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one who wishes to examine the affairs of the country, whose desire is that the king shall not govern, the queen have no lovers, and her consort no mistresses."
"Is it possible! Oh mon Dieu !" sighed the fair countess in astonish
"Quite true," replied De Cossé : "and now, do you still wish to go to Versailles?"
"Mais oui," was the constant reply.
Madame du Barri, however, never went there, though the Duke de Choiseul was dead. The political horizon wore an aspect of deeper gloom than had ever been seen before; the revolution was at hand. The dinner of the gardes-du-corps took place, and such as were not massacred, remembering Luciennes, sought shelter there. Madame du Barri gave it freely, and the generous act by which she endangered her own safety, disarmed whatever lingering sentiment of dislike that still dwelt in the bosom of Marie Antoinette. She sent to thank her, and Madame du Barri wrote in reply:
"These young men feel no other regret than that of not having died for a princess so worthy of all homage. What I have done for these brave men is much below their deserts. I console them, and I respect their wounds, when I think that, but for their devotion, perhaps your majesty might have ceased to exist. Luciennes, madam, is yours; is it not your kindness that has restored it to me? All I possess came from the royal family, and I have too much gratitude ever to be unmindful of it. The late king, with a sort of presentiment, compelled me to accept a thousand precious objects before he sent me from him. I have had the honour of offering you this treasure at the time of the notables; eagerly renew that offer. You have so many expenses to meet, and so many benefits to confer. Permit me, I conjure you, to render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's."
The queen did not accept this offer, but from that moment every shadow of enmity was banished from her bosom.
The two last scenes of Madame du Barri's life now arrest our attention; the robbery of her diamonds,-and her visit to England, whither, it was said, she went in search of them. Some have believed, and many still believe in this robbery; others, both royalists and republicans, deny it altogether, and affirm that she only went to London to distribute money amongst the emigrants. The last version is the only true one. She made four journeys successively to England, and, on the third occasion, all her friends, English as well as French, advised her not to return to Paris, pointing out the danger she incurred.
"You are safe here," they said, "and have enough to live in affluence; remain with us till a better time arrives."
But she was deaf to their prayers, and quitted England. She had one strong motive, it was true, for visiting France; her lover, the Duke de Brissac, was still at Luciennes.*
In the recently published "Letters of Horace Walpole to the Countess of Ossory," we have the following anecdote of her presentation to George III. Writing on September 30, 1791, he says :—“I have scarce a newer anecdote to send you, madame, but that old Q- presented Madame du Barry to the king on the terrace at Windsor, and the King of England did not turn the same side that the late King of France used to turn to her, but the reverse, as he told Lord Onslow himself."
Sept.-VOL. LXXXIV. NO. CCCXXXIII.
The fatal year 1793 was at hand. One evening, while she was at Luciennes, listening beneath her myrtle groves to the sinister murmurs of the capital, collecting all the rumours that flew past Mont Valerian, she heard footsteps, voices, and shouts of laughter; she was afraid, and called for Brissac.
"Here he is!" cried a voice; "take his head first!"
And immediately at her feet was thrown the bleeding head of her lover, the Duke de Cossé-Brissac. He had first been assassinated at Versailles by those who were sent to conduct him to Orleans, where he was to be brought to trial.
Will it be believed that this woman, who has been accused of so much weakness and timidity, had the courage to go a fourth time to England to carry money to the emigrants, and the still greater courage to resist the strenuous efforts which were made to retain her there? It was this
last expedition that compromised her. She had been followed by spies, who had discovered her intrigues with the royalist party, and witnessed her interviews with M. de Calonne. She recrossed the sea, and returned to Luciennes,-now, alas! without a charm in her eyes. Moreover, all the inhabitants of the commune, whom she had fed and clothed for the last fifteen years, were her enemies. The treacherous black-faced and blacker-hearted slave, Zamore, who owed his very existence to her kindness, excited the terrorists against her, and an Irishman, named Grieve, denounced her at the instigation of the infamous negro. She was imprisoned for ten weeks in Sainte Pélagie before being brought to trial, but that trial was brief enough. She appeared before the revolutionary tribunal on the 17th Frimaire (7th of December), 1793, and her case was brought on at the same time with that of the three Dutch bankers, Vandenyver, father and sons, accused of some of the crimes which were laid to her charge. The examinations lasted during three sittings. Her counsel was Chauveau Lagarde; the act of accusation was drawn up by Fouquier-Tinville. She was condemned to death together with the Vandenyvers. In the sentence it is stated that she was in her fortysecond year; this is an error which has been frequently repeated. She was born in 1744, and, being executed in 1793, had attained her fortyninth year.
