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the more you do violence to the inclination of men, the more
obstinate they become. Bodin instances in favour of this
policy of toleration the treatment of the Arians by the
Emperor Theodosius, the practice of the Sultan in his own
day, and the saying of Theodoric the Goth that we cannot
impose a religion, because no one can be compelled to believe
against his will 1 . At the Estates of Blois Bodin put
these ideas into action, and it was largely owing to his in-
fluence and energy that a petition was presented to the King
by the Third Estate in favour of peace and toleration. In
private he held views even more tolerant, for when he died at
Laon in 1596 he left behind him an unpublished Latin treatise
entitled Colloquium Heptaplomeres' 1 , in which the subject of
religion is discussed by a Roman Catholic, a Lutheran, a
Calvinist, a Mahommedan, a Jew, a Pagan, and a believer in
Natural Religion with such complete impartiality that Bodin
was variously declared by his readers to be a Protestant, a
Jew, and a Deist. Whatever his real belief was he lived and
died in communion with the Catholic Church.



[Pierre de la Place], Commentaires de FEstat de Ft Religion et
Republique soubs les Rois Henry et Francois seconds, et Charles neufieme,

[Louis Regnier de la Planche], Histoire de FEstat d,- France,
tant de la Republique que de la Religion, sous /<■ Regne de Francois IF
1576; ed. E. Mennechet, 2 vols. 1836.

[Henri Lancelot Voisin de la Popeliniere], Lhistoire de
France depuis Fin 1550 jusques a ces temps, 2 vols. [La R01 helle] 15X1.

1 Religionem i/nperare nonpossumus, quia in- mo a \gitur ut < redat invitu r,I V.c. vn.
- Edited partly in German and partly in Latin by G. E. Guhrauer, Berlin 1841,

and in Latin by L. Noack, Schwerin 1857.


JACQUES AUGUSTE DE THOU, Historiarum sui temporis pars prima
[books i-xviii] fo. 1604 ; 2 vols. 8vo. 1604. Ab A.D. 1543 usque ad annum
1607 libri cxxxviii, 5 vols., Geneva, 1620-21 ; ed. S. Buckley, 7 vols.,
fo. London, 1733. (This sumptuous edition, which includes De Thou's
Latin memoirs, first published in 1620, was published at the expense of
Dr Richard Mead, the materials for it having been collected by the
Jacobite historian, Thomas Carte.) A French translation with some
suppressions and corrections was published in 16 vols, in 1734. A trans-
lation of the memoirs had previously appeared at Rotterdam in 17 11.

Bernard de Girard du Haillan, Histoire generate des Rots de
Fratice... depuis Pharamond jusqu'd Charles VII inclusivement, 1576.

Jean Bodin, Les Six livres de la republique, 1576. De republica
libri sex, Latine ab autore redditi, multo quam ante locupletiores, 1586.
The six books of a Commonweale. ..done into English by R. Knolles (the
historian of the Turks), 1606. An Italian translation appeared in 1588,
and a Spanish one in 1590.


Lelong (Le pere), Memoires historiques sur plusieurs liistoriens de
France at the end of his Bibliotheque historique, III. 1 771. Lenglet du
Fresnoy (L'abbe), Methode pour etudier P histoire, avec un catalogue des
principaux histoires, XII. 1772.

Augustin A. Thierry, Notes sur quatorzc historiens anterieurs a.
Mezerai in CEuvres, II. 515-557, 185 1.

A. Poirson, Histoire du regne de Henri IV, IV. 31S-341, 3rd ed. 1866.

J. Collinson, Life of Thuanus, 1807 ; Niceron, IX. 341 ff.

P. Jannet, Histoire de la science politique, II. 30-46, 1 14-127, 3rd ed.
1887. H. Baudrillart, Jean Bodin et son temps, 1853. H. Hallam,
Introduction to the Literature of Eicrope, II. 51-69, 4th ed. 1854. G. von
Polenz, Geschichte des politischen franzosischen Calvinismus, III. 340-398,
i860. R. Frint, The Philosophy of History in Europe, I. 68-76, 1874.



