Imatges de pÓgina
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changé, qu'on diroit qu'il n'a jamais eu. de douceur. '* Walsingham says of him at the same period, he is grown so

bloody minded, that they that advised him thereto repent the s same. + So far from being aghast at the extent of the slaughter, it was his boast, that his fat Margaret (as he used to call • his sister) had served as a mouse-trap to catch all his rebelli

ous Hugonots.' I It was the general language at Court after the massacre, that this was the true way of settling with Hugonots, and not by edicts and negotiations. The humanity of the King could not have been deeply wounded by the spectacle he had witnessed, when he permitted Coconas to boast in his presence, that he had rescued thirty Hugonots from the populace, to have the pleasure of making them first abjure their religion, and then stabbing them with his own hand. Il On the 5th of September, twelve days after the commencement of the massacre, he sent for Pezou, a butcher, one of the captains of Paris, and asked him if he thought there were still any Hugonots left in the town, to which Pezou replied, that he had, the day before, thrown six score into the river, and that he had as many in reserve for the night following; 'dont le roy se print « à rire tout hautement, le renvoyant pour y pourvoir. 'I

We may judge, from these anecdotes, of the credit due to Bellievre, when, bewailing to the Swiss cantons the extent of the massacre, he assures them it was not the fault of the King, whom he had seen on that occasion suffering marvellous pain, and doing every thing in his power to stay the fury of the populace. · Le Roi, M. le duc d'Anjou, M. le duc d'Alençon,

et tous les princes de son sang et grands seigneurs s'y sont • benignement et vertueusement employez. La Reine-mere y a pris une peine indicible.' **

How strange, that so much cruelty should have been perpetrated, while so many great and illustrious personages were so actively and so benevolently employed !

We have not the private despatches of Bellievre to confront with his public harangues; but the correspondence of Montluc, bishop of Valence, who held a similar language in Poland, shows the true characterof the French diplomacy of that age, and teaches us the little value to be placed on the public declarations of Charles, whether made to his own subjects or to foreign powers. Montluc has the effrontery to maintain, in


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* Brantome, apud Castelnau, iii. 5.

+ Digges. 279. Journal de l'Etoile, apud Petitot, xlv.--Satyre Menipper, i. 120. § De Serres, iv. 43.

|| Journal de l'Estoile, 85. Mem. de l'Etat. ** Mem. de Villeroy, iv. 330. Ed. of 1665.


sence of the Polish diet, (10th April 1573), that the Duke of Anjou had no hand in advising or conducting the massacre at Paris, and to assert, that he has a letter from that prince containing assurances, qu'il n'a été ni auteur ni approbateur de • tel conseil; ' * he boasts of the mildness and humanity of the King, and instructs his agents at Warsaw (January 1573) to assure the Poles, that the Duke was gone to Rochelle, not to punish the insurgents, mais pour les concilier et assurer.' And yet at the same moment he writes to the King, (20th January 1573), • Si vous pouviez ou faire ou contrefuire un edit contenant que

vous n'entendez qu'aucun soit forcé de sa conscience en votre

royaume, cela serviroit de beaucoup ; et si vous avez l'inten• tion contraire, vous le pouvez addresser aux gouverneurs qui 4 en useroient depuis, après comme vous leur voudriez com• mander.' The people of Rochelle, he adds, deserve, it is true, the severest chastisement; but if you could only defer their punishment for a little while, it would be of the greatest service to your brother. If you proceed against them with rigour, even the Catholics here will not dare to stand by him. To Brulart, secretary of state, he writes by the same post, assuring him, that if news of any fresh act of cruelty arrive before the day of election, all the money he can send will not gain the suffrages of the Poles; and, as if doubtful of the effect of his remonstrances on the King and Queen-mother, he concludes by saying, ' Ils aviseront si une opinion de vengeance • leur importe plus que l'acquisition d'un royaume.'t Montluc, be it remembered, was their confidential ambassador, understood their policy, and knew what was passing in their minds.

