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[23] Lévi Alvarès, p. 187.

[24] Governor of Auvergne.

[25] The fortress of Usson, which had been a state prison under Louis
XI, was demolished by Louis XIII, in 1634.

[26] Brantôme, _Dames Illustres, Marguerite de France, Reine de
Navarre_, Dis. v. p. 275.

[27] "There are three things," Henri IV was wont to say, "that the world
will not believe, and yet they are certainly true: that the Queen of
England (Elizabeth) died a maid; that the Archduke (Albert, Cardinal and
Archduke of Austria) is a great captain; and that the King of France is
a very good Catholic." - L'Etoile, _Journ. de Henri IV_, vol. i. p. 233.

[28] Diane d'Andouins, Vicomtesse de Louvigni, dame de l'Escun, was the
only daughter of Paul, Vicomte de Louvigni, Seigneur de l'Escun, and of
Marguerite de Cauna. While yet a mere girl, she became the wife of
Philibert de Grammont, Comte de Guiche, Governor of Bayonne, and
Seneschal of Béarn. The passion of Henri IV for this lady was so great
that he declared his intention of obtaining a divorce from Marguerite de
Valois, for the purpose of making her his wife; a project from which he
was dissuaded by D'Aubigny, who represented that the contempt which
could not fail to be felt by the French for a monarch who had degraded
himself by an alliance with his mistress, would inevitably deprive him
of the throne in the event of the death of Henri III and the Duc
d'Alençon.

[29] Gabrielle d'Estrées was the daughter of Antoine d'Estrées, fourth
of the name, Governor, Seneschal, and first Baron of Boulonnois, Vicomte
de Soissons and Bersy, Marquis de Coeuvres, Knight of the Orders of the
King, Governor of La Fère, Paris, and the Isle of France; and of
Françoise Babou, second daughter of Jean, Seigneur de la Bourdaisière,
and of Françoise Robertet. She married at an early age, by the desire of
her father, who was anxious to protect her from the assiduities of the
King, Nicolas d'Armeval, Seigneur de Liancourt, who was, alike in birth,
in person, and in fortune, unworthy of her hand. This ill-assorted union
produced the very result which it was intended to avert, for Henry found
means to separate the young couple immediately after their marriage, and
to attach Gabrielle to the Court, where she soon became the declared
favourite. On the birth of her first child (César, Duc de Vendôme),
Madame de Liancourt abandoned the name of her husband, from whom she
obtained a divorce, and assumed that of Marquise de Monceaux, which she
derived from an estate presented to her on that occasion by the King;
and on the legitimation of her son in January 1595, she already aspired
to the throne, and formed a party, headed by M. de Sillery, by whom her
pretensions were encouraged. She was subsequently created Duchesse de
Beaufort, and became the mother of Catherine-Henriette, married to the
Duc d'Elboeuf, and of Alexandre de Vendôme, Grand Prior of France, who
were likewise legitimated. She died in childbirth, but not without
suspicion of poison, on Easter Eve, in the year 1599.

[30] Henri de la Tour, Vicomte de Turenne, Duc de Bouillon, Peer and
Marshal of France.

[31] Théodore Agrippa d'Aubigny was the son of Jean d'Aubigny, Seigneur
de Brie, in Xaintonge, and of Catherine de Lestang, and was born on the
8th of February 1550. At the age of six years he read with equal
facility the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages; and eighteen months
afterwards translated the _Crito_ of Plato. The persecutions of the
Huguenots, which he witnessed in his early youth, and the solemn
injunctions of his father to revenge their wrongs, rendered him one of
the most zealous and uncompromising reformers under Henri IV. He died at
Geneva on the 20th of April 1630, aged eighty years, and was buried in
the cloisters of St. Pierre. D'Aubigny left behind him not only his own
memoirs, which are admirably and truthfully written, but also the biting
satire known as the _Aventures du Baron de Foeneste_, and the still more
celebrated _Confession de Sancy_.

