The Memoirs of Cardinal de Retz, entire
Jean Francois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz

Part 3 out of 5

Posterity will hardly believe that the Queen of England, granddaughter of
Henri the Great, wanted a fagot to light a fire in the month of January,
in the Louvre, and at the Court of France.

There are many passages in history less monstrous than this which make us
shudder, and this mean action of the Court made so little impression upon
the minds of the generality of the people at that time that I have
reflected a thousand times since that we are far more moved at the
hearing of old stories than of those of the present time; we are not
shocked at what we see with our own eyes, and I question whether our
surprise would be as great as we imagine at the story of Caligula's
promoting his horse to the dignity of a consul were he and his horse now

To return to the war. A cornet of my regiment being taken prisoner and
carried to Saint Germain, the Queen immediately ordered his head to be
cut off, but I sent a trumpeter to acquaint the Court that I would make
reprisals upon my prisoners, so that my cornet was exchanged and a cartel

As soon as Paris declared itself, all the kingdom was in a quandary, for
the Parliament of Paris sent circular letters to all the Parliaments and
cities in the kingdom exhorting them to join against the common enemy;
upon which the Parliaments of Aix and Rouen joined with that of Paris.
The Prince d'Harcourt, now Duc d'Elbeuf, and the cities of Rheims, Tours,
and Potiers, took up arms in its favour. The Duc de La Tremouille raised
men for them publicly. The Duc de Retz offered his service to the
Parliament, together with Belle Isle. Le Mans expelled its bishop and
all the Lavardin family, who were in the interest of the Court.

On the 18th of January, 1649, I was admitted to a seat and vote in
Parliament, and signed an alliance with the chief leaders of the party:
MM. de Beaufort, de Bouillon, de La Mothe, de Noirmoutier, de Vitri, de
Brissac, de Maure, de Matha, de Cugnac, de Barnire, de Sillery, de La
Rochefoucault, de Laigues, de Sevigny, de Bethune, de Luynes, de
Chaumont, de Saint-Germain, d'Action, and de Fiesque.

On the 9th of February the Prince de Conde attacked and took Charenton.
All this time the country people were flocking to Paris with provisions,
not only because there was plenty of money, but to enable the citizens to
hold out against the siege, which was begun on the 9th of January.

On the 12th of February a herald came with two trumpeters from the Court
to one of the city gates, bringing three packets of letters, one for the
Parliament, one for the Prince de Conti, and the third for the Hotel de
Ville. It was but the night before that a person was caught in the halls
dropping libels against the Parliament and me; upon which the Parliament,
Princes, and city supposed that this State visit was nothing but an
amusement of Cardinal Mazarin to cover a worse design, and therefore
resolved not to receive the message nor give the herald audience, but to
send the King's Council to the Queen to represent to her that their
refusal was out of pure obedience and respect, because heralds are never
sent but to sovereign Princes or public enemies, and that the Parliament,
the Prince de Conti, and the city were neither the one nor the other.
At the same time the Chevalier de Lavalette, who distributed the libels,
had formed a design to kill me and M. de Beaufort upon the Parliament
stairs in the great crowd which they expected would attend the appearance
of the herald. The Court, indeed, always denied his having any other
commission than to drop the libels, but I am certain that the Bishop of
Dole told the Bishop of Aire, but a night or two before, that Beaufort
and I should not be among the living three days hence.

The King's councillors returned with a report how kindly they had been
received at Saint Germain. They said the Queen highly approved of the
reasons offered by the Parliament for refusing entrance to the herald,
and that she had assured them that, though she could not side with the
Parliament in the present state of affairs, yet she received with joy the
assurances they had given her of their respect and submission, and that
she would distinguish them in general and in particular by special marks
of her good-will. Talon, Attorney-General, who always spoke with dignity
and force, embellished this answer of the Queen with all the ornaments he
could give it, assuring the Parliament in very pathetic terms that, if
they should be pleased to send a deputation to Saint Germain, it would be
very kindly received, and might, perhaps, be a great step towards a

When I saw that we were besieged, that the Cardinal had sent a person
into Flanders to treat with the Spaniards, and that our party was now so
well formed that there was no danger that I alone should be charged with
courting the alliance of the enemies of the State, I hesitated no longer,
but judged that, as affairs stood, I might with honour hear what
proposals the Spaniards would make to me for the relief of Paris; but I
took care not to have my name mentioned, and that the first overtures
should be made to M. d'Elbeuf, who was the fittest person, because during
the ministry of Cardinal de Richelieu he was twelve or fifteen years in
Flanders a pensioner of Spain. Accordingly Arnolfi, a Bernardin friar,
was sent from the Archduke Leopold, Governor of the Spanish Netherlands
for the King of Spain, to the Duc d'Elbeuf, who, upon sight of his
credentials, thought himself the most considerable man of the party,
invited most of us to dinner, and told us he had a very important matter
to lay before us, but that such was his tenderness for the French name
that he could not open so much as a small letter from a suspected
quarter, which, after some scrupulous and mysterious circumlocutions, he
ventured to name, and we agreed one and all not to refuse the succours
from Spain, but the great difficulty was, which way to get them.
Fuensaldagne, the general, was inclined to join us if he could have been
sure that we would engage with him; but as there was no possibility of
the Parliaments treating with him, nor any dependence to be placed upon
the generals, some of whom were wavering and whimsical, Madame de
Bouillon pressed me not to hesitate any longer, but to join with her
husband, adding that if he and I united, we should so far overmatch the
others that it would not be in their power to injure us.

M. de Bouillon and I agreed to use our interest to oblige the Parliament
to hear what the envoy had to say. I proposed it to the Parliament, but
the first motion of it was hissed, in a manner, by all the company as
much as if it had been heretical. The old President Le Coigneux, a man
of quick apprehension, observing that I sometimes mentioned a letter from
the Archduke of which there had been no talk, declared himself suddenly
to be of my opinion. He had a secret persuasion that I had seen some
writings which they knew nothing of, and therefore, while both sides were
in the heat of debate, he said to me:

"Why do you not disclose yourself to your friends? They would come into
your measures. I see very well you know more of the matter than the
person who thinks himself your informant." I vow I was terribly ashamed
of my indiscretion. I squeezed him by the hand and winked at MM. de
Beaufort and de La Mothe. At length two other Presidents came over to my
opinion, being thoroughly convinced that succours from Spain at this time
were a remedy absolutely necessary to our disease, but a dangerous and
empirical medicine, and infallibly mortal to particular persons if it did
not pass first through the Parliament's alembic.

The Bernardin, being tutored by us beforehand what to say when he came
before the Parliament, behaved like a man of good sense.

When he desired audience, or rather when the Prince de Conti desired it
for him, the President de Mesmes, a man of great capacity, but by fear
and ambition most slavishly attached to the Court, made an eloquent and
pathetic harangue, preferable to anything I ever met with of the kind in
all the monuments of antiquity, and, turning about to the Prince de
Conti, "Is it possible, monsieur," said he, "that a Prince of the blood
of France should propose to let a person deputed from the most bitter
enemy of the fleurs-de-lis have a seat upon those flowers?" Then turning
to me, he said, "What, monsieur, will you refuse entrance to your
sovereign's herald upon the most trifling pretexts?" I knew what was
coming, and therefore I endeavoured to stop his mouth by this answer:
"Monsieur, you will excuse me from calling those reasons frivolous which
have had the sanction of a decree." The bulk of the Parliament was
provoked at the President's unguarded expression, baited him very
fiercely, and then I made some pretence to go out, leaving Quatresous, a
young man of the warmest temper, in the House to skirmish with him in my
stead, as having experienced more than once that the only way to get
anything of moment passed in Parliamentary or other assemblies is to
exasperate the young men against the old ones.

In short, after many debates, it was carried that the envoy should be
admitted to audience. Being accordingly admitted, and bidden to be
covered and sit down, he presented the Archduke's credentials, and then
made a speech, which was in substance that his master had ordered him to
acquaint the company with a proposal made him by Cardinal Mazarin since
the blockade of Paris, which his Catholic Majesty did not think
consistent with his safety or honour to accept, when he saw that, on the
one hand, it was made with a view to oppress the Parliament, which was
held in veneration by all the kingdoms in the world, and, on the other,
that all treaties made with a condemned minister would be null and void,
forasmuch as they were made without the concurrence of the Parliament,
to whom only it belonged to register and verify treaties of peace in
order to make them authoritative; that the Catholic King, who proposed to
take no advantage from the present state of affairs, had ordered the
Archduke to assure the Parliament, whom he knew to be in the true
interest of the most Christian King, that he heartily acknowledged them
to be the arbiters of peace, that he submitted to their judgment, and
that if they thought proper to be judges, he left it to their choice to
send a deputation out of their own body to what place they pleased.
Paris itself not excepted, and that his Catholic Majesty would also,
without delay, send his deputies thither to meet and treat with them;
that, meanwhile, he had ordered 18,000 men to march towards their
frontiers to relieve them in case of need, with orders nevertheless to
commit no hostilities upon the towns, etc., of the most Christian King,
though they were for the most part abandoned; and it being his resolution
at this juncture to show his sincere inclination for peace, he gave them
his word of honour that his armies should not stir during the treaty; but
that in case his troops might be serviceable to the Parliament, they were
at their disposal, to be commanded by French officers; and that to
obviate all the reasonable jealousies generally, attending the conduct of
foreigners, they, were at liberty to take all other precautions they
should think proper.

Before his admission the Prdsident de Mesmes had loaded me with
invectives, for secretly corresponding with the enemies of the State, for
favouring his admission, and for opposing that of my sovereign's herald.

I had observed that when the objections against a man are capable of
making greater impression than his answers, it is his best course to say
but little, and that he may talk as much as he pleases when he thinks his
answers of greater force than the objections. I kept strictly to this
rule, for though the said President artfully pointed his satire at me,
I sat unconcerned till I found the Parliament was charmed with what the
envoy had said, and then, in my turn, I was even with the President by
telling him in short that my respect for the Parliament had obliged me to
put up with his sarcasms, which I had hitherto endured; and that I did
not suppose he meant that his sentiments should always be a law to the
Parliament; that nobody there had a greater esteem for him, with which I
hoped that the innocent freedom I had taken to speak my mind was not
inconsistent; that as to the non-admission of the herald, had it not been
for the motion made by M. Broussel, I should have fallen into the snare
through overcredulity, and have given my vote for that which might
perhaps have ended in the destruction of the city, and involved myself in
what has since fully proved to be a crime by the Queen's late solemn
approbation of the contrary conduct; and that, as to the envoy, I was
silent till I saw most of them were for giving him audience, when I
thought it better to vote the same way than vainly to contest it.

This modest and submissive answer of mine to all the scurrilities heaped
upon me for a fortnight together by the First President and the President
de Mesmes had an excellent effect upon the members, and obliterated for a
long time the suspicion that I aimed to govern them by my cabals. The
President de Mesmes would have replied, but his words were drowned in the
general clamour. The clock struck five; none had dined, and many had not
broken their fast, which the Presidents had, and therefore had the
advantage in disputation.

The decree ordering the admission of the Spanish envoy to audience
directed that a copy of what he said in Parliament, signed with his own
hand, should be demanded of him, to the end that it might be registered,
and that, by a solemn deputation, it should be sent to the Queen, with an
assurance of the fidelity of the Parliament, beseeching her at the same
time to withdraw her troops from the neighbourhood of Paris and restore
peace to her people. It being now very late, and the members very
hungry,--circumstances that have greater influence than can be imagined
in debates, they were upon the point of letting this clause pass for want
of due attention. The President Le Coigneux was the first that
discovered the grand mistake, and, addressing himself to a great many
councillors, who were rising up, said, "Gentlemen, pray take your places
again, for I have something to offer to the House which is of the highest
importance to all Europe." When they had taken their places he spoke as

"The King of Spain takes us for arbiters of the general peace; it may be
he is not in earnest, but yet it is a compliment to tell us so. He
offers us troops to march to our relief, and it is certain he does not
deceive us in this respect, but highly obliges us. We have heard his
envoy, and considering the circumstances we are in, we think it right so
to do. We have resolved to give an account of this matter to the King,
which is but reasonable; some imagine that we propose to send the
original decree, but here lies the snake in the grass. I protest,
monsieur," added he, turning to the First President, "that the members
did not understand it so, but that the copy only should be carried to
Court, and the original be kept in the register. I could wish there had
been no occasion for explanation, because there are some occasions when
it is not prudent to speak all that one thinks, but since I am forced to
it, I must say it without further hesitation, that in case we deliver up
the original the Spaniards will conclude that we expose their proposals
for a general peace and our own safety to the caprice of Cardinal
Mazarin; whereas, by delivering only a copy, accompanied with humble
entreaties for a general peace, as the Parliament has wisely ordered,
all Europe will see that we maintain ourselves in a condition capable
of doing real service both to our King and country, if the Cardinal is
so blind as not to take a right advantage of this opportunity."

