had taken forcible possession of what lay on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees; and when it was announced that Joanna was in an interesting situation, her father, who had a presentiment that she was about to give birth to an avenger, peremptorily insisted that the lying-in should take place under his own eye at Pau. He was known to have made a will, and hearing that she was disturbed by doubts as to its purport, he promised to place it in her hands, so soon as he saw the child of which she was pregnant, on condition that she sang him a song during the labour, in order (he said) to prevent her from presenting him with a puling and sickly one. This condition was literally fulfilled by the mother, who sang a Béarnois song at the most trying moment. 'It was remarked' (adds the bishop) 'that the child, contrary to the common order of nature, came into the world without weeping or crying. Most assuredly it would not have been right for a prince, who was destined to be the joy of all France, to be born amongst cries and groans.'

As soon as it was born (Dec. 13, 1553), the grandfather gave Joanna the will in a golden box saying, 'Daughter, this is yours, and this (the child) mine.' He then proceeded to rub the lips of the newborn baby with garlic and made it suck a drop of wine from his golden cup, to give masculine vigour to its constitution. A corresponding course was pursued in the bringing up, the old King insisting that the young prince, instead of being clothed, fed, and lodged like others of his rank, should be inured to hardships of all sorts like the peasantry. His fare was coarse bread, beef, cheese, and garlic; and he might have been seen clambering with bare feet and head amongst the rocks: an excellent preparation for the future hunter and warrior, since he proved strong enough to endure a trial under which any but the most robust constitution would have succumbed. His grandfather died in 1555, when he was under two years old, and his father in 1562, when he was only nine. Prior to the father's death, the care of his education devolved upon the mother, who was by no means disposed to err on the side of indulgence. When he himself became a father, he ordered the governess of the Dauphin to whip him vigorously when he did anything wrong, for I know full well,' he added, 'that nothing in the world does more good, since at his age I was soundly whipped.' There is a wellknown story of Buchanan and James the First, showing that such was the practice of the times. In his eighth year Henry was sent to the college of Navarre, where he had the Duc d'Anjou (afterwards Henri III.) and the Duc de Guise for school fellows. His first tutor was an excellent scholar and a man of sense, who, instead of confining him to the learning of the schools, endea

voured to imbue his mind with practical maxims of conduct and the elements of useful branches of knowledge. But the best of his education was that which he gave himself by observation and reflection, amid the stirring scenes in which from boyhood he was called to play a part, and no education would have availed him much except that which contributed to perfect his natural aptitude for government and war.

France, when he came upon the stage, was in a normal state of intestine dissension. The religious war between Catholics and Huguenots was rarely interrupted, except by a hollow truce. There was no regular government; hardly anything that could be called constituted authority; certainly none that was recognized as such. Princes and nobles chose and changed sides, without caring whether they were fighting for or against the crown. Several provinces and departments were in an independent or quasi-independent state. The leaders of the opposing factions, the Guises and the Bourbons, were more powerful than the reigning sovereign, who was fortunate if he could hold his own or hold the balance between the two. The people were plundered without mercy or compunction. Towns were taken and sacked two or three times over in the course of a campaign. The armies were composed mostly of nobles with their retainers, who made war at their own cost and depended on pillage and the ransom of prisoners for their remuneration, and partly of foreign mercenaries who, when their pay was in arrear (as it almost always was), took to marauding. Speaking of the capture of Louviers, Sully states, as an ordinary occurrence, that 'this city, whose chief riches consisted in its magazines of linen and leather, was wholly pillaged. I had a gentleman with me, called Beaugard, a native of Louviers, who was of great use to us in discovering where these sorts of goods were concealed, and a prodigious quantity of them was amassed together. The produce of my share amounted to three thousand livres.'

The rule of the three last kings of the race of Valois was more than enough to account for the general disorder and corruption of the country, but its evil genius was their mother, Catherine de Medicis, who had all the vices of an Italian intriguer, combined with ability, energy, and resolution. Possessed with the notion that a reign of order and legality would be fatal to her power and importance, she made it her business to exasperate the rival factions against each other instead of reconciling them, and, with fine feminine instinct, prepared to maintain her influence by the means best adapted to the manners of the Court. She formed a battalion of ladies and maids of honour, more than three hundred strong, selected for their personal charms or cleverness and trained

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in all the arts of seduction, whom she used as the general of the Jesuits was supposed to use the members of the order,-to confirm a wavering adherent, bring over an opponent, or steal into the enemy's camp to penetrate his plans. She seldom moved without them; and there were occasions on which they did excellent service, although hardly, it is to be feared, by presenting models of virtue or propriety.

On the death of Francis II., his brother and successor (Charles IX.) being a minor, Catherine was named regent by the Estates, and the King of Navarre (Henry's father) lieutenant-general of the kingdom. He was a vehement supporter of the Catholic party, and there is no knowing how far his religious zeal might have carried him had he lived, but he was killed at the siege of Rouen in 1562; when the widowed Queen of Navarre quitted Paris for Béarn, where she openly embraced Calvinism, leaving her son under the care of his tutor at the French Court. 'This young prince,' says Bordenhave, in his infancy held the Roman religion in such horror that it was necessary to flog him to make him attend the mass.' He probably would have equally disliked going to a Protestant church. All we learn from Perefixe on this point is that, when Henry was sent for by his mother to Pau in 1566, he was placed under a fresh tutor, a declared Huguenot, who, by the Queen's express order, brought him up in what the bishop terms this false doctrine.' In 1569, being then thirteen, he was declared chief of the reformed party, and commander of their forces in conjunction with his uncle, the Prince de Condé, and Coligny, the Admiral, as his lieutenants, on whom of course all the practical duties of leadership devolved. But it speedily became manifest that the boygeneral had an inborn genius for war and a superior military coup d'œil to either of his directors.