[32] Isabella Clara Eugenia, Infanta of Spain, was the second daughter
of Philip II. She was the Gouvernante of the Low Countries; and although
no longer either young or handsome, she possessed an extraordinary
influence over her royal father, who was tenderly attached to her.

[33] Arabella Stuart, daughter of Charles, Earl of Lennox, the grandson
of Margaret of Scotland, sister to Henry VIII.

[34] Isabeau de Bavière, Queen of Charles VI.

[35] Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, second son of William, and of
Anne, the daughter of Maurice, Elector of Saxony.

[36] Marie de Medicis was the daughter of Francis, Grand Duke of
Tuscany, and of Jane, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary,
daughter of the Emperor Ferdinand.

[37] Louise-Marguerite de Lorraine was the daughter of Henri, Duc de
Guise, surnamed _le Balafré_, and of Catherine of Clèves, subsequently
Duchesse de Nemours. She was celebrated alike for her extreme beauty,
her brilliant wit, and her great intellect. She wrote admirably for that
age, and was the author of the _Histoire des Amours du Grand Alcandre_,
and of some _Court Chronicles_, which she published under the patronymic
of Dupilaust. Mademoiselle de Guise married François, Prince de Conti,
son of the celebrated Louis, Prince de Condé, who was killed at Jarnac.

[38] Catherine de Lorraine, daughter of Charles, Duc de Mayenne, and of
Henriette de Savoie-Villars, who became in February 1599 the wife of
Charles de Gonzague, Duc de Nevers, and subsequently Duke of Mantua. She
died on the 8th of March 1618, at the age of thirty-three years; and was
consequently, at the period referred to in the text, only seventeen
years old.

[39] Anne, daughter and heiress of Charles, last Duc d'Aumale, by whom
the duchy was transferred to the house of Savoy.

[40] Mademoiselle de Longueville was the sister of Henri d'Orléans,
first Duc de Longueville.

[41] Catherine de Rohan, second daughter of Réné II, Vicomte de Rohan,
and of Catherine, the daughter and heiress of Jean de Parthenay,
Seigneur de Soubise. When she had subsequently become the wife of the
Duc de Deux-Ponts, Henry IV was so enamoured of her as to make
dishonourable proposals, to which she replied by the memorable answer:
"I am too poor, Sire, to be your wife, and too well-born to become your
mistress."

[42] Diane de Luxembourg, who, in 1600-1, gave her hand to Louis de
Ploësqueler, Comte de Kerman, in Brittany.

[43] Mademoiselle de Guéménée was the daughter of Louis de Rohan, Prince
de Guéménée, first Duc de Montbazon.

[44] Sully, _Mém_. vol. iii. pp. 162-174.

[45] Denys de Marquemont, Archbishop of Lyons, and subsequently cardinal
(1626). He did not, however, long enjoy this dignity, to obtain which he
had exerted all his energies, as he died at the close of the same year.
He was a truckling politician, and an ambitious priest.

[46] Arnaud d'Ossat was born in 1536 at Cassagnaberre, a small village
of Armagnac, near Auch. His parents lived in great indigence during his
infancy, and at nine years of age he became an orphan, totally
destitute. He was placed as an attendant about the person of a young
gentleman of family, whose studies he shared with such success that,
from the fellow-student of his patron, he became his tutor. After some
time he accompanied his employer to Paris, where by persevering industry
he completed his education, and was enabled to give lessons in
philosophy and rhetoric. He then proceeded to Bourges, where he studied
legal jurisprudence under the famous Cujas. Paul de Foix, Archbishop of
Toulouse, when about to proceed as ambassador to Rome, engaged him as
his secretary; and while there, he embraced the ecclesiastical
profession, and rendered himself perfectly conversant with the whole
policy of the Papal Court. Henri III bestowed upon him the Abbey of
Notre-Dame de Varennes, but, as his claim was contested, he immediately
resigned it. Subsequently he was raised to the bishopric of Rennes, was
created a cardinal in 1598, and some time afterwards was appointed to
the see of Bayeux. His untiring devotion to the interests of France was
ultimately recognized by his elevation to the dignity of minister
under Henri IV.

