XLIII. LOUIS XIV., THE FRONDE, AND THE GOVERNMENT OF CARDINAL MAZARIN. (1643-1661.)
Louis XIII. had never felt confidence in the queen his wife; and Cardinal Richelieu had fostered that sentiment which promoted his views. When M. de Chavigny came, on Anne of Austria's behalf, to assure the dying king that she had never had any part in the conspiracy of Chalais, or dreamt of espousing Monsieur in case she was left a widow, Louis XIII. answered, "Considering the state I am in, I am bound to forgive her, but not to believe her." He did not believe her, he never had believed her, and his declaration touching the Regency was entirely directed towards counteracting by anticipation the power intrusted to his wife and his brother. The queen's regency and the Duke of Orleans' lieutenant- generalship were in some sort subordinated to a council composed of the Prince of Conde, Cardinal Mazarin, Chancellor Seguier, Superintendent Bouthillier, and Secretary of State Chavigny, "with a prohibition against introducing any change therein, for any cause or on any occasion whatsoever." The queen and the Duke of Orleans had signed and sworn the declaration.
King Louis XIII. was not yet in his grave when his last wishes were violated; before his death the queen had made terms with the ministers; the course to be followed had been decided. On the 18th of May, 1643, the queen, having brought back the little king to Paris, conducted him in great state to the Parliament of Paris to hold his bed of justice there. The boy sat down and said with a good grace that he had come to the Parliament to testify his good will to it, and that his chancellor would say the rest. The Duke of Orleans then addressed the queen. "The honor of the regency is the due altogether of your Majesty," said he, "not only in your capacity of mother, but also for your merits and virtues; the regency having been confined to you by the deceased king, and by the consent of all the grandees of the realm, I desire no other part in affairs than that which it may please your Majesty to give me, and I do not claim to take any advantage from the special clauses contained in the declaration." The Prince of Condo said much the same thing, but with less earnestness, and on the evening of the same day the queen regent, having sole charge of the administration of affairs, and modifying the council at her pleasure, announced to the astounded court that she should retain by her Cardinal Mazarin. Not a word had been said about him at the Parliament; the courtiers believed that he was on the point of leaving France; but the able Italian, attractive as he was subtle, had already found a way to please the queen. She retained as chief of her council the heir to the traditions of Richelieu, and deceived the hopes of the party of Importants, those meddlers of the court at whose head marched the Duke of Beaufort, all puffed up with the confidence lately shown to him by her Majesty. Potier, Bishop of Beauvais, the queen's confidant during her troubles, "expected to be all-powerful in the state; he sought out the Duke of Orleans and the Prince of Conde, promising them governorships of places, and, generally, anything they might desire. He thought he could set the affairs of state going as easily as he could his parish-priests; but the poor prelate came down from his high hopes when he saw that the cardinal was advancing more and more in the queen's confidence, and that, for him, too much was already thought to have been done in according him admittance to the council, whilst flattering him with a hope of the purple." [Memoires de Brienne, ii. 37.]
Cardinal Mazarin soon sent him off to his diocese. Continuing to humor all parties, and displaying foresight and prudence, the new minister was even now master. Louis XIII., without any personal liking, had been faithful to Richelieu to the death; with different feelings, Anne of Austria was to testify the same constancy towards Mazarin.
A stroke of fortune came at the very first to strengthen the regent's position. Since the death of Cardinal Richelieu, the Spaniards, but recently overwhelmed at the close of 1642, had recovered courage and boldness; new counsels prevailed at the court of Philip IV., who had dismissed Olivarez; the house of Austria vigorously resumed the offensive; at the moment of Louis XIII.'s death, Don Francisco de Mello, governor of the Low Countries, had just invaded French territory by way of the Ardennes, and laid siege to Rocroi, on the 12th of May. The French army was commanded by the young Duke of Enghien, the Prince of Conde's son, scarcely twenty-two years old; Louis XIII. had given him as his lieutenant and director the veteran Marshal de l'Hopital; and the latter feared to give battle. The Duke of Enghien, who "was dying with impatience to enter the enemy's country, resolved to accomplish by address what he could not carry by authority. He opened his heart to Gassion alone. As he was a man who saw nothing but what was easy even in the most dangerous deeds, he had very soon brought matters to the point that the prince desired. Marshal de l'Hopital found himself imperceptibly so near the Spaniards that it was impossible for him any longer to hinder an engagement." [Relation de 31 de la Houssaye.] The army was in front of Rocroi, and out of the dangerous defile which led to the place, without any idea on the part of the marshal and the army that Louis XIII. was dead. The Duke of Enghien, who had received the news, had kept it secret. He had merely said in the tone of a master "that he meant to fight, and would answer for the issue. His orders given, he passed along the ranks of his army with an air which communicated to it the same impatience that he himself felt to see the night over, in order to begin the battle. He passed the whole of it at the camp-fire of the officers of Picardy." In the morning "it was necessary to rouse from deep slumber this second Alexander. Mark him as he flies to victory or death! As soon as he had kindled from rank to rank the ardor with which he was animated, he was seen, in almost the same moment, driving in the enemy's right, supporting ours that wavered, rallying the half-beaten French, putting to flight the victorious Spaniards, striking terror everywhere, and dumbfounding with his flashing looks those who escaped from his blows. There remained that dread infantry of the army of Spain, whose huge battalions, in close order, like so many towers, but towers that could repair their breaches, remained unshaken amidst all the rest of the rout, and delivered their fire on all sides. Thrice the young conqueror tried to break these fearless warriors; thrice he was driven knack by the valiant Count of Fuentes, who was seen carried about in his chair, and, in spite of his infirmities, showing that a warrior's soul is mistress of the body it animates. But yield they must: in vain through the woods, with his cavalry all fresh, does Beck rush down to fall upon our exhausted men the prince has been beforehand with him; the broken battalions cry for quarter, but the victory is to be more terrible than the fight for the Duke of Enghien. Whilst with easy mien he advances to receive the parole of these brave fellows, they, watchful still, apprehend the surprise of a fresh attack; their terrible volley drives our men mad; there is nothing to be seen but slaughter; the soldier is drunk with blood, till that great prince, who could not bear to see such lions butchered like so many sheep, calmed excited passions, and to the pleasure of victory joined that of mercy. He would willingly have saved the life of the brave Count of Fuentes, but found him lying amidst thousands of the dead whose loss is still felt by Spain. The prince bends the knee, and, on the field of battle, renders thanks to the God of armies for the victory he hath given him. Then were there rejoicings over Rocroi delivered, the threats of a dread enemy converted to their shame, the regency strengthened, France at rest, and a reign, which was to be so noble, commenced with such happy augury." [Bossuet, Oraison funebre de Louis de Bourbon, Prince de Conde.] Victory or death, below the cross of Burgundy, was borne upon most of the standards taken from the Imperialists; and "indeed," says the Gazette de France, "the most part were found dead in the ranks where they had been posted." Which was nobly brought home by one of the prisoners to our captains when, being asked how many there had been of them, he replied, "Count the dead." Conde was worthy to fight such enemies, and Bossuet to recount their defeat. "The prince was a born captain," said Cardinal de Retz. And all France said so with him, on hearing of the victory of Rocroi.
The delight was all the keener in the queen's circle, because the house of Conde openly supported Cardinal Mazarin, bitterly attacked as he was by the Importants, who accused him of reviving the tyranny of Richelieu.
A ditty on the subject was current in the streets of Paris:—
And indeed, on pretext offered by a feminine quarrel between the young Duchess of Longueville, daughter of the Prince of Conde, and the Duchess of Montbazon, the Duke of Beaufort and some of his friends resolved to assassinate the cardinal. The attempt was a failure, but the Duke of Beaufort, who was arrested on the 2d of September, was taken to the castle of Vincennes. Madame de Chevreuse, recently returned to court, where she would fain have exacted from the queen the reward for her services and her past sufferings, was sent into exile, as well as the Duke of Vendome. Madame d'Hautefort, but lately summoned by Anne of Austria to be near her, was soon involved in the same disgrace. Proud and compassionate, without any liking for Mazarin, she was daring enough, during a trip to Vincennes, to ask pardon for the Duke of Beaufort. "The queen made no answer, and, the collation being served, Madame d'Hautefort, whose heart was full, ate nothing; when she was asked why, she declared that she could not enjoy anything in such close proximity to that poor boy." The queen could not put up with reproaches; and she behaved with extreme coldness to Madame d'Hautefort. One day, at bedtime, her ill temper showed itself so plainly, that the old favorite could no longer be in doubt about the queen's sentiments. As she softly closed the curtains, "I do assure you, Madame," she said, "that if I had served God with as much attachment and devotion as I have your Majesty all my life, I should be a great saint." And, raising her eyes to the crucifix, she added, "Thou knowest, Lord, what I have done for her." The queen let her go to the convent where Mademoiselle de la Fayette had taken refuge ten years before. Madame d'Hautefort left it ere long to become the wife of Marshal Schomberg; but the party of the Importants was dead, and the power of Cardinal Mazarin seemed to be firmly established. "It was not the thing just then for any decent man to be on bad terms with the court," says Cardinal de Retz.
Negotiations for a general peace, the preliminaries whereof had been signed by King Louis XIII. in 1641, had been going on since 1644 at Munster and at Osnabruck, without having produced any result; the Duke of Enghien, who became Prince of Conde in 1646, was keeping up the war in Flanders and Germany, with the co-operation of Viscount Turenne, younger brother of the Duke of Bouillon, and, since Rocroi, a marshal of France. The capture of Thionville and of Dunkerque, the victories of Friburg and Nordlingen, the skilful opening effected in Germany as far as Augsburg by the French and the Swedes, had raised so high the reputation of the two generals, that the Prince of Conde, who was haughty and ambitious, began to cause great umbrage to Mazarin. Fear of having him unoccupied deterred the cardinal from peace, and made all the harder the conditions he presumed to impose upon the Spaniards. Meanwhile the United Provinces, weary of a war which fettered their commerce, and skilfully courted by their old masters, had just concluded a private treaty with Spain; the emperor was trying, but to no purpose, to detach the Swedes likewise from the French alliance, when the victory of Lens, gained on the 20th of August, 1648, over Archduke Leopold and General Beck, came to throw into the balance the weight of a success as splendid as it was unexpected; one more campaign, and Turenne might be threatening Vienna whilst Conde entered Brussels; the emperor saw there was no help for it, and bent his head. The house of Austria split in two; Spain still refused to treat with France, but the whole of Germany clamored for peace; the conditions of it were at last drawn up at Munster by MM. Servien and de Lionne; M. d'Avaux, the most able diplomatist that France possessed, had been recalled to Paris at the beginning of the year. On the 24th of October, 1648, after four years of negotiation, France at last had secured to her Elsass and the three bishoprics of Metz, Toul, and Verdun; Sweden gained Western Pomerania, including Stettin, the Isle of Rugen, the three mouths of the Oder, and the bishoprics of Bremen and Werden, thus becoming a German power: as for Germany, she had won liberty of conscience and political liberty; the rights of the Lutheran or reformed Protestants were equalized with those of Catholics; henceforth the consent of a free assembly of all the Estates of the empire was necessary to make laws, raise soldiers, impose taxes, and decide peace or war. The peace of Westphalia put an end at one and the same time to the Thirty Years' War and to the supremacy of the house of Austria in Germany.
