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FRANCIS . I.
E was twenty one years of age when he came to the throne; a young man endued with many pleasing qualities, balanced by many vices. He was eloquent, brave, courteous, liberal; but his boundless ambition, impetuous valor, frequent inattention to business, and criminal attachment to sordid pleasures, proved, more than once, nearly fatal to his kingdom and himself. He was, however, a lover of science, and generous to learnea men; he invited many such to Paris, and granted them pensions and privileges, then uncommon for kings to grant
Among the learned men that came to his court, some of them, from Germany, brought to France the principles of the reformation. At first, the king seemed to think favorably of the reformed, and inclined to grant them his protection. To
this, he was strongly urged by the queen of Naa varre, and the dutchess d’Estampes; who so far succeeded, that Francis wrote to Melancthon, invited him to Paris, and talked of hearing him preach with pleasure.
While Melancthon delayed his visit, the cardinal de Tournon, anxious to reclaim the king, laid fast hold of that opportunity. He succeeded. Francis would no longer listen to his female supplicants; on the contrary, the cardinal gained such an ascendancy over him, that he resolved to spare none accused of dissenting from the church of Rome.
Soon after, greatly alarmed at the proceedings of the pope and emperor, the king changed his mind, and granted assistance to the protestants in Germany; though he burnt, without remorse, their brethren, in his own dominions: so mutable and inconsistent, are those purposes which are according to the flesh, though formed in the heart of kings. In Germany, Francis wished to distress the emperor, and in France, to please the pope; which sufficiently accounts for his instability.
In the year 1534, libels and lampoons were stuck up all over Paris, which contained harsh expressions against the mysteries of the roman catholic religion, and severe censures on the clergy. The king was extremely angry at these offensive papers. To purge himself from suspicion, and to make some atonement for such pretended blas
phemies, at the request of his clergy, he ordered a solemn procession, in which, himself, his chil. dren, and his whole court assisted. This farce was closed by his committing some of his lutheran subjects to the flames, and by making a severe edict against others, who had hitherto escaped his vengeance. :)
Nor was this superstitious monarch more indul gent to calvinists, than to the followers of Luther. He compelled Calvin himself, to leave his native kingdom, and the followers of that reformer be. came the constant objects of his indignation.
In vindication of himself, Calvin published at Bale, the first edition of his Institutions, and dedicated that learned performance to Francis the TR first; but the king, though a scholar, and informed do? it was elegantly written, would not so much as read the dedication.
The council of Trent, long talked of, and by many artifices delayed, assembled in 1545. Francis, who expected to be gratified by its decisions, sent to it many illustrious doctors; but he did not live to enjoy the fruit of his labor. However, though his latter end approached, his vindictive temper against protestants was unabated. For in 1546, the year before he died, he made a severe edict against them, that he might not appear less religious in France, than the emperor, Charles the fifth, was thought to be in Germany. в 2
It deserves notice, that, in those days, it was the common policy of catholic princes, when they · quarrelled with the pope, to convince him they
were not protestants, by treating their protestant subjects with greater severity at such a time, than at any other. This part of the mystery of iniquity, has been often acted in Great Britain, as well as on the continent.
: In several of the worst actions of Francis the first, cardinal de Tournon was his chief adviser. Unhappy prince, ill advised by many; vexed by various disappointments and oppositions; weighed down by disease of his own procuring; grieved and alarmed to hear of the death of our Henry the eighth; restless, and wandering from one palace to another, he died 1547, in the fifty-third year of his age, and in the thirty-second year of his reign.
In the concise account, I am now attempting to give, of the sufferings of protestants in France, it' may not be improper to mention the origin of that name. In the diet at Spires, Charles the fifth required of all his subjects, submission to the see of Rome. Against this decree, the elector of Saxony and Brandenburgh, the landgrave of Hesse, and the princes of Lunenbourg, made a solemn protestation, from whence all their party was called PROTESTANTS, in the year 1529.
1547-1559. UT H ENRY was the son of Francis the first, and succeeded his father in the twenty-eighth year of his age; but he had neither his father's capacity, nor courage; and was therefore, sometimes the dupe of silly, and as often of designing people.
· Like his father, and for the same reasons, he assisted the protestants in Germany, and persecuted them in France. Like him also, he made a pompous procession at Paris, and closed it by similar acts of cruelty. His edict, made at Chateaubriand, was uncommonly severe. It forbad any person to speak to him in favor of those that were accused of what he called heresy. .
The dutchess de Valentinois, often pushed him on to dreadful deeds. His attachment to this lady, commenced when he was dauphin, and continued to his death. She had been the favorite of his father, and was in years when Henry was captivated by her charms. Among the rest of her bad quali-, ties, was her implacable hatred of protestants. In this, she was countenanced by the Lorrain princes; they acted, however, from very different motives. The dutchess, by persecuting the protestants, grațified her avaricious temper, and enriched herself