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with him. When, after the first day's march, the
German horse did not appear, Turenne sent Rosen
back to command them to come at once. After
further marches, not only were they still absent, but M.
de Traci, another French officer, whom Turenne had
sent with Rosen, returned and told him that although
Rosen was pretending to be forcibly detained by the
mutinous Germans, there were grave grounds for sus-
pecting his loyalty. All the French forces, including


the German cavalry, were on the west of the Rhine ;
but De Traci informed Turenne that Rosen was about
to lead the German horse across the river into Germany.

Then Turenne, sending on the rest of his forces
towards Flanders, made a march of twenty-seven
miles in one day with five regiments of cavalry and
3,000 infantry ; and, to the astonishment of the Ger-
mans, he caught them just as they were crossing the
Rhine at Strasburg.

So unexpected had been the appearance of Turenne
with his troops that the German cavalry were thrown
into confusion. " Rosen, who was thunderstruck at
the si^ht" of Turenne, "not knowing what to do, and
perhaps imagining that he could yet conceal his unfaith-
fulness from him, said to him : ' You see how they
drag me along with them'. These words and Rosen's
countenance, convinced Turenne that he was betraying
him ; but nevertheless, he thought it necessar}^' to dis-
semble his resentment. He might lawfully have fallen
on the mutineers ; their conduct deserved an exemplary
punishment ; his troops were superior in number, and
there was so great confusion among theirs that he could
have put them all to the sword. But Turenne, who was
the father of the soldiery, could not resolve to sacrifice
so many brave men, who had served the King so well,
and might still be useful to him."^

Through their officers, the men professed a desire to
return to their duty ; but in practice they still held aloof
and asked for their arrears of pay. Most of the officers
^ Ramsay.

i647 ^T. 2,^] MUTINY 117

renewed their loyalty to Turenne, but among the excep-
tions was Rosen, who secretly continued to foment
discord among the men. Turenne v/as persuaded — it
is difficult to understand why — to allow all the German
cavalry to cross over to the German, or eastern, side
of the Rhine. Days passed without any definite sub-
mission on the part of the Germans, and as very urgent
orders arrived that Turenne should send all his troops
into Flanders, he sent thither all but one of the French
regiments of horse which he had with him, and also all
his forces which were already at Saverne. The orders
which he had received to lead his army to Flanders in
person he thought himself justified in disregarding, as he
was convinced that, were he to do so, all his Weimarian
cavalry would immediately go over to the enemy. He
was determined to arrest Rosen ; but, with his reduced
forces, it was necessary to await an exceptionally
favourable opportunity of doing so. For this purpose
he took up his quarters with Rosen and rarely allowed
him out of his sight.

After waiting nearly a month on the banks of the
Rhine, Turenne heard one night that the German
cavalry were mounting their horses to march towards
the north. This was a great relief to his mind ; for
his chief fear had been lest they should march to the
east and join either the Imperial army or that of
Bavaria, which he shrewdly suspected might be on the
point of renewing its alliance with the Empire.

The German cavalry no longer obeyed their
officers and had elected others from their own ranks.


Ignoring all this, Turenne rode at their head as if he
was still general in command, keeping with him the
deposed officers as his staff, and never allowing Rosen
to be out of his sight. "He sent before him the
quarter-masters to mark out their camp ; did all the
offices of a general as usual, as if there had been no
revolt ; and not one of the new leaders durst retain
the least shadow of authority in his presence." After
marching thus for two days, the leading mutineers
came again to demand their six months' pay. Turenne
told them that, if they would recross to the west of
the Rhine, he would give them one month's pay, and
the rest as soon as he could obtain it from the Court
of France ; but that he could not possibly give it to
them until he had got it himself. At this the mutineers
looked very sulky, and he suspected from the expres-
sion of their faces that they had some idea of arresting
him ; but he pretended to be quite at his ease and
ordered them to return to their quarters, which they

Rosen, being exceedingly anxious to get rid of
Turenne, endeavoured to persuade him to leave troops
with which he declared that general's personal liberty
to be in serious peril ; but Turenne took no notice of
his warning and again marched at the head of the
rebels on the following day. In the afternoon they
arrived at Ettlingen, a town about twenty miles from
Philippsburg. Turenne, Rosen, and the officers with
them, stayed in the town, and the troops encamped
outside it. As soon as he had arrived, Turenne sent