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At Loudun, where they were losing valuable time by hesitation, he dashed at once to the conclusion (which proved true) that their adversary, the Duc d'Anjou, would have attacked at once had he been in sufficient strength, and that they should have been the assailants on the instant instead of waiting till his reinforcements had come up.

At Jarnac, again, he saw at a glance that the conditions were reversed; that it was now they (the Huguenots) who should fall back to concentrate, instead of giving or receiving battle whilst their troops were scattered and divided. The battle was lost through neglect of the tactics he recommended, and the Prince

* Perefixe, vol. i. p. 23. Davila says that she left Paris on account of the meditated arrest of a Huguenot minister who had preached before her. 'Dell' Istoria delle Guerre Civili di Francia di Arrigo Caterino Davila,' vol. i. p. 35.


of Condé was overwhelmed by numbers, left unsupported, and killed.


In a skirmish the day before the battle of Moncontour, seeing the German cavalry shaken by an artillery fire and on the point of giving way, the Prince of Navarre spurred his horse amongst them in the thick of the fire, and persuaded them,' says Davila, 'to stop and stand the brunt of the battle, in which appeared the potent genius of this young prince, respect for whom was strong enough to restrain the fear that has no laws.' During the battle, he and his cousin, the young Prince of Condé, were placed out of danger on a hill with four thousand horse, under Prince Louis of Nassau; and had they been permitted to charge (as he wished) when the vanguard of the Catholic army was giving way, the fortune of the day might have been reversed. But he was compelled to keep aloof, loudly exclaiming against the loss of the opportunity and foretelling the inevitable defeat. Davila makes no mention of this incident, and describes the battle as one in which all on both sides, down to the camp followers, were furiously engaged. One thing is clear: the Huguenots were almost uniformly beaten, except when their military operations were directed by him. It was due in no slight degree to his ardour that the Admiral collected a fresh army, and grew so formidable that the Royalists thought it best to come to terms, and a peace was concluded on the 11th of August, 1570.

Henry retired to Béarn, but it did not suit the King (Charles IX.) and the Queen-mother to leave him quiet. Unable to subdue the Huguenots by open force, they resorted to treachery, and, with the blackest designs at heart, they lured Henry and his mother to Paris by promising him the hand of the King's sister, Margaret, and holding out the hope of a war with Spain, in which he was to have a command. His mother, Queen Joanna, who preceded him at Paris, died soon after her arrival-poisoned, it was rumoured and believed, by perfumed gloves-and Henry then took the title of King of Navarre. She disapproved of the projected marriage. Mark well, I pray you,' she wrote to him, that all they want is to get hold of you. I stand by my first opinion, that you had best return to Béarn.' Then speaking of Margaret: As to the beauty of Madame, I admit that her figure is good, but she compresses it extremely. As to her face, it is so made up that it angers me, for she will spoil it; but in this court paint (fard) is almost as common as in Spain.'

The contract was signed, April 11, 1572. Henry arrived in Paris on the 19th of July, with his cousin Condé and a suite of eight hundred gentlemen; and the marriage was


solemnized on the 19th of August, five days before the massacre of Saint Bartholomew. It was remarked that Margaret did not utter a word during the ceremony, nor give any sign of assent beyond bending her head under the pressure of her brother's hand. Both before and afterwards, when at liberty to speak freely, she declared that she could not make up her mind to throw over the Duke of Guise, to whom she had pledged her faith, still less to take his capital enemy for her husband. Whether from prudence and policy, or from his trusting disposition, Henry took no notice of her coldness, and by his easy, frank, conciliatory behaviour, so won on the King and Queenmother, or so impressed them with the notion of his tractability and harmlessness, that they resolved to spare his life, as well as that of Condé; an additional title to exemption being that they were princes of the blood-royal, then held in special reverence by the people.

What happened to the two cousins on the morning of the massacre is related by Sully. They were awakened two hours before daybreak by soldiers, who insolently commanded them to dress and attend the King. They were not allowed to take their swords, and they were eye-witnesses on the way of the murder of several of their suite. By Catherine's orders they were led through the vaults between files of guards in menacing postures armed with carbines and halberts. The King, who was waiting for them with an inflamed countenance, ordered them, with a torrent of oaths, to quit a religion which, he said, had only been adopted as a cloak to rebellion. On their manifesting repugnance, he vowed that, if they did not go to mass, he would treat them as criminals guilty of treason against both human and divine majesty. They had no alternative between immediate compliance and martyrdom. They attended mass, and Henry was further obliged to send an edict into his dominions by which the exercise of any religion but the Roman was forbidden. Nor did his humiliation end here. He was compelled to write letters of submission to the Pope, and to join the besieging army before Rochelle, after requiring the inhabitants to lay down their arms. For more than four years he was kept in close custody or narrowly watched, and from time to time subjected to indignities of the most galling kind.

He made the best of his situation; indeed, instead of holding aloof from the Court, he so complacently fell in with its ways and habits as to render this chapter of his life one of those which have caused most embarrassment to his apologists. He was caught without a struggle in the snare set for him by the Queen-mother in the person of Madame de Sauve, a lady eminently qualified by personal charms and the most adroit


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