[47] Jacques Davy Duperron was born at Berne in 1556, and being learned
in mathematics, Greek, Hebrew, and philosophy, he became a professor of
those sciences in Paris, where he obtained the appointment of reader to
Henri III. Having embraced the ecclesiastical profession, he received
from Henri IV (in 1591) the bishopric of Evreux, as a recompense for his
devotion to the interests of Gabrielle d'Estrées. It was Duperron who
obtained from the Pope the removal of the interdict fulminated against
France. He ultimately became a cardinal, and Archbishop of Sens, and
died in 1606.

[48] Henri de Luxembourg, Duc de Piney, was the descendant of the
celebrated Comte de Saint-Pol, and that branch of the family became
extinct in his person. He died in 1616.

[49] Nicolas Brulart, Seigneur de Sillery, was the elder son of Pierre
Brulart, president of the Court of Requests at Paris. He obtained the
office of court-councillor in 1573, and subsequently that of master of
the Court of Requests. Henry IV, after his accession to the throne of
France, appointed him ambassador to Switzerland; and on his return from
that country, made him sixth president, that dignity having become
vacant by the death of Jean Le Maître. In 1598 he was one of the
deputies by whom the peace of Vervins was concluded; and from thence he
proceeded to Brussels with the Duc de Biron, to be present when the
Archduke swore to the observance of the treaty. He next visited Italy as
ambassador extraordinary to the Pope, where he negotiated the marriage
of the King with Marie de Medicis. In 1604 Henri IV created in his
favour the office of keeper of the seals of France; and finally, on the
death of the Chancelier de Bellièvre, he became his successor.

[50] Sully, _Mém_. vol. iii. pp. 189, 190.

[51] "Comme s'il fût revenu d'extase," says Péréfixe, vol. ii. p. 300.

[52] In April 1599.

[53] Bernard de Montfaucon. _Les Monumens de la Monarchie Française_,
Paris, 1733, in folio, vol. v. p. 396.

[54] Horace del-Monte.

[55] Mézeray, vol. x. p. 123.

[56] Maintenon, _Mém_., Amsterdam, 1756, vol. ii. p. 115.

[57] Roger de St. Larry, Duc de Bellegarde, was the favourite of three
successive sovereigns. Henri III appointed him master of his wardrobe,
and subsequently first gentleman of the chamber, and grand equerry.
Henri IV made him a knight of his Orders in 1595; and ultimately Louis
XIII continued to him an equal amount of favour. The preservation of
Quilleboeuf, which he defended with great gallantry during the space of
three weeks, with only forty-five soldiers and ten nobles, against the
army of the Duc de Mayenne, acquired for him a renown which he never
afterwards forfeited.

[58] Henri, Comte, and subsequently Duc, de Lude, was the last male
representative of his family. He was appointed grand-master of the
artillery in 1669, and died without issue in 1685.

[59] Jean de St. Larry de Thermes, brother of the Duc d'Aiguillon.

[60] Jacques, Marquis de Castelnau, subsequently Marshal of France, who,
in 1658, commanded the left wing of the army at the battle of the Dunes,
and died the same year, at the early age of thirty-eight.

[61] François de Paule de Clermont, Marquis de Montglat, first maître
d'hôtel to the King.

[62] M. de Frontenac was one of the officers of Henry IV who, before his
accession to the throne of France (in 1576), had a quarrel with M. de
Rosny, during which he told him that if he were to pull his nose, he
could only draw out milk; a taunt to which the future minister replied
by an assurance that he felt strong enough to draw blood out of that of
his adversary with his sword. The peculiarity of this quarrel existed in
the fact that, although De Rosny was a Protestant, and Frontenac a
Catholic, M. de Turenne nevertheless espoused the cause of the latter;
upon which M. de Lavardin, a Catholic, declared himself ready to second
the arms of the adverse party.

