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Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669, having escaped from his confinement, arrived this very day in Paris. I found that his imprisonment had not made him one jot the wiser. Indeed, it had got him a reputation, because he bore it with constancy and made his escape with courage. It was also his merit not to have abandoned the banks of the Loire at a time when it absolutely required abundance of skill and courage to stay there. It is an easy matter for those who are disgraced at Court to make the best of their own merit in the beginning of a civil war. He had a mind to form an alliance with me, and knowing how to employ him advantageously, I prepossessed the people in his favour, and exaggerated the conspiracy which the Cardinal had formed against him by means of Du Hamel.
As my friendship was necessary to him, so his was necessary to me; for my proFession on many occasions being a restraint upon me, I wanted a man sometimes to stand before me. M. de La Mothe was so dependent on Henri Valois II Duke Longueville 1595-1663 that I could not rely on him; and M. de Bouillon was not a man to be governed.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. We went together to wait on the Armand Bourbon-Condé-Conti Prince Conti 1629-1666; we stopped the coach in the streets, where I proclaimed the name of François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669, praised him and showed him to the people; upon which the people were suddenly fired with enthusiasm, the women kissed him, and the crowd was so great that we had much ado to get to the Hotel de Ville. The next day he offered a petition to the Parliament desiring he might have leave to justify himself against the accusation of his having formed a design against the life of the Cardinal, which was granted; and he was accordingly cleared next day, and the Parliament issued that famous decree for seizing all the cash of the Crown in all the public and private receipt offices of the kingdom and employing it in the common defence.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. The Louis "Le Grand Condé" Bourbon-Condé II Prince Condé 1621-1686 was enraged at the declaration published by the Armand Bourbon-Condé-Conti Prince Conti 1629-1666 and Henri Valois II Duke Longueville 1595-1663, which cast the Court, then at Saint Germain, into such a despair that the Cardinal was upon the point of retiring. I was abused there without mercy, as appeared by a letter sent to Marie Valois Duchess Nemours 1625-1707 from the Louise Bourbon-Condé Duchess Longueville 1603-1637, in which I read this sentence: “They rail here plentifully against the Coadjutor, whom yet I cannot forbear thanking for what he has done for the poor Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669.” This circumstance is very curious. You must know that a few days before the Charles II King England, Scotland and Ireland 1630-1685 left Paris I visited the Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669, whom I found in the apartment of her Henrietta Stewart Duchess Orléans 1644-1670, since Madame d’Orleans. “You see, monsieur,” said the Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669, “I come here to keep Henrietta Stewart Duchess Orléans 1644-1670 company; the poor child has lain in bed all day for want of a fire.” The truth is, the Cardinal having stopped the Henrietta Stewart Duchess Orléans 1644-1670 pension six months, tradesmen were unwilling to give her credit, and there was not a chip of wood in the house. You may be sure I took care that a Henrietta Stewart Duchess Orléans 1644-1670 should not be confined to her bed next day, for want of a fagot; and a few days after I exaggerated the scandal of this desertion, and the Parliament sent the Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669 a present of 40,000 livres. Posterity will hardly believe that the Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669, granddaughter of Henry IV King France 1553-1610, wanted a fagot to light a fire in the month of January, in the Louvre, and at the Court of France. Note. daughter of Henry IV King France 1553-1610 if he is referring to Henrietta Queen Consort of England.
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 living.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. Before 18 Jan 1649. To return to the war. A cornet of my regiment being taken prisoner and carried to Saint Germain, the Maria Theresa Habsburg-Spain Queen Consort France 1638-1683 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 settled.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. Before 18 Jan 1649. 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.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. On the 18 Jan 1649, I was admitted to a seat and vote in Parliament, and signed an alliance with the chief leaders of the party: François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669 (33), 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.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. On the 09 Feb 1649 the Louis "Le Grand Condé" Bourbon-Condé II Prince Condé 1621-1686 (28) 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 09 Jan 1649.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. On the 12 Feb 1649 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 Armand Bourbon-Condé-Conti Prince Conti 1629-1666 (19), 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 Louis "Sun King" XIV King France 1638-1715 (10) Council to the Maria Theresa Habsburg-Spain Queen Consort France 1638-1683 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 Armand Bourbon-Condé-Conti Prince Conti 1629-1666 (19), 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 François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669 (33) 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 François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669 (33) and I should not be among the living three days hence.
The Louis "Sun King" XIV King France 1638-1715 (10) councillors returned with a report how kindly they had been received at Saint Germain. They said the Maria Theresa Habsburg-Spain Queen Consort France 1638-1683 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 Maria Theresa Habsburg-Spain Queen Consort France 1638-1683 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 peace.
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.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. After 12 Feb 1649. 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 François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669 (33) 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.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. The 24 Feb 1649, the Parliament’s deputies waited on the Maria Theresa Habsburg-Spain Queen Consort France 1638-1683 with an account of the audience granted to the envoy of the Archduke. The Maria Theresa Habsburg-Spain Queen Consort France 1638-1683 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 treaty.
Flamarin being sent at the same time into the city from the Duc d’Orleans to condole with the Henrietta Maria Bourbon Queen Consort England 1609-1669 (39) on the death of her Charles I King England, Scotland and Ireland 1600-1649 (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.
Memoirs of Jean Francois Paul de Gondi Cardinal de Retz Book 1. On the 27 Feb 1649 the First President reported to the Parliament what had occurred at Saint Germain. François Bourbon-Vendôme 2nd Duke Beaufort 1616-1669 (33) 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.