Court Memoirs of France Series— Complete

Author: Various

Book II.

MADAME:—I lay it down as a maxim, that men who enter the service of the State should make it their chief study to set out in the world with some notable act which may strike the imagination of the people, and cause themselves to be discussed. Thus I preached first upon All Saints’ Day, before an audience which could not but be numerous in a populous city, where it is a wonder to see the Archbishop in the pulpit. I began now to think seriously upon my future conduct. I found the archbishopric sunk both in its temporals and spirituals by the sordidness, negligence, and incapacity of my uncle. I foresaw infinite obstacles to its reestablishment, but perceived that the greatest and most insuperable difficulty lay in myself. I considered that the strictest morals are necessarily required in a bishop. I felt myself the more obliged to be strictly circumspect as my uncle had been very disorderly and scandalous. I knew likewise that my own corrupt inclinations would bear down all before them, and that all the considerations drawn from honour and conscience would prove very weak defences. At last I came to a resolution to go on in my sins, and that designedly, which without doubt is the more sinful in the eyes of God, but with regard to the world is certainly the best policy, because he that acts thus always takes care beforehand to cover part of his failings, and thereby to avoid the jumbling together of sin and devotion, than which nothing can be more dangerous and ridiculous in a clergyman. This was my disposition, which was not the most pious in the world nor yet the wickedest, for I was fully determined to discharge all the duties of my profession faithfully, and exert my utmost to save other souls, though I took no care of my own.

The Archbishop, who was the weakest of mortals, was, nevertheless, by a common fatality attending such men, the most vainglorious; he yielded precedence to every petty officer of the Crown, and yet in his own house would not give the right-hand to any person of quality that came to him about business. My behaviour was the reverse of his in almost everything; I gave the right-hand to all strangers in my own house, and attended them even to their coach, for which I was commended by some for my civility and by others for my humility. I avoided appearing in public assemblies among people of quality till I had established a reputation. When I thought I had done so, I took the opportunity of the sealing of a marriage contract to dispute my rank with M. de Guise. I had carefully studied the laws of my diocese and got others to do it for me, and my right was indisputable in my own province. The precedence was adjudged in my favour by a decree of the Council, and I found, by the great number of gentlemen who then appeared for me, that to condescend to men of low degree is the surest way to equal those of the highest.

I dined almost every day with Cardinal Mazarin, who liked me the better because I refused to engage myself in the cabal called "The Importants," though many of the members were my dearest friends. M. de Beaufort, a man of very mean parts, was so much out of temper because the Queen had put her confidence in Cardinal Mazarin, that, though her Majesty offered him favours with profusion, he would accept none, and affected to give himself the airs of an angry lover. He held aloof from the Duc d’Orleans, insulted the late Prince, and, in order to support himself against the Queen-regent, the chief minister, and all the Princes of the blood, formed a cabal of men who all died mad, and whom I never took for conjurers from the first time I knew them. Such were Beaupre, Fontrailles, Fiesque, Montresor, who had the austerity of Cato, but not his sagacity, and M. de Bethune, who obliged M. de Beaufort to make me great overtures, which I received very respectfully, but entered into none. I told Montresor that I was indebted to the Queen for the coadjutorship of Paris, and that that was enough to keep me from entering into any engagement that might be disagreeable to her Majesty. Montresor said I was not obliged for it to the Queen, it having been ordered before by the late King, and given me at a crisis when she was not in a condition to refuse it. I replied, "Permit me, monsieur, to forget everything that may diminish my gratitude, and to remember that only which may increase it." These words were afterwards repeated to Cardinal Mazarin, who was so pleased with me that he repeated them to the Queen.

The families of Orleans and Conde, being united by interest, made a jest of that surly look from which Beaufort’s cabal were termed "The Importants," and at the same time artfully made use of the grand appearance which Beaufort (like those who carry more sail than ballast) never failed to assume upon the most trifling occasions. His counsels were unseasonable, his meetings to no purpose, and even his hunting matches became mysterious. In short, Beaufort was arrested at the Louvre by a captain of the Queen’s Guards, and carried on the 2d of September, 1643, to Vincennes. The cabal of "The Importants" was put to flight and dispersed, and it was reported over all the kingdom that they had made an attempt against the Cardinal’s life, which I do not believe, because I never saw anything in confirmation of it, though many of the domestics of the family of Vendome were a long time in prison upon this account.

The Marquis de Nangis, who was enraged both against the Queen and Cardinal, for reasons which I shall tell you afterwards, was strongly tempted to come into this cabal a few days before Beaufort was arrested, but I dissuaded him by telling him that fashion is powerful in all the affairs of life, but more remarkably so as to a man’s being in favour or disgrace at Court. There are certain junctures when disgrace, like fire, purifies all the bad qualities, and sets a lustre on all the good ones, and also there are times when it does not become an honest man to be out of favour at Court. I applied this to the gentlemen of the aforesaid cabal.

I must confess, to the praise of Cardinal de Richelieu, that he had formed two vast designs worthy of a Caesar or an Alexander: that of suppressing the Protestants had been projected before by Cardinal de Retz, my uncle; but that of attacking the formidable house of Austria was never thought of by any before the Cardinal. He completed the first design, and had made great progress in the latter.

That the King’s death made no alteration in affairs was owing to the bravery of the Prince de Conde and the famous battle of Rocroi, in 1643, which contributed both to the peace and glory of the kingdom, and covered the cradle of the present King with laurels. Louis XIV.’s father, who neither loved nor esteemed his Queen, provided him a Council, upon his death-bed, for limiting the authority of the Regency, and named the Cardinal Mazarin, M. Seguier, M. Bouthillier, and M. de Chavigni; but being all Richelieu’s creatures, they were so hated by the public that when the King was dead they were hissed at by all the footmen at Saint Germain, and if De Beaufort had had a grain of sense, or if De Beauvais had not been a disgraceful bishop, or if my father had but entered into the administration, these collateral Regents would have been undoubtedly expelled with ignominy, and the memory of Cardinal de Richelieu been branded by the Parliament with shouts of joy.

The Queen was adored much more for her troubles than for her merit. Her admirers had never seen her but under persecution; and in persons of her rank, suffering is one of the greatest virtues. People were apt to fancy that she was patient to a degree of indolence. In a word, they expected wonders from her; and Bautru used to say she had already worked a miracle because the most devout had forgotten her coquetry. The Duc d’Orleans, who made a show as if he would have disputed the Regency with the Queen, was contented to be Lieutenant-General of the Kingdom. The Prince de Conde was declared President of the Council, and the Parliament confirmed the Regency to the Queen without limitation. The exiles were called home, prisoners set at liberty, and criminals pardoned. They who had been turned out were replaced in their respective employments, and nothing that was asked was refused. The happiness of private families seemed to be fully secured in the prosperity of the State. The perfect union of the royal family settled the peace within doors; and the battle of Rocroi was such a blow to the Spanish infantry that they could not recover in an age. They saw at the foot of the throne, where the fierce and terrible Richelieu used to thunder rather than govern, a mild and gentle successor,—[Cardinal Julius Mazarin, Minister of State, who died at Vincennes in 1661.]—who was perfectly complacent and extremely troubled that his dignity of Cardinal did not permit him to be as humble to all men as he desired; and who, when he went abroad, had no other attendants than two footmen behind his coach. Had not I, then, reason for saying that it did not become an honest man to be on bad terms with the Court at that time of day?

You will wonder, no doubt, that nobody was then aware of the consequence of imprisoning M. de Beaufort, when the prison doors were set open to all others. This bold stroke—at a time when the Government was so mild that its authority was hardly felt—had a very great effect. Though nothing was more easy, as you have seen, yet it looked grand; and all acts of this nature are very successful because they are attended with dignity without any odium. That which generally draws an unaccountable odium upon even the most necessary actions of statesmen, is that, in order to compass them, they are commonly obliged to struggle with very great difficulties, which, when they are surmounted, are certain to render them objects both of envy and hatred. When a considerable occasion offers, where there is no victory to be gained because there is no difficulty to encounter, which is very rare, it gives a lustre to the authority of ministers which is pure, innocent, and without a shadow, and not only establishes it, but casts upon their administration the merit of actions which they have no hand in, as well as those of which they have.

When the world saw that the Cardinal had apprehended the man who had lately brought the King back to Paris with inconceivable pride, men’s imaginations were seized with an astonishing veneration. People thought themselves much obliged to the Minister that some were not sent to the Bastille every week; and the sweetness of his temper was sure to be commended whenever he had not an opportunity of doing them harm. It must be owned that he had the art of improving his good luck to the best advantage. He made use of all the outward appearances necessary to create a belief that he had been forced to take violent measures, and that the counsels of the Duc d’Orleans and the Prince de Conde had determined the Queen to reject his advice; the day following he seemed to be more moderate, civil, and frank than before; he gave free access to all; audiences were easily had, it was no more to dine with him than with a private gentleman. He had none of that grand air so common to the meaner cardinals. In short, though he was at the head of everybody, yet he managed as if he were only their companion. That which astonishes me most is that the princes and grandees of the kingdom, who, one might expect, would be more quick-sighted than the common people, were the most blinded.

The Duc d’Orleans and the Prince de Conde—the latter attached to the Court by his covetous temper—thought themselves above being rivalled; the Duke—[Henri de Bourbon, Duc d’Enghien, born 1646, died 1686. We shall often speak of him in this history.]—was old enough to take his repose under the shadow of his laurels; M. de Nemours—[Charles Amadeus of Savoy, killed in a duel by M. de Beaufort, 1650.]—was but a child; M. de Guise, lately returned from Brussels, was governed by Madame de Pons, and thought to govern the whole Court; M. de Schomberg complied all his life long with the humour of those who were at the helm; M. de Grammont was a slave to them. The Parliament, being delivered from the tyranny of Richelieu, imagined the golden age was returning, being daily assured by the Prime Minister that the Queen would not take one step without them. The clergy, who are always great examples of slavish servitude themselves, preached it to others under the plausible title of passive obedience. Thus both clergy and laity were, in an instant, become the devotees of Mazarin.

Being ordered by my Lord Archbishop of Paris to take care of his diocese in his absence, my first business was, by the Queen’s express command, to visit the Nuns of the Conception, where, knowing that there were above fourscore virgins, many of whom were very pretty and some coquettes, I was very loth to go for fear, of exposing my virtue to temptation; but I could not be excused, so I went, and preserved my virtue, to my neighbour’s edification, because for six weeks together I did not see the face of any one of the nuns, nor talked to any of them but when their veils were down, which gave me a vast reputation for chastity. I continued to perform all the necessary functions in the diocese as far as the jealousy of my uncle would give me leave, and, forasmuch as he was generally so peevish that it was a very hard matter to please him, I at length chose to sit still and do nothing. Thus I made the best use imaginable of my uncle’s ill-nature, being sure to convince him of my honest intentions upon all occasions; whereas had I been my own master, the rules of good conduct would have obliged me to confine myself to things in their own nature practicable.

The Cardinal Mazarin confessed to me, many years afterwards, that this conduct of mine in managing the affairs of the diocese, though it did him no injury, was the first thing that made him jealous of my growing greatness in Paris. Another thing alarmed him with as little reason, and that was my undertaking to examine the capacity of all the priests of my diocese, a thing of inconceivable use and importance. For this end I erected three tribunals, composed of canons, curates, and men of religious orders, who were to reduce all the priests under three different classes, whereof the first was to consist of men well qualified, who were therefore to be left in the exercise of their functions; the second was to comprehend those who were not at present, but might in time prove able men; and the third of such men as were neither now nor ever likely to become so. The two last classes, being separated from the first, were not to exercise their functions, but were lodged in separate houses; those of the second class were instructed in the doctrine, but the third only in the practice of piety. As this could not but be very expensive, the good people opened their purses and contributed liberally. The Cardinal was so disturbed when he heard of it that he got the Queen to send for my uncle upon a frivolous occasion, who, for reasons as frivolous, ordered me to desist. Though I was very well informed, by my good friend the Almoner, that the blow came from Court, I bore it with a great deal more patience than was consistent with a man of my spirit, for I did not seem to take the least notice of it, but was as gracious to the Cardinal as ever. But I was not so wary in another case which happened some time after, for honest Morangis telling me I was too extravagant, which was but too true, I answered him rashly, "I have made a calculation that Caesar, when at my age, owed six times as much." This remark was carried, unluckily, by a doctor then present, to M. Servien, who told it maliciously to the Cardinal, who made a jest of it, as he had reason to do, but he took notice of it, for which I cannot blame him.

In 1645 I was invited, as a diocesan, to the assembly of the clergy, which, I may truly say, was the rock whereon the little share of favour I had at Court was cast away. Cardinal de Richelieu had given a cruel blow to the dignity and liberty of the clergy in the assembly of Mantes, and, with very barbarous circumstances, had banished six of his most considerable prelates. It was resolved in this assembly of 1645 to make them some amends for their firmness on that occasion by inviting them to come and take their places—though they were not deputed—among their brethren. When this was first, proposed in the assembly, nobody dreamt that the Court would take offence at it, and it falling to my turn to speak first, I proposed the said resolution, as it had been concerted betwixt us before in private conversation, and it was unanimously approved of by the assembly.

At my return home the Queen’s purse-bearer came to me with an order to attend her Majesty forthwith, which I accordingly obeyed. When I came into her presence she said she could not have believed I would ever have been wanting in my duty to that degree as to wound the memory of the late King, her lord. I had such reasons to offer as she could not herself confute, and therefore referred me to the Cardinal, but I found he understood those things no better than her Majesty. He spoke to me with the haughtiest air in the world, refused to hear my justification, and commanded me in the King’s name to retract publicly the next day in full assembly. You may imagine how difficult it was for me to resolve what to do. However, I did not break out beyond the bounds of modest respect, and, finding that my submission made no impression upon the Cardinal, I got the Bishop of Arles, a wise and moderate gentleman, to go to him along with me, and to join with me in offering our reasons. But we found his Eminence a very ignoramus in ecclesiastical polity. I only mention this to let yon see that in my first misunderstanding with the Court I was not to blame, and that my respect for the Cardinal upon the Queen’s account was carried to an excess of patience.

Some months after, his profound ignorance and envenomed malice furnished me with a fresh occasion to exercise patience. The Bishop of Warmia, one of the ambassadors that came to fetch the Queen of Poland, was very desirous to celebrate the marriage in the Church of Notre-Dame. Though the archbishops of Paris never suffered solemnities of this kind to be celebrated in their churches by any but cardinals of the royal family, and though my uncle had been highly blamed by all his clergy for permitting the Cardinal de La Rochefoucault to marry the Queen of England,—[Henriette Marie of France, daughter of Henri IV., died 1669.] —nevertheless I was ordered by a ’lettre de cachet’ to prepare the said Church of Notre Dame for the Bishop of Warmia, which order ran in the same style as that given to the ’prevot des marchands’ when he is to prepare the Hotel de Ville for a public ball. I showed the letter to the deans and canons, and said I did not doubt but it was a stratagem of one or other of the Secretary of State’s clerks to get a gift of money.

I thereupon went to the Cardinal, pressed him with both reasons and precedents, and said that, as I was his particular humble servant, I hoped he would be pleased to lay them before her Majesty, making use of all other persuasion—which I thought would dispose him to a compliance. It was then that I learned that he only wanted an opportunity to embroil me with the Queen, for though I saw plainly that he was sorry he had given such orders before he knew their consequence, yet, after some pause, he reassumed his former obstinacy to the very last degree; and, because I spoke in the name of the Archbishop and of the whole Church of Paris, he stormed as much as if a private person upon his own authority had presumed to make a speech to him at the head of fifty malcontents. I endeavoured with all respect to show him that our case was quite different; but he was so ignorant of our manners and customs that he took everything by the wrong handle. He ended the conversation very abruptly and rudely, and referred me to the Queen. I found her Majesty in a fretful mood, and all I could get out of her was a promise to hear the chapter upon this affair, without whose consent—I had declared I could not conclude anything.

I sent for them accordingly, and having introduced them to the Queen, they spoke very discreetly and to the purpose. The Queen sent us back to the Cardinal, who entertained us only with impertinences, and as he had but a superficial knowledge of the French language, he concluded by telling me that I had talked very insolently to him the night before. You may imagine that that word was enough to vex me, but having resolved beforehand to keep my temper, I smiled, and said to the deputies, "Gentlemen, this is fine language." He was nettled at my smile, and said to me in aloud tone, "Do you know whom you talk to? I will teach you how to behave." Now, I confess, my blood began to boil. I told him that the Coadjutor of Paris was talking to Cardinal Mazarin, but that perhaps he thought himself the Cardinal de Lorraine, and me the Bishop of Metz, his suffragan.

Then we went away and met the Marechal d’Estrees coming up to us, who came to advise me not to break with the Court, and to tell me that things might be arranged; and when he found I was of another opinion, he told me in plain terms that he had orders from the Queen to oblige me to come to her. I went without more ado, accompanied by the deputies, and found her more gracious and better humoured than I am able to express. She told me that she had a mind to see me, not so much in relation to our affair, which might be easily accommodated, as to reprimand me for using such language to the poor Cardinal, who was as meek as a lamb, and loved me as his own son. She added all the kind things possible, and ordered the dean and deputies to go along with me to the Cardinal’s house, that we might consult together what course to take. This was so much against my inclination that I gave the Queen to understand that no person in the world but her Majesty could have persuaded me to it.

We found the Minister even milder than his mistress. He made a world of excuses for the word "insolent," by which he said, and perhaps it may be true, that he meant no more than ’insolito’, a word signifying "somewhat uncommon." He showed me all the civility imaginable, but, instead of coming to any determination, put us off to another opportunity. A few days after, a letter was brought me at midnight from the Archbishop, commanding me to let the Bishop of Warmia perform the marriage without any more opposition.

Had I been wise I should have stopped there, because a man ought in prudence to make his peace with the Court upon any terms consistent with honour. But I was young, and the more provoked because I perceived that all the fair words given me at Fontainebleau were but a feint to gain time to write about the affair to my uncle, then at Angers. However, I said nothing to the messenger, more than that I was glad my uncle had so well brought me off. The chapter being likewise served with the same order, we sent the Court this answer: That the Archbishop might do what he listed in the nave of the church, but that the choir belonged to the chapter, and they would yield it to no man but himself or his coadjutor. The Cardinal knew the meaning of this, and thereupon resolved to have the marriage solemnised in the Chapel Royal, whereof he said the Great Almoner was bishop. But this being a yet more important question than the other, I laid the inconveniences of it before him in a letter. This nettled him, and he made a mere jest of my letter. I gave the Queen of Poland to understand that, if she were married in that manner, I should be forced, even against my will, to declare the marriage void; but that there remained one expedient which would effectually remove all difficulties,—that the marriage might be performed in the King’s Chapel, and should stand good provided that the Bishop of Warmia came to me for a license.

The Queen, resolving to lose no more time by awaiting new orders from Angers, and fearing the least flaw in her marriage, the Court was obliged to comply with my proposal, and the ceremony was performed accordingly.

Not long after this marriage I was unhappily embroiled with the Duc d’Orleans, upon an occasion of no greater importance than my foot-cloth in the Church of Notre-Dame, which was by mistake removed to his seat. I complained of it to him, and he ordered it to be restored. Nevertheless the Abby de la Riviere made him believe I had put an affront upon him that was too public to be pardoned. The Duke was so simple as to believe it, and, while the courtiers turned all into banter, he swore he would receive incense before me at the said church for the future. In the meantime the Queen sent for me, and told me that the Duke was in a terrible passion, for which she was very sorry, but that nevertheless she could not help being of his opinion, and therefore insisted upon it that I ought to give him satisfaction in the Church of Notre-Dame the Sunday following. Upon the whole she referred me to Cardinal Mazarin, who declared to me at first that he was very sorry to see me in so much trouble, blamed the Abby for having incensed the Duke to such a degree, and used all the arguments he could to wheedle me to give my consent to being degraded. And when he saw I was not to be led, he endeavoured to drive me into the snare. He stormed with an air of authority, and would fain have bullied me into compliance, telling me that hitherto he had spoken as a friend, but that I had forced him henceforth to speak as a minister. He also began to threaten, and the conversation growing warm, he sought to pick a quarrel by insinuating that if I would do as Saint Ambrose did, I ought to lead a life like him. As he spoke this loud enough to be heard by some bishops at the other end of the room, I likewise raised my voice, and told him I would endeavour to make the best use of his advice, but he might assure himself I was fully resolved so to imitate Saint Ambrose in this affair that I might, through his means, obtain grace to be able to imitate him in all others.

I had not been long gone home when the Marechal d’Estrees and M. Senneterre came, furnished with all the flowers of rhetoric, to persuade me that degradation was honourable; and finding me immovable, they insinuated that my obstinacy might oblige his Highness to use force, and order his guards to carry me, in spite of myself, to Notre-Dame, and place me there on a seat below his. I thought this suggestion too ridiculous to mind it at first, but being forewarned of it that very evening by the Duke’s Chancellor, I put myself upon the defensive, which I think is the most ridiculous piece of folly I was ever guilty of, considering it was against a son of France, and when there was a profound tranquillity in the State, without the least appearance of any commotion. The Duke, to whom I had the honour of being related, was pleased with my boldness. He remembered the Abby de la Riviere for his insolence in complaining that the Prince de Conti was marked down for a cardinal before him; besides, the Duke knew I was in the right, having made it very evident in a statement I had published upon this head. He acquainted the Cardinal with it, said he would not suffer the least violence to be offered to me; that I was both his kinsman and devoted servant, and that he would not set out for the army till he saw the affair at an end.

All the Court was in consternation for fear of a rupture, especially when the Prince de Conde had been informed by the Queen of what his son had said; and when he came to my house and found there sixty or eighty gentlemen, this made him believe that a league was already made with the Duke, but there was nothing in it. He swore, he threatened, he begged, he flattered, and in his transports he let fall some expressions which showed that the Duke was much more concerned for my interest than he ever yet owned to me. I submitted that very instant, and told the Prince that I would do anything rather than the royal family should be divided on my account. The Prince, who hitherto found me immovable, was so touched at my sudden surrender in complaisance to his son, at the very time, too, when he himself had just assured me I was to expect a powerful protection from him, that he suddenly changed his temper, so that, instead of thinking as he did at first, that there was no satisfaction great enough for the Duc d’Orleans, he now determined plainly in favour of the expedient I had so often proposed,—that I should go and declare to him, in the presence of the whole Court, that I never designed to be wanting in the respect I owed him, and that the orders of the Church had obliged me to act as I did at Notre-Dame. The Cardinal and the Abby de la Riviere were enraged to the last degree, but the Prince put them into such fear of the Duke that they were fain to submit. The Prince took me to the Duc d’Orleans’s house, where I gave them satisfaction before the whole Court, precisely in the words above mentioned. His Highness was quite satisfied with my reasons, carried me to see his medals, and thus ended the controversy.

As this affair and the marriage of the Queen of Poland had embroiled me with the Court, you may easily conceive what turn the courtiers gave to it. But here I found by experience that all the powers upon earth cannot hurt the reputation of a man who preserves it established and unspotted in the society whereof he is a member. All the learned clergy took my part, and I soon perceived that many of those who had before blamed my conduct now retracted. I made this observation upon a thousand other occasions. I even obliged the Court, some time after, to commend my, proceedings, and took an opportunity to convince the Queen that it was my dignity, and not any want of respect and gratitude, that made me resist the Court in the two former cases. The Cardinal was very well pleased with me, and said in public that he found me as much concerned for the King’s service as I was before for the honour of my character.

It falling to my turn to make the speech at the breaking up of the assembly of the clergy at Paris, I had the good luck to please both the clergy and the Court. Cardinal Mazarin took me to supper with him alone, seemed to be clear of all prejudices against me, and I verily believe was fully persuaded that he had been imposed upon. But I was too much beloved in Paris to continue long in favour at Court. This was a crime that rendered me disagreeable in the eyes of a refined Italian statesman, and which was the more dangerous from the fact that I lost no opportunity of aggravating it by a natural and unaffected expense, to which my air of negligence gave a lustre, and by my great alms and bounty, which, though very often secret, had the louder echo; whereas, in truth, I had acted thus at first only in compliance with inclination and out of a sense of duty. But the necessity I was under of supporting myself against the Court obliged me to be yet more liberal. I do but just mention it here to show you that the Court was jealous of me, when I never thought myself capable of giving them the least occasion, which made me reflect that a man is oftener deceived by distrusting than by being overcredulous.

Cardinal Mazarin, who was born and bred in the Pope’s dominions, where papal authority has no limits, took the impetus given to the regal power by his tutor, the Cardinal de Richelieu, to be natural to the body politic, which mistake of his occasioned the civil war, though we must look much higher for its prime cause.

It is above 1,200 years that France has been governed by kings, but they were not as absolute at first as they are now. Indeed, their authority was never limited by written laws as are the Kings of England and Castile, but only moderated by received customs, deposited, as I may say, at first in the hands of the States of the kingdom, and afterwards in those of the Parliament. The registering of treaties with other Crowns and the ratifications of edicts for raising money are almost obliterated images of that wise medium between the exorbitant power of the Kings and the licentiousness of the people instituted by our ancestors. Wise and good Princes found that this medium was such a seasoning to their power as made it delightful to their people. On the other hand, weak and vicious Kings always hated it as an obstacle to all their extravagances. The history of the Sire de Joinville makes it evident that Saint Louis was an admirer of this scheme of government, and the writings of Oresme, Bishop of Lisieux, and of the famous Juvenal des Ursins, convince us that Charles V., who merited the surname of Wise, never thought his power to be superior to the laws and to his duty. Louis XI., more cunning than truly wise, broke his faith upon this head as well as all others. Louis XII. would have restored this balance of power to its ancient lustre if the ambition of Cardinal Amboise,—[George d’Amboise, the first of the name, in 1498 Minister to Louis XII., deceased 1510.]—who governed him absolutely, had not opposed it.

