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LITTELL'S LIVING AGE. No. 121.45 SEPTEMBER, 1916.
From the Foreign Quarteriy Review. I Let us, before we proceed, glance for a moment De la Démocratie chez les Prédicateurs de la Ligue. I
at the events that preceded those which more esPar M. Ch. LABITTE. 8vo. Paris : 1841.
•pecially belong to our subject. It is not our inten
Jtion to dwell upon those sanguinary persecutions From about the year 1576 to 1594, a period not of the Protestants which disgraced the reign of far short of twenty years, the fair realm of France, Charles IX., and seemed to have turned this part bound down with the iron fetters of that cruel, tur- of Europe into one wide unchanging field of murbulent, implacable “ Ligue" which has obtained a der, rape, and pillage. The monks and Catholic place in history not less conspicuous than the “ Di- preachers acted a prominent part in these fearful rectorat" or the “ Consulat' of later times, was scenes ; they waded literally through blood to the prostrated at the feet of its clergy. Perhaps no pulpit, from which there seemed to issue but one period of history has ever presented a state of continuous cry of, “ Slay! slay! rob! rob!" a cry things so extraordinary in all its relations, or so re- which had, indeed, been heard long before it was plete with warning for future ages. None has put in execution. As early as the year 1554, ten been so generally misunderstood and misrepresent- years before the execution of Anne Dubourg, and ed by modern historians, who, judging only from a eighteen before the fatal St. Barthélemy, the dean superficial and partial view of the outward face of of St. Germaine l'Auxerrois at Paris, father Le events, have tried to give it a variety of physiog- | Picart, had the effrontery to preach from his pulpit, nomies at their own pleasure, and have left it at when speaking of the Protestants, that, “ the king last a sort of incomprehensible mystery.
ought for a time to counterfeit the Lutheran It is the duty of the historian to dive beneath amongst them, so that thus alluring them into his the surface of the stream of events; he should seek power, they might fall upon them all, and purge out the cause which moves the waters ; it is not the kingdom of them at once.” As the support enough to watch merely the apparent actions of of the clergy became more and more necessary to those who, perhaps, in spite of their outward im- the ambitious designs of the Guises, their influence portance to the view, are in reality only the arms increased to such a point that even the royal will which execute, while a moving principle far less was no longer a bridle to it, and they undisguisedsplendid and less imposing sets them to work. ly and unequivocally urged on the populace to rise
Such was the case in an especial degree with and destroy the Huguenots. There was soon a this redoubtable “ Ligue." Writer after writer general insurrection of the clergy against the modhas traced the intrigues of the princes, has admired erate and peaceful policy of the king, whose weakthe persevering constancy and bravery of the King ness only increased their audacity. For several of Navarre, has spoken reproachfully of the politi- years priests and monks were everywhere busily cal pretensions of the pope, and of the selfish de- engaged in preaching to the people that they signs of the Spaniard ; but few or none have with should take up arms; they hesitated not to point drawn their eyes from these more dazzling specta- out to the assassin men of wealth and influence cles, to trace the progress of a band of preachers who favored the reformers; they even went so far who kept these actors in motion, who used religion as to proclaim in their sermons that, “ if the king as a means of gratifying their ambition or their ap- showed too much reluctance to massacre the Calpetite, and who raised a storm which, as we have vinists, he ought to be dethroned, and shut up in a just remarked, it took nearly twenty years to allay. convent;' and, at the beginning of the memorable These formed the true body and soul of the year 1572, a bishop, Arnaud Sorbin of Nevers, “ Ligue,” and they furnish a political lesson which faisait rage (to use the expression of contemporary it would be well to remember. A French writer historians) against the king for not killing them, of good promise, who was recently cut off in the and publicly excited the Duke of Anjou to do the prime of his life, attempted, in the volume of which work himself, “ not without giving him some hope we give the title above, to compile their history from of the primogeniture, as Jacob had received that a class of documents too seldom consulted—the polit- of his brother Esau.” The pulpit became a power ical sermons and satirical tracts, which, under cir- superior to the laws; the king was no longer cumstances like these, never fail to issue from the able to resist, and the result was the catastrophe press in profusion. A few pages will not be of the 24th of August, 1572, which is still rememthrown away in laying before our readers some bered with horror as the massacre of St. Barthéportion of the result of his researches, which are lemy. From this moment the French clergy, in very little known in this country. We take his the persons of its preachers, a number of turbulent, volume as a collection of materials ; for in some seditious, unruly men, took the field undisguisedly, of his general views we entirely disagree. In and continued to overawe the crown by constantly many things M. Labitte appears to us to partake stirring up the passions of the mob. These preachtoo much of the character of a historian, who flat- ers soon became the masters of the kingdom. ters himself that he is viewing history from a neu- Such was the state of France when, in 1574, tral and impartial position, because he treats the Henri III. ascended the throne. A powerful inprinciples of both parties with equal contempt; surrection against the crown already existed, which and, in so doing, he further runs into a fault too was excited by men who above all others had the common in French writers of this class—that of entry to every hearth and access to every car, and generalizing facts which are simply accidental, and who made no scruple of enlisting to their purposes of giving as general principles what are merely the every wild passion and revolutionary feeling under evident result of sudden political excitement. the specious pretence of the safety of the church. CXXI. LIVING AGE. VOL. X.
