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and at length flies with him to Barbadoes. "As soon as they arrive, Inkle goes and sells his benefactress in the slave-market. Ungrateful and barbarous man! says Yarico, wilt thou sell me, when I am with child by thee? With child! replies the English merchant; so much the better, I shall get more for thee!

And this is given as a true story, and as the origin of a long war. The speech of a woman of Boston to her judges, who condemned her to the house of correction, for the fifth time, for having been brought to bed of a fifth child, was a pleasantry of the illustrious Franklin; yet it is related in this same work as an authentic occurrence.

How
many

tales have embellished and disfigured every history!

An author, who has thought more correctly than he has quoted, asserts that the following epitaph was inade for Cromwell :

Ci git le destructeur d'un pouvoir légitime,
Jusqu'à son dernier jour favorisé des cieux,

Dont les vertus méritaient mieux

Que le sceptre acquis par un crime.
Par quel destin faut-il, par quelle étrange loi
Qu'à tous ceux qui sont nés pour porter la couronne

Ce soit l'Usurpateur qui donne
L'exemple des vertus que doit avoir un Roi ?

Here lies the man who trod on rightful power,
Favoured by Heaven to bis latest bour;
Whose virtues merited a nobler fate
Than that of ruling criminally great.
What wondrous destiny can so ordain,
That among all whose fortune is to reign,
The usurper only to bis sceptre brings

The virtues vainly sought in lawful kings!
These verses were never made for Cromwell, but for
King William. They are not an epitaph;. but were
written under a portrait of that monarch. Instead of
Ci gît (Here lies), it was

Tel fut le destructeur d'un pouvoir légitime.

Such was the man who trod on rightful power. No one in France was ever so stupid as to say, that Cromwell had ever set an example of virtue. It is granted that he had valour and genius; but the title of virtuous was not his due.

A thousand stories a thousand facetiæ, have been travelling about the world for the last thirty centuries. Our books are stuffed with maxims which come forth as new, but are to be found in Plutarch, in Athenæus, in Seneca, in Plautus, in all the ancients.

These are only mistakes, as innocent as they are common : but wilful falsehoods-historical lies, which attack the glory of princes and the reputation of private individuals, are serious offences.

Of all the books that are swelled with false anec. dotes, that in which the most absurd and impudent lies are crowded together, is the pretended Mémoires de Madame de Maintenon. The foundation of it was true : the author had several of that lady's letters, which had been communicated to him by a person of consequence at St. Cyr; but this small quantity of truth is lost in a romance of seven yolumes.

In this work, the author shows us Louis XIV. supplanted by one of his valets-de-chambre.

It supposes letters from Madlle. Mancini (afterwards Madame Colonne) to Louis XIV., in one of which he makes this niece of Cardinal Mazarin say to the King—“ You obey a priest-you are unworthy of me if you submit to serve another. - I love you as I love the light of heaven, but I love your glory still better.” Most certainly the author had not the original of this letter.

“ Madlle. de la Vallière,” he says in another place, “ had thrown herself a sofa, in ght dishabille, her thoughts employed on her lover. Often did the dawn of day find her still seated in a chair, her arm resting on a table, her eye fixed, her soul constantly attached to the same object, in the extacy of love. The King alone occupied her mind; perhaps at that moment she was inwardly complaining of the vigilance of the spies of Henriette, or the severity of the queen-mother. A slight noise aroused her from her reverie—she shrunk back with surprise and dread ;Louis was at her feet-she would have fled-he stopped her; she threatened-he pacified; she wept--he wiped away her tears." Such a description would not now be tolerated in one of our most insipid novels.

VOL. I.

K

Du Haillan* asserts, in one of his small works, that Charles VIII. was not the son of Louis XI. This would account for Louis having neglected his education, and always kept him at a distance. Charles VIII. did not resemble Louis XI. either in body or in mind; but dissimilarity between fathers and their children is still less a proof of illegitimacy than resemblance is a proof of the contrary. That Louis XI. hated Charles VIII. brings us to no conclusion; so bad a son might well be a bad father. Though ten Du Haillans should tell me that Charles VIII. sprung from some other than Louis XI., I ought not to believe them implicitly. ! think a prudent'reader should pronounce as the judges do-Pater est is quem nuptiæ demonstrant.t

Did Charles V. intrigue with his sister Margaret, who governed the Low Countries? Was it by her that he had Don John of Austria, the intrepid brother of the prudent Philip II.? We have no more proof of this than we have of the secrets of Charlemagne's bed, who is said to have made free with all his daughters. If the Holy Scriptures did not assure me that Lot's daughters had children by their own father, and Tamar by her father-in-law, I should hesitate to accuse them of it; one cannot be too discreet.

