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Dumat, Vol. Fivt














ON the 26th of October, 1585, the barriers of the Porte
8t. Antoine were, contrary to custom, still closed at half-
pest ten in the morning. A quarter of an hour after, a
guard of twenty Swiss, the favorite troops of Henri III.,
then king, passed through these barriers, which were again
closed behind them. Once through, they arranged them-
selves along the hedges, which, outside the barrier, bor-
dered each side of the road.

There was a great crowd collected there, for numbers of
peasants and other people had been stopped at the gates
on their way into Paris. They were arriving by three dif-
ferent roads from Montreuil, from Vincennes, and from
St. Maur; and the crowd was growing more dense every
moment. Monks from the convent in the neighborhood,
women seated on pack-saddles, and peasants in their carts,
and all, by their questions more or less pressing, formed a
continual murmur, while some voices were raised above the
others in shriller tones of anger or complaint.

There were, besides this mass of arrivals, some groups
who seemed to have come from the city. These, instead of
looking at the gate, fastened their gaze on the horizon,
bounded by the Convent of the Jacobins, the Priory of
Vincennes, and the Croix Faubin, as though they were ex-
pecting to see some one arrive. These groups consisted
chiefly of bourgeois, warmly wrapped up, for the weather
was cold, and the piercing north-east wind seemed trying
to tear from the trees all the few remaining leaves which
dung sadly to them.



Three of these bourgeois were talking together that is
to say, two talked and one listened, or rather seemed to
listen, so occupied was he in looking tovjards Vincennes.
Let us turn our attention to this last. He was a man
who must be tall when he stood upright, but at this mo-
ment his long legs were bent under him, and his arms, not
less long in proportion, were crossed over his breast. He
was leaning against the hedge, which almost hid his face,
before which he also held up his hand as if for further
concealment. By his side a little man, mounted on a hil-
lock, was talking to another tall man who was constantly
slipping off the summit of the same hillock, and at each
clip catching at the button of his neighbor's doublet.

" Yes, Maitre Mi ton," said the little man to the tall one,
"yes, I tell you that there will be 100,000 people around
the scaffold of Salcede, 100,000 at least. See, without
counting those already on the Place de Greve, or who
came there from different parts of Paris, the number of
people here ; and this is but one gate out of sixteen."

"100,000! that is much, Friard," replied M. Miton.
" Be sure many people will follow my example, and not go
to see this unlucky man quartered, for fear of an uproar."

"M. Miton, there will be none, I answer for it. Do
you not think so, monsieur ? " continued he, turning to the
long-armed man.

" What ? " said the other, as though he had not heard.

" They say there will be nothing on the Place de Greve

" I think you are wrong, and that there will be the exe-
cution of Salcede."

" Yes, doubtless : but I mean that there will be no noise
about it"

" There will be the noise of the blows of the whip, which
they will give to the horses."

" You do not understand ; by noise I mean tumult. If
there were likely to be any, the king would not have had a
etand prepared for him and the two queens at the Hotel
de Yille."

" Do kings ever know when a tumult will take place ? "


replied the other, shrugging his shoulders with an air of

" Oh, oh ! " said M. Miton ; " this man talks in a singu-
lar way. Do you know who he is, compere ? "

" No."

" Then why do you speak to him ? You are wrong. I do
not think he likes to talk."

" And yet it seems to me," replied Friard, loud enough
to be heard by the stranger, "that one of the greatest
pleasures in life is to exchange thoughts."

"Yes, with those whom we know well," answered M.

" Are not all men brothers, as the priests say ? "

" They were primitively ; but in times like ours the re-
lationship is singularly loosened. Talk low, if you must
talk, and leave the stranger alone."

" But I know you so well, I know what you will reply,
while this stranger may have something new to tell me."

" Hush ! he is listening."

" So much the better ; perhaps he will answer. Then
you think, monsieur," continued he, turning again toward
him, " that there will be a tumult? "
i " I did not say so."

" No ; but I believe you think so."

" And on what do you found your surmise, M. Friard ? n

" Why, he knows me ! "

"Have I not named you two or three times?" said

"Ah! true. Well, since he knows me, perhaps he will
answer. Now, monsieur, I believe you agree with me, or
else would be there, while on the contrary, you are here."

