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sciously, been the ruin of De Thou. Justice demanded one head at the least. Now Gaston could not perish. Bouillon was seized, but gained his pardon by giving up his seat, Sedan. Fontrailles was off and away. The Queen had nothing to apprehend on her own account. She could sleep placidly, awaiting the Regency. Mme. de Lansac, whom Richelieu had made gouvernante to the Dauphin, came exultingly in the morning to tell her that Cinq-Mars and De Thou were in confinement. Anne pretended to be fast asleep behind the curtains. La Lansac drew them aside, but found her Majesty perfectly calm. Her Majesty well knew De Thou—knew well that he would die and say nothing.
“Cinq-Mars tried what denial would do, and invoked as his witness one whom he supposed to be far away, Bouillon. To give him the lie, Bouillon was the same instant presented to him-having been seized while hiding in a haycock, and conveyed to Lyons, where Mazarin advised him, as a friend, to do like Gaston, and save himself by cowardly baseness. The King would leave him his head, and merely take Sedan from him."
De Thou displayed courage, but marred the effect of his latter end by a something of legal chicanery—insisting too much upon his having no more than a simple acquaintance with the affair, as if he had not been an actor in it, a director even—as if he had not pointed out all the rendezvous, and conducted the conspirators thither, without himself entering, but remaining at the door. When led before Richelieu, he pretended, it is said, to have the King's orders for what he had done. Of course he had no written directions to produce; vague words only, at the best. De Thou, then, was not unfairly condemned. A beart like his could not but acknowledge this. As Cinq-Mars and he were on their way
to death, they had to pass their judges (one of whom was the illustrious Marca), and the condemned men thanked them for the righteous sentence which was about to send them, washed and purified, to God.
“ Cinq-Mars, so handsome, so young, and De Thou, so highly esteemed up to that time, so pure (one error excepted), interested the crowd in an extraordinary degree. The executioner was a novice, whose clumsiness increased the popular emotion. When the head of Cinq- Mars fell
, a horrible
cry of grief arose from the entire square. The executioner missed De Thou at first, and then cruelly mangled him—which drove the mob to a pitch of frantic fury. Stones were flying over the scaffold. This worthy French people cursed the justice they called vengeance, and bitterly wept for the culprits who had betrayed them.”
M. Michelet holds that Cinq-Mars in dying dealt a mortal blow to the great Cardinal—that he, in effect, slew his slayer, was the death of the wily statesman who had done him to death. “ De toute façon, CinqMars l'avait tué.” From the time of the execution, Louis hated Richelieu with a steady, unremitting hate. The original author of the plot had been Louis himself; for the commencement of the whole affair was owing to some imprudent words of his, which seemed to ask for a riddance of a vexatious Minister-words bearing a similar construction, it may be presumed, to those which once fell from the lips of our Henry II., and resulted in the assassination of à Becket. The King's virtual complicity had been discovered from the confessions of the accused; and when, on
his return from the South, he had to meet Richelieu at Tarascon, he came thither like one also under accusation. They were both sick men. The sick King on his couch was brought face to face with the sick Cardinal. And whatever pains the latter might take to reassure his Majesty, there was henceforth a perfect understanding between them, as to their mutual hostility. C'étaient deux ennemis.
Louis returned alone to Paris, but with the same men who, previous to the Cinq-Mars affair, had offered, at the first word from the King, to rid him of Richelieu.
Meanwhile, here, in his gloomy château of Tarascon, subsequently made celebrated by the massacres, “ to the monotonous sound of the wave that sobs as it passes by, the Cardinal's little court had been reduced to four men, too deeply compromised to leave him while he yet lived.”
These were Chavigny—who alone of the four was thoroughly “reliable,” and who alone represented and executed his violent will; Dunoyer-a bull-headed Jesuit, with irrepressible leanings towards Spain, that is to say, to the Queen; Condé—that“ très-sinistre figure d'oiseau de proie, la plus bizarre du siècle," whom Michelet defines as an animal at once fierce and servile, by no means a man, but something above or below man, and of an entirely distinct species—a strange creature that Richelieu was bringing up in his menagerie, to create a sensation and act history in the time to come; and lastly, Mazarin, the most doubtful of this partie carrée—who had, indeed, been a superserviceable knave in keeping CinqMars under espionage, and inducing Bouillon to speak out, but whose demonstrative zeal, and Italian powers of wheedling (patelinage), and caressing cant (baragouinage), somehow failed to inspire Richelieu with anything like implicit confidence in the creature. For, like the sharplyapprehensive Roman in Ben Jonson, the Cardinal was
subtle, close, wise, and well-read
and whether they would work.
And though this glozing Italian, this rusé, as Michelet calls him, ce grand Mascarille, this rusé comédien, this poltron, whom his patron knew to be “très-bas, propre aux coups de bâton,"* though he was not the most transparent of men, yet was Richelieu's eye keen and penetrating enough to see into him, if not to see through him. That eye discerned the drift of this “smoothly-gliding adder, with its soft undulations and spiral movements.” Michelet describes Italy as avenging herself on France for so many betrayals of misplaced confidence, by infecting her with the pestilence exhaled from her own sepulchre." The greatest corrupters of morals and of thought have come to us from Italy-numbers of fatal adventurers, wicked bravi, seductive scamps. Some are successful, others unsuccessful. But all of them pervert us.
