« 前へ次へ »
LIST OF CUTS
VOLUME THE FIRST.
I N T H E W O R. K.
64. Insignia of the Order of the Golden
68. Rejoicings at Ghent on the birth of the
son of the Duke of Burgundy . -
Residence of Charles VII. - -
VOLUME THE SECOND.
Tomb of Agnes Sorel in the Chapel of
Castle of Caen.—The Keep . - . 183
to destroy a Sea-Dyke - - . 205
gundy, into Ghent - - . 256
death of his Father, Charles VII. . 276
100. Funeral Procession of the Duke of
Nemours to Milan Cathedral - -
THE LIFE OF MONSTRELET;
BY M. DACIER.
MATERIALs for the biography of Monstrelet are still more scanty than for that of Froissart. The most satisfactory account both of his life and of the continuators of his history is contained in the “Mémoires de l'Académie de Belles-Lettres," vol. xliii. p. 535, by M. Dacier:—
“We are ignorant of the birthplace of Enguerrand de Monstrelet, and of the period when he was born, as well as of the names of his parents. All we know is, that he sprang from a noble family, which he takes care to tell us himself, in his introduction to the first volume of the Chronicles; and his testimony is confirmed by a variety of original deeds,
in which his name is always accompanied with the distinction of ‘noble man, or ‘esquire".' “According to the historian of the Cambresis, Monstrelet was descended from a noble family settled in Ponthieu from the beginning of the twelfth century, where one of his ancestors, named Enguerrand, possessed the estate of Monstrelet in the year 1125,-but Carpentier does not name his authority for this. A contemporary historian (Matthieu de Couci, of whom I shall have occasion to speak in the course of this essay), who lived at Peronne, and who seems to have been personally acquainted with Monstrelet, positively asserts that this historian was a native of the county of the Boulonnois, without precisely mentioning the place of his birth. This authority ought to weigh much : besides, Ponthieu and the Boulonnois are so near to each other that a mistake on this point might easily have happened. It results from what these two writers say, that we may fix his birthplace in Picardy. “M. l'abbé Carlier, however, in his ‘History of the Duchy of Valois, claims this honour for his province, wherein he has discovered an ancient family of the same name, a branch of which, he pretends, settled in the Cambresis, and he believes that from this branch sprung Enguerrand de Monstrelet. This opinion is advanced without proof, and the work of Monstrelet itself is sufficient to destroy it. He shows so great an affection for Picardy, in
* These deeds, and the greater part of others quoted M. Mutte, dean of Cambray, to M. de Foncemagne, whe in these memoirs, are preserved in the Chartulary of lent them to M. Dacier. Cambray. Frtracts from them were communicated by
divers parts of his Chronicle, that we cannot doubt of his being strongly attached to it: he is better acquainted with it than with any other parts of the realm : he enters into the fullest details concerning it: he frequently gives the names of such Picard gentlemen, whether knights or esquires, as had been engaged in any battle, which he omits to do in regard to the nobility of other countries, in the latter case naming only the chief commanders. It is almost always from the bailiff of Amiens that he reports the royal edicts, letters missive, and ordinances, &c., which abound in the two first volumes. In short, he speaks of the Picards with so much interest, and relates their gallant actions with such pleasure, that it clearly appears that he treats them like countrymen. “Monstrelet was a nobleman then, and a nobleman of Picardy; but we have good reason to suspect that his birth was not spotless. John le Robert, abbot of St. Aubert in Cambray from the year 1432 to that of 1469, and author of an exact journal of everything that passed during his time in the town of Cambray and its environs, under the title of ‘Mémoriaux", says plainly, “qu'il fut né de bas,'—which term, according to the glossary of Du Cange, and in the opinion of learned genealogists, constantly means a natural son; for at this period bastards were acknowledged according to the rank of their fathers. Monstrelet, therefore, was not the less noble; and the same John le Robert qualifies him, two lines higher, with the titles of ‘noble man' and ‘esquire, to which he adds a eulogium, which I shall hereafter mention;–because, at the same time that it does honour to Monstrelet, it confirms the opinion I had formed of his character when attentively reading his work. “My researches to discover the precise year of his birth have been fruitless. I believe, however, it may bo safely placed prior to the close of the fourteenth century; for, besides speaking of events at the beginning of the fifteenth as having happened in his time, he states positively, in his Introduction, that he had been told of the early events in his book (namely, from the year 1400), by persons worthy of credit, who had been eye-witnesses of them. To this proof, or to this deduction, I shall add, that under the year 1415, he says, that he heard (at the time) of the anger of the count de Charolois, afterwards Philippe le bon, duke of Burgundy, because his governors would not permit him to take part in the battle