[63] François, Baron de Bassompierre, was the son of Christophe de
Bassompierre and Louise de Radeval, and was born on the 12th of April
1579, at the château of Harouel, in Lorraine. He became at an early age
the intimate companion and favourite of Henri IV, by whom he was
appointed colonel-general of the Swiss troops. In the year 1603 he was
made Marshal of France, and obtained great influence over both Marie de
Medicis and her son Louis XIII. Richelieu, who became jealous of his
favour, caused him to be imprisoned in the Bastille in 1631, where he
remained for twelve years. He was an able diplomatist, a distinguished
general, and a polished, though dissolute, courtier. He acquitted
himself with great distinction in several sieges, and at his death,
which occurred in 1646, he bequeathed to posterity his personal memoirs,
which are among the most curious in the rich collections possessed by
his countrymen.

[64] Rambure, unpublished _Mém_., 1599, vol. i. pp. 151, 152.

[65] Catherine Henriette de Balzac d'Entragues, subsequently known as
the Marquise de Verneuil, was the elder daughter of the celebrated Marie
Touchet, who, after having been the mistress of Charles IX, became the
wife of François de Balzac, Seigneur d'Entragues, de Marcoussis and de
Malesherbes, Governor of Orleans, who was, in 1573, elected a knight of
St. Michael by Henri III. Henriette, as her name implies, was, together
with her two sisters, the issue of this marriage; while her half-brother
the Comte d'Auvergne, subsequently Duc d'Angoulême, was the son of
Charles IX.

[66] Saint - Edmé, _Amours et Galanteries des Rois de France_, Brussels,
vol. ii. pp. 199, 200.

[67] Louise Marguerite de Lorraine, the widow of Henri III, was the
elder daughter of Nicolas de Lorraine, Duc de Mercoeur, Comte de
Vaudemont, and of the Marquise d'Egmont, his first wife. Henri III
having seen her at Rheims, during his temporary residence in that city,
became enamoured of her person, and their marriage took place on the 5th
of February 1575. François de Luxembourg, of the House of Brienne, had
for some time paid his addresses to Mademoiselle de Lorraine, with the
hope and intention of making her his wife; a fact which the licentious
and frivolous King no sooner ascertained than he declared his
inclination to effect an alliance between the disappointed suitor and
his own mistress, Mademoiselle de Châteauneuf, for whom he was anxious
to provide through this medium. He consequently proposed the arrangement
to M. de Luxembourg on the day of his coronation, but received the cold
and firm reply that the Count felt himself bound to congratulate
Mademoiselle de Lorraine on her good fortune, since by changing her
lover she had also been enabled to increase her dignity; but that, as
regarded himself, since he could derive no benefit whatever from
becoming the husband of Mademoiselle de Châteauneuf, he begged that his
Majesty would excuse him from contracting such an alliance. The King,
however, declared that he would admit of no refusal, and insisted upon
his instant obedience; whereupon M. de Luxembourg demanded eight days to
make the necessary preparations, to which Henry demurred, and it was
finally arranged that he should be allowed three days for that purpose,
after which he was to hold himself prepared to obey the royal command.
These three days sufficed to enable the intended victim to make his
escape, and he accordingly left the kingdom. His sarcasm against herself
had so deeply irritated Queen Louise that after the death of her husband
she entreated Henri IV to revenge her injured dignity upon her former
suitor, but the monarch declined to aid in any further persecution of
the unfortunate young noble. The married life of the Queen was a most
unhappy one, and appeared to have entirely disgusted her with the world,
as on becoming a widow she passed two years of seclusion and mourning at
Chenonceaux, whence she removed to the château of Moulins, where she
devoted herself to the most austere duties of religion. In her will, by
which she bequeathed nearly the whole of her property to the Church and
to charitable purposes, she left a large sum for the erection of a
Capuchin convent at Bourges, where she desired that she might be
ultimately interred; but by command of Henri IV the convent was built in
the Faubourg St. Honoré, at Paris, and her body deposited in the chapel.

