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Simon, and contained in this volume, was cursed from his birth by an unprincirelates only to the first three of these pled mother and a pestilent education. princes, but from the birth of the grandsire Henry IV., in 1553, to the death of

Mary of Medicis, on the full tide of prose the grandson Louis XIV. in 1715, it cov. always governed by the dregs of the court and

perity, imperious, jealous, narrow to excess, ers å space of one hundred and sixty-two by what she had brought with her from Italy, years. Henry IV. fought his way to the

was a continual source of misery to Henry IV., crown, which was his

to her son, and to herself, though she might Et par droit de conquête et par droit de nais- have been the happiest woman in Europe at

no greater cost than by controlling her temper

and her varlets. Henry IV., absorbed by the when he was in the plenitude of man- cares of government and by his pleasures, was hood at thirty-six ; but his three succes. oppressed by a hateful interior. He yielded sors ascended the throne as young chil. everything to the queen and to her masters, dren, and in each case the government partly from the fear of poison or the dagger, fell into the hands of a regency — a re: The queen was mistress of her children and of

partly for the sake of peace and patience. gency of Marie de' Medici, Anne of her own court without living on better terms Àustria, and the Duke of Orleans, tur- with the king. M. de Sully has let drop a bulent, profligate, corrupt. Dates are few words which disclose the amazing surrencommonly dry and uninstructive, but der on the one side, the amazing tyranny on these dates are pregnant with meaning, the other, which was exercised by the terrible and contain in them the fate of the house temper of the queen and the audacity of the of Bourbon and of France.

vile and mercenary creatures who governed We shall confine ourselves in the fol- her. Their interest was followed in all things lowing remarks to those portions of the by a princess who trusted them, who lived in volume before us which relate to Louis them, and who saw with their eyes. Their Treize, since he is the real, if not the most ardent desire was to see her a widow and

a regent, to enable them to reign in her name, ostensible, subject of this essay, and the and with an authority which should conceal author has mainly applied his art to vin- their practices. To attain their object and dicate from original sources the character enjoy their fortune, this regent must have a of a sovereign who has perhaps been too son who should be king only in name. He severely handled by history. The hero- was therefore brought up with all the precauism, the polity, and the gallantry of Henry tions most conducive to their ends and most IV. are well known from other sources; injurious to himself. He was suffered to rot and the court of Louis XIV. survives in in idleness, in vacancy, and in such a perfect the “ Memoirs ” of Saint-Simon himself state of ignorance that he has often told my - an ample record. The birth of Henry read. The court was carefully kept apart from

father that they did not even teach him to of Navarre, at some distance from the him. It was a crime of the first magnitude to throne, the bard youth of that son of approach his apartments. He saw no one Béarn, the struggles of arms and of faith but a few servants, who were changed as soon through which he fought his way, his as they were suspected. M. de Luynes * was Protestant education, the lessons of a the only courtier who was suffered to be near virtuous mother, and the example of the dauphin, and to amuse him with a few Condé and Coligny, all contributed to birds in his aviary. form the manly character of a soldier and xill. when he lost his father.

Such was the melancholy position of Louis a statesman.

Every one

knows with what composure, what levity, what Le ciel qui de mes ans protégeait la faiblesse, indecency, the queen and those about her reToujours à des héros confia ma jeunesse.

ceived that fatal intelligence which ought to

have surprised and overwhelmed them, as it When Louis XIII. succeeded to the did the rest of the court; nor are the suspi. throne on the assassination of his illus- cions forgotten which attached to them for trious father, the situation was exactly this crime, nor the measures by which Rareversed. The young prince was not yet vaillac was interrogated, guarded, and exeten years old. France was at peace. The passions of the Ligue were extinct. The * Luynes is commonly described, and is mentioned

even by M. Guizot as a young page and companion of treasury was full. The country was in the king. But Luypes was twenty-three years older the highest state of strength and pros- han Louis XIII. - he was a man when Louis was an perity. But of what account, exclaims ignorant child, and old enough to be his father. Luynes

died of a fever before Montauban in 1621, being iben Saint-Simon, are so many advantages, forty-three. It does not clearly appear how this access when they are but external? What hårm to the king was granted to Luynes by the queen-mother

and the Concinis, when it was denied to every one else. is there in poor and difficult circumstances, He used it very effectually to destroy those Florentine if they are nobly used? The young king adventurers, and to raise himself in their place.

