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He was not the ignorant soldier who could services secured him rapid promotion. mistake the printed Bible brought to him in 1547 Francis 1. died, and was sucat Vassy, as Protestant prejudice has de- ceeded by Henry II. In this same year picted him, but he was well read in the Coligny was made colonel and captainLatio historians, and especially in Taci. general of the French infantry. The tus. Splendid in expenditure, delighting Swiss mercenaries, of whom the force was in display, apparently frank and careless composed, were disorderly in war, and in in speech, mirthful in manner, broad. peace “companies of Arabs and brigands." shouldered, and magnificent in appear. Coligny's first care was to reduce them ance, he was the ideal beau sabreur, the to discipline. The honor of women was very man to become the idol of Paris.
guarded by the punishment of hanging. Numerous explanations have been Everything was to be paid for, and soldiers sought for the coolness which gradually who roved through the country in search sprang up between the two young men. of plunder were to be hung. No quarrel. The true explanation lies in their divergent ling was permitted. A soldier who calumcharacters and their natural rivalry. In niated another, or gave his comrade the the case of Coligny the exuberant spirits of lie, was to make public confession of his youth concealed a will and temperament fault. No duel could be fought without which were not likely to suffer shipwreck permission. The execrable blasphemies from the frivolities of the court. His of the soldiers were to cease. On the thoughtful, serious face : - as it appears in third offence the blasphemer's tongue was his portrait among the Grands Amiraux of cut out. Golding,* in his “ Lyfe of Jasper France with its square, high forehead, Colignie,” translated from the Latin of De full, firm mouth, clear, melancholy, grey Serres, describes this military code. eyes, reveals qualities the very opposite to those of Guise. Proud of his birth,
For wheras erst it was growen intoo a
moste wicked custome, that the souldyers impatient of control, stern and even harsh in the administration of justice, he was a
myght ronne gadding everywhere under their
antsignes, and make havocke and spoyle of man to be trusted and feared. Reserved all things, Jasper tyed them too streyter in manner, severe in demeanor, slow in orders of warlike disciplyne, therby too rethe expression of his opinions, inflexible streyne their overlicentiouse dealings, and in bis judgment of others, pitiless towards specially to represse the libertie of their himself, he was never a man to be popular. cursed swearing and blasphemie. He cared little for worldly pleasures, but Stern as the code was it was enforced he loved power. He was determined to with inexorable rigor. Formerly, says be the first man in France, and at every Brantôme,t there was nothing but pillage, step Guise crossed his path. Tolerant robbery, plunder, ransoming, murder, and colightened in his views, he was in quarrels, and ravishing. Now the troops his ideas a man of the modern world. were strictly disciplined, and the lives The hero of duty, intrepid in danger, re of thousands of persons saved.” sourceful in defeat, never elated by success In 1553 Coligny became admiral of or dispirited by failure, his virtues seemed France; in 1555 he was made governor to be cast in the mould of antiquity. of Picardy; in 1556 he negotiated the
Ambitious of military glory, Coligny Treaty of Vaucelles with Philip of Spain. rapidly gained renown as a soldier. He He was at the height of his fortune. was wounded at Montmédy in 1542, and Meanwhile the increasing severity of the at the siege of Baios in 1543; he distin- persecutions of the Protestants had turned guished himself at the capture of Carignan Coligny's thoughts to the pacification of and the battle of Cérisoles (1544); he conimanded a galley in the French expedition Capteine and Mainteiner of the trew Christain Reli
* The Lyfe of the most Godly, Valeant, and Noble against the Isle of Wight in 1545 ; he gion in Fraunce, Jasper Colignie Shatilion, some tyme captured Boulogne from the English in Greate Admirall of Fraunce. Translated out of Latin 1549 by means of a fort which was called, by A. Golding. London, 1576. 8vo.
| Hommes Illustres et Grands Capitaines Français : after its projector, Fort Châtillon. Such | M. de Châtillon.
religious dissensions. In the New World | God, which are always good, and holy, and it was possible to found a colonial empire, reasonable, and which do nothing without just strike a blow at the exclusive dominion of cause. Wherefore, though I know not the Spain, and secure liberty of conscience for reason thereof, I ought not even to enquire the Protestants. As Coligny anticipated Him, conforming myself to His will.