All they wanted was organization, and a banner | The curés were enjoined to act the part of men in under which to fight. The latter was furnished by condition to bear arms, and it was resolved that the the popularity of the Guises, whom, for more than king should be deposed and shut up in a monas one generation, the Catholic preachers had been tery. This was an attempt to force society back pointing out to the devotion of their hearers by the to the barbarism of the first ages of the monmost extravagant eulogies of which they were ca- archy. pable ; scarcely a distinguished member of the fam- When Henri convoked the first states at Blois, ily had died within memory who had not been held he hoped that moderate men would have been electforth from the pulpit as a saint or a martyr.. On ed; but the preachers had caused so much exciteall these occasions, the preachers hardly concealed ment among the Catholics, that the Protestants did their wish to set up the House of Lorraine in oppo- not dare to offer themselves, and the deputies pressition to the reigning family; and they constantly ent were all liguers. The king felt the difficulty dwelt on the theme, that a king who shows favor of his position, and attempted to recover his influto heretics ought to be torn from his throne by his ence by suddenly placing himself at the head of the subjects, and one more orthodox substituted in his Ligue; but his weakness of character hindered him place. The organization, which the earlier oppo- from profiting by this step. The projects of the sition to the crown had wanted, was found in the Guises were for a moment only disconcerted; and
the edict of Poitiers strengthened their party, wbich This Ligue, of which the first serious symptoms now openly encouraged and invoked the democratic showed themselves in 1576, was only the realiza- passions of the mob as a weapon against the throne. tion on a large scale of what had already been at- 1 The violent attacks upon the king from the popit, tempted partially by the Cardinal de Lorraine. and the eulogies of the Guises, increased daily. When once formed, the association increased rap- Every vice and even every weakness of Henri III. idly, and as it became stronger, its aim was directed was raked up and dwelt upon with malicious acriproportionably higher. One of the articles of its mony ; his very acts of devotion, which in another programme was “The Defence of the King;' but monarch would have been lauded to the skies, were as that was only a secondary object, it was soon turned into crimes; and when he founded a monasforgotten. In fact, it was covenanted from the tic order of penitents, one of the most distinguished first, that those of the “Holy Union," as it was and active preachers of the day, the benedictine termed, had a right to sustain their cause by force Maurice Poncet applied to them in his sermon the of arms against whoever it might be. The remiss-title of “la confrèrie des hypocrites et athéistes." ness which they thought Henri III. showed in per- In fact, the Catholics would not allow the king to secuting heretics, and the defection of the heir-pre- save his soul even in an orthodox manner. sumptive (the Duke of Alençon) to the united Under these circumstances, the principles of the party of the Huguenots and discontented Catho- Ligue rapidly spread themselves through every part lics, irritated the violent Catholics to that degree, of the kingdom. " In the north, as in the south, that it was resolved to overthrow the house of Va- the Union found its adepts as well amongst the lois. A messenger sent to the court of Rome rep- turbulent as among the moderate. At Nismes, il resented, that the benedictions bestowed by the was established by massacres and rapes ; at Laon, Holy See on the race of Charlemagne had not it was adopted in the name of reason and legality. passed to the family of Hugh Capet, and a geneal. In the pulpits of the provinces, the same principles ogy was drawn up by which the Guises were made and