So much glory and so many military or diplomatic successes cost dear; France was crushed by imposts, and the finances were discovered to be in utter disorder; the superintendent, D'Emery, an able and experienced man, was so justly discredited that his measures were, as a foregone conclusion, unpopular; an edict laying octroi or tariff on the entry of provisions into the city of Paris irritated the burgesses, and Parliament refused to enregister it. For some time past the Parliament, which had been kept down by the iron hand of Richelieu, had perceived that it had to do with nothing more than an able man, and not a master; it began to hold up its head again; a union was proposed between the four sovereign courts of Paris, to wit, the Parliament, the grand council, the chamber of exchequer, and the court of aids or indirect taxes; the queen quashed the deed of union; the magistrates set her at nought; the queen yielded, authorizing the delegates to deliberate in the chamber of St. Louis at the Palace of Justice; the pretensions of the Parliament were exorbitant, and aimed at nothing short of resuming, in the affairs of the state, the position from which Richelieu had deposed it; the concessions which Cardinal Mazarin with difficulty wrung from the queen augmented the Parliament's demands. Anne of Austria was beginning to lose patience, when the news of the victory of Lens restored courage to the court. "Parliament will be very sorry," said the little king, on hearing of the Prince of Conde's success. The grave assemblage, on the 26th of August, was issuing from Notre Dame, where a Te Deum had just been sung, when Councillor Broussel and President Blancmesnil were arrested in their houses, and taken one to St. Germain and the other to Vincennes. This was a familiar proceeding on the part of royal authority in its disagreements with the Parliament. Anne of Austria herself had practised it four years before.
It was a mistake on the part of Anne of Austria and Cardinal Mazarin not to have considered the different condition of the public mind. A suppressed excitement had for some months been hatching in Paris and in the provinces. "The Parliament growled over the tariff-edict," says Cardinal de Retz; "and no sooner had it muttered than everybody awoke. People went groping as it were after the laws; they were no longer to be found. Under the influence of this agitation the people entered the sanctuary and lifted the veil that ought always to conceal whatever can be said about the right of peoples and that of kings, which never accord so well as in silence." The arrest of Broussel, an old man in high esteem, very keen in his opposition to the court, was like fire to flax. "There was a blaze at once, a sensation, a rush, an outcry, and a shutting up of shops." Paul de Gondi, known afterwards as Cardinal de Retz, was at that time coadjutor of the Archbishop of Paris, his uncle witty, debauched, bold, and restless, lately compromised in the plots of the Count of Soissons against Cardinal Richelieu, he owed his office to the queen, and "did not hesitate," he says, "to repair to her, that he might stick to his duty above all things."
There was already a great tumult in the streets when he arrived at the Palais-Royal: the people were shouting, "Broussel! Broussel!" The coadjutor was accompanied by Marshal la Meilleraye; and both of them reported the excitement amongst the people. The queen grew angry. "There is revolt in imagining that there can be revolt," she said: "these are the ridiculous stories of those who desire it; the king's authority will soon restore order." Then, as old M. de Guitaut, who had just come in, supported the coadjutor, and said that he did not understand how anybody could sleep in the state in which things were, the cardinal asked him, with some slight irony, "Well, M. de Guitaut, and what is your advice?" "My advice," said Guitaut, "is to give up that old rascal of a Broussel, dead or alive." "The former," replied the coadjutor, "would not accord with either the queen's piety or her prudence; the latter might stop the tumult." At this word the queen blushed, and exclaimed, "I understand you, Mr. Coadjutor; you would have me set Broussel at liberty. I would strangle him with these hands first!" "And, as she finished the last syllable, she put them close to my face," says De Retz, "adding, 'And those who . . . ' The cardinal advanced and whispered in her ear." Advices of a more and more threatening character continued to arrive; and, at last, it was resolved to promise that Broussel should be set at liberty, provided that the people dispersed and ceased to demand it tumultuously. The coadjutor was charged to proclaim this concession throughout Paris; he asked for a regular order, but was not listened to. "The queen had retired to her little gray room. Monsignor pushed me very gently with his two hands, saying, 'Restore the peace of the realm.' Marshal Meilleraye drew me along, and so I went out with my rochet and camail, bestowing benedictions right and left; but this occupation did not prevent me from making all the reflections suitable to the difficulty in which I found myself. The impetuosity of Marshal Meilleraye did not give me opportunity to weigh my expressions; he advanced sword in hand, shouting with all his might, 'Hurrah for the king! Liberation for Broussel!' As he was seen by many more folks than heard him, he provoked with his sword far more people than he appeased with his voice." The tumult increased; there was a rush to arms on all sides; the coadjutor was felled to the ground by a blow from a stone. He had just picked himself up, when a burgess put his musket to his head. "Though I did not know him a bit," says Retz, "I thought it would not be well to let him suppose so at such a moment; on the contrary, I said to him, 'Ah! wretch, if thy father saw thee!' He thought I was the best friend of his father, on whom, however, I had never set eyes."
The coadjutor was recognized, and the crowd pressed round him, dragging him to the market-place. He kept repeating everywhere that "the queen promised to restore Broussel." The flippers laid down their arms, and thirty or forty thousand men accompanied him to the Palais-Royal. "Madame," said Marshal Meilleraye as he entered, "here is he to whom I owe my life, and your Majesty the safety of the Palais-Royal." The queen began to smile. "The marshal flew into a passion, and said with an oath, 'Madame, no proper man can venture to flatter you in the state in which things are; and if you do not this very day set Broussel at liberty, to-morrow there will not be left one stone upon another in Paris.' I wished to speak in support of what the marshal said, but the queen cut me short, saying, with an air of raillery, 'Go and rest yourself, sir; you have worked very hard.'"
The coadjutor left the Palais-Royal "in what is called a rage;" and he was in a greater one in the evening, when his friends came and told him that he was being made fun of at the queen's supper-table; that she was convinced that he had done all he could to increase the tumult; that he would be the first to be made a great example of; and that the Parliament was about to be interdicted. Paul de Gondi had not waited for their information to think of revolt. "I did not reflect as to what I could do," says he, "for I was quite certain of that; I reflected only as to what I ought to do, and I was perplexed." The jests and the threats of the court appeared to him to be sufficient justification. "What effectually stopped my scruples was the advantage I imagined I had in distinguishing myself from those of my profession by a state of life in which there was something of all professions. In disorderly times, things lead to a confusion of species, and the vices of an archbishop may, in an infinity of conjunctures, be the virtues of a party leader." The coadjutor recalled his friends. "We are not in such bad case as you supposed, gentlemen," he said to them; "there is an intention of crushing the public; it is for me to defend it from oppression; to-morrow before midday I shall be master of Paris."
For some time past the coadjutor had been laboring to make himself popular in Paris; the general excitement was only waiting to break out, and when the chancellor's carriage appeared in the streets in the morning, on the way to the Palace of Justice, the people, secretly worked upon during the night, all at once took up arms again. The chancellor had scarcely time to seek refuge in the Hotel de Luynes; the mob rushed in after him, pillaging and destroying the furniture, whilst the chancellor, flying for refuge into a small chamber, and believing his last hour had come, was confessing to his brother, the Bishop of Meaux. He was not discovered, and the crowd moved off in another direction. "It was like a sudden and violent conflagration lighted up from the Pont Neuf over the whole city. Everybody without exception took up arms. Children of five and six years of age were seen dagger in hand; and the mothers themselves carried them. In less than two hours there were in Paris more than two hundred barricades, bordered with flags and all the arms that the League had left entire. Everybody cried, 'Hurrah! for the king!' but echo answered, 'None of your Mazarin!'"
The coadjutor kept himself shut up at home, protesting his powerlessness; the Parliament had met at an early hour; the Palace of Justice was surrounded by an immense crowd, shouting, "Broussel! Broussel!" The Parliament resolved to go in a body and demand of the queen the release of their members arrested the day before. "We set out in full court," says the premier president Mole, "without sending, as the custom is, to ask the queen to appoint a time, the ushers in front, with their square caps and a-foot: from this spot as far as the Trahoir cross we found the people in arms and barricades thrown up at every hundred paces." [Memoires de Matthieu Mole, iii. p. 255.]
"If it were not blasphemy to say that there was any one in our age more intrepid than the great Gustavus and the Prince, I should say it was M. Mole, premier president," writes Cardinal de Retz. Sincerely devoted to the public weal, and a magistrate to the very bottom of his soul, Mole, nevertheless, inclined towards the side of power, and understood better than his brethren the danger of factions. He represented to the queen the extreme danger the sedition was causing to Paris and to France. "She, who feared nothing because she knew but little, flew into a passion and answered, furiously, 'I am quite aware that there is disturbance in the city, but you shall answer to me for it, gentlemen of the Parliament, you, your wives, and your children.'" "The queen was pleased," says Mole, in his dignified language, "to signify in terms of wrath that the magisterial body should be answerable for the evils which might ensue, and which the king on reaching his majority would remember."
The queen had retired to her room, slamming the door violently; the Parliament turned back to the Palace of Justice; the angry mob thronged about the magistrates; when they arrived at Rue St. Honore, just as they were about to turn on to the Pont Neuf, a band of armed men fell upon them, "and a cookshop-lad, advancing at the head of two hundred men, thrust his halbert against the premier president's stomach, saying, 'Turn, traitor, and, if thou wouldst not thyself be slain, give up to us Broussel, or Mazarin and the chancellor as hostages.'" Matthew Mole quietly put the weapon aside, and, "You forget yourself," he said, "and are oblivious of the respect you owe to my office." "Thrice an effort was made to thrust me into a private house," says his account in his Memoires, "but I still kept my place; and, attempts having been made with swords and pistols on all sides of me to make an end of me, God would not permit it, some of the members (Messieurs) and some true friends having placed themselves in front of me. I told President de Mesmes that there was no other plan but to return to the Palais-Royal and thither take back the body, which was much diminished in numbers, five of the presidents having dropped away, and also many of the members on whom the people had inflicted unworthy treatment." "Thus having given himself time to rally as many as he could of the body, and still preserving the dignity of the magistracy both in his words and in his movements, the premier president returned at a slow pace to the Palais-Royal, amidst a running fire of insults, threats, execrations, and blasphemies." [Memoires de Retz.]
The whole court had assembled in the gallery: Mole spoke first. "This man," says Retz, "had a sort of eloquence peculiar to himself. He knew nothing of apostrophes, he was not correct in his language, but he spoke with a force which made up for all that, and he was naturally so bold that he never spoke so well as in the midst of peril. Monsieur made as if he would throw himself on his knees before the queen, who remained inflexible; four or five princesses, who were trembling with fear, did throw themselves at her feet; the Queen of England, who had come that day from St. Germain, represented that the troubles had never been so serious at their commencement in England, nor the feelings so heated or united." [Histoire du Temps, 1647-48. (Archives curieuses, vi. p. 162.)] At last the cardinal made up his mind; he "had been roughly handled in the queen's presence by the presidents and councillors in their speeches, some of them telling him, in mockery, that he had only to give himself the trouble of going as far as the Pont Neuf to see for himself the state in which things were," and he joined with all those present in entreating Anne of Austria; finally, the release of Broussel was extorted from her, "not without a deep sigh, which showed what violence she did her feelings in the struggle."
"We returned in full court by the same road," says Matthew Mole, "and the people demanding, with confused clamor of voices, whether M. Broussel were at liberty, we gave them assurances thereof, and entered by the back-door of my lodging; before crossing the threshold, I took leave of Presidents De Mesmes and Le Coigneux, and waited until the members had passed, testifying my sentiments of gratitude for that they had been unwilling to separate until they had seen to the security of my person, which I had not at all deserved, but such was their good pleasure. After this business, which had lasted from six in the morning until seven o'clock, there was need of rest, seeing that the mind had been agitated amidst so many incidents, and not a morsel had been tasted." [Memoires de Matthieu Mole, t. iii. p. 265.]
