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tion and execution of justice are public, to read the following passage with attention.
“A report was then prevalent (June, 1638,) that the king had said to the cardinal, that he had it on his conscience to keep me so long a prisoner, and that, as there was nothing to alledge against me, he could not detuin me any longer.' To which the cardinal replied, that, since the time of my being imprisoned, so many things had passed through his mind, that he could not now recollect the causes which had induced the king to imprison me, nor him to advise it; but that he had them somewhere among his papers, and would look for them to shew to his majesty."
Seven years of close imprisonment, inflicted on one of the Inost distinguished, the most faithful, and the most active of bis servants, by a sovereign who did not know, at the suggestion of a minister who could not recollect, the cause !
Among the incidents of the next year, he records the following, as “ very extraordinary.”
“As the Duchess de Chaulne was returning from the Carmelites of Saint Denis, in a carriage with six horses, accompanied by three women, a gentleman, two footmen, and her coachman, she was attacked by five horsemen, wearing false beards, who stopped the carriage, killed one of the footmen, who tried to cry out, and one of them went up to her and threw a bottle of some burning liquid in her face. She saw it coming, and put her muff before her face, by which means she received no injury. As, however, she cried out that she was undone, the horsemen believed her, and retreated to five others, who waited for them: nor has it ever been found out who were the authors or instigators of this wicked attempt.”
Bassompierre's calamities were not yet at an end.
“ In the July of the following year, Harouel, which had again been invested by the troops of the Duke of Lorraine, was bombarded by the king's troops, and, after receiving seventy cannon shot, was surrendered to the French commander, who left a garrison of thirty soldiers at my expense."
We shall conclude our extraets by the following melancholy representation of an existence once so full of promise and of splendor.
“I know not whether those who conducted the king's affairs hate me, and wish to overwhelm me with afflictions, that they have detained me so long in the Bastille, where I can do nothing but pray to God that he would terminate my loog miseries, by my liberty or my death. What can I write concerning my life? since I pass it always in the same manner, except that, from time to time, some fatal accident happens to me; for good fortune deserted me from the time I was deprived of freedom.”
We are now arrived at the end of the memoirs. From contemporary history, we learn that Bassompierre was not liberated until the death of his relentless enemy, Richelieu, which took place in the year 1643, and opened the gates of the Bastille to his numerous victims. Louis XIII. followed his master in less than half a year; and, under the regency of his widow, Anne of Austria, Bassompierre was recalled to Court, and restored to the high station and favour he had enjoyed. Twelve years of captivity had probably, however, cured him of all desire for power or distinction. He declined the post of governor to the young king, Louis XIV., which was offered to him. His life was prolonged but three years beyond those of his cruel and perfidious oppressors. He died at the house of the Duke de Vitry, in Champagne, in April, 1646.
We cannot conclude without strongly recommending to our readers the volume published in 1803. It is full of the most curious and interesting matter. The date of its publication, its accessibility, and the very small portion of alloy it contains, render it scarcely a fit subject for our pages; yet we cannot resist the temptation to lay before our readers a very curious account of the origin of private duelling, which we do not recollect to have seen mentioned, or even alluded to, elsewhere.
“ The origin of the execrable and accursed practice of duelling, which has cost France more noble blood than the loss of twenty battles, is to be traced no farther back than the reign of King Henry the Second; for, before that time, if any difference arose between gentlemen, it was amicably arranged or decided, by the decree of the Constable and Marshals of France, the natural judges of the honour of the nobility; the satisfaction from the aggressor to the offended party being apportioned to the outrage which had been given or received : and if the offence was so great that it could not be atoned for by words, apologies, or imprisonment; or if the disagreement was of so aggravated a nature that the parties could not be reconciled, and no sufficient proofs were to be had of the facts; very rarely, and with great difficulty, they permitted single combat in the lists, with the customary formalities and ceremonies; and if it happened, that they discovered malice or insolence in either party, they never failed to adjudge the penalty or chastisement which their crime deserved. No man, therefore, took justice into his own hands, since complainants were sure to receive the most equitable compensation possible; and every body put such restraint upon himself, and observed such moderation in his deportment, fearing the punishment of any excesses, that it very rarely happened that any such appeal was necessary. Two or three words inconsiderately uttered at different times, by Henry the Second, first opened the door, and gave rise, to duels ; and the devil has since fomented their continuation and progress. One was, 'that he did not esteem a man a gentleman who suffered another to give him the lie, without resenting it;"-upon which, all to whom that happened, came to demand combat in the lists; and the king, finding himself importuned on this point, by a multitude of persons, one day asked a man who pressed him, why he came to ask him to do him justice for an offence he had received, when he wore that at his side, with which he could do justice to himself? This gentleman, who knew, very well, what the king meant, immediately wrote a note to the person by whom he thought himself offended, in which he told him, that he should expect him in a meadow, in his doublet, armed with a sword and dagger, to give satisfaction for the injury he had done him, and invited him to come similarly armed and equipped, which the other did; and the offended party having killed his enemy, his frank and generous conduct was highly esteemed by all the court, and several nobles having entreated the king to grant him a pardon, his majesty could not, in justice, refuse it, since he had instigated him to the commission of the crime.
