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A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times by Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

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found in reason itself a step towards faith. "Reason would never give in
if she were not of opinion that there are occasions when she ought to
give in."

By his philosophical method, powerful and logical, as well as by the
clear, strong, and concise style he made use of to expound it, Descartes
accomplished the transition from the sixteenth century to the seventeeth;
he was the first of the great prose-writers of that incomparable epoch,
which laid forever the foundations of the language. At the same moment
the great Corneille was rendering poetry the same service.

It had come out of the sixteenth century more disturbed and less formed
than prose; Ronsard and his friends had received it from the hands of
Marot, quite young, unsophisticated and undecided; they attempted, at the
first effort, to raise it to the level of the great classic models of
which their minds were full. The attempt was bold, and the Pleiad did
not pretend to consult the taste of the vulgar. "The obscurity of
Ronsard," says M. Guizot, in his _Corneille et son Temps,_ "is not that
of a subtle mind torturing itself to make something out of nothing; it is
the obscurity of a full and a powerful mind, which is embarrassed by its
own riches, and has not learned to regulate the use of them. Furnished,
by his reading of the ancients, with that which was wanting in our
poetry, Ronsard thought he could perceive in his lofty and really
poetical imagination what was needed to supply it; he cast his eyes in
all directions, with the view of enriching the domain of poetry.
'Thou wilt do well to pick dexterously,' he says, in his abridgment of
the art of French poetry, 'and adopt to thy work the most expressive
words in the dialects of our own France; there is no need to care whether
the vocables are Gascon, or Poitevin, or Norman, or Mancese, or Lyonnese,
or of other districts, provided that they are good, and properly express
what thou wouldst say.' Ronsard was too bold in extending his conquests
over the classical languages; it was that exuberance of ideas, that
effervescence of a genius not sufficiently master over its conceptions,
which brought down upon him, in after times, the contempt of the writers
who, in the seventeenth century, followed, with more wisdom and taste,
the road which he had contributed to open. 'He is not,' said Balzac,
'quite a poet; he has the first beginnings and the making of a poet; we
see in his works nascent and half-animated portions of a body which is in
formation, but which does not care to arrive at completion.' "

This body is that of French poetry; Ronsard traced out its first
lineaments, full of elevation, play of fancy, images, and a poetic fire
unknown before him. He was the first to comprehend the dignity which
befits grand subjects, and which earned him in his day the title of
Prince of poets. He lived in stormy times, not much adapted for poetry,
and steeped in the most cruel tragedies; he felt deeply the misfortunes
of his country rent by civil war, when he wrote,--

"A cry of dread, a din, a thundering sound
Of men and clashing harness roars around;
Peoples 'gainst peoples furiously rage;
Cities with cities deadly battle wage;
Temples and towns--one heap of ashes lie;
Justice and equity fade out and die
Unchecked the soldier's wicked will is done
With human blood the outraged churches run;
Bedridden Age, disbedded, perisheth,
And over all grins the pale face of Death."

There was something pregnant, noble, and brilliant about Ronsard, in
spite of his exaggerations of style and faults of taste; his friends and
disciples imitated and carried to an extreme his defects, without
possessing his talent; the unruliness was such as to call for reform.
Peace revived with Henry IV., and the court, henceforth in accord with
the nation, resumed that empire over taste, manners, and ideas, which it
was destined to exercise so long and so supremely under Louis XIV.
Malherbe became the poet of the court, whose business it was to please
it, to adopt for it that literature which had but lately been reserved
for the feasts of the learned. "He used often to say, and chiefly when
he was reproached with not following the meaning of the authors he
translated or paraphrased, that he did not dress his meat for cooks, as
if he had meant to infer that he cared very little to be praised by the
literary folks who understood the books he had translated, provided that
he was understood by the court-folks." A complete revolution in the
opposite direction to that which Ronsard attempted appeared to have taken
place, but the human mind never loses all the ground it has once won; in
the verses of Malherbe, often bearing the imprint of beauties borrowed
from the ancients, the language preserved, in consequence of the
character given to it by Ronsard, a dignity, a richness of style, of
which the times of Marot showed no conception; and it was falling,
moreover, under the chastening influence of an elegant correctness. It
was for the court that Malherbe made verses,"striving, as he said, to
degasconnize it," seeking there his public and the source of honor as
well as profit. As passionate an admirer of Richelieu as of Henry IV.,
naturally devoted to the service of the order established in the state as
well as in poetry, he, under the regency of Mary de' Medici, favored the
taste which was beginning to show itself for intellectual things, for
refined pleasures, and elegant occupations. It was not around the queen
that this honorable and agreeable society gathered; it was at the Hotel
Rambouillet, around Catherine de Vivonne, in Rue St. Thomas du Louvre.
Literature was there represented by Malherbe and Racan, afterwards by
Balzac and Voiture, Gombault and Chapelain, who constantly met there, in
company with Princess de Conde and her daughter, subsequently Duchess de
Longueville, Mademoiselle du Vigean, Madame and Mdlle. d'Epernon, and the
Bishop of Lucon himself, quite young as yet, but already famous. "All
the wits were received at the Hotel Rambouillet, whatever their
condition," says M. Cousin: "all that was asked of them was to have good
manners; but the aristocratic tone was established there without any
effort, the majority of the guests at the house being very great lords,
and the mistress being at one and the same time Rambouillet and Vivonne.
The wits were courted and honored, but they did not hold the dominion."
At that great period which witnessed the growth of Richelieu's power, and
of the action he universally exercised upon French society, at the
outcome from the moral licentiousness which Henry IV.'s example had
encouraged in his court, and after a certain roughness, the fruit of long
civil wars, a lesson was taught at Madame de Rambouillet's of modesty,
grace, and lofty politeness, together with the art of forming good ideas
and giving them good expression, sometimes with rather too much of
far-fetched and affected cleverness, always in good company, and with
much sweetness and self-possession on the part of the mistress of the
house. In 1627, Cardinal Richelieu, having become minister, sent the
Marquis of Rambouillet as ambassador to Spain. He wanted to be repaid
for this favor. One of his friends went to call upon Madame de
Rambouillet. At the first hint of what was expected from her, "I do not
believe that there are any intrigues between Cardinal Valette and the
princess," said she, "and, even if there were, I should not be the proper
person for the office it is intended to put upon me. Besides, everybody
is so convinced of the consideration and friendship I have for his
Eminence that nobody would dare to speak ill of him in my presence; I
cannot, therefore, ever have an opportunity of rendering him the services
you ask of me."

The cardinal did not persist, and remained well disposed towards Hotel
Rambouillet. Completely occupied in laying solidly the foundations of
his power, in checkmating and punishing conspiracies at court, and in
breaking down the party of the Huguenots, he had no leisure just yet to
think of literature and the literary. He had, nevertheless, in 1626,
begun removing the ruins of the Sorbonne, with a view of reconstructing
the buildings on a new plan and at his own expense. He wrote, in 1627,
to M. Saintot, "I thank him for the care he has taken of the Sorbonne,
begging him to continue it, assuring him that, though I have many
expenses on my hands, I am as desirous of continuing to build up that
house as of contributing, to the best of my little ability, to pull down
the fortifications of La Rochelle." The works were not completely
finished at the death of the cardinal, who provided therefor by his will.

[Illustration: The King's Press----323]

At the same time that he was repairing and enriching the Sorbonne, the
cardinal was helping Guy de la Brosse, the king's physician, to create
the Botanic Gardens (_Le Jardin des Plantes_), he was defending the
independence of the College of France against the pretensions of the
University of Paris, and gave it for its Grand Almoner his brother, the
Archbishop of Lyons. He was preparing the foundation of the King's Press
(_Imprimerie royale_), definitively created in 1640; and he gave the
Academy or King's College (college royal) of his town of Richelieu a
regulation-code of studies which bears the imprint of his lofty and
strong mind. He prescribed a deep study of the French tongue. "It often
happens, unfortunately, that the difficulties which must be surmounted
and the long time which is employed in learning the dead languages,
before any knowledge of the sciences can be arrived at, have the effect,
at the outset, of making young gentlemen disgusted and hasten to betake
themselves to the exercise of arms without having been sufficiently
instructed in good literature, though it is the fairest ornament of their
profession. . . . It has, therefore, been thought necessary to
establish a royal academy at which discipline suitable to their condition
may be taught them in the French tongue, in order that they may exercise
themselves therein, and that even foreigners, who are curious about it,
may learn to know its riches and the graces it hath in unfolding the
secrets of the highest discipline." Herein is revealed the founder of
the French Academy, skilful as he was in divining the wants of his day,
and always ready to profit by new means of action, and to make them his
own whilst doing them service.

Associations of the literary were not unknown in France; Ronsard and his
friends, at first under the name of the brigade and then under that of
the Pleiad, often met to read together their joint productions, and to
discuss literary questions; and the same thing was done, subsequently, in
Malherbe's rooms.

"Now let us speak at our ease," Balzac would say, when the sitting was
over, "and without fear of committing solecisms."

When Malherbe was dead and Balzac had retired to his country house on the
borders of the Charente, some friends, "men of letters and of merits very
much above the average," says Pellisson in his _Histoire de l'Academie
Francaise,_ "finding that nothing was more inconvenient in this great
city than to go often and often to call upon one another without finding
anybody at home, resolved to meet one day in the week at the house of one
of them. They used to assemble at M. Conrart's, who happened to be most
conveniently quartered for receiving them, and in the very heart of the
city (Rue St. Martin). There they conversed familiarly as they would
have on an ordinary visit, and upon all sorts of things, business, news,
and literature. If any one of the company had a work done, as, often
happened, he readily communicated its contents to all the others, who
freely gave him their opinion of it, and their conferences were followed
sometimes by a walk and sometimes by a collation which they took
together. Thus they continued for three or four years, as I have heard
many amongst them say; it was an extreme pleasure and an incredible gain,
insomuch that, when they speak nowadays of that time and of those early
days of the Academy, they speak of it as a golden age during the which,
without bustle and without show, and without any other laws but those of
friendship, they enjoyed all that is sweetest and most charming in the
intercourse of intellects and in rational life."

Even after the intervention and regulationizing of Cardinal Richelieu,
the French Academy still preserved something of that sweetness and that
polished familiarity in their relations which caused the regrets of its
earliest founders. [They were MM. Godeau, afterwards Bishop of Grasse,
Conrart and Gombault who were Huguenots, Chapelain, Giry, Habert, Abbe de
Cerisy, his brother, M. de Serizay and M. de Maleville.] The secret of
the little gatherings was not so well kept but that Bois-Robert, the
cardinal's accredited gossip, ever on the alert for news to divert his
patron, heard of them and begged before long to be present at them.
"There was no probability of his being refused, for, besides that he was
on friendly terms with many of these gentlemen, the very favor he enjoyed
gave him some sort of authority and added to his consequence. He was
full of delight and admiration at what he saw, and did not fail to give
the cardinal a favorable account of the little assembly, insomuch that
the cardinal, who had a mind naturally inclined towards great things, and
who loved the French language, which he himself wrote extremely well,
asked if those persons would not be disposed to form a body and assembly
regularly and under public authority." Bois-Robert was intrusted with
the proposal.

Great was the consternation in the little voluntary and friendly Academy.
"There was scarcely one of these gentlemen who did not testify
displeasure: MM. de Serizay and de Maleville, who were attached to the
households of the Duke of La Rochefoucauld and Marshal Bassompierre, one
in retirement on his estates and the other a prisoner in the Bastille,
were for refusing and excusing themselves as best they might to the
cardinal. Chapelain, who had a pension from his Eminence, represented
that "in good truth he could have been well pleased to dispense with
having their conferences thus bruited abroad, but in the position to
which things were reduced, it was not open to them to follow the more
agreeable of the two courses; they had to do with a man who willed in no
half-hearted way whatever he willed, and who was not accustomed to meet
resistance or to stiffer it with impunity; he would consider as an insult
the disregard shown for his protection, and might visit his resentment
upon each individual; he could, at any rate, easily prohibit their
assemblies, breaking up by that means a society which every one of them
desired to be eternal." The arguments were strong, the members yielded;
Bois-Robert was charged to thank his Eminence very humbly for the honor
he did them, assuring him that they were all resolved to follow his
wishes. "I wish to be of that assembly the protector and the father,"
said Richelieu, giving at once divers proofs that he took a great
interest in that establishment, a fact which soon brought the Academy
solicitations from those who were most intimate with the cardinal, and
who, being in some sort of repute for wit, gloried in being admitted to a
body which he regarded with favor.

In making of this little private gathering a great national institution,
Cardinal Richelieu yielded to his natural yearning for government and
dominion; he protected literature as a minister and as an admirer; the
admirer's inclination was supported by the minister's influence. At the
same time, and perhaps without being aware of it, he was giving French
literature a centre of discipline and union whilst securing for the
independence and dignity of writers a supporting-point which they had
hitherto lacked. Whilst recompensing them by favors nearly always
conferred in the name of the state, he was preparing for them afar off
the means of withdrawing themselves from that private dependence, the
yoke of which they nearly always had to bear. Set free at his death from
the weight of their obligations to him, they became the servants of the
state; ere long the French Academy had no other protector but the king.

