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and Ed. Tricotel, 12 vols. 1875-96 (the first complete edition;. .See XII.
xvii-xxix for a full bibliography of the manuscripts and editions.

The journal first appeared in the form of an extract made by L'Estoile's
friend, Pierre Dupuy, under the title of Journal des choses aduenues durant
le regne de Henri IIL, 1621. In the Memoires pour servir a Vhistoire de
France, 1515-1611, 2 vols., Cologne, 1719 [ed. Denis Godefroy], the
Journal de Henri /F was added, but with a lacuna for the years 1594-
1606. This was partially supplied in subsequent editions —Journal du
regne de Henri IV, 2 vols. 1732 [ed. L'abbe d'Olivet] ; Supplement au
journal du regne de Henri IV, 1736 [1735] > Journal du regne de Henri IV,
ed. C. B. A. [C. Bouges, an Augustiman father], 4 vols., The Hague,
1 74 1 ; Journal de Henri III, 5 vols., The Hague, 1744 [ed. Lenglet du
Fresnoy] ; Journal inedit du regne de Henri IV, ed. E. Halphen, 1862.

Finally in 1899 the Bibliotheque Nationale acquired a new manuscript
of the Journal du regne de Henri IV, which contains several additional
passages, added by the hand of Pierre de l'Estoile himself. These have
been printed by H. Omont, Registre-Journal de Pierre de l'Estoile (1 574-
89) in the Memoires de la Soc. de I Hist, de Paris et de I ' Ile-de-France,
XXVii. (1900), pp. 1-38.

Memoires de tres noble et Ires illustre Gaspard de Saulx-Tavannes
[at the chateau of Lugny, 1653] ; there is an earlier edition privately
printed at the chateau of Sully in 1617.



ville... composes par Vincent Carloix son secretaire, ed. Le Pere Griffet,
5 vols. 1757.

Francois de Rabutin, Commentaires des dernieres guerres de la
Gaule Belgique, 1554 (6 books); 1558; 1574 (11 books). Michel de
Castelnau, Les Me'moires, 1621 ; ed. J. Le Laboureur, 2 vols. 1659, and
3 vols., Brussels, 173 1 (best edition). Jean de Mergey, Mimoires, ed.
Nicolas Camuzat in Meslanges historiques, Troves, 1619. M vl DE
MORNAY, Mimoires, ed. M me de Witt for the Soc. de /'/list, de France,
2 vols. 1868-69.

Maximilien de Bethune, Due de Sully, Mimoires des sages et
roya/es (Economies d Estat, domestiques, po/itiques et militaires de Henry
le Grand, I. 11. [at the chateau of Sully, 1738] ; III. IV. Paris, 1662.

Most of the memoirs of the latter half of the sixteenth century will
be found in the principal collections of French memoirs, viz. Petitot and
Monmerque, i re se'rie, XX-LII, 2 me se'rie, I-IX (Sully) ; Michaud and
Poujoulat, Vll-XVIIl ; Buchon, Choix de Chroniques et Me'moires sur
Vhistoire de France, 9 vols.


Spanish Rhodomontades by Mr Ozell, 1741.

The Memorials of Margaret de Va/oys... translated by R. Codrington
(the translator of the Heptameron), 1641. There are two recent trans-
lations, one by "Violet Fane" (Lady Currey), 1892, and the other by
an anonymous translator, 1895.

The Commentaries of Messire Blaise de Monluc, 1674 [by Charles

The Politicke and militarie discourses of the Lord de la Noue....
Translated by E. A. [Edward Aggas], 1587 [1588].


L. Pingaud, Brantome historien in Rev. des quest, hist. xix. 1 S6 ff. ,
1876. L. Lalanne, Brantome, sa vie et ses e'erits, 1896. Brantome,
CEuvres, IV. (Monluc), VII. (La Noue), VIII. (Marguerite de Valois).
Sainte-Beuve, Causeries dit Lundi, VI. (Marguerite), 1852 ; XI. Monluc,
Henry IV), 1855. The latter article is a review of E. Jung, Henri 1 '/',
e'erivain, 1855. H. Hauser, Francois de la None, 1892 (an admirable
piece of work), and Sur T authenticity des Discou is de la Noue in \
hist. Liu. 301 ff. (1893) (disposes of D'Aussy's hypothesis that the literarj
merit of the Discours is chiefly due to their editor, Philippe du Fresne
Canaye); A. Sayous, Etudes litte'raires sur les icrivains franqau de la
reformation, II. (La Noue), 1841. L. Pingaud, Les Saulx-Tavannes,
1876. Ch. Marchand (L'abbe), Vieilleville et ses mimoires^ 1893 Ch.
Pfister, Les (Economies royales de Sully in Rev. hist. 1.1 v. 300 ff., 1
Sainte-Beuve, Causeries du Lundi, vm. 134 ff, 1853 Sull) . A. Roil
Histoiredu regne de Henri IV, 1857 ; 3rd ed. 1866, IV. -'7- ff. esp t-i
P. de l'Estoile and Sully).