Broussel had taken his seat in the Parliament again. The Prince of Conde had just arrived in Paris; he did not like the cardinal, but he was angry with the Parliament, which he considered imprudent and insolent. "They are going ahead," said he:—"if I were to go ahead with them, I should perhaps do better for my own interests, but my name is Louis de Bourbon, and I do not wish to shake the throne; these devils of squarecaps, are they mad about bringing me either to commence a civil war before long, or to put a rope round their own necks, and place over their heads and over my own an adventurer from Sicily, who will be the ruin of us all in the end? I will let the Parliament plainly see that they are not where they suppose, and that it would not be a hard matter to bring them to reason." The coadjutor, to whom he thus expressed himself, answered that "the cardinal might possibly be mistaken in his measures, and that Paris would be a hard nut to crack." Whereupon the prince rejoined, angrily, "It will not be taken, like Dunkerque, by mining and assaults, but if the bread of Gonesse were to fail them for a week . . ." The coadjutor took the rest as said. Some days afterwards, during the night between the 5th and 6th of January, 1649, the queen, with the little king and the whole court, set out at four A. M. from Paris for the castle of St. Germain, empty, unfurnished, as was then the custom in the king's absence, where the courtiers had great difficulty in finding a bundle of straw. "The queen had scarcely a bed to lie upon," says Mdlle. de Montpensier, "but never did I see any creature so gay as she was that day; had she won a battle, taken Paris, and had all who had displeased her hanged, she could not have been more so, and nevertheless she was very far from all that."
Paris was left to the malcontents; everybody was singing,
On the 8th of January the Parliament of Paris, all the chambers in assembly, issued a decree whereby Cardinal Mazarin was declared an enemy to the king and the state, and a disturber of the public peace, and injunctions were laid upon all subjects of the king to hunt him down; war was declared.
Scarcely had it begun, when the greatest lords came flocking to the popular side. On the departure of the court for St. Germain, the Duchess of Longueville had remained in Paris; her husband and her brother the Prince of Conti were not slow in coming to look after her; and already the Duke of Elbeuf, of the house of Lorraine, had offered his services to the Parliament. Levies of troops were beginning in the city, and the command of the forces was offered to the Prince of Conti; the Dukes of Bouillon and Beaufort and Marshal de la Mothe likewise embraced the party of revolt; the Duchesses of Longueville and Bouillon established themselves with their children at the Hotel de Ville as hostages given by the Fronde of princes to the Fronde of the people; the Parliaments of Aix and Rouen made common cause with that of Paris; a decree ordered the seizure, in all the exchequers of the kingdom, of the royal moneys, in order that they might be employed for the general defence. Every evening Paris wore a festive air; there was dancing at the Hotel de Ville, and the gentlemen who had been skirmishing during the day around the walls came for recreation in the society of the princesses. "This commingling of blue scarfs, of ladies, of cuirasses, of violins in the hall, and of trumpets in the square, offered a spectacle which is oftener seen in romances than elsewhere." [Memoires du Cardinal de Retz, t. i.] Affairs of gallantry were mixed up with the most serious resolves; Madame de Longueville was of the Fronde because she was in love with M. de Marsillac (afterwards Duke of La Rochefoucauld), and he was on bad terms with Cardinal Mazarin.
Meanwhile war was rumbling round Paris; the post of Charenton, fortified by the Frondeurs, had been carried by the Prince of Conde at the head of the king's troops; the Parliament was beginning to perceive its mistake, and desired to have peace again, but the great lords engaged in the contest aspired to turn it to account; they had already caused the gates of Paris to be closed against a herald sent by the queen to recall her subjects to their duty; they were awaiting the army of Germany, commanded by M. de Turenne, whom his brother, the Duke of Bouillon, had drawn into his culpable enterprise; nay, more, they had begun to negotiate with Spain, and they brought up to the Parliament a pretended envoy from Archduke Leopold, but the court refused to receive him. "What! sir," said President de Mesmes, turning to the Prince of Conti, "is it possible that a prince of the blood of France should propose to give a seat upon the fleurs-de-lis to a deputy from the most cruel enemy of the fleurs-de-lis?"
The Parliament sent a deputation to the queen, and conferences were opened at Ruel on the 4th of March; the great lords of the Fronde took no part in it; "they contented themselves with having at St. Germain low-voiced (a basses notes)—secret agents," says Madame de Motteville, "commissioned to negotiate in their favor." Paris was beginning to lack bread; it was festival-time, and want began to make itself felt; a "complaint of the Carnival" was current amongst the people:—
It was against the cardinal, in fact, that all attacks were directed, but the queen remained immovable in her fidelity. "I should be afraid," she said to Madame de Motteville, "that, if I were to let him fall, the same thing would happen to me that happened to the King of England (Charles I. had just been executed), and that, after he had been driven out, my turn would come." Grain had found its way into Paris during the truce; and when, on the 13th of March, the premier president, Molt, and the other negotiators, returned to Paris, bringing the peace which they had signed at Ruel, they were greeted with furious shouts: "None of your peace! None of your Mazarin! We must go to St. Germain to seek our good king! We must fling into the river all the Mazarins!" A rioter had just laid his hand on the premier president's arm. "When you have killed me," said the latter, calmly, "I shall only want six feet of earth;" and, when he was advised to get back into his house by way of the record-offices, "The court never hides itself," he said; "if I were certain to perish, I would not commit this poltroonery, which, moreover, would but serve to give courage to the rioters. They would, of course, come after me to my house if they thought that I shrank from them here." The deputies of the Parliament were sent back to Ruel, taking a statement of the claims of the great lords: "according to their memorials, they demanded the whole of France." [Memoires de Madame de Motteville, t. iii. p. 247.]
Whilst Paris was in disorder, and the agitation, through its example, was spreading over almost the whole of France, M. de Turenne, obliged to fly from his army, was taking refuge, he and five others, with the landgrave of Hesse; his troops had refused to follow him in revolt; the last hope of the Frondeurs was slipping from them.
They found themselves obliged to accept peace, not without obtaining some favors from the court.
There was a general amnesty; and the Parliament preserved all its rights. "The king will have the honor of it, and we the profit," said Guy-Patin. The great lords reappeared one after another at St. Germain. "It is the way of our nation to return to their duty with the same airiness with which they depart from it, and to pass in a single instant from rebellion to obedience." [La Rochefoucauld.] The return to rebellion was not to be long delayed. The queen had gone back to Paris, and the Prince of Conde with her; he, proud of having beaten the parliamentary Fronde, affected the conqueror's airs, and the throng of his courtiers, the "petits maitres," as they were called, spoke very slightingly of the cardinal. Conde, reconciled with the Duchess of Longueville, his sister, and his brother, the Prince of Conti, assumed to have the lion's share in the government, and claimed all the favors for himself or his friends; the Fondeurs made skilful use of the ill-humor which this conduct excited in Cardinal Mazarin; the minister responded to their advances; the coadjutor was secretly summoned to the Louvre; the dowager Princess of Conde felt some apprehensions; but, "What have I to fear?" her son said to her; "the cardinal is my friend." "I doubt it," she answered. "You are wrong; I rely upon him as much as upon you." "Please God you may not be mistaken!" replied the princess, who was setting out for the Palais-Royal to see the queen, said to be indisposed that day.
Anne of Austria was upon her bed; word was brought to her that the council was waiting; this was the moment agreed upon; she dismissed the princess, shut herself up in her oratory with the little king, to whom she gave an account of what was going to be done for his service; then, making him kneel down, she joined him in praying to God for the success of this great enterprise. As the Prince of Conde arrived in the grand gallery, he saw Guitaut, captain of the guards, coming towards him; at the same instant, through a door at the bottom, out went the cardinal, taking with him Abbe de la Riviere, who was the usual confidant of the Duke of Orleans, but from whom his master had concealed the great secret. The prince suppposed that Guitaut was coming to ask him some favor; the captain of the guards said in his ear, "My lord, what I want to say is, that I have orders to arrest you, you, the Prince of Conti your brother, and M. de Longueville." "Me, M. Guitaut, arrest me?" Then, reflecting for a moment, "In God's name," he said, "go back to the queen and tell her that I entreat her to let me have speech of her!" Guitaut went to her, whilst the prince, returning to those who were waiting for him, said, "Gentlemen, the queen orders my arrest, and yours too, brother, and yours too, M. de Longueville; I confess that I am astonished, I who have always served the king so well, and believed myself secure of the cardinal's friendship." The chancellor, who was not in the secret, declared that it was Guitaut's pleasantry. "Go and seek the queen then," said the prince, "and tell her of the pleasantry that is going on; as for me, I hold it to be very certain that I am arrested." The chancellor went out, and did not return. M. Servien, who had gone to speak to the cardinal, likewise did not appear again. M. de Guitaut entered alone. "The queen cannot see you, my lord," he said. "Very well; I am content; let us obey," answered the prince: "but whither are you going to take us? I pray you let it be to a warm place." "We are going to the wood of Vincennes, my lord," said Guitaut. The prince turned to the company and took his leave without uneasiness and with the calmest countenance: as he was embracing M. de Brienne, secretary of state, he said to him, "Sir, as I have often received from you marks of your friendship and generosity, I flatter myself that you will some day tell the king the services I have rendered him." The princes went out; and, as they descended the staircase, Conde leaned towards Comminges, who commanded the detachment of guards, saying, "Comminges, you are a man of honor and a gentleman; have I anything to fear?" Comminges assured him he had not, and that the orders were merely to escort him to the wood of Vincennes. The carriage upset on the way; as soon as it was righted, Comminges ordered the driver to urge on his horses. The prince burst out laughing. "Don't be afraid, Comminges," he said; "there is nobody to come to my assistance; I swear to you that I had not taken any precautions against this trip." On arriving at the castle of Vincennes, there were no beds to be found, and the three princes passed the night playing at cards; the Princess of Conde and the dowager princess received orders to retire to their estates; the Duchess of Longueville, fearing with good cause that she would be arrested, had taken with all speed the road to Normandy, whither she went and took refuge at Dieppe, in her husband's government.
The state-stroke had succeeded; Mazarin's skill and prudence once more check-mated all the intrigues concocted against him; when the news was told to Chavigny, in spite of all his reasons for bearing malice against the cardinal, who had driven him from the council and kept him for some time in prison, he exclaimed, "That is a great misfortune for the prince and his friends; but the truth must be told: the cardinal has done quite right; without it he would have been ruined." The contest was begun between Mazarin and the great Conde, and it was not with the prince that the victory was to remain.
Already hostilities were commencing; Mazarin had done everything for the Frondeurs who remained faithful to him, but the house of Conde was rallying all its partisans; the Dukes of Bouillon and La Rochefoucauld had thrown themselves into Bordeaux, which was in revolt against the royal authority, represented by the Duke of Epernon. The Princess of Conde and her young son left Chantilly to join them; Madame de Longueville occupied Stenay, a strong place belonging to the Prince of Conde: she had there found Turenne; on the other hand, the queen had just been through Normandy; all the towns had opened their gates to her; it was just the same in Burgundy; the Princess of Conde's able agent, Lenet, could not obtain a declaration from the Parliament of Dijon in her favor. Bordeaux was the focus of the insurrection; the people, passionately devoted to "the dukes," as the saying was, were forcing the hand of the Parliament; riots were frequent in the town; the little king, with the queen and the cardinal, marched in person upon Bordeaux; one of the faubourgs was attacked, the dukes negotiated and obtained a general amnesty, but no mention was made of the princes' release.
