[Page] The TRUE HISTORY OF THE DUKE OF GUISE. EXTRACTED out of Thuanus, Mezeray, Mr. Aubeny's Memoirs, and the Journal of the Reign of Henry the third of France.

Published for the undeceiving such as may perhaps be imposed upon by Mr. Dryden's late Tragedy of the Duke of Guise. Together with some Remarks upon the same.

LONDON, Printed and are to be Sold by R. Baldwin, 1683.

TO THE READER.

TIS a mad World my Masters! The fiery Crape-Gowns vex the Pulpit, and the hot brain'd Poets wrest prophane History.

For certainly the Tragedy of the Duke of Guise, was a thing set on foot meerly to try how far the limits of Poetica Licentia might extend. Whether it might be lawful for a Man to give an ill Character of his Sovereign in Verse, and to parallel a vertuous Prince, and belov'd of his subjects, with a Prince dis­esteem'd and almost forsaken by his People, for the ill management of his Government; because it is a hanging matter to do it in Prose. Or whether it might be lawful for a Poet to expose the Majesty of his Royal parallel and bring him in upon the Stage of a publick Play-House, Courting and kneeling to his Rebell's Misiress in Verse, which could have hardly enter'd into the thought of the most vile Associated Ribald to have done in Prose. True it is, the Historians tell us of a certain Charming Lady to whom the Duke of Guise was reading Ovids de Arte Amandi, all the night long before the Tragical Morning, and that she kept him so long a led to exercise the practical part, that she made [Page] him the greatest Truant in the whole Assembly; but whether this were the Vertuous Marmontier or no, is the Question. If it were she, it shews the damnable ill conduct of the Poet, to compare the paillardise of French Tyranny with the gravity and Sobriety of English Sovereignty. But if it were the unspotted and resolv'd Marmontier, then the Poet did most ungraciously, to make his Royal Parallel chafing and teazing the Honour and Chastity of an unblemished Maiden upon the publick Theater.

To tell the truth, Gentlemen, it was neither the one nor the o­ther; for it was Madam de Montpensier, that interceded for the Duke her Brothers coming to Paris to justifie his Crimes, and gave the Sixteen notice of the Kings just indignation against them, only the Poet was resolved to bring the Duke of Guise Mistress in, to make her honest if he could, for Decorum's sake, tho it had been more proper to have whor'd her, considering his propense malice to the Duke. And then 'twas a cursed mi­stake to bring the King in, so passionately Courting a Woman, whom all the Histories report to be another way inclin'd. He had his Quelus's, his D' O's, his Villequiers, and his Valete's, and a peculiar way of hampering the Refractory by letting down the Lid of a great Chest upon their reins, while they were stoop­ing and searching by Command for what was known to be ne­ver there. Certainly the Poet might have found out some far more stainless Pattern of Heaven's lending to the World, in honour of his Royal Parallel, if it may not be thought his Play was rather intended for a Libel than a Tragedy. Which the Poet therefore call'd a Tragedy, because he would not be said to jest with edg'd Tools. And then again what a pleasant thing it is to see the Poet make his Duke of Guise, newly recover'd from the Agonies of fore-boded mischief, in the midst of a hundred amusing thoughts, sending his passionate recommendations and Ca­resses to his Strumpet, by the mouth of a Cardinal, the higest dig­nity of his Religion?

However Monsieur Grillon is monstrously indebted to the Poet for advancing his supposed Daughter to the Dukes love and the Kings Courtship, tho God be thanked, as the Poet has ordered the [Page] matter, she withstands 'em both. A man would admire at it at first, she being but of mortal composition. But when you hear the Poet hyperbolizing at such a rate, and swearing by the Powers that made him, that were it possible we could be damn'd again by some new Eve, her vertue might redeem us, 'tis no wonder the King and the Duke lost their labour. However Grillon was mightily pleas'd, and but for the roughness of his Arms, he would have kiss'd her beauty to a dissolution. Who would not now wish to see the Poets Temples bedeck't like a Barbers Window at Christmas for two such Enthusiastick Ebullitions? In good sooth, they were two most soaring raptures, Alamode de l' esprit rampant, as the French Man call's it; in short, two strain'd points between God Almighties Providence, and flat nonsense. But Grillon is yet more oblig'd to the Poet for bringing him in swag­gering and domineering over the Baricaders, who were themselves the Triumphant party. Nay the Sheriffs, which Grillon beats, were the Kings own friends too, and displac'd by the Barri­caders themselves when they got the power in their hands, so little did the Poet consider what he was doing. But two Sheriffs were to be beaten right or wrong, tho they were the Kings friends, yet being Sheriffs they were to be bang'd, and who so fit as Grillon, the Kings Friend to do it? Yet when you consider Gentlemen, that this was a Tragedy made to be laugh'd at, 'twas well e­nough.

Had the Poet exercis'd his pains upon the Popish Plot, he could not but have bin much more successful in his fancy. For he would have found the Plot of the Barricaders and the Popish Plot so like, as if it had bin spit out of the very Mouth of it. The con­trivance of both was by the bigoted Roman Catholicks. They both design'd the Destruction of their lawful Prince; they both assur'd themselves of a Popish Cheiftain. The discovery also of both was in the same manner; the one, by Nicholas Polaine, the other by Titus Oates; their motives the same; an abhorrency of the Vil­lany's intended. Their Opportunities the same; as being both con­federates, and admitted to the private meetings and consults of the Complotters. The same difficulties, the same obstructions in being be­leiv'd. [Page] Only the person that took the First depositions of Polaine had the good luck to escape Cravatting or being Sr. Edmund Bury Godfrey'd; which was the peculiar signal difference between the Popish Plot and the Barricaders Plot carry'd on by the D. of Guise.

But as the Poet has manag'd his Tragedy, 'tis true, a man may guess what he intends, but there is no more of Head nor Tayl in his Tragical contrivance, of botching and fitting the Story to his purpose; no more of truth or resemblance in his Characters, then if he had brought the Fable of Endymion to prove the Ebbing and Flowing of the Sea. The Papists had better have given him the Po­ets third Day to have held his peace; for he has so reviv'd the Storyes of the Parisian Massacre, and the memory of the Bar­ricaders most damnable Contrivances against their Soveraign, that he has put new life into the drooping Credit of the Popish Plot, rais'd almost from the Grave the Horror of Popish cruelty and disloyalty, destroyed all that R. L. has been labouring to make good almost these two twelve months, and may truly be said to be another Titus Oates, bringing new Lights into the World, and new Discoverys of Jesuitical Massacre and Treason.

However it is a Tragedy: For that all the World must grant; because 'tis Lamentable all over; of which there needs no more be said then what the Poet himself has been pleas'd to say of it in his Epilogue, with a little small Amendment.

Much Time and Trouble this Poor Play has cost,
And faith I doubt me, that the Cause is lost.

THE HISTORY OF THE Duke of Guise.

FRANCIS the First, King of France, was the first who Erected the County of Guise into a Dukedom and Peerdom, in favour of Claudius of Lorrain, in the year 1527.

In the Reign of Henry the Second, his Successour, the House of Guise grew into Splendour more and more, by the Accession of new Honours and Dignities, and the increase of its Power and Authority in the Court of France; at what time Duke Claudius, and John his Brother Bishop of Metz, called the Car­dinal of Lorrain, being dead, Francis, Duke of Aumale, took upon him his Fathers Title; and Charles his Brother, whom they called the Cardinal of Guise, assumed both his Uncles Ti­tle and all his Benefices. The Duke in that Estate advanced his own, and the Power of his House, not so much by his own merit, which however was very high in esteem, as by his Complacency and Observances toward the King's Mistresses; by whose assistance he easily depriv'd Peter Lizet, first President [Page 2] of the Parliament of his Employment, for presuming to thwart his Designs, and brought him upon his Knees to beg some small Benefice for his subsistance in the World.