THE French Wars of Religion, besides inspiring and
colouring grave philosophical treatises like Bodin's Six livres
de la Republique, gave rise to an enormous mass of pamphlet
literature. Varying in form and character according to the
idiosyncrasy of the writer, it is sometimes oratorical, some-
times narrative, sometimes philosophical, and often satirical.
The great majority of the pieces, written as they were to meet
the controversy of the hour, have only an historical interest,
but the Satire Menippee has achieved a permanent place in
French literature, and there are others which call for a passing
notice, if only as manifestations of the growing strength of
French prose.

The first in point of date is the Epistrc cnvoicc an Tigre de
la France, or as it was called for short the Tigre. It appeared
in 1560 and was attributed on fairly conclusive evidence to
the jurist Francois Hotman. Modelled on Cicero's Catiline
orations it reads like a succession of pistol-shots fired point-
blank at the object of its attack, the Cardinal of Lorraine.
Rarely before had the French language been used with such
nervous and concise energy as in this tin}- pamphlet <>l ten
pages 1 .

The next notable attack on the Cardinal, commonly
known as Le Livre des Marchaads 1 , is very different in

1 See for a full account of the pamphlet II. M. Baird, History of the Hugu

1. 445 ff.

2 See the bibliography at the end of the chapter for (he proper tit!.-.


character to the Tigre. It is in the form of a conversation
held between the writer (who is undoubtedly Regnier de la
Planche 1 ) and sundry Paris shop-keepers just after the
Cardinal of Lorraine had been stopped by order of Francois
de Montmorency from entering Paris with an armed escort
on January 8, 1565. The pamphlet is at once an exceedingly
skilful and damaging attack on the Guises and a plea for
moderation and tolerance, for that policy which Michel de
l'Hospital as Chancellor was vainly endeavouring to carry
out. The style is strongly Latinised, but is distinguished by
admirable management of both clause and sentence, at that
date a rare quality in French prose, and by a lively and
vigorous use of metaphor.

After the massacre of St Bartholomew a change comes
over the character of the pamphlets. They are all more or
less inspired by the massacre, and the chief object of attack is
no longer the Cardinal of Lorraine but Catharine de' Medici.
The only one however that possesses any literary interest is
the anonymous Discours merveilleux de la vie et actions et
deportemens de Catherine de Jlfedicis, or the Vie Sainte
Catherine, as it was popularly called 2 , which was first pub-
lished in the autumn of 1574, though the earliest known
edition is of 1575. It became immediately popular ; several
editions, as well as a Latin and an English translation,
appeared in 1575, and a revised edition in the following year.
It is of course grossly unfair to Catharine, but it is well-
arranged and well-written, clear and logical, though without
any marked individuality of style. Who was the author ?
The attribution to the Protestant Jean de Serres may at once
be dismissed, for he aspired to be a grave and impartial
historian and he was in favour of a conciliatory policy. But
a greater name has been associated with the pamphlet, that
of Henri Estienne. His authorship however has been ab-
solutely disproved by Mark Pattison, who points out, first that
he expressly denied it adding that he was in Hungary at the

1 See Reveille-matin. 1574, dialogue i. p. 104.

2 The original title seems to have been Deportemens de Catherine de MeJicis.
See P. de l'Estoile, Memoircs iournaux, 1.27.


time, secondly that he had not the intimate knowledge of
French politics which the pamphlet displays, and thirdly
that the style is quite unlike his 1 . The style, indeed, though
of considerable merit, is only at rare intervals enlivened by
touches of the racy picturesqueness which is habitual to
Henri Estienne.

