The first Troubles.
That the Protestants, but for the late accident at Vassie, had bene preuented in the beginning of the first Ciuill warre.
FRance, notwithstanding the agreeing vpon and concluding of the Edict of Ia∣nuary* in the presence of the King, by the aduice of a very notable assembly of the wisest politicks of the Realme, who thereby entended to prouide some reme∣die against the diuers and vniuersall cō∣motions thereof, and to conforme it to the cōmon lawes, was not yet brought into tranquilitie: as well by reason the Protestants were so earnest to establish and confirme themselues in that libertie which they had obteyned, as also through the generall feare of the Catholickes, who could not endure such a noueltie. Some of the Princes and Lordes that held this parte being greatly agrieued at the sight of such encrease, did make a secret League to suppresse it. And whiles some of them were on their way to Paris, where they purposed to ioyne to their generall bodie fell out the disorder at Va•si•, where many being at the sermon were murdered, which deede being by other Historiographers alreadie described, I will meddle no far∣ther with. For my entent is only to note not so much ye grief that it bred to the Protestants, as the instruction, which they tooke toge∣ther with the fruite that vnto them did redound thereof. The Lord Page 347Prince of Condé was at Paris about the establishing of the pub∣licke exercise according to the Kings Edict, when this newes was brought him: which made him to growe into consultation with the wise•t Lordes and Gentlemen of his companie, who iudged this small storme to bee an assured forewarning of a greater, and there∣fore wished to looke farther then to things present. Immediatly he gaue notice to some of the chiefest in the Court of that that had happened, who therof tooke an alarum and counsailed him to seeke some preseruatiues and remedies for himselfe and the estate. He also warned all the French Churches to looke to themselues: of whom the most parte imagining to haue alreadie obteyned some assured rest, were more ententiue to the building of Churches, then to thinke vppon Militarie prouision for their owne defence. This bruite did wonderfully waken the gentlemen Protestants abroade in the Prouinces, and made them readie to prouide horse and armour, waiting what would bée done at the Court and how Paris would take it.
Shortly after there ariued the Lord of Guize, the Constable,* and the Marshall of S. Andrews, also the King of Nauarre whom they had drawne to their League, who forced the Prince of Cou∣dé to retire into the towne of Meaux with a good traine of No∣bilitie and Gentrie. Being come thether, with all speede he sent word to the Lord of Andelot and the Admirall, that not want of courage but of strength had driuen him to forsake Paris, wishing them with all diligence to march toward him. For Casar had not only passed Rubicon, but was euen seased of Rome, and his flagges be∣gan to waue abroade in the fieldes. Which presently they did with all their friends and furniture, howbeit not yet manifesting their armes as the League had done. There staied they fiue or sixe daies as well to deliberate of their affayres, as because of administring the supper, which was to be celebrated at Easter. The Lord Ad∣mirall, no nouice in matters of estate, foreseeing that the game waxed warme, shewed that it was requisite either in all diligence to strengthen themselues with men, either els to take them to their heeles: yea that he was afrayed they had alreadie stayed very long. But whiles they stoode vpon those poynts, many gentlemen came in from all parts vnlooked and vnsent for: so as in foure daies they were abont fiue hundred. This refeshing caused them to resolue vpon their departure, and that for two purposes. The one to trye whether they might winne the Court, and so enstall themselues a∣bout Page 348 the King and Queene, or, not able so to doe, to s••se vpon Orleans, there to forme a maine head, if they chaunced to bee dri∣uen to come to handie blowes. Hauing therefore in sixe daies ga∣thered a greater troope then they looked to haue gotten in a whole moneth, they tooke their way toward S. Claud, where their troope was refreshed with three hundred good horse, where also they were aduertised that the Lord of Guize and his assotiates had seased of the Court, which diligence falling out well for them, brake the Prince of Condees first purpose, who ment to haue done the same and so to haue authorised his doings vnder the Kings fauour for the preseruation of himselfe and the rest of the Protestants. From S. Claud they marched toward Chastres and Angeruile, and by the way met fiue or sixe troopes of gentrie. This bred some asto∣nishment to the contrary parte, when they began to consider the sudden encrease of our bodie, which consisted not of lesse then a thousand gentlemen, who made 1500. good horse better armed with courage then Corcelets. Then drew they toward Orleance, which was taken in such maner as the Historiographers doe set it doune. This we must note, that if the Prince of Condé had at that time had but a small power, he had bene oppressed or besieged: but when they perceiued him to bee so mightie as to keepe the fielde in subiection, also that he spake as boldly to his aduersaries as coldly to his King, they were not very earnest vpon him, whereby he had oportunitie to preuaile in sundrie attempts. This profite did he reape of being strong in the beginning.
Some men haue imagined either that these things were long * before premeditated, or els to haue so happely fallen out through the dillgence of the Captaines: But I, as one that was present and made curious search into the causes, dare affirme the contrary. True it is that most of the Nobilitie, hearing of the slaughter at Vassie, partly of a voluntarie good will, and partly for feare, de∣termined to drawe toward Paris, imagining (as it were at aduen∣ture) that their protectors might stand in some néed of them. Thus did the most renowmed depart out of their countries with some tenne, some twentie or thirtie of their friends, secretly armed, and lodging in Hosteries or Uillages, where they payd truely for eue∣rie thing, vntill they met both with the bodie and cause together. Many of them haue assured me that this only reason moued them: and I haue heard my Lords the Prince and Admirall many times confesse, that had not this benefit happened, they had bene in daun∣ger Page 349 to haue taken a bad course.
Hereby it appeareth what fruite is sometimes gotten of hurt∣full things, which at the first blush appearing ruinous, doe neuer∣thelesse * after the euent giue vs to weere that they bree our good in∣structions. Men may also learne, yea euen the best Captaines, not to attribute too much to their owne wisedome in the conduct of af∣faires either publique or priuate: For ableit it be a most necessarie instruction, yet sometimes it is as it were vayled, so as among ma∣ny waies and proceedings they can hardly tell which is the best to leane vnto in such vnlooked for stormes and troubles. And this fal∣leth out to the ende to humble them, and to make them from else where to seeke the cause of good successe. Silla, with whom no man now liuing dare compare for militarie knowledge, gaue out that himselfe through the benefite of fortune had bene saued and exal∣ted. And yet are there some at this day that will say that the for∣tune of the auncient heathen (which was vayne) and the order that God taketh in the conduct of inferiour matters (which is assured) are but cloakes where-vnder men doe shroude their ignorance: al∣so that man himselfe, according as he guideth his doings either well or ill, breedeth his owne mishap or felicitie, albeit sundrie ex∣periences be therto repugnant. They ought therfore to purge their mindes of such opinions, and to perswade them selues that notwithstanding man imagineth and purposeth, yet is it God that giueth accom∣plishment to his enterprises.
Whether the Lord Prince of Condé in the first troubles com∣mitted so great an ouersight as many haue giuen out, in that he seased not vpon the Court or Paris.
I Wil not denie but many skilful persons were * and peraduenture still bee of that opinion, as also my selfe was a while: But after I had throughly wayed and considered what happe∣ned at the beginning of this tragedie, as also what fell out afterward, I was reclaymed to the knowledge of those truer matters which shall appeare in the progresse of my speech. The Lord Prince of Condé seeing how his brother the King of Nauarre was by little and little slipt into a delicious kinde of life, and had suffered himselfe so much to be abused by the vayne and ritch promises and apparant honors of those that skorned him, that he was growne so farre as to giue ouer his partie, whereof ensued a wonderfull quailing to many which both openly and secretly seemed to fauour him, and as great an encouragement to the leagued to withstand him: did not thinke it good to leane to so rotten a foūdation, but ra∣ther to lay a better els where. In as much also as the Court and Paris are the two great lights of France, the one resembling the Sunne, the other the Moone (yet both subiect to ecclipse) he imagi∣ned that hauing some light from the one, he ought to seeke for the light of the other: and therefore endeuoured to plant the preaching of the Gospell in Paris: to the ende the same knowledge which be∣fore was hidden, and lay as it were buryed among the innumera∣ble multitude of people, might bring forth aboundance of fruite, as soone after did it appeare: for sometimes ye might see at the assem∣blies thirtie thousand persons. These goodly beginnings caused those of the Religion to seeke meanes to establish it, wherein ne∣uerthelesse they shewed themselues somewhat negligent. But when the effects of the League brake forth, they euidently percei∣ued that it was meet to do that which through ouer much forflow∣ing, was not now easely to be done: whereabout neuerthelesse they somewhat employed themselues, albeit with very small hope.
Page 351 Hauing more narowlie examined this matter, I finde that as the execution of this purpose to anie profite was in the beginning nothing easie: so in the end it was most difficult. I will first there∣fore spake of Paris, and shewe the lettes therein to be found. Eue∣rie man knoweth it to bee the seate of Iustice, which is of meruay∣lous authoritie, and as the fauour thereof woulde haue stoode the Protestants in great steade, so would the mislyke haue bredde won∣derfull damage. Nowe all the Senate with their whole trayne, except a verie fewe, did alwayes shewe themselues their capitall e∣nimies
The Cleargie of that Citie beeing most mightie and in greate reuerence, were euen madde to see those thinges common which touched them so neere the quicke, and vnder hande wrought a thou, sand practises there agaynst. The bodie of the Townehouse fea∣ring alterations, which they imagined to proceede of diuersitie of religion, endeauoured to bannish and driue it awaie. To the same ende tended the most parte of the Uniuersitie, and in manner all the inferiour and common people, with the fauourers and ser∣uauntes of the Catholike Lordes and Gentlemen. Neyther doe I yet speake of such as might happen to haue recourse to the Citie out of other places, but onelie of those that were then pre∣sent. As for the assured strength that the Protestants made ac∣count of, it consisted of three hundred Gentlemen, and as manie trayned souldiours, foure hundred schollers, and a fewe voluntarie Burgeses of no experience. And what else was all this agaynst in manner an infinite number of people, but a small flie agaynst an Elephant? I thinke that onelie the nouices of the couentes, toge∣ther with the Priestes wenches, comming sodainelie vppon them with fagot stickes in theyr handes, had beene able to haue with∣stoode them: and yet notwithstanding theyr weaknesse, they sette a good face vppon the matter vntill that the open force of the leagued Princes and Lordes did constrayne them to giue e∣uer.