But that which much more added to the Fame and Renown of this growing Family, was the great Prosperity of Charles, the Son of this Frances, in seats of Arms; as being the Person who had first defended Metz against the Emperour, who after he had lain two Months before the City, in the extremity of Winter, was forced to raise his Siege with the loss of 30000 men. His next Exploit was the recovery of France from that Consternation it was in, after the loss of the Battel of St. Quintin, with the Title of Lieutenant General of the Armies of the King, both within and without the Kingdom: After that he took Ca­lice from the English, and utterly expell'd them out of France; so that the Misfortune of France, was his Happiness; and the waining of the Constable's Reputation, was his Exaltation; it being then the general Opinion, that the Armes of France could prosper under no Mans Conduct, but that of the Duke of Guise. But that which mounted his Authority yet higher, was the Marriage of his Sisters Daughter, the young Queen of Scots, with the Dauphin, afterwards King for a short time.

Henry the Second being unfortunately kill'd in a Tourna­ment, by the Earl of Montgomery, the Breath was no sooner out of his Mouth, but all the Factions which had been forming, during his Reign, began to shew themselves in Motion. And unfortunately to strengthen them in their various Motions, there concurr'd the differing Parties in Religion, the great number of Malecontents, sundry Desirers and Lovers of Novelty, and great numbers of Military Persons, who being out of Employ­ment, sought it at any price whatever.

On the one side the Princes of the Blood, and the Constable of France united in Interest; on the other side the Princes of the House of Guise; between which two Parties the Queen-Mother chaffer'd the best she could for her own advantage, flattering now this, then the other Party, while the King, as Feeble in Mind as Body, lay expos'd to the first Occupant; and the Prize for which they contended, was the Government of the Kingdom. The Princes of the Blood, were Anthony of Navarre, Voluptuous [Page 3] and Timerous, more considerable for his Quality, than his Pow­er: Lewis, Prince of Conde, Bold and Hardy, whose Courage and scantness of Fortune were sufficient Motives to incite him to great Enterprizes.

Of the Guises there were six Brothers, the Duke of Guise, the Cardinal of Lorrain, the Duke of Aumale, the Cardinal of Guise, the Marquis D'Elbeuf, and the Grand Prior; but the two first were the most considerable, and had the other four at their Devotion. The Duke was Signal for the Reputation of his Valour, his Liberality and Affability, the Cardinal of Lorrain for his Eloquence and Learning: The one had all the Greatest and most Eminent Souldiers, the other the chiefest part of the Clergy at his Command.

The Guises seiz'd upon the Person of the King, as having Married their Niece, Mary of Scotland, under the specious pre­tence of the Catholick Religion. The Princes made sure of the Malecontents and Disbanded Officers, under pretence of pro­tecting those of the Reformed Religion; whose despair was more formidable, however, than their Number.

With the Guises join'd the Marquis of St. Andre, Valiant and Witty, but Prodigal and in Debt; and the Constable Montmo­rency, who having been Chief Minister of State, could not well brook to be the Second; but bearing the Title of First Christi­an Baron of France, took part at length with the Guises, as Defenders of the Catholick Religion.

To the Princes adher'd the Admiral Coligny, with his Bro­ther Dandelot, Colonel of the French Infantry.

In the mean time the Guises, together with the Queen-Mother, were Masters of the King, and all the Authority at Court, the King declaring that he had given up the Administration of the Government into the Hands of his two Uncles.

The Constable finding his Authority was quite marching, sends away in all haste to the King of Navar, to come and assume that Authority which he claimed by his Birth and Quality; but he being slow and irresolute, and diffident of the Constable, made no haste, which was look'd upon as one of the princi­pal Causes of the Troubles and Misfortunes of France.

While he delays, the Guises banish the Dutchess of Valentinois, [Page 4] the late King's Mistress; the Constable is sent home to his House, and by various and specious Pretences the rest of the Princes that stood in the way of their Designs are honourably dispatch'd abroad, and the Duke of Guise made Grand Master of the King's House, which Employment was taken from the Constable on purpose to bestow it on the Duke.

To make themselves the more formidable, or rather to root themselves more deeply in the Favour of the Catholicks, they persuaded the young King to publish an Edict, prohibiting the Protestants to meet in publick or private, upon the score of Re­ligion, on pain of Death; and erected a new Court to take cognisance of their Crimes, which was called by the name of Chambres ardentes, The Burning Chambers, because they sent all to the Fire that were convicted of the Reformed Religion.

These outragious Proceedings caused them first to betake themselves to their Pens, and to publish several of their Wri­tings against the Queen-Mother and the Duke of Guise; but at length the Prince of Conde, the Admiral, and Dandelot, united together, to consult of a way to extinguish these Flames that threatned such a general Conflagration. Thereupon they sent to all the Reformed Churches, to send their Deputies to Nantes; where it was agreed, That they should send a certain number of Persons unmarried to present their Grievances to the King, and to endeavour to seise the Duke of Guise, and the Cardinal of Lorrain, to the end they might be brought to answer to such Articles as should be exhibited against them. But the Impru­dence of la Renaudie discovered the Design, which made the Guises provide for their own Safety with all the Care imagina­ble.

The Duke caus'd the Title of Lieutenant-General to be confirmed to himself, as well in the Presence as Absence of the King, and rode always accompanied with a chosen Guard of Horse; by which means the Conspiracy intended to have been put in execution, for seising the Duke and the Cardinal at Am­boise, came to nothing; onely that abundance of poor People were thereby destroy'd and ruin'd, of which near 1200 were hang'd, drown'd, and beheaded in the Streets of Amboise, that can with Blood; while the Queen-Mother, her three young [Page 5] Sons, and all the Court-Ladies, beheld the fatal Tragedy from the Battlements of the Castle.

The Prince of Conde was accus'd for being guilty of this De­sign, urg'd further upon him with an intention to have surpriz'd the King: But being admitted to his own Defence, he not one­ly made it with a wonderful Eloquence, but gave the Lie to all that durst assert him Culpable. Which tho the Duke of Guise heard and knew, at whom the Prince aimed, yet with a pro­found Dissimulation he prais'd the Princes Generosity, and told him, he would be the first that should maintain his Innocence himself, tho in private he had a little before given the Queen Advice to arrest him.

Soon after another Design was detected, by the Weakness of la Sayne, for which the Prince of Conde was arrested, and con­demned to lose his Head; and all by the Power of the Guises. Nor did any thing protect the Prince from being executed, but the imprudent Carriage of the Cardinal toward the Queen-Mo­ther, who thinking his Capital Enemy was now irrecoverably lost, began to contemn her, as one of whose Assistance there was now no longer need. So that she perceiving her own Au­thority so much in danger, first deferr'd the King's signing the Warrant, and then (the King's Death immediately ensuing) set the Prince at full Liberty.

To Francis the Second, Charles the Ninth succeeded, at ten years of Age, and a little more than five Months. And now in stead of destroying others, the Guises had enough to do to preserve themselves. For the Prince of Conde is restor'd, and takes his Place in the Privy-Council, and, by Order of the Par­liament of Paris, is declared Innocent of all things laid to his Charge. And at the same time the Admiral Colligni was also restor'd to Favour.

The Courage of the Guises was not at all abated by the Ad­vancement of their Enemies, being upheld by the Catholick Party. Navarre takes a slight occasion to quarrel with the Dake of Guise, and carried it so high, that he was about to have departed for Paris, with the Princes of the Blood, and the Con­stable, there to deliberate about the Government of the King­dom.

[Page 6] This alarms the Queen and the Guises. Thereupon she clo­ses with the Constable, and causes the King to lay his Com­mands upon Navarre not to leave him; and the more to please Navarre, enlarges the Power of his Lieutenancy.

The Constable thus half gain'd, was at length quite brought over from the Princes Party, by the Persuasions and Importuni­ty of the Dutchess of Valentinois, and some others, and so joyns again with the Guises and the Marshal de St. Andre. And this Union was by the Hugonots call'd The Triumvirate.