Order and rule everywhere accompanied Cardinal Richelieu; the Academy
drew up its statutes, chose a director, a chancellor, and a perpetual
secretary: Conrart was the first to be called to that honor; the number
of Academicians was set down at forty by letters patent from the king.
"As soon as God had called us to the conduct of this realm, we had for
aim, not only to apply a remedy to the disorders which the civil wars had
introduced into it, but also to enrich it with all ornaments suitable for
the most illustrious and the most ancient of the monarchies that are at
this day in the world. Although we have labored without ceasing at the
execution of this design, it hath been impossible for us hitherto to see
the entire fulfilment thereof. The disturbances so often excited in the
greater part of our provinces, and the assistance we have been obliged to
give to many of our allies, have diverted us from any other thought but
that of war, and have hindered us for a long while from enjoying the
repose we procured for others. . . . Our very clear and very much
beloved cousin, the cardinal-duke of Richelieu, who hath had the part
that everybody knows in all these things, hath represented to us that one
of the most glorious signs of the happiness of a kingdom was that the
sciences and arts should flourish there, and that letters should be in
honor there as well as arms; that, after having performed so many
memorable exploits, we had nothing further to do but to add agreeable
things to the necessary, and ornament to utility; and he was of opinion
that we could not begin better than with the most noble of all the arts,
which is eloquence; that the French tongue, which up to the present hath
only too keenly felt the neglect of those who might have rendered it the
most perfect of the day, is more than ever capable of becoming so, seeing
the number of persons who have knowledge of the advantages it possesses;
it is to establish fixed rules for it that he hath ordained an assembly
whose propositions were satisfactory to him. For these reasons and in
order to secure the said conferences, we will that they continue
henceforth, in our good city of Paris, under the name of French Academy,
and that letters patent be enregistered to that end by our gentry of the
Parliament of Paris."

The Parliament was not disposed to fulfil the formality of
enregistration. The cardinal had compressed it, stifled it, but he had
never mastered it; the Academy was a new institution, it was regarded as
his work; on that ground it inspired great distrust in the public as well
as the magistrates. "The people, to whom everything that came from this
minister looked suspicious, knew not whether beneath these flowers there
were not a serpent concealed, and were apprehensive that this
establishment was, at the very least, a new prop to support is
domination, that it was but a batch of folks in his pay, hired to
maintain all that he did and to observe the actions and sentiments of
others. It went about that he cut down scavenging expenses of Paris by
eighty thousand livres in order to give them a pension of two thousand
livres apiece; the vulgar were so frightened, without attempting to
account for their terror, that a tradesman of Paris, who had taken a
house that suited him admirably in Rue Cinq Diamants, where the Academy
then used to meet at M. Chapelain's, broke off his bargain on no other
ground but that he did not want to be in a street where a _'Cademy of
Canspirators (une Cademie e Manopoleurs)_ met every week." The wits,
like St. Evremond, in his comedy of the Academistes, turned into ridicule
the body which, as it was said, claimed to subject the language of the
public to its decisions:--

"So I, with hoary head, to' school
Must, like a child, go day by day,
And learn my parts of speech, poor fool, when
Death is taking speech away!"

said Maynard, who, nevertheless, was one of the forty.

The letters patent for establishment of the French Academy had been sent
to the Parliament in 1635; they were not registered until 1637 at the
express instance of the cardinal, who wrote to the premier President to
assure him that "the foundation of the Academy was useful and necessary
to the public, and the purpose of the Academicians was quite different
from what it had been possible to make people believe hitherto."

The decree of verification, when it at length appeared, bore traces of
the jealous prejudices of the Parliament. "They the said assembly and
academy," it ran, "shall not be powered to take cognizance of anything
but the ornamentation, embellishment, and augmentation of the French
language, and of the books that shall be made by them and by other
persons who shall desire it and want it."

The French Academy was founded; it was already commencing its Dictionary
in accordance with the suggestion enunciated by Chapelain at the second
meeting; the cardinal was here carrying out that great moral idea of
literature which he had expressed but lately in a letter to Balzac: "The
conceptions in your letters," said he, "are forcible and as far removed
from ordinary imaginations as they are in conformity with the common
sense of those who have superior judgment. Truth has this advantage,
that it forces those who have eyes and mind sufficiently clear to discern
what it is to represent it without disguise." Neither Balzac and his
friends, nor the protection of Cardinal Richelieu, sufficed as yet to
give lustre to the Academy; great minds and great writers alone could
make the glory of their society. The principle of the association of men
of letters was, however, established: men of the world, friendly to
literature, were already preparing to mingle with them; the literary,
but lately servitors of the great, had henceforth at their disposal a
privilege envied and sought after by courtiers; their independence grew
by it and their dignity gained by it. The French Academy became an
institution, and took its place amongst the glories of France. It had
this piece of good fortune, that Cardinal Richelieu died without being
able to carry out the project he had conceived. He had intended to open
on the site of the horse-market, near Porte St. Honore and behind the
Palais-Cardinal, "a great Place which he would have called Ducale in
imitation of the Royale, which is at the other end of the city," says
Pellisson; he had placed in the hands of M. de la Mesnardiere, a
memorandum drawn up by himself for the plan of a college "which he was
meditating for all the noble sciences, and in which he designed to employ
all that was most telling for the cause of literature in Europe. He had
an idea of making the members of the Academy directors and as it were
arbiters of this great establishment, and aspired, with a feeling worthy
of the immortality with which he was so much in love, to set up the
French Academy there in the most distinguished position in the world, and
to offer an honorable and pleasant repose to all persons of that class
who had deserved it by their labors." It was a noble and a liberal idea,
worthy of the great mind which had conceived it; but it would have
stifled the fertile germ of independence and liberty which he had
unconsciously buried in the womb of the French Academy. Pensioned and
barracked, the Academicians would have remained men of letters, shut off
from society and the world. The Academy grew up alone, favored indeed,
but never reduced to servitude; it alone has withstood the cruel shocks
which have for so long a time agitated France; in a country where nothing
lasts, it has lasted, with its traditions, its primitive statutes, its
reminiscences, its respect for the past. It has preserved its courteous
and modest dignity, its habits of polite neutrality, the suavity and
equality of the relations between its members. It was said just now that
Richelieu's work no longer existed save in history, and that revolutions
have left him nothing but his glory; but that was a mistake: the French
Academy is still standing, stronger and freer than at its birth, and it
was founded by Richelieu, and has never forgotten him.

Amongst the earliest members of the Academy the cardinal had placed his
most habitual and most intimate literary servants, Bois-Robert,
Desmarets, Colletet, all writers for the theatre, employed by Richelieu
in his own dramatic attempts. Theatrical representations were the only
pleasure the minister enjoyed, in accord with the public of his day. He
had everywhere encouraged this taste, supporting with marked favor ,
Hardy and the _Theatre Parisien_. With his mind constantly exercised by
the wants of the government, he soon sought in the theatre a means of
acting upon the masses. He had already foreseen the power of the press;
he had laid hands on Doctor Renaudot's _Gazette de France;_ King Louis
XIII. often wrote articles in it; the manuscript exists in the National
Library, with some corrections which appear to be Richelieu's. As for
the theatre, the cardinal aspired to try his own hand at the work; his
literary labors were nearly all political pieces; his tragedy of
_Mirame,_ to which he attached so much value, and which he had
represented at such great expense for the opening of his theatre in the
Palais-Cardinal, is nothing but one continual allusion, often bold even
to insolence, to Buckingham's feelings towards Anne of Austria. The
comedy, in heroic style, of Europe, which appeared in the name of
_Desmarets,_ after the cardinal's death, is a political allegory touching
the condition of the world. Francion and Ibere contend together for the
favors of Europe, not without, at the same time, paying court to the
Princess Austrasia (Lorraine). All the cardinal's foreign policy, his
alliances with Protestants, are there described in verses which do not
lack a certain force: Germanique (the emperor) pleads the cause of Ibere
with Europe:--

"No longer can he brook to gaze on such as these,
Destroyers of the shrines, foes of the Deities,
By Francion evoked from out the Frozen Main,[1]
That he might cope with us and equal war maintain.


O, call not by those names th' indomitable race,
Who 'midst my champions hold honorable place.
Unlike to us, they own no shrine, no sacrifice;
But still, unlike Ibere, they use no artifice;
About the Gods they speak their mind as seemeth best,
Whilst he, with pious air, still keepeth me opprest;
Through them I hold mine own, from harm and insult free,
Their errors I deplore, their valor pleases me.
What was that noble king,[2] that puissant conqueror,
Who through thy regions, like a mighty torrent, tore?
Who marched with giant strides along the path of fame,
And, in the hour of death, left victory with his name?
What are those gallant chiefs, who from his ashes rose,
Whom still, methinks, his shade assists against their foes?

[1] The Swedes. [2] Gustavus Adolphus.

What was that Saxon heart,[1] so full of noble rage,
He, whom thine own decrees drove from his heritage?
Who, with his gallant few, full many a deed hath done
Within thine own domains, and many a laurel won?
Who, wasting not his strength in strife with granite walls,
Routs thee in open field, and lo! the fortress falls?
Who, taking just revenge for loss of all his own,
Compressed thy boundaries, and cut thy frontiers down.
How many virtues in that prince's[2] heart reside
Who leads yon free-set[3] people's armies in their pride,
People who boldly spurned Ibere and all his laws,
Bravely shook off his yoke and bravely left his cause?
Francion, without such aid, thou say'st would helpless be;
What were Ibere without thy provinces and thee?


But I am of his blood:--own self same Deities.


All they are of my blood:--gaze on the self-same skies
Do all your hosts adore the Deities we own?
Nay, from your very midst come errors widely sown.
Ibere for chief support on erring men relies
Yet, what himself may do, to others he denies.
What! Francion favor error! This is idle prate:
He who from irreligion thoroughly purged the state!
Who brought the worship back to altars in decay;
Who built the temples up that in their ashes lay;
True son of them, who, spite of all thy fathers' feats,
Replaced my reverend priests upon their holy seats!
'Twixt Francion and Ibere this difference remains:
One sets them in their seats, and one in iron chains."

[1] Bernard of Saxe-Weimar. [2] Prince of Orange. [3] The Hollanders.

Already, in Mirame, Richelieu had celebrated the fall of Rochelle and of
the Huguenot party, bringing upon the scene the King of Bithynia, who is
taking arms

"To tame a rebel slave,
Perched proudly on his rock washed by the ocean-wave."

As epigraph to Europe there were these lines:--

"All friends of France to this my work will friendly be;
And all unfriends of her will say the author ill;
Yet shall I be content, say, reader, what you will;
The joy of some, the rage of others, pleases me."

The enemies of France did not wait for the comedy, in heroic style, of
Europe in order to frequently say ill of Cardinal Richelieu.

Occupied as he was in governing the affairs of France and of Europe
otherwise than in verse, the cardinal chose out work-fellows; there were
five of them, to whom he gave his ideas and the plan of his piece; he
intrusted to each the duty of writing an act, and "by this means finished
a comedy a month," says Pellisson. Thus was composed the comedy of the
_Tuileries_ and the _Aveugle de Smyrne,_ which were printed in 1638;
Richelieu had likewise taken part in the composition of the _Visionnaires
of Desmarets,_ and supported in a rather remarkable scene the rule of the
three unities against its detractors. A new comedy, the _Grande
Pastorale,_ was in hand. "When he was purposing to publish it," says the
_History of the Academy,_ "he desired M. Chapelain to look over it, and
make careful observations upon it. These observations were brought to
him by M. de Bois-Robert, and, though they were written with much
discretion and respect, they shocked and nettled him to such a degree,
either by their number or by the consciousness they caused him of his
faults, that, without reading them through, he tore them up. But on the
following night, when he was in bed, and all his household asleep, having
thought over the anger he had shown, be did a thing incomparably more
estimable than the best comedy in the world, that is to say, he listened
to reason, for he gave orders to collect and glue together the pieces of
that torn paper, and, having read it from one end to the other, and given
great thought to it, he sent and awakened M. de Bois-Robert to tell him
that he saw quite well that the gentlemen of the Academy were better
informed about such matters than he, and that there must be nothing more
said about that paper and print."

The cardinal ended by permitting the liberties taken in literary matters
by Chapelain and even Colletet. His courtiers were complimenting him
about some success or other obtained by the king's arms, saying that
nothing could withstand his Eminence. "You are mistaken," he answered,
laughing; "and I find even in Paris persons who withstand me. There's
Colletet, who, after having fought with me yesterday over a word, does
not give in yet; look at this long letter that he has just written me!"
He counted, at any rate, in the number of his five work-fellows one mind
too independent to be subservient for long to the ideas and wishes of
another, though it were Cardinal Richelieu and the premier minister. In
conjunction with Colletet, Bois-Robert, De l'Etoile, and Rotrou, Peter
Corneille worked at his Eminence's tragedies and comedies. He handled
according to his fancy the act intrusted to him, with so much freedom
that the cardinal was shocked, and said that he lacked, in his opinion,
"the follower-spirit" (_l'esprit de suite_). Corneille did not appeal
from this judgment; he quietly took the road to Rouen, leaving henceforth
to his four work-fellows the glory of putting into form the ideas of the
all-powerful minister; he worked alone, for his own hand, for the glory
of France and of the human mind.

