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DISORDER OF FRENCH AFFAIRS.
very often, till I was well enough to walk about, which was not in less than ten days, and then we thought fit to be gone; 80 we took post for Orleans; but when I came upon the road I found myself in a new error, for my wound opened again with riding, and I was in a worse condition than before, being forced to take up at a little village on the road, called - about — miles from Orleans, where there was no surgeon to be had, but a sorry country barber, who nevertheless dressed me as well as he could, and in about a week more I was able to walk to Orleans at three times.
Here I stayed till I was quite well, and then took coach for Lyons, and so through Savoy into Italy.
I spent near two years' time after this bad beginning, in travelling through Italy, and to the several courts of Rome, Naples, Venice, and Vienna.
When I came to Lyons, the king was gone from thence to Grenoble to meet the cardinal, but the queens were both at Lyons.
The French affairs seemed at this time to have but an indifferent aspect; there was no life in anything but where the cardinal was. He pushed on everything with extraordinary conduct, and generally with success; he had taken Suza and Pignerol from the Duke of Savoy, and was preparing to push the duke even out of all his dominions.
But in the mean time everywhere else things looked ill ; the troops were ill paid, the magazines empty, the people mutinous, and a general disorder seized the minds of the court; and the cardinal, who was the soul of everything, desired this interview at Grenoble, in order to put things into some better method.
This politic minister always ordered matters so, that if there was success in anything the glory was his; but if things miscarried it was all laid upon the king. This conduct was so much the more nice, as it is the direct contrary to the custom in like cases, where kings assume the glory of all the success in an action; and when a thing miscarries, make themselves easy by sacrificing their ministers and favourites to the complaints and resentments of the people ; but this accurate refined statesman got over this point.
While we were at Lyons, and as I remember, the third day after our coming thither, we had liked to have been involved in a state broil, without knowing where we were.
It was of a Sunday, in the evening; the people of Lyons, who had been sorely oppressed in taxes, and the war in Italy pinching their trade, began to be very tumultuous; we found the day before the mob got together in great crowds, and talked oddly; the king was everywhere reviled, and spoken disrespectfully of, and the magistrates of the city either winked at, or durst not attempt to meddle, lest they should provoke the people.
But on Sunday night, about midnight, we were waked by a prodigious noise in the street; I jumpt out of bed, and, running to the window, I saw the street as full of moh as it could hold. Some, armed with muskets and halberds, marched in very good order ; others in disorderly crowds, all shouting and crying out, Du paix le Roy, and the like. One, that led a great party of this rabble, carried a loaf of bread upon the top of a pike, and other lesser loaves, signifying the smallness of their bread, occasioned by dearness.
By morning this crowd was gathered to a great height; they run roving over the whole city, shut up all the shops, and forced all the people to join with them ; from thence they went up to the castle, and, renewing the clamour, a strange consternation seized all the princes.
They broke open the doors of the officers, collectors of the new taxes, and plundered their houses, and had not the persons themselves fled in time, they had been very ill treated.
The queen-mother, as she was very much displeased to see
she had no share, so I suppose she had the less concern upon her. However, she came into the court of the castle and showed herself to the people, gave money amongst them, and spoke gently to them; and by a way peculiar to herself, and which obliged all she talked with, she pacified the mob gradually, sent them home with promises of redress and the like; and so appeased this tumult in two days, by her prudence, which the guards in the castle had small mind to meddle with, and if they had, would, in all probability, have made the better side the worse.
sundry other parts of France, and the very army began to murmur, though not to mutiny, for want of provisions.
This sedition at Lyons was not quite over when we left the place, for, finding the city all in a broil, we considered MADE PRISONERS OF WAR.
we had no business there; and what the consequence of a popular tumult might be, we did not see, so we prepared to be gone. We had not rid above three miles out of the city, but we were brought as prisoners of war, by a party of mutineers, who had been abroad upon the scout, and were charged with being messengers sent to the cardinal for forces to reduce the citizens; with these pretences they brought us back in triumph, and the queen-mother being by this time grown something familiar to them, they carried us before her.
When they inquired of us who we were, we called ourselves Scots ; for as the English were very much out of favour in France at this time, the peace having been made not many months, and not supposed to be very durable, because particularly displeasing to the people of England ; so the Scots were on the other extreme with the French. Nothing was so much caressed as the Scots, and a man had no more to do in France, if he would be well received there, than to say he was a Scotchman.
