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lustre. The great Keep was in form nearly resembling | precept or example, since I never was so bold as to the White Tower in the Citadel of London, but still unhorse any of your Majesty's most illustrious house, more ancient in its architecture, deriving its date, as better knowing my own condition, and"was affirmed, from the days of Charlemagne. The Be silent on that point," said the King; "your walls were of a tremendous thickness, the windows nephew did his duty
in the matter. very small, and grated with bars of iron, and the huge There indeed," continued Balafré," he had the cluin sy bulk of the building cast a dark and porten-cue from me.-Quentin,' said I to him, 'whatever tous shadow over the whole of the court-yard. comes of it, remember you belong to the Scottish Ar
"I am not to be lodged there!' the King said, with cher-guard, and do your duty whatever comes on't.' a shudder, that had something in it ominous.
I guessed he had some such exquisite instructer," No," replied the gray-headed seneschal, who at- said Louis ; " but it concerns me that you answer tended upon him unbonneted—"God forbid !-Your my first question-Have you heard of your nephew of Majesty's apartments are prepared in these lower laie?--Stand aback, my masters," he added, adbuildings which are hard by, and in which King John dressing the gentlemen of his chamber, for this slept two nights before the battle of Poitiers." concerneth no ears but mine.''
Hum-that is no lucky omen neither”-muttered "Surely, please your Majesty," said Balafré, "I the King; " but what of the Tower, my old friend? have seen this very evening the groom Charlot, whom and why should you desire of Heaven that I may not my kinsman dispatched from Liege, or some castle be there lodged ?"!
of the Bishop's which is near it, and where he hath Nay, my gracious liege,” said the seneschal, "I lodged the ladies of Croye in safety." know no evil of the Tower at all-only that the sen. Now our Lady of Heaven be praised for it !" ţinels say lights are seen, and strange noises heard said the King. " Art thou sure of it ?--sure of the in it, at night; and there are reasons why that may good news ?'' be the case, for anciently it was used as a state prison, " As sure as I can be of aught," said Le Balafré; and there are many tales of deeds which have been "the fellow, I think, hath letters for your Majesty done in it."
from the ladies of Croye." Louis asked no farther questions; for no man was Haste to get them," said the King-" Give thy more bound than he to respect the secrets of a prison. harquebuss to one of these knaves--to Oliver-to any house. At the door of the apartments destined for one.--Now our Lady of Embrun be praised! and silhis use, which, though of later date than the Tower, ver shall be the screen that surrounds her high altar!!! were still both ancient and gloomy, stood a small Louis, in this fit of gratitude and devotion, dofled, party of the Scottish Guard, which the Duke, although as usual, his hat, selected from the figures with which he declined to concede the point to Louis, had ordered I was garnished that which represented his favourite master. The faithful Lord Crawford was at their head. ing down, repeated reverently the vow he had made.
"Crawford--my honest and faithful Crawford," The groom, being the first messenger whom Dursaid the King," where hast thou been to-day?- Are ward had dispatched from Schonwaldt, was now inthe lords of Burgundy so inhospitable as to neglect troduced with his letters. They were addressed to one of the bravest and most noble gentlemen that the King by the ladies of Croye, and barely thanked ever trode a court?-I saw you not at the banquet.” him in very cold terms for his courtesy while at his
“I declined it, my liege," said Crawford-* rimes Court, and, something more warmly, for having perare changed with me. The day has been that I could mitted them to retire, and sent them in safety from have ventured a carouse with the best man in Bur- his dominions; expressions at which Louis laughed gundy, and that in the juice of his own grape; but a very heartily, instead of resenting them. He then matter of four pints now flusters me, and I think it demanded of Charlot, with obvious interest, whether concerns your Majesty's service to set in this an ex- they had not sustained some alarm or attack upon ample to my callants.
the road ? Charlot, a stupid fellow, and selected for "Thou art ever prudent," said the King; "but sure that quality, gave a very confused account of the afly your toil is the less when you have so few men to fray in which his companion, the Gascon, had been command ?--and a time of festivity requires not so killed, but knew of no other. 'Again Louis demanded severe self-denial on your part as a time of danger.” of him, minutely and particularly, the route which
- If I have few men to command,” said Crawford, the party had taken to Liege; and seemed much in"I have the more need to keep the knaves in fitting terested when he was informed, in reply, that they condition; and whether this business be like to end had, upon approaching Namur, kept the more direct in feasting or fighting, God and your Majesty know road to Liege, upon the right bank of the Maes, inbetter than old John of Crawford.”
