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and more favourable to the friends and confederates of CHA P. XLIV.


THE violence of the League having conftrained Henry to declare war against the Hugonots, thefe religionifts 1590. French seemed expofed to the utmost danger; and Elizabeth, fenfible of the intimate connection between her own inter- affairs. efts and thofe of that party, had fupported the king of Navarre by her negociations in Germany, and by large fums of money, which the remitted for levying forces in that country. That great prince, not difcouraged by thế fuperiority of his enemies, took the field; and in the year 1587 gained, at Coutras, à complete victory over the army of the French king; but as his allies, the Germans, were at the fame time difcomfited by the army of the League, under the duke of Guife, his fituation, notwithstanding his victory, feemed ftill as defperate as ever. The chief advantage, which he reaped from this diversity of fuccefs, was the diffentions, which, by that means, took place among his enemies. The inhabitants of Paris, intoxicated with, admiration of Guife, and strongly prejudiced against their king, whofe intentions had become fufpicious to them, took to arms, and obliged Henry to fly for his fafety. That prince, diffembling his refentment, entered into a negociation with the League; and having conferred many high offices on Guife and his partizans, fummoned an affembly of the ftates at Blois, on pretence of finding means and expedients to fupport the intended war against the Hugonots. The various fcenes of perfidy and cruelty, which had been exhibited in France, had juftly begot a mutual diffidence among all parties; yet Guife, trufting more to the timidity, than honour of the king, rafhly put himfelf into the hands of that monarch, and expected, by the afcendant of his own genius, to make him fubmit to all his exorbitant pretenfions. Henry, though of an eafy difpofition, not sted- Murder of dy to his refolutions, or even to his promifes, wanted the duke of neither courage nor capacity; and finding all his fubtilties Guise. eluded by the vigour of Guife, and even his throne expofed to the molt imminent danger, he embraced more violent counfels than were natural to him, and ordered that prince and his brother, the cardinal of Guise, to be affaffinated in his palace.

THIS cruel execution, which the neceffity of it could alone excufe, had nearly proved fatal to the author, and


CHAP. feemed at first to plunge him into greater dangers than XLIV. thofe which he fought to avoid, by taking vengeance on his enemy. The partizans of the League were enflamed 1590. with the utmost rage against him: The populace every where, particularly at Paris, renounced allegiance to him: The ecclefiaftics and the preachers filled all places with execrations against his name: And the most powerful cities and moft opulent provinces appeared to combine in a refolution, either of renouncing monarchy, or of changing their monarch. Henry, finding flender resources among his catholic fubjects, was conftrained to enter into a confederacy with the Hugonots and the king of Navarre: He enlifted large bodies of Swifs infantry and German cavalry: And being ftill fupported by his chief nobility, he affembled, by all these means, an army of near forty thousand men, and advanced to the gates of Paris, ready to crush the League, and fubdue all his enemies. The desperate resolution of one man diverted the course of these great events. Jaques Clement, a Dominican fryar, inflamed by that bloody fpirit of bigotry, which diftinguishes this century and a great part of the following beyond all ages of the world, embraced the refolution of facrificing his own life, in order to save the church from the perfecutions of an heretical tyrant; and being admitted, under fome pretext, to the king's preMurder of fence, he gave that prince a mortal wound, and was imHenry the mediately put to death, by the courtiers, who hastily revenged the murder of their fovereign. This memorable incident happened on the first of Auguft, 1589.


THE king of Navarre, next heir to the crown, affumed the government, under the title of Henry the fourth; but fucceeded to much greater difficulties than those which furrounded his predeceffor. The prejudices, entertained against his religion, made a great part of the nobility defert him; and it was only by his promise of hearkening to conferences and instruction, that he could engage any of the catholics to adhere to his undoubted title. The League, governed by the duke of Mayenne, brother to Guise, gathered new force; and the king of Spain entertained views, either of difmembering the French monarchy, or of annexing the whole to his own dominions. In these distressful circumftances, Henry addreffed himself to Elizabeth, and found her well difpofed to contribute to his assistance, and to oppose the progrefs of the catholic


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League, and of the king of Spain, her inveterate and CHA P.
dangerous enemies. To prevent the defertion of his Swifs XLIV.
and German auxiliaries, fhe made him a prefent of twenty-
two thousand pounds; a larger fum than, as he declared,
he had ever seen before: And the fent him a reinforce-
ment of four thousand men, under lord Willoughby, an
officer of reputation, who joined the French at Dieppe.
Strengthened by thefe fupplies, Henry marched directly
to Paris; and having taken the fuburbs fword in hand,
he abandoned them to be pillaged by his foldiers. He em-
ployed this body of English troops in many other enter-
prizes, and found ftill reafon to praise their courage and
fidelity. The time of their service being elapfed, he dis-
miffed them with many high commendations. Sir Wil-
liam Drury, fir Thomas Baskerville, and fir John Bo
roughs acquired reputation this campaign, and revived in
France the antient fame of English valour.

