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for believing, were already growing heartily sick of
Conde and his Spanish, or semi-Spanish, army. He
besought the Queen and the cardinal on no account to
appear to be retreating, much less flying, but simply to
take the drive of fifteen miles to Pontoise, where he
would have a strong force ready and would undertake
to protect the Court. This advice was fortunately

The army of Turenne lay between the Court and
Paris ; and the rival armies were anxiously watching
each other. Even when ready to fly at each other's
throats, they could be courteous. While Mademoiselle
was visiting the rebel army at Charenton, it was agreed
between Conde and Turenne that hostilities should be
suspended. In a letter to Conde, she says Turenne
and De la Ferte "presented me with many fine compli-
ments, and declared that I was to command, and to
consider myself mistress of their army as well as of
our own ".

Shortly afterwards Turenne advanced to oppose
13 *


the Spanish army with a force of less than half its
number. This bold step succeeded. The Archduke
contented himself with a victory over the Duke of
Elboeuf and 600 men, and retired into Flanders,
leaving Lorraine, with his army of 10,000 men, to
winter in Champagne. Turenne then retired to-
wards Paris and encamped his army four miles to the
north-east of St. Denis.

Bad news then reached Turenne in a report of the
serious illness of his brother, to whom he was de-
votedly attached, and, a few days later, that illness
terminated fatally. Death came to the Duke of
Bouillon at a moment when he was in high favour at
Court and when his opinion was much consulted and
carried great weight with the Queen and even with
the cardinal. Had he lived lono-er, he miorht have
become one of the Queen's principal counsellors ; it
was even thought by some that he might have become
a rival to Mazarin himself. He was a man of great
determination of character, even to severity. When
he was in command of the troops of the Fronde at
Bordeaux, he was informed that the royal army had
taken a small neighbouring fort, and that, by Mazarin's
orders, the commandant of the fort had been hanged
as a rebel. Without a moment's hesitation, Bouillon
sent for a captain of the Novailles regiment, who had
been taken prisoner some time previously. He was
found playing a game of cards with some ladies, and
he went to Bouillon without the slightest suspicion of
any impending evil. Bouillon ordered him to be

i652 ^T. 41] DEATH OF BOUILLON 197

instantly hanged and that his body should be fastened
on the wall of the city as a reprisal. Even in those
days many of his friends considered his conduct cruel
in this case.

Shordy after the death of Bouillon, negotiations
took place between the Court and the princes. The
latter hinted that if Mazarin could be banished all
would be well. In the hope of thus pacifying the
people of Paris, Mazarin left the Court, ostensibly for
ever, and retired to Bouillon, on the Belgian frontier.
The King then opened a Parliament at Pontoise ; so
there was now one Parliament at Pontoise and another
in Paris. Underhand negotiations were being attempted
in all directions. Each side was watching for an oppor-
tunity of attacking the other ; yet everybody was tired
of fighting. The leading politicians were all prepared
to throw over their allies and their friends, if they
could gain anything by so doing.

Now that the Spanish army was withdrawn to
Flanders, Turenne supposed that Lorraine would not
renew hostile operations until the spring. He was
therefore surprised on receiving information that that
uncertain Duke was marching towards Paris. At
once Turenne started to meet him and, on the 4th of
September, he had reasons for believing that Lorraine
was advancing to join his forces with those of Conde,
which Turenne learned were either leaving, or had al-
ready left, Paris. Suspecting that a juncture would
be attempted at Villeneuve St. Georges — a place with
which we are already familiar — he marched thither


in order to prevent it, and arrived just at the time
when the quarter-masters of Conde and of Lorraine
were beginning to mark out the lines for the encamp-
ment of their approaching armies.

Although Turenne thus put a stop to the junction
of his two enemies at the particular spot which they
had selected, those generals successfully acccomplished
their purpose at a place about a mile and a half to the
west of it, near the small castle of Ablon.

In some ways Turenne's position was a strong one.
He had a wood on his right, the town and the river
Seine on his left, and the river Yerre at his rear, while
in his front stood five redoubts, which had been made
by Lorraine on the memorable occasion when Turenne
had forced him into a futile promise never again to
make war aoainst the Kinor of France. All that
Turenne accordingly had to do, to fortify his position,
was to continue the lines between these five redoubts.

