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how you shall take this millort. Do you not see that he rides like an Albanian, his knees almost touching the saddle-bow? Sit you firm, and do not couch your spear till you are within three or four paces of him; for when the spear is couched at a distance the point droops before it comes to the push, and the more so because the sight is confused then by the visor." Dudley missed his attaint; d'Espinay observed the caution which had been given, unhorsed his antagonist, and, carrying him away prisoner, presented him to the king.* But the king, well pleased, returned the noble prisoner, and, drawing his sword, gave the captor the accolade, knighting him upon the spot.t
Fort Vieilleville, as the new work was called, had distressed the Old Man; and the French were persuaded not only that they should speedily reduce this last of the English outworks, but that Boulogne itself would soon fall into their hands. They inferred this from the language of Dudley's friends who came under a safeconduct to visit him, and who were supposed to be preparing the way for a capitulation; for they cursed the day on which the late king had taken Boulogne, and said that, if they were of the council of state, their advice would be, to try by some fair composition to get rid of a place which had drained England both of men and money. The garrison, however, manifested no such disposition, but were ready at any time for a sharp skirmish; and while Henri was preparing to besiege the town, as soon as the tower should have been taken,
"Le suppliant de le prendre, comme si c'estoit le roy de l'Angleterre ; et que s'il estoit de ceste qualité, il seroit plus hardy de luy en faire ung présent."
+ Mém. de Vieilleville, 194-198.
"Tenants une infinité d'aultres langaiges, parmy la bonne chère qu'on leur faisoit aux tentes et pavillons de M. de Vieilleville et de M. d'Espinay, par lesquelles on jugeoit aisément qu'ils estoient ennuyés de ceste guerre, ou que par la honteuse reddition de tant de forts, ils auroient perdu le courage." (199) Vincent Carloix says, also, that they said the king of England had no right to Boulogne, because his father had obtained it, not by true and lawful arms, but by treason and corruption, which derogated from the reputation of the king and crown of England. This is not likely; for, though Vervin suffered death on a charge of corruption, as well as cowardice, of the former charge, at least, he must be considered as exonerated, when his memory was rehabilitated a few years afterwards.
a storm of wind and rain, continuing eight and forty hours, without intermission, blew down his tents, not one remaining standing, and deluged his camp. Many soldiers saved themselves by swimming; yet more than 200 were drowned, and many more must have perished without the aid of their horses. The king was thus obliged to leave a camp which the elements had broken up. The garrison of Boulogne made the loudest demonstrations of joy for this retreat, but failed to take that advantage of it to which opportunity invited them; for the cavalry, jaded as it was, could have afforded no protection to the retreating forces, and a few hundred archers might have exterminated the army. So sensible, indeed, were the French of the danger from which they had escaped, that the officer who occupied the burnt fort of Boulogne-berg made as much rejoicing for their safe arrival there, as the English had done for their own deliverance.
Having garrisoned his conquests, Henry dismissed the remainder of his army. Young Dudley now requested d'Espinay to fix his ransom, that he might not be carried farther into the country; and when asked if he was tired of his company, and had no wish to go as far as Paris, he replied, that he had business of such consequence to settle in England, that, rather than be delayed, he would pay a double ransom. One of his people took d'Espinay aside, informed him that his master was engaged to marry a daughter of the earl of Bedford, and that the lady was in a state of great unhappiness because of his captivity. After this explanation, d'Espinay told his prisoner that he might depart as soon as he pleased, and should be provided with a full passport: Dudley thanked him, desired him to name the sum which he must pay, and was about to enter into a detail of his means, when the noble Frenchman interrupted him by saying that no explanation upon that matter was required: this, he believed, had been on both sides their first essay in arms, and ought not, therefore, to be made an affair of money. The war was not finished be
tween the respective kings, and the same fortune might befall himself. All that he required of him was, that he would remember the house of Espinay, the lords of which did not go to war for the sake of acquiring riches, being rich enough, but to gain honour, and to uphold their ancient reputation. The only ransom, therefore, that he desired would be four English horses, such as were worthy to be presented to the princes and princesses, for whom he intended them. As a further courtesy, he restored the fine Spanish horse which had become his by the right of arms; but this the grateful Englishman refused to accept, requesting his captor to keep it in remembrance of him, "and, that you may be the more reminded of me, said he, I will change its name: it has hitherto been called Bedford, after my mistress; henceforth let it be called Dudley." The story proceeds to say, that the lord admiral who had provided 7000 crowns for his son's ransom, had all the studs in England searched to select the six finest horses that could be found; that he sent with them six mastiffs, which would be almost as acceptable a present; and that, as a memorial of his obligation to M. d'Espinay and mareschal de Vieilleville, he set up their arms in the painted windows of all his mansions.*
LORD AMBROSE DUDLEY.