THE army which Henry next campaign led into the Progress of
field, was much inferior to that of the League; but as Henry IV.
it was composed of the chief nobility of France, he feared
not to encounter his enemies in a pitched battle at Yvree,
and he gained a compleat victory over them. This fuc-
cefs enabled him to blockade Paris, and he reduced that
capital to the last extremity of famine; when the duke of
Parma, in confequence of orders from Philip, marched to
the relief of the League, and obliged Henry to raise the
blockade. Having performed this important fervice, he
retired to the Low Countries: and by his confummate
skill in the art of war, performed thefe long marches in
the face of the enemy, without affording the French mo-
narch that opportunity which he fought of giving him
battle, or fo much as putting his army once in diforder..
The only lofs which he fustained was in the Low Coun-
tries, where prince Maurice took advantage of his ab-
fence, and recovered fome places, which Parma had for-
merly conquered from the States D.

THE fituation of Henry's affairs, though promising, was not fo well advanced or established as to make the queen difcontinue her fuccours; and he was ftill more VOL. V. confirmed


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D See note at the end of the volume.

CHA P. confirmed in the refolution of fupporting him, by fome XLIV. advantages gained by the king of Spain. The duke of Mercœur, governor of Britanny, a prince of the house 1590. of Lorraine, had declared for the League; and finding himself hard preffed by Henry's forces, he had been obliged, in order to fecure himself, to introduce fome Spanish troops into the fea-port towns of that province. Elizabeth was alarmed with the danger, and forefaw that the Spaniards, besides infesting the English commerce by privateers, might employ thefe harbours as the feat of their naval preparations, and might more eafily, from that near neighbourhood, than from Spain or Portugal, project an invafion of England. She concluded, therefore, a new treaty with Henry, in which the engaged to send over three thousand men, to be employed in the reduction of Brittany, and ftipulated that her charges should, in a twelvemonth, or as foon as the enemy was expelled, be refunded her E. These forces were commanded by Sir John Norris; and under him by his brother Henry, and by Anthony Shirley. Sir Roger Williams was at the head of a fmall body which garrifoned Dieppe: And a fquadron of ships, under the command of fir Henry Palmer, lay upon the coast of France, and intercepted all the vesfels belonging to the Spaniards or the Leaguers.

THE operations of war can very little be regulated beforehand by any treaty or agreement; and Henry, who found it neceffary to lay afide the projected enterprize against Britanny, perfuaded the English commanders to join his army, and to take a fhare in the hoftilities which he carried into Picardy F. Notwithstanding the disgust which Elizabeth received from this difappointment, he laid before her a plan for expelling the Leaguers from Normandy, and perfuaded her to fend over a new body of four thousand men, to affift him in that enterprize. The earl of Effex was appointed general of thefe forces; a young nobleman, who, by many exterior accomplishments, and still more real merit, was daily advancing in favour with Elizabeth, and feemed to occupy that place in her affections which Leicester, now deceased, had fo long enjoyed. Effex, impatient for military fame, was extremely uneafy to lie fome time at Dieppe unemploy


Camden, p. 561. * Rymer, tom. xiv. p. 116.

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ed; and had not the orders, which he received from his CHA P.
mistress, been fo pofitive, he would gladly have ac- XLIV.
cepted of Henry's invitation, and have marched to
join the French army now in Champagne. This plan
of operations was alfo propofed to Elizabeth by the
French ambaffador; but the rejected it with great dif-
pleasure; and the threatened immediately to recal her
troops, if Henry fhould perfevere any longer in his pre-
fent practice, of breaking all concert with her, and at-
tending to nothing but his own interefts G. Ürged by
these motives, the French king, at laft, led his army into
Normandy, and laid fiege to Rouen, which he reduced
to great difficulties. But the League, unable of them-
felves to take the field against him, had again recourfe to
the duke of Parma, who received orders to march to
their relief. He executed this enterprize with his ufual
ability and fuccefs; and, for the prefent, fruftrated all
the projects of Henry and Elizabeth. This princess,
who kept ftill in view the interefts of her own kingdom
in all her foreign tranfactions, was impatient under these
disappointments, blamed Henry for his negligence in the
execution of treaties, and complained that the English
forces were thrust foremost in every hazardous enter-
prize H. It is probable, however, that their own ardent
courage, and their defire of diftinguishing themselves in fo
celebrated a theatre of war, were the caufes why they fo
often enjoyed this perilous honour.

NOTWITHSTANDING the indifferent fuccefs of former enterprizes, the queen was fenfible how neceflary it was to fupport Henry against the League and the Spaniards; and the formed a new treaty with him, in which they agreed never to make peace with Philip, but by commen confent; he promised to fend him a new fupply of four thousand men; and be ftipulated to repay her charges in a twelvemonth, to employ thefe forces, joined to a body of French troops, in an expedition against Britanny, and to confign into her hands a fea-port town of that province, for a retreat to the English. Henry knew the impoffibility of executing fome of thefe articles, and the imprudence

U 2

G Birch's Negociations, p. 5.
H Camden, p. 562.

p. 151, 168, 171, 173.

Rymer, tom. xiv. p. 123,
Rymer, vol xvi.

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