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publice apud Fontene Bleaudi in palatio taste of Louis XIV., excited the liveliest nostro.” This residence, like Versailles, admiration at a period when the arts were
" became from a mere hunting-box a sump- only beginning to reäppear. All contemtuous residence, by the successive addi- poraries speak with admiration of Fontions of the greatest French monarchs. tainebleau. Many brilliant fêtes were Louis VII. built a chapel here, dedicated held there under Francis on the occasion to St. Saturnin. Philip Augustus added of the Emperor Charles V. passing through considerably to the building. There re- France. main various acts of this prince dated from Among the constructions of Francis I., this residence, among others one by which which indicate not a little the too gallant he gives to the Hôtel-Dieu, at Nemours, character of that monarch, was a bath surall the bread remaining from his table du- rounded by mirrors, situated in a grotto ring his stay at Fontainebleau.
in the garden of pine-trees. There is a cuSt. Louis added much to the construc- rious anecdote related of this bath. tions of his predecessors; åmong other When James V. of Scotland came into apartments, a pavilion that still bears his France to demand the hand of Madeleine, name, although re-built by Francis I. St. daughter of Francis I., his impatience tó Louis, in several of his letters, calls this behold the princess caused him to commit place “ Our Desert,” which seems to im- a great indiscretion, if a conversation which ply that Fontainebleau in his time was not took place between him and Henri II. is of considerable extent. The room is still to be believed. shown where this just and pious sovereign, “You may remember,” said the Scotch being dangerously ill, gave what he sup- monarch to Henri II., “ that at the beposed to be his dying advice to his son. ginning of the summer Madeleine wished Philippe le Bel was born and died at Fon- to bathe, and chose as the place of her tainebleau.
bath that magnificent grotto constructed Charles V. formed the magnificent li- by your father, Francis I., and joining the brary—the first of the kind in France. apartments of the Duchesse d'Etampes. To render it worthy of his royal name he I was acquainted with the secret of the employed all the litterati in France and arch, where, by means of a reflecting mirin foreign countries to collect the best ror set in the rock, the person bathing books for him, and wishing to make it uni- could be distinctly visible. The king, your versally useful, he enriched it with the father, had let me into this secret. I best translations. Towards 1364 Charles gained by bribes the officer who had V. formed another library at Paris. charge of the grotto, and he placed me
Charles VII. much embellished this re- in the niche just before the princess ensidence, and, amongst other things, added tered the bath. Pardon me, my dear various paintings.
prince, this audacity, and let the purThe library, having been pillaged by the ity of my intentions plead my excuse. English under his reign, was re-constructed Indeed, I was in the sequel sufficiently by Louis XI., and received great additions punished for my temerity. You imagine by the discovery of printing, lately intro- my audacity was successful? Well, you duced into France. Charles VIII. enriched are both right and wrong, for, up to a cerit with the Greek and Latin collections of tain point, all went well ; but the niche bethe kings of Naples, the only substantial came any thing but an agreeable position fruit of the conquest of that kingdom; and when I heard the princess whom I loved Louis XII., after having removed it to so distractedly, and whom I was on the Blois—then the residence of the court-point of marrying, declare to her companadded to it all the books from the library ion, Mademoiselle Vendôme, that she felt of Pavia, brought back by him from his any thing but indifferent to Don Juan, the expedition to the Milanese.
handsome natural son of the Emperor The reign of Francis I. is particularly Charles V., and that if she were married connected with Fontainebleau. He made to me (the King of Scotland), she should various changes in the château ; many look on herself as a miserable victim of buildings were re-constructed, and new state policy !" ones erected, while vast gardens, designed Notwithstanding this frank avowal of by Primaticcio, contributed to the beauty the Princess Madeleine, James could not of this residence. These gardens, admira- make up his mind to resign her, and alble in that age, but destroyed to suit the though he had heard this confession from
the lips of the princess herself, he continu- day. The library of Fontainebleau, reed to solicit her hand from her father, and duced to almost a name, was reorganized press his suit with herself. The marriage by Francis, who employed for that purtook place in January, 1537.
pose Guillaume Budé, one of the most eruBut, says Brantôme, when Madeleine dite men then living. arrived in Scotland, she found the country There is extant an anecdote of Budé, very different to what it had been de- which shows his extraordinary application scribed to her, and a sad contrast to la to study, and the little attention he paid belle France. She uttered but few com- to the more material and sublunary cares plaints, and only repeated continually to of life. One day he was engaged in study herself: “Alas! I would be a queen !” in his house at Paris, when a servant, rushveiling her melancholy and her ambition ing into the room, informed him that the under a garment of patience. Madeleine house was on fire. “Go and tell my wife," was miserable; she could not bear the se- replied he, without raising his eyes ; "you vere climate of Scotland nor the savage know I never attend to any of the housemanners of the inhabitants. She faded hold affairs.” like a fair flower transplanted into an un- Loaded with favors by Francis I., who congenial soil, and died of grief about six named him to some valuable situations, he months after her marriage.