It has been written that the Duchess De Montpensier bestowed her favours on the monk Jacques Clement, in order to encourage him to assassinate his sovereign. It would have been more politic to have promised them than to have given them. But a fanatical or parricide priest is not incited in this way; heaven is held out to him, and not a woman. His prior Bourgoing had much greater power in determining him to any act, than the greatest beauty upon earth. When he killed the king, he had in his pocket no love-letters, but the stories of Judith and Ehud, quite dog-eared and worn out with thumbing

1

* A French historian.-T.

+ A very convenient axiom under the old French regime, at its height when Voltaire wrote this passage.-T.

Jean Châtel and Ravaillac had no accomplices; their crime was that of the age; their only accomplice was the cry of religion. It has been repeatedly asserted, that Ravaillac had taken a journey to Naples, and that the jesuit Alagona had, in Naples, predicted the death of the king. The jesuits never were prophets: had they been so, they would have foretold their own destination; but, on the contrary, they, poor men ! always positively declared, that they should endure to the end of time. We should never be too sure of anything.

It is in vain that the jesuit Daniel tells me, in his very dry and very defective History of France, that Henry IV. was a Catholic long before his abjuration. I will rather believe Henry IV, himself than the jesuit Daniel. His letter to La Belle Gabrielle- C'est demain que je fais le saut perilleux," (To-morrow I take the fatal leap) proves, at least, that something different from Catholicism was still in his heart. Had his great soul been long penetrated by the efficacy of grace, he would perhaps have said to his mistress, “These bishops edify me;" but he says, Ces gens-la m'ennuient (These people weary me.) . Are these the words of a good catechu

men?

This great man's letters to Corisande d'Andouin, Countess of Grammont, are not a matter of doubt; they still exist in the originals. The author of the Essai sur les Moeurs et l’Esprit des Nations (Essay on the Manners and Spirit of Nations) gives several of these interesting letters, in which there are the following curious passages. Tous ces empoisonneurs sont tous Papistes.Jai découvert un tueur pour moi.—Les prêcheurs Romains prêchent tout-haut qu'il n'y a plus qu'une mort à voir ;

ils admonestent tout bon Catholique de prendre exemple.Et vous êtes de cette religion ! Si je n'étais Huguenot, je me ferais Turc.* It is difficult, after seeing these tes

*“ Tbese poisoners are all Papists.--I have discovered an executioner for myself.-The Roman preachers exclaim aloud, that there is only one more death to be looked for ; they admooish all good Catholics to profit by the exainple (of the poisopiog of the Prince of Coudé.)-And you are of this religion - If I were not a Hugonot, I would turn Turk."

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timonials in Henry IV.'s own hand, to become firmly persuaded that he was a Catholic in his heart.

Another modern historian accuses the Duke of Lerma of the murder of Henry IV. “ This,” says he, " is the best established opinion." This opinion is evidently the worst established. It has never been heard of in Spain; and in France, the continuator of De Thou is the only one who has given any credit

to these vague and ridiculous suspicions. If the Duke of Lerma, prime minister, employed Ravaillac, he payed him very

ill; for when the unfortunate man was seized, he was almost without money. If the Duke of Lerma either prompted him or caused him to be prompted to the commission of the act, by the promise of a reward proportioned to the attempt, Ravaillac would assuredly have named both him and his emissaries, if only to revenge himself. He named the Jesuit D'Aubigny, to whom he had only shown a knife-why then should he spare the Duke of Lerma? is very strange obstinacy not to believe what Ravaillac himself declared when put to the torture. Is a great Spanish family to be insulted without the least shadow of proof?

Et voilà justement comme on écrit l'histoire. (Yet thus is history written.) The Spanish nation is not accustomed to resort to shameful crimes; and the Spanish grandees have always possessed a generous pride, which has prevented them from acting so basely. If Philip II. set a price on the head of the Prince of Orange, he had, at least, the pretext of punishing a rebellious subject, as the parliament of Paris had when they set fifty thousand crowns on the head of Admiral Coligni, and afterwards on that of Cardinal Mazarin. These political proscriptions partook of the horror of the civil wars; but how can it be supposed that the Duke of Lerma had secret communications with a poor wretch like Ravaillac?

The same author says, that Marshal D'Ancre and his wife were struck, as it were, by a thunderbolt. The truth is, that the one was struck by pistol-balls, and the other burned as a witch. An assassination and a

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