into it, but rather to humble myself before Cromwell in his discipline of an army, so also he preceded the Pilgrim Fathers in Coligny returned to Paris, to find Guise his scheme of colonization. But bis plan entirely possessed of Henry's confidence, was to be a national movement, supported the Spanish influence supreme, the papal and encouraged by the king. To this power strictly allied with France, the purpose he adhered with his usual tenac- Catholic reaction in progress, the Inquisiity. He recurred to it again in 1560, 1564, tion introduced, the goveroment bent upon and 1570.* In 1555 the first colonizing the extermination of heresy. It did not expedition for the sake of religious liberty make his loss of influence less hard to sailed from Havre. It reached Rio de bear, that he himself was the author of Janeiro, and occupied a small island, the plans by which Guise had taken Cal. which Villegagoon the commander, called als * He withdrew to Châtillon-sur-Loing, Coligny. But the enterprise failed. The where he made a public profession of the emigrants quarrelled among themselves ; Calvinist opinions in 1560. In his retire. many of them returned sooner than endure ment he busied himself with rebuilding the Genevan rule; those who remained and restoriog the castle.t Châtillon, near were massacred.
Nogent-sur-Vermisson, in the department This abortive expedition was Coligny's of Loiret, is a small, quiet town which has first failure. Its equipment marks the grown up under the shadow of the resihighest point of his career. Hence- dence of its feudal lords. Thrice burned forward his life was full of disaster, and to the ground, there are few remains of his star was eclipsed by that of Guise. ancient buildings. The choir of the lo 1557 the Treaty of Vaucelles was church dates from the time of Coligny, as treacherously broken. War was renewed also do the edifices known as Pot au Lait, with Spain, and Picardy bore the brunt of l'Enfer, le Purgatoire, and le Paradis. the attack. St. Quentin was besieged. The bastions and walls with which he It was without walls, provisions, or sol. surrounded the castle may still be traced. diers. If the town fell, the road lay open The gardens, with the three terraces to the Spaniards. Coligoy threw himself placed the one above the other, remain into it with a handful of men. Two at. much as he left them. But the southern tempts to relieve it failed. For twenty- wing of the castle, which he built in the seven days he held out, and every hour Renaissance style, containiog a gallery of that was gained gave the French time to pictures by Primaticcio and his pupils, collect their troops. Finally the town was bas-reliefs, and caryatides carved by Jean carried by assault. As with his brother Goujon, and frescoes for which Giulio Andelot, † imprisonment proved the reli. Romano supplied the designs, is de. gious turning-point of his life. When the stroyed. Coligoy at least did not suffer peace of Cateau-Cambrésis (signed April, his religion to blind him to the beauties 1559) was negotiated, he returned to Paris of art. a Protestant. He has himself described As the policy of the court grew more the siege of St. Quentin in a document definitely hostile towards the Protestants, composed in his prison at Sluys.I
He their attitude towards the civil power unconcludes bis account of the capture of derwent a complete change. They began the town with these words:
to look to the sword for the righteous de.
fence of the Gospel. They learned to use All my consolation springs from the reflec- the watchword “Venger Dieu.” They tion, which ought to be present to the minds of all Christians, that such mysteries cannot prepared for union among their scattered take place without the will and pleasure of congregations by convening their first
synod at Paris in 1559. The delegates * The History of these enterprises is admirably told assembled at the risk of their lives, I and by the late Francis Parkman (Pioneers of France in the result of their deliberations at this and the New World. Boston, 1865. Svo).
+ Andelot was taken prisoner in Italy, and for four subsequent meetings was the Coofession years (1551-5) was imprisoned in the Castle of Milan. of Faith, which they presented two years There he read the works of Calvin and became a Prot.
• Brantôme, Grands Capitaines, etc. : M. de Guise. # Discours de Gaspar de Colligny sur le Siège de 1 Becquerel, Souvenirs Historiques sur l'Amira. Saint-Quentin (printed in La Vie de Gaspard de Co-Coligny. Paris, 1876. 8vo. ligny, par G. de Courtilz de Sandras. Cologne, 1686. Spreto certæ necis metu conveniunt (De Thou,
later to Charles IX., and a compact and eroment had accumulated.
