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day, and the second at Whitsuntide following. It was so rigorously collected that the poorer clergy complained bitterly.
During this transaction, and while the duke of Burgundy was resident in his town of Bruges, on Saturday the 10th of July, sir Amé de Sarrebrusse, sir Clugnet de Brabant, and other captains of the duke of Orleans, came, with a numerous body of men-at-arms, before Coucy, in the Vermandois, and Ham-sur-Somme. News of this was soon carried to the duke of Burgundy, who, suspecting they intended to invade and make war on his territories, gave commissions to several of his captains, namely, the lord de Heilly, Enguerrand de Bournouville, the lord de Ront, and some others, to march a body of men-at-arms towards Bapaume and Ham, to oppose the Armagnacs, should they attempt to penetrate further into the country.
During this time, the duke of Orleans and his brothers continued their solicitations for justice, and again sent letters to the king, princes, cities, and prelates, to engage them to unite with them in obtaining the object of their petitions. The tenor of the letter they wrote to the king is as follows :
CHAPTER LXXI.-THE DUKE OF ORLEANS AND HIS BROTHERS SEND LETTERS TO THE KING
OF FRANCE, TO OTHER LORDS, AND TO SEVERAL OF THE PRINCIPAL TOWNS IN
FRANCE, TO COMPLAIN OF THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY. “ Most redoubted and sovereign lord,—we, Charles duke of Orleans, Philip count de Vertus, and John count of Angoulême, brothers, your very humble children and nephews, have, with all due humiliation and submission, considered it right to lay before you, jointly and separately, what follows.
“ Although the barbarous and cruel murder of our redoubted lord and very dear father, your brother, must for certain be most strongly impressed on your royal memory, and engraven on your heart, - nevertheless, most redoubted lord, our grief and the sense of what is due to us from all laws, human and divine, force us to renew in your memory all the minute transactions of that inhuman event. It is a fact, most dear lord, that John, who styles himself duke of Burgundy, through a hatred he had long nourished in his breast, and from an insatiate ambition and a desire of governing your realm, and that he might have the office of regent, as he has clearly shown and daily continues to show, did, on the 14th day of November in the year 1407, most treacherously murder your brother, our most renowned lord and father, in the streets of Paris, and during the night, by causing him to be waylaid by a set of infamous wretches, hired for this purpose, without having previously testified any displeasure towards him. This is well known to all the world; for it has been publicly avowed by the traitorous murderer himself, who is more disloyal, cruel, and inhuman than you can imagine ; and we do not believe you can find in any writings one of a more perverse or faithless character.
“In the first place, they were so nearly connected by blood, being cousins-german, the children of two brothers, that it adds to his crime of murder that of parricide ; and the laws cannot too severely punish so detestable an action. They were also brothers in arms, having twice or thrice renewed this confederation under their own hands and seals, and solemnly sworn on the holy sacrament, in the presence of very many prelates and nobles, that they would be true and loyal friends,—that they would not do anything to the prejudice of each other, either openly or secretly, nor suffer any such like thing to be done by others. They, besides, entered into various protestations of love and friendship, making the most solemn promises to continue true brothers in arms, as is usual in such cases, to demonstrate that they felt a perfect friendship for each other; and as a confirmation of their affection, they mutually wore each other's colours and badges.
“ Secondly, he proved the perverseness of his heart by the manner in which this murder was committed. Under cover of his pretended affection for your aforesaid brother, he conversed frequently with him; and once when he was ill, a short time before his death, he visited him at his house of Beauté-sur-Marne, and in Paris, showing him every sign of love and friendship that brother, cousin, or friend could testify,—when, at the same time, he had plotted his death, had sent for the murderers to Paris, and had even hired the house to hide them in, which clearly demonstrates the wickedness and disloyalty of his heart. In addition to what I have just stated, and the very day before the murder took place, after the council which you had held at the hôtel de St. Pol was broken up, they both, in your presence and before the other princes of the blood who were there, drank wine and ate together; and your brother invited him to dine with him the Sunday following. The duke of Burgundy accepted the invitation, although he knew what a diabolical attempt he harboured in his heart, and that it would be put into effect the very first favourable opportunity. This is an abomination disgraceful even to relate. On the morrow, therefore, notwithstanding all his fair promises and oaths, being obstinately bent upon his wicked purpose, he caused him to be put to death with more cruelty than ever man of any rank suffered, by those whom he had hired to waylay and murder him, and who had, for a long time, been watching their opportunity. They first cut off his right hand, which was found the next day in the dirt : they then cut his left arm so that it held only by the skin, and, beside, fractured and laid open his skull in several places that his brains were scattered in the street ; and they then dragged his body through the mud, until it was quite lifeless.
