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The infuriated monarch, who could not appreciate the highsouled chivalry of the dauntless soldier, menaced D'Andelot with instant death : when the first impulse of his rage was tamed, he listened to more prudent counsels than his own, and commuted the punishment into banishment from the court; and the heretic was forbidden to move from his estates, lest he should corrupt others. The heroism of D'Andelot inspired courage even into cowards. Men of high rank, who had concealed their conversion, proclaimed it aloud. The Calvinists met in open air in the most frequented promenades, and there sang the psalms of Marot. Antuny de Bourbon, King of Navarre, and his wife Jane D'Albret, animated the preachers by their presence. But priestly and royal vengeance followed. Five counsellors of the parliament suspected of heresy were imprisoned, among whom was the famous Anne du Bourg. Their immediate trial was ordered, the king saying “ that he wished to see Du Bourg burned before his own eyes.” On the 25th June 1559, Henry II., while tilting with Count de Montgomery, Captain of his Scotch guard, at a tournament, received a severe injury, of which he died on the 10th July. He left four sons, all minors ; a queen-mother, jealous of ruling, and eager to be appointed sole regent; a court divided by factions, and a people disunited by difference of creed. With his sceptre he bequeathed to his posterity the religious wars of France.
Before raising the curtain of the stage on which the fearful tragedy of civil war is about to be represented, we propose to pass in review the leading actors in the drama, the motives by which they were actuated, the sources of their strength, their personal qualities, and the state of political factions.
Anne de Montmorenci had been the favourite and minister of the deceased monarch. He was Constable of France. The mainstay of his almost unbounded power was the support he had given to Diana of Poitiers, mistress of the king, and now he had to dread the resentment of the queen-mother. Montmorenci was an able statesman, and of high repute as a soldier; but in matters of religion he was an intolerant bigot, and the Calvinists had experienced his rancour.
Such was his critical position, however, that he was compelled to court the aid of the leading men among the Reformers, or his downfall would have been inevitable. Antony de Bourbon and the Prince of Condé were next heirs to the throne, after the four sons of Henry II. ; but since the reign of Francis I., in which the Constable de Bourbon levied war against France, the family had been excluded from all posts of trust and dignity. Montmorenci hoped to win their aid, and through them the Calvinist party to which they belonged, by promising his influence in restoring them to political power. Antony de Bourbon was of unstable character, indolent, and easy to be duped. His brother, the Prince of Condé, had married one of Montmorenci's nieces. His intellect was not above mediocrity, but he had high moral courage, and his integrity was inflexible. Though not rich, he was liberal. In the hour of danger he displayed a chivalrous courage, which extorted the respect even of his enemies. These qualities and his high birth made him one of the most powerful chiefs of his party.
The Prince of Condé was the intimate friend of the eldest of the Chatillons, known in history as Admiral de Coligny. He was the brother of D’Andelot, whose defiant reply to Henry II. has been stated. Few men have displayed a character so unbending, as the Admiral ; he never listened to parley or compromise where principle was involved'; his virtues were austere, his spirit unaccommodating. He was the idol and champion of the Calvinists. Brantome says
“Coligny and D’Andelot were both endowed with such imperturbable equanimity and coolness, that it was almost impossible to excite them to passion, and their countenances never betrayed their secret thoughts nor inward emotions."
The third brother was Bishop of Beauvais and Cardinal of Chatillon. In him there was neither sternness nor austerity; he was a courtier and a diplomatist, a keen observer of society, affable and refined, and endowed with all those graces of manner and speech which fix friends and conciliate enemies. Such were the leading men who were prepared to act with Montmorenci, and through these alliances his position was strong whether he stood on the defensive or became the assailant.
The unfortunate Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, had married Francis II., King of France. She was niece to the Princes of Lorraine, who had only established themselves in France in the reign of Francis I., and they were regarded as foreigners; but as uncles to the queen they stood so near to the throne that their influence was most commanding. Their ambition was unbounded, nor were they scrupulous as to the means they used to gain their end. The House of Lorraine then consisted of five brothers, of whom the eldest, Francis, Duke of Guise, was one of the most remarkable men of his age. His military career had been highly distinguished. IIe had captured Calais from the English, and succesefully defended Metz against the attacks of the Spaniards. These exploits had made him a favourite with the army, and as a persecutor of Calvinism he had numerous and warm adherents in the Church. His personal qualities fitted him to lead a party. He possessed in an eminent degree many of those external advantages which captivate the multitude,--a commanding figure, an expressive physiognomy, a dignified and martial bearing. He had once been the personal friend of Admiral de Coligny, but they had separated, and the enmities of Guise were bitter and enduring. That he aimed at supreme power, there can be no doubt; and, considering that the king was only sixteen at his accession, and that the Lorraine princes swayed the mind of their niece at will, his ambitious hopes seemed likely to be realised. His four brothers were--Claude, Duke of Aumale; Louis, Cardinal of Lorraine ; Francis, Grand Prior of France; and René, Marquis of Elbæuf.