The protesserried organization based on the repre- tants, the nobility, the princes of the sentative system. Numerous, enthusias- blood, even the queen mother, had their tic, well-organized, and rapidly increasing grievances. Though nominally in retirein numbers, the Huguenots only required ment at Châtillon, Coligny was in close leaders to make them a formidable body. touch with the leaders of his party. Near At this crisis the ascendency of the Guises to Châtillon lay Taplay, the home of Anand the Spanish policy of the court threw delot, and Noyers, the residence of Condé. into their arms the Bourbons and a large The two Bourbon princes, Condé, and the number of the malcontent nobility. Be- elder brother, Antoine, Duc de Vendôme, tween the Cardinal of Lorraine, the “ Ti. who by his marriage with Jeanne d'Albret ger of France," as Hotmao calls Charles was king of Navarre, were the dominal de Guise, and Antoine Perrenot, better leaders of the Huguenot party. As known as the Cardinal Granvelle and the princes of the blood royal they had claims subtlest diplomatist of the day, a close to the administration of the realm during alliance had been formed. French policy, the minority of the king. Both as Protesbitherto opposed to the aggrandizement tants and princes of the blood they had of Spain, became Spanish. It was from everything to fear from the ascendency of the Escurial that the Guises drew their the Guises. But Antoine, * weak, vacil. mysterious strength. Granvella painted lating, and suspicious of the Constable the insidious progress of heresy, the dan- Montmorency, was incapable of decisive gers with which it threatened the mon. action. Louis, Prince de Condé, born in archy, the advantage of uniting France 1530, was of a very different character. with Spain as a bulwark against Protes- Popular, brave, fond of pleasure, chivaltantism. A tempting prospect was opened rously courageous, excelling in all bodily to the Guises. They could pose as de- exercises, loving other people's wives as fenders of the faith, as Catholic cham- much as his own,t he had nothing Puritan pions, and by such titles jealousy of their in his nature. Slight in stature and roundextraction or their influence would be ap- shouldered not as anecdote-mongers peased. They would rise above court bave maintained, hump-backed – he disintrigues; they would cease to depend on puted with François de Guise the favor of royal favoritism. Their allies would be the Parisians, who sang
of him the Catholic sovereigns of Europe, their
Ce petit homme tant jolly followers every faithful son of the Church.
Toujours cause et toujours rit, Resistance to their power would be iden
Et toujours baise sa mignonne: tified with heresy. So the subtle poison Dieu gard' de mal le petit homme! worked in the minds of the Guises. What their ultimate object may have been
He was attracted to the Huguenot faith is uncertain. Perhaps they foresaw that by the influence of his wife, the grandin the sickly children of Catherine de daughter of Louise de Montmorency, the Médicis the race of Valois would become mother of Coligny. Ambitious rather than extinct, and hoped that as champions of religious, he threw in his lot with the the Church they might seize the throne. Reformers from disgust at the ascendency With the death of Henry II. (1559) and of the Guises. He was the Rupert of the accession of Francis II. their influence their cause, as Coligny was their Wasbwas unbounded. Mary Stuart, their niece, ington. His charge was irresistible, but was queen of France, and Francis, a boy
he was rather a dashing cavalry officer of sixteen, weak in mind and body, was a
than a general.
Between the extreme sections of the puppet in their hands. They usurped the position which legitimately belonged to malcontents Coligny held the balance. the princes of the blood. They alone were
There were Huguenots of religion, asking responsible for the acts done in the royal the end of persecution, and Huguenots of To them was entrusted the civil
, state, who demanded the dismissal of the military, and financial administration of Guises. On the one side were the Rethe country. Under their auspices the formers, who, stimulated by the example persecution grew hotter, and aimed at of their co-religionists in other countries, higher game. Anne Dubourg was
were eager to conquer liberty of religion rested, imprisoned, and executed as a heretic. Andelot, the brother of Coligny, et XVIIe siècles, par M. le duc d'Aumale, tome i.
* Histoire des Princes de Condé pendant les XVIe only saved himself from a similar fate by Paris, 1863. a timely conformity.