1 647 ^T. 7,6] MUTINY 119

one of the trustworthy men, whom he had with him,
to gallop off to Philippsburg, which was garrisoned by
French troops, and to order 100 musketeers to come
to him at once. When they arrived very early the
next morning he made them arrest Rosen and quietly
carry him off as a prisoner to Philippsburg. As soon
as they had got safely out of reach, he sent to the
rebel camp to inform its occupants of what he had
done, and to order them no longer to consider Rosen
their commander. Upon this, all the officers, down to
the corporals, submitted themselves to Turenne and
promised their unqualified obedience, as also did two
entire regiments of the mutineers. The rest of the
German cavalry, to the number of 1,500, elected fresh
officers from their own ranks and galloped away
towards the valley of the Tauber. As soon as he
heard of this, Turenne pursued them with the two
regiments that had returned to their duty.

After two days' march Turenne came up with
them in a narrow valley of the Tauber, and, in leading
the attack on their rear, he was very nearly taken
prisoner; but, shortly afterwards, the mutineers, al-
though outnumbering their loyal fellow-soldiers, lost
heart and turned tail. Turenne pursued them, killed
300 of them and made as many prisoners. The eight
or nine hundred that escaped, instead of going over to
the Imperialists, joined the Swedish army.

All the prisoners were condemned by Turenne to
be hanged. As they were being marched off to execu-
tion before him, an old trooper looked him steadily in


the face, and baring his breast, which bore the marks
of sword-cuts, said : "General, don't stain the glory of
your noble actions, by causing an old soldier who is
covered with scars, and has a thousand times braved
death under your standards, to die by the hands of the
common hangman ".

What followed shall be described by Ramsay :
"The Viscount was softened, forgave him and all the
rest, and incorporated them in his own troops, to which
he then returned. The Court did justice to his merit ;
all the world admired his courage, prudence and
humanity. He had, in a very delicate and important
conjuncture, dissembled the most just resentment ; paid
court to his inferiors, without lessening his authority ;
chastised particular persons, without losing the con-
fidence of the body ; made himself respected by the
rebels at the same time that he put himself in their
power; then punished some and pardoned others, as
prudence required ; and at last brought back the
greatest part of them to their duty." Never, perhaps,
in his whole life did Turenne show greater tact.

With the cavalry now regained, Turenne went
to Luxemburg and joined his army, which he had
already sent on. He received orders from Paris to
remain there. It was then September and he employed
his time in taking several "sorry castles" as he calls
them. Having heard that Turenne was showing a
bold front in that quarter, the Emperor sent a large
portion of his forces to resist him. This weakened the
Imperial army, which was opposed to the Swedes in

1648 Mt. 37] A FAITHLESS DUKE 121

Hesse, and the Swedish army began to drive it towards
the south-east. Then the Duke of Bavaria did exactly
what Turenne had expected him to do, by once more
breaking faith with France and sending his army to
join that of the Emperor. The Duke, however, with
an air of injured innocence, pretended that, although
he was fiofhtinsf the Swedes who were allies of France,
he was still maintaining his treaty with France. Thus
reinforced, the Imperial army was enabled to retake
some of the fortresses which Turenne and Wrangel
had captured in the campaign of the previous year,
and to besiege Worms. Turenne then received orders
to go to the Palatinate with his army, where he obliged
the Imperialists to raise that siege.

About the middle of December Turenne received
further orders to send a formal declaration of war to the
Duke of Bavaria, on the ground of that Duke's breach
of his treaty. Turenne brought 4,000 cavalry, 4,000
infantry and twenty guns to the assistance of the
Swedes, whereupon the Imperialist and Bavarian armies
retired to Ingolstadt, a place on the Danube, a little
more than twenty miles to the east of Rain, a town
which, as we have seen, had been besieged not long
before by Turenne and Wrangel.

