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sentence of death passed on the wife of a marshal of France, an attendant on the queen, as a reputed sorceress, do very little honour either to the chivalry or to the jurisprudence of that day. But I know not why the historian makes use of these words—“ If these two wretches were not accomplices in the king's death, they at least deserved the most rigorous chastisement: it is certain that, even during the king's life, Concini and his wife had connections with Spain in opposition to the king's designs.”
This is not at all certain, nor is it even likely. They were Florentines; the Grand-Duke of Florence was the first to acknowledge Henry IV., and feared nothing so much as the
power of Spain in Italy. Concini and his wife had no influence in the time of Henry IV.; if they intrigued with the court of Madrid, it could only be through the queen, who must, therefore, have betrayed her husband. Besides, let it once more be observed, that we are not at liberty to bring forward such accusations without proofs. What! shall a writer pronounce a defamation from his garret, which the most enlightened judges in the kingdom would tremble to hear in a court of justice? Why are a marshal of France and his wife, one of the queen's attendants, to be called two wretches? Does Marshal D'Ancre, who raised an army against the rebels at his own expense, merit an epithet suitable only to Ravaillac or Cartouche—to public. robbers or public. calumniators ?
It is but too true, that one fanatic is sufficient for the commission of a parricide, without any accomplice. Damiens had none; he repeated four times, in the course of his interrogatory, that he committed his crime solely through a principle of religion. Having been in the way of knowing the convulsionaries, I may say that I have seen twenty of them capable of any act equally horrid, so excessive has been their infatuation. Religion, ill-understood, is a fever, which the smallest occurrence raises to frenzy. It is the property of fanaticism to heat the imagination. When a few sparks from the fire that keeps their superstitious heads aboiling, fall on some violent and wicked spirit-when
some ignorant and furious man thinks he is imitating Phineas, Ehud, Judith, and other such personages, he has more accomplices than he is aware of. Many in cite to murder without knowing it. Some individuals drop a few indiscreet and violent words; a servant répeats them, with additions and embellishments; a Châtel, a Ravaillac, or a Damiens listens to them, while they who pronounced them little think what mischief they have done; they are involuntary accomplices, without there having been either plot or instigation. In short, he knows little of the human mind who does not know that fanaticism renders the populace capable of anything.*
The author of the Siêcle de Louis XIV. (Age of Louis the Fourteenth) is the first who has spoken of the Man IN THE IRON Mask, in any authentic history. He was well acquainted with this circumstance, which is the astonishment of the present age, and will be that of posterity, but which is only too true. He had been deceived respecting the time of the death of this. unknown and singularly unfortunate person, who was interred, at the church of St. Paul, 3rd of March, 1703, and not in 1704.
He was first confined at Pignerol, before he was sent to the Isles of Ste. Marguerite, and afterwards to the Bastille, always under the care of the same man, that St. Marc, who saw him die. Father Griffet, a jesuit, has communicated to the public the journal of the Bastille, which certifies the dates. He had no difficulty in obtaining this journal, since he exercised the delicate office of confessor to the prisoners confined in the Bastille.
The Man in the Iron Mask is an enigma, which each one attempts to solve. Some have said that he was the Duke of Beaufort; but the Duke of Beaufort was killed by the Turks in the defence of Candia, in 1669, and the Man in the Iron Mask was at Pignerol in 1662. Besides, how should the Duke of Beaufort have been
* A sound and excellent observation as the history of every Christian country has more or less evinced.T.
arrested in the midst of his army? how could he have been transferred to France without some one's knowing something about it? and why should he have been imprisoned? and why masked?
Others have imagined that he was Count Vermandois, natural son to Louis XIV., who, it is well known, died of the small-pox when with the army in 1683, and was buried in the town of Arras. 1. It has since been supposed that the Duke of Monmouth, who was publicly beheaded by order of King James in 1685, was the Man in the Iron Mask. But either the duke must have come to life again, and afterwards have changed the order of time, putting the year 1662 for the year 1685; or King James, who never pardoned any one, and therefore merited all his misfortunes, must have pardoned the Duke of Monmouth, and put to death in his stead some one who perfeetly resembled him. In the latter case, a person must have been found kind enough to have his head publicly cut off to save the Duke of Monmouth; all England must have been deceived in the person; then King James must have begged of Louis XIV. that he would be so good as to become his gaoler. Louis XIV. having granted King James this small favour, could not have refused to show the same regard for King William and Queen Anne, with whom he was at war; but would have been careful to maintain the dignity of gaoler, with which King James had honoured him, to the end of the chapter.
