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business of whose life it was to become possessed of the crown of Naples, a point he attained, only from his enemies being still more deficient than himself in the art of war, for of his own ignorance, unadvisedness, and deficiency of all requisites, save personal fortitude, he gave abundant proof. The resolution of his Swiss soldiers, in dragging the cannon over the highest mountains, and difficult passes of the Appennines, is justly extolled, but we are at this time surprised to learn, " our artillery killed not ten in both armies." The author, speaking of his countrymen, says,—“certainly, upon a charge, they are the fiercest nation in the world;" but, he agrees with the Italian authors who assert of the French, “in their attacks they are more than men, but less than women in their retreats.”
After suffering much to gain Naples, Charles VIII. lost it to the Spanish crown with less trouble, and spent the remainder of his short life in plans to regain it, and to benefit his subjects by systems of reformation, both in church and state, of a much wiser nature. He was cut off by an apoplectic stroke, to the great grief of his court and his subjects, being a Prince “ of excellent temper,” and as it appears, munificent in his gifts and designs.
The author intermixes with his detail of his Royal Master's death, an account of the domestic misfortunes of the Royal Family of Spain, at that time one of great power, who lost both their children within three months; after which, we have a short genealogy of the Kings of France, which concludes the labours of Philip de Comines, lord of Argentum : a laborious, faithful, pious, but somewhat dry, and tedious historian.
The remainder of the second volume is devoted to the Secret History of Lewis XI., otherwise called The Scandalous Chronicle, by one John de Tragos. This work opens in a manner so different from that of any Scandalous Chronicle of our own times, that it would be wrong to withhold it.
“ To the honour and praise of God, our sweet Saviour and Redeemer, and the blessed glorious Virgin Mary; without whose assistance no good works can be performed. Knowing that several kings, princes, counts, barons, prelates, noblemen, ecclesiastics, and abundance of the common people, are often pleased and delighted in hearing and reading the surprising histories of wonderful things that have happened in divers places, both of this and other Christian states and kingdoms, I applied myself with abundance of pleasure, from the thirty-fifth year of my age, instead of spending my time in sloth and idleness, to writing a history of several remarkable accidents and adventures that happened in France."
Why our present chronicler should term himself or his
records scandalous, we know not, as they appear to us, after the closest investigation, entirely free from that noxious quality; and no other than simply annals of the times, given by a plain man, in plain language; untinctured by the malevolence of party feeling, and only occasionally naming those self-evident errors which admitted of no toleration in the King's conduct. As much in this detail must necessarily recapitulate the events already mentioned, we shall only offer occasional extracts, wishing that our space would allow of longer quotations, as we certainly consider M. de Troyes a pleasanter writer than the Lord of Argentum.
“ About this time, (A. D. 1466,) a war broke out between the Liegeois and the Duke of Burgundy; upon which he immediately took the field with his whole army, and being a little indisposed, was carried in a litter; commanding his son the Count de Charolois, with all the nobles and officers that were with him, to niarch forward with a strong detachment to invest Dinant, and leave him to come up with the rest of the army. Upon his arrival, the town was formally besieged; which occasioned several sallies and bloody actions on both sides, much to the disadvantage of the Burgundians in the beginning of the siege; but at last, whether by force of arms or treason, the town was taken by the Burgundians; who, only reserving a few of the chief citizens whom they made prisoners of war, turned out men, women, and children, and gave it up to be plundered by their soldiers. Nor were they content with this; they set fire to the churches and the houses, and having burnt and consumed every thing they could lay their hands on, they ordered the walls to be demolished, and the fortifications to be blown up; by which means, the poor inhabitants were reduced to extreme want and necessity, and abundance of young women were forced to betake themselves to a vile and shameful way of living