Catharine de Medicis, the queen-mother, was a woman of excessive ambition. She desired to rule, if not to reign, and aimed at being declared sole regent. Her maxim was to divide and govern, and, accordingly, she viewed with pleasure the rivalry between Montmorenci and Guise. Her policy was to prevent either getting the decided ascendant, and keep them in a state of balance; or if she inclined to one or the other, to that party which would be most subservient to her own schemes. But she well knew that the last advice her husband had given to their son was to distrust the House of Guise, as dangerous to the monarchy.
On the death of Henry II., the Duke of Guise assumed the command of the army, and the Cardinal of Lorraine took charge of the finances. Montmorenci was ordered to retire to his estates, for having insulted the queen-mother by supporting Diana of Poitiers, to whom the Princes of Lorraine had bent the knees, during the late king's reign, as abjectly as Montmorenci. The Prince of Condé was sent to Spain to ratify the peace, -an honourable exile, which he well understood, and to which he reluctantly assented.
'[To be continued.]
SOME must be great. Great offices will have
THE DISCOVERY OF THE NEW WORLD.-No. I.
It was mid-day; a certain bustle was visible among all the inhabitants of the Castle of Cogoreo, from the saloon, in which sat an old and a young man, down to the kitchen, where were two old servants, a man and a woman, preparing the dinner; even the little boy Bartholomew seemed to be more lively than usual, and curiosity was painted on every feature.
Oh, uncle,” said he to an old man who, notwithstanding his worn-out coat and tarnished epaulettes, was evidently a naval officer of high rank, “what is the matter with papa, he seems quite put out to-day?"
“Don't disturb me, Bartholomew,” replied the admiral, “ but
go out and look on the Genoa road, and see if any one you know is coming.”
“ Dominique,” added the old sailor, addressing a middle-aged man, who seemed to be deciphering an extraordinarily folded letter with great difficulty, for the letters were of all forms and sizes, “finish reading me that letter of Christopher's, for the beginning of it gives one plenty of matter for reflection, I can assure you."
“Ah! is there a letter from Christopher ?” cried Bartholomew, clapping his hands ; “I must go and tell Margaret and Peter to come and listen to it. Thus saying, the child ran away, and Dominique, pushing his chair close to the admiral, whose one leg kept him rooted to the spot, thus began :
“Pavia, August 10, 1448. "DEAR PAPA, AND YOU TOO UNCLE,— I write this to tell you I am quite well, and that my masters say I am making great progress in my geography and geometry; I cannot say the same as to my writing, which makes me fear you will not be able to read this, but if you cannot you must wait till I come home on Monday or Tuesday at the latest, when I will read it to you myself.”
“ And this is Wednesday,” interrupted the admiral, with an anxious air.
“ Yes, uncle,” replied Dominique ; “but there is nothing very astonishing in his not having arrived yet, for Christopher is on foot, and Peter, who brought the letter, was on horseback,--but I had better go on reading :
“Papa, and you especially, dear uncle, for it is on your support I am relying, I have something most important on which to ask your opinion. First, I must tell you, I have no taste for trade, rather the contrary, for I quite dislike it, nor have I much for science; perhaps in time I might acquire a taste for this, but there is one vocation for which I have a great longing, that is the navy ; I want to be an admiral! I shall not be the first in the family, and as there is one, there may be a second. They say our family was once the most illustrious in Placentia, which must be the case, as the château we live in was given to us by the En.peror Otho. Our ancestors lost all their fortune in the Lombardy wars, and we have only lived lately by trade, but now, I mean to raise the family again! I have a name to support, and even had I not, and I were the first of my race, I would make it illustrious whatever it were, for do I not worship the same God that made a king of the shepherd David ? Dear papa,
I am fifteen now, pray do let me enter the navy. It is that you may grant me this favour, that I am leaving college, and coming home.”
“ The rest is illegible,” said Dominique; “it is very odd that Christopher has not followed Peter when he was to set off so immediately after him."