stead of the left bank, as recommended in their route. e Kines Surely doen in apprehend any danger ?" said The King them
, ordered the man a small presents and Not )," answered Crawford ; "I wish I did; for, pressed, as if it only concerned the safety of the laas old Earl Tineman* used to say, apprehended dan- dies of Croye. gers inay be always defended dangers. The word for Yet the news, though they inferred the failure of the night, if your Majesty pleases ?"
one of his own favourite plans, seemed to imply more “Let it be Burgundy, in honour of our host and of internal satisfaction on the King's part than he would a liquor that you love, Crawford.”
have probably indicated in a case of brilliant success. “I will quarrel with neither Duke nor drink, so call- He sighed like one whose breast has been relieved ed," said Crawford, “provided always that both be from a heavy burden, muttered his devotional acsound. A good night to your Majesty,!".
knowledgments with an air of deep sanctity, raised 'A good night, my trusty Scot,” said the King, and up his eyes, and hastened to adjust newer and surer passed on to his apartments.
schemes of ambition. At the door of his bedroom Le Balafré was placed With such purpose, Louis ordered the attendance sentinel. “Follow me hither," said the King, as he of his astrologer, Martius Galeotti, who appeared passed him; and the Archer accordingly, like a piece with his usual air of assumed dignity, yet not without of machinery put in motion by an artist, strode after a shade of uncertainty on his brow, as if he had him into the apartment, and remained there fixed, si doubted the King's kind reception. It was, however, lent, and inotionless, attending the royal command. favourable, even beyond the warmest which he had
" Have you heard from that wandering Paladin, ever met with at any former interview. Louis termed your nephew ?" said the King; "for he hath been him his friend, his father in the sciences--the glass by lost to us, since, like a young knight who had set out which a king should look into distant futurity-and upon his first adventures, he sent us home two priso- concluded by thrusting on his finger a ring of very ners, as the first fruits of his chivalry;"
considerable value. Galeotti, not aware of the cirMy lord, I heard something of that,” said Bala- cumstances which had thus suddenly raised his chafré; "and I hope your Majesty will believe, that is he racter in the estimation of Louis, yet understood his hath acted wrongfully, it was in no shape by my own profession too well to let that ignorance be seen. • An Earl of Douglas, so called.
He received with grave modesty the praises of Louis,
which he contended were only due to the nobleness | Well, thou didst wish her as bad a one, when thou of the science which he practised, a science the rather didst modestly hint at thyself. However, Ohver, the more deserving of admiration on account of its lucky the man who has her not; for hang, draw, and working miracles through means of so fceble an quarter, were the most gentle words which my genagent as himself; and he and the King took leave, tle cousin spoke of him who should wed the young for once much satisfied with each other.
Countess, his vassal, without his most ducal permisOn the Astrologer's departure, Louis threw himself sion.' into a chair, and appearing much exhausted, dis- * And he is, doubtless, as jealous of any disturbmissed the rest of his attendants, excepting Oliver ances in the good town of Liege?" asked the favourite. alone, who, creeping around with gentle assiduity “ As much, or much more so," replied the King, and noiseless step, assisted him in the task of pre- as your understanding may easily anticipate; but, paring for repose.