When we came before the queen-mother she seemed to receive us with some stiffness at first, and caused her guards to take us into custody ; but as she was a lady of most exquisite politics, she did this to amuse the mob, and we were immediately after dismissed; and the queen herself made a handsome excuse to us for the rudeness we had suffered, alleging the troubles of the times; and the next morning we had three dragoons of the guards to convoy us out of the jurisdiction of Lyons.
REFLECTIONS-JOURNEY TO GRENOBLE, AND DESCRIPTION
OF THE SWISS TROOPS THERE-ACCOUNT OF THE KING
I CONFESS this little adventure gave me an aversion to popu. lar tumults all my life after, and if nothing else had been in
the cause, would have biassed me to espouse the king's party in England, when our popular heats carried all before it at home.
But I must say, that when I called to mind since, the address, the management, the compliance in show, and in general the whole conduct of the queen-mother with the mutinous people of Lyons, and compared it with the conduct of my unhappy master the king of England, I could not but see that the queen understood much better than King Charles, the management of politics, and the clamours of the people.
Had this princess been at the helm in England, she would have prevented all the calamities of the civil war here, and yet not have parted with what that good prince yielded in order to peace neither ; she would have yielded gradually, and then gained upon them gradually; she would have managed them to the point she had designed them, as she did all parties in France; and none could effectually subject her, but the very man she had raised to be her principal support; I mean the cardinal.
We went from hence to Grenoble, and arrived there the same day that the king and the cardinal, with the whole court, went out to view a body of six thousand Swiss foot, which the cardinal had wheedled the cantons to grant to the king, to help to ruin their neighbour the duke of Savoy.
The troops were exceeding fine, well-accoutred, brave, clean-limbed, stout fellows indeed. Here I saw the cardinal; there was an air of church gravity in his habit, but all the vigour of a general, and the sprightliness of a vast genius in his face; he affected a little stiffness in his behaviour, but managed all his affairs with such clearness, such steadiness, and such application, that it was no wonder he had such success in every undertaking.
Here I saw the king, whose figure was mean, his countenance hollow, and always seemed dejected, and every way discovering that weakness in his countenance, that appeared in his actions.
If he was ever sprightly and vigorous, it was when the cardinal was with him ; for he depended so much on everything he did, that he was at the utmost dilemma when he was absent, always timorous, jealous, and irresolute.
After the review the cardinal was absent some days, having
been to wait on the queen-mother at Lyons, where, as it was discoursed, they were at least seemingly reconciled.
I observed, while the cardinal was gone, there was no court, the king was seldom to be seen, very small attendance given, and no bustle at the castle; but as soon as the cardinal returned, the great councils were assembled, the coaches of the ambassadors went every day to the castle, and a face of business appeared upon the whole court.
Here the measures of the Duke of Savoy's ruin were concerted, and in order to it the king and the cardinal put themselves at the head of the army, with which they immediately reduced all Savoy, took Chamberry and the whole duchy, except Montmelian.
The army that did this was not above twenty-two thousand men, including the Swiss, and but indifferent troops neither, especially the French foot, who, compared to the infantry I have seen since in the German and Swedish armies, were not fit to be called soldiers. On the other hand, considering the Savoyards and Italian troops, they were good troops, but the cardinal's conduct made amends for all these deficiencies.
From hence I went to Pignerol, which was then little more than a single fortification on the hill near the town called St. Bride's; but the situation of that was very strong. I mention this because of the prodigious works since added to it, by which it has since obtained the name of the right hand of France; they had begun a new line below the hill, and some works were marked out on the side of the town next the fort; but the cardinal afterwards drew the plan of the works with his own hand, by which it was made one of the strongest fortresses in Europe.
While I was at Pignerol, the governor of Milan, for the Spaniards, came with an army and sat down before Casal. The grand quarrel, and for which the war in this part of Italy was begun, was this: the Spaniards and Germans pretended to the duchy of Mantua; the Duke of Nevers, a Frenchman, had not only a title to it, but had got possession of it; but, being ill-supported by the French, was beaten out by the imperialists, and after a long siege, the Germans took Mantua itself, and drove the poor duke quite out of the country.
The taking of Mantua elevated the spirits of the Duke of Savoy; and the Germans and Spaniards, being now at more