This discourse was received with the approbation of all the members, who
cried out from all corners of the House that this was the meaning of the
House. The gentlemen of the Court of Inquests did not spare the
Presidents. M. Martineau said publicly that the tenor of this decree was
that the envoy of Spain should be made much of till they received an
answer from Saint Germain, which would prove to be another taunt of the
Cardinal's. Pontcarre said he was not so much afraid of a Spaniard as of
a Mazarin. In short, the generals had the satisfaction to see that the
Parliament would not be sorry for any advances they should make towards
an alliance with Spain.

We sent a courier to Brussels, who was guarded ten leagues out of Paris
by 500 horse, with an account of everything done in Parliament, of the
conditions which the Prince de Conti and the other generals desired for
entering into a treaty with Spain, and of what engagement I could make in
my own private capacity.

After he had gone I had a conference with M. de Bouillon and his lady
about the present state of affairs, which I observed was very ticklish;
that if we were favoured by the general inclination of the people we
should carry all before us, but that the Parliament, which was our chief
strength in one sense, was in other respects our main weakness; that they
were very apt to go backward; that in the very last debate they were on
the point of twisting a rope for their own necks, and that the First
President would show Mazarin his true interests, and be glad to amuse us
by stipulating with the Court for our security without putting us in
possession of it, and by ending the civil war in the confirmation of our
slavery. "The Parliament," I said, "inclines to an insecure and
scandalous peace. We can make the people rise to-morrow if we please;
but ought we to attempt it? And if we divest the Parliament of its
authority, into what an abyss of disorders shall we not precipitate
Paris? But, on the other hand, if we do not raise the people, will the
Parliament ever believe we can? Will they be hindered from taking any
further step in favour of the Court, destructive indeed to their own
interest, but infallibly ruinous to us first?"

M. de Bouillon, who did not believe our affairs to be in so critical a
situation, was, together with his lady, in a state of surprise. The mild
and honourable answer which the Queen returned to the King's councillors
in relation to the herald, her protestations that she sincerely forgave
all the world, and the brilliant gloss of Talon upon her said answer,
in an instant overturned the former resolutions of the Parliament; and if
they regained sometimes their wonted vigour, either by some intervening
accidents or by the skilful management of those who took care to bring
them back to the right way, they had still an inclination to recede.
M. de Bouillon being the wisest man of the party, I told him what I
thought, and with him I concerted proper measures. To the rest, I put on
a cheerful air, and magnified every little circumstance of affairs to our
own advantage.

M. de Bouillon proposed that we should let the Parliament and the Hotel
de Ville go on in their own way, and endeavour all we could clandestinely
to make them odious to the people, and that we should take the first
opportunity to secure, by banishment or imprisonment, such persons as we
could not depend upon. He added that Longueville, too, was of opinion
that there was no remedy left but to purge the Houses. This was exactly
like him, for never was there a man so positive and violent in his
opinion, and yet no man living could palliate it with smoother language.
Though I thought of this expedient before M. de Bouillon, and perhaps
could have said more for it, because I saw the possibility of it much
clearer than he, yet I would not give him to understand that I had
thought of it, because I knew he had the vanity to love to be esteemed
the first author of things, which was the only weakness I observed in his
managing State affairs. I left him an answer in writing, in substance as

"I confess the scheme is very feasible, but attended with pernicious
consequences both to the public and to private persons, for the same
people whom you employ to humble the magistracy will refuse you obedience
when you demand from them the same homage they paid to the magistrates.
This people adored the Parliament till the beginning of the war; they are
still for continuing the war, and yet abate their friendship for the
Parliament. The Parliament imagines that this applies only to some
particular members who are Mazarined, but they are deceived, for their
prejudice extends to the whole company, and their hatred towards
Mazarin's party supports and screens their indifference towards all the
rest. We cheer up their spirits by pasquinades and ballads and the
martial sound of trumpets and kettle-drums, but, after all, do they pay
their taxes as punctually as they did the first few weeks? Are there
many that have done as you and I, monsieur, who sent our plate to the
mint? Do you not observe that they who would be thought zealous for the
common cause plead in favour of some acts committed by those men who are,
in short, its enemies? If the people are so tired already, what will
they be long before they come to their journey's end?

"After we have established our own authority upon the ruin of the
Parliament's, we shall certainly fall into the same inconveniences and be
obliged to act just as they do now. We shall impose taxes, raise moneys,
and differ from the Parliament only in this, that the hatred and envy
they have contracted by various ways from one-third part of the people,--
I mean the wealthy citizens,--in the space of six weeks will devolve upon
us, with that of the other two-thirds of the inhabitants, and will
complete our ruin in one week. May not the Court to-morrow put an end to
the civil war by the expulsion of Mazarin and by raising the siege of
Paris? The provinces are not yet sufficiently inflamed, and therefore we
must double our application to make the most of Paris. Besides the
necessity of treating with Spain and managing the people, there is
another expedient come into my head capable of rendering us as
considerable in Parliament as our affairs require.

"We have an army in Paris which will be looked upon as the people so long
as it continues within its walls. Every councillor of inquest is
inclined to believe his authority among the soldiers to be equal to that
of the generals. But the leaders of the people are not believed to be
very powerful until they make their power known by its execution. Pray
do but consider the conduct of the Court upon this occasion. Was there
any minister or courtier but ridiculed all that could be said of the
disposition of the people in favour of the Parliament even to the day of
the barricades? And yet it is as true that every man at Court saw
infallible marks of the revolution beforehand. One would have thought
that the barricades should have convinced them; but have they been
convinced? Have they been hindered from besieging Paris on the slight
supposition that, though the caprice of the people might run them into a
mutiny, yet it would not break out into a civil war? What we are now
doing might undeceive them effectually; but are they yet cured of their
infatuation? Is not the Queen told every day that none are for the
Parliament but hired mobs, and that all the wealthy burghers are in her
Majesty's interests?

"The Parliament is now as much infatuated as the Court was then. This
present disturbance among the people carries in it all the marks of power
which, in a little time, they will feel the effects of, and which, as
they cannot but foresee, they ought to prevent in time, because of the
murmurs of the people against them and their redoubled affection for M.
de Beaufort and me. But far from it, the Parliament will never open its
eyes until all its authority is quashed by a sudden blow. If they see we
have a design against them they will, perhaps, have so inconsiderable an
opinion of it that they will take courage, and if we should but flinch,
they will bear harder still upon us, till we shall be forced to crush
them; but this would not turn to our account; on the contrary, it is our
true interest to do them all the good we can, lest we divide our own
party, and to behave in such a manner as may convince them that our
interest and theirs are inseparable. And the best way is to draw our
army out of Paris, and to post it so as it may be ready to secure our
convoys and be safe from the insults of the enemy; and I am for having
this done at the request of the Parliament, to prevent their taking
umbrage, till such time at least as we may find our account in it. Such
precautions will insensibly, as it were, necessitate the Parliament to
act in concert with us, and our favour among the people, which is the
only thing that can fix us in that situation, will appear to them no
longer contemptible when they see it backed by an army which is no longer
at their discretion."

M. de Bouillon told me that M. de Turenne was upon the point of declaring
for us, and that there were but two colonels in all his army who gave him
any uneasiness, but that in a week's time he would find some way or other
to manage them, and that then he would march directly to our assistance.
"What do you think of that?" said the Duke. "Are we not now masters both
of the Court and Parliament?"

I told the Duke that I had just seen a letter written by Hoquincourt to
Madame de Montbazon, wherein were only these words: "0 fairest of all
beauties, Peronne is in your power." I added that I had received another
letter that morning which assured me of Mazieres. Madame de Bouillon
threw herself on my neck; we were sure the day was our own, and in a
quarter of an hour agreed upon all the preliminary precautions.

M. de Bouillon, perceiving that I was so overjoyed at this news that I,
as well as his lady, gave little attention to the methods he was
proposing for drawing the army out of Paris without alarming the
Parliament, turned to me and spoke thus, very hastily: "I pardon my wife,
but I cannot forgive you this inadvertence. The old Prince of Orange
used to say that the moment one received good news should be employed in
providing against bad."

The 24th of February, 1649, the Parliament's deputies waited on the Queen
with an account of the audience granted to the envoy of the Archduke.
The Queen told them that they should not have given audience to the
envoy, but that, seeing they had done it, it was absolutely necessary to
think of a good peace,--that she was entirely well disposed; and the Duc
d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde promised the deputies to throw open all
the passages as soon as the Parliament should name commissioners for the

Flamarin being sent at the same time into the city from the Duc d'Orleans
to condole with the Queen of England on the death of her husband (King
Charles I.), went, at La Riviere's solicitation, to M. de La
Rochefoucault, whom he found in his bed on account of his wounds and
quite wearied with the civil war, and persuaded him to come over to the
Court interest. He told Flamarin that he had been drawn into this war
much against his inclinations, and that, had he returned from Poitou two
months before the siege of Paris, he would have prevented Madame de
Longueville engaging in so vile a cause, but that I had taken the
opportunity of his absence to engage both her and the Prince de Conti,
that he found the engagements too far advanced to be possibly dissolved,
that the diabolical Coadjutor would not bear of any terms of peace, and
also stopped the ears of the Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville,
and that he himself could not act as he would because of his bad state of
health. I was informed of Flamarin's negotiations for the Court
interest, and, as the term of his passport had expired, ordered the
'prevot des marchands' to command him to depart from the city.

On the 27th the First President reported to the Parliament what had
occurred at Saint Germain. M. de Beaufort and I had to hinder the people
from entering the Great Chamber, for they threatened to throw the
deputies into the river, and said they had betrayed them and had held
conferences with Mazarin. It was as much as we could do to allay the
fury of the people, though at the same time the Parliament believed the
tumult was of our own raising. This shows one inconvenience of
popularity, namely, that what is committed by the rabble, in spite of all
your endeavours to the contrary, will still be laid to your charge.

Meanwhile we met at the Duc de Bouillon's to consider what was best to be
done at this critical juncture between a people mad for war, a Parliament
for peace, and the Spaniards either for peace or war at our expense and
for their own advantage. The Prince de Conti, instructed beforehand by
M. de La Rochefoucault, spoke for carrying on the war, but acted as if he
were for peace, and upon the whole I did not doubt but that he waited for
some answer from Saint Germain. M. d'Elbeuf made a silly proposal to
send the Parliament in a body to the Bastille. M. de Beaufort, whom we
could not entrust with any important secret because of Madame de
Montbazon, who was very false, wondered that his and my credit with the
people was not made use of on this occasion.

It being very evident that the Parliament would greedily catch at the
treaty of peace proposed by the Court, it was in a manner impossible to
answer those who urged that the only way to prevent it was to hinder
their debates by raising tumults among the people. M. de Beaufort held
up both his hands for it. M. d'Elbeuf, who had lately received a letter
from La Riviere full of contempt, talked like an officer of the army.
When I considered the great risk I ran if I did not prevent a tumult,
which would certainly be laid at my door, and that, on the other hand, I
did not dare to say all I could to stop such commotion, I was at a loss
what to do. But considering the temper of the populace, who might have
been up in arms with a word from a person of any credit among us, I
declared publicly that I was not for altering our measures till we knew
what we were to expect from the Spaniards.

