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TO ST. FLORE-
Diana of Poitiers Promising to aid the Church,
Death of the Prince de Conde at Jarnac,
The Chinese Knife Trick,
Relief_" The Bridge of Sighs,"
“ The Dream of Eugene Aram,"
Victoria's Palace in Scotland,
An Illustrated Literary Periodical.
CHAPTER 1.--THE KING AND THE PRIEST.
S T F L O R E. bent on the floor were but looking forward to the or eradicated. Throne and Church are in jeopardy.
time, which his darling ambition saw was not far I repeat that the worm is gnawing at the foundation A NEW HISTORICAL ROMANCE. distant, when he should hold within his grasp the of each; and if the foot of power be not set firmly golden staff of episcopacy.
on its head, its ravages will soon be beyond remedy, (FROM THE GERMAN OF HORN.)
To the left of the King stood the Marquis of its progress beyond control. Sire, your Majesty Tavannes. The figure of the Marquis was youth- knows the worm to which I allude."
but his head and face seemed to belong to a The King made a sign of assent. It of persons, evidently waiting for the announce
man who stood on the shady side of thirty. He was “ You are expressing," he said, “ as we conceive, ment of the meal, were standing in the recess of a apparently ill at ease, and his restless eye told of the opinion of multitudes
, but tell us in yet plainer window in a small ante-chamber of the banqueting- fiery untempered zeal, and of wild and cruel fana- terms of the evil with which we are threatened, and
ticism. hall at the Louvre, engaged in earnest conversation.
above all, of the means by which you propose to rid The sun shone bright and clear through the lofty
The Archbishop had just concluded a vury lengthy us of the worm. windows of the apartment, and the rays reflected oration, during which speech the icy coldness of his “I speak, Sire, ot Calvinism," said Tavannes,from the gorgeous painted glass of which its panes manner had undergone no change, although the sub- Calvinism, which has been met but with half meawere composed, cast a glowing light on the figures ject of his discourse had been of the most exciting sures, and which, like all noxious weeds, has but who formed the group. kind.
gone on to spread and to take deeper root in our King Henry II. of France was there. He stood The King had honored him, meantime, with the land. Not only in Calvados, in the Ardennes, in apart from the rest, leaning with folded arms against profoundest attention, and the deep lines of his Dauphiny, has it made fearful strides, but it would the stone cross-work of the window-frame. He was thoughtful brow had grown deeper as he listened, now lift its head in the presence of your most richly dressed after the fashion of the time, in an whilst the expression of his face was one of unmis. Christian Majesty. Geneva has lately sent her ample ermine mantle, which hung negligently from takeable displeasure ; and truly the Archbishop's masked emissaries even to Paris. Hitherto they his shoulders, and reaching to his knees, partially words had not been of a peaceful tendency. have held their heretical assemblies in secret, in concealed the closely-fitting white satin jerkin.
A pause ensued, broken by the King, who, after which assemblies their preachers teach their perniHis stockings were quilted of the same material, a few seconds, said, in a strong and decided tone, cious doctrines, scoffing at our holy sacraments, and and, according to the frightful custom of the court,
“ We have heard the words of the Church, now at the mysteries of our sublime religion ! Now, he wore enormous long-pointed boots, which, turning we would hear those of the nobility. My Lord truly, they meet openly, and without shame; and if, up at the toes, ended in a vulture's claw. His Marquis of Tavannes, what is your opinion on the a short time since, tuey numbered their hundreds, sword hung from a costly belt, and on his head was subject which my Lord the Archbishop has intro- now they may be said to collect their thousands of a crimson-velvet cap, ornamented with a bunch of duced ?"
votaries. It is clear,” he continued, “ that not only white ostrich feathers. He was not much above Tavannes, who scarcely anticipated this sudden among the common people is this heresy rife, but it the middle stature, and his face was not unpleas- I appeal, at once collected himself, and bowing low, is taking hold of the merchant, of the nobility: the ing although it bore traces of its owner having replied, —
magistrate, yea, even our senators avow their belief passed through many sore conflicts. His dark eye “ It is too much honor, sire, to request my opinion, in these heretical doctrines ; and the error will soon betrayed that if passion lit its fire it could sparkle after the counsel of the most high Prelate.” reach to the foot of the throne itself. Yes, sire, even with full and terrible meaning; while his whole ex- “ But it is our will,” replied Henry II., “ to hear in the Parliament house, at Paris, the Protestant pression was that of a man who was no stranger to yet another council; and as the Church and nobility dares to take his seat, and to declare his faith and violent emotions.
are both the pillars of the State, so it is our pleasure, his purpose. Some of the more crafty, indeed, still To the right of the King stood two dignitaries of that having heard the mind of one, we should now veil their intentions; but the furious zealots speak the Church. The one tall, thin, and of the most hear that of the other."
boldly out, and no longer fear the arm which they ascetic appearance, was the Archbishop of Paris. “ Assuredly,” said the Archbishop, bowing with deem they have paralyzed by their boldness." He was a man of fifty years or more, and, clad in the a scarcely perceptible smile to the King, who had The King's eye lighted up angrily, and, interruptrich vestures of his office, as became a guest of addressed the above speech partly to him and partly ing the Marquis with some impatience, he said, royalty, was somewhat imposing in his figure. Not to Tavannes.