The Parliament of Paris took the matter up. The premier president spoke in so bitter a tone of the unhappy policy of the minister, that the little king, feeling hurt, told his mother that, if he had thought it would not displease her, he would have made the premier president hold his tongue, and would have dismissed him. On the 30th of January, Anne of Austria sent word to the Parliament that she would consent to grant the release of the princes, "provided that the armaments of Stenay and of M. de Turenne might be discontinued." But it was too late; the Duke of Orleans had made a treaty with the princes. England served as pretext. Mazarin compared the Parliament to the House of Commons, and the coadjutor to Cromwell. Monsieur took the matter up for his friends, and was angry. He openly declared that he would not set foot again in the Palais-Royal as long as he was liable to meet the cardinal there, and joined the Parliament in demanding the removal of Mazarin. The queen replied that nobody had a right to interfere in the choice of ministers. By way of answer, the Parliament laid injunctions upon all the officers of the crown to obey none but the Duke of Orleans, lieutenant general of the kingdom. A meeting of the noblesse, at a tumultuous assembly in the house of the Duke of Nemours, expressed themselves in the same sense. It was the 6th of February, 1651: during the night, Cardinal Mazarin set out for St. Germain; a rumor spread in Paris that the queen was preparing to follow him with the king; a rush was made to the Palais-Royal: the king was in his bed. Next day, Anne of Austria complained to the Parliament. "The prince is at liberty," said the premier president, "and the king, the king our master, is a prisoner." "Monsieur, who felt no fear," says Retz, "because he had been more cheered in the streets and the hall of the palace than he had ever been," answered with vivacity, "The king was a prisoner in the hands of Mazarin; but, thank God, he is not any longer." The premier president was right; the king was a prisoner to the Parisians; patrols of burgesses were moving incessantly round the Palais-Royal; one night the queen was obliged to let the people into her chamber; the king was asleep; and two officers of the town-guard watched for some hours at his pillow. The yoke of Richelieu and the omnipotence of Mazarin were less hard for royalty to bear than the capricious and jealous tyranny of the populace.
The cardinal saw that he was beaten; he made up his mind, and, anticipating the queen's officers, he hurried to Le Havre to release the prisoners himself; he entered the castle alone, the governor having refused entrance to the guards who attended him. "The prince told me," says Mdlle. de Montpensier, "that, when they were dining together, Cardinal Mazarin was not so much in the humor to laugh as he himself was, and that he was very much embarrassed. Liberty to be gone had more charms for the prince than the cardinal's company. He said that he felt marvellous delight at finding himself outside Le Havre, with his sword at his side; and he might well be pleased to wear it; he is a pretty good hand at using it. As he went out he turned to the cardinal and said, 'Farewell, Cardinal Mazarin,' who kissed 'the tip of sleeve' to him."
The cardinal had slowly taken the road to exile, summoning to him his nieces, Mdlles. Mancini and Martinozzi, whom he had, a short time since, sent for to court; he crossed from Normandy into Picardy, made some stay at Doullens, and, impelled by his enemies' hatred, he finally crossed the frontier on the 12th of March. The Parliament had just issued orders for his arrest in any part of France. On the 6th of April, he fixed his quarters at Bruhl, a little town belonging to the electorate of Cologne, in the same territory which had but lately sheltered the last days of Mary de' Medici.
The Frondeurs, old and new, had gained the day; but even now there was disorder in their camp. Conde had returned to the court "like a raging lion, seeking to devour everybody, and, in revenge for his imprisonment, to set fire to the four corners of the realm." [Memoires de Montglat.] After a moment's reconciliation with the queen, be began to show himself more and more haughty towards her in his demands every day; he required the dismissal of the ministers Le Tellier, Servien, and Lionne, all three creatures of the cardinal and in correspondence with him at Bruhl; as Anne of Austria refused, the prince retired to St. Maur; he was already in negotiation with Spain, being inveigled into treason by the influence of his sister, Madame de Longueville, who would not leave the Duke of La Rochefoucauld or return into Normandy to her husband. Fatal results of a guilty passion which enlisted against his country the arms of the hero of Rocroi! When he returned to Paris, the queen had, in fact, dismissed her ministers, but she had formed a fresh alliance with the coadjutor, and, on the 17th of August, in the presence of an assembly convoked for that purpose at the Palais-Royal, she openly denounced the intrigues of the prince with Spain, accusing him of being in correspondence with the archduke. Next day Conde brought the matter before the Parliament. The coadjutor quite expected the struggle, and had brought supporters; the queen had sent some soldiers; the prince arrived with a numerous attendance. On entering, he said to the company, that he could not sufficiently express his astonishment at the condition in which he found the palace, which seemed to him more like a camp than a temple of justice, and that it was not merely that there could be found in the kingdom people insolent enough to presume to dispute (superiority) the pavement (disputer le pave) with him. "I made him a deep obeisance," says Retz, "and said that, I very humbly begged his Highness to pardon me if I told him that I did not believe that there was anybody in the kingdom insolent enough to dispute the wall (le haut du pave) with him, but I was persuaded that there were some who could not and ought not, for their dignity's sake, to yield the pavement (quitter le pave) to any but the king. The prince replied that he would make me yield it. I said that that would not be easy." The dispute grew warm; the presidents flung themselves between the disputants; Conde yielded to their entreaties, and begged the Duke of La Rochefoucauld to go and tell his friends to withdraw. The coadjutor went out to make the same request to his friends. "When he would have returned into the usher's little court," writes Mdlle. de Montpensier, "he met at the door the Duke of La Rochefoucauld, who shut it in his face, just keeping it ajar to see who accompanied the coadjutor; he, seeing the door ajar, gave it a good push, but he could not pass quite through, and remained as it were jammed between the two folds, unable to get in or out. The Duke of La Rochefoucauld had fastened the door with an iron catch, keeping it so to prevent its opening any wider. The coadjutor was 'in an ugly position, for he could not help fearing lest a dagger should pop out and take his life from behind. A complaint was made to the grand chamber, and Champlatreux, son of the premier president, went out, and, by his authority, had the door opened, in spite of the Duke of La Rochefoucauld." The coadjutor protested, and the Duke of Brissac, his relative, threatened the Duke of La Rochefoucauld; whereupon the latter said that, if he had them outside, he would strangle them both; to which the coadjutor replied, "My dear La Franchise (the duke's nickname), do not act the bully; you are a poltroon and I am a priest; we shall not do one another much harm." There was no fighting, and the Parliament, supported by the Duke of Orleans, obtained from the queen a declaration of the innocence of the Prince of Conde, and at the same time a formal disavowal of Mazarin's policy, and a promise never to recall him. Anne of Austria yielded everything; the king's majority was approaching, and she flattered herself that under cover of his name she would be able to withdraw the concessions which she felt obliged to make as regent. Her declaration, nevertheless, deeply wounded Mazarin, who was still taking refuge at Bruhl, whence he wrote incessantly to the queen, who did not neglect his counsels. "Ten times I have taken up my pen to write to you," he said on the 26th of September, 1651 [Lettres du Cardinal Mazarin a la Reine, pp. 292, 293], "but could not, and I am so beside myself at the mortal wound I have just received, that I am not sure whether anything I could say to you would have rhyme or reason. The king and the queen, by an authentic deed, have declared me a traitor, a public robber, an incapable, and an enemy to the repose of Christendom, after I had served them with so many signs of my devotion to the advancement of peace: it is no longer a question of property, repose, or whatever else there may be of the sort. I demand the honor which has been taken from me, and that I be let alone, renouncing very heartily the cardinalate and the benefices, whereof I send in my resignation joyfully, consenting willingly to have given up to France twenty-three years of the best of my life, all my pains and my little of wealth, and merely to withdraw with the honor which I had when I began to serve her." The persistent hopes of the adroit Italian appeared once more in the postscript of the letter: "I had forgotten to tell you that it was not the way to set me right in the eyes of the people to impress upon their mind that I am the cause of all the evils they suffer, and of all the disorders of the realm, in such sort that my ministry will be held in horror forever."
Conde did not permit himself to be caught by the queen's declarations: of all the princes he alone was missing at the ceremony of the bed of justice whereat the youthful Louis XIV., when entering his fourteenth year, announced, on the 7th of September, to his people that, according the laws of his realm, he "intended himself to assume the government, hoping of God's goodness that it would be with piety and justice." The prince had retired to Chantilly, on the pretext that the new minister, the president of the council, Chateauneuf, and the keeper of the seals, Matthew Mole, were not friends of his. The Duchess of Longueville at last carried the day; Conde was resolved upon civil war. "You would have it," he said to his sister on repelling the envoy, who had followed him to Bourges, from the queen and the Duke of Orleans; "remember that I draw the sword in spite of myself, but I will be the last to sheathe it." And he kept his word.
A great disappointment awaited the rebels; they had counted upon the Duke of Bouillon and M. de Turenne, but neither of them would join the faction. The relations between the two great generals had not been without rubs; Turenne had, moreover, felt some remorse because he, being a general in the king's army, had but lately declared against the court, "doing thereby a deed at which Le Balafro and Admiral de Coligny would have hesitated," says Cardinal de Retz. The two brothers went, before long, and offered their services to the queen.
Meanwhile Conde had arrived at Bordeaux: a part of Guienne, Saintonge, and Porigord had declared in his favor; Count d'Harcourt, at the head of the royal troops, marched against La Rochelle, which he took from the revolters under the very beard of the prince, who had come from Bordeaux to the assistance of the place, whilst the king and the queen, resolutely quitting Paris, advanced from town to town as far as Poitiers, keeping the centre of France to its allegiance by their mere presence. The treaty of the Prince of Conde with Spain was concluded: eight Spanish vessels, having money and troops on board, entered the Gironde. Conde delivered over to them the castle and harbor of Talmont. The queen had commissioned the cardinal to raise levies in Germany, and he had already entered the country of Liege, embodying troops and forming alliances. On the 17th of November, Anne of Austria finally wrote to Mazarin to return to the king's assistance. In the presence of Conde's rebellion she had no more appearances to keep up with anybody; and it was already in the master's tone that Mazarin wrote to the queen, on the 30th of October, to put her on her guard against the Duke of Orleans: "The power committed to his Royal Highness and the neutrality permitted to him, being as he is wholly devoted to the prince, surrounded by his partisans, and adhering blindly to their counsels, are matters highly prejudicial to the king's service, and, for my part, I do not see how one can be a servant of the king's, with ever so little judgment and knowledge of affairs, and yet dispute these truths. The queen, then, must bide her time to remedy all this."
The cardinal's penetration had not deceived him; the Duke of Orleans was working away in Paris, where the queen had been obliged to leave him, on the Prince of Conde's side. The Parliament had assembled to enregister against the princes the proclamation of high treason despatched from Bourges by the court; Gaston demanded that it should be sent back, threatened as they were, he said, with a still greater danger than the rebellion of the princes in the return of Mazarin, who was even now advancing to the frontier; but the premier president took no notice, and put the proclamation to the vote in these words "It is a great misfortune when princes of the blood give occasion for such proclamations, but this is a common and ordinary misfortune in the kingdom, and, for five or six centuries past, it may be said that they have been the scourges of the people and the enemies of the monarchy." The decree passed by a hundred votes to forty.
On the 24th of December, the cardinal crossed the frontier with a large body of troops, and was received at Sedan by Lieutenant General Fabert, faithful to his fortunes even in exile. The Parliament was furious, and voted, almost unanimously, that the cardinal and his adherents were guilty of high treason; ordering the communes to hound him down, and promising, from the proceeds of his furniture and library which were about to be sold, a sum of five hundred thousand livres to whoever should take him dead or alive. At once began the sale of the magnificent library which the cardinal had liberally opened to the public. The dispersion of the books was happily stopped in time to still leave a nucleus for the Mazarin Library.