Notwithstanding these advantages, Turenne was
now in peril. As he had left a strong force to protect
the Court at Pontoise, the army he now had with him
was scarcely more than half the strength of the com-
bined armies of Lorraine and Conde ; having made a
forced march, in the hope of preventing the juncture
of Conde with Lorraine, he had brought very few
stores with him ; and he was greatly disappointed at
finding scarcely any provisions in Villeneuve St.
Georges either for man or for beast. On the very
night of their arrival some of the troopers were reduced
to feeding their horses on vine leaves. Nor was their

i652 .^T. 41] VILLENEUVE ST. GEORGES 199

unhappy condition unknown to Conde, who, although
so much stronger in numbers, determined, instead of
attacking Turenne, to keep him fast in what the Duke
of York calls his "narrow nooke " and thus starve him

Starved out he undoubtedly would have been,
had he not had the good fortune to find four or five
large boats, by the use of which and every gate to
be found in the town, together with the timber of
some of the houses which he had pulled down to
supply it, he contrived to make a bridge across the

Fortunately, some of his cavalry which had been at
Montrond came to Corbeil, about seven miles higher
up the river. These Turenne ordered to remain there
and to protect his men when they went out on foraging
expeditions. Conde's army had at first lain between
Villeneuve and Corbeil. Had it remained in that
position Turenne says his own army would have been
starved out of its camp in four days. As it was, his
foraging expeditions, during the six weeks he remained
at Villeneuve, were conducted under very great dififi-
culties, and the Duke of York even goes to the length
of saying : " It may with truth be said that the French
Monarchy was reduced to that extremity, that its
preservation depended on each of these convoys, the
loss of but one being capable of inducing that of the
whole army".

Napoleon finds fault with both Turenne and
Conde for their conduct at this juncture. " Turenne 's


stay at the camp of Villeneuve St. Georges during six
weeks, in presence of two armies superior in strength,"
says he, "was very hazardous. What motive could
have induced him to incur so much danger? His
camp was not too strong to be forced, and such an
occurrence would have been his ruin, and that of the
Court party. His situation appeared so critical that
it retarded the submission of Paris."

Of Conde he says: "After his junction with the
Duke of Lorraine, as he had such a superiority in
strength, it is not easy to understand why he was
satisfied with entrenching^ himself on the heights of
Limeil — a place within cannon-shot of Turenne's out-
posts — instead of attacking the King's army : he might
have had as much artillery as he pleased, being so
near Paris ; and nothing but a decisive victory could,
under the circumstances, retrieve his affairs and main-
tain his party in the capital. Conde, on that day, was
not sufficiently daring.''

Towards the end of September Turenne prepared
to leave his camp. The reason he himself gives for
doing so is this: "At last, the roads grew so bad by
the continual rains, that the horses could not go so far
for their forage as before : so that we were obliged to
think of breaking up". But the Duke of York adds
another reason. He says that the Parisians were
"discontented that the princes kept up the war at
their gates " ; for Conde's army, after having been, as

^ The Duke of York says that Conde made these entrench-
ments very deep.

i652 ^T. 41] ESCAPE 201

we saw, for some time in Paris, now kept foraging
between Villeneuve and Paris, as also did Lorraine's.
The Parisians, heartily tired of all this, were in treaty
with the Court. "And now," says the Duke of York,
"a negotiation being on a good footing, the Court
sent to know of the two Generals " — -Turenne and La
Ferte — "whether they believed it practicable to dis-
engage the army, from the post it was in without
running any hazard, and to find means to Join the
King, in order to favour the treaty which was on the

On the 4th of October, as soon as it was dark, that
is to say at about half-past six or seven o'clock,
Turenne took his army across the Yerre, the small river
which lay in his rear, by fourteen bridges, which he had
made ostensibly for foraging purposes, and marched
in exactly the opposite direction from Paris, to Corbeil,
where he had given orders to his cavalry, there
stationed, to make some entrenchments. The bridges
were broken when the last men had crossed them, to
prevent pursuit by the enemy. The night-march was
conducted with great silence and secrecy ; and it was
not until the next morning that the enemy discovered
the escape of the army of Turenne.