* Mem. de Vieilleville, 202–207. The historian of M. de Vieilleville has embellished the story with circumstances which cannot be true.
Henry II. joined his army on the 23d of August, 1549, and the campaign was concluded in three weeks from that time. (Mém. de Vieilleville, 201.) Now, the first earl of Bedford was not raised to that title till the ensuing year (Collins's Peerage, i. 268.); consequently that name could not have been given to a horse in honour of a daughter of lord Russell, or of her father, at that time.
But this is not the only conclusive proof against the circumstances with which the story has been set out. Ambrose Dudley married Anne, daughter to the second earl of Bedford, which earl succeeded to that title ten years after the date of this story, in the 27th year of his age. Of course he could have had no marriageable daughter at this time. The lady Anne Russell was the third wife of this Dudley, and he was probably a married man in 1549, for his first wife died in 1552, and their son died before her. (Collins's Mem. of the Sydneys, &c. p. 39.)
The story, then, is demonstrably false in these particulars. I should be sorry to infer from it that the old French memoirs are as little to be trusted as those of the present age; and, though the tale has been thus embellished without regard to truth, I have not discredited it altogether. The other circumstances are honourable to the French, and, therefore, an English historian is bound in honour to relate them,
I must observe, however, that the challenge is said to have arisen from
Among the charges brought against the protector Somerset, in the first proceedings against him for misdemeanours and high treason, was his neglect in supplying and reinforcing the forts about Boulogne, " albeit he was advertised of their defaults."* To this neglect their loss was imputed. Dudley took care that a charge which had been made instrumental for the overthrow of great rival should not be used against himself; he lost no time in sending over the foreign troops, by whose help the insurrection in England had been suppressed; and, before the close of the year, 3000 English troops joined them in the marches of Calais. Chastillon made several attempts against Boulogne during the winter; but the spirit which was manifested there, convinced him not only that the place was tenable, but that it would be well maintained; and when negotiations for peace were opened his opinion was, that, considering the certain cost of life which must be incurred in besieging the place, it was better to obtain Boulogne by purchase than by conquest. France obtained honour enough in the transaction; for Francis I. had acknowledged a debt of 2,000,000 crowns to the crown of England as arrears of pension, and Henri II. absolutely refused to pay it, saying he never would render himself tributary to any prince; it was therefore more a mark of weakness in England to accept of 400,000 crowns for the immediate restitution of Boulogne than in France to offer it. The king himself, shortly after its delivery, repaired thither, and, entering the town with all the royal pomp that might be, offered a great image of silver to the Lady of the place, instead of that which had been carried off by the English at the time of the capture. †
The navy had been much diminished during the
high words which passed between M. de Vieilleville and the protector Somerset; and that the account which Vincent Carloix gives of that dispute is to be distrusted, because it begins with alleging an imaginary article in the treaty of peace (see p. 243.).
Howell's State Trials, ii, 511.
† Mem. de Vieilleville, 211. Holinshed, 1022.
ENGLISH AT ST. QUENTIN'S.
short reign of Edward VI., and that of Mary opened with an ill omen. The Great Harry," the notablest ship in England, was burnt at Woolwich through the carelessness of the sailors." .”* But in this unhappy reign England had to endure persecution in its fiercest form at home, and disgrace abroad. When the king of 1557. France received a declaration of war on the part of England, less for any national ground of hostilities or provocation, either real or alleged, than in consequence of the matrimonial alliance of Philip and Mary, he replied to the herald, in presence of his nobles and of the foreign ambassadors at his court, that he accepted the declaration, but wished it to be known by all, that, as far as in him lay, he had fully observed all the conditions of the peace between the French and English, and had cultivated in good faith the friendship of the queen: he hoped, therefore, that God would show his displeasure at this breach of treaty, and that this war would prove detrimental to the English, as the last and so many former ones had proved.† A force of 1000 horse, 4000 foot, and 2000 pioneers were sent to co-operate with the Spaniards: they served at the siege of St. Quentin; and, having proved their courage in the assault by which that town was carried, brought a reproach upon themselves and their country by the excesses which they committed in the sackage. The war was not popular in England at its commencement; it was felt there that the queen, contrary to promise, had tangled herself in her husband's quarrel," and, when no occasion for a breach of peace had been offered, had sought one wilfully. But when public rejoicings for the battle of St. Quentin and the capture of the town were made throughout England by the queen's command, the giddy people exulted as heartily as if the victory had been obtained in a national cause; a sudden and short gladness, which, as the chronicler has said, was soon turned to a great and long sorrow.
* Holinshed, iv. 5.
Thuanus, lib. xix. p. 529. Rabutin, Coll. du Mém. f. 39. 9. 298.