Meanwhile Mazarin had not allowed himself to be frightened by parliamentary decrees or by dread of assassins. Re-entering France with six thousand men, he forced the passage of Pontsur-Yonne, in spite of the two councillors of the Parliaments who were commissioned to have him arrested; the Duke of Beaufort, at the head of Monsieur's troops, did not even attempt to impede his march; and, on the 28th of January, the cardinal entered Poitiers, at once resuming his place beside the king, who had come to meet him a league from the town. The court took leisurely the road to Paris.
The coadjutor had received the price of his services in the royal cause; he was a cardinal "sooner," said he, "than Mazarias would have had him;" and so the new prince of the church considered himself released from any gratitude to the court, and sought to form a third party, at the head of which was to be placed the Duke of Orleans as nominal head. Monsieur, harried by intrigues in all directions, remained in a state of inaction, and made a pretension of keeping Paris neutral; his daughter, Mdlle. de Montpensier, who detested Anne of Austria and Mazarin, and would have liked to marry the king, had boldly taken the side of the princes; the court had just arrived at Blois, on the 27th of March, 1652; the keeper of the seals, Mole, presented himself in front of Orleans to summon the town to open its gates to the king; at that very moment arrived Mdlle., the great Mdlle., as she was then called; and she claimed possession of Orleans in her father's name. "It was the appanage of Monsieur; but the gates were shut and barricaded. After they had been told that it was I," writes Mdlle., "they did not open; and I was there three hours. The governor sent me some sweetmeats, and what appeared to me rather funny was that he gave me to understand that he had no influence. At the window of the sentry-box was the Marquis d'Halluys, who watched me walking up and down by the fosse. The rampart was fringed with people who shouted incessantly, 'Hurrah for the king! hurrah for the princes! None of your Mazarin!' I could not help calling out to them, 'Go to the Hotel de Ville and get the gate opened to me!' The captain made signs that he had not the keys. I said to him, 'It must be burst open, and you owe me more allegiance than to the gentlemen of the town, seeing that I am your master's daughter.' The boatmen offered to break open for me a gate which was close by there. I told them to make haste, and I mounted upon a pretty high mound of earth overlooking that gate. I thought but little about any nice way of getting thither; I climbed like a cat; I held on to briers and thorns, and I leapt all the hedges without hurting myself at all; two boats were brought up to serve me for a bridge, and in the second was placed a ladder by which I mounted. The gate was burst at last. Two planks had been forced out of the middle; signs were made to me to advance; and as there was a great deal of mud, a footman took me up, carried me along, and put me through this hole, through which I had no sooner passed my head than the drums began beating. I gave my hand to the captain, and said to him, 'You will be very glad that you can boast of having managed to get me in.'"
The keeper of the seals was obliged to return to Blois, and Mdlle. kept Orleans, but without being able to effect an entrance for the troops of the Dukes of Nemours and Beaufort, who had just tried a surprise against the court. Had it not been for the aid of Turenne, who had defended the bridge of Jargeau, the king might have fallen into the hands of his revolted subjects. The queen rested at Gien whilst the princes went on as far as Montargis, thus cutting off the communications of the court with Paris. Turenne was preparing to fall upon his incapable adversaries when the situation suddenly changed: the, Prince of Conde, weary of the bad state of his affairs in Guienne, where the veteran soldiers of the Count of Harcourt had the advantage everywhere over the new levies, had traversed France in disguise, and forming a junction, on the 1st of April, with the Dukes of Nemours and Beaufort, threw himself upon the quarters of Marshal d'Hocquincourt, defeated him, burned his camp, and drove him back to Bleneau; a rapid march on the part of Turenne, coming to the aid of his colleague, forced Conde to fall back upon Chatillon; on the 11th of April he was in Paris.
The princes had relied upon the irritation caused by the return of Mazarin to draw Paris into the revolt, but they were only half successful; the Parliament would scarcely give Conde admittance; President de Bailleul, who occupied the chair in the absence of Mole, declared that the body always considered it an honor to see the prince in their midst, but that they would have preferred not to see him there in the state in which he was at the time, with his hands still bloody from the defeat of the king's troops. Amelot, premier president of the Court of Aids, said to the prince's face, "that it was a matter of astonishment, after many battles delivered or sustained against his Majesty's troops, to see him not only returning to Paris without having obtained letters of amnesty, but still appearing amongst the sovereign bodies as if he gloried in the spoils of his Majesty's subjects, and causing the drum to be beaten for levying troops, to be paid by money coming from Spain, in the capital of the realm, the most loyal city possessed by the king." The city of Paris resolved not to make "common cause or furnish money to assist the princes against the king under pretext of its being against Mazarin." The populace alone were favorable to the princes' party.
Meanwhile Turenne had easy work with the secondary generals remaining at the head of the factious army; by his able manoeuvres he had covered the march of the court, which established itself at St. Germain.
Conde assembled his forces encamped around Paris: he intended to fortify himself at the confluence of the Seine and the Marne, hoping to be supported by the little army which had just been brought up by Duke Charles of Lorraine, as capricious and adventurous as ever. Turenne and the main body of his troops barred the passage. Conde threw himself back upon Faubourg St. Antoine, and there intrenched himself, at the outlet of the three principal streets which abutted upon Porte St. Antoine (now Place do la Bastille). Turenne had meant to wait for re-enforcements and artillery, but the whole court had flocked upon the heights of Charonne to see the fight; pressure was put upon him, and the marshal gave the word to attack. The army of the Fronde fought with fury. "I did not see a Prince of Conde," Turenne used to say; "I saw more than a dozen." The king's soldiers had entered the houses, thus turning the barricades; Marshal Ferte had just arrived with the artillery, and was sweeping Rue St. Antoine. The princes' army was about to be driven back to the foot of the walls of Paris, when the cannon of the Bastille, replying all on a sudden to the volleys of the royal troops, came like a thunderbolt on M. de Turenne; the Porte St. Antoine opened, and the Parisians, under arms, fringing the streets, protected the return of the rebel army. Mdlle. de Montpensier had taken the command of the city of Paris.
For a week past the Duke of Orleans had been ill, or pretended to be; he refused to give any order. When the prince began his movement, on the 2d of July, early, he sent to beg Mdlle. not to desert him. "I ran to the Luxembourg," she says, "and I found Monsieur at the top of the stairs. 'I thought I should find you in bed,' said I; 'Count Fiesque told me that you didn't feel well.' He answered, 'I am not ill enough for that, but enough not to go out.' I begged him to ride out to the aid of the prince, or, at any rate, to go to bed and assume to be ill; but I could get nothing from him. I went so far as to say, 'Short of having a treaty with the court in your pocket, I cannot understand how you can take things so easily; but can you really have one to sacrifice the prince to Cardinal Mazarin?' He made no reply: all I said lasted quite an hour, during which every friend we had might have been killed, and the prince as well as another, without anybody's caring; nay, there were people of Monsieur's in high spirits, hoping that the prince would perish; they were friends of Cardinal de Retz. At last Monsieur gave me a letter for the gentlemen of the Hotel, leaving it to me to tell them his intention. I was there in a moment, assuring those present that, if ill luck would have it that the enemy should beat the prince, no more quarter would be shown to Paris than to the men who bore arms. Marshal de l'Hopital, governor of Paris for the king, said to me, 'You are aware, Mdlle., that if your troops had not approached this city, those of the king would not have come thither, and that they only came to drive them away.' Madame de Nemours did not like this, and began to argue the point. I broke off their altercation. 'Consider, sir, that, whilst time is being wasted in discussing useless matters, the prince is in danger in your faubourgs.'" She carried with her the aid of the Duke of Orleans' troops, and immediately moved forwards, meeting everywhere on her road her friends wounded or dying. "When I was near the gate, I went into the house of an exchequer-master (maitre des comptes). As soon as I was there, the prince came thither to see me; he was in a pitiable state; he had two fingers' breadth of dust on his face, and his hair all matted; his collar and his shirt were covered with blood, although he was not wounded; his breastplate was riddled all over; and he held his sword bare in his hand, having lost the scabbard. He said to me, 'You see a man in despair; I have lost all my friends; MM. de Nemours, de la Rochefoucauld, and Clinchamps are wounded to death.' I consoled him a little by telling him that they were in better case than he supposed. Then I went off to the Bastille, where I made them load the cannon which was trained right upon the city; and I gave orders to fire as soon as I had gone. I went thence to the Porte St. Antoine. The soldiers shouted, 'Let us do something that will astonish them; our retreat is secure; here is Mdlle. at the gate, and she will have it opened for us, if we are hard pressed.' The prince gave orders to march back into the city; he seemed to me quite different from what he had been early in the day, though he had not changed at all; he paid me a thousand compliments and thanks for the great service he considered that I had rendered him. I said to him, 'I have a favor to ask of you: that is, not to say anything to Monsieur about the laches he has displayed towards you.' At this very moment up came Monsieur, who embraced the prince with as gay an air as if he had not left him at all in the lurch. The prince confessed that he had never been in so dangerous a position."
The fight at Porte St. Antoine had not sufficiently compromised the Parisians, who began to demand peace at any price. The mob, devoted to the princes, set themselves to insult in the street all those who did not wear in their hats a tuft of straw, the rallying sign of the faction. On the 4th of July, at the general assembly of the city, when the king's attorney-general proposed to conjure his Majesty to return to Paris without Cardinal Mazarin, the princes, who demanded the union of the Parisians with themselves, rose up and went out, leaving the assembly to the tender mercies of the crowd assembled on the Place de Greve. "Down on the Mazarins!" was the cry; "there are none but Mazarins any longer at the Hotel de Ville!" Fire was applied to the doors defended by the archers; all the outlets were guarded by men beside themselves; more than thirty burgesses of note were massacred; many died of their wounds, the Hotel de Ville was pillaged, Marshal de l'Hopital escaped with great difficulty, and the provost of tradesmen yielded up his office to Councillor Broussel. Terror reigned in Paris: it was necessary to drag the magistrates to the Palace of Justice to decree, on the 19th of July, by seventy-four votes against sixty-nine, that the Duke of Orleans should be appointed "lieutenant-general of the kingdom, and the Prince of Conde commandant of all the armies." The usurpation of the royal authority was flagrant, the city-assembly voted subsidies, and Paris wrote to all the good towns of France to announce to them her resolution. Chancellor Seguier had the poltroonery to accept the presidency of the council, offered him by the Duke of Orleans; he thus avenged himself for the preference the, queen had but lately shown for Mole by confiding the seals to him. At the same time the Spaniards were entering France; for all the strong places were dismantled or disgarrisoned. The king, obliged to confront civil war, had abandoned his frontiers; Gravelines had fallen on the 18th of May, and the arch-duke had undertaken the siege of Dunkerque. At Conde's instance, he detached a body of troops, which he sent, under the orders of Count Fuendalsagna, to join the Duke of Lorraine, who had again approached Paris. Everywhere the fortune of arms appeared to be against the king. "This year we lost Barcelona, Catalonia, and Casale, the key of Italy," says Cardinal de Retz. "We saw Brisach in revolt, on the point of falling once more into the hands of the house of Austria. We saw the flags and standards of Spain fluttering on the Pont Neuf, the yellow scarfs of Lorraine appeared in Paris as freely as the isabels and the blues." Dissension, ambition, and poltroonery were delivering France over to the foreigner.