ever since I resolved on coming hither, my messen: While he received this assistance, the King, unlike gers have been in Liege, to repress, for the present, to his wont, was so silent and passive, that his at every movement to insurrection; and my very busy tendant was struck by the unusual change in his de- and bustling friends, Rouslaer and Pavillon, have orportment. The worst minds have often something of ders to be quiet as a mouse until this happy meeting good principle in them--banditti show fidelity to their between my cousin and me is over.", captain, and sometimes a protected and promoted Judging then, from your Majesty's account," said favourite has felt a gleam of sincere interest in the Oliver, dryly, “the utmost to be hoped from this monarch to whom he owed his greatness. Oliver le meeting is
, that it should not make your condition Diable, le Mauvais, (or by whatever other name he was worse?-Surely this is like the crane that thrust her called expressive of his evil propensities,) was, never- head into the fox's mouth, and was glad to thank theless, scarcely so completely identified with Satan her good fortune that it was not bitten off. Yet your as not to feel some touch of grateful feeling for his Majesty seemed deeply obliged even now to the sage master in this singular condition, when, as it seemed, philosopher who encouraged you to play so hopeful a his fate was deeplyinterested, and his strength seemed game." to be exhausted After for a short time rendering to the "No game," said the King, sharply, "is to be King in silence the usual services paid by a servant to despaired of until it is lost, and that I have no reason his master at the toilet, the attendant was at length to expect it will be in my own case. On the contrary, tempted to say, with the freedom which his Sove- if nothing occurs to stir the rage of this vindictive reign's indulgence had permitted him in such circum- madman, I am sure of victory; and surely, I am not stances, Tète-dicu, Sire, you seem as if you had a little obliged to the skill which selected for my lost a battle; and yet I, who was near your Majesty agent, as the conductor of the ladies of Croye, a youth during this whole day, never knew you fight a field whose horoscope so far corresponded with mine, that so gallantly::
he hath saved me from danger, even by the disA field !” said King Louis, looking up, and as- obedience of my own commands, and taking the suming his wonted causticity of tone and manner; route which avoided De la Marck's ambuscade."
Pasques-dieu, my friend Oliver, say I have kept the "Your Majesty," said Oliver, may find many arena in a bull-fight; for a blinder, and more stub-agents who will serve you on the terms of acting born, untameable, uncontrollable brute, than our rather after their own pleasure than your instruccousin of Burgundy, never existed, save in the shape tions." of a Murcian bull, trained for the bull-feasts.-Well, "Ņay, nay, Oliver," said Louis, impatiently, "the let it pass—I dodged him bravely. But, Oliver, re- heathen poet speaks of Vota diis eraudita malignis, joice with me that my plans in Flanders have not --wishes, that is, which the saints grant to us in taken effect, whether as concerning those two ram- their wrath; and such, in the circumstances, would bling Princesses of Croye, or in Liege-you under- have been the success of William de la Marck's ex: stand me?"
ploit, had it taken place about this time, and while I “In faith, I do not, Sire," replied Oliver; "it is am in the power of this Duke of Burgundy. --- And impossible for me to congratulate your Majesty on this my own art foresaw-fortified by that of Ga. the failure of your favourite schemes, unless you tell leotti;—that is, I foresaw not the miscarriage of De me some reason for the change in your own wishes la Marck's undertaking, but I foresaw that the exand views."
pedition of yonder Scottish Archer should end hap"Nay," answered the King, " there is no change in pily for me--and such has been the issue, though in either, in a general view. But, Pasques-dicu, my a manner different from what I expected; for the friend, I have this day learned more of Duke Charles stars, though they foretell general results, are yet than I before knew. When he was Count de Chara- silent on the means by which such are accomplished, lois, in the time of the old Duke Philip and the ba- being often the very reverse of what we expect, or nished Dauphin of France, we drank, and hunted, even desire.-But why talk I of these mysteries to and rambled together-and many a wild adventure thee, Oliver, who art in so far worse than the very we have had. And in those days I had a decided ad- devil, who is thy namesake, since he believes and vantage over him like that which a strong spirit trembles; whereas thou art an infidel both to renaturally assumes over a weak one. But he has ligion and to science, and wilt remain so till thine since changed-has become a dogged, daring, as- own destiny is accomplished, which, as thy horosuming, disputatious dogmatist, who nourishes an scope and physiognomy alike assure me, will be by obvious wish to drive matters to extremities, while he the intervention of the gallows!" thinks he has the game in his own hands. I was "And if it indeed shall be so," said Oliver, in a recompelled to glide as gently away from each offensive signed tone of voice, “it will be so ordered, because topic, as if I touched red-hot iron. I did but hint at I was too grateful a servant to hesitate at executing the possibility of those erratic Countesses of Croye, the commands of my royal master." ere they attained Liege, (for thither I frankly con- Louis burst into his usual sardonic laugh.—"Thou fessed thai, to the best of my belief, they were gone,) hast broke thy lance on me fairly, Oliver; and, by falling into the hands of some wild snapper upon Our Lady, thou art right, for I defied thee to it. But, the frontiers, and, Pasquies-dieu! you would have prithee, tell me in sadness, dost thou discover any thought I had spoken of sacrilege. It is needless to thing in these men's measures towards us, which tell you what he said, and quite enough to say, that I may argue any suspicion of ill usage ?", would have held my head's safety very insecure, if, "My liege," replied Oliver, your Majesty, and in that moment, accounts had been brought of the yonder learned philosopher, look for augury to the success of thy friend, William with the Beard, in his stars and heavenly host-I am an earthly reptile, and and thy honest scheme of bettering himself by mar- consider but the things connected with my vocation, riage.