In February, 1648, having got remounts for his
cavalry from Switzerland, Turenne marched with the
Swedes through Franconia, a devastated country —
devastated to some extent by Turenne's own troops —
in which it was very difficult to find provisions for
men or horses. For the first time Turenne and


Wrangel now disagreed as to dieir plan of campaign.
Wrangel proposed to make a dash at the Upper
Palatinate, while Turenne objected that such a step
would take them too far away from Swabia, the only
district upon which they could depend for provisions.
Neither general would give way. Turenne made no
quarrel ; but, while Wrangel started to carry out his
design, he waited quietly where he was, feeling assured
that the Swedish army, unsupported by the French,
would not be strong enough to cope with the united
armies of the Emperor and the Duke of Bavaria.
And he was right in his supposition ; for, as he had
anticipated, Wrangel and his army presently came back

While the French and Swedish armies were on the
north of the Danube, the Imperial and Bavarian armies
were on the south of it. Turenne, with some difficulty,
persuaded Wrangel to march with him to Lauingen, a
town on the Danube, which it will be remembered lay
about half-way between Rain and Ulm.

A reconnoitring party of 3,000 horse, which had
crossed the Danube to the south, having sent back a
report that the enemy was encamped about four or five
miles off, Turenne took his infantry over the river very
secretly during the night. Early the next morning, the
enemy, ignorant of the proximity of the French, moved
leisurely away, and Turenne came up with their rear-
guard at a place called Zusmershausen, on the road
to Augsburg. General Melander, who had taken the
place of the Archduke Leopold as commander-in-chief

1648 ^T. 37] MASTERS IN BAVARIA 123

of the Imperial army in the south while the Archduke
commanded the Imperial army in Flanders, came
galloping back with supports, and made a stubborn
resistance. While showing splendid courage he was
killed and his troops were repulsed ; but they succeeded
in crossing the river Lech and fousfht a most creditable
rearguard action during the retreat, under the command
of Montecuculi, a general with whom we shall have a
good deal to do in later pages.

After this battle the French and Swedish troops
manoeuvred about Bavaria. Turenne was the first
French general to place the colours of France on the
banks of the river Inn. The Duke of Bavaria, who
was now seventy-eight, fled with his v/ife and family
to the Archbishop of Salzburg for protection. A city
almost within sight of Munich surrendered ; and the
Swedish General Konigsmark surprised and captured
Prague with the assistance of some French troops.
The absence of these troops temporarily weakened
Turenne, opposite to whom the Imperial and Bavarian
armies were drawn up for a month, but never dared to
attack him. Wrangel, however, came in for what it is
now the fashion to call "an unfortunate incident," in
which he lost some standards, a great many officers and
men, and 700 or 800 horses, near Munich. For all that,
the French and Swedish armies were practically masters
of the enemy's country. "Such," says Ramsay, "was
the irruption into Bavaria, in which the enemy were
pursued from city to city, from post to post, from
river to river, without intermission, for four months


together ; during which the whole country was exposed
to the fury of the soldiers as far as the gates of Munich,
Ingolstadt, Ratisbon, and Prague ; and in which,
nevertheless, no considerable action happened, but only
a few convoys taken, and some parties defeated"
One of these parties, however, as has just been men-
tioned, was of considerable size.

Turenne went into winter quarters at Lauingen.
He was contemplating a campaign, with Vienna as its
objective, for the following year, when a message was
brought to him announcing the Peace of Westphalia,
which meant the end of the Thirty Years' War. It
was indeed high time that that long war should be
finished. Every march and countermarch, such as
those of Turenne already described, entailed the devas-
tation of a large tract of country. It is stated that, in
Bohemia alone, 29,000 villages were destroyed. So
great was the agricultural ruin that, for more than a
generation after the Peace of Westphalia, a third of
Northern Germany was left entirely uncultivated. As
to the depletion of population in consequence of the
war, it is said that that of the Empire was reduced by
two-thirds, owing to the slaughter in battles, disease,
famine, and emigration for the purpose of escaping
from those evils. ^

This peace was brought about to a large extent by

the masterly strategy of Turenne —it cannot be strictly

said by his victories ; for there were scarcely any great

batdes in the campaigns of either 1646 or 1648. It

^ See The Cambridge Modern Hislory, iv., 417-19-

1648 ^T. 37] QUEEN CHRISTINA 125

was also partly due to the victories of Conde in Flanders.
The gains of France by its terms were very great.
They included the acknowledgment of her right to the
three Lotharingian Bishoprics (Metz, Toul and Verdun)
and also to the possessions hitherto held by the House
of Austria in Alsace ; although Strasburo^ and some
other places were to remain independent. Her ally,
Sweden, received considerable territories in Northern