I experienced on this occasion that civil wars are attended with this
great inconvenience, that there is more need of caution in what we say to
our friends than in what we do against our enemies. I did not fail to
bring the company to my mind, especially when supported by M. de
Bouillon, who was convinced that the confusion which would happen in such
a juncture would turn with vengeance upon the authors. But when the
company was gone he told me he was resolved to free himself from the
tyranny, or, rather, pedantry of the Parliament as soon as the treaty
with Spain was concluded, and M. de Turenne had declared himself
publicly, and as soon as our army was without the walls of Paris.
I answered that upon M. de Turenne's declaration I would promise him my
concurrence, but that till then I could not separate from the Parliament,
much less oppose them, without the danger of being banished to Brussels;
that as for his own part, he might come off better because of his
knowledge of military affairs, and of the assurances which Spain was able
to give him, but, nevertheless, I desired him to remember M. d'Aumale,
who fell into the depth of poverty as soon as he had lost all protection
but that of Spain, and, consequently, that it was his interest as well as
mine to side with the Parliament till we ourselves had secured some
position in the kingdom; till the Spanish army, was actually on the march
and our troops were encamped without the city; and till the declaration
of M. de Turenne was carried out, which would be the decisive blow,
because it would strengthen our party with a body of troops altogether
independent of strangers, or rather it would form a party perfectly
French, capable by its own strength to carry on our cause.

This last consideration overjoyed Madame de Bouillon, who, however, when
she found that the company was gone without resolving to make themselves
masters of the Parliament, became very angry, and said to the Duke:

"I told you beforehand that you would be swayed by the Coadjutor."

The Duke replied: "What! madame, would you have the Coadjutor, for our
sakes only, run the risk of being no more than chaplain to Fuensaldagne?
Is it possible that you cannot comprehend what he has been preaching to
you for these last three days?"

I replied to her with a great deal of temper, and said, "Don't you think
that we shall act more securely when our troops are out of Paris, when we
receive the Archduke's answer, and when Turenne has made a public

"Yes, I do," she said, "but the Parliament will take one step to-morrow
which will render all your preliminaries of no use."

"Never fear, madame," said I, "I will undertake that, if our measures
succeed, we shall be in a condition to despise all that the Parliament
can do."

"Will you promise it?" she asked.

"Yes," said I, "and, more than that, I am ready to seal it with my

She took me at my word, and though the Duke used all the arguments with
her which he could think of, she bound my thumb with silk, and with a
needle drew blood, with which she obliged me to sign a promissory note as
follows: "I promise to Madame la Duchesse de Bouillon to continue united
with the Duke her husband against the Parliament in case M. de Turenne
approaches with the army under his command within twenty leagues of Paris
and declares for the city." M. de Bouillon threw it into the fire, and
endeavoured to convince the Duchess of what I had said, that if our
preliminaries should succeed we should still stand upon our own bottom,
notwithstanding all that the Parliament could do, and that if they did
miscarry we should still have the satisfaction of not being the authors
of a confusion which would infallibly cover me with shame and ruin, and
be an uncertain advantage to the family of De Bouillon.

During this discussion a captain in M. d'Elbeuf's regiment of Guards was
seen to throw money to the crowd to encourage them to go to the
Parliament House and cry out, "No peace!" upon which M. de Bouillon and
I agreed to send the Duke these words upon the back of a card: "It will
be dangerous for you to be at the Parliament House to-morrow."
M. d'Elbeuf came in all haste to the Palace of Bouillon to know the
meaning of this short caution. M. de Bouillon told him he had heard that
the people had got a notion that both the Duke and himself held a
correspondence with Mazarin, and that therefore it was their best way not
to go to the House for fear of the mob, which might be expected there
next day.

M. d'Elbeuf, knowing that the people did not care for him, and that he
was no safer in his own house than elsewhere, said that he feared his
absence on such an occasion might be interpreted to his disadvantage.
M. de Bouillon, having no other design but to alarm him with imaginary
fears of a public disturbance, at once made himself sure of him another
way, by telling him it was most advisable for him to be at the
Parliament, but that he need not expose himself, and therefore had best
go along with me.

I went with him accordingly, and found a multitude of people in the Great
Hall, crying, "God bless the Coadjutor! no peace! no Mazarin!" and
M. de Beaufort entering another way at the same time, the echoes of our
names spread everywhere, so that the people mistook it for a concerted
design to disturb the proceedings of Parliament, and as in a commotion
everything that confirms us in the belief of it augments likewise the
number of mutineers, we were very near bringing about in one moment what
we had been a whole week labouring to prevent.

The First President and President de Mesmes having, in concert with the
other deputies, suppressed the answer the Queen made them in writing,
lest some harsh expressions contained therein should give offence, put
the best colour they could upon the obliging terms in which the Queen had
spoken to them; and then the House appointed commissioners for the
treaty, leaving it to the Queen to name the place, and agreed to send
the King's Council next day to demand the opening of the passages,
in pursuance of the Queen's promise. The President de Mesmes, surprised
to meet with no opposition, either from the generals or myself, said to
the First President, "Here is a wonderful harmony! but I fear the
consequences of this dissembled moderation." I believe he was much more
surprised when the sergeants came to acquaint the House that the mob
threatened to murder all that were for the conference before Mazarin was
sent out of the kingdom. But M. de Beaufort and I went out and soon
dispersed them, so that the members retired without the least danger,
which inspired the Parliament with such a degree of boldness afterwards
that it nearly proved their ruin.

On the 2d of March, 1649, letters were brought to the Parliament from the
Duc d'Orleans and the Prince de Conde, expressing a great deal of joy at
what the Parliament had done, but denying that the Queen had promised to
throw open the passages, upon which the Parliament fell into such a rage
as I cannot describe to you. They sent orders to the King's Council,
who were gone that morning to Saint Germain to fetch the passports for
the deputies, to declare that the Parliament was resolved to hold no
conference with the Court till the Queen had performed her promise made
to the First President. I thought it a very proper time to let the Court
see that the Parliament had not lost all its vigour, and made a motion,
by Broussel, that, considering the insincerity of the Court, the levies
might be continued and new commissions given out. The proposition was
received with applause, and the Prince de Conti was desired to issue
commissions accordingly.

M. de Beaufort, in concert with M. de Bouillon, M. de La Mothe and
myself, exclaimed against this contravention, and offered, in the name of
his colleagues and his own, to open all the passages themselves if the
Parliament would but take a firm resolution and be no more beguiled by
deceitful proposals, which had only served to keep the whole nation in
suspense, who would otherwise have declared by this time in favour of its
capital. It is inconceivable what influence these few words had upon the
audience, everybody concluded that the treaty was already broken off; but
a moment after they thought the contrary, for the King's Council returned
with the passports for the deputies, and instead of an order for opening
the passages, a grant--such a one as it was--of 500 quarters of corn per
diem was made for the subsistence of the city. However, the Parliament
took all in good part; all that had been said and done a quarter of an
hour before was buried in oblivion, and they made preparations to go next
day to Ruel, the place named by the Queen for the conference.

The Prince de Conti, M. de Beaufort, M. d'Elbeuf, Marechal de La Mothe,
M. de Brissac, President Bellievre, and myself met that night at M. de
Bouillon's house, where a motion was made for the generals of the army
to send a deputation likewise to the place of conference; but it was
quashed, and indeed nothing would have been more absurd than such a
proceeding when we were upon the point of concluding a treaty with Spain;
and, considering that we told the envoy that we should never have
consented to hold any conference with the Court were we not assured that
it was in our power to break it off at pleasure by means of the people.

The Parliament having lately reproached both the generals and troops with
being afraid to venture without the gates, M. de Bouillon, seeing the
danger was over, proposed at this meeting, for the satisfaction of the
citizens, to carry them to a camp betwixt the Marne and the Seine, where
they might be as safe as at Paris. The motion was agreed to without
consulting the Parliament, and, accordingly, on the 4th of March, the
troops marched out and the deputies of Parliament went to Ruel.

The Court party flattered themselves that, upon the marching of the
militia out of Paris, the citizens, being left to themselves, would
become more tractable, and the President de Mesmes made his boast of
what he said to the generals, to persuade them to encamp their army.
But Senneterre, one of the ablest men at Court, soon penetrated our
designs and undeceived the Court. He told the First President and
De Mesmes that they were beguiled and that they would see it in a little
time. The First President, who could never see two different things at
one view, was so overjoyed when he heard the forces had gone out of Paris
that he cried out:

"Now the Coadjutor will have no more mercenary brawlers at the Parliament

"Nor," said the President de Mesmes, "so many cutthroats."

Senneterre, like a wise man, said to them both:

"It is not the Coadjutor's interest to murder you, but to bring you
under. The people would serve his turn for the first if he aimed at it,
and the army is admirably well encamped for the latter. If he is not a
more honest man than he is looked upon to be here, we are likely to have
a tedious civil war."

The Cardinal confessed that Senneterre was in the right, for, on the
one hand, the Prince de Conde perceived that our army, being so
advantageously posted as not to be attacked, would be capable of giving
him more trouble than if they were still within the walls of the city,
and, on the other hand, we began to talk with more courage in Parliament
than usual.

The afternoon of the 4th of March gave us a just occasion to show it.
The deputies arriving at Ruel understood that Cardinal Mazarin was one
of the commissioners named by the Queen to assist at the conference.
The Parliamentary deputies pretended that they could not confer with a
person actually condemned by Parliament. M. de Tellier told them in the
name of the Duc d'Orleans that the Queen thought it strange that they
were not contented to treat upon an equality with their sovereign, but
that they should presume to limit his authority by excluding his
deputies. The First President and the Court seeming to be immovable, we
sent orders to our deputies not to comply, and to communicate, as a great
secret, to President de Mesmes and M. Menardeau, both creatures of the
Court, the following postscript of a letter I wrote to Longueville:

"P.S.--We have concerted our measures, and are now capable to speak
more to the purpose than we have been hitherto, and since I finished
this letter I have received a piece of news which obliges me to tell
you that if the Parliament do not behave very prudently, they will
certainly be ruined."

Upon this the deputies were resolved to insist upon excluding the
Cardinal from the conference, a determination which was so odious to the
people that, had we permitted it, we should certainly have lost all our
credit with them, and been obliged to shut the gates against our deputies
upon their return.

When the Court saw that the deputies desired a convoy to conduct them
home, they found out an expedient, which was received with great joy;
namely, to appoint two deputies on the part of the Parliament, and two on
the part of the King, to confer at the house of the Duc d'Orleans,
exclusive of the Cardinal, who was thereupon obliged to return to Saint
Germain with mortification.

On the 5th of March, Don Francisco Pisarro, a second envoy from the
Archduke, arrived in Paris, with his and Count Fuensaldagne's answer to
our former despatches by Don Jose d'Illescas, and full powers for a
treaty; instructions for M. de Bouillon, an obliging letter from the
Archduke to the Prince de Conti, and another to myself, from Count
Fuensaldagne, importing that the King, his master, would not take my
word, but would depend upon whatever I promised Madame de Bouillon.

The Prince de Conti and Madame de Longueville, prompted by M. de La
Rochefoucault, were for an alliance with Spain, in a manner without
restriction. M. d'Elbeuf aimed at nothing but getting money. M. de
Beaufort, at the persuasion of Madame de Montbazon, who was resolved to
sell him dear to the Spaniards, was very scrupulous to enter into a
treaty with the enemies of the State; Marechal de La Mothe declared he
could not come to any resolution till he saw M. de Longueville, and
Madame de Longueville questioned whether her husband would come into it;
and yet these very persons but a fortnight before unanimously wrote to
the Archduke for full powers to treat with him.

M. de Bouillon told them that he thought they were absolutely obliged to
treat with Spain, considering the advances they had already made to the
Archduke to that end, and desired them to recollect how they had told his
envoy that they waited only for these full powers and instructions to
treat with him; that the Archduke had now sent his full powers in the
most obliging manner; and that, moreover, he had already gone out of
Brussels, to lead his army himself to their assistance, without staying
for their engagement. He begged them to consider that if they took the
least step backwards, after such advances, it might provoke Spain to take
such measures as would be both contrary to our security and to our
honour; that the ill-concerted proceedings of the Parliament gave us just
grounds to fear being left to shift for ourselves; that indeed our army
was now more useful than it had been before, but--yet not strong enough
to give us relief in proportion to our necessities, especially if it were
not, at least in the beginning, supported by a powerful force; and that,
consequently, a treaty was necessary to be entered into and concluded
with the Archduke, but not upon any mean conditions; that his envoys had
brought carte blanche, but that we ought to consider how to fill it up;
that he promised us everything, but though in treaties the strongest may
safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit, it is certain he cannot
perform everything, and therefore the weakest should be very wary.