The insatiable avarice of Constable Montmorency—[Anne de Montmorency, Constable of France in 1538, died 1567.]—tended rather to enlarge than restrain the authority of Francois I. The extended views and vast designs of M. de Guise would not permit them to think of placing bounds to the prerogative under Francois II. In the reigns of Charles IX. and Henri III. the Court was so fatigued with civil broils that they took everything for rebellion which was not submission. Henri IV., who was not afraid of the laws, because he trusted in himself, showed he had a high esteem for them. The Duc de Rohan used to say that Louis XIII. was jealous of his own authority because he was ignorant of its full extent, for the Marechal d’Ancrel and M. de Luynes were mere dunces, incapable of informing him. Cardinal de Richelieu, who succeeded them, collected all the wicked designs and blunders of the two last centuries to serve his grand purpose. He laid them down as proper maxims for establishing the King’s authority, and, fortune seconding his designs by the disarming of the Protestants in France, by the victories of the Swedes, by the weakness of the Empire and of Spain, he established the most scandalous and dangerous tyranny that perhaps ever enslaved a State in the best constituted monarchy under the sun.

Custom, which has in some countries inured men even to broil as it were in the heat of the sun, has made things familiar to us which our forefathers dreaded more than fire itself. We no longer feel the slavery which they abhorred more for the interest of their King than for their own. Cardinal de Richelieu counted those things crimes which before him were looked upon as virtues. The Mirons, Harlays, Marillacs, Pibracs, and the Fayes, those martyrs of the State who dispelled more factions by their wholesome maxims than were raised in France by Spanish or British gold, were defenders of the doctrine for which the Cardinal de Richelieu confined President Barillon in the prison of Amboise. And the Cardinal began to punish magistrates for advancing those truths which they were obliged by their oaths to defend at the hazard of their lives.

Our wise Kings, who understood their true interest, made the Parliament the depositary of their ordinances, to the end that they might exempt themselves from part of the odium that sometimes attends the execution of the most just and necessary decrees. They thought it no disparagement to their royalty to be bound by them,—like unto God, who himself obeys the laws he has preordained. [’A good government: where the people obey their king and the king obeys the law’—Solon. D.W.] Ministers of State, who are generally so blinded by the splendour of their fortune as never to be content with what the laws allow, make it their business to overturn them; and Cardinal de Richelieu laboured at it more constantly than any other, and with equal application and imprudence.

God only is self-existent and independent; the most rightful monarchs and established monarchies in the world cannot possibly be supported but by the conjunction of arms and laws,—a union so necessary that the one cannot subsist without the other. Laws without the protection of arms sink into contempt, and arms which are not tempered by laws quickly turn a State into anarchy. The Roman commonwealth being set aside by Julius Caesar, the supreme power which was devolved upon his successors by force of arms subsisted no longer than they were able to maintain the authority of the laws; for as soon as the laws lost their force, the power of the Roman Emperors vanished, and the very men that were their favourites, having got possession of their seals and their arms, converted their masters’ substance into their own, and, as it were, sucked them dry under the shelter of those repealed laws. The Roman Empire, formerly sold by auction to the highest bidder, and the Turkish emperors, whose necks are exposed every day to the bowstring, show us in very bloody characters the blindness of those men that make authority to consist only in force.

But why need we go abroad for examples when we have so many at home? Pepin, in dethroning the Merovingian family, and Capet, in dispossessing the Carlovingians, made use of nothing else but the same power which the ministers, their predecessors, had acquired under the authority of their masters; and it is observable that the mayors of the Palace and the counts of Paris placed themselves on the thrones of kings exactly by the same methods that gained them their masters’ favours,—that is, by weakening and changing the laws of the land, which at first always pleases weak princes, who fancy it aggrandises their power; but in its consequence it gives a power to the great men and motives to the common people to rebel against their authority. Cardinal de Richelieu was cunning enough to have all these views, but he sacrificed everything to his interest. He would govern according to his own fancy, which scorned to be tied to rules, even in cases where it would have cost him nothing to observe them. And he acted his part so well that, if his successor had been a man of his abilities, I doubt not that the title of Prime Minister, which he was the first to assume, would have been as odious in France in a little time as were those of the Maire du Palais and the Comte de Paris. But by the providence of God, Cardinal Mazarin, who succeeded him, was not capable of giving the State any jealousy of his usurpation. As these two ministers contributed chiefly, though in a different way, to the civil war, I judge it highly necessary to give you the particular character of each, and to draw a parallel between them. Cardinal de Richelieu was well descended; his merit sparkled even in his youth. He was taken notice of at the Sorbonne, and it was very soon observed that he had a strong genius and a lively fancy. He was commonly happy in the choice of his parties. He was a man of his word, unless great interests swayed him to the contrary, and in such a case he was very artful to preserve all the appearances of probity. He was not liberal, yet he gave more than he promised, and knew admirably well how to season all his favours. He was more ambitious than was consistent with the rules of morality, although it must be owned that, whenever he dispensed with them in favour of his extravagant ambition, his great merit made it almost excusable. He neither feared dangers nor yet despised them, and prevented more by his sagacity than he surmounted by his resolution. He was a hearty friend, and even wished to be beloved by the people; but though he had civility, a good aspect, and all the other qualifications to gain that love, yet he still wanted something—I know not what to call it—which is absolutely necessary in this case. By his power and royal state he debased and swallowed up the personal majesty of the King. He distinguished more judiciously than any man in the world between bad and worse, good and better, which is a great qualification in a minister. He was too apt to be impatient at mere trifles when they had relation to things of moment; but those blemishes, owing to his lofty spirit, were always accompanied with the necessary talent of knowledge to make amends for those imperfections. He had religion enough for this world. His own good sense, or else his inclination, always led him to the practice of virtue if his self-interest did not bias him to evil, which, whenever he committed it, he did so knowingly. He extended his concern for the State no further than his own life, though no minister ever did more than he to make the world believe he had the same regard for the future. In a word, all his vices were such that they received a lustre from his great fortune, because they were such as could have no other instruments to work with but great virtues. You will easily conceive that a man who possessed such excellent qualities, and appeared to have as many more,—which he had not,—found it no hard task to preserve that respect among mankind which freed him from contempt, though not from hatred.

Cardinal Mazarin’s character was the reverse of the former; his birth was mean, and his youth scandalous. He was thrashed by one Moretto, a goldsmith of Rome, as he was going out of the amphitheatre, for having played the sharper. He was a captain in a foot regiment, and Bagni, his general, told me that while he was under his command, which was but three months, he was only looked upon as a cheat. By the interest of Cardinal Antonio Barberini, he was sent as Nuncio Extraordinary to France, which office was not obtained in those days by fair means. He so tickled Chavigni by his loose Italian stories that he was shortly after introduced to Cardinal de Richelieu, who made him Cardinal with the same view which, it is thought, determined the Emperor Augustus to leave the succession of the Empire to Tiberius. He was still Richelieu’s obsequious, humble servant, notwithstanding the purple. The Queen making choice of him, for want of another, his pedigree was immediately derived from a princely family. The rays of fortune having dazzled him and everybody about him, he rose, and they glorified him for a second Richelieu, whom he had the impudence to ape, though he had nothing of him; for what his predecessor counted honourable he esteemed scandalous. He made a mere jest of religion. He promised everything without scruple; at the same time he intended to perform nothing. He was neither goodnatured nor cruel, for he never remembered either good offices or bad ones. He loved himself too well, which is natural to a sordid soul; and feared himself too little, the true characteristic of those that have no regard for their reputation. He foresaw an evil well enough, because he was usually timid, but never applied a suitable remedy, because he had more fear than wisdom. He had wit, indeed, together with a most insinuating address and a gay, courtly behaviour; but a villainous heart appeared constantly through all, to such a degree as betrayed him to be a fool in adversity and a knave in prosperity. In short, he was the first minister that could be called a complete trickster, for which reason his administration, though successful and absolute, never sat well upon him, for contempt—the most dangerous disease of any State—crept insensibly into the Ministry and easily diffused its poison from the head to the members.

You will not wonder, therefore, that there were so many unlucky cross rubs in an administration which so soon followed that of Cardinal de Richelieu and was so different from it. It is certain that the imprisonment of M. de Beaufort impressed the people with a respect for Mazarin, which the lustre of his purple would never have procured from private men. Ondedei (since Bishop of Frejus) told me that the Cardinal jested with him upon the levity of the French nation on this point, and that at the end of four months the Cardinal had set himself up in his own opinion for a Richelieu, and even thought he had greater abilities. It would take up volumes to record all his faults, the least of which were very important in one respect which deserves a particular remark. As he trod in the steps of Cardinal de Richelieu, who had completely abolished all the ancient maxims of government, he went in a path surrounded with precipices, which Richelieu was aware of and took care to avoid. But Cardinal Mazarin made no use of those props by which Richelieu kept his footing. For instance, though Cardinal de Richelieu affected to humble whole bodies and societies, yet he studied to oblige individuals, which is sufficient to give you an idea of all the rest. He had indeed some unaccountable illusions, which he pushed to the utmost extremity. The most dangerous kind of illusion in State affairs is a sort of lethargy that never happens without showing pronounced symptoms. The abolishing of ancient laws, the destruction of that golden medium which was established between the Prince and the people, and the setting up a power purely and absolutely despotic, were the original causes of those political convulsions which shook France in the days of our forefathers.

Cardinal de Richelieu managed the kingdom as mountebanks do their patients, with violent remedies which put strength into it; but it was only a convulsive strength, which exhausted its vital organs. Cardinal Mazarin, like a very unskilful physician, did not observe that the vital organs were decayed, nor had he the skill to support them by the chemical preparations of his predecessor; his only remedy was to let blood, which he drew so plentifully that the patient fell into a lethargy, and our medicaster was yet so stupid as to mistake this lethargy for a real state of health. The provinces, abandoned to the rapine of the superintendents, were stifled, as it were, under the pressure of their heavy misfortunes, and the efforts they made to shake them off in the time of Richelieu added only to their weight and bitterness. The Parliaments, which had so lately groaned under tyranny, were in a manner insensible to present miseries by a too fresh and lively remembrance of their past troubles. The grandees, who had for the most part been banished from the kingdom, were glad to have returned, and therefore took their fill of ease and pleasure. If our quack had but humoured this universal indolence with soporifics, the general drowsiness might have continued much longer, but thinking it to be nothing but natural sleep, he applied no remedy at all. The disease gained strength, grew worse and worse, the patient awakened, Paris became sensible of her condition; she groaned, but nobody minded it, so that she fell into a frenzy, whereupon the patient became raving mad.

But now to come to particulars. Emeri, Superintendent of the Finances, and in my opinion the most corrupt man of the age, multiplied edicts as fast as he could find names to call them by. I cannot give you a better idea of the man than by repeating what I heard him say in full Council,— that faith was for tradesmen only, and that the Masters of Requests who urged faith to be observed in the King’s affairs deserved to be punished. This man, who had in his youth been condemned to be hanged at Lyons, absolutely governed Mazarin in all the domestic affairs of the kingdom. I mention this, among many other instances which I could produce of the same nature, to let you see that a nation does not feel the extremity of misery till its governors have lost all shame, because that is the instant when the subjects throw off all respect and awake convulsively out of their lethargy.

The Swiss seemed, as it were, crushed under the weight of their chains, when three of their powerful cantons revolted and formed themselves into a league. The Dutch thought of nothing but an entire subjection to the tyrant Duke of Alva, when the Prince of Orange, by the peculiar destiny of great geniuses, who see further into the future than all the world besides, conceived a plan and restored their liberty. The reason of all this is plain: that which causes a supineness in suffering States is the duration of the evil, which inclines the sufferers to believe it will never have an end; as soon as they have hopes of getting out of it, which never fails when the evil has arrived at a certain pitch, they are so surprised, so glad, and so transported, that they run all of a sudden into the other extreme, and are so far from thinking revolutions impossible that they suppose them easy, and such a disposition alone is sometimes able to bring them about; witness the late revolution in France. Who could have imagined, three months before the critical period of our disorders, that such a revolution could have happened in a kingdom where all the branches of the royal family were strictly united, where the Court was a slave to the Prime Minister, where the capital city and all the provinces were in subjection to him, where the armies were victorious, and where the corporations and societies seemed to have no power?—whoever, I say, had said this would have been thought a madman, not only in the judgment of the vulgar, but in the opinion of a D’Estrees or a Senneterre.

In August, 1647, there was a mighty clamour against the tariff edict imposing a general tax upon all provisions that came into Paris, which the people were resolved to bear no longer. But the gentlemen of the Council being determined to support it, the Queen consulted the members deputed from Parliament, when Cardinal Mazarin, a mere ignoramus in these affairs, said he wondered that so considerable a body as they were should mind such trifles,—an expression truly worthy of Mazarin. However, the Council at length imagining the Parliament would do it, thought fit to suppress the tariff themselves by a declaration, in order to save the King’s credit. Nevertheless, a few days after, they presented five edicts even more oppressive than the tariff, not with any hopes of having them received, but to force the Parliament to restore the tariff. Rather than admit the new ones, the Parliament consented to restore the old one, but with so many qualifications that the Court, despairing to find their account in it, published a decree of the Supreme Council annulling that of the Parliament with all its modifications. But the Chamber of Vacations answered it by another, enjoining the decree of Parliament to be put in execution. The Council, seeing they could get no money by this method, acquainted the Parliament that, since they would receive no new edicts, they could do no less than encourage the execution of such edicts as they had formerly ratified; and thereupon they trumped up a declaration which had been registered two years before for the establishment of the Chamber of Domain, which was a terrible charge upon the people, had very pernicious consequences, and which the Parliament had passed, either through a surprise or want of better judgment. The people mutinied, went in crowds to the Palace, and used very abusive language to the President de Thore, Emeri’s son. The Parliament was obliged to pass a decree against the mutineers.

The Court, overjoyed to see the Parliament and the people together by the ears, supported the decree by a regiment of French and Swiss Guards. The Parisians were alarmed, and got into the belfries of three churches in the street of Saint Denis, where the guards were posted. The Provost ran to acquaint the Court that the city was just taking arms. Upon which they ordered the troops to retire, and pretended they were posted there for no other end than to attend the King as he went to the Church of Notre Dame; and the better to cover their design, the King went next day in great pomp to the said church, and the day after he went to Parliament, without giving notice of his coming till very late the night before, and carried with him five or six edicts more destructive than the former. The First President spoke very boldly against bringing the King into the House after this manner, to surprise the members and infringe upon their liberty of voting. Next day the Masters of Requests, to whom one of these edicts, confirmed in the King’s presence, had added twelve colleagues, met and took a firm resolution not to admit of this new creation. The Queen sent for them, told them they were very pretty gentlemen to oppose the King’s will, and forbade them to come to Council. Instead of being frightened, they were the more provoked, and, going into the Great Hall, demanded that they might have leave to enter their protest against the edict for creating new members, which was granted.

The Chambers being assembled the same day to examine the edicts which the King had caused to be ratified in his presence, the Queen commanded them to attend her by their deputies in the Palais Royal, and told them she was surprised that they pretended to meddle with what had been consecrated by the presence of the King. These were the very words of the Chancellor. The First President answered that it was the custom of Parliament, and showed the necessity of it for preserving the liberty of voting. The Queen seemed to be satisfied; but, finding some days after that the Parliament was consulting as to qualifying those edicts, and so render them of little or no use, she ordered the King’s Council to forbid the Parliament meddling with the King’s edicts till they had declared formally whether they intended to limit the King’s authority. Those members that were in the Court interest artfully took advantage of the dilemma the Parliament was in to answer the question, and, in order to mollify them, tacked a clause to the decrees which specified the restrictions, namely, that all should be executed according to the good pleasure of the King. This clause pleased the Queen for a while, but when she perceived that it did not prevent the rejecting of almost any other edict by the common suffrage of the Parliament, she flew into a passion, and told them plainly that she would have all the edicts, without exception, fully executed, without any modifications whatsoever.

Not long after this, the Court of Aids, the Chamber of Accounts, the Grand Council, and the Parliament formed a union which was pretended to be for the reformation of the State, but was more probably calculated for the private interest of the officers, whose salaries were lessened by one of the said edicts. And the Court, being alarmed and utterly perplexed by the decree for the said union, endeavoured, as much as in them lay, to give it this turn, to make the people have a mean opinion of it. The Queen acquainted the Parliament by some of the King’s Council that, seeing this union was entered into for the particular interest of the companies, and not for the reformation of the State, as they endeavoured to persuade her, she had nothing to say to it, as everybody is at liberty to represent his case to the King, but never to intermeddle with the government of the State.

The Parliament did not relish this ensnaring discourse, and because they were exasperated by the Court’s apprehending some of the members of the Grand Council, they thought of nothing but justifying and supporting their decree of union by finding out precedents, which they accordingly met with in the registers, and were going to consider how to put it in execution when one of the Secretaries of State came to the bar of the house, and put into the hands of the King’s Council a decree of the Supreme Council which, in very truculent terms, annulled that of the union. Upon this the Parliament desired a meeting with the deputies of the other three bodies, at which the Court was enraged, and had recourse to the mean expedient of getting the very original decree of union out of the hands of the chief registrar; for that end they sent the Secretary of State and a lieutenant of the Guards, who put him into a coach to drive him to the office, but the people perceiving it, were up in arms immediately, and both the secretary and lieutenant were glad to get off.

After this there was a great division in the Council, and some said the Queen was disposed to arrest the Parliament; but none but herself was of that opinion, which, indeed, was not likely to be acted upon, considering how the people then stood affected. Therefore a more moderate course was taken. The Chancellor reprimanded the Parliament in the presence of the King and Court, and ordered a second decree of Council to be read and registered instead of the union decree, forbidding them to assemble under pain of being treated as rebels. They met, nevertheless, in defiance of the said decree, and had several days’ consultation, upon which the Duc d’Orleans, who was very sensible they would never comply, proposed an accommodation. Accordingly Cardinal Mazarin and the Chancellor made some proposals, which were rejected with indignation. The Parliament affected to be altogether concerned for the good of the public, and issued a decree obliging themselves to continue their session and to make humble remonstrances to the King for annulling the decrees of the Council.

The King’s Council having obtained audience of the Queen for the Parliament, the First President strenuously urged the great necessity of inviolably preferring that golden mean between the King and the subject; proved that the Parliament had been for many ages in possession of full authority to unite and assemble; complained against the annulling of their decree of union, and concluded with a very earnest motion for suppressing decrees of the Supreme Council made in opposition to theirs. The Court, being moved more by the disposition of the people than by the remonstrances of the Parliament, complied immediately, and ordered the King’s Council to acquaint the Parliament that the King would permit the act of union to be executed, and that they might assemble and act in concert with the other bodies for the good of the State.

You may judge how the Cabinet was mortified, but the vulgar were much mistaken in thinking that the weakness of Mazarin upon this occasion gave the least blow to the royal authority. In that conjuncture it was impossible for him to act otherwise, for if he had continued inflexible on this occasion he would certainly have been reckoned a madman and surrounded with barricades. He only yielded to the torrent, and yet most people accused him of weakness. It is certain this affair brought him into great contempt, and though he endeavoured to appease the people by the banishment of Emeri, yet the Parliament, perceiving what ascendancy they had over the Court, left no stone unturned to demolish the power of this overgrown favourite.

The Cardinal, made desperate by the failure of his stratagems to create jealousy among the four bodies, and alarmed at a proposition which they were going to make for cancelling all the loans made to the King upon excessive interest,—the Cardinal, I say, being quite mad with rage and grief at these disappointments, and set on by courtiers who had most of their stocks in these loans, made the King go on horseback to the Parliament House in great pomp, and carry a wheedling declaration with him, which contained some articles very advantageous to the public, and a great many others very ambiguous. But the people were so jealous of the Court that he went without the usual acclamations. The declaration was soon after censured by the Parliament and the other bodies, though the Duc d’Orleans exhorted and prayed that they would not meddle with it, and threatened them if they did.

The Parliament also passed a decree declaring that no money should be raised without verified declarations, which so provoked the Court that they resolved to proceed to extremities, and to make use of the signal victory which was obtained at Lens on the 24th of August, 1648, to dazzle the eyes of the people and gain their consent to oppressing the Parliament.

All the humours of the State were so disturbed by the great troubles at Paris, the fountainhead, that I foresaw a fever would be the certain consequence, because the physician had not the skill to prevent it. As I owed the coadjutorship of the archbishopric to the Queen, I thought it my duty in every circumstance to sacrifice my resentment, and even the probability of glory, to gratitude; and notwithstanding all the solicitations of Montresor and Laigues, I made a firm resolution to stick close to my own business and not to engage in anything that was either said or done against the Court at that time. Montresor had been brought up from his youth in the faction of the Duc d’Orleans, and, having more wit than courage, was so much the more dangerous an adviser in great affairs; men of this cast only suggest measures and leave them to be executed by others. Laigues, on the other hand, who was entirely governed by Montresor, had not much brains, but was all bravery and feared nothing; men of this character dare do anything they are set upon by those who confide in them.

Finding that my innocence and integrity gained me no friends at Court, and that I had nothing to expect from the Minister, who mortally hated me, I resolved to be upon my guard, by acting in respect to the Court with as much freedom as zeal and sincerity; and in respect to the city, by carefully preserving my friends, and doing everything necessary to get, or, rather, to keep, the love of the people. To maintain my interest in the city, I laid out 36,000 crowns in alms and other bounties, from the 26th of March to the 25th of August, 1648; and to please the Court I told the Queen and Cardinal how the Parisians then stood affected, which they never knew before, through flattery and prejudice. I also complained to the Queen of the Cardinal’s cunning and dissimulation, and made use of the same intimations which I had given to the Court to show the Parliament that I had done all in my power to clearly inform the Ministry of everything and to disperse the clouds always cast over their understandings by the interest of inferior officers and the flattery of courtiers. This made the Cardinal break with me and thwart me openly at every opportunity, insomuch that when I was telling the Queen in his presence that the people in general were so soured that nothing but lenitives could abate their rancour, he answered me with the Italian fable of the wolf who swore to a flock of sheep that he would protect them against all his comrades provided one of them would come every morning and lick a wound he had received from a dog. He entertained me with the like witticisms three or four months together, of which this was one of the most favourable, whereupon I made these reflections that it was more unbecoming a Minister of State to say silly things than to do them, and that any advice given him was criminal.

The Cardinal pretended that the success of the King’s arms at Lens had so mortified the Court that the Parliament and the other bodies, who expected they would take a sharp revenge on them for their late conduct, would have the great satisfaction of being disappointed. I own I was fool enough to believe him, and was perfectly transported at the thought; but with what sincerity the Cardinal spoke will appear by and by.

On the 26th of August, 1648, the worthy Broussel, councillor of the Grand Chamber, and Rene Potier, Sieur de Blancmenil, President of the Inquests, were both arrested by the Queen’s officers. It is impossible to express the sudden consternation of all men, women, and children in Paris at this proceeding. The people stared at one another for awhile without saying a word. But this profound silence was suddenly attended with a confused noise of running, crying, and shutting up of shops, upon which I thought it my duty to go and wait upon the Queen, though I was sorely vexed to see how my credulity had been abused but the night before at Court, when I was desired to tell all my friends in Parliament that the victory of Lens had only disposed the Court more and more to leniency and moderation. When I came to the New Market, on my way to Court, I was surrounded with swarms of people making a frightful outcry, and had great difficulty in getting through the crowd till I had told them the Queen would certainly do them justice. The very boys hissed the soldiers of the Guard and pelted them with stones. Their commander, the Marechal de La Meilleraye, perceiving the clouds began to thicken on all sides, was overjoyed to see me, and would go with me to Court and tell the whole truth of the matter to the Queen. The people followed us in vast numbers, calling out, "Broussel, Broussel!"

The Queen, whom we found in her Cabinet Council with Mazarin and others, received me neither well nor ill, was too proud and too much out of temper to confess any shame for what she had told me the night before, and the Cardinal had not modesty enough to blush. Nevertheless he seemed very much confused, and gave some obscure hints by which I could perceive he would have me to believe that there were very sudden and extraordinary reasons which had obliged the Queen to take such measures. I simulated approval of what he said, but all the answer I returned was that I had come thither, as in duty bound, to receive the Queen’s orders and to contribute all in my power to restore the public peace and tranquillity. The Queen gave a gracious nod, but I understood afterwards that she put a sinister interpretation upon my last speech, which was nevertheless very inoffensive and perfectly consonant to my character as Coadjutor of Paris; but it is a true saying that in the Courts of princes a capacity of doing good is as dangerous and almost as criminal as a will to do mischief.

The Marechal de La Meilleraye, finding that the Abbe de la Riviere and others made mere jest and banter of the insurrection, fell into a great passion, spoke very sharply, and appealed to me. I freely gave my testimony, confirmed his account of the insurrection, and seconded him in his reflections upon the future consequences. We had no other return from the Cardinal than a malicious sneer, but the Queen lifted up her shrill voice to the highest note of indignation, and expressed herself to this effect: "It is a sign of disaffection to imagine that the people are capable of revolting. These are ridiculous stories that come from persons who talk as they would have it; the King’s authority will set matters right."

The Cardinal, perceiving that I was a little nettled, endeavoured to soothe me by this address to the Queen: "Would to God, madame, that all men did but talk with the same sincerity as the Coadjutor of Paris. He is greatly concerned for his flock, for the city, and for your Majesty’s authority, and though I am persuaded that the danger is not so great as he imagines, yet his scruples in this case are to be commended in him as laudable and religious." The Queen understood the meaning of this cant, recovered herself all of a sudden, and spoke to me very civilly; to which I answered with profound respect and so innocent a countenance that La Riviere said, whispering to Beautru, "See what it is not to be always at Court! The Coadjutor knows the world and is a man of sense, yet takes all the Queen has said to be in earnest."

