صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني



"Now France saw two monarchs disputing the Tells the king from the Vatican orders had throne.

come, One held but the frivolous emblems alone; That alliance with me was forbidden by Rome. The other, inspiring hope or affright,

The poor, feeble king the stern mandate obeyed; Scarce needed the title to constitute right. And I, who was hastening to give him my aid,

Heard the League had prevailed, and this “Valois now awoke from a slumber profound.

brother-in-law The noise, preparations, and danger around Had consented to join them, from me to withHis senses aroused and his eyelids unsealed ; But dazzled by rays which the daylight re- And to fight me had issued his timid command, vealed,

And with soldiers reluctantly covered the land. He saw not the glare which the fierce lightning shed,

“I pitied his weakness ; without more ado, Nor heard the dull thunder which growled o'er To combat instead of avenge him I flew. his head ;

To a hundred of places, at the League's loud And fatigued with this trifling breach of re

alarms, pose,

The cities of France called their children to Himself on the couch of his indolence throws. By his courtiers surrounded and pleasure's soft Joyeuse, in his ardor, on me then swept charms,

down, He sleeps on the precipice free from alarms.

An impetuous servant and slave to the crown.

Guise, who for prudence as for valor was proof, "I only remained ; he was ready to fall ;

Had scattered my friends and had kept them No other he had on whose aid he could call.

aloof; Next heir to the throne, without further pause, Thus pressed on all sides by the arms of th' alThe call I obeyed, and I armed in his cause. liance, To his weakness my promised assistance I gave; All hazard I run while I bid them defiance. I would work his deliverance, or sbare in his grave.

“In Coutras that elegant Joyeuse I sought ;5 “But Guise now determined, in stratagem skill. You know his defeat, to what end he was ed,

brought ; My aid to withhold, and that purpose fulfilled. The recital would only your patience abuse." Valois the resigned his last chance of resort ; Guise plucked from the throno the last prop of “No ; I cannot your modest reluctance excuse; support.

Deprive me not, sir," the august queen replies, Of religion, the common pretext, he made use

“ Your recital instruction and interest supplies; To serve as a cloak for this shameful abuse.

Forget not th'events of that great day to By piety feigned he the populace fired,

state, And relighted the embers yet scarcely expired. Your labors, your virtues, Joyeuse and his He spoke of the worship their fathers revered,

fate, How l.tely strange sects, with their crimes, in- Such exploits the author alone can explain, terfered.

And perhaps I am worthy this favor to gain.” I was held up as foe to the church and to God : * His errors have followed where'er he has trod; To Elizabeth's faith he a preference has shown; She said ; and these words, pronounced with

such grace, He would pull down your temples to build up

While the hero they pleased, caused a blush on




Juyeuse, Frenchman by birth and of ignoble W bom the sword then mowed down in the blood,

bloom of their days, Lenst unworthy of all for this preference stood. Not a wound was received but what honor could He talents possessed, and if, in this strife,

show ; The fates had not severed the thread of his life. They stood in their ranks with their front to No doubt his great soul, to noble deeds trained,

the fue ; Renown like the Guise might have one day at- And though they saw death advancing a pace, tained;

Not a step they retreated nor aside turned their But bred in the court, its seductions to prove, face. In the bosom of pleasure and the embrace of The courtiers of France are remarked for this love,

trait, An excess of courage was all he possessed, - Peace nor pleasures their natural courage A danger to youth if with prudence unblest. abate. The courtiers, in crowds, their devotion to From the shades of repose their arms they can show,

wielu, Left pleasure behind, and with him faced the Vile Antterers of court, but brave troops in the foe.

fielu. Devices, the tokens of love's ardent flames, Were marked in their clothes with their mis- In this fearful affray, to the soldiers I gare tresses' names ;

The order, in vain, that they Joyeuse should Their weapons, with rubies and diamonds graced,

His form I soon saw by the troops borne away; Were like frivolous toys in infant's hands He was pale, and the shadows of death on him

placed. With ardor and tumult, with experience un- Like a flower that opens its leaves to the morn,

Is kissed by the zephyrs, drinks the dew of the They brought to the battle their rashness and dawn, pride ;

For a moment delights, when its beauties all In their glittering pomp and their numerous fade alliance,

From a blast of the wind, or the mower's sharp Without order they came, with a step of de- blade, fiance.

“ But why the events of that sad day retrace ? “ My army, devoid of all glitter and shine, Far happier could I from my memory efface In order and silence, and drawn up in line, The tokens to which all this success attained; Presented a different view to their sight, The arm by the blood of my countryinen Troops to hardship inured, and gray in the stained. fight,

My conquest at this sight at once disappears; Scarred with their wounds, and to death oft My laurels are crimsoned and bathed with my exposed,

tears. Their muskets and swords all their trappings This victory rendered the abyss more profound, composed.