The evil passions of men, under the control of God, help sometimes to destroy and sometimes to preserve them. The interests of the Spaniards and of the Prince of Conde were not identical. He desired to become the master of France, and to command in the king's name; the enemy were laboring to humiliate France and to prolong the war indefinitely: The arch-duke recalled Count Fuendalsagna to Dunkerque; and Turenne, withstanding the terrors of the court, which would fain have fled first into Normandy and then to Lyons, prevailed upon the queen to establish herself at Pontoise, whilst the army occupied Compiegne. At every point cutting off the passage of the Duke of Lorraine, who had been re-enforced by a body of Spaniards, Turenne held the enemy in check for three weeks, and prevented them from marching on Paris. All parties began to tire of hostilities.
Cardinal Mazarin took his line, and loudly demanded of the king permission to withdraw, in order, by his departure, to restore peace to the kingdom. The queen refused. "There is no consideration shown," she said, "for my son's honor and my own; we will not suffer him to go away." But the cardinal insisted. Prudent and far-sighted as he was, he knew that to depart was the only way of remaining. He departed on the 19th of August, but without leaving the frontier: he took up his quarters at Bouillon. The queen had summoned the Parliament to her at Pontoise. A small number of magistrates responded to her summons, enough, however, to give the queen the right to proclaim rebellious the Parliament remaining at Paris. Chancellor Seguier made his escape, in order to go and rejoin the court. Nobody really believed in the cardinal's withdrawal; men are fond of yielding to appearances in order to excuse in their own eyes a change in their own purposes. Disorder went on increasing in Paris; the great lords, in their discontent, were quarrelling one with another; the Prince of Conde struck M. de Rieux, who returned the blow; the Duke of Nemours was killed in a duel by M. de Beaufort; the burgesses were growing weary of so much anarchy; a public display of feeling in favor of peace took place on the 24th of September in the garden of the Palais-Royal; those present stuck in their hats pieces of white paper in opposition to the Frondeurs' tufts of straw. People fought in the streets on behalf of these tokens. For some weeks past Cardinal de Retz had remained inactive, and his friends pressed him to move. "You see quite well," they said, "that Mazarin is but a sort of jack-in-the-box, out of sight to-day and popping up to-morrow; but you also see that, whether he be in or out, the spring that sends him up or down is that of the royal authority, the which will not, apparently, be so very soon broken by the means taken to break it. The obligation you are under towards Monsieur, and even towards the public, as regards Mazarin, does not allow you to work for his restoration; he is no longer here, and, though his absence may be nothing but a mockery and a delusion, it nevertheless gives you an opportunity for taking certain steps which naturally lead to that which is for your good." Retz lost no time in going to Compiegne, where the king had installed himself after Mazarin's departure; he took with him a deputation of the clergy, and received in due form the cardinal's hat. He was the bearer of proposals for an accommodation from the Duke of Orleans, but the queen cut him short. The court perceived its strength, and the instructions of Cardinal Mazarin were precise. The ruin of De Retz was from that moment resolved upon.
The Prince of Conde was ill; he had left the command of his troops to M. do Tavannes; during the night between the 5th and 6th of October, Turenne struck his camp at Villeneuve St. Georges, crossed the Seine at Corbeil, the Marne at Meaux, without its being in the enemy's power to stop him, and established himself in the neighborhood of Dammartin. Conde was furious. "Tavannes and Vallon ought to wear bridles," he said; "they are asses;" he left his house, and placed himself once more at the head of his army, at first following after Turenne, and soon to sever himself completely from that Paris which was slipping away from him. "He would find himself more at home at the head of four squadrons in the Ardennes than commanding a dozen millions of such fellows as we have here, without excepting President Charton," said the Duke of Orleans. "The prince was wasting away with sheer disgust; he was so weary of hearing all the talk about Parliament, court of aids, chambers in assembly, and Hotel de Ville, that he would often declare that his grandfather had never been more fatigued by the parsons of La Rochelle." The great Conde was athirst for the thrilling emotions of war; and the crime he committed was to indulge at any price that boundless passion. Ever victorious at the head of French armies, he was about to make experience of defeat in the service of the foreigner.
The king had proclaimed a general amnesty on the 18th of October; and on the 21st he set out in state for Paris. The Duke of Orleans still wavered. "You wanted peace," said Madame, "when it depended but on you to make war; you now want war when you can make neither war nor peace. It is of no use to think any longer of anything but going with a good grace to meet the king." At these words he exclaimed aloud, as if it had been proposed to him to go and throw himself in the river. "And where the devil should I go?" he answered. He remained at the Luxembourg. On drawing near Paris, the king sent word to his uncle that he would have to leave the city. Gaston replied in the following letter:—
The Duke of Orleans retired before long to his castle at Blois, where he died in 1660; deserted, towards the end of his life, by all the friends he had successively abandoned and betrayed. "He had, with the exception of courage, all that was necessary to make an honorable man," says Cardinal de Retz, "but weakness was predominant in his heart through fear, and in his mind through irresolution; it disfigured the whole course of his life. He engaged in everything because he had not strength to resist those who drew him on, and he always came out disgracefully, because he had not the courage to support them." He was a prey to fear, fear of his friends as well as of his enemies.
The Fronde was all over, that of the gentry of the long robe as well as that of the gentry of the sword. The Parliament of Paris was once more falling in the state to the rank which had been assigned to it by Richelieu, and from which it had wanted to emerge by a supreme effort. The attempt had been the same in France as in England, however different had been the success. It was the same yearnings of patriotism and freedom, the same desire on the part of the country to take an active part in its own government, which had inspired the opposition of the Parliament of England to the despotism of Charles I., and the opposition of the French Parliaments to Richelieu as well as to Mazarin. It was England's good fortune to have but one Parliament of politicians, instead of ten Parliaments of magistrates, the latter more fit for the theory than the practice of public affairs; and the Reformation had, beforehand, accustomed its people to discussion as well as to liberty. Its great lords and its gentlemen placed themselves from the first at the head of the national movement, demanding nothing and expecting nothing for themselves from the advantages they claimed for their country. The remnant of the feudal system had succumbed with the Duke of Montmorency under Richelieu; France knew not the way to profit by the elements of courage, disinterestedness, and patriotism offered her by her magistracy; she had the misfortune to be delivered over to noisy factions of princes and great lords, ambitious or envious, greedy of honors and riches, as ready to fight the court as to be on terms with it, and thinking far more of their own personal interests than of the public service. Without any unity of action or aim, and by turns excited and dismayed by the examples that came to them from England, the Frondeurs had to guide them no Hampden or Cromwell; they had at their backs neither people nor army; the English had been able to accomplish a revolution; the Fronde failed before the dexterous prudence of Mazarin and the queen's fidelity to her minister. In vain did the coadjutor aspire to take his place; Anne of Austria had not forgotten the Earl of Strafford.—Cardinal de Retz learned before long the hollowness of his hopes. On the 19th of December, 1652, as he was repairing to the Louvre, he was arrested by M. de Villequier, captain of the guards on duty, and taken the same evening to the Bois de Vincennes; there was a great display of force in the street and around the carriage; but nobody moved, "whether it were," says Retz, "that the dejection of the people was too great, or that those who were well-inclined towards me lost courage on seeing nobody at their head." People were tired of raising barricades and hounding down the king's soldiers.
"I was taken into a large room where there were neither hangings nor bed; that which was brought in about eleven o'clock at night was of Chinese taffeta, not at all the thing for winter furniture. I slept very well, which must not be attributed to stout-heartedness, because misfortune has naturally that effect upon me. I have on more than one occasion discovered that it wakes me in the morning and sends me to sleep at night. I was obliged to get up the next day without a fire, because there was no wood to make one, and the three exons who had been posted near me had the kindness to assure me that I should not be without it the next day. He who remained alone on guard over me took it for himself, and I was a whole fortnight, at Christmas, in a room as big as a church, without warming myself. I do not believe that there could be found under heaven another man like this exon. He stole my linen, my clothes, my boots, and I was sometimes obliged to stay in bed eight or ten days for lack of anything to put on. I could not believe that I was subjected to such treatment without orders from some superior, and without some mad notion of making me die of vexation. I fortified myself against that notion, and I resolved at any rate not to die that kind of death. At last I got him into the habit of not tormenting me any more, by dint of letting him see that I did not torment myself at all. In point of fact I had risen pretty nearly superior to all these ruses, for which I had a supreme contempt; but I could not assume the same loftiness of spirit in respect of the prison's entity (substance), if one may use the term, and the sight of myself, every morning when I awoke, in the hands of my enemies made me perceive that I was anything rather than a stoic." The Archbishop of Paris had just died, and the dignity passed to his coadjutor; as the price of his release, Mazarin demanded his resignation. The clergy of Paris were highly indignant; Cardinal de Retz was removed to the castle of Nantes, whence he managed to make his escape in August, 1653; for nine years he lived abroad, in Spain, Italy, and Germany, everywhere mingling in the affairs of Europe, engaged in intrigue, and not without influence; when at last he returned to France, in 1662, he resigned the archbishopric of Paris, and established himself in the principality of Commercy, which belonged to him, occupied up to the day of his death in paying his debts, doing good to his friends and servants, writing his memoirs, and making his peace with God. This was in those days a solicitude which never left the most worldly: the Prince of Conti had died very devout, and Madame de Longueville had just expired at the Carmelites', after twenty-five years' penance, when Cardinal de Retz died on the 24th of August, 1679. At the time of his arrest, it was a common saying of the people in the street that together with "Cardinal de Retz it would have been a very good thing to imprison Cardinal Mazarin as well, in order to teach them of the clergy not to meddle for the future in the things of this world." Language which was unjust to the grand government of Cardinal Richelieu, unjust even to Cardinal Mazarin. The latter was returning with greater power than ever at the moment when Cardinal de Retz, losing forever the hope of supplanting him in power, was beginning that life of imprisonment and exile which was ultimately to give him time to put retirement and repentance between himself and death.
Cardinal Mazarin had once more entered France, but he had not returned to Paris. The Prince of Conde, soured by the ill-success of the Fronde and demented by illimitable pride, had not been ashamed to accept the title of generalissimo of the Spanish armies; Turenne had succeeded in hurling him back into Luxembourg, and it was in front of Bar, besieged, that Mazarin, with a body of four thousand men, joined the French army; Bar was taken, and the campaign of 1652, disastrous at nearly every point, had just finished with this success, when the cardinal re-entered Paris at the end of January, 1653. Six months later, at the end of July, the insurrection in Guienne was becoming extinguished by a series of private conventions; the king's armies were entering Bordeaux; the revolted princes received their pardon, waiting, meanwhile, for the Prince of Conti to marry, as he did next year, Mdlle. Martinozzi, one of Mazarin's nieces; Madame de Longueville retired to Moulin's into the convent where her aunt, Madame de Montmorency, had for the last twenty years been mourning for her husband; Conde was the only rebel left, more dangerous, for France, than all the hostile armies he commanded. Cardinal Mazarin was henceforth all-powerful; whatever may have been the nature of the ties which united him to the queen, he had proved their fidelity and strength too fully to always avoid the temptation of adopting the tone of a master; the young king's confidence in his minister, who had brought him up, equalled that of his mother; the merits as well as the faults of Mazarin were accordingly free to crop out: he was neither vindictive nor cruel towards even his most inveterate enemies, whom he could not manage, as Richelieu did, to confound with those of the state; the excesses of the factions had sufficed to destroy them. "Time is an able fellow," the cardinal would frequently say; if people often complained of being badly compensated for their services, Mazarin could excuse himself on the ground of the deplorable, condition of the finances. He nevertheless feathered his own nest inordinately, taking care, however, not to rob the people, it was said. He confined himself to selling everything at a profit to himself, even the offices of the royal household, without making, as Richelieu had made, any "advance out of his own money to the state, when there was none in the treasury." The power had been honestly won, if the fortune were of a doubtful kind. M. Mignet has said with his manly precision of language, "Amidst those unreasonable disturbances which upset for a while the judgment of the great Turenne, which, in the case of the great Conde, turned the sword of Rocroi against France, and which led Cardinal Retz to make so poor a use of his talent, there was but one firm will, and that was Anne of Austria's; but one man of good sense, and that was Mazarin." [Introduction aux Negotiations pour la Succession d'Espagne.]
