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them. He was commanded to assemble all the prelates, counsellors, and magistrates of these districts, and then, in full meeting, to read aloud these letters from the king, sealed with hia great seal, and dated this 6th day of July. Countersigned " John Millet," according to the resolution of council, at which had been present the duke of Burgundy, the constable of France, the chancellor of Aquitaine, the chancellor of Burgundy, and several others.
These letters contained, in substance, an exhortation that they would remain steady and loyal in their duty to the king, and be ready to serve him or the dauphin whenever and wherever they should be summoned to march against the enemies of the kingdom and the public weal; that they should place confidence in his knight, counsellor and chamberlain, sir John de Moreul, according to the instructions given him under the king's privy seal, which he was to show and give them to read. When he had visited many towns and provostships in these bailiwicks, he came on Monday the 16th day of July, from Dourlens to Amiens, and there, in the presence of the nobles, prelates, and principal inhabitants of the great towns within the district, he read his letters and instructions with a clear and loud voice, for he was a man of great eloquence. He explained how much the peace and union of the kingdom had been and was troubled; how the trials of those who had been beheaded at Paris were carried on before a sufficient number of able and honest men, as well knights as advocates of the parliament, and other lords and discreet men, who had been nominated for this purpose by the king; and how sir James de la Riviere, in despair, had killed himself with a pewter pot in which he had had wine, as well as the manner in which he had done it.
The charges which were brought against those who had been beheaded occupied each sixty sheets of paper,—and he assured them, that good and impartial justice had been administered to all who had been executed, without favour or hatred having any concern in their just sentences. He asserted, that the duke of Aqnitaine had never written such letters to the princes of the Orleans party as they had published; and he concluded,—" Know then, all ye present, that what I have just being saying are notorious truths." After this, he asked whether they were loyal and obedient to the king, and desired they would tell him their intentions. The nobles and prelates, and the rest of the assembly, instantly replied, that they had always been obedient to the king, and were ready to serve him, believing that he had told them the truth. In confirmation of this, he required letters from the provost, with which he returned to Paris. In like manner were other knights sent, in the king's name, witli similar letters and instructions to the different bailiwicks and seneschalships within the realm, who, being equally successful, returned with letters of the same import.
While these things were passing, the English appeared off the coast of Normandy with a large fleet of ships, and landed at the town of Treport, where having plundered all they could find, and made some prisoners, they set fire to it, and burnt the town and monastery, and also some of the adjoining villages. When they had remained about twenty-two hours on shore, they re-cmbarked and made sail for England with their booty.
CHAPTER CVI. — THE AMBASSADORS FROM THE KINO OP FRANCE RETURN WITO THOSE
FROM THE PRINCES TO PARIS. THEY ARE JOINED BY OTHERS, WHO NEGOTIATE A
FOURTH PEACE AT PONTOISE.
On Wednesday, the 12th day of July, the ambassadors whom the king and the dukes of Aquitaine, Berry, and Burgundy, had sent to the princes of the blood, namely, the bishop of Tournay, the grand-master of Rhodes, the lords d'Offemont, and de la Vicfville, master Peter de Marigny, and some others, returned from their embassy. The answer they had brought having been soon after considered in council, the king ordered the dukes of Berry and Burgundy to go with the aforesaid ambassadors to Pontoise, when the king of Sicily, the dukes of Orleans and of Bourbon, the counts d'Alencon and d^u, came to Vernon, and thence sent their ambassadors to Pontoise, to explain to the dukes of Berry and Burgundy, and the other ambassadors, the causes of their griefs, and the great miseries that must ensue •hould the war take place that was on the point of breaking out.
One of their ambassadors harangued well in clear and good French on the above subjects: the substance of what he said was as follows. "To explain what has been intrusted to us by our lords, namely, the king of Sicily, the dukes of Orleans and of Bourbon, the counts
Pontoisf, as it apj>cared in the Sixteenth Century.—From a print in Chastillion's Topographic Francois*.
d'Alencon and d'Eu, to you, my very redoubted lords of Berry and Burgundy, and to the gentlemen of the great council of the king and of my lord of Aquitaine, now in their company, since it becomes me to speak the words of peace, trusting in Him who is the sole author of peace, and in the good will of my hearers, I shall take IDy text from the 33d Psalm, 'Oculi mei semper ad Dominum ;' that is to say, My eyes are always turned to the Lord; and continue my discourse from what the wise Plato gays, among other notable things, that all princes or others intrusted with the affairs of government should obey the commands of their sovereign in all they shall do for the public welfare, laying aside every private consideration for their own advantage, and regard themselves as part of a whole, the smallest member of which being wounded, the effect is felt by the head or chief lord.