The Duke added that the Spaniards, of all people, expected honourable
usage at the beginning of treaties, and he conjured them to leave the
management of the Spanish envoys to himself and the Coadjutor, "who,"
said he, "has declared all along that he expects no advantage either from
the present troubles or from any arrangement, and is therefore altogether
to be depended upon."

This discourse was relished by all the company, who accordingly engaged
us to compare notes with the envoys of Spain, and make our report to the
Prince de Conti and the other generals.

M. de Bouillon assured me that the Spaniards would not enter upon French
ground till we engaged ourselves not to lay down our arms except in
conjunction with them; that is, in a treaty for a general peace; but our
difficulty was how to enter into an engagement of that nature at a time
when we could not be sure but that the Parliament might conclude a
particular peace the next moment. In the meantime a courier came in from
M. de Turenne, crying, "Good news!" as he entered into the court. He
brought letters for Madame and Mademoiselle de Bouillon and myself, by
which we were assured that M. de Turenne and his army, which was without
dispute the finest at that time in all Europe, had declared for us; that
Erlach, Governor of Brisac, had with him 1,000 or 1,200 men, who were all
he had been able to seduce; that my dear friend and kinsman, the Vicomte
de Lamet, was marching directly to our assistance with 2,000 horse; and
that M. de Turenne was to follow on such a day with the larger part of
the army. You will be surprised, without doubt, to hear that M. de
Turenne, General of the King's troops, one who was never a party man,
and would never hear talk of party intrigues, should now declare against
the Court and perform an action which, I am sure, Le Balafre--

[Henri de Lorraine, first of that name, Duc de Guise, surnamed Le
Balafre, because of a wound he received in the left cheek at the
battle of Dormans, the scar of which he carried to his grave. He
formed the League, and was stabbed at an assembly of the States of
Blois in 1588.]

and Amiral de Coligny would not have undertaken without hesitation.
Your wonder will increase yet more when I tell you that the motive of
this surprising conduct of his is a secret to this day. His behaviour
also during his declaration, which he supported but five days, is equally
surprising and mysterious. This shows that it is possible for some
extraordinary characters to be raised above the malice and envy of vulgar
souls; for the merit of any person inferior to the Marshal must have been
totally eclipsed by such an unaccountable event.

Upon the arrival of this express from Turenne I told M. de Bouillon it
was my opinion that, if the Spaniards would engage to advance as far as
Pont-a-Verre and act on this side of it in concert only with us, we
should make no scruple of pledging ourselves not to lay down our arms
till the conclusion of a general peace, provided they kept their promise
given to the Parliament of referring themselves to its arbitration.
"The true interest of the public," said I, "is a general peace, that of
the Parliament and other bodies is the reestablishment of good order,
and that of your Grace and others, with myself, is to contribute to the
before-mentioned blessings in such manner that we may be esteemed the
authors of them; all other advantages are necessarily attached to this,
and the only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them.
You know that I have frequently vowed I had no private interest to serve
in this affair, and I will keep my vow to the end. Your circumstances
are different from mine; you aim at Sedan, and you are in the right.
M. de Beaufort wants to be admiral, and I cannot blame him.
M. de Longueville has other demands--with all my heart. The Prince de
Conti and Madame de Longueville would be, for the future, independent of
the Prince de Conde; that independence they shall have.

"Now, in order to attain to these ends, the only means is to look another
way, to turn all our thoughts to bring about a general peace, and to sign
to-morrow the most solemn and positive engagement with the enemy, and,
the better to please the public, to insert in the articles the expulsion
of Cardinal Mazarin as their mortal enemy, to cause the Spanish forces to
come up immediately to Pont-a-Verre, and those of M. de Turenne to
advance into Champagne, and to go without any loss of time to propose to
the Parliament what Don Josh d'Illescas has offered them already in
relation to a general peace, to dispose them to vote as we would have
them, which they will not fail to do considering the circumstances we are
now in, and to send orders to our deputies at Ruel either to get the
Queen to nominate a place to confer about a general peace or to return
the next day to their seats in Parliament. I am willing to think that
the Court, seeing to what an extremity they are reduced, will comply,
than which what can be more for our honour?

"And if the Court should refuse this proposition at present, will they
not be of another mind before two months are at an end? Will not the
provinces, which are already hesitating, then declare in our favour?
And is the army of the Prince de Conde in a condition to engage that of
Spain and ours in conjunction with that of M. de Turenne? These two
last, when joined, will put us above all the apprehensions from foreign
forces which have hitherto made us uneasy; they will depend much more on
us than we on them; we shall continue masters of Paris by our own
strength, and the more securely because the intervening authority of
Parliament will the more firmly unite us to the people. The declaration
of M. de Turenne is the only means to unite Spain with the Parliament for
our defence, which we could not have as much as hoped for otherwise;
it gives us an opportunity to engage with Parliament, in concert with
whom we cannot act amiss, and this is the only moment when such an
engagement is both possible and profitable. The First President and
De Mesmes are now out of the way, and it will be much easier for us to
obtain what we want in Parliament than if they were present, and if what
is commanded in the Parliamentary decree is faithfully executed, we shall
gain our point, and unite the Chambers for that great work of a general
peace. If the Court still rejects our proposals, and those of the
deputies who are for the Court refuse to follow our motion or to share in
our fortune, we shall gain as much in another respect; we shall keep
ourselves still attached to the body of the Parliament, from which they
will be deemed deserters, and we shall have much greater weight in the
House than now.

"This is my opinion, which I am willing to sign and to offer to the
Parliament if you seize this, the only opportunity. For if M. de Turenne
should alter his mind before it be done, I should then oppose this scheme
with as much warmth as I now recommend it."

The Duke said in answer: "Nothing can have a more promising aspect than
what you have now proposed; it is very practicable, but equally
pernicious for all private persons. Spain will promise all, but perform
nothing after we have once promised to enter into no treaty, with the
Court but for a general peace. This being the only thing the Spaniards
have in view, they will abandon us as soon as they, can obtain it, and if
we urge on this great scheme at once, as you would have us, they would
undoubtedly obtain it in a fortnight's time, for France would certainly
make it with precipitation, and I know the Spaniards would be glad to
purchase it on any terms. This being the case, in what a condition shall
we be the next day after we have made and procured this general peace?
We should indeed have the honour of it, but would this honour screen us
against the hatred and curses of the Court? Would the house of Austria
take up arms again to rescue you and me from a prison? You will say,
perhaps, we may stipulate some conditions with Spain which may secure us
from all insults of this kind; but I think I shall have answered this
objection when I assure you that Spain is so pressed with home troubles
that she would not hesitate, for the sake of peace, to break the most
solemn promises made to us; and this is an inconvenience for which I see
no remedy.

"If Spain should be worse than her word with respect to the expulsion of
Mazarin, what will become of us? And will the honour of our contributing
to the general peace atone for the preservation of a minister to get rid
of whom they took up arms? You know how they abhor the Cardinal; and,
suppose the Cardinal be excluded from the Ministry, according to promise,
shall we not still be exposed to the hatred of the Queen, to the
resentment of the Prince de Conde, and to all the evil consequences that
may be expected from an enraged Court for such an action? There is no
true glory but what is durable; transitory honour is mere smoke. Of this
sort is that which we shall acquire by this peace, if we do not support
it by such alliances as will gain us the reputation of wisdom as well as
of honesty. I admire your disinterestedness above all, and esteem it,
but I am very well assured that if mine went the length of yours you
would not, approve of it. Your family is settled; consider mine, and
cast your eyes on the condition of this lady and on that of both the
father and children."

I answered: "The Spaniards must needs have great regard for us, seeing us
absolute masters of Paris, with eight thousand foot and three thousand
horse at its gates, and the best disciplined troops in the world marching
to our assistance." I did all I could to bring him over to my opinion,
and he strove as much to persuade me to enter into his measures; namely,
to pretend to the envoys that we were absolutely resolved to act in
concert with them for a general peace, but to tell them at the same time
that we thought it more proper that the Parliament should likewise be
consulted; and, as that would require some time, we might in the
meanwhile occupy the envoys by signing a treaty with them, previous to
coming to terms with. The Parliament, which by its tenor would not tie
us up to conclude anything positively in relation to the general peace;
"yet this," said he, "would be a sufficient motive to cause them to
advance with their army, and that of my brother will come up at the same
time, which will astonish the Court and incline them to an arrangement.
And forasmuch as in our treaty with Spain we leave a back door open by
the clause which relates to the Parliament, we shall be sure to make good
use of it for the advantage of the public and of ourselves in case of the
Court's noncompliance."

These considerations, though profoundly wise, did not convince me,
because I thought his inference was not well-grounded. I saw he might
well enough engage the attention of the envoys, but I could not imagine
how he could beguile the Parliament, who were actually treating with the
Court by their deputies sent to Ruel, and who would certainly run madly
into a peace, notwithstanding all their late performances. I foresaw
that without a public declaration to restrain the Parliament from going
their own lengths we should fall again, if one of our strings chanced to
break, into the necessity of courting the assistance of the people, which
I looked upon as the most dangerous proceeding of all.

M. de Bouillon asked me what I meant by saying, "if one of our strings
chanced to break." I replied, "For example, if M. de Turenne should be
dead at this juncture, or if his army has revolted, as it was likely to
do under the influence of M. d'Erlach, pray what would become of us if we
should not engage the Parliament? We should be tribunes of the people
one day, and the next valets de chambre to Count Fuensaldagne.
Everything with the Parliament and nothing without them is the burden of
my song."

After several hours' dispute neither of us was convinced, and I went away
very much perplexed, the rather because M. de Bouillon, being the great
confidant of the Spaniards, I doubted not but he could make their envoys
believe what he pleased.

I was still more puzzled when I came home and found a letter from Madame
de Lesdiguieres, offering me extraordinary advantages in the Queen's name
the payment of my debts, the grant of certain abbeys, and a nomination to
the dignity of cardinal. Another note I found with these words: "The
declaration of the army of Germany has put us all into consternation."
I concluded they would not fail to try experiments with others as well as
myself, and since M. de Bouillon began to think of a back door when all
things smiled upon us, I guessed the rest of our party would not neglect
to enter the great door now flung open to receive them by the declaration
of M. de Turenne. That which afflicted me most of all was to see that
M. de Bouillon was not a man of that judgment and penetration I took him
for in this critical and decisive juncture, when the question was the
engaging or not engaging the Parliament. He had urged me more than
twenty times to do what I now offered, and the reason why I now urged
what I before rejected was the declaration of M. de Turenne, his own
brother, which should have made him bolder than I; but, instead of this,
it slackened his courage, and he flattered himself that Cardinal Mazarin
would let him have Sedan. This was the centre of all his views, and he
preferred these petty advantages to what he might have gained by
procuring peace to Europe. This false step made me pass this judgment
upon the Duke: that, though he was a person of very great parts, yet I
questioned his capacity for the mighty things which he has not done, and
of which some men thought him very capable. It is the greatest
remissness on the part of a great man to neglect the moment that is to
make his reputation, and this negligence, indeed, scarcely ever happens
but when a man expects another moment as favourable to make his fortune;
and so people are commonly deceived both ways.

The Duke was more nice than wise at this juncture, which is very often
the case. I found afterwards that the Prince de Conti was of his
opinion, and I guessed, by some circumstances, that he was engaged in
some private negotiation. M. d'Elbeuf was as meek as a lamb, and seemed,
as far as he dared, to improve what had been advanced already by M. de
Bouillon. A servant of his told me also that he believed his master had
made his peace with the Court. M. de Beaufort showed by his behaviour
that Madame de Montbazon had done what she could to cool his courage, but
his irresolution did not embarrass me very much, because I knew I had her
in my power, and his vote, added to that of MM. de Brissac, de La Mothe,
de Noirmoutier and de Bellievre, who all fell in with my sentiments,
would have turned the balance on my side if the regard for M. de Turenne,
who was now the life and soul of the party, and the Spaniards' confidence
in M. de Bouillon, had not obliged me to make a virtue of necessity.