The pamphlets inspired by the massacre were by no
means all personal attacks on the Queen-mother. Several
were chiefly concerned with the discussion of the grave
political question whether it is lawful to resist an unjust
magistrate, or in other words whether revolution is ever
justifiable. This was the main object of inquiry in the
Franco-Gallia of Francois Hotman, published in 1573, and
in the Vindiciae contra tyrannos, written almost certainly in
1574 (and almost as certainly by Philippe Du Plessis-Mornay),
though not published till 1 579 2 . But these two famous treatises
being written in Latin need only a bare mention in these

The death of the Due d'Alencon in 1584 and the con-
sequent devolution of the succession on the Protestant King of
Navarre gave a new turn to the political wheel. The League
was revived with a more effective organisation, of which Paris
was the centre, and one of its principles was declared to be

1 Essays, 1. i2off. Estienne's denial will be found in the preface to the Precellenct
du languge franfois, 1579. He was at Geneva on May 16 (letter- to < Irato n°. xiii.),
and soon afterwards went to Austria and Hungary. Eor a further discussion of
the authorship of the Discours merveilleux see Appendix E.

- Vindiciae contra tyrannos, sive dc Principis in Populum Populique in
Principem legitima potestate, Stephano Junio Bruto Celta autore, Edinburgi [Basle,
printed by Thomas Guerin], 1579. Since the time of Bayle the authorship <>l the
Vindiciae has usually been attributed to Hubert Languet, the friend ;md CO
spondent of Sir Philip Sidney. But Max Lossen in the Silzungsberiehti
koniglichen bayerischen Academic tier IVisser, u Milnchen (philos.-philol.

und hist. Classe), 1887, pp. 215, has made out what seem- to me an unanswerable
case for Du Plessis-Mornay. Bayle ha- nothing definite to set againsl M"" de
Mornay's express statement that her husband wrote a book in Latin in 1
entitled De la puissance legitime du prince, which is the exact title of the Ii.ui-I.uimh
made by Francois Estienne and published in 1581 {Mhnoires, 1. 81). Furl

confirmation of this view has been found by A. Waddington in .1 passage the

Memoires of Conrart {Rev. hist. u. 65 ((., 1893). See E. \xm tror

Hist. Review, iv. 13 ff., for an excellent analysis ol both the l> and

the Vindiciae.


that no one but a Catholic should succeed to the throne of


The same arguments which had been used by the
Protestants to justify rebellion against a Catholic king were
now turned to account by the pamphleteers of the League to
justify the exclusion from the throne of a Protestant prince.
Montaigne did not fail to note this in a passage which he
added to the Apology for Raimond Sebonde in the second
edition of his Essays. Cette proposition si solenne : S'il est
permis an subject de se rebeller et armer contre son Prince poitr
la defense de la religion : souvienne vous en quelles bouckes
cette annee passee r affirmation d'icelle estoit l 'arc-boutant dun
parti : la negative, de quel autre parti c estoit V arc-boutant. Et
oyez a present de quel quartier vient la voix et instruction de
F line et P autre.

The chief pamphleteer on the side of the League was
Louis Dorleans, a Paris lawyer, while the legitimist view was
represented by Pierre de Belloy, advocate-general of the
Parliament of Toulouse and a Catholic, whose best known
production is the Apologie Catholique. He has a vigorous
and lively style united to considerable learning and con-
troversial acumen. His opponent, Louis Dorleans, the author
of the Catholique auglois, is also a good writer, when he is
not carried away by violence. Another good writer on the
royalist side was the Huguenot Michel Hurault, seigneur du
Fay, a grandson of Michel de 1' Hospital, and secretary to the
King of Navarre. His two Discours sur Vestal present de la
France are temperate and well-reasoned reviews of the situation.
The first appeared towards the close of 1588, and was read by
Guise while he was in attendance on the King at vespers forty
hours before his assassination. The second was provoked by
the bull of Gregory XIV (March 1, 1 591 ), which declared
Henry IV excommunicate.