** My Lord Marquis, remember to whom you far off, but a step or two behind him, was Henry's “ If it please your Majesty, then,” replied the speak.” Confessor. He wore the black garb of his order, Marquis, with a low inclination, “I will not hold The Marquis bent low. “I crave your Majesty's and, unlike the Archbishop, had the air of a jovial, back the expression of my own sentiments, and forgiveness if, in zeal for my faith, I went too far. well-fed, fat priest. His aspect, however, was most thosc, I am sure, of the most illustrious nobles of My heart, my life's devotion you may command, and unpleasing, and there was something sharp, almost our land.”
they should be freely yours.'' to cunning, in the glance of his little, black, searching And now he stood proudly erect, his eye assuming
The irritation passed away, and the King replied eye. The bearing of the prelate was haughty, in- a steady and almost fierce light, whilst on his expres-1 -“ These heretics shall quickly experience that the deed, but there was a dignified and determined energy sive mouth those passions played which seemed arm which they deem powerless has still the power in his manners ; whilst that of the Confessor was ready to break forth in open and undisguised vio- to crush them to the earth." And he spoke with quiet, humble, and obsequious. A humility Lut exter- lence.
an emphasis which left no doubt on his hearers' nal, however, for it was not difficult to perceive the “Sire,” he said, “at the very sap of our country's minds that the spark would ere long be fanned into ill-concealed pride and ambition which lurked within; life, a worm is hidden,—a worm whose poisonous a flame. and one might fancy that those eyes so thoughtfully | fang will be the destruction of France, if not crushed At this moment, the Seneschal and pages ap
peared to remind the King that they only awaited and is dividing our native land into two great par- the power which was given by the cruel Edict of his order to serve the dinner. ties."
Escouan to their party for the suppression and ox“Let us go, my lords,” he said ; "the future will Diana listened thoughtfully, and it was easy to tirpation of the new religion-an edict which had discover that which all the world should know that perceive that the priests words harmonized with her caused the blood of many a faithful servant of Christ the Church has not a truer son than the King of own feelings.
to flow, and had kindled the stake round many a France."
“The Church alone would be ineffective," con- martyr for the truth. So saying, he passed through the folding doors ;
tinued the priest carnestly. “Yours is the arm of Since the time of Charles VIII. the power of the and with a meaning glance at one another, his sub- power—your hand it is that holds the sword of legislature had been of an extremely limited nature, jects followed.
vengeance and destruction. Think! All hearts and that power was about to receive a yet further
are yours, and await but a sign from you to rise check, which had not in the least been expected, by During the conference which had now concluded,
into action. Transmit to the Church your author- the sudden visit of the King's Solicitor-General to a scene had been enacting in a splendid cabinet in the Louvre which had close connection with the the noble and the mighty ones bend the neck to the ity, gracious lady, and the victory is secure; but if the assembled Parliament.
His pretext was the royal command to discover affairs first related
heretics' yoke, lands and possessions, castles and all disaffected persons, and to check all controverThe walls of this cabinet were hung with the
their goods, will fall into their grasp, and your own, sial or theological discussions. For this purpose he richest Gobelin tapestry, illustrating in the most
took note of every absent member, and called each glowing colors some of the celebrated scenes in the
Diana looked inquiringly at the speaker. delinquent to a strict account. He preserved a close Grecian mythology. The furniture of the room was
"I repeat your own," he said emphatically. watch over the proceedings of the House, and the costly in material and elegant in form. The floor
“ And what has Guise to hope from such steps ?" | Senate was, as may be readily imagined, thrown was covered with carpets (still luxurious in those she asked ironically.
into a state of great consternation by this system of days), and the crimson hangings of the windows cast an almost magical effect on the surrounding hand, and carried it to his lips.
The Abbot had again knelt down, seized hor espionage,-a proceeding which they foresaw would
inevitably repress the free expression of opinion, objects, heightening the attraction of the occupants
“I must not reply to that question,” he said. and that noble exercise of private judgment which of the cabinet in no common degree.
“But for his power? What avails Guise that it had been their glory to uphold. Half-sitting, half reclining upon a downy couch
power which it required but a signal to crush ? She could not, in
The various parties of the clergy, the Guises, the was a richly-apparelled woman.
