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self with every particular which passed in it. I shall only say, that the king, who was naturally eloquent, opened the assembly with an excellent oration; wherein, after he had, in a most majestic manner, and with most pathetic words, exhorted the deputies to their duty, he either could not, or would not, conceal from them, that he had not so far forgotten the past actions, but that he had taken up a firm resolution to inflict an exemplary punishment on such who should persist in acting against his authority, and continue to be still possessed with that spirit of leaguing and caballing which was upon the point of ruining the state; neither would he henceforth spare those who should have any other union than that which the members ought to have with their head, and subjects with their sovereign.

This touched so sensibly the Leaguers of that assembly, and principally their head, who looked on this speech as particularly addressed to himself, that they proceeded even to threatening that they would break off the estates by their departure, if the king, who had commanded his speech to be printed, would not give order to suppress it, or at least correct that passage. There are some who affirm, that, after a rough dispute concerning it, the king permitted at last that something should be altered, and the harshness of his expressions a little mollified; but there are others, and even of their number who heard it spoken, who assure us, that it came out in public in the same terms it was pronounced. However it were, it is certain that this complaint of theirs much exasperated the king's mind, who saw clearly by this proceeding, that the League, notwithstanding its reunion with him, had still a separate interest of its own, and extremely opposite to his.

1 will adventure to say farther, that he was then fully persuaded of it, when he perceived that the Duke of Guise, who was the true head of it, was evidently more powerful than himself in those estates. For, besides that the greatest part of the deputies had been elected by the factious intrigues of his dependants in the provinces, those who were chosen to preside over the several orders, that is to say, the Cardinals of Bourbon and of Guise for the clergy; the Count of Brissac and the Baron of Magnac for the nobility; and the provost of merchants, La Chapelle Martau, for the third order, were all of them entirely at the duke's devotion.

Insomuch, that at the second session, after the edict of reunion had been solemnly confirmed, sworn to again, and passed into a fundamental law of the state, when the petitions of the three orders were read, he saw, that, under pretence of desiring to reform some abuses which were

crept into the state, they were filled with an infinite number of propositions, which tended to the manifest diminution, or rather the annihilation, of the royal authority; and to reduce the government to that pass, that there should remain to the king no more than the empty name and vain appearance of a sovereign monarch; and that all the real and essential part of sovereignty should be in the League, which absolutely depended on the Duke of Guise.

Yet, further, they were not satisfied barely to propose these things; leaving to the king, according to the ancient laws and constitution of the monarchy, the power of either passing or refusing them, according to his pleasure, after they had been well examined in his council; but they pretended, that after they had been received by the consent of the three orders, they should become laws of course, and be inviolable, so that the king should not have the power either to change or abrogate them in his council. Then they would have an abatement of taxes and imposts; but so much out of measure, that they took away from the king the means of making that war in which themselves had engaged him. They would also, that the Council of Trent should be received absolutely, and without modification. And the famous attorney-general Jaques de Faye d'Espesses, who, in a great assembly held on that occasion, maintained, with strength of reason, against some decrees of that council, the prerogatives of the king, (or regalia) and the immunities of the Gallican church, was so ill treated there, though he had baffled the archbishop of Lyons, who undertook to destroy those privileges, that the king, who was affronted in the person of his attorney, was not a little displeased at their proceedings.

But above all things they were urgent with him, and pressed it with incredible obstinacy, that the King of Navarre, who at the same time had assembled the estates of his party at Rochelle, and from thence had sent to those at Blois, intimating his desire of a general council to be summoned, where all things might be accommodated, should from that time forward be declared incapable of ever succeeding to the crown. They had made a decree concerning this, by consent of the three orders, at the particualr instance of the order of the clergy. And the king, who clearly foresaw the terrible consequences of this unparalleled injustice, and who was plied incessantly to subscribe it, was not able to defend himself otherwise, than by amusing them with delays, and rubs which he dexterously caused to be thrown in their way, on sundry pretences. It was not doubted but that the Duke of Guise (who, having two-thirds of the estates for him,

was consequently the master there,) was author of all these propositions, so contrary to the true interests and authority of the king, especially when it was evident, that he employed all his managers to cause himself to be declared, in the estates, lieutenant-general through the whole kingdom, as if he would possess himself of that supreme command, without dependence on the king, and that he pretended his prince to be no more his master, as not having power to deprive him of a dignity which he was to hold from a commission given him by others.