In 1593 these two Discours were reprinted with two others
entitled the A nti-Espagnol and La Fleurde Lys, both written by
Antoine Arnaud, a Paris lawyer who soon afterwards became
famous by his speech against the Jesuits 1 . The A nti-Espagnol,

1 See D'Aubigne, Hist. Universelle liv. XIII. c. xxiii. for the effect of these




which had appeared in 1 590, is a good specimen of combative
prose declamation, expressed in well-balanced, musical periods.
La Fleur de Lys, first published at the beginning of 1593,
though inferior to its companion from a literary point of view,
is even more effective as a pamphlet. One of the chief marks
for the writer's invective is the ' old tyrant of Spain.' For by
this time it had become perfectly clear that there were only
two alternatives before the French people, acceptance of
Henry IV or submission to Spain. In the Dialogue d'entre
le Maheustre et le Mauant, published early in December 1593,
a Paris leaguer expressed his choice without anycircumlocution.
" I would rather be the subject of a foreigner who is a Catholic
than of a Frenchman who is a heretic 1 ." Yet this was more
than four months after the King had taken le saut pirilleux
and had returned to the Catholic fold.

There was however one party at Paris which had not
thrown aside the national qualities of good sense and
moderation. This was the party of the Politiques. During
the terrorism of the League they had shewn some timidity,
but after Mayenne's summary chastisement of the Sixteen
(December 1591) for their murder of President Brisson they
began to take courage and to hold meetings at the house of
their leader, the Sieur Daubray, with a view to a more regular

Among the members of this party was a councillor of
Parliament, named Jacques Gillot, who lived on the Quai des
Orfevres, a few steps from the Sainte Chapelle of which he
was a canon. He was a man of considerable learning, the
friend and correspondent of Scaliger and other scholars, and
the possessor of a fine library. Easy circumstances enabled
him to entertain his friends, who consoled themselves at his
house by freedom and gaiety of conversation for the terrorism
and gloom which prevailed without. Among them were
Pierre Le Roy, Pierre Pithou, Florent Chrestien, Nicolas
Rapin, and Jean Passerat, all men between fifty and sixty

1 To understand this dialogue in its true light as the apology of ihe U
should be read in the original edition of 1593. The revised edition -I' [594 was,
I feel sure, printed by the royalist party.



wars of age, and for the most part scholars of considerable
distinction. Rapin and Passerat we know already as poets 1 .
Of Le Roy nothing is known save that he was a canon of
Rouen and almoner to the Cardinal of Bourbon, and that
De Thou describes him as vir bonus et a factione snmmc
a ii en its. Florent Chrestien had been tutor to Henry IV,
being at that time a Protestant. He was now a Catholic.
A pupil of Henri Estienne, his reputation as a Greek scholar
was considerable, his favourite author being Aristophanes,
three of whose plays he had translated into Latin verse with
a commentary. We have seen that Passerat had made a
special study of Plautus and Rabelais, and that Rapin had
translated Horace. Thus the studies of these scholars had
been no bad preparation for the writing of comedy. Pierre
Pithou 2 like Chrestien had been brought up as a Protestant,
narrowly escaping death in the massacre of St Bartholomew,
but in the following year he became a Catholic. Of all the
band he was the man of the most solid learning. He had a
fine library which included a large collection of manuscripts.
From these he edited various important texts including an
editio princeps of Phaedrus 3 , the Edict of Theodoric (also an
editio princeps), the Lex Visigothorum, and several mediaeval
historical works. His most important original treatise was
Les liberies de I ' Eglise gallicanc*.

Such were the men who jointly produced the Satire
Menippee. But in the form in which it first appeared in
the summer of 1593 5 , while the Estates of which it is a
burlesque account were still sitting, it was the work of a single
individual, Pierre Le Roy. This primitive form is probably

1 For Rapin see ante, p. 58, and for Passerat, ante, p. =14.

- B. at Troyes, 1539, d. l i>9^-

'■'■ Published at Autun in 1596, the year of Pithou's death.

