The Life of Marie de Medicis — Volume 2 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 361 pages of information about The Life of Marie de Medicis Volume 2.

CHAPTER X

1617

The Comte de la Pena—­Anne of Austria and the orphan—­Popular atrocities —­The wages of crime—­Submission of the Duc de Mayenne—­Suspension of hostilities—­The great nobles return to the capital—­Louis refuses to be reconciled with his mother—­Insolence of De Vitry—­Generosity of the Duc de Rohan—­Marie de Medicis resolves to retire from the Court—­Richelieu offers to share her exile—­He becomes the secret emissary of De Luynes—­Gratitude of the deluded Queen—­A parting interview—­Marie de Medicis proceeds to Blois—­Destitution of the Marechale d’Ancre—­Her despair—­Royal recreations—­A fatal parallel—­Madame de Conde requests permission to share the captivity of her husband—­Trial of Madame d’Ancre—­Her execution—­Cupidity of De Luynes—­Justice of the Grand Duke of Tuscany—­Death of the President de Thou—­Marriage of De Luynes with Mademoiselle de Montbazon—­De Luynes is created duke and peer—­Death of M. de Villeroy—­Recall of the old ministers—­Policy of De Luynes—­His suspiciousness—­His ambition—­De Luynes lodges his brothers in the Louvre—­The sign of “the Three Kings”—­Louis resolves to re-establish the Roman Catholic religion in Bearn, and to annex that principality to the Crown of France—­Meeting of the Notables at Rouen—­The French march to the support of the Duke of Savoy.

On the return of De Vitry from the Bastille he found the hotel of the Marechal d’Ancre entirely pillaged, not even excepting the chamber of the little Comte de la Pena, whose escape having been prevented, he was also placed under arrest, and left until the following morning without clothes, food, or bed.  On the morrow, however, the Comte de Fiesque,[293] touched by the extreme beauty and desolate condition of the child, and probably anxious to secure one friend to him in his necessity, became answerable for his safe keeping; and, wrapping him in the cloak of one of his lackeys, he carried him to the Louvre, and introduced him to the young Queen, informing her Majesty that no one at Court could dance a branle in such perfection.  Anne of Austria was enchanted with the beauty of the boy, who had just attained his twelfth year, and whose intellect was as remarkable as his person; but giddy, thoughtless, and ever eager for amusement, the girl-Queen, overlooking the fatal circumstances in which he was placed, immediately commanded that he should exhibit his talent; and the poor fatherless child, whose whole career had been blighted only a few short hours before, was compelled to this unseemly display; after which he was regaled with sweetmeats, and returned to the custody of his gaolers, by whom he was shortly afterwards imprisoned in the castle of Nantes.[294]

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The Life of Marie de Medicis — Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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