Where Valois had hoped an escape to have Armed like the rest, and rejecting vain show, found. The squadrons I led and encountered the fue. He became more despised when the story was With them I faced death when the fierce tem- told, pest sped,

Less obedient Paris, and the League the more And my only distinction to ciarch at their hend. bold. Beneath our swift charge they were conquered The glory of Guise but augmented his trouble, and slain ;

Whose insults appeared his misfortune to The few left alive soon deserted the plain.

double. The sword, I confess, which I used with regret, In Vernosi, Guise, by a victory gained? With the blood of the Spaniards had better O'er the Germans, revenge for Joyeuse had ob been wet.


In Anneau, my allies, surprised, had to yield, Among all these courtiers (I speak to their And to Paris, with laurels, Guise came from praise),

the field.

A tutelar god to the people he seemed ; Their right to the crown were contented to
Valois saw the triumph that on his face beamed; yield,
While his bearing so haughty, it might be ob- With a cowl, from the sight their diadem shield,

And sighing in cloisters their high state to The monarch he rather had conquered than quit, served.

And to hands of a tyrant their empire submit.

“Deferring his vengeance at this time, Valois “Shame to action excites e'en the feeblest cour

Was holding the States of the kingdom at Blois. age.

In what these States consisted you perhaps are The insensible Valois resented this outrage ;

informed. The pride of this man he determined to lower,

Many laws they proposed, but yet nothing perAnd in Paris resume his legitimate power.

formed. That time had gone by ; all affection, all dread a thousand of deputies, with barren speech, For the king in the hearts of his subjects, had

made fled.

A detail of abuses, and their rhetoric displayed ; The people, grown bold, to rebellion inflamed, and the common result of these counsels of His rights as a sovereign tyranny named.

many They meet ; they conspire ; they spread wild

Was to show us our evils, but not relieve any. alarms; Every burgess is soldier, and all Paris in arms ; “To these States came the Guise with boldness Thousands of ramparts in a moment arose,

and scorn ; And threaten the guards of Valois to enclose.

The prince he defied, who his insults had borne ;

Took his seat near the throne, and sure of his “ In the midst of this tempest, Guise, tranquil projects, and still,

Thought he only beheld, in the deputies, subRestrained or excited the people at will;

jects ; The springs of sedition by him were directed,

And bribed by his money, this ignoble band and the orders he gave the vast body respected. The power supreme would intrust to his hand. To the gates of the palace the multitude pour;

His fears and forbearance at length putting Had Guise spoke the word, Valois was no more.

down, One nod to oblivion the monarch could send;

Valois's purpose was fixed for his vengeance To have caused him to tremble had answered

and crown. his end ;

His rival, esteeming his anger for nought, And arresting the rebels preparing to fight,

To give him offence still industriously sought; He left him, through pity, the power of flight. He could not suspect that a monarch so weak At length Guise attempted, whatever his object, By the steel of th’assassin his vengeance would For a tyrant too little, too much for a subject. Whoever the monarch alarms with a fall

He was blinded by fate ; he had seen the last Mast rule altogether, or rule not at all.

light; Guise saw, from the power he that day had And the king caused the victim to bleed in his gained,

sight. His stand by half-measures could not be sus

With a hundred wounds pierced, ignominious tained;

he died, 10 From his height he might fall by a very slight But in his last moments still true to his pride; shock;

And that brow, at which Valois had scarce His bead must be crowned, or must lie on the

ceased to quail,

seek ;



The horrified people fill the air with their cries; And our rivals sustains, disregarding our Aged men and frail women, dismay on their rights. face,

And Rome, who these evils should cause to exHis statue surround and the marble embrace. pire, All Paris believed, in this hour of need, To the torches of discord herself sets the fire ; They must stand by the church and avenge the And he to whom churchmen the title accord foul deed.

Of Father of Christians,' arms his sons with
Guise's brother, redoubtable, Mayenne by name, the sword.
Their vengeance increases by fanning the flame; From the extremes of Europe I see the sad
His interest more than his vengeance desires, sight
And in hundreds of places he lights up the Of these troubles together in Paris unite.

A king without subjects, defenceless, pursued,
To claim my assistance Valois deemed it good.

He generous believed me; he was not deceived; “Mayenne, long familiar with war and alarms," For the woes of my country I felt deeply And who, under his brother, had carried his

grieved ; arms,

In danger so pressing all anger I smother, Succeeds to his office, designs, and intrigue,

And in Valois I only behold now a brother. And the sceptre receives at the hand of the My duty thus ordered, I the dictate obeyed, League.