4 See Vie de Pierre Pithou [by T. Grosley], 2 vols. 1756; also a letter on his
death from De Thou to Casaubon (printed in De Thou's Memoirs) and De Thou's
eloquent testimony in his history (bk CXVII. c. ix) to the merits of his friend,
amico arcta mecum necessitudine coniuncto.

5 The beginning of D'Aubray's speech in the primitive text, // tie failloit ja
que nos Prescheurs nous preschassent tant quil nous failloit debourber, is an
allusion to Boucher's sermon on May 12, 1593 (VEstoilc, /ouma/ y VI. 71.



represented by a manuscript of the Bibliotheque Nationale 1 ,
which contains besides what may be called the setting a
brief sketch of all the speeches. It is possible that part of
this may have been printed in 1593, but it was chiefly cir-
culated in manuscript under the title of LAbbregi et L'Ame
des Estatz*. It was not till the close of April 1594 that the
satire was printed at Tours in a greatly enlarged form under
the title of La Vertu du Catholicoii dEspagne: avec un Abrege
de la tenue des Estats de Paris*. The first edition of this work
consisted of only seven or eight hundred copies, and the
demand was so great that the printer, who had returned
to Paris with his press, had to print off four fresh editions in
three weeks. In the sixth edition the title was changed to
Satyre Menippee de la Vertu du Catholicon, etc. and this title
was afterwards retained 4 .

The first few pages of the satire, which form a sort of
introduction entitled La vertu du Catholicon, and which
represent two charlatans, one a Spaniard (the Cardinal of
Plaisance) 5 and the other a Lorrainer (the Cardinal de I VI lew ),
selling a wonderful drug called the catholicon, have no artistic
connexion with the rest. But the three short pieces which
follow, Procession de la Ligue, Les Pieces de tapisserie dont la
salle des Estats fut t endue, and De Vordre teuu pour les
seances, form an admirable mise en scene for the second part,
and help to make the Me'nippee, what it has been justly called,

1 N". 4001 (ponds Bithune).

2 Ed. Read, p. 11 (Deuxieme advis de Vimprimeur). Pat Us meilleures
maisons trottoit le Catholicon (D'Aubigne, Hist. Univ. IX. c. i).

3 Je ne I'avois pett achever tjirau temps qu il palli/t flirt- bagage pour '< %

en cesle ville apres que les Parisiens /'//rent retournez a lenr bon sens et reduicts en
Fobeissance du Roy (ed. Read, p. 6). The latest event to which there is an allusion
in the Menippee is the murder of Saint-Paul by the Due de Guise on April 15,

1594. It must have been completed in its enlarged I before the King's

abjuration on July 25, 1594, for this is referred to throughout as .1 possible and
not as an accomplished event. For a discussion of the relations ol the primitive
and the enlarged versions to each other see Appendix F.

4 The title Satyre Menippe'e is borrowed from the Saturat Menir; 1
written partly in prose and partly in verse in imitation "I a work by th
philosopher, Menippus of Gadara. Only fragments of Varro's work bavi
down to us: that of his model is entirely lost.

5 Felipe de Sega, Bishop of Plasencia in Spain and Papal 1 1


a comedy as well as a pamphlet. But it is the second part,
the speeches of the principal actors in the drama of the Estates,
which has conferred on it immortality.

