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people, and prevails with them to demand unani-
mously the destruction of the Prime Minister, jointly
with the delivery of the princes,"

On hearinor of this, Mazarin took fright and left
Paris. Shortly afterwards the Queen determined to go
after him ; but all the rates of Paris were gfuarded, and
she found herself practically a prisoner in the Palais
Royal. The surveillance kept over her by order of
the Duke of Orleans was so strict and so annoying,
that, according to Omer Talon, neither she nor the
little King went outside the Palais Royal from the
loth of February till the 7th of March.

The aristocratic Frondeurs now publicly insulted
men of their own position who were known to be loyal
to the Queen. A party of noblemen, attached to the
Court, were having supper in a garden, when Beaufort,
who was followed by a strong body of his friends, all
armed, came in, went up to their table, and seizing
one corner of the table-cloth, pulled it until all the
plates and dishes fell upon their laps, bespattering their
fine clothes with sauces and gravy ; a very sad affair
if they were wearing the sky-blue or primrose-coloured
satin breeches, trimmed with lace, which are to be
seen in the pictures of that period. As to the Parisian
mob, it did not even respect ladies connected with the

i65i ^T. 40] OBLIVION AND PARDON 149

Court. Madame de Motteville and her sister were
chased down the Rue St. Honore ; and when they
went for refuge into the Church of St. Roch and knelt
before the high altar, although high mass was being
sung there, the howling crowd followed them and
surrounded them, calling them Mazarines and declaring
that they ought to be killed It was with difficulty
that the cure was able to rescue the ladies from the
hands of the mob, by a private door.

Such pressure was put upon the Queen that she
was obliged to consent to the liberation of the princes
without consulting Mazarin. But news of her consent
was privately conveyed to him, and he instantly set out
for Havre, where the princes were at that time im-
prisoned, with the object of liberating them himself,
hoping by that means to win their gratitude and favour.
In this hope he was totally disappointed, although, says
Mademoiselle de Montpensier, he went so far as to kiss
Conde's boot ; and he found it prudent to leave France
and retire to a place near Cologne, while the three
princes went in triumph to Paris.

In the spring of 1651 the Queen made an "act of
oblivion and general pardon, with regard to all who
took up arms for the three princes ". The Crown tried
to obtain popularity by distributing dukedoms and
other titles, and it awarded "lands and lordships, with
all their appurtenances, dependencies, and appendages
to the Duke of Bouillon". Turenne, also, was to
be pardoned and to be welcomed to Paris. But he
felt that he could not, "with any decency, leave the


Spaniards," until "France had offered Spain such
conditions of peace as were just and reasonable".
Conditions of such a nature Turenne succeeded in
persuading the Court to offer to Spain ; but, instead of
accepting them, Spain, on her own part, was so unjust
and so unreasonable that Turenne, feeling he had done
all that in honour could be expected of him for the
Spaniards, thanked them for the help they had given
him in his recent batdes, bid them farewell and went to
the French Court, at which he was cordially welcomed.
Everybody was to be forgiven and there was to be
peace for evermore. The Queen was to welcome her
recent rebels in person. Madame de Motteville was an
eyewitness of these gracious receptions. The Duke
of Longueville "did not have the boldness to speak at
all. He turned pale, then red, and that was the whole
of his harangue." As to his wife's reception, "the
whole visit, so stifBy carried on, only served to increase
the Queen's resentment against the princess," and
"confirmed Madame de Longueville in the evil inten-
tions she retained in her heart against the Queen".
When the Duke of Chevreuse, who was eighty years
old and very deaf, told the Queen that his daughter
had improved in beauty, she "shouted with all her
might that he had too much love for beauty and that
he ought to begin to love heaven and virtue." When
he asked permission for his wife to remain in Paris,
the Queen replied "that she could not allow her to
remain in a city still full of rebellion ". The Queen
received Turenne's brother "rather coldly". When


the Duke of Beaufort had arrived in Paris, he "fell
ill of so violent a colic" that he imagined he had
been purposely poisoned. The disloyal people of Paris
went to gaze upon their hero in his agony, "and the
crowd was so great that it was necessary to open all
the doors of his chamber, raise the curtains of his bed,
and expose him to the sight of the populace. This
great concourse, and the flattery of a few friends, made
him finally irreconcilable." The hitherto loyal Conde,
on the other hand, was listenintr to the sugfeestions of
his sister and his family that he should enter into "their
schemes for the purpose of making himself master of
the Court, instead of being, as they said he was, the
cardinal's valet ". A peace of this kind, forgiveness of
this kind, and loyalty of this kind, was not likely to be
very lasting.

