History of the Rise of the Huguenots Volume II Part 49

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[1050] Ibid., p. 227.

[1051] "Aucuns malades languissans, ayant ouy ce miracle, se firent porter audit cymetiere pour veoir laditte espine; lesquelz, estans la avec ferme foy, firent leur priere a Dieu en l'honneur de nostre dame la vierge Marie et devant son ymage qui est en laditte chapelle, pour recouvrer leur sante, et, apres leur oraison faicte, s'en retournerent en leurs maisons sains et guaris de leur maladie, chose tres-veritable et bien approuvee."

Mem. de Claude Haton, ii. 682.

[1052] Ibid., _ubi supra_; Tocsain contre les ma.s.sacreurs, 146; Reveille-Matin, 193, 194; Mem. de l'estat, 155; Jean de Serres, iv., fol.

41; De Thou, iv. (liv. lii.) 596.

[1053] Dr. White (Ma.s.sacre of St. Bartholomew, 459) has tabulated the estimates, nine in number, afforded by twenty-one distinct authorities.

The lowest estimate--1,000 victims--is that of the Abbe Caveyrac, whose undisguised aim was to place the number as low as possible, so as to palliate the atrocity of the ma.s.sacre. Being based apparently upon the number of the _names_ of victims that have been recorded, it may be dismissed as unworthy of consideration. The highest estimate, of 10,000, though adopted by such writers as the authors of the Reveille-Matin and the Memoires de l'estat de France, is vague or excessive. The Tocsain and Agrippa d'Aubigne are, perhaps, too moderate in respectively stating the number as 2,000 and 3,000. On the whole, it appears to me, the contribution of Paris to the ma.s.sacre of the Huguenots may be set down with the greatest probability at between 4,000 and 5,000 persons of all ages and conditions. Von Botzheim, who estimates the total at 8,000 (F. W.

Ebeling, Archivalische Beitrage, p. 120), makes 500 of these to be women (Ibid., p. 119).

[1054] In other letters Charles had even the effrontery to represent the King of Navarre as having been in like danger with his brothers and himself. See Eusebii Philadelphi Dialog. (1574), i. 45: "se quidem metu propriae salutis in arcem Luparam (the Louvre) compulsum illic se continuisse, una c.u.m fratre charissimo Rege Navarrae, et dilectissimo Principe Condensi, ut in communi periculo eundem fortunae exitum experirentur!"

[1055] Correspondance du roi Charles IX. et du sieur de Mandelot, 39-41.

Letter to the Governor of Burgundy, _apud_ Mem. de l'estat, _ubi sup._, 133-135.

[1056] It was undoubtedly with the object of showing that they were not the prime movers in the ma.s.sacre, or, as the author of the Mem. de l'estat expresses himself, that they had no particular quarrel save with Admiral Coligny, that Henry of Guise and his uncle actually rescued a few Huguenots from the hands of those who were about to put them to death.

Reveille-Matin, 188; Memoires de l'estat, 150.

[1057] Mem. de l'estat, _ubi supra_, 154, from Reveille-Matin, 192; De Thou, iv. (liv. lii.) 597, 598; Euseb. Philad. Dial., i. 47.

[1058] It was while Charles was on his way to the Palais de Justice that a gentleman in his train, and not far from him, was recognized as being a Protestant, and was killed. The king, hearing the disturbance, turned around; but, on being informed that it was a Huguenot whom they were putting to death, lightly said: "Let us go on. Would to G.o.d that he were the last!" Reveille-Matin, 194 (copied in Mem. de l'estat, 157); Euseb.

Philad. Dial., i. 50.

[1059] De Thou, whom I have chiefly followed, iv. (liv. lii.) 599; Tocsain contre les ma.s.sacreurs, 142; Reveille-Matin, 193, 194; Euseb. Phil. Dial., i. 49; Mem. de l'estat, 156; Jean de Serres (1575), iv., fol. 43; Capilupi, 45; Relation of Olaegui, secretary of Don Diego de Cuniga, Spanish amba.s.sador at Paris, to be laid before Philip II., Simancas MSS., _apud_ Bulletins de l'Acad. Roy. des Sciences, etc., de Belgique, vol.

xvi. (1849) 254.