† Brantôme says that Condé was "aussy mondain A mass of disaffection towards the govo sienne."
qu'un autre, et aymoit autant la femme d'autruy que la
by force of arms and the aid of foreigners. moment of its_triumph, by the death of On the other side stood the nobles, who Francis II. on December 5, 1560. clamored for the restoration of the princes The accession of Charles IX., at the of the blood. No notion of treason crossed age of nine, promised brighter prospects their minds. France during the wars of for the Huguenots. The Guises were no religion resembled England during the longer the king's uncles. L'Hôpital's inwars of the Roses. Subject to the crown fluence was thrown into the scale of tolonly in name, the nobility hoped to use eration. The constable Montmorency the Protestant cause as a means of recov- returned to court. The king of Navarre ering their feudal independence. At a was appointed lieutenant-governor of the council held at Vendôme the malcontents realm. The Guises retired in disgust to considered whether they shouid take up the provinces. The Cardinal de Châtil. arms against the Guises as “usurpers, lon, though married, celebrated mass in foreigners, and tyrants." Coligny re. the Cathedral of Beauvais. Montluc* strained the eagerness of his party. At preached a sermon before the king in this, and at the subsequent meeting of La which he expounded the Genevan creed. Ferté-sur-Marne, he argued against war. The key to this change lies in the posi. Nothing was lost by waiting. The Re. tion and the character of Catharine de formed religion was spreading fast. The Médicis. The ruling passion of the king was young, and he might eventually queen mother was the love of power, or, side with them. Without foreign assist- as the Venetian ambassador calls it, “il ance they could not cope with the Guises. affetto di signoreggiare.” Without affec
Coligny's advice prevailed. Some at tions, scruples, or principles, without a least of those whom he addressed were single virtue except conjugal fidelity, privy to the conspiracy of Amboise, to without one noble feeling, yet with infinite seize or kill the Guises, to secure the patience and suppleness, she schemed inperson of the king, to hand over the gov- cessantly to preserve her own ascendency. ernment to the Bourbons, wbo would con. Unable to raise the royal power above vene the States-General. Was Coligny contending parties, she gave her hand the “ Capitaine Muet ” who stood behind first to one, then to the other, using them La Renaudie? Was the secretary of La against each other, alternately courting Renaudie speaking the truth, or saving and betraying first the Catholics and then himself from torture, when he declared the Huguenots. At this moment not only that both Condé and Coligny were privy to had she most to fear from the ambition of the plot? It is impossible to decide with the Guises, but it was doubtful whether certainty; but the discovery of the plot Rome or Geneva was to dominate France. was followed by a massacre of the Hugue. It was only when the Catholic reaction nots. At Amboise alone twelve hundred had set in after 1563, and the first war had were executed. Public justice was made revealed the numerical insignificance of the instrument of private vengeance, the Huguenots, that Catharine definitely Alarm at the boldness of the plot, and took the side of the Catholics. Even horror at its terrible punishment, strength. then she was prepared to be neutral. The ened the hands of the moderate party, who extraordinary influence which Coligoy demanded a general amnesty. At Fon- gained in 1570 was the real cause of his tainebleau it was resolved to summon the attempted murder and the massacre of States-General at Orleans and suspend St. Bartholomew. Catharine's first plan the punishment of heretics. This resolu- was to create a moderate party which tion was a triumph for the moderate party might check the power of the Guises, and and a defeat for the Guises. But the con- either hold the balance between contead. vention of the States-General at Orleans ing parties, or effect a compromise which afforded the latter an opportunity which would satisfy both. Herself a Gallio in they hastened to use. They crowded the matters of religion, she believed that it city with troops. The Spaniards were was possible to establish a moderate platready to give assistance on the frontiers. form to which both Huguenots and Cath. The Protestants were unprepared. A olics could adhere. She laid the outline royal ordinance was drafted for publica of ber scheme before Pius IV.t The tion, confiscating the property of the Cal- basis of her "interim" was the reform of vinists and banishing them from the clerical discipline, the abolition of image. kingdom. Coligny and the Cardinal de worship, the communion in both kinds, Châtillon were in the hands of the Guises. Condé was arrested and condemned to telnau, tome. i., liv. ii.