[Illustration: Peter Corneille----334]

Peter Corneille, born at Rouen on the 6th of June, 1606, in a family of
lawyers, had been destined for the bar from his infancy; he was a
briefless barrister; his father had purchased him two government posts,
but his heart was otherwise set than "on jurisprudence;" in 1635, when he
quietly renounced the honor of writing for the cardinal, Corneille had
already had several comedies played. He himself said of the first,
_Melite,_ which he wrote at three and twenty, "It was my first attempt,
and it has no pretence of being according to the rules, for I did not
know then that there were any. I had for guide nothing but a little
common sense, together with the models of the late Hardy, whose vein was
rather fertile than polished." "The comedies of Corneille had met with
success; praised as he was by his competitors in the career of the
theatre, he was as yet, in their eyes, but one of the supports of that
literary glory which was common to them all. Tranquil in their
possession of bad taste, they were far from foreseeing the revolution
which was about to overthrow its sway and their own." [_Corneille et son
Temps,_ by M. Guizot.]

Corneille made his first appearance in tragedy, in 1633, with a _Medee_.
"Here are verses which proclaim Corneille," said Voltaire:--

"After so many boons, to leave me can he bear?
After so many sins, to leave me can he dare?"

They proclaimed tragedy; it had appeared at last to Corneille; its
features, roughly sketched, were nevertheless recognizable. He was
already studying Spanish with an old friend of his family, and was
working at the _Cid,_ when he brought out his _Illusion Comique,_ a
mediocre piece, Corneille's last sacrifice to the taste of his day.
Towards the end of the year 1636, the _Cid_ was played for the first time
at Paris. There was a burst of enthusiasm forthwith. "I wish you were
here," wrote the celebrated comedian Mondory to Balzac, on the 18th of
January, 1637, "to enjoy amongst other pleasures that of the beautiful
comedies that are being played, and especially a _Cid_ who has charmed
all Paris. So beautiful is he that he has smitten with love all the most
virtuous ladies, whose passion has many times blazed out in the public
theatre. Seated in a body on the benches of the boxes have been seen
those who are commonly seen only in gilded chamber and on the seat with
the fleurs-de-lis. So great has been the throng at our doors, and our
place has turned out so small, that the corners of the theatre, which
served at other times as niches for the pageboys, have been given as a
favor to blue ribbons, and the scene has been embellished, ordinarily,
with the crosses of knights of the order." "It is difficult," says
Pellisson, "to imagine with what approbation this piece was received by
court and people." It was impossible to tire of seeing it, nothing else
was talked of in company; everybody knew some portion by heart; it was
taught to children, and in many parts of France it had passed into a
proverb to say, "Beautiful as the _Cid_." Criticism itself was silenced
for a while; carried along in the general twirl, bewildered by its
success, the rivals of Corneille appeared to join the throng of his
admirers; but they soon recovered their breath, and their first sign of
life was an effort of resistance to the torrent which threatened to carry
them away; with the exception of Rotrou, who was worthy to comprehend and
enjoy Corneille, the revolt was unanimous. The malcontents and the
envious had found in Richelieu an eager and a powerful auxiliary.

[Illustration: The Representation of "the Cid."----335]

Many attempts have been made to fathom the causes of the cardinal's
animosity to the _Cid_. It was a Spanish piece, and represented in a
favorable light the traditional enemies of France and of Richelieu; it
was all in honor of the duel which the cardinal had prosecuted with such
rigorous justice; it depicted a king simple, patriarchal, genial in the
exercise of his power, contrary to all the views cherished by the
minister touching royal majesty; all these reasons might have contributed
to his wrath, but there was something more personal and petty in its
bitterness. In tacit disdain for the work that had been entrusted to
him, Corneille had abandoned Richelieu's pieces; he had retired to Rouen;
far away from the court, he had only his successes to set against the
perfidious insinuations of his rivals. The triumph of the _Cid_ seemed
to the resentful spirit of a neglected and irritated patron a sort of
insult. Therewith was mingled a certain shade of author's jealousy.
Richelieu saw in the fame of Corneille the success of a rebel. Egged on
by base and malicious influences, he attempted to crush him as he had
crushed the house of Austria and the Huguenots.

The cabal of bad taste enlisted to a man in this new war. Scudery was
standard-bearer; astounded that such fantastic beauties should have
seduced knowledge as well as ignorance, and the court as well as the cit,
and conjuring decent folks to suspend judgment for a while, and not
condemn without a hearing _Sophonisbe, Cesar, Cleopdtre, Hercule,
Marianne, Cleomedon,_ and so many other illustrious heroes who had
charmed them on the stage." Corneille might have been satisfied; his
adversaries themselves recognized his great popularity and success.

A singular mixture of haughtiness and timidity, of vigorous imagination
and simplicity of judgment! It was by his triumphs that Corneille had
become informed of his talents; but, when once aware, he had accepted the
conviction thereof as that of those truths which one does not arrive at
by one's self absolutely, without explanation, without modification.

"I know my worth, and well believe men's rede of it;
I have no need of leagues, to make myself admired;
Few voices may be raised for me, but none is hired;
To swell th' applause my just ambition seeks no claque,
Nor out of holes and corners hunts the hireling pack:
Upon the boards, quite self-supported, mount my plays,
And every one is free to censure or to praise;
There, though no friends expound their views or preach my
It hath been many a time my lot to win applause;
There, pleased with the success my modest merit won,
With brilliant critics' laws I seek to dazzle none;
To court and people both I give the same delight,
Mine only partisans the verses that I write;
To them alone I owe the credit of my pen,
To my own self alone the fame I win of men;
And if, when rivals meet, I claim equality,
Methinks I do no wrong to whosoe'er it be."

"Let him rise on the wings of composition," said La Bruyere, "and he is
not below Augustus, Pompey, Nicodemus, Sertorius; he is a king and a
great king; he is a politician, he is a philosopher." Modest and bashfnl
in what concerns himself, when it has nothing to do with his works and
his talents, Corneille, who does not disdain to receive a pension from
Cardinal Richelieu, or, in writing to Scudery, to call him "your master
and and mine," becomes quite another creature when he defends his genius:

"Leaving full oft the earth, soon as he leaves the goal,
With lofty flight he soars into the upper air,
Looks down on envious men, and smiles at their despair."

The contest was becoming fierce and bitter; much was written for and
against the _Cid;_ the public remained faithful to it; the cardinal
determined to submit it to the judgment of the Academy, thus exacting
from that body an act of complaisance towards himself as well as an act
of independence and authority in the teeth of predominant opinion. At
his instigation, Scudery wrote to the Academy to make them the judges in
the dispute. "The cardinal's desire was plain to see," says Pellisson;
"but the most judicious amongst that body testified a great deal of
repugnance to this design. They said that the Academy, which was only in
its cradle, ought not to incur odium by a judgment which might perhaps
displease both parties, and which could not fail to cause umbrage to one
at least, that is to say, to a great part of France; that they were
scarcely tolerated, from the mere fancy which prevailed that they
pretended to some authority over the French tongue; what would be the
case if they proved to have exercised it in respect of a work which had
pleased the majority and won the approbation of the people? M. Corneille
did not ask for this judgment, and, by the statutes of the Academy, they
could only sit in judgment upon a work with the consent and at the
entreaty of the author." Corneille did not facilitate the task of the
Academicians: he excused himself modestly, protesting that such
occupation was not worthy of such a body, that a mere piece
(_un libelle_) did not deserve their judgment. . . . "At length,
under pressure from M. de Bois-Robert, who gave him pretty plainly to
understand what was his master's desire, this answer slipped from him:
'The gentlemen of the Academy can do as they please; since you write me
word that my Lord would like to see their judgment, and it would divert
his Eminence, I have nothing further to say.'"

These expressions were taken as a formal consent, and as the Academy
still excused themselves, " Let those gentlemen know," said the cardinal
at last, "that I desire it, and that I shall love them as they love me."

There was nothing for it but to obey. Whilst Bois-Robert was amusing his
master by representing before him a parody of the _Cid,_ played by his
lackeys and scullions, the Academy was at work drawing up their
Sentiments respecting the _Cid_.

Thrice submitted to the cardinal, who thrice sent it back with some
strong remarks appended, the judgment of the Academicians did not succeed
in satisfying the minister. "What was wanted was the complaisance of
submission, what was obtained was only that of gratitude." "I know quite
well," says Pellisson, "that his Eminence would have wished to have the
_Cid_ more roughly handled, if he had not been adroitly made to
understand that a judge must not speak like a party to a suit, and that
in proportion as he showed passion, he would lose authority."

Balzac, still in retirement at his country-place, made no mistake as to
the state of mind either in the Academy or in the world when he wrote to
Scudery, who had sent him his _Observations sur le Cid,_ "Reflect, sir,
that all France takes sides with M. Corneille, and that there is not one,
perhaps, of the judges with whom it is rumored that you have come to an
agreement, who has not praised that which you desire him to condemn; so
that, though your arguments were incontrovertible and your adversary
should acquiesce therein, he would still have the wherewith to give
himself glorious consolation for the loss of his case, and be able to
tell you that it is something more to have delighted a whole kingdom than
to have written a piece according to regulation. This being so, I doubt
not that the gentlemen of the Academy will find themselves much hampered
in delivering a judgment on your case, and that, on the one hand, your
arguments will stagger them, whilst, on the other, the public approbation
will keep them in check. You have the best of it in the closet; he has
the advantage on the stage. If the _Cid_ be guilty, it is of a crime
which has met with reward; if he be punished, it will be after having
triumphed; if Plato must banish him from his republic, he must crown him
with flowers whilst banishing him, and not treat him worse than he
formerly treated Homer."

The Sentiments de l'Academie at last saw the light in the month of
December, 1637, and as Chapelain had foreseen, they did not completely
satisfy either the cardinal or Scudery, in spite of the thanks which the
latter considered himself bound to express to that body, or Corneille,
who testified bitter displeasure. "The Academy proceeds against me with
so much violence, and employs so supreme an authority to close my mouth,
that all the satisfaction I have is to think that this famous production,
at which so many fine intellects have been working for six months, may no
doubt be esteemed the opinion of the French Academy, but will probably
not be the opinion of the rest of Paris. I wrote the _Cid_ for my
diversion and that of decent folks who like Comedy. All the favor that
the opinion of the Academy can hope for is to make as much way; at any
rate, I have had my account settled before them, and I am not at all sure
that they can wait for theirs."

Corneille did not care to carry his resentment higher than the Academy.
At the end of December, 1637, when writing to Bois-Robert a letter of
thanks for getting him his pension, which he calls "the liberalities of
my Lord," he adds, "As you advise me not to reply to the _Sentiments de
l'Academie,_ seeing what personages are concerned therein, there is no
need of interpreters to understand that; I am somewhat more of this world
than Heliodorus was, who preferred to lose his bishopric rather than his
book; and I prefer my master's good graces to all the reputations on
earth. I shall be mum, then, not from disdain, but from respect."

The great Corneille made no further defence he had become a servitor
again; but the public, less docile, persisted in their opinion.

"In vain against the Cid a minister makes league;
All Paris, gazing on Chimene, thinks with Rodrigue;
In vain to censure her th' Academy aspires;
The stubborn populace revolts and still admires; "

said Boileau subsequently.

The dispute was ended, and, in spite of the judgment of the Academy, the
cardinal did not come out of it victorious; his anger, however, had
ceased: the Duchess of Aiguillon, his niece, accepted the dedication of
the _Cid;_ when _Horace_ appeared, in 1639, the dedicatory epistle,
addressed to the cardinal, proved that Corneille read his works to him
beforehand; the cabal appeared for a while on the point of making head
again. "_Horace,_ condemned by the decemvirs, was acquitted by the
people," said Corneille. The same year _Cinna_ came to give the
finishing touch to the reputation of the great poet:--

"To the persecuted Cid the Cinna owed its birth."

Corneille had withdrawn to the obscurity which suited the simplicity of
his habits; the cardinal, it was said, had helped him to get married; he
had no longer to defend his works, their fame was amply sufficient.
"Henceforth Corneille walks freely by himself and in the strength of his
own powers; the circle of his ideas grows larger, his style grows loftier
and stronger, together with his thoughts, and purer, perhaps, without his
dreaming of it; a more correct, a more precise expression comes to him,
evoked by greater clearness in idea, greater fixity of sentiment; genius,
with the mastery of means, seeks new outlets. Corneille writes
_Polyeucte_." [_Corneille et son Temps,_ by M. Guizot.]