Conde, who never lost an opportunity of increasing
his own power and properties, least of all by want of
asking, suggested to Turenne that now was his oppor-
tunity also for asking favours from the Court; but
Turenne replied that the only favour he desired was
that his troops should have comfortable quarters.

Turenne, indeed, never asked favours for himself,
or was fond of asking them for others. When those
serving him did their duty he was pleased ; but he did
not invariably place the same value upon their services
that they did ; and he was diametrically opposed to that
— to use a word of modern slang — "teapotting" spirit
which gives honours and rewards for simple fulfilments
of duty. " Improving with pleasure," says St. Evre-


mond, " the merits of the most submissive, he looks
with displeasure on those industrious persons who
endeavour to gain a reputation under him, and to be
raised by the Ministry."

The Queen, being afraid that the projected marri-
age between the Prince of Conti ^ and Mademoiselle


de Chevreuse might increase the power of the Fronde,
persuaded Conti's brother, the Prince of Conde, by
bribing him with the government of Guienne, to have
the engagement broken off This infuriated De Retz,
who was a great friend of Madame de Chevreuse, a
lady described by Madame de Montbazon as "an old
woman more mischievous than the devil," with a
daughter "yet sillier in proportion " ; and he bitterly
accused Conde of breaking his promise. "The Queen,
who hated them both," says Ramsay, "hoped that their
feuds and divisions would prove their mutual ruin."
Conde now aspired to step into the place of Mazarin
and, like him, to act' as sole counsellor to the King.
The Queen, who was longing to get Mazarin restored
to power, refused with horror an offer of Hocquin-
court's to assassinate Conde, and consulted De Retz,
who advised the milder measure of putting a stop to
his pretensions by arresting him a second time.

1 Of the Prince of Conti De Retz says : " This head of a party
was a cypher that only multiplied because he was a prince of the
blood. As for his private character, maHce did in him what
weakness did in the Duke of Orleans. It drowned all the other
qualities, which besides were but mean, and had all of them a
mixture too of weakness."

1651 ^T. 40] INTRIGUES 153

Conde heard of this sinister advice, withdrew from
Paris in the greatest indignation, and determined to
make himself master of the Court and the King's
person by force of arms. To this end he negotiated
with the Spaniards, and tried to obtain the support of
all the dukes who had joined the Fronde. Some of the
latter did not rally to his assistance very readily, and,
at the head of some raw levies, he was discouraged
by receiving a check from the troops of Hocquincourt.
Then he tried to come to terms with the Queen and
even went so far as to give her a promise to offer no
opposition to the return of the cardinal. The Queen
then made a cat's paw of Conde, by seizing this oppor-
tunity as an excuse to recall Mazarin ; but, shortly after
getting her way on this point, she broke off her negotia-.
tions with the prince.

Although there was nominally peace, many of the
aristocratic Frondeurs were intriguing and caballing;
and, between these and the Court party, others were
hesitating or wavering. Some of the late leaders of
the Fronde were in favour of making a real and lasting
reconciliation, or, as it was then termed, "accommoda-
tion," with the Court, and those who desired the con-
trary were much divided in opinion as to the most
judicious course to be followed. It may be sufficient
to quote De Retz's observations that " M. de Bouillon,
who was in no manner pleased either with the prince
or with the Court, did not help to fix the resolutions of
the party" — the New Fronde — "because the difficuky
of keeping fair with both sides confounded at noon the


views he had had two hours before, either for or
against an accommodation. M. de Turenne, who
was not better pleased with either side than his brother,
was not so decisive in state affairs as in war." As for
Turenne's friend, Madame de Longueville, she "was
sometimes for an accommodation because La Roche-
foucauld desired it ; at other times she was for a rupture
because it would keep her from her husband, whom
she never loved".

Direct contemporary evidence is always worthy of
consideration, and De Retz shall now be called in as a
witness concerning an obscure action of Turenne's.
Upon the credibility of De Retz, who is often quoted
in these pages rather as a gossip than as a witness, no
opinion shall be expressed.