Power! this fair hand holds its curb. What power King, and that of Diana. had concerted to bring the deed, boast of being in the bloom of early youth, but
has ever withstood Diana of Poitiers ? Neither matter of the Edict of Escouan before the house on her beauty was still of a dazzling and extraordinary avarice, nor ambition, nor strife
, since the might the appointed day, when the Solicitor-General would character; and the intellectual expression of her
and the right exist with you, since Church and be present at the conference, and no pains wero fine face, which beamed especially from her lovely nobility are pledged to you, since the service—the spared to strengthen arguments, and to collect facts eyes, could not fail to awe as well as to charm the heart service of France is at your command. I for the occasion. beholder-it was Diana of Poitiers,* Duchess of
conceive there should be no wavering, no hesi- The sitting had commenced. The senators had Valentinois-that celebrated woman who exercised tation."
urged numerous reasons for the Government's insti. 60 vast an influence, not only over the King, but his
“You are right,” she replied ; “the decision is tuting strict proceedings against the herctics, and people, and who seemed to be almost unlimited both made," and she spoke with the whole energy and one after another these arguments had been upset, in power and ambition. By her side sat a young earnestness of her character.
and their fallacy and hollowness exposed in a few ecclesiastic, of imposing appearance and fine features.
The Abbot rose, but still lingered, and his eye masterly words by the principal orators of the ReHis eyes rested on Diana; her exquisite little white
rested on her as though it would look through the formed party. hand lay in his; and as she spoke, he stooped to kiss lovely woman's soul.
That which was lacking, indeed, in wisdom and it, with a familiarity which very few in his office, or
Go,” she said pleasantly, “say that to the duke judgment was on either side supplied by the zeal indeed in any position whatever, would have dared My hour for dressing is come. Go!"
and passion of the speakers, and a war of words to use.
“How can I ?" asked the Abbot, softly,
commenced, which for its violence and bitterness My Lord Abbot," said Diana, withdrawing her “ You must,” replied Diana.
the annals of the Senate House furnished no paralhand, and raising her forefinger reprovingly, “has
And the Abbot, once more pressing to his lips lel. Passion was unloosed, and the sharp arrows apparently forgotten the subject which induced him
the small hand, disappeared through a door which of acrimony and retort flew hither and thither, when to scek this audience."
“I know not who could have done otherwise than the rich tapestry concealed from view. Diana suddenly arose the most powerful speaker in the forget all subjects but one in such a presence!" said looked after him with a smile, raised her beautiful House, and the most zealous and conscientious of the Abbot, in a tone of gallantry which brought the head, viewed herself in a large mirror which hung the champions for truth. over the fire, and summoned her ladies.
The orator was Claude Viole de St. Flore. Ho smile of gratified vanity to his hcarer's lovely lips. “ Flatterer !" she said, gently tapping him with
The actors in both these little scenes were soon had hitherto preserved a dignified silence. Some of her hand.: "Let us at all events recall the matter to step forth into the great theatre of public life ; his party had been speaking with vehemence, others You said that you had weighty
and an event transpired in the Parliament of Paris with power and effect. Ferrier, Du Faure, and Du which expedited their appearance there.
Bourg had each expressed his sentiments amid some words to say to me.” The Abbot collected himself, and replied,
The King was well acquainted with the names of confusion and interruption ; but when Viole roso “ Yes, gracious lady. I came to impress on you those who openly confessed their faith, but with adversaries fell
, while those of his friends flushed the heretical members of Parliament—not only with there was a universal stillness. The faces of his the urgent necessity which exists for decided steps
those who still, from timidity or prudence, veiled with expectation, for all knew that when Viole spoke, at the present juncture. This is but the expression of the mind of the Duke of Guise and my Lord the their opinions from the world. It must be a bold his triumph,—the triumph of a master-mind, and of Cardinal.t Something must be done-and done at stroke which should crush the Protestants, for they a high-toned principle,-was secure. He began, once-if we would check the rapid strides of Pro- were among the most talented of the senators of and at the very moment when his eloquence was at testantism, which now rules in our high places,
their country ; men richly endowed with mental its height, and all were hanging breathless on his qualifications, intelligent, firm, conscientious-men lips,—when, becoming more impassioned as he pro
whose power of argument and oratory were not ceeded, he claimed for his fellow Christians, and for * Diana of Poitiers was the widow of the Sieur de la Brezé, inferior to those of their opponents-beings, in himself, the right of liberty of conscience,—tho Seneschal of No: mindy, and had such an influence over the short, such as France could scarcely hope to pro- folding-doors opened, and the herald proclaimed, in King, that the people accused her of using magic arts to duce again.
to your mind
a loud voice, the arrival of the King. The adherents of Catholicism saw their danger, With all the pomp of royalty, and attended by a + Cardinal of Lorraine, brother to the Duke of Guiso. and were all agreed on the importance of assuming numerous retinue, the King stepped into the place