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against the boar, who by this time had hurt more dogs, and here happened a pretty kind of fight, for when I thrust at the boar sometimes with my sword, which in some places I made enter, the boar wou'd run at me, whose tusks yet by stepping a little out of the way I avoided, but he then turning upon me, the dogs came in, and drew him off, so that he fell upon them, which I perceiving, ran at the boar with my sword again, which made him turn upon me, but then the dogs pulled him from me again, while so relieving one another by turns, we killed the boar. At this chace Monsieur Disancour and Mennon were present, as also Mr. Townsend, yet so as they did endeavour rather to withdraw me from than assist me in the danger. Of which boar some part being well seasoned and larded, I presented to my unkle Sir Francis Newport in Shropshire, and found most excellent meat.
Thus having passed a whole summer, partly in these exercises, and partly in visits of the duke of Montmorency at his fair house in Chantilly, which for its extraordinary fairness and situation I shall here describe:
A little river descending froin some higher grounds in a country which was almost all his own, and falling at last upon a rock in the middle of a valley, which to keep its way forwards, it must on one or other side thereof have declined. Some of the ancestors of the Montmorencys to ease the river of this labour, made divers channels through this rock to give it a free passage, dividing the rock by that means into little islands, upon which he built a great strong castle, joyned together with bridges, and sumptuously furnished with hangings of silk and gold, rare pictures and statues; all which buildings united as I formerly told, were incompassed about with water, which was paved with stone (those which were used in the building of the house were drawn from thence.) One might see the huge carps, pike and trouts, which were kept in several divisions, gliding along the waters very easily, yet nothing in my opinion added so much to the glory of this castle as a forest adjoyning close to it, and upon a level with the house ; for being of a very large extent, and set thick both with tall trees and underwoods, the whole forest which was replenished with wild boar, stag, and roe-deer, was cut out into long walks every way, so that although the dogs might follow their chase through the thickets, the huntsmen might ride along the said walks, and meet or overtake their game in some one of them, they being cut with that art, that they led to all the parts in the said forest; and here also I have hunted the wild boar divers times, both then and afterwards, when his son the Duke of Montmorency succeeded him in the possession of that incomparable place.
And there I cannot but remember the direction the old constable gave me to return to his castle out of this admirable labirinth, telling me I shou'd look upon what side the trees were roughest and hardest, which being found I might be confident that part stood northward, which being observed I might easily find the east, as being on the right hand, and so guide my way home.
How much this house, together with the forest hath been valued by great princes, may appear by two little narratives I shall here insert: Charles the fifth the great emperor, passing in the time of Fransoy the first, from Spain into the LowCountreys by the way of France, was entertained for some time in this house, by a Duke of Montmorency who was likewise constable de France, after he had taken this palace into his consideration with the forests adjoyning, said he wou'd willingly give one of his provinces in the Low-Countreys for such a place, there being as he thought no where such a situation.
Henry the fourth also was desirous of this house, and offer'd to exchange any of his houses, with much more lands than his estate thereabouts was worth; to which the Duke of Montmorency made this wary answer; Sieur, la maison est à vous, mais que je sois le concierge : which in English sounds thus; Sir, the house is yours, but give me leave to keep it for you.
When I had been at Merlou about some eight months, and attain’d, as was thought, the knowledge of horsemanship, I came to the Duke of Montmorency at *St. Ilee, and after due thanks for his favours, took my leave of him to go to Paris, whereupon the good old prince embracing me, and calling me son, bid me farewell, assuring me nevertheless he shou'd be glad of any occasion hereafter to testifie his
* Sic orig. But it is probably a blunder of the transcriber for Chantilly.
love and esteem for me; telling me further, he shou'd come to Paris himself shortly, where he hoped to see me ; from hence I returned to Merlou, where I gave Monsieur Disancour such a present as abundantly requited the charges of my diet, and the pains of his teaching. Being now ready to set forth, a gentleman from the Duke of Montmorency came to me, and told me his master wou'd not let me go without giving me a present, which I might keep as an earnest of his affection; whereupon also a genet, for which the duke had sent expressly into Spain, and which cost him there 500 crowns, as I was told, was brought to me. The greatness of this gift, together with other courtesies receiv'd, did not a little trouble me, as not knowing then how to requite them. I wou'd have given my horses I had there, which were of great value to him, but that I thought them too mean a present, but the duke also, suspecting that I meant to do so, prevented me; saying, that as I loved him, I shou'd think upon no requital, while I stay'd in France, but when I came into England, if I sent him a mare that ambled naturally, I shou'd much gratifie him; I told the messenger I shou'd strive both that way and every way else to declare my thankfullness, and so dismist the messenger with a good reward.