But, methinks, there is a lack of that earnest and No friend of mine, if it please your Majesty," said precise attention on your
Majesty, which men show Oliver-"neither friend nor plan of mine.'
to a welcome guest of a degree so far above them. "True, Oliver," answered the King;," thy plan The Duke, to-night, pleaded weariness, and saw had not been to wed, but to shave such a bridegroom. your Majesty not farther than to the street, leaving to the officers of his household the task of conveying curl of his upper lip, and the proud glance of his ye, you to your lodgings. The rooms here are hastily intimated his consciousness, that the words he used and carelessly fitted up-the tapestry is hung up were but empty compliment, and that his fine army, awry-and, in one of the pieces, as you may observe, at his own unlimited disposa), was as ready to march the figures are reversed, and stand on their heads, against Paris as in any other direction. It must while the trees grow with their roots uppermost.” have added to Louis's mortification, that he recog
"Pshaw! accident, and the effect of hurry," said nised, as forming part of this host, many banners of the King. "When did you ever know me concerned French nobility, not only of Normandy and Bretagne, about such trifles as these ?"
but of provinces more immediately subjected to his "Not on their own account are they worth notice," own authority, who, from various causes of disconsaid Oliver ; "but as intimating the degree of esteem tent, had joined and made common cause with the in which the officers of the Duke's household observe Duke of Burgundy. your Grace to be held by him. Believe me, that had True to his character, however, Louis seemed to his desire seemed sincere that your reception should take little notice of these malecontents, while, in fact, be in all points marked by scrúpulous attention, the he was revolving in his mind the various means by zeal of his people would have made minutes do the which it might be possible to detach them from the work of days. And when," he added, pointing to the banners of 'Burgundy, and bring them back to his basin and ewer," was the furniture of your Majesty's own, and resolved for that purpose, that he would toilet of other substance than silver ?!?
cause those to whom he attached the greatest im“Nay," said the King, with a constrained smile, portance to be secretly sounded by Oliver and other " that last remark upon the shaving utensils, Oliver, agents. is too much in the style of thine own peculiar occu- He himself laboured diligently, but at the same pation to be combated by any one.-True it is, that time cautiously, to make interest with the Duke's when I was only a refugee, and an exile, I was chief officers and advisers, employing for that purserved upon gold-plate by order of the same Charles, pose the usual means of familiar and frequent notice, who accounted silver too mean for the Dauphin, adroit flattery, and liberal presents; not, as he reprethough he seems to hold that metal too rich for the sented, to alienate their faithful services from their King of France. Well, Oliver, we will to bed-Our noble master, but that they might lend their aid in resolution has been made and executed; there is preserving peace betwixt France and Burgundy,-an nothing to be done but to play manfully the game on end so excellent in itself
, and so obviously tending to which we have entered. I know that my cousin of the welfare of both countries, and of the reigning Burgundy, like other wild bulls, shuts his eyes when Princes of either. he begins his career. I have but to watch that mo- The notice of so great and so wise a King was in ment, like one of the tauridors whom we saw at itself a mighty bribe; promises did much, and direct Burgos, and his impetuosity places him at my gifts, which the customs of the time permitted the mercy.