From this time that nation has little to do with
the story of Turenne ; but few of the bye-paths beset-
ting that story offer a greater temptation to wander
from it than the reign of Sweden's monarch during
the time when Turenne was serving its interests con-
jointly with those of France. That temptation shall
be resisted beyond the giving of a few quotations from
a letter from the Duke of Guise to a friend about
Queen Christina, shortly after her abdication. "She
has a plump waist and large hips . . . one shoulder is
higher than the other . . . eyes very fine and full of
fire ; her complexion, in spite of a few pits of small-
pox, is bright and handsome." [She wears] "a man's
wig ; thick and high on the forehead, very bushy on
the sides. . . . The body of her gown laced up behind,
crookedly, is made something like our doublets ; her
chemise sticks out all round above her petticoat, which
she wears ill-fashioned and not over straight. She is
always much powdered, with quantities of pomatum,
and she never wears any gloves. She is shod like a
man, and she has the tone of voice and nearly all the


actions of a man. She affects to play the amazon.
She has fully as much glorification and pride as her
father, the great Gustavus, ever had. She is very
civil and very cajoling, speaks eight languages, princi-
pally French as if she were born in Paris. She knows
more than our Academy with the Sorbonne added;
understands painting admirably, as she does all other
things, and knows more about the intrigues of our
Court than I do. In short, she is a very extraordinary

Mazarin was very glad to make peace. He had
wished to lessen the power of Austria and had done
so ; he had desired to put it out of Austria's power to
send troops to the assistance of Spain in Flanders, and
that object he had also attained ; but he was anxious not
to crush the power of Austria altogether. Spain did not
join in the Peace of Westphalia, and a war with Spain
alone was as much as Mazarin cared for in the way of
fightino- at one time. Ag-ain, he was somewhat embar-
rassed by a separate peace, which the Dutch had just
made with Spain on their own account. But Mazarin
had yet another grave cause for making peace with the
enemies of France, in that serious internal troubles were
disturbing his own country, and likely to give him quite
enough to do without any fighting beyond its borders.
Those internal troubles will form the subject of the
next chapter.


The Thirty Years' War was now at an end, and
another was to begin, a war described by Michelet as
a "burlesque war," a "war of children, with a child's
nickname," a war "comic in its origin, its events, its
principles " ; yet, he might well have added, exceed-
ingly tragic in the bloodshed which accompanied it.

Towards the end of the first half of the seventeenth
century an anti-monarchical spirit was asserting itself
throughout the greater part of Europe. At the end
of 1648 the reduction of the powers of Austria and
Spain, in which France herself had lent a hand, had
demonstrated that the greatest of kingdoms might
possibly crumble; two republics, those of the United
Provinces and Switzerland, had been freed altogether
from royal control. There had been insurrections,
either successful or unsuccessful, in Genoa, Naples and
Sicily ; there had been riots in Moscow ; in England
the King was a prisoner about to be tried for his life,
and a Commonwealth was on the eve of its establish-

The political conditions in France were very ex-
ceptional and peculiarly favourable to an outbreak of

the revolutionary epidemic with which the European


atmosphere was impregnated The King was a minor ;
a single minister, and he a foreigner, was ruling and
even oppressing the country with a rod of iron, while
one of his creatures, also a foreigner, was, or at least
was supposed to be, plundering its resources for his
own and his employer's personal benefit.

The Parliament had ventured to dismiss this corrupt
financier, and Mazarin replied to this disgrace of his
servant by arresting four leading members of that
Parliament. The chief instigator of the popular move-
ment against Mazarin, in Paris, was its coadjutor-
bishop, Paul de Gondi, better known by his later title
of Cardinal de Retz, the name by which it would seem
most convenient to speak of him from the first in these
pages. De Retz has not been described as a saint by
historians ; but, to give him his due, he distributed
immense sums among the poor of Paris. Ramsay
describes him thus : " Ambitious without measure, and
courageous even to rashness, he knew no restraint, and
was fearless of danger. To gain his point, he made
use of gallantry and politics, vice and virtue, religion
and the passions." Yet the same author admits "that
virtue rectified, in the latter part of his life, all his
vicious inclinations". This appears to have been
the case ; but, judging from his own account of his
dispositions, even when a bishop, he must have been
utterly unsuited for the priesthood, and he had fought
three duels before he was ordained.