The truth is, the Cabinet seemed to consist of persons acting the several parts of a comedy. I played the innocent, but was not so, at least in that affair. The Cardinal acted the part of one who thought himself secure, but was much less confident than he appeared. The Queen affected to be good-humoured, and yet was never more ill-tempered. M. de Longueville put on the marks of sorrow and sadness while his heart leaped for joy, for no man living took a greater pleasure than he to promote all broils. The Duc d’Orleans personated hurry and, passion in speaking to the Queen, yet would whistle half an hour together with the utmost indolence. The Marechal de Villeroy put on gaiety, the better to make his court to the Prime Minister, though he privately owned to me, with tears in his eyes, that he saw the State was upon the brink of ruin. Beautru and Nogent acted the part of buffoons, and to please the Queen, personated old Broussel’s nurse (for he was eighty years of age), stirring up the people to sedition, though both of them knew well enough that their farce might perhaps soon end in a real tragedy.

The Abby de la Riviere was the only man who pretended to be fully persuaded that the insurrection of the people was but vapour, and he maintained it to the Queen, who was willing to believe him, though she had been satisfied to the contrary; and the conduct of the Queen, who had the courage of a heroine, and the temper of La Riviere, who was the most notorious poltroon of his time, furnished me with this remark: That a blind rashness and an extravagant fear produce the same effects while the danger is unknown.

The Marechal de La Meilleraye assumed the style and bravado of a captain when a lieutenant-colonel of the Guards suddenly came to tell the Queen that the citizens threatened to force the Guards, and, being naturally hasty and choleric, was transported even with fury and madness. He cried out that he would perish rather than suffer such insolence, and asked leave to take the Guards, the officers of the Household, and even all the courtiers he could find in the antechambers, with whom he would engage to rout the whole mob. The Queen was greatly in favour of it, but nobody else, and events proved that it was well they did not come into it. At the same time entered the Chancellor, a man who had never spoken a word of truth in his whole life; but now, his complaisance yielding to his fear, he spoke directly according to what he had seen in the streets. I observed that the Cardinal was startled at the boldness of a man in whom he had never seen anything like it before. But Senneterre, coming in just after him, removed all their apprehensions in a trice by assuring them that the fury of the people began to cool, that they did not take arms, and that with a little patience all would be well again.

There is nothing so dangerous as flattery at a juncture where he that is flattered is in fear, because the desire he has not to be terrified inclines him to believe anything that hinders him from applying any remedy to what he is afraid of. The news that was brought every moment made them trifle away that time which should have been employed for the preservation of the State. Old Guitaut, a man of no great sense, but heartily well affected, was more impatient than all the rest, and said that he did not conceive how it was possible for people to be asleep in the present state of affairs; he muttered something more which I could not well hear, but it seemed to bear very hard upon the Cardinal, who owed him no goodwill.

The Cardinal answered, "Well, M. Guitaut, what would you have us do?"

Guitaut said, very bluntly, "Let the old rogue Broussel be restored to the people, either dead or alive."

I said that to restore him dead was inconsistent with the Queen’s piety and prudence, but to restore him alive would probably put a stop to the tumult.

At these words the Queen reddened, and cried aloud, "I understand you, M. le Coadjutor. You would have me set Broussel at liberty; but I will strangle him sooner with these hands,"—throwing her head as it were into my face at the last word, "and those who—"

The Cardinal, believing that she was going to say all to me that rage could inspire, advanced and whispered in her ear, upon which she became composed to such a degree that, had I not known her too well, I should have thought her at her ease. The lieutenant de police came that instant into the Cabinet with a deadly pale aspect. I never saw fear so well and ridiculously represented in any Italian comedy as the fright which he appeared in before the Queen. How admirable is the sympathy of fearful souls! Neither the Cardinal nor the Queen were much moved at what M. de La Meilleraye had strongly urged on them, but the fears of the lieutenant seized them like an infection, so that they were all on a sudden metamorphosed. They ridiculed me no longer, and suffered it to be debated whether or no it was expedient to restore Broussel to the people before they took arms, as they had threatened to do. Here I reflected that it is more natural to the passion of fear to consult than to determine.

The Cardinal proposed that I, as the fittest person, should go and assure the people that the Queen would consent to the restoration of Broussel, provided they would disperse. I saw the snare, but could not get away from it, the rather because Meilleraye dragged me, as it were, to go along with him,—telling her Majesty that he would dare to appear in the streets in my company, and that he did not question but we should do wonders. I said that I did not doubt it either, provided the Queen would order a promise to be drawn in due form for restoring the prisoners, because I had not credit enough with the people to be believed upon my bare word. They praised my modesty, Meilleraye was assured of success, and they said the Queen’s word was better than all writings whatsoever. In a word, I was made the catspaw, and found myself under the necessity of acting the most ridiculous part that perhaps ever fell to any man’s share. I endeavoured to reply; but the Duc d’Orleans pushed me out gently with both hands, saying, "Go and restore peace to the State;" and the Marshal hurried me away, the Life-guards carrying me along in their arms, and telling me that none but myself could remedy this evil. I went out in my rochet and camail, dealing out benedictions to the people on my right and left, preaching obedience, exerting all my endeavours to appease the tumult, and telling them the Queen had assured me that, provided they would disperse, she would restore Broussel.

The violence of the Marshal hardly gave me time to express myself, for he instantly put himself at the head of the Horse-guards, and, advancing sword in hand, cried aloud, "God bless the King, and liberty to Broussel!" but being seen more than he was heard, his drawn sword did more harm than his proclaiming liberty to Broussel did good. The people took to their arms and had an encounter with the Marshal, upon which I threw myself into the crowd, and expecting that both sides would have some regard to my robes and dignity, the Marshal ordered the Light-horse to fire no more, and the citizens with whom he was engaged held their hands; but others of them continued firing and throwing stones, by one of which I was knocked down, and had no sooner got up than a citizen was going to knock me down with a musket. Though I did not know his name, yet I had the presence of mind to cry out, "Forbear, wretch; if thy father did but see thee—" He thereupon concluded I knew his father very well, though I had never seen him; and I believe that made him the more curious to survey me, when, taking particular notice of my robes, he asked me if I was the Coadjutor. Upon which I was presently made known to the whole body, followed by the multitude which way soever I went, and met with a body of ruffians all in arms, whom, with abundance of flattery, caresses, entreaties, and menaces, I prevailed on to lay down their weapons; and it was this which saved the city, for had they continued in arms till night, the city had certainly been plundered.

I went accompanied by 30,000 or 40,000 men without arms, and met the Marechal de La Meilleraye, who I thought would have stifled me with embraces, and who said these very words: "I am foolhardy and brutal; I had like to have ruined the State, and you have saved it; come, let us go to the Queen and talk to her like true, honest Frenchmen; and let us set down the day of the month, that when the King comes of age our testimony may be the means of hanging up those pests of the State, those infamous flatterers, who pretended to the Queen that this affair was but a trifle." To the Queen he presently hurried me, and said to her, "Here is a man that has not only saved my life, but your Guards and the whole Court."

The Queen gave an odd smile which I did not very well like, but I would not seem to take any notice of it, and to stop Meilleraye in his encomium upon me, I assumed the discourse myself, and said, "Madame, we are not come upon my account, but to tell you that the city of Paris, disarmed and submissive, throws herself at your Majesty’s feet."

"Not so submissive as guilty," replied the Queen, with a face full of fire; "if the people were so raging as I was made to believe, how came they to be so soon subdued?"

The Marshal fell into a passion, and said, with an oath, "Madame, an honest man cannot flatter you when things are come to such an extremity. If you do not set Broussel at liberty this very day, there will not be left one stone upon another in Paris by tomorrow morning."

I was going to support what the Marshal had said, but the Queen stopped my mouth by telling me, with an air of banter, "Go to rest, sir; you have done a mighty piece of work."

When I returned home, I found an incredible number of people expecting me, who forced me to get upon the top of my coach to give them an account of what success I had had at Court. I told them that the Queen had declared her satisfaction in their submission, and that she told me it was the only method they could have taken for the deliverance of the prisoners. I added other persuasives to pacify the commonalty, and they dispersed the sooner because it was supper-time; for you must know that the people of Paris, even those that are the busiest in all such commotions, do not care to lose their meals.

I began to perceive that I had engaged my reputation too far in giving the people any grounds to hope for the liberation of Broussel, though I had particularly avoided giving them my word of honour, and I apprehended that the Court would lay hold of this occasion to destroy me effectually in the opinion of the people by making them believe that I acted in concert with the Court only, to amuse and deceive them.

While I was making these and the like reflections, Montresor came and told me that I was quite mistaken if I thought to be a great gainer by the late expedition; that the Queen was not pleased with my proceedings, and that the Court was persuaded that I did what lay in my power to promote the insurrection. I confess I gave no credit to what Montresor said, for though I saw they made a jest of me in the Queen’s Cabinet, I hoped that their malice did not go so far as to diminish the merit of the service I had rendered, and never imagined that they could be capable of turning it into a crime. Laigues, too, came from Court and told me that I was publicly laughed at, and charged with having fomented the insurrection instead of appeasing it; that I had been ridiculed two whole hours and exposed to the smart raillery of Beautru, to the buffoonery of Nogent, to the pleasantries of La Riviere, to the false compassion of the Cardinal, and to the loud laughter of the Queen.

You may guess that I was not a little moved at this, but I rather felt a slight annoyance than any transport of passion. All sorts of notions came into my mind, and all as suddenly passed away. I sacrificed with little or no scruple all the sweetest and brightest images which the memory of past conspiracies presented in crowds to my mind as soon as the ill-treatment I now publicly met with gave me reason to think that I might with honour engage myself in new ones. The obligations I had to her Majesty made me reject all these thoughts, though I must confess I was brought up in them from my infancy, and Laigues and Montresor could have never shaken my resolution either by insinuating motives or making reproaches, if Argenteuil, a gentleman firmly attached to my interest, had not come into my room that moment with a frightened countenance and said:

"You are undone; the Marechal de La Meilleraye has charged me to tell you that he verily thinks the devil is in the courtiers, who has put it into their heads that you have done all in your power to stir up the sedition. The Marechal de La Meilleraye has laboured earnestly to inform the Queen and Cardinal of the truth of the whole matter, but both have ridiculed him for his attempt. The Marshal said he could not excuse the injury they did you, but could not sufficiently admire the contempt they always had for the tumult, of which they foretold the consequence as if they had the gift of prophecy, always affirming that it would vanish in a night, as it really has, for he hardly met a soul in the streets."

He added that fires so quickly extinguished as this were not likely to break out again; that he conjured me to provide for my own safety; that the King’s authority would shine out the next day with all the lustre imaginable; that the Court seemed resolved not to let slip this fatal conjuncture, and that I was to be made the first public example.

Argenteuil said: "Villeroy did not tell me so much, because he durst not; but he so squeezed my hand ’en passant’ that I am apt to think he knows a great deal more, and I must tell you that they have very good reason for their apprehensions, because there is not a soul to be seen in the streets, and to-morrow they may take up whom they list."

Montresor, who would be thought to know all things beforehand, said that he was assured it would be so and that he had foretold it. Laigues bewailed my conduct, which he said had raised the compassion of all my friends, although it had been their ruin. Upon this I desired to be left about a quarter of an hour to myself, during which, reflecting how I had been provoked and the public threatened, my scruples vanished; I gave rein to all my thoughts, recollected that all the glorious ideas which have ever entered my imagination were most concerned with vast designs, and suffered my mind to be regaled with the pleasing hopes of being the head of a party, a position which I had always admired in Plutarch’s "Lives." The inconsistency of my scheme with my character made me tremble. A world of incidents may happen when the virtues in the leader of a party may be vices in an archbishop. I had this view a thousand times, and it always gave place to the duty I thought I owed to her Majesty, but the remembrance of what had passed at the Queen’s table, and the resolution there taken to ruin me with the public, having banished all scruples, I joyfully determined to abandon my destiny to all the impulses of glory. I said to my friends that the whole Court was witness of the harsh treatment I had met with for above a year in the King’s palace, and I added: "The public is engaged to defend my honour, but the public being now about to be sacrificed, I am obliged to defend it against oppression. Our circumstances are not so bad as you imagine, gentlemen, and before twelve o’clock to-morrow I shall be master of Paris."

My two friends thought I was mad, and began to counsel moderation, whereas before they always incited me to action; but I did not give them hearing. I immediately sent for Miron, Accountant-General, one of the city colonels, a man of probity and courage, and having great interest with the people. I consulted with him, and he executed his commission with so much discretion and bravery that above four hundred considerable citizens were posted up and down in platoons with no more noise and stir than if so many Carthusian novices had been assembled for contemplation. After having given orders for securing certain gates and bars of the city, I went to sleep, and was told next morning that no soldiers had appeared all night, except a few troopers, who just took a view of the platoons of the citizens and then galloped off. Hence it was inferred that our precautions had prevented the execution of the design formed against particular persons, but it was believed there was some mischief hatching at the Chancellor’s against the public, because sergeants were running backwards and forwards, and Ondedei went thither four times in two hours.

Being informed soon after that the Chancellor was going to the Palace with all the pomp of magistracy, and that two companies of Swiss Guards approached the suburbs, I gave my orders in two words, which were executed in two minutes. Miron ordered the citizens to take arms, and Argenteuil, disguised as a mason, with a rule in his hand, charged the Swiss in flank, killed twenty or thirty, dispersed the rest, and took one of their colours. The Chancellor, hemmed in on every side, narrowly escaped with his life to the Hotel d’O, which the people broke open, rushed in with fury, and, as God would have it, fell immediately to plundering, so that they forgot to force open a little chamber where both the Chancellor and his brother, the Bishop of Meaux, to whom he was confessing, lay concealed. The news of this occurrence ran like wildfire through the whole city. Men and women were immediately up in arms, and mothers even put daggers into the hands of their children. In less than two hours there were erected above two hundred barricades, adorned with all the standards and colours that the League had left entire. All the cry was, "God bless the King!" sometimes, "God bless the Coadjutor!" and the echo was, "No Mazarin!"

The Queen sent her commands to me to use my interest to appease the tumult. I answered the messenger, very coolly, that I had forfeited my credit with the people on account of yesterday’s transactions, and that I did not dare to go abroad. The messenger had heard the cry of "God bless the Coadjutor!" and would fain have persuaded me that I was the favourite of the people, but I strove as much to convince him of the contrary.

The Court minions of the two last centuries knew not what they did when they reduced that effectual regard which kings ought to have for their subjects into mere style and form; for there are, as you see, certain conjunctures in which, by a necessary consequence, subjects make a mere form also of the real obedience which they owe to their sovereigns.

The Parliament hearing the cries of the people for Broussel, after having ordered a decree against Cominges, lieutenant of the Queen’s Guards, who had arrested him, made it death for all who took the like commissions for the future, and decreed that an information should be drawn up against those who had given that advice, as disturbers of the public peace. Then the Parliament went in a body, in their robes, to the Queen, with the First President at their head, and amid the acclamations of the people, who opened all their barricades to let them pass. The First President represented to the Queen, with becoming freedom, that the royal word had been prostituted a thousand times over by scandalous and even childish evasions, defeating resolutions most useful and necessary for the State. He strongly exaggerated the mighty danger of the State from the city being all in arms; but the Queen, who feared nothing because she knew little, flew into a passion and raved like a fury, saying, "I know too well that there is an uproar in the city, but you Parliamentarians, together with your wives and children, shall be answerable for it all;" and with that she retired into another chamber and shut the door after her with violence. The members, who numbered about one hundred and sixty, were going down-stairs; but the First President persuaded them to go up and try the Queen once more, and meeting with the Duc d’Orleans, he, with a great deal of persuasion, introduced twenty of them into the presence-chamber, where the First President made another effort with the Queen, by setting forth the terrors of the enraged metropolis up in arms, but she would hear nothing, and went into the little gallery.

Upon this the Cardinal advanced and proposed to surrender the prisoner, provided the Parliament would promise to hold no more assemblies. They were going to consider this proposal upon the spot, but, thinking that the people would be inclined to believe that the Parliament had been forced if they gave their votes at the Palais Royal, they resolved to adjourn to their own House.

The Parliament, returning and saying nothing about the liberation of Broussel, were received by the people with angry murmurs instead of with loud acclamations. They appeased those at the first two barricades by telling them that the Queen had promised them satisfaction; but those at the third barricade would not be paid in that coin, for a journeyman cook, advancing with two hundred men, pressed his halberd against the First President, saying, "Go back, traitor, and if thou hast a mind to save thy life, bring us Broussel, or else Mazarin and the Chancellor as hostages."

Upon this five presidents ’au mortier’ and about twenty councillors fell back into the crowd to make their escape; the First President only, the most undaunted man of the age, continued firm and intrepid. He rallied the members as well as he could, maintaining still the authority of a magistrate, both in his words and behaviour, and went leisurely back to the King’s palace, through volleys of abuse, menaces, curses, and blasphemies. He had a kind of eloquence peculiar to himself, knew nothing of interjections, was not very exact in his speech, but the force of it made amends for that; and being naturally bold, never spoke so well as when he was in danger, insomuch that when he returned to the Palace he even outdid himself, for it is certain that he moved the hearts of all present except the Queen, who continued inflexible. The Duc d’Orleans was going to throw himself at her feet, which four or five Princesses, trembling with fear, actually did. The Cardinal, whom a young councillor jestingly advised to go out into the streets and see how the people stood affected, did at last join with the bulk of the Court, and with much ado the Queen condescended to bid the members go and consult what was fitting to be done, agreed to set the prisoners at liberty, restored Broussel to the people, who carried him upon their heads with loud acclamations, broke down their barricades, opened their shops, and in two hours Paris was more quiet than ever I saw it upon a Good Friday.

As to the primum mobile of this revolution, it was owing to no other cause than a deviation from the laws, which so alters the opinions of the people that many times a faction is formed before the change is so much as perceived.

This little reflection, with what has been said, may serve to confute those who pretend that a faction without a head is never to be feared. It grows up sometimes in a night. The commotion I have been speaking of, which was so violent and lasting, did not appear to have any leader for a whole year; but at last there rose up in one moment a much greater number than was necessary for the party.

The morning after the barricades were removed, the Queen sent for me, treated me with all the marks of kindness and confidence, said that if she had hearkened to me she would not have experienced the late disquietness; that the Cardinal was not to blame for it, but that Chavigni had been the sole cause of her misfortunes, to whose pernicious counsels she had paid more deference than to the Cardinal. "But; good God!" she suddenly exclaimed, "will you not get that rogue Beautru soundly thrashed, who has paid so little respect to your character? The poor Cardinal was very near having it done the other night." I received all this with more respect than credulity. She commanded me to go to the poor Cardinal, to comfort him, and to advise him as to the best means of quieting the populace.

I went without any scruple. He embraced me with a tenderness I am not able to express, said there was not an honest man in France but myself, and that all the rest were infamous flatterers, who had misled the Queen in spite of all his and my good counsels. He protested that he would do nothing for the future without my advice, showed me the foreign despatches, and, in short, was so affable, that honest Broussel, who was likewise present upon his invitation, for all his harmless simplicity, laughed heartily as we were going out, and said that it was all mere buffoonery.

There being a report that the King was to be removed by the Court from Paris, the Queen assured the ’prevot des marchands’ that it was false, and yet the very next day carried him to Ruel. From there I doubted not that she designed to surprise the city, which seemed really astonished at the King’s departure, and I found the hottest members of the Parliament in great consternation, and the more so because news arrived at the same time that General Erlac—[He was Governor of Brisac, and commanded the forces of the Duke of Weimar after the Duke’s death]—had passed the Somme with 4,000 Germans. Now, as in general disturbances one piece of bad news seldom comes singly, five or six stories of this kind were published at the same time, which made me think I should find it as difficult a task to raise the spirits of the people as I had before to restrain them. I was never so nonplussed in all my life. I saw the full extent of the danger, and everything looked terrible. Yet the greatest perils have their charms if never so little glory is discovered in the prospect of ill-success, while the least dangers have nothing but horror when defeat is attended with loss of reputation.

I used all the arguments I could to dissuade the Parliament from making the Court desperate, at least till they had thought of some expedients to defend themselves from its insults, to which they would inevitably have been exposed if the Court had taken time by the forelock, in which, perhaps, they were prevented by the unexpected return of the Prince de Conti. I hereupon formed a resolution which gave me a great deal of uneasiness, but which was firm, because it was the only resolution I had to take. Extremities are always disagreeable, but are the wisest means when absolutely necessary; the best of it is that they admit of no middle course, and if peradventure they are good, they are always decisive.

Fortune favoured my design. The Queen ordered Chavigni to be sent prisoner to Havre-de-Grace. I embraced this opportunity to stir up the natural fears of his dear friend Viole, by telling him that he was a ruined man for doing what he had done at the instigation of Chavigni; that it was plain the King left Paris with a view to attack it, and that he saw as well as I how much the people were dejected; that if their spirits should be quite sunk they could never be raised; that they must be supported; that I would influence the people; and that he should do what he could with the Parliament, who, in my opinion, ought not to be supine, but to be awakened at a juncture when the King’s departure had perfectly drowned their senses, adding that a word in season would infallibly produce this good effect.

Accordingly Viole struck one of the boldest strokes that has perhaps been heard of. He told the Parliament that it was reported Paris was to be besieged; that troops were marching for that end, and the most faithful servants of his late Majesty, who, it was suspected, would oppose designs so pernicious, would be put in chains; that it was necessary for them to address the Queen to bring the King back to Paris; and forasmuch as the author of all these mischiefs was well known, he moved further that the Duc d’Orleans and the officers of the Crown should be desired to come to Parliament to deliberate upon the decree issued in 1617, on account of Marechal d’Ancre, forbidding foreigners to intermeddle in the Government. We thought ourselves that we had touched too high a key, but a lower note would not have awakened or kept awake men whom fear had perfectly stupefied. I have observed that this passion of fear has seldom that influence upon individuals that it generally has upon the mass.

Viole’s proposition at first startled, then rejoiced, and afterwards animated those that heard it. Blancmenil, who before seemed to have no life left in him, had now the courage to point at the Cardinal by name, who hitherto had been described only by the designation of Minister; and the Parliament cheerfully agreed to remonstrate with the Queen, according to Viole’s proposition, not forgetting to pray her Majesty to remove the troops further from Paris, and not to send for the magistrates to take orders for the security of the city.

The President Coigneux whispered to me, saying, "I have no hopes but in you; we shall be undone if you do not work underground." I sat up accordingly all night to prepare instructions for Saint-Ibal to treat with the Count Fuensaldagne, and oblige him to march with the Spanish army, in case of need, to our assistance, and was just going to send him away to Brussels when M. de Chatillon, my friend and kinsman, who mortally hated the Cardinal, came to tell me that the Prince de Conde would be the next day at Ruel; that the Prince was enraged against the Cardinal, and was sure he would ruin the State if he were let alone, and that the Cardinal held a correspondence in cipher with a fellow in the Prince’s army whom he had corrupted, to be informed of everything done there to his prejudice. By all this I learnt that the Prince had no great understanding with the Court, and upon his arrival at Ruel I ventured to go thither.

Both the Queen and the Cardinal were extremely civil, and the latter took particular notice of the Prince’s behaviour to me, who embraced me ’en passant’ in the garden, and spoke very low to me, saying that he would be at my house next day. He kept his word, and desired me to give him an account of the state of affairs, and when I had done so we agreed that I should continue to push the Cardinal by means of the Parliament; that I should take his Highness by night incognito to Longueil and Broussel, to assure them they should not want assistance; that the Prince de Conde should give the Queen all the marks of his respect for and attachment to her, and make all possible reparation for the dissatisfaction he had shown with regard to the Cardinal, that he might thereby insinuate himself into the Queen’s favour, and gradually dispose her to receive and fallow his counsels and hear truths against which she had always stopped her ears, and that by thus letting the Cardinal drop insensibly, rather than fall suddenly, the Prince would find himself master of the Cabinet with the Queer’s approbation, and, with the assistance of his humble servants in Council, arbiter of the national welfare.

The Queen, who went away from Paris to give her troops an opportunity to starve and attack the city, told the deputies sent by Parliament to entreat her to restore the King to Paris that she was extremely surprised and astonished; that the King used every year at that season to take the air, and that his health was much more to be regarded than the imaginary fears of the people. The Prince de Conde, coming in at this juncture, told the President and councillors, who invited him to take his seat in Parliament, that he would not come, but obey the Queen though it should prove his ruin. The Duc d’Orleans said that he would not be there either, because the Parliament had made such proposals as were too bold to be endured, and the Prince de Conti spoke after the same manner.

The next day the King’s Council carried an order of Council to Parliament to put a stop to their debates against foreigners being in the Ministry. This so excited the Parliament that they made a remonstrance in writing, instructed the ’prevot des marchands’ to provide for the safety of the city, ordered all other governors to keep the passages free, and resolved next day to continue the debate against foreign ministers. I laboured all night to ward off the fatal blow, which I was afraid would hurry the Prince, against his will, into the arms of the Court. But when next day came, the members inflamed one another before they sat, through the cursed spirit of formality, and the very men who two days ago were all fear and trembling were suddenly transported, they knew not why, from a well-grounded fear to a blind rage, so that without reflecting that the General had arrived whose very name made them tremble, because they suspected him to be in the interest of the Court, they issued the said decree, which obliged the Queen to send the Duc d’Anjou,—[Philippe of France, only brother to King Louis XIV., afterwards Duc d’Orleans, died suddenly at St. Cloud, in 1701.]—but just recovered from the smallpox, and the Duchesse d’Orleans, much indisposed, out of town.