When she heard the sentence of death pronounced, she uttered a terrible cry, and fainted. It was eleven o'clock at night. On the following morning she was thrust into the common cart, the "tombereau d'égalité,” as it was called, to be taken with the bankers to execution. She was pale, trembling, and half dead with fright; and, as she past through the crowd of savage people collected for the daily hecatomb, she supplicated them for pity. This has been made a subject of reproach to her, as if the fear she felt was a token of cowardice. It was not death she feared, that she had shown when she devoted herself for her friends, but what she dreaded was the manner of it. Take away this fear from a woman, and what remains but a hideous Amazon? This sentiment completes the picture of one so tender-hearted as Madame du Barri. It pursued her to the last; even on the scaffold she cried out to the executioner:
"Encore un moment, Monsieur le Bourreau!.... Encore un moment, monsieur !"
A VISIT TO THE BATTLE-FIELDS OF CRESSY AND AGINCOURT.
IN LETTERS ADDRESSED TO H. P. SMITH, ESQ.
BY H. L. LONG, ESQ.
ACCORDING to the manuscript of Froissart, preserved in the library at Amiens, and cited by M. Rigollot, the army of Philip of Valois was composed of 20,000 men-at-arms (armures de fer à cheval), and upwards of 100,000 infantry, represented as troops of an inferior description-citizens, levied in haste, and peasants, compelled by fear to range themselves under his banners; besides these, there was a strong body of Genoese cross-bowmen, variously stated at from 6000 to 16,000 men. Great expectations seem to have been formed of this corps; they had the reputation of being the best marksmen, as well as the best sailors, in the world; and, under their commanders, bearing the great names of Doria and Grimaldi, were intended as a match for the terrible archers of England. In addition to the attendant kings, auxiliary princes, and a tumultuous rabble of nobles, there appeared in arms, according to the fashion of the times, sundry priestly warriors-John of Vienna, Archbishop of Rouen, brought up all the ecclesiastical troops of that city; while such was the martial energy of Hugh, Abbot of Corbie, that he appeared at the head of 500 men, although bound by the service of his abbey to furnish the humble contingent of merely deux sommiers estoffés des sommes, sacs et bahuts.
At the first dawn of morning, on the fatal 26th of August, Philip celebrated mass and received the sacrament in the church of St. Stephen, at Abbeville, and then caused the gates of the town to be thrown open to his impatient army. The distance before them in order to reach the English camp might be about twelve of our miles-and we may dispense with the imagination of some writers, who make Philip, under the impression that his enemies were still in the direction of Blanquetaque and La Crotoy, describe a circuit by way of Noyelles and Le Titre. It is inconceivable that Philip, halting a whole day at Abbeville, could have been uninformed of the march of Edward from the Somme, and of his subsequent position at Cressy-upon Cressy, therefore, the movements of the French forces were directed with a precipitation and want of discipline. which may be noted as the first of many errors committed during the day. Philip's immense army had too many chiefs, and more individuals than soldiers; and his recommendation, delivered overnight to his barons, to preserve courtesy and unanimity one towards another, was as little regarded as his other orders by a set of turbulent seigneurs, full of feuds, and jealous of each other to a degree. "There was no man," as we read in Hollingshed, "though he were present at the jornie, that could imagine or show the truth of the evil order that was among the French party,
and yet they were a marvellous great number." This tumultuous army was marshalled, if we follow the authority of the "Chronique de Flandres," like that of the English, in three battles or divisions, exclusive of that of the Genoese archers. The king's brother, the fiery d'Alençon, led the first, the other two were arrayed under John of Hainault and the king-of these, if there were two, it seems that Philip in person commanded the second.