of Azincourt. I shall also add, that under the year 1420, he speaks of the homage which John duke of Burgundy paid the king of the Romans for the counties of Burgundy and of Alost. It cannot be supposed that he would have inquired into such particulars, or that any one would have taken the trouble to inform him of them if he had not been of a certain age, such as twenty or twenty-five years old, which would fix the date of his birth about 1390 or 1395. “No particulars of his early years are known, except that he evinced, when young, a love for application, and a dislike to indolence. The quotations from Sallust, Livy, Vegetius, and other ancient authors, that occur in his Chronicles, show that he must have made some progress in Latin literature. Whether his love for study was superior to his desire of military glory, or whether a weakly constitution, or some other reason, prevented him from following the profession of arms, I do not find that he yielded to the reigning passion of his age, when the names of gentleman and of soldier were almost synonymous. “The wish to avoid indolence by collecting the events of his time, which he testifies in the introduction to his Chronicles, proves, I think, that he was but a tranquil spectator of them. Had he been an Armagnac or a Burgundian, he would not have had occasion to seek for solitary occupations; but what proves more strongly that Monstrelet was not of either faction is the care he takes to inform his readers of the rank, quality, and often of the names of the persons from whose report he writes, without ever boasting of his own testimony. In his whole work he speaks but once from his own knowledge, when he relates the manner in which the Pucelle d'Orléans was made prisoner before Compiègne ; but he does not say, that he was present at the skirmish when this unfortunate heroine was taken: he gives us to understand the contrary, and that he was only present at the conversation of the prisoner with the duke of Burgundy, for he had accompanied Philip on this expedition, perhaps in quality of historian. And why may not we presume that he may have done so on other occasions, to be nearer at hand to collect the real state of facts which he intended to relate “However this may be, it is certain that he was resident in Cambray when he composed his history, and passed there the remainder of his life. He was indeed fixed there, as I shall hereafter state, by different important employments, each of which required the residence of him who enjoyed them. From his living in Cambray, La Croix du Maine has concluded, without further examination, that he was born there; and this mistake has been copied by other writers. “ Monstrelet was married to Jeanne de Valbuon, or Valhuon, and had several children by her, although only two of them were known, a daughter called Bona, married to Martin de Beulaincourt, a gentleman of that country, surnamed the Bold, and a son of the name of Pierre. It is probable that Bona was married, or of age, prior to the year 1438; for in the register of the officiality of Cambray, towards the end of that year, is an entry, that Enguerrand de Monstrelet was appointed guardian to his young son Pierre, without any mention of his daughter Bona. It follows, therefore, that Monstrelet was a widower at that period. “In the year 1436, Monstrelet was nominated to the office of Lieutenant du Gavénier of the Cambresis, conjointly with Le Bon de Saveuses, master of the horse to the duke of Burgundy, as appears from the letters patent to this effect, addressed by the duke to his nephew the count d'Estampes, of the date of the 13th May in this year, and which are preserved in the chartulary of the church of Cambray. “It is even supposed that Monstrelet had for some time enjoyed this office; for it is therein declared, that he shall continue in the receipt of the Gavéne, as he has heretofore done, until this present time. “Gave, or “Gavéne’ (I speak from the papers I have just quoted), signifies in Flemish, a gift or a present. It was an annual due payable to the duke of Burgundy, by the subjects of the churches in the Cambresis, for his protection of them as earl of Flanders. From the name of the tribute was formed that of Gavénier, which was often given to the duke of Burgundy, and the nobleman he appointed his deputy was styled Lieutenant du Gavènier. I have said “the nobleman whom he appointed,’ because in the list of those lieutenants, which the historian of Cambray has published, there is not one who has not shown sufficient proofs of nobility. Such was, therefore, the employment with which Monstrelet was invested; and shortly after, another office was added to it, that of bailiff to the chapter of Cambray, for which he took the oaths on the 20th of June, 1436, and entered that day on its duties. He kept this place until the beginning of January, in the year 1440, when another was appointed. “I have mentioned Pierre de Monstrelet, his son; and it is probable that he is the person who was a made a knight of St. John of Jerusalem in the month of July, in 1444, although the acts of the chapter of Cambray do not confirm this opinion, nor specify the Christian
* They are preserved in MS. by the regular canons of St. Aubert in Cambray.