Concini reigns here for seven years, Mazarin fifteen.” The second husband of Anne of Austria fares little better, it will be seen, in the history of his namesake, Jules Michelet, than in the romances of Alexandre Dumas.
See pp. 59 sq., 213, 230 sq., 258, 266 sq.
The secret marriage of Mazarin with the Queen is positively affirmed by the Duchess of Orleans (the Regent's mother) alone.
But it is considered to be all but certain by our historian, who opines that her Majesty, already a decided dévote, and growing more so continually, would not have made the show she did, of her passion for his Eminence, bad she not regarded it as legitimate. Mazarin, too, is proved to have behaved to her, not at all with a lover's behaviour, but with the rudeness of a coarse husband, and a brutal. The question occurs, how could Mazarin, a cardinal, enter into what would be, qua cardinal, the unholy estate of matrimony with her? To which Michelet answers, that examples are not wanting of cardinal princes whom Rome has decardinalised, when political necessity obliged them to marry; and furthermore, that it is not essential to be a priest at all in order to be a cardinal. Mazarin, originally an officer in the papal army, and next a negotiator, was then an abbatewhich title does not bind to anything in Italy. M. Chéruel, the learned and exact editor of St. Simon, holds it to be non-proven (as Scotch juries have it—and a very convenient phrase too) that Mazarin ever was a priest. “Je n'en trouve aucune trace,” he says. And on his conditional negative M. Michelet founds a nearly absolute affirmative. In sooth, it must be owned that the latter is generally prompt to accept stories that tell in disfavour of principalities and powers: the secret marriage of Anne and her Minister is about the most respectable transaction he ascribes to them ;—the excess of degraded wickedness he imputes to them, at one time and another, severally or conjointly, it were hard to surpass. At the best he represents Mazarin, during the height of national distress (1652), and incessantly during subsequent years, as entirely subordinating the affairs of France to (i) the establishment of his family, the getting grand husbands for his nieces, and (2) the creation of an enormous fortune for himself, more monstrous than any Minister had ever had—and in the full blaze of which, those comparatively modest poor creatures, Concini, and Luynes, pale their ineffectual fire, of a mere farthing rushlight sort.
The two next volumes of this History, which will deal with Louis XIV. and Louis XV. are advertised as “in the press.” And we are even promised that before the end of 1859 the History itself shall be complete. And simply because—without paradox-M. Michelet is not a plodding but a dashing writer, we think it practicable he may keep his word.
ADDRESSED TO THE AUTHOR OF THE STORY OF RIMINI."
By W. CHARLES KENT.
Hail! Greybeard stripling—young through seventy years Lord of our laughter, master of our tears : One of those « Old Familiar Faces” all With pleasure from the radiant Past recal: Friend and companion of the poet throng That save thee only to that Past belong. Chief of a School so long contemned and scorned, E'en though by Adonais life adorned. Bard of the realms of Cockaigne, dubbed in jestWith what a grace, when taken to thy breast, The brand of ridicule became the meed, The badge and symbol, of thy rythmic creed ! An oaten pipe, the sceptre of thy sway, Put to thy lips, lent music to thy lay. From Dante's verse again in thine I see Revived the tender loves of Rimini. Again the pale Magician of the Bow Bids rapture from our trembling heart-strings flowFlow to the echo of the thrilling chords, Struck from the living lyre of thy words. Again with dancing curls and laughing eye The sweet boy-elf of years and years gone by, Perched on thy shoulder, claps his tiny hands, Or clasps thy forehead with their loving bands. Seasons have burgeoned-flowered-teemed with fruits, Acorns reared high their boles, struck deep their roots, Babes turned to matrons, youth to hoary age, Since thy first reader's soul hung o'er thy page: Yet still thy blooms cling freshly to their stalks, Still the bit wrangles as thy palfrey walks, Still stirs the love-tale 'neath thy lovers' touch, Till leaves are left for looks that tell too much, Tell the dear secret hearts but once discloseTheirs, than Pandora's box, more fraught with woes. It was with thee the vernal dawn of life, When wayside themes with blooming fancies rife Skirt the dull high-road, ev'n as hedgerows hung, With May's sweet blossoms—May, thy voice hath sung, Sung as the fabled nightingale the rose, When the bird warbles and the floweret glows. Oft then thy brimming smiles and jocund tears Held quaint communion with long dead compeers ; The bright-eyed Elia with his tortuous quips, Where wit's bee-wisdom sweet from bitter sips; And studious Southey, lapped in antique lore, Who breathed new life beneath the ribs of yore;
And ardent Shelley with his seraph look,
thy fancies, and our tears the dew.
* New forms arise and different views engage,
DR. JOHNSON's Vanity of Human Wishes.