"But you, M. Friard, since you think the contrary of
what you think I think, why are you not at the Place de
Greve ? I thought the spectacle would have been a joyful
one to all friends of the king. Perhaps you will reply that
you are not friends of the king, but of MM. de Guise, and
that yon are waiting here for the Lorrainea, who they say
are about to enter Paris in order to deliver M. de Salcede."

" No, monsieur," replied the little man, visibly fright-
ened at this suggestion; " I wait for my wife, Nicole Fri-


aril, who has gone to take twenty-four tablecloths to the
priory of the Jacobins, having tin- honor to be washer-
woman to Dom. Modesto Gorenflot, the Abbe."

" Look, compere," cried Miton, " at what is passing."

M. Kiiar.l, following the direction of his friend's finger,
saw them closing yet another door, while a party of Swiss
placed themselves before it. "How! more barriers!"
cried he.

" What did I tell you ? " said Miton.

At the sight of this new precaution, a long murmur of
astonishment and some cries of discontent proceeded from
the crowd.

" Clear the road ! Back ! " cried an officer.

This maneuver was not executed without difficulty; the
people in carts and on horseback tried to go back, and
nearly crushed the crowd behind them. Women cried and
men swore, while those who could escape, did, overturning
the others.

" The Lorraines ! the Lorrainee ! " cried a voice in the
midst of this tumult.

" Oh ! " cried Miton, trembling, " let us fly."

" Fly ! and where ? " said Friard.

" Into this enclosure," answered Miton, tearing hia
hands by seizing the thorns of the hedge.

" Into that inclosure, it is not so easy ; I see no opening,
and you cannot climb a hedge that is higher than I am."

u I will try," returned Miton, making new efforts.

" Oh ! take care, my good woman," cried Friard, in a
tone of distress ; " your ass is on my feet. Oh, monsieur,
take care, your horse is going to kick."

While M. Miton was vainly trying to climb the hedge,
and M. Friard to find an opening through which to push
himself, their neighbor quietly opened his long legs and
strode over the hedge with as much ease as one might have
leaped over it on horseback. M. Miton imitated him at
last after much detriment to his hands and clothes; but
poor Friard could not succeed, in spite of all his efforts,
till the stranger, stretching out his long arms, and seizing
him by the collar of his doublet, lifted him over.

<* Ah 1 monsieur." said he, when he felt himself on the


ground, " on the word of Jean Friard, you are a real Her-
cules ; your name, monsieur ? the name of my deliverer ? "

" I am called Briquet Robert Briquet, monsieur."

" You have saved me, M. Briquet my wife will bless
you. But apropos; mon Dieu! she will be stifled in this
crowd. Ah ! cursed Swiss, only good to crush people ! "

As he spoke, he felt a heavy hand on his shoulder, and,
looking round and seeing that it was a Swiss, he took to
flight, followed by Miton. The other man laughed quietly,
then turning to the Swiss, said,

" Are the Lorraines coming ? "


" Then why do they close the door. I do not understand

" There is no need that you should," replied the Swiss,
laughing at his own wit.



ONE of the groups was formed of a considerable number
of citizens. They surrounded four or five of a martial ap-
pearance, whom the closing of the doors annoyed very
much, as it seemed, for they cried with all their might,
"The door! the door! "

Robert Briquet advanced toward this group, and began
to cry also, " The door ! the door ! "

One of the cavaliers, charmed at this, turned toward
him and said, "Is it not shameful, monsieur, that they
should close the gates in open day, as though the Span-
iards or the English were besieging Paris ? "

Robert Briquet looked attentively at the speaker, who
seemed to be about forty-fiva years of age, and the princi-
pal personage in the group. " Yes, monsieur," replied he,
" you are right ; but may I venture to ask what you think
their motive is for these precautions? "

" Pardieu ! the fear they have lest some one should eat
their Salcede."


* Diable ! " said a voice, " a sad meal."

Kobert Briquet turned toward the speaker, whose voice
had a strong Gascon accent, and saw a young man from
twemv to twenty-live, resting his hand on the crupper of
the horse of the first speaker. His head was hare ; he had
probably lost his hat in the melee.