• The bloody scenes at Paris,' says Dr Lingard, peated at Orleans, Lyons, Rouen, Toulouse, and Bourdeaux; • and the sufferers believed, that as they were not protected, « they were persecuted by the commands of the Court. But « the memory

of Charles need not be loaded with additional infamy. There is no evidence that the other massacres had • his sanction or permission.' Contemporary authors were of a different opinion; and the exclamation attributed to Charles by his brother, when he consented to the murder of the Admiral, favours their view of the question. Not to speak of the Italian authors, Capilupi, Adriani, and Davila, who ascribe the massacres in the provinces to secret orders from the Court, nor of the contemporary Hugonot writers, who are equally .clear on that point-Papire Masson, a Catholic and a French


were re

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* Mem. de l'Etat. ii. 159.
+ MSS. Bibl. du Roi, Collection de Fontanieu, 327-328.

man, after giving an account of the St Bartholomew at Paris; says of the King, dedit continuo literas ad moderatores pro• vinciarum, mandans reliquias deffectorum cædi; '* and the Vicount of Tavannes, who, though young at the time of the massacre, lived afterwards in habits of intimacy with the chiefs of the League, while he laments the excess to which the work of destruction was carried in the provincial towns, admits that or ders were sent to them to put to death the chiefs and most factious of the Hugonots. + The public orders of the King, it is true, prohibited his officers from permitting the massacre, imprisonment; or pillage of his Protestant subjects; but the flagrant and oper disregard of these proclamations, convinced every attentive

speca tator, that his public edicts were accompanied by private instructions of a contrary tendency. They pretend,' says Walsingham, after describing the horrid scenes transacted in every part of France, all this to be done against their will, though

it be evidently known that it is done by their commandment.' The orders and instructions from Court, says de Thou, were differently interpreted in the provinces, according to the characters and political connections of the governors. Where the friends of the house of Montmorency were in authority, great moderation was exercised. •Aliorum, ad quos secreta mandata, non scripto sed per emissarios data sunt, summa intemperies fuit, : Parisiensem lanienam in exemplum trahentium.'s That the private instructions to extend the massacre of Paris to the provinces, in opposition to the public proclamations of the government, proceeded in every instance from Charles himself, it would be too much to affirm. Much was done by his mother, probably without his knowledge, Quelque furieux qu'il fut, says a Hugonot writer; • le roi ne servit que d'ombre aux pas

sions cruelles de sa mere.' The deputies of Lyons, who happened to be at Paris during the massacre, wrote to their townsmen, that the Queen-mother had sent for them; and said, • Qu'ils avoient vu comme ils en avoient usé à Paris, et qu'it ' ne tiendroit à eux qu'ils ne fissent le même à Lyon.'|| 'But; that Charles had verbal communications with his governors,' at one time commanding, at another time countermanding the massacre of the Hugonots, appears from the various and contradictory orders sent to the Count de Tende, and to his successor the Count de Carces in Provence : 1 And, that he de.


Castelnau, iii. 16.

+ Tavannes, 419-466. | Digges, 254, Letter to Burleigh, 8th Oct. 1572. § Thuanus, iii. 141.

| Mem. de l'Etat. 1. 259. 1 Castlenau, ii. 15.

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spatched verbal instructions to his governors at the time of the massacre, which he thought it necessary afterwards to retract, appears from his correspondence with M. de Longueville and M. de Matignon, to both of whom he writes in the following words: Au surplus, quelque mandement verbal que j'aye peu • faire à ceux que j'aye envoyez, tant divers vous que autres

gouverneurs et mes lieutenans generaulx et officiers, lors que j'avois juste occasion de m'alterer et craindre quelque sinistre • evenement, ayant sceu la conspiration que faisoit à l'encontre • de moy le dict Admiral, j'ay revoqué et revoque tout cela, ne voulant que par vous ne autre en soit aucune chose executé.

