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dancing, fencing, fortification, and gunnery, were supposed to be the Italians. It was in the year 1597 when the Bassompierres had arrived at Loretto to visit the Santa Casa there. “Many French gentlemen,” says the Mareschal, “besides ourselves met at Loretto, and all of a sudden we took it into our heads to go to the wars in Hungary against the Turks, before returning home to France; and after pledging our words to one another, the day after Christmas-day, we took the road and set out all together: that is to say, Messieurs de Bourlemont and d'Amblise, brothers, Messieurs de Foucaud and Chassenueil, brothers, Messieurs de Clermont d'Entragues, the Baron de Crapados, my brother, and I. But as the disposition of the French is fickle and changeable, when we had got three days’ journey from Loretto, some of those whose purse was not well garnished for so long a journey, or who wished to get sooner home, suggested that it was silly in us to go so far for a war, when there was one close at hand; that we were actually in the midst of the army of the Pope, marching to the conquest of Ferrara, which had fallen to his holiness by the death of the Duke Alfonso. It was added, that Don Cesare d'Este kept possession of Ferrara against all right; that this war for the Pope was not less just and holy than the war in Hungary; and was so near, that in eight days we might be fighting, whereas, if we went to Hungary, the armies there would not take the field for four months to come. “These persuasions prevailed on our minds, and we concluded that the very next day we would go to Forli, to offer all together our services to Cardinal Alamanni, the Legate of the army, and that I should address him in the name of the rest ; which I did as best I could. But the Legate received us in such a meagre manner, and made us so little welcome, that the very same evening at our lodging we could not sufficiently manifest our resentment and wrath at his contemptuous treatment. And then my late brother began to say that verily we had got what we deserved; that not being the Pope's subjects, nor in any way obliged to serve in his wars, we had inconsiderately gone to offer to assail a prince of the house of Este, to which France had so many obligations, and which had always been so courteous to foreigners, especially to Frenchmen. He went on to say that the princes of that house were nearly related to the kings of France, and to the houses of Nemours and Guise; and that if we were good for anything, we would go and offer our services to that poor prince Don Cesare, whom the Pope unjustly wished to deprive of a state that had been possessed by a long line of his ancestors. “These words once said were not only approved of by all the rest of the company, but we came to a firm determination to go the very next day straight to Ferrara, and throw ourselves into that place. All which I have wished to represent here in order to make known the inconstant and volatile temper of the French, and to show en suite that Fortune is most times the mistress and directress of our actions, since we, whose design it had been to try our first arms against the Turk, were now carrying them against the Pope 1 “In this manner we arrived on New-year's eve, 1598, at Bologna, where we found the Chevalier Werdelly and some others, who joined us to go to Ferrara and fight against his holiness. On the third day we arrived at Ferrara, where we were lodged and received in the Duke Don Cesare's palace with all sort of honour and good cheer. We found already arrived there the Count of Sommerive, second son of the Duke of Mayne, and some other French gentlemen who had come to offer themselves to Don Cesare, but he was so little resolved on war that he often told us what small means he had to carry it on ; that he had found no money in the coffers of the deceased duke; that the King of Spain had already declared himself for the Pope, and that in his opinion the King of France would do the same; that the Venetians, who urged him on to war, would not support him openly, and that what they promised under hand was no great thing.
“At last, on Twelfth-day, as, with a great troop of lords and gentlemen, Don Cesare was entering a large church near the palace, to hear mass, all the priests, on seeing us arrive, left their altars without finishing their masses which they had begun, and retired before us as if we had been excommunicated wretches.
“This completely upset Don Cesare's irresolute design of keeping possession of Ferrara; and, as soon as dinner was over, he sent the Duchess of Urbino, sister to the deceased Duke Alfonso, to treat with the Pope's legate. We Frenchmen, reflecting on this, took our leave of Don Cesare on the morrow, to go, every one where he thought best.”—Memoires du Mareschal de Bassompierre, vol. i. p. 39. Edition de Cologne.
LXXXI. A MODEST REQUEST.
A common saying among certain of the Irish is, that they are “the boys fit for any thing.” The hero of the following anecdote must have thought himself one of that gifted set.
When the Duke of Ormonde was appointed lord lieutenant of Ireland in the beginning of Queen Anne's reign, a certain Irish baronet, a man of some interest in his country, requested his grace would give him a bishoprick, or a regiment of horse, or make him lord chief justice of the King's Bench—he was not particular which. —Dr. W. King's Polit, and Lit. Anecdotes of his own times.
DOCTOR Peck’s “Desiderata” furnish us with the following curious entries in the College Book. They were copied for the Doctor by a friend.
Mr. Oliver Cromwell, (afterwards Lord Protector of England,) his admission in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, 23rd April, 1616, with a copy of a remarkable character drawn by some unknown hand.
“E. Registro Coll. Syd. Suss. Cant.
“Oliverus Cromwell, Huntingdoniensis, admissus ad commeatum sociorum, Aprilis vicesimo tertio, 1616. Tutore Mr.0. Richardo Howlet.”
Between this entry and the next is crowded in a smaller hand or letter—
“Hic fuit grandis ille impostor, carnifex perditissimus, qui pientissimo rege Carolo 1° nefaria coede sublato, ipsum usurpavit thronum, et tria regna, per quinq. ferme annorum spatium, sub Protectoris nomine indomita tyrannide vexavit.”
ARTHUR Wilson, the author of a “History of Great Britain, being the life and reign of James the First,” has left us some curious notes on the sobriety and decorum of the great Alma Mater, whither he had retired in 1632, after meeting with some disappointments in the world, for the sake of quiet and study. He says, “But that which was most burthensome to mee in this my retreat, was the debaucherie of the University: for the most eminent scholars of the towne, especially of St. John's College, (being of my acquaintance,) did worke upon mee with such endearements as took the name of civilities (yett day and night would witness our madnesse); and I must confesse, the whole time of my life besides did never so much transport mee with drinking as that short time I lived in Oxford, and that with some of the gravest bachilors of divinity there.”—From Wilson's Diary, as published in Peck’s “Desiderata Curiosa.”