I found both the Archduke's envoys quite of an other mind; indeed, they
were still desirous of an agreement for a general peace, but they would
have it after the manner of M. de Bouillon, at two separate times, which
he had made them believe would be more for their advantage, because
thereby we should bring the Parliament into it. I saw who was at the
bottom of it, and, considering the orders they had to follow his advice
in everything, all I could allege to the contrary would be of no use. I
laid the state of affairs before the President de Bellievre, who was of
my opinion, and considered that a contrary course would infallibly prove
our ruin, thinking, nevertheless, that compliance would be highly
convenient at this time, because we depended absolutely on the Spaniards
and on M. de Turenne, who had hitherto made no proposals but such as were
dictated by M. de Bouillon.

When I found that all M. de Bellievre and I said could not persuade M. de
Bouillon, I feigned to come round to his opinion, and to submit to the
authority of the Prince de Conti, our Generalissimo. We agreed to treat
with the Archduke upon the plan of M. de Bouillon; that is, that he
should advance his army as far as Pont-A-Verre, and further, if the
generals desired it; who, on their part, would omit nothing to oblige the
Parliament to enter into this treaty, or rather, to make a new one for a
general peace; that is to say, to oblige the King to treat upon
reasonable conditions, the particulars whereof his Catholic Majesty would
refer to the arbitration of the Parliament. M. de Bouillon engaged to
have this treaty 'in totidem verbis' signed by the Spanish ministers, and
did not so much as ask me whether I would sign it or no. All the company
rejoiced at having the Spaniards' assistance upon such easy terms, and at
being at full liberty to receive the propositions of the Court, which
now, upon the declaration of M. de Turenne, could not fail to be very

The treaty was accordingly signed in the Prince de Conti's room at the
Hotel de Ville, but I forbore to set my hand to it, though solicited by
M. de Bouillon, unless they would come to some final resolution; yet I
gave them my word that, if the Parliament would be contented, I had such
expedients in my power as would give them all the time necessary to
withdraw their troops. I had two reasons for what I said: first, I knew
Fuensaldagne to be a wise man, that he would be of a different opinion
from his envoys, and that he would never venture his army into the heart
of the kingdom with so little assurance from the generals and none at all
from me; secondly, because I was willing to show to our generals that I
would not, as far as it lay in my power, suffer the Spaniards to be
treacherously surprised or insulted in case of an arrangement between the
Court and the Parliament; though I had protested twenty times in the same
conference that I would not separate myself from the Parliament.

M. d'Elbeuf said, "You cannot find the expedients you talk of but in
having recourse to the people."

"M. de Bouillon will answer for me," said I, "that it is not there that I
am to find my expedients."

M. de Bouillon, being desirous that I should sign, said, "I know that it
is not your intent, but I am fully persuaded that you mean well, that you
do not act as you would propose, and that we retain more respect for the
Parliament by signing than you do by refusing to sign; for, "speaking
very low, that he might not be heard by the Spanish ministers, "we keep a
back door open to get off handsomely with the Parliament."

"They will open that door," said I, "when you could wish it shut, as is
but too apparent already, and you will be glad to shut it when you
cannot; the Parliament is not a body to be jested with."

After the signing of the treaty, I was told that the envoys had given
2,000 pistoles to Madame de Montbazon and as much to M. d'Elbeuf.

De Bellievre, who waited for me at home, whither I returned full of
vexation, used an expression which has been since verified by the event:
"We failed, this day," said he, "to induce the Parliament, which if we
had done, all had been safe and right. Pray God that everything goes
well, for if but one of our strings fails us we are undone."

As for the conferences for a peace with the Court at Ruel, it was
proposed on the Queen's part that the Parliament should adjourn their
session to Saint Germain, just to ratify the articles of the peace,
and not to meet afterwards for two or three years; but the deputies of
Parliament insisted that it was their privilege to assemble when and
where they pleased. When these and the like stories came to the ears of
the Parisians they were so incensed that the only talk of the Great
Chamber was to recall the deputies, and the generals seeing themselves
now respected by the Court, who had little regard for them before the
declaration of M. de Turenne, thought that the more the Court was
embarrassed the better, and therefore incited the Parliament and people
to clamour, that the Cardinal might see that things did not altogether
depend upon the conference at Ruel. I, likewise, contributed what lay in
my power to moderate the precipitation of the First President and
President de Mesmes towards anything that looked like an agreement.

On the 8th of March the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that M. de
Turenne offered them his services and person against Cardinal Mazarin,
the enemy of the State. I said that I was informed a declaration had
been issued the night before at Saint Germain against M. de Turenne, as
guilty of high treason. The Parliament unanimously passed a decree to
annul it, to authorise his taking arms, to enjoin all the King's subjects
to give him free passage and support, and to raise the necessary funds
for the payment of his troops, lest the 800,000 livres sent from Court to
General d'Erlach should corrupt the officers and soldiers. A severe
edict was issued against Courcelles, Lavardin, and Amilly, who had levied
troops for the King in the province of Maine, and the commonalty were
permitted to meet at the sound of the alarm-bell and to fall foul of all
those who had held assemblies without order of Parliament.

On the 9th a decree was passed to suspend the conference till all the
promises made by the Court to allow the entry of provisions were
punctually executed.

The Prince de Conti informed the House the same day that he was desired
by M. de Longueville to assure them that he would set out from Rouen on
the 15th with 7,000 foot and 3,000 horse, and march directly to Saint
Germain; the Parliament was incredibly overjoyed, and desired the Prince
de Conti to press him to hasten his march as much as possible.

On the 10th the member for Normandy told the House that the Parliament of
Rennes only stayed for the Duc de la Tremouille to join against the
common enemy.

On the 11th an envoy from M. de la Tremouille offered the Parliament,
in his master's name, 8,000 foot and 2,000 horse, who were in a condition
to march in two days, provided the House would permit his master to seize
on all the public money at Poitiers, Niort, and other places whereof he
was already master. The Parliament thanked him, passed a decree with
full powers accordingly, and desired him to hasten his levies with all

Posterity will hardly believe that, notwithstanding all this heat in the
party, which one would have thought could not have immediately
evaporated, a peace was made and signed the same day; but of this more by
and by.

While the Court, as has been before hinted, was tampering with the
generals, Madame de Montbazon promised M. de Beaufort's support to the
Queen; but her Majesty understood that it was not to be done if I were
not at the market to approve of the sale. La Riviere despised M.
d'Elbeuf no longer. M. de Bouillon, since his brother's declaration,
seemed more inclined than before to come to an arrangement with the
Court, but his pretentions ran very high, and both the brothers were in
such a situation that a little assistance would not suffice, and as to
the offers made to myself by Madame de Lesdiguieres, I returned such an
answer as convinced the Court that I was not so easily to be moved.

In short, Cardinal Mazarin found all the avenues to a negotiation either
shut or impassable. This despair of success in the Court was eventually
more to the advantage of the Court than the most refined politics, for it
did not hinder them from negotiating, the Cardinal's natural temper not
permitting him to do otherwise; but, however, he could not trust to the
carrying out of negotiations, and therefore beguiled our generals with
fair promises, while he remitted 800,000 livres to buy off the army of
M. de Turenne, and obliged the deputies at Ruel to sign a peace against
the orders of the Parliament that sent them. The President de Mesmes
assured me several times since that this peace was purely the result of a
conversation he had with the Cardinal on the 8th of March at night, when
his Eminence told him he saw plainly that M. de Bouillon would not treat
till he had the Spaniards and M. de Turenne at the gates of Paris; that
is, till he saw himself in the position to seize one-half of the kingdom.
The President made him this answer:

"There is no hope of any security but in making the Coadjutor
a cardinal."

To which Mazarin answered: "He is worse than the other, who at least
seemed once inclined to treat, but he is still for a general peace, or
for none at all."

President de Mesmes replied: "If things are come to this pass we must be
the victims to save the State from perishing--we must sign the peace.
For after what the Parliament has done to-day there is no remedy, and
perhaps tomorrow we shall be recalled; if we are disowned in what we do
we are ruined, the gates of Paris will be shut against us, and we shall
be prosecuted and treated as prevaricators and traitors. It is our
business and concern to procure such conditions as will give us good
ground to justify our proceedings, and if the terms are but reasonable,
we know how to improve them against the factions; but make them as you
please yourself, I will sign them all, and will go this moment to
acquaint the First President that this is the only expedient to save the
State. If it takes effect we have peace, if we are disowned by the
Parliament we still weaken the faction, and the danger will fall upon
none but ourselves." He added that with much difficulty he had persuaded
the First President.

The peace was signed by Cardinal Mazarin, as well as by the other
deputies, on the part of the King. The substance of the articles was
that Parliament should just go to Saint Germain to proclaim the peace,
and then return to Paris, but hold no assembly that year; that all their
public decrees since the 6th of January should be made void, as likewise
all ordinances of Council, declarations and 'lettres de cachet'; that as
soon as the King had withdrawn his troops from Paris, all the forces
raised for the defence of the city should be disbanded, and the
inhabitants lay down their arms and not take them up again without the
King's order; that the Archduke's deputy should be dismissed without an
answer, that there should be a general amnesty, and that the King should
also give a general discharge for all the public money made use of, as
also for the movables sold and for all the arms and ammunition taken out
of the arsenal and elsewhere.

M. and Madame de Bouillon were extremely surprised when they heard that
the peace was signed. I did not expect the Parliament would make it so
soon, but I said frequently that it would be a very shameful one if we
should let them alone to make it. M. de Bouillon owned that I had
foretold it often enough. "I confess," said he, "that we are entirely to
blame," which expression made me respect him more than ever, for I think
it a greater virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one.
The Prince de Conti, MM. d'Elbeuf, de Beaufort, and de La Mothe were very
much surprised, too, at the signing of the peace, especially because
their agent at Saint Germain had assured them that the Court was fully
persuaded that the Parliament was but a cipher, and that the generals
were the men with whom they must negotiate. I confess that Cardinal
Mazarin acted a very wily part in this juncture, and he is the more to be
commended because he was obliged to defend himself, not only against the
monstrous impertinences of La Riviere, but against the violent passion of
the Prince de Conde.

We held a council at the Duc de Bouillon's, where I persuaded them that
as our deputies were recalled by an order despatched from Parliament
before the treaty was signed, it was therefore void, and that we ought to
take no notice of it, the rather because it had not been communicated to
Parliament in form; and, finally, that the deputies should be charged to
insist on a general treaty of peace and on the expulsion of Mazarin; and,
if they did not succeed, to return forthwith to their seats in
Parliament. But I added that if the deputies should have time to return
and make their report, we should be under the necessity of protesting,
which would so incense the people against them that we should not be able
to keep them from butchering the First President and the President de
Mesmes, so that we should be reputed the authors of the tragedy, and,
though formidable one day, should be every whit as odious the next.
I concluded with offering to sacrifice my coadjutorship of Paris to the
anger of the Queen and the hatred of the Cardinal, and that very
cheerfully, if they would but come into my measures.

M. de Bouillon, after having opposed my reasons, concluded thus: "I know
that my brother's declaration and my urging the necessity of his
advancing with the army before we come to a positive resolution may give
ground to a belief that I have great views for our family. I do not deny
but that I hope for some advantages, and am persuaded it is lawful for me
to do so, but I will be content to forfeit my reputation if I ever agree
with the Court till you all say you are satisfied; and if I do not keep
my word I desire the Coadjutor to disgrace me."

After all I thought it best to submit to the Prince de Conti and the
voice of the majority, who resolved very wisely not to explain themselves
in detail next morning in Parliament, but that the Prince de Conti should
only say, in general, that it being the common report that the peace was
signed at Ruel, he was resolved to send deputies thither to take care of
his and the other generals' interests.

The Prince agreed at once with our decision. Meantime the people rose at
the report I had spread concerning Mazarin's signing the treaty, which,
though we all considered it a necessary stratagem, I now repented of.
This shows that a civil war is one of those complicated diseases wherein
the remedy you prescribe for obviating one dangerous symptom sometimes
inflames three or four others.