" Immediately after the prince's [Conde's] leaving
Paris and going to St. Maur, Messieurs de Bouillon
and De Turenne waited upon his Highness there,
offering him their service publicly, and in the same
manner with those that seemed the most deeply en-
gaged with him. The prince has told me since, that
the day before he left St. Maur to go to Trie, after
which he returned no more to Court, Mr. de Turenne
was still so positive in promising to serve him, that he
even accepted of a writing signed with his own hand,
whereby the prince ordered La Moussaye, who
governed for him in Stenay, to put that place into Mr.
de Turenne's hands ; and that the first news he [Conde]
heard of him [Turenne] afterwards, was that he was
going to command the King's army. I must desire


you to observe that of all the men whom I have known,
the prince was the least capable of a premeditated im-
posture. I never durst bring Mr. de Turenne to ex-
plain me this to the bottom ; but what I could indirectly
draw out of him is, that as soon as the prince was set
at liberty, he had all imaginable reasons to be ill pleased
with his manner of proceeding in respect to him : that
he [Conde] preferred before him, in everything and in
all manner of ways, Mr. de Nemours, who came not
nigh to him in merit, and who besides had not rendered
him near so many services, for which reason he thought
himself free from his first engagements to him. I must
likewise desire you to observe that I never knew any-
body less capable of a base thing than Mr. de Turenne.
Let us therefore once more acknowledge that there are
points in history inconceivable even to those that have
been nearest to the facts."

When Turenne and Bouillon, says De Retz, "had
left the prince's party, they lived very retired in Paris,
and except their particular friends, they were seen
by few persons ". De Retz was one of these and
he tried to gain them over to the interests of the
Duke of Orleans; but Turenne's utter contempt for
Orleans, and the dislike of Orleans to Bouillon,
stood much in the way of such an arrangement.
Meanwhile an emissary named Berthet was sent to
Paris for the express purpose of winning Turenne
and Bouillon to the interests of Mazarin. Their meet-
ing was to be managed by the Princess Palatine, of
whom De Retz once said he did "not believe that


Queen Elizabeth of England had greater capacity than
she ".

The princess invited Turenne, Bouillon and De
Retz to "her house betwixt twelve and one at night,
where," says De Retz, "she presented Berthet to us, who
. , . told us that the Queen, who was resolved to recall
the cardinal, was unwilling to execute her resolution with-
out hearing what we had to say to it. Mr. de Bouillon,
who swore to me an hour after in the presence of the
Princess Palatine that he had not to that day received
any proposals from the Court, at least in form, seemed
to me embarrassed ; but he got off in his usual manner,
that is, as a man that knew better than anybody I have
ever seen how to speak the most when he said the
least. Ml", de Turenne, who was more laconic, and
in truth much more frank, turned towards me and
said : ' I believe that Mr. Berthet pulls by the sleeve
all those he meets in the streets, to ask their opinion
about the return of the cardinal, for I do not see any
more reason to ask it of my brother and me, than of
all those who have passed this day over the Pontneuf '.
. . . Nothing was more ridiculous than to see a little
insignificant fellow . . . take it upon him to persuade
two of the greatest men in the world to commit the
greatest piece of folly imaginable, which was to declare
for the Court, before they had taken any measures there.
They would not therefore hearken to what Berthet said
to them at that time, but they entered soon after into
sure measures with the Court. Mr. de Turenne had
the promise of commanding the armies, and Mr. de

i652 ^T. 41] ESCAPES ARREST 157

Bouillon had assurances given him of the immense
recompense which he has since had in lieu of Sedan."

When the Duke of Orleans, who was one of the
leaders of the New Fronde, heard that Turenne and
Bouillon were about to leave Paris to serve the King,
he gave orders, as Governor of Paris, that they should
both be arrested, and he told De Retz what he was
doino". Althousfh De Retz was of the Duke of
Orleans' party and Turenne had now become a
political enemy, De Retz still had a regard for him
as a personal friend ; and he saved both Turenne
and Bouillon from arrest by contriving to delay the
execution of the order and by giving them immediate

In 1652 Turenne and Bouillon were loyal to
the King and in fcwour both with the Queen and with
Mazarin, who had now returned to the French Court,
in defiance of the offer by the French Parliament of
50,000 crowns for his head. The cardinal once more
acted as supreme ruler in France; but Louis XIV.,
although only fourteen years old, had come of age
and nominally enjoyed the full powers of a reigning

