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ing, we were warned that they were coming to seek therein for M. de Chaumont Barbesieux and Madame de Belesbat ; and mine hosts, fearing that if they came they might find me, were of opinion that I ought to seek another asylum; which I did about midnight, being conducted to the house of a corn-factor, who was their servant and a good man. There I lay hid for five days, being assisted and comforted by Messire and Madame Tambonneau, and by all of that house. Besides what I feel for them as my relations, there never can be a day of my life in which I shall not be grateful for the friendship and aid they afforded me at this crisis.
On the following Tuesday my mother, having recovered a little from her excessive agitation, and having found means to save my brothers from this wreck by persuading them to go to mass, thought to save me by the same means, and spoke to me of it through M. de Paroy our cousin, who, after many conversations which we had together, found me, by the grace of God, very much averse to it. On Wednesday morning, after my mother had made several attempts to change my determination, and after receiving from me not the answer which she wished, but only an entreaty to convey me out of Paris, she sent to tell me that she would be constrained to send me back my daughter. I could only reply that if it must be so I would take her into my arms, and that then we should be left to be massacred together; but at the same time I resolved to leave Paris, whatever might happen to me in the attempt, and I prayed those who carried this message to engage a place for me on board of a passage-boat, or in any boat going up the Seine. All the time I remained in the corn-merchant's house I was in great discomfort, for I was lodged in a room above that of Madame de Foissy (a hot Papist), and so durst not walk up and down lest I should be discovered, nor could I venture to light a candle at night lest she or some of the neighbours should see it, and find me out. When they gave me to eat, it was secretly; a few morsels were wrapt up in a napkin, and they came into my room under pretence of getting linen for the said dame de Foissy. At last I departed from that lodging on Wednesday, the eleventh day after the massacre, about eleven o'clock in the morning, and went on board a boat which was going to Sens. In this boat I found two monks and a priest, and two merchants with their wives. When we arrived at the Tournelles, where there was a guard of soldiers, the boat was stopped, and our passports were demanded. My companions all showed theirs, but I had none to show.
Then they began to call me a Huguenot, and to threaten to drown me: and they made me get out of the boat. I begged them to carry me to M. de Voysenon, auditor of accounts, who was a friend of mine, and who managed the affairs of Madame d'Esprunes, my grandmother. He was known as a staunch Roman Catholic; and I assured the soldiers that he would answer for me. Two soldiers of the guard took me and carried me to the said house. It pleased God that these two men should stay at the door, and that I should be allowed to go up stairs alone. Poor M. de Voysenon was greatly astonished at seeing me, and although I was disguised he knew me and called me by my name, and told me about some other ladies who had fled to his house for concealment. I told him that I had no time to listen to him (for I feared that the soldiers were following me up stairs), that it appeared as though God willed he should be the means of saving my life, and that otherwise I could only look upon myself as one that was dead. He went down stairs, and found the soldiers, to whom he gave assurance that he had seen me in the house of Madame d'Esprunes, whose son was Bishop of Senlis, and who was herself a good Catholic and well known as such. The soldiers replied that they did not want to know about Madame d'Esprunes and the Bishop of Senlis, but about me. M. de Voysenon told them that in former times he had known me to be a good Catholic, but that he could not answer for my being one now. At this moment an honest woman came up and asked them what they would do with me. They said “Pardieu ! It is a Huguenot that must be drowned! We can tell what she is by the fear she is in!" And in truth I did think that they were going to throw me into the river. The honest woman said to them: “You know me, I am no Huguenot; I go every day to mass; but I have been so terrified at that which I have seen done in Paris, that for these eight days past I have had a fever upon me.” Then one of the soldiers said, “ Pardieu! and I and all of us have symptoms of fever upon us !” And so they carried me back to the boat, telling me that if I had been a man I should not have escaped so easily. At the very time that I was stopped in the boat, the lodging in Paris which I had quitted was ransacked; and if I had been found there great would have been my danger. We continued our voyage. All the afternoon, those monks and those merchants did nothing but talk joyfully of what they had seen in Paris; and whenever I ventured to say a word they told me that I spoke like a Huguenot. I could do nothing better than pretend to fall asleep, thus escaping the necessity of talking with them. When it was night, we landed at a place called Petit la Borde. There I perceived the afore-named Jacques Minier, who had been sent by Madame Tambonneau to know what would become of me, that lady being much troubled on my account, because she had heard that I had been arrested at the Tournelles. He made me a sign not to recognise him ; but as it was he who had taken my place in the boat, he was recognised as my acquaintance by the two women in the boat. I found means to let him know this without their observing it. He soon came into the inn where we all were, and told me that my mistress had sent him into the country to attend the vintage. At supper he sat at table with us, put on an air of ease, and calling me familiarly by my Christian name Charlotte, and bidding me fill his glass for him. This removed all the suspicions that had been entertained of me. They had but one room in this inn, with three beds in it. The two monks and the priest lay down on one bed, the two merchants on another, and the two women and myself on the third. I was not without my fears and troubles. I had on a chemise of fine Holland cloth, garnished with lace, which Madame Tambonneau had lent me, and I feared very much that, sleeping with these two women, they might guess from