And as king to a king 1 have given my aid. Unlimited grandeur, to his bosom so dear,

In his presence I came without treaty or For the death of his brother effaces the tear.12

friends ; 16 He served with regret, and much rather to-day Your fortune,' I said, “on your courage deHis death would avenge than his orders obey.

pends; Mayenne, I confess, as a hero is great,

On the ramparts of Paris you conquer or die.' Nor is he less so in affairs of the State;

These words to his spirit new fires supply. Men, foes to themselves, and to tyrants the To flatter myself I do not pretend slaves,

My example produced this desirable end; His wise law unites, and from anarchy saves.

No doubt his disgrace on his vision arose, Their talents he knows, for his own purpose and showed him his fall through his former rekeeps,

pose. And e'en from misfortune advantage he reaps. Valois needed reverses ; misfortune oft brings Guise to the eye in more splendor appeared,

Experience, the truthful instructor of kings." More grand, more heroic, not more to be feared. While such is Mayenne, such the means he commands,

Such the candid recital that Henry made. So much the League hopes to obtain at his In the mean time, he presses the English for aid;

Already, victorious shouts reach the land So much youthful Aumale, with presumptuous From the city of rebels, and his presence demind,

mand. Hopes, from courage himself has inspired, to Soon a thousand young English with bim will find.

unite, Aumale to the party with high prestige came, 13 Plough the sea with their ships, and engage in With the title invincible gracing his name;

the fight. With Mayenne in fight, his hot haste to con trol,

Their leader is Essex, whose valor and zeal 17 He's the arm of the League, and Mayenne is Had humbled the forces of haughty Castile,


the son

less ;

It is you, not Valois, as their chief they will “ Bold and openly, then, your great purpose own;

pursue ; My friendship commends them to your care In conquering Mayenne, you Rome will subalone ;

due. In the thick of the battle, you'll see this co- Her hate or her favor on you now depends ; hort,

To the conquered unyielding, to the victor she Your valor to copy rather than to support ;

bends; Instructed by you, both by precept and deed, To condemn she is ready, to absolve you no Their country they'll serve in the hour of need.

Her thunder you'll either call forth or reMay the League by your hand in the dust be press.” laid low!

(End of the Third Canto.) Spain favors Mayenne, and Rome is your foe. Let Spain be subdued! No great soul can

NOTES TO CANTO III. dread The vain thunders Rome may discharge on

1 I saw him expire, etc. Charles IX. was al

ways ill after the St. Bartholomew massacre, your head.

and died about two years after, May 30, 1574, Your efforts for freedom may victory crown, bathed in his own blood, which issued from the And Philip's and Sextus's pride be brought pores of his body: Henry IV. witnessed the

death of Charles IX. This prince, from whom down!

he had received such outrages, sent for him a few hours before his death. He commended to

his care his wife and his daughter, as being the “Like his father, King Philip possesses address, natural heir to the throne, and as a prince on In policy equal, in all else he is less ;

whose greatness of soul and good faith he could

rely. He told him to beware of (but he By dividing his neighbors he forges their pronounced that name and some others so as chains,

not to be heard by any in the chamber).

Sir, And while still in his palace the mastery gains. you must not say that,” said the queen-mother,

who was present in the chamber. Why not say it?” said Charles ; “it is true.” He prob

ably spoke of Henry III. He knew his vices; “From the dust to the throne Sextus reached he had a horrid idea of him, since he delayed the high goal ;

his departure to Poland in the hope of his apThan l'hilip less potent, but prouder in soul,

proaching death. This herdsman of Montalte, the rival become

2 With steps of impatience, etc. The reputa

tion he had acquired at Jarnac and MontonOf kings, would now govern in Paris like cour, together with the money of Francis, obRome.

tained his election as King of Poland in 1573. With his tiara crowned, pompous emblem of He succeeded Sigismund II., the last prince of

the race of Zagellans. State,

3Guise came on the stage, etc. Henry of He would all, even Philip himself, subjugate. Guise, the Balafre, born in 1550 of Francis de Vehement, but sly, a deceitful professor,

Guise and Ann d'Est. He executed the great A foe to the strong, to the weak an oppressor;

project of the League, formed by the Cardinal

Lorrain, his uncle, at the time of the Council In my court here in London his cabals have of Trent, and entered upon by Francis, his fabeen found,

ther. And the nations deceived with his intrigues thor has been censured for using the word ser

4 In Paris his criminal sermons, etc. The auabound.

mon in an epic poem. He replies that anything may be admitted, and that the epithet criminal

relieves the expression of sermon. “To combat such foes you must now be pre-fought in the battle of Coutras against Henry

5 In Coutras, etc. Ann, Duke of Joyeuse, pared ;

IV., then King of Navarre, the 26th of Octo


« السابقةمتابعة »