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Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois, Complete by Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre

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who observed that it would be a matter that would greatly distress me;
that if I had an esteem for Torigni it was not without cause, as she had
been brought up with the Queen of Spain and me from our infancy; that,
moreover, Torigni was a young lady of good understanding, and had been of
great use to him during his confinement at Vincennes; that it would be
the greatest ingratitude in him to overlook services of such a nature,
and that he remembered well when his Majesty had expressed the same

Thus did he defend himself against the performance of so ungrateful an
action. However, the King listened only to the arguments of Le Guast,
and told my husband that he should have no more love for him if he did
not remove Torigni from about me the very next morning.

He was forced to comply, greatly contrary to his will, and, as he has
since declared to me, with much regret. Joining entreaties to commands,
he laid his injunctions on me accordingly.

How displeasing this separation was I plainly discovered by the many
tears I shed on receiving his orders. It was in vain to represent to him
the injury done to my character by the sudden removal of one who had been
with me from my earliest years, and was so greatly, in my esteem and
confidence; he could not give an ear to my reasons, being firmly bound by
the promise he had made to the King.

Accordingly, Torigni left me that very day, and went to the house of a
relation, M. Chastelas. I was so greatly offended with this fresh
indignity, after so many of the kind formerly received, that I could not
help yielding to resentment; and my grief and concern getting the upper
hand of my prudence, I exhibited a great coolness and indifference
towards my husband. Le Guast and Madame de Sauves were successful in
creating a like indifference on his part, which, coinciding with mine,
separated us altogether, and we neither spoke to each other nor slept in
the same bed.

A few days after this, some faithful servants about the person of the
King my husband remarked to him the plot which had been concerted with so
much artifice to lead him to his ruin, by creating a division, first
betwixt him and my brother, and next betwixt him and me, thereby
separating him from those in whom only he could hope for his principal
support. They observed to him that already matters were brought to such
a pass that the King showed little regard for him, and even appeared to
despise him.

They afterwards addressed themselves to my brother, whose situation was
not in the least mended since the departure of Bussi, Le Guast causing
fresh indignities to be offered him daily. They represented to him that
the King my husband and he were both circumstanced alike, and equally in
disgrace, as Le Guast had everything under his direction; so that both of
them were under the necessity of soliciting, through him, any favours
which they might want of the King, and which, when demanded, were
constantly refused them with great contempt. Moreover, it was become
dangerous to offer them service, as it was inevitable ruin for any one to
do so.

"Since, then," said they, "your dissensions appear to be so likely to
prove fatal to both, it would be advisable in you both to unite and come
to a determination of leaving the Court; and, after collecting together
your friends and servants, to require from the King an establishment
suitable to your ranks." They observed to my brother that he had never
yet been put in possession of his appanage, and received for his
subsistence only some certain allowances, which were not regularly paid
him, as they passed through the hands of Le Guast, and were at his
disposal, to be discharged or kept back, as he judged proper. They
concluded with observing that, with regard to the King my husband, the
government of Guyenne was taken out of his hands; neither was he
permitted to visit that or any other of his dominions.

It was hereupon resolved to pursue the counsel now given, and that the
King my husband and my brother should immediately withdraw themselves
from Court. My brother made me acquainted with this resolution,
observing to me, as my husband and he were now friends again, that I
ought to forget all that had passed; that my husband had declared to him
that he was sorry things had so happened, that we had been outwitted by
our enemies, but that he was resolved, from henceforward, to show me
every attention and give me every proof of his love and esteem, and he
concluded with begging me to make my husband every show of affection, and
to be watchful for their interest during their absence.

It was concerted betwixt them that my brother should depart first, making
off in a carriage in the best manner he could; that, in a few days
afterwards, the King my husband should follow, under pretence of going on
a hunting party. They both expressed their concern that they could not
take me with them, assuring me that I had no occasion to have any
apprehensions, as it would soon appear that they had no design to disturb
the peace of the kingdom, but merely to ensure the safety of their own
persons, and to settle their establishments. In short, it might well be
supposed that, in their present situation, they had danger to themselves
from such reason to apprehend as had evil designs against their family.

Accordingly, as soon as it was dusk, and before the King's supper-time,
my brother changed his cloak, and concealing the lower part of his face
to his nose in it, left the palace, attended by a servant who was little
known, and went on foot to the gate of St. Honore, where he found Simier
waiting for him in a coach, borrowed of a lady for the purpose.