However Honour not permitting the Constable to joyn openly with the Duke of Guise, while the Prince of Conde was his Enemy, thereupon they were by the King commanded to embrace each other, and to promise one toward another most sincere and cordial Friendship.

Now as for the Admiral, as it was by his means that the King of Navarre had confirmed the Regency to the Queen-Mother, she did not suffer her self to be altogether guided by the Triumvirate, but gratefully submitted likewise in several things to his Advice, and for his sake procured several Favours in behalf of the Hugonot Party, which was the thing he aim'd at. And indeed the Services which the Admiral did her were so considerable, that she gave order to her Embassadour at Rome to desire Liberty of the Pope and the Cardinals, that the Communion might be administred in both Kinds, and Mass said in French within all the King's Dominions.

The Triumvirs could not endure the great Credit which the Admiral had with the Regent, and therefore retire from Court; but in a short time after they make themselves Masters of the King's Person, upon which ensu'd a Bloody War between the Hugonots and the Catholicks; in which War Conde was taken Prisoner at the Battel of Dreux, and the Duke of Guise, having laid Siege to Orleans, the Head Quarter of the Hugonots, was assassinated by one Poltron, with a Pistol discharg'd through his Shoulder, of which he died in six days after. And there­upon follow'd a Treaty, and then a Peace.

Not long after the Death of Charles, his Son Henry Duke of Guise appears upon the Stage of the World, newly returned from Poland, whither he went to serve his first Apprenticeship in [Page 7] War; first at Saumur, next at the Seige of Poitiers, which he de­fended against the Admiral Coligny, (for the War now broke forth again between the Hugonots and Catholicks) with a Cou­rage equal to what his Father shewed at the Seige of Metz. The next thing we hear of him, not so much to his Honour, was, that the Parisian Massacre, which was resolved upon at the In­stance of this young Duke of Guise, was first taken into delibe­ration, in that very Chamber at Blois, where the Duke was afterwards murdered himself. No question but he was signally engaged in the Massacre, and took particular care concerning the Admiral, and his Son in Law Teligny, that they should neither of them escape; a thing so well known to the King and Queen-Mother, that it was afterwards concluded in the Cabinet Coun­cil, to throw all the Odium of the Massacre upon the Guises, as being the most proper Subjects to bear the Reproach. Howe­ver, the Duke and his Brother apprehending, as well they might, lest the Queen-Mother should one day lay the Accusa­tion of the Massacre upon their Backs, to their Destruction, in­sisted upon it so powerfully, having the Power in their Hands, the Catholick Nobility, the Duke of Mompensier, and the Pa­risians on their sides, that they constrained the King to change his Note, and to publish every where, That what had hap­pened was done by his Order, to prevent the Effects of a de­testible Conspiracy, which the Admiral and his Adherents had contrived, to the ruin of him, and all the Royal Family, the King of Navarre, and the Prince of Conde; for which, and some other reasons, Charles the Ninth was resolv'd, had he lived, to have brought down the haughty Pride and Glory of the Guisian Fa­mily.

But he being dead, Henry the Third succeeded, who led by ill Council, presently embroyl'd himself in a War with the Hugonots, whom his Brother, the Duke of Alanson, ill treated by his Majesty, had taken into his Protection: But the Duke being appeas'd, and Peace concluded, another Design was formed for their Destruction, which was called the Holy League, wherein the Duke of Guise was a main Stickler, not as he was a Favourite of the Kings, but tacked to the Interests of the Queen-Mother, for their own by ends; for otherwise they hated each other mor­tally: [Page 8] For the Kings Favourites, of which he had many, were none of the Dukes Friends, but such as continually infus'd a jea­lousie of him in the Kings Breast, putting him in mind of the offer which the Duke had made him, to prevent his going into Poland, and laying before the Kings Eyes certain Memoires, containing several Reasons, which it was said the Duke had sent to the Pope to perswade him to degrade the House of Capet, which had usurp'd the Crown, and to re-establish the Line of Charlemain, from whence the Guises vaunted to be descended, in the Throne.

However it were, the King understanding that the Estates of the Kingdom were resolved to desire him to name a Captain for the League, and particularly the Duke of Guise, to prevent them, assumed the Title himself, and so signed it first with his own hand.

Against this the Protestants form another League, of which they declare the Prince of Conde Lieutenant General, under the Authority of the King of Navarre; and thus both Parties pre­pare for a new War.

The King raises two Armies at one time, and gives the Command of the one to his Brother, the Duke of Anjou. The Duke of Guise desired the Command of the other, but the Enmity of the Duke of Anjou, and the Kings Jealousie, denied him that Honour, which was conferred upon the Duke of Mayenne, his Brother, but to the great Consolation of the Protestants, who were almost brought to the utmost extremity by the surren­der of Rochel; and almost contrary to their expectation, a Peace was soon after concluded.

The ill will which the King and the Duke of Anjou bare the Duke of Guise, was as yet a thing concealed; but a quarrel of their Favourites openly discovered it.

Quelus, one of the Kings Minions, challenged Eutragues, who was the Dukes Favourite: Quelus chose for his Seconds Livarrot and Maugiron, in the Kings favour likewise: Eutragues brought Ribeyra and Schombert. Maugiron was kill'd upon the place; Quelus wounded in nineteen places, so that he dyed within a Month. The King so passionately lov'd them both, that he kiss'd them when dead, preserv'd their White Locks in a Gol­den [Page 9] Box, and built them a sumptuous Monument in the Church of St. Paul: A while after, St. Maigren being pistoll'd by Or­der of the Duke of Mayenne, for boasting a Familiarity with the Dutchess of Guise, the King entombed him richly likewise, and set up the Statues of all three over their Tombs.

The other Favourites apprehensive of the same usage, if they ventur'd to play with such boistrous Gamesters, never ceas'd incensing the King against the Duke and his Brother, by all the ways and reports they could devise, and to seek all other means to destroy them: So that the two Dukes thus put to defend them­selves, stopt not there, but carried it higher than perhaps they thought otherwise to have done: And they took their advan­tages from the continual Impositions which the King laid upon his Subjects, to satisfie the inordinate Luxury and Profusness of his Favourites, which as it lessened his esteem among the Peo­ple, the Guises failed not to aggravate to the utmost.

And the more to strengthen their Faction, the Duke of Guise, though he knew how much the Duke of Anjou hated him, yet he failed not to make him certain advantagious Propositions, to set him at an absolute Enmity with his Brother the King, well understanding how greatly it would serve him, to have a Son of France at the Head of his Party; but as that Design took no Effect, so if it had it would have done him little good, in regard of the Death of the Duke, which happened suddenly after.

Which, seeing they could not prevail in their Design, the Guises were glad of; for that his Life gave a stop to their Ambition, and kept the King of Navarre asleep; however it changed the Measures and Designs of those Factions. For now the Succession to the Crown seemed to lye open, since all Men knew the King incapable of having Children, by reason of the Debility of his Parts of Generation, proceeding from the same Distemper which had caused his Hair to fall off. The Queen was for advancing to the Crown the Children of her Daughter, and the Duke of Lorrain.

The Duke of Guise pretended to serve her, but loving himself better than the Elder Line of his Family, he minded his own bu­siness. However not having any right of himself to intermed­dle in the Affairs of the Kingdom, he made use of the Cardinal [Page 10] of Bourbon. Him he therefore persuaded, That he was the Presumptive Heir of the Kingdom, as being nearer in Blood than the King of Navarre his Nephew: So that the good old Man hated his Nephew as his Rival, and look'd upon the Duke of Guise as the Potent Friend that was to help him to his Right, when the time should come.