All these things, so unworthy of the majesty of a great king, at the length quite wearied out his patience; which, after so long dissembling his injuries, on the sudden broke out into the extremity of rage; insomuch that those among his confidants, who ardently desired the destruction of the duke for their own advantage, found not the least trouble in passing on the king for truths many reports, and oftentimes very groundless rumours, which ran of the duke: adding to them, that it was he who underhand had drawn the Duke of Savoy to possess himself of the marquisate of Saluces, as he had lately done. And this they confidently affirmed, though the duke, by his own interest in the estates, had procured them to vote a war against the Savoyard. Thus, whether it were that the king had long since resolved to rid his hands of the Duke of Guise, in revenge of some ancient grudge and sense of the affronts he had received from him, particularly on that fatal day of the barricades; or were it, that, being sincerely reconciled to him, he had taken, or perhaps resumed, that resolution when he saw him act against him in the estates, of which he had made himself the master, and be lieving his own condition desperate if he made not haste to prevent it; most certain it is, that he deliberated no more, but only concerning the manner of executing what he had determined.

He had only two ways to choose; the one by justice, first committing him, and afterwards making his process; the other by fact, which was to have him slain. He managed this consultation with exceeding secrecy, admitting only four or five of his confidants, on whom he most relied. One of these was Beauvais Nangis, who, having served the king well in his army against the Reyters, was restored so fully in his favour, that in recompense of the command of colonel of the French infantry which the Duke of Espernon had got over his head, he made him afterwards admiral of France, though he never enjoyed that great dignity, which he had only under the signet.

This lord, who was as prudent and temperate in council, as prompt and daring in execution,

concluded for the methods of justice, maintaining that they were not only the more honest, but also the more safe, because the fear alone which would possess the duke's party, lest they should kill him, in case they attempted to deliver him by force, and by that means hinder the course of justice, would stop all manner of such proceeding, and restrain them within the terms of duty: That after all, if he were once made prisoner, which might be done without noise or tumult, it would be easy to give him such judges as should soon despatch his trial, and that afterwards he might be executed in prison, according to the laws. But if, on the contrary, they should enter crudely on so bloody an execution, there was danger lest that action, which was never to be well justified, and which the Leaguers would certainly cause to pass in the world for tyrannical and perfidious, might raise a rebellion in the greatest part of France, which had already declared so loudly for that prince, whom they regarded as the pillar of religion, and would afterwards look on as the martyr of it. But the rest, who believed it impossible on that occasion to observe the ordinary forms of law and justice, and thought that, the head being once cut off, the body of the League would immediately fall like a dead body, were of opinion, that he should be despatched with all possible speed, which was easy to perform, especially in the castle, where the duke was almost hourly in the king's power, whom he had in no manner of distrust, as sufficiently appeared by his lodging there.

In the mean time, it is most certain that this secret was not kept so close, but that he received advertisement from more than one of his imminent danger, and that his death already was resolved. And he slighted not so much these observations, as intrepid as he was, or as he affected to appear, by replying continually, They dare not, but that, two or three days before his death, he consulted on this affair, which so nearly concerned him, with the cardinal of Guise his brother, the archbishop of Lyons, the president de Neuilly, the provost of the merchants, and the Sieur de Mandrevile, governor of St. Menehoud, on whom he principally relied. In weighing those proofs which in a manner were indubitable that a design was laid against him, they were unanimously of opinion, that the safest course was to be taken, and that under some pretence or other he should instantly retire; excepting only the archbishop, who continued obstinate to the contrary, fortifying his opinion with this argument, that since he was upon the point of carrying all things in the estates according to his wish, he ran the hazard of losing all by leaving them; and that, for the

rest, it was not credible that the king should be so ill advised, as to incur the manifest danger of ruining himself, by striking that unhappy blow. To which Mandrevile replied, swearing, that for a man of sense, as he was, he was the worst arguer he ever knew. "For," said he, " you talk of the king as if he were a wary and coolheaded prince, looking before him at every step; and will not understand that he is only a hotbrained fool, who thinks no farther than how to execute what his two base passions, fear and hatred, which possess him, have once made sink into his imagination, and never considers what a wise man ought to do on this occasion. It were a folly, therefore, for the duke to hazard himself in such a manner, and to be moved by so weak a reason, to lose all in a moment.'

