The Life of Marie de Medicis — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 413 pages of information about The Life of Marie de Medicis — Volume 3.

The influence of Marie de Medicis over the mind of the King had, as we have shown, seriously diminished after the return of Richelieu to the capital; while the necessity of pursuing the campaign in Italy had rendered the services of his able minister more than ever essential to Louis, who was aware of his personal inefficiency to overcome the perils by which he was menaced on all sides; and who had so long ceased to sway the sceptre of his own kingdom, that he was compelled to acknowledge to himself that the master-spirit which had evoked the tempest was alone able to avert its effects.  This conviction sufficed to render him deaf to all remonstrances, and at length induced him sullenly to command their discontinuance.  He declared that every one about him felt a delight in calumniating the Cardinal, and on all occasions he ostentatiously displayed towards the triumphant minister the utmost confidence and affection.

As the Queen-mother became convinced that all her efforts to undermine the influence of Richelieu must for the present prove abortive, she ceased to expostulate, and turned her whole attention towards the reconciliation of the royal brothers.  Aware that the Dukes of Lorraine and Savoy were seeking by every means in their power to increase the discontent of Gaston,[127] and that Charles Emmanuel had offered him a safe retreat in Turin, and an army to support him should he desire to overthrow the power of the Cardinal by whom he had been reduced to the position of a mere subject without authority or influence,[128] she wrote in earnest terms to caution him against such insidious advice; and urged upon the King the expediency of recalling him to Paris, and investing him with the command both of the city itself and of the surrounding provinces during his own absence from the kingdom.

In reply to the entreaties of his mother, Gaston declared his willingness to become reconciled to the King, and to serve him to the best of his ability; but he at the same time requested that she would not exact from him any similar condescension as regarded Richelieu, whom he looked upon as his most dangerous enemy, and on whom he was resolved one day to revenge himself.  Against this determination Marie de Medicis felt no disposition to offer any expostulations, as it accorded with her own feelings; and she consequently merely represented to the Prince the necessity of concealing his sentiments from the King (whom she had induced to comply with her request), and to make immediate preparations for his return to France.[129]


[111] Siri, Mem.  Rec. vol. vi. pp. 511-558.

[112] Bassompierre, Mem. vol. iii. p. 186.

[113] Gaston d’Orleans, Mem. pp. 86, 87.  Mezeray, vol. xi. p. 367.

[114] Le Vassor, vol. vi. pp. 21-23.

[115] Capefigue, vol. iv. pp. 278, 279.

[116] Mezeray, vol. xi. pp. 368, 369.

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