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Henry II.

cy by their Friends Intreaties, and both enter1559. Pope

tained the Evil by their Connivance, and left it Pauliv, unpunished, by ordering penalties after their own w will; that such was the root of the Evil; and it

was in vain to undertake the curing of it, without cutting it from the Root. Therefore it was ve: ry expedient; that the King, without any previous Notice, should go himself to Parliament afsembled on account of the Mercuriale:

Charles VIII. had enacted by his Edict given in Parliament in 1493; that a Censure should be made in all the Courts of the Kingdom. That Edict was amplified five years after by Lewis XII. and it was ordered that twice; or at least once a Month, the Presidents of the Parliament, and the Presidents of the Courts of Inquest should meet together on the Tuesday, or on the Wednesday, which is in Latin Dies Mercurii, in the Afternoon, with two Counsellors of each Order; and that the King's Sollicitor and Attorneys being present, should take notice of those who by neglect or disobedience, or diffoluteness, or something worse, should have offended against the dignity, and the gravity of a Senator, and to admonis friendly the Guilty ; and if the thing re: quired it, that the Matter should be brought before the Court, that great Penalties should be inflicted upon them, even to the suspension of their Office for a time, nay, to a Degradation, and to draw an Act of all these things to be reported to the King. Francis I. in the year 1539, ordered that such Censures should take place every three Months. These Censures were called Mercurials, from the name of the day in which the Court was to be assembled for that purpose.

The King's Sollicitor and Attorney General were ordered to impeach those who had done any thing amiss in the discharge of their Office, and

Pope.

to prosecute them without delay that if they Henry H. were negligent in so doing, they should lose them

1559 selves their own Dignity. The other Presidents Paul Tv. of the Court dissented from Le Maitre and others wW above named, who advised the King to take this Course, about the Penalties to be inflicted on the Sectaries ; and Le Maitre, fearing left the King who naturally was of an easy Nature and indulgent, should be moved by the great Reputation of those Diflenters, had rendered them suspicious to his Majefty, as Favourers and Abettors of Hereticks, and had been of opinion, to call them in private and acquaint them with the King's Will, in order to deter them from speaking their real Sentiments in the Court.

Christophorus de Thou, being let into the Secret, spoke to the King with his usual Freedom and Integrity, and opposed with all his might that design; which, as he foresaw, would be fatal to his Majesty and to the Kingdom, and for which, as long as he lived afterwards, he was so much averle to the Mercurials, which at first had been instituted fo usefully.

Monsieur de Thou's Remonstrances proving ineffectual, the King, without any previous notice, went to the Parliament on the roth of June, which was assembled in the Austin Fryars House, the Parliament House being taken up for the Wedding of the King's Daughter and Sister. His Majesty was followed by the Princes of Bourbon, Francis of Lorrain, Duke of Guise, the Constable Annas Montmorency, and the Cardinals of Lorrain and Guife.

When the King was seated on his Throne, he fpoke about Religion, and the publick Tranquillity, in a manner which plainly discovered the fecret notions of his Soul, and that he was come thither with a bitter, rather than with a sedate Heart. Then he told them that he had procured peace to

the

Henry II. the Christian World, by the Marriage of his

1959Daughter and of his Sister, and was in hopes, that Paul iv. it would be advantageous to his People, and a

lasting one: But that he was vexed to his heart, understanding that some, taking advantage of his Wars, had handled the matters of Religion in such a tumultuary and seditious manner, as they had done. Wherefore he desired for the future, to apply himself entirely to the healing of those Evils which the Disputes about Religion had occafioned in the Christian World ; and understand ing, that they were assembled for that purpose, he exhorted them to examine and judge of that matter with a perfect integrity ; for that it was the Cause of God, to which there was no doubt but he was present himself, and knew perfectly well all their Thoughts and Designs.

Then the Cardinal Keeper of the Seals, commanded them in the King's Name, to go on with their Votes: And though it was obvious enough to every one that the King was come only on purpose, to dive into their thoughts, and to restrain the freedom of Votes, nevertheless many of them, though under the King's Eyes, and at the peril of their Lives, spoke their minds with that Ancient and Senatorian Liberty which was agreeable to their Dignity, and inveighed against the Roman Court's Manners, and bad Ulages, which at last had degenerated into most pernicious Errors, which had been the occasion of so many Sects, which multiplied themselves every where ; they were of opinion to mitigate the Punishments and to put a itop to the severity of the Judgments, till the differences in Religion should be compofed, and the Discipline of the Church restored by the Authority of an Oecumenical Council.

Such was the opinion of the best and more prudent amongst the Senators ; and for a greater con

firmation,

1559.

firmation, they alledged the Decree of the Coun- Henry II. cils of Bafil and Constance, by which it was en

Pop: acted that every tenth year there should be a Pauliv. Council.

Arnold du Ferrier' was the first who voted for that Opinion, he was foilowed by Anthony Fumée ; Paul Fox, Nicholas Valla, Euftachius la Porte and several others. Claudius Viole, and Lewis le Fevre added at last, that it was certain that Religious Differences afforded occasion for troubles; but then it ought to be considered, who was truly the Author of these troubles, left what Elias answered to Ahab, who charged him with being the Author of the Troubles in Israel, should be applicable to the like Case : Thou art the Man who troubles Ifrael.

Then Annas du Bɔurg said many things about the eternal Providence of God, to whom every thing must be submitted ; and when he came to the print in question, he said, that there were several Crimes and wicked Actions condemned by the Laws which deferved the severelt Punishments, as Oaths, Swearing, and Curfing, which were so rife, Adulteries, Debaucheries, Perjuries, which not only went unpunished, but even were shamefully countenanced, while there were new kinds of Punishments prepared every day against those, who had not as yet been found guilty of any Crime. Sould those be guilty of High Treafon, who mention the name of their Prince only to pray for him? Should they be guilty of any Violation of the Laws, of having conspired as gainst the Privileges of their Fellow-Subjects, or attempted to raise Rebellion in the Cities, or to engage the Provinces against their Sovereigns ? But no such Crimes have been laid to their charge as yet, or at least, it had been impossible to prove any such thing against them. Are they not obVol. I.

I

noxious

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Henry II. noxious to the publick hatred, because they had

559. fet in a full light, by the means of the holy ScripPaul'iv tures, the scandalous and old Vices of the Court of v Rome, and desired they should be reformed ?

Then the other Presidents and Counsellors voted in Order, according to their Rank; and Christopher du Harlay, with Peter Seguier, afferted strenuously, though with modesty, that till then the Court had acted rightly in all their proceedings, and it was to be hoped, that for the future they would be always like themselves, to the Glory of God, and in a way agreeable to the King, and the People's Inclination.

But Christopher de Thou voted very freely, that the King's Sollicitor and Advocates ought to be taken notice of, for having been so daring as to cast a blemish upon the Court's Decree, and to call their Authority in Question.

René Baillet voted that the Decrees which they complained of, ought to be retracted and examined a-new. Minier voted in a few Words, that the King's Edict ought to be kept.

Lastly, the first President Le Maitre spoke very: violently againit the Sectaries. He insisted much upon the example of the Albigenfes, 600 of whom were burnt by King Philip Augustus's Orders ; and upon that of the Waldenses, who had been choaked with Smoak, some in their own Houses, some in Dens, and some others in Quarries.

When they had delivered their Votes, the Cardinal Keeper of the Seals came near the King, who fat upon his Throne, and they took Council with the Lords which were come with his Majesty. Then being all feated again, the Lord-Keeper called for St. Germain, Notary of the Court, wlio had set down in writing the Votes of the Senators, and ordered him to deliver into his hand the 3

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