But had they buckeled in the Towne (as considering the secret driftes of theyr enemses, they shoulde soone haue beene forced) coulde the Protestants haue beene able to fight three dayes, as they did at Tholouze? Truelie no, nor three houres as I thinke: neyther had there beene anie waie to maintaine them, but the pre∣sence of the King to fauour his Edict. Some will saie that the Prince of Condie abandoning Paris, committed the lyke errour Page 356 as Pompey: But if they marke it well, they shall finde that Pom∣peyes ouersight was without comparison greater than his: For hee had all Rome at his becke, where the Prince had scarce a hand∣full at Paris.
Before wee applie those auncient examples to the deedes of these dayes, wee must consider of the lykelyhoode betweene them. All the aforesayde difficulties doe perswade mee that the endeauou∣ring to establishe the exercise of religion at Paris, was a haughtie and valiant attempt▪ but without the helpe aforesayde to confirme it, it was vnpossible, as that which hath since fallen out, hath well declared.
Nowe let vs looke into the disposition of the Court. It is wel * inough knowen that at the conference at Poyssy the doctrine of the Gospell was propounded withall libertie, wherevpon many both greate and smal began to haue a tast thereof: But as a fire of straw maketh a greate blaze, and is by and by out againe for want of sub∣staunce: so after that that which they had receiued as a noueltie was a lyttle growen olde in their heartes, theyr affections thereto quayled, and most of them retourned to the former course of the Court, which is more fit to procure mirth and pastime and to breed wealth: yea, euen some Huguenots turnd theyr coates and follow∣ed this path.
The Court wee are in generall to take for the true i∣mage of the Prince: for as hee is, so is his traine. If hee bee wise, so will it bee: but if hee delyght in follie, it will also imitate him. And in case a householder through vse shapeth the manners of his children and familie by the patterne of his owne, what shall a King doe, in whome it lyeth to raise and cast downe? Heerevp∣pon the Courtiers seeing the King, his Brethren and Mother more inclined to Romish religion, also the King of Nauarre re∣uolted, conformed themselues to them, which redounded to the greate disgrace of the Prince of Condie, and those whome hee maintained.
Besides that, if hee had come first, hee coulde not haue soiour∣ned there long without incurring much hatred: for if to a Court you propounde reformation, take awaie vaine pleasures, and en∣tangle it in businesse, it will hate you euen vnto the death. Fi∣nallie, hauing manie enemies therein and more abroade, hee coulde not but haue verie small assuraunce. This maketh mee to thinke that the fouudation of the Court was not of anie more Page 357 certayntie than that of Paris. Howbeeit hee attempted another deuise, (but it was not put in execution) in my opinion of more apparaunce: which was his moouing of the Queene mother, to goe and carrie the King to Orleance: and some writers doe saie that it was motioned to her when shee feared the motions of the league, also that shee hearkened thereto: but all vanished a∣waie in smoake: neuerthelesse I suppose that if the effect heere∣of had ensued, all theyr weapons had beene sheathed vp a∣gayne.
For had the Court beene in place where it coulde not haue beene surprised, in respect of such force as might haue ben brought, and where it shoulde not haue beene forced, for no man durst haue discharged the Canon agaynst the walles that enuironed the King, they might haue parleyed and dealte on horsebacke vn∣till the affayres had beene somewhat reestablished according vn∣to the Edict of pacification: not withstanding euen to imagine that this remedie coulde haue vtterly extinguished the warres, I dare not presume: onelie it had sufficed if it had but delayed them for a while.
Of three things which I noted that happened before the armies tooke the fielde. The one pleasaunt, the other arteficiall, and the thirde lamen∣table.
THE Writers of greate Histories, who are to * represent more matters than there bee leaues vp∣pon a spread Oake, cannot alwayes expresse and Page 354 note euerie the perticulars that accompanie them: for if they shoulde binde themselues thereto, for euerie volume that they publish, they shoulde bee forced to sette out foure, and therefore it is enough for them to declare whatsoeuer is most notable. Where∣fore my selfe, if in reading things past I meete with ought eyther much or little, wherevppon a man to the ende to bring it into taste or reape anie profite, might dilate, doe somewhat delight so to doe, especiallie in those thinges whereof I haue beene an eie witnesse, which also may peraduenture somewhat serue to the vnderstan∣ding of the storie, which is the rich storehouse, whereto they that co∣uet goodly ornamentes ought to haue recourse: for that which I heere sette downe is but a Pedlers packe, conteyning wares of meane price, albeit vnlesse I bee deceiued, not falsefied or coun∣terfait.
The first matter that I meane to shew, is in what sort the Prince * of Conde and his troope ariued at Orleance. The daie before hee came hee sent the Lorde of Andelot to take the Towne, who comming vnknowen, perceiued there woulde bee some lette▪ wherevppon hee sent worde to the sayde Lorde to make speede to assist him, for hee was lykelie to haue some bickering. Nowe the whole companie beeing loth to loose so good a morcell desi∣red not to trot, but euen to galloppe, which was no sooner sayde but it was done. For sixe leagues off beganne the course: The Prince hauing with him as well in maisters as seruauntes aboute two thousande horse, taking the greate galloppe, the whole bodie did the lyke, and so continued euen to the verie gates.
Innumerable were the people that they mette by the waie going to Paris, who beholding the mysterie of this course, and withall, that none asked them anie question, did for the most part at the first thinke that all the fooles in Fraunce had beene there assembled, or else that it had beene for some wager: for as yet there was not anie noise of warre: Howbeit thinking better there∣of, and considering both the number and nobilitie, they grewe in∣to greate admiration, yet so as they coulde not but laughe at so for∣cible a motion, which did not beare downe the trees as the windes of Languedocke, but seemed rather to beare downe it selfe: for ordinarilie by the waie they might behold seruants cast downe, horses shouldered and tyred, and sumpters ouerthrowen, which bred continuall sporte euen in those which did runne.
Page 355 But they that the same daie were thrust forth of the towne did Ca∣tholikly bewaile, their dispossession from the staple of the pleasan∣test wines in France.
Concerning the second point, the matter is of more grauitie, as consisting in both generall and priuate accusations, defences, rea∣sons, * and other pollicies to perswade: which were the weapons wherewith so many great Captaines for the space of two moneths fought together, as also to comfort and hearten their confederates and partakers. For in these so new and extraordinarie alterations of estate, it was verie requisite to abolish all bad opinions out of the minds of those that knew not the drifts of the enterprisers: and as the assault was great, so was the defence forcible, as may appeare by reading the actions as well of the one part as of the other, which are inserted into the Annales. Some there are that weene if their cause be good, that it will so shew it selfe to all men, and therefore will not publish the truth thereof: wherein they ouershoote them∣selues. For albeit iust and true matters doe in time shew forth their light, yet is it in sundrie occurrences meete to anticipate them, and that men should betimes knowe that that will at length appeare, though not with so much fruit. Also as weedes doe many times for want of pulling vp, choke the good hearbes: so if the slanders which the aduersaries doe ordinarily obiect agaynst such things as bee good, be not refelled, they would no doubt many times thereby bee suppressed, besides that we are the more supported when (in whatso∣euer case) we haue proued that we walke vpright and labour with an euen hand.
To be briefe, in this world men are so slothful in publike duties, that without continuall calling vppon, they remaine immoueable. But they that haue but a bad cause in hand, haue more need of arte∣ficiall speeches to cloake that which being reauealed will bring it out of fauour: neither do I thinke them to be tongue tied, whereby we may perceiue that eloquence resembleth a two edged knife: but whatsoeuer men saie, it is a hard matter to disguise falsehood or ble∣mish the truth.
The third point consisteth in the parley néere to Toury in Beausse,* betweene the Queene Mother, the king of Nauare, & the Prince of Condie, to deuise vpon some meanes to appease the controuer∣sies fallen out. Many did imagine that the presence and conference of the greatest woulde bee of more efficacie than the sundrie em∣bassages from part to part: and albeit euteruiewes be sometimes Page 356 dangerous, yet was it concluded, the rather at the Queenes in∣stance, with the limitations ensuing: That on each side they shoulde bring one hundred Gentlemen with armour and speare: That no troops shuld come within two leagues of the place appointed: That thir∣tie light horse on each part should sixe houres before their meeting dis∣couer the fielde, which was as playne as the sea: That at the appoin∣ted houre the Queene and King of Nauarre should bee on horse backe in the place appointed, where the Prince and Admirall lykewise on horsebacke shoulde mee•e them to intreate together of the publyke af∣fayres.
In the meane time the two troopes consisting of choice men; and for the most parte Lordes to houer eight hundred pates asun∣der: the Marshall de Anuil commaunding ouer the one, and the Earle of Rochefoucault ouer the other. Hauing thus beheld ey∣ther other for the space of halfe an houre, each coueting to see one his brother, another his vnkle, cousen, friende, or olde companion, they •raued leaue of theyr superiours, which was hardlie graunted, in respect that at the first they were forbidden to meete for feare of iniuryes and affrayes. But so farre were they from quarelling, that contrariwise there was nothing but salutations and embra∣cings of such as could not forbeare ye demonstration of amitie vnto those whome parentage or honestie had vnited vnto them: not∣withstanding the contrarie tokens that they bare. For the King of Nauarres troope was clothed in cassockes of crimson veluet and redde scarfes, and the Prince of Condes in white. The Catho∣likes imagining the Protestants to bee lost, exhorted them to see to themselues, & not to enter obstinatlie into this miserable warre, wherein neere kinsmen must murther one another: heereto they aunswered, that they detested it, howbeit if they had not recourse to theyr defence, they were assured of lyke intreatie as many other Protestants had receiued, who were cruellie slaine in sundrie parts of France.