This would have begun a civil war next day had not the Prince de Conde taken the wisest measures imaginable, though he had a very bad opinion of the Cardinal, both upon the public account and his own, and was as little pleased with the conduct of the Parliament, with whom there was no dealing, either as a body or as private persons. The Prince kept an even pace between the Court and country factions, and he said these words to me, which I can never forget:

"Mazarin does not know what he is doing, and will ruin the State if care be not taken; the Parliament really goes on too fast, as you said they would; if they did but manage according to our scheme, we should be able to settle our own business and that of the public, too; they act with precipitation, and were I to do so, it is probable I should gain more by it than they. But I am Louis de Bourbon, and will not endanger the State. Are those devils in square caps mad to force me either to begin a civil war tomorrow or to ruin every man of them, and set over our heads a Sicilian vagabond who will destroy us all at last?"

In fine, the Prince proposed to set out immediately for Ruel to divert the Court from their project of attacking Paris, and to propose to the Queen that the Duc d’Orleans and himself should write to the Parliament to send deputies to confer about means to relieve the necessities of the State. The Prince saw that I was so overcome at this proposal that he said to me with tenderness, "How different you are from the man you are represented to be at Court! Would to God that all those rogues in the Ministry were but as well inclined as you!"

I told the Prince that, considering how the minds of the Parliament were embittered, I doubted whether they would care to confer with the Cardinal; that his Highness would gain a considerable point if he could prevail with the Court not to insist upon the necessity of the Cardinal’s presence, because then all the honour of the arrangement, in which the Duc d’Orleans, as usual, would only be as a cipher, would redound to him, and that such exclusion of the Cardinal would disgrace his Ministry to the last degree, and be a very proper preface to the blow which the Prince designed to give him in the Cabinet.

The Prince profited by the hint, so that the Parliament returned answer that they would send deputies to confer with the Princes only, which last words the Prince artfully laid hold of and advised Mazarin not to expose himself by coming to the conference against the Parliament’s consent, but rather, like a wise man, to make a virtue of the present necessity. This was a cruel blow to the Cardinal, who ever since the decease of the late King had been recognised as Prime Minister of France; and the consequences were equally disastrous.

The deputies being accordingly admitted to a conference with the Duc d’Orleans, the Princes de Conde and Conti and M. de Longueville, the First President, Viole, who had moved in Parliament that the decree might be renewed for excluding foreigners from the Ministry, inveighed against the imprisonment of M. de Chavigni; who was no member, yet the President insisted upon his being set at liberty, because, according to the laws of the realm, no person ought to be detained in custody above twenty-four hours without examination. This occasioned a considerable debate, and the Duc d’Orldans, provoked at this expression, said that the President’s aim was to cramp the royal authority. Nevertheless the latter vigorously maintained his argument, and was unanimously seconded by all the deputies, for which they were next day applauded in Parliament. In short, the thing was pushed so far that the Queen was obliged to consent to a declaration that for the future no man whatever should be detained in prison above three days without being examined. By this means Chavigni was set at liberty. Several other conferences were held, in which the Chancellor treated the First President of the Parliament with a sort of contempt that was almost brutal. Nevertheless the Parliament carried all before them.

In October, 1648, the Parliament adjourned, and the Queen soon after returned to Paris with the King.

The Cardinal, who aimed at nothing more than to ruin my credit with the people, sent me 4,000 crowns as a present from the Queen, for the services which she said I intended her on the day of the barricade; and who, think you, should be the messenger to bring it but my friend the Marechal de La Meilleraye, the man who before warned me of the sinister intentions of the Court, and who now was so credulous as to believe that I was their favourite, because the Cardinal was pleased to say how much he was concerned for the injustice he had done me; which I only mention to remark that those people over whom the Court has once got an ascendency cannot help believing whatever they would have them believe, and the ministers only are to blame if they do not deceive them. But I would not be persuaded by the Marshal as he had been by the Cardinal, and therefore I refused the said sum very civilly, and, I am sure, with as much sincerity as the Court offered it.

But the Cardinal laid another trap for me that I was not aware of,—by tempting me with the proffer of the Government of Paris; and when I had shown a willingness to accept it, he found means to break off the treaty I was making for that purpose with the Prince de Guemende, who had the reversion of it, and then represented me to the people as one who only sought my own interest. Instead of profiting by this blunder, which I might have done to my own advantage, I added another to it, and said all that rage could prompt me against the Cardinal to one who told it to him again.

To return now to public affairs. About the feast of Saint Martin the people were so excited that they seemed as if they had been all intoxicated with gathering in the vintage; and you are now going to be entertained with scenes in comparison to which the past are but trifles.

There is no affair but has its critical minute, which a bold statesmanship knows how to lay hold of, and which, if missed, especially in the revolution of kingdoms, you run the great risk of losing altogether.

Every one now found their advantage in the declaration,—that is, if they understood their own interest. The Parliament had the honour of reestablishing public order. The Princes, too, had their share in this honour, and the first-fruits of it, which were respect and security. The people had a considerable comfort in it, by being eased of a load of above sixty millions; and if the Cardinal had had but the sense to make a virtue of necessity, which is one of the most necessary qualifications of a minister of State, he might, by an advantage always inseparable from favourites, have appropriated to himself the greatest part of the merit, even of those things he had most opposed.

But these advantages were all lost through the most trivial considerations. The people, upon the discontinuation of the Parliamentary assemblies, resumed their savage temper, and were scared by the approach of a few troops at which it was ridiculous to take the least umbrage. The Parliament was too apt to give ear to every groundless tale of the non-execution of their declarations. The Duc d’Orleans saw all the good he was capable of doing and part of the evil he had power to prevent, but neither was strong enough to influence his fearful temper; he was unconscious of the coming and fatal blow. The Prince de Conde, who saw the evil to its full extent, was too courageous by nature to fear the consequences; he was inclined to do good, but would do it only in his own way. His age, his humour, and his victories hindered him from associating patience with activity, nor was he acquainted, unfortunately, with this maxim so necessary for princes,—"always to sacrifice the little affairs to the greater;" and the Cardinal, being ignorant of our ways, daily confounded the most weighty with the most trifling.

The Parliament, who met on the 2d of January, 1649, resolved to enforce the execution of the declaration, which, they pretended, had been infringed in all its articles; and the Queen was resolved to retire from Paris with the King and the whole Court. The Queen was guided by the Cardinal, and the Duc d’Orleans by La Riviere, the most sordid and selfinterested man of the age in which he lived. As for the Prince de Conde, he began to be disgusted with the unseasonable proceedings of the Parliament almost as soon as he had concerted measures with Broussel and Longueil, which distaste, joined to the kindly attentions of the Queen, the apparent submission of the Cardinal, and an hereditary inclination received from his parents to keep well with the Court, cramped the resolutions of his great soul. I bewailed this change in his behaviour both for my own and the public account, but much more for his sake. I loved him as much as I honoured him, and clearly saw the precipice.

I had divers conferences with him, in which I found that his disgust was turned into wrath and indignation. He swore there was no bearing with the insolence and impertinence of those citizens who struck at the royal authority; that as long as he thought they aimed only at Mazarin he was on their side; that I myself had often confessed that no certain measures could be concerted with men who changed their opinions every quarter of an hour; that he could never condescend to be General of an army of fools, with whom no wise man would entrust himself; besides that, he was a Prince of the blood, and would not be instrumental in giving a shock to the Throne; and that the Parliament might thank themselves if they were ruined through not observing the measures agreed on.

This was the substance of my answer: "No men are more bound by interest than the Parliament to maintain the royal authority, so that they cannot be thought to have a design to ruin the State, though their proceedings may have a tendency that way. It must be owned, therefore, that if the sovereign people do evil, it is only when they are not able to act as well as they would. A skilful minister, who knows how to manage large bodies of men as well as individuals, keeps up such a due balance between the Prince’s authority and the people’s obedience as to make all things succeed and prosper. But the present Prime Minister has neither judgment nor strength to adjust the pendulum of this State clock, the springs of which are out of order. His business is to make it go slower, which, I own, he attempts to do, but very awkwardly, because he has not the brains for it. In this lies the fault of our machine. Your Highness is in the right to set about the mending of it, because nobody else is capable of doing it; but in order to do this must you join with those that would knock it in pieces?

"You are convinced of the Cardinal’s extravagances, and that his only view is to establish in France a form of government known nowhere but in Italy. If he should succeed, will the State be a gainer by it, according to its only true maxims? Would it be an advantage to the Princes of the blood in any sense? But, besides, has he any likelihood of succeeding? Is he not loaded with the odium and contempt of the public? and is not the Parliament the idol they revere? I know you despise them because the Court is so well armed, but let me tell you that they are so confident of their power that they feel their importance. They are come to that pass that they do not value your forces, and though the evil is that at present their strength consists only in their imagination, yet a time may come when they may be able to do whatever they now think it in their power to do.

"Your Highness lately told me that this disposition of the people was only smoke; but be assured that smoke so dark and thick proceeds from a brisk fire, which the Parliament blows, and, though they mean well, may blaze up into such a flame as may consume themselves and again hazard the destruction of the State, which has been the case more than once. Bodies of men, when once exasperated by a Ministry, always aggravate their failures, and scarcely ever show them any favour, which, in some cases, is enough to ruin a kingdom.

"If, when the proposition was formerly made to the Parliament by the Cardinal to declare whether they intended to set bounds to the royal authority, if, I say, they had not wisely eluded the ridiculous and dangerous question, France would have run a great risk, in my opinion, of being entirely ruined; for had they answered in the affirmative, as they were on the point of doing, they would have rent the veil that covers the mysteries of State. Every monarchy has its peculiar veil; that of France consists in a kind of religious and sacred silence, which, by the subjects generally paying a blind obedience to their Kings, muffles up that right which they think they have to dispense with their obedience in cases where a complaisance to their Kings would be a prejudice to themselves. It is a wonder that the Parliament did not strip off this veil by a formal decree. This has had much worse consequences since the people have taken the liberty to look through it.

"Your Highness cannot by the force of arms prevent these dangerous consequences, which, perhaps, are already too near at hand. You see that even the Parliament can hardly restrain the people whom they have roused; that the contagion is spread into the provinces, and you know that Guienne and Provence are entirely governed by the example of Paris. Every thing shakes and totters, and it is your Highness only that can set us right, because of the splendour of your birth and reputation, and the generally received opinion that none but you can do it.

"The Queen shares with the Cardinal in the common hatred, and the Duc d’Orleans with La Riviere in the universal contempt of the people. If, out of mere complaisance, you abet their measures, you will share in the hatred of the public. It is true that you are above their contempt; but then their dread of you will be so great that it will grievously embitter the hatred they will then bear to you, and the contempt they have already for the others, so that what is at present only a serious wound in the State will perhaps become incurable and mortal. I am sensible you have grounds to be diffident of the behaviour of a body consisting of above two hundred persons, who are neither capable of governing nor being governed. I own the thought is perplexing; but such favourable circumstances seem to offer themselves at this juncture that matters are much simplified.

"Supposing that manifestoes were published, and your Highness declared General of the Parliamentary Army, would you, monseigneur, meet with greater difficulties than your grandfather and great-grandfather did, in accommodating themselves to the caprice of the ministers of Rochelle and the mayors of Nimes and Montauban? And would your Highness find it a greater task to manage the Parliament of Paris than M. de Mayenne did in the time of the League, when there was a factious opposition made to all the measures of the Parliament? Your birth and merit raise you as far above M. de Mayenne as the cause in hand is above that of the League; and the circumstances of both are no less different. The head of the League declared war by an open and public alliance with Spain against the Crown, and against one of the best and bravest kings that France ever had. And this head of the League, though descended from a foreign and suspected family, kept, notwithstanding, that same Parliament in his interest for a considerable time.

"You have consulted but two members of the whole Parliament, and them only upon their promise to disclose your intentions to no man living. How then can your Highness think it possible that your sentiments, locked up so closely in the breasts of two members, can have any influence upon the whole body of the Parliament? I dare answer for it, monseigneur, that if you will but declare yourself openly the protector of the public and of the sovereign companies, you might govern them—at least, for a considerable time—with an absolute and almost sovereign authority. But this, it seems, is not what you have in view; you are not willing to embroil yourself with the Court. You had rather be of the Cabinet than of a party. Do not take it ill, then, that men who consider you only in this light do not conduct themselves as you would like. You ought to conform your measures to theirs, because theirs are moderate; and you may safely do it, for the Cardinal can hardly stand under the heavy weight of the public hatred, and is too weak to oblige you against your will to any sudden and precipitate rupture. La Riviere, who governs the Duc d’Orleans, is a most dangerous man. Continue, then, to introduce moderate measures, and let them take their course, according to your first plan. Is a little more or less heat in Parliamentary proceedings sufficient reason to make you alter it? For whatever be the consequence, the worst that can happen is that the Queen may believe you not zealous enough for her interest; but are there not remedies enough for that? Are there not excuses and appearances ready at hand, and such as cannot fail?

"And now, I pray your Highness to give me leave to add that there never was so excellent, so innocent, so sacred, and so necessary a project as this formed by your Highness, and, in my humble opinion, there never were such weak reasons as those you have now urged to hinder its execution; for I take this to be the weakest of all, which, perhaps, you think a very strong one, namely, that if Mazarin miscarries in his designs you may be ruined along with him; and if he does succeed he will destroy you by the very means which you took to raise him."

It had not the intended effect on the Prince, who was already prepossessed, and who only answered me in general terms. But heroes have their faults as well as other men, and so had his Highness, who had one of the finest geniuses in the world, but little or no forethought. He did not seek to aggravate matters in order to render himself necessary at Court, or with a view to do what he afterwards did for the Cardinal, nor was he biassed by the mean interests of pension, government, and establishment. He had most certainly great hopes of being arbiter of the Cabinet. The glory of being restorer of the public peace was his first end in view, and being the conservator of the royal authority the second. Those who labour under such an imperfection, though they see clearly the advantages and disadvantages of both parties, know not which to choose, because they do not weigh them in the same balance, so that the same thing appears lightest today which they will think heaviest to-morrow. This was the case of the Prince, who, it must be owned, if he had carried on his good design with prudence, certainly would have reestablished the Government upon a lasting foundation.

He told me more than once, in an angry mood, that if the Parliament went on at the old rate he would teach them that it would be no great task to reduce them to reason. I perceived by his talk that the Court had resumed the design of besieging Paris; and to be the more satisfied of it I told him that the Cardinal might easily be disappointed in his measures, and that he would find Paris to be a very tough morsel.

"It shall not be taken," he said, "like Dunkirk, by mines and storming; but suppose its bread from Gonesse should be cut off for eight days only?"

I took this statement then for granted, and replied that the stopping of that passage would be attended with difficulties.

"What difficulties?" asked the Prince, very briskly. "The citizens? Will they come out to give battle?"

"If it were only citizens, monseigneur," I said, "the battle would not be very sharp."

"Who will be with them?" he replied; "will you be there yourself?"

"That would be a very bad omen," I said; "it would look too much like the proceedings of the League."

After a little pause, he said, "But now, to be serious, would you be so foolish as to embark with those men?"

"You know, monseigneur," I said, "that I am engaged already; and that, moreover, as Coadjutor of Paris, I am concerned both by honour and interest in its preservation. I shall be your Highness’s humble servant as long as I live, except in this one point."

I saw he was touched to the quick, but he kept his temper, and said these very words: "When you engage in a bad cause I will pity you, but shall have no reason to complain of you. Nor do you complain of me; but do me that justice you owe me, namely, to own that all I promised to Longueil and Broussel is since annulled by the conduct of the Parliament."

He afterwards showed me many personal favours, and offered to make my peace with the Court. I assured him of my obedience and zeal for his service in everything that did not interfere with the engagements I had entered into, which, as he himself owned, I could not possibly avoid.

After we parted I paid a visit to Madame de Longueville, who seemed enraged both against the Court and the Prince de Conde. I was pleased to think, moreover, that she could do what she would with the Prince de Conti, who was little better than a child; but then I considered that this child was a Prince of the blood, and it was only a name we wanted to give life to that which, without one, was a mere embryo. I could answer for M. de Longueville, who loved to be the first man in any public revolution, and I was as well assured of Marechal de La Mothe,—[Philippe de La Mothe-Houdancourt, deceased 1657.]—who was madly opposed to the Court, and had been inviolably attached to M. de Longueville for twenty years together. I saw that the Duc de Bouillon, through the injustice done him by the Court and the unfortunate state of his domestic affairs, was very much annoyed and almost desperate. I had an eye upon all these gentlemen at a distance, but thought neither of them fit to open the drama. M. de Longueville was only fit for the second act; the Marechal de La Mothe was a good soldier, but had no headpiece, and was therefore not qualified for the first act. M. de Bouillon was my man, had not his honesty been more problematic than his talents. You will not wonder that I was so wavering in my choice, and that I fixed at last upon the Prince de Conti, of the blood of France.

As soon as I gave Madame de Longueville a hint of what part she was to act in the intended revolution, she was perfectly transported, and I took care to make M. de Longueville as great a malcontent as herself. She had wit and beauty, though smallpox had taken away the bloom of her pretty face, in which there sat charms so powerful that they rendered her one of the most amiable persons in France. I could have placed her in my heart between Mesdames de Gudmenee and Pommereux, and it was not the despair of succeeding that palled my passion, but the consideration that the benefice was not yet vacant, though not well served,—M. de La Rochefoucault was in possession, yet absent in Poitou. I sent her three or four billets-doux every day, and received as many. I went very often to her levee to be more at liberty to talk of affairs, got extraordinary advantages by it, and I knew that it was the only way to be sure of the Prince de Conti.

Having settled a regular correspondence with Madame de Longueville, she made me better acquainted with M. de La Rochefoucault, who made the Prince de Conti believe that he spoke a good word for him to the lady, his sister, with whom he was in, love. And the two so blinded the Prince that he did not suspect anything till four years after.

When I saw that the Court would act upon their own initiative, I resolved to declare war against them and attack Mazarin in person, because otherwise we could not escape being first attacked by him.

It is certain that he gave his enemies such an advantage over him as no other Prime Minister ever did. Power commonly keeps above ridicule, but everybody laughed at the Cardinal because of his silly sayings and doings, which those in his position are seldom guilty of. It was said that he had lately asked Bougeval, deputy of the Grand Council, whether he did not think himself obliged to have no buttons to the collar of his doublet, if the King should command it,—a grave argument to convince the deputies of an important company of the obedience due to kings, for which he was severely lampooned both in prose and verse.

The Court having attempted to legalise excessive usury,—I mean with respect to the affair of loans,—my dignity would not permit me to tolerate so public and scandalous an evil. Therefore I held an assembly of the clergy, where, without so much as mentioning the Cardinal’s name in the conferences, in which I rather affected to spare him, yet in a week’s time I made him pass for one of the most obstinate Jews in Europe.

At this very time I was sent for, by a civil letter under the Queen’s own hand, to repair to Saint Germain, the messenger telling me the King was just gone thither and that the army was commanded to advance. I made him believe I would obey the summons, but I did not intend to do so.

I was pestered for five hours with a parcel of idle rumours of ruin and destruction, which rather diverted than alarmed me, for though the Prince de Conde, distrusting his brother the Prince de Conti, had surprised him in bed and carried him off with him to Saint Germain, yet I did not question but that, as long as Madame de Longueville stayed in Paris, we should see him again, the rather because his brother neither feared nor valued him sufficiently to put him under arrest, and I was assured that M. de Longueville would be in Paris that evening by having received a letter from himself.

The King was no sooner gone than the Parliament met, frightened out of their senses, and I know not what they could have done if we had not found a way to change their fears into a resolution to make a bold stand. I have observed a thousand times that there are some kinds of fear only to be removed by higher degrees of terror. I caused it to be signified to the Parliament that there was in the Hotel de Ville a letter from his Majesty to the magistrates, containing the reasons that had obliged him to leave his good city of Paris, which were in effect that some of the officers of the House held a correspondence with the enemies of the Government, and had conspired to seize his person.

The Parliament, considering this letter and that the President le Feron, ’prevot des marchands’, was a creature of the Court, ordered the citizens to arms, the gates to be secured, and the ’prevot des marchands’ and the ’lieutenant de police’ to keep open the necessary passages for provisions.

Having thought it good policy that the first public step of resistance should be taken by the Parliament to justify the disobedience of private persons, I then invented this stratagem to render me the more excusable to the Queen for not going to Saint Germain. Having taken leave of all friends and rejected all their entreaties for my stay in Paris, I took coach as if I were driving to Court, but, by good luck, met with an eminent timber-merchant, a very good friend of mine, at the end of Notre- Dame Street, who was very much out of humour, set upon my postilion, and threatened my coachman. The people came and overturned my coach, and the women, shrieking, carried me back to my own house.

I wrote to the Queen and Prince, signifying how sorry I was that I had met with such a stoppage; but the Queen treated the messenger with scorn and contempt. The Prince, at the same time that he pitied me, could not help showing his anger. La Riviere attacked me with railleries and invectives, and the messenger thought they were sure of putting the rope about all our necks on the morrow.

I was not so much alarmed at their menaces as at the news I heard the same day that M. de Longueville, returning from Rouen, had turned off to Saint Germain. Marechal de La Mothe told me twenty times that he would do everything to the letter that M. de Longueville would have him do for or against the Court. M. de Bouillon quarrelled with me for confiding in men who acted so contrary to the repeated assurances I had given him of their good behaviour. And besides all this, Madame de Longueville protested to me that she had received no news from M. de La Rochefoucault, who went soon after the King, with a design to fortify the Prince de Conti in his resolution and to bring him back to Paris. Upon this I sent the Marquis de Noirmoutier to Saint Germain to learn what we had to trust to.

On the 7th of January, 1649, an order was sent from the King to the Parliament to remove to Montargis, to the Chamber of Accounts to adjourn to Orleans and to the Grand Council to retire to Mantes. A packet was also sent to the Parliament, which they would not open, because they guessed at the contents and were resolved beforehand not to obey. Therefore they returned it sealed up as it came, and agreed to send assurances of their obedience to the Queen, and to beg she would give them leave to clear themselves from the aspersion thrown upon them in the letter above mentioned sent to the chief magistrate of the city. And to support the dignity of Parliament it was further resolved that her Majesty should be petitioned in a most humble manner to name the calumniators, that they might be proceeded against according to law. At the same time Broussel, Viole, Amelot, and seven others moved that it might be demanded in form that Cardinal Mazarin should be removed; but they were not supported by anybody else, so that they were treated as enthusiasts. Although this was a juncture in which it was more necessary than ever to act with vigour, yet I do not remember the time when I have beheld so much faintheartedness.

The Chamber of Accounts immediately set about making remonstrances; but the Grand Council would have obeyed the King’s orders, only the city refused them passports. I think this was one of the most gloomy days I had as yet seen. I found the Parliament had almost lost all their spirit, and that I should be obliged to bow my neck under the most shameful and dangerous yoke of slavery, or be reduced to the dire necessity of setting up for tribune of the people, which is the most uncertain and meanest of all posts when it is not vested with sufficient power.

The weakness of the Prince de Conti, who was led like a child by his brother, the cowardice of M. de Longueville, who had been to offer his service to the Queen, and the declaration of MM. de Bouillon and de La Mothe had mightily disfigured my tribuneship. But the folly of Mazarin raised its reputation, for he made the Queen refuse audience to the King’s Council, who returned that night to Paris, fully convinced that the Court was resolved to push things to extremity.

I was informed from Saint Germain that the Prince had assured the Queen he would take Paris in a fortnight, and they hoped that the discontinuance of two markets only would starve the city into a surrender. I carried this news to my, friends, who began to see that there was no possibility, of accommodation.

The Parliament was no sooner acquainted that the King’s Council had been denied audience than with one voice—Bernai excepted, who was fitter for a cook than a councillor—they passed that famous decree of January 8th, 1649, whereby Cardinal Mazarin was declared an enemy to the King and Government, a disturber of the public peace, and all the King’s subjects were enjoined to attack him without mercy.

In the afternoon there was a general council of the deputies of Parliament, of the Chamber of Accounts, of the Court of Aids, the chief magistrates of Paris, and the six trading companies, wherein it was resolved that the magistrates should issue commissions for raising 4,000 horse and 10,000 foot. The same day the Chamber of Accounts, the Court of Aids, and the city sent their deputies to the Queen, to beseech her Majesty to bring the King back to Paris, but the Court was obdurate. The Prince de Conde flew out against the Parliament in the Queen’s presence; and her Majesty told them all that neither the King nor herself would ever come again within the walls of the city till the Parliament was gone out of it.

The next day the city received a letter from the King commanding them to oblige the Parliament to remove to Montargis. The governor, one of the sheriffs, and four councillors of the city carried the letter to Parliament, protesting at the same time that they would obey no other orders than those of the Parliament, who that very morning settled the necessary funds for raising troops. In the afternoon there was a general council, wherein all the corporations of the city and all the colonels and captains of the several quarters entered into an association, confirmed by an oath, for their mutual defence. In the meantime I was informed by the Marquis de Noirmoutier that the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville were very well disposed, and that they stayed at Court the longer to have a safer opportunity of coming away. M. de La Rochefoucault wrote to the same purpose to Madame de Longueville.