The King was advertis'd of all these Practices by the King of Navarre: So that the more the others had a mind to keep him at a distance, the more the King desired to have him near his Presence. Thereupon he sent the Duke of Espernon to him, to persuade him to turn Catholick; but his own Ministers of State, and the Protestants, shew'd him better Arguments to the contrary, and kept him steady.

Thereupon the Leaguers gave out, That Espernon was sent not to convert the King of Navarre, but to confirm him in his He­resie; and that the King himself was opening him a way to the Oppression of the Catholick Princes, that when he came to the Crown he might make an absolute Change of the ancient Re­ligion.

This the Duke of Guise, and his Brother, by their Emissaries, spread among the People, and the Preachers Trumpeted the same from their Pulpits. To this they added the Protection which the King gave to Geneva, and the Receipt of the Order of the Garter from Queen Elizabeth. And they having blasted the Kings Honour by all the Inventions they could devise, they extoll'd the Piety, Vallor, and Goodness of the Guises, whom they called the Bucklers of Religion, and the Fathers of the People.

Having thus fir'd the Zealous, stirred up the Factious, and perswaded the simple, they began to List Souldiers, keep their Publick Meetings, name Commanders, appoint places of Rendezvous, and to give form and shape to their late contriv'd League, in which the Duke of Nevers was a Chief Actor.

And now the Leaguers being ready to declare there wanted nothing but a Confirmation of their Rebellion from the Pope, with the Draught and Memorials of which Father Claude Mat­thieu, a Jesuite, was sent to Rome. Cardinal Pelve presented them to the Holy Father, and the Spanish Cardinals held them Mid­wise-like in their Arms. The Holy Father did not absolutely [Page 11] deny his Assent, but whether he was unwilling to Alarum the Protestant Princes, at a time when the King of France had en­tred into League with them, or for what other cause is uncer­tain; however he would not Confirm it by any Publick Act, thinking it sufficient to keep the Leaguers in hopes, and to give them the satisfaction of a Connivance at present.

Besides the pretence of Religion, the extraordinary Oppres­sion of Impositions and Taxes favoured them extreamly.

On the other side, the King, understanding that the Guises had gained the favour of the People by their Civilities, made it his business for some Months to appear Popular; he shew­ed himself in Publick with a Smiling and Gracious Aspect. Caressed the Deputies of the Cities, and the Principal Burgesses of Paris, and went frequently to the Parish Masses. But this gay humour lasted not long, and then he shut himself up in his Retirements as he was wont to do before.

In the mean time the Duke of Espernon, with some of the Council, had made a Party, with a resolution to Arrest the Duke of Guise; of which he having Intelligence, retired to his Government of Champaigne, whither the Cardinal his Bro­ther soon after followed him.

The Spanish Agents took advantage of this Conjuncture, and never ceas'd till they had concluded a Private League Of­fensive and Defensive with the Confederates of the Holy Union, to preserve the Catholick Religion, as well in France as in the Low Countries. To advance the Cardinal of Burbon to the Throne upon the Death of Henry III, and to exclude all the Heretick Princes of the Line. To which purpose the Spani­ards were to furnish the French Princes with 50000 Pistolets a Month, and advance them 400000 from six Months to six Months.

Besides which Sums the Spanish Agents paid to the Duke of Guise several other Sums, which he was to Employ for the gaining of such persons as he stood in need of. Which done, the Spaniards pressed the Duke of Guise, without ceasing, to de­clare himself: Who thereupon, having secur'd the Cardinal of Burbon, who was the choicest Card in his Pack, he Published a Declaration in the Cardinals Name, and so the sport began.

[Page 12] The Kings Council were divided; Espernon and his Party were fot setting upon the Leaguers without delay, and giving no Quar­ter; those that either feared the Duke of Guise, or hated Es­pernon, were for temporising. The King enclin'd at first to Es­pernon's Advice, but his old Melancholy seizing him, he relented of a sudden, and fell as it were asleep; only he sends to the Duke of Guise to offer a Treaty, on Condition he would Dis­band his Forces. The Duke delays till he had got his Troops together; but then positively declares that he would not lay down Arms till the Publick demands were satisfied.

In the mean time the King of Navarre Publishes his Mani­festoes, to assert the Justice of his Cause, defies the Duke of Guise, and challenges him to fight hand to hand for the deter­mination of the matter. But Guise was too cunning to hazard a general Cause upon a particular Combat.

The Sword being thus unsheathed, the Leaguers had much the worst of it at first; through the Valour of Mompensier, Joyeuse, and Espernon, insomuch that the Duke of Guise sent his Request to the King, demanding only an Edict against the Hugonots. But, as if the refusal or delay of it at least had added new life to the Catholick Cause, he takes the Field again with fresh Vigour.

Upon this, the King, who thought the Storm had been over, from a profound Security, falls into a deep Consternation, and desires the Queen Mother to make Peace at any rate; to which purpose a Conference was appointed between her and the Duke of Guise; the Issue of which was, That the King accorded to the Chiefs of the League not onely the Edict demanded against the Religionaries, but the Command of the Armies for the Ex­ecution of it; puts several Cities and Fortresses into their Hands, grants them the Liberty of Guards severally for the Security of their Persons, and 600000 Crowns to reimburse their German Levies.

The Publication of this Accord causes the King of Navarre and the Prince of Conde to look about 'em, and to enter into a new League with the Marshal de Montmorency, and to send into Germany for new Levies of Men.

The King fearing to be crush'd between these two Parties, [Page 13] who were going Tooth and Nail together by the Ears, sends for the King of Navarre to assist him at Court. But he and the Prince of Conde had enough to do to keep their own, and to make Head against two Armies, which the King had put into the Hands of the Duke of Guise and the Duke of Mayenne, for the Destruction of the Hereticks, and Execution of the Edict, though to his other Governours he had given under-hand Or­ders to proceed remisly enough, as to that Affair, in their seve­ral Governments, and, by joyning with the two Dukes, to obstruct their Proceedings as much as might be.

The Guises therefore observing, that the sole aim of the King was to ruine them, and support the Hereticks in opposition to their Designs, did by their Emissaries, Preachers, and Conses­sors cry him down as a Favourer of Hereticks, and that he held a Correspondence with the King of Navarre, for the Destructi­on of the good Catholicks; which they might the better do, for that the King had sent the Queen-Mother to treat with the King of Navarre but a little before.

Upon this Espernon, now mounted to the highest Degree of his Favour, from whence Joyeuse was beginning to totter, fail'd not without ceasing to spur the King on to the utter Extirpati­on of the Guises, as they in revenge had vow'd his, and for that purpose had laid many Trains to compass their Designs. Es­pernon was so successful in his management, as to overperswade the King that all the Designs of the Guises were against his Sa­cred Person; and by that means wrought him to have always about his Person, that famous band of Forty Five, of which the Duke of Espernon made choice himself; being all Gascoyners which the eager desire of raising their Fortunes prompted to any undertaking, and of which Lognac was Captain.

In the heat of this War the German Protestants, having met at Lunenburgh, order the Levying of a Noble Army for the Assistance of the French Hugonots, which though it entred France, with the greatest Consternation imaginable to the King himself, and made great spoile where they came, yet was so well waited upon by the Duke of Guise, and being under the Conduct of several Commanders Mutinous and Quarrelsom, was so unweildy to it self, that it mouldered away to nothing [Page 14] without the least considerable Action done; which would have been a greater dismaying to the Hugonots, had not the King of Navarre reviv'd their Spirits by gaining the famous Battel of Coutras, where Joyeuse lost his life with the loss of his whole Army, one of the most numerous under the Command of the League.

On the other side, the Defeat of the Germans without fight­ing their main Body redounded so much to the Honour of the Duke of Guise, that over all Christendom all the Catholicks loudly sang his Triumphs. The Pope sent him a Sword, en­graven with Flames, as a mark of his Zeal and Vallor; and the Duke of Parma a pair of Rich Suits of Armour, with this Elogie, That it appertained to none but Henry of Loraine to bear the Title of Chief in War. All Paris was filled with the Fame of his Victory over the Germans, nor did the Pulpits ring with any other noise. But among all these Popular Applauses, he was touch'd to the Quick to see the King seek all occasions to depress him, and raise his Enemie Espernon to the highest De­gree of his Favour.