It was a second revolution accomplished for the upsetting of received
ideas, at a time when paganism was to such an extent master of the
theatre that, in the midst of an allegory of the seventeenth century,
alluding to Gustavus Adolphus and the wars of religion, Richelieu and
Desmarets, in the heroic comedy of _Europe,_ dared not mention the name
of God save in the plural. Corneille read his piece at the Hotel
Rambouillet. "It was applauded to the extent demanded by propriety and
the reputation already achieved by the author," says Fontenelle; "but
some days afterwards, M. de Voiture went to call upon M. Corneille, and
took a very delicate way of telling him that _Polyeucte_ had not been so
successful as he supposed, that the Christianism had been extremely
displeasing." "The story is," adds Voltaire, "that all the Hotel
Rambouillet, and especially the Bishop of Vence, Godeau, condemned the
attempt of _Polyeucte_ to overthrow idols." Corneille, in alarm, would
have withdrawn the piece from the hands of the comedians who were
learning it, and he only left it on the assurance of one of the
comedians, who did not play in it because he was too bad an actor.
Posterity has justified the poor comedian against the Hotel Rambouillet;
amongst so many of Corneille's masterpieces it has ever given a place
apart to _Polyeucte;_ neither the _Saint-Genest_ of Rotrou, nor the
_Zaire_ of Voltaire, in spite of their various beauties, have dethroned
_Polyeucte;_ in fame as well as in date it remains the first of the few
pieces in which Christianism appeared, to gain applause, upon the French
classic stage.

[Illustration: Corneille at the Hotel Rambouillet---342]

Richelieu was no longer there to lay his commands upon the court and upon
the world: he was dead, without having been forgiven by Corneille:--

"Of our great cardinal let men speak as they will,
By me, in prose or verse, they shall not be withstood;
He did me too much good for me to say him ill,
He did me too much ill for me to say him good!"

The great literary movement of the seventeenth century had begun; it had
no longer any need of a protector; it was destined to grow up alone
during twenty years, amidst troubles at home and wars abroad, to flourish
all at once, with incomparable splendor, under the reign and around the
throne of Louis XIV. Cardinal Richelieu, however, had the honor of
protecting its birth; he had taken personal pleasure in it; he had
comprehended its importance and beauty; he had desired to serve it whilst
taking the direction of it. Let us end, as we began, with the judgment
of La Bruyere: "Compare yourselves, if you dare, with the great
Richelieu, you men devoted to fortune, you who say that you know nothing,
that you have read nothing, that you will read nothing. Learn that
Cardinal Richelieu did know, did read; I say not that he had no
estrangement from men of letters, but that he loved them, caressed them,
favored them, that he contrived privileges for them, that he appointed
pensions for them, that he united them in a celebrated body, and that he
made of them the French Academy."

The Academy, the Sorbonne, the Botanic Gardens (_Jardin des Plantes_),
the King's Press have endured; the theatre has grown and been enriched by
many masterpieces, the press has become the most dreaded of powers; all
the new forces that Richelieu created or foresaw have become developed
without him, frequently in opposition to him and to the work of his whole
life; his name has remained connected with the commencement of all these
wonders, beneficial or disastrous, which he had grasped and presaged, in
a future happily concealed from his ken.

MAZARIN. (1643-1661.)

[Illustration: LOUIS XIV.----344]

Louis XIII. had never felt confidence in the queen his wife; and Cardinal
Richelieu had fostered that sentiment which promoted his views. When M.
de Chavigny came, on Anne of Austria's behalf, to assure the dying king
that she had never had any part in the conspiracy of Chalais, or dreamt
of espousing Monsieur in case she was left a widow, Louis XIII.
answered, "Considering the state I am in, I am bound to forgive her, but
not to believe her." He did not believe her, he never had believed her,
and his declaration touching the Regency was entirely directed towards
counteracting by anticipation the power intrusted to his wife and his
brother. The queen's regency and the Duke of Orleans' lieutenant-
generalship were in some sort subordinated to a council composed of the
Prince of Conde, Cardinal Mazarin, Chancellor Seguier, Superintendent
Bouthillier, and Secretary of State Chavigny, "with a prohibition against
introducing any change therein, for any cause or on any occasion
whatsoever." The queen and the Duke of Orleans had signed and sworn the

King Louis XIII. was not yet in his grave when his last wishes were
violated; before his death the queen had made terms with the ministers;
the course to be followed had been decided. On the 18th of May, 1643,
the queen, having brought back the little king to Paris, conducted him in
great state to the Parliament of Paris to hold his bed of justice there.
The boy sat down and said with a good grace that he had come to the
Parliament to testify his good will to it, and that his chancellor would
say the rest. The Duke of Orleans then addressed the queen. "The honor
of the regency is the due altogether of your Majesty," said he, "not only
in your capacity of mother, but also for your merits and virtues; the
regency having been confined to you by the deceased king, and by the
consent of all the grandees of the realm, I desire no other part in
affairs than that which it may please your Majesty to give me, and I do
not claim to take any advantage from the special clauses contained in the
declaration." The Prince of Condo said much the same thing, but with
less earnestness, and on the evening of the same day the queen regent,
having sole charge of the administration of affairs, and modifying the
council at her pleasure, announced to the astounded court that she should
retain by her Cardinal Mazarin. Not a word had been said about him at
the Parliament; the courtiers believed that he was on the point of
leaving France; but the able Italian, attractive as he was subtle, had
already found a way to please the queen. She retained as chief of her
council the heir to the traditions of Richelieu, and deceived the hopes
of the party of Importants, those meddlers of the court at whose head
marched the Duke of Beaufort, all puffed up with the confidence lately
shown to him by her Majesty. Potier, Bishop of Beauvais, the queen's
confidant during her troubles, "expected to be all-powerful in the state;
he sought out the Duke of Orleans and the Prince of Conde, promising
them governorships of places, and, generally, anything they might desire.
He thought he could set the affairs of state going as easily as he could
his parish-priests; but the poor prelate came down from his high hopes
when he saw that the cardinal was advancing more and more in the queen's
confidence, and that, for him, too much was already thought to have been
done in according him admittance to the council, whilst flattering him
with a hope of the purple." [_Memoires de Brienne,_ ii. 37.]

Cardinal Mazarin soon sent him off to his diocese. Continuing to humor
all parties, and displaying foresight and prudence, the new minister was
even now master. Louis XIII., without any personal liking, had been
faithful to Richelieu to the death; with different feelings, Anne of
Austria was to testify the same constancy towards Mazarin.

A stroke of fortune came at the very first to strengthen the regent's
position. Since the death of Cardinal Richelieu, the Spaniards, but
recently overwhelmed at the close df 1642, had recovered courage and
boldness; new counsels prevailed at the court of Philip IV., who had
dismissed Olivarez; the house of Austria vigorously resumed the
offensive; at the moment of Louis XIII.'s death, Don Francisco de Mello,
governor of the Low Countries, had just invaded French territory by way
of the Ardennes, and laid siege to Rocroi, on the 12th of May. The
French army was commanded by the young Duke of Enghien, the Prince of
Conde's son, scarcely twenty-two years old; Louis XIII. had given him as
his lieutenant and director the veteran Marshal de l'Hopital; and the
latter feared to give battle. The Duke of Enghien, who "was dying with
impatience to enter the enemy's country, resolved to accomplish by
address what he could not carry by authority. He opened his heart to
Gassion alone. As he was a man who saw nothing but what was easy even in
the most dangerous deeds, he had very soon brought matters to the point
that the prince desired. Marshal de l'Hopital found himself
imperceptibly so near the Spaniards that it was impossible for him any
longer to hinder an engagement." [_Relation de 31 de la Houssaye._] The
army was in front of Rocroi, and out of the dangerous defile which led to
the place, without any idea on the part of the marshal and the army that
Louis XIII. was dead. The Duke of Enghien, who had received the news,
had kept it secret. He had merely said in the tone of a master "that he
meant to fight, and would answer for the issue. His orders given, he
passed along the ranks of his army with an air which communicated to it
the same impatience that he himself felt to see the night over, in order
to begin the battle. He passed the whole of it at the camp-fire of the
officers of Picardy." In the morning "it was necessary to rouse from
deep slumber this second Alexander. Mark him as he flies to victory or
death! As soon as he had kindled from rank to rank the ardor with which
he was animated, he was seen, in almost the same moment, driving in the
enemy's right, supporting ours that wavered, rallying the half-beaten
French, putting to flight the victorious Spaniards, striking terror
everywhere, and dumbfounding with his flashing looks those who escaped
from his blows. There remained that dread infantry of the army of Spain,
whose huge battalions, in close order, like so many towers, but towers
that could repair their breaches, remained unshaken amidst all the rest
of the rout, and delivered their fire on all sides. Thrice the young
conqueror tried to break these fearless warriors; thrice he was driven
knack by the valiant Count of Fuentes, who was seen carried about in his
chair, and, in spite of his infirmities, showing that a warrior's soul is
mistress of the body it animates. But yield they must: in vain through
the woods, with his cavalry all fresh, does Beck rush down to fall upon
our exhausted men the prince has been beforehand with him; the broken
battalions cry for quarter, but the victory is to be more terrible than
the fight for the Duke of Enghien. Whilst with easy mien he advances to
receive the parole of these brave fellows, they, watchful still,
apprehend the surprise of a fresh attack; their terrible volley drives
our men mad; there is nothing to be seen but slaughter; the soldier is
drunk with blood, till that great prince, who could not bear to see such
lions butchered like so many sheep, calmed excited passions, and to the
pleasure of victory joined that of mercy. He would willingly have saved
the life of the brave Count of Fuentes, but found him lying amidst
thousands of the dead whose loss is still felt by Spain. The prince
bends the knee, and, on the field of battle, renders thanks to the God of
armies for the victory he hath given him. Then were there rejoicings
over Rocroi delivered, the threats of a dread enemy converted to their
shame, the regency strengthened, France at rest, and a reign, which was
to be so noble, commenced with such happy augury." [Bossuet, _Oraison
funebre de Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Conde._] Victory or death, below
the cross of Burgundy, was borne upon most of the standards taken from
the Imperialists; and "indeed," says the Gazette de France, "the most
part were found dead in the ranks where they had been posted. Which was
nobly brought home by one of the prisoners to our captains when, being
asked how many there had been of them, he replied, "Count the dead."
Conde was worthy to fight such enemies, and Bossuet to recount their
defeat. "The prince was a born captain," said Cardinal de Retz. And all
France said so with him, on hearing of the victory of Rocroi.

The delight was all the keener in the queen's circle, because the house
of Conde openly supported Cardinal Mazarin, bitterly attacked as he was
by the Importants, who accused him of reviving the tyranny of Richelieu.

[Illustration: The Great Conde----348]

A ditty on the subject was current in the streets of Paris:--

"He is not dead, he is but changed of age,
The cardinal, at whom men gird with rage,
But all his household make thereat great cheer;
It pleaseth not full many a chevalier
They fain had brought him to the lowest stage.
Beneath his wing came all his lineage,
By the same art whereof he made usage
And, by my faith, 'tis still their day, I fear.
He is not dead.

"Hush! we are mum, because we dread the cage
For he's at court--this eminent personage
There to remain of years to come a score.
Ask those Importants, would you fain know more
And they will say in dolorous language,
'He is not dead.'"

And indeed, on pretext offered by a feminine quarrel between the young
Duchess of Longueville, daughter of the Prince of Conde, and the Duchess
of Montbazon, the Duke of Beaufort and some of his friends resolved to
assassinate the cardinal. The attempt was a failure, but the Duke of
Beaufort, who was arrested on the 2d of September, was taken to the
castle of Vincennes. Madame de Chevreuse, recently returned to court,
where she would fain have exacted from the queen the reward for her
services and her past sufferings, was sent into exile, as well as the
Duke of Vendome. Madame d'Hautefort, but lately summoned by Anne of
Austria to be near her, was soon involved in the same disgrace. Proud
and compassionate, without any liking for Mazarin, she was daring enough,
during a trip to Vincennes, to ask pardon for the Duke of Beaufort.
"The queen made no answer, and, the collation being served, Madame
d'Hautefort, whose heart was full, ate nothing; when she was asked why,
she declared that she could not enjoy anything in such close proximity to
that poor boy." The queen could not put up with reproaches; and she
behaved with extreme coldness to Madame d'Hautefort. One day, at
bedtime, her ill temper showed itself so plainly, that the old favorite
could no longer be in doubt about the queen's sentiments. As she softly
closed the curtains, "I do assure you, Madame," she said, "that if I had
served God with as much attachment and devotion as I have your Majesty
all my life, I should be a great saint." And, raising her eyes to the
crucifix, she added, "Thou knowest, Lord, what I have done for her." The
queen let her go to the convent where Mademoiselle de la Fayette had
taken refuge ten years before. Madame d'Hautefort left it ere long to
become the wife of Marshal Schomberg; but the party of the Importants was
dead, and the power of Cardinal Mazarin seemed to be firmly established.
"It was not the thing just then for any decent man to be on bad terms
with the court," says Cardinal de Retz.