The same day I had a visit from the Duc d’Elbeuf,—[Charles de Lorraine, the second of that name, who died 1657.]—who, as they said, having missed a dinner at Court, came to Paris for a supper. He addressed me with all the cajoling flattery of the House of Guise, and had three children with him, who were not so eloquent, but seemed to be quite as cunning as himself. He told me that he was going to offer his service to the Hotel de Ville; but I advised him to wait upon the Parliament. He was fixed in his first resolution, yet he came to assure me he would follow my advice in everything. I was afraid that the Parisians, to whom the very name of a Prince of Lorraine is dear, would have given him the command of the troops. Therefore I ordered the clergy over whom I had influence to insinuate to the people that he was too influential with the Abbe de La Riviere, and I showed the Parliament what respect he had for them by addressing himself to the Hotel de Ville in the first place, and that he had not honour enough to be trusted. I was shown a letter which he wrote to his friend as he came into town, in which were these words: "I must go and do homage to the Coadjutor now, but in three days’ time he shall return it to me." And I knew from other instances that his affection for me was of the feeblest.

While I was reflecting what to do, news was brought to me before daylight that the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville were at the gate of Saint Honord and denied entrance by the people, who feared they came to betray the city. I immediately fetched honest Broussel, and, taking some torches to light us, we posted to the said gate through a prodigious crowd of people; it was broad daylight before we could persuade the people that they might safely let them in.

The great difficulty now was how to manage so as to remove the general distrust of the Prince de Conti that existed among the people. That which was practicable the night before was rendered impossible and even ruinous the next day, and this same Duc d’Elbeuf, whom I thought to have driven out of Paris on the 9th, was in a fair way to have compelled me to leave on the 10th if he had played his game well, so suspected was the name of Conde by the people. As there wanted a little time to reconcile them, I thought it was our only way to keep fair with M. d’Elbeuf and to convince him that it would be to his interest to join with the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville. I accordingly sent to acquaint him that I intended him a visit, but when I arrived he was gone to the Parliament, where the First President, who was against removing to Montargis and at the same time very averse to a civil war, embraced him, and, without giving the members time to consider what was urged by Broussel, Viole, and others to the contrary, caused him to be declared General, with a design merely to divide and weaken the party.

Upon this I made haste to the Palace of Longueville to persuade the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville to go that very instant to the Parliament House. The latter was never in haste, and the Prince having gone tired to bed, it was with much ado I prevailed on him to rise. In short, he was so long in setting out that the Parliament was up and M. d’Elbeuf was marching to the Hotel de Ville to be sworn and to take care of the commissions that were to be issued. I thereupon persuaded the Prince de Conti to go to the Parliament in the afternoon and to offer them his service, while I stayed without in the hall to observe the disposition of the people.

He went thither accordingly in my coach and with my grand livery, by which he made it appear that he reposed his confidence entirely in the people, whom there is a necessity of managing with a world of precaution because of their natural diffidence and instability. When we came to the House we were saluted upon the stairs with "God bless the Coadjutor!" but, except those posted there on purpose, not a soul cried, "God bless the Prince de Conti!" from which I concluded that the bulk of the people were not yet cured of their diffidence, and therefore I was very glad when I had got the Prince into the Grand Chamber. The moment after, M. d’Elbeuf came in with the city guards, who attended him as general, and with all the people crying out, "God bless his Highness M. d’Elbeuf!" But as they cried at the same time "God save the Coadjutor!" I addressed myself to him with a smile and said, "This is an echo, monsieur, which does me a great deal of honour."—"It is very kind of you," said he, and, turning to the guards, bade them stay at the door of the Grand Chamber. I took the order as given to myself, and stayed there likewise, with a great number of my friends. As soon as the House was formed, the Prince de Conti stood up and said that, having been made acquainted at Saint Germain with the pernicious counsels given to the Queen, he thought himself obliged, as Prince of the blood, to oppose them. M. d’Elbeuf, who was proud and insolent, like all weak men, because he thought he had the strongest party, said he knew the respect due to the Prince de Conti, but that he could not forbear telling them that it was himself who first broke the ice and offered his service to the Parliament, who, having conferred the General’s baton upon him, he would never part with it but with his life.

The generality of the members, who were as distrustful of the Prince de Conti as the people, applauded this declaration, and the Parliament passed a decree forbidding the troops on pain of high treason to advance within twenty miles of Paris. I saw that all I could do that day was to reconduct the Prince de Conti in safety to the palace of Longueville, for the crowd was so great that I was fain to carry him, as it were, in my arms out of the Grand Chamber.

M. d’Elbeuf, who thought the day was all his own, hearing my name joined with his in the huzzas of the people, said to me by way of reprisal, "This, monsieur, is an echo which does me a great deal of honour," to which I replied, as he did to me before, "Monsieur, it is very kind of you." Meantime he was not wise enough to improve the opportunity, and I foresaw that things would soon take another turn, for reputation of long standing among the people never fails to blast the tender blossoms of public good-will which are forced out of due season.

I had news sent to me from Madame de Lesdiguieres at Saint Germain, that M. d’Elbeuf, an hour after he heard of the arrival of the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville at Paris, wrote a letter to the Abbe de la Riviere with these words: "Tell the Queen and the Duc d’Orleans that this diabolical Coadjutor is the ruin of everything here, and that in two days I shall have no power at all, but that if they will be kind to me I will make them sensible. I am not come hither with so bad a design as they imagine." I made a very good use of this advice, and, knowing that the people are generally fond of everything that seems mysterious, I imparted the secret to four or five hundred persons. I had the pleasure to hear that the confidence which the Prince had reposed in the people by going about all alone in my coach, without any attendance, had won their hearts.

At midnight M. de Longueville, Marechal de La Mothe, and myself went to M. de Bouillon, whom we found as wavering as the state of affairs, but when we showed him our plan, and how easily it might be executed, he joined us immediately. We concerted measures, and I gave out orders to all the colonels and captains of my acquaintance.

The most dangerous blow that I gave to M. d’Elbeuf was by making the people believe that he held correspondence with the King’s troops, who on the 9th, at night, surprised Charenton. I met him on the first report of it, when he said, "Would you think there are people so wicked as to say that I had a hand in the capture of Charenton?" I said in answer, "Would you think there are people vile enough to report that the Prince de Conti is come hither by concert with the Prince de Conde?"

When I saw the people pretty well cured of their diffidence, and not so zealous as they were for M. d’Elbeuf, I was for mincing the matter no longer, and thought that ostentation would be as proper to-day as reserve was yesterday. The Prince de Conti took M. de Longueville to the Parliament House, where he offered them his services, together with all Normandy, and desired they would accept of his wife, son, and daughter, and keep them in the Hotel de Ville as pledges of his sincerity. He was seconded by M. de Bouillon, who said he was exceedingly glad to serve the Parliament under the command of so great a Prince as the Prince de Conti. M. d’Elbeuf was nettled at this expression, and repeated what he had said before, that he would not part with the General’s staff, and he showed more warmth than judgment in the whole debate. He spoke nothing to the purpose. It was too late to dispute, and he was obliged to yield, but I have observed that fools yield only when they cannot help it. We tried his patience a third time by the appearance of Marechal de La Mothe, who passed the same compliment upon the company as De Bouillon had done. We had concerted beforehand that these personages should make their appearance upon the theatre one after the other, for we had remarked that nothing so much affects the people, and even the Parliament, among whom the people are a majority, as a variety of scenes.

I took Madame de Longueville and Madame de Bouillon in a coach by way of triumph to the Hotel de Ville. They were both of rare beauty, and appeared the more charming because of a careless air, the more becoming to both because it was unaffected. Each held one of her children, beautiful as the mother, in her arms. The place was so full of people that the very tops of the houses were crowded; all the men shouted and the women wept for joy and affection. I threw five hundred pistoles out of the window of the Hotel de Ville, and went again to the Parliament House, accompanied by a vast number of people, some with arms and others without. M. d’Elbeuf’s captain of the guards told his master that he was ruined to all intents and purposes if he did not accommodate himself to the present position of affairs, which was the reason that I found him much perplexed and dejected, especially when M. de Bellievre, who had amused him hitherto designedly, came in and asked what meant the beating of the drums. I answered that he would hear more very soon, and that all honest men were quite out of patience with those that sowed divisions among the people. I saw then that wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing without courage. M. d’Elbeuf had little courage at this juncture, made a ridiculous explanation of what he had said before, and granted more than he was desired to do, and it was owing to the civility and good sense of M. de Bouillon that he retained the title of General and the precedence of M. de Bouillon and M. de La Mothe, who were equally Generals with himself under the Prince de Conti, who was from that instant declared Generalissimo of the King’s forces under the direction of the Parliament.

There happened at this time a comical scene in the Hotel de Ville, which I mention more particularly because of its consequence. De Noirmoutier, who the night before was made lieutenant-general, returning by the Hotel de Ville from a sally which he had made into the suburbs to drive away Mazarin’s skirmishers, as they were called, entered with three officers in armour into the chamber of Madame de Longueville, which was full of ladies; the mixture of blue scarfs, ladies, cuirassiers, fiddlers, and trumpeters in and about the hall was such a sight as is seldom met with but in romances. De Noirmoutier, who was a great admirer of Astrea, said he imagined that we were besieged in Marcilli. "Well you may," said I; "Madame de Longueville is as fair as Galatea, but Marsillac (son of M. de La Rochefoucault) is not a man of so much honour as Lindamore." I fancy I was overheard by one in a neighbouring window, who might have told M. de La Rochefoucault, for otherwise I cannot guess at the first cause of the hatred which he afterwards bore me.

Before I proceed to give you the detail of the civil war, suffer me to lead you into the gallery where you, who are an admirer of fine painting, will be entertained with the figures of the chief actors, drawn all at length in their proper colours, and you will be able to judge by the history whether they are painted to the life. Let us begin, as it is but just, with her Majesty.

Character of the Queen.

The Queen excelled in that kind of wit which was becoming her circle, to the end that she might not appear silly before strangers; she was more ill-natured than proud, had more pride than real grandeur, and more show than substance; she loved money too well to be liberal, and her own interest too well to be impartial; she was more constant than passionate as a lover, more implacable than cruel, and more mindful of injuries than of good offices. She had more of the pious intention than of real piety, more obstinacy than well-grounded resolution, and a greater measure of incapacity than of all the rest.

Character of the Duc d’ Orleans.

The Duc d’Orleans possessed all the good qualities requisite for a man of honour except courage, but having not one quality eminent enough to make him notable, he had nothing in him to supply or support the weakness which was so predominant in his heart through fear, and in his mind through irresolution, that it tarnished the whole course of his life. He engaged in all affairs, because he had not power to resist the importunities of those who drew him in for their own advantage, and came off always with shame for want of courage to go on. His suspicious temper, even from his childhood, deadened those lively, gay colours which would have shone out naturally with the advantages of a fine, bright genius, an amiable gracefulness, a very honest disposition, a perfect disinterestedness, and an incredible easiness of behaviour.

Character of the Prince de Conde.

The Prince de Conde was born a general, an honour none could ever boast of before but Caesar and Spinola; he was equal to the first, but superior to the second. Intrepidity was one of the least parts of his character. Nature gave him a genius as great as his heart. It was his fortune to be born in an age of war, which gave him an opportunity to display his courage to its full extent; but his birth, or rather education, in a family submissively attached to the Cabinet, restrained his noble genius within too narrow bounds. There was no care taken betimes to inspire him with those great and general maxims which form and improve a man of parts. He had not time to acquire them by his own application, because he was prevented from his youth by the unexpected revolution, and by a constant series of successes. This one imperfection, though he had as pure a soul as any in the world, was the reason that he did things which were not to be justified, that though he had the heart of Alexander so he had his infirmities, that he was guilty of unaccountable follies, that having all the talents of Francois de Guise, he did not serve the State upon some occasions as well as he ought, and that having the parts of Henri de Conde, his namesake, he did not push the faction as far as he might have done, nor did he discharge all the duties his extraordinary merit demanded from him.

Character of the Duc de Longueville.

M. de Longueville, though he had the grand name of Orleans, together with vivacity, an agreeable appearance, generosity, liberality, justice, valour, and grandeur, yet never made any extraordinary figure in life, because his ideas were infinitely above his capacity. If a man has abilities and great designs, he is sure to be looked upon as a man of some importance; but if he does not carry them out, he is not much esteemed, which was the case with De Longueville.

Character of the Duc de Beaufort.

M. de Beaufort knew little of affairs of moment but by hearsay and by what he had learned in the cabal of "The Importants," of whose jargon he had retained some smattering, which, together with some expressions he had perfectly acquired from Madame de Vendome, formed a language that would have puzzled a Cato. His speech was short and stupidly dull, and the more so because he obscured it by affectation. He thought himself very sufficient, and pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his share. He was brave enough in his person, and outdid the common Hectors by being so upon all occasions, but never more ’mal a propos’ than in gallantry. And he talked and thought just as the people did whose idol he was for some time.

Character of the Dice d’Elbeuf.

M. d’Elbeuf could not fail of courage, as he was a Prince of the house of Lorraine. He had all the wit that a man of abundantly more cunning and good sense could pretend to. He was a medley of incoherent flourishes. He was the first Prince debased by poverty; and, perhaps, never man was more at a loss than he to raise the pity of the people in misery. A comfortable subsistence did not raise his spirits; and if he had been master of riches he would have been envied as a leader of a party. Poverty so well became him that it seemed as if he had been cut out for a beggar.

Character of the Duc de Bouillon.

The Duc de Bouillon was a man of experienced valour and profound sense. I am fully persuaded, by what I have seen of his conduct, that those who cry it down wrong his character; and it may be that others had too favourable notions of his merit, who thought him capable of all the great things which he never did.

Character of M. de Turenne.

M. de Turenne had all the good qualities in his very nature, and acquired all the great ones very early, those only excepted that he never thought of. Though almost all the virtues were in a manner natural to him, yet he shone out in none. He was looked upon as more proper to be at the head of an army than of a faction, for he was not naturally enterprising. He had in all his conduct, as well as in his way of talking, certain obscurities which he never explained but on particular occasions, and then only for his own honour.

Character of Marechal de La Mothe.

The Marechal de La Mothe was a captain of the second rank, full of mettle, but not a man of much sense. He was affable and courteous in civil life, and a very useful man in a faction because of his wonderful complacency.

Character of the Prince de Conti.

The Prince de Conti was a second Zeno as much as he was a Prince of the blood. That is his character with regard to the public; and as to his private capacity, wickedness had the same effect on him as weakness had on M. d’Elbeuf, and drowned his other qualities, which were all mean and tinctured with folly.

Character of M. de La Rochefoucault.

M. de La Rochefoucault had something so odd in all his conduct that I know not what name to give it. He loved to be engaged in intrigues from a child. He was never capable of conducting any affair, for what reasons I could not conceive; for he had endowments which, in another, would have made amends for imperfections . . . . He had not a long view of what was beyond his reach, nor a quick apprehension of what was within it; but his sound sense, very good in speculation, his good-nature, his engaging and wonderfully easy behaviour, were enough to have made amends more than they did for his want of penetration. He was constantly wavering in his resolution, but what to attribute it to I know not, for it could not come from his fertile imagination, which was lively. Nor can I say it came from his barrenness of thought, for though he did not excel as a man of affairs, yet he had a good fund of sense. The effect of this irresolution is very visible, though we do not know its cause. He never was a warrior, though a true soldier. He never was a courtier, though he had always a good mind to be one. He never was a good party man, though his whole life was engaged in partisanship. He was very timorous and bashful in conversation, and thought he always stood in need of apologies, which, considering that his "Maxims" showed not great regard for virtue, and that his practice was always to get out of affairs with the same hurry as he got into them, makes me conclude that he would have done much better if he had contented himself to have passed, as he might have done, for the politest courtier and the most cultivated gentlemen of his age.

Character of Madame de Longueville.

Madame de Longueville had naturally a great fund of wit, and was, moreover, a woman of parts; but her indolent temper kept her from making any use of her talents, either in gallantries or in her hatred against the Prince de Conde. Her languishing air had more charms in it than the most exquisite beauty. She had few or no faults besides what she contracted in her gallantry. As her passion of love influenced her conduct more than politics, she who was the Amazon of a great party degenerated into the character of a fortune-hunter. But the grace of God brought her back to her former self, which all the world was not able to do.

Character of Madame de Chevreuse.

Madame de Chevreuse had not so much as the remains of beauty when I knew her; she was the only person I ever saw whose vivacity supplied the want of judgment; her wit was so brilliant and so full of wisdom that the greatest men of the age would not have been ashamed of it, while, in truth, it was owing to some lucky opportunity. If she had been born in time of peace she would never have imagined there could have been such a thing as war. If the Prior of the Carthusians had but pleased her, she would have been a nun all her lifetime. M. de Lorraine was the first that engaged her in State affairs. The Duke of Buckingham—[George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, assassinated when preparing to succour Rochelle.]—and the Earl of Holland (an English lord, of the family of Rich, and younger son of the Earl of Warwick, then ambassador in France) kept her to themselves; M. de Chateauneuf continued the amusement, till at last she abandoned herself to the pleasing of a person whom she loved, without any choice, but purely because it was impossible for her to live without being in love with somebody. It was no hard task to give her one to serve the turn of the faction, but as soon as she accepted him she loved him with all her heart and soul, and she confessed that, by the caprice of fortune, she never loved best where she esteemed most, except in the case of the poor Duke of Buckingham. Notwithstanding her attachment in love, which we may, properly call her everlasting passion, notwithstanding the frequent change of objects, she was peevish and touchy almost to distraction, but when herself again, her transports were very agreeable; never was anybody less fearful of real danger, and never had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies.

Character of Mademoiselle de Chevreuse.

Mademoiselle de Chevreuse was more beautiful in her person than charming in her carriage, and by nature extremely silly; her amorous passion made her seem witty, serious, and agreeable only to him whom she was in love with, but she soon treated him as she did her petticoat, which to-day she took into her bed, and to-morrow cast into the fire out of pure aversion.

Character of the Princess Palatine.

The Princess Palatine’ had just as much gallantry as gravity. I believe she had as great a talent for State affairs as Elizabeth, Queen of England. I have seen her in the faction, I have seen her in the Cabinet, and found her everywhere equally sincere.

Character of Madame de Montbazon.

Madame de Montbazon was a very great beauty, only modesty was visibly wanting in her air; her grand air and her way of talking sometimes supplied her want of sense. She loved nothing more than her pleasures, unless it was her private interest, and I never knew a vicious person that had so little respect for virtue.

Character of the First President.

If it were not a sort of blasphemy to say that any mortal of our times had more courage than the great Gustavus Adolphus and the Prince de Conde, I would venture to affirm it of M. Mole, the First President, but his wit was far inferior to his courage. It is true that his enunciation was not agreeable, but his eloquence was such that, though it shocked the ear, it seized the imagination. He sought the interest of the public preferably to all things, not excepting the interest of his own family, which yet he loved too much for a magistrate. He had not a genius to see at times the good he was capable of doing, presumed too much upon his authority, and imagined that he could moderate both the Court and Parliament; but he failed in both, made himself suspected by both, and thus, with a design to do good, he did evil. Prejudices contributed not a little to this, for I observed he was prejudiced to such a degree that he always judged of actions by men, and scarcely ever of men by their actions.

To return to our history. All the companies having united and settled the necessary funds, a complete army was raised in Paris in a week’s time. The Bastille surrendered after five or six cannon shots, and it was a pretty sight to see the women carry their chairs into the garden, where the guns were stationed, for the sake of seeing the siege, just as if about to hear a sermon.

M. de Beaufort, having escaped from his confinement, arrived this very day in Paris. I found that his imprisonment had not made him one jot the wiser. Indeed, it had got him a reputation, because he bore it with constancy and made his escape with courage. It was also his merit not to have abandoned the banks of the Loire at a time when it absolutely required abundance of skill and courage to stay there. It is an easy matter for those who are disgraced at Court to make the best of their own merit in the beginning of a civil war. He had a mind to form an alliance with me, and knowing how to employ him advantageously, I prepossessed the people in his favour, and exaggerated the conspiracy which the Cardinal had formed against him by means of Du Hamel.

As my friendship was necessary to him, so his was necessary to me; for my profession on many occasions being a restraint upon me, I wanted a man sometimes to stand before me. M. de La Mothe was so dependent on M. de Longueville that I could not rely on him; and M. de Bouillon was not a man to be governed.

We went together to wait on the Prince de Conti; we stopped the coach in the streets, where I proclaimed the name of M. de Beaufort, praised him and showed him to the people; upon which the people were suddenly fired with enthusiasm, the women kissed him, and the crowd was so great that we had much ado to get to the Hotel de Ville. The next day he offered a petition to the Parliament desiring he might have leave to justify himself against the accusation of his having formed a design against the life of the Cardinal, which was granted; and he was accordingly cleared next day, and the Parliament issued that famous decree for seizing all the cash of the Crown in all the public and private receipt offices of the kingdom and employing it in the common defence.

The Prince de Conde was enraged at the declaration published by the Prince de Conti and M. de Longueville, which cast the Court, then at Saint Germain, into such a despair that the Cardinal was upon the point of retiring. I was abused there without mercy, as appeared by a letter sent to Madame de Longueville from the Princess, her mother, in which I read this sentence: "They rail here plentifully against the Coadjutor, whom yet I cannot forbear thanking for what he has done for the poor Queen of England." This circumstance is very curious. You must know that a few days before the King left Paris I visited the Queen of England, whom I found in the apartment of her daughter, since Madame d’Orleans. "You see, monsieur," said the Queen, "I come here to keep Henriette company; the poor child has lain in bed all day for want of a fire." The truth is, the Cardinal having stopped the Queen’s pension six months, tradesmen were unwilling to give her credit, and there was not a chip of wood in the house. You may be sure I took care that a Princess of Great Britain should not be confined to her bed next day, for want of a fagot; and a few days after I exaggerated the scandal of this desertion, and the Parliament sent the Queen a present of 40,000 livres. Posterity will hardly believe that the Queen of England, granddaughter of Henri the Great, wanted a fagot to light a fire in the month of January, in the Louvre, and at the Court of France.

There are many passages in history less monstrous than this which make us shudder, and this mean action of the Court made so little impression upon the minds of the generality of the people at that time that I have reflected a thousand times since that we are far more moved at the hearing of old stories than of those of the present time; we are not shocked at what we see with our own eyes, and I question whether our surprise would be as great as we imagine at the story of Caligula’s promoting his horse to the dignity of a consul were he and his horse now living.

To return to the war. A cornet of my regiment being taken prisoner and carried to Saint Germain, the Queen immediately ordered his head to be cut off, but I sent a trumpeter to acquaint the Court that I would make reprisals upon my prisoners, so that my cornet was exchanged and a cartel settled.

As soon as Paris declared itself, all the kingdom was in a quandary, for the Parliament of Paris sent circular letters to all the Parliaments and cities in the kingdom exhorting them to join against the common enemy; upon which the Parliaments of Aix and Rouen joined with that of Paris. The Prince d’Harcourt, now Duc d’Elbeuf, and the cities of Rheims, Tours, and Potiers, took up arms in its favour. The Duc de La Tremouille raised men for them publicly. The Duc de Retz offered his service to the Parliament, together with Belle Isle. Le Mans expelled its bishop and all the Lavardin family, who were in the interest of the Court.

On the 18th of January, 1649, I was admitted to a seat and vote in Parliament, and signed an alliance with the chief leaders of the party: MM. de Beaufort, de Bouillon, de La Mothe, de Noirmoutier, de Vitri, de Brissac, de Maure, de Matha, de Cugnac, de Barnire, de Sillery, de La Rochefoucault, de Laigues, de Sevigny, de Bethune, de Luynes, de Chaumont, de Saint-Germain, d’Action, and de Fiesque.

On the 9th of February the Prince de Conde attacked and took Charenton. All this time the country people were flocking to Paris with provisions, not only because there was plenty of money, but to enable the citizens to hold out against the siege, which was begun on the 9th of January.

On the 12th of February a herald came with two trumpeters from the Court to one of the city gates, bringing three packets of letters, one for the Parliament, one for the Prince de Conti, and the third for the Hotel de Ville. It was but the night before that a person was caught in the halls dropping libels against the Parliament and me; upon which the Parliament, Princes, and city supposed that this State visit was nothing but an amusement of Cardinal Mazarin to cover a worse design, and therefore resolved not to receive the message nor give the herald audience, but to send the King’s Council to the Queen to represent to her that their refusal was out of pure obedience and respect, because heralds are never sent but to sovereign Princes or public enemies, and that the Parliament, the Prince de Conti, and the city were neither the one nor the other. At the same time the Chevalier de Lavalette, who distributed the libels, had formed a design to kill me and M. de Beaufort upon the Parliament stairs in the great crowd which they expected would attend the appearance of the herald. The Court, indeed, always denied his having any other commission than to drop the libels, but I am certain that the Bishop of Dole told the Bishop of Aire, but a night or two before, that Beaufort and I should not be among the living three days hence.

The King’s councillors returned with a report how kindly they had been received at Saint Germain. They said the Queen highly approved of the reasons offered by the Parliament for refusing entrance to the herald, and that she had assured them that, though she could not side with the Parliament in the present state of affairs, yet she received with joy the assurances they had given her of their respect and submission, and that she would distinguish them in general and in particular by special marks of her good-will. Talon, Attorney-General, who always spoke with dignity and force, embellished this answer of the Queen with all the ornaments he could give it, assuring the Parliament in very pathetic terms that, if they should be pleased to send a deputation to Saint Germain, it would be very kindly received, and might, perhaps, be a great step towards a peace.