On the arrest of the four members of Parliament
all Paris was in an uproar, and the mob raised bar-


i649 ^T. s8] WARS OF THE FRONDE 129

ricades and threatened the soldiers, De Retz, in the
character of a peacemaker, obtained the release of the
imprisoned members, and it was at first supposed that
the disturbance was quelled. The street row was con-
temptuously spoken of as the War of the Sling, a
scornful comparison with the fights of the gutter-boys
of Paris, who used litde slings for the purpose of throw-
ing stones at each other. But this War of the Sling,
or, to use the French word, the War of the Fronde,
was destined to become something very much more
than mere child's play.

Into the details of the Wars of the Fronde it is
unnecessary to inquire here, except so far as they have
a bearing upon the life of Turenne Early in 1649,
just after the King of England had been put to death
by his Parliament, relations between the Parliament of
France and the Court of France were greatly strained.
The Court and Mazarin were at St. Germains ; the
Parliament was supreme in Paris. Mazarin then
decided upon a very bold step. He blockaded Paris 1
Having seized all the places in the vicinity whence
provisions could be obtained, he invested the city with
6,000 or 7,000 men, hoping thus to starve it into

Meanwhile Turenne was wintering in Swabia with
his army. As his conduct on hearing of the events in
Paris has been much and very unfavourably criticised,
we must consider the condition of affairs as it probably
appeared to him. He wished to be loyal to the King,
he wished to be loyal to the Queen-Mother; but he


doubtless asked himself whether to allow their misguided
minister to ruin their country and endanger the throne
would be an act of loyalty to either.

Mazarin's virtual dictatorship was something very
different from the regency and council of assistance
which the late King had willed to protect the minority
of his son. It was possible, perhaps easy, to represent
Mazarin as a traitor to the throne. It was true that
the Queen - Regent authorised and endorsed all his
actions, and that she trusted him implicitly. But his
enemies protested that he had maliciously deceived a
gentle and credulous lady, and had infamously obtained
a pernicious influence over her.

It is not likely that Turenne was predisposed in
favour of Mazarin. He had little reason for being so.
That cardinal had ill-used his brother, had tried to
bribe Turenne himself by offering him estates that
should have been his brother's, had failed again and
again to send him reinforcements when they were most
urgently needed, and had robbed him of the fruits of
victory through a fear of entirely destroying the power
of the House of Austria.

Turenne's brother, the Duke of Bouillon, had
joined the party which regarded Mazarin as a traitor
in disguise, and his siege of Paris as an act of high
treason against the young King. Mazarin, the Queen,
and Conde were all afraid that Turenne, the best
general of France, would side with his brother, and
each wrote to him, pretending to feel assured of his
loyalty, while they deplored the defection of Bouillon.

i649 ^T. 38] CORRESPONDENCE 131

In a long letter to Turenne, Mazarin said : " Nothing
is so true, as that the esteem and passion I have for
you and all things in which your interest is concerned,
are carried to as high a pitch as they can possibly be
for any person ". He reminded Turenne that he had
offered him his niece, whom the King of Poland had
wanted to marry ; and he added that Turenne would
receive a grant for the government of Alsace, and
despatches for two bailiwicks which he named.

In reply, Turenne thanked the cardinal for his
offers, and said that, being a Protestant, he did not
wish to marry a Catholic, Besides, this was not "a
season for him to think of his private interests". In
another letter to Mazarin he candidly stated that "he
looked upon the blockade of Paris as a very bold step
during a minority : that he could not approve of it ;
and that, if the cardinal continued to use the people
with so much severity, he must not expect he would
be any longer his friend ". In obedience to the orders
which he had received, he was about to bring his
troops back to Paris, but, on his arrival at that city,
"he would not favour either the rebellion of the

Online LibraryThomas LonguevilleMarshall Turenne → online text (page 9 of 26)