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1570 was concluded, entered into his eighteenth year. * A countenance noble, open, and insinuating; free, easy and lively manners, with an uncommon dexterity in performing all the exercises suitable to his age, drew the esteem and admiration of all that knew him. He began early, to discover those great talents for war, which have so highly distinguished him among other princes. Vigorous and indefatigable by, the education of his. infancy, he breathed nothing but labour, and seemed to wait with impatience for occasions of acquiring glory. The crown of France not being yet the object of his aspiring wishes, he indulged himself in forming schemes for the recovering that of Navarre, which Spain had unjustly usurped from his family; and this he thought he might be enabled to perform, by maintaining a secret intelligence with the Moors in Spain. The enmity he bore to this power was open and declared; it was born with him, and he never condescended to conceal it. He felt his courage inflamed at the relation of the battle of Lepanto, which was fought at that time;
*“ He was born at Pau, in Bearn, December 13, 1553. M. de Perefixe relates some very curious particulars concerning his birth. · Henry d'Albret, his grandfather, made his daughter promise to sing a song to him while she was in labour; in order, said he, that you may bring me a child who will neither weep nor make wry faces. The princess bad fortitude enough, in the midst of her pains, to keep her word, and sang a song in Bearnois, her own country language, as soon as Henry entered the chamber : the child came into the world without crying; his grandfather immediately carried him to his own apartment, and there rubbed his little lips with a clove of garlic, and made him suck soine wine out of a gold cup, to make his constitution strong and vigorous.'--Perefixe's History of Henry the Great, p. 1. Cayet, vol. i. p. 241.”
“In the memoirs of Nevers, we meet with some letters written in 1567, by the principal magistrates of Bourdeaux, that contain several very interesting particulars concerning the person and manners of young Henry. •We have here, says one, the Prince of Bearn; it must be confessed, that he is a charming youth. At thirteen years of age, he has all the riper qualities of eighteen or nineteen: he is agreeable, polite, obliging, and behaves to every one with an air so easy and engaging, that wherever he is, there is always a crowd. He mixes in conversation like a wise and prudent man, speaks always to the purpose, and when it happens that the court is the subject of discourse, it is easy to see that he is perfectly well acquainted with it, and never says more nor less than be ought, in whatever place he is. I shall all my life hate the new religion for having robbed us of so worthy a subject.' And in another, His hair is a little red, yet the ladies think him not less agreeable on that account: his face is finely shaped, his nose neither too large nor too small, his eyes full of sweetness, his skin brown but clear, and his whole countenance animated with an uncommon vivacity: with all these graces, if he is not well with the ladies, he is extremely unfortunate.”
. and a like opportunity of distinguishing himself against the infidels, became one of his most ardent wishes. The vast and flattering expectations which the astrologers agreed in making him conceive, were almost always present to his mind. He saw the foundation of them in that affection which Charles IX. early entertained for him, and which considerably increased a short time before his death : but animated as he was with these happy presages, he laboured to second them only in secret, and never disclosed his thoughts to any person but a small number of his most intimate confidents."
We now come to that terrible event, which took place during Henry's visit to Paris, where he was undoubtedly invited for the purpose of becoming a victim, even in his bridal days, and under the protection of royal hospitality.
“ If I was inclined to increase the general horror, inspired by an action so barbarous as that perpetrated on the 24th of August, 1572, and too well known by the name of the massacre of St. Bartholomew, I should in this place enlarge upon the number, the quality, the virtues, and great talents of those who were inhumanly murdered on this horrible day, as well in Paris as in every part of the kingdom : I should mention at least the ignominious treatment, the fiendlike cruelty, and såvåge insults, these miserable victims suffered from their butchers, and which in death were a thousand times more terrible than death itself. I have writings still in my hands, which would confirm the report of the court of France having made the most pressing instances to the neighbouring courts, to follow its example with regard to the, Protestants, or at least to refuse an asylum to those unfortunate people; but I prefer the honour of the nation to the satisfying a malignant pleasure, which many persons would take in lengthening out a recital, wherein might be found the names of those who were so lost to humanity as to dip their hands in the blood of their fellow-citizens, and even their own relations. I would, were it in my power, for ever obliterate the memory of a day that divine vengeance made France groan for, by a continued succession of miseries, blood, and horror, during six and twenty years; for it is not possible to judge otherwise, if one reflects on all that passed from that fatal moment till the peace of 1598. It is with regret that I cannot pass over what happened upon this occasion to the prince, who is the subject of these memoirs, and to myself.