To be briefe, each prouoked other to peace, and to persuade their superiours to hearken thereto. Some who a parte did more deep∣lie consider of these things, bewayled publike discord as the spring of future mischiefes: Then waighing with themselues that all these greetings would bee conuerted into bloudie murthers, vppon the least token of battayle that the superiours shoulde giue: that the •iseardes being shut and readie, furie hauing •ayled their sight, one brother woulde scarce pardon another, the water euen stoode Page 357 in their eyes. My selfe was then among the Protestants, and I may truelie saie that on the other side there were a douzen of my friendes: whome I accounted as deere as my owne brethren, who also bare mee the lyke affection: In the meane time as well con∣science as honour bounde each one not to fayle in the one or the o∣ther. Priuate amitie did as thē liue, but since these great calamities had course, and conuersation discontinued, it is euen dead in many. The Queene and Prince of Conde hauing conferred two long houres together, when they coulde growe to no agreement, depar∣ted, each verie sorie that they had no better succesie.
Of the Prince of Condies promise somewhat rashlie made to the Queene mother that hee would depart the Realme of France, and why it was not perfor∣med.
AFter the ariuall of a great number of the ordi∣narie * bandes and parte of the olde infanterie at Paris, the King of Nauarre, the Constable and the Duke of Guize, who contemned the Protestants as rebelles, thought themselues strong inough to make them afrayde, and in battayle araie marched towarde Chasteau∣dun. The Prince vnderstanding heereof craued the aduice of such Captaines as accompanied him, what were to bee done: who all with one consent declared, that sith they had hetherto as well in deedes as wordes set so good a face on the matter, if nowe they shoulde at the beginning of the warre suffer themselues to bee shutte vp and besieged in a Towne, it would bee some testimonie of cowardlynesse, and greatly disgrace the Protestants affayres Page 358 as well with foraine nations as with such of the Frenchmen as tooke: heir partes: withall considering that their power alreadie grew well toward sixe thousand footmen and two thousand horse, also that by the report of the spies the enimies were not yet aboue foure thousand footmen and three thousand speares: to whom not∣withstanding they were not so well armed, they were no whit infe∣riour in courage: that nothing ought therefore to let them from taking the field with all speed, and fighting with the enimie, if oc∣casion might so serue: for they could neuer haue them at a better ad∣uantage, considering how theyr power would from time to time in∣crease.
Upon this resolution ehey encamped a league and a halfe from *Orleance, whether the Queene sent new Embassadours to enter parley: for both sides did greatly feare the vniuersall desolations ensuing of warre, if once it were begun. At the two first meetings they argued sufficiently, though to small resolution: onely it was a∣greed, that the Catholike and leagued Lordes and Princes should depart each to his owne home, and then would the Prince of Con∣die obey whatsoeuer the king should command for the wealth of the Realme. Soone after they marched to Chasteaudun and no far∣ther, which the Protestants presumed to bee but a dissimulation. Some will saie, that in the sayd parlies the Prince of Conde ha∣zarded himselfe into ouer great peril: but he was still stronger than the enimie, and his men too warie to be deceiued, albeit in one point they ouershoot thēselues vpon simplicitie: which was in deliuering to ye king of Nauarre when he came to ye parley the towne of Bois∣gencie (which was nothing worth) for his fafety, but was neuer re∣stored them again: this did greatly chafe them, as perceiuing that thence forth they must talke with the bridle in hand. Now as daily there came some from the Queene to the Prince of Conde, to per∣swade him to peace, which hee seemed greatly to desire, among the rest was imploied the Bishop of Valence, a man in learning and e∣loquence most excellent, when he lyst to shew forth eyther the one or the other. Hee with his fayre speech so qualyfied the Prince, that he increased his desire of a good accord: and finally told him that in as much as many reproched him to be the author of the war, it were his part to make euident his iustificatiō by al good offers & braue ef∣fects: also yt if at the next enteruiew he wold tel ye Queene yt rather than to sée ye real me hazarded to fire & sword, he wold be cōtent with his friends to depart the same, shee could haue nothing to answere, Page 359 much lesse his enimies who had promised to returne to their habita∣tions▪ likewise that of this motion might ensue some good resolu∣tion that should stay all wepons, which being laid downe, all things might after ward be easily reestablished. This sayd he departed, lea∣uing in the Prince (who was loth to be constrained to fight agaynst his owne nation) & certaine impression to followe this counsayle, which he imparted to some that were desirous of peace, & therefore gainsayd it not.
It was agreed that two dayes after he should meete the Queene* a league and a halfe thence, so to proue if any thing might be deter∣mined, which he did. There after many speeches the said Prince did in the end make her the offer aforesaid, namely to depart the realme, so to testifie his zeale to the quiet thereof: which she tooke holde of before the word was out of his mouth, telling him that that in deed was the true meanes to preuent all mischiefes feared, for the which all France should be bound vnto him: also that the King comming to his maioritie would bring all into good order, wherby euery man should haue cause to be content. Nowe although the Prince was a man that would not be easily danted, neyther wanted his tongue, yet was he at this time astonished, as not thinking to haue bene ta∣ken so short: & because it waxed late, she tolde him that in the mor∣ning she would send to knowe what conditions hee would demand. Thus she departed in good hope, and the Prince returned to his campe laughing (but betweene his teeth) with the chiefe of his Gentlemen which had heard all his talke. Some scratching their heads where they itched not: others shaking them: some were pen∣siue, and the younger sort gybed oue at another, each one deuising with what occupation he should be forced to get his liuing iu a forein land. At night they determined the next morning to call all the Captaines together to haue their aduice in so waightie a mat∣ter.
In the morning they entered into counsayle, where the Admirall* propounded, that in as much as this matter concerned all, it was in his opinion, good to impart it vnto al, which was done, and the Co∣lonels and Captaines were sent to demaund the aduice as well of the Gentrie as footemen: But they imediatly aunswered, thatsith France had bredde them, it should also be their scpulture, likewise that so long as anie drop of bloud rested in them, it shoulde bee im∣ployed in defence of their religion. With all they requested the Prince to remember his generall promise that hee would not for∣sake Page 360 them: This being reported to the Counsaile ha•ted the con∣clusion of those that were there to deliberate, who considering of the generall disposition of all, were the rather confirmed in their opini∣ons, which did concurre wt the same▪ neither were there aboue three or foure that vsed anie speech, the matter being so euident: and I do yet in part remem•er the particularities there deducted. The Lord Admirall declared vnto the Prince, that albeit he supposed that the Queene in accepting of his offer meant no harme, as one that desiring to deliuer the state out of miserie means conuenient〈…〉ot that he thought those which had weapon on hand, did circū•ent her to the end to betraie him: that he neither ought, neither could performe that that, was propoūded & himself, had promised, in respect that beforè he stoode bounde in stronger bandes: and besides all this, that if he should now absent himselfe, he should vtterly loose his credit & condemne the cause that he had takē in hand, which besides the equitie therof, being authorised by the Kings edict, ought to bee maintayned euen with ha∣zarde of life. The Lord of Andelots speech was this: My Lord the enimies power lyeth but fiue small leagues hence: if it perceiue•• amōg vs either feare, breaking vp, or other alteràtiō whatsoeuer, it wil with •••ord and speare driue vs euen into the Ocean sea. If you none shoulde forsake vs it will bee sayde that yee doe it for feare, which I knowe neuer▪ harboured in your heart. Wee are your poore seruantes, and you our maister, diuide vs not then, sith wee fight for religion and life: so many parleyes are but snares layde to intrappe vs as appeareth by the effectes else, where: The best waie therefore to come to a spee∣die agreement is, that you will vouchsafe to bring vs within halfe a league of those that, wish vs to departe the Realme: so may wee perad∣uenture within an houre after growe to some good resolution: for wee can neuer bee perfect friendes before wee haue skirmished a little to∣gether.
Then stepped foorth the Lorde of Boucarde, one of the brauest Gentlemen in the Realme, whose head was fraught both with fire and Lead. My Lorde (sayde hee) hee that either giueth ouer or put∣teth of the set looseth it, which is more true in this matter now in hand than in the tenis court: I haue alreadie seene fiftie yeeres, in which time I may haue learned alittle discretion: I would bee loth to walke vp and downe a foraine lande with a tooth picker in my mouth, and in the meane time lett some flattering neighbour bee the maister of my house, & fatten himselfe with my re••newes. God willing for my parte I will die in my Countrie in defence of our alters and hearthes: Page 361 I beseech you therefore my Lorde, and doe wish you not to abandon so many good men that haue chosen you, but to excuse your selfe to the Queene, and imploie vs with speede while we are willing to bite. Lit∣tle more was there spoken, except a generall approbation of all men.
Then the Lord Prince began to speake, and for the iustification of his offer sayd, that he made it, because they went about couertlie to taxe him, with the cause of the warre; as also for that if his absence might breede theyr peace he would thinke himselfe happie, as not re∣specting his owne particular affayres: lyke••se that hee did well per∣ceiue seeing the enemies power so neere, and theyr resolution, that they woulde impute his humilitie to cowardlynesse; whereby it should breed no rest but rather destruction to the cause that hee maintayned: and that in consideration thereof hee was resolued to followe theyr coun∣sayle, and to liue and die with them. Thus sayde, they all shooke handes in confirmation thereof.
At the breaking vp of the Counsaile Theodore Beza with o∣thers of his companions made vnto him a verie wise and pi•hre ex∣hortation to comfort him in his resolution, alleadging vnto him the inconueniences▪ ensuing the departure from the same, and so be∣sought him not to giue ouer the good worke hee had begun, which God, whose honour it concerned, woulde bring to perfection. A∣bout the same time came the Lorde of Frense, Robertet, Serr•∣tarie of the commaundementes, whome the Queene had sent to knowe, vppon what conditions the Lorde Prince woulde departe: Whose •unswere was, That it was a matter of waight, neyther was hee yet resouled thereof, in respect that many murmured thereat: but when it was concluded hee woulde eyther sende or bring the Queene worde himselfe. But Roberter by some particular speeches per∣ceiued that matters were altered, and so returned to the Queene, whome hee certefyed that shee must haue more than paper to thrust him out withall, who afterwarde went her waie.
