructions to use every persuasion with me to undertake the journey.
The length of time I had been absent in Gascony, and the unkind usage I
received on account of Fosseuse, contributed to induce me to listen to
the proposal made me.

The King and the Queen both wrote to me. I received three letters, in
quick succession; and, that I might have no pretence for staying, I had
the sum of fifteen hundred crowns paid me to defray the expenses of my
journey. The Queen my mother wrote that she would give me the meeting in
Saintonge, and that, if the King my husband would accompany me so far,
she would treat with him there, and give him every satisfaction with
respect to the King. But the King and she were desirous to have him at
their Court, as he had been before with my brother; and the Marechal de
Matignon had pressed the matter with the King, that he might have no one
to interfere with him in Gascony. I had had too long experience of what
was to be expected at their Court to hope much from all the fine promises
that were made to me. I had resolved, however, to avail myself of the
opportunity of an absence of a few months, thinking it might prove the
means of setting matters to rights. Besides which, I thought that, as I
should take Fosseuse with me, it was possible that the King's passion for
her might cool when she was no longer in his sight, or he might attach
himself to some other that was less inclined to do me mischief.

It was with some difficulty that the King my husband would consent to a
removal, so unwilling was he to leave his Fosseuse. He paid more
attention to me, in hopes that I should refuse to set out on this journey
to France; but, as I had given my word in my letters to the King and the
Queen my mother that I would go, and as I had even received money for the
purpose, I could not do otherwise.

And herein my ill-fortune prevailed over the reluctance I had to leave
the King my husband, after the instances of renewed love and regard which
he had begun to show me.


Envy and malice are self-deceivers
Honours and success are followed by envy
Lovers are not criminal in the estimation of one another
Situated as I was betwixt fear and hope
The pretended reformed religion
There is too much of it for earnest, and not enough for jest
Those who have given offence to hate the offended party

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