attire that I was not what I pretended to be. On Thursday morning, as we were going into the boat, the said Minier said that he would walk, as the motion of a boat always made him ill; but he told me, in a whisper, to beware of going to Corbeil or to Melun, of which places our family were the feudal lords, for it was to be feared that I should be known there in spite of my disguise, and so run into danger, and that I should remember to disembark at the village of Yuri, at the distance of a short league from Corbeil. When I saw the village, I asked the boatman to land me, which he refused to do; but, as God willed it, the boat grounded just opposite to the village, and this obliged him to land us all. Having paid the fare, the said Jacques Minier and I went into the said village of Yuri. Being there, he took the resolution to conduct me to the Bouchet, a house belonging to M. the President Tambonneau, and place me under the care of the President's vine-dresser. In all we walked about fifteen miles on foot; and, having left me with this poor vine-dresser, Minier went to Wallegrand to the house of the Chancellor de l'Hôpital, to learn if there were any possibility of my being harboured with Madame his wife. But he found them all in great dismay, the King having sent down a strong garrison to the Chancellor's house, under the shadow of protecting it. The Chancellor's wife, who professed the reformed religion, had already been compelled to go to mass. The Chancellor sent, through the said Minier, to offer me his house, telling me, however, that I could not stay there without going to mass; a thing which he never could think I would consent to do, seeing the desperate courage with which I had fled out of Paris in the midst of all these dangers. I abode with the vinedresser fifteen days, and Minier betook himself back to Paris. I had trouble almost as soon as I arrived at this place, called the Bouchet. The Queen's Swiss troops came ransacking all the villages to find some poor Huguenot, but it pleased God that they entered not the house wherein I lay concealed. The presence of these Swiss served me as an excuse for not going out of the house, and prevented the vinedresser from pressing me to go to mass.
poor man deplored the hard fate of several Huguenot gentlemen who had lived in his neighbourhood, and who had been killed and massacred on St. Bartholomew, declaring that in all the country there were no better men or men more charitable than they had been. He always permitted me to say my prayers in French, and really took me to be the servant of Madame Tambonneau, even as Minier had told him. At the end of the fifteen days I was anxious to get to the village of La Brye, where I might better concert what to do for the future. I borrowed an ass from the vine-dresser, and begged him to be my guide on the road. He agreeing, we set out, and soon crossed the river Seine between Corbeil and Meluu, at a place called St. Port, and then we made for Esprunes, a mansion belonging to my grandmother. As soon as we arrived there, the serving women of the house knew me, and they all came forth to salute me, skipping with joy, and crying out, “ Madame, ah Madame, we thought that you had been killed !” My poor vine-dresser was greatly astonished and perplexed. He asked me if I was indeed a great lady? He offered me his house again, he offered to conceal me as long as I chose, and to prevent my being forced by his family to go to mass; and many excuses did he make for not having given ine his best bed while I was lodging with him. And so the poor man returned to his home, and I stayed at Esprunes two whole weeks. I must not
forget to remark that a certain priest, a chaplain of Esprunes, who lived at Melun, came to see me, and, to console me, told me, among other things, that “since the judgments of the Almighty have begun to declare themselves, the wicked and ungodly ought to be in great fear.” At the end of fifteen days I mounted another ass, and so travelled four leagues to Messire de la Borde, my eldest brother, who was in great trouble and perplexity of mind, having been constrained, in order to preserve his life, to go to mass, and being constantly beset by men who called upon him to abjure the reformed faith. Our friends of Paris, learning that I was in his house, and fearing that I might prevail upon him not to make the abjuration, sent to warn him that his ruin was certain if he kept me in his house and I still refused to go to mass. Being thus moved, my brother on the following Sunday led me into his chapel, where a Catholic priest was ready to officiate. As soon as I saw the priest, I turned my back upon him, and went away in great affliction. My brother then regretted what he had done. I took the resolution to stay there no longer. I employed a whole week in seeking out some waggoner that would convey me to Sedan*, Out of fifteen hundred francs that were owing to me at La Borde, I received forty crowns; and during my sojourn there one of my
chamberwomen and one of my men-servants came and joined me. My brother found
my resolution very hazardous. Nevertheless, he assisted me in procuring a waggoner, begging me, however, not to let my mother and our other friends know that he had willingly consented to my dangerous journey. In bidding me farewell, he said that he felt assured that, on account of my zeal and fidelity in serving God, God would bless my journey and protect my person, and this, by the heavenly grace, happened to me.
I arrived at Sedan on the day of All Saints, being the first day of November, without having met with any hindrance, disturbance, or trouble on the way. So soon as I arrived I found
many friends, who offered me all that they had. I was not one hour at Sedan ere I was properly attired as a lady of rank, every body hastening to give me whatsoever I wanted. I received also much honour and friendship from the Duke and Duchess of Bouillon. And I resided quietly at Sedan until the time of my marriage with Duplessis-Mornay.
* The Lordship of Sedan was, at this time, an independent principality, possessed by the Duke of Bouillon, who, together with all his family, inclined to the reformed faith. The city of Sedan was a stronghold of the French Protestants.