More especially when he saw the Government of Normandy, and the Admiraltie of France, both Vacant by the death of Joyeuse, both bestowed upon Espernon, when he had so ear­nestly begged the latter for his Friend Marshal Brissac. Tho there is no Question but he was more enraged at the Favours done his Enemie, than at the Kings denial of his own request.

Therefore at an Assembly of the Princes of this Family, and the Chiefs of the League, which he had summoned to meet at Nancy, he procured a Determination, That a Request in Writing should be made to the King, to joyn more solemnly and openly in the Holy League, to remove from his Person, and from the Publick Governments and Employments, all Enemies to the Publick, and Favourers of Heresie, which they should name; to publish the Council of Trent; to establish the Holy Inquisition: with other Demands of the same severe nature.

And this they were the more encouraged to pursue, in regard that, in the first place, Espernon, by a needless Quarrel, had so provok'd Pierre d'Espinac Archbishop of Lyon and Villeroy, Secretary of State, that of two most considerable Servants, [Page 15] they became irreconcileable Enemies to the King: and, in the next place, for that the League was at this time not so much fortified, as the Hugonots were weakned by the Death of the Prince of Conde, who died at his own House, poysoned by his own Domesticks; in whom it was hard to say, whether Va­lour, Liberality, Generosity, Love of Justice, or Affability, were most Eminent.

It was now about a year and a half since the King had re­solved to bring to some exemplary Punishment the Chiefs of the League in Paris, as being such that had rais'd Seditions, and attempted strange Enterprises against his Person. They were called the SIXTEEN, because they had the Government and Management of all that Party, through all the Sixteen Quar­ters of the City; and the Duke of Guise had left in the City besides Forty other Gentlemen, from whom they were to re­ceive Orders from time to time, and who were also to be as their Guard; to which purpose there was a private Provision of Arms and Money upon Occasion.

These People, acquainted with the King's Design, send away to the Duke of Guise to make haste to their Succour. There­upon he departs from Soissons, with onely Seven Gentlemen in his Company, and coming to Paris the Ninth of May, 1588. about Noon, alights at the Cloyster of the Penitent Virgins, where the Queen-Mother was, who immediately carried him through the Throng and Acclamations of the People, who fol­low'd him as their Protector, to the Louvre. The King adver­tis'd of his coming, debated then about his Death, and resolv'd upon it; but whether he had not leisure to give Directions, or whether the Countenance of a Person so formidable, and one who always carried one Hand upon the Hilt of his Sword, de­terr'd him, there was no Attempt at that time made; so that this Visit was onely spent in Accusations and Reproaches on the King's side, and in Justifications and humble Submissions on the Duke's part.

Paris was full of new Faces; in the Streets heaps of People vehement in discourse, and the Houses buzzing with confus'd Murmurs, that signified a Tempest at hand. The Duke was not ignorant that they were trafficking for his Head; and the [Page 16] King was made believe that the League intended him no more harm than to make him a Monk; to which purpose the Dutchess of Montpensier pretended to shew the very Scissars that were provided to clip his Hair.

The next day the King commanded all Strangers to depart out of Paris, and Ordered the Houses to be search'd: which because the Parisians oppos'd, he powered between five and six thousand Souldiers by Night into the City.

The Burgesses would have been glad that the King should have been Master of their Walls, but they did not like it, that for the seising of fifteen or twenty Malefactors, their Houses should be in danger of Plundering, or themselves be looked up­on as Rebels, which made them desert their Stations where they were set to Guard; and as for the Common Souldiers; they were driven from their Posts by the Leaguers, who were pre­pared for the Purpose; for it was now become a Street Engage­ment, fought out with the loss of about fourscore Swisses pushing on the Barricadoes from Street to Street, to the very Gates of the Louvre.

Nevertheless the King and the Duke as yet dissembled their Play, in the midst of a Game so easie to be discovered, and on­ly felt one anothers Pulses, by Messengers that carried and re­carried Propositions to and fro.

But the next day, the Duke was not a little astonish'd to un­derstand, that while the Queen-Mother was feeding him with vain hopes, the King, either by her advice, or Counselled by his own fears, had made his escape from Paris, and was retir'd to Chartres; while the Queen Mother staid at Paris, not to pacify Affairs, but to keep them in such a Fermentation, as should have still need of her intermediation.

From Chartres the King sends to the Cities and Governours; from Paris, the Duke writes to his Friends and Associates; but both in a different Stile. The King's Faint and Timerous; the Duke's Victorious and Triumphant, extolling the Day of the Barricades, as the Effect of Heavens resplendent Protection, and conjuring the other Cities to follow the Example of Paris their Metropolis.

[Page 17] Of which, to make the more sure, the Duke displaces the old Provost of Merchants, and the Sheriffs, takes Possession of the Bastille and Arsenall, seizes upon all the Cities of Picardy, ex­cept Boulogne, which would not admit him, as the Cardinal of Guise did upon Rheimes and Chaalons in Champaigne, and by his o­ther Friends, had made himself Master of the greatest part of Normandy, had not the Duke of Espernon prevented him.

All this while the Queen-Mother ceased not to treat with the Duke of Guise, making use of the Dutchess of Montpensier, whom she put in hopes of Marrying the old Cardinal of Bourbon; and both together perswaded the Duke a reconciliation with the King.

To which purpose they also oblig'd the Sixteen, after several Processions made to appease the Wrath of God, to go in the Ha­bit of Penitents to Chartres, and there implore the King's Par­don.

Some days after the Parliament sent their Deputies to testify to the King, their Grief for his departure from the Louvre, and to supplicate him to return, and to divert his just Indigna­tion from the rest of his Subjects.

To the first he answered, That if it were in his Thoughts to ruin the Parisians, it was in his Power to reduce the City to Ashes. To the latter, That he would use the Citizens of Paris, as Children that had offended a Father, and not as Slaves.

After Dinner he sent for the Parliaments Commissioners, and charged them to tell the Parisians, that he would remove their Soveraign Courts, if they persisted in their Factious Humour; and three days after sent to the Parliament to let them know, that he intended an Assembly of the General Estates, at the end of the year, to reform the abuses of the Realm, and secure them a Catholick Successour.

The Duke of Guise took his advantage of this Message, and caused a Request to be forthwith presented to him in the name of the Princes, the Citizens of Paris, and all the good Catho­licks, to send the Duke of Mayenne with an Army into the Dau­phinate, to March himself with another into Guien, to forgive what was past, to confirm the alterations of the City Magi­strates, and to remove Espernon and his Brother la Valette from his Person.

[Page 18] The Enemies of Espernon, especially Villeroy, took hold of this occasion to ruin him; the Queen-Mother set her helping Hend, and both together so entirely vanquish'd the Kings Re­solution, that the king sent to him to forbear coming to Court; and at length commanded him to his Government of Angoulesme. Upon his departure the King seemed more inclinable to an Ac­commodation, whereupon an agreement was patch'd up very advantagious to the Princes of the League, who had now an ex­traordinary Power in their Hands, and the Magistrates of Pa­ris at their Devotion.

In Confirmation of which, the King, renewing his Coronati­on Oath, swore to extirpate all Schisms and Heresies, and ne­ver to make any more Edicts in Favour of the Hugonots; and Commanded all his Subjects to swear the same, upon pain of High Treason.

This done, the Queen carries the Duke of Guise to kiss the Kings Hands at Chartres. Where nothing appear'd either in Dis­courses or Carriage of one or the other; but all the marks of Confidence, and Cordial Affection imaginable; so that all the Court was overjoy'd to behold such a perfect Reconciliation.

