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1352 1

Compendious HISTORY Of FRANCE. [Continued.-]

PHilip, surnamed the Gifr of God, from the time of his birth, the Magnanimous, and the Conqueror, during his life-time, and, as if these had fallen short of his merit, stiled Augustus after his decease, was, in truth, one of the most extraordinary princes that ever sot upon this or any other throne, as giving very early marks of a great genius, and yet exceeding in the flower what he had promised in the first buddings of genius.' He assumed the government from the time the crown was placed upon his head, though but in his fifteenth year; and though the count of Flanders is, byisome writers, stiled regent of the kingdom, yet that was but courtesy; for notwithstanding the king took his advice, and probably did nothing without it, yet all was executed, not only by his authority, but by himself. He was jealous that his youth, and want of experience, might expose him to contempt; and, therefore, the first instance he gave of his authority was, in ordering jesters, jugglers, and buffoons, to quit his court, and he took care to be obeyed. He found the people complain loudly of the Jews, who had got into possession of one-third part of the lands in his dominions; and, as on the one hand) he found they had exercised the most oppressive usury, and, on the other, by choosing proper patrons, were powerfully supported by the nobility, he obliged them to quit his territories, allowing them to carry away their personal estates. This chagrined the great lords, but it pleased the people, and the king was obeyed. From this, which was a very difficult and dis

agreeable undertaking, he proceeded to another that was still more so. The mercenary soldiers who had served his father and the king of England, being disbanded, and without means of maintains g themselves, assembled together in great bodies, and committed most enormous outrages. They were distinguished by the several names of Cottereaux, Brabanc.ons, Routiers, and Taverdins, nesting themselves in different parts of the kingdom, and laying the country under contribution wherever they were. The king directed the great towns to make head against them, assisted them whh his own troops, and in one action cut off nine thousand j so that by degrees he either extirpated or expelled them all. He then directed the inhabitants of every great town, that held immediately of him, to surround it with walls, and to pave the streets; which, as it was expensive and troublesome, was not all relished; but, however, the king making a circuit in person for that purpose, it was performed. Some of the nobility, taking the advantage of his father's infirmities, had committed excesses, more especially against the clergy, which the king redressed in person, and by force of arms; holding his grandfather's maxim, that the royal authority was to be extended by a zeal for justice, and by supporting the weak against the strong. As these great things required time to accomplish, so, as he began them early, he, nntil they were complete, made them the constant objects of his attention. The queen-mother, the cardinal of 5 Champagne,

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Champagne, and the rest of the princes of her house and faction, laboured all they could, before and after the death of king Lewis, to ruin the credit of Philip, count of Flanders, with the young king, and more especially to prevent his completing his marriage with his niece Isabel, but without effect. That count was the king's godfather, from whom he received his name, and in those times this was considered as a kind of kindred ; besides, he had adopted the young lady as bis daughter, and bestowed upon her in dowry the county of Artois, and all the country along the river Lys. When the queen, and those of her party, found this, they quitted the court, and having the young king of England with them, prevailed upon him to go over to his father to demand his protection. In the mean time, the king caused himself and his queen to be crowned at the abbey of St. Denis, by the archbishop of Sens, which piqued the cardinal archbishop of Rheims extremely. Henry of England came over with his son into Normandy, extremely well pleased with this opportunity of interfering in the affairs of the king's family; but Philip, and the count of Flanders, marching directly towards him with a numerous army, Henry, who was unwilling to come to extremities, demanded a conference, which did great honour to the abilities of the ■young king; for as, on the one hand, he remained firm in the measures he had taken, notwithstanding all the address of this wife and great prince, so, on the other, he would not listen to the arguments used by the earl of Flanders, to reject absoluteU al! propositions of peace. He professed great duty and respect for

ftoty of France. 353

his mother, offered to pass by all that had happened, with respect to the lords of her faction, and to receive them again into his favour; which they thought fit to accept. It was not long before the count of Flanders began to take this in a wrong light, and to form intrigues in his turn, into which, amongst the first that entered, were the cardinal of Champagne and one of the queen dowager's brothers; the duke of Burgundy also, though a prince of the blood, embraced the some party, and the avowed motive to their confederacy was the young monarch's popularity. Philip, not caring to trust the nobility that still remained about him, raised an army with his own money, took one of the principal fortresses of the duke of Burgundy, and in it his fun, on which the duke demanded pardon, and the rest, following his example, submitted.

