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charging their duty, as Henry had been of bringing to justice the murderers of his predecessor.
Henry the fourth, had six children by Mary of Medicis, and eight by different mistresses; besides those whom he did not acknowledge. It is said, that his ordinary expences of each year, in buildings, gaming, mistresses, and greyhounds, amounted to six hundred thousand crowns.
He was indebted to the duke of Sully for much of his fame. By regarding his advice, he performed many splendid actions; and, sometimes, by neglecting it, he committed serious faults.
Sully was of a different religion from that of the state; but very far from being, either a fanatic, or a rebel; he refused, even after the death of his master, to be the head of the reformed, as soon as a revolt appeared to be probable. It was not required of him, to sacrifice his opinion in matters of faith; and, on his part, he never made his manner of thinking, a pretext to disturb the public repose, or his own. This sounds well; but of Sully's regard for revealed religion, I have not yet formed the highest opinion. Many of his maxims are replete with instruction; and his economy, diligence, and counsel, were of great importance to the state; but, in religious concerns, it would not be safe to follow his example.
O f the three sons which Henry the fourth left, by Mary of Medicis, the eldest, at nine years of age, succeeded to the throne of his father, under the title of Lewis the thirteenth.
This was an affecting change for the protestants in France, who felt much, by observing who were likely to be promoted, and who would be neglected and disgraced. The duke of Sully, their avowed friend, was soon deprived of his power to serve them, and they imagined his fall was hastened by his own imprudence. The king, however, in the first year of his reign, made a declaration, in which he acknowledged the edict of Nantes to be perpetual and irrevocable, in such a manner as diminished their suspicions of impending persecutions, and gave them an unexpected prospect of better days. They were soon undeceived: for though the catholics talked loudly, of revenging the death of Henry the fourth, they had no such intention; on the contrary, to disgrace and distress his protestant subjects, was their settled determination.
To effect this purpose, they made use of the pen as well as the sword. A satyrical book was pub
lished, in which the author makes three orders of the reformed, viz.--the malicious, the zealous, and the judicious. The malicious, according to him, were the ambitious, or interested, who wished for war, as a mean of advancing, or enriching themselves. The zealous, according to this author, were naturally diffident, and held it for a maxim, that suspicion was the mother of surety. The judicious, in his opinion, were those only who believed that the civil war was the worst of all evils, and who, to escape it, were willing to be obedient. The author of the history of the edict of Nantes, (to whom I am much indebted,) makes a different division, which, in his opinion, includes the true characters of the reformed. According to him, who was himself a protestant, the protestants of those days were lords of eminent quality, who served themselves of others, to gratify their own particular views; persons of good character, who knew they had nothing to hope for, from a council governed by jesuits; and the timid, who were naturally weak and indifferent, or softened and humanized, by the artifices of the court. The first and the last, says this honest author, were the cause of all the evils among the reformed; the first, availed them of the zeal of the second, to make themselves considerable at court; and the last, abandoned the others, as soon as the court presented them with some hope of repose.
Hard words, jealousies, and fears, now operated forcibly in each of the contending parties, nota
only against each other, but between themselves. Different plans were proposed and rejected; duplicity on both sides, abounded, and thc consequence of these carnal contrivances, was, as usual, mischievous to many, and of real advantage to none. Thus, for four successive years, France was torn by intestine commotion. The standard of revolt was repeatedly erected by the ambitious princes of the blood, and by the discontented nobles; who, with strange caprice, alternately courted and defied the sovereign power. '
The following portrait of Lewis the thirteenthi, was drawn by the author of the history of the edict of Nantes; who says, “ He was of a delicate complexion; fond of faulconry and music; and passed his time in these trifling amusements; leaving to the queen, his mother, all the authority of government. He was jealous of his power, even to excess, though he could neither understand, nor enjoy it. He could never, in the whole course of his life, either exercise it by himself, or suffer it, patiently, in the hands of another. It was equally impossible for him, not to raise his favourites to the extremity of power, and to approve of the grandeur which he himself had bestowed upon them. The excess of his complaisance to
them, was, as it were, the first degree of his ha· tred; and, I do not know, whether we can find, in
his history, the example of a favourite, whose death, or fall, he lamented. But, he always concealed his sentiments; and, because he commu
nicated them to very few, they who will have the conduct of princes to be always mysterious, accuse him of a dark, and profound dissimulation. To say the real truth, the reason of his silence was, that he neither trusted himself, nor any body else; for he was very timirous and weak. : Almost all that have spoken of him, acknowledge he had courage; that in danger, he lost not his judgment; that he loved, and understood war; and that he was master of much knowledge; but, they admit, that he had not the art of reigning.”—This picture, , says Bayle, seems to be drawn well enough to the life: it is placed, however, by the author of it, in 1617.
After many disturbances, at last, a peace was agreed on, at St. Menehoult, in 1614, and the edict of Nantes was confirmed. The king was now thirteen years of age; and by declaring himself major, took into his own hands, the government of the kingdom.
After this, the general assembly of the states was held át Paris, in the convent of the Augustines; and, in this assembly, the clergy demanded the council of TRENT to be received in France, which the two other orders rejected, as being injurious to the authority of kings. The noblesse, demanded a suppression of the venality of offices; but this was rejected by the court. The third estate, demanded a solemn act to be passed, whereby it should be declared, that kings, in regard to temporals, and