History of the Rise of the Huguenots Volume II Part 40

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[819] Digges, 27.

[820] Catharine to La Mothe Fenelon, Feb. 2, 1571, Corresp. diplom., vii.

179; and Walsingham to Cecil, Feb. 18, 1571, Digges, 43.

[821] Catharine, _ubi supra_.

[822] La Mothe Fenelon, March 6, 1571, ibid., iv. 11, 12. The amba.s.sador exhibits his own incredulity respecting the stories circulated to the queen's disadvantage.

[823] To La Mothe Fenelon, Feb. 18, 1571, ibid., vii. 183.

[824] To the same, March 2, 1571, ibid., vii. 190.

[825] Walsingham to Burleigh, May 25, 1571, Digges, 101.

[826] Digges, 96.

[827] Ibid., 55.

[828] "So it doth appear, if he would omit that demand, and put it in silence, yet will her Majestie straitly capitulate with him, that he shall in no way demand it hereafter at her hands. Which scruple, I believe, will utterly break off the matter; wherefore I am in small hope that any marriage will grow this way." Leicester to Walsingham, July 7, 1571, Digges, 116.

[829] Digges, 119, 120.

[830] A league with France, Walsingham maintained, would be an advancement of the Gospel there and everywhere, and "though it yieldeth not so much _temporal_ profit, yet in respect of the _spiritual fruit_ that thereby may insue, I think it worth the imbracing." Ibid., p. 121.

[831] Digges, 120.

[832] Anjou's humor, she told him, "me faict bien grande peyne." Letter of July 25, 1571, Corresp. diplom., vii. 234.

[833] Ibid., _ubi supra_. This expression deserves to be noticed particularly, inasmuch as it effectually disposes of the story--which can scarcely be regarded otherwise than as a fable--that the a.s.sa.s.sination of Lignerolles, a little over four months later (December, 1571), was compa.s.sed by Charles IX. and his mother, because they discovered that he had become possessed of the secret of the projected ma.s.sacre of St.

Bartholomew. If these royal personages had anything to do with the murder, which is very improbable, they hated Lignerolles for marring the plan of the English match, which they so much desired.

[834] "Je suis resolue de faire tous mes efforts pour reheussir pour mon fils d'Alencon, qui ne sera pas si difficile." Ibid., vii. 235.

[835] It must be admitted that some indignation on Queen Elizabeth's part was pardonable, if, as we learn from La Mothe Fenelon (despatch of May 2, 1571), she had heard that a certain person of high rank in the French court had recommended Anjou to marry the English "granny"--"ceste vieille"--and administer to her, under some pretext, a "French potion"--"un breuvage de France"--so as to become a widower within six months of the wedding day. Then he might marry Mary, Queen of Scots, and reign with her peaceably over the whole island! Correspondance diplomatique, iv. 84. However sincere or zealous Elizabeth may have been previously, I doubt whether she ever forgave the suggestion, or the fair princess whose charms were thus exalted above her own.

[836] De Thou, iv. (liv. l.) 492.

[837] "I would your lords.h.i.+p knew the gentleman," enthusiastically writes Walsingham (August 12th, 1571) to the Earl of Leicester. "For courage abroad and counsell at home they give him here the reputation to be another [name in cipher]. He is in speech eloquent and pithy; but which is chiefest, he is in religion, as religious in life as he is sincere in profession. I hope G.o.d hath raised him up in these days, to serve for an instrument for the advancement of His glory." Digges, 128. In another letter, without date, the amba.s.sador speaks of him as "surely the rarest gentleman which I have talked withal since I came to France," Ibid., 176.

[838] The substance of Louis of Na.s.sau's secret interviews is best given by Walsingham in a long communication, of August 12, 1571, to Lord Burleigh, Digges, 123-127.

[839] "Contre les deffences et proscriptions de son duc, qui a plat avoit refuse le Roi de souffrir ce mariage, elle s'en vint a la Roch.e.l.le pour avoir nom avant de mourir (ainsi qu'elle disoit) la Martia de Caton."

Agrippa d'Aubigne, ii. 5.