It would be difficult, if not impossible, to draw a hard and
fast line between memoirs and contemporary history, and to
frame a concise definition of the one which should completely
exclude the other. As a rule, no doubt, the writer of memoirs
confines himself to a record of events in which he has personally
taken part, whether as actor or as spectator ; but if he happen
to be a great statesman or a great captain his record becomes,
like that of Julius Caesar, the most valuable of contemporary
histories. Moreover the rule is no absolute one. Saint-Simon,
for instance, the prince of memoir-writers, by no means
confines himself to that Court life which lay within his own
experience, but introduces accounts of campaigns and political
events in which he played no part. Generally speaking,
however, it may be said that the personal element is the
making of memoirs. But must we hold with the modern
historian that it is the marring of history ? Can history,
which deals with men and human actions, entirely exclude the
personal element ? And if it cannot, is it " a science, no less
and no more" ? At any rate, whatever it may become in the
future, it has not been so in the past. Even if the historian
has been able to suppress his own personality his work has
reflected the thought and passions of the age in which he
wrote. It is this indeed which, quite apart from all questions
of style, justifies us in treating history as a branch of literature.


For it resembles literature at any rate in being a document
for the age in which it was written 1 .

This is especially the case with the contemporary histories
written in France during the stormy period of her Religious
Wars. The writers may use their best endeavours to be not
only truthful but impartial, but they cannot escape from the
bias of their religion, and it is just this bias which gives their
work an abiding interest and value. The Protestant bias, for
instance, is well represented in the narratives of Pierre de la
Place, President of the Cour des Aides, who perished in the
massacre of St Bartholomew, and of Louis Regnier de la
Planche, a follower of the house of Montmorency. La Place's
work, which deals with the period from the death of Henry II
(July 1559) to the end of 1 561, was published in 1565 ; that
of La Planche, which is confined to the short reign of
Francis II (July 1559 to December 1560), appeared in 1576.
La Place's work is more impartial, more concise, more accurate,
in a word superior from the historical point of view. But
La Planche's book is better reading. His lively and forcible
style, his strong Protestant bias, his hatred of the Guises, his
readiness to accept mere rumour, and his love of detail, are
all qualities which make for literature. Moreover he is
generally well informed, he has considerable political insight,
and his conception of the functions of a historian is just and
enlightened :

Car a vray dire, le fruict de l'histoire ne gist pas au simple recit de ce
qui s'est dit ou fait : mais a bien savoir considerer les causes et k-s issues
de ce qui y est recite - pour en faire son prourit, apprenant par les fautes
d'autruy, et se faconnant par l'exemple des choses bien vert ueu semen t
entreprinses et executes, en quoi celuy qui escrit l'histoire nous peut
principalement aider, pourveu que la raison jointe a la verite' gouverne
son entendement vuide de toute passion 2 .

1 The same idea, better expressed, will be found in Professor Bury's Inaugural
Lecture (Cambridge, 1903). He says that the histories of each age "belong to th<-
documents which mirror the form and features of th<

instances Tacitus's Annals and Treitschke's Histot imy.

2 Ed. Mennechet, I. xv. The Advertisement au lecteur, from which th(
passage is taken, was doubtless written by La Planche himself. Prof. 1
doubts his authorship of the whole work (History of the Huguenots, 1. 410. n
but his argument seems to me unsound.