On the 13th the deputies of Ruel entering the Parliament House, which was
in great tumult, M. d'Elbeuf, contrary to the resolution taken at M. de
Bouillon's, asked the deputies whether they had taken care of the
interest of the generals in the treaty.

The First President was going to make his report, but was almost stunned
with the clamour of the whole company, crying, "There is no peace! there
is no peace!" that the deputies had scandalously deserted the generals
and all others whom the Parliament had joined by the decree of union,
and, besides, that they had concluded a peace after the revocation of the
powers given them to treat. The Prince de Conti said very calmly that he
wondered they had concluded a treaty without the generals; to which the
First President answered that the generals had always protested that they
had no separate interests from those of the Parliament, and it was their
own fault that they had not sent their deputies. M. de Bouillon said
that, since Cardinal Mazarin was to continue Prime Minister, he desired
that Parliament should obtain a passport for him to retire out of the
kingdom. The First President replied that his interest had been taken
care of, and that he would have satisfaction for Sedan. But M. de
Bouillon told him that he might as well have said nothing, and that he
would never separate from the other generals. The clamour redoubled with
such fury that President de Mesmes trembled like an aspen leaf. M. de
Beaufort, laying his hand upon his sword, said, "Gentlemen, this shall
never be drawn for Mazarin."

The Presidents de Coigneux and de Bellievre proposed that the deputies
might be sent back to treat about the interests of the generals and to
reform the articles which the Parliament did not like; but they were soon
silenced by a sudden noise in the Great Hall, and the usher came in
trembling and said that the people called for M. de Beaufort. He went
out immediately, and quieted them for the time, but no sooner had he got
inside the House than the disturbance began afresh, and an infinite
number of people, armed with daggers, called out for the original treaty,
that they might have Mazarin's sign-manual burnt by the hangman, adding
that if the deputies had signed the peace of their own accord they ought
to be hanged, and if against their will they ought to be disowned. They
were told that the sign-manual of the Cardinal could not be burnt without
burning at the same time that of the Duc d'Orleans, but that the deputies
were to be sent back again to get the articles amended. The people still
cried out, "No peace! no Mazarin! You must go! We will have our good
King fetched from Saint Germain, and all Mazarins thrown into the river!"

The people were ready to break open the great door of the House, yet the
First President was so far from being terrified that, when he was advised
to pass through the registry into his own house that he might not be
seen, he replied, "If I was sure to perish I would never be guilty of
such cowardice, which would only serve to make the mob more insolent, who
would be ready to come to my house if they thought I was afraid of them
here." And when I begged him not to expose himself till I had pacified
the people he passed it off with a joke, by which I found he took me for
the author of the disturbance, though very unjustly. However, I did not
resent it, but went into the Great Hall, and, mounting the solicitors'
bench, waved my hands to the people, who thereupon cried, "Silence!"
I said all I could think of to make them easy. They asked if I would
promise that the Peace of Ruel should not be kept. I answered, "Yes,
provided the people will be quiet, for otherwise their best friends will
be obliged to take other methods to prevent such disturbances." I acted
in a quarter of an hour above thirty different parts. I threatened, I
commanded, I entreated them; and, finding I was sure of a calm, at least
for a moment, I returned to the House, and, embracing the First
President, placed him before me; M. de Beaufort did the same with
President de Mesmes, and thus we went out with the Parliament, all in a
body, the officers of the House marching in front. The people made a
great noise, and we heard some crying, "A republic!" but no injury was
offered to us, only M. de Bouillon received a blow in his face from a
ragamuffin, who took him for Cardinal Mazarin.

On the 16th the deputies were sent again to Ruel by the Parliament to
amend some of the articles, particularly those for adjourning the
Parliament to Saint Germain and prohibiting their future assemblies;
with an order to take care of the interest of the generals and of the
companies, joined together by the decree of union.

The late disturbances obliged the Parliament to post the city trained-
bands at their gates, who were even more enraged against the "Mazarin
peace," as they called it, than the mob, and who were far less dreaded,
because they consisted of citizens who were not for plunder; yet this
select militia was ten times on the point of insulting the Parliament,
and did actually insult the members of the Council and Presidents,
threatening to throw the President de Thore into the river; and when the
First President and his friends saw that they were afraid of putting
their threats into execution, they took an advantage of us, and had the
boldness even to reproach the generals, as if the troops had not done
their duty; though if the generals had but spoken loud enough to be heard
by the people, they would not have been able to hinder them from tearing
the members to pieces.

The Duc de Bouillon came to the Hotel de Ville and made a speech there to
Prince de Conti and the other generals, in substance as follows:

"I could never have believed what I now see of this Parliament. On the
13th they would not hear the Peace of Ruel mentioned, but on the 15th
they approved of it, some few articles excepted; on the 16th they
despatched the same deputies who had concluded a peace against their
orders with full and unlimited powers, and, not content with all this,
they load us with reproaches because we complain that they have treated
for a peace without us, and have abandoned M. de Longueville and M. de
Turenne; and yet it is owing only to us that the people do not massacre
them. We must save their lives at the hazard of our own, and I own that
it is wisdom so to do; but we shall all of us certainly perish with the
Parliament if we let them go on at this rate." Then, addressing himself
to the Prince de Conti, he said, "I am for closing with the Coadjutor's
late advice at my house, and if your Highness does not put it into
execution before two days are at an end, we shall have a peace less
secure and more scandalous than the former."

The company became unanimously of his opinion, and resolved to meet next
day at M. de Bouillon's to consider how to bring the affair into
Parliament. In the meantime, Don Gabriel de Toledo arrived with the
Archduke's ratification of the treaty signed by the generals, and with a
present from his master of 10,000 pistoles; but I was resolved to let the
Spaniards see that I had not the intention of taking their money, though
at his request Madame de Bouillon did all she could to persuade me.
Accordingly, I declined it with all possible respect; nevertheless, this
denial cost me dear afterwards, because I contracted a habit of refusing
presents at other times when it would have been good policy to have
accepted them, even if I had thrown them into the river. It is sometimes
very dangerous to refuse presents from one's superiors.

While we were in conference at M. de Bouillon's the sad news was brought
to us that M. de Turenne's forces, all except two or three regiments, had
been bribed with money from Court to abandon him, and, finding himself
likely to be arrested, he had retired to the house of his friend and
kinswoman, the Landgravine of Hesse. M. de Bouillon, was, as it were,
thunderstruck; his lady burst out into tears, saying, "We are all
undone," and I was almost as much cast down as they were, because it
overturned our last scheme.

M. de Bouillon was now for pushing matters to extremes, but I convinced
him that there was nothing more dangerous.

Don Gabriel de Toledo, who was ordered to be very frank with me, was very
reserved when he saw how I was mortified about the news of M. de Turenne,
and caballed with the generals in such a manner as made me very uneasy.
Upon this sudden turn of affairs I made these remarks: That every company
has so much in it of the unstable temper of the vulgar that all depends
upon joining issue with opportunity; and that the best proposals prove
often fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive to-morrow.

I could not sleep that night for thinking about our circumstances. I saw
that the Parliament was less inclined than ever to engage in a war, by
reason of the desertion of the army of M. de Turenne; I saw the deputies
at Ruel emboldened by the success of their prevarication; I saw the
people of Paris as ready to admit the Archduke as ever they could be to
receive the Duc d'Orleans; I saw that in a week's time this Prince, with
beads in his hand, and Fuensaldagne with his money, would have greater
power than ourselves; that M. de Bouillon was relapsing into his former
proposal of using extremities, and that the other generals would be
precipitated into the same violent measures by the scornful behaviour of
the Court, who now despised all because they were sure of the Parliament.
I saw that all these circumstances paved the way for a popular sedition
to massacre the Parliament and put the Spaniards in possession of the
Louvre, which might overturn the State.

These gloomy thoughts I resolved to communicate to my father, who had for
the last twenty years retired to the Oratory, and who would never hear of
my State intrigues. My father told me of some advantageous offers made
to me indirectly by the Court, but advised me not to trust to them.

Next day, M. de Bouillon was for shutting the gates against the deputies
of Ruel, for expelling the Parliament, for making ourselves masters of
the Hotel de Ville, and for bringing the Spanish army without delay into
our suburbs. As for M. de Beaufort, Don Gabriel de Toledo told me that
he offered Madame de Montbazon 20,000 crowns down and 6,000 crowns a year
if she could persuade him into the Archduke's measures. He did not
forget the other generals. M. d'Elbeuf was gained at an easy rate, and
Marechal de La Mothe was buoyed up with the hopes of being accommodated
with the Duchy of Cardonne. I soon saw the Catholicon of Spain (Spanish
gold) was the chief ingredient. Everybody saw that our only remedy was
to make ourselves masters of the Hotel de Ville by means of the people,
but I opposed it with arguments too tedious to mention. M. de Bouillon
was for engaging entirely with Spain, but I convinced Marechal de La
Mothe and M. de Beaufort that such measures would in a fortnight reduce
them to a precarious dependence on the counsels of Spain.

Being pressed to give my opinion in brief, I delivered it thus: "We
cannot hinder the peace without ruining the Parliament by the help of the
people, and we cannot maintain the war by the means of the same people
without a dependence upon Spain. We cannot have any peace with Saint
Germain but by consenting to continue Mazarin in the Ministry."

M. de Bouillon, with the head of an ox, and the penetration of an eagle,
interrupted me thus: "I take it, monsieur," said he, "you are for
suffering the peace to come to a conclusion, but not for appearing in

I replied that I was willing to oppose it, but that it should be only
with my own voice and the voices of those who were ready to run the same
hazard with me.

"I understand you again," replied M. de Bouillon; "a very fine thought
indeed, suitable to yourself and to M. de Beaufort, but to nobody else."

"If it suited us only," said I, "before I would propose it I would cut
out my tongue. The part we act would suit you as well as either of us,
because you may accommodate matters when you think it for your interest.
For my part, I am fully persuaded that they who insist upon the exclusion
of Mazarin as a condition of the intended arrangement will continue
masters of the affections of the people long enough to take their
advantage of an opportunity which fortune never fails to furnish in
cloudy and unsettled times. Pray, monsieur, considering your reputation
and capacity, who can pretend to act this part with more dignity, than
yourself? M. de Beaufort and I are already the favourites of the people,
and if you declare for the exclusion of the Cardinal, you will be
tomorrow as popular as either of us, and we shall be looked upon as the
only centre of their hopes. All the blunders of the ministers will turn
to our advantage, the Spaniards will caress us, and the Cardinal,
considering how fond he is of a treaty, will be under the necessity to
court us. I own this scheme may be attended with inconveniences, but,
on the other side of the question, we are sure of certain ruin if we have
a peace and an enraged minister at the helm, who cannot hope for
reestablishment but upon our destruction. Therefore, I cannot but think
the expedient is as proper for you to engage in as for me, but if, for
argument's sake, it were not, I am sure it is for your interest that I
should embrace it, for you will by that means have more time to make your
own terms with the Court before the peace is concluded, and after the
peace Mazarin will in such case be obliged to have more regard for all
those gentlemen whose reunion with me it will be to his interest to

M. de Bouillon was so convinced of the justice of my reasoning that he
told me, when we were by ourselves, that he had, as well as myself,
thought of my expedient as soon as he received the news of the army
deserting M. de Turenne, that he could still improve it, as the Spaniards
would not fail to relish it, and that he had been on the point several
times one day to confer about it with me; but that his wife had conjured
him with prayers and tears to speak no more of the matter, but to come to
terms with the Court, or else to engage himself with the Spaniards.
"I know," said he, "you are not for the second arrangement; pray lend me
your good offices to compass the first." I assured him that all my best
offices and interests were entirely at his service to facilitate his
agreement with the Court, and that he might freely make use of my name
and reputation for that purpose.

In fine, we agreed on every point. M. de Bouillon undertook to make the
proposition palatable to the Spaniards, provided we would promise never
to let them know that it was concerted among ourselves beforehand, and we
never questioned but that we could persuade M. de Longueville to accept
it, for men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures which lead
them two ways, and consequently press them to no choice.