[840] "A quoi ses ennemis trouverent a redire, publiant qu'il n'apartenoit qu'aux _princes_ d'epouser par procurateur. Mais ceux qui parloient des choses sans pa.s.sion, imputoient ces sortes de discours a medisance, soutenant de leur cote qu'il ne pouvoit faire autrement, puisqu'il n'y avoit pas de surete pour lui a l'aller epouser," etc. Vie de Coligny, 386.

[841] A very interesting account of the long imprisonment of Coligny's widow is to be found in Count Jules Delaborde's monograph, "Jacqueline d'Entremont," _apud_ Bulletin de la Societe de l'hist. du prot. fr., xvi.

(1867) 220-246.

[842] A few months before the admiral's departure from La Roch.e.l.le, there had been held in this Huguenot asylum a convocation of historical importance. The sessions of the seventh national synod, lasting from the second to the eleventh of April, 1571, were consumed in important deliberations respecting the doctrines and discipline of the reformed church (see Aymon, Tous les synodes, i. 98-111). The Queen of Navarre, the Princes of Navarre and Conde, Count Louis of Na.s.sau, and Admiral Coligny were present. At the request of the synod, they added their signatures to those of the ministers and elders, upon three copies of the Confession of Faith, engrossed on parchment, which were to be kept at La Roch.e.l.le, in Bearn, and at Geneva respectively (see the eighth general article). The moderator on this occasion was Theodore Beza, who had been specially invited to France. The reformer was certainly not dest.i.tute of courage, for he could not have forgotten the dangers to which he had been exposed on previous visits to France. They were even greater than Beza himself probably knew. In June, 1563, after the conclusion of the first civil war, there was a rumor at Brussels that Beza could not return to Geneva, because of a quarrel he had had with Calvin. Thereupon, the d.u.c.h.ess of Parma, Regent of the Netherlands, suspecting that he might be tempted to come through the Spanish dominions, issued secret orders that the frontiers should be watched, and offered a reward of one thousand florins to any one who should bring him, dead or alive. He was described as "homme de moenne stature, ayant barbe a demy blanche, et le visage hault et large." Letters of the d.u.c.h.ess of Parma, June 11th and 25th, 1563, _apud_ Charles Paillard, Histoire des troubles religieux de Valenciennes (Paris and Brussels, 1875, 1876), iii. 339, 340, 356.

[843] Walsingham to Burleigh, Aug. 12, 1571, Digges, 122. The amba.s.sador informs Elizabeth, in this letter, of the intense desire of the French Protestants that she should express to the French envoy her approval of the invitation extended to the princes and Coligny, and should say "that so rare a subject as the admiral is was not to be suffered to live in such a corner as Roch.e.l.le." It was thought that her commendations would greatly advance his credit with the king.

[844] I know not on what authority Miss Freer states (Henry III. of France, his Court and Times, i. 70) that "even Coligny was startled at the ominous significance of these words; the shadow, however, vanished before the warmth and frankness of Charles's manner." Compare Agrippa d'Aubigne, ii. 5.

[845] Walsingham's account in a letter of La Mothe Fenelon (Corresp.

dipl., iv. 245, 246), its accuracy being vouched for by a letter of Charles IX. himself (ibid., vii. 268); Tocsain contre les ma.s.sacreurs, Cimber et Danjou, vii. 34, 35; De Thou, iv. (liv. l.) 493.

[846] Charles IX. to Emmanuel Philibert, Blois, Sept. 28, 1571, _apud_ Leger, Hist. gen. des eglises vaudoises (Leyden, 1669), i. 47, 48.

[847] "Durant ce moys, Gaspard de Coligny, remis par l'edit de pacification en l'estat d'admiral, fut mande par le roy et vint de la Roch.e.l.le trouver le Roy a Bloys, et se retira hors de la cour toute la maison de Guise, de sorte que le Roy estoit gouverne par ledit admiral et Montmorency." Jehan de la Fosse, Journal d'un cure ligueur, 132.

[848] Walsingham to Cecil, March 5, 1571. Digges, 48, 49.

[849] "And as for conference had with the Count Lewis of Na.s.sau, he told him, that he was misinformed;" first letter of Walsingham to Burleigh, of Aug. 12th, Digges, 122. Yet the second letter of the same date gives a detailed account of this conference. It must be admitted that the diplomacy of the sixteenth century was sufficiently barefaced in its impostures. Louis of Na.s.sau told Walsingham of an enterprise of Strozzi against Spain, determined upon by Charles IX. "onely to amaze the king there;" but, as to Strozzi, "the king here meaneth notwithstanding to disallow [him] openly." Ibid., 125.