After resting a day at Corbeil, Turenne marched
slowly to Meaux, about twenty-five miles to the east
of Paris, always keeping in order for an attack, which
he constantly expected, and would probably have re-
ceived, had not Conde been unwell and obliged to
return to Paris. When Conde heard of Turenne's


escape, says Mademoiselle, " he was in a perfect
fury," and he exclaimed : "We ought to put bridles on
Tavannes and Vallon ; they are nothing but asses ".
From Meaux Turenne moved his troops to Senlis, a
place somewhat less than thirty miles from Paris in a
northerly direction.

Conde now made a false move. Out of temper
with the vacillating Parisians, who kept complaining of
the drain made upon their resources by the foraging
parties of the armies of Conde and Lorraine in their
neighbourhood, and finding some difficulty in pro-
curing further provisions, he withdrew his forces to
join them with those of Spain, at Laon, some seventy
miles to the north-east of Paris. Although this gave
him a very powerful military position numerically, it
left Paris at the mercy of the King's troops and lost
him the allegiance of its inhabitants.

Turenne was not slow in taking advantage of this
opportunity. Leaving his army under the command of
La Ferte, he hurried to the Court at Pontoise and
urged the King and the Queen to enter Paris immedi-
ately. The counsellors of the Court opposed this
advice; but Turenne insisted "that they ought to take
advantage of the Prince of Conde's absence, and not
give the Parisians time to " recover from their present
ill-humour with "the Frondeurs ; that as (Turenne's)
officers daily left the army for want of money, the
King would soon be left without troops ; that the
Court would not be in a condition, the next campaign,
to make head against the enemy, whose forces would

i6s2 .Et. 41] THE DUKE OF ORLEANS 203

then be augmented ; that the Parisians would be less
inclined to receive the King, and that other cities
would follow the example of the capital ". Against all
this the Queen's counsellors objected that the Duke of
Orleans, and, what was much more to the point, his
clever and couraoeous dausfhter, would order the Parisian
soldiers to seize the King, the Queen and the Court, if
they entered Paris without the support of a very for-
midable military force. Their fears on this point were
not shared by Turenne, who felt sure that, if the King
went into Paris, the Duke of Orleans would very soon
run out of it. Nor was he much mistaken in holding
this opinion.

The King and the Queen yielded to the entreaties
of Turenne, and, having made up his mind to go to
Paris, Louis XIV. wrote to the Duke of Orleans to
inform himof his decision. Upon receiving this letter,
the Duke sent for Cardmal de Retz, to whom he said
that he had "almost a mind to shut the orates against
the King ". De Retz says that he told him he had
no reason to be alarmed, at which he "uttered five or
six oaths one after another," and told De Retz to come
again in the evening. When De Retz did so, he
found him talking to the Duchess and in a fine fury.
He was speaking "as if he had been armed cap-a-pie,
and ready to cover the plains of St. Denis and Crenelle
with blood and slaughter". The Duchess was trying
to pacify him, but in vain. " I will make war to-
morrow," replied the Duke, in the tone of a warrior.
" Not a doubt of it, Sir," said De Retz. And, as the


Duke continued to state his warlike intentions, De
Retz continued to assent to them, much to the disap-
pointment of the former, who wanted to be able to say
that he had wished to fight, but had reluctandy yielded
to the entreaties of De Retz that he should sheathe his
sword. The Duke left them for a few minutes, when
the Duchess, "half laughing and half crying," said to
De Retz: " Methinks that I see Harlequin telling
Scaramouch : What fine things I would have said, if
thou hadst not had wit enough to contradict me".
When the Duke came back, he said that, although all
the world knew that he could prevent the King's return
to Paris with ease, if he so pleased, he thought that for
the sake of the peace of the State he should permit it.
The Duchess felt so ashamed of this sudden collapse
that she said : " This way of reasoning, Sir, might
become the Cardinal de Retz, but not a son of France ".
At this he became as angry "as if she had proposed to
throw him headlong into the river ". " Retire, then,
Sir, immediately," added she. "And where the devil
shall I retire?" said he.

When the Court was passing through the Bois-de-
Boulogne, on its way to Paris, a report was brought to
the Queen that the people were rising in rebellion and
that it would be most perilous for the King to enter the
city. The Queen got out of her coach and, summon-
ing Prince Thomas, and the Marshals de Turenne, de
Villeroi and du Plessis, "held a council in the open
field". With the exception of Turenne, her council
was unanimous in advising that the Court should go


back and not enter Paris. ^ But the Queen, who was
naturally courageous, "followed without once hesitating
the advice of Turenne and, accordingly, the King at
the head of his guards entered the city, through St.
Honore's Gate, was received everywhere with accla-
mations and was followed to the Louvre by a crowd
of people, who were for ever crying : Long Live The
King". As might have been expected, the Duke of
Orleans bolted !