qui étour

cuted. The queen at the height of her ambi. mon affirms that the king had given ex: tion, and those who ruled her at the height of press orders that the life of the marshal fortune, thought only to profit by it by nar- should not be taken, and that, when he rowing the prison of the young king and ren- looked out of the window at the palace to dering it more and more inaccessible. The witness the arrest, he repeated the same disturbances excited by their miserable gov: order to Vitry, who nevertheless shot ernment were followed by a deplorable meeting of the Etats Généraux, and by the march Concini. But those who conducted the to Guienne against the party opposed to the plot had more experience of the fate of Spanish marriage, which was celebrated in favorites than the young king. Vitry November, 1615.

maintained, falsely enough, that he and But the king, though crowned, declared of his men had fired in self-defence,

“ Mais age, and married,* was not on that account ce coup,” says our author, “ more free or better educated. He was oftendit tout le monde, qui esteignit une refused leave to go out.

The Maréchale d'Ancre sent him word not to make a noise tyrannie universellement abhorrée, et qui overhead, and he had to obey or be ill-used portrait en même temps les exécuteurs au by the queen, who one day boxed his ears.

pinnacle, ne pût estre qu'applaudi par terSuch things were constantly happening, with-reur, par espérance, par bassesse, et il ne out the least alleviation or liberty. Luynes se trouva pas une seule voix qui osast ne himself could only see him alone in the even- pas confirmer tout ce que Vitry voulut ing when he went to bed, under pretence of alléguer." * The queen-mother instantly sending him sleep. This at last roused him left the court and retired to Blois, where to the determination to break these bonds and she remained in a sort of confinement for to reign by arresting the Maréchal d'Ancre two years; her creatures were killed or and by removing for a time the queen-mother; dispersed, her toils broken for the moLuynes had taken secret measures to avail himself of the insupportable condition to ment, but only to be continually renewed which the king was reduced, and of the hatred in every form of treason and intrigue, uncaused by the bad government of the queen til they led to her final expulsion from the and the insolence and tyranny of these for- country and her miserable death in poveigners. He waited till the plan was complete erty and exile at Cologne several years to propose it to the king. It was to take him later. Such was the early youth of the from a prison and place him on the throne. kingit

By this stroke of policy or of crime This event happened on April 24, 1617, Louis XIII. was liberated (from bondage when Louis XIII. was fifteen years and a in April, 1617; but he was not yet sixteen half old : the first five years of his reign years old. His only adviser, who rose by had been spent in this horrible bondage. royal favor to an excessive rank and forThe wonder is that he emerged from it at tune, for he was made a duke, a peer, all, and that the spell was broken so soon. and constable of France, was neither a The Concinis, husband and wife, better soldier nor a statesman. The attitude of known under the name of the Maréchal the Protestants and the Protestant nobiland Maréchale d'Ancre, were the crea. ity amounted to republican independence. tures of Marie de' Medici, and certainly But the first enemy against whom the they deserved their fate. No court, no

young king had to march his arınies was nation, was ever disgraced by more exe- his own mother, who, having escaped crable and contemptible tyrants. Luynes from Blois with the assistance of the Duc no doubt intended that Concini should be d'Epernon, levied war against him. The murdered, as he was murdered by Vitry at the gate of the Louvre; but Saint-Si- * Though Saint-Simon exculpates the king and de

nies his knowledge of the intended murder, it is certain

that he said with cool complacency in presence of the • The king's marriage with Anne of Austria, the court, Le Maréchal d'Ancre est mort," and that daughter of Philip Ill. of Spain, an alliance memo- Vitry was immediately made a marshal of France in rable for its results in many ways, had been arranged place of his victim. by the Concinis and the queen-mother, who were doubt- † The first part of the “Memoirs" attributed to Carless in the service of Spain. The Princess Elizabeth, dina! Richelieu, and published in 1730 under the title sister of Louis XIII., was betrothed at the same time Histoire de la Mère et du Fils," as a posthumous to the heir of the Spanish throne, afterwards Philip work of Mézeray, embraced this period from 1610 to IV. These marriages with the house of Austria were 1620 ; but it contains no trace of the particulars related extremely unpopular in France, where Spain was justly by Saint-Simon as to the youth and education of Louis regarded as a formidable enemy. To allay this díscon- XIII. The cardinal was at that time entirely in the tent the Etats Généraux were convoked in 1614; Louis interests of the queen-mother, from whom he expected XIII. was declared of age on October 2, 1614, when he and obtained his advancement. But we entertain conentered on his fourteenth year, and he opened the siderable doubt of the authenticity of these memoirs. session in person. Richelieu sate in this assembly as They have no literary merit, and not much historical one of the proctors of the clergy of Loudun. He was value. They extend to twenty-nine books, and end in then twenty-eight years of age; but he did not enter 1639, a time when the cardinal had other work on hand the king's Council until 1624, and his power dates from than to write memoirs, and, as is well known, he died August in that year.

in office in 1642.