the same invectives resounded as in the pulto be the descendanis of the Carlovingians. The pits of Paris ; at Lyons, there was the Jacobin first volume of the “ Mémoires de la Ligue” con- monk Bolo, and more especially the Jesuit Claude tains a note of the secret council held at Rome for Matthias, the courier of the Ligue, as he was called, the destruction of the house of Valois, and the an indefatigable traveller who, under the least pretransmission of the crown to that of Guise, in which text, ran from one end of Europe to the other for the preachers were to act a very important part. I the interests of his party; at Soissons, there was They are brought forward even in the first article, Launay, who in the sequel became one of the which directs, *that in the pulpit and at the con-chiefs ; at Rouen, the cordelier Gilles Blogin ; af fessional the clergy shall exert themselves against Orleans, the learned but violent theologian Burlat; the privileges granted to the sectarians, and excite and above all, there was at Toul the archdeacon the populace to hinder them from enjoying them."t of the cathedral, François de Rosières, who de
claimed against his king amid the applauding * The unscrupulous political violence of the Catholic shouts of the mob, "con plausibile e popolare de preachers was as remarkable in their eulogies as in their quenza," as Davila says. This François de personal attacks, and many really amusing examples Rosières had in 1581 published a book in favor of inight be given. M. Labitte takes the following anec-11 dote from De Thou. Pierre du Chartel. in his funeral | the title of the house of Lorraine, for which be sermon on François I., proclaimed to his hearers that the was thrown into the Bastille ; the credit of the soul of the great monarch was already in heaven. The Guises procured his release ; bot Rosières showed faculty of theology was singularly scandalized by this as- no gratitude to Henri III. for his clemency, of sertion, which they considered as a denial of purgatory. I rather for his incredible apathy. At Châullon, the A deputation of theologians was sent to the new king, Henri II., to expostulate ; but Jean de Mendoze, wbo was
sermons of the preachers appear to have been to introduce them, said to them, “Je sais pourquoi vous
thought insufficient; to excite more effectually the venez içi : je connaissais notre bon maitre mieux que vous, | populace, the clergy caused to be represented, in et s'il a été en purgatoire il n'aura fait qu'y goûter le vin ; mystery or theatrical exhibition, the combat of il n'était pas homme à rester longtemps en place." The David oainst the giant Goliah "David, as m Sorbonne appears to have been satisfied with this explanation.
easily be guessed, was the symbol of Henri de + "Qu'en chaire et au confessional ceux du clergé s'él. Guise." The result of this extraordinary activity èvent contre les privilèges accordés aux sectaires et exci- l of the Catholics was, that Henri III, was univer: tent le peuple à empêcher qu'ils n'en jouissent." We sally abandoned. The state of things became su have seen a similar political use made of the confessional in France in our own days, so certain is it that the bad"
more alarming, when the death of the Duke ol iples of the Romish church are inherent to the sus. Alençon made Henri of Navarre, the Huguenos iem, and that they remain unchanged.
| leader, heir-apparent to the throne. His claims
were at once set aside by a ball of excommunica- who on entering were made to swear to sacrifice tion, and the court of Rome openly put forward their lives, if necessary, to the cause, and who met the titles of Henri de Guise, the eager adviser for some time in the chamber of Boucher, in the and promoter of the massacre of the Saint Bar-Sorbonne. They were especially supported by thélemy, to the crown of France, which the the Duke of Mayenne, and were directly counpreachers were directed to set forth zealously in tenanced by the pope. It was, indeed, with them their sermons.