On the other hand the absence of any such philosophical
conception of history forbids us to assign a higher rank than
that of a chronicle to the Chronologie novenaire (1589 — 1597) 1
and the Chronologie septenaire (1598— 1604) 2 of Pierre Victor
Palma Cayet, and though his patient collection of facts and
his general trustworthiness make him a valuable source of
information he has no charm of style to atone for his other

The first attempt in France to extend the philosophical
treatment of contemporary history beyond her own borders
was made by another Protestant, Henri Lancelot Voisin de
La Popeliniere, a gentleman of Guyenne, who in 1575 played
an important part in the recapture from the Catholics of the
He de Re, opposite to La Rochelle. His work, which appeared
first in 1 57 1 and then in a complete form in 1581, comprises
the history of events in France and the neighbouring countries
from 1550 to 1577. His somewhat pretentious preface shews
that he had a high conception of the duties of a historian,
and certainly he spared neither pains nor money in the
execution of his task 3 . But unfortunately his language is
neither picturesque nor clear, nor, in spite of D'Aubigne's
praise, particularly correct 4 . Moreover the pecuniary help
which he received from Catharine de' Medici made it im-
possible for him to be perfectly truthful in matters which
concerned the royal family. One would not, for instance,
suppose from his account of the massacre that either Catharine
or Charles IX was in any way responsible for it 5 . He died
in 1608 in great poverty 6 , having lived to see the first instal-
ment of a new history of the period which he had treated.

1 3 vols. 1608. 2 1606.

3 D'Aubigne says he spent the whole of his patrimony on it. (Preface to
Histoire Universelle. )

4 Son langage bien fratifois qui sent ensemble Vhomme de let/res et Vhomme de
guerre, (ibid.)

' It is characteristic of the views of his age with regard to literary property
that though he mentions in his preface his indebtedness to Belleforest and the
Histoire ecclisiastique he says nothing about La Place, whose work he has in-
corporated almost bodily and with very few additions.

8 Mourust d'une maladie asses ordinaire aux hommes de lettres et vertueux
comme il estoit,a scavoir : de misere et de necessity. P. de l'Estoile, Journal, IX. 189.


-> -> J

The author, Jacques Auguste de Thou, was the son of
Christophe de Thou, first president of the Paris Parliament, and
was himself first a councillor and then a president a mortier of
the same Parliament. Born in 1553 he was still quite young
when his friend Pierre Pithou inspired him with the idea of
writing a history of his own times, and before long he set to
work to collect materials and otherwise prepare himself,
especially by travel, for his great task. In 1593 he began the
actual writing, and the first part, consisting of eighteen books
and treating of events from 1546 to 1560, was published in
1604 1 . It was his intention to carry the work down to the
death of Henry IV, but his own death, which took place in
161 7, prevented the completion of his design. The fifth and
last part, published in 1620, stops at the year 1607.

The fact that De Thou wrote in Latin is noteworthy. It
shews that in spite of the great progress which French prose
had made during the sixteenth century, in spite of Rabelais
and Calvin and Amyot and Montaigne, it was not yet regarded
as a fitting language for a work of learning. Yet from
Villehardouin downwards works of a historical character had
been written in French, and, as we have seen, it was a
historian, Claude de Seyssel, who at the very beginning of the
sixteenth century had urged the necessity of providing in-
struction for those who were ignorant of Latin, and who in
the prosecution of his design had spent many years oi his
life in the translation of Greek historians 2 . Doubtless also
De Thou had in view the satisfaction of submitting the result
of his labours to a competent court, and preferred the applause
of learned Europe to that of unlearned France. If so he had
his reward. His work was received with respect and ad-
miration by the whole learned world, and at once achieved an
European reputation which lasted for nearly two centuries.
The only exception to the general chorus of approval

1 See a Latin letter (printed in Buckley's edition and translated in Collii
Life) written by De Thou to President Jeannin in 1611, in which b<
account of the origin and growth of his work. The account in his Memoirs i
materially the same.

2 See 1. 35, 36.


the Congregation of the Index, which after the appearance
of the fourth part formally condemned the work 1 . Their
action was an honourable testimony to De Thou's honesty
and impartiality, but it caused him much trouble and annoy-
ance, for it had been his especial care to write his book in a
conciliatory spirit 2 . Indeed his endeavour to avoid giving
offence either to Catholic or Protestant, or in any way to
endanger the peace created by the Edict of Nantes, has
caused modern critics to accuse him of timidity.

In writing in Latin he missed a great opportunity. Had
he written in French, though modern criticism would still
have found his work inadequate as a scientific history, he
might at any rate have enriched French literature, as his
contemporary, Mariana, enriched Spanish 3 , with an enduring
monument. Time has avenged the French language. De
Thou's choice of Latin has not only deprived him of an
honourable place on the roll of French men of letters, but has
injured his reputation as a historian. The annalistic arrange-
ment of events, the absence of dates and the rhetorical
language which he adopted in imitation of Livy, are fatal to
the scientific method which the modern view of history
demands. On the other hand, his successor and admiring
rival, Agrippa d'Aubigne, writing in French, at least pro-
duced a considerable literary work. Even from the historical
point of view it is a question whether the contemporary
atmosphere which his narrative breathes does not compensate
for the greater accuracy of De Thou's. But I must leave the
Histoire Universelle for a later chapter, in which I shall treat
of D'Aubigne's multifarious work as a whole.