On the evening of her arrival in Paris, the Queen
held a Court at the Louvre. Turenne, who attended
it, found himself standing next to De Retz, who had
come to do homage at the Court, although he had
belonged to the party opposed to it and had acted as
right-hand man to the Duke of Orleans. As we have
seen, De Retz had once saved Turenne from arrest by
a timely warning, and now Turenne endeavoured to
do the same good office to De Retz. " Do you think
yourself safe here?" said he. De Retz squeezed his
hand and loudly replied in the affirmative ; but only be-
cause he had observed that "a great Mazarinian" had
overheard the question ; for he confesses that this asser-
tion of his safety was "only bragging". Some of the
courtiers flattered the Queen upon the acclamations of the
populace as she had driven through the streets of Paris ;
whereupon Turenne whispered in the ear of De Retz :
"They did the like lately for the Duke of Lorraine".

^ So says Ramsay. But the Mimoires du Marechal du Plessis
(Guyot, 1850, p. 435) state that all were agreed that the Court
ought to proceed into Paris without hesitation


The Kincr was liberal in the matter of amnesties.
"The Prince of Conde was the only one who refused
to accept of the pardon : he chose to go over to the
Spaniards and lose all his estates,"^ But although he
became the ally of Spain, and formed what is sometimes
termed the Spanish Fronde and sometimes the Pro-
vincial Fronde, the Parisian Fronde was now at an end.

Having seen the King securely established in Paris,
and having obtained considerable reinforcements, with
the expectation of more to be brought to him by Mazarin
from Sedan, Turenne, at the end of October, advanced
against Lorraine and Conde. He made the long march
of more than one hundred and twenty miles to the re-
lief of Bar-le-Duc, which was besieged by the enemy.
Half-way thither he had to pass through Epernay,
where, says the Duke of York, he was "obliged to
stop a whole day, because the soldiers, in coming
thither, found so great a quantity of new win (sic), after
the Vintage in a Country plentifully stor'd with that
liquour, that of all the foot there came not enough up
to the quarter, to make the ordinary guard for the
Duke and Mr. de Turenne ; so that they stirr'd not till
the 4th " (of November).

Fortunately for Turenne, Count Fuensaldagne,
who was in command of the Spanish army, had marched
away with it, being in a hurry to go into winter quarters ;
for the Spaniards did everything by rule. If it was
the usual time for going into winter quarters, into

1 Ramsay.

i652 ^T. 41] BAR-LE-DUC 207

winter quarters they went, whatever might be the
circumstances of a campaign. Their machine-like
movements, their punctilious military etiquette, and
their red-tapism proved maddening to Conde,

Bar-le-Duc would have been relieved with far
ofreater ease had it not been for what the Duke of
York calls "the rashness and indiscretion of Monsr. de
Roussillon . . . that addle-headed Governour " of the
town. In this siege Lorraine lost his best general, who,
after supping with Conde, and getting very drunk, tied
a white napkin round his head to make himself the more
conspicuous and, out of sheer drunken bravado, rushed
out, exposed himself to the fire of the enemy, and was
shot, before Conde, who ran after him, could catch him.

Nor was it only on the side of the enemy that an
officer lost his life, at Bar-le-Duc, through drink.
During the same siege Turenne ordered General du
Tott to conduct the assault upon a part of the town
which had been taken by the enemy. Du Tott had
" drunk more than ever Commander ought to do," says
the Duke of York, who adds that he never saw any
other officer drunk in the French army. Foolishly
rushing forward far before his men, opening a door
in an exposed position, and standing vacantly in the
doorway, the poor, tipsy Du Tott "was shot dead".
But what else can one expect when people will fight in
a champagne ^ district ?

1 The Bar wine is not, strictly speaking, classed as a champagne,
but it is of that character. Champagne, exactly as we drink it, was
not made until later than the days of Turenne.


Cardinal Mazarin, who was on his way to return to
Court, now that the King's power was firmly established,
brought valuable reinforcements to Turenne at Bar-le-
Duc, and he was present at its relief.