that the latter communicated most confidentially. At first the higher clergy had shown some de- They began by demanding of the king the estabgree of reluctance to take part in these gross and lishment of an inquisition, like that of Spain, in indecent attacks upon royalty. It was the reli- every town in France, which was of course regious orders, the curés, the maistres és arts crottés, fused ; and then they sent agents into every part (as they were termed in derision by the other of the kingdom, to agitate the populace. At party,) the doctors of the Sorbonne, fed with Span- Paris, the seditious acrimony of the sermons inish money, publicly encouraged by the Guises, creased to such a degree, that the king was obliged paid and excited, and even prompted by the to send for one of the preachers, who, at the beDuchess of Montpensier, to whom the king was ginning of May, had held forth against him with an object of furious hatred ; in fact it was the more than ordinary intemperance in the pulpit of whole body of the secondary clergy, who, assisted St. Séverin. A report was instantly set abroad by the intrigues of the Jesuits, the support of the by the clergy, that the king designed to seize all pope's noncio, and the discontent of two or three the preachers; whereupon the curé of St. Séverin ambitious and turbulent prelates, threw themselves raised his parishioners, and refused to deliver the into the foremost ranks of the disaffected, and offender. Boucher simultaneously sounded the acted upon the masses by the unbridled brutality tocsin in his parish of St. Benoit; their confedeof their declamations. An example or two will rate, Bussy-le-Clerc, one of the most violent of the show the unscrupulous manner in which they pro- lay members of the committee, came with his compagated misrepresentation and falsehood. In Au-l pany in arms, and established himself in the imme gust, 1587, Jean Boucher, (one of the most vio-diate neighborhood of the church ; and the king's lent of the curés of Paris,) preaching in the church archers, who came to seek the preacher, were of St. Barthélemy, told his auditors with the driven away. The die was irrecoverably thrown greatest assurance, that the king intended to hin- by this open act of rebellion ; and only a few days der all the preachers from speaking the truth, and after, on the 12th of May, 1588, the "barricades" that he had already put to death Burlat, the incen-compelled Henri III. to make a hasty retreat from diary preacher of Orleans. Henri III., informed his capital by one of its most private entrances, of this calamny, sent for several of the rebellious followed by the musket-shots of his own subjects. doctors of the Sorbonne, and in their presence This event had been long in preparation by the asked Boucher why he had accused him of mur-revolutionary council of the preachers, who, in the dering Borlat! Boucher said that it had been told moment of action, showed themselves in the forehim for truth. The king reproached him for be- most ranks. They marched at the head of an lieving what was evil rather than what was good, army of 400 monks, and 800 scholars of the uniand then caused Burlat to be introduced, alive and versity, shouting out “ That they must go and well, to Boucher's no small confusion, who, how- seize. brother' Henry de Valois, in his Louvre." ever, escaped without punishment. It is even said After the king's escape, they established a kind of that Barlat had been all the time living in intermunicipal government in the capital. course with Boacher and the other preachers. In: Influenced by this success, for the king by his the same year, when the German Reiters were en- flight had given them an undoubted advantage, the tirely defeated at the battle of Auneau, at which clergy of Paris seemed to be worked up to a sort the king was present, the preachers could scarcely of madness, and the king, in his retreat, was exgive him a small share in the victory, a few of posed daily to new insults and humiliations. Many them only condescending to compare him with of the vacant curés of the churches of the capital Sagl, who had slain his thousand, while David, were given to violent liguers, to the injury of those i. e., Henri de Guise, had killed his ten thousand; who were legitimately entitled to them; and two but every pulpit rang with the marvellous valors priests, who afterwards made themselves peculiarly of this " new Gideon sent for the salvation of conspicuous, Guincestre and Pigenat, were thus France." The king is said to have been ex-forced into the churches of St. Nicolas des tremely offended at these demonstrations of parti- Champs, and St. Gervais. The latter preacher ality ; but he was still more alarmed in the De- was especially popular with the Parisian mob, cember following, when in the Sorbonne the and he carried his zeal so far as to march in their faculty of theology decided that it was lawful to fanatical processions stark naked, with nothing but take the government out of the hands of princes, a little apron of white linen before him. Henri who did not fully perform the duties expected from III., driven to desperation, had the weakness to them.