[68] Sully, _Mém_. vol. iii. p. 312.

[69] Saint-Edmé, p. 200.

[70] Equal, in the present day, to nearly five hundred thousand livres.

[71] Charles de Valois, the son of Charles IX and Marie Touchet, Dame de
Belleville. He was subsequently Duc d'Angoulême and Grand Prior of
France. He died in 1639.

[72] Dreux du Radier, vol. vi. pp. 62, 63. Saint-Edmé, pp. 201, 202.

[73] Sully, _Mém_. vol. iii. pp. 313, 314.

[74] Sully, _Mém_. vol. iii. p. 315.

[75] Mézeray, vol. x. p. 124.



CHAPTER II

1599

Sully resolves to hasten the King's marriage - Ambassadors are sent to
Florence to demand the hand of Marie de Medicis - The marriage articles
are signed - Indignation of Madame de Verneuil - Revenge of her brother,
the Comte d'Auvergne - The Duke of Savoy visits Paris - His reception - His
profusion - His mission fails - Court poets - Marie de Medicis is married
to the French King by procuration at Florence - Hostile demonstrations of
the Duke of Savoy - Infatuation of the King for the favourite - Her
pretensions - A well-timed tempest - Diplomacy of Madame de Verneuil - Her
reception at Lyons - War in Savoy - Marie de Medicis lands at
Marseilles - Madame de Verneuil returns to Paris - The Duc de Bellegarde
is proxy for the King at Florence - He escorts the new Queen to
France - Portrait of Marie de Medicis - Her state-galley - Her voyage - Her
reception - Henry reaches Lyons - The royal interview - Public
rejoicings - The royal marriage - Henry returns to Paris - The Queen's
jealousy is awakened - Profligate habits of the King - Marie's Italian
attendants embitter her mind against her husband - Marie reaches
Paris - She holds a court - Presentation of Madame de Verneuil to the
Queen - Indignation of Marie - Disgrace of the Duchesse de
Nemours - Self-possession of Madame de Verneuil - Marie takes possession
of the Louvre - She adopts the French costume - Splendour of the
Court - Festival given by Sully - A practical joke - Court
festivities - Excessive gambling - Royal play debts - The Queen's
favourite - A petticoat intrigue - Leonora Galigaï appointed Mistress of
the Robes - Reconciliation between the Queen and Madame de Verneuil - The
King gives the Marquise a suite of apartments in the Louvre - Her rivalry
of the Queen - Indignation of Marie - Domestic dissensions - The Queen and
the favourite are again at war - Madame de Verneuil effects the marriage
of Concini and Leonora - Gratitude of the Queen - Birth of the
Dauphin - Joy of the King - Public rejoicings - Birth of Anne of
Austria - Superstitions of the period - Belief in astrology - A royal
anecdote - Horoscope of the Dauphin - The sovereign and the surgeon - Birth
of Gaston Henri, son of Madame de Verneuil - Public entry of the Dauphin
into Paris - Exultation of Marie de Medicis.