[850] Digges, 122.

[851] Jehan de la Fosse, 134.

[852] "Et que ceulx qui estoient a la fenestre estoient bien aises de veoir jouer le jeu a mes despens." It is scarcely necessary to say that this characteristic expression alludes primarily to the King of Spain and the Duke of Alva in the Netherlands.

[853] Charriere, Negociations de la France dans le Levant, Doc.u.ments inedits (publ. by the Imperial Government), Paris, 1853, iii. 200. Cf. Sir James Mackintosh, Hist. of England, vol. iii., App. A., pp. 345, 346, audience of Sr. de la Bourdaiziere at Rome, cir. Sept., 1571.

[854] Margaret being born May 14, 1552, and Henry of Navarre, Dec. 13, 1553.

[855] Letter of March 21, 1556/7, Rochambeau, Lettres d'Antoine de Bourbon et de Jehanne d'Albret (Paris, 1877), 145. The story of the promise of Margaret by her father to Henry of Navarre is confirmed by a letter of Charles IX., now in the National Library, dated October 5, 1571. "The Queen of Navarre," he writes to Ferralz (Ferrails), at Rome, "has several times invited me to do her son the honor to marry him to my sister, _whereby also the promise would be fulfilled which my father gave to the late King of Navarre_." Fr. von Raumer, Briefe aus Paris (Leipsic, 1830), i. 290.

[856] Mlle. Vauvilliers, Hist. de Jeanne d'Albret (Paris, 1818), i. 106.

[857] Soldan, Gesch. des Prot. in Frankreich, ii. 413.

[858] "I thinke," wrote Sir Thomas Smith, as early as January 17, 1563, "your Majestie hath understood of the marriage practized betwixt the Prince of Portugall and Madame Margaret, the king's sister." Forbes, State Papers, ii. 287.

[859] Memoires et Lettres de Marguerite de Valois, edited by M. F.

Guessard (Publications of the French Historical Society), Paris, 1842, 23.

[860] De Thou, iv. (liv. l.) 491, 492. Notwithstanding the frequent a.s.sertions in royal letters (as, for instance, in one which I have already quoted), that the Queen of Navarre herself urged the marriage, it is certain that she did not initiate it, while it is even maintained that she was only brought to consent by threats. "La reine fut ouie un temps sans vouloir approuver ledit mariage, jusqu'a cette extremite qu'on la menaca de faire declarer son fils illegitime, a cause du mariage qui avoit ete contracte entre elle et le Duc de Cleves. Enfin vaincue, elle declare qu'elle n'en esperait que tout malheur." Fr. von Raumer, Briefe aus Paris, i. 291.

[861] Memoires de Marg. de Valois, 24. The absurdity of the story that Margaret was averse to this marriage, because of a romantic attachment to young Henry of Guise, is sufficiently clear from the circ.u.mstance that the Duke of Guise had been married for some time when the match between the Prince of Navarre and Margaret of Valois was first talked of in earnest.

He married, on the 17th of September, 1570, Catharine of Cleves, widow of Prince Porcien. ("_Hodie_ celebrantur Lutetiae Ducis Guisii, qui ducit in uxorem viduam principis Portiani," etc. Languet, Sept. 17, 1570, Epist.

secr., i. 163.) It is not probable that Margaret would object to the advantageous marriage with Henry of Navarre on account of her affection for a former lover, who, at the time of her nuptials, had been for two years married to another woman.

[862] Digges, 122.

[863] "La Reyna mi madre," said Anjou one day to a lady, "muestra tener pena de que esta desbaratado mi casamiento, y yo estoy el mas contento hombre del mundo de haber escapado de casar con una puta publica." Francis de Alava to Philip, May 11, 1571, _apud_ Froude, Hist. of Eng., x. 224.

[864] She gravely proposed to her council to have a stipulation for the rest.i.tution of Calais inserted in the articles of marriage, and Burleigh, Suss.e.x, and Leicester had some difficulty in persuading her to omit the mention. Lord Burleigh, June 5, 1571, Digges, 104.

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