Heereby may Princes and great Lordes learne in matters of * importance not to binde themselues by promise before they haue throughly consulted thereof with the wise: for albeit their meaning may be good, yet may a man after some forte stumble, because the sodainnesse of the matter may make him neglect diuerse circum∣staunces therein to bee considered▪ Yea, although one shoulde thinke vpon all that were requisite to bee noted, yet may many doe it much beter. The worthinesse also of the matter in hande Page 362 may be such, and the number of confederates so great, that euen the cheefest must haue respect as well to the one as to the other, As likewise they must imagine that they to whome they promise, al∣though thinges vnreasonable, will neuerthelesse vpon want o• per∣formance finde themselues greeued, and complaine thereof.
By what occasion the warre did first breake foorth betweene the two armies.
DUring the parlies afore mentioned, there * was as it were a truc• betweene both armies, which caused that there was no∣thing enterprized at Paris or Orleance: But when the Prince of Conde and his associats did well per•eiue that wordes were to weake to remedy the present al∣terations, hee determined to adde effects, and so immediately after the resolution vpon the offer made vnto the Queene, hee called aside •eauen or eight of his cheefest captaines, and consulted vpon the most conue∣nient meanes to buckle with the enemy, for the truc• was ended the daie before) who all were of opinion that they must be preuen∣ted by diligence, considering that they had two aduauntages: the one that the Duke of Guise, the Constable, and the Marshall of S. Andrewes were then absent, and so none but the king of Nauarre with the armie: the other, that the companies of men of armes were lodged scattering from the maine battaile: That if they shoulde march forward by daie, theyr light horse or forragers might giue them warning, and therefore it were best to vse greate diligence in the night, and so come vppon them in the dawning: for thus might they vndoubtedlie be surprised: likewise that because they had not ordinarily vsed any camizadoes, they might nowe the more easilie put this in execution, while the enimy least doubled anie such thing. As for the waie, it was most easie, as being al plaine fields between them.
Page 363 About one houre after the campe departed, and came betimes to Fe•te, where the Generalles opened their intents to the Cap∣taines, willing them to cause their souldiours to put on shirtes, and resolue them to beare themselues manfully in this so valyaunt an enterprise. By eight of clocke at night the troops were in the field, who after publike praier (as was then vsed among the Protestants) began to march with such a courage, as I may in truth affirme, that in souldiours I neuer see greater. Before the departure did a gen∣tleman commit a most villanous act, in forcing of a maiden, whose calling together, with the shortnesse of the time were causes that it could not be punished. This did many take to be a bad signe in this enterprise. Presuming to finde the enemies in their lodginges, the order to fight was this.
First the Lord Admirall marched formost with eight hundred speares, to ouerthrowe whatsoeuer horsemen hee shoulde finde in armes: then followed 1200. harquebuts in foure troopes, with charge to assayle the watch of the enimies footmen, and thence to enter theyr quarters. Next marched eight hundred harquebuts, sup∣ported with two great battayles of pikes, to seaze vppon their artil∣lerie: after all came the Prince of Condee with one thousand horse in foure squadrons, and the rest of the harque buzerie: Now are we to vnderstand that considering at what time they set forward, they should by all reason haue reached to the enimies lodging by three of the clocke in the morning: for the waie lay ouer a playne field, nei∣ther was there any straight passage, but that the footemen might march a whole league in an houre and a halfe: but when they had gone two leagues, the guides perceiued that they went wrong, and thinking to recouer their waie, they strayed farther out, remayning as men amazed, and not knowing where they were, to the no small discontent of the Captaines. To be briefe, hauing thus trauayled vntill one houre after daie, they found themselues a long league of from the enimies lodgings, whose scoutes descried the head of the Princes armie, and so returning with al speed gaue a great alarum. Heerevpon tooke they counsayle what was best to bee done: but in the meane time they hearde the Canon discharged in the enemies campe, for a warning to call in their horsemen, which brake theyr deuise for passing any farther, as well for that they we•e descried, as also that they had yet a great waie to goe, albeit if they had bene within halfe a league, they were resolued to haue gone forward and fought. Thus was this enterprise which in ontward appearaunce Page 360 seemed verie certaine was vtterlie broken of.
I haue asked the opinion of sundrie good Captaines then pre∣sent in the aduersaries campe, what successe might haue followed if * the Protestants had come in time, who all affirme that they woulde haue fought, albeit they were preuented by their separation from their most affectionate Captaines, and the greatest parte of theyr horsemen. The Lorde Marshall of Anuille, a watchfull and verie skilfull Captaine, was with his light horse lodged at the head of the Catholikes armie, wo tolde mee that hee waked and was in armes almost all the night, neuerthelesse if our whole power had come in time, theyr armie had beene in daunger, which is not in deede to bée doubted: for albeit the hazardes of warre bee vncertaine, yet the aduauntage of a surprise, doth import apparaunt losse to those that suffer themselues to bee so farre ouertaken. All the faulte was layde vppon the guides, who to cleere themselues said that the Lord of Andelots putting the footemen in araie at the departure from the lodgings made their march the flower: but I thinke this excuse more subtil than true, considering there was neither bush nor hedge to stoppe them. In deede if the Countrie had beene straighter, it might haue had some likelihood. Both armies, albeit somewhat a∣sunder stoode in araie vntill two of the clocke afternoone. Af∣terwarde the Prince of Condie went to lodge at Lorges, a small league of: and the King of Nauarre with all speede certe∣fied the Lorde of Guize and the Constable, who laie at Chasteau∣dun of all that happened, who immediatlie came to him. Then fea∣ring to be assayled by night, because the Princes armie was strong in footmen, and their owne lodgings verie vnfit for horsemen, they made at the head of theyr battayle grounde vppon the comming in, fiue or sixe great heapes of fagots with strawe inough vnder them, to kindle if they were assaulted, to the ende by the light thereof to discharge three or foure vollees of artillerie, which woulde haue greatly annoied the assaylauntes: There are that disdayne such inuentions, albeit they may sometime be to good purpose. In the morning they fell agayne into araie, but see not one another, ney∣ther did anie but the light horsemen skirmishe. The Captaines of both sides perceiuing that it was harde to surprize one another, also that theyr lodgings were verie discommodious, and moued by a certayne kinde of necessitie to get some townes which might stande them in greate steade to continue the warre, as Bloyse and Boisgencie, did in the morning sende awaie their carriage and ar∣tillerie, Page 361 and in the afternoone followed, parting after this sort with∣out bactaile or losse. *
Heere will I declare an accident which happened two houres after this separation, which if it had fallen out when they were to∣gether, the Prince of Condie had beene in daunger to haue beene ouerthrowen. It was this: There fell such a horrible raine and tempest, continuing almost an houre, that I am assured that of his foure thousand harque buziers, ten coulde not haue discharged: be∣sides that, most of them sought to the couert, which was such an oc∣casion of victorie to the Catholiks, as well in that they were strong in horse, as also for that the winde and raine so beate in their ene∣mies faces, that euen the fiercest had inough to doe to withstande the rage of the weather. This is the truth of all occurrences a∣mong the Protestants in this expedition: but the particularities of the King of Nauarres armie are they that were present, and so may haue knowen them, to describe.
Of the good discipline which for the space of two mo∣neths onelie, was obserued among the Prince of Con∣dies troopes both of horsemen and footmen. Also of the originall of Picoree or prouling.
IN the beginning of this warre the Ge∣neralls * and Captaines had yet fresh in their remembrances the goodly marti∣all discipline obserued in the armies of King Frances, and his sonne Henrie, which sundrie Souldiours also had not forgotten, the memorie whereof did somewhat containe those that nowe tooke armes, in their dueties: howbeit the continuall exhortations of their Preachers, who admonished them to beware of oppressing the poore commons, together with the zeale of religion where with most of them were led, being then in strength were of greatest force in working this effecte. Page 366 Thereby were al men without constraint voluntarily brideled from committing those actions which often times horror of punishment is not able to restraine: but chiefely the nobilitie in this beginning shewed themselues worthie their name: for marching ouer the Champion Countries (where they haue without comparison grea∣ter libertie to spoyle, than in the Townes) they neyther spoyled nor misused theyr hostes, but were content with a little: & their heads and most of themselues that had brought anie wealth from home paide honestly for all things: Then should we not see anie running out of the villages, neither heare any cries or complaintes. To bee briefe, all was a well ordered disorder. If anie one in anie troope had committed any offence, he was imediatly banished, or deliuered into the executioners hands: yea, his owne companions durst not excuse the offender, so much did they detest mischiefe and •oue ver∣tue. In the campe at Vassadoune also, neere Orleance, where the Prince of Conde soiourned a fortnight, the footmen made demon∣stration how they were touched with the same feeling: they were lodged in the fieldes, and consisted of sixe and thirtie Eusignes at the most.
Then did I marke foure or fiue notable accidents. First, among * all this great troope yee should neuer heare Gods name blasphea∣med: for if anie rather rather of custome than mallice chaunced to doe it, he was sharply reproued, which greatly repressed the rest. Secondly, there was not a paire of Dice or Cardes, the fountains of many braules and thefts, walking in any quarter. Thirdly, all women who neuer vse to haunt such places, but for dissolution, were banished. Fourthly, no man forsooke his Ensigne to goe on forra∣ging, but were content with such victualles as were distributed a∣mong them, or the small paie that they receiued. Lastly, euening & morning at the setting and raising of the watch, they vsed publike prayer, and the Psalmes sounded in the aire. In these actions might wee perceiue Godlynesse in those that are not much trou∣bled therewith in the warres: and albeit Iustice was seuerely exe∣cuted, yet did few feele the rigour thereof: for there were but fewe disorders. Truly many wondred to see them so well disposed, and my late brother the Lord of Telignie and my selfe discoursing ther∣of with the Lord Admirall, did greatly commend it, wherevpon he sayd vnto vs: It is in deede a goodly matter if it would continue: But I feare this people will powre foorth all their goodnesse at once, so as within these two moneths they will haue nothing but mallice left: I Page 367 haue a great while gouerned the footmen and doe knowe them. They willfulfill the prouerbe, A yong sainct an olde deuill. If this faile we may make a crosse vpon the chimney: wee smiled hereat, but tooke no farther •eede thereof, vntill experience taught vs that herein he was a Prophet.