“It would be pitiful to hear of such barbarous conduct towards the meanest subject : how much the more horror must the recital cause, when it was practised on the first prince of the blood of France! Never was any branch of your noble race so cruelly and infamously treated,—and you and all of your blood, and such of your subjects as wish you well, ought not to suffer such a lamentable deed to be perpetrated without any punishment or reparation whatever, as is the case till this present time, which is the most shameful thing that ever happened, or ever could happen, to so noble a house ; and additional disgrace will fall upon it, if you any longer delay justice.
« Thirdly, he shows his perverseness and obstinacy by false and damnable hypocrisy; for after the horrid deed had been done, he came with the other princes dressed in black, to attend the body, pretending the utmost grief at the funeral for the loss of his brother in arms, thinking by this means to cover the wickedness of his sin. It would be tiresome to relate all the damnable and hypocritical arts he employed to hide the treacherous and murderous part he had acted, until he perceived that his crime must be brought to light by the diligence of your officers of justice. lle then, and then only, confessed to the king of Sicily, and to the duke of Berry, that he had perpetrated this murder, or at least had caused it to be committed ; and that the devil had tempted him to do it, for that in truth he could not assign any other cause for having done so. But he was not contented with murdering his body: he wanted again, so great is his iniquity, to murder his fame and fair reputation by false and wicked accusations, when he was no more able to defend himself against them. The falsehood of these charges, through the grace of God, is notorious to you and to the whole world. My late most redoubted lady-mother, whose soul may God receive ! suffered the utmost tribulation, not only for the death of her much-beloved lord and husband, but also for the inhuman and cruel manner of it; and like one in despair, attended by me, John of Angoulême, she waited on you, as her king and sovereign lord, and her sole refuge in this her distress, and most humbly supplicated that you would, out of your benign goodness, have compassion on her and her children, and would order such prompt and just judgment to be executed on the perpetrators of this murder as the blackness of the case required; and as you are bound in your quality of king to administer strict justice to all your subjects without delay, as well to the poor as to the rich, so rather the more promptly ought you to exercise it in favour of the poor and deserted than for the rich and powerful ; for this upright administration of justice is a great virtue, and on this account were kings chiefly appointed, and power intrusted to their hands. The case that was then and is now again brought before you requires the most speedy justice ; for it not only concerns you as a king, but affects you more sensibly and personally,—for her husband, our much-regretted lord, who was so treacherously slain, was your only brother, and, consequently, strict justice ought to have been granted to her, and done on the murderers. You did indeed appoint a day for doing her this justice ; on which account, she constantly employed her agents near your pervon, to remind you thereof: she waited long after the appointed day had elapsed, for the judg
ment which you had promised her,—and, notwithstanding all her diligence and exertions, she met with nothing but delays, caused by the means of the aforesaid traitor, his friends, and adherents, as shall be more fully explained hereafter.
“ However, niost redoubted lord, I know for certain, that your inclinations were very willing to do us justice, and that they still remain the same. Our most afflicted mother, attended by me Charles of Orleans, again returned ; and we renewed our request to have judgment executed on the assassins of our late lord and father. We also caused to be most fully detailed before my lord of Aquitaine, your eldest son, and by you commissioned as your lieutenant on this occasion, and before the queen, every circumstance relative to the murder, and the infamous charges urged by way of exculpation by the murderer, and the causes why he had committed this atrocious crime. We, at the same time, fully replied to what had been argued in his defence; and after this, our lady-mother caused conclusions to be drawn against the aforesaid traitor, according to the usual customs of your reign, and required that your attorney should join with her in the further prosecution of the criminals, so that they might be brought to justice. When this was done, our very redoubted lord the duke of Aquitaine, by the advice of the princes of your blood and divers others of your council, then present at the Louvre, made answer to our lady-mother, that, as your lieutenant, he and the princes of the blood, and the members of your council, were satisfied, and pleased with the justifications offered by our lady-mother in behalf of your brother, our much redonbted father, whose soul may God pardon! and that they considered him as fully innocent of the charges brought against him ; and added, that substantial justice should be done to her satisfaction.