[1060] De Thou, Tocsain, etc., _ubi supra_.

[1061] Returning to the unpleasant theme in a subsequent book of his n.o.ble history (iv. (liv. liii.) 644), Jacques Auguste de Thou remarks, with an integrity which cannot swerve even out of consideration for filial respect: "Ce qu'il y avoit de deplorable, etoit de voir des personnes respectables par leur piete, leur science, et leur integrite, revetues des premieres charges du Royaume, ennemies d'ailleurs de tout deguis.e.m.e.nt et de tout artifice, tels que Morvilliers, de Thou, Pibrac, Montluc et Bellievre, louer contre leurs sentimens, ou excuser par complaisance une action qu'ils detestoient dans le coeur, sans y etre engages par aucun motif de crainte ou d'esperance; mais dans la fausse persuasion ou ils etoient que les circonstances presentes et le bien de l'etat demandoient qu'ils tinssent ce langage."

[1062] The case stands much worse if we accept the statement of the author of the Memoires de l'estat de France sous Charles IX., who, after contrasting the honorable conduct of President La Vaquerie, in the time of Louis XI., with that of Christopher de Thou, adds: "Mais cestui-ci n'avoit garde de faire le semblable; il prend trop de plaisir a toute sorte d'injustice pour s'y vouloir opposer." (_Ubi supra_, pp. 156, 157.) So, also, Euseb. Philad. Dial., i. 50: "Nam quomodo sese injust.i.tiae viriliter opponeret, qui ex ea tam uberes fructus colligit?" The Mem. de l'estat accuse him of having instigated the murder of Rouillard--a counsellor of parliament and canon of Notre Dame, and one of a very few Roman Catholics that were a.s.sa.s.sinated--because the latter loved justice, and had prosecuted one of the first president's friends (p. 148). According to the historian De Thou, on the other hand (iv. 593), Rouillard was "homme inquiet, querelleux, et ennemi des officiers des compagnies de ville."

[1063] The pa.s.sage is not in the will in the admiral's own handwriting, dated Archiac, June 5, 1569, a facsimile of which has been accurately lithographed by the French Protestant Historical Society, and which has also been printed in the Bulletin, i. (1852) 263-268. See _ante_, p. 461, 462.

[1064] Memoires de l'estat, _ubi supra_, 153; Gasparis Colinii Vita (1575), 131.

[1065] "The said discourse was all written with his own hand." Walsingham to Smith, Sept. 14, 1572; Digges, 241, 242; Mem. de l'estat, _ubi supra_, 153; Gasparis Colinii Vita, 131, 132.

[1066] Jean de Serres (1575), iv., fols. 57, 58; Eusebii Philadelphi Dial.

(1574), i. 82, 83; Reveille-Matin, 203-205; De Thou, iv. (liv. liii.) 645, 646. For many years the disgraceful commemorative procession was faithfully observed.

[1067] The slight eminence of Montfaucon, the Tyburn of Paris, was between the Faubourg St. Martin and the Faubourg du Temple, near the site of the Hopital St. Louis. See Dulaure, Atlas de Paris.

[1068] "Il les en reprit et leur dist: 'Je ne bousche comme vous autres, car l'odeur de son ennemy est tres-bonne'--odeur certes point bonne et la parolle aussi mauvaise." Brantome, Le Roy Charles IX., edit. Lalanne, v.

258. The original authority for this odious remark is Papyrius Ma.s.son (1575) in his life of Charles IX., which Brantome had under his eyes: "Servis foetorem non ferentibus, hostis mortui odor bonus est inquit." Le Laboureur, iii. 16.

[1069] Le deluge des Huguenots avec leur Tumbeau, 1572. Reprinted in Archives curieuses, vii. 251-259.