never could bear to tear himself from his The grotto of the garden of pines is now beloved books to attend to the duties his entirely destroyed, and the tell-tale mir- appointments imposed on him. “ The ror has disappeared, but there are some liberality of the king and the confidence frescoes still visible that mark the situation of the people,” said he, complainingly, of the celebrated bath of the Duchesse“ will have the effect at last of making me d'Etampes.
utterly ignorant." The room is yet shown at Fontaine- Henri II., Charles IX., and Henri III., bleau where Francis I. received the beau- all continued the embellishment of Fontiful Diana of Poictiers, when that noble tainebleau, making it their residence from dame came sobbing and in tears to suppli- time to time. Henri IV. particularly decate pardon for her father, condemned to lighted in Fontainebleau. He spent in death for treason. Diana was covered buildings and additions to the palace and with a long black veil, which shrouded the park two million four hundred thouher charming features as under a sombre sand eight hundred livres -- an immense cloud. The monarch at first sternly re- sum for that period. Henri liked this fused the appeals she addressed to his palace particularly; he never, however, mercy. The heart of Diana was bursting was perfectly happy either here or elsewith emotion, and for a moment she lost where, unless La belle Gabrielle was beall consciousness. The gallant Francis side him. “What would you have ?” he was not slow in offering his assistance to used to say to his friends when speaking the distressed beauty. He placed her on on this subject; "after all the reverses I
; " a couch, the black veil which had before have encountered, and all the battles I covered her was displaced, and the coun- have fought, I want to enjoy myself, and tenance of Diana was revealed to him in all to pass some jovial days at least. I am its dazzling beauty. The king was aston- never happy but with my son and with his ished at the ravishing sight, and contem- dear mother.” At that time he had no plated for some time her lovely face with other child but Cæsar, created Duc de boundless admiration. His sense of justice, Vendôme, whose mother, the beautiful which the entreaties of the daughter had Gabrielle d'Estrées, was his mistress. As failed to touch, was disarmed by the sight a specimen of his attachment to this lady, of such charms. Her prayer was granted, a letter is subjoined that he wrote to her and the life of her father was spared. from Fontainebleau in the autumn of 1599,
Francis was not without reason styled entreating her to join him forthwith : " the restorer of literature and art.” 'Besides the numerous palaces he built, in " From our delicions Wilderness of Fontaine-belle-Eaa. whose construction and embellishment he
MY DEAREST LOVE : The courier has arrived employed the first painters and architects he told me that you had ordered his immediate
this evening." I sent him quickly to you, because of Italy, he made a collection of all the return in order to have some news of me. I am rare and ancient manuscripts, in which he well
, thank God; the only malady I endure is the was aided by the learned litterati of his violent longing I have again to behold you."
The next day Gabrielle was at Fontaine- The king determined to make a last apbleau.
peal to his treacherous general. One evenIn 1599, Henri IV. received Charles ing, after playing at cards, he summoned Emanuel, Duke of Savoy, here. It was Biron into his cabinet, and thus addressed most probable that during this visit those him : intrigues were begun that ended by con- “Maréchal, I wish to learn from your ducting Biron to the scaffold-Biron who, own mouth circumstances which, to my after having bravely fought for Henri, be- sorrow, I am too well acquainted with. I ing honored by his friendship, and having promise you my forgiveness for whatever received from him the staff of maréchal as you have done against me; only confess a reward, fell in the midst of prosperity, frankly what your conduct has been. All when his conspiracies with Spain — then shall be covered with the royal mantle of the bitterest enemy of France — were dis- mercy. I will protect you, and every thing covered, as well as various other intrigues shall be buried in eternal silence !" against his sovereign, he having been se- “This is strange language to an honest duced by the caresses and the magnificent man,” replied the obstinate maréchal. “I promises made to him by his country's foes. never had any desire but to be your faithThe king was at Fontainebleau when the ful servant.” guilt of Biron was first discovered. No- “ Would to God that were true!" re thing could exceed the grief he felt at the plied the king. Then, turning on him a treachery of the maréchal, to whom he look of compassion, he left the room, saywas personally much attached. He sent ing: “Adieu, Maréchal Biron.” for Sully, and throwing his arms round A few moments afterwards Biron was him with great emotion, said to him : arrested in the very palace where he had “Sully, I am betrayed by a friend. Biron been summoned to justify himself. Once has conspired against me." ' Sully advised in the hands of justice, and condemned to the king to have Biron arrested in his own death, he now vainly solicited a pardon house. Henri would not consent to this; which Henri would once willingly have he wished first to have an interview with granted to him, if he had only confessed his former friend, and induce him to ac- his delinquency. The only favor he could knowledge his crime, in order afterwards obtain was, that he should undergo the at once to forgive him. The maréchal was extreme penalty of the law in private summoned to court without delay. He within the walls of his prison. at first hesitated, but, reässured by his ac- Louis XIII., that feeble, timid, suspicomplices, who persuaded him that it was cious son of the gallant Henry IV. and of impossible the king could be acquainted Marie de Medicis, was born at Fontainewith the conspiracy, proceeded to Fon-bleau. During his whole life this prince tainebleau, and arrived there the 13th of was governed by Cardinal Richelieu. HisJune, 1602. His entry created quite a tory seems only to have preserved his sensation, for every one suspected his name in order to mark the era of an imtreason, and all were on the qui vive to perious minister, or as a period of repose know what steps would be taken against for the mind, passing from the inordinate him.