“ Notwithstanding all these promises, there was much delay in their execution, insomuch that she frequently renewed her solicitations to you, the princes of your blood, and to your council, and used various other means to obtain justice, the recital of which would tire you : nevertheless, she could never gain the assistance of your attorney-general in prosecuting the aforesaid criminals to judgment, which circumstance is lamentable to think on. For the aforesaid traitor, well knowing your inclination to execute justice, knowing also that his crime could by no means be justified, in order to prevent matters being pushed to extremity, (notwithstanding your positive orders to him, to forbid his appearing at Paris, with any body of men-at-arms) came thither with a powerful force, composed of foreigners, and several who had been banished your realm, who did great mischief to the countries through which they passed, as is notorious to every one.
“ You and our lady the queen, with the duke of Aquitaine, your son and heir, and the princes of the blood, were forced to quit your capital before he arrived there. He remained, therefore, in your town of Paris lord paramount, and conducted himself in a tyrannical manner, subversive of your dominion, and contrary to the interests of the people. To avoid greater inconveniences and oppressions on your subjects from him and liis men-at-arms, it was judged expedient that you, the royal family and council of state should, according to his good pleasure, come to Chartres, and there grant him whatever he should ask. Thus he thought he should be acquitted of all the traitorous acts and murders which he had committed, by trampling your justice under his feet. Consequently he refuses to suffer any of your officers to take cognizance of his crimes, and has not condescended to humiliate himself before you, whom he has troubled and offended more than can be told. He is not, therefore, capable of receiving any grace by law or reason, nor worthy of being admitted to your presence, and having any favours shown to him or to his dependants and friends. He should have presented himself before you in all humility and contrition for his offences ; whereas he has done precisely the contrary, and has so obstinately persisted in his wickedness that he has had the boldness to avow to yourself publicly, and before so great an assembly as met at Chartres, that he put your only brother to death for your welfare and that of the state. He wishes also to maintain, that you told him you were not displeased that it had been done. This has shocked every loyal ear that has heard it, and will shock still more the generations to come, who shall read and learn that a king of France (the greatest monarch in Christendom) should not have been displeased at the most inhuman and traitorous murder of his only brother,
" This is so manifestly treason of the deepest dye against your own honour, and that of your crown and kingdom, that scarcely any punishments ordered by law and justice are capable of making reparation for it. It is also greatly prejudicial to the far-famed justice of your courts of law. Notwithstanding the excuses which he made to you, that the murder of your brother had been committed for your personal security, and the good of your kingdom, it is notorious, that it had been plotted a very long time, through his immeasurable ambition of obtaining the government of your realm, as I have before stated. He has declared to several of his dependants and officers, that there never before was committed in this country so base a murder; and yet, in his defence, he says it was done for the public good, and for your personal safety. It is therefore very clear, according to law and equity, that everything done at Chartres on that day is null and void ; and what perhaps is as deserving of punishment as the commission of the crime itself is, that he never deigned to pay you any honour, respect, or condolence for such a loss as that of your brother, nor ever once solicited pardon, or any remission for his offence whatever. And he wishes to maintain, that without confessing his guilt, and without demanding pardon, you have remitted all further proceedings against him, which is contrary to all equity and written laws,—a mere illusion, or rather a derision of justice, namely, thus to leave a murderer, without taking any cognizance of his crime, without penitence or contrition, and to prosecute no inquiry into his conduct, and, what is worse, when such a criminal obstinately perseveres in his wickedness, even in the presence of his sovereign lord. On that same day, however, he fell into a manifest and apparent contradiction; for he says that he has done well, and consequently he assumes to himself merit, and requires remuneration,-and, nevertheless, he pretends to say that you have given him pardon and remission, which circumstance implies not good deeds and merit, but a crime and offence. He has never offered any prayers for the salvation of the soul of the deceased, nor any remuneration to those who have suffered from the loss caused by him ; and this you ought not, and cannot in any manner pardon.
“ Thus it clearly appears, that what was done at Chartres was contrary to every principle of law, equity, reason and justice; whence it again follows, that from this, and other causes too long to be detailed, all the proceedings at Chartres are null and of no effect. Should any one maintain, that the treaty made at Chartres is good and binding, it may very easily be shown, that this aforesaid traitor has infringed the articles of it in various ways, and has been the first to violate it. Although you had ordered, that henceforth he should in no way act to our prejudice, and although he had sworn to observe it, — nevertheless he did directly the contrary; for, thinking to damn the good fame of our very redoubted lord and father, he caused your grand-master of the household, whose soul may God receive ! to be arrested, thrown into close imprisonment, and inhumanly tortured, so that his limbs were broken, and made him suffer other martyrdom that he might, through the severity of torture, force him to confess that our ever-to-be-regretted lord and father, and your only brother, whose soul may God pardon! was guilty of some of the charges which he had falsely brought against him, so that his crimes might be excused, and that he might for ever destroy the honour of our family. He had the grand-master carried to the place of execution, who there, when death was before his eyes, declared, on the damnation of his soul if he told a falsehood, that he had never in his life seen anything treasonable in the conduct of the late duke of Orleans, or anything that tended to the hurt of any individual, but that he had always most loyally served you : and should he have said anything to the contrary when under torture, it must have been his sufferings that forced him to utter what he thought would please his tormentors. What he now said was the real truth, and he uttered it on the peril of damnation; and this he persevered in to the moment of his execution, in the hearing of many knights and other respectable persons. This plainly demonstrates, that the duke of Burgundy’s conduct was precisely the reverse to what he had sworn to observe when at Chartres.