[1070] Tocsain contre les ma.s.sacreurs, Rheims, 1579, p. 143. It has been well remarked by a writer in the Bulletin de la Soc. de l'hist. du prot.

francais (iii. 346) as one of the paradoxes of history, that Coligny's mangled remains, "after being carefully subjected to the most ignominious treatment, were saved from the annihilation to which they appeared to be infallibly condemned, and have been transmitted from place to place, and from hand to hand, until our own days, and better preserved for three centuries than many other ill.u.s.trious corpses carefully laid up in costly mausoleums!" Marshal Montmorency placed the admiral's body in a lead coffin in his castle of Chantilly, whence he sent it to Montauban.

Francois de Coligny brought it back to Chatillon-sur-Loing, when, in 1599, the sentence of parliament was formally rescinded. In 1786 it was taken to Maupertuis and placed in a black marble sarcophagus. Since 1851 it has been resting in its new tomb under the ruins of that part of the castle of Chatillon where Coligny was probably born. Bulletin, iii. 346-351.

[1071] Tocsain contre les Ma.s.sacreurs, 146; Reveille-Matin, 195; Euseb.

Philadelphi Dial., i. 51; Mem. de l'estat, 161; Jean de Serres, iv., fol.

44 _verso_.

[1072] The text of the declaration is to be found in the Memoires de Claude Haton, ii. 683-685, in the Recueil des anciennes lois francaises (Isambert), xiv. 257, etc., and in the Memoires de l'estat, _ubi supra_, 162-164. See De Thou, iv. (liv. lii.) 600. The Reveille-Matin calls attention (p. 196) to the circ.u.mstance that in the first copies of the doc.u.ment the name of Navarre did not occur; but that in the next issue the admiral's unhappy and detestable conspiracy was represented as directed against "la personne dudit sieur roy et contre son estat, la royne sa mere, messieurs ses freres, _le roy de Navarre_, princes et seigneurs estans pres d'eulx." The policy of introducing Navarre, and, by implication, Conde, among the proposed victims of the Huguenots, was certainly sufficiently bold and reckless. See _ante_, p. 490.

[1073] See De Thou, iv. (liv. liii.), 630; Jean de Serres, iv., fols. 53, 54.

[1074] Euseb. Philadelphi Dial., i. 52.

[1075] Digges, 239, 240.

[1076] Ibid., 245

[1077] Doc.u.ments historiques inedits, i. 713-715.

[1078] Agrippa d'Aubigne, Hist. univ., ii. 30; Jean de Serres (1575), iv., fol. 55.



[Sidenote: The ma.s.sacre in the provinces.]

The ma.s.sacre of St. Bartholomew's Day would have been terrible enough had it been confined to Paris, for its victims in that single city were to be reckoned by thousands. Charles the Ninth himself, on the third day, admitted in a letter to Mondoucet, his envoy in the Netherlands, that "a very great number of the adherents of the new religion who were in this city had been ma.s.sacred and cut to pieces."[1079] But this was little in comparison with the mult.i.tudes that were yet to lose their lives in other parts of France. Here, however, the enterprise a.s.sumed a different character. Not only did it not commence on the same day as in the capital, but it began at different dates in different places. It is evident that there had been no well-concerted plan long entertained and freely communicated to the governors of the provinces and cities. On the contrary, the greatest variety of procedure prevailed--all tending, nevertheless, to the same end of the total destruction of the Protestants.

And this was intended from the very moment the project of the Parisian butchery was hastily and inconsiderately adopted by the king. Charles meant to be as good as his word when he announced his determination that not a single Huguenot should survive to reproach him with what he had done. More frightful than his most pa.s.sionate outburst of bloodthirsty frenzy is the cool calculation with which he, or the minister who wrote the words he subscribed, predicts the chain of successive murders in provincial France, scarcely one of which had as yet been attempted. "_It is probable_," he said, in the same letter of the twenty-sixth of August, that has just been cited, "_that the fire thus kindled will go coursing through all the cities of my kingdom_, which, following the example of what has been done in this city, will a.s.sure themselves of all the adherents of the said religion."[1080]

[Sidenote: Verbal orders.]