licentiousness of his father's conduct to the Biron resisted with haughty obstinacy pompous though scandalous amours of his all the efforts of his magnanimous sove- son, Louis XIV. reign to draw from him an acknowledg. The sight of youth and beauty were ment of his treason, or some expressions not, however, without very particular atof regret and repentance. “Sully,” said tractions for Louis XIII., yet his attachHenri to his minister, “ Biron is indeed a ments were entirely Platonic-a union of most unhappy man. I really have a great kindred souls that excluded all idea of inclination to pardon him, to forget the sensuality-truly, a most singular exceppast, and behave to him as if I had never tion in the annals of royal intrigues! Some known it. I pity him profoundly. I can account of these liaisons must, I imagine, not endure to punish so brave a man—one be agreeable to the reader, and I shall, who has served me for so many years, and therefore, enter into the details of various for whom I have felt so much friendship. scenes in the life of Mademoiselle de HauteAll my fear is, that if I pardon him he will fort and of Mademoiselle de la Fayette, never pardon me, and may revenge him the two favorites who have afforded the self on my children or my kingdom.” almost singular instance offered by history
of influence acquired by beauty and main-| feelings by a cold and disdainful silence. tained by virtue.
The pride of the queen was wounded. Anne of Austria, and wife of Louis XIII., Too young to be fully aware of the prowas born in the same month of the same bable danger and misery of her future year, 1601, as he was himself, and they position, and entirely deprived of all judiwere married at the age of fifteen. The cious advice, she took no steps to reconmind of the queen was already formed ; cile herself to the king, and their misshe was lively, clever, and brilliant. Louis, understanding grew into irreconcilable who still remained a child, was naturally dislike. timid and melancholy, and she felt her su- Louis XIII. was neither without sense periority over him. It is easy to govern nor religion ; his conduct was irreproachthose who are of an imbecile or indolent able, and he was not wanting in courage, disposition without pleasing them, but love but he had none of those virtues that inis often not gained by a display of supe- sure domestic happiness; he failed equally riority. The admiration extorted by the in his duties as a son, a husband, and a superior mind from one conscious of infe- brother, and was neither a great prince riority is, after all, only a kind of wonder, nor a good king. For in a sovereign, indooften mixed with envy, which, far from lence and weakness become often the most gaining the affections, only serves to alien- fatal of vices, a certain strength and fortiateand repulse those tenderer feelings. The tude of character being absolutely necesqueen might and ought to have governed sary in those who are intrusted with the Louis, but she wanted those qualities that burden of the state. Educated in the midst were calculated to gain his heart. Louis of ever-recurring wars and rebellions, Louis admired her beauty, but was terrified at knew nothing of royalty but its cares and her vivacity. Her gayety, her frankness, anxieties; he only experienced the lassiand general taste for all kinds of amuse-tude and weariness of power without any ments, jarred against the austerity of his of its enjoyments. He had been badly principles, and from the very commence educated, and when arrived at that age ment of their union he lived as much when his own sense and application might estranged from her as the rules of etiquette have remedied this neglect, he mistook permitted.
his ignorance for incapacity, and took no Marie de Medicis, who then held the measures for self-improvement.