The first disorder happened at the taking of Boisgency which * the Prouincials wonne by two holes that they mined in the wall, where they practised more crueltie and spoyle against the Prote∣stants there dwelling that could not get foorth, then against the Catholicke Souldiers that held it against them: ye• they euen forced some women. This example became a br••ge to the Gas∣coynes, who soone after shewed that in playing with their handes they would not be surmounted. But the Lord of Y•oyes regiment consisting wholly of French men, did skirmish herein ••eter then the t•o former: as if there had bene any reward alotted to the worst doer. Thus did our footmen lose their virginitie, and of this vnlawfull coniunction ensued the procreation of Ladie Picoree, who is since growne into such dignitie that she is now 〈◊〉Madam: yea, if this ciuill warre continue I doubt she will become a Princesse. This peruerse custome immediatly crept in among the Nobilitie: whereof parte hauing tasted the first delicates here administred, would neuer after eate any other meate. Thus the perticuler mischiefe grewe generall, and still wo•ne more and more into the whole bodie. Sundrie remedies did I see ministred, in * hope to restrayne the mallice of this humour, which albeit they somewhat profited, yet were they not strong enough altoge∣ther to expell it. Among others, the Lorde Admirall tooke paynes therein, who was a fit Phisition to cure this disease: for he would not be entreated, neither were the friuolous excuses of the guiltie, which he esteemed not of, able to breede their escape. In his iorney into Normandie he heard of a Captaine of the Ar∣goulets that had sacked a Uillage, whether he presently sent, but could catch no more but the Captaine with foure or fiue souldiers, who immediatly had their condemnation, and were trussed vp boo∣ted and spurred with their cassackes on their backes and their clout for an Ensigne, where also to the enriching of the monument, he caused to be layd at their féete their conquered spoyles, as womens apparell, sheetes, and table clothes, entermixed with hennes and gammns of bacon: which was a warning as it were written in great letters to all others of the same trade, to beware of the like Page 368 behauiour. Neuer did you see wiser men then the rest were for a moueth after: but then they returned to the practise of their good customes, which without seueritie will not be forgotten. As also in fauour of the Catholickes this I will say, that at the beginning they likewise were well ordered, & did not much anoy the cōmons, whose nobilitie did also shine among them: Howbeit, I cannot well tell how long they so contiuued: but I haue heard that they also did by and by spred their sayles and tooke the same course as the other. Thus albeit our disorders may somtimes procure sport, yet haue we greater cause to weepe when wee see so many of those that deale with armes, through their bad behauiours, deserue the name of theeues rather then souldiers.
Of the reasons that mooued the Prince of Condées armie to breake vp after the taking of Boisgencie: also how he con∣uerted that necessitie into profite. And of the purposes of the King of Nauarre.
THE principall Captaines and such as were best practised in worldly affayres, * did well for esee that their armie would not long continue whole, because they did in parte want the necessarie founda∣tions thereof, so as they feared this dis∣sipation, as men feare least the fall of some great Dake shaken with ye windes should light vpon some wall and cast it downe, or vpon a number of small plantes bearing fruite: which caused them to giue counsaile while it was in force to hazard th• fielde, whereof they missed. Now after the taking of Boisgencie, when they see the contrary power placed at Bloys which standeth vpon the riuer of Loyre, and that the warre grewe long, their first heate began to coole, as also at the same time began their treasure wherewith to wage Souldiers (who had alreadie cons•med all Page 369 that they had gathered as well a•Orleance as els where) to faile.
This necessitie opened the gates to diuers discontentmens, whereof the most parte had but simple foundations, albeit the prin∣cipall motion proceeded of the naturall impatiencie of the French nation, which if it by and by see not the imagined effects, doe grow out of liking and murmureth. Neither will I conceale but that some euen of the chiefe of the Nobilitie, too much affected to their goods, either endued with somwhat an ambitious hope, or els ouer delicate and tender, endeuouring to hide these defaults, did call the equitie of the warre into question. This being knowne, they were requested to departe, least their speeches should alienate the minds of others. As for the greater parte of the Nobilitie and Gentrie, which could not bee maintained or placed in the neerest Garrisons and might serue els where, it was thought good to employe them in their owne countries, where debate began to breake foorth be∣tweeene the Protestants and Catholickes, especially in Poictou, Xaintogne, and Angolesme. Thether sent they the Earle of Ro∣chfoucault: to Lyons the Lord of Soubize: and to Bourges the Lord of Iuoy with his regiment. Also seeing the Germaines, Sui•zers and Spanyards, did alreadie enter into France in fauour of the Catholickes, they sent the Lord of Andelot into Germa∣nie, and the Lord of Briquemaud into England to seeke for helpe and succour: By this meanes did the towne of Orleance remaine freed and safe from that which would most haue mole∣sted it: forreine negotiation well established: and the preseruation of those Countries, from whence they had succour prouided for. Thus were the difficulties that happened among the Prin∣ces partie, determined, so as the hope of the successe of this warre was not much deminished, whereof I doe not much meruaile. For sith in extremities, wise and valiant persons can finde reme∣dies, why should they dispayre in such as are not so farre growne▪ In the meane time in matter of warre, want of money is no small inconuenience, neither is it any losse to haue to deale with volun∣tarie persons; which is a burden of it selfe hard to be borne, where∣by a man is soone oppressed, and this doth none so well knowe as he that hath proued it.
The King of Nauarre and his assotiates considering that it was not good to lose time, which ought to be precious to those that * haue power at commaunde, encreased their campe as well with French men as Straungers, and besought the Queene to bring Page 370 the King into the armie, to the ende the Hugueno•s, who 〈…〉ned it the King of Nauarres, or the Duke of Guizes, might be forced to call it the Kings campe, as also the more to 〈…〉horise the warre that was prosecuted in his name, which she did: And they met at Chartres where they resolued to set vpon Bourges, before it were fortified: for, sayd they, so mightie a citie, not past twentie leagues distant from Orleance, did but too much benefice the Princes af∣fayres. Thether they marched and assaulting it found no such resi∣stance as was looked for, whereby it fell into their hands. Then be∣ing with this so sudden victorie, which, sayd they, was the cutting off of one of the Protestants armes, puffed vp and very ioyfull, they entered deliberation of their affayres. Many were very ear∣nest to besiege Orleance, whose reasons were these. That the two chiefe heades that moeued all this bodie, namely the Prince of Condé and the Admirall were there, so the same being taken they might ea∣sely make the rest of the bodie immoueable. That the strangers that looked vp and euen tickled to come into France, when they should but heare of the siege thereof, would not bee very willing to set forward. That they had men enowe to begin the siege: for placing and fortifying two thousandmen in the little gate to bridle the towne on that side, they should still haue tenne thousand footmen & three thousand horse, who might suffice vnto the ariuall of other their power that was mar∣ching. Finally, that the towne was but weake, as being neither well flancked, nor well diched, and hauing no counterscarpe: Onely there was a rampier wherein thirtie Canons would in sixe daies make a breach of two hundred foote. But, sayd they, if ye giue those Hugue∣notes any respite to finish their fortifications, wherein they labour al∣readie, wee shall not bee possibly able to winne it. That they should re∣member that that towne was no small thorne in the foote of France, but euen a very great darte which pierced the bowelles thereof and kept it from breathing.
Others of the contrary opinion did thus replie. That by their in∣telligences*in Orleance they were assured that the two regiments of Gascogns and Prouincials amounting to aboue 3000. souldiers were in it: Also fiue or sixe hundred other souldiers of those that had bene in Bourges and were now retired thether. Moreouer foure hundred gentlemen: Then the townsmen able to beare armes being no lesse then three thousand persons. All together aboue seuen thousand men, be∣sides such as hearing of the siege, drawing thether, would likewise enter thereinto. That a towne furnished with so many men and great store Page 371 of victuals was not easie to be taken. That in consideration aforesayd, it were to no purpose with twelue thousand men to pitch their campe against it, considering how many seuerall campes for the well enclosing thereof they must make. Moreouer, that to vndertake such a peece of worke without at the least two hundred thousand of poulder, twelue thousand bullets, and two thousand Pyoners, all which the Kings whole power was not able to gather together in one moneth, were as a man should say, to take shipping without Biscuit. That they had else∣where more easie worke which was requisite to be prouided for: name∣ly, to take from the enemies the towne of Rcan whilest it were yet weake, for that the Englishmen being by them drawne thether might there frame a great armie, to goe afterward where they list, in respect whereof that arme must be speedily cut off. As for whatsoeuer power the Lord of Andelot might bring in, if they would send there against 1500. horse and 4000. shot, the same vnder the fauour of the countries, townes and riuers might suffice either to stoppe or cut them in peeces. Then hauing atchieued al this, they should haue a very fit time, with∣out daunger of empeachment to plant a notable siege before Orleance, wherewith to winne it either speedily by maine force, or at the length, by mynes and sappe, or finally by building fortes round about it. This last counsaile tooke place and was followed, and to bee plaine with you, I take it was the better: for in the towne there were for the defence thereof aboue fiue thousand straungers, besides the enha∣bitants: store of munition: the Rauelines begunne and the fortifi∣cations of the Iles almost finished. True it is the Lord Constable sayd that he would haue nothing but sodden Apples to beate them downe withall, but when he was brought to see them he confessed that he had bene misenformed. Our Captaines did often growe into cōmunication of the siedge: but the Lord Admirall laughed at them, saying, that to a towne able to furnish three thousand men for an issue they could not approach without daunger, much lesse bring their artillerie. Likewise that the examples of Mets & Pa∣doa where two mightie Emperours in assayling such bodies as were too strong from them, had the foyle, were goodly mirrours to all such as would goe about to besiedge places well furnished.