My brother threw himself into it, and went to a house about a quarter of
a league out of Paris, where horses were stationed ready; and at the
distance of about a league farther, he joined a party of two or three
hundred horsemen of his servants, who were awaiting his coming. My
brother was not missed till nine o'clock, when the King and the Queen my
mother asked me the reason he did not come to sup with them as usual, and
if I knew of his being indisposed. I told them I had not seen him since
noon. Thereupon they sent to his apartments. Word was brought back that
he was not there. Orders were then given to inquire at the apartments of
the ladies whom he was accustomed to visit. He was nowhere to be found.
There was now a general alarm. The King flew into a great passion, and
began to threaten me. He then sent for all the Princes and the great
officers of the Court; and giving orders for a pursuit to be made, and to
bring him back, dead or alive, cried out:

"He is gone to make war against me; but I will show him what it is to
contend with a king of my power."

Many of the Princes and officers of State remonstrated against these
orders, which they observed ought to be well weighed. They said that, as
their duty directed, they were willing to venture their lives in the
King's service; but to act against his brother they were certain would
not be pleasing to the King himself; that they were well convinced his
brother would undertake nothing that should give his Majesty displeasure,
or be productive of danger to the realm; that perhaps his leaving the
Court was owing to some disgust, which it would be more advisable to send
and inquire into. Others, on the contrary, were for putting the King's
orders into execution; but, whatever expedition they could use, it was
day before they set off; and as it was then too late to overtake my
brother, they returned, being only equipped for the pursuit.

I was in tears the whole night of my brother's departure, and the next
day was seized with a violent cold, which was succeeded by a fever that
confined me to my bed.

Meanwhile my husband was preparing for his departure, which took up all
the time he could spare from his visits to Madame de Sauves; so that he
did not think of me. He returned as usual at two or three in the
morning, and, as we had separate beds, I seldom heard him; and in the
morning, before I was awake, he went to my mother's levee, where he met
Madame de Sauves, as usual.

This being the case, he quite forgot his promise to my brother of
speaking to me; and when he went, away, it was without taking leave of

The King did not show my husband more favour after my brother's evasion,
but continued to behave with his former coolness. This the more
confirmed him in the resolution of leaving the Court, so that in a few
days, under the pretence of hunting, he went away.


Queen Marguerite under Arrest.--Attempt on Torigni's Life.--Her Fortunate

The King, supposing that I was a principal instrument in aiding the
Princes in their desertion, was greatly incensed against me, and his rage
became at length so violent that, had not the Queen my mother moderated
it, I am inclined to think my life had been in danger. Giving way to her
counsel, he became more calm, but insisted upon a guard being placed over
me, that I might not follow the King my husband, neither have
communication with any one, so as to give the Princes intelligence of
what was going on at Court. The Queen my mother gave her consent to this
measure, as being the least violent, and was well pleased to find his
anger cooled in so great a degree. She, however, requested that she
might be permitted to discourse with me, in order to reconcile me to a
submission to treatment of so different a kind from what I had hitherto
known. At the same time she advised the King to consider that these
troubles might not be lasting; that everything in the world bore a double
aspect; that what now appeared to him horrible and alarming, might, upon
a second view, assume a more pleasing and tranquil look; that, as things
changed, so should measures change with them; that there might come a
time when he might have occasion for my services; that, as prudence
counselled us not to repose too much confidence in our friends, lest they
should one day become our enemies, so was it advisable to conduct
ourselves in such a manner to our enemies as if we had hopes they should
hereafter become our friends. By such prudent remonstrances did the
Queen my mother restrain the King from proceeding to extremities with me,
as he would otherwise possibly have done.

Le Guast now endeavoured to divert his fury to another object, in order
to wound me in a most sensitive part. He prevailed on the King to adopt
a design for seizing Torigni, at the house of her cousin Chastelas, and,
under pretence of bringing her before the King, to drown her in a river
which they were to cross. The party sent upon this errand was admitted
by Chastelas, not suspecting any evil design, without the least
difficulty, into his house. As soon as they had gained admission they
proceeded to execute the cruel business they were sent upon, by fastening
Torigni with cords and locking her up in a chamber, whilst their horses
were baiting. Meantime, according to the French custom, they crammed
themselves, like gluttons, with the best eatables the house afforded.

