The Life of Marie de Medicis — Volume 3 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 348 pages of information about The Life of Marie de Medicis Volume 3.

Surely history presents but few such catastrophes as this.  The soul sickens as it traces to its close the career of this unhappy and persecuted Princess.  Whatever were her faults, they were indeed bitterly expiated.  As a wife she was outraged and neglected; as a Queen she was subjected to the insults of the arrogant favourites of a dissolute Court; as a Regent she was trammelled and betrayed; the whole of her public life was one long chain of disappointment, heart-burning, and unrest; while as a woman, she was fated to endure such misery as can fall to the lot of few in this world.

The remains of the ill-fated Marie de Medicis were, in a few hours after her decease, transported to the Cathedral of Cologne, where they lay in state an entire week, during which period Rosetti, the Papal Nuncio, whose dread of Richelieu had caused him to absent himself from the dying bed, as he had previously done from the wretched home, of the persecuted Princess, each day performed a funeral service for the repose of her soul.  Her heart was, by her express desire, conveyed to the Convent of La Fleche; while her body was ultimately transported to France and deposited in the royal vaults of St. Denis.

The widow of Henri IV had at last found peace in the bosom of her God; and she had been so long an exile from her adopted country that the circumstances of her death were matter rather of curiosity than of regret throughout the kingdom.

The King was apprised of her demise as he was returning from Tarascon, where he had been visiting the Cardinal, who was then labouring under the severe indisposition which, five months subsequently, terminated in his own dissolution.  For the space of four days Louis XIII abandoned himself to the most violent grief, but at the expiration of that period he suffered himself to be consoled; while Richelieu, who, even when persecuting the Queen-mother to the death, had always asserted his reverence for, and gratitude towards, his benefactress, caused a magnificent service to be performed in her behalf in the collegiate church.

Tardy were the lamentations, and tardy the orisons, which reached not the dull ear of the dead in the gloomy depths of the regal Abbey.

FOOTNOTES: 

[225] MSS. de Colbert, Bibliotheque du Roi.

[226] Le Vassor, vol. ix. pp. 121-125.  Le Clerc, vol. ii. pp. 352-357, Mezeray, vol. xi. pp. 500, 501.

[227] Hume, vol. v. p. 25.

[228] Rushworth, vol. v. p. 267.

[229] Le Vassor, vol. x. pp. 591, 592.  Sismondi, vol. xxiii. pp. 457, 458.  Le Clerc, vol. ii. pp. 495, 496.  Rambure, MS. Mem. vol. xix. p. 518.

[230] In 1634, after the demise of the Marquis d’Ayetona, Philip of Spain conferred upon his brother Ferdinand, Cardinal-Archbishop of Toledo, the appointment of Governor-General of the Netherlands, which he held until his death, which took place at Brussels on the 9th of November 1641, when he was succeeded by Don Francisco de Mello, a nobleman who had rendered himself conspicuous by defeating the Marechal de Guiche at Hannecourt.  Subsequently, however, De Mello tarnished his military reputation at the famous battle of Rocroy, where he was utterly worsted by the young Duc d’Enghien, who had only just attained his twenty-first year, and who was afterwards known as the Great Conde.

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