All these illusions being dissipated, it remains to be known who this constantly-masked prisoner was, at what age he died, and under what name he was buried. It is clear that if he was not allowed to walk in the court of the Bastille, nor to see his physician, except in a mask, it was for fear that some very striking resemblance would be discovered in his features. He was permitted to show his tongue, but never his face: As for his age, he himself told the apothecary of the Bastille, a little before his death, that be believed he was about sixty: the apothecary's son-in-law, Marsolam, surgeon to Marshal De Richelieu, and afterwards to the Duke of Orleans the regent, has repeated this to me several times. To conclude, why was an Italian name given to him ? he was always called Marchiali. The writer of this article, perhaps, knows more on the subject than Father Griffet, though he will not say more,
It is true that Nicholas Fouquet, superintendant of the finances,* had many friends in his disgrace, and that they persevered even until judgment was passed on him. It is true that the chancellor, who presided at that judgment, treated the illustrious captive with too much rigour. But it was not Michel le Tellier, aşa stated in some editions of the Siecle de Louis XIV.; it was Pierre Seguier. This inadvertency, of having placed one for the other, is a fault which must be corrected.
It is very remarkable that no one knows where this celebrated minister died; not that it is of any importa ance to know it, for his death, not having led to any event whatever, is like all other indifferent occurrences; but this serves to prove how completely he was for gotten towards the close of life, how worthless, that worldly consideration is which is so anxiously sought for, and how happy they are who have no higher ambition than to live and die unknown. This knowledge is far more useful than that of dates.
Father Griffet does his utmost to persuade us that cardinal Richelieu wrote a bad book. statesmen have done the same. But it is very fine to see him strive so hard to prove, that, according to cardinal Richelieu, “our allies, the Spaniards," so happily governed by a Bourbon, “ are tributary to Hell, and make the Indies tributary to Hell”!--Cardinal Richelieu's POLITICAL TESTAMENT is not that of a polite
That “ France had more good ports on the Mediterranean than the whole Spanish monarchy.”—This Testament exaggerates. That “ to keep up an army of fifty thousand
Under Cardinal Mazarin. He was arrested in 1661.-T.
it is best to raise a hundred thousand.”—This Testament throws money away.
That " when a new tax is imposed, the pay of the soldiers is increased.”_Which has never been done. either in France or elsewhere.
That “the parliaments and the other superior courts should be made to pay the taille.”—An infallible means of gaining their hearts, and making the magistracy respectable.
That “ the Noblesse should be forced to serve and to enrol themselves in the cavalry.”—The better to preserve their privileges.
That" Genoa was the richest city in Italy.”—Which I wish it were. That “ we must be
chaste.”—The testator might add, like certain preachers, Do what I say, not what I do. :
That" an abbey should be given to the holy Chapel at Paris.”—A thing of great importance at the crisis in which Europe then stood.
That “Pope Benedict XI. gave a deal of trouble to the Cordeliers, who were piqued on the subject of poverty, that is to say, of the revenues of the order of St. Francis. They were exasperated against him to such a degree, that they made war upon him by their writings."- More important still; and more learned !-especially when John XXII. is taken for Benedict XI.; and when, in a Political Testament, nothing is said of the manner in which the war against Spain and the Empire was to be conducted, nor of the means of making peace, nor of present dangers, nor of resources, nor of alliancés, nor of the generals and ministers who were to be employed, nor even of the Dauphin, whose education was of so much importance to the State, nor, in short, of any one object of the ministry.
Iconsent with all my heart, since it must be so, that Cardinal Richelieu's memory shall be reproached with this unfortunate work, full of anachronisms, ignorance, ridiculous calculations, and acknowledged falsities. Let people strive as hard as they please to persuade