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Gradually the change which had been imposed outwardly became a real one; and, when Mrs. Carpenter died, full of years and of honors, her spirit continued to animate the place, in its opinions and actions, at least, if some fairer grace of heart and principle were wanting. She died as she had lived, out of the church; though the church had ever found her a friend, bountiful and tenderly protecting. Of its doctrines and authority she seemed never to have thought; but the copy of the Sistine Madonna in her drawing-room had always a vase of fresh flowers before it.

ramped talents had room for full and uprightness, became the mould of exhilarating play, the swarthy skin form. Ill-nature went out of fashion, cleared, showing a peach-like bloom, and, in the absence of charity, selfthe fine teeth lit a frequent smile, and control became a necessity. When the deep voice lost its dull cadence, people of opposite creeds met at her and took a musical, ringing sound. house, their feuds had to be laid aside Mrs. Carpenter used her power for the time; and, once two foes well. Crichton was as clay in her have smiled in each other's faces, the hands, and she moulded it after frown is not so easy to recall. a noble model. What arrogance could never have done was complished by tact and sweetness. Her forming touch was strong and steady, but it was smooth, and nothing escaped it. Thoroughly womanly, speaking by her husband's mouth. when she deemed it not fitting that her proper voice should be heard, she could influence in matters where women do not usually care to interfere. She thought nothing out of her province which concerned the prosperity of the town she honored with her presence, and she inspired others with her own enthusiasm. That streets should be wide and well kept, that public buildings should be architecturally symmetrical, that neat cottages for the poor, replacing their miserable huts, should start up sudden as daisies along some quiet road-these objects all interested her, though she worked for them indirectly.

But in social life she ruled openly; and there her good sense and good heart, her gentle gaiety and entire

She left no children. A niece whom she had adopted married in Crichton, and had one descendant, a grand-daughter, living there. This grand-daughter was Honora Pembroke.

Wake again, Crichton, for morning is come. Long rays of golden light are shooting out of the east; and down the hillside, in the church of S. John, Father Chevreuse is saying, Sursum Corda!



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CHARLES had a dangerous enemy in the person of the Duchesse d'Estampes. She was furious at his being allowed to enter France at all, and still more at his leaving it without paying such a ransom as his host might easily have enforced; But to all her arguments and blandishments Francis was nobly inexorable; he remained true, in this instance at least, to the instincts of his better nature and the promptings of knightly honor. He could not, however, resist saying to Charles, when presenting the duchess to him: "Here is a lady who advises me to undo at Paris the work done at Madrid." To which the emperor replied coldly: "If the advice be good, you ought to follow it." The story goes a most improbable one, considering the position occupied by the Duchesse d'Estampes, whose jewels were worthy of a queen of Francethat at supper that same evening, when, according to the complimentary custom of the times, she presented Charles with the urn of perfumed water to rinse his hands, he dropped a diamond ring at her feet, and, on her picking it up and handing it to him, replied: "Keep it, madame; it could not be in fitter hands." Whether Charles bribed the belle savante with a diamond or any other device, it is certain that, before he left, they had become very good friends, and she had quite adopted the king's more generous view of the case.

conscious enough to notice their disappearance, and to divine the cause of it. It stung him to the quick, and roused him to make a desperate effort to disappoint them. He rallied, and announced his intention of following the procession of Corpus Christi next day.. The doctors remonstrated, but in vain; nothing could shake the king's determination. He dressed himself in his robes of state, had his pale cheeks brightened with rouge, and thus, under a mask of returning health, appeared in the midst of his astonished court, and held the canopy during the procession. But the ceremony was no sooner over than he fell exhausted into the arms of his attendants, and was carried back to bed. He remained for some time unconscious; on recovering his senses, his first exclamation was, "Well, at any rate, I will give them one more fright!" Four months after this childish piece of bravado, he died at the Château of Rambouillet.

The forest of Fontainebleau was infested during his reign with a quantity of noxious vermin-serpents eighteen feet in length, which did great damage, and filled the inhabitants with terror. One of these snakes, by his depredations on man and beast, earned the reputation for himself of a sort of mythological dragon. Some bold men had undertaken to combat him, but all had perished in the attempt. Francis declared at last At the close of 1546, Francis fell that he would fight and kill the draill, and was supposed to be dying. gon himself. He equipped himself The courtiers, true to the traditions accordingly in a suit of armor covered of their race, immediately fled from all over with long blades as sharp as Fontainebleau to greet the Dauphin, razors, and, thus armed, sallied forth who was at Amboise. Francis was to the perilous duel. The serpent

coiled itself round the glistening blades, and, in clasping his victim, cut himself to pieces. This fantastic exploit of Francis was magnified by the adulation of his courtiers into a deed of supernatural prowess.

