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can well be more interesting than his disclosures of the profligate and paltry arts of Catherine de Medicis, the hatred and ambition of the Guises, and the bloodthirsty bigotry of Rome and Spain, coalescing, though with secret separate aims, in a common cause, yet ineffectual-in spite of the victories of Saint-Denis, Jarnac, and Montcontour, which their overwhelming forces gained them-in breaking the strong spirit of the Protestant host, which yielded nothing in defeat, or in preventing it from wringing from the reluctant hands of Catherine and Charles conditions which conceded to the heroic constancy of these unconquerable heretics more than they had ever dared to ask for as a boon before the war began. Beaten as they had been always in the field, Coligny demanded for them not only liberty of conscience for all, and liberty of worship for the towns which were already Protestant, and for the castles of Protestants, but also admission to employments, and an acknowledgment from the king that they who had been making war against him were his very loyal subjects. These unwelcome terms were granted by the court, and four important cities were left in the hands of the Huguenots as a guarantee of the treaty.

It has been sometimes doubted whether these large concessions were designed to lull to sleep the caution of the Protestants, in order to make their extermination at a future time more practicable. In all the ample detail which M. Michelet enters into of the antecedent circumstances of the massacre on St. Bartholomew's Day, there is nothing by which such a doubt is warranted. During the intervening two years Coligny had gained ground in the confidence and favour of the king, who had, at the Admiral's instigation, and in opposition to the most urgent endeavours of the Catholic cabal, which was always weaving its complicated plots around him, insisted on the marriage of his sister with the head and hope of the Huguenots, Henry of Navarre. It was this event that roused the fears and hatred of the conspirators to the activity their signal crime demanded. An unsuccessful attempt upon the life of Coligny, by an assassin in the pay of the Guises, hurried on-by the dread which it excited in the minds of Catherine and the young Dukes of Anjou and of Guise, of their treachery becoming known to the king-the great and terrible catastrophe. The consent of Charles to the measure was obtained by fraud and falsehood at the eleventh hour. The butchery began upon the Admiral, whose mangled body was thrown from a window into the courtyard where the young Duke of Guise was waiting whilst his agents in the murder did their bloody work. This grand iniquity accomplished, the common slaughter of the Huguenots went on unsparingly in its revolting course of wanton inhumanity, until it reached a measure of atrocity at which "souls accurst"-could they have witnessed it might have rejoiced with a delight as jubilant as that which welcomed with Te Deums the glad news of it at Rome.

The special title of the second of the two volumes now before us is "The League and Henry the Fourth." It carries on the general history throughout the twenty-six years from the great massacre of St. Bartholomew's Day to the conclusion of the treaty of Vervins, and brings it, in fact, down to the close of the sixteenth century. This was the second period of the wars of religion. But there were four parties in the state, irregularly counteracting or co-operating with each other. There were those who were known by the name of Politiques; there was the Court, with the intriguing Catherine at its head; and there were, moreover, the Huguenots, and the great Catholic League, which was countenanced by the King of Spain, and commanded by the Duke of Guise. These were the con

flicting interests which continued for a quarter of a century to convulse France.

The wretched monarch who had sanctioned the massacre under an impulse of personal apprehension, and then forbidden its continuance, yet smiled as he saw that prohibition disobeyed, died at the end of two years after the perpetration of his terrible crime :

"He had undoubtedly felt," says M. Michelet, "the great and universal malediction which must for ever pursue him. By the massacre he had sent forth missionaries of eternal hatred over all the earth. His silly boast of premeditation had been taken seriously both by Protestants and Catholics. Rome in her extravagant praises, and Geneva in her furious satires, on that one point had been agreed. The unanimous cry, that must have sounded in its horrible harshness shrilly on his ear, had already begun against his memory whilst he was still alive."

The history of the new king's reign, and of the four parties who were dividing the nation's strength between them, discloses a scene of shifting policy and unprincipled intrigue, of plots, conspiracies, and assassinations, disgusting from its heartless profligacy, and utterly destructive of all greatness or prosperity in the state. All the chief actors in the odious drama, with hardly one exception, seem to have had no sense of honour or morality, no motive of action nobler or more dignified than personal ambition and the grossest self-indulgence. Well does the historian declare that nothing but the astonishing degradation of the age in this respect prevented the discovery of its basenesses from being received with universal indignation. A single anecdote will serve to illustrate the wide-spread perfidy of the time. An agent of the Guises and the King of Spain was employed by them to assassinate the Duke of Alençon; but being detected, in order to save his own life he made a complete confession, not of the petty plot of murder, but of the vast conspiracy of civil war which his employers were organizing everywhere, the minute and detailed plan of the League, city by city, and man by man." Here was treachery enough; and we can well believe that "Henry the Third was filled with alarm on finding that his marshals, his ministers, those who knew all the secrets of the state, were agreed together to betray and arm themselves against him."