“ He has received into his hotel and supported, and continues daily so to do, the murderers who slew your brother, although they were especially excepted out of the treaty concluded at Chartres. He likewise, as is notorious, troubles the officers and servants of our late lord and father, who now appertain to us, and dismisses them from all the employments which they held under your government, without any other cause whatever but his hatred to us and to our house, and to those servants who are attached to us. He even attempted not only to ruin them in their fortunes, but to take away their lives by means too tedious to relate ; but the facts are notorious. The traitor, therefore, sensible of the horror of his criminal cruelty, and that he could not by any means palliate it, has usurped the government of your kingdom (for the sole cause of his murdering your brother was his unbounded ambition),—and, by so doing, effectually prevents your officers of justice from taking cognizance of his crimes, and likewise creates infinite grief to all your loyal subjects and wellwishers.
“ He detains your royal person, as well as that of my lord the duke of Aquitaine, in such subjection that no one, however high his rank, can have access to you, whatever may be his business, without first having obtained permission from those whom he has placed around you, and has thus driven from you and your family several faithful and valiant servants long attached to you, and filled their places with his own creatures, and in great part with foreigners and persons unknown to you. In like manner, he has acted toward my lord of Aquitaine. He has also displaced your officers,-in particular, such as held the principal posts in your realm; and as for your finances, he has lavished them here and there according to his will and pleasure, but greatly to his own advantage, and not at all for the good of yourself, or for the relief of your people, which has caused much discontent against you. The underlings in office he has sorely vexed, under feigned pretences of justice, and has robbed them of their fortunes, which he has applied to his own proper use, as is well known throughout Paris and elsewhere. In short, he has introduced such a licentiousness of manners into the kingdom that all sorts of crimes are committed, without inquiry or punishment following them; and thus, from default or neglect of justice being done on this enormous and detestable murderer, many other murders have been committed with impunity in different parts of the realm, since the melancholy death of our much-regretted lord and father, murderers and other criminals saying, “Our crimes will be passed over, since no notice has been taken of him who slew the king's brother.
“On this account, most redoubted lord, my lord of Berry your uncle, the duke of Bourbon, the count d'Alençon, the counts de Clermont and d’Armagnac, and I Charles of Orleans, wishing to testify our loyalty to you, as we are bound by parentage, and being your very humble subjects, had intended coming to you last year to lay before you the damnable government of your kingdom, and to remonstrate, that should it continue longer, it must end in the destruction of yourself, your family, and your realm. In order, therefore, that you may hear us as well as such as may maintain the contrary, let there be chosen a sufficient number of discreet men to examine into the grievances we complain of; and let a remedy be applied to them, providing first for the security of your royal person, and for that of my lord of Aquitaine. This was more fully explained in the proclamations issued previously to our coming to Paris, when, for our personal safety, we were accompanied by our friends and vassals, all of them your subjects; and our only object in thus coming was the welfare of yourself and your kingdom. We offered to wait on you with very few attendants, but we could never obtain access to you, nor have a single audience, through the obstructions of this traitor, who was always by your side; and he alone prevented the goodness of our intentions being made known to you, from his persevering ambition and his boundless desire of seizing the government of yourself and realm. We, therefore, finding all hopes of seeing you fruitless, in consequence of agreements concluded with your council, returned home; but to avoid, if possible, the destruction of your country, we must again confederate.- We faithfully observed all the articles of the agreement; but we were no sooner at a distance than our enemy violated them in the most essential part. It had been settled that your new ministry should be composed of men of unblemished characters, who were not partisans or servants, or pensioners to either side ; but he has kept those that were attached to him in power, so that he has now a majority in the council, and consequently rules more despotically and more securely than when he held the reins of government in his own hand. These grievances are increasing, and will increase, unless God shall direct your mind to provide a remedy to them.