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campaign was a short one, for the towns the narrow passage between these positions of the south opened their gates to their and the mainland. Troops therefore had to sovereign. Richelieu, who was already cross at low tide to attack them, with the risk

Such acting for the queen effected a reconcilia of being cut off by the flow of the sea. tion. “ How much you have grown!

was the imminence of the danger, which meant said Marie de' Medici to her son when victory or death, and this at each of these

islands and for several days. Everything they met. “I have grown for your ser being duly arranged, choice bodies of troops vice,” was the courteous answer of his advanced at low water with all that was reMajesty

quired for the assault. Louis XIII. watched It seems impossible to deny that this these preparations at the head of the camp, lad, still in his teens, and in most difficult without disclosing his intention to cross over circumstances, acted with spirit, judg- to the islands and attack them in person. He ment, and forbearance. He was not with- rode in silence beside the advancing columns. out the military spirit of his father and warned that it was time for him to fall back in

At a certain distance from the camp he was his race, he showed himself courageous

safety. Without an answer he marched coolly and resolute, and at this time he was cer

on, talking of other things, Ilis attendants tainly not acting under the influence or remonstrated and urged him to return; but on direction of an all-powerful adviser, for he went. At length he was told that the we do not conceive Luynes to have had assault of these islands, garrisoned as they either political sagacity or military skill

, were, was a forlorn hope, and that the troops though he had proved himself a daring would be butchered. Then first replied the conspirator and a rapacious favorite.

king, “ I am well aware of it, and it is beIt was not unusual for princes of the cause I am aware of it that I mean to go myblood royal of France to assume the com- self. I cannot send troops to be butchered, mand of armies at an early age. Condé

but, if it is absolutely necessary, I can only

lead them myself. So, gentlemen, I am was not two-and-twenty when he won the

obliged to you for your remonstrance, but we battle of Rocroy. Louis XIII., in his will say no more about it.” He said this with earlier years, was not deficient in military the saine coolness, and continued to march. energy. The struggle with the queen- My father, who heard the words, related them mother was speedily terminated by the to me, and the inconceivable amazement of combat of Pont de Cé. The young king those who were present. Louis XIII. passed immediately marched on the province of over to the islands at the head of his troops, Béarn, where he restored the toleration of conducted the attack in part himself, and gave

He fought in person, the Catholic faith, which the Huguenots orders for the rest. had suppressed. He then entered Lan- giving his orders with the coolness, foresight,

and self-possession of a man writing in his guedoc and Guienne, and soon afterwards

own chamber; the isles were taken one after besieged Montauban and took Montpel- another under a heavy fire and with great loss. lier, where he concluded with his Protes- Soubise, who defended them valiantly and tant subjects a temporary peace, which who had every means of defence, and to rely was again broken in 1625. To this period on his defences, was compelled at last to take belong the two most important military refuge in his boats on the side next the sea, achievements of his reign; and although whence he escaped to England. But this was Richelieu was now in power, and the only the prelude to the famous siege of La merit of the siege of Rochelle and the

Rochelle. assage of the Alps is ascribed by most of the historians of the time to that minis: is that the cardinal took the king down

The received version of that enterprise ter, Saint-Simon gives another account of these transactions. It is sufficiently curi- tion of the Protestant party and their En

to La Rochelle to complete the destrucous to be quoted at some length.

glish allies, and that Richelieu himself The soul and strength of the party was La displayed on that occasion consummate Rochelle. The king felt that this place must military ability. The incident is the be taken, and the infinite difficulties of the more interesting to us, as it was the scene enterprise only excited his courage and his of Buckingham's discomfiture, and exerresolution. It was necessary, before attempt. ing so great and thorny a siege, to seize all cised a considerable influence on the the islands about the place, where the English fortunes of Charles I. Saint-Simon enlanded with ease, and which were in communi- tirely rejects this tradition of a roi faication with La Rochelle. These islands were néant, and claims for the king the most the retreat, and a sort of arsenal and depot, of important share in the action. the party, the more convenient as they were well fortified and provisioned, and as they If the attack on the isles had shown both were alternately left dry or surrounded by the the military capacity and the courage of the ebb and flow of the sea no vessels could enter | king, these qualities were still more conspicu. ously displayed in the protracted and difficult | the king in his campaigns down to the siege of La Rochelle. Louis, not relying year 1637, when he withdrew from the overmuch on himself, listened to the various court. and often conflicting opinions of his generals; his name, may have claimed more than he