But after all the publick Ceremonies of Re-union and Recon­ciliation, the Council of the Arch-Bishop of Lyon was the Dukes Destruction, in advising him to keep firm, and not to stir, as he had thought to have done, from Court: For the Lustre of the Dukes Popularity, made too great a dazle in the Kings sight. He was also offended that the Pope, in a certain Letter, had called the Duke, and the Cardinal of Bourbon, the two Maccha­bees that had saved the People of Israel. Nor were the Duke of Nevers and L [...]gnac wanting incessantly to provoke his Indig­nation; the first because he mortally hated the Duke of Guise; the latter, because he hoped to succeed the Duke of Espernon in the Kings Favour, and knew that the Guises were professed Ene­mies of Favourites. Other unhappy Accidents there were, that still concurred to put the King out of Humour.

At the opening of the Assembly of Estates, he surmised that there was a Party made to clip his Prerogative, and advance the Authority of the States to their former degree of Light; which the King, in his Speech, attributed to the Duke of Guise, of [Page 19] which the Duke made such vehement Complaints by the Mouth of the Archbishop of Lyon, that when the Speech came to be Printed, he was forc'd to blot out and change many Pas­sages, which were however nevertheless deeply Engrav'd in his Mind.

He was Exasperated that the Duke had constrained him to Swear to the performance of the Edict. That the League had compelled the Count of Soisons, after he had quitted the King of Navarre's Partie, to take Absolution from the Pope, and yet had wrought with the Holy Father to deny it him.

He was still more highly offended that the States made continual Complaints against his Government, and demanded abatement of Taxes, the Punishment of Favourites, and made it their business to bound absolute Dominion, and to re-establish the Power of the Law. All which things made him look upon the Duke of Guise as a dangerous Rival; whose Actions tended all to the ruin of his Authority.

Another Incentive was this, tho not so much taken notice of in the World. The King well knew that Mary Queen of Scots was the reputed Heiress to Queen Elizabeth, and youn­ger than she was, and therefore it was not only probable, but a thing very likely that she might inherit the Crown of Eng­land, which made him desperately afraid, if such a thing should happen, lest the Guises being strengthened by such a power­ful Niece, over whom they had an absolute Command, should make use of her Assistance to aid that Potent Faction which they had in France already, and so accomplish their Work to his utter Ruine. And therefore, tho he sent Bellievre pretend­edly to Intercede for Queen Mary's life, yet his private In­structions were to press Queen Elizabeth to put her to Death, as the Common Enemie both of their Persons and their King­doms.

All which Considerations crowding with the several Distem­pers of Body daily increasing upon the King, which he believed to spring from those Vexations of Mind of which the Duke of Guise had been all along the occasion, so that at last (tho in the feebleness of his irresolution he had confirmed his friend­ship with the Duke by Solemn Oath upon the Sacred Altars▪ [Page 20] where they had taken the Sacrament together) immediately after the remembrance of what was past, the fear of what was to come, and the continual reports and insinuations of the Forty Five, sometimes true, sometimes feign'd, rekindled his Indignation and confirmed his Resolution. Those of his Counsel and Servants the most Generous, and among the rest Marshal d'Aumont were of opinion, that he should bring the Duke to the Bar of Justice, and cut off his Head Publickly. Grillon Master of the Camp of the Regiment of Guards, re­fused to Assassinate him, but offered to Fight him, assuring the King that he would kill him upon peril of his life.

But the latter Advice best pleased the King's humour, at that time troubled with the Fumes of the Spleen, which rendred him extreamly severe and sowre.

The King having resolv'd upon the Fact, calls for Alfonsus Ornane, Entragues, Bonivet, Montigny and others of the Forty Five, and causes them to be brought to him by a Back Door, into the Room where he was; whither being come, This day, said he, either I or Guise must die; which you think best for you, or most profitable for the Kingdom is in your Breasts to Judge. That he is the Author of all the troubles that have tormented the Kingdom you know, and no Man is ignorant. That which was thought would have prov'd the End of his Wickedness was but a step to it. Even against my life, which formerly he only aim'd at covert­ly, through the Misfortunes of others, now openly and with an un­folded breast he levels mischief; yea he threatens yours, and the Ruine of all the Gallic Honour. Nor is there long time to deliberate; I am here kept up as you see within the Narrow Walls of this Chamber. To free my self and the Common-Wealth, which is in equal danger with me, from a Siege so full of miserie, requires a Vigorous Sallie; nor is there any possibility of my escape but by your Vallor: That, you know, I have long since set apart and selected as the Guard of my safety upon all sudden and unexpected occasions, with this Confidence that your Courage would never at any time forsake me. Should I have call'd you to a Private Revenge, I am assured you would none of you be wanting, now in my extream di­stress I challenge your fidelity. To watch in the Trenches, to keep firm Station, and venture on the Canons Mouth, are the daily Try­al [Page 21] of Gallican Virtue, wherein no Man suffers himself to be out­done. Now I require the Tryal not of your Valour, but of your Loyaltie and Faith; while the contest is not about the Limits of your Country, but the life of your Prince; whose safety is this day to be rescu'd from the Plague of Guise and his followers. I might add, that you are destin'd to the same Slaughter with my self, did I not believe your love toward me, and your affection to your Country, a more noble incitement to your Courage, than either your hatred of them, or the fear of your own danger. This said, when he observed the Spirits of the young Men, already Examined apart, vigorously enflamed to dare and perpetrate, after he had extolled their Fidelity and Constancy, he gave to each a long Dagger, made as it was thought for the same purpose: And these, said he, are the Assertors of yours and my Liberty, and con­sequently of the Gallican Renown, which the Spaniards, by means of those Religious Confederate under the Command of Guise, would trample under Foot, which I the lawful King of France give you full Power and Commission to make use of for the Publick safety, against Traytors and Rebels, without hazard of your Consciences.

Having thus said, he planted them all, to the number of Nine, in a narrow Nook upon the left hand of the Passage leading into his inmost Cabinet, (the rest of the Forty five be­ing hid in little Cells which he had built up against the Sides of his Chamber.) Before Day-break the Members of the Sacred Consistory met; among the rest, the Cardinals Bourbon and Gondy, Marshal d▪Aumont, Albert Gondy, the Duke of Rais, Ram­buliet, Francis d'O. After them, Lewis Cardinal of Guise, Peter Espinac Archbishop of Lion; and last of all appear'd the Duke of Guise himself, who having been indulging himself that night in the stoln Embraces of a Lady belonging to the Chamber of the Maids of Honour, whom he passionately lov'd, came later than the rest.