The death of Francis was the signal for the downfall of the Duchesse d'Estampes, who retreated like a dethroned sovereign before the now transcendent star of Diana of Poitiers. Diana's frailty was unredeemed by the intellectual gifts and native kindliness that distinguished her ri val. There is no counterpart even in French history to the sway exercised by this Dalila over Henri II. Madame Du Barry's is the nearest approach to it, but even that falls far short of the precedent. Diana not only ruled the king and the kingdom, but openly usurped the honors, prerogatives, and official state of a legitimate queen. Her cipher, interlaced with Henri's, was carved and emblazoned on all the public monuments; not a door or gallery of Fontainebleau, aptly nicknamed by the people "the Temple of Diana," that was not surmounted by the monogram H. D. It was to be seen in the stained glass windows of the chapel, as well as on the plate served on the royal table under the eyes of Catherine de Medicis. Diana appropriated the crown jewels, and appeared at all the public ceremonies decked in the hitherto sacred regalia of the queens of France. Catherine looked on and was silent-she could wait; her hour would come. It came sooner than either she or Diana anticipated. The king fell mortally wounded in a tournament given to celebrate the nuptials of his daughter, the Princesse Elizabeth, with the King of Spain (1559). He was carried to the nearest shelter; Catherine flew to his side, and gave orders that no one should be allowed to approach him; at this

crisis, at least, the wife should be supreme. Diana soon presented herself at the door, but the guard refused her admittance; the queen had forbidden it. "And who dares to give

me orders?" demanded Diana, with flashing eyes; "if the king breathes, I have no master yet." Soon he had ceased to breathe, and Diana, without further protest, bowed to the queen's command, which bade her "restore the crown jewels, and retire forthwith to her Château d'Anet."

Her beauty was marvellous, and lasted in all its bloom long after the meridian of life was past. Brantôme describes her at the age of sixty-five as "still beautiful as a girl." The death of Henri II. was the signal for Catherine de Medicis' real queenhood. Her reign lasted over thirty years, and may be justly styled, in the most comprehensive sense of the word, a reign of terror for the nation. Her first business was to create discord in the family as a prelude to civil war in the state. She imported into. France, with the enlightened love of the arts imbibed at the court of the Medicis, their crafty Italian policy; a system of cabal and intrigue which worked well enough in the narrow compass of petty states, but was fruitful of the most disastrous results in a large kingdom where government can only be carried on successfully by well-organized institutions and strong and wise laws justly administered. Catherine was born with a genius for intrigue; her love for conspiracy amounted to a mania. The faculty of dissembling, with which nature had so pre-eminently endowed her, did her good service in the first years of her residence at Fontainebleau. It required all the tact of an accomplished dissembler to steer between the rival powers of the Duchesse d'Estampes and Diana of Poitiers-a feat which the wily pupil of the Me

dicis achieved with singular success. To the last day of their reign and her own thraldom, she contrived to remain friendly with both. Catherine's ambition was unbounded, and drove her to excesses of wickedness that have few parallels in modern history. She systematically labored to corrupt the minds and hearts of her children, and to sow dissensions amongst them, so as to draw the power that should have been theirs into her own hands. Jealousy of one son, Francis II., drove her to espouse the cause of the Huguenots for a time; and, when his death placed the sceptre in the hands of his brother Charles IX., she veered round, and persecuted her quondam protégés with cold cynicism and ferocity. Five civil wars can be traced home to the dark intrigues of this unnatural mother a woman who never took a straight road when she could find a crooked one, who regarded human beings as an apparatus composed of an infinite variety of tools to be used one set against another as the special nature of her work demanded. massacre of S. Bartholomew was but another manifestation of the same spirit which had led her to stir up the Huguenots to revolt when she thought their rebellion would serve her aims. This sanguinary despot had most of the foibles of a woman, combined with the fiercer passions of a man. Her frivolity and extravagance knew no bounds; and when her ministers ventured to hint to her that the lavish prodigality of her expenditure was exasperating the people, and might lead to trouble, she shrugged her shoulders, and replied, with serene simplicity: "Good heavens! one must live." The sweet, pathetic face of Marie Stuart appears for a moment at Fontainebleau in the earlier days of Catherine's rule-a bright meteor flashing on a troubled sky;