The cardinal, or whoever wrote in but he always decided on them himself, and

deserved in this matter. even resolved on things suggested to his own

No sooner mind by the discussions held before him. He

was the siege of La Rogave his orders with the utmost foresight and chelle terminated than the king resolved vigilance, and watched the execution of them. to cross the Alps to the relief of his He it was who first thought of shutting out ally the Duke of Mantua, who was threatthe besieged from all assistance from the sea ened by the Duke of Savoy and by the by means of that famous digue or mole, who Spaniards. The plague was raging in the made the plan of it, and by his indefatigable valleys, and the passes of the mountains presence and perseverance caused it to be were blocked with snow, for it was in the executed. I assert nothing here which my month of February. The entrance to father did not see with his eyes and hear with Piedmont was guarded by the lines of his ears.

No sooner was it completed than Louis XIII. redoubled his energy in pressing Susa, a fortified pass of remarkable the siege. If he was well supported, it is not strengtlı, which was held by the chiefs of the less true that the jealousy of those about the army to be unassailable. The king him, and other causes yet more criminal, were resisted their remonstrances. Cardinal held in check by his penetration, and that it was Richelieu supported them, but with no his vigilance, his activity of body and mind, his better effect. The cardinal hoped to exmatchless valor, his example, his presence in haust the royal patience by sheer ennui, all places, and the impossibility of escaping his but this was relieved by the introduction eye, which achieved a conquest that for the of a singer named Hyert, who gratified first time sapped the Huguenot power to its the king's passion for music, and who foundations. The king had the satisfaction of seeing the English twice fail, with a formida- made his fortune by that chance, for his ble fleet, against the fruit of his reflections descendants for three generations reand his exertions — I mean, against that famous mained attached to the households of mole which closed the port of La Rochelle

Louis XIV. and Louis XV. But there an eternal monument of the sovereign by whom still lay the barricades of Susa. it was conceived, willed, and executed.

By no other road could Piedmont be entered. This is the language of panegyric, This pass must be forced, or else the army transmitted to Saint-Simon by the enthu- must retreat, leaving the Duke of Mantua to siastic devotion of his father to the mem- be crushed by Philip (it should be Charles) ory of his master. Giving them credit for Emmanuel and by Philip of Spain. The king veracity as to the facts witnessed by the would do neither. Day by day, and at early one and related by him to the other, this dawn, he explored and reconnoitred himself narrative certainly raises a strong pre- erals declared to be absolutely impracticable.

the passes in the mountain, which his gensumption that the cardinal and his follow- At last, as he conversed with the people of the ers plumed themselves with honors in country, he fell in with a shepherd keeping which the king himself deserved a larger his flock. From him he learned that there part, and that Louis XIII. was not a list- were paths through the mountains which less spectator of this memorable exploit in might enable him to attack the barricades, and

he caused them to be examined by some of his But this version of the siege is entirely generals, who still dissuaded him from so hazopposed to the story accredited by other ardous an enterprise. This detail, as well as writers. The siege itself lasted from all the rest, I had from my father, who never August 10, 1627, to October 28, 1628; waiting and equerry, and singularly attached

left the person of the king, being first lord-infrom February to April, 1628, the king to his person. was not present at it, having returned to

All being prepared for the attack, the king Paris on account of his health ; during behaved as he had done at the islands of Rohis absence Richelieu was appointed lieu. chelle. Not only was he present giving orders tenant-general of his armies, and was to with the utmost coolness and sagacity, but he be obeyed by all officers, civil and mili-supported in person the first detachments of tary, as the king. The cardinal is said the Grenadiers (to use a phrase of the present to have directed the military operations ime), and he climbed up on their heels, sword and even the assaults. It was during the summit, fighting amongst his men with

in hand, pulled and pushed along till he gained this very time that the mole was .com- amazing valor against all that art and nature pleted. However, to this Saint-Simon could oppose to their progress. opposes the direct testimony of an eye once carried, the army had to form on the witness who undoubtedly accompanied | other side. The Spaniards stood aloof, and

war.