“ I was in bed, and awaked from sleep three hours after midnight, by the sound of all the bells, and the confused cries of the populace. My governor St. Julian, with my valet de chambre, went hastily out to know the cause; and I never afterwards heard more of these men, who, without doubt, were amongst the first that were sacrificed to the public fury. I continued alone in my chamber dressing myself, when, in a few moments, I saw my landlord enter, pale, and in the utmost consternation : he was of the ref med religion, and having learned what the matter was, had agreed to go to mass, to save his life, and preserve his house from being pillaged. He came to persuade me to do the same, and to take me with him. I did not
under my eyes
think proper to follow him, but resolved to try if I could gain the college of Burgundy, where I had studied : though the great distance between the house where I then was, and the college, made the attempt very dangerous. Having disguised anyself in a scholar's gown, I put a large prayer-book under my arm, and went into the street. I was seized with horror inexpressible, at the sight of the furious murderers ; who, running from all parts, forced open the houses, and cried aloud, • Kill, kill, massacre the Huguenots:' the blood which I saw shed
my terror. I fell into the midst of a body of guards; they stopped me, interrogated me, and were beginning to use me ill, when, happily for me, the book that I carried was perceived, and served me for a passport. Twice after this I fell into the same danger, from which I extricated myself with the same good fortune. At last I arrived at the college of Burgundy, where a danger, still greater than any I had yet met with, awaited ine. The porter having twice refused me entrance, I continued standing in the midst of the street, at the mercy of the furious murderers, whose numbers increased every moment, and who were greedily seeking for their prey, when it came into my mind to ask for La Faye, the principal of this college, a good man, by whom I was tenderly beloved. The porter, prevailed upon by some small pieces of money which I put into his hand, admitted me; and my friend carried me to his apartment, where two inhuman priests, whom I heard mention Sicilian vespers, wanted to force me from him, that they might cut me in pieces, saying the order was, not to spare even infants at the breast. All the good man could do, was to conduct me privately to a distant chamber, where he locked me up. Here I was confined three days, uncertain of my destiny; and saw no one but a servant of my friend's, who came from time to time to bring me provisions.
“At the end of these three days, the prohibition for murdering and pillaging any more of the Protestants being published, I was suffered to leave my cell; and immediately after I saw Ferriere and La Vieville, two soldiers of the guard, who were my father's creatures, enter the college. They were armed, and came, without doubt, to rescue me by force wherever they should find me. They gave my father a relation of what had happened to me; and eight days afterwards I received a letter from him, in which he expressed the fears he had suffered on my account, and advised me to continue in Paris, since the prince I served was not at liberty to quit it. He added, that to avoid exposing myself to an evident danger, it was necessary I should resolve to follow that prince's example, and go to mass. In effect, the King of Navarre had found no other means of saving his life. He was awaked, with the Prince of Condé, two hours before day, by a great number of soldiers who rushed boldly into the chamber in the Louvre, where they lay, and insolently commanded them to dress themselves, and attend the king. They would not suffer the two princes to take their swords with them; who, as they passed, beheld several of their gentlemen massacred before their eyes. The king waited for them, and received them with a countenance and eyes in which fury was visibly painted: he ordered them, with oaths and blasphemies, which were familiar with him, to quit a religion that had
been only taken up, he told them, to serve for a cloak to their rebellion.