attempt to deliver himself by a crime; he ordered We are now arrived at the eventful year 1588. the murder of the two Guises, Henri and his broIn spite of the successful efforts of the preachers, ther, the cardinal, which was executed on the 23d in spite of the approbation and encouragement of of December, 1588. the pope, and the active support of Philip II., of The preachers of Paris were struck dumb with Spain, the Goises seem to have shown some reluc- astonishment at the first intelligence of this antance to put themselves openly at the head of the looked for tragedy, and for two or three days their insurrection, till the uncontrollable zeal of a self violence seemed to have ceased. But it was only formed committee, behind which they concealed the silence which often precedes a great explosion. themselves, obliged them to throw off the mask. Guincestre was the first to break it ; on the 29th This committee consisted chiefly of the more in- of December he mounted the pulpit of the church temperate of the preachers, with two or three of St. Barthélemy, and pronounced a violent bourgeois, equally distinguished by their violeoce, philippic against the king, whom he called a rilain Herodes (the anagram of Henri de Valois,) and “This scurvy-pate (ce teigneur) always wean after applying to him every kind of opprobrigus turban like a Turk, which he has never been seen epithet, declared to his audience that they owed to take off, even at the sacrament. And when this him no further obedience. The latter, after the wretched hypocrite pretended to go against the sermon, rushed to the door, where they tore down Reiters he wore a furred German coat with silver the king's arms, and trampled them under foot. hooks, which signified the good intelligence and On the 1st of January, the same Guincestre called agreement which were between him and ces diables out to his audience to hold up their hands and noirs empistolés." These were all gratuitous false swear that they would revenge the deaths of the hoods. Guincestre, though not a member of the princes with the last farthing in their purses, and council, went still further. On Ash-Wednesday with the last drop of their blood. The president, he announced that that Lent he would not preach De Harlay, a man distinguished for his modera- the gospel, because it was "too common and every. tion, was sitting in face of the palpit; and the body knew it," but that he would relate to his conpreacher addressed him more pointedly than the gregation, “ The life, actions, and abominable deeds rest—"Raise your hand, Monsieur le President, of that perfidious tyrant Henri de Valois," in the raise it very high, in order that everybody may course of which he deliberately accused him of see you." Had the president dared to disobey, he offering worship to devils ; and drawing out of his would probably have fallen a sacrifice to the mob. pocket an ornamental candlestick, supported by Not many weeks afterwards, he was thrown into figures of satyrs, which he pretended had belonged prison by the liguers. Pigenat preached the to the king-“ Lo!" said he," these are the king's apotheosis of the Guises at Nôtre Dame; and, in demons; these are the gods whom he adores, and the midst of a torrent of eulogistic eloquence, he whose enchantments he uses !” Guincestre and stopped suddenly to ask his auditors if there was Feuardent, a preacher as violent as himself, with not a man among them zealous enough to avenge the influence of others of the fraternity, now ob the martyrs " in the blood of the tyrant who had tained from the faculty of theology a decree, which ordered their death." This was a direct incite- declared that Henri III. was dethroned, and author ment to regicide. In Paris, the clergy got up a ized his subjects to take arms against him. The procession of 100,000 persons carrying tapers in personalities employed in the sermons became daily their hands, and shouting, “ God, extinguish the more frequent; the moderate inhabitants of Paris race of the Valois !” Some of the priests placed were obliged to attend the preachings, and join ir on their altars wax images of Henri III., and dur-acts of intemperate zeal, or they ran the risk of ing the service of the mass stabbed them several being pointed out from the pulpit to the vengeance times to the heart.