When I saw that we were besieged, that the Cardinal had sent a person into Flanders to treat with the Spaniards, and that our party was now so well formed that there was no danger that I alone should be charged with courting the alliance of the enemies of the State, I hesitated no longer, but judged that, as affairs stood, I might with honour hear what proposals the Spaniards would make to me for the relief of Paris; but I took care not to have my name mentioned, and that the first overtures should be made to M. d’Elbeuf, who was the fittest person, because during the ministry of Cardinal de Richelieu he was twelve or fifteen years in Flanders a pensioner of Spain. Accordingly Arnolfi, a Bernardin friar, was sent from the Archduke Leopold, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands for the King of Spain, to the Duc d’Elbeuf, who, upon sight of his credentials, thought himself the most considerable man of the party, invited most of us to dinner, and told us he had a very important matter to lay before us, but that such was his tenderness for the French name that he could not open so much as a small letter from a suspected quarter, which, after some scrupulous and mysterious circumlocutions, he ventured to name, and we agreed one and all not to refuse the succours from Spain, but the great difficulty was, which way to get them. Fuensaldagne, the general, was inclined to join us if he could have been sure that we would engage with him; but as there was no possibility of the Parliaments treating with him, nor any dependence to be placed upon the generals, some of whom were wavering and whimsical, Madame de Bouillon pressed me not to hesitate any longer, but to join with her husband, adding that if he and I united, we should so far overmatch the others that it would not be in their power to injure us.

M. de Bouillon and I agreed to use our interest to oblige the Parliament to hear what the envoy had to say. I proposed it to the Parliament, but the first motion of it was hissed, in a manner, by all the company as much as if it had been heretical. The old President Le Coigneux, a man of quick apprehension, observing that I sometimes mentioned a letter from the Archduke of which there had been no talk, declared himself suddenly to be of my opinion. He had a secret persuasion that I had seen some writings which they knew nothing of, and therefore, while both sides were in the heat of debate, he said to me:

"Why do you not disclose yourself to your friends? They would come into your measures. I see very well you know more of the matter than the person who thinks himself your informant." I vow I was terribly ashamed of my indiscretion. I squeezed him by the hand and winked at MM. de Beaufort and de La Mothe. At length two other Presidents came over to my opinion, being thoroughly convinced that succours from Spain at this time were a remedy absolutely necessary to our disease, but a dangerous and empirical medicine, and infallibly mortal to particular persons if it did not pass first through the Parliament’s alembic.

The Bernardin, being tutored by us beforehand what to say when he came before the Parliament, behaved like a man of good sense.

When he desired audience, or rather when the Prince de Conti desired it for him, the President de Mesmes, a man of great capacity, but by fear and ambition most slavishly attached to the Court, made an eloquent and pathetic harangue, preferable to anything I ever met with of the kind in all the monuments of antiquity, and, turning about to the Prince de Conti, "Is it possible, monsieur," said he, "that a Prince of the blood of France should propose to let a person deputed from the most bitter enemy of the fleurs-de-lis have a seat upon those flowers?" Then turning to me, he said, "What, monsieur, will you refuse entrance to your sovereign’s herald upon the most trifling pretexts?" I knew what was coming, and therefore I endeavoured to stop his mouth by this answer: "Monsieur, you will excuse me from calling those reasons frivolous which have had the sanction of a decree." The bulk of the Parliament was provoked at the President’s unguarded expression, baited him very fiercely, and then I made some pretence to go out, leaving Quatresous, a young man of the warmest temper, in the House to skirmish with him in my stead, as having experienced more than once that the only way to get anything of moment passed in Parliamentary or other assemblies is to exasperate the young men against the old ones.

In short, after many debates, it was carried that the envoy should be admitted to audience. Being accordingly admitted, and bidden to be covered and sit down, he presented the Archduke’s credentials, and then made a speech, which was in substance that his master had ordered him to acquaint the company with a proposal made him by Cardinal Mazarin since the blockade of Paris, which his Catholic Majesty did not think consistent with his safety or honour to accept, when he saw that, on the one hand, it was made with a view to oppress the Parliament, which was held in veneration by all the kingdoms in the world, and, on the other, that all treaties made with a condemned minister would be null and void, forasmuch as they were made without the concurrence of the Parliament, to whom only it belonged to register and verify treaties of peace in order to make them authoritative; that the Catholic King, who proposed to take no advantage from the present state of affairs, had ordered the Archduke to assure the Parliament, whom he knew to be in the true interest of the most Christian King, that he heartily acknowledged them to be the arbiters of peace, that he submitted to their judgment, and that if they thought proper to be judges, he left it to their choice to send a deputation out of their own body to what place they pleased. Paris itself not excepted, and that his Catholic Majesty would also, without delay, send his deputies thither to meet and treat with them; that, meanwhile, he had ordered 18,000 men to march towards their frontiers to relieve them in case of need, with orders nevertheless to commit no hostilities upon the towns, etc., of the most Christian King, though they were for the most part abandoned; and it being his resolution at this juncture to show his sincere inclination for peace, he gave them his word of honour that his armies should not stir during the treaty; but that in case his troops might be serviceable to the Parliament, they were at their disposal, to be commanded by French officers; and that to obviate all the reasonable jealousies generally, attending the conduct of foreigners, they, were at liberty to take all other precautions they should think proper.

Before his admission the Prdsident de Mesmes had loaded me with invectives, for secretly corresponding with the enemies of the State, for favouring his admission, and for opposing that of my sovereign’s herald.

I had observed that when the objections against a man are capable of making greater impression than his answers, it is his best course to say but little, and that he may talk as much as he pleases when he thinks his answers of greater force than the objections. I kept strictly to this rule, for though the said President artfully pointed his satire at me, I sat unconcerned till I found the Parliament was charmed with what the envoy had said, and then, in my turn, I was even with the President by telling him in short that my respect for the Parliament had obliged me to put up with his sarcasms, which I had hitherto endured; and that I did not suppose he meant that his sentiments should always be a law to the Parliament; that nobody there had a greater esteem for him, with which I hoped that the innocent freedom I had taken to speak my mind was not inconsistent; that as to the non-admission of the herald, had it not been for the motion made by M. Broussel, I should have fallen into the snare through overcredulity, and have given my vote for that which might perhaps have ended in the destruction of the city, and involved myself in what has since fully proved to be a crime by the Queen’s late solemn approbation of the contrary conduct; and that, as to the envoy, I was silent till I saw most of them were for giving him audience, when I thought it better to vote the same way than vainly to contest it.

This modest and submissive answer of mine to all the scurrilities heaped upon me for a fortnight together by the First President and the President de Mesmes had an excellent effect upon the members, and obliterated for a long time the suspicion that I aimed to govern them by my cabals. The President de Mesmes would have replied, but his words were drowned in the general clamour. The clock struck five; none had dined, and many had not broken their fast, which the Presidents had, and therefore had the advantage in disputation.

The decree ordering the admission of the Spanish envoy to audience directed that a copy of what he said in Parliament, signed with his own hand, should be demanded of him, to the end that it might be registered, and that, by a solemn deputation, it should be sent to the Queen, with an assurance of the fidelity of the Parliament, beseeching her at the same time to withdraw her troops from the neighbourhood of Paris and restore peace to her people. It being now very late, and the members very hungry,—circumstances that have greater influence than can be imagined in debates, they were upon the point of letting this clause pass for want of due attention. The President Le Coigneux was the first that discovered the grand mistake, and, addressing himself to a great many councillors, who were rising up, said, "Gentlemen, pray take your places again, for I have something to offer to the House which is of the highest importance to all Europe." When they had taken their places he spoke as follows:

"The King of Spain takes us for arbiters of the general peace; it may be he is not in earnest, but yet it is a compliment to tell us so. He offers us troops to march to our relief, and it is certain he does not deceive us in this respect, but highly obliges us. We have heard his envoy, and considering the circumstances we are in, we think it right so to do. We have resolved to give an account of this matter to the King, which is but reasonable; some imagine that we propose to send the original decree, but here lies the snake in the grass. I protest, monsieur," added he, turning to the First President, "that the members did not understand it so, but that the copy only should be carried to Court, and the original be kept in the register. I could wish there had been no occasion for explanation, because there are some occasions when it is not prudent to speak all that one thinks, but since I am forced to it, I must say it without further hesitation, that in case we deliver up the original the Spaniards will conclude that we expose their proposals for a general peace and our own safety to the caprice of Cardinal Mazarin; whereas, by delivering only a copy, accompanied with humble entreaties for a general peace, as the Parliament has wisely ordered, all Europe will see that we maintain ourselves in a condition capable of doing real service both to our King and country, if the Cardinal is so blind as not to take a right advantage of this opportunity."

This discourse was received with the approbation of all the members, who cried out from all corners of the House that this was the meaning of the House. The gentlemen of the Court of Inquests did not spare the Presidents. M. Martineau said publicly that the tenor of this decree was that the envoy of Spain should be made much of till they received an answer from Saint Germain, which would prove to be another taunt of the Cardinal’s. Pontcarre said he was not so much afraid of a Spaniard as of a Mazarin. In short, the generals had the satisfaction to see that the Parliament would not be sorry for any advances they should make towards an alliance with Spain.

We sent a courier to Brussels, who was guarded ten leagues out of Paris by 500 horse, with an account of everything done in Parliament, of the conditions which the Prince de Conti and the other generals desired for entering into a treaty with Spain, and of what engagement I could make in my own private capacity.

After he had gone I had a conference with M. de Bouillon and his lady about the present state of affairs, which I observed was very ticklish; that if we were favoured by the general inclination of the people we should carry all before us, but that the Parliament, which was our chief strength in one sense, was in other respects our main weakness; that they were very apt to go backward; that in the very last debate they were on the point of twisting a rope for their own necks, and that the First President would show Mazarin his true interests, and be glad to amuse us by stipulating with the Court for our security without putting us in possession of it, and by ending the civil war in the confirmation of our slavery. "The Parliament," I said, "inclines to an insecure and scandalous peace. We can make the people rise to-morrow if we please; but ought we to attempt it? And if we divest the Parliament of its authority, into what an abyss of disorders shall we not precipitate Paris? But, on the other hand, if we do not raise the people, will the Parliament ever believe we can? Will they be hindered from taking any further step in favour of the Court, destructive indeed to their own interest, but infallibly ruinous to us first?"

M. de Bouillon, who did not believe our affairs to be in so critical a situation, was, together with his lady, in a state of surprise. The mild and honourable answer which the Queen returned to the King’s councillors in relation to the herald, her protestations that she sincerely forgave all the world, and the brilliant gloss of Talon upon her said answer, in an instant overturned the former resolutions of the Parliament; and if they regained sometimes their wonted vigour, either by some intervening accidents or by the skilful management of those who took care to bring them back to the right way, they had still an inclination to recede. M. de Bouillon being the wisest man of the party, I told him what I thought, and with him I concerted proper measures. To the rest, I put on a cheerful air, and magnified every little circumstance of affairs to our own advantage.

M. de Bouillon proposed that we should let the Parliament and the Hotel de Ville go on in their own way, and endeavour all we could clandestinely to make them odious to the people, and that we should take the first opportunity to secure, by banishment or imprisonment, such persons as we could not depend upon. He added that Longueville, too, was of opinion that there was no remedy left but to purge the Houses. This was exactly like him, for never was there a man so positive and violent in his opinion, and yet no man living could palliate it with smoother language. Though I thought of this expedient before M. de Bouillon, and perhaps could have said more for it, because I saw the possibility of it much clearer than he, yet I would not give him to understand that I had thought of it, because I knew he had the vanity to love to be esteemed the first author of things, which was the only weakness I observed in his managing State affairs. I left him an answer in writing, in substance as follows:

"I confess the scheme is very feasible, but attended with pernicious consequences both to the public and to private persons, for the same people whom you employ to humble the magistracy will refuse you obedience when you demand from them the same homage they paid to the magistrates. This people adored the Parliament till the beginning of the war; they are still for continuing the war, and yet abate their friendship for the Parliament. The Parliament imagines that this applies only to some particular members who are Mazarined, but they are deceived, for their prejudice extends to the whole company, and their hatred towards Mazarin’s party supports and screens their indifference towards all the rest. We cheer up their spirits by pasquinades and ballads and the martial sound of trumpets and kettle-drums, but, after all, do they pay their taxes as punctually as they did the first few weeks? Are there many that have done as you and I, monsieur, who sent our plate to the mint? Do you not observe that they who would be thought zealous for the common cause plead in favour of some acts committed by those men who are, in short, its enemies? If the people are so tired already, what will they be long before they come to their journey’s end?

"After we have established our own authority upon the ruin of the Parliament’s, we shall certainly fall into the same inconveniences and be obliged to act just as they do now. We shall impose taxes, raise moneys, and differ from the Parliament only in this, that the hatred and envy they have contracted by various ways from one-third part of the people,— I mean the wealthy citizens,—in the space of six weeks will devolve upon us, with that of the other two-thirds of the inhabitants, and will complete our ruin in one week. May not the Court to-morrow put an end to the civil war by the expulsion of Mazarin and by raising the siege of Paris? The provinces are not yet sufficiently inflamed, and therefore we must double our application to make the most of Paris. Besides the necessity of treating with Spain and managing the people, there is another expedient come into my head capable of rendering us as considerable in Parliament as our affairs require.

"We have an army in Paris which will be looked upon as the people so long as it continues within its walls. Every councillor of inquest is inclined to believe his authority among the soldiers to be equal to that of the generals. But the leaders of the people are not believed to be very powerful until they make their power known by its execution. Pray do but consider the conduct of the Court upon this occasion. Was there any minister or courtier but ridiculed all that could be said of the disposition of the people in favour of the Parliament even to the day of the barricades? And yet it is as true that every man at Court saw infallible marks of the revolution beforehand. One would have thought that the barricades should have convinced them; but have they been convinced? Have they been hindered from besieging Paris on the slight supposition that, though the caprice of the people might run them into a mutiny, yet it would not break out into a civil war? What we are now doing might undeceive them effectually; but are they yet cured of their infatuation? Is not the Queen told every day that none are for the Parliament but hired mobs, and that all the wealthy burghers are in her Majesty’s interests?

"The Parliament is now as much infatuated as the Court was then. This present disturbance among the people carries in it all the marks of power which, in a little time, they will feel the effects of, and which, as they cannot but foresee, they ought to prevent in time, because of the murmurs of the people against them and their redoubled affection for M. de Beaufort and me. But far from it, the Parliament will never open its eyes until all its authority is quashed by a sudden blow. If they see we have a design against them they will, perhaps, have so inconsiderable an opinion of it that they will take courage, and if we should but flinch, they will bear harder still upon us, till we shall be forced to crush them; but this would not turn to our account; on the contrary, it is our true interest to do them all the good we can, lest we divide our own party, and to behave in such a manner as may convince them that our interest and theirs are inseparable. And the best way is to draw our army out of Paris, and to post it so as it may be ready to secure our convoys and be safe from the insults of the enemy; and I am for having this done at the request of the Parliament, to prevent their taking umbrage, till such time at least as we may find our account in it. Such precautions will insensibly, as it were, necessitate the Parliament to act in concert with us, and our favour among the people, which is the only thing that can fix us in that situation, will appear to them no longer contemptible when they see it backed by an army which is no longer at their discretion."

M. de Bouillon told me that M. de Turenne was upon the point of declaring for us, and that there were but two colonels in all his army who gave him any uneasiness, but that in a week’s time he would find some way or other to manage them, and that then he would march directly to our assistance. "What do you think of that?" said the Duke. "Are we not now masters both of the Court and Parliament?"

I told the Duke that I had just seen a letter written by Hoquincourt to Madame de Montbazon, wherein were only these words: "0 fairest of all beauties, Peronne is in your power." I added that I had received another letter that morning which assured me of Mazieres. Madame de Bouillon threw herself on my neck; we were sure the day was our own, and in a quarter of an hour agreed upon all the preliminary precautions.

M. de Bouillon, perceiving that I was so overjoyed at this news that I, as well as his lady, gave little attention to the methods he was proposing for drawing the army out of Paris without alarming the Parliament, turned to me and spoke thus, very hastily: "I pardon my wife, but I cannot forgive you this inadvertence. The old Prince of Orange used to say that the moment one received good news should be employed in providing against bad."

The 24th of February, 1649, the Parliament’s deputies waited on the Queen with an account of the audience granted to the envoy of the Archduke. The Queen told them that they should not have given audience to the envoy, but that, seeing they had done it, it was absolutely necessary to think of a good peace,—that she was entirely well disposed; and the Duc d’Orleans and the Prince de Conde promised the deputies to throw open all the passages as soon as the Parliament should name commissioners for the treaty.

Flamarin being sent at the same time into the city from the Duc d’Orleans to condole with the Queen of England on the death of her husband (King Charles I.), went, at La Riviere’s solicitation, to M. de La Rochefoucault, whom he found in his bed on account of his wounds and quite wearied with the civil war, and persuaded him to come over to the Court interest. He told Flamarin that he had been drawn into this war much against his inclinations, and that, had he returned from Poitou two months before the siege of Paris, he would have prevented Madame de Longueville engaging in so vile a cause, but that I had taken the opportunity of his absence to engage both her and the Prince de Conti, that he found the engagements too far advanced to be possibly dissolved, that the diabolical Coadjutor would not bear of any terms of peace, and also stopped the ears of the Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville, and that he himself could not act as he would because of his bad state of health. I was informed of Flamarin’s negotiations for the Court interest, and, as the term of his passport had expired, ordered the ’prevot des marchands’ to command him to depart from the city.

On the 27th the First President reported to the Parliament what had occurred at Saint Germain. M. de Beaufort and I had to hinder the people from entering the Great Chamber, for they threatened to throw the deputies into the river, and said they had betrayed them and had held conferences with Mazarin. It was as much as we could do to allay the fury of the people, though at the same time the Parliament believed the tumult was of our own raising. This shows one inconvenience of popularity, namely, that what is committed by the rabble, in spite of all your endeavours to the contrary, will still be laid to your charge.

Meanwhile we met at the Duc de Bouillon’s to consider what was best to be done at this critical juncture between a people mad for war, a Parliament for peace, and the Spaniards either for peace or war at our expense and for their own advantage. The Prince de Conti, instructed beforehand by M. de La Rochefoucault, spoke for carrying on the war, but acted as if he were for peace, and upon the whole I did not doubt but that he waited for some answer from Saint Germain. M. d’Elbeuf made a silly proposal to send the Parliament in a body to the Bastille. M. de Beaufort, whom we could not entrust with any important secret because of Madame de Montbazon, who was very false, wondered that his and my credit with the people was not made use of on this occasion.

It being very evident that the Parliament would greedily catch at the treaty of peace proposed by the Court, it was in a manner impossible to answer those who urged that the only way to prevent it was to hinder their debates by raising tumults among the people. M. de Beaufort held up both his hands for it. M. d’Elbeuf, who had lately received a letter from La Riviere full of contempt, talked like an officer of the army. When I considered the great risk I ran if I did not prevent a tumult, which would certainly be laid at my door, and that, on the other hand, I did not dare to say all I could to stop such commotion, I was at a loss what to do. But considering the temper of the populace, who might have been up in arms with a word from a person of any credit among us, I declared publicly that I was not for altering our measures till we knew what we were to expect from the Spaniards.

I experienced on this occasion that civil wars are attended with this great inconvenience, that there is more need of caution in what we say to our friends than in what we do against our enemies. I did not fail to bring the company to my mind, especially when supported by M. de Bouillon, who was convinced that the confusion which would happen in such a juncture would turn with vengeance upon the authors. But when the company was gone he told me he was resolved to free himself from the tyranny, or, rather, pedantry of the Parliament as soon as the treaty with Spain was concluded, and M. de Turenne had declared himself publicly, and as soon as our army was without the walls of Paris. I answered that upon M. de Turenne’s declaration I would promise him my concurrence, but that till then I could not separate from the Parliament, much less oppose them, without the danger of being banished to Brussels; that as for his own part, he might come off better because of his knowledge of military affairs, and of the assurances which Spain was able to give him, but, nevertheless, I desired him to remember M. d’Aumale, who fell into the depth of poverty as soon as he had lost all protection but that of Spain, and, consequently, that it was his interest as well as mine to side with the Parliament till we ourselves had secured some position in the kingdom; till the Spanish army, was actually on the march and our troops were encamped without the city; and till the declaration of M. de Turenne was carried out, which would be the decisive blow, because it would strengthen our party with a body of troops altogether independent of strangers, or rather it would form a party perfectly French, capable by its own strength to carry on our cause.

This last consideration overjoyed Madame de Bouillon, who, however, when she found that the company was gone without resolving to make themselves masters of the Parliament, became very angry, and said to the Duke:

"I told you beforehand that you would be swayed by the Coadjutor."

The Duke replied: "What! madame, would you have the Coadjutor, for our sakes only, run the risk of being no more than chaplain to Fuensaldagne? Is it possible that you cannot comprehend what he has been preaching to you for these last three days?"

I replied to her with a great deal of temper, and said, "Don’t you think that we shall act more securely when our troops are out of Paris, when we receive the Archduke’s answer, and when Turenne has made a public declaration?"

"Yes, I do," she said, "but the Parliament will take one step to-morrow which will render all your preliminaries of no use."

"Never fear, madame," said I, "I will undertake that, if our measures succeed, we shall be in a condition to despise all that the Parliament can do."

"Will you promise it?" she asked.

"Yes," said I, "and, more than that, I am ready to seal it with my blood."

She took me at my word, and though the Duke used all the arguments with her which he could think of, she bound my thumb with silk, and with a needle drew blood, with which she obliged me to sign a promissory note as follows: "I promise to Madame la Duchesse de Bouillon to continue united with the Duke her husband against the Parliament in case M. de Turenne approaches with the army under his command within twenty leagues of Paris and declares for the city." M. de Bouillon threw it into the fire, and endeavoured to convince the Duchess of what I had said, that if our preliminaries should succeed we should still stand upon our own bottom, notwithstanding all that the Parliament could do, and that if they did miscarry we should still have the satisfaction of not being the authors of a confusion which would infallibly cover me with shame and ruin, and be an uncertain advantage to the family of De Bouillon.

During this discussion a captain in M. d’Elbeuf’s regiment of Guards was seen to throw money to the crowd to encourage them to go to the Parliament House and cry out, "No peace!" upon which M. de Bouillon and I agreed to send the Duke these words upon the back of a card: "It will be dangerous for you to be at the Parliament House to-morrow." M. d’Elbeuf came in all haste to the Palace of Bouillon to know the meaning of this short caution. M. de Bouillon told him he had heard that the people had got a notion that both the Duke and himself held a correspondence with Mazarin, and that therefore it was their best way not to go to the House for fear of the mob, which might be expected there next day.

M. d’Elbeuf, knowing that the people did not care for him, and that he was no safer in his own house than elsewhere, said that he feared his absence on such an occasion might be interpreted to his disadvantage. M. de Bouillon, having no other design but to alarm him with imaginary fears of a public disturbance, at once made himself sure of him another way, by telling him it was most advisable for him to be at the Parliament, but that he need not expose himself, and therefore had best go along with me.

I went with him accordingly, and found a multitude of people in the Great Hall, crying, "God bless the Coadjutor! no peace! no Mazarin!" and M. de Beaufort entering another way at the same time, the echoes of our names spread everywhere, so that the people mistook it for a concerted design to disturb the proceedings of Parliament, and as in a commotion everything that confirms us in the belief of it augments likewise the number of mutineers, we were very near bringing about in one moment what we had been a whole week labouring to prevent.

The First President and President de Mesmes having, in concert with the other deputies, suppressed the answer the Queen made them in writing, lest some harsh expressions contained therein should give offence, put the best colour they could upon the obliging terms in which the Queen had spoken to them; and then the House appointed commissioners for the treaty, leaving it to the Queen to name the place, and agreed to send the King’s Council next day to demand the opening of the passages, in pursuance of the Queen’s promise. The President de Mesmes, surprised to meet with no opposition, either from the generals or myself, said to the First President, "Here is a wonderful harmony! but I fear the consequences of this dissembled moderation." I believe he was much more surprised when the sergeants came to acquaint the House that the mob threatened to murder all that were for the conference before Mazarin was sent out of the kingdom. But M. de Beaufort and I went out and soon dispersed them, so that the members retired without the least danger, which inspired the Parliament with such a degree of boldness afterwards that it nearly proved their ruin.

On the 2d of March, 1649, letters were brought to the Parliament from the Duc d’Orleans and the Prince de Conde, expressing a great deal of joy at what the Parliament had done, but denying that the Queen had promised to throw open the passages, upon which the Parliament fell into such a rage as I cannot describe to you. They sent orders to the King’s Council, who were gone that morning to Saint Germain to fetch the passports for the deputies, to declare that the Parliament was resolved to hold no conference with the Court till the Queen had performed her promise made to the First President. I thought it a very proper time to let the Court see that the Parliament had not lost all its vigour, and made a motion, by Broussel, that, considering the insincerity of the Court, the levies might be continued and new commissions given out. The proposition was received with applause, and the Prince de Conti was desired to issue commissions accordingly.

M. de Beaufort, in concert with M. de Bouillon, M. de La Mothe and myself, exclaimed against this contravention, and offered, in the name of his colleagues and his own, to open all the passages themselves if the Parliament would but take a firm resolution and be no more beguiled by deceitful proposals, which had only served to keep the whole nation in suspense, who would otherwise have declared by this time in favour of its capital. It is inconceivable what influence these few words had upon the audience, everybody concluded that the treaty was already broken off; but a moment after they thought the contrary, for the King’s Council returned with the passports for the deputies, and instead of an order for opening the passages, a grant—such a one as it was—of 500 quarters of corn per diem was made for the subsistence of the city. However, the Parliament took all in good part; all that had been said and done a quarter of an hour before was buried in oblivion, and they made preparations to go next day to Ruel, the place named by the Queen for the conference.

The Prince de Conti, M. de Beaufort, M. d’Elbeuf, Marechal de La Mothe, M. de Brissac, President Bellievre, and myself met that night at M. de Bouillon’s house, where a motion was made for the generals of the army to send a deputation likewise to the place of conference; but it was quashed, and indeed nothing would have been more absurd than such a proceeding when we were upon the point of concluding a treaty with Spain; and, considering that we told the envoy that we should never have consented to hold any conference with the Court were we not assured that it was in our power to break it off at pleasure by means of the people.