That but for the forreine ayde that the Lorde of Andelot brought in, the Protestants affayres had bene but in bad case, and many mens mindes shrewdly daunted, as well through the taking of Bourges and Roan, as for the ouer∣throw of the Lord of Duras.
GReatly did it grieue the Prince of Con∣dé from time to time to heare of the * voyadge of the armie against Roan, for that he had no meane to succour so principal a towne whose apparant losse he plainly perceiued: for he tooke it to tende greatly to the empayring of his credite: neither could he doe any more then send worde oftentimes to the Lord of Andelot to hasten his returne, but especially to beware that the power which wayted for him did not surprise him. Howbeit, as all negotiations in Germanie are long, so much time did weare a∣way whereby the aduersarie had oportunitie to preuaile against him, namely by the taking of the sayd towne, which being coura∣giouslie assaulted was as obstinatly defended. The great Cap∣taines who before had taken such strong townes as Dauuilliers, Mariembourg, Callais & Thionuille did imagine that so weake a place, so greatly commaunded and hauing no fortification of any accompt, would quayle at the first noyse of the Canon: but by the resistance which the forte of S. Katherin, that defendeth the hill, did make, they found that they should haue somewhat to doe to driue all the Pigeons out of that Douecoate. Therein together with the Earle of Montgommerie were seauen or eight hundred Souldiers of the olde bandes, and two Ensignes of Englishmen vnder the gouernment of Maister Kiligree, who very well dis∣charged their dueties, notwithstanding the Artillerie that played in Courtine did greatly molest them: for vpon the day of the great assault, the defendants did thereby lose aboue foure hundred Soul∣diers, which was a great number. There was also a fierce assault Page 373 giuen without any order, but at the third it was wonne. I haue heard that the Duke of Guize commaunded their leaders that al∣beit they forced the Rampier, they should not neuerthelesse runne scattered here and there wheresoeuer the spoyle of so rich a towne might drawe them, but to march in sundrie troopes of two or three hundred men a peece straight to the Market place: which if they found abandoned then the Souldier to seeke his aduenture: for he doubted that those men who had fought so couragiously, would there yet worke their last spite, which neuerthelesse they did not, albeit it was a wise foresight. For it hath bene seene in other Townes, that when the assailants haue pierced euen to the Mar∣ket place, they haue bene driuen backe beyond the Rampier with great slaughter of those that were scattered abroad about pillage. It is also sayd, that the spoyle lasted but three daies, which is such an order as ought to bee taken with whatsoeuer townes a man list to preserue: namely, one day to gather the bootie, an other to transport it, and the third to compound. Howbeit, in these affayres the superiours doe lengthen or shorten the tearme as they please, or as they knowe that they may procure obedience: and this obe∣dience doth much sooner appeare in poore and small houlds, then in great and rich townes.
This was one of the principall acts of our first tragedies, and so much the more notable in that there was a King slayne, foure thousand men on both sides either slayne or wounded, and the se∣cond Citie in France for wealth, abandoned to the spoyle of the Souldier. This was heauy newes to the Prince of Condé, name∣ly, in respect of his brother, as also he was greatly grieued at the hanging of three persons famous in armes, Lawe and Deuinitie, viz. Decroze, Mandreuille and Marlorate: which reproach so prouoked the Protestants likewise, that they endeuoured to be re∣uenged vpon other prisoners whom they had taken, of whom one was a Counsailor in the Court of Parliament of Paris, and the o∣ther an Abbot. The King, sayd the Catholickes, may hang his rebellious subiects: wherto the Protestants replied, that his name shrowded other mens mallice: wherefore according to the prouerbe, they would make such bread such brewisse. Albeit in the meane time we ought to be sorie, yea euen ashamed of such rigorous reuenges: and much more shamefull is it for ye satisfying of perticuler wrath. to make an entrie to new crueltie. But ours were no ciuill warres, if they should not bring foorth such fruites.
Page 374 Shortly after the Prince of Condé heard of the ouerthrowe of * a small armie of Gascognes which the Lord of Duras was bring∣ing vnto him, conteyning at the least fiue thousand persons, defea∣ted by the Lord of Mouluc, which encreased his care, notwithstan∣ding in all these aduersities he quayled not either in courage or countenance. This mishap, as I haue heard, light vpon the Lord of Duras, through two especiall reasons. The one, that to the end to bring with his troopes two Canons he marched heauely: the other, that vpon the commoditie of this ordinance he stayed by the way to beate certaine Castles replenished with great booties. Thus had his enemies oportunitie to ouertake him, whose strēgth consisting in horse did by and by ouerthrowe him: for such as are to bring any succour must alwaies free themselues from comber∣some cariage, and crowne their expeditions with diligence.
During these affayres I remember I once heard the Lord Ad∣mirall,* talking of these matters, say vnto the Prince of Condé, That one mischiefe followeth an other: howbeit that he must yet expect the third aduenture, meaning his brothers passage, which would either lift them vp againe or quite cast them downe. As in deede if it had miscaried they looked to haue bene besieged, which so happening, they were very secretly resolued that one of them should haue gone into Germany to haue endeuoured there to haue yet raised some power, being of opinion that the Prince of Condé, in respect of the greatnesse of his familie, should bee the best able to perswade the Protestant Princes of Germany to assist him in a cause wherein themselues did partly participate. Howbeit, all the difficultie consisted in the conueying of him thether safely: where∣vpon some gentlemen there present did euidently declare that go∣ing from one of his partakers houses to another, and alwaies mar∣ching by night, and resting all day, he might easely passe with twentie horse and no more. But he was not put to that plonge: for within tenne or twelue daies after they had newes that the Lord of Andelot hauing passed the chiefest difficulties of his iorney, was come within thirtie leagues of Orleance: which was also supplied with a second comforte, viz. that the Earle of Rochefou∣•ault accompanied with three hundred gentlemen, and the remain∣der of the Lord of Duras armie would very shortly ioyne with him. Wherevpon the Prince of Condé sayd: Our enemies haue gi∣uen vs two shrewde checkes in taking our rookes (meaning R•an and Bourges) but I hope that now we may catch their knights, if they take Page 375 the fielde. Neither is it to bee demaunded whether euery man re∣ioyced or was glad at Orleance: for commonly the Souldier the more oportunitie that he hath to hurt and molest his enemie that iniureth him, the gladder he is, such sway doe wrath beare among thē. And how should not their affections be sometimes alittle spot∣ted with blood, when many Clergie mens are so red with the dye of reuēge, in whose harts should nothing but charitie be harbored.
Of the Prince of Condées purposes when he sawe his forreine succour approach, and how he came before Paris, from whence after he had there soiourned eleuen daies & done nothing, he departed toward Normandie.
IN as much as good counsailes are the foun∣taines * of good exploytes, and encrease of force the instruments to atteyne thereto, the Lords Prince of Condé and Admirall finding their succour to be at hand, deuised with themselues vpon the choyse of some good purpose: Final∣ly, with their most trustiest they resolued to march toward Paris, not meaning to force it (for they doubted that the enemies would immediatly thrust in their armie thereinto) but only to terrifie the Parisians whome they accompted the bellowes of the warres and kitchen that fedde the same, as imagining that they seeing their countrie houses forreyed and burnt and so many insolent Souldiers lodged euen within their towne, would either vrge the King and Queene to hearken vnto peace, or els so quarel with those that should be so enclosed within their walles, that they should euen force them into the field, where they might finde opor∣tunitie to fight with them, and so recouer that aduantage that they lost at the skirmish of Tally: and that in the meane time they would send into Normandie, to make readie the hundred and fiftie thou∣sand crownes which (as the voyce went) were borowed of certaine English Marchants, and vpon good pawnes: for therevpon did their only hope to wage the forreine armie wholly depend: as also because necessitie constrayned them to cause it to liue out of their〈1 page missing〉
Page 378 Thus did spite & shame resolue them to attempt a difficult mat∣ter, which before vpō ripe deliberation, whē it was more easie, they * accompted vnprofitable: and the like haue I seene happen many times, euen among many good men of warre. At night therefore order being giuen out, euery man armed himselfe and marched by by waies toward the side of the Suburbes of S. Germain, where they vnderstood that the trenches were small and the gard weake, which was true. Now the Lord of Guize had some inckeling of this enterprise, that it should be performed at midnight: whervpon he kept all his horsemen and footmen in armes al the night long in the trenches euery one in his quarter appoynted: But when the clocke had stroke foure in the morning and that they perceiued no noyse from our campe, they all sayd that it was but some false allarum, and that the Protestants harts would not serue to set vp∣pon them, also that it was to no purpose (considering the extreame colde) to freeze them vp a whole nights space vpon a simple suspi∣tion, peraduenture without any ground. To be briefe, one after an other they all returned each one to his lodging, so as there remay∣ned no more but ye ordinary guard. The Protestants in the meane time fetthing a great compasse for feare of descrying, lost them∣selues, so as they could not come néere the place that they should assayle before broad day: wherevpon perceiuing themselues disco∣uered and the alarum great, they retired: but had they come three quarters of an houre sooner, it was likely they might in that place haue forced the trenches. In this enterprise we may see how some mens impatiencie had like to haue put them to a great foyle, also how the small foresight of the others in the conduct of their men made them lose the occasion that they had vndertaken, and so re∣maine a scorne to their enemies. I haue heard that the Lordes of Guize and Constable did feare the forcing of those Suburbes ra∣ther for the shame then for the hurt, as affirming that the same would haue bene the destruction of the Protestants if they had ta∣ken them. For whiles they had bene dispersed about the spoyle, they made accompt to haue sent foorth at sundrie ga•es and other places foure or fiue thousande Harquebuziers, and two thousande Corcelets to fall vpon thē, who surprizing them would haue slaine a great parte and put the rest to flight. We did so farre ouershoote our selues as three daies after to purpose the like againe, and I be∣leeue we should haue bene well beaten. But at the chaunge of our watch one of our chiefe Captaines retired to ye Catholicks, which Page 379 stayed the execution thereof. The first day he was much made of: The second they laughed him to scorne: and the third he repented that he had forsaken his friends. The Prince of Condé fearing least he should bewray the wants in his armie, departed the next morning, wherein he did wisely, for the Lord of Guize (whose Spanyards and Gascognes were now come) was determined with his whole power the next morning by breake of day to haue set vpon him if he had stayed but one day longer: And considering of the maner of his purposed proceeding (as I haue bene enfor∣med) I suppose he would haue brought vs into a bad case by rea∣son that wee were lodged too scatteringly being so neere to them: which is one bad custome engendred by these ciuill warres. The Prince thus departed, directed his course toward Normandie for the purposes afore mentioned, and within two daies after the Kings armie followed, still coasting of him vntill they came to the plaines of Dreux where both the armies met.