The infatuation of the King for his new favourite decided M. de Sully to
hasten by every means in his power the marriage of the sovereign with
some European princess worthy to share his throne, and he accordingly
instructed the royal agents at Rome to demand forthwith the hand of
Marie de Medicis for the French monarch; while Henry, absorbed in his
passion, permitted him to act as he saw fit, offering neither assistance
nor impediment to a negotiation on which his domestic happiness was in
future to depend. Nor was it until the Duke urged upon him the necessity
of selecting such of his nobility as it was his pleasure to entrust with
the management of the affair in conjunction with the ambassador whom the
Grand Duke, her uncle, was about to despatch to Paris, that, by dint of
importunity, he was induced to name M. de Sully himself, the Constable,
the Chancellor, and the Sieur de Villeroy,[76] whose son, M.
d'Alincourt, had previously been sent to Rome to offer the
acknowledgments of Henry to his Holiness for the dissolution of his
marriage with Queen Marguerite, and to apprise him of that which he was
desirous to contract with Marie de Medicis. This duty performed, M.
d'Alincourt solicited the permission of the Pope to accompany Sillery to
Florence to pay his respects to the Princess and to negotiate the
alliance; and having obtained the required sanction, the two nobles set
forth upon their embassy, quite unaware that the preliminaries were
already nearly concluded.[77] So determined, indeed, had been the
minister that no time should be afforded to the King to redeem the
pledge which he had given to the favourite that Joannini, the agent of
the Grand Duke, had not been many days in Paris before the articles were
drawn up and signed on both sides, and Sully was commissioned by the
other contracting parties to communicate the termination of their
labours to his royal master. The account given by the minister of this
interview is highly characteristic.

"He had not," says the chronicler, "anticipated such expedition; and
thus when I had answered his question of where I had come from by 'We
come, Sire, from marrying you,' the Prince remained for a quarter of an
hour as though he had been stricken by thunder; then he began to pace
the chamber with long strides, biting his nails, scratching his head,
and absorbed by reflections which agitated him so violently that he was
a considerable time before he was able to speak to me. I entertained no
doubt that all my previous representations were now producing their
effect; and so it proved, for ultimately recovering himself like a man
who has at length taken a decided resolution: 'Well,' said he, striking
his hands together, 'well, then, so be it; there is no alternative,
since for the good of my kingdom you say that I must marry.'" [78]

Such was the ungracious acceptance of the haughty Florentine Princess at
the hands of her future bridegroom.

The indignation of Madame de Verneuil was unbounded when she
ascertained that she had for ever lost all hope of ascending the throne
of France; but it is nevertheless certain that she was enabled to
dissimulate sufficiently to render her society indispensable to the
King, and to accept with a good grace the equivocal honours of her
position. Her brother, the Comte d'Auvergne, was, however, less
placable; he had always affected to believe in the validity of her claim
upon the King, and his naturally restless and dissatisfied character led
him, under the pretext of avenging her wrongs, to enter into a
conspiracy which had recently been formed against the person of the
King, whom certain malcontents sought to deprive alike of his throne and
of his liberty, and to supersede in his sovereignty by one of the
Princes of the Blood.[79] Among others, the Duke of Savoy,[80] who,
during the troubles of 1588, had taken possession of the marquisate of
Saluzzo, which he refused to restore, was said to be implicated in this
plot; and he was the more strongly suspected as it had been ascertained
that he had constant communication with several individuals at the
French Court, and that he had tampered with certain of the nobles;
among others, with the Duc de Biron.[81] He had also succeeded in
attaching to his interests the Duchesse de Beaufort; and had, during her
lifetime, proposed to the King to visit France in person in order to
effect a compromise, which he anticipated that, under her auspices, he
should be enabled to conclude with advantage to himself. Henry had
accepted the proposition; and although after the death of the Duchess,
M. de Savoie endeavoured to rescind his resolution, he found himself so
far compromised that he was compelled to carry out his original purpose;
and accordingly, on the 1st of December, he left Chambéry with a train
of twelve hundred horse, accompanied by the greater part of his
ministers, his nobles, and the most magnificent members of his
Court.[82] As the French King had issued orders that he should, in every
city through which he passed, be received with regal honours, he did not
reach Fontainebleau until the 14th of the same month, where he arrived
just as his royal host was mounting his horse to meet him. As he
approached Henry he bent his knee, but the King immediately raised and
embraced him with great cordiality; and during the seven days which he



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