When we examine in detail the massacres committed in the provincial towns, we discover an uniformity in the mode of proceeding, that indicates they were perpetrated on a general plan. We find, that on the first news of the St Bartholomew, the gates of the town were shut by public authority, so that no Protestant could escape, if so disposed. Murmurs and threats on the part of the populace generally followed; and then, on pretence of securing the Hugonots from their enemies, the great body of them were distributed in different prisons and convents, while some of the more obnoxious were murdered, and their houses given up to pillage. Messengers were sent to Paris for instructions; and on their return, or more frequently on the arrival of persons with real or pretended orders from Court, the prisons and other places of confinement for the Protestants were forced, and the prisoners within barbarously murdered-sometimes by an apparently unlicensed mob, and at other times by command of the public authorities of the town. At Lyons, the Governor contrived to be out of the way, while the principal massacre was going on; and when he reappeared, he had the effrontery to offer a reward for the detection of the perpetrators, who were at the time publicly parading the streets, with their garments died in blood, boasting of the numbers they had şlain !' Caveyrac adduces this proclamation as a proof of the innocence and good intentions of the Governor ;t but he forgets to add, that it made so little impression on the assassins, that, on the following night, they broke into the remaining prison, and completed the massacre they had begun. At Troyes the Protestants were butchered in prison, by order of the Bailli or chief magistrate of the place, after the arrival of a messenger from Paris; and next day, the proclamation which the mes

. MSS. Bibl. du Roi-324 Fontanieu-121 Dupuy.
+ Caveyrac, iv.


senger had brought with him, was published, assuring them of security and protection. At Toulouse the magistrates kept their prisoners three weeks in confinement, till deputies from Paris brought orders, real or pretended, to put them to death. At Bourdeaux the massacre was begun by the Governor himself, who killed with his own hand the Sieur de la Loubiere, one of the Conseillers in the parliament of that city. Delays arose in some places, as at Rouen, from the unwillingness of the governors to be concerned in such acts of cruelty; and at Bourdeaux the assassins were restrained, though with difficulty, till the 3d of October, lest intelligence of the massacre should decide, as it did, the inhabitants of Rochelle to refuse admittance to the King's troops. Some governors refused, with indignation, to execute the orders they had received, and others employed different pretexts to excuse their disobedience. Among the higher clergy, the Bishop of Lisieux distinguished himself by his firmness and humanity, and prevented in his diocese the excesses that took place in other parts.

Caveyrac insists much on no orders having been sent to Montluc, Governor of Guienne, a confidential ally of the Queenmother, and most determined enemy of the Hugonots. † If such orders had been given, Montluc, he pretends, might possibly have refused to execute them; but with his usual frankness, he would certainly have mentioned them in his Commentaries. He forgets or conceals from his readers, that Montluc had been relieved from his government near two years before, and that he was living in retirement at the time of the St Bartholomew. But if the silence of Montluc affords no argument for Caveyrac, he is a dangerous witness to call into court. Montluc has no hesitation in expressing his opinion, that the court was insincere in its profession of amity to the Hugonots after the peace of 1570. Or, je disois tous jours en moi-même,

oyant les nouvelles de la cour, qu'on faisoit trop de caresses • aux Huguenots, et connoissois bien qu'il y auroit du bruit au

logis.' When he hears of the massacre, his first impression is surprise at the indiscretion of the Admiral in trusting his person amidst his enemies; and when the Queen-mother writes to him of the conspiracy they had detected, the old man observes with a smile of incredulity, • Je sçay bien ce que j'en crois ! Il « fait mauvais offenser son maitre. Le Roy n'oublia jamais

quand Monsieur l'Admiral luy fit faire la traitte de meaux à

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* Thuanus, iii. 141-145-Mem. de l'Etat. i. 235-386-De Ser. res, iv. 49-55-d'Aubigné, 560.

+ Caveyrac, xxvii.

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