The humanistic spirit manifested itself also in the field of
non-contemporary history. I have already mentioned that
the first attempt to write a history of France after classical
models was that of the Italian Paolo Emilio, and that his

1 See A. de Ruble's edition of D'Aubigne's Histoire universelle, I. 376 ff. ;
F. H. Reusch, Der Index der verbotenen BiicAer, II. 192 ff. Bonn, 1885.

2 For the eirenical character of his history see A. Rebelliau, Bossuet. kistorien
de Protestantisme, 268 n. 1 , 189 1.

'■'• Mariana's History of Spain (down to 1 516) was published in Latin in 159a,
and in Spanish, translated and revised by the author himself, in i6or.


work, which was written in Latin, appeared in a French
translation in 1556 1 . Meanwhile the Grandes chroniques of
Gaguin and Gilles retained a certain popularity and found
continuators in Denis Sauvage (1553), Francois de Belleforest
(1 573), Gabriel Chappuis (1585), and Jean Savaron (1621).

Three years after the appearance of Belleforest's work
Bernard de Girard, seigneur du Haillan 2 , a gentleman of
Bordeaux and a converted Protestant, produced the first
modern French history. He had been encouraged in his task
by Charles IX, who in 1571 appointed him historiographe de
France and commissioned him to write a complete history of
his predecessors. Du Haillan in his preface takes considerable
credit to himself for the labour he had spent on his work and
for the superiority of his treatment to that of his contemporary,
Belleforest. But he uses the same material, that of the
Grandes chroniques, with little or no attempt at independent
research, and his rhetorical additions are not only modelled
on those of Paolo Emilio but are often translated from him.
The style, however, and form of his work made it immediately
popular and definitely brought French history into the domain
of literature 3 .

A far larger measure of the true historical spirit was
possessed by Jean du Tillet and Nicolas Vignier, who, like
Claude Fauchet, produced historical works within three years
of Du Haillan's. But these, as well as the Franco-Gallia <>f
the celebrated jurist, Francois Hotman, were written, not for
the general public, but for the select circle of the learned.
In spite of their labours, and in spite of the publication of
texts relating to the early history of France by Pierre Pithou,
Jacques Bongars, Jacques Simon, Andre Duchesne, and
Andre de Valois, French history continued to be a depart-
ment of rhetoric until the beginning of the third decade "i
the nineteenth century.

1 See 1. 239.

2 B. circ. 1536, d. 1610.

3 The Protestant, Jean de Serres, author of Latin commentaries on the
Religious Wars, claims for his Inventaire general de Vhistoirt il> France (1
that it is based on original authorities. The style i- clear and fairly graphic, bul
jerky. Both matter and style are severely criticised l>y Lelong, /•'; >. Hist. 111


In the sixteenth century it was rather in the contiguous
domain of political science than in that of pure history that
the historical spirit bore solid fruit. Jean Bodin, the author
of the first modern systematic treatise on political science,
was born at Angers in 1530, and after studying law at
Toulouse was for some time a professor at that University.
In 1 561 he came to Paris to practise as an advocate, but
after a short experience gave up the bar for the more
congenial pursuit of learning. In 1566 he published his
Methodus ad facilem historiarum cognitionem, which shews
wide reading and an enlightened conception of the function
of an historian. The bent of his mind is revealed by the
remark that the chief utility of history is to serve as a guide
to politics. Ten years later (1576) he was appointed King's
advocate at Laon, which henceforth became his home, and at
the close of the same year he was chosen to represent the
Vermandois as one of the deputies for the Third Estate at
the Estates of Blois. He wrote an account of the proceedings,
in which he played a courageous and important part. A few
months before this his great work, Six livres de la Rcpidilique,
had made its appearance 1 . It achieved an immediate success.
A fresh authorised edition was published every succeeding
year down to 1580, besides various pirated ones from the
presses of Lyons and Geneva and Lausanne. When Bodin
went to England in the train of the Due d'Alencon in 1579,
he found a Cambridge professor lecturing on a Latin trans-
lation of his work. It was so bad that he made a new one
himself. This was published in 1586, and owing to the
amount of revision which it received is the one generally cited
by writers on political science.