The Report went, That he was some days before admonish'd by his Friends to beware of the King's abundant Patience, for that his over-great Kindness was much to be suspected, and how far it might tend, the wiser sort were fearful: That he look'd with an ill Eye upon the Guisian Splendour, as was apparent by certain Evi­dences; and therefore, that what he despaired to do by open Force, [Page 22] he would accomplish by Treachery. To which the Duke still re­turned the same Answers which he had done to Gasper Schom­bergh before: for Schombergh Count of Nantoile, tho infinitely Loyal to the King, and a great Lover of his Country, yet out of the Respect which he bare the Duke of Guise, had often ad­monish'd him to observe Moderation, and not to provoke the King's Patience too far; That his Power rested onely upon the Fa­vour of the inconstant Rabble; and that he should make a modest use of his Fortune, with regard to himself, and those that depended upon him: For what would become of his Wife, and Children of tender Age, if he, plung'd in Debt, should be swallow'd up by the Fury of Popular Seditions? Tho he valued not his own Life, yet that Charity to his Wife and Children should oblige him to fear the King's Revenge. To which the Duke; To me, said he, who from my Childhood have been always bred up in War, Death has frequently appear'd, but never terrified me: for this is that we are born to, to seek Honour with the hazard of our Lives. The Mis­fortunes of those that belong'd nearest to me, I never valued; and yet methinks at this present I set a higher value on them; so much the more, since I find that the exasperated King, if any thing un­happily take me from the World, will impotently wreck that Hatred which he cannot satisfie upon my Person, on my Wife and Children. Yet when I remember, that I my self, far younger at that time than any which I now enjoy, was with the rest of my Brothers left by my Father, perfidiously slain by the Sectaries; and yet that I sprung up in the midst of my Adversaries, recover'd the Reliques of my Fa­ther's Fortune, and afterwards reveng'd his Death, I think it enough to recommend them, young as they are, to the Protection of that God who preserv'd my Life: For I begat them not to dis­compose the Methods of my Resolutions. If, before they grow to mature Years, the Fate of War snatch me away, they will be the Architects of their own Fortune, as I was of mine, and shew them­selves worthy of their Ancestors. As for the Danger which you threaten from the King, lest his injur'd Patience should turn at length to Fury, I judge him to understand so well his own and my Concerns, that he will be careful of precipitating his own and the Kingdoms Safety into manifest Danger, while he indulges his own private Revenge, for trivial Causes and slight Reports. Nor [Page 23] am I ignorant how nearly my Cause, which is the Cause of Religion, is espoused by all the Cities of the Provinces, and the Estates of the Kingdom; so that he can determine nothing against me, but that they will not onely revolt from him, but rise up as one Man against him. And that is a Comfort to me, now fix'd in my purpose, that I foresee there will not those be wanting that shall revenge my Death, if it prove violent; and that the King himself, if he de­sign any thing of Cruelty against me, shall end his days more mise­rably than any of his Predecessors. These were the Duke's Words to Schombergh.

Another time, being at a certain Entertainment with his Bro­ther the Cardinal, and the Archbishop of Lion, he was there pru­dently forewarn'd by Stephen Nouel, and his Son-in-Law Martel Capel, to beware of the King's Ambuscado's, and to consult the Pre­servation of his Life, by speedily withdrawing from the Court: With whom the Cardinal joyn'd in serious Advice to the same purpose. Nevertheless he still persever'd in his former obstina­cy, telling them, That as frequently in Combate, so in this Affair, he had so far engag'd himself, that he could not honourably retreat: That his Fortune, interwoven with the King's, was like that of Ar­mies rang'd for Loss or Victory, who no sooner come in view of each other, but there is a necessity presently to engage, or else of keeping their Ground; otherwise the retiring of the one, surrenders the Conquest to the other: That he scorn'd, by his Departure, resembling Flight, to yield a Victory which he held certain, to a timorous Enemy, nor do an Action which should render him more sollicitous for his Life, than his Honour, and the Safety of his Friends. For what would his Detractors say, or rather not say, should be at such a Conjuncture, depart from the Assembly of Estates? No question the several Cities of the Provinces would look upon it as the Con­fession of a Crime, and fall from those generous Resolutions to which such auspicious Omens had given a Being: That the Dye was cast, and that he would rather with the hazard of his Life await the Issue, than be wanting to the Expectation of his Friends, and his own Fortune, by embracing safer Counsels.

When, notwithstanding all this, Nouel insisted, and with a showr of Tears besought him to abandon his rash Resolves of staying; turning to the Cardinal his Brother, and the Arch-bishop [Page 24] of Lyon, he sternly declared his Mind, which was, not to take notice of fond Advice, that proceeded from the Infirmi­ties of Old Age, or the Maudlin Kindnesses of more than usual Compotation. Which Words when the fierce and haughty Old Man heard, These Tears of mine, said he, are seasonable, had For­tune, to whom you are much in debt, granted ye this one Favour more, to understand aright the Admonitions of your Friends. Which since you now deride, there nothing else remains, but sin­cerely to implore Heavens Mercy to avert the Danger, and that the Almighty would be pleas'd in a short time to make us sensible, that it was an Apprehension onely of Danger that made us weep for fear.

The Report is, That the Duke was confirmed in this obsti­nate Resolution, contrary to the Advice of all his Friends, by the Archbishop of Lyons; for that he, being in hopes, through the Recommendation of the Duke, to be advanced the next Lent to the Cardinal-Dignity, was afraid lest, if the Duke should withdraw from Court, the King by his Embassadour might di­sturb his Design, so likely and in such a fair way to succeed; and for that Reason preferr'd his own Ambition before the Dan­ger of his Friend. So that the next day, when some Person unknown had thrust into his Napkin, which he was to make use of at Dinner, a certain Billet, giving him to understand, That the King had laid a Train for him; as soon as he found the Billet, by unfolding the Napkin, he presently took a Pen and writ these Words, He dares not; and then threw the Billet un­der the Table, that so it might return to the Hands of him that wrote it.

This was not all: The very Morning that he went to the Assembly, one of his Guard that attended him, either under­standing or conjecturing something of the Plot which was con­triv'd against him, when he could not come to speak with the Duke, press'd in among the Croud, and got so near him as to tread upon his Foot, by way of Item and dutiful Caution: which he either not understanding, or not regarding, bid the Person not trouble him. But when he was once seated in the As­sembly, then he began to dread the Aspect of that Danger which before he so contemn'd; and calling to mind the Admo­nitions of his Friends, was sensible too late, that now he was [Page 25] alone, destitute of all his faithful Assistants, in the King's Power, surrounded with all his Guards. However, acknowledging his Errour only to himself, he resolved to cover his Fears with the constancy of his Countenance, especially before his Brother Cardinal, whose prudent Monitories he had hitherto despis'd▪ Nevertheless a vehement Consternation prevailing over his dis­sembled Courage, notwithstanding he sate with his back to the Chimney, a sudden chillness seiz'd his Limbs, attended with a violent flux of Blood from his Nose, which caused him to call for some Sweet-meats to recruit his Spirits. However, some there were that attributed this Accident not so much to Fear, as the expence of Natural Strength, occasioned by his Nocturnal pleasures already mentioned.

While the Duke was sitting in this condition, between fear and faintness, comes Lewis Revol, the Kings Secretary, igno­rant of the Tragedy, to give him notice that the King had sent to speak with him, and that he must come to him. Thereupon the Duke rises forthwith, and with a serious Countenance goes directly to the Kings Bed-Chamber, into which being presently admitted, and the Bar, as it is usual, let down, he proceeds for­ward to the Kings private Cabinet on the left-hand. There, as he was putting the Hanging aside with his Hand, and going to enter, Sanmalin, one of the Fatal Tragedians stops him, and laying hold of the Duke's Sword, with his left Hand, with the other gives him a slanting Stab from the Throat down into the Breast, which presently filling his Mouth with a stream of Blood, deprived him of his Speech, so that he could only fetch a deep Sigh, which was heard by the Standers by with no small Horrour. Presently the rest surround him, and as he was vainly struggling in his own Defence, some lay hold of his Hands, others having given him several Wounds in the Head and Hips, after they had so disabled his Strength, direct at last their deadly stroaks into his Breast and Belly. Finding himself lost, all he said was only this, Oh my God, I am a dead Man, have pity on me, all this befalls me for my Sins.

Yet notwithstanding he had received many mortal Wounds, he did not presently fall, but being got loose from his Murde­rers, turning his Face, he went still upright to the other oppo­site [Page 26] Chamber upon the right hand, with his arms extended, and his Fists clench'd, seeming to direct his steps against Lognac, who was with Bellegard in the said Chamber. Lognac, seeing him coming, only held out his Sword in the Scabbard, which the Duke no sooner run against, but he fell with his whole Body upon the Carpet, and without any Convulsion breath'd his last Gasp. Where he lay exposed for some time to the Mockery of the Courtiers, who call'd him the Brave King of Paris; Which Name the King gave him. Who being in his Cabi­net, and being told the business was done, came forth, and gave the dead Duke a spurn in the Face with his Foot, as the Duke had done before to the dead Body of the Admiral Cha­stillon. The King, having viewed him a while, cry'd out, Good God, how great he looks! greater than when alive.