Burgundian courtiers to accept without scruple, did still more. During a boar-hunt in the forest
, while the Duke, eager always upon the immediate object, CHAPTER XXVII.
whether business or pleasure, gave himself entirely
up to the ardour of the chase, Louis, unrestrained by THE EXPLOSION.
his presence, sought and found the means of speak 'Tis listening fear, and dumb amazement all,
ing secretly and separately to many of those who When to the startled eye, the sudden glance
were reported to have most interest with Charles, Appears far south, eruptive through the cloud.
among whom D'Hymbercourt and Comines were THOMSON's Summer.
not forgotten; nor did he fail to mix up the advances The preceding chapter, agreeable to its title, was which he made towards those two distinguished perdesigned as a retrospect which might enable the sons with praises of the valour and military skill of reader fully to understand the terms upon which the the first, and of the profound sagacity and literary King of France and the Duke of Burgundy stood talents of the future historian of the period. together, when the former, moved, partly perhaps by Such an opportunity of personally conciliating, or, his belief in astrology, which was represented as if the reader pleases, corrupting, the ministers of favourable to the issue of such a measure, and in a Charles, was perhaps what the King had proposed great measure doubtless by the conscious superiority to himself
, as a principal object of his visit, even if of his own powers of mind over those of Charles, his art should fail to cajole the Duke himself. The had adopted the extraordinary, and upon any other connexion betwixt France and Burgundy was so ground altogether inexplicable, resolution of com- close, that most of the nobles belonging to the latter mitting his person to the faith of a fierce and exas-country had hopes or actual interests connected with perated enemy--a resolution also the more rash and the former, which the favour of Louis could advance, unaccountable, as there were various examples in or his personal displeasure destroy. Formed for this that stormy time to show, that safe conducts, how- and every other species of intrigue, liberal to profuever solemnly plighted, had proved no assurance for sion when it was necessary to advance his plans, and those in whose favour they were conceived; and in- skilful in putting the most plausible colour upon his deed the murder of the Duke's grandfather, at the proposals
and presents, the King contrived to reconBridge of Montereau, in presence of the father of cile the spirit of the proud to their profit, and 10 hold Louis, and at an interview solemnly agreed upon for out to the real or pretended patriot the good of both the establishment of peace and amnesty, was a hor- France and Burgundy, as the ostensible motive; rible precedent, should the Duke be disposed to resort whilst the party's own private interest, like the con
cealed wheel of some machine, worked not the less But the temper of Charles, though rough, fierce, powerfully that its operations were kept out of sight. headlong, and unyielding, was not unless in the full For each man he had a suitable bait
, and a proper tide of passion, faithless or ungenerous, faults which mode of presenting it; he poured the guerdon into usually belong to colder dispositions. He was at no the sleeve of those who were too proud to extend pains to show the King more courtesy than the laws their hand, and trusted that his bounty, though it of hospitality, positively demanded; but, on the other descended like the dew, without noise and imperceptihand, he evinced no purpose of overleaping their bly, would not fail to produce, in due season, a plensacred barriers.
crop of good will at least, perhaps of good offices, On the following morning after the King's arrival, to the donor. In fine, although he had been long there was a general muster of the troops of the Duke paving the way by his ministers for an establishment of Burgundy, which were so numerous and so ex- of such an interest in the Court of Burgundy, as cellently appointed, that, perhaps, he was not sorry should be advantageous to the interests of France, to have an opportunity of displaying them before his Louis's own personal exertions, directed doubtless by great rival. Indeed, while he paid the necessary com- the information of which he was previously possessed, pliment of a vassal to his Suzerain, in declaring that did more to accomplish that object in a few hours, these troops were the King's, and not his own, the than his agents had effected in years of negotiation.
VOL IV. 3 B
One man alone the King inissed, whom he had more than the usual quantity of shrewd and caustic been particularly desirous of conciliating, and that observation proper to his class. was the Count de Crèvecmur, whose firmness, dur- In fact, Tiel Wetzweiler, called Le Glorieux, was ing
his conduct as Envoy at Plessis, far from exciting by no means a jester of ihe common stamp. He Louis's resentment, had been viewed as a reason for was a tall, fine-looking man, excellent at many exermaking him his own if possible. He was not parti- cises, which seemed scarce reconcilable with mental cularly gratified when he learnt that the Count, at imbecility, because it must have required patience and the head of a hundred lances, was gone towards the attention to attain them. He usually followed the frontiers of Brabant, to assist the Bishop, in case of Duke to the chase and to the fight; and at Montnecessity, against William de la Marck and his dis hery, when Charl was in considerable personal contented subjects; but he consoled himself, that danger, wounded in the throat, and likely to be made the appearance of this force, joined with the di- prisoner by a French knight who had hold of his rections which he had sent by faithful messen-horse's rein, Tiel Wetzweiler charged the assailant gers, would serve to prevent any premature distur- so forcibly, as to overthrow him and disengage his bances in that country, the breaking out of which master. Perhaps he was afraid of this being thought might, he foresaw, render his present situation very too serious a service for a person of his condition, precarious.