The Sires of Aubigny, Beaujeu, and Noyer, together with a distinguished cavalier, Le Moine de Basèle, had been despatched by Philip to reconnoitre his adversaries, or, in the quaint words of Froissart, "pour regarder sur le pays." Basèle informed the king that the English army instead of being, as many believed, in full retreat, was drawn up in good order, and awaited his approach with a firm appearance. He strongly urged the necessity of postponing the action until the ensuing day, in order to allow of time to the troops for the purpose of refreshment and repose. Nor was Philip himself averse to follow this sage counsel. Orders were despatched to stop the march of the advanced guard, which, from impatience or mistake, had already put itself in motion. But it was vain to call halt "in the name of God and St. Denis." The Count d'Alençon, who followed, burning with ardour to begin the engagement, continued his progress; the advanced guard, which had halted, resumed their movement on perceiving Alençon's corps still marching, under an impression that the order had been countermanded; and now the "grand seigneurs" displayed their foolish vanity in attempts to outstrip each other. The crowd became perfectly unmanageable, and arrived in the face of their enemies in the greatest possible disorder. It does not appear that any line of battle was formed regularly, but there is sufficient reason to believe that after turning the source of the Maye, and following the "Chemin de l'Armée," the French troops took up a position with Estrées les Cressy in the rear of their centre. The chroniclers have been careful to note the circumstance of an extraordinary flight of crows which hovered over both armies. Ravens and carrion crows do not assemble in such numbers; and rooks, as far as I could perceive, are not to be found in that part of the country, so that this "corvorum exercitus" is unquestionably marvellous; although as an augury "nothing came of it," to use Dr. Johnson's expression, for it was impossible to say which of the two armies was the object of the omen. A more important phenomenon was an eclipse of the sun which took place at the time; but even that prodigy passed away unheeded by the combatants; unlike that "kind of night-battle" between the Lydians and Medes, six centuries before our era, when an eclipse of the sun struck terror into the contending armies, and separated them in mutual consternation.
A third event is recorded, of common occurrence, indeed, but on this occasion greatly serviceable to the English army. The day was uncommonly hot and sultry, and a thunderstorm burst immediately over the field of battle, and the rain descended in torrents. The unfortunate Genoese were inundated, and their bowstrings rendered almost unserviceable, while those of the English archers had been carefully preserved from wet by being placed in their helmets. It was now three o'clock in the afternoon, the storm passed off, and the sun shone forth fiercely, darting his beams immediately into the eyes of the Genoese, while they fell harmlessly upon the backs of the English. Philip, rendered perfectly
furious at the sight of a hostile army upon the soil of France, gave orders for an immediate attack, and the Genoese crossbows, who were in the front line, were commanded to begin the assault. Exhausted with heat and hunger and the fatigue of a long march, they implored a moment of repose," saying to their constables, we be not well used in that we are commanded to fight this day, for we be not in case to do any great feat of arms, we have more need of rest.'" These words came to the hearing of the Earl of Alençon, who said, "A man is well at ease to be charged with such a sort of rascals, that faint and fail now at most need." It was now three o'clock in the afternoon, and, to continue the extract from Hollingshed, who is expressive and animated, and by his old language increases the zest of his description, we read, "When the Genoese were assembled together, and began to approach, they made a great leap and cry, to abash the Englishmen, but they stood still, and stirred not at all for that noise. Then the Genoese the second time made another leap and huge cry, and stepped forward a little, and the Englishmen removed not a foot. The third time again the Genoese leapt and yelled, and went forth until they came within shot, and fiercely therewith discharged their crossbows. Then the English archers stepped forth one pace, and let fly their arrows so wholly and so thick together that it seemed to snow. When the Genoese felt the arrows piercing their heads, arms, and breasts, many of them cast down their crossbows, cut the strings, and returned discomfitted. When the French king saw them flee away, he said, 'slay those rascals, for they will let and trouble us without
Philip himself here stands charged with the crime of having issued this rash order-other writers, with greater probability, ascribe it to the Comte d'Alençon. The king was in a remote and much lower part of the field, whence, unprovided with a watch-tower like Edward's, it would have been difficult to perceive what was passing in the advanced guard; and besides, the command was more in the style of the furious temperament of Alençon.
“Then ye might have seen the men of arms have dashed in amongst them, and killed a great number of them, and ever the Englishmen shot where they saw the thickest press; the sharp arrows ran into the men of arms, and into their horses, and many fell, horse and man amongst the Genoese, and still the Englishmen shot where they saw the thickest press, and when they were once down they could not recover again." The French accounts describe the prodigious quantity of arrows sent forth by the English archers, "que ce sembloit neige;"—while Villani launches forth into the tremendous effect of the cannon upon men, and particularly upon horses, and compares their terrific noise to that of the thunder of the Almighty. Whatever these pop-guns may have been, it is by no means unlikely that they occasioned some attention, more by their novelty than by any real effect they could have produced in the action.
I have not ventured to change the orthography of the "Vallée des clercs;" but the tradition you heard upon the spot, that it is more correctly the "Vallée des éclairs," and owes its name to the lightnings of the English artillery, appears extremely likely to be correct. "Vallée des clercs" speaks nothing to the mind in connexion with the battle; and if it is the true name, it must have been much corrupted from its original source. This valley was, at all events, the scene of the slaughter of the Genoese,