Negotiations for a general peace, the preliminaries whereof had been
signed by King Louis XIII. in 1641, had been going on since 1644 at
Munster and at Osnabriick, without having produced any result; the Duke
of Enghien, who became Prince of Conde in 1646, was keeping up the war
in Flanders and Germany, with the co-operation of Viscount Turenne,
younger brother of the Duke of Bouillon, and, since Rocroi, a marshal of
France. The capture of Thionville and of Dunkerque, the victories of
Friburg and Nordlingen, the skilful opening effected in Germany as far as
Augsburg by the French and the Swedes, had raised so high the reputation
of the two generals, that the Prince of Conde, who was haughty and
ambitious, began to cause great umbrage to Mazarin. Fear of having him
unoccupied deterred the cardinal from peace, and made all the harder the
conditions he presumed to impose upon the Spaniards. Meanwhile the
United Provinces, weary of a war which fettered their commerce, and
skilfully courted by their old masters, had just concluded a private
treaty with Spain; the emperor was trying, but to no purpose, to detach
the Swedes likewise from the French alliance, when the victory of Lens,
gained on the 20th of August, 1648, over Archduke Leopold and General
Beck, came to throw into the balance the weight of a success as splendid
as it was unexpected; one more campaign, and Turenne might be threatening
Vienna whilst Conde entered Brussels; the emperor saw there was no help
for it, and bent his head. The house of Austria split in two; Spain
still refused to treat with France, but the whole of Germany clamored for
peace; the conditions of it were at last drawn up at Munster by MM.
Servien and de Lionne; M. d'Avaux, the most able diplomatist that France
possessed, had been recalled to Paris at the beginning of the year. On
the 24th of October, 1648, after four years of negotiation, France at
last had secured to her Elsass and the three bishoprics of Metz, Toul,
and Verdun; Sweden gained Western Pomerania, including Stettin, the Isle
of Rugen, the three mouths of the Oder, and the bishoprics of Bremen and
Werden, thus becoming a German power: as for Germany, she had won liberty
of conscience and political liberty; the rights of the Lutheran or
reformed Protestants were equalized with those of Catholics; henceforth
the consent of a free assembly of all the Estates of the empire was
necessary to make laws, raise soldiers, impose taxes, and decide peace or
war. The peace of Westphalia put an end at one and the same time to the
Thirty Years' War and to the supremacy of the house of Austria in

So much glory and so many military or diplomatic successes cost dear;
France was crushed by imposts, and the finances were discovered to be in
utter disorder; the superintendent, D'Emery, an able and experienced man,
was so justly discredited that his measures were, as a foregone
conclusion, unpopular; an edict laying octroi or tariff on the entry of
provisions into the city of Paris irritated the burgesses, and Parliament
refused to enregister it. For some time past the Parliament, which had
been kept down by the iron hand of Richelieu, had perceived that it had
to do with nothing more than an able man, and not a master; it began to
hold up its head again; a union was proposed between the four sovereign
courts of Paris, to wit, the Parliament, the grand council, the chamber
of exchequer, and the court of aids or indirect taxes; the queen quashed
the deed of union; the magistrates set her at nought; the queen yielded,
authorizing the delegates to deliberate in the chamber of St. Louis at
the Palace of Justice; the pretensions of the Parliament were exorbitant,
and aimed at nothing short of resuming, in the affairs of the state, the
position from which Richelieu had deposed it; the concessions which
Cardinal Mazarin with difficulty wrung from the queen augmented the
Parliament's demands. Anne of Austria was beginning to lose patience,
when the news of the victory of Lens restored courage to the court.
"Parliament will be very sorry," said the little king, on hearing of the
Prince of Conde's success. The grave assemblage, on the 26th of August,
was issuing from Notre Dame, where a Te Deum had just been sung, when
Councillor Broussel and President Blancmesnil were arrested in their
houses, and taken one to St. Germain and the other to Vincennes. This
was a familiar proceeding on the part of royal authority in its
disagreements with the Parliament. Anne of Austria herself had practised
it four years before.

[Illustration: Arrest of Broussel----352]

It was a mistake on the part of Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin
not to have considered the different condition of the public mind.
A suppressed excitement had for some months been hatching in Paris and in
the provinces. "The Parliament growled over the tariff-edict," says
Cardinal de Retz; "and no sooner had it muttered than everybody awoke.
People went groping as it were after the laws; they were no longer to be
found. Under the influence of this agitation the people entered the
sanctuary and lifted the veil that ought always to conceal whatever can
be said about the right of peoples and that of kings, which never accord
so well as in silence." The arrest of Broussel, an old man in high
esteem, very keen in his opposition to the court, was like fire to flax.
"There was a blaze at once, a sensation, a rush, an outcry, and a
shutting up of shops." Paul de Gondi, known afterwards as Cardinal de
Retz, was at that time coadjutor of the Archbishop of Paris, his uncle
witty, debauched, bold, and restless, lately compromised in the plots of
the Count of Soissons against Cardinal Richelieu, he owed his office to
the queen, and "did not hesitate," he says, "to repair to her, that he
might stick to his duty above all things."

[Illustration: Cardinal de Retz----352]

There was already a great tumult in the streets when he arrived at the
Palais-Royal: the people were shouting, "Broussel! Broussel!" The
coadjutor was accompanied by Marshal la Meilleraye; and both of them
reported the excitement amongst the people. The queen grew angry.
"There is revolt in imagining that there can be revolt," she said: "these
are the ridiculous stories of those who desire it; the king's authority
will soon restore order." Then, as old M. de Guitaut, who had just come
in, supported the coadjutor, and said that he did not understand how
anybody could sleep in the state in which things were, the cardinal asked
him, with some slight irony, "Well, M. de Guitaut, and what is your
advice?" "My advice," said Guitaut, "is to give up that old rascal of a
Broussel, dead or alive." "The former," replied the coadjutor, "would
not accord with either the queen's piety or her prudence; the latter
might stop the tumult." At this word the queen blushed, and exclaimed,
"I understand you, Mr. Coadjutor; you would have me set Broussel at
liberty. I would strangle him with these hands first!" "And, as she
finished the last syllable, she put them close to my face," says De Retz,
"adding, 'And those who . . . ' The cardinal advanced and whispered in
her ear." Advices of a more and more threatening character continued to
arrive; and, at last, it was resolved to promise that Broussel should be
set at liberty, provided that the people dispersed and ceased to demand
it tumultuously. The coadjutor was charged to proclaim this concession
throughout Paris; he asked for a regular order, but was not listened to.
"The queen had retired to her little gray room. Monsignor pushed me very
gently with his two hands, saying, 'Restore the peace of the realm.'
Marshal Meilleraye drew me along, and so I went out with my rochet and
camail, bestowing benedictions right and left; but this occupation did
not prevent me from making all the reflections suitable to the difficulty
in which I found myself. The impetuosity of Marshal Meilleraye did not
give me opportunity to weigh my expressions; he advanced sword in hand,
shouting with all his might, 'Hurrah for the king! Liberation for
Broussel!' As he was seen by many more folks than heard him, he provoked
with his sword far more people than he appeased with his voice." The
tumult increased; there was a rush to arms on all sides; the coadjutor
was felled to the ground by a blow from a stone. He had just picked
himself up, when a burgess put his musket to his head. "Though I did not
know him a bit," says Retz, "I thought it would not be well to let him
suppose so at such a moment; on the contrary, I said to him, 'Ah!
wretch, if thy father saw thee!' He thought I was the best friend of his
father, on whom, however, I had never set eyes."

[Illustration: "Ah, Wretch, if thy Father saw thee!"----354]

The coadjutor was recognized, and the crowd pressed round him, dragging
him to the market-place. He kept repeating everywhere that "the queen
promised to restore Broussel." The fiippers laid down their arms, and
thirty or forty thousand men accompanied him to the Palais-Royal.
"Madame," said Marshal Meilleraye as he entered, "here is he to whom I
owe my life, and your Majesty the safety of the Palais-Royal." The queen
began to smile. "The marshal flew into a passion, and said with an oath,
'Madame, no proper man can venture to flatter you in the state in which
things are; and if you do not this very day set Broussel at liberty,
to-morrow there will not be left one stone upon another in Paris.' I
wished to speak in support of what the marshal said, but the queen cut
me short, saying, with an air of raillery, 'Go and rest yourself, sir;
you have worked very hard.'"

The coadjutor left the Palais-Royal "in what is called a rage;" and he
was in a greater one in the evening, when his friends came and told him
that he was being made fun of at the queen's supper-table; that she was
convinced that he had done all he could to increase the tumult; that he
would be the first to be made a great example of; and that the Parliament
was about to be interdicted. Paul de Gondi had not waited for their
information to think of revolt. "I did not reflect as to what I could
do," says he, "for I was quite certain of that; I reflected only as to
what I ought to do, and I was perplexed." The jests and the threats of
the court appeared to him to be sufficient justification. "What
effectually stopped my scruples was the advantage I imagined I had in
distinguishing myself from those of my profession by a state of life in
which there was something of all professions. In disorderly times,
things lead to a confusion of species, and the vices of an archbishop
may, in an infinity of conjunctures, be the virtues of a party leader."
The coadjutor recalled his friends. "We are not in such bad case as you
supposed, gentlemen," he said to them; "there is an intention of crushing
the public; it is for me to defend it from oppression; to-morrow before
midday I shall be master of Paris."

For some time past the coadjutor had been laboring to make himself
popular in Paris; the general excitement was only waiting to break out,
and when the chancellor's carriage appeared in the streets in the
morning, on the way to the Palace of Justice, the people, secretly worked
upon during the night, all at once took up arms again. The chancellor
had scarcely time to seek refuge in the Hotel de Luynes; the mob rushed
in after him, pillaging and destroying the furniture, whilst the
chancellor, flying for refuge into a small chamber, and believing his
last hour had come, was confessing to his brother, the Bishop of Meaux.
He was not discovered, and the crowd moved off in another direction. "It
was like a sudden and violent conflagration lighted up from the Pont Neuf
over the whole city. Everybody without exception took up arms. Children
of five and six years of age were seen dagger in hand; and the mothers
themselves carried them. In less than two hours there were in Paris more
than two hundred barricades, bordered with flags and all the arms that
the League had left entire. Everybody cried, 'Hurrah! for the king!' but
echo answered, 'None of your Mazarin!'"

The coadjutor kept himself shut up at home, protesting his powerlessness;
the Parliament had met at an early hour; the Palace of Justice was
surrounded by an immense crowd, shouting, "Broussel! Broussel!" The
Parliament resolved to go in a body and demand of the queen the release
of their members arrested the day before. "We set out in full court,"
says the premier president Mole, "without sending, as the custom is, to
ask the queen to appoint a time, the ushers in front, with their square
caps and a-foot: from this spot as far as the Trahoir cross we found the
people in arms and barricades thrown up at every hundred paces."
[_Memoires de Matthieu Mole,_ iii. p. 255.]

[Illustration: President Mole----355]

"If it were not blasphemy to say that there was any one in our age more
intrepid than the great Gustavus and the Prince, I should say it was M.
Mole, premier president," writes Cardinal de Retz. Sincerely devoted to
the public weal, and a magistrate to the very bottom of his soul, Mole,
nevertheless, inclined towards the side of power, and understood better
than his brethren the danger of factions. He represented to the queen
the extreme danger the sedition was causing to Paris and to France.
"She, who feared nothing because she knew but little, flew into a passion
and answered, furiously, 'I am quite aware that there is disturbance in
the city, but you shall answer to me for it, gentlemen of the Parliament,
you, your wives, and your children.'" "The queen was pleased," says
Mole, in his dignified language, "to signify in terms of wrath that the
magisterial body should be answerable for the evils which might ensue,
and which the king on reaching his majority would remember."

The queen had retired to her room, slamming the door violently; the
Parliament turned back to the Palace of Justice; the angry mob thronged
about the magistrates; when they arrived at Rue St. Honore, just as they
were about to turn on to the Pont Neuf, a band of armed men fell upon
them, "and a cookshop-lad, advancing at the head of two hundred men,
thrust his halbert against the premier president's stomach, saying,
'Turn, traitor, and, if thou wouldst not thyself be slain, give up to us
Broussel, or Mazarin and the chancellor as hostages.'" Matthew Mole
quietly put the weapon aside, and, "You forget yourself," he said, "and
are oblivious of the respect you owe to my office." "Thrice an effort
was made.to thrust me into a private house," says his account in his
Memoires, "but I still kept my place; and, attempts having been made with
swords and pistols on all sides of me to make an end of me, God would not
permit it, some of the members (Messieurs) and some true friends having
placed themselves in front of me. I told President de Mesmes that there
was no other plan but to return to the Palais-Royal and thither take back
the body, which was much diminished in numbers, five of the presidents
having dropped away, and also many of the members on whom the people had
inflicted unworthy treatment." "Thus having given himself time to rally
as many as he could of the body, and still preserving the dignity of the
magistracy both in his words and in his movements, the premier president
returned at a slow pace to the Palais-Royal, amidst a running fire of
insults, threats, execrations, and blasphemies." [_Memoires de Retz._]

The whole court had assembled in the gallery: Mole spoke first. "This
man," says Retz, "had a sort of eloquence peculiar to himself. He knew
nothing of apostrophes, he was not correct in his language, but he spoke
with a force which made up for all that, and he was naturally so bold
that he never spoke so well as in the midst of peril. Monsieur made as
if he would throw himself on his knees before the queen, who remained
inflexible; four or five princesses, who were trembling with fear, did
throw themselves at her feet; the Queen of England, who had come that day
from St. Germain, represented that the troubles had never been so serious
at their commencement in England, nor the feelings so heated or united."
[_Histoire du Temps,_ 1647-48. (_Archives curieuses,_ vi. p. 162.)] At
last the cardinal made up his mind; he "had been roughly handled in the
queen's presence by the presidents and councillors in their speeches,
some of them telling him, in mockery, that he had only to give himself
the trouble of going as far as the Pont Neuf to see for himself the state
in which things were," and he joined with all those present in entreating
Anne of Austria; finally, the release of Broussel was extorted from her,
"not without a deep sigh, which showed what violence she did her feelings
in the struggle."