It is wonderful to observe, that the most clearsighted men, who have it in their power, if they will use the means before them, to avoid that which is called their destiny, after the misfortune is happened, should suffer themselves to be dragged and hurried to it as it were by force, in spite of their understanding and their foresight, which their own rashness, and not a pretended fatality, renders unprofitable to them. It is reported, that the Duke of Guise confessed that this discourse of Mandrevile carried the greater force of reason; yet nevertheless, he added, that having gone so far forward as he then was, if he should see death coming in at the windows upon him, he would not give one step backward to the door, though by so doing, he were certain to avoid it. Nevertheless, it is very probable, that the encouragement he had to speak with so much loftiness and resolution, was the assurance, which he thought he had, that the king, whose genius he knew, particularly since the day when he entered into the Louvre, where the duke gave himself for lost, would never afterwards dare to take up so bold a resolution as to kill him.

It is certain, that when the Sieur de Vins, one of his greatest confidants, had written to him from Provence, that he should beware of keeping so near the king, and not rely on those large testimonies of his affection which he said he had received; the duke answered him, that he reposed not the hopes of his own safety on the king's virtue, whom he knew to be ill-natured, and a hypocrite, but on his judgment and on his fear; because it was not credible, but he must needs understand, that he himself was ruined in case he made any attempt against his person. But he learned, at his own cost, by the unhappy experiment which he made, that it had been better for him to have followed the wise advice which was given him, and which he him

self had approved, than a bare conjecture, and the impulse of his inborn generosity, which his bloody and lamentable death, as things are commonly judged by their event, has caused to pass in the world for an effect of the greatest rashness.

It ought not here to be expected, that I should dwell on an exact and long description of all the circumstances of that tragical action, which has been so unfortunate to France, and so ill received in the world. Besides that they are recounted, in very different manners, by the historians of one and the other religion, according to their different passions, and that the greatest part of them are either false, or have little in them worth observation; the thing was done with so great facility and precipitation, and withal in so brutal a manner, that it cannot be too hastily passed over: this then is the plain and succinct relation of it.

After that the brave Grillon, Maitre de Camp of the regiment of guards, had generously refused to kill the Duke of Guise, unless in single duel, and in an honourable way, the king had recourse to Lognac, the first gentleman of his chamber, and captain of the forty-five, who promised him eighteen or twenty of the most resolute amongst them, and for whom he durst be answerable. They were of the number of those whom the Duke of Guise, who had always a distrust of those Gascons, as creatures of the duke of Espernon, had formerly demanded that they might be dismissed, from which request he had afterwards desisted; insomuch that it may be said he foresaw the misfortune that attended him, without being able to avoid it. For, on Friday the twenty-third of December, being entered about eight of the clock in the morning into the great hall, where the king had intimated on Thursday night that he intended to hold the council very early, that he might afterwards go to Nostre Dame de Clery; some came to tell him that his majesty expected him in the old closet, yet he was not there, but in the other which looks into the garden. Upon this, he arose from the fireside, where, finding himself somewhat indisposed, he had been seated; and passed through a narrow entry, which was on one side the hall, into the chamber, where he found Lognac, with seven or eight of the forty-five; the king himself having caused them to enter into that room very secretly before daybreak: the rest of them were posted in the old closet, and all of them had great poniards hid under their cloaks, expecting only the coming of the Duke of Guise, to make sure work with him, whether it were in the chamber or in the closet, in case he should retire thither for his defence.

There needed not so great a preparation for

the killing of a single man, who came thither without distrust of any thing that was designed against him; and who, holding his hat in one hand, and with the other the lappet of his cloak, which he had wrapped under his left arm, was in no condition of defence. In this posture he advanced to the old closet, saluting very civilly, as his custom was, those gentlemen who made show of attending him out of respect, as far as the door. And as in lifting up the hangings, with the help of one of them, he stooped to enter, he was suddenly seized by the arms, and by the legs; and at the same instant struck into the body before, with five or six poniards, and from behind, into the nape of the neck, and the throat, which hindered him from speaking one single word of all that he is made to say, or so much as drawing out his sword. All that he could do, was to drag along his murderers, with the last and strongest effort that he could make, struggling and striving till he fell down at the bed's feet, where, some while after, with a deep groan, he yielded up his breath.