Le Laboureur, Additions aux Mémoires de Cas. death. The coup d'état was ruined, at the + De Thou, liv. xxviii
the use of the vulgar toogue in common civil war. Before him hovered that im. prayer. With this object before her she age of his country with which the Roman accepted the aid of L'Hôpital, and strained poet_confronted Cæsar on the banks of every nerve to avoid the issue of civil war the Rubicon. “Ingens visa duci patriæ or liberty of conscience. The Colloquy trepidantis imago." One night he lay of Poissy, the National Council, the Edict sleepless in his bed, pondering upon the of January, 1562, were the outcome of miseries of the Protestants and the borrors Catharine's temporizing policy; they gave of war, debating within his stern, upright the combatants a breathing space, but spirit the legality of armed resistance to nothing more. Already in the provinces authority. It was at the entreaty of his the two parties were flying at each other's wife, Catharine de Laval, that he eventthroats. In its general features the mas. ually joined Condé. To her arguments sacre of Vassy (March 1, 1562) might he replied: bave been paralleled elsewhere on one side or the other. But the presence of
“Madame! lay your hand upon your breast Guise made it the signal for the first re disaster, shame, the reproaches of a people
and search your heart. Can you encounter ligious war.
who judge all things by success? Can you Both parties flew to arms. At first endure treachery, your exile, your nakedness, Catharine wavered. The Protestants as- your hunger, and, what is worse, the hunger sured her that in every province she of your children, your own death upon the would have an army, if she would but scaffold, and the spectacle of your husband trust herself and the king to the princes drawn to execution on a hurdle ? I give
"The three of the blood. Catharine yielded to the you three weeks to consider.” suggestion. She urged Navarre to seize weeks,” she said, " are already passed. Lay the person of the king at Fontainebleau, those who will perish in those three weeks, or
not upon your head the guilt of the death of “ to save the mother, the children, and the I shall witness against you before the judgking."
But while Navarre hesitated, ment seat of God.” Guise seized the opportunity, and Catharine passed over finally to the side of Lor- Her high-spirited counsel turned the scale. raine. From Meaux Condé issued his Tristis ad mortem, he threw in his lot manifesto to the Protestants to arm, and with Condé, protesting that he took up fluog out his banner with the inscription arms not against the king but against his “ Doux le péril pour Christ et la patrie.”
1 false counsellors. His published reasons * for declaring war
The war opened with a brilliant feat of were the delay of the Parliament in reg
Condé, riding at the head of two istering the Edict of January, the mas. thousand of the Protestant gentry, carried sacre of Vassy, the fear that Guise was Orleans by a cavalry charge. From Blois plotting the extermination of the Protes- to Angers the gleam of Huguenot steel tants, the disobedience of Guise in going flashed along the banks of the Loire; it to Paris in defiance of the royal com- leaped from town to town; it girdled the mands, the assumption of royal powers by
coast. Half Languedoc sprang to arms. the council over which Guise presided at Dauphiné, with the massacre of the Vau. Paris.
The In similar terms. the Treaty of dois fresh in her memory, rose. Association f was drawn up between great cities of Guience and Gascony deCoode and his party — "to maintain the clared for the Genevan gown. Both sides honor of God, the peace of this Kingdom, ravaged, plundered, and burned. Both and the State and Liberty of the King employed mercenary Reiters and Landsunder the Government of the Queen his knechts. Both appealed abroad for assist. Mother."
But the sale of Havre to Elizabeth Numerous public documents ance. of the day treat the king as a captive, by the Calvinist leaders is a lasting disand it is avowedly on this ground that grace to their cause.* Religious fanatElizabeth promised her assistance to the icism might be proof against the charge Huguenot cause.
of treason. Yet many of the political Hitherto Coligny had not declared him- Huguenots deserted the cause as soon as self. No man can lightly take the step of the terms of the treaty of Hampton court
transpired. • Cf. Declaration Faicie par Monsieur le Prince de The Huguenot headquarters lay at OrCondé pour monstrer les raisons qui l'ont contrainct d'entreprendre la defense de l'autorité du Roy, du leans, where Coligny devoted himself to Gouvernement de la Royne et du repos de ce Royaume. the military and moral discipline of the MDLXII.
+ Traicté d'Association faicte par Monseigneur le army. Soon the camp presented an ediPrince de Condé avec les Princes, Chevaliers de l'Ordre, etc., qui sont entrez, ou entreront cy aprés, en ladicte * Hist. des Princes de Condé, par M. le duc d'AuMDLXII.
male, i. 161.