The Parliament having lately reproached both the generals and troops with being afraid to venture without the gates, M. de Bouillon, seeing the danger was over, proposed at this meeting, for the satisfaction of the citizens, to carry them to a camp betwixt the Marne and the Seine, where they might be as safe as at Paris. The motion was agreed to without consulting the Parliament, and, accordingly, on the 4th of March, the troops marched out and the deputies of Parliament went to Ruel.

The Court party flattered themselves that, upon the marching of the militia out of Paris, the citizens, being left to themselves, would become more tractable, and the President de Mesmes made his boast of what he said to the generals, to persuade them to encamp their army. But Senneterre, one of the ablest men at Court, soon penetrated our designs and undeceived the Court. He told the First President and De Mesmes that they were beguiled and that they would see it in a little time. The First President, who could never see two different things at one view, was so overjoyed when he heard the forces had gone out of Paris that he cried out:

"Now the Coadjutor will have no more mercenary brawlers at the Parliament House."

"Nor," said the President de Mesmes, "so many cutthroats."

Senneterre, like a wise man, said to them both:

"It is not the Coadjutor’s interest to murder you, but to bring you under. The people would serve his turn for the first if he aimed at it, and the army is admirably well encamped for the latter. If he is not a more honest man than he is looked upon to be here, we are likely to have a tedious civil war."

The Cardinal confessed that Senneterre was in the right, for, on the one hand, the Prince de Conde perceived that our army, being so advantageously posted as not to be attacked, would be capable of giving him more trouble than if they were still within the walls of the city, and, on the other hand, we began to talk with more courage in Parliament than usual.

The afternoon of the 4th of March gave us a just occasion to show it. The deputies arriving at Ruel understood that Cardinal Mazarin was one of the commissioners named by the Queen to assist at the conference. The Parliamentary deputies pretended that they could not confer with a person actually condemned by Parliament. M. de Tellier told them in the name of the Duc d’Orleans that the Queen thought it strange that they were not contented to treat upon an equality with their sovereign, but that they should presume to limit his authority by excluding his deputies. The First President and the Court seeming to be immovable, we sent orders to our deputies not to comply, and to communicate, as a great secret, to President de Mesmes and M. Menardeau, both creatures of the Court, the following postscript of a letter I wrote to Longueville:

"P.S.—We have concerted our measures, and are now capable to speak
more to the purpose than we have been hitherto, and since I finished
this letter I have received a piece of news which obliges me to tell
you that if the Parliament do not behave very prudently, they will
certainly be ruined."

Upon this the deputies were resolved to insist upon excluding the Cardinal from the conference, a determination which was so odious to the people that, had we permitted it, we should certainly have lost all our credit with them, and been obliged to shut the gates against our deputies upon their return.

When the Court saw that the deputies desired a convoy to conduct them home, they found out an expedient, which was received with great joy; namely, to appoint two deputies on the part of the Parliament, and two on the part of the King, to confer at the house of the Duc d’Orleans, exclusive of the Cardinal, who was thereupon obliged to return to Saint Germain with mortification.

On the 5th of March, Don Francisco Pisarro, a second envoy from the Archduke, arrived in Paris, with his and Count Fuensaldagne’s answer to our former despatches by Don Jose d’Illescas, and full powers for a treaty; instructions for M. de Bouillon, an obliging letter from the Archduke to the Prince de Conti, and another to myself, from Count Fuensaldagne, importing that the King, his master, would not take my word, but would depend upon whatever I promised Madame de Bouillon.

The Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville, prompted by M. de La Rochefoucault, were for an alliance with Spain, in a manner without restriction. M. d’Elbeuf aimed at nothing but getting money. M. de Beaufort, at the persuasion of Madame de Montbazon, who was resolved to sell him dear to the Spaniards, was very scrupulous to enter into a treaty with the enemies of the State; Marechal de La Mothe declared he could not come to any resolution till he saw M. de Longueville, and Madame de Longueville questioned whether her husband would come into it; and yet these very persons but a fortnight before unanimously wrote to the Archduke for full powers to treat with him.

M. de Bouillon told them that he thought they were absolutely obliged to treat with Spain, considering the advances they had already made to the Archduke to that end, and desired them to recollect how they had told his envoy that they waited only for these full powers and instructions to treat with him; that the Archduke had now sent his full powers in the most obliging manner; and that, moreover, he had already gone out of Brussels, to lead his army himself to their assistance, without staying for their engagement. He begged them to consider that if they took the least step backwards, after such advances, it might provoke Spain to take such measures as would be both contrary to our security and to our honour; that the ill-concerted proceedings of the Parliament gave us just grounds to fear being left to shift for ourselves; that indeed our army was now more useful than it had been before, but—yet not strong enough to give us relief in proportion to our necessities, especially if it were not, at least in the beginning, supported by a powerful force; and that, consequently, a treaty was necessary to be entered into and concluded with the Archduke, but not upon any mean conditions; that his envoys had brought carte blanche, but that we ought to consider how to fill it up; that he promised us everything, but though in treaties the strongest may safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit, it is certain he cannot perform everything, and therefore the weakest should be very wary.

The Duke added that the Spaniards, of all people, expected honourable usage at the beginning of treaties, and he conjured them to leave the management of the Spanish envoys to himself and the Coadjutor, "who," said he, "has declared all along that he expects no advantage either from the present troubles or from any arrangement, and is therefore altogether to be depended upon."

This discourse was relished by all the company, who accordingly engaged us to compare notes with the envoys of Spain, and make our report to the Prince de Conti and the other generals.

M. de Bouillon assured me that the Spaniards would not enter upon French ground till we engaged ourselves not to lay down our arms except in conjunction with them; that is, in a treaty for a general peace; but our difficulty was how to enter into an engagement of that nature at a time when we could not be sure but that the Parliament might conclude a particular peace the next moment. In the meantime a courier came in from M. de Turenne, crying, "Good news!" as he entered into the court. He brought letters for Madame and Mademoiselle de Bouillon and myself, by which we were assured that M. de Turenne and his army, which was without dispute the finest at that time in all Europe, had declared for us; that Erlach, Governor of Brisac, had with him 1,000 or 1,200 men, who were all he had been able to seduce; that my dear friend and kinsman, the Vicomte de Lamet, was marching directly to our assistance with 2,000 horse; and that M. de Turenne was to follow on such a day with the larger part of the army. You will be surprised, without doubt, to hear that M. de Turenne, General of the King’s troops, one who was never a party man, and would never hear talk of party intrigues, should now declare against the Court and perform an action which, I am sure, Le Balafre—

[Henri de Lorraine, first of that name, Duc de Guise, surnamed Le
Balafre, because of a wound he received in the left cheek at the
battle of Dormans, the scar of which he carried to his grave. He
formed the League, and was stabbed at an assembly of the States of
Blois in 1588.]

and Amiral de Coligny would not have undertaken without hesitation. Your wonder will increase yet more when I tell you that the motive of this surprising conduct of his is a secret to this day. His behaviour also during his declaration, which he supported but five days, is equally surprising and mysterious. This shows that it is possible for some extraordinary characters to be raised above the malice and envy of vulgar souls; for the merit of any person inferior to the Marshal must have been totally eclipsed by such an unaccountable event.

Upon the arrival of this express from Turenne I told M. de Bouillon it was my opinion that, if the Spaniards would engage to advance as far as Pont-a-Verre and act on this side of it in concert only with us, we should make no scruple of pledging ourselves not to lay down our arms till the conclusion of a general peace, provided they kept their promise given to the Parliament of referring themselves to its arbitration. "The true interest of the public," said I, "is a general peace, that of the Parliament and other bodies is the reestablishment of good order, and that of your Grace and others, with myself, is to contribute to the before-mentioned blessings in such manner that we may be esteemed the authors of them; all other advantages are necessarily attached to this, and the only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them. You know that I have frequently vowed I had no private interest to serve in this affair, and I will keep my vow to the end. Your circumstances are different from mine; you aim at Sedan, and you are in the right. M. de Beaufort wants to be admiral, and I cannot blame him. M. de Longueville has other demands—with all my heart. The Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville would be, for the future, independent of the Prince de Conde; that independence they shall have.

"Now, in order to attain to these ends, the only means is to look another way, to turn all our thoughts to bring about a general peace, and to sign to-morrow the most solemn and positive engagement with the enemy, and, the better to please the public, to insert in the articles the expulsion of Cardinal Mazarin as their mortal enemy, to cause the Spanish forces to come up immediately to Pont-a-Verre, and those of M. de Turenne to advance into Champagne, and to go without any loss of time to propose to the Parliament what Don Josh d’Illescas has offered them already in relation to a general peace, to dispose them to vote as we would have them, which they will not fail to do considering the circumstances we are now in, and to send orders to our deputies at Ruel either to get the Queen to nominate a place to confer about a general peace or to return the next day to their seats in Parliament. I am willing to think that the Court, seeing to what an extremity they are reduced, will comply, than which what can be more for our honour?

"And if the Court should refuse this proposition at present, will they not be of another mind before two months are at an end? Will not the provinces, which are already hesitating, then declare in our favour? And is the army of the Prince de Conde in a condition to engage that of Spain and ours in conjunction with that of M. de Turenne? These two last, when joined, will put us above all the apprehensions from foreign forces which have hitherto made us uneasy; they will depend much more on us than we on them; we shall continue masters of Paris by our own strength, and the more securely because the intervening authority of Parliament will the more firmly unite us to the people. The declaration of M. de Turenne is the only means to unite Spain with the Parliament for our defence, which we could not have as much as hoped for otherwise; it gives us an opportunity to engage with Parliament, in concert with whom we cannot act amiss, and this is the only moment when such an engagement is both possible and profitable. The First President and De Mesmes are now out of the way, and it will be much easier for us to obtain what we want in Parliament than if they were present, and if what is commanded in the Parliamentary decree is faithfully executed, we shall gain our point, and unite the Chambers for that great work of a general peace. If the Court still rejects our proposals, and those of the deputies who are for the Court refuse to follow our motion or to share in our fortune, we shall gain as much in another respect; we shall keep ourselves still attached to the body of the Parliament, from which they will be deemed deserters, and we shall have much greater weight in the House than now.

"This is my opinion, which I am willing to sign and to offer to the Parliament if you seize this, the only opportunity. For if M. de Turenne should alter his mind before it be done, I should then oppose this scheme with as much warmth as I now recommend it."

The Duke said in answer: "Nothing can have a more promising aspect than what you have now proposed; it is very practicable, but equally pernicious for all private persons. Spain will promise all, but perform nothing after we have once promised to enter into no treaty, with the Court but for a general peace. This being the only thing the Spaniards have in view, they will abandon us as soon as they, can obtain it, and if we urge on this great scheme at once, as you would have us, they would undoubtedly obtain it in a fortnight’s time, for France would certainly make it with precipitation, and I know the Spaniards would be glad to purchase it on any terms. This being the case, in what a condition shall we be the next day after we have made and procured this general peace? We should indeed have the honour of it, but would this honour screen us against the hatred and curses of the Court? Would the house of Austria take up arms again to rescue you and me from a prison? You will say, perhaps, we may stipulate some conditions with Spain which may secure us from all insults of this kind; but I think I shall have answered this objection when I assure you that Spain is so pressed with home troubles that she would not hesitate, for the sake of peace, to break the most solemn promises made to us; and this is an inconvenience for which I see no remedy.

"If Spain should be worse than her word with respect to the expulsion of Mazarin, what will become of us? And will the honour of our contributing to the general peace atone for the preservation of a minister to get rid of whom they took up arms? You know how they abhor the Cardinal; and, suppose the Cardinal be excluded from the Ministry, according to promise, shall we not still be exposed to the hatred of the Queen, to the resentment of the Prince de Conde, and to all the evil consequences that may be expected from an enraged Court for such an action? There is no true glory but what is durable; transitory honour is mere smoke. Of this sort is that which we shall acquire by this peace, if we do not support it by such alliances as will gain us the reputation of wisdom as well as of honesty. I admire your disinterestedness above all, and esteem it, but I am very well assured that if mine went the length of yours you would not, approve of it. Your family is settled; consider mine, and cast your eyes on the condition of this lady and on that of both the father and children."

I answered: "The Spaniards must needs have great regard for us, seeing us absolute masters of Paris, with eight thousand foot and three thousand horse at its gates, and the best disciplined troops in the world marching to our assistance." I did all I could to bring him over to my opinion, and he strove as much to persuade me to enter into his measures; namely, to pretend to the envoys that we were absolutely resolved to act in concert with them for a general peace, but to tell them at the same time that we thought it more proper that the Parliament should likewise be consulted; and, as that would require some time, we might in the meanwhile occupy the envoys by signing a treaty with them, previous to coming to terms with. The Parliament, which by its tenor would not tie us up to conclude anything positively in relation to the general peace; "yet this," said he, "would be a sufficient motive to cause them to advance with their army, and that of my brother will come up at the same time, which will astonish the Court and incline them to an arrangement. And forasmuch as in our treaty with Spain we leave a back door open by the clause which relates to the Parliament, we shall be sure to make good use of it for the advantage of the public and of ourselves in case of the Court’s noncompliance."

These considerations, though profoundly wise, did not convince me, because I thought his inference was not well-grounded. I saw he might well enough engage the attention of the envoys, but I could not imagine how he could beguile the Parliament, who were actually treating with the Court by their deputies sent to Ruel, and who would certainly run madly into a peace, notwithstanding all their late performances. I foresaw that without a public declaration to restrain the Parliament from going their own lengths we should fall again, if one of our strings chanced to break, into the necessity of courting the assistance of the people, which I looked upon as the most dangerous proceeding of all.

M. de Bouillon asked me what I meant by saying, "if one of our strings chanced to break." I replied, "For example, if M. de Turenne should be dead at this juncture, or if his army has revolted, as it was likely to do under the influence of M. d’Erlach, pray what would become of us if we should not engage the Parliament? We should be tribunes of the people one day, and the next valets de chambre to Count Fuensaldagne. Everything with the Parliament and nothing without them is the burden of my song."

After several hours’ dispute neither of us was convinced, and I went away very much perplexed, the rather because M. de Bouillon, being the great confidant of the Spaniards, I doubted not but he could make their envoys believe what he pleased.

I was still more puzzled when I came home and found a letter from Madame de Lesdiguieres, offering me extraordinary advantages in the Queen’s name the payment of my debts, the grant of certain abbeys, and a nomination to the dignity of cardinal. Another note I found with these words: "The declaration of the army of Germany has put us all into consternation." I concluded they would not fail to try experiments with others as well as myself, and since M. de Bouillon began to think of a back door when all things smiled upon us, I guessed the rest of our party would not neglect to enter the great door now flung open to receive them by the declaration of M. de Turenne. That which afflicted me most of all was to see that M. de Bouillon was not a man of that judgment and penetration I took him for in this critical and decisive juncture, when the question was the engaging or not engaging the Parliament. He had urged me more than twenty times to do what I now offered, and the reason why I now urged what I before rejected was the declaration of M. de Turenne, his own brother, which should have made him bolder than I; but, instead of this, it slackened his courage, and he flattered himself that Cardinal Mazarin would let him have Sedan. This was the centre of all his views, and he preferred these petty advantages to what he might have gained by procuring peace to Europe. This false step made me pass this judgment upon the Duke: that, though he was a person of very great parts, yet I questioned his capacity for the mighty things which he has not done, and of which some men thought him very capable. It is the greatest remissness on the part of a great man to neglect the moment that is to make his reputation, and this negligence, indeed, scarcely ever happens but when a man expects another moment as favourable to make his fortune; and so people are commonly deceived both ways.

The Duke was more nice than wise at this juncture, which is very often the case. I found afterwards that the Prince de Conti was of his opinion, and I guessed, by some circumstances, that he was engaged in some private negotiation. M. d’Elbeuf was as meek as a lamb, and seemed, as far as he dared, to improve what had been advanced already by M. de Bouillon. A servant of his told me also that he believed his master had made his peace with the Court. M. de Beaufort showed by his behaviour that Madame de Montbazon had done what she could to cool his courage, but his irresolution did not embarrass me very much, because I knew I had her in my power, and his vote, added to that of MM. de Brissac, de La Mothe, de Noirmoutier and de Bellievre, who all fell in with my sentiments, would have turned the balance on my side if the regard for M. de Turenne, who was now the life and soul of the party, and the Spaniards’ confidence in M. de Bouillon, had not obliged me to make a virtue of necessity.

I found both the Archduke’s envoys quite of an other mind; indeed, they were still desirous of an agreement for a general peace, but they would have it after the manner of M. de Bouillon, at two separate times, which he had made them believe would be more for their advantage, because thereby we should bring the Parliament into it. I saw who was at the bottom of it, and, considering the orders they had to follow his advice in everything, all I could allege to the contrary would be of no use. I laid the state of affairs before the President de Bellievre, who was of my opinion, and considered that a contrary course would infallibly prove our ruin, thinking, nevertheless, that compliance would be highly convenient at this time, because we depended absolutely on the Spaniards and on M. de Turenne, who had hitherto made no proposals but such as were dictated by M. de Bouillon.

When I found that all M. de Bellievre and I said could not persuade M. de Bouillon, I feigned to come round to his opinion, and to submit to the authority of the Prince de Conti, our Generalissimo. We agreed to treat with the Archduke upon the plan of M. de Bouillon; that is, that he should advance his army as far as Pont-A-Verre, and further, if the generals desired it; who, on their part, would omit nothing to oblige the Parliament to enter into this treaty, or rather, to make a new one for a general peace; that is to say, to oblige the King to treat upon reasonable conditions, the particulars whereof his Catholic Majesty would refer to the arbitration of the Parliament. M. de Bouillon engaged to have this treaty ’in totidem verbis’ signed by the Spanish ministers, and did not so much as ask me whether I would sign it or no. All the company rejoiced at having the Spaniards’ assistance upon such easy terms, and at being at full liberty to receive the propositions of the Court, which now, upon the declaration of M. de Turenne, could not fail to be very advantageous.

The treaty was accordingly signed in the Prince de Conti’s room at the Hotel de Ville, but I forbore to set my hand to it, though solicited by M. de Bouillon, unless they would come to some final resolution; yet I gave them my word that, if the Parliament would be contented, I had such expedients in my power as would give them all the time necessary to withdraw their troops. I had two reasons for what I said: first, I knew Fuensaldagne to be a wise man, that he would be of a different opinion from his envoys, and that he would never venture his army into the heart of the kingdom with so little assurance from the generals and none at all from me; secondly, because I was willing to show to our generals that I would not, as far as it lay in my power, suffer the Spaniards to be treacherously surprised or insulted in case of an arrangement between the Court and the Parliament; though I had protested twenty times in the same conference that I would not separate myself from the Parliament.

M. d’Elbeuf said, "You cannot find the expedients you talk of but in having recourse to the people."

"M. de Bouillon will answer for me," said I, "that it is not there that I am to find my expedients."

M. de Bouillon, being desirous that I should sign, said, "I know that it is not your intent, but I am fully persuaded that you mean well, that you do not act as you would propose, and that we retain more respect for the Parliament by signing than you do by refusing to sign; for, "speaking very low, that he might not be heard by the Spanish ministers, "we keep a back door open to get off handsomely with the Parliament."

"They will open that door," said I, "when you could wish it shut, as is but too apparent already, and you will be glad to shut it when you cannot; the Parliament is not a body to be jested with."

After the signing of the treaty, I was told that the envoys had given 2,000 pistoles to Madame de Montbazon and as much to M. d’Elbeuf.

De Bellievre, who waited for me at home, whither I returned full of vexation, used an expression which has been since verified by the event: "We failed, this day," said he, "to induce the Parliament, which if we had done, all had been safe and right. Pray God that everything goes well, for if but one of our strings fails us we are undone."

As for the conferences for a peace with the Court at Ruel, it was proposed on the Queen’s part that the Parliament should adjourn their session to Saint Germain, just to ratify the articles of the peace, and not to meet afterwards for two or three years; but the deputies of Parliament insisted that it was their privilege to assemble when and where they pleased. When these and the like stories came to the ears of the Parisians they were so incensed that the only talk of the Great Chamber was to recall the deputies, and the generals seeing themselves now respected by the Court, who had little regard for them before the declaration of M. de Turenne, thought that the more the Court was embarrassed the better, and therefore incited the Parliament and people to clamour, that the Cardinal might see that things did not altogether depend upon the conference at Ruel. I, likewise, contributed what lay in my power to moderate the precipitation of the First President and President de Mesmes towards anything that looked like an agreement.

On the 8th of March the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that M. de Turenne offered them his services and person against Cardinal Mazarin, the enemy of the State. I said that I was informed a declaration had been issued the night before at Saint Germain against M. de Turenne, as guilty of high treason. The Parliament unanimously passed a decree to annul it, to authorise his taking arms, to enjoin all the King’s subjects to give him free passage and support, and to raise the necessary funds for the payment of his troops, lest the 800,000 livres sent from Court to General d’Erlach should corrupt the officers and soldiers. A severe edict was issued against Courcelles, Lavardin, and Amilly, who had levied troops for the King in the province of Maine, and the commonalty were permitted to meet at the sound of the alarm-bell and to fall foul of all those who had held assemblies without order of Parliament.

On the 9th a decree was passed to suspend the conference till all the promises made by the Court to allow the entry of provisions were punctually executed.

The Prince de Conti informed the House the same day that he was desired by M. de Longueville to assure them that he would set out from Rouen on the 15th with 7,000 foot and 3,000 horse, and march directly to Saint Germain; the Parliament was incredibly overjoyed, and desired the Prince de Conti to press him to hasten his march as much as possible.

On the 10th the member for Normandy told the House that the Parliament of Rennes only stayed for the Duc de la Tremouille to join against the common enemy.

On the 11th an envoy from M. de la Tremouille offered the Parliament, in his master’s name, 8,000 foot and 2,000 horse, who were in a condition to march in two days, provided the House would permit his master to seize on all the public money at Poitiers, Niort, and other places whereof he was already master. The Parliament thanked him, passed a decree with full powers accordingly, and desired him to hasten his levies with all expedition.

Posterity will hardly believe that, notwithstanding all this heat in the party, which one would have thought could not have immediately evaporated, a peace was made and signed the same day; but of this more by and by.

While the Court, as has been before hinted, was tampering with the generals, Madame de Montbazon promised M. de Beaufort’s support to the Queen; but her Majesty understood that it was not to be done if I were not at the market to approve of the sale. La Riviere despised M. d’Elbeuf no longer. M. de Bouillon, since his brother’s declaration, seemed more inclined than before to come to an arrangement with the Court, but his pretentions ran very high, and both the brothers were in such a situation that a little assistance would not suffice, and as to the offers made to myself by Madame de Lesdiguieres, I returned such an answer as convinced the Court that I was not so easily to be moved.

In short, Cardinal Mazarin found all the avenues to a negotiation either shut or impassable. This despair of success in the Court was eventually more to the advantage of the Court than the most refined politics, for it did not hinder them from negotiating, the Cardinal’s natural temper not permitting him to do otherwise; but, however, he could not trust to the carrying out of negotiations, and therefore beguiled our generals with fair promises, while he remitted 800,000 livres to buy off the army of M. de Turenne, and obliged the deputies at Ruel to sign a peace against the orders of the Parliament that sent them. The President de Mesmes assured me several times since that this peace was purely the result of a conversation he had with the Cardinal on the 8th of March at night, when his Eminence told him he saw plainly that M. de Bouillon would not treat till he had the Spaniards and M. de Turenne at the gates of Paris; that is, till he saw himself in the position to seize one-half of the kingdom. The President made him this answer:

"There is no hope of any security but in making the Coadjutor a cardinal."

To which Mazarin answered: "He is worse than the other, who at least seemed once inclined to treat, but he is still for a general peace, or for none at all."

President de Mesmes replied: "If things are come to this pass we must be the victims to save the State from perishing—we must sign the peace. For after what the Parliament has done to-day there is no remedy, and perhaps tomorrow we shall be recalled; if we are disowned in what we do we are ruined, the gates of Paris will be shut against us, and we shall be prosecuted and treated as prevaricators and traitors. It is our business and concern to procure such conditions as will give us good ground to justify our proceedings, and if the terms are but reasonable, we know how to improve them against the factions; but make them as you please yourself, I will sign them all, and will go this moment to acquaint the First President that this is the only expedient to save the State. If it takes effect we have peace, if we are disowned by the Parliament we still weaken the faction, and the danger will fall upon none but ourselves." He added that with much difficulty he had persuaded the First President.

The peace was signed by Cardinal Mazarin, as well as by the other deputies, on the part of the King. The substance of the articles was that Parliament should just go to Saint Germain to proclaim the peace, and then return to Paris, but hold no assembly that year; that all their public decrees since the 6th of January should be made void, as likewise all ordinances of Council, declarations and ’lettres de cachet’; that as soon as the King had withdrawn his troops from Paris, all the forces raised for the defence of the city should be disbanded, and the inhabitants lay down their arms and not take them up again without the King’s order; that the Archduke’s deputy should be dismissed without an answer, that there should be a general amnesty, and that the King should also give a general discharge for all the public money made use of, as also for the movables sold and for all the arms and ammunition taken out of the arsenal and elsewhere.