of the mob. Women were not spared. On one The murder of the princes forms a marked epoch occasion, a preacher having pointed out two ladies in the history of the Ligue. Mendoza, the Spanish of quality, named Barthélemy and Feudeau, as ambassador, left the king and repaired to Paris, being somewhat remiss in their zeal, it was not where he gave the Ligue, by his presence, the without the greatest difficulty that their persons authority of the name of Philip II. The Duke of were saved from outrage, and their houses from Mayenne, the brother of the Guises, had also pillage. Murder, when committed opon a partisan thrown himself into Paris ; and under his presi- of the king, was a subject of public exultation. One dency was constituted the "council of forty,” day a liguer slew a royalist, in a frivolous duel; afterwards increased to the number of fifty-four, his valor was in an instant the subject of a sermon which included seven of the most intemperate in every church. “The young David," it wie preachers, Rose, Boucher, Prévost, Aubry, Pelle said, " has slain the Philistine Goliah !" tier, Pigenat, and Launay. The members of this! A new tragedy was now preparing, which was council, which had virtually seized upon the gov- to lead to a further complication of events. The ernment of the country, received each a salary of king had strengthened himself by joining with the a hundred écus every month. The object of the King of Navarre, who came to his assistance with Essay of M. Labitte, which we are following in a Protestant army, and they advanced apon Paris. our narrative, is to show the democratic tendency The populace began to be discouraged; an exhiof the sermons of these preachers ; and it is evi- bition of strength might still revive the latent dent throughout, that they encouraged republican respect for the crown, and in that case the influence principles, with the object of securing to them- of the preachers was at an end. The latter, aware selves the exercise of power unchecked by a supe- of this, were indefatigable in their exertions, both rior hand. They were never unmindful of their at Paris and in the provinces, to keep up people's own interests, for they took care to appropriate to zeal; they said that the capital was strong enough themselves a large portion of the plander of the and rich enough to set at defiance four kings; that houses of suspected royalists, and some of them France was sick, and could only be relieved by : were known to be living in shameful profligacy. “ potion of blood;" and they announced officially A writer of the time tells us that men who a few that they knew it was intended that, in every town years before stood amongst the lowest of the which surrendered to the king, the preachers were clergy, and possessed little more than what was to be massacred, the magistrates hung, and the necessary for their existence, were now grasping, women abandoned to the brutality of the soldiers. one at a rich benefice, another at an abbey, another The not over-scrupulous writers of the time refuse at a bishopric, and were hardly satisfied even with to report the gross indecency of the terms in which these.
the king was spoken of in the pulpit. The end of The hundred écus a month had certainly a pow. July was approaching, and Paris was suffering 80 erful effect in stimulating the zeal of those who much from the siege, that people already began to received them, who were, if possible, less scrupu- speak of surrendering. The preachers begged lous than ever in their calamnious statements. them to wait patiently seven or eight days, and They began, as M. Labitte observes, to deal in the assured them that they would see before the end warvellous. Boucher, speaking of the king, in al of the week "some great thing." (quelque grande sormon, on the 15th of February, 1589, said, I chosc,) which would effect their deliverance. We
are told that the same announcement was made by containing three points which they were to susthe preachers at Rouen, Orleans, Amiens, and other tain in their next sermons—to justify the act of the great towns. Within the time specified, on the Jacobin by comparing him to Judith-to prove that ist of August, 1589, Henri III. was assassinated the Béarnois” (Henri of Navarre, who had at by the Jacobin monk, Jacques Clement, who had once assumed the title of Henry IV.) could not been urged to this crime by the exhortations of the succeed to Henry de Valois, and to show that all preachers, by the favors (as it was said) of the those who ventured to support his claims ought to Duchess of Montpensier, and by the promises of be excommunicated. Guincestre celebrated first the chiefs of the Ligue. One only of the clergy of the apotheosis of Jacques Clement, who was proFrance, the superior of a Cistercian convent, dis- claimed in every pulpit as “ the blessed child of tinguished by his virtues, ventured to celebrate in St. Dominic," "the holy martyr of Christ." Those public the funeral service for the unfortunate mon- who dared to apply the title of regicide to the hero arch; his monks rebelled against him, he was who had delivered his country from that dog driven from his office, and was long afterwards an Henri de Valois," were marked by the preachers object of persecution in the church.