Of sixe notable occurrences in the battaile of Dreux.
AMong all the battailes fought during our ci∣uill * warres in France, was there none more notable then the battaile of Dreux, in respect as well of the experimented Captaines there present, as for the obstinacie in fight. Howbeit to say the truth it was an accident worthie la∣mentation, through the powring foorth of the blood of aboue fiue hundred gentlemen of both sides into the bo∣some of the sea▪ together with the losse of sundrie Princes, Lordes and sufficient Captaines: but sith things are so fallen out, wee are not forbidden to applie them to our instructions, albeit it were bet∣ter neuer to returne to the like folly, that cost so deere. Now, many things there happened, which euery man did not peraduenture note, and that is it that hath caused me to set them downe, to the ende that such as ouer sleightly doe passe ouer the notable feates of armes without consideration of whatsoeuer may profite them, may be more diligent hereafter: for that is the way to learne to be a Captaine.
Page 380 The first thing that happened, albeit it were not of any great * importance, may yet be noted as an extraordinary matter. That is, that although both armies were aboue two long houres within a Canon shot each of other, as well to put themselues in aray, as to comtemplate their aduersaries, yet was there not any skirmish small or great before the generall battell, albeit in many other bat∣tels that haue bene fought the same haue bene the for〈…〉mers, as at Cerisolles, Sienne & Graueling. Neuerthelesse, shee may not say that the battels must of necessitie beginne by such actions, but for the most parte men are led thereto by the qualitie of the place, either when they finde themselues strong in shot, either to trie their enemies, either vpon some other consideration. There euery man stoode fast, imagining in himselfe that they that came against him were no Spaniards, Englishmen, or Italians, but Frenchmen, and those of the brauest: among whom were their companions, friends and kinsefolkes, as also that within one houre they were to s•ay each other. This bred some horror, neuerthelesse without quay∣ling in courage they thus stayed vntill that the armies mooued to ioyne.
The second notable matter was the generositie of the Suitzers,* whom we may say to haue there made a worthie profe of their va∣lour: for the great bodie of that battell wherein they were, being at the first onset ouerthrowne, and their troope shrewdly endomaged by the Prince of Condées squadron, yet stood they fast in the place where they had bene aranged, albeit they were alone and that their horsemen had forsaken them. Yea a pretie way from the auant∣garde, three or foure hundred of the Protestants Harque•uziers seeing them so fit, set vpon them and flewe many, and yet could not make them giue place: A battell of Launceknights likewise did assault them, whom they ouerthrewe and followed beating vp∣pon them aboue two hundred paces. They were afterward also beset with two Cornets of Reistres, whom they withstoode, and lastly with one of Reistres & Frenchmen together, who made them to retire, albeit with small disorder, towarde their men that had bene behoulders of their valour. And notwithstanding their Colonel and almost al their Captaines were left dead in the place, yet did they by such resistance purchace great glorie.
The third act was the Lord of Guizes long patience, whereby * he attained to the victorie: for after the bodie of the battell which the Lord Constable led was wholy ouerthrowne except the Suit∣zers,Page 381 and himselfe taken, the sayd Lord stood fast, waiting whether they would rome to set vpon him: for as yet the Prince of Con∣dées footmen had not fought, whereto also parte of his horsemen still gathered into aray besides those that yet houered: but this a∣uantgard thus setting a good face on the matter, the Protestants durst not bite: In the meane time some of them stayed to charge the Suitzers, as is aforesayd: others to pursue those that fled, and many to spoyle the cariages, wherein they spent an houre and a halfe. Sundrie euen of the Lord of Guizes parte seeing him stand still so long while they that were ouerthrowne were pursued, wist not what to thinke of him, as if he had bene beside himselfe: and I beléeue some accused him of cowardlinesse, as the Romaines did Fabius Maximus almost in the like case: euen some of his aduersa∣ries began alreadie to crye that the victorie was theirs: but I re∣member that I heard the late Lord Admirall aunswer: We are de∣ceiued, for by and by wee shall see this great clowde dissolue vpon vs: And it so happened soone after, wherevpon ensued the chaunge of fortune. Hereby did the Lord of Guize well shewe that he did but watch for oportunitie: and could patiently behould the disordering of the Prince of Condées great troopes (which at the beginning being ioyned againe might haue troubled him shrewdly) about these small actions afore rehearsed: But after he did see them so scattered, he marched with such a bould countenance that he found but small resistance. Wee are not therefore suddenly to iudge of the entents of these great Captaines: for the effects doe afterward discouer their considerations to bee otherwise then many would imagine.
The fourth thing worthie memorie was the long continuance of * the battaile: for ordinarily in battailes in one houre we see al wonne and lost, yea that of Montcontour lasted not so long: but this be∣ginning about one of the clocke after noone lasted vntill fiue: yet must wee not imagine that they fought all this while, for they had many pawses, and sometimes gaue small onsets, and sometime great, which caried away the best men, and this continued vntill darke night. Truely the courage on both sides was wonderfull, as the great number of the dead did sufficiently testifie, which as many men say, amounted to aboue seauen thousand men, of whome the most were slayne rather in fight then in flight. But the chiefe cause of the prolonging of it was as I thinke because the Kings armie was strong in footmen, and the Prince of Condées in horsemen. Page 382 For the one could not breake the great battailes, neither the other driue away the horses. If wee doe well consider all battailes that haue bene fought since the Suizers battell, which fought againe the next day, wée shall finde none comparable to this, yea the battell of S. Laurence was ended in halfe an houre.
The fifth accident was the taking of the two Generalles of the * armies, a rare matter, because that they ordinarily doe neuer fight but in the ende and vpon extremitie: and many times a battell is al∣most wonne before they came to this poynt. But these stayed not so long, for in the beginning each of them endeuoured to set his men an example not to dallie. The Lord Constable was first ta∣ken and sore wounded, hauing likewise bene wounded in seauen battailes that he had bene in, which is testimonie sufficient of his courage: and the Lord Prince was likewise taken toward the ende and wounded also. Herevpon may growe a question, whether a Generall ought to aduenture so farre? Whereto it may bee aun∣swered, that this is not to be termed aduenturing, when the maine battaile marcheth to the charge, and so he departe not out of his place: Besides that these hauing good seconds, did the lesse feare the daunger of their persons: for the one had the Lord of Guize, and the other the Admirall, who both also were farre enough in the conflict.
The six• was the maner how both the armies parted, which ma∣ny * times happeneth otherwise then there it did. Wee lightly see that the end of a battaile is the flight of the partie ouercome, which is withall pursued two or three leagues, and sometimes farther. But here we may say was no pursuite, but the Protestants retired an easie pace and in order, hauing yet two battailes of Reistres and one of French horsemen, in all amounting vnto about 1200. horse. But the Lord of Guize, who was weake in horse, not willing to abandon his footmen, was content to haue followed fiue or sixe hundred paces after them. Thus as well the one as the other be∣ing wearie, the night comming on parted them. He tooke his lod∣ging in the fielde where the battaile was fought, and the Admirall went to a Uillage a long league of, whether his footmen with all his cariages were retired. Some hould opinion that the battaile was not lost because the losers were not quite disordered, but ther∣in they are deceiued. For he that getteth the field, winneth the Ar∣tillerie and taketh the footmens Ensignes, hath tokens enowe of the victorie: albeit it may bee sayd that it was not at the full, as if Page 383 plaine flight had ensued. If anie man should replie that often times they had seene the two armies retire each from other in good order, as at Roche-abeille, also the fridaie before the battail of Moncon∣tour: It is true, but then had they not had any maine fight as heere, but onely great skirmishes, wherein eyther parte kept their aduan∣tage of the ground. There are yet liuing many Gentlemen & Cap∣taines able to remember what was there done, & stil to deliuer some obseruations thereupon.
Finallie, I thought good to set downe yet one thing aboue my * number, as also it happened after the battaile, which was the curte∣sie and honestie that the Lord of Guize beeing the conquerour vsed toward the Lord Prince of Condie his prisoner, which most men of each parte did not thinke that hee would haue done: for it is well e∣nough knowen how odious in ciuill watres the chiefe of either fac∣tion is, as also what things are imputed vnto them, so as if they fall into their enimies hands, after many reproches which they are for∣ced to beare, their liues also are in daunger. Howbeit here it fell out contrarie: for being brought before him, hee spake reuerentlie vnto him, and with verie modest speeches, wherein hee coulde not gather that hee meant to gird or checks him. Also so long as he soiourned in the campe, he oftentimes did eate with him: likewise because vp∣pon this daie of battayle they coulde haue but few beds brought, the rather for that the carriages were halfe rifled and scattered, be offe∣red him his bed, which the sayd Lord Prince would not accept, but for the one halfe. Thus did these two mightie Princes beeing as it were capital enimies, both in one bed, the one triumphing, the other a prisoner, take theyr rests together. It may be sayd that the Lorde Marshall of Anuill• hauing him in custodie (for to him he yeelded himselfe) would not suffer him to haue any iniurie offered, because his father was also a prisoner: I confesse he would haue done what in him had lien, but surely if the Lorde of Guize woulde haue hurt him, his credite and reputation was then such as no man coulde haue letted him. Such braue actions are not, in my minde, to bee buried in obliuion, because that all that professe armes ought to stu∣dy to imitate them, and to abondon all crueltie and vnworthy de∣me a••res whereinto in these ciuil warres so many doe fall for that they either cannot or will not bridle their malice. To the enimy that resisteth we are to shewe our selues haughty: but being ouer∣come honesty willeth that we shew him curtesy. Some man might yet crosse me and say that hee might well ynough shewe him this Page 384 curtesy, considering what hee had before procured at Orleance a∣gainst the saide Prince: To whome I will aunswere that heare I meane to commend the beautifull actions of vertue when by chance I mèete with anie; but not to speake of other's which are not to my purposes: so that when I see them shine in what man so lower, I will honour them.