" But as they say," replied Briquet, " that this Salcede
belongs to M. de Guise "

" Bah ! they say that ! "

" Then you do not believe it, monsieur ? "

" Certainly not," replied the cavalier, " doubtless, if he
had, the duke would not have let him be taken, or at all
events would not have allowed him to have been carried
from Brussels to Paris bound hand and foot, without
even trying to rescue him.'"

"An attempt to rescue him," replied Briquet, "would
have been very dangerous, because, whether it failed or suc-
ceeded, it would have been an avowal, on the duke's part,
that he had conspired against the Due d'Anjou."

" M. de Guise would not, I am sure, have been restrained
by such considerations; therefore, as he has not defended
Salcede, it is certain that he is not one of his men."

" Excuse me, monsieur, if I insist, but it is not I who in-
vent, for it appears that Salcede has confessed."

a Where ? before the judges ? "

" No, monsieur ; at the torture."

" They asserted that he did, but they do not repeat what
he said."

" Excuse me again, monsieur, but they do."

" And what did he say ? " cried the cavalier impatiently.
" As you seem so well informed, what were his words? "

"I cannot certify that they were his words," replied
Briquet, who seemed to take a pleasure in teasing the

" Well, then, those they attribute to him."

" They assert that he has confessed that he conspired for
M. de Guise."

" Against the king, of course ? "

" No ; against the Due d'Anjou."

"If he confessed that "



" Weil, he is a poltroon ! " said the cavalier, frowning.

"Ah! monsieur, the boot and the thumb-screw make a
man confess many things."

"Alas! that is true, monsieur."

" Bah ! " interrupted the Gascon, " the boot and the
thumb-screw, nonsense; if Salcede confessed that, he was
t knave, and his patron another."

" You speak loudly, monsieur," said the cavalier.

" I speak as I please ; so much the worse for those who
dislike it."

" More calmly," said a voice at once soft and imperative,
of which Briquet vainly sought the owner.

The cavalier seemed to make an effort over himself, and
then said quietly to the Gascon, "Do you know him of
whom you speak ? "



" Not in the least."

"And the Due de Guise?"

" Still less."

" Well, then, Salcede is a brave man."

" So much the better ; he will die bravely."

" And know that, when the Due de Guise wishes to con-
spire, be conspires for himself."

"What do I care?"


" Mayneville ! Mayneville ! " murmured the same voice.

"Yes, mordieu! what do I care?" continued the Gas-

" I came to Paris on business, and find the gates closed
on account of this execution that is all I care for."

At this moment there was a sound of trumpets. The
Swiss had cleared the middle of the road, along which a
crier proceeded, dressed in a flowered tunic, and bearing on
his breast a scutcheon on which was embroidered the arms
of Paris. He read from a paper in his hand the following
proclamation :

" This is to make known to our good people of Paris and
its environs, that its gates will be closed for one hour, and


that none can enter during that time ; and this by the will
of the King and the Mayor of Paris."

The crowd gave vent to their discontent in a long hoot,
to which, however, the crier seemed indifferent. The
officer commanded silence, and when it was obtained, the
crier continued:

" All who are the bearers of a sign of recognition, or are
summoned by letter or mandate, are exempt from this
rule. Given at the Hotel of the Provost of Paris, 26th cf
October, 1585."

Scarcely had the crier ceased to speak, when the crowd
began to undulate like a serpent behind the line of soldiers.

" What is the meaning of this ? " cried all.

" Oh ! it is to keep us out of Paris," said the cavalier,
who had been speaking in a low voice to his companions.
" These guards, this crier, these bars, and these trumpets
are all for us; we ought to be proud of them."

" Room ! " cried the officer in command ; " make room
for those who have the right to pass ! "

" Cap de Bious ! I know who will pass, whoever is kept
out ! " said the Gascon, leaping into the cleared space.
He walked straight up to the officer who had spoken, and
who looked at him for some moments in silence, and then

" You have lost your hat, it appears, monsieur ? "

" Yes monsieur."

"Is it in the crowd?"

" No. I had just received a letter from my sweetheart,
and was reading it, cap de Bious ! near the river, about a
mile from here, when a gust of wind carried away both
my letter and my hat. I ran after the letter, although the
button of my hat was a single diamond; I caught my
letter, but my hat was carried by the wind into the middle
of the river. It will make the fortune of the poor devil
who finds it."