Being in need of provisions, Turenne quartered his
men in St. Michel, a town under the governorship of
La Ferte, without askinsf leave of that wneral. He
had asked for provisions to be brought out of it ; but,
as difficulties were made and time was pressing, he had
no alternative but to enter the town and take them.
So angry was La Fert6, when he heard of this, that
he hurried thither from a place thirty miles distant and
summoned Turenne to leave the town, a summons
which Turenne obeyed. "But Mr. de la Ferte," says
the Duke of York, "was so much enraged by seeing
that some of the men had been bolder than became
them in their quarters, taking more than meat and
drink, that as they were marching out, he himself,
attended by his guards, fell upon such of them as
stragled or were loytering behind, hacking and hewing
them as if they had been Enemys." Turenne may
have been wrong, in the first instance ; but most cer-
tainly La Ferte was wrong in the last. This incident
made ill blood between the two generals, and it was
long before they were thoroughly reconciled.

Mazarin would not listen to Turenne's representa-
tions that his men were worn out, that, owing to the
severity of the frost, thirty or forty soldiers died in a
day, and that it was cruel to keep the troops any longer
out of winter quarters. At the siege of Vervins, which

i652 ^T. 41] FALL OF VERVINS 209

followed, when Conde's soldiers, on its walls, loudly
cursed Mazarin, the King's soldiers shouted "Amen"
in reply, so incensed were they at being still kept in
the field by the cardinal. After the fall of Vervins,
Mazarin, in the month of February, consented to a
termination of the campaign.

According to Napoleon, Turenne's strategy, re-
corded in this chapter, was open to criticism ; so also,
perhaps, may have been his conduct at St. Michel ;
but the events of the later months of 1652, so far as
Turenne was concerned, are chiefly interesting because
of the excellent advice already mentioned, which, on
at least two very critical occasions, he gave to the
Court, advice which probably saved the Crown of
France for Louis XIV.


A MOST important event now occurred in Turenne's
private life. Soon after his return to Paris, early in
the year 1653, when he was at the age of forty-two, he
married a great lady, a great heiress and — a point upon
which he laid much importance — a great Protestant.
Charlotte de Caumont was the only daughter and the
sole heiress of Armand de Nompar de Caumont, Duke
de la Force and a Marshal of France. Of this lady
Ramsay says : "Her birth and fortune distinguished her
less than her virtues and superior understanding ; noble,
elevated sentiments, with those parts of knowledge that
are the least common among the sex, were in her
accompanied with sweetness and modesty, an inexpres-
sible delicacy and sweetness of manners : to say all in
a word, she was worthy of the Viscomte de Turenne ".
It will be observed that Ramsay says nothing about
her looks; and, when excessive stress is laid upon a
lady's virtues, without any mention of her beauty, it
may be generally assumed to have been somewhat

In his notes to Bayle (vol. iv., p. 331) Des Maizeaux
says : " It is not unusual to see persons of quality very
virtuous, and very zealous for religion, and at the same

i6s3 vEt. 42] MARRIAGE OF TURENNE 211

time so jealous of their rank, and so fond of receiving
a great deal of honour, that they are always upon their
punctilios on that account. Madame Turenne is an
example of it. Her virtue and piety are not more
memorable than her exact precautions to preserve the
privileges of highness, and the precedence she pretended
to above the duchesses."

Whatever may have been the charms of the Vis-
comtesse de Turenne, her husband had to tear himself
away from them in about three months, that is to say in
June, 1653, as his services were required in the wars.
Although Paris was now quiet and loyal, Guienne was
in a state of insurrection in the South, while, in the
North-east, the enemy was within a hundred miles of
Paris, at Rethel, and it also occupied Rocroi, Dunkirk,
Gravelines and Mardyck. Another very serious matter
was the disproportion between the rival forces. Turenne
and La Ferte between them had only 7,000 infantry
and 5,000 cavalry, with which to defend a large space
of country and to garrison several fortresses, whereas
the Spanish army, with those of Conde and Lorraine,
in the north-east of France and Flanders, numbered
30,000. These are the statistics given by Ramsay;
but Napoleon, although giving the same numbers to
the enemy as does Ramsay, puts the King of France's
troops at 6,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry.

Information reached Turenne that one of the

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