The King's army was placed under the command
of Turenne, in conjunction with the Marquis of Hoc-
quincourt ; for Mazarin would not trust it entirely to
Turenne after his recent disloyalty. Its total strength,
including a force of 5,000 men brought from Cham-
pagne by Mazarin, did not exceed 9,000, the greater
proportion of which was cavalry. The soldiers of


the different contingents were distinguished by their
scarves : the King's own troops wore white scarves and
the levies recruited by Mazarin wore green scarves,
while their enemies, the troops of Conde, wore scarves
of a pale brownish colour, known by the name of
Isabel.^ The royal army, the Court, and Mazarin
were at Poictiers, nearly 200 miles to the south-west
of Paris, while the army of the Fronde, which numbered
14,000, was stationed between Montargisand the Loire,
under the Duke of Beaufort, and Beaufort's brother-in-
law, the Duke of Nemours. Conde had gone to the
borders of Spain to negotiate with the Spaniards and
to raise followers in Guienne.

■ Mazarin wished to remove the Court to Gien, a
town about forty miles to the east of Orleans. For
this purpose both Court and army went to Tours and
up the Loire, where they were received into every
city, except Orleans, with open gates.

Beaufort formed a plan for crossing the Loire, by
the bridge of Jargeau," a few miles to the east of Or-
leans, and seizing the person of the King, as well as

1 Not long before the time of which we are writing, the
Spaniards were besieging Ostend, and the Archduchess Isabel,
wishing to encourage the troops, and thinking that the city would
almost immediately surrender, made a vow not to change her linen
until she entered it. The siege lasted three years longer and mean-
while her linen, as might indeed be expected, lost its whiteness.
To comfort her, her ladies-in-waiting had their linen dyed to match
hers, and called the colour Isabel.

^ It was at Jargeau that Joan of Arc's troops took Suffolk
prisoner, shortly after the siege of Orleans.

i652 JET. 41] GERGEAU i59

those of the Queen and the cardinal, as they passed
along the road towards Gien. This plot would prob-
ably have succeeded had not Turenne, suspicious of
this bridge, ridden hurriedly to it, with a couple of
hundred horse and, with that small force, stopped four
regiments of Beaufort's cavalry as they were in the
act of crossing it. Hastily forming a barricade on the
south side of the bridge, Turenne held the position
against almost overwhelming numbers for about a
couple of hours, when his own troops came to his
rescue. His defence was the more meritorious be-
cause, as he himself says, "the enemy's cannon all the
while annoyed us very much". In a letter immedi-
ately afterwards Turenne modestly wrote in a post-
script : " Something has happened at Gergeau, but 'tis
of no great consequence ". The Queen, however, said
in the presence of the whole Court that Turenne "had
saved the kingdom," when that "something hap-
pened ".

A peculiar condition in the rival armies, at this
time, was that on neither side were the generals on
good terms with each other. Hocquincourt was
jealous of Turenne on the one side, and Beaufort and
Nemours were actually quarrelling on the other.
Whether Turenne was enabled to foster this quarrel
does not appear ; but one of the maxims attributed
to him is : " If you have to do with a confederate
army, endeavour to break down the confederacy by
raising discord and jealousy amongst their generals".

It was the month of April, and it was impossible


to find provender for the horses at Gien. The King's
army, therefore, leaving the Court at Gien, moved
a little to the west, Turenne going to Briare and
Hocquincourt to Bleneau, both keeping only their
infantry with them, and allowing their cavalry to
disperse in search of forage.

One day Turenne went to dine with Hocquin-
court, and, having observed the disposition of his men,
told him "that he thought them very much exposed,
and therefore advised him to contract them ", Hoc-
quincourt was annoyed at being offered advice by
Turenne, and did not act upon it.