I had almost forgotten to tell you what M. de Bouillon said to me in
private as we were going from the conference. "I am sure," said he,
"that you will not blame me for not exposing a wife whom I dearly love
and eight children whom she loves more than herself to the hazards which
you run, and which I could run with you were I a single man."

I was very much affected by the tender sentiments of M. de Bouillon and
the confidence he placed in me, and assured him I was so far from blaming
him that I esteemed him the more, and that his tenderness for his lady,
which he was pleased to call his weakness, was indeed what politics
condemned but ethics highly justified, because it betokened an honest
heart, which is much superior both to interest and politics. M. de
Bouillon communicated the proposal both to the Spanish envoys and to the
generals, who were easily persuaded to relish it.

Thus he made, as it were, a golden bridge for the Spaniards to withdraw
their troops with decency. I told him as soon as they were gone that he
was an excellent man to persuade people that a "quartan ague was good for

The Parliamentary deputies, repairing to Saint Germain on the 17th of
March, 1649, first took care to settle the interests of the generals,
upon which every officer of the army thought he had a right to exhibit
his pretensions. M. de Vendome sent his son a formal curse if he did not
procure for him at least the post of Superintendent of the Seas, which
was created first in favour of Cardinal de Richelieu in place of that of
High Admiral, but Louis XIV. abolished it, and restored that of High

Upon this we held a conference, the result of which was that on the 20th
the Prince de Conti told the Parliament that himself and the other
generals entered their claims solely for the purpose of providing for
their safety in case Mazarin should continue in the Ministry, and that he
protested, both for himself and for all the gentlemen engaged in the same
party, that they would immediately renounce all pretensions whatsoever
upon the exclusion of Cardinal Mazarin.

We also prevailed on the Prince de Conti, though almost against his will,
to move the Parliament to direct their deputies to join with the Comte de
Maure for the expulsion of Cardinal Mazarin. I had almost lost all my
credit with the people, because I hindered them on the 13th of March from
massacring the Parliament, and because on the 23d and 24th I opposed the
public sale of the Cardinal's library. But I reestablished my reputation
in the Great Hall among the crowd, in the opinion of the firebrands of
Parliament, by haranguing against the Comte de Grancei, who had the
insolence to pillage the house of M. Coulon; by insisting on the 24th
that the Prince d'Harcourt should be allowed to seize all the public
money in the province of Picardy; by insisting on the 25th against a
truce which it would have been ridiculous to refuse during a conference;
and by opposing on the 30th what was transacted there, though at the same
time I knew that peace was made.

I now return to the conference at Saint Germain.

The Court declared they would never consent to the removal of the
Cardinal; and that as to the pretensions of the generals, which were
either to justice or favour, those of justice should be confirmed, and
those of favour left to his Majesty's disposal to reward merit. They
declared their willingness to accept the Archduke's proposal for a
general peace.

An amnesty was granted in the most ample manner, comprehending expressly
the Prince de Conti, MM. de Longueville, de Beaufort, d'Harcourt, de
Rieug, de Lillebonne, de Bouillon, de Turenne, de Brissac, de Duras, de
Matignon, de Beuron, de Noirmoutier, de Sdvigny, de Tremouille, de La
Rochefoucault, de Retz, d'Estissac, de Montresor, de Matta, de Saint
Germain, d'Apchon, de Sauvebeuf, de Saint Ibal, de Lauretat, de Laigues,
de Chavagnac, de Chaumont, de Caumesnil, de Cugnac, de Creci, d'Allici,
and de Barriere; but I was left out, which contributed to preserve my
reputation with the public more than you would expect from such a trifle.

On the 31st the deputies, being returned, made their report to the
Parliament, who on the 1st of April verified the declaration of peace.

As I went to the House I found the streets crowded with people crying "No
peace! no Mazarin!" but I dispersed them by saying that it was one of
Mazarin's stratagems to separate the people from the Parliament, who
without doubt had reasons for what they had done; that they should be
cautious of falling into the snare; that they had no cause to fear
Mazarin; and that they might depend on it that I would never agree with
him. When I reached the House I found the guards as excited as the
people, and bent on murdering every one they knew to be of Mazarin's
party; but I pacified them as I had done the others. The First
President, seeing me coming in, said that "I had been consecrating oil
mixed, undoubtedly, with saltpetre." I heard the words, but made as if I
did not, for had I taken them up, and had the people known it in the
Great Hall, it would not have been in my power to have saved the life of
one single member.

Soon after the peace the Prince de Conti, Madame de Longueville and M. de
Bouillon went to Saint Germain to the Court, which had by some means or
other gained M. d'Elbeuf. But MM. de Brissac, de Retz, de Vitri, de
Fiesque, de Fontrailles, de Montresor, de Noirmoutier, de Matta, de la
Boulaie, de Caumesnil, de Moreul, de Laigues, and d'Annery remained in a
body with us, which was not contemptible, considering the people were on
our side; but the Cardinal despised us to that degree that when MM. de
Beaufort, de Brissac, de La Mothe, and myself desired one of our friends
to assure the Queen of our most humble obedience, she answered that she
should not regard our assurances till we had paid our devoirs to the

Madame de Chevreuse having come from Brussels without the Queen's leave,
her Majesty sent her orders to quit Paris in twenty-four hours upon which
I went to her house and found the lovely creature at her toilet bathed in
tears. My heart yearned towards her, but I bid her not obey till I had
the honour of seeing her again. I consulted with M. de Beaufort to get
the order revoked, upon which he said, "I see you are against her going;
she shall stay. She has very fine eyes!"

I returned to the Palace de Chevreuse, where I was made very welcome, and
found the lovely Mademoiselle de Chevreuse. I got a very intimate
acquaintance with Madame de Rhodes, natural daughter of Cardinal de
Guise, who was her great confidant. I entirely demolished the good
opinion she had of the Duke of Brunswick-Zell, with whom she had almost
struck a bargain. De Laigues hindered me at first, but the forwardness
of the daughter and the good-nature of the mother soon removed all
obstacles. I saw her every day at her own house and very often at Madame
de Rhodes's, who allowed us all the liberty we could wish for, and we did
not fail to make good use of our time. I did love her, or rather I
thought I loved her, for I still had to do with Madame de Pommereux.

Fronde (sling) being the name given to the faction, I will give you the
etymology of it, which I omitted in the first book.

When Parliament met upon State affairs, the Duc d'Orleans and the Prince
de Conde came very frequently, and tempered the heat of the contending
parties; but the coolness was not lasting, for every other day their fury
returned upon them.

Bachoumont once said, in jest, that the Parliament acted like the
schoolboys in the Paris ditches, who fling stones, and run away when they
see the constable, but meet again as soon as he turns his back. This was
thought a very pretty comparison. It came to be a subject for ballads,
and, upon the peace between the King and Parliament, it was revived and
applied to those who were not agreed with the Court; and we studied to
give it all possible currency, because we observed that it excited the
wrath of the people. We therefore resolved that night to wear hatbands
made in the form of a sling, and had a great number of them made ready to
be distributed among a parcel of rough fellows, and we wore them
ourselves last of all, for it would have looked much like affectation and
have spoilt all had we been the first in the mode.

It is inexpressible what influence this trifle had upon the people; their
bread, hats, gloves, handkerchiefs, fans, ornaments were all 'a la mode
de la Fronde', and we ourselves were more in the fashion by this trifle
than in reality. And the truth is we had need of all our shifts to
support us against the whole royal family. For although I had spoken to
the Prince de Conde at Madame de Longueville's, I could not suppose
myself thoroughly reconciled. He treated me, indeed, civilly, but with
an air of coldness, and I know that he was fully persuaded that I had
complained of his breach of a promise which he made by me to some members
of Parliament; but, as I had complained to nobody upon this head, I began
to suspect that some persona studied to set us at variance. I imagined
it came from the Prince de Conti, who was naturally very malicious, and
hated me, he knew not why. Madame de Longueville loved me no better.
I always suspected Madame de Montbazon, who had not nearly so much
influence over M. de Beaufort as I had, yet was very artful in robbing
him of all his secrets. She did not love me either, because I deprived
her of what might have made her a most considerable person at Court.

Count Fuensaldagne was not obliged to help me if he could. He was not
pleased with the conduct of M. de Bouillon, who, in truth, had neglected
the decisive point for a general peace, and he was much less satisfied
with his own ministers, whom he used to call his blind moles; but he was
pleased with me for insisting always on the peace between the two Crowns,
without any view to a separate one. He therefore sent me Don Antonio
Pimentel, to offer me anything that was in the power of the King his
master, and to tell me that, as I could not but want assistance,
considering how I stood with the Ministry, 100,000 crowns was at my
service, which was accordingly brought me in bills of exchange. He added
that he did not desire any engagement from me for it, nor did the King
his master propose any other advantage than the pleasure of protecting
me. But I thought fit to refuse the money, for the present, telling Don
Antonio that I should think myself unworthy, of the protection of his
Catholic Majesty if I took any, gratuity, while I was in no capacity,
of serving him; that I was born a Frenchman, and, by virtue of my, post,
more particularly, attached than another to the metropolis of the
kingdom; that it was my misfortune to be embroiled with the Prime
Minister of my King, but that my resentment should never carry me to
solicit assistance among his enemies till I was forced to do so for self-
preservation; that Divine Providence had cast my lot in Paris, where God,
who knew the purity of my intentions, would enable me in all probability
to maintain myself by my own interest. But in case I wanted protection I
was fully persuaded I could nowhere find any so powerful and glorious as
that of his Catholic Majesty, to whom I would always think it an honour
to have recourse. Fuensaldagne was satisfied with my answer, and sent
back Don Antonio Pimentel with a letter from the Archduke, assuring me
that upon a line from my hand he would march with all the forces of the
King his master to my assistance.


Always to sacrifice the little affairs to the greater
Always judged of actions by men, and never men by their actions
Arms which are not tempered by laws quickly become anarchy
Associating patience with activity
Blindness that make authority to consist only in force
Bounty, which, though very often secret, had the louder echo
Civil war is one of those complicated diseases
Clergy always great examples of slavish servitude
Confounded the most weighty with the most trifling
Contempt--the most dangerous disease of any State
Dangerous to refuse presents from one's superiors
Distinguished between bad and worse, good and better
Fading flowers, which are fragrant to-day and offensive tomorrow
Fool in adversity and a knave in prosperity
Fools yield only when they cannot help it
Good news should be employed in providing against bad
He had not a long view of what was beyond his reach
His wit was far inferior to his courage
His ideas were infinitely above his capacity
Impossible for her to live without being in love with somebody
Inconvenience of popularity
Kinds of fear only to be removed by higher degrees of terror
Laws without the protection of arms sink into contempt
Maxims showed not great regard for virtue
More ambitious than was consistent with morality
My utmost to save other souls, though I took no care of my own
Need of caution in what we say to our friends
Neither capable of governing nor being governed
Men of irresolution are apt to catch at all overtures
Never had woman more contempt for scruples and ceremonies
Oftener deceived by distrusting than by being overcredulous
One piece of bad news seldom comes singly
Only way to acquire them is to show that we do not value them
Poverty so well became him
Power commonly keeps above ridicule
Pretended to a great deal more wit than came to his share
Queen was adored much more for her troubles than for her merit
Strongest may safely promise to the weaker what he thinks fit
Those who carry more sail than ballast
Thought he always stood in need of apologies
Transitory honour is mere smoke
Treated him as she did her petticoat
Useful man in a faction because of his wonderful complacency
Vanity to love to be esteemed the first author of things
Virtue for a man to confess a fault than not to commit one
We are far more moved at the hearing of old stories
Weakening and changing the laws of the land
Whose vivacity supplied the want of judgment
Wisdom in affairs of moment is nothing without courage
With a design to do good, he did evil
Yet he gave more than he promised


Written by Himself

Being Historic Court Memoirs of the Great Events during the Minority of
Louis XIV. and the Administration of Cardinal Mazarin.


MADAME:--Cardinal Mazarin thought of nothing else now but how to rid
himself of the obligations he lay under to the Prince de Conde, who had
actually saved him from the gallows. And his principal view was an
alliance with the House of Vendome, who had on some occasions opposed the
interest of the family of Conde.