Chastelas, who was a man of discretion, was not displeased to gain time
at the expense of some part of his substance, considering that the
suspension of a sentence is a prolongation of life, and that during this
respite the King's heart might relent, and he might countermand his
former orders. With these considerations he was induced to submit,
though it was in his power to have called for assistance to repel this
violence. But God, who hath constantly regarded my afflictions and
afforded me protection against the malicious designs of my enemies, was
pleased to order poor Torigni to be delivered by means which I could
never have devised had I been acquainted with the plot, of which I was
totally ignorant. Several of the domestics, male as well as female, had
left the house in a fright, fearing the insolence and rude treatment of
this troop of soldiers, who behaved as riotously as if they were in a
house given up to pillage. Some of these, at the distance of a quarter
of a league from the house, by God's providence, fell in with Ferte and
Avantigni, at the head of their troops, in number about two hundred
horse, on their march to join my brother. Ferte, remarking a labourer,
whom he knew to belong to Chastelas, apparently in great distress,
inquired of him what was the matter, and whether he had been ill-used by
any of the soldiery. The man related to him all he knew, and in what
state he had left his master's house. Hereupon Ferte and Avantigni
resolved, out of regard to me, to effect Torigni's deliverance, returning
thanks to God for having afforded them so favourable an opportunity of
testifying the respect they had always entertained towards me.

Accordingly, they proceeded to the house with all expedition, and arrived
just at the moment these soldiers were setting Torigni on horseback, for
the purpose of conveying her to the river wherein they had orders to
plunge her. Galloping into the courtyard, sword in hand, they cried out:
"Assassins, if you dare to offer that lady the least injury, you are dead
men!" So saying, they attacked them and drove them to flight, leaving
their prisoner behind, nearly as dead with joy as she was before with
fear and apprehension. After returning thanks to God and her deliverers
for so opportune and unexpected a rescue, she and her cousin Chastelas
set off in a carriage, under the escort of their rescuers, and joined my
brother, who, since he could not have me with him, was happy to have one
so dear to me about him. She remained under my brother's protection as
long as any danger was apprehended, and was treated with as much respect
as if she had been with me.

Whilst the King was giving directions for this notable expedition, for
the purpose of sacrificing Torigni to his vengeance, the Queen my mother,
who had not received the least intimation of it, came to my apartment as
I was dressing to go abroad, in order to observe how I should be received
after what had passed at Court, having still some alarms on account of my
husband and brother. I had hitherto confined myself to my chamber, not
having perfectly recovered my health, and, in reality, being all the time
as much indisposed in mind as in body.

My mother, perceiving my intention, addressed me in these words: "My
child, you are giving yourself unnecessary trouble in dressing to go
abroad. Do not be alarmed at what I am going to tell you. Your own good
sense will dictate to you that you ought not to be surprised if the King
resents the conduct of your brother and husband, and as he knows the love
and friendship that exist between you three, should suppose that you were
privy to their design of leaving the Court. He has, for this reason,
resolved to detain you in it, as a hostage for them. He is sensible how
much you are beloved by your husband, and thinks he can hold no pledge
that is more dear to him. On this account it is that the King has
ordered his guards to be placed, with directions not to suffer you to
leave your apartments. He has done this with the advice of his
counsellors, by whom it was suggested that, if you had your free liberty,
you might be induced to advise your brother and husband of their
deliberations. I beg you will not be offended with these measures,
which, if it so please God, may not be of long continuance. I beg,
moreover, you will not be displeased with me if I do not pay you frequent
visits, as I should be unwilling to create any suspicions in the King's
mind. However, you may rest assured that I shall prevent any further
steps from being taken that may prove disagreeable to you, and that I
shall use my utmost endeavours to bring about a reconciliation betwixt
your brothers."

I represented to her, in reply, the great indignity that was offered to
me by putting me under arrest; that it was true my brother had all along
communicated to me the just cause he had to be dissatisfied, but that,
with respect to the King my husband, from the time Torigni was taken from
me we had not spoken to each other; neither had he visited me during my
indisposition, nor did he even take leave of me when he left Court.
"This," says she, "is nothing at all; it is merely a trifling difference
betwixt man and wife, which a few sweet words, conveyed in a letter, will
set to rights. When, by such means, he has regained your affections, he
has only to write to you to come to him, and you will set off at the very
first opportunity. Now, this is what the King my son wishes to prevent."


The Peace of Sens betwixt Henri III. and the Huguenots.

The Queen my mother left me, saying these words. For my part, I remained
a close prisoner, without a visit from a single person, none of my most
intimate friends daring to come near me, through the apprehension that
such a step might prove injurious to their interests. Thus it is ever in
Courts. Adversity is solitary, while prosperity dwells in a crowd; the
object of persecution being sure to be shunned by his nearest friends and
dearest connections. The brave Grillon was the only one who ventured to
visit me, at the hazard of incurring disgrace. He came five or six times
to see me, and my guards were so much astonished at his resolution, and
awed by his presence, that not a single Cerberus of them all would
venture to refuse him entrance to my apartments.