From 1653 to 1657, Turenne, seconded by Marshal La Ferte and sometimes by Cardinal Mazarin in person, constantly kept the Spaniards and the Prince of Conde in check, recovering the places but lately taken from France and relieving the besieged towns; without ever engaging in pitched battles, he almost always had the advantage. Mazarin resolved to strike a decisive blow. It was now three years since, after long negotiations, the cardinal had concluded with Cromwell, Protector of the Commonwealth of England, a treaty of peace and commerce, the prelude and first fruits of a closer alliance which the able minister of Anne of Austria had not ceased to wish for and pave the way for. On the 23d of March, 1657, the parleys ended at last in a treaty of alliance offensive and defensive; it was concluded at Paris between France and England. Cromwell promised that a body of six thousand English, supported by a fleet prepared to victual and aid them along the coasts, should go and join the French army, twenty thousand strong, to make war on the Spanish Low Countries, and especially to besiege the three forts of Gravelines, Mardyk, and Dunkerque, the last of which was to be placed in the hands of the English and remain in their possession. Six weeks after the conclusion of the treaty, the English troops disembarked at Boulogne; they were regiments formed and trained in the long struggles of the civil war, drilled to the most perfect discipline, of austere manners, and of resolute and stern courage; the king came in person to receive them on their arrival; Mardyk was soon taken and placed as pledge in the hands of the English. Cromwell sent two fresh regiments for the siege of Dunkerque. In the spring of 1658, Turenne invested the place. Louis XIV. and Mazarin went to Calais to be present at this great enterprise.
"At Brussels," says M. Guizot in his Histoire de la Republique d'Angleterre et de Cromwell, "neither Don Juan nor the Marquis of Carracena would believe that Dunkerque was in danger; being at the same time indolent and proud, they disdained the counsel, at one time of vigilant activity and at another of prudent reserve, which was constantly given them by Conde; they would not have anybody come and rouse them during their siesta if any unforeseen incident occurred, nor allow any doubt of their success when once they were up and on horseback. They hurried away to the defence of Dunkerque, leaving behind them their artillery and a portion of their cavalry. Conde, conjured them to intrench themselves whilst awaiting them; Don Juan, on the contrary, was for advancing on to the dunes and marching to meet the French army. 'You don't reflect,' said Conde 'that ground is fit only for infantry, and that of the French is more numerous and has seen more service.' 'I am persuaded,' replied Don Juan, 'that they will not ever dare to look His Most Catholic Majesty's army in the face.' 'Ah! you don't know M. de Turenne; no mistake is made with impunity in the presence of such a man as that.' Don Juan persisted, and, in fact, made his way on to the 'dunes.' Next day, the 13th of June, Conde, more and more convinced of the danger, made fresh efforts to make him retire. 'Retire!' cried Don Juan: 'if the French dare fight, this will be the finest day that ever shone on the arms of His Most Catholic Majesty.' 'Very fine, certainly,' answered Conde, 'if you give orders to retire.' Turenne put an end to this disagreement in the enemy's camp. Having made up his mind to give battle on the 14th, at daybreak, he sent word to the English general, Lockhart, by one of his officers who wanted at the same time to explain the commander-in-chief's plan and his grounds for it. 'All right,' answered Lockhart: 'I leave it to M. de Turenne; he shall tell me his reasons after the battle, if he likes.' A striking contrast between the manly discipline of English good sense and the silly blindness of Spanish pride. Conde was not mistaken: the issue of a battle begun under such auspices could not be doubtful. 'My lord,' said he to the young Duke of Gloucester, who was serving in the Spanish army by the side of his brother, the Duke of York, 'did you ever see a battle?' 'No, prince.' 'Well, then, you are going to see one lost.' The battle of the Dunes was, in fact, totally lost by the Spaniards, after four hours' very hard fighting, during which the English regiments carried bravely, and with heavy losses, the most difficult and the best defended position; all the officers of Lockhart's regiment, except two, were killed or wounded before the end of the day; the Spanish army retired in disorder, leaving four thousand prisoners in the hands of the conqueror. 'The enemy came to meet us,' wrote Turenne, in the evening, to his wife; 'they were beaten, God be praised! I have worked rather hard all day; I wish you good night, and am going to bed.' Ten days afterwards, on the 23d of June, 1658, the garrison of Dunkerque was exhausted; the aged governor, the Marquis of Leyden, had been mortally wounded in a sortie; the place surrendered, and, the next day but one, Louis XIV. entered it, but merely to hand it over at once to the English. 'Though the court and the army are in despair at the notion of letting go what he calls a rather nice morsel,' wrote Lockhart, the day before, to Secretary Thurloe, 'nevertheless the cardinal is staunch to his promises, and seems as well satisfied at giving up this place to his Highness as I am to take it. The king, also, is extremely polite and obliging, and he has in his soul more honesty than I had supposed.'"
The surrender of Dunkerque was soon followed by that of Gravelines and several other towns; the great blow against the Spanish arms had been struck; negotiations were beginning; tranquillity reigned everywhere in France; the Parliament had caused no talk since the 20th of March, 1655, when, they having refused to enregister certain financial edicts, for want of liberty of suffrage, the king, setting out from the castle of Vincennes, "had arrived early at the Palace of Justice, in scarlet jacket and gray hat, attended by all his court in the same costume, as if he were going to hunt the stag, which was unwonted up to that day. When he was in his bed of justice, he prohibited the Parliament from assembling, and, after having said a word or two, he rose and went out, without listening to any address." [Memoires de Montglat, t. ii.] The sovereign courts had learned to improve upon the old maxim of Matthew Mole: "I am going to court; I shall tell the truth; after which the king must be obeyed." Not a tongue wagged, and obedience at length was rendered to Cardinal Mazarin as it had but lately been to Cardinal Richelieu.
The court was taking its diversion. "There were plenty of fine comedies and ballets going on. The king, who danced very well, liked them extremely," says Mdlle. de Montpensier, at that time exiled from Paris; "all this did not affect me at all; I thought that I should see enough of it on my return; but my ladies were different, and nothing could equal their vexation at not being in all these gayeties." It was still worse when announcement was made of the arrival of Queen Christina of Sweden, that celebrated princess, who had reigned from the time she was six years old, and had lately abdicated, in 1654, in favor of her cousin, Charles Gustavus, in order to regain her liberty, she said, but perhaps, also, because she found herself confronted by the ever-increasing opposition of the grandees of her kingdom, hostile to the foreign fashions favored by the queen, as well as to the design that was attributed to her of becoming converted to Catholicism. When Christina arrived at Paris, in 1656, she had already accomplished her abjuration at Brussels, without assigning her motives for it to anybody. "Those who talk of them know nothing about them," she would say; "and she who knows something about them has never talked of them." There was great curiosity at Paris to see this queen. The king sent the Duke of Guise to meet her, and he wrote to one of his friends as follows:
"She is not tall, she has a good arm, a hand white and well made, but rather a man's than a woman's, a high shoulder,—a defect which she so well conceals by the singularity of her dress, her walk, and her gestures, that you might make a bet about it. Her face is large without being defective, all her features are the same and strongly marked, a pretty tolerable turn of countenance, set off by a very singular head-dress; that is, a man's wig, very big, and very much raised in front; the top of the head is a tissue of hair, and the back has something of a woman's style of head-dress. Sometimes she also wears a hat; her bodice, laced behind, crosswise, is made something like our doublets, her chemise bulging out all round her petticoat, which she wears rather badly fastened and not over straight. She is always very much powdered, with a good deal of pomade, and almost never puts on gloves. She has, at the very least, as much swagger and haughtiness as the great Gustavus, her father, can have had; she is mighty civil and coaxing, speaks eight languages, and principally French, as if she had been born in Paris. She knows as much about it as all our Academy and the Sorbonne put together, has an admirable knowledge of painting as well as of everything else, and knows all the intrigues of our court better than I. In fact, she is quite an extraordinary person." "The king, though very timid at that time," says Madame de Motteville, "and not at all well informed, got on so well with this bold, well-informed, and haughty princess, that, from the first moment, they associated together with much freedom and pleasure on both sides. It was difficult, when you had once had a good opportunity of seeing her, and above all of listening to her, not to forgive all her irregularities, though some of them were highly blamable." All the court and all Paris made a great fuss about this queen, who insisted upon going everywhere, even to the French Academy, where no woman had ever been admitted. Patru thus relates to one of his friends the story of her visit: "No notice was given until about eight or nine in the morning of this princess's purpose, so that some of our body could not receive information in time. M. de Gombault came without having been advertised; but, as soon as he knew of the queen's purpose, he went away again, for thou must know that he is wroth with her because, he having written some verses in which he praised the great Gustavus, she did not write to him, she who, as thou knowest, has written to a hundred impertinent apes. I might complain, with far more reason; but, so long as kings, queens, princes, and princesses do me only that sort of harm, I shall never complain. The chancellor [Seguier, at whose house the Academy met] had forgotten to have the portrait of this princess, which she had given to the society, placed in the room; which, in my opinion, ought not to have been forgotten. Word was brought that the carriage was entering the court-yard. The chancellor, followed by the whole body, went to receive the princess. . . . As soon as she entered the room, she went off-hand, according to her habit, and sat down in her chair; and, at the same moment, without any order given us, we also sat down. The princess, seeing that we were at some little distance from the table, told us that we could draw up close to it. There was some little drawing up, but not as if it were a dinner-party. . . . Several pieces were read; and then the director, who was M. de la Chambre, told the queen that the ordinary exercise of the society was to work at the Dictionary, and that, if it were agreeable to her Majesty, a sheet should be read. 'By all means,' said she. M. de Mezeray, accordingly, read the word Jeux, under which, amongst other proverbial expressions, there was, 'Jeux de princes, qui ne plaisent qu'a ceux qui les font.' (Princes' jokes, which amuse only those who make them.) She burst out laughing. The word, which was in fair copy, was finished. It would have been better to read a word which had to be weeded, because then we should all have spoken; but people were taken by surprise—the French always are. . . . After about an hour, the princess rose, made a courtesy to the company, and went away as she had come. Here is really what passed at this famous interview, which, no doubt, does great honor to the Academy.—The Duke of Anjou talks of coming to it, and the zealous are quite transported with this bit of glory." [OEuvres diverses de Patru, t. ii. p. 512.]
Queen Christina returned the next year and passed some time at Fontainebleau. It was there, in a gallery that King Louis Philippe caused to be turned into apartments, which M. Guizot at one time occupied, that she had her first equerry, Monaldeschi, whom she accused of having betrayed her, assassinated almost before her own eyes; and she considered it astonishing, and very bad taste, that the court of France should be shocked at such an execution. "This barbarous princess," says Madame de Motteville, "after so cruel an action as that, remained in her room laughing and chatting as easily as if she had done something of no consequence or very praiseworthy. The queen-mother, a perfect Christian, who had met with so many enemies whom she might have punished, but who had received from her nothing but marks of kindness, was scandalized by it. The king and Monsieur blamed her, and the minister, who was not a cruel man, was astounded."