In the mean while the Cardinal of Guise hearing the Hurly­burly, and conjecturing the truth, rose from his Chair in so much haste, that he over turn'd it, and without any thoughts of assisting his Brother, made to the Door of the Council-Chamber, thinking to escape. But the Arch-bishop of Lyon ran to the inner door of the Kings Bed-chamber, as one that intended to assist the Duke, or was else resolv'd to dye with him, as being the person who had been the pernicious occasion of his stay at Court. But they were both stopt, both Arrested, and carried up into a Chamber next the Tiles, where they were kept all that Day, and the next Night, which caus'd them to spend their time in Prayers, and mutual Exhortations, not without some menacing words uttered by the Cardinal, which being convey'd to the Kings Ears by the Guards, hastened his ruine.

Then the King caus'd his Bed Chamber to be unlock'd, and admitted the Lords: Among which, turning to the Cardinal Vendosme, Now, said he, I am King, and [...] resolv'd to prose­cute the War against the Sectaries more eagerly than e [...]er, th [...] Prosecution of which, th [...]se turbulent F [...]ries, w [...]o ha [...] al [...]ays th [...] cause of Religion in the [...]r M [...]uths, h [...]e hith [...] the mean while, let those wh [...] da [...] presume to [...], or weaken my Authority, learn by [...]is Example, wh [...] they are to expect from my just Indignation. And so saying [...] to give the [Page 27] Queen-Mother an accompt of the Fact. Who not so much asto­nish'd at the hainousness of the deed, as that it was done so con­trary to all probability, with a compos'd Countenance ask'd the King, whether he foresaw what Commotions would follow, and whether he had provided against what might happen? To whom, when the King answered, He had taken care for all things, She added no more, but only prayed to God, that all things might turn to the best.

There was Eminent in this Duke a wonderful Affability, joyn'd with Gravity, which allur'd the good will of all Men, an Eloquence more perswasive in private Counsel, than in pub­lick Harangues, a profuse Liberality, and an apparent Civility to the meanest. His Person tall, his Countenance comely, his becoming Gate and Gesture Majestick, added not a little to the endowments of his Mind; and plainly shewed the greatness of his Thoughts, and the exalted accomplishments of his Soul. He patiently endured Heat or Cold, Thirst or Hunger; and though bred in the midst of Court Delecacy, when he was in the Field, thought nothing too mean, or homely, no more than the meanest Souldier: He was sparing of Sleep, Indefatigable, so ready in business and dispatch, that he seemed to play in the midst of serious Affairs, and to be idle in dispatches of high­est Importance. But these too many rare endowments of Na­ture, were sully'd with an Exorbitant Ambition, which allow­ed no Bound to his Thoughts, nor limit to his Designs. For carrying on of which, he had a crafty, reaching, and intreague­ing Wit, and being an Artist at Dissembling and Deceiving, would uphold one untruth by telling another; so that when he intended to deceive most, he always found out new Methods and Means to deceive and execute the Deceit, still laying the blame on others: Which being observed by his Intimate Friends, rendered them his Enemies by degrees, so that many for that reason forsook him, not finding that Faith and Cindour in his Deeds, which he pretended to in Words.

The Duke of Mayenne was not inferiour to him either in Fame or Vertue, if he did not far exceed him in the latter. Guise de­pended more upon his Fortune, Mayenne upon his Prudence. The Duke of Guise cared not how far he ran in Debt, so he had [Page 28] wherewithal to supply his Expences. Mayenne ordered his Ex­pences always according to his Income. The Elder profuse in his Promises, but sparing in his Performances. The Younger sparing of his Promises, but what he promis'd he inviolably perform'd.

The Duke of Guise being therefore remov'd out of the World, the King did not think his Work effected, unless he could get Mayenne into his Clutches. And therefore sent away Ornan presently to Apprehend him. But he having timely notice, seasonably withdrew himself.

The next thing was what to do with the Cardinal. They who had advised the Murther of the Duke, made no Question but the King might take the same course with the Cardinal, and were therefore the more urgent, because he well under­stood the Kings disposition, and were afraid least the King should be overcome with compassion. Thereupon they thus Discourst it, That the Cardinal was a haughtie Person, who had spent his Touth free from the dangers of War, in all the labyrinths of Court Intrigues, and would therefore run on with more pre­cipitancy where the Violence of his revenge carried him. That he was no way hamper'd in the Pleasures of Matrimonie, nor obnoxi­ous to those tendernesses of Affection that fetter other Men with the considerations of Mutual Compassion, and therefore there was no Person in all the Guisian Family whom the King had more reason to expect would be more cruel in his revenge than the Cardinal. That his Complaints were uttered full of threats, while his Bro­thers Blood was yet warm, and the Example of a Punish'd Traytor reaking hot. What would he do when he should find himself free from the fear of Death, that roar'd out danger like a Lyon in his Den?

To this they further urg'd, That when the Secret Council of the Party propos'd the thrusting the King into a Monastery, and one of the Council, more moderate, demanded Who would be so adventurous as to undertake it? The Cardinal of Guise, ha­ving first reproach'd the Cowheartedness of the other, declar'd aloud, That if they would but bring the King to him, he would hold him Neck and Shoulders between his own Knees, and set a Monks Crown upon his Head with the Point of a Dagger.

The King, who had not yet taken Breath in the hot pursuit [Page 29] of Publick Revenge, easily suffered himself to be convinc'd by these Arguments, and to command the Death of the Cardinal. The next day therefore the Execution was committed to Du­guast, one of the Captains of the Regiment of Guards, who procur'd Four Soldiers to do the Business, upon a Promise of 100 Crowns apiece. With these Assistants Duguast goes to the Chamber where the Cardinal was kept, together with the Archbishop of Lyons, and calling him forth, as if the King had sent for him, carried him into a Bie-place, where the Soldiers, after a little respite given him to recommend his Soul to Hea­ven, fell upon him, and beat out his Brains with their Halberts.

Richlieu, the Ordinary Judge of the King's Houshold, took the Bodies of the two Brothers, and having burnt them, scat­ter'd their Ashes in the Air, to prevent the People from turn­ing their Bones into Reliques.

Mezeray makes three Remarques upon the Fall of these two Great Men. 1. That almost all those who had a hand in the Murder perish'd miserably. 2. That they who were most ob­lig'd to the House of Guise, had the chiefest hand in it. 3. That the two Princes were drawn into the Nooze under the Pretence of the Publick Faith, and by the same Artifices and Dissimula­tions which themselves had us'd to ensnare those of the House of Bourbon, and the Admiral Colligni, in the Parisian Massacre.

The Character of Henry the Third of France, by Mezeray.

THE Softness of his Disposition, and his Slothfulness, de­liver'd him into the Hands of those Persons that effe­ctually enfeebled whatever remain'd of Steady and Steadfast in his Mind, and dissolv'd him altogether in Voluptuousness; so that they utterly defac'd the Lustre of all those famous Acti­ons, of which he carried away the Honour. And indeed it might have been question'd whether he ever had any share in those Noble Enterprises, but that several Royal Qualities some­times brake out, and glitter'd thorow the gloomy Clouds of his Miscarriages. It is a thing almost incredible, what exces­sive Sums his Profusion wasted, and upon what Magnificent Gewgaws he emptied them. He plaid and lost in one Evening Fourscore thousand Crowns. He was seen to run about in the Habit of a young Virgin, with all the Trinkets of a vain Gos­sip. Among many others, he made one Feast, where the Wo­men serv'd at Table in Mens Apparel, clad in Green, the Guests all wearing the same Livery. In requital of which, the Queen-Mother made him another, where the fairest Ladies of the Court waited at Table, with Breasts naked, and their Hair disshevell'd. In short, his Reign was commonly call'd at that time The Ruine of Favourites. fit Character to make a Pa­rallel with one of the best-deserving Princes in Europe.

FINIS.

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