I for popular vengeance, under the coarsely expresAs we stated at the beginning of our article, sive but untranslatable epithet of garnements. France now lay absolutely at the mercy of its Tapers burnt in the churches around the statue of preachers. M. Labitie has given brief notices of Jacques Clement, whose mother came to Paris to some of the most prominently seditious. Jean receive the reward of his act. The people were Boucher, the most remarkable of them all for the invited in special sermons to go and reverence “ the part he acted, and for the number and violence of blessed mother of the martyr," who, on her return, his writings, was a native of Paris, born in 1551, was accompanied to the distance of a league from distinguished for his learning and eloquence, but the capital by a cortège of forty monks. The pope ambitious in the extreme, and possessed of a feroci- in his joy, on receiving intelligence of the murder, ty of character which the historians of the time exclaimed that the deed was as useful to the church describe as amounting almost to madness. Next as the incarnation of the Saviour, and compared the to himn comes Guillaume Rose, a fit companion for heroism of the assassin to the actions of Judith and him, equally learned, and even more eloquent, but Eleazar. characterized by Bayle as le plus enragé ligueur The siege of Paris had been relinquished after qui fut en France : he was two or three years older the murder of Henri III., and the liguers, whose than Boucher, had received innumerable benefits hopes were suddenly raised to the highest pitch, from the king whom he deserted, and had been proclaimed the Cardinal de Bourbon (then a prismnade Bishop of Senlis in 1584. He was believed oner) his successor, under the title of Charles X., by some to be liable to temporary attacks of insan- a mere shadow of a king, as M. Labitte observes, ity. Mathieu de Launay was a native of Sens, which adjourned the settlement of the question had been a convert from Calvinism, and was sub- among the real pretenders, and allowed them to sequently a canon of Soissons, where he was the unite for the destruction of the rightful monarch, grand supporter of the cause of the Ligue, until | Henri IV. The latter appeared to have no resource he was called by his brethren to Paris; he was left but his own tried genius and courage. The accused of irregularity of morals, and there were Duke of Mayenne had pursued him to the neighthose who did not hesitate to characterize him by borhood of Dieppe, in the confidence of there putthe appellation of un scélérat. Génébrard, a Bene- ting an end to the war, and the windows of the dictine, born at Riom, in 1537, was also distin- houses in Paris were already let to those who guished by his learning, and by his fanatical vio- wished to see the Huguenot king led a captive lence--Lestoile compares his eloquence to that of through the streets, when the victory of Arques, a fish-woman in a passion. The cordelier, Fran- in the month of October, completely changed the çois Feuardent, born at Coutances, in 1539, was face of events. The preachers were thunderstruck also considered as one of the pillars of the Ligue ; at the news of this disaster; but they had recourse his name appears to have been characteristic of his to their old tricks, and kept people in ignorance as temper. A contemporary writer, speaking of his long as they could, by reading from the pulpit eloquence, tells us that verbum sicut facula ardebat. pretended letters of their general, announcing Such were the men who in a manner wielded the triumph after triumph. A sudden and vigorous destinies of their country. After these in impor-attack on the faubourgs of the capital revealed the tance come the names of Pigenat, Pelletier, Pré- truth to the astonished Parisians.* Another cirvost, and Guincestre, the latter a Gascon, whose cumstance alarmed the preachers: Pope Sixtus V. name would seem to show that he was descended had hitherto given the Ligue his entire support, from an English family. Jean Hamilton, the curé but, perhaps seeing more advantage to be derived of St. Cosme, was a Scot, who had left his native from the expected conversion of Henri IV. than country in his youth, on account of his religion. from the success of his rebellious subjects, he began These were imitated in their zeal in a greater or to show a certain degree of irresolution, which less degree by the numerous muster of names, irritated them so much that they actually began to most of them obscure, which formed the army of this extraordinary church militant. There were *A circumstance told by Lestoile on this occasion but three churches in all Paris which were not shows the tyranny exercised by the preachers and lower occupied by violent liguers; all the others had bourgeoisie at this time, and iheir jealousy of the civil become veritable nests of sedition, and there was
magistracy. "Le Lundy sixième de Novembre quelques not a place of worship in which a sermon for the des faubourgs, le président Blancinenin, président au
zélés ayant remarqué que pendant que le roi estoii maitre success of the “Holy Union" was not preached / parlement, avoit son risage plus riant que de coutume, le twice every day.
prirent prisonnier, et commencerent de lui faire son proThe murder of the king threw everything into cès, comme homme suspect et attaché au Bearnois. Cemomentary confusion. The preachers were far
pendant il n'en mourut pas par les soins de son frère,
seigneur de Gevre et Secretaire d'Estat.” People were from wishing to avoid the odium of the deed. A daily murdered in the streets or drowned in the river for circular was sent round to the clergy of Paris, offences of no greater magnitude.