Those reins of government, dreading the power who desired to govern under his name that a young and beautiful wife might ex- were very careful not to enlighten him as ercise over him, used every endeavor to to his own powers; his idleness was, moreconfirm these painful impressions in the over, favored by natural indolence, it bemind of the king, and increase his disin- ing easier to doubt his own powers of clination towards Anne of Austria. The acquirement than
The acquirement than to apply himself to confirst years of their marriage passed away quer such deficiencies. The fame of Henri in mutual indifference. The queen uttered IV., and the admiration his memory inno complaints, she showed no vexation, spired, instead of filling his son with emubut among her favorite friends she ex- lation, seemed only to have the effect of pressed herself in a style of very indiscreet still further discouraging him. The most raillery on the character and conduct of brilliant examples are not always the most her husband. If the reproaches of a ne- useful. Emulation may be extinguished glected wife are wearisoine, at least they by the excessive superiority of the model, are flattering to a husband's vanity; but or the only sentiment it inspires may end ridicule on subjects that ought to produce in nothing but a barren enthusiasm. But sorrow and distress is not to be pardoned, there was at least this difference between for it is the certain indication of scorn or Louis XIII, and the Fainéant kings, his of insensibility. Reports of the queen's ex- predecessors, though similar to him in pressions, heightened by the malice of many other respects: he did not, at any those whose interest it was to widen the rate, betray or leave to chance the best breach, were not wanting to alienate still interests of his country; his mind and his further the mind of Louis. His was of a principles at least induced him to select a disposition neither to hide nor to display worthy deputy for his delegated authorhis displeasure with violence, much less to ity. He did not resign the reins of governseek for explanations. He took no care to ment without consideration, and he disdisguise his annoyance, and showed his played discernment in intrusting them
into the most able hands. But from that Hautefort repeated to the queen every moment he considered himself liberated word that the king had uttered. This from all the responsibilities of royalty. platonic attachment was the subject of He abdicated without descending from much amusement in the queen's circle, the throne, and by this dishonorable aban- and Mademoiselle de Hautefort herself donment of his duties, which only showed took rather a delight in ridiculing the senhis impotence and incapacity, without any timents and conduct of her august lover, of the philosophic contempt or disregard which was neither prudent nor right in of the advantages attending them which a her to do. She ought either to have revoluntary resignation of the legitimate fused to become the confidante of the exercises of power would have displayed, king, or to have faithfully kept the secrets he lost the respect due to his position, he intrusted to her. yet still remained responsible for the suf- After some months Louis discovered ferings inflicted on his people. That peo- her treachery, as several circumstances ple ceased not to reproach him with every were repeated to him again that he had mishap that occurred, and at the same time only mentioned to Mademoiselle de Hauterefused to allow him any share of the glo- fort. He had every reason to feel himries of his reign. Posterity has confirmed self offended as her friend and her sovethis severe but equitable sentence. reign, but he did not openly complain.
The idle disposition of Louis made a Mademoiselle de Hautefort, however, was prime minister absolutely necessary, and deprived of her situation and exiled. Afhis heart yearned after a friend to whose ter the loss of his confidante, Louis again bosom he could confide his sorrows and shut himself up in his apartments, and bedisappointments. Henri IV. had found came more shy and more reserved than many faithful and attached servants, but ever. At this period he suffered much his son met only with favorites. An at- vexation, caused by the animosity of the tachment of a deeper kind, but which the queen-mother to Cardinal Richelieu. purity of his heart induced him to mistake Marie de Medicis was obstinate and narfor friendship, long occupied him. Among row-minded; her unbounded ambition the queen's ladies of honor he particularly was unaided by judgment; she was impenoticed Mademoiselle de Hautefort. Her rious, and at the same time weak, violent discretion and her virtue first attracted and inconstant at once opiniated and obhim, and formed her greatest charm. Such stinate when her passions were concerned. a reputation in a young and beautiful wo- She was guided rather by the heart than man was the most potent seduction that the head, and became therefore the dupe could be offered to the king. Mademoi- of favorites; but still she wished to exerselle de Hautefort was ambitious and cise the most despotic power over France. talented, and of rather a serious turn of Her bad temper and her violence had almind; her conversation was most agree- ready deprived her of her husband's afable to him, and she soon gained his con- fection. The same imperious temper fidence. It was observed with surprise alienated from her a son naturally affecthat the king, after his daily visits to the tionate and devoted, and her insatiable queen, with whom he only stayed a few ambition forced that minister, who owed minutes, remained for whole hours in a his elevation to her favor, ultimately to boudoir contiguous to her apartments, become her enemy. Richelieu did all that where at certain hours he met Mademoi- was possible to combat her prepossessions: selle de Hautefort, accompanied by oth-he supplicated, he entreated, he knelt, he ers of the maids of honor. Here, in the even shed tears; but the queen was inrecess of a bay-window, Louis seated him- flexible. Louis, alarmed, or rather anself by her side, and while conversing in noyed, at these disputes, neither acted as a low voice, forgot how the hours fled in became a son nor a sovereign. He might interminable conversations, where such a at once have ended all internal discord by naughty word as love was not even men- demanding of the queen, as a sovereign, tioned. The purity of his conduct was so and entreating her with all the filial rethoroughly known, that this kind of inti- spect of a son, to cease from further inmacy did not damage in the slightest de- terference with the affairs of state. But gree the reputation of the young lady. It he only requested where he ought to is true that, in order to prevent even the have commanded, and ended by basely shadow of suspicion, Mademoiselle de sacrificing his mother, because he wanted