Meanwhile, the King my husband reached the States under his government.
Being joined there by his friends and dependents, they all represented to
him the indignity offered to me by his quitting the Court without taking
leave of me. They observed to him that I was a princess of good
understanding, and that it would be for his interest to regain my esteem;
that, when matters were put on their former footing, he might derive to
himself great advantage from my presence at Court. Now that he was at a
distance from his Circe, Madame de Sauves, he could listen to good
advice. Absence having abated the force of her charms, his eyes were
opened; he discovered the plots and machinations of our enemies, and
clearly perceived that a rupture could not but tend to the ruin of us

Accordingly, he wrote me a very affectionate letter, wherein he entreated
me to forget all that had passed betwixt us, assuring me that from
thenceforth he would ever love me, and would give me every demonstration
that he did so, desiring me to inform him of what was going on at Court,
and how it fared with me and my brother. My brother was in Champagne and
the King my husband in Gascony, and there had been no communication
betwixt them, though they were on terms of friendship.

I received this letter during my imprisonment, and it gave me great
comfort under that situation. Although my guards had strict orders not
to permit me to set pen to paper, yet, as necessity is said to be the
mother of invention, I found means to write many letters to him. Some few
days after I had been put under arrest, my brother had intelligence of
it, which chagrined him so much that, had not the love of his country
prevailed with him, the effects of his resentment would have been shown
in a cruel civil war, to which purpose he had a sufficient force entirely
at his devotion. He was, however, withheld by his patriotism, and
contented himself with writing to the Queen my mother, informing her
that, if I was thus treated, he should be driven upon some desperate
measure. She, fearing the consequence of an open rupture, and dreading
lest, if blows were once struck, she should be deprived of the power of
bringing about a reconciliation betwixt the brothers, represented the
consequences to the King, and found him well disposed to lend an ear to
her reasons, as his anger was now cooled by the apprehensions of being
attacked in Gascony, Dauphiny, Languedoc, and Poitou, with all the
strength of the Huguenots under the King my husband. Besides the many
strong places held by the Huguenots, my brother had an army with him in
Champagne, composed chiefly of nobility, the bravest and best in France.
The King found, since my brother's departure, that he could not, either
by threats or rewards, induce a single person among the princes and great
lords to act against him, so much did every one fear to intermeddle in
this quarrel, which they considered as of a family nature; and after
having maturely reflected on his situation, he acquiesced in my mother's
opinion, and begged her to fall upon some means of reconciliation. She
thereupon proposed going to my brother and taking me with her. To the
measure of taking me, the King had an objection, as he considered me as
the hostage for my husband and brother. She then agreed to leave me
behind, and set off without my knowledge of the matter. At their
interview, my brother represented to the Queen my mother that he could
not but be greatly dissatisfied with the King after the many
mortifications he had received at Court; that the cruelty and injustice
of confining me hurt him equally as if done to himself; observing,
moreover, that, as if my arrest were not a sufficient mortification, poor
Torigni must be made to suffer; and concluding with the declaration of
his firm resolution not to listen to any terms of peace until I was
restored to my liberty, and reparation made me for the indignity I had
sustained. The Queen my mother being unable to obtain any other answer,
returned to Court and acquainted the King with my brother's
determination. Her advice was to go back again with me, for going
without me, she said, would answer very little purpose; and if I went
with her in disgust, it would do more harm than good. Besides, there was
reason to fear, in that case, I should insist upon going to my husband.
"In short," says she, "my daughter's guard must be removed, and she must
be satisfied in the best way we can."

The King agreed to follow her advice, and was now, on a sudden, as eager
to reconcile matters betwixt us as she was herself. Hereupon I was sent
for, and when I came to her, she informed me that she had paved the way
for peace; that it was for the good of the State, which she was sensible
I must be as desirous to promote as my brother; that she had it now in
her power to make a peace which would be as satisfactory as my brother
could desire, and would put us entirely out of the reach of Le Guast's
machinations, or those of any one else who might have an influence over
the King's mind. She observed that, by assisting her to procure a good
understanding betwixt the King and my brother, I should relieve her from
that cruel disquietude under which she at present laboured, as, should
things come to an open rupture, she could not but be grieved, whichever
party prevailed, as they were both her sons. She therefore expressed her
hopes that I would forget the injuries I had received, and dispose myself
to concur in a peace, rather than join in any plan of revenge. She
assured me that the King was sorry for what had happened; that he had
even expressed his regret to her with tears in his eyes, and had declared
that he was ready to give me every satisfaction. I replied that I was
willing to sacrifice everything for the good of my brothers and of the
State; that I wished for nothing so much as peace, and that I would exert
myself to the utmost to bring it about.