No mere surmise, founded upon the probable effects of the exhibition of cruelty in Paris, led to the penning of this sentence. Charles had purposely fired the train which was to explode with the utmost violence at almost every point of his wide dominions. "As it has pleased G.o.d," he wrote to Mondoucet, "to bring matters to the state in which they now are, I do not intend to neglect the opportunity not only to re-establish, if I shall be able, lasting quietness in my kingdom, but also to serve Christendom."[1081] Accordingly, secret orders, for the most part verbal, had already been sent in all directions, commanding the provinces to imitate the example set by Paris. The reality of these orders does not rest upon conjecture, but is attested by doc.u.mentary evidence over the king's own hand. As we have seen in the last chapter, Charles published, on the twenty-eighth of August, a declaration of his motives and intentions. This was despatched to the governors of the provinces and to other high officers, in company with a circular letter, of which the final sentence deserves particular notice. "Moreover," says the king, "whatever verbal command I may have given to those whom I sent to you, as well as to my other governors and lieutenants-general, at a time when I had just reason to fear some inauspicious events, from having discovered the conspiracy which the admiral was making against me, I have revoked and revoke it completely, intending that nothing therein contained be put into execution by you or by others; for such is my pleasure."[1082]

[Sidenote: Instructions to Montsoreau at Saumur.]

What was the import of these orders? The ma.n.u.scripts in the archives of Angers seem to leave no room for doubt. This city was the capital of the Duchy of Anjou, given in appanage to Henry, the king's brother, and was, consequently, under his special government. On Tuesday, the twenty-sixth of August, the duke sent to the Governor of Saumur a short note running thus: "Monsieur de Montsoreau, I have instructed the sieur de Puigaillard to write to you respecting a matter that concerns the service of the king, my lord and brother, as well as my own. You will, therefore, not fail to believe and to do whatever he may tell you, just as if it were I myself."

In the same package with these credentials Montsoreau[1083] received a letter from Puigaillard, like himself a knight of the royal order of St.

Michael, which reveals only too clearly the purpose of the king and his Brother. "Monsieur mon compagnon, I will not fail to acquaint you with the fact that, on Sunday morning the king caused a very great execution to be made against the Huguenots; so much so that the admiral and all the Huguenots that were in this city were killed. And his Majesty's will is that the same be done wherever there are any to be found. Accordingly, if you desire ever to do a service that may be agreeable to the king and to Monsieur (the Duke of Anjou), you must go to Saumur with the greatest possible number of your friends, and put to death all that you can find there of the princ.i.p.al Huguenots.... Having made this execution at Saumur, I beg you to go to Angers and do the same, with the a.s.sistance of the captain of the castle. And you must not expect to receive any other command from the king, nor from Monseigneur, for they will send you none, inasmuch as they depend upon what I write you. You must use diligence in this affair, and lose as little time as possible. I am very sorry that I cannot be there to help you in putting this into execution."[1084]

[Sidenote: Two kinds of letters.]

The statement of the author of the Memoires de l'estat de France is, therefore, in full agreement with the ascertained facts of the case. He informs us that, soon after the Parisian ma.s.sacre commenced, the secret council by which the plan had been drawn up despatched two widely differing kinds of letters. The first were of a private character, and were addressed to governors of cities and to seditious Roman Catholics where there were many Protestants, by which they were instigated to murder and rapine;[1085] the others were public, and were addressed to the same functionaries, their object being to amuse and entrap the professors of the reformed faith. And in addition to the double sets of written instructions, the same author says that messengers were sent to various points, to give orders for special executions.[1086] We shall not find it very difficult to account for the rapidity with which the ma.s.sacre spread to the provincial towns--of which the secretary of the Spanish amba.s.sador, in his hurried journey from Paris to Madrid, was an eye-witness[1087]--if we bear in mind the previous ripeness of the lowest cla.s.ses of the Roman Catholic population for the perpetration of any possible acts of insult and injury toward their Protestant fellow-citizens. The time had come for the seed sown broadcast by monk and priest in Lenten and Advent discourses to bear its legitimate harvest in the pitiless murder of heretics.

History of the Rise of the Huguenots Volume II Part 49

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