"We returned in full court by the same road," says Matthew Mole, "and the
people demanding, with confused clamor of voices, whether M. Broussel
were at liberty, we gave them assurances thereof, and entered by the
back-door of my lodging; before crossing the threshold, I took leave of
Presidents De Mesmes and Le Coigneux, and waited until the members had
passed, testifying my sentiments of gratitude for that they had been
unwilling to separate until they had seen to the security of my person,
which I had not at all deserved, but such was their good pleasure. After
this business, which had lasted from six in the morning until seven
o'clock, there was need of rest, seeing that the mind had been agitated
amidst so many incidents, and not a morsel had been tasted." [_Memoires
de Matthieu Mole,_ t. iii. p. 265.]

Broussel had taken his seat in the Parliament again. The Prince of Conde
had just arrived in Paris; he did not like the cardinal, but he was angry
with the Parliament, which he considered imprudent and insolent. "They
are going ahead," said he:--"if I were to go ahead with them, I should
perhaps do better for my own interests, but my name is Louis de Bourbon,
and I do not wish to shake the throne; these devils of squarecaps, are
they mad about bringing me either to commence a civil war before long, or
to put a rope round their own necks, and place over their heads and over
my own an adventurer from Sicily, who will be the ruin of us all in the
end? I will let the Parliament plainly see that they are not where they
suppose, and that it would not be a hard matter to bring them to reason."
The coadjutor, to whom he thus expressed himself, answered that "the
cardinal might possibly be mistaken in his measures, and that Paris would
be a hard nut to crack." Whereupon the prince rejoined, angrily, "It
will not be taken, like Dunkerque, by mining and assaults, but if the
bread of Gonesse were to fail them for a week . . ." The coadjutor
took the rest as said. Some days afterwards, during the night between
the 5th and 6th of January, 1649, the queen, with the little king and the
whole court, set out at four A. M. from Paris for the castle of St.
Germain, empty, unfurnished, as was then the custom in the king's
absence, where the courtiers had great difficulty in finding a bundle of
straw. "The queen had scarcely a bed to lie upon," says Mdlle. de
Montpensier, "but never did I see any creature so gay as she was that
day; had she won a battle, taken Paris, and had all who had displeased
her hanged, she could not have been more so, and nevertheless she was
very far from all that."

Paris was left to the malcontents; everybody was singing,

"A Fronde-ly wind
Got up to-day,
'Gainst Mazarin
It howls, they say."

On the 8th of January the Parliament of Paris, all the chambers in
assembly, issued a decree whereby Cardinal Mazarin was declared an enemy
to the king and the state, and a disturber of the public peace, and
injunctions were laid upon all subjects of the king to hunt him down; war
was declared.

Scarcely had it begun, when the greatest lords came flocking to the
popular side. On the departure of the court for St. Germain, the Duchess
of Longueville had remained in Paris; her husband and her brother the
Prince of Conti were not slow in coming to look after her; and already
the Duke of Elbeuf, of the house of Lorraine, had offered his services to
the Parliament. Levies of troops were beginning in the city, and the
command of the forces was offered to the Prince of Conti; the Dukes of
Bouillon and Beaufort and Marshal de la Mothe likewise embraced the party
of revolt; the Duchesses of Longueville and Bouillon established
themselves with their children at the Hotel de Ville as hostages given by
the Fronde of princes to the Fronde of the people; the Parliaments of Aix
and Rouen made common cause with that of Paris; a decree ordered the
seizure, in all the exchequers of the kingdom, of the royal moneys, in
order that they might be employed for the general defence. Every evening
Paris wore a festive air; there was dancing at the Hotel de Ville, and
the gentlemen who had been skirmishing during the day around the walls
came for recreation in the society of the princesses. "This commingling
of blue scarfs, of ladies, of cuirasses, of violins in the hall, and of
trumpets in the square, offered a spectacle which is oftener seen in
romances than elsewhere." [_Memoires du Cardinal de Retz,_ t. i.]
Affairs of gallantry were mixed up with the most serious resolves; Madame
de Longueville was of the Fronde because she was in love with M. de
Marsillac (afterwards Duke of La Rochefoucauld), and he was on bad terms
with Cardinal Mazarin.

Meanwhile war was rumbling round Paris; the post of Charenton, fortified
by the Frondeurs, had been carried by the Prince of Conde at the head of
the king's troops; the Parliament was beginning to perceive its mistake,
and desired to have peace again, but the great lords engaged in the
contest aspired to turn it to account; they had already caused the gates
of Paris to be closed against a herald sent by the queen to recall her
subjects to their duty; they were awaiting the army of Germany, commanded
by M. de Tnrenne, whom his brother, the Duke of Bouillon, had drawn into
his culpable enterprise; nay, more, they had begun to negotiate with
Spain, and they brought up to the Parliament a pretended envoy from
Archduke Leopold, but the court refused to receive him. "What! sir,"
said President de Mesmes, turning to the Prince of Conti, "is it possible
that a prince of the blood of France should propose to give a seat upon
the fleurs-de-lis to a deputy from the most cruel enemy of the

The Parliament sent a deputation to the queen, and conferences were
opened at Ruel on the 4th of March;. the great lords of the Fronde took
no part in it; "they contented themselves with having at St. Germain
low-voiced (a basses notes)--secret agents," says Madame de Motteville,
"commissioned to negotiate in their favor." Paris was beginning to lack
bread; it was festival-time, and want began to make itself felt; a
"complaint of the Carnival" was current amongst the people:--

"In my extreme affliction, yet
I can this consolation get,
That, at his hands, my enemy,
Old Lent, will fare the same as I:
That, at the times when people eat,
We both shall equal worship meet.
Thus, joining with the whole of France
In war against him _a outrance,_
Grim Lent and festive Carnival,
Will fight against the cardinal."

It was against the cardinal, in fact, that all attacks were directed, but
the queen remained immovable in her fidelity. "I should be afraid," she
said to Madame de Motteville, "that, if I were to let him fall, the same
thing would happen to me that happened to the King of England (Charles I.
had just been executed), and that, after he had been driven out, my turn
would come." Grain had found its way into Paris during the truce; and
when, on the 13th of March, the premier president, Molt;, and the other
negotiators, returned to Paris, bringing the peace which they had signed
at Ruel, they were greeted with furious shouts: "None of your peace!
None of your Mazarin! We must go to St. Germain to seek our good king!
We must fling into the river all the Mazarins!" A rioter had just laid
his hand on the premier president's arm. "When you have killed me," said
the latter, calmly, "I shall only want six feet of earth;" and, when he
was advised to get back into his house by way of the record-offices, "The
court never hides itself," he said; "if I were certain to perish, I would
not commit this poltroonery, which, moreover, would but serve to give
courage to the rioters. They would, of course, come after me to my house
if they thought that I shrank from them here." The deputies of the
Parliament were sent back to Ruel, taking a statement of the claims of
the great lords: "according to their memorials, they demanded the whole
of France." [_Memoires de Madame de Motteville,_ t. iii. p. 247.]

Whilst Paris was in disorder, and the agitation, through its example, was
spreading over almost the whole of France, M. de Turenne, obliged to fly
from his army, was taking refuge, he and five others, with the landgrave
of Hesse; his troops had refused to follow him in revolt; the last hope
of the Frondeurs was slipping from them.

They found themselves obliged to accept peace, not without obtaining some
favors from the court.

There was a general amnesty; and the Parliament preserved all its rights.
"The king will have the honor of it, and we the profit," said Guy-Patin.
The great lords reappeared one after another at St. Germain. "It is the
way of our nation to return to their duty with the same airiness with
which they depart from it, and to pass in a single instant from rebellion
to obedience." [_La Rochefoucauld._] The return to rebellion was not to
be long delayed. The queen had gone back to Paris, and the Prince of
Conde with her; he, proud of having beaten the parliamentary Fronde,
affected the conqueror's airs, and the throng of his courtiers, the
"petits maitres," as they were called, spoke very slightingly of the
cardinal. Conde, reconciled with the Duchess of Longueville, his
sister, and his brother, the Prince of Conti, assumed to have the lion's
share in the government, and claimed all the favors for himself or his
friends; the Fondeurs made skilful use of the ill-humor which this
conduct excited in Cardinal Mazarin; the minister responded to their
advances; the coadjutor was secretly summoned to the Louvre; the dowager
Princess of Conde felt some apprehensions; but, "What have I to fear?"
her son said to her; "the cardinal is my friend." "I doubt it," she
answered. "You are wrong; I rely upon him as much as upon you." "Please
God you may not be mistaken!" replied the princess, who was setting out
for the Palais-Royal to see the queen, said to be indisposed that day.

Anne of Austria was upon her bed; word was brought to her that the
council was waiting; this was the moment agreed upon; she dismissed the
princess, shut herself up in her oratory with the little king, to whom
she gave an account of what was going to be done for his service; then,
making him kneel down, she joined him in praying to God for the success
of this great enterprise. As the Prince of Conde arrived in the grand
gallery, he saw Guitaut, captain of the guards, coming towards him; at
the same instant, through a door at the bottom, out went the cardinal,
taking with him Abbe de la Riviere, who was the usual confidant of the
Duke of Orleans, but from whom his master had concealed the great secret.
The prince supppsed that Guitaut was coming to ask him some favor; the
captain of the guards said in his ear, "My lord, what I want to say is,
that I have orders to arrest you, you, the Prince of Conti your brother,
and M. de Longueville." "Me, M. Guitaut, arrest me?" Then, reflecting
for a moment, "In God's name," he said, "go back to the queen and tell
her that I entreat her to let me have speech of her!" Guitaut went to
her, whilst the prince, returning to those who were waiting for him,
said, "Gentlemen, the queen orders my arrest, and yours too, brother, and
yours too, M. de Longueville; I confess that I am astonished, I who have
always served the king so well, and believed myself secure of the
cardinal's friendship." The chancellor, who was not in the secret,
declared that it was Guitaut's pleasantry. "Go and seek the queen then,"
said the prince, "and tell her of the pleasantry that is going on; as for
me, I hold it to be very certain that I am arrested." The chancellor
went out, and did not return. M. Servien, who had gone to speak to the
cardinal, likewise did not appear again. M. de Guitaut entered alone.
"The queen cannot see you, my lord," he said. "Very well; I am content;
let us obey," answered the prince: "but whither are you going to take us?
I pray you let it be to a warm place." "We are going to the wood of
Vincennes, my lord," said Guitaut. The prince turned to the company and
took his leave without uneasiness and with the calmest countenance: as he
was embracing M. de Brienne, secretary of state, he said to him, "Sir, as
I have often received from you marks of your friendship and generosity, I
flatter myself that you will some day tell the king the services I have
rendered him." The princes went out; and, as they descended the
staircase, Conde leaned towards Comminges, who commanded the detachment
of guards, saying, "Comminges, you are a man of honor and a gentleman;
have I anything to fear?" Comminges assured him he had not, and that the
orders were merely to escort him to the wood of Vincennes. The carriage
upset on the way; as soon as it was righted, Comminges ordered the driver
to urge on his horses. The prince burst out laughing. "Don't be afraid,
Comminges," he said; "there is nobody to come to my assistance; I swear
to you that I had not taken any precautions against this trip." On
arriving at the castle of Vincennes, there were no beds to be found, and
the three princes passed the night playing at cards; the Princess of
Conde and the dowager princess received orders to retire to their
estates; the Duchess of Longueville, fearing with good cause that she
would be arrested, had taken with all speed the road to Normandy, whither
she went and took refuge at Dieppe, in her husband's government.

The state-stroke had succeeded; Mazarin's skill and prudence once more
check-mated all the intrigues concocted against him; when the news was
told to Chavigny, in spite of all his reasons for bearing malice against
the cardinal, who had driven him from the council and kept him for some
time in prison, he exclaimed, "That is a great misfortune for the prince
and his friends; but the truth must be told: the cardinal has done quite
right; without it he would have been ruined." The contest was begun
between Mazarin and the great Conde, and it was not with the prince that
the victory was to remain.

Already hostilities were commencing; Mazarin had done everything for the
Frondeurs who remained faithful to him, but the house of Conde was
rallying all its partisans; the Dukes of Bouillon and La Rochefoucauld
had thrown themselves into Bordeaux, which was in revolt against the
royal authority, represented by the Duke of Epernon. The Princess of
Conde and her young son left Chantilly to join them; Madame de
Longueville occupied Stenay, a strong place belonging to the Prince of
Conde: she had there found Turenne; on the other hand, the queen had just
been through Normandy; all the towns had opened their gates to her; it
was just the same in Burgundy; the Princess of Conde's able agent, Lenet,
could not obtain a declaration from the Parliament of Dijon in her favor.
Bordeaux was the focus of the insurrection; the people, passionately
devoted to "the dukes," as the saying was, were forcing the hand of the
Parliament; riots were frequent in the town; the little king, with the
queen and the cardinal, marched in person upon Bordeaux; one of the
faubourgs was attacked, the dukes negotiated and obtained a general
amnesty, but no mention was made of the princes' release.