"I consider, therefore, the kingdom of France as a body, of which our sovereign lord the king is the head, and his subjects the members.' But in what degree shall I place my lords the princes who have sent us hither, or you, my lords, who hear me? for we know of no other head but our sovereign lord. — I can neither liken vou to the head nor to the aforesaid members, on account of your rank; but I think I may compare you to the members nearest to the head, for among them may be counted the eyes, which are of the greatest use to it. I shall consequently compare you to the eyes, and for three singularly good reasons.
"First, the eyes ought to be well placed and formed alike; for should one be placed differently from the other, half closed or awry, the whole person is disgraced and acquires the name of Blind or Squinter. Now, it seems to me, that as my lords who have sent us, and you, my lords, who hear me, have persons handsomely made, you ought to be of one mind, and tending towards good; for you have eyes of a clear understanding, and of real affection,' Oculi sapicntis in capite ejus.'—Secondly, the eyes are the most striking parts of the human body, and have a full view over every part of it, as the prophet Ezekiel says, in his 33d chapter, ' Speculatorem dedi te domui Israel.' Just so are our princes of the blood, for from their singular and strong affection to their sovereign lord and his kingdom, they constantly watch over and guard him.—Thirdly, from the nobleness of the eye, which is of a circular form, and of such sensibility that when any other member of the body is hurt, or struck with grief, it weeps, as the prophet Jeremiah says in the Iflth chapter, 'Plorans, plorabit, et educet oculus metis lachrymam quia captus est grex Domini.' In like manner Valerius Maximus relates, in his 8th book, that when Marcellus the tyrant saw his city despoiled by the enemy, who had taken it by storm, he could not refrain from weeping, which was becoming a real eye. Certainly it ought to bewail the pain of its members, as Codrus, duke of Athens, did, who caused himself to be slain to gain a victory over his enemies, as is related by Julius Frontinus, and this same Valerius Maximus in his 8th book. And because all our lords are and ought to be of the same stamp, I have compared them thereto by saying, ' Oculi mei semper ad Dominuin.'
"As for me, being the spokesman of those who have been charged to come hither by our lords, we do not think of comparing ourselves to eyes, but solely to the very humble servants of the eye, being no greater parts of the members than the nail on the little finger, ready at the calls of our superiors; and from their commands have we been led to speak of such high concerns, which was matter of great grievance to us; but it is for the sake of peace, and in obedience to the eye, ' Oculi mei semper ad Dominum ;' for in all times, every one should obey his lord, more especially when he is in adversity,—as Tully says in his Treatise on Friendship,— Come to thy friend in prosperity, when he calls thee; but when he shall be in adversity, wait not to be called. I apply this to all landholders who are not the immediate ministers of a king, or of the Lord, according to the apostle St. Peter, who says in his second chapter, ' Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake, whether it be to the king as supreme,' &c. And again, 'Be obedient in the fear of our Lord, not only to the good and just but to the ignorant.' Thus may every one repeat the text I have chosen, 'Oculi mei semper ad Dominum.'
"Notwithstanding my lords who have sent us hither having the eyes of clear understanding, and affected with a true love to their sovereign as the head of the whole body of this Christian kingdom, are fearful that what Isaiah says in his 8th chapter may be applied to them; 'Speculatores ejus caeci omnes;' and that they may be said to resemble the hog who devours the fruit that falls from the tree, without ever looking up to the tree whence it falls. Nevertheless, they having considered the events that have lately taken place in Paris, are full of grief lest the whole body of the kingdom should consequently suffer such destruction, as from its continuation, may be mortal to it, which God, out of his gracious mercy, avert!