In Paris the people libelled not only the Cardinal, but the Queen.
Indeed it was not our interest to discourage libels and ballads against
the Cardinal, but it concerned us to suppress such as were levelled
against the Queen and Government. It is not to be imagined what
uneasiness the wrath of the people gave us upon that head. Two
criminals, one of whom was a printer, being condemned to be hanged for
publishing some things fit to be burnt and for libelling the Queen, cried
out, when they were upon the scaffold, that they were to be put to death
for publishing verses against Mazarin, upon which the people rescued them
from justice.

On the other hand, some gay young gentlemen of the Court, who were in
Mazarin's interest, had a mind to make his name familiar to the
Parisians, and for that end made a famous display in the public walks of
the Tuileries, where they had grand suppers, with music, and drank the
Cardinal's health publicly. We took little notice of this, till they
boasted at Saint Germain that the Frondeurs were glad to give them the
wall. And then we thought it high time to correct them, lest the common
people should think they did it by authority. For this end M. de
Beaufort and a hundred other gentlemen went one night to the house where
they supped, overturned the table, and broke the musicians' violins over
their heads.

Being informed that the Prince de Conde intended to oblige the King to
return to Paris, I was resolved to have all the merit of an action which
would be so acceptable to the citizens. I therefore resolved to go to
the Court at Compiegne, which my friends very much opposed, for fear of
the danger to which I might be exposed, but I told them that what is
absolutely necessary is not dangerous.

I went accordingly, and as I was going up-stairs to the Queen's
apartments, a man, whom I never saw before or since, put a note into my
hand with these words: "If you enter the King's domicile, you are a dead
man." But I was in already, and it was too late to go back. Being past
the guard-chamber, I thought myself secure. I told the Queen that I was
come to assure her Majesty of my most humble obedience, and of the
disposition of the Church of Paris to perform all the services it owed to
their Majesties. The Queen seemed highly pleased, and was very kind to
me; but when we mentioned the Cardinal, though she urged me to it,
I excused myself from going to see him, assuring her Majesty that such a
visit would put it out of my power to do her service. It was impossible
for her to contain herself any longer; she blushed, and it was with much
restraint that she forbore using harsh language, as she herself confessed

Servien said one day that there was a design to assassinate me at his
table by the Abbe Fouquet; and M. de Vendome, who had just come from his
table, pressed me to be gone, saying that there were wicked designs
hatching against me.

I returned to Paris, having accomplished everything I wanted, for I had
removed the suspicion of the Court that the Frondeurs were against the
King's return. I threw upon the Cardinal all the odium attending his
Majesty's delay. I braved Mazarin, as it were, upon his throne, and
secured to myself the chief honour of the King's return.

The Court was received at Paris as kings always were and ever will be,
namely, with acclamations, which only please such as like to be
flattered. A group of old women were posted at the entrance of the
suburbs to cry out, "God save his Eminence!" who sat in the King's coach
and thought himself Lord of Paris; but at the end of three or four days
he found himself much mistaken. Ballads and libels still flew about.
The Frondeurs appeared bolder than ever. M. de Beaufort and I rode
sometimes alone, with one lackey only behind our coach, and at other
times we went with a retinue of fifty men in livery and a hundred
gentlemen. We diversified the scene as we thought it would be most
acceptable to the spectators. The Court party, who blamed us from
morning to night, nevertheless imitated us in their way. Everybody took
an advantage of the Ministry from our continual pelting of his Eminence.
The Prince, who always made too much or too little of the Cardinal,
continued to treat him with contempt; and, being disgusted at being
refused the post of Superintendent of the Seas, the Cardinal endeavoured
to soothe him with the vain hopes of other advantages.

The Prince, being one day at Court, and seeing the Cardinal give himself
extraordinary airs, said, as he was going out of the Queen's cabinet,
"Adieu, Mars." This was told all over the city in a quarter of an hour.
I and Noirmoutier went by appointment to his house at four o'clock in the
morning, when he seemed to be greatly troubled. He said that he could
not determine to begin a civil war, which, though the only means to
separate the Queen from the Cardinal, to whom she was so strongly
attached, yet it was both against his conscience and honour. He added
that he should never forget his obligations to us, and that if he should
come to any terms with the Court, he would, if we thought proper, settle
our affairs also, and that if we had not a mind to be reconciled to the
Court, he would, in case it did attack us, publicly undertake our
protection. We answered that we had no other design in our proposals
than the honour of being his humble servants, and that we should be very
sorry if he had retarded his reconciliation with the Queen upon our
account, praying that we might be permitted to continue in the same
disposition towards the Cardinal as we were then, which we declared
should not hinder us from paying all the respect and duty which we
professed for his Highness.

I must not forget to acquaint you that Madame de Guemenee, who ran away
from Paris in a fright the moment it was besieged, no sooner heard that I
had paid a visit to Mademoiselle de Chevreuse than she returned to town
in a rage. I was in such a passion with her for having cowardly deserted
me that I took her by the throat, and she was so enraged at my
familiarity with Mademoiselle de Chevreuse that she threw a candlestick
at my head, but in a quarter of an hour we were very good friends.

The Prince de Conde was no sooner reconciled with the Court than he was
publicly reproached in the city for breaking his word with the Frondeurs;
but I convinced him that he could not think such treatment strange in a
city so justly exasperated against Mazarin, and that, nevertheless, he
might depend on my best services, for which he assured me of his constant

Moissans, now Marechal d'Albret, who was at the head of the King's
gendarmes, accustomed himself and others to threaten the chief minister,
who augmented the public odium against himself by reestablishing Emeri,
a man detested by all the kingdom. We were not a little alarmed at his
reestablishment, because this man, who knew Paris better than the
Cardinal, distributed money among the people to a very good purpose.
This is a singular science, which is either very beneficial or hurtful in
its consequences, according to the wisdom or folly of the distributor.

These donations, laid out with discretion and secrecy, obliged us to
yield ourselves more and more unto the bulk of the people, and, finding a
fit opportunity for this performance, we took care not to let it slip,
which, if they had been ruled by me, we should not have done so soon, for
we were not yet forced to make use of such expedients. It is not safe in
a faction where you are only upon the defensive to do what you are not
pressed to do, but the uneasiness of the subalterns on such occasions is
troublesome, because they believe that as soon as you seem to be inactive
all is lost. I preached every day that the way was yet rough, and
therefore must be made plain, and that patience in the present case was
productive of greater effects than activity; but nobody comprehended the
truth of what I said.

An unlucky expression, dropped on this occasion by the Princesse de
Guemenee, had an incredible influence upon the people. She called to
mind a ballad formerly made upon the regiment of Brulon, which was said
to consist of only two dragoons and four drummers, and, inasmuch as she
hated the Fronde, she told me very pleasantly that our party, being
reduced to fourteen, might be justly compared to that regiment of Brulon.
Noirmoutier and Laigues were offended at this expression to that degree
that they continually murmured because I neither settled affairs nor
pushed them to the last extremity. Upon which I observed that heads of
factions are no longer their masters when they are unable either to
prevent or allay the murmurs of the people.

The revenues of the Hotel de Ville, which are, as it were, the patrimony
of the bourgeois, and which, if well managed, might be of special service
to the King in securing to his interest an infinite number of those
people who are always the most formidable in revolutions--this sacred
fund, I say, suffered much by the licentiousness of the times, the
ignorance of Mazarin, and the prevarication of the officers of the Hotel
de Ville, who were his dependents, so that the poor annuitants met in
great numbers at the Hotel de Ville; but as such assemblies without the
Prince's authority are reckoned illegal, the Parliament passed a decree
to suppress them. They were privately countenanced by M. de Beaufort and
me, to whom they sent a solemn deputation, and they made choice of twelve
syndics to be a check upon the 'prevot des marchands'.

On the 11th of December a pistol, as had been concerted beforehand, was
fired into the coach of Joly, one of the syndics, which President
Charton, another of the syndics, thinking was aimed at himself, the
Marquis de la Boulaie ran as if possessed with a devil, while the
Parliament was sitting, into the middle of the Great Hall, with fifteen
or twenty worthless fellows crying out "To Arms!" He did the like in the
streets, but in vain, and came to Broussel and me; but the former
reprimanded him after his way, and I threatened to throw him out at the
window, for I had reason to believe that he acted in concert with the
Cardinal, though he pretended to be a Frondeur.

This artifice of Servien united the Prince to the Cardinal, because he
found himself obliged to defend himself against the Frondeurs, who, as he
believed, sought to assassinate him. All those that were his own
creatures thought they were not zealous enough for his service if they
did not exaggerate the imminent danger he had escaped, and the Court
parasites confounded the morning adventure with that at night; and upon
this coarse canvas they daubed all that the basest flattery, blackest
imposture, and the most ridiculous credulity was capable of imagining;
and we were informed the next morning that it was the common rumour over
all the city that we had formed a design of seizing the King's person and
carrying him to the Hotel de Ville, and to assassinate the Prince.

M. de Beaufort and I agreed to go out and show ourselves to the people,
whom we found in such a consternation that I believed the Court might
then have attacked us with success. Madame de Montbazon advised us to
take post-horses and ride off, saying that there was nothing more easy
than to destroy us, because we had put ourselves into the hands of our
sworn enemies. I said that we had better hazard our lives than our
honour. To which she replied, "It is not that, but your nymphs, I
believe, which keep you here" (meaning Mesdames de Chevreuse and
Guemenee). "I expect," she said, "to be befriended for my own sake, and
don't I deserve it? I cannot conceive how you can be amused by a wicked
old hag and a girl, if possible, still more foolish. We are continually
disputing about that silly wretch" (pointing to M. de Beaufort, who was
playing chess); "let us take him with us and go to Peronne."

You are not to wonder that she talked thus contemptibly of M. de
Beaufort, whom she always taxed with impotency, for it is certain that
his love was purely Platonic, as he never asked any favour of her, and
seemed very uneasy with her for eating flesh on Fridays. She was so
sweet upon me, and withal such a charming beauty, that, being naturally
indisposed to let such opportunities slip, I was melted into tenderness
for her, notwithstanding my suspicions of her, considering the then
situation of affairs, and would have had her go with me into the cabinet,
but she was determined first to go to Peronne, which put an end to our

Beaufort waited on the Prince and was well received, but I could not gain

On the 14th the Prince de Conde went to Parliament and demanded that a
committee might be appointed to inquire into the attempt made on his

The Frondeurs were not asleep in the meantime, yet most of our friends
were dispirited, and all very weak.

The cures of Paris were my most hearty friends; they laboured with
incredible zeal among the people. And the cure of Saint Gervais sent me
this message: "Do but rally again and get off the assassination, and in a
week you will be stronger than your enemies."

I was informed that the Queen had written to my uncle, the Archbishop of
Paris, to be sure to go to the Parliament on the 23d, the day that
Beaufort, Broussel, and I were to be impeached, because I had no right to
sit in the House if he were present. I begged of him not to go, but my
uncle being a man of little sense, and that much out of order, and being,
moreover, fearful and ridiculously jealous of me, had promised the Queen
to go; and all that we could get out of him was that he would defend me
in Parliament better than I could defend myself. It is to be observed
that though he chattered to us like a magpie in private, yet in public he
was as mute as a fish. A surgeon who was in the Archbishop's service,
going to visit him, commended him for his courage in resisting the
importunities of his nephew, who, said he, had a mind to bury him alive,
and encouraged him to rise with all haste and go to the Parliament House;
but he was no sooner out of his bed than the surgeon asked him in a
fright how he felt. "Very well," said my Lord. "But that is
impossible," said the surgeon; "you look like death," and feeling his
pulse, he told him he was in a high fever; upon which my Lord Archbishop
went to bed again, and all the kings and queens in Christendom could not
get him out for a fortnight.

We went to the Parliament, and found there the Princes with nearly a
thousand gentlemen and, I may say, the whole Court. I had few salutes in
the Hall, because it was generally thought I was an undone man. When I
had entered the Great Chamber I heard a hum like that at the end of a
pleasing period in a sermon. When I had taken my place I said that,
hearing we were taxed with a seditious conspiracy, we were come to offer


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