“On Tuesday the first of September, (A. D. 1467,) the Queen also came from Roan to Paris by water, and landed at Nostre Dame; where her Majesty was received by all the presidents and counsellors of the court of parliament, the bishop of Paris and several persons of quality, in their robes and formalities. There was also a certain number of persons richly dressed to compliment her on the part of the city; and abundance of the chief citizens and counsellors of Paris went by water to meet her Majesty, in fine gilded boats covered with tapestry and rich silks, in which were placed the queristers of the holy chapel, who sung psalms and anthems after a most heavenly and melodious manner. There was also a great number of trumpets, clarions, and other softer instruments of musick, which altogether made a most harmonious concert, and began playing when the Queen and her maids of honour entered the boat, in which the citizens of Paris presented her Majesty with a large stag made in sweet-meats; besides a vast quantity of salvers heaped up with spices and all sorts of delicious fruits ; roses, violets, and other perfumes being strewed in the boat, and as much wine as every body would drink. After the
Queen had performed her devotions to the Blessed Virgin, she came back to her boat, and went by water to the Celestins' church-gate, where she found abundance of persons of quality more, ready to receive her Majesty, who, immediately upon her landing, with her maids of honour, mounted upon fine easy pads, and rode to the hotel des Tournelles, where the King was at that time, and where she was received with great joy and satisfaction by his Majesty and the whole court, and that night there were public rejoicings and bonefires in Paris, for her Majesty's safe arrival.
“On the fourteenth of September, the King, who had ordered the Parisians to make standards, published a proclamation, commanding all the inhabitants from sixteen to threescore, of what rank or condition soever, to be ready to appear in arms that very day in the fields ; and, that those that were not able to provide themselves with helmets, brigandines, &c., should come armed with great clubs, under pain of death ; which orders were punctually obeyed, and the greater part of the populace appeared in arms, ranged under their proper standard or banner, in good order and discipline; amounting to fourscore thousand men ; thirty thousand of which were armed with coats of mail, helmets, and brigandines, and made a very fine appearance. Never did any city in the world furnish such a vast number of men, for it was computed there were threescore and seven banners or standards of tradesmen, without reckoning those of the court of parliament, exchequer, treasury, mint, and chastellet of Paris, which had under them as many or more soldiers than what belonged to the tradesmen's banners. A prodigious quantity of wine was ordered out of Paris, to comfort and refresh this vast body of men, which took up a vast tract of ground; extending themselves from the Lay-stall between St. Anthony's gate, and that of the Temple as far as the Town-ditch upwards to the Wine-press; and from thence, along the walls of St. Anthoine des Champs, to the Grange de Ruilly; and from thence, to Conflans ; and from Conflans, back again by the Grange-aux-Merciers, all along the river Seine, quite to the royal bulwark over against the Tower of Billy; and from thence, all along the Town-ditch on the outside to the Bastille and St. Anthony's gate. In short, it was almost incredible to tell what a vast number of people there were in arms before Paris, yet the number of those within was pretty near as great.”
We soon after find war declared, "by the ceremony of a naked sword in one hand, and burning torch in the other, signifying, that this was a war of blood and fire.”
“ About that time, ( A. D. 1471,) great quarrels and contests arose in England, between Henry of Lancaster king of England, the Prince of Wales his son, the Earl of Warwick, and the rest of the Lords of the kingdom, who were of King Henry's side, against Edward de la March, who had usurped the Crown from Henry. This civil war had occasioned already abundance of murder and bloodshed, and was not like to be at an end yet, for in June, 1471, the king received certain advice from England, that Edward de la
March, with a puissant army of English, Easterlings, Picardians, Flemings, and other nations that the Duke of Burgundy had sent him, had taken the field, and was going to oppose king Henry's forces, which were commanded by the Earl of Warwick, the Prince of Wales, and several Lords of that party. In short, the battle was bravely fought, and a vast number of men were killed and wounded on both sides, but at last Edward de la March gained the victory, and king Henry's army, partly by the treachery of the Duke of Clarence, and partly for want of conduct, was entirely defeated. The poor young Prince of Wales, who was a lovely youth, was barbarously murdered after the action was over, and the valiant Earl of Warwick, finding himself betrayed, and scorning to fly, rushed violently into the thickest of his enemies, and was killed upon the spot. Thus died this great man, who was so desirous of serving his king and country, and who had cost king Henry so much money to bring him over and fix him in his interest.”