"In the first place, they have heard of the arrests and executions of the servants of the king, queen, and duke of Aquitaine, to whom alone belongs the cognizance of any offences committed by them, and [to none others. They have also been informed that the same conduct has been followed in regard to the ladies and damsels of the queen and the duchess of Aquitaine, which things, from honour to the queen their mistress, as well as for the respect due to the female sex and to modesty, ought not to have been done. The laws declare and command, under heavy penalties, that modest women shall not be publicly handled ; and the honour of their families would seem to assure them of not being so treated, for which they make loud lamentations. Notwithstanding that the cognizance of any crime committed by a prince of the royal blood belongs solely to the king, the duke of Bar has been imprisoned, who is cousin-german to the king our lord, which causes much sorrow to our lords, more particularly to the king and queen of Sicily (who is his niece), who loudly cry out for his deliverance, as well as for that of duke Louis of Bavaria, brother to the queen. They are more hurt at the form and manner in which they were arrested; for, according to what has been told them, they were seized by those who were not king's officers, nor had any authority for so doing from him, but merely by a mob of common people, who forcibly broke down the doors of the king's and the duke of Aquitaine's apartments, saying to the latter many rude and impudent things, which, as is reported, have greatly displeased him; and they are particularly anxious to know why such disgraceful acts were done, as they are ignorant what could have caused them.
"Could any just reasons be alleged, they would not be so much astonished as they now are. But to continue: it has been told them that my lord is even deprived of his liberty, and that be cannot leave his hotel, or. at least that he is not suffered to go out of Paris; and that no one of his kindred, or of any high rank, are suffered to converse with him, but only those who guard him, as is done to common prisoners in many cases. This is matter of as serious grief to him and to my said lords, thus to be deprived of the conversation and sight of their sovereign lord on earth, as it would be to be debarred the vision of God in another life.—Item, they complain, that since these events, letters have been sent by the town of Paris to the aforesaid lords, and to others, and also to the chief towns in the kingdom, to declare that these arrests, imprisonments, and executions, have taken place with the approbation of the duke of Aquitaine. They therefore lament such letters being sent; for itone but the princes of the blood ought to be made acquainted with the acts of government, or with such charges as are made against different lords. There was, beside, no pretence for these letters, for no one had ever interfered with tho government of the duke of Aquitaine; and it should seem to have been done solely with a view to inflame and instigate the people to some acts prejudicial to the king, to my lord of Aquitaine, bis whole family, and even against these lords now present.
"They also complain, that through the importunity of these same Parisians, orders have been sent to their barons, knights, esquires, and vassals, not to obey any summons they may receive from them, but to remain at home until the constable, or some other of the lords within Paris, shall send for them; and at this grievance they feel very indignant, for they have never done any tiling, or had intentions of so acting, as to deserve to be deprived of the service of their vassals; and when the king should have occasion for them, they should have served in their company, &c.—Item, they likewise complain of many expressions, and other orders, by which several officers take possession of castles and forts, and place in them new governors, dismissing very able captains, noble and valiant knights, who have loyally served their whole life without reproach, and still intend to serve the king.
"These things are very unusual and extraordinary, and create much uneasiness, by the had example they afford as well to the head as the other members, to the producing of subversion and total ruin. This good kingdom has long been prosperously governed, chiefly by its regular police and strict justice, which are founded on three things, and have caused it to excel all other kingdoms.—Firstly, by its great learning, by which the Christian faith has been defended, and justice and equity maintained.—Secondly, by its noble and gallant chivalry, by which not only this kingdom, but the whole of the faith has been supported and encouraged.—Thirdly, by the numbers of loyal subjects, who, by their subordination and obedience, have given strength to the government.
"But now these three things, by the present perverse mode of acting, will be completely overturned; for all seems running to disorder, and one fills an office suited to another, so that the feet which ought to support the body, head, and arms, now want to take the place of the head; and thus everything will fall into confusion, and all the members quit the situations they were naturally designed for, as the civil law says, ' Rerum commixtione turbantur officia.' For these reasons, my lords have sent us to supplicate the king, the queen, and my lord of Aquitaine, and to request of you, our very dear and redoubted lords, and of you gentlemen of the great council of tho king and the duke of Aquitaine now present, that each of you would, according to the exigence of the case, apply a sufficient remedy. It seems to my lords, that, according to the opinion of physicians, abstinence is the grand preservative of the body natural from sickness: we therefore pray you, that all such acts as have lately taken place may be put an end to, and that all extraordinary commissions may cease; that honour and justice may have due attention paid to them, and that liberty ftad the accustomed prerogatives be restored to the king and the duke of Aquitaine, as to the eyes of justice; and that they may be preserved from all offence from churchmen, nobility, and people, as the body, the arms, and the legs are bound to guard and defend the head; for this will be the only and secure means of establishing peace, and as the Psalmist says, ' Quia justicia et pax osculate sunt.'