The Parliament of Paris took the matter up. The premier president spoke
in so bitter a tone of the unhappy policy of the minister, that the
little king, feeling hurt, told his mother that, if he had thought it
would not displease her, he would have made the premier president hold
his tongue, and would have dismissed him. On the 30th of January, Anne
of Austria sent word to the Parliament that she would consent to grant
the release of the princes, "provided that the armaments of Stenay and of
M. de Turenne might be discontinued." But it was too late; the Duke of
Orleans had made a treaty with the princes. England served as pretext.
Mazarin compared the Parliament to the House of Commons, and the
coadjutor to Cromwell. Monsieur took the matter up for his friends, and
was angry. He openly declared that he would not set foot again in the
Palais-Royal as long as he was liable to meet the cardinal there, and
joined the Parliament in demanding the removal of Mazarin. The queen
replied that nobody had a right to interfere in the choice of ministers.
By way of answer, the Parliament laid injunctions upon all the officers
of the crown to obey none but the Duke of Orleans, lieutenant general of
the kingdom. A meeting of the noblesse, at a tumultuous assembly in the
house of the Duke of Nemours, expressed themselves in the same sense. It
was the 6th of February, 1651: during the night, Cardinal Mazarin set out
for St. Germain; a rumor spread in Paris that the queen was preparing to
follow him with the king; a rush was made to the Palais-Royal: the king
was in his bed. Next day, Anne of Austria complained to the Parliament.
"The prince is at liberty," said the premier president, "and the king,
the king our master, is a prisoner." "Monsieur, who felt no fear," says
Retz, "because he had been more cheered in the streets and the hall of
the palace than he had ever been," answered with vivacity, "The king was
a prisoner in the hands of Mazarin; but, thank God, he is not any
longer." The premier president was right; the king was a prisoner to the
Parisians; patrols of burgesses were moving incessantly round the Palais-
Royal; one night the queen was obliged to let the people into her
chamber; the king was asleep; and two officers of the town-guard watched
for some hours at his pillow. The yoke of Richelieu and the omnipotence
of Mazarin were less hard for royalty to bear than the capricious and
jealous tyranny of the populace.

The cardinal saw that he was beaten; he made up his mind, and,
anticipating the queen's officers, he hurried to Le Havre to release the
prisoners himself; he entered the castle alone, the governor having
refused entrance to the guards who attended him. "The prince told me,"
says Mdlle. de Montpensier, "that, when they were dining together,
Cardinal Mazarin was not so much in the humor to laugh as he himself was,
and that he was very much embarrassed. Liberty to be gone had more
charms for the prince than the cardinal's company. He said that he felt
marvellous delight at finding himself outside Le Havre, with his sword at
his side; and he might well be pleased to wear it; he is a pretty good
hand at using it. As he went out he turned to the cardinal and said,
'Farewell, Cardinal Mazarin,' who kissed 'the tip of sleeve' to him."

The cardinal had slowly taken the road to exile, summoning to him his
nieces, Mdlles. Mancini and Martinozzi, whom he had, a short time since,
sent for to court; he crossed from Normandy into Picardy, made some stay
at Doullens, and, impelled by his enemies' hatred, he finally crossed the
frontier on the 12th of March. The Parliament had just issued orders for
his arrest in any part of France. On the 6th of April, he fixed his
quarters at Bruhl, a little town belonging to the electorate of Cologne,
in the same territory which had but lately sheltered the last days of
Mary de' Medici.

The Frondeurs, old and new, had gained the day; but even now there was
disorder in their camp. Conde had returned to the court "like a raging
lion, seeking to devour everybody, and, in revenge for his imprisonment,
to set fire to the four corners of the realm." [_Memoires de Montglat._]
After a moment's reconciliation with the queen, be began to show himself
more and more haughty towards her in his demands every day; he required
the dismissal of the ministers Le Tellier, Servien, and Lionne, all three
creatures of the cardinal and in correspondence with him at Bruhl; as
Anne of Austria refused, the prince retired to St. Maur; he was already
in negotiation with Spain, being inveigled into treason by the influence
of his sister, Madame de Longueville, who would not leave the Duke of
La Rochefoucauld or return into Normandy to her husband. Fatal results
of a guilty passion which enlisted against his country the arms of the
hero of Rocroi! When he returned to Paris, the queen had, in fact,
dismissed her ministers, but she had formed a fresh alliance with the
coadjutor, and, on the 17th of August, in the presence of an assembly
convoked for that purpose at the Palais-Royal, she openly denounced the
intrigues of the prince with Spain, accusing him of being in
correspondence with the archduke. Next day Conde brought the matter
before the Parliament. The coadjutor quite expected the struggle, and
had brought supporters; the queen had sent some soldiers; the prince
arrived with a numerous attendance. On entering, he said to the company,
that he could not sufficiently express his astonishment at the condition
in which he found the palace, which seemed to him more like a camp than a
temple of justice, and that it was not merely that there could be found
in the kingdom people insolent enough to presume to dispute (superiority)
the pavement (disputer le pave) with him. "I made him a deep obeisance,"
says Retz, "and said that, I very humbly begged his Highness to pardon me
if I told him that I did not believe that there was anybody in the
kingdom insolent enough to dispute the wall (le haut du pave) with him,
but I was persuaded that there were some who could not and ought not, for
their dignity's sake, to yield the pavement (quitter le pave) to any but
the king. The prince replied that he would make me yield it. I said
that that would not be easy." The dispute grew warm; the presidents
flung themselves between the disputants; Conde yielded to their
entreaties, and begged the Duke of La Rochefoucauld to go and tell his
friends to withdraw. The coadjutor went out to make the same request to
his friends. "When he would have returned into the usher's little
court," writes Mdlle. de Montpensier, "he met at the door the Duke of La
Rochefoucauld, who shut it in his face, just keeping it ajar to see who
accompanied the coadjutor; he, seeing the door ajar, gave it a good push,
but he could not pass quite through, and remained as it were jammed
between the two folds, unable to get in or out. The Duke of La
Rochefoucauld had fastened the door with an iron catch, keeping it so to
prevent its opening any wider. The coadjutor was 'in an ugly position,
for he could not help fearing lest a dagger should pop out and take his
life from behind. A complaint was made to the grand chamber, and
Champlatreux, son of the premier president, went out, and, by his
authority, had the door opened, in spite of the Duke of La
Rochefoucauld." The coadjutor protested, and the Duke of Brissac, his
relative, threatened the Duke of La Rochefoucauld; whereupon the latter
said that, if he had them outside, he would strangle them both; to which
the coadjutor replied, "My dear La Franchise (the duke's nickname), do
not act the bully; you are a poltroon and I am a priest; we shall not do
one another much harm." There was no fighting, and the Parliament,
supported by the Duke of Orleans, obtained from the queen a declaration
of the innocence of the Prince of Conde, and at the same time a formal
disavowal of Mazarin's policy, and a promise never to recall him. Anne
of Austria yielded everything; the king's majority was approaching, and
she flattered herself that under cover of his name she would be able to
withdraw the concessions which she felt obliged to make as regent. Her
declaration, nevertheless, deeply wounded Mazarin, who was still taking
refuge at Bruhl, whence he wrote incessantly to the queen, who did not
neglect his counsels. "Ten times I have taken up my pen to write to
you," he said on the 26th of September, 1651 [_Lettres du Cardinal
Mazarin a la Reine,_ pp. 292, 293], "but could not, and I am so beside
myself at the mortal wound I have just received, that I am not sure
whether anything I could say to you would have rhyme or reason. The king
and the queen, by an authentic deed, have declared me a traitor, a public
robber, an incapable, and an enemy to the repose of Christendom, after I
had served them with so many signs of my devotion to the advancement of
peace: it is no longer a question of property, repose, or whatever else
there may be of the sort. I demand the honor which has been taken from
me, and that I be let alone, renouncing very heartily the cardinalate and
the benefices, whereof I send in my resignation joyfully, consenting
willingly to have given up to France twenty-three years of the best of my
life, all my pains and my little of wealth, and merely to withdraw with
the honor which I had when I began to serve her." The persistent hopes
of the adroit Italian appeared once more in the postscript of the letter:
"I had forgotten to tell you that it was not the way to set me right in
the eyes of the people to impress upon their mind that I am the cause of
all the evils they suffer, and of all the disorders of the realm, in such
sort that my ministry will be held in horror forever."

Conde did not permit himself to be caught by the queen's declarations:
of all the princes he alone was missing at the ceremony of the bed of
justice whereat the youthful Louis XIV., when entering his fourteenth
year, announced, on the 7th of September, to his people that, according
the laws of his realm, he "intended himself to assume the government,
hoping of God's goodness that it would be with piety and justice." The
prince had retired to Chantilly, on the pretext that the new minister,
the president of the council, Chateauneuf, and the keeper of the seals,
Matthew Mole, were not friends of his. The Duchess of Longueville at
last carried the day; Conde was resolved upon civil war. "You would have
it," he said to his sister on repelling the envoy, who had followed him
to Bourges, from the queen and the Duke of Orleans; "remember that I draw
the sword in spite of myself, but I will be the last to sheathe it." And
he kept his word.

A great disappointment awaited the rebels; they had counted upon the Duke
of Bouillon and M. de Turenne, but neither of them would join the
faction. The relations between the two great generals had not been
without rubs; Turenne had, moreover, felt some remorse because he, being
a general in the king's army, had but lately declared against the court,
"doing thereby a deed at which Le Balafro and Admiral de Coligny would
have hesitated," says Cardinal de Retz. The two brothers went, before
long, and offered their services to the queen.

Meanwhile Conde had arrived at Bordeaux: a part of Guienne, Saintonge,
and Porigord had declared in his favor; Count d'Harcourt, at the head of
the royal troops, marched against La Rochelle, which he took from the
revolters under the very beard of the prince, who had come from Bordeaux
to the assistance of the place, whilst the king and the queen, resolutely
quitting Paris, advanced from town to town as far as Poitiers, keeping
the centre of France to its allegiance by their mere presence. The
treaty of the Prince of Conde with Spain was concluded: eight Spanish
vessels, having money and troops on board, entered the Gironde. Conde
delivered over to them the castle and harbor of Talmont. The queen had
commissioned the cardinal to raise levies in Germany, and he had already
entered the country of Liege, embodying troops and forming alliances. On
the 17th of November, Anne of Austria finally wrote to Mazarin to return
to the king's assistance. In the presence of Conde's rebellion she had
no more appearances to keep up with anybody; and it was already in the
master's tone that Mazarin wrote to the queen, on the 30th of October, to
put her on her guard against the Duke of Orleans: "The power committed to
his Royal Highness and the neutrality permitted to him, being as he is
wholly devoted to the prince, surrounded by his partisans, and adhering
blindly to their counsels, are matters highly prejudicial to the king's
service, and, for my part, I do not see how one can be a servant of the
king's, with ever so little judgment and knowledge of affairs, and yet
dispute these truths. The queen, then, must bide her time to remedy all

The cardinal's penetration had not deceived him; the Duke of Orleans was
working away in Paris, where the queen had been obliged to leave him, on
the Prince of Conde's side. The Parliament had assembled to enregister
against the princes the proclamation of high treason despatched from
Bourges by the court; Gaston demanded that it should be sent back,
threatened as they were, he said, with a still greater danger than the
rebellion of the princes in the return of Mazarin, who was even now
advancing to the frontier; but the premier president took no notice, and
put the proclamation to the vote in these words "It is a great misfortune
when princes of the blood give occasion for such proclamations, but this
is a common and ordinary misfortune in the kingdom, and, for five or six
centuries past, it may be said that they have been the scourges of the
people and the enemies of the monarchy." The decree passed by a hundred
votes to forty.

On the 24th of December, the cardinal crossed the frontier with a large
body of troops, and was received at Sedan by Lieutenant General Fabert,
faithful to his fortunes even in exile. The Parliament was furious,
and voted, almost unanimously, that the cardinal and his adherents were
guilty of high treason; ordering the communes to hound him down, and
promising, from the proceeds of his furniture and library which were
about to be sold, a sum of five hundred thousand livres to whoever should
take him dead or alive. At once began the sale of the magnificent
library which the cardinal had liberally opened to the public. The
dispersion of the books was happily stopped in time to still leave a
nucleus for the Mazarin Library.

Meanwhile Mazarin had not allowed himself to be frightened by
parliamentary decrees or by dread of assassins. Re-entering France with
six thousand men, he forced the passage of Pontsur-Yonne, in spite of the
two councillors of the Parliaments who were commissioned to have him
arrested; the Duke of Beaufort, at the head of Monsieur's troops, did not
even attempt to impede his march; and, on the 28th of January, the
cardinal entered Poitiers, at once resuming his place beside the king,
who had come to meet him a league from the town. The court took
leisurely the road to Paris.