The death of the countess of Flanders caused new disturbances; She was a princess of the royal blood, and the heiress of the count of Vermandois. The king, as (he died without issue, was for annexing her estates to the crown, but the count pretended that the late king had made him a grant of this succession, which Philip had confirmed: the king owned this, but affirmed the grant to be only for the countess's life. However, both parties took the field; the emperor threatened to take part with the earl of Flanders, who appeared to be highly irritated, and laboured to engage the nobility to make it a common cause, prerending the king had nothing else in view but to unite one fief with another. Philip pressed him so vigorously, and his friends assisted him so faintly, that the count

CamptnJioui History is France. Bntiftt first demanded a truce, and at length upon, in great disconteat, to Paris,

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was glad to make peace, the king leaving him the towns of Perron and St. Quintin for his life, and annexing the rest of the county of Vermandois to the crown. The young king Henry of England dying in France, expressed, in his last moments, great regret for the continual disturbance he had given his father, which affected Henry so much, that he appeared inconsolable for his death. The fame vear he had a conference with king Philip, who insisted upon the restitution of the town of Gisois and the Vexin, which had been given in dowry to his sister Margaret, on her marriage with the young king. In order to gain ihe affection of Philip, . and prevent this leliitution, the king of England did homage to him for all the lands he held in France, and at the fame time promised, that in _ case the like dowry was given *' to the princess Alice, his son Richard, who was now become his heir apparent, sliould espouse her without any farther delay; to which Philip assented, and the two kings parted, in all appearance well satisfied. But this calm was of no long continuance.

This harmony did not last long. Henry had it not at all in his inten, tion that his son Richard should marry Alice, for whom he was thought to have a strong passion himself, to which the French wrireis ascribe the jealousy of queen Eleanor, and the king's keeping her as he did a prisoner for twelve years

where, being thrown from his horse at a rournament, he died of the bruises he received; king Philip retaining under his protection his widow, his daughter Eleanor, and his posthumous son Arthur, with which Henry was much offended. The count of Flanders and the emperor gave the king some disturbance, but his firmness and his good fortune soon extricated him out of these, as it had done out of former difficulties; but on the side of the king of England he was able to procure no satisfaction. At length, therefore, he declared war; and having taken some places of less consequence, besieged Chateauroux, in wiiich were the two princes of England, Richard and John; but they made so good a defence, that Henry had time to come to their relief; upon which Philip raised the siege, and marched to give him battle. At this juncture arrived a legate from the pope, to intercede with the two kings, and to engage them to lay aside their private quarrels, and take the cross in favour of the Christians, from whom the famous Saladine had taken Jerusalem. Henry 11 '* having solemnly promised that, at their return from this expedition, all things should be adjusted to the satisfaction of Philip, the two king*, and, moved by their example, the most of the great lords in both armies took the cross, which, of his own free will, prince Richard had taken before.

King Philip, in order to defray the expences of such a war, laid

before his death. Geoffrey, duke of . Bretagne, Henry's second son, and heavy taxes upon the clefgy, at by n.uih the best of them all, quar- which they murmured exceedingly.

relied with his father, because he would not add the country of Maine to his dominions, and went there

out which the king, nevertheless, caused to be raised, and to which in those days they gave the name of