“ The applause which this first offender received for his offence, and the impunity he enjoyed, inspired others with the desire of imitating him, and, in a short time, rendered duels so frequent that the king, who now perceived the importance of the words he had so lightly uttered, was constrained to remedy the evil by severe and rigorous edicts against duelling. These were effectual in checking the spread of them during his reign, that of his eldest son, Francis II., and part of that of Charles IX. But as the minorities of the kings, and the civil wars, opened the door to every kind of disorder and contempt of law-authority, and as the laws of France seldom continue long in force, the edict against duelling was violated, together with many others, though not to any great excess; for public dissensions occupied the nobility so fully, that they had no time to bestow on private ones. Then followed the reign of Henry III., during which duels were not only fought with perfect impunity, but seconds, thirds, and even fourths, were added, in order to make the bloodshed more copious, and the massacres more extensive and complete. The wars of the League, which happened towards the end of this reign, and lasted through the former part of the following, checked, or rather directed the course of this sanguinary mania, until the peace of Vervins, when it broke out with redoubled violence and fury, as King Henry IV. did not apply the necessary remedies for the cure of the evil, either from negligence, or because his attention was diverted,' by the number of
upon his hands. It was even thought that he was not sorry to see his nobility occupied with their own quarrels, which prevented their turning their thoughts against him. At length, however, he wisely took into consideration the number of brave men who were continually lost to the service of his person and kingdom, and that he was chargeable with their death, which he might have prevented by the abolition of this fatal and tragical custom. Admonished by preachers,
and pressed by the parliaments, he applied himself, although late, to correct it by very severe laws; and, in the beginning of the year 1609, having assembled the constables, marshalls of France, and the principal lords of his council, he issued that very harsh edict against duelling, which he swore, in their presence, to observe, religiously, and not to pardon any man soever who might violate it. He made the constables and marshalls swear to the like observance of it, giving them fresh and more ample jurisdiction in the affair; and expressly forbade the chancellors and secretaries of state, under pain of answering it in their own names and persons, not to seal or sign any pardon or reprieve in cases of this nature, whatever orders they might receive from him: and, lastly, to add to the terror and infamy of the punishment, he ordered, that all who were killed in a duel should be not only deprived of burial, but hung by the feet to a gibbet. This vigorous edict, supported as it was by circumstances, was effectual; and, for the last year of the reign of the late king, and the first two of the present, there was but one instance of a violation of it.”
In this case, the law was vigorously executed on the dead, but remitted in favour of the living offender, who was protected by Marshall d'Ancre. After this, adds our author,
Nobody doubted that he could obtain the same indulgence which had been granted to a man of so little stuff and consideration; so that this salutary edict was all at once outraged and despised ; and though attempts have been made to restore it to its former force, it has been found impossible, so that pardon or punishment have followed, according to the different passions of those who had power and authority in their hands."
Art. V.-Propugnaculum Alchymia, authore Petro Joanne
Fabro, Doctore Medico, 8c. Tolosa, 1645. A new Light of Alchymie taken out of the Fountaine of Nature
and manual Experience. To which is added, a Treatise of Sulphur, by Michael Sandivogius; also nine books of the Nature of Things, by Paracelsus, translated out of the Latin, into the
English Tongue, by J. F., M.D. London, 1650. Paracelsus of the Chymical Transmutation, Genealogy, and Genera
tion of Metals and Minerals. Also of the Urim and Thummim of the Jews, with an Appendir of the vertues and use of an excellent Water, made by Dr. Trigge. Also the second part of the Mumial Treatise, whereunto is added Philosophical and Chemical Experiments of that famous Philosopher, Raymond Lully. Translated into English, by R. Turner. Printed for R. Moon, London, 1657.
We will honestly confess, though our fair fame is risked upon the die, that we should rejoice to hear of the establishment of a joint stock company, to open a communication even with the moon, or that shares were at a premium in Mr. Valence's patent for conveyance in vacuo, by which tons of goods and passengers are to be propelled from Brighton to London, at the rate of (we use the very words as we find them in print)*
not exceeding perhaps two or three hundred miles an hour.” We beg leave, however, to have it fully understood, that we have never entertained a momentary thought of speculating in the former, or taking places in the locomotive engine of the latter, though assured, by advertisement, that such were to be engaged in Mr. Valence's newly invented condensed coaches, about to start on the 1st April, 1827. To be serious, we are ever glad to hear of any speculation, any experiment, any course of lectures, whether theoretical or practical, however extravagant they are, or appear to be, bearing, directly or indirectly, on art, science, or philosophy. For example, let a right good, sanguine, persevering enthusiast start for the, moon, and how many facts must remain, like the weightier sediment in the crucible of our alchymists, respecting the nature and properties of the atmosphere, the muscular powers of his pteromatic machinery; and, again, we feel equally confident, that, if Mr. Valence, after expending his own or his subscribers' shares, pending his gallantly protracted tubular warfare with condensed air, should, at length, find it more expedient to go to London from Brighton in any of those numerous coaches, which daily plod their weary way, at the jog-trot pace of some ten or twelve miles an hour, instead of proceeding in one of his gas-poppers in a twentieth part of the time, he, nevertheless, will have gleaned no inconsiderable information respecting condensation, expansion, resistance of aërial fluids, (to say nothing of his necessarily discovered power of breathing in vacuo ;)-all which may turn to good account at some future period. Such are our reasons for being bold enough (we entreat you, gentle reader, not to say mad or credulous enough) to dare hazarding an opinion in favour of those hyper-excited authors, who have written the very absurd books now before us. We are not of that class of men
narrow_souls and grovelling conceptions,” so severely bandled by Dr. Johnson, † who treat every new attempt as wild and chimerical; and look upon every endeavour to depart from the beaten track, as the rash efforts of a warm imagination, or
Register of Arts and Sciences," vol. i. p. 239. †“ Life of Drake, by Dr. Johnson.”