On the subject of the Duke of Burgundy's death, he is apparently better acquainted than his predecessor; and, after describing the battle and the losses of the Burgundians, the pursuit of the Swiss, &c., he informs us, that,
“ On Monday, which was twelfth-day, (A. D. 1476,) the Count di Campobasso met with a page that was taken prisoner, belonging to the Count de Chalon, who was with the Duke of Burgundy in the battle. This lad, upon examination, confessed the Duke of Burgundy was killed ; and the next day, upon diligent search after him, they found him stripped stark naked, and the bodies of fourteen men more in the same condition, at some distance from each other. The Duke was wounded in three places, and his body was known and distinguished from the rest by six particular marks; the chiefest of which was, the want of his upper teeth before, which were beaten out with a fall; the second was a scar in his throat, occasioned by the wound he received at the battle of Mont l'Hery; the third was, his great nails, which he always wore longer than any of his courtiers; the fourth was another scar upon his left shoulder; the fifth was a fistula in his right groin, and the last was a nail that grew into his little toe. And upon seeing all these abovementioned marks upon his body, his physician, the gentlemen of the bed-chamber, the Bastard of Burgundy, M. Olivier de la Marche, his chaplain, and several other officers that were taken prisoners by the Duke of Lorrain, unanimously agreed it was the body of their lord and master, the Duke of Burgundy.”
With this extract, we conclude our survey of a work which we consider valuable for its authenticity, and the simplicity, piety, and honesty with which it is given, rather than the subjects it embraces, or the amusement it bestows.
ART. III.—The Court and Character of King James, whereunto
is added the Court of King Charles, continued unto the beginning of these unhappy times, with some observations upon him instead of a character. Collected and perfected by Sir A. W. (Sir Anthony Weldon.) Qui nescit dissimulare, nescit regnare. Published by authority. Printed at London by R. J. and are to be sold by J. Collins in Little Brittaine, 1651.
There is scarcely any epoch more truly interesting in our annals than the reign of James I. It is the grand division in our history. Up to that period, the spirit of the middle ages was predominant in our government, our opinions, and our manners; and to that period also, must we refer the commencement of those important changes, which, though gradual at first, were developed with such fearful rapidity in the reigns immediately subsequent, and which have ultimately produced such powerful effects on our national character. At the same time, the personal character of the sovereign, and of the many distinguished persons who formed his court, affords much matter for curious speculation; and we in general find, in the contemporary writers, very ample food for gratifying our curiosity. In addition to the work which forms the subject of the present article, Wilson and Osborn have both left us valuable memoirs of this reign. Wilson travelled over a great part of the continent, in company with Robert Devereux, the last Earl of Essex of that name, and from his intimate friendship with that nobleman, enjoyed opportunities of acquiring accurate information on all the most important transactions of James's reign. In addition to this, he had access to Essex's papers, and to those of Southampton, the friend of the great Earl of Essex. A fair character of this work, to which we shall frequently have occasion to refer, may be found in the notes appended to it in Kennet's Complete History of England, (Vol. II. p. 661.) It certainly cannot be called an impartial history, yet, there is no reason to suspect the honesty of the writer.
Osborn's Traditional Memoirs of King James are not of equal value. They do not comprize more than one-half of James's reign, nor are they by any means copious in their details of facts. Osborn, certainly, enjoyed occasions of informing himself upon the transactions of the times, and yet he has not succeeded in rendering his memoirs either very interesting or very useful. His office of Master of the Horse to the celebrated Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery, must have made him familiar with the news of the court. His account of the appetite with which in his youth he devoured the court scandal, and his description