Coming now to Paris, through the recommendation of the lord ambassador, I was received to the house of that incomparable schollar Isaac Cawsabon, by whose learned conversation I much benefitted my self, besides I did apply my self much to know the use of my arms, and to ride the great horse, playing on the lute, and singing according to the rules of the French masters.
Sometimes also I went to the court of the French king, Henry the fourth, who upon information of me in the garden at the Tuileries, receiv’d me with all courtesie, embracing me in his arms, and holding me some while there. I went sometimes also to the court of Queen Margaret at the hostel, called by her name; and here I saw many balls or masks, in all which it pleased that queen publickly to place me next to her chair, not without the wonder of some, and the envy of another who was wont to have that favour. I shall recount one accident which happened while I was there.
All things being ready for the ball, and every one being in their place, and I my self next to the queen, expecting
when the dancers wou'd come in, one knockt at the door somewhat louder than became, as I thought, a very civil person; when he came in, I remember there was a sudden whisper among the ladies, saying, C'est Monsieur Balagny, or 'tis Monsieur Balagny; whereupon also I saw the ladies and gentlewomen one after another invite him to sit near them, and which is more, when one lady had his company a while, another would say, you have injoyed him long enough, I must have him now; at which bold civility of theirs, though I were astonished, yet it added unto my wonder, that his person cou'd not be thought at most but ordinary handsome; his hair, which was cut very short, half grey, his doublet but of sackcloth cut to his shirt, and his breeches only of plain grey cloth; informing my self by some standers by who he was, I was told that he was one of the gallantest men in the world, as having killed eight or nine men in single fight, and that for this reason the ladies made so much of him, it being the manner of all French women to cherish gallant men, as thinking they cou'd not make so much of any else with the safety of their honor. This cavalier tho’ his head was half grey, he had not yet attained the age of thirty years, whom I have thought fit to remember more particularly here, because of some passages that happened afterwards betwixt him and me, at the siege of Juliers, as I shall tell in it's place.
Having past thus all the winter, untill about the latter end of January, without any such memorable accident as I shall think fit to set down particularly, I took my leave of the French King, Queen Margaret, and the nobles and ladies in both courts; at which time the Princess of Conti desired me to carry a scarf into England, and present it to Queen Ann on her part, which being accepted, my self and Sir Thomas Lucy (whose second I had been twice, in France, against two cavaliers of our nation, who yet were hindered to fight with us in the field, where we attended them) we came on our way as far as Diep in Normandy, and there took ship about the beginning of February, when so furious a storm arose, that with very great danger we were at sea all night; the master of our ship lost both the use of his compass and his reason; for not knowing whither he was carried by the tempest, all the help he had was by the lightnings, which together with thunder very frequently, that night, terrified him, yet gave the advantage soinetimes to
discover whether we were upon our coast, to which he thought by the course of his glasses we were near approached; and now towards day we found our selves, by great Providence of God, within view of Dover, to which the master of our ship did make. The men of Dover rising by times in the morning to see whether any ship were coming towards them, were in great numbers upon the shoar, as believing the tempest, which had thrown down barns and trees near the town, might give them the benefit of some wreck, if perchance any ship were driven thitherwards; we coming thus in extream danger straight upon the peer of Dover, which stands out in the sea, our ship was unfortunately split against it; the master said, Me amies nous sommes perdus; or, my friends, we are cast away; when my self who heard this ship crack against the peer, and then found by the master's words it was time for every one to save themselves, if they cou’d, got out of my cabin (though very sea-sick) and climing up the mast a little way, drew my sword and flourished it; they at Dover having this sign given them, adventured in a shalop of six oars to relieve us, which being come with great danger to the side of our ship, I got into it first with my sword in my hand, and called for Sir Thomas Lucy, saying, that if any man offered to get in before him, I shou'd resist him with my sword, whereupon a faithfull servant of his taking Sir Thomas Lucy out of the cabin, who was half-dead of sea-sickness, put him into my arms, whom after I had receiv’d, I bid the shalop make away. for the shoar, and the rather that I saw another shalop coming to relieve us; when a post from France, who carried letters, finding the ship still rent more and more, adventured to leap from the top of our ship into the shalop, where falling fortunately on some of the stronger tymber of the boat, and not of the planks, which he must needs have broken, and so sunk us, had he fallen upon them, escaped together with us two, unto the land; I must confess my self, as also the seamen that were in the shalop, thought once to have killed him for this desperate attempt, but finding no harm followed, we escaped together unto the land, from whence we sent more shalops, and so made means to save both men and horses that were in the ship, which yet itself was wholly split and cast away, in so much that in pity to the master, Sir Thomas Lucy and my self gave thirty pounds towards his loss, which yet was