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Assassination appears, indeed, to have been a common and approved mode of getting rid of troublesome persons. A few of the many instances which M. Michelet records will shew how much in vogue it was amongst the high-born and the brave. The great Duke of Guise had died, at the siege of Orleans, by assassination; the Guises had in their pay an agent who was engaged to murder Dandelot, and another who was to kill Coligny; the king's sister, Margaret, being incensed against a courtier, purchased, at the price of such honour as she had, the sword-thrust that slew him; Alençon, as we have just seen, was to have been disposed of by the bravo of the Guises and the King of Spain; the young duke, Henry of Guise, was slain by instigation of the king; the king himself, the last of the race of Valois, fell by the dagger of a monk; and, at a later period, Henry of Navarre, who had so often braved death in battle and escaped it from assassins, yielded up his life in his carriage, truly, as astrologers had foretold, a victim to the bigotry of Ravaillac.

Nothing could well be more despicable than the condition of Henry the Third. Exhausted and effeminate in bodily constitution, and impotent as a ruler, the creature of court-favourites and court-ladies, his reign was an example of the ignominious state to which a king of France might be


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reduced. His crown was in a measure kept on his head by the contentions of the parties who by turns opposed or helped him. At the battle of Coutras, his large army-led by the favourite, Joyeuse-was utterly and shamefully defeated by the far inferior numbers of the two Condés and the King of Navarre. Shortly afterwards he narrowly escaped being carried off to the Guises, at Soissons, by a scheme devised by the Duchess of Montpensier, which, if it had not failed, was to have imputed the abduction to the Huguenots, and to have excited the mob of Paris to rise in arms against the Politiques. On the day of the Barricades, he was threatened in his own capital from a revolt which the Duke of Guise had skilfully concerted, and only escaped the danger by the artfulness and caution of the Duke, and his suspicion of the King of Spain. By his Act of Union he surrendered in reality all his power to the chiefs of the League, and knew that his own mother was amongst the most active and insidious of the enemies who had betrayed him. At the meeting of the States-General at Blois the degradation of the king had reached its lowest depths; and then it was that, by the courageous crime of assassination-the assassination of the Duke of Guise, and his brother, the cardinal-he made a desperate, yet unsuccessful, effort to escape the toils that were encircling him. "No creature since the days of Job," says M. Michelet, "had been more destitute." Paris openly revolted from his authority. Two armies were in the field against him, and his ruin seemed unavoidable, when a proposition of peace from Henry of Navarre, suggested by the wise and noble policy of Duplessis-Mornay, cast over the latter days of the unfortunate king an unwonted gleam of prosperity and hope. Grasping the helping hand that was stretched out to him in his need,

"the two armies, the two Frances, met on the borders of a rivulet, three leagues from Tours. Both of them, Huguenots and Catholics, drew near to each other, took off the bridles from their horses, and made them drink from the same stream. These new friends were those who had been for twenty years sternly making war and inflicting harm on one another. Their exterminated families, their ruined homes, their worn and aged forms, their wounds of body and of heart, were all forgotten in a moment: even the memory of St. Bartholomew's Day itself grew pale and faded.”

The son of Coligny, firmest in war and most friendly to peace, was there, commanding by his example this magnanimous forgetfulness. The allies advanced by a triumphant march to Paris, where the knife of Jacques Clément, a weak-brained monk-stimulated to the act both by monastic artifices and by the seductive promises of the beautiful sister of the Guises -closed the sorrows and the shame of the last of the Valois.

M. Michelet's volume carries on the history to the period of the peace with Spain and the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes. It is, we think, with somewhat of involuntary pride that the historian traces the heroic resistance of the new king to the expiring efforts of the League, backed by the inveterate bigotry of the King of Spain. In this portion of his work, Henry of Navarre, the darling of the nation, seems to command a throb of admiration from the Frenchman, which the Protestant and politician yields to with reluctance. But he yields to it nevertheless, and it is well that he should do so. The brave and cheerful monarch, with his good-nature and his generosity, often wanting a dinner, and having his predecessor's doublet altered that he might wear it in mourning for him, yet resolutely making head against enormous odds; winning the field at Arques, and with his gasconade at Ivry "doing the bravest folly that was ever done;" besieg Paris, yet permitting all who pleased to leave it; and bearing himself with