The condition to which these princes were reduced, could not hinder them from discovering the regret they should find in obeying him. The king, transported with anger, told them, in a fierce and haughty tone, That he would no longer be contradicted in his opinions by his subjects; that they, by their example, should teach others to revere him as the image of God, and cease to be enemies to the images of his mother.' He ended by declaring, that if they did not go to mass, he would treat them as criminals guilty of treason against divine and human majesty. The manner in which these words were pronounced, not suffering the princes to doubt if they were sincere, they yielded to necessity, and performed what was required of them. Henry was even obliged to send an edict into his dominions, by which the exercise of any other religion but the Romish was forbid. Though this submission preserved his life, yet in other things he was not better treated; and he suffered a thousand capricious insults from the court : free by intervals, but more often closely confined, and treated as a criminal, his domestics sometimes permitted to attend him, then all on a sudden not suffered to appear.”
We are told a little farther, that the number of Protestants thus murdered in cold blood, during eight days, all over the kingdom, åmounted to seventy thousand. And soon afterwards we find,
" It was not long before Charles felt the most violent remorse for the barbarous action to which they had forced him to give the sanction of his name and authority. From the evening of the 24th of August, he was observed to groan involuntarily at the recital of a thousand strokes of cruelty, which every one boasted of in his presence. Of all those who were about the person of this prince, none possessed so great a share of his confidence, as Ambrose Paré, his surgeon. This man, though a Huguenot, lived with him in so great a degree of familiarity, that, on the day of the massacre, Charles telling him, the time was now come when the whole kingdom would be Catholics; he replied, without being alarmed, · By the light of God, sire, I cannot believe that you have forgot your promise never to command me to do four things, namely, to enter again into my mother's womb, to be present in the day of battle, to quit your service, or to go to mass.? The king soon after took him aside, and disclosed to him freely the trouble of his soul : · Ambrose,' said he, “I know not what has happened to me these two or three days past, but I feel my mind and body as much at enmity with each other, as if I was seized with a fever: sleeping or waking, the murdered Huguenots seem ever present to my eyes, with ghastly faces, and weltering in blood. I wish the innocent and helpless had been spared.' The order which was published the following day, forbidding the continuance of the massacre, was in consequence of this conversation.”
This prince died at the castle of Vincennes, at the age of twenty-three, in the most exquisite torments, bathed in his own blood which oozed from his skin. The third son of Catherine, Duke of Anjou, and King of Poland, succeeded him.
From this period to the end of the book, we have an account of the renewal of the war, the first exploits of Rosny, (the author); and a very ingenuous description of the errors of his own conduct at nineteen, concludes it thus :
“ I was at supper one night with Beauvais, the son of the King of Navarre's governor, and an officer named Useau, who, happening to quarrel, resolved to fight, and intreated me to provide theñ with the means. Instead of immediately acquainting the King of Navarre with their design, that prince being very solicitous to prevent these sort of combats, which a false sense of honour made very frequent at that time, I was imprudent enough to promise to comply; and after having in vain endeavoured to reconcile them, conducted them myself to the meadow where they fought, and each received a very dangerous wound. The King of Navarre, who loved Beauvais, was extremely offended with me for the part I had acted in this affair. He ordered me to be sent for, and told me in a rage, that I abridged the sovereign's authority, even in his own court, and that, were strict justice to be done on me, I should lose my head. Instead of repairing my fault by an ingenuous confession of it, I added another still greater: Piqued at this prince's threatening, I answered haughtily, That I was neither his subject nor vassal; and threatened him, in my turn, with quitting his service. The king discovered no other resentment for this insolence, than a contemptuous silence. I went out of his
presence, with an intention to leave this good prince, and perhaps for ever, had not the princesses undertook to make my peace with the king, who, listening only to the dictates of his friendship for me, contented himself with punishing me no otherwise for my fault, than by treating me, during some time, with great coldness: at length, when he was convinced of the sincerity of my repentance, he resumed his former sentiments. This instance of his goodness made me know in what manper so worthy a prince ought to be served. I attached myself to him more strongly than before, resolving, from that moment, never to have any other master: but I saw myself removed from him for some time, by an imprudent promise which I had made to the Duke of Alençon."
The marriage of the narrator took place in the year 1583, an account of which must not be omitted, as it is full of character.
“I became violently enamoured of the daughter of the President de St. Mesmin, one of the most beautiful ladies in France.
“ At first, I wholly abandoned myself to a passion, which, in the beginning, is so delightful, that when I would have stifled it afterwards, upon reflecting that this alliance was not convenient for me, I