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territory, and gaining possession of the fortified cities of Normandy, and quietly permitted the duke of Burgundy to subjugate the north of the kingdom; while France, a prey to the contending factions, was sacked and plundered from one extremity to the other. Indeed, it appeared as if he only sought to raise enemies against himself and the Dauphin. Added to these circumstances, as if the king was not sufficiently wretched, he selected this very juncture to produce evidence and render him a witness of the profligate debauchery of Isabella his queen ;* and what made the proceeding still inore criminal in the eyes of this second Fredegond, was, the Count's taking possession, conjointly with her son the Dauphin, of the immense treasures she had accumulated notwithstanding the miseries to which the people were reduced. Hence originated that implacable hatred which Isabella vowed against her son Charles VII. - a sentiment so unworthy the feelings of a mother, and which she nevertheless cherished with unabated acrimony to the very moment of her death.
Far from repairing his fault, (and in the language of policy a fault is more unpardonable than a crime,) the Constable aggravated public calamities by his
• Louis Bourbon, the queen's favourite, underwent the question by torture, and was afterwards drowned by the king's order; while Isabella, sent to Tours, was watched with rigorous scrutiny.
shameful mismanagement of the affairs of the kingdom: burdensome taxes were increased ; executions": of every kind were tolerated; and banishments, . and confiscations daily occurred : it appeared, indeed, as if the count of Armagnac was bent upon his own ruin and that of the heir to the throne, who implicitly gave himself up to his direction. gen ..
These coercive measures did not produce the end proposed ; for the chains of despotism, however , strong, must still be severed, when the yoke imposed becomes too heavy. Some Parisians succeeded in introducing the Burgundian faction into their city, and in an instant the Constable's power faded into nothingness. To recite the horrors that accompanied the triumph of the victors, wo’ld be shocking to humanity. On the 12th of June, 1418, the massacre of all the Armagnacs in the prisons took place. * It is a scene recorded in such sanguinary characters, that neither the hand of time nor the pen of the historian, charged with recapitulating a modern transaction of the same nature, can obliterate the horrors of the past. Let us cast a veil over these disgusting atrocities, and content our
• The corpse of the Count of Armagnac was dragged through the streets during the space of three days; and his body having been shamefully disfigured, was covered with a scarf formed of the strips of his mutilated fiesh. (See Villaret, xiii. page 469; Monstrelet, ib.) These horrors were sanctioned by the leaders of the Burgundian faction. (See Monstrelet, Choisy, and Villaret.)
selves with stating, that the duke of Burgundy sanctioned other scenes of a similar description by his presence, over which an assassin presided, whom he treated with friendship, regarding him almost as an equal; the person alluded to being Capeluche, the public executioner. Nor did these measures terminate, until the plans of the duke no longer required such cruelties; when assured of the possession of Paris and of the queen, (who, burning with a thirst for vengeance, had voluntarily united herself to him,) after disposing of the royal authority, he was at full liberty to indulge in all the dreams of ambition which occupied his mind.
This prince, however, found himself much perplexed as to the conduct he should pursue. In some measure the master of France, it no longer was his interest to favour the English, since, having in their turn the ascendency, they might have oppressed the kingdom; while in another direction the Dauphin seemed to claim his assistance, who, through the devotion of a faithful adherent, *
• This individual was Tanneguy du Châtel, who wrapped Charles VII., then asleep, in one of his sheets, causing him to be transported to the Bastille, and from thence removed to Melun. This important service, recorded in the Journal of Paris, at page 37, is also detailed at length by two other cotemporary writers. (Saint Remi, page 120; and Juvenal des Ursins, at fol. 349.) Notwithstanding this, Dutillet, in his Collection of Treaties, page 319, attributes this action to the had been rescued from the capital at the moment the revolution was effected. Had the duke acted in concert with the prince, the English party might have been subjected; for the real friends of France immediately came forward for the purpose of bringing about a proper understanding between the other factions. The English were consequently intimidated, and France seemed to breathe more freely; when, at an appointed interview agreed upon for the purpose of rendering the bonds of alliance more permanent, the duke of Burgundy was assassinated in presence of the Dauphin upon the bridge of Montereau.
A difference of opinion 'exists even to the present day in regard to the authors and the circumstances attending this flagitious deed; since the murder even of a villain was no less a crime, than if the victim had been the most exemplary character. It is equally a mystery whether it was premeditated or the effect of chance: be the fact, however, as it may, notwithstanding the contradictions and the impenetrable obscurity that characterise the numerous recitals, whether of the witnesses, or the historians *
chancellor Robert le Maçon, who, says he, had conspicuously stood forward in support of Charles : and at page 340, in proof of this assertion, he quotes letters of the 7th of November, 1420, by which Charles makes a grant to Robert le Maçon in consequence of his life having been suded by him, when Paris was taken.
* Mademoiselle de Lussan, viii. pages 333 and 390, gives a
of the time, it is obvious that Charles VII. did not participate in the act;* and the repugnance which he uniformly manifested during the residụe of his life to the commission of any species of violence is an additional proof. But nevertheless it is. scarcely to be imagined but that the king approved of the deed, at least tacitly; since he was thereby delivered from his most dangerous enemy, and continued to countenance those who had perpe
pretty copious detail of this affair. One of her accounts is to be found with a great number of other documents at the end of the Journal de Paris. Lastly, Fathers Griffet and Saint-Foix have written long dissertations respecting this singular point in the history of France, so very important, and yet so difficult to unravel. (See Daniel, vi. pages 557 to 574; Essais sur Paris, iii. pages 303 to 340.)
* Hume states that the tender age of Charles VII. leaves every reason to doubt his having been in the secret of this plot.
Mademoiselle de Lussan, viii. page 391, states decidedly, that the plot must have been communicated to the monarch; but she founds her assertion upon mere conjectures, in reply to, which others equally feasible may be adduced. Among various queries, what answer can be given to the following statement? Charles had nothing to gain by this murder, while he risked the loss of every thing, in tolerating the deed.
Father Griffet appears to coincide with Mad. Lussan; Saint Foix and the editors of Voltaire support the opinion most strenuously, that the murder of Jean sans Peur was merely the effect of chance, and it is difficult to refute some of their observations,