a free and joyous friendliness alike to followers and foes-irresistibly compels both liking and esteem: but the dark side of the shield-on which the profligate indulgence, the interested abjuration, and the desertion of those old heroic Huguenots whose arms had borne him to his throne, are found indelibly emblazoned-disturbs the feeling which the courage, and the kindness, and the gaiety awaken. His abjuration was made, as D'Aubigné told him, with his lips, not with his heart; it was an act of policy, not of faith: but this want of conviction was no extenuation of his conduct to those who had perilled everything, and often lost all but life, rather than disguise their zeal in what they held to be the cause of Scriptural truth. To many of them, no earthly dominion would weigh anything in the balance against the spiritual loss and shame of a desertion so unprincipled. Better would it have been to keep to the worn doublet and precarious dinner, than to purchase kingly splendour at so high a price. Nor did he deal generously with those old companions in arms who had so truly idolized him, in what he did for them when his power was established. It was the security and good faith, not the extent of concession, of the Edict of Nantes, that made it valuable to the Huguenot party. At the sword's point they had won as much before, which had been wrested from them when their swords were sheathed. But with these grounds of dissatisfaction ever present to them, it was still impossible for the Huguenots to wean their hearts from Henry of Navarre: he had grown up from a child amongst them, their champion, and their darling, and their hope; and even after that hope was quenched, the memory of it lived, to help the fascination of his manner and the magic of his frank and manly greeting of his illused friends. M. Michelet's full and stern account of the ills inflicted on the Protestants by the antagonistic policy of the king is beautified by more than one example of the strange bewitching influence by which, in spite of the abandonment, he still held them by the bonds of their devotion.

One of the interesting features of M. Michelet's volumes is the frequent glimpse they give us into the contemporary history of other European states which were connected with the parties most concerned in these religious wars of France. The aspiring and ambitious policy of the court of Spain under Philip the Second, with the troubles in the Low Countries, the Inquisition, the Society of Jesuits, and the terrible Armada; the progress of the Reformation, and the momentous influence of Calvin at Geneva; the condition of Scotland, and the schemes which their connection with it fostered in the Guises; the brief and black history of Mary Stuart, and the help which England under her maiden Queen afforded, both by countenance and help, to the unyielding Huguenot cause; are amongst the instances of this kind with which the reader will be most instructed and most charmed. Many, indeed, of the secret springs of events occurring on the soil of France will be found arising in these neighbouring states. Whilst M. Michelet brings to the consideration of these portions of his work the accurate and extensive knowledge of an enlightened historian, it must be owned that he deals with them in the sternest spirit of a judge who has often before been called to sit in judgment on the errors, and the arts, and evils of the Church of Rome. But there is no sternness in the delightful passages in which the author dwells on the memories of the great men who, apart from politics and war, have taboured earnestly in letters, or in science, or in art, to give new benefits and blessings to mankind. Those who are familiar with M. Michelet's other writings, or with the earlier portions of this voluminous history, will be prepared for the deep

enthusiastic tributes-the poems, as it were, which the historian impro. vises-in honour of the missionaries in this mighty work. In their toils and trials, and in the inspiration of the love and hope by which their labours were sustained, he sympathizes with the utmost strength of his own ardent and imaginative nature. Thus it is that he has made these tributes probably the most eloquent and learned, certainly the most delightful, pages of his very eloquent and learned work.


A DETAILED account of the System of Agriculture pursued by the Romans-a people as skilled almost in the arts of tillage as of conquest-was published towards the close of last century, by Mr. Dickson, a Scottish clergyman, in a work entitled the "Husbandry of the Ancients." Considerable, however, as his merits were,-embracing, as Dr. Daubeny tells us, great diligence of research, a clear and sound judgment, familiarity with the writers which came under his notice, and a sufficient acquaintance with modern farming,—his work failed to attain the eminence of a second edition, and is now more regarded as an authority in cases of difficulty and doubt than taken up as a readable book to occupy a vacant hour.

Sensible that this want of success must have been more owing to his unattractive mode of handling the subject, than to the fact of its being naturally destitute of interest,-" presenting to us, as it does, not merely the results of the sagacity and practical experience of the Romans with reference to the most important of the practical arts of life, but also glimpses of the manners, sentiments, and social condition of the most powerful and civilized people of the ancient world," Dr. Daubeny has boldly put the matter to the test by the publication of the present series of Lectures; animated, as he says, by the hope that the subject-matter both admits of being presented in a more inviting form, and of contributing to a better understanding, not only of the Scriptores Rei Rustice themselves, but also of works which, like the Georgics of Virgil, fall within the compass of ordinary reading.

With regard, as the learned author remarks, to the five Latin treatises known as the Rei Rusticæ Scriptores, it might à priori be expected that they would include distinct systems of agriculture, and would detail one routine of operations for the time of Cato, another for that of Varro, and a third for the period of Pliny and Columella. These writers, however, not being theorists, their practical good sense made them sensible that their existing systems of philosophy were too crude to enable them to deduce from them any conclusions which might be useful in husbandry; so that agriculture with them was simply an empirical art, founded upon long-continued observation and experience. It is not, then, to be wondered at that the more recent treatises on Roman agriculture should be

"Lectures on Roman Husbandry, delivered before the University of Oxford: comprehending an Account of the System of Agriculture, the Treatment of Domestic Animals, the Horticulture, &c., pursued in Ancient Times. By Charles Daubeny, M.D., F.R.S., M.R.I.A., &c., Professor of Botany and Rural Economy in the University of Oxford." (Oxford and London: J. H. and Jas. Parker. London: Henry Bohn.)

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