As I uttered these words, the King came into the closet, and, with a
number of fine speeches, endeavoured to soften my resentment and to
recover my friendship, to which I made such returns as might show him I
harboured no ill-will for the injuries I had received. I was induced to
such behaviour rather out of contempt, and because it was good policy to
let the King go away satisfied with me.

Besides, I had found a secret pleasure, during my confinement, from the
perusal of good books, to which I had given myself up with a delight I
never before experienced. I consider this as an obligation I owe to
fortune, or, rather, to Divine Providence, in order to prepare me, by
such efficacious means, to bear up against the misfortunes and calamities
that awaited me. By tracing nature in the universal book which is opened
to all mankind, I was led to the knowledge of the Divine Author. Science
conducts us, step by step, through the whole range of creation, until we
arrive, at length, at God. Misfortune prompts us to summon our utmost
strength to oppose grief and recover tranquillity, until at length we
find a powerful aid in the knowledge and love of God, whilst prosperity
hurries us away until we are overwhelmed by our passions. My captivity
and its consequent solitude afforded me the double advantage of exciting
a passion for study, and an inclination for devotion, advantages I had
never experienced during the vanities and splendour of my prosperity.

As I have already observed, the King, discovering in me no signs of
discontent, informed me that the Queen my mother was going into Champagne
to have an interview with my brother, in order to bring about a peace,
and begged me to accompany her thither and to use my best endeavours to
forward his views, as he knew my brother was always well disposed to
follow my counsel; and he concluded with saying that the peace, when
accomplished, he should ever consider as being due to my good offices,
and should esteem himself obliged to me for it. I promised to exert
myself in so good a work, which I plainly perceived was both for my
brother's advantage and the benefit of the State.

The Queen my mother and I set off for Sens the next day. The conference
was agreed to be held in a gentleman's chateau, at a distance of about a
league from that place. My brother was waiting for us, accompanied by a
small body of troops and the principal Catholic noblemen and princes of
his army. Amongst these were the Duc Casimir and Colonel Poux, who had
brought him six thousand German horse, raised by the Huguenots, they
having joined my brother, as the King my husband and he acted in

The treaty was continued for several days, the conditions of peace
requiring much discussion, especially such articles of it as related to
religion. With respect to these, when at length agreed upon, they were
too much to the advantage of the Huguenots, as it appeared afterwards, to
be kept; but the Queen my mother gave in to them, in order to have a
peace, and that the German cavalry before mentioned might be disbanded.
She was, moreover, desirous to get my brother out of the hands of the
Huguenots; and he was himself as willing to leave them, being always a
very good Catholic, and joining the Huguenots only through necessity. One
condition of the peace was, that my brother should have a suitable
establishment. My brother likewise stipulated for me, that my marriage
portion should be assigned in lands, and M. de Beauvais, a commissioner
on his part, insisted much upon it. My mother, however, opposed it, and
persuaded me to join her in it, assuring me that I should obtain from the
King all I could require. Thereupon I begged I might not be included in
the articles of peace, observing that I would rather owe whatever I was
to receive to the particular favour of the King and the Queen my mother,
and should, besides, consider it as more secure when obtained by such

The peace being thus concluded and ratified on both sides, the Queen my
mother prepared to return. At this instant I received letters from the
King my husband, in which he expressed a great desire to see me, begging
me, as soon as peace was agreed on, to ask leave to go to him. I
communicated my husband's wish to the Queen my mother, and added my own
entreaties. She expressed herself greatly averse to such a measure, and
used every argument to set me against it. She observed that, when I
refused her proposal of a divorce after St. Bartholomew's Day, she gave
way to my refusal, and commended me for it, because my husband was then
converted to the Catholic religion; but now that he had abjured
Catholicism, and was turned Huguenot again, she could not give her
consent that I should go to him. When I still insisted upon going, she
burst into a flood of tears, and said, if I did not return with her, it
would prove her ruin; that the King would believe it was her doing; that
she had promised to bring me back with her; and that, when my brother
returned to Court, which would be soon, she would give her consent.

We now returned to Paris, and found the King well satisfied that we had
made a peace; though not, however, pleased with the articles concluded in
favour of the Huguenots. He therefore resolved within himself, as soon
as my brother should return to Court, to find some pretext for renewing
the war. These advantageous conditions were, indeed, only granted the
Huguenots to get my brother out of their hands, who was detained near two
months, being employed in disbanding his German horse and the rest of his


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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