poor Marie, whose sky was gathering up the storm that was to break at no distant day over her young life, and beat it some twenty years with a fury that was only to be silenced by the great tranquillizer - death. Fierce and long-raging were the storms that swept over Fontainebleau through the same darkling years. Henri de Navarre bears down on it like a whirlwind, and forces the queen, with her son Charles IX., to fly before him and his Huguenots to Melun. They have not taken breath at Melun when the Duc de Guise meets them like a contrary wind, and blows them back to Paris. Soon follows the night of S. Bartholomew, that blackest of black nights, under whose pall, as it has been pithily put by a modern Frenchman, "a few scoundrels killed a few scoundrels." Its gloom was still hanging over the city when Catherine and the king were bowling along the road to Fontainebleau-he shuddering, a Macbeth terrified at his share in the ghastly deed; she triumphant, unappalled by ghost or conscience, her sharp, elastic mind busy on the next step to be taken. How was she to undo the one awkward consequence of her triumphthe remorse and mistrust of this fainthearted son? A hundred and fifty maids, miscalled of honor, were recruited from the beauty of France, and brought to Fontainebleau to aid in the task of soothing the king's scruples and mending the queen's nets. But her hold upon Charles was loosened, and not all the charms of all the houris of Mahomet's paradise would lure it to her grasp again. Catherine, however, could accommodate herself to the decrees of fortune, and turn even her own blunders to account. Charles, obdurately sullen, refused to revoke the edict of the pacification of Amboise, thus quenching for once, instead of

lighting, the smouldering flames of civil war. Catherine smiled bland approval on her blighted schemes, and was full of satisfaction, as if, instead of chaining the war-dogs, she had been allowed to let them loose. She received the ambassadors in regal state, and laid herself out to captivate all men by her smiles and honeyed Courtesies; feuds and jealousies were lalled to sleep with soft music of delight; all the heads of all the factions, civil and religious, turned in the dance All they were giddy, carousing, and embracing, and pledging one another in loving cups, while their followers were cutting each other's throats hard by; fireworks sent rockets blazing to the sky-merry rockets, red, white, and green; and Fontainebleau was once more a palace of Armida, an Arabian night's dream, where men came and drank, and were inebriated. A dark and agitated scene is that which France presents at the close of Catherine's reign. We turn from it with relief to see Henri de Navarre enter his "good city" of Paris. After the peace of Vervins, which put an end to religious wars in France, and allowed Europe to breathe once more, the gay Béarnais came to enjoy his well-won conquest at Fontainebleau. Sully, the true and trusty friend, goes with him, supreme, though not alone, in his influence with the soft-hearted monarch. Gabrielle d'Estrée contests the field with him; but, to Henri's honor be it said, she is defeated. Gabrielle had, in a weak moment, extracted from the king a promise that he would make her Queen of France-a promise which, as a matter of course, he immediately confided to Sully. The minister burst out into indignant protest, and outswore the Béarnese himself in the vehemence of his indignation. They parted, as usual, in a rage, and, as usual, Henri soon calmed down, and


declared that Sully was right. When Gabrielle recurred to the promise, he told her the result of his conversation with "my friend Rosny." The lady flew into a tantrum, called Rosny hard names, and wound up by insisting that "that valet" should be dismissed from the court. The insolent appellation, coming from such a quarter, roused the king to a sense of his own disgraceful weakness. "Ventre S. Gris, madame," he cried, "if I must needs dismiss either, it shall be you a thousand times. rather than my faithful Rosny-my friend without whom I could not live!" Gabrielle saw that she had overstepped the mark; for Henri, if he had the faults of a man, was no emasculated puppet, like so many of his predecessors, to be bound hand and foot by a Dalila; he had still the spirit of a king. Gabrielle fell at his feet, and begged his pardon, and Sully's too. Shortly after this inci-dent, Sully's fears on her account were put an end to by her death. Henri's grief for a time was so violent as almost to deprive him of his reason.

But his fickle heart soon found consolation in a new allegiance. Mlle. d'Entragnes was the next to captivate it. For this fair siren, Henri went so far as to draw out a written promise of marriage. Before, however, giving the document into the hands of the fair lady, he, of course, showed it to Sully, the dauntless Sully, who was the most discreet of confidants, but the most unmanageable of accomplices. This time he was too deeply moved for anger; he did not bully the king, but coolly read the paper twice over, and then, tearing it deliberately into four fragments, he flung it into the fire. "Parbleu, Rosny, you are mad!" cried the king. "Would to God, sire, I were the only madman in France!" replied Rosny. Henri turned on his

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