"St. Augustin declares, that every one wishes for Peace in his house; but Justice, who is her sister, lodges in the house of another; and all who wish for true Peace must have also her sister Justice. Should any one say, that abstinence would be dangerous from fear of two different things, such as war and rigorous justice, we reply, in the name of our lords, that they will eschew both to tho utmost of their power, and will employ themselves heartily in following this abstinence, and in the expulsion of all such men at arms as shall injure the country by every means they can use. In regard to rigorous justice, they intend to follow in this the manner of all princes, keeping in mind the sentence of Plato, that when a prince is cruel to the commonwealth, he resembles the guardian who unwisely chastises his ward, whom he had undertaken to watch over and defend. They will carefully imitate the conduct of their predecessors of the most noble house of France, who have been accustomed to show nothing hut good humour and kindness, laying aside all rancour against tho good city of Paris, and all other towns that may have been guilty of improper acts ; and they supplicate the king, the queen, and my lord of Aquitaine, that an entire oblivion may be passed over what may have been done on one side as well as on the other.
"My lords are particularly desirous that the king, tho queen, and the duke of Aquitaino should have full liberty to make their residence at Rouen, Chartres, Melun, Jlontargis, or at any other place more suitable than Paris, for their loyal subjects to have access to them; not through any malevolence toward this town, or against its inhabitants, but to avoid any sort of riot that might take place between their servants and some of the citizens. And I beg the lords now present to consider on the most secure means for the meeting of my lords with their majesties and the duke of Aquitaine, and to obviate all pretence of suspicion or alarm, when my lords shall attend at any proper place to provide for the better government of the kingdom, and for the establishment of a solid peace. Let this matter be well weighed, for our lords and ourselves are perfectly well inclined to attend to the honour and advantage of the head and of all its members.
"Should I have said too little, my lords and companions will be eager to amend it; and should I have said too much, or anything that may have angered any of my lords hero present, they will be pleased to attribute it to my simplicity and ignorance, and to the strong affection I bear to the king, and my earnestness that a firm and lasting peace may bo concluded. I am naturally bound to this by my oath of fidelity, and also from the anxiety my lord the king of Sicily has to promote this desirable end. Should I therefore have said more than was necessary, you will not of course attribute it to any rashness, or disaffection that I may feel; for such has never entered my thoughts, or those of my lord of Sicily or his companions."
After this, several propositions for peace were made on each side, that tranquillity might be restored to the kingdom, and an end put to the present disorders. Some articles were drawn up, of the following tenor.
"First, there shall be perfect union and love between the princes of the blood, which they will keep, and swear to observe, like affectionate relatives and friends, and shall mutually interchange letters to this purpose; and, for a greater confirmation of the above, the principal officers and servants of each lord shall do the same.—Item, the princes of the blood who have sent ambassadors will cease from all acts of warfare, and will not summon any more men-at-arms; and if any summonses should have been issued, they will instantly annul them.— Item, they will do everything in their power to rccal those who form the companies of Clugnet, Louis Bourdon, and others their adherents, by every possible means. Should these companies refuse to comply, these lords would then unite themselves with the king's forces, and compel them to obedience, or destroy them, and all others the king's enemies, who might wage war against him or his kingdom.—Item, they will promise that they will not bear any malice or revenge for whatever things may have been done in the city of Paris, nor do by themselves or others any mischief to that town, or its inhabitants, under pretext of justice, or any other cause whatever; and should any security be required for the observance of this article, they shall suffer it to be given, and even afford every assistance thereto to the utmost of their power.—Item, these princes will make oath upon the true cross of God, on the holy evangelists, and on the word of honour of a prince, that they will strictly observe every article of this treaty, without any fraud or subterfuge, and will give to the king letters containing tho above oath, signed with their seals.—Item, on the accomplishment of the above, the ambassadors from the aforesaid princes require, that the king would be pleased to annul and revoke all his summonses for assembling men-at-arms, and order all warfare to cease in the realm, except against the above-mentioned companies.—Item, he will