Of the 〈…〉 Lord of Guizes laide to O•leance: also of the 〈…〉 Admiralls iourney 〈◊〉 Normandie.
GRem hope had the Duke of Guize now *〈…〉 what a go•dly victorie hee had obtained, albeit 〈◊〉 cost him deere: as hauing taken the Generall of his ad∣uerse partie, and did remaine without companion, hauing the whole gouern∣ment in himselfe. Neither was he slack in publishing it abroade, as also he tooke good order to refresh his armie, whereto he saide himselfe constray∣ned. In the meane time all his imaginations tende• to the prepa∣ring of all sortes of engins and prouision to assayle the towne of Orleance, giuing out that the denne whereinto Foxes retyred be∣ing once taken; they might afterward hunt them all ouer France. Neither had the Lord Admirall lesse neede to rest his people, who grieuing that they were beaten did many times finde cause of mu∣tenie. Wherefore he passed ouer the riuer of Loire, as well to re∣fresh them as to furnish them a new at the charges of diuerse the enemies small townes, but meanely defended, and a good quarter paie, where the souldiour had the •rdle somewhat at will, to the end in parte to recouer his losses. This en•••ase of libertie encouraged Page 385 them a fresh & put them in better hope. Heereto hee condescended, partly by counsayle, and partly vpon necess•ite, so to auoide mutu∣•ie, euen of the Reisters, whome the Catholikes did with greate promises vnder hand labour to retire: as also he feared the retrai•t of some of his French souldiours, who in aduersities were readie i∣nough to turne their coates.
After this he came and pitched at Iargeau, a towne standing vp∣pon * the riuer of Loire, hauing a bridge, to the ende so to haue a free passage ouer, and thence resolued to march into Normandie, there to receiue the money that was alreadie come out of England: for his Reisters threathed to take him prisoner. His cariages were left at Orleance, to the end to make the more speed, where his brother the Lord Andelot was left to gouerne. The Duke of Guize per∣ceiuing this departure, came & pitched his camp before the towne & his first attempt was to winne the suburbs at the foot of the bridge, commonly called Portereau, so to stop all saylies on that side. The Lord of Feuquiers had intrenched it, as meaning there to haue safe∣ly lodged the Germaines and French footmen that escaped from the battell of Dreux, vntill they had bene forced awaie, & it might haue bene kept foure or fiue dayes agaynst all handie blowes, so as there had come no ordinance. In the meane time while it was as∣saulted there felt such a hap that the towne had lyke to haue bene ta∣ken (so wonderfull are the euents of warre) but especiallie through the default of the Lancek nights. The Duke of Guize minded not that daie to force it, but rather to marke the countenaunce of those that were within: Howbeit as a warie Captaine he came furnish∣ed both with needle and threed as we saie, not onely to be prouided for euerie occasion, but also to frame occasions wherby to preuaile. Wherfore hee committed to the Lord of Cipiere an excellent Cap∣taine one thousand and two hundred French harquebuziers, two light Culuerines, and six Cornets of horse, and marched after him selfe with another small troope. At their comming (which was vp∣pon the Gascognes quarter) they found them abroade at the skir∣mish, and their trenches and barriers wel furnished: but while they held them plaie there, certaine straglers abrode certefied them that the Lanceknights quarter set no great countenaunce on the mat∣ter, wherevpon they sent foure or fiue hundred harquebuziers to∣gether with s•me horse to〈…〉e that corner.
As the same instant the Lord of Cipiere discharged his artil∣lerie into the barriers of the French: The LaunceknightesPage 386 at the mouing and sounde thereof were astonied and giuing ouer their guard fled, at which time the Catholique souldiers entred the suburbs, & so came behind the French men who defended thēselues brauely: by this meanes went all to wracke, neither is it possible to imagine greater disorder then was there: for ye bridge being pestred with the stuffe that they were conueying into the towne, they that fled could not get by; Neither could they shut the turne pike gates, or lift vp the draw bridge, whervpon the most part fell to swimming ouer the riuer. Thus through yron, fire, and water aboue eight hun∣dred men were lost: But the feare that was brought into the towne was greater than the hurt, and it was openly sayde that the Iles which they had fortefied were wonne, yea, that they fought at the chiefe gate, which daunted euen the boldest. The Lorde of Ande∣lot (who was a knight without feare) seeing such a confusion and feare sayd: All that be Gentlemen followe mee: for wee must either driue backe the enimie or die for it. They can but one waie come to vs, and there but ten men in front: with one hundred of ours wee may beate a thousand of theirs. Be of good cheere and let vs goe. As hee went he behelde the feare, slight and disorder, hee heard a thousande lamentable cries, & had as many aduices giuen him: In the meane time without anie feare he passed the bridges and came to the turn• pike verie glad that the enemie was no farther forwarde: but lyke∣wise it was time for him to come, for they were at the drawe bridge readie to enter amaine, which neuerthelesse was drawen, and the gate shut with shall losse. Now it is to bee noted that it was a long halfe houre from the enterprise against the suburbes and the com∣ming of the Lord of Andelot thether, all which time the gate stoode open and no man to keep it, which not withstanding the Catholikes entered not, whether it were that they staied to spoyle and kill, ey∣ther else that they wanted some valyant Captaine to guide & leade them. But vndoubtedly if in the beginning they had made a gene∣ral head agaynst the town, they had wonne it, so great was the feare and so small the remedies: At the least they had beene sure of the Iles, which had bene as much as to haue had the towne within fif∣teene dayes after. I haue since demanded of some good Captaines of the Catholikes how it chanced that they perceiued our astonish∣ment no sooner: But they told me that themselues were also ama∣zed to see that they had so sodainly conquered so much people. But that they thought that a certaine bruite raysed among them that we had purposely forsaken the turne pike, which was filled with Page 387 pouder wherewith when a great number of them had beene passed, to haue made them to leape, did state them. Thus did the Catho∣likes loose a braue occasion, and the Protestants escape as great a daunger. These extraordinarie euents ought to quicken vp the fore∣sight of the defendants, & to prouoke the assaylaunts to diligence, to the end the first put not off that which ought to be done this day vn∣till to morrow, and the other remember to accompanie their troops that giue the onset with such Captaines as can readilie perceiue, and speedely take aduauntage when it is offered. Of so good suc∣cesse did not onelie the Duke of Guize, but also his whole armie, which exceeded twentie thousand, conceiue great hope. Whereas contrariwise many of them that were within were shaken with as sh••ude an a••aint, and would gladlie haue beene content that the Lord Admirall could haue flowen backe vnto them: but by litle and litle the Lorde of Andelot cured the feeblenesse of such apprehensi∣ons with haughty and persuasiue speeches.
Long time was afterward spent in assaulting the turne pikes, * (which since were surprised through the negligence of some of those that were within, and in playing vppon the defences of the Iles. The Duke of Guize determined with twentie Canons to pla•e two daies vpon them and to giue a fierce assaulte, and in re∣spect of their weaknesse in my opinion, he would haue wonne them. But in the meane time there fell out a chaunce vnlooked for, no lesse straunge and rare than the former, which troubled the whole feast: which was the wounding of the saide Duke by a Gentleman named Poltrot, and his death within a few dayes after. This quai∣led their o•rages and hope of all the souldiours in his armie, to see themselues depriued of so notable a Generall. Insomuch that the Queene beeing wearie of so many miseries and notable slaugh∣ters, vndertooke the treatie of peace: and thence foorth was there nothing but patleyes on eyther side, vntill it was concluded where∣in the Lorde Prince of Condie and the Lorde Constable were the chiefe instrumentes and dealers. Nowe let vs speake of the 〈◊〉Admiralls expedition, who fearing the forcing of Orleance•e solued wholie vppon diligence, as also in sixe dayes hee marched 〈◊〉〈…〉ie leagues with his power of horsemen, who consisted of two thousand Reisters, fiue hundred French horse, and one thou∣sande ••arq•ebuziers on horsebacke, as also they had onelie one thousande and two hundred horses, but no cart for their carria∣〈…〉
Page 388 In this sort we vsed such diligenee that sometimes we preuen∣ted the fame of our comming in diuerse places where wee ariued. The sayde Lorde Admirall beeing come to Cane, assaulted it with the helpe of certaine English men, whome the Earle of War∣wicke & Beauois la Nocle, who were in Newhauen, had sent him. The Castle being furiously beaten did yeelde vppon composition. Therein was the Marquez of Elboeuf, to whome wee vsed all cur∣tesie. Our Reisters also receiued their paie, which they liked better than the Normandie Cidre: and as wee prepared to returne to suc•our Orleance, the Prince of Condie writ to the Admirall that the peace was concluded, which news conuerted his desire to fight into another desire, namely to visite his house. This was the end of the first ciuill warre, which had continued a whole yeere: A tearme that seemed rather long than short to the natural impatiencie of our nation, which in some places ouerflowed in cruelties more mee•e for barbarous people than Frenchmen: whereof the Protestants did indure the most part. And this peace did many good men like of a great deale the better, because it ended all these inhumanities.