and that it might excite him enemies among those The Court upon this occasion dined in the forest knights and nobles, who had left the care of their when the hour of noon arrived, as was common in master's person to the court-fool. At any rate, he those great hunting parties; an arrangement at this chose rather to be laughed at than praised for his time particularly agreeable to the Duke, desirous as achievement, and made such gasconading boasts he was to abridge that ceremonious and deferential of his exploits in the battle, that most men thought solemnity with which he was otherwise under the the rescue of Charles was as ideal as the rest of necessity of receiving King Louis. In fact, the King's his tale; and it was on this occasion he acquired the knowledge of human nature had in one particular title of Le Glorieux, (or the boastful,) by which he misled him on this remarkable occasion. He thought was ever afterwards distinguished., that the Duke would have been inexpressibly flatter- Le Glorieux was dressed very richly, but with little ed to have received such a mark of condescension of the usual distinction of his profession; and that and confidence from his liege lord; but he forgot that little rather of a symbolical than a very literal chathe dependence of this Dukedom upon the Crown of racter. His head was not shorn; on the contrary, France was privately the subject of galling mortifica- he wore a profusion of long curled hair, which de tion to a Prince so powerful, so wealthy, and so proud scended from under his cap, and joining with a wellas Charles, whose aim it certainly was to establish arranged, and handsomely pimmed beard, set off an independent kingdom. The presence of the King features, which, but for a wild lightness of eye, might at the Court of the Duke of Burgundy, imposed on have been termed handsome. A ridge of scarlet velthat prince the necessity of exhibiting himself in the vet carried across the top of his cap, indicated, rather subordinate character of a vassal, and of discharging than positively represented, the professional cock'smany rites of feudal observance and deference, which, comb, which distinguished the head-gear of a fool in to one of his haughty disposition, resembled dero- right of office. His bauble,,, made of ebony, was gation from the character of a Sovereign Prince, crested, as usual, with a fool's head, with ass's ears which on all occasions he affected as far as possible to formed of silver ; but so small, and so minutely sustain.
carved, that, till very closely examined, it might have But although it was possible to avoid much cere- passed for an official baton of a more solemn characmony by having the dinner upon the green turf, with ier. These were the only badges of his office which sound of bugles, broaching of barrels, and all the his dress exhibited. In other respects, it was such as freedom of a sylvan meal, it was necessary that the to match with that of the most courtly nobles. His evening repast should, even for that very reason, be bonnet displayed a medal of gold; he wore a chain held with more than usual solemnity.