The pass

Charles Emmanuel surrendered at discretion. I had formerly allied himself, and by whose That baughty prince came to meet the king, influence he rose. Saint-Simion counts it who was at the head of his army. On arriv. among the signal proofs of the king's ing, he knelt down and kissed his boot. This judgment and resolution that in the prime submission, which Louis XIII. received with of life and vigor of his age he consented out the slightest indication of alighting from his horse, or preventing the Duke of Savoy

to accept such a minister and invest him from so abject a surrender, produced its effect. with all but supreme authority to the end The king stopped his army, and signed a of his days. He had, in fact, found out treaty, five days after the passage of the barri. that what has been termed the true secades (March 11, 1629). Charles Emmanuel, cret of kingcraft is to select the ablest a great and illustrious prince and soldier, minister he could find, and make him could not long survive so great a humiliation responsible for his actions. The queenHe shut himself up in his palace at Turin, fell moiher soon discovered that in raising into a profound melancholy, and died on July Richelieu to office she had created a 26, 1630, at the age of seventy-eight, about fifteen months after he had implored in per: that moment the cardinal became the

power superior to her own; indeed, from son and on his knees the clemency of Louis XIII.

chief protector of the sovereign against

a factious court. Saint-Simon had no It must be acknowledged that these predilections in favor of Richelieu, for exploits, which belong for the most part one of the results of his promotion was to the earlier years of the reign of Louis the retirement of the elder Saint-Simon XIII., present him in a very different from the court to his government of aspect from that of the feeble, sickly, and Blaye; but although the father received fainéant sovereign recorded in the con- no favors at the hands of the great minisventional language of history. The so-ter, the son treats him with impartiality.* lution of the problem would seem to be Thus, then, he discusses the question that in the course of a reign of two-and-whether Richelieu governed his master: twenty years the king's character under. went great changes. We have seen that The great events which have shed such from 1611 to 1617 he was a child and a lustre on this reign — the razing of the forts prisoner under the absolute control of his in the Valteline and the restoration of the mother. He assumed the government of Grisons to the sovereign control over their F nce at a critical moment, for 1618 passes in the Alps; the entire subjection of witnessed the outbreak of the Thirty Ligue ; the diminution of the power of the

the Huguenots and of the last traces of the Years' War, when the defeat of the king house of Austria by the entry of the king of of Bohemia rendered the house of Aus- Sweden into Germany and his exploits there, tria all-powerful in Germany and prepon- and the admirable support given to his party derant in northern Italy, whilst the Duc after the death of that king; the affairs of Italy de Rohan was declared general of the happily terminated; the acquisition of the Protestant Churches of France, and his three évêchés (Toul, Verdun, and Metz), which brother Soubise armed the coasts of Gui- had been more than precarious since Henry II. ; enne and Poitou. It was at this time,

the revolution in Portugal, and a multitude of likewise, that Louis distinguished himself

other affairs, slighter indeed, but all difficult

and important, together with the maintenance by a vigorous, though ineffectual, attempt of the Catholic faith and its exercise wherever to save the life of the virtuous Barneveldt it had existed before the Swedish occupation ; from bis Dutch persecutors. The fact is the avoidance of a quarrel with Rome or of not mentioned by Saint-Simon, but it does extreme measures against the Catholic League the king honor. Louis was able, unas- in Germany - are generally attributed to the sisted, to deal, as we have shown, with powerful genius of Cardinal Richelieu. I do these emergencies. If in his later years not affect to deny that he was the greatest he was far from displaying the same energetic qualities, the change may be attrib- * There are some curious passages in the writings of uted to three causes: first, bad health and Saint-Simon on the relations of the king with his great

Louis XIII, had fits of royal jealousy, and a melancholy disposition; secondly, the the Wolsey of France was not inaccessible to fear. growing ascendency of the genius of Both seem to have had confidence in the elder Saint

Simon. Thus it is related in the “Memoirs:" “It Richelicu; lastly, the incessant intrigues has often happened to my father to be roused in the and conspiracies of his brother Gaston, dead of the night by a servant, who drew aside his curin which his own favorites, and even the tain with a light, having behind him the Cardinal de

Richelieu, who sat on the bed and held the candle, erqueen, his wife, were implicated. Riche- claiming sometimes that he was lost, and coming to lieu was declared prime minister in 1624, consult my father on information he had received, or chiefly on the recommendation of the casion it was the king who came to visit Claude de

on scenes he had had with the king." On another oc. queen-mother herself, to whose party he | Saint-Simon at night to complain of the cardinal.

minister.

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