Bodin, says Sir William Hamilton, stands out with
Aristotle and Montesquieu as one of " the great political
triumvirate 2 ." But this is an exaggerated or, at any rate, a
misleading estimate. Aristotle and Montesquieu are great
classics ; Bodin is not ; and that not so much from his want
of form and style, for the same may be said of the Politics in

1 The privilege is dated Aug. 12, 1576.

2 Discussions, p. 529.


the shape it has come down to us, as from the absence in
his writings of those great thoughts, simple in statement but
profound and universal in application, which have made
Aristotle and Montesquieu great educators of mankind.
Bodin's most important contribution to political science, the
doctrine of Sovereignty, however serviceable to the political
student, cannot be said to concern the world at large. Thus
not being a classic, he is practically unknown, except to
students. Even professed political thinkers like Austin and
Maine attribute the doctrine of Sovereignty to Hobbes, and
never mention Bodin, from whom Hobbes certainly borrowed it.

But Bodin, without being an Aristotle or a Montesquieu,
has great merits — vast learning, an enlightened mind (in spite
of his belief in witchcraft 1 ), bold independence of thought, and
sound judgment. He naturally took Aristotle as his model,
but he shews remarkable independence of thought, often
following the same lines only to differ from and correct his
predecessor's conclusions. For instance, on the question of
slavery, to which the conquest of Peru by the Spaniards had
given special interest 2 , he is very far from accepting Aristotle's
declaration that some men are slaves by nature, but denounces
the whole practice with great eloquence. He gives telling
instances of the cruelty which it engenders, and of its danger
to the stability of states 3 .

Another well-known chapter is that in which he discusses
the effect of climate and situation on national character and
government 4 . Though the germ of this inquiry is to be
found in Aristotle and other Greek writers, Bodin was the first
to work it out in detail. Montesquieu's treatment is on
narrower lines and shews considerable differences.

It is not till near the close of his work that Bodin addresses
himself to the question which is the best form of government,
and after a fair show of discussion decides in favour of royal
or lawful monarchy 5 . This he distinguishes alike from

1 His Demonomanie des Sorciers was published in [581.

2 La Gasca, the pacificator of Peru, who abolished slavery there in its more
aggravated form, had died as recently as [567.

3 1. c. v. 4 v. c. i. ' vi. c. iv.

T. II. '5


despotism {monarchie seigneurialc) and from tyranny as the
form in which the subjects obey the laws of the monarch, and
the monarch obeys the laws of nature 1 . He further goes on
to express his preference for the hereditary form of succession
through males only 2 . Leaving out of question the futility of
pronouncing in favour of any form of government as the
absolute best, and the vagueness of Bodin's distinction
between the different forms of monarchy, it may be noticed
that in spite of his attempt to discuss the question fairly he
has approached it with a firm conviction in favour of the
government which had prevailed in France for nearly six
centuries. However unphilosophical this may be, it is for
the general reader one of the interesting features of his
book. For Bodin was the philosophical representative of
that important central party in France of which Michel de
l'Hospital was the founder, and Montaigne and De Thou
were among the chief ornaments, of that party which had
for its two leading principles loyalty to the crown and re-
ligious tolerance, and which its opponents nicknamed the
Politiques because its members were said to prefer the salvation
of their country to that of their souls. It was patriotic
feeling which had led Bodin to write his book. " Now that
the force of the storm has struck the vessel of our State with
such violence that even the master and the pilots are weary
of their continual labour, it must needs be that the passengers
lend a hand 3 ." It was to further this object that, with a truer
instinct than De Thou, he wrote it in French, thus addressing
himself not merely to a limited class of learned men but to
all Frenchmen " who desire to see this kingdom restored to
its former splendour, and once more flourishing in arms and

Bodin's defence of monarchy was no doubt intended to be
a corrective of the anti-monarchical ideas of the Protestants,
and especially of the Franco- Gallia, which was published
some time before he wrote his concluding book. His attitude
towards religion is equally characteristic of the politique party,

1 »■ c ii. 2 vi. c. v.

3 Preface addressed to Guy du Faur de Pibrac.


and closely resembles that of Montaigne. A prince, he says,
should not allow the established religion of his state to be
made the subject of controversy, but if religious factions
spring up he must not resort to force to put them down. For

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