of the same metal around his neck; and the fashion Previous orders for this purpose had been given, of his rich garments was not much more fantastic and, upon returning to Peronne, King Louis found a than those of young gallants who have their clothes banquet prepared with such a profusion of splendour made in the extremity of the existing fashion. and magnificence, as became the wealth of his for- To this personage Charles, and Louis, in imitation midable vassal, possessed as he was of almost all of his host, often addressed themselves during the the Low Countries, then the richest portion of Europe. entertainment; and both seemed to manifest, by, At the head of the long board, which groaned under hearty laughter, their amusement at the answers of plate of gold and silver, filled to profusion with the Le Glorieux. inost exquisite dainties, sat the Duke, and on his right "Whose seats be those that are vacant ?" said hand, upon a seat more elevated than his own, was Charles to the jester. placed his royal guest. Behind him stood on one side One of those at least should be mine by right of the son of the Duke of Gueldres, who officiated as succession, Charles," replied Le Glorieux. his grand carver--on the other, Le Glorieux, his Why so, knave?" said Charles. jester, without whom he seldom stirred; for, like Because they belong to the Sieur D'Hymbermost men of his hasty and coarse character, Charles court and Des Comines, who are gone so far to fly carried to extremity the general taste of that age for their falcons, that they have forgot their supper. court-fools and jesiers--experiencing that pleasure in They who would rather look at a kite on the wing their display of eccentricity and mental infirmity, than a pheasant on the board, are of kin to the fool, which his more acute, but not more benevolent rival, ) and he should succeed to the stools, as a part of their loved better to extract from marking the imperfec- movable estate.” tions of humanity in its nobler specimens, and find "That is but a stale jest, my friend Tiel," said the ing subject for mirth in the "fears of the brave, and Duke; "but, fools or wise men, here come the defollies of the wise." And indeed, if the anecdote re- faulters." lated by Brantome be true, that a court-fool, having As he spoke, Comines and D'Hymbercourt entered overheard Louis, in one of his agonies of repentant the room, and, after having made their reverence to devotion, confess his accession to the poisoning of the two Princes, assumed in silence the seats which his brother, Henry Count of Guyenne, divulged it were left vacant for them. next day at dinner before the assembled court, that "What ho! sirs,'' exclaimed the Duke, addressing monarch might be supposed rather more than satis- them, "your sport has been either very good or very fied with the pleasantries of professed jesters for the bad, to lead you so far and so late. Sir Philip des rest of his life.
Comines, you are dejected-hath D'Hymbercourt But, on the present occasion, Louis neglected not won so heavy a wager on you ?-You are a philosoto take notice of the favourite buffoon of the Duke, pher, and should not grieve at bad fortune.-By Saint and to applaud his repartees; which he did the rather, George! D'Hymbercourt looks as sad as thou dost. that he ihought he saw that the folly of Le Glorieux, -How now, sirs? Have you found no game? or however grossly it was soinetimes displayed, covered have you lost your falcons ? or has a witch crossed
your way? or has the Wild Huntsman* met you in at once on what you have been so much afraid to the forest? By my honour, you seem as if you were inention to me--the harebrained burghers are again come to a funeral, not a festival."
in arms. It could not be in better time, for we may While the Duke spoke, the eyes of the company at present have the advice of our own Suzerain," were all directed towards D'Hymbercourt and Des bowing to King Louis, with eyes which spoke the Comines; and the embarrassment and dejection of most bitter, though suppressed resentment, to teach their countenances, neither being of that class of us how such mutineers should be dealt with.-Hast persons to whon such expression of anxious melan- thou more news in thy packet? Out with them, and choly was natural, became so remarkable, that the then answer for yourself why you went not forward mirth and laughter of the company, which the rapid to assist the Bishop.". circulation of goblets of excellent wine had raised to "My lord, the farther tidings are heavy for me a considerable height, was gradually hushed; and, to tell, and will be afficting to you to hear.-No aid without being able to assign any reason for such a of mine, or of living chivalry, could have availed the change in their spirits, men spoke in whispers to each excellent Prelate. William de la Marck, united other, as on the eve of expecting some strange and with the insurgent Liegeois, has taken his Castle of important tidings.
Schonwaldt, and murdered him in his own hall." "What means this silence, Messires ?" said the "Murdered him!" repeated the Duke, in a deep Duke, elevating his voice, which was naturally harsh. and low tone, but which nevertheless was heard from " If you bring these strange looks, and this stranger the one end of the hall in which they were assembled silence, into festivity, we shall wish you had abode in to the other; " thou hast been imposed upon, Crèvethe marshes seeking for herons, or rather for wood- cæur, by some wild report-it is impossible!" cocks and howlets."
Alas! my lord !" said the Count, "I have it from "My gracious lord,” said Des Comines, " as we an eyewitness, an archer of the King of France's were about to return hither from the forest, we met Scottish Guard, who was in the hall when the murthe Count of Crèvecmur."
der was committed by William de la Marck's order." " How!" said the Duke; " already returned from “And who was doubtless aiding and abetting in Brabant?-but he found all well there, doubtless ?"- the horrible sacrilege!" exclaimed the Duke, starting
" The Count himself will presently give your up and stamping with his foot with such fury, that Grace an account of his news,” said D'Hymber. he dashed in pieces the footstool which was placed court, which we have heard but imperfectly.". before him. Bar the doors of this ball, gentlemen
Body of me, where is the Count ?" said the -secure the windows-let no stranger stir from his Duke.
seat, upon pain of instant death!--Gentlemen of my “ He changes his dress, to wait upon your High- chamber, draw your swords.” And turning upon ness," answered D'Hymbercourt.