" So that you have none ? "

"Oh, there are plenty in Paris, cap de Bious! I will
buy a more magnificent one, and put in it a still larger


The officer shrugged his shoulders slightly, and said,
* Have you a card ? "

" Certainly I have one or rather two."

** One is enough, if it be the right one."

" But it cannot be wrong oh, no, cap de Bious ! Is
it to M. de Loignac that I have the honor of speaking ? "

" It is possible," said the officer coldly, and evidently not
much charmed at the recognition.

" M. de Loignac, my compatriot ? "

"I do not say no."

"My cousin!"

"Good! Your card?"

" Here it is f and the Gascon drew out the half of a
card, carefully cut.

" Follow me," said De Loignac, without looking at it,
" and your companions, if you have any. We will verify
the admissions."

The Gascon obeyed, and five other gentlemen followed
him. The first was adorned with a magnificent cuirass,
so marvelous in its work that it seemed as if it had come
out of the hands of Benvenuto Cellini. However, as the
make of this cuirass was somewhat old-fashioned, its mag-
nificence attracted more laughter than admiration ; and it
is true that no other part of the costume of the individual
in question corresponded with this magnificence. The
second, who was lame, was followed by a gray-headed
lackey, who looked like the precursor of Sancho Panza,
as his master did of Don Quixote. The third carried a
child of ten months old in his arms, and was followed by
a woman, who kept a tight grasp of his leathern belt,
while two other children, one four and the other five
years old, held by her dress.

The fourth was attached to an enormous sword, and the
fifth, who closed the troop, was a handsome young man,
mounted on a black horse. He looked like a king by the
side of the others. Forced to regulate his pace by those
who preceded him, he was advancing slowly, when he felt
a sudden pull at the scabbard of his sword ; he turned
round, and saw that it hd bwi done by a slight and
graceful young man with black hair and sparkling eyes.


" What do you desire, monsieur ? " said the cavalier.

"A favor, monsieur."

" Speak ; but quickly, I pray you, for I am waited for."

" I desire to enter into the city, monsieur ; an imperious
necessity demands my presence there. You, on your part,
are alone, and want a page to do justice to your appear-


" Take me in, and I will be your page."

" Thank you ; but I do not wish to be served by any one."

"Not even by me," said the young man, with such a
strange glance, that the cavalier felt the icy reserve in
which he had tried to close his heart melting away.

" I meant to say that I could be served by no one," said

"Yes, I know you are not rich, M. Ernanton de Car-
mainges," said the young page. The cavalier started, but
the lad went on, " therefore I do not speak of wages ; it is
you, on the contrary, who, if you grant what I ask, shall
be paid a hundred-fold for the service you will render me ;
let me enter with you, then, I beg, remembering that he
who now begs, has often commanded." Then turning to
the group of which we have already spoken, the lad said,
" I shall pass ; that is the most important thing ; but you,
Mayneville, try to do so also if possible."

" It is not everything that you should pass," replied
Mayneville ; " it is necessary that he should see you."

" Make yourself easy ; once I am through, he shall see

"Do not forget the sign agreed upon."

"Two fingers on the mouth, is it not?"

" Yes ; success attend you."

" Well, monsieur page," said the man on the black horse,
"are you ready?"

" Here I am," replied he jumping lightly on the horse,
behind the cavalier, who immediately joined his friends
who were occupied in exhibiting their cards and proving
their right to enter.

"Ventre de Biche!" said Bobert Briquet; "what an
arrival of Gascons."




THE process of examination consisted in comparing the
half card with another half in the possession of the officer.

The Gascon with the bare head advanced first.

"Your name?" said De Loignac.

"It is on the card."

" Never mind ; tell it to me."

"Well, I am called Perducas de Pincornay."

Then, throwing his eyes on the card, M. de Loignac read,
" Perducas de Pincornay, 26, October, 1585, at noon pre-
cisely. Porte St. Antoine."

" Very good ; it is all right," said he, " enter. Now for
you," said he to the second.

The man with the cuirass advanced.

" Your card ? " said De Loignac.

" What ! M. de Loignac, do you not know the son of your
old friend, whom you have danced twenty times on -our

" No."

" I am Pertinax de Montcrabeau," replied the young
man, with astonishment. " Do you not know me now ?"

" When I am on service, I know no one. Your card,

He held it out " All right ! pass," said De Loignac.