It must be borne in mind that the object of the writers
was twofold — to expose the purely selfish aims of the speakers,
and to hold them up to ridicule. Had they contented them-
selves with burlesquing the speeches which were actually
made or were likely to have been made in the Estates they
would have missed their first object. For a speaker in a
public assembly who has selfish aims naturally wears a mask.
While therefore the speakers in the satire are represented
with their individual characteristics of style and manner, they
are impelled by an irresistible impulse to speak the truth.
Each speaker throws down his mask and shews his true face.
Mayenne wants to be king himself, the Archbishop of Lyons
looks for a Cardinal's hat, the Cardinal de Pelleve is in the
pay of Spain, Rieux seeks in the general disorder an opportunity
for plundering his neighbours. This is the idea which gives
artistic unity to the satire, and of which Le Roy is apparently
entitled to all the credit. The speeches are seven in number.
According to Pierre Dupuy 1 , who besides being a man of sound
learning was a great collector of curious books, Gillot wrote
that of the Cardinal Legate, Florent Chrestien that of the
Cardinal de Pelleve, Rapin those of the Archbishop of Lyons
and the Rector of the University, and Pierre Pithou that of
D' Aubray 2 . For the remaining two speeches, those of Mayenne
and the Sieur de Rieux, he gives no author 3 . Yet of the first
six speeches Mayenne's, which opens the ball, is the best. In
a tone of jovial good-humour, which was probably habitual
to him, he is made to expose his motives and intentions with
blunt sincerity :

1 B. 158-2, d. 1651. His edition of the Minippfe was published after his
death, in 1664. He was a friend of Pierre de l'Estoile, and the two used to lend
each other their treasures.

2 Cest mon frere Pierre qui Va fait is written according to Goujet, XV. xxvi.
in a copy of the Satire Mhiippee belonging to Francois Pithou.

:; Girart in the Rev. hist. xxix. 340 ff. shows that Passerat wrote the Discours
de Vimprimeur, and possibly also that of the Sieur de Rieux.



Car, encore que j'aye faict semblant, par ma derniere Declaration et
par ma Response subsequente, de desirer la conversion du Roy do
Navarre, je vous prie croire que je ne desire rien moins ; et aimeroy
mieux veoir ma femme, mon nepveu et tous mes cousins et parents morts
que veoir ce Biarnois a la messe. Ce n'est pas la ou il me demange.

Aussi ne me conseilleriez-vous pas que, pour une messe que le Roy
de Navarre pourroit faire chanter (ce qu'a Dieu ne plaise), je me demisse
du pouvoir que j'ay, et que, de demy Roy que je suis, je devinsse valet, et
pour faire tomber Forage de ceste guerre sur la teste de ces bons Catho-
liques Espagnols, nos amis qui nous veulent apprendre a croire en Dieu.
Bien est vray que, si ladite conversion advenoit a bon escient, je seroy en
grande peine et tiendroy le loup par les oreilles.

The Cardinal Legate speaks partly in Italian and partly in
Latin, and the other Cardinal partly in dog Latin and partly
in French. The latter's speech is a model of inconsequence.
while the legate expounds the policy of the Pope in terms as
delightfully plain as those used by Mayenne :

It is far better for the peace of Italy and the security of the Holy
Apostolic See that the French and Spaniards should fight in France or
indeed in Flanders for religion or the crown than in Italy for Naples or
Milan 1 . Therefore, to tell you the truth, the Holy Father does not t.uc
what you do except so far as it concerns him not to be deprived of the
annates and commendams and other subsidies which are paid at 1<
with your gold and silver.

To the Archbishop of Lyons, Pierre dEspinac, is assigned
the role of a distinguished orator skilfully working upon
the feelings of his hearers and appealing to their several
interests :

Or, ce qui importe, pour le present, le plus a nos affaires, e'est de
bastir une loy fondamentale par laquelle les peuples Francois seront
tenuz de se laisser coiffer, embeguiner, enchevestrer, et mener .1 1'appetit
de Messieurs les Cathedrants ; voire se laisseront escorcher jusques aux
os, et curer leurs bourses jusques au fond, sans dire mot ny s'enquerir
pourquoy. Car vous s^avez, Messieurs, que nous avons affaire de nos
pensions 2 .

His own ambition is to be a Cardinal. 1 [e is followed by
GuillaumeRoze, Rector of the University and Bishop ol Senlis,

1 This is in the primitive text.

- Improved from the primitive text, more especially the la I which

replaces pour continuer les pensions a nos espiom ■


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