Page images
PDF
EPUB

*< sovereign and supreme good, which is the ** readiest way to bring itself to the knowledge ** and love of the Deity."

The Memoirs of Marguerite are very entertaining. The translation of Plutarch's Lives by Amyot was a very favourite book with her in her consinement, and she appears to have transfused into her Memoirs that naivete & vieux Gauloh which we admire so much in bis style.

Marguerite, who understood Latin, on seeing a, poor man lying upon a dunghill, exclaimed, Pauper ubique jacet.

In any place, in any bed,

The poor man rests his weary head.

The man, to her astonishment, replied,

In tbalamis bac node tuisx Regiqaxjacerem,
Si verum hoc ejset, pauper ubique jacet.

Ah, beauteous Queen, were this but true,
This night I would repose with you.

Marguerite ill-humouredly retorted:

Carceris in tenebris plorans bac node sactres^
.Si verum hoc ejset, pauper ubique jacet.

If this were true, thou wretched wight,
A Gaol should be thy bed to-night;
Where stripes and fetters, whips and pain.
Thy tongue's grange licence should restrain,

Marguerite

Marguerite was divorced from Henry on his accession to the throne of France, and led up Mary de Medicis, his second wise, to the Altar at St. Denis to be crowned. She was exttemely charitable to the poor, and liberal to scholars and men of talents. Her palace at Paris was the rendezvous of the beaux e/prits of that Capital. She was beautiful in her person, very sascinating in her manners, and danced with such peculiar grace, that the celebrated Don John of Austria, .went incognito from Brussels to Paris to fee her dance.

<* Besides Memoirs of her Lise, which are inv* persect, she wrote some Poems.

SULLY.

AFTER the horrid assassination of his old master Henry the Fourth, Sully withdrew himself from public affairs, and lived in retirement thirty years at his Chateau of Villebon, seldom or never coming to Court. Louis the Thirteenth however, wishing to have his opinion upon some matters of consequence, sent for him to come to him at Paris, when the good old man obeyed his summons, but not with the greatest alacrity.

The The gay Courtiers, on seeing a man drest unlike to themselves, and of grave and serious manners totally different from then" own, and which appeared to be those of the last Century, turned Sully into ridicule, and took him off to his sace. Sully perceiving this, said coolly to the King, * * Sir, when your sather, of glorious memory, ** did me the honour to consult me on any matter M of importance, he sirst sent away all the jester* ** and all the buffoons of his Court."

Sully kept up always at his table at Villebon, the frugality to which he had been accustomed in early lise in the army. His table consisted of te^ dishes, drest in the plainest and most simple manner. The Courtiers reproached him often with the simplicity of his taHe. He used to reply in the words of an Antient, " If the guests are ** men of sense, there is sussicient for them; if ** they are not, I can very well dispense with their ** company."

Sully dined at the upper end of the hail with the persons of his own age, at a table apart. The young people were served at a table by themselves. Sully gave as a reason for this arrangement, that the persons of different ages might not be mutually tiresome to each other.

The

The Pope having once written a letter io M. de Sully upon his becoming Minifies, which ended with his Holiness*s wishes that he might enter into the right way; Sully answered, that on his part he never ceased to pray for the conversion of his Holiness.

A contemporary writer thus describes this great Minister.

"He was," fays he, ** a man of order, exact, "frugal, a man of his word, and had no foolish "expences either of play or of anything else "that was unsuitable to the dignity of his character. ** He was vigilant, laborious, and expedited ** business. He spent his whole time in his em"ploymcnts, and gave none of it to his pleasures. "With all these qualisications he had the talent u of diving to the bottom of every thing that "was submitted to him, and of discovering every '* entanglement and dissiculty with which sinan"ciers, when they are not honest men, endeavour "to conceal their tricks and their rogueries."

Henry the Fourth told Sully, after the conspiracy of Biroil against him was discovered, « I see that u many of the great men about my Court are "mentioned in the depositions that have been "taken. Guess who they are." "God forbid, "Sire," replied Sully nobly, "that I should

"pretend

u pretend to guess at any man of quality who "is a traitor."

Henry gave Sully one day the contract of marriage into which he had entered with Mademoiselle d*Entragues, to read; who faid, after having read it, " Sire, will you promise me not to be "angry?" Henry replied, "Yes, Sully, I "promise you that I will not be angry." Sully tore the contract in pieces immediately, faying, "Sire, this is the use you ought to make of it'" "What, Sir, are you mad, to behave in this "manner?" faid Henry. "It is true, Sire," replied Sully, " that I am a madman, and would "be fo great a madman, as to be the only perfon "mad in France."

The Lady whose contract of marriage" with Henry Sully had thus torn in pieces, called him one day " Valet," in the presence of his Sovereign, because he would not assist her views of ambition. "This is too much, Madam," exclaimed Heary. "I had fooner part with six mistresses like your"self, than with one servant like Sully, whom "you dare to call Valet in my presence. My "ancestors have not disdained to ally themselves "with his, I assure you."

Abbe de Longuerue fays, " that the Duchefe of "Nemours told him, that she had often seen the

"good

« PreviousContinue »