The third now approached, whose card was demanded in
the Rame terms. The man plunged his hand into a little
goat-skin pouch which he wore, but in vain ; he was so em-
barrassed by the child in his arms, that he could not find it.

" What the devil are yon doing with that child ? " asked
De Loignac.

" He ia my son, monsieur."

" Well, put your son down. You are married, then ? "

* Yes, monsieur."

"At twenty?"


" They marry young among us ; you ought to know that,
M. de Loignac, who were married at eighteen."

" Oh ! " thought De Loignac, " here is another who
knows me."

" And why should he not be married ? " cried the woman,
advancing. " Yes, monsieur, he is married, and here are
two other children who call him father, besides this great
lad behind. Advance, Militor, and bow to M. de Loignac."

A lad of sixteen, vigorous and agile, with an incipent
moustache, stepped forward.

"They are my wife's sons, monsieur."

" In Heaven's name, your card ! " cried De Loignac.

"Lardille!" cried the Gascon to his wife, "come and
help me."

Lardille searched the pouch and pockets of her husband,
but uselessly. " We must have lost it ! " she cried.

"Then I arrest you."

The man turned pale, but said, "I am Eustace de
Mirandoux, and M. de St. Maline is my patron."

" Oh ! " said De Loignac, a little mollified at this name,
" well, search again."

They turned to their pockets again, and began to re-
examine them.

" Why, what do I see there, on the sleeve of that block-
head ? " said De Loignac.

" Yes, yes ! " cried the father. " I remember, now, Lar-
dille sewed it on."

" That you might carry something, I suppose, you great
lazy fellow."

The card was looked at and found all right, and the
family passed on in the same order as before.

The fourth man advanced and gave his name as
Chalabre. It was found correct, and he also entered.

Then came M. de Carmainges. He got off his horse and
presented his card, while the page hid his face by pre-
tending to adjust the saddle.

" The page belongs to you ? " asked De Loiguae.

" You see, he is attending to my horse."

"Pass, then."

"Quick, my master," laid the page


Behind these men the door was closed, much to the dis-
content of the crowd. Robert Briquet, meanwhile, had
drawn near to the porter's lodge, which had two windows,
one looking toward Paris, and the other into the country.
From his post he saw a man, who, coming from Paris at
full gallop, entered the lodge and said, " Here I am, M. de

" Good. Where do you come from ? "

" From the Porte St. Victor."

"Your number?"

" Five."

"The cards?"

" Here they are."

De Loignac took them, examined them, and wrote on a
slate the number five. The messenger left, and two others
appeared, almost immediately. One came from the Porte
Bourdelle, and brought the number four, the other from
the Porte du Temple, and announced six. Then came
four others. The first from the Porte St. Denis, with
the number five ; the next from the Porte St. Jacques with
the number three; the third from the Porte St. Honore 1 ,
with the number eight ;and the fourth from the Porte Mont-
martre, with the number four.- Lastly came a messenger,
from the Porte Bussy, who announced four. De Loignac
wrote all these down, added them to those who had entered
the Porte St. Antoine, and found the total number to be

" Good ! " said he. " Now open the gates, and all may

The gates were thrown open, and then horses, mules, and
carts, men, women, and children, pressed into Paris, at the
risk of suffocating each other, and in a quarter of an hour
all the crowd had vanished.

Bobert Briquet remained until the last. "I have seen
enough," said he; "would it be very advantageous to me
to see M. Salc^de torn in four pieces? No, pardieul
Besides, I have renounced politics; I will go and dine."




M. FRIARD was right when he talked of 100,000 persons
as the number of spectators who would meet on the Place
de Greve and its environs, to witness the execution of
Salcede. All Paris appeared to have a rendezvous at the
Hotel de Ville; and Paris is very exact, and never misses
a fete ; and the death of a man is a fete, especially when he
has raised so many passions that some curse and others
bless him.

The spectators who succeeded in reaching the Place saw
the archers and a large number of Swiss and light horse
surrounding a little scaffold raised about four feet from
the ground. It was so low as to be visible only to those
immediately surrounding it, or to those who had windows
overlooking the Place. Four vigorous white horses beat
the ground impatiently with their hoofs, to the great
terror of the women, who had either chosen this place will-

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