the

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the tax of Saladine. king was thus employed, prince Richard, when it was least expected, made a furious irruption into the territories of Raymond, count of Thoulouse, in pursuance of the old quarrel, which, as we observed, Henry kept open, on purpose to afford colour for such incursions. The monarch of France was no sooner informed of this than he made a diversion in savour of count Raymond, by invadin? the territories wiiich Henry possessed in France. Thar monarch, with an alacrity little suitable to his years, advanced with an army to their relief; but his Access was not equal to his spirit, and therefore demanded a conference, at which he desired, that, instead of Richard, the princess Alice might espouse his son John, which was rejected, there being a secret understanding between Philip and 'he prince of England. The pope's legate interposed upon this, and *<nt so far as to threaten Philip *ith an excommunication ; but the ting told him, that he held his crown from God, and not from the P'pe, who had no right to prescribe now he should behave to his vassal; j jg3 insinuating at the fame time that the legate's zeal was Prompted by kin? Henry's gold. As f°r Richard, he was so much incenfM, that he was very near killing the 't£ate upon the spot, and, being hindered, (hewed his resentment by doing homage to king Philip, and Wiring to the French camp; so •hat these broils, which had been so h'-U appeased, were now more indued than ever.

The king, with prince Richard, as foan as trTey were able to assemble troops sufficient, attacked the city pfMoo», which, though it was the

Ccmftndicut History 9/" France. 3j£

But while the strongest place in all Henry's French territories, was taken in the space of three days, by an accident; for the governor having given directions for burning the suburos, this was performed in such a hurry, that the flame caught the town. King Henry, who was there in person, escaped with difficulty, being warmly pursued by Philip and Richard. He retired to Chinon, where he determined to defend himself to the last extremity; but, before things were brought to this pasi, the count of Flanders, and other great lords, represented to king Philip, that they could not, with a safe conscience, serve him against a monarch who had taken the crose, and thereby impede the recovery of Jerusalem, which constrained him once more to admit of a conference. The two kings discoursing together on horseback, were parted by a dreadful clap of thunder, which fell between then*. However, they came together again*, and, afrer three hours conversation, the terms of the peace were settled; the places taken from the king of England were to be restored, king Philip was to have a large sum in ready money, Richard was to be crowned as his brother Henry had been, and then to espouse the princess Alice; but this solemnity was to be deferred till their return from the Holy Land, and, in the mean time, the princess was to be put into such hands as Philip should approve. When all was adjusted, Henry observed to Philip, that princes had a common interest against traitors, and insisted so passionately to fee the association, by which he had been invited to invade his dominions, that at length he did. But as soon as Henry saw his favourite son John's name at the head of it, he flew

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NOW a-days, when a princess enters in the fifth month of her pregnancy, physicians, surgeons, and men-midwives, assume the direction of her health; (he is scarce allowed to go out os her apartment; in the easiest carriage, and the smoothest road, the risque is too great for her condition; was she ever so desirous of making an excursion only from Versailles to Fontainbleau, they would with very solemn faces oppose it. Cayet, sub|>receptor to Henry IV. relates, that, "Jean of Albret, having requested to accompany her husband in the Picardy wars, the king, her father, laid his commands on her, ihould she prove with child, to come away with her big belly to him, to be delivered in his house, and he would take care of the child, boy or girl." This princess, being pregnant, in her ninth month, set out from Compiegne, crossed all France down to the Pyrenees, and in a fortnight reached Pau in Berne. She was very desirous (adds the historian) to fee her father's will, which was kept in a large gold box, with which also was a gold chain of such a length as to go twenty-five or thirty times about a woman's neck; (he asked him for it; •« Thou shalt have it (said he) on thy shewing me

the child now in thy womb, so that it be no puny, whimpering chit. I give thee my word the whole shall be thine, provided that whilst thou art in labour, thou (ingest me a Berne song, and I will be at thy delivery." Between midnight and one o'clock, on the 13 th of December, 1553, the princess's pains cameon; her father, on notice hastened down, and she hearing him come into the room, chanted out the old Berne lay:

Notre Dome iu Bout du Pet, Aii/ez moi en ettte Hturt, l$e. Immediately after her delivers, her father put the gold chain about her neck, and gave her the gold box, in which was his will, faying, "There, girl, that is thine, but ibis belongs to me,*' taking up the babe in his gown without staying till it was dressed, and carried it away into his apartment. The little prince was fed and brought up, so as to inure him to fatigue and hardship, frequently eating nothing but the coarsest common bread ; the good king, his grand-father, had given such orders. He used, according to the custom of the country, to run about bare-headed and bare-footed, with the village-boys, both in winiet and summer. Who was this prinai Henry IV.

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