The coadjutor had received the price of his services in the royal cause;
he was a cardinal "sooner," said he, "than Mazarias would have had him;"
and so the new prince of the church considered himself released from any
gratitude to the court, and sought to form a third party, at the head of
which was to be placed the Duke of Orleans as nominal head. Monsieur,
harried by intrigues in all directions, remained in a state of inaction,
and made a pretension of keeping Paris neutral; his daughter, Mdlle. de
Montpensier, who detested Anne of Austria and Mazarin, and would have
liked to marry the king, had boldly taken the side of the princes; the
court had just arrived at Blois, on the 27th of March, 1652; the keeper
of the seals, Mole, presented himself in front of Orleans to summon the
town to open its gates to the king; at that very moment arrived Mdlle.,
the great Mdlle., as she was then called; and she claimed possession of
Orleans in her father's name. "It was the appanage of Monsieur; but the
gates were shut and barricaded. After they had been told that it was I,"
writes Mdlle., "they did not open; and I was there three hours. The
governor sent me some sweetmeats, and what appeared to me rather funny
was that he gave me to understand that he had no influence. At the
window of the sentry-box was the Marquis d'Halluys, who watched me
walking up and down by the fosse. The rampart was fringed with people
who shouted incessantly, 'Hurrah for the king! hurrah for the princes!
None of your Mazarin!' I could not help calling out to them, 'Go to the
Hotel de Ville and get the gate opened to me!' The captain made signs
that he had not the keys. I said to him, 'It must be burst open, and you
owe me more allegiance than to the gentlemen of the town, seeing that I
am your master's daughter.' The boatmen offered to break open for me a
gate which was close by there. I told them to make haste, and I mounted
upon a pretty high mound of earth overlooking that gate. I thought but
little about any nice way of getting thither; I climbed like a cat; I
held on to briers and thorns, and I leapt all the hedges without hurting
myself at all; two boats were brought up to serve me for a bridge, and in
the second was placed a ladder by which I mounted. The gate was burst at
last. Two planks had been forced out of the middle; signs were made to
me to advance; and as there was a great deal of mud, a footman took me
up, carried me along, and put me through this hole, through which I had
no sooner passed my head than the drums began beating. I gave my hand to
the captain, and said to him, "You will be very glad that you can boast
of having managed to get me in."

[Illustration: The Great Mademoiselle----373]

The keeper of the seals was obliged to return to Blois, and Mdlle. kept
Orleans, but without being able to effect an entrance for the troops of
the Dukes of Nemours and Beaufort, who had just tried a surprise against
the court. Had it not been for the aid of Turenne, who had defended the
bridge of Jargeau, the king might have fallen into the hands of his
revolted subjects. The queen rested at Gien whilst the princes went on
as far as Montargis, thus cutting off the communications of the court
with Paris. Turenne was preparing to fall upon his incapable adversaries
when the situation suddenly changed: the, Prince of Conde, weary of the
bad state of his affairs in Guienne, where the veteran soldiers of the
Count of Harcourt had the advantage everywhere over the new levies, had
traversed France in disguise, and forming a junction, on the 1st of
April, with the Dukes of Nemours and Beaufort, threw himself upon the
quarters of Marshal d'Hocquincourt, defeated him, burned his camp, and
drove him back to Bldneau; a rapid march on the part of Turenne, coming
to the aid of his colleague, forced Conde to fall back upon Chatillon;
on the 11th of April he was in Paris.

The princes had relied upon the irritation caused by the return of
Mazarin to draw Paris into the revolt, but they were only half
successful; the Parliament would scarcely give Conde admittance;
President de Bailleul, who occupied the chair in the absence of Mole,
declared that the body always considered it an honor to see the prince in
their midst, but that they would have preferred not to see him there in
the state in which he was at the time, with his hands still bloody from
the defeat of the king's troops. Amelot, premier president of the Court
of Aids, said to the prince's face, "that it was a matter of
astonishment, after many battles delivered or sustained against his
Majesty's troops, to see him not only returning to Paris without having
obtained letters of amnesty, but still appearing amongst the sovereign
bodies as if he gloried in the spoils of his Majesty's subjects, and
causing the drum to be beaten for levying troops, to be paid by money
coming from Spain, in the capital of the realm, the most loyal city
possessed by the king." The city of Paris resolved not to make "common
cause or furnish money to assist the princes against the king under
pretext of its being against Mazarin." The populace alone were favorable
to the princes' party.

Meanwhile Turenne had easy work with the secondary generals remaining at
the head of the factious army; by his able maneeuvres he had covered the
march of the court, which established itself at St. Germain.

Conde assembled his forces encamped around Paris: he intended to fortify
himself at the confluence of the Seine and the Marne, hoping to be
supported by the little army which had just been brought up by Duke
Charles of Lorraine, as capricious and adventurous as ever. Turenne and
the main body of his troops barred the passage. Conde threw himself back
upon Faubourg St. Antoine, and there intrenched himself, at the outlet of
the three principal streets which abutted upon Porte St. Antoine (now
Place do la Bastille). Turenne had meant to wait for re-enforcements and
artillery, but the whole court had flocked upon the heights of Charonne
to see the fight; pressure was put upon him, and the marshal gave the
word to attack. The army of the Fronde fought with fury. "I did not see
a Prince of Conde," Turenne used to say; "I saw more than a dozen." The
king's soldiers had entered the houses, thus turning the barricades;
Marshal Ferte had just arrived with the artillery, and was sweeping Rue
St. Antoine. The princes' army was about to be driven back to the foot
of the walls of Paris, when the cannon of the Bastille, replying all on a
sudden to the volleys of the royal troops, came like a thunderbolt on M.
de Turenne; the Porte St. Antoine opened, and the Parisians, under arms,
fringing the streets, protected the return of the rebel army. Mdlle. de
Montpensier had taken the command of the city of Paris.

For a week past the Duke of Orleans had been ill, or pretended to be; he
refused to give any order. When the prince began his movement, on the 2d
of July, early, he sent to beg Mdlle. not to desert him. "I ran to the
Luxembourg," she says, "and I found Monsieur at the top of the stairs.
'I thought I should find you in bed,' said I; 'Count Fiesque told me that
you didn't feel well.' He answered, 'I am not ill enough for that, but
enough not to go out.' I begged him to ride out to the aid of the
prince, or, at any rate, to go to bed and assume to be ill; but I could
get nothing from him. I went so far as to say, 'Short of having a treaty
with the court in your pocket, I cannot understand how you can take
things so easily; but can you really have one to sacrifice the prince to
Cardinal Mazarin?' He made no reply: all I said lasted quite an hour,
during which every friend we had might have been killed, and the prince
as well as another, without anybody's caring; nay, there were people of
Monsieur's in high spirits, hoping that the prince would perish; they
were friends of Cardinal de Retz. At last Monsieur gave me a letter for
the gentlemen of the Hotel, leaving it to me to tell them his intention.
I was there in a moment, assuring those present that, if ill luck would
have it that the enemy should beat the prince, no more quarter would be
shown to Paris than to the men who bore arms. Marshal de l'Hopital,
governor of Paris for the king, said to me, 'You are aware, Mdlle., that
if your troops had not approached this city, those of the king would not
have come thither, and that they only came to drive them away.' Madame
de Nemours did not like this, and began to argue the point. I broke off
their altercation. 'Consider, sir, that, whilst time is being wasted in
discussing useless matters, the prince is in danger in your faubourgs.'"
She carried with her the aid of the Duke of Orleans' troops, and
immediately moved forwards, meeting everywhere on her road her friends
wounded or dying. "When I was near the gate, I went into the house of an
exchequer-master (maitre des comptes). As soon as I was there, the
prince came thither to see me; he was in a pitiable state; he had two
fingers' breadth of dust on his face, and his hair all matted; his collar
and his shirt were covered with blood, although he was not wounded; his
breastplate was riddled all over; and he held his sword bare in his hand,
having lost the scabbard. He said to me, 'You see a man in despair; I
have lost all my friends; MM. de Nemours, de la Rochefoucauld, and
Clinchamps are wounded to death.' I consoled him a little by telling him
that they were in better case than he supposed. Then I went off to the
Bastille, where I made them load the cannon which was trained right upon
the city; and I gave orders to fire as soon as I had gone. I went thence
to the Porte St. Antoine. The soldiers shouted, 'Let us do something
that will astonish them; our retreat is secure; here is Mdlle. at the
gate, and she will have it opened for us, if we are hard pressed.' The
prince gave orders to march back into the city; he seemed to me quite
different from what he had been early in the day, though he had not
changed at all; he paid me a thousand compliments and thanks for the
great service he considered that I had rendered him. I said to him,
'I have a favor to ask of you: that is, not to say anything to Monsieur
about the laches he has displayed towards you.' At this very moment up
came Monsieur, who embraced the prince with as gay an air as if he had
not left him at all in the lurch. The prince confessed that he had never
been in so dangerous a position."

The fight at Porte St. Antoine had not sufficiently compromised the
Parisians, who began to demand peace at any price. The mob, devoted to
the princes, set themselves to insult in the street all those who did not
wear in their hats a tuft of straw, the rallying sign of the faction. On
the 4th of July, at the general assembly of the city, when the king's
attorney-general proposed to conjure his Majesty to return to Paris
without Cardinal Mazarin, the princes, who demanded the union of the
Parisians with themselves, rose up and went out, leaving the assembly to
the tender mercies of the crowd assembled on the Place de Greve. "Down
on the Mazarins!" was the cry; "there are none but Mazarins any longer at
the Hotel de Ville!" Fire was applied to the doors defended by the
archers; all the outlets were guarded by men beside themselves; more than
thirty burgesses of note were massacred; many died of their wounds, the
Hotel de Ville was pillaged, Marshal de l'Hopital escaped with great
difficulty, and the provost of tradesmen yielded up his office to
Councillor Broussel. Terror reigned in Paris: it was necessary to drag
the magistrates to the Palace of Justice to decree, on the 19th of July,
by seventy-four votes against sixty-nine, that the Duke of Orleans should
be appointed "lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and the Prince of Conde
commandant of all the armies." The usurpation of the royal authority was
flagrant, the city-assembly voted subsidies, and Paris wrote to all the
good towns of France to announce to them her resolution. Chancellor
Seguier had the poltroonery to accept the presidency of the council,
offered him by the Duke of Orleans; he thus avenged himself for the
preference the, queen had but lately shown for Mole by confiding the
seals to him. At the same time the Spaniards were entering France; for
all the strong places were dismantled or disgarrisoned. The king,
obliged to confront civil war, had abandoned his frontiers; Gravelines
had fallen on the 18th of May, and the arch-duke had undertaken the siege
of Dunkerque. At Conde's instance, he detached a body of troops, which
he sent, under the orders of Count Fuendalsagna, to join the Duke of
Lorraine, who had again approached Paris. Everywhere the fortune of arms
appeared to be against the king. "This year we lost Barcelona,
Catalonia, and Casale, the key of Italy," says Cardinal de Retz. We saw
Brisach in revolt, on the point of falling once more into the hands of
the house of Austria. We saw the flags and standards of Spain fluttering
on the Pont Neuf, the yellow scarfs of Lorraine appeared in Paris as
freely as the isabels and the blues." Dissension, ambition, and
poltroonery were delivering France over to the foreigner.

The evil passions of men, under the control of God, help sometimes to
destroy and sometimes to preserve them. The interests of the Spaniards
and of the Prince of Conde were not identical. He desired to become the
master of France, and to command in the king's name; the enemy were
laboring to humiliate France and to prolong the war indefinitely: The
arch-duke recalled Count Fuendalsagna to Dunkerque; and Turenne,
withstanding the terrors of the court, which would fain have fled first
into Normandy and then to Lyons, prevailed upon the queen to establish
herself at Pontoise, whilst the army occupied Compiegne. At every point
cutting off the passage of the Duke of Lorraine, who had been re-enforced
by a body of Spaniards, Turenne held the enemy in check for three weeks,
and prevented them from marching on Paris. All parties began to tire of

Cardinal Mazarin took his line, and loudly demanded of the king
permission to withdraw, in order, by his departure, to restore peace to
the kingdom. The queen refused. "There is no consideration shown," she
said, "for my son's honor and my own; we will not suffer him to go away."
But the cardinal insisted. Prudent and far-sighted as he was, he knew
that to depart was the only way of remaining. He departed on the 19th of
August, but without leaving the frontier: he took up his quarters at
Bouillon. The queen had summoned the Parliament to her at Pontoise. A
small number of magistrates responded to her summons, enough, however, to
give the queen the right to proclaim rebellious the Parliament remaining
at Paris. Chancellor Srguier made his escape, in order to go and rejoin
the court. Nobody really believed in the cardinal's withdrawal; men are
fond of yielding to appear ances in order to excuse in their own eyes a
change in their own purposes. Disorder went on increasing in Paris; the
great lords, in their discontent, were quarrelling one with another; the
Prince of Conde struck M. de Rieux, who returned the blow; the Duke of
Nemours was killed in a duel by M. de Beaufort; the burgesses were
growing weary of so much anarchy; a public display of feeling in favor

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