The queen-mother had other reasons for being less satisfied than she had been at the first trip of Queen Christina of Sweden. The young king testified much inclination for Mary de Mancini, Cardinal Mazarin's niece, a bold and impassioned creature, whose sister Olympia had already found favor in his eyes before her marriage with the Count of Soissons. The eldest of all had married the Duke of Mercoeur, son of the Duke of Vendome; the other two were destined to be united, at a later period, to the Dukes of Bouillon and La Meilleraye; the hopes of Mary went still higher; relying on the love of young Louis XIV., she dared to dream of the throne; and the Queen of Sweden encouraged her. "The right thing is to marry one's love," she told the king. No time was lost in letting Christina understand that she could not remain long in France: the cardinal, "with a moderation for which he cannot be sufficiently commended," says Madame de Motteville, "himself put obstacles in the way of his niece's ambitious designs; he sent her to the convent of Brouage, threatening, if that exile were not sufficient, to leave France and take his niece with him."
"No power," he said to the king, "can wrest from me the free authority of disposal which God and the laws give me over my family." "You are king; you weep; and yet I am going away!" said the young girl to her royal lover, who let her go. Mary de Mancini was mistaken; he was not yet King.
Cardinal Mazarin and the queen had other views regarding the marriage of Louis XIV.; for a long time past the object of their labors had been to terminate the war by an alliance with Spain. The Infanta, Maria Theresa, was no longer heiress to the crown, for King Philip at last had a son; Spain was exhausted by long-continued efforts, and dismayed by the checks received in the, campaign of 1658; the alliance of the Rhine, recently concluded at Frankfurt between the two leagues, Catholic and Protestant, confirmed immutably the advantages which the treaty of Westphalia had secured to France. The electors had just raised to the head of the empire young Leopold I., on the death of his father, Ferdinand III., and they proposed their mediation between France and Spain. Whilst King Philip IV. was still hesitating, Mazarin took a step in another direction; the king set out for Lyons, accompanied by his mother and his minister, to go and see Princess Margaret of Savoy, who had been proposed to him a long time ago as his wife. He was pleased with her, and negotiations were already pretty far advanced, to the great displeasure of the queen-mother, when the cardinal, on the 29th of November, 1659, in the evening, entered Anne of Austria's room. "He found her pensive and melancholy, but he was all smiles. 'Good news, madam,' said he. 'Ah!' cried the queen, 'is it to be peace?' 'More than that, Madame; I bring your Majesty both peace and the Infanta.'" The Spaniards had become uneasy; and Don Antonio de Pimentel had arrived at Lyons at the same time with the court of Savoy, bearing a letter from Philip IV. for the queen his sister. The Duchess of Savoy had to depart and take her daughter with her, disappointed of her hopes; all the consolation she obtained was a written promise that the king would marry Princess Margaret, if the marriage with the Infanta were not accomplished within a year.
The year had not yet rolled away, and the Duchess of Savoy had already lost every atom of illusion. Since the 13th of August, Cardinal Mazarin had been officially negotiating with Don Louis de Haro, representing Philip IV. The ministers had held a meeting in the middle of the Bidassoa, on the Island of Pheasants, where a pavilion had been erected on the boundary-line between the two states. On the 7th of November the peace of the Pyrenees was signed at last; it put an end to a war which had continued for twenty-three years, often internecine, always burdensome, and which had ruined the finances of the two countries. France was the gainer of Artois and Roussillon, and of several places in Flanders, Hainault, and Luxembourg; and the peace of Westphalia was recognized by Spain, to whom France restored all that she held in Catalonia and in Franche-Comte. Philip IV. had refused to include Portugal in the treaty. The Infanta received as dowry five hundred thousand gold crowns, and renounced all her rights to the throne of Spain; the Prince of Conde was taken back to favor by the king, and declared that he would fain redeem with his blood all the hostilities he had committed in and out of France. The king restored him to all his honors and dignities, gave him the government of Burgundy, and bestowed on his son, the Duke of Enghien, the office of Grand Master of France. The honor of the King of Spain was saved, he did not abandon his allies, and he made a great match for his daughter. But the eyes of Europe were not blinded; it was France that triumphed; the policy of Cardinal Richelieu and of Cardinal Mazarin was everywhere successful. The work of Henry IV. was completed, the house of Austria was humiliated and vanquished in both its branches; the man who had concluded the peace of Westphalia and the peace of the Pyrenees had a right to say, "I am more French in heart than in speech."
The Prince of Conde returned to court, "as if he had never gone away," says Mdlle. de Montpensier. [Memoires, t. iii. p. 451.] "The king talked familiarly with him of all that he had done both in France and in Flanders, and that with as much gusto as if all those things had taken place for his service." "The prince discovered him to be so great in every point that, from the first moment at which he could approach him, he comprehended, as it appeared, that the time had come to humble himself. That genius for sovereignty and command which God had implanted in the king, and which was beginning to show itself, persuaded the Prince of Conde that all which remained of the previous reign was about to be annihilated." [Memoires de Madame de Motteville, t. v. p. 39.] From that day King Louis XIV. had no more submissive subject than the great Conde.
The court was in the South, travelling from town to town, pending the arrival of the dispensations from Rome. On the 3d of June, 1660, Don Louis de Haro, in the name of the King of France, espoused the Infanta in the church of Fontfrabia. Mdlle. de Montpensier made up her mind to be present, unknown to anybody, at the ceremony. When it was over, the new queen, knowing that the king's cousin was there, went up to her, saying, "I should like to embrace this fair unknown," and led her away to her room, chatting about everything, but pretending not to know her. The queen-mother and King Philip IV. met next day, on the Island of Pheasants, after forty-five years' separation. The king had come privately to have a view of the Infanta, and he watched her, through a door ajar, towering a whole head above the courtiers. "May I, ask my niece what she thinks of this unknown?" said Anne of Austria to her brother. "It will be time when she has passed that door," replied the king. Young Monsieur, the king's brother, leaned forward towards his sister-in-law, and, "What does your Majesty think of this door?" he whispered. "I think it very nice and handsome," answered the young queen. The king had thought her handsome, "despite the ugliness of her head-dress and of her clothes, which had at first taken him by surprise." King Philip IV. kept looking at M. de Turenne, who had accompanied the king. "That man has given me dreadful times," he repeated twice or thrice. "You can judge whether M. de Turenne felt himself offended," says Mdlle. de Montpensier. The definitive marriage took place at Saint-Jean-de-Luz on the 9th of June, and the court took the road leisurely back to Vincennes. Scarcely had the arrival taken place, when all the sovereign bodies sent a solemn deputation to pay their respects to Cardinal Mazarin and thank him for the peace he had just concluded. It was an unprecedented honor, paid to a minister upon whose head the Parliament had but lately set a price. The cardinal's triumph was as complete at home as abroad; all foes had been reduced to submission or silence, Paris and France rejoicing over the peace and the king's marriage; but, like Cardinal Richelieu, Mazarin succumbed at the very pinnacle of his glory and power; the gout, to which he was subject, flew to his stomach, and he suffered excruciating agonies. One day, when the king came to get his advice upon a certain matter, "Sir," said the cardinal, "you are asking counsel of a man who no longer has his reason and who raves." He saw the approach of death calmly, but not unregretfully. Concealed, one day, behind a curtain in the new apartments of the Mazarin Palace (now the National Library), young Brienne heard the cardinal coming. "He dragged his slippers along like a man very languid and just recovering from some serious illness. He paused at every step, for he was very feeble; he fixed his gaze first on one side and then on the other, and letting his eyes wander over the magnificent objects of art he had been all his life collecting, he said, 'All that must be left behind!' And, turning round, he added, 'And that too! What trouble I have had to obtain all these things! I shall never see them more where I am going.'" He had himself removed to Vincennes, of which he was governor. There he continued to regulate all the affairs of state, striving to initiate the young king in the government. "Nobody," Turenne used to say, "works so much as the cardinal, or discovers so many expedients with great clearness of mind for the terminating of much business of different sorts." The dying minister recommended to the king MM. Le Tellier and de Lionne, and he added, "Sir, to you I owe everything; but I consider that I to some extent acquit myself of my obligation to your Majesty by giving you M. Colbert." The cardinal, uneasy about the large possessions he left, had found a way of securing them to his heirs by making, during his lifetime, a gift of the whole of them to the king. Louis XIV. at once returned it. The minister had lately placed his two nieces, the Princess of Conti and the Countess of Soissons, at the head of the household of two queens; he had married his niece, Hortensia Mancini, to the Duke of La Meilleraye, who took the title of Duke of Mazarin. The father of this duke was the relative and protege of Cardinal Richelieu, for whom Mazarin had always preserved a feeling of great gratitude. It was to him and his wife that he left the remainder of his vast possessions, after having distributed amongst all his relatives liberal bequests to an enormous amount. The pictures and jewels went to the king, to Monsieur, and to the queens. A considerable sum was employed for the foundation and endowment of the College des Quatre Nations (now the Palais de l'Institut), intended for the education of sixty children of the four provinces re-united to France by the treaties of Westphalia and the Pyrenees, Alsace, Roussillon, Artois, and Pignerol. The cardinal's fortune was estimated at fifty millions.
Mazarin had scarcely finished making his final dispositions when his malady increased to a violent pitch. "On the 5th of March, forty hours' public prayers were ordered in all the churches of Paris, which is not generally done except in the case of kings," says Madame de Motteville. The cardinal had sent for M. Jolt, parish-priest of St. Nicholas des Champs, a man of great reputation for piety, and begged him not to leave him. "I have misgivings about not being sufficiently afraid of death," he said to his confessor. He felt his own pulse himself, muttering quite low, "I shall have a great deal more to suffer." The king had left him on the 7th of March, in the evening. He did not see him again and sent to summon the ministers. Already the living was taking the place of the dying, with a commencement of pomp and circumstance which excited wonder at the changes of the world. "On the 9th, between two and three in the morning, Mazarin raised himself slightly in his bed, praying to God and suffering greatly; then he said aloud, 'Ah holy Virgin, have pity upon me; receive my soul,' and so he expired, showing a fair front to death up to the last moment." The queen-mother had left her room for the last two, days, because it was too near that of the dying man. "She wept less than the king," says Madame de Motteville, "being more disgusted with the creatures of his making by reason of the knowledge she had of their imperfections, insomuch that it was soon easy to see that the defects of the dead man would before long appear to her greater than they had yet been in her eyes, for he did not content himself with exercising sovereign power over the whole realm, but he exercised it over the sovereigns themselves who had given it him, not leaving them liberty to dispose of anything of any consequence." [Memoires de Madame de Motteville, t. v. p. 103.]
Louis XIV. was about to reign with a splendor and puissance without precedent; his subjects were submissive and Europe at peace; he was reaping the fruits of the labors of his grandfather Henry IV., of Cardinal Richelieu, and of Cardinal Mazarin. Whilst continuing the work of Henry IV. Richelieu had rendered possible the government of Mazarin; he had set the kingly authority on foundations so strong that the princes of the blood themselves could not shake it. Mazarin had destroyed party and secured to France a glorious peace. Great minister had succeeded great king, and able man great minister; Italian prudence, dexterity, and finesse had replaced the indomitable will, the incomparable judgment, and the grandeur of view of the French priest and nobleman. Richelieu and Mazarin had accomplished their patriotic work: the king's turn had come.