Having returned to his own quarters at Briare,
Turenne heard, the next evening, that the rebel army
had attacked Hocquincourt's camp and routed it.
Without losing a moment, Turenne ordered his in-
fantry to prepare to start at once to the relief of Hoc-
quincourt, and he sent officers to bring on the cavalry,
which was forao-ing' in the neiohbourino" villaoes.
This time he had not allowed any of his horse to
wander more than three miles away in search of
provender. He marched without a guide, although
the night was very dark. Presently he saw flames
rising in the distance, in the direction of Hocquin-
court's camp. There was no longer any doubt about
Hocquincourt's disaster, and Turenne, well aware of
the feebleness of both Beaufort and Nemours, quietly
remarked that the Prince of Conde must have ar-

This turned out to be true. Cond6, having heard

i652 ^T. 41] BLENEAU 161

of the quarrelling between Beaufort and Nemours, had
secretly left Guienne, accompanied only by his son
and Rochefoucauld, and had ridden some two hundred
miles, past hostile fortresses, through hostile cities, and
right across a hostile country. After extraordinary ad-
ventures and, as Napoleon says, "after escaping a thou-
sand dangers," he had reached Beaufort's army, just in
time to take advantage of Hocquincourt's careless dis-
position of his troops, at Bleneau, where he put him to
flight and sacked his camp. By this victory, with his
great superiority in numbers, Conde had every hope of
seizing not only the person of the young King, but
also that of his hated enemy, Mazarin.

Perceiving that their commander was advancing
against Cond^, Turenne's generals pointed out the
dangers of proceeding against an enemy largely out-
numbering him and flushed with victory; and they
urged him to retire upon Gien, for the protection of
the King and the Court. But, the evening before,
Turenne had noticed an advantageous position, which
he determined to occupy, and, in spite of their remon-
strances, he went on silendy and deep in thought.
"Never," he afterwards said, "did such a multitude
of dreadful things crowd into the imagination of one
man, as filled mine at that time. I had not long been
on good terms with the Court ; and had but lately
received command of the army which was to defend
it. That man who has distinguished himself ever so
little is sure of being envied, and of raising enemies.
Some I had, who declared in all places that I still


carried on a secret correspondence with the prince
[Conde]. The cardinal did not believe it ; but he, per-
haps, the very first misfortune which should have befallen
me, would have entertained the same suspicion. Besides,
I knew Marshal d'Hocquincourt, who would certainly
have said that I exposed him, and [that I had] not brought
him the least succour. These were very troublesome
thoughts, and the worst of all was, the prince was ad-
vancing towards me, victorious and with a superior
force. "^

Turenne had good reason for thinking that Hoc-
quincourt would say that he exposed him and brought
him no succour if he did not go to his assistance. In
spite of all, as will now be seen, that Turenne did to
help him, two years later St. Evremond heard him say :
" I remember well that Turenne suffered me to be
beaten by the Prince of Conde [at Bleneau] when the
Court was at Gien ; perhaps I may find an opportunity
to be even with him ".-

Turenne's army of 4,000 men, and Conde's army
of 14,000, passed each other during the night with-
out being aware of it ; but, in the morning, they both
discovered their propinquity by the sound of each
other's drums and bugles. Turenne, however, had
reached his desired position. He had in front of him
a narrow defile, with a wood on the right, and a lake
and a bog on the left. Immediately opposite this defile

'^ Histoire (f Henri de la Tour (TAuverne, torn, ii., pp. 204,

- Works of St. Evremond, vol. i., p. 182.

i652 ^T. 41] A TRAP 163

he concealed a strong battery of guns. Contrary to the
advice of his staff, Turenne did not place any infantry
in the wood, because he feared that, if he did so,
Conde's infantry might attack them and bring on a
o-eneral encraaement, in which, with his inferior numbers,
he would certainly have been beaten. Meanwhile,
Conde was advancing towards this narrow passage,
which lay on his direct road to Gien.

Having drawn up his troops about a musket-shot
from the wood, Turenne rode through the defile with
ten squadrons and, as soon as Conde could see him, he
led his men back again, as if retreating in alarm.
Conde was not to be so easily deceived, especially
when he observed Turenne's forces stationary on
reaching the opposite end of the pass ; and he halted
and hesitated for some time at his own end of it. In
order to induce Conde to advance, Turenne then
turned away from the defile with his troops, as if in-
tending to retreat. On seeing this, Conde sent fifteen
or twenty squadrons into it. As soon as some of
these squadrons had got through it, Turenne wheeled
about and attacked them with his whole force, causing
them to hurry back into the narrow passage in con-
fusion. At the moment when the defile was thus over-
crowded, Turenne unmasked his battery of artillery,

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