Louis, he advanced his own hand slowly and deliberHis dress ? Saint-bleu ! exclaimed the impa- ately to the hilt of his weapon, while the King, withtient prince, “what care I for his dress? I think out either showing fear or assuming a defensive posyou have conspired with him to drive me mad!". ture, only said,
Or rather, to be plain,” said Des Comines," he These news, fair cousin, have staggered your wishes to communicate these news at a private audi- reason.
“No!" replied the Duke, in a terrible tone," but “Teste-dieu! my Lord King," said Charles, " this they have awakened a just resentment, which I is ever the way our counsellors serve us-If they have too long suffered to be stifled by trivial conhave got hold of aught which they consider as in-siderations of circumstance and place. Murderer of portant for our ear, they look as grave upon the mat-thy brother !-rebel against thy parent !--tyrant over ter, and are as proud of their burden as an ass of a thy subjects !-treacherous ally!--perjured King !new packsaddle. -Some one bid Crèveccur come to dishonoured gentleman!-thou art in my power, and us directly !-He comes from the frontiers of Liege, I thank God for it." and we, at least,” (he laid some emphasis on the Rather thank my folly," said the King; " for pronoun,) "have no secrets in that quarter which we when we met on equal terms at Montl'hery, mewould shun to have proclaimed before the assembled thinks you wished yourself farther from me than we world.”
All perceived that the Duke had drunk so much The Duke still held his hand on the hilt of his wine as to increase the native obstinacy of his dispo- sword, but refrained to draw his weapon, or to strike sition and though many would willingly have sug- a foe, who offered no sort of resistance which could gested that the present was neither a time for hearing in anywise provoke violence. news nor for taking counsel, yet all knew the impe- Meanwhile, wild and general confusion spread ittuosity of his temper too well to venture on farther self through the hall
. The doors were now fastened interference, and sat in anxious expectation of the and guarded by order of the Duke; but several of the tidings which the Count might have to communi- French nobles, few as they were in number, started
from their seats, and prepared for the defence of their A brief interval intervened, during which the Duke Sovereign. Louis had spoken not a word either to remained looking eagerly to the door, as if in a trans- Orleans or Dunois since they were liberated from report of impatience, whilst the guests sat with their straint at the Castle of Loches, if it could be termed eyes bent on the table, as if to conceal their curiosity liberation, to be dragged in King Louis's train, objects and anxiety. Louis alone maintaining perfect com- of suspicion evidently, rather than of respect and reposure, continued his conversation alternately with gard; but, nevertheless, the voice of Dunois was first the grand carver and with the jester.
heard above the tumult, addressing himself to the Ai length Crèvecæur entered, and was presently Duke of Burgundy. -"Sir Duke, you have forgotten saluted by the hurried question of his master, "What that you are a vassal of France, and that we, your news from Liege and Brabant, Sir Count ?--the re- guests, are Frenchmen. If you lift a hand against port of your arrival has chased' mirth from our table our Monarch, prepare to sustain the utmost effects --we hope your actual presence will bring it back to of our despair ; for, credit me, we shall feast as high
with the blood of Burgundy as we have done with its My liege and master," answered the Count, in wine.-Courage, my Lord of Orleans-and you, gena firm, but melancholy tone, "the news which I tlemen of France, form yourselves round Dunois, and bring you are fitter for the council board than the do as he does !'' feasting table."
It was in that moment when a King might see “Out with them, man, if they were tidings from upon what tempers he could certainly rely. The few Antichrist !" said the Duke;" but I can guess them independent nobles and knights who attended Louis, -the Liegeois are again in mutiny."
most of whom had only received from him frowns of " They are, my lord,” said Crèvecæur, very gravely. discountenance, unappalled by the display of infinitely "Look there, man," said the Duke, "I have hit superior force, and the certainty of destruction in case * The famous apparition, sometimes called le Grand Veneur. they came to blows, hastened to array themselves Sully gives some account of this hunting spectre.
around Dunois, and, led by him, to press towards the