M. and Madame de Bouillon were extremely surprised when they heard that the peace was signed. I did not expect the Parliament would make it so soon, but I said frequently that it would be a very shameful one if we should let them alone to make it. M. de Bouillon owned that I had foretold it often enough. "I confess," said he, "that we are entirely to blame," which expression made me respect him more than ever, for I think it a greater virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one. The Prince de Conti, MM. d’Elbeuf, de Beaufort, and de La Mothe were very much surprised, too, at the signing of the peace, especially because their agent at Saint Germain had assured them that the Court was fully persuaded that the Parliament was but a cipher, and that the generals were the men with whom they must negotiate. I confess that Cardinal Mazarin acted a very wily part in this juncture, and he is the more to be commended because he was obliged to defend himself, not only against the monstrous impertinences of La Riviere, but against the violent passion of the Prince de Conde.

We held a council at the Duc de Bouillon’s, where I persuaded them that as our deputies were recalled by an order despatched from Parliament before the treaty was signed, it was therefore void, and that we ought to take no notice of it, the rather because it had not been communicated to Parliament in form; and, finally, that the deputies should be charged to insist on a general treaty of peace and on the expulsion of Mazarin; and, if they did not succeed, to return forthwith to their seats in Parliament. But I added that if the deputies should have time to return and make their report, we should be under the necessity of protesting, which would so incense the people against them that we should not be able to keep them from butchering the First President and the President de Mesmes, so that we should be reputed the authors of the tragedy, and, though formidable one day, should be every whit as odious the next. I concluded with offering to sacrifice my coadjutorship of Paris to the anger of the Queen and the hatred of the Cardinal, and that very cheerfully, if they would but come into my measures.

M. de Bouillon, after having opposed my reasons, concluded thus: "I know that my brother’s declaration and my urging the necessity of his advancing with the army before we come to a positive resolution may give ground to a belief that I have great views for our family. I do not deny but that I hope for some advantages, and am persuaded it is lawful for me to do so, but I will be content to forfeit my reputation if I ever agree with the Court till you all say you are satisfied; and if I do not keep my word I desire the Coadjutor to disgrace me."

After all I thought it best to submit to the Prince de Conti and the voice of the majority, who resolved very wisely not to explain themselves in detail next morning in Parliament, but that the Prince de Conti should only say, in general, that it being the common report that the peace was signed at Ruel, he was resolved to send deputies thither to take care of his and the other generals’ interests.

The Prince agreed at once with our decision. Meantime the people rose at the report I had spread concerning Mazarin’s signing the treaty, which, though we all considered it a necessary stratagem, I now repented of. This shows that a civil war is one of those complicated diseases wherein the remedy you prescribe for obviating one dangerous symptom sometimes inflames three or four others.

On the 13th the deputies of Ruel entering the Parliament House, which was in great tumult, M. d’Elbeuf, contrary to the resolution taken at M. de Bouillon’s, asked the deputies whether they had taken care of the interest of the generals in the treaty.

The First President was going to make his report, but was almost stunned with the clamour of the whole company, crying, "There is no peace! there is no peace!" that the deputies had scandalously deserted the generals and all others whom the Parliament had joined by the decree of union, and, besides, that they had concluded a peace after the revocation of the powers given them to treat. The Prince de Conti said very calmly that he wondered they had concluded a treaty without the generals; to which the First President answered that the generals had always protested that they had no separate interests from those of the Parliament, and it was their own fault that they had not sent their deputies. M. de Bouillon said that, since Cardinal Mazarin was to continue Prime Minister, he desired that Parliament should obtain a passport for him to retire out of the kingdom. The First President replied that his interest had been taken care of, and that he would have satisfaction for Sedan. But M. de Bouillon told him that he might as well have said nothing, and that he would never separate from the other generals. The clamour redoubled with such fury that President de Mesmes trembled like an aspen leaf. M. de Beaufort, laying his hand upon his sword, said, "Gentlemen, this shall never be drawn for Mazarin."

The Presidents de Coigneux and de Bellievre proposed that the deputies might be sent back to treat about the interests of the generals and to reform the articles which the Parliament did not like; but they were soon silenced by a sudden noise in the Great Hall, and the usher came in trembling and said that the people called for M. de Beaufort. He went out immediately, and quieted them for the time, but no sooner had he got inside the House than the disturbance began afresh, and an infinite number of people, armed with daggers, called out for the original treaty, that they might have Mazarin’s sign-manual burnt by the hangman, adding that if the deputies had signed the peace of their own accord they ought to be hanged, and if against their will they ought to be disowned. They were told that the sign-manual of the Cardinal could not be burnt without burning at the same time that of the Duc d’Orleans, but that the deputies were to be sent back again to get the articles amended. The people still cried out, "No peace! no Mazarin! You must go! We will have our good King fetched from Saint Germain, and all Mazarins thrown into the river!"

The people were ready to break open the great door of the House, yet the First President was so far from being terrified that, when he was advised to pass through the registry into his own house that he might not be seen, he replied, "If I was sure to perish I would never be guilty of such cowardice, which would only serve to make the mob more insolent, who would be ready to come to my house if they thought I was afraid of them here." And when I begged him not to expose himself till I had pacified the people he passed it off with a joke, by which I found he took me for the author of the disturbance, though very unjustly. However, I did not resent it, but went into the Great Hall, and, mounting the solicitors’ bench, waved my hands to the people, who thereupon cried, "Silence!" I said all I could think of to make them easy. They asked if I would promise that the Peace of Ruel should not be kept. I answered, "Yes, provided the people will be quiet, for otherwise their best friends will be obliged to take other methods to prevent such disturbances." I acted in a quarter of an hour above thirty different parts. I threatened, I commanded, I entreated them; and, finding I was sure of a calm, at least for a moment, I returned to the House, and, embracing the First President, placed him before me; M. de Beaufort did the same with President de Mesmes, and thus we went out with the Parliament, all in a body, the officers of the House marching in front. The people made a great noise, and we heard some crying, "A republic!" but no injury was offered to us, only M. de Bouillon received a blow in his face from a ragamuffin, who took him for Cardinal Mazarin.

On the 16th the deputies were sent again to Ruel by the Parliament to amend some of the articles, particularly those for adjourning the Parliament to Saint Germain and prohibiting their future assemblies; with an order to take care of the interest of the generals and of the companies, joined together by the decree of union.

The late disturbances obliged the Parliament to post the city trainedbands at their gates, who were even more enraged against the "Mazarin peace," as they called it, than the mob, and who were far less dreaded, because they consisted of citizens who were not for plunder; yet this select militia was ten times on the point of insulting the Parliament, and did actually insult the members of the Council and Presidents, threatening to throw the President de Thore into the river; and when the First President and his friends saw that they were afraid of putting their threats into execution, they took an advantage of us, and had the boldness even to reproach the generals, as if the troops had not done their duty; though if the generals had but spoken loud enough to be heard by the people, they would not have been able to hinder them from tearing the members to pieces.

The Duc de Bouillon came to the Hotel de Ville and made a speech there to Prince de Conti and the other generals, in substance as follows:

"I could never have believed what I now see of this Parliament. On the 13th they would not hear the Peace of Ruel mentioned, but on the 15th they approved of it, some few articles excepted; on the 16th they despatched the same deputies who had concluded a peace against their orders with full and unlimited powers, and, not content with all this, they load us with reproaches because we complain that they have treated for a peace without us, and have abandoned M. de Longueville and M. de Turenne; and yet it is owing only to us that the people do not massacre them. We must save their lives at the hazard of our own, and I own that it is wisdom so to do; but we shall all of us certainly perish with the Parliament if we let them go on at this rate." Then, addressing himself to the Prince de Conti, he said, "I am for closing with the Coadjutor’s late advice at my house, and if your Highness does not put it into execution before two days are at an end, we shall have a peace less secure and more scandalous than the former."

The company became unanimously of his opinion, and resolved to meet next day at M. de Bouillon’s to consider how to bring the affair into Parliament. In the meantime, Don Gabriel de Toledo arrived with the Archduke’s ratification of the treaty signed by the generals, and with a present from his master of 10,000 pistoles; but I was resolved to let the Spaniards see that I had not the intention of taking their money, though at his request Madame de Bouillon did all she could to persuade me. Accordingly, I declined it with all possible respect; nevertheless, this denial cost me dear afterwards, because I contracted a habit of refusing presents at other times when it would have been good policy to have accepted them, even if I had thrown them into the river. It is sometimes very dangerous to refuse presents from one’s superiors.

While we were in conference at M. de Bouillon’s the sad news was brought to us that M. de Turenne’s forces, all except two or three regiments, had been bribed with money from Court to abandon him, and, finding himself likely to be arrested, he had retired to the house of his friend and kinswoman, the Landgravine of Hesse. M. de Bouillon, was, as it were, thunderstruck; his lady burst out into tears, saying, "We are all undone," and I was almost as much cast down as they were, because it overturned our last scheme.

M. de Bouillon was now for pushing matters to extremes, but I convinced him that there was nothing more dangerous.

Don Gabriel de Toledo, who was ordered to be very frank with me, was very reserved when he saw how I was mortified about the news of M. de Turenne, and caballed with the generals in such a manner as made me very uneasy. Upon this sudden turn of affairs I made these remarks: That every company has so much in it of the unstable temper of the vulgar that all depends upon joining issue with opportunity; and that the best proposals prove often fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive to-morrow.

I could not sleep that night for thinking about our circumstances. I saw that the Parliament was less inclined than ever to engage in a war, by reason of the desertion of the army of M. de Turenne; I saw the deputies at Ruel emboldened by the success of their prevarication; I saw the people of Paris as ready to admit the Archduke as ever they could be to receive the Duc d’Orleans; I saw that in a week’s time this Prince, with beads in his hand, and Fuensaldagne with his money, would have greater power than ourselves; that M. de Bouillon was relapsing into his former proposal of using extremities, and that the other generals would be precipitated into the same violent measures by the scornful behaviour of the Court, who now despised all because they were sure of the Parliament. I saw that all these circumstances paved the way for a popular sedition to massacre the Parliament and put the Spaniards in possession of the Louvre, which might overturn the State.

These gloomy thoughts I resolved to communicate to my father, who had for the last twenty years retired to the Oratory, and who would never hear of my State intrigues. My father told me of some advantageous offers made to me indirectly by the Court, but advised me not to trust to them.

Next day, M. de Bouillon was for shutting the gates against the deputies of Ruel, for expelling the Parliament, for making ourselves masters of the Hotel de Ville, and for bringing the Spanish army without delay into our suburbs. As for M. de Beaufort, Don Gabriel de Toledo told me that he offered Madame de Montbazon 20,000 crowns down and 6,000 crowns a year if she could persuade him into the Archduke’s measures. He did not forget the other generals. M. d’Elbeuf was gained at an easy rate, and Marechal de La Mothe was buoyed up with the hopes of being accommodated with the Duchy of Cardonne. I soon saw the Catholicon of Spain (Spanish gold) was the chief ingredient. Everybody saw that our only remedy was to make ourselves masters of the Hotel de Ville by means of the people, but I opposed it with arguments too tedious to mention. M. de Bouillon was for engaging entirely with Spain, but I convinced Marechal de La Mothe and M. de Beaufort that such measures would in a fortnight reduce them to a precarious dependence on the counsels of Spain.

Being pressed to give my opinion in brief, I delivered it thus: "We cannot hinder the peace without ruining the Parliament by the help of the people, and we cannot maintain the war by the means of the same people without a dependence upon Spain. We cannot have any peace with Saint Germain but by consenting to continue Mazarin in the Ministry."

M. de Bouillon, with the head of an ox, and the penetration of an eagle, interrupted me thus: "I take it, monsieur," said he, "you are for suffering the peace to come to a conclusion, but not for appearing in it."

I replied that I was willing to oppose it, but that it should be only with my own voice and the voices of those who were ready to run the same hazard with me.

"I understand you again," replied M. de Bouillon; "a very fine thought indeed, suitable to yourself and to M. de Beaufort, but to nobody else."

"If it suited us only," said I, "before I would propose it I would cut out my tongue. The part we act would suit you as well as either of us, because you may accommodate matters when you think it for your interest. For my part, I am fully persuaded that they who insist upon the exclusion of Mazarin as a condition of the intended arrangement will continue masters of the affections of the people long enough to take their advantage of an opportunity which fortune never fails to furnish in cloudy and unsettled times. Pray, monsieur, considering your reputation and capacity, who can pretend to act this part with more dignity, than yourself? M. de Beaufort and I are already the favourites of the people, and if you declare for the exclusion of the Cardinal, you will be tomorrow as popular as either of us, and we shall be looked upon as the only centre of their hopes. All the blunders of the ministers will turn to our advantage, the Spaniards will caress us, and the Cardinal, considering how fond he is of a treaty, will be under the necessity to court us. I own this scheme may be attended with inconveniences, but, on the other side of the question, we are sure of certain ruin if we have a peace and an enraged minister at the helm, who cannot hope for reestablishment but upon our destruction. Therefore, I cannot but think the expedient is as proper for you to engage in as for me, but if, for argument’s sake, it were not, I am sure it is for your interest that I should embrace it, for you will by that means have more time to make your own terms with the Court before the peace is concluded, and after the peace Mazarin will in such case be obliged to have more regard for all those gentlemen whose reunion with me it will be to his interest to prevent."

M. de Bouillon was so convinced of the justice of my reasoning that he told me, when we were by ourselves, that he had, as well as myself, thought of my expedient as soon as he received the news of the army deserting M. de Turenne, that he could still improve it, as the Spaniards would not fail to relish it, and that he had been on the point several times one day to confer about it with me; but that his wife had conjured him with prayers and tears to speak no more of the matter, but to come to terms with the Court, or else to engage himself with the Spaniards. "I know," said he, "you are not for the second arrangement; pray lend me your good offices to compass the first." I assured him that all my best offices and interests were entirely at his service to facilitate his agreement with the Court, and that he might freely make use of my name and reputation for that purpose.

In fine, we agreed on every point. M. de Bouillon undertook to make the proposition palatable to the Spaniards, provided we would promise never to let them know that it was concerted among ourselves beforehand, and we never questioned but that we could persuade M. de Longueville to accept it, for men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures which lead them two ways, and consequently press them to no choice.

I had almost forgotten to tell you what M. de Bouillon said to me in private as we were going from the conference. "I am sure," said he, "that you will not blame me for not exposing a wife whom I dearly love and eight children whom she loves more than herself to the hazards which you run, and which I could run with you were I a single man."

I was very much affected by the tender sentiments of M. de Bouillon and the confidence he placed in me, and assured him I was so far from blaming him that I esteemed him the more, and that his tenderness for his lady, which he was pleased to call his weakness, was indeed what politics condemned but ethics highly justified, because it betokened an honest heart, which is much superior both to interest and politics. M. de Bouillon communicated the proposal both to the Spanish envoys and to the generals, who were easily persuaded to relish it.

Thus he made, as it were, a golden bridge for the Spaniards to withdraw their troops with decency. I told him as soon as they were gone that he was an excellent man to persuade people that a "quartan ague was good for them."

The Parliamentary deputies, repairing to Saint Germain on the 17th of March, 1649, first took care to settle the interests of the generals, upon which every officer of the army thought he had a right to exhibit his pretensions. M. de Vendome sent his son a formal curse if he did not procure for him at least the post of Superintendent of the Seas, which was created first in favour of Cardinal de Richelieu in place of that of High Admiral, but Louis XIV. abolished it, and restored that of High Admiral.

Upon this we held a conference, the result of which was that on the 20th the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that himself and the other generals entered their claims solely for the purpose of providing for their safety in case Mazarin should continue in the Ministry, and that he protested, both for himself and for all the gentlemen engaged in the same party, that they would immediately renounce all pretensions whatsoever upon the exclusion of Cardinal Mazarin.

We also prevailed on the Prince de Conti, though almost against his will, to move the Parliament to direct their deputies to join with the Comte de Maure for the expulsion of Cardinal Mazarin. I had almost lost all my credit with the people, because I hindered them on the 13th of March from massacring the Parliament, and because on the 23d and 24th I opposed the public sale of the Cardinal’s library. But I reestablished my reputation in the Great Hall among the crowd, in the opinion of the firebrands of Parliament, by haranguing against the Comte de Grancei, who had the insolence to pillage the house of M. Coulon; by insisting on the 24th that the Prince d’Harcourt should be allowed to seize all the public money in the province of Picardy; by insisting on the 25th against a truce which it would have been ridiculous to refuse during a conference; and by opposing on the 30th what was transacted there, though at the same time I knew that peace was made.

I now return to the conference at Saint Germain.

The Court declared they would never consent to the removal of the Cardinal; and that as to the pretensions of the generals, which were either to justice or favour, those of justice should be confirmed, and those of favour left to his Majesty’s disposal to reward merit. They declared their willingness to accept the Archduke’s proposal for a general peace.

An amnesty was granted in the most ample manner, comprehending expressly the Prince de Conti, MM. de Longueville, de Beaufort, d’Harcourt, de Rieug, de Lillebonne, de Bouillon, de Turenne, de Brissac, de Duras, de Matignon, de Beuron, de Noirmoutier, de Sdvigny, de Tremouille, de La Rochefoucault, de Retz, d’Estissac, de Montresor, de Matta, de Saint Germain, d’Apchon, de Sauvebeuf, de Saint Ibal, de Lauretat, de Laigues, de Chavagnac, de Chaumont, de Caumesnil, de Cugnac, de Creci, d’Allici, and de Barriere; but I was left out, which contributed to preserve my reputation with the public more than you would expect from such a trifle.

On the 31st the deputies, being returned, made their report to the Parliament, who on the 1st of April verified the declaration of peace.

As I went to the House I found the streets crowded with people crying "No peace! no Mazarin!" but I dispersed them by saying that it was one of Mazarin’s stratagems to separate the people from the Parliament, who without doubt had reasons for what they had done; that they should be cautious of falling into the snare; that they had no cause to fear Mazarin; and that they might depend on it that I would never agree with him. When I reached the House I found the guards as excited as the people, and bent on murdering every one they knew to be of Mazarin’s party; but I pacified them as I had done the others. The First President, seeing me coming in, said that "I had been consecrating oil mixed, undoubtedly, with saltpetre." I heard the words, but made as if I did not, for had I taken them up, and had the people known it in the Great Hall, it would not have been in my power to have saved the life of one single member.

Soon after the peace the Prince de Conti, Madame de Longueville and M. de Bouillon went to Saint Germain to the Court, which had by some means or other gained M. d’Elbeuf. But MM. de Brissac, de Retz, de Vitri, de Fiesque, de Fontrailles, de Montresor, de Noirmoutier, de Matta, de la Boulaie, de Caumesnil, de Moreul, de Laigues, and d’Annery remained in a body with us, which was not contemptible, considering the people were on our side; but the Cardinal despised us to that degree that when MM. de Beaufort, de Brissac, de La Mothe, and myself desired one of our friends to assure the Queen of our most humble obedience, she answered that she should not regard our assurances till we had paid our devoirs to the Cardinal.

Madame de Chevreuse having come from Brussels without the Queen’s leave, her Majesty sent her orders to quit Paris in twenty-four hours upon which I went to her house and found the lovely creature at her toilet bathed in tears. My heart yearned towards her, but I bid her not obey till I had the honour of seeing her again. I consulted with M. de Beaufort to get the order revoked, upon which he said, "I see you are against her going; she shall stay. She has very fine eyes!"

I returned to the Palace de Chevreuse, where I was made very welcome, and found the lovely Mademoiselle de Chevreuse. I got a very intimate acquaintance with Madame de Rhodes, natural daughter of Cardinal de Guise, who was her great confidant. I entirely demolished the good opinion she had of the Duke of Brunswick-Zell, with whom she had almost struck a bargain. De Laigues hindered me at first, but the forwardness of the daughter and the good-nature of the mother soon removed all obstacles. I saw her every day at her own house and very often at Madame de Rhodes’s, who allowed us all the liberty we could wish for, and we did not fail to make good use of our time. I did love her, or rather I thought I loved her, for I still had to do with Madame de Pommereux.

Fronde (sling) being the name given to the faction, I will give you the etymology of it, which I omitted in the first book.

When Parliament met upon State affairs, the Duc d’Orleans and the Prince de Conde came very frequently, and tempered the heat of the contending parties; but the coolness was not lasting, for every other day their fury returned upon them.

Bachoumont once said, in jest, that the Parliament acted like the schoolboys in the Paris ditches, who fling stones, and run away when they see the constable, but meet again as soon as he turns his back. This was thought a very pretty comparison. It came to be a subject for ballads, and, upon the peace between the King and Parliament, it was revived and applied to those who were not agreed with the Court; and we studied to give it all possible currency, because we observed that it excited the wrath of the people. We therefore resolved that night to wear hatbands made in the form of a sling, and had a great number of them made ready to be distributed among a parcel of rough fellows, and we wore them ourselves last of all, for it would have looked much like affectation and have spoilt all had we been the first in the mode.

It is inexpressible what influence this trifle had upon the people; their bread, hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, fans, ornaments were all ’a la mode de la Fronde’, and we ourselves were more in the fashion by this trifle than in reality. And the truth is we had need of all our shifts to support us against the whole royal family. For although I had spoken to the Prince de Conde at Madame de Longueville’s, I could not suppose myself thoroughly reconciled. He treated me, indeed, civilly, but with an air of coldness, and I know that he was fully persuaded that I had complained of his breach of a promise which he made by me to some members of Parliament; but, as I had complained to nobody upon this head, I began to suspect that some persona studied to set us at variance. I imagined it came from the Prince de Conti, who was naturally very malicious, and hated me, he knew not why. Madame de Longueville loved me no better. I always suspected Madame de Montbazon, who had not nearly so much influence over M. de Beaufort as I had, yet was very artful in robbing him of all his secrets. She did not love me either, because I deprived her of what might have made her a most considerable person at Court.

Count Fuensaldagne was not obliged to help me if he could. He was not pleased with the conduct of M. de Bouillon, who, in truth, had neglected the decisive point for a general peace, and he was much less satisfied with his own ministers, whom he used to call his blind moles; but he was pleased with me for insisting always on the peace between the two Crowns, without any view to a separate one. He therefore sent me Don Antonio Pimentel, to offer me anything that was in the power of the King his master, and to tell me that, as I could not but want assistance, considering how I stood with the Ministry, 100,000 crowns was at my service, which was accordingly brought me in bills of exchange. He added that he did not desire any engagement from me for it, nor did the King his master propose any other advantage than the pleasure of protecting me. But I thought fit to refuse the money, for the present, telling Don Antonio that I should think myself unworthy, of the protection of his Catholic Majesty if I took any, gratuity, while I was in no capacity, of serving him; that I was born a Frenchman, and, by virtue of my, post, more particularly, attached than another to the metropolis of the kingdom; that it was my misfortune to be embroiled with the Prime Minister of my King, but that my resentment should never carry me to solicit assistance among his enemies till I was forced to do so for selfpreservation; that Divine Providence had cast my lot in Paris, where God, who knew the purity of my intentions, would enable me in all probability to maintain myself by my own interest. But in case I wanted protection I was fully persuaded I could nowhere find any so powerful and glorious as that of his Catholic Majesty, to whom I would always think it an honour to have recourse. Fuensaldagne was satisfied with my answer, and sent back Don Antonio Pimentel with a letter from the Archduke, assuring me that upon a line from my hand he would march with all the forces of the King his master to my assistance.

Always to sacrifice the little affairs to the greater Always judged of actions by men, and never men by their actions Arms which are not tempered by laws quickly become anarchy Associating patience with activity Blindness that make authority to consist only in force Bounty, which, though very often secret, had the louder echo Civil war is one of those complicated diseases Clergy always great examples of slavish servitude Confounded the most weighty with the most trifling Contempt—the most dangerous disease of any State Dangerous to refuse presents from one’s superiors Distinguished between bad and worse, good and better Fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive tomorrow Fool in adversity and a knave in prosperity Fools yield only when they cannot help it Good news should be employed in providing against bad He had not a long view of what was beyond his reach His wit was far inferior to his courage His ideas were infinitely above his capacity Impossible for her to live without being in love with somebody Inconvenience of popularity Kinds of fear only to be removed by higher degrees of terror Laws without the protection of arms sink into contempt Maxims showed not great regard for virtue More ambitious than was consistent with morality My utmost to save other souls, though I took no care of my own Need of caution in what we say to our friends Neither capable of governing nor being governed Men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures Never had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies Oftener deceived by distrusting than by being overcredulous One piece of bad news seldom comes singly Only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them Poverty so well became him Power commonly keeps above ridicule Pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his share Queen was adored much more for her troubles than for her merit Strongest may safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit Those who carry more sail than ballast Thought he always stood in need of apologies Transitory honour is mere smoke Treated him as she did her petticoat Useful man in a faction because of his wonderful complacency Vanity to love to be esteemed the first author of things Virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one We are far more moved at the hearing of old stories Weakening and changing the laws of the land Whose vivacity supplied the want of judgment Wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing without courage With a design to do good, he did evil Yet he gave more than he promised


Written by Himself

Being Historic Court Memoirs of the Great Events during the Minority of Louis XIV. and the Administration of Cardinal Mazarin.


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Chicago: Various, "Book II.," Court Memoirs of France Series— Complete, ed. Braybrooke, Richard Griffin, Baron, 1783-1853 and trans. Holcroft, Thomas, 1745-1809 in Court Memoirs of France Series—Complete (New York: Doubleday, Page, 1909), Original Sources, accessed November 29, 2022,

MLA: Various. "Book II." Court Memoirs of France Series— Complete, edited by Braybrooke, Richard Griffin, Baron, 1783-1853, and translated by Holcroft, Thomas, 1745-1809, in Court Memoirs of France Series—Complete, Vol. 36, New York, Doubleday, Page, 1909, Original Sources. 29 Nov. 2022.

Harvard: Various, 'Book II.' in Court Memoirs of France Series— Complete, ed. and trans. . cited in 1909, Court Memoirs of France Series—Complete, Doubleday, Page, New York. Original Sources, retrieved 29 November 2022, from