The cardinal of Guise, and archbishop of Lyons, who were in the council-hall, rising up at the noise, with intention of running to his aid, were made prisoners by the marshals D'Aumon and De Retz; at the same time, the cardi

nal of Bourbon was also seized in the castle, together with Anne d'Este, Duchess of Nemours, and mother of the Guises, and the Prince of Joinville, the Dukes of Elbeuf, and Nemours, Brissac, and Boisdauphin, with many other lords who were confidants of the duke, and Pericard, his secretary. And in the mean time the grand provost of the king's house went with his archers to the chamber of the third estate, in the townhouse, and there arrested the president Neuilly, the provost of merchants, the sheriffs Compan and Cotte-Blanch, who were deputies for Paris, and some other notorious Leaguers.

This being done, the king himself brought the news of it to the queen-mother; telling her that now he was a real king, since he had cut off the Duke of Guise. At which that princess being much surprised and moved, asking him if he had made provision against future accidents, he answered her in an angry kind of tone, much differing from his accustomed manner of speaking to her, that she might set her heart at rest, for he had taken order for what might happen, and so went out surlily to go to mass; yet before he went, he sent particularly to cardinal Gondi, and to the cardinal Legat Morosini, and informed them both of what had passed, with his reasons to justify his proceedings.


THAT government, generally considered, is of divine authority, will admit of no dispute: for whoever will seriously consider, that no man has naturally a right over his own life, so as to murder himself, will find, by consequence, that he has no right to take away another's life; and that no pact betwixt man and man, or of corporations and individuals, or of sovereigns and subjects, can entitle the to this right; so that no offender can lawfully, and without sin, be punished, unless that power be derived from God. It is He who has commissioned magistrates, and authorized them to prevent future crimes, by punishing offenders, and to redress the injured by distributive justice; subjects therefore are accountable to superiors, and the superior to Him alone. For, the sovereign being once invested with lawful authority, the subject has irrevocably given up his power, and the dependence of a monarch is alone on God. A king, at his coronation, swears to govern his subjects by the laws of the land, and to maintain the several orders of men under him, in their lawful privileges; and those orders swear allegiance and fidelity to him, but with this distinction, that the failure of the people is punishable by the king, that of the king is only punishable by the King of kings. The people then are not judges of good or ill administration in their king; for it is inconsistent with the nature of sovereignty that they should be so; and if at some times they suffer, through the irregularities of a bad prince, they enjoy more often the benefits and advantages of a good one, as God in his providence shall dispose, either for their blessing or their punishment. The advantages and disadvantages of such subjection, are supposed to have been first considered, and upon this balance they have given up their power without a capacity of resumption; so that it is in vain for a commonwealth party to plead, that men, for example, now in being, cannot bind their posterity, or give up their power; for if subjects can swear only for themselves, when the father dies the subjection ends, and the son,

who has not sworn, can be no traitor or offender, either to the king or to the laws. And at this rate, a long-lived prince may outlive his sovereignty, and be no longer lawfully a king ; but in the mean time it is evident, that the son enjoys the benefit of the laws and government, which an implicit acknowledgment of subjection. It is endless to run through all the extravagances of these men, and it is enough for us that we are settled under a lawful government of a most gracious prince; that our monarchy is hereditary; that it is naturally poised by our municipal laws, with equal benefit of prince and people; that he governs, as he has promised, by explicit laws; and what the laws are silent in, I think I may conclude to be part of his prerogative; for what the king has not granted away, is inherent in him. The point of succession has sufficiently been discussed, both as to the right of it, and to the interest of the people : one main argument of the other side is, how often it has been removed from the right line? as in the case of King Stephen, and of Henry the Fourth, and his descendants of the house of Lancaster. But it is easy to answer them, that matter of fact, and matter of right, are different considerations: both those kings were but usurpers in effect, and the providence of God restored the posterities of those who were dispossessed. By the same argument, they might as well justify the rebellion and murder of the late king; for there was not only a prince inhumanly put to death, but a government overturned; and first an arbitrary commonwealth, then two usurpers set up against the lawful sovereign; but, to our happiness, the same providence has miraculously restored the right heir, and, to their confusion, as miraculously preserved him. In this present history, to go no farther, we see Henry the Third, by a decree of the Sorbonne, divested, what in them lay, of his imperial rights; a parliament of Paris, such another as our first long